[A/N: Well, here we are at last. The final chapter for The Potioneer's Assistant Rebrewed. I have to admit that there'd been times during 3rd year that I thought about just writing a quick ending or just abandoning the whole thing because I was so far outside my comfort zone of writing a single year story. There were so many characters and subplots that I needed to keep track of that it was starting to overwhelm me. To that, I'm sure that there were a couple of inconsistencies or whatever. Also, I know for a fact that certain words, fraction numbers and other typos were the result of the translation hiccups between my computer and the FFN editor. It's just another reason why I will not be posting there anymore. I want to remind everyone to try and make the transition to Ao3. FFN is dying and I would love it if the reviewers who leave the lengthy comments (Katherine, I'm looking at you) moved over to the other site. Anyways, on with the story!]
Chapter 40: What Happens Next – Part 7: The Future
After the televised events in the Little Hangleton graveyard, Dobby quickly became the most celebrated elf in history. To this day, he continues to work and dedicate his life to that of the Potter Family. This was made even more memorable and special to him when upon Harry obtaining his lordship at the age of twenty-five; he fulfilled his promise to bring his elves into the family. Now Dobby is forever known as Dobby Potter and there is nothing that makes him more proud or walk a bit taller than when someone addresses him as such. His 'Dark Lord Beater Bat' and favorite 'Who's Your Dobby' t-shirt is now enshrined in the Potter Manor Hall of Ancestors as will be his portrait when he finally passes away as formally decreed by Harry.
When elves obtained the rights to go to school like any other sentient being, Dobby felt Harry's gentle hand on his shoulder, "Let me guess. You'd like to go to Hogwarts?"
Dobby silently nodded his head, tears forming in his eyes, "Yes, Harry Potter."
"Then you shall."
Tuesday 1 September 2020, Platform 9 ¾, King's Cross Station
Dobby had been settled in his compartment while James went in search of his friends when the door burst open and a couple of older years barged in.
"Oi, elf! Get lost, this is our compartment now. Go find yourself a cupboard or something," The larger of the group sneered.
Dobby merely raised a single, utterly unimpressed eyebrow in response and crossed his arms, "I don't think so. This is a magical train and therefore can accommodate you elsewhere."
The bullies were stunned silent, whether it be from an elf that was speaking clearly or by the fact that it dared to disobey them.
"Listen you little fr-ack!" He was suddenly slammed up against the door. He whipped his head around and came face to face with the Head Boy, Walter Cunningham.
"I'd advise you to use what little grey matter you have between your ears and think really hard about what you were about to say to Dobby here, Martigan."
Martigan's sneer returned and threw Walter's grip off his robes, "Why should it matter? It's just another puss-boil servant."
Walter just stared at the idiot in disbelief and slowly shook his head, "You…idiot. This elf is none other than Dobby Potter. This is the elf that kicked Voldemort's arse without even breaking a sweat and you dare to insult him? Not only that, he's also a member of Professor Potter's family," Walter snorted in derision and gestured to Dobby, "As you will, sir."
Dobby rose to his feet and stood imperiously, "It's not right to pick on dumb animals," he started then his face took on a wicked glint and stroked his chin,"Perhaps if the train has a stockyard car for them to be reassigned to? Give them some hay to munch on?" Martigan and his sycophants paled and turned to flee, "But I'll give them another chance if they announce their idiocy to the school."
Walter laughed, "I'll see that it's done, sir. Thank you." He flicked his wand and escorted the group out of the compartment.
A little while later, James returned with Ariel and a couple of others in tow, "Hey Dobs. Heard you had a bit of a dust-up. Anything dad should know about?"
Dobby shrugged indifferently as Ariel slid onto the bench next to him and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, "He'll hear about it one way or another. I'm not worried."
Dobby Potter became the first of the new generation of Potters to be sorted into Gryffindor since Harry had gone into Hufflepuff. James followed him a moment later, "This is going to be wicked, Dobby. Dad's going to be so proud."
