"The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well." – J.K Rowling
Chapter 23: Epilogue
Potions' Room – Hogwarts – November 30th - 4 P.M
"Well done, Draco." Snape said, pleased. "You're getting the hang of it. After Christmas break, I want to see perfect non-verbal spells. You may go."
Snape turned and spotted a jar on his desk that was not there before. He waited until Draco left the room from commencing further inspection. With all the boy's trauma of being a former Death Eater and his father's trial approaching, he was still having trouble with non-verbal spells.
Placed in the centre of the jar was a vial with swirling white liquid. A letter accompanied it. Snape reached out and picked up the envelope; the writing was Potter's. Snape frowned as he tore open the seal. The contents stunned him.
Dear Professor Snape,
In the vial are the memories your other-self gave to me; I have no use for them now, so I am returning them to you, with my thanks and forgiveness.
For a moment, Snape sat in dumb shock as he looked at the vial and back to the letter. He had to read it again and again until the words sunk in. Snape took the vial into his office. Snape poured the memories into his Pensieve. He watched the swirling white liquid and dove in. Reliving the best and worst memories of his life was not an easy thing to do. When it was over, Snape was teary eyed.
It was in that moment that Snape realized Dumbledore's words were true, he had seen what he wanted to see in the boy all these years. He wanted to see a brat like James Potter and not a trace of Lily. He knew now that he had been wrong.
Snape decided then and there that he'd leave Potter alone. The boy deserved that much from him.
Gryffindor Common Room – Hogwarts – December 2nd – 9:05 P.M.
After all Harry had been through, he almost found it comical that his greatest problem right now was having to complete his Transfiguration essay. He had nine inches of parchment to go.
The buzz of the Gryffindor common room didn't help Harry's concentration, but that was nothing compared to the little circles Ginny was absentmindedly tracing on the back of his hand with her finger. She was working on her Defence Against the Dark Arts essay, sitting by his side at the desk, and had no idea about the effect she had on him.
Harry watched her, entranced by the way her forehead scrunched slightly in concentration and her tongue stuck out and pressed against her pink lips.
"You know, Harry," Ginny smirked at him, "if you keep gazing at me like that, I might have to stop what I'm doing and ravish you."
Harry couldn't help the blush that spread across his face as he was caught staring.
"I'm simply admiring a work of art," Harry smiled.
"Nice save," Ginny grinned back.
"You two make me sick." Ron said from his position on the couch opposite. Ginny and Harry dropped their grins and turned to look at him. "Stop staring at each other like love sick fools and get back to work."
"Ron's right, you know," said Hermione, her head peeking out from underneath her pile of books. "Your OWLS are coming, Ginny. You shouldn't get distracted. And Harry, NEWTS aren't far away either."
"What do you mean, 'NEWTS aren't far away'?" said Ron. "It's only December. We have two years!"
"I know that, Ronald, but that isn't much time when you think about all the content—"
Harry and Ginny shared an amused look as the other couple began bickering.
They returned to their studies, though it wasn't long until Ginny started tracing circles with her finger again. This time, however, it wasn't on Harry's hand. It was on his thigh under the table.
He was never going to get his essay done.
That Christmas was one of the best in Harry's memory. It was full of laughter and light, the first Christmas in a long time without fear radiating around and dampening spirits. The Burrow was bustling.
Fred and George had been doing well with their joke shop in recent weeks so they had gone all out in planning the perfect Christmas. They had snuck into the Burrow early one morning and completely decorated it from head to toe. There were glittering displays everywhere you looked. To top it all off, they had brought twelve large Christmas trees and placed them outside. Each was decorated in matching colours and stood proudly in the yard. A slightly smaller tree was placed in the living room of the Burrow. In keeping with tradition, a pesky garden gnome had been stunned and painted gold and was now sitting on the top of the tree.
Harry and Ron had come downstairs for breakfast and were in awe of the place. They entered the kitchen to find Mrs. Weasley's wide grin as she took in everything from the magical snow falling from the ceiling and disappearing as it hit the ground to the little Christmas Hats on everyone's heads in all the photo frames around the house. The Weasley clock even had Candy Canes instead of clock hands when pointing to someone's name. Harry noted that his name was now also on the clock and it made his heart swell.
On Christmas Eve, after a delicious feast, Sirius pulled Harry aside.
"Get on some warm clothes, we're going out." Harry felt confused at Sirius's words but did as he said. They walked outside of the wards of the Burrow.
"Grab hold," said Sirius, offering his arm.
