Epilogue (Edited, as some very kind people pointed out privately that a prologue comes first, an epilogue comes after the story! Duh!)
'We find the defendant, Mr Potter, not guilty on the charge of using an Unforgivable.'
Behind him, the unmistakable sound of a Weasley Whoop filled the courtroom. Harry could do nothing, but slump in his seat, his eyes closed, trying, for the desperate control of his magic, to ignore the din in the courtyard. He never saw the bars of his cage disappear. Or Casper Williams take one last disgusted look at him before quietly confirming he was free to leave, and making a quick exit out the back door. The first thing he was aware of was Hermione, quietly whispering in his ear. 'You're almost there, Harry. Let's get you out of here.'
Hermione must have spoken to the other Weasleys, because for then, anyway, they kept quiet, forming a formidable guard around him as Hermione and Ron helped him walk from the courtroom. The press were yelling, light bulbs popped, and all Harry wanted to do was to stop the mad itching, the pain of his tightly controlled magic once and for all. Only Hermione, whispering continued encouragement in his ear got him to the car safely.
The next few days were spent in relative luxury, or so it felt for Harry. The healers at St Mungo's were deeply disapproving of the methods of containment that Azkaban used, and were miraculous, at least to Harry, in safely leaching away the built up magic so Harry could safely relax again.
And then he was home, back at the Burrow, laughing for the first time at Mrs Weasley's shocked exclamations about the state of his hair.
So, is there a happy ever after for this story? It would be nice to think that it went that way, but this is life, and it's not as easy as abc.
Of course the press were still around. Following his every move. And the first question of everyone who met him was how did it feel to murder Voldemort. But Harry, whilst not liking it, could put up with it. He wasn't in Azkaban- for him, the best result he could have hoped for in the circumstances. He was back at the Burrow, under the mothering care of Mrs Weasley. Surrounded by his friends. In September he would be back at the reopened Hogwarts, under Headmistress McGonagall, to complete his seventh year with Ron, Hermione and Ginny. After that, who knew? But that was the best part- he had choices, he had a future. He had his hope.The End Author's notes
Thank you for reading the complete story. I've read probably only a very small fraction of Harry Potter fanfics, being relatively new to the fandom. I've written a lot of fanfiction before, but this was my first complete HP one. I hope it wasn't a big let down. I know it's probably very tame compared to a lot of those out there. But I didn't want it to be some big betrayal fic- Hermione and Ron have stuck with him through everything, and I can't see them deserting him now. Mostly, this fiction was about the choices we make, the consequences to those actions and the part destiny plays in it all.
And while I didn't kill Casper Williams in the fic, I think he got his justice at least! Someone asked where the name is from- it's made up, but I was watching Casper the friendly ghost with my nieces and nephew before writing this!
Thanks to all the people that have reviewed- and especially to the people that reviewed every chapter- every review meant a lot to me.