The nightmares never really went away for Harry Potter. The battle was over, and Harry needed to remember that. Those days were behind him. Simply nothing more than old memories fading away. He had killed Voldemort, he had outsmarted the Dark Lord over and over again and finally it ended. Strangely, Harry still felt like it wasn't over. Harry had oddly enough found himself feeling as if Voldemort was still there, staring at him with evil silver eyes But Harry shook off the feeling whenever it rose, he knew it was over. He had to keep trusting that it was all over.
Yet almost every night, Harry found himself thinking through the past events as if they were happening all over again. He would feel his feet taking him through the paths of the Forbidden Forest, straight into the hands of Voldemort, grasping the unmistakable feeling of the death curse over and over again. Every night he remembered the painstaking plans he had made, the terrified eyes that stared at him expecting him to be what he was not. A hero.
Even after he woke from the nightmares, that was the one thing that stuck to his heart. He was not a hero, he never could be and never was. Defeating Voldemort was not just his doings, and he hated the public forcing full claim for it by himself when Harry knew how much help he had along the way. Hardly anyone knew Hermione's name these days, let alone remembered who Ronald Weasley was. They were, in fact, the main two people that stood by him the most and very much so did take massive parts in killing Voldemort. There was also Dumbledore, who gave him advice and courage the entire way through. Harry would never forget how much Dumbledore did for him, and for that he was eternally grateful.
Anyway, you could say Harry's life changed drastically since then. Harry took the rest of the summer off to spend time with the Weasleys, mostly Ginny, spending his days in their fields or visiting his old classmates. Days went by, and summer didn't last long. The days got shorter, and very much more cold, sending Harry inside for the rest of his Autumn days. Not that he could complain, he was surrounded by the ones he loved constantly which made him happier then they would ever know. He'd known and cared about the Weasleys for so long, so naturally this was his family, and his home.
Other than the sudden changes in safety and being free from evil, not much had changed that summer for Harry. The smiles and laughter, and all the games were fun and everything, but Harry knew he couldn't keep this up much longer. Living off the Weasleys must have been rough on Molly. She never once complained, and denied a countless number of times when Harry had asked her if she needed any help with cooking or cleaning. She'd smacked Ron across the head with her tea towel on several occasions when Harry politely asked, and Ron would sit there with his feet on the table enjoy games of Wizard Chess with Ginny. Molly had thought so rude of her son, when Harry acted more genuinely then he did. Though, when has that ever changed?
On top of everything, Harry now also had a godson to take care of. Teddy, or Ted Lupin, had been taken care of by Fluer and Bill, who had jumped at the opportunity when Harry mentioned he would need someone to help him look after Teddy. They wanted a baby themselves, but as many times as they tried, nothing happened. But that's beside the point. Harry was grateful for them, but Teddy only needed to stay there for a few months before his Grandparents, Tonk's parents, came back home from a holiday in Paris. As soon as October 1st came around, they took Teddy back home where he would spend his life. Fluer and Bill visited every chance they got. Tonk's parents were fine with that- actually, they were thankful. Teddy would go back and forth sometimes, even to the Weasleys to spend time with Harry.
Throughout the winter, his visits with Teddy grew less and less with him spending time at the Ministry with Ron and Hermione, as they caught up on their education. They were offered a chance to go back to Hogwarts, but they politely declined. They'd rather have the freedom of finishing their N.E.W.T.s in time for New Years, instead of spreading it out through another entire year. And besides, this gave them the chance to live outside of Hogwarts without the constant drag of Voldemort hanging on their shoulders.
Harry and Ron easily passed all of them with E's. Hermione on the other hand, spent her entire winter cramming her head stock full of every single piece of information she could, before coming out of her examinations with, of course, all Outstandings. After December 20th, the day they got their grades back, the three of them finally felt relieved. They decided to not worry about job hunting until after New Years, as Mrs. Weasley had hinted on several occasions that they needed to be here for both Christmas and New Years. Both of which, had been wonderful.
May 2nd, 1999
"I've heard there was a Death Dater shopping in a muggle grocery store!"
"I saw two of them just the other day drinking coffee in a cafe!"
"Even better, I caught three or four of them Death Eaters actually sitting down at a theater watching a muggle-made play!"
