Harry Potter and the Harry Potter universe was created by J.K. Rowling. The Hobbit, and all associated characters are the work of J.R.R Tolkien.
Everything else is mine.
Chapter 1 - Prologue
The war was over, and Voldemort was dead. This time for good.
But the price was high. Very high. Thousands dead on both sides, both muggle and magical. Hogwarts, where the final battle took place, had so many dead on the grounds, a person could walk from the front door to the Black Lake without a foot touching the ground. The giants has been effectively wiped out as a species, and the dragon population of Europe, while it would recover eventually, would take centuries to regain the numbers they had before Voldemort. Even the Centaurs in the forbidden forest had been hit badly. 37 dead. But for a heard of just over 150, that was over half their breeding males.
Hogwarts had been damaged so badly, that even using magic, it would be a year until it was fit for habitation again and could re-open as a boarding school. Then of course there were the Professors. Of the staff that were there when Voldemort was resurrected, only 2 remained. Headmaster Dumbledore had been murdered by his Potions teacher two years before. Professor Burbage, the Muggle Studies Professor was kidnapped and killed by Voldemort personally because he didn't like the interview she gave in the Daily Prophet about how advanced muggle society was compared to the magical world. Sybill Trelawney, the Divination teacher, had taken her own life. She claimed in the letter they found next to her body that she had foreseen the fall of Hogwarts and the Wizarding world and didn't want to live in a world that was ruled by the Dark Lord. She wasn't missed. Professor Snape died as he had lived. Violently next to his master. Professor McGonagall had survived, but she had taken a bad hit to her left arm, and while Poppy Pomfrey had managed to save it, she would never regain use in it. Hagrid and his half brother Gwarp had died side by side, fighting the giants that had attacked the castle.
Then there was Professor Flitwick.
After the war was over, the little charms master was posthumously awarded the Order of Merlin First Class with diamonds for his actions that day in the Great Hall, holding off nearly thirty Death Eaters by himself, long enough to give the fifth years and below time to get back to the safety of their homerooms, where they were able to portkey out to safety.
One of the students he gave his life to save that day was Harry Potter. The same Harry Potter who would, five hours later, finally defeat and kill Voldemort on the grounds of Hogwarts in what many would describe years later, as one of the most ferocious duels seen since Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald fifty years earlier.
It was this Harry Potter, who now found himself sitting in an over stuffed chair in the Room of Requirement, staring at a conjured fireplace. He had been alone in this room for 3 weeks, only allowing Dobby to enter so he could be brought food. Food and Fire Whiskey. Harrys friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, along with Ron's sister Ginny, who had all somehow managed to survive, had tried to find him, and had even asked Dobby if he knew where Harry was. But Harry had forbidden Dobby from telling anyone his location, telling him to tell his friends that he would be back when he was ready. But until then, he wanted to be alone.
It was here in the Room of Requirement that Luna Lovegood finally found him. It had taken her hours to finally break the wards he had put on the room.
Luna was a small girl, only five foot two, with long dirty blond hair that fell down to her waist. She was a year younger than Harry, and was considered odd by nearly everyone in the school because she always talked about creatures that nobody could see, (or for that matter had ever seen) and because she always had a dreamy, spaced out look on her face. A look that definitely wasn't on her face now.
"Harry James Potter!" she yelled when she saw him, "Do you have any bloody idea how worried people have been? How long we've been looking for you?"
Harry, who didn't have his glasses on, looked up at the blurry image that was now standing right in front of him. "Luna?" he asked. "How did you get in here? I told Dobby not to tell anyone where I was."
"Dobby had nothing to do with it. I figured it out for myself." She stated. "Now answer my question!"
"Luna. I wanted…I want to be alone for now. I came in here so I could think, and I'd appreciate it if you left."
Whatever Harry Potter had been expecting, a right cross from Luna Lovegood wasn't it.
"Luna, what the bloody hell…."
"Do you have any idea how scared we've all been? Scared that something had happened to you? That you'd gone and done something stupid to yourself?"
"Luna, I didn't want to be around anyone. All those people that died in the battle…the last thing I wanted was to hear 'How are you doing Harry?' and 'You really showed You Know Who Harry.' I just can't deal with all that right now."
She went to hit him for a third time, but this time Harry caught her hand in mid swing. "Luna! What's gotten into you? I've never known you to yell at anyone, let alone hit them like this."
"That Luna died three weeks ago when she watched Neville blasted into pieces by that bitch Lestrange. First Daddy, then Neville. She…" but she couldn't continue as she fell down to her knees in front of him. Her whole body shaking as the emotional dam she had managed to hold up for the last four months finally shattered.
Harry did the only thing he could think of. He got down and put his arms around her and held her as she sobbed her heart out.
It was nearly an hour later when Harry noticed that Luna had finally cried herself out and had fallen asleep. Picking her up gently, he silently asked the room for a bed, and after placing he in it, and covering her over with a blanket, he sat back down in his chair and continued to stare at the fire.
