Chapter 1: Healing

Harry, Ron, and Hermione wearily descended the spiral staircase from the headmaster's office. Only moments earlier, Harry had discussed the Hallows with the portrait of Albus Dumbledore and used the elder wand to mend his phoenix feather wand. He had felt warmth and familiarity at holding the phoenix wand in his hand again. Their renewed connection had been soothing to his battered spirit. He had also experienced a brief sensation of dizziness and used the claw-footed desk to steady himself. Ron and Hermione had expressed concerns but Harry had said that he was just tired and needed some rest.

The trio now carefully picked their way along the quiet and deserted corridors littered with pieces of statues, stones from walls, and all manner of broken window glass. There were many odd smells of burned and broken objects. They passed through a familiar secret passageway on their way to Gryffindor tower and met up with Ginny who was looking for Ron. She too was exhausted. Her hair was tangled and matted. She sported cuts and bruises on her face and hands like the rest of them. They all laboriously climbed several more staircases toward the Gryffindor common room.

Along the way, Ginny told Ron that the other Weasley family members had gone home to the Burrow. They would return to Hogwarts tomorrow for the body of Fred. The family planned to bury him beneath the large oak tree in the meadow behind the Burrow. She also said that those who were not seriously injured were slowly leaving the Great Hall for their homes. Those with serious and life threatening injuries were now under the care of healers at St Mungo's and the Hogwarts hospital wing.

The four of them climbed the last flight of stairs and reached the portrait hole leading into Gryffindor tower. Harry came to an abrupt stop and the expression on his face became blank and distant. His eyes rolled upwards as he swayed and started to collapse. Ginny gasped as Ron quickly took hold of Harry and lowered him, now unconscious, to the floor.

Hermione took out her wand and with a strained effort said, "Expecto Patronum!" The silvery otter patronus appeared and floated in the air before her. "Madam Pomfrey, Harry is unconscious and needs help. Please come quickly."

The vaporous otter sped away in a blur. Feeling faint, Hermione took hold of Ron's waist for support and breathed in quick short breaths. A moment later, there was a loud pop and Madam Pomfrey appeared. She carried an ancient looking wooden box tucked securely under her arm. The box, covered with runes and ancient writing, hung from her shoulder by an engraved leather strap. She quickly knelt down next to Harry and began passing her wand over the length of his body. She did this several times while the concerned faces of Ron, Hermione and Ginny looked on without a word. A few minutes later, Madam Pomfrey stood and pointed her wand at Harry. "Locomotor Potter!" Harry, still unconscious, levitated a short distance above the floor looking as though he was lying on an invisible stretcher. She carefully guided him through the stone entrance into Gryffindor tower with Ron, Hermione, and Ginny following her. They passed through the deserted common room and into a passageway that led to the room normally occupied by the Gryffindor head boy.

As Madam Pomfrey guided Harry into the room she said, "The three of you please remain at the door." Ron, Hermione, and Ginny stood at the door and watched as Madam Pomfrey laid Harry on the bed. Ron heard Ginny whisper, "Please let him be okay. After all we've been through, please let him be okay." Ron put one arm around his sister and the other around Hermione as they silently watched feeling very helpless.

For some very long minutes, Madam Pomfrey tended to Harry's injuries. Then, reaching into the ancient box under her arm, she withdrew a small crystal bottle containing a red colored liquid. Pointing her wand at Harry she said, "Rennervate!" A moment later, Harry blinked his eyes.

In a gentle voice she said, "Your friends are safe Mister Potter. The potion I am giving you will help you sleep." With a vacant gaze, Harry nodded wearily. She uncorked the bottle and carefully tipped a few drops of the potion into his mouth. Then she placed her hand on his forehead. "Hora Somni!" Harry's eyes slowly closed and he fell into a restful sleep.

Madam Pomfrey watched Harry for a moment longer. Satisfied, she turned to leave but paused and looked back at Harry sleeping soundly on the bed. She whispered, "Thank you Mister Potter for all you have done for Hogwarts." She glanced at the walls and ceiling of the room. "Now it is time for Hogwarts to do something for you." Then she continued to walk toward the door.

