Disclaimer: It was fun while it lasted . . . oh, and if you read this then a little girl will come out of your computer and eat your brain in seven days. Mwahahahaha
"Can I have a moment of your time sir?"
"Come in Neville," Harry agreed. "What can I do for you?"
"I hate to ask," Neville said with a blush. "But the war's over and well . . . Hogwarts is going to start . . . "
"You want to be released from active service so that you can finish school?"
"Hoping to be," Neville agreed. "If you need me I'll stay of course but . . ."
"Calm down Neville," Harry interjected. "It's fine, I was thinking of suggesting it anyway."
"I'd like to set up a corps of cadets at Hogwarts to replace," Harry explained. "Assuming you didn't intend to go to the school on base anyway."
"Susan's going to Hogwarts," Neville said with a blush. "And I don't want to spend too much time away from her."
"See Smythe," Harry ordered. "He'll give you the stuff to set things up."
"Not a problem Neville," Harry said. "Did Susan come with you?"
"Yeah Harry," Neville agreed. "Why?"
"Could you send her in? I'd like to speak with her for a little while."
"Sure Harry." Neville left and his girlfriend came in a few minutes later.
"You wanted to speak with me Harry?"
"Wanted to tell you something," Harry explained. "Feel free to pass it on to your aunt."
"What did you want to say?"
"If all goes to plan, Neville will be the Minister of Magic some day. I just wanted to ask for your support in making it happen."
"That's why you left him behind when you took over the Ministry?"
"I had to keep his hands clean," Harry agreed. "Your dashing young hero and his regiment had to be above reproach. Everything dodgy had to be on my head."
"Thank you Harry," Susan whispered. The girl had a sad look on his face. "I appreciate that, I really do. I'll . . . Neville will be Minister."
"Don't push him too hard," Harry cautioned. "Just plant the idea in his head, tell him that it was by my request if you have to but if all else fails, forget it. My plans aren't important enough to strain your relationship."
Impulsively, Susan leaned over the desk and kissed Harry on the cheek. "Thank you Harry, for everything."
"Take care of yourself Harry," the girl replied. "And good luck."
"Thanks," he said to her back as she left the room. Harry let out a breath. "I guess it was fun while it lasted."
"What was fun?" Hermione came in thorough the open door.
"How do I look?" Harry asked with a melancholy smile.
"You look good," Hermione replied. "Doctor Harper did a good job."
"I ment the uniform."
"Oh . . . it looks good too," Hermione said. "Ready to hand things over to Minister Blake?"
"To do that and . . . and to give up command of the regiment."
"What?" The girl squeaked.
"It had to happen sooner or later," Harry said with a shrug. "Better sooner then later I suppose, no need to drag it out."
"I thought things could stay the way they are now?" Hermione said slowly. "You'd command the regiment and . . . why are you giving up command? Are you planning to go back to school?"
"No I . . ."
"Did I come at a bad time?"
"Come right in Minister Blake," Harry said with a smile. "Glad you could take over so quickly, one more day of this and I'd have been ready to do something unpleasant."
"The fact that we'd been planning and prepairing for this helped a bit," Daphne replied. "Anything I should know about?"
"I'll need you to stay here for ten to fifteen years, just long enough for Neville to get ready for the post."
"Mind if I give Amelia a stint before that?"
"Up to you," Harry said after a few seconds. "I trust her and with the muggle born on our side, we can control the government until blood doesn't matter anymore."
"Thank you Major." Daphne offered her hand. "I'll see about getting a more official thanks for you later."
"I appreciate your thanks more then I would anything more official," Harry replied. "But I appreciate the thought."
"Colonel Churchill is waiting outside and requests a meeting at your leisure."
"Can't keep him waiting then," Harry said with false cheer. "Coming Hermione?"
"Yeah," she agreed. "Who's Colonel Churchill?" She added in a whisper.
"It was a pleasure working with you Minister Blake."
"The Pleasure was mine Major."
"Hermione?" He offered her his arm.
"Let's go Harry," the depressed girl agreed. They walked out of the Minister's office to find an old man in an officer's uniform waiting for them.
