Chapter 1 : The Power of Love
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The Power of Love.
The sound of a hundred loud pops and cracks merged together and sounding like thunder split the quiet of the night air outside the old Riddle mansion in Little Hangleton.
A small army of Auror’s and members of the Order of the Phoenix made their way slowly and carefully forward as the large old building in front of them began to collapse amidst a cloud of dust.
Their leader Remus Lupin stared in disbelief as he saw two shadowy figures he instantly recognised, they emerged slowly from the dust and destruction. It did not take him much more than a few seconds to realise that they were each carrying someone with them.
Ron Weasley staggered forward, an unconscious Harry Potter in his arms; alongside him Hermione Granger tripped but did not fall as she carried Ginny Weasley. Together they struggled forward with their burdens; both Ron and Hermione were covered in dust that caked in and around the numerous patches of blood that slowly dripped from cuts and gashes. Behind them the remains of the mansion finally fell with a loud rumble, clouds of red grey dust engulfed the friends
Remus was joined by his second in command Kingsley Shacklebolt as he rushed forward to help his four teenage friends. One of whom he regarded as a son.
Tears ran freely down Hermione’s face mingling with the blood and dust from several cuts. “Ginny needs help” she gasped as the ex professor reached them.
Kingsley reached forward and gently took the limp form of Ginny from the shaking arms of Hermione and rushed away calling for a medi-wizard.
Remus tried to take Harry from Ron but Ron would not release his hold on his best friend. Remus called for a medi-wizard just as Kingsley had done then he placed an arm around Hermione and helped her away from the scene of destruction.
Ron followed Remus, still carrying the seemingly lifeless body of the friend he now knew to be the most powerful wizard ever to be born.
Amongst the ruins of what had once been a magnificent house the forces of the Ministry law office began to collect up the dead and wounded.
The carnage made even the more hardened of the wizards feel a little queasy. Many of the bodies they removed had been crushed by the falling building. The work was hard and dirty in the dust and grime of the collapsed building. Slowly throughout the day the work carried on.
A loud shout from somewhere beneath the rubble bought everything to a halt as all eyes turned to watch the team that stood around the cellar door.
Watched by all those present two Auror’s emerged from the cellars carrying the broken body of Voldemort, once powerful and totally evil but now dead and lifeless, he was dragged unceremoniously by his feet across the rubble. No respect was shown to the once prolific torturer and murderer. The enormous cheer that arose from the ranks of the law officers bought both Remus and Kingsley rushing forward.
A temporary hospital tent had been set up along side the old Gaunt cottage. Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley were both lying in a bed furthest from the doorway. Neither of them had shown any sign of life other than shallow breathing. The two beds next to them were occupied by Ron and Hermione, both of them their injuries healed had been given a sleeping potion. The Healer in charge had done all he could for now, before he could go any further he needed information. He needed to know what had happened.
The morning sun over Little Hangleton was warm and pleasant on that late August day and for the first time in many, many years it chased away the chilly air that had always surrounded the area.
A young healer entered the tent that was being used as a temporary office. Having handed a small piece of parchment over to the man in charge he turned and headed back to do what he did best.
Remus read down the page then passed the parchment to Kingsley, his face showed disbelief and he slowly ran his hand through his hair. Kingsley let out a low gasp as he read out the words on the parchment.
Casualty List. Hangleton. Nov 21
Death eaters dead 43. Wounded 35.
Auror’s 0. 0.
OootP 0. 0.
Civilians dead 0. Wounded 2.
“What the heck do you think happened here last night?” Kingsley asked letting out a long slow breath.
“Well I have no idea and until one of our young friends wakes and is ready to talk we will not know” Remus replied as he got up from his seat and headed out of the office.
In the makeshift field hospital Hermione was the only one of the four to have woken up; she was sat on a chair at the side of Ron’s bed waiting for him to wake. One of the younger medi-wizards bought in a large steaming metal tea pot and several cups and mugs. Having set the tea things on a packing case he poured a mug of tea for Hermione asking quietly if she would like sugar.
Hermione turned and replied absently “No, just milk, no sugar thanks” she saw Remus enter the tent as she accepted the mug of hot tea.
Remus walked over and checked the other teens before he drew a chair up alongside Hermione’s.
“Did the healers tell you anything yet?” he asked as Kingsley passed him a mug of tea.
“Ron is just asleep, Harry and Ginny are still unconscious, they don’t know how long it will take them to recover” she replied quietly
“Are you ready to tell us what happened yet?” Remus enquired equally quietly.
“I’m not sure, I mean I saw what happened but I don’t really know what happened yet, I need to think it through. Does that sound as odd to you as it does to me?” she replied taking a larger sip of her tea.
“Do you think you could try to tell us?” Kingsley asked as he conjured a chair and joined them holding a rather large mug of tea.
Hermione looked around the tent at the beds of injured wizards and at the medi-wizards and healers going about their work, “I can’t talk about it here, I hope you understand” she said taking Remus hand and giving a gentle squeeze.
“Well once Ron wakes we can go back to headquarters and talk in private” Remus told her then glanced at Kingsley to see if he agreed.
By the time Ron woke there were several members of the order sat around his and Harry’s bed. Hermione was sat holding Ginny’s hand and was whispering comforting words to her, Minerva McGonagall was sat beside her and she too occasionally added an encouragement in Ginny’s ear.
There was a small commotion at the tent doorway prior to the appearance of Molly and Arthur Weasley and the rest of the Weasley family. Molly rushed over to her daughter before then checking on her son Ron, Hermione and finally Harry.
Remus watched as Molly tried in vane to get Hermione to tell her what had happened. Arthur stood next to his son’s bed and watched as his wife moved from one bed to another.
Ron woke up and for the first time anyone could remember he refused to have some breakfast. Rising slowly then swinging his legs from his bed he reached out his hands to Hermione, “Can I have a word Mione?” he asked in almost a whisper.
Hermione rose from the chair next to Ginny’s bed and sat next to Ron “What is it Ron, are you ok?”
Ron took a deep breath before gently taking her small hands in his, “I love you Hermione, with all that I am ‘I love you’. I should have told you years ago”
“I know, I’ve known for a while but I’ve known for sure since last night, and I feel the same way, I love you too. I always have, I always will” Hermione replied.
Everyone around the four beds heard the unashamed declarations of love, most of them were totally surprised that Ron had finally found the courage to voice his feelings.
They were more surprised when Ron cleared his throat and spoke again “Will you marry me, be my wife”.
Hermione smiled, a tear forming in her eye, “Yes Ronald Bilius Weasley, it’s what I’ve dreamed of, I would be proud and delighted to be your wife” she replied before throwing her arms around him and sharing their first kiss.
The cheers that followed were led by Remus who until that point in time had been worried how the teenagers were going to react to what had happened the day before.
Ron’s public proposal and Hermione’s equally public acceptance were closely followed by bone crushing hugs from Molly and hand shakes from all the order members there, along with many comments about it having taken them a long time to admit what everyone else knew.
With Voldemort dead Remus decided it would now be safe to take Harry to the previously hidden Potter Mansion and to finally reveal to Harry just how wealthy he truly was. “Besides” he said to Kingsley as they made preparations to move the four teenagers from the field hospital “It’s a darn site more cheerful than number 12”.
“Anywhere is more cheerful than that place” Kingsley laughed.
Hagrid having joined them in the cleanup was enlisted along with Minerva, Tonks, Mad eye Moody and all the Weasleys, to be the bodyguards of the four teens. They were then split and two teams were organised. the first team took Ron and Hermione to the mansion after they had all been told where to find it.
The second team attempted to take Ginny next but found that they could only move her a few feet from Harry before they were stopped by an invisible barrier.
After a quick discussion and some valuable input by Tonks, it was decided that the two unconscious teens should be placed together on one stretcher and an attempt then made to move them. Accompanied by a senior healer and Poppy Pomfrey the second team then joined the others at Potter mansion.
Around seven that evening having finished the first meal to have been prepared in the mansion for twenty years, some thing that pleased the house elves immensely, Remus dismissed the eager Potter house elves and asked Hermione and Ron if they were ready to tell them what had happened at the Riddle mansion.
Ron looked around the table before frowning and answering “I don’t think I could find the words. Maybe Hermione would be best telling what she knows”.
All eyes turned to Hermione. Rising from her seat she walked over to a window and looked out over the lawns, a distant look filled her eyes as she pictured in her mind all that had happened.
“I can tell you most of what I know but there are some things that only Harry can tell you” she said as she continued to stare out of the window.
“We went to the old Riddle house to complete the task set for us by professor Dumbledore and destiny. It did not take us long to find what we were looking for. An hour maybe. Anyway Harry easily destroyed the thing we had spent months searching for and we were just about to leave when the death eaters began to arrive.
The three of us were holding them off, both Harry and Ron were amazing but then more and more of them arrived and I thought that we had surely failed.
That’s when Voldemort arrived with Ginny; the death eaters stopped their attack and gathered around him.
