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Two: Remembering


The morning of the funeral was never promised to be a good one.
First, Harry awoke, sweat soaked, from his recurring nightmare. The only thing that seemed to calm him was having Ginny near him at night, but with Ron sleeping five feet away, that wasn’t a very possible option.

Second, he had awoken to rain splattered windows and a grey sky. The soft rain had stopped during breakfast, but the sky remained a dull grey.

Third, his hair wouldn’t lie flat, and he was dripping water on to his new black dress robes. He had been trying in vain for years to get his hair to behave, and he decided this was hereby the last time he’d ever try and flatten it again.

“Are you ready?” Ron asked Harry from the doorway of their bedroom. Never. I’ll never be ready and you can’t make me go.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m ready.” Harry said. He put his comb back on the dresser, and followed Ron out the door and downstairs.

Ron and Harry joined Hermione and Ginny in the kitchen. Hermione and Ginny were standing against the wall, wearing black dress robes and waiting for them. Hermione was already in tears, and Ginny looked shaky. Harry couldn’t help noticing that even though she was pale and worried, she was still so beautiful. Hermione walked up to Ron and wrapped her arms around him.

“We saw the bodies.” Hermione whimpered into Ron’s shoulder. Harry looked at Ginny, who stared fiercely into Harry’s eyes. Harry was overcome with gratefulness for her, and followed his impulse to slip his arm around her waist. Together, the four headed outside for the ceremony. It had been decided to have the triple funeral on the grounds behind the Weasley’s house. Tonks and Lupin were originally going to be buried side by side at the Tonks’, but Andromeda had said that the Weasleys were good as family to them, and that they would have wanted to be buried in the beautiful forest near Ottery St. Catchpole.

The three walked together out to the back garden. There was a large crowd of familiar black clad witches and wizards, and up in front of them a small podium, and with a jolt as Harry realised this, the three open coffins.

As the group walked, they were greeted by face after face of sadness in the black clad crowd. Hagrid, Kingsley, Neville and his grandmother, Luna, and Luna’s father, all of the Weasleys Harry knew and a good many more, Fleur, McGonagall, Flitwick, Sprout, and Slughorn, Dawlish and many of the other Aurors, Mundungus Fletcher and Aberforth Dumbledore, Lee Jordan, Alicia Spinnet and Angelina Johnson, Oliver Wood, and many, many other people who Harry didn’t recognize. Finally, Harry, Hermione, Ron and Ginny found themselves four seats near the other Weasleys.

When Harry sat down, he realized he had a perfect view of the bodies. Feeling slightly sick, he looked over. First was Tonks, lying peacefully in her open coffin. Her hair had returned to its natural light brown in death, and a slight smile graced her lips. Looking at her, you would never have known she had just left a child behind.

Beside Tonks, her husband, and Harry’s teacher. And friend. Harry thought fiercely, tears blurring his eyes. Lupin looked so young, so happy, even though he was dying. He would be happy to know he saved his son’s future. Harry thought, looking over at Andromeda, who was holding the tiny Teddy Tonks in her arms. Tears were streaming down Tonks’ mother’s face, and Harry felt for her.
Harry’s gaze returned to Remus. He’ll be with Dad again, Harry thought, And Sirius. Harry smiled at the thought of the Marauders reunited, wherever they were.

Saving the worst for last, Harry slowly turned his gaze to the ginger haired boy in the last coffin. Fred’s face was turned upwards in a permanent laugh, and beside him lay one of his toy wands.
Looking over at Ginny, he saw she was crying openly. He put his arms around her shoulders and felt her lean her head against his chest, and then they both cried. Harry was sick of being strong, sick of being a man. He wanted to cry for the people who had died for him, and he would. He would cry with the people he loved, for the people he loved.

After what seemed like an eternity holding Ginny, the ceremony started. Arthur Weasley, looking altogether shaken, walked slowly up so that he stood in front of the three coffins and all the chairs.

“G-good morning.” He started weakly, “Here we are today, t-to honour…”Mr. Weasley, stopped, took a deep breath and started again.

“We’re here,” he said, “To honour three amazing friends, confidents, and all around good people. Nymphaedora Tonks, Remus Lupin, and F-fred…”Mr. Weasley, stopped, but pushed himself onward, “Weasley. Fred Weasley. They’re no longer here with us…but I know that all three of them would be so very proud to have died against V-voldemort.” Everyone clapped gently as Mr Weasley stepped down from the podium and Andromeda took the audience’s attention, still holding baby Ted in her arms.

“Good morning, everyone.” Andromeda said. Her voice was surprisingly steady for someone so teary, “As one of the people who knew Dora best, I am proud to be up here today, speaking of her. Dora was…many things. She was kind. She was loyal. Sometimes she was clumsy, but she made up for it in spirit and strength,” Andromeda was smiling, and so was Harry, “She was smart, and hard working. It was her dream to be an Auror, and she did it. But then, as V-voldemort gained power, she sacrificed her career and was a loyal and important member of the new Order from the beginning.” Andromeda’s face darkened at the mention of Voldemort and the war, “Tonks always had a good sense of humour. She used her metamorphmaguising skills to make people laugh, even in the bleakest of times.” Andromeda was smiling again.

