Well, here it is finally, the final chapter of The Secret Diary.
End of Year
Things had returned back to what passed as normal for a school where children were taught how to bend the very fabric of the universe to their will.
Every day, Ginny regained a bit more strength and color. She had yet to be allowed to leave the hospital wing but she would remain conscious for longer periods of time and would be allowed to return home, instead of being shipped off to St-Mungos, with the departure of the students.
The end of year exam came and went without much trouble for the Hub group. Between the Twins, Harry and Hermione's tutelage, the group had done rather well in their exams. Professor Snape had returned for the last week of school looking tired and annoyed but had kept out of the way of Harry and his friends.
The day before the students were scheduled to leave, Harry and his friends were enjoying the spring sun by the lake.
"So Harry what are your plans for the Summer?" asked Ron as he skipped a stone over the calm surface of the lake.
"Not sure yet. Normally I'd just go back to the Dursley's and hide out in the Hub for the Summer but I have Sirius now so I'm not sure." Harry replied with a shrug.
"Do you think he'll let us come and visit you Harry?" asked Ginny from a cocoon of blankets.
"Yeah mate. You'll be"
"living with a Marauder,"
"that's bound to be tons"
Alternated the twins.
"I don't know. I'll have to ask him when I see him. I don't even know if I'm going back to the Dursley's really."
"That is why I have come to find you on this fine spring day Mr. Potter." said Albus Dumbledore from behind the group.
"Hello Professor." greeted Hermione as she stood up.
The rest of the group greeted their headmaster.
"If I could perhaps borrow Mr. Potter here for a time?" the Headmaster asked.
Harry nodded and walked off some distance with the headmaster.
"Now Harry, I was wondering if you had put any thoughts into your holiday plans."
"You'd like to know if I'm going back to the Dursley's." Harry replied, knowing what the old wizard was after. "That depends on Sirius right? I mean he's my legal guardian right?"
"Yes but he has left the choice up to you."
Harry thought for a moment. He could be rid of the Dursley's for ever but he was also a little worried about going to live with Sirius as well. He had barely met the man really. His father had cared for this man as if he was his own brother but he had spent over a decade in prison. Harry also had to admit to himself that he did not know how to feel about living with someone who truly cared for him instead of hated him or at best ignored his existence. Harry also knew that by leaving the Dursleys he would lose something precious, he would lose his mothers protection, her dying gift.
"What do you want me to do headmaster?" Harry asked the old man.
"I want you to be happy Harry. If that means foregoing the protections afforded to you by spending some time at the Dursley's then so be it. The protections on Sirius's home are more than adequate; the Blacks were a paranoid family, and Sirius and Remus are more than acceptable guardians."
"I'll go back to the Dursley's one last time." Harry finally replied.
"You should only need stay there for two or three weeks at most. After that, your never need return to them unless you wish to for no other reason than to see the last of your blood relatives. Once Sirius's home becomes yours, the charm will begin to fail and no length of time spent with the Dursleys will bring it back."
Harry simply nodded in response.
"Now go and spend some time with your friends. I have a letter to compose for your aunt and uncle, explaining the situation."
That evening at the leaving feast, the headmaster addressed the assembled students for his end of term speech.
"This time of year is always a bittersweet one for me. We find ourselves once again at a time of parting. Some of you are going home for your first summer since you joined our esteemed halls while others leave us for the very last time. Tonight they dine their last supper here at Hogwarts yet this day is not truly an end but a beginning, the beginning of the next great adventure for many who have called Hogwarts home for the past seven years. To those students I propose a toast." with this, the headmaster raised his glass. "May you all live in interesting times."
With that the headmaster sat down, clapped once and the tables filled themselves with food.
Before Harry knew it, he and his friends, minus Ginny who had been picked up by her parents in their Ford Anglia, were on the Express, bound for London and Kings Cross station.
"It's been one wild year." said Ron as he stared out the window.
"You can say that again." replied Neville.
"It's bee … ouch! Why did you hit me Hermione?" Ron cried out indignantly as he rubbed a sore spot on his arm.
"A possessed diary, a basilisk, a theft, a pervert professor…" Neville continued on, ignoring Ron's angry mutterings.
"A godfather, a traitorous rat, Hagrid's acquittal… " continued Harry.
"Polyjuice, ghostly parallels and Deathday parties…" Hermione added.
"Naked duels, picking fights with ghosts, a snake filled dueling club and Malfoy getting suspended." Ron finished.
"And I thought school would be boring." Neville said with a bit of a laugh.
"I really hope next year's going to be a bit more quiet." Harry added quietly to himself.
Finally Kings Cross station came into view. Harry and Ron helped Hermione take out her trunk. To Harry's surprise, Sirius was there waiting for him at the station.
