Ginny stood at the window in the Gryffindor common room that looked out over the front lawn of the school. The scene was alive with bolts of colored light zigzagging back and forth. It would have been beautiful if it wasn't a battle. She watched as the number of colors was slowly reduce to more green than any other color. Even our side is using unforgivables now she hoped thinking to herself. But her hope was to be dashed; the side of light didn't use the killing curse. She'd been watching for hours when it was down to only two. A large group of people surrounded the two warriors. She glanced to where the door should be it was still a solid wall. Harry had changed it when he left and as long as it was a wall he was alive.
She knew the last of the warriors would be Harry and Tom. When one of them won their side would win. Tom, that's what Ginny had called him since her first year. When you had someone camping out in your head for months you tended to go by first names. Most people called him You-Know-Who or some other title he had designed for himself but not her. He had introduced himself as Tom and that's what she'd call him.
As she stood there a growing light pulled her out of her thoughts and back down to the ground below. One of the two warriors was glowing pure white, that would be Harry she thought. She grew even more unhappy as the light grew because she knew he was using his last resort. He couldn't survive using it and Tom couldn't survive being hit by it. It continued to grow and she had to close her eyes, when that wasn't enough she turned her back to the window. Even with her hands over her eyes she knew when the light started to dim she moved to the door and waited impatiently for it to reappear.
It grew out of the wall quite suddenly but it only took her a second to react. She pelted out the door and sprinted through the halls. If anyone could survive when not expected to it would be Harry. She needed to know. When she reached the front doors she stopped to pull them open set to run again as soon as she could get through. But when she slipped out she stopped again. The sight she couldn't see in the dark from the tower was now illuminated by her wand. Bodies, hundreds of bodies littered the ground. She couldn't run through that, she didn't want to step on anyone. So she carefully picked her way toward the last spot of light that was still dimming. When she reached him he was at the edge of a crater, unmoving except for his chest which was rising and falling with heavy laden breaths.
"Gin. Check." Harry gasped his request.
Ginny summoned the body of Tom Riddle and checked for a pulse, even though touching him revolted her. She turned to him grinning, "You did it. And you survived. I love you so much."
"No." Harry coughed, "Die soon. Many?"
"I don't know. I didn't count on my way I wanted to get to you. But I didn't see any live Death Eaters." She tried to sound upbeat.
"Careful." Harry mumbled as his life force continued to flow away, "Love you."
"I love you too." Ginny had tears falling down and hitting his face.
"Can't stop them now."
"Love…" Harry's life left his body before he could tell her again how much he loved her. Ginny fell onto his body and cried. She cried for all that had been lost, hours went by and she fell into an exhausted sleep. The rising sun woke her up. At least she had thought it was the sun until she heard a shuffling noise off to one side. She stood crouched over Harry's body as the sound drew nearer. Her wand was out and she was ready to attack. When the maker of the noise finally reached her Ginny was shocked. It was a female house elf. A Hogwarts house elf to be exact.
"What are you doing?" Ginny asked.
"Separating them." Was her answer.
"Must heal the hurt ones." she said.
"What's your name?" Ginny was curious.
"I'm Ginny. Where are the others?"
"We's is all that's left. The hurt ones and us." Cookie said.
"Even the house elves?" Ginny asked concerned.
"I is all that's left."
Ginny was shocked. Hogwarts had a hundred or more house elves and they were all gone, "I'm going to take Harry's body inside and then set up a hospital area. I think it's a good idea to do all this in the Great Hall. We'll put the bodies in the empty class rooms to the left and right. Can you tell the dark wizards from the light ones?"
"Yes Missy." Cookie said, "I put light in right and dark in left ok?"
"That's great. Anyone who's hurt bring to me. Light and dark ones." Ginny said.
"No dark one's be alive." Cookie said, "They all be tied to the darkest. When he die he take them with him."
"Good no moral dilemma on who to save first." Ginny commented. She took Harry's body and found a place in the room on the right and left his body. She stifled a sob as she left for the hospital wing. In the hospital she found seven injured or sick people. With Madam Pomfrey gone she would need to check on them. As it was still early they could wait. Ginny grabbed a tray and filled it with necessary potions and left the room.
