Chapter 1 : September Nineteenth
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The once young flesh that stretched across his cheek bones was now droopy and filled with wrinkles. Be it wrinkles of laughter and sorrow or be it simply just wrinkles of time. The emerald green eyes were now dull and didn't shine as they once had so many years ago. They could now be compared to the colour of grass instead of the shining gems that were shown off on rings and jewelery alike. The raven hair was now a silver and less of an onyx, in fact, there was barely any of the silver hair left at all. The hero that had saved the Wizarding World once so many years ago was now just another chapter inside the book. Harry James Potter was now just an old man.
He never lived for the fame, this much was obvious. He lived a happy life, straying out of the limelight as much as possible. Harry had gone on to marry the woman he loved and he fathered three of her children. James, Albus and Lily. His own children were quite old now, James was fifty two, Albus a year younger than he and Lily being the youngest at the sweet age of fifty. Harry Potter even had a few grandchildren and great-grandchildren, though their names came and went.
It was the morning of September nineteenth. Her seventy-seventh birthday. She often fretted about her old age, but it was more of her not being able to do all the things she once could. Except reading, she could always read as much as she wanted. She was still beautiful to Harry, she didn't look a day past twenty. It seemed that time had frozen for him as soon as he slipped the ring on her finger, his children aged, his grandchildren aged, /he/ aged, but she never did.
He had told her to head on up without him, that he had to grab a few things and he would met her there. Now, on the morning of September nineteenth, Harry Potter was walking towards the park. His oak coloured cane in one hand and a picnic basket on his forearm and a beautiful bouquet of red and yellow tulips in the other hand, what a better way to surprise her than her favourite flowers on her birthday? Walking to the park took some time at his age, but she understood and wouldn't mind. Besides, she was probably watching the clouds dance while he made his way to her.
Harry struggled with the gate to the park for sometime, the thing was almost as old as them, but he was finally allowed entrance. He moved slowly to their usual spot again and his dull, green eyes lit up once more as he saw her sitting beneath the tree smiling at him. Her chestnut coloured hair rolled down her back in beautiful waves, her brown eyes smiled at him, just as beautiful as the smile which lay upon her pink lips. Her body was covered in her light green summer dress and her feet were free of the tan sandals which lay at her side. On her finger, lay a wedding band and an engagement ring with an emerald gem in the middle.
"I told you I'd get here!" he told her, making his way up to the hill. It took Harry a good five minutes to sit on the raised root, his knees just weren't what they used to be. The old man rested his cane up against the root beside him and gently set down the picnic basket.
"Happy birthday, Hermione." he told her with a withered smile, handing her the bouquet. She smiled at him as she took the flowers, blowing a kiss and carefully setting the flowers beside her. Harry caught the kiss with his gnarled fingers and pressed it to his heart, leaning forward and kissing her cheek.
"I brought us breakfast." he told her, lifting the basket top and pulling out two champagne flutes along with a bottle of champagne. The Healers at St. Mungos had told him not to drink alcohol, though Harry could hardly remember why. He poured a glass to her and handed it to her before pouring his own.
"To my beautiful wife. May we do the same thing next year and many years to come." he raised his glass and sipped out of it, waiting for her to do the same before speaking to her again.
At the gate that Harry had entered, the three children of the old man stood at the entrance of a graveyard. They watched with deep sorrow as an old man was surrounded by a spilled bouquet of flowers and a broken champagne flute which they watched him drop. It was their mother's seventy-seventh birthday, and they watched as their father sat on a rotting tree root beside a tombstone, interacting with it as if it were a person. As if the place he was in was still a park.
Now, if their eyes were better-or had Lily brought her reading glasses-they would have been able to see that the grave had the words:
Hermione Jean Potter
Beloved mother and wife.
May her soul rest on peace.
September 19, 1979 - August 15, 2036
"The Healer said alcohol would make the illusions worse." Albus said, staring at his father's shaky hand handing a slice of apple pie to the air beside the grave.
"Let him see her," Lily murmured softly, her heart aching for her father, "he only sees her fully for this one day."
"And who knows, Albus," James began, "she may even really be there."
The three then turned from the abandoned graveyard, their father deserved time with their mother. Even if she was really just his illusion.
A/N: Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it! ^_^
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