A/N: I don't own these characters
Harry, Ron and Hermione were just about to walk out the door to the head's office when it opened, and in walked professor McGonagall. "Ah, good," she said when she saw them, "I'm glad to find you three here, it saves me the trouble of having to send a house elf to find you."
"Why do you want to see us professor?" asked Harry, his voice revealing no hint of the exhaustion that he was feeling.
"Well, I wanted to invite the three of you back to Hogwarts for next year. The three of you could probably get whatever jobs you wanted now, but having NEWTs would still be a good idea. I would also like to offer the position of Head Girl and Head Boy to Miss. Granger and Mr. Weasley respectively." McGonagall informed them
Harry looked over at Ron and Hermione, and saw that they both had looks of haunted happiness on their faces. Harry knew that Ron had always wanted to surpass his brothers in some way, and while this wasn't exactly surpassing them, both Bill and Percy had been Head Boy before, it was still a great accomplishment. And Hermione was just Hermione. Always over achieving
Suddenly a memory popped in to Harry's mind, "No-I'm alone-but I'm different-I look older-and I'm head boy!", "What?", "I am-I'm wearing the badge like bill used to-and I'm holding the house cup and the Quidditch cup-I'm Quidditch captain, too!". Harry let out a little laugh before saying, "Good, you two deserve it, just as long as Ron doesn't become Quidditch captain, I'm fine with it."
Ron got an odd look on his face for a second, then he obviously remembered his trip to the Mirror. "I've got to admit, what I have now is better than what the mirror showed me." He said, his eyes on Hermione.
It took a second for Hermione to get what he was saying, but when she did she blushed and took Ron's hand, pulling him closer. Harry stared at the two of them for a second; it looked like they were together, finally. He was happy for them, he knew they belonged together, but it seemed that everybody knew, except the two of them.
"I'm glad you approve Mr. Potter," said McGonagall sarcastically, taking a sidelong glace at Ron and Hermione, "but I think that you will be finely suited to be Quidditch captain again. I believe your entire team from last year is still alive."
"That's a bit presumptuous professor," said Harry with a smile, "we haven't even agreed to come back yet."
Professor McGonagall looked surprised, obviously thinking that they would come back, no question's asked. But Hermione "Well I can't speak for either of you, but I'd be happy to come back next year and finish my education."
"Yeah, me too," said Ron as he squeezed Hermione's hand, "It'll be nice to have nothing to worry about for a while."
"What do you mean nothing Ron," said Hermione with a small smile, "We'll have our NEWTs to worry about."
"Yeah, those," said Ron, a hint of dread creeping in to his voice.
Harry looked at his two best friends, seeing the look in their eyes, the obvious feelings they had for each other, and said, "Well I can't leave the two of you unsupervised, so I guess I have to come back also."
"Now that that has been settled," said McGonagall, a confused look on her face, "I can tell you what the plans for the school are."
But before she could start Harry interrupted, "Professor, as much as I'd like to hear about the plans for next year, I'd like to get some sleep even more, and I'm sure my friends agree. We've been up for almost two days straight, and I even died once." This drew a look of surprise from McGonagall, Ron and Hermione, but Harry gave them all a look that said I'll explain later.
"Very well Mr. Potter. The Head student's dorms are located at the exact center of the castle. The password is Balderdash at the moment, but it can be changed at any time. If it is changed, please inform me of the password change." Professor McGonagall said, "Mr. Potter, I think it would be wise if you stayed in the same set of rooms with Mr. Weasley and Miss. Granger next year. I think that you would be in danger, from both admirers and enemies alike. There are some extra bedrooms in the Head Student's dormitories, usually they are used for visitors or students that need a bit of privacy for a while."
"Thank you Professor," said Harry as he tried to stifle a yawn, he was suddenly very tired, "I'll come to your office after I wake up to discuss next year with you."
"Thank you Potter," she said, "the password will be Dumbledore."
"The pass…" started Harry, "Oh, you're the new Headmistress, congratulations, there is nobody that is better for the job."
"Thank you Potter," said McGonagall, "now go to bed." She suddenly seemed very weary and tired herself, it was as if she had suddenly aged 15 years. Harry could still see a spark in her eyes, the spark that had caused her to be such a good teacher and loyal member of the Order, but there was something more there. Suddenly Harry recognized a depth that he had seen before, when he looked in the mirror. Harry realized that McGonagall now carried the responsibility of overseeing the education of hundreds of young Witches and Wizards, as well as rebuilding Hogwarts. It was a daunting task, but Harry had no doubt that McGonagall could handle it.
