Despite the trauma of the night before most of the inhabitants were so exhausted that as soon as their heads it the pillows most were fast asleep. Molly had decided the sleeping arrangements so in one dorm it was herself & Arthur, Bill & Fleur, Tonks, Ginny and Hermione. In the other were the remaining Weasley boys plus Neville.
Tonks was the first awake in her dorm after only 4 hours sleep, it was just before 8am , her first urge was to shower she was still in her clothes from yesterday not having the energy to change last night. She headed to the showers trying not to wake any of her dorm mates. When she got to the showers Tonks undressed but kept her wand in with her it was not stable enough to presume she wouldn't need to defend herself. Stepping under the showerhead Tonks enjoyed the feeling of the hot spray coursing over her body it relaxed her tense muscles unfortunately the water could do nothing to relax her mind.
The deaths of harry and especially her love Remus hit her hard. Soon her tears were mingling with the water spray she felt her legs give way and water still running she slid down the shower and pulled her legs tight to her chest she picked up her wand performed a silencing charm around her she allowed her emotions free reign wailing and sobbing for her lost and her son's lost. Tonks stayed in the shower letting her emotions run out for over an hour.
Finally she reached a point where she physically could not cry anymore and looked at her now-prune like body and decided it was time to exit shower. Now sporting her mousey brown hair and grey eyes, grabbing a towel she dried herself when she reached her chest she realised she was still leaking milk, she picked up her watch 9am, 18 hours since she had left teddy at that moment she knew exactly what she needed to do next ... go to her infant son. Teddy was the only bit of Remus she had left and right now, she needed him in her arms.
Tonks Scourgifed her robes there would be time to pick up clean clothes when she got to her mum's but the sooner she reached her son the better. Walking back into the dorm to get her boots and check she hadn't left anything. As Tonks reached down for her shoes she caught a movement at the edge of her visual field but no sound all too aware the battle ended less than 8 hours ago she was immediately on guard looking round she soon noticed the source of the movement but it took her brain a few moments to clock why there was no sound. There in the corner of the room was Hermione clearly in the grips of a nightmare. Tonks strode across the room to Hermione's bedside first Tonks expanded the silencing charm to include her them she started to talk soothingly to the unconscious girl this seemed to calm the girl so Tonks moved back to her bed. Looking at both Ginny and Hermione in their sleep Tonks was reminded how young they really were. Taking a closer look at Ginny, Tonks realised the redheaded girl was actually awake she walked over to her bed and casted a Muffliato charm over her and the bed.
"Ginny I know you're awake stop pretending to be asleep I'm not going anywhere so lets not waste both our times" in defeat Ginny opened her eyes
"I was hoping if I kept my eyes shut I could pretend yesterday didn't happen and harry was still here"
"Ginny I know this sounds corny but harry is still here, he's here in every live he touched he just isn't alive any longer." Ginny got angry at this " Nymphadora you can't seriously tell me you believe that you've lost the love of your life too. What you've just said doesn't fill the gap I have in my soul and I doubt it's helping you either, in fact I can see it's not "Ginny pointed out Tonks's chosen appearance. "So please don't patronise me!"
"Fine! I'm devastated I know exactly how you're feeling Ginny and I'm not sure how I'll be able to go on from this ... but I know I have to if not for me for Teddy. I know that Remus didn't give his life for mine so that I come mope and mourn for the rest of my life. I know Remus would want me to live and make the most of his sacrifice for our child and myself. I may not feel like living without Remus today, tomorrow or next month but one day I will live life and I'll do it for Remus knowing he would want me to. Ginny it was obvious from what harry said last night he wanted you to do the same. He wanted you to find happiness, love and peace it's what he died for. You may not feel like it now but you will be happy again and until then your family, Hermione and I will be there to get each other through this."
Ginny didn't look convinced.
With this Tonks admitted defeat for now knowing emotions were high and she or Ginny might say something they'd regret though grief. Tonks got up and went in search of McGonagall to see if there was any way to get out of the castle to get back to Teddy she also wanted to find out if and how she could get back to Hogwarts with teddy.
