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[personal profile] deaalmon
Name: Hope is a Deadly Thing
Author: Ashe
Rating: PG
Warnings: Mentions of off screen death. Brief mention of a miscarriage.
Word Count: 615
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters/Pairings: Hermione, Fleur, mentions of assorted Weasleys
Summary: Harry died during the events of book 7 and he didn't come back this time. The world fell into chaos at his death.
For: [community profile] trope_bingo "au: apocalypse"

Hermione rubbed her hands together to try and work feeling back into her fingers even as her eyes never left the book she had spread out in her lap. It was a cold winter this year, and she never entirely felt warm, despite Mrs. Weasley's best efforts. The old cottage was supposedly well hidden and well protected, but Hermione didn't have a lot of faith in those things anymore. She doubted she'd ever feel safe again.

The cup of tea at her knee was weak but blissfully hot, and she drank it without milk or sugar. Those things were in high demand and low supply. Still, she didn't think too much about it. She'd learned to like it this way, and she wondered if there would ever be a time she'd go back to lighter, sweeter tea. She doubted there'd be a time to worry about it in her lifetime.

She was looking, always looking, for something. Some clue, some spell, some key to undoing what it was that Voldemort had done in making the horcruxes. They'd never found the last few. The Diadem, the snake, and something else. She felt a deep well of guilt build in her, an old friend by now. Because they hadn't found them, Harry was dead, and the wizarding world was in ruins. Mudbloods like her were detained or executed outright. Halfbloods were relegated to a lesser position in society, serving their "betters". Only purebloods had any kind of safety.

Well, purebloods who were not blood traitors. She could hear Mrs. Weasley in the next room tutting around. She'd come up with something for them all to eat, she always managed even when things were bad. They'd all thought they were going to lose her when Arthur died, and then Fred, then Percy. Her family falling apart before her eyes.

But Bill and Charlie were living here now, and she found strength in them. Ron didn't know how to look at his mother in the face without blaming himself, so he stayed away as much as he could manage, working missions for the Order. George and Ginny came and went, but Hermione knew better than to ask too much about where they went and what they were doing; they had blood in their eyes.

And here she was, the most clever witch of her age, unable to do a damned thing for any of them. For maybe the millionth time, she almost gave into despair. She fought it off, though. She didn't have time for those kinds of emotions.

Fleur entered from the kitchen, and had a smile on her face when she approached, even if she always looked tired and unsure these days. There was strain around her eyes, but Hermione liked to think that might have had more to do with her newborn daughter. Fleur would be leaving for France with her and Bill's daughter as soon as someone could manage to produce papers for her, and an exit strategy. France still stood independent. For now. After her miscarriage a year or so ago, few dared be too harsh to or around Fleur. Something in her would never recover.

"Mother has said she would like your help, if you are available." Fleur said kindly. Hermione inclined her head. In a way, the two were nearly sister-in-laws. Fleur had married Bill, and though Hermione swore she would not marry Ron until there was peace, everyone knew that they were deeply linked. Hermione stuck a bookmark in the book and sat it aside, standing.

The world was a mess just outside their door. She couldn't begin to believe it would ever be better. Hope was as deadly as an avada kadavra curse.

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