The end of the story
The staff were gathered at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, waiting for the students to fully gather for the welcoming feast. As usual, Severus Snape stood off to the side, watching his colleagues with a practiced sneer. This year, it was not directed at the new DADA teacher, as that was himself. Dumbledore had finally gotten Horace Slughorn to return, although even Dumbledore could not explain why this still seemed important to him.
Snape’s expression broadened as McGonagall bustled into the room, and Snape edged his way in Dumbledore’s direction so that he could overhear.
“Is there a problem, Minerva?”
“Problem, Albus? I would say so. We are missing three students, two of them prefects.”
“Oh, I am certain they are loitering about somewhere,” Dumbledore replied dismissively. “Who, by the way?”
“Mister Potter, Miss Granger, and Miss Lovegood,” McGonagall retorted. “They were not seen on the train.”
Dumbledore blinked and seemed to waver a bit.
“‘Don’t worry, Minerva’, you said. ‘I am certain they will be here’, you said when the owls couldn’t find them this past summer,” McGonagall scolded. “We shall have to choose new prefects. I am certain Mister Thomas or Mister Longbottom could be the boys’ prefect, but to have to choose between Miss Patil and Miss Brown. . . .”
Dumbledore’s panicked eye spied Snape. “Severus, do you know anything about this?”
“Not as such, Headmaster,” Snape replied drily. “I had wondered when it seemed as if Potter and even Granger were spending an inordinate amount of time last spring saying their goodbyes, but that was all.” Snape smiled evilly and twisted the knife. “It would seem as if Mister Potter has finally fully escaped you. Tell me, did you have any contact with Black or his werewolf all summer? I did mention that Lupin told me he would no longer need the Wolfsbane Potion after June. You did see in ‘The Prophet’ that their friend, Miss Tonks, left the auror corps on the first of July? I would check the Alice Springs Magic School and the California Institute of Magics to see if they have a few transfer students.” Seeing Dumbledore’s dazed look, Snape added as he stepped closer, “Or at least see who requested their transcripts and scores from the Department of Education.”
Dumbledore nodded dumbly.
“Why does it matter, anyway?” Snape asked in a low voice that only Dumbledore and McGonagall could hear. “We know that Potter ended the threat of the Dark Lord. He is no more. As Potter mentioned to me, the Dark Lord has shaken off the mortal coil and joined the Choir Invisible. You don’t need your tool, as he did his job.”
Dumbledore looked stricken. “I . . . I had hoped to make up for what I was forced to allow happen to him. . . .”
“It was too late for that long ago, Albus,” McGonagall said, firmly, but kindly. “Harry has the right to find his own way, especially now.”
“You go get the students ready,” Snape told McGonagall. “I’ll see to the Headmaster.” She nodded and left.
The students were hard to quiet down, as they noticed Harry was missing. Snape’s eyes narrowed as he saw the anticipatory glee in a few students’ eyes which promised possible retribution to Potter’s followers.
Even after the Sorting and the Feast itself, the students were restless. Dumbledore had finally forced himself to address the students, when suddenly the candles dimmed. A deep, even forbidding voice, intoned, “WHO KNOWS WHAT EVIL LURKS IN THE HEARTS OF MAN?” The lights went out for a moment as the voice proclaimed, “THE SHADOW WILL KNOW!” As a frightening laugh followed, the candles relit, revealing the Judas Tree had returned, with a noose swaying from its branch.
Snape was not surprised at how docile the suspect students were that year.
The next evening, Snape and McGonagall were called to the front gates, where they found Aberforth Dumbledore along with a very drunk Headmaster. “Could you please take him?” Aberforth requested. “He drank all my tequila, threw up on two customers, and turned two of my tables green.”
The pair took their inebriated leader back to his quarters without comment.
Dumbledore said nothing about the incident.
That provoked both staff members’ curiosity. It was McGonagall who broke first, however, demanding several weeks later if there was any news about the students’ whereabouts.
