This is something that I've been meaning to do ever since I finished the Deathly Hallows. I finally found the time, and since it's almost a month after it's been released, I hope I'm not spoiling anybody.
Harry awoke, feeling completely rested, despite only a few hours of sleep. He stayed in bed, staring up at the bed hangings. Images of everything that happened in the past 12 hours were slowly flashing before his eyes. Apparating into Hogsmeade and nearly getting caught by Death Eaters. Aberforth coming to their rescue. Meeting up with Neville and everyone else in the Room of Requirement. He remembered the looks that his former schoolmates had given, of admiration, loyalty, and pride. He knew they looked to him as their leader. Especially after hearing that his return meant a revolution to them. He saw the statue of Rowena Ravenclaw in the Ravenclaw common room with Alecto Carrow there waiting for him. He remembered, proudly, that Luna Stunned her. He remembered with a flash of anger that Amycus Carrow spat in Professor McGonagall's face.
Harry's mind dwelled on McGonagall for a bit longer. She was not the one who told him of his past nor did she let him know how to defeat Voldemort. She was not the one who pretended to follow Voldemort to keep him safe. She did not lie to him to keep him alive. But, above everything, she was loyal to him. Loyal to him and Dumbledore. And for this, Harry was extremely grateful. He didn't think that she knew how much he was grateful. Never once had she wavered in her loyalty, even when Harry was getting on her nerves. She was the one who recruited him for the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. She didn't take any House points away from him when he and Ron crashed a car into the Whomping Willow. She tried to protect Harry from his godfather when it was believed he was a mass murderer. She let him use her classroom when he needed to practice for the Triwizard Tournament. She defended Harry against Umbridge and swore to help him become an Auror. She mobilized all of Hogwarts against Voldemort and his army to allow Harry to search for Ravenclaw's diadem. Harry felt tears sting his eyes as he remembered McGonagall's scream of terror and sorrow when she and everyone else thought he was dead.
He blinked his tears away and thought of the rest of the events of the previous night.
Harry thought of everyone who showed up to fight. He was surprised and grateful. He didn't expect any of the other members of the DA or the Order, but he knew that they would have shown up anyway. He was most surprised to see his old Quidditch team, especially Oliver Wood, since Angelina, Katie, and Alicia were a part of the DA.
His thoughts turned to the Weasleys as he remembered Percy running into the Room of Requirement. He felt a pang of sadness when he thought of Fred and felt even more sadness when he thought of George. He couldn't remember at any moment, in the past seven years, of ever seeing one without the other, except for the night when Harry left Privet Drive for good. They helped him, treated him like family. They gave him the Marauder's Map, one of his most trusted possession, unknowingly passing on a trinket of his father's to him. He wondered if they ever found out that his father, Sirius, and Remus were the mapmakers.
He remembered the huge gathering in the Great Hall before the actual fighting began. Everything happened so fast that he didn't have time to take it all in. Pansy Parkinson pointed him out in the crowd while he was looking for Ron and Hermione. He again felt a rush of gratitude to the Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws standing between him and the Slytherins, defending him.
The Slytherins. Harry knew that they would have never joined him against Voldemort. He knew that their loyalties were always going to be against his since most of their parents were Death Eaters. But he thought, he hoped that at least a few of them would see how even they wouldn't be safe against Voldemort. He thought of Draco Malfoy. He was the prime example of that. He remembered hearing Crabbe speak against Malfoy and having to save Malfoy and Goyle from the Room of Requirement. He knew Malfoy was probably his second biggest enemy, but he saw him in a different light now. Harry knew that Malfoy disliked being a Death Eater, that he only joined up to protect his only family, his parents. He wasn't exactly sure how he felt, but he knew they could never be friends. But he also knew that they would never hold the same hatred for each other again.
Harry's thoughts then turned to his least favorite professor--and Malfoy's favorite. Snape. If there was anyone he saw in a different light, it was Snape. He had never known that Snape knew his mother when they were children. That Snape knew Aunt Petunia. That he loved his mother. For years. He wasn't sure what to think of him anymore. Harry's hated him for the seven years that he knew him and he knew Snape felt the same way about him. But he kept Harry safe and alive because he loved his mother, and yet he was probably his father's biggest rival at school. Harry felt overwhelming gratitude to Snape, but he was having trouble letting go of seven years' of resentment and hatred. He thought of how he finally learned how to close his mind and wondered what Snape would say to that. Harry remembered that his body was still in the Shrieking Shack. He made a mental note to retrieve it later since nobody else, aside from Ron and Hermione, would know that it was there.
