A/N. My first fanfic for Harry Potter. No flames. Constructive critism.
Disclaimer: I dont own Harry Potter, If I did I highly doubt I would be sitting in front of a laptop submitting stories to fanfiction, I'd be publishing to make more money!
Harry James Potter had grown into a man earlier than he should have. He didn't know peace. He knew terror, fear and pain. Not true happiness. A wizard of seventeen should have been completing his N.E.W.Ts, relaxing back and laughing with his friends, cuddling with the girl he loved.
But Harry James Potter was no ordinary wizard. No, he was the 'Chosen One'. The one that the good and the evil had watched thwart Lord Voldemort. And as he wandered around Hogwarts he felt lost and confused. He knew he should have been happy. He was alive and he had killed his enemy. He had avenged his parents, Cedric, Sirius, Dumbledore, Lupin, Tonks and Fred.
So many people had suffered due to the evil that Lord Voldemort had endured upon the world. And now it was over. Harry could look forward to the rest of his life. He could get married, have children, have grandchildren and be happy. But right now, Harry wasn't thinking that. He just felt empty.
As he was wandering he found his favourite family – the Weasley's. They were all silently crying. The losses of the battle hurt. But Fred was one of the ones that hurt most. Fred was like his older big brother. He made him laugh and always brightened the mood. No matter how annoying he would get, you would never get angry with him, you just couldn't. He was Fred Weasley, the best prankster that the wizarding world would ever see. Harry couldn't even begin to imagine how George was feeling.
Harry noticed among the redheads was Hermione Granger. Her arm snaked around Ron's. She too was silently crying. Harry sought out Ginny with his eyes and found her leaning against Percy, not crying but looking sorrowful that it brought tears to Harry's eyes to see her like it.
Happiness could wait; there was no place for happiness when evil had taken great people from them.
Harry silently walked past them managing to not draw attention to himself to them.
He walked up the damaged stairs and past portraits that were cleaning themselves up, and into the Gryffindor common room. His thoughts lay upon getting some rest and helping with the clean up of the castle when he awoke from his slumber.
But as he approached his bed, he found he didn't want to sleep. He didn't want to dream of seeing those tortured faces. Of seeing those who had died because of him.
His eyes burnt at that realisation. He had more or less killed them. He had come back to Hogwarts. He had made the war start. He had allowed students to fight. It was his war, and so many had died because of that fact.
Tears that stung made there way down his cheeks. He couldn't even believe that he had almost made his way over to the Weasley's. They would hate him surely. It was his fault that Fred had died after all. He had brought the war to Hogwarts.
Without even thinking, he took his wand out of his pocket and brought it across his arm. He looked at the results and immediately felt the relieving pain it brought. But he knew it wasn't even an inch of what the Weasley's and several other families were feeling and so he continued until his arm couldn't be seen for blood.
He heard talking coming from downstairs so cleaning himself up so that only a few scars were left, he rushed to his bed and pretended to be asleep.
He heard the voices of Ron and Hermione enter the room to presumably to check up on him.
"He must be feeling so responsible for all this death" Hermione said sadly.
"Yeah well he shouldn't, we all know it wasn't his fault. If it were I would have bloody punched him by now but it isn't. The only people responsible are You-Know-Who and those death eaters" Ron replied sheepishly.
"Yeah, I know that but this is Harry. Selfless Harry"
"Suppose, he completely blanked us on his way up here" Ron said confused.
"Yes, I saw that too. Guilt Ronald, that's what it is, and poor Ginny doesn't know what to do, all she wants is to hug him and comfort him but she doesn't know if he'd be ready for it again"
"Hermione, I don't mind them being together and everything but no discussion like that in front of me please"
"Sorry" Hermione laughed slightly.
"Hey, you laughed" Ron laughed too.
Hermione laughed again with Ron joining in too.
"Oh we really shouldn't be laughing" Hermione laughed guilty.
"Fred wouldn't want us to be depressed" Ron said truthfully.
Harry decided that they had made enough noise to 'disturb him' and woke up.
"Oh sorry Harry, we didn't mean to wake you" Hermione said giving him a hug.
"It's okay Hermione" Harry said honestly awkwardly returning her hug.
Harry noticed Ron looking at him and felt embarrassed and yet more to blame despite what he had heard his friends say.
"You okay mate? You look pale" Ron asked.
Hermione gasped. "Harry, your t-shirt wasn't like that before, soaked of blood, all those healers made us change clothes and cleaned us up, whats happened?"
Harry damned himself.
"I, err, climbed into bed and there was a piece of glass there I didn't notice"
Hermione pulled his sleeve up.
"You'd better not have Harry James Potter" Hermione said seething.
"I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about Hermione" he said unconvincingly.
"Hermione?" Ron asked cautiously
Hermione and Harry were staring at each other. Hermione's eyes full of rage and Harry's full of wariness.
"Swear to me you haven't"
"Haven't what?" he asked.
"Harmed yourself!" Hermione shouted.
"Hermione, Harry wouldn't do something like that" Ron defended.
