Chapter one

After speaking with Albus Dumbledore's portrait, Harry, Ron and Hermione decided to head back down to the great hall to be with the Weasley family. Harry also wanted to sit with Remus and Tonks for a while. So as the three of them entered the Great Hall, Ron and Hermione headed over to all the red heads, as Harry headed over to the bodies of Remus and Tonks.

'I'm so sorry,' Harry said softly as he put his hands to both of them, 'Why didn't you stay away, now Teddy has no parents,' Harry could feel the tears, but he never moved or wiped any of the tears away. He knew he sat there for a long time, but he couldn't say how long it was. He was exhausted, but he also knew he couldn't sleep, not yet. His mind and body was still to tense and alert to even try to sleep yet.

'Harry,' Kingsley said as he knelt down next to him, 'we were wondering where you were, you need to be careful, there could still be some death eaters hiding in the castle somewhere. We've got people searching, just in case.'

'Right now I really couldn't care Kingsley. I don't think I can feel anything but numb.' Harry kept staring at Remus, 'I wish they never turned up, they should have thought of their son,' Harry brushed Remus' hair back, then did the same to Tonks, 'When will they be taken away?'

'Very soon Harry, I've been contacting people I trust. But until the ministry is back under honest people, we're going to keep them here. Poppy has a room in the hospital wing we can use until the funerals.'

'Has Mrs. Tonks been notified?'

'Yes, I told her not long ago. She did ask to speak with you when you get a chance, it's to do with Teddy.'

'Yeah, Remus told me I'm Teddy's godfather,' Harry never took his eyes from his father's friend or his wife, 'They shouldn't have turned up, they should have thought about Teddy. No one should have turned up.'

'Harry, you can't start feeling guilty about all this. We all knew this fight was coming and we all wanted it finished.'

'You don't understand Kingsley, he wouldn't have been able to die. All the fighting was for nothing, not until I found out something.'

'You mentioned horcruxes Harry, I do know what they are.'

'Yeah, he made seven. But it could have all been for nothing until luck told me the last bit of information I needed to know.'

'You can explain later Harry, you need rest and by the looks of it, healing. You have a lot of cuts and bruises over you, not to mention a lot of blood. He really did a number on you, didn't he?'

Harry shrugged, 'I'm a bit sore, but I'm okay. There's a lot more people that need healers more than me.'

'Harry, have you seen Ron?' Hermione asked as she sat next to him.

'I thought he was with his family.'

'He was for a while, but he couldn't take the look on George's face anymore, said he needed some air, but I can't find him.'

'Hang on,' Harry rummaged around in his pouch and pulled out the map, 'I never close it,' Harry and Hermione looked all over the map, 'Look, Remus and Tonks' names are still on it, so is Fred's,' Harry sighed wearily but kept looking, 'There, Ron's outside, just near Hagrid's hut.'

'Will you come with me?'

'Yeah, I'll come,' Harry gently touched Remus and Tonks again, kissed them both on the head, then stood up.

'I'll come with you to, just to make sure there's no one around,' Kingsley said.

Harry nodded, took Hermione's hand and the three of them headed out the busted doors of the castle. They made their way slowly down the path to Hagrid's hug, but kept alert as they looked around.

'He should be near the front somewhere, but I can't see him,' Harry said as they got closer, 'Oh god,' Harry raced over to Ron who was lying on the ground.

Hermione also ran over and knelt down next to Ron, 'Is he alright?'

Kingsley knelt down and started checking Ron, then looked at Harry shaking his head.

'Ron,' Harry said softly as he bent over and put his head on Ron's chest, then felt Hermione fall over the both of them. Harry was crying for the loss of his friend, Hermione was crying for the loss of her love.

'I'll go let the Weasley's know,' Kingsley said sadly as he got up and walked away.

'Ron, please, not after all this,' Hermione said as she looked at Ron, gently touching his face. Harry kept looking between Hermione and Ron as tears fell down his face and like before, he never wiped them away.

'No, no, no Ronnie,' Molly screamed as she raced down and fell next to her son.

Harry and Hermione got up to give the family room, but kept their arms around each other as they looked down at Ron's dead body, listening to Mrs. Weasley crying over the loss of another son. Mr. Weasley sat with his wife, then the rest of the Weasley's all sat around Ron as well.

No one moved for the longest time, until Kingsley and Minerva McGonagall stepped over to them. Kingsley spoke quietly to Arthur Weasley, who nodded, then pulled his wife of their son's body, then Kingsley waved his wand and floated Ron back up to the castle with all the Weasley's following. Harry kept a tight hold of Hermione as they walked behind the others, but they never went into the Great Hall, Harry took Hermione straight up to the hospital wing because he could feel how badly she was shaking. As soon as they stepped inside, Madame Pomfrey came over to them, taking them both to a spare couple of beds at the end of the ward. She instantly gave Hermione a calming draft, then a sleeping potion.

'What happened Harry?'

'We…we found Ron,' Harry kept wiping tears from his face, 'he's dead.'

