It could have been a beautiful summer.
To Katie Bell, it had been a beautiful summer. The most beautiful summer she ever lived. Despite the six months passed in St Mungo’s during her last school year. Despite Dumbledore’s fall from Hogwarts astronomy tower. Despite death prowling outside and striking randomly more and more often. Despite Voldemort’s terrifying specter lurking above their heads.
It had been a beautiful summer, because Katie had spent her time with her friends, because she had spent it with Alicia Spinnet, her best friend. Because Alicia had kissed her one night, just behind her house, after a crazy ride on their brooms that had finished in laughters and holding hands. Because Katie had never felt happier than when Alicia had closed the distance between them to brush her lips against her own, because she had not need to gather the courage to tell Alicia for how long she had dreamed about that moment.
It had been a beautiful summer because Katie Bell had made love for the first time with the girl she had secretly been in love with for over three years, on a sunny afternoon in her room while their parents were meeting somewhere to make up plans of mutual protection in case of attack.
It had been a beautiful summer because when she had arrived at the party the twins had thrown to celebrate her graduation, Alicia had kissed her in front of everyone, and the boys had whistled and applauded, and Angelina had winked at them, amused and encouraging.
Of course, the summer had finally ended and passed and been replaced with the war and its horrors, its massacres, injustices and arbitrary imprisonments. But one night, by the fireplace, in one of those lost houses where they were hiding from the ministry because Katie’s parents were muggle borns and Alicia’s ones were claiming aloud that the Ministry was corrupted, Alicia had made love to her and told her she loved her, and Katie had thought that winter might be beautiful too after all.
It had been for the most part, from hiding place to hiding place, in Alicia’s arms, until their parents were arrested, and Alicia had consoled her and with infinite tenderness, repeated she loved her.
“For ever?” Katie had asked.
“Till death do us part” Alicia had replied.
They had defied death together quite some times already when they had felt their Dumbledore’s army galleons lighting up as a new summer was about to rise. They had jumped to their feet from before the radio they were trying to listen to catch Lee Jordan’s Potterwatch, had apparated at Angelina Johnson’s then Oliver Wood’s where they had found Lee as well, and they all had traveled to Hogsmeade together, ready to answer Harry Potter’s call to arms. In the overcrowded room of requirements where they had spent so much time years ago with the army of Dumbledore, they had met the twins, shared some news and even cracked some jokes, and for a moment, it was more like they were reunited for a big party rather than going to war.
But just before they left, Alicia had hugged Katie more tightly than anytime before, and kissed her and told her again she loved her, and Katie had answered “till death do us part”.
They had stayed together as long as possible, in the middle of explosions, of the yelling, the crying, the pools of blood, the corpses everywhere, the savage beasts and killing curses that were flying above their heads. And then, they had to part ways : a large rock had fell from the roof, and they had to jump on either side of it to avoid being crushed, and just after, Katie had seen Alicia darting from behind the rock to run to Colin Creevey rescue, and just before she disappeared at the corner of the corridor, Alicia had sent her way one of this beautiful smile of hers that brought back Katie’s Gryffindor bravery , and she had left on her side, joining George Weasley. It was the last time she would see Alicia alive.
Next time she saw her after that, everything was over. They had won, Harry had killed Voldemort, the sky above Hogwarts was sparkling with fireworks, people congratulated and hugged each other everywhere and she heard the news that Azkaban was being liberated. But the sight of Alicia lying lifeless among the casualties of the battle, prevented her to think about her parents who soon would be free and near her, prevented her to think about anything else. She fell to her knees beside her, and in the midst of the din and bustle, nobody paid her any attention when she took her friend’s terribly cold hand between her fingers. Despite herself, she traced the rough skin of Alicia’s palm and thought again of her smile and her promise. “Till death do us part”.
Death had given them six months.