Chapter 2 : I'm a thousand wind that blows
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How do you know you have found the love of your life?
How do you know that person is your soul mate, your other half?
And when you do know, how do you bear the thought of losing them forever?
It was past midnight and all of the lights in the small cottage were out but one. Ronald Weasley was sitting in his mahogany desk, his head buried in his hands; his sobs barely audible.
An owl was sent to him that same afternoon bearing the dreadful news; his loving wife, his soul mate had a tragic accident.
Hermione Granger had been the 58th passenger on flight AF 8069 to Paris.
Hermione Granger had been one of the 150 people tragically killed on flight AF 8069 to Paris.
A knock on the door wasn’t enough to wake him up.
“Ron?”, came the voice again.
Who is it? Can’t they see that he is sleeping?
Wait...Where is he sleeping? Is this his desk? Why on earth did he ever sleep on his desk?
And then the events of the previous night came rushing into his memory. The letter, the loss, the tears…the pain…
“Dad? Daddy? Please open the door…”
He knew it was his daughter’s voice, pleading him, but he simply couldn’t pull himself into opening the door. He couldn’t face his worst nightmare. Not yet.
Harry Potter pulled out his wand from the inside of his black robes.
“Ginny please take Rose with you. I’ll deal with him.”
Ginny Weasley calmly obeyed. She took Rose’s small trembling hand and led her to the kitchen downstairs.
“What’s up with daddy? Is he alright?”, Rose’s voice revealed all the worry she had since this morning when her dad didn’t come up to her bedroom to wake her up.
“He will be sweetheart” ,Ginny replied. “He will be.”
Harry walked in the well decorated study; a thin sunray was coming through the shut curtains. Ron, who had fallen asleep on his desk the previous night, was now staring at Harry, not really looking at him but more like through him.
“Ron…”, Harry begun. But he stopped. What could he possibly say that would even begin consoling his best friend?
“I…”, whispered Ron, “she is gone…”
Harry rushed to his side and pulled him into a hug.
“I know, I know…”
“Where is Ron?”, asked Ginny and gave Harry his tea. He took a seat next to her in the kitchen’s round table.
“He slept in the guest room last night; he wouldn’t go in their bedroom”, he replied taking a sip.
“Oh, Harry how did this happen?”, Ginny buried her face in her hands. She began sobbing.
“We can’t protect ourselves from pain forever, Mrs. Weasley”, came a voice from the door.
Ginny looked up to see none other than Minerva Mcgonagall herself. She had aged a great deal since their Hogwarts’s days. Her hair was pulled as always in a tight bun and she wore her usual black robes. Her eyes though were filled with kindness and wisdom only a woman of her age and experience would have.
“Professor? What are you doing here?”, Harry wondered.
“What do you think Mister Potter? I have come to pay my condolences to Mister Weasley.”
“You know?”, Ginny couldn’t help asking.
“Of course I know Miss Weasley. Everyone in the wizarding world knows. Miss Granger is…I mean was…will always be an extraordinary witch.”
Fresh tears filled Ginny’s eyes. She couldn’t believe she had lost her best friend under such circumstances. After everything they all have been through and to lose Hermione like this; there was so much she wanted to say.
“Professor do you want a cup of tea?”, was all she managed.
“That would be very nice”, Mcgonagall replied. “Have you arranged the details for the funeral?”
“No, we didn’t have the time to…”, Harry said clearing his throat. He was on the verge of tears himself, but he was doing his best trying to control his emotions.
“Then let me help you…please. It’s the least I can do.”
Harry looked at his old school teacher and felt enormous gratitude towards her. Hermione’s funeral was something he couldn’t find strength to handle. He simply nodded, managing a weak smile and with a silent pop! Minerva Mcgonagall vanished.
“Come on son they are waiting for you.”
“I will be over in a moment”, said Ron and looked at his reflection in the full body mirror on his bedroom. He was wearing a black tuxedo and his eyes were as red as his hair color.
“You look like a total mess.”
He turned to the door to see Lavender Brown.
“Hi to you too.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss Ron.”
He couldn’t look her in the eyes. Guilt was quickly dominating his broken heart.
“I don’t think you should be here.”
“I know…” she whispered rushing to his side. “I just had to check up on you. Here.”
And with a gentle wave of her wand his face looked fresh like he had just woken up.
“Er…thanks Lav”, was all he could say. “I’ll meet you downstairs.”
She gave him a peck on the cheek and closed the door behind her, leaving Ron cursing himself for feeling weak once more. He closed his eyes and his mind raced five months ago. He was out with Harry for drinks after a long day at the office and when he got home late, he got into a huge fight with Hermione; nothing of great importance but they always fought those days. And he left their house mad, ending at the pub he had earlier been with Harry. Everyone had already left and he was drinking alone at the bar when Lavender showed up and joined him. He woke up the next morning in her bed. Lavender had already left for work. On her pillow was a handwritten note:
Yesterday was fun. It felt like we were a couple of sixteen year-olds’ fooling around. Thanks for making me feel young again,
He took the note, went to his office and spoke to no-one about that night. He hadn’t even seen Lavender since that day.
He finally decided he could go downstairs. Everyone he ever knew was there. Everyone was telling him how sorry they were.
“You should be so proud of her.”