Dobby looked out and easily spotted other elves as they sat mixed in with the rest of the students, each proudly wearing their new school robes that had been designed by Lavender Brown and the Patil twins. A couple of the older ones could be seen fingering their new House crests as if they were going to disappear if they blinked.
"I can't wait."
[A/N2: Short, I know but that's all my muse gave me to work with.]
[A/N: A few of you really wanted to know what happened to Mishon since he first appeared back in first year. Like with all of my characters, he grew up and thrived.]
Mishon sat at the dining room table in the Elf Quarters and stared disbelievingly at the newspaper and the article that announced that elves had been given the rights of all sentients, including education. All around him, the other elves were cheering and dancing their exuberation.
Toby tottered over and dropped heavily onto the bench next to him, clearly on his way to total inebriation, "Mishon! Hic… We've done hic it!" He then oozed his way off the bench and started gyrating and grinding up against one of the male statues that dotted the hall before keeling over and flopping about the floor like a landed fish.
Mishon laughed at Toby's slide into loss of consciousness, "Good night, Toby. I'll be sure to send you copies of the blackmail photos."
The next morning, Mishon approached Pomona and asked to speak with her about signing up for the new Elvish Education Program.
"Did you want to apply to become a regular student here or did you want to go part-time instead?"
Mishon blinked, "I didn't know that was an option."
Pomona smiled warmly as she reached for one of the newly printed brochures, "It's part of the new Sentient Rights Law. Here, basically what it entails is that the older generations of elves who wish to attend part-time have the right to do so. If I understood the reasoning, it's because so many still have the desire to work while 'testing the waters,' so to speak."
Mishon didn't like the new program…he loved it. Every day, he got to sit in the seats of countless previous generations of human students and got to learn the same magics. Well, with a slight difference. Because elvish magic was so different from human magic, wands didn't work for them. They could easily go through the motions but what was the point? So to that end, the elvish curriculum was focused more upon rituals, history, potions and other non-wand waving subjects. Mishon soon found out that he utterly loved the Ancient Runes and Arithmancy classes.
When he reported to his first Potions class, he spotted Professor Potter and smirked playfully. He walked up to his old friend and with his best child-like impersonation greeted the raven-haired young man, "Hiya! Mishon missed Harry Potter."
Harry peered over the rim of his glasses, the barest hint of a smirk on his lips, "Bippy!" The Head Elf popped in, "Yes, sir?" He gestured to Mishon, "I think Maisie might be missing someone. Mishon seems to have slipped out of the nursery again."
Bippy glanced at Mishon who was barely holding back his laughter and rolled his eyes, "Sure, whatever you say, professor."
That did it. Mishon doubled over in peals of laughter and staggered to his seat.
Seven years later…
Mishon's role at Hogwarts had changed over the years. Whereas once, he was a scared little orphan dragon-elf who'd lost his mother to 'The Worm,' he was now the Section Chief for the Housekeeping Department of the Pavilion Housing. He'd excelled in Ancient Runes, Arithmancy as well as becoming a much sought after tutor for the younger students in History. He'd met his now wife, Pepper while attending school as well. She had been a recent release from the servitude of a family from the continent after they immigrated to Britain and learned that the old ways of punishing their elves would not be tolerated. Her old Master was now in prison after some shady dealings that came to light and the Lady of the manor needed funds to support herself and their two children.
He entered his living room heading towards the kitchen to pour himself a cup of coffee. His fingers subconsciously brushed over his framed diploma from Hogwarts he'd received upon graduation. His eldest daughter was approaching the age where they'd have to keep an eye out for the Letter of Acceptance any day now. 'She's going to be a handful today.'
Mishon answered it and saw Toby standing there with a knowing grin on his face, "Well, aren't you a strange looking owl? Come on in, Toby." He gestured for his boss to enter.
"Ha! Thanks. I just stopped by because of a certain letter that would be delivered today and I wanted to see her reaction."
