Disclaimer: I do not own anything other than the story line . All rights belong to J.K. Rowling

Chapter Thirty Nine: What Price, Paradise?

Ginny screamed and ran to Harry's side. She looked at him, and immediately felt for a pulse. There was one there, thready, but there. He was breathing okay, so she took a deep breath and steadied herself. She reached out for his thoughts, and found nothing. Nothing at all. No Harry. He wasn't there.

She probed again, and again she couldn't find him. It was like he had received the dementor's kiss. She couldn't find his soul. She bent down over him and wept. Then she threw her head back and screamed.

Throughout Britain, people winced as a soundless scream ripped through their heads.

In the confines of Hogwarts hospital ward, Sirius stiffened. He looked up with a terrified expression. "I've got to go," he whispered to Tonks. He transformed back into the great black dog, and padded out of the room.

Ron winced as a scream ripped through his head. "Bloody Hell!" he yelled.

He was shocked back to the here and now, though, as a small voice said his name. He looked down and saw Hermione looking back up at him.

"'Mione!" he yelled, and threw himself on her.

"I had the strangest dream Ron," she said, her voice weak. "I dreamt that Harry defeated Voldemort, but that Ginny was screaming."

"I don't know, Hermione, but I guess we'll find out eventually if Harry won."

"Just hold me for now, Ron," she said weakly. Of course he complied. What choice did he have?

*0*0*

He found them there, Harry laying on the floor, unmoving, Ginny on her knees over him, crying. As he approached she looked up.

"Sirius?" she said in a little-girl voice.

"Yes Ginny, it's me."

"Am I going insane?"

"I don't think so. What happened?"

"After he destroyed Voldemort, he just pitched over. I… I can't feel him, Sirius. I can't find his soul."

"I don't know how I know this, Ginny, but trust that I do. The power that he unleashed ripped his soul out of his body. He can't find his way back again. He needs a tether."

"I don't understand."

"It's okay that you don't, I do. You just have to help me get him back, okay?"

She looked up at him, the first glimmerings of real hope showing in her eyes. "You mean that?"

He pulled her gently up into a hug. "This is going to be very hard on you, Ginny. No matter what happens, don't stop until the song is done. Do you understand me?"

She nodded, looking very frightened now. He let go of her.

"When Harry released me from the Well of Souls, he had to give up a bit of himself to do it." Ginny remembered the little black something that had ripped itself from Harry earlier. "We can use that to create a tether for Harry to his body."

Understanding crept into Ginny. "But, what about you?"

"Don't worry about me. I figure I'm on borrowed time as it is." He smiled his most roguish grin. "You just sing, and everything will take care of itself."

"But Harry wouldn't want…"

"We're not talking about what Harry would want, now are we. This is about what we want, and we want Harry back so he can enjoy life, and have a family, and grow old with you, don't we?"

"Yes," she whispered.

"Then sing." He looked at her with eyes of steel.

All of a sudden, without her having any control of it, she could feel the power surging inside her. She opened her mouth and it poured out, a tuneless, wordless song, trilling and lilting, beautiful and terrible, thrilling and hypnotic.

As it poured out of her she watched helplessly as Sirius started to shimmer. He seemed to pale, and then become shadowy. He thinned, and started to stretch as he was drawn inexorably down into Harry's body. He kept going, melting down into Harry until the last hairs on his head had disappeared into the youth. As he did so a thin shadowy line seemed to follow the Marauder into Harry's body.

Harry gasped in a deep breath, and then, all of a sudden, his eyes popped open and he sat up, just as Ginny stopped singing. She collapsed by his side, the power draining all her strength from her as it left.

Harry leaned over and grabbed her, pulling her up. He shook her gently, and she cracked her eyes open. "Harry?" she asked, not daring to believe.

"Oh my God, Gin. I remember."

"You remember what, Harry?" she asked, now starting to regain her strength.

"I remember everything from Sirius's life. All his memories, they're in here," he said, tapping his head. "He left them in me, so he'd live on in me."

Ginny's smile was real now. She had her Harry back, and he was happy.

*0*0*

Hundreds of people gathered around the gravesite, as Professor McGonagall said a few words. Tears were flowing all around, looks of shell shock on many of the faces. Truly, some wounds were never healed.

The list of the dead read like a who's who of the wizarding world: Albus Dumbledore, Hestia Jones, Sirius Black, Alastor Moody, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Dennis Creevey, Hagrid, Mundungus Fletcher, Emmaline Vance, Susan Bones, Dean Thomas, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Vlad Tepes, Joshua Boggart, Eddie Carmichael, Sturgis Podmore. The list went on and on.

Harry stood there, tears rolling down his cheeks as he considered all those who had died. He himself had almost paid that price, only to be brought back through the heroic efforts of Sirius and his wife. He would miss each and every one of them. He keenly felt each loss.

He looked over at Lupin, sitting calmly in a Muggle wheelchair. He would begin his therapy soon, and knowing the werewolf's recuperative powers, Harry had no doubt that eventually he would beat his affliction.

Colin was there as well, paying tribute to his fallen brother. 'So many deaths' thought Harry. It was so useless, all of it. It made it so hard to go on. The only thing that would make it bearable was Ginny. She alone would make it so he could have a normal life. She alone could bring him out of the depressions that plagued his days, and the nightmares that ruled his nights.

He walked over to Colin, and to Pansy who was on his arm. He leaned in to whisper in her ear. "I guess you brought me luck after all."

"Damn right I did," she whispered back. As Harry straightened back up, she snuggled into Colin's shoulder. She smiled broadly, and even though she couldn't see him, she chuckled at his puzzled expression.

Harry left them where they were, and went to find his wife. She was there, with her family, correction, their family. He was part of it now. He strode over and hugged her from behind.

As McGonagall finished with her eulogy, Harry turned to Ron. "You ready?"

"Sure am, mate." They strode over to the bier holding Dumbledore's body, and, along with Neville, Seamus Finnegan, Ernie McMillan, and Colin Creevey, they all lifted it Muggle style. They proceeded to walk it down to the shore of the lake, where there was a ship waiting for them.

There, on the shore, stood Morgan Le Fey, waiting for them to arrive. She motioned and stood there as an honor guard took over and carried Dumbledore's body aboard the ship. She stopped to hug Harry, and then they were off. The ship sailed across the lake and out of sight, carrying the Headmaster to his final resting place.

When it had disappeared from sight, Ron stood on the shore and unbuckled Excalibur. He drew it back behind him, and lobbed it as far as he could out into the lake. As it fell to the surface, an arm shot up and out of the water, smoothly catching the sword. Slowly it sank back beneath the water, leaving only a few ripples in its place.

He turned and joined his friends as they went back up to the castle.

Author's Note: I originally wrote this as 40 chapters. I am adding an epilogue at the end, which was originally the prologue to the sequel to this, which I never finished. If you would like me to pick up "Harry Potter and the Terror of the Wizarding World" please let me know. It will not be posted as quickly as this, as I have many stories going, but I would consider writing it if the call is there.