Harry closed his eyes. He remembered seeing his father, his mother, and their two best friends. He remembered how they looked so peaceful. Sirius looked more jovial, happier than he's ever remembered seeing him. Remus looked more carefree and relaxed. And his parents...they were exactly as he pictured them. He knew that the four of them would always be with him with or without the Resurrection Stone. He also knew that he couldn't and wouldn't go looking for the Stone. If they wanted to say something to him, he would know what it was.
Images of the battle at Hogwarts flashed before his closed eyes. Immediately, he was overcome with remorse and felt close to tears again. The lifeless, peaceful bodies of Fred, Remus, Tonks, and Colin Creevey amongst others flashed before his eyes. He saw and felt the side of the castle collapsing again. Ginny comforting that girl. Greyback nearly attacking Lavender Brown. Firenze lying in the corner of the Great Hall, injured. Trelawney throwing her crystal balls at the Death Eaters. Hagrid tied to a tree. Neville and Seamus with their broken-looking faces and bodies that were so beaten up. Dean and Hannah Abbot standing there, fighting the Death Eaters. Neville standing up to Voldemort, face to face, and pulling out the sword of Gryffindor. Harry felt a wave of pride for Neville. He was glad to call Neville his friend. He thought of all those who were dead or injured. He got away without a scratch. Again, he felt guilty. He thought that if he had claimed the blame in the beginning, they needn't have died. But he knew they would have been killed if Voldemort had taken over.
Harry opened his eyes as he heard rustling next to him. He heard Ron yawn and leave the room. Harry wondered briefly if Dean, Neville, and Seamus were in there still.
He turned his thoughts to Ron and Hermione. They'd been with him since the very beginning. And he knew that he would not have gotten through the last seven years of his life without them. They were his friends, his family, his brother and his sister. Harry felt a rush of gratitude and love. He didn't want to lead them - or anybody else - to danger. But they willingly came, putting themselves in danger and risking their lives for him. Ron kept him sane. Hermione kept him level-headed. He needed these two in his life. He grinned, remembering the sight of them finally getting together in the Room of Requirement. They deserved each other, they belonged with each other.
Ginny's face came to his mind. Ginny, the most patient person, ever. He couldn't wait until they could properly date each other, without worrying about Voldemort going after her. They would have years to be with each other. They had a future together.
Harry's eyes teared up again. He thought guiltily of the others, once more. Those who've died, whose families have been torn apart. His parents, Sirius, Remus, and Tonks. He thought of the little boy who had been orphaned. His godson. He resolved to visit him as soon as he could. He also resolved to forge a solid relationship with Tonks' mother. They were family now.
Tears started running down his face. He didn't bother wiping them. For some reason, he thought of Susan Bones. She, too, had lost many family members in the wars against Voldemort. He thought of Fred. Of Bill. He, too, bore physical scars of the war. He then thought of Dumbledore. He wasn't pleased when he heard of Dumbledore's past, but Harry learned a lot. Dumbledore taught him a lot. Not only how to defeat Voldemort, but how to be human. Dumbledore was the greatest wizard of all time. He knew his weaknesses. That was what made him great. He took the necessary steps to prevent his weakness from taking over. 'Until he got to the Stone,' thought Harry. But Harry couldn't blame him for that.
His thoughts then turned to Voldemort. Voldemort. The name alone was feared by the wizarding world. Tom Marvolo Riddle. He wasn't exactly sure of what to think of him. He was angry, mad, and hated Voldemort for everything he's done. Getting Hagrid expelled, tricking the Grey Lady, and most importantly, for ripping so many families apart. Everything had been turned upside down because of Voldemort. But, again, Harry couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for him. This new feeling confused him. Harry knew that Voldemort never understood, never even knew love. He never felt the love of a mother's touch when he was a baby. He never felt the love of a father running after him on a toy broomstick. But he knew, as Harry and Dumbledore did, that this was his greatest weakness. Though he did not believe it to be a weakness. Harry knew that all Voldemort wanted was not the love of a family, but power, followers, and most of all, immortality. All Voldemort understood were the instincts that he had been born with. Being the last descendant of Salazar Slytherin. Harry remembered that as a young child, Voldemort knew and understood pain, torture, and punishment. He knew that Voldemort's mother did not even stay alive for him, to take care of him. He was not born into a loving relationship, as Harry was.
