He finally awoke in the quiet dark Hospital wing, and sat bolt upright in panic.
"It's ok." Sirius said, clutching his shoulder. "It's ok, you're safe, Harry. You're safe."
"Sirius?" Harry asked, looking to his godfather who lit a candle next to Harry's bed. The man looked pale, but he smiled at the young man and nodded. "You're back at Hogwarts. You and Fleur made it back, and you're both safe."
"but Cedric…" Harry said, his voice raw from all the screaming he'd done that night."
"I'm so sorry, kid." Sirius said sadly, grasping Harry's arm. Harry's eyes stung with tears, but it wasn't sadness. It was fury.
"I couldn't do anything. I couldn't think straight, and he just kept…" harry tried to say, but Sirius squeezed his arm and shook his head.
"I know Harry. And I am really sorry that we weren't there for you. I wish I had the words that could make it easier, but there just aren't any."
Harry nodded heavily and slowly lay back in his bed. He kept seeing Voldemort's face in his head. That cold demonic smile as he held him under the torture curse. And then Cedric's body on the ground, his life stolen from him.
"He never had a chance." Harry whispered. Sirius looked into Harry's face with puzzlement. "It happened so fast. He was next to me, and then… he was gone."
"Harry, you should never have had to go through all this."
"You couldn't have stopped it. No one could have.. He said so when he was talking to his people. He told them he'd known I was alive all these years.' Harry said gravely. "He's known all this time. He said he'd seen into my mind, whatever that means."
They fell into silence for a few minutes before Harry thought of the other two champions.
"Viktor and Fleur?" Harry turned to Sirius who nodded to another bed where someone was sleeping.
"She's fine. She hit her head, and had some badly bruised ribs, but she's fine. She was terribly worried about you. Madam Pomfrey almost had to stun her to get her into bed. Viktor is just fine, barely got a scratch. He was in her until midnight. You've got a fair few others who are probably awake right now, wondering what's happened. So far as I know, there was no announcement about you lot coming back. I think Dumbledore plans to let everyone know in the morning.
"Do Cedric's parents know?"
Sirius nodded his head and Harry shut his eyes for a moment, trying to calm himself before continuing.
"I don't understand it. Not any of it." he said bitterly.
"Perhaps then I may be of some help." Dumbledore said softly, not wishing to disturb Fleur. "But first, I must ask you Harry if I may see your memories of tonight."
"My memories? How?" Harry asked not quite understanding the request.
"I would like you to concentrate on everything that happened tonight. I will then extract the memories from your mind so that we may examine them in my pensieve."
"you're going to take the memories away?"
"I'm afraid not. I will simply be making copies of them. You will retain all of you memories, as much as I would like to release you from their cruel reminders. But it is very important, Harry. I can not explain to you just how yet, but I made you a promise, and I intend to keep it. This will help me to understand things better so that I may give a better explanation to you."
"Fine." Harry said flatly. He shut his eyes and focused on the moment he stepped into the Champions tent right after dinner. He felt the tip of Dumbledore's wand at his temple, and the strange sensation of lightheadedness.
"That will do, I think. Try to sleep, Harry. We will speak tomorrow morning. We have so very much to discuss."
"Here, drink this, Harry. Dreamless sleep potion." Sirius gave a sad smile as he gave a vial to Harry who gulped it down and settled into his bed. In the blink of an eye, he was asleep again.
"Sirius, I would like it if you and Remus were to join me immediately to view this." he said holding up a tiny crystal vial that contained the swirling silver vapor that was Harry's memory.
"I want to stay with him." Sirius started to say but the headmaster cut him off.
"if we are to prepare him for what's coming, I will need your help. He will be fine until the morning."
Sirius nodded and rose from his seat to follow the headmaster, glancing over his shoulder at the sleeping boy he cared so much for.
"James, Lily, I'm sorry." He thought as he left the hospital wing.
When Harry awoke again, the sun was shining in the windows, and he felt someone holding his hand. He looked up to find Fleur smiling down at him.
"My guardian angel." he said softly, causing the beautiful French girl to smile softly. She bent down and kissed his forehead gently. "Thank you.' he smiled when she pulled away.
"You would have done the same for me, I have no doubt." She smiled.
