A New and Glorious
By Felix Felicis
Disclaimer – All the
characters belong to J.K. Rowling, I’m just borrowing them for a bit and
promise to return them as good as new.
Summary – It is the
dawn after the final battle, and Harry and his friends take comfort in the
grass outside the school. The sun is coming up on a new day, full of hope and
life, and some lives are about to be joined forever. 3,440 words.
A/N – I love the way
this story came out and I hope you feel the same. Thanks ever so much to my beta, Felina Black, who’s praise means more than she knows.
world awoke that day to a new and glorious dawn. The sun shown down on fields that were
suddenly more green, more alive than ever, covered with a dew that glistened
gently in the sunrise. The birds sang sweet
songs and flitted about, filling their nests with new twigs. For all those who had known the darkness, it
was a new dawn. A dawn full of hope and
life because Voldemort and his followers were gone.
rock wall outside the Great Hall was soothing to Harry’s weary bones, and he
rested his head back against the stone, feeling the grass in his hands beside
him. His eyes were closed and his chest
lifted and dropped with each breath he took.
The air was cool, but not biting, and it strengthened him a little. He opened his eyes slowly and cast them
across the grounds, his brain still seeing a confusing mix of present and past.
Images of fighting and flashes of wand
light mingled with those of peace and calm in front of him, and had he not been
so tired, a tear might have dropped for those he now knew were lost forever.
considered himself lucky, really; a few minor scrapes and cuts, a bruise or
two, and that was all he had to show for defeating the darkest wizard in a
century. He had escaped with so much
more than so many others.
him, a stirring caught his attention, and his eyes were drawn to the red-headed
figure of Ginny, sprawled out on the grass next to him, covered by a blanket
conjured up at the last minute. On the
other side of her was a tangled mix of arms and legs belonging to Hermione and
It was only
a few hours ago when they had all collapsed where they were and Harry made a
promise to himself – he wouldn’t rest until he saw the sun again. It was a sort of peace offering with the
world, and a dare with himself, for during the events of the night he never
believed he would see light again.
hand reached into his, she pulled herself up into a sitting position and joined
him against the wall, gazing off into the sunrise. He winced as he put his arm around her and
pulled her close, knowing the pain would be worth the reward. He marveled at how she could still be so
beautiful and smell so good, even after the horrific battle they had just been
through. Against his will, he couldn’t
help but allow a small smile to come to his face.
morning, luv,” he said quietly.
responded by burying her face in his neck and sighing deeply, her hair pouring
across his shoulder and her arm tightening briefly around him.
accepted it as ‘good morning’, and turned his face once again to the trees that
formed a lower border for nature’s sunrise painting. His memory drifted away from the present
again, and he saw Hagrid standing tall, swinging blindly around and taking down
more Death Eaters than anyone Harry could remember. For a moment he felt his throat tighten,
remembering painfully the final moments of his dear friend. Strangely though, he felt little anger. It was as if the end of Voldemort had somehow
taken part of him away – a part that he was very willing to give.
strained to focus his eyes again, and this time they fell on the gleaming white
headstone of his beloved Headmaster.
Harry closed his eyes in reverence, and allowed himself a moment full of
memories of all that great man had done for him. He felt no bitter feelings or resentment for
the choices made when Harry was one year old; rather, he remembered one of the
greatest wizards who had ever lived. A
man who made life-altering decisions on a daily basis, and whom Harry respected
more than anyone else he’d ever met.
Since Dumbledore’s death, his respect had only increased, coming on
gradually with each new life experience he had.
The difficulties he encountered and the decisions he made only reminded
him of how hard it must have been for this man to handle the responsibility of
being a headmaster and carrying the hope
of the wizarding world on his shoulders.
pulled slowly away from him, he glanced again at his other two friends entwined
in an embrace that had lasted while they slept. He smiled again. They had fought bravely last night – not that
Harry expected any less – but he was proud of them, and especially of
Hermione. It wasn’t often that Hermione
exhibited the courage and bravery that had landed her in Gryffindor, but she
held more than her share of Death Eaters last night, a feat not lost on Harry.
her, he could see Ron’s blood-matted hair sticking up at all angles. A wave of gratitude washed over him as he
remembered what his friend had done.
had been closing in on Harry slowly due to the powerful and apparently
surprising resistance of the Order, but as he finally did approach, Harry had a
moment of panic. Ron, Hermione, and
Ginny had sworn to protect him, and somehow fate had placed them all together
at the very moment Voldemort appeared.
Harry knew what was involved in their magical oath to protect him, but
until that moment had never believed they would face the possibility of
failure. He was exhausted from what
seemed like hours of battling with werewolves, ogres, and giants, along with
swarms of Death Eaters, and in that moment of panic, without Ron’s help, it
might never have worked out.
in the midst of chaos, Harry found himself facing the Dark Lord and his mind
went blank save for one thought; he was sure that Voldemort was not going to
kill him immediately. Somehow, he was suddenly and acutely aware
that Voldemort would attack his friends first, and it seemed he could only
watch the events unfolding in slow motion before him, as if held in a full body
came to a sudden turnabout, however, with a simple action by Ron. In a moment, Ron had swept Hermione and Ginny
behind him, raised his wand, and shot Harry a weary smile. He was ready.
He would watch over the girls, and now Harry could fight.
he knew what he had to do. The blazing
light that burst forth from his wand was temporarily blinding, but in a single
moment it was over. Voldemort and his
Death Eaters were gone. Truly gone. It was only a matter of time before the rest
of his followers gave up and were arrested, or simply disappeared to hide until
they too would be captured later.
reflected on what his friends must have gone through, wishing he could find the
words to express his gratitude, but he couldn’t. They would have to settle for a lifetime, a real lifetime, of kindness and
friendship from him. One thing was
self-evident now; they would never be apart.
There was nothing spoken, only everything implied, in their actions and
in their words. It was a truth that they
all knew and felt but their fear had kept them from acknowledging. Now with everything behind them, a strange and
uncomfortable new feeling filled Harry’s body.
It was a combination of numbness and happiness mixed with a small portion
it was over, and he knew he was happy now – or could be, but the smile had yet
to appear on his face and stay for longer than a fleeting moment. Each time it showed itself, a memory of a
friend lost would appear on its heels, and the guilt of having survived would
wipe it away.
hand squeezed his and he turned his eyes to the fantastic girl sitting next to
him. Their eyes met and for a moment he
was amazed at the intensity he saw in her.
The feeling of knowing he was allowed to look at her was new to him, but
very welcome, and he held her gaze with an unspoken gratitude.
did you get to be so wonderful?” he asked quietly.
since forever,” she laughed, “you were just too thick to notice.”
pulled away in mock offense. “Me,
thick? I was only trying to protect you
from the worst dark wizard ever, but hey, if you don’t need my help then I’ll
just go.” He pretended to get up until
she pulled him back down, and he marveled at their moment of levity.
knight in shining armor! Please don’t
leave me!” she cried, then threw her arm to her forehead, collapsing in an
gazed at her, laying on the ground shaking with giggles, and was amazed that somewhere
inside, he still had the ability to laugh.
He collapsed next to her and began to laugh himself, only stopping with a
reawakened splitting pain in his side.
she said, suddenly serious, “are you alright?
You know we could… I mean, I know you don’t want to, but we really
should all go see Madam Pomfrey, and soon at that.”
said, shaking his head and struggling to draw breath, “I’m not ready yet. I just can’t… yet. There are too many others.”
nodded in understanding and helped him sit up, resting against the wall once
more. The stone had the same soothing
coolness as before, and he relaxed into it.
