Author Note: Harry Potter and company are not mine. I didn't create them and do not own them. They belong to Ms. Rowlings. As always I remind you this story is already finished. All I need to do is upload each chapter for you to enjoy. And I hope you do.

Chapter Forty-One: Epilogue

And so May finally came to Hogwarts. Both Ron and Ginny had made a couple of friends now and they were beginning to get back to their old selves again. They never let themselves forget what they'd done the last time they had friends and so never went back to the behavior that had made their first few months of this year so miserable. Their new friends would remind them any time it seemed they might backslide and so would the twins who were wickedly quick with their pranks and devilishly clever in delivering them to worthy opponents. But by the end of the year both Ron and Ginny were feeling more settled with themselves and their decision to take their education seriously now.

Harry sat his Owls that were available at the Castle while Severus dropped a hint in Lady Augusta's ear about his position becoming vacant at the end of the term. He'd mail in his resignation at the same time Harry mailed his withdrawal notice.

On the last day of term, Severus packed his rooms up and left Hogwarts for hopefully the last time. He kew he had no intention of ever returning. In the kitchens no one noticed as both Winky and Dobby gathered their own belongings and popped away from the Castle as well. They had a new life to look forward to and a young master waiting for them to serve him.

He apparated to London and the King's Cross area where he killed time along with Dobby and Winky waiting for the train carrying Harry to arrive. Because for the first and last time Harry James Potter rode the Hogwarts Express home from school. Severus met him on the muggle side of the portal with a small smile and apparated both of them to the alley in Little Whining, Surrey. Dobby and Winky popped in behind them and Harry pointed the elves to the house telling them Hedwig should be in the shed. Then he led Severus towards the house on Privet Drive where Harry stopped to say hi to Steve the neighbor. Steve offered them a glass of refreshment which Harry accepted so Severus did as well. They sat on the porch enjoying the quiet evening and their lemonade. Harry introduced Severus to Steve as his house guest and teacher for the summer.

"So you'll be taking the Dursley's place in watching over him this summer, then?" Steve asked, calmly revealing he knew the Dursley adults had abandoned the teenager last summer.

Severus nodded. "I'm his teacher. He hired me to teach him for the exams he'll be sitting in the next couple of weeks as well as in a couple of years but yes. I'll also be acting as his guardian until his emancipation comes through. Then I'll be taking him on some trips out of the country lest there be a backlash from it."

"Want me to watch over the house while you're out of country as I did this school year, Harry?"

"If you wouldn't mind, Steve. I'd appreciate it," Harry said nodding his head in gratitude.

"Not a problem. Those kin of yours didn't reappear so I'm assuming they won't now either. Some bushy haired girl came by earlier today. Had a nasty looking blemish on her face. I don't know exactly what she thought she was doing or going to do anyway. Whatever it was, she didn't get to do it. They have her down at the local right now for raising a ruckus."

Harry and Severus exchanged glances before Harry said, "Hermione." Severus nodded.

"You know her?" Steve asked. "You might want to stop in at the local and let them know you know her then so they don't think she was trespassing or something."

Harry nodded again as Severus explained, "She was a student at the school who got sent down at Christmas for cheating and breaking school rules. She blames Harry for her expulsion I guess, since it was his work she was using to cheat. As for the trespassing, I can assure you, she was. Mr. Potter didn't, and would never have, invited her here."

"But I'll go make sure they know who she is and where to find her folks," Harry said.

A few minutes later they were inside the house at Privet Drive. Harry showed Severus to the Master bedroom and where the bathroom was before instructing Dobby and Winky they could have Dudley's old room for themselves. He went back downstairs to turn the gas back on and rummage through the freezer for something to make for an evening meal. he hadn't even found something before Winky was back and shooing him aside to let her handle the cooking for Young Master.

"Do you have phone service, Harry?" Severus asked. He'd decided since they were no longer at Hogwarts or planning to return there, there was no need for him to keep referring to Harry by his last name only. It had been months since he'd even thought of the boy as Mr. Potter or even just as Potter. Always in his mind the boy was either Harry, Hogwarts Child or the boy. Besides, in the muggle world, very few adults in a teaching position called their students by their last names or with the honorific of Mr. or Ms. That was mainly a boarding school thing. Most teachers called their students by their first names. So it would seem odd if he kept calling him Mr Potter or just Potter.

"And the direction to get in touch with her parents? It might be better to just call them and tell them where they can find her," Severus said coming into the kitchen where Harry was defrosting a casserole in the microwave. Thinking to himself, 'And that way I can suggest again they move out of the country. Even if Albus is no longer a threat, he did have friends.

