The Wind

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Story Notes:
The house is perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. There are trees and flowers surrounding the simple white structure, and the beach below is covered with white sand and rocks. Hermione walks slowly through the trees, remembering everyone they represent. It had been Harry’s idea to plant the trees all those years ago. Two for his parents, one for Sirius, one for Dumbledore, one for Fred, and so on as they remembered those they’d lost in the war until they were done.

Over the years, they have planted flowers and trees every time they lost someone close to them. Ron chose a wild rose bush for Molly and a creeping vine that got into everything for Arthur while she chose a Willow for her parents. There are dozens of trees and flowers in their garden now. It’s truly a beautiful sight, and brings happiness and sadness to her as wanders through it.

When she reaches the cliff that overlooks the sea, she sits in one of the three chairs that has been there since they moved into their house after the war. The chairs have lived through a century of life, love, and laughter. As she looks down, she sees them as they once were, young and happy as they splashed and kissed on their private beach. She can hear her boys laughing and smiles as she slowly raises a wrinkled hand to push her hair away from her face.

Ron always teases her about how white it’s gotten and Harry points out the gray peppered with his red hair, which results in a fight that leads to kisses and making love. Hermione feels the sun warm against her face as it moves across the sky and begins to set. The house is quiet now. Their children are grown up and have children of their own who are now starting to have children of their own, too. Their youngest grandbaby, a little girl with Harry’s hair and Ron’s eyes, just finished her last year at Hogwarts. Sarah loves this little house and the gardens, and she knows the stories behind every tree and flower planted. In her, history lives on and no one will be forgotten. Hermione has made sure of that.

Hermione sighs as the wind ruffles her hair. Behind her, the leaves of a small tree tremble from the window but don’t fall. The tree is barely a year old, and she can remember crying as she and Ron planted it after Harry left them. Beside it is a tree that is only a month old. She planted that one on her own and it took her an entire afternoon because she kept having to stop to cry as she remembered her Ron and their life together.

The wind feels nice after a warm afternoon. She spent the day cleaning and now it’s time to finally rest. Between the two trees, there is now a small bush with unruly vines and wild flowers that she knows will eventually encompass both the trees. Her fingernails still have dirt beneath them from the planting this morning, but she doesn’t care. Everything is ready for Sarah, and she knows that they can trust their grandbaby to take care of things for them and to never forget.

She never thought she’d live longer than her boys. In fact, she’s surprised that she is the last one. She thinks maybe that she had to be, to make sure everything was organized and that nothing was forgotten, but she hates it. She hates being without them, hates the empty bed and cold nights, hates the quiet house and the loneliness. She misses them, misses the kisses and caresses, misses the laughter and love, misses the way Ron smiled at her and the way Harry looked at her.

When the sun begins to set, she knows it’s time. She listens to the wind and can hear Ron laughing and Harry calling her name. She smiles peacefully as looks at the ocean. It’s a beautiful day to die, she decides as she thinks of her boys and loses herself in memories. Hermione finally closes her eyes and lets the wind take her to rejoin her boys.