May 2nd, 1998
It was a heady feeling, Harry Potter realizes as he sits atop the broken and derelict steps of the once beautiful school he attended. He looks around with a numbness of shock and disbelief, at all of the bodies that decorates Hogwarts lawn. So much pointless death, he muses with a shake of his head, and all for a pointless cause. So many had died, for a war that should have never existed in the first place. This war should have been handled earlier and by adults. Instead, it was decided that children would finish the war. A sneer of disgust curls his lips at the thought of the incompetence that pertained to the adults within the Wizarding World.
Harry carefully pushes himself up from his seat on the uncomfortable stone steps. His arm wraps around his stomach, as it gives a painful twinge. He knows he's bleeding inside, likely from when he had been tossed backwards into a wall, during the bloody battle. For the last two years, it was a Gruellia warfare with young teenage witches and wizards against adult dark witches and wizards. It had been such a pointless war. What had been the point of it all? He wonders as he walks slowly through the quiet and war torn castle. Corpses lay scattered among the stone flooring, some buried beneath ruble, while others torn apart by dark curses, among various other methods to kill.
Bright green eyes merely scan the hallways and carefully walk around the fallen bodies and rubble. Determined steps walk through the halls of Hogwarts, heading towards the Headmaster's office. Harry can feel the watching eyes of portraits and Ghosts as he makes his way ever closer to the office. Back in the Great Hall, he has left those still alive and wounded behind. He doesn't plan to stick around for much longer. He doesn't want to continue to stay here. He has a chance, he now knows from his conversation with Death, in his momentary stay in the In-Between.
Harry has already handled his Last Will and Testament, he's handled everything that needed to be handled. He was so very tired. He can feel his body yearning for sleep and rest. He forcefully makes his way down the last hallway, and he can see the Headmaster's office statue. Just a little longer, he reminds himself. You're almost there. The encouraging words are the only reason that Harry was able to make it to the Gargoyle. A bloody hand raises to the dirty statue, smearing his blood across it, forcing the Gargoyle to jump aside and allow him entrance.
He moves forward and steps onto the moving staircase. Harry leans against the wall, his head tilting back against the stone, as his eyes slip cross without his permission. The staircase jolts to a stop, stirring Harry awake from his light doze. He takes the three long strides to get to the double wooden doors and shoves them roughly open, uncaring of the loud bang it makes as the doors slam into the walls behind them.
"Harry, my boy." Albus Dumbledore's portrait says in surprise from where it hangs on the wall. The late Headmaster falls quiet at the dark look Harry sends his way. Shock is expressed on his painted face, not that Harry cares.
The seventeen-year-old limps his way to the Pensieve and the memories that Severus Snape gave him. The last thing he needs to do is get rid of the memories. His Invisibility Cloak, the Elder Wand, and the Stone, are on his person and will disappear once he is gone too. Everything else he has handled or gotten rid of. The last thing he has is the memories. "Excindo," he murmurs once he has the vials in his hand.
The late Headmasters, including Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape, watch as the memories are seemingly destroyed or demolished. "What are you doing Potter?" Severus Snape asks with a squinty eyed glare at the younger man.
Harry Potter smiles as he takes a seat on the steps leading back down from the Pensieve. He leans against the archway and his eyes slide shut as he breathes in and out slowly. "I'm dying of course, Professor," he murmurs into the quiet of the room.
Severus Snape's portrait watches with a sadness and regret he has carried with him since he made the mistake of initially joining Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. He has failed in many ways, in how he handled many things in his life, but his greatest regret is how he dealt with the Potter child. It was only after his death, that Severus had realized Harry Potter was so much more like his mother than he was ever his father.
"Rest Potter, you deserve it." Severus Snape's portrait replies. He glares darkly at Albus Dumbledore's portrait, when the man goes to open his mouth and say something demeaning, Snape assumes. It isn't like the former Headmaster ever had good intentions regarding Lily's son.
The other former Headmaster's remain quiet in their vigil as they watch the Hero of the Wizarding World give his last raspy breath, before his chest stilled.
Harry Potter was off onto his next great adventure.