Icicles prove to be more than pretty reminders of winter time for Hermione.
Rating/Genre: PG/Tradegy - General
Summary: Icicles prove to be more than pretty reminders of winter time for Hermione.
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of canon /Harry Potter/.
Pairings: Hermione Granger/Ronald Weasley, Ginny Weasley/Draco Malfoy (slyly implied w)
Warnings: Character death and some dark thoughts
Author's Notes: I wrote the pairings in this story with two of my friends' favorite pairings in mind. Small
shoutout to Becca for her love of Hermione/Ron fiction, and Nimbuschick for her pairing of Ginny/Draco.
wave to Occasus, just 'cause. Written for The Pimp Cane's (LiveJournal Community) Christmas Challenge,
Hermione pulled her favorite rocking chair across the front porch to the railing of the house she and Ron had purchased together. She leaned her bulky revised copy of Hogwarts, A History against the railing lovingly. She had picked up her copy the day it was released with many new entries and observations contributed by her research. She opened the tome to her favorite revision, the inclusion of the house-elves, and their dutiful service to the school.
Hermione tugged the edges of the last wrap Molly Weasley knitted for her before she died around her shoulders to block out the cold. Molly always said that a good mother needed a nice, warm wrap to hug her babies in; and after Hermione's first son, Roger, was born, Hermione received her first motherly wrap. There had been other wraps over the years with the births of Hermione and Ron's next four children.
Hermione closed the book in her lap, and clutched the spine with shaky hands, so that it would not slip to the floor. She rested her head against the padded back of the rocking chair, and tipped her feet in a gentle rhythm. Her eyes searched the end of the roof for the one reminder of every large event in her life. Icicles.
Every memorable first happened during Winter time, and oddly enough, involved icicles. She and Ron stood under this very roof the first time that Hermione had come home from St. Mungo's to confirm that she was indeed pregnant. They had also stood on this porch when Hermione informed Ron that she no longer wanted to bear children upon returning from her fifth pregnancy-related trip to St. Mungo's. Ron had been devastated, but assured Hermione that he understood, and promptly helped her into the house. The trinkle of cool water across the shingles of the roof, and down the posts that held up the roof, promised that all things in nature must go on.
The comforting drip of melting icicles were present when she and Ron found out that his mother had followed Ron's father, and several of his siblings, into an early grave. They sunk to their knees together, and cried until their children returned from their afternoon play date. When they came trampling up the front steps, still whooping and shoving with excitement from their play date, Roger, Katie, Brian, David, and Ginny had huddled around their weeping parents in a familiar encircling of sorrow.
Later that same night, Ron went directly to the Burrow to comfort his remaining siblings, Percy and Ginny. Hermione had sat under that stars with the icicles' drops as her cinematic symphony while she explained to her children that Grandma Weasley had gone to join Grandpa Weasley and Uncles George, Fred, Charlie, and Bill. Hermione was not able to stop her tears as she prepared her offspring before they were to join their father at the Burrow the following morning. She held her children close, and they wept together until their eyes dried.
The next morning, Hermione and her brood went to Ron on that long past winter's morning. They stayed a full two weeks, cleaning and setting Molly's affairs in order. The Ministry had been uncharacteristically sympathetic in their need for absence from their positions. Arthur Weasley's name apparently held more weight than anyone realized.
With the Ministry's three weeks of paid leave, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and Percy gathered every surviving friend of the last battles with Voldemort in the Burrow to say their last good-byes.
As the private ceremony came to a close, Ron, Remus, Percy, and Harry moved Molly's casket to the base of her favorite, and only, apple tree that grew in the circle of trees that once shielded her children's home Quidditch practices during their Hogwarts days.
While the four weary men escorted the levitating casket to Molly's resting place next to her husband and children, Hermione resigned her gaze to the sky in prayer. It was then that she spotted them. Icicles. Always present. Forever marking the events of her tumultuous life inside of their crystalline perfection.