By the time she got back to the Great Hall two people were already on Slytherin's table and Cookie was floating in a third, "I'm going to need some help. Can you pop to St. Mungo's and get us some help?"
"I'll be trying Missy." Cookie said as she set down her latest injured wizard. She popped away and was back in a few minutes crying, "No one there. All dead."
Ginny hugged the distraught elf and said, "Don't worry we'll be fine. I'll just get a few owls to deliver some letters."
"I can be sending the owls to you here." Cookie said, "How many yous wanting?"
"Let's do about a hundred if we can. I'll write a letter and make copies." Ginny said pulling a quill and parchment from the tray full of vials. She quickly wrote a plea for help from anyone capable promising shelter and food if they would come. Almost as an afterthought she said that Voldemort had been defeated by Harry. She made a hundred copies and the owls started to arrive.
"I told them we's needing big help so they know to look for any powerful magic." Cookie said. Together they gave each owl a letter and watched them fly off then went back to work. Ginny stabilized the three she had and then went to help Cookie find others.
"You's being needed at the gates. Helps arriving." Cookie said.
"But I don't know how to open the gates." Ginny said.
"You's the Headmistress. Just tells them to open." Cookie replied.
"Headmistress. No one else can be." Cookie said as she floated a body into the school.
Ginny ran to the gates and was happy to see many people. Then she noticed some were in bad shape. She sighed; she wanted help and got more work why was she surprised. She applied sonorous to her voice and said, "I'm going to open the gates in a moment. I would like you to enter but stay near so I can talk to you before we go up to the school." She then opened the gate and people calmly walked in. When all had entered she closed the gates and addressed the crowd, "Are there any healers or people with some healing skill?" Several hands went up, "Good I'll need you in the Great Hall and Hospital wing. Battle injured are in the Great Hall check there first. Please go lives may depend on you." The group took off running and then Ginny said, "I would like someone to stay at the gates and watch for more people to come."
"I can do that." A man said, "I just came to lend a hand, I'm not much with magic but I can work hard."
"Excellent what's your name?"
"Martin. Shay Martin."
"Thanks Mr. Martin. Send Healers and injured to the Great Hall for now everyone else can help retrieve bodies." Ginny said, "To open the gates just touch them and ask them to open. Will you try that now before I leave?" The man did it and it worked. He closed them back. "Great I'll send someone to relieve you as soon as I can. For now just let everyone in, we'll have to set up more security measures later."
"What about us?" Another man asked, "We came to help."
"For now help one of the injured get to the Great Hall. Then we'll need help separating the bodies and getting them inside. We don't want any scavengers coming out of the forest." Ginny said. The group followed along behind Ginny up to the castle. As they got close bodies started being floated along with them. At the door Cookie met them. "Cookie stay here at the door and tell them to go to the left or right room please."
"Yes Headmistress." Cookie replied.
Ginny took a deep breath and walked into the Great Hall. The injured were placed on spots along the tables. The most critically injured were on the Slytherin table while the least injured were on the Gryffindor table. Healers worked at each of the four tables. As more people arrived Ginny had to find other jobs for them to do. She set up a kids room and some people to watch them. She sent others to the kitchens to start lunch. Ginny grabbed a picnic basket and loaded it up and took it to the gates. Three men now sat with Mr. Martin and she sat the basket down.
"I need to set up a schedule for a gate watcher. I want the gate to open when someone needs it regardless of the time of day or night." Ginny said, "Do you think two men for a six hour shift would be ok?"
"Yes Miss… " One of the men started.
"Weasley, Ginny Weasley." She replied.
"Any relation to Charlie?" he asked.
"My older brother." she smiled sadly.
"Have you seen him?" He asked, "I wouldn't mind talking to him for a bit, I haven't seen him since school. I always thought he was an alright kind of guy."
"I'm sorry but he didn't make it." Ginny said almost in tears.
"Oh. I'm so sorry."
She only nodded in reply and turned to walk away. Before she got out of earshot she turned around, "Thanks for asking after him. It's good to know he was well liked."
