Chapter 1 : Lament of Lilies
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He supposed it was unfair, leaving her there with his former rivals, but if there was one thing he couldn’t have let happen, it was for them to see his tears. His lament for his dearly departed friend could not be given under their watchful eyes. The dreadful drops had been staining his vision since they had first laid her pure white casket into the ground, but he had been unable to release them. Not even when Granger, now known as Weasley, had broken down crying on her husband’s shoulder.
They had dropped yellow roses on her grave, but the brightly colored flowers stood out uncomfortably against the dark earth. If he had been allowed to choose the bouquets, he would’ve gotten it right. He would have made sure that her favorite blossoms would’ve been placed on the unhappy ground. It would’ve been an unconventional display, of course, but she would have appreciated it.
He glanced back at the mourners, now standing so still that they looked like bleak statues in the fading light. He was glad that he wasn’t among them; it was not the way she would’ve wanted to be celebrated. That’s what her funeral should’ve been- a celebration of a very bright life.
Just as this strange thought crossed his mind, a large clump of water lilies floated towards the bridge on which he was standing. It seemed surreal that the very flower that had brought them together was now here in great abundance. The sight of them caused him to sag against the wooden bridge, tears streaming down his face.
She had saved him from the dark all those years ago, and he had never repaid her. He had planned to for ages, but now death was laughing in his face, clutching his prize greedily. It had been a day very similar to this unhappy day, only it had been spring and the breezes had seemed friendlier. He had seated himself by the lake, unsure of what do with himself now that he had nearly ended the world.
You-Know-Who was dead, but his family would still be blacklisted. He would be scorned all his life for his past mistakes, and, in the wake of the battle, he was left only with regret. The lake was inviting him with each shimmer of its current, and he realized that it would be fairly easy to drown himself. It was all that he really could do at this point; he was too ashamed to face the whole.
Then she appeared, with her face like sunshine and her words as sweet as honey, saying, “They’re really beautiful this time of year, aren’t they?”
He turned to her, his familiar sneer appearing on his face. “Are we talking about one of your ridiculous imaginary creatures?” he asked cynically.
“Of course not,” she said, her laugh like the tinkling of a bell. “The water lilies. It’s unusual for them to show up near the Lake,” she continued. “The bellafries usually get after them before they can grow.”
Ignoring the reference to belly-whatevers, he looked to the water and saw that, indeed, there was a cluster of white flowers amongst the green marine plant life. Something inside him wanted to smile at the sight of the sun-like flowers, but he couldn’t muster the strength. He was still too world-weary.
“Flowers all have meaning,” she said, sitting down on the grass with as much lightness as a fairy. “I was very interested in them awhile ago.”
“That’s very, er, sweet,” he said, feeling very odd for not ridiculing her. But if she had the kindness to talk to him after what he’d done, who was he to be rude for no reason?
“Don’t you want to know what the lilies mean?” she asked, her large blue eyes focusing intently on him.
“I guess so,” he asked, uncomfortably shifting away from her.
“Rebirth,” she revealed.
He turned away from her, embarrassed at the impact such a simple word could have on him. Even facing away, he could feel her warm spirit reaching out to him like the touch of an angel. Tears began to roll down his face, and their salty taste was life-giving rain to a boy who had grown out of emotions. He felt her hand on his shoulder, and he grasped it without a second thought.
“You can change, Draco Malfoy,” she soothed, pulling him to her in a hug that was both awkward and empowering. “You will become the boy you should have been, and the world will love you for it.”
He met her shining blue eyes, and in them, he saw that she truly believed her words. Silently, he reached forward and plucked one of the buds from the water. Holding it in his hand as if it were the savior of the earth, he kissed the petals gently.
Twenty years later, he kissed those same petals, wishing that he was back at that lake with the one true friend he had ever had. Her prediction had come true, of course, and he only wished that he had spent more time to share it with her. He should’ve thanked her that day; he should have gotten down on his knees and groveled before her as one would a goddess. She had given him the answers to life, and he had done nothing to repay her.
But it was not too late, although the raindrops that began to fall onto his head seemed to think otherwise. His stride was like a madman’s as he frantically hurried to the edge of the water and scooped up a bunch of water lilies. Cradling them like children, he headed back to the gravesite, his elegant shoes squishing as he walked.
The small group of mourners had thinned by now, but Potter and his friends had remained behind with his wife. The remaining people gave him a strange look as he approached, and he realized that he must’ve looked absolutely ridiculous. His face was as white as a ghost’s and his eyes were wide and bulging. He presented the flowers beneath the headstone as gently as if he had been laying his own heart down.
No one dared breathe a word as he looked up at them, suddenly embarrassed by the attention he had drawn to himself. He suddenly felt ashamed for making such a scene. He was about to snap at the crowd for ruining his moment of repentance when a single beam of light shone down from the sky, hitting the gravestone like a heavenly sign.
A sound like a musical laugh accompanied the rainy wind, and he couldn’t help but to smile at the sight. She had forgiven him, in her own way, he knew it. His heart grew so quickly that it should have burst through his chest; instead, a tearful smile spread across his face. “Lilies for Luna,” he said, touching the stone as gently as one would a beloved. “That’s what she would have wanted.”