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Departed by Rhiannon Nokomis
Chapter 1 : Like You
 
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A/N: The song, "Like You" is by Evanescence. Also, I would like to take a moment to give one last warning. My star character in this story is not stable. If you have issues with suicide, then please do not read this story. Instead, take a look at one of my other stories - "Shifing Alliances" and "The Roads We Walk". I don't want to cause someone in distress even more pain. 

For those of you who do read on, it's disclaimer time. I don't own these characters or the song, but the story itself is MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE!!!! heheheheh.......


Stay low
soft, dark, and dreamless


Her little room in St. Mungo's was dark when she awoke from yet another dreamless sleep. Nighttime again, she supposed. She tucked a stray wisp of dirty blonde hair behind her ear in an effort to keep it out of her face and peered up the little hallway to the last room. 

The woman in there looked so much like her Neville. When Luna had asked the woman if she was Alice, Neville Longbottom's mother, she had flinched and then handed Luna a wrapper - the only remains of a piece of Droobles Best Blowing Gum.

Luna had taken that as a yes and retreated to her own cubicle with it's narrow bed. It was nice to see something of Neville, but torturous as well. It had been years since the end of the war, since Neville's death, and still some part of her was planning their future together.

She had only accepted that he was gone, that he wasn't coming back to her, a few weeks ago. The Healers hadn't released her, however. They wished to keep her for "observation", whatever that meant.

All Luna knew was that she was very lonely here, and that the few glimpses she stole of Alice were not enough to satisfy her longing for Neville. She shuddered and wrapped her arms around her body. No longer did she think about Crumple-Horned Snorkacks or any of the other creatures she and her father used to seek out. 

Her father had gone, too. Several months before the final battle against Voldemort. Neville had been all she had left. Was it a wonder she clung to him as she did, believing he was alive despite all evidence to the contrary? Despite, even, her own eye-witness account?

Since they had made her remember that he was dead, she had had only a small scattering of dreams. But even they had been nothing but nightmares of the final battle - and of Neville's death. 

He had leapt in the way of a killing curse in order to save another member of the Order.

far beneath my nightmares
and loneliness


She reached up and ran her hand over the gum wrapper. She had fixed it carefully to her wall in her room, making sure she could reach it whenever she wanted to. It was from Alice and it was more valuable to her than all her other possessions combined.

She crawled under her thin blanket and curled herself into a little ball. Why was she here while Neville was gone? That damn veil had claimed everyone she truly cared about! Her parents, Neville, even her last living cousin. 

Why couldn't she just stop feeling? Why did she have to suffer all these pains?

I hate me
for breathing without you
I don't want to feel
anymore for you


Her heart felt like it weighed more than the rest of her body altogether.

Grieving for you
I'm not grieving for you


She should be able to will them back to life! Like in the stories where the good guys never die...

nothing real love can't undo

She felt lost. It was as though all the roads that had been laid out before her had crumbled away, leaving her to pick her way across the smouldering ruins of entire villages. She would have gladly crossed them if they had taken her to her love.

and though I may have lost my way
all paths lead straight to you

She wiped a stray tear from her face and began to think. All she wanted was to rejoin him.

I long to be like you
lie cold in the ground like you

She couldn't stand it. There had to be a way. Some plot she could come up with to bring them back together. They hadn't had much time alone together since he had proposed - just before the final battle.

Halo
blinding wall between us
melt away and leave us alone again


Sometimes she felt he was nearby, waiting for her. She could feel his breath and smell his cologne. He loved her. And he loved her enough that he wasn't going to let a little thing like his own death come between them.

humming, haunting somewhere out there
I believe our love can
see us through in death


But he needed her to break the barrier. It was up to her to meet him. There was no reason to lay here crying when he was awaiting her.

