It was absolutely silent outside. Harry noticed that as he, Ron and Hermione entered the Gryffindor Common Room. Nobody was there; they were all downstairs celebrating in the Great Hall. The trio didn't feel like celebrating though, at least not with anyone else.
"Do you want Kreacher to make us some sandwiches?" Harry asked Ron and Hermione. They shrugged.
"I guess." Ron took a seat in his usual chair by the fireplace and pulled Hermione onto his lap.
"Kreacher, could you come here please?" There was a pop, and Kreacher appeared. When he saw Harry, he stooped into a low bow.
"What can Kreacher do for Master Potter?"
"Could you bring us some sandwiches and Butterbeer please?"
"What kind of sandwiches?" The trio looked at each other, they hadn't thought of that.
"It doesn't matter to us." The house elf bowed low again before disappearing the same way he had arrived.
Hermione closed her eyes and leaned against Ron's shoulder. He rubbed her upper arm and held her as close as possible. Harry took a seat across from them on the couch.
"Is it really over?" she asked as she sat up again. "It doesn't seem like it should be over, this is all we've known for years."
"It is," Ron assured. "Maybe now we can have normal lives." Harry snorted.
"Yeah, that'snever going to happen," he commented almost bitterly but more as a sarcastic remark.
"Yeah, but then we'd be boring." Hermione shook her head in disbelief. Some things just never changed; boys would always be boys.
"You guys aren't seriously having this argument," she said. Ron poked her sides playfully, causing her to squirm and suppress her giggles.
"So what if we are?" Kreacher reappeared with a plate piled high with sandwiches and Butterbeer, preventing any future arguments from unfolding…for the time being at least.
Fifteen minutes later, the three friends were all sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace munching on their sandwiches. Despite the fact that it was June, Ron had started a fire. The warm flames added a sort of friendly comfort to the room. Hermione opened up her purse and began to dig things out.
"What are you doing?" Harry asked.
"I'm trying to see what we have. We've stuffed so much in here, I've lost track of it all." She pulled out a handful of wands and put them on the floor next to her. Ron and Harry looked at each other; they knew what she was doing. She was trying to keep herself busy so she wouldn't have to think about everything that had happened.
Not long after Hermione began her little project, the portrait door swung open. The trio looked up, ready for a fight.
"Harry!" Ginny exclaimed as she ran into the Common Room. Harry stood up and gathered her safely into his arms. "I thought you were dead. I couldn't believe it." She began to cry. He took her face in his hands and ran his thumbs over her wet cheeks.
"I'm not going anywhere, okay? I'll never leave you." He wrapped his arms around her again and held her as close as possible. They were completely oblivious to the fact that various Order members were trickling into the Common Room. All they cared about was being together again. In truth, Ginny's expressed dears had been the same ones going through Harry's head.
"Good job, Harry," Mr. Weasley said. Harry reluctantly let go of Ginny and shook his hand. Mrs. Weasley then pulled him into a crushing hug.
"I'm so proud of you," she said in a shaky voice.
"I'm so sorry about Fred, Mrs. Weasley." She wiped away fresh tears that threatened to spill down her cheeks.
"Don't you apologize; it's how he would have wanted to go." Her voice cracked, and she began to cry again. Mr. Weasley rushed forward to comfort his wife.
Harry noticed that Kingsley had two wands grasped firmly in his hands along with his own poking out of his pocket.
"Whose are those?" he asked.
"Remus and Tonks'," Kingsley replied solemnly. The Common Room fell silent.
"Has anyone told Andromeda?"
"No, not yet." The conversation was grim and depressing to say the least.
"I'll go." It was a statement, not a suggestion, and yet the auror opened his mouth to protest. "Someone has to do it, and I think it should be me."
"I'll go with you," Ginny said as she slid her small hand into Harry's much larger one. He turned around and kissed her cheek lightly, keeping in mind just how many of her brothers were in the room with them at the time.
"I'm going alone." It was another statement that she didn't dare argue. He turned his attention to Ron and Hermione. "I'll meet you back at the Burrow." Kingsley handed over the two wands. Harry gave Ginny one last kiss before stalking out of the Common Room. His shoulders seemed to sag, showing the weight of what he was about to do. He had the agonizing task of telling a mother that she'd never again see her young daughter or son-in-law.
The sun's early morning rays crept across the horizon as Harry Apparated outside or Remus and Tonks' house. He had never been there before. It was a quaint little cottage, secluded from everyone else (probably upon Remus' request). The day was still quiet and young. All of that was sure to change the second people woke up and realized what had happened at Hogwarts the night before.
