Disclaimer: JKR is the owner. I'm just playing with her characters.
Author's notes: Lots of thanks to my lovely twin, Lore, for all her help and to SouthernWitch69 for being my beta.
Women on Top
Chapter Five: Epilogue or We're Not In Kansas Anymore, Harry.
It was late. The nurse in charge of the Estrella Lovegood Ward was bored. So bored that he even attempted doing the crossword in the newspaper some hour or two ago. He was considering counting the tiles on the wall. But he already knew they were 238. He had counted them twice that week.
There was a noise, and he went to investigate.
Harry was waking up from what felt like a very profound sleep. The first thing he heard was the scraping of a chair and the steps of someone walking towards him. As he didn't know where he was or who was there with him, he tried to be cautious. Without moving, he opened his eyes just enough to see shadows. When he saw there wasn't any imminent danger, he tried moving. The pain he felt made him groan. Someone with a St. Mungo's uniform approached him in surprise.
"Welcome back to the land of the living, Mr. Potter," was the greeting, accompanied by a smile.
"Uh?" was the only thing Harry could say. His brain felt foggy.
"I have to make some scans and call your Healer. Please try to stay quiet," the professional voice told him.
Harry heard the steps going away. He was obviously at St. Mungo's. He remembered, vaguely, being on a battlefield... and green light surrounding him... He focused on that, and soon the memories came to him. He had been on the battlefield, facing Voldemort. He remembered killing him, but something had happened. Harry thought someone had hexed him because he remembered falling on the ground. And that was all there was in his head. He must have been knocked out and brought here. How long had he been unconscious?
When the Healer came, Harry tried to ask him, but he was told to be quiet while he was prodded with a wand and lights of all colours danced around him.
"Amazing as it sounds, Mr. Potter, you're as good as new. Unless there's something I can't find at this moment, you'll be able to leave us in a couple of days." And addressing the nurse, the Healer added, "The potions and food he needs are in this chart. Follow the instructions until morning when we'll be able to move him into a normal room."
The nurse simply nodded and took the charts.
"Before leaving your post in the morning, try to find out if there's someone to inform about him." And leaving the room, the Healer's last words were, "Good Night, Mr. Potter."
Harry was very confused and tried to pry answers from the nurse.
"What happened with the others? Where's Hermione? And Ron? How many survived? Is everyone alright?"
"Slow down, Mr Potter." The nurse tried to calm him. "I'll try to answer some of your questions, but if you don't breathe and take this potion first, I'll have to petrify you before you hurt yourself."
Harry complied begrudgingly.
"That's better. Now, let's see. I don't know who you were asking about. What do you mean by surviving?"
"The others, the Order, my friends..." Harry was worried the nurse had some mental problems. How could he not know what he was talking about? "The people who were with me on the battle facing Voldemort?"
The nurse frowned, looked at the charts, looked at Harry again, and back to the charts. "Oh." He hesitated but said, "You have been in a coma for a long time, Mr. Potter. No one else has been on this ward this long, not even me. The people you're asking about may be living their lives or dead. I couldn't tell..." the nurse said with regret, but added in a more cheerful manner, "but if you want me to contact someone you knew, they may be able to tell you."
"Alright. Has anyone been visiting me here?"
"Eh... Only three persons have visited you since I've been assigned here five years ago. Let me see if I can find their names..."
"What? Five years! I've been in here for five years?" Harry's infamous temper was rising.
"Please, calm down, sir."
That someone called him sir shocked him into silence.
"I shouldn't be telling you this. I'm supposed to talk to you and be sure you're adjusting well, not shock you with information that might hurt you." The nurse seemed to be reciting some lesson he'd received. "Let's make a deal, sir. You don't ask me too many questions, and I'll try to answer as much as I'm allowed."
In the remainder of the night, he found out that the nurse was a lot younger than him and only remembered Voldemort or the Order as some boring topic he'd heard about in History of Magic. The nurse had never heard of the Boy Who Lived. He was also informed that Miss Granger was a very important figure of their world and that Ronald Weasley resided for some reason at Malfoy Manor. He didn't know anything about Remus, but werewolves these days had a lot more opportunities, so he guessed he was doing well.
In the morning he was moved to a room where he was supposed to share his recovery with another five patients.
After checking that he was alright, he was left there on his own.
