Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
The weeks after the capture of the Dark Lord Voldemort passed in a flurry of activity for not only Harry, but for the magical world in general.
Albus Dumbledore had stepped down from many of his posts and was living in Godric's Hollow now. Gellert was with him, though he had the magical equivalent of a house arrest ankle monitor on him that would activate when he got too far from Dumbledore. Harry was often too busy to stop by, though the two, from what he heard, were frequent visitors to Bathilda's house.
There were loads more of elected seats on the Wizengamot now due to the election and Harry was very pleased when he saw that people had elected other beings onto the lawmaking government council as well. Ragnok was quite proud to be the first goblin on it, as well as the first goblin to have generations under him attending Hogwarts.
Headmistress Minerva McGonagall felt that it was only responsible to allow all beings that would have wands attend the school and with her public declaration having such huge support, the Board of Governors didn't dare protest. Professor Severus Snape, after Dumbledore had stepped down, had politely asked to do the same, and so someone named Horace Slughorn had replaced him.
To his surprise, Harry saw a lot more of Snape though; the man spent much of his time helping Callahan or in research. The man tended to avoid him though, and Harry knew why; someone, presumably Dumbledore, had told Snape who he really was.
He had been expecting some kind of outburst like the one that had happened when he and Hermione had set Sirius free in his third year, but surprisingly, none of that had occurred. The man was polite whenever they spoke. Harry wondered if anyone had spoken to Snape about his attitude or if it was simply an issue of no longer having the stress of a job he hated and the regrets of his past staring at him all the time.
Harry, however, could not retire from school as Dumbledore and Snape had. For now he was still doing all of his lessons with Callahan though there were talks of his returning to Hogwarts for the second half of the school year. Though the man was an Alchemist, Harry enjoyed learning all of his subjects. Callahan was far better at teaching History than Binns, even using illusion spells, which, unlike a pensieve that allowed one to just view a memory, allowed one to take place in the event.
Giant wars would never be boring to Harry again. Though he had learned that "Jack and the Beanstalk" was a legend that had been distorted many many many times over, but Jack the Giant Slayer was very real and a wizarding hero to quite a few towns.
Harry was also catching up with his Muggle education. Four years of only magical learning had taken its toll, and having seen first-hand how sometimes magic wasn't the answer for things like the land where the Werewolf Settlement was, Harry was determined to make up for it.
Unfortunately, this was quite headache inducing. Thankfully his cousin and friends were there to help him; his letters had supposedly made Hermione shriek in horror at how much she had forgotten as well. She had gotten her parents to sign her up for correspondence courses to catch up and Harry had been inspired to do the same.
He wasn't sure what he was going to do in the future, but at least he'd have more options with an educational background in both worlds. Callahan's potions methods had shown Harry that mixing the two worlds could sometimes make things beneficial for anyone involved.
The goblins were, with Percy's approval, also having much fun with that now. They, working with Arthur Weasley who had become the Head of the new "Magical Technologies" department were working on making more things like magically expanded cars and trying to make overhead projectors and the like work so that students wouldn't have to be up at midnight to look at the stars.
And, well, lots of Muggle-raised people missed video games. It would be a good way to keep people occupied and Alastor had, after seeing some of the games out in the Muggle world, had Scrimgeour excited to think of the possibilities of using them for Auror training purposes.
Madam Bones had just rolled her eyes and asked if they would ever grow up.
Everyone laughed when the two had simultaneously replied no quite loudly.
With the changes going on, insane as it sounded, Percy was making sure he did his paperwork for a few hours a day. Harry helped him of course; the two relied on time turners to have enough hours in the day to not only help the others, but to also do this. And finally, on a day in early December, they did it.
They had defeated the decades worth of paperwork.
The two had cheered before sobbing when Madam Bones had brought in more regarding his approval for her actions, which were getting the ICW's help in giving everyone who had been in holding cells trials.
