Disclaimer: All characters, places etc. belong to JK Rowling
HARRY POTTER AND THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY
The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.
- Nineteen years earlier -
Chapter 1 - The First Day
Harry Potter was unable to sleep.
He tossed and turned in his big four-poster bed in Gryffindor Tower, still in his clothes, wondering why this was so. By rights, he figured, sleep should be the easiest thing to do so far. Mere hours earlier the Great Wizarding War had ended with the final defeat of Tom Marvolo Riddle, or Lord Voldemort as he had been better known. People all over the world were celebrating as well as mourning those who had lost their lives, and yet all Harry had wanted to do was sleep. Something didn't feel right though. Something felt unfinished.
How long Harry had been lying there he had no idea. Minutes? Hours? Days? It all seemed the same. Finally Harry decided to get up. He went down the familiar stone stairs to the
common room. He headed to one of the big armchairs near the fireplace but stopped short.
There, asleep on the sofa, her flaming red hair strewn over the sofa's arm, was the one person he wanted most to see. The last person he had thought of in the forest. The person who was the reason he had come back.
Harry knelt down in front of her and studied her sleeping face. Tracks of grime running down her cheeks showed where she had been crying. Some of her hair had fallen across her face, which Harry gently tucked behind her ear.
Ginny stirred and her eyes slowly fluttered open.
"Mmm Harry" she said sleepily. Then her eyes shot wide open and blazed at him.
And the next thing Harry knew he had been knocked flat on his back with Ginny on top of him pounding his chest with her fists for all she was worth.
"How could you! Do you have any idea what you put me though?" Ginny was practically screaming at him. "First you disappear at Bill's wedding without even a goodbye! Then no-one hears from you for nearly a year!" Harry's chest was getting quite sore by this point. "Then you finally come back only to disappear again! Then the next time I saw you you were dead! I thought you were dead Harry! I thought you were dead and I wanted to..." The pounding slowed as Ginny started to cry. "I wanted to die. I didn't want to live without you Harry."
Ginny started sobbing and buried her face in Harry's chest. Harry put his arms round her. After a few minutes her steady breathing told Harry she had fallen asleep again. Finally Harry was able to sleep himself and they both lay there in front of the fire.
When Harry woke up some hours later he found that Ginny had moved. Turning his head he saw her sitting up against one of the armchairs watching him.
A smile appeared on her face. "Hi" she said.
"Hi" replied Harry.
And, without any sense of crossing the gap between them they were in each other's arms, holding on tightly as if they would vanish if they let go.
"I love you Ginny" Harry whispered into Ginny's ear. "I'm never leaving you again. Never!"
"I love you too Harry and I'm staying with you forever too." Ginny replied into his ear.
They started to lean into each other to kiss but were interrupted by cheers, catcalls and whistles. Harry pulled away from Ginny and they both stood up, still holding hands.
Surrounding them were Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna and all their other friends, or at least those who had survived. And they were all cheering.
"Alright shut it you lot! That's my sister he's snogging remember!" Ron said half-seriously. Everyone gradually fell silent.
"Oh Ronald do lighten up. He's earned it." Hermione was gripping Ron's hand tightly. "Harry, McGonagall wants to see us in Dumble..." she faltered for a second, "... her office."
Harry reluctantly let go of Ginny's hand. "I'll be right back, I promise."
Ginny gave him a light peck on the lips. "Make sure you are. I think we have a lot to catch up on."
Harry grinned and went red as the cheering started up again. He managed to work his way through the mass of people to the common room's entrance. After a final clap on the back from Ernie MacMillan Harry was out in the corridor.
Unlike the room he had just left, which had been bright and loud, the corridors were dark and silent. Here and there Harry saw signs of damage, rubble and upturned suits of armour as the trio made their way to the Headmaster... mistress's office.
Harry looked up at the walls. He had suddenly noticed the lack of chatter which had always been part of the background noise. "Where are all the portraits?"
Hermione answered him. "They've been taken down for the time being. Some of them were quite badly damaged in the fighting."
At the mention of the battle Harry fell silent. He could still see the fallen in his thoughts - Fred, Remus, Tonks, Colin, too many. Too too many. He was still thinking about them when the three reached Professor McGonagall's office. The gargoyle guarding the door was now upright and had opened up for them. They entered and saw the Professor standing at her desk.
"Potter, Mr Weasley, Miss Granger. Thank you for coming." Professor McGonagall gestured at them to sit down. "Albus has explained to me the whole story." Dumbledore's portrait waved at them as McGonagall carried on. "I would give all three of you Special Awards for Services to the School, but I understand you already have those." Ron and Harry caught each other's eyes. How could they possibly forget?
