AN: This story is co-written with Jaquelyne, and was an entry into the HG Live Journal Fic-a-fest.
I'm posting this tonight, as a kinda of a celebration. I've just finished the final version of This Means War! Part 8 - it weighs in at an astronomical 113 pages - over 33000 words. It's going out to my beta's at the moment (Jaq's already got back to me)
This story itself is teeth rotting fluff. It has three parts, and is the first in a trilogy of stories. A lot of this was actually written pre-TMW! And needed Jaq to drag it out and put into shape.
The second part is already written, and the third is about 45% done, so it hasn't been interfering with anything else.
Harry James Potter took a long drink of his Pina-Colada and sighed happily. He stretched out on his sun bed to gaze happily at the beach before him. His eyes surveyed the scene with a casual ease, seeing everything, checking for threats. Seeing none, he touched his sunglasses and admired a scantily clad lady as she walked past.
He could tell that she was checking him out, his muscled form had attracted plenty of attention on his holiday, especially when combined with his bright green eyes and unruly hair that begged for someone to come and tame it. He didn't care though; he wasn't in the mood for a casual relationship. If he was to be honest, his first. Apart from a brief thing with Cho that had been more about mutual comfort than passion, and he had never had a full relationship.
Voldemort had been defeated at the end of Harry's sixth year. The prophecy had come true, and Harry had done what he had been born to do. Win.
As the Dark Lord had fallen, so too had all the loyal Death Eaters; the Dark Mark ensuring that they were as loyal in death as they had been in life.
There had been a sense of disbelief amongst the members of the Order of the Phoenix, as they realised they had won, and they had all looked on in awe as Harry had approached them.
"I need some time to myself," he half whispered. "I'll be back for school next year." And with that, the 'Boy Who Lived', the 'Man Who Defeated Voldemort' vanished.
The Order had been shocked, but with the shift in power and the knowledge that Harry was the most powerful wizard alive, they accepted his wishes and didn't try to find him.
That of course didn't stop his friends, as they were not yet full Order members, but without a clue as to where he was, they had nothing to go on. Owls came back with their message undelivered.
Harry appeared a second later on the hill outside Godric's Hollow and kneeled in the dirt, in front of his parent's grave. Sirius Black was buried next to them, as he had revealed in his last will and testament.
"What do I do now?" Harry asked them softly. "I've done what I was born for, what else is there? I've got nothing to live for, I've pretty much sacrificed everything, and now I'm lost."
Harry stayed there, on his knees, before he finally fell asleep, and started to dream.
"What do you mean nothing to live for?" a voice demanded.
"Sirius?" Harry gasped, before leaping up and hugging him.
"For a bit," the ex-convict agreed. "People upstairs felt that you deserved someone to set you straight, as a small part of a thank you for everything you've done."
"You're dead?" Harry asked, a little disappointed.
"Yep," Sirius agreed. "But, I've found your parents, and they are so proud of you its unreal. They've been watching you all your life, and hated everything you've been through, and are amazed at what you have become. James has all sorts of plans for the Dursley's when they arrive in the afterlife. I wouldn't be surprised if, after we get through with the lot of them, they become the first family in history to request a change of address downstairs."
Harry laughed at that.
"Anyway," Sirius continued. "It was agreed that I'd be the one to come down and knock some sense in to your thick head."
"Harry," Sirius said, sitting down against his own tombstone. "You seem to think that you have nothing left to live for."
Harry nodded in agreement.
"You've got it completely wrong. You've got everything to live for. Harry, you're the most famous person in the wizarding world now, and with Voldie gone, you're gonna have every eligible witch in the world at your feet. It's time for Harry 'I fight the Dark Lord' Potter to retire, and be replaced by Harry 'I'm gonna have some fun' Potter.
"Besides, think of all the pranks you can play now. Think of what you can do to Snape. Harry, you've got to go back to school next year and take up our mantle. Show that you are a Marauders son."
"But," Harry started.
"No buts, Harry. You've won, you've done it, now it's time to move on and be Harry."
