How a Resurrection Really Feels
A/N: Okay! I'm almost 100% sure that Portkey is back and ready for business, so, I've decided to return as well. I doubt many people remember me. I started writing a few fics and then had to abandon them because of real life. But, I feel like it will be better this time, mostly because I'm going to try and not be so ambitious to start off (My first fic tried to cover all seven years). So here's the first of a couple of one-shots to get me back into the writing game.
This one started off with realizing that I only have one more year left in my college career, which means this time next year, I'll be closing a chapter on something I spent the past 18 years working towards. That's scary. So this is me working through my thoughts of what life will be like without the only thing I know (the education system) in it. Hope you enjoy!
Please read and review. It takes like ten seconds and it really helps us writers get better and provide more entertainment for you fine people (the finest Harry Potter community on the net).
Disclaimer: As much as it pains me to say it, I don't own Harry Potter. I could really use some help with these student loans.
Harry stood silent in the Gryffindor Common Room inhaling all the images of the poorly kempt living space. He wasn't entirely sure what he had expected. Gryffindor hadn't exactly been a popular House over the course of the past nine months and it's not as if the occupants hadn't had better things to do. They were fighting a war. One he should have been there for.
He felt like a failure. In all reality, he didn't have to leave to go hunt down the Horcruxes. The Cup of Hufflepuff and the Diadem of Ravenclaw, the Locket really could have been taken care of over the summer, the snake would have gotten here eventually and then there was him. The one and only Harry Potter. Four fifths of the Horcruxes were right within his grasp at the school and he abandoned his friends for no other reason than to run.
Overcome with guilt, he decided to ascend the stairs on towards his old dormitory and with each step, he felt a new memory flood back to him until he was at the top and handicapped by a wave of nostalgia. In a mist of memory, he gazed at the bed furthest to his right and while all the others looked lived in and poorly kept, this one was pristine, better than he had ever seen it. And he had seen it countless times over the past seven years, as it was the one that belonged to him.
"So how does it feel to be out of a job?"
Harry jumped at the sound of a foreign voice. He turned around to see who it was, but he already knew that the voice belonged to Neville Longbottom. "Hey, Neville…"
"Sorry, Mate. Didn't mean to scare you. I just came up to catch up on some sleep."
"Aye, Can't blame you on that one. I probably should myself, but I don't think I could if I tried." Harry let out a jaded chuckle as Neville patted him on the back and proceeded to walk around him towards his bed. "What did you mean by that? Out of a job?"
Neville sat down on his bed that was straight across from the door and looked up at Harry with his weathered disposition. "The Chosen One. I mean, I think you'll always be the Chosen One, but now it doesn't mean anything."
Harry crinkled his brow, pondering what Neville had just said. "I hadn't thought of that before." Walked towards Neville and sat down on the bed beside him. "To tell you the truth, I can barely remember a time before the war."
Neville knowingly nodded. "Yeah, I have a wee bit. I didn't get tangled up into this whole thing until Fifth Year, err, the end of Fourth when he… it returned. But this was your whole life. You did good, Harry."
Harry squeezed out his first genuine smile in what felt like years. "Thanks, brother." He paused for a second and surveyed the room and settled his gaze on Neville once again. "We're far from the eleven year olds we were when we met. Feels almost like another life."
"Thank God, we're not. If I was still looking for that toad seven years later, what would be the point in going on?" Neville made a face to even further push the joke.
The raven-haired boy let out a laugh that nearly shook Gryffindor Tower that was soon followed by Neville's laughter. When they stopped laughing, Neville reached into his trunk that was at the foot of his bed and pulled out the Sword of Gryffindor that he used to slay Nagini. "I thought I should probably give this back."
"Not bloody likely," Harry said while pushing the sword away.
"No. Neville… how can I put this… I am the Chosen One because Voldemort decided to make that be the case 17 years ago and Dumbledore followed through with that assumption. There was no way around what I did today and what I have been doing my whole life." Harry put his arm around his friend and squeezed him reassuringly. "What you did, Neville, that was all you."
Neville shut his eyes and wiped the tears that began to flow out. "Everything you've ever done has always been just you. I look back at my life and I can't think of many things I have in my life that didn't start with either my parents or everyone calling me The Boy Who Lived. Everything that you have as all because of you… including the Sword of Gryffindor."
"Harry, I don't know what to say… Thank you… for everything."
Harry shook his head and stood up to leave. "Don't mention it, mate. Just promise when we leave Hogwarts and everything is said and done, that I won't have to worry about you not being a part of my life."
Neville beamed at Harry. "Are you kidding?"
"I suppose, it was a stupid question. Have a good sleep, Nev."
