Harry went to see Amelia on Monday afternoon. She invited him in. "Good afternoon, Director Bones. I was hoping that I could speak with you for a few minutes?"
"Of course Harry. What happened to Amelia?"
"Based on what I'm about to ask, I wouldn't feel right."
She sat down in the chair next to him, and offered him a cup of tea. She observed, "Wizard debts are interesting things, Harry. Some times the best thing to do is to never call in the marker. Anyway, that's another lesson for another day. Please tell me who put you up to asking me something that has you squirming so uncomfortably in your chair?"
"Ah. So is this a request to intervene in the Percy Weasley investigation on behalf of his parents?"
"In so many words, yes ma'am. Can I ask you a few questions?"
Bones smiled at Harry, "Of course. Go ahead."
"Is there any direct evidence of blatant wrongdoing on his part?"
She considered her answer for a moment and explained, "That's open to interpretation. If the evidence was presented with the necessary slant, more than half of the five panel Wizengamot groups would convict him."
"Could he provide any useful information regarding who he's been talking with, or about Death Eater finances?"
"Would it be wrong if he were dismissed from the Ministry and sent to China for the next five years?"
Amelia considered his idea for a moment and said, "I'd be Okay with that. I don't believe that he's likely to commit additional crimes. Could you explain it to the families of the people who were killed if word got out and was printed badly in the Daily Prophet?"
Harry met her eye and replied, "I explained it to Hermione an hour ago, so I believe that I could. I believe that she's a good moral barometer."
She nodded and thought for a moment. "Harry, let us suppose that a young man was thinking out loud to a friend regarding some things that he supposedly wished would happen to a certain convict's wife. Let's further suppose that someone else manifested those thoughts into actions. I wouldn't be surprised if some of his associates suggested that the young man stay out of it, so if the story ever came unraveled, he would stay squeaky clean. In kind, let's say that this conversation never took place, and I had simply called you in to ask you if you'd taken the time after saving the world to open the package that I sent you?"
"I did. I'm honored to accept your offer."
"Good. I can't begin to express the gratitude for the service that you have done for the wizarding world. I'll send you the appropriate materials for you to read. We can talk more about it later. I know that you have made a home for yourself at Hogwarts. As such, I won't call on you except in extreme need."
"On a different subject, if you happen to think of it, please ask Albus to invite Dr. Chang to come see me this evening. On a final subject before you invite me out for a drink, there will be a lot of people in the coming months asking you to lend your name to their specific cause. I can only suggest that you be highly selective of the causes that you agree to consider." Harry looked at her and nodded. She asked "So where are you taking me?"
"How about the Snooty Fox in Crawley? Muggle pubs are a much better choice for me."
"I understand your reasoning. Let's go."
… - …
Harry returned to Hogwarts an hour later. He told Dumbledore what Bones had told him in her office about Dr. Chang. Albus agreed that Harry should completely disconnect himself from the deal after seeing Molly the next evening.
The graveside ceremony for Anna Smith had few attendees. The minister had not known Anna well, and did not know the actual circumstances regarding her death. Several of her fellow nurses were in attendance. Dan and Emma, Professors Flitwick and McGonagall, several of Ericka's housemates along with Harry and Hermione had come. The muggle newspapers indicated that she'd died from a brain aneurysm that had come on quite suddenly while she was visiting her daughter's school. Poppy had submitted the medical papers regarding her death like she had needed to many times in the past. Hermione held her new sister's hand during the entire service.
The Grangers and Hermione drove back to their home in silence. They knew that most of the British and European wizarding world was celebrating at this very moment. Yet from their perspective there seemed to be little to celebrate. They thought of the Firstborn Society that Hermione had mentioned wanting to start. If ever someone had needed a support group it would have been a single parent of a witch.
… - …
The Hogwarts students had gone back to the school via port key with Professor Flitwick.
Harry left after the service to meet with Dumbledore and Chang. They confirmed that Percy would be dismissed with cause from the Ministry effective 31 October. He would spend the last week at work documenting every conversation that he'd ever had with, or concerning a list of people including Fudge, Malfoy, Edgecombe, Umbridge, Krum, the Grangers, Harry, Hermione, Sirius, Remus, Pettigrew, Diggory, Snape, Bones, and Voldemort. He would be obliviated of those memories. Dumbledore asked Harry not to speak of Percy's arrangement to anyone except Hermione unless he had heard the outcome from Amelia first. Harry rehearsed the conversation that he would have with Molly and Arthur that evening. Chang left to make the arrangements at the wizarding University of Kowloon. Percy would start there on 1 November. He couldn't return to Britain for at least five years.
Harry spent most of the afternoon talking with Tonks and Diane, who had been called back for another week. She asked more questions about the details knowing that far more noncombatants had been killed than Harry or Hermione would have ever anticipated. Harry had come to realize that people died in battle and as often as not it was the noncombatants who were killed first. A large part of Harry's consolation was in the knowledge that the battle ended relatively quickly and Voldemort's reign of terror appeared to be over.
Tonks was highly relieved that Voldemort was gone. She said, "Harry, you gave us a load of fresh air to breath. Don't get me wrong lil bro; I'll miss Remus until my dying day. But life will have a chance to improve for a lot of people. Look at us. We're Aurors, not soldiers. Bones went forty years or more in her job and she never had to draw down and kill a man. I've spent the last four months fighting and recovering from one injury after the next. The merchants in Diagon Alley were all scared witless after the attack at the joke shop. Think about it for a moment. For everyday people to be so cared of somebody that they would go around saying he-who-must-not-be-named is a really crappy way to live. You changed all of that for the better."
Harry surprised them with his insight. "My concern isn't about the last dark lord, rather the next. Tom Riddle was probably in school when Grindelwald was in power. Everyone was probably focused on fighting him instead of watching the troubled kids. Dozens of these dark wizards started out in Durmstrang, or Beaubatons or Hogwarts over the years. I don't think we ever get any first years that walk into the castle thinking 'I want to kill, rape and destroy everything in sight.' Tom's home life was probably no better or worse than mine. I'm sure that Draco's mum loved him as much as Lavender's. Somewhere along the line, people failed them by not providing leadership. We can do a better job in school to teach ethics as much as spell work. If a student commits a crime, we need to be willing to suspend or expel them. If someone does do something bad, we need to determine if they are interested in being reformed or not. If they're not, we need to minimize the possibility that they'll commit additional crimes.
Diane hugged him. "Are you sure you aren't thirty-six Harry? That was the most responsible thing I've heard said by anyone regarding this whole evil wizard dialogue. You're fine. I need to go talk with Ericka Smith for a while." She found her in the library with Hermione who had started to bond with her. Ericka was doing well in class. Having the smartest witch in the school as her personal study buddy wasn't hurting.
Harry waved her over. "Hi Ericka."
"Hi Professor Potter."
"This is my friend, Diane Turnbull. She helps me sort things out, and I was hoping that you could talk with her for a while. I don't think there's anyone in my classroom right now. Maybe you could show it to her?"
