Summary: Hogwarts felt their tears pooling within her, she felt their ache and pain, and she gathered her magic and created a door. Takes place after the final chapter before the epilogue
Disclaimer: As much as I wish I could live in/own the Potterverse, sadly, I do not. Nor do I make any monetary profit from this slight alteration of a great piece of fiction.
A/N: This was originally a 'Characters read their own books' story. It was removed by our Hosts for using song lyrics (which it Did Not have, Spirits does). So I jumped ahead in my planning to what I would have written after they finished reading the 7 books ... a time-travel fic. ENJOY!
P.S. Chapter one is nearly identical to the original Hogwarts Helps.
P.P.S. Special, uber, mondo, gigantic, colossal, enormous, humongous, MEGA thanks to Kitty279 for having saved the original story and sending it to me, YOU ROCK!
Heartache and Healing
"I'm putting the Elder Wand," he told Dumbledore, who was watching him with enormous affection and admiration, "back where it came from. It can stay there. If I die a natural death like Ignotus, its power will be broken, won't it? The previous master will never have been defeated. That'll be the end of it.
Dumbledore nodded. They smiled at each other.
"Are you sure?" said Ron. There was the faintest trace of longing in his voice as he looked at the Elder Wand.
"I think Harry's right," said Hermione quietly.
"That wand's more trouble than its worth." said Harry. "And quite honestly," he turned away from the painted portraits, thinking now only of the four-poster bed lying waiting for him in Gryffindor Tower, and wondering whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich there, "I've had enough trouble for a lifetime."
As the three friends slowly made their way through the wreckage of the once beautiful castle, making several detours around damaged floors and ceilings, they each fell deep into their own thoughts.
Harry, though he tried not to, was reliving the brief moments he'd had with his family, with his parents, Sirius, and Remus. Already wishing to see them again, he knew he would not go searching for the stone, but the powerful yearning in his chest would not be ignored. And his thoughts constantly returned to them.
Ron was still in a state of shock, he now realized how blind he'd been through the war. He saw those he knew and cared for falling around him, but he honestly never thought any of his family would be hurt. It had scared the life out of him when Bill had been mauled, and still he believed that the Weasley Clan would come out whole in the end. The death of Fred, right before his eyes, had shocked him to his very core, and he could not erase the image of Fred's last ghost of a smile from his mind's eye, and the anguished cry of George as he discovered the death of his twin was echoing over and over in his head.
Hermione, ever the clever witch, could tell from the expressions flitting across the faces of her best friends that they were in enormous pain, and trying to hide it. Her heart broke for them both and she ached to sooth their hurt. Then, there we're her parents to consider. If she couldn't find them, and retrieve their memories, she didn't know what she would do. As well as what they would do if and when she did restore them; would they hate her for what she had done? She missed them dearly and longed to be wrapped in their soothing embrace again.
The three were so focused on their thoughts and memories that they almost collided with two hunched figures standing before a large pile of debris. The ceiling and outside wall had collapsed here and the remaining walls had been scorched black by fire. There was an iron rod dangling from the broken wall that had once held a tapestry, but it had been burned completely away. Dust and bits of stone were still falling around them.
Harry looked into the dirtied and bloodied faces of the two, and was shocked to find it was George and Neville. He looked to Neville in askance, knowing that George would never talk in the state he was in; he was surprised he had actually left Fred's ... body. Neville breathed a deep painful sigh,
"He had to get away. He was on the verge of a complete breakdown." He looked with pain filled eyes at the rubble before them, "We walked for about five minutes, maybe less, and he suddenly had to come here. He couldn't be talked out of it."
Harry suddenly realized they were at the collapse where Fred had died, on the seventh floor. He looked again to George and reached out tentatively to take his elbow,
"Come on, mate. It's not safe here."
George made a half turn to leave before stopping and staring at a spot some two feet in front of him,
"I-I'll miss you ... Fred." He whispered, "All the ... f-fun ... we could have had ... the j-jokes."
Suddenly he sank to his knees, wrapping his arms around himself and sobbed, "Why did you do it! Why did you leave me alone! We swore we'd n-never leave each other alone! I can't do this ... I c-can't be j-just George ... I n-need my t-twin back, I'm n-not whole without you! We were m-made to be t-two halves of a whole ... I c-can't be just one half of G-g-gred and F-f-f-forge!" He doubled over, dropping his forehead to the floor, his body wracked with soul deep sobs.
The four others in the hall had each fallen to the floor, weeping for not only George's loss, but for their own as well, as Neville too, had a loss of family that cut him just as deeply as the others. Hermione and Ron were clinging to each other, cheeks pressed together, and tears mixing and streaming down their faces, falling from their chins. Harry was leaning back against the undamaged wall, his knees tucked to his chest; his tears spilled from his emerald eyes and fell unchecked to the floor. Neville was beside George in much the same position as Harry, though is arms were crossed over his knees and his head was down, his tears cascaded down his hands to drip off his fingertips.