"Why?" Harry looked up at him in curiosity. Sirius rolled his eyes.
"We're going to use side-long Apparition." It was now Harry's turn to roll his eyes.
"I can Apparate, Sirius, it's just-ahh!" Sirius grabbed his arm and twisted on the spot. Before he could speak, Harry felt the tight bands of Apparition close around him. With a thunk, they landed in knee-deep snow that slowly began to soak Harry's jeans. They stood in a quiet clearing surrounded by tress with a small path leading towards a road.
"S-Sirius?" Harry shivered. "Where are we?"
"Sorry, Harry. I don't want to spoil the surprise until Remus gets here."
Just then, Remus appeared next to them with a pop. Sirius chuckled. "Perfect timing as always, Remus."
"Are you ready, Harry?" Sirius asked.
"Ready for what?"
"Your Christmas present," responded Remus.
"Christmas present? We're in the middle of nowhere, I don't understand—"
"Harry, welcome to 15 Sullivan Avenue, Ottery St Catchpole."
Harry yelped in shock. Before him was a beautiful house, it was not too big or too small. It was perfect. The lights gleamed from the inside of the house.
"Wha-what?" asked Harry looking between Remus and Sirius, both men smiled.
"Welcome to your new home," said Sirius, Harry's head shot up to look at his godfather, his grey eyes warm with delight and humor.
"This-this?" Sirius nodded, he then gestured for them to walk forward. It was quite a walk with the heavy snow, but as they walked, Sirius explained.
"After the Ministry gave me money for my 'pains', I gave a good deal of it away. But after…after you were supposedly killed, I got myself out of that hellhole. So I used some of the money to buy this house. Remus lives here too."
"For now…" said Remus with a wink. Before no time at all they reached the front door. With a tap of his wand, the door clicked open. Sirius pushed open the door and Harry was enveloped by light and warmth. The entrance led right to the sitting room with a roaring fire. The colors of the house were warm colors, Gryffindor colors, Remus later joked. The sitting room was furnished with dark wood with several large, plump brown armchairs with a large sofa facing the fireplace. Over the mantle was a large Gryffindor banner. Sitting on the mantle itself was photos of his parents, Harry as a baby, the Weasley's and many others.
"What will happen to your old house?" Harry asked Sirius, who shrugged.
"I'm putting it up for sale this summer after we finish cleaning it out. I plan on selling a lot of the useless junk in that house and the vaults I own." Sirius gave a large grin as Remus shook his head, hanging his coat on a nearby rack.
"You should turn it into an orphanage. I mean, for wizarding children." Harry suggested.
"That's not a bad idea actually." Sirius nodded. "Good thinking, Harry."
"Oh, but what about your mum's—"
Sirius's grin widened as he let out his bark like laugh. "I was able to remove it from the house, though I think I went deaf for a day after though."
"How?" asked Harry.
"Burned it! Kreacher nearly had a fit. I sent him to Hogwarts and ordered him to keep his mouth shut."
"You should treat him nicer. It works," said Harry as he began to walk deeper into the house. Sirius gave him a curious look as he shrugged off his jacket.
Harry smiled. "Long story."
Sirius and Remus took delight in showing off the house. It was everything Harry had ever wanted in his dream home. Sirius led Harry upstairs. It was warmer on the upper levels.
"This is my room," said Sirius, pointing to the room at the far end of the hall to the south. "Remus's room is here," he said, pointing a few doors down.
"Temporarily," said Remus softly with a smile, Sirius waved him off.
"You can stay as long as you want, Remus." Remus shook his head.
Sirius then pulled open two double doors, which lead into a large study. Harry had to laugh. Hermione would kill to have a study like this. Sirius leaned against the large backed chair as Harry's fingers ran over the large number of books.
"There is one more place I need to show you."
Sirius then led him down the hall to a final door. Sirius gently pushed the door open and allowed Harry to step into the room first. Harry gasped. It was his room.
The room was decorated in red and golds; the bed was large with warm looking covers. There was a writing desk to the right of the bed on the far wall by the window. Over the desk were quite a large amount of pictures. Harry smiled at the faces of his loved ones staring down at him. He felt like crying. Over the bed was a gold sign that read, 'Harry's Room'. Harry went to the closet and found it fully stocked with new clothes along with the nearby dresser. He looked at Sirius in shock.
"This…this is too much!" Sirius shook his head; he had seen Harry's clothes, old, worn out rags that barely fit him.
