It had been one year ago since she last saw his face. The weather happened to match the day of the first anniversary of his death. The pitter patter of the afternoon rain hit the window and slid down like the tears on her cheeks. Thunder and lightning seemed to be the only thing reassuring her that she was alive. Her tears slid down her face until it reached an end. Hermione was looking out towards the street. Cars sped past the little cottage on the side of a heavy traffic road. She forgot why she chose the house in muggle London, no good came out of living here. Her eyes narrowed when she saw a young couple kissing in the rain across the street. It reminded her of them.
She saw the young couple walk away holding hands and smiling while looking at each other's faces.
"We had it all." She said with her voice breaking. She finally broke down and slid down the wall. She hugged her knees and laid her head on them.
"Ron, I need you. I know you can't hear me, but I need you to." She whispered through her sobs.
She continued sobbing and slammed her fist to her thigh. She needed him back and she needed his touch. But part of her soul and heart had gone with him. The flash of lightning and rumble of thunder snapped her back to reality. She stood up, stumbling, and wiped her tears with her sleeve. She knew she was being pathetic and weak by still crying like this after a year. But it just hurt too much.
Hermione gathered up the pictures from her memory box that was strewn on the floor and pushed it back into the closet. Something fell to the ground and Hermione bent down to pick it up. It was the Daily Prophet issue from last year, marked July 24th. The article gracing the front page made a new stream of tears trickle down her face.
Top Aurors Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley Killed
Today was a day of grief and horror when "The Chosen One," Harry Potter, and another member of the Golden Trio, Ronald Weasley, were tragically killed. In the early afternoon of July 24th, aurors Potter and Weasley followed a tip to capture ex- Death Eater Caius Linstrum. Their bodies were found in an old abandoned shack that evening when they failed to report back. They were found in what was left of the shack as it appeared to be blown up. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.
"This is a dreadful day indeed, losing our top aurors in the most horrifying way," says Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, "our prayers and wands go out to their families and the souls of these two young men."
It has not yet been revealed about whom or what caused the blast at this time, but it will be reported once news comes in. We at the Daily Prophet family would like to give blessings to the whole wizarding community, especially Harry and Ronald's friends and family.
The moving picture in the middle depicted Harry and Ron laughing together, having the time of their lives with happiness glowing from their faces. Hermione wished she could see those smiles again.
Hermione found out the news last year from a screaming and incoherent Ginny who suddenly apparated to her flat.
Hermione had just apparated from dropping Rose off at a wizard day care center. She dropped her purse and coat on the couch and headed to the fridge. She scanned for that bottle of firewhiskey and poured herself some. Even though she had work in a couple of hours, she decided to spend her time relaxing. Hermione almost choked when she heard someone apparate into her flat. This person said her name in an ear piercing scream. She seemed to be sobbing uncontrollably.
"Ginny?" Hermione said.
Ginny rushed into the kitchen. Hermione dropped the glass in her hand at the sight of her best friend. Ginny's hair was frayed and some parts were wet with tears. Her face was knotted and her eyes were red and puffy like she had been crying for years. Hermione ran up to her and held her shoulders.
"Ginny, what is it?" Hermione said scared and worried, with a pang of utmost fear.
Ginny tried to get it out, but it all sounded like a jumbled, gibberish mess.
"Ginny, Merlin, slow down!" Hermione said on the verge of tears.
"Harry and Ron!" Ginny shrieked with her eyes wide. Hermione became very worried, Harry and Ron, what could have happened to them?
"What? What about Harry and Ron?" Hermione said, almost yelling.
"DEAD, THEY'RE DEAD, HARRY AND RON ARE DEAD!" Ginny bellowed and crumpled to the ground.
The Earth had stopped; she couldn't hear Ginny's sobs or the hum of the fridge. Hermione felt her heart stop and had trouble breathing. It was as if a dementor was in her presense, she felt no happiness and felt like she never could. It was like her heart and soul had been ripped out. And that all took place in the twenty seconds that Hermione took to process what the red-haired women in front of her had just yelled in her face. Hermione felt herself falling to her knees. She gave an earsplitting scream of horror, hate, despair, and disbelief.
"Merlin, no." Hermione kept repeating. This cannot be true, this cannot be real.
Ginny and Hermione were hugging now, sobbing into each other's shoulders. A patronus appeared in front of them, it was Kingley's. It noticed Ginny and Hermione and it understood.
"Sorry for your losses." it said in a heavy voice and disappeared.
It was hard to believe what Ginny told her that day, but her emotions were true. Hermione's tears formed new drops on the old Daily Prophet. She stood up and once again wiped her tears. With her hands shaking, she ripped up the issue and threw it into the fireplace. She had to try and forget it. Hermione grabbed her purse and coat and headed out the door, knowing exactly where she wanted to go.
They lay in bed, breathing deeply and sweating. The heavy rain continued outside and the howling wind hit the windows. They both stared at the ceiling, exhausted. Arabella sighed and turned to Draco.
"I love you, Draco." She said breathlessly.
Draco turned to her and kissed her on her full lips.
"I love you too, Bel." He said in the husky voice that always made Arabella's heart skip beats.
Draco got up with the blanket around him and stared at the window. The thunder storm was growing in intensity along with the rain. He saw the garden from his window. Once beautiful and abundant in tulips, roses, and lavenders was now muddy and dead. He sighed and began gathering his scattered clothes, chuckling to himself when remembering the same scenario from last night. Draco saw Arabella examining her ring. It was a sliver ring, studded with 1/3 carat diamonds all around it with a five carat emerald in the middle. Draco made sure this ring was specially made for Arabella and it would never be made for any else.