"I used to. I unplugged it when the Dursley's left. Didn't want to deal with his sister getting drunk and trying to find them. Then getting angry to discover I'm still here. Might still be connected though. I'll check. And yes I have her direction. She gave it to me at the end of first year before I learned what kind of a person she was."

He plugged the cord back into the wall and picked up the receiver. He passed it over when he heard a dial tone. He was pleased to discover he did still have service. Then he hunted down Hermione's home direction and called her parents. Severus took the phone from him and, when the adult Grangers answered, informed them of what had occurred this afternoon and where they could find their daughter now. It was a short conversation and Severus was scowling as he set the receiver back in the cradle.

After he hung up he explained, "The last time I saw them, her parents were justifiably upset at her branding. They blamed us for not putting a stop to the behavior she was displaying that led to it. But they also blamed you for doing it to her. It doesn't help that she can't admit she did you wrong. I know they are taking her to a mind healer but she isn't cooperating with her treatment. And they're still angry. I think now they're mainly angry with the staff at Hogwarts or maybe it's her they're angry with. But still they weren't too happy to hear from me."

"When she got expelled, did she keep her wand rights?" Harry asked as he sat down and waited for Severus to take the seat across from him. Winky set the meal she'd fixed for them on the table and they began to eat as they discussed the potential problem. Hedwig flew in the open kitchen window and perched on the back of the chair next to Harry barking softly and happily to see her wizard again. Harry fed her small bits of meat as he barked back to her in her own language. Severus just watched and listened in awe as the two reconnected after a long separation.

When it seemed that conversation was finally over for now, he answered the question Harry had asked him. "Yes. The ministry provided a list of tutors and the issue with her stealing from your vaults was hushed up. Apparently they believed Albus authorized it and he was high up in the Ministry as well as at Hogwarts. That he had no right to do it was a moot point, since the public believes he was your magical guardian. The Ministry knows and admits they know he isn't and never was. But the public thinks he is because he said he was. She claimed to believe he had the right to pay her for her service to him in his care of you. So to avoid bad press over it, the Ministry was willing to do whatever they needed to in order to make the problem, ie: her, go away. Her parents selected a tutor from the list and the Ministry paid them to get her through her Owls."

Bitterly Harry replied, "I'm perfectly sure quite a few of my galleons went along way towards hiring those tutors for her so she could sit for her owls and keep her wand rights here in Britain."

"It doesn't really matter though, Harry. Because she lost far more than I think she realizes she did in making that agreement with the Ministry. She still has her wand rights though she doesn't, and never will, have a place in the British magical world. She had to agree to never again enter magical Britain in exchange for that concession. She is also magically bound to that agreement. Given her tendency to lie and cheat, no one was willing to simply accept her word to stay out of our territory. Considering her other option was to be prosecuted for the wrongs she did you where her sentence would most likely have been a one way trip through the Veil of Death, I don't blame her parents for taking the deal on her behalf and making her swear the oath."

Harry thought about it and decided Severus was right. Hermione had lost far more than she'd gained with that deal. "Agreed."

Harry shook his head and dismissed the hard luck of his former friend from his mind as he ate his dinner. Over the next two weeks Severus took Harry by apparition each day to the Ministry so he could sit for another Owl on the esoteric subjects he had been studying while still a Hogwarts student. He also took the Owls for Muggle Studies, Arithemancy and Ancient Runes which were offered at Hogwarts though he wasn't eligible to take them there since he wasn't in those classes. His results came in the middle of July.

On July thirty-first, Harry, with Severus' help, filled out and filed his emancipation papers for the magical world and his withdrawal notice for Hogwarts while the two elves were packing up and shutting down the house for another long absence. With all his Owls in hand, he was no longer required by law to return to Hogwarts or any other recognized school. He was already an emancipated minor in the muggle world having filed that while in his final year at Hogwarts with the help of Dobby and the goblins. So all he needed to do was send both these to the appropriate location and he was free and clear of Britain and it's people. Much to Hedwig's disgust they weren't using her to deliver them. Rather Dobby would pop each form as well as Severus' resignation to the appropriate location for them.

That evening, they paid Steve a visit to inform him they would be leaving the next morning before the neighborhood woke up and Severus handed him a large amount of cash. "In case anything goes wrong at the house and needs to be fixed. That girl you saw before shouldn't be coming around any more but if she does, make sure you don't tell her anything about us and do call the coppers on her because, no matter what she says, she isn't welcome here. But she is a very good liar if she thinks lying will get her what she wants." Steve nodded. He knew the type and would be on his guard against her if she showed up again.

"We'll be going on several safaris and staying in places well off the beaten trail. So we won't be easy to reach. If you need more funds, contact this person and he will set you up. He will also be able to get a message to us if you need us. It may be a few days or even a week or two before we can call you back, but we will get in touch as soon as we can." He handed him a creamy white pasteboard business card embossed with golden writing. The card was for Ragnok who was handling Harry's Estates for them as well as Severus' own banking interests. Steve checked to make sure Harry had his number and asked what to do if the Dursley family should show up.