Harry jumped a bit when he heard a loud crack! The hangings of his bed were thrown aside and Harry covered his eyes to adjust them to the blinding light coming in from the window.
"Wake up, Master!"
Harry opened one eye and saw Kreacher standing before him with a smile on his face.
"They is waiting for you."
"Everyone. You is late for breakfast and lunch. But Kreacher saved his steak kidney pie for Master."
Kreacher took a step back as Harry finally got up from his bed. He watched as Harry pulled his pants on.
"Kreacher, you could go back to the kitchens now, if you want."
Kreacher nodded. "Yes, Master. Kreacher will now prepare your dinner."
"No, that's okay, Kreacher."
Kreacher bowed and disappeared again.
Harry sighed and headed down the stairs from the boys' dormitory. He climbed out of the portrait hole and walked around for a bit. He didn't know where 'everyone' was. And for that matter, he didn't really want to see everyone. Just the same two people that he was with last night. And the portrait.
He headed toward the Great Hall. If anyone was waiting for him, and he was pretty sure everyone was, they would be there. As he passed by all the paintings, he saw all of its inhabitants clapping for him. He also occasionally heard, "Thank you, Harry Potter!", "Long live Harry Potter!" Harry also passed by Peeves on his way to the Great Hall. Instead of his usual greeting of a raspberry in his face, Peeves saluted and bowed as Harry walked by. 'This is going to be even weirder than it already is,' he thought.
Harry walked into the Great Hall and proceeded to the Gryffindor table. As far as he could see, mostly everyone was in here, although he noticed the doors to the entrance hall wide open, so he thought that some people were outside also. The people in the Great Hall, noticing his arrival, stood and gave Harry a standing ovation. Harry blushed and sat down between Ginny and Neville. He looked up at the head table and nodded toward Kingsley, who was watching him.
"How are you, Harry?" Ginny asked. She leaned over and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
"I'm fine." He grinned at her and helped himself to marmalade and toast.
Hermione grinned at him from across the table. "And how did you sleep?"
"Best night of sleep in a long time."
A half hour later, Kingsley stood from the head table and proceeded to the Gryffindor table.
"Harry, if you have finished, please come to the headmaster's office. We have some things to discuss and we would like you to be there."
Harry nodded and watched as Kingsley, Mr. Weasley, Mrs. Weasley, Bill, Fleur, Charlie, Percy, George, Hagrid and Professors McGonagall, Sprout, Flitwick, and Slughorn walked out of the Great Hall. He stood to follow them and walked halfway to the door before doubling back. He looked at Ron and Hermione, interrupting their conversation with Neville and Ginny.
"Kingsley wants to talk about some things. You guys should be there, too."
Ron nodded. He and Hermione stood up. Harry looked at Ginny, apologetically, who rolled her eyes and grinned in return. "We'll be here, Harry," she called.
The three of them made their way to the headmaster's office, looking at the wreckage that Harry had ignored earlier. They approached the gargoyle, who saluted them and let them up without a password. Harry knocked on the door, which opened to the thirteen people who had walked out of the Great Hall earlier. Harry looked up at the portraits and grinned at the sight of Dumbledore. All of the portraits waved at him, excitedly. He glanced around and noticed that Snape's portrait was not up there.
"Harry, Ron, Hermione, welcome. Come in." Kingsley drew up three more chairs and they sat, facing Professor McGonagall at the headmaster's desk. "We do have some things to discuss, Harry. And it is best if you were here since you have been in the middle of the fight. Of course, the two of you are welcome as well."
"Wait," interrupted Harry. He looked at McGonagall. "Where's Snape? Why isn't he up there?"
McGonagall looked at the portraits around the room. "Professor Snape fled from the castle. He was not a headmaster of Hogwarts at his death."
"But he deserves to be up there! He protected the students! He promised Dumbledore he would!"
McGonagall's lips thinned and tears seemed to be forming in her eyes. "I don't know if there is anything to do."
"He helped me! He kept me alive!"
McGonagall took a deep breath to steady herself. "It seems we were all wrong about Professor Snape."
"Harry," said Kingsley. "First things first. The castle, as well as its grounds, is filled with those who have passed away this morning."
Harry heard Mrs. Weasley cry out. His heart sank. He saw Mr. Weasley, Charlie, Bill, and Fleur put their arms around her. Ron grabbed Hermione's hand and look down. He felt a piercing through his chest. He heard Hagrid wail out. McGonagall covered her face with her hands. Sprout, Flitwick, and Slughorn looked down. Kingsley was silent for a moment.
