It's the final chapter, and I still own nothing!
A big thank you to everyone that's been following the story, even my phantom readers (you know who you are…those of you reading that aren't reviewing. ;p ). An extra thank you to those that took the time to review, and those that helped point out errors that I had missed.
Another thank you to anyone that followed this story from start to finish, even when it became completed (those that started to read it when all chapters were uploaded, or those that might find the story long after it's been completed).
For those guessing who the unnamed Slytherin is at the feast…yes, it's probably who you think it is. ^^
So, without further ado, let's get to the last chapter!
Chapter 32: End of the Year
Harry awoke to voices off to one side; voices that he very easily recognized.
"…can't see him for just a minute? Come on…!"
That was definitely Edward.
"Please, Madam Pomfrey? We'll be good!"
"It's not like we're asking to stay overnight…"
"Pretty please with sugar on top?"
Harry opened his eyes, and the blurry world came into focus. Though his vision was horrible, he still realized that he was in what must be the Hospital Wing, since there were rows of beds, and he was in one of them. He couldn't really tell, but there appeared to be a pile of gifts or something at the end of his bed, as well.
Before anyone could turn to see him, or argue with the Mediwitch of Hogwarts further, the doors opened and Dumbledore strode in.
"Now…what's all the commotion, up here? I can hear voices down the corridors."
Madam Pomfrey huffed and put her hands on her hips. "These children…!"
"We just want to visit Harry, sir!" Edward cut the woman off.
Harry couldn't contain a chuckle when he heard the Mediwitch make an indignant noise at being interrupted.
At that, all previous conversation was over with, and the group ran over.
Though, they didn't overcrowd him, thankfully.
Edward picked something off the nightstand, and handed it to Harry.
Harry recognized his glasses and gratefully put them on his nose. He noticed that his left hand was bandaged, and could see a poultice on Edward's cheek and side of his forehead.
Hermione was free of any, as she had been exposed to the least amount of carnage; Edward had to deal with the most shrapnel from the chess game, and Harry had to go through being pelted by what used to be a stone prison.
"Alright there, Harry?" Draco asked, quite bluntly considering his character.
Harry blinked a couple of times, then slowly sat up. "Yea. I don't feel too bad, actually. How about everyone else? Ed? Hermione?"
Edward gave him a thumbs-up with a big grin. "Saw what you did to Voldemort…I just had taken down the flames."
Hermione shook her head. "I still don't understand what happened…"
"Nor I," Harry admitted. "Last thing I recall is using the Soul matrix…"
"Yep!" Edward grinned and flopped down on a chair, while the others positioned themselves on the floor (except for Hermione, who managed to find another chair).
Dumbledore stood in the back with a smile, and Pomfrey had finally given up and stalked off.
"His soul was about to leave the body, and your blood is connected to him cause of the scar and the Old Magic…so, when ya drew that matrix and activated it, it sucked the part of him trying to escape into the mirror."
"And Quirrell?" Harry was almost afraid to ask.
"Transferred to St. Mungo's, though he'll never be the same. He's got third degree burns all over him, and his face is horribly deformed…that, and his sanity's spent. He'll probably be in the mental ward all his life." Edward shrugged.
"What about you two?" Harry glanced from Draco to Winry.
Draco fidgeted. "Well…Professor Snape said that if it wasn't near the end of the year, we'd all have a month's worth of detention…as it is, he wanted to assign us some, but Professor Dumbledore managed to get us out of it."
Winry looked slightly flushed at the reminder of how close she had been to punishment, as well as how they were saved. "I sent the family owl, with the letter addressed to Professor Dumbledore. Seems as if the owl that called him there was a phony…it was Quirrell's work. Gran says the Ministry is always asking for his advice, so it wasn't a suspicious letter. He arrived back shortly after Professor Snape, Edward, and Hermione carried you out of the trapdoor."
"We met up with him halfway back," Edward picked up the explanation. "Snape, I mean. Man, if looks could kill…"
Hermione shuddered along with the Elric boy.
"…luckily, we didn't have to play another game of chess. Only works one way, and Snape was so pissed that he demolished half the set with his wand."
Hermione gulped. "I'd never seen anyone so angry, before."
"Wonder why…it's not like he likes any of us…" Edward muttered.
Harry had to agree. "Bet he would have celebrated if I'd died…"
This time, Dumbledore did speak up. "Actually, that's not quite true, Harry."
Harry sighed and looked up. "I know he was part of the rescue from the Dursley's, and I appreciate it, but…"
Dumbledore shook his head, and took a seat on the end of the bed. "Professor Snape actually has a wizarding debt to you, Harry. You see, when one wizard saves another's life, a bond is created…a debt. And in their sixth year, your father did something that Professor Snape could never forgive; he saved his life."
Draco made a mental note to get the story from his godfather, while Edward and Harry were going to make sure they heard this from Remus…if the man knew.
Dumbledore nodded at the incredulous looks. "Since he couldn't repay James Potter, the debt extended to you, the son of the man who saved his life."
Harry leaned back against the board and pillows. "And I'm guessing that the reason it hurt them to touch me was because of the Old Magic? I could feel something happening when we touched, flesh to flesh."
