After the Storm


Appreciating the cool breeze and quite stillness, Avery took her time walking through the dark forest with a heavy mind. Not really caring that the tree's branches where combing through her already disheveled hair and ignoring her still stinging wounds days after the battle. Avery swept her gaze around her surroundings with a heavy look that made her appearance seem far older than what she truly was. Coming to the edge of the black lake, Avery took a seat on a raised rock and looked out at the still water, contemplating whether or not to jump into the icy black depths for which the lake was named. That probably won't go over very well with Harper and mum though. Thinking about her small family brought a smile to her face, trying to forget the negative thoughts of almost losing them days ago when the battle of Hogwarts first started. She couldn't bear to lose her family, especially after losing so many of her friends all ready.

Family.

Something Avery kept very close to her heart, especially concerning her younger sister of about six years and her darling mother. Her father, coming from a very strict religious family, ran when he found out the truth about her mother's magical roots when she was just a child. When Avery first received her letter for Hogwarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, her mother couldn't have been more proud that she received the magical gene. Now at twenty-one and having just gone through a war, Avery could care very little for the man that she once called a father.

Standing from her position, Avery could still see Hogwart's walls standing proudly after the major battle that had recently occurred there just days prior. They had won. The thought was still new to her, and Avery knew that it would still take a while for it to sink in. But for now, the war was over. Harry Potter had defeated Voldemort. He was dead. But, so were many others. The fighting was over, but they had lost so many good people.

They lost so many.

Avery was a friend to so many of the people that had lost their lives earlier than any one could have anticipated. Sirius Black, who had welcomed her with open arms when she first decided to join the Order of the Phoenix at the early age of nineteen. The very man who had taught her that even though people have both light and dark inside them, it's the part they choose to act on is what matters the most.

Albus Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard who had ever lived and the best Headmaster that Hogwarts had ever seen, was the role model that Avery looked up to since day one. The very man that taught her how magical magic could really be. And so many other good people that she had befriended through the years and made a huge impact in her life.

Moody.

Fred.

Tonks.

Severus.

Remus.

Walking into the Great Hall during the respite, Avery was determined to keep her head up and not look at the injured or the dead. Hearing the cries throughout the hall was enough for Avery to be brought to tears, but she couldn't let a tear fall. She had promised her old friend that she wouldn't cry until the war was over with, regardless of who had won. However, that promise was broken when she saw the very friend she had promised. Remus Lupin was lying on the cold stone floor, neither moving nor breathing; and logically, Avery knew that he wasn't going to wake up again. But she couldn't help the traitorous tears from falling down her face, or falling to her knees beside her fallen friend as memories came back with a vengeance. The tears fell harder still as Avery noticed who lay beside him with purple hair.

Sniffling a bit because of the cold, Avery tightened her hold on her oversized thin grey sweatshirt and was thankful that she decided to wear dark skinny jeans for her last trek through the dark forest. Choosing to go back to the now ruined castle, Avery pivoted on her heel and began walking, letting her feet lead the way. Years old boots covered her aching feet as she walked through the forest, secretly happy that her dependable boots survived the worst of the fighting. Sending a grateful thanks to her mother for finding the spell that still kept the boots in tact, people had always wondered why she never threw them out, and her response was always the same,

"They're always there when I need them."

Walking through the rubble of the school grounds, Avery could still see people fighting; she could still hear people dying. Feeling the grief begin to wash over her, Avery decided to look for her sister that she knew would be with the Goldren Trio somewhere. Let her be with them for a little while longer. We are, after all, moving to the other side of the world. Being surrounded by death and memories, her mother decided to leave England behind and start a new life somewhere else. Even though Avery legally became an adult at seventeen, she decided to stay with her family and was going with them wholeheartedly. It's not like I have anything else here anyway.

A bright white light glowed behind her and Avery turned around to see her mother's Patronus turn into a large majestic horse. Walking closer, the horse's head bowed down to Avery's height and began to relay a message,

"It's almost time sweetheart. Find your sister and meet me at the gates."

Seeing the charm begin to fade away, Avery began heading towards the Great Hall, knowing that she couldn't give her sister anymore time with her friends. Walking over rocks and being careful around crumbling walls, Avery walked with a heavy step, gripping her wand tightly in her right hand. The war may have been over, but the feeling of danger was going to be difficult to just make go away. Coming towards the destroyed doors of the grand hall that she fell in love with so many years ago, Avery walked through the grand arch and immediately saw Harper and Harry embracing in a loving hug.


Embracing Harry always made her feel safe and warm, but knowing that she was leaving soon made Harper grip just a little bit tighter. Feeling Harry's nose dig deeper into her hair, Harper knew that it was time to let go. Slowly, Harper began to step away from Harry and turned to see both Ron and Hermione give her watery smiles, for they knew what was happening. She was wondering who was going to move first when bushy hair attacked her face.

"Oh Harper! Please don't forget to write." Feeling her friend's shoulders begin to shake, Harper hugged Hermione with what strength she had left.

"Don't worry Mione, Mum says that the fireplace will be connected to the Floo Network. You can visit any time!" Closing her eyes tight, Harper couldn't keep the tears from falling.

