"Alright, Kelly, would you like to read the first page?" Kelly sighed and pulled her copy of The Magic Key towards her.
"The box was by Chip's bed." she read slowly before coming to a big word. "S-... something was g-... glowing inside it."
"Very good, Kelly. Alright, Laura, the next page, please." Kelly looked out the window as she wondered why she still had to go to school. Mrs. Helen said I was magic like Harry and Hermione. Why can't I go to magic school with them? Mummy had said that it was because Harry and Hermione's school was only for big kids. I bet the kids at the magical schools are nice.
Most of the time the kids in Kelly's school were nice too, but a new boy had been introduced today and during their first break Kelly had learnt to hate Ezekiel Beiler. Zeke, as he had told them he liked to be called, had moved to the neighbourhood from America. According to Ms. King he would was joining the class next year, but he was here now to make some friends before the summer. Not me. I don't want to be his friend. The boy talked funny, but Kelly would have been okay with that. He was also a bully and a meanie and had pinched Kelly's arm hard enough that it left a mark, but Ms. King hadn't believed her when she said that Zeke had done it.
"You should be nice to him, Kelly." Ms. King had said. "Zeke has never been in England before and he's probably just nervous to be in a strange place." Even if he is, he's still a meanie. I wish Harry was here. He stopped that other big kid from being a meanie, I'm sure he could stop Zeke too. As the day progressed Kelly's experiences with Zeke got worse and worse. He dipped her ponytail in a pot of glue, spilt paint over the painting she had been making for Mummy and torn the arms off of the dolly she had brought in for toy time. Kelly felt like she was about to cry and wished the day would just end already.
"Children, your attention please? Remember to do the word exercises in your workbooks at home tonight. We'll go over them tomorrow." Ms King looked over the class though Kelly didn't know what she was looking for. "Alright, let's get you home then." Kelly was at the door before any of her classmates had even gathered their things. All she wanted was to see Mummy and hug her. Once everyone was lined up, Ms. King took them out to the playground so that their mummies and daddies could find them. The moment Ms. King said it was okay, the kids who had seen their parents were running towards them. Kelly was still looking for Mummy when she felt someone shove her in the back. She tried to catch herself but her knee hit the asphalt of the playground first. The pain in her knee proved to be the final drop that caused the well to overflow. Tears leaked down Kelly's cheeks as she clutched her stinging knee to her chest. Above her she could hear someone laughing and when she looked up she saw Zeke standing there. It was just too much for the little girl to take.
"You-... you-... you stupid poopie-head! When I learn how to do magic I'm gunna turn you into a slug and step on you!" Zeke stopped laughing for a second before laughing even louder.
"You still think magic is real?! What a baby."
"Magic is real!"
"No, it isn't. God wouldn't let it be." an adult voice interrupted the two children. Kelly saw that a grown up lady had joined them. She talks funny like Zeke does. She must be his mummy. "You are a horrible, bad, little girl. Thoughts of magic are trickery from the Devil. Though given the sin from which you were born I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you're such a nasty, sinful, little child."
"Kelly! Kelly, are you alright, sweetheart?!" Kelly felt unbelievably happy that her mummy was finally there. Mummy knelt down next to her and wrapped her in a hug. "You should apologise for pushing Kelly like that, young man." Mummy said sternly to Zeke.
"He most certainly should not!" Zeke's mummy said loudly. "My son was raised in God's love and knows that he should punish wickedness when he sees it. I won't have some Jezebel and the product of her sins inflicting their loose morals on my lovely boy. You should think about raising that spawn of yours properly instead." The lady sniffed at Mummy before turning around and walking away, holding Zeke's hand to make sure he came with her. Kelly saw Zeke turn around and make a face at her before laughing again as he walked down the street with his mummy.
