Here's the last part.
The next day, Harry and Ron stood in front of the mirror in their dormitory. Seamus and Dean had already left to meet up with their parents while Neville was having breakfast with his grandmother. Ron tugged uncomfortably at his robes and Harry was trying, unsuccessfully, to flatten his hair.
"I'm never wearing these again if I could help it."
Harry looked at Ron and laughed. "At least these don't have any lace along the sides."
Ron grimaced. "I suppose. I don't see why we can't wear our regular cloaks."
Harry shook his head. He looked out the window and saw many people gathering on the grounds already. "Come on, it looks like we might be late."
Ron and Harry met up with Hermione and Ginny in the common room a few minutes later. They each greeted their perspective girlfriends with a kiss and a hug.
"Come on," Ginny said. "I told Luna we'd meet up with her so that she could sit with us. Her father should be here also, although he may be a bit late." She took Harry's hand and led the way out of the portrait.
On the way down, Harry tried to keep himself between Hermione and Ginny so that he would not have to speak with anybody. He was nervous at what was to come, though probably not as nervous as Ron.
"We should grab something to eat," said Hermione. "Before we go outside." Ron and Harry both shook their heads and continued on to the entrance hall where they were greeted by Luna, Neville, and his grandmother.
Neville's grandmother looked at the four of them sternly. She smiled at them and waved her arm. "Please, Harry Potter, lead the way." Harry nodded and pushed open the doors to the grounds. Sunlight immediately hit them and Harry saw that the crowd had grown bigger from when he saw them from his dormitory window.
Hagrid and Grawp were sitting together, both dressed in horrible-looking suits, off to the side of where a stage had been set up. Kingsley and McGonagall were walking around, shaking hands and showing people where to sit. More chairs were set up than had been for Dumbledore's funeral. Harry saw numerous students already sitting down. Ernie MacMillan, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Michael Corner, and Terry Boot were sitting with each other. In another section, Harry saw Dennis Creevey and Jimmy Peakes sitting together with their families. Cho was with her mother. Seamus, his mother, Dean, and his family were sitting together. Oliver Wood, Katie Bell, Angelina Johnson, and Alicia Spinnet were sitting with their families. Lavender and her parents were sitting with the Patil twins and their parents. Hannah Abbot was sitting with Susan Bones. Viktor Krum was even sitting amongst the people. He was speaking to Fleur and Bill. Gabrielle Delacour and her parents were sitting nearby.
Professors Flitwick, Sprout, Slughorn, Sinistra, Trelawney, and Vector were sitting together with their prospective families. Professor Grubby-Plank was also in attendance, sitting with Madam Hooch. Filch was in a moldy suit, holding Mrs. Norris, and standing with Madam Pince. Madam Pomfrey was also sitting out there. Madame Maxime, from Beauxbatons, took a seat next to Hagrid. The O.W.L. examiners were there, Professors Tofty, Marchbanks, and Twycross.
Harry even noticed that the ghosts were out on the grounds. Harry barely saw them, but could see twinkling and shimmering as they glimmered through the sun. Nearly Headless Nick, the Fat Friar, the Bloody Baron, and the Grey Lady all glided with each other. The Grey Lady glided on the other side of Nearly Headless Nick, in an effort to get away from the Bloody Baron. Even Peeves was out there, flying around. Harry was surprised to see Moaning Myrtle and even Professor Binns out on the grounds. He recognized Sir Patrick Delaney-Podmore of the Headless Hunt.
Andromeda Tonks was sitting next to Narcissa Malfoy, holding baby Teddy. Lucius and Draco sat on the other side of Narcissa, looking confused as to why they were there.
Cornelius Fudge was there, talking to Amos Diggory and his wife. Mafalda Hopkirk and Perkins, from the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office were there also. Reginald Cattermole was with his wife and their children.
Neville and his grandmother left Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny as they greeted their family members. Neville turned and waved to Harry before talking deeply to his Great Uncle Algie.
Tom, the bartender from the Leaky Cauldron was there, along with Verity, Fred and George's assistant at the shop. Harry saw Madam Malkin and also thought he saw a handful of goblins near the entrance to the Forbidden Forest. He thought he saw Griphook among them. Ollivander was also there, waving to Bill and Fleur. Madam Rosmerta and Madam Puddifoot from Hogsmeade were also there, along with the other shopkeepers and homeowners of the town. Harry also saw Mrs. Figg from Little Whinging. The last time he had seen her was at his trial. He was glad that she had finally gotten out of her slippers and into some actual shoes.
Harry recognized a few Healers from St. Mungo's. Augustus Pye and Hippocrates Smethwyck were there, along with Miriam Strout. Rita Skeeter was there and looked anxiously at the professional Quidditch players who were there aside from Viktor: Gwenog Jones, Gwendolyn Morgan, and Glynnis Griffiths of the Holyhead Harpies were there. Aidan Lynch, Connelly, and Barry Ryan from Ireland were there, and also some of Krum's Bulgarian teammates: Dimitrov, Ivanova, and Levski.