The fog began to clear as Harry approached the house. The wands in his hands felt like they weighed a ton. His heart pounded in his chest. The front door flew open, sending a beam of light across the neatly trimmed lawn (again, probably Remus' doing).
"Remus? Nymphadora? Is that you?" Andromeda called from the doorway. Her silhouette was outlined by the light shining behind her.
"No, it's Harry."
"Harry?" There was a pause as Harry stepped in front of her. Suddenly, she understood what was going on. "Oh God, no! Please no!" she cried as he held out the wands.
"I'm sorry. They both didn't make it." He gently guided her inside so they could talk in a more private setting. They went to the kitchen in the back of the house. It was a small kitchen since neither Tonks nor Remus were much of a cook. Andromeda took a seat at the table while Harry chose to remain standing. "They both fought bravely," he said almost hopefully as if something like that could somehow ease the pain. She nodded. She was in some sort of daze.
"Where are they now?"
"At the school. You should probably contact Professor McGonagall about that. I wanted to be the one to tell you."
"Thank you, Harry, you're a good boy." Teddy's cries for attention floated to the kitchen from upstairs. Andromeda started to rise.
"You stay, I've got it." Before she could even open her mouth in protest, Harry was gone.
It was fairly easy to find Teddy's room. All Harry had to do was follow the sound of his godson's cries. Teddy's was simple, yet perfect. It was obvious that interior decorating hadn't been high on the Lupins' priority list with the war and everything. There was a crib against the right wall, and a bookshelf on the far wall next to a window. There was also a closet on the left wall and a dresser next to the door. Teddy was in his crib, pumping his tiny feet and fists in the air.
"Teddy," Harry said quietly. Right away, the crying stopped. He approached the crib and peered inside. It was the first time he had ever seen his godson in person. He was much bigger than in the photos provided by Remus. "What's wrong?" He gently picked Teddy up and cradled him in his arms. Harry had never held a baby before, and he hoped that he was doing it right. "There you go, little guy." A book on the rocker next to the crib caught his attention. He ran his fingers over the smooth cover, wondering who had been busy reading it and if they knew what their fate was.
When Harry got back to the kitchen with Teddy five minutes later, Andromeda was mulling over a cup of tea.
"Would you like a cup?" she asked in a distant voice.
"Oh no, I'm fine." She took a deep breath. Right away, he knew that something more was on her mind.
"Harry, you've already been so wonderful, but I have one more thing to ask of you." She paused as she continued to collect her thoughts. "I'm old, I can't properly take care of Teddy. If you could take him it's what Remus and Nymphadora would have wanted." Harry weighed his options in his mind. He had no clue how his life was going to be now. At the same time, he felt like he should honor Remus and Tonks' wishes. But he had no clue how to take care of a baby. One thing kept standing out to him. He had longed for a better relationship with Sirius, would he really do the same thing to Teddy?
"I'll take him."
It was nearly eight thirty by the time Harry got to the Burrow. Teddy squirmed in his arms, he wanted to get down and play. Hermione was sitting out on the lawn reading a book in the shade of a large tree. She looked up and smiled when she saw Teddy and Harry. She gave Harry a hug and kissed Teddy's round cheek lovingly. She instantly knew who he was even though she had never seen him before. Of course, the changing hair color might have had something to do with that. His hair turned from a light blonde to a deep blue, almost black.
"Where's everyone else?" Harry asked.
"The Weasleys are inside. I thought that I should give them some time together. What are you doing here?" she asked Teddy as if he could answer her. She took him from Harry and balanced him on her hip just like an expert.
"Andromeda asked me to take him."
"For how long?" He simply shrugged. She noticed how completely exhausted he looked. There were dark circles under his eyes, and he was abnormally pale. "Why don't you take a nap out here?" she suggested.
"No, no, I'm fine. I have to keep an eye on Teddy."
"I'll watch Teddy, you need to sleep."
"Harry, when's the last time you had a good night's sleep?" Hermione argued. Harry stopped to think. In all honesty, he couldn't remember. "That's what I thought. Now, please give me Teddy's bag, and you can lie down in the grass to take a nap." He handed over Teddy's bag and stretched out across the grass to sleep.
It didn't take long for sleep to finally claim Harry. Hermione sat cross-legged on the ground next to him and settled Teddy comfortably in her lap. She pulled a storybook out of his bag and began to read to him. Surprisingly enough, he stopped wiggling and appeared to be listening to the story intently. Hermione held him as close as possible as if clinging to the memory of Remus and Tonks.
