Chapter 7 : Saying Goodbye
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People from all over the country, from all over the world began arriving at Hogwarts for the Headmaster’s funeral. The Great Hall was packed with students, faculty and wizards from every era and country. Dumbledore had touched the lives of many and was known by many others.
Ginny sat with her family, listening as the few selected people spoke of Dumbledore. She held Ron’s hand and rested her head on her father’s arm. They all wanted to kill Draco and most of them were disappointed in her, but none could deny the fact of what had happened. Ginny had told them all the full truth, leaving some of the more scandalous details out for her family. She had told them about the mark and how it affected both of them.
Her mother seemed most shocked by this. “Dark magic is very odd”, she eerily repeated Luna’s earlier sentiment. Mostly though they all just feared she would be targeted. Draco was a traitor so naturally Voldemort would want him dead, but they were concerned on just how much he knew of Ginny.
A little farther down the row Harry sat with Hermione, Luna was just on the other side of her. She and Ron still were not speaking.
As the proceedings ended, Mcgonagal informed students to return to their houses. Finals were of course cancelled, but they would remain at Hogwarts for the final week anyway. It was just easier that way than arranging travel and figuring out who was supposed to be going where. The school nurse and a few members of St. Mungos would be around in case anyone should need to talk, and they students were encouraged to talk to the staff as well.
No one really felt like talking.
Hermione sat in the Gryffindor common room, a book in her hands, Harry had his back up against her chair and was resting below her starring off into the fireplace. Ginny had ran up to her room as soon as they had gotten up and Ron was sitting in the corner playing Dean in wizards chess.
“Alright that’s it”, Seamus shook everyone out of their dark thoughts as he descended the stairs to the common room. He had a cardboard box in his hand and bottles could be heard clanking together. “I don’t mean to sit here moping about all week like you lot, so let’s give you all some liquid courage and get everything we need to say off our chests eh?” he set the bottle down on the low table directly in front of Hermione and Harry. She peered over her book.
“Gods Seamus, How on earth?” she was perplexed, which didn’t happen often.
“Been stocking this lot up all year for the end of the year shindig”, he shrugged, “Figure we need it now more than ever.” He picked up a bottle of firewhiskey, uncorked the fowl smelling drink and took a swig. It burned going down, but then it always did.
“Not bad”, he said before taking another one, “What you all just going to let a poor sod drink alone?”
Dean was the first one up, followed by Lavender. Glasses were conjured. “Bugger it”, Ron said grabbing one from the table and moving to sit on the sofa. Harry looked up at Hermione who seemed to be having a mental battle with herself.
“You know what”, she grabbed the glass in front of her and put it to her lips taking most of it in one gulp. She coughed as it went down “Dear gods that’s terrible”, Harry smiled up at her, taking a glass for himself.
By the time the hour was up most of the seventh and sixth years had a drink in their hand. Neville had even partaken. Ginny had wandered downstairs drawn by the noise and her and Pavarti were talking like old friends.
“Oh my dear”, the fatlady’s voice could be heard around the common room. “Yes dear, of course you can go in, quickly now”, everyone turned to see Luna and Cho entering the common room.
Ron stood, immediately, Luna’s eyes were red Cho seemed to be steadying her. She looked up at Ron teary eyed and all thought of anything she may have done to upset him left his mind. He nearly hopped over the couch to get to her and profusely fuss about how sorry he was. Cho seeing she was no longer needed joined the group about the firewhiskey bottles.
“Most of the Ravenclaws”, she started, “they don’t really understand, they weren’t apart of DA”. The group nodded in agreement. There was something among the members of Dumbledores Army. The members from Hufflepuff soon joined them as well along with Pavarti’s sister from Ravenclaw.
By the next hour most everyone in the room was completely sloshed, even Hermione was feeling sort of Tipsy.
“Lemondrops”, Seamus suddently burst out, “can you remember a time that he didn’t carry lemondrops with him wherever he went”.
Silence filled the room. It was the one subject no one wanted to bring up.
“It takes a true hero to stand up to friends”, Neville smiled sadly into the fire. Lavender patted his hand.
“Remember the time we accidently exploded some of the windows on the third floor”, Dean smiled, “Thought we were gonna get it for sure, but Dumbledore just comes out of his office surveys the wreck looks at us and then asks what spell we used, because he hadn’t seen anything like it”, Seamus smiled at that as well. Him and Dean were notorious for making things well go boom.