Ron, Hermione, and Ginny stepped back as Madam Pomfrey came out of the room and closed the door. She tapped the door lightly with her wand and muttered a complicated spell barely above a whisper. The lock on the door clicked.

As Madam Pomfrey turned and faced them, Hermione said in a pleading voice, "Madam Pomfrey, Harry trusts and regards us as his family. Please, tell us everything about his condition."

She saw genuine concern in their faces. "He is weak and exhausted, nothing more. The level of exhaustion is great and his body's natural self-protections have come into effect. He must have undisturbed sleep until the potion I administered completes its job."

"Madam Pomfrey," said Ginny, "how long will Harry sleep?"

"Twenty-four hours. His life and magical energies are at very low levels. I don't know how he was able to greet people for all that time in the Great Hall. The potion will help mend his body and sleep will restore his spirit."

In a soft and reverent tone, Ron said, "Akasha."

"Quite right," said Madam Pomfrey, "the symbiosis of life energy and magical energy in all living things. It comes from the space in which everything exists. All living things absorb and store Akasha a little at a time. Witches and wizards, with practice, are able to call it forth when casting a spell. The stronger the emotion, the more powerful is the spell's affect and the more it depletes the one casting it. This is why a powerful spell, like a patronus charm, can leave the witch or wizard fatigued or short of breath."

"Why can't muggles use Akasha?" queried Hermione.

"They can and do to a degree. However, for muggles, it requires a high level of focus and concentration. What they call electricity is a good example. It is low-level magic but useful none-the-less. Pure magic, like that performed by a witch or wizard, can take a lifetime for a muggle to learn. It is a rare accomplishment among muggles, owing mostly to doubt, but it has occurred."

Seeing the questioning expression on Hermione's face she said, "Someone who is born with an enhanced perception for Akasha is more likely to develop into a witch or wizard. During the first few years of life, the human spirit is most open and may achieve an unconscious awareness of Akasha. Since there is little doubt in the mind at that age, awareness can grow allowing Akasha to become a part of their being."

Hermione nodded thoughtfully. After a short pause Madam Pomfrey said, "Now, will you all please come with me."

With a defiant expression Ginny said, "I want to stay with Harry."

"Yes, at the proper time," said Madam Pomfrey. "First, there is something important for each of you to do."

Madam Pomfrey ushered them into a deserted dormitory room and made them lie down on separate beds. She passed her wand over each in turn, casting healing charms and tending to their injuries.

Then, looking seriously at Ron and Hermione she said, "Each of you is in the same frightful state of exhaustion as Mister Potter." Looking at Ginny she said, "You have sustained injury from a powerful hex directed at you. While not life threatening, it has weakened you considerably. You all need extended rest and sleep."

Ginny abruptly sat up on the bed. "What? We can't do that now, there's so much to be done." Ron also sat up nodding in agreement.

Sternly, Madam Pomfrey said, "You will be helping in other more important ways while you sleep. You must take some time to rest and heal. Almost all of those who are still here at Hogwarts will be in the same sleeping state once I get 'round to them. You must properly regain strength before you can effectively help rebuild our magical world. This is the wish of headmistress McGonagall. She is depending on each of you."

This disarmed Ginny, she trusted McGonagall. They each knew she would be doing not only what was best for them but also best for Hogwarts. Silently, both Ron and Hermione welcomed these words. They were so very tired and really wanted to sleep.

Resigned to the fact they had little chance of changing the healer's mind, Hermione said, "We want to be awake when Harry wakes up. We promised to be with him until the end."

Madam Pomfrey replied, "Yes, that can be done. Twenty-three hours sleep for you all."

Ron and Hermione looked at each other and their tired eyes said, "Sleep well" to each other. Ron lay down on his bed.

Ginny, whose face was still protesting this unexpected turn of events, folded her arms over her chest. She looked at Ron and Hermione with a scowl.

In a subdued and apologetic tone, Hermione said, "Ginny, its better this way. We'll see him soon."

Ginny huffed and then reluctantly reclined on her bed.

"Thank you for understanding Madam Pomfrey," said Hermione in a quiet tone.

