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Angst

Autumn Words by AngelQueen [Reviews - 8]

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Witches and wizards from across the globe often visited the sites of great and important battles. The site of the battle between Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore still brought a fairly steady stream of visitors, even after over half a century. Undoubtedly, the place of the final confrontation between Voldemort and Harry Potter would be much the same, had it not been on the very grounds of Hogwarts itself. Because of the obvious lack of access to the battle site-no doubt thanks to the Headmaster-tourists had to console themselves with other places to visit.

One such place was the base of the Dark Lord. People appeared to be thrilled to be permitted a chance to gawk at Voldemort’s throne, or where prisoners had been kept for torture and amusement of the Death Eaters. Only those who truly understood the implications found the tourism offensive. But the Ministry had found a source of income that could be of great help in restoring the Wizarding world to what it had once been, and they were not about to give that up.

Another such area was the Place of the Fallen, the location set aside for all those who had fallen in the wars against Voldemort. The cemetery-for that is what it was-was surrounded by a high, stately fence and gate, which could only be opened by the caretaker or those that actually had a key of their own.

Hermione Granger was one of those people as were all the other survivors of the final battle. Only once a year did she ever make use of it, however. Every year on the exact same day, without fail, she would Apparate to the gravel path that led to the secluded location.

This would be the fifth time she had walked this path. Five times in four years. While the first visit had been to see the monument completed, the other four visits had been her own private excursions. The ones she always refused company on. This was her tradition and hers alone.

A chilling wind swept through the nearly bare trees, adding to the noise of gravel and dead leaves beneath her boots. Hermione shivered as the cold air bit at what little exposed skin she had. Tugging her cloak around her more tightly, she bent her head and kept walking. Gazing ahead, Hermione could see the caretaker’s cabin. Good. That meant her journey was nearly complete.

She directed herself to walk past the cabin, only slowing her pace as the front windows came into view. Her pace automatically quickened as she nodded to the old weathered face that peered out at her. The caretaker always expected her on this day, and he’d proved to be a discreet man. No one had ever interrupted her visits in the past.

Hermione continued on up the path for several more yards, finally coming to a halt before the large, ornate gate. Without hesitating, she pulled out a tiny, plain-looking key. The padlocks that kept the gate secure were enormous and appeared rusted beyond use. But with practiced ease, Hermione slipped the key into the keyhole.

Almost instantly, gold sparks were emitted from the padlock, swirling in an intricate dance before converging on the keyhole. The key popped out easily and Hermione quickly returned it to her pocket.

She stepped inside, barely noticing the gate as it swung shut behind her. Looking around, she could see that the state of the markers was still excellent. Slowly, she started weaving her way through them, intent on reaching a lone marker that stood in the far right corner of the cemetery. As she walked, she noted the other markers out of the corner of her eye.

Names blurred together as she walked, but images sprang up regardless, putting faces and events to those names.

Nymphadora Alexangretta Tonks…

…slumping to the ground after taking four Killing Curses meant for Albus Dumbledore as he helped Harry Potter fight his way towards the Dark Lord…

Remus Jobel Lupin…

…vanishing in a bright light of powerful magic, taking with him the writhing and screaming form of Peter Pettigrew and the curse-throwing madwoman Bellatrix LeStrange, avenging at long last Lily and James Potter, as well as Sirius Black…

Draco Septimus Lucian Malfoy…

…sinking to his knees while clutching a dagger that had been imbedded in his chest, his eyes locked with the dagger’s owner, his own father…

Viktor Wolfgang Krum…

…crucified and horribly tortured by the Death Eaters for spying on behalf of Dumbledore, but not before he had told the Order all they had needed to know to prepare for the final attack…

Rubeus John Hagrid…

…protecting the younger children hidden within Hogwarts, shielding them with his body as they sought to reach safety from the invading Death Eaters…

And more. So many more. Within a single night, so many people had been lost. She had not known all of them, of course, but they had been her colleagues, her siblings-in-arms after a fashion. She had felt sorrow at their deaths. And that grief had only grown when those she had known well were killed.

Hermione slowed as she finally came to her destination. The marker she had sought was set a slight distance away from all of the others, if only because those who had been designated to surround him still lived on.

She gazed down at the marker. In truth, it was exactly the same as all of the others, having been handcrafted with the greatest care and devotion by a master of his trade. But in Hermione’s mind, it took on the greatest significance, even more so than all of the other markers that lay behind her.

Kneeling down, Hermione allowed her fingers to drift over the letters etched into the stone, the words rolling slowly through her mind.


Severus Julian Snape
b. October 13, 1960
d. October 31, 1998



“Hello, Severus,” she whispered aloud in an effort to stem the flow of memories that hovered on the edge of her consciousness. “I’m back again.”


Autumn Words by AngelQueen [Reviews - 8]

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