"No, your clothes are too worn out and baggy on you. Besides, they are the clothes of your old life. I want these clothes to represent your new life." Harry wiped a few stray tears from his face. Yes, that was his old life. He had new a life now, a better life, a life that was everything that he ever wanted.
"Come here," Sirius sat Harry down on his new bed, sinking deeply into the warm covers. He reached into his robes, pulled out a scroll and handed it to Harry. "This is the second part."
Harry took the scroll and unrolled it. It was in official writing; curious, he read it to himself. When he was done, his eyes were large and bright with tears. Unable to believe it, he read it out loud.
"By the immediate order of the Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, I hereby declare on this day the 11th of December 1996, that the immediate custody of Harry James Potter will be given to his rightful guardians under the direction of Magical Law Enforcement Law Section 556, Part 287. It is recognized in the Will of the minor's parents, James and Lily Potter, that he shall be placed in the custody of the persons of, Mr. Sirius Orion Black and Mr. Remus John Lupin, in the event of their demise."
Declared and Signed this day, the 11th of December 1996 by Kingsley Shacklebolt,
Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister of Magic.
Witnesses and Sponsors
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
Molly Weasley (nee Prewett)
Ronald Weasley (minor)
Hermione Granger (minor)
Ginny Weasley (minor)
Vernon and Petunia Dursley (nee Evans) - Former Guardian(s)
Sirius O. Black and Remus J. Lupin - Guardian(s)
The signature of the minor gives his or her consent to the following over his or her guardianship until they reach the legal age of seventeen.
Harry looked at Sirius's wide smile. He kept looking back at that scroll. Harry had to blink the tears out of his eyes. He had a home, a real home. There no more going back to Number 4 Privet Drive.
His greatest wish had come true. He did not know how many times he had wished on Christmas day that someone would come and take him away. Now his greatest Christmas wish fulfilled. Harry began to cry, Sirius put his arm around him as Harry clutched the scroll. He had a family, a true family since his parents died that fateful night.
"Your friends more than volunteered to go to the hearing. A boring damn thing of two hours to go over all the pleasantries." Now Harry knew why they had all gone missing that one weekend, was to ensure Harry had a true home. Harry looked up at the large smile on his godfather's face. Sirius wiped the tears aside.
"This is what your parents wanted. It was in their Will, that if anything was to happen to them, we were to take care of you. Their wish has finally been fulfilled. Even if that wish only lasts for eight months, until you are of age. Of course, you can stay here as long as you want, even if that is until you're thirty." Harry chuckled at the thought.
"I have a home…a real home," said Harry, looked up at Sirius as the tears continued to spill.
"It will be finalised tomorrow, that Remus and I are your official guardians once you sign the scroll," said Sirius, pointing to the empty space at the bottom of the page. Harry blinked.
"What about my aunt and uncle? The blood protection?" Though Voldemort was gone, there were still Death Eaters that had yet to be caught and Harry was still in danger. Sirius looked up to look at Remus leaning in the doorway. Remus stepped into the room a gentle smile on his face.
"Dumbledore was the one who got your aunt and uncle to sign the papers. If Sirius went, he would probably attack them."
"They were so happy to sign," Sirius scowled. Harry didn't find that surprising. Though, Dudley seemed like he was getting better these days. He made a mental note to have a chat with his cousin.
"Dumbledore knows that the protection will end in eight months on your seventeenth birthday. He agreed to this home, after he had placed numerous spells on it, including the Fidelius Charm with Sirius and I as Secret Keepers. You will be safe here for Christmas and during your breaks from Hogwarts."
Harry nodded; he could not believe he would be staying Christmas and Easter break and during summer until he graduated. This was his home, his home…Sirius handed Harry a quill with a wink.
Harry near tripped over his own feet with the scroll in one hand and the quill in the other. On his new desk with a trembling hand he dipped the quill into the inkpot and with a flourishing signature:
Harry James Potter
With a swish of Sirius's wand, the scroll rolled up and vanished with a slight pop. It was done. Harry smiled at his godfather as he rushed into his arms. He was home! He was home! That night Sirius and Remus decorated the house full of Christmas decorations. The Christmas Tree was large in the sitting room. Presents were pilled under the tree. Harry was surely in a dream...
A dream…a Christmas wish…a miracle…a home…a home…
Harry awoke up the next morning feeling warm and content. When he opened his eyes, he expected to see that he was either at the Burrow or at Hogwarts. But a new place met his eyes as he reached for the bedside table and for his glasses. As he slid the glasses on his new room came into focus. The window was grey with large chunks of snow falling. Harry felt a smile grace his lips, he felt like laughing.