A frosty wind blew through the holes in Hermione's wrap as she sat upon her aging porch, desperately clutching to dying memories. She fervently wished that she had brought a heavier cloak to guard her skin against the terrible winter's chill. The strength to bear and raise five children, live through many a friends' deaths, spoil eight and half grandchildren, help reshape the wizarding world, and live to skirt the fruitful age of two hundred would not protect her from the cold alone. Hermione Summoned two of her thickest winter cloaks.
Once she successfully tucked herself inside the hearty materials, Hermione allowed her mind to wander back to her own school days, and on to her currently late bloomed pregnant daughter, Ginny. Ginny turned out to be quite a bit like her name sake in her fierce determined manner, and surprising number of hidden talents.
When her thoughts began to repeat themselves, Hermione reluctantly thought of the letter she received half an hour ago from a waiting Ministry owl after she returned from the stroll she decided to take in an effort to rid herself of the uneasy prickles of intuition. The feelings did not lessen when her eyes landed on the plain brown owl that hopped impatiently to each of its feet in turn. If any change could be noted in the gnawing vibration, it spiked.
Hermione had taken the roll of parchment from the owl's leg, and turned to retrieve the bird a treat for its trouble, but it flew away before Hermione could withdraw her wand to unlock her front door. She stared after the bird, and drew her wand anyway to unseal the officially sealed letter.
Hermione read the letter three full times, yet she believed that her eyes failed her. She had never needed glasses prior to receiving the letter, and Hermione wondered if she needed them now.
The Ministry missive was confirmed when no less than six owls led a virtual parade of owls, all carrying letters bearing the same news. Hermione read the Ministry document one final time.
Mrs. Hermione Weasley,
I am sorry to inform you that your husband, Mr. Ronald Weasley, has been killed in an unfortunate accident in the Department of Mysteries. His current, classified experiment exploded, taking most of him with it.
We at the Ministry of Magic offer you our sincerest condolences. Enclosed is a locket of your husband's hair.
There will be a memorial held on Thursday evening at six o'clock in the Atrium, as requested by an impressive number of the staff. Seats shall be saved for you and any guests you wish to accompany you.
Similar letters have been sent to Mrs. Ginny Malfoy, and Mr. Percy Weasley.
Once again, our condolences.
Rose Artman, Undersecretary to the Mister of Magic
Peter Fudge, Minister of Magic
Hermione had smoothed the last few inches of the parchment's roll to reveal a cindered lock of red hair.
Hermione's breathing had slowed, and her ears magnified the sounds around her. Leading the chorus, were the thunderous drops of water upon wood and soil. Hermione instinctively groped for the support of her front door. She was truly alone now.
Though Ginny, Percy, and Harry would undoubtedly be ready to console her, this death was different. This death stole her lover, husband, and father of her much loved children. This death stole her comforting companion. /This death/, ripped away the fated missing half of her very soul. There would be nothing left for her.
The other deaths were easier to live through because of Ron's love and assurance, now she had neither his warmth, nor his embrace. She did not even have a body to commit to the earth. She had singed hair and an empty space rapidly being filled with dread, and the urge to lay open her wrists. There could be no one else for her.
Hermione had retreated to her kitchen and piled the letters on her kitchen table. She dug out the very first wrap that Molly knitted her, and plodded down the creaky stairs to her overloaded, personal library. With the weighty Hogwarts, A History volume in hand, she returned to the porch to let the icicles' medley of naturally synchronized drops lull her into oblivion.
Hermione tried to push the thoughts of the prearranged memorial out of her head. She settled for thoughts of her own death. Hermione wondered if any of her original Hogwarts friends would be around to honor her passing. All of her former teachers were long dead, so that counted them out. Hermione wished that she knew how many more deaths of those she loved would have to witness before she succumbed to Death's Pull. The most that she could hope for was the Ministry honoring the strides she made in Muggle Relations. That had to count for something, didn't it?
As Hermione closed her eyes, and prayed for death, one thought crossed her mind, "Please, let my memory be frozen in time's grace."