Madam Pomfrey said, "Should anything potentially serious occur at the castle while you sleep, the spell will break and you will awake. No one, including the house elves, will be able to enter this room so you will be safe. When you wake, you are free to go."

They each nodded acknowledgment of her instructions.

To each in turn, Madam Pomfrey administered the red potion and placed her hand on their forehead saying, "Hora Somni!" One by one, their eyes closed and they fell into peaceful sleep. After seeing them all safely asleep, Madam Pomfrey pointed her wand at the door. "Alohomora!" The door swung open and she stepped out of the room. The door clicked shut and the only sound within the room was their gentle breathing.

It was a tingling sensation and a sense of connectedness that he had not previously experienced. The sensation was slowly fading away, like the memory of a dream after you wake. If only he could hold onto the moment for a little while longer. He felt so alive and thought how easy it would be to go out and move a mountain. Thoughts were clear, crisp, and vivid like a new spring day. Images of the people and places he loved washed effortlessly through his mind and a warm feeling of contentment filled him.

As his eyes slowly opened, it all came back. About how Madam Pomfrey had tended to each of them and then made them all sleep. He felt grateful for her insistence on restful sleep. The last few days had taken a great toll. He thought certain Hermione would agree. He turned his head to the left and saw Ginny still asleep. Turning to the right, he saw Hermione sleeping but she was beginning to stir.

Not taking his eyes off her, he got up and moved to sit on the bed next to her as she began to wake. She stretched and a pleasant look of satisfaction shown on her face. Her eyes opened and her gaze fixed on him.

He softly said, "Mornin', sleeping beauty."

She smiled back at him and whispered, "Hello prince charming," as she twisted a lock of his hair with her finger.

She was quiet and he recognized the familiar thoughtful expression growing on her face. "What is it?"

In a quiet voice she said, "I had the most unusual dream, it was so real. Hogwarts was somehow draining me of the hurt, stress, and aggressive emotions from the battles we fought. It seemed to be using them to strengthen and fortify itself."

"Yeah," whispered Ron somewhat enthusiastically. "I had a dream like that too. It reminded me of what you said about the Sword of Gryffindor taking in that which gives it strength."

She smiled. "It felt like when Ollivander placed my wand into my hand for the first time. When it chose me, the wand gave my arm a warm tingly feeling. But this feeling goes all the way down to my toes."

Ron smiled and nodded. "In my dream, I saw Mum and Dad, when they were young and attending Hogwarts. I saw my Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles too." With a thoughtful expression he said, "I never knew how much my ancestors did for Hogwarts. I feel very proud to be a Weasley and part of the magic in this castle."

"Yes," her face still looking thoughtful, "like Hogwarts has chosen us."

"The castle does feel like that right now, in spite of all the destruction. I wonder what other magic goes on around here that we don't know about."

"Probably a lot. Remember at the end of our first year? Dumbledore awarded you fifty points for the chess game you played. But he wasn't at the castle and the three of us were the only ones in that room. So how did he know?"

After a short pause, she said, "The feeling is gone now. I wish it could have continued on a bit more. It was so soothing."

"Maybe something like it can." He slipped his arm around her and their lips touched.

After a brief moment, they both heard the sound of a giggle. Their eyes abruptly opened and their lips parted. They slowly turned their heads toward the sound. Ginny was lying on her bed, arm propping up her head, and beaming at them. In a bubbly voice she said, "Good morr...ning. That was so sweet."

Ron sighed and turning back to Hermione. "She gets that from George." Ron and Hermione smiled. Focused on each other, they had forgotten that Ginny was in the room with them.

Ginny quickly sat upright with an anxious expression. "Harry! What time is it?"

Hermione took her wand from the night table and sat up. Holding her hand open, she placed the wand on her palm. "Ostendere tempus!" The wand spun around and then stopped. It pointed in a single direction and slowly rotated counter-clockwise along its length.

"It's just after ten in the morning. Madam Pomfrey was true to her word with us. Harry will wake in just under an hour. Let's go."

They got up to leave, each pocketing their wand. A realization came to Hermione. She paused, looked at Ron, and then Ginny. "Look, our clothes are clean. And ... umm ... do you feel like you've ... taken a shower?"