While the talk certainly helped, he still couldn't shake the feeling of failure, nor could he shake the feeling that something was missing, except he couldn't pinpoint what exactly.
Before he knew it, he was at the castle's main entrance hall staring at the 40 foot massive steel reinforced wooden doors that seemingly led to his future. `Maybe the air would do me some good,' he thought. It was not as if he had to worry about Voldemort getting him if he decided to take an evening stroll.
He moved closer towards the double doors and they magically opened up before him. Taking a quick look around him to make sure he was really alone, he decided to walk west towards the gardens, which looked simply beautiful in the twilight. "Maybe this is what I was fighting for." He said to himself as he sniffed an orchid at the entranceway to the gardens.
"You certainly sacrificed a lot for a flower?"
For the second time today, Harry jumped at the sound of a voice that he wasn't expecting, but this time he new who it was before she even finished. It was Hermione Granger.
"Bloody hell, I wish people would stop doing this to me."
"Neville… He snuck up on me in the dormitory when I was trying to get some sleep… either that or some time alone."
"I can leave it you want me to." Harry could see her sad eyes nearly hidden in the purple glow of the evening light and while he wasn't planning on sending her away in the first place, he felt extremely compelled to keep her there with him.
"I wouldn't think of it. Here, let's sit." Gracefully, he took her by the hand and guided her to a nearby bench next to the Lilac bushes.
The pair sat in silence for a bit watching the sun as it completely disappeared over the horizon across the lake. Hermione reached into her pocket and dug out a silver coin. "Sickle for your thoughts?" She laughed. To her dismay, he didn't return the smile and maintained his sullen gaze towards the lake. "Harry, it's me. Hermione. You can talk to me."
Harry nodded by reflex. He didn't actually take in anything that she was saying, but he knew that he couldn't ignore her forever. "Do you remember when we met? You were helping Neville look for his toad…"
"And I most rudely barged into your compartment and accosted both you and Ron… my God, why did you guys ever decide to be my friends?" She laughed again as she closed the gap between she and Harry, pulling him into an embrace. After releasing the pressure, she threaded her arm through his and put her head on his shoulder. Harry was used to this, but tonight, he couldn't help but realize how good it felt to be this close to her.
Harry looked down at her and smiled into her curly brown locks. He kissed the top of her head as he looked back towards the lake. "Well, there was that matter with the troll."
"To tell you the truth, Hermione… that was probably the greatest day of my life."
Hermione scrunched her face up and broke the contact with Harry. She moved her hand up and used it to move Harry's gaze towards her once more. "What do you mean?"
"Hermione, I was thinking about it earlier… everything that I have in my life I either got it or was able to keep it because of my parents or my status as the chosen one… Ron, Ginny, my fortune, everything… except you." Harry began to tear up. He had understood this for a long time now, but this was the first time he had spelled it all out in the open.
She gently began caressing his cheek as she brought her thumb up to wipe the corner of his eyes. "Harry… Ron is your best friend; he cares about more than you being the chosen one. And Ginny is madly in love with you… that has nothing to do with Voldemort or that scar on your head."
"Oh no, you're right. But Ginny has admitted to me that the reason she was so taken with me at first was because I was Harry Potter. Ron was obsessed with my history on the train… but you're right our friendship became much more, same with my relationship with Ginny and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, but to you I was always Harry… never Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived."
She nodded emphatically. She knew he was right in a way, but she wasn't going to have any part in acknowledging it for him. He was already too badly hurt.
Hermione moved back to her original position with her head on his shoulder and the stared out across the water as the sun completely disappeared. Lucky for them, the full moon illuminated the sky and they could still see each other as well as the Lake. They sat silently for close to an hour before anyone spoke anything. This time it was Harry.
"I was dead."
"What?!" She exclaimed louder than she probably wanted to. Again she broke her contact with Harry and sat up immediately.
Harry cleared his throat. "When I went in the Forrest to confront Voldemort, I saw my parents and Sirius and Remus and they told me that they were waiting for me… and then I got to where Voldemort was and he used the killing curse against me."
"You… survived it again…?" Hermione asked while choking back tears at the thought of Harry getting a chance to speak to his parents and Sirius one last time.
"No… I woke up at King's Cross Station and Dumbledore was there. He explained everything to me. My role in all of this, why my life went the way it did… everything. And then he gave me a choice…" Harry paused for a second and collected his thoughts. "He gave me a choice of whether to come back or not."
Hermione sat there wide-eyed, simply trying to take in every word that he was saying. "He gave you a choice?"
