We were all out of it, only just able to function in the fast paced world continuing on around us. Everyday new people were going in and out of the castle. The ministry had sent in aids for different tasks. Initially they had been there to receive the bodies of Death Eaters for cremation and to take those still living into custody. When the first Aurors arrived I was certain I would be rounded up with the, because of my mark, but apparently Dumbledore had already spoken to whoever needed to be spoken to and so they never came for me. Some later arriving officials were regulating muggle exposure to our world while others were preparing exams. A few of the 7th years who deemed themselves ready took their NEWTS. I had almost convinced Harry to get it over with but when he changed his mind I did as well. They were going to give students the summer to study and prepare so we would probably do better in August. It was scary to think about, but our Hogwarts careers were almost over and to get a good job (because we weren't inventive like the Weasley twins) we would need high marks on our exams.
I had no idea of what I wanted to do. Even before the final battle I wasn't sure of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I guess I hadn't given it much though because I hadn't been sure I would survive. Now all I knew was that I wanted to be with Harry. I wasn't sure what his plans were for the future since we hadn't discussed anything, but I was secure in my thinking that he wanted to be with me as well. These feeling were assured every time he held my hand, in public or private, every time he kissed my lips or moaned my name, and every time he put his head on my shoulder. We needed each other. Hermione often looked at us with a sad smile. She wouldn't have this with Ron ever again.
The funerals were unbearable. All around us people were crying, almost everyone had lost some loved one, a relative, friend, or lover; it didn't matter. There was nowhere to go that one could escape from the grieving. The great hall was always filled with people, the same for the dormitories. Even walking in the hallway or going to places like the library, one was quick to see someone crying or a few people talking in hushed tones about their losses. And people who had hated each other were now holding on to each other for strength. This was proven by Millicent Bulstrode who sat with a gaggle of Ravenclaws, looking somber. Most of our house had proven to be with the enemy and now her friends were gone. Part of me was surprised she wasn't gone with them but then she had always been more into herself then any one cause. In the end I suppose her conceit had proved valuable.
There was no pattern to the funerals, more that the bodies that were clean and ready went first. They should have planned better because Charlie's funeral was one of the first and then there was another four days before Ron's. I agreed with Harry that it was almost torture-like to have the Weasley's wait so long in between the two. It wasn't until both were done that some sort of peace and closure could come to their survivors.
During both funerals Hermione, Harry and I continued with our three way support system. For Ron's specific she sat between us, holding our hands and her head lay on Harry's shoulder. We didn't speak and afterward when she insisted that she wanted to be alone, we let her go. For Ron who didn't want to be mourned, everyone was in a sad state for trying to carry out his last wish. Later that evening after all had gone to bed (many of the school's empty rooms had been converted to hold guests) Harry and I wandered the halls looking for Hermione. We finally found her in the Astronomy tower with one of Ron's oldest sweaters enveloping her. Her face was wet was tears but when she noticed us she smiled.
"This is the last time I'm going to cry. I'm promising this to him and to myself. But I think I'll need you both to make sure I hold to it." To my left Harry nodded but my expression didn't change. She knew she would have my help.
I walked over to one of the windows and looked out at the grounds below. It was still odd to bury all the bodies on school grounds but it had been decided that those who died at Hogwarts would be forever remembered at Hogwarts. An intricate and enormous tapestry had been hung below me on the outside of the school, with of course the proper charms to ensure its survival over many years. On it was the name of each person who had passed away and a list of their still living relatives. As time passed and people married and children were born the names and lines of the cloth would change like a family tree, to prove that life does continue after death. My father's name was obviously not on the cloth but Dumbledore had put my name surviving Pansy (the rest of her family gone). And Harry and Hermione were both listed under Ron. The rest of the Weasley family was listed under Charlie.
I looked away from the window and saw that Harry had moved to sit next to Hermione and was absentmindedly playing with a sweater sleeve. They both looked content to sit there all night but that wouldn't do. "Come on you two. Let's go back to the dormitory." After the first night in the room of requirement, I had stayed in the Gryffindor dormitory. Neville accepted me straight off though Dean was a little wary around me. But still he voiced nothing that would have me sleeping somewhere else.
