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Chapter 2 : Reconstruction and Funeral
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"Hagrid, is there anything I can help you with?" Harry asked.
"Nah. I've almost done. Oh yeh, feed Buckbeak. He's starving," said Hagrid.
"O.K. Where is his food?"
"Next ter the pumpkin patch," Hagrid bent down and scooped up nails with his big hands.
Harry walked past the pumpkin patch and he found dead ferrets hung over the fence bar. Buckbeak pecked at Harry's shoulder softly.
"Hello, Buckbeak. You were an excellent fighter," Harry patted Buckbeak gently.
He took a ferret and tossed it to Buckbeak, who caught it and began to eat.
"Want some morning exercise?" Harry said and flung another ferret to him.
As Harry fed Buckbeak a fourth ferret, he talked to him,
"You seem to have eaten enough. Are you ready to exercise?" He patted the Hippogriff's beak.
Buckbeak closed his eyes lazily. Harry put his foot on the top of Buckbeak's wing and hoisted himself onto his back. Buckbeak began to stride, then to gallop, then his talons kicked the ground and took off. They were soaring upwards. Buckbeak flew him around the sky above Hogwarts castle. Harry could see which parts of the castle had been destroyed during the battle. He saw some wizards and witches working on the Quidditch pitch, putting up new goal hoops. Just then a red-headed man on a broom soared up to Harry. It was Bill Weasley. Harry remembered Bill had helped him to seal Elder Wand into the Dumbledore's tomb. He used Ancient Runes mixed with Egyptian hieroglyphs. He'd sealed the tomb by creating letters in the air and casting them onto the tomb. His technical skill was excellent.
"Morning, Harry," Bill said, hovering next to him.
"Good morning, Bill. Thanks for helping to seal the tomb yesterday. Without you it wouldn't have been safe enough," Harry said.
"No problem. It was an interesting task indeed."
Bill and Harry descended together. They landed on the lawns on the hill near the Forbidden Forest.
"So you were helping the professors with holding the protective charms on Hogwarts, were you?" asked Harry as he slid off Buckbeak.
"Yes, I was. It was very hard. I had to cast so many complicated Shield charms. We needed to conjure something strong enough to protect all of Hogwarts," Bill said.
Bill paused then told Harry, "Fred's funeral will be held this afternoon, with the other dead. Some of the families are short of hands. So we'll help each other to send them off."
Harry's voice failed him at that. Bill patted Harry's shoulder,
"The entire family will go back to the Burrow after lunch. See you in the Great Hall at lunch time", Bill went back up the hill to the castle.
Harry stood there and looked up at the sky. A breeze began to blow over the hill.
After lunch, Harry, Hermione and Weasley family took a Portkey back to the Burrow. Fred's body was in a coffin. He was wearing his old Quidditch robes.
"We wanted to bring him back here. Dad found his car in the Forbidden Forest. He repaired it and he brought Fred here in it. We wanted to dress him in his old red Gryffindor Quidditch uniform to express our respect for his bravery," Ron's eyes welled up and a few tears rolled down his cheeks.
"Right. He was indeed a Gryffindor." Harry answered and he felt a sharp pain rise in his throat. The Weasley family all gathered around the coffin.
Molly, who had been sobbing, told Harry and Ron,"It's time to change into your black school robes."
"Eh…Mrs. Weasley, I don't have any of my old school robes. Can I borrow some?" Harry asked.
"Sure, Harry. I'll bring of Ron's," Mrs Weasley answered. Her eyes were filled with tears again, and her voice was trembling. "Girls, come with me. You also need to change."
"Well, Harry, us men all are pall-bearers," Bill said after Mrs Weasley had disappeared upstairs with Ginny and Hermione.
"I've never been a pall-bearer," Harry said nervously.
"It's simple. I'll lead the way," Bill answered.
They all dressed in black robes and gathered around the coffin again. Ginny, Fleur and Hermione, whose eyes were red, put beautiful summer flowers into the coffin. Hermione was sobbing, leaning on the shoulder of Ron ; his right arm around her waist, and his red hair was disheveled. While Bill, Charlie and Percy levitated a glass panel using their wands, George was staring at Fred's pale face. They put the panel down on the coffin and sealed it. Molly's sobbing voice became louder. Harry and the Weasley men picked up Fred's coffin.
Outside of the house, wizards and witches were standing in black: Some of them were relatives of the Weasleys. Headmistress McGonagall was talking quietly with Lee Jordan and Oliver Wood. Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinett and Katie Bell were standing by them solemnly. Nearby two big stage coaches awaited pulled by Thestrals.
"Thank you for coming, all of you. We're ready to go," said Mr. Weasley.
Then the old Gryffindor Quidditch team members and Lee Jordan gathered around. Oliver Wood, his eyes full of tears, shouted,"Our extraordinary invincible Beater, Fred Weasley, you are an honor to us. We'll never forget you."
