After the battle of Hogwarts, everyone that lost loves ones were all trying to come to terms with their loss. The wizarding world was celebration the death of Voldemort and Harry Potter's name was being toasted all over the country. News travelled fast to other countries about the fall of Voldemort, so they joined in celebrating Harry Potter.
Harry knew he would be sort after, some to ask questions, others just to thank him. All Harry wanted to do was rest and thought Hogwarts would be the perfect place to do that. While Harry decided on Hogwarts was for a couple of reasons, the first Harry felt guilty over the damage done to the ancient castle, so he wanted to help repair it. The second, after everything he went through in his years at Hogwarts, he never wanted all those bad memories to stop him from loving the place. Harry called Hogwarts his first real home and he wanted to always feel like that about the school.
When Harry explained this to Hermione and Ron, they both understood because they both knew how Harry felt about Hogwarts. So Harry watched the Weasley's and Hermione leave the following day. Ginny and Hermione were the last to step into the fireplace in the great hall, Harry smiled sadly as he watched his friends leave.
Harry sighed then turned to see the teachers all helping people that were still grieving, or bringing in more bodies, some from the their side, some from Voldemorts side. Harry walked slowly through the rubble and approached Professor McGonagall.
'Professor,' Harry said wearily and waited till she faced him.
'Did you want something Harry?'
'Yeah, I was hoping to talk to you, in private if I could. I know you're busy now, but sometime today if you have time.'
'Yes, that will be fine, so where will I find you?'
'Either out on the grounds or in Gryffindor tower, but I need to speak with you up in Dumbledore's office.'
'Alright, I'll find you when I have time. You look tired Harry, you should rest.'
'I want to, but I'm still to tense, to alert to close down just yet. I don't think it's really sunk in that he's dead.' Harry glanced over to the area where Voldemort had fallen.
'Yes, for you it will take a while before you believe that, I think I'm still have trouble believing he's gone and won't be coming back. Have you seen Madame Pomfrey yet?'
'She's busy with the seriously injured, I can wait.'
'I'm sure she will fit you in Harry as you don't look too bad, but you do need some healing. Why don't you go see her and she has got help at the moment?'
'Alright, I might do that before I rest,' Harry gave her a weary smile then walked away. As Harry made his way up to the hospital wing, he saw more damage that he never saw before, but he also noticed a lot of blood over the floors and walls. He stepped into the hospital and saw almost every bed with someone in it, a few people Harry knew and were friends of his. Harry stood near the doors to wait for the matron as she gave out potions or performed healing charms. Then she spotted Harry and hurried towards him.
'It's about time you came to see me Mr. Potter, down to the last bed please.'
Harry nodded and walked slowly down to the other end of the hospital, but he sat facing away from everyone else and waited till Madame Pomfrey stepped in front of him. He never said anything, just unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it aside.
Madame Pomfrey stared at the lightning shaped scar on Harry's chest, that happened to be right above his heart and it took her a couple of minutes to find her voice.
'I'll give you a potion for that, but do you have other injuries apart from the ones on your face and neck?'
'Not really, I'm just sore all over, aching muscles. I haven't stopped in a few days; I think I just need rest, which I'm going to do as soon as I leave here.' Harry hoped the matron didn't try to keep him in the hospital; Harry wanted to go up to Gryffindor tower.
'As long as you do rest, then you can leave,' she waved her wand and summoned three potions, 'This is for your chest, so drink that one first,' she waited until Harry drunk the potion, then waved her wand over his chest, 'This is for all the cuts you have over you, but you do realise that some of these will scar.'
'Yeah, I figured that,' Harry drank the second potion.
'This is for your aching muscles, but you do need to rest for it to work properly,' she handed Harry the third potion.
Harry handed her back to the bottle, then did his shirt back up, 'Is everyone going to be alright Madame Pomfrey?' Harry asked as he glanced around at the beds.
'Yes, the most serious have been removed and taken to St Mungo's. Everyone here has only minor problems.'
'That's good, whose behind those curtains?' he asked wearily.
'Professor Snape, Bill and Charlie Weasley found him on the grounds not far from the whomping willow.'
'We thought he died, Ron must have told his brothers to get his body, that's why they were looking down that way. When will he be up to visitors?'
'By tomorrow but I've told him he shouldn't talk for at least a week.'
'Okay, I'll let you get back to other patients, but you should rest as well, you look tired.'
Madame Pomfrey gave Harry one of her rare smiles, 'I am, but I'm a bit busy right now, I think we can all rest very soon now he's gone.'
'Yeah, I think tonight a lot of people will sleep properly for the first time in years. Thanks again,' Harry gave her a small smile then left the hospital wing and headed up to Gryffindor tower. The moment he stepped inside, he saw a few people he knew who all gave him a smile and a nod as he walked past and up to the boys dorm room. He sat down heavily, then just fell back, closed his eyes and fell asleep instantly.
Harry woke and noticed it was dark outside, so he lit his wand and looked at his watch, it read seven thirty, so Harry showered, changed and headed up to the headmaster's office and knocked on the open door.
