I started writing this ages ago and haven't got that far So I thought I'd post the first chapter up as motivation. It's based on my opinion of what would happen after DH and I've tried to make it as canon as possible, including pairings.
POV alternates between Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny, not necessarily in that order.
All I can ask is please give it a go, and tell me what you think - the more reviews the better!
It was as if someone had stopped her heart.
His lifeless face was all she saw.
There were screams. She knew that.
It took her a while to realise the screams were coming from her.
There were people holding her back. She struggled against them.
She had to reach him.
Why couldn't he hear her?
Ginny blinked, gasping. Her mother's shoulder shifted a little. She must have cried out loud.
The ceiling of the Great Hall was getting darker: how long had she been sleeping? Looking around she saw many others had
also dosed off where they were sitting, grief and euphoria having given way to tiredness.
No one seemed to even register her leaving the table where her family sat. She slipped out of the hall, hardly knowing where
she was going, picking over debris on her way to the only place in the castle she could think of his being. The Fat Lady was
gone; the portrait hole was exposed and she scrambled through it.
She had guessed correctly. He was in his old dormitory with Ron and Hermione, sleeping soundly. Ginny perched herself
gingerly on the empty bed next to his, her thirsty eyes drinking up every aspect of his face. He looked so calm, so peaceful, so
Ginny couldn't help but shed a tear. She felt ridiculous, coming up here just to see him, just to be near him, but then she
hadn't had that joy for so long.
He was alive.
He'd made it.
After a while Ginny noticed she wasn't the only one awake. Ron was watching Hermione tossing and turning in the four-poster
next to him. She identified in his expression a similarity to her own.
Ginny slid off the bed and made her way over to him, catching Ron's attention.
"Blimey! When did you get in here?"
She made no answer, climbing into Ron's bed and wrapping her arms around him. After a few minutes she felt tears trickle
down the end of his long nose onto her cheek.
New rays of sunlight were filtering through the curtains of his four-poster when Harry James Potter at length drifted into
consciousness. He lay for a few moments, enjoying the remnants of the first peaceful sleep he'd had in months, perhaps even
in years. He had no idea how much time had passed, but he felt no pressing urge to find out. It was over. Everything was
alright in the world. He could sleep as long as he pleased.
The sound of movement caused Harry's eyes to open for the first time. He sat up, blinking, and reached for his glasses. The
grinning, freckled face of Ron Weasley swam into view from the bed nearest him, as it had done on so many occasions. The
past year may never have happened. He was back in his Hogwarts dormitory with Ron. It was exactly as it should be.
"Good kip? You've been out for hours," Ron informed him as Harry climbed out of bed and reached for his discarded clothes
from the day before.
"Yeah, excellent. What's been going on?"
"Well, I don't know a lot, I've been up here, see. Hermione's just gone down for more news. Dad and Kingsley and everyone
have been at the Ministry all night, Bill says it's a real mess. Well, it's bound to be, isn't it, with that..." Ron didn't seem able to
conjure a strong enough word, "...at the helm? Some people have gone home to their families, but everyone who's stayed is
starting on the repair work. Giants and castles are not a good mix, it turns out."
Harry was silent for a while. He stared at Ron, who turned red round the ears and found an excuse to hide his face from Harry.
He knew the feeling all too well. Ron was trying to keep cheerful, for his sake, but something in his voice had altered. As Harry
watched he couldn't help but feel ashamed at imagining Ron to be no different from before, that everything would be no different
from before. The world had changed since they were last together in this room. Ron's face and arms bore scars of the past
year, his torn clothes remnants of their terrible journey, the darkness in his voice and eyes a haunting shadow of his loss.
Harry's selfish thoughtlessness sickened him.
"How are you, Ron?"
Ron said nothing for a while, contemplating his answer, until finally he could look Harry in the eyes.
"'M alright," he said , "I'm just... well, I'm not the only one, am I? Loads of people... we saw the bodies being carried out
yesterday... so many..."
