"Life after the battle"
Disclaimer: Everything Harry Potter related is the sole property of J.K. Rowling. I own nothing except the story I've created.
Author's note: This story takes place a week after the battle at Hogwarts.
Chapter One: Graduation.
Standing outside of number four Privet Drive, Harry, along with Ron, Hermoine, and Ginny; Harry looked somberly at the place he had reluctantly called home for seventeen long years. Outside of the house stood a "For Sale" sign.
"Are you sure you aren't going to miss this place, Harry?" Ginny asked, squeezing his hand.
Harry took a deep sigh and shook his head.
"No. I don't think I will."
Ron smiled, "Can't blame ya, mate. These blokes aren't exactly memorable, are they?"
"Harry, surely there are some memories here that you wish to bring back with you?" Hermoine said.
Harry thought long and hard, pausing to push his glasses back up to his nose. After a minute or so, Harry turned to the others.
"I'm ready, let's go."
Hermoine was about to protest, seeing as how her last question hadn't been answered. Ron shook his head at her as he led her to follow Harry and Ginny.
"I still can't believe it ends all tomorrow, can you?" Ron asked Harry.
Harry smiled, "All good things must end, right? Besides, everything that ends must start a new beginning."
It was a cold August day as people began flying, apparating, and flooing their way to Hogsmeade. Nearly every witch and wizard was making their way to the town that accompanied the school and for one reason only: Graduation Day.
The Three Broomsticks and The Hogshead were filled to the brim with people and the streets were virtually occupied by everyone.
Harry, in all his life, had never seen such a gathering, with the exception of the Qudditch World Cup. He marveled at all the happy faces that attended the pre-graduation celebration and it wasn't long till others took notice of him being there.
"Ah, Harry! Harry, m'boy, good to see you Happy Graduation Day, yes?" Said a joyful Cornilius Fudge.
Despite Harry's past dislike for the man, he nodded and smiled.
It seemed after Fudge's unceremonious announcement of Harry's presence, that even more onlookers stopped their previous conversations and came over to wish the boy wizard good luck in his future endeavors.
"What to do you plan to do in the Wizarding World, Mr. Potter?" Asked a man with a camera, whom Harry guessed worked for the Daily Prophet.
In all honesty, Harry really hadn't had time to reflect on it. All last summer following the battle at Hogwarts, Harry had been preoccupied with getting back together with Ginny and making some visits to those who've lost their loved ones in the battle. That, and, Harry had been moving into his new place.
"Uh, haven't decided yet." Harry replied, at last.
"Someone's said that you've got the Auror's clambering after you, and that the Ministry has stated that there is no position that they'd refuse having you in. Is all of this true, Mr. Potter?" Asked the reporter.
Harry was beginning to get tired of these questions and he wished desperately that he hadn't let his cloak out to Ron.
"That'll be enough! Let the poor boy enjoy today and not have to spend all of it answering your questions!"
Harry turned to see a very cross Mr. Weasley looking narrowingly at the reporter.
"Quite right, sorry Mr. Potter, and again, congratulations on your graduating Hogwarts." Said the reporter who then took his leave.
Everyone else decided this was their cue to leave as well and went their separate ways. Once everyone had gone, Harry turned to Mr. Weasley.
"Thank you, Mr. Weasley."
Mr. Weasley smiled at Harry, "Think nothing of it, Harry. Although, I must say, I'm a little surprised myself that you've never really talked about what you wanted to do after you graduated from Hogwarts."
Harry nodded. Despite having to deal with the pressures of having to defeat Lord Voldemort, Harry never really took his whole future into full effect.
"Would you like to sit down and discuss it sometime?" Asked Mr. Weasley.
Harry nodded, "Yeah, I think I'd like that." Harry then looked around.
"Is Ron or Ginny with you sir?"
Mr. Weasley shook his head, "Afraid not. Ginny's with Luna, and Ron's somewhere with Hermoine doing…well, you know."
Mr. Weasley then turned, "See you in a few, then, eh Harry?"
Before he took another step, Harry reached out and grabbed his arm.
"Mr. Weasley, wait! There's something I need to ask of you."
Mr. Weasley's eyebrows raised as he pushed his glasses back to his face.
Harry looked down, "At the ceremony, the students are supposed to recognize the people who are their parents, the people who raised them. Since mine are dead, and Sirius and Lupin are gone; I was wondering…" Harry looked up to Mr. Weasley, "Would it be alright if I recognize the Weasley family as my own?"
Tears filled in Mr. Weasley's small eyes and he nodded.
"We would be proud and honored, Harry Potter."
Harry smiled and took the moment to give Mr. Weasley a hug.
Ginny and Luna soon accompanied them.
"What's going on?" Asked Ginny, surprised to see her father crying.
