This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Harry Potter was tired. Voldemort had finally been vanquished. Voldemort, the man who cursed his life since he was a child. Voldemort, the man who killed his parents. Voldemort, the man who took over his life. Yes, Voldemort, the man who ruined everything, was finally dead.
All Harry wanted was rest. The Wizarding World would not give that to their hero. Their hero, their Chosen One. Harry couldn't turn a corner without getting ambushed by reporters. Rita Skeeter, of course, tormented him and his reputation. Rita Skeeter reported lies from the day he was born. Harry swore that he would get his revenge on the unregistered animagus.
The Ministry of Magic was finally coming to its senses. Dolores Umbridge was in Azkaban. Kingsley Shacklebolt was the new minister. Kingsley offered Auror Training to all those who participated in the Battle of Hogwarts, months ago. Harry and Hermione had both declined - they wanted to finish their education. Ronald Weasley also declined. He didn't want to finish Hogwarts training. Ron worked with his brother George at the joke shop. Ron was the only comfort to George who lost his twin and best friend last May.
Harry was now living in his own flat in London. He was apparating into the Burrow that afternoon. He couldn't wait to see Hermione and Ron and Ginny and The Weasleys. He was quite lonely for he had no muggle friends and all his wizard friends were quite affected from the Battle of Hogwarts. Many lost loved ones and others were permanently scarred for life from killing a Death Eater.
Harry checked his watch. It was 3:30. He decided he should go to the Burrow. He closed his eyes and focused on the 3Ds of apparition. He only got his license weeks ago. His stomach flipped - yes, he still couldn't stand it - and when he opened his eyes he was on the doorstep of the Weasleys. He knocked on the door twice and Mrs. Weasley opened the door. "Hello Harry, nice to see you!"
"Nice to see you too, Mrs. Weasley," Harry replied politely.
"I told you dear, just call me Molly."
Harry chuckled, "I'll try, Mrs. Weasley."
Molly just laughed. "Ron and Ginny are in their rooms. Percy is at the Ministry with Arthur - they will be coming for dinner. George and Fr-," she started crying.
Harry hugged Molly and saw tears forcing their way out of their eyes. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Weasley."
Molly just managed a small smile. "I'll be fine soon. George is having it rough, more than me. He barely comes home these days. I hope he comes today. Now go on, go see Ron."
Harry apparated right outside of Ron's room. When he knocked on the door the door flung right open. He was engulfed in a hug. "Ron - I can't breathe. I think you're about to strangled the Boy who Lived."
Ron released Harry with a chuckle. "I'll be the most powerful wizard. I, the wizard who defeated the Boy who Lived. I, the wizard he could kill the boy that Voldemort couldn't. Anyway, nice to see you mate!"
"How's things with Hermione going?" Harry asked curiously.
Hermione and Ron had shared a kiss in the Chamber. He assumed that they have been dating ever since. Ron shook his head sadly. "She is in Australia, trying to restore her parent's memories. She left a few days ago and she's coming tomorrow. I asked her out after the battle and she said no. She said she needs time."
Harry smiled. "Mate, I'm sure you guys will be together soon enough. Just give her time and she'll be ready. The Battle affected a lot of people."
Ron suppressed a smile. "I guess you're right mate. Do you want to play a game of chess?"
Harry shook his head. "You know I'm rubbish at chess. We should play quidditch later. You and I can be captains. How does that sound?"
Ron smiled. "Great. Now I got to go fill in some inventory sheets. Could you leave me for a few?"
Harry nodded. "I have to clear some things up with Ginny."
Ron warned, "You hurt her, I hurt you."
Harry playfully whacked Ron. "You told me thought let's see. Once? No twice. No about every second! I got it mate!"
Ron winked and shut the door. Harry made his way to Ginny's room. The door was already open and Harry could hear sobs. "Ginny, could I come in?"
"Yes, it's me."
"Yes, you can come in."
Harry walked in and found Ginny in a terrible state. Her hair was a mess and bags were over her eyes. "Gin, you don't look fine. Tell me what's going on."
"Harry, Fred was the brother who was my best friend. He was one of my favorite brothers. The brother who didn't overlook me. Ron was overprotective. He would always bug me and curse my boyfriends away. George was a good brother. He tended to prank me a bit more than Fred. Percy was the pompous prat who didn't care an inkling for me. Charlie and Bill were older and were never around for me in my Hogwarts years. I don't have anyone now that's Fred's gone."
Harry pulled Ginny into a hug and she sobbed into Harry's chest. Harry stroked her hair as she cried. "Gin - do you want to be my girlfriend?"
Ginny shook her head sadly. "I'm sorry Harry - I've moved on. You left me. You left me for a whole year with no idea if you were alive. No idea what you were doing. When I saw you in Hagrid's arms you don't now how much I broke. I saw you earlier but you didn't acknowledge me. You just let Loony help you with your task. When I saw you alive again, I knew that we were not meant for each other. You don't like me because of who I am. You feel bad for me - I'm a foolish little girl who has no money."
Harry nodded, "I guess I understand. I'm sorry. Now, who's the special boy?"
Ginny smiled, "Neville Longbottom, killer of Nagini."
Harry responded, "He's a good guy. Tell him if he hurts you, I hurt him ok?"
Ginny nodded. Harry left her on her bed, feeling guilty. His perfect thought out life with Ginny was ruined. He made it to Ron's room. Ron was sitting by his desk staring at the wall. "You back already mate? How did things go?"
Harry answered sadly, "She said no."
Ron replied, "Well you shouldn't worry. You have thousands of girls goggling at you. Didn't you say you had some marriage offerings from some parents? You're famous, Harry. You can get whoever you want."
Harry sighed. Ron would never understand. "Ron. The one girl I want said no."
Ron shook his head. "Go find another girl then. Cho Chang?"
Harry shook his head, "She's a jerk. Remember how you couldn't find her during the Battle of Hogwarts?" Ron nodded, "She was raping a poor little 1st year. She's in Azkaban now. You didn't hear?"
Ron gasped. "I'm sure you can find someone. You have anything a girl could want - fame and money. I don't have money and I don't have fame. I've been starved for my whole life. I get a small meal three times a day, and that's it."
Harry sighed. "Ron, you have everything I want. You have a loving family and a quiet life. You don't have to do many chores. You can't even cook for you life and you can eat for your life. You haven't experience real hunger. You haven't gone days and weeks and sometimes months without food."
Harry continued, "I only have fame and money. From the time I could walk I had to weed the garden. When I was tall enough to reach the stove I had to cook. When I did accidental magic I would stay in the cupboard for days without food. I wasn't allowed to have any friends - Dudley would beat me up. I would clean the floor until it was spotless. I was never given any presents. The most they ever given me was a sock."
Ron wasn't smiling anymore. "Harry, I'm sorry."
Ginny stomped into the room. "Mum says I have to tell you boys it's time for dinner." She left.
Harry took the chance to leave and burst into the kitchen. All the other Weasleys were already at the table. Molly was finishing cooking. He rushed to help her. Soon, everyone was seated and they ate dinner in awkard silence.
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LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...
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