Harry asked another of the patients if he could borrow the newspaper. He thought it weird that it wasn't the Daily Prophet, but he didn't mind. He wasn't a fan of it anyway.
The Hogsmeade Herald, special edition.
The Ministry's New Head.
From our special correspondent, Rita Skeeter.
After the unfortunate and unexpected demise of our Minister of Magic yesterday morning, the Wizengamot called an extraordinary session and unanimously appointed Miss Hermione Granger as Minister of Magic until such a time when elections could be convened.
When asked about this turn of events, Madam Griselda Marchbanks commented, "Miss Granger has done more for our community than all the Ministers together have done since I was born."
Wizengamot member Tiberius Odgen added, "The only reason either Miss Granger or Madam Lestrange have never been elected is because they have never decided to run for the position. It was past time that we did something about that."
This morning, in a great ceremony in the Atrium of the Ministry's building, Miss Hermione Granger, escorted as always by Misters Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape, took office as the new Minister of Magic and declared, "It will be my duty to keep the Wizarding world moving in the right direction."
Among the guests at the ceremony, in a place of honour, was the Muggle Prime Minister. It isn't the first time he has been seen in the Wizarding world, as we all remember his assistance to the last Wizarding Football World Cup's final match.
Also at the ceremony, Madam Bellatrix Lestrange, née Black, who was in the company of a young blond we weren't able to recognise, was seen in deep conversation with the Chief of the Auror Department, Gawain Robards. Rumour has it that she'll be asked to fill that position during our dear new Minister's administration.
Along with the politicians, several friends and prominent figures of our world assisted to the event.
Madam Luna Lupin, née Lovegood, editor in chief of The Quibbler, proudly announced her new status as Remus Lupin's wife. As we previously reported, she won her judicial case against the Ministry last month and was finally allowed to marry her long time partner and now officially recognised father of her three children. (See page 4 for more details about the happy family).
Mister Draco Malfoy, owner of the Wiltshire Football Club, attended with Mister Ronald Weasley, co-owner of the Quidditch team of the same name. This has proven wrong the ill-intentioned rumours regarding the two couples' relationships. Mister Draco Malfoy is not on bad terms with his father for his relationship with Miss Granger and Mister Snape, and Mister Lucius Malfoy feels the same way towards his son's long-lasting relationship with the younger Mister Weasley.
I invite you all, dear readers, to join me in congratulating our new and very dear Minister. We hope the best for her and her cabinet in all the years to come.
The newspaper continued with some articles about the clothes everyone wore, the drink and food served during the event, the complete transcript of several speeches, and many interviews. There was even a detailed list of guests at the ceremony. Every columnist of the journal had written positive editorials about Hermione's future administration and the repercussions that it would have in their area of expertise (and this meant from politics to fashion).
On the last page of the Hogsmeade Herald, there was a reminder that the sports channel of the Wizarding Omni Network was going to transmit the Muggle Football World Cup, accompanied with a timetable, and a list of pubs in Muggle England that were owned by Squibs, for those who wished to watch the matches on the telly.
Harry closed the newspaper and handed it back to its owner. He was certainly shocked about how things had turned out, but he could see despite his initial impression that everything seemed to feel right.
It seemed a lot had changed since the day he'd defeated Voldemort. This wasn't the world he used to live in and that had demanded so much from him during all his life. This was a new world, the world others had created after he'd been put in St. Mungo's. It was obvious the Wizarding world didn't need him anymore, and that it could survive and rebuild itself without him. He was finally free of the burden of being The Weapon of the Prophecy. He was free to live his life at last and be just Harry.
During the following day, Harry wrote letters to Hermione, Ron and Remus to tell them he had finally woken up and that the Healer had released him from the hospital. He told them he saw the world they had created and wished them happy lives now that they had found their paths. He also said it was his time to find his own path as well and informed them it was his decision to live as a Muggle, away from the Wizarding world. He promised he would write them as soon as he had settled down so they could keep in touch.
Later, when the nurse came to inform him he could leave when he wanted, Harry again took the discarded newspaper the man in the next bed had thrown to the trash bin. He decided to keep the pictures of those who had been his best friends for so many years and that had been by his side when he'd needed it most. It didn't matter to him that Ron was cuddling with bloody Draco Malfoy or that the two former Death Eaters by Hermione's side weren't able to take their hands off her. They were still his best friends. It was now their time to write history, and as far as he could see, they had found happiness, and that was all that mattered to him.