"He took the tests and passed." Hermione finished her part of the story.
"Why on earth did he let him take those tests?" Ginny asked.
"Because I didn't think there was any way he could pass them." Kingsley said. He had entered the room during Hermione's story.
"What happened during the testing?" Ginny asked.
"We got one shock after another." Kingsley said.
"Thank you for attending today's meeting." Kingsley said, "First for those of you administering and grading the written portion of the exams today, I want the toughest tests we have. I don't care if you have to go back years to find the hardest one do it. From now on all tests will return to the numbering system. You won't know whose test you are grading. Now you all get going, I don't want you to hear the next part."
Seven Auror test administrators left the room. The remaining were the practical test team of seven test administrators and the entire Auror department.
"I know I have you all wondering what's going on. And why I don't want them to hear." Kingsley said, "Harry Potter wants to join the department. I don't want him to. I want him to return to school. So we are giving him the hardest possible written and practical exam. I don't care if you use stuff for the final anything you do to make this as tough as possible. I want him to be an Auror one day just not today. Any questions?" No one responded so he continued, "Great let's go."
When Harry arrived they were ready. One administrator was in the testing room with one test on his desk. Harry sat down and was given the test to complete and told he had one hour to do it. Kingsley and Auror Gable were in a room watching Harry. He never even paused in his writing for forty five minutes. When he was done he didn't look through his answers he just sat patiently waiting for time to expire. His calmness was making Kingsley nervous.
"That doesn't look like it was a hard test for him." Gable said.
"No it doesn't, I'll have to find out which one they used." Kingsley said.
When time expired the test administrator picked it up and told Harry where to go next. Kingsley had stacked the deck of the practical exam in his favor. It was full of people who thought Harry only defeated Voldemort by luck. They couldn't wait for the chance to humiliate the Man-Who-Won-by-sheer-dumb-luck.
As Kingsley continued to watch the Practical exam through the magic window a second test administrator approached him, "Are you checking to make sure these old guys remember their stuff?"
"Why do you ask?" Kingsley questioned.
"We'll there is one obscure rule that will allow us to administer the final exam at any time, even as an entrance exam. So that's what we did. We even used the final that only has a seventeen percent pass rate. Since the test came back perfect I figure you're giving the old guys a run."
"You're kidding; you have to be kidding me?" Kingsley said taking the test, "It can't possibly be perfect; he only used forty five minutes to do it. They better kick his butt in the practical."
As he was talking the door opened and admitted Minerva McGonagall, "Have you convinced him to return to school yet?"
"No. We've just finished grading the first test."
"What did he get?" Minerva asked.
"Everything he aced the exam. We even used the final exam instead of an entrance exam." Kingsley said, "If he does half as good on the practical I'll have to sign him. I'd be stupid not to."
"Who are we testing?" the administrator asked.
"That's impossible." The administrator responded, "No one has ever… only once when Moody returned to service after that eye and leg injury. But… he even got the Horcrux question correct in fact he gave two options."
"Which two did he pick?" Kingsley asked.
"Basilisk venom and Fiend Fire."
Just then three Aurors entered the room from the practical testing room. One high ranked man who had been the main opponent of Harry joining the ranks spoke, "He's wiping the floor with us. He's a creative dueler with the power to back it up. He blew through the entrance exam without one mistake, so we started the final like you said. He's still killing us. You know I of all people hate to say this, but we'd be fools not to put him right to work. He could be a big help."
After he left one of the others said, "You know he has every right to be big headed but he's not. There are no taunts or jeers he's just working as hard as he can. Some of the others were insulting him at the start but that's all stopped as we're just trying to stay in the game. This might be more that just proving he can be an Auror."
"I should have known better." Minerva said, "He's never backed away from a challenge. He's never lost a challenge. He feels he's let the Weasley's down and he's determined to not let that happen again. He can't bring back Fred but Ginny's a different story."
Twenty minutes later everyone exited the practical room. Head Auror Gable, another critic of Harry's, started grumbling, "He just aced the final. Who's been giving him lessons? I never believed any of the stories that came out of your school Minerva but… did he really kill a basilisk when he was twelve?"
"Yes. And judging by the tooth Albus estimated it was around sixty five feet long."
