Merry Christmas, Happy Holliday's.
I know that this story has taken many years but we are finally at the end. Thank you to all who followed me through this journey. A huge thankyou to my daughter Meggle La Muggle for her help over the time I have written and for the ideas and encouragement that she gave me.
And now for the final time (for this story) I write; I do not own Harry Potter or any affiliated copyrighted or trademarked material. All belong to J.K Rowling and Warner Bros, all Hail to them!
It was a balmy autumn day when Harry Potter and Hermione Granger were attending the orientation day at their soon to be university when Harry heard someone calling his name. Turning to the sound he saw an unfamiliar young man running towards him.
Stopping a few meters away the man asked anxiously "Harry? You are Harry Potter aren't you?"
"Yes, I am." Harry replied cautiously, not recognizing the man.
"Look, I know you probably don't want to see me but I just wanted to take the chance to say thanks. If you hadn't given me that stipend that you did after my parents were arrested when we were eleven, I don't know what I would have ended up as." The man said in a rush. "So, thanks…"
"What stip… Dudley?" Harry exclaimed, shocked. "Dudley Dursley?"
"Yeah…" Dudley replied, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. "Sorry, it's just, I saw you and immediately recognized you. You may have gotten bigger but you haven't changed that much!"
"But you have!" Harry said with a genuine smile. "You may be taller but you are… err… smaller than last time I saw you."
"Yeah, um, I was put on a diet and taught to eat properly by the foster family I was sent to. They are good people and I am still living with them now. They undid a lot of the damage that Mum and Dad did to me, teaching me that I was not the center of the universe and that I didn't need all the stuff my parents gave me. It was tough, but I look back and still can't believe that I was so spoiled. I don't know if you know anything about what happened to me, but I was pulled out of Smeltings at the end of my first year and sent to another school. Apparently, Smeltings was one of the worst schools in the UK! But I made new friends at Griffinsdoor and finished near the top of my year group."
"That's great to hear. Hang on… Isn't Griffinsdoor the school for non-magical family of Hogwarts students?"
"Yep!" Dudley said proudly. "We got a lot of news from Hogwarts and you were in the school newspaper for quidditch often enough."
"I'm sorry, I didn't know you were there. I thought you would blame me for what happened to your parents. That's why I didn't write or anything." Harry said sadly.
"That's fine. If you had tried to talk to me in that first year or so, I would have blamed you for everything. But, I hope, I grew up a bit after that and realized that we were both victims of what happened. Did anyone tell you about Aunt Marge?"
"No, what happened?" Harry asked curiously.
"Because she had a bad reputation with the kennel clubs no-one was buying her dogs and she was behind in her mortgage. It was held through Barklays." Dudley stated with a grin. "Because she was the sister of a current 'guest' she was investigated, thoroughly. 'They' found out about her setting Ripper on you and several other people so Gringotts took over the case."
"Uh oh!" Harry grinned.
"Yup, uh oh is right!" Dudley laughed. "She was sentenced to work in the tunnels like Mum and Dad. On her first day she was bitten by a dragon that picked her up and left her on a rock shelf that she couldn't get down from. She was stuck up there for two days before anyone noticed she was missing. This dragon seems to like playing with her."
"Er, that wouldn't be an albino welsh green would it?" Harry asked hesitantly.
"That's the one! How did you guess?" Dudley asked, surprised.
"It's just… that is the dragon that guards my family vault. She is very playful but…" Harry trailed off.
"She can hold a grudge and seems to know who was responsible for your troubles as a child. She keeps crapping on my mum when she is on clean-up duties and I don't think that dad has ever walked past her without being scorched." Dudley laughed. Seeing Harry's worried face Dudley hurriedly said "Don't worry, I'm not upset about what they are going through. They brought it on themselves."
"I am so glad that you feel that way. I don't suppose…" Harry trailed off, looking hopeful.
"That we could try and be a family?" Dudley finished looking relieved. "I didn't think you would want anything to do with me, but you are my only relative left and, I know this sounds weird, but I missed you."
"Yeah… You are all the blood family I have left too. If we could start by being friends and work on becoming family…" Harry said shyly.
"I would like that." Dudley said happily.
"In that case, I have someone to introduce you to. Dudley, meet my fiancé, Hermione." Harry smiled.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Dudley." Hermione said, holding out her hand. Dudley took it and shocked them all by kissing it in a courtly manner.
"It is a true pleasure to meet you too. For now, I will just say congratulations; I truly hope you are both happy together."
"Thank you. And I hope that this is a new start for you and Harry." Hermione smiled.
"Now, I'm sorry to say this, but we are trying to find the student commons. We are meeting a few of our friends there and are running a bit late. Can you show us the way?" Harry asked.
"Sure, it's this way. I started here last year so if you need help give me a yell." Dudley said, leading them away.
Over the next several years Harry and Hermione studied hard and learnt to play even harder. Harry and Hermione married half way through their studies with old and new friends in attendance.
