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Peace

Title: Peace
Characters: Hermione
Rating: PG
Word Count: 715
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter things belong to JK Rowling, or maybe Warner Brothers, but definitely not me.
Summary: Hermione is alone with her thoughts the day before she leaves for Hogwarts one last time. Post Deathly Hallows.

 

If everything was back to normal, then this was a gruesome imitation of normality. Crookshanks was prowling the stairs, itching to travel, and Hermione’s parents were watching the news downstairs. The trunk was packed and ready to go, but hidden inside a tiny beaded handbag – she wasn’t exactly sure why, and she knew she’d have to take it out before she left, but for the moment it left her satisfied.

She lay back on her bed, drawing stars on the ceiling with her wand. Hermione hadn’t lived in this room since she was eleven; it was more a guest room that she stayed in when she visited for Christmas, or summer, and so it wasn’t at all surprising that she felt slightly awkward being here. It was just her parents’ house, it wasn’t really home; but, she considered with a tinge of sadness, nowhere exactly was. She’d been travelling for much longer than a year, really. Gold-coloured stars were now appearing all over the walls and ceiling, followed by a smiley face, then a frowny face, a triangle, a circle and a vertical line…

Hermione stared at it for a moment, slightly embarrassed about the painful rushing feeling just behind her forehead. She pushed her head back into the pillow and breathed deeply, trying to send her mind elsewhere. Harry had had trouble clearing his mind too, hadn’t he? She remembered how impatient and domineering she’d been, and laughed out loud, but it was cold and harsh in the silence. Her eyes closed and a guilt washed over her that had nothing to do with bossiness.

This time tomorrow she’d be on the Hogwarts Express, with Ginny probably, and maybe some students from her own year would be going back too. She hadn’t really thought to ask. It would be strange, of course, to go to King’s Cross with her parents, and it was normal to feel odd about that, because she usually left from the Burrow. Naturally the journey would be a little unnerving without Ron or Harry, but that was also to be expected. It was exactly the normal way to be feeling.

The rushing sensation returned once more, and this time her eyes were stinging too. She sent her thoughts to the castle, but the corridors were littered with rubble and her strength collapsed. It couldn’t ever be the same, and she shouldn’t want it to be. Not when the place was broken and the dead lined the hall.

Her eyes scrunched up then opened wide, and the door swung open as her cat stalked in. He looked curiously at Hermione’s tear-stained cheeks, and tilted his head as he moved closer.

“I asked for this, didn’t I? I asked for Gryffindor.” She spoke softly, wary of her parents hearing from the bottom of the stairs. “I wanted to be brave.”

She closed the door with her wand, vanished the drawings and gave up fighting. Her thoughts were for Fred, Remus, Mad-Eye, and Tonks, and the children at the battle, dead and injured. She imagined with painful remorse how her parents were feeling, the questions they must have, the things they would say to her if there was even a chance of speaking. She thought of Dobby, and even pale, frightened Draco, and suddenly sobbed aloud as grief hit the back of her throat. Yet still, as ever, all she saw was a screaming face, alive with anger, framed in a mane of black hair and all the more terrifying for sharing Sirius’ haunted beauty. The fear, stupid and pointless, increased her loneliness more than anything; still, it was trivial next to her guilt, and that sickening longing for a tent and a mission.

The beaded handbag still sat on the floor by her desk, glinting innocently and showing no trace of secrets beyond its stretched fabric. Hermione turned over towards the wall, crying miserably and feeling that the world had ended, and that it had ended when Voldemort had. She didn’t notice her handbag tear slowly, and peel away as her trunk inched slowly into the room and into being. She just buried her face in her arms and her pillow, and was still shaking with sobs when the bag fell apart, and her trunk hit the floor with a small thud.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
leslet
Jan. 3rd, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
Awesome
This is so good! Loved it. I wish JKR had covered some of the immediate aftermath of the war, because of course it wouldn't all be happy ever after.

Really great!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )