The Hogwarts express sat in its usual place at the station and loudly blew its whistle. The steam from the venerable train bathed platform nine and three quarters in a gentle gust, making some of the overly excited eleven year olds squeal in delighted terror.
As the cloud cleared, a sedate group of older teenagers stood watching the younger students, intent on getting a good seat in the ancient locomotive, moved hurriedly passed.
At the centre of the small group, a young man with uncontrollably messing black hair and dark, horn-rimmed glasses, stood at ease, with one arm casually draped over the shoulders of a petite redheaded girl.
A taller and stockier redheaded boy stood next to them, with his arms wrapped around a slightly shorter woman standing in front of him whose bushy hair stuck out from her head in an eccentric manner.
Another young man stood with them, leaning on an evil looking cane, his eyes were alertly watching the people milling passed; his hand rested lightly on a wand tucked into his belt.
The final member of the group, a blonde haired girl with protruding eyes, appeared to be reading an upside down magazine, although her eyes kept wandering off the pages and into the sky.
The tall, dark leader of a cordon of red-robed Aurors nodded a silent greeting to them as he boarded the train. Another group of guards patrolled the platform. Both groups were keeping a close eye on all and sundry.
Nervous parents and excited well-wishers stood further back, waving eagerly to the children already on board.
"Well," said the black haired boy. "That's pretty much the lot of them. Time to go back, folks."
His voice, while confident and strong, held a note of sadness.
"Why are you coming back, Harry?" asked the redhead boy. "You don't need to, you know? You could walk out of here and ask for a job anywhere doing anything you wanted to, and they would fall over themselves to give it to you. Not that you need to work for a living anyway…"
It was true. With the collection of Riddle's memories that he chose to keep at his disposal, Harry could have passed his N.E.W.T exams with high marks that same day, he had more than enough money to live comfortably for the length of a very long life, and his fame really did mean he could do anything he wanted to, even become Minister of Magic – if he wanted to take that position away from his werewolf friend, Remus Lupin.
Not that Harry had any intention of relieving the man from his new vocation.
The publicity after Voldemort's defeat, and upsurge of positive feelings from the magic Harry had released, thrust the quiet werewolf into the limelight and made him a champion of all magical people and creatures.
That a werewolf, normally shunned and treated with contempt by the general public, had risked his life and shown extraordinary bravery to be instrumental in the defeat of the worst Dark Wizard the world had ever seen, shocked a lot of previously prejudiced people and forced them to re-evaluate their views.
The magical embodiment of love had provided the final push for a lot of them, giving them a shove in the direction of compassion and understanding.
When Rufus Scrimgeour retired, citing the loss of his family during the war and other personal reasons as cause enough to vacate the top position, Remus had been the popular choice and virtually waltzed into the job on the wave of popularity that was still incredibly high due to his crucial part in the war and the final battle.
Harry had also been glorified, again, but he purposely tried to keep his own profile low and played down his part in the defeat of Voldemort. Everybody knew he was there and helped delivered the final blow, but everybody also knew it was only after the werewolf had dealt a killing strike against the madman.
"Ronald!" said Hermione. "Harry has to come back and complete his education. He doesn't want everybody to think he is just living off his fame and remember him as a has-been."
They all knew what Hermione was going to do - she hadn't stopped talking about it all week. She had already been promised a position in Lupin's ministry, campaigning for improving living conditions of all magical beings. Laws were already in the pipeline to give them more rights, but Lupin told Hermione he felt they needed her genius and her passion to make many of the changes required.
Harry knew Neville was aiming on getting into some aspect of the Herbology industry, since that was the only subject he had ever really excelled at while at school, and he enjoyed it immensely. The cane would be gone soon enough, but his alert eyes and watchful glances were likely to take a lot longer to disappear, if ever.
Typically, Ron hadn't decided what to do with himself yet.
Neither had Ginny for that matter, but she still had another year of schooling to go after this one.
