************CHAPTER FIFTEEN***********

Hermione Granger woke up to a bright light, and immediately knew where she was. She had always laughed at her boyfriend when he cracked jokes about the whiteness of the infirmary, but this was the first time she had ever really noticed. She made a note to herself to apologize for the immense teasing she had given him. Or maybe not.

She tried to remember what had led her to waking up in the hospital wing, and, little by little it cam back to her: The dueling, the fighting, the screaming, the black cloaks. She could only wonder if it was over by now. She hadn't been injured very badly, but she knew she had taken down her share of Death Eaters. The room wasn't as quite as she was accustomed to from her numerous visits to Harry. Sitting up, she looked around the room and saw the reason for the noise. There were more people than she'd ever seen in the infirmary, most either sleeping or being attended to by the several medi-witches and wizards who had obviously been brought in from St. Mungos. In the corner, she could see Charlie Weasley and in the cot next to him was one of the twins, but because of the distance she couldn't tell which one. They were both awake, chatting quietly to each other and she was glad to know they were ok. Looking around some more, she could see dozens of people she recognized from school, and a few who she assumed were from the order. What really bothered her was the fact she couldn't see Harry, Ron, Sirius of any of her other close-kit group. She could only hope that nothing had happened to any of them.

Feeling quite well, she decided to test out her legs and go to find them. As soon as she was up, however, Madam Pomfrey came scuttling over to her.

"Miss Granger! Please lay back down! You shouldn't be up yet."

"I'm fine Madam Pomfrey, no aches or pains or even a headache."

"Yes, while that might be so, I still want you to-"

"Madam Pomfrey, where are my friends? Where's Harry?"

"Well dear, I didn't want to be the one to tell you, but he's not so well. He took a sword to the side, and it punctured one lungs."

"He'll be alright though won't he? Why isn't he in here?"

"The reporters have been swarming the school, so we found it best to put him in a private room where they couldn't get to him. Several people are in there with him. Mr. Weasley has been sitting with you quite often, but from time to time, he'll go check in on Mr. Potter."

"May I see him, Madam Pomfrey? Please?"

"Very well, if you insist. Follow me, I'll take you to him. It's about time for me to check up on him, anyways."

Madam Pomfrey led Hermione into her office, over to a large tapestry hanging on the wall. She tapped her wand on it three times, then muttered a password, and held back the fabric to allow Hermione to enter the hidden door behind it.

When Hermione opened the door, everyone snapped their heads towards her. There were indeed several people in the room, if not a small army. Sirius, who's arm was in a sling, was sitting in a chair beside Harry's bed, holding his hand, while talking to Remus who was standing next to him. There were several Weasleys in the corner of the room all quietly talking to each other. Draco lay asleep in a bed next to Harry's, not looking in great condition, but not looking that bad either.

Harry on the other hand, looked terrible. A bubble of oxygen had been suspended in mid-air, helping Harry breathe. His face looked pale, and there were large circles under his eyes. No, he didn't look good at all.

Oblivious to Ron calling out her name, she ran over Harry, claiming the hand not in Sirius's and cried. Ron came up behind her and laid a hand on her shoulder.

"Hermione, are you okay?"

"He looks so fragile."

"I know Herm, but he'll be fine. I promise."

"I hope so."

*~^~*

For several days Hermione sat by Harry's bed along with Sirius. They were both unwilling to leave the room, in case that was the time that Harry decided to wake up. Draco had woken up later on Saturday and explained what all had happened before he lost consciousness only a few minutes after Harry did in the battle. Even the aged headmaster had come in numerous times, obviously incredibly worried about his only living family member. But, to no avail, Harry didn't wake. Even Madam Pomfrey, who was usually quite confident in her work, had become increasingly worried. She seemed to believe that with each passing day that Harry was in a coma, he would be less likely to fully recover. Needless to say, everyone was worried.