“But Voldemort has not taken all of her from me.” Andromeda said fiercely, “Because I still have Teddy,” she said, looking down at her grandson, “My grandson stands as a beacon for the future, a memory of Tonks, Remus, and my husband Ted. Because as long as he’s here,” She swallowed, “They will live on, and never be forgotten.”

Everyone clapped, and Harry looked behind him to see face upon face streaked with tears. Throughout the whole speech, Harry had held tight to Ginny, who still had her head on his shoulder. Hermione was sobbing into Ron’s neck, and Ron was staring forlornly off into the trees.

Harry watched as Hagrid, Kingsley and Mr. Weasley closed Tonks’ Coffin and laid it in the large pit dug for all three bodies.
Kingsley was next to speak about Lupin. “I know,” Kingsley started, “That there are a good many more people in here who knew Remus Lupin better than I. But from what I knew of Remus, he was one in a million.

“Remus had many…secrets…that made life so difficult for him. They affected his health, his life in general. They kept him from marrying his life’s love, Nymphaedora Tonks. They kept him from fully accepting his wife’s pregnancy when it first happened. But Remus was a strong man, and he overcame these obstacles everyday, and helped many people. He was a mentor to his students during his time at Hogwarts. He was a valuable member of the Order of the Phoenix. He was not afraid to sacrifice himself for the greater good, and that’s what made him such a great man. And I’m sure he’d be proud, proud of his son, proud of all of us.”

The ceremony continued, but Harry’s mind was filled with thoughts of those who’d been lost. Mad-Eye, Tonks, Lupin, Colin, Fred, Hedwig, Dobby, Snape…so many were brought down because of Voldemort. Did so many have to die for Voldemort to go down?
Finally, Harry’s gut was wretched out of him as he realized George would be the one speaking of his twin brother. But then, who else?

“Hi everyone. Beautiful weather, isn’t it?” George started, giving a smile. There were titters in the audience, and Harry heard Molly give a sobby laugh.

“I’m here,” said George, “Not to talk about a person, but an extension of myself. Because that’s what Fred was to me. No one, nobody here can know how hard this is for me. Losing an identical twin? It’s so bloody hard. So hard. It’s almost like…”George stared off for a moment, but then looked straight back at the audience, “Like losing part of myself.” George swallowed, and went on.

“Fred, well there’s so much I can say about him. We were twins; we…knew…everything about each other. He knew I was terrified of heights,” George said with a nostalgic grin, “And I knew how much he fancied Angelina Johnson in our fourth year.” There were laughs from the audience, and Angelina was laughing through tears.

“Fred was always the one with the ideas. He came up with them, I’d perfect them, and then he’d be the one to force them into action. He was daring, and brave, and so loyal.”

“Fred and I, we had a promising future,” George said, “As anyone who’s seen our shop has told us,” George grinned sheepishly. “But now his part of our future is gone. It was cruelly snatched away. By Voldemort.”

“At this very moment,” George said, loudly and fiercely, “I have two battle scars. This,” he said, pointing at his missing ear, “And in here.” George clapping a hand to his chest, “I’m missing an ear, and I’m missing my brother.”

“But if I know any one thing about Fred, he would’ve wanted to go out the way he did. Fighting for something he loves, and with a smile on his face.”

At the end of George’s speech, the audience roared with applause, and George’s remaining ear turned pinkish.

Ginny let out a sob, and Harry pulled her on to his chair and held her so tight, it hurt. He kissed her mouth and then looked her in the eyes.
“I love you,” he said simply, knowing it was true, “And I know Fred does too.”

***

Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny followed the black clad crowd slowly over to the grave to give their tributes. Just like a muggle funeral, they would take a handful of dirt and drop it on the grave. Then those who could would cast their Patronus as a tribute. Harry watched the many people stream forward to take their turns next to the grave. His face turned skyward, he smiled as rain drizzled on to his cheeks.

Soon the four of them stood next to the grave. “You first, Harry.” Hermione said. Harry took a breath and stepped forward, aware of the many people listening to him.

“To Tonks,” Harry started, “I didn’t know you that long, but for what I did know…you were great. You were never afraid to fight. And you were always willing to help. Thanks.” Harry took a handful of wet dirt from the side of the grave, and tossed it into the pit.

“To Remus,” Harry said, “I can’t even begin to list all the things you taught me. A Patronus, about my dad. Even with your little problem, you were never too tired, or too sick to go on. You always strived forward, and it makes me proud to call you my friend. Have fun with Dad.” He took another handful of dirt and tossed it into the pit.

“And finally, Fred. The thing I want to say most is sorry. I know I shouldn’t be, but it’s mostly my fault your future is gone. But in the time you lived, you did a lot of good. You made a lot people laugh even during the worst of times. Thank you so much.” Harry took one final handful of wet dirt and sprinkled it into the pit.

