Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to Harry Potter. Everything belongs to J. K. R., author of the Harry Potter series, since this was created off of her ideas. This story is in no way meant to be disrespectful to J. K. R., only a tribute to her masterful imagination and wonderful mind.
This fan fiction story contains spoilers through Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. This story begins where The Half Blood Prince left off and it is meant to parallel what I wanted the seventh book to contain. This story includes searching for the horcruxes and the final battle, however it does not include anything regarding The Deathly Hallows. The story does not contain a great deal of graphic details regarding the battles and is more a romance story then anything else. This story is meant to remain as cannon as possible and does include an epilogue with a glimpse into the future of the living characters.
I hope you enjoy this story, I know that I have enjoyed writing it. This story contains NO SLASH and supports the relationships of Harry Potter/Ginny Weasley, Ron Weasley/Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom/Luna Lovegood, Remus Lupin/Nymphadora Tonks. This story contains adult material and should be read with that kept in mind. While it is not overly explicit material like what some other web sites have, it IS for adults. I know that adult situations and themes are not cannon to the Harry Potter series, however I feel that as the characters grow, so do their experiences. I know that in many advanced societies these characters are far too young to be behaving as such, however, in the Harry Potter series, characters finish their education at age 17 instead of 23-25 as most do in societies where many go on to higher education, thus the younger age at which one becomes an adult etc.
Please note that this story is in the process of being edited. I hope to have the kinks worked out, however a few misprints and errors are inevitable.
Chapter 1 – The Worst Day
The Hogwarts train was speeding away from Hogsmeade village towards London. It was taking the Hogwarts students home just hours after Professor Dumbledore had been laid to rest. Harry Potter was silently sitting in a compartment with his friends. They had not spoken since getting on the train and everyone was lost in their own thoughts. Harry looked over to where Luna and Neville were seated, and even though it had been the worst few days of his life, a smile almost came to his face. Luna was sleeping on Neville's shoulder, and while she looked very content, he looked slightly nervous and pink in the face. There was almost a smile from Harry, but not quite. The last few days had rung him through the ringer and while he was in favor of all of his friends finding happiness, He just could not be happy at that moment.
Next to Luna was Ginny. Harry's eyes wandered over to wonderful, beautiful, kind, sweet Ginny, who until a few hours ago was Harry's beloved girlfriend. He had broken up with Ginny to protect her, and while she said she understood, he knew that it was tearing her up inside as much as it was for him. Ginny had been looking out the window, but happened to look at Harry while he was staring at her and drifting off into space. When Harry noticed, he gave her a weak smile. He could tell she tried to return it, but it really only looked like a grimace, which she ended by returning to look out the window. Harry hated the tension, but knew that her safety was more important than his comfort level for now. Someday, this war would be over. If Harry and Ginny both survived and Ginny was able to wait for him, he would do things properly and he would work hard to spend the rest of his life making up to her the pain that he was causing her at this moment.
Next to Harry were his too best friends, Ron and Hermione. They were continuing to play this game that they had started playing, where one would shift in their seat and end up just a bit closer to the other. Harry did not even think the two realized what they were doing. This again almost brought a smile to his face. At first, he was not sure about them getting together. He realized that it would make him the unwanted third wheel. After considering it for some time, he realized how happy it would make them to be together. After everything they had all been through, they all deserved a little happiness, and who was he to deny it. Ron may have never told him, but Harry knew that his red headed best mate was in love with the bushy haired know-it-all. And Hermione hadn't been ale to hide her feelings from Harry either, though Merlin knows that she had tried.
Thinking about love brought him back to Ginny. He hated doing this to her. He knew he was in love with the beautiful red headed girl sitting across from him. He loved her brown eyes and her adorable freckles; he loved her loyalty to her family and the Bat Boogey Hex that she became famous for casting if she strongly disliked you. Harry James Potter loved those beautiful lips and while all he wanted to do was pull her into a tight embrace, he knew he had done the right thing by ending it.
Voldemort had killed almost everyone that Harry had ever loved. First his parents, followed by Sirius, and now Dumbledore. The most powerful wizard ever to live died at the hands of a traitor while Harry could do nothing but watch. He could not let that happen to Ginny. He would not be able to live if something happened to Ginny, and he knew that while Ron did not like the idea of Ginny being miserable, Ron secretly agreed with Harry that it was to dangerous for his baby sister to get mixed up in this mess.
Harry's thoughts returned to Dumbledore and thinking of Dumbledore made Harry's insides boil with hatred for Voldemort. Now Harry had to continue the search for the horcruxes without him, and he had no idea where to begin. Professor Dumbledore said that Harry could speak to only Hermione and Ron about the horcruxes. Now without Dumbledore to help them, Harry felt lost and unsure if he could do this by himself. He would certainly try, but knew that the inevitable might happen. Harry could loose, Voldemort could win, and life would be over.
Before Harry had boarded the train, Professor McGonagall had called him over. She explained that Harry was involved in Professor Dumbledore's will. She went on to explain that after giving certain things and specific amounts of money to some others, the rest was left to Harry. Harry had received a huge amount of gold and all of Dumbledore's possessions. McGonagall had told Harry that the gold had been moved to his vault at Gringotts, and all of Dumbledore's possessions had been shrunk to fit into Harry's luggage. McGonagall told Harry to enlarge it to its original size he needed to say the spell "Engorgio." The last item was a letter, addressed to Harry, from Dumbledore. Harry held it tightly in his hand promising that sometime soon he would quietly sit down and read it hoping that maybe tonight he would get that chance.