“After Harry dragged me out of the Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore told me the best cure for what I had was chocolate, the frog he held out to give me jumped straight at me” Ginny stared straight ahead. People turned their attention to her. A lot of people hadn’t quite forgiven her. “I laughed so hard, trying to grab it”.
“He saved my life in the ministry”, Harry broke the silence after Ginny spoke many people nodded.
The stories started like wildfire after that. Everyone adding in their own personal memory or thought of Albus Dumbledore, the greatest Headmaster Hogwarts had ever seen. It seemed that Seamus had the right idea all along. All people needed to do was talk. Eventually the conversations shifted to laughter at a particular moment or event. Luna drifted off to sleep laying against Ron on the couch. The little firewhiskey Hermione did have seemed to have the same effect on her as she curled up on the chair. One by one people dropped off as the drink hit them or they simply just lacked the will to stay awake any longer.
Harry and Ron seemed to be the last two awake.
“You can’t kill him you know?” Harry sighed, wishing he didn’t have to point out the truth.
“I know”, Ron sighed back at him. “But I can dream”, he looked over at his sleeping sister. She was curled up near the fireplace. “He’ll never be good enough for her in a million years, even if he gave us Voldemort on a silver platter”, he spat.
“I know the feeling mate”, Harry didn’t know if it was the firewhiskey or the lack of sleep, “But he loves her.”
“Stupid prat”, Ron shrugged making Luna say something in her sleep. He ran his fingers through her hair and whispered for her to go back to sleep. She seemed to have listened because a moment later she was breathing steadily against him again.
“You two alright now?” Harry asked at the chance to change the subject.
“Ya I think so”, Ron looked down at the blonde haired girl laying against him so comfortably. “Can’t imagine losing her because of my stupid temper”, he sighed, kicking himself mentally.
Harry chuckled and with that the pair of them seemed to drift off to sleep as well.
Snap! Snap! Snap! Snap!
“What the… “ Harry dared to open an eye, the blinding light streaming into the common room immediately made him regret it. Blinking several times to focus he looked towards the point of the noise. “Collin? What in the…” Harry was silenced by the young wizards hand on his lips.
“Look”, he mouthed and waved his hand around the room. Harry removed Hermione’s hand from where it draped over his shoulder and dared a look around. The snaps had been Collin’s camera going off. The common room was a mess, but most of all there were people everywhere. Everyone from last night had stayed. Harry nearly choked down his laugh trying to keep quiet and not wake anyone.
Ron and Luna were still curled up with each other on one side of the couch while Cho and Dean occupied the other. When had that happened? On the floor just below them was Neville, Pavarti and Padma sleeping soundlessly using him as a pillow. In the chair across from him was Ginny curled up in a very uncomfortable looking position. Seamus was cradling a bottle of firewhiskey in one hand and a Lavender in the other, both were sprawled out on the floor before the fireplace.
The hand he had removed twitched and Hermione reached for him ruffling his hair before shifting her position on the chair an amused expression met her face when she surveyed the room.
Collin had snuck off back up to the dorms probably to develop his latest shots before someone could steal his camera and delete the evidence. The room itself smelled like stale alcohol. Half empty drinks and discarded bottles littered the tables.
“What a wreck”, Hermione said sleepily.
“Mmmm”, was all Harry said in agreement, because she was at that moment tracing a line across the back of his neck.
She stretched then, her body sore from where she slept, but at the moment she didn’t really care.
“Bet there’s no one in the showers”, she whispered wickedly in his ear and Harry perked up quite a bit.
He turned and grinned at her, before helping her off the chair and tiptoeing around the still asleep common room.
“Spiders!” Ron woke up with a startle and nearly threw Luna from his chest. She grunted as she touched ground back on the couch.
“Dream Ronald”, she said grumpily before realizing where they were. Ron’s clatter had most of the others picking their heads up and trying to shakily stand and whether by hangover or lack of sleep, move.
“Sorry love”, he kissed the top of her head in apologies unwilling to move beyond stretching his arms out behind him and settling them back around Luna.
She giggled at him. His hair was a mess, but she figured her must be as well. “It looks as if Hertzles attacked your head”, she smiled dreamily.
“They did not”, he immediately made an attempt to smooth his hair ignoring the fact he had no idea what a hertzle was and if it even existed at all.
