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The Tome of Merketh Chapter 15

Harry was shaken awake By Proffessor Dumbledore, who's eyes were twinkling at the sight of Harry and Sirius together on the sofa.

"Good Morning Harry."

"Hi Professor."

"Ahem." Remus coughed

"And Remus."

Dumbledore woke Sirius who was now snoring quietly into a sofa cushion.

"m'nin p'fessor." Sirius muttered as he opened his eyes.

"How are you both?"

"We're okay aren't we Harry?" Sirius answered, yawning.

"Yeah. except - "

"What's the matter?" Dumbledore asked

"I can't sense emotions anymore, Si - Dad reckons they'll come back but I just wanted to check. It's so strange without it."

Remus and Albus both raised their eyebrows at the use of 'Dad'.

Smiling rather frighteningly Dumbledore answered "you're Dad is right Harry. It'll be a few weeks I should imagine."

"So not that we're not happy to see you, but to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?"

"Well, actually there are a few things we need to discuss with you both. We can wait here for you both to go and get changed though."

"uh. Right." Sirius said, and he and Harry marched upstairs to their respective rooms.

When Harry had pulled on a clean set of clothes he walked downstairs, following the smell of bacon to the kitchen where the others were congregated around the kitchen table. A houself quickly put a plate of breakfast in the place where Harry usually sat.

Harry settled himself down and began munching on some toast. "right. Now we're all comfortable." Dumbledore said pleasantly "I'll explain the purpose of my visit. A lot has happened since the battle yesterday."

Harry took a sip of tea as he listened to his headmaster speak.

"firstly, there is to be a ball at Hogwarts tonight in the Great Hall. Needless to say you will be the guest of honour Harry. It starts at around 7 o' clock."

"Great!" Sirius said. "I feel like a good party."

"Secondly the ministry of magic have declared that you are to receive the Order of Merlin First Class, one of the youngest ever receivers of the award."

Harry's jaw dropped "Really?"

"Yes. It's a highly prestigious award. I was given one after I defeated Grindlewald. It affords you a lot of respect among the wizarding community. People will respect your opinions. Do not be surprised if once you are a fully qualified people begin to ask your advice. You will be able to participate to whatever extent you wish, in shaping our community. Perhaps you can help me eliminate the prejudice that exists against our fellow magical creatures."

Remus made an irritated sound at the back of his throat at the part about the prejudice. Harry nodded, although the additional fame would be a burden, if he could help those like Remus.

"As you are repeating the sixth year again next September, I wondered if you'd like to make things easier for yourself by working on the theoretical knowledge that you would learn and then next year you need only attend classes that are practicing the theory."

Harry told Albus of his ambition to become a part time healer. "In that case, during your free classes, maybe you would like to work alongside Madame Pomfrey. She could tutor you in the basic spells and techniques that you would need to know."

Harry smiled.

"now. Onto a more serious matter."

"What?" Sirius asked

"Miss Weasley -"

"What about her?" Harry interrupted anxiously "is she alright?"

"The Healers at st. Mungo's say that when you defeated Voldemort the curse upon her was lifted. She is still very weak and will need to remain at the hospital for a short while to recover, then, she can return to the school and complete her fifth year. I am sure that she will be most happy to see you. And if you help her through her OWL exams, you can be together next year."

Dumbledore winked at Harry who seemed to be absorbing what he had just heard at a very slow rate. Suddenly, his eyes lit up.

"Can I go see her now?" Harry asked and after the smallest of nods from Dumbledore, he sprinted to the fireplace and flooed to St Mungo's.

Ginny was asleep in her bed. She looked markedly better. Her skin was a healthy colour and she was breathing easily.

Arthur, molly and the other Weasleys were sitting around her bed looking joyous. Ron looked up as Harry entered.

"Harry! She's better. She'll be alright!"

Molly and Arthur ran up and embraced Harry tightly

"I'm so glad you're okay!" Molly sobbed into his shoulder

"They said that it was you who saved her. By defeating You Know Who!" Arther said, giving Harry another hug.

Harry felt a lump in his throat as the family that had so much become a part of his own led him over to the bed and allowed him so sit on the chair nearest to Ginny.

"When she woke up you were the first person she asked for." Fred said, with a squeeze of Harry's shoulder

Ginny, groaned quietly and opened her eyes. Seeing who was looking at her she snaked her arm from under the covers and took Harry's hand.

"Harry?"

"Gin. I was so worried about you. How are you feeling?"

"I'm alright. Tired though. I feel really weak."

Harry leant over and kissed her forehead. "I love you Ginny Weasley."

"I love you too."

***

That night Harry and Sirius entered the Great Hall wearing their finest dress robes. The atmosphere around the room was a palpable feeling of joy.

People were dancing with each other and chatting happily. For tonight all house rivalry was forgotten.

Just as had happened in the Griffindor common room the previous night, applause broke out around the hall. The newly appointed Minister for Magic, Kingsley Shaklebolt presented Harry with the order of Merlin and requested that Harry make a speech.

Taken slightly by surprise, Harry amplified his voice and began to talk,

"Once, a long time ago, a boy grew up in an orphanage. Those around him shunned him. At eleven he received a letter to come here. A school of magic, where for once in his life he could be anything he wanted to be. But he chose a path of destruction. He hated anybody that didn't fit into his view of what a proper wizard should be or who didn't share his prejudiced views.

He created a feeling of terror, that lasted for twelve years. Then one Halloween he came to a small house in Godric's Hollow and murdered my parents. Their deaths meant that I could survive. Though I was bereft, alone, and if it were not for those friends of mine standing in this room, and some absent friends, I would not have been able to carry on and defeat him once and for all.

This award does not belong merely to me, but to those who fought alongside me, and to those who always stood by me, when the wizarding world so happily turned it's back. But mostly this is also for my Godfather, my Dad, Sirius Black, who suffered in Azkaban for something he did not do, and yet forgave our community and helped in battle. He saved my life in more ways than one! If it were not for him we would possibly still be under the shadow of the Dark Mark. To the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one!"

Harry nodded to indicate he was finished and cheers broke out around the room. Sirius was silently crying, as were Ron and Hermione.

Harry smiled, and returned to the warmth of his friends and family, knowing that for the first time, he had a real chance of happiness. His difficult journey that began in the cupboard under the stairs was over. His life could now truly begin.

THE END

A/N I've been writing this short series for just over 2 years, and now it's over *sniff* I might cry. Please review!