The Undiscovered Country
The years flew by, and after seven years Harry and Hermione would be leaving Hogwarts. Fliss had joined the year after Harry and Hermione's parents had died, and she was sorted into Gryffindor. In their fourth year, Harry, Hermione, Serafina and Fliss had all been able to play for the Gryffindor Quidditch team which had caused the Slytherins to say that McGonagall was playing favourites. The seventh years had a full week before the term was over, and the pair could hardly believe that their time at Hogwarts was at an end.
"We got a letter from Tori" Hermione shook Harry from his thoughts.
"What does it say?" he asked. After their third year, Tori, Zabini and Tracy had moved to a French school which was hard to pronounce. The trio still wrote letters to Harry and Hermione though, and sometimes came back for a little visit during holidays and such.
"It says that she and the others are having a great time on their cruise" Hermione chuckled. Harry smiled before thinking of the upcoming summer. He had booked the four of them to fly to Barbados on Coconut Airways, and Hannah, Susan, Neville, Dean, Seamus and both of the Patil Twins would also be coming with them.
"Ah well" Harry said. "At least they have jobs waiting for them. I remind you that we still have to think of something. Heaven knows what the Minster will want us to do" and that was another of the changes over the years. Madam Bones had retired from office through ill health and had appointed Sirius to be her replacement. His first act as Minister was to have the Dementors issued with clown costumes. This was to prevent any accidents when they made an appearance. Harry sat in their tower and looked over the grounds were the sun was setting. He briefly wondered about the event coming the next week. Over the years, Harry and Hermione had taken an axe to the law book, and with Madam Bones and Sirius's help they had made the laws fair and just for all. One of Harry's greatest moments was when the Wizendgamot had redone the rules and laws concerning abandoned and orphaned children. Now they had the same rights as any other person. St Mungos now had a specialist Children's war – the "Pansy Parkinson Memorial Ward" and it was staffed by the best Healers in the special field. When one man asked questions in session about where the money would come from, Fliss had gone over and belted him before saying that spending money on children should never be a question. As a result, a portion of the yearly budget was allocated from the Ministry, and half of all fines and other asset sales from criminal cases were sent to the fund.
The criminal code was something that Sirius had attacked with relish. No longer would the innocent be forced to endure months or years of sitting in Azkaban. Evidence would be gathered, presented to both defence and prosecution and if so demanded then the accused would be administered Veritaserum. Any doubts would either be confirmed or pushed aside after that. Aurors became equipped with Dragon Hide armour as standard – paid for by Harry's own pocket. It would not do to be caught flat footed again should a terrible threat come upon them. Learning lessons from the Dark War, a squad of Aurors were stationed near the Apparition point for ease of deployment. Another squad was in the Auror department on standby with the rest of the squad being able to be called back within five minutes or less.
"I wonder what results we'll get" Hermione mused aloud.
"Judging by our past seven years worth of work, I would say that we have got the highest marks possible" Harry remarked with a grin. Hermione gave him a cuddle and a kiss on the lips before heading off to the bedroom to pack some more stuff away. Harry picked up a book off the shelf and started to read it. As he did so, he thought back upon the years spent at Hogwarts and decided that – even with the deaths – he wouldn't change it for a thing. He had family, friends and most of all he had Hermione. The pair were now engaged after Harry had proposed properly at Christmas. Harry had told Hermione later that the first time round when both of them were younger didn't really count.
"Knock knock" Fliss called from the door.
"Come on in" Harry said, and Fliss came skipping into the living room. Over the years she had grown into a beautiful girl. She had many of the male students asking her to go out with them, and more then a few actually asked Harry's permission to date her. He assumed it was something to do with the fact that he could order their immediate execution if that was his wish.
"I was just passing and wondered what you was up to" Fliss said as she sat in a chair.
"Hermione's just gone up to pack some more stuff away" Harry replied. "I told her that the house elves would do it, but she wanted to do it anyway. I was reading a book, but that can wait…" Harry stopped as he looked at Fliss's left hand. "And what is that on your finger?" he asked.
"It's only a ring that Lucy gave me" Fliss said, and Harry couldn't resist teasing her.
"I had no idea that you were that way inclined" he said dryly.
"HARRY!" Fliss threw a cushion at him which Harry easily dodged.
