Disclaimer: I am only borrowing from the world of J.K. Rowling.
Chapter Two: It Wasn’t Just Me
Harry fell asleep, hoping that the feelings that Ron had given him would last. With Ron lecturing all of his guilt had drained away, but he was sure that it was going to come back again. He didn’t sleep long though, for nightmares plagued him.
“You think you escaped don’t you?” Voldemort sneered. “You think I’m really dead!” Voldemort raised his wand but instead of pointing it to him he pointed it to a redhead tied to a pole.
“No!” Harry roared. “Not Ginny!” A silencing charm was placed on him and then a flash of green light and he woke up.
Harry sat up and peered at where Ron was lying. His snores filled the room. Thankfully, Harry thought, I hadn’t screamed. He was drenched in a cold sweat and glancing at the clock that read 3:16 he got up and wandered to the bathroom. He splashed water on his face and he looked at his reflection.
He didn’t look like someone who had defeated one of the most powerful wizards ever. He was a pale, shaky, scared looking boy, that seemed to have shrunk. He looked like he was eleven years old, and even if he wore clothes that fit him, he felt like the boy that was stuck under the stairs and any second he would hear Dudley’s voice.
He returned to his bed, but he knew that he wouldn’t be able to go to sleep, and he waited staring at the lopsided ceiling until light began to creep through the curtains. A look at the clock informed him that he would be up early but he wasn’t going to be the only one.
As he trudged down the stairs, Mrs. Weasley was already bustling around the kitchen and she turned when she heard Harry’s footsteps. “You’re up early, my dear.” she said and then continued, “Breakfast will be ready soon, I just sent Arthur to get some food.”
Harry nodded and then asked, “Is there anything that I can do?”
“You can start to set the table.” Harry nodded and started moving around the kitchen thankful that he had something to do so he could take his mind off of his dreams. It wasn’t long before Mr. Weasley returned and the smell of sizzling bacon filled the house and more and more Weasleys crept down.
Bill and Fleur were still there mostly because it was so late that they didn’t really want to return home, and before Harry knew it everyone was sitting at the table that had been magically enlarged and was eating a huge breakfast. He didn’t even realize he was that hungry.
Harry listened in on the conversations around him, but for the most part, the joy and happiness of the Weasleys was dimmed. George wasn’t laughing or trying to slip something into someone’s food. Ginny kept giving him looks, and Ron did his best to take their minds off of the lost family member.
Once everything was cleared, Harry wandered outside and sat on the aging swing on one of the many trees. He stared down, mulling over the words that Ron had said to him earlier, and looked at several of the scars that were on his hands. Those would fade with time, but the sun, on his chest where the killing curse hit him would always be there. Lost in his thoughts, he didn’t even hear Ginny approach.
“Harry.” Ginny said and Harry looked up startled.
“Ginny.” Harry said, and as Ginny opened her mouth Harry cut across her. “I’m sorry alright. I just wanted you to be safe. I could never live knowing that it was my fault that you were gone.” Harry was standing now. “Everything bad that could happen just because of me.”
“It’s just, I need you Ginny.” Harry was looking towards her and Ginny could see the hurt that was in his eyes.
“Harry. I forgive you. The war has done so much that has hurt us, and it would just be in Voldemort’s best interest for us to fight.” She said but then stared into his eyes, “But,” Harry’s heart sank, of course there had to be a but. “I need time. I don’t want to be at ends with you, but I’m not ready to go skipping and smiling into your arms.” Harry nodded and she painfully changed the subject. “I hope you’re ready because we are going to Hogwarts now and you are expected to be joining us.”
He followed her, and as the Weasleys started to gather in the sitting room, wondered. Am I going to go back?
His thoughts were lost, when Mr. Weasley grabbed a cardboard box and announced, “They have started to put the wards back up so we are going to take a portkey. Everyone put a finger on,” Everyone struggled to touch it, “One, Two, Three.” Harry felt the familiar sensation of being pulled by his navel and they landed in front of the gate of Hogwarts. Ron staggered backwards and Harry caught him.
“Whoa there buddy.” He said and Ron smiled a little embarrassed that he still didn’t have the hang of a portkey.
Everyone trudged up to the castle and Professor Sprout met them at doors. “Glad you could come.” She started. “As you should know. Dark magic makes it difficult to repair things with magic, so go through rooms repairing everything you can by magic, but if it doesn’t work, that’s fine. The ministry is sending teams to do the physical labor for today. However, in a couple of days we are going to have to do the labor so try to get a lot done.” She bustled to another group that had just arrived.
Mrs. Weasley grabbed his arm and pulled him into the hospital wing. Harry wanted to wrestle free but found that his usual bed was open, and there were only a couple others still in the room, and none that were currently being taken care of. “Poppy,” Mrs. Weasley said, when Madam Pomfrey came by, “This boy needs help.” She ordered him to sit and take off his shirt as she examined him. One moment she was gone, and the next she had a load of bottles. She waved her wand and he healed up even more. He felt like he had a new heart or something that worked much better than the old one. “You are going to take this one,” She pointed at the blue one, “Each morning, only a sip mind you, because it is very addictive.” Harry nodded, “And then take this one,” She pointed at the purple one, “Every night. When you run out, if you are still not fully healed I’ll give you a refill.” She shooed him away and Harry hadn’t even noticed that Mrs. Weasley had slipped out. He wandered out and found Charlie and Hermione.
