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Life goes on by LivvyLuna

Format: Short story
Chapters: 2
Word Count: 1,704
Status: WIP

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Contains Spoilers

Genres: Fluff
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, McGonagall, Arthur, Molly, Neville, Luna, George, Ginny
Pairings: Arthur/Molly, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Neville/Luna

First Published: 11/05/2012
Last Chapter: 11/11/2012
Last Updated: 11/11/2012

Summary:
 This is a filler story for between "The Final Battle" and "19 years later", it's about how everyone and everything was changed by the war, but life goes on for the survivors. One or two pairings might deviate from the original! :)

Anything regonisable belongs the amazing world created by J.K. Rowling, I don't own anything, all credit and characters are the work of JKR ! x


Chapter 1: From the ashes
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With his eyes barely open, and the catastrophic events from the last couple of months weighing heavily on his mind, Harry stumbled through the smouldering castle, tripping on debris and clutter with each step. He traced his favourite well-worn route, lost in thoughts and memories.
Each corridor that he walked down held a memory for him, that he had buried in previous months, and now he allowed them to surface, and smiled reminiscently as he did so.
When he reached the Fat Lady, she admitted him with a grave nod; there was no need for a password, not today. Besides everyone knew the face of the “Chosen One,” or “Undesirable Number One,” his face has been plastered on every wanted poster in the country for months. It was funny, though Hogwarts was crumbling beneath their feet, the Gryffindor common room was perfectly preserved, the fire still crackled cosily in the grate; the drapes still hung red, gold and moth eaten. Students still left their books and work lying around in indistinguishable piles, although the lone writing desk seemed to have gathered a thick layer of dust in Hermione’s absence.

Each memory that Harry associated with the place came flooding back, and it felt like only yesterday he had been curled up on the squashy sofa with Ginny, playing exploding snap with Seamus, being beaten at chess by Ron, or told off about the inaccuracy of his homework by Hermione. It suddenly, inexplicably felt as if nothing had changed, but, of course, everything had changed. It was this fleeting sense of familiarity that made Harry’s heart ache. He longed for normality, just a normal, mundane, day-to-day routine, he longed for a time where the last year could be nothing but a distant memory.

Harry was so drained, that sleep firmly grasped him the instant he had lain down the snuggly sofa. However, he was haunted in sleep, as he was in wakefulness by HIM. By Voldemort. Each different scenario that played out in his mind became steadily more horrific; Ginny, struggling against his cruel spells, Ron crying beside a lifeless Hermione, Mr and Mrs Weasley being made to grieve for more of their children, his own limp body surrounded by jeering Death Eaters. Finally, several hours later, when his nightmares relinquished their iron hold, Harry fell into a blank, silent, stupor.

A good fifteen hours later, Harry awoke with an unfathomable feeling of euphoria burning in the pit of his stomach. When his mind cleared of that glorious, hazy blankness that one has after a deep sleep; he remembered, it was over. Voldemort was gone.

As the events of the previous day unfolded in his mind, Harry remembered the innumerable innocent lives taken as a result of Voldemorts pathological need for power. Remus, Tonks, Fred, Colin and Snape were just the tip of a horribly large ice berg. Harry’s mind clouded over, and the euphoria began to ebb away; replaced with an inextinguishable guilt. He quickly tallied up what he knew, and blanched as he realised his was accountable for fifty one needless deaths, (that he knew about.) It was fifty too many in Harry’s opinion, because somehow, he had managed to come to term with his grief over the death of Lord Voldemort.

He rose, and stretched, and groaned, as he began to meander down to the Great Hall, in the most roundabout route he could think of. He knew that he would have to face the consequences of his actions, and see the full extent of the damage that he had caused. But he took a deep, calming breath, and pushed open the enormous, oak door…


Chapter 2: Survivors Guilt
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Everyone was staring, but he was used to that, there was a time in the very near future, where, Harry would have to speak out, and address the families who had lost loved ones to the cause. To his cause. But now was certainly not the time, people needed to come to terms with their grief, just the same as he did. Right now, what Harry needed most was to find Ginny, and have her tell him that everything would be alright. He needed Ron to smile and he needed Hermione to laugh again. He needed Mrs Weasley to smile with her kind, hazel eyes and envelope him in a motherly hug. He had felt so deprived of emotion and comfort in recent months, with only Ron who was as emotional as a brick wall, and Hermione who was so sensitive that Harry felt as if he was often treading on very thin ice, for company. But he loved them both dearly, and was immensely glad that they had joined him in his journey. He’d missed Ginny so much recently, and although he’d taken to watching her dot on the marauders map (which had sent painful pangs of sadness,) he felt as if he hadn’t seen her for a thousand years.

