Six Degrees of Separation
• Tradiferis •

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter in any way whatsoever. I'm just like the rest of you, waiting for the next book to come out. Therefore I intent no copyright or trademark infringement whatsoever.

Summary: It is the dusk of one era of the wizarding world, and the dawn of another. Six people stand at the cusp of this, what is going through their minds at this important time?

Author Note: Before I get shot, I think I should mention that this popped into my head when I woke up one morning, and then I spent the rest of the day writing this all in one sitting. It is my belief that this story shows the best of my writing abilities, so let me know what you think of it, okay? To all 'Torn Away' readers, don't worry, I'm still working on it, and it shouldn't be much longer.

•First Degree - Floating On•

If someone had told me when I was twelve years old that I would become one of the most respected members of the Wizarding World, I would have thought they were as odd as my brother. But I sure proved myself wrong, didn't I? In my more than one and a half centuries on the planet, I have suffered more than most any other people, and I have gained more than any one person can ever expect to gain. I have accomplished more than some people have done in three lifetimes. I have collected so many accolades that I must confess that I can no longer tell you all of them, or for why I was awarded some of them.

But, alas, I feel as if the world no longer needs me.

For all that I can no longer remember, I can remember perfectly well the day in which I first realized that I was coming to the end of my usefulness in this quaint existence of mine. It was the day in which I looked down at an eleven year old first year who thought my glasses were a Golden Snitch. Yes, for as I told this boy of what he had just accomplished, and of what happened to my dear, now departed, friend Nicholas. I saw that spark in the boy's eyes which told me that besides what was prophesized about this boy, he was to become a great wizard in his own right.

Oh, Harry, as I watched you grow from afar, I continued to realize that you were not only a great wizard, but a great person. When I watched you solve the riddle of the Chamber of Secrets, gain and then lose your Godfather, confront Voldemort all those times and stand up with such conviction, and then finally defeat the man that has caused so much damage to not only the world, but to yourself personally, I couldn't have been more proud.

Now, as we stand in the house of your ancestors celebrating your victory over Riddle, I can't help but feel as if the time has come for me to finally step aside, and for you to finally inherit what has truly been yours since the day you entered the wizarding world. You deserve my spot Harry, and I don't feel any sense of hesitation in saying that you do. As I see you standing over in the corner looking as the world has passed you by, I can't help but feel you are wrong. The world hasn't passed you by, you have passed the world by.

As I make my way over to talk to you, I can't help but notice young Nymphadora standing next to the fireplace talking to young Miss Bones. Those two can really do great things in this world if they get over their own mental hurdles. Nymphadora...such a free spirit, but one that also realizes that there is a time for play, and a time for work. Of all the new members of the Order of the Phoenix that were inducted this time, Nymphadora was the greatest asset. Not only was her skills at being one of the best Auror's to come around in many years helpful, but her ever pleasant demeanor helped us through some of the darkest times that we faced. She is the embodiment of the spirit of the New Generation of the wizarding world, which will surely instill the most amount of change for the better than any previous one.

Change that should be helped by young Miss Bones. I see great things in you as well, little Susan, and have since the day that you were born. Oh, you didn't know I was there when you were born? Well I suppose you should ask your Auntie then...but I digress. You, Miss Bones, have the greatest opportunity of us all in effecting change in the wizarding world with your ties to the Older Generation, as well as your vast ties to your own, New Generation. With your Auntie as the Minister of Magic, you can garner the respect from those of the Old that many your age would find next to impossible to do; and with your unique relationship with Mr. Potter, you are also seen as one of the leading members of the New. You do not have to worry like I know that you are, you deserve your current spot, and much more.

As I continue to make my way to Harry I notice one of his best friends silently observing the party from a chair that's in the corner, apart from the rest of the party. Miss Granger, I must say that while I can never be, and never was, disappointed by you in your studies...I have been immensely disappointed by you in terms of finding your place in this world. While I can never discount everything that you did for us, for you did a lot, I can not also discount everything that you didn't do. Your total lack of anything other than your knowledge that has been found in books has been hindering since you arrived at Hogwarts I thought would have been cured by now, with your numerous adventures with your friends. Alas, it is obvious that through these adventures you have become even more entrenched in your books. I thought in your fifth year that you were breaking this mold, but that was not to be. I see a lot of myself at your age as I see in your now Miss Granger, however, I would not take that as a compliment. If you truly wish to become as great as your aspire to be, you need to learn lessons that are not taught in books or in a class room, but lessons that are learned in abstract. Although, with your aversion to Divination, I'm not to sure you could do this...

"Are you okay Albus?" came the voice of my long time friend.

"Just contemplating what the future holds for some of the young birds present here Alastor," I respond to the best Auror that the Ministry ever had, and the only person I know of that could hold of more than ten Death Eaters at once through shear determination.