Loud cracks were heard off to the side of the stage, closer to the castle. The house-elves of the kitchens stood there, awkwardly, led by Kreacher, who had a big smile on his face. Harry could not help but grin at this sight. He saw Winky standing a bit behind Kreacher and hoped that she had gotten better.
Harry saw the centaurs approach the crowd from the Forbidden Forest. He recognized Firenze, who seemed to have been welcomed back into the herd, Bane, Magorian, and Ronan.
The surviving members of the Order of the Phoenix were also there, sitting closer to the front. Elphias Doge was deep in conversation with Aberforth Dumbledore while Mrs. Figg was listening to them. Arthur and Molly Weasley were sitting together with George, Percy, and Charlie. Mrs. Weasley's Auntie Muriel was also sitting with them. Harry saw Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones leading three people who he would have never expected to see at Hogwarts, into seats near the front. Harry immediately ran toward them to get a better look, leaving his friends and his girlfriend behind him.
"What..." Harry looked at the three people who he thought he would never see again. "Uncle Vernon? Aunt Petunia? Dudley? What...why...how...what are you doing here? Why are you here? And how did you get here?"
Uncle Vernon's eyes flashed angrily at Harry as he tried not to look at anything, as if they would give him a sickness. He didn't say a word, but just continued on glaring at him. Aunt Petunia looked speechless. She looked around the grounds of Hogwarts, trying to hide the astonishment and wonder in her eyes. Dudley, however, had not taken his eyes off of his cousin. He took a step forward and stuck out his hand in front of Harry. Harry looked at it and accepted it. Dudley opened his mouth to speak.
"I suppose thanks are in order," he said. Dudley looked at Dedalus. "They said that if you hadn't saved your world, ours would've been gone, too. Thank you."
Harry stared at Dudley, dumbfounded. He was still surprised that Dudley had told him that he wasn't a waste of space the summer before. "You're welcome." He looked at his aunt with questions in his eyes. She stared determinedly around the grounds, not wanting to look at Harry in the eye. He gestured to the chairs. "Please, take a seat." Dudley nodded and sat down at once. Aunt Petunia stared at the seat, willing something to sprout up underneath her. Uncle Vernon only allowed himself to sit after he realized that his son and his wife were not going to leave anytime soon.
"Harry, please, we will begin shortly," Kingsley said, nodding to the Dursleys. Harry nodded and sat in his reserved seat at the front of the crowd, facing the stage. Ginny took a seat behind him, sitting with her family, while Ron and Hermione sat next to him. McGonagall sat down in the front row as well and dabbed her eyes with a tissue that she had hidden in her sleeve. Kingsley's eyes swept the crowd, waiting for the last few people to settle into their seats. He looked at the centaurs and bowed his head towards them, who returned the gesture. He looked at the house-elves, who looked scared, and smiled gently at them. He looked at the goblins and nodded his head toward them. Kingsley waited a couple more minutes before stepping up to the platform and clearing his throat so that he could be heard.
"Ladies and gentlemen, witches and wizards, centaurs, ghosts, goblins, and house-elves. Today is a day of remembrance. A day of commemoration. A day of celebration for the lives that were lost in the fight against Lord Voldemort. We have lost loved ones, family members, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, cousins, aunts, and uncles. They would not have wanted us to grieve for them. It is inevitable, of course, but they gave their lives for a better future for all. A better future for their children, their grandchildren, their future nieces and nephews. We, the Wizarding community, have a chance to do that. We have a chance to make a better future for our children. A better future to live in. A sunnier place, a happier place to be. One without the threat of torture and death everyday. One without the fear for yourself and the fear for your family. We have the chance to be a stronger community than we have been before.
"About sixteen years ago, the threat of Lord Voldemort disappeared. He disappeared with the murder of James and Lily Potter, and the attempted murder of their son, Harry Potter." Kingsley nodded toward Harry in the first row. "We were able to live freely again until we heard about the escape of the wrongly accused Sirius Black. A year after that, Lord Voldemort returned to his body and since then we have been fighting a war against Lord Voldemort. One that so many of us were afraid we would lose. Everything looked hopeless. We didn't know who to trust, who to love. All we knew was that something was going on. Something dreadful. Until early yesterday morning. Most of us have not been able to sleep well for the past few years and the events of yesterday morning have given us all peace. Harry Potter defeated Lord Voldemort for the final time." Kingsley stopped as the attendees cheered loudly. Harry blushed. "We have lost many last night and even more over the course of Lord Voldemort's rise to power. But while we grieve for those that have gone, we rejoice for what is to come." Everyone again cheered loudly as Kingsley bowed his head to the crowd and nodded toward Hermione. "It is my wish for the three people who have made this possible to say a few things. Ms. Hermione Granger, if you please."