"Colonel Churchill I presume?"
"I am," he confirmed. "How do you want to do the change over Major?"
"As painlessly as possible." Harry reached up and took the crowns off his shoulders. "They're good men," he said tightly.
"I'll take care of them," the old man promised. "Good luck Major."
"Cadet," Harry corrected. "Well . . . soon anyway."
"Cadet then," Jack agreed. "Care for a drink?"
"I . . ." Harry glanced at his friend. "Another time."
"I'll hold you to that Mr. Potter," the old officer agreed. "And I look forward to the time you come to collect."
"What now Harry?" Hermione asked.
"Now I go to Sandhurst," Harry replied. "And I do my best to avoid anything magical for the foreseeable future."
"What about me?" Hermione said quietly.
"I made sure to keep your hands are clean, you can stay if you like."
"But . . . but you saved them," Hermione said. "Why do you have to leave?"
"Dogs and soldiers keep off the grass," Harry said with a shrug. "It's Tommy this and Tommy that . . ."
"And Tommy Ow's your soul," Hermione snapped. "I read it too, but it doesn't explain anything."
"It's best for me to disappear for a few years until memories have had a chance to fade," Harry sighed. "I burned and killed until there wasn't anything to burn and everything was dead. People are going to see that and remember what I did. They'll forget that I did it to save them and they'll forget the fact that they cheered me on. They'll only think that if I did it once then I can do it again."
"Then why do you have to loose your command?" Hermione persisted. "Why can't you just stay with the men?"
"I need to keep the men in the wizarding world," Harry explained. "The Minister's bodyguard can easily become assassins if the need should occur. So long as they remain the trusted protectors of the wizarding world, then they can always take it without much trouble."
"But . . ."
"A lasting peace," Harry said. "The sacrifice of a few years is worth creating a lasting peace."
"Harry . . ."
"I needed to get the training to match my rank anyway," Harry wend on. "Jack is a good commander, he'll take care of the men."
"What about us?"
"I'll visit you when I can," Harry said quickly. "If you don't mind meeting in the muggle world."
"Mind if I borrow Ms. Granger for a bit?" The man in the grey suit asked, smiling at the two shocked faces.
"Of . . . of course not," Harry said after a glance at his friend. "I'll be here when you need me."
"I think I saw an empty office down here," the man in the grey suit said as he walked down the hall. "Ah . . . here it is."
"You know, your Harry is very popular. I have a dozen requests on my desk from the Marines, the Navy, the Yanks, Canucks, Kiwis, Aussis, well . . . everyone who had a chance to work with him anyway. As things are, there is a very good chance that he'll spend the next few years in one school or another learning more about his trade all around the world."
"I've also got a request . . . better make it a demand from Sport and Social that he be assigned to them after he's had a chance to finish his little tour. Not sure if I'll allow that one, he's a bit too valuable to let him slip out of my fingers."
"But that's not what I wanted to speak with you about. I was hoping that you'd be willing to spend some time showing the flag yourself. Officially, you'd be a student at Oxford taking part in a program that would take you to a number of countries to study the local way of doing things. Unofficially, well . . . I think you'll find that your program won't take you too far from whatever Mr. Potter happens to be doing."
"I'd get to stay with Harry?" She asked hopefully.
"The two of you make a very good team," he replied. "I would be a fool to break you up."
Hogwarts, two months later . . .
"Longbottom," Snape growled. "What do you think you're doing?"
"Shut up," Neville said calmly. "And show yourself out, we're busy and we don't want to be bothered by the likes of you."
"How dare you speak to me like that," Snape said loudly, his face red and his hands shaking. "I am a Professor and you will show me the respect that I deserve."
"Let me make one thing clear to you. At the end of the day, all you are is another Death Eater." Neville said calmly, "and I think we both know what I do to Death Eaters. Now get out of my sight . . . Professor." Neville watched in satisfaction as Snape stumbled out of the room. "Ya think he soiled himself?"
His comment drew a few scattered laughs from the crowd in front of him.
