Disclaimer: Not mine, just a idea I had one day, I don't claim it, it's all hers.
Summary: After the final battle the survivors are transported to a world where Voldemort died in 1981, where peace has been the rule, and battle hardened veterans must try to fit in.
The clouds of smoke that obscured the battlefield shifted and parted under the gentle touch of the chill breeze. The first ray of sunshine of the day dashed over the edge of the mountains and cascaded across the field of corpses that were strewn around the field. The remains of the Forbidden Forest smouldered and the rubble that was once Hogwarts lit up under the touch of the sun. Oblivious to all this were 5 figures, each bowed, bloody and exhausted. Each was saddened beyond what they thought possible, but at the same time, they were relieved. For the past 3 years, they had lived in a state of constant warfare. Their scholing abandoned as the war against voldemort, to protect the innocent and the helpless, had escalated. The rest of the wizarding world had been dragged into this dispute that had been confined to this small island. The lines between Bigotry and Acceptance, between Tradition and Invention, had been drawn and the wizarding world had been decimated. It had become a fight for survival. The simple knowledge that Voldemort was alive, that he had come back from the dead after Harry Potter had killed him while just a baby, had shaken the world. That he was renewing the war, had disturbed them. When the old families of Europe had been given a choice, of join or be considered the enemy, they had joined and the war renewed. The Americans had been dragged in a year ago. Their best and bravest were now dead as well, victims of the final battle. It was estimated that one in four wizards and witches of Europe had died and one in eight from the Americas. A staggering loss to such a small community.
There were survivors of the battle however. Five of them who now leaned on eachother and sat on the rubble of Hogwarts as their minds tried to grip a single fact. It was over. Voldemort was dead. Voldemort was gone. Voldemort wouldn't be coming back. Hermione Granger's shoulders shook, her arms wrapped around herself as she sobbed softly, Ron Weasley's large arms were around her, holding her to him while giving her time to release her pain. Neville Longbottom was stoic, he sat on a large piece of rock and quietly surveyed the ruin, his hands occasionally stroking the hair of the corpse of Luna Lovegood. While Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley sat back to back, using the other's shoulder to lay their head back on as they stared at nothing.
"It's over" was all that Harry said for the first few minutes as he looked over the corpse covered field where the quidditch pitch had once been "Now what?
"what what?" was the reply from Ginny, looking curious. Her brown eyes still a bit wide as the shock of what they had done hadnt fully settled in. "what do you mean?"
"well, we've done it, it's over. Now what? Where do we go? What do we do?" Harry asked. "Diagon Alley is gone, the Ministry…. We know what happened there, what do we have left?" the last question was half sobbed out as tears started to flow. The enormity of the losses they had suffered was finally beginning to sink in. "I've never thought about what to do afterwards. I didn't want to think that far ahead. I don't know what to do"
The others turned to look at Harry as he curled up on himself, rocking back and forth as he sobbed. Perhaps it was that he had voiced their own fear, or that for the first time, since the death of Albus Dumbledore, he didn't know what to do. Harry had been the rock to which they could cling to. He may not always have had a plan, but he always had an idea of what to do next, of how to move on, to regroup or where to go. Now he was empty and so very lost.
"Well" Neville finally spoke up, shifting his staff in his hands. "first we need rest. We need to eat and drink, then we can make plans. I know of a cellar that's undamaged, we can use that. Paws needs to get that gash from Malfoy's cutting hex seen to. Brains, I know your kneecap was dislocated earlier and wasn't fixed properly. Stripes, that pain relief spell isnt going to last much longer. So all of you, follow me." The quiet confidence that Neville exuded was such a change from the clumsy boy of a few short years ago. Refined in the crucible of war, he had gained a level of confidence and leadership that had kept them alive for so long. It was because of their trust in him that Ron, Hermione and Ginny followed.
A few hours later, they five sat around a small everburning fire. A pot of stew was put to the side after they had eaten and they finally relaxed. Ginny lay on her side, using Harry's leg as a pillow as she gazed into the flames while Hermione sat in Ron's lap, using his body heat to keep her warm.
"Well, what do we want to do? Do we re-build Hogwarts? Do we re-build the ministry? Or do we let the Americans do it? I don't know what to do any more" Harry's questions echo'd faintly around the cellar. "I'm just so tired now. Do we get to rest?"
"Rest! Rest!" Hermione suddenly perked up, her voice taking on an excited tone. "that's what he meant!" as she dove off of Ron's lap and started to rummage through the pockets of her vest. "I cant believe I forgot it!"
