Harry Potter and the Ankh of Khepri
A Sequel to "Harry Potter and the Phoenix's Flight"

By The Velvet Ghost

Epilogue and Author's Final Notes

It was Monday morning. The new Gryffindor and Slytherin first years were lined up outside their Potions classroom, looking around nervously. A small girl with light brown hair in bunches was chattering to them all.

"He's a new teacher," she said smartly. "Apparently the last one was really horrid. But I'm sure he'll be nice. He is Harry Potter, after all. He's in our History of Magic book, you know."

Harry, who was currently hiding just inside the door, started and wondered why nobody had mentioned this to him yet. He sighed. He would have to let the students in some time. They couldn't exactly just stand outside and wait for an hour. He opened the door, and stood back to let them in. They all filed in silently, most of them giving him rather wide-eyed looks, before squabbling over seats for a moment or two and settling. He made his way to the front of the class, and then looked up at them. They were all watching him expectantly. He opened his mouth, trying to think of something he could say, anything. A glance down told him that he had misplaced his lesson plan. He was just starting to feel like this job had been a very bad idea, a thought came to him.

He looked up, and stepped around his desk to face the class. They all watched him closely. He smiled just a little bit, and out of his mouth came words that had been imprinted on his brain so clearly, he could remember their first recital as though it was yesterday.

"You're all here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making," he said. Every student was hanging onto his every word. "As there is no wand work here, some of you won't believe this is actually magic. It could take you a while to understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses... I can teach you how to bottle flame, brew glory, even stopper death. If..." He paused. "If you are willing to learn."

Silence followed this. Two boys in the front row raised their eyebrows to each other, and the girl with bunches had sat forward in her chair, as though ready to start proving she was willing to learn. He set them all into pairs and gave them instructions to create a simple potion to cure boils. He was just finished writing up the last ingredient when he sensed somebody behind him. A hand went out, took the chalk, and changed the amount of porcupine quills. Harry smiled.

"Thanks, Severus," he said.

"My pleasure," said Snape, quietly. "I came to return your lesson plan. You left it in my quarters last night. And I must say, I'm very disappointed."

Harry turned to look at Snape, taking the lesson plan off him. "Why?" he said, worriedly.

The corner of Snape's mouth twitched. "You forget the part about calling them all dunderheads."

"Oh, sorry," said Harry, with an apologetic grin. "I'm so forgetful."

Snape smirked at him, and turned to leave. His seventh year Defence Against the Dark Arts class were waiting, and he knew the brats would be tearing the classroom apart before long. He had just reached the door, when a voice spoke from the back of the class. "Master Potter!" Snape turned to watch as Harry hurried over, and started showing a young girl how to cut her daffodil roots properly. She was watching her Potions professor avidly. When he was done she beamed at him, said thankyou, and started to work on it herself. Master Potter gave her an encouraging smile and then went off to sort out another problem at the front of the class. Snape smiled as he watched. Eight years ago, if you had suggested "Potions Professor" as a career to Harry James Potter, it would have been thrown back in your face. And now here he was, fully grown, and teaching as though he'd been doing it for years. His guardian couldn't help but feel just a little bit proud. For a moment, Severus Snape caught a flash of the future in his mind's eye. He could see children, being named as a godfather, a whole family of Potters and Weasleys and Malfoys sitting together at a Christmas, laughing and joking. He could see himself there too. Harry was turning to him, offering him more meat or wine. Pulling a cracker with him. Merry Christmas, Severus.

Snape was brought out of his thoughts, as something told him Harry was up to something dangerous. He looked over, and saw Harry leaning over somebody's desk, correcting their work. His robes were trailing close to the fire of somebody's cauldron.

"Harry!" called Snape.

Harry looked up, and then down, pulling his robes away. He smiled to Snape. "Thankyou, Severus," he said. Those words seemed to echo with a million meanings.

Severus Snape smiled, backed out of the room, closed the door, and wiped his eyes. "My pleasure," he murmured, to nobody in particular, before he turned on his heel and went away up the corridor.

The End

Author's Final Notes

I'd like to thank some people here. I want to thank my beta reader Snidgey, my first beta reader and my still best friend Ymmo, my family for reading and giving me feedback, absolutely every single reviewer that ever posted, JK Rowling for inspiring me to write, John Williams for composing the wonderful soundtrack constantly playing in my room, Alan Rickman for igniting my interest in Snape,my friends at school for being as mad as they are, Paul for just being,and all my teachers - especially Mr Woodhouse, for showing me that Chemistry and Potions aren't really that bad,Mrs Lambert and Mr Grayfor teaching me how to make a realistic character, Miss Awty for teaching me how to write between the lines,Mr Ward for just being cool and MissBarber for convincing me I'm not all that bad.

I think all I have to say now is thankyou. When I started this story, it was to amuse myself, purely and simply, and to rekindle my love of Harry Potter after the dark and grim tones of book five. Though ever since the first review that appeared in my inbox, I've been writing for you guys, and nothing could have been more wonderful for me than your constant support and feedback. Thankyou all so much.

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus,
The Velvet Ghost