The day after the family had spoken to the Ministry and Hogwarts great changes were hanging over the wizarding world. In Arundel Harry, Hermione, Sirius, Richard and Helen were sitting down to a delicious breakfast prepared by two elves who were still buzzing with happiness that their Master and Mistress had returned to them safely. The tea had barely been poured when a pair of owls delivered Sirius and Hermione's copies of the Daily Prophet. They were surprised when the headline was something about a proposed legislation in the Wizengamot. Their surprise was set aside when Richard suggested that Minister Bones probably hadn't wanted to tip anyone off by breaking the news yet and that it didn't really matter as long as the kids were safe. The rest of the family agreed with this assessment and put the matter from their minds.
At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry early visitors were heading up to the castle. Minister Bones had brought along a dozen aurors in her mission to arrest one of the most powerful wizards in the country. The ministry delegation was met at the great double doors that led to the Entrance Hall by a grim looking Minerva McGonagall. She didn't speak, she just gave them a jerky nod in greeting before leading the way up to the Hospital Wing. When they got there Amelia couldn't help but be disappointed that Albus Dumbledore was awake and sitting up in bed.
"Good morning, Amelia. To what do I owe this surprise?" the old man said sounding as unruffled as ever.
"Good morning, Albus. I'm here because of something that happened the day before yesterday with Harry Potter and Hermione Granger." Amelia said. She would have continued on but Albus interrupted her.
"Then I'm afraid that you have made a long, but ultimately unnecessary journey, Amelia. I have no intention of pressing charges for Mr. Potter's actions in his overwrought state. I was simply relieved to hear that his impulsiveness has not brought him any lasting harm." Amelia had to forcibly stop herself from gaping at the old man. Time to rip his blinkers off.
"I'm afraid you have misunderstood the situation, Albus. I'm not here to arrest Mr. Potter; I'm here for you. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, you are under arrest for child endangerment, criminal negligence, assault, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and sedition." She had tacked the last one on there to shake the Wizengamot awake when they finally heard the case even if she doubted that she would get a conviction on that count.
Dumbledores face was frozen in a portrait of shock as the realization that he was going to be treated like a criminal filtered through his mind. The aurors Amelia had brought along had no such problems. Two of them jumped forward and slapped a pair of rune engraved manacles on the old man's wrists. They automatically resized to his wrists and would keep him from using magic. Another auror had already snatched Dumbledore's wand from his nightstand. The two aurors who had cuffed the old man lifted him bodily from his bed and started dragging him towards the doors of the Hospital Wing.
"Wait! You can't do this! You are giving Voldemort exactly what he wants." Dumbledore started yelling as he was dragged away.
"Wrong, Dumbledore. You-Know-Who is dead. Harry Potter managed to end him for good this time." Amelia told him in a forbidding tone of voice. She saw that he was about to open his mouth and correctly guessed his objection. "He knew about those anchors that kept the old bastard alive, Dumbledore." Dumbledore's face paled at that news before he seemed to marshal himself.
"I'm afraid that there is one that he doesn't know about, that he cannot possibly know about." Dumbledore said desperately.
"You mean the one in his scar I assume?" Amelia ask him and watched the words land like a body-blow. "It was destroyed when Mr. Potter took a Killing Curse for Ms. Granger." All the fight left Dumbledore at that news. The aurors who had been pulling him along were forced to take his full weight and literally drag him out of the castle he had presided over for half a century and which had been his home for even longer; they were surrounded by the rest of the aurors.
When the group had disappeared from view Amelia let a deep sigh gust out as the tension that came with arresting a wizard of Dumbledore's power seeped out of her body. She looked over at a clearly saddened but determined Minerva and gave her a nod of support before following her aurors out. Amelia thought she could understand what the Deputy Headmistress must be going through. Albus had been her friend and mentor for many years and despite the evidence she had seen this was never going to be easy for the fiercely loyal Scotswoman.