"Come on, sweetheart. Let's go home and fix up that knee." Mummy said before she picked Kelly up. Kelly tried her best to be a big girl but the sniffles wouldn't stop. When they got home Mummy sat Kelly down on top of the kitchen table. She came back with a bottle of stinky, brown stuff which hurt when she put it on Kelly's knee. She then put a piece of white, fuzzy stuff over the scrape on Kelly's knee and stuck it there with plasters. Finally she gave Kelly's leg a kiss right above the white, fuzzy stuff. "There. All better." Kelly sniffed and nodded. Mummy gave her a strange look and sighed. "You know, sweetie, you really shouldn't be yelling about magic on a playground like that. Remember that Mrs. Helen told us that it has to be super secret?"
"But- but, Zeke was being naughty first."
"Just because he was naughty, doesn't mean that you should be too." Mummy said sternly. Kelly could feel the tears burning behind her eyes. "Can you promise me that you won't tell anyone about magic again?"
"No! I hate you!" Kelly jumped down off of the table and ran up the stairs to her room where she threw the door shut as loudly as she could. She clambered up onto her bed and started crying as she thought about how unfair it was that Mummy was telling her off when she hadn't been naughty. Kelly had been sure that Mummy would come up to tell her off some more but the expected scolding never came. Kelly didn't know how long she sat in her room, but she was determined to stay up here and not go down to see Mummy until Mummy was sorry. A knock at her door caused her to jump in surprise.
"Go 'way!" she yelled at the door, trying not to let Mummy hear that she was still sniffling.
"But I just got here." The voice was deep; much deeper than Mummy's. I know that voice! Kelly scrambled off of the bed, ran for the door and threw it open.
"Harry!" Kelly flung herself at the man she still hoped would one day be her daddy. A pair of strong arms caught her and lifted her up until she was resting against a broad chest. She threw her arms around Harry's neck as he slung an arm under her for her to sit on. Kelly felt Harry moving and heard the door shut before she felt him sit down with her in his lap. Harry didn't say anything, but kept hugging her. Kelly didn't say anything either and just clung to Harry. Eventually she let go a little bit so she could look at him. Harry's green eyes were worried as they looked back at her.
"Your mummy said that you had a bad day at school." he said. Kelly nodded, still looking up at Harry's face. "Want to tell me about it?" Kelly was only quiet for a moment before she launched into an explanation of what had happened that day. She told Harry about all the naughty things Zeke had done and what had happened after school. She told him about Zeke and his mummy and her mummy and why Zeke was a poopie-head and Mummy was a poopie-head and Zeke's mummy was a poopie-head. Throughout it all Harry listened, his eyes still watching her. After she was done Harry was quiet for a moment.
"Kelly, do you want to be like this Zeke boy?"
"NO!" Kelly was shocked that Harry would think of her like that.
"But you said that you would use magic to hurt him. That sounds like you want to bully him."
"But-... I just want him to stop."
"I know, sweetheart, but you can't get people to stop being bullies by being a bully yourself. A part of having magic is knowing that you shouldn't use it to bully others."
"But magic is real, right?" Kelly asked desperately. I can put up with a poopie-head if magic is really real. Harry smiled at her and pulled a long thin piece of wood from his bracelet. Kelly gasped in wonder as she saw it.
"This is my wand, Kelly, and with it…" Harry flicked the wand towards the door which opened. Kelly looked at the door in confusion. That's it? Her unspoken question was answered a moment later when her schoolbag came zooming through the door without anyone carrying it. The pieces of her dolly floated out and reattached themselves before it landed in Kelly's arms, looking like that mean boy had never pulled her arms off. While Kelly was hugging her dolly she felt something happen to her hair. When she reached up and touched it she could feel that it was no longer glued together. A rush of cold air across her knee told her that the white, fuzzy thing Mummy had taped there had disappeared. Kelly watched in amazement as Harry's wand danced above her knee and the pain disappeared as the scrape seemed to melt away.
"Magic is very real, Kelly." Harry said quietly. "We have to make sure that we keep it a secret though. That's why we usually don't tell kids until they're a little bigger. Can you be a big girl for me and keep that in mind?" Kelly nodded while chewing her lip.
"But what about Zeke?"
"You let me worry about him. Besides, there is nothing left of his bullying now and he's not any happier for having done it; bullies are never really happy." Kelly cuddled back in to Harry as she thought about what he had said to her. "Now then, Hermione and I came over to invite you over to my house for dinner-"
"A magical house?!" Kelly's head shot up and her eyes were wide with wonder.