"I think I might have kept my clothes on." Harry joked, making Fleur laugh suddenly. She swatted his arm softly and helped him to sit up.
"Are you okay?" he asked, and she was overcome again by how selfless Harry was. All the torture and horror he had endured last night, and he still was worried for her.
"Physically, I zink I am okay, but emotionally…" She looked away from him. "I feel numb. I can't feel anything right now. Perhaps it is just too much to for me to understand. I just have so many questions, and I do not zink I wish to know ze answers."
"I think I know how you feel." Harry nodded in understanding. "I was actually looking forward to the end of this whole thing so I could finally get answers, but after last night…"
"It was like a living nightmare." Fleur said flatly and Harry nodded.
"Have you seen Viktor yet?" Harry asked, but fleur shook her head.
"I am afraid to leave. I am afraid of ze questions. I just want to hide in here for a while longer."
"I expect he might come looking for us." Harry tried to smile.
"I think you might be right." she nodded.
"This isn't what I had in mind when I suggested we all work together you know?" he asked. "I just thought it would be cool if we all won. I mean you've all become my friends, and I just liked the idea of the four of us…"
"You don't have to explain, Harry. I understand. We all did. We all wanted the same thing you did."
The door to the Hospital wing opened and Remus and Sirius entered, both looking extremely tired.
"Hey, kid, how are you feeling?" Sirius asked as he got close to Harry's bed.
"Can I answer that in a few years?" Harry asked, and Sirius nodded.
"Once madam Pomfrey checks you over, we're going to take you up to Dumbledore's office. He's going to have breakfast up there for us, and then we're all going to talk."
"Did you see the memories?" Harry asked curiously. Both Sirius and Remus nodded and Harry felt embarrassed, though he couldn't explain why.
"Harry, you did incredible, given what you were up against. We couldn't be prouder of you. You did the impossible, and you escaped."
"Thanks to Fleur." harry said, smiling at the blonde who gave his hand a squeeze.
Both Sirius and Remus thanked Fleur for what she did to save Harry, causing the girl to blush. A moment later, Madame Maxime and Fleur sister Gabrielle, as well as her mother and father came sweeping into the Hospital wing, where they gather Fleur up in their arms. Madam Pomfrey also approached both champions and gave them each and examination, pronouncing them fit to leave, though she asked to see Harry later that day, so that he might take a few more potions.
When Harry got out of bed, he felt for the first time how tender he felt. Every step hurt. Madam Pomfrey gave him two potions that eased the pain away, and with Sirius and Remus flanking him, they went up to Dumbledore's office.
They encountered nearly no one on their journey, which Harry found curious. However, he didn't bother to voice his puzzlement. For some reason, he was dreading the coming conversation. Most of his life he had wondered why someone had tried to kill him when he was still just a child, an infant. But last night he had met that person, and after all he'd seen and heard and felt, he didn't want to know anymore. All he wanted was to leave Hogwarts now. To leave and spend the rest of his life trying to forget everything.
It wasn't long before he was sitting before a very haggard looking Headmaster. Harry was a bit surprised to find Snape there as well, looking very tired.
"Good morning, Harry." Dumbledore said. "Please, have a seat. There is plenty to eat, and if there is something you would like, we can have it brought up."
"Thank you sir.' Harry said politely, pleased to see orange juice. He felt incredibly thirsty, and the sweet tangy juice felt nice going down his throat.
"First, allow me to congratulate you on your win. You, Miss Delacour, mister Diggory and Mister Krum showed the entire world what people can accomplish when united. Your friendship is something to be emulated. Even though mister Krum did not actually touch the Tri-Wizard Cup, we have decide that he should share the victory with those of you who did. He showed great bravery."
"Thank you.' Harry said with a nod.
"Harry, I can not express in word just how very proud I am of you. What you accomplished over these few months is something I myself have been striving for for many years. Unity, not only among the students of this school, but of our whole world. And you did it by simply being who you are. A fine young man with an exceptionally big heart."
"Sir.' Harry said, halting the headmaster. "I swear I don't mean to be rude, but can we skip all this and move on to the reason we're all here. I just… "
"It's alright, Harry. You asked me when you first arrived here at Hogwarts if I knew the reason why Lord Voldemort sought to kill you when you were just a baby. The truth is that I do indeed. A prophecy was made to me about a child who would have the power to destroy the Dark Lord. It so happened that one of his followers also heard part of that prophecy and reported it to him."
