Standard Disclaimer: Despite popular rumor that we are actually JK Rowling, we're are not. We own nothing but our own imagination, which we both admit to being quite sick, twisted and perverted.
Potter and the Spiritus Crystalus
hapter 16 & Epilogue
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…
It had taken a lot of hard work, but Harry was able to graduate with his classmates. Hermione and Ron had helped him catch up while he was recovering from his wounds.
Graduation. The word was bittersweet in the mouth of Harry Potter. For seven years he had spent some of the best and worst times of his life at Hogwarts. Graduation seemed to him like the closing of a door on his life. He hoped that with the closing of one door, the next door would be better.
Next term he would return to Hogwarts for what he hoped would be a long, fruitful career doing what he enjoyed. He had accepted the Charms position and agreed to help out with the Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, but mostly he looked forward to Charms. As a parting gift to Dumbledore, he had left him with a copy of his notebook of charms he had created, more than two hundred of them.
With the death of Pettigrew, the last surviving inner circle member of the Death Eaters, any that might have escaped found themselves very deep holes to hide in. The Ministry had decided to keep their Defense Forces in active service. After Voldemort, no one was willing to take the chance that another Dark Lord would arise unchecked again.
Other countries were sending representatives to Britain to learn about the training techniques and weapons created and used in the battle. Fred and George were quite happy with the initial orders from the American Department of Magic. Warbangers, it seems, was going to be a success after all.
Minister Bones enacted new laws easing, or in some cases, doing away with, the restrictions on all non-human magic races. The Goblins in particular had greatly benefited from these changes. Another change that surprised many was a new law making it a fineable offence to abuse a house elf. That law, suggested by Harry, made Hermione especially happy.
The Minister had also convinced the government to make child abuse a major offense. All Wizarding children, even those born of muggle parents, were to be checked periodically to ensure their safety and their home environment. This meant contacting parents soon after Wizarding children were born and informing them of the Wizarding World long before the child received his or her letter from Hogwarts.
Remus, using some of his part of the Black family fortune, was in the process of setting up a Lycanthropy Research Foundation in the hopes that it might someday be cured. Since Harry had cured him using a combination of his power and his animagus phoenix tears, he was hopeful that phoenix tears and some combination of magic would prove to be the answer. The Marauder Research Center would eventually become one of the premiere research centers of the Wizarding world, mixing both magical and muggle technology.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in July…
Dumbledore was going over some dispatches from overseas Order members when two bursts of flame caused him to look up, startled. Wings and Arella appeared, singing a song of greeting which Fawkes returned.
"Harry!" Dumbledore exclaimed once Wings had transformed. "I surprised to see you this early. I know you're eager to get started teaching, but I would have thought that your upcoming wedding would have kept you busy."
Harry winced a little at the word "wedding", and then plunged into his real reason for coming to Hogwarts. "Actually Albus, Ginny and Hermione are off selecting wedding robes, so I figure I have several hours off at least. And with all that free time, I thought I'd visit and maybe solve a problem I helped make worse for you."
"Oh? What problem would that be?"
"Well, it's about the lemon drops. It was bad enough when you had four million of them, but I…umm…interfered with Hermione's revenge on the twins and caused the number of lemon drops to increase."
Clasping his hands in front of himself on the desk and leaning back, Albus peered over his glasses, eyes twinkling. "How do you propose to solve the problem?"
"Can we go to the room where you're keeping them, Albus? It would be easier to show you than to explain it," Harry replied.
"Of course, Harry. If you will follow me?"
Dumbledore lead the younger man from his office to the room where the massive quantities of lemon drops were stored. Arella dropped to land on Harry's shoulder.
"So tell me the truth, Harry. You're hiding from Miss Weasley and Miss Granger, aren't you?" he asked with a knowing smile.
Harry sighed. "Yes, Sir. I've spent the last the four days trying on robes, so this morning when I figured out the solution to your problem, I thought I'd use it as an excuse to get away for a while. It's almost enough for me to wish there was a new Dark Lord to worry about," he muttered.