With a deep breath, Harry pulled out his wand. “Expecto Patronum.”
He said calmly. The stag shot out of his wand and galloped over to stand with the other Patronuses. Harry stood back and took Ginny’s hand. Now it was time to start over, live anew. That’s what they all would’ve wanted.

***

Most of the mourners stayed at the Weasley’s for lunch. Harry would have much preferred to go up to Ron’s room and be alone for a while, but he thought he shouldn’t be rude, seeing as it was his own fault that Remus, Tonks and Fred were dead.

So he sat down outside at the long tables where the guests were seated. He ended up between Ginny and Kinglsey Shacklebolt, with Ron, Hermione and McGonagall across from them.

Not saying anything, Harry ate when his food was served. He looked down at the table and held Ginny’s hand.

“Good afternoon, Harry.” Kingsley said, forcing Harry to look up. “I saw you in the prophet today.”

“Pardon?” Harry asked, feeling the food he had just eaten form a tight ball in his stomach.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t expect it, Mr. Potter,” McGonagall added, “Our whole world wants to know what happened during the battle.”

“Do you either of you have a copy of today’s prophet?” Hermione asked curiously. Kingsley nodded, withdrew the crumpled paper from his robes and handed it to Harry. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny all leaned over and read. Across the front page was a relatively blurry shot of Harry ducking into the Weasley’s living room.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE BOY WHO LIVED?
Single handed, and only at 17 years of age, Harry James Potter has faced much more danger than an average man in his whole lifetime.
As many know, he first faced He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named at only a year old, when his parents were viciously murdered by him. But when You-Know-Who turned on Potter himself, he was mysteriously killed, ending the second war.
Twice during his first years at Hogwarts, Potter stopped Voldemort from gaining power. But then, in his fourth year, he not only competed in the Tri-wizard Tournament underage, but witnessed Voldemort coming back to power. In his fifth year, he faced Voldemort once again and came out alive. But his most extraordinary moment occurred just a little over two weeks ago, and in result, the entire Wizarding World is celebrating. Harry Potter defeated Voldemort, the strongest dark lord to ever live.
Any normal man would bask in the glory, would let his story be known. But Harry Potter has been scarcely seen since the battle, making an interview with him a prized goal for any reporter.
There is an awful lot of speculation about what Mr. Potter may be planning next. Many reports claim that he is staying at the house of his long time friends and allies, the Weasleys. Says Talitha Crofton, 41, of Ottery St. Catchpole, “Harry Potter is most obviously plotting to round up the remaining Death Eaters. He’s probably using that run-down old house as a secret head quarters.”
Others report on his supposed relationship with a Miss Ginny Weasley. “Miss Weasley is the youngest of the Weasley children,” says neighbour Mylor Sylvanus, 53, “And the relationship between the two is quite the scandalous affair.” For more on the Ginny/Harry relationship, see page 34.
So what is Mr. Potter up to? No one can quite say at the moment. But it won’t be long before Mr. Potter has to come out into the open, and then we will truly know the story of the chosen one.


Harry slammed his fist down on the table with disgust.

“I thought the Ministry was changing, Kinglsey.” Harry said angrily. Kingsley looked slightly affronted, but quickly smiled.

“We haven’t yet managed to regain control of the Prophet. It should come in due time though. Barnabas Cuffe has had it coming for years.” Harry sighed leaned on the table, still holding Ginny’s hand.

“You two should be careful, though,” Kingsley said looking down and Harry and Ginny’s entwined hands, “The reporters might use you to get to Harry.”

“I think I’m strong enough to face them, but thanks.” Ginny said with a smile, making Harry’s heart swell.

“Mr. Potter,” McGonagall said, looking at Harry, “We’re having a memorial service for Severus Snape when the new school year starts. I know you’ve probably had enough of death and funerals at the moment, but I’d like to extend an invitation to you four.” McGonagall said. Ron, Hermione and Ginny nodded.

Snape. The subject Harry had stubbornly refused to settle on. He’d have years to ponder all the mistakes he made concerning the dead man; he wasn’t ready to face all that guilt yet.

“We’ll come.” Harry said finally. McGonagall nodded.

“I’ll make sure you know when to come nearer to the occasion."

***

After lunch, Harry spent some time with his godson. After Andromeda left, he took Ginny out to the copse where they had always played Quidditch. He snogged her so hard that he didn’t have to think about anything except how he was attracted he was to her. They lay there, not saying anything, just thinking, curled in each other’s arms.

Finally, a little before dinner, Hermione and Ron found them, and brought them back to the house, where Harry changed his clothes, ate his dinner numbly, and went to bed, saying nothing to anyone.

{A/N} Getting slightly frustrated with all the formatting restrictions that have made this chapter get rejected three times...anyway, fourth time now. I've actually finished writing this story, so I guess I'll just keep adding chapters...Leave a review.

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