He was home, he was truly home. Throwing aside the covers, he threw on his slippers and dressing robe and went down stairs, as he reached the bottom of the stairs he saw quite a sight. Sirius and Remus walked toward him and handed him a Butterbeer. But that is not what shocked him. His friends and loved ones stood in the sitting room with Butterbeer in their hands. All the Weasleys, Fleur, Hermione, Neville, Luna, Tonks, most of the Order including Dumbledore himself. Harry felt himself flush, he was still in pajamas.
"To Harry Potter!" said Sirius raising his glass, Harry flushed deeper as everyone raised their glasses and said his name. Harry knew that this was to be the best Christmas ever! And it was, despite the numerous presents he had received from friends and admires, this new home was the best Christmas present ever. This day he would treasure with so many others to come.
After Christmas, the new semester started and Harry found that he could pay attention in class and do well, without the other distractions he had received the five years previously. Even Hermione was surprised at his diligence, now that things had settled down. Kingsley had offered that anyone who fought in the Battle of Hogwarts could become an Auror without his or her NEWTS but Mrs. Weasley and Sirius quashed the idea when Ron and Harry wanted to take the offer; both had insisted that they finish their schooling first. Kingsley told them later the offer was still valid when they got out of school.
Ron and Hermione's relationship was a rollercoaster ride of lovers' spats here and there and quite a bit of making up after each fight. But as Harry could see, they loved each other deeply. The longstanding sexual tension between the two that they had since fourth year was being resolved.
Harry and Ginny could not be better. Harry enjoyed sitting next to her on the couch and just talking, feeling normal. He felt so happy around her.
The Quidditch season went quite well with Harry as their captain. He led Gryffindor to victory. As Ron held up the Quidditch Cup, Harry kissed Ginny before the whole house. Memories of his 'other life' swirled around his head. Ron grinned and in turn kissed Hermione. There were wolf whistles all around.
School went by faster than it ever did before. Ron and Hermione had passed their Apparition tests with flying colours, thanks to Harry's tips. The professors started to press them about their NEWTS. Ron would groan and smack his head on the table, terrified at the prospect of another year with their noses pressed against books.
The school year ended sooner than Harry wanted. Everything was going so fast, but Harry was just glad that it had ended uneventfully. On the journey home, Harry played games with his friends and they talked about normal, teenage things. He could not have been happier.
Waiting for him at the Platform was Sirius and Remus, ready to take him home for the summer.
It was a good summer. Harry helped Sirius finishing cleaning Number 12 with the help of his friends. They cleared it out and started working with the ministry to design plans for 'The Wizarding Refuge for Children in Need'.
One day, during summer, Harry decided he needed to go back to Godric's Hollow. He knew that there were some things he wanted from that house. With Remus and Sirius's help, they went through and retrieved his parents' wands, old photo albums, pictures, books and anything else of value in the house. When they were finished, they visited the grave.
"Hey, mum, dad, guess what? Voldemort's gone forever. Now, I live with Sirius and Remus," said Harry as he knelt before his parents' tombstone. Harry's grave had been removed hours after the final battle by Sirius himself. Harry felt like crying, they would be happy now…
"This is what they wanted," said Sirius, putting a hand on Harry's shoulder. "A world without Voldemort."
"They would be so proud of you, Harry," Remus murmured and Sirius nodded.
Harry thought of the time he saw his parents in the Veil, and again in Limbo. He looked around. There were quite a number of flowers and candles left outside Godric's Hollow and the Potters' graves after Harry defeated Voldemort. Witches and wizards from across the nation came to pay homage to the parents of the Chosen One.
"I know." Harry looked up at his guardians and smiled. "They would be proud of both of you as well."
During Easter break that year, Remus and Tonks announced that they were going to get married in June. Harry had to smile into his juice that morning; he knew it was coming one-way or another.
They planned a small wedding at the house with close family and friends. This time Remus had no qualms about marrying Tonks, he was just excited as she was, and only Tonks and her mother planned the wedding and shoved him out of the wedding process. A week before the wedding as Harry finished up an over the summer essay for Snape and Sirius was writing a letter.
"Sirius, Harry, can I talk to you for a second?" asked Remus as he came in with a hot cup of tea. The full moon had just ended and he looked terrible.
"Sure!" said Harry putting aside his essay. Remus sighed as he sat on the edge of a nearby chair.
"I want you both to be my Best Man," Sirius and Harry looked at each other and then at Remus. Grins spread across their faces.