Harry sat beside Ron in a large room filled with chattering people. The roof was high, walls were red lined with gold and silver wallpaper. The seats were rather uncomfortable, and Harry caught himself moving back his chair until it almost fell backwards trying to get his shoulders comfortable. Ron had found this highly amusing, even after receiving death glares from Harry. They were with other Aurors- Ron and Harry and joined up only after New Years. He strung up enough courage to say goodbye to the Weasleys, and got his own flat in the midst of London by himself. It was rather nice to be by himself for a change, and he liked it that way. He did miss the presence of Ginny, however. Although they had broken up, she was always a thought that lingered his mind every so often.
Harrys thoughts were interrupted by Kingsley Shacklebolt, Head of Auror office. His voice loomed over the others.
"Thank you all for coming. I'd appreciate it if everyone could settle down for a minute, there are some things I find necessary to discuss with each of you tonight." Kingsley listened as the Aurors went quiet, as he stood in front of them all watching with careful glances.
"As you all know, we are on the hunt for past Death Eaters," He cleared his throat, eyeing on two younger female Aurors who chatted nonchalantly together. They silenced. "As I recall," He continued. "That some of you are having trouble remembering the rules once you've captured a previous Death Eater. You must not send them straight to the Dementors, or Azkaban. They must ALL be brought back to the Ministry for further prosecution charges."
Harry exchanged an uneasy glance with Ron. They had teaming up against Death Eaters and bringing them here, he couldn't imagine another Auror simply sending them off to a Dementor. He shuddered, thinking about his past experiences. Kingsley continued.
"The Death Eaters are also starting to blend in with the muggles, pretending to be one of them living an every day normal life. Please do keep an eye everywhere you go."
"On another note, some of you have also forgotten other missions as well. The Death Eaters have been our main concern, since the Rebellion started after the battle, but that doesn't mean other dangers aren't running around causing havoc. There other other rebels too, aside from Death Eaters. I'd like to remind you to stick to your duties, and run over your missions again each morning." Kingsley finished up, then thanking everyone and walked off stage. The room once again flooded again with chatter about the Death Eaters.
"I heard the Malfoys went into hiding."
Harry cringed at the name. Malfoy. Had they really been forced into hiding? He does vaguely remember them leaving straight after the battle. He hadn't put much thought into it, but he most definitely did remember both Lucius and Draco being Death Eaters.
"I heard the boy went mad."
At this point Harry was intently straining to hear the conversation. He glanced over at Ron, who seemed to notice Harry's sudden silence, and began listening as well.
"I heard that too. From what my source says, the Malfoy boy drove himself crazy living underground. Did you know, Narcissa Malfoy was caught?"
"Is she in Azkaban?" The question came from the female Auror Iscorna who turned around, dropping in on the conversation.
"No, she's here. She's being interrogated downstairs in the Chambers. She isn't giving anything to them. I don't blame her, it's her husband and son after all."
"I can't exactly agree with you there, she's bound to give up where they are at some point. She's got to." said Iscorna .
"I doubt it. A mothers love, what can you do?" the younger female said.
"She's protecting two very dangerous criminals! For all we know, she could be under the Imperius curse." said Iscorna.
"That's highly unlikely Iscorna," the man said to the woman. "She would've been checked."
The younger one shook her head. "The other Malfoys are probably the ones behind the muggle murders, knowing Narcissa was caught, when she's completely innocent. They probably are doing this to rebel."
"Innocent?" Iscorna scoffed. "I hardly think so!"
By this time, Harry had enough. He had leapt out of his chair and headed straight for the elevators, Ron tagging behind.
"They can't really think Malfoy is the cause behind the muggle murders?" Harry said angrily, not knowing why he even cared.
"Harry they could be right you know, they did say he went mad. Being huddled up underground could do that to a person, you know-"
"But that's not enough to turn into a murderer!" Harry interrupted. Ron blinked at Harry, a look of shock on his face.
"Harry, do you not remember? He tried to kill Dumbledore! He tried to kill you a number of times, you know, lighting the room on fire and knocking you off your broom and all." Ron snapped back.
Harry stepped into a gate, closing the doors straight away after Ron stepped in after. The gate launched, Harry slightly jumping as the carriage took off in all sorts of directions.
"Tried to." Responded Harry, as he shut his eyes, hating how dizzy he started to feel.
"I suppose it doesn't really matter anyways. Are you hungry, Ron?" Harry asked, as the carriage stopped and the doors flew open. Ron stumbled out into the circle room, catching his breath.
"I suppose I am."
Harry couldn't help but laugh slightly at the staggering Ron. He pushed the thought about Malfoy to the back of his mind, and focused on his empty stomach. Tomorrow him and Ron would be out catching more Death Eaters, but tonight, he wanted to go home and sleep. And that's exactly what he did.