The ministry had even come in, wanting to talk to Harry, not believing that he was still asleep, but they were proven wrong. Hermione was beside herself. She'd already gone through losing Harry once, and she didn't know if she could take it again.

*~^~*

It was a week later, when Sirius had finally conceded to taking a shower, that Hermione was found alone, reading Hogwarts: A History to her boyfriend. She figured since he wouldn't read it on his own, she'd just have to give him a push in the right direction. She was holding his hand, going on about the 13th century painting, Terek the Strange, when she felt it. A little twitch, then a squeeze, followed by a definite groan.

"Harry! Harry? Can you hear me?"

"Ugggggggggggh..."

"Harry! Harry!"

"Hermione? Is that you? Why is it so bright?"

Suppressing a laugh at the obvious comment about the brightness of the room, Hermione immediately squeezed the button, left by Madam Pomfrey, in case any problems arose. It was only seconds before the medi-witch entered the room.

"What's the problem?"

"He's awake! I was just reading to him and he woke up!"

"This is definitely a good sign. Can you wait outside while I check on him?"

"Sure."

Without delay, Hermione walked out into the office, where she almost ran into Sirius and the headmaster. Both, seeing the girl nearly in tears, were sensing the worse.

"Is something wrong Ms. Granger? Is Harry okay?"

It took several moments before she could compose herself.

"He's awake! And he recognized me!"

With this good news, Sirius let out a yell of joy, while the headmaster gave a relieved sigh.

After a few more minutes, a tired nurse walked out of the room.

"He should make a full recovery. After he woke up, I was able to heal his lung properly, and now he can breathe on his own. He was even talking some. I've given him some dreamless sleep potion, so I'd prefer if you could all give him some quiet time to sleep."

With a collective nod, the group finally felt relief. Yes, everything would be alright now.

*~^~*

It took several weeks for Harry to fully recover and be allowed out of his little room in the Hospital Wing to his joint room with Draco. He'd been hoping that a near death experience would be enough to get his own room back, but unfortunately his great-grandfather did not agree.

He had had several visitors during his stay in the infirmary. His least favorite was when the ministry, along with several reporters, came into his room, demanding an audience with both Harry and Draco. After it was finally granted, the minister then proceeded to give an incredibly long speech to the reporters about pride and honor and every other praise word under the sky. After about an hour an a half, he finally turned to Draco and Harry and presented them each with an Order of Merlin for their "tremendous effort of purging the world from evil." Draco took his with a smile on his face. Harry however, after trying several times to refuse it, finally conceded only taking it in honor of those who had fought and lost in the war.

That brought another sore point to Harry. It was only minutes into his first conversation after waking up with the headmaster that he found the courage to ask a question he didn't really want to know, but needed to.

"Sir, how many people died?"

"Well, Harry, we were quite lucky. Five students lost their lives, Terry Boot, Hannah Abbot, Eloise Midgen, Blaise Zambini and Colin Creevey. Eight order members also died, I don't believe you knew any of them very well, though. We held a memorial service a two days before you woke, and erected a monument outside."

Harry didn't consider thirteen people dieing, lucky, but took the news in stide.

"What happened when Draco and I put our swords into Voldemort?"

"Well, according to Mr. Malfoy, there was a great light afterwards, or to be exact a blue and red light, taking over a green light. I believe that by your actions, your powers overpowered his."

"So is it over?"

"Yes, my dear boy, it is."

*~^~*

After being released, Harry went into study mode. He had every inclination of keeping his end of the bargain he had made with the headmaster, and he would be taking his NEWTS with the rest of the seventh years at the end of the school year. If he passed, he would be allowed to graduate and legally use his wand magic just like all the other students. Seeing that he could almost use wandless magic easier that magic with a wand, it didn't really matter to him anyways, however, it was just the principle of the matter that kept him going. Hermione and him talked everyday, becoming closer than they had ever been.

