Warning: mild use of language
AN: I want to thank Ada Kensington, Spiderwort and Bribitribbit for beta-ing this.
Death of a Friend
They walked between the graves while reading the names. So many names they recognized. They paused at some of them, holding hands, remembering the people buried there. There had been so many deaths that the survivors had to bury them randomly; hero beside spy beside innocent witness. But all of them had been victims of the Dark Lord, one way or another.
They reached a simple white tomb covered with flowers and small keepsakes.
Dumbledore. His teacher, his mentor, his hero. He missed the old wizard so much; his lemon sherbets, his all-knowing, twinkling eyes. He died, giving his life to keep Hogwarts safe, seemingly betrayed by one he loved and trusted. He would have loved to have taught under him, but the Hogwarts staff had changed almost completely since he was a student. Only Minerva McGonagall had stayed.
They walked on until they reached a grave in the middle of the field. A dog, a wolf and a stag were playing there carved out of stone. They stood still for a long time, watching the animals. Her hand left his, and she placed a red rose on the grave. It had become a tradition; no other colour, no other flower, but a Gryffindor-red rose.
Sirius. He admired the man more than anybody. Sirius had hated his family passionately but it was that passion that had allowed him to love his friends so fiercely. He had been a man of heart, a true Gryffindor, a man of feeling, something he always had in abundance, both of anger and joy. He had been the first in this war to go and, unfortunately, not the last. Sirius would always be the person of firsts: the first Black in Gryffindor; the youngest Animagus ever at fifteen; the first Black to be thrown into Azkaban; the first known person to escape Azkaban; and the first of the new Order to die.
They walked on in silence, neither wanting to speak a word. A grave, black as the night, stood alone among the others.
Snape. He did not want to admit it, but he missed the cynical man. He had hated Snape from the first time they met. And that hate had grown, reaching its height when the man had killed Dumbledore. He had redeemed himself in the end though, by saving many lives. He still did not like the bastard, but he had great admiration for the man who had managed to live a divided life for so many years for the sake of Dumbledore. Death must have been a welcome change for him. Peace at last.
They walked on, past more names they knew. Then they came to a grave, beautifully carved with roses.
Ginny. He missed her more than anyone could ever know. She had become so beautiful, so bright, so strong. But he would always remember the eleven-year-old girl getting ready for her first day at school. Her death almost killed him, and for a while it made him lose all hope, until he remembered who she had been and realized she had died the way she wanted to. Fighting for a good cause.
He felt a hand touch his face and caress him softly; wetness spread over his cheek under her gentle touch.
Tears. He knew that if he could, he would bring her back, bring all of them back.
They walked on, past grave after grave. They stopped in front of a grave, the biggest one, the best-kept, the one with the most flowers.
He had been his best friend and he still missed him. After five years he still missed playing chess with him … playing tag on broomsticks all over the Quidditch pitch...laughing at Hermione because she was reading again…sneaking out of the tower at night to save the world. He had finally died doing just that, and he had been beside him, watching him fall. He remembered his empty eyes when he held him in his arms.
They were no longer alone; there were voices about them, one murmuring. "That's him…The Boy Who Lived…"
It was ironic, talking about “The Boy Who Lived” while standing at his grave. But that was how they saw him, a hero. Perfect in every way, but to Ron, Harry had not been perfect. He had been like a brother; sometimes annoying, sometimes stubborn, sometimes closed-off, but above all, a very good friend.
Beside him, Hermione gave a soft sob; she had heard the voices too and he felt her pain. He drew her close, the love of his life.
And he knew that, out there somewhere, the Seeker was still chasing the Snitch.
Hermione gave another sob. But he walked on, leaving her alone at Harry's grave. This last was his journey, his alone. One other grave was left for him to visit. There it was, a little secluded, set off from the rest.
They all had said he did not belong here. He had not the right to be buried here. This was a place of remembrance and they did not find him worth remembering. But he was! He had saved Ron’s life, only to pay with his own. Ron had never used his given name. He had found him annoying, and now he was dead. And only Ron mourned him.
He walked back to his life. He looked back at the grave one last time and read: