Chapter 12

The Memorial

"A prayer now for our deceased: Professor Mary Sprout, Madam Eliza Pomfrey, Argus Filch…" Dumbledore droned on, reading off the names of those lost in the battle, beginning with the Hogwarts staff.

The majority of the magical world's population was jammed onto the Hogwarts grounds, spilling into the forest, the school, and even into the lake where people sat in boats. Everybody wanted to whiteness the historic memorial to honor the veterans of the Duel of the Fates. However, it seemed almost impossible that the bloodiest battle of all time had taken place on the very ground they stood on only 24 hours earlier. The dead bodies had been cleared and the sun shone brightly without a cloud in the sky. But it was still all too true that death was indeed genuine.

"Katrina Martly, Lily Frarus, David Prevenue, Lee Jordan…" Hermione choked on a fresh batch of tears at the familiar name of her former classmate. Ron wrapped an arm around her and squeezed her shoulder tightly.

"It's ok," he whispered reassuringly.

"So many deaths…" Hermione's voice trailed off as Dumbledore continued.

"And now, a moment of silence for those brave souls who have lost their lives in the past 24 hours."

Hermione bowed her head respectfully but only one face haunted her mind. His jet black hair, his enormous glasses, his slightly large nose, his sexy half-smile that had captured her heart the day they'd first met…how could her life possibly go on without Harry?

As if reading Hermione's mind, Dumbledore suddenly spoke again:

"We will now pay a special tribute to a young boy of only 15 who has, no doubt, saved the world to put it frankly. I am speaking, of course, of Harry Potter."

Hermione sniffled loudly, drawing glares and "sshh"'s from many nearby people. Ron cradled Hermione's head in his arms as Dumbledore wrapped up the ceremony by unveiling a shiny golden statue of Harry holding his beloved Firebolt.

"Harry was always happiest in the sky," the headmaster explained, "and I hope that this memorial will remind us of his courageous efforts and of those other brave souls who gave their lives so that we could stand here freely as are. The ceremony is over. You may leave in peace."

Over the next 15 minutes most of the crowd filtered out and left the grounds. Ron and Hermione, however, lingered near the statue with a handful of other Hogwarts students.

"I just can't believe he's gone for good," Neville whispered after a moment of silence. Hermione let out a loud wail.

"Shut it Longbottom, can't you see she's upset?" Ron growled at him.

"Sorry Weasley, didn't realize you had a new girlfriend," Neville said with a smirk.

"Why I oughta-"

"Who's got a new girlfriend?" a cheerful voice interjected.

"Oh, nothing," Hermione mumbled, rubbing her eyes. "Just a little disagree-holy shit!"

"What?" Ron spun around and stared open-mouthed.

"Oh, come on you guys, you didn't really think I could die that easily, did you?" The student's mouths only dropped lower.

"Ooookay, apparently you did."

"It's just-Harry, is it really you?" Ron cried, reaching out to poke his friend's arm.

"Oh course it's me, you dumbass!"

"But-but the warning on the scroll-" Ron sputtered.

"Ah, it was only 99.99%," Harry said casually, waving his hand to show its unimportance. "You guys know I'm a fighter. I'm that 0.01%. I'm a survivor." Hermione grinned, finally coming to her senses, and wrapped her arms around her no longer MIA boyfriend.

"Harry, you have no idea how much I love you," she whispered into his ear.

"I think I just might." Hermione giggled as he planted a soft, tender kiss on her lips then turned to their friends.

"We kicked Voldemort's ass! The deatheaters are gone for good! Including all of the Malfoys!" Ron grinned. His brother's name would finally be cleared.

"I think this calls for a party! All houses invited, in the Great Hall immediately!!!" All who were within hearing distance cheered at the top of their lungs and lifted Harry on the shoulders as they headed off to the biggest party the world had ever seen.

A/N: Ok, not the best story ever, but in case u couldn't tell I got bored after chapter 7 or so but made myself finish it. But what'd u think? Plz review!