Voldemort stood there in the middle of the ballroom laughing and teasing Harry, he kept saying what he was going to do to Ginny and bragged about how easy it had been for him to kidnap her.
He told Harry that he was going to kill her slowly, said he was going to destroy her mind first just like the Longbottom’s had had theirs destroyed.
Then he was going to give her to his death eaters to play with to do as they pleased. I was frantic, beginning to panic, because I knew if anything happened to Ginny, Harry would fall apart. But I was wrong, Voldemort tried to put the cruciatus curse on her but something stopped him, there was some sort of barrier.
Anyway Harry held out his hands to Ginny and she some how disappeared and reappeared wrapped in Harry’s arms.
Right there in front of Voldemort and all those death eaters Harry leant over and kissed
her like he had all the time in the world, that’s when I first saw the barrier, it was just a vague pink outline at first.
Voldemort began to scream and swear and ordered the death eaters to kill us all. Their spells just bounced off the barrier, Harry had it placed around us all.
Then I felt some thing being drawn from me, I didn’t know what it was at first but then I felt all the love I had inside me begin to grow, to well up and expand. I could see a blood red light leaving Ron and joining with the barrier around Harry. The barrier kept growing covering all four of us, more and more of the blood red light began to enter the room, it came in through the doors and windows through cracks in the floor, I know now what it was, it was the power that Voldemort knew not, it was love. Harry and Ginny between them were drawing the power of love from every one they knew and from the amount of red light that entered the room I would guess they were drawing love from people they did not even know.
The feeling of so much love was amazing. The power of the love of those that had died to protect Harry came last and increased the power of the shield so much that it crushed Voldemort, pushing him down till the floor beneath him began to crack.
The floor then collapsed taking Voldemort and some of his followers with it. That’s when the whole building began to collapse.
As soon as Voldemort died the light began to fade but the barrier that Harry and Ginny had created shielded us as we made our way out. We were almost to the door when first Ginny collapsed then Harry collapsed a few seconds later, it weakened the barrier but Ron and I were able to use our love to keep it going while we grabbed both Harry and Ginny and we made it through the door just as the entire house fell”.
I never felt so much intensity of feelings before, that’s when I knew that Ron loved me as much as I loved him. I knew that the love that Harry and Ginny had for each other was a great and powerful thing”. Hermione finished her tale and turned to look into the eyes of Ron who nodded.
“That’s about the way I felt too” he said quietly. Then with an after thought he asked “how did you know where we were, how did you find us?”
Remus looked at those around the table then he looked over at Hermione “We heard- No we felt him calling us, every one of us felt it or sensed it in some way, we all knew were to find him”.
Minerva sighed as tears ran down her cheeks, “So Harry Potter the boy who grew to be eleven not knowing or feeling what love was, used that very thing to end the evil that was destroying our world”
Molly looked thoughtfully at both Ron and Hermione “Well he had two of the world’s best friends to give him theirs and to show him where to find it”.
Hagrid sniffed loudly and rubbed a stray tear from his cheek, “Harry learned all about love from us, his friends and family and from the prettiest red head I ever did see”
“Harry Weasley! Sounds ok. I wonder if we could talk him into taking Ginny’s name when they get married. After all we are the only family he has” laughed Ron.
“If Ginny hears you say that she’ll hex you into next year” Hermione told him with a look of mock horror “She’s been waiting since she was ten years old to become Mrs Harry Potter”.
“Longer than that actually Hermione, she told me she was going to marry Harry Potter when I first read her the story of the boy who lived, she was only five then” Arthur chuckled.
“Hang on a minute” called Moody his gnarled face trying to look sad “How come they never told me they’re getting married, never even got an invite either”
“Well first you are invited to our wedding” Ron said beaming at Hermione “second I don’t think Ginny told Harry yet”
The roar of laughter around the table bought the house elves into the room to check if every thing was alright.
The following Morning Harry Potter awoke to find himself lying in the same bed as Ginny. The first thing he did was to panic, wondering why he could not recall going to bed with her.
Then the events leading up to the death of Voldemort came back to him, he remembered how his heart had reached out to the one he loved more than life its self. He recollected vividly how somewhere from deep inside he had placed a protective shield around Ginny separating her from the evil that was Voldemort. He remembered seeing the power of his shield being boosted first by Ginny then by Ron and Hermione. He had no idea how he had done it or how his two best friends had helped, but it had worked.
Feeling just a little less panicked he reached over to the bedside cabinet and found his glasses. As soon as he had put them on he knew why he was in the same bed as Ginny, the shield he had placed to protect her was still in place. Who ever had put them to bed had been unable to break the shield and place them in separate beds.
