Hermione goes to work at the Ministry every morning, leaving Ron sleeping, his arm outflung across the sheets toward the warm place she has left. There's no point in making him get up early to eat breakfast with her blearily, and anyway he complains that her breakfasts are heavy on the healthy cereals and fruit. She sits down at her desk and spreads out her papers and looks out the window at the statue in the courtyard. It never looks back at her, but she doesn't expect it to. "Good morning, Harry," she says, and then gets to work. There's a lot to do.
Neville isn't sorry, although it's hard right now, learning how to get around on what remains of his left foot. Both hands still work, although the left one is scarred and has three stiff fingers that aren't good for much. The scars on his face have faded to a pale mark that looks like he's been slapped, and when he looks at himself in the mirror he doesn't feel that much has changed. He's never been handsome. He practices his walking in the cemetery, where he makes his slow way to Snape's grave, remembering the way he felt after he dragged Snape out of the burning castle, sitting on the lawn watching him take his last, ragged breaths: he's still proud he resisted the temptation to leave him to burn.
Ginny feels guilty about how much she just wants things to be normal. Of course she misses Harry, of course she feels bad about the things that happened in the war, but when people treat her like his widow it makes her want to scream that they weren't married. They dated for several weeks, and it was wonderful, but she can't stand the idea of her entire life revolving around those weeks. She can't wear black now without people wondering who it's for. Ginny wants to get a good job and go out to pubs and get a grown-up haircut for the first time and buy a lot of shoes. She hates it that she feels like every step she takes she's stepping on graves.
Remus has a steady job for the first time in his life, and someone warm to come home to at night, and still sometimes he feels like he is just going through the motions, filling out the rest of his days with things that don't matter very much. He goes out to the courtyard where the horrible statue of Harry stands; it is probably supposed to look noble, but instead it looks stiff and awkward and a bit apologetic. He scatters crumbs for the pigeons and watches them descend, filling the air with the beating of wings, trying to believe that something in the courtyard is alive.
Angelina knows England doesn't have much chance of winning the Quidditch World Cup this year, but they're not giving up without a fight. She still can't quite believe she's on the team, and she's not wasting her chance, even if the team is a bit thin. Fred comes round sometimes and they have good times, although she's not ready to settle down yet. She's not sure she'll ever be ready. She's happy the way things are. The war is over. She just wishes she were sure Fred knew it. Sometimes when he's sleeping he frowns and pulls away from her, breathing hard, but she doesn't wake him; she's afraid of what he'll say.
Minerva teaches classes from the front of the ground-floor room that now serves both as her office and the Transfiguration classroom. Most of the higher floors are still not habitable, and when she glances out the window she can see the bright roofs of the tents that have been set up to take the place of dormitories. It will be years before order is entirely restored, and even then the castle will show its scars. They're marks of age, like the ache in her chest that tells her it's as well that she no longer has to climb to the top of Gryffindor Tower. Still, life goes on, as it always does. She taps her wand on the desk for order, and begins again.
Draco tries to avoid running into Hermione Granger on his way into the office. He hates the way people look at her like she's a hero, and then glance at him like he's an afterthought. The worst thing is that he knows it might be true. He tries not to think about it, going through the motions of paper-pushing and playing politics at the lunch table, going home to an empty flat. "Things could be worse," he tells the statue in the courtyard when he passes through, the weight of its stone gaze making the back of his neck prickle. "I could be you."
Fred goes round to see Angelina when he can get away from the shop for the afternoon; they're still as busy as ever. He knows various people are stockpiling private arsenals to use when the fighting starts up again. He doesn't mention this over their dinner in a pub; Angelina talks determinedly of England's chances against Bulgaria, and he's pretty sure she doesn't want to hear about anything else. She falls asleep after they have sex, and he rolls over and closes his eyes and tells himself he's not going to dream of anything but flying this time.
Tonks goes with Remus to visit graves and stands shivering in the cold while he shifts awkwardly from foot to foot as if trying to think of what to say to them. They're dead, she wants to tell him; they can't hear you and they don't care. She knows that would be cruel, and too many people have been cruel to Remus; he always half-expects it. Instead she tries to believe the Potters are here, and that they can hear her, too. She glares at their graves. Give him back, she tells them; you can't have him yet. She spills her paper cup of tea deliberately, knowing he'll think it's an accident, a sop for the hungry ghosts.
George hates it when Fred stays out late at night, because late nights are when he has the most doubts: he looks at the shelves and thinks that they're selling the weapons that will start the next war. Sometimes late at night he thinks about piling up the worst of the stock and taking it out to the Burrow and burning it, watching the flames rise higher and higher. He'd make a pyre for his father and Charlie, something better than the cold stones that sit in the village churchyard now. He tells himself every time that he'll talk to Fred when he gets home, but he never really says more than "How was your night?"
Molly's life hasn't changed that much, she tells herself. There are still chores to be done, cleaning and cooking and knitting, animals to feed and care for, the garden to tend, jam to make, clothes to mend. The children come to dinner, and she has the table set for them and sends them home with their arms full. She is too busy to brood over the past. That's a luxury for the young. Still, at night the house gets very quiet. She listens to the ticking of the clock, counting out the empty hours after midnight, and wonders how she will ever fill all the hours left in her life.
Ron knows Harry's dead, but he still can't quite believe it. He knows it doesn't mean anything that they never found his body. There probably wasn't enough to find. The final duel destroyed the whole house at Godric's Hollow. Harry is dead, and that's the way it is. Lots of other people aren't, and Ron is grateful for that. But he still stops sometimes on his way to see Hermione at work and stares up at the statue in the courtyard. He waits for Harry to put a hand on his arm from behind and laugh and tell him that it's all been a mistake. It never happens. He supposes eventually he'll stop hoping that it will.