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These Three Remain
By myenzie

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Category: Post-HBP
Characters:All
Genres: Angst, Romance, Tragedy
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 5
Summary: An End and a Beginning. Harry has lost much in his journey but, perhaps, gained more. A short story after the end of the war and the beginning of the journey that follows.
Hitcount: Story Total: 4374



Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.



Author's Notes:
This is a short story that follows some thoughts I had while contemplating life in the woods. I guess it shows that I'm either too serious about HP or not serious enough about other things sometimes!

Thank you JKR for the inspiration of your characters.




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These Three Remain

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophecy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. -- 1 Corinthians 13:8-12



Harry apparated just outside Hogwarts, just beyond the gates guarded by the great winged boars. He paused, losing himself for a moment in his thoughts.

Although it should have been a happy time, he felt no joy in his heart. Voldemort was vanquished and the wizarding world celebrated, and Ron and Hermione should have been at his side. They would have been, too, but for the fact that they were dead.

They had made it through the hunt for and destruction of the horcruxes, but had been killed by Death Eaters in an ambush that Harry had somehow survived. Harry had mourned them but continued on with his task, as he knew he had no choice. Hours ago he had succeeded, killing first Voldemort's great snake, Nagini, and then the Dark Lord himself.

Harry had visited the graves of each of his oldest friends, sharing the news of the hard earned victory with them through tears of sadness and despair. Ron and Hermione, especially, should have been with him, embarking on their new life together, in the love they had only recently admitted to themselves and one another shortly before their murder.

Walking through the gates, Harry headed toward the large white monument where his friend and mentor, Albus Dumbledore, had been laid to rest. Tears streamed down his face as he went to speak to another one he'd loved and lost, to share a victory with someone else who deserved to be there with or instead of him.

As he walked, his thoughts turned to another journey he'd taken over the past months, seeming to step in time with his efforts to fulfill his destiny. Remus Lupin had shared something with him that was simple and immensely empowering: Faith. Remus had visited with Harry shortly after he had returned to the Dursleys for the last time, and they had gone to a church service. Through conversations and correspondence, he had awakened in Harry an understanding and deep seated feeling, and so Harry had finally come to truly believe that there was a Greater Power, and in that had found some small measure of peace in the turmoil around him.

As he sat cross-legged in front of the tomb of the greatest wizard Harry had ever known, his tears slowed to a trickle. He spoke gently to the man therein entombed and to his spirit. He hadn't visited here before, but felt the need to unload the story of the past many months, and so told the tale of the hunt for the horcruxes, their finding and destruction.



As Harry sat, engrossed in his story-telling, a story of its own was unfolding around him. Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts, had called through the castle for an assembly in the Great Hall. An owl had been dispatched to Hagrid's class, calling them in as well, and as they made their way up the hill to the front doors, they saw a solitary figure, seated in front of the monument with his back turned toward them. Though a bit unusual, it was not unheard of that someone would be there, and so little notice was taken and certainly no pause given as the class shuffled on toward the students and staff assembling ahead of them.

The staff moved toward the Headmistress, questions etched on their faces, but not for the first time, McGonagall's face was unreadable, stern but not unkind but with no hint whatsoever for the purpose behind the summons.

That the staff was surprised by this call did not go unnoticed or unremarked upon by the students, and the level of chatter was more than on a usual day, the din rebounding off the sky blue image of a promising Spring day reflected on the Hall's ceiling.

Silence, however, blanketed the room as the Headmistress rose, and her first words echoed unimpeded by any distracting voice or noise, "Today we have received momentous news in the war against the Dark Lord Voldemort."



Meanwhile, Harry had finished his telling of the destruction of all the bits of Voldemort's soul, including the last battle just concluded. He had wept, again, as he had told of the death of his beloved friends scant weeks ago, and had started talking about the strength he had found with Remus' help and from the love and encouragement of his friends.

"You always said that the power I had that Voldemort didn't was love, Professor, and you were right. I found that so many people cared about me, and it gave me strength. And I found that the love I had for them gave me strength and a commitment I couldn't have found otherwise."

"I found another kind of love, too. One I hadn't expected, but that gave me an even greater strength. Remus' helped me to find it -- he showed me the road to Faith and an acceptance of Love from the Almighty. You, know, it helps to have a belief in something bigger and stronger and greater than you are, to truly believe that there is something more than the turmoil of this world."

