For the first time in his life, he, Harry could feel the world and how free it seemed at last. It was like someone trapped at the depths of the ocean finally coming up for its first gulp of air in what seemed like an eternity. With this feeling Harry felt as though all his pressure to fulfill some unknown destiny was over and he could, for the first time in his life live it the way that he chose for himself. Then as though having his head plunged back into the water the realization of all those who he had fought with and those who had not survived came back to him and it was a sickness in his stomach like he’d never had before. One he thought might never be eased. All he knew was that everyone would be looking to him to be there in the light, to help explain what all had happened. Then he thought of those whom he was close with and the thought of having to be a part of burying them all. He knew even then that these next few weeks would be the hardest he’s ever had to overcome in his life. He realized the silence that had been brewing while he had this life altering realization, that maybe he should convey this to Ron and Hermione because surely they must feel the same way but before he could say anything he looked at the way they were looking around at the portraits who were still clapping and giving them all words of thanks and congratulations, with Phineas still going on and on about Slytherin and all they did to help win, they were holding hands smiling and seemed as though none of these thoughts had even come close to entering their mind. Then he realized that right now they were with each other, the people who knew exactly what the other was feeling and had experienced. That’s when Harry realized that’s what he needed more than anything, the one person who he could just sit and be with and have all his regrets and doubts and more importantly sorrow just melt away by her presence, but where was Ginny. Was she still sitting in the Great Hall surrounded by all those who were dead or was she perhaps looking for him and that very moment feeling the same way he himself was feeling.
“Should we be going now?” Said Harry.
“What? Oh Yeah, I guess.” Said Ron.
“Yes we should there must be a lot that we need to do.” Said Hermione as if the thought of moving dead bodies and comforting those who were grieving would be an enjoyable experience.
So they started the long walk from the office back down the stairs past the gargoyle, down the corridors. As they were still about 50 steps away from the great hall Harry saw it. The glowing light of red hair which found its way along the shoulder and face of the one person who’s company he longed for more than anyone else’s. He could tell that she still had tears in the corner of her eyes. At that moment Harry thought of Fred and wondered if she felt the same way as before or the fact that she might blame him for her loss much like he did in the bottom of his stomach. Just then they locked eyes and there was something in them that he had never seen before. It wasn’t love but more of a scared and unsure look. Ron met his sister and they embraced and he could see fresh tears develop where old ones had already fallen from. He continued to just stand there a little ways back from them. He saw Ginny whisper something, then they broke apart and Ron and Hermione continued down the stairs leaving just the two of them alone at last. He was looking directly in her eyes when he saw Ron glance back at them with an unsure look and started whispering to Hermione. But even that could not distract himself form the fact that there was only 10 feet of space from him to her where over the past year there had been hundreds of miles and much more than just air.
He took a step closer and she didn’t move or change her expression he was now just 7 feet away. He took another step and for a split second he felt all worry drift away, he was now just 5 feet away. One more step and he could then embrace her like he had longed for since the wedding all those many days before then. Now he was standing not 2 feet apart and he just looked down into her eyes and he felt this unusual sensation in his face it took him a moment to realize that it was a smile that had found its almost unnatural way across his face. He then tried to find some way of cutting through the tension that seemed to have formed in between them at that moment. So he said the first thing that popped into his head at that very moment.
You look good in all this dust and dirt. When he said those words he thought he saw what looked like a smile creep across her face but before it could stick it was as gone as quick as it had come. He knew then that something was wrong, maybe she could sense that he had realized this because at that moment she finally spoke.
“Harry we need to talk.”
“Alright, what is it?” Asked Harry.
It’s about us and everything I see in your eyes right now. Harry we can’t be what it is you want right now. I know that now is a bad time to deal with this but I don’t think there will be a good time in the foreseeable future.
“What do you mean? Why can’t we be together?” Asked Harry.
“Because Harry I’m not in the same mind set right now that I was. I have a lot of things to get through before I even think about that kind of thing. I have to get over the fact of how mad I am at you and the horrible feeling I have for feeling that way. I Hope you can understand that I just need time right now.”
“What??” “How much time are you talking about?” Asked Harry.
“I dunno, I don’t think there’s any way of knowing right now. I’m sorry Harry.”