"Sirius?" Harry asked confusedly.
"Hello pup. Let me shrink your trunk and we can get going." Sirius said as he ruffled Harry's hair.
"Isn't Vernon coming to pick me up?"
The moment he said this, he knew it had come out wrong. Sirius's face dropped, his happy smile fading quite a bit.
"It's not that I'm not happy to see you or anything it's just that I wasn't expecting it." Harry quickly explained.
"I figured I'd give you a lift to the Dursley's and at the same time set some ground rules for them concerning your stay there." Sirius said, simply shrugging.
"Thanks, it'll be much more fun going there with you than sitting in uncle Vernon's car." Harry explained.
Sirirus seemed to brighten at this.
"Good well, say goodbye to your friends and then we can head off. Remus wanted to be here but he had some things to take care of."
"Ok so we'll meet up later this summer?" Harry asked his friends.
"Well, we are going to meet up later for the chamber at least. My parents had a trip planned but we canceled it for this." Hermione explained.
"You'll see with your Gran Neville?" Harry asked.
"Yeah, I think that if Dumbledore thinks your safe wherever you're staying that I might be able to convince her to let me go."
With a last pat on the shoulder, handshake or hug, Harry turned to his godfather and they made their way to the parking lot at Kings Cross and to Sirius's huge motorcycle.
Harry climbed up behind Sirius and they roared off towards Little Whinging.
Gilderoy Lockhart, once a six time winner of Witch Weekly's "Most Charming Smile" award, recipient of the order of Merlin third class, now ex-honorary member of the Dark Force Defence League and most recent Defence professor at Hogwarts walked down the dark halls of Azkabhan, followed closely by two Auror guards.
Even with the Dementors being ordered away from this section, for the Aurors protection, not his own, Lockhart could feel the cold seeping through his flimsy prison garb. Lockhart could feel the lingering effect of the Dementors in the hallways. Over a century of the foul creatures occupying the wizarding prison had left its mark on the very stone of the prison.
Lockhart couldn't understand how things had degenerated so quickly. He had been at the top of his career. Several books stolen from their owners, ready for later publication, awards, fame, money, good looks, more tail than you can shake a stick at and then all in one night, it came crashing down.
Lockhart had, of course heard about the curse on the defense position but had given the rumor very little credence, no witch or wizard had the knowledge or power to curse a position at Hogwarts, even less so for such a long period.
Lockhart's musings were interrupted by the mad cackling of a woman as he and his guards passed a cell.
"A new toy? And isn't he pretty. I'm sure my brother in law will be more than happy to break him in for me and my husband." cackled an insane looking witch from her cell.
Lockhart shivered at the look of pure madness the woman held in her eyes.
"Shut up Bellatrix and get away from the door. You know the procedure." warned the lead guard.
"When my lord returns, and do not doubt that he will, he will take over this prison and turn it into his keep and within a years time it will be the centre of the wizarding world." whispered the witch darkly as she slowly backed into the shadows of her cell.
"Be … Bell … Bellatrix Lestrange?" asked Lockhart.
"Shut it pretty boy before I let my partner here have some fun with you." replied the front guard, indicating the massive Auror following behind. "He asked for this assignment when he heard you were being escorted down here. He's kind of hoping you'll kick up a fuss."
"I have a niece at Hogwarts Lockhart." said the rear guard as he bunched his muscles, straining his already tight uniform. "Just give me a reason."
Lockhart wisely decided to keep quiet.
The walked further down the dark corridor, passing a virtual parade who's who of the Dark Arts. Bellatrix Lestrange, Roduplhus Lestrange, Peter Pettigrew, Barty Crouch Junior …
"Here's your room Lockhart." said the lead guard as he opened the door to the tiny ten by ten cell.
"Why am I in the same section as these monsters?" Lockhart asked, trying to back away from his new home.
Lockhart did not have much time to take in the characteristics of his new residence before his arm was forcefully twisted behind his back and he was shoved against a wall and pinned there by the large rear guard.
"You have five minutes with him. Nothing permanent and make sure he stays conscious." said the front guard as he closed the door.
Lockhart spent a very rough five minutes learning the meaning of physical pain. He had thought that those five minutes had been interminable but he was proven wrong with the return of the Dementors. Moments after their return, soft sobbing could be heard coming from Lockhart's cell.
And so ends Book 2. Sorry for the fluffy chapter but it's an end of story chapter so whatayagonnado? I hope you all enjoyed it. I'll start work on book 3 soon.
The Epilogue is inspired from the movie. After the credits, we see a book store with a book called "Who am I." by Gilderoy Lockhart.