Chapter Twenty Five: Going Home:
Two years went by quickly and Aberforth found himself once more looking out over the castle. It was beautiful and shone brightly, the flags flapping in the summer breeze. Aberforth felt content, things had turned out far better than he could have hoped for. Oh yes there were those that had been wounded and yes Harry's parents had still died. However so many that would have died had not, there were still deaths, he could not stop that but the school and the British Wizarding community was united as never before. Severus Snape, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin even young Fred Weasley had survived this war. Harry had graduated from Hogwarts just last year and was working on becoming an Auror along with Ron.
Hermione had moved to Romania to be closer to Charlie Weasley and there were plans of a wedding between the two. Harry and Ginny were still dating and Harry had bought Ginny a lovely pendent when she had made the Hollyhead Harpies as seeker, she had beat Harry out as seeker in his last year fair and square and she clearly was one of the best. Draco was playing for the Chudley Cannons, and what with him on the team and several star players from Hogwarts the Cannons were no longer the laughing stock they had been for years. It was rumored that they might even get to represent England in the World Cup as they had beat just about every team out there but the Harpies.
Aberforth had spent a lot of time talking with his brother, about their sister and about the Hallows. Both had agreed that when Dumbledore reached the end of his life he would snap the wand in half and end the horrible cycle of pain and death that wand had brought to the world. The ring he had destroyed long ago for Dumbledore knew now that the only way to immortality was through God. Aberforth took a seat feeling tired and so very old, he had not felt this old for so long. He smiled as he knew soon he was to be united with his dear wife who had passed so long before. He was not scared and he looked up as Gabriel came into the room as he had done so long ago when everything had gone so terribly wrong.
"You did far better than expected Aberforth." Gabriel said.
"I was unable to stop Peter from turning, he still turned out evil." Aberforth said, "Severus was no easy task but he is a good young man as I always believed him to be."
"Yes and he will continue to do great and good things." Gabriel replied.
"Many still suffered, Fred will never again have human legs, Bill has one flesh and blood arm and one metal arm and Severus lost a toe and was whipped like a dog. Not to mention he was held in prison for a time after the first war by Crouch and Moody."
"Yet for all that they are alive."
"Yes but we still lost many, the Slytherins, they lost the most. Daphne Greengrass, you know Draco loved her and she is dead now finally succumbing to her wounds. Then Crabbe and Goyle both died in the battle, poor Draco to loose two very thick but good friends." Aberforth said sadly. "They were so very loyal and did protect Draco with their very lives."
"Yet things turned out far better and those that are needed for the new era still live." Gabriel said and at the look from Aberforth, "do not be angry, those that have died fighting for God have their rich reward. Do not mourn them."
"Soon you will join them." Gabriel said.
"I know, I have been ill of late, I went to the doctors and the news was not good." Aberforth said taking a seat, "I am glad to see you will you take me now?"
"No, but I will be there to take you home." Gabriel replied.
One week later on a fine summer day a crowd of people were gathered around Aberforth's bed. He was propped up with pillows and though pale and so near death he looked peaceful and happy as he looked on those here. There was Harry and Ginny, clearly meant to be together and Hermione and Charlie, both tanned and healthy looking. Draco was standing near Luna and Severus was standing with his good friends Sirius and Remus. Remus had his arm around Dora Tonks who was pregnant with their second child, the twins were here as was Ron who was dating Angelica at the time. There too in the room were the staff of Hogwarts and his brother of course was right by his side. One by one everyone paid their respects and left finally leaving Aberforth alone with his brother.
"I should thank you for all you did for us." Dumbledore said his eyes brimming with tears. "You saved me, saved me from destroying many good lives."
"Do not thank me, I was but an instrument of God's in all this." Aberforth replied.
"I know I was becoming the thing that I hated." Dumbledore said, "I tried so hard with the boy, with Tom, after our first meeting I tried to help him to show him I truly cared about him."
"I know, you were so good to him, you gave him everything and he betrayed you in the end." Aberforth replied, "you are not to blame you did help so much this time around, you have taken care of those boys well."
"What comes next for us?" Dumbledore asked.
"I don't know, but my time is nearly up. I know that the tables are turned so that the world will have a chance to survive. You know the warnings of Mother Shipton do you not?"
"Yes I do our mother would recite the poem to us as children, it's a poem that is well known by the muggles." Dumbledore replied.
"All but the lines omitted before the end, there will a dark lord go, red eyed and soft spoken he will master many and destroy all. One with three godfathers will defeat him or to an end the world will come in the year two thousand and sixty eight." Aberforth said. "You know who that refers to."
"Yes I do, so that is why the angel came to you." Dumbledore said, "but why must you die? I don't want to be alone."
"You will not, I don't intend on letting you off the hook brother dear, you will not be rid of me so easily even in death." Aberforth said, "I have a cancer, no cure, Severus has made the pain potions that have kept me pain free so no need to worry for that. Even muggle treatments would have done no good for me."
"I will miss you." Dumbledore said.
"I know, but you have the school and children who still need you Al." Aberforth said.
"I love you, you know that right?"
"I do Al, I do."
Aberforth lay back on his pillows and closed his eyes to rest. He fell asleep and Dumbledore left the room letting his brother rest. Later that night Gabriel came as promised and Aberforth smiled and got up and walked to him. He turned and saw his body still on the pillows and walked out of the room to see his brother dozing in a chair. He gave him a ghostly kiss and followed Gabriel out of the inn and up to the heavens above. His work was done and he had saved so many innocent lives, oh he could save all from death but he had saved as many as he could. Severus was one success that made him the proudest as he had taken Severus under his wing as a son. Now his life was over, a new generation was going to take over and continue the war against evil.