EPILOGUE: FIFTEEN YEARS LATER
Tom sat in the headmaster's chair and looked out over the Great Hall. It was filled to bursting and only the magic of the castle let all the students have room to sit. He glanced over at the Ravenclaw table to find Gasper in deep conversation with his fellow fourth years.
Werewolves, vampires, fae and even a few Elementals and satyrs were scattered about the tables with no one giving them wary looks as they had the first few years. They were now common place amongst the students.
Hogwarts had changed greatly in the past fifteen years. They had slowly added even more classes and had at least two teachers per subject. Most had assistants or apprentices to help with the course load and the paperwork associated with teaching. Hogwarts now taught English, Maths, Geography, Ethics and Civics alongside the magical classes.
Hari's hand slid into his and he turned to smile at his wife. She was as beautiful as the day he married her. Neither of them appeared to have aged at all and while it was beginning to make a few wonder most were too concerned with their own lives to wonder about the Riddles tucked away at Hogwarts.
Tom raised their joined hands and presses a kiss to the back of hers before releasing it and standing. With a wave of his hand a small burst of fireworks went off overhead gaining the attention of the nearly eleven hundred students. He smiled slightly as their attention turned to him.
"Welcome to another year of learning at Hogwarts. As always, the Forbidden Forest is off limits to all students unless they have permission from Master Foresters Zuhkari or Ahida Kassab. Thanks to the creation of the New Moon Bracelets our lycan students will have an easier time of it," he paused at the smattering of applause. "Yes, we are all grateful that your lives will be more pain free now. The lycan enclosure was updated over the summer to include a very robust and challenging obstacle course to help burn off the excess energy you will still have." A more rowdy applause followed that statement. "In the morning you will all get your schedules. Your appointment with the healers will be listed. That is all I have to announce if the Prefects will lead our new students to the dorms then the Heads will appear shortly to give their personal welcome."
He sat down and watched as the sixth year prefects stood and gathered the first years scattered about the hall and led them toward the first year dormitory. Once the hall was empty he stood and held his hand out to Hari. Hari took it with a smile and allowed him to draw her to her feet. Hand in hand they made their way unhurriedly to their quarters. Samira slid along the corridor beside them.
Inside their quarters they settled on the couch by the fireplace. Hari leaned against him. Their world was vastly improved. More united than ever before. Magical beings and creatures of all races owned homes side by side; owned businesses together in the four magical shopping districts.
War. It was coming. More than a decade less than two. That line had haunted them since Luna uttered it. It wouldn't be what it could have been. They hadn't been idle in the past fifteen years; neither had their allies. Allies they had worked diligently to gain. They had large stockpiles of potions in stasis – healing potions, nutritional potions, defensive potions. They had spells and rituals worked out to help them win when the war came and the general populace finally began begging them to save them. Rituals that would see them vilified if they used them now, but praised when it kept the muggles away from them and their families.
Island after island had disappeared off the muggle maps as magical creature sanctuaries were established and warded as best as possible. Centaurs may be surly and aggressive, but they made excellent guardians for the gentle creatures that couldn't defend themselves. Six years ago, the Riddle Alliance had managed to get Centaurs upgraded to being listed the same as wixen. The sanctuaries given to them as their lands contingent upon them allowing the magical creatures to remain and flourish.
Tom rested his head on the back of the couch and just enjoyed this rare moment of peace with his beloved wife. Horrible days were coming, but they weren't here now. Their followers and allies had infiltrated and destroyed muggle weapons of mass destruction and neutralized their germ warfare supplies. They had diligently sought out and obliviated the memory of how to create such items both from people and their computers. Muggles may fight them one day, but it would be face to face not from a safe distance.
War was coming, but they would be ready and if the deities were willing, they would win.