McGonagall continued. "Anyway we will have to decide on some suitable reward for you three. No no..." She said, seeing Harry was about to protest, "We all owe you a great deal. For now though there was something I wanted to discuss with you." McGonagall took off her glasses and leaned forward in her chair. "The school year ends this weekend, however we do not feel that it is appropriate to hold the usual feast. We believe it would be fitting to hold a memorial service instead and we would like you, Harry, to say a few words."
Harry's first instinct was to refuse but Hermione was faster. "Oh go on Harry. You're the one who beat Voldemort! You're a hero whether you like it or not! You've got to say something to everyone!"
Harry looked at Ron and he nodded encouragement. "All right." Harry finally said, "I'll do it. What did you have in mind?"
It was nearly midnight when they finally left McGonagall's office after talking over the details. On their way out she called out after them. "Oh by the way. I know you won't mind but you'll be having students from Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff staying in Gryffindor Tower for now. Their own dormitories were badly damaged - Ravenclaw was completely wrecked." She smiled grimly. "The only other house to survive intact was Slytherin, but it seemed that no-one wanted to stay there."
The Gryffindor common room was quiet when Harry, Ron and Hermione returned. At first Harry thought it was empty but then he saw that two people were sat in front of the fire.
It was Arthur and Molly Weasley.
Harry was suddenly rooted to the spot. How would they react to him? Would they blame him for Fred's death? Would they forbid him from ever seeing their family again?
Molly turned round. She had obviously been crying. She smiled when she saw Harry.
"Harry dear, come here." she said in a quiet voice.
Harry went over to her and she wrapped her arms around him and pulled him close to her. The events of the day finally caught up with Harry and he burst into tears.
"It's ok Harry, it's ok. It's over now." Molly said gently, although she too was fighting back tears again.
Arthur put his hand on Harry's back. "Harry you know we consider you to be family. We would never blame you for what happened to Fred. It was all his fault. Every thing was his fault and he's gone forever now."
Ron and Hermione joined in the hug and they all stayed like that for a few minutes.
Finally Molly released them. "Go on. Upstairs to bed. Merlin knows you need it." She held on to Harry a moment longer to whisper in his ear. "Go on. Don't worry. She's waiting for you."
At the entrance to the boys' bedroom a figure was sitting on the floor leaning against the wall. Harry instantly knew who it was. Ron and Hermione quickly said goodnight and left them there.
Harry knelt down and took Ginny's hands into his own. "Hi" he said.
Ginny looked up at him. "Hi" she said.
"Told you I'd be right back" Harry said.
Ginny nodded but didn't say anything. Harry was suddenly apprehensive. What if Ginny had changed her mind? What if she didn't want him anymore? "Ginny..."
Ginny stood up, still holding Harry's hands. Harry stood as well. She let go of one hand and put one of her fingers on his lips. "Shh" she said softly. She held on to his other hand and led him to the girls' bedroom. As they climbed the stairs leading to the bedroom Harry noticed something odd.
"Uh Ginny? Why haven't the stairs changed to a slide?"
Ginny giggled. "With the other students staying here, McGonagall had to add a few extra charms to make more room for them. Some of us helped her and that particular charm kind of got lost in the process."
Harry smiled at that and was about to reply when they reached the door. He suddenly nervous again. "Ginny are you sure..." Too late. Ginny had opened the door and pulled him in.
Harry wasn't quite sure what he had been expecting. Maybe lots of pink and fluffy things. What he was standing in however was a fairly unremarkable room. It was certainly a lot tidier than the boys' room. There were a few items he associated with girls dotted around on side tables - bits of make-up, hairbrushes, that sort of thing. The room was empty since the other girls in Ginny's year had been evacuated.
Ginny pulled him over to her bed and they both sat down. On her table was a photo and, although Harry had never actually seen it before, he instantly recognised the event it depicted.
The common room after the Quidditch final, when he had finally kissed Ginny.
In the photo the images of Harry and Ginny were running to each other and kissing each other fervently. Harry looked at Ginny.
"Colin gave it to me at the start of the year. It's my happiest memory. Merlin knows I've needed it."
Harry didn't know what to say. Instead he put his arm around Ginny and she leaned into him. Almost by instinct he put his other hand under her chin, gently tilted her head up and kissed her. Ginny put her arms around him and pulled them both down to lie on the bed.
They fell asleep like that, still fully clothed, still in each other's arms.
A/N: This is the first chapter of a (hopefully) much longer story. This is really my first time doing something like this so please let me know what you think.