The motioned him into a room and each took a corner and muttered Reparo, and slowly the room started to come back together, but there were still stones misplaced.
“You can see exactly where the spells went.” Hermione muttered as they finished with what they could. There were three holes and burn marks surrounding this as well as several desk that matched up perfectly. They nodded and continued to other rooms. Harry found himself going to rooms that he had never visited before, and he wished that he had the Marauder’s Map. However, it was soon lunch and Hermione seemed to know the way.
“Hey Harry.” Neville said as he passed them. He was carrying a great bucket of something.
“Whatcha got there Neville?” Harry asked peering into the bucket.
“Some mortar. We are starting on getting Gryffindor Tower finished.”
“Isn’t the Ministry supposed to do that?” Hermione stepped in.
“Yeah, well, there isn’t enough of them so they are getting some help.” Neville explained.
“Maybe we’ll catch up after lunch.” Harry said and Neville nodded bidding them farewell.
Hermione frowned and Charlie stared at her. “What?” she asked.
“Did you really expect the Ministry to not be shorthanded?” Charlie asked. “Imagine how many are just getting out from under the Imperius Curse and how many are making sure that there family is safe, and rebuilding their homes. We’re lucky that they went through our stuff.”
Hermione crossed her arms but they continued on their way with little to no more talking. Charlie winked at Harry as he turned back and Harry approached him.
“You definitely know where your priorities are.” He said smiling.
“What do you mean?” Harry asked.
Charlie pursued his lips and then continued on the way not taking a second glance at Harry. Harry shook his head and the smell of food wafted through the hallway.
It was only a matter of minutes before they reached the Great Hall and they all sat down to eat.
“Did you see Neville?” Ron whispered and Harry nodded. “He looks loads better than yesterday. I wonder why.”
Harry had forgotten all about the bruises and scars on Neville’s face and when he had just saw him, they were still there but much more healed than they had been.
“Are you sick?” Hermione asked leaning over the table.
“No.” Harry said hoping that the question was directed to him.
“Then why aren’t you eating?” She asked.
“I’m just thinking about other things.”
“Harry.” Hermione said and lifted her eyebrows. Harry did his best to satisfy her by taking a bite out of a sandwich, and she turned away engaging Ginny in conversation.
“So you going to go to Gryffindor tower?” Ron asked eyeing him.
“Yeah. We can do a lot more there than just using magic. Plenty of people who won’t be able to do the physical work but are probably cleaning out a room in a minute.” Harry’s eyes drifted over to Professor McGonagall.
They ate another minute in silence and Harry only picked at his food, hardly putting anything in his mouth. Hermione was eyeing him again, so he stood up and tugged on Ron’s sleeve. He didn’t want her telling him off again.
Ron took the hint and after choking down the food in his mouth said, “We’ll be at Gryffindor Tower.”
Mr. Weasley nodded absent-mindedly and they strode through the castle till they got to the portrait.
“Um.” Ron said as they staggered to a stop. “We don’t know the password.”
The Fat Lady eyed them, and then swung open. Dean walked out. “Harry! Ron! You guys ready to help?”
“Yeah.” Harry said and Dean patted him on the back.
“Follow me.” Dean said and he lead him to a dormitory on the boy’s side. It wasn’t their own.
Neville, Seamus, and a blonde haired man (who introduced himself as Drew) that neither knew greeted them, and then showed them what to do. Harry was ordered to lift some blocks onto the top after he was handed them by Ron. He would then place them on the mortar that Dean placed, and then use their wands to make sure it was perfect. The wall began to come together and slowly it looked like it had been there for ages. Each boy looked at each other and smiled, and then high fived.
“I can’t believe we just did that.” Ron said looking at the wall. “It looks so, I don’t even know.”
“You’re right mate.” Harry said clapping him on the back. “I have no idea how to describe it.”
Someone called his name and Harry went down the stairs to find Hermione waiting for him she motioned for him to follow her. The boys insisted they would do fine without him and he followed her. “I know you won’t like this, but it’s for your own good.” Harry looked at her and then examined his fingernails, not quite sure the best way to get rid of the awkward silence.
“So are we going somewhere?” Harry asked.
“Yes.” Hermione said.
“Where?” Harry responded a bit frustrated that Hermione was giving him such vague answers.
“You’ll see.” Hermione responded and Harry sighed and went back to picking out the dirt from under his nails. They reached the hospital wing, and Hermione nodded towards a bed. Harry thought about running away or something, but then grudgingly crawled into it. “You need to stay here the night. Are you thirsty?” Before Harry had time to say anything against the idea, a liquid was forced down his throat that did not taste like water. He was asleep before he even had time to take his glasses off.