"Thank you." Ericka and Diane walked to Harry's classroom. It was empty. They closed the door and sat down next to each other on one of the mats with their back to the wall.
"I'm sorry to hear about your mother, Ericka."
"I'm really going to miss her. She was so excited when I got my letter to come here."
"I can imagine. Can you tell me what happened?"
"She went to Hogsmeade to go to a meeting last Saturday and Mr. Voldemort killed her. Professor Potter killed Mr. Voldemort. Professor Dumbledore burned him up. Another man whose son was killed by him helped me snap Mr. Voldemort's wand."
"I see. It wasn't your mum's fault that Mr. Voldemort killed her. She wasn't doing anything wrong."
Ericka held Diane's hand. "I know. I just wish that she had run away like Professor Potter taught me to do."
"Is he a good teacher?"
"The best. Do you know Hermione?"
Diane smiled at this charming little witch. "Yes I do."
"She's Professor Potter's girlfriend. She's my new sister."
"Hermione is very lucky to have you for a sister. What things did you and your mum do together?"
"We went to football games. Do you like Quidditch?"
"I've only seen one game, but I did like it. Do you like to fly?"
"We're just learning. I don't have my own broom. Do you?"
"No. I go flying sometime with Professor Potter. I'm not a witch. Professor Dumbledore and Professor Potter invited me here this week as their guest. I've been talking with different witches and wizards who've had a loss this year. I'd be very happy to talk with you again tomorrow if you'd like."
"I'd like that. Thank you. It was nice to meet you."
"It was very nice to meet you too Ericka. Are you going back to the library, or would you rather just sit here for a while?"
"I'll just stay here a while. Thank you again."
… - …
It was strange for Harry to enter the Weasley's home and not have a gaggle of teenagers running about. Harry remembered an eleven year old Ginny putting her elbow in the butter dish, and Percy sitting on Errol the family owl. At nine Molly greeted Harry. "Come in, Professor."
"Harry, Mrs. Weasley. Just Harry."
After a moment of small talk, it was time for business. Arthur asked, "Do you have any news of Percy?"
"Yes. I went to see Director Bones after we last met. I offered her my perspective, and a few suggestions. At that time she had not made any decisions regarding how to disposition his investigation. Based on not having read about an arrest since then, I believe that it's likely that she considered them, and decided to use one of them. I don't know for sure. It's possible that she has been spending a few days interviewing him. I expect that you'll know for certain on Friday."
They looked like they'd just received the best news in the world! "Harry, thank you for supporting our family time and time again."
"It was the right thing to do, Mrs. Weasley. I could never repay you enough for your kindness. Besides I wasn't able to do much for your son. I only offered a suggestion." Harry got up to leave. "Thank you for the desert. It was excellent. I need to get back to the castle now. Goodnight."
"Good night, Harry. Thank you again." Arthur shook Harry's hand. Harry nodded, then he vanished.
… - …
The next morning Hedwig flew in with the other owls and found her. She untied the letter and read it.
I know that you are hurting so badly over what happened. I hope this helps. Last July I was in the deepest depression that I ever could have imagined. I was certain that my own death was the only honorable thing left for me. In my mind I had killed Sirius. The fact that I hadn't performed the spell myself didn't matter. It was my fault.
Then like an angel, you came and rescued me! You made me see that people make their own decisions, and that sometimes bad things happen to good people. I didn't kill Sirius. You didn't kill Anna. They both made choices to be in dangerous places. Other people made the choice to murder them.
Hermione, please don't leave me alone. I need your strength to help me get up in the morning. Please let me be your strength too. I want to be there for you. If you are hurting, please let me hurt with you. We have agreed to share our lives together, both the good days and the bad. As such, I will hurt over their deaths until you tell me not to.
All my love,
Hermione got up and walked to his classroom. Harry was practicing with his sword.
She slammed the door shut. "Harry James Potter, don't you dare go hurting over something that you didn't cause." She threw a tennis ball at him. Harry let it hit him. She threw another and another, pelting him. "You didn't have anything to do with their deaths. If anything you helped save the village and a lot more people from getting hurt. You didn't kill Remus, and you certainly didn't kill Anna." She had about run out of steam. Harry wandlessly levitated her into his arms.
"Either did you."
She held her lover as tightly as humanly possible. "I love you Harry Potter."
"I love you too Hermione Jane."
After a minute, Harry had yet to put his best friend back down. She said, "Okay. Now that that's settled, I have to get to class and you have to get to work, so you can continue to support us."
Setting her on her feet, Harry replied, "Yes, Ma'am."
They stuck their tongues out at each other, smiled, and both began laughing.
"I could write you a pass."
"No. I'll be fine."
Enjoy your day, Miss Granger.
You too, Professor Potter.
… - …
The class wouldn't have been more attentive if Merlin had been teaching it himself! Harry reviewed the action that happened with the Aurors on Saturday in appropriate detail. When his students pressed about Voldemort, Harry developed the response, "He's dead. For now, let's please leave it at that." Soon the class was busy practicing the aiming and dodging skills that Harry said were important.
Wednesday evening came. Harry had requested a week off from his own evening classes. Dumbledore had called a meeting of the Order for 8:00 that evening. Dumbledore had asked Harry to meet with him prior to the meeting.
Harry knocked on Dumbledore's office door. "Come in Harry. How was your day?"
"Everyone was pretty worked up. It took a while to get everyone back to task."
"I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you wanted to take your class outside and simply let them roll down the hill in relief, it wouldn't be wrong." The two wizards looked at each other, eyes twinkling, and both started laughing at the idea.
Dumbledore continued. "As much as the idea of having your students roll down the hill is deserved, I would like to talk with you about the Order of the Phoenix. As you probably know the Order is ancient. The charter if the Order is threefold:"
To be vigilant against the threat of Dark Wizards.
To provide a check and balance against a corrupt Ministry.
To prepare the next generation of witches and wizards to do the same.
"I will be nominating you as the new head of the Order of the Phoenix this evening. I reconvened the Order nearly eighteen months ago. That was the evening of the Triwizard Tournament. At that time, it was apparent that Voldemort had indeed returned, and that Fudge would do nothing to stop him. During that time, I did what I could to introduce some qualified younger wizards and witches into the Order. I made a mistake with Mr. Krum. At the time I wanted to include wizards and witches from outside Britain and get some younger blood into the group. He seemingly was a good fit. I am happy to say that I did much better recruiting Ms. Jones, Miss Tonks, Miss Granger, the Weasley twins, and yourself. I would encourage you to continue to search for potential candidates so that you have a large enough group at your disposal when you need it. By the end of the school year, I would encourage you to either inactivate the group, or have identified some new potential threat."
Harry thought about what Dumbledore had said and had not said. After a moment Dumbledore continued. "Harry, what are your thoughts regarding Percy?"
