Author: invisible_amye, AKA Jess
Rating: PG-13, mild gore.
Warnings: Mild gore, implied character death, POST-WAR, femslash, depression. Don't read it if you can't handle it.
Summary: There is nothing in the absence of the people who make life worth while. Once you get rid of them, it is pointless.
Pairing: Implied Hermione/Ginny, but mostly just Hermione talking to herself.
Authors Note: Enjoy :D it's called "Lemon" after the song by Katy Rose. Back up to my usual high standard of writing after the last lapse (*eye roll*) I apologise for it not being up to scratch ;) this one is.
I look into the mirror, and I don’t recognise the girl staring back at me. It seems to me that I am much older than my birthdays tell me, and I most certainly look it. I can look at other girls my age, and see no reflection of myself in them. I’ve seen too much. The expression that haunts my eyes - the one without a name, at least one that may be freely spoken - has no place in theirs. I long to be that way again, but there’s no way I can ever return to that state of mind. It’s as I said - I’ve seen too much.
It’s summer and by rights I should be out, living the teenage dream. But I’m not. I’m in the park. They are running about on the sports field, playing games and relaxing in the sun. Their lives are all still ahead of them, whereas mine, I think, has already ended, or at least my fate is sealed. There’s no going back from where I’ve been. I am no longer myself - just a shell, the physical remnants of the girl that once was. A girl who loved - that much I am sure of - and knew nothing else, despite her apparent knowledge of the world. All she knew was love, and now that has been taken from her, I am what is left.
So while the others are out there living, I am trapped in my metaphorical tomb. A darkness has descended over my mind which cannot be banished, or at least I don’t know how to do it. I sit on a bench under a tree, in the shade where they can’t see me, and this emphasizes my isolation from reality. I feel that there is no reality anymore, or not one that lets me into it. I am cross-legged with a book on my lap, lying open, pen in hand, but no words come to fill the pages. My clothes are all old and battered, covered in dirt and, in some cases, blood. The ones that haven’t been cleaned since-
I swallow. My sneakers are falling apart (soles peeling off, canvas getting threadbare), my jeans are more hole than material and the grey dirt and summer sun have bleached the once blue fabric into nothingness. There is no colour, not one that can be described. My tee-shirt is plain black, and full of holes. It was…hers. Before. The other day I found that on the label her name was scrawled in biro, and the faded word, just “Ginny”, set me off into floods.
I tore the label out.
My face bears no make-up, but there are circles under my eyes so dark that they could be mistaken for shadow. My skin looks stretched over my bones - I gave up on eating a long time ago. I only drink water to stay alive. Otherwise, nothing passes my lips. I should have been dead a long time ago, anyway - I should have died with the rest of them. I’m living on borrowed time, so what’s the point in prolonging it? All I want is them back. The one thing I can never have. My hair is straggly and unbrushed, so by definition it should be frizzier that ever, but instead it just hangs, pale and lifeless as the rest of me. My entire body has given up. My heart and brain seem to be the only things left working, slaving away like fate tells them too. I think, no matter what I do to my body, I will live forever. It seems like I have already.
My arms, sticking out of the tiny sleeves of the faded tee-shirt, are so thin that the veins sometimes stick out. No one ever expected me to give up like this. They thought I’d keep going forever, that my Gryffindor bravery would see me through. They were wrong. The only part of me that matters died with them. My virtually muscle-free body shakes with effort as I reach into my bag to find a cigarette. I don’t like smoking, never have, but it’s something to do, and it reminds me of her, when there is nothing else, and it is less painful that other things, so I continue. I’m not addicted. It just stops me thinking. My lighter sputters, flickering in the slight breeze that whistles through the trees and always seems to surround me now. Even when not a leaf on the damn thing is moving, I can still hear. It’s always there, in the back of my mind. Maybe it’s not the wind. Maybe it’s the chasm of emptiness left my them. Maybe I’m just being dramatic.
I only take one drag before the taste disgusts me and I throw it to the ground. How she stood those things is beyond me. My hands are still shaking and I look down at them, folded in my lap. The bandages are still there, bound tightly about my bony wrists, along with the hospital band - Granger, Hermione. I snort at it disdainfully. That girl is long gone, I tell the band. She doesn’t live here any more.
A few drops of blood have soaked through one of the bandages. I start picking at it with one overgrown nail, pulling at the strands, dragging them out one by one, like the bits of me that have been slowly worn away over the years. Eventually a rip appears. I tug at it now, sliding my finger into it and forcing the gap wider. I’m through the first layer. The circle of blood grows bigger, and the thought that I am doing damage spurs me on. I hate this body, hate what I have become, and I long to die, but I can’t. Every time a witch or wizard comes close to death, a buzzer goes of in Saint Mungo’s, showing the location. Then they apparate there. It’s a new system installed after Voldemort’s return. I know. I tried before. That’s what the bandages are for.
Quickly I am through and the lint falls away, revealing the still-healing deep cuts. One is oozing slightly. I know I was supposed to change them every day, but I was too tired. I’m always tired. I remove the other one in the same manner at sit, glaring at my suicide attempt. It almost worked. Almost. Why do I always almost die? I find myself wishing it was just over with.
My mouth is dry, and I realise that I haven’t had my water yet. I pull the plastic bottle, re-filled with tap water, out of my bag, and unscrew it. The tainted water floods my mouth, soothing my swollen tongue but doing virtually nothing for my cracked, bloodied lips. Everywhere I go I get stared at. Not surprising - I look like a walking dead person. I feel like it, too.
I stare at the blank page before me for what seems like an age. Still no words come. I stare at my wrists instead. The blood has stopped again and has created a new lump of deep red crystals, merging with the brown ones beside it. I wonder to myself if ours was a love story. It seemed so like it, at the time. A little red-headed ray of sunshine in the midst of a world filled with dark and dread. Even now it’s over, that dark remains inside of me. I know that no one else remembers it. It was too traumatic, so they obliviated everyone after. Everyone except me. They don’t know where I am, and so far as their records are concerned I don’t exist. They destroyed everything. Said they were starting anew. So out went the school files, the magazine articles, the books. Nothing remains to tell the world about Harry Potter, the boy who lived. Even less those who stood by him. The bravest people I ever knew. Dumbledore’s Army. The greatest people who ever lived, wiped out. Just like that. No memory of them ever having existed, let alone what they achieved. It’s disgusting, and does nothing to soothe my hatred for this world, and everything in it.
I stand up, stooping to pick up my bag, slinging it over my shoulder. Still I stare at the ground, at the cigarette still smouldering. It will continue after I have left, just like the teenagers playing on the grass. Life goes on. That much I know. I just wish it could go on without me.
I turn to walk home, and when I raise my head the sun burns my eyes, and I curse the day. Later, I will curse the night.
There is nothing in the absence of the people who make life worth while. Once you get rid of them, it is pointless. But other people will live, and maybe, someday, there will be a person as great as her, who will make someone else’s life worthwhile. Let’s hope they get a better chance than we did.
I turn my face to the side, and smile. Isn’t that right, Gin?
She smiles back and puts her arm about my waist, and together we walk into the too bright sun, and the harsh reality that I no longer occupy. Someday, maybe I’ll be free.