"Aye, these kids definitely have their heads screwed on straight," Alastor states as his magical eye, for once, stops revolving and lands on Harry, who is currently looking at a memorial painting of his godfather that is in an honored spot at the front of the hall, "Some even have the ability to be the next Albus Dumbledore, I say."

"Not the next Alastor Moody?" I reply, with a twinkle in my eyes, causing Alastor to have a horrified expression appear on his face.

"God help whoever turns into the next me Albus," he states, shaking his head, and walking over towards Miss Granger with his ever present 'CLUNK' present from his wooden leg. While I may not be as extreme as you Alastor, I do hope that none of the children in this room have to turn into a version of you. While you were the greatest fighter and peacemaker this country has ever known, you missed out on a life that should have been joyous, not one filled with pain and sadness. While in Miss Granger I see what I once was, I see in you Alastor what I could have become if I didn't stop myself from allowing my paranoia get in the way of enjoying life's simple pleasures.

It's with that thought that I finally make my way over to Harry. I made so many mistakes concerning you Harry, and I can't help but notice my biggest mistake painted vividly in front of me.

"How are you feeling child?" I gently ask, coming up besides him.

"Every day goes by, and I still think of him everyday," Harry states not turning to face me, pain obviously in his voice even on what should be a joyous occasion, "Some days are okay, while other days are pretty effing far from okay."

I don't respond, as I feel he still has more that he wishes to say. Oh the burden of that prophesy is off of your shoulders now child, why do you continue to carry it as heavily as you do?

"I know that I should be happy that I finally got rid of Voldemort, and that the wizarding world can go back to some semblance of normalcy," he continues on, his face still turned away from me, "But I can't help but think of the price that has been extolled for this peace. I know it seems selfish, but I can't help but think of why I had to be the one to grow up without parents, had to see some of my best friends die around me, and have to be the one that defeats the greatest evil."

I move closer to him and place my arm around his shoulders, but he still doesn't look me at me.

"Harry, I once had a friend that met the love of his life at the age of nineteen," I began a tale that I had let precious few know before, "They were married, and had five lovely children. For over fifty years they were happily married and one evening the whole family, including all of the grandchildren were to have dinner at his home. Even though it was such a dark time to be living in with the threat of Grindewald hanging over every wizard's and witch's head. On his way home...he was a bit delayed due to matter concerning work. When he got home he...well..."

I trailed off for a second, and removed my arm from Harry's shoulders to pinch the bridge of my nose. Now Harry was looking at me.

"What happened Professor?" Harry asked, a touch of fear in his voice.

"He found...he found that his house had been caught in the fire bombings of the Nazis, and his wife and all of his grandchildren had been killed," I replied, feeling tears threatening to trickle out of my eyes, "In the end, even though he was working very openly against Grindewald, it wasn't him or his evil followers...it was an evil muggle. For months he wandered around aimlessly, wondering if it was even worth continuing to fight Grindewald because in the end what would it matter? He would have to pay a price either way...then he realized that of all the people that should have a reason to stand up against evil, he was the one who had the most reason too."

I paused for a second, and I noticed that Harry was starting to realize exactly what I was talking about.

"What happened to you-er...your friend, sir?" he asked. I sighed before answering him.

"He fought back, and eventually conquered his demons, and did all he could to help stop evil until the day came along in which he was sure he wasn't needed anymore," I replied, giving Harry a fond smile. Harry looked down at the floor for a minute, tears in his eyes as well now, but suddenly he looked up with confusion written all over his face.

"What do you mean sir?" he asked me.

"What I mean Harry is that I finally feel as if I can step back for there is finally someone who can truly continue fighting the good fight with as much passion, and for the right reasons, as I feel that I had," I replied, looking the recently turned man in the eyes.

"I...see, sir," Harry replied, with an odd look on his face.

"Now, now, Harry, you've certainly earned the right to call me by my name," I scoffed, trying to lighten up the situation, "Use it son."

"Of course Albus," Harry replied, giving me a rare true smile. I pat him on the back and go to turn away before he catches my arm, and I turn back to see he is thinking about asking a question.

"Yes?"

"Sir, you once told Tom that there are things worse in life than death...I think I finally realized what you were talking about," Harry looked humbled for a moment, "Thank you for sharing that with me...it has helped me in more ways than you can possibly know."

"Of course my boy," I reply with a smile on my face, before turning around and heading for the doors. As I walk out I notice young Miss Bones heading over towards Harry, and young Miss Granger and Alastor in conversation. After I nod my head at the two I continue to head for the doors.

Yes, I can finally leave this world in good hands, for I have found the right hands to give it to. Yes, my mind is finally organized, and I am ready for that next, and final, Great Adventure.