This Bitter End

you're everything to me.

“You look beautiful tonight, Violet,” Harry pulled her aside, whispering huskily into her ear. “Absolutely beautiful.”

She smiled amorously, stifling a small laugh as she felt his lips place gentle kisses on her cheeks and the base of her neck. The pair quickly readjusted themselves as friends and family started to inch closer to them, awaiting special words from the groom’s father.

“To Bill and Fleur,” Arthur Weasley toasted joyously, his Champaign glass raised high. “May you both have many years of happiness together.”

“Your father and I are so proud of you, Bill,” Molly Weasley added, bottom lip trembling and eyes filled with tears of happiness. “We wish you both the best of luck. And we love you dearly.”

A chorus of “To Bill and Fleur” chimed through the air, followed by loud, elated cheers as every guest downed their drink.

The newly wedded couple was ushered to the dance floor, bright smiles illuminating their faces as they held each other close. A handful of couples soon joined them, Harry and Violet amongst the group.

“Maybe that’ll be us some day,” said Violet, sighing contentedly as Harry pulled her against him, swaying lightly to the soft beat of the music.

“It will,” he assured, holding her tighter as she rested her head against his shoulder. She smiled at his words, and slowly, but surely, the guilt he thought he could surpass seeped into him.

“Violet, there’s something that I need to tell you.” He came to a sudden halt, loosening his grip on her.

Violet froze at his sudden change of tone; it was grieved, apologetic. She gazed into his emerald green eyes, and when she found nothing but remorse, she knew nothing good was to come.

“Violet, I hope you know that I’ll always love you,” he smiled sadly, taking hold of her hands. “Nothing will ever change that. No matter what happens, you’ll always have my heart.”

“I love you too, Harry,” she said softly, her bottom lip trembling slightly. “But what’s going on? Why are you saying this? Why—why do I feel as if you’re saying…goodbye?”

Before he could answer, a burst of something silver and gleaming fell through the tent, landing right in the center of all the astonished dancers. The Patronus stood tall and graceful, and then its mouth opened and the loud, deep voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt rang in the air. “The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming.”

A moment of silence fell upon everyone, and then all hell broke loose. Streams of light came from every corner as masked, hooded figures suddenly appeared. Shrills of pain and fear pierced the night sky as the Death Eaters wreaked havoc among every guest.

As Violet and Harry ran to find safety, a jet of green light passed above Violet’s head, missing her by just a couple of inches. She could barely feel Harry’s hand in hers, and then he was cupping her face, his lips pressing against hers fervently, urgently; she knew it’d be the last.

Harry let go of her and his heart plummeted as he saw the tears cascading down her flushed cheeks. She called out to him as he turned away, sprinting towards Hermione. He grabbed Hermione’s hand just as Ron grabbed a hold of her arm, and with one last glance towards his broken-hearted beloved, they disappeared.

That summer was the last time Violet ever saw Harry. He left without so much as a good-bye. He was gone.

Violet didn’t know what felt worse: the fact that he’d been so willing to flee with his friends, capable of disappearing without a single warning, or the agonizing feeling of her fragile heart breaking day by day, piece by piece. She didn’t understand how she could still function all those months without his laugh, without his smile, without his touch, without him.

But all of that pain and her sorrowed, broken heart were meaningless. The pain was absolutely nothing compared to the way she felt now. A horrible sinking feeling washed through her, and then, a livid shrill escaped her lips as His booming voice pierced the sky.

“Harry Potter is dead.”

Violet’s whole body quivered and trembled at the sight of Harry’s still, lifeless body. Her eyes welled with tears of agony and she fell to her knees, too weak to try to be strong. She could feel her heart constrict painfully, and then it broke once more; this time, beyond repair.

“Why? Why did you take him from me?” Violet called out to Him in despair, her form crumpled on the ground. She could hear the sad cries of Hermione and Ron, from his other friends, his classmates, and she only wished that it was her whose life ceased instead of his.

