Disclaimer: I unfortunately did not write Harry Potter. All characters belong to JK Rowling, and I'm doing this for fun, so please don't sue me :)
1 – Return to the Shrieking Shack
After Lord Voldemort's demise, the after-party in Gryffindor Hall finally seemed to be slowing down. That was until Aberforth arrived. He was carrying two large cases of fire whiskey on his shoulders and gave the room, maybe thirty people in all, a what-the-hell look. Ron immediately stood from the table where he, Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Luna, the Weasleys, and others had been recalling a story from Fred's youth when he played a trick on Ron by giving him a spoon that refused to hold food.
"Let me help you with that." Ron took one of the oaken boxes from Aberforth and placed it on the table. He looked to the Elder wand on Harry's lap. "Harry, do you—er—mind if I give that a try?"
"Not at all," said Harry and flicked the wand to his friend.
Ron pointed the wand, held by Lord Voldemort only hours ago for the last time, to the oaken box and said, "Partyplentusmous," with perhaps a hint of too much excitement. The nails holding together the oaken box flew out, and the four sides collapsed, exposing twenty bottles of fire whiskey. The bottles were perfectly clear, and the red liquid inside them bubbled like lava stirring at the top of a volcano.
Mrs. Weasley gave Ron a look that said, "Don't even think about it." But before she could say anything, Mr. Weasley was standing next to his son taking the second case of fire whiskey from Aberforth.
He raised a hand to Mrs. Weasley. " Molly, it's okay. Let the kids have a drink. By Merlin's Beard, they deserve one tonight."
Mrs. Weasley began to speak, but then stopped and a teary, smile began to form. "You're right. Fred would have liked this."
A few minutes later, everyone held a glass of fire whiskey in the air. "Wish you could be here to share this with us, son. You'll be with us. Forever." Mr. Weasley then said in a firm voice, "To Fred."
Everyone at the table said Fred's name and clinked their glasses together.
The mood was bittersweet. Happy songs were sung. Stories of Fred's humor were shared. Toasts went around to everyone's favorite werewolf, Lupin. More and more drinks of fire whiskey were poured, and slowly things went from bittersweet to a bit of a sweet blur.
Harry wasn't sure when it happened, but at some point between his third and fourth drink, the Twisted Sisters arrived and a group of people started dancing. They were playing one of their new tunes, "Riddle's Really Short Wand," and everyone seemed to be enjoying it. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were moving with a kind of grace and athleticism that Harry never imagined coming from his best friend's parents. Aberforth was doing some kind of backwards hop with McGonagall. Luna was dancing by herself, perfectly content of course, looking in the direction of the sky as if she had seen a hippogriff flying. Slughorn was dancing on one of the tables, and everytime the boards started to creak too much from his massive weight, Harry indiscretely pointed his wand in that direction and whispered, "Reparo." And even Ron was doing some kind of twirling move with Hermione. Hermione was obviously impressed because she started calling Ron, Big Red, which made Harry a little squeamish inside.
Harry was sitting with Ginny at the table, and her head had been planted on his shoulder for some time. This was fine with him. It had been one of the longest, saddest, and yet happiest days of his life, and the drink was making him feel clouded.
"What do you think Fred's last thoughts were before… you know?"
Harry didn't have the slightest clue what Fred was thinking about before the Death Eaters got him, or if he had any time to even ponder his last moments. When Voldemort and his cronies were infiltrating Hogwarts, Harry had thought of his friends and namely Ginny. He couldn't help but yearn for one more walk with her, hand in his, across the Hogwarts grounds on a Fall day, leaves emanating magnificent reds, golds, oranges, and yellows, the giant squid swimming in the lake, the Gryffindor team flying on their Firebolts preparing for the Quidditch season… It had all woven the perfect backdrop to his entire being.
"I believe he thought of his family and the fun times we had at your house. And running the joke shop with George." Harry turned his head a little to gauge Ginny's reaction and she seemed far off. Her eyes were on the dance floor where Ron was now trying to dip Hermione. He stumbled and they both dropped to the ground, laughing at the blunder only the way lovers can laugh at such a blunder, and they stole a quick kiss believing no one had seen. And in that moment, Harry knew, in their eyes, they really were the only two people in the world.
"I don't think Fred ever had a girlfriend, you know? What if he died and he never loved anyone? Nor anyone him?" Ginny asked this, not sounding sad, as her voice seemed to drift off to a place Harry didn't know.
But the question went through him like a ghost, and he felt a cold sting.
The professor he'd hated for all these years. The very same question could have been asked of him. Harry had learned of Snape's love for his mother Lily, but had Snape ever known anyone to love him back? He felt sorry for the potions master—he'd turned out to be everything Dumbledore believed him to be.
The thought that Snape was still lying in the Shrieking Shack in a pool of his own blood made Harry unsettled. "Ginny, I need to leave for a minute. I'll be back, but I need to take care of... well, Snape. And I need to do it on my own."
She turned from watching Ron and Hermione and gazed at him a moment. "I understand."
He quickly kissed her on the forehead and threw the invisibility cloak over his body. He and Snape had misunderstood one another in their time at Hogwarts, but tonight had brought clarity. Snape deserved to not be alone. The least Harry could do was bring his body back to Madame Pomfrey until funeral arrangements could be made.
The trip to the Shrieking Shack wasn't an unpleasant one. There were still some celebrations going on besides the one in Gryffindor Hall. Fireworks lit up the castle grounds, and there were faint sounds of bar songs wafting through the night air all the way from Hogsmeade. Harry quickly entered the Whomping Willow and made his way to the Shrieking Shack. He didn't want to spend any time reflecting on the day's events in this dark place, so he rushed quickly to the room where he knew Snape was lying, dead from the cold betrayal of Voldemort.
"In and out," he whispered to no one. "In and out in no time."
Snape was still on his side, but the spilled blood from Nagini's bite had turned to a dark crimson. Harry pointed his mended wand to Snape's body and said, "Wingardium Leviosa." The body slowly lifted from the floor, but from all the energy he expended in the battle with Voldemort, Harry had difficulty controlling the Hover Charm, and Snape's head lopped to the side.
Harry gasped. Snape's eyes had been closed, but now they popped open and looked as alive as they did when Snape had ridiculed him in a potions class.
"Snape?" whispered Harry. Could it be that Snape was still… alive?
As soon as the thought entered his mind, Severus Snape's eyes snapped shut and Harry lost all focus. The body crashed to the floor, and dust shot up into the air before slowly falling again like a winter snow.
That was when Harry saw it. At the base of Snape's feet, there was a bottle with silvery-blue liquid.
Harry wondered how this could be. He had seen Snape die and had watched his last silvery-blue thoughts pour into the bottle he'd already uncovered in Dumbledore's pensieve. Had Snape left more thoughts before completely passing?
He held the bottle in his hands not sure knowing what to think. Snape's eyes didn't open, nor did his body stir. Now that Harry had found the bottle, it was almost as if Severus Snape could lie in peace.
Harry left the Shrieking Shack and levitated Snape's body beside him while making the trek back to the castle. In the distance, he could see that there weren't any lights on in the Headmaster's office, home of Dumbledore's pensieve, and that suited him just fine. "It looks like we might have one more journey together, Snape," he said to the night air. Somewhere in the infinite sky, he thought he saw a comet shoot across.