Percy had approved of course, also allowing for them to use mostly any means to interrogate their prisoners and the people getting trials. Mostly any, but he did not allow the Unforgivable Curses to be used, nor did he allow torture.
Due to this, with a mixture of questions, Veritaserum and in some cases simple threats like removing all of a family's assets, they were able to learn far more about Voldemort's past and those sickening horcruxes.
Ginny and Ron, in a letter to Harry and Percy, had mentioned they would get the remains of the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets.
Harry grinned, remembering how they had found the horcrux at Hogwarts. Fred and George had had the idea of asking the house elves for help, though the twins had been sure to tell them that it was a very dark and dangerous object.
The house elves had quickly gone through the school, Harry suspecting they used their brand of magic to detect the more dangerous, illegal objects. Not only had they presented the twins with a diadem, but they had also had found a book that cursed someone to be unable to stop reading, robes that attempted to kill the wearer, and a quill that would change into a sharp object and try to possess the holder.
Needless to say, all of the objects, including the horcrux in the school, had been destroyed. And, due to the discovery that basilisk parts fetched a high price, Hogwarts was able to get extra funds, and Gringotts was able to obtain more venom for their stock. Ragnok informed them that they liked keeping the venom around for some particularly nasty curses.
And so, with the help of his friends that were more like family by now, Harry could truthfully say that all of Voldemort's horcruxes were destroyed. Though he had to admit, it explained why the man was so insane and unstable. The former Dark Lord spent his days in solitary confinement in Azkaban swearing revenge against them and saying how they would regret this.
Harry seriously doubted that. He was glad the man had to suffer in Azkaban; death would have been too easy for Voldemort. He wanted justice and everyone seeing that Voldemort was only human, just a man like any other, subject to the laws of the magical world showed that. It was the best revenge: showing everyone that Tom Marvolo Riddle wasn't special after all.
It was strange though, Harry had to admit. Ever since he had learned of the magical world, people had spoken of 'You-Know-Who' with fear and had looked towards Harry whenever things regarding him arose. And when the boy of his mother and his father... when Harry thought of Cedric Diggory...
When he thought of all the terrible deeds he knew Lord Voldemort had done, a flame had always seemed to leap inside his chest and sear his throat. He had wanted Voldemort finished, defeated, and now it was done. He had wanted the slander to stop, and it had.
Now what did he want?
Harry thought for a moment and he knew.
He wanted a normal life. A life that was his, without relatives to loathe him-which he had now. He had always wanted a family that cared for him and he had it. He had his godfather and his guardian and a cousin who loved him.
But more than that, a normal life was only worth having if they had a world worth living in.
And now... now it seemed they had that opportunity. Now the wizarding world wasn't led by stuffy old people clinging to traditions with no sense or only caring about bloodlines. Oh, Harry was sure there was still going to be opposition and disagreements and the like; it was the way of the world. But he felt they could make a difference now; he felt that they had shown their leaders had to be just, that violence would not be tolerated. People were being held accountable.
It would not be easy; Harry suspected that much. Centuries couldn't be changed overnight. But he had an entire lifetime ahead of him now. A life free of Voldemort, a huge burden off his shoulders that he had never asked for or wanted, but had taken care of nonetheless.
The magical world was free to move forward, and so was Harry.
And the bigger picture he saw, the one of a life spent shaping a world he wanted the future to inherit... he liked it. It was a life worth having, of that Harry was sure.
But the big picture didn't stop the small one either; Harry had finally decided to end the talks and act. After Christmas, he would return to Hogwarts, finish his education proper and from there...
Well, as Hagrid had once said, what would come, would come… and he would meet it when it did.
A.N: Thank you everyone for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!
And I would really like to thank my awesome, best beta reader ever omega13a for all of the patience and tons of help and reminders to write! :D
And once more, special thanks for everyone who reviewed! I 3 you all! So much so that I'd better hop to the next story just in case any of you are reading it too! Laters!