Post-Apocalyptic Medieval Battle of Hogwarts and The Love of Maidens
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters, they belong to J.K. Rowling. Please review and share with your friends! This is the final part of this tale.
“I just can’t believe he’s gone,” said Harry. Ginny sat next to him on a bench by the grave, looking at the little leaves of grass spurting from the damp soil. It had been a month since Draco’s funeral, and still both of them came to visit his last resting place every day. In a way, they both felt responsible for his death; Harry more so than Ginny, who hadn’t really had a say in the matter. They both wore black robes, and even Ginny’s hair looked limp and sad as if to join in the general feeling of mourning.
“What are you going to do now? Are you going away?” asked Ginny. Something in her voice made it feel like she’d been holding that question in her throat for a long time.
“I don’t know,” said Harry, not looking at her.
“Oh,” said Ginny.
They were both quiet for a little while.
“I think I’m going to stay. Look after Hogwarts,” said Ginny finally.
“It’s what he would’ve wanted,” said Harry. Neither of them knew what made him say that, but it felt right somehow. Even if it wasn’t exactly true, it was an acceptable version of the truth and not an outright lie. Who knew what Draco would’ve wanted? He did love Hogwarts, they thought, and he always enjoyed working with Ginny on the grounds. Even before he’d worked alongside her, he’d liked watching her working in the garden from the prison above. Hogwarts felt like a fitting place.
“I think I may stay too,” said Harry. His voice was casual enough, but his hands were shaking.
“Yeah?” said Ginny. Her gaze was still fixed on the little sprouts of grass.
“It feels like a good place to… I don’t know. Repent. If I went away I think I’d feel like I was running from my responsibility.”
“Yeah,” said Ginny.
They sat and looked at the grave again. Soon it would have a headstone. But for now, it was just a soft bit of dark soil with a few blades of grass poking bright and green through the dark ground.
A year later, Harry and Ginny had both moved into the Groundkeepers’ hut. Harry had learned a lot from Ginny’s expertise, and they just felt that living together would be a good thing. Both of them had grown quite solitary in the time that had passed, but they enjoyed spending their evenings together, reading by themselves in two opposing corners of the hut, alone but still together.
There was a knock on the door.
“I’ll get it,” Harry said to Ginny, who was engrossed in her diary. He had been cooking their dinner, rabbit and turnip stew, so he put down the large wooden spoon before he opened the door.
“Hello,” said Dumbledore and entered. His hair was smooth and shiny in the light of the open fire under the cauldron. “I have come to propose something to you.”
“Come on in.”
“Thank you, Harry,” he said and sat down on one of the hut’s comfortable chairs. The furnishings were simple, but they were all handmade and had a cosy charm about them. “I was wondering if I could ask if you were ready to move on from your grieving,” Dumbledore began.
“What?” said Ginny, and put down her quill.
“You know. Marriage. You two are practically married already, I mean, look at this home you’ve built together!”
Both Harry and Ginny blushed. They were both in their early thirties, and they had been sharing a house for a little while, but still the mention of their relationship changing made them embarrassed.
“Oh, don’t be daft. This could be the best thing that’s ever happened to you!” said Dumbledore.
“I can’t,” said Harry. Ginny lowered her eyes. “My friend died because he wanted to be with her. I can’t do that to him… to his memory.”
“Okay,” said Dumbledore after some deliberation.
Ginny finally piped up. “Why doesn’t anyone ever ask me?” she said. “I don’t get asked whether I want to marry him. It’s my choice too!” she continued.
“Yes! I agree,” said Harry. They now presented a united argument, and Dumbledore could see he was at a loss.
“Yes. I see,” he said. “But don’t be cross if I ask you again once some time has passed.”
“Okay,” said Harry. He glanced at Ginny and added, “But under one condition.”
“What’s that?” said Dumbledore.
“You need to ask both of us. Separately. And we both have to agree. And no pressure.”
