24-Christmas and Epilogue

The week until Christmas was spent leisurely, although not completely. Harry thought that they could both benefit from some more physical training, and Remus was quite willing to help, although that got him called slave driver more than once. He accepted it with good humour.

The Potters were also busy refining their position on how they would like magical Britain to change and writing it down so that Narcissa would be able to advance their ideas. She was visiting daily and seemed to agree with, or at least accept, most of their ideas. She was also quick to point at inconsistencies and other problems with their plans and help correct them. Harry found her to be very helpful.

Luna also kept visiting, always accompanied by Dean.

"So, are you together now?" Hermione asked her.

Luna shrugged. "We've been together since we met here. Now it looks like we're going to stay together."

"Are you engaged?"

Luna smiled dreamily. "Not yet, but Dean promised to marry me soon after my seventeenth birthday. That's less than two months away, you know."

Luna also took Dean to Gringotts for an inheritance test. He then told Harry:

"I expected to find that my father was some black-skinned wizard, one similar to Shackelbolt. What I found was a complete surprise."

"So, he wasn't black-skinned?" Harry asked, not quite understanding what had surprised Dean so much.

"It turns out that my father was Black, but white-skinned, or more exactly – he was Regulus Black," Dean told them.

It was unclear how the supposedly Death Eater became involved with a black muggle woman, and she kept the details to herself, but Harry was glad to accept Dean into the Black family, just the way he accepted Andy and Dora. He was sure that Sirius would have been delighted about that. Dean would keep his Thomas surname, but add the Black to it, becoming Thomas-Black. Luna didn't really mind this, but her father was relieved to know that this expected marriage would not lower her status. The Black family, despite its dark tendencies, had always been highly respected.

The Potters also used one of the clearer days for some shopping. With colour contacts and a blond glamour, nobody recognized Harry, but he still bought only a few items at Diagon Alley and the rest at a muggle shopping area. There were many more possibilities there.


On Christmas eve, Harry enjoyed dinner with his enlarged family and guests. He invited all the known Black members and their significant others, which meant the Tonks, The Lupin, Dean (with Luna), and Narcissa. She paired with Xeno Lovegood, who was also invited due to Luna. It turned out that Narcissa had fallen in love with him while at school, although he was already courting his future wife. Now, with both widowed, she could rekindle that love and had it reciprocated. Narcissa was beaming with happiness.

Even Minerva McGonagall wasn't alone. Harry had also invited Hagrid, and the two, although not romantically involved, seemed to enjoy each other's company.

Minerva also had a question. "Initially, I intended to recommend you two for the Head Boy and Head Girl positions. This was impossible after the fall of the Ministry, of course, so we had to choose two others. With the fall of the Dark Lord, I feel like you deserve these position even better. Do you want them?"

The Potters exchanged some glances. Harry asked, "Who are the current heads?"

"The Head Girl is Daphne Greengrass. She'd always been top of her class, surpassed only by Lady Potter. We chose Terry Boot from Ravenclaw as Head Boy, as the best pureblood male student. We were not allowed to choose a half-blood, and certainly not a muggle-born," Minerva told them.

"Are they good at fulfilling their duties?" Hermione asked.

"I believe they are. They even helped several half-blood students, attracting some degrading comments from the Carrows."

"Then we see no reason to change. We need to catch-up with what we missed, you know, and we had enough burdens to carry. We don't need the Head positions and they may help these two," Harry said. Hermione nodded, surprising Minerva.

"I thought you wanted to be the Head Girl this year," Minerva commented.

Hermione shrugged. "My priorities changed. Wars can do that to a person, and also becoming magically married. I no longer need to prove myself and I don't need this position in my resume."

Minerva smiled understandingly. "Yes, you've really changed."


The Potters returned to Hogwarts after the New Year. Hermione made sure to catch up with whatever had been taught until then. It wasn't much, since the Death Eaters' control tended to make studies extremely difficult, despite Snape trying to maintain some balance.

Still, they didn't return to their dorms. As a married couple, they were given a separate apartment, quite close to the Gryffindor tower. A few weeks later, Dean and Luna Thomas-Black got a similar apartment, after getting married in a modest ceremony.

It was a good year, eventually. The new teachers made DADA interesting, and Muggle Studies (which was now mandatory) opened the eyes of many who grew in the magical world, oblivious to everything else. Even Binns was eventually replaced by a live teacher who was more interesting and more up to date.