At the end of the year, he took his NEWTS, scoring an outstanding 28 of 32, enough to tie the old record, had his girlfriend not broken the record with a 30. With hi score brought a new problem. What did he want to do now that he was really finished with school? He could easily go back to his home in Montana, and become Timothy Portney once again, while being able to lead his own anonymous life, but he didn't know if that was enough for him anymore. He had become reinstituted in the wizarding world, and he was almost sorry to let it go. His scores were good enough to do almost anything he wanted to, if he wanted to do anything. It was something he definitely had to consider.

*~^~*

The day came for graduation and Hermione was worried. She wouldn't have admitted it, but she was terrified that Harry was going to leave again. He hadn't told his after school plans to anyone, and she had a deep fear that he was once again going to leave for Montana. After the ceremony, she finally had the nerve to confront him.

"So Harry, what do you plan to do now?"

"Well, I was thinking of visiting Dobby for a nice piece of pie."

"Harry, you know what I mean. What are you going to do now that you've graduated?"

In fact, Harry did know what she was asking. For the past month he had been thinking about it seriously, and after being summoned in for a talk by his Great-Grandfather, his future had sort of played itself out.

"Well, Albus-"

"Albus? Since when did you come into first name basis with the headmaster?"

"He asked me to call him that after I graduated, since we were family."

"Makes sense."

"As I was saying, Albus talked to me about it, and I'm going to teach. The Muggle Studies teacher was one of those who died in the battle, so I'm going to act as an interim teacher for that subject, while I apprentice for Remus in DADA. Now that the war's over, he's wanting to do something else besides teach, and I'm going to take over for him in a few years."

Hermione shook her head in relief. So he wasn't going to leave. He was going to stay in the wizarding world, close enough for them to stay together. She couldn't be happier. However, noticing the look on her face, Harry couldn't help but notice the expression looked gloomy.

"What not happy I'm staying? I'll leave if that what you want," he replied with a smirk.

"No, no, Merlin, no, Harry." She jumped forward and gave him a huge kiss. "I was just worried that you would want to leave, that you'd want to go back home."

"But don't you understand, Hermione? Hogwarts, my friends, my family, you? I am home."

And with that, the two walked back into the building, hand and hand, to celebrate the rest of their lives, with their friends and family.

The End

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a/n Wow! I actually finished it! I cant believe it. I hope the ending wasn't too abrupt for you, I tried to draw it out a little, but I had 'issues'. Let me know what ya'll think :)

Thanks to everyone who reviewed, m4x, spiritbinder23, thefly, Anonymous, sew2100, auroradlj9, White Dove, Hoarse Swan, chrisfaithalin, Andufeniel, coolone007, Glaclya B, Flame-the-Phoenix, takari4ever7, animalcrazy10102, Iniysa, dan fan, ALPHA WOLFE, Princess Sammiii, Bella

I had tons of review on the last chapter. Thanks so much for everyone's dedicated reviews! You guys are the bestest :)

A special note to auroradlj9: Oops... That was a mistake from before I edited it... I fixed it. Thanks for catching it!

Does anyone out there have a good idea for another plot? If so, I might try writing another story. We'll just have to see. The last idea came to me in a dream... Don't ask, my dreams are very weird.

And, for the last time, here is the DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

I do however own the cutest little hamster named Beowulf the Narcoleptic, who is currently fighting a nasty eye infection. And yes, she is quite narcoleptic, poor thing runs in her wheel then falls asleep in it almost instantaneously. She's my widdle iddy biddy baby :)

I do not own my sister's devil cockatiel. And contrary to popular belief, anything that enjoys pecking my fingers till they bleed is not a nice animal.

I do own a Calculus book, but I haven't opened it recently... that could be why I'm not doing so hot...

I do not own a physics book... I finally sold it back... I bought lunch with the money I got... It tasted really good... mmm... cherry limeades...

I bet ya'll really wanted to know all that ;)

I'm running for State President in an organization next weekend... I'm really nervous. My bestest friend is running for first vice... Wish us luck :)