Mishon snorted, "Brace yourself. Emily!"
Emily popped in, saw the letter in Toby's hand, squealed loudly and grabbed it away from him. She tore open the envelope and read the message within, her eyes growing wider with each passing sentence. She blinked then stared open-mouthed at her father and his boss then screamed in joy once more, throwing her fists into the air before popping out again.
Toby wiggled his finger in his ear, "I see what you meant. I don't remember her being this loud before."
"Try living with her. I swear if I have to listen to another round of that Bieber kid 'singing' about some baby, I think I'm going to request a transfer to Durmstrang."
Toby's ears perked up, "For you? At Durmstrang?"
Mishon snorted, "No, for her. I heard they have a very strict policy about what is or isn't allowed for elves there."
"I didn't think they had elves there."
Mishon's eyes glinted over his cup of coffee, "No, but she doesn't need to know that."
Toby chuckled and slapped his friend on the arm, "Come on, we've got work to do."
[A/N: I got a lot of great reviews about Sandrine and how it was a welcome change of pace that I didn't have Harry kill off such a wonderful and ancient beast just because 'that's the way it's always been done.' Then when I portrayed her as a serpent version of a spring-breaker, y'all nearly died laughing.]
Life improved even more for Sandrine after the events in the Graveyard when she slithered up to defend her nominal boss and his elf to finally put an end to the recently reborn Dark Lord. It seemed like beastmasters and preserve researchers were coming out of the woodwork to interview her and learn how she managed to survive for so long as well as how she came to becoming a 'Defender of the Light.' Harry did what he could for her but in the end, it was Hermione who stepped up and solved the language barrier problem by installing a translation module at various points around the castle and grounds. Later those modules were miniaturized and made wearable as a headset for Sandrine. There was a slight delay between what she hissed and the translation but you'd have to really listen for it.
For about a month or two, Sandrine loved the attention and spoke often about her life and what the world looked like through her eyes but eventually, it got to be a bit overwhelming so she retreated back into the Chamber of Secrets and requested that she be given some time to adjust. She only had to petrify two annoying researchers before the rest got the message.
When Minerva went on a school refurbishment kick, the Chamber had been completely cleaned out and updated. Gone were the wet floors and damp air, the lighting was improved as was the heating and cooling. It was about four years later when the then current batch of fourth years requested the opportunity to turn the Chamber into a proper gathering place for their House that finally impelled Sandrine to move out and into a new nest that had been constructed to her specifications underneath the Stadium near the forest line. The new nest had all the appropriate tunnels, two entrances and exits and plenty of places to store the various shiny things that she'd collected over the millennia while awake. Her sleeping pile even had enchantments to maintain a constant temperature year round!
When Harry found out about her collection, he had to see it for himself.
/"Who knew that basilisks were more like magpies?"/
/"Oh, shush you. I happen to think they're beautiful."/ She admonished him while brushing her tail over her collection of shiny objects that ranged from nuggets of pyrite to a floor to ceiling antique ornate gold framed mirror.
When her mating cycle would come around, Sandrine always booked herself a portkey to Brazil for a week long debauchery of sun and sex with her favorite Quetzacoatl before heading out around the world to the other hot spots where those like her congregated. By the time that Dobby and James arrived at Hogwarts, she was already a mother several times over and each of her clutches were thriving happily. Hagrid would stop by every now and then to check up on her and her babies. He could be a bit clumsy at times, understandable given his size and that her nest was designed for her and not a two-legger. She only had to rebuild her hoard once before he got the hint that they should meet outside.
Sandrine remained a favorite of the new first years whenever they got to meet her. Her favorite story was the day when a raven-haired Parselmouth came to set her free.
[A/N: It was a surprise to me that my muse took the character of Natalie McDonald and gave her such life and vitality that you just didn't see in canon (at least I think she was in canon. It's been so long since I've read the books.)]