When Ron found out that his deserted friends managed to win the war much quicker than expected, and did this without him, he felt jealous and betrayed. He wanted to go and confront them immediately. Luckily, he had no idea where they were and how to reach there.

Bill tried to calm his hot-headed brother. "Ron, you've left them. Did you expect them to put everything on hold until you cooled down and decided to return? They couldn't, and you know that. They just continued whatever you three were doing only without you. They had a breakthrough and it helped them win the war quickly. It's not their fault that you didn't take part in it – it's yours!"

It took the twins hexing him for Ron to stop acting that way.

Ron didn't return to school. With Hermione taken, he knew he couldn't get as much help as he'd like and putting an effort into learning was an idea that had never crossed his mind. Besides, he was still extremely jealous of his former friends. Why couldn't they take him along, so he could share the glory? And how come they turned out so rich? But he had only himself to blame. If only he hadn't left them… He didn't know that leaving them triggered the events that helped finish the war much sooner and with much fewer casualties.

Luckily for him, the twins offered him a low-end job, which he kept for the rest of his life, unable to rise to a higher level due to lack of diligence and sub-standard performance. Only the fact that the owners were his brothers allowed him to keep even that job.


The Potter couple took the first places that year, getting the highest score in every course. A few days after graduation, the two left for Australia, where it took them three weeks to find the Grangers and restore their memories.

Hermione's parents were really glad to get their daughter back and find that she'd got the boy she craved since her first year at Hogwarts, but Australia had been good to them and they found that they didn't miss their old life in England.

The Potter couple would become frequent fliers on the lines connecting Britain and Australia. This was not much of a hurdle for the young couple, even when they added a few children to the family.


Hogwarts, under headmistress McGonagall, became indeed the premier school of magic in Europe, maybe in the whole world. As advised by the Potters, muggle studies were expanded to include Math and Science, along with Culture and Technology, allowing each graduate to move through the muggle world without attracting undue attention. Some even found it interesting enough to opt for an academic degree and live in the muggle world, rarely using their magic.

The magical courses were also expanded and improved, also offering Mastery in the most sought after areas. By the time McGonagall decided to retire, Dumbledore was no longer remembered, aside from a short paragraph in the history book, while her leadership in advancing the school would become exemplary for many generations.


Politics is more difficult to change, that was the consensus when the Potters asked. That was true when considered alone, but that was not the case. The-Man-Who-Conquered was much more influential than The-Boy-Who-Lived, and holding about a quarter of the votes also played a big role. With Narcissa Black-Lovegood playing a major role, it took less than five years for the old Wizengamot to be discharged and a new, democratically elected Parliament to replace it, with the blessing of the Crown.

Minister Cresswell kept the seat for the maximum allowed by the new laws and was then replaced by Ted Tonks. Both did a very good job in modernizing the Ministry, creating pleasant working relations with the muggle government and with the goblins, and moving the social norms into a more acceptable direction.

The social and cultural changes were the slowest. The changes in the Ministry didn't change the attitude of many older purebloods. Even those from light families considered the muggles as primitive, despite evidence to the contrary. Muggle-born (or the more polite term – first generation) magical people were seen as slightly above that level, but not as ones fit to become friends or business associates. The fact that some very talented first-generation wizards soon took many of the top-level offices didn't change that conception. It was only when the first graduates with well-rounded education left Hogwarts that the change became more significant, and then it moved much faster each year. When the Potters reached their thirties, muggle-born were accepted as equal in most situations. It took almost another decade before people stopped mentioning blood status. In a way, one declaring he was a pureblood turned synonymous with declaring oneself as an idiot.


As for the Potters, they first got some degrees at Cambridge. Then they enjoyed travelling around the world for several years, taking Hermione's parents along for a few months each year until they had their first child. They then accepted an offer to join Hogwarts' staff and taught there until their oldest got his Hogwarts letter.

They then turned their attention to politics. Harry refused every time he was offered a candidacy for Minister, but Hermione eventually became the first muggle-born witch to become a Minister.

Ten years later, she retired from politics and the Potter elders joined Luna and Dean in searching for new magical creatures. They didn't find any but enjoyed the search. They also seemed to enjoy each other so much, that Hermione became pregnant at fifty. This made Harry accept the post of Headmaster of Hogwarts, once McGonagall retired. A year later, Hermione became the transfiguration professor, a post she held until they both retired when she reached a hundred and twenty.

They lived thirty-three years after that, eventually dying in bed, hugging each other. They were buried in one coffin since nobody dared interrupt that hug.

The End