"Alas, I fear you are learning the one critical fact of a wedding, Harry. The Groom is a mere prop that the Bride dresses up for her special day. Ah, here we are," he said, laughing as he opened a door to a huge storage room.
Harry looked into the room and shook his head. There had to be hundreds of boxes filled to the brim with lemon drops. Turning to Dumbledore, he said, "Now Albus, the spell on the drops is just a charm. In thinking about it, I realized that the drops themselves weren't charmed, but the total amount of candy."
"Yes, I can see that Harry. But that doesn't solve the problem."
"Oh but it does, Albus. Let me show you."
Harry raised a hand and it flared with a bright yellow glow. There was a sound like hundreds of miniature tornados ripping through the room. A few seconds later, all of the boxes were empty and lemon drops whirled in a tight vortex in the center of the room. As the seconds passed, Quaffle sized lemon drops dropped out of the bottom of the vortex.
When he was done, he had converted the millions of small candies into several hundred Quaffle sized super lemon drops.
Dumbledore's expression was pained. "Harry, I can't give these to students. It would take them a year to eat it. They're just too big!"
Harry shook with laughter. "No, you can't give them to students. But I know for a fact that Grawp loves lemon drops. I gave him a large one before we left on break and he ate it in a few minutes."
Dumbledore's eyes lit up as understanding dawned.
"Sure, you have several hundred lemon drops, Albus. But in a few years, if you spread them out…"
"An excellent solution, Harry. I might even be able to rid myself of all them!" Dumbledore exclaimed with a smile. "Now since you're here, let's go back to my office. We can talk about what you'll be teaching this year. And this way, your Miss Weasley won't be able to yell at you for laying about today."
Meanwhile at Diagon Alley…
"So did you really buy that codswallop from Harry today, Ginny?" asked Hermione
"Not really, but he's spent the last four days trying on wedding robes and I still can't decide which one he should wear. I figure a day off won't kill him. Besides, I know some of those robes were bothering his shoulder. Last night I spent over an hour trying to work the knots out of it. He could barely move it," she replied frowning.
Hermione replied with a frown of her own. She had seen Harry while he was recovering and some of his wounds lingered still on the inside. Killing Voldemort had affected him deeply. As far as she was concerned, Voldemort was a monster that needed to be put down, but Harry had been disturbed by it. For all his power and abilities, he really was an intensely private and gentle man who just wanted to live his life in peace.
Ginny sighed and started talking again. "At least he's having fewer nightmares. He's had several sessions with a mind healer, at the Headmaster's insistence. I don't think that's helped nearly as much as just having someone to hold him at night."
"Has he dropped any hints about the honeymoon?" asked Hermione curiously.
Ginny shook her head in frustration. "No, blast it! Ever since the press found out about the wedding, he's kept that secret to himself. He still wants you and Ron to come along and all he'll say is its warm, unplottable, and has places to swim. I think Remus knows where it is, but if he does, he's not telling Tonks. I asked her.
Ah! Here we are, Madam Malkin's. I hope she's got what we need, 'Mione. I don't think I want to spend another four days hunting for the right robes," she said, opening the door.
Entering Madam Malkin's, the two women went to the counter where the matronly woman who ran the business was finishing up with a customer.
"Madam Malkin? I'm Ginny Weasley…"
"Ah, of course! Your Mister Potter floo'd me earlier this morning. What a nice boy he is! And you must be Miss Granger, yes? Not to worry dears, Mister Potter left me very specific instructions. Come into the backroom please. I've had four of my very best designers come in today with ten of my seamstresses. If we can't find what you want, we'll make it…"
Hermione glanced at Ginny, startled. She could only shrug in reply. "Come on, 'Mione. I see Harry's getting me back for dragging him all over creation this week for his robes. Now it's time for us to play dress up."