"Yes, be yourself. Be irritable, be happy, be mad, be what ever you want, just be because you can, and not because you have a Dark Lord staring down your back."
"I'm not sure I know how to be myself," the green-eyed wizard admitted quietly.
"You've got the rest of the summer, take yourself to some where far away, and find yourself. Oh, and no feeling guilty. Yes, people died, a lot of them, me included. And while I would love to still be on earth, it's great up there. Prongs, Lil's and I are creating havoc." Sirius's smile suddenly turned a little evil. "You know, if you listen really carefully at night, when the wind is in the right direction, you can hear Voldemort's screams of pain. They don't accept failure downstairs, and Voldie failed big time."
Harry actually managed a smile for the first time.
"I'm serious, Harry. You've done everything that has been asked of you, now it's time for you to have some fun with your life. Remember us Harry, but remember that we all love you, we are proud of you and we will always be watching after you."
Harry smiled slowly and hugged his godfather.
"You can be everything and anything you want now. If you want to be an Auror, you can be. Personally, I think you should be a professional Quidditch player. What ever, you've got enough money now to retire and spend the rest of your life loafing on a beach. It doesn't matter; all you have to do is be happy."
"What about the prophecy, being the Minister for Magic?"
"The prophecy has done what it was designed for, it's defeated Voldie, and the rest is up to you. If you want to be a Ministry man, you can be, if not, don't. You've paid any dues anyone could ask of you, Harry, now it's time to live your own life."
"I miss you," Harry whispered.
"I know, I miss you too. But, we're never really gone."
Harry nodded slowly, a tear dripping down his face. "Will I ever see you again?"
Sirius grinned. "That all depends on the quality of the pranks."
Harry laughed softly.
"I've got to go now, Harry. Remember to enjoy yourself, and make Snape's life a living-hell."
Harry opened his eyes, and smiled. For the first time in ages he felt good about himself. "I'm free," he yelled into the early morning light, and promptly vanished.
Which left Harry having the first proper holiday of his lifetime, on a small beach in Hawaii. A small charm kept him invisible from owls, and he spent the entire time relaxing and sunbathing.
He idly glanced at his watch and froze. The digital numbers in the corner clearly stated what day and month it was. "Oh, bugger," he muttered to himself. He quickly calculated the time differences, and swore again. He remembered last looking at his watch a week ago, and reminding himself that he had to get back to school in a weeks time. He had then promptly forgotten and went for a refreshing swim.
He was due at Hogwarts, for the start of the new term, in five minutes. He thought quickly, most of his supplies from last year would still be there, so he should be ok for the first few days, till the weekend when he could get down to Diagon Alley. With a wave of his hand, he made all of his belongings vanish from the hut he had been staying in, and took a deep breath.
"Ok, as I can't Apparate to Hogwarts, I hope this works."
Ginny Weasley sat in front of a dresser in her room in the Burrow, examining herself critically.
She moved her hands to her hair, lifting the heavy mass and twisting it up, trying to see what she would look like with shorter hair. With an audible sigh, she released it, and smiled slightly as it dropped down to mid-back.
Her hair was, without doubt, her favourite feature. Flame red, with the ability to match her mood.
Her eyes were pretty good as well, she decided, clear and a deep brown that seemed to attract attention, not all of it warranted.
Her nose was cute, and she had a nice smile. In all, she was happy with her features, feeling blessed that her freckles were more of a highlight than a blemish.
She stood, and felt part of her good mood evaporate. No matter how she posed, she couldn't hide the fact that she was built like a boy. While Lavender Brown had grown udders, she was cursed with boobs that barely needed a bra, a thin body, and straight legs.
"How the hell are you going to get Harry to notice you when he comes back, when you look like this?" She asked the mirror softly.
The mirror, wisely, decided that this was one time when answering would not be a good idea.
Ginny took a deep breath, and then slowly smiled at herself. "Ok Gin," she said, her voice growing in strength. "You may not have the equipment that certain witches like to display for the world, but damn it, you can use what you've got. You've waited this long, and now Voldemort is dead; there is nothing to stand in your way. You're his friend, you know he's attract