"And I found something else. Hope. Not just hope for a special dinner, or a game of Quidditch, or anything so mundane. No, Hope for a better place, a chance to see my parents, and Sirius and Ron and Hermione and you, and God, at the end of this journey. Hope, Professor, that there is a point to our time here, and a reward after."



All eyes were affixed upon the lectern as McGonagall spoke the next words, words that would be etched in the memories of all those present for their lifetimes, "Approximately three hours ago, at great personal risk and after great personal sacrifice, Harry Potter vanquished Lord Voldemort."

The cheers and shouts and loud conversation that enveloped the Great Hall was deafening, and try as she might, McGonagall couldn't regain the attention of the faculty, much less of the students. The hubbub was such that she could only step back and smile for a few moments, relishing and sharing the joy that filled the hearts of nearly all in attendance.



Harry had finally started to wind down, and was mostly sitting quietly, the tears at an end. He spoke only a few more words to his mentor before sitting in silent contemplation, "I only hope that Ginny will forgive me for leaving her. I won't say it was all for nothing, because that wouldn't be nearly true, but what I most hope for in this life is to have her, to be with her, to love her and for her to love me. To build a family with her and have kids and then to get old with her. I just don't know whether she still feels that way about me, after what I did to her."



Finally, at the sight of their Headmistress still standing in front of them, the room quieted enough for McGonagall to finish her statement, "Mr. Potter left shortly after the end of the final confrontation, but was reported to be in good health, though I think we should all keep our best thoughts and wishes for him in mind as we celebrate this great victory. And I think that a celebration is in order, so that classes are cancelled for the balance of the day and we will hold a Feast tonight at the regular dinner hour. The house elves will provide food and refreshment for the remainder of the day in a buffet here in the Great Hall. Now go, and have fun!"

The cheer at this admonition literally shook the foundations of the castle. Birds in the Forbidden Forest took flight, and the Giant Squid even pushed its head above water for a moment, before playing its tentacles through the resulting waves. Students erupted from the Hall, some heading to common rooms and dormitories, while others streamed out of the castle's great doors and off toward the lake or other favored spots on the grounds.

One petite young lady followed quietly outside as well, her vivid red hair glistening in the sunlight. She was of mixed emotion, filled with gladness and joy over the end of the war and Harry's defeat of the most evil wizard of the age, saddened that her brother and best friend hadn't quite survived to see this wondrous end, happy that the rest of her family had survived, and worried about Harry. And mostly sad that she didn't know if or when she would see him again, or if he still felt about her as she felt and had felt for so long about him.

Students were funning off in all directions, whilst Ginny just walked forward, alone in her thoughts, heading without conscious direction towards Dumbledore's tomb. As she neared it, she saw a black haired wizard sitting in front of it, and felt a faint glimmer of hope that it might be Harry. As she walked up softly behind him, she called to him, quietly, "Harry?"

Harry turned his head and looked at her, a gentle smile tugging at his lips, his eyes bright and glistening a brilliant emerald green. He rose quickly to his feet and engulfed her in his arms, and she hugged back for all she was worth. They stood that way for minutes, though it seemed to both to be an eternity, before either said a word.

Harry, not releasing his grip in the slightest, spoke over her shoulder, "Ginny, I've missed you so much. I know I've hurt you terribly, and let you down, but can you ever forgive me?"

Harry didn't think it possible, but she held him tighter then for a moment, then pulled her head back and looked him directly in the eyes, and saw the sadness, worry and, she thought, love, in his eyes. So she kissed him -- not a gentle and tender kiss, but a strong a fervent kiss that conveyed not only forgiveness but want and need and her own love for him. And he kissed her back and wordlessly spoke the same feelings to her.

"Harry, I forgive whatever you think needs forgiveness for. I've missed you so much -- just please, don't leave me again. I love you!"

Harry leaned forward then, pressing his forehead against hers and gazing unblinkingly into her eyes, and spoke his heart, "Ginny, I love you. I'll never leave you again, not for anything. I love you!"

The two sank slowly to the ground, and held each other, kissing gently and murmuring feelings of love and hope, and Harry finally felt the Love in his heart for which he had so desperately yearned.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. -- 1 Corinthians 13:13
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