Eight hours later, two exhausted but pleased young witches left Madam Malkin's. The day had been a whirlwind of dress robes and talk of weddings. It seemed that all of Madam Malkin's workers were women with little better to do than gossip and talk of fashion. The upside of the experience was that both Ginny and Hermione had managed to find what they wanted. Both were surprised that Madam Malkin refused to discuss the cost. She would only repeat that Mister Potter had taken care of it already.
Later that evening at the Burrow, the Weasley and Granger families were sitting down to a dinner outside when Harry apparated in, carrying a small chest. Harry placed the chest on the table between Ginny and Hermione, then gave Bill a knowing smirk. Bill started laughing at him and Ginny looked suspiciously between the two.
She reached for the chest, but Harry stopped her. "No, not now Gin. Look inside after dinner. Bill and I spent the afternoon putting it together and it'll be best if you wait 'til dinner is done. I take it you found what you wanted from Madam Malkin's?" he asked with an innocent look.
Hermione rounded on him, her eye's flaring. "Harry Potter, do you know what we went through today? And what's this about it all being paid for? I can pay for my own wedding robes, thank you very much!"
Harry sat down, chuckling at Hermione, "I'm sure you can, Hermione, but like I said, this wedding is on me. Since you and Ron wanted to make it a double wedding, that means your share also. Besides, look at the trouble I saved you. You spent a single day in one place. You and Ginny have dragged Ron and I to nearly thirty shops in the last four days."
Molly decided to nip this in the bud. "Now Harry, shopping for robes is part of the fun."
Harry sat rubbing his shoulder and looking surprised. "You didn't find something at Madam Malkin's then?" he asked incredulously.
Ginny patted his cheek fondly. "We did, but that doesn't mean we wouldn't have enjoyed looking at the other shops. And what you did must have been dreadfully expensive, Harry. Madam Malkin had her designers and seamstresses set aside just for us, and I don't think she served a single customer the whole day."
"Good. If you hadn't found robes, you wouldn't be allowed to look inside the chest until you did," he replied while filling his plate.
Ginny waited until Harry had finished eating before bringing up the small chest sitting between her and Hermione again. "So, are you going to let us know what's in the box or not?"
Harry took a final drink from his glass, "Bill and I spent the better part of the afternoon today going through some of the items in the Black and Potter vaults. I don't know what kind of robes you two picked out, but we thought you might like some items to go with them. Most of the stuff from the Black vault needed to have curses broken, so most of this comes from the Potter vault. Pick something from the box that will go with your wedding robes," he said with a broad smile.
Ginny opened the lid for a second, then slammed it down with a yell. She paled considerably and looked at Hermione. Hermione opened the lid on the chest and it fell backwards as her hand released it. The chest was filled with jewelry.
Harry laughed. "There should be something in there that'll match your robes. I'll return what you don't use to the vault."
Ginny and Hermione started to poke through the chest while the rest of the family sat back, watching in amusement.
A wedding tomorrow…
As the date of the double wedding approached, Harry got more and more nervous. He wasn't nervous about marrying Ginny. He was nervous because the wedding was quickly becoming a circus. True to his word, he had picked up the bill for the costs. That wasn't the problem. The problem was the decisions that just had to be made. How was he supposed to know whether or not to go with a rose/lily mix or fairy blossoms and Dragon blooms for flowers?
Ginny and Hermione tried to include him on every decision. Why they didn't ask Ron was beyond him. The only decision he hadn't been involved in related to Ginny's wedding robes. And the only decision he had made and kept secret was the one about the honeymoon.
Originally, he planned on going back to the Bahamas. But Remus talked him into visiting Black Island. It had been owned by the Black family, and was a small island not far from Crete in the Mediterranean. Having visited the place, he decided it was better than the Bahamas. He had kept that secret because the media had somehow found out about his upcoming wedding. Black Island had a nice little cottage, well if you can call a fifteen bedroom building a cottage… It was staffed by house elves and had nearly every luxury one would expect.
