Disclaimer: Don't own a thing, just playing around with the characters, and writing my own story with them. The fabulous J. K. Rowling owns them, the lucky woman.

"The ending is what matters the most," Johnny Depp in Secret Window. Great Movie.
So it Ends, then Begins

Chapter 28: So it begins:

Harry let all the other students slide past him in the Entrance Hall. All his instincts told him that he didn't want to go in the Great Hall and face the end-of-the-year speech from Dumbledore.

Last night Harry had been called up to the Headmaster's office wherein he was told the whole speech. Dumbledore didn't want him to be surprised by it. And nothing Harry said could convince the old man not to say that speech.

When Dumbledore warned him that it was speech about him, Harry hadn't truly thought that it was such in a depth speech about him. It spoke of everything he had done over the past six years at Hogwarts and why he did them. However, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, and Neville were always brought into play throughout the speech. In truth, it was a speech about Harry with a series of side speeches about his friends.

All in all, it wasn't what he wanted.

So he stood in the shadows of the Entrance Hall, refusing to budge any farther, even though he said he would indeed come to the end-of-the-year speech. He hadn't promised though, just said he would. Doesn't mean what time he'd go.

Sighing, he watched as the hall cleared and one last Hufflepuff second-year scampered in. "What's the problem Potter, forgotten how to walk?" Snape's snide voice suddenly cut through Harry was a jerk.

"W-what?" Harry said. "Oh no," he could sense Snape lurking in the shadows behind him.

"Then why aren't you going to the feast? I hear the speech is all about you this year? Want to make an entrance?" he snarled and Harry sighed.

"Do you really believe that sir?" Harry demanded and for a minute there was no response.

"So, what's the matter Mr. Potter?" Snape said, his tone no longer sarcastic just matter-of-fact.

"Nothing," Harry lied and Snape sighed.

"Mr. Potter, I'm not going to stand here and go through this!" He snapped. "Tell me what the matter is, or get out of my way so I can go to the feast!"

Harry stepped to the side so Snape could go by. "Potter, do you truly think I was serious? I'm not going to the feast until you tell me what's the matter." Harry sighed heavily and shrugged.

"I just want to go and hear Dumbledore preach about my last six years of Hogwarts, I have enough attention as it is!" Harry snarled and Snape shifted in the shadows. "It's just," he paused for a second. "Everything was going fine, and then now it's just seems to be falling apart." He stopped talking and watched as another batch of students entered the Great Hall.

"Oh? How's that?" Snape's voice was almost sarcastic yet wondering at the same time.

"It's just, after the dementor attack, when it was the school that fought back and I was off in the dungeons, for once I had no attention. I liked that. I never wanted this blasted fame," Harry added for the sake of his mind in front of Snape. "Now, Dumbledore's just going to bring that back without a thought. And to top it off, I have nowhere to go over the summer! I'm the reason Mrs. Weasley's almost stressed to the limit. All of the Weasleys will be gone at the beginning of the summer, and I'm just...there. Damn the Dursleys. I really should be happy that I don't have to see them, but at the same time it bothers me. So, I've got nowhere to go and I hate bumming off my friends, really. It just everything seems to be falling apart."

Harry moaned slightly and he was steadily aware that the world was suddenly dropping. He couldn't explain why, but the stress of having to worry about where he was going to stay over the summer, the stress of making other people stress over it too, and then the stress of having to deal with more whispers and pointing all over again, it just starting to get to him.

He hadn't realized that his knees had buckled out beneath him. Snape's movements were quick and in a second, he had caught Harry and was hoisting him up.

"You can face the Dark Lord, but..." he never fished his sarcastic remark. "Forget it." He muttered more to himself then anyone else. Harry could feel Snape waiting while he gathered himself up again. He felt his cheeks flushing a bit but decided it was for the best that Snape didn't just let him fall. A few minutes later, Harry had regained himself and was pulling himself free of Snape's grip. Instantly Snape let go of him.

"Better?" Snape asked, impassively.

"Hmm..." Harry shrugged. He was still stressed. "I'll deal, I usually do. I guess we better get to the feast, told Ron and Hermione to save me a seat." He made to walk but Snape suddenly grabbed his shoulder, stopping him.

"How 'bout we make a deal Potter." He suggested and Harry cocked his head slightly to show he was listening. "If you can survive this feast without complaining once, and make eye-contact with everyone without snarling, glaring, or scowling, which I've seen you do; on the last day of school I'll wear that bloody prank shirt of the twins. The black one, of course."

