Lightning flashed across the sky followed by thunder cackling a few seconds later. The thick stormy clouds only made the darkness of night deeper. Under those clouds, drenched from head to toe under the pouring rain, stood a figure. Her dark red hair was plastered all over her freckled face. Her beautiful chocolate brown eyes were rimmed with red.
She was Ginny Weasley, not even seventeen yet, standing in front of a lone makeshift grave on Hogwarts grounds. Just a week ago, Wizarding Britain had seen the horrors of the most gruesome war inflicted upon them in decades. Lord Voldemort was defeated in that war but the price that the people had to pay was heavy. Even now, bodies were being found in the vast Hogwarts castle. One of those who paid the ultimate price for the war was her brother, Fred Weasley.
Though the grave she stood before didn’t belong to her brother. As much as it pained her to admit, her brother’s death was nowhere near her mind. No, this grave belonged to someone much closer to her heart. She had liked him since eleven, loved him unconditionally since when he had saved her from the Chamber of Secrets.
The tears that marred her pretty face didn’t stop as she stared at the grave before her. The grave which belonged to one Harry James Potter. The git had died how he lived, trying to save others. As it happens, this time it was her.
She could still remember vividly, the green light headed her way. She remembered embracing her fate, squaring her shoulders since there was no time left to dodge. And then, her vision was being blocked by a figure with raven black hair. She remembered trying to scream at him to get away but no voice came out. It all happened in an instant, the green light struck the love of her life and the next thing she knew, she was cradling his lifeless head in her arm, crying and screaming like a banshee.
It all happened after Molly Weasley shred Bellatrix Lestrange to pieces. Voldemort had howled in an inhumane voice and turned his wand on Molly Weasley. That’s when Harry had appeared, erecting a shield between Voldemort and Molly.
What followed afterwards was an epic battle that left all of them spell bound. They couldn’t do anything except stare wide eyed at the brilliant array of spells flying around them. Thus it was no surprise that no one saw Voldemort turning his attention towards Ginny. There was a maniacal grin on his face. His lips twisted to form two little words.
All she could see was the sickly green light heading her way. Her guts were churning knowing that her time had come and then.
She let out a muffled sob as the memories of that day became too much for her. Why? Why does Harry have to sacrifice himself for her? Why couldn’t he just let her die? It would have been so much easier to die than to live like this. Without her Harry.
It were these thoughts that had enabled her to pick up her wand once again. Voldemort was not expecting her to get up. He certainly was not expecting her to fight against him. But she had nothing to lose. All she wanted was to see Harry once again.
And so it began. A duel between Lord Voldemort and Ginny Weasley. On any other day, she might not have stood a chance against him. But today she had lost the one she loved. She had lost everything. It wasn’t anger that fuelled her magic. It were those tears that rolled down her cheeks. It was as if they were the physical manifestation of the love she felt for him.
She didn’t remember much of the fight. It was still hazy for her. Her mind was wracked with grief at that time. But she did remember, with every spell they exchanged, Voldemort took a step back. For the first time that night, or ever, she saw fear in the eyes of the Dark Lord. In the end, he was reduced to one knee on the ground. She saw him gasping, struggling to even lift his wand. She was no expert on Lord Voldemort, but she knew, it should have taken more than this to bring him to this state. It was as if, fighting her was taking a heavy toll on his body both physically and emotionally. She didn’t know what was happening but, she wasn’t going to let this opportunity get away.
She didn’t know what happened next. She just remembered Voldemort’s head rolling away from his body and a deafening silence around her. Suddenly it was too much for her to even stand. She just sank to the ground and started sobbing quietly. The pain, the sadness, the loss, it was unbearable for her. She just wanted to die. Her heart was breaking. It was like the pain was physical.
Since then, whenever she closed her eyes, all she ever saw was Harry’s face, smiling, telling her to move on. Telling her to be happy, telling her to forget about him and find someone else.
But how could she? He was the center of her whole life since she was twelve. She didn’t know how to love anyone else. Even when she was dating Michael or Dean, she kept stealing glances at him, wanting him to notice her, yearning for his attention.
And now, when they were finally together, Destiny had to come and intervene between them. It was like everyone was out to keep them away from each other.
Her muffled sobs didn’t stop as she thought about their short time together. It was a couple of months at best, but even then it was the happiest time of her life. Those stolen kisses by the lake, those cuddles that they shared. The warmth of his hand still lingered in hers from when he held them. He had promised not to leave her alone again. Now that they were together, he had said that he would never let her go.
Then where was he now?
Where was he when she needed him the most?
Her heart was throbbing painfully as the memories flashed before her eyes. Each memory held her heart in a vice like grip, constricting further as she delved deeper into them, like asking why it was still beating when her soul had left her. The good bye that they shared at Dumbledore’s funeral never felt like one. She always thought that he would return to her, that it was just temporary.
If she had known that they would be ripped from each other like this, she never would have let him go. She would have begged him, pleaded with him to stay with her forever, Wizarding World be damned. All she ever wanted was to be with Harry.
Ginny gasped as the searing pain in her chest suddenly escalated. Clutching her bosom, she sank to the ground beside Harry’s grave. There was a rueful smile on her face as she dragged herself to the tombstone. It was painful just to move now. Her spirit was broken since the war ended. Now it looked like her body had caught up to her spirit too.
