Chapter 1 : Dawning Red Sky
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Sitting in semi-darkness as dawn approached, Ginny Potter glanced at the morning paper that had just been tossed haphazardly on the front porch. The eulogies were in there, she knew they were. Her allies…the loyal, the courageous, the ones that had fought so hard by her side – they were all now dead.
She shook her red head, picking up the bundle of off-colored paper. She hadn’t been looking forward to reading this, but she knew the day would come. She slowly took a moment to find the eulogies, tossing ads and other stories aside. Running her slender fingers across the side of the page, she turned it, met with name upon name of those who’d lost their tender souls in the battle.
Ginny didn’t bother to look up as the screen door opened and closed with a resounding ‘Smack’, and footsteps drew nearer to her. Harry sat down next to her, glancing down at the page she’d left her fingers resting on. She couldn’t bring herself to read it. Harry sighed, letting his arms fall upon his knees, he looked out across the open landscape where their quiet house lay.
“Well, Ginny, you know you’ll have to read it sometime,” he slipped an arm around her shoulders; a certain finger’s golden ring glimmered in the dawning light. Ginny bit her lip, complying all the same. The first name on the list, her eyes scanned across the page before she started reading.
“Thomas, Dean. Muggleborn. 1998 Graduate of the acclaimed Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Mr. Thomas is survived by his widowed wife, Parvati Thomas. Although he was a simple man, fascinated by the muggle sport of soccer, he was a true wizard. Among one of the first to go down, he put up a good fight.” Ginny swallowed, glancing at Harry who had gone back to watching the sky. She took a risk at looking upon it herself. It was red. Blood had been spilled, and no one was over it yet.
“Finnigan, Seamus. Halfblood. 1998 Graduate of Hogwarts. Despite being a bit ruff with his magical abilities, as Mrs. Thomas fondly remembered, he had grown rather skilled with them. His widowed mother survives Mr. Finnigan, as his father died a year earlier. An Irishman to do them proud in Dublin, Mr. Finnigan helped in the protection of the Boy-Who-Lived,” Ginny turned her attention fully towards Harry as her hands had begun shaking upon the newspaper, afraid to see who was listed next. She knew their names were on there, and she wasn’t exactly ready for the reality of it.
“He was up against Lucius Malfoy,” Harry murmured lowly, “He didn’t stand a chance. All to let me continue on my way.” Ginny shook her head, looking back at the paper, and gasping at the name. Harry couldn’t help but look over to where she had begun to pick back up.
“Lupin, Remus. Halfblood. 1978 Graduate of Hogwarts. 1993-1994 Hogwarts Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts. Mr. Lupin has no surviving family, though he looked upon Harry Potter as his own. Mr. Lupin was skilled in wand combat, and took it upon himself to take up the battle with Death Eater Lucius Malfoy. He was killed by a stray Unforgivable Curse,” She choked back her tears, her throat refusing to let her continue.
She tossed the paper behind her on the porch; she wouldn’t read anymore. She wouldn’t, but she was certain Harry would. In some ways she wanted him to do what she was certain he would, but in others, she didn’t. It was to horrifying. Had Harry’s name been found in that paper, she didn’t know what she would’ve done.
Just as she predicted, Harry picked up the paper she’d tossed behind her as she buried her face into her arms. Harry shook his head, fighting back his feelings over their deaths, not that it had mattered much to Ginny. Ginny heard him crying in his sleep, she had been caught up in her own battle with Hermione against her back and hadn’t seen too much of the actual War. But Harry, Harry had seen everything.
“Snape, Severus. Pureblood. 1978 Graduate of Hogwarts. 1982-1999 Hogwarts Potions Master. Mr. Snape was killed by those who’d once been his allies. A former Death Eater, he became a spy for Albus Dumbledore in order to win this War. Though he wasn’t remembered as a favorite teacher of his students, they did recognize his extraordinary courage through what he’d done. Mr. Snape has no surviving relatives,” Harry shook his head.
