Author's Note: Here's my first ever published story coming alive before your eyes. Being an avid FF reader, it was about time for me to finally find the nerve to click the "publish" button. I would like to thank my fellow writer dustyroses, writer of "Deadly In Every Way", who supported me and beta'd me! A little encouragement always produces miracles! So hang on tight as we dive straight into the heart of the matter...
The Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling and the Southern Vampires Mysteries written by Charlaine Harris belong to their fellow authors. I do not make profit from writing this story.
Mending The Hardest Of Hearts
"According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, when we're dying or have suffered a catastrophic loss, we all move through five distinct stages of grief. We go into denial because the loss is so unthinkable we can't imagine it's true. We become angry with everyone, angry with survivors, angry with ourselves. Then we bargain. We beg. We plead. We offer everything we have, we offer our souls in exchange for just one more day. When the bargaining has failed and the anger is too hard to maintain, we fall into depression, despair, until finally we have to accept that we've done everything we can. We let go. We let go and move into acceptance."
- Meredith Grey, Grey's Anatomy, Season 6 episode 1
Five years might have passed, but it only feels like yesterday since his death.
No matter if 1,826 days had gone by since that fateful Battle of Hogwarts on July 23rd, the war had turned on its head its community, for worse. The magical world I had grown to love was nowhere to be seen, neither along the reconstruction sites spread all over the country, nor within the hearts of its people who had lost so much to the price of coming on the other side victorious.
The War of the Living, as it had come to be known in newly published history books, facing the side of the light with Harry at its head to the dark forces of Lord Voldemort, had decimated both wizarding and muggle populations by thousands. Five years later, bodies were still crowding up English morgues, missing person profiles still made the daily news, no matter on whose side victory laid. Harry had truly lived up to his legacy, proving that love worked in far more exceptional ways than one would think. Harry, in the battle that had been his entire existence, remained the last one standing when the Dark Lord disintegrated before his very eyes to nothingness on Hogwarts grounds. Yet, no matter if he saved the wizarding world, its people had not made peace with their losses. From Fred, to Lupin, to Snape, the Order had lost plenty of its finest wizards for the greater good. Wounds were still fresh and the ghosts of their former presence clung tightly with each and every one of them.
By far, the person I was missing most, amidst it all.
Funny, no matter how lazy he was, Ron was always brave. He hadn't died in vain; by shielding Harry for a split second during his battle with Voldemort, he had perished at the wand of his greatest enemy. Voldemort's last act of defiance on this Earth. A life for a life had never rung more true.
The first six months following his death had been utterly unbearable. Catatonic, I remember resting in his former bedroom for weeks at a time, taking turns staring at his walls plastered with flying players from the Chudley Cannons and at the pictures scattered all over of the two of us with Harry, dating from our very first school year to Dumbledore's funeral. I wasn't always alone, though, staying in his room. More often than not, Harry would join me and together, we would find a little comfort in reminiscing about Ron and his antics. Stories were shared during the darkest hours of the night, and when finally morning came, it would find us sprawled all over Ron's floor in our sleeping bags, still misty-eyed. We couldn't believe he was gone. I couldn't believe I had lost him forever. It didn't make any sense.
No matter how often I twirled his wand between my fingers, always expecting him to come bounding up the stairs looking for it, he never did.
The fact he never showed up to any of the places where we used to hang out on our off-time from school year, killed me. Looking over my shoulder became a tic which I didn't owe completely to our Horcruxes hunt, but partly to the possibility of seeing Ron walking up behind us. I thus avoided, for a long time, Honeydukes, Hogsmeade's candy store, since I kept imagining him popping up in every aisle I'd walk into. His delighted expression would then flash in my mind followed by his usual "'Mione, hurry up!". So instead of turning into a fountain in the middle of a busy afternoon, I resolved to avoid the place altogether.
These avoidances though quickly grew frustrating and thinking about all the things Ron would no longer be doing with any of us made me nothing but resentful. What right had I to enjoy a certain food or a particular drink when the one guy I had loved more than anything on this Earth, besides Harry, had left me to never come back again? Unconsciously, I ate less, restricting myself in the memory of Ron. Perhaps it was silly, but I certainly didn't think so back then. It seemed fair and my going on living after his death was an irreconcilable idea during such trying times. While restricting myself, on the one hand, I also indulged, on the other, on replaying like a broken record the final moments before his disappearance.
I should've done something to stop him from getting himself killed. Anything.
Scenarios twirled in my mind in the dead of night while "what ifs" became nightly companions. Harry said I was beating up myself for no reason on that issue, there was nothing I could have possibly done about it, but Harry had been wrong before too. Wracking my brain for alternatives appeared to me as the most logical thing to do and that is exactly what I was doing most of the time whenever my parents or the Weasleys caught me staring lost into space. But not even fistfuls of hair grabbed in sheer exasperation at the impossibility of it all could bring me back Ron. No matter how I wished things had turned out differently, hoping beyond reason for his return.
During these maddening evenings spent with my knees drawn up to my chest while twirling these ideas, I would sometimes, finally, let myself drown into the abyss of my grief. Plans were no longer devised where Ron's survival prevailed, I simply gave into the overwhelming sadness which consumed me. Relinquishing control to let my doubts and my self-loathing roam free, I would then dissolve into tears wondering why he had to be taken away, and why not me instead. Nothing made sense without his presence anymore.
Yet, God, or whomever was up there, never made any compromise. Never brought him back or rewrote history, for that matter. Harry was as powerless, and during such times, he would gather me in his arms, pat my head awkwardly, and murmur over and over that Ron's sacrifice hadn't been made in vain and had in itself saved us all. He had died like a true hero and, in his memory, we had to go on living. He would've wanted that from us. I only half believed what he was saying, thinking it was only sweet nothings, but with time, reason caught up with me.
I could cry at everything that I had lost, spend a lifetime doing so, but nothing, truly nothing, not even magical, could bring back the dead from the grave. According to Harry's words, the only thing that was then left to do was to honor his memory, by regaining the land of the living.
But how to make peace with his death and to carry on living was one thing that for the first time in my life I had no clear answer to.
How the heck could I accomplish this ?
Comments are always welcomed.