Everyone clapped politely as Hermione nervously stood up to approach the platform. She shook Kingsley's hand as he moved off to the side. "Hello everyone, my name is Hermione Granger." She looked at Ron and Harry and smiled. "I am a Muggle-born witch and have attended Hogwarts for the past six years. Entering Hogwarts has been the greatest thing of my life so far. I have met so many amazing people and have learned so many amazing things that I don't know what I would do without going to Hogwarts. I have a found a family away from my own and although there were times when it was hard, there has never been a time when I wouldn't think to attend Hogwarts. I have learned so much, much more than can be taught in a classroom or in a textbook and most importantly, I have learned how to be a human and not a robot. Not someone who spouts out information and hides behind the facts. I have learned to open my mind to new things, even if it is the acknowledgment of Crumple-Horned Snorkacks," she said with a grin towards Luna, who smiled encouragingly at her. The crowd laughed. "I have learned to accept the things around you and to treat everyone as though they had feelings whether it be the smallest of the small or the biggest of the big. Most importantly, I have learned the importance of friendship." She smiled as she stepped back from the platform. Everyone clapped and cheered as she walked down to retake her seat between Ron and Harry.
Kingsley waited for the applause to die down. "Next, Mr. Ronald Weasley." The crowd clapped for Ron as he walked to the platform. Ron wiped his sweaty hands on the front of his cloak. Harry saw Mrs. Weasley cringe from out of the corner of his eye. He smiled a bit and waited for Ron to begin. Ron stepped up to the platform and cleared his throat a few times. He adjusted the platform and looked around a bit. "Hello." Ron's ears began to turn red as his voice squeaked out. He cleared his throat again. "Seven years ago, I started here at Hogwarts. On my first train ride here, I sat in the same compartment as Harry Potter. We became good friends from then on, although we have had our bouts of times when we wouldn't speak to one another, but what friendship doesn't, right?
"Anyway, that same year the Philosopher's Stone was here at Hogwarts and we tried to protect it from Professor Quirrell. Harry had asked us, me and Hermione, if we wanted to turn back then. We didn't. We stuck with him until the end. We might have strayed a bit, but we stuck with him. And he stuck with us." Ron stopped and paused for a bit. "I'm sorry I don't speak with the same gift that Hermione does or even Harry." He stopped again and looked around, settling on his family. He took a deep breath. "I lost my brother yesterday." Ron stopped as his eyes filled with tears. "He was fighting the Death Eaters as they entered the castle. He died, laughing at a joke that my brother Percy said. It was probably the way he wanted to go. He was here, at Hogwarts, laughing at a joke with his family." Ron stopped as his voice broke.
Everyone was silent as he wiped his face of the tears. Harry felt tears well up in his eyes and look down. He wasn't sure if he could get through this.
"Kingsley said earlier that this was a day of remembrance," Ron continued, wiping his eyes. "A day to commemorate those who left us." Ron looked up. "Fred, wherever you may be, we hope you are having fun and playing pranks. And not laughing at us too much for all the stupid things that we do." Harry heard George start to sob behind him. Ron looked down and wiped his eyes. He walked away from the platform and resumed his seat next to Hermione, who threw her arm around him.
Kingsley waited a few minutes to give the crowd a minute to regain their composure. "Last, but certainly not, least, I present Mr. Harry Potter." Kingsley once again took a couple of steps to the side of the platform as Harry stood in front of all of them, properly facing everyone for the first time. He looked at the Weasleys and Hermione, all wiping tears from their eyes. The Gryffindors were, as well. He looked at everyone staring at him, attentively.
Harry cleared his throat. "A day to remember, to commemorate and to celebrate the lives of those who have gone from us. That is what today is. We not only remember those who have lost their lives early yesterday morning, but all of those who have lost their lives in the fight against Voldemort. We remember you all." Harry paused. "I am Harry Potter. And before I came to Hogwarts, I was known as 'The Boy Who Lived.' I was famous for doing nothing. I never knew my parents. I never knew of this world until my eleventh birthday. Most of you know who I am. Most of you have read The Daily Prophet and formed your own opinions of me. Some have thought that I was a deranged wizard who could speak Parseltongue. In my second year, some even thought that I was the heir of Slytherin." Harry laughed a bit before settling into a somber expression. "I lost some of the people who were closest to my heart." He looked around at his fellow classmates. Susan Bones, who has also lost so many family members. Hannah Abbot lost her mother during their sixth year. "I know many of us have lost the people that are closest to our hearts. But, the thing to understand is that they have never really left us. They may be gone, but they're not. Your parents, your brothers, your sisters, your sons, your daughters, they are all in your hearts. They live within you. They are a part of you."
Harry paused and looked around the crowd again. "In memory of all of those who have lost their lives here, at Hogwarts, Professor McGonagall and Minister Shacklebolt have enacted this memorial to them." Harry paused and turned back as Kingsley waved his wand. Before them stood a grand memorial, citing the names of all of those who have lost their lives at Hogwarts near the top. Per Harry's request, Severus Snape was at the very top underneath the date of their death. Listed below him was Remus Lupin, followed by Nymphadora Lupin and Fred Weasley. Closer to the bottom of the memorial was the name of Tom Marvolo Riddle with his Death Eaters listed below him. Bellatrix Lestrange topped the list.