"Yeah, he said that with my death Voldemort had lost all of his power… the last Horcrux was me… but he would give me the choice to come back if I wanted to… although he did a good job of selling the afterlife." Harry smiled wistfully, turning away from Hermione. "He told me I could be with them again… Mum, Dad… Sirius. But then I saw something…"
Through her waterfall of tears, she clasped his right hand with both of hers. "What did you see?"
"I saw you. In the back of my head, I saw your face. And I realized no matter how much I wanted to see Sirius again and get to know my parents or even just get a nice long rest… I still had something to live for. And then I knew that there was never really a choice, there was only one direction."
Hermione quickly closed the gap between the two and tackled him into one of her famous bone-crushing hugs. When she pulled away she stretched up and gingerly kissed him on the forehead. "Harry…"
"I mean it."
She was speechless. This was a rare occurrence in the life of Hermione Granger that she was completely rendered wordless, but she couldn't help by being taken aback. Quite frankly, there were no words in the English language that could describe how she was feeling. "So, where do we go from here?"
"I was thinking about that too. My whole life, I simply did what I was told… in relation to the war as well… in fact, by the end of it, I wasn't even sure what exactly I was fighting for. I just was…" Harry began speaking slower and slower with more of a pause between his thoughts, as if he wasn't quite sure exactly what to say, even though he had been feeling every word.
Hermione lifted one hand off of his and placed it on his shoulder. "I understand completely… after a while, you get into such a habit of doing what you're expected to that you don't have any clue as to what to do after that. Look at me, I spent my whole life trying to excel in academics and here I am at the end of my whole academic life… and what to show for it?"
"Me?" He gently shoved her in a friendly manner, causing her to roll her eyes and push him back.
"Of course, Lord Harry…"
After the laughing died, another silence sprung up between the two. "So…" Harry said after a while. "What are your plans afterwards?"
"I'm not entirely sure. Professor McGonagall told me that the school would be open in September to every Seventh Year who didn't feel like they got they education they were entitled to this year. Although she did say all of us would be more than fine with all of our… extra-curricular activities… and I think I agree with her." Hermione could barely believe that she was about to turn down more schooling and getting rid of her training wheels so she could ride the bicycle for real.
Harry nodded. "I can't see myself coming back here next year… too many memories… nightmares."
"I feel the same way."
"Its kind exciting. I have the chance to do anything… I never thought I'd have that freedom. I think I want to travel." Harry smiled to himself. "I have the rest of my life…" Harry wanted to finish that statement, but the open-endedness enticed him. He had the rest of his life to do anything.
Hermione beamed at him, feeling the same thing. "Speaking of travel, I suppose I'm going to have to go to Australia to restore my parent's memory… it may take a while and they may never recover their full memories…" She began to tear up again.
"Do you want me to come with you?"
"Do you want me to come with you to Australia? You said that it may take a while and it may be a stressful process. You may need some type of support system." Harry found himself gently caressing her knee in the dark.
Hermione stared at him blankly. "Harry, I couldn't… I'm sure you have so much you want to do."
"Yes, you could. Hermione, you have done so much for me in our time here, you've given everything including your parents. Let me in so I can do this for you." Harry put both of his hands on her shoulders and moved in closer so they were eye to eye. "You're my best friend… the only thing that matters to me right now… let me help you."
Hermione quickly realized that tears were flowing down her cheeks openly. She then did something that she never thought she'd do in her life. She bent in, turned her head sideways and planted a kiss that was full of love and admiration on Harry's lips. Not quite sure what to do, he returned it and pulled her into a tight embrace while playing with her wild brown locks.
When she pulled back, the two of them were breathless. "Hermione…?"
"You said you didn't know what we were fighting for… well, I think I just found it… We were fighting for our lives and now that we've won… I suppose the only thing that's left to do is live."
Harry smiled at her. He liked that very much and he showed her by catching her lips with a chaste kiss. "We have a lot to figure out with this, but we have quite a while don't we."
Hermione simply nodded while she stood up, offering Harry her hand. "Quite a while indeed." Harry grabbed her hand and hoisted himself up. The pair then walked hand in hand back towards the castle and towards the rest of their lives.
"Yeah, well, life is about lost love, lost minutes and lost evenings,
About Fire in our bellies and about furtive little feelings
And the aching amplitudes that set our needles all a-flickering
And they help us with remembering that the only thing that's left to do is live"
- Frank Turner, I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous.
A/N: Thanks for Reading. Some of it may be out of character and at times Harry and Hermione may sound more like me and my best friend from School, but you get the idea. I wasn't going to add the kiss at the end, but I decided to throw it in there for you guys. Plus I need to work on romance. I'm growing…
Please read and review!