Cookie again met Ginny at the door, "All are separated. Even the darkest evil. I wish we could leave him out."
"I know but the leaders of the government will want to see that he is dead." Ginny said, "Then we may just feed him to the wolves."
"Yes Missy." Cookie replied.
"Why do you sometimes call me Missy and other times Headmistress?" Ginny asked.
"You's is my mistress and that's when I call you Missy. Headmistress is so those others know who to respect." Cookie said.
"Oh." Ginny said shocked.
"You's is needing to rest and eat too." Cookie said as a healer walked up.
"Are you in charge?" he asked.
"She be Headmistress." Cookie corrected him.
"Oh, right. We've used all your potions. I'm going to run to St. Mungo's and get them to give me more." He stated.
"Sir, Cookie went to St. Mungo's first thing this morning. Everyone there is dead. That's why I sent a plea for help." Ginny said, "I'm sure you can get potions if they weren't all destroyed."
"I didn't know." he said, "Where can I find you when I get back."
"I's taking her to her office for rest." Cookie said defiantly.
Ginny smiled and said, "Thanks for taking care of me Cookie. Do you know the password?"
"Not having one now. You'll have to set it before going up." Cookie said.
"Alright, it will be Harry's Victory." She turned and walked away from the healer.
Ginny gave the gargoyle the password and she stepped onto the moving staircase that took her to the Headmasters office. To her it would always be Dumbledore's office. Upon entering the office she was accosted with questions from the portraits. Not really ready to answer them she stepped behind the desk as Cookie had instructed and she sat in the chair. The noise in the room halted.
"Ms. Weasley, what's happening?" Albus Dumbledore's portrait asked.
"Harry beat Voldemort. He's dead." She answered.
The portraits began to cheer and only stopped when Albus yelled for quiet, "Who is dead, Harry or Voldemort?"
"Both." she laid her head on the desk and cried. She stopped after a few moments and Cookie brought her lunch. She sat and stared at it mostly just pushing it around.
"Yous must be eating, Headmistress." Cookie said, "Yous needing strength to lead."
"Cookie, did you call her Headmistress?" Albus asked, when the elf nodded he asked, "Where are all the others?"
"Theys all gone Professor sir. Me and Missy is the only ones not dead or hurt."
"How many were hurt?" he asked.
"Twenty seven." Ginny said, "Professor Flitwick and Hagrid are the only staff still remaining." Ginny managed to eat close to half her lunch and then went to take a nap.
When she woke up she heard Cookie say, "Missy is resting… now you've woke her up. Yous not very nice."
"It's ok Cookie, I'm finished with my nap I'll be right out." Ginny sighed thinking this elf was more protective than all her brothers combined. That thought almost made her cry.
The healer who had gone for supplies was waiting when she reached the office, "Sorry I didn't mean to wake you up. But we have an issue that you're needed for. When I was at St. Mungo's I ran across a man trying to find help. Now that he's here he won't shut up until he's talked to whoever's in charge."
"Alright let's go. Do you know who he is?" Ginny said.
"No, but I've only been back in England for few weeks. By the way I'm Mark Hill." he said as they left the office "I just realized we've not been introduced."
"Sorry, I'm Ginny Weasley." she said, "I think pleasantries are the first things dropped in an emergency."
"Very true. You're kind of young to be the Headmistress aren't you?" he asked.
"You think?" Her answer came out with quite a lot of sarcasm, "Sorry, that sounded less nice then it was intended. Cookie and I are the only ones from the battle that aren't either injured or dead. I'm Headmistress by default. And yes I think even someone who's almost seventeen is too young to lead a school."
"And a national recovery effort." Mark said.
"I'm not leading that."
"Yes you are. This is the new nerve center for the country and you're the leader here." he grinned.
"Great, I bet I'm the youngest interim Minister for Magic ever too." Ginny sighed.
Mark chuckled and pointed to a man in the Great Hall, "That's the man who wants to see you."