"That follower was me, Harry.' Snape said from his seat. "I wished to elevate my status in his inner circle, as did many others. It was a few months before he reached a conclusion that would be the end of your parents lives."
"You're the reason?" Harry started to say, but Sirius placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Hear him out before you jump to conclusions, kid." Sirius said easily.
"I am partially to blame, Harry, it is true, but I do not bear all of the guilt. As you guessed, I loved your mother. She was my very first friend in my life, and I took her for granted. I let my jealousy overrule my heart and I drove her away. I allowed myself to be sucked into the Dark Lord's lies, and became another mindless follower. That is until I learned who he believed the prophecy to be about. When I learned what he intended to do, I came to Dumbledore, and turned spy for him and for the side of right."
"Severus told me all he knew then for the promise that I protect your mother, and though he hated him, your father. I did all I could. I even offered to be the secret keeper for them. They refused, deciding to use one of their friends instead."
"You remember how I told you that we knew there was a spy among us, don't you?" Sirius asked and Harry nodded.
"You thought it was Remus."
"And I thought Sirius the guilty party."
"But it turned out to be Peter." Harry remembered.
"Yes. And it was Peter who sent you to that Graveyard last night." Sirius said.
"He killed himself not long afterwards." Remus added. "We think Voldemort placed a suggestion in his mind in case he got caught."
"But how?" Harry asked. "I mean, I saw him come back last night. He was nothing more than a… I don't think baby would be an accurate description but…"
"We will get to that." Dumbledore said, holding up a hand. "During the time that you and Sirius spent in hiding, Lord Voldemort also hid. He was less than spirit, but he was alive."
Dumbledore continued his tale, telling Harry of the protection his mother invoked when she bravely sacrificed herself and of the importance of Harry being hidden from Death Eaters who might wish to seek retribution. Dumbledore and Snape then explained how Britain attempted to recover and of all the chaos in the years that followed.
Harry learned of Voldemort's growing influence in the last few years and how both Snape and Dumbledore knew that the Dark lord was growing in strength, though neither knew where he might be.
When Harry asked, Dumbledore explained as best as he could about Voldemort's connection to Harry and How he was sure it was the lightning shaped scar that allowed Voldemort to see into Harry's mind at times when he was most emotional. He then went on to explain what they now understood of the Dark Lord's plan and why he had chosen Harry as part of the resurrection ritual he had been a part of the night before.
"So he believed tha by using my blood he would be untouchable?" Harry asked.
"In a way. You see, Voldemort is acting upon the small bit of information he gleamed from that Prophecy." Dumbledore explained.
"What did it say? Why is he so afraid of me? I'm nobody." harry looked to the four men.
"first of all, he put too much faith in a prophecy." Dumbledore smiled. "What Lord Voldemort failed to understand is that prophecies are not written in stone unless we help them along. As he only heard a part of it, he took it to heart and sought those who he believed the prophecy must be about. Two young boys fit the description, you, and your friend, Neville."
"Wait, This asshole could have tried to kill Neville?" Harry asked, feeling fear for his friend. "Why did he choose me, then?"
"You are much more like him than Neville. You Harry are a half blood Wizard, just as he is. His father was a muggle."
"Wait…" Harry stopped the Headmaster. "This maniac who preaches all about blood purity is a half blood. And they believe him? Aren't there birth records and family trees and all that?"
"He hid his past. In fact," Dumbledore said, sitting back in his seat. "Nearly no one knows that he attended this very school as Tom Marvolo Riddle."
"You're kidding me.' Harry got up from his seat. "You could have ended his stupid campaign before it began if you told everyone!"
"He killed everyone who knew of his beginnings.' Dumbledore smiled sadly. He was very meticulous in his efforts to hide the truth, Harry. But even if we had done as you suggested, it would not have made much difference to his loyal followers, They would have continued to believe in him."
"So, why me? Why was the fact that I was a half-blood the deciding factor?" Harry asked.
"Harry, if Lord Voldemort had bothered to learn the full contents of the prophecy, he might not have acted at all. By attacking you, he sealed his fate, and most unfortunately, yours as well. You two are now locked together until the end. And it is my intention to make sure that when it is all over, you are still alive. You did not ask for this, and you most certainly do not deserve any of this. But you are now tied to him, and he to you. Harry, it is you and you alone who can defeat him."
