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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 3: Mourning: Part 2

     Harry bit back a shout and closed his eyes as he unwrapped the bandages from his chest. He was standing in front of a mirror of an old bathroom, the door locked behind him, so no one would walk in and see his injuries. The blood had seeped through his bandages, so he burned them with a quick charm, and examined his torso.



  He had several burns on his arms and hips, and he was very sure that a rib had been knocked out of place, as it ached horribly whenever he moved. His left shoulder had been fractured, but he had managed to fix it, only leaving an ugly blue bruise. He had several other cuts and burns on his legs and a long cut across the left side of his face, but none of this compared to the large, lightning bolt injury on his chest.

  Unlike the scar on his forehead, this was an open cut, very deep, and wouldn’t stop bleeding. He assumed that it was from where Voldemort’s soul left his body, and therefore would take longer to heal… but despite the fact that he had changed his bandages thrice in the last day, it was still seeping blood, slowly, albeit steadily. The skin around the cut was bright red, and irritated, but Harry knew enough to tell that it wasn’t infected. He was incredibly sore from the Killing Curse and being tossed around by Voldemort, and hitting the forest floor nearly a dozen times…

  He wrapped a new bandage around his torso, using some of the last ones he had taken from the Hospital Wing, and sighed; he wouldn’t be able to hide the injury much longer, especially when Mrs. Weasley saw him. Not just because the bandages would be red again within a few hours, but because he felt weak from the lack of blood, and was exhausted from only sleeping for an hour in the last few days.

  This wasn’t his plan, though; he hadn’t intended to fall asleep.  The sounds of screams and his parents faces were fresh in his mind… nightmares would surely greet him. He understood that he couldn’t stay awake forever, and that he would eventually pass out from exhaustion, or would have to accept a Dreamless Sleep potion.   He pulled on his shirt slowly, stuffed the small amount of bandages he had left in his bag, and left the bathroom.

  The Great Hall was slowly filling with people, and there were food on gleaming silver platters clattering the tables. A few people grinned at him and raised their glasses as he came into sight, but, thankfully, no one approached him.

  “Harry!” Spoke too soon. His vision was obscured by bushy brown hair, and he wrapped an arm around one of his best friends. He blinked away the tears of pain, and managed a grin as Hermione let go of him. She had several injuries as well; there was a large bruise along her jaw, and a cut above her eyebrow.  “Where did you go?! I woke up, and you were gone…”

  “I just had to get some air, Hermione, you barely missed me.” This was a lie. After Ron and Hermione had fallen asleep, he left the dormitory. But, of course, Hermione didn’t need to know this. She narrowed her eyes, as though trying to read his mind, and Harry took a bite of toast.

  “Alright,” she nodded slowly, and began to eat too. Harry looked around the hall, hoping to see Ginny, so he could apologize- he had confused her, and made her upset. A fist clenched his stomach, and he sighed. How could he be so stupid? She was obviously mourning over her brother, and he didn’t need to surprise her like that…

  “Harry!” choked Hermione, looking towards the doors of the castle. She jutted her chin towards the door with wide eyes.

  “What?” he looked around his shoulder, and nearly fell off the bench. A blonde, skinny woman and a small, white haired wizard had just came in, the woman looking nervous and scared. Although Harry hadn’t seen the woman or the man in nearly a year, he recognized them immediately.

  “Wait a moment.” said Harry quietly, and left the table, going towards his Aunt Petunia. She saw him quickly, let out a gasp, and ran forward to meet him half way.

  Thankfully, she didn’t crash into him, or- even worse- hug him, but she held him at arms-length as though trying to check for missing limbs. Harry studied her too, surprised that she was here among the people she shunned- witches and wizards. Her blonde, messy hair was streaked with gray, and her pale skin was red from the sun. She wore much more simple clothing than Harry had ever seen her; a pale white skirt and a wrinkled blue shirt.

  “Oh, dear lord…. You look exactly like James.” She said, letting go of him, and stepping back for a moment. “Except your eyes…”

   “So I’ve been hearing… what’re you doing here?” This came out harsher than Harry had meant it to be. For his entire life he had been ignored and mistreated by this woman… and now she was saying that he looked like his parents, whom she had hated. Petunia looked dismayed.

  “I… I was worried about you.” she faltered, and folded her hands behind her back. “This morning- on the wireless, I mean to say- it said that you had died. And that you’ve defeated Voldemort?” Harry opened his mouth to say something, but closed it quickly. His aunt, who was the worst Muggle he had ever known, had just said ‘Voldemort’ as though she finally understood who he was. And she had just walked into Hogwarts…

  “Where’s Vernon?” asked Harry.

  “I divorced him a few months back,” she waved her hand carelessly. “I started to see that I was wrong about all of you… I’m so sorry…” she replied quietly. People were starting to try and listen into their conversation, so Harry steered her out of the hall, Dedalus Diggle staying to talk to one of the older men at the Ravenclaw table.

  “You can’t be serious?” hissed Harry, sitting down on a bench- he was beginning to become dizzy again. Petunia frowned.

  “I understand why you’re confused. But he’s gone. Dudley is still at the house, we didn’t know if people could Apparate into Howarts yet…” she shivered. “Never doing that again.

  “Are you still at the safe house?” asked Harry.