"Yes, a magical house, but we can only go if you tell your mummy that you're sorry for what you said to her."
"No." Kelly crossed her arms and scowled up at Harry. "She was mean. She told me off, but Zeke was the naughty one. I wish I didn't have a mummy."
"Do you really?" Harry sounded sad which made Kelly forget to scowl as she looked up at him. "It's not fun to not have a mummy, Kelly. I don't have a mummy."
"You don't?" But- but everyone has a mummy. Even a poopie-head like Zeke has a mummy. "Is it because you're a big kid?"
"No, sweetheart. When I was really little my mummy and daddy were hurt very badly and they had to go away."
"Are they going to come back soon?"
"No. They were hurt so badly that they can never come back." That's terrible!
"But if you didn't have a mummy who read your bedtime story? Who made your dinner? Who gave you hugs?!"
"No one. I cooked my own food. And I have Hermione who gives me hugs now. Besides, we're hugging now aren't we?" Kelly did her best to hug Harry even more than she already was. "I know that you were angry at her, Kelly, but having a mummy is something wonderful that you shouldn't give up." Kelly nodded her head into Harry's neck. She couldn't imagine what it would be like to not have a mummy read you a story before you went to sleep, never mind having to make your own dinner. They stayed like that for a long while before Harry gave her an extra squeeze. "Come on. You should tell Mummy that you're sorry for what you said and then we'll go have a magical dinner." Kelly slipped her hand into Harry's as they walked back downstairs. In the kitchen they found Mummy, Hermione and Mr. Richard and Mrs. Helen. Kelly felt Harry give her hand a squeeze and when she looked up at him he smiled down at her. "Go on." Kelly let go of Harry's hand and ran over to give Mummy a hug too.
"I'm sorry, Mummy." she said. "I'm happy that you're my mummy."
"It's okay, sweetie. I love you too." Mummy said in a funny voice as she wrapped Kelly in a hug. "Did Harry tell you that we're going to be eating at his house tonight?" Mummy asked as she drew back from the hug. Kelly nodded enthusiastically and heard the people behind her chuckling as she did so. Mummy helped her get her coat on and a moment later the Miller girls were seated in the car while the Grangers got into theirs. Kelly was looking out the front window at Harry who was getting on a really big bike with no pedals. As they drove away Kelly discovered that Harry was really fast on his bike. I wonder if I'll be able to go that fast when I'm a big kid? They were in the car for a really long time before they came to a place with a lot of houses. It's really… grey. Harry had gotten off of his bike and Hermione and Mr. Richard and Mrs. Helen were getting out of their car. Mummy undid Kelly's seatbelt and she scrambled out of the car.
"Where are we?" she asked as soon as she got near Harry.
"We're standing outside my house, but you can't find it if you don't already know where it is." Kelly's brow scrunched up as she tried to work out that riddle. "You'll see when your mum's done locking up the car." Kelly waited impatiently for Mummy to close the doors and lock the car before she came over. When everyone was there, Harry showed them all a piece of strange looking paper. When he got to her Kelly held out her hand for the paper.
"You sure you don't want me to tell you what it says?" Harry asked. Kelly shook her head. I can read. Harry nodded and handed her the piece of paper. Kelly took a moment to marvel at how thick it was. Her first attempts to read the words led to a disappointment though; there were just too many big ones for her to easily read it. She felt embarrassed when Harry squatted down beside her, but he just drew her back against his chest so he could read over her shoulder. "Come on. We'll read it together."
"Harry P-... Potter r-... re-... res-..."
"Resides. It means lives here." Kelly nodded at Harry's help.
"Harry Potter resides at number 12 Gri-... Grim-..." she looked up at Harry for help with the really big word.
"Grimmauld. It's the name of this square."
"Harry Potter resides at number 12 Grimmauld… Place!" Kelly beamed up at Harry once she managed the whole sentence.
"Look over there." Kelly followed Harry's finger with her eyes and gasped when she saw a house appearing between two others.
