Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers including, but not limited to, Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: Urk, so I fibbed a little in the A/N for chapter fourteen – there were only two more chapters. I feel like an idiot – I'd only looked at my 'to post' file, not realizing that I hadn't moved chapter fourteen to the 'posted' file yet. face/palm
Chapter Sixteen: Wrapping Up
Harry groaned and opened his eyes. Everything was blurry. "Awake, Mr. Brewer?"
Harry nodded, "Yeah. Glasses?" A brightly colored blur handed Harry his spectacles. He slipped them on with his left hand, seeing that his right was immobilized in some sort of sling. He could now see Professor Dumbledore sitting near his bed. "The hospital wing? So, I ain't dead then. That's good."
"Indeed it is, Mr. Brewer."
Harry paled suddenly, "On second thought, is it too late to lose to Quirrell?"
"Yes, Mr. Brewer, it is too late to do so. May I ask why?"
Harry grimaced, "Because Mom's gonna kill me when she finds out."
Albus chuckled, "I don't think it will be quite that bad, Harry. I've already spoken with her, and she has promised not to kill you, nor maim you, though I wouldn't rule out a solid grounding when you get home."
Harry groaned and fell back against his pillows. "I take it y'all already know what happened?"
"Quite. I had only just arrived in London when it became apparent that the place I had left was where I truly needed to be. I must apologize for what happened, Harry. It was not my intention for either you or your friends to get hurt."
"What about my friends? Are they all right?"
Albus nodded, "Indeed they are, Mr. Brewer. Dean will have a scar from the encounter, and Ronald will need to be careful with his newly regrown bones for some time yet, but no one else suffered any lasting effects."
"How long have I been out of it?" Harry asked, reaching for one of the dozens of packages of sweets surrounding his bed. He smiled when he saw that it was a box of pumpkin pasties from Percy.
"A little less than three days," Albus replied, helping himself to a chocolate frog.
"I'm sorry about the Stone, professor," Harry said, nibbling on the pasty.
"Do not worry, Harry. You kept it from Voldemort's hands, which – dare I say – is more than I was able."
"But that means that the Flamels will die, won't they?"
Albus nodded, "Indeed, Harry. They will go on to their next great adventure. We've spoken, and agree that it's for the best."
"Oh…" Harry sighed and sat the pasty down, no longer as hungry. "I take it that Dean and Ron and the rest are already released?"
Albus nodded, "Yes, dear boy. They were only here a night or so."
"Why was I here so long? I would have thought that Madam Pomfrey could heal whatever I broke in my hand without knocking me out for three days."
"The effort involved in defeating Quirrell, Harry, very nearly drained your magic completely. Had it taken much more effort, it would have killed you. For a moment after reaching the chamber, I was afraid it had. I entered just as you fell over."
Harry grimaced. "Wow… I didn't realize… But, professor?"
"He's not really gone, is he?"
"No, I don't believe he is. Since Voldemort is not really alive, he can't really be killed at this time."
"Then you believe he can be killed?"
"I believe all things are possible, Mr. Brewer. Especially after reading your mum's Book."
Harry removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. "You an' I will need to talk over a few things, professor, and soon. But not right now." He yawned.
"I agree, Mr. Brewer. Not today. Perhaps some time over the summer, yes?"
Harry sat the glasses next to the half-eaten pasty, "Yeah, if Mom ever decides to let me have guests again."
"Sleep well, Harry. I'm sure your worries will prove false."
"You don't know Mom like I do," Harry muttered before falling asleep.
When Harry was released from the expert care of Madam Pomfrey, he rejoined his friends in Gryffindor Tower. Most of their things were packed, as the train back to London would be the next day, and everyone was taking a short break in the common room. "Hey y'all."
Everyone looked up, "You're all right?" came, simultaneously, from several people.
Harry nodded, "Yeah."
Dean grinned, "Some year, wasn't it?"
"I'll say!" Percy exclaimed.
At the leaving feast that night, Gryffindor was rewarded several hundred points in their 'efforts to thwart evil'. It won them the house cup, much to the Slytherins' dismay. Draco, in particular, looked rather irate.
Just before they got on the carriages that were to take them down to Hogsmeade Station and the waiting Hogwarts Express, all the students received notes not to use magic over the holidays. Harry cheerfully incinerated his, which made Percy laugh. "Y'all are invited to spend some time at my place over the summer, provided Mom don't ground me for the rest of my life."
"And you'll all get invitations to the Burrow, too," Percy said before asking Harry to follow him to a quiet corner area not far from the carriages. "Do you think that A.J. would mind if I wrote to her this summer? I've been adding some to the letter you and the other first-years have been sending, but do you think she'd mind if I wrote her on my own?"
Harry laughed, "No, I don't think she'd mind. See you later?"
Percy nodded, "Definitely."
Harry joined up with the other first-years and followed Hagrid back to the boats to return to the train station. Harry felt that the trip on the train passed much too quickly, despite the interruption halfway home by Draco Malfoy and his two goonish bodyguards. The trio of Slytherins learned the hard way not to walk into a compartment of Gryffindors and had to be carried out of said compartment. Crabbe and Goyle were sprouting fur and boils, and Draco had been hit with – among other things – a transfiguration hex that gave him walrus tusks and whiskers longer than a cat's.
When the train finally pulled to a stop at platform nine and three-quarters, Harry could see a veritable crowd of people milling about, waiting for their sons and daughters. He saw that his mom and dad were standing with Uncle Dave, Remus, and Sirius. They were all talking with Molly Weasley. While Harry tugged his trunk off the train, the rest of his friends following close behind, several of the other students called out to him.
"See you, Brewer!"
Ron grinned at Harry, "Still famous, huh?"
Harry shrugged, "Not at home."
They made their way over to where their folks were waiting. Molly smiled at Harry, "Busy year?"
Harry snorted, "You have no idea. Thanks for the sweater, Mrs. Weasley."
"Oh, it was nothing, dear."
"Harry! There you are!" Aurilia pushed through the crowd. "You have got some serious explaining to do when we get home, young man!"
Harry winced, "Sorry, Mom."
"You're just lucky that Remus and Sirius asked me to hold of judging your punishment until I get to hear your side of things. Come along, it's time to go."
Harry swallowed nervously and looked to his friends, "Help?"
Fred and George laughed, "Sorry, mate, for this one…"
"…you're on your own!"
Sirius grabbed Harry's trunk and motioned for him to follow his mom. "Chin up, Harry. It won't be that bad."
Harry shook his head, "You don't know Mom as well as I do… I'll probably never see daylight again, least not 'til next fall!"
A/N2: Thus concludes Book Two of the Raising Harry arc. Look for Book Three: 'Curiouser and Curiouser, as Alice Once Said' coming soon.