The Sugar Quill
Author: Dark Princess  Story: Gone, But Never Forgotten  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Gone, But Never Forgotten

Disclaimer: Anything you recognize does not belong to me, however much I wish that it did. Instead, it all belongs to J. K. Rowling. However, anything you do not recognize does belong to me.

 

 

Summary: The Second War has ended, and several months have passed since the Final Battle. It is now the night of 31 December, and while the rest of the world is out celebrating the dawning of a Voldemort-free year, one young man is preparing to end his life. He has lost everything he cared for, including the love of his life, and can see no reason to continue living. Will someone come and save him before it is too late? Written December of 2005 for the “Winter Snows, Challenge I: Redemption” on MNFF. [Not DH-compatible]

 

 

Author’s Note: Please note that this one-shot is rated R for some dark descriptions of violence and horror, as well as an overlaying presence of suicidal themes. Both of these were necessary to give the story its believability. A ‘Thank You’ to PirateQueen for beta-ing. And now, I present for your enjoyment, Gone, But Never Forgotten.

 

 

~**~

 

 

Gone, But Never Forgotten

 

 

~**~

 

 

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw anyone out.”

– Audrey Hepburn

 

 

~**~

 

 

The night outside was frigidly cold; harsh winds bit at the exposed skin of travellers, both Muggle and Magical alike, as they walked along the streets. Swirling snow fell from the cloudy sky onto the ground, covering the darkness of the black pavement with its pure, white flakes. Still, the freezing temperatures and bitter weather did not seem to stop people from leaving the warm comfort of their homes to visit friends on this night. After all, for most of these travellers, tonight was a time for celebration, for the beginning of a new year was upon the world.

 

 

One man, however, felt no cause for celebrating, and he felt no urge to attend any of the vast numbers of parties being hosted around the country, not to mention the world. In fact, his mind could not grasp how every one of the people outside could bring themselves to feel happiness and laughter; he could not understand how they could have so easily forgotten all of those who would not be celebrating a new year, all those who had fallen in battle only a short while ago. The world, he thought, always seemed to forget the dead when the terror had ended.

 

 

As a break in the thick, heavy clouds appeared, light from the near-full moon shone through a large window on the upper floor of a house in London, and revealed the dark silhouette of a young man. The young man, his unruly black hair hanging around his face, sat at a wooden desk on the far side of the room, hunched over a single piece of parchment, an eagle feather quill clutched firmly in his hand as he continued to write.

 

 

In front of the young man and sitting on the upper left corner of the desk, stood a single vial that was filled to the top with a thick, blood-red liquid. The potion did not swirl in its container, like so many others usually did, and it did not emit any smoke, or give off any bubbles. Instead, the potion remained completely still in its vial, seeming almost dead. Its appearance, ironically, depicted the potion’s effects; Silens Letum, after all, was a suicidal type of poison.

 

 

The young man never brought his eyes up from the parchment as his hand flew over it, words flowing like a river from the quill. His breathing was calm, and there was no nervousness or anxiety reflected in his actions; he gave off no hint that he was uneasy about what he was preparing to do. While his right hand held the quill as it wrote line after line onto the parchment, his left hand grasped the only other object on the desk – a small picture of a young girl whose flaming red hair whipped around her smiling and freckled face. He wrapped his fingers around that single picture as though it were the only thing that mattered, lovingly stroking the girl’s gorgeous face as if she was really there, and not just in the picture.

 

 

But he knew that could never be. Never again would the girl’s shining face add brightness to his life here on the earth; never again would he see her smile, nor hear her laugh, nor feel her touch. She was gone, and it had been his fault; no matter what anyone said, it had been his fault, and his alone. The girl he had loved more than anything was dead, and he had been the one to kill her. It had happened around six months ago, but the young man remembered the event as if the pain had just been inflicted yesterday.