He stood on tip-toes to scan over the crowd, and saw the distinctive huddle of red-heads and Hermione’s unmistakable bushy birds nest, rested lightly on Ron’s shoulder. He smiled at the sight of the pair of them, it had taken long enough! As he strode over to where they stood, studiously avoiding the eyes that followed his every move, Harry suddenly felt a twist of nervousness in his stomach, what if they all hated him? What if they couldn’t forgive him for causing Fred’s death? Or worse still, what if they pretended to have forgiven him, but still had that awkwardness hanging over them like a dark cloud? He inhaled deeply and approached his adopted family.

They all turned to him, and as soon as Harry looked into their kind eyes, he knew he had nothing to worry about, they all still had the tear-tracks freshly on their faces, but still managed to raise a smile for his benefit.

“Hello, Harry dear,” Mrs Weasley crooned, smiling a smile tinged with sorrow. She hugged him warmly, and Harry smelled the pleasant, distinctive scent that always followed both Molly and Ginny, it was rosy and sweet. He felt safe all wrapped up in Mrs Weasleys maternal embrace, and it felt as if the world was beginning to right itself again. Mrs Weasley released him, and he faced the others, while she fumed over how thin he was looking; his eyes met Ginny’s and suddenly, nothing else mattered, everything would be ok, because he was exactly where he was supposed to be. She smiled up at him, and Harry knew that he would always need to be with her. He was suddenly knocked almost off his feet by a crying Hermione, she dashed at him like a charging bull, sobbing indistinguishable and broken words, like;
“Dead..hic…g-gone…lef-left…hic..couldn’t..hic…f-find..” Ron rolled his eyes, and carefully prised her clenched fists off of Harry’s grimy shirt.
“She’s been like this all day, thought you’d left without telling us or something, I was beginning to wonder myself...where've you been?”

“Sleeping,” answered Harry truthfully, “I went up to Gryffindor common room last night, it felt the same, nothing happened to it, not even after…after last night.”

Hermione tutted scornfully, Didn’t either of you read A history of Magic?”
“No,” chorused Ron and Harry,
“Because if you had, you’d know that each of the four common rooms has a protective spell on it, that way, if Hogwarts was ever under attack, like last night, the students would have a last resort alternative of safety. As it happened, last night, we had the fore-warning to evacuate the majority of the students.”

Wow- thought Harry, everything was returning to normal after all…

After the preliminary catch ups with the Weasleys, Harry could tell that he ought to leave them alone, this was their final chance to say goodbye to Fred, after all. Tomorrow, the Ministry would escort the dead to an official morgue until each funeral could be arranged. He bade them adieu, and set off to explore the remains of the castle.

He’d just reached the entrance to Dumbledore’s…no, McGonagall’s study, when he felt a cool hand slip into his own. Harry glanced around to see Ginny, looking back at him, her big, dark eyes as round as saucers. He smiled fondly at her freckled adorned face,

“Hey stranger,” Harry smiled, his eye’s twinkling with the brilliant feeling that her small hand in his gave him.
“Hey Undesirable Number One,” she grinned back, glad that he hadn’t forgotten about her. She looked up at him, and flung her arms around him, nestled in comfortably and stayed there for some time.
When they released each other a while later, Ginny sighed contentedly and turned to face Harry,

“It’s really over isn’t it? He really has gone.”
“I should hope so!” laughed Harry, “took him long enough to figure out he wasn’t wanted!”
“Will everything change now, will it be alright?”
“I don’t know Gin, it’ll take a while for everyone to settle down, recover from what they’ve lost. People need to rebuild their lives now. We need to build a life too. Together, I hope?”
“Together,” repeated Ginny, firmly, “It’s going to be so different without Fred, I don’t think George, or any of us will feel like we can move on. He’s not coming back, it’s not right, Harry, it’s not right.”
She began to cry, which knocked Harry for six, Ginny had always been so strong, and he’d never seen her cry. Not when she’d fallen off her broom that time in the Hufflepuff match, or when Ron burned her clothes for a dare at the Burrow, not even when Mad-Eye died. But now, she let the tears fall freely and noisily. And for the second time that day, Harry found himself being wrung like a human handkerchief.
“Shush now Gin, it’s alright, it’s different, sure, but I promise it’ll be ok. I promise.”
And they spend the evening wandering around the castle, talking, laughing, crying, and making up for lost time.


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