Then in what seemed like an eternity he watched her walk away from him for all he knew could be for the last time. All his feelings seemed to explode and every emotion that had seemed to drift away at the sight of her was now pressing harder than ever on his heart and stomach. He felt woozy and faint and just sat down on the stairs. He knew that at that moment he could no longer be in the presence of all those people. So he started walking. Harry was again setting out, but this time he was alone. He had grown accustom to being alone all those years with the Dursley’s but that was before he felt the connection between him and Ginny. This was by far the most alone he’d ever been in his life. He kept walking through all the rubble and through the grounds finally at the old iron gate that marked the boundary of the grounds to the castle. He knew at that moment there was only one place he could go, only one place that he knew he could be alone as long as he wanted. He spun on that spot and Disapperated. When he opened his eyes and saw the familiar yet still unwelcoming door of his late god father’s home that for two and a half years has been in Harry’s possession. Number 12 Grimmauld Place. Harry walked across the lawn up to the door and paused for a moment, then turned the knob. At once he was surrounded by total darkness until the lamps upon the wall started to glow and gave a dim light upon the entrance hall. He then walked down the hall and after a few steps realized that the enchantment that had been put upon the house by Professor Moody seemed to have been removed. Then he realized why, he Harry had brought a death eater inside the houses protective charm and the death eaters must have found a way to remove it. How many of them had been inside? How many and snooped and searched this house? A house he didn’t ever really want but a house that none the less was the last thing his God Father had left him. He figured he ought to be careful though so he raised his wand and said “revelio”. Nothing happened which thankfully to Harry means that no one but he himself was there. He walk to the bottom of the stairs and had to make a decision, whether to try and find some bit of food that might still be there or go upstairs and find somewhere he might be able to sleep for the next week or so. Harry choose the latter realizing that any bit of food inside this house would not be edible for a human and he was too tired to try to transfigure anything. So he started the slow climb up the stairs. After a few steps Harry realized how heavy his legs seemed and how much his head was spinning. He made it to the second landing and there was the room that Ron and He and stayed in just 3 Years prior to then. Thinking of Ron and Hermione he had a feeling of guilt and decided to grudgingly continue to climb. Finally he came to a door that had Regulas Arcturus Black, (R.A.B.) the person who started the search for the horcruxes all those years ago. And next door was the room he should have known he’d choose. His God Fathers old room. He opened the door and realized that whoever had been inside the house had searched this room and it was in shambles. Harry looked at it for a moment and then pulled his want out for what he hoped was the last time for a while and cleared the bed of the layer of dust that had settled down since it had last been used. He admired his wand work for a moment then slowly laid back on the bed. He had barley put his glasses on the stand next to the bed, before he felt himself slowly drift into what he hoped was a long, long sleep.
Harry was then looking down and saw something shining from a great distance and then realized that it was water and not just any water it was a large black lake. He couldn’t understand how he was hovering that high off the ground, at that moment he felt a broomstick appear within his hands and felt it supporting his weight. He realized that after all this time being up on a broom still gave him a wonderful sensation. He started looking around unbelieving he was free in the clouds when a shape seemed to grow closer until it was clear who it was not what it was. It was Ginny and she too was on a broom she pulled up right in front of him smiling. Then she reached out gripped his broom and said, “You can’t fly right now. You and your broom aren’t in the same mind set.” Then she pulled it right from under him and he started falling towards the lake faster than anything he’d ever experienced. Seeing her laughing at him from hundreds of feet away as he fell screaming then plugging into the icy water. Then he came up for air and swam to the edge of the lake. He looked around and saw something striding over to him and he couldn’t believe what he saw. It was him, it was Voldemort striding towards him holding the Elder Wand laughing as he walked.
“No, it cannot be you, you are dead” said Harry.
Then he heard the high pitched laughed and then Voldemort answered, “You foolish boy, you cannot kill me, I who have now conquered death. I now am the owner of the elder wand and you will lose everything.”
“Nooo!” yelled Harry, he then started to run until he felt a cord wrap him up from foot to head, then spinning around in midair Voldemort came up to him laughing harder now.
“Do not worry Harry, I will not kill you now. No, I will hunt down everyone you claim to love and those who claim to love you and kill them one by one until you are begging for death.”. “So let’s see, we will start with the red haired girl and her entire family, yes that’s a good place to start. Then we will move on to the mud blood, who happily reminds me of your mother. The one who started us on this road all those years ago.”
“So let’s see… Yes,” and with a wave of Voldemort’s’ wand Ginny appeared. Not the one who had caused him to fall, or the one who he saw at Hogwarts crying, but the Ginny he spent hours sitting by the lake, and playing quidditch at the burrow, His Ginny.
“So Harry is there anything you’d like to say before she dies?” asked Voldemort
“Harry, what’s happening? why can’t I move? Harry please, please help me!” Yelled Ginny
“Ginny, Ginny I’m so sorry, I’ll save you I promise”, Harry yelled back. “That’s right Harry promise her, tell her that you, a boy with no real talent can save her when you can’t save anyone not even yourself.” Voldemort said laughingly.