"You know I'm kidding" he laughed. "You know that anyone that hurts you will get sent to Azkaban. I just care about all my girls very much" and Fliss blushed a brilliant red before she continued talking.
"I actually came with a message" Fliss said. "We'd like it if you and Hermione could come down to the hall. There is something we'd like you to have" and after getting Hermione down from the room, they all went down to the hall which had the giant doors closed.
"I wonder what they shut the doors for" remarked Hermione, and she pushed them open to reveal everyone waited inside for them. The whole school had come together to thank Harry and Hermione for what they had done for them over the years. The pair walked up to the front where McGonagall waited for them with the staff. Over the years people had come and gone. Madam Pomfrey had taken partial retirement; Hagrid had left before the second year was begun to take up with some French woman and some others had gone on to other things. But the old guard had remained faithfully at Hogwarts for the sake of the children. When they reached the front, Harry and Hermione were given a large card which thanked them for saving every body from Voldemort way back during their first year. It was signed by everyone in the departing 7th year and the members of the staff who were present along with those who had departed. The assembled masses applauded and Hermione could see Harry become slightly uneasy at the praise. Years after being adopted by the Grangers, Harry still had times when he found praise hard to take. It wasn't often, but it was understandable after what he had gone through over the years.
"You're expected to make a short speech" McGonagall told them both.
"Gee… I would never have guessed" Harry said with a smile – his previous mood gone.
"Fellow students…" Hermione's speech was straight to the point, and she thanked everyone for supporting them over the years and thanked McGonagall for making herself and Harry Prefects and then Head Boy and Girl. The girl had to blush when Harry made a low comment – heard by the staff and guests – about the fact that there wasn't a head girl for nothing. Then with a few final words it was Harry's turn.
"Well as you know I am not one for speeches, but I'll give a long one this time. I guess you deserve it after all the times I've kept them short!" and the audience laughed, and Harry waited a moment to consider his words. "People have asked me about the true story behind my life, requested permission to write a book about it and I have refused each and every one. But as I close one chapter of my life I want to tell you what really happened.
I was left on the doorstep of my relatives's house one cold night by Rubeus Hagrid on the orders of Albus Dumbledore. For the next five years I was abused physically and verbally by my Aunt, Uncle and cousin. A lot of that time was spent as a slave to them. From the age of two I was made to clean the house, and from the age of four made to help make the meals for the others. All the time this was going on, I would be kicked, punched and starved for days on end. Then one day I was drugged into sleep, beaten so badly, and then left at the front door of an Orphanage miles away. It took me a year to recover to the point where I could go to school and actually learn things for once. It was there that I met Hermione, and over the months we became the best of friends. Eventually her parents asked me if I would like to live with them, and I replied yes, so they became the first parents I could remember clearly.
On my eleventh birthday, Albus Dumbledore told me that I was a wizard, and that I had to come with him to learn stuff and train. When I refused, he attacked my family though Hermione countered attacked with a tea tray" and the hall burst into laughter again. When they had died down, Harry continued. "Then Madam Bones came and told me that I would be facing a court case because I disobeyed Dumbledore. I won of course, and then I started Hogwarts. Hermione was able to come with me, even though she was supposed to be a muggle. As my fellow seventh years know, the sorting hat attempted to put me in Slytherin. I said I wanted to go to Gryffindor with Hermione, but it was adamant. It was only when we both threatened to leave that it changed its decision to Gryffindor. A few weeks later, and a troll was let in by a teacher under the control of Voldemort" and even though the Dark Lord had been dead for six years, the name still caused most people to shudder. "I saved Hermione and took injuries myself. I'll move ahead a little while, and skip the least important points. During our fifth year, I was going over some old books given to me by the courts as payment for what Dumbledore had done to me, and my family. Inside one of the tomes, was a passage about having the magic of muggle born witches and wizards bound. It got me thinking about Hermione, and we found out that Dumbledore had bound her magic years before I even met her." Harry paused for a few moments thinking of what to say next. He was looking forward to going to some theme parks, and he thought it…
"What are you going to do?" Hermione muttered as she saw the gleam in his eye.
"Watch" Harry said. "Now Professor McGonagall told me the other day that everyone did very well in exams, so she is going to let me take you all to a muggle theme park to celebrate. And best of all…" Harry glanced at an alarmed headmistress, "She's paying for it all" and the students started talking amongst themselves.
"Mr Potter…" McGonagall was in a slight panic. "Do you know what you've done?" and Harry simply nodded his head.