"Dragon at fourteen?"
"Hungarian Horntail, nesting mother."
"How did the written go?" Gable asked.
"Same." Kingsley said, "Now we have to hire him."
A few moments later Harry helped the last Auror through the door, "I'm really sorry, I didn't realize it was over."
"No problem, I shouldn't have surprised you."
"Harry take Johnson there to the medi-witch. He'll show you the way. Get yourself checked too." Gable said.
"Yes sir." Harry said and then nodded at the others still in the room, "Minister, Professor."
After he left Gable asked, "Is he always like that?"
"Yes." Minerva said, "Quiet and polite."
"He doesn't even look tired."
"He is I could see it in his eyes." Minerva said, "But you will never hear it from him. After the battle he was trying to help look for Ginny, but Ron and Hermione made him see Poppy first. He kept insisting he was fine but she healed two broken ribs and a damaged lunge. He had a bruise that covered the left half of his torso front and back and it went down his arm just past his elbow.
After he was seen by the healer Kingsley and Gable met with Harry, "What did you think of the tests?"
"Tonk's was right, the entrance exam is brutal." Harry sighed.
"Harry, I don't want to do this to you." Kingsley said.
"Didn't I pass?" Harry asked when Kingsley hesitated he said, "Just tell me, I just want to help I can take criticism."
"You passed; I just didn't want you to." Kingsley said, "I wanted you to have to go back and have a calm year at school."
"I've never had one of those." Harry laughed, "I doubt it would start now. If it's quiet it's because I'm not there. So when do I start training."
"You don't." Gable said, Harry stared at the man waiting for what was coming next, "You got a perfect score."
"What are you saying?" Harry asked in confusion.
"You passed the entrance exam and the final. You've been hired and I'll have your partner assignment tomorrow. You'll be on the Weasley case. Be at my office at seven in the morning."
*** end flash back***
"Wow." Ginny said, "That's amazing, and he thought he didn't pass, he's an idiot."
"You think that's bad wait until you hear what happened when he got home." Arthur said.
Arthur entered the lifts to go home. This was the first night since the war that he was getting off on time, well only slightly late. The lift stopped on another floor and opened the door to admit Harry Potter, "How are you Harry?"
"Tired and hungry." He replied, "Today was brutal."
The lift stopped at the Atrium and the two got off, "Dinner should be waiting when we get home."
It was and Harry fell on it like a man starving to death. It took everyone at the table by surprise, Harry never ate like that. Even Ron was shocked by the amount of food his friend was putting away.
"Blimey Harry, didn't you get a lunch break?" Ron asked.
Harry shook his head without even a pause in his eating. Hermione frowned, "And you skipped breakfast because you were too nervous to eat. Harry you really need to get some better habits. Starving yourself all day and then overeating isn't healthy."
"Give him a break you two." George said, "Tonk's always said the tests were brutal."
Harry just nodded and kept eating. When he finished he leaned back in his seat and fell asleep. After the rest finished Ron reached over to wake him so he could go to bed. But a voice from the floo stopped him.
"Can I come through?" Kingsley asked.
"Sure, have you eaten?" Arthur asked.
"No." Kinglsey replied and pulled back just to reappear walking through. Molly took a breath to scold him and he stopped her saying, "No one in the Auror office had a lunch break today. I had everyone in on his testing and we tried desperately to make him fail."
"Why?" Ron, Hermione and George asked in unison.
"We wanted him to go back to school and have a quiet year." Kingsley said.
"Fat chance that." Ron snickered, "We've never seen one of those."
"It doesn't matter because he aced the entrance exam today." Kingsley said.
"So he's a trainee?" Molly asked overjoyed at his achievement.
"No." came the answer and Molly's face fell, "He also passed the final. He starts tomorrow but I don't have a partner assignment for him yet."
"What?" Molly asked confused.
"He's a full blown Auror. We've put him on Ginny's case."
"But… training?" Arthur asked.
"Doesn't need it." Kingsley said, "Somehow he has learned everything he needed to. He fought every Auror on the force and won and no one went easy on him. One man suggested he has something more to prove than that he can be an Auror."
"Fred and Ginny." Hermione said smacking her head, "I should have realized he'd be blaming himself." She glared at Harry, "You and that stupid, noble saving people thing."