Harry was quick to respond. "I view him as a potential threat. To my knowledge, he is the only known Voldemort loyalist to not be in prison or dead. Given our relationship with the rest of the Weasleys, allowing him the benefit of even a serious doubt seemed to be the only reasonable move. As such, I anticipate asking Dr. Chang's associates to keep a close eye on him. With respect to other real or potential threats, there are the Malfoys and Dolohov who have the potential to recruit followers should they escape, and quite possibly Fudge himself. Snape is also worth watching. Who am I missing?"
"I'll have to give your last question some thought. I believe that your thoughts regarding Percy are correct. He is a highly intelligent young man, who almost certainly believes that he's been wronged."
"What are you going to tell the group about Krum and Percy?"
"Simply that all of the facts are not yet in. Krum is dead, so those facts should be easy to gather. Should Molly or Arthur bring it up, I would let them have their say. Would you be willing to share your memory of the afternoon?"
Harry considered the request for a moment. It would rip his heart see Anna get murdered again. "Yes. Not because I am proud of having taken his life, rather to provide a proof that he is indeed dead."
"Let us go to your classroom then. I will ask Dobby to bring refreshments. Also regarding Dobby, I know that he would like to talk with you regarding working for you. Please have the conversation with both him and Winky in the next few weeks."
By 7:45 everyone had been seated. There were several obvious items of business. After everyone had arrived, Dumbledore sealed the door and began. "Good evening and thank you for coming on short notice. I would like to take the opportunity to clarify the events of the week-end with you and to look ahead."
Hestia showed her memory. She was waiting in the conference room with the others and heard the signal. She went out with Bob Amos, John Thomas, and Mary Campbell. They unknowingly found themselves in between two groups of Death Eaters with no cover. Thomas and Campbell were killed within twenty seconds. The popping sounds a minute later of the first twenty Aurors arriving masked the sound of Bob Amos getting hit. He had killed two death Eaters before losing his own life. The Death Eaters found themselves in the same situation that the Aurors had a moment ago as another twenty Aurors apparated to the battle. Within two minutes the Death Eaters were all dead. She saw Harry weave forth and back on his broom casting Patronus after Patronus destroying the dementors. As Harry had gone to the south side of the Village, Voldemort appeared at the north end and was systematically killing people and burning buildings. Hestia screamed as Voldemort killed the person that she thought was Harry. A few seconds later, Anna Smith ran out of the Hogs Head out and for two or three seconds found herself face to face with the monster who would kill her. As her body was hitting the ground, Hestia heard three shots, looked up and to her left to see Harry fall off of his broom. She looked back and saw Voldemort dead on the ground. The entire battle hadn't taken more then five or six minutes.
Moody showed his memory, apparating to the village then firing Reducto after Reducto hitting seven of the Death Eaters who had been killed.
Kingsley showed his memory, getting people inside, killing a Death Eater, watching Harry/Remus kill three Death Eaters with Reducto charms. Moody explained that Remus had taken Harry's place at the Auror training center, and had come to help when the Aurors had been called.
Harry showed his memory beginning with the apparation to the Three Broomsticks. Harry's memory ended as he fell the 25 feet onto the ground.
Finally Hermione showed her memory, watching from inside the pub as the others left and fell. She had pleaded with Anna not to move. Suddenly Anna ran out of the pub and fell a few seconds later. She heard the shots, ran outside to see Harry lying dead on the street. Behind him a shop was burning out of control. She was running down the street and saw another Harry lying on the other side of the street with his broom hovering two feet in the air. Mediwitches and Aurors had circled him. Dumbledore appeared moments later and ignited Voldemort's body. The memory ended.
Dumbledore brought up the lights that had been dimmed as the images had been shown. At least half of the group had tears in their eyes from watching their friends get murdered. Molly was weeping loudly. Dumbledore looked at the group for a moment and said, "Our friends fought bravely that day. None of us will ever forget their actions." For a minute there was silence.
Finally Tonks asked, "What happened to Victor?"
Fred said, "I killed him. The sodding traitor. He had hit George with something and was casting the killing curse on me. I blew his neck off with a Reducto charm before he could finish the curse. Harry, you were right. It is a faster spell than the killing curse."
Moody looked at Dumbledore. Dumbledore said, "Percy Weasley was taken in for questioning Saturday regarding a possible leak of information. All of the facts are not in regarding him, so I have no speculation regarding the outcome." Molly and Arthur appeared relieved regarding the way that Dumbledore had framed the announcement of their son's arrest. Fred and George looked at their father questioningly, but didn't say anything.
Dumbledore called for Dobby and Winky. They brought in two trays of refreshments for the group. He let the group talk amongst themselves for a few minutes.
Dumbledore finally spoke. "We have met the major current objective of the order and with Harry's help found ourselves equal to the challenge. Soon it will be time for me to step down as head of the group." There was absolute silence among the group. This was the last thing in the world that they had expected to hear.
He continued. "As such it is my responsibility to nominate the next person to head the group. As none of you except Alastor were members when I was nominated, I will review the rules of succession with you. Should the current head of the Order be alive and able, it is his or her responsibility to nominate a successor. A simple majority shall be enough to proclaim a new head. Should the current head be killed, or unable to nominate a successor, the three longest tenured witches or wizards shall jointly make a nomination. Should the nominated person not be voted head, tradition calls that the candidate leave the group. As such, it is my privilege and pleasure to nominate Harry James Potter to be the next head of the Order. I believe that he possesses the insight, skill, courage, and leadership to guide the group to its next victory." There was silence for a few seconds. Moody stood and started clapping. Arthur, Molly, Tonks, Hestia, and Shacklebolt were up a second later. Within five seconds it was evident that he had the support of the entire group.
The vote of support was unanimous. Harry stood up. "I thank you all for your confidence and call on you for your continued support. I believe our most urgent challenge is to identify potential threats that may see opportunity in the power vacuum that Voldemort's death has created. As such, I ask that you take the next few weeks to consider the potential threats, the risks that they may represent, and the likelihood of their turning dark, or making a move. I would like to meet again the first Sunday evening in January."
After the meeting everyone came up to either Dumbledore and/or Harry to congratulate them. A half hour later Harry and Hermione were alone in Harry's room.
Hermione asked, "You didn't seem surprised by that. Had it been rehearsed?"
"Yes. We met for an hour prior to the meeting to discuss succession, and the ongoing role for the Order."
"How can I help you?"
"In the short term, launching the Firstborn society is the best plan. There are other threats out there that may quickly emerge. The Aurors can handle most of them. In the long term, we need to change peoples' attitudes regarding bloodlines."
The Saturday newspaper article on page five wasn't large. Kingsley read it carefully.
Ministry Admin Assistant Sacked
Story by Rita Skeeter
Ministry Administrative Assistant Percy Weasley was dismissed with cause yesterday. Director Bones was quoted as saying, "I was sorry to have to let Mr. Weasley go. He had not handled confidential information as well as he needed to. I wish him success in his future endeavors."