"Everyone has to be up before seven in the morning, down for breakfast and then we'll be going via Portkey to one of my houses where we'll be getting a couple of muggle coaches to the theme park. And just to let you know, I'm paying for this myself – not the good old Prof" Harry said with a wink. McGonagall dismissed the charged students after telling them that their respective house prefects would be talking to them later with more information.
"You've thought this through haven't you" Hermione said to Harry as she sat on his lap.
"Yep" her brother and boyfriend said. "We've got just over a thousand students here. Now if you add in various members of staff who have to come with us, then we need a total of about 15 coaches. And we don't have to worry about the muggles, because we have the park to ourselves for the day" and Hermione was impressed with his plan.
"That is pretty smart" she admitted. "I'm starting to rub off on you" and Harry smiled at her.
"Care to rub something else off?" he asked with a grin, and he pulled her up the stairs to the bedroom.
"I'm getting out of here" said Fliss, and she picked up her books and left the living room.
The trip was a complete success for all concerned, and the purebloods had never had so much fun in their lives. Every ride had been ridden on at least three or four times, and every boat on the lake had been pressed into service to provide the students with rides on the water. The water chute seemed to be a favourite with the younger students, whilst the older ones preferred the roller coasters more. In the evening, they had driven away with tons of presents and souvenirs. Everybody had got a picture of themselves going down the water chute and the roller coasters. The purebloods found it fascinating to find that the pictures didn't move at all. When they left the theme park they were driven in convoy to the seaside town of Scarborough, and there everyone had a slap up fish and chip supper. They ate these on the beach before the tide came in, and then they boarded the coaches for the trip home. Along the way, they stopped at a few service stations so they could top up with fuel, and it allowed them to stretch their legs for a while. This also let them visit the cafes inside the service stations and experience the pleasures of motorway service station food. Then with one last call, they all boarded for the trip down to London. It was during the journey home, that the videos were unleashed by the members of staff. By the time they returned to 12 Grimmauld Place, Star Trek had over a thousand new fans. The first and second years managed to stay awake long enough to reach Hogwarts, but then the excitement took hold ad they fell asleep at the main gates. House Elves had to be called to take them back to their dorms.
"I think they all enjoyed that" said Serafina to Harry, Hermione and Fliss.
"They might have enjoyed it" said Professor Flitwick, "But we've lost Professor McGonagall" and a search for her on the Marauder's Map – a gift to Harry from Sirius who said it was his father's – revealed she wasn't in the castle. "I don't understand where she could have gone to" said the tiny professor. Harry and Hermione exchanged looks with each other and attempted to burst into laughter.
"I see nothing funny about the situation" said Professor Sprout.
"I think we might have left her on one of the coaches" Hermione said with a small giggle. The professors looked at each other and burst into laughter which lasted for a while.
"We'll go and get her" said Harry, and he and Hermione apparated back to London and then to a quiet alley near the coach company's depot. They went to the office and explained what had happened. One of the receptionists went with them as they crossed the depot and looked in each of the coaches in turn. They found her in the very last one. She was lying slumped against the side of the coach asleep, hair and glasses askew, a ludicrously large hat on her head which was slightly over her eyes and a giant foam hand with #1 in big black letters on it. Several bags of souvenirs lay at her feet, and she looked in a right state indeed.
"This is your teacher?" asked the receptionist.
"I'm afraid so" said Hermione. "She doesn't normally get like this anyway. I think the day was too much for her" and she attempted to wake the teacher up. When that didn't work, she had to wake her up with a quick spell while Harry distracted the woman with them.
"Ooooohhhhhh" McGonagall groaned as she came round. "What in the name of Merlin happened to me?" she asked.
"You fell asleep and we left you behind" Harry told her.
"You left me behind?" McGonagall said. Her head was spinning like crazy, and she wobbled along the aisle of the coach as got off. They thanked the receptionist and made their way outside in order to apparate.
"We better take you to the Hospital Wing for a hangover potion" said Harry.
"I'm not drunk" said McGonagall in a rather high and regal voice. "I'm just slightly tipsy. I'm more then capable to stand up by myself" and she shrugged off Harry and Hermione, straightened her huge hat and with a displeased sounding sniff fell right into the muddy grass. The two teens looked at each with smirks of amusement on their faces.