It was a little after nine when Ginny and Ron emerged from the Burrow. As soon as she saw Harry's sleep form, she rushed over to him.
"Let him sleep, Gin," her brother ordered sternly, sounding like their mother.
"I know," she said as she sat down next to Harry and ran her fingers through his long, untamable hair. It was soothing to her to feel him so close to her again.
"What's Teddy doing here?"
"Andromeda asked Harry to take him," Hermione replied.
"I feel horrible for her, she's been through so much," Ginny commented softly.
"And we haven't!?" Ron exclaimed hotly. "Fred's dead, George has a hole where his ear should be, and Bill's face is all messed up!" teddy began to whimper, and Ginny took him from Hermione to calm him down.
"Ron, please," Hermione pleaded as she squeezed his hand lovingly to get his attention. "Calm down, we've all been through a lot. Let's not start fighting here." He sighed and laced his fingers with hers. As much as he didn't want to admit it, she had a point.
Taking a deep breath, Harry opened his eyes and rolled onto his back. The first thing he saw was Ginny sitting on the ground next to him.
"Morning, sleepy head," Ron joked when he saw that his friend was awake. Harry sat up and rubbed his eyes under his glasses, which he had slept in.
"What time is it?" he mumbled.
"About noon," Hermione replied. Ginny slid her arm around Harry's waist and rested her cheek against his muscular bicep. He turned his attention to her and pecked her on the lips.
"Did you sleep well?" she asked in a motherly voice.
"Yeah, I did." Teddy leaned towards his godfather from Hermione's arms. He looked like he was ready to fall asleep. "Come here, Teddy." Harry picked him up and held him in his arms.
It was around one by the time everyone was called inside to lunch. The kitchen was crowded and smelled amazingly delicious. Fleur was doing her best to help Mrs. Weasley, but Mrs. Weasley wouldn't hear of it. There was a copy of The Daily Prophet on the table, but Harry didn't even acknowledge it. He didn't want to see what it said; it didn't matter to him.
"Oh Harry dear, let me take Teddy for you," Mrs. Weasley said as soon as she saw him. "How long are you taking care of him?" The question was starting to get old pretty fast.
"I don't know."
"I have an old crib up in the attic if you want. I can go get it for you."
"Mum, I've got it," Bill said. Before Mrs. Weasley had a chance to react, he was dashing upstairs. She smiled weakly before going to find Teddy something to eat.
It was a tight fit for lunch, but nobody seemed to mind. Despite the events from the night before, there was laughter in the air. Harry slid his left hand under the table and drew circles on Ginny's knee with his thumb. She gave him a small, flirty smile that none of her brothers noticed.
"Where are we going to stay tonight?" hermione asked him. "Will we go back to Grimmauld Place?"
"Probably," Harry replied.
"I want to go too," Ginny spoke up.
"You and Ron should probably stay here for a few days to be with your family."
"But I want to be with you!" she cried, drawing the attention of several of the Weasleys.
"Right now you need to be here with your family!" Without warning, Ginny pushed herself away from the table and dashed out the door. Harry rushed after her. An uncomfortable silence settled over the rest of the inhabitants in the kitchen.
Harry found Ginny standing under the large tree in the backyard with her arms wrapped around herself.
"Gin," he said as gently as possible.
"Go away, Harry, that's what you do best." He put his hand on her shoulder.
"I'm not leaving until we can talk." She spun around to face him. tears welled up in her pain filled eyes.
"There's nothing to talk about. You, Ron and Hermione are going to leave me behind…again! I'm used to it though," she added bitterly. He took her face in his hands and ran his thumbs over her cheeks.
"We left you behind so you'd be safe," he reasoned.
"I don't care about that! All I want to do is be with you! These past few months, all I've thought about is you holding me again; making me feel safe again." She paused. "Please ,Harry, just hold me." He didn't need telling twice. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close.
"I promise, in a few days you and Ron can come to Grimmauld Place after you spend some time with your family." She opened her mouth to protest even more. "No, I'm your boyfriend. I know what you're going through, and I think that this would be good for you."
"What about me!? What about what I think?"
"What do you think?" she stopped. tears rolled down her cheeks as she shook her head.
"I don't know. I just don't know what to think. Fred's gone, my older brother's gone, and it's not fair!" Ginny burst into tears. Harry rubbed her back and did his best to console her, even though he knew that letting it all out was probably the best thing for her at the moment. She was willing to do something no one else was by grieving publicly.
A/N: Long first chapter, I know. Also, I created a Harry Potter fan fiction forum. Check out my profile, it's my homepage!!!