~~The Longest Line~~
~by Weaving Radiance~

~For imdeadsothere's creepy quote challenge~

We are all waiting in a long line just to die.

I had never really seen spells do damage. I mean, yeah, we'd turned dummies to dust in the D.A. and stunned each other into walls, but we had never really damaged each other. There was never any blood, any broken bones, or really any injuries of any kind. Sure, we all got bruised or sore sometimes, but that didn't really prepare me for what battle was actually like.

We are all waiting in a long line just to die.

At least, that's what it felt like. We were all lining up to die, one by one. Our lives were ending, person by person, body by body, heart by heart.

I knew we were doing more than that, of course. We were all fighting valiantly for our lives, friends, family, the power of good…

But sometimes, that doesn't seem like enough.

I had seen Lavender Brown being massacred by Fenrir Greyback. He had thrown her on the ground after he was finished. She was broken, and at the time, I could do nothing. I could only pass by, pray she was safe, regret every mean thing I'd ever thought about her, and then be disappointed later when her body showed up in the Great Hall.

I had seen the then-Head Boy—a Ravenclaw named Richard—Crucio'd into oblivion, Sectumsempra'd, tossed aside left half-mad with pain and nearly bled dry, without even the mercy of death.

I had seen Colin Creevy, my potion's partner, die. First his arm was blown off at the elbow. But he was lucky, I guess. The next spell his his chest. He fell, and didn't get up.

I had seen my brother, Fred, carried to the line of the dead, his clothes nearly torn off his body and chunks of flesh missing from his arms and legs and chest.

We are all waiting in a long line just to die.

I would have liked to say I had complete faith in Harry. That he was going to win and the Death Eaters were going to fail and this would finish with a happy ending.

But it was so hard.

There are only so many things you can see at sixteen without thinking everything and everyone wouldn't make it.

We are all waiting in a long line just to die.

The books say that about ninety people fell that night, and never got up. A lot were Death Eaters. A lot were not.

They say that it is a tragic number, though not a devastating one.

I almost wanted to laugh when I read it.

How stupid can you be?

We are all waiting in a long line just to die.

I also wanted to scream.

Any number of deaths is devastating. It means one less loved person walking this earth, spreading happiness and love and beauty. It means one more family, ripped apart and left in pieces, not sure if they can ever be put together again. It means one more partner, or friend, or spouse, walking around for the rest of their life feeling as if they're missing something, and knowing it can never be replaced.

I couldn't help but think of these things as I comforted my friends and my family in that cruelly long yet punishingly short intermission Lord Voldemort allowed us.

And when Hagrid carried Harry in, looking utterly cold and lifeless, I thought it was all finished. I wanted to give up. So badly. I wanted to run away, hide in a corner or alcove, and cry. Maybe to wait to die. Maybe to wait until it was all over.

The only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that Harry would have wanted me to keep fighting. To avenge his death. And Fred's. And Tonks'. And Colin's. I couldn't give all that up.

But somehow, when I was dueling Bellatrix, I found myself thinking.

We are all waiting in a long line just to die.

Some people tried to comfort me. But it didn't work. Either they hadn't been there and didn't know the hell we all experienced, or they did and wanted to talk about it as much as I did.

I tried to comfort people, too. Especially people like Dennis Creevey, who lost who seemed to be the only person at Hogwarts he ever really loved.

They say that we are all scarred, but we have made it through, and that things are going to get better.

They have, in more than one way. I am happy. I live with Harry now, and we have three wonderful children. My brother finally got enough courage to ask Hermione to marry him. I have a nephew named Fred.

But there are things you can't un-see. Things that plague your nightmares when you can't control them and your thoughts when you can't distract yourself. Things that always bring me back to that night. And the thought can't help but cross my mind.

We are all waiting in a long line just to die.