Ron and Ginny, each with a surprised look on their faces, nodded their heads in astonishment.

Descending the dormitory stairs, they slowed and paused on the threshold leading into the Gryffindor common room. There were a few others present in the mostly empty room. Ron turned and looked at Ginny for a long moment. He recalled what he had felt, only moments earlier, when Hermione awoke. He thought about his baby sister and realized how much she had grown into a determined young woman. She wanted to be with Harry and he knew Harry wanted to be with her. Moreover, deep down, there was no one he trusted more with his sister than Harry.

Ginny noticed his stare. "What is it?" Hermione also looked at him.

"I think just you should be in the room when Harry wakes up." Hermione beamed and enthusiastically nodded her approval.

"Really? ... Does this mean you're okay with Harry and me?"

Ron nodded.

Ginny stepped forward, hugged her brother, and then kissed him lightly on the cheek. Turning to leave, she made eye contact with Hermione who smiled at her with a little squeak. Ginny hastily moved into the passageway that led to the room where Harry was sleeping and disappeared from sight.

After Ginny was gone, Hermione said, "That was beautiful Ron. Ginny really needed to hear your blessing on their relationship. She was very upset by what happened on Harry's birthday last year."

He looked toward the empty passageway. "Well, they need each other now, at least for a while. The way she looks at him, and the way Harry sometimes talks in his sleep."

He turned back to Hermione. "I heard him say Ginny's name a few times while we were on the run." Smiling he said, "I might have done something like that when I was boggled in the hospital wing."

Hermione put her arms around him. "Be sure to give Harry your blessing too. He especially, needs to hear it from you." Then they walked over and sat down together in a large chair by the fire to wait.

Ron said, "I hope Harry wakes up soon, I'm hungry." She rolled her eyes and giggled.

After a few minutes, Hermione saw Parvati Patil come into the room from the dormitories. Her face was mournful and her eyes were red and puffy.

"Ron, I'll be back in a few minutes." She stood and walked toward Parvati.

Ron watched as they embraced and gently rocked while Parvati cried on Hermione's shoulder. Parvati spoke quietly in what appeared to be broken and choked sentences. Tears soon fell from Hermione's eyes. After a few moments, Hermione quietly spoke and Parvati nodded. Then, wiping her eyes, Parvati disappeared through the portrait hole.

Wiping her eyes, Hermione sat down by Ron. He put his arm around her shoulder.

"Alice Tolipan was killed in the battle. We sh ... shared dormitory with her." She sighed. "We have so much healing ahead of us."

Ron gave her shoulder a squeeze and his eye got misty as he thought about Fred. They sat together in silence.

Looking around the common room, they saw a few other couples holding hands and talking softly to each other. After a few moments, Hermione turned to Ron, "I want to tell you more about my dream. It was so real and ... there was more than just Hogwarts in it ... I saw us too."

"There was something about us in my dream too." He glanced at one of the couples holding hands. Looking back at Hermione he said, "Let's go somewhere a bit more private. I expect it will be a while before Harry and Ginny show up." In a matter-of-fact voice he said, "We can meet up with them later."

"I thought you were hungry?"

In his most sincere voice he said, "I think talking to you is more important right now."

Her eyes brightened in suspicion. "Why Ron, you are full of surprises today."

He replied with an air of self-sacrifice, "Well ..."

With a raised eyebrow and half-smile she said, "I know your motives and what you're up to Ron Weasley."

The tips of his ears turned a little red. Then with a grin he said, "Are you saying my motives don't interest you?"

"I'm not saying I disagree with them," smiled Hermione, "but we're going to talk."

He stood and held out his hand to her. "Yeah ... er ... right ... umm ... come on then. How about that quiet alcove by the library?"

With a smile, she shook her head and then took hold of his hand. After helping her to stand, they left the common room through the portrait hole.

