Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters.
Author's Note: I haven't written Harry Potter fanfic in a long time. In fact, I deleted all that I had. But recently this idea has been in my head after rereading so here I am again. Not sure if it's any good but feel free to let me know!
Summary: It's been twenty years since the Battle of Hogwarts. Life has been quiet for Harry Potter but things are about to change. A new professor at Hogwarts, an unfulfilled prophecy, and something left behind by the Half-Blood Prince will quickly put him back up against old foes.
There weren't many things that brought Harry Potter back to Hogwarts in the years after the war. For the few weeks directly after, they all spent time holding services for the dead on the castle grounds and slowly fixing the damages that the building had. Once that finished, Harry, Ron and Hermione decided to forgo their final year back at the school and take a much needed and deserved break.
Instead, they traveled outside of Wizarding Britain and Scotland where, while they still sometimes got recognized, it wasn't nearly as much as they did at home. On one of their stops, they went to Australia to restore the memories of Hermione's parents and spend some time there. The sun and freedom of being no ones in its muggle cities did wonders for all three.
Upon their return to their daily lives at the end of August, Hermione began to study to take her NEWTS, Ron began to help George get the shop back up and running and Harry informed the Ministry of his intent to become an Auror. Of course, Kingsley assured him they would waive the actual application with the stipulation that he would take some time before starting training. With the amount of destruction and death – including his own – that Harry had witnessed, the new Minister thought it best he take some more time.
Harry had protested at first but when everyone else expressed similar opinions, he finally relented. The problem was, he had no idea what to do with himself. At first, he helped Ron and George with the shop and then Arthur, Molly and the rest of the Weasley clan fix-up the Burrow. Unfortunately, neither of those projects took much time to finish and Harry found himself bored once again.
For the first time in his life, Harry Potter had actual free time. There were no chores from the Dursley's, no Defense Against the Dark Arts professors to watch carefully and no Dark Lord to destroy. As it turned out, Harry didn't do well with time on his hands. Just like that, Harry realized he could finally act like a normal teenager.
Which included sneaking into Hogwarts to spend time with his girlfriend.
If there was something Harry knew for sure, it was that he loved Ginny and that she loved him back. The problem was, due to the circumstances of his life, they didn't get much of a chance to spend time alone together. Now that Harry didn't have any responsibilities for the moment, he was finally able to make Ginny his priority.
For months, Harry was able to get passed the wards around Hogwarts and into Gryffindor tower. He wasn't sure completely sure how he was able to but he had a feeling that it had something to do with the castle recognizing him as it's saviour. It was the only time he enjoyed the moniker.
However, like most of his exploits in Hogwarts, he was eventually caught. To say that McGonagall wasn't amused with his antics was probably an understatement. So, when he found himself in the Headmistress' office, he felt like he was eleven years old again.
To his relief, Minerva didn't lay into him like he had expected once they were alone. Instead, she congratulated him for finding love and being happy before making it clear that he would not be able to just come and go as he pleased anymore. Though disappointed, Harry gave his word that he'd abide by her wishes.
Once they reached their agreement, McGonagall handed him a drink as Harry studied the room. He had spent so much time in this office, but it was the first time he had been in it since his former professor took over. There were some differences from the last time he saw it that he could pick out but not many. He moved his hand around the pensieve as he glanced up at the portraits of all the past Headmasters. His eyes stayed on the two most recent frames. One showed a sleeping Albus Dumbledore and the other one was completely empty.
"He must have heard I was coming." Harry said, trying to hide his disappointment with a laugh. "And to think I thought he'd enjoy taking part in me getting in trouble again. You know, for old times' sake."
Minerva raised an eyebrow and glanced up to see what he was referring to. "Do not take offense Mr. Potter, he hasn't revealed himself to anyone yet." She replied.
Harry frowned. "Does he have another?" He asked.
"In the Slytherin Common Room but according to the students, he hasn't appeared there either." The older woman explained.
For a second, Harry didn't respond as he stared up at the empty portrait. While he was very aware that the portraits were only half-lives, there were so many things he had to say to Severus Snape. It was probably for the best though; he was sure that the man just wanted some peace even in portrait form.
As the years went on, Harry's visits to Hogwarts became few and far between. Once Ginny graduated, he had few reasons to go. Every once in a while, he would visit Minerva, but the visits slowed to a non-existent once he had a wife, kids and a career to take up all of his time.
When he did make the visit though, the portrait of the Headmistress' predecessor remained empty. So, Harry put it behind him. He made sure Snape's name was cleared in the Ministry's case against all Death Eaters and even named one of his sons after the man. Besides that, he tried not to put too much thought into his old potions' professor.
