Hey everyone! Yep, it's the final chapter. I am working on bok two, I promise, but as I don't like to post without having at least three quarters of a story done, I don't know when my next post will be.
I will post a notice on this fic for everyone who put alerts on the story, so you can be updated on the next instalment though. Thank you's and such are going to be after the chapter. Enjoy!
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: THE EPILOGUE
Harrison, Hermione and Neville made their way out of the Great Hall, which had been converted into an exam hall. Having just finished their last end of year exam, they were relieved and ready for an afternoon of relaxation. A group of passing sixth years stopped and stared at Harrison, who ducked his head, and tried his best to ignore them.
Neville glared at the older students, who moved on quite quickly.
"How do you think you did?" Hermione asked. "I'm certain I got question fourteen wrong."
"I sincerely doubt that," Harrison replied. "You quizzed us on that question last night. Neville and I are the ones who probably stuffed that question up."
"Speak for yourself," Neville defended.
Harrison snicked. "Sorry."
"Besides, exams are over," Neville said. "Take a breath, relax, and just enjoy the fact that we have the next three days without classes. And then...summer holidays."
"No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers dirty looks," Harrison said, singsong.
Hermione laughed a little. "Alright. No more dissecting exams, I promise," she said.
As they turned into the Entrance Hall, Harrison steered them outside, where they were less likely to be stared at by so many people.
"Well, we made it," Neville said softly. "We got through the first year."
"One down, six to go," Harrison said.
"Was it anything like you thought it'd be?" Neville asked.
Hermione shook her head emphatically. "Not even a little bit. I don't think anyone could have predicted what happened this year."
Harrison laughed. "Definitely not. I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't want to come at first, and now I can't imagine my life without Hogwarts. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't find anything to help my brother."
Hermione reached out and touched Harrison's hand gently.
"You can't think like that Harrison. What was it Professor Snape said?"
Harrison sighed softly. "That I'm eleven, and I can't expect to know all the answers right now."
"Exactly. You know more about herbology and potions, and about human physiology than you did at the start of the year."
"That's true. I guess I just expected the answer to be...magic," he admitted.
Neville shuffled forward and clapped his hand on Harrison's shoulder. "You and I both want to know more about healing people. It may take years, but, it's something we'll never give up on."
Harrison nodded, and he and Neville bumped fists. Hermione searched for a way to lighten the mood.
"With any luck, next year will be less...adventurous," she said.
Harrison shrugged. "It certainly made for an interesting year."
Hermione shook her head. "Vanquishing a Dark Lord should not be in the First Year curriculum."
Neville shrugged. "We did okay," he said. "We exposed Quirrell, and Voldemort. We kept the Stone safe."
Harrison winced. "Not really. Bloody Dumbledore. In his pocket the whole damn time."
"You have to admit, it was quite clever," Hermione said. "Who would have thought to look there? Who would have dared?"
Harrison rolled his eyes. "But, what was the point to it all?" he asked. "Why bother getting the professors to cast enchantments on an empty room? Why let Quirrell stay in a school full of students when he was playing host to the freakin' Dark Lord? It doesn't make any sense."
Hermione had to agree. It didn't make any sense. And judging by the amount of owls that Headmaster Dumbledore had been receiving since Voldemort had been revealed, she guessed that it wasn't making much sense to the parents either.
"Keep your friends close," Hermione began.
"And your enemies closer," Harrison finished. "Not exactly a safe way to go about protecting a school though."
Neville found a soft patch of grass by the lake and settled himself onto the ground. Harrison and Hermione took a seat to his left.
"At least it's over now," Neville said.
"Thank God," Harrison sighed.
Harrison was looking forward to going back home. Now that he'd been outed as the Boy-Who-Lived, the stares, the comments and the questions coming from total strangers was constant. He was just lucky that Hermione had pulled him away from the rude comments when his temper had nearly gotten the better of him. He'd wanted to bloody more than one nose, and it had barely been two weeks since everyone had found out.
"Hey Bowler!" came the echoing greeting of the Weasley twins.
Harrison winced and turned to Neville. "You never should have told them about BWL."
"Better than Boy Liver, which we briefly considered," Fred said.
"Or Liver Boy, which we promptly ignored," George added.
"You know, next year, you could have a real problem on your hands," Fred began.
"Yeah, our little sister Ginny has the biggest crush on you," George continued.
"She doesn't even know me!" Harrison exclaimed.
The twins shrugged simultaneously. "Doesn't matter."
Harrison shook his head. He hadn't been expecting the massive ripple that his identity had sent through Hogwarts. He knew that his picture had been in the wizarding newspaper, The Daily Prophet, though he'd decided not to read anything that was written about him. Better to live in ignorance than have to read what they'd come up.
"Gin grew up hearing about you-" "and she decided you'd be the perfect husband-" "for the perfect wife. She used to write Ginevra Potter on all her notebooks."
"Well, I'm not a Potter," Harrison said. "I'm an Evans."
"Oi! Potter!" the voice came from across the lawn and gained quite a bit of attention.
The trio and the Weasley twins looked up and saw Draco Malfoy advancing towards them, flanked by Crabbe and Goyle. Harrison rolled his eyes and stood up, Hermione and Neville following suit. The twins situated themselves on either side of Hermione and Neville, with Harrison in the centre.
"Yeah! You're a coward!" Malfoy accused.
"First, you lied about your name. Second, you never showed up for our duel."
"Oh, I showed up, alright. It's not my fault that you got caught out of bed by Professor McGongall," Harrison replied.
Draco flushed bright red. He'd never told anyone who it wa who'd caught him in the corridors. Being caught by the Gryffindor Head of House was somehow far more demeaning.