Harry was waiting at the altar of the church with Dudley Dursley, who had established a healthy familial relationship with Harry, as the best man and longtime best male friend Neville Longbottom, who was the groomsman, for the arrival of the bride.
The minister signaled the men to stand as music started playing. Harry turned and lost the ability to breathe. Walking down the aisle was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. Bridesmaid Luna Lovegood was leading the procession looking dreamily around her, followed by Deborah Jackman, the maid of honor and Hermione's former flat mate, who was smiling lovingly at her fiancé, Dudley. Then, on the arm of her beaming father, came the sight that Harry would never forget. Hermione was wearing a stunning dress that screamed her personality, simple but absolutely stunningly beautiful. Back lit, she looked angelic as she calmly walked toward him.
Hermione was beaming as she walked on her father's arm. She would never remember much of the ceremony as all of her attention was on the man that she had loved since she was eleven years old. She just knew that this was the happiest moment of her life. The love between the two was palpable as they tenderly repeated their vows and the two became one. As the pair shared their first kiss as a married couple, a ray of sunlight came through the upper floor window, engulfing the happy couple and giving them an aura of peace, happiness and love for that brief minute.
Goblin Manager Smoothwick was very proud to attend the social event of the season. He had been shocked to have received an invitation and was proudly sitting near the front of the church with several Hogwarts professors. He had been further surprised by the acceptance of his, Professor Flitwick's and Professor Hagrid's appearances. At a later time, Hermione had explained that many non-magical people just accepted physical differences and assumed that he and Fillius had a form of dwarfism and Hagrid had gigantism (they would never know how close to the truth they were) and would not comment on it for fear of being rude. 'Perhaps there is hope for our worlds to coexist.' He thought happily as he raised a glass to toast the Potters.
Draco Malfoy had enjoyed himself immensely. He was unrecognizable from the arrogant little boy that had started at Hogwarts. While he repaid the contract between himself and Hermione he had learnt that nearly everything his father had taught him was either wrong or inappropriate for someone of his social status, so he worked hard to change himself with the help of his mother and Lord Sirius Black, and eventually became close friends to the happy pair. They may even become related as Draco was currently dating Hermione's cousin Hellen and she had been very obviously taking detailed mental notes of the wedding and reception.
Everyone attending, magical or not, agreed that it was the best wedding that they had attended and that, even without obvious magic being performed, it was a purely magical occasion.
An invitation had been sent to Vernon and Petunia Dursley, but no reply was ever received.
The year was two thousand and ten and Hermione Potter was moving into her new office.
She placed a box of personal items on the desk and looked around the room. The second ever 'Muggleborn' Minister for Magic and the first female Minister in twenty years, (Millicent Bagnold - 1980-90).
Smiling, she thought about how the magical world was now so different from the one that she had entered as an over eager eleven-year-old girl.
By the turn of the millennium blood classifications were all but eradicated, many of the former 'pureblood' families had either been shocked to find that they had either non-magical ancestors or had since married those that were once considered 'muggleborn'. As such, much of the blood class bigotry that she had faced was no longer relevant and she was glad that it was something that her children would never have to face.
With the mutual education's being taught at Hogwarts, many magicals were now happily and comfortably living in the non-magical world, holding down non-magical jobs and several were in serious relationships with non-magicals. Others were working on ways to make technology of one world work for the other. Arthur Weasley was heading a department to lead the way in making electrical items like televisions and microwave ovens work around magic. His son Ron was doing the opposite and trying to find ways to make magical innovations work in a non-magical environment.
There had been a surge of simple potions that hit the non-magical health market over the last several years to treat easily cured (by magic) diseases. Even though they were labeled 'may help with the symptoms of…' they were actually cures for some types of cancers, AIDS, type two diabetes and several other common ailments. The most important potion was the modified Pepper-up potion. It was what the non-magical world had been searching for centuries. It was the cure for the common cold. Similarly, there were diseases and ailments that the non-magical medical world could cure or improve that were deemed almost miraculous. The most outstanding, and publicized, was the treatment of Frank and Alice Longbottom. Magical treatments had done nothing to improve their situation for over ten years but after a CAT scan, a course of treatment was applied and, by the end of nineteen ninety-three, both were recovered enough to be released to their home and to their son.
Slowly the magical world was integrating into the modern muggle world and both worlds were becoming accepting of the other. That is not to say that it was perfect or that there were never any problems, but the problems were often managed quickly and plans were made to prevent similar problems from repeating in the future. A whole new branch was added to the DMLE to handle such issues. They worked closely with MI5 and the police to keep things as calm as possible, informing the other agencies of rumors or potential threats to the other. It worked well and many criminal cold cases on both sides of the magical barrier were closed due to the collaboration.
Sitting at her new desk she wondered what would happen now. So much change had already taken place, what was there left for her to do?
No one ever realized that the changes that had improved their world had all started by Hermione's choice to tell the truth.