Rita had presented the information in the best possible light for Percy. As requested, Percy had spent the last week writing up a highly detailed account of the conversations that he had had with the group of people that he had been asked about. When he was finished, and interrogated under veritaserum by Shacklebolt and Bones on Friday, Percy's memories relating to each of those people had been obliviated. Auror Shacklebolt accompanied him to his flat, and got him packed up. Shacklebolt read the terms and conditions of his sentencing to him one more time to make certain that he understood them. His parents were allowed an hour to visit, then Kingsley activated the portkey which sent Percy to the wizarding university in Kowloon. Percy and his parents understood that he had been given the lightest possible sentence, effectively racking up another life debt. Shack was satisfied that justice had been served.
Dumbledore came to Harry's room on Sunday night and gently knocked on the door. "Good evening Miss Granger, Harry. May I come in?"
Hermione said, "Of course sir. Please have a seat.
Harry asked, "Can I get you a cocoa?"
"Please. Thank you both."
"As you may know, there are currently two positions open on the Wizengamot. With your permission, I would like to nominate both of you to fill those positions. Under normal circumstances, the job does not require more than a half-day and an evening a month. Except for unusual or significant issues, the full Wizengamot does not hear a trial. Typically it is a five-judge panel. You both have exhibited wisdom, character and exceptional judgment. The Wizengamot would be a better group with you two as members.
Harry thought of Amelia's conversation regarding lending his name to a cause. This seemed to be a good one. He looked at Hermione. She nodded, and said, "We would be happy to be nominated, Professor. Is there anything that we need to do or prepare?"
Dumbledore's silver mustache quivered, and his eyes twinkled. "No, Miss Granger. There is no studying required for this interview. If accepted, you would be given the appropriate volumes containing the law relating to the areas that you would normally hear cases for. You would of course be assigned to different groups. I won't take any more of your time. Please enjoy the rest of your evening."
"Thank you, Professor."
A few minutes after Dumbledore had left, there was another knock on the door. It was Ron and Ginny and Luna.
"Come in. Hi."
Ron was looking extremely embarrassed. "Ouch. Okay I will." Harry conjured them chairs. Dobby came with a tray of iced butterbeers and left.
They sat down. Ron started, "Harry, and Hermione, I have something that I need to tell you. I stopped over last week, uninvited and I realize now what you two were facing. I had no idea about the pressure that you two were under. I'm sorry I got mad."
Harry didn't need to have his buddy fall on his sword. He glanced at Hermione for a moment. She nodded and said, "Ron don't worry about it. Harry and I were under a lot of stress that night. You didn't do anything wrong."
Ginny asked, "Did my rat-face brother really pass information on to the Death Eaters?"
Harry looked at her for a moment, framing his answer. "Maybe. If he did, let's hope that he learned a lesson. Actually from what I heard, he may come to like his new position. Kowloon is supposed to be an interesting place. It's on Mainland China right across from Hong Kong Island. There are a lot of English speaking witches and wizards to tutor.
Ginny hugged Harry. "Thanks for giving him another chance, Harry. Mum and Dad wrote us about what happened. That was really generous of you."
"I didn't do much. I only made a suggestion. The decision was made by Director Bones."
"Yes," said Ron, "but she'll do anything that you ask. Ouch."
"That's not true, Ron. Thank you Luna. It was her decision, and she's ultimately responsible that it was a good one. Let's let it go. How about some pizza?"
"Great. Do you have any more butterbeers? Ouch. Cut that out Ginny."
They laughed, and enjoyed each other's company for the rest of the evening.
… - …
Diane knocked on Harry's door on Wednesday evening. Harry answered, "Hi Diane. Come in."
"Thank you. Actually I'm here to visit you professionally."
"Please have a seat, Doctor." Harry conjured her an overstuffed chair like he had bought, and one for himself.
"Thank you. How are you holding up?"
"Just Okay. Hermione is carrying a lot of guilt, and I'm nervous about visiting Hogsmeade."
"Do you think the villagers are blaming you for their loss or are delighted that Voldemort is dead, and their losses were minimal?"
"Harry, the dead might blame you, but I doubt that the survivors do. Does that make sense?"
"I think so. I haven't seen any of them."
"What do you mean?"
"Is this another "dragons are real" revelation?"
"Yup. Some witches and wizards choose to become ghosts when they die. Anyways, I haven't seen any of the dead villagers yet."
Diane took a moment to compose herself at his words. "Harry, can I ask you a very personal question?"
"Do you see yourself ever having to kill anyone else?"
"No, but circumstances may change over time."
She thought about what Harry had said for a minute. "Harry, that wasn't the answer that I was hoping to hear."
"Are you asking me as a Doctor, a friend of the Grangers, or as an arm of the Ministry of Magic?"
"A friend of yours. I'm your Doctor. These conversations have never gone anywhere else."
"I apologize if it sounded that way. I was made a Senior Auror reserve officer this week. It means that the Ministry might call on me at some time in the future. I can think of only one reason that would cause them to call me."
"Can you resign at some point if you want?"
"I forgot to ask."
She looked at him for a full minute at stated, "I only want what is best for you Harry."
"I know. Thank you very much."
"Will you take Ericka Smith and Hermione to Hogsmeade this weekend?"
"Trust me. They won't blame you. On a different subject, can we go flying tomorrow?"
Immediately a smile appeared on his face. He replied, "How about at 11:30. You should borrow Hermione's Motorcycle jacket and gloves. They're quite warm."
"Thank you Harry. Goodnight now."
… - …
Ericka had never been to the Headmaster's office before. Even though Hermione and Harry had accompanied her, she was still nervous. Hermione, told her not to worry, and that she would get to meet Dumbledore's pet phoenix. As they came to the stone gargoyle, Hermione was a bit surprised. Instead of saying the password, it stepped aside for them. They stood on the circular stone stairs and they gently began to move until they reached the landing. Ericka knocked on the griffin doorknocker, and the door opened. "Please come in, Miss Smith, and Miss Granger. Can I get you both a cocoa? Both women accepted. Ericka looked around the office for a moment. Fawkes leapt off of his perch and flew to Harry's shoulder near Ericka. She gave the swan sized bird, a pet. The beautiful red and gold feathered bird trilled a note and flew back to its perch. "He seems to have taken a liking to you, Miss Smith. Fawkes is an excellent judge of character." The little witch beamed at him.
Dumbledore continued, "As you may know each witch and wizard who is not born of magical parents is given a wizarding guardian. Your wizarding guardian is responsible for your well-being, and education as it relates to the magical world. They also watch out for your financial concerns and are the trustee for your Gringotts account should you have one. Professor Potter has agreed to assume these responsibilities on your behalf. As such, he handled the business of taking care of your mother's estate. He also opened an account for you at the Gringotts wizarding bank. Perhaps he can explain for you."
