Disclaimer: I do not own any of J.K. Rowling's characters, settings, so on and so forth.
Note: This is the last chapter of Let Friendship Be My Magic. I hope you have enjoyed Olivia Price's second year at Hogwarts. Her story will continue in the next volume, which will be called, Let Hope Be My Magic. Please, stay with Olivia. I promise, her story is something that you don't want to miss! It will contain things that I hope will shed light on the future, particularly where it concerns Harry and Dumbledore. I appreciate all of you that have supported me, especially Legalien and WanderingAnariel. Please, it would make me so happy if you would leave a review for me, to tell me what you think, and even what you feel I should improve. Thanks for your dedication, and enjoy my idea of what a Hogwarts celebration would be like! Oh, and WanderingAnariel, don't get offended by Mrs. Potter's actions at the graduation. I just made her act like my mom did at my graduation. No hidden message there! Oh, and if anybody has an idea about a good practical joke to pull on Malfoy, I'd appreciate it. My completely non-devious mind is running out of ideas……
Olivia walked into the Great Hall a week later, where she was surprised by the fact that the long House Tables had been removed, which had been replaced by hundreds of comfortable chairs. The dais where the teacher's table usually sat now had a podium on it, with more chairs behind it in neat rows. The Hogwarts banner (which Olivia recognized to be the one that the Jordan brothers had bewitched as a joke a year ago-the lion was still making futile swipes with his paws at the snake, which twitched its long tongue out in retribution) hung grandly on the wall behind the seats, and the four individual House banners were suspended from the ceiling. The Gryffindor and Slytherin banners hung on the left side of the room, while the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff dangled from the right. Olivia gave the Ravenclaw eagle a fond smile, before she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Ready to take a seat, dear? It's almost time for the ceremony to start."
Olivia smiled up at Elise Potter, who had abandoned her skirt and apron for soft red dress robes. "I'm ready, Mrs. Potter. Thank you so much for letting me sit with you-I would have felt so out of place otherwise!"
"Nonsense, dear, you are here as Robert's guest, after all. And don't forget that you promised to call me Aunt Elise! You can never have too much family in the world. Not come along, Rob said that we're sitting somewhere along the third row…" The witch bustled off, clutching a graduation invitation that was on the stiffest, thickest piece of parchment that Olivia had ever seen.
The young girl followed quickly after Mrs. Potter, amazed at the sheer number of witches and wizards that had come to the graduation. She understood now why students who were not family members of the graduates were not allowed to come. Robert, however, had been able to ask Olivia to come as his special guest. Madame Galen had been thrilled at this invitation, and had even taken her pupil for a quick trip to Diagon Alley, that Olivia would be able to buy her first set of witch's robes that were not the Hogwarts required color of black; they also needed to be dress robes. They finally found the perfect set of robes in a little shop, where they were waited on by an enthusiastic young lady, who treated Olivia like a doll to dress up. The two witches had emerged, breathless, an hour later, Olivia clutching an enormous box that housed her new clothing. The dress robes were made of a deep, royal blue-just the right color for a Ravenclaw. Instead of the Ravenclaw complimentary color of bronze, however, these robes had delicate silver lace around the collar and cuffs, and the collar did not have the huge cuffs that the school robes were designed with. Olivia, with the help of Viola and Anita, had tamed her curly mass of red hair and put it into a sleek, lovely bun on the top of her head. The girl wore the silver necklace that Viola had given her for Christmas last year, with its dangling sapphire pendent. There was one more accessory to Olivia's outfit, however. With Millie's help, she had carefully placed Fawkes' phoenix feather into the side of her bun, where it hugged her head and almost blended in with her fiery hair. Her roommates had declared this to be the perfect touch, and Bertie had taken pictures of all the girls with the camera that she had received for Christmas. Madame Galen had nodded with entire approval when she met Olivia in the entrance hall, where Aunt Elise eventually collected her, looking rather bewildered at all the confusion surrounding the ceremony.
Now, Olivia followed Aunt Elise to the third row, where she was delighted to behold Angie and Jackson, trying to be calm but failing miserably. They were sitting beside a tall man with Robert and Jackson's unruly black hair, and he had a beard that was starting to show gray. His eyes were a dull brown, but for all their dullness, the eyes sparked and snapped with excitement. He smiled broadly at the sight of Aunt Elise and Olivia, and held his hand out politely towards her.
"How do you do, Olivia? I am Harris Potter, Robert's father. It is so wonderful to meet you! After hearing so much about you from Rob, we were delighted to discover that you live so close to us. I hope you'll spend a good amount of time with us over the summer?"
Pleased at this, Olivia nodded, taking the seat that he directed her to, which was in-between himself and Angie, Aunt Elise taking the seat on the other side of her husband. "Yes, thank you, sir! That would be delightful. My guardian is actually to be married this fall…"
Mrs. Potter gasped, and Mr. Potter said warmly, "How wonderful! Please offer our congratulations to your uncle. Are you pleased with his choice of a bride?"
