Author's Note: I wasn't going to do it. I thought about it a couple of times, decided against it...and came back to it. I'm not sure it'll ever reach completion, but knowing me, since I started, I'll have to finish. XD
This is somewhat of a sequel to "Colors of Grief", focusing on the aftermath of the final battle with Voldemort and Harry's (and the Order's) recovery from it. It's not necessarily what I imagine happening, but I'm trying to write it as something that could happen, given the canon and the events of "Colors of Grief".
Please let me know what you think! Chapter 1 will be up soon.
Prologue – The End
Aidan had only been home from university for a couple of weeks when the letter came.
It came, as much of his mail did these days, by owl. But this owl was unfamiliar. It was bigger and looked more official than the regular service bird that brought Aidan the paper every morning. The smart, curt way it tapped on the window and the way it held itself while Aidan opened the letter gave Aidan the impression of urgency. The hair on the back of his neck prickled as he unfolded the letter and began to read.
Aidan was not a wizard in the strictest sense of the word. He lived with Muggles, dressed like a Muggle, and, up until a couple of years ago, had no idea that magic really existed.
He'd known he was adopted, of course. Maria and Joe Winterton, the people he knew as Mom and Dad, had been open with that information, but neither they nor Aidan had known the true nature of Aidan's biological parents until Aidan had gone to spend the summer with his biological father two years ago.
His name was Remus Lupin, and he was a wizard. He was also a werewolf, but when you got right down to it, he was a kind, sensitive, well-mannered man, and Aidan was proud to have him as a father.
But Aidan's most interesting connection to the wizarding world was through his mother. Aidan had never met her, but he knew from what Remus said about her that she was also kinds and sensitive, as well as intelligent and resourceful. Her name had been Lily Evans at the time Aidan was born, but a few years later, she married, became Lily Potter, and had a son called Harry.
The rest was wizarding world history. Over the past two years, Aidan had learned all too well what having such fame did to Harry's life. It wasn't the celebrity, but rather the responsibility that weighed on Aidan's half-brother as time went on. Everyone knew that, sooner or later, the Boy Who Lived was going to have to stand up against the greatest threat to wizard kind, and failure wouldn't be an option.
Aidan, too, had known this, and had hoped against hope that the time of confrontation was somewhere in far in the future. The letter in front of him, however, confirmed many of the fears that had been lurking in the back of his mind.
The inevitable had happened, and with it, consequences.
It is difficult to sit down and write this after all that's happened. My head is still spinning and my heart is heavy with the bleak news that continues to pour in.
It's happened. The End, the one thing that every good-hearted witch and wizard has been hoping for ever since Harry's first encounter with Voldemort over sixteen years ago. The Final Battle—at least, the part that everyone will remember—is over. Voldemort is dead, as are a great deal of his followers. And, for much of the wizarding world, that's enough.
But for those of us who were in the fray…son, I don't know where to start. So many people died or have disappeared, people that I've worked with for years, people I knew in school…
I'm not sure how much of this will mean anything to you, but I want to try to give you some idea so that you can understand the magnitude of what's happened.
Minerva McGonagall survived, as did Tonks and Alastor Moody, though they're all still recovering in St. Mungo's. That's where I'm writing from; I'm all right, but I'll also need a little time to recover. Several others, who suffered only minor injuries, have been treated and released.
Draco Malfoy, who I'm sure you've heard Harry complain about numerous times, switched sides as the last minute, a move which nearly cost him his life. Nobody has been able to get a word out of him yet, but we're all wondering what made him change his mind.
Severus Snape is dead. That story…I still don't believe what happened. Perhaps Harry will tell you at some point; I'm not sure I have the energy to write it out right now.
The worst blow for Harry, though, was the loss of Ron. The poor kid was in way over his head before the battle ever started, and once he got into the fray, there was no saving him. His family is devastated, as are Harry and Hermione. Nobody really wants to talk about it.
The remains of forces on both sides are scattered. While the rest of the wizarding world celebrates, those of us in St. Mungo's are waiting for news. Mostly, all we're getting is news of more death, missing people turning up lifeless after pointless post-battle skirmishes. And all we can do is keep waiting.
Aidan, the reason I'm writing to you is to ask you to come to St. Mungo's. We need you, and what you can do. And, most of all, Harry needs you. He's physically battered, emotionally exhausted, and magically drained, and none of us are in any position to offer him the comfort he needs.
I've drawn you a map, along with instructions on how to enter St. Mungo's. Tell the attending nurse who you are; she'll bring you to Harry's room.
Please come as soon as you can. I'm sorry to burden you with all this, but if ever there was a time when your talents were needed, it's now.
Aidan stared at the letter for a long time after he read it, absently toying with his auburn ponytail. He felt utterly stunned, as if someone had hit him very hard in the stomach. Suddenly, the plans he'd had for his summer at home weren't important at all.
Twenty minutes later, he was out the door with his backpack and car keys. He had sent a return note to Remus to let Remus know he was on his way, and had jotted a quick note to his parents. This he left on the kitchen table, one corner tucked under Joe Winterton's favorite coffee mug to make sure it got their attention.
Mom & Dad – (it read)
I know it's last-minute, but I had to go see Harry. I'm not sure how long I'll be gone. I'll send you a note when I know. And yes, it will come by owl, so please watch for one.
I'll be home as soon as I can.