“Hermione was an amazing person.”
“We are terribly sorry for your loss.”
“We can’t possibly imagine what you are going through right now.”
“Hermione is a person we are truly going to miss.”
His mother in-law was sitting in an armchair by the window in the living room talking to no-one. She was crying invisible tears and her face was swollen with grief. His father in-law on the other hand was handling the loss of his only daughter entirely different. He was talking to his mother and when Ron approached them they both lowered their voices.
“Hello my boy, I see you finally got here.”
“Yeah, I felt bad missing all the party”, Ron replied with sarcasm. His father in-law exchanged a meaningful glance with Molly Weasley and he left them feeling unwanted by Ron.
“Oh, come on Ron don’t be like that…”, George said sensing the tension around his younger brother.
“And how do you want me to be exactly?”, Ron asked defensively.
“Grateful” ,Molly replied.
“Ha! Grateful? For what?”, Ron snapped.
“Look around you Ron and tell me, what do you see?”
“I see people. A lot of ‘em. None for whom I care about though. The only person I truly cared is…gone…”,his voice trailed off and tears climbed to his eyes desperately seeking a way out. “And I can’t find anything worth living for” ,Ron added bitterly.
“You are wrong, sweetheart. You have so much in your life. Here, let me tell you what you should see. There are people here, who care about you, who cared about Hermione. They are here to show you that you can count on them to get through that hard time in your life.”
“I bet you can’t count on him though”, George scoffed pointing his head towards a man who had just walked in.
“Malfoy??!”, Ron almost choked on his drink.
“What is he doing here?”, Harry approached Ron asking.
“I was about to ask you the same thing.”
“I invited him.”
They both turned to look at Ginny, who had silently joined them.
“Are you out of your freakin’ mind?”
“I’m glad to see you to Weasley”, came a cold voice from behind.
“You are not welcome here, Malfoy”, Ron retorted.
“Despite what you might think of me I did like Granger-”
“Do you think I am stupid Malfoy? Heh? Leave!”
“Come on Ron he wouldn’t be here if he didn’t want to”, Harry said the first thing on his mind on a desperate attempt to ease the tension.
Ron’s eyes were shooting daggers towards Malfoy.
“I’m sorry for your loss, Weasley”, Draco finally said giving his hand to Ron. He shook it unwillingly and without saying anything else he turned his back on him and left.
“That is all I’m gonna get from him, right?”, Draco remarked.
“You bet”, Harry added and took off himself leaving Draco with Ginny.
“I’m sorry about both of-”
“Don’t be. I know how Weasley feels.”
“You do?”, Ginny asked aghast.
“Yeah, I actually do.” And without adding anything to enlighten Ginny, Draco Malfoy went out to the garden were the burial was about to take place.
Several people had already taken their place around the spot where the fresh grave had been dug. Draco came as close as he could. The glorious marble tombstone read:
Do not stand at my grave and weep,I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,I am the diamond glints on snow.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,I am not there; I did not die.
He closed his eyes and let his mind wondered at his wife. He remembered his wedding date. How strange! There he was at his old classmate’s funeral and he was thinking of his wedding! For merlin’s shake! What was wrong with him? He could not think of Astoria now.
“The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. And Hermione will live in our memories”, Mcgonagall was saying. Draco hadn’t noticed the presence of his school professor until that moment. He looked around and spotted Weasley and his entire family, Potter and his gal. Somehow, the image of the incomplete trio made him sad. He expected Granger to pop any minute and make an annoying remark. Draco would never admit it out loud but there were times he enjoyed exchanging words with the irritating muggleborn.
“For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity”, Minerva Mcgonagall finished her speech and blew her nose in her handkerchief.
Harry Potter was next in line to give his speech. He cleared his throat and begun:
“One of the greatest wizards of all time said that after all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure”, he then waved his wand and the glorious tomb was sealed. Ginny waved hers and produced soft pink and lavender blooms that softly landed on top of the grave. Neville Longbottom stepped ahead and raised his wand performing the same spell but his bouquet was of gold chrysanthemums.
“Hermione Granger was a woman of few. I remember when I first met her, I was impressed by her kindness and selflessness. She was one of my few true friends that stayed loyal till the end” ,Neville’s voice broke in the final word. It took him a moment to start speaking again. “She possessed such great skill and intelligence that the world might never see again. I want you to remember her, to keep her alive in your minds. The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A person who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. Hermione was a person who never feared life that is why she truly lived.”
Everyone was expecting Ron to say something now. But he couldn’t. It was simply unbearable to think she was gone. His gaze was fixed on the tombstone.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,I am not there; I do not sleep.
Hermione? Where are you?
I am a thousand winds that blow,I am the diamond glints on snow,
Little Rose was on his side weeping while Hugo was sleeping on Molly’s lap. His children. Their children..Oh baby… How am I going to on without you?
I need you.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,I am not there; I did not die.
I love you Hermione Granger. With all my heart.
The wind was blowing and the smell of the flowers was intoxicating…She opened her eyes. Everything felt different. Where was she?
Author’s note: this was a very emotional chapter; I found it difficult to portray the sadness and pain in it that’s why it took me soooo long to write. What do you think of it? Any feedback is valued. I’ll try and post asap the next chapter. Until, then take care!!
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