Hogwarts. Still a fantastic school despite all it's been through. The war was now over, and those who wanted to could retake their year of schooling. That is what most have chosen.
Harry, now eighteen, stared down at the letter handwritten by the new Headmistress, McGonagall. She was inviting the seventh years who had been on the run during school back, so they could take their N.E.W.T.S. Ron and Hermione have already decided to go back, Ron with some reluctance. Harry was unsure of going back. And he knew exactly what was holding him back.
Sirius, who everyone had written off as dead, had came back. The veil in which he had fallen, ended up being a transporter. For reasons unknown, he had appeared in America. Very much alive. He made his way back and was now living with Remus in his old house. Harry couldn't bear to part with him, now that he got his godfather back after three years.
And Remus was still mourning for Tonks' loss. Tonks had been dueling next to Remus. He had tried to save her, but she was killed by Dolohov. Remus had killed him, then tried to wake Tonks. But she was gone. Thankfully, ever since Sirius had returned, Remus had been getting better. It helped that he still had Teddy, who was now one.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione had been staying with them, helping out and bonding with Teddy. Ron was overjoyed when Fred had came out of his coma. Everyone thought Fred would die, as he had been hit hard with a huge rock, but he pulled through and had continued to run the shop he and George owned.
Harry sat in his room, staring out the window. There was someone else who had come close to dying in the war. Someone who Harry had hated, until he learned the truth. Severus Snape had been attacked by Nagini on Voldemort's orders. Harry had ran to him and summoned some anti-venom from Dumbledore's office. He saved Snape's life, in return Snape had given him his memories, showing Harry that everything he did, he did to protect Harry. Harry changed his views about him, and had been thinking constantly about him.
If he went back to Hogwarts, he would see him again. But what if Snape didn't want to see Harry? He had thanked Harry for saving him, but they didn't get to talk as Harry still had to kill Voldemort.
He knew Snape had been giving Defense to teach, showing McGonagall's supreme forgiveness. She knew that Snape's interest in the Dark Arts had weaned since spending time fighting with Voldemort. Slughorn had stayed to teach Potions.
A knock on the door jerked Harry out of his thinking stupor. He blinked and called out for the person to enter.
"Harry? It's almost time to go. Have you decided to go back to Hogwarts yet?" Hermione hoped he would be returning. She wanted him to get back to at least a semi-normal life.
He sighed. "Yeah. I'm going. Where's Ron?"
She grinned. "He's downstairs. He has some news he wants to share before we leave." She didn't mention she was part of the news.
Harry nodded. "Alright, I'll be down in a minute." She nodded and shut the door. Harry smiled. They were going to the small wizarding park today. In a week, they would be going off to Hogwarts for the last time, completing their seventh year.
Harry laid the letter down on his bed and put his shoes on. His hair fell in front of his eyes and he brushed it away impatiently. He would have to ask Hermione to cut it again, she had become very good at cutting hair since they've been on the run.
He walked downstairs. He followed Ron's laughter to the kitchen. What he found made him burst into laughter. Sirius was covered with some sort of brown oatmeal and Remus was wrestling a struggling Teddy into the high chair. Sirius cleaned himself up with a wave of his wand.
When he had come back, Sirius learned that the Ministry had finally believed he was innocent. Peter had been killed. He found he was not sorry about that. It felt nice, though, walking around as a free man. And he was living with Remus now. He wasn't ashamed to admit he loved a man. And Remus loved him back. Everybody had suspected it long before Remus got with Tonks, so it was no surprise when he and Sirius got together.
"Ugh, I hate brown sugar oatmeal." Sirius complained. He turned and saw his godson roaring with laughter. "Shut it, Harry."
Remus gave up and set Teddy on the floor. Teddy, trying to learn to walk, stood shakily on his legs. However, trying to walk to Harry, he fell back down and grinned. Teddy didn't really cry.
Harry tried to control his laughing as he walked over and picked Teddy up.
"Fancy trying a new face mask?" Harry asked, sounding innocent.
"You're lucky you're holding a baby now." Sirius growled, but then grinned.
"Okay, now that we're all here, I have something I want to say." Ron said. He moved closer to Hermione. "I've asked Hermione to marry me."
"And I said yes!" Hermione said, grinning. It hardly seemed less than three months ago she was angry at him for walking out on them.
Remus and Sirius cheered, while Harry grinned. "Congrats!" He said, before Teddy pulled his hair. "Ouch, by the way, could you cut my hair later?" He asked Hermione. She nodded.
Just then, the doorbell rang, causing Mrs. Black to yell and shriek. Harry handed Teddy to Hermione and raced to shut the painting up. He managed to do so and answered the door. It was quite common for Order members to stop by and chat.
He was expecting Kingsly, who was now Minister of Magic, or Hestia Jones, who often dropped by just to see Teddy. He was not expecting Draco Malfoy to be standing there with his mother.
Draco's father, Lucius, had been sent to Azkaban, but it was Harry himself who kept Draco and Narcissa out. Harry believed Draco had never wanted to do anything that he had done, so he spoke on Draco's part and Draco was giving freedom.
"Hello, Harry. We just wanted to say thank you. For everything." Narcissa smiled and placed a hand on Draco's shoulders.
Harry stared, rather dumb-struck, before recovering. He grinned and said, "It was no problem. Would you guys like to come in?"
Draco smiled. "No thank you. We were on our way to Diagon Alley, and we wanted to stop and say thank you."
Harry nodded. "You going back to Hogwarts then?"
"Yeah, are you?"
"Yeah, so are Hermione and Ron."
"Well, I'll see you guys there." Draco grinned and the two Malfoy's walked off before Apparating away. Harry watched as they disappeared, a smile on his face, before he turned and went to go help Hermione with Teddy.
Severus Snape paced in his office. In just a week, the students would be arriving, bringing with them a very special boy.
He would have died that day, had Potter not been there spying. Instead the young man had saved him, something he had not expected.
He knew how horrible he was to Harry Potter, most of it was an act. He did resent him a tiny bit because of James, but that had gone now. Now, often in his dreams, images of Potter came to mind unbidden. He kept telling himself it was inappropriate to have those kinds of thoughts, but they came anyways.
The knock he had been expecting came. He turned and opened his door to McGonagall and Flitwick, the deputy headmaster. He let them in and invited them to sit, casting away all thoughts of Potter.
"Severus, I would like to ask for a favor." McGonagall started. She accepted the tea that Severus offered her.
"Go on." He said, sitting across from them.
"Well, it's a known fact that Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley would like to be aurors. Well, Flitwick, Slughorn, Sprout, and myself thought it would be nice if they got some training on the side. I'm sure you'd agree they'd make a pair of fine aurors." Damn, so much for not thinking about Potter.
"What would you need me to do?" He asked, even though he knew and dreaded the answer.
"Maybe you could give them a few hours of your time and train them to recognize and fend off curses and things like that." Flitwick answered.
Great, hours spent alone with Potter. Never mind the red-headed boy, it would be Potter who would take up his mind. He managed to nod.
"Excellent. Now we must go and prepare our classrooms. Thank you, Severus." He nodded to McGonagall as they walked out. Severus slumped in his chair. He would have to keep Potter at arm's length, knowing the young man did not feel the same way. But a small part of him hoped so. He squashed it. No, he would be professional about this.
A dark part of my mind snorted. Oh, he was in big trouble… He groaned and gave in to the thoughts about a certain black-haired, green-eyed boy.