"Ericka, the wizarding bank is in Diagon Alley. Hermione and I will take you there over the Christmas holiday. We packed up the things that were in your home in Kent. They're safely stored in this magical trunk. I'll put it in your bank vault, along with the other things for you. This is my friend from Gringotts, Griphook. Griphook takes care of the trust and estate accounts." Ericka's eyes grew wide at the sight of Griphook.
"Good morning, Miss Smith. As Mr. Potter said, he handled the closure of your mother's estate quite well. This is the key to your vault." He handed her the intricately shaped gold vault key. "You may keep it, or you can ask your wizarding guardian, Mr. Potter to keep it for you. He or I will provide you a complete detail of the contents of your vault as you wish." As requested, Griphook did not mention that Harry had deposited the five hundred thousand Galleons that Tonks had insisted that he keep into Ericka's account. As such, she was unknowingly quite a wealthy young witch.
"I would like Professor Potter to keep it for me, please." She handed Harry the key. Harry, nodded, and carefully put the key in his pocket. Hermione gently squeezed Ericka's hand to reassure her.
Dumbledore concluded the meeting. "Very good, Miss Smith. I have asked Professor Potter and Miss Granger if they wouldn't mind escorting you to Hogsmeade today. Your last visit was cut a bit short."
"Thank you, Professor Dumbledore. Mr. Griphook, it was nice to meet you." Hermione and Ericka left to get ready to go for the day. Harry shrunk the trunk, and accompanied Griphook back to Gringotts to deposit her trunk, and sign the rest of the paperwork. He returned a few minutes later.
Hermione and Ericka were waiting at the fireplace in Harry's office. Pop, there was Harry on the floor. As usual, Hermione, helped him up, and dusted him off. Ericka giggled. "It's not funny," said Harry, though he knew it was a losing battle. They walked out the oak front door of the castle. On the way to Hogsmeade they waved at Hagrid, who saw the three of them, and waved back, smiling. Harry took them into Honeydukes first. The little witch looked around and whispered something to Hermione. She took twenty Galleons out of her bag and handed them to Ericka. She bought enough sweets to share with her dorm mates. They visited the post office then went to the robe shop and said hello. Harry introduced her to the clerks and to Madam Malkin. She quickly measured Ericka as Harry had requested. They went to the quill shop. Hermione bought her a new quill with spellchecker. They stopped in the Quidditch shop. Ericka was looking at Quidditch Through the Ages. Harry told her that she could have his copy if she would like. They stopped at the village cemetery. Harry conjured flowers for each of the new headstones. Finally they made their way into the Three Broomsticks.
Harry had been dreading the encounter. The noisy pub was about half full. A second after they closed the door, the pub became stone silent. Everyone in the pub had stopped what they were doing and turned to stare at them. A moment later, Madam Rosmerta and the two other barmaids began applauding. Soon, everyone stood to greet them. Harry shook everyone's hand as he introduced Hermione and Ericka. They ordered their lunch.
"Did you really play on the house team when you were my age?" asked Ericka. "One of the older girls said that you had never lost a match."
Harry turned red. Hermione came to his rescue (more or less), saying, "Harry is a really great flyer. He was invited to join the team in his first year. He did win every match that he finished. If you look in the trophy room, you will see his name on the trophy cup. If you look a bit farther back, you will see his Dad's name on the cup too. James Potter played Chaser when he was in school."
"Did your Mum play too?"
"No, I don't think so. I think she was more interested in Charms and Arithmancy, like Hermione."
"Did Mr. Voldemort kill them too?"
"Yes he did. Harry can show you their picture when they get back. His Mum was really pretty. She looked a bit like Ginny Weasley. Harry looks a lot like his dad, except he has his mum's green eyes."
Ericka said, "You look a lot like your mum too Hermione, except you're a little taller."
Harry said, "You look a lot like your mum, Ericka. You have a pretty smile, and bright eyes just like she did."
Ericka nodded, tears welling in her eyes. Hermione gave her a hug, both of them realizing that they had always wanted a sister. Madam Rosmerta came over to visit for a moment. She said that the repairs had been made to the various buildings, and things were getting back to normal in the village. Harry ordered three cases of butterbeer, paid their bill, and they left. Dobby popped in took their packages for them and popped back to the castle.
… - …
The following Tuesday, Dumbledore asked Harry to visit him in his office. After getting Harry a coffee, Dumbledore continued his discussion. "As I mentioned, I would like you to prepare to assume the Headmaster position next fall."
"Sir, I'm not ready to be headmaster of the school yet."
Dumbledore cut him off. "Harry, what you lack in experience, you more than make up in character. It is the castle that chooses the headmaster, not the board of governors. You may recall that Delores Umbridge was unable to enter the headmaster's office during my absence. Surely you have seen that the gargoyle is admitting you without a password. That is not my doing. The castle has chosen you. In preparation, I would like you to take your NEWT exams in Defense, Charms, Transfiguration, and Potions in January. I will rearrange your schedule, eliminating the Thursday and Friday morning sessions with the Aurors. We will spend three mornings a week together. The exact days may vary depending on our respective schedules. I assure you Harry; you will be adequately prepared for the job. You will receive instruction from the other professors on the essence of the subjects for which you have not yet been exposed."
"Thank you Professor."
"There will be a formal announcement in June. Until that time, I ask that you tell no one other than Miss Granger."
"Enjoy your evening, Harry."
"You too, sir."
Tonks, Hestia, Kingsley, Amelia, Griselda Marchbanks, and Moody had asked Harry to come to class early. Kingsley and the others had conjured desks and were facing Harry. Kingsley spoke.
"Harry after carefully reviewing your field record, and in complete cooperation with the school board, we have decided that you have been awarded your NEWT level certification in Defense against the Dark Arts. Also we have decided that you have indeed graduated from our Auror level training class. As such we thought it appropriate to have a bit of cake to celebrate."
Dobby and Winky appeared carrying a cake and a tray of butterbeers, tea and coffee.
They visited for a few minutes. After Marchbanks had left, Harry asked, "What ever was done with the Azkaban prisoners?"
Amelia answered. "They're still in the holding cells. The Wizengamot will begin meeting beginning in January to decide their fate. The suggestions on the table include re-sentencing the prisoners, in some cases to execution, or to a muggle prison depending on their circumstances, reopening Azkaban with different jailors, or using a new technique developed by the Unspeakables to destroy their magical ability, effectively making them squibs."
They visited for a while, and began to leave. Harry thanked everyone for their help again. Tonks remained behind. "Professor Potter, I wanted to talk with you for a bit if you have the time." Harry was momentarily confused. This wasn't "big sis Tonks', or "trolling Tonks", or even "pal Tonks" asking to have a conversation.
"It's this teaching thing, Professor. You asked me to fill in for Remus a few weeks ago. The thing is, I really like it. Moody said that he was going to retire at the end of the school year, and I was wondering how I would apply to do this on a permanent basis?"
