On the 2nd anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry got a lot of invitations from all over Britain., just like the previous year,
Kingsley invited him at the Ministry. Professor McGonagall asked him to go and talk to Hogwarts students. Neville owled him telling that he was organising a party for the former DA members. And lots and lots of people whom Harry had never met in his life asked him to join them in their celebrations.
But, Harry thought looking at the piles of letters heaped up on his desk, there was only one place where he wanted to go. Just like the year before, the Burrow was waiting for him.
It's strange Harry thought for a moment In all the other places there will be happiness and laughs, joy and dances. But at the Burrow... it's not the celebration of a victory. It's the mourning of a death.
But Harry had no doubt that his place was there, in that house, no matter how painful it had been the year before looking into Molly and Arthur's sad eyes or trying to have small talk with the silent George.
Harry rose his eyes and looked at the clock on his wall. He was late and he knew it, he had purposely slowed down, refusing to think of what was expecting him at the Burrow.
He sighed, closed his eyes, concetrated on the Burrow and Disapparated.
He found himself in the desert kitchen of the Burrow. Before he could realise who was there and could tidy himself he felt two familiar arms hugging him tightly.
'Ginny...' he whispered into her hair.
'You're late. Everybody is waiting for you' she said smiling.
'I'm sorry. How is your mum?' he asked walking with her towards the garden.
'Well... she is... almost fine. She's happy because everybody is here, even Charlie took a week off from work and came here'
'He is... like always' she answered with a sad smile.
'And...' Harry stopped and looked into her eyes 'How are you?'
She returned his glance and stood quiet for a few moments, like she were looking for the answer inside herself.
'I don't know...' she replied thoughtfully 'This day... you know... brings sad memories... and... Fred...' she sighed deeply before continuing 'But I'm better than last year. I think I'm learning how to deal with it'
Harry smiled and caressed her cheek slowly.
'Everybody is waiting for us. Let's go' Ginny whispered heading towards the garden and Harry followed her.
They went out and for a moment the sun shone in Harry's eyes and he couldn't see anything. When he finally regained the eyesight he saw several red-heads waving at him.
The Weasleys, he thought smiling, seeing Molly going towards him.
'Harry!' she said hugging him.
'Good morning, Mrs. Weasley. How are you?' he said, trying to restrain the sense of guilt he felt everytime he talked to a relative of someone who had died against Voldemort.
'I'm... well... fine' she said with a brave smile 'Arthur! Harry is here!' she scramed to her husband.
'Good morning, Harry' Mr. Weasley said shaking his hand. Harry noticed that his eyes were red and that he had probably just stopped weeping. He tried to fight back his own tears.
'Good morning, Mr. Weasley' he said with a warm smile and at the same time felt a clap on his back. He turned his head and saw Ron.
'Hi mate' he said smiling.
'Ron! How have you been doing? Hermione told me that the shop is doing great' he said, smiling at Hermione as she approached them.
'Yes, we're doing great, aren't we George?' Ron said looking at his older brother.
'Yes. Hi Harry' he said flatly.
'Hello George' Harry said with a fake smile, trying not to think how that name sounded lonely without his twin's one. 'So, the shop is doing great, isn't it?' he asked again, feeling stupid.
'Yes, even if, you know, it works because of Ron. People tend not to buy tricks from a guy who cries all the time' he said it slowly and in a gloomy way and Harry felt a shiver running down his spine.
Desperately looking for something to say, he was relieved to hear a melodious voice calling for him.
He turned and saw Fleur. Her long blonde hair were streaming, and even though she was nine months pregnant, she looked more beautiful than ever. For a short moment, Harry tried to picture Ginny pregnant. He smiled and greeted Fleur.
'Hello, Fleur. How are you?'
'Oh, I'm fine, Arrì. A little bit tired, but fine'
'When is the baby due?' he asked politelly.
'In a week we'll have a little Weasley' a man said behind them. Harry turned his head and saw Bill Weasley, who was glaring adoringly at his wife.
'Have you picked the name?' he asked.
'French names' Fleur said energically 'If it's a boy we'll name 'im Louis. But we haven't picked a girl name yet'
'Boys, if you are ready we can start eating' Molly screamed.
'Is it just us?' Percy asked.
'Oh, well, I had invited Angelina, but I think she won't come'
'Angelina?' Harry asked bewildered.
'You know, Fred's... Mum has invited her for lunch a few times' George said slowly.
Harry immediately nodded, seeing in horror that at the only mention of his twin's name a tear had fallen from George's eyes.
He quickly headed for the table and took place close to Ginny.
Mr. Weasley waited until all the family was sit and then began talking slowly.
'Even if this is a happy day for the whole wizarding world, I'd like to remind you of the many who died in order to give us a better world to live in. I'd like to remind you of the many who willingly and bravely gave their lives for us and, particularly, of our beloved Fred' Mrs. Weasley hiccupped and Mr. Weasley paused and took an handkerchief from his pocket.