As Ginny walked toward the door of the room where Harry slept, a hollow voice inside her head recalled the words of Madam Pomfrey. "No one, not even house elves, will be able to enter until the prescribed time for rest is complete." It gave her an empty feeling knowing she would be unable to enter the room for a while yet. She stopped in front of the door facing it. In her longing to be with Harry, she placed her hand on the door. There was a soft click and a delighted expression came to her face as the door swung partway openh. She quietly slipped into the room and the door closed behind her with a click. What she saw astounded and gave her pause.

Harry was still asleep on the bed and there was a soft golden glow enveloping him. A number of jagged tendril-like fingers of blue, violet, and red colored light connected that golden aura around Harry to the walls and ceiling of the room. The silent tendrils danced randomly like lightning bolts all about and constantly shifted their connection with different places on the walls and ceiling. The tendrils sparkled and shimmered, seemingly alive with a soft magical energy. Cautiously, and with an uneasy feeling, she slowly advanced toward the place where Harry lay, her eyes constantly checking in all directions. She took great care that her presence did not disrupt the wondrous thing that was occurring or wake Harry from his sleep. She kept herself ready to back away immediately if something changed. But the colored tendrils of light dissolved in front of her as she advanced and then reformed behind her like water in the wake of a boat. Seeing this made her feel more at ease.

Reaching where Harry lay, and taking care not to touch him, she gently sat down on the edge of the bed next to him. Being close now, she could see that the golden glow was like a seamless lace veil conforming a short distance above his skin and clothing. It made no sound and it gently undulated as if being disturbed by a light breeze. Its delicate threads appeared to be of shimmering liquid gold. A pure white mist was under the web of that veil and intertwined within the golden lace. The veil seemed to be holding the mist in place. It expanded and contracted slightly with each breath Harry took and pulsed slightly, like a beating heart. She had never seen anything like this and gazed at the sight in silent awe.

Her gazed fell on his face. Only a few hints of the cuts and bruises were visible. She thought, "Madam Pomfrey's healing potion is working very well." Harry's right hand lay a few inches from where she sat. Something, she felt, was urging her to take his hand. Was it her desire to be close to him or something else? A bit of that uneasy feeling returned. Her eyes searched the soft dancing lights looking for some kind of an answer but nothing in what she saw helped. Finally, feeling that it was the right thing to do, she carefully scooped her right hand under Harry's hand and placed her left hand on top of his. His hand was very warm and she felt a slight tingle.

A few seconds later, she felt pain in her hand as Harry's hand closed its grip on hers. The grip of her hands also tightened and held Harry's hand firmly. Now unsure of her decision to take his hand, she resolutely sat very still. A muscle spasm moved up her arms to her shoulders and then spread over her chest and heart. It was difficult to breathe properly. She made no sound as her eyes squinted and eyebrows narrowed. Then as quickly as it had started, his tight grip faded away. Her muscles relaxed. Peace and contentment replaced her discomfort.

Still holding Harry's hand, she sat fully erect with her head tilted slightly back and her eyes closed. Her breathing became deep and regular. She felt somehow disconnected from her body and very dreamlike. Images filled the vision of her inner eye, fading one into the next, in quick succession. Mountains and an open field by a lake, four figures walking in the field toward a much smaller Hogwarts castle, founders casting ancient spells for protection and guidance, students coming and going for lessons, enemy attacks, rebuilding and fortifying, new ways of thinking and protecting magical people, the Weasley clan being honored as defenders of Hogwarts.

The visions changed and became more familiar. Helping Harry onto platform 9, Harry rescuing her in the chamber of secrets, fright as Harry battling the horntail, longing to be noticed by him in the D.A. meetings, their first kiss in the Gryffindor common room, her strength for Harry when Dumbledore was killed, her tears when Harry said he had to leave and not see her anymore, her unbearable sorrow seeing Fred dead, horror and despair at the sight of Hagrid carrying Harry's body, fear and dread as Harry and Voldemort circled each other.

The visions in her mind became a grayish white mist that spread out around her in every direction. A few large bubbles, like crystal balls, floated around her in the mist. She looked into each sphere as it passed before her. In one, she saw herself in Quidditch attire riding a broom. In another, she was wearing a dazzling white gown. There was a vision of a Ministry ceremony in her honor. In another, her arms held someone on a spring afternoon. There was one with a warm cozy home on a hill surrounded by fields and woods. In another, there was a child in her arms and a shadowed figure by her side.