"As I was told what seems like a long, long time ago "for the right person, teaching is remarkably rewarding, not in money, rather in job satisfaction." Speaking for myself, I love it, and I understand why you would too. Let's talk again in a few months, Okay?"
"Enjoy your day, Auror Tonks."
On Friday morning, Harry went up to visit Dumbledore. Harry started the conversation saying, "I understand something now, sir."
"What is that Harry?"
"Why you shot Grindelwald eight times. If I had to do it again, I would have shot Riddle a hundred times, then started hacking him up."
Dumbledore nodded, thinking back to all of his friends that he had lost over the years to a man who had such obvious potential when he had walked through the school in his first year.
"Is that why you burned him up?"
"Partially. Beyond the anger, I was reading about a technique called cloning, which sounded too much like a real possibility in his case. I have to admit, I did get a certain satisfaction watching his body turn to ashes. Not to worry, I vanished them an hour later. I also vanished the remains of his parents from the cemetery in Little Hangleton." Dobby appeared with a cocoa and a butterbeer."
Dumbledore sipped his cocoa. "Yes Harry. I felt an indescribable rage that day with Grindelwald. You have suffered more than most at Tom's hand. You, at least, had the satisfaction associated with ending his reign of terror in our world. It is my hope that you have felt these burdens lift from your shoulders the last few days, allowing you to stand as tall and proud as you deserve."
He continued. "It is time for you to stop looking back, and change your focus to the future. You have a family to raise, a promising career, friends, and loved ones. Those things make you a wealthy man, Harry. I hope your Christmas holidays will be the best that you have ever had. I will see you in January. I also want to thank you for the Red Corvette. I hope to have many hours of enjoyment with it."
"You will look fabulous driving it sir."
"I hope to. My last car was one of the very early models. I must say that this one looks considerably more enjoyable to drive. On a different subject, should you find yourself in Diagon Alley over the holidays, here is a short list of books that you should purchase and read."
… - …
Finally the day came to leave for the holiday. Harry, Hermione and Ericka boarded the train together. Hermione and Ericka had grown used to calling each other Sis. They took turns taking each other around to meet their friends from different houses. It seemed that a lot more of the students were now interested in knowing the first year Ravenclaw than had been in previous months. Harry spent most of the ride back talking with Neville. His Gran had written him two weeks ago regarding the treatments that his parents were receiving. She said that they were starting to make some progress. Neville was very hopeful, but realized that 'some' was a very subjective word. Ginny came by and found him. They left shortly after.
Hermione and Ericka came in and sat down next to him. Ericka asked, "Why are you so happy, Hermione?
"I've been waiting for Christmas for a long time this year."
Ericka asked, "Does Professor Potter give good presents?"
She smiled and said, "The best."
Ron came by a few minutes later looking ecstatic.
Harry asked, "What's up, Ron?"
"I got an owl this morning from Lee Sutherland, Manager of the Chudley Canons. They're holding tryouts for a reserve keeper in four weeks. He sent me a special invitation."
Hermione said, "That's fabulous. Where do they play?"
Ericka surprised everyone by saying, "Their stadium is in Glouchestershire County." She turned slightly red. "I love to follow Quidditch."
Hermione hugged her, and asked Ron, "Who's their Keeper now?"
"Shelton McKnight. He graduated the year before we started. He's Okay."
Harry said, "Ron that's fabulous. I hope that you make the team."
"Thanks. I do too."
"We'll come visit you Monday morning."
"Okay. I'll see you later." Ron went back to talk with Luna.
Hermione collected Ericka and got off the train. Harry had their trunks in his pocket, and had apparated off the train a minute earlier and had stood away from the train until the reporters noticed him. The crush of reporters that was now swarming around him was intense. This was his first public appearance outside of school since Voldemort's death. Harry was really trying to distance himself from Hermione and Ericka, to give them a chance to meet the Grangers. Tonks had volunteered to accompany them to the car park.
Harry was polite and gave answers to most of the reporters' questions. He ignored the questions that had to do with how Voldemort or the dementors had been killed, and why Voldemort had selected that day to attack Hogsmeade. No one asked questions regarding Percy or Ericka. After ten minutes, Harry thanked them for their interest, wished them happy holidays and apparated away.
Rita had not been in the crowd. Harry had previously called her and offered to meet her in the Black Dog. He invited her up to his home and proceeded to answer her questions for an hour. He knew that she couldn't reveal the location of his home. After a while, Harry asked her questions about the Wizengamot and various departments of the ministry. He said that he needed to get going and thanked Rita for all of her help. He wished her a happy Christmas as they departed from the pub.
While Harry enjoyed trading favors with Rita, he was careful not to abuse the privilege. His interview with her would easily be worth a month's salary for her, yet he never asked for anything in return. She knew of his relationship with the Grangers and his friendship with the Weasleys. Harry had simply come to like the woman as a friend and tried to help her out when he could. In reality, Harry was doing more or less the same for most of his friends – using his wealth or his fame to give them a hand starting or furthering their careers.
… - …
The Grangers had been busy converting one of the spare bedrooms previously used as an extra study into a really nice bedroom for Ericka. It had posters of castles from around the world, one of which was Hogwarts. The closet had been filled with jumpers, tops, jeans and skirts that were her size.
Hermione had given her parents the talk, so there were no surprises. Harry had his own room in their home, so her parents could choose to believe what they wished.
The days preceding Christmas were a blur for Harry. He and Hermione along with little Ericka went shopping and bought packages for everyone that they knew. Harry had really enjoyed Christmas shopping this year. Obviously money was no object with anything that he had purchased. The real difference this year had been time. Harry had made evening trips the last week of school to London, Paris, and Diagon Alley selecting the special gifts. Now that the holiday had come, Harry probably was the one who was the most excited. This was the first Christmas together with his new family. He would never forget it.
On Christmas Eve day, they stopped over to the Weasleys. Arthur, Molly, Ginny, Fred and George, Luna and Ron were there. It was really nice to visit with them. Their home had been decorated colorfully for the holidays, and they had purchased new furniture for their family room. Molly said, "We read about you in the paper today, dear. Congratulations."
"What did it say?" Ginny asked taking the paper that Molly had handed her.
Hermione Granger Admitted to the Wizengamot
Story by Rita Skeeter
Wizengamot Head Albus Dumbledore announced that Hermione Granger has been elected to the Wizengamot. He was quoted as saying, "Miss Granger's profound intelligence and sense of fair play will make her an outstanding new addition to the Wizengamot. She will initially serve on the crimes against muggles team. Miss Granger has long been active in defending rights of groups that have frequently been taken advantage of." This reporter believes that she will be an excellent addition to the wizarding court. In a related story, Hogwarts Professor Harry Potter recently was selected to fill the fiftieth position of the Wizengamot. Professor Potter will serve on the organized crime team.
Arthur said, "Congratulations, Hermione. It is an exceptional honor. I also have to say that you are the first muggle born witch in my memory to serve on the Wizengamot. Congratulations. It is all but unheard of for a student to be nominated, let alone selected."
