Tears and Memories

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He found her lying on a blanket outside beneath a tree. Her chin was in her palm, her long blonde hair loose and free, her legs bent so her feet pointed towards the sun, crossed at her ankles. For a few silent moments, he simply stood and looked at her. There was a small smile on her lips that he could see despite her bowed head. She was moving her left foot as she studied the parchments surrounding her, and he noticed her shoe was about to fall off.

When she looked up, his easy smile faded when he saw the tears on her cheeks. Within two heartbeats, he had crossed the yard to reach her. “Luna, what’s wrong?” he asked with concern as he knelt beside her.

“Everything’s fine, Harry.” She tilted her head and pursed her lips in an obvious invitation.

He leaned forward and kissed her tenderly as the pad of his thumb wiped away her tears. “If everything’s fine, why are you crying?”

“Tears don’t always have to be sad,” she told him matter-of-factly. “Sometimes they’re happy. Sometimes they’re memories. Sometimes they don’t really know what they are but they know they need to fall so they do.”

“What are these tears?” he asked patiently. He’d learned that it was pointless to get upset if he couldn’t quite follow his girlfriend’s logic; he’d be upset most the time.

“They’re not really sure,” she decided with a small frown. “They’re memories, I guess, and also a bit of love, too.”

“Okay,” he said slowly as he looked down to see what she’d been crying over. “What is all this?”

“I’m helping Hermione, with the book.”

He stiffened at her words, his fingers curled tightly around the piece of parchment and he was reluctant to let it go when she gently pulled it away. His voice was tense when he said, “The book.”

“She’s doing a wonderful job with it, Harry. You should go see her some time. I know she misses you.” Luna spoke softly as she arranged the parchment into chaotic piles that probably only made sense to her.

“She made her choice.” Harry looked up at the sky, noted that his glasses needed to be cleaned, and tried not to think of his fight with his best friend. All over a stupid book. A book that she claimed would be a tribute to all those who fought the two Wars against Voldemort and exchanged their lives for the freedom they all now had. He saw it as something horrible, a way to keep wounds open and exploit people he’d loved. She’d talked until she’d been crying, reminding of all those she’d lost in the War, too, but he refused to listen. That had been three months ago.

“Did you know that Kingsley had a daughter?”

“What?” He looked down at Luna in surprise. “He wasn’t married.”

“Divorced. His ex-wife is a Muggleborn. Their daughter is ten and will start Hogwarts soon. She never had much time to know her father because of the War and his job. Hermione found letters he’d written to her but never sent when she was doing research, was able to give them to her so she’d have a chance to know her father when she’s older and could understand.”

“I don’t see what this has to do with anything.”

“His daughter remembers him. What about those who don’t have anyone to remember them? Shouldn’t their stories be told and shared? Shouldn’t tears be shed for the sacrifices they made?” Luna asked softly. “Shouldn’t their stories be told so others know they were brave and strong, sad and flawed? They should be celebrated, Harry, not ignored.”

“I remember them.”

“We all remember them,” she whispered. “Hermione wants everyone to remember them. Her book, it’s brilliant, Harry. She’s been working so hard. Ron, he’s supporting her. His brother and his father, their stories will be told. Everyone will know Percy and Arthur. They‘ll know the sacrifices and the lives of those who were lost so that we could be here now.”

“It’s not right that strangers should read about them,” he rasped. “It’s no one’s business. They’re dead and some stupid book won’t change that.”

“No, it won’t,” she sighed. “No one is truly dead unless they are forgotten. As long as we remember, as long as others remember, they’ll never truly be gone. Hermione knows this, it’s what’s driving her to tell their stories. She doesn’t want them forgotten.”

“Luna, I can’t.”

“Yes, you can.” She sat up then and wrapped her arms around him. Her breath was warm against his neck as she held him as he cried. “Your parents were brave. They loved and laughed, they lost and cried. They were heroes.”

“What kind of tears are these?” he asked as he looked at her.

She smiled as she brushed them off his cheeks. “These are memories, sad and happy.”

“So, this book of Hermione’s…it’s really good?” He wasn’t sure he could accept it, but maybe Luna was right. If they remembered, those they’d lost wouldn’t be forgotten.

“Of course. It’s Hermione, after all,” she said with a soft laugh before she kissed his cheek. She picked up an older parchment and began to read to him, soft words about Dumbledore’s childhood, and he felt himself relax against her as he listened and remembered an old man with a kind smile and shining eyes who had taught him how to be a man.

The End