"It really is a magic house." she whispered.
"Want to see the inside?" Harry asked. Kelly nodded so hard her head hurt and a had a cheek splitting grin as Harry took her hand and led her towards the door. He opened it up and Kelly could see a hallway with several large picture frames to either side.
"Are those tvs?" she asked as she watched an old film of a pretty lady and two men waving down at her.
"But they're waving at me!" Harry just grinned at Kelly's explanation and tapped the side of nose.
"Magic." he stage whispered. Kelly looked around her in awe at more proof that magic was really real.
"Can Mummy make her photos move too?"
"No, but once you finish big kid magical school you'll be able to make Mummy's photos move." Hermione told Kelly.
"Wow." Harry led her on to the kitchen and it was only the fact that he had a hold of her hand that kept Kelly moving. There was just so much to see! In the kitchen Harry led her to a chair and sat her down.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Hermione and I will now show you the wonders of magic by preparing dinner." Harry said while making a sweeping bow. The other grown ups sat down and they all watched as Harry and Hermione took their wands out of their bracelets and waved them at the cupboards and the counter. Vegetables flew out of the fridge and started peeling themselves in midair. A bunch of meat dropped itself into a skillet and the oven lit up. When Kelly saw a carrot peeling itself before cutting itself into sticks she clapped in delight and jumped off of her chair to grab one. She missed and for just a moment she thought she was going to fall.
"Kelly!" Mummy yelled, but Kelly had already discovered that she wasn't falling. Instead she was softly floating in the air. She caught a wink from Harry before a twitch of his wand sent her zooming around the room shrieking with laughter as she held out her arms as wings.
"Harry James Potter! What are you thinking?! Get her down right now!" Hermione yelled. Uh-oh. Harry's in trouble.
"You know, you used to laugh like that when I threw you up and caught you again." Mr. Richard said to Hermione. "Let Harry have some fun with his little girl like I had with mine."
"Am I really your little girl?" Kelly called down to Harry. She found herself floating down so she was just as tall as he was and saw that he was smiling.
"Of course you are, sweetheart."
"Yay! More flying!" Kelly yelled out as she flapped her arms in an attempt to get going again.
"Yes, ma'am." Harry said as he flicked his wand and she was off again.
"Harry!" Hermione must be really angry with him. After a few more minutes Kelly found herself hovering over her chair and she was slowly being lowered into it.
"Dinner will be served in a few minutes." Harry said from where he was sitting next to her. Kelly looked around and saw that Hermione was sitting across from Harry next to Mr. Richard and Mrs. Helen. In front of her she saw a cup with carrot sticks. She happily grabbed one and held it out to Harry with a big grin. Harry smiled and snapped it in half with her and they ate it together. They taste even better when Harry's here. Kelly happily tried to scoot her chair closer to Harry so she could lean against his side. Harry just slipped an arm around her while he was talking with Mummy.
"If you're worried about driving home it'd be no problem to put you up for a night, Shannon. I have more rooms than I really know what to do with." We're having a sleepover? With Harry? In a magical house? Best night EVER!
"I wouldn't want to put you out, Harry."
"Pleeease?! Pleeeease, Mummy? I wanna have a sleepover with Harry. Pleeease?" Kelly could feel Harry chuckling where she was leaning up against him.
"But we don't have any night clothes or anything with us."
"We could just use magic." Harry offered, twirling his wand. Kelly could see that Mummy was surprised and giggled. How could she forget about magic?!
"If you're sure, Harry."
"Alright, in that case I would love a glass of wine."
"We're staying?" Kelly asked, just to be sure. Mummy nodded with a smile on her face. "Yay!"
"Okay, everyone, hands back. We have a hot dish coming through." Hermione said as she seemed to be pointing her wand at something. Kelly grinned as she saw a Shephard's Pie hovering where Hermione was pointing. Once the pie had landed on the table some more wand waving from Hermione made it cut itself up and all the pieces magically floated to the plates. Kelly burst into applause before grabbing her spoon and digging in. The only downside was that she was forced to lean forward to take a bite as Mummy wouldn't let her keep the plate on her lap, so after every bite she quickly leaned back so she could cuddle into Harry again.