“You see you silly girl the one person whom you’ve always held up and always thought would be there cannot help you or save you from me. So let us begin.” ‘Potter You pay attention I don’t want you to miss this, it will not be over quickly, and you will not enjoy this.” “Crucio” Voldemort cried.
“Nooo!” Please Stop Harry Yelled as Ginny’s yells and squeals and screams for Voldemort to stop, for Harry to save her. Begging Harry to help. Asking why he won’t save her whenever Voldemort would stop to prolong not only the physical torture but also mentally destroying Harry.
Then after what felt like hours when Voldemort had stopped for what must’ve been the 5th time Ginny spoke one more time. Not in a defiant tone, not in a painful tone, but into a tone that was full of complete defeat and total loss. “You’re right. Harry was never able to stop you. You truly are the only person who controls the world. Please just let me die. I never want to see him again.”
“HA!” proclaimed Voldemort. “If it is your wish, Avada Kedava!”
Then Harry felt his entire body go numb, and he felt the binds fall to the ground as he crawled over to the lifeless body of the one person on the planet that he loved. The one person who through everything seemed to always love him and now when she needed him most he failed her. He held her body in his arms realizing his failure not only with Ginny, but also with everyone else who had died for him and because of him. He then looked up into those red eyes. Those eyes filled with hate and anger.
Then Harry did the unthinkable, “Kill me.” He said.
“What?” Asked Voldemort for the first time sounding surprised.
“Kill me, please I have nothing left to take, nothing left. Kill me and finish this road that was started all those years ago.” Harry pleaded.
“If you wish. Let this mark the day when I Lord Voldemort killed the boy who lived. The only one left in my way”
Then kneeling on the ground holding Ginny he felt this sharp pain in his side. It would not go away, then he heard in his ear a sound that seemed to be getting louder and louder until he realized what it was saying. It was saying, “Master Potter!” over and over again. It was such a familiar voice.
He was then laying on something soft, but wet, and cold. He slowly opened his eyes to see something looking into his eyes. It was Kreacher, he was the one who pulled him out of the nightmare.
“Kreacher, is that you?”
“Yes Sir, it is I.” “Master was yelling in his sleep and called out for help and so Kreacher came home to help and found you rolling around, screaming and Kreacher tried to wake but Master would not.” So Kreacher had to poke you hard sir, and yell into your ear.” Kreacher is sorry if he hurt you”
“It is ok Kreacher”. “Thank you for your help” said Harry as nicely as he could.
‘Is there anything Kreacher can do for Master?” “Is master hungry?”
“Yes, would you mind fixing me something to eat Kreacher?”
“Oh No sir, Kreacher would be glad to fix Master more food. It is Kreacher duty to serve this house” Kreacher said in a happy tone that was in complete opposition to the first time Harry had ever heard Kreacher speak.
“Thank You Kreacher.” But he was already out the door and going down the stairs. Harry laid there in absolute silence, then realizing how sore he was from his head to the feet and how cold he was, because apparently he had sweat out all over the bed and tangled the sheets all over the side and onto the floor. Harry decided that he should get up, but once he sat up he knew that he had made a mistake because his head started to spin and his vision went blurry, then the next thing he knew he was lying face first on the floor of the room wishing he had just laid still. After about a minute to get his bearing he got to his feet and had taken about two steps before he fell back to his knees. Now not only was his body sore and his head clouded his knees felt like they had just been broken. He started wondering how long he had been asleep and how long he had gone without food. He then got back to his feet and swayed for a moment then started back towards the stairs. He had only made it a couple feet when he knew he wasn’t going much further, he was then on his hands and knees heaving up whatever he had left in his stomach all over the landing. After he was finished he kept walking down the staircase slowly but a little bit steadier. He finally made it all the way down to the kitchen where Kreacher was bouncing around using pots and pans fixing something that smelled a lot like a roast, which made Harry’s mouth start watering. Then he sat down at the table and poured a glass of water, and at that moment it was probably the best water Harry had ever had. Then Kreacher gave him a plate with a cut of meat covered with Potatoes and carrots. So Harry sat there and ate and ate until Harry could actually fill himself filling up to the top of his throat. At that moment He could see without any blurriness and he could feel a little strength come back into his legs. He then wondered if he should go back up and fall back asleep or if he should try and stay awake, in case he returned back to the dream he just had. So he decided that he should clean up after himself, he thanked Kreacher who responded as if Harry had given him a blessing. Harry made his way up the stairs and found his puddle of puke sitting there so he tip-toed around went back to the night stand got his wand and cleaned up his sick on the floor. He then went in and cleaned the sheets to the bed. He replaced his wand and started cleaning the rest of the room by hand. He though what Ron would say if he saw Harry cleaning like a muggle. He would probably take pity on him. Harry of course knows Ron wouldn’t get why he chose the slowest way to do so. To try and push the moment of sleep back as far as he could. This process went on for some time and then at two in the morning Harry had picked up the last piece of trash and put it in the trash can. Harry realized that he could no longer put off going to sleep, so he went and laid back down, and again almost as soon as he had put his glasses back on the table he was asleep again.
