31 - The Elves' Child
"I will accept the positions under the condition that my girlfriend Nina will be freed like Cicero and Malcolm," Harry said, calmly, causing the Headmaster to sigh in defeat.
"Very well, Harry my boy, in this case you'll once again get what you want," Dumbledore finally said, before he called Twinkle and Nina.
Five minutes and some long incantations, which Harry did not understand, later, Nina was a free elf.
"Harry, Professor, thank you so much," Nina blurted out, gratefully, a small tear leaking from her left eye.
"Hey, it's all right. Don't cry," Harry said in a soft voice, gently laying his arm around her shoulders.
"Congratulation Nina and Harry," Dumbledore spoke up, smiling at the scene in front of him.
"Thank you Professor," Harry replied and excused himself, before he left the office together with his girlfriend.
"Now what?" he thought aloud, once they had arrived back in the elves' quarters, causing Nina to chuckle.
"What now what?" she queried in apparent amusement.
Harry let out a long sigh, before he asked, agitated, "How am I supposed to take my NEWTs in a subject for which I've never ever studied? And that in three days' time?"
"Don't worry, sweetie," Nina reassured him, before she suggested, "Go and speak with Misty and Mistress Poppy. They'll know what to do and will help you."
'That's true,' Harry thought, nodding his agreement. 'Although I should better do some Potions research in order to prevent myself from getting these stupid pox every time I get myself into a stressful situation.' He slowly let his tongue wander around his mouth, noticing in annoyance that he could feel a few small pox. He quickly popped into Severus' lab and downed a potion, which fortunately cleared his pox along with the headache that had been bothering him the whole morning. Finally, he went to speak with Poppy.
"Let me call Misty here too," the Healer said, gently, and motioned Harry to take a seat in her office. During the following thirty minutes, the Healer and the Healer elf both reassured the boy that he'd do great in the exam even without specifically studying for it.
"Don't forget that you've already studied Healing from the age of four," Misty reminded him, smiling. "Plus if necessary, you can even use your elven healing magic in the practical exam. No one will know."
"I'm more worried about the theoretical part than the practical," Harry admitted in a small voice, causing the two Healers to give him a two-hour pop quiz that Harry managed to their satisfaction.
"And now go and enojoy the last few days of classes together with your friends," Misty instructed him. "You're well prepared for the exam. Mistress Poppy will let you know when the exam is going to take place."
"Misty," Poppy threw in, gently. "There's no need to call me Mistress anymore. Since you're a free elf, please just call me Poppy."
Misty bowed deeply. "Thank you... Poppy," she replied, slightly hesitating. "I will try."
Harry smiled as he left the hospital wing, feeling very happy for his parents to be free elves.
Like the Healers had predicted, he managed to pass his Healing NEWT with the best mark possible. Feeling extremely relieved on the one hand, he was very uncertain about how to set up a lesson plan and especially what to teach in the respective subjects. 'At least I have the experience of having taught Potions before,' he thought, 'although Severus made the lesson plan and I only did what he told me.'
He finally spent the first half of the summer holidays on the Isle of Elves together with Nina, trying to set up his lesson plan for Elf Science with the help of the elder elves. When they returned to Hogwarts at the beginning of August, he felt fairly satisfied with the content of his lesson plan, especially since he knew that he could still discuss it with his parents and Twinkle.
One day, the Headmaster called him into his office. "Harry my boy," the old wizard greeted him, offering him the traditional lemon drop that Harry declined as usually. "I was wondering where you want your classrooms and office and if you'd like to have your own teacher's quarters or if you'd rather prefer to live in your guardian's quarters, considering that you're still under age.
Harry remained thoughtful for a moment, before he replied, "I'd prefer to remain in my room in Professor Snape's quarters respectively in the elves' quarters, where I still have a bed in the dormitory. As to the classroom and office, I don't really mind," he added, uncertainly.
Dumbledore nodded, pensively. "Very well then," he finally spoke up, "I suggest that we ask the elves to make two classrooms, which are connected to each other, in the so far unused hall behind the hospital wing. There'll still be enough room for your office in the same corridor." Seeing that Harry nodded his agreement, he continued, "I'll ask the elves to connect your office to your room in Severus' quarters then. Is that agreeable for you my boy?" he enquired.
Harry agreed and immediately began together with Nina, Tony and a few other elven friends to set up his classroom and office. "One large classroom is sufficient for the time being," he decided and planned the setup accordingly.
Two weeks before the beginning of the new school year, his classroom, office and both lesson plans were finished, and Harry spent the rest of the holidays helping Severus with the brewing of potions for the hospital wing.
"Severus," he hesitantly addressed his guardian on the last day of the holidays, "I don't know if I'll have time during the school year, but I'd like to try finding a cure for my problem with the Grindylow pox."
The Potions Master smirked. "Harry," he then replied, sighing. "I never told you in order to not get your hopes up, but I've been working on this for years now, and I believe that I'm finally getting closer. Give me another year or two, and I hope I'll have a cure for you."
It finally took the Potions Master two more years, before he presented Harry the potion with the cure on his seventeenth birthday.
"Are you sure that it'll work, sir?" Harry asked in excitement as he gratefully accepted the phial.
"I'm certain," Severus replied in a firm voice. "I've done many tests using rats, and I also had the Potions Masters of St. Mungo's test the potion."
"Thank you so much," Harry said, happily. "You won't believe how grateful I am to finally be able to get rid of that problem."
"I know Harry, I know," Severus reassured him, motioning him to take the potion.
Even if Harry knew that if anyone was able to invent the cure it would be Severus, he realised that the cure had to have worked a few days later, on his wedding day. He was very excited, especially since the whole student body had decided to return to Hogwarts for this day during the summer holidays for the wedding of their favourite professor.
"If the cure hadn't worked, you'd surely have the pox by now," Misty told him on the evening before the wedding. "Now calm down sweetie, everything will be all right."
In spite of all his worries, the wedding was a wonderful event that the whole school enjoyed greatly. For Harry, the best gift that he received apart from being wed to the elf woman of his dreams was the information that his four best friends, Hermione, Millicent, Blaise and Neville, were going to return to Hogwarts as teachers from the new school year onwards.
"I'm definitely the happiest wizard in the world," he told Nina, when they entered their new quarters the same evening, "having you as my wife and my friends as my colleagues."
"Well then I'm the happiest elf," Nina replied, smiling.
During the following years, Nina and Harry together continued to work for the freedom of the elves. Nevertheless, it took twenty years, before most of the elves all over the country were free. In spite of the fact that the whole movement had begun at Hogwarts, among the last elves to be freed were the Hogwarts elves. Only with the retirement of Headmaster Dumbledore, Harry as his successor freed all Hogwarts elves, arranged monthly payment and summer holidays for them, and their children were allowed to attend Hogwarts as students without limitation.
As Headmaster, Harry still taught the Healing classes, while his son Alex took over the Elf Science classes, and Nina became Twinkle's successor as teacher for the elf children until they were ready to work as elves or enter Hogwarts.
One of Dumbledore's first actions as the new Minister of Magic was to hold a huge ceremony in order to award Harry the Order of Merlin first class for his engagement for the relationship between wizards and elves.
"Thank you Minister Dumbledore," Harry told the old wizard, "however, there is no need to award me anything for that. It's only natural for me to work on the wizard - elves' connections, considering that I'm a wizard by birth and the Elves' Child by choice."
Thank you so much for your kind support for this story, which is my favourite of the stories on this account.
I am not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes. All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.