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AN: I wrote this up ages ago and have finally found the time to write it up. I hope it lives up to my expectations.

A Warrior Slumbers

David Benson
Born July 31st 1980
Died January 15th 1999
Beneath Me a Warrior Slumbers

Hermione traced the last few letters with her finger just as always, her right hand was holding up the invisibility cloak on her hunched form. She wasn’t crying yet but the tears would come. They always came, and with them came the memories.

The old tombstone was worn and chipped in places, and after thirty years of neglect shades of green moss threatened to swallow it up and cover the words. She had let the name go; after all, it wasn’t even his. But on every visit she would religiously dig the dirt out of the words “warrior” and “slumbers,” she wouldn’t have been able to live with herself if that too was gone.

In her lap lay lilies, just a few to leave on his grave, she didn’t quite know why but she thought he might have liked lilies. He never did get a chance to tell her. “At least they’ll remind you of your mother,” Hermione whispered to the stone reassuringly in a now much more weathered and motherly voice. She always spoke to the gravestone, never to the ground, with its sparse curling grass. She just couldn’t imagine him lying down there…so still…so, she just pretended he was sitting next to her exactly where the slab was.

The top of the horrid grey, moss covered stone was his hair, black and untidy, kept long enough to fall slightly in his eyes. His eyes, she thought with a sigh, his brilliant green ones that glittered and gleamed. Below these where were his lips, upturned in a friendly smile every time he saw her. Then there was his small, thin body, “all knees and elbows you were,” and of course his fingernails, always caked in mud for some reason or another even though he played Quidditch up in the sky. A raspy chuckle escaped her throat but died down immediately, “oh dear,” she had forgotten the scar.

That was when it started. One by one, they fell, increasing in volume and quantity as the seconds went by piteously slow and as each did so, her distress multiplied. They collected unseemly by her nostrils only to trail onto her lip and hang there precariously, and then they would tremble slightly, plummet down to the ground, and water his grave. She had cried so many tears, and yet the grass was thin. Maybe they weren’t growing because there was too much blood in them.

Blood. That was when the sobbing began. Dry, heaving sobs that wracked her body until she had to gulp down air to make sure she didn’t throw up. She had begun to remember it again. The night at Hogwarts. He had been victorious, he had defeated Voldemort but had come away badly wounded, hardly able to stand let alone wield a wand and say a spell.

The others, including herself, had been fighting for their lives outside Dumbledore’s office, where he had managed to lure Voldemort knowing that the only chance of him winning was to get the Dark Lord by himself. Away from his friends. Death Eaters, Dementors, Werewolves and Inferi stepped onto fallen bodies to pick them off one by one, they didn’t care who the person on the floor was, whether it be friend or foe. They knew that the Dark Lord needed their help and they were trying to get into the room, that was were the Order came in. Standing in their way to prevent them getting through that door to their Master’s side. The good died like gnats and the floor was a sea of bodies, not just of the Order, the Ministry too had come to their aid and there were many students and other people in the mix as well. When it had come down to it, when people found out that Harry Potter needed help, they had answered. Werewolves clawed their way through walls of bodies and some feasted on any that stood still enough. The sound of ripping flesh and screams of pain still rang in her head.

The Inferi were the worst though, Dementors and Werewolves they had dealt with and though frightened, they had known what to expect. But the Inferi, which had come in their thousands, had been a horrifying experience. Moving fast, those animated corpses had used their sheer numbers to overwhelm them and rip out anything that came within their grasp. Many had had their throats torn out, while others lay bleeding to death on the floor where they had been trampled on. But that hadn’t been the worst, oh no, for then, Lucius Malfoy had decided to increase the Inferi numbers by bringing to life those who had died in the fight as well. Charlie Weasley had to be burnt down by his own father after he had tried to gouge out Ginny’s eyes, as did Colin Creevey who had to be blasted apart by Professor McGonagall after being seen strangling his distraught brother to death.