The mist faded and she opened her eyes. The room was brighter now and the colored tendrils of light were gone. The golden lace that surrounded Harry, and now she noticed, also her, was fading. Tears came to her eyes and she blinked them away as the last of the happy tingling sensation faded. Harry stirred. She looked intently at his face and continued to hold his hand. His eyes fluttered and slowly opened as if trying to blink away a bright light.

His vision cleared and Ginny's face came into focus. He said in a quiet voice, "I must be in heaven again."

In a gentle voice she said, "How do you feel Harry?"

"Peaceful." He shifted his position with a slight grimace. "And a little stiff. How are you, Ron, and Hermione?"

"We're all okay, just some minor aches from the battle. You gave us all a bit of a fright though. Madam Pomfrey tended to you and said you were exhausted. She gave you a red colored potion. Then she cast a spell to make you sleep for twenty-four hours."

Her eyes narrowed a little as she pressed her lips together and frowned. "She made me sleep too."

His lips curled as he thought, "Doesn't Madam Pomfrey know that telling Ginny Weasley what to do when she thinks otherwise is a dangerous undertaking?"

Ginny said, "Do you remember anything from when you were asleep?"

With a distant look on his face, his vision now unfixed, he said, "I remember dreaming about Hogwarts, the founders, and the early days of the school. Of coming to the school and feeling like it was my home, becoming friends with Ron and Hermione, playing Quidditch, teaching the D.A. All during the dream, Hogwarts seemed to be saying thank you to me."

He looked quizzically at her. "Does that make any sense?"

"Yes, it does. I had a similar dream, it was so real."

Looking away with a distant expression he said, "Yeah. I can't find words to describe the happy feelings during the parts of the dream that had Ron, Hermione, and you in them." Smiling at her he said, "I saw the first time we kissed in the common room."

"That was a happy part of my dream too Harry."

He sat up and took each of her hands. Looking into her eyes he said, "Ginny ... I am so very sorry that I hurt you. Please, believe me when I say, that of all the things I've ever had to do, breaking up with you was the most difficult. I just needed to keep you safe while I did what Dumbledore had asked of me. I was so afraid I might lose you forever. I desperately hope you can find it in your heart to forgive and trust me again."

Tears came to her eyes and trickled down her cheeks as she softly said, "Oh Harry, no forgiveness is necessary, it's so clear to me now. I was overjoyed when we started seeing each other. It hurt when you broke up with me and I know it hurt you too. After you'd gone, I sometimes got angry thinking about being left behind. Eventually, I realized how much jeopardy an underage witch would have been to your mission. Please forgive me."

"I'm sorry I couldn't tell you more to help you understand."

"Just promise me that I can stand with you if you ever need to save the world again." Her face broke into a smile that made his insides melt.

"That will be an easy promise to keep." Wiping away the tears on her cheeks he said, "I don't ever want to be away from you like that again."

The locked gaze into each other's eyes spoke all the things that needed saying between them in that moment. They embraced and held each other tightly with their faces wrapped into each other's neck and hair. They breathed deeply taking in each other in peaceful contentment. Then, they kissed. ...

Reluctantly, they released their mutual embrace. Harry stood and taking her hand, helped her to stand. Seeing she was stiff he asked, "How long were you sitting there?"

She stretched and rubbed the muscles of her legs and back. "I'm not too sure, I lost track of the time. Harry, it was so beautiful what I saw while you lay there. I want to tell you about it."

"I had visions of you too. Tell me what you saw."

"I saw you wrapped in a golden glow and connected by dancing lightning-like beams to the room. The beams let me come close so I sat down and took your hand. A shock traveled up my arms to my heart and I wasn't sure I could hold on. After a moment, the shock stopped and then, just serenity like nothing I've ever felt before. It's ... it's so hard to describe. Anything, and everything, seemed possible. I felt understanding and unconditional acceptance of myself and of the other one there, you Harry. It was like ... somehow ..." She looked deeply into his eyes, "we were the same person."

He nodded in agreement. "Tell me more."

