Harry leaned back in his chair and sighed deeply, his bright green eyes flitting between the two scraps of parchment on the table in front of him. He ran his hand slowly through his mess of jet black hair and suddenly snapped forward, determined to finally make a decision. He started re-reading the parchment on his left.

Department of Magical Law Enforcement

Auror Application

Name: Harry James Potter

Age: 17

Residence: The Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole, England

N.E.W.T.s: Did not attend 7th year of Hogwarts

Criminal Record: 1992- Official warning for illegal use of a Hover Charm

1995- Expulsion from Hogwarts for illegal use of a Patronus Charm, later acquitted of all charges

1997- 'Undesirable Number One', later rescinded

Referee: Kingsley Shacklebolt, Interim Minister for Magic

Do you consent to the Ministry of Magic performing rigorous background checks on your character and personal history? Yes

Do you understand and accept that you are committing your life to the fight against the Dark Arts for the sake of peace, prosperity, and order in the wizarding community of Great Britain?

Harry had left the final question unanswered for a few days now. The rest of the form had been scribbled out in a few minutes, but when he'd got to that last question…

Harry looked out the window of the 6th floor of The Burrow. Mrs Weasley was magically guiding all manner of plates, glasses, and cutlery from the kitchen to an outdoor table. Ron and Hermione were leaning on a fence talking animatedly, while George and Ginny zoomed around on broomsticks in the background laughing. Hagrid was fawning over a muggle motorcycle that Percy had bought his father, while Mr Weasley excitedly (and incorrectly) explained how the various mechanical parts worked. Some light fragrances wafted their way up to Harry and he caught a few notes of a French song amidst all the commotion; Bill and Fleur were currently in the kitchen cooking their portion of the feast.

It had been a long month. A month of funerals. A month of tears. But tonight it drew to a close. They would never forget their fallen comrades, their fallen family, but it was finally time for the next chapter of their lives. Ginny would be returning to Hogwarts to complete her 7th year, as was Hermione, who wouldn't even consider the notion of not graduating properly. Ron was much less eager to return, especially after George offered him a managerial role at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. Which just left Harry. His love for Hogwarts had admittedly waned in the last few years, and he had been assured by Kingsley that if he wanted to be an Auror his lack of N.E.W.T.s would not be an issue at all. And yet…

Harry's eyes slid back to the table and he re-read the parchment on his right.

Dear Harry,

How are you pulling up? You probably didn't see me but I was in the Great Hall for your final duel with You-Know-Who! Angelina had sent me a message- something about a magic galleon, anyway I couldn't stand by and let the Death Eaters take over the school, after all our Quidditch Cup is in there! After the battle I was talking to Katie and Alicia about old times, and young Ginny Weasley came over and mentioned how because of the Triwizard Tournament, and then that Umbridge lady and Snape, that you didn't get to play a lot of Quidditch after I left. Well! I said that was a bloody outrage, you were the youngest Hogwarts Seeker in 100 years! You set a new record for fastest snitch capture in your SECOND game! You caught the damn thing in your mouth once!

Anyway, I'm sure you got a lot on your plate at the moment, but if you ever had the urge to play again, come down to Ilkley Moor this weekend. Puddlemere United are holding recruitment trials for their reserves squad and I know you have the talent to make it!

All the best,

Oliver Wood

Harry grinned. It may have been slightly tongue-in-cheek, but Wood probably would have made his last stand in the Trophy Room if he had to.

Harry looked outside again. Ron had joined Ginny and George in the air, the three of them playing a game of 'Keep Away' with an old Quaffle, or as wizards called it, 'Troll in the Middle'. Life's worries just seemed to melt away when you fly. The wind against your face, the horizon expanding as you soar higher and higher, the feeling that you can do anything, go anywhere…

Harry was a talented wizard. A dogged fighter, physically fit, resourceful, and blessed with plenty of courage and common sense. So wasn't it his duty to join the Ministry's front lines and continue to the fight against dark magic? The country needed rebuilding! You couldn't just go off gallivanting with Quidditch! …Could you?

"Dinner's ready! Come and get it! Arthur! Ron! George! Ginny! Bill! Charlie! Percy! Fleur! Hagrid! Hermione! Harry!" Mrs Weasley's voice cut through Harry's thoughts. The noise outside his window grew louder as several different conversations converged to gradually become one.

He'd fought so hard for so long. He'd faced death many times, and even succumbed to it once. It was nothing short of a miracle that he still had his wits about him…In a way it would nearly be irresponsible to dive right back in to such a dangerous life. In fact it was irresponsible! Without a break he would be no good to anyone!

"Harry? Harry?" A couple of voices floated up to him and Harry smiled, finally making peace with his decision. The war was over. His war was over. With a flick of his wand he burnt the parchment on his left and proceeded down the stairs to join his family for dinner.

A.N: First attempt at Harry Potter, hopefully not embarrassing myself. Thanks for reading :)