When Harry woke, (he didn't even remember falling asleep) he saw that Luna was already up and moving around the room. "Good morning Harry." She said. "I'm sorry about falling apart on you last night." She added, not looking at him as she said this.
Luna… " Harry said walking over to her. She didn't look up at him. He lifted her chin up and looked into her eyes. "Luna, after all that's happened, not just to you but everyone else, you have nothing to apologize for. I did a lot of thinking last night, and I'm glad you found me. I needed some sense slapped into me. Thank you."
Luna went red, and Harry thought I think that the first time I've ever seen her blush. "I can't believe I did that." She said, burying her head in her hands and shaking it.
"Harry pulled her hands away and said to her. "Luna, you did what you needed to do. Nothing else would have gotten through. Especially with you doing it. It was the shock I think more than anything I think."
"What do you mean the shock?" she asked.
"Luna, in all the time I've known you, I never heard you even raise your voice, let alone smack someone…TWICE! And then try for a third."
The blush that had started to go away, came back instantly.
"But…" he pressed on, "it was what I needed to make me realize that sitting in here and trying to kill myself with alcohol wasn't going to change things and that I had to get my act together."
"Kill yourself? Harry you didn't really try to kill yourself did you?" Luna asked shocked.
"No, not consciously. I was just trying to forget I think. But it didn't work. No matter how much I drank, I couldn't blot out the memories of all those people that were killed." I don't know Luna, I just wish there was someplace I could go, or something I could do that would make me forget for I while. Just long enough to heal. You know what I mean?"
"Yes I do. I see them too, every night. Mostly it's Daddy and Neville, but it's also Colin, and Ginny's brother Fred…even Cho…and the others." She fell silent.
Harry pulled her into another hug as she started to cry again, this time silently for her lost friends.
As he was holding her, he noticed a disturbance forming in the corner of the room. Almost like someone disillusioned moving through the air. It started getting more and more solid till he could see it was an archway of some kind. With a shock he saw that it looked somewhat like the veil of death in the Ministry. But no, it wasn't that. The veil had that curtain thing in front and it looked to be made of stone. This one was bordered with wood, with green inlays resembling leaves all around the border. On top was a single word, "HOPE"
"Luna, something just appeared in here. Look." He said pointing to the archway.
Luna turned and looked at the archway. "HOPE?" she asked. "I wonder where it goes?"
"I have no idea Luna, and why would it appear now? Unless….."
"Unless what Harry?"
"Luna, what were you just thinking about, just before I told you about it appearing?"
"I was thinking about what you said before. I was wishing there was someplace I could go to forget all about the last year, and everything that's happened."
"I was too." Harry said, lost in thought. "I think…I think the room made it to give us what we wanted…someplace we could go to forget…" then looking at her asked, "Someplace that would give us hope for the future?"
"It's possible." Luna replied. "This is the Room of Requirement after all, and maybe what we require, is someplace we can to where nobody knows us, and where we'll be able to fully come to terms with all that's happened to us."
"Do you think we should go through?" Harry asked, "I mean, it could go anywhere. It could even kill us."
Luna look thoughtful for a moment, and then shook her head. "No, I doubt it would kill us. I know that as bad as I feel right now, I don't want to die, and I don't think you want to either." Then looking at him asked, "Or do you?"
Harry shook his head. "No, I don't. I wouldn't give up like that. It would be like pissing on the grave of everyone who gave their lives to help beat Voldemort." Then, still staring at the archway he added. "I'm going to try Luna." He turned and looked at her. "I want you to go back. Tell the others what happened and what I did. I don't want you to go with me…just in case we're wrong, alright?"
"Harry, I won't let you go alone." Luna replied. "What if something does happen to you and you need help? What if…"
"Luna. I'm willing to risk my life, but I won't let you risk yours. Besides," he added after a moment. "someone has to tell everyone to stop wasting their time looking for me, and to tell them that I'll be back when I'm able."
Luna started to object but Harry gently put his hand up and covered her mouth. "Please Luna. I think this is something I have to do."
Luna didn't say anything, just simply nodded, tears silently falling down her cheeks. Harry leaned towards her, and taking her head in his hands, kissed her on the forehead. "Thank you Luna." Then, turning, walked towards the archway. He stopped in front for a moment, and then closing his eyes, he walked through.
Luna watched him disappear through the arch. There was a soft sucking sound as he passed through, and then silence. She continued to stare at it for a little while longer, before screaming "NO!" and ran towards the archway, passing through it with the same sucking sound.
Silence returned to the Room of Requirement, a silence that was broken moments later by a soft *CRACK* A small, strange looking house elf stood there, strange looking because he was wearing a knitted hat, a maroon sweater with a big gold "R" on it and different colored socks. He stared at the archway for a moment, a sad look on his face, before saying softly. "Good luck Harry Potter Sir, and Miss Loony. May yous finds what yous looking for." Then with a last glance at the archway, he disappeared.