Warning: Detailed sex scenes.
It was the day after the death of Voldemort along with a lot of his death eaters, not all the death eaters were killed or captures, some escaped. The people that did fight in the battle of Hogwarts either went home when it finished or stayed in the castle. The ones that lost loved ones stayed until arrangements could be made. So the castle even though destroyed was still full of people, some cheerful, some just glad it was all over, others looking lost and alone. Some of the staff had started to repair the great hall, mainly fixed the doors and the walls, they knew they needed more time to make it weather proof, for now they just needed it fixed enough so everyone could eat.
There were students that professor McGonagall was helping as their parents had been killed in the fighting. Some parents yelled at her for allowing the students to fight with the adults, that's when Harry stepped beside her.
'They chose to fight, professor McGonagall gave every one of age the choice to stay or leave, some left, some wanted to do the right thing, so they stayed.'
After a few apologetic looks, no one said a thing after that to Minerva McGonagall. No one was stupid enough to have a go at their hero of the battle, who willingly sacrificed himself to bring an end to all their suffering, their hero and their saviour.
'Thank you Harry, still very gallant of you, but U can speak for myself you know,' she gave Harry a smile.
'I know you can professor, but you have enough to deal with right now. You do not need grieving parents having a go at you for something that was not your fault. I didn't want anyone to stay and fight, you know that, but like you, I had no say, they were going to do it anyway.'
'Yes, they were, but I think everyone realised it was now or never. We all knew this fight was coming Harry, we just didn't know when. Albus said that to me not long before he died.'
'He said the same to me professor. I need to ask you something, I was hoping that you would allow me to stay here and help with the repairs to the castle and grounds. I love this place, always have and I hate seeing all the damage. I never wanted to bring this upon the school.'
'I know you didn't, but if you think about it, it wasn't you, it was Voldemort that brought that about. Now as for what you asked, you can if you wish, but I would have thought you would want to have some peace and quiet after everything.'
'Even working here it'll still be quiet after the last few years. My mind isn't ready to process the fact that it's over, that he really is gone. So I'm still on edge at the moment, too much is going through my mind, it doesn't want to close down just yet.'
'Yes, I think for a lot of people it will be like that, they won't believe or realise it is truly over until they see our world moving on into a peaceful world where there is no more war.'
'I definitely understand that, but you look tired professor.'
'I am, but there is still too much to do before I can rest, I will later Harry. I have to work some details out with Kingsley regarding the students that lost their parents.'
'Please tell me they won't have to go to any muggle relative or muggle orphanage.'
'Until I speak with Kingsley, I'm not sure what is going to happen. But if they did go to muggle relatives, at least they are with family.'
Harry snorted, 'Sometimes that's worse than living on the street. I would have preferred to live in the shrieking shake or the forbidden forest than put up with what I had to,' Harry took a calming breath because he realised he didn't have to go back there again, he never had to see them, 'Anyway, have you seen Hermione or Ron anywhere?'
'No, not for a while, but not so fast Harry, tell me what you mean by that?'
'It's nothing, they just didn't treat me very well. I have to go find Ron and Hermione, talk to you later professor,' and before Minerva could say any more, Harry walked away.
Harry looked around, it took a while, but he did find his friends, 'Hey, been looking for you two.'
'I've been trying to help dad, he can't get mum to move so we can take…Fred,' Ron never finished his sentence, 'You should get your bag ready to go.'
'I'm not going to the Burrow Ron, I'm staying here to help with the repairs. I just spoke with McGonagall about that.'
'Don't you want to rest a while Harry?'
'I'll rest here Hermione, but I need to be here, let me explain,' Harry ran his fingers through his hair, 'See, you know I love this place and that I called it my first real home, but everything to do with Voldemort, all he did to me, most of that either happened here or was connected to here. I don't want that to affect my feelings for the place. So while I'm here I'm going to go to all the places I had anything to do with him, starting with the forbidden forest. My mind won't let me process the fact that's he's finally gone and I keep thinking about when he might try to kill me next. It's hard to live with that, so I need to get my mind and heart to start believing it.'
'I understand Harry and I don't know how you've been handling that for so long, I don't think I could have,' Hermione hugged Harry, 'We'll visit and you will, won't you? I don't think I could go to long without seeing you?'
'I feel the same Hermione, you have been with me from the beginning,' Harry turned to Ron, 'Just like you and all those months away with just the three of us. It's going to seem strange not being together, but also, you two need some time alone, you just got together after all the years you've liked each other, so now is the time to get to know one another as a couple and not as friends.'
'Thanks mate, but we still want to spend time with you too.'
'You will Ron, but we can at least take our time now. Another thing, but please don't tell your mum this, but I love your mum, you know that, but I also know she will try and treat me or us like kids and I couldn't handle that anymore. I like doing what I want and when I want.'
'I get that Harry, yeah, that's how mum will be, especially now. I should get back to dad though.'
Harry hugged Ron, 'Let me know when the funeral is.'
'See you in a few days Harry,' Hermione hugged Harry as well.
'Yep, I'll be there and since there's no enchantments, you can come visit anytime,' Harry watched as his two best friends left, then headed outside into the sunlit grounds, 'Yes, I still love this place and I don't want memories of Voldemort to spoil that for me.'
'Why would he do that Harry, especially now he's gone?'