 

 

Bodies were sprawled all over the grounds – the same grounds that had been covered in pure white snow four months ago and had just shown blankets of thick, green grass earlier in the day. Now, however, there was barely a spot of grass that had remained green; either it was covered with injured or dead bodies – of which there were so many, – or the green colour had been stained away by the great pools of blood. Voices rang throughout the night, crying the incantations of numerous spells into the darkness. Different colours – green, red, blue, purple – lit up the night as the many spells’ beams of light reflected into the sky.

 

 

Everything around him was a blur as Harry Potter battled Death Eater after Death Eater in his desperate effort to reach Lord Voldemort on the opposite side of the vast battleground. He ignored the piercing screams that echoed into the night, not even knowing or caring whether they came from Death Eaters or Order members. He ignored his own injuries as he fought his way through the thick mass of black-cloaked wizards and witches.

 

 

Only one thing pierced the mind of the Boy Who Lived: Tonight, he would finally defeat Voldemort once and for all. After years of struggle and numerous deaths, it would end tonight. Everything else – the spells, the noises, the bodies – was ignored.

 

 

Suddenly, there was a break in the mass of black cloaks, and Harry’s emerald eyes locked onto the scarlet eyes of the man he hated above all; the man who was the reason for all of his pain and the reason for all of tonight’s suffering and death. Lord Voldemort was finally within his sight.

 

 

However, as soon as Harry had caught sight of Voldemort, he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Turning around sharply, Harry caught sight of a large Death Eater raise his wand and point it directly at Harry’s neck.

 

 

“Iugulra!” shouted the Death Eater.

 

 

Harry only had enough time to dive to his right and out of the path of the Throat-Cutting Spell as its purple beam hurled through the air towards him. It was not until a scream pierced his mind that he realised that the curse had hit someone else.

 

 

After firing a hex at the Death Eater, Harry jerked around to see who the victim of the Throat-Cutting Spell had been, and the sight that met his gaze tore his heart out, causing him to feel more pain than even the worst Cruciatus created.

 

 

Ginny Weasley stood in front of him, and, though the spell had not cut her throat, it had hit her in the side, ripping the skin wide open and unleashing a flood of blood onto the grass below. Her freckled face had lost its colour, and as she looked up at Harry, meeting his gaze, she stumbled forward and fell to the ground.

 

 

Harry, momentarily frozen from shock and horror, came to his senses quick enough to catch Ginny as she fell. All thoughts of Voldemort forgotten, he wrapped his arms around her, not caring about the blood as the sticky, red substance coated his hands and stained his robes. Ripping pieces from his already-ruined clothing, Harry pressed them into Ginny’s wound, trying desperately to stem the blood flow. It was no use; the wound was far too deep, and the blood just soaked through the cloth as if there was nothing there, but Harry refused to stop.

 

 

“Ginny,” he pleaded, cradling her head in his hands. “Hang on, Ginny. You’ll be okay.” Tears were already making their tracks from Harry’s eyes and down his cheeks, knowing what Harry was stubbornly refusing to acknowledge.

 

 

Ginny, however, was like the tears; she knew better. Though Harry continued pressing pieces of cloth into the wound and trying to save her, she knew she would not make it, knew she was dying. Summoning all of her final bits of strength, she raised her hand, wrapping it around Harry’s blood-coated fingers.

 

 

“Harry …” she muttered, her voice already losing its life. “I love you, Harry.” Ginny’s breath began to slow, and her eyes, having already lost their previous glow, were beginning to glaze over, reflecting the approaching shadow of death.

 

 

And as Harry continued pleading with her not to leave, promising her that she would be okay, Ginny whispered her love for him one last time before slipping into unconsciousness.

 

 

The heavy silence in the room was broken by a chair’s legs scraping along the floor. Harry, laying the quill down next to the piece of parchment and pushing the chair back, stood from the desk. Still grasping Ginny’s picture in his left hand, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a simple diamond ring – Ginny’s engagement ring. He had carried this ring in his pocket on the night of the Final Battle; he had planned to ask Ginny to marry him after Voldemort was defeated. Unfortunately, that moment had never arrived; Ginny had died in Harry’s arms before he asked her.

