A/N: Disclaimer's in the first chapter. Here ends Fate We Make. You will notice that I don't mention who married who here, aside from Bill marrying Fleur, Remus marrying Tonks, and Ron not marrying Hermione. Other than that, feel free to imagine the boys (and girls) with whomever you wish.
September 1, 2020, Hogwarts
Harry leaned back contentedly in his chair at the Head Table as Filius led the new First Years into the Great Hall. So much had happened over the last almost quarter-century.
He'd had an enormous amount of fun with Remus and Sirius the summer after Voldemort's defeat. He'd managed to pass his OWLs without having to attend the summer school that had been offered, thanks be. So had the rest of the New Marauders, thanks to their additional schooling from so many sources. Remus and Tonks had married at the start of Christmas break that year.
That last two years of school, though, had been complete, unmitigated hell. Harry had never been given a moment's peace, not by the students, not by the press, not by anybody save those closest to him. The Marauders had closed ranks completely against anyone and everyone, all of them suffering to one degree or another from their very much unwanted fame. The only escape had been the summers, when they'd all fled England for two months and got a breather. They'd very ruined Percy's wedding thanks to the reporters descended on the ceremony to harass Harry and company when Perc got married just over a year after Voldemort's defeat. Thankfully, the press had calmed down just enough they'd been able to attend Fred and George's double wedding the following year without the press crashing the ceremony and being all over them about the war and not paying any mind to the wedding.
Immediately after he took his NEWTs, Harry had fled England, and brought Sirius, Remus and Tonks with him. Virtually the entirety of the New Marauders followed suit, scattering in all directions. It wasn't until nearly a year later that Harry had finally begun to deal with ... well, everything. Away from the constant, insane pressure in England, he'd finally lowered his guard, and the full impact of ... well, to be honest, his entire life ... had hit him. Sirius had fallen apart at much the same time. Leaning on each other while they patched themselves back together had brought all three of them closer than ever before.
They'd eventually settled for a while in a little place in South America, where no one had the vaguest clue who the heck they were, nor did they care. In the next few years, Harry finally had a chance to figure out who he was. He'd spent his entire life up to that point being the Dursley's punching bag, Dumbledore's playtoy and the English wizarding world's savior/demon, he'd never really had a chance to be himself.
Much to Harry's never-ending amusement, Ron met a girl while he'd been abroad, and ended up marrying her. Neville got hitched a month later. Ron had been the first to return to England, wife in tow, and managed to become the starting Keeper for the Cannons, much to his delight. The Cannons still hadn't won the league while Ron was on the team, but they'd done a far sight better than usual, managing to stay in the top five, mostly by dint of Ron managing a truly frightening number of shut-outs over his decade-long stint as Keeper. When he'd finally retired, he joined his father in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office, which had expanded exponentially after the war.
Percy, and Hermione when she returned from her time abroad, both went into politics. They made for a hell of a tag-team, especially with Amelia Bones' support and both Harry and Sirius' backing (albeit from a distance). Between them, they'd abolished all of the old, unfair laws, and drafted a whole raft of new ones. Many of the new laws echoed the equality laws in the Muggle world, making it illegal to force any magical, sentient being into a lesser status than that of wizards. The goblins and centaurs especially had been quite pleased by the new laws. Unfortunately for Hermione's particular soapbox, the house-elves continued to lag far, far behind the rest of the sentient beings. The best she'd been able to thus far was to make laws that kept house-elf owners to stringent standards of care. It would probably be a few centuries before any house-elves would be ready for any amount of true freedom at all. Thus far, Dobby continued to be the only house-elf to thrive on freedom ... and even he kept, largely, to 'acceptable' house-elf behavior. There'd been surprisingly little opposition to the changes, but then again, most of the hard-line conservatives had got themselves killed or jailed for life.
Fred and George opened a shop when they returned, and within five years, they were able to buy out Zonko. Their products were wildly popular, both the joke products aimed at kids, and the more serious defense-related items aimed at adults. They were the first England-based Weasleys in something like two hundred years who were well-off, much to Arthur and Molly's pride. Of course, it had helped that Ron and Ginny hadn't been long in joining that club. Neville opened his own business, obtaining and cultivating a huge array of plants, selling them both for home gardens and for use in potions. Harry had laughed for days when Neville wrote him, telling him Snape had become his biggest and steadiest customer. The concept of those two managing to work together in any capacity had been highly amusing.
Luna never did return to England. She was still abroad, searching the world for her 'imaginary' creatures. To everyone's surprise, she'd found more than a few. The look on Hermione's face when she found out about the first one had been priceless. Ginny, like Ron, had gone into Quidditch, though as a Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies. She'd ended up back at Hogwarts when she retired, becoming the Transfiguration teacher, replacing McGonagall, who'd never quite managed to find someone to take her place and had tried to run both her class and the Headmistress position. She'd managed, but by the time Ginny stepped in, McGonagall's age was such that she was slowing down, and doing both jobs had been impossible for her.