After dinner Harry and Hermione made the dishes go to the sink and start washing themselves. Everyone went into the sitting room together and Kelly made sure to wait until Harry was sitting so she could claim his lap. As they sat there Harry and Hermione told Kelly and Mummy that they could ask any questions they wanted. Mummy wanted to know boring things like what the teachers were like at school and who was the country's boss. It was up to Kelly to ask the important questions.
"Are unicorns real? What does it feel like to turn someone into a frog? Do witches have to eat their veggies? Can you fly on a broom?" Harry and Hermione answered all of Kelly's questions just like they did Mummy's. Eventually Mummy said that it was bedtime and no amount of begging from Kelly could change her mind. "Only if Harry reads me a story." she tried when she realised that Mummy was going put her to bed anyway.
"That's fine. Would you like a bedtime story for magical children?" Kelly was amazed that there was such a thing.
"My copy of Beedle's in the fiction section, Harry." Hermione told him. The words didn't make sense to Kelly, but she didn't care. Harry's going to read me a bedtime story. Kelly almost dragged Mummy up the stairs to get to bed before she realised that she didn't know where she was supposed to go. Harry came out and led them up the stairs, only stopping at a pair of doors to wave his wand and catch a book that came flying out. He then led them to a room with a pair of beds in them.
"You can sleep together, or if you prefer there are a few more rooms to choose from."
"Why don't we put Kelly in here and I can decide when I go up?"
"Alright." Harry turned to Kelly and smiled at her. "Ready?" Kelly nodded even though she wasn't sure what she was supposed to be ready for; she felt ready for anything except bed. Harry flicked his wand at her and Kelly felt her clothes ruffle. That's it? She looked down and gasped. Her clothes had turned into a pair of pink pajamas with a unicorn on them and a pair of fuzzy white slippers. The really magical thing was that the unicorn was moving and grazing on the pink grass.
"MummyMummyMummy! Look! Look!" Kelly yelled out as she whirled around to show Mummy what had happened to her clothes. Mummy looked a little wide eyed, but Kelly was too excited to care. She felt herself being grabbed and lifted into the air.
"Alright, little lady, time for bed." she heard Harry say as he lifted her into bed and took off her new slippers before he tucked her in. He sat down next to her, putting an arm around her so he could hold the book in front of her where she could see. "Now then about that story. I thought you might like Babbity Rabbity and her Cackling Stump." Kelly giggled at the funny name and gasped when she saw that the pictures in the book were moving like the unicorn on her pajamas.
After Harry had finished the story he and Mummy both kissed her good night and turned off the light as the left the room. Kelly was far too excited to sleep so she listened to the house instead. She heard a loud crack a few minutes after going to bed and another a long time later. I hope the magical house isn't hurt. Another long time later Kelly heard people coming up the stairs like she sometimes heard Mummy back home. When the house was quiet and there was nothing left to listen to Kelly found herself tossing and turning, but she just couldn't get to sleep. No one could sleep now. We're in a magical house. There was only one thing that she could do right now: explore. Quietly, Kelly crept out of bed and opened the door. It was dark outside of the door so she had to walk carefully. She stuck a foot out slowly before putting it down so she could make sure that she wasn't going to walk into something or step on something. Kelly made her way to the staircase and saw that there was still a light on downstairs. Since she was able to see more now she was able to creep down the stairs a little faster than the hallway. At the bottom of the stairs she snuck towards the light and peeked through the slightly ajar door. The room inside had a big couch standing on a rug in front of a fireplace. By the light of the fire she could see Harry and Hermione dancing together. Kelly had no idea how long she had watched when she heard Hermione speak.
"So where did you apparate to after Kelly had gone to bed?" Harry did something after I went to bed? Kelly couldn't understand the word Hermione had used, but knew it had to be magic.
"Oh, I just wanted to talk to someone."
"Uh-huh. Who?" Mummy sounds like that when she thinks I'm fibbing. Harry wouldn't fib though.
"That's not really important."
