61 - Fear

"He's still a little boy in his mind! He shouldn't have a girlfriend yet."

"He's a teenager." Remus speaks softly, stroking Petunia's back slowly. "You know what Dr. Rayburn said. It's the same as with other boys his age. You're not doing him a favour if you can't let go." She's tensing under his touch, and he wishes he could spare her this. "You know that he'll even move out in some years."

She stays silent for a long while before she nods.

"I know. But I'm scared. I'm scared he'll get hurt when I can't protect him any more."


62 - Courage

Petunia sees Harry flinch at the insult, and immediately, she's ready to rush to his side. But then he straightens himself, and she hesitates.

Slowly, Harry wipes the drool from his chin with his neckerchief. "I'm not stupid," he says, his voice soft but firm. "I'm disabled. It's because I had an accident. If you had an accident I wouldn't laugh at you like this, that's not nice."

The two teenage boys look stunned and ashamed and leave quickly after a mumbled apology. Maybe, Petunia thinks, feeling frightened and relieved at once, maybe Harry doesn't need so much protection anymore.


63 - Necessity

Dudley looks down at his sleeping cousin with a heavy heart. Harry stopped his regular visits to Dudley's bed over two years ago – this time, it's Dudley who came to Harry.

Tomorrow, he'll go away to college to study psychology. He knows it's the right thing to do – their parents were very convincing, telling him it's necessary that he live his own life for a few years before settling down here as an adult - and Remus will Apparate him home every second weekend, yet he still can't imagine leaving Harry behind.

This night, sleep won't come for a long time.


64 - Pride

Harry wishes Dudley didn't have to go away. He'll come back on weekends, but it won't be the same. They've never been separated longer than three weeks in summer.

Yet Dudley explained that it's because he wants to become a doctor just like Dr. Rayburn, to be able to help people like she did with Harry. Harry realises that this is important – nobody should feel as bad as he did back then.

He can't help crying the day they have to part, but from now on, whenever people ask about his family, he proudly tells about Dudley becoming a "psy-cholo-gist".


65 - Relief

Petunia is crying, Remus's arms firmly around her, a Magical Mirror lying on the kitchen table.

Later, she might feel guilty: for Neville looking pale and old despite being only twenty; for the way Severus is gripping the handles of the young man's wheelchair so tightly; for all the names listed next to the picture – the names of those who didn't make it.

Right now, however, there is nothing but relief. Harry is alive, Neville too, and Voldemort isn't – and that is all that really matters.

Finally, after ten years of hiding, they don't have to be afraid any more.

The End