"Oh Merlin…." Hermione rolled her eyes. Harry shared her sentiment completely.
"Someone should contact the Ministry" said a tiny voice from the ground. "I think that gravity has gone wonky. The ground has rushed up to meet me" and with that Harry and Hermione took pity on the woman and apparated her back to Hogwarts. Flitwick, Sprout and Pomfrey looked at the state of Minerva McGonagall and summoned their cameras for the purposes of blackmail.
"Take her to her quarters" Flitwick advised.
"Show me the way to go home… I'm tired and I want to go to bed…" McGonagall certainly knew her drinking songs.
"Are you all packed?" asked the elf. When Hermione nodded, the elf clicked its fingers and their luggage vanished followed by the elf itself. Hermione looked over to where Harry was gazing out of a window at the grounds. He could see the smoke from the steam engine sitting in the platform at Hogsmeade.
"What's up?" asked Hermione as she came up to him.
"Oh I don't know" said Harry absently. "I just feel a bit sad about going away" and Hermione could understand that.
"Well Professor McGonagall said we can come back at any time" she pointed out.
"Why should we do that? Are you afraid you put a dot in the wrong place on one of the exams?" asked Harry with a grin. Hermione punched him in the arm for his troubles.
"We better get going" she said, and together they left their suite for the last time as students and made their way down the stairs. One coach had been kept back for them, and it had Neville, Dean, Seamus, Lavender, both the Patil twins, Hannah, Susan, Fliss and Serafina inside. How this was done was beyond either of the pair, but they managed to squeeze in and the carriage set off. The same old scarlet steam engine sat waiting for them, and they got out and found seats at the front of the rake which had been reserved for their use only. The ride back was uneventful, and Harry and Hermione spent the trip to Kings Cross talking with their family and friends. When they arrived at the station, Harry was the last to get off and sighed as he did so. Now he had the future to look forward to.
"We'll see you at the announcement" said Dean.
"You're coming?" said Hermione in surprise.
"I wouldn't miss it for all the tea in china" he replied, and the others in their group echoed the statement. Harry and Hermione side-alonged Fliss and Serafina to their London home where they dumped their trunks in a corner of the living room and slumped into the giant fluffy chairs Harry had purchased two summers ago. When it came time for dinner they ordered takeaway food, watched a bit of television and then went to their deeply inviting beds. As Harry and Hermione snuggled together, each of them thought about what was to come, and what life would bring to you.
FIVE YEARS LATER
Harry was back at Hogwarts with Hermione for the graduation of the seventh years. When Fliss saw them, she blushed at the thought of her adoptive parents being present and gave them a little wave. Fliss had grown up to be a beautiful young woman, and nearly every male in her year was trying to get her affections. Over the years since they had graduated, things had changed even more in the magical world. Sirius had left office and handed it over to a Muggle which made history as the first to achieve that office.
Hannah had married Neville, and they ran the magical plants store in Diagon Alley as well as over locations in the world. Business had been bad for the first few weeks, but when Harry put the word around that he shopped there, business rocketed and they were able to purchase more shops over Britain and several places in the world.
Dean and Seamus – being best friends and sharing everything – had married one of the Patil twins each. Dean had opened up an art shop which proved surprisingly popular. Seamus played Quidditch for the Chuddey Cannons for eight years – gaining them three league wins – before he went into business with Dean as his manager.
The Patil twins also went into business together and opened a shop which provided clothes for the larger ladies. This was a big hit because most of wizarding society wanted slim women to marry. In this case, Hermione was able to boost their takings after mentioning that she found there shop quite nice.
Lavender joined her friend and her sister at the shop, and she eventually married a muggle. He wasn't surprised that much when Lavender told him about her being a witch. In fact he found it useful when he was never again to find himself out of coffee. Lavender would always brew a luck potion when it came round to buying her husband a season ticket for football.
Susan married Ernie, and together they set up a solicitor's practice. They won a number of landmark cases, and Susan specialised in children's law whilst Ernie ran the business side of the practice, and also wrote a number of best selling books. When a disgruntled rival accused the McMillan's of false accountancy, Harry and Hermione came to their friends defence and found that the rival to the firm was in fact a former employee who had been stealing from the company account.