"Listen up," Neville addressed the crowd. "Some of you have been asking about the DA, well it is no more. Harry and Hermione aren't going to come back to the school, accept it."
"But how will we learn defence?" One of the students called out. "The tosser Dumbledore's got won't teach us anything useful."
"Like I said," Neville repeated himself. "The DA is no more . . . Harry's Bastards on the other hand, is accepting new members."
"Harry's Bastards?" Susan said in surprised. "I thought we were going to call it Training Section Number Two?"
"Fine," Neville sighed. "Training Section Number Two, AKA Harry's Bloody Bastards."
"Now it's Bloody Bastards?" Susan asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Damn it," Neville muttered to himself. "Granddad said this would happen."
"That what would happen?" Susan asked sweetly.
"Nothing dear," Neville said in defeat. "Could you pass the sign up sheet around?"
"Of course sweets," Susan agreed.
Afghanistan, several years later . . .
"Phillip," the young captain said in delight. "How are you old boy, I haven't seen you in . . ."
"Four years?" Phillip offered. "Close to that anyway. How is your career going James?"
"I'm still in the life guards and I believe that I'm on the short list." James said proudly. "How's yours?"
"Just got my promotion and just got transferred into the 95th Rifles." Phillip replied. "You seen anyone else from the old class?"
"A couple," Phillip replied. "You're the first I've seen in country. You?"
"Short fellow with the glasses?" Phillip said uncertainly.
"That's the one," James agreed. "I saw him about a month ago."
"How's he doing?" Phillip asked. "In charge of a supply company or some such I'd bet. Did he ever make captain?"
"He's a major," James said with a smile. "And soon to be promoted if rumors are to be believed."
"Promoted . . . but . . . but how?"
"When I saw him, we'd been in the desert for several weeks." James began. "You've heard how Fighting Jack likes his patrols."
"Says too much time in the rear dulls the troops or some such doesn't he?"
"That's him," James agreed. "Well, as I was saying. We were in the middle of bloody nowhere when one of the natives appeared in the Colonel's tent and the cheeky bastard was pouring himself a bottle of the Colonel's finest scotch."
"You shoot the bastard?"
"Fighting Jack turned red and was about to shout something when the native told him to have a seat in perfect queen's English." James said with a laugh. "Jack was so surprised that he let the stranger pour him a glass."
"They called in a few of the older NCOs and they had a meeting," James replied. "Not sure what they were talking about but you could hear the laughter carrying all around the camp."
"Then the native walked out past the pickets and gave a shrill whistle," James continued. "And out of no where a band of Muj appeared on horses. Well, the native hopped on one of the horses and said something to the others and they dropped several prisoners on the ground and disappeared."
"What's this have to do with Potter?"
"One of the younger men said something unkind about the native," James said with a laugh. "And the older men hit the roof, said if he ever said another word about Major Potter then it would be his last. Talked with some of the men later and they wouldn't admit much, just said that he was one of the most ruthless officers that they'd ever had the pleasure to serve under."
"Damn . . . guess you can never tell what makes a man without seeing him fight." Phillip said slowly. "But it does bring light to something I saw in Kandahar."
"Remember that girl that was always hanging around Potter?"
"One he'd spend all his time with?"
"That's the one," Phillip agreed. "I saw someone that looked like her talking with the General and the Ambassador, didn't think it was her at the time but . . ."
AN: Fighting Jack AKA Mad Jack Churchill was a very cool guy, look him up. Lots of people angry that Harry lost an eye, and why you ask? Harry was standing in a doorway with a man behind him, I guess he could have dropped to the floor and let McLain take it but he didn't, why did this happen? Two reasons, and I admit that I am overly fond of that expression. One, Harry had to go in with his weapons holstered and no shield, he had to give Fudge a chance to surrender without a fight. Killing Fudge had to be the last resort and while they were prepaired, I don't think Harry really expected Fudge to put up a fight but everything can be dangerous when you corner it. One more thing, yes I know I said two but I may as well add this last one. In the back of his mind Harry realises the fact that his death would seal the deal, he'd turn from a potential tyrant to a martyr.