Harry's sickness increased. He'd so far managed to avoid thinking of the losses, sacrifices made for his victory. Suddenly his
triumph seemed almost worthless. It was tainted and bitter.
"I'm so sorry. I wish... I wish... I wish I could go back and do it differently, so they needn't have died. They shouldn't have died.
Not for me."
Ron glared at him.
"You'd better not be blaming yourself for this. If you do, I swear, I'll..."
"I know, I know, it had to be done," Harry said bitterly, "I just wish it could have happened differently, that's all."
He met Ron's eyes and knew they understood eachother. He had opened his mouth to speak again when the door opened.
"Harry, you're awake!" Hermione cried as she caught sight of him. She flung her arms around him and he hugged her tightly
until she pulled away, scrutinizing Harry with an old concern that almost caused him to smile. Ron gave half a chuckle and
ruffled her hair, rolling his eyes at Harry.
"How are you feeling?"she asked him.
"I'm fine. Really. How are you, Hermione?"
"Oh, I'm okay," she brushed the question away and Harry did not press her. Seemingly satisfied with his state of health, she
turned to Ron, frowning.
"Ron, your Dad's just got back from the Ministry. Your mum wants us to go down to the Great Hall when Harry's ready..."
"I'm ready now."
"I really don't think..."
"Hermione, he can't stay up here all day. He's probably starving, aren't you Harry?"
"Yeah, I am actually," he admitted, noticing for the first time a dull ache in his stomach.
In the fresh light of the morning, the full scale of the damage to the castle was unveiled. Harry could scarcely bare to look around at the crumbled stone and rubble as he, Ron and Hermione passed through the Entrance Hall. The great oak front doors had been blasted off their hinges so he was able to make out some of the mess in the grounds before him. Rain had washed away traces of blood from the stone steps, disguised giant footsteps as oblong puddles and turned everything to mud.
In the great hall some sort of comfort had been established. Fires had been lit in the grates, doing their best to counteract the draught from several smashed windows. Some people had conjured sleeping bags and were huddled in them still, others were beginning to rouse sleepily in the early morning light.
Harry, Ron and Hermione made their way over to a huddle of people who had seperated themselves a little from the rest. Harry's eyes first found Ginny, who was sitting with George. She looked up when they entered, and Harry tried to put every sentiment into his eyes which he was unable to otherwise express at present. Ginny looked away, whether from anger or pain Harry didn't know, but he had more pressing matters to deal with now. He always had more pressing matters to deal with.
Ron immediately sank into a seat between his mother and Charlie, the latter of which clapped him on the back in greeting. Bill and Fleur were in quiet conversation. Percy sat silent, his eyes roving between George and his father.
"Right, well," Mr Weasley's voice was rather hoarse, and he looked as though grief were the only thing keeping him awake.
Hermione sat down at his words, giving him her full attention, except for occasional glances towards Ron. Harry remained standing, all thoughts of rest having left him like a dream. He needed to be active. He needed to help.
"The Ministry's been working to reinstall security around likely target buildings, since there are bound to be several vengeful Death Eaters still out there. Kingsley doesn't want us to let our guard down just yet. The Burrow's under the highest security possible, but Hogwarts is probably still safer. We don't think any Death Eater would risk attacking here again. However, your mother..."
"I want them home," Mrs Weasley's whisper was firm, "I want them home with me."
"Mum," Ron said, "There's loads of work to be done here, as well as the Ministry. Can't we..."
Mrs Weasley fixed him with a glare that would have been quite ferocious were it not obscured by tears.
"You are staying with your family, Ronald Weasley."
"Hogwarts can wait!" she shrieked, and then her face crumpled and she clutched desperately at his hand, "Please Ron. Please don't leave me again. Please."
"Hey, I wasn't - I didn't mean - I'm not going anywhere!" Ron assured her in horror as she dissolved in his arms.
"I think it would be best if we all went back to the Burrow for a while," Mr Weasley said, "I know you all want to help with the restoration of Hogwarts, and you shall in due time. Everyone needs a break right now, not just us. The castle can wait. People are more important."