Chapter 1 : The Day of Rememberance
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Harry awoke suddenly to a friendly freckly face standing over him, ginger hair flopping over his forehead and his hands shaking Harry’s shoulders firmly.
“Wake up! Harry! Harry!” Ron shouted at him.
“Wha...What!? Ron, I’m up, Ron, stop, STOP! What is it?” Harry said strongly, pushing Ron’s shoulders away and grabbing his glasses from his bedside table.
“Come downstairs mate, you’ll see!” Ron grinned cheekily and ran out of the room, his footsteps echoing as he bounded down the stairs towards the Gryffindor Common Room. Harry groaned inwardly, pushed his glasses on and pulled on his dressing gown and slippers. Yesterday he’d been so full of emotion he’d almost been delirious, but now he felt sore and tired, all of yesterday’s grief and exhilaration having escaped him whilst he’d slept. He slowly made his way downstairs.
The Common Room was dark, nothing moved, Harry suddenly had a sneaking suspicion he was being watched and thought it was one of Ron’s sick jokes or something, but then the candles burst alight as somebody nearby swished their wand and Harry was greeted by a crowd of people, all cheering. He looked around at all the smiling faces. Ron stood directly in front of him at the front of the crowd, grinning and fist pumping the air, his right arm was draped around Hermione’s shoulders pulling her tight to him, she had her arms wrapped round his waist but her face was alight like the rest of them, her dazzling smile and glinting eyes shining at Harry as he felt a smile creep across his face. Ginny stood next to Ron, a cute smile playing across her thin lips. She stood awkwardly, her legs crossed and hands clasped together in front of her. Harry felt himself blush slightly, his cheeks going fiery red and a tingle running down the back of his neck. Neville and Luna were stood together next to Ginny, their hands were intertwined but their faces were beaming, Neville stood proudly with Godric Gryffindor’s sword grasped tightly in his free hand. He looked around at all the other cheering faces, then he saw George, his face was solemn, he held Fred’s knitted jumper tightly in his hands, tears ran down both cheeks and his eyes were full of grief. Harry glanced around again, Ron, his eyes were bloodshot and red, with a large cut running across his cheek, Hermione, behind the joy in her soft brown eyes was anguish and pain, Ginny, she held a handkerchief in her clasped hands that was soaked by tears. Harry’s grin vanished and the memories of all that had happened the day before suddenly hit him, like he’d suddenly run into a brick wall. He started shouting, trying to be heard above the noise, “Be quiet! Shut up! We shouldn’t be celebrating! Be qui...”
He looked at Hermione for help. She held her wand to her neck and her voice blasted like a foghorn across a calm ocean, “Be quiet please... Harry has something to say.” He room went silent and Hermione nodded at Harry to continue.
“Please, don’t cheer, we may have defeated Voldemort but we’ve lost lots of lives along the way and I don’t think it’s the right time yet to be celebrating, I think we all need time to grieve, to mourn, because I know every one of you here lost someone you loved to Voldemort and his followers, be it yesterday or not, and I don’t feel right cheering, and I don’t think you do either, so please, can today be a remembrance to everyone who has lost their lives, I think they deserve that at least.” As Harry’s words pierced the silence heads dropped and small sobs started to echo around the room. Neville nodded in approval and turned away, pushing through the crowd. Ron and Ginny went over to their family and Luna hugged Hermione. Harry turned away and went back to his room to grieve alone.
Harry had been sat on his bed for almost half an hour, thinking about Lupin and Tonks, about Mad Eye and Fred, about Sirius and Snape, but mostly about his parents, what they would say to him now, how they would react, would they be proud. He longed to see them again. The door to the dormitory opened an inch; Harry jumped out of his reverie and wiped his nose with the back of his hand before readjusting his glasses.
“Harry?” a soft voice floated into the room, a voice that could only be identified as Hermione’s.
“Hermione” Harry sniffed.
“Can I come in? Erm, I thought you’d maybe like to talk to someone, or something?” her questioning voice drifted towards him.
“Yeah, sure, come in.” Harry sat up and twisted round so his legs dangled off the edge of the bed. Hermione came in, closing the door quietly behind her she walked to Harry and sat down next to him, resting her head on his shoulder and squeezing her hands round his upper arm.
“Hermione?” Harry asked quietly.
“Yes?” Hermione answered, her eyes looking up at him.
“Why aren’t you downstairs with the others?”
“Ron and Ginny are with their family, I felt out of place with them, and everyone’s in groups down there, I didn’t know who else to come to.”