"A similar memorial will be enacted at the Ministry of Magic," Harry continued. "However, it is also my wish that we include not only those who have died in this particular battle, but those who have lost their lives because of Lord Voldemort." Kingsley waved his wand again and immediately another memorial stood next to the first one. This memorial was grand but did not have any writing or names on it. "Someone, a great wizard, once told me that we should not pity the dead. He said that 'to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.'"
As Harry said these last few words, the inscription "To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure" appeared at the top of the memorial.
"These people have died in Voldemort's second reign of power. Some of them were killed in order for Voldemort to be able to complete his plans for his resurrection. Others have been killed because they simply got in the way. They will all be remembered. Frank Bryce, a Muggle from the town of Little Hangleton where Voldemort's parents are from. Bertha Jorkins, a Ministry of Magic Witch. Bartemius Crouch, Sr., the former head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation. Cedric Diggory, a Triwizard Champion of the Hufflepuff house of Hogwarts. Broderick Bode, an Unspeakable in the Department of Mysteries. Amelia Bones, head of the Deparment of Magical Law Enforcement. Emmeline Vance. Charity Burbage, the professor of Muggle Studies. Rufus Scrimegeour, the former Minister of Magic. The Bulgarian wand maker, Gregorovitch. Dirk Cresswell. The goblin, Gornuk. Gellert Grindelwald, the former Dark Wizard who was defeated by Dumbledore. Colin Creevey, a student here at Hogwarts." Harry continued to name all of the people who have died in the past three years, ever since Voldemort gained power. He included the rest of the people who died at Hogwarts the night before and also the names of the witches and wizards who were killed by Death Eaters. He also named the Muggles who have also died because of Voldemort or his Death Eaters.
"But we must not only remember those who passed in the second war. To all of those who have passed in Voldemort's quest for power. In his quest for immortality." Harry looked around at everyone in front of him. He took a deep breath and continued. "Hepzibah Smith. An old and very rich witch who collected antiques. She was a descendant of Helga Hufflpuff. Tom Riddle killed her to gain the cup of Hufflepuff and the locket of Slytherin. Marvolo, Morfin, and Merope Gaunt. Tom Riddle's grandfather, uncle, and mother. Morfin was believed to have killed a family of Muggles. Tom planted this memory within him." Harry ignored the looks of surprise and shock that he was receiving from the audience. He knew that most of them neither knew nor cared about the people that he was talking about. But he knew that he needed to get the story out there. He didn't want to hide any more secrets about Riddle's rise for power. He wanted people to learn from them.
"We also remember those who passed in the first war. Edgar Bones and his family. Caradoc Dearborn. Benjy Fenwick. Marlene McKinnon. Dorcas Meadowes. Fabian and Gideon Prewett." Harry coninued to list the names of those the witches, wizards, Muggles, goblins, centaurs, and house-elves who passed in the first war.
"You may have noticed that I have left out a few people. People who mean a lot to me." Harry looked around. He felt a lump grow in his throat and tears fill his eyes. "My parents." Harry swallowed deeply and continued on. "James and Lily Potter. They passed many years ago on October 31st. Their death brought my beginning. I didn't know my parents. I know some of you did, but I didn't. All I ever wanted in this life was to know my parents. To feel my mother's hug when I returned home from Hogwarts every summer and holiday. To hear the laughter of my father when I told him about the detentions that I have gotten into. To hear the both of them cheer whenever I play Quidditch for Gryffindor. Everything that I am today is because of them. I did not know them. But I do. I feel them every day that I live. Often I hear that I look exactly like my father, with eyes like my mother's. I hope that I can only live the rest of my life in their name. I love them and I always will." Harry stopped as he wiped his eyes. Numerous people in front of him also wiped their eyes. Harry heard sniffling coming from all of the places on the grounds. Harry took a deep breath and continued to speak.
"Some of you remember Sirius Black. Some of you believed that he was a mass murderer. Some of you believed that he betrayed my parents. Some of you know that he is also my godfather and my parents' best friend." He took a deep breath and looked around. "He was, in many ways, a parent to me. Sometimes he was an older brother to me. He has helped me in many ways possible. I knew that Sirius would go through any lengths to keep me safe, to protect me. He never kept me waiting. Sirius Black did not betray my parents. He would have died for them. He would have died for me. Sirius was one of the few links that I had to my parents. He hated being locked up, especially when he was able to roam around freely. He most especially hated being locked up in the place that he thought he had left when he was sixteen years old." Harry knew that most people did not understand him, but again he did not care. "Sirius loved it when I told him that we were planning something to break the rules. In my fifth year, we formed an illegal Defense Against the Dark Arts group, called Dumbledore's Army--" At this, the members of the Dumbledore's Army cheered. "And Sirius encouraged me to do it. He was glad to help. I didn't know him for long, but I am glad to have known him. I am glad to have learned the truth." Harry stopped and looked around again. "At the end of my fifth year, there was a battle in the Department of Mysteries, that some of us were a part of." Harry noticed that Lucius looked around uncomfortably. "My godfather died that night. He died, protecting me, and saving me from anything that he could have. Lord Voldemort possessed me that night." He heard a collective gasp come from the people in front of him. "It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I wished that Dumbledore had decided to kill me, that Voldemort would have killed me, anything to get rid of the pain that I felt when Voldemort was inside of me. The only thing that saved me was the love that I had for my godfather. I love him and I wish that I could see him again. But I know that he is in a better place. A place where he is reunited with his best friends, where he could live free and roam around without worry or fear.