The fifty house points he'd lost and the week of detentions had also been less than pleasant.
"How'd you know it was McGonagall?" Draco demanded.
"Because, I saw you get caught. Then you blabbed to Filch about how I was up in the astronomy tower. Too bad that I'd gotten sick of waiting for you to show up," Harrison replied.
Draco's mouth twitched in distaste. Potter couldn't have known that unless he was telling the truth. So much for thinking that the Boy-Who-Lived had welched on their bet.
"I would've won," Malfoy boasted.
Harrison shook his head. "I sincerely doubt that. Or didn't you see what happened to Quirrell last week?"
Malfoy's eye twitched. He had seen the debacle in the Entrance Hall between Ev – Potter and Professor Quirrell. No one was too sure about the details, but Quirrell had ended up being pronounced dead not too long after that confrontation. Whispers around the school were saying that Potter had once again killed the Dark Lord.
"But, if you want another rematch, that's fine," Harrison offered. "Personally, I'm over the whole thing. I don't even want your wand."
"What are you talking about? What do you mean you don't want my wand?" Malfoy was stupefied. He couldn't imagine winning a bet and then declining to take his winnings. He'd certainly have taken Potter's wand if the outcome had been different.
"I don't need your wand, Malfoy. We both know I won the bet. I proved that purebloods don't come first just because they're inbred. I don't need people to tell me I won to know that I'm better than you."
Malfoy was beyond angry. "Better?"
Harrison took his eyes off Malfoy, and gave a quick glance at Crabbe and Goyle, who looked away nervously. They took a step back, away from Malfoy, who suddenly felt very alone. The twins stepped forward, using their superior height to appear menacing.
"Yeah, Malfoy, better," Fred said.
"Haven't you heard?" George asked.
"He's Harry freakin' Potter," Fred all but sang.
With that, Harrison and his friends turned and walked away, leaving Malfoy and his goons to their verbal defeat.
As soon as they were out of earshot of the Slytherin's, Hermione turned to the twins.
"Was that necessary?" she asked.
Fred grinned. "No. But it was fun."
Harrison couldn't help but laugh. The twins commandeering his signature word had been very funny. He wished he'd thought to say it.
"Well, whatever happens next year, at least we know where we stand with Malfoy," Hermione commented.
"Yeah, as far away as possible," Neville cracked.
Three days later, the train station at Hogsmeade was packed with students who clambered aboard to get good seats. Hermione pointed to the foremost carriage, which was mostly empty due to lazy students not being bothered to walk that far down the platform.
The trio headed towards the front, when Harrison was stopped by a strong hand on his shoulder. He spun quickly, his right hand reaching for his wand, and his left coming up defensively. He relaxed as he saw the Hogwarts groundskeeper, Hagrid, standing there.
"Professor Hagrid," he greeted.
The man laughed his voice deep and booming. "Oh, I'm no professor," the man said. "Rubeus Hagrid's the name. Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts."
"Harrison Evans," the boy introduced himself.
"I know who ye are," Hagrid replied. "Yeh've got yer mum's eyes."
Harrison bit his tongue in an effort not to point out that his mum had blue eyes, like his brother Dudley.
"I'm jus' sorry we didn' get to meet before now," Hagrid said. "Only, I didn't know."
"You knew – my parents?" he asked.
"Great folks, yer parents," Hagrid said, his voice turning slightly weepy. "Got good memories of the two of 'em here at Hogwarts. A right trouble-maker, yer dad was. And yer mum was beautiful as she were smart."
Harrison fidgeted uncomfortably. He didn't really know to reply to this man who had been so fond of his biological parents.
"Las' time I saw you, you was only a baby," Hagrid continued. "I'm the one who took yer to yer aunt's place."
Harrison wondered why the Hogwarts Groundskeeper would have been the one to do that. He'd never really thought of how he'd gone from point A to point B before. Why had Hagrid been the one to take him?
"Good thing too, I kept you from that no good Sirius Black."
Hagrid's eyes widened. "I shouldn't have told yer that. Should not have told yer that."
The whistle on the train sounded and Harrison looked around at the suddenly empty train station. Hermione was hanging out the train door, looking at him expectantly.
"I'm sorry, I have to go," Harrison said.
Hagrid took something from inside a giant pocket and handed it to Harrison. "I put this together fer yer," he said. "And, if you ever need anything at Hogwarts...I'm here."
Harrison looked up at the big man, touched at the sentiment. This was the first time anyone had said anything genuine to him, rather than just wanting the sordid details of the Boy-Who-Lived.
"Thanks Mister Hagrid."
"Hagrid to you, Harry," the giant man replied.
The Boy-Who-Lived winced. "It's Harrison, sir. Just Harrison."
A/N: Yes, the 'Harry freakin' Potter' line was basically the reason for Harrison's constant use of the word. Harrison was originally going to say it, but it felt very wrong for his character, so the twins were brought in for that by-play. If you don't understand the reference...well...what rock have you been hiding under? Go to Youtube, and search for the Very Potter Musical, and its sequel.
I would like to thank each and everyone who wrote feedback, who put this story into their favourites, and who put the story on alert. I'm extremely grateful for every comment and email I've received. To everyone who gave me advice, and suggestions, you guys are awesome! I love hearing from people with thoughts and ideas.
If you want to make suggestions for things you want to see in book two, I would love to hear from you! For all you Luna fans like me, she'll definitely be featured in the next book!
Just to plug my own stuff a little, check out my profile page, and read the HP fic 'The White Rose'. Tis quite a fluffy one-shot!