Harry swung his legs from the bed and stood upon a lush luxurious carpet the like of which he had never seen. After wriggling his toes in the carpet for a minute he remembered what had wakened him, he was in urgent need of the bathroom. With a shrug he let down the shield and walked across the room.
Ginny awoke while Harry was using the bathroom, she felt something was missing, something was not quite right, pondering on what the odd feeling might be, she stretched and as her hand reached across the bed she felt the still very warm spot where just a minute before Harry had been lying. It was then she remembered waking earlier that morning and being unable to leave the bed due to the shield Harry had put around her. she had decided then to snuggle close to this man who loved her so much, wrapped in his arms she had soon fallen back to sleep.
Now the shield along with Harry was gone, leaving her feeling like she had lost something.
Harry entered from the bathroom at the same time as a house elf arrived with a tray with morning tea and the morning paper.
“Hello who are you?” Ginny asked as the elf busied himself pouring the tea.
“Bobby! Mistress, head of the house elves” Bobby answered with a low bow.
“Where are we exactly?” Harry asked as he sat on the bed next to Ginny.
“We’re in the master’s bedroom master” Bobby answered frowning “the master was asleep when they bought you and the mistress home sir”
“Have the others left are they still here?” Harry asked as he took the tea offered by the elf.
“Mister Remus has placed all your guests in room’s master” Bobby bowed “Is there anything else that the master would like?”
Harry baffled by the turn of events since he awoke shrugged and answered no.
Ron sitting at the largest kitchen table he had ever seen had got his appetite back and was happily eating his breakfast while along side him his mother and Hermione were talking about weddings and how long they should wait before setting a date.
“You should make sure your mum and dad are free on Halloween” Ron quipped between slices of bacon.
“But that’s only a month” Molly protested “you should be engaged-“
Ron cut his mother off as he swallowed then said “Hermione and me have been together eight years mum, that’s long enough for any one”
Hermione threw her arms around him and gushed “Ron I love you so much”.
Harry and Ginny found their way into the kitchen at that precise time, Harry eyebrows raised called out “Hello, hello and what do we have here”
Hermione sprang from her seat and in an instant was holding Ginny in a fierce hug “Thanks Ginny, if it wasn’t for you”
Ginny looked from Hermione to Harry then to her mother and Ron, the latter two were smiling and Ginny knew they knew something she did not.
Hermione suddenly let go of Ginny and hugged Harry then made a hurried exit calling back over her shoulder “I have to owl my mum and dad. They’ll be so glad the war is over, the news is going to bowl them over” a second later she was gone.
“Ginny I get the feeling we are missing some thing here” Harry chuckled as he looked at the bright red face of Ron.
“I quite agree Harry, for a starter they know where we are and how we got here; they also know what the heck Hermione is going on about”
Harry was distracted as Ginny finished speaking by an elf gently pushing at him “The master should sit down and have some breakfast, the master looks very thin”
Harry sat then looked at Ron and Molly “Ok would someone like to tell me what is going on”
While Harry and Ginny ate breakfast they listened as Ron began his tale.
Ron took a deep breath then told Harry and Ginny about the events since the fall of Voldemort. Molly sat and nodded occasionally in between tutting and whispering to her self “One month”
“Then I asked Hermione if she would marry me, we are getting married on Halloween. That’s what she has gone to owl her mum about” Ron finished.
Remus entered as Harry and Ginny congratulated Ron. Sitting down Remus was about to explain about Harry’s wealth when he noticed the look Harry was giving Ginny.
Seconds later Harry was down on one knee and having pulled a chain from around his neck, he asked Ginny if she would marry him, Ginny shrieked a yes as Harry removed a ring from the chain, it was his mums engagement ring, placing it on Ginny’s finger he whispered thank you.
“Mrs Weasley, it’s a lot of work organising a wedding then?” Harry said as Molly stared wide eyed at him.
She gulped and nodded “Oh yes very”
“Well if it is ok with Ron, Hermione and Ginny, I think we should save you the trouble of going through it twice. I think we should all get married on Halloween”
Remus managed to tell Harry about his wealth later that day. Harry shared with Remus and Kingsley about the seven pieces of Tom Riddle’s soul and how they had found them and destroyed them allowing Voldemort to be killed, he swore them to total secrecy, it would not do to have some other dark wizard to get ideas.
Hermione and Ginny were two of the happiest people alive, they had been best friends for years and had shared both joy and sorrow and now they looked forward to the joy their wedding day would bring.