Bill and Charlie, of course, were still at their jobs, though Bill was now based somewhere in China, and had risen to Head Curse-breaker of all projects there.. Charlie was still in Romania, and had finally met and married a girl just shy of a decade after the end of the war. He too had risen in rank, until he was now running the Romanian reserve.
As for Harry ... well, once he'd returned, five years after the war, he'd returned to Hogwarts, and become the Dueling teacher. He'd surprised himself during his time abroad, when he'd discovered how much he enjoyed teaching. Sirius blamed Remus for that, much to Harry's amusement. A few years later, he'd become Head of Gryffindor, replacing the elderly teacher who'd taken the Head of Gryffindor House position when they'd been hired by McGonagall. Susan Bones had taken the Wizarding Cultures teaching position that the elderly teacher had also filled. He, Sirius, Remus, and their families all lived in Potter Manor, which, the good knew, had room enough for all of them and to spare.
Harry and Sirius had taken the longest to 'settle down', of the Marauders. But then again, it could be argued that they'd suffered the worst damages, Sirius with over a decade in Azkaban and Harry with his entire, miserable childhood. They'd sort of indulged themselves with highly immature hijinks for quite a while. Eventually, they'd both gotten married, within two months of each other, much to their amusement at the time, as neither of them had quite been aware that things had been that serious for the other. Sirius spent the bulk of his time in the Wizengamot these days, helping Hermione and Percy push their reforms and laws through. Remus had gone back to teaching, doing part-time classes with both werewolves and kids.
As for the rest of the 'hero crew', Kingsley had become Head Auror, and had stayed in that position for roughly a decade before retiring, at which point Tonks had taken his place, and was still in it, though she planned to retire in a year or so. Moody, the old codger, having survived the war, died in his sleep four years later. Trelawney had left Hogwarts two years after the war, after two years of having absolutely no students. She'd not been replaced. Neither had Filch, who, like Moody, had died of old age a few years back. Harry thought it was a rather sad state of affairs that no one missed the cranky bastard. The house-elves had been quite pleased to be trusted to do things on their own, and had been doing a spectacular job of it.
McGonagall was still Headmistress, and Flitwick and Sprout were both still teachers and Heads of House. In point of fact, the only other teaching position that changed had been Potions. Snape had, to Harry's shock, stayed at Hogwarts after the war. Harry had fully expected the man to bolt for the nearest place of solitude he could find, sick to death of having to teach dunderheads. Snape had, however, reached his breaking point a decade after the war, a year or so before the first of the new generation of Weaselys, Potters, Blacks, Longbottoms and Lupins had descended on the castle. Harry still laughed when he remembered Snape's disgusted rant on that subject. Snape had opened his own apothecary and ready-made potions store a year after that, and had, in the years since, been forced to hire on something like a dozen helpers and obtain larger premises twice. He was, at this point, the man to go to for high-quality potions and ingredients, and Harry had never seen Snape happier. He actually smiled these days. And meant it! Daphne Greengrass had replaced him as both Potions teacher and Head of Slytherin.
It was also thanks to a combination of the death of Fenrir Greyback, abolished unfair laws, enforced fair ones and Snape's wolfsbane potion (offered free of charge to all werewolves) that there had not been a single new werewolf infected in the last twenty-four years. The existing werewolves had benefitted from the new laws, though they still preferred their own company, and had a small village in a remote spot where they didn't have to worry too much about running into any humans on a full moon. Thanks to some arrangements that had made and donations from Sirius and Harry, all the werewolf children that Fenrir had infected, magical and muggle, had been able to attend school like they were 'normal' kids. The adults, many of whom were lacking educations, were also helped, getting them caught up education-wise and helping them get jobs to support themselves.
Harry glanced over the four tables. This year marked the first time in close to a decade that there were no 'Marauder' offspring among the First Years. Of course, there were currently eleven said offspring scattered among all four tables. Another eight had already graduated. The only remaining offspring that had yet to pass through Hogwarts' doors was Harry's youngest boy, currently eight years old. Harry had a feeling he'd been the only one not shocked when Percy's only child as well as one each of Fred and George's kids had ended up in Slytherin. Goodness knew those three had enough Slytherin traits themselves, to pass on to their kids. While the majority of the rest had ended up in Gryffindor (earning it the teasing nickname of 'Marauder House') there was a Ravenclaw (Bill's youngest) and two Hufflepuffs(one of Sirius' kids, and one of Neville's) in the bunch as well. Harry strongly suspected his youngest would end up in Slytherin. He was also fairly sure that Snape was encouraging it, as his son had shown a keen interest in all things potions pretty much from the moment he could sit up and stir at the same time, and had taken to trailing after Snape the few times the man had attended the yearly reunions. Harry'd been braced for a bad reaction from Snape, but to his surprise, Snape had been quite pleased to take his youngest under his wing.