The residents of the dorms began to awake one by one all knowing that today was the first day in a new free world and wishing that harry, Fred and Remus could experience it. Gradually the dorms inhabitants headed to the showers to wash away the dirt and grime of yesterday. Slowly but surely the two dorms inhabitants made their way down to the common room. George didn't really seem aware of his surrounding and was mindlessly following Percy around who seemed to have decided it was this duty to escort his younger brother. As Hermione enter the room she took in the faces of her surrogate family Arthur seemed to be holding Molly up the normally gregarious mother hen was understandable sombre. However Hermione noticed Molly was constantly doing sweeps of the room with her eyes as if scared to let her children leave her sight. Hermione almost didn't George hidden in the corner he was not the boy she'd grown up with he was a shell. she couldn't begin to imagine what life would be like for him one half of a whole never to be complete again.
Next her attention was drawn to Charlie who was comforting Ginny despite the tragedy of the circumstances the imaged warmed her such brotherly affection was something she'd only experience from Harry and even then it was rare. This thought alone sent tears down her cheeks , for a long time even before the prophecy she'd considered it a high possibility that Harry wouldn't make it through the war but that didn't make it any easier. All of Harry's life just seemed so unfair he was such a wonderful human being despite everything life put him through but the pressure, the pain it never stopped for him. Suddenly Hermione felt a set of arms encircle due to the events of the past 9 months she flinched and struggled before she heard "sorry Hermione I wasn't thinking I just saw you crying and wanted to comfort you, sorry" said an earnest and bashful Neville. "It's ok Neville I'm just a bit jumpy it's nothing personal".
Hermione found a space as bill and Fleur entered the room they were just awaiting Ron.
Hermione was finally was rested enough to pay proper attention to her surroundings and she was surprised the Gryffindor common room looked almost untouched by the battle forever curious she decided to ask Colin why this was his answer was the DA had decided that key fighters in the battle needed somewhere comfortable and safe to sleep so spent some time repairing the common room and 6 dorms. Hermione was grateful even if it made her slightly uncomfortable.
Finally Ron appeared seemingly unaware of the fact everyone had been waiting 10 minutes for him. The group silently exited the common room and headed to the great hall for some much needed food. As soon as the group left the common room, the horrifying extent of the damage to the castle became clear.
Meanwhile Tonks had located McGonagall and Kingsley deep in discussion at the top table in the great hall neither one looked like they'd had any sleep. She approached the pair purposely, "sorry to interrupt you both but I'm guessing if I want to leave the castle it's one of you two I need to talk to.".
Both gave weary smiles that didn't reach the eyes and nod "right I also want to come back in three hours time with teddy to start sorting out stuff for Remus but I know what's decided about Harry's body is likely to affect my plans."
Kingsley proceeded explain the exit method and handed Tonks a pencil "this is a high security port key set to 13:40 if you miss this you will have to wait until 18:00 hours as the castle and its current residents are on restricted access due to the high alert status in place since the ministry was restored. As your an Auror and a trusted one of the light you have clearance to return but for the majority of the castles current inhabitants once they leave they will not be able to return until the immediate situation has stabilised. we will be making some announcements at 3pm this afternoon in here, I'd like you to me here Nym, and please get yourself checked over by a healer in the next few hours I don't want a minor curse to become a major problem in a couple of days." As Kinsley finished Tonks took her leave and headed in the direction of her son.
Arriving at her heavily warded childhood home Tonks noticed the curtains of the front room twitch briefly indicating that the wards had done their job and notified her mum of her arrival. Knowing that not much information concerning the events of last night would have made it out of the castle walls. She opted for the well used safety protocol adopted since the escalation of the war following Dumbledore's death. Tonks pulled her wand seconds later a faint silver spectre of wolf appeared and dashed towards the house. Seconds later a silver fox appeared. What was your naughty hair as a child? What was your father's favourite muggle tail? And where do I want to go on holiday? Tonks raised her wand again this time the wolf was even fainter and the Auror struggled to keep her composure at the sound of her mother's voice.