"Draco, have I told you how much I love this ring?" She said in her airy, angelic voice.
"Yes, several times." He said chuckling.
Arabella got out of bed and began gathering and putting on her clothes as well. Draco examined her body. Her long, straight, red hair caressed her shoulders. The scent of her hair lingers in Draco's nose, the smell of citrus plants. Like a tropical paradise, Draco recalled. The curves and contours of her body were part of her perfection. Her beautiful long legs were soft to the touch. Her milky skin glistened night and day, in his eyes. All he was able to get out after his peruse was,
"You're beautiful." Almost inaudible, but she sure heard him.
She blushed; it wasn't hard to notice her blushes and giggled. Draco loved that sound.
"And you're too handsome for words." Arabella said and walked closer to him. She gave him a kiss on the lips with him accepting it forcefully. This kiss made them both weak at the knees. When they broke it off, they were both breathing heavily. They smiled at each other and looked in each other's eyes. Their eyes were both filled with love.
"So, I've got to go meet Pansy and tell her the great news." She whispered and gave him one last peck, on the cheek this time. She let go of Draco, grabbed her wand, and with a crack, apparated away.
Draco sighed once again with a smile on his lips and said, "Merlin, that woman."
He ascended down the stairs and into the kitchen. He grabbed a bottle of white wine from the wine cooler and poured himself some into a crystal glass. He found today's issue of the Daily Prophet and read one of the articles on the front page.
One Year after Tragic Auror Deaths, Memorial Erected in Honor
Today marks one year after the tragic deaths of Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley, the Ministers two top aurors. To commemorate their lives, the Minister of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt had two plaques and portraits erected onto the entrance of the ministry.
"We thought that these two young men deserved this special honor," said Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt. "They were not only top aurors in the ministry, but they also fought to end the life of Lord Voldemort, which is an accomplishment worth commemorating."
Last year, Potter and Weasley were both killed following a tip, which turned into a trap. Their bodies were found in the ruins of an old abandoned shack. Caius Linstrum, the ex-Death Eater they were attempting to capture, was said to have created to explosion. Still, no one is sure who created the blast and Linstrum was never found.
The plaques and portraits will be unveiled for family and close friends on July 29th and to the public on August 2nd.
Draco put the Prophet down, not knowing what the feel about what he had just read. All he knew was that he felt guilty for not feeling much of anything. He was never able to thank them for saving him twice and that also brought on guilt. He made a mental note to visit the display someday. He wondered about Granger, their only recent confrontation was at Harry and Ron's funeral which was about a year ago.
Draco walked into the graveyard space where the funeral was taking place. He didn't expect half as much of these people to show up, but remembered how popular Harry and Ron were in Hogwarts and out of it. He felt awkward for coming alone and didn't know where to stand. He stood on the outside of the group near a familiar brown, bushy haired girl. She stood like a mannequin, wearing sunglasses with a stoic look on her face and one hand each holding a little red haired girl and a young red haired woman. She didn't cry or sniffle but she never tore her eyes away from the two caskets in front of the crowd.
The weather seemed to be teasing them, the sun shone brightly and the temperature was hot and humid. The birds tweeted in the distance. The early evening rays shone through the trees and lit up two closed caskets.
The ceremony concluded and he noticed that Hermione had never once moved from beginning to end. Tears trickled down her pale face. She didn't wipe them or sniffle. Draco didn't worry, it was normal after losing someone close to you, wasn't it? Before he knew it, the crowd began dispersing. Ginny was sobbing into a handkerchief while walking up to the caskets and Hermione was still a mannequin. The little girl next to her began tugging on her hand.
"Mommy, let's go." She said in a childish voice, but Hermione didn't budge.
Draco didn't know what came over him, but he walked up to her and put his hand on her shoulder. She turned to face who had touched her with the same facial expression.
"Get your filthy hands off me." She said slowly in a scarily low voice. She turned her head back to the caskets, still standing there.
Draco quickly removed his hand and stood there.
"Sorry, Granger." Draco whispered. He was not only sorry for his misunderstood gesture, but he was sorry for so much more. He walked away from her and after a bit, looked back. Hermione was still standing there with the little girl tugging on her hand.
So, it had not been the most civil confrontation, but Draco couldn't blame her for her words. Draco didn't have the right to do that after all those years of pain and torture.
Draco put his mind back to his fiancé. They had met about a year ago at Pansy's engagement party to Blaise Zabini. It could be said that it was love at first sight. Pansy's attempt to get Draco a woman had worked and it happened to be her cousin. They immediately began dating and they enjoyed every moment of time spent together. The way she walked with grace and confidence, the way she talked with lightness and her beautiful looks caught his attention. She was, of course, a pureblood like his parents wanted. It was a match made in heaven. He proposed last night at the restaurant where their first date had occurred a year ago. Draco, ever the romantic, got down on one knee and professed his love. A vehement "yes" from Arabella, a ring on a finger, applause from the witnesses, and a searing kiss from Draco all sealed the deal. And he knew she was the one for her. A smile began creeping in his lips as he downed the rest of the white wine. Draco checked the time; he was supposed to meet Blaise at a muggle café to inform him of the latest events. He grabbed his coat and walked out into the rain towards the café.