“Too much, in fact,” Dumbledore said sourly. “Their records were requested from three schools in North America as well as Education Departments or Ministries in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, India, and South Africa.”
“Well,” McGonagall retorted, “I can only hope they are learning.”
Five years went past, and the students fell into what even McGonagall felt were acceptable patterns of behavior. To everyone’s surprise, Snape continued on as DADA instructor the entire time. While he enjoyed teaching Defense more than he had Potions, he found that not having to deal with the student potion makers had greatly increased the joys of potions research. He had informed his colleagues that first Christmas that he was heavily into several new fields of research.
Dumbledore had thought he must be getting in contact with Harry, and was disappointed that some spying that next summer had shown that Snape had instead retreated to his parents’ house at Spinner’s End to work, only going out to access Gringotts and to pick up packages of imported materials. Snape said almost nothing about his work, not even to the curious Slughorn.
Then, on the afternoon of September 1, 2001, Snape showed up for the staff meeting actually smiling. It was then that he announced the publication of new work. He first presented personal copies of one monograph to Dumbledore and Slughorn, and a copy for the library as well.
It was Flitwick who started laughing when he saw the cover page, which only made Dumbledore glower all the more.
“101 USES FOR LARK’S VOMIT”
“With Notes and Annotations on the Effects of Specialized Feeding and Harvesting”
by Luna Lovegood-Granger, Severus Snape, Hermione Granger-Potter, and Harry Lovegood Potter
“I was not aware there are magical larks,” Slughorn said.
“There aren’t,” Snape agreed. “I am not certain why Miss Lovegood was feeding a lark a flobber worm, but it did not agree with the bird. The process did some interesting things to the magical properties. We have been working on it since.”
“You’ve been with Harry?” Dumbledore demanded, unable to contain himself.
Snape shook his head. “Actually, no, I had seen any of them since the day they left Hogwarts back in 1996. The first I heard from them was the letter from Mrs. Lovegood-Granger. . . .”
“They’re serious about that?” Sprout exclaimed.
Snape nodded. “I am not certain where they live, but wherever it is, polygamy is apparently legal, although they define their relationship as three equal partners.” Actually, Snape knew which Polynesian island chain recognized their marriage, he was just uncertain which island they maintained an official residence in. He knew the trio lived at various locations, as the feeling and needs moved them. “In any event, I misspoke, as they were not yet Bonded. I had heard from Lupin a few weeks before, and agreed to monitor some research there. Mrs. Lovegood-Granger merely asked for the same arrangement.”
Snape produced another monograph, although this time he only had one spare copy, this time for the library.
“MANAGING YOUR WERE”
“Eliminating the major negative effects of the were-curses (wolf, bear, and felines) through the combination of potions, conditioning, and technomagic”
by Elias D. Doright, Rachel J. Childs, Severus Snape, Gary V. Parker, & Hermione Granger-Potter (Potions Team);
Martha G. Villagomez, Harriet V. Sayers, Mary Mott-Stanley, N. Tonks-Lupin, Luna Lovegood-Granger, Mark N. Spenser, Sirius Black, & Leonore L. Bernstein (Conditioning Team);
Violet C. Brown, Bilius G. Packer, Pearl L. Apple, Harry Lovegood Potter (Technomages);
Lon L. Talbot, Remus J. Lupin, Michael A. Howard, Michael L. Rivers, Jane R. Kelly (Weres)
“Oh, dear,” McGonagall said. “This will not be popular.”
“Ah, but look closely at the technomage team,” Snape pointed out.
“I do not know if Harry’s old reputation will allow any sort of allowances for technomagic,” Flitwick said sadly.
“You may be right,” Snape smirked. “Perhaps this will help – or perhaps it will hurt. It should be interesting to see.” Snape materialized a large box, from which he passed out copies of a third, and final, book to each of the staff.