“Oh, okay.” Harry said, wiping a tear away that was threatening to run down his cheek with his free sleeve. The pair of them sat in silence for what felt like ages, both of them staring into space thinking. It was Harry who broke the silence.
“Why?” Harry asked. Hermione knew exactly what he meant.
“I don’t know Harry, I really don’t know.” She grasped his hand in hers. “But I know it can only get better from here.”
“Hermione?” Harry asked again, glancing down at their clasped hands and feeling a strange butterfly sensation in his stomach that he couldn't identify.
“How come you’ve always had so much faith in me? Even when I’ve never believed in myself you always knew I could do it. Why?” Harry’s tone was questioning, as though he needed an answer from her.
“Harry, I’ve always believed in you because, well, I wouldn’t want to put my life into anyone’s hands but yours, and I know I can trust you, even if you hold back information, I know you’ll be there for me whenever I need a shoulder to lean on. I know you'll never leave me, even if I don't really need you there, and that makes me feel safe. You’re my best friend.” She said the last sentence softly, as though she didn’t really want Harry to catch it. Harry felt a wide grin spread across his face in spite of the tears still running down his face and stood up.
"Harry? What are you doing?" She asked alarmed.
Harry knelt down on one knee and put his hand to his chest, a huge grin still plastered across his tear ridden face. Hermione widened her eyes.
"Hermione, it is an honour for you to call me your best friend, I think you’re absolutely amazing and deserve everything you could wish for in the world. I'm proud to say that you are my best friend also." He said proudly, like a prince in speech. Then he winked and Hermione realised he was joking around. She laughed and nudged Harry’s shoulder back lightly, Harry was already off balance and fell backwards onto the floor, they both howled with laughter. Then the dormitory door banged open and Ron stormed in, looking around like a lost kitten. Harry and Hermione's laughter took to a new level at this.
"Hey! I was wondering where you two had got too! What are you laughing about? You don’t exactly seem to be mourning, do you Harry?" Ron stormed.
He pulled Harry up to a sitting position vehemently before gently kissing Hermione on the forehead and sitting down next to her, sliding his hand into hers. Harry looked at Hermione who was looking at Ron angrily, her eyes shooting him with tiny arrows. The strange feeling Harry had felt before suddenly came back to him, but instead of butterflies it was now like a small gremlin, dancing about in glee, he tried to ignore it. Ron looked at Harry.
“What?” said Harry, pushing his glasses up his nose as they had fallen squint whilst he had been laughing.
“You go and make a big speech downstairs about mourning our losses and remembering the dead, and then I find you two up here having a good old giggle. Bit hypocritical aren’t you Harry?” Ron fired back heatedly.
“Hey, you wait just a minute....” Harry trailed off as Hermione butted in with force.
“Ron, don’t be so silly, Harry was crying his eyes out before, I just made him laugh that’s all, isn’t that what we’re meant to do, cheer our friends up?” Hermione fired at Ron. Harry blushed in embarrassment as Hermione told Ron he’d been crying.
“Oh...oh right... well... that’s okay then I guess... sorry Harry...” Ron stuttered.
“It’s okay Ron.” Harry smiled lamely at him.
“So, what’s the plan then mate?” Ron asked him, now reassured.
“Haven’t a clue? There’s a lot to sort out. I suppose Kingsley has taken office as the Minister of Magic, I saw it in the Daily Prophet this morning, but for us, that’s Hogwarts over, done, and I guess we’ll have to leave soon I expect, they’ll be wanting it repaired for the new year.” Harry’s eyes welled up slightly at the thought of saying goodbye to Hogwarts and he looked at the floor to try and hide them from his two best friends. Hogwarts had been his home for seven years, it had been the first place where he’d gotten to know friendship and love, courage and bravery, and he wasn’t ready to leave.
“Well, you can’t go back to the Dursleys Harry, and Mum said she could need an extra guy in the house to help with the gnomes, now that, well, Fred’s gone.” Ron said the last two words with a struggle and one tear managed to escape down his cheek.
“Ron,” Harry looked up at his friend, attempting to hide the tears that were threatening to overwhelm him once again, “’I’d love that, really, I would.”
Ron nodded. He couldn’t seem to get any words out. Hermione rested her head against Ron's shoulder as she had with Harry’s.
“I’ll be living there too Harry, I have nowhere else to go and Molly said I could stay for a while.” She grinned. “And with Ginny having another year at Hogwarts I guess it’ll be the three of us again, like always.”
Ron sniffed, attempting his trademark grin. Harry grinned at the thought of it. He wouldn't want anything else.