"We..." started Harry in a small voice. Kingsley looked at him, expectantly. "I think we should..." Harry stopped talking for a bit. "I don't think I'm authorized to make these kind of decisions." He looked at the Weasleys, to McGonagall, and back to Kingsley.
"Harry, you have as much right to make these kind of decisions as Dumbledore had when running this school." Harry looked up and saw Dumbledore nodding his head silently, with tears running down his face. "Please, tell me what we should do."
Harry took a deep breath. "I think that those who have died...their families. They should return to their families. That is where they belong. With their families. We should also hold a funeral for all of those who have passed early this morning. Here, at Hogwarts. This is where they should be remembered."
Kingsley nodded. "And what of the Death Eaters?"
"Their families. They have families, too. They should return to their families."
Kingsley nodded again. Harry heard Mrs. Weasley sobbing again. This time, George and Percy joined her. Harry blinked back tears. He saw Hermione give him a small smile.
"And Snape..." Harry continued. "Snape...Professor Snape should be buried here." He looked at McGonagall.
She bit her lip, thinking. "I agree," she said at last. She looked at her fellow professors. They nodded in agreement.
"Someone needs to..." started Harry. "You...we...I have to go and get his body. It's in the Shrieking Shack."
Kingsley nodded. "And what of the body of Lord Voldemort?"
Harry was silent for a bit. He took his time answering.
"We should throw him to the wolves," said Ron, angrily. George and Percy agreed with him.
"Ron..." hissed Hermione. "We can't do that."
"What should we do, Hermione?" asked Kingsley.
"I'm not sure. But I don't think he should be thrown to the wolves. He should at least be buried." Hermione shuddered.
Everyone was silent for a bit.
"What about throwing him into that lake of Inferi that Kreacher was talking about?" suggested Ron. Kingsley, McGonagall, Sprout, Slughorn, Flitwick, Mr. Weasley, George, Fleur, Bill, Charlie, Hagrid, and Percy looked at him in confusion. Harry and Hermione stared at him, pointedly. Harry had already resolved to tell the others about the Horcruxes, but not in the middle of this conversation.
"His father was buried in a Muggle cemetary," added Hermione. "He should be buried there."
"Yeah, he hated his dad, didn't he?" said Ron.
"No," said Harry finally.
"No, he didn't hate his dad?"
"No, he shouldn't be buried there." Harry looked around the room, his eyes settling on Kingsley. "Voldemort--Tom Riddle--should be buried here. At Hogwarts."
McGonagall looked appalled. The mouths of Sprout and Flitwick shot open.
"Now, do you really think--" started Slughorn.
Harry nodded. "Yes. I do think he should be buried at Hogwarts." He looked next to him. Ron looked angry, while Hermione looked confused. "Not anywhere close to Professors Dumbledore and Snape, but he should be buried on the grounds, somewhere."
"Now, Potter, this is a school!" exclaimed McGonagall. "It is not a cemetery. Parents will not want to send their children to the school where the body of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has been laid to rest. Parents, nor the wizarding community for that matter, will not want to hear that he has been buried on the grounds of Hogwarts where Dumbledore is."
"But this was the only place that he knew!" Harry shot back. "This was the only place where he felt like he belonged! The only place where he felt anything besides trying to torture or punish somebody. He was amazed by the magic within these walls! This was the only place where he ever felt like home!"
"Yes, Potter, but that does not--"
"It doesn't matter! This was the only place that I ever felt like home, too. The only place Snape ever felt like home."
"But Potter, where would we put him even if we bury him on these grounds? The grounds of Hogwarts extend, but I do not wish for future students to be playing Quidditch and accidently uncovering the body of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
"Professor, is it really necessary to call him He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? If you must, at least call him Tom Riddle."
McGonagall's lips thinned. "Very well, then, Potter. Where shall we put Riddle?"
"I don't know."
"How about," suggested Hermione, "the Chamber of Secrets? Students will not be able to get to it and Voldemort will be in the place that his ancestor built." She looked at Harry hopefully.
He nodded. "I like that idea."
"Very well," said Kingsley. He began to pace up and down the office. "Now..." He looked at Harry. "There have been rumors, Harry. Of the task that Dumbledore set upon the three of you."
Harry nodded. "Yes." He looked at Ron and Hermione.
"I do not wish for the three of you to relive the past year of your life here, but..."
