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One: After the Battle

He was feeling positively numb as he made his way back to Gryffindor Tower with Ron and Hermione leading the way. None of them spoke as they passed through the throngs of people, brushing shoulders, and arms. Some were crying, most were cheering. Many were injured. As Harry passed them, many would whisper words of congratulations to him, or just squeeze his shoulder. He found he could only give them a weak smile, he was so exhausted.

          But then he saw her. Sprinting down the hallway, her flaming hair flying out behind her, she was screaming his name. Tears were pouring down her face, but she was smiling as she pushed her way through the crowd towards him. Laughing, she dove on him, and he fell to the floor but he didn’t notice, because she was kissing him, like they had never kissed before. And she was crying on him, and bleeding on him, but he didn’t care because at that very moment, he thought she was the most beautiful, amazing creature in the universe. As he held her in his arms and kissed her back, he didn’t think about the fact that they were lying on the floor in the middle of a crowded hallway. He didn’t think about the fact that Ron and Hermione were standing right beside them, or that Mr. and Mrs. Weasley weren’t far behind them. No, the only thought that occurred to him then, was that he could spend his entire life with Ginny, and that there was no more Voldemort left to stop them.

          “Harry,” Ginny whispered as they broke away, “I’m so proud of you…”

           Sunlight streamed through the window of Harry and Ron’s bedroom at the Burrow. Harry could feel the rays warming his bare chest. He kept his eyes closed and let his mind linger on the memory he had re-witnessed in his sleep. It was a good replacement to the nightmares that had plagued him since the battle. He could feel Ginny’s small body curled up next to him, and he could hear her slow, peaceful breathing. One of her hands was flung out across his bare chest, and the touch made him tingle

            He vaguely remembered Ginny creeping into Ron and Harry’s room during the night and crawling under the sheets of his camp bed with him. It was comforting to have her presence nearby; everyone was still coping with the aftermath of the war, especially Harry. Harry knew Ron would probably kill him for this when he woke up; but for now he didn’t care, and relished in the moment with her.

       Ginny gave a little sigh and opened her eyes. Harry fumbled for his glasses, and put them on so he could see her properly.
            “Morning.” Ginny smiled lazily.
         “Morning.” Harry grinned, leaning on his elbows so his face was above hers. He brushed some of her hair off her forehead. There was a bit of a silence.
            “You do realize that you crawled in here while I was erm…well…” Harry said to her, lifting the sheet and gesturing to his bare chest and boxer shorts. Ginny giggled.
       “I didn’t mean to. But I’m not complaining.” She said, running her hand along his chest. Harry felt like she had sent a bolt of electricity through his body.
          “Ron’s going to think we…well, you know. And your mum and dad…” Harry worried aloud.
           “Ron’s dead to the world.” Ginny scoffed, looking over at her brother. It was true, Harry thought. Ron was sprawled across his bed, his face pressed up against his pillow. A bit of drool dribbled out of his mouth, and he was snoring. Harry resisted the urge to laugh.
           “And what my parents don’t know won’t hurt them.” Ginny said.
“Does Hermione know you left?"
"She will if I don’t get back now,” Ginny said, kissing Harry swiftly on the lips, “See you later.” As Ginny got up, Harry noticed she was wearing nothing but an oversized, lavender t-shirt. He swallowed and tried not to stare as she waltzed out of the room.

Mrs. Weasley was busy with breakfast, muttering a recipe to herself. Harry and Ron joined Mr. Weasley, Hermione, Percy, a tired looking George, and a demure looking Ginny at the table.

Harry slid in between Mr. Weasley, who was reading the Prophet, and Hermione, who was talking in a low voice to Ron on her other side. Ginny was sitting across from Harry and looked as though she had done nothing less that innocent during the night.
As Mrs. Weasley served breakfast to everyone, Mr. Weasley lowered the Prophet and looked around.
            “It’s only been a week since the battle and already the Ministry seems to be on the mend.” Arthur said to no one in particular.
            Percy nodded and swallowed some of his breakfast, “I have a feeling Kingsley will make a great Minister. He told me he’s thinking of hiring me again. I’m reluctant to re-join the ministry, but I feel like things are finally going to be under control. And better than before."
            Harry nodded. To him, it seemed like his whole life was divided into two parts: before Voldemort, and after Voldemort. During these next few years, the Wizarding world would be celebrating, mourning, and repairing. Harry didn’t want to be part of these celebrations. He would much rather spend these next fear-free years with Ginny, Ron and Hermione.
           “What’s going to happen at Hogwarts, dad?” Ginny asked. Harry had been wondering this himself. He, Ron, and Hermione hadn’t taken their NEWTs and nobody else attending Hogwarts the previous year had taken exams either. He supposed he had better get himself a job soon enough, he already felt bad enough about having lived off the Weasleys for so long. But without his NEWTs, he couldn’t really expect to be able to make much of himself. The faint traces of his Auror ambitions were had almost disappeared.
          “Well, nobody knows much right now. A lot of the school is in need of repairs right now, but I think they’re hoping to have the school open this year. All we really know is that McGonagall has been reinstated as Headmistress."
"They better have reinstated her,” Molly said, joining her family at the table, “Last year Hogwarts was in shambles!"
“I hope they’ll let Harry, Ron and I take our NEWTs.” Hermione said worriedly. Harry could see that Ron was holding her hand under the table, and his first instinct was to feel awkward. But he swallowed the feeling, knowing he’d have to get used to it.
"I’m sure they’ll figure something out,” George said, “All the students in your year missed taking their NEWTs last year as well. Fred and I of course, didn’t need to…” Suddenly George faltered as he thought of his brother. He muttered something and left the room. Molly burst into tears. Everyone stood up immediately and went to comfort her. Harry wanted to sink into the ground when he thought about how much this was his fault.
"I’m s-sorry,” Molly sobbed, “It’s j-just so hard for G-george. F-for all of us. I know F-fred would have wanted to g-go out the way he did. I j-just wish…h-he was s-so young..."
"We all miss him, mum.” Ron said tenderly. Harry had noticed a bit of a change in Ron since the battle. He seemed much more caring towards everyone. “Fred would be proud to go the way he did.” Ron added.
"Fred wouldn’t have wanted us to cry, mum.” Ginny said, “If you hadn’t noticed, he was more of a laughing kind of guy.” Seeing the tears glittering in her eyes, Harry went around everyone and joined her on the other side of the table. Her hand found his and squeezed. Harry squeezed back.
"I’m sorry,” Molly said, wiping her tears, “I need to be stronger, for all of you. Especially you, Harry dear. You’ve done so much for all of us.” Molly said, looking at Harry. Harry looked down at the table, and let go of Ginny’s hand. All eyes were on him, and he wished, again, that he might sink into the floor. Any other person would have relished in the fame that would come from destroying the horcruxes and killing Voldemort. But not Harry. He wanted nothing more than to be something he hadn’t been since he was eleven: ordinary.
"It was nothing,” Harry said quietly, “I mean, no it wasn’t, but it had to be done. I just happened to be the one that had to do it."
“It was much more than that, Harry, and you know it.” Hermione said.
"But you both helped. And Dumbledore. And Neville. And tons of other people. I can’t…I don’t want to take all the credit.” Harry said, standing up, “Can you excuse me for a minute or two?” Harry walked quickly out of the room and up the stairs. He needed…he didn’t know what he needed.

