Happily Ever After?
The Order of Merlin Awards ceremony was being held in the Great Hall of Hogwarts. The information that those with the Dark Mark could not enter Hogwarts had been with held and a detachment of Aurors was greeting attendees at the entryway.
Harry sat at the head table and watched the ebb and flow of people in the room. Ragnok and a small goblin contingent stood off to one side making snide comments about wizards in gobbledegook.
Dumbledore continued to pursue Snape to apologize, supposedly. Every time the old man had gotten close in the last week Harry or one of his friends had interfered. Even the other teachers and McGonagall had gotten in on it. McGonagall had finally made Dumbledore leave the castle for the remainder of the week, unfortunately they had to let him back in tonight.
Snape was even now skillfully evading him and oh yes, Dumbledore was snagged by an elderly witch hanging on his arm with a predatory gleam in her eye. Harry shuttered and then saw the gleeful, evil smirk of the potions master as he regarded his handiwork. It would take the old man sometime to shake off the husband hunter.
Neville was standing in the rear of the room with his grandmother being introduced to several people. Neville had complained his Gran was getting marriage offers for him but he'd put his foot down, he would marry for love and in his own time. He'd been very surprised when his Gran had meekly agreed and then turned down the offers.
Hermione was talking with McGonagall and the old witch from the OWL testing. Harry was afraid to find out what that might be about.
Madam Bones was speaking with some other members of the Wizengamot. She was the forerunner for Minster. Dumbledore had tried to get Harry to support his choice for Minister but Harry had just shaken his head and walked away.
Luna was speaking with Rita Skeeter who was holding a quill. Harry shuddered slightly at what the two might get up to but had confidence that Luna would be able to rein in Rita.
Most of the Weasley's were there. Percy still had not made up with his parents and was currently unemployed in the wake of the massive shake up at the Ministry.
Then there were the hangers on, those people who stood around the fringes of each little group trying to look like they belonged.
Voldemort once told him that 'there was no good or evil there was only power and those to weak to seek it'. Harry decided that in a way he was right. There was only power but the good or evil was in the choices one made to seek it. Voldemort made the choice to do evil to seek power. Dumbledore also choose to seek power possibly with good intentions to begin with but still ended with evil being done.
Harry was aware that he had power now and his choices would be his legacy for good or evil.
Snape came up and sat down beside Harry.
"Potter," was all he said.
"Professor," answered Harry.
"What will you do now?" asked Snape.
"You're the first to ask that, you know? I haven't a clue for the long term. In the short term I think I will continue school, play quidditch, and, umm, maybe get a girlfriend. What about you Professor?"
"I have agreed to teach you dunderheads for another year. Although I believe I will be taking on an apprentice, someone to teach the lower levels. Which will mean I will have some time to do research. I have several projects in mind," stated Snape.
Harry nodded and looked out over the crowd once more. A midst the swirl and eddies there were happy people smiling and laughing and for now, that was good enough.