I walked to the door and waited for them to follow. As they started to get up I said, "Tomorrow is Pansy's funeral. I'm going to go alone." Harry's head turned to me in a flash and his eyes stared into my own. "Yes, it really is what I want to do."
"Draco," Hermione started but I stopped her.
"It's just going to Madam Pomfrey and Severus and me. Please…" I ended with a plea knowing it would cement it into their brains that I wanted/needed to do this without them. Neither said anything then and as I headed out of the tower I heard their footsteps following behind.
The next morning at breakfast, it was just Harry and I. Hermione had slept in and since she wasn't coming to the funeral, we had seen no reason to wake her. I ate a little, nibbling on some eggs, while Harry had juice and some biscuits. I didn't want to eat too much because my stomach was already churning, and I was afraid I would be sick at any moment.
It had been arranged so that Pansy's would be the first of the day, so the 'cemetery' would be empty. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Severus walking towards us, before he could say anything I got up and took a step away from the table. I was ready, sort of. Instead of stopping, Severus continued towards the patched up doors and I followed after planting a quick kiss on Harry's cheek. Severus didn't say anything while we walked so I didn't either. At the corridor that led outside, Poppy was already waiting for us. She gave us both a small smile. I tried to return it, at least I felt my face move in response, but how the smile looked, I'm not sure. It probably came out more like a grimace than anything else.
The closer we got to the wooden casket that held Pansy's body, the sicker I became. Bile rose in my throat and the burn was almost welcome but the continuing gag reflex was not. It took a great deal of effort to breathe through my nose and calm myself. Twice I had to stop afraid I wouldn't be able to continue. Madame Pomfrey looked at me with compassion filled eyes while Severus' were cold. But I understood. He had to be like this to deal with everything. Years of fighting had hardened him and now the deaths of students, especially innocent ones in his own house, were hitting him hard. You didn't have to be a mind reader to know that he felt like a failure. Unfortunately I knew it would also be useless to try and convince him otherwise at this point.
Pansy's coffin, made out of pretty rosewood, was plain. Similarly the headstone that had been placed nearby was void of pattern or decoration. Thankfully there were no Slytherin snakes adorning it. All it said was, "Pansy Parkinson Beloved Daughter and Friend May She Continue Healing Body and Soul" It was appropriate, though people who didn't know her would probably confuse the last bit, thinking that the afterlife was to heal her instead of the other way around. I liked to believe that she would spend her time in the next step helping others like she had wanted to do in this life; like she had helped me in this life.
I was just two steps from her when another wave of nausea overcame me and I quickly spun away from the hole in the ground that would be my best friend's final resting place. I couldn't handle it and started to walk away when strong arms wrapped around my waist. For a split second I thought that Harry had followed me but when I looked up it was black eyes that met mine instead of green. Severus. His eyes were still hard and I didn't expect this act of sympathy but he held me close and didn't let go as he inched closer to Poppy. I had no choice but to stumble closer with him. I gagged more and then hiccupped twice once we stopped moving and I laid eyes on the casket again. Severus rubbed my back in small circles trying to help me and I leaned my face into his shoulder willing to take all the comfort he was giving. Hearing steps coming from behind us I lifted my head slightly to see Dumbledore walking towards us. Of course he would be speaking before this was over. He walked to Pansy's headstone and stopped next to it before looking at us. He had aged greatly in the last week, his hair whiter and his face lined with more wrinkles. And now his eyes lacked their usual twinkle, hidden behind his half-moon glasses. But as he smiled to us it was genuine and full of warmth.
"Pansy Parkinson was a young woman with a bright future ahead of her…" he started but I blocked out what else he said. Again I pushed my face into Severus's shoulder and just waited for it all to be over. It wasn't a good way for me to act at Pansy's funeral but I was sure she would forgive me and my actions. She'd be like this if our roles were reversed and in my mind's eye I pictured what would have happened at my funeral. It would be a small affair but I saw Pansy holding on to Harry instead of Snape. It was almost comical to think of her clutching Snape the way I was now. And then part of me wondered who would cry more if I had died, Harry or Pansy.
