Disclaimer: I own none of the characters in this story, they all belong to thier relevant creators
Harry looked across the crowd before him. He stood before them on the shore of Hogwarts Lake, next to the memorial that bore the names of all those that had fallen in the war. A brilliant white, glowing orange in the setting sun, it was a testament to all those who'd given their lives battling against Voldemort. Harry was watching their family and friends, all of whom were waiting for him to speak. He'd had a speech prepared, but the words seemed contrived now that he was actually standing in front of those meant to receive them. Hermione was sitting in the front row, leaning against Ron, her eyes imploring him to speak, her eyes flicking down to his pocket, which she knew contained his plan. Ron in turn was with his family, Ginny by his elbow and Percy beside her. George sat between his parents, having been pulled into a side hug by his father, his hard eyes set on the dais on which Harry stood. He recognised other faces in the crowd; Neville Longbottom, determinedly meeting Harry's eyes and giving a small nod, the look mirrored his Grandmothers; Luna Lovegood, one hand holding her father's, who refused to look at Harry; Lavender Brown, her eyes red, sat between her parents; Seamus Finnegan; Dean Thomas; the list went on, all war torn, all sat with their families and all waiting for him to speak. His gaze travelled from the crowd, past the tent in the distance which had been housing all those who hadn't returned to their homes after the war. The tent had been necessary as the castle's integrity could be called into question, large chunks having been ripped from the towers by giants, dust and debris still scattered throughout the corridors from ricocheting curses and flung objects. Hogwarts stood, bedraggled but proud, upon its hill, the remaining towers shining against the blue sky. From this distance he could barely see the damage inflicted during the final battle, the missing tip of a tower here, a blown out chunk there and it looked like there had never been a south tower. Harry lowered his eyes from his beloved home and opened his mouth to speak.
"The war is over. After many long years of fear and fighting, Voldemort is dead and this could not have been done if it wasn't for those who laid down their lives for us. We have all lost someone, whether they are friends or family, as they gave their lives so that we should live in peace. So we shall remember them, and thank them as they have given us the foundation for peace and we can honour their memories by building upon this to create the world they fought for."
There was a quiet, hundreds of eyes upon him, many of them damp or crying and could think of nothing else to say. Luckily, McGonagall took a step forward from behind him.
"Let's all have a moment of silence to remember those lost to us." She announced in her lilting accent and silence ensued, disturbed only by the sound of waves lapping the gravel shore.
That evening Harry sat on his bed in Ron's room, his roommate suspiciously absent with Hermione. He was glad for his absence though. It gave him time to examine the objects that had appeared in his possession two nights previously. He unfastened the clasp of the mokeskin bag that Hagrid had given to him and pulled from its depths the wand on the stone that had returned to him. He'd been emptying out his pockets before bed two nights previously and found next to his phoenix wand, Draco's wand and the remnants of the diadem, the Resurrection Stone and the Elder Wand. Ron had been stumbling about behind him and Harry had instinctively hid the items in the pouch. He now examined the cracked stone and crooked wand, both of which he had hid with the intention for them never to be disturbed. Magic had a different plan apparently. He knew instinctively that they would continue to return to him, he was the Master of Death after all. A title like that had to have other repercussions.
The repercussions themselves didn't become obvious until several years later. In the meantime, they decided to travel for a while themselves, to escape the wizarding world and the stragglers of the war. They went with Hermione to Australia and while she spent time with her parents, they rented a small house in Sydney, giving her space and time to talk with them. Much to her relief, they understood, and welcomed her back, inviting her to stay for a while. She joined them a month later, happier than she'd been in a long time. Her parents had decided to stay in Australia but made their daughter to promise to keep in touch, waving them off at the airport. They flew to America and stayed for a while in some of the major cities, DC, LA, New York. It had been mostly down to Hermione and Harry to explain to the others the Workings of the Muggle world, apparently, the Weasley's found it more interesting when it wasn't their father trying to explain it.
Hermione revealed a whole other side to herself, insofar as none of them knew that she'd been continuing to study Muggle science in the holidays, alongside magic.
"It's just fascinating." She told them as she dragged them through a convention she'd seen advertised in New York, "just what can be managed without magic." Ron did his best to appear unimpressed, but he eventually admitted that Hermione may have a point. Ginny had shaken her head, sharing a smile with Harry before heading towards a display on Astrology.
"Where's she gone now?" Ron complained, scanning the crowd for Hermione while Harry looked around bemusedly, eyes settling on Ginny who was listening to a scientist discuss his star charts with an intense look of interest on her face. He nearly fell over when Ron grabbed his arm and began to drag him through the throng of people. He looked where Ron was headed and spotted Hermione talking animatedly to a man by a display on the finer points of Nuclear Physics. She spotted the pair of them.
"Oh, Ron, Harry. This is Bruce, he knows quite a lot on the 'Microscopic Origin of Quantum Chaos in Rotational Damping' theory. We were just discussing it."
"Er..." was Ron's intelligent response. Harry on the other hand looked up at the guy, and held out his hand.
"Nice to meet you."
"Um, yeah, you too." Bruce looked apprehensively between the three of them, leaving Harry with the feeling that there was as strong likely hood that Hermione had been steamrollering over him in her excitement over this branch of Physics.
"Yeah, I'm afraid I have no idea what she was talking about," Harry admitted with a straight face and Hermione blushed. Bruce put his hand back in his pocket and replied,
"Well I've got a paper on it due by the end of term, so..."
Harry nodded. "Makes sense then. I'm afraid science was never in my repertoire." Bruce looked around the fair obviously and raised an eyebrow, so Harry continued; "Hermione dragged us here. It was her turn to choose."
He nodded and then Neville said from beside him, "Harry you've got to see this. It's really cool!"
And so Harry bid his goodbye to Hermione's new acquaintance and followed Neville to the far side of the building, far away from the nuclear physics to a piece on the finer points of aerodynamic flying, most specifically in planes.
"Flight without magic," Neville grinned, he had been one of the more impressed by the plane they'd used to fly there, "it is really amazing, isn't it?"