"I'll believe that when I hear it from him Ronald"
"Oh this is ridiculous, I'm going down to the Great Hall, coming?" Harry asked walking towards the door but getting stopped by Ron.
Ron also pushed his sleeve up to see the several scars running up his arm.
"You have, haven't you?" Ron asked crestfallen.
"It was just a few, for the people who died ya know, no big deal" Harry said desperate to get out the room.
"But Harry, why? They sacrificed themselves to win this war and you repay them by doing this to yourself" Hermione screeched.
"Just leave me alone and let me out of this room will you?" Harry cried.
"No" Ron roared. "My brother got killed in this war, and its your fault Potter so no I will not let you out of this room until you make me realise how sorry you are"
"RONALD!" Hermione gasped.
"No Hermione, if it's what he wants to hear let him hear it"
And something happened to which Ron and Hermione didn't expect to happen, Harry collapsed to the floor unconscious.
"If you did this to him Ron, I will seriously kill you!" Hermione said rushing to her knees to attend to Harry.
"Well I didn't know he was going to collapse any moment did I? I only said that stuff so it would make him realise I don't hate him nor my family do. You know that reverse psychology stuff"
"Ron, never do things you don't understand"
Harry groggily came around and found he was in bed with a damp towel over his forehead.
"Ah, you're awake dear, how you feeling?"
"Oh Mrs Weasley, what happened?"
"You collapsed dear. Oh Aberforth is here, I'll leave you with him Harry"
Harry looked at the elderly man that had entered the room with mild interest. His head ached and the last thing he could remember was getting confirmation from Ron that he hated him.
"Harry, I know my brother would have given you some wise advice at this stressing time for you, but words fail me. When my sister, Ariana died I felt lost and confused and angry. Angry at Albus, but mostly at myself for letting it happen"
Harry looked down unaware of where this conversation was heading, or what he should say.
"I cursed my brother for everything he did but mostly again I cursed myself. Death is to blame for self hatred Harry. Lying blame with yourself is a trait that everyone feels, and if it continues it can lead to disastrous results"
Aberforth looked at Harry with an emotion in his eyes that Harry couldn't decipher.
"You hurting yourself will achieve nothing. Those who died to save you, to save their family and to save the goodness and purity in this world will not appreciate you doing it. No one lays the blame with you Harry"
"But Ron…" Harry started.
"Tried to make you realise a very valuable thing using reverse psychology. A foolish thing to do to a boy, a man who was physically and mentally exhausted, hungry and feeling very depressed" Aberforth sighed. "The Weasley's feel no hostility to you by no means Harry. They wish for you to return with them this evening to their home, and wish for you to stay there. I highly doubt that anyone who so much thought about you being the one who caused them to lose a son would invite you back" Aberforth said smiling a little.
"What time is it?" Harry asked after a few minutes of comfortable silence.
"It is approaching ten am Harry. I must leave you now to your thoughts; the castle is still in a dreadful state. Please take my words to heart, they are the truth. Molly looked after you all through the night, she loves you as her own, please do not do anything like that again"
Harry watched him leave and sighed. He knew he should have got up and helped but his legs were protesting far too much for him to fight. He lay back down on the pillows and closed his eyes, subconsciously rubbing the scars that he had afflicted upon himself.
He looked up at the door when it squeaked open and saw his bushy-haired friend enter quietly unaware that he was indeed awake.
"Oh, you're awake, I didn't know" She said quietly not meeting his eyes.
Harry inwardly sighed and felt guilty immediately.
"I'm so sorry Hermione, I really am. I just I don't know, I felt so alone and confused and at fault"
He stopped suddenly at she flung her arms at him.
"Its okay Harry, I understand. I just wished you would have come to me or Ron first to tell us. We're your best friends. In fact, we're more than that. You're like my brother Harry. The three of us have been through so much together that no matter what we're always going to be there for each other. And for you to feel that is totally understandable. Please, don't do it again"
"I won't Hermione, I swear" he winced as she lay against his chest still hugging him.
"Whats wrong?" She asked seeing his pain.
"It hurts, where the, err, killing curse hit me" Harry said knowing it would make her feel uncomfortable.
Harry heard her apologise as she lessened her weight on him. They lay there for a while. Not thinking; just enjoying each other's presence.
"Hey" Ron said
Both Harry and Hermione jumped slightly. Not having heard Ron enter the room. Hermione jumped up and hugged him. Harry looked away unsure of how Ron was going to be with him.
Harry noticed Hermione leave the room discreetly.
"Listen mate, I don't blame you at all for Fred's death. I just lost it that you had done that to yourself without coming to me or Hermione or even Ginny. I guess I really shouldn't try to do something I don't know about huh?"
Harry looked down still not sure of what to say.
"Mate, you're family to me, Hermione and my family. Though I reckon Ginny thinks more but that's enough of that, 'eh?" Ron chuckled.
Harry managed to chuckle along with Ron for a moment.
"It isn't happening again, is it?" Ron asked hesitantly.
Harry looked up at Ron who was looking at him with caution. It reminded him of the time when he had shouted at Ron and Hermione during the summer holidays after he had been attacked by the Dementors.