However, her resolve had been like iron, she had stood in front of the stairs that lead up to Dumbledore’s office and refused to move. She had known that inside was Harry, fighting for his life, and everyone else’s. Many had come close to the door, past all the others that tried to form a human barricade in front of her but she had ruthlessly used everything she had to keep them away. One hooded Death Eater had come close to having all his entrails slipping and sliding on the floor but had narrowly missed it only to be hit by Ginny’s Bat Bogey Hex then finished off by Kingsley Shacklebolt.

After what seemed like only a few minutes but had in actuality been many gruelling hours, the door opened and down came a small skinny boy, smiling as he stood surveying the war in front of him. The whole room had gone quiet. No one moved, not a soul dared to breathe, they couldn’t believe it was over. Both sides couldn’t. Inferi that had been controlled by Voldemort had dropped finally dead to the floor in a fleshy heap.

Nevertheless, over it was and the shaky, sweat and blood stained young man was proof of it. The Dark Lord was dead. And as Hermione looked into those green, green eyes, she saw hope… At first she hadn’t understood what it was, it was a distant memory from better times, this hope. Had he been hopeful about his future? Hopeful that he may finally live to grow old. Did he hope for children and life with his beloved Ginny too?

Once she saw that hope, she too had begun to be wishful, letting her wand loosen in her clenched and bruised fist. Then like melting ice, people had begun to smile. Her mouth had followed suit and had also stretched into a smile, straining the muscles that hadn’t been used in years until it actually hurt. Yes, until it actually hurt to smile and yet they continued. After all, this one moment needed to make up for years of tears, fear, anger and loss. They had so much catching up to do.

Around them distant popping noises could be heard, all those who could escape were doing so. The spells that had been placed around the castle had dropped after Professor McGonagall had been mutilated and left for dead by a prowling Greyback. Death Eaters who had an ounce of sense inside them apparated as soon as they realised that their Dark Lord was dead. The rest of the Inferi, raised by Lucius Malfoy dropped too once their maker was killed by Hagrid who in a fit of rage had crushed his skull. All that was left of their once great numbers were a few Dementors and a large bulk of werewolves who had run into the Forbidden Forest now that morning was approaching. Some Death Eaters had of course stayed. The die hards. Creatures like Bellatrix.

Realising that her beloved Master was dead she had let loose a wail of grief fuelled with anger that blazed white hot in her eyes, but it had been drowned out by the cheering and crying that was taking place in celebration. No one noticed her, who would? One among many other people crying for one reason or another. And as all eyes were focused on Harry, all else forgotten in their happiness, she fired the Killing Curse at him. Hermione had felt it, a warm green blast that had shot past her so fast that she didn’t even have time to throw herself in front of him. It looked like he hadn’t expected it either, and even if he had he didn’t have the strength to lift up his wand and protect himself.

Down he fell. Eyes a little wider but the smile still there, he hadn’t even had time to look surprised…that’s how fast it was. Screams rent the air as Harry Potter, saviour of the Wizarding World, fell and landed in a crumpled heap on the floor a little in front of Hermione.

She didn’t know what had had happened after that, she hadn’t looked. All her attention was on the still form of her best friend. Going down on both knees, she had nudged and nudged and nudged him. Begging him to get up, pleading, crying, screaming, sobbing until it all merged and became a blurry haze. All she could recount after that was the arms of Ron who had been holding her close to him, crying into her shoulder having dragged her away from the body of their best friend.

United now in death, the Wizarding World had put celebrations aside and mourned for their hero. Black was seen everywhere, people donned it as a sign of respect and all festivities, including Birthdays and Christmas was left uncelebrated for a year. That was after all the least they could do for the boy who had died fighting for them.

In the cramped Burrow, the people who had known Harry, the people who were still alive that is, sat together to share their sorrow. Many faces were missing, Moody, who had gone down fighting seven Death Eaters taking six with him, wasn’t there. Neither was Remus, the last true Marauder who had been locked up to stop him attacking their side when he turned into a werewolf, his damaged body had been found inside an open cage. Arthur Weasley wasn’t there either, having carelessly, but understandably, stopped to mourn the death of Charlie at his own hands, he hadn’t seen Rodolphus Lestrange coming up behind him. And neither were the twins, although their bodies had never been found it was almost certain that they were dead. Many other names were on the list, either dead or most certain to be dead. Huddled together, they let go of their restraint and shared their pain…it was the only thing they could do.