All the while, Harry was struggling to remain stoic, to be ‘dead.’ It was difficult to lay still while his friends—his family—mourned their supposed loss of him, to stay quiet as his cherished Violet cried her heart out because of him. Harry wanted to shout out to her that he really was alive. He wanted to end her needless sadness and mend her broken heart. His strongest desire was to tell her that he loved her unconditionally, that even though he left, his feelings for her did not change, nor would they ever.

Though, he couldn’t. He’d remain silent, unmoving for his sake and for everyone else.

“You naïve, little girl,” Voldemort chuckled humorlessly, the noise acrid to everyone’s ears. “Do you actually think he loved you?”

Violet shivered at his question, terrified to even look at him, nonetheless remain near him. But she stood on her feet and raised her head high; she wouldn’t break down, not anymore. She’d be strong for herself and for Harry.

He’d want this.

“Of course, he did,” she said, staring deep into his red eyes, her heart pounding wild with fear.

Voldemort laughed once more, sounding maniacal, evil. “No, he didn’t. You see, my dear, Harry Potter is a liar. He doesn’t care for his friends, for the innocent that risk their lives for him. He was killed trying to sneak off, trying to escape his long-awaited fate. He’d rather everyone die for him than face his own death. He is a coward.”

Harry’s stomach twisted with anger at his words. How dare he have the nerve to say such lies to all of them? Harry was no coward, he was no liar. He wasn’t heartless, or selfish. If anything, he was furious, furious that Riddle sought after turning everyone against him, including Violet. Harry’s hand itched to grasp his wand, to say those unfathomable words. He could feel them on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t kill the monster just yet.

Violet’s feelings were just the same. It was foreign to her—the rage, the fury. Never once in her life had she felt so angry. It formed in the pit of her stomach and quickly surged through her entire body, soon filling her heart with malice and hatred. She gripped her wand tightly, fear no longer prominent.

Her eyes narrowed and she spoke defiantly, “No, Tom. You’re mistaken. You are the coward.”

Voldemort smirked, then a single word fell from his mouth. “Crucio!”

Violet fell to the cold ground, writhing and thrashing in pain. Terrible cries echoed through the sky, and for a moment, Harry almost jumped up to help her, Violet’s shrieks of pain piercing through him.

“You see,” Voldemort spoke, projecting his voice, “this is what happens when opposing me. But do not fret, for this shall cease to happen if you all join me. Together, we can form a new world, one where magic precedes all others, one where we do not need to hide ourselves from the filthy scum of muggles.”

He made a gesture with his hand, beckoning everyone to step forward, but the crowd stayed still, staring down Voldemort and his Death Eaters.

Suddenly, a new voice rang loud and clear through the tension-filled silence. “I'll join you when hell freezes over! Dumbledore's Army!” Neville shouted.

“So be it, then,” Voldemort said calmly, his snake-like voice dangerous.

Just before he could speak his most prized curse, an uproar sounded in the distance, breaking his concentration. All at once, thousands of centaurs came rushing forward; their bows were pulled out, striking arrows at every Death Eater in its way. Just as Grawp came running forward, Voldemort’s giants billowed after him, the earth shaking in their wake.

Harry pulled on his Invisibility Cloak as the large crowd dispersed into the entrance hall. He hadn’t seen Violet after all chaos reigned, and he only hoped that she was safe.

Soon, he’d come face to face with the monster who made his life a living hell, and he pulled off his cloak in one swift movement. Voldemort’s eyes went wide and he hissed furiously. The pair began to circle each other, and then they shouted their trusted spells, dueling each other once and for all.

At last, Harry had become victorious. All eyes gawked as The Dark Lord fell to the ground, his cold heart beating no more. The crowd erupted in screams and cheers of happiness and joy, all crowding around Harry. All he wanted to do was spend time with his friends and rest, but first, he’d search for Violet and hold her in his arms once more.

He searched the entrance hall multiple times and had no such luck. He ventured outside, growing distressed as he glanced around. He walked around absentmindedly, paying no attention to his surroundings, when his foot caught something suddenly and he stumbled to the ground.

His breath caught in his throat as he saw the arrow lodged into the person’s heart. A mangled sob escaped his lips as he stared into the lifeless hazel eyes of his beloved, Violet.