"Remind them they signed the place over to me and it isn't theirs anymore. In exchange for them abandoning me and me not saying anything about it or calling the authorities on them, they agree to give me the house and the property it stands on," Harry said bluntly. "You might also remind them it was their idea to abandon a still fourteen year old boy who had no other living relatives anywhere in the country. I didn't suggest it to them. But I honestly don't think they will return. If they haven't done so by now, they're settled wherever they went."

Steve nodded and assured Harry he could handle them if they did return and tried to lay claim to the house and property again. He had his own plans for what to do to the couple for the way they'd abandoned Harry last summer. Though he was glad Harry had seemed to land on his feet and found a good protector in Severus. He knew the man was a teacher but he'd also seen the way the man watched over Harry and so he saw him as Harry's protector rather than his teacher.

It would be years before anyone in either society heard from either of them again. There had been a bit of a public outcry when Harry's emancipation and withdrawal from Hogwarts was announced. Mainly Hogwarts was upset because Harry had done so very well on his Owls and his teachers were looking forward to teaching him the following two years. But the public was only concerned over the issue of whether or not he would try to claim his Wizengamot seats while he was so very young still. When months went by without him appearing to claim them, they relaxed and allowed them to forget the Last Potter was now a legal adult in their world and one of their peers.

Very few people actually missed them though. Almost everyone wondered where they'd gone and what they were doing so the Daily Prophet made good money offer stories where they claimed the pair had been spotted in one place or another. Severus' name surfaced from time to time attached to a new potion discovery or an article in a potions related publication. A few sightings of Harry also made the news though most people had their doubts as to whether or not it was actually him in the photos. But for the most part, no one cared where they were or what they were doing.

As for the Dark Lord and his servants, Harry's words to Severus had proven true. The Dark Lord had never surfaced after freeing his servants from Azkaban. Gradually Amelia Bones and her aurors rounded up those freed followers and each one underwent a fresh trial. Some were returned to Azkaban but others went through the veil. One of them was Bellatrix LeStrange as she was caught red handed torturing a child for information on Harry Potter's whereabouts. A child who had no idea who Harry Potter even was. Let alone where he was.

And as for Albus, a few people questioned his disappearance but again not for very long. A tell-all book was released during what would have been Harry's sixth year exposing all Albus' secrets. Of which they were many. Including the fact that he hadn't defeated his former lover, Gellert Grindewald, in a fair fight as he claimed. Nor had he discovered on his own the twelve uses of Dragon's blood. Nor had he actually killed Grindewald as so many people believed he had. Just as he hadn't actually been trying to kill Tom Riddle the Dark Lord known as Voldemort. The book didn't come right out and call Albus a Dark Lord. Rather it let his true achievements and actions do that for themselves.

The uses of dragon's blood was actually nothing more but a compilation of discoveries made by others covering an entire century. These original discovers of the uses of dragon's blood were men and women who worked on dragon preserves around the world or worked with the blood to make armor, weapons and potions. Each had written a paper on what they'd discovered dragon's blood could be used for. And all Albus had done was compile those papers into a single document.

Gellert had been imprisoned in the prison he himself had commissioned under heavy wards that denied him visitors and the right to ever leave so long as a single breath of oxygen remained in his lungs or a drop of magic still lingered in his magical core. He had a house-elf that brought him food, fresh clothing, newspapers, books, parchment, ink and quills. But that was it. He wasn't allowed any visitors outside of Albus who came every once in awhile just to torment the man. Just because he could.

The story of his sister and the destruction of his immediate family was earth shattering for those who believed in him but vindicating for his brother, Aberforth. As it was compiled, like everything else in the book, from Albus' own journal where he had admitted he was the one to torture the five year old girl before confunding the muggle boys into taking the blame for hurting her. He'd done it according to his journal because he was angry with her over having to watch her for the afternoon while his Mum was putting up the vegetables from their garden for the winter and she'd been bugging him. His journal had gloated over how easy it was to torture his baby sister and blame the muggles for it. How gullible everyone was to believe mere muggles could hurt her so badly as to destabilize her core like that. And the author of the tell-all book made sure to include the actual journal passages in Albus' own very recognizable handwriting.

His journal also exposed his involvement with Tom Riddle and who Tom had grown up to become. Very little doubt was left in the readers mind about why Tom had become the Dark Lord he did. And it made it clear Tom was one of the lucky orphans who had entered Hogwarts Halls while the Castle was under the dominion of Albus Dumbledore. Many other orphans had entered that school only to leave it broken and destitute because Albus had discovered who they were and stolen the inheritance they should have been able to claim as adults long before they could do so. And most of those orphans never got the chance to tell anyone what the kindly old man had done to them. They disappeared just as quietly as they had appeared in the British magical society and no one had ever even thought to question their disappearance.