"Professor Remus Lupin was the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher that I have ever had. He was the first one to understand us as a class and to help us reach our potential to being great. He looked past the first impressions and believed in us. But he was more than that. To me, he was a friend and a person that I could go to for advice. He had a hard life. When he was a child, he was bitten by a werewolf. Because of this, Remus didn't have any friends. He didn't think anybody would want to be his friend because of his condition. He and his parents didn't think that he would be able to come to Hogwarts, despite his obvious powers. But the Whomping Willow was planted and this enabled Remus a safe place to hide whenever the full moon took place. When he got to Hogwarts, he had friends for the first time. They did not fail to notice his many absences around the full moon. They, like my friend, Hermione, figured out that Remus was, in fact, a werewolf. He thought they would shun him. He thought they would blurt his secret out to the world. But they didn't. If anything, they became better, closer friends." Harry paused and exhaled. He watered his drying mouth. "Remus has lived his life, with many regrets, but also, with many joys. When he became our teacher, you could tell that he truly enjoyed teaching. He truly enjoyed the company of students. He loved talking to us, teaching us many things. He was one of the only people who was able to extract the best of us. He was a devoted and loyal person. He was a loving husband and father. His son, Teddy, lives on. He will grow, learning of his father and his mother. He will know of the sacrifices that they made for him to have a better life. He will know that they love him and they always will. He will know that they are always with him."
"Nymphadora Tonks Lupin, better known as Tonks, was Teddy's mother. In the short time that I knew her, she was a funny, clumsy, and extremely loyal human being. She was a Metamorphmagus and used that to help her put smiles on our faces. I remember that she would change the color of her hair every so often and even sometimes changed her nose into one of a pig's snout. She would always try to help and always offered it. She had bright bubblegum pink hair and almost always had a smile on her face. She and her husband have made me godfather to baby Teddy. For them, I will be the best godfather that I can be. Teddy will know who his parents are and he will be proud of them."
"Teddy was named for his grandfather, Ted Tonks. He was a Muggle-born wizard. He helped me hide from Lord Voldemort. He saved my life that night." Harry looked at Andromeda and Teddy. Andromeda was silently crying, while looking down at the baby. "He was a brave man. A brave man who should also be remembered."
"A little before my second year, a house-elf came to my house at Little Whinging. He warned me to not return to Hogwarts. Throughout that school year, he managed to seal the hidden entrance to Platform Nine & Three-Quarters and he also enchanted a Bludger to chase after me during a Quidditch match, which led to my losing all of the bones in my arm. He was trying to save my life." Harry held up his arm as if to show proof. "This house-elf was later freed and wanted wages for his service." Harry saw the house-elves cringe. "His name was Dobby. He was a free elf." Harry paused. "Throughout my years at Hogwarts and even later, he has shown complete loyalty and devotion. Dobby went against most of his commands, in an effort to aid me. He severely punished himself afterwards, but was always willing to help. He walked blindly into the face of danger to save the lives of me and my friends. While he managed to save our lives, he lost his life in the process." Harry stopped and blinked his tears away. "Dobby. Thank you for knowing me. Thank you for saving my life."
"Alastor Moody, better known as Mad-Eye, was perhaps the most well-known Auror of all time. He has made himself a load of enemies and began to live in fear over his long life. He has lost many body parts to fighting the Dark Arts, yet he continued to fight them. He never killed whenever he could help it, preferring to bring people in with force to allow them to receive the most humane treatment possible. He, too, has protected me, and has kept me safe in the short time that I knew him. Moody was extremely careful about making sure that nobody would harm me. He would even consider doubling back just to make sure I wasn't followed. He was a brave person and someone that I have learned a lot from. I only wish that if I were to be an Auror, I would be as powerful as him. As compassionate as him."
"There are two people that I have not yet spoken of. Both of them were Hogwarts headmasaters. And both of them were two of the bravest men that I knew." Harry paused and looked around. "The first, was probably one of the most hated people at his death. Severus Snape. Snape was not the nicest man around. He was not the most patient, not the kindest. He did not care for many of us. But he had the chance, and he took it, to love. He felt pain, sadness, and love. He felt happiness sometimes. He kept me alive in the seven years that I knew him. He was an extremely intelligent person. A powerful wizard. He was proud to be a wizard. Proud to have magical powers. He was happy here at Hogwarts. This was the only place that felt like home to him. Severus Snape was one of the bravest men I knew. And may he finally find the peace that he has been searching for in his death."
