Epilogue – End of Term
If there was one downside to the magical world's victory over the Empire, it was that the Slytherins were back at Hogwarts – and terribly angry about the situation. There wasn't much they could do, of course, seeing as the Imperial School of the Dark Arts no longer existed and most of their parents were serving sentences in Azkaban, but that didn't prevent them from griping and becoming more withdrawn and clique-ish than ever.
Malfoy was by far the worst. Though he hadn't been under the Emperor's tutelage nearly long enough to learn much in the way of the Dark Arts, he still attempted to hassle other students and blast Force lightning at Harry and his friends at every opportunity. Only the constant presence of two Aurors, who had been indefinitely assigned as his escorts, kept him under control.
"He's resisted all efforts thus far to modify his memory," Vader told Harry after class two weeks after the Battle of Hogwarts. "Until we are able to penetrate his defenses and destroy his memories of the Emperor's teachings, he's still a danger."
"Then why doesn't he just keep him out of Hogwarts until they find a Memory Charm that's strong enough to work?" asked Harry.
"Dumbledore's orders," Vader replied. "Evidently he thinks there's something in Malfoy that's worth salvaging."
Harry didn't comment. He did notice, however, that Snape stopped treating Malfoy like the teacher's pet. Not that his attitude towards either Harry or Vader had improved at all.
The end-of-term feast, when it came, was something of a relief. This had been a monumental year at Hogwarts, one that had brought sweeping change and untold terror. Most of the students were eager to get back home and spend some time unwinding from the events of this school year.
Harry wasn't sure what to feel. For the first time he didn't dread going back to the Dursleys, but not knowing what to expect from his relatives this summer was almost as bad. After so many years of active dislike on their parts, he wasn't sure how he would be able to handle their acceptance, however grudgingly offered, this summer.
"At least you'll be able to visit your godfather," Dean Thomas said cheerily. Sirius had been granted a full pardon after Peter Pettigrew confessed to framing him, and he had sold the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black and taken up residence in a village only a short distance from Little Whinging.
"And least Dudley won't be there," Hermione told him, trying to get Harry to lighten up.
"Why, where is Dudley?" asked Ginny.
"He's spending the summer in New Mexico with a friend of his," Harry replied, dishing himself a piece of treacle tart. "Some girl named Silvia Banderas."
Fred and George snickered. "Only a Yankee would end up falling for that fat git of a brother of yours," Fred chuckled.
"Aw, don't be too hard on him," George cut in. "He was almost worth having around during Harry's fight with You-Know-Who, remember?"
"What's with the costume?" Neville asked, giving them a puzzled look.
"Oh, a gift from Mr. Fett," Fred beamed, proudly standing and revolving slowly to flaunt the shiny suit of silver-and-red Mandalorian armor Boba Fett had bestowed upon him.
"He's our first celebrity endorsement, you know," George added, making a show of wiping imaginary crumbs from his breastplate.
"Weasley Wizard Wheezes Joke Shop and Weaponry Emporium," Fred bragged. "With premises on Diagon Alley and in the Silver Tower District on Corusant!"
"Providing pranksters and mercenaries alike with the necessary tools of the trades," George said with pride. "Sorry, totally wicked Mandalorian armor not included."
Hermione groaned. "I wish they'd never met Fett. The galaxy is in big trouble."
Ron was uncharacteristically silent as he blankly ate. Harry didn't blame him – he was going to have some adjusting to do over the holiday as well. Arthur Weasley, in an incredibly unprecedented move, had been elected as the new Minister of Magic less than a week ago, and the entire Weasley family had been thrown into a state of shock over their dad's new position. But Harry was sure that Mr. Weasley would make a great Minister of Magic.
At the head of the Great Hall were ranged the teachers of Hogwarts and the leaders of the Alliance… no, the New Republic. Apparently there was going to be some big announcement during Dumbledore's end-of-term speech. Harry scanned the staff table – for the first time at an end-of-term feast, there was no glaring gap where the Dark Arts Professor normally sat. Vader, it seemed, would outlast the curse and stay on for another year at the school.
And I intend to stay for a good long while.
I thought you weren't going to stay longer than a year, Vader, Harry remarked slyly.
Watch it, Mr. Potter. I'm still your Dark Arts Professor, and I still have the authority to dock points.
Oh, so they're reinstating the House Cup? I thought Dumbledore cancelled that to encourage unity between the Houses.
During the war, yes. But the House Cup is a tradition not easily abolished, I'm told.
Dumbledore stood, and Harry and Vader ended their conversation and gave the Headmaster their attention.
"First of all, I want to thank everyone for an absolutely exhilarating term," Dumbledore began.
More than a few students snorted or rolled their eyes.