Harry and Arthur parted and Mr. Weasley took off his glasses and took out a handkerchief.
"Nothing, Ginny, dear. I was just telling Harry on how proud I am of all that he's done and that he's graduating today."
Luna nodded, "It is surprising, Harry. Considering how you never attended your seventh year at Hogwarts."
Mr. Weasley threw a hand at the statement, "Bah! That shouldn't matter. After everything Harry's done for the school, it's students, even the Wizarding World; he's earned the right to graduate today with his classmates, despite having not attended."
"McGonagall seems to think so. After all, during her inauguration as Headmistress, she made it plain and clear to everyone that you were to graduate from Hogwarts, Harry." Said Ginny.
A loud chime ended their conversation as a large eagle patronous appeared in the sky.
"Attention everyone, ceremony shall begin within the hour. Graduating Students are to immediately go to their towers and change into their ceremonial robes. Thank you."
The voice was clearly that of Professor Flitwick's.
"Well, I'd better get going." Harry said, before he could take another step, Ginny took hold of his arm and pulled him to her and she kissed him.
Both Luna and Mr. Weasley pretended that they the two weren't there and began a conversation of their own.
As Harry and Ginny pulled away from each other, Ginny smiled.
As Harry soon arrived to the Griffindor's tower, he found himself, once again, cheered at and patted on the back by many of those who've been with him since he first arrived at Hogwarts.
Nearly everyone asked as to how his holiday went, Neville was the first.
"Fine." Harry replied. "Peaceful, rather. Yours?"
Neville smiled, "Gran took me to Sri Lanka to visit all the top Herbologists there. She practically showed me off to everyone this summer."
Seamus, Dean, and a lot of the others also told Harry that, after the battle of Hogwarts, they've been treated as hero's in their own rights as well.
Their talks were soon disrupted as McGonagall appeared at the entranceway.
"Everyone, you need to get dressed! Time's of the waste! Mr. Potter, may I have a word?"
Harry followed her back out of the porthole and stopped when she had.
She turned to him.
"Potter, I can't tell you enough of how much it's meant to me that I was able to be your teacher. Both of your parents and Sirius are looking down on you now, smiling. I'm sure of it."
Harry looked sheepishly to the floor. Never had he before had he been bestowed these lines of compliments by McGonagall.
She continued, "It gives me deeper pride that your house has asked that you be the representative of Griffindor during the ceremony. Will you do it?"
McGonagall smiled, "Alright then. Go get dressed, it should be starting soon."
With a single tear still shining in her eye, she took her leave. No sooner, however, had she made her way around the corner, Harry could hear her usual strict voice.
"Mr. Weasley! Miss Granger! You two need to get dressed right away! Or I'll make sure that both of you attend yet another year!"
Harry grinned as he soon saw the reddened faces of both of his friends make their way hurriedly up the stairs.
The ceremony took place outside on the Quidditch field and literally the entire stadium was filled with the parents and guests attending.
All along the stadium, banners featuring the colors of many of the houses were strewn in every direction, some into the air above.
Many of the parents in the stands had magical buttons and pins declaring themselves as the parent or parents of one of the students graduating. A picture of that student going from when they were a baby to their eighteen or seventeen year old form.
The onlookers hushed as McGonagall took the podium and lifted the magical microphone used in the past by Luna and Lee Jordan to commentate on the Quidditch games.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Witched and Wizards, alike; welcome to the graduating class of 1998!"
A large bellow of cheers and applause came from the stands.
"We've had many hardships these past few years at Hogwarts, and it only goes to show that with the class I present to you today, that Hogwarts remains stronger than ever. Many of the students you'll be seeing today have showed exemplary displays of courage, knowledge, and instinct well beyond their years. I'm sure we'll be seeing many great things from them for years to come. Before we begin the ceremony, I wish for all of us to take a moment and pause for those who aren't with us today."
A banner behind McGonagall changed and images of the students who were lost in the Battle of Hogwarts were shown brightly, their faces smiling. The images changed then to Professor Dumbledor and then to Professor Snape which caused a murmur in the crowd. Despite Harry and a few others come out with the truth concerning Snape's actual involvement, there were plenty who felt otherwise.
As soon as the images faded, McGonagall spoke once again into the mic piece.
"I'll start by calling out the houses one by one and then a chosen representative from each one will address on behalf of their houses." McGonagall looked down at the pamphlet in front of her.
No sooner said, more than half of the class apperated in front of the podium, all wearing shimmering golden robes, all glittering the name "Hufflepuff" and a Badger moving about within the robes.
Susan Bones had been chosen to represent the class.
Sitting in the stands, listening to Susan's speech, Ginny nudged her father.
"I still think it's unfair that Luna and I have to suffer another while Harry and Ron do, who knows what."