Ginny smiled a little secret smile.
“So be it,” said Dumbledore. “I see what you mean. Her Majesty Professor McGonnagall and I only became companions after a long time. And even now, she’s like a sister to me. There’s nothing romantic about it. We’re just good friends.”
“Really? Tell me more about that,” said Ginny, and got up to fetch some small glasses for fire whisky and berry schnapps.
And so Dumbledore told them the long story of his friendship with Minerva McGonnagall, of his lover and long-time partner Werner, and of the complicated social system, of keeping a facade alive for the sake of the throne, and so on. “If I could’ve married Werner, if we could’ve been kings together, I would’ve. But truth be told,” he said, and took a long sip of schnapps, “I think Minerva is a much better administrator than him. And much better with the press. So it works out for all of us.”
Harry and Ginny were very drunk by the time Dumbledore walked off to go back to the castle. The mystery of the King and Queen’s separate bedrooms was finally solved! Sitting by the fire with a bowl of overcooked stew, they gazed into each other’s eyes for a long time.
“Maybe one day,” said Ginny after a long silence.
“Yes,” said Harry.
They each ate a small spoonful of stew.
“This is disgusting,” said Ginny.
“Yes,” said Harry.
They laughed, and Ginny reached across the table to put her hand on top of Harry’s. Their fingers intertwined slowly, and so they sat, eating their soft stew, holding each other’s fingertips, until they fell asleep where they sat.
Ten years later.
Dumbledore, still in his prime, walked up to the hut. He was in a hurry. Harry’s 40th birthday was only a few days away, and he needed Ginny’s help to plan the perfect party. She opened the door and welcomed the King in, and he noticed how her hair had gone sort of grey in parts, like the copper was now woven through with silver. It suited her.
“How can I help?” she said, drying her hands on a tea towel. She had been gardening, and there was still some dirt under her fingernails. The vegetable patch of Hogwarts was thriving more than ever, Dumbledore noted with pleasure.
“You’re Harry’s best friend. Do you know what he’d like for his birthday?” he asked.
“I think he’d like it if we didn’t make a big fuss,” Ginny said. They were both silent, and then snorted and started laughing loudly. “The Golden Boy, you know. Doesn’t like a big party.”
“So, fireworks?” asked Dumbledore, brushing tears of laughter out of the corners of his eyes.
“Yes, I think that would be appropriate,” said Ginny.
“Good,” said Dumbledore. He would tell Minerva to go ahead with the preparations for Party Plan A. “And one other thing,” he said. “Are you two finally ready? It’s been a long time now. Do you think we could fit a tiny wedding into the birthday party?”
“Yes, I suppose,” said Ginny with a wide smile.
“Fantastic!” said Dumbledore and clapped his hands together with excitement. “I’ll ask Harry,” he promised. He walked away and found Harry in the forest, healing bark on a tree.
“Hi, Albus,” said Harry. His face had some new wrinkles now, but he was still as handsome as ever. In fact, the wrinkles even helped disguise the scar on his forehead.
“Hello. Listen, Harry, I was wondering… don’t you think it’s time you stopped being a bachelor and became an honest man?”
Harry grinned. “Have you asked Ginny yet?”
“I couldn’t possibly share that with you,” said Dumbledore, and winked.
“Yes. Yes, I think that would be great,” said Harry.
“So you’ll do it?” asked Dumbledore. He didn’t want to get his hopes up before he was completely certain.
“Yes. I would be honoured. If she’ll have me, the old witch,” he said.
“Fabulous. I do love a wedding!” said Dumbledore, and clapped a hand to his mouth. He had divulged too much. Harry was beaming with joy.
“Cool,” he said, appearing calm. His wand hand was drawing sparkles into midair.
And so it was that Harry and Ginny were married, and both their prayers became true: Harry married Ginny, and Ginny married the one who truly loved and appreciated her. And all was well.