They touched the transparent glass board of Fred's coffin all together. Angelina shed tears quietly. Alicia and Katie were sobbing. Lee Jordan was talking to Fred in a quiet voice nobody could hear clearly, his eyes red.
The coaches soared up to the sky. Passing by the outskirts of Ottery St. Catchpole they landed on the edge of the churchyard. Harry and the Weasley men carried Fred's coffin out of the stagecoach to the aisle between the pews . They placed the coffin carefully upon the table. Just then Harry noticed the other coffins next to Fred's. He could see who was lying in them through the transparent glass boards.
Right next to Fred was Remus Lupin. His face was pale. And on the left side of Lupin's coffin lay Tonks. Her hair was a light soft brown. Harry stared at Lupin's face for a while and murmured, "Remus. Thank you for staying with me in the forest. Without your support I couldn't have gone through the task. You are always my mentor."
He turned his gaze on Tonks.
"Tonks, I'll watch over your son as he grows up. I promise. "
Harry, the Weasley family and Hermione filed into seats at the front of a row. Harry glanced sideways, when he heard a baby's cry. Andromeda Tonks was holding Teddy Lupin in her arms on the chair at the left front of a row. He was crying; his hair was light, soft brown like Andromeda's. Harry stood up and went over to Andromeda, kneeling down to talk to Teddy.
"Hey, please don't cry. Your mum and dad are there. They love you. And you're not alone. Your godfather is here, too," Harry touched Teddy's hair. Teddy stopped crying and his hair went jet black. Harry grinned. "Wow, you're a little wizard, aren't you? Your mum and dad are proud of you."
Andromeda, her eyes red, whispered,"Thank you, Harry."
Harry nodded and stood up and walked back to his seat.
A mass funeral ceremony started with a church choir song. When their singing came to an end, Kingsley got to his feet.
"We defeated the Dark Magic." He paused, and his eyes fell upon Teddy in Andromeda's arms in the front. "But we've lost many fine and brave witches and wizards this year. They showed great courage facing Lord Voldemort and Death. Honour their bravery and pray their souls may rest in peace."
McGonagall got her feet and unrolled a scroll of parchment. She read out the names of the war dead. Harry sat with head bowed. He looked up when he heard the name "Creevey, Colin" and he surveyed the others in attendance. Dennis Creevey was sitting with his Muggle parents two lines away back from Harry.
"The Muggle's church site is next to ours," Ron whispered glancing back to see what Harry was looking at.
"Lupin, Nymphadora, Lupin, Remus," McGonagall continued to read.
Harry could hear Andromeda's sobbing. He felt awful for her. She'd lost her husband and her only daughter. Harry swore to himself that he'd visit her and Teddy regularly.
"Snape, Severus ," McGonagall paused.
"Why is he, well, his body, here?" Ron inquired irritably.
"I'll explain later," Harry whispered back.
He'd explained the true nature of Snape's situation only to McGonagall and Kingsley. He had mentioned it while dueling with Tom Riddle, but many people had not processed his words due to the intense situation.
"Weasley, Fred," McGonagall read out.
Ron fell silent. Harry glanced at the right side where all Weasley family was sitting. Arthur, Molly and Bill were staring at Fred's coffin quietly. Percy's face was contorted. Charlie was gripping George's right hand. George was looking downward absent-mindedly. Ginny was staring at the coffin intensely. Hermione and Fleur were in tears.
A little tufty-haired wizard in black robes had got his feet and stood in the center. He was the same wizard who had attended at Dumbledore's funeral last year. He chanted long magical spells and swished his wand a few times before saying,"Family of the deceased, please."
Harry and the Weasley men exchanged significant looks and stepped forward. Lee Jordan and Oliver Wood assisted them and they carried Fred's coffin through the gate to the churchyard. Mr. Weasley followed them. They lowered the coffin to the ground. Mr. Weasley took his wand out.
"Incendio." Fire blazed up. Harry gasped at the flames and saw tears coming down Arthur's face.
Lee Jordan put his arm around George's shoulders. George's pale face was full of tense sorrow. The flames of the pyre flared in the wind with a small crackling sound. When the fire burned out, George started the cry. Arthur collected the ashes into a container with his wand, collapsed to his knees . Ron walked up to his father and lifted him to his feet. Mrs Weasley, Ginny, Fleur and Hermione were waiting outside the gate. Mr. Weasley handed the container to Mrs. Weasley, trying and failing to prevent more tears from falling.
Mrs. Weasley cradled it in her hands. "Fred," she sobbed.
The pitiful sight moved Harry to tears again. Ginny and Fleur, both with red-rimmed eyes, hugged Mrs. Weasley tightly. They were all crying. Hermione was rubbing Ron's back absent-mindedly, her face smeared with tears.