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled as he gave a nod. "Indeed, Harry. I'm surprised you noticed and felt it. I'm sure you've heard the story."
"Do you have any other questions?" Dumbledore asked.
"Plenty." Harry almost grinned. "First…what happened to the mirror with his soul in it?"
"It was very carefully destroyed; the piece of his soul is no longer in existence."
Edward, and the others, let out a collective sigh of relief.
Harry indicated to the piles of goodies at the end of his bed. "Alright. What's all that?"
Dumbledore chuckled. "What happened between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret. So, naturally, the whole school knows. These would be gifts from your admirers. If I understand correctly, Mister Elric and Miss Granger got their fair share of some."
Both kids flushed and nodded. Hermione, especially, wasn't used to receiving that much fanfare…in fact, neither was Edward. So, after they went through them all to make sure they were safe and non-cursed, they split them with Draco and Winry since they had been visiting Harry the past three days he was in the Hospital Wing and saw he had his own collection.
"What happened to the Stone?" Harry was very aware of the fact that he was in Hospital Wing pajamas, which meant the Stone that had been in his pocket was…who knew where.
"Ah…I spoke with Nicolas, and we've agreed that the Stone should be destroyed."
Edward tried to keep a straight face. Oh, well…I sorta knew that was going to happen. No way I'd be allowed to use it more than once, and I still don't know what went in it, only that it was much more "humane" than Red Water. Though, I think I might have a solution to the soul splitting, but I'll need to really talk about Harry about it. That's something for the summer, I suppose. Mom should know, too.
There was still one thing that none of the kids understood, and one silent conference later, Harry was the one who asked it.
"Why did Voldemort try to kill me? As a baby, and now…why me?"
This time, Dumbledore sighed and looked down. "Alas, I'm afraid I cannot answer that question right now, Harry."
"Why?" Draco, who was the least respectful of the group, demanded. "Some madman, the most evil wizard ever, tries to kill him…you seem to know, but you won't say anything…?"
"Draco…" Edward warned.
Dumbledore held up his hand to forestall any arguments. "Mister Malfoy does have a valid point, Edward. However, it's not for me to say at this time. The reason is something that you, Harry, should not be burdened with until you're older."
Harry looked contemplative, while the others were silent. Finally, the boy nodded. "I understand."
Dumbledore chuckled and stood up. "And, before you go and ask him…no, Remus does not know what the reason is."
Harry made a face, and Edward cursed under his breath.
The two had obviously wanted to ask that very question to their Uncle Moony. Though, now, Edward had a contemplative look on his face that had nothing to do with the conversation.
Dumbledore smiled. "Well, you should be released from the Hospital Wing soon, Harry. Just in time for the end of the year feast, I dare say. Now…I have some business to attend do, so I must take my leave."
Just before he reached the doors, Edward jumped up from his chair and ran over.
Dumbledore paused and looked down at the boy. "Yes?"
Edward took a deep breath, then let it out. "Remember that curse I broke the other day on the Defense room?"
Dumbledore chuckled. "I do, indeed. It was very fortunate that you could feel it out and manage to negate it with alchemy. The spells that would have been needed…"
Edward interrupted with only a little hesitation. "Remember…how you said…that if I needed anything, that I just had to ask you?"
Dumbledore was curious as to where this was going, and gave the boy a nod.
Edward took a deep breath, then let it out and looked up. "I have a request, then. Not for me, but for someone I really care about. Someone that can use a steady job and money. I was wondering…"
After he heard the request, Dumbledore smiled, and his eyes twinkled even brighter as he looked back at the boy. "To be honest, I was considering the same thing. I believe there shall be no trouble with it."
Edward grinned, then thought of something. "Oh…I'm sure Harry would agree…I'd have to ask him, but he'd probably be willing to call in that wizarding debt for Snape to keep his mouth shut around him. I know they didn't get along, and I don't want old school grudges to ruin this chance for him."
Dumbledore chuckled. "Yes…I can see your point. Tell Harry to come see me about it, because if he does call it in, then it will be set in stone."
Edward grinned from ear to ear. "Thanks so much, sir!"
Dumbledore smiled. "Now, I'm sure your friends are wondering what all this secret talk is about…"
Edward thanked him again, then ran back to the curious group.
"What was that about?" Harry asked.
Edward beamed. "Oh, man…I'm gonna have trouble not saying anything to him this summer, but…Harry, you've gotta see Dumbledore when you get out of the Hospital Wing to call in that debt."
"Are you planning on explaining, or leaving us in the dark?" Winry scowled at the boy.
Edward's grin, if possible, increased.
The end of the year feast was much like the welcome feast, only this time, instead of each house's banner being displayed over the tables, there was only a banner of yellow and black, with the picture of a badger; Hufflepuff apparently had the most points at the end of the year, and had won the House Cup.
Dumbledore was at the front of the room, congratulating the students on "another completed year of Hogwarts". "As you all know, the House Cup needs to be awarded. As such, the points stand as this: Hufflepuff, with 522 points…"
The house of the badger cheered and clapped the loudest, while all other houses just gave a respectful clap.