As with any of the students, Natalie grew up and passed her OWLs to get into Professor Snape's Advanced Potions class. She would comment later that she was grateful for Harry's methodology of teaching and the depth in which they learned what went into making potions because when she got into the older professor's class, there was none of the usual sort of lighthearted atmosphere she'd become adapted to. Severus wasn't nasty by any stretch of the means but he just didn't have the sort of flair that Harry did when it came to making sure each of his students 'got it.' After she graduated Hogwarts in 2001, Natalie was at a crossroads as to what she wanted to do with her life. She knew that she wanted to do research; that much was clear when in Professor Snape's class, she would run experiments on improving the recipe for the Lineage Test administered by the Goblins.
She consulted with both professors and together they helped her decide that she should go to a mundane university and get her degree in chemistry along with getting a teacher's credential just in case.
"Why the teaching credentials though?" She'd asked them when the topic had been brought up.
Harry swallowed his sip of Butterbeer, "Nat, you were one of my best students and it would be a shame if you didn't come back and be my apprentice. If during that time, you decide to become a teacher like I did, you would already have the tools and training on record."
"But why me? Surely you have had other impressive students?"
Harry bobbed his head, "True but when you were tutoring the others, I could see it in your eyes that you loved imparting the information to them in a way that made sense. The others, yeah they were talented, but I saw that they were geared for pure research or working in an apothecary or Saint Mungo's."
So Natalie followed in Harry's (and Hermione's, when the two had a similar discussion since Hermione had already gone through the mundane education system) advice and studied full-time to first get her GCSE then her undergraduate and finally postgraduate degrees in Chemistry to earn her Qualified Teacher Status (QTS.) Her doctorate thesis in DNA sequencing identifying the markers that determined whether or not a person would have specific traits (it was never specifically stated that she was looking for magical traits even though everyone who understood what she was researching knew what she meant) was groundbreaking and led to her being scouted for the Department of Mysteries. When she explained that it was her intent to become a teacher, Croaker assured her that it wasn't a problem and that his department had had several Hogwarts professors be Unspeakables while still teaching at the castle.
"Truth be told, we have Unspeakables in nearly every vitally important department within the Ministry, both muggle and magical."
Her eyes widened, "Really?"
Croaker nodded sagely, "Though as I understand it, the Unspeakables in the muggle world prefer to go by their department's callsign of MI5."
Natalie nearly gagged on her tongue in shock, "Director, I'm honored but allow me some time to think on it?"
"Of course, my dear. It's a big step especially for one so young."
She did give her answer a week later, "At this time, I think I'd like to just concentrate on being a teacher. I have no problem becoming an advisor or whatever it is that allows us to corroborate on the occasional project though."
Croaker understood completely and shook her hand, "It's not a problem, Miss McDonald."
Right around the time that Severus Snape was making noises about retiring; there was only one person that Harry had in mind to take over his duties as a Introduction to Potions Professor.
"Nat, I've got a request to make."
"I thought you were already happily married?" she joked, her eyes twinkling in mirth.
"Ha, ha. Seriously, I was hoping that your plans on becoming a teacher hadn't changed. Professor Snape is making his intentions to retire at the end of the year known and I was wondering…"
Harry crinkled his eyes, "You don't even know what I was going to ask."
She waved that off, "Oh, please! When you started off with 'my plans on becoming a teacher' it was painfully obvious. Yes, I would love to take up the exalted mantle of becoming a Hogwarts Potions Professor. What do I need to do?"
Harry took her down to the Department of Education and Wizarding Administration to get her credentials registered and the rest of her paperwork filled out then back up to the castle for an orientation.
When September rolled around, she proudly stood when Minerva announced that she'd be taking over for Harry as the first through fourth year potions classes.
Friday 3 September 2020
The Gryffindor/Slytherin students were nervously awaiting their first ever potions class to begin. Their older housemates had told them stories about what Harry Potter had been like as a teacher as well as a couple of horror stories about what Severus Snape was like. No one knew for sure if they were serious or just messing with their heads. A few of the Slytherins were fingering their textbooks or their wands and curiously observing the Gryffindors. They'd heard stories about what the Lions were like back in the old days before Headmistress McGonagall had taken over; one little snake was busy wowing over a muggleborn Lion's PA cover case with the DC comic characters on it when the door opened.