"Well, then, we must get back to Remus and Tonks," said Mr. Weasley decisively in a low voice.
They returned to where Andromeda was waiting for them.
They had lowered down Remus and Tonks to the ground, when Harry looked up and saw seven men, walking through the gate: Professor Slughorn, Minister Shacklebolt, Professor Flitwick, Hagrid, Auror Dawlish , Filch and Draco Malfoy. They were holding a coffin. Kingsley nodded to Harry and said, "Harry, please help us."
Harry realized they were carrying Severus Snape. Harry hurried up to help. He wondered where Snape's tomb would be. He guessed it would be Hogwarts or the place his ancestors were buried. He wasn't sure whether Snape's mother was alive or not.
Harry, Hermione and the Weasley family got back to the Burrow in the evening to have a funeral tea. They created a tomb for Fred at the end of the garden. Hermione,Fleur and Ginny conjured heather ,lilies and daisies around it.
"We couldn't leave Fred alone in the churchyard, "Ron said shakily.
"Good idea. He can always see your family from here," Harry said.
"BANG!" Green and gold dragons sparked out in the sky. George had set off some 'Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-bangs'. The fireworks emitted loud fiery blasts and bangs; shocking-pink Catherine wheels, rockets and silver stars and gold letters flew through the air, spelling out, "Fred Weasley Forever"
The next day, Harry, Ron and Hermione went back to Hogwarts. Hagrid and Mr. Filch were collecting debris and classifying the pieces by size in the Great Hall.
"We can recycle the debris to reconstruct the castle," Hermione said. "It's amazing that we can repair so much damage with magic."
She took a step towards Professor Flitwick who had been levitating debris into the wall. Kingsley had been talking with some wizards from Ministry and now approached them.
"Good morning, Harry. Good morning, Ron. Are you helping with the reconstruction?" he said.
"Yes, we would like to help as much as we can. We're not sure how much we can help you, though," said Harry .
"I'm sure you'll be a great help. We are short of hands."
Since the middle of May, Harry, Ron and Ginny and the rest of students who fought through the war had stayed at Hogwarts and helped the professors and Ministry officials with the reconstruction. Hermione, however, went off to Australia to find her parents.
One morning, Harry and Ginny sat down on either side of Ron, who was looking delighted.
"You got a letter from Hermione, didn't you?" Ginny said.
"Yes, I did. But how did you know?" Ron said.
"It's obvious. You're smirking like a Troll," Ginny said.
"How is she? What did she say? Did she find her parents?" Harry asked.
"How did she travel to Australia by the Portkeys?" Ginny asked.
Ron grinned. "Wait. Don't be too hasty. I'll answer your all questions."
Harry and Ginny went quiet. Ron cleared his voice.
"Well, first she traveled to Dublin from London. She stayed there for a day and left for Nova Scotia."
"To Canada?" Ginny cut in.
"Yep. From Halifax, she traveled to Boston. She also stayed there for a day and left for New York. From New York she took a Muggle europlane", Ron said .
Harry corrected him,"Aeroplane".
Ron shrugged, "Whatever. She could have used the portkey from England to Australia, but she insisted on traveling to Ireland and America before visiting Australia. The portkey in England was under repair after the war. She was very cautious. She was afraid to be attacked by the remaining Death Eaters. "
"So she moved through to Australia using four Portkeys and a Muggle transportation to trick them. Why didn't you go with her?" Ginny asked.
Ron grimaced. "She was too stubborn. She blamed herself for her parents' moving out."
Harry and Ginny could guess how serious their quarrel was from Ron's look.
"It's a really long way. So did she find her parents?" Harry asked again.
"Here, her letter to you," Ron held out a piece of parchment.
Ron wrote to me about the rebuilding of Hogwarts. I do hope I can come back soon and help.
It was brilliant to travel here, to Australia. The Warlocks in Ireland were very mysterious. Their Gaelic lilting was very fascinating. I wish I would like to visit them again on my way back to England. The witches in Halifax were all friendly. In America I had to hurry to catch my connecting flight. So I didn't have a chance to talk with any wizards or witches there. There are Native American witches and wizards. I reckon ancestors of Dumbledore's mother came from there.
I've been here in Sydney for three days. Hestia and Dedalus are kind to me. They helped me with finding my parents. Well, it wasn't really hard to find the name 'Wilkins'. And only three of them were dentists! I restored their memories with Hestia's help. We'll all be back to London next weekend! I can hardly wait to see you again.
P.S. Ron says you two will start Auror training this September. And he says Ginny's ambition is to become a professional Quidditch player. Did you know that?
Harry finished reading and grinned. "Well, she finally found her parents. I'm very relieved."
Author's Note: Thanks to krazybotharryginny and chinaglaze for beta reading.
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