  “Yes, we are. Another reason Vernon left… thought Dudley would ‘catch’ their weirdness. We got in a fight, and Dudley said that he knew that you were right about all of this. And that if we left, we would be killed. So he left, and I’m glad to have not heard a word from him since.” Harry leaned back against the wall, closing his eyes, sorting this information in his head silently.  He felt his Aunt sit beside him, keeping her distance, thankfully, but the air was tense. “You’ve been hurt, badly… haven’t you?” said Petunia gently. Harry hesitated, opening his eyes, and decided that he couldn’t lie to her. No matter how much she had mistreated him, or ignored him, she knew when he was lying. Or when he was sick, or injured. He nodded, letting his resolve break a little, and pressed a hand to his chest, hoping that the pressure would relieve some of the pain.

  Petunia put a hand to his forehead, and looked him up and down. “It’s like before… when we first got you, you ran a fever for a few weeks… I assumed it was because of the Killing Curse… when was the last time you slept through the night?” This took Harry nearly a minute to answer. Even before the battle, he had been nervous, and woke from nightmares often with five hours of sleep; but he had gotten used to this.

  “I can’t remember…” he admitted. Petunia sighed.

  “Why don’t you go sleep, at least for another hour; you’re going to make yourself worse if you’re sleep deprived too.” she suggested gently. Harry shook his head and opened his eyes.

  “I won’t be able to sleep for very long… Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.” he managed a strained grin. Petunia watched him a few long moments, and nodded.

  “Alright... but you’ll have to introduce me to your friend while you get something to eat. That might help a bit.”

-

   Ginny peered into the Great Hall, chewing on her lip. Harry was sitting next to a blonde woman, and across from Hermione, who was talking to the woman beside him. He was gazing off into the distance, chewing absentmindedly on his lip, oblivious of the conversation going on beside him. Ginny decided that she couldn’t avoid him forever, and started off toward the table where he was sitting. He didn’t notice her until she sat down next to Hermione, and he looked down, color rising in his cheeks.

  She said a quick ‘hello’ to Hermione and smiled wearily at the familiar looking woman opposite of her.

  “My name’s Petunia Evans,” she greeted, extending a thin hand across the table. Ginny chanced a glance at Harry, then at Hermione her eyebrows raised. This was Harry’s aunt.

  “Ginny Weasley… pleased to meet you,” she replied, then began to make up a plate of food.

  “Sleep well, Ginny?” asked Harry quietly, spearing a piece of kipper on a fork. He was pretending that nothing happened, probably for her own benefit.

  “Yes, thank you.” Ginny answered hurriedly, filling her mouth as an excuse to stay quiet.

  “I heard about your brother,” said Petunia, “I’m so sorry.” Ginny slowed her chewing and nodded before swallowing.

  “He died fighting.” added Hermione. “That’s the best way.” She nodded again, thankful that Harry had averted his attention to Hermione and not her.  “Anyways,” she turned hastily towards Petunia. “You were telling me about Andromeda?” Harry dropped his fork with a clatter. Everyone stared.

  “Excuse me,” he said in a strangled voice, and left the table quickly, looking dismayed.

  “Do you think he’s okay?” Petunia asked worriedly, watching his retreating back. Hermione put her head in her hands and groaned.

  “Andromeda’s daughter died last night, along with her daughter’s husband, Lupin.” said Hermione, her voice muffled from her hands. Petunia put a hand to her heart.

  “Poor dear,” she whispered. Hermione looked up, her mouth agape.

  “They had a son… oh god. Teddy.” Ginny felt the burning feeling in her throat again. Teddy Lupin… barely a month old, and already an orphan; no wonder Harry was upset. “And Harry was made the god father.”

  Ginny pushed back the bench and stood up. “I’m not going to let him handle this alone.”

  “Ginny,” warned Hermione, “You know how Harry is when he’s upset.”

  “He’s probably too tired to do anything,” replied Ginny dismissively. “I’ll be back soon.”

 

  Harry obviously wasn’t trying to hide anymore. She found him outside on the staircase leading up to the doors, lounging on the steps and looking up at the stars.

  “You like stargazing?” asked Ginny, sitting down on the steps next to him.

  “There wasn’t much more to do over the winter,” replied Harry, sounding calm. “So I just learned the constellations… thinking about how many there are, and how far away…” he shrugged. “I suppose it’s sort of comforting.”

  “But you don’t see the same constellations all the time,” said Ginny.

  “The stars are always there; no matter what, even if you can’t see them, they’re always there.”  They sat in silence for a few minutes, with nothing but the wind and crickets interrupting the silence.

  “Are you okay, Harry?” asked Ginny. Harry perched himself on his elbows, and looked at her with his head crooked to the side, like a curious dog.

  “You’re asking me? I didn’t lose anyone that close to me last night,” he reminded her gently. She shook her head, swallowing heavily.

  “Don’t say that, Harry.” said Ginny viciously. “Don’t you dare; I know that you’re hurt, I know that things happened that you didn’t tell anyone, but you can’t say you’re alright. You really aren’t.” This silenced Harry. His eyes drifted from the sky to Ginny, and he gave her an exasperated look.

  “What do you want me to say?” asked Harry, his eyes closed. “’No, Ginny, I’m not alright. I’m responsible for 50 deaths, I have just had the responsibility of an infant given to me, and I faced the moment my life has literally been leading up to, and killed the man who killed my parents.’”

  “Well,” sighed Ginny hastily. “I suppose that’s the truth. At least part of it… you weren’t responsible for those deaths, Harry.”

  She watched the stars for a few minutes, waiting for his answer. When nearly ten minutes had passed and he hadn’t said a word, she looked over at him, annoyed. But he was out cold.

A/N: So sort of a cliff hanger. Sorry for the wait, and again for the rather short chapter, but writers block has gotten the best of me. I will hopefully update in the next week or two; thank you for reading, and please don’t forget to review!

 ~TheStoryInside


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