The mourners in the hall seven floors below them all raised their eyes to the ceiling as the image of the sky above them went dark and disappeared, revealing the arched wood and stone ceiling beneath the enchantment. Throughout the castle, portraits were freezing in their frames, torches were dimming, and moving staircases ground to a halt. In the crumbled corridor on the seventh floor, the five distraught teens wept on; unaware of the magic pooling around them until the wall started to glow.
Hardly noticeable at first, the entire inner wall that they could see began to glow a pale gold. Hermione noticed it first, and her gasp immediately alerted the others. Harry scrambled away as the glow intensified. Before long they could see tendrils of magic swirling and flowing down the wall to collect at a point in the centre of the wall and directly in front of them. As the magic brightened again they shielded their eyes and backed up as far as they could, still mindful of the missing wall behind them. With a sudden pulse of magic felt throughout the castle, the grounds, and the Village below, a rather plain wooden door appeared in the wall.
Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, and finally George stepped towards the door and peered closely at it. It seemed to be just a door, wooden with rounded corners at the top and a round, globe-like, golden knob. Harry reached tentatively for the knob and lightly tapped his forefinger on top of it once, twice, three times; before grasping the whole thing and giving it a turn. The door clicked open and Harry swung it inwards. Within was a rounded room with soft, overstuffed, royal purple chairs, couches, and settees set in a wide half circle around what looked like a giant marble pensieve set in the centre of the room.
As they stepped further into the room and up to the pensieve the door shut quietly behind them with a soft click. They spun around and had taken a step as one back towards the door, when there was a soft chime from the pensieve. Turning again to face it, they were amazed by what they saw within the basin. Standing in the centre of the pensieve, head held high, was Fawkes. The phoenix had not been seen since Dumbledore's funeral and many had assumed he would never return. Trilling a soft note that immediately soothed and calmed the five, Fawkes spread his fiery wings and sang.
But, when he sang, the teens were amazed to find they could understand him, as if he were speaking words, "Fret not, my children. Hogwarts has heard your pain and had done what she could to alleviate it. Within this room she has given you the opportunity to reunite with those you have lost."
George gave a choking gasp at these words and Fawkes nodded, "Yes, dear ones, it has taken a great deal of her magic but she has achieved it." Fawkes looked to the ceiling briefly and then to the door, "Those from beyond the veil approach."
The five in the room spun around to the door again and gaped as it opened to reveal unnatural darkness and a freckled hand grasping the knob. Into the room stepped Fred Weasley. George gave a strangled sob and launched himself into the open, waiting arms of his twin. They held each other in vice-like grips, neither willing to let go of the other, squeezing their chests together as if to fuse themselves together as one. Teetering on legs weakened from emotion, they tipped sideways to the small couch situated closest to the door, and themselves. As they did so the view to the still open door was revealed.
Harry blinked and fell to his knees. Standing there in the doorway was Sirius, Remus, Tonks, and his parents. They rushed to him as he fell and the door closed behind them. Harry could hardly believe his eyes and was fearful of touching any of them lest they disappear and he awake. Finally he reached out a shaking hand and brushed his fingers against the open palm of his mother. Lily Potter broke into a watery smile as Harry choked back a sob and leapt from the floor into her embrace. He flung out an arm and wrapped it around his father's shoulders, pulling him into the hug. Reaching out with his other hand he caught Remus' arm and dragged him into the group. With both arms occupied he could only send a pleading glance to Sirius and Tonks and they joined the cluster.
Neville, Ron and Hermione all stood in various states of shock. These people had died, some of them right in front of their eyes, and yet here they were, happily embracing the two boys for all they were worth. Fawkes trilled again and they turned to him, noticing that his wings were closed again, "Neville Longbottom. Your circumstances are quite unique, quite the challenge for Hogwarts to overcome."
Neville hung his head, his shoulders shaking. "Never fear, dear boy! For, she has done it! Look to the door!" as Fawkes spread his wings again Neville spun around so fast he almost overbalanced. Catching himself on Ron's outstretched arm, he stared in awe and wonderment as the door opened again and revealed the healthy, happy forms of his parents. Alice Longbottom was already in tears as she ran to her son and enveloped him in as tight a hug as she could manage. Frank Longbottom was right behind her and wrapped his arms around them both.
Ron and Hermione felt the elation in the room and clasped their hands together, intertwining their fingers. They smiled at the faces of those they had loved and missed. Turning back to Fawkes they noticed a mischievous glint in his eye, "Dear Hermione, I would tell you that your family is to come through the door as well," she nodded, half expecting this, "The pressure from the overabundance of magic in this room would be too much for them to bear. But, do not despair young one. For you will see them again, and they will know you, and accept you, when you do."
It seemed a great weight had lifted from her shoulders and she beamed at the fiery bird, throwing her arms around Ron and squeezing the air out of him. Fawkes spread his wings again, looking to Ron, "And now dear boy, your family!" they turned again to face the door as it opened and disgorged six red headed people. Ron's other brothers, his sister, and his parents had all come through the door.