Sooner than I could comprehend I was pulled out of my sick daydream and the funeral was over. Poppy was laying white lilies on top of the coffin since they were Pansy's favorite, instead of her namesake. I noticed Severus held some as well and he let go of me to take one out of the bouquet and give to me. Then he walked away and laid the rest next to Poppy's. I didn't move and as Severus walked back to me I realized Dumbledore was already gone, leaving us to have our final moments together. Poppy came over then and laid a kiss on my check and gave me an awkward hug before heading inside. Severus followed her example but without a kiss on my cheek. Then I was alone with a single flower in my hand and a soon to be filled hole in front of me.
Slowly I walked to the coffin that had already been sealed shut and ran my fingers along the top. Suddenly my legs felt like jelly and they fell from underneath me. I leaned heavily on the coffin trying to stay up but I failed and landed on the ground with a hard thud. It was cold beneath me, even though it was spring, but the tears now falling freely down my face were warm. Not really caring I tried to wipe them away but they were replaced too quickly so I gave up. My body was happy that I finally couldn't keep myself together and I turned away from Pansy to vomit on the ground. I heaved constantly for a few minutes, losing all of my breakfast. Sweat oozed from my head and neck; it trickled down my back making my robes cling to me uncomfortably. Finally when I had nothing more to give I managed to sit up and breathe evenly and I leaned back against the coffin. In my hand was the flower, ruined. The stem was broken in multiple places from when I had clenched my hand too tightly. And some of the petals had fallen off and lay in the mess in front of me.
"I'll bring you more flowers when I feel better," I wheezed out, my voice raspy. "I'll make sure you always have beautiful flowers," I pledged with my eyes to the sky. And then on weak legs I attempted to stand. After a moment I succeeded so I stood staring at the coffin but there was nothing more I could think of to say and I turned away from it.
Harry was there waiting for me. He looked uncomfortable and he had his arms wrapped around his torso like he was trying to warm himself.
"How long have you been there?" I asked as I took my first steps towards him.
"I never left you." I nodded once and fresh tears leaked from my eyes. Then reaching him I wrapped my arms around him and he did the same to me. We stood there for who knows how long, neither saying anything. My tears continued, creating a large wet spot on his sweater. His breath was moist on my neck and it sent shivers down my spine and slow growing warmth in the pit of my stomach. I relished his comfort.
Someone coughed next to us and we jumped apart to see Dumbledore and a family I didn't recognize standing by us. It was time for the next funeral. Without a word Harry took my hand and we headed towards the castle, Dumbledore heading in the opposite direction. This time, when we passed, I'd swear his eyes held something similar to the sparkle they used to hold. Or maybe I was just making it up.
Harry held my hand all the way back to the Gryffindor dormitory. He muttered the password and barely waited for the door to open before pulling me inside. I had no choice as he pulled me to the showers. Finding them empty, Harry started undressing me. I tried to stop him, sure I could do it myself but he grabbed my hands and forced them to my sides. Then as if I was child he continued undressing me and pushed me into a stall. The water was cold when it hit me and I gasped loudly, manipulating my body to get away from the water as much as possible. Then there was a hot naked body behind me, crowding my space, forcing me back under the now warm water.
After such a tremulous morning bathing like this was nice. Harry's hands were gentle under the continuous spray of water as he rubbed shampoo into my hair. I did the same to him and then we took turns with the soap, washing each other's body. When it was my turn to wash him I started with his shoulders, lathering them up and then watching as the suds were washed away, down his ass and legs and into the drain. Reaching my hand around to do his chest I laid several kisses along his back and into his hairline. I had already taken care to rinse my mouth multiple times before I started. As I rubbed the soap along his chest I could feel his few chest hairs underneath my finger tips. Slowly I dipped the soap further south, lingering on his hips, where, still from behind, I scattered a few more kisses. Then skipping his groin completely I knelt behind him and moved to wash his right leg. I ran both of my hands up and down his leg several times before moving to his other leg and then I took the soap to his ass which was eyelevel. I took special care to wash him and when I was done and the soap washed away I kissed what was in front me, every so often letting my teeth graze the tender flesh. Above me I heard Harry gasp. Without a word I had him twisted around and when I looked at his penis it was bobbing up and down with interest. Again I took special care to wash him and when I was done he was almost completely erect. Instead of taking him in my mouth I stood up and Harry let out a small whimper. Reaching one hand back to twist into his wet hair I pulled his mouth to mine and kissed him hard. With my other hand, I reached behind him to turn the water off.