Harry, Ron and Hermione left, taking the spiral staircase down, and then started a long, silent walk to the short tower at the center of the school. Harry had known the tower existed, but had always assumed that it was either unused or used for a class he didn't take.
Some where along the way, Ginny joined the group, taking Harry's hand and holding on tight, as if she thought he would pull away. But he didn't, he felt no need to, and after a few seconds Ginny relaxed her grip and Harry pulled her a bit closer. When this happened both Ron and Hermione looked over, but neither of them said anything.
A few minuets later they arrived at the tower, they stopped in front of a stretch of wall that looked the same as any other. Looking around Harry noticed that the battle damage to the inside of the castle here was minimal.
"Why did we stop?" asked Ginny, "I thought we were taking the long way to Gryffindor tower."
"No," said Ron, a small smirk spread across his face, "Hermione and I have been made Head Boy and Head Girl for next year, and McGonagall said that Harry, and us could use the Head Student's dorms so we can get some privacy."
"Oh, congratulations," said Ginny with a smile on her face. "Good for the two of you, I don't think there's anybody else that deserves it more. But I guess this means I have to leave you guys here." Ginny said as she started to walk away. But Harry was still holding her hand, and wouldn't let go.
"No, I want you to stay. I need you to stay" said Harry, tears coming to his eyes. Ginny just nodded and put her head on Harry's shoulder.
They spent the next 5 minuets looking at the blank stone wall for some clue as to where the entrance to the Head's dorms was. Finally Hermione found a stone that had a small Hogwarts crest carved in to it. She muttered the password the wall opened to reveal a room that was decorated in a combination of the school colors.
The carpet was striped in Green, Scarlet, Yellow, and dark Blue. The Curtains on the 4 windows were black, silver, gold and bronze. Throughout the room were depictions of Snakes, Lions, Badgers, and Ravens. The mantle over the fire place was ornately carved, the Hogwarts coat of arms shown prominently in the middle. Around the fire place were four stuffed chairs, each in the colors of a different house, and a couch. There was also a bunch of tables and bookshelves situated around the room. On either side of the fireplace were doors, which presumably lead to the bedrooms. It wasn't the Gryffindor tower, but it was Hogwarts and it was close enough to be home.
Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione stepped inside and just stared. After a few moments Harry said, "We'll you two are the Heads, you should get to pick your rooms first."
Hermione and Ron decided that the rooms on the left would suit them fine, they went up the hidden staircase on the left, and Harry took the one on the right, closely followed by Ginny.
The two of them emerged on a balcony over looking the common room. There were two doors, each leading to a bedroom. Each room had a private bathroom, and all the rooms seemed to be the same. Looking across the way Harry could see that the other balcony looked just like this one and he figured the rooms did also. He saw Hermione go through the door closest to the stairs while Ron went into the room farthest from the stairs.
Harry walked in to the room closest to the stairs, and heard a pop. Suddenly everything was decorated in Gryffindor scarlet and gold. He heard similar pops from across the way and knew that Ron and Hermione's rooms had also changed to reflect the house they were in.
The dorm room was minimally decorated it looked like the room he had had back in Gryffindor tower, except there was only one large four-poster bed. The window showed nothing but the badly damaged walls of the castle.
Harry fell onto the bed, forgetting about the sandwich he had originally wanted, more tired than he could ever remember being. Suddenly he felt somebody else get in the bed with him, he was about to pull out his wand and curse the person until he remembered that Ginny had followed him up the stairs and in to the bedroom.
"Gin," said Harry as he rolled over to look at her, "I don't think you should be in here."
Ginny let a sad smile spread across her face, "I know Harry, but I need to be close to you right now, and I'm not letting you leave me again. I won't let you out of my sight until you promise me you won't leave again."
Harry just stared at her for a second, not sure if he should refuse and send her next door, or something else. He quickly decided to let her stay, he needed her too. "Gin, I promise that I'll never leave you again, I promise that from now on you'll always know exactly where I am. I promise that, if you want, I will wake up next to you every morning."
Ginny just smiled and pulled Harry in to a deep kiss. When they broke apart she said, "That's perfect, now get some sleep, you look like hell."