Natalie stepped out and smiled warmly, "Greetings, everyone. My name is Professor Natalie McDonald and I'll be teaching you the fine art of potioneering."
[A/N: This next one covers some of the improvements that Hogwarts would've had undergone in between the graduation of the Class of 98 to the current year of 2020. I did cover a bit of the preventions put in place during the Covid Pandemic in Minerva's section of Chapter 38; as such I won't repeat them here.]
Hogwarts 1998 – 2020:
First thing that Minerva did once the TriWizard Tournament was done and dusted was to organize a thorough cleaning and inventory of everything that existed within the stone walls. What the elves and staff turned up was eye-opening at least.
The Room of Requirement was the biggest source of 'entertainment' of some of the things that were in there. Previously, the staff and elves had not really gone through everything stored within the Room of Lost Things. This time, Minerva had Hogwarts bring out everything…and what a collection of stuff it was.
"Hogwarts, I need you to bring out everything in storage. Start with the oldest at my left hand side and continue to the most recent item. Separate everything by lots of decade when it was left here." The air shimmered and rows upon rows of detritus appeared in the requested groupings. Director Croaker and his team were onhand in case of another creature managed to survive in there.
Filius held up a man's set of breeches that looked like it was from the medieval period and grimaced in disgust at the brown stain racing up the back from the crotch, "You'd think that they'd just throw something like this away and not try to hide it." He tossed it on the pile to be vanished.
Irma Pince and Millie discovered a treasure trove of lost journals and ledgers from students during the 1400s. Millie asked her mentor if there was a translation spell for the decorated one she was holding. Irma thought for a moment and bobbed her head and waggled her hand, "Sort of. If it's known which language you're starting with then there are. From what I see here, I'm not sure if we'll ever know. Handwritten journals tend to have specific slang, idioms and whatnot that make a translation near impossible."
"So if we find at least a couple of words in a traditional language, we might be able to figure out the rest? Could we include the cursebreaking classes? I would imagine that they come across dead languages occasionally."
Irma beamed with pride at her apprentice, "Very good intuition, Miss Bulstrode."
Professor Jones' Cursebreaking class was brought up eventually to take part in a 'field trip' to see what they'd learned in a secure and risk-free environment. One item Harry discovered caused the most amount of laughter (much to his disgust): It was a chair that placed the user in, ahem…compromising positions. It even came complete with rusted chains and shackles for their wrists and ankles.
"Why would this even be in the school?" Harry complained later.
"Talk about one heck of an education," Terry quipped. Harry threw a wad of paper at him.
After the Room had been completely cleared out, the professors got together to work with Hogwarts and determined that a set of premade configurations could be stored to be brought forth at any time. With a bit of experimentation, they got a gymnasium designed which included an indoor track and swimming pool for when the Scottish winters were upon them. They also included several scenarios for the Mundane Studies classes to have whenever Petunia wasn't available, as well as an opulate dance hall for whatever parties and celebrations were held instead of taking up the Great Hall.
The Chamber of Secrets was next up and the whole cavern was scrubbed clean, new floor tiling was installed. Neville was brought in to assist with the construction of Sandrine's new nest so that the old one could be safely dismantled. The walls of the Chamber were changed to a lighter, warmer color and had bas-relief carvings outlining the creation of the school and the four Founders. The dank pool of rancid run-off water in front of the statue of Salazar Slytherin was drained and the pit cleansed before being re-filled with water and turned into a swimming pool and hot tub. The former entrance through the mouth of Salazar was dismantled and sealed up so no one had any reason to get into trouble there. The space behind the statue's face was turned into a storage room for the pool's filtration equipment. Couches, chairs, tables and more were brought in to give the place a relaxed atmosphere separate from the more austere feeling that the common room above had.