"We'd be insulted if you didn't ask!" said Sirius. He stood up and slapped Remus on the back. "We're finally going to be related!"
Harry chuckled. He was happy for both of them, Tonks and Remus deserved happiness and now they could live out their lives together. Remus earlier that month had moved out and bought a house not too far from Sirius and Harry. That way they all could still see together.
The wedding took place on June 25th. Cream and violet coloured tents had been set up outside the house. The flower arrangements were of very bright colours tied to the poles around the tent. Harry had to smile, the colours were all Tonks.
Harry was getting dressed into his tuxedo-like dress robes but was having trouble with his bow. Ginny came into his room and giggled as he fumbled with it.
"Here," she swept into the room and slapped Harry's hand away as she took over. She looked beautiful. Her hair was swept up into a simple bun with a red rose in her hair with ribbons streaming down. The dress was pale green in colour, made of a flowy material that draped gracefully to the floor.
"You look…beautiful…" he whispered. Ginny smiled. She gave the bow one last tug and then kissed his lips softly.
"You don't look so bad yourself."
With a grin, Harry offered her his arm and led her outside. The wedding guests were not as numerous as Bill and Fleur's wedding but they were welcome and happy to be here nonetheless. Hagrid was already sitting near the back with his tablecloth-sized handkerchief.
"Harry!" Hagrid called, beaming at him. "Ya look sharp!"
Harry blushed as he made his way down the carpeted aisle.
"You look like your dad did on his wedding day." Sirius in place at the end of the aisle, grinning as Harry joined him.
Harry grumbled as Sirius straightened his bow and made sure the violet coloured rose pinned to his lapel was straight. Sirius chuckled as he handed Harry a ring. A beautiful violet coloured stone surrounded by diamonds. Harry put the ring in his pocket and looked at Sirius with an odd expression.
"The Best Man, or Best Men in this case, has to hold the rings," whispered Sirius, with a wink. Harry nodded.
Ron waved at Harry as he took his seat with Hermione was on his arm. Today, she was dressed in a soft pink dress with many layers, her hair curled around her face. Harry gave them as small wave.
At 1 o'clock, all the guests were seated and the wedding was ready to begin. A soft tune began to start up as everyone looked down the aisle the minister in his bright robes carrying a large book came down the aisle followed by Remus.
When Remus reached the alter and stood in front of Sirius, he turned to look at them and gave a nervous smile. Sirius patted his shoulder as he leaned in and whispered,
"Easy, big guy…" Harry winked at Remus, he looked quite handsome today. Mrs. Weasley worked her magic on him, he was clean-shaven, and his hair was darker than Harry had ever seen it. He looked younger than Harry had ever seen him. Instead of a violet rose, he had a white one pinned to his lapel.
The music swelled to a sweet melody. Everyone stood up as Tonks and her father appeared at the end of the aisle. She looked beautiful, her cheeks flushed. Her gown was very…Tonks, it was hard to describe it, and it was a very simple strapless gown with a modest train. A band of black and violet ribbons were below the bust and fell to the floor. She wore a black choker with a single pear. Her hair was a striking violet, standing out even under the long veil and bright flowers in her hair.
It was quite a feat that Tonks managed not to trip over once, while walking down the aisle. This was either because her father kept a tight grip on her arm or because she kept her eyes on her husband-to-be and found the strength not to trip. With a tender smile, Ted Tonks took his daughter's hand and placed it in Remus's as he then took his seat. The bride and groom gave each other nervous but loving smiles as they faced the minister.
"Welcome, all. We gather here to together to unite these two souls in matrimony…"
Harry, in his 'other life', had seen Bill and Fleur's wedding so he knew now what to expect. More than once his eyes strayed to Ginny, who gave him a disapproving look and pointed him back to the ceremony.
"Do you, Remus John Lupin, take Nymphadora Llewellyn Tonks…"
Harry did his duty perfectly. When asked for Tonks's ring, he gave it to the minister. He felt quite proud to stand beside Remus on such a day. Harry knew Remus deserved it.
When the minister pronounced them husband and wife, bonded for life, Tonks pounced on her new husband. Remus lifted her off the floor as people clapped and cheered, the twins whistling loudly. Remus and Tonks then ran down the aisle, smiling all the while.
With a few simple wand movements, the chairs and ceremony tent was changed into the reception as the girls helped Mrs. Tonks and Mrs. Weasley bring out the food onto the massive tables that Bill and Charlie had conjured. The food was wonderful. Harry could truly enjoy the wedding without the fear of Death Eaters ruining the occasion. Toasts were called for the bride and groom.