“Never thought I’d feel sad about Snape,” Ginny murmured, lifting her reddening eyes. Harry nodded, agreeing with her wholeheartedly.
“He was a good man, whether we realized it or not in school,” Harry replied, lazily running a hand through her long red hair. Ginny gave a light kiss to his fingers as they knotted themselves in the front strands of her hair.
“He was important to the Order, and I’d say he did a pretty damn good job,” she stated, looking back out to the sky, as Harry entwined his hand with hers. And suddenly she knew who was next. They were next. She wanted to tune him out as he began reading once again, but her ears refused to comply with her thoughts.
“Weasley, Bill. Pureblood. 1988 Graduate of Hogwarts. Gingotts Curse Breaker. Mr. Weasley is survived by his French wife, Fleur Weasley, and their son, three-year-old Alexandre Weasley, along with his brothers and sisters, of which he was the oldest. Mr. Weasley fell at the hands of Death Eater, Bellatrix Black, jumping between her and his younger brother, Mr. Ronald Weasley. Mr. Weasley is most remembered for being the ‘cool’ guy,” Ginny’s tears graced the edge of the paper as Harry let it fall upon his knees. He had to keep reading it; it wasn’t over yet.
“Weasley, Arthur. Pureblood. 1968 Graduate of Hogwarts. Ministry Official in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office. Mr. Weasley is survived by his widowed wife, Molly Weasley, and his other six children and their families, along with Mr. Bill Weasley’s wife and son. Mr. Weasley had attempted to save his daughter, Ginny Potter, and his daughter-in-law, Hermione Weasley, and was killed in the process. He is most remembered for his fascination with Muggle trinkets and artifacts,” Harry looked over to Ginny, whose silent tears were flowing cautiously down her pretty face.
“He died for me, Harry, for me and Hermione. Just so we could have our lives. He told me that before he died, you know. He told me to live, not to give up on my dreams and ambitions. Just live,” Harry’s arm dropped to her waist, pulling her slightly closer to him.
“He was a smart man, Ginny,” he murmured, as she dropped her head upon his shoulder. He continued to glance down the list, absently wondering if Ron and Hermione were doing the exact same thing at the moment. One name in particular caught his wandering eyes. He drew in a breath at it, not completely sure what to expect from it.
“Malfoy, Draco. Pureblood. 1998 Graduate of Hogwarts. While Mr. Malfoy’s job is unknown, we are aware that he was, in fact, a Death Eater. Something changed his mind, apparently, and he switched sides at the last moment. Mr. Malfoy’s wife, Pansy Malfoy, has told us that she will be naming their unborn child after it’s father. Mr. Malfoy was involved in dangerous work, and he became his father’s own first victim,” Harry stared at the paper unable to take in what he had read. Why would Malfoy have switched sides?
“Oh, Harry,” Ginny shuddered as she took the newspaper from her husband. She gracefully folded it, shoving the other contents of the Daily Prophet back with it. She hooked her arm with his, and he couldn’t help but give a light, grim smile.
“I love you, Ginny,” he said quietly into the dawn.
“Harry,” Ginny looked up at him with her tear stained face, “I know this sounds stupid, but do you think that they’re watching us? You know, like, maybe they really did make the sky red.”
“Ginny, nothing you could ever say would ever sound stupid,” Harry reassured his wife, planting a kiss to her ever growing jungle of red hair, “I’m sure they are. And maybe they did.” Ginny gave a light smile, the first she’d given in a long while. Even though she still had traces of tears, she thought maybe she might just be finally ready to move on. To move on with Harry.
Harry smiled back at her, lightly running a finger over her matching ring. As she gazed out into the dawning red sky she gave a light sigh, almost missing Harry repeating himself.
“Maybe they did.”
My first challenge fic. :) I took a leaf from MadameSnape on the actual eulogies, as I wasn’t sure how to actually go about them. I terribly sorry. I hope you like it anyway.
-Riddle Wood Lupin