Three days after the defeat of Riddle the news that Harry and Hermione had been expecting finally broke. The Daily Prophet seemed to be unable to choose which world-changing headline they wanted to print first.
Potter does it again
There was no celebration in Arundel when they read the accompanying stories. The family were determined not to get excited prematurely; Dumbledore wasn't convicted yet.
The scene in the Hogwarts Great Hall was about as different as it was possible to be. There was an unprecedented silence as the student body gathered around the various people who had subscriptions to the Daily Prophet. As people were finishing articles the noise level rose and rose until someone standing outside might be forgiven for thinking that a horde of giants were having a party inside.
The students were expressing relief that the Dark Lord was gone, admiration for Harry Potter and shock and surprise at Dumbledore's arrest. It took an extra loud Cannonblast Charm from Professor McGonagall before the noise level settled down somewhat. When everyone was quiet she began to speak.
"Thank you all for your attention. I have some announcements to make. Due to Mr. Dumbledore's arrest the Board of Governors has decided that I will be taking his place as Head of this school." There was a wave of applause ranging from polite to indecently enthusiastic that greeted this news. "Professor Flitwick will be taking over as my Deputy. Finally I know that many of you are waiting for news from Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger. They are awaiting the results of Mr. Dumbledore's trial before making their final decision on whether they will return to Hogwarts or not. Classes will be canceled for the rest of the day to give you all a chance to come to terms with the massive changes happening in our world." McGonagall only barely managed to squeeze the last announcement in before the Hall erupted with noise once more. No matter how she had worded it, the reason for the day off was because all the teachers knew that it would be useless to try and get their charges to pay attention today.
Almost two weeks after the fall of the Dark Lord Riddle there was a sense of anticipation in the halls of Hogwarts. Two of the most popular students had been missing for what felt like ages and tonight was the Leaving Feast. Many were hoping that they would put in an appearance.
Two days ago had been the trial of the former headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. The Wizengamot had overwhelmingly voted to convict him and sentenced him to ten years in Azkaban Prison. The general consensus was that he was unlikely to survive the ordeal.
The Hogwarts staff had not yet undergone any changes beyond the ones Headmistress McGonagall had announced after she ascended to that post. There were rumours that the Potions Master who had taught the subject before Snape would be coming out of retirement and that a retiring auror had agreed to come and teach Defence. Some of the more hopeful gossips also said that McGonagall was looking for a replacement for Binns.
By the time the feast was due to start most of the students had given up hope of seeing Harry and Hermione again before September, if at all. It was a sombre school that sat down to listen to Headmistress McGonagall award the House Cup. As soon as everyone was seated McGonagall walked up to the lectern in front of the Head Table.
"Another year has passed and I believe you will agree with me when I say that it has proven to be a momentous one. Before I continue on I should like to invite up to the podium two people who have been a large part of that. Mr. Potter, Ms. Granger, would you come up here please?" The Great Hall seemed to hold its breath at those words. The spell was broken when the door to the antechamber opened and Harry Potter and Hermione Granger walked into the Hall.
It began with Luna Lovegood leaping out of her seat and racing for her friends at a dead sprint. Fred and George Weasley were only behind her because they had been seated on the other side of the Gryffindor table. Soon the rest of the Gryffindor Quidditch team followed them and that seemed to be the signal for most of the students to rush up to the returning couple who were being held in a death grip by a happily sobbing Luna, Fred and George.
Headmistress McGonagall looked on at the absolute chaos that her school had descended into in less than a minute with a fond indulgence. She let the students get it out of their systems as much as possible before casting a Sonorous Charm on herself and clearing her throat. The effect was instantaneous. Every student's mouth snapped shut and their heads whipped to the front of the Hall. One raised eyebrow was enough to send them scurrying back to their respective tables. Minerva took the time to cast a non-verbal Disspelling Charm at her throat so that her voice would return to normal. When she returned her attention to the Hall she noticed that Potter and Granger were having to urge Ms. Lovegood and those Weasley rascals back to the Gryffindor table. When the two had finally joined her on the dais the Headmistress addressed her students once again.