All of the Weasley family had been at the funeral earlier that day. At that time, Mr. Weasley mentioned to Harry that he would accompany him to his Aunt and Uncle's house that afternoon, to help with any explaining that needed to be done and then, via side-along-apparation, Mr. Weasley would be taking Harry to The Burrow for Bill and Felur's wedding. Harry's luggage as going directly with the Weasleys to The Burrow, and Mr. Weasley had sent an owl to the Dursleys saying they did not need to pick him up. Harry smiled to himself thinking of his uncles purple face when an owl came soaring in the window, or more likely, when the owl tapped on the window since they would be undoubtedly closed against the dirt and grim of the outside world.
As the train pulled into platform 9 ¾, Harry came out of his thoughts and started to collect his trunk and Hedwig who was hooting in her cage. All of the friends looked around and started mumbling goodbyes to those they would not be seeing for a while, or possibly ever if the Board of Governors decided to close Hogwarts. The goodbye was more subdued then usual due to the straining circumstances of the day.
Harry left the train and followed Hermione and Ron over to the Weasley clan. Mrs. Weasley, Charlie, Bill, Fred and George were all there to help with luggage, and because, no one really wanted to do anything else on the sorrowful day. After recovering from a bone-crushing hug courtesy of Mrs. Weasley, Harry made his way over to Mr. Weasley.
"Ready," Mr. Weasley said in a forced cheerful sort of way.
"As I'll ever be to go to the Dursleys," replied Harry with just a hint of sarcasm.
Harry grabbed a hold of Mr. Weasley's arm and began to feel that familiar sensation that he frankly just did not like. Crack. They had left Kings Cross Station and landed, somewhat smoothly on Privet Drive, Just outside of number 4.
To be respectful, and since he had Mr. Weasley with him, Harry knocked on the door to let them know he had arrived. After a few seconds his horse faced Aunt Petunia answered the door with a slightly startled expression due to Mr. Weasley standing with a hand protectively on Harry's shoulder. Without a word, Petunia let them in to the horrifyingly clean house.
"Um...Aunt Petunia," Harry said as she started to turn away. Upon her returning to his stare did Harry continue, "I need to speak with you all for just a couple moments. It is regarding my plans for the near future, and you all need to be aware. Could you gather everyone into the living room?"
Aunt Petunia's stare looked softer then usual for some reason and she gave a small nod. Harry and Mr. Weasley walked into the living room where Dudley was playing his playstation via one of the most horrifically violent games Harry had ever seen. Aunt Petunia entering the room, turned the game off through Dudley's cries of anger and protest. He could also tell as his Uncle entered, that he may not be in the best of moods and was unhappy that he was being forced to listen to Harry for a while. Under his breath Vernon kept saying things about "those kind" and people with "flaming red hair" who were always in his living room. Uncharacteristically for her, Petunia shushed him and looked directly at Harry.
"Err…hello." Harry said, trying to understand his uncle's mood exactly before continuing. "I am going to stay just for us to talk but then I am leaving for about a week. See…there is this err…wedding I am expected to attend in a couple days. Mr. Weasley is going to take me there tonight and then return me when the festivities are over." Before Harry continued he took a couple steps back knowing that his uncle would most likely want to strangle him for what was about to come. "When I return, I am bringing a couple friends with me to stay until my birthday."
Vernon roared, "NOW SEE HERE BOY! I will not have your crackpot friends running around our house, eating our food, needing looked after and beds or any of this other rubbish, having to deal with you is enough but we are not paying for those weirdo friends to stay here as well!" Before he could continue, Harry interrupted him and very forcefully motioned for him to return to his seat. As he did so, the strong hand of Mr. Weasley gripped him a little tighter as if saying that his wand was in his hand if need be.
"I don't need your money, only a bedroom for a little while, I will happily reimburse you if we cause more money to be spent on groceries." As Harry said this, he had a mental image of Ron stuffing down potentially an entire plate of sandwiches. "However since there is no reason to assume you will need money for anything other then that, I will of course not be giving you anymore. As for the beds, we will all be in my room, and there will be no need for you to provide any sort of beds for them since we can fend for ourselves." Harry hesitated before continuing and decided to look directly at his Aunt Petunia for the next part. "After my birthday the charm set upon this house by Professor Dumbledore will cease to exist. I will no longer be a child, but a man and therefore, my mothers love will be done protecting me. I will be gone from here forever since I am sure you do not want to see any more of me then I do of you." Upon completion, Harry saw his aunt look almost sad, assuming that he saw something that was not there, he continued to look from one member to the next. Finally, he said goodbye and with a huff from Uncle Vernon, Harry, and Mr. Weasley disapparated right in from of them. Harry had rather wished that he could have seen the look on their faces when the crack filled the room.
Harry and Mr. Weasley arrived at the end of the walk leading up to The Burrow. A smile crept onto Harry's face for the first time in days as he walked into the kitchen full of people.
Please Review my story and tell me what you think!