Harry let out a little laugh and pulled Ginny closer. The two of them quickly fell asleep together, Ginny lying on her side in the curve of Harry's body, his arm around her waist, her back to his front.
Meanwhile in Ron's room, Ron was sitting on the bed, imagining the reactions of his family when they found out that he had been made Head Boy. His mother would start crying, His father would slap him on the back and say how proud he was, Bill, and Charley would be ecstatic, Percy would start lecturing him on rules, and Fred and George…wouldn't do anything, Fred was dead and George would never be the same. This thought sent his mind reeling, remembering every prank his brothers had ever pulled on him or his friends, or his mother. Remembering all the times that they had made him laugh, all the trouble they had caused.
Ron sat there on his bed, his mind refusing to think of anything but Fred. It seemed as if any thoughts that weren't of Fred would diminish his memory, eventually making him disappear all together.
Because of this Ron didn't notice when the door that led to Hermione's room opened and she walked in, he didn't notice when she came over and sat on his bed and sat down. However, he did notice when she put her hand on his leg and said, "Ron, Ron, are you ok?"
Ron blinked, finally noticing Hermione sitting at the foot of his bed. After a few second she also noticed that she was crying. Despite this Ron couldn't help but smile at the sight of her.
"Ron, why the hell are you smiling?" Hermione asked, a small smile spreading across her face, she liked seeing Ron smile. She also like the fact that she could make him smile.
"I'm smiling because even when you cry you look beautiful." Ron said, he didn't know why, but when he looked at Hermione he thought that everything would be ok.
"Ron," started Hermione, moving closer to him, "I know you'll miss your brother, and so will I, but we need to stay strong, for Harry's sake. You know he'll be blaming himself for all the people that died." Ron just nodded, he knew she was right.
Ron let Hermione pull him closer; he ended up lying down with his head in her lap. She was smiling down at him and she started playing with his hair, which had grown quite long in the last year, it was now to his shoulders.
"You look good with long hair," said Hermione, "I think you should keep it this way."
"And what makes you think I'll take your advice on this matter?" asked Ron teasingly.
"This," said Hermione as she leaned down and kissed him. It wasn't a short peck on the lips, but a deep passionate kiss. Hermione felt Ron's soft lips part as she pressed her tongue against them. As his lips parted she felt his tongue enter her mouth. After a few minuets she felt her chest start to burn and she remembered that she had to breathe. She broke off the kiss, leaving Ron with a big smile on his face.
"Oh, yeah, that," said Ron as he sat up, "Ok, if you like my hair this way than I'll keep it this way."
"Good," said Hermione as she got up.
"Hay, Hermione," started Ron a bit timidly, "do you want to stay here and sleep, I think we both could use each other's company right now."
Hermione stopped at the door and looked back at Ron. To tell the truth she really could use some company, and there was no one she'd rather have with her than Ron. "Sure Ron, I'd like that."
As she started to walk back towards him Ron got his first good look at Hermione in a long time. He noticed that her breasts had gotten a bit bigger in the last year, but that wasn't what kept his attention. Her face was what he really noticed. Her face, covered in grime from the battle, was framed by long wavy hair, Ron remembered it being bushy and frizzy, and he hadn't minded it that way, he even liked it this way, but he was surprised that he hadn't noticed the change before now.
She walked back over to Ron's bed and lay down next to him. He put his arm around her shoulder and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. "Hermione,"
"I know this may be a bit weird, but…I…I…" started Ron.
"Well Ron, out with it," Said Hermione a bit forcefully.
"I just wanted to know what I am to you," said Ron. "I want to know if I should be treating you like a friend…or something more."
Hermione rolled over and looked at Ron, "Ron, you will always be a friend to me,"
"Oh," said Ron, his face falling, his tone that of disappointment.
"But…" said Hermione quickly when she saw his face, "I want to be your girlfriend, if you want me to, that is."
Ron's face went from utter disappointment to almost complete joy instantly. "Yeah, that'd be nice," he said as he reached out for Hermione's hand with his free hand. He took it, and was surprised when she didn't pull back but took his hand and moved a bit closer.
The two of them fell asleep quickly. Both were extremely tired from the last two day's events, and both knew that the next few days would be almost as hard.
A/N: Please review, criticism is necessary. Please, if you see something that is incorrect, or doest fit with the known timeline, send me a correction, it would be greatly appreciated. I will try and update every Sunday