Instead of a Parsel password, the members of the House now used their wands as a magical passkey to activate the lift that would take them down to the entrance which had been permanently propped open. Wards and portraits were installed to make sure that no one attempted to subvert the new image that Slytherin House was trying to accomplish for their own nefarious ends.
The old Quidditch pitch was torn down and the equipment moved to the Stadium. Rolanda Hooch coordinated with the Ritual Magic class to hold a ceremony to burn the old, damaged and outright dangerous equipment including the training brooms that should've been replaced when Harry's parents were in school. With the influx of new money from various sales or fundraisers, she bought all brand-new training brooms from the Comet Broom Company as well as two sets of Quidditch brooms for each of the teams and reminded each of the teams that when the players graduated, the brooms remained with the school. She also mandated that each House needed to field two teams, one primary and one reserve so that injuries were no longer a reason to cancel or reschedule games.
Another thing that was mandated was a change in how often team captains held training sessions. No one wanted a repeat of Oliver Wood's time as Quidditch Captain. Teams were limited to two hours after the completion of classes every other day until game day.
At the turn of the school year for the new millennium, a new Physical Education Program was instituted for those who had little interest in Quidditch. Such sports and exercise included football, rugby, tennis, track and field, swimming (indoor), archery and golf with more ideas being looked into for later.
In 2001, Argus Filch decided to retire to get away from the magical world that had caused him so many headaches. With all the changes that had happened since the arrest of Albus, he felt there was nothing keeping his interest any longer. His public statement was that he was getting too old to learn anything new. Truth be told, he detested the changes and the discontinuation of the old punishments pushed him over the edge. If he was no longer allowed to threaten the students with hanging by their ankles or their thumbs, or not being allowed to whip them bloody then why should he stay within that damned drafty castle that made his arthritis worse? His position was reviewed after his discharge and determined to be redundant what with all the elves that lived and worked within the castle.
"Why did the castle even need a caretaker to begin with?" Severus wondered one evening in the teacher's lounge.
"It was a holdover from the early days before Helga Hufflepuff made the castle a sanctuary for abused or freed elves," Minerva commented as she settled into her chair.
[A/N: Ever wonder what Peeves would've been like if given the chance at reform?]
Tuesday 1 September 2020, Antechamber just off the main entrance
"The first years, Peeves," Hagrid announced as he dropped off the newest batch of students.
"Thank you, Hagrid," Peeves replied calmly as he turned to address the wide-eyed kids, "Follow me, please."
He led them to the side room and began the speech that he remembered so well, "Welcome to Hogwarts," said Peeves, "The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your Houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your House will be something like your family within Hogwarts. There are four Houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. Each have an illustrious and storied past and I'm sure that each one of you will be a credit to whichever one you get into. Now, one thing I wish to point out is that while the House is your family, you're encouraged to make friends with your yearmates regardless of which House they get into."
One bright-eyed little brunette girl was bouncing on her toes and exclaimed, "I know who you are! You're Finnian Peeves! My mums told me all about you."
Peeves tilted his head as he gazed at the still bouncy child, "Your mums, as in plural?"
She nodded vigorously, "Yeah! They were students here too, both were in Hufflepuff."
Peeves stroked his chin in thought, "What is your name, my dear?"
"Ariel Lovegood-Greengrass." Excited whispers and murmurs broke out from the others. Unicorn Armada had hit a resurgence of popularity with the newest tween generation.
Peeves' smile grew nostalgic, "Ah, yes. I remember your mums and their friends. I'll tell you what, Miss Lovegood-Greengrass. Come find me this weekend after your homework is done. I have so many stories to tell you…"
[A/N2: Aaaannddd that's a wrap! Thank you to everyone who's stuck with me this long and hopefully forgiven me for the epic spit-takes that I've caused. I'm glad that my twisted sense of humor resonated well with y'all. See you on A03 (unless you're already there!)]