Together they sat in silence for some time, each lost in the beauty of
the sunrise and the memories of what had happened.
collapsed on the ground after his defeat of Voldemort, Harry was barely
conscious when his friends lifted him and started moving toward the
castle. It took all the energy he had to
convince them to stop – that he wasn’t ready to go in yet. He tried to claim that others needed help more
than he did, and only their undying friendship allowed them to let him be. They moved as far as the shelter created by
the stone walls of the Great Hall, and there chose the most comfortable patch
of grass to lie down in.
remembered watching each of his friends drift off into welcome sleep, and then settling
in himself, waiting for the sunrise. In
some small, far-off corner of his mind, he feared that if he fell asleep, he
might not wake again.
hours left of night passed in deathly silence.
Those who slept did so peacefully, but whether from quiet dreams or
exhaustion, Harry wasn’t sure. His own
eyes contemplated the tree-line, the grass, the lake, everything around him,
trying to believe that it was truly over.
Finally, when the pink light of sunrise began to touch the sky, he
smiled his first real smile in months.
The search for the Horcruxes had been as intense and dangerous as Harry
could have imagined, though culminating not with the destruction of the final
piece of Voldemort’s soul, but with tears and truths exchanged between friends. It was remarkable to Harry that the most
important moments in his life never seemed to be those of fighting or of wars; they
were times of peace and friendship with the people that really mattered to him.
end, Ron’s admission of love for Hermione brought out an equally truthful but
cautious admission from Harry of his love for Ginny. While she hadn’t joined them in the hunt
until very near the end, it turned out to be her help that was instrumental in
the discovery and destruction of the final Horcrux. Even when it was gone they remained in
hiding, certain that Voldemort would have detected the loss of his last outward
piece of soul. They moved from place to
place, never staying long, and ceased all contact with friends, family, and the
Order. It was a time of concern and
wonder about those on the outside, while inside they clung to each other for
life, never knowing what the next moment would bring.
in the midst of pain and uncertainty, however, that the admissions of love were
finally made. Harry wondered at first
whether it was the right thing to do, given that he knew Voldemort could use
her against him, but it turned out that love was exactly what he needed. Dumbledore’s originally unconvincing
explanation about ‘powers the dark lord knows not’ became a reality for Harry,
and while outward happiness still eluded him, an inward peace began to
grow. He finally reconciled himself to
the truth that Ginny’s love would give him strength in times of need, and when
finally faced with Voldemort, her love didn’t fail him.
watched the sun begin to curve over the horizon, Ron and Hermione stirred more
and more until they finally got up.
Taking a seat next to Ginny, they all moved in close and covered up with
her blanket. The very air around them
seemed to hold the peace they were feeling in their hearts, and the sound of
chirping birds was all they heard.
Huddled together, they gazed off toward the horizon in silence.
beautiful, isn’t it?” asked Hermione finally, to no one in particular.
nodded in assent, knowing her question only partly reflected what was in front
of their eyes.
want to tell you all something,” Harry stuttered, looking at the ground, “what
you did last night… I couldn’t have done it without you. So, thanks.”
squeezed his hand and smiled at him.
you know we’ll always be there for you,” Ron said, while Hermione nodded.
right,” she said quietly, “even through the most dangerous, frightening times,
we were together – at least in the most important times…” She smiled apologetically at Ginny, who
reached out and squeezed Hermione’s hand.
guess it turns out you were worth it, mate,” Ron said lightly, “I mean, we
couldn’t let you get all the credit.”
laughed, “You can have it, believe me, I don’t want it!” He paused and looked at Ginny, “There’s only
one thing I want now.” He turned his
eyes toward the trees again. “Ron, do
you remember what we talked about… the deal we made?”
tried to look away, to hide his reddened ears, but gave up and turned
back. “Uh, no, Harry, what was that?”
was that?!? You great prat, you agreed
to it. It’s time. We can’t break our oath now.”
looked like he was still trying to find a way out of whatever he was on the hook
for, but gave up, turning away for a moment and fumbling in his pocket. Harry, too, had turned away and appeared to
be searching for something.
they both turned back, it was with irrepressible smiles, and very red cheeks,
but nothing evident to show for their search.