"We have seen much transpire this year," he went on. "I won't bore you all with a blow-by-blow overview of the year, but suffice it to say that all of us – not just teachers and students, but the school as a whole – has passed through the fire this year, and we have emerged stronger than ever. We have forged bonds with new friends and allies, we have faced deadly foes and come away victorious, and we have proven ourselves worthy to be called wizards.
"I'm sorry to say that we do not have a House Cup to award this year, but I do have an important and wonderful announcement to make – that the Jedi Order has returned to the galaxy, and that Jedi Master Luke Skywalker has declared Hogwarts an official Republic school of magic. And in addition, he has requested that every year he be allowed to select a few students who have proven themselves adept in the arts of magic to train as Jedi Knights."
A great cheer rose from the Muggle-born students.
"Have a safe summer holiday, my friends, and we will see you next year."
That wasn't Professor Vader's voice. Who's this?
This is Luke Skywalker. I wanted a word with you.
Does this have anything to do with your father?
Not really, though he did recommend you for this. He says you've shown a lot of potential in the Force. You can draw on it without a wand, something few wizards can do well. I thought that, with some training, you could be a Jedi Knight.
So you want me to join the New Jedi Order?
Yes. You're the best I've seen so far. And Dumbledore's given his permission.
Harry looked up. Luke was giving him a hopeful expression. He hated to disappoint the young Jedi Master, and if Professor Vader had recommended him, he must have a lot of faith in him…
But then his gaze rested on Hermione, Ron, Neville, Dean, Seamus, his Quidditch teammates, all his friends at Hogwarts. Hagrid at the staff table, having an animated (if incoherent) conversation with the Wookie Chewbacca. Dumbledore, looking serenely at the crowd, a pleasant expression on his wise features. The school that had become his second home, his refuge, his lifeblood. He knew where he belonged, and though he was flattered to be considered Jedi material, he knew he couldn't accept the offer.
Thanks, Luke. But no thanks. I'd rather stay at Hogwarts.
Luke looked a little crestfallen, but he didn't say so. No problem. I understand. A mental laugh. Just keep my father in line for me.
I heard that, son, came Vader's irritated growl.
Oh, cheer up, Professor, Harry said with a grin. I won't get on your nerves too much next year.
And so ended Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts.
I have been a Harry Potter fan for a couple of years now, and though I love the books, I have my issues with "Order of the Phoenix," not the least of which was the death of Sirius Black. Besides the loss of Harry's godfather, other factors that I disliked were the absolutely loathsome and sadistic character of Dolores Umbridge, Harry's belligerence and darkening of character (which all seemed rather OOC to me), and the revelation that Harry's father was as much a bully to Snape as Draco is to Harry.
Fellow Potter fans will probably flay me alive for the above statements, but they are my personal opinions only, so please forgive me.
This story was conceived during a conversation with a co-worker in which we were debating the merits of the fifth book. At some point I made the remark on how much I hated Umbridge, and closed my argument with "Face it, Darth Vader could've made a better Dark Arts teacher than Umbridge!" Only later would that last statement come back to haunt me… and from that argument, a plot bunny was born.
"The Stag and the Dragon" is, by far, the most challenging story I've ever written. The universes of Harry Potter and Star Wars were difficult to mesh well – people keep telling me in reviews that I fitted them well together, but I have no idea how I managed it. I began the story with no particular plot in mind, and thus I introduced plot points that I had difficulty resolving later on. Juggling the many characters of both universes and making sure they all had adequate "screen time" proved tricky as well. I managed to simplify that by eliminating original characters (with the exception of the female stormtrooper Silvia), but it was still a challenge.
I regret that I never addressed the issue of Star Wars technology working on Hogwarts grounds – "The Goblet of Fire" clearly states that Muggle machines don't operate in the school, yet droids, blasters, lightsabers, jet packs, cyborg components, and even starships work just fine in "The Stag and the Dragon." I apologize for this discrepancy.
I also regret that I wasn't able to give Sirius Black much screen time, even after I rescued him from his tragic death in "Order of the Phoenix." At least I got him out of the House of Black, I guess.
The characters in my stories often develop minds of their own, and they take the stories in directions I couldn't even fathom. I never predicted the unlikely relationship between Fred, George, and Fett, for example, or the merry mayhem the students would inflict on the stormtroopers. Nor could I have predicted that Hermione's father would be a Star Wars fanatic or Dudley a stormtrooper. The fun part about starting a story with no plot in mind is that, in the end, the story surprises its writer as much as it surprises its readers.
I apologize if my characterizations were inaccurate. I tried to keep the Harry Potter characters true to their book personalities. I confess to "tweaking" Fett and Vader's personalities in order to accommodate them as "good guys," and I hope this didn't detract from the story.
To sum it up, I immensely enjoyed crafting this story, but I don't think there will be a sequel. One foray into the Harry Potter world is enough for this Stargeek.