Mr. Weasley chuckled, "Sorry dear, I wish I could turn back time and have you born the same year as Ron."
Luna looked curiously to Ginny, "What's wrong with another year at Hogwarts?"
Ginny sighed, "Nothing, really. It'll be dull as a Thestrle's stare. I just wish…"
Even though Luna was still trying to grasp what she was trying to say, Mr. Weasley seemed to pick up on what she was trying to say.
"Are you worried about Harry, Ginny dear?"
Ginny shrugged as Susan had finished and soon McGonagall called out the next house.
Just like Hufflepuff, They either apperated or flew in on their broomsticks. However, the person speaking for the class made Ginny's eyes narrow and she gritted her teeth as Draco Malfoy took the podium.
Harry along with the other Griffindor's waited patiently in their tower for their name to be called.
Dressed in elegant Ruby-tinted robes, at the back of their robes a Griffin perched looking incredibly noble all around in every direction.
Ron and Hermoine soon joined Harry.
"Nervous, mate?" Ron asked.
Harry nodded. "Big crowd."
Hermoine smiled, "Would it help if they were Death Eaters or Dementors?"
Both Harry and Ron laughed at this, along with a few others who overheard their conversation.
"Before we go on, I've been meaning to ask you…" Hermoine began, waiting for both of the guys' attention.
"What do you plan on doing after Hogwarts?"
Harry really wished she hadn't asked him that.
Ron was all to eager to answer.
"Charlie wants me to come with him to Romania to look after some dragons. They just got in a new Hungarian Horntail, care to come?"
Hermoine shook her head, "I've got to study if I'm going to pass the Wizarding-Bar for Magical Law Enforcement. You Harry?"
Harry still didn't know what he wanted to do. Other than spending time with Ginny, he hadn't really…
"Griffindor!" Shouted Professor McGonagall.
"Uh, oh. We'd better go." Said Ron, having Harry put his thoughts on hold.
As soon as Harry and the others apperated onto the Quidditch field, a humongous round of cheers, applause, and sparks came form the arenas.
Even more so when Harry made his way to the podium, where McGonagall was beaming at him with pride.
Many of the guests in the crowd raised their wands and sent shots into the sky which brought out phrases like:
"Harry's Our Savoir!"
"Harry For Minister OF Magic!"
"Harry for Auror's Office!"
"Harry, I Love You!" This was Ginny's to which Harry smiled.
Harry cleared his throat and the crowd subsided and quieted.
"Thank you all for coming. It means a lot to, not only me, but every student here. As Professor McGonagall said, there have been a lot of hardships. Loved ones lost, homes destroyed, even anger and outrage. One thing has remained certain, though, that is that we who graduate today do it because of all who have stood beside us. Our friends, our parents, and the people who've mentored us; all to which we give thanks and the biggest affection. To all of you we say, thank you."
Another rouse of applause came as well as another rendition of banners in Potter's name.
Every student came and received their parchment of graduation and was given a firm handshake by the entire faculty including Hagrid.
Before though each student's parents were named in recognition.
"Ronald Weasley, son of Arthur and Molly Weasley."
As soon as Ron got onstage, A thunderous roar of applause came from the Weasley's row. George, Charlie, Percy, Ginny, and Bill got to their feet cheering loudly, while Mrs. and Mr. Weasley looked apologetically at everyone for their children's behavior.
Then it was Harry's turn.
"Harry Potter, son of James and Lily Potter recognizes The Weasley family, today, as his family."
Molly, in the stands, bursted into tears in her husband's lap while the Weasley boys whistled and cheered.
As Professor McGonagall gave Harry his Graduation Parchment, she whispered in his ear, "Good luck, Potter."
"Thank you, Professor." He said in kind.
She smiled at him and then motioned with her head down the other part of the ramp.
Shaking hands with all the other Professors, he had to kneel to shake Professor Flitwick's, Harry soon came to Hagrid who grabbed him into one big, rib-cracking, hug.
"I'm so proud of yeh, Harry!" He said, his small eyes filled with tears.
Harry did his best to return the affection, but didn't manage much.
As soon as Harry was let go, he made his way to the other students who were being approached by large group of people.
One of who came up to Harry.
"Mr. Potter, congratulations on your day of graduation from Hogwarts."
"Thank you." Harry said, not too sure as to who he was talking to.
"My name is Gawain Robards, Mr. Potter. Do you know who I am?"
Harry nodded, "You took over the Auror's office shortly after the Ministry was regained."
Robards nodded, "Quite right. Mr. Potter, have you decided what you plan to do with your future?"
Harry was beginning to hate being asked this question.
Robards didn't wait for an answer, "Because I'd be honored to have you as an Auror. I've learned from some colleagues that you've expressed an interest in the job awhile ago. What do you say?"
To be continued…