"…Ravenclaw, with 510 points…"
Winry clapped with her house, though the cousins saw that she was as far away from Russell as possible, since the Ravenclaw table was the closest to the Slytherin table.
"…Slytherin, with 480 points…"
Slytherin house applauded themselves, and a couple other houses clapped, as well (nobody gave Harry, Hermione, or Edward strange looks for showing their support at this point).
"…and Gryffindor, with 450 points."
The clapping from Gryffindor could have very well have been like the funeral march that the Weasley twins had sang the Hogwarts anthem to at the beginning of the year.
"Well done to all, except, there have been a few events of the past few days to take into account, and I have some last minute points to award." Perhaps it was a little sneaky to award points at the very last minute, but if not, people would wonder why the points were suddenly filled in the standings area.
The Hufflepuffs looked a little uneasy, while other houses, and a couple professors, glanced up to see what Dumbledore was up to.
"First, to Miss Winry Rockbell…"
At the Ravenclaw table, Winry's eyes went wide at receiving points in front of the entire school.
"…for alerting me of a grave situation that was about to unfold…I award Ravenclaw house…fifty points."
Ravenclaw erupted into cheers, and Edward nudged Harry and pointed over to Russell, who looked like he had been petrified as the kids sitting around Winry ruffled her hair and cheered her on.
Dumbledore held up his hand, and they quieted down. Their victory over Hufflepuff house was short lived, and that was obvious. The house had already known that Gryffindor would be receiving points due to what they heard, but it had been fun to be in the lead for a brief moment.
"Next, to Mister Draco Malfoy…"
Over at the Slytherin table, Draco looked positively shocked. The other Slytherins, who usually avoided him, glanced over in surprise as well.
"…for having the wit about him to inform a trusted member of the staff about the situation about to occur, I award Slytherin house…fifty points."
At first, there was stunned silence from the Slytherin house. Harry, Edward, Hermione, and Winry were all clapping, however, which spurred some other houses into motion.
Then, a third year Slytherin with black hair and navy blue, almost onyx, eyes began to applaud, which spurred on a couple others from the higher Slytherin years, which eventually worked its way down until almost all of the first years were clapping, though they were obviously in shock.
Dumbledore again held up his hand for silence. "Then, to Miss Hermione Granger…"
Hermione looked about on the verge of panic as all eyes turned to her, but the cousins just smiled at her encouragingly.
"…for the use of intellect and cool nerve while in the face of danger, I award Gryffindor house…fifty points."
"Alright, Hermione!" Harry and Edward cheered, while the girl looked very overwhelmed and blushed amongst the cheers from other members of her house.
Ron looked gobsmacked, but clapped, anyway. The group had heard that he was a bit jealous to have been left out of the adventure that the trio supposedly had.
"And next, to Mister Edward Elric…"
Edward felt his face heat up.
"…for taking charge of a dangerous situation, and keeping his cool despite being on the spot to keep his companions alive, I award Gryffindor house…fifty points."
The cheers from the Gryffindor house reached almost to the enchanted ceiling, as it meant that they were now in second place. Edward's own face was red this time, and he rubbed his nose bashfully as Harry patted him on the shoulder and others offered their congratulations.
Probably the most shocking was when Ron leaned over and offered to play him in a game of chess sometime.
Edward had been too stunned to do more than just nod. Put your life on the line, and suddenly, all animosities are forgotten…
The hall quieted as Dumbledore drew himself up. "And finally, to Mister Harry Potter…for pure nerve and courage in knowing what he was up against, yet going in to face, it, anyway…I award Gryffindor house…sixty points."
This time, no other house could be heard over the cheers from the Gryffindors.
Draco had a smirk on his face as he had applauded all of his friends in turn, no matter if that gave him weird looks.
Winry, too, had enthusiastically clapped for her friends while calling them every synonym for "morons" all the while.
Dumbledore beamed. "Those of you good at math could probably tell the others…that a change in decoration is in order."
With a wave of his hands, the Hufflepuff banners vanished to be replaced with the red and gold banners of the lion house, who were still cheering.
To the credit of Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw (who had been in the lead for a while), they were sporting about it, and clapped along with the rest of the Great Hall. The Slytherin table offered the least amount of applause, but Draco wasn't the only one clapping this time, at least.
Dumbledore smiled at the students, and announced that the feast should get underway as a very smug Minverva McGonagall turned with a grin to one Severus Snape, whose eye was twitching.
"You might want to have Poppy look at that condition of yours," McGonagall informed the dour Potions Master.
Dumbledore cleared his throat to prevent Snape from saying something nasty in response, and took his own seat at the head of the table.
Harry, Hermione, and Edward caught the gazes of Draco and Winry, then all five of them laughed before helping themselves to the feast.
During the chatter in the hall, Edward had even more good news as the Hogwarts year came to a close.
"Hey, Harry…I think I figured out how to remove the you know. We'll talk about it at home, yea?" Edward grinned.
Harry stared at him, stunned, then his face split into a huge smile. "You bet!"
Bad guys were defeated, family was restored, and unforgettable friendships had been formed. It certainly had been one huge, eventful year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
END YEAR ONE