"No.' Harry said flatly. "No. I don't want any part of this. I want to go home. Now!" Harry snapped, looking desperately at Sirius. "I want to go home. Can't we just go home? This isn't my fight. I don't want any part of this."
"Harry," Sirius got up, grabbing his godson by the shoulders. "I know. We all know, but running away isn't going to make it go away."
"But I don't want to be a part of this.' Harry tried, panic edged in his voice. "I'm not even fifteen! I don't want to fight some maniac! I don't want to die!"
"Harry, I know." Sirius said, hugging the boy tightly. "None of us want you to die. This is extremely unfair to you. No one should have this on their shoulders, but Harry, you're not alone. We're here, and we're going to do everything in our power to help you."
"Starting with the Prophecy itself.' Dumbledore said rising from his seat. "Harry, I would like it if you would accompany me to the Hall of Prophecies. There we will collect the prophecy, and destroy it. Lord Voldemort can never learn it's full contents."
"I don't care!" Harry shouted now. "I don't want to be a part of this! I want to go home! NOW!"
Harry tore out of the office and ran as fast as he could as far as he could. This was too much for them to ask. To become some kind of weapon to fight that monstrosity who had very nearly killed him last night. The one who'd killed Cedric. He wasn't strong enough, and he doubted even in a million years he would ever be.
He ran down stairs and pushed past students who all turned to gawk at him, just as they had done when he'd first come to Hogwarts. Like he was some sort of curio in a shop window. He wasn't he was a human being. A human being who had just been told he was destined to save the world.
Well, part of it anyway.
Harry crashed roughly into a tree by the lake where he fell out of breath. He rolled onto his back and stared up into the deep blue sky, as if something would pop up and tell him it was all a great big joke. That it was a big cosmic ha ha.
Harry turned and saw Mark and Stacy running towards him. Harry sat upright as they came to a stop.
"Man you can run." Mark said falling to his knees beside Harry. "Are you alright? They told us all this morning that you came back and that someone died."
"Cedric. Cedric was killed. He was killed and I couldn't stop it."
"Oh, Harry." Stacy said, wrapping her arms around her fried. At once, the floodgates opened, and Harry broke down. He felt Mark grabbed his shoulder in a show of support while Harry let out all his frustration and his sorrow.
"I'm so sorry." Stacy whispered. "A lot of people are hurting. Cedric was really popular, but no one said that you saw it."
"I wish there was something we could do for you.' Mark said. I know how hard it is to lose a friend, or someone. You remember when I lost my Uncle Frank?"
"Yeah, but he wasn't killed. Mark." harry said, forcing himself to calm down. "I know he was your favorite Uncle, but he died of natural causes, He wasn't killed right in front of you."
"No." Mark shook his head. "No he wasn't. Man, I just. I … you're my best friend, and I just don't know how to make this any better."
"Well, it gets worse." Harry said, finally pulling away from Stacy. "They want me to stay and fight him. They think I'm the only one who can kill this monster. Like I'm some fantastic savior or something. This guy killed my parents and tried to kill me because of some prophecy he didn't even hear. And they want me to fight him."
"Wait." Stacy said shaking her head. "Can we just back up for a minute? This guy who took you parents away from you and died trying to kill you…"
"He's back. That's why I ended up in this stupid tournament in the first place, this whole thing turned out to be a big set up to get me. He needed my blood so that he could come back from the dead." Harry rubbed his eyes angrily. "And they think that I'm the only one who can kill him for good."
"He's back from the dead?" Mark looked shocked. "Dude. This is so… I… Whoa."
"What the hell?" Stacy looked just as confused as Mark, and Harry had to smile. His friends, his best friends were her in support of him.
"I just want to go home." Harry groaned. "I just want to go home and forget all of this."
"No." Mark said softly, making Harry turn to stare at him incredulously.
"Fuck and No! No, Harry, this asshole took way too much from you. Why should you run away from him? He's obviously afraid of you, and right now he has every reason to be. If I were you, I'd be so angry I'd want to hunt him down and rip his god dam throat out. He took your parents, He killed you friend, and nearly killed you. And on top of all that, he took you blood so that he could come back from the dead. Fuck that!"
