Disclaimer: I obviously don't own the idea of Harry Potter or any of the money making forms of it.
A/N: Well, this is it. Hope you all enjoy it!
- - - Epilogue
Harry shut the cabinet door, sealing it with the wave of his hand. It wouldn't do to allow one of his kids to accidentally get in there. They could hurt themselves with the magicked items within. He smiled, thinking back to his youngest son's face when he had opened his birthday present last week.
Harry had spent three weeks making it. A gryphon hatchling stuffed animal, alive and eager to be played with. Harry had also made it a stout protector, just like Teddy.
Harry was now a renowned Artificer—a creator of powerful magical items. After the fall of Voldemort, it hadn't taken him long to find where his skills should be utilized. So, taking the twins' advice in third year, he made things.
Harry left the room and went to his couch. His wife was finishing something up at the Ministry and their children were at Hogwarts or at the Longbottoms. He had his house to himself. He looked over at the far wall which bore countless moving photos, causing him to recall many memories.
At the start of their fifth year at Hogwarts, Dumbledore had called him into his office. Due to the fact Harry really didn't need to continue school for the education (as he was well beyond the material) Albus gave him a proposition.
To become his apprentice.
As Albus pointed out, Harry was already an apprentice of sorts to him through the lessons in Makra Control the previous year, and it wasn't as if the upcoming OWLs that year would be any challenge to him. And so, Harry agreed to become his apprentice, more than happy to learn material he didn't already know through Voldemort's memories or his own personal studies.
He had still attended some lectures with his peers, but was given different assignments and more in depth studies to carry out. To muggleborns, the closest thing this compared to was honor studies and internship.
Harry smiled. His final years at Hogwarts had been the best years he had had there as a student. Granted, not being hunted by a crazed psychopath probably helped in that. And being instructed by the Headmaster, while at the same time being his assistant, was more than he had ever hoped. And when the time for their OWLs and NEWTs came, Harry and the others passed with flying colors, earning the highest scores ever in many of the subjects.
Upon graduation it was clear they had already made a name for themselves, as Hermione and Neville were instantly snatched up by St Mungos. Harry shook his head, recalling Neville's bewildered attitude of why they had specifically asked for him to work for them. It never ceased to amaze Harry how Neville didn't understand that getting the highest Herbology scores in history might actually mean something. And Hermione . . . well, she was Hermione.
Hermione was now a Head Healer, managing the research of muggle and wizard diseases and finding cures. Unknown to many, she occasionally leaked non-magic cures into the muggle world. Harry knew she enjoyed doing that.
With the fall of Voldemort and the rise of the new era that had been deemed 'The Golden Age', the Wizarding World had become a very different place. It wasn't perfect or some gold coated utopia, but it was tolerant, honest, and respectful.
The months that had followed the petitions had brought about a better coalition of understanding between the magical communities. Discussions were brought to the floor of the Wizengamot that ultimately brought about a positive change of relations between all. Where there had been confusion or suspicion, there was now comprehension and trust. There was nothing anyone felt afraid to bring up, for they were all there for the same reason. To learn about one another and make a better future for the next generation. And they did.
It had been a few years since the minister after Fudge had retired. Charles McCaffrey. He was a half-blood who had been suggested by Fudge to take his place as he desired to retire from politics. McCaffrey had done a good job, but after two terms, he was ready to step aside and let someone else become Minister.
Draco Malfoy took his place with a high majority vote.
Harry smirked, recalling when Draco had nervously asked Hannah Abbot to marry him. They had gotten to know each other in their last years at Hogwarts, and things went on from there. They got married a year after Hogwarts, and then had a boy, Aaron, two years later.
Harry turned his eyes to one of the far right photos. It was of Ron, in his quidditch uniform. In their fifth year, Ron had become a remarkable keeper. Not long after they had left school, he agreed to play professionally and joined the Chudley Cannons. They had been champions ever since.
Moving his eyes down the wall, Harry took in his other friends, pleased with how things had turned out.
Greg married a muggle dancer and became a researcher for the Unspeakables, focusing in the art of wards.
Vince became a teacher at Hogwarts, teaching Advanced Runes.
Susan Bones had been appointed the Head of Amici Security. Assisted by Sirius Black, the company changed some of its functions and focused on the business end of things—as there were no more death eaters roaming about. It was now simply a home and business warding/protection and security service. Harry knew she loved her job and he couldn't have chosen a better person to head it up. His wife knew what she was doing.