"Well I have decided to become a teacher," said Luna vaguely. "I am taking Divination for the next two years and then apprenticing to Professor Trelawney, at Hogwarts. She says I have the inner eye, but I suspect that is actually just a nasty infestation of Bartholomew's Beholders that I have been coating myself with peanut butter to get rid of."
The silence, that threatened to become awkward following that surprise statement, was quickly broken by Hermione.
"That's excellent, Luna, and I think you will do very well at it," she said brightly. "It is great that you have a plan, unlike these two," she added, indicating Harry and Ron.
Harry laughed. "Hey! I have a plan," he said.
Everybody groaned. The history of his plans had become legendary.
"Don't worry," he said. "I do, really. I have a truly cunning plan."
"Well Mr Always-looking-to-the-future," said the Ginny. "Unless your plan involves once again finding alternative transport to Hogwarts, we had better get on the train."
Realising they really were the last ones waiting to board, the group broke up and walked to the train, Harry trailing behind as last in line.
Not everybody had made it through the short war intact. Cho Chang's brilliant smile would never make any boy's heart flutter again, and Aberforth Dumbledore had gone to join his brother in the next great adventure, defending his squalid tavern to the last to hold Voldemort's forces in place for as long as possible - knowingly sacrificing himself to give the others time to escape the locked-down castle and counter attack.
And there were many more that had paid the ultimate price for Voldemort's madness – too many.
Harry did have a plan, although only Ginny knew anything about it. In his trunk, along with his school books and clothes, he carried three things that had become the motivating forces in life - aside from Ginny, of course.
There was a much read, tattered and dog-eared travel brochure called 'Magical tours of Egypt and the Ancient World'.
There was the drawing of his now infamous winged broom. It had become the butt of many jokes and comments from his friends, but it still evoked a new passion burning inside of him – something he would take the time to explore thoroughly.
And then there was the chest with the Griffin on its lid and its insides crammed with hundreds of memories - The as yet unfinished magical opus of Albus Dumbledore.
But first, he had another very good reason for going back to Hogwarts, and surprisingly enough, it did have something to do with fame and how he was remembered.
Taking a handful of marble sized Weasley's Super-Dragon-Dung-Bombs from the enormous bag that was crammed into his magically enlarged pocket, Harry smiled and casually tossed them over his shoulder, giving a little push with his magic to make sure they were spread widely over the platform. The cursing and gagging from the foul gas they released had already started as he pulled the carriage door closed behind him.
"What was that?" asked Ginny, peering out of the closest window at the people starting to race from the platform.
"I think somebody pulled a prank with some dung-bombs" said Harry innocently.
"Infantile," said Hermione, checking once again to make sure her head girl badge was prominently displayed. "They had better not let us catch them doing anything."
Ron and Neville grinned, obviously finding the spectacle amusing. Luna walked on, oblivious to the pandemonium.
He was rich, he was young, he was famous, and he was powerful. He had good friends, a beautiful and loving girlfriend, and a caring extended family. For the first time in Harry's memory, he had nothing in the world to worry about - not a single blessed thing.
It was time to take Hagrid's advice and have some fun.
For his last year at Hogwarts, he was going to be remembered all right, but not as the boy-who-lived, or the slayer-of-you-know-who. He was going to be remembered as the son of Prongs - the first of the new Marauders, and his deeds would be such that, this year, nobody at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was ever again going to look at him and spare a single thought for his scar.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The Memory Chest - by BajaB - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Final Author's Notes
Thank you for persisting with my story and reaching this ending. I truly appreciate all of the feedback people have left me while I was still writing this. If you see mistakes, please PM them to me rather than putting it in the feedback where it will look silly once I fix them. You will notice I have not told every little thing that happened, or fully explained what did - this was by design, so please don't tell me my story sucked because I didn't do it that way. If you ask a question, make sure to leave an email address I can get back to you with.
I doubt if I will be writing much more HP fan fiction, depending on the last book and whether it inspires me or not. I have a few one-shots I have not finished, but after that I think there won't be much left in my Memory chest.
Please leave me feedback for this and my other stories on this site.
Thanks again for reading.