Stacy tried to stop Mark from continuing, but Harry was starting to see his friend's point. Mark was right. Voldemort had taken a lot from him, Why wasn't he as angry as Mark was? Voldemort had taken a lot from him. He'd robbed him of his parents. The mere memory of him had forced he and Sirius to spend most of Harry's life on the run. And then, He'd taken his blood and killed Cedric and then tried to kill him. Why wasn't he angry?
"You're right." harry said softly. Mark nodded. You're gods damned right I'm right. If these people are going to show you how to kill this asshole, I say you stay and fight!"
"But, what about…"
"Us?" Mark pointed between himself and Stacy. "What you think we can't get along without you? Harry, James…whoever you are, you are not the center of the universe, despite what this asshole thinks. And just because you're half a world away does not mean you stop being my best friend. For as long as I live, you will always be my very best friend, and I will always be there when you need me to be. No questions asked. You're going to be the best man at my wedding, the godfather to my children."
"Who are you going to bribe to be your wife, and where are you getting these kids?" Harry smiled for the first time since the day before. Mark laughed at their old joke and gave Harry a playful shove.
"if you did return to Salem, if this guy is so obsessed with killing you, he'd come there to find you, wouldn't he." Stacy said, brushing some of her honey blonde hair out of her face.
Harry hadn't thought of that. Stacy could be killed, or Mark.
"Maybe Mark's right." She said after a long silence. I know you didn't ask for this, but maybe the right thing to do here is to stay and fight. Let them show you how and then take this maniac out once and for all and get on with your life, Harry."
She looked into his eyes, and he felt he deep concern for him, but also her belief that he was stronger than he realized. He felt very powerful at that moment.
"You've got people willing to help you here. People who obviously care about you." Mark said. "We sat with them this morning, and while a lot of people were upset about tha other guy, there were more than a handful of people who were worried about you. That hot redhead for one."
"Mark! Is now the time for talking about girls? I really don't think he's too concerned about his love life right now."
"Susan was worried about me?" Harry asked, making Stacy throw her hands up in exasperation.
"Will you two grow up?"
"Yeah, she was nearly in tears when no one knew what had happened to you. The Dumbledore guy wouldn't answer any questions and she and the girl with the mane started crying and wondering if you were ok."
"Seriously?" Stacy asked now beginning to wonder if they forgot she was there with them. "Can we just try and focus on the big picture?"
"Sorry.' Harry said. "So you two think I should stay and see this thing out?"
""If it were me?" mark said sitting back against a tree. "No question. But it's your life. It's your choice, and you're the only one who can decide what's right for you. You stay and fight, you do it on your terms. You come back to Salem, you could spend the rest of your life running."
Harry nodded at the uncannily wise words from his friend.
"I can't imagine having to decide something this big." Stacy said with a sigh. "But I think Mark's right again. What kind of life would it be to be constantly looking over your shoulder."
"I could die."
"Yeah? So?" Mark said with a shrug. "I hear it happens to us all. But the question you should ask is how you want to go out. Facing down your fear eye to eye, or cowering under you bed."
"Did you take a wit sharpening potion this morning?" Stacy looked awed.
"Well, That pumpkin juice did taste a bit funny.' Mark shrugged.
"Thanks, you guys. Seriously. I needed to hear all of this." Harry said, clutching them both and hugging them tightly.
They spent another hour out in the morning sun just talking. The two Salem teens told Harry all about how uninteresting it had been watching the last Task. And how Madam Blaylock had returned that morning with Duncan and Jennifer.
"She told us that Dumbledore asked that we get to stay for a day or so. She said he felt it was important to you." Stacy explained.
"He wasn't wrong." Harry confirmed.
Many Hogwarts students were out on the grounds, though they all respectably kept their distance from Harry and his friends, for which Harry was grateful. He didn't wish to be hounded with questions. He just wanted to pretend that he was normal for a few moments.
When Harry's hunger got to be too much, They headed into the Castle where lunch was being served. Upon entering the great Hall, Harry was grabbed up by Viktor.
"No one has been able to tell me if you vere ok. I saw fleur this morning for a moment before she went into the Beauxbatons carriage. I am very sorry. I failed you and Cedric."
