Reviewers/readers from 34 countries, over 4,000 hits in November alone, and I'm up to 180,000 words!


So, the battle is over, and now we're progressing into what I call mourning part 1 and reconstruction . . . just without the carpetbaggers We'll see more of the Weasleys, some Luna/Dean, Susan/Ernie, Neville and Hannah (of course!) and a bit of Fleur :-) Also coming up: Theo Nott, who will cover the disappearance of Augustine Lestrange as well as the trial of the Malfoys/Umbridge, and our second Slytherin guest, who'll give all the diehard Malfoy fans a delicious taste of what dating a Malfoy can mean . . . and yes, I do mean the lovely Astoria, who seems to be able to keep his smirk in check.

For all those ready to read, I've got approx 20 chapters left, though some will be shorter. I'll cover summer and the eve of returning to Hogwarts, and then I'll finish this to start my next fanfic!

Any comments, ideas, questions? Thanks for the reviews!



"Honestly, Minister- fine, Kingsley!- I don't know what state the castle will be in . . . with the students and their families here, clean-up is flying, but I worry that structural damage has been done to the castle, and the wards will need to be overhauled. Frankly, I can't reopen for the next two weeks," Minevra opined, looking to her colleagues across the table.

"I woul' surgesst that we open up fer the students who want to take OWLS an' such for the summer, an' if they want to come back for a full year, they can sign on fer that too," Hagrid interjected wisely, and nodding heads surrounded the table of twelve. Four ministry officials including Arthur, Amos Diggory, a woman in blue robes who headed the Wizengammot and the head of the Aurors, Gawain Roberts, sat at one end, while the Hogwarts professors, including the two newest teachers, crowded around the room in chairs and heavy brocade benches.

Pomona Sprout, her fingernails thankfully cleaned since the battle the morning before, smiled and added her part.

"I'll need all summer to get the greenhouses back up; we'll be wanting to take out an ad for some help, Mienvra," she informed, and Kingsley nodded.

"This brings up an excellent point I wanted to discuss: I know we need to give everyone a week or so to cool things down and stabilize, but we'll need a head count of who will be returning in fall out of the sixth and seventh years so we can fill the Aurors. I want to offer anyone who stayed to fight or is interested a spot on the training classes, and I need to get started on this right away," he reminded the others, but Arthur shook his head.

"That's a big decision for them to make, Kingsley, they'll need more time; we can ask them to return to school and maybe start a class here to train while they finish? They can get a year of their Auror training out of the way, and then, if they decide not to join up, they can just graduate and find other work," he proposed, and a volley of nodding and affirmative noises went around the table.

"I'll work with that for now. I still have to finish interrogating the Auror's I've got to find out who's turned and who stayed quiet."

"Alright, that business is settled. Now, on to the high headcount we'll be expecting; I really think we should prepare for the worst, Minevra," Slughorn cautioned jocularly, and the others smiled indulgently, watching his chin wobble.

"Horace, we're going to be overflowing. We've already gotten sixteen letters asking when the next term will start from Muggleborns or others who were on the run, and I've estimated that if every single student returned to finish schooling, as well as our current seventh years, we'll have an increase in class size by almost twenty percent; that's a hundred students, Horace, and we have to assume many of them will return, even under the present circumstances. We're going to need to set up tutors, not cut classes," she argued, and Poppy nodded in agreement.

Flitwick stood on his chair to be level with their faces. "I propose that Mr. Longbottom be encouraged to act as Teaching Assistant for Poppy, and Miss Granger and Miss Bones be asked to cover Transfiguration and Charms, respectively," but Slughorn cut him off. "I think Miss Granger will find herself much more suited to potions, a natural, just like Harry-"

"Harry Potter will decide for himself if he wants to return to school, he is of age, and he will not be bullied or coerced into doing anything he does not want to do by anyone in this room," Minevra cut across, strict and no-nonsense, and the occupants swallowed or grimaced with guilt. "That being said, Mr. Malfoy will be an acceptable potioneer assistant for chopping ingredients, while I will require Miss Granger's help, should she be agreeable, in Transfiguration. I will be bringing two new teachers into our halls to take the Transfiguration Post and the Defense Against the Dark Arts, and I have yet to find a suitable Muggle Studies replacement, though I do have some ideas. Miss Bones would be admirably suited to Arithmancy should you both so desire, Professor Vector," Mienvra finished, and movement circled the room as chairs scraped and witches and wizards stood, stretching, and shaking hands.

"Will that be all, Minister?" Minevra asked, and Kingsley smiled.

"We have the ceremony two days from today, and then we cut out the Mediwitches and the Auror staff by half next week; I'll speak to Arthur about what we had discussed, Minevra, but I still feel badly asking the boy for help. He's been separated from his family for so long."

"Yes, but he has handled stress well in the past, and he is certainly one of the few you know you can trust," she offered as the conversations beside them drifted out into the hall.

"You don't feel that his involvement the past year will make him less able to distinguish who has gone over to Voldemort?" Kingsley asked, and Minevra shook her head.

"He might be a bit pompous, at times, but I feel his professionalism and his keen eye will be good to pick up on details and record the facts. You need to have the entire Ministry interviewed with the exception of Arthur and a few others. He's been close enough to the Ministry lackies that served under Voldemort that he's gotten to see them, but he never went over himself. It's perfect."

Kingsley nodded and shook her hand in thanks. He turned to his new Undersecretary, who was trying to shake off the glaring looks he was receiving from Molly's patronus, a mother bear, who was watching him and tapping her foot impatiently in a very Molly-like way.

"Arthur, I feel terribly awkward asking your opinion on this, I can't even imagine how difficult all this must be for you, but do you think-"

"Yes, he'd do it. He's ready. I don't think anything could stop him, but I would consider giving him another week before you ask him," Arthur pressed, and Bill stood, shaking Kingsley's hand.

"I'll get back to you about the goblins; they should be happy with the new policy. I have the feeling it's going to be a good boost for public relations with them if we give them a concession and offer some new options. Percy should be ready, Kingsley, just give him a few days- Dad's right, he's been away from us for too long. He's taking Fred's death out on himself more than the others."

"Thanks, Bill, and I'll get that paperwork to you as soon as I can to sign over the position. Send Fleur my love," he added, and Bill grinned and slapped him on the back.

"Oh, I'll send her love alright," he chuckled, and Kingsley laughed with him, shaking his head. Full moon must be soon if Bill was making obvious innuendo. Scratch that, they'd just won a war, he reminded himself. He sighed, thinking about his favorite couple, the pink hair of his best friend from work shadowing the happiness of their victory a darker tone.

"I'll see you all soon for the memorial service. Arthur, Bill-" he acknowledged, nodding his head and sweeping from the room.

"Minnie, we appreciate for the use of the castle for the meeting," he thanked on his way down the corridor to check in at the infirmary, and Minevra McGongall spluttered in indignation.

"Under what presumption would you call me that?" she squawked, and Kingsley let out a laugh.

"That's what you're known as in the DA. The students began calling you Minnie halfway to Christmas," he informed, and McGonagall's mouth twitched.

"I wondered why the portraits were addressing me thus," she chuckled.