She slowly followed the path of her Patronus towards the house. Her mum opened the door causing the fragile facade she'd constructed since her breakdown in the shower to crumble. She barely made it across the threshold before she collapsed into her mother's arms.
"He's gone mum, he's really gone" Mrs. Tonks was confused why did her daughter sound upset about Voldemort's demise trying to understand she asked "Voldemort?" "Yes, but I meant R-r-remus" Andromeda gasped . Although when her daughter had first told her and her husband about her love for the werewolf they were slightly disappointed at the hard path Nymphadora chosen for herself but as they got to know Remus Lupin they knew he was perfect for their daughter and clearly devoted to their daughter. Yes the age difference was a little worrying, yes the wizarding worlds reaction to werewolves and now by extension their daughter was concerning.
Yes their opinion of Remus lowered when he ran away at the news of pregnancy but Remus had become family who Andromeda cared about deeply and she hated he idea that her daughter had lost the love of her life. Worst still that her precious grandson would grow up not knowing his father.
Tonks finally regained composure and extricated herself from her mother's grasp "mum, I need to see and hold Teddy, where is he?" "he's in the playpen in the living room, I placed him under protection charms when the ward alarms sounded" Tonks rushed to her son waving her wand she plucked him the 3 month old out of the playpen and clucked the child to her chest like she thought he would vanish. The instant Teddy was in his mother's hold he started making sucking motions this action alone was enough to bring Tonks out of her trance and she immediately set about feeding her son.
Watching her daughter and grandson from the doorframe the tragedy of the last few months for her family hit and tears streamed down her face. Pulling herself together she knew she needed to be strong for her daughter right now. "Nym shall we go and sit in the living room? You can tell me what happened."
Still nursing Teddy Tonks launched into an explanation of the events of the battle leaving out she was potentially carrying the child of Harry Potter.
An hour and many tears later Tonks had updated her mum the major parts of the night before including Harry's death, the role of her aunt in Remus's death and her aunts final downfall at the hands of molly Weasley. She also told her mother her concerns about Ginny Weasley. Over the years Andromeda had come to hear a lot about the young people her daughter had often had to protect she knew how important they all were to her daughter, Tonks had often commented that Harry and his friends were some of the few people to fully accept her not for abilities but for who she was.
Like many of those waking up to the news on the wireless this morning her mind wondered to the boy, because lets face it that was all he was, who had sacrificed himself to bring peace to this world.
Harry Potter who from the age of one never really lived Tonks had told her about those awful muggle he was sent to live with by Dumbledore how he was treated worst than most house elves. Yet this boy who was barely old enough to wield a wand had not only beaten the darkest of their age but had willingly given his life for a world that had often vilified him. Like many, that morning she vowed to herself that the Potters sacrifice would not be wasted.
Andromeda turned to face her daughter.
"I don't know how to do this," indicating to teddy "on my own" this unusual display of vulnerability from her daughter was almost enough to set off Andromeda again but she knew that would help no one.
"darling you won't be on your own, I'll be here all the way. You've been doing such a great job so far and I know it's going to me harder without Remus but I have no doubt you will raise teddy brilliantly and he will always know how much he's daddy loved him and how brave he was".
"I'm not convinced but thanks mum, could you check me over for injuries I didn't bother the healers at Hogwarts there were so many seriously injured I didn't want them to waste time on me"
This was one of the times Andromeda was glad she'd taken healing classes at St Mungo's until she got pregnant with Nymphadora.
Placing teddy in a mosses basket Tonks stood up and removed her clothing standing in front of her mum in her underwear. A few cuts and bruises were obvious but before Andromeda started healing, she needed full diagnostics picking up her wand and drew it over Tonks. A few healing spells later and Tonks headed to her room to change.
Reappearing half an hour later looking sort of refreshed Tonks headed to check on teddy to find her Mother had made brunch she looked at her watch somehow it was 12.45 already.