"No it isn't Ron" He sighed.
Ron's face lit up with a smile.
"Good, well get some rest while you can"
Harry questioned him with a look.
"Prophet Reporters are here" Ron explained.
Harry groaned and fell back into his bed. Ron sympathized with him.
"They've already interviewed me and Hermione for being with you all year. But I didn't tell them about me leaving, do you mind if we leave that out?" Ron asked with some discomfort.
"You left? Seriously? I'd forgotten" Harry smiled earning a smile off Ron in return.
Ron left the room shortly after. Harry sighed and decided to do as his old headmaster had once told him to do; to face things head on.
As he entered the Great Hall he found the Weasley's and Hermione eating lunch. As he started to walk to them he got called from Professor McGonagall.
"Yes, Professor?" Harry asked once he reached her.
"Harry I haven't been your professor all year yet you seem to keep calling it me, why?"
"I don't know. It just wouldn't seem right calling you anything else, I suppose"
"Well, perhaps but when you do feel like calling me Minerva, please don't hesitate to start"
"Okay, was that all?"
"No, next week after all the dust and ash has settled we will be hosting a ceremony to honour those who died fighting for us, I wanted to ask you if you would do us the honour of talking at the ceremony, just a few words to remember them"
Harry thought about it for a moment. If he was honest all he wanted to do was get away from the publicity yet he knew he couldn't turn this down.
"Yeah, I'll do it"
"Very well, Mr Potter"
Harry walked over to the table that the Weasley's were sitting at.
"Mind if I sit with you?" Harry asked as George looked up at him.
Having caught attention from them all, they were all looking at him.
"There's no need to ask Harry dear, you've always been welcome with us, and you know that" Mrs Weasley said.
Harry had heard her and nodded in her direction but kept his eyes on George who hadn't stopped looking at him. Harry felt instantly ashamed and started to walk off in the direction of another table.
"Harry, come here, I want a word" George told him as he walked towards the doors of the Great Hall and outside.
"I'm sorry if you felt like I was, err, I don't know. I was just surprised when I heard what you'd done and your excuse"
George paused and Harry chanced a look at him. He didn't look happy but he didn't look sad either. Harry again couldn't place this emotion he was seeing displayed on George's face.
"Fred wouldn't have wanted you to do what you did last night. He would have wanted you to be with our family drinking to his memory and helping me and Ron come up with some tribute pranks. He loved you Harry, like a brother, of course. He wanted nothing more than to see you happy with our sister or in the joke shop with us. Like most of our family you aren't the "Boy Who Lived" or "The Chosen One" to him, you're just Harry to him, and to us. You're blameless in those deaths last night except for one, Voldie, but that's all good"
George looked at Harry at last and spotted his awkwardness.
"I expect you've already had a few lectures?" George laughed causing Harry to laugh alongside with him.
"You could say that"
"Come on, we might get back in time for seconds" George motioned Harry to follow.
Later that evening, Harry sat alone in the Gryffindor common room staring at the newly lit fire and lost deep in thought.
"What you thinking about?" Ginny asked as she placed herself next to him on the couch.
"You" Harry said absentmindingly.
"Really?" Ginny asked raising her voice.
Harry turned to look at her surprised he had not realised she was there before.
"I said that aloud didn't I?" He asked knowing the answer.
"Yeah you did" Ginny answered amused.
"Oh well, its true"
"Oh? What were you thinking?"
Harry decided to be bold for once and took her hands in his and kissed her like he hadn't kissed her before.
This kiss wasn't full of lust and want like previous kisses had been, but it was one of love and comfort and purity. It told a thousand words that they knew would one day need to be exchanged between each other but for now, during the hurt and the sorrow, a little comfort like this would say those words for now.
Ginny looked at him examining him. The scars and bruises that littered his face aged him. She could see the large wound through his open shirt where the avada kedavra had hit him. She suddenly became very tearful and she placed her head gently on his chest to avoid him seeing her cry.
He wrapped his arms around her protectively. He confused the tears to be for Fred not for him.
"Harry, I've missed you so much, I don't want to be without you again"
"I've missed you too Gin, and don't worry, you're not going to have to be" He replied holding her close.
After a long silence, they lay down on the couch entwined in each other and drifted off to a dreamless sleep. They were at peace and content with one another. And as people would pass through the common room and look at them, not one of them would make a sound to disturb the two reunited lovers who looked perfect together.
And when the Weasley's and Hermione entered the room in search for them and saw them together they all smiled and even Mrs Weasley became tearful at the sight.
"Lets just leave them for tonight, Harry's been through a rough time and I know Ginny has too, they deserve tonight" She spoke with a watery smile on her face."But tomorrow morning we are definitly going home"
Harry Potter was no ordinary man. No, today he was the happiest wizard alive, as he held his fourth grandchild in his arms smiling. He had a beautiful wife, three beautiful children, and four beautiful grandchildren with another on the way, a happy family, and the greatest friends a guy could ask for.
He once got told that tears of happiness only happen in movies, that you don't cry tears when you're happy. But he could have told them otherwise today.
Review please! X