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The Lingering Sadness
By Katie Porter

It was cold outside. The sky was dark gray, full of heavy clouds that were threatening another storm. Two young people, a girl and a boy, walked slowly across the ice-crusted snow to visit the grave of their friend. The girl's eyes were red-rimmed, like she had been crying recently. She clutched the boy's hand tightly, as if afraid he might leave her too. He wrapped his arm around her and felt her trembling, so he took off his cloak and wrapped it around her shoulders. They arrived at the grave and she immediately burst into tears, dropping to her knees in the cold snow.

The boy quickly knelt next to her, wrapping his arms around her and smoothing her hair lovingly. "Shhh, 'Mione, it's alright," he whispered, as she clutched his back. Her tears gave way to hiccuppy breathes of air. He knelt there, rubbing her back until she was finally calm again. He then reached into his pocket and handed her a handkerchief, which she gratefully accepted. "There, are you better?" he asked calmly. "Oh, Ron, it's not fair" she sighed, as the wind blew her hair back from her tear-streaked face. "I mean, why? Why did he have to die too? He was so young."

He kissed her lightly on the forehead, and then helped her to her feet. They walked over and stood before the grave. The boy started to speak. "Hello Harry. It's me, Ron. I...I never got to say goodbye, Harry." He quickly looked up, and saw a piece of cloth hanging off of the tombstone. "Look Mine, Dobby's been here," he said, fingering the battered tea-cozy that the house-elf had once saved for 'special occasions.' He sighed as it fluttered in the wind. "I guess he though it would bring you luck, Harry. I hope it does. But more importantly, I hope that you're alright, wherever you are."

The girl started to speak, in a voice that sounded much older than she appeared to be. "Christmas wasn't the same without you, Harry. I don't think it ever will be. Sure, there were decorations and presents, but there was no joy. Even Fred and George couldn't help us, and they tried so hard." The boy took her place. "Yeah, Harry, you should've seen it. They gave Professor Snape a bottle of shampoo. But it just wasn't funny without you there to see it."

The boy swallowed, and then continued to speak. "I'm glad that you at least knew about us, Harry. Me and ‘Mione, I mean. We wanted to tell you, but we never found the right time. I'm glad that you were able to find out for yourself." he closed his eyes and thought of what had been found in his friend's large apartment when they arrived to clear it out. Instead of it looking lived in, there were trunks everywhere, and a note on the table. He had memorized the note, the last bit of contact he'd had with his friend.

October 31, 1998
If you're reading this, I must already be dead. I've been up all night, getting my things prepared for if the worst should happen. I have complete confidence in myself, but I also know that sometimes things don't go as planned. So, this is my last will and testament.

As you can see, there are trunks filling my entire apartment. These trunks are labeled for the person or persons they should go to. Also, the apartment, and all of the furniture here within, are to go to Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley. I know that you two are meant for each other, even if you never admitted it to me. I want you to use this home to begin a life together, and I hope that it will be a happy one.

Then there is the matter of my money. I would like half of what is there to be transferred to the vault of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Weasley. Molly, Arthur, you two are the closest to a family that I have ever had. Thank you for making me a part of your home, even when it wasn't always convenient. I love you both. The other half of my money is to go to Ron and Hermione, for when they start a family of their own. You two were the greatest friends that I could have ever dreamed I'd have. Thank you.
Harry James Potter

The boy smiled sadly and turned to the girl. "Do you remember those trunks that Harry gave us?" he asked her gently. She too smiled. "Yes, I do. Each one was personalized for the person who received it. I'll never forget how with all of the books that he gave me, he also left me the resources to write a book of my own, something he knew I always wanted to do." "And he left me all of his Quidditch supplies, with a note saying that he hoped it would help me fulfill my dreams of playing for the Chudley cannons" the boy replied.

They both turned back to the grave, their spirits a little higher than they had been a moment before. "Dumbledore smiled for the first time since your death on Christmas, when he finally opened the trunk you left for him" the girl said. The boy laughed a little. "Yeah, he said he never knew you would remember what he told you back in the winter of our first year. He saw the socks and a smile crept onto his face."

"He misses you as much as we do, Harry" the girl said. "After opening the trunk, he said that he thought of you as the son he never had." Her eyes filled with tears, but the boy couldn't tell if she was about to cry or if it was just the wind. "He's a great man, that Dumbledore" the boy said. He wrapped his arm around the girl's shoulders and they stood in the wind, holding each other, neither of them speaking.

"Well, Harry, I guess that what we've been trying to say the whole time we were here is that we love you, and we miss you dearly." The girl wiped her eyes again and placed her hand on the tombstone in front of her. "We will never forget you, Harry. We all miss you so much, but you died fighting, and you succeeded in freeing us all. Thank you so much." She then knelt on the ground and kissed the grave marker, and the boy did so as well. The girl reached into her robes and took out a box. She opened it slowly, revealing a wand. She then closed the box again and placed it on top of the headstone.

The boy stood and helped the girl to her feet once again. "Goodbye, Harry" he said quietly. They stood there quietly for another moment, and then slowly walked away into the darkening night.

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