“Fuck”, A groan came from Seamus, “I’m never drinking again”, Lavender had gotten up with a start and immediately distancing herself from his now stretching form.
Dean and Cho seemed in no big hurry to disentangle themselves however. She smiled shyly at him.
“You say that every time”, Dean reminded Seamus from across the room, Seamus merely gave him a shrug.
Ginny picked herself up off the chair she was in, as the others began to stand and stretch, getting feeling back into whatever limbs they had awkwardly slept on. “Where’s Harry and Hermione?” she asked confused.
Everyone’s attention turned to the now empty chair where they all swore they had seen them the night before.
Ginny was the first to gather herself and make any excuse to be elsewhere while everyone was reveling in last night events. She was glad they bloody well had fun, but Ginny on the other hand did not. She thought of Draco sitting somewhere alone waiting to be sentenced to whatever cruel fate the order could give him.
She sighed as she plopped down on her bed, her betrayal would heal. The ones she hurt would eventually forgive her because that’s what family did, but Draco wasn’t family. He wasn’t even tolerated by most of her friends, they would never look past what he was and Ginny was sure of that.
“Stupid bloody ball”, she cursed, without it she could have gone her whole life not knowing Draco’s touch or the feel of his lips she could have been just fine. She opened her book and the now dry and flattened rose fell out. She twirled it around in front of her as she thought of him. She had certainly been stupid, her family was right about that. A deatheater, what was she thinking?” she sighed as she set the rose down on her bedside table. She was being selfish one of the greatest wizards had been murdered not exactly by Voldemort, but through his means and here she was worrying about her love life, but what else were they fighting for if not to have peace after all this is over. If it was ever over.
She just wished she knew what was going on. She had heard Draco was to go on trial for the order and he would be required to tell them everything he knows. Down to every last detail, they would probably use charms to invade his mind, and make sure he was telling the truth. Or simply keep him dosed with versitarium thoughout the entire process. Ginny did not envy him one bit. Anything he now held dear was about to be on display for the entire Order. He gave it all up for her. How could she be sulking at a time like this. She needed to be productive, but the only problem was finals were cancelled, school wasn’t in session and she had nothing to do, but stare at the stupid bloody rose all day.
Before she may have found entertainment among her friends, but even her family was still angry with her. She wondered if it’s because he was a deatheater, allowed them into the school, or because he was simply a Malfoy. She supposed it must be the mixture of the three.
“Ronald”, they had gone over the subject a million times, “You can’t simply wish away your sister’s feelings”. Luna was stubborn on this point. If she did feel something for Malfoy then it was pointless to try and just pretend it never happened.
“But why him?” he complained. They were up near the Ravenclaw common room in one of the empty classrooms. Whatever it was used for before, the furniture was quite comfy and they both sat on a window seat that overlooked the quidditch pitch. “He can’t have any good qualities”, he frowned. It was unfathomable to him that Draco Malfoy was even capable of love.
“Books and covers Ronald”, Luna reminded him. He had thought similar things of her in the past.
“That’s different”, he protested taking both her hands in his. “You were never evil, like he was”, he caught her meaning fairly quick. Which, for Ron, was impressive. “You were good and full of life”, he added, “I can remember now, your smile and the strange way you had of saying things”, he had loved them then he just never knew.
Luna sighed and pushed herself into his arms. “Your sister is one of the smartest witches I know, save Hermione, there has to be a good reason for this”, she reasoned. It wasn’t exactly sound logic, but it was logic Ron could follow. “Perhaps if you tried to speak with her, maybe forgive her a little. She’s suffering”, Luna added and Ron flinched. Ginny was the only girl among countless older brothers she was not only the baby of the family, but their baby sister. Anyone touching her was unthinkable to Ron and her being with Malfoy, well it nearly made him sick. All things aside though he couldn’t stand to see her in pain.
“Maybe you’re right”, he relented. Ron wasn’t super at discussing his feelings. Luna had a better way with words, even if no one else understood them. Luna smiled brightly at him, feeling as if she had won some small battle on Ginny’s behalf. He returned her smile and just then all thoughts of Malfoy were gone and there was just her. He leaned over and kissed her deepening it and wrapping his arms around her. A small noise came from the back of her throat, which he found adorable.
“Shorbog net”, Luna smiled to herself when the kiss broke. Ron didn’t even question it.
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