When Ginny had last shown him the guest list, he had felt lightheaded with shock. His contribution to the list of attendees had been Remus, Tonks, their three children and a few professors. The rest of the very large list held the names of all the Weasley's attending. He knew the family was large, but he'd never expected something like this. The Weasley's weren't a family; they were an army with breeding capabilities far outweighing rabbits.
The thought of breeding led to thinking of children, which led to thoughts of the honeymoon night. With a flush, Harry handed the list back to Ginny, ducked his head, mumbled something about a shower and bolted from the room.
The night before the wedding found Harry lying on his back, staring up at the stars. His mind wandered from one thought to another while he absently rubbed his shoulder.
"Hey there," said a familiar voice. "Somehow I thought I'd find you out here, Harry. What's bothering you?" Ginny asked in a small voice.
Harry sighed and reached up for her hand as she sat down next to him. "I'm not sure, Gin. I guess I'm just overwhelmed by everything."
"You're not having doubts, are you?"
Harry frowned. He could tell by her tone she was close to tears. He rolled over to face her. "Doubts about marrying you? Never. I just didn't expect it to be this big a deal. Tomorrow there will be hundreds of people here. Merlin! I wish we could run to Dumbledore right now and have him perform the ceremony."
"I know, love. It's not quite turned out the way I envisioned it either," she replied softly.
"I knew that most of my life I was alone, but seeing the guest list broken down by family really hammered that point home. It made me feel… small. I guess that's as good a word as any."
Ginny stretched out next to Harry, facing him on the soft grass. She caressed his cheek gently. "Harry, by this time tomorrow, you won't be the last of the Potters anymore. Just look at tomorrow and what we have to go through as the beginning of a whole new line of Potters."
"I just wish Sirius or my parents were here," he said softly.
Ginny placed her hand over Harry's heart. "They're always right here with you, in your heart."
He smiled. "It must be really crowded in there then, Gin. You take up most of the room."
Standing, Harry helped Ginny to her feet and the two walked back to the Burrow, holding hands.
It was all planned out, which meant, of course, that nothing went to plan. The twins had volunteered to keep Harry and Ron occupied for the morning until they had to get ready for the afternoon service. Fortunately, Remus and Arthur took that job. Unfortunately, that left no one to watch the twins. With all the guests coming in, Harry and Ron were forced to share a room for the night.
The first thing to go wrong that morning was due to a simple transfiguration charm cast by the twins before Remus chased them out of the room. Both Harry and Ron were running around trying to find underwear. The twins had transfigured all the boxers in the room into girls panties!
Remus transfigured some panties into boxers for the two of them, and then told them to put some casual clothes on for the morning, as they would be helping set up the chairs and tables for the outdoor service.
The twins stuck again when Harry and Ron went to set up the folding chairs. They quickly found that, rather than the lightweight chairs they were expecting, someone had charmed the whole stack of them to weigh over two hundred pounds a piece.
"REMUS," Harry bellowed angrily after spending thirty minutes dispelling the charms.
Remus and Arthur came running. Ron had tried to lift a few of the chairs and he was now leaning against Harry, wishing he hadn't.
"Find Fred and George…" Harry ground out between clenched teeth. His eyes were burning with anger. "Tell them if I find one more prank, they'll find that what I did to Voldemort was mild compared to what I'll do to them."
Remus turned away laughing and went in search of the twins. Arthur took it more seriously. He loved his boys and the last thing he wanted was Harry turning them into toads and feeding them to snakes.
Remus found George chuckling over a barrel of butterbeer. He had just closed the barrel after obviously adding something into it.
"George," Remus said. "I have a message for you from Harry. He says if he spots one more prank today, what he did to Voldemort will seem mild compared to what he does to you and your brother."
George paled. "Er… but we haven't been pranking him!"
"He's helping set up the chairs right now, George. And earlier this morning, neither him nor Ron could find any boxers to wear. It had all been changed into girl's knickers. Are you telling me you didn't do that?"