But through that exposition, his changes to Hogwarts as well as the reasons behind those changes were also brought out of the shadows. And of course his dealings with their hero, Harry James Potter came to light as well. All the people he'd either killed or caused to be killed were listed with the date and manner of their demise as well as the reason why Albus felt they deserved to die. Including all those orphans he'd defrauded of their rightful inheritances.

Needless to say, by the time the book was finished, no one who read it really wanted to know where Albus Dumbledore was. Those people now understood Albus Dumbledore had never had the best interest of their world at heart. The only interest he'd ever held close to his heart was his own. None of them ever questioned what became of him.

He had a few die-hard supporters who refused to hear a word against him and still referred to him as a Great Man or the Light Lord. But those were the people who'd been making a comfortable living off his largess and didn't understand that largess was never his to extend to them. A few of them tried to garner interest in the Ministry to discovering his whereabouts but when it was pointed out that there were still charges pending against him from Hogwarts which could be added to with the right questions about matters exposed in that tell-all book, they quickly dropped the matter. because once again, for the British magical people it didn't matter if the book was true or not. What mattered was it could be referred to with the line or page where something was stated found and pointed out to anyone who questioned it.

Molly stayed angry with Harry until Arthur finally worked his way through the wording of the betrothal contract he'd signed for his daughter to Harry Potter. When he realized it actually tied her to Albus as he was the only person the old man could arrange a contract for, the wind went out of Molly's sails. Much as she believed in the goodness of Albus Dumbledore, she wouldn't have ever agreed to tie her only daughter to the man. he was far too old for a girl Ginny's age. When the contract had turned Black she'd been so very angry but when Arthur figured that out, she changed her mind and decided having it go black was cause for celebration instead. Ginny, her dear sweet daughter, was free again.

When Ginny and Ron came home for the summer after that long and explosive year, they'd sat down with their Mother and explained to her how they'd taken the placement exams and were now just finishing their third year of schooling. They would need a further four years at Hogwarts before they were ready to graduate by when term began in the fall they would be taking Ancient Runes instead of Divinations as Harry had shown them Runes actually did have practical applications.

Molly had sat down and cried. It hurt her pride that her babies had been so caught up in that sick old man's ploys they'd hurt their own education. That they'd done so many bad things to another child their age. That they'd hurt Harry who they'd both told her many, many times they considered to be their friend and someone they cared for greatly. Plus, she'd now gotten a very good look at the marks Harry had placed on them for their treatment of him during their years at Hogwarts. And unlike the two teens she did know what those marks said as she had taken Ancient Runes when she'd attended Hogwarts. But once the pair had walked her through everything they'd done and been involved in that would or did hurt Harry, not even she could deny they'd gotten off lightly.

But Hermione Granger was a different story. She was an angry young woman who simply couldn't understand the life she had dreamed of having one day would never happen. Nor could anyone get her to understand her marked countenance was the result of her own actions against Harry Potter who was supposed to have been her friend. Her first friend and the boy who had saved her life. She was arrested for trespassing three times at Privet Drive before her parents finally decided the only way to get her to stop was to move out of the country. So they sold their practice and packed up their home after applying to transfer their licenses to Canada. When the transfers came in approved, they grabbed their daughter and boarded Air Canada never to return to Britain so long as their daughter was fixated on getting revenge on Harry Potter.

They settled in Manitoba and opened a new practice where Hermione worked the front desk after school hours. She was still home schooled through tutors but these tutors were Canadian and had no idea what her background was or why she had a rune tattooed on her cheek. Nor did they ask about it. She took to the move well and her parents began to relax thinking their daughter had finally moved past her traumatic fifth Hogwarts year. They were wrong. Three days after her eighteenth birthday Hermione boarded a plane back to England and tried to enter Diagon Alley. Her oath, given to the British Ministry, to never again enter the British magical world took effect and killed her with her wand still raised to the entry portal behind the Leaky Cauldron. Her parents never discovered what became of her beyond the fact she went back to England to settle things with Harry Potter once and for all.

Author Note: Please review. As always I hope you enjoy my story. Happy Reading. This was the Epilogue and you all know what that means. Though this story has come to an end I do have other stories I am in the process of writing but as with this one, I won't post them until I have both a beginning, a middle and an ending. I hate to be reading a story and have it dead end unfinished because the writer didn't have an ending when they began their story. So I won't do it to you if I can help it. Until the next story Happy Reading. The Mother Rose