"That Beiler woman." Harry sighed. Hermione was quiet for a moment as they kept dancing.
"You told her to keep her son away from Kelly didn't you?"
"Actually we had a pleasant discussion about places she could live and she and her husband decided that Crawley wasn't for them after all."
"And how much was your aura flaring during this pleasant discussion?"
"Hermione, would I do that?"
"To the woman who had a go at 'your little girl'? I don't think you'd have stopped until she was a gibbering wreck." Harry just grinned at Hermione and Kelly saw her smile and shake her head. "What am I going to do with you, Harry?"
"Be my big girl?" Hermione laughed and pressed her mouth to Harry's. Kelly gasped as she recognised a kiss like the one she had seen in a film with Mummy. Mummy had said that that was how grown ups told each other 'I love you'! Harry and Hermione looked at the door in surprise and Kelly realised that they must have heard her. A moment later Harry had crossed the room and opened the door. "What are you doing out of bed, young lady?" he asked as he picked her up.
"I couldn't sleep so I went 'sploring."
"Hmm. Were you exploring for anything in particular?" Kelly shook her head.
"It's a magic house." she explained to Harry who chuckled as he carried her into the room with the big couch.
"You know that if you went exploring in the morning that you would be able to see a lot more?" Kelly froze as she thought about that. It is difficult to see in the dark. In the meantime Harry sat down on the couch with Kelly in his lap while Hermione sat down next to them. Kelly shook off her realisation for now as she had other questions she wanted answered.
"Did you really tell Zeke's mummy that he can't be a meanie anymore?" she asked.
"I did. She said that they were going to be sending him to another school instead. He won't be a meanie to you anymore." Kelly couldn't think of a way to tell Harry how happy that made her so she tried to kiss him like Hermione had and pressed her lips to his. It felt a little weird and she pulled back again.
"Do you really like doing that?" Hermione was bent over with her shoulders shaking and Kelly was worried that she might be crying, but she couldn't see Hermione's face; Harry just looked surprised. After several blinks he managed to smile again.
"I do, but I think I'll stick to doing that with Hermione." Kelly nodded thoughtfully as she snuggled down into Harry's chest. Once she was comfy she looked over at Hermione again and saw that her shoulders were still shaking.
"Is Hermione okay?" she asked Harry worriedly. Harry just barked out a laugh and poked Hermione in the side causing her to giggle madly.
"She's fine." he grinned down at Kelly. Grown ups are weird. Lying on Harry's chest and listening to his heartbeat made Kelly realise that she actually felt pretty sleepy. "I think it's time someone went back to bed." she heard Harry say quietly. A moment later she felt movement and realised that he had stood up and was walking with her in his arms. Harry took Kelly up the stairs and laid her down in her bed. He pulled the covers up over her shoulder and kissed her forehead causing Kelly to smile happily even though she was really sleepy now. "Goodnight, sweetheart."
"Goo' night, Daddy." Kelly murmured as her eyes drooped closed. She never got to see the shocked look on Harry's face.
Fourteen years later
"Now that we have handed out all the diplomas, we wanted to let the students have the last word since this is really about them. This year they will be speaking to you through our Head Girl, Kelly Miller." As McGonagall stepped back, clapping politely, Kelly got up behind the lectern and looked out into the Great Hall at the sea of faces looking back at her. I'm so sorry that you couldn't be here for this, Mum. I promise I'll make you proud though. Kelly knew that her mother might not be here, but at least Harry and Hermione were and Hermione had said that she would bring Uncle George's new invention: a Mem-corder. Mum'll be able to see everything as if she was here when we get home. Kelly took a deep breath and started her graduation speech.
"Parents, family, friends and teachers. Today is the day that my classmates and I begin our life in the wider world and we have many reasons to look forward. It is also the day that a chapter of our lives has come to an end and that gives us a reason to look back and remember. We remember the people who brought us here; who helped us when we needed it. We remember you."
"I was raised by my mother after my father left when he found out she was pregnant with me. She somehow managed to combine her job with raising a daughter. She made sure that I always knew that I was loved, that I was taken care of; that I had a good life. She has been my strength for a long time and I am saddened that she could not be here to see me today because she doesn't have the magic that my classmates and I have almost come to take for granted."