George looked down and scuffed the grass with his foot. "I thought Bill and Charlie were doing the chairs."
Meanwhile, back at the stack of chairs, Harry was still annoyed. The one chair he had tried to move had caused his scar to split at several points and his white t-shirt now had blood streaking it from the small cuts. Stepping back from the stack, his hands flared with magic and he levitated the whole stack into place, then into position.
"There Ron, it's done. I think they wanted us to bring out the flowers next, but I've got to get this thing taken care of before Madam Pomfrey and Basil arrive or I'll spend my last hours as a bachelor listening to lectures."
Ron nodded and waved him back to the Burrow while he started working on the flowers. In the distance, he could see his father yelling at Fred.
Stepping up to the back door of the Burrow, Harry paused. He had been told he wasn't allowed in until it was time for him and Ron to get dressed. So he knocked instead of just entering. A moment later, Molly appeared at the door.
"Harry, you're not… what happened to your shoulder?" she asked with concern.
"Fred and George were playing. Now the scar has split open in a few places. Can you have someone grab me a bandage, some of that salve Poppy gave me and a clean t-shirt?" he replied.
"For Merlin's sake, those two will be the death of me yet! Susan, be a dear and go up to Harry's room and get his salve and a t-shirt for him."
Molly conjured a chair outside for him and told him to remove the shirt while she cleaned the cuts.
When Molly finished, Harry realized he still had several hours to kill. So, transforming into Wings, he spent the next few hours soaring above the Burrow, with Arella at his side. This sort of flying was even better than flying his broom!
The wedding itself was a blur for Harry. He remembered two distinct points of it however, and they were forever etched into his memory.
His first sight of Ginny in her wedding robe caused his heart to hammer in his chest as if he'd run a race. She was breathtaking, The robe was shimmering white. It molded to her every curve until it flared out at the waist. The front had a plunging neckline that took his breath away. Around her neck was a necklace of diamonds and emeralds from the Potter family vault.
The second memory he had was more profound.
Because this was a double wedding, it was decided that Hermione would say the joining rite over the cup and Harry would light the cup like he'd done at Remus' wedding.
Murmuring the incantation, Harry released the magic into the cup. The cup flared incandescently and the liquid whirled rapidly as a veritable cloud of sparkles exploded upwards and spread out over all of the guests. Even in the bright sunlight, the sparkles were dazzling to the eye. As before, the music changed to its angelic choir. The four of them, Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione seemed to glow and Harry felt a link open to Ginny the likes of which he had only felt once before.
Harry looked smug and looked at his bride. He could feel her love pouring through the link to him. Harry turned to Dumbledore who was smiling broadly at the four of them.
"Later," Dumbledore murmured quietly before he continued with the service.
After the ceremony, Dumbledore held Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione back, while the guests gathered around the tables set up with food.
"Sir, can you explain what just happened?" asked a flustered Hermione.
Dumbledore arched an eyebrow. "I think Mister Potter might be able to explain it best, Mrs. Weasley. After all, he did it. Although I have to admit to being very impressed Harry. Normally it takes a four hour ritual to do what you did in seconds."
Harry looked embarrassed as the three of them turned to him. Ginny had a sly grin on her face. She suspected exactly what Harry had done. "Well, you see… I…well…"
Ginny laughed and jumped in to help him. "What I think my husband is so eloquently trying to say is that he soul bonded us. What I feel, he can feel, and what he feels I can feel. Think about Ron, 'Mione."
Ron suddenly blushed to the roots of his bright red hair and Hermione laughed. She hugged Harry tightly and murmured her thanks.
Wrapping an arm around his new bride, Harry and the others went to greet their guests at the wedding feast.
Hogwarts, Ten Years Later…
With the changes in the laws for children and the death of Voldemort, the classes at Hogwarts swelled in size. Harry Potter was promoted to Deputy Headmaster in his eighth year, following the retirement of Albus Dumbledore. Ginny Potter replaced Madam Pomfrey as the primary healer for the school and Hermione Granger eventually became the Transfiguration Professor when Professor McGonagall was confirmed as Headmistress for the school.