'Come in Harry,' Minerva gave him a smile and indicated for him to take a seat. 'I did go up to Gryffindor tower, but you were asleep.'
'Yeah, I never realised until I woke up. But if you're tired, we can talk tomorrow?'
'I got some sleep, so it's fine. So what did you want to talk to me about?'
'A few things actually, first though, I want to know if I can stay here, I want to help with the repairs.'
Minerva gazed at Harry for a minute before she spoke, 'I hope you don't want to do that out of guilt Harry, because it's not your fault.'
Harry shrugged, 'That's not the only reason, but yeah, I do feel guilty. But the other reason is I've always loved Hogwarts, but so many things happened to me here that I don't want those memories to spoil the way I feel about this place. So seeing it come back will hopefully make me realise that it was never this place, but always to do with Voldemort.'
'Alright, then you can stay if you wish. What else did you want to talk to me about?'
Harry pulled the elder wand from his sleeve and put it on the desk, 'I want to put that back with Professor Dumbledore.'
'Yes, Albus's wand, or so Albus told me, you're wand. Are you sure you don't want to keep it?'
'No, if any death eaters found out that I had that wand I'd be back we're I started. Did Professor Dumbledore tell you what this wand was?'
'Yes, he explained about the wand and the horcruxes. But he said it was going to be up to you if you want to tell me about all of them. He just told me Voldemort made seven.'
Harry sighed as he looked up at the sleeping Dumbledore, 'Yeah, he made seven,' then Harry went about explaining what he needed to.
'That's six, not seven.'
'Yeah, I know,' Harry stood up and went over to the pensieve, then removed the memory, placing it back in the vial Hermione had given him, 'Did Professor Dumbledore tell you about Snape?'
'Yes, he explained everything to do with Severus. But whose memory is that?'
'Snape gave it to me before he died. We thought he died in the shrieking shake, Madame Pomfrey told me he was found alive,' Harry turned back but stayed standing near the pensieve, 'In this Dumbledore was telling Snape something so he could tell me at the right time,' Harry turned back and stared down into the pensieve, 'On the night Voldemort tried to kill me as a baby, he made me a horcrux. He never meant to, that was an accident. But I kept him alive and never knew it until just before I faced him.'
Minerva McGonagall closed her eyes trying to control herself before she took a couple of deep breaths. 'You went in there to die, didn't you Harry? That's why he told us you were dead.'
Harry nodded, 'I stood there and let him do it, but was shocked when I woke up.'
'So you never tried to fight, you sacrificed yourself like you're mother and that's why his spells weren't binding. Why Neville was able to break through the curse?'
'Yeah, I was thinking about my mother right before,' Harry decided to keep the part about seeing his parents to himself. 'So whether I lived or died, it still gave all of you a protection.'
'You didn't know you would survive?'
Harry shook his head, 'No, in the memory, Dumbledore told Snape I had to die and Voldemort had to be the one to do it. So I thought I was going in there to die. I told Ron and Hermione, but I don't want anyone else to know,' Harry slowly turned around and faced his professor and could see that she looked upset, 'It's fine Professor, I'm over the shock now.'
'No, you're not fine Harry, how could you be. You're seventeen and were willing to die and thought you were going to die. You're nowhere near fine and it will be a while before you are. Is that another reason you want to stay here?'
'Yeah, I don't want Hermione and Ron to worry about me. Ron will need Hermione right now; they don't need to be worrying about me.'
'Then you can stay as long as you want. When would you like to put the wand back?'
'As soon as everyone's left, I don't want anyone to see what I'm doing.'
'That will probably be a couple of days then. But I need to ask, did he use the killing curse on you again?'
Harry nodded, 'Yeah, which isn't surprising. He'd tried that on me so many times.'
'Can I ask, you don't have to tell me Harry, but do you have another scar?'
Harry nodded again, then opened his shirt, 'Same as the other one.'
Minerva sniffed back a few tears as she noticed the scar but also the other cuts and bruises over Harry and realised Voldemort must have tortured Harry as well.
'I'll keep all this to myself. But you said two items should be here. I don't remember seeing the diary or a ring.'
'Behind Dumbledore's portrait, there's a hole. That's where he put the real sword of Gryffindor until Snape brought it to me. I never knew it was him when I followed the doe, it was in the memory. The one Snape sent to Gringotts was a fake Dumbledore had made.'
'You're going to have to explain about all that one day Harry, not for a while though, but if you hear from Hermione, could you ask her to bring those items here. I would like to see them.'
'They should be here anyway, they belonged to the founders. They are a bit destroyed though.'
'Okay, why don't you go eat, the kitchens are open. We're lucky they never got damaged.'
'I might do that, I am a bit hungry. I don't remember the last time I ate. Thanks Professor,' Harry gave her a weary smiled then left the office.
Minerva McGonagall sat down heavily into her seat as the realisation of what Harry told her finally sunk in. Harry had lived his whole life with a piece of soul of the man that killed his parents. She knew Harry and knew he wouldn't be feeling very good about himself right now. So she was going to take over where Albus left off and keep an eye on that boy.