Harry lowered his head and felt hot tears into his eyes. His parents... Cedric... Sirius... Dumbledore... Moody... Dobby... Remus and Tonks... Colin... Snape... Fred... all their faces floated in Harry's mind, as vivid as he had left them the day before. But they were dead, gone forever. Two years before he had looked at Teddy's picture that Remus was handing him, had seen Tonks in the Room of the Requirement, had caughted sight of Colin among the Gryffindors, had looked Snape into his eyes and he had heard Fred's last laugh. Two years ago. Sometimes he felt like a century had passed, other times he felt like it had happened the day before. He heard Ginny crying at his left and he took her hand under the table.
Suddendly a voice broke the silence.
'I'm sorry...' Fleur said crying.
Everybody looked at her.
'I'm sorry, I really didn't want to interrupt' she sighted.
'What's wrong, Fleur?' Bill asked looking at his wife.
'I think... Bill... the baby... is ready...' she said crying even louder.
'We've to take her to St. Mungo's!' Bill shouted at his father getting up quickly and spilling the soup on Fleur's dress.
'Bill!' she screamed.
Everybody stood up and began running up and down and Harry and Ginny were the only ones left at the table. He looked at her and he saw that her cheeks were dry now and that an uncertain smile had appeared on her face.
Harry jumped as he saw the hospital room opening and Bill Weasley getting out of it.
All the family stood up and gathered round him .
'So? So?' they asked.
'It's a girl. She is perfect. Fleur has been great. She's so little and beautiful and she has a lot of hair, blonde hair, she hasn't opened her eyes yet and...' he said smiling and moving his shaking hands.
Molly interrupted her son and kissed him on his cheek.
'Can we come in?' Charlie asked.
'Oh yes, the healer said that the family can come, so...'
The Weasleys headed for the room, while Harry and Hermione, exchanging a sign, stayed behind.
Before closing the door behind her, Mrs. Weasley looked at them.
'Harry, Hermione, what are you doing? Come in'
'The family first, Mrs. Weasley' Hermione said smiling.
Molly looked bewildered.
'Are you joking? You are part of this family. Come in' she said.
Harry, smiling widely and trying to restrain the urge to hug Mrs. Weasley, followed Hermione and entered into the room.
Fleur was lying on the bed and had a little bundle in her arms. She looked radiant and Harry thougth that she had never been more beautiful than that.
'Do you want to hold the baby, Jinnì?' she asked smiling.
'Oh, thank you' Ginny said taking the baby 'Hello, little one. This is Aunt Ginny. Hello' she said, carressing the child's head. Harry went next to her.
'Do you want to hold her, Harry?' Ginny asked.
'Oh no' he immediately answered 'I might... hurt her... or...'
'Don't be silly, Harry. You've hold Teddy one thousand time'
'But not when he was so little' Harry protested, caressing the baby's head.
'Oh, she looks like your own child' Molly said smiling, looking at the young couple.
Harry blushed furiously and Ginny smiled, giving the baby back to Fleur.
'What's her name?' Percy asked.
'Oh, well' Bill said smiling widely and looking at his wife 'It's Victoire. Victoire Weasley. Because...'
'Victoire. Because two years ago we won' a spectral voice said. Everybody looked behind and saw George, who hadn't said a word after they had entered in the room.
Fleur's smile immediately disappeared and Bill stretched out his hand towards his younger brother.
'George...' he said.
'Victoire...' George muttered again approaching the bed.
Everyone was silent.
'Victoire...' he repeated.
'Do you want to hold her?' Fleur asked with a small voice.
George shooked his head and gazed at the baby.
'George, we didn't mean to be disrespectful to Fred's memory. We just wanted...' Bill started to say, but his brother hushed him moving his hand.
'Hello Victoire' George said slowly 'How are you?' The baby gurgled and moved his mouth.
'Have you seen it?' George asked rising his head, with a small smile on his lips.'She smiled! She smiled at me!'
His family looked at him and for the first time after Fred's death they saw a gleam of George's ancient light twinkling in his eyes.
Ginny held tightly Harry's hand, so strongly that Harry thought she was going to break it.
What a family! he found himself thinking looking at those people who were crying and laughing at the same time.
And they're your family! a small voice said inside himself.
He looked at them. Bill was hugging George and Fleur was rocking her baby. Molly was crying and Arthur was beaming. Ron was talking quietly to Hermione. Charlie and Percy were close to Fleur and were gazing at Victoire. Ginny was so close to him that he could feel her breath on his cheek.
And finally he found an answer to a question that had tormented him in his dreams for a long time.
All those deaths, all that pain, all that grief... was it worth? Was it a real victory?
Looking at his family he finally found the answer.
'Victory' he whispered into Ginny's ear.
'Victoire' she whispered back.
A/N I hope you like it, it has been in my mind for long time. REVIEWS are highly appreciated.