Harry built a house for Ginny in Hogsmeade. The local residents called it Potter Manor, but they called it home. It was a large home, with ten bedrooms, a study, a library and a Quidditch Pitch out back. Dobby and Winky came to work for the Potters as their house elves.
Ginny was grateful for the help considering that she had four children to raise. Molly Lily Potter, a red headed green eyed girl was their first born, then came James Arthur, Ronald Albus and Hermione Minerva.
Hermione and Ron opted to use faculty quarters in Hogwarts. Ron went on to help the Chudley Cannons win their first ever world cup two years in a row. Hermione had three children, Harry Ronald, Emma Ginevra and Susan Jane.
Fred and George eventually met a set of redheaded twins from Spain and married them. They were the last of the Molly and Arthur Weasley's children to marry.
Severus and Serena Snape had remained at Hogwarts. When he had been released from the infirmary after the battle with Voldemort, they had spoken about Serena's pregnancy. Severus tried to convince his wife that he'd make a rotten father, as he really didn't like children. His wife merely smiled and changed the subject.
A frustrating nine months later, a beaming Severus Snape held his daughter, Selena, in the crook of his right arm, and his son, Seth, in his left. He then smiled down at his tired wife and thanked her. She had smiled back and told him she was never going through childbirth again.
The children were a year away from attending Hogwarts. But growing up in the castle, surrounded by magic, they had none of the nervousness other ten year olds had at the prospect of attending one of the finest magical schools in the world.
Severus and Harry continued to work on finding the limits of his abilities. It wasn't until his twenty sixth year that his magical power stopped growing. By all accounts, he had surpassed Merlin's abilities. When he had turned twenty-five, he'd assumed leadership of the Order of the Phoenix and turned the organization into one dedicated to bringing the muggle world and the Wizarding world closer together.
And so this tale comes to a close as all tales do. We would like to thank everyone who has followed our story from Dumbledore's Army to Spiritus Crystalus and we hope you enjoyed the journey.
We sure that everyone is waiting with baited breath for the next book, due out in less than a month. It will make our stories 100 percent alternate universe. Such is the life of fan fiction.
The beauty of fan fiction is we provide alternative content for an existing character set. Alternate Universe to be sure, but that's only because our vision of what should be differs from the original author.
We have been kicking around an idea for a new story, completely and totally AU from the start of the summer before the sixth year. It would probably be a Harry/Hermione hookup because it wouldn't make sense for a Harry/Ginny.
Look for "Sunset over Britain" to start soon. It will be an angsty romance, lots of Dumbledore Bashing, some Ron bashing, and a reluctant Super Powered Harry.
Finally, we would like to address ourselves to the other would be authors out there. Please, outline your story before you begin. Do you know how frustrating it is to see authors notes begging for directions at the bottom of a chapter?
In both of our story's we created an outline, which was a few simple paragraphs. Then we created a broad chapter by chapter outline like below;
Chapter 7 (late October, third weekend to ---)X Blaise investigates Wan, he suspects she neutralized the salves. (HOW?)
X Doesn't tell Harry yet though.
X Finds out about Wan's boyfriend from her chatty friends.
X A look into Harry's training.
X First Hogsmeade 1 week before Halloween.
X Blaise follows wan to Hogsmeade,
X Blaise follows to Three Broomsticks with some Slytherin friends.
The "X" indicates completion of a topic within a chapter. You'll note that it doesn't completely follow what we've written, but it does provide a road map for us to follow.
Now, we're going to take a bit of a break from writing. We've started a rough outline of our new story, and have a few pages written at this point. However, with summer in full swing, we have a few things that need to be taken care of. For those of you on the Author Alert List, you'll get notification of our first post of the new story.
Thanks for spending time with us and reading our stories. We appreciate you all more than you know!All our best,
Bob and Alyx