Ron smiled softly at her obvious excitement, tolerant of her foibles and half explanations as only long experience and deep trust can be. "and one day you will tell us what you are so excited about and then that means we will all know." As he leaned foreward and re-filled her cup with tea.
"Dumbledore!" was the rest of her explanation, eliciting shrugs of ignorance from the others, until she pulled out a small box and enlarged it. Inside was a orb of gold coloured beryl the size of one of Ron's fists. "He gave it to me a week before he died. He said that when it was over we should all touch it when activated and it would take us to somewhere we could rest." She paused and looked at it curiously. "He told me the activation enchantment, but, I have no idea what it does. It's practically glowing with magic, so it's got to be pretty big and I havent been able to get a clear read on the matrices of the energy signatures"
"Are we sure we want to do this?" was all Neville said. It was all he needed to say. For so long his quiet words, seldom spoken, had been the voice of caution that they had all learned to heed. "We don't know where it will take us and do we have a responsibility to help re-build?"
They sat quietly for a few moments, each lost in their own thoughts until Ron finally spoke. "I don't believe that Albus would ever do anything harmful to us, This was his last gift to us. We should trust him" He nodded after he spoke his piece then stood. "I'm going to go scout out up top, let me know when you've made your choices." With that he double checked that his various weapons were in place, muttering the checklist as he did so, a long engrained habit, before he fastened his combat robes and headed outside on almost silent feet.
Harry seemed to be lost in thought as he gently stroked Ginny's hair, a habit he had picked up long ago. While Ginny seemed to have dozed off. "Ok, we are going to do it, but not now. In the morning, after we eat. 2 hours after dawn. Paws has first watch, Cub, join him in 2 hours, the rest of us are going to sleep till our watch. I want everyone to have at least six hours. Take a small vial of Dreamless sleep, we don't need the nightmares. After we've eaten, we can go." He nodded and looked at the others. "Brains, can you set up some wards before we sleep so we wont be disturbed?" He didn't even look to her for her reply, rather he simply laid back with a small pack acting as a pillow and went to sleep.
The soft light of false dawn greeted a hollow eyed Harry Potter as he sat on a piece of rubble, looking out through the fog over the body strewn battle field. Already ravens and crows as well as kites and other raptors were taking advantage of the feast of cadavers. However it was not the death that Harry truly saw. He didn't see Ginny carefully picking her way through the field, looting pouches and satchels from the corpses of wizards. The occasional wand, magical blades, and items of power. Since the collapse of Gringots and the wizarding economy, barter had come into fashion and these were hot currency second only to potion ingredients. Harry saw the light spilling through the fog. He saw the flakes of snow drifting down from the sky. He saw the world first dawn without Voldemort. He had fulfilled his purpose in life, the thing he had been born to do. He didn't know what to do next. There was no real ministry any more, let alone aurors. He'd been the one in charge of the fighting forces anyway. He didn't want to join what would be the new ministry, he could just see the paperwork and desk job sapping his life away. There were no more quidditch teams. In fact he sometimes wondered if he even knew how to play any more.
One by one, the others emerged from the cellar. Blinking slightly from the light as they looked around. That they moved in a defensive pattern was nothing that they conciously considered, but all angles including skyward were monitored. Too many ambush's had meant that their guard was never let down Soon all 5 were standing around Harry.
"well, we've got everything we need or can take?" Ginny silently held up a sack before she shrunk it and hung it from her belt. "Noone has any injuries?" A shake from Neville's head. "we've all slept and noone is drained?" Ron nodded "Right, then I guess it's up to Brains then." As he stood, Hermione pulled the crystal out. "oh, weapons out I think. We don't know where we are going. The moment we land, if this thing acts like a portkey, I want a shield up by Cub, Stipes and Paws, If it looks hostile, keep it under guard but do not hex unless they go first. Brains, the moment we land I want you start trying to work out where we are, I'm going to need intel. We all clear? Right," He reached out and placed a finger on the crystal, his sword in the other hand. Ron drew his own sword and repeated the action. Ginny drew her long curved bone knife while Neville simply gripped his staff a bit tighter. Finally Hermione placed a bare hand on the crystal and started to mutter as the crystal started to glow with an erie yellow light before she cried out as clearly as she could."chymer ni at 'r 'n grai byd" and they all felt the familiar hook in their navel.
Well, that's Chapter 1, the intro. If you like the idea, drop me a review. Updates are going to be few are far between as I slowly write this, so don't expect it to be finished any time soon, sorry, my muse is eratic.