Harry turned around a bit, a smile on his face. "Can you handle that Potter?"

"Can you handle wearing that shirt?" Harry asked with a wicked smirk. "No scowling, no muttering threats, no complaining, and no glaring. I can handle that, possibly. I have been spending a lot of time with you, sir."

"Deal," said Snape but once again stopped Harry when the boy made to walk to the feast. "Just a few more things. Contrary to popular belief, I do not live in the dungeons all year long; actually I have a regular ole house on a regular neighborhood." Harry corked and eyebrow.

"How very—erm—interesting." Harry said and Snape growled a bit.

"Also," Snape carried on. "Contrary to your own belief, you did not pass your final; therefore you did not make it into next year's Potions class." Harry gaped.

"Wait, how's the possible? There were only four questions." Harry gasped.

"You're the one who failed." Snape pointed out and Harry growled a bit. He really was spending too much time around Snape. "Fine, you told me your favorite potion was Laughing Potion, which I know not to be true. You're favorite potion is Stone-Pop Potion, one you're not supposed to know about but used during that week you and Miss Weasley played all those pranks. I also heard you comment to Miss Weasley how much you liked that potion."

"Pop-up book from hell," Harry muttered to himself as Snape carried on.

"Also, when I asked which potion you despised, I did not mean in the sense of taste, and I know for a fact that you despise the truth potion. Seeing as you've been threatened with it several times."

"Yeah, by you." Harry muttered again. Snape pretended not to hear.

"I've heard to comment on several occasions to your friends how much you despise it. On top of those two questions wrong, you also called me mental. That was more or less the draw for passing." Snape pointed out.

"That's not fair!" Harry protested. "You weren't even supposed to give us a final anyway."

"Actually, all I said was I wouldn't give you the sixth year potion final, not a final. And you failed that anyway." Harry glowered and Snape smirked darkly. "However, I am willing you make a bargain. Seeing as you need to stay in potions, and are starting to acquire a—ah how should I say it—a certain knack of potion brewing, I'm willing to tutor you." Harry raised an eyebrow.

"Well, that's—erm—good I guess. We should go, the feast is about to begin." He made to walk off.

"Potter!" Snape barked and Harry turned around, startled. "Do you seriously think I told you that I lived in a house for no reason?"

"You tend to ramble at times," Harry said jokingly and Snape glowered. "You know, when you get angry and it no longer gets cold...the effect is kind of ruined."

"Yes, the one thing I do miss. And no I do not ramble!" Snape snarled and Harry sighed. "Now, as for my house, it tends to get a bit lonely during the summer, especially being surrounded by muggles, and seeing as you need to be tutored in potions and some place to stay...well..." Snape trailed of awkwardly.

"Err—are you offering..." Harry found himself trailing off and Snape nodded a bit stiffly. Harry had the suspicion that Snape was just now realizing what he was doing. Actually, Harry was having a hard time believing he had heard correctly.

"Only because you need tutoring," Snape said stiffly.

"So you live in a neighborhood full of muggles, eh? Could be interesting...see how you are around muggles." Harry chuckled slightly, still not believing what he heard and having an even harder time believing that he was agreeing. Snape seemed surprised that he was agreeing too.

"Well, I tend to avoid them. So it's a yes?" He asked his voice almost desperate sounding.

"Yes, it's a yes." Harry declared quickly, knowing that if he waited any longer he might change his mind. "C'mon, it's going to start soon and I want it over as soon as possible so I can see you wearing that shirt."

"Potter," Snape warned and Harry smiled lopsided at him.

"Yeah?" he asked.

"I'm not a pop-up book from hell," Snape declared.

"Alright, you're a pop-up book from the dungeons." Harry informed and Snape glowered. A group of Ravenclaws scampered by them as they made their way into the Great Hall. Ever so slightly, Harry paused and someone pushed him forward, reassuringly.

Startled Harry looked over his shoulder and found Snape behind him. The other times that Harry had been pushed forward...it had been Snape?

Snape snarled at a Ravenclaw who dared to glance at him and as he made to walk in, he leaned over enough to whisper in Harry's ear.

"Took you long enough," he murmured and walked on in. Harry followed him and glancing at the Staff Table he found Dumbledore watching him with twinkling eyes. Harry sat down next to Ginny and Ron.

"This is going to be horrid," Ron muttered. The Great Hall was decked out in Hufflepuff colors, seeing as they won the House Cup. Harry rolled his eyes.