'Sit down, I need to look at you as well,' she moved Harry to the bed next to a sleeping Hermione, then started to move her wand over Harry. 'You'll need some potions as well, but the blood on your shoulder, it seems like a lot.'

'It's where he hit me with the killing curse, it hasn't stopped bleeding.' Harry never took his eyes off Hermione even when Madame Pomfrey pulled Harry's ripped shirt aside.

'That will need a few potions Harry, being dark magic, it's not easily healed, but it will scar, like your other one.' she said but all Harry did was shrug, 'I'm sorry about Ron, I'll go get you some potions.' she said sadly before walking away.

Harry got up and sat beside Hermione, taking her hand, never taking his eyes off her. He felt the matron put the potion into his hands, then another, he ended up drinking four potions, but no once did he look away from his friend.

'Why don't you lay down Harry, you've had a big shock, you need to rest and Hermione won't wake till later today.'

'Would you mind if I pushed the bed closer so I can keep hold of her hand?'

'Normally I wouldn't let you do that, but now I don't mind,' she patted Harry's shoulder then walked off to check her other patience.

Harry got up and pushed the bed closer, lay down, took Hermione's hand again and ended up falling asleep within minutes.

Minerva McGonagall stepped into the hospital wing, 'How are they Poppy?'

'I expect you are talking about Harry and Hermione. Well Hermione was in shock, so I gave her a couple of potions. Harry has a lot of cuts and bruises over him, but he never wanted to leave Hermione. So I let him push the bed closer. He has another scar Minerva, on his shoulder. He told me you know who hit him with the killing curse.'

'I suspected he did when he said Harry was dead. I can understand why he survived as a baby, Albus explained about the blood magic and his mother's sacrifice, but how did he survive again?'

'I think that would be a question for Harry. But he told me about Ron, how are the Weasley's?'

'Molly is devastated, Arthur is trying to hold it together for his family. George looks lost, but won't leave Fred. Kingsley told me that Harry's feeling guilty about everyone, but he also said something about all the fighting being for nothing until luck gave him the last bit of information.'

'Well, we did hear him say horcruxes, so maybe there was another one. You'll have to speak with Harry when he wakes. I know the loss of Ron will be hard on both of them, but what Harry has been through, do you think he will be alright, emotionally I mean?'

'I don't know Poppy, we'll just have to keep an eye on him. But one thing though, I'm still not sure my mind is accepting that his dead, that it is finally over, after all these years. I don't think Harry will believe it for a while either.' Minerva stared down at Harry, 'He looks like his aged doesn't he?'

'Yes he does, I noticed that myself, I know I haven't seen him in almost a year, but I would swear by looking at him that it's more like ten years.'

'I'll let you get back to your patience, if you need anything, let me know.'

'Maybe a little rest would be nice, but like you, we both have a lot to do before that can happen,' the matron nodded then went back to checking her patience.

Minerva McGonagall walked slowly down the corridors until she came to the gargoyle lying on its side. She waved her wand at it so it floated back to his rightful position before she stepped onto the spiral staircase. The moment she stepped into the office, she looked around to see if there was any damage.

'Minerva, you look tired,' Albus Dumbledore said from his portrait.

'Yes Albus, I am, but I have no time to rest yet. I just came up here to see if there is any damage, but it looks like this part of the castle survived fairly well.'

'Can you tell me how many died Minerva. I spoke with Harry, Ron and Hermione a few hours ago, but we never went into that.'

'Around fifty, but Harry and Hermione just found Ron. He's body was down near Hagrid's hut. Kingsley said Hermione told Harry that Ron needed some air because he couldn't take the look on George's face, Fred was one of the fifty, now Ron. I don't know how the Weasley's will survive the loss of two members of their family. I saw Harry sitting with Remus and Nymphadora's bodies. He looks so much older Albus, I'm worried about him.'

'I can believe that Minerva, with what Harry has been through. Can you keep me updated on how he is going?'

'Of course,' Minerva looked around the office then spotted the pensieve, 'Albus, do you know who has been using this?'

'No, someone might have when I was not in my portrait.'

'I might take a look at it later, that way I can tell who owns it.'

'Yes, might be wise, but I will tell you this Minerva, Severus was really on our side. I knew I was dying so I asked him to kill me at the right time. He never wanted to, but I wanted a little dignity in my death. So that night on the astronomy tower, when I called to Severus, it was to let him know it was time. He had to keep up his pretence of being a death eater when he hasn't been since the night Tom Riddle killed Lily Potter.'

'I knew they were friends as students, but why would that make Severus stop being a death eater?'

'Severus was in love with Lily Minerva, he had been his whole life. So I think you realise now why Severus used to treat Harry so badly.'

'He looks like James,' Minerva sighed, 'Yes, it does make sense. Well I'll let Kingsley know so he can have Severus's name cleared. I have no idea where he is or even if he's alive. But I should get back down to the Great Hall, see if there is anything I can do.' Minerva McGonagall walked back through the damaged castle until she came to the Great Hall. She looked around, realising how long it might take to repair the old castle and knew it would not be open again for a long time.