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Harry Potter and the Year After by TheStoryInside

Format: Novel
Chapters: 3
Word Count: 4,276
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: General, Humor, Young Adult
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Arthur, Molly, Luna, George, Ginny, OC
Pairings: Harry/Ginny, Arthur/Molly, Ron/Hermione, Neville/Luna

First Published: 03/02/2013
Last Chapter: 04/08/2013
Last Updated: 04/08/2013

Summary:



Flawless Banner Credit to: locomotive. 'From the-dark-arts'!
This story starts where Chapter 36 'The Flaw in the Plan' left off, and continues to cover the next year.

 I will mostly follow canon, but there may be times when I won't!


Chapter 2: Mourning: Part 1

 Ginny woke to a view of red curtains, and blinked dazedly. She was enveloped in silky covers, fully clothed, and for a moment was confused. She could hear the slow, deep breaths of the people in the nearby beds, and took a moment for the memories to submerge… Lupin, Tonks, Colin, Fred… her brother was dead. She bit down hard on her pillow to stop from screaming in misery.  She should have been down in the Great Hall with her family, not sleeping up here. The thoughts were still spreading sluggishly through her head, Voldemort’s death, Harry’s exhausted but relieved smile as people closed in on him, cheering and hugging him…



  She pushed back the curtains gently, and pulled her legs out of her covers, stretching her sore muscles. Outside her window, she could see that the sun was setting on the horizon… she had fallen asleep an hour after sunrise. The rest of the beds seemed occupied, as the curtains were drawn, so Ginny quietly made her way into the bathroom, deciding that she should probably clean up. She undressed slowly, wincing at she came across burns and cuts, and once she was undressed, stared at herself in the mirror- her hair was a mess, matted to her head with dirt, blood, and sweat. Her eyes were puffy from crying, and her face was pale under the grime that covered it. There was a thin scar that traveled half way down her scalp and past her jaw line- the scar was months old now, a punishment for breaking into the Headmaster’s office…

 She shook off the thought and climbed into the hot shower, watching as the blood and grime from her body flowed off hers skin and into the drain. Once she washed her hair, and washed the soap from her body, she climbed out again and changed into a pair of jeans and an old Gryffindor jersey.

  Down in the Common Room, she found Ron and Hermione sleeping together on the sofa, along with a few other witches and wizards who had fought in the battle. The portrait was hanging open, something that Ginny found odd, but didn’t stop to ponder. The walk down to the Great Hall was odd. Much of the castle was in ruins. Corridors were covered in rubble, there was dried blood on the floor and splattered on the walls… it was extremely silent, other than the occasional creak of someone above or ghosts conversing in hushed voices along an abandoned corridor.

  The Great Hall was nearly empty, only seating several waking witches and wizards. Some were eating food, others were drinking heavily from bottles of firewhiskey or Butterbeer. Ginny scanned the groups, looking for one person in particular…

  But she failed to find him. She grabbed a Butterbeer, stepped outside into the cool night air, and started across the lawn.  It was quiet out here; birds were whistling off in the distance, and the lakes dull waves splashed against the shore slowly. She settled herself against a tree a few dozen yards from the lake… a familiar place, with fond memories. Harry had carved their initials into the tree. He said it was very cliché, but since he considered romance to be rather cliché, he did it anyways.

  Ginny ran her fingers over their initials, a smile playing on her face. The memory was fresh in mind- his laugh, the mischievous glint in his eyes, his smell… she froze, and averted her eyes to her left. The air wavered, and she let out a sigh. Harry was beside her, beneath his Invisibility Cloak. The smell of pine and soap hung in the air beside her, mixed with the tang of gauze and blood.

  “Harry?” she asked softly. She held a hand out, and grasped silky, thin fabric. She pulled gently, and the  aInvisibility Cloak fell, revealing an unconscious boy.

  He was clean, and must’ve showered only a few hours earlier; his black, messy hair was damp. His glasses were at an awkward angle, and his mouth was open slightly, but his sharp jawline was rigid, as though he were clenching his teeth. A white bandage was peeking out of the top of his black shirt, and his left hand was also wrapped.

 For a moment, Ginny panicked; but Harry’s breathing was even, relaxed. He was just asleep.  She sighed, and slumped against the tree, drinking heavily from her bottle of Butterbeer. Although she had half a mind to leave Harry here, she stayed beside him- there could be Death Eaters in the forest still, and she was sure that one could just come and finish him off. And then there was the fact that she couldn’t stop looking at him, and that she was enjoying the feeling of his company. For the last year, she had wanted nothing more than to be with him again, to hear his laugh, to hold his hand.

  Ginny had seen him the night before, but it was in the middle of battle... and then he was there again when her brother had died. Her throat burned, as did her eyes, and she wiped the tears away impatiently. Fred wouldn’t want her to cry over him, to fall apart… so she decided that she wouldn’t. But that didn’t stop the tears. The next time she had seen Harry, he had been ‘dead’ in Hagrid’s arms… a hand grasped hers and she gasped. Harry was awake now, studying her with sad eyes. He wrapped an arm around Ginny, and brought her closer to him. This wasn’t a romantic act, but one of comfort.

  She accepted his embrace, and settled into his warm arms, letting her tears run freely now. This was Harry; her old boyfriend, one of her best friends. Now that he was there, she felt as though nothing could hurt her. And this is why she raised her head, and kissed him hard on the mouth. For a moment, he seemed stunned, but then responded warmly, pulling her closer to him. He tasted of dull mint and citrus… and then there was the salty taste of tears, and Ginny pulled back.

  Why was she kissing him? Was it because she missed him? Or was it because she was so keen to jump at anyone who would help her through her grief?

  “Ginny,” said Harry, but she was already standing, brushing the tears from her hot face, feeling embarrassment rise in her throat like bile. “Ginny!” Harry shouted, but she was already running back to the castle, trying to get as far away from him as she could. She heard him coming after her, but he let out a pained yell and fell several yards behind her when she reached the stairs. After taking a hesitant look back at his crumpled form, she let out a sob, and ran into the castle.

A/N: Sorry for another short chapter! I've had a bad bout of writer's block, but I promise the next one will be longer! Thank you for reading, and please reiew!


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