Chapter 1 : Disarray
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Someday I’m gonna find it
Wish I knew what I was looking for
Inside this disarray
The road to recovery was a very long and tedious task. The Wizarding world had lain in ruins when the war ceased. Now, two months later, the charred remains of buildings had been repaired, but the anguish caused by war was far from being mended. The casualties were many. Death had not discriminated against good and evil. However, hardships had come accompanied by positive changes to the Wizarding community. The ministry was being led by a fearless man Kingsley Shacklebot, and corrupted ministry officials were brought to justice. Dolores Umbridge had been sentenced to twenty years of prison for her cruel treatment and prejudice of Muggle-borns.
Despite the exhaustion Harry Potter felt, he was hard at work making sure that all the fallen would be remembered. He mentioned all the names of the unsung heroes that had perished every time he reluctantly did interviews. Interviews, that he was talked into doing by Ginny.
Harry had moved into Grimmauld Place. Fervently working, Harry spruced up the place in no time. He felt good as he did it. It was a healthy distraction. He only had Ginny for help. Hermione had gone to Australia to reinstate her parent’s memories, accompanied by Ron, who blatantly refused to let her travel alone. Grimmauld Place was practically unrecognizable. The heads of the deceased House-elves were removed and buried with headstones that identified each. Harry was sure Hermione would appreciate that gesture. Harry had come to appreciate House-Elves a great deal after Dobby’s death and Kreacher’s help during the war. He had finally seen why Hermione was so diligent in voicing the hardships the House-elves endured. Apart from that, the overall broodiness that Grimmauld Place had held for many years was toned down. The place looked homey, with pictures and decorations that were dear to Harry. Muggle objects were placed here and there. Harry was still very much attached to certain Muggle objects that did not exist in the Wizarding world, and he was sure that Hermione too would appreciate them.
Ron, Hermione, and Ginny were all to live with Harry in Grimmauld Place. The place was far too big for Harry alone, and deep down, he really didn’t want to live alone just yet. Harry had taken Sirius’s old room as his own. Ron was to take Regulus’s Ginny was to take the room that had once belonged to Sirius’s parents and Hermione was given the huge guest bedroom at the end of the hall. All the rooms had been decorated to match the inhibitors personality. It was all made possible with the aid of Ginny, who came to the rescue when renovating led to altering the decoration. Harry just helped with the labor work.
Harry and Ginny sat on the floor, delving into a delicious BLT sandwich that had been prepared by Kreacher who, despite having been set free by Harry, remained at the house and took care of the food preparation. They were exhausted. They had finished redecorating the entire house and were taking their well-deserved break. Ron and Hermione were due to arrive the next day, and Harry and Ginny wanted to have the house ready by their arrival.
“We did it!” said Ginny triumphantly.
“Yes, thanks so much for your help Ginny.”
“Harry, you know it was no trouble at all.” said Ginny. “Besides it just gave me an excuse to spend my last few days with you.”
“It’s really good you’re heading back to Hogwarts to finish your last year.” said Harry honestly. “Hermione and I will have to play catch up because we didn’t finish ours.”
“Yes, but I much rather be with you,” said Ginny pouting. “There’s too many awful memories at Hogwarts now.”
“Come on Ginny, think of this,” said Harry. “You’ll be the cool girl at Hogwarts by dating someone out of school. Someone older…”
“Just knowing that I’m going out with The Harry Potter automatically makes me the coolest girl on the grounds.” said Ginny smugly.
“Well there you go. Now you have something to look forward to,” said Harry chuckling. “Something to brag about when you get back.”
“It’s getting late,” said Ginny tilting her head in the direction of the Grandfather clock modeled after the Weasley’s clock. “I’m going to take a shower and go to bed.”
“All right, “said Harry helping her up as he stood. “ I should probably do the same. I’m knackered.”
Harry and Ginny walked down into the hall together, walking towards Ginny’s bedroom. Once they were there, Ginny turned around and gave Harry a small peck on the lips.
“Goodnight.” she said wearily.
Harry waited until Ginny disappeared into her room before he proceeded to his own. He was so exhausted he could just fling himself onto his Four Poster bed and not get up. However, he knew that it would not be a bad idea if he took a shower; he had been working very hard all day. Reluctantly, he grabbed the first pair of underwear and pajama pants he could find and walked to his bathroom.
The flow of water brought immediate relief. The showerhead massaged his back as he closed his eyes, relaxing. Harry got out of the bathtub, changed and walked over to his warm bed and threw himself on top of it. It did not take long before he drifted soundly off to sleep.
* * * * * *
Harry awoke the next day feeling fully reenergized. He looked over at his nightstand, at the clock and saw that Ron and Hermione would be arriving in just an hour. He got dressed and headed downstairs to find Ginny already eating breakfast.
“Good Morning.” said Ginny brightly. “Oh Harry by the way, I can only stay an hour longer, just to greet Ron and Hermione. Mum is going to take me shopping for school supplies in Diagon Alley.”
“Oh,” said Harry disappointedly. “Did you want me to come with?”
“No, it’s all right. I know how anxious you are to see Ron and Hermione again.” said Ginny dipping her spoon into her bowl of cereal. “I shouldn’t be too long anyway.”
Ten o’clock came soon, and right on time, there was a raucous knock on the door.
“Ron.” said Harry and Ginny together.