Sirius's speech was mixed with humour and honesty, Harry had to admit that he was good at it, it was quite a speech.
When it was Harry's turn, he suddenly felt very nervous. It must have shown on his face because Remus raised a hand. "Harry, it's fine—"
Harry stubbornly shook his head.
"When I first met Remus Lupin, I was a terrified thirteen-year-old. My back was against the wall as I faced a Dementor. Remus, quick-thinking as ever, saved me from that Dementor. From there, I learned he was to be the new DADA professor. Later, I learned he was my late father's friend." Harry looked at Remus and smiled. "Remus has taught me so much. Not just the Patronus charm, but so much more than that. He taught me to be cautious, to think before I act, he taught me to rely on others as well as myself." Harry saw Remus was tearing up. He continued, trying not to get teary himself. "Nearly a year ago, I worked hard to destroy evil and save those I love. To do so, I faked my own death." There were some gasps from the audience and Harry smiled. "If you ask my friends, they'll tell you it was a stupid thing to do." There were some laughs at that and Harry smirked. "But I disagree. I think it was noble." More laughs and Harry pressed on. "Honestly, I am glad I did so, because this is my reward. To see you two, Remus and Tonks, happy and in love." People were clapping now. Harry grabbed his champagne flute and held it up. "I wish you eternal happiness—To Mr. and Mrs. Remus Lupin!"
Everyone raised their glasses and echoed Harry's toast. After dinner, tables were cleared aside for dancing. Remus and Tonks shared a beautiful dance. Tonks accidentally tripped on her wedding dress near the end but Remus caught her. Tonks grinned sheepishly.
As couples took the dance floor, Harry was not surprised to see Ron offer his hand to Hermione and sweep her onto the dance floor. Harry walked over to Ginny.
"May I have this dance?" Ginny grinned as she took Harry's hand and he led her out.
On July 31st, Harry was awoken by a loud noise. Harry jolted up in bed. Sirius had set off one of Fred and George's fireworks. Harry blinked, still half-asleep as it whirled around the room.
"You should see the look on your face!" Sirius said, doubling over with laughter.
The fireworks finally stopped and so Sirius, with a wide grin, handed Harry a brightly wrapped present.
"Happy Birthday, ol' chap!" With a smile, Harry tore open the package, inside was something that made Harry gasp. It was an old Quidditch robe; on the back was the name, 'Potter' and the number 4. It was his father's old Quidditch robe. He looked up at Sirius, his godfather gave him a small smile.
"It was your father's. I kept James's and mine old Quidditch robes as a reminder of our school days. I found that while cleaning out my old room."
Harry pulled the robes out of the box fully and found something else, something familiar. His mother's thank you for Harry's first birthday present and the picture. When Sirius tried to explain, Harry shook his head. He knew what it was. Harry hugged Sirius; anything of his parents was precious. A large party was held later that evening. Even Dumbledore attended party. Mrs. Weasley, once again, gave him her brother's old watch, before she could explain, Harry hugged her tightly.
August 1st came and so did the wedding of Bill and Fleur. Everything happened as it did before, only the Death Eater's did not interrupt this time. Plus, Percy was in attendance, which was a bonus. Harry enjoyed himself and was more than glad not be in disguise.
As Bill and Fleur ran off to a waiting Portkey to take them to their honeymoon, Mrs. Weasley was sobbing as Mr. Weasley looked on with pride. Harry took Ginny's hand as he thought, one day… that would be them…
Three weeks before September 1st, Harry received a surprise visit from Ron and Hermione. They had Apparated to the house, banging on the front door. With a groan, Sirius answered the door in an apron, since he was making pancakes.
"Hello Sirius!" cried Ron and Hermione, rushing past him toward the kitchen.
"What the—?" Harry had half a pancake hanging out his mouth as his two best friends rushed into the kitchen. They slapped down on the table, two shinning badges that read, Head Boy and Head Girl.
"Congratulations!" said Harry after swallowed, he could not think of anyone more deserving. He thought once he wanted to be Head Boy to follow in his father's footsteps but now, he just wanted to be a normal kid at Hogwarts with the normal responsibilities.
A week before their final return to Hogwarts, the trio went out to Diagon Alley to collect their things for school. They were followed around all day, much to the trio's annoyance. But once they got all their shopping done, they fled faster than if they were chased by Death Eaters!