Ginny became an auror soon after Hogwarts, and, not long after, had been asked out by a nervous Neville. Harry smirked, taking in the wedding picture that had been taken six months afterwards. Neville and Ginny now lived in the Longbottom Mansion, Neville now the head of the family after Augusta had passed away four years earlier.
Luna Lovegood left the country after Hogwarts, traveling the world and researching rare magical animals, some of which she actually proved existed. Now, two years later, she was the owner of a small magical zoo at the edge of Diagon Alley, not far from where the twins had placed their joke shop. Lee Jordan, her husband, helped her run the place.
Stepping back from the wall, Harry moved to the kitchen to make himself a snack. He knew he could have just called Kreacher, but he didn't feel like bothering him. He was really getting old.
Severus Snape and Stephanie Somac married during Harry's sixth year. Stephanie became the DADA teacher full time, and Snape focused on creating new potions. Four years after they had graduated, Snape created the cure for lycanthropy.
Harry went to the table, easing himself down into the chair, carefully not to spill the steaming hot cocoa he had just made.
Sirius had been busy the last few years. Occasionally helping out with the Amici business, he primarily helped with teaching new aurors. Harry sighed. He knew Sirius had hoped he would become an auror, but it just wasn't in him. Sure, he had the marks to make it and the capability, just not the desire. He was not like his father.
It had been some time after everything had calmed before Harry told Sirius his secret. For a long while Harry was wondering if he should even tell him at all, as it really didn't matter now, but at the same time, it did matter. It mattered a lot. Harry made his decision after listening to Sirius prattle on and on about how the Wizarding World owed a lot to Mage, and that they were all lucky to have been alive to see such a man. 'They don't come around often' he had said. All the hero worship was really driving Harry nuts, to be frank, and he just wanted it to stop. So he told him.
Sirius hadn't taken it as well as Dumbledore.
It took Harry briefly transforming into Mage to convince Sirius, and after he had, part of Harry wished he could take it back. But he also knew he wouldn't have been able to live with himself if he had kept it from Sirius.
"All this time? Harry, you could have been killed! Why did you take it upon yourself to do this? And why the bloody hell are you only now just telling me this?" Sirius exclaimed, his arms and hands flailing about. "Does Albus know about this? When did he learn? Did he let you?"
Two options surfaced in Harry's mind. He could either act like an apologetic child and take whatever else Sirius was going to throw at him . . . or he could prove why he was Mage, and that it had not just been an act he had carried out to end the war. He would be himself, completely.
Standing straight, coming just below his godfather's chin, Harry locked his eyes upon Sirius'; all the while his magic slowly began to swirl around him.
"That was why I hadn't told you. You would have tried to stop me."
" 'Tried'? I would have! I wouldn't have let you risk your life when it wasn't your problem! You're not an adult!"
Harry clenched his jaw, his eyes sharpening.
"Then what am I? For years I have had no choice but to make decisions that would either save or end my life and the lives of others. I know I am not of age, but I have the knowledge and power of more than most adults. Am I to be irresponsible and not use what I have, or be all I can be? You said yourself the Wizarding World has been lucky to have Mage. Do all those claims go out the window now that you know all along it has been me?"
Sirius fumed. "It shouldn't have been you! You've already dealt with more than enough. I wanted you to be a kid, have a childhood, not partake in death and war before you even turned fifteen! It shouldn't have been you!"
Harry remained where he was, his expression unchanged. "But it was." Harry took a step back. "I don't regret creating Mage or the Custosae. I don't regret becoming who I am. Sure, I wish things could have been different, but that is out of our hands. Be angry all you like, but it won't change what I've done, what I've lost and gained, or who I've become. Just as you are the face of the Amici, I am the Head of the Custosae, and whether or not the world will ever discover who Mage is, I, as Harry, will take up the mantle of peacekeeper when I am of age.
"It is who life has made me, and who I've chosen to be."
With that, Harry turned and walked away.
It took some time for Sirius to come to terms with how things were and to accept that Harry wasn't simply 'just Harry'. He was a young man who had fought in a war, led an army, and had become an icon.
O o O o O
Albus Dumbledore smiled down upon the students waiting for the food to appear. It had been a little over two decades since Harry and his friends had graduated, and now some of their older children were at the tables before him.
Neville and Ginny's twin boys, Remus and Augustus, were third years in Gryffindor. They were like Fred and George, but slightly more inclined to follow rules. They weren't that much into potions, but were quite gifted in charms. Their younger siblings, ages seven and three, were named Alice and Damien.