'Hello again professor, didn't see you,' Harry faced McGonagall, 'Everything that has happened to me over the years, all the pain he put me through, most happened here or is connected to here, so I don't want that to be my memory of this place when I do finally leave. I want to leave with a peaceful feeling when I think of this place.'
'I understand Harry, but I came to find you to tell you that I found a memory in the pensieve. Hermione and Ron told me that Severus gave it to you before he died, but they could not tell me what it contained. I took it out and it's in my office whenever you want to get it.'
'Thanks, as to what it contains, first, why didn't you or Dumbledore ever tell me my mother was good friends with Snape?'
'Mainly because of the way he treated you Harry. I could never work out why he did that though.'
'He was in love with her and she married my father, I look like my father.'
'Oh now that makes sense, a lot of sense. If I knew that or anything else I would have told you. I know you wanted information on your parents, but they were private people, even at order meetings, they only discussed business, never anything personal. I can tell you this though, they did bring you a few times to meetings and I got to hold you as a baby.'
Harry chuckled, 'Not something I was expecting to hear professor. But about the memory, you heard me tell Voldemort his horcruxes were gone, right?'
'Yes, I heard and I do know what a horcrux is Harry,' Minerva's voice went hard, 'You said horcruxes, as in plural, so how many did he make?'
'Seven, but in the memory Dumbledore was telling Snape about the sixth one, the snake was the seventh, I only knew of six before I saw that. Dumbledore told Snape so he could tell me at the right time, but he never got the chance. So here it is professor, why he thought I was dead, and I wasn't. Why I saw Mr. Weasley get attacked that time, why I can speak parseltongue, why I knew he was going to turn up last night, have you worked it out yet professor?'
Minerva McGonagall couldn't hide her shock, then she looked sadly at Harry, she put her hand on his shoulder.
'You were the sixth and it must have happened when he killed your parents, when he tried to kill you.'
'Got it first go professor, he had been part of me for seventeen years. First it made me sick thinking about him being part of me, that was after the shock wore off, now I'm just angry. What if because of that I could turn out like him, or evil in any sense?'
'Harry one thing I do know about you is you have a very kind and loving nature. Look what you did in the room of requirement. Mr. Malfoy, Mr. Crabbe and Mr. Goyle went in there to stop you, but when they set the fiend fyre you saved Mr. Malfoy, you're friends saved Mr. Goyle. That is not an act of an evil, dark or bad person, that is the act of a good person, that just happened to have bad or evil things have happened to.'
Harry chuckled at the memory his professor just brought back, 'Sirius said something very similar to me last time I was at Grimmauld Place with him. You're not a bad person Harry, you're a good person that bad things have happened to.'
'It is true, I would not lie to you, you are a very good person, kind, caring and protective, you even protected an old professor,' she smiled.
'I normally wouldn't say this, but after everything all of us have been through, I think people should say what they feel in case they never get the chance. You will find professor that I will do anything for you, all you'd have to do is ask. Dumbledore might have been the one I spoke to, who showed me everything, guided me, taught me what I needed to defeat Voldemort. But you were always there in the background and I just knew if I needed something, help in any way, you would, without hesitation. Like when I turned up, you instantly got things moving, even though you knew there was a chance you could die, or people you cared about could die. That showed me I was right, you would be there if I need it and you trusted me, without any hesitation.'
'Yes that's very true, because I do care for you, but you amaze me with your insight, you can read people very well, you will make an excellent auror one day Harry. Everything you have been through, you can still use that good heart of yours in the right way, proves how good you are.'
Harry smiled up at his old professor, 'Thanks and I do still want to be an auror, but not for a while. After the last seven years, I just want to do nothing in regards to dark witches and wizards, I've had enough of that, at least for a while. But I did want to ask you something, in regards to staying here for a while. Do you know if anyone else wants to stay and help?'
'I've had a couple of students ask if they could stay, some because they have nowhere to go, others like you, want to help.'
'It's just that unless it's Neville, Seamus or Dean, I was hoping to stay in my dorm room alone. My nightmares, as I'm sure you remember how bad they get, they might return. I'm hoping now he's gone, they won't, but I'm not counting on it. Neville and the others are used to them, well, they had no choice as we shared a room for so long.'
'That should not be a problem, but if you do have them, go see Madame Pomfrey, she will help with that.'
'I know she can, but I really don't want to get dependant on potions. If they get too bad I will, but I'm hoping my mind will realise it's over and just let me sleep. One more thing though, you said my parents were private, so they never spoke about anything. Because the few memories I have seen and things Sirius and Remus told me, that just doesn't sound like them.'
'I don't know what to tell you Harry, unless they were more private at meetings. We knew we had a leak somewhere, maybe that's all it was. They didn't want to say anything personal in case it was reported back to Voldemort and it could have been something he could use.'
'Sounds plausible professor, I just wish I knew. Anyway, I should let you go, I'm sure you have a lot to do. Can you let me know when you're starting the repairs?'
'I will, now rest and if you want to eat, you know the way to the kitchens and of course your house elf is still here.'
'I will, but I'm fine at the moment. I'm just enjoying the peace and quiet.'
'You deserve it Harry, I'll see you later,' Minerva patted Harry on the shoulder then walked back into the castle.
Harry walked slowly towards the forbidden forest and stared at all the trees. He knew he wanted to confront everything to do with Voldemort, but not yet, he wanted some time to himself, something he really never had before.