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A/n: *deep breath* Alright. I have never written a fic before, but thanks to the mad MSN emoticon stylings of one Jessi_Rose (who was amazing enough to not only prod me into doing this but beta'ing it for me instantly), and the constant poking from some of my best online friends ever; Tiff, Beth and Courtney -- here it is. And of course, I own nothing but some shoes and a bag full of sequins.



“No.”

Only one solitary word fell from her lips as she moved stiffly across the charred, and barren grass; one single syllable that rose above the soft murmurs in the clearing as final damage was surveyed. Disbelief etched her features, features that veiled beneath the thick layer of soot clinging to her singed flesh. Her stride quickened as she drew near, oblivious to the small knot of anxious people clinging to each other as their eyes flitted to the sight before them.

A harsh crackle reached her ears as she dropped to her knees, the blackened blades of grass breaking off to accommodate her falling weight.

“No.” The word came again, this time releasing from her throat in a hoarse, agonizing whisper; choked with more emotions then she ever thought possible to express in one word. Pain, fear, anger, sadness, bitterness, confusion, and most of all; devastation.

Unable to believe what was evident, she turned her head towards the sky and felt a flicker of shock at the mere sight of the moon shining brightly on low in the sky in a perfect half crescent. Hot anger flooded her veins and her hands clenched into tight fists as she took in the sight of something so normal, so common glaring down at her when her life lay in ruins on the ground.

Forcing her hands to relax, her wand fell from her fingers and rolled onto the ground uselessly as though her mind knew that there was nothing she could do to remedy the situation. She felt the tears spring into her eyes, and threaten to overflow as she cautiously stretched her hands towards the still body on the ground.

One hand moved across his forehead, stroking the hair back tenderly from the wound marring his skin as her lip began to tremble. The other clutched his shoulder as her legs gave out and she collapsed on the ground. Drawing the upper half of his frame into her lap, the finality hit her and her own shoulders shook as sobs racked her body.

How could this have happened? What had gone wrong? They had planned everything out meticulously, covering every loose end and talking themselves hoarse for months, planning every move that would lead to this final moment; with all the concentration and determination of an intricate game of chess. Had they miscalculated? Rocking him back and forth, she realized bitterly that he had only been a pawn.

Footfalls grew louder as the others approached, hesitant to disturb the scene before them. She knew she was being selfish, but she desperately needed to be near him, to feel him, to hold him one last time before someone wrenched her away. Forever.

“No.” She repeated, unsure if the word would be able to penetrate the dense fog clouding her mind, blocking out everything except the sharp pain in her chest.

A pain that she was sure would never go away. The pain of her heart breaking. Through the swirling haze, memories rose to the surface causing her tears to fall harder and faster until they dropped from her cheeks and soaked his robes; mingling until they too turned a deep shade of crimson.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this! They were supposed to conquer, to win, to finally be able to live the lives that they had dreamed about. Everything was dashed, all her hopes and dreams shattered in an instant; in a flash of light that would now be permanently burned into her mind. Doomed to haunt her dreams and torment her every waking minute.

Never again would she be able to touch him, talk to him, hug him. Feel his arms wrap tightly around her for comfort; never watch a smile light up his face or a laugh cross his lips.

Never.

A hand was extended and came to rest softly on her shoulder, and Hermione finally lifted her head to acknowledge the others now forming a tight, protective circle around her. The clearing was eerily quiet now, void of all sounds as they stood frozen in shock and despair. The only sound that could be heard was the occasional racking sob piercing the still air.

Hermione wasn’t sure how long she sat there, as time seemed to stand still in her grief. Dropping her chin, she gazed into his vacant eyes and for a brief, fleeting moment, she thought she saw the familiar sparkle lighting up their depths. But her heart knew better. Her heart knew that never again would those eyes meet hers.

A heaving sigh escaped her lips as she tilted her head to let her cheek rest on the hand still lingering on her shoulder, and she finally found herself able to utter the words she needed to choke out one last time. “I loved him."

She felt the hand tighten and wiped her tear stained cheek against it. "Harry was my brother.”

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