Harry and Susan's children, Edward (named after Susan's father and grandfather), Lily, and Leo – ages 14, 13, and 11 – were in Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, and Slytherin respectively. The Potter's two youngest, James and Julia (named after Susan's grandmother), were 8 and 4.
Dumbledore could hardly wait to see the other children of the Custosae come to Hogwarts.
Things at the school continued much like they had before, though with a few changes. McGonagall, Flitwick, and many of the other instructors remained, though Vince had taken over Advanced Runes and a seer by the name of Cleo Hillsbrand had taken over Divination. Stephanie was the DADA teacher full time and a new instructor had been found for Potions, Michael Elric. Hagrid continued to teach Care of Magical Creatures, and Aberforth continued teaching Astronomy.
Dumbledore couldn't have asked for better staff.
Salandra continued to be the defender of Hogwarts. She was as elusive as the giant squid to the students, but Dumbledore could contact her any time he needed. She primarily lived in the forest now, but traveled through the piping every now and then.
Teddy now lived in Hogwarts. He had become the unofficial councilor of the school, as the students seemed to have very little problem with talking to the adorable teddybear. He took turns spending the night in the common rooms of the Houses and quickly became a part of Hogwarts just as the sorting hat was.
Harry visited Dumbledore occasionally, each time bringing something he had created or notes he had made concerning a new advancement in item creation, small or monumental. Dumbledore often marveled at Harry's ingenuity and skill, always grateful he had followed his instincts and desire to take Harry as his apprentice.
The Wizarding World had been thrilled at the announcement, finding it to be fitting and right, as many began to look deeper in the events concerning Harry. They weren't close to finding out the whole truth, but determined Harry Potter was in need of more advanced instruction. The battle of Hogwarts at the end of his third year was indication enough. A thirteen year old capable of casting multiple Patronus' (one of them being a giant basilisk!) was definitely an individual whose training in magic should be handled with care.
His apprenticeship lasted five years, his months in the summer being spent with Dumbledore traveling around the world. One year they had even visited Mako, where they continued to improve his Makra control.
Looking back, Dumbledore was confident those were some of the finest years of his life.
Dumbledore smiled. Just as Mage had been, Harry was someone he couldn't help but find himself looking up to. Although at first it had been difficult to get past the fact his friend was over one hundred years younger than himself, the more important fact remained. Harry was Mage, and Mage was Harry. He had been conversing with both for several years before he had learned the truth, the only thing that had changed was his perception of them, but even that didn't matter in the end.
Any more, Dumbledore didn't bother to rationalize it. It was what it was. Harry was his best friend, his equal, his grandson, his mentor.
O o O
Dumbledore remained the Headmaster of Hogwarts for another fifty years before retiring and living out his days as a Wizengamot advisor while attending things like candy and sock conventions in his free time. He and Harry continued being good friends. Dumbledore even helped him tie in transfigurations into his magical items. Susan, Harry's wife, especially liked it, as she could ask the item to turn into a reading lamp while it continued to play calming music and release soft pulses of heat into the room during cold nights whenever Harry was away.
Surprisingly, Fred Weasley, at age 86, became the next Headmaster of Hogwarts, while George Weasley became Deputy Headmaster. George's oldest son, Gideon, took over their joke shop. Dumbledore transferred 'mastership' of Salandra to Fred, initiating yet another new tradition for the headmasters/mistresses of Hogwarts. What was very good about the arrangement was that Salandra had to approve of the new Headmaster. It definitely prevented the school's leaders from becoming corrupt.
The Twins were as well liked as Dumbledore had been, though young pranksters had the misfortune of being completely unable to pull anything without their activities being discovered; but, like how Dumbledore had been, the Twins occasionally turned a blind eye.
O o O o O
History would look back on Harry Potter as an amazingly powerful artificer, a seeker and keeper of peace, and a voice of reason. His name would surpass even Nicholas Flamel's in magical skill and power, for Harry's creations would not only be for his personal use (as the sorcerer's stone was for Flamel and his wife only), but everyone's. Granted, the items he created did not bestow eternal life, but they did improve the quality of life.
In his later adult years, working with Hermione and Neville, he was able to blend healing properties into items to help people and plants. He was also able to instill a conscious, incorruptible purpose into them if he so desired.