"Mum I'm going back to Hogwarts at 1.40, to find out what's happening now and talk to Kingsley and Weasleys about what the plan is for Harry as I know Remus would want to be with him. Mum can you come with me? I want teddy near but my attention is going to be needed on other things."
Breakfast was understandably sombre none of the Weasley's were hungry they were just going through the motions. Despite the limited amount of food any of them had consumed none were really eating. Ginny and George were the worst seemingly staring at nothing if you did know better you might guess they had received a Dementors kiss. By 11am the group was growing restless Arthur had moved to discuss matters with Minerva and Kingsley. The family sat awaiting his return, Molly started fusing over her brood with slightly less energy than normal but the family knew better than to argue last night had confirmed what the Weasley offspring had known for decades Molly Weasley was a formidable witch who was not to be messed with.
Arthur returned to the group informing them there would be a compulsory meeting of all the castles current inhabitants in 3 and a half hours. Next was the bit he was dreading conveying to his ensemble family "Kingsley and Minerva have said they can not and will not open the headmasters office until at least 2pm ..." Ginny , George and Molly made to interrupt but Arthur put his hand up and continued " I argued our case I know we don't like the idea of the boys being without us but they are still with each other . we are needed us a trusted family of the light to help ensure the structural stability of the castle right now. We all know and have seen the extensive damage both physical and magical done to the castle and the castle needs to be stabilised and the wounded evacuated before decisions are made about the dead. We are some of the very few who are trusted implicitly and as much as I would rather be with our boys but I know they would both want us to make sure the wizarding world becomes the world they fought for. We all need to get checked over by healers before we start we'll do more harm than good if we are physically or magically exhausted."
At 13.41pm Tonks, Andromeda and teddy arrived in a deserted classroom on the 6th floor Tonks pocketed the portkey and led her family out of the classroom towards the great hall. Tonks heard her mother gasped several times during the trip Tonks had become desensitised to the devastation.
On their journey, Tonks noticed order members dotted around doing basic magical repairs on the castle.
On reaching the great hall Tonks could see the Weasley's taking a food break to one side and directed her mother and teddy to join them. She paused to see Teddy's presence brighten up the group particularly Molly who seem to regain some of her sparkle in the presence of the infant. Ignoring the circumstances of this meeting it would be a wonderful sight and it was easy to see why Molly Weasley ended up with 7 children.
Tonks re-engaged with the situation at hand and headed towards the staff table.
"Right King what do you need me to do? Oh also as I'm sure you've seen I've brought teddy and mum back with me I hope that's ok I just really need Teddy near me right now and I knew I wouldn't be able to handle him and helping out."
"nym glad you made the 1st portkey it means we can start working out what to do with the bodies and memorials. I didn't want to open up the office until you were back as I didn't think we'd be able to protect the bodies." Kingsley stood and went over to Arthur. Moments later the Weasley's stood and went to the head table. Following Kingsley the group went to an empty classroom near the heads office. Once the room had been secured Kingsley began.
"Right I know you all want to be with Fred, Remus and Harry. But I want us to discuss what you want to do as you were Harry's family and you know everyone is going to be making demands on the ministry about Harry's resting place and memorial. Unfortunately I know he will not be left in peace in death and as those closest to him, especially Ron and Hermione, the spotlight will be on you. In an hour I will be announcing that I have been made interim minister of magic my first act was to appoint Minerva McGonagall headmistress of Hogwarts. I need you guys to decide when you want to bury Harry , Remus and Fred. I know you may choose to bury Fred elsewhere but it is likely if you want Remus with harry there will be little choice as to where because of Harry's hero status but the least I can ensure is that it happens when you want."
Also for your information so you don't have to attend the 3pm meeting if you wish not to I am asking all current inhabitants to leave by 9am on Monday 4th may. Speaking to Arthur earlier he's suggested he bill and fleur go to the burrow tomorrow to set it up for you all." After a short discussion it was decided that Thursday may 7th would be the date.
With that, they left to be reunited with their love ones in the headmistress's office. Where the group minus Kingsley stayed for the rest of the day.