We kissed for a few moments but then I pulled away and stepped out of the shower stall. Then I wrapped a towel around my waist and waited for Harry to follow. In a heartbeat he was next to me, ready to go into his bedroom. Still without any real conversation I grabbed my wand out of my dirty clothes (knowing the house elves would be quick to get them) and headed inside.
Entering the room I noticed Neville sitting on his bed, a herbology book on his lap. His face turned a red that could compete with Weasley's hair as his eyes darted back and forth between Harry and me. In a blur he was gone, the door closing loudly behind him. Chuckling softly I turned to Harry and pushed him onto his bed. Then I pulled my towel off, climbed in next to him, and closed the curtains around the bed. I muttered a quick silencing spell before straddling him and kissing him again. Between the spell and the way I was crushing his mouth with my own, there was no way anyone outside would hear us.
Harry's towel was loose around his waist, more laying on top of him them actually wrapped around him. Thus there was no resistance when I sat up, leaned back, and ran my hand up his thigh until I reached his cock. I wrapped my fingers around him and started pumping my fist up and down. Below me Harry's face contorted beautifully in pleasure. My own cock throbbed painfully, nodding free against my leg and Harry's abdomen. With my free hand I traced invisible lines along his chest, stopping often to pinch his nipples. I loved watching them harden under my touch. Harry's hands were scrunched tight in the blankets and sheets below him, so tight that his knuckles were white. His breath was short and ragged and every so often he would gasp out my name.
Suddenly, well more suddenly for Harry who was near orgasm, I pulled my hand out from under the towel. It was wet with pr-cum and I lifted it to my mouth to lick my fingers clean. Watching me, Harry's face changed from frustration to awe and back again.
"Do something," his voice was stronger than it had been seconds earlier. So I did and moved off of him to position myself between his legs. He let out a soft yelp as cool air hit him and I pulled the towel from him, tossing it behind me. Gently I ran my fingertips up his thighs teasing him. Then I bent his knees and forced his legs as far apart as they could go on the thin bed. Shifting again I placed one hand on either side of his chest and leaned over him. Our penises touched and I nearly came right there.
I reached my head up to his so that my lips brushed his ear and I nibbled on the tender flesh. "Harry, can I…"
"Yes!" he growled in response so I positioned myself at his entrance. Achingly slow I pushed my way in, allowing him to get used to me. He was so tight and it was the most perfect feeling. Finally I was in as far as I could go and still I waited until Harry squirmed underneath me. I took that as my cue but still careful to not hurt him I pulled out almost as slow. It took a few thrusts before I reached a pace that was comfortable for the two of us and every time he clenched his muscles I came closer to the edge. Harry had one hand stroking himself and his other was gripping my arm tightly. There was no doubt I would have little crescent shaped scrapes later on. The warmth that had started in my stomach had spread through my whole body. It was like I was on fire and being with Harry was the only thing that had a chance of quenching the heat.
"Harry I…" I was close, so close.
"Me too," he gasped out and with a final twist of his hand he was coming. That was it for me. As his body shuddered his release beneath me, I bit my lip to keep from crying out and came as well. I nearly collapsed on top of him as pleasure overwhelmed me. We laid chest to chest, my head resting half on his shoulder and half on his pillow. His body was as hot and as spent as mine and the only sound between us was our breath.
Eventually I had to move but it was like every muscle and fiber of my being had gone limp and it took great effort to slip out of him. And part of me didn't want to. Part of me wanted to stay connected to him for as long as possible. Shifting so that I was on my side laying against him I looked into his eyes. Small tears hard formed and some head leaked down his cheeks.
Reaching up to wipe them away I asked,"Did I hurt you?"
"No, no!" he responded vehemently and I saw the truth in his eyes. "It's just all this… everything going on around us…" I nodded in understanding and moved my arm so that is was under his head, utilizing it as a pillow. He moved so that his head leaned more on my chest and a few stray tears felt onto me. He sniffled a few times so I craned me neck to kiss his hair. He had held me earlier and I would hold him now. With my wand I moved the blanket so it covered us.
"I love you," I murmured into his hair. He responded with another snort of his stuffed nose and a, "I lub you too." He snuggled closer into me and wrapped an arm around my waist.
Who knew how long it would take but we would get through this.