These items worked wonders in hospitals across the wizarding world, especially with young children. A stuffed animal, for example, could be laced with a calming charm, a healing charm, and the qualities of a pepper-up potion. As most anyone can imagine, this was most helpful. The only down side to it all was that only Harry could create these items. Sure, anyone could cause an item to place a charm on a child who touched it, but once it was used it had to be cast on the object again. Only Harry had the ability to make an item where its purpose would continue to be carried out year after year, whenever it was needed. And, he could program it in a way, give it a consciousness like Teddy, so that it could activate a 'downloaded' spell to help whoever was holding it when needed.
Mage became a legend. He was never seen again, but his legacy (the fountain and the Amici) continued on. The rest of the Custosae disappeared along with Mage, though Hagrid, a known Custosae, remained at Hogwarts and quickly became a well respected man in society, especially where the giant communities were concerned.
Only a few people discovered the truth about Mage and Harry, such as Madam Bones (who managed to put two and two together as time went on), but everyone who learned were more than happy to keep it to themselves. McGonagall and Flitwick were two others who learned the truth, though it was because they noticed Harry was growing into a man with an uncanny resemblance to Mage. The only real difference was his eyes, but his build, height, and bold presence were identical. What saved Harry from the rest of the Wizarding World putting it all together was the fact he dressed a bit differently, had a gentler voice, and was cleanly shaven. That and they had no reason to ever even consider Harry was Mage. He had only been a child when Mage was around, after all.
In Harry's later years, after his children had grown and begun lives of their own, he became an influential ambassador. With the former Minister (Draco) occasionally accompanying him, he was able to continue making strides in keeping good relations with other magical and non-magical communities and continued to be a voice of reason in tense situations.
One such situation had been with the vampires, when they wanted to have a voice in the wizarding world and have the rights that the other magical races had been given. Although they did not care for much interaction, they still wanted to be a part of what had clearly become a big deal. A coalition of respected races. Understandably, many of the other races did not want to allow the vampires entry into their honored group. Especially since a number of vampires had participated in the Battle of Hogwarts on Voldemort's side. Granted, those vampires had been slain by protective house elves and did not represent the entire vampire community. Still, things got tense very quickly, and many feared a war.
Not about to let such a thing occur, especially when it could possibly be avoided, Harry, as he had told Sirius years ago in his fourth year, took up the mantle of peacekeeper.
Arranging a peaceful gathering for talks, he took a neutral stance, pointing out the pros and cons, arguing for and against both sides. The vampires, seeing that the coalition was willing to discuss things, respected them even more, and opened a form of negotiation, outlining terms and conditions. Understanding the fear many individuals had of vampires (and rightly so), the vampires agreed to keep whatever agreement they came to at the end of the meeting.
Most vampires weren't evil, but there was very little law within their society. Meaning they could essentially prey on whomever they wished. Well, Harry saw an opening to change that, and took it.
When everything was said and done, the vampires agreed to place some 'feeding' boundaries so they could be accepted into the circle of nations and communities. They had even happily accepted potions that could substitute for blood. For many of them, after a few hundred years or so, feeding off of necks was actually getting a bit tiresome. Sure, the hunt at times could be exhilarating, and blood to them was oh so very good, but it all became too routine. So, ultimately it was not too much for them to set some rules concerning their feeding habits, especially since it also provided them with a fun challenge. Animals were much harder to catch than humans, and their flavors had more variety. But that aside, they conceded it was time to change, to change the overall image of Vampires.
In time, the vampire community would lose the image of being coldhearted blood suckers and morph into an honorable people by their own right. Being masters in blood magicks, they were able to help the Wizarding World in many ways, primarily where it concerned serious medical conditions and imbalanced magic. Much like the Goblins, Centaurs, and Werewolves, they simply wanted to be recognized and respected. And so, they were.
O o O
Life went on in the Wizarding World, Harry and the rest of the Custosae and Amici secretly continuing to guide it, ensuring the new age of respect and honor would last far into the future. Even beyond their great-grandchildren.
And to think, it had all been made possible by a young boy who accepted all that had befallen him and used everything he had been given, even the bad.
Even . . . Dark Memories.
O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O o O
A/N: Well, it is done, and on the third anniversary! ^^ I wasn't sure what to include in the epilogue, so decided to give a broad scope of the future. I tried to answer any unanswered questions and cover things people might be curious about. As for the pairings, I had initially played around with the idea of leaving it unrevealed, but then decided to just choose reasonable choices and move on. I know I can't please everyone, but I have accepted it.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed the ride, and thanks for all the reviews through the years. A large part of why I have managed to finish this was because of all of you. Please let me know what you thought of it, and, if you would, share your favorite scenes/characters with me. I'd really like to know what was enjoyed and why so I can continue to improve my story telling abilities.