"All right Mione. Don't choke her to death, we don't want to tell people that the great Harper Jensen died by a hug." Chuckling at her red head friend, Harper threw herself into Ron's arms, appreciating his comic relief.

"Honestly Ronald, that's not funny!" Feeling Ron's chuckles deep in his chest, Harper wondered how she was to get by with out her friends. Stepping back, Harper rubbed her eyes harshly and brought them all into a group hug.

"Ready to go Harp?" Hearing the familiar voice, Harper looked behind her to see her sister's dark brown eyes filled with so many emotions, that when Avery blinked, were no longer there. Turning back to her friends, Harper gave them one last hug and turned to leave. Both Jensen girls began walking towards Hogwarts gates in silence, that it somewhat made Harper uncomfortable. Trying to think positive about her new home, Harper didn't notice the pothole until her foot fell. Her sister's iron grip on her elbow was the only things that kept her from falling and sent a grateful smile her way. Walking towards the gates, Harper noticed many familiar faces going about trying to clean and fix the battered old castle and many were her friends. Waving goodbye and sending smiles sent a pang through her chest, knowing that it would be a while before she saw any of them again.

"So how did Harry take it?" Jumping in surprise, Harper wasn't expecting Avery to talk, especially when her face showed no signs of any emotional feeling at all.

"As well as one could take considering the circumstances. Harry did just beat Moldypants after all. I don't think he liked hearing his girlfriend was moving halfway around the world."

"Hmmm." Looking at Avery's face, one would think that she wasn't paying any attention at all to her sister's love life. But Harper knew better. She knew that Avery was paying attention to every detail, whether she was showing it or not.

"So what he did say anyway?"

"Oh. Well, he understood where Mum was coming from about wanting to get away and all that, but he wasn't very happy about it."

"Who would be? So, what's going to happen between you two?"

"Well, considering that he broke up with me to 'protect' me or whatever last summer, he said that it would be better if we just went our separate ways for now. Focus on getting our lives on track. Being normal…" Trailing of a bit, Harper couldn't help let out an ironic snort, considering the fact that her mother found the most mugglest place in the United States.

"Harry's got a point. After so many years of danger and war and whatnot, maybe normal would be nice. You do realize that Mum wants to live in a Muggle community right?" Looking at Avery's face, Harper could see what the years had done to her strong older sister. Harper swore that the deep frown lines marring her sister's face weren't there a year ago, and the dull look in her chocolate brown eyes scared her a bit. Seeing her sister look worn down from life gave her an edge, Harper was going to make her sister see the brighter side of life. If that meant that she had to adapt to muggle way of living then so be it. Pushing the sadness away for now, Harper smiled bright and big.

"Yup! I can't wait to see our new house." Seeing her sister's eyebrow quirk upward in that familiar way that basically told Harper she was being weird made her giggle. Everything around her was ever changing, but she could always count on her sister to make her smile.


Not understanding her sister's mood change, Avery shook her head in disbelief. She was sure that her little sister would have some problems with living the muggle way, after all, Harper couldn't live without magic. Looking ahead, Avery could see the battered and mangled gates ahead with a woman standing somewhere near them. Knowing that her mother was waiting caused Avery to walk faster and she heard a distinct 'Hey!' from Harper behind her. Reaching her mother first, Avery noticed the way the sun danced off her mother's shoulder length golden hair and how bright her hazel eyes seem to gleam with the sunlight. Looking behind her, Harper was still walking at a leisurely pace that allowed her long golden hair, which was practically identical to her mother's, to flow behind her. Observing closely, Avery could proudly state that Harper was the spitting image of her mother, which caused a warm feeling to grow in her chest when she realized that her younger sister looked nothing like their father.

"Are you both ready?" Hearing her mother's soft-spoken voice, Avery turned her attention to the older woman.

"Thanks for leaving me Av. Great older sister you are." Although Harper's voice had a slight edge to it, Avery could clearly see the mischief and humor in her hazel eyes.

"Well, if you weren't so slow, then maybe you could've kept up with me."

"It's not my fault that someone was a Seeker for Ravenclaw for five years."

"Oh right. How did I forget? Being Gryffindor's Chaser didn't really require any speed did it?"

"Well—"

"Girls!" Having their playful argument cut short by their mother, Avery was worried that she would be a bit put off, but was surprised to find amusement in her eyes and trying to hold back laughter.

"Sorry Mum. What were you saying?" Seeing that her family wearing identical smiles, Avery couldn't help but smile too.

"I was saying that it was almost time to go. We have at least three months to fit in before Harper starts muggle schooling in September and I want to be situated before then."

"I am so glad to be done with schooling. Both magic and muggle wise."

"Yeah well, being sixteen sucks." Making a face at her younger sibling, both Jensen siblings followed after their mother who was walking towards an old battered boot. Wondering where their belongings were, Avery didn't voice her thoughts aloud knowing that her mother all ready took care of it.

"All right girls. You both ready to see our new home?"

Looking towards the still rising sun, Avery hadn't felt so free in a long time.


"And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won't rot, I won't rot
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won't rot.

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That's why I hold,
That's why I hold with all I have.
That's why I hold.

And I won't die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I'll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and man so small.
Well I'm scared of what's behind and what's before.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair." -Mumford and Sons