A lonely Astronomy Tower. A flash of green light. An empty hillside overlooking a small town. A large black manor looming above, the touch of a werewolf’s breath on her neck. A clearing in an old Forest. A flash of green light. Bodies lying scattered among corridors. Death Eaters descending on students. Unable to move, unable to defend them, unable to warn them their death was near. A scream. No! NOO!
Holly Potter sat up quickly in her bed. She was the one screaming. Holly put a hand to her head and sighed, this wasn’t the first night she had done this. Silently, Holly swung her legs to the side of the bed and made her way to the bathroom. After using it she stared at her reflection in the mirror.
Looking back at her was a young woman almost eighteen years old. She had long blonde hair and dark blue eyes. Her skin was flawless but she did have scars. Everyone had scars from that night. That long, never-ending night. After the battle, the wounded had been rushed to St. Mungo’s and were promptly healed. Well, their body was healed but not their mind. No spell for post-traumatic stress disorder has worked on any of the survivors yet. Holly sighed, there was no use dwelling on the past now. She turned away from the mirror and made her way back into the bedroom.
Holly quickly ducked down to the floor to avoid the spell. Breathing hard she straightened up slightly.
“Crucio! Reducto! Avada-“
Holly had rolled on the floor and jumped on the bed, wrestling Draco Malfoy’s wand from his grasp.
“It’s me, it’s Holly. Open your eyes! We’re safe! We’re safe.” Holly said, willing Draco to wake up from his nightmare. She placed his wand on her night-table, out of his reach. It wasn’t the first time he had done that either.
Draco’s eyes opened wide in fear. “Oh, I’m so sorry. Did I hurt you? Did I break anything?” He asked taking her face in his hands.
Holly smiled and gestured towards the wall, “You didn’t hurt me. But I think we’re going to have to move again” Draco had blasted a number of holes in the wall; their neighbours would have had to be dead not to have heard it.
Draco sighed and fell back on the bed looking up at the ceiling, “And we liked it so much here. I’m sorry Hol”
“Hey, it’s OK. Mr. Weasley was telling me about a great house up by them that’s for sale. Maybe we’ll try there next.” Holly replied, “Just clear your mind and go back to sleep. We’ll talk about it in the morning”
Draco kissed Holly, once on her forehead and then again on her lips, and rolled towards the wall on his side of the bed. Holly watched his shoulder rise up and down for a few heartbeats and then she too rolled to her side. She stared at a spot on the wall, nervous to fall back asleep. Draco and Holly both dreaded going to sleep. It was the one time they couldn’t control their mind. They had lost count of the number of times one of them had woken up in a cold sweat, screaming, or lunging for their wand.
They had spent the summer after the battle, at Hogwarts. Kingsley Shacklebolt, the new Minister for Magic, had asked a select number of people to help rebuild Hogwarts with the remaining staff. Holly and Draco had spent countless hours in the hot summer sun alongside Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, and their fellow classmates rebuilding the structural walls. Re-building walls was one thing, placing the old and new enchantments back on the castle in the process was another. Many adult wizards had taken a leave of absence from their regular jobs to help including Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, and others.
Another job was the burying and funerals of the fallen warriors whose families had not collected them. The bodies of the Death Eaters and Voldemort were placed in a large tomb behind Hogwarts, their names and dates simply etched in a medium sized stone. The tombs of the fallen Hogwarts defenders –wizards and creatures alike- were buried on the small island next to Albus Dumbledore’s. Elaborate markers including the name, date, and achievements lined each person’s burial site.
Severus Snape’s grave was among the fallen Hogwartians. Harry had explained to the wizarding community the truth about Snape and they had agreed it should be his final resting place as well.
Hogwarts wasn’t the only thing left in shambles after the war. The Ministry of Magic had gaping holes in its staff and its reputation. Kingsley was working hard with the other leaders to purge the Ministry of its remaining Death Eaters. Although most of them had joined Voldemort at Hogwarts, some fled at the first sign of trouble. Aurors were still tracking them down to this day. Holly wasn’t worried though, many of the Aurors had fought alongside her at Hogwarts. The Ministry also had to investigate the Death Eater’s families to make sure there were no more threats to Harry or anyone opposed to the Dark Lord’s old army.
To fill the holes in the staff and to reward the survivors of the war, Kingsley had passed a law decreeing that anyone who had fought in the battle and were in their sixth or seventh year at Hogwarts did not have to take their N.E.W.T’s and had graduated Hogwarts. Many of the students, including Harry and Ron, had taken that opportunity and were now employed at the Ministry or other occupations.
Still, some students had chosen to stay back and finish their schooling. Hermione was one of the first to put her name down for September 1st and Holly was quick to follow. Holly had missed out on the classroom setting as a child and saw this as an opportunity to make up for lost time. In just a few weeks, Hermione and Holly would be headed back to Hogwarts to begin a new school year.
Holly was fraught with nerves for going. Would she walk down a corridor and remember seeing a body there, or would she remember joyful students bantering about in the hallways like she had seen two years previously? Holly shook her head, clearing her mind of her worries. Whatever the case, she was going back to Hogwarts. She had risked life and limb for that school, why shouldn’t she learn more from it?