"Most of us thought that we knew Professor Dumbledore. We didn't. None of us really knew him. Dumbledore was able to keep some the things most precious to him closest to his heart. But we know that he was the most powerful and the greatest wizard of all time. We didn't see it, but Dumbledore had many flaws. The thing that made him great was that he identified them and took the necessary measures to keep them from taking over. He deeply cared for the people that he had come across, whether they are a Muggle, a house-elf, or anything else. He knew how to speak many different languages. He had a family. He had a childhood. I know many people, including myself, tend to forget about that. Seeing Dumbledore as the older, wise wizard was just easier to think of than thinking of his younger, adolescent self. He greatly loved teaching. He loved making the younger students laugh. He loved making the older students look deep within themselves to come up with their own answers to their questions. He protected those weaker than him and was steadfast in his loyalty and devotion. Dumbledore was the greatest wizard of all time. And nothing that I say in a few minutes will give him what he deserves. I deeply admire and respect Dumbledore. I know that he was fighting for the greater good. He looked to protect everybody, Muggles, witches, wizards, and non-humans alike. He looked to respect them and to honor them."
Harry took a deep breath and looked at the memorial. He saw the names of all the people that he had talked about on it. At the very top were Dumbledore's, Snape's, Moody's, Sirius's, Remus's, Tonks', and his parents.
He looked into the crowd and focused on the Weasley family. Mr. Weasley, Mrs. Weasley, and Ginny all had tears running down their faces. Charlie, Percy, George, and Ron had red cheeks. Bill's arm was entwined with Fleur's. "When I first arrived at King's Cross seven years ago, I had no idea of how to get on the platform. I saw a mother directing her sons to the platform. I approached her and she helped me get to the platform. Her two sons helped me pull my trunk onto the train and I sat with another son in a compartment. That day, I forged a friendship with Ron Weasley. And I found a family. One that I have searched for all my life. The Weasleys have accepted me into their family and have treated me like one of your own." He looked at each of them. "Thank you. Thank you for accepting me and thank you for allowing me to step into your lives. Thank you for risking your lives for me. Thank you for everything that you have done." Harry looked around at the crowd again. "Fred Weasley was, in many ways, the brother that I had never had. He and his twin, George, were able to find the laughter in everything. No matter how down you were, they were there to make you laugh. They were there to make things less serious. They were the ones who knew exactly what to say." Harry focused on the Weasleys again. He looked straight at George, who returned his gaze with tears running down his face. "It will be hard. There will be times when you are angry at the world. But we will get through it together. All of us. That is what families do. They stick together."
Harry looked at the memorial again. He saw Fred's name shining brightly near the top of the memorial, near Tonks' name.
"There is also one more that I wish to recognize. Some of you know her, some of you don't. My owl, Hedwig, also died in the war. She was the first link I had to the wizarding world. She was the only friend that I had during the summers when I returned home." Harry's eyes teared up as he felt a pain in his chest. "She was more than a pet to me. She supported me in almost everything that I did. She helped me know that my godfather was okay. She has been with me throughout almost everything and she...I love her and I miss her."
He looked into the crowd nodded to the members of the Order that he recognized and to all of the people that he knew helped him throughout the years.
"I have learned that death is not the only way to defeat a man. It is not the only way to destroy a man. There are many more ways to destroy a person." Harry looked at Neville and his grandmother sitting next to him. "Frank and Alice Longbottom were Aurors. They were two of the greatest Aurors that we have known. They were tortured into insanity after the first downfall of Lord Voldemort. Their son, Neville, continues their legacy. He is a brave man. One who has become a great friend to me. Thank you for being a loyal friend." Neville's grandmother patted his head proudly.
"Friendships, loyalty, devotion, and love. All of these seem like trivial things. They seem like everyday things." Harry looked around at his friends. "Some of you have stuck with me since the very beginning. Some of you have risked your lives for me. Some of you befriended me for no reason. Some of you were injured in fighting Voldemort. But all of you have shown your loyalty and devotion. You have displayed that friendships can surpass all. Most importantly, we have all found the love for each other." He looked at the rest of the crowd and settled on Hagrid, sitting with Grawp, off to the side. "Hagrid was the first person who let me know that I was wizard. He has been my friend throughout these past seven years. He is loyal and devoted and would do anything for those he cares about."
Harry looked at the row of teachers in front of him. "Professors McGonagall, Flitwick and Sprout. You have been there since the very beginning with me. You have helped me grow into the person that I am today. You have shown me patience and have helped me to achieve many things in the years that I have known you. Thank you for showing me patience and for teaching me all that I know. Professor McGonagall, I'm sorry for all the times I've gotten on your nerves. I'm sorry for not being a better Quidditch Captain last year. I'm sorry for always getting detention. Thank you for everything." McGonagall started sobbing.