"As I think of my mother and the struggles she faced raising a magical daughter, I also remember the help she received. When I was four years old, a man came into my life. I didn't know he was a wizard at the time, but he already seemed magical to me. Of course, to a four-year-old, the ability to swim seems very magical." There were some titters from the crowd.
"I spent the next year and a half begging my mother to marry this man so I could have a daddy. At the time I didn't understand the implications of what I was asking; I didn't understand love, commitment and that he might already feel these things for someone else. When we learnt that I was magical, he and his girlfriend took me under their wings and taught me what they could about a world that had just come out of a war at the time. To me he became a combination of a father, a big brother and a best friend and he never got upset with me when I stubbornly called him 'Dad' in an effort to convince him to change his mind about marrying Mum. To everyone in the magical world he became a hero for what he did in one day to end the Second Blood War. To me he became a hero for what he did every day. He chased away the monster in the closet, he made me eat my vegetables, he gave me a hug when I had been bullied at school."
"Now that man is married, though it isn't to Mum, and he and his wife have two children already. They call me Auntie and I love to babysit whenever I can. It occurred to me as I was preparing what I would say today that I am now the same age as that man was when he met me and his eldest is now the same age I was then. I hope that when that boy finishes his own education that he'll be able to look at me as an example the same way I still look at that man today."
"It scared me too, as I realised that that boy must already be forming an image of me. I realised that my life in the real world wasn't about to begin, it already had. It was also comforting as I realised that even though my time as a student is ending today, not everything will change. Mum will still love me. Dad will still be there for me, even if I'm sure he's rolling his eyes at me right now. My friends and family will still be a part of my life and I will still know what my teachers taught me."
"When I think about that, the big, wide world and the unknown future don't seem so scary; and if they're not scary I can look forward to them with excitement and a desire to see where life will take me. If they're not so scary then it doesn't matter that there are still things that I don't understand or that I might still need a hug from time to time. For that I thank the people who mean the most to myself and my classmates; I thank you." Kelly stepped away from the lectern to thunderous applause from her classmates and their families. She let out a shaky breath as she made her way off of the dais where the High Table normally stood. As she did she could see the other recent graduates milling about, looking for families and allowing themselves to be hugged by proud parents. Through a break in the crowd she saw a familiar pair of smiling faces and ran over to them happily throwing herself into Harry's arms, as confident now as she had been fourteen years ago that he would catch her.
"That was a wonderful speech, sweetheart. I'm so proud of you." Harry murmured in her ear and she squeezed him even tighter.
"Thanks, Dad." she whispered back.
"That's enough you two. I want my turn." Hermione broke in with a smile and tears in her eyes. "You were fantastic up there, sweetie." She dragged Kelly into a hug as soon as there was some daylight between her and Harry. When she finally drew back, Kelly had tears in her eyes as well.
"So who's taking care of Alex and Heather?" she asked, referring to the couple's two children as she tried to wipe her eyes inconspicuously.
"Your mum and their grandparents." Harry told her with grin. "That actually reminds me: we're supposed to get you home so the rest of the family can embarrass you with stories from when you were little." Kelly grinned back at the closest thing to a father she'd ever known and took his and Hermione's hands in hers.
"Let's go then!" she called as she tugged them on. The laughter and warmth that surrounded her as she walked out of Hogwarts Castle as a student for the very last time made her think back to the last words she had found for her speech. The future really isn't so scary if you have your family around you.
(seriously, for real, I mean it this time, no take-backsies, over and done with)
AN: I just want to say that I don't own the Magic Key books either. They belong to Roderick Hunt and I just have fond memories of them from primary school.
A mem-corder is of course the WWW version of a camcorder and uses similar enchantments to a pensieve so that you can record events and relive them by tapping the recording crystal with a wand.
Like I said in the update to last chapter's AN: I added this because I don't think there was a single reviewer who didn't ask for just one more chapter. I hope this gives you all a sense of closure.
Until next time: happy reading.