They walked toward together and Harry turned the handle
Hermione was standing ousted the door alone.
“Hey guys!” said Hermione smiling broadly at them.
“Where’s Ron?” asked Ginny curiously.
There was a loud pop behind Harry and Ginny, and a familiar voice said:
Harry and Ginny turned around and found themselves face to face with Ron Weasley.
“What is up with you?” asked Ginny curiously at her brother.
“He had a little too much Firewhiskey I believe.” said Hermione as she let herself in.
Harry and Ginny smiled as they saw Hermione looking around the narrow hallway, awe-struck.
“You guys did this all by yourselves?”
“Yeah. With a little decorative aid from Ginny.” Harry said, wrapping an arm around Ginny’s waist.
“Well you both did a wonderful job!” exclaimed Hermione.
There was a loud crash on the floor which was caused by a clumsy Ron who had dropped a vase from its little table.
“Is he really pissed?” Ginny asked Hermione.
“Yes, I don’t know where he got it from. There’s definitely no alcohol at my parent’s house.” said Hermione angrily.
“I’ll go get the Sobering potion from the bathroom.” said Ginny walking towards the nearest bathroom.
“How was Australia?” Harry asked Hermione brightly, leading her to the dining room where Kreacher was still arranging the table.
“It was beautiful, I understand why my mum and dad decided to stay.” said Hermione.
“They’re staying?” Harry asked bewildered.
“Yes, they really liked the environment.” Hermione explained. “But as long as they’re happy and they know who I am, I’m okay with their decision.”
They watched as Ginny eased Ron into an empty chair beside Hermione.
“He should sober up in a few minutes.” said Ginny sitting next to Harry.
They all watched as Ron’s head dropped and immediately rose up again, reverting him to normal.
“Nice to have you back Ron.” said Hermione tartly.
“Was I drunk?” Ron asked.
“Yeah,” Ginny answered. “Ron you could barely walk.”
“Yeah and it made some impression on my parents” said Hermione angrily.
“It’s not like they care. They were busy asking questions about Harry.”
Harry choked on his water.
“Are you all right?” Ginny asked concernedly.
Harry nodded as Ginny patted him on the back.
“Would you excuse us for a minute?” Hermione asked briskly.
“Yeah” Ginny answered.
Harry and Ginny watched as Hermione pulled Ron roughly into the hallway.
An awkward silence ensued as Harry and Ginny continued eating trying to ignore the increasing loud yells coming from the hallway.
“Well, I’ve got to get going, mum is waiting for me back in the burrow.” said Ginny as she grabbed her plate.
“All right, see you later Gin.” Harry said.
A few minutes later Ron and Hermione resurfaced and sat down at the table. Ron looked disgruntled.
“Where did Ginny go?” Hermione asked curiously.
“She had to floo back to the Burrow. Mrs.Weasley is taking her shopping for Hogwarts supplies.”
“Excuse me, I just lost my appetite.” said Ron dropping his fork and knife with a clatter.
Hermione looked at Ron leave with a stony face.
“Uh,” said Harry uncertainly. “Is everything okay with you two?”
“Yeah why do you ask?” asked Hermione indifferently.
“Well you guys were arguing rather loudly and Ron just up and left.” said Harry.
“Yeah but why does that surprise you?” Hermione asked curiously. “That’s how it’s always been between us.”
“I know, but I thought that when you two got together it might ease up a bit.”
Hermione sighed heavily.
“So did I.” she said. “But you don’t always get what you want do you?”
“Hermione, do you want to talk?” Harry asked concernedly. “You seem on edge all of a sudden, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong Harry.” Hermione said unconvincingly.
“Why do I get the feeling that’s not true?” Harry asked.
Hermione crossed her fork and knife neatly on her empty plate.
“Harry do you mind showing me my room?” Hermione asked attempting to divert Harry’s question. “I’m really tired.”
Temporarily defeated, Harry got up and led Hermione upstairs to her bedroom.
“This is your room,” said Harry showing her the room that had once been a huge guest room. “Ginny decorated it.”
Hermione looked around. The room had a few very girly touches to it; doilies and lace were here and there. Something that would’ve never been placed there by Hermione herself. She was never girly and the room she had had when she lived with her parents was certainly not either. She did appreciate however, that there were huge bookcases aligned on the wall that hid the bathroom.
“I love it.” said Hermione honestly.
Hermione went up to one of the bookcases to survey the array of book. There were all books of interest to her. Books on Muggle-born history, wizard lineage, ancient Runes, legal cases on mistreatment of magical animals, and of course her all time favorite Hogwarts, a History: the revised edition.
“How did you get all these books?” Hermione asked in awe still looking up and down the bookcases.
“Some connections.” said Harry smiling at the sight of a genuinely happy Hermione, for the first time since she came back from Australia.
“Thank you.” said Hermione truly.
“No problem. Honestly.” said Harry. “Well I’ll leave you to get some rest. I’ve got to go to Hogwarts about the N.E.W.T. s. information. I’d bring you along but I know you’re tired.”
“Yeah, I really do want and need to but I’m going to leave it for another day.” said Hermione placing her compacted luggage on the bed.
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll make sure to tell McGonagall you want to do it too.” said Harry.
“All right.” Hermione replied.
“Well, I’ll see you later then.” said Harry apprehensively.
“Bye” Hermione replied.