Molly immediately saw Fred and George, arms still wrapped around each other, and gave a startled cry of, "Fred!" before engulfing them both in a hug to rival all her previous ones. She sobbed into his hair, alternately pressing her cheek to the crown of his head and kissing the same spot. Bill, Charley, and Ginny had gone lightheaded in shock and sat on nearby chairs. Percy, who still blamed himself for distracting Fred and causing his death, stumbled over and dropped to his knees, grabbing Fred's upper arm as if to confirm he was really there. Arthur Weasley stood rooted to the spot in stunned disbelief. His family was whole again.
Fawkes gave his loudest trill yet, catching the attention of those now in the room, "Firstly there are two that need to be here for their family." He spread his wings again and the door opened to a dazzling beauty holding an infant.
Fleur Weasley walked without a word to the group around Harry and held the baby out to Tonks and Remus, "Your son." She said, gently passing the child to his dumbstruck parents, before turning to Bill and grasping him tightly to her.
Remus stared down at the bundle in his wife's arms, adoring the child he never let himself believe he could have. Tonks turned to her husband and, with Teddy Lupin nestled safely between them, relished the wholeness of her family.
When all eyes were back on Fawkes, he looked to Percy, "There are those, like you dear boy, that are needed here for atonement. To right the wrongs they made these past seven years." His gaze swept through the room, "Those that now enter are to be treated with respect and empathy for, though they have much to atone for, there are secret pains in their pasts just like yours." He spread his wings once more and all eyes turned to the door.
The last three through the door were none other than Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, and Draco Malfoy. There was a brief outcry at their entry, though Harry, who knew of their pasts and sacrifices, remained silent, before Fawkes beat his wings hard, rising a few feet in the air and settling on the far brim of the basin, "Sit down, dear ones, for there is much to explain."
After everyone had calmed down and chosen their seats Fawkes spread his wings once more, the tips of his feathers almost meeting in the air above his head, before he lowered them gently to the centre of the oversized pensieve. From the gap between his feathers fell silvery strands of memory. They poured and poured in a seemingly never ending deluge, until the pensieve was filled to the brim with them. Fawkes folded his wings at last and raised his head, "These memories are of the life of Harry Potter."
There were gasps heard from everyone, Harry groaned and dropped his head into his hands, and the two Slytherins scoffed, "why do we have to watch perfect Potters life?" Draco Malfoy asked, correctly assuming what the pensieve was for.
Fawkes fiery gaze landed on him and he shrank back. "You, Draco Malfoy, are here for atonement. Not everything you perceived as truth was so. You, and the two you entered this room with, have much to atone for, as well as the third Weasley child." Fawkes' gaze shifted to land on Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, and Percy Weasley in turn.
"Each of you is here for a purpose, and it is only through the viewing of these memories that you can understand why you are here."
The phoenix's gaze swept around the room to land on Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, and George, "You five knelt before the heart of Hogwarts and cried your sorrows into her stones. You bared your souls and wished from your hearts and Hogwarts has answered. You five are here to have your wishes granted. But, know this; those from beyond the veil only have memories from their times on this earth, or most of them do."
Fawkes looked to Harry, ensconced between his mother and father, "Your parents, however, have two other memories. One from the graveyard and one they share with their friends from the forest. You know the occasions I speak of." Harry nodded his head, still grasping his parents' hands.
Fawkes then turned his attention to Neville, "Your parents have scattered memories of your visits throughout the years, and they knew you, occasionally."
Neville, who was also between his parents, gasped and turned to each of them, they nodded and hugged him close, "It's true, sweetie." His mother whispered.
Fawkes spread his wings again, rose into the air, and flew once around the room, before landing on the floor in front of the pensieve. "There are moments within the memories that cannot be conveyed visually. Therefore, you will each read in turn from seven tomes chronicling the past seven years of Harry Potters' life. While you read the memories will play above the pensieve. When you grow tired, rooms will appear in the wall behind me. When you grow hungry, food will appear. Know that you are all unable to do harmful magic while in this room, though you may be tempted to at times. I will return at the end of each book read, to offer answers to any questions you might have about that year. I now leave you to your reading." With that Fawkes spread his wings wide, lifted his head, and burst into flames. When the flames receded there were seven books lined up on the floor.
Hermione, ever the bookworm, stood and retrieved the first and smallest book. Returning to her seat she read the cover, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone." Opening it she continued, "Chapter One: The Boy Who Lived."
A/N: There you go, first chapter of my new story. The way the first several chapters are going to work is that someone will start a book (like in this chapter) and the following chapter will begin with the last few lines from the end of that book being read and the events of the book being discussed between the readers and Fawkes. The end of that chapter will have them beginning the next book until all books have been finished (most likely without the epilogue). Then the time-travel idea will be brought forth (with a twist)!