Chapter 6: The Hangover

Harry, Ron, Hermione Granger, and Ron's sister Ginny were sitting in the backyard of the Burrow. Harry looked quite glum as they reminisced about the disco. With a sympathetic expression, Ginny said to Harry, "I know how tough this is for you. I thought the club was absolutely amazing myself, and since it was your idea, I can only imagine how much losing it hurts you. I just hope you'll remember that the spirit of the club will always be with us." Harry forced a smile and gently thanked her.

Hermione chimed in, "Come on now, guys. We need to realize, parties don't last forever. There are always problems we need to deal with. The real world is full of adversity. The fact is, we need to focus on Voldemort again. He's still the biggest threat in the wizarding world, and I know you want to get even with him for taking away your fun."

With irritation, Ron responded, "You talk like the place was nothing more than Quidditch practice! You were there every day and loved it, even though you would never admit it. You're ridiculous for trying to dismiss our feelings." Hermione let out her usual exasperated sigh and muttered, "Oh, Ronald."

As she said this, she heard a voice behind her say, "Well hello there! I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" Harry looked up and exclaimed, "Professor Slughorn! This is a pleasant surprise. What brings you round?" Slughorn replied, "I just came by to see how you folks were holding up, and I wanted to introduce you to someone. This is my friend Susan. You may remember her as my butterbeer polka partner." The four youngsters got up and shook her hand, with Ron saying, "It's a pleasure to meet you. Welcome to my home." Ginny then yelled towards the house, "Mum, we have two more guests out here! Bring out some drinks, would you?" A moment later, Molly came out with two pints of butterbeer.

Slughorn took a sip of his drink and noted, "I sense a lot of tension here. What are you lot talking about?" Harry answered, "We're still grieving the loss of the discotheque." Slughorn thoughtfully replied, "Yes, that place was smashing. It gave me the chance to feel young again. In fact, I found myself a new young companion," as he glanced over at Susan, who blushed and smiled. The professor continued, "It was a fantastic breath of fresh air for everybody. It created lasting memories and new friendships…and it got some of us back into shape. Unfortunately, things like that are not permanent. Voldemort certainly saw to that. He even caused me to lose my cool, even though I was in the aura of the building. It's time for us to prepare to fight him again. Thankfully, he now wears his true colors forever on his face." The others laughed heartily at this last statement.

Harry said with resignation, "Ah, Professor, I know you're right. It's just hard to come to terms with what happened." Ginny then walked over and gently put her hand on his. Harry resumed, "It was wonderful to live in constant joy, and even take on a new identity for a while. But as you said, we have to get back to this war that never seems to end. On top of that, I don't know how strong I will be after what's happened, I'm worried I won't be able to rally the Order when the next battle comes along, we've lost Sirius as a soldier, and worst of all, the woman I've wanted to curse into oblivion is now my GODMOTHER!"

The End