 

 

As his eyes started to fill with tears, Harry reached for the vial on his desk. The instructions for Silens Letum were fairly simple: It worked like a Muggle drug overdose; all one had to do was drink the potion, and they would drift into unconsciousness and die. There was, however, a catch: Every last drop of Silens Letum must be consumed, otherwise the individual would not be killed, but only fall asleep.

 

 

Placing the tip of the vial to his lips, Harry muttered, “I love you, Ginny, and I’m sorry,” before pouring the potion down his throat. As an intense, sharp pain shot up his arm (a side effect of the potion), Harry dropped the glass vial, which shattered on the floor. Unconsciousness claimed the Boy Who Lived, and as he fell over, several, undrunk drops of Silens Letum made their way along the cracks of the floor, trailing away from Harry’s body.

 

 

----

 

 

“Harry.”

 

 

A beautiful voice, one more lovely than the most talented bird’s song, intruded into Harry’s heavy and clouded mind, urging him to awaken. He struggled to open his eyes, just to see the owner of the voice, but his body refused to obey.

 

 

“Wake up, Harry,” the voice whispered once again.

 

 

Harry finally succeeded in opening his eyes, but when he did, they were assaulted with a white light so bright that it temporarily blinded him, causing Harry to shut his eyes once more. Eventually, he grew accustomed to the intensity of the light, and it was then that he saw her, standing before him and looking more beautiful than he had ever seen her.

 

 

Luscious locks of red hair fell around Ginny’s face, which looked like a gorgeous picture encased in a beautiful frame. She was clothed, not in the bloody and battle-torn robes that Harry had last seen her in, but in a flowing gown, which was coloured purer than the purest white that Harry had ever set eyes on. Her entire body seemed to glow, as if another light was highlighting around her.

 

 

“Ginny,” muttered Harry, his eyes still locked with her’s.

 

 

“Hello, Harry,” she replied, smiling at him with a smile more beautiful than Harry remembered.

 

 

Harry stood up from the ground, which he quickly realized was not really a “ground” per se. Swirling clouds made up the substance under Harry’s feet, as well as everything – the floor, the walls, the ceiling – around him. There was no other colour except for white, either; everything was either white or a variation of it. His appearance had also changed. Instead of the simple, dark blue robes he had been wearing at Grimmauld Place, Harry was now clothed in white, though it was not as bright, nor as elegant as Ginny’s was. Tentatively, as though afraid everything was a dream that he would awaken from as soon as he touched something, Harry reached out and wrapped his fingers around Ginny’s hand. A smile spread across his face when he felt solid skin.

 

 

Thinking his attempt had worked, that the Silens Letum had done its job correctly, Harry embraced Ginny, pulling her close to him, seeming like he wished to make up for the past several months of being without her. At the same time as hugging her, however, Harry continued whispering the same two words over and over.

 

 

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m sorry, Ginny. I should have saved you; you shouldn’t have died. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

 

 

Ginny did not interrupt Harry in the beginning; she simply allowed him to continue apologising and blaming himself, and the only movements she made were to wipe the tears from Harry’s face as he spoke. When he had paused in his monologue, however, she responded with,

 

 

“You’re not dead, Harry; and you didn’t kill me.”

 

 

At these words, Harry’s mind seemed to jerk back to reality. Turning to gaze directly into Ginny’s eyes, he whispered, “What do you mean ‘You’re not dead’? And what do you mean by ‘You didn’t kill me’? Of course I did; that curse was meant for me, not you; I should have died that night –”

 

 

“But you didn’t, Harry,” interrupted Ginny, grasping Harry’s hand. “You didn’t die because you were not meant to die; it was not your time; you had more things to accomplish then, just like you have more things to accomplish now. You are not prepared to die, Harry.”

 

 

“But the Silens Letum –”

 

 

“You didn’t drink it all,” said Ginny. “When you dropped the vial, several drops spilled out onto the floor. Right now, you are simply unconscious, nothing more.”

