I

On the first anniversary, Harry was by himself in Ron's bedroom. It was only a year. It seemed he had lived a lifetime or three since that night. As Harry lay on his cot, he heard Ron and Hermione arguing downstairs and smiled to himself.

Harry got up and walked to the open window. Outside, he could see the entire countryside sky full of glittering stars that twinkled familiarly. He raised his wand and pointed it into the sky. "Lumos expulsa," he murmured, and a tiny, sparkling light floated from the tip of the wand, spinning high into the stars.

II

On the second anniversary, Hermione went to Professor McGonagall's office. She had just finished all of her exams, and was hoping to visit with the headmistress on what was sure to be a very significant day. Her heart nearly broke when she saw Professor McGonagall. The headmistress was moving very stiffly, as though she were still in pain—from what, Hermione could not say.

Still, Professor McGonagall seemed to be determined not to allow her discomfort to show. But after only a few minutes of forced conversation, Hermione decided it would be best to leave Professor McGonagall with her thoughts.

III

On the third anniversary, Hagrid went for a long walk on the grounds with Fang. This, of course, was nothing unusual for him, but today of all days, it felt special. It was strange how he could remember certain things very clearly, and others not at all.

He remembered the way his father looked when he laughed; he remembered the way Aragog would blink up at him with large, beautiful black eyes; he remembered every second of every funeral he had ever attended. Hagrid stopped before the white tomb, laying one huge hand on its smooth surface. Especially this one.

IV

On the fourth anniversary, Ron was taking his final Stealth and Tracking exam. He was on a street in a small, sleepy town that appeared to be uninhabited. At the mouth of an alleyway, Ron froze.

There had been a sharp sound behind him. He looked up, realizing that he was bathed in the light of a streetlamp. He turned quickly to see a silhouette lurking in the alley behind him, and yanked his Deluminator from his pocket. He clicked it once, plunging the street into darkness. It was the first time he'd ever received full marks on the exam.

V

On the fifth anniversary, Ginny received her first Quidditch injury. Marla Quindle, a heavyset Beater on the Ballycastle Bats, unseated Ginny with a very well aimed Bludger. Ginny had never fallen from her broom before—as she fell, images flashed before her eyes—

Harry, Ron, Charlie, Fred, George, Mum, Bill, Dad, Percy—they flew past her in quick succession as she tumbled to earth. The second before she hit the ground, Ginny saw a broken form bathed in green light, lying at the foot of the Astronomy tower. She awoke days later and immediately threw herself, sobbing, into Harry's arms.

VI

On the sixth anniversary, Aberforth read the newspaper in his private rooms above the Hog's Head, which he'd closed early for the evening. Out of force of habit, he lifted aside the curtain of the window he sat near, frowning up at the dark outline of the castle on the hill.

Aberforth remembered the night the mark had appeared. He remembered deciding to ignore it and believe that whatever it was, Albus would handle the damned thing on his own, as he always had. Aberforth grunted. All right then. A hundred and four years was long enough for any grudge.

VII

On the seventh anniversary, Neville received a note from Professor Sprout, asking if he would be interested in applying for the position of Herbology teacher for the coming year. Professor Sprout, apparently, was not all that well since the end of the war; advancing age and the residual effects of a nasty curse had taken their toll.

Neville frowned, ready to politely decline. But, as he started to write, his quill froze above the page. He had the opportunity to join the ranks of the people who had believed in him: Dumbledore, McGonagall, Lupin, Sprout—how could he say no?

VIII

On the eighth anniversary, Minerva stayed in bed. She had gotten a terrible cold, and between some nasty coughing and the annual relapse of her painful ordeal on the lawn some nine years before, she could not find it in her to get up. This was perhaps the lowest point she could remember in all her years of missing the very best friend she had ever had.

Minerva hated the twenty-first of June with all her heart. It was the longest day of the year—of course it was, because Fate was a cold-hearted witch, and Life was painfully unfair.

IX

On the ninth anniversary, Rose Minerva Weasley was born. She knew nothing of the world her parents had fought so hard to give her. She didn't know that she had the good fortune of having an enormous family waiting to give her love and kisses for the rest of her life. She didn't know that she was the most beautiful thing that either of her parents had ever seen.

Rose did not know that when she was laid in her namesake's arms for the first time that Minerva was happier and more lighthearted than she had been for nine years.

X

On the tenth anniversary, Albus Severus Potter opened his first Chocolate Frog—with some help from Harry. The thirteen-month-old was banging his chubby fists on the coffee table. Ginny (who was very pregnant with Lily) was laughing at Albus's shrill giggles as she cuddled James.

Harry opened the package and caught the Famous Wizard card. He stared at it for a moment, starting to smile, and pulled Albus into his lap. He held up the little card for Al to see. Albus's eyes went very wide and he reached out one hand to touch the picture. It was Albus Dumbledore.


Ten drabbles in honor of the man whose death I am memorializing on June the twenty-first. It has been thirteen years, Professor. The wizarding world misses you, and so does my fourteen-year-old self that watched you die. Nitwit, blubber, oddment, tweak.