"Oh I think there'll be something good coming out of this feast." Harry smiled darkly and glanced at Snape who was glowering at him.


"Look!" students muttered and hissed throughout the Entrance Hall was packed full of students and trunks. "Snape's wearing that shirt of him and McGonagall dancing."

Throughout the students were turning, muttering and gawking at Snape as he billowed through, his robes flapping out, but the shirt quite visible underneath it. He was walking quickly and making beeline for Harry, who was resting on his trunk and watching Ron's antics in getting his trunk closed with amused eyes.

"Potter," he snarled as he came up to the boy. Harry looked up wonderingly. "Detention for the beginning of next year. For making this bloody shirt and then failing in the deal to growl and snarl at people."

"Not fair," Harry pointed out.

"I'm not fair," Snape snarled before walking off. Luckily, no one but Ron and Hermione had heard that and seeing as they already knew what had happened in the Entrance Hall before the feast, they weren't surprised.

It had already been set, Harry was going to ride the train to the platform, get on the train that went to Yorkshire, from platform eleven at six o'clock, find Snape, and spend the summer at his house. Then, on his birthday, when the Weasleys would finally be back, Harry would join them at the Burrow, along with Hermione.

Harry had spent his the night before in Snape's office with Dumbledore working out the details. Dumbledore's eyes hadn't stopped twinkling throughout the whole meeting and by the end both Snape and Harry were disgusted by twinkling eyes.

"C'mon mate, let's get onto the train." Ron finally said as he snapped his trunk shut.


The train ride was slow and fun. Harry kept challenging Ron to chess and they ended up spending quite a lot of time playing.

Malfoy and his crones didn't make the annual trip to their compartment which was a relief to Harry. Neville and Luna found there way to the compartment after the food-cart witch came by.

"So, mate," Ron finally said after a long pause. After Harry had told Ron, Hermione, and Ginny about his arrangements for the summer there had been a lot arguments, then a bit of understanding. Snape and Harry were both sticking strictly to the excuse of this as being nothing more then a basis of potion tutoring. "You think you'll survive?"

"Hopefully," Harry said as Ginny wrapped her arm around his waist.

"You know, if you told me this last year, that you'd be spending my summer with Snape, I would've had you committed." Ginny informed and Harry laughed ruefully.

"I still might, myself." Harry laughed slightly. Ron chewed his bottom lip, obviously wanting to say more then he already had in their argument but Hermione wrapped her arm around his waist to keep him quiet. Harry was grateful. He wasn't sure he could handle Ron's criticism. It was hard enough baring the fact already, and Ron wouldn't help.

He knew he'd come to a truce with Snape, and was actually starting to look at the man as a slight mentor, or a very, very, very distinct uncle.

"So, did you hear the Chudley Canons won their match?" Hermione said, surprising them all, especially Ron.

"When have you taken up an interest in Chudley?" Ron asked, bemused.

"Just thought I might see why you're so fond of them," Hermione giggled and Harry rolled his eyes.

"Get a room," he suggested as Hermione kissed room.

"Yeah, spare us," Neville moaned. Glancing around Harry found that all the ones who had been part of the final battle were sitting there and they all had their arms wrapped around the one they loved. Funny, he thought, how they all loved the ones inside the circle.

Ginny must've been thinking along the same lines, because when Harry met her eyes she was grinning.

"Exploding Snap?" she offered and Harry nodded. The other detached themselves and began to play. Ron must've been remembered the Entrance Hall game over Christmas holidays and was smiling to himself a bit. Harry caught on to his thoughts as did Hermione because they all shared a glance and smiled.


Mrs. Weasley hugged Harry for about five minutes, muttering her apologies about not being able to take him with them but thankful that he found somewhere to stay. Finally, she pulled free and went over to Ginny.

The farewells were long and slow. Harry said bye to all the Weasleys, informing them all that he was fine and looking forward to coming over on his birthday. He hugged and kissed Ginny, which caused a lot of hooting from Charlie and the twins.

Mrs. Weasley hugged him one last time and they left. The twins asking him when his train left before grinning wickedly and leaving. He met Ginny's eye and they shrugged.

Hermione left with her parents around the same time that Neville left with his grandmother and Luna left with her father. Glancing at the train station clock, Harry found he had an hour to kill before his train arrived.

Shrugging, he walked over to a snack-booth, bought some muggle chocolate bars and set on a bench to wait.