At that, Harry hugged Viktor. "No. you were there with us from nearly the beginning, Viktor. We all came together as friends, and as far as I'm concerned, we all came out of this as champions, and more importantly, Friends."
"It seems wrong without Cedric." Viktor smiled sadly.
"He'd say the same if it were any of us." Harry said confidently.
"Yes. He would.' Viktor nodded. Harry sat at the Hufflepuff table as he usually did, and was greeted by friends who all hugged him and told him how happy they were to see him alive. No one brought up the events of the previous evening. Even Zacharias Smith kept his mouth shut, likely because both Hannah and Susan kept their eyes on him all during lunch.
When the meal was over, most everyone went back to their dormitories to pack. The year was ending, and they were all set to return to their homes the next day. Harry, Stacy and Mark remained in the Great Hall, talking quietly about nothing more important than what classes they hoped to take or where they might go on their next vacation.
Harry turned to see Susan Bones standing there, looking very nervous.
"Could I speak to you, you know… in private?"
Harry nodded and followed the red head out of the Great Hall and into the courtyard outside. She turned, her hands fidgeting as she looked into his green eyes.
"I'm an idiot for waiting so long, but since everyone's leaving tomorrow, I just couldn't let you go without telling you. If I were braver I could have said something a long time ago and maybe things wouldn't be so complicated, and this may not be something you want to hear right now, especially after everything…"
"Susan, Calm down. What is it?" Harry asked.
"I think I'm in love with you.' she said in a rush. "I don't know when it happened, but it did. And I tried to fight it because you're leaving. I knew that I was going to get my heart broken, so I just tried to ignore it, and get over it but the more time we spent together, I just… I don't know.'
"You're in love with me?" Harry asked, taken aback.
"I just thought you should know." Susan said in a soft tiny voice.
"Sue, Why tell me now? I mean, if I was going back, this would really suck to hear right now. I mean. I've been fighting my feelings for you too. But I had Mandy and the tournament and everything, and every girl I started to like I just screwed it all up, but you liked me and we could have tried to figure things out all this time."
"Hannah told me I was stupid for not telling you, and Hermione and Ginny both thought I was being ridiculous. I should have told you, I know, but I was scared that you didn't like me like that. And wait a minute….what do you mean if you were going back?"
Harry dropped his gaze for a moment and took a deep breath.
"Look, I don't want to get into it right now while it's still so fresh, but there are some things going on and I've talked to my friends about it, and I think I'm going to stay. I think I'll be coming back to Hogwarts next year."
Susan's mouth fell open in astonishment.
"Don't say anything. I haven't fully decided, but I think my friends are right. It's the right thing to do."
"So, you're staying here?" Susan asked, stepping closer to harry, who nodded slowly.
"Yeah. I think I'm going to be around for awhile." he smiled softly. He reached out lightly and took a hold of her waist as she took another step closer to him, her bright brown eyes shining with delight.
"So, does tha meant you'll write to me this summer?" she asked slowly.
"Of course, but I would have done that anyway." Harry smiled.
"And if I invite you to visit?" She smiled softly closing the gap between them, her hands sliding up his arms and onto his shoulders.
"Than I'll be there. And I expect that you'll come see me."
"There's no question." She said in a low whisper, her head leaning in towards his, her eyelids fluttering.
"There you are!" Sirius shouted, scaring Harry and Susan, making them jump apart. "We've been worried about you. Dumbledore just thought of looking for you on this.' He held up the Marauder's map. "Oh."
Sirius only now registered that he was alone with Susan, and they both looked very pink.
"I'll see you at dinner.' Susan said quickly and dashed back into the castle.
"Harry, I'm sorry.' Sirius said, but Harry held up his hand.
"If I decide I don't want to do any of this, what happens? Do I get to go back to Salem?"
"I'm afraid not. Voldemort will know that's where you are, and he'll send his soldiers to come find you. Here, you're much better protected." He answered honestly. Harry merely nodded as if he'd expected that answer.
"He took my parents from me." Harry said, now looking out at the lake. Sirius came to his side, and flung an arm over the boy's shoulders.
"He took my friends." Sirius said.
"He killed my friend in front of me, and he took my blood just so he could come back. What's worse, he tried to scare me, Sirius. He's a bully. A big damned bully. I hate bullies." harry said evenly, and a small smile appeared on Sirius' face.