Nodding emphatically, Olivia said in tones of excitement, "Oh yes, sir! I wish that he and Miss Rebecca had been wed long ago. Somehow, she makes us a family. But as much as I love her," she giggled, looking impish, "I'm sure that I don't want to spend the whole summer listening to what flowers there will be or who should sit by whom! I imagine you may get tired of me-your house will be my only escape!"
Mrs. Potter was about to answer, but then suddenly the entire room quieted. Everyone sat up ramrod straight as the graduates, dressed in black velvet robes with scarves of their House color filed in, taking their seats on the dais. Robert, wearing his red scarf and the golden broom that designated him as a Quidditch captain, caught Olivia's eye. He did a quick double take at her sophisticated demeanor, but when she winked at him, he smiled and winked back.
The four Heads of House filed in after the students, and took their seats just behind the main podium. Professor Townsend of Hufflepuff was looking vaguely bored and rather miserable. It appeared that this was the last place on earth that he wanted to be at that moment. Professor Slughorn of Slytherin looked entirely too pleased at all of the attention he was getting, being on the dais in front of everyone. His robes were of the finest green velvet, and he seemed to immediately spot the important people in the audience as he nodded genteelly at them. Professor Merrythought of Ravenclaw was looking severe in her blue robes, and her eyes were constantly sweeping the Great Hall's walls, ceiling, floor and windows. Olivia's eyes twinkled with mischief as she realized that while most people would believe that Professor Merrythought was keeping an eye out for enemies or wicked wizards, Olivia knew that the professor's eye was out for something much less….or rather more wicked: her archenemy, Peeves. Professor Dumbledore, wearing crimson robes which delineated him as the Head of Gryffindor, was sitting quite casually in his chair, his hands folded together as he looked out from under his bushy eyebrows at the audience. She couldn't be sure, but Olivia thought that he might have even been humming to himself!
After the Heads, Armando Dippet, the Headmaster, came forward to stand at the podium. His robes were of a silvery gray, and he looked terribly serious and solemn. Olivia placed a calming hand upon the wiggling Angie, and then straightened up to listen carefully to his words.
"Welcome, all witches and wizards that have traveled here to witness this most magical occasion. Welcome, graduates! I know that you are a little too excited about graduating to fully appreciate what I am going to stay to you, but I beg that you will do the best you can.
"Seven years ago, a motley bunch of first years came tentatively through those same doors at the end of the Hall that we are now sitting in. As I watched them being Sorted into each of their respective Houses, I wondered, as I always do, what each of the students would become. Seven years is quite a long time-the students that entered this hall were young children, frightened of leaving home and families, and overwhelmed at the idea of so many years of education before them. Now, those years have passed, and I see before me not children, but young men and women. I see not students that have to be taught, but fully capable witches and wizards, each of them accomplished in their chosen fields. But beyond even that, I don't see children that the faculty must guide and even yes, control, but adults that I respect beyond words.
"When these students came to Hogwarts, they were leaving their homes, some perhaps for the first time. Some of these students were even leaving their known world. They had known nothing of magic, nothing of the power that rested within them. Now, these adults will be leaving their homes in a much more permanent fashion. They will be taking jobs, some will be marrying, and they will all begin to support themselves. I am confident that each and every one of the students behind me will be able to function in this wide world due to the education they received at Hogwarts. Not only the formal education, mind you, but the practical education as well. Here, they have been tested, some beyond what they thought that they could bear in life lessons, in responsibility, courage, and compassion.
"You students just demonstrate how the years are flying by, like one of Professor Hyatt's old broomsticks." The audience and students chuckled appreciatively at this, Robert and Olivia looking at each other and rolling their eyes in remembrance of the malfunctioning objects. "Beyond are control, you have grown older, and now you will leave us to seek out your own lives and dreams. I hope, and yes, I pray, that each and every one of you will find fulfillment and pleasure in whatever you choose, and in whatever situation comes your way. Congratulations, Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs and Slytherin. Leave this place, not divided, but as a class. Leave this Hall, and be an honor to it. Thank you."
Professor Dippet sat down to thundering applause. Then, each Head of House took it in turn to hand out diplomas in alphabetical order. Robert was lucky enough to receive his from Professor Dumbledore, who shook his pupil's hand warmly. Then, the final act of the graduation came-each student raised their wands in the air, and performed a nonverbal spell. From the mass of wands, Olivia was amazed to see four giant animals emerge. They were spectral, and formed of colored smoke. A gold lion, a silver snake, a bronze eagle, and a black badger all came galloping from the collected wands, and raced down the Hall, where once they hit the enormous oak doors, they lost their shape and faded away into the air. The audience clapped and cheered admiringly at the feat, and then the graduation was over.