"Great that's exMinister Fudge. This isn't going to be pleasant." Ginny said. As she made her way across the room she noted all the injured had been moved out and the tables were filled with people eating or just talking. She thought most of the people in the school were in the room. "What can I do for you Mr. Fudge?
"Who are you?" the man asked belligerently.
"The person in charge that you needed to talk to." Ginny replied.
"Well I'm…" he started.
"I know who you are exMinister. What do you need?" she asked again.
"What is your name so that I know whom I am speaking to." he said.
"Arthur Weasley's daughter?'
"Come now I need to know who is directing this effort. I've come to offer my services." he said.
"Excellent." Ginny said, "What I need for you to do is get to the ministry and start organizing transportation. I think it's essential that we find any orphaned magical kids and bring them here. We need to find families for them and not leave anyone to fend for themselves. We need to get the Knight Bus, the floo and portkey offices up and running."
"Wait." Fudge said flustered, "I meant that I would take over and run things."
"Well we have someone doing that. We don't have anyone…" Ginny tried to say.
"Oh, you think you are running this show. I beg to differ. We need someone with experience leading." Fudge said.
"You're right." Ginny smiled, "That's why you are going to organize our transportation. We've seen your kind of leadership before that's why we're in this mess to begin with. If you had listened to Dumbledore…"
"I think we need to let the people decide." Fudge interrupted.
"You are so right." Ginny said then jumped up on the table to her side, "Attention everyone. Mr. Fudge thinks we should hand the reins of the country back over to him. All in favor raise your hand." Not a single person raised their hand, "Thanks for your attention." She jumped down and said, "Now I am generously offering you the job of Head of the Department of Magical Transportation. Can you do that?"
"Fine. But you should also be contacting the Muggle Prime Minister. I could…" he said.
"That's not essential." Ginny interrupted, "What is essential is our transportation and our children. Get on that and report back when you have something."
"You, young lady are nothing like your father." Fudge said.
"You don't know much about my father." Ginny said, "Now find our orphans, I'm sure I'm not the only one."
"You.." Fudge stammered, "He's dead?"
"Yes along with the rest of my family." Ginny fought the tears and won. This idiot would not see her cry.
Fudge left and Mark approached her, "You took him down a few dozen pegs."
"I'm still holding a grudge. He really gave Harry a tough time a few years ago." Ginny said.
"Was that when he was saying Voldemort was back and Fudge was denying it?"
"He's as big an idiot as I thought then. He's kind of caused all this hasn't he?"
"In a way yes. His being an ostrich kept us from getting fully prepared." Ginny growled.
"Were you close to him? I mean Harry." Mark asked.
"We were going to get married." Ginny said, "He promised to ask after he defeated Voldemort. He didn't live long enough to ask though. He did get to tell me he loved me."
"Sorry I didn't know." Mark said.
"No one knew." She sighed, "He was afraid if Voldemort found out he would try to kill me. At this point I kind of wished..." Ginny shook herself, "Can't dwell on that now. More people will be coming when the Knight bus gets going. Do we need to get some people making potions?"
"Yes that's a good idea. I'll start asking around." Mark said.
"No need, we're all listening to you anyway." A lady at the next table said, "I'm rather handy with a cauldron, how are the ingredient stores?"
"I don't know. Why don't you and any of the others that are good with potions head down to the dungeons. Snape's class storage is in the cupboard at the back of the room. His personal stores are in his office behind the painting of the meadow." Ginny said.
"Right." the woman said, "I'm not going to ask how you know where is personal stores are. I've been in your brother's shop and I think I have a good idea. I really loved their Canary Creams."
"Thank you." Ginny smiled, a commotion from the door gained her attention before she could say any more, "Merlin, what's next."
"I need a healer here." it was Shay Martin from the gate.
Mark and Ginny ran to meet him. He was helping a black man up the steps. "Thank you Mr. Martin. We'll take him. Have you been relieved yet?"
"Yes ma'am." he responded, "He came just as I was heading in."
"Ok go eat and then rest."
As she was talking Healer Mark was looking at the injured man. He did a few healing spells and was getting ready to take him to the hospital wing when the man made him stop, "I need to speak to whomever's in charge."