It was a rather eventful wait, Harry watching all the muggles scurry to and fro. He found he enjoyed it when no one looked at him as if they were his best friends and even more when he could watch muggles just run around in pure confusion when two trains were mixed up with their departure times.

Sometimes he felt completely Slytherin.

Finally, six o'clock rolled around and he watched as the Yorkshire train pulled into the station. Snape said traveling by muggle transport would be easier then traveling by magical means. Apparently he had watchful neighbors, just about as watchful as Privet Drive neighbors and there were wards around the house the prohibited magical entry. Snape would have to establish the floo network from inside the house once they were there.

Harry waited until the train stopped and the passengers that were leaving got off. Then he climbed to his feet. An odd feeling in thinking that he was going to live with Snape for the summer. He couldn't decide if it was foreboding or relief.

After pushing his way through muggles who were just walking up and down the train, he finally found the compartment Snape was in. He was sitting the corner, bundled up in black cloak that Harry knew was hiding his muggle clothing. He was staring out the window as if it were the most fascinating thing in the world.

For a minute Harry thought someone was watching him but when he turned around there was no one in sight. Though he thought he heard someone sniggering. Rolling his eyes, he pushed into the compartment.

Snape looked over at him and nodded his head in greeting. Harry shoved his trunk into the racks above and flopped down into his seat. Snape glanced around, found that the area in front of their compartment was empty and cast a round of three spells. One to keep anything they said in the compartment so it wasn't overhead, another to keep any and all muggles away and another to made the compartment look empty.

"We don't have tickets, nor do we want company." He informed as Harry raised an eyebrow. Harry didn't feel like pointing that that the spell that kept muggles away would also keep the ticket taker away too. "It's only a two hour ride, thank Merlin."

"Yes," Harry was looking out the compartment window on the door with an odd look. He swore he saw a flash of red or maybe something orange, he couldn't be too sure.

"What? Muggles will just walk by, if that's what you're worried about." Snape snarled and Harry rolled his eyes.

"No, I know that." Harry said pointedly glancing back at Snape and seeing that he was wearing a plain black button up shirt. And a pair of casual black slacks. Of course, Snape wouldn't wear any other color beside black. At least he knew what muggles wore. "You changed your shirt."

"Yes," Snape snarled in a voice that clearly said he was not to say anything about it.

Then, suddenly, the compartment door burst open and in rolled two crystal clear blue orbs. Snape jumped up, obviously to get rid of them but Harry was quicker. He jumped up, grabbed Snape was swung him into the farthest corner of the compartment.

There wasn't an explosion but suddenly a blue fog filled the room and within seconds it was gone. The fog hadn't traveled too far but it had hit Snape and Harry enough.

Drawing backward, Harry looked at Snape with wide eyes and Snape gawked at him.

Snape suddenly had hair like Harry, unruly and almost like a bird's next, except the color was different. It was bright pink. And upon Snape's black shirt was the design of a pink muggle stop sign that read in large letter, 'No, Stop!'

Harry mustn't have looked much better because Snape was gawking. Reaching up Harry could feel his hair was ungodly greasy and long, and a strand fell into his eyes. It was a deep violet color. Harry's own brown shirt had a violet sign that read in large letters. 'No, Go!"

"Hey, Harry, like the orbs, they change your hair with whoever you're touching and gives you shirt a nice design." Harry spun around and found the twins standing in the entrance of the compartment. In a flash they clicked a picture of them and took off running, laughing.

"I thought I saw Weasley hair," Harry mumbled as Snape swept past him, his eyes flashing. Luckily for the twins, they had escaped and the train was starting to move. Snape's eyes glided onto Harry.

"You'll never breath a word of this," he snarled.

"Wouldn't dream of it," he said pointing to his own hair. "Anyway, I think Fred and George will do that for us." Snape sighed in a way that said 'I know' and then sat down in his seat, farthest from the window now.

Harry watched as the scenery whipped by as the train picked up speed and then reached into his trunk and pulled out a chess set.

"Chess?" he suggested as Snape sat forward, glowering still, and began to play.

Harry suddenly felt as if his life had fallen together. He hadn't felt this way, ever. It was like he could live it anyway he wanted to, without any worries except teenage ones. He was living his own life. He smiled to himself.

"So it begins," he said to himself as he moved his rook to take a knight.

The End.

A/N: What do you think? Good ending? Or bad ending? Thank-you to all my loyal readers, I truly enjoyed it. I'm glad to have readers! And all the reviews, thank you so much.