Chapter 1 : Chapter One. Whats Next?
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Chapter One. What’s next?
Harry Potter had finally fulfilled his destiny. Lord Voldemort was dead. His body and the bodies of his fallen followers were placed in a room away from the bodies of the fallen defenders of Hogwarts. Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione had completed Professor Dumbledore's final assignment, now begins the reconstruction of their community and their lives.
What would they do now Harry wondered as they left the Headmaster's office and headed towards the Gryffindor Tower for much needed sleep. Each was lost in their own thoughts as they walked slowly in silence feeling the strain on their bodies from the last nine months. Ron and Hermione were hand in hand as they walked with Ron's eyes remaining down. Both Harry and Hermione knew he was thinking of Fred and the rest of his family.
"What's next?" Ron asked as they started up the staircase.
"We sleep mate," Harry stated giving Ron a thoughtful glance," then we take it one day at a time I suppose."
Ron looked up as they approached the portrait of the Fat Lady who was looking at them proudly and opened without waiting for the password that none of them knew. Exhausted they clambered through.
"Rest well heroes of Hogwarts,” she said softly as they climbed into the common room. Ron and Hermione went to the couch in front of the fireplace while Harry smiled and then made his way up the stairs to his dormitory. Upon entering his room he took off his glasses and placed them on the bedside table. He then sprawled out on the bed faced down. As soon as his head touched the pillows he slipped into a deep state of unconsciousness.
Harry startled awake soaked in sweat and tangled in his bed covers. He had been dreaming that Voldemort wasn’t actually dead as he and the other had hoped. This dream felt so life-like compared to the other dreams he had. This dream was different in many ways; Harry was older and married to Ginny. Harry had finally startled awake with the image of Ginny being hit by one of Voldemort’s killing curses.
Harry began to tremble all over as silent sobs overtook him.He lies still feeling his body aching from head to toe, reflecting on the thoughts that had pulled him from his sleep. Sunlight was streaming in through the window. Groggily Harry opened his eyes looking around the room as he heard Ron stirring in his bed.
"You awake Harry?" asked Ron with concern.
"I am now, how long have I been asleep?" Harry asked retrieving his glasses from the bedside table and putting them on, trying to shake the images from his recent nightmare from his mind.
"Just a couple hours mate, you sure you’re alright Harry you were screaming and thrashing about in your sleep?” Ron inquired the concerned look still on his face.
Harry looked at Ron and like him Ron was still in the clothes they were wearing during the battle and caked in dried blood and dirt. Mrs. Weasley would have a fit Harry thought as he noted both he and Ron were in a desperate need of a shower and clean clothes. Which Harry found in a neatly folded pile on a chair between their beds. On top laid a note addressed to Harry.
Harry got up from bed retrieving the note on top of the clothes then sadly responded to Ron, “I am fine Ron just a nightmare I suppose I’ll have those once in a while now.”
“I know mate, and if you want to talk I’m here,” Ron offered.
“Thanks but I’m okay, really,” Harry assured when Ron didn’t say anything Harry opened the note.
Master Harry Potter,
I thought you and Mr. Weasley would need these. Also Professor McGonagall requests a meeting with Miss Granger, Mr. Weasley and Master Harry at your convenience sir.
Harry laid the note on top of Ron then grabbed his clothes and told Ron he was heading to the showers. Upon entering the bathroom Harry took a moment to take in his appearance in the mirror. His face was covered in dirt, blood, a few cuts and scrapes. As he removed his shirt he noted that his entire chest was bruised. Faintly through the purple-black bruising he noticed that there in the center of his chest was another scar matching the one on his forehead. Blood seeped slowly around the scar and stung slightly. No wonder I hurt all over, it looks like I have been hit by the Knight Bus Harry thought to him-self as he turned away from the mirror and began to prepare to shower t.
Harry was amazed at the amount of blood and dirt he washed from his hair and body. When finally it seemed he had removed all the blood and dirt possible he stepped out of the shower and began dress. Though still immensely sore Harry felt a little more human after his shower.
Upon returning to his room Harry noticed that Ron was no longer there. He must have decided to shower as well Harry thought as he walked to the window and peered out. The sky was a brilliant blue with no clouds in sight. Looking down Harry could see that the grounds of the Castle were still littered with splinters of wood, and chucks of brick and concrete from the battle. Looking over all the debris Harry found himself wondering if Hogwarts would reopen, and if they would be given the chance to complete their schooling.
The thought of returning to school brought thoughts of Ginny. The look of pain and sadness that flooded her face when she thought Harry was dead. Does she hate me for letting everyone think I was dead? Harry asked himself as he hoped she would understand his need to do so. Harry was also thinking about if she still had the same feelings for him as he had for her. He truly hoped so. Then his thoughts flooded back to his nightmare and the image of her lifeless body. Uncontrollably his body starts to tremble.
Harry's thoughts were interrupted by a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see that Ron had returned also clean and in fresh clothes. Ron took a quick glance out the window then looked at Harry and said," It looks terrible from here to?”
“Yeah so much destruction it will take a while Ron but it will be repaired. It can be can’t it?” Harry asked Ron not knowing if anything could be repaired after such intense magical destruction.
“I hope so,” Ron replied thoughtfully with a shrug.
The two friends stood there in silence for a few moments each occupied by their own thoughts of what might lay ahead for them. Ron broke the silence with a sigh, “Alright mate lets go find Hermione and then McGonagall."
“Right, let’s go,” Harry said turning from the window with Ron following as they left their dorm room.
As they reached the bottom of the stairs for their room Harry and Ron found Hermione reaching the bottom of hers in clean clothes and freshly showered. She gave each a strong and comforting hug with an added kiss for Ron who in returned blushed till his face matched his hair.
“Well now Miss Granger, Mr. Weasley is there something you wish to tell me?” Harry grinned at his friends causing Hermione cheeks to match Ron’s.
“Oh, Harry as if you didn’t know already you git,” admonished Hermione.
“Well about time,” Harry responded with a chuckle.
"McGonagall wants to see us," Ron cut in changing the subject quickly taking Hermione’s hand in his.
“Yeah, I got a note from Kreacher as well,” Hermione affirmed looking curiously at Harry.
“Well we all know what this is about Harry. What do we tell them?” asked Hermione quietly. The three then spent the next fifteen minutes on the couch discussing what to reveal about their actions during their time in hiding.
“Okay let’s get this over with,” Harry stated anxiously as they rose to their feet.
Hermione just nodded as she and Ron led the way through the portrait hand in hand. They assumed everyone would still be in the Great Hall so they headed there.