D/C: I don't own Harry Potter.
Well, I wrote this for a challenge on SIYE, where we had to write about Harry being asked to use his Elder Wand to help rebuild Hogwarts. (Full details on www. siye. co. uk) But there's no reason why I shouldn't post it here, right? Anyway, enjoy!
Hogwarts: A Theme Park?
None of it seemed real; not this broken pillar, not that smashed up staircase, not those lop-sided portraits whose occupants were trying hard not to slide out of their frames, or these wrecked statues. Nearly everything was covered with a thick layer of dust, and the rubble was still there where chunks of rock were blasted off by stray hexes or errant curses. It felt as if it was all a part of highly graphic and vivid nightmare.
The outside of the castle didn't look any better either. Along its exterior you could find several empty gaps where walls had been, and large black areas to signify where the castle had been scorched. Some towers were missing, and others had their tops blasted off and brought down to the grounds, which were now bare and cluttered with debris and rocks.
As Harry walked through the hallways and corridors, twirling his two wands between his fingers, he found it difficult to believe that the castle that had been his home for the past six years had played host to the final battle between him and Voldemort. He had always thought that it would be out in some clearing or maybe in the old graveyard where he had first met his nemesis…but not at Hogwarts.
Bittersweet memories clouded over him — this was the corner were he and Ginny had stolen a private moment between classes, this was the corridor where they found the petrified Hermione, this was where a dwarf tackled him and gave him his first Valentine…and that was where Fred had died.
He stopped before a huge gap that had once been a wall, and felt a lump rising in his throat. He still remembered the incident ever so clearly, even though about three months had passed since that terrible night. He didn't think he'd ever forget his final laugh.
"Harry, I finally found you!" came Hermione's brisk voice from behind him. "I was talking to Kingsley, and he's really asking for a lot! Can you believe he wants us to mend the whole school in just…ohh?"
Hermione came to a stop a few feet away from where Harry was standing, and he looked around at her to see that she was holding a piece of parchment, which she was now slowly trying to roll up with as little rustling as possible. Managing a small smile, he held up one of the wands. "Well, that's why he asked me to use the Elder wand, right?" he told her.
Hermione shifted uneasily. "I'm still not sure about you using this wand, Harry," she said dubiously. "I mean, it's the Elder wand, the most powerful wand in all the history of wand lore. It could be very dangerous to use that kind of power to rebuild a school which students are going to attend. What if the castle suffers from repercussions?"
Harry couldn't help but smile at her logic. "Hermione, Hogwarts is going to be fine," he reassured her. "Why, by using the Elder wand, the whole structure of the castle will probably be a whole lot stronger."
He knew he probably sounded like the voice of confidence at the moment, but when Kingsley and the chief engineer, cornered him with the whole reconstruction deal using the Elder wand, he had repeatedly said no. In fact, the situation had become so tense even Kingsley's cracks about how killing Harry in order to become the true owner of the wand would be too messy and would cost him a lot of paperwork, ceased to be funny. Kingsley had managed to win him over by dropping so much guilt on him; he was actually starting to feel its weight.
"Well, if you're so sure…" she murmured, still sounding highly uncertain.
Ron and Hermione had been asked to assist Harry on the building site, if not to actually help him with the building. Kingsley probably thought that having his two best friends around would help him stay focused on his work, and Harry had to admit that was a smart move; he might've walked back home if it weren't for Ron's funny cracks and Hermione's earnest willingness to do the job. Ginny had been brought along on a personal request on his side, but she was no where to be seen at the moment.
At the moment though, Hermione looked relieved at the change of subject. "He's down with the other engineers," she said, and laughed. "Since he's a close friend to you, they thought that they could get him to tell you what they want to do with the castle. I can honestly say I've never seen Ron's ears become any more red that that."
Harry laughed as well. "I guess I'd better rescue him, then," he remarked. "Do you have the slightest idea what they have in store for me?"
She promptly pulled open her roll of parchment. "Well, there's the basic repairing for everything that was damaged, of course," she said, and he nodded. "Then they want to renovate…an official ballroom for any future events, some kind of student lounge…ooh! You won't like this, Harry, but they might have to remove the Quidditch pitch due to all the expansions."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Kidding. Gee, Harry, grow up; Quidditch is not everything," she told him, as she started to turn away.
"Hermione, if the students attack you, I'll be just watching from the stands."
This had to be his favourite place in the whole of Hogwarts. The large green pitch and the three golden hoops at each end just seemed to fill him with a blissful feeling that even drowned out the words of the engineers that had been ringing in his ears for the last hour. Harry had taken the childish approach and had escaped the engineers when they weren't looking, and was now hiding in the comfort of the sun-washed stands.
He heard footsteps behind him, and groaned audibly; he had been counting on gaining at least ten minutes of peace before they finally found him again.
"Okay, okay, I'll help you build an extra tower, just stop hassling me!" he said in exasperation.
Ginny plopped down next to him. "Well, a tower seems a bit extravagant for me, but if you insist," she said, grinning at him. Harry's face relaxed into a smile when he saw her, and they exchanged a quick kiss. She handed him a bottle of Butterbeer. "I've been at the Hog's Head. Aberforth said you might need a drink, and I guess he was right."
Harry took a swig out of the warm, honey-coloured liquid and immediately felt a whole lot better. The effect was increased as Ginny's delicate fingers closed around his.
"So, what's bothering you?" she prompted him.
Harry didn't say anything for a moment. "You know, I always thought that after I defeated Voldemort, I would finally be able to relax...go on vacation or something," he said, rather wistfully. "But everyone wants things from me now, whether it's an interview, or a photo shoot, or simply an autograph...and now they want me to help them rebuild Hogwarts? Can't they give me a bit of a break?"
"That's a bit selfish of you, Harry, don't you think?" Ginny said, frowning a little. "Don't you realise how wonderful it would be for the students to come back and find out that you've actually helped fix the castle? They'll be delighted!"
"Oh, don't you try and make me feel guilty, too! Have you been talking to Kingsley?" he demanded, and she gave him a blank look. "Gin, it's not like I don't want to help. I'd love to help, but those guys want me to do everything. They're just drawing out the plans, and they just expect me to wave my wand around and fix the whole castle in a jiffy."
"Isn't that what's going to happen?"
She laughed. "I know; I was just pulling your leg," she said. She linked an arm through his and leaned against him. "So, I was wondering, could your little Elder wand do something for me?"
"Ginny," he said warningly. "We talked about this; I'm not going to use it to transform your bedroom into a full, magically-expanded apartment. You keep it up and I might need a longer break."
"I'm not talking about that!" she said indignantly. "Look, I've been talking to many of the kids at Hogwarts; I wanted to see how they were doing, and then I told them that you were going to help rebuild Hogwarts, and...well, they want you to build something extra for them. Will you hear me out?"
Harry nodded slowly. "Go ahead," he told her, and listened intently to her description of the thing the students wanted him to build, making occasional remarks. He thought the idea was brilliant, and was certainly worth every bit of effort. He smiled and nodded when he finished talking. "I think I can do it."
Ginny beamed at him, and hugged him. "You're awesome, you know that?" she said happily, and he chuckled. "Now, about my bedroom..."
A/N: So, what do you think? Is it good? Whatever you think, I'm waiting for your reviews!
- S. N. B.