Harry Potter woke without opening his eyes to the sound of a Pop as Kreatcher apparated to his side. Almost instinctually, Harry started feeling around for his glasses when the little house elf gently placed them in his master’s hand.

“Kreatcher knows master is sleeping, but thought that master should have some food.” The elf placed a plate with some sandwiches on Harry’s lap as Harry slowly, and painfully, sat up. He felt the impact of all his earlier injuries hit him at once now that the adrenaline was gone and he half wished for an attack to allow the pain to be forgotten. He asked Kreatcher for a mirror and took a look at himself, scratches and dried blood caked his face and hands while he could now see the new lightning bolt scar that was etched into the left side of his chest from Voldemort’s latest Avada Kedavra curse.
Suddenly the fumble of a turning doorknob caused Harry to whip around for wand and for Kreatcher to jump protectively in front of his master only to see a familiar bushy head poke through the door way. Hermione look relieved to see Harry awake and alert as she walked into the boy dormitory and proceeded to pass Harry’s bed to the one across from it. Harry suddenly noticed a mound under the covers and saw some red poking out from the top. Immediately recognizing this to be Ron, Harry started to get up when Hermione quickly shushed him away. Confused, Harry sat down and watched as Hermione gently tucked the covers back over Ron’s body and lightly kissed the top of his head. She then motioned for Harry to follow her to the bathroom as she picked up a towel nearby. She helped him out of his torn apart shirt and began to gently clean off the dried blood around Harry’s face and chest. Harry looked down to see a pile of clothes that had been laid out and once Hermione had finished helping clean him up and left, he changed into the fresh clothes.

Coming out of the bathroom, Hermione motioned for Harry to follow her quietly as he now took notice to 6 other beds around him with sleeping masses beneath their covers. He followed her down to the common room to find only himself and Hermione to be up for the day thus far. Kreatcher spooked them both with a soft Pop as he came in with more food and pumpkin juice for the two solitary individuals. Harry and Hermione sat down and just stared at each other for what felt like an hour, when he finally had the nerve to ask her what he was dreading to ask.

“Does she hate me?” He searched her face for answers in the moment it took her to answer. “Of course not!” she whispered yelled at him, “She’s heartbroken at losing Fred, but don’t think for one moment that anyone blames you for those we lost. Don’t ruin the memory of their sacrifices by blaming yourself. This was a war Harry, and it’s a foolish person who thinks they can come out of war unscathed.” At this, she took his hand and gave a gentle squeeze. She then proceeded to tell him the events of last night as he left to sleep. Everyone had split up into the dorms to get some sleep while the fallen had been moved into some separate classrooms so families could have their privacy. She stated Ron had immediately noticed Harry was gone and had found him upstairs sleeping. He had insisted on watching over Harry until Hermione convinced him to get some sleep. “He only left off about 3 hours ago, so I want him to sleep for a while longer” she said as if trying to explain to Harry why she had shushed him when she first saw him.

The conversation finally turned to Ginny and Harry found himself relieved to hear that Mr. Weasley had put her bed after finding curled up on an armchair next to her mother. Hermione had told Harry that Ginny was asleep upstairs in the girls’ dormitory with Mrs. Wesley while Mr. Wesley had gone to sleep in the bed next to Ron’s. The brief elation of hearing that Harry’s loved ones were safely tucked away in their dreams offered little to no comfort as his thoughts drifted back to those he had not been able to save. Fred, Lupin, Tonks, Colin, Mad Eye, Lavander….one by one, their faces along with many he had seen swirled in his head. Hermione was right, it was foolish to think they could have gotten through this without any casualties, but he had hoped against hope that he would have been the only one. He still was not entirely sure how he had survived again when so many others fell, but he wanted to wait for Ron to go into full detail about his conversation with Dumbledore. After all that Hermione and Ron had been through for him, he owed them that much at the very least.

Harry had not realized how long he had been alone in his thoughts until Hermione shook him to snap him out of his reverie to see Ginny quietly coming down the stairs. He stood up and watched with horror as she limped a little on her right side and he could see the bandaging on her left arm. He went to go help her sit down when he was shocked to find her throw her arms around his neck and just cry. Ginny was not a teary person in general, but if there was ever a time cry, this was it. Hermione was graceful as she quietly excused herself to go see Ron as Harry just held his love with all the life in him. Her body shook with emotion as she just cried for a good 20 minutes, until she seemed to calm herself and looked at Harry. Her warm chocolate eyes still swam a bit with a few remaining unshed tears, but she didn’t look angry, no, she looked somewhat relieved. They sat down and Ginny immediately curled up on Harry’s lap with her arms still laced around his neck. Harry relished this feeling as the thought of coming back to Ginny was all he had kept after he woke up from the platform in the forest. There would be tons to talk about with her, parts of their relationship needed to be addressed, but in this moment, two people in love just sat in the comfort of each other’s arms.

Harry must a have dozed off for a while, because when he awoke again, he found Ginny still in his arms, but Ron and Hermione sitting across from them. Ron had Hermione wrapped up as she dozed on his shoulder. Harry looked at his two best friends fondly, feeling content with the world for a moment knowing that they had finally come together. Noticing Harry was awake, Ginny had begun to stand and gently tug him along to somewhere they could talk. Nervous, Harry followed Ginny to an empty classroom near the entrance to Gryffindor tower. Looking at each other, Harry suddenly began to feel as if his stomach was jumping up and down, only to feel it bottom out when Ginny said “We need to talk Potter…”

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