“Master Potter!”, “Master Potter!” Harry awoke again looking into the eyes of Kreacher. “Master Potter, you were screaming again.” “Are you alright?”
“Yes Kreacher I’m alright” Harry said knowing full and well he really isn’t. For the second night in a row he watched Ginny being tortured and killed in front of him.
He looked at Kreacher, whose giant eyes seemed to be trying to read Harry’s mind, didn’t seemed fooled.
“Kreacher, would you mind making breakfast?” asked Harry trying to change the subject and get him out of the room to be alone again.
“Of course master, I’ll go and start right now.” Said Kreacher excitedly.
“Thank you.” Harry called after him.
Now he was alone and he could try and figure out how he was going to be able to sleep without having to relive the nightmares that have come the past two nights, or however long he had been there. He suddenly realized he had no idea what day it was or how long he had been there. He never thought to ask Kreacher. How much had he missed while being there? Did he miss the funerals? Did he miss his chance of paying respects to Lupin and Tonks, or even to Fred? Now his head was swimming again and he was feeling noxious. He needed to put that out of his head for the moment. He needed to focus on just one thing at a time, and the one thing he wanted now was to eat to try and ease the noxiousness he was feeling. Then to find out how long he had been there.
Harry walked back down the stairs and into the kitchen where Kreacher was pilling eggs and bacon onto a plate with what looked like a pitcher of pumpkin juice. Harry sat down said thank you to Kreacher and started eating, noticing not until then how hungry he truly was. Kreacher walked out of the room for a moment coming back with what looked like a newspaper in his hand. As Kreacher was setting it onto the table next to Harry, Harry asked how long he had been at number 12 Grimmauld Place.
“Master has been here sleeping for almost three days sir.” Answered Kreacher proudly.
“Three days?” asked Harry as if the answer would change if Kreacher answered again.
“Yes sir, Kreacher found you Screaming in bed after two days of looking for you at Hogwarts.”
Well there was Harry’s answer, three days he had been hiding in this house away from everyone.
Then Harry asked something he didn’t really want the answer to.
‘Kreacher, has anyone tried to contact me here?”
“Yes sir, Mr. Weasley and Miss. Granger tried you through the floo, but I told them that you asked not to be disturbed and then Kreacher told them he would be shutting the floo network until you asked for visitors.”
“Why did you tell them that Kreacher?” Harry asked somewhat happy but a little disappointed.
“Well sir, Kreacher thought that master might need more sleep, because master did not seem to be sleeping very well.”
“Well thank you Kreacher, you are absolutely right.” Just then Harry looked down at the paper and across the front the headline read: “FUNERAL DATES AND TIMES FOR THOSE WHO FOUGHT AGAINST YOU KNOW WHO AND FREED THE WORLD” There next to the headline was a picture of Hogwarts in shambles. At that moment all the pain of what had happened just 4 days prior came back to Harry. Harry then looked through to the page with the dates and saw that the first one was the next day the 6th of May, at noon, then horrified saw that it was for Fred Weasley.
A large rock seemed to fall through his chest and land at the pit of his stomach. The first one had to be the hardest. The one that would cause the most pain. Not because of a deep connection with George but because he would have to see all the closest people to him burying a brother/son. A family that had treated him like another son, the only people that he felt as though they were family, and they would be grieving because he Harry had chosen that night to fight Voldemort. He called everyone to fight and caused some to die so that he might fight and kill Voldemort. How could he show up and face all those whom he loved and all those who had given him the one thing he had never had before finding out he was a wizard, a family.
He knew he must go, he knew if he didn’t he’d never forgive himself but he didn’t think he was ready to face everyone especially at this one. So Harry had the night to figure out how he was going to be able to go but not have to face everyone. After Supper later that night it came to him, though he couldn’t see why it had taken him so long to come up with it. He would go under his father’s cloak and stand in the back away from everyone. So he started walking back up the stairs to go to bed when he remembered how horrible the last couple nights had been and he feared that tonight might be another one like that. He got to his bed and laid down, thinking of the horrors that might proceed closing his eyes and then onto the stress that the next day would bring and the grief that would fill him with. Then he drifted off into another night’s sleep, going not back to watching Voldemort killing Ginny but back to the battle seeing all those empty eyes and watching all those bodies hit the floor, all night until finally the morning came.
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