"Thank you, Mr. Weasley. We were quite surprised when Professor Dumbledore mentioned it a month ago."
After a hot butterbeer, and a half hour of visiting, Molly pointed Harry and Hermione to the large wrapped package that was by their Christmas tree. The card read, To our favorite young couple, love the Weasleys. The package read to Hermione and Harry. "Go ahead, open it dears." Harry asked Hermione to open the package. It was a beautiful, light oak grandfather clock sized family clock. The package had a dozen hands that could be charmed to include anyone that they wanted to add. The face had eight positions that they could label for any activity or condition that they wanted to. Below the clock was a lighted display case with glass shelves. It really was a beautiful piece of furniture for their home.
"Thank you so much. Your love over the years has meant the world to us." Molly hugged Harry, while Arthur hugged Hermione.
Harry said, "I almost forgot. We brought some things for you too." Hermione handed out the packages, while Harry excused himself for a moment and stepped outside. When he came back, Ginny was opening a set of books on starting a fashion design business. Unknown to her, there was also a new Firebolt waiting for her on her bed in her dormitory.
"Thank you both. You know how much this means to me."
They had given Ron a pair of dark red Dragonhide boots. "Chinese fireball, I believe. They should look pretty good on you, mate."
"Thanks Harry" said Ron, not quite having grasped that the gift was from both of them. "They look fantastic."
"Ouch." Ginny and Luna had both poked him, and then began smiling.
"Actually, Hermione, picked them out, but you're welcome."
For Luna, they had found a wonderful pair of hiking boots, knowing that she would make good use of them. "Thank you both, I had worn my last pair out last summer. These are perfect."
They had given Fred and George the paid two year lease on the building that Harry had rented in Hogsmede for the Bloodworks story that they had ran in the Daily Prophet. Fred said, "Thanks Harry and Hermione. We were wondering who Terry Tahpor really was."
Hermione laughed. "Just rearrange the letters a bit. It really is a nice space. We hope that it will work for you."
"We know. It's perfect," said George. "We had been looking at it all fall, then found out that that Tahpor bloke had leased it to start a shop. They laughed."
Hermione said, "Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, there is something for you both outside." They all stepped outside. Wrapped in a large red ribbon, was a new navy blue Land Rover. Arthur was beside himself as Harry handed him the keys. Hermione called Molly over and whispered in her ear for a moment. The two women looked at each other, smiled, and began laughing wildly at their private joke. After a minute, they had tears in their eyes from laughter.
Too soon, it was time to leave. Harry hugged Molly, Luna, and Ginny, while Ron, Gred, Forge, and Arthur hugged Hermione. "Thank you again. It was great to see you," they all said at once.
They apparated back to the Black Dog and walked up the stairs. After deciding where to put their new clock, Harry asked Hermione what she and Molly had been laughing about. "I told her that Flitwick had placed an anti-tinkering charm on the Land Rover. Only a qualified Land Rover mechanic can get the bonnet open."
Harry made up his mind. He thought about Dobby and Winky.
Dobby looked up at Harry and said, "You called for us Sir and Miss." They were both wearing their new gray robes.
"Yes. We were wondering if you two would like to come and stay with me when school lets out for the holiday."
Dobby's tennis ball size eyes almost popped out from excitement. "Oh yes, Harry Potter sir. Oh yes."
"Winky, would you like to stay with me too?"
"Yes, Winky is a good house elf."
"I know. You both are. My home isn't very large."
"We won't take up much room Harry Potter, sir."
"I didn't mean that. There is plenty of room for both of you. I don't have much to do. Tim might need a bit of help at night after the bar closes, and Hermione's mum might like a bit of help too. There will be things to arrange for the wedding. I will pay you each two galleons a week and you will get two days off each week. OK?"
Dobby looked nervously at Hermione. He had talked Dumbledore down to paying him one Galleon a week. Hermione smiled at both of them.
"Thank you Harry Potter sir, thank you. Two Galleons a week would be fine."
"Thank you both. Will you both spend Thursday with us? We'd like to have you over for dinner if you would like?"
"Thank you Sir and Miss. You is a great Wizard and Witch."
… - …
On Christmas, they all went to the early morning service and were spending the afternoon relaxing and enjoying each other's company. Emma's dinner was fantastic. Harry and Hermione had taken care of the cleanup, in about ten seconds. Finally it was time to open their gifts.
Harry had found two gifts for Ericka. The first was a perfect condition Silver Arrow broom. It had a blend of comfort, stability and handling not found in any current production broom. Harry had been tempted to buy her a Firebolt, but realized that it would have made a very poor choice for a beginner. If she ever became interested in playing Quidditch, he would find her a suitable racing broom. He also bought her a beautiful leather bound photo album. Harry had filled it with photos that he had found – some of her mother, some of her school friends and some of her new family taken the day before. He remembered how much the photo album that Hagrid had made for him had meant. She obviously loved it.
He delighted Dan with tour tickets to the Hunter Valley vineyards in New South Wales. Harry also offered Dan the choice of the ten hour or two minute flights.
For Emma, Harry found a boomerang and a certificate for a lesson at Duncan's Boomerang school of Sydney. He also gave them a lifetime pass for the master suite at the Sydney Harbor Hotel. Griphook had indicated that it was one of the properties where the Potter Trust held a significant interest.
He found a book that he was certain that Hermione was going to like - The Witches' Wedding Planner – by Gilderoy Lockhart. He also handed her a box that Dobby had collected containing nearly six hundred signed applications from witches to join the Firstborn Society.
Harry marveled at how much the two women were alike. They were brilliant, highly compassionate, cool under fire, and had a lovely dry sense of humor. He realized what a lucky man he was to have them love him.
Ericka had given each of them an All About Me book that she had written. Professor Flitwick had helped her make copies.
Hermione bought her parents a family clock. Once they realized what it was, they were absolutely delighted. She gave Harry a beautiful walnut glass case to put his Order of Merlin medal, and a little red bow. For Ericka, she found matching big sis, lil sis pendent necklaces. She gave Ericka a set of ice blue dress robes, very similar to the set that Harry had asked Madam Malkin to make for her.
Dan and Emma bought Harry a pistol cleaning kit, a lock box for the weapons, and found him an exceptional book on education, Instructor Excellence. They had inscribed the inside cover, "May these words help you throughout your career at Hogwarts. Love, Mum and Dad."
Harry also had received a package from Diane. Opening it up, he found a little supermanaction figure. There was a note inside. It read, "Harry. It is time to retire your cape, at least until the next evil dark wizard pops up. I have learned a few things in my work, namely that the hours that you spend preventing kids from going wrong pays off handsomely in years to come. I was delighted to hear you say that you had come to the same conclusion. Harry, a lot of women love you - Emma, Hermione, Ericka, Tonks, Poppy, Minerva, and myself to name a few. Please be our hero everyday by always coming home for dinner.