 

 

Silence followed Ginny’s statement as Harry, turning his gaze to the swirling clouds at his feet, allowed his mind to wrap around everything. He was not dead; his plan had failed, and he would soon return to the miserable and lonely life he led on earth without Ginny. Sighing, he brought his eyes up from the ground to stare at Ginny’s face once more.

 

 

“I can’t go back,” he whispered, his statement sounding almost more like a desperate plea than anything else. “There’s nothing else for me down there, and I can’t live happily in a world without you. …”

 

 

Ginny smiled at this, though it was a sad smile, and tears started to stream from her eyes as well, matching the flow of salty liquid falling down Harry’s face. “You’re right, Harry, in that I can’t physically be there with you, however much I wish that I could. But you’re wrong about something else: You are still needed. Ron and Hermione still need you, though they might not admit to it very often. They love you, as do my family. There are people down there who care about you, Harry, and they hurt when you hurt. I have already left. Don’t cause them any more pain by leaving, too.”

 

 

“But, Ginny –”

 

 

“Harry,” muttered Ginny, interrupting the Boy Who Lived once again and cupping his pale face in her hands. “I love you. I have always loved you, and I always will love you. Do not punish yourself with false guilt. You did not kill me; you tried to save me, but it was just my time to go.

 

 

“But you, Harry,” she continued, “have waited your entire life to be free from Voldemort and to find happiness. Now he’s dead, and you can finally have that. It’s time for you to move on, Harry, and you have to let me go.”

 

 

The Boy Who Lived shook his head at her words. “I can’t forget you, Ginny,” muttered Harry, the tears now streaming like floods from his eyes and down his cheeks. “I can’t forget, and I don’t want to leave you.”

 

 

“And you won’t, Harry,” whispered Ginny as she stared into Harry’s glistening eyes. “You won’t leave me because I’ll always be with you; not physically, but I’ll always be there. And you won’t forget me. Your memories will stay with you forever, but the pain will heal with time.”

 

 

Harry could not respond. He could not work any sound pass the lump that had formed in his throat. In his heart, he knew Ginny was right; he knew that he could never forget her, and he knew that Hermione, Ron, and the rest of the Weasleys still cared about him. However, the thought of leaving Ginny once again still hurt.

 

 

“I love you, Ginny,” he whispered. “I love you, and I miss you so much.” His emerald eyes locked on Ginny as he spoke these last words, his mind already feeling the pull of the living world. Still holding Ginny’s hand tightly, Harry returned to consciousness, Ginny’s sweet reply still ringing in his ears:

 

 

“And I you.”

 

 

----

 

 

For the second time that night, Harry struggled to open his eyes, though the sight that greeted his gaze upon this second awakening was far different from the first. There was no gleaming white room, no swirling clouds lining the floor and walls … and no Ginny. Instead, there was a hard, dusty floor and, along with some other pieces of furniture, an old, wooden desk in the corner. Across the room, a large window stood open, revealing a clear, night sky with a near-full moon shining its light down on the world below.

 

 

Harry glanced down at a clock on a small, round table next to an old bed that stood in the room. The clock – a Muggle clock – read “3:06 a. m.” in bright, red numbers; the new year had been in existence for about three hours. A slight smile spread across Harry’s face as, glancing down once again at Ginny’s picture in his hand, he muttered,

 

 

“A new year is a new beginning. You’re gone, but I promise that you will never be forgotten.”

 

 

~**~

 

 

Author’s Note: I hope you enjoyed this story. To tell the truth, I had not been thinking about submitting to the Winter Snows Challenge, but then this idea just jumped into my mind when I was trying to go to bed one night, and everything just fell into place. A note about the potion – its name translates to “silent death” (at least, that’s what one of the English-to-Latin sites translated it to :) ). Also, like I mentioned before, this story was written over two years ago, in December of 2005, and was my first attempt at writing something like this (an angsty and emotional type of thing), but I wanted to put it up here on SQ anyway. Thanks a lot for reading, and please let me know what you think.

 

 

~Megan

//
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