To say that, overall, life was going well was an understatement. Britain had not fully recovered from the war, not yet, but they were certainly well on their way, both politically and population-wise. There'd been a massive baby-boom in the years following the end of the war, and the Marauders had been far from the only ones to contribute. Harry well remembered how few kids had been in each year, when he'd attended ... they'd been lucky to scrape ten kids together per House, most years. These days, it was double that, and there'd been a couple years, right around the twelve-to-thirteen year mark, where there'd been nearly thirty kids per House. Better yet, as the political atmosphere improved, old expatriates had returned to their homeland, further expanding the existing population, both of adults and kids.
The population had boomed so much, in fact, that the first-ever pre-Hogwarts schools had been opened about seven years after the war, providing a central place for wizarding children to learn the basics of reading, writing, and so on. A year after that, Hermione had managed to get a law passed that brought Muggleborn children into the Wizarding world as soon as they started exhibiting magic. They had the choice of either entering the Wizarding world fully and attending the pre-Hogwarts school with the wizard-raised children, or attending part-time classes that caught them up on the basic things they needed to know about the Wizarding world before they truly entered it at eleven. There were also classes for the parents/guardians and families of Muggleborns, to educate them about magic and the wizarding world.
That had the dual benefit of allowing the teachers to catch any cases of abuse long before things got out of hand, as Muggleborns still tended to face that problem thanks mostly to fear and religious issues. Hermione had finally, just two years ago, managed to get a law passed that allowed wizards to remove any muggleborn child from abusive parents and place them with wizarding foster parents. The last thing any of them needed was to leave a kid in an abusive home and end up fostering a new Dark Lord. That particular bill had been a hard-fought one, as many people felt ill-at-ease essentially kidnapping children, but given the alternatives, it had eventually passed. Thus far, three kids had benefitted from that law. One of them had been adopted by Arthur and Molly, who'd not been happy with their empty nest, despite the plethora of grandkids that constantly swarmed the Burrow. Certainly, they were an ideal home for an abused child, something to which Harry could attest.
The rules governing Muggleborns and the Statute of Secrecy had been altered as well. A way had been discovered to ensure that no muggle in the know about the Wizarding world could accidentally spill the beans to someone who wasn't without the permission of the person who cast the spell. This iron-clad assurance of secrecy allowed muggleborn children to include more than their mother and father in their wizarding lives, if their other family members proved amenable to the situation. The restriction on magic done out of school had also been abolished, since the vast majority of the wizard-born lived in homes that allowed them to practice magic without being punished, if their parents so allowed. The Trace was completely removed from all underage wands as well, since its existence was unnecessary after the underage restriction was abolished.
Another more recent breakthrough had been an alteration to the muggle-repelling spells that cloaked wizarding locations. Someone had figured out a way to allow in-the-know Muggles to approach wizarding locations without a wizard escort, while keeping those still ignorant of the wizarding world at bay. The end result was that Diagon Alley had seen an upsurge in business, to the point that the entrance arch had been altered so it did not require a wand to open it. Hogsmeade also saw a lot more traffic. Muggle adults explored both places while their kids were at school, and frequently bought things for their kids, and even themselves, since many wizarding items could be operated by a muggle. They also met their kids for Hogsmeade weekends. The alterations had also allowed Hogwarts to host families for Quidditch games and things like Parent-Teacher conferences and a myriad of other school events where the kids could show off what they'd learned.
Harry was already looking forward to the yearly reunion at the start of Christmas break. It tended to be a rather raucous affair, with spouses, kids, and more recently, the first Marauder grandkid (Born to Bill's eldest daughter just two months ago). While all the Marauders attended, they also hosted teachers and Order members most years. While Christmas presents did feature in the day, they also inevitably talked about the war, both the first round and the second, and those that had been lost. It had become something of a tradition for stories about the dead to be told, so they were remembered.
It had taken every bit of clout the combined Marauders possessed to keep the Ministry at large from erecting a statue in the Atrium to the Marauders. They'd managed to convince everyone that a memorial for the dead was a better idea, thankfully. Harry hadn't been alone in not wanting any part of a statue with his face on it. There was a second memorial at Hogwarts, listing all of the Hogwarts victims of Voldemort's campaign, Myrtle being the first name on the list, as his first victim.
Harry shook himself out of his introspection when McGonagall got to her feet for the after-dinner announcements, only then realizing he'd been sitting there staring and not eating. Ah well. He'd get a snack later, as he had to check in with his Lions before curfew. Once the kids had been dismissed, he got to his feet, waving off McGonagall's slightly worried look before he headed out.
As much as had been done, there was still work to be done, and kids to be taught. And Harry was looking forward to every minute of it.