She thought and then chuckled, "I just can't seem to find the words to describe it properly; warmth ... companionship ... joy. There were images of the past, Hogwarts and Weasley ancestors." She looked at him a little unsure. "There were also visions of the future, fuzzy and less clear. They seemed like suggestions. Maybe later, after I think about them more, they will be easier to describe."

After a short pause she said, "Harry, when you first woke, you said heaven again. Please tell me about that."

With a solemn expression he said, "Yesterday, I had to walk into the forest to meet Voldemort and die."

There was a shocked expression on Ginny's face.

"I met him in the forest and after he cursed me, I was in a place that looked like a very clean Kings Cross train station. There were tracks leading off in all directions to unknown destinations. It was bright, peaceful, and I felt happy. It seemed like a bit heaven to me. Except" ...

He smiled at her, "There was no beautiful red haired angel."

She smiled. Then, with a questioning expression said, "So ... where were you?"

"I'm not sure. It was warm and serene, and I didn't feel any pain. I talked with Dumbledore and he said that I could choose to stay or come back. I wanted to finish the job. But mostly, I wanted to be with the ones I love."

They were quiet for a moment. Then Harry said, "In my dream, I saw you sitting next to me holding my hand. I wanted to tell you I was okay so, I gave your hand a gentle squeeze. You became wrapped in the same glow you mentioned about me. It was pure and glorious. We were so connected. It felt like I'd always known you, together and separate at the same time. It was so beautiful and I could have looked at you like that forever."

After a brief pause he said, "I saw visions of you; on platform 9, the chamber of secrets, Quidditch, my birthday at the Burrow." A little unsure he said, "There were also visions of some things that haven't occurred, a wedding day ... children."

With a somber look on her face she said, "I saw those last visions too. I'm not sure what to make of them. Do they mean that all of our choices are already made? I want those visions to come true someday but, there's so much more that I want to do too."

With a thoughtful expression he said, "I think we're always free to choose who and what we want in our lives. It's something we do every day. It's how we travel to our destination and complete our destiny. I think the point is to be happy during the journey and have traveling companions. Does that seem right?"

"Yeah, it does. ... Where did you learn that?"

"Dunno ... but Dumbledore said it's our choices that matter the most."

They embraced and held each other close. Ginny laid her head on his shoulder. "My feelings are so mixed up right now. Please be patient while I sort them out. I'm happy the war is over and happy to be close with you again. I feel grief and sorrow when I think of Fred, the things that happened at Hogwarts last term, and all the people who were hurt or killed. It's going to be very hard getting through Fred's funeral and saying goodbye to him."

He laid his head against her head. "I'll be there to help you. So many good people gave so much for me, particularly your family. I don't deserve all the praise I'm being given." His voice cracked. "If only I could have gotten it done quicker. Maybe Fred would still be here and ... and less people would have died or been hurt."

She lifted her head and looked into his teary eyes. "Don't think like that Harry. None of this was your fault. You've fought for your life against him for years. We'll work through the pains and regrets we both have, together. You can count on it."

He pulled her close again and let out a sigh. "Thanks Ginny. It was thoughts of you that kept me going, especially these last few days. I couldn't have done it without them. You may not have been physically with us this last year but you were certainly a big reason for how it turned out."

She sighed, gave him a squeeze, and smiled to herself.

The memory of this time would be with them always. They knew the way ahead would be rough for a while and that they would need each other to get through it. There would be time now to let things unfold and see if any of the visions became realities. They enjoyed another brief kiss and then departed the room.

This is an original fan fiction story based on the seven book series 'Harry Potter' written by J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter, the characters, names and related characters are trademarks of Warner Bros., Inc. Harry Potter publishing rights © J.K.R. This is an unofficial, not for profit site and is in no way connected with J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Books, Bloomsbury Publishing or Warner Bros., Inc. This site is not endorsed by any of these aforementioned parties. Rights to characters and their images is neither claimed nor implied. This fan fiction story is owned by the author and subject to copyright law under transformative use.

Copyright © 2014-2017 Don Buczynski
San Diego, California
Published: 8/30/14
Last Updated: 9/10/17