The war was over. It was done... it had to be done, for he didn't know if he could continue if it wasn't.
There was pain, though. Why was there pain? Even though the fully aware part of his mind knew that for the most part, everything was done, there was still so much blinding, agonising pain surrounding him and all those around him. The injured saviour of the wizarding world gazed out over the bloodied grounds of Hogwarts, mind still reeling as he stood stock still, eyes roaming the scene before him.
The once proud structure now lay in ruins, bodies littering the earth around it. The battle had broken out as evening set, and continued through the night in vicious wand-on-wand combat from adults and students, Death Eaters and the Order alike. Now, as dawn filtered in, casting away the darkness, the horrors of the night settled in and the sight seemed to worsen; as if they were suddenly becoming real. Voldemort was dead, the reign of terror was over, but at what cost? How many souls had given themselves for not only the cause, but to him? Pain flared up his side as he moved, and with a sharp gasp he staggered and dragged himself to a nearby tree, one of the few that remained standing.
Memories ran fresh through his mind from the battle, and the faces of those he loved who fell to defend him flashed before his eyes. Luna, struck down from behind by Dolohov by the Killing Curse, and he was thankful that it had been quick and painless, Luna didn't deserve torture. Even in death she had looked peaceful, and she lay in rest besides Neville. Neville, poor Neville, had been killed as he ran to her aid, hit by a wayward sectumsempra curse cast by Rabastan Lestrange. A true Gryffindor at the end, Neville had fought like a hero.
With grim satisfaction, he had the pleasure of watching as Lestrange later fell at Hermione's hand.
He let out a dry sob as he thought of Hermione… she had always had something to say, had been a major part in the downfall of Voldemort. He had no doubt that if not for Hermione, there would still be several Horcruxes out there, and he certainly would not be alive right now if she had not constantly helped keep him from harm. She had died attempting to heal a small fifth year who had returned to Hogwarts in secret, stabbed in the back by Bellatrix. An attack of pure cowardice Hermione could not hope to defend herself against. The witch, completely deranged, had seemed to hold a grudge against Hermione ever since the incident at Malfoy manor, and had gone for her every time they had encountered each other thereafter.
The memories drifted once more and he shifted slightly, leaning quite heavily upon the tree now as his head span. Ron. His best mate, with the emotional range of a teaspoon, as Hermione had once put it. A bitter smile graced the young man's lips; they must have been blind, those two, not to see what was between them. Everybody else could and it would have only been a matter of time, had they lived. Despite his ignorance when it came to girls though, Ron had quickly matured during the war, taking on new spells at an almost alarming rate to defend his family and friends. Perhaps Ron would have lived, he thought, had taught him that bone-shattering spell.
Ginny; his beautiful, brave Ginny. She had been told that she was too young to fight, that she had to stay in the Room of Requirement. Of course she hadn't done so, and he couldn't help but wish that she had in some small part of his mind, though he knew she wouldn't be Ginny if she had. He had not been there when she fell, but now as he stood over her pale body, he knew which curse had ended her short life, and even the Death Eater who had sent the curse her way. Her peaceful face cast a look of sleep about her, and were it not for the stillness of her chest he might have thought that it was so. Her body was relaxed, and her eyes were closed. Those eyes, her mothers brown eyes... he clutched his hand over his heart as he felt the sharp pang of something close to heartbreak tear through his chest. He regretted how he had treated her, and dropping to his knees he pressed a final, tear-drenched kiss to her cool lips. He didn't have the strength to stand anyway.
There were so many that he knew nothing of, though the silence of the grounds hinted at more grief to come. Mrs Weasley; she had been like a mother to him. Fred and George; they had always seemed to make the best out of a bad situation. Remus; he had been like a beloved uncle and his final tie to his lost parents. Bill, Kingsley, Tonks, Collin, Dean, Oliver, Katie, Angelina….
Exhaustion finally overrode him; the unnaturally strong young man, barely more than a boy, known to the world as the Boy-Who-Lived. As he sank into blessed oblivion, Harry Potter wondered if that would any longer be the case.
First of all, I would like to give credit to, and thank, my fantastic Beta MaraudingManaged for helping me go over my chapters and clean up this fiction.
I would also like to thank all of my readers, and especially my reviewers, that have continued to follow my story, despite numerous delays and movings (You know what I mean) of the fic.
I'm aware that I havn't updated in a while, this is due to some technical difficulties...I'm not kidding, there were some communication errors that meant my Beta and I wern't able to get chapters to each other. This has been amended now and I hope to update soon. Rest assured that this fic has not been abandoned, and neither will it be any time soon. Have faith.