He looked at the members of the Order. "To the members of the Order of the Phoenix. Thank you for risking your lives. Thank you for fighting. Thank you for trying to make the world a better place. Thank you for trying to make the world a happier place. Dedalus Diggle. Elphias Doge. Aberforth Dumbledore. Arabella Figg. Hestia Jones. Sturgis Podmore. Kingsley Shacklebolt. Arthur Weasley. Molly Weasley. Bill Weasley. Fleur Weasley. Charlie Weasley. Mundungus Fletcher."
Harry looked around again. "To Dumbledore's Army!" Again, Harry heard a cheer as he raised his arm in salute. "Hermione Granger. Ron Weasley. Ginny Weasley. Neville Longbottom. Luna Lovegood. Seamus Finnigan. Dean Thomas. Cho Chang. Hannah Abbot. Katie Bell. Angelina Johnson. Alicia Spinnet. Lavender Brown. Parvati Patil. Padma Patil. Susan Bones. Terry Boot. Michael Corner. Dennis Creevey. Justin Finch-Fletchley. Anthony Goldstein. Ernie Macmillan. Lee Jordan. George Weasley." Harry smiled at the remaining members of Dumbledore's Army. "We lost two of our own. But forever they will live."
His smiled faded a bit. "I also wish to recognize those who have passed on the side of evil." Harry noticed a few angry looks in the crowd. "The Death Eaters who have followed Lord Voldemort, and also, Lord Voldemort himself. For without them, we would not know that there are things out there that are worth dying for. We would not have known to put the greater good ahead of our own choices. Lord Voldemort, also known as Tom Marvolo Riddle. A misunderstood, angry, evil person." Harry watched Lucius Malfoy. He looked extremely uncomfortable, but not angry. He didn't have that same hatred in his eyes that he normally did when looking at Harry. His look was one of remorse and regret. Draco, who was sitting next to him, looked scared again. "Bellatrix Lestrange. She was imprisoned in Azkaban and later broke free. Peter Pettigrew, the man who really betrayed my parents. Bartemius Crouch, Jr. Evan Rosier. Wilkes. Gibbon. Vincent Crabbe. He was not a Death Eater, but he shared their views. He passed in a Fiendfyre."
Harry looked into the crowd again. "There were also those who have turned away from following Lord Voldemort. Igor Karkaroff, the former headmaster of Durmstrang. And Regulus Black, the younger brother of Sirius Black. Regulus was young when he first became a Death Eater. He did not know what he was getting into. He deeply cared for and loved his house-elf." Harry looked at Kreacher, who was sobbing. "He wanted to keep his family safe. So safe, that he didn't even let his older brother know about his change of heart. He didn't even let his parents know of his intentions. Regulus ended his life as a caring individual. He sacrificed his life so that his house-elf would be able to live. He sacrificed his life for the greater good."
"But today marks a change. It marks an end and a beginning. It is the end of the past life as we seek to rebuild a stronger, newer one. It is the end of our former views as we seek to change. We look to everyone sitting here today. We look to everyone who isn't here today. We look to our families, friends, acquaintances and anybody else. We all have to work together to build a better future. One that little Teddy Lupin will know that his parents helped create. One that all of our future children will be proud of. One that they will be safe in. Today is a day of sadness. It is a day of grieving. Yet it is also filled with the hopes and dreams of what is to come. I thank you all for taking time out of your lives to be here today. I thank you all for being here to celebrate the lives of those who have passed here, at Hogwarts. I thank you all for celebrating the lives of those who have died fighting for what is good." Harry paused. "To all of the families who lost someone, we grieve with you. We feel and understand your pain and sadness. Together, we can move on. Together, we will be okay."
Harry ended his speech with a slight bow to the crowd. Everyone stood as they clapped, cheered, and catcalled for Harry. Many people had tears in their eyes or running down their faces. Some even shouted out, "Thank you, Harry!" Ginny greeted Harry with a kiss on the cheek as she tiptoed over the chair.
Kingsley waited for the cheering to die down. After about five minutes, he stood at the same platform that Hermione, Ron, and Harry spoke at. "Nothing more can be said. We thank you all for being here today. Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and Harry Potter, thank you once more." Kingsley finished with a nod to them and left the platform, waving his wand and conjuring up numerous doves, one for every life slain. Everybody sat in awe, watching the doves rise higher and higher in the sky
When the doves flew so high that they couldn't be seen anymore, people began standing up to talk to each other once more. George rammed Harry and engulfed him in a tight hug. After a moment, he cuffed Ron around the neck and dragged him down to be level with them. "Thank you--I don't know what--how--" he stammered. Ron and Harry responded by throwing their arms around him. George let go of them, wiping his face again. He threw his arms around Percy and Charlie, who were standing closest to him.
Hermione and Ginny smiled at Harry. They nodded to him and Hermione pointed back to the castle, signalling that they were going back. Harry nodded as Kingsley approached him with his hand outstretched.