"You blithering idiot." Ron said to his best friend still asleep in the chair, "It's not up to you to save everyone… again."
"Did you really call him a blithering idiot?" Paula asked Ron.
"Yes. And he is some times. Others he is the most brilliant person to have around next to Hermione." he replied.
"Ok so he fought this bad dude and now he's a hero. That doesn't sound like the kind of thing that would cause the responses I've seen." Paula said.
"First off Voldemort, aka the bad dude started amassing strength and followers around thirty years ago." George started the story of Harry's early fame. Each person added to the story at least some but most of it was covered by Ron, Hermione and Ginny.
"Alright Harry." Gable said, "Let's have it."
Harry described the research he'd been conducting at Hogwarts and why. He told how he used the spell to gather her rough location. He explained how he tracked the spells direction doing several circuits of the city. "When I had an area roughly the size of Hogsmeade I couldn't use the tube anymore. I left the station about four in the afternoon. I hadn't eaten since breakfast so I decided to get something to eat and there she was."
"Just an accident." Gable laughed, "Only you could solve a case on accident."
"How much trouble am I in?" Harry asked.
"Well, your punishment for not following orders and resting is one month unpaid leave to rest in." Gable said, "You will not do anymore research or locating missing persons or fighting dark wizards, unless they attack you first."
"Seems reasonable." Harry grinned; he'd get a month to spend with Ginny. Ron and Hermione would be headed back to school tomorrow.
"I'm just glad to have Molly off my back. If I gave you any real punishment she'd be all over me again." Gable shook his head ruefully, "It's actually the punishment that is designated for that kind of disobedience. But I'm well aware that it's exactly what you want too. If you had done something worse I wouldn't give you that punishment just on the principal of it."
"Yes sir." Harry said acting suitably chastised.
"Pardon me sir." interrupted Harry's partner Tegal, "I've heard we had a break in the case. Is that why you're here Harry?"
"Yes, and I'm being given my punishment for not following orders." Harry said.
"What did you do find her on your own?" Tegal teased.
"That's exactly what he did." Gable said, "Instead of resting for the last month he's been researching spells and accidentally solving cases." He filled Auror Tegal in on Harry's activities and punishment.
"Harsh." Tegal said, "So what will you do with this next month of recovery?"
"I'll be at the Burrow." Harry said, "Hopefully planning a wedding."
"What? I didn't even know you were dating anyone." Tegal was shocked, "I must be a terrible Auror if couldn't catch on to that. Who are you marrying?"
"Ginny." Harry grinned.
"We didn't know about the relationship." Gable frowned.
"Well then I guess I don't feel so bad." Tegal said, "Since you successfully hid it if from the Head Auror enough to be assigned to the case. I'm surprised her family didn't tell us though."
"They didn't know until earlier today." Harry said, "We got engaged on my sixteenth but hid it until Voldemort was gone. We were going to wait to get married until she finished school which should have been June this year. I don't know what's going to happen for sure so please don't say anything."
Harry returned to the hospital with a spring in his step. As he approached the room he could hear laughter coming through the door. He pushed it open to hear Ron say "…then he just kissed her."
The room erupted into fits of laughter again. When it subsided Paula asked, "Is his life just one big jumble of either dangerous or embarrassing events?"
"Seems that way." Harry said leaning against the door frame, "Of course if that's the story how Ginny and I got together it wasn't either one of those. It was one of those rare happy moments. How are you feeling Gin?"
"Fine, are you still employed?" she asked.
"I am but I have a month off for not following orders." Molly started to get angry but Harry cut her off saying, "Gable says he knows it's not really a punishment as it's exactly what I want but he's stuck between punishing or awarding me. So he did both."
"How is it punishment?"
"I won't get paid." Harry shrugged and walked across the room to Ginny's side, "But since I haven't really spent anything I've earned so far I'll be just fine."
"Now what are we going to do about a wedding?" Fleur asked, "I only ask that you wait until I'm not fat anymore or I'll refuse to be in any of the pictures."
"The original date was July tenth so she could finish school. Ron are you still willing to be my best man?" Harry asked.
