Healing chapter 2
We Got This
Hours later, Harry stirred, and his eyes flew open. 'My watch. Danger!' He threw the blankets aside and stood, trying to reach for his wand, but it wasn't in his hand. His wand, where was it? His clothes, Not in his pocket. No pockets. Where…. his mind slowly cleared, and he took in his surroundings. Dark red curtains were draping five beds with small wardrobes standing nearby.
Gryffindor. He was in Gryffindor tower. He won. He was safe.
He then saw a young woman with red hair hanging down her back, sitting on a chair, facing the door. "It's ok Harry. It's my watch now. Go back to sleep." She said, her brown eyes were resolute.
His eyes spied the alarm clock that always stood on the table next to his bed. Noon. It's not his turn at watch. His turn to sleep. The bed welcomed him again and sleep claimed him as its own.
He stretched and felt the warmth by his side. Looking over, Harry saw Ginny, curled on top of the blankets, she had pushed herself as close as she could against his back, with her arm draping over him. Trying to not disturb her, he slipped out of bed and headed to the bathroom. Washing, he paused, seeing Charlie on the chair, watching the half-closed dorm room door.
"Don't worry, Harry, My watch." The large statured man said, not really looking at him.
Harry took another large drink of the pumpkin juice and a few bites of the replenished sandwich then sleep overcame him again.
This time, the clock beside the bed said 19:00, seven in the evening. He had slept ten hours. He looked out the window and, in the dusk, the damage was terrifying. The courtyard was in ruins. The remnants of Hagrid's hut were still smoldering. The battle started less than twenty hours ago.
A bubble of anxiety grew in his breast. So much, too many… if only…
Then he felt warm arms surround him from behind. "It's ok. I'm here. It's over." He turned and looked into Ginny's eyes. He calmness, her steadiness eased the adrenaline surging through his body.
"I…I can't. So Much…" His tongue couldn't describe what his mind was trying to think.
"I know. But it's over. Come here." She led him back to the bed and handed him a bowl of thick, hot stew. "Eat. You need it."
He ate. He drank the juice. His eyes struggled to stay open. He looked accusingly at Ginny.
"Yes. It's laced with potions. Madam Pomphrey's orders. You need to heal. Sleep." She crooned, as he crawled back into his bed.
He woke again. This time, he felt renewed. There was no light shining through the window. The clock announced 4 am. Ginny was once again curled by his side, with a cloak as her blanket. He spread his corner of bedclothes over her and slid out of bed. Then stopped. Arthur Weasley was sitting on the chair that faced the door. But he was looking right at him.
Harry didn't know if he should feel embarrassment at being caught with Ginny, or grateful that someone was on watch. The look on Arthur's face and the friendly, confident nod made him choose the latter. They got this.
He was thirsty but didn't trust the pitcher on the bedside. He padded to the bathroom and drank from the faucet. Washing his face, he looked in the mirror. What he saw was not his face. Not really. Oh, his features were the same. Same nose, mouth, even same scar. It was the eyes. The eyes were different. While the green had not faded, there were now a few wrinkles at the corners. There was a new look of sadness. They looked old.
His body felt old. Bruises were healing but the aches still needed to be worked out. He touched the reddened scar of where the cursed locket had seared itself to his chest. And just below it, right where his heart still beat, a new mark, A mark of a radiant sun. A mark placed there by the killing curse. A mark showing that he died and then he lived.
He turned away. 'He lived while so many didn't. Why? They all deserved to live more than he. Fred, Tonks, Remus…. No! don't go there. Now is not the time to say their names. Now is not the time.' With these thoughts going through his head, he turned back to his room.
With a silent nod at Arthur, he reached the clothing still left on the foot of the bed. He slipped the soft tee over his head and slid slippers over his cold feet. There were no shoes, but he refused the idea of putting his old trainers on again. He palmed his wand that was waiting patiently next on the bedside table. Another silent nod and he was out the door.
Slowly, quietly, he descended the stairs only to find Bill holding his wand and standing on the landing that separated the girl dorms from the boys. With a nod, he continued.
Harry walked quietly into the common room where he found the most of the Weasley family spread out over the area. A very bedraggled George stood sentry at the entry to the portrait, His blazing eyes just daring an attack. Everyone else was asleep. George turned and faced Harry as he neared. With a sweeping motion, Harry found himself embraced.
"Thank you, Harry. Thank you." George mumbled through tears.
"I'm so sorry, George. I wish…" Harry tried to find the words. If only he…if only.
"Yeah. I know. It's okay." George let him go and turned back to the portrait opening. A pained half-smile, half-grimace marked his face.
Harry pushed the portrait open and stepped out into the corridor. On the right, he saw a man pacing 15 yards further down. On the left, he found a man, sitting on a chair right next to the portrait. Harry was stunned. Not by just the man, but by the pistol on his lap.
"Excuse me? But wh…" He started to ask.
"You must be Mr. Potter." The man stood and held out his hand.
"Yeah, but do I know you?" Harry shook his hand, but his eyes never left the gun.
"Robert Creevey here." Mr. Creevey tucked the gun into its holster and scanned the corridor, always on duty. "Muggle. My boys brought me along for the excitement."
"Creevey. Collin's dad?" Harry's heart plunged down to his knees, remembering another face among the dead.
"Yes. He's my boy." Came the calm answer.
"I'm so sorry. I didn't want…Not for me..."
"Sorry son, but please stop there. What happened to him was not your doing. He died a hero. Those girls are alive because he caught the curse for them. He did it. His choice. Please don't take that from him." The sad, proud smile set Harry back. He didn't think about that.
"Of course, Sir…" Harry drew a deep breath. "He was a great kid. I'm honored to have known him."
Robert nodded and touched the holstered weapon at his side. "Her Majesty's Special Forces, Sniper, Retired. Milkman now. I can't use a wand, but I know how to introduce those bastards to their maker. My boy's world is now my own."
What could he say to that? "I know where he got his bravery from, sir." Harry shook his hand again. He turned as if to move down the corridor. He wanted to see the damage.
"Excuse me, Mr. Potter. But we are asked to keep everyone in their rooms. There's still searches going on for survivors and enemies. Wanderers might get in the way." Robert voiced, sounding apologetic.
"Of course. I understand." With a nod of agreement, Harry turned back to the portrait. But then he remembered he didn't know a password. Before he could speak, Robert Creevey spoke up. "Victory."
The door swung open and as Harry stepped through, he spoke to Mr. Creevey. "Thank you, Sir. It's…It's been an honor talking with you."
"Go, rest, Mr. Potter." The muggle man, who didn't have to fight, turned back to the place he was willing to die for. "We got this."