That was until he was in the office for the first time in years because of said namesake.
Harry knew that Al had been struggling but he never expected to be called to the castle in the middle of the night because his middle child was caught trying to sneak into the Headmistress' office. Pacing the office, Harry rubbed the now barely existent scar on his forehead out of old habit. "I cannot believe you did this Albus! What on Earth could possibly been going through your head?"
Young Albus winced as his father yelled at him. He should have known he'd be caught even if he had the correct password and the invisibility cloak. "Dad, I'm sorry, I swear I wasn't trying to do anything bad."
Harry stopped pacing and faced Al. "You weren't trying to do anything bad? You mean besides breaking and entering?" he asked.
"I just mean that I can explain why I did it." Al responded.
"Okay fine, explain yourself." His father replied, crossing his arms over his chest.
Albus took a deep breath and looked at Harry and Minerva nervously. "Well, you always talk about how you named me after two Headmasters, but I never actually got to meet either one of them. So, I thought maybe I could talk to their portraits for…some guidance."
Harry sighed and rubbed his face tiredly. "Al…why didn't you just ask?"
"Because I didn't want to tell anyone. I wanted to do it alone." The twelve-year-old admitted.
"While that is understandable Mr. Potter, it does not change the fact that you broke the rules." McGonagall said from over Harry's shoulder. "You will have detention every night for the next two weeks. However, when you have sufficiently served your punishment, I will allow you to talk to Professor Dumbledore's portrait in private."
"Really?" Albus asked. "Thank you, Headmistress."
Minerva nodded. "Good. Now head back to your dorm and we will discuss it in more detail tomorrow morning."
Albus nodded and stood up and walked towards the door. "Wait, you said that I could speak to Professor Dumbledore, what about Professor Snape?"
"Unfortunately, Professor Snape has never appeared in his portrait." Minerva replied.
The boy's face fell. "Oh. Well okay. Goodnight, Dad. Goodnight, Professor." He said softly before leaving the office.
Once Albus left, Harry turned towards McGonagall. "I'm sorry about his behavior."
The older woman waved him off. "Nonsense. This is a mundane offense. He could have been chasing three headed dogs or large snakes."
Harry chuckled. "Very good point." He responded. "I didn't realize Snape still hasn't appeared in the portrait at all. It's been two decades since his death."
Sighing, the Headmistress sat across from him. "I can't explain it. There have been many times I have wished to speak to him. I also would have taken a good deal of pleasure out of seeing his face when he was introduced to a young Slytherin baring his own name and the Potter name."
A soft smile appeared on Harry's face and he nodded. "I would have as well. No amount of Occlumency would have kept the shock off of his face."
Getting up to leave, Harry headed towards the Floo to get home. As he reached the fireplace, he noticed a dark orb sitting on a table near it. He picked it up and turned back towards the woman. "This looks like a prophecy. Should I be worried?" he asked her.
McGonagall shook her head. "Not to worry, it is a canceled prophecy." She assured him. "That is why it's not glowing any longer."
Harry frowned. "Prophecies can be canceled?"
"If one of more importance comes along. And in the case of this one, it was canceled out by the one that told your story I believe." She explained.
Harry stared at the darkened orb with fascination. Whatever it told of it would no longer happen so that he could kill Voldemort. Suddenly, he felt an extreme need to know what it was. He looked up at his former teacher. "What was supposed to happen?"
"Albus left it behind. According to the notes he had with it, it told of two people that would restore the relationship between Gryffindor and Slytherin." She explained to him. "I'm sure the opportunity will present itself again. Defeating Riddle was clearly the more important task."
Nodding, Harry still stared at it. "But if the other prophecy canceled this one, that means this one must have had to do with the same people or at least one of them."
Minerva hummed. "It's possible, though you have no need to worry about it yourself. This one was foreseen long before you were born."
With one last glance, Harry passed the orb back to her. "Well…good. I think I've had enough of being part of prophecies." He said with a smile.
"I think you are correct, Mr. Potter. Goodnight." McGonagall replied.
"Goodnight Professor." Harry replied before stepping through the Floo.
As Harry reentered his sitting room, he took a minute to collect himself. Him and Ginny had been extremely worried about Albus for a while and this latest development was not going to help with that. He truly wished he could figure out a way to help but he was at a loss.
Clearly, Albus wanted to try to figure it out himself. Unfortunately, Harry was pretty sure speaking to Dumbledore's portrait wouldn't help much. The older wizard was not very straight forward alive, Harry couldn't imagine what it would be like asking the portrait for advice.
Sighing, Harry headed upstairs to tell Ginny about everything. He had to deal with this first. Then maybe he could pay attention to the voice in the back of his mind that needed to know about the first prophecy.