“THE RISE AND FALL OF VOLDEMORT”
“How I destroyed Tom M. Riddle, a.k.a. Lord Voldemort, with the help of technomagic and a number of ‘outcasts’, in spite of the limitations of Wizarding Britain and the manipulations of Albus Dumbledore”
by Harry James Lovegood Potter
with Hermione Jean Granger-Potter, Luna Selene Lovegood-Granger, Remus J. Lupin, & Sirius Black
“Oh dear,” McGonagall said.
“How much. . . .” Dumbledore tried to ask.
“Pretty much everything,” Snape answered. “Horcruxes, illegal placement, abusive Muggles, you name it. Potter has pretty much burned his boats here, unless the Ministry gives him a pardon, which he admits and points out in the introduction. I must admit, I did see Potter once since he left after his fifth year – last week in fact, when he dropped the cartons of books off. All three go on sale today. In fact, Mister Lovegood was selling copies of Potter’s book on the Express Platform this morning. I believe he sold all hundred copies.”
“I think . . . I think. . . .” Dumbledore could not catch his breath.
Pomfrey was out of her chair and casting diagnostics on the Headmaster. “I think you need to lie down and have a calming draught,” she stated. She levitated the Headmaster from his chair. “Now, just relax.” With that, she took Dumbledore from the room.
“You enjoyed that entirely too much,” McGonagall scolded.
“You’re right,” Snape agreed. “I enjoyed that . . . just as much as you all did.”
No one disagreed.
The scandal was nearly as bad as the revelations which had rocked political Britain back in 1996. Harry had in fact not identified himself directly as ‘the Shadow’ nor had he mentioned the rescue of Draco Malfoy in December, 1995. Nearly everything else was there, however.
Millicent Goyle and Theodore Nott gave interviews admitting to their crimes in 1995, and pointing out that they, and Harry and his friends, were all legally underage at the time. Granted, Harry’s Head of House status put him in a grey legal area, but while they were the younger generation, many of Harry’s associates were part of influential families. They all demanded full pardons for Harry and his associates.
Fred and George’s businesses had prospered, and they had branched out into several other areas, including a business with Justin Finch-Fletchley importing legal Muggle items, creating what was essential the first true wizarding department store. They pushed for the ban on most technomage gizmos, especially televisions, radios, etc. to be lifted. It would take five more years and numerous regulations to insure that such items did not spill over into Muggle hands. When it turned out that many such gizmos could be built with fail-safe devices which made them useless outside of contact with magic users, all but the most hard-core traditionalists started to waver, especially when Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas introduced a magical DVD player and a series of pirated Muggle porn.
Albus Dumbledore however, did not really survive the scandals. He suffered a mild stroke shortly after reading the new monographs, and retired as headmaster that Christmas. His mind slowly retreated from the world, and by the following summer was under the care of various minders. Dumbledore spent the next two years mostly having conversations with two people named Gellert and Ariana. Aberforth disclaimed all knowledge of who they might be.
The caretakers were under oaths as part of their jobs not to reveal anything they learned from their patients. However, one reporter did manage to sneak into the small house near Hogsmeade where the increasingly senile Albus Dumbledore was kept. Fortunately for what remained of his tattered reputation, but unfortunately for the beetle animagus reporter, one of the care givers, Hannah Abbott, loved plants and was a good friend of Ginny and Neville Longbottom. The beetle was caught by a magical carnivorous plant, and Rita Skeeter was never heard from again.
No one seemed to miss her.
In 2011, Harry and his friends and partners were given blanket pardons as part of a very controversial deal. Hermione Granger-Potter became the Muggle Studies Professor at Hogwarts on a ten year contract. Harry taught advanced classes in enchanting and basic technomagic, and was also the flying instructor. Luna Lovegood-Granger was to have a position as well, but was allowed out in order to help care for the trio’s six children.
The Trio discovered that, while they loved Hogwarts, they really felt even more out of place in Britain, even Muggle Britain, than they had anticipated. Except for those few who knew the