Robert came racing over to his family, where he first shook his father's hand firmly. Mr. Potter wasn't just going to shake his son's hand on the day of his graduation, however, and the father pulled his son into a warm hug. Robert, after hugging warmly back, pulled away from Mr. Potter and gave Mrs. Potter a kiss on her wet cheek, she having cried through the whole ceremony.
"Robby, did you help with the lion, huh Rob?" Jackson squealed, jumping up and down in his excitement. Robert laughed and ruffled the boy's head before he swept Angie up into his arms.
"And what did you think, Angelica? Did you like seeing your cousin graduate?"
Angie nodded quite solemnly. "The gray man took forever, but I liked it when the animals came. But…" she looked quite concerned, her beautiful blue eyes welling up with tears, "will you have to leave us, Robert? The gray man said you were!"
The entire group burst out into laughter, and Mrs. Potter took the child in hand to explain what Professor Dippet had meant. Meanwhile, Robert came and pulled his "little sister" into a warm hug. "You look beautiful today, Livie. Almost I'm afraid of you-you look like you should be in fourth year!"
Olivia smiled and punched Robert lightly on the arm. "Silly Robert, I'm not going to be in fourth year for a while yet. The girls just wanted to dress me up, that's all. Besides, you should be afraid of me," she said, her eyes glinting dangerously. "I'm going to be working your hide off this summer preparing for the Quidditch trials!"
Robert grinned. "Well, you forget that I can Apparate. You bother me too much, and away I go! Besides, you'd better be careful how old you look. You're already doing schoolwork that's supposedly way above. Keep looking old, and they may put you forward a year!"
Olivia shuddered. "I hope not. That'd be one year closer to Malfoy!"
Olivia and her roommates boarded the Hogwarts Express, another year flown and gone. Although they all talked, laughed, and shared their summer ambitions, Olivia found herself becoming thoughtful. This year had held so much! Becoming a member of the Quidditch team, becoming such good friends with Robert, and that horrible time when she had been stuck in the Room of Requirement. Then, her Christmas vacation, during which she had met Miss Rebecca, who was to become a member of the family, meeting Robert's family, and the attack on her home. That attack had proved to her that Grindelwauld was still around, and that he still wanted her life. Olivia shivered, knowing that such a deadly enemy was still slipping out of every trap that the Ministry had set for him. Still, the attack had given her purpose-she would continue to learn to Heal from Madame Galen, and Professor Dumbledore had said that they would be getting to some very exciting spells the next term. Olivia was thrilled at the thought….she had read somewhere about something called a Patronus that she had wanted to try…
"Livie? Didn't you hear my question? I asked what your plans for the summer were!"
Pulling herself out of her reverie, Olivia smiled at Bertie. "Well, as Millie has deserted me…" she said, looking impishly at her best friend.
"Hey! Don't blame me for being selected to be a junior teacher. I get to spend the whole summer teaching preliminary flying to little witches and wizards! Hurray for me!" interrupted Millie, looking positively thrilled.
"…I'm going to be spending the summer helping Uncle Peter and Miss Rebecca prepare for the wedding," continued Olivia as if she hadn't heard Millie's interjection. "I also have a feeling that I'm going to be over at the Potter's house a lot. Mrs. Potter said that she'd love to have a girl around the house, since Darcy won't be able to come over very much to visit Robert."
"But where eez Darcee going, Ohleevea?" asked Viola, looking confused.
"She's spending a month with her family; they're going to visit America for a vacation. Then, she's going to come home and work at St. Mungo's as a volunteer, to prepare for her courses there to become a Healer. She wants to work with animal bites and stings."
"Staying as far away from the Black Forest as they can, eh?" said Anita, looking wise. "They certainly don't any more run-ins with erklings!"
Olivia laughed. "I certainly don't want them to, either! I had quite enough of that, thanks!"
The girls laughed heartily, as the train slid through the countryside, just like their second year had slipped away. When the train pulled into Platform nine and three quarters, Olivia found herself feeling sad. Even though it would be good to see her family again, she would miss her friends and her home at Hogwarts.
Suddenly, something warmed her side. She reached into her dress pocket, and found there her phoenix feather. A small tongue of flame reached out and licked her hand, but Olivia was astonished to find that it didn't hurt her. Still, she knew that here was one piece of magic that she could take home with her. She stepped off the train, and back into the Muggle world and her guardian's waiting arms. After giving Uncle Peter an ecstatic greeting, she sadly waved goodbye to her friends, sad to see them go, but glad to know that even though her friends would be leaving her for a while, their magic would not be leaving her. Music and love were powerful magics, yes, but friendship was definitely magic, too. Thankfully, friendship didn't require a wand.