"As you have all clearly noticed Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger have agreed to return to Hogwarts. I would like to take this moment to thank Mr. Potter especially for all that he has done for us this year. Not only in ridding the world of a dangerous megalomaniac, but also in the role he took on as our de facto Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. I feel nothing but pride in telling you that he taught the subject at a level I have seldom seen in my time at Hogwarts. When we are looking for his replacement we will be using his performance as a benchmark. You deserve no less." McGonagall paused in her speech and the students took the opportunity to raise another loud cheer."Mr. Potter will also be receiving a Special Award for Services to the School; his third I believe." While her announcement was once again met with loud applause Minerva turned to her two favourite students.
"I don't think I need to announce this to the school, Mr. Potter, but I have transferred the salary for teaching a year at Hogwarts to your vault. Dumbledore seems to have planned to take it as a bonus, but I say you've earned it." Harry looked a little uncomfortable with this development but nodded anyway. "Alright, go to your friends. They have missed the both of you terribly." Minerva watched the couple head down to the Gryffindor table. Once they were seated she awarded the House Cup to Gryffindor. Her old House had dominated the points system, thanks in large part she was sure to the influence of the two students who had so recently returned. It would turn into a night that she would long remember as the happiest and most exuberant celebration she had ever seen at Hogwarts as all four Houses celebrated as one. She would later doubt that the children even remembered that the Leaving Feast was usually a celebration of one House's victory over the others as they turned it into a party and simply enjoyed being together.
Two years later
Harry and Hermione were laying together in the bed in his room in the Heads Suite. In their sixth year Harry had been given the Quidditch Captaincy and this year the couple had received the Head Boy and Girl badges. Hermione's room had been remodeled into a study on their first weekend in this suite.
Tonight was their last night at Hogwarts. They had just had their graduation ceremony which saw Hermione leaving Hogwarts top of their class with Harry not far behind. They had just celebrated together and were basking in the afterglow of their very pleasurable activities. Hermione was tracing the lightning bolt scar on Harry's chest. This was something she did frequently after their coupling. She thought that not many women could say that the man they loved had the proof of his willingness to die for her carved indelibly into his skin.
The lazy motions also gave her a chance to get her thoughts in order after Harry had rather thoroughly scrambled them. He had been rather tense ever since they had finished their N.E.W.T.s and she was starting to worry that he was getting cold feet about their plans to move in together after graduation. She hadn't been able to bring herself to talk to him about it but she was running out of time if he really was having second thoughts. Here goes nothing.
"Harry? Is everything alright?" she asked hesitantly. She felt him stiffen under her and not in a pleasant way. "Is it the idea of moving in together? Do you think we need more time?"
"No...no, that's not it." She felt him taking a shuddering breath. "I need to talk to you about something. I would love nothing better than to move in with you but I feel like there is something I need to tell you and I'm not sure how to make you believe me." Harry's worried tone was making Hermione more anxious than she had been before. Harry took another deep breath and started talking. As Harry told his story Hermione felt her worry change to amazement.
"It all started when Voldemort killed me during the Battle of Hogwarts..."
AN: That's all folks. I want to thank you one last time for taking the time to read my story. It could not have taken shape without the help of my little sister and beta: UrsaMinor. She deserves every plaudit for keeping me on track and pointing out several things that didn't make sense and would have potentially ruined the story if she didn't urge me to correct them.
I have some vague plans for some outtakes/omakes/deleted scenes/requested scenes to be brought under the heading of a separate story in which I will try to show some of the things that didn't fit into this story, including what happens to your favourite characters after the end of the story.
Until then: happy reading,
UPDATE:The Deleted Scenes are up. You can find them through my profile or by searching for Harry Potter and the Last Chance: Deleted Scenes.