"That he is."
"I'm not going to fight him."
Sirius turned to look at the determined face of his godson. "What?"
"We're going to fight him. All of us." Harry said with force. "We're going to stand against him and any of his pathetic loser idiots who think they can get what they want by scaring us."
"And that kid, is why I love you." Sirius grinned, hugging Harry.
"There's just one thing." Harry turned to his godfather.
"What's that?" Sirius asked.
"Can my girlfriend come to visit?"
Sirius roared with laughter and took Harry by the shoulders and guided him into the castle laughing the whole way back to Dumbledore's office.
Harry spent the rest of the afternoon learning that he, Sirius and Remus would be taking up residence at his godfather's parent's house in London, and that while he would need to be protected, he would be allowed to move about and visit anyone he wished to visit.
Harry agreed to go with Dumbledore to the Ministry on the first of July to go into the Hall of Prophecies, as well as visit with The Minister of Magic and a few other important heads of departments. Harry also learned he would get special training during the summer months, and would be sorted into his new house before returning to Hogwarts.
Dinner was bittersweet as Harry had to say goodbye to Mark and Stacy. Both of his friends praised him for doing what they all believed to be the right thing to do, and promised to arrange visits and to keep writing.
Harry had never seen mark cry until they hugged right before mark went into the Floo.
"I'm really going to miss you.' Mark sniffed, trying to appear manly.
"Hey, we're going to be friends for life. You're going to be the best man at my wedding, and the godfather to my kids."
"Like any girl would be caught dead with you." Mark snorted, and Harry gripped his friend's hand tightly.
"Keep an ye on her.' Harry said, and mark knew he was talking about Stacy.
"You look after yourself. And remember. Anytime you need me. No questions. I'm there."
After another hug, Harry said good bye to mark for what he hoped was not the last time. He then went down to dinner where he sat with all of his friends, who all passed over slips of parchment with addresses so that he could write to them over the summer.
When the feast was concluded, it was time to bid farewell to both Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. Harry, Fleur and viktor all took several moments together away from the crowds to say their goodbyes.
"I vill never forget you.' Viktor smiled, shaking Harry's hand and hugging Fleur. "It has been a great honor getting to know you both, and I wish you both the very best."
"Oh come on, viktor, you zink zis is zee last time we shall see each other?" Fleur smiled her brilliant smile. "Friendships like ours endure. We will always be friends, and I hope to see you again, both of you real soon."
"Write often. I want to know what's happening in your lives. Alright?" Harry smiled. Fleur hugged him tightly and kissed his cheek, and then viktor.
"I love you both. Au revoir."
"She is something special.' Viktor smiled.
"She's even better naked." Harry smiled. Viktor's smile fell as his eyes bugged out and he looked at Harry who was grinning.
"Take care of yourself, Alright?"
"I vill, and please take care of Hermione. She's very special." viktor smiled. Harry nodded and Viktor clapped him on the shoulder and headed towards the waiting Durmstrang ship.
Harry spent his last night in the castle packing his things with Sirius and Remus chatting idly. Sirius promised that they were simply going to stop at the house and drop his things off before heading off to Italy for two weeks. Sirius promised that the beaches there would be much more interesting that those in Florida. Harry had been confused until Remus said the magic word.
It was an interesting sensation, harry thought as he packed his books and his invisibility cloak in his trunk. He felt no fear now. There was a psycho madmen hunting him, and Harry potter felt no fear at all, but hope. Hope that the changes occurring in his life would make him as strong as people felt him capable of being. Hope that this war, or whatever was now looming over them all would end quickly. And Hope that he would get to see Susan in a bikini.
"All packed up?" Sirius said, hearing Harry close his trunk.
"Yeah. Let's get moving." Harry smiled.
"I hear the ocean calling to me." Sirius smirked.
"You hear half naked women screaming at you." Harry countered.
"Tomato, potato, kid."
Remus simply laughed as they all made their way out of the castle.
Of one thing, Harry was sure as he took one last look at Hogwarts castle before he and his godfather and uncle disapparated away. He was sure that this had been the toughest year of his life, and he had indeed become much stronger for it.
"Voldemort has no idea who he's messed with.' He smiled to himself just as Sirius and Remus took him to London, and the beginning of his new life.
The End… for now.