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The Eighth Year

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The Eighth Year by LouHQ

Chapter 1: Back Story and Prologue

Author's Notes: I wasn't going to start publishing chapters till I got further along, but I saw an interview of Ms. Rowling on American TV while she was in NYC for the charity reading. This interview was on an early morning news program and was on while I was working, so I couldn't just stop and watch. I haven't seen a report on it on Mugglenet, so maybe I heard it wrong or hallucinated. Ms. Rowling said (this is a paraphrase) "In this genre the hero usually has to go on alone, and Hermione and Ron have been with him all along..." My heart just plummetted.
So I decided to start posting this before it all becomes AU.
I hope to hell I was hallucinating, though.


Back Story

This story begins the summer after what would have been the trio's seventh year at Hogwarts. They started their 7th year at Hogwarts, but the school was attacked in late October. Ginny's class had herbology when the attack happened, and she was killed with several of her year mates during the retreat to the castle. A week later there was an attack at the ministry. Percy, along with several others, was killed. The majority of the D.A. left Hogwarts to join the war.

In January Snape helped Draco escape from the Death Eaters, but was caught and executed by them. Draco gave valuable information to the Order and the DA, but was forbidden to participate in the battles, in part because of suspicion about his loyalty and in part because he did not have the training of the Order or the D.A.

A small number of outright battles occurred, but mostly the war was one of espionage, assassination and intimidation. The events of the year culminated in the final battle at Stonehenge on Midsummer's Eve.

The plan for the line of attack was that Harry and the Order of the Phoenix would be in the center and the Ministry Aurors on either side. The Aurors would sweep around the stone circle as the Order would penetrate the circle and attack Voldemort and his minions. The D.A. would come in behind as support and clean up. Instead there was a shield that repelled and stunned the Order members, preventing them from entering the circle. Harry got through and in desperation the Order sent the D.A. through to help and protect him while they worked to take down the shield.

The dementors then attacked, but Ron and the D.A. had expected and planned for this. The D.A. worked together to cast a spell created by Hermione. They contained and exterminated the dementors. About half of the D.A. members that died did so at the backlash of this spell.

About this time the Order broke the outer ward and rushed in behind the D.A. The fighting became general and confused, with individual duels and small group skirmishes. During this time several other D.A. members died.

Lucius Malfoy was killed. Luna and Neville killed Bellatrix. Ron and Harry defeated and captured Pettigrew, but Ron was injured. Draco Malfoy, who joined the battle late, killed Goyle as he was about to attack Hermione from behind. Together they joined Harry and Ron. Harry left the Invisibility Cloak with Ron, told Hermione and Draco to take care of him and went ahead to confront Voldemort. Instead the three of them followed Harry and supported him in the final duel with Voldemort.

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Prologue

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The war is over, Voldemort is defeated. But now what was broken must be mended.

There were Hogwarts students who fought on either side. Most who fought with Voldemort are dead or in jail. A few are missing: whether in hiding or an unmarked grave, their fate is unknown.

The students who fought with the Order and the Ministry fared somewhat better, though there are those who are dead or missing as well.

The question facing Headmistress McGonagall was what to do with those who wanted to finish their schooling, get their N.E.W.T.s, and close their time at Hogwarts on a positive note. She considered returning them to their respective houses and shuddered. No, their wounds, whether physical or emotional, their shared experiences, separated them from their former housemates. No matter which house they were originally sorted to, they were more like housemates to each other now....

'Aha! Accio Sorting Hat' she thought, and the mangy thing promptly landed in front of her. Exchanging her pointed hat for the intelligent one, she explained her idea to it and went over the list of possible students. As she expected, the hat agreed that all of them would fit better together than in their prior houses. But it paused over the last name.

"Will he be able to fit in? His role in the war was rather prominent, and there will be those seeking revenge."

The Headmistress was silent for a long moment. "It's a cliché that war changes people, but very few were more affected than he." Her lips twisted into something that was not quite a smile. "As he says, he has the rest of his life to live, and he better get used to the way people are going to treat him. What better place to start?"

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

This story archived at Table for Three - http://www.triofic.com/viewstory.php?sid=221