The girls had had enough and with a sighing glance at each other turned
back to their strangely behaving boyfriends.
we give up, what is it? What did you do
now?” Hermione asked, with the patience
one usually reserves for a child. Ginny
said nothing, but looked quietly into Harry’s eyes, waiting for his answer.
he seemed unable to speak. “I, er, uh,
well see, we agreed to… well…” He gave up and looked at the ground.
sudden moment of bravery, Ron spoke, not loudly, but steadily and firmly. “Harry and I agreed that when the time came,
when Voldemort was really gone, you see… well, then that was the time.” He took a deep breath, “We decided that was
when we would ask you to marry us.”
words hung undisturbed for a moment, still as the air around them, until Ginny
reached out to Harry, and Hermione took Ron’s hand.
true?” Ginny asked slowly.
Harry said, seeming to struggle for the words.
When he finally managed to speak, his voice was barely a whisper, “Will
you… will you marry me, Ginny?”
she struggled to find her voice, a single tear ran down her face, and she
smiled, then nodded, falling into his embrace.
turned from watching them to look into Ron’s face. “Really?
You… want me? I’m nothing special, I’m just Hermione.” She looked at the ground and her hair fell
messily over her face.
reached out a long hand and pushed it back, letting his hand remain on her
cheek. “Of course I want you, I’ve
always wanted you, I just never could pluck up the courage to tell you until
the beginning of this whole fiasco. But
now, now that everything is over… I still want you… forever.”
paused, “Hermione Granger, will you marry me?”
course!” she cried, and threw her arms around him.
for some time, enraptured in the moment, until finally Harry cleared his throat
and looked meaningfully at Ron, who nodded back.
guess,” he said, “that since you said yes – and there’s no taking it back now –
you get to have these.”
boys waved their wands over their empty hand in an intricate little pattern,
and two small boxes appeared.
held his out to Ginny while Ron gave his to Hermione, and the girls held their
breath as they opened the small gifts.
Inside each box was a pair of rings, a simple brilliant gold for the
boys, and small diamonds for the girls.
didn’t really have much time to get them,” Ron said, “so if you don’t like it
we can go back and exchange it for something bigger.”
beautiful,” said Ginny, “no, it’s perfect. I couldn’t ask for more.” Her eyes shown brightly as she held up the
ring and turned it slowly around.
think it’s perfect too,” said Hermione, running her finger around the smooth
band, tears forming at the corners of her eyes.
took Ginny’s hand and slipped the ring onto her finger. “They’re matching pairs. Our two are the same,” he motioned to Ron,
“and your two are the same, except they etched your names inside. We snuck out one night a few weeks ago and
met an old friend of Dumbledore’s who makes jewelry – that man had some strange
friends – and he helped us get these quietly.
You really like it then?”
nodded and hugged him, while Hermione leaned back into Ron’s shoulder, pulling
the blanket up a bit higher and smiling to herself.
didn’t move for a long time, trying to savor the peace and beauty of the shared
moment. Even with the knowledge that the
world was out there waiting for them, the peace of bonds that stood the test of
time was with them, to carry them through it all.
sunrise that morning seemed to warm them from the inside out, and the four
friends talked of the future and the past, reminiscing about their fun times at
school and where the future might lead them, knowing they would all somehow stay
together as the best of friends.
watched them closely all morning, laughing and smiling. Something inside him had changed. Whether it was knowing the threat was gone,
or finally feeling excitement about the future, he wasn’t sure, and imagined it
to be a little of both. What he did know
was that the love shared between himself and the friends was true. It had survived through the good times and
the bad, through war and through fear, and it had held fast.
reminded of his parents, and as they all finally stood to go back toward the
castle doors, a glint of light across the white headstone in the distance
reminded Harry of words once said to him, that had always helped him.
think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think we don’t recall them
more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?” The voice was speaking of his father, and
right now he felt his father closer than ever before. It seemed his heart was full to the brim and
pouring over the sides, and it was indeed a new and wonderful day.
passed through the great oak doors into the entrance hall, Harry took one last
look out across the grounds, smiled contentedly, then turned and let the door
shut quietly behind him, taking Ginny’s hand and walking into his future with
the girl he loved.
~ The End ~