She caressed the headstone as a fit of cough descended upon her. Each heave of breath just reminded her of the excruciating pain in her chest. It felt like her heart would explode any moment.
She didn’t mind though. Thought Ginny, as she lay down besides the grave. If the thing that would join her and Harry was death, then she would gladly embrace it. Harry might have wanted her to live without her. She even tried living without him. But it was impossible. Her mind, her heart, they just couldn’t accept it. Her body longed for the warmth and the safety of his embrace.
The tears were long gone, replaced by a faint smile, as she stared at the cloudy sky. The rain had slowed to a drizzle, as if wanting to soothe her aching and exhausted body. Each drop that fell on her was like a lullaby sung in the sweetest of voices. Her vision blurred as her eyelids drooped. Her time had come.
A slight breeze blew, picking up scattered leaves. As if under the command of a greater power, the leaves encircled perfectly the grave and the girl lying beside it. At that moment, a speck of white exited the Forbidden Forest and slowly made its way towards the grave.
It was a unicorn walking with its head dropped. None of the majesty and the grace associated with unicorns was there as it approached the circle. It lifted its head, as if studying the circle and then shifted its attention towards Ginny.
It let out a neigh as it studied Ginny’s feature. The voice was full of sorrow and sadness as if mourning for the girl lying there. It nudged Ginny’s cheek slowly as a lone tear escaped its eyes and fell on her. It glanced towards the grave before slowly backing away from the couple.
Before entering the Forbidden Forest, it stopped and looked back towards the circle and let out a slow neigh. Facing forwards, it returned to where it came from.
All of this was observed by a lone cloaked figure as he sat under a tree. Only once the unicorn was gone did he get up and moved towards the circle. Kneeling besides Ginny, he caressed the young girl’s face.
Ginny’s eyes fluttered open as she felt a soft touch upon her. She looked upwards at the cloaked man. It was like the man had no expression or feature, but even then, she could somehow tell, the man was smiling faintly.
“Come now,” the voice was faint, ethereal and without any accent. It was like the words were spoken and at the same time were not. “Come now, the one you love is waiting for you.”
“Oh,” Ginny said in a small voice, “finally.”
Slowly the man’s hand descended upon her. Ginny’s eyes fluttered close as calmness like she never knew washed upon her. The pain in her chest slowly subsided. Her aching body was gradually soothed. She could feel her heart rate decreasing as her soul was taken out bit by bit.
“Well, dying isn’t so bad.”
Those were the thoughts of Ginny Weasley as her soul finally left her body. The man lifted his hand. In his palm was a small globe of light.
“Go to where you belong,” the man blew across his palm as the light rapidly rose up before getting lost in the increasingly clear sky.
This man was death. Usually, he wouldn’t have gone to such length as to become one of humans and take the soul out so gradually. Mostly, he just ripped it out, resulting in utter agony for the person, though they deserved it. Others, he would just quietly take it without them even knowing. But this girl was different. Fate itself had ordered him to make sure the reaping went as beautifully as possible.
He hadn’t understood the orders till he extracted the soul. Love as pure and as complete as this, he hadn’t felt in centuries, maybe even in millennia. The girl’s yearning for the boy had astonished him. It wasn’t a fiery inferno. It was like an ocean, boundless and limitless.
The man stared at the sky which had cleared completely. Revealing the beautiful twinkling star. But the man felt nothing. He was death. He had no emotions. He was the earliest creation. Even before life, there was death. It was his job to extract the soul of all living beings. And for millennia, he had done the job perfectly. In peace, in war, he had reaped souls. No matter, how gruesome it got, he completed his duty. But, even then, a question had crossed his mind on occasion as he saw wars got more and more bloody.
Why are humans still living?
He had jerked his head at that question. It wasn’t his place to question such things. But today he had his answer.
Death raised his hand and clapped. The leaves that encircled the grave suddenly shot up, their place taken by a myriad of flowers. Lilies, roses, daffodils, daisies. Even flowers that shouldn’t be here, sprouted from the ground.
Death nodded in satisfaction at his handiwork. This was his tribute, his homage to the love that this couple shared. He would remember to visit their permanent grave, so that he could say his blessings.
Now all that was left was to notify someone. It wouldn’t do to leave the body in open. Also, he had a suggestion to plant in the mind of recipient.
With that, death was gone. Leaving behind a grave and a girl smiling faintly, looking as if she was in deep sleep.
Their love story wouldn’t be eternal like Romeo and Juliet. But every now and then, after every thousand year or so, when Fate and Death would sit down to have a drink, they would reminisce about the love between The-Boy-Who-Lived and The-Girl-Who-Vanquished-Evil.
Their love wasn’t eternal with humans. No, the ones who sung their praises were deities that were eternal.
Even after hundreds of years, people would swear that the flowers that had bloomed on their grave as soon as they were buried hadn’t withered even a bit.
And they wouldn’t be wrong either. The circle of flowers on Hogwarts ground was still there after thousands of years, so were the flowers that had sprouted up suddenly on their shared grave in front of the people attending funeral, marking their love eternally on the ground, while they enjoyed a happy life above.