Emma, Hermione, and Ericka had known about the gift. Before Harry could say anything, they looked at him, nodded sternly then broke into laughter. Emma had talked with her oldest daughter the day before, observing to her that a person's basic personality rarely changes much. Harry would most likely always have a saving people thing, and that it was part of what made him so special to her.
They decided to spend the following day at Harry's Place. Harry and Hermione left in the morning to get ready. In reality it was to unwrap his other gift from Hermione. Neither one was disappointed by the experience. They agreed that the topic required a lot of future study and practice.
Dan, Emma, and Ericka had arrived at one. Harry had conjured a large blue spruce Christmas tree. Dobby and Winky had arrived at noon with a box of magical decorations. Ericka and Emma were spellbound with the magical decorations. Harry had prepared, by hand, a fantastic roast beef, potatoes, breads, gravy, and several vegetables. Winky had made a selection of fantastic deserts and snacks.
At 4:00 there was a knock on the door. Harry was not expecting anyone. He wandlessly opened the door. Neville Longbottom, his Gran, and Ginny were there. "Hi Harry. Hi Hermione. Can we come in for a minute?"
"Come in. Happy Christmas, Neville. Happy Christmas, Ginny. Happy Christmas, Mrs. Longbottom."
Neville replied, "Happy Christmas, Harry, Hermione, Doctor and Doctor Granger. Happy Christmas, Ericka. Happy Christmas, Dobby and Winky."
Neville excused himself. A minute later, he returned to the door. "Harry, I would like you to meet my Mum and Dad."
Frank and Alice Longbottom walked into the room! They walked quite slowly, but on their own. Frank looked at Harry, and life seemed to fill his blank eyes. "Hello sir. My name is Frank Longbottom." He spoke very slowly, but this represented a gigantic leap for a man who had been trapped in his own head for the last fifteen years.
Alice's eyes were a bit brighter. "Hello sir. My name is Alice Longbottom." She smiled the faintest smile.
"Please come in. My name is Harry Potter. This is my family, Dan, Emma, Ericka and Hermione. These are my good friends, Dobby and Winky."
They came in. Harry conjured half a dozen comfortable chairs. Frank and Alice sat in silence for a few minutes, looking at the fire.
Neville looked like a man who had everything. Harry could understand how he felt. Both men were spending the first Christmas in their memory in the company of family. Harry was amazed at the change that had taken place in Frank and Alice. When he saw them a year earlier, their faces seemed lifeless, similar to a severe stroke victim.
Harry talked to them for a moment, speaking slowly and clearly. "Frank and Alice, you must be very proud of your son Neville. He has grown to be a great wizard. He is a very good friend of ours."
Frank and Alice said nothing. They stared into the fireplace. Harry was about to get up, when Alice said in a slow voice, "Harry, we were friends of your parents. Thank you for finding us."
Harry was stunned at their improvement. "Come and join us for a while." Harry expanded his dinner table and insisted that they stay for desert. Harry decided to open the big bottle of champaign that Dan had given to him to save for a special occasion. In Harry's eyes, killing an evil man was not a special occasion to celebrate. Watching people get their family back in front of his eyes certainly was.
After the Longbottoms left, things quieted down a bit. Hermione and Emma were talking about something in the kitchen, while Dan and Harry watched a football game on the TV. Ericka was reading the latest issue of Teen Witch Weekly.
"Look Mum, Harry's in the magazine. There was a picture of Harry sitting on his desk in Defense class in his gray teaching robes.
An Afternoon with Harry Potter
Story by Rita Skeeter
Photo by Colin Creevey
In an exclusive interview, Harry Potter answers a few questions that are on a lot of people's minds.
Harry, How did all of this get started?
"A prophecy had been made seventeen years ago for telling of my involvement in the down fall of Voldemort. Unfortunately part of it got back to him and he knew of its existence. It started like this:"
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… Born to those who have thrice defied him, Born as the seventh month dies…And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal,"
"That was the reason that he tried to kill me as a baby. My parents had gone into hiding. Their friend Peter Pettigrew had betrayed their location to Voldemort. He murdered my father then my mother before trying to kill me. When that happened, his spirit apparently was ripped from his body and remained that way until 1991 when he came across Professor Quirrell. Somehow he took over Quirrell's body in an unsuccessful attempt to steal the philosopher stone that Nicolas Flamel was said to have made. That didn't work, so he left Professor Quirrell to die and remained as spirit until 1994 when Peter Pettigrew found Voldemort. Pettigrew took care of him until he regained his own body the night of the Triwizard Tournament in June of 1995."
"Professor Dumbledore tried to convince minister Fudge about his return. He either did not want to believe, or was convinced not to, due to his associations with Malfoy and others. Voldemort was finally found out when he tried to steal the copy of the prophecy that had been stored in the Ministry last June. I only wish that I could have had the opportunity to stop him sooner than I was able to."
Now that you have been doing it a while, how do you like working as a professor at Hogwarts?
"I think the whole thing is brilliant. The other professors have spent countless hours of their own time to help me with my own studies, and gave me great lessons on how to teach. The students have been very patient with me as I got used to my new role. I hope I've passed along some useful information to the students. I really cannot express how much people have helped me in the last few years. I just keep trying to be a better professor every day."
What are your plans for the future?
"I made some promises to my fiancé Hermione that I am very interested in keeping. I really like working at Hogwarts and hope I am allowed to continue with that. I think we can reduce the possibility of another dark wizard trying to take over by doing the best job that we can coaching students into healthy attitudes and appropriate careers."
It is this reporter's opinion that Mr. Potter will succeed in whatever endeavor he chooses to pursue. Along with the rest of the wizarding world this reporter wishes him happiness and success.
Emma asked, "Harry are you really in the newspapers or magazines everyday?"
"It seems like it, Mum. Lately it is for things that have actually happened, or things that I've actually said. I like that a lot better than the lies and made up stories that used to appear. I think things will quiet down though."
"Anything you say, dear. They all started laughing."
End Part 4
ooo CCC ooo
There was a smile on the old scribe's face as he finished reviewing the story after so many years. The years after book four and five had been published really were "the best of times" to be writing fanfiction. The tales certainly gave readers something to look at while waiting for the annual book to be released.
More importantly, the canvas was only half painted, allowing storytellers the legitimate opportunity to envision and express what might come next. After book five had been published, when the old scribe had first made this report, it seemed like Harry was well on his way to acquiring some real skills. While Fudge was easy to characterize as either a corrupt or incompetent Minister, the DLM had yet to fall, and many held hope that Amelia Bones would rise to the occasion, take notice of Harry and assist him.
It was easy to envision that Harry would reluctantly provide the leadership to lead the way to defeating first the DEs, then finally Riddle himself. To the old scribe, that path seemed much more logical than hearing that Draco suddenly became a good guy.
That said, please take a moment to leave a note. They warm the old scribe's heart, and sometimes offer ideas about new reports.
All the best,