I long to be like you
lie cold in the ground like you
there's room inside for two
and I'm not grieving for you
I'm coming for you

Her mission was clear. She had to make these Healers believe she was well enough to leave. She wouldn't leave him alone. She would join him. She immediately set about the feigned process of healing, telling them she was having nightmares and then gradually making them think those dreams were fading away. They needn't know that all her dreams were of death and destruction.

She didn't notice Alice watching her, following her. She never saw the older woman's eyes or how they were filled with worry.

You're not alone
no matter what they told you
you're not alone
I'll be right beside you forevermore


It took several more months, but Luna finally convinced everyone that she was ready to go home. There was a huge party thrown for her at the Burrow. The surviving Weasley's were eager to welcome her. Ron and Ginny were the first to greet her at the door, both thanking her for saving their mother's life.

Luna smiled vaguely, because she didn't remember the incident they spoke of. But vagueness was expected from her. She glanced around at the others, scanning the familiar faces. Aside from Ginny and Ron, Bill, Harry, Hermione, Molly, Tonks, and Lupin were gathered.

In short, those who had survived the war. Luna closed her eyes for a moment, blocking out their small number. Not even Hagrid had made it. The school itself had been attacked and he, along with most of their professors, fell before the Death Eaters. He was the least likely to die in Luna's mind.

Most painfully absent was Neville. Her Neville. 

She had to make it to him. She had to endure this party and then slip out later while everyone slept. She had everything planned. She had stolen the venom from one of Neville's plants when she had visited his now-abandoned home. His Gran had also perished, so there was no one to care for the place.

But once the party and the fake smiles were over, she would slip out to his grave, take her sweet nector, join her love once again...

I long to be like you
lie cold in the ground like you
there's room inside for two


Just as she planned, the Burrow's inhabitants were alseep and she was still awake. It was time. He was waiting for her.

and I'm not grieving for you
and as we lay in silent bliss
I know you remember me
I long to be like you


She carefully climbed out the window and hopped easily to the ground. A moment later, she had Apparated to the graveyard where she knew he would be. It took awhile to find him, but just as the sky clouded over, she found it.

                                                           Neville Longbottom
                                                    Trusted Friend
                                                           Lover
                                                             and
                                                            Hero

She sank to her knees on the grave and traced his name lovingly with her fingertips. She smiled a bit, noticing that someone - most likely Ginny - had thought to include "lover" on the marker. She was grateful. Ginny would likely insist that Luna be placed next to him as well.

Merlin bless that girl.

She hoped her best friend would understand why she was doing this. Unlike Ginny, Luna had never had a large family to fall back on. Only here dearly departed father. And, more recently, her dearly departed lover. Friends were very nice, but Neville was.... More....

She couldn't wait any longer.

lie cold in the ground like you


It had to be now. She couldn't stand it any longer. She had to be with him.

there's room inside for two

She had to laugh with him again.

and I'm not grieving for you

She drank down the bitter poison that she had hidden in her robes and clutched the gum wrapper Alice had given her to her chest. She felt the venom go through her like fire, warming her for the first time since she had seen him last. She sprawled over his grave, covering him, laughing. It was time to depart.

I'm coming for you.

It was time.

She welcomed the darkness.

It was time....






A lone, too-thin figure stood watching from the shadows with a tear and a haunted expression hanging upon her face. She crept forward and knelt to kiss Luna's dead, cooling cheek.

She removed her shawl and draped it over her would-be daughter-in-law's face - the perfect wedding veil - and tossed a handful of wrappers over the girl and the grave - wedding rice.  

It was time...

She lay next to the younger woman and sighed happily. The haunted expression left her face, her tears dried, and the rain suddenly poured down from the threatening clouds. The temperature dropped quickly.

Morning light found the bodies of the Longbottom wives huddled together... 

Peaceful at last...

A/N: Okay, I deliberately edited it to make it less grim. I don't want to stir up any bad feelings for anyone. But I would like you to tell me what you all think.

Thanks!

Rhiannon

 





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