People say, “move on” so carelessly nowadays. They don’t know how difficult it is. To her, everything reminded her of Harry and if it didn’t it seemed like a crime to not remember him. Ron felt the same. After Harry’s death, he had withdrawn, become more quiet and reserved. A man of few words.

What happened afterwards couldn’t be called moving on…it was merely living. Sure, the years went by, but not one without him in the front of her mind. She married Ron, her childhood sweetheart, she had kids and became a great mother but Harry Potter remained as important to her as he was when he was alive. No matter what happened in their lives he would always come back up to the surface and they wouldn’t have had it any other way. Once, just before their wedding, Hermione had been called aside by Ginny to be told that Ron wouldn’t come out of the room. After cajoling with him he had let her inside and there she saw a red eyed, sniffling Ron.

“I wanted him to be my best man,” he had told her before breaking into tears as he wept noiselessly. She had never been able to forget that moment; it always tore her heart to remember the now timid Ron telling her finally, how he felt about Harry’s fall.

While others moved on, those who had been closest to Harry seemed to barely live through each day. Each family gathering was the same. First, it would start happily enough, food being passed around and children playing in the background. Then Mrs Weasley would smile sadly and say, “he would have been twenty six now wouldn’t he?” there was no doubt about whom she was speaking of. A hush would fall throughout the room and Ginny would start crying again, followed by Hermione and Mrs Weasley. Those who didn’t cry, would stare numbly at the ground, unwilling to show their grief so openly but feeling it just as intensely.

In their house, Hermione and Ron had accumulated every photograph they had taken of him, every article that had been written about him and every letter that had been written to thank Harry for being their Champion and condolences to them for their great loss. Everywhere you looked; his thin smiling face stared back, waving merrily at each visitor, unaware that he had died. They had even managed to collect a few photos of him from the Dursleys, where they had in avertedly snapped him in the background while meaning to focus on something else. And every night after putting the kids to bed, like a routine that she was glad to do, Hermione would sit down with the album and leaf through every page…it only had a few. She would do this until Ron came home from work to find her crying and staring now at all the pictures of him they had on their wall, all copies of the one already in the album.

After his death, his friends had been worried about grave robbers, Death Eaters with an intention of desecrating his tomb. Maybe even with an idea of bringing their Dark Lord back using his remains, and so they had agreed on putting an empty tomb with his name in Hogsmede, for all the mourners to go and pay their respects. However, his real tomb lay in a little known village whose name I shan’t reveal, and there in disguise, his friends would visit him taking with them naught but love and a few flowers to make sure no one got suspicious. Yes, Harry Potter, the boy who lived, lay in a tomb under someone else’s name in some distant village and his only visitors were the people that mattered. Something told Hermione he would have preferred it that way.

But now she had to go, she may not have ‘moved on’ but the lives around her certainly did and she had to keep up for fear of being left behind, that didn’t mean she couldn’t jog back to see him…back in the past. “I have to go now Harry dear, the boys are coming home tonight and I was thinking of making them a nice cooked meal before we leave to see Molly in Mungo’s. You know, she is feeling poorly, but at her age it’s not surprising, she won’t listen when we tell her to take it slow and let us look after her. Bad heart that’s what it is, never was the same after Arthur‘s death,” she said as she wiped away the tears and got unsteadily to her feet. “Well Harry…I’ll see you next week, maybe sooner if the boys leave early. Don’t miss me too much. I will come, don’t you worry. And oh yes, Ginny is doing fine, she says work is going well and apparently she may be in line for a promotion. And don’t worry about Ron either…although I do worry sometimes…awfully quiet,” she whispered now to stop her voice from shaking, “wouldn’t mind taking a look at him will you Harry?” She couldn’t talk anymore; the fresh batch of stifled moans wouldn’t let her. Instead, she bent down as far as her bad back would allow her and kissed the stone with her cracked lips…right where his forehead would have been. With many a wave, Hermione Weasley left for home, turning back every few steps to make sure her best friend knew that she was always there for him…always.

AN: Well guys what did you think, don't be shy to tell me the truth. Is it sad enough? Are the descriptions okay and did you get enough out of it?

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