"I think I like to put it off for a little bit." Ginny said, "Not far just maybe mid August. I don't think two months is enough time to plan it."
"What about school." Molly asked, "You're still not finished."
"Mum I hate to break it to you but I don't think I'm going to." Ginny said, "If I can't play quidditch for a living then I plan on staying home and raising a family. I don't need any NEWT's for either of those."
Harry could see Molly getting angry so he changed the subject, "Fleur are you ok, you're looking a bit peaky?"
Catching on quickly Fleur leaned on Bill and said, "Just tired I think. I'll be glad when the baby arrives."
"As will we all." Ginny said, "Do you know if it's a girl or boy?"
"I know but Bill wants to be surprised." Fleur said, "So I will not tell anyone else."
Late in the afternoon Ginny was released and sent home to the Burrow. Paula took one look at the house and asked, "Is it safe?"
"It's held up by magic." Harry supplied, "It's perfectly safe."
"Harry do you think you could give Paula a ride on your broom?" Ginny asked.
"No." Paula answered for him, "He can't and I won't. Just forget it. I'll keep my feet planted firmly on the ground thanks."
"What's the fun in that?" Charlie asked throwing an arm over her shoulder and steering her towards the shed, "I'll use an old broom that doesn't go to fast. You can sit on the front so I can help hold you on. Then we can have Harry run about under us to catch you if you fall."
"Promise not to go too high or too fast?" Paula was still skeptical.
"Gin, I think you're a miracle worker." Harry said, Ginny along with several other looked him questioningly, "You bring home one friend and the impossible happens." Several brothers start to snicker.
"Charlie's head is turned so far I think it's on backwards." Harry said throwing his arm over her shoulder and steering her towards the house.
"I know, I'm a bit surprised. I thought it would be George." she replied catching on.
"No I'm all tied up with Angelina." George stated, "Speaking of which we're supposed to go out tonight. I'm going to see if she minds just coming over so we can catch up with you."
"That would be great." Ginny said, "I haven't seen her for a year… well I guess I've not seen anyone for a year."
The next morning's Prophet was busting with pictures of Ginny and Harry. In it was a modified version of the story from the Auror's office. Harry was given credit for finding her even if it was on accident while on leave. Ginny read it and laughed at the way the paper now supported anything Harry did. They made it seem like he was Merlin's gift to wizard kind.
Ron and Hermione trudged down to breakfast hand in hand. There way with each other somewhat surprised Ginny even thought she had heard the story of how they got together. They had opted not to take the train back to school. Minerva had given them the option to return via floo before the return feast began. The four teens planned a quiet day with Neville and Luna joining them.
Charlie came to breakfast in a very good mood. He had taken a week off work and today he was going to spend the day with Paula to London. She was taking him to see her apartment and the café she worked at, all with the pretense of getting to know what Ginny had been up to for the last year. Ginny was thinking it was a good thing Paula would have her nursing degree soon. She wondered if Romanian hospitals needed an English nurse.
Four weeks later the group met in the hospital once again. This time it was for the birth of Victoire, the first Weasley grandchild for Arthur and Molly. While they were celebrating after the birth George took the opportunity to make an announcement.
"Bill if you don't mind me stealing a bit of your thunder today I have an announcement." Bill and Fleur agreed, feeling sure they knew what was coming, "Thanks, I wouldn't do it now but who knows when we'll all get together again."
"Get on with it." Ron said laughing.
"Don't get pushy." George replied, "Ok, here goes." He grabbed Angelina's hand then took a deep breath, "We getting married December first."
"About time." Harry was the first to respond, "Congratulations, George. Angelina do we need to have your head examined?"
"Very funny Harry." George made a face as Angelina snickered. It wasn't often someone could get one over on George.
Molly watched Arthur smile at Harry and George. She leaned over and asked, "What are you thinking?
"By the fall after the war everyone had started living except Harry and George." He whispered, "Now look at them."
Molly sat next to Arthur holding her first grandbaby and watching her children. Her family was expanding at a good pace. Harry and Ginny were getting married in August, then George and Angelina in December. She felt sure Ron and Hermione wouldn't be too far behind. And once they were all married she'd get plenty more grandchildren to go along with the beautiful girl she was holding. Life was starting to move again.