As he came to the second floor of the Weasley’s house, he suddenly heard something. It sounded pitiful…like…crying?

With a dawn of realization, Harry knew who it was, and felt instantly embarrassed to have heard George crying when he obviously wanted to be alone. But before Harry could escape to Ron’s room, the door to George’s room opened, and there stood George. His eyes were red and puffy, and his ear turned Weasley red upon seeing Harry.

"Harry…” George mumbled, rubbing his eyes.
"Sorry...” said Harry weakly, turning to leave, feeling utterly embarrassed.
"It’s OK.” George said from behind him. Harry turned around, and saw that George was smiling.
“Harry?” George said, “Thanks.”
"What for?"


BANG, BANG, BANG! Harry and Ron were in the living room playing exploding snap when they heard the noise that sounded as though someone was trying to break down the front door. Ginny and Hermione were upstairs, having ‘girl time,’ as they called it
Harry heard Mrs. Weasley cursing as she went to open the door. Both Ron and Harry stood up and peaked around the doorway, curious at who was outside.
The doorstep was crowded with a huge crowd of reporters. Purple smoke from cameras and shouts filled the air.
"Mr Potter! What are you planning to do about the remaining Death Eaters?"
"Harry! Smile for the camera! Is it true that Hogwarts is allowing you back to school?"
"Potter, is it correct that you have romantic relations with a Miss Ginny Weasley?"
"GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!" Mrs. Weasley screeched, slamming the door and locking it. Ron stifled some laughter, but Harry was worried. He'd rather have to fight one hundred Death Eaters than be in the public's eye once again.


“Blimey, I really better get a job soon and start saving.” Ron said, as he pointed at the price of a Wizarding flat in Diagon Alley. It was after dinner, and Harry, Ron and Hermione were sitting on the floor in Harry and Ron’s bedroom, taking a look at the ads in the Prophet. Ginny was out with Mrs. Weasley to try and cheer her up.
"Wasn’t that what we were planning on looking for anyway?” Hermione asked. She had her head in Ron’s lap, and her brown curly hair was spread out over his legs. Strangely, it no longer made Harry too uncomfortable.
"Yes, but I wanted to see how much a flat would even be before I choose a job.” Ron said, scanning the ads again.
"Choose? Ronald, it’s not like anyone will be down on their knees begging for us to work for them,” Hermione said bitterly, “We don’t even have any NEWTs."
“Maybe Hogwarts will let us take them this year.” Harry suggested hopefully. He was still clinging to the scraps of his dream.
"Even so,” said Hermione, sitting up and bending over the paper, “We’ll be completely over worked next year. If we do get to take our NEWTs, we’ll barely have any time to work at all. Of course, money won’t be a problem for Harry.” said Hermione, matter-of-factly. She snatched the paper from Ron and turned the page. Hermione had suddenly given Harry a bit of an idea."
"Look, here’s one,” Hermione said, “Hiring: One Part-time clerk at Quality Quidditch Supplies. Must have good people skills and Quidditch knowledge. No experience necessary.” Hermione looked up. “Either of you two could do that.”
Ron pulled the paper back to get a look at the ad. “Yeah,” said Ron happily, “I think I’ll write to them. I’d like to do that, I mean…if you don’t mind Harry."
“No, I don’t mind.” Harry said. Hermione frowned.
"There doesn’t look like anything else here that we could do, Harry.” Hermione looked frustrated. Harry shrugged, but took the newspaper.
"Even so, I’d like to keep this for a bit, if you don’t mind.”

{A/N} First Chapter, what do you think? It's pretty nice and fluffy right now, but of course things get worse :) Leave a review!

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