Serafina had graduated the year after Harry and Hermione, and had got herself a job at the Ministry working with Muggle Relations. When she had applied for it, she had been told that the vacancy had already been filled. An Owl came to her the following morning saying that due to a slight error, there was indeed a place for herself at Muggle Relations. Harry and Hermione claimed to have no influence over the decision, but she hadn't believed them at first. It turned out that Sirius had done it instead.
Over the years, several of the Death Eaters who had been sent to Azkaban had been released. Most of them had seen the error of their ways and had turned into respectable members of society. Harry and Hermione had found several of them jobs with their friends. A number of them took night classes and joined the law firm of Susan's. The only ones that didn't get released were those that showed no remorse or those that had been given life sentences.
As for Harry and Hermione, they had married the summer after graduating from Hogwarts with the highest ever exam marks recorded. The pair had campaigned for the rights of muggle borns, orphans and several other smaller causes. As could be expected, many people wanted money from Harry but he refused nearly all of them. He declared that he would only give money to the charities that needed them the most. Hermione and himself had taken the chance to gain new skills and both carried pilot's licences and owned a number of light aircraft. The pair of them continued their thing for classics by purchasing older buses and creating a bus company which ran in London and Hull, and also a small fleet of old aircraft which included one of the original batch of Boeing 747s.
"And whilst we celebrate our leaving students, there is some bad news I am afraid to say" McGonagall's speech made Harry and Hermione listen. "I have attended over sixty graduations not counting my own, and I am sorry to say that this will be my last. I have been teaching for those sixty years, and I would very much like to spend the rest of my time in retirement doing things I want to do" and you could have heard a pin drop – it was that silent.
"I didn't know she was going to be leaving so soon" Harry whispered to Hermione. His wife didn't reply as McGonagall continued to talk.
"I have talked with the Minister, and we have narrowed down the list of people to only one possible person. I would like to nominate Harry Potter to succeed me" and as soon as she finished talking, Harry snapped his head round to face his wife.
"You knew this!" he said with shock and surprise.
"Give a speech about talking the job or not" said Hermione. Harry got up and made his way to the podium and addressed the expectant people.
"Well this is a surprise. I certainly didn't know that this was coming. If I had known that Professor McGonagall had been talking with the Minister, then I would have at least considered it. As it stands, I am going to take my wife home and spank her for keeping this from me. Then again she may actually enjoy it…" and some of them got the joke. "I thank Professor McGonagall for her kind offer, and I'm happy to accept it. I will carry on the greatness of her time as Headmistress, and endeavour to do the same" and every person cheered as Harry and McGonagall shook hands with each other and then posed for pictures.
Harry's reign as Headmaster at Hogwarts lasted for nearly 200 years, and many changes became apparent in the teaching. He had finally found a better teacher for History of Magic and had banished Binns to the next plane of existence. He, Hermione, their family and friends all researched for a new project several years into Harry's reign. Now, as well as the old castle which finally had a better heating system installed, a new purpose built muggle studies room was built as an annexe. It contained working muggle items run on magic, and marks in Muggle Studies went up dramatically. Sports other then just Quidditch were introduced, and the Forbidden Forest cleared of all dangerous animals. It was now possible to go for walks in good weather and talk to the sentient creatures that lived there. All in all, centuries after Harry had retired his reign was regarded as the Golden Age of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
And that, ladies and gentlemen is the last chapter in this fic. I hope you've enjoyed reading it over the many months I've written it.
I have to say that this was actually one of more favourites to complete, as it is a genre (in American that means type) not really explored. When it is, most fics are left incomplete. Now a long running plot hole has been cleared up in this final chapter – the subject of Hermione being magical. Now it is possible that Dumbledore knew of Hermione's magical ability, and secretly bound them, only to make a device which would unlock it slowly over time.
I hope I have done a good thing with every else mentioned in the fic with regards to their futures.
And it wouldn't be a final chapter without a Star Trek reference somewhere in it. It is also a double reference to a famous writer and one of his works. Should you identify the Star Trek one, then award yourself a biscuit. If you can correctly identify both references, then you may have the whole packet!
There is a passing reference to The Great Hogwarts Road Trip, as well as a previous chapter of this fic. Several other references to previous chapters in this fic can also be spotted if looked for closely.
I would like to thank you all again for the wonderful comments and reviews you have sent me over the months. It has been an honour and a privilege writing this for everyone. My hope is that you do so again one last time.
Ladies and Gentlemen, for the last time in this fanfiction, I ask you to leave a review please