"It's okay, Kingsley." Ron and Hermione nodded alongside Harry. "You have all helped me, taken me in, and guided me. You all deserve to know what happened. But I plan on starting at the beginning. The very beginning." Harry took a deep breath. He glanced at Ron and Hermione. "But you two will have to help me." They nodded.
"Voldemort," started Harry, "was born to Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle, Sr." Everyone looked at him in surprise.
"He told you the very beginning," said Ron. Harry smiled at him.
"Well, Tom was a rich young man in the village that Voldemort's mother, uncle, and grandfather lived in." Harry took his time and recounted everything that he had seen in the Penseive the year before with Dumbledore.
"He wanted a job here?" McGonagall said.
Harry nodded. "As the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. And then he placed a jinx on it when Dumbledore wouldn't give it to him. And I think that was the night he placed the Horcrux of Ravenclaw's diadem in the Room of Requirement."
"He made six Horcruxes?" Kingsley said, astonished and disgusted.
Harry saw Slughorn look down, uncomfortably. Out of respect for the teacher's feelings, Harry did not include his role in Riddle's quest for immortality. "Well, he actually made seven, but I'll get to that later. But the point is that nobody else had a part in his making of the Horcruxes. While he was at school, he already at the idea to make it, but he was wondering if it was possible to make six."
"So, the seventh Horcrux, was...well...me." Thirteen pairs of eyes looked at him and widened in shock. "It happened the night he killed my parents." Harry then proceeded to tell them the rest of Voldemort's story of what he knew up until his first day at Hogwarts. He recounted the fight for the Sorcerer's Stone and Riddle's coming out of the diary in the Chamber of Secrets. He told them, even though they knew, of finding out that Pettigrew was alive and Sirius was innocent. He told them about the night in the graveyard, when Cedric died. He spoke of his feelings toward Dumbledore, during his sixth year and almost broke down when he spoke of leading his friends into the Department of Mysteries. He told them of going after the locket, but left out the things that Dumbledore was saying. Finally, he, along with the help of Ron and Hermione, told them about how they lived the past year of their lives on the run. First at Grimmauld Place and then of sneaking into the Ministry of Magic.
"That was you?" said Mr. Weasley, surprised. "Why didn't you say anything?"
"You hated who Harry was, Dad," said Ron. "Some bloke named Runcorn."
Hermione told them of apparating to different places in the woods, hidden and protected by spells and charms. She also told them of going to Godric's Hollow, but left out the part when Ron walked out on them. Harry noticed that his ears turned red when he remembered leaving them. He also noticed Bill throwing Ron a wary look. Harry then took up the story-telling duties once more and told them of the silver doe that led him to Gryffindor's sword and added in the part of Ron saving his life. Ron included his version of this, but left out the part of seeing Harry and Hermione coming out of the locket and Harry did not bother adding it in. They spoke about Xenophilius Lovegood and finding out about the Deathly Hallows. Harry led those in the room, save for the three, to believe it was just folklore. They told them about Aberforth Dumbledore and his helping them out of the Malfoy Manor. Harry was silent while Ron told them about the events at the Malfoy Manor. Fleur put her arm around Hermione as Ron told of how Bellatrix tortured her.
Bill also added to the story, telling the others what happened while the trio was at Shell Cottage. Harry then spoke of the plan to impersonate Bellatrix Lestrange and break into Gringotts.
"And that led us here, to Hogwarts," he finished.
He looked at McGonagall first. She stared at him with an unknown look upon her face. Tears filled her eyes and spilled out. "I am honored to have been your teacher." Professor Sprout and Flitwick nodded in agreement, Sprout having tears run down her face. Harry heard Hagrid wail once more.
Harry looked up at the portrait of Dumbledore. He was grinning and tears were flowing down his face, as well. "You brave, brave man," he said. Harry looked down with tears in his eyes.
"Thank you, Harry," said Kingsley. "Ron, Hermione, thank you."
The three of them smiled. Harry stood up. "If it is alright, Kingsley." Kingsley nodded. Ron and Hermione followed. On their way out, they each gave Mrs. Weasley a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"I have to return this to its rightful owner," said Harry, pulling out the Elder Wand. Ron and Hermine nodded. As they made their way to Dumbledore's tomb, they spoke amongst each other, eager to get the sight of the ruins out of their minds.
I am planning on making this a two-parter, with the second part coming up probably by next week or so. Please tell me what you think about it.