"A lot of things will be changing, Harry," he said.
Harry nodded. "I know."
"And I am asking for your help."
"Of course, anything I could do, Kingsley." Harry smiled at him and turned away as he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Oh, Potter!" Professor McGonagall gave Harry a hug. Harry returned the gesture, surprised. "Thank you. Thank you so very much."
"No, Professor," he said. "Thank you. I wouldn't have known that I love Quidditch if it weren't for you. I wouldn't have been able to get through the Triwizard Tournament. I would've--"
Harry was cut short by another tight hug by McGonagall. She smiled at him through her tears and let go as Professor Sprout hugged him next. Harry was a bit of show, with everyone coming to him to shake his hand and thanking him.
Lucius Malfoy stood off to the side, near Snape's tomb. He watched Harry for a long time. Harry, finally noticing his gaze, shrugged off his next batch of admirers and walked to Malfoy.
Malfoy stared at him for a couple of minutes with his gray eyes. Harry noticed that they seemed close to tears. Malfoy stuck out his hand and Harry shook it. He nodded to Harry and walked back to his family.
Harry, looking after Malfoy called out after him, "Sorry about your wand."
Malfoy turned and looked at him again. He nodded a bit and Harry could've sworn that he saw trace of a smile on his face. Draco nodded to Harry and followed his parents.
Andromeda walked up to Harry and gave him a slight hug. "How about holding your godson again?"
Harry grinned. "Sure." He held out his hands and Andromeda gently placed Teddy in them. Harry and Andromeda spoke with one another as they stood in front of the memorials.
After a few minutes, Teddy began to cry and Andromeda took him away to change his diaper. The Dursleys took over the spot where Andromeda was standing. Harry looked at them, still surprised that they were there.
"We'll be going now, boy," said Uncle Vernon.
"Okay," Harry replied.
Dudley walked forward and again took Harry's hand. He gave him a small smile as he stood next to his father. Aunt Petunia looked at Harry for the longest time. She looked at her sister's name on the memorial with tears filling her eyes. She didn't say anything as she turned away from him.
Uncle Vernon led the way back to Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones, with Dudley right behind him. Aunt Petunia lagged behind, shooting glances at Harry and at the memorial over her shoulder. She stopped and turned toward Harry again. He walked forward to her.
Aunt Petunia wasn't looking at him, she was staring up at the memorial again. Her voice came out as a whisper. "I didn't know that...that...Snape..."
"You knew him when you were younger, didn't you?" Harry's voice matched hers.
She looked at him, horrified. "I never, I didn't--"
"It's okay. I know you did. He was the one who you overheard telling my mum that the dementors guarded Azkaban."
She stared at him with her mouth wide open. "How do--how did you--"
"Snape loved my mother. You knew that didn't you?"
Petunia didn't say anything to him. She merely stared at him, aghast.
"I didn't know that they knew each other as children. He's loved her from when they were children until the point of his death."
Again, Petunia didn't say anything.
"He died for her."
Petunia opened her mouth to speak. They heard Vernon calling for her. She shivered and turned away from Harry.
Harry was about to walk away when he noticed that Petunia had stopped again.
She walked forward and said, "I'm sorry" in a soft voice. Then she turned and walked to her husband and son. Harry watched them heading for the gate. He began to follow them, although they were much further along than he was. He stopped at the lake, underneath the tree that his father started to bully Snape under, and watched as Dudley raised a hand.
Harry nodded and waved to him. He stood there, thinking to himself for a long time until he felt three bodies jump into him. Harry stumbled a bit, taking a step forward. He turned and saw the smiling faces of his best friends and his girlfriend. He hugged each of them in turn, keeping an arm around Ginny.
"So, where do we go from here?" asked Ron, entwining his fingers with Hermione's.
"I think I'm going to go to Australia," said Hermione. "Find my parents and lift the charm."
Harry didn't say anything as he listened to the others speak. They were talking about all of the things that they were going to do this summer and all of what they hoped to be.
"I'm thinking of going back to Godric's Hollow," Harry said finally. "Give my parents a proper visit. And also say hello to Dumbledore's mother and sister. And maybe take a poke around the old cottage." Ginny smiled at him, warmly. "You three are all welcome to come along, as well." He looked at Ron. "I think your mum would like it there. It's nothing like the Burrow, but..."
"I think she would love it," said Ginny.
"And then I'm going to stay with Andromeda for a bit. She invited me over, to teach me a few things about baby Teddy."
"It's hard to believe that it's really over," said Hermione.
Ron nodded. "Seems like just yesterday we were playing chess on McGonagall's giant set."
Harry nodded. He and the others sat down under the tree, reliving their memories. Harry waved to all of the people who called his name as they left in the direction of the gates, all seeming to have better spirits than when they arrived. He stared off into the distance, not listening to what the other's were saying, but thinking to himself and playing with Ginny's hair. He smiled, knowing that there will be a future. And one that's open to however he wants to live it.
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