We slept for hours and when we weren't sleeping we still didn't leave the bed. We missed lunch and then dinner, our bodies exhausted, our minds the same. By morning I felt somewhat refreshed but still didn't want to move. Unfortunately the need for food and another shower won out, so cautiously Harry leaned his head outside the curtains to see if his dorm mates were there. Seeing that they were out already, we grabbed some clean clothes to change into and headed to the shower.
Walking into the great hall and to the Gryffindor table, Hermione gave us a wicked smile."So I missed you two yesterday." She looked brighter then she had in days, her cheeks pink with life and only faint circles under her eyes. "And apparently something happened yesterday that scared Neville more than Snape ever did."
Harry choked slightly on his juice and his face turned a nice shade of pink. Instead of getting embarrassed I rolled my eyes and responded, "Not my fault Longbottom is a bloody virgin."
"For your information, I am not a bloody virgin. Luna and I have been shagging for months." Neville confessed as he came out of nowhere to sit next to me. Harry chuckled softly and it was my turn to choke. "I just wasn't expecting the two of you to come into the dormitory and go at it right in front of me."
"We did not -" I looked at Hermione and Harry and then back to Neville. "We did not go at it in front of you." Hermione giggled like she didn't quite believe me and Neville just let out a sigh before grabbing a roll to eat.
After a couple of bites Neville continued, "At least you had the decency to shut the curtains so Dean and I could sleep in our beds last night."
Now Hermione was openly laughing. I glared at her, effectively shutting her up, though her eyes still held their mirth, and I hit Neville playfully on the arm. "That's enough out of you," I muttered.
"So today and tomorrow are the last days for funerals. Then on Saturday everyone heads home." Harry spoke up a few minutes later. Hermione nodded a few times before Harry added, "I was planning on going to Sirius' house. Would you like to come?" he was looking at me but I knew he was including Hermione and even Neville if he really wanted. Was he asking me to move in with him, or was I reading too much into a simple question?
"Yeah, sure. That sounds agreeable." I tried to sound aloof but couldn't hide the smile that threatened to overtake my face.
"Good," Harry said before leaning over to give me a quick kiss.
"I'll come too Harry. That way we can study for our NEWTS together." Neville, Harry and I groaned at that.
"I'll come over to visit and study, but Luna and I are looking to get a flat of our own."
"Oh, that sounds nice," Hermione said quickly. "Have you already started applying? Where are you looking?" and those little questions lead to a tremendous discussion on property values, the ideal home, and eventually onto hopefully income levels, or more specifically the job hunt. It didn't surprise me that Hermione was knowledgeable about flat prices but when it came to a job it seemed she was as perplexed as the rest of us.
Well except for Neville who told us about the offer he had already received. "Pamona offered me an apprenticeship about a month ago. Of course it still depends of my NEWT scores but I'm confident that they'll be high enough. And I think I can count on a perfect score in Herbology." He laughed a little and we joined him, knowing he would indeed get at least 100 on his exam.
"Congrats on the offer. Professor Sprout would be crazy not to take you. What are you thinking about?" I asked turning to Harry who had been quiet for several minutes.
"I don't know. I wanted to be an Auror but that was something I thought Ron and I would do together. Now I'm not too sure of what I want to do. What about you?"
Before I could stop the words from tumbling out of my mouth I responded, "I want to be a healer."
"A healer?" they echoed. All three had a bewildered gaze and I felt my cheeks grow warm.
"Yes a healer," I retorted.
"Well that'll be interesting. I can't see you having the best bedside manner," Hermione tried to joke.
"With the exception of Arithmacy all the classes I am in would be useful in a Healer's field. And what better way to show the world that I am not my father who was a murdering bastard." And what better way than to honor Pansy then to go into the position she wanted more than anything.
"Well I don't think becoming a Healer should just be to stick it to your father. Being a Healer is a calling. It should be something you really want to do."
I sat there for a moment weighing the decision on my mind. Then jutting my chin out in a determined look I responded, "Yes it really is what I want to do."
"Well then good. At least one of us knows what they want to do." Harry took my hand assuring me of his support and then paused before continuing, "So when I'm still lost and have no idea of what I want to do you can take care of me when you bring in the big bucks." He grinned jokingly.
"Oh yeah," I joked back, "I'll take care of you."