Their families came to see them off to their final year at Hogwarts. Even Remus and Tonks took off work to see Harry off.
"Do well, dear," said Mrs. Weasley as she gave Harry a hug goodbye.
"Study hard, I guess that's what a good parents say." Sirius said as he hugged Harry tightly. Harry laughed. "Don't get into trouble. I'll see you at Christmas."
Harry got into the compartment with his friends and leaned out the window to wave goodbye as his loved ones faded away with the platform.
When asked by his classmates, "Did you have a good summer?" Harry would respond with a great grin and say, "The best."
Despite the nostalgia and sadness of it being their last year at Hogwarts, the seventh years were put to the grindstone immediately. It would be a hard but rewarding year, according to Hermione. Ron only rolled his eyes. Between NEWTS, Quidditch and being Head Boy, he looked like his head would explode. As Quidditch captain, Harry tried to help lighten Ron's load by scheduling practice when it was most convenient for him.
Around October, Harry had received a letter from Remus. He and Tonks were expecting a baby. Harry had to grin as he remembered how nervous and afraid Remus had been. He still was but he was happier than last time. Hermione squealed at the news as Luna went on about some baby creature her dad was looking for. Ginny just smiled and wondered if it would be a boy or a girl. That, Harry already knew…
"Ten Galleons says it's a boy."
Christmas that year was a festive occasion. With Remus and Tonks expecting, Mrs. Tonks was buying quite a lot of presents for her future grandchild. Christmas Eve had been quiet for Sirius and Harry since they spent it together. Sirius had brought out old photo albums to show Harry, everyone had quite a laugh at the stories Sirius would tell.
Remus received the best Christmas present ever. Kingsley, with the support of Dumbledore and many others, push a bill through the Ministry that said werewolves and other creatures could not be discriminated against. That as long as the werewolf took the Wolfsbane Potion during the full moon and showed he or she was a responsible member of the community, they could not be turned away if they asked for a job. It was the first of a slew of new reforms being made. The new law allowed Remus to a permanent job as an Auror. For Harry, the world was truly becoming a better place to live in.
Time seemed to slow down as the seventh years were loaded on homework and tests to prepare them for their NEWTS. Hermione nearly had a hysterical break down after she received 'Exceeds Expectations' on an Arithmancy test. Ron had to drag her to the Hospital Wing to get her a calming potion. But on one spring afternoon, on April the 7th, Harry received a letter during dinner.
"It's from Remus," Harry tore open the letter with trembling fingers, he knew what was inside. His friends crowded around as he pulled out a short letter as a picture fell into his lap.
Today, Tonks and I greeted the newest member of the Lupin family, our son, Ted Remus Lupin.
We decided to name him after Tonks' dad. He's a great man and gave me a lot of support after your 'death'. Thank Merlin for Kingsley and his new law! The labor was long, poor Tonks; she got quite mad at me several times and nearly tore my hand off! Now I understand why your dad was such as mess after you were born.
Harry—I have an important question to ask you. Since you are now of age, I can ask you this. Will you be Teddy's godfather?
Sirius already has one godchild and that's enough for him! I know that if your dad was still alive I would ask him, but I know you are a great person and a great role model, just like your old man. Will you accept?
Please send Selene back with your answer.
Remus, Tonks and Teddy Lupin
P.S. I included a picture. Thank Merlin he has no lycanthropy within him but he's a metamorphmagus like his mum! His hair colour changes hourly!
"Tonks had the baby! It's a boy!" said Harry, looking up at his friends. They all cheered.
"Wow! I must send them a card!" said Hermione, instantly. Ginny took the picture from Harry's hands and awed at the tiny newborn.
"Remus asked me to be godfather," whispered Harry. The group fell silent.
"Blimey! Godfather! That's a big responsibility!" said Neville as he leaned over Harry's shoulder to read the letter.
"Will you do it?" asked Luna softly. Harry felt the tears coming now. He was so glad Teddy would not be an orphan this time around.
On the back of the letter Harry wrote: YES, I WILL BE TEDDY'S GODFATHER —HARRY
He then sent Remus's owl on its way, a large smile gracing his face. He would be there for little Teddy, but this time he would be raised by his parents, as he should have been the first time.
Over Easter break, Harry went to see his new godson. By then Tonks was back to full strength and health, bouncing around the small house as she greeted Sirius and Harry at the door.
"Harry! Sirius! Welcome!" Tonks hugged them both tightly then led them into the house. It was the first time Harry had seen their new house and he had to admit it was quite nice. Remus smiled at them as they entered the parlour.
"How's school, Harry?" Harry smiled as he sat down in a large armchair as Tonks came back in with tea and snacks.
"Hard." Harry grimaced.
As the men talked for a while, Tonks came back in carrying a small bundle. Sirius stopped talking and stood up.
"There he is, my new little cousin."
Harry watched as Sirius gently took Teddy from Tonks and held him as if he had been doing it all his life. A piece of cookie fell out of Harry's mouth in shock. Sirius looked at Harry and smiled.
"I used to do this all the time when you were a baby."
"Oh do let Harry hold him, Sirius! He is Teddy's godfather after all." Tonks winked at Harry.
Harry rubbed his hands nervously on his pants as he held out his arms for his godson. 'Other life' or no, he had never held his godson before. Sirius smiled as he could see the fear in Harry's eyes. It brought him back seventeen years to the time he first held Harry.
"Now, mind his head…good…make sure it stays in the crook of your arm. Gently…put your other arm under his bum and back to support him. Good." Sirius then removed his hand and Harry was holding Teddy on his own. He wasn't very heavy. The baby was quite soft. Remus stood up and knelt by Harry's side.
"That's it, Harry." Remus then pulled aside the blanket, Harry could see the baby's sleeping face. Harry felt his heart melt; he was so precious. His hair was already favouring turquoise.
"Harry James Potter, meet your godson, Ted Remus Lupin…" Sirius had to wipe a hidden tear away as he watched Harry's face lit up. He was sure that was how he looked all those years ago when he first held Harry. This would be a day he would remember forever.
"I will be there for him, I promise," said Harry, looking at Remus. It was a promise he would keep.
Before Harry could blink his NEWTS were upon him. It was much like the OWLS but this time people were separated by the professions they wished to enter into. Neville, Harry and Ron took the Aurors exam while Hermione went into Magical Law Enforcement. They would not know their scores until a few weeks after graduation. Harry hoped that he would have good enough scores to become an Auror on his own.
Graduation ceremony was held early in the evening before the last day of school. It was a ceremony to congratulate all the students who had graduated from Hogwarts. Each house dressed in robes representing the house. For example, Gryffindor wore deep red robes lined with gold along with traditional wizard hats. Over their robes they wore a mantle with the Hogwarts crest. Different medals were given to the students to represent Quidditch captain, prefect or Head Boy and what field they were going into.
The Great Hall was crowded with students and families. Much like a Muggle graduation, each student was given a certificate and walked across an open stage, shaking professors' hands as they went. When Harry's name was called he received quite a standing ovation.
As a final tribute and farewell, the students were to leave Hogwarts as they arrived, on the boats across the lake. Harry, Ron and Hermione carefully got into the boats, this time seeming way too small. Hermione kept whispering that it was going to tip over, but the three managed to squeeze into the boat without any complaints. Once everyone was in the boats, they started to sail on their own, away from Hogwarts. Family members lined the banks, waving and cheering. Remus and Tonks waved as Remus shifted a two-month-old Teddy in his arms to wave. Sirius whistled and Mrs. Weasley was sobbing. The other members of the Weasley family cheered, with Fred and George setting off fireworks in the background.
"We did it! We graduated!" said Hermione as they turned to look at each other. Harry felt a few tears falling down his face. It was sad to leave Hogwarts. Hogwarts was the first place Harry had ever considered calling home. He had so many great memories of this place. Had it really been seven years?
"What now?" asked Ron, looking back at his friends. "Things seem odd, not going back to Hogwarts for one more year, what will become of us?"
Harry smiled as he looked at his two best friends. He wiped the stray tear from his eye.
"We will make the Wizarding world better, we will make it the way we want it to be. Things change, that's life, but we will always have each other. Right?" Ron and Hermione nodded as they reached out and touched Harry's hand.
Yes, the future would be bright. It would be better. They would make it so.
Nearly eight years ago, a skinny little boy with messy black hair, broken glasses, bright green eyes and a tell-tale scar sailed across this lake. He would never guess what awaited him. The people he would meet, the feats he would undertake and the things he would learn along the way. A ten-year-old Harry Potter would call you crazy, but wish it was true. A seventeen-year-old Harry Potter knew it was true, because he lived it.
As the boats floated gently across the lake, Harry Potter knew everything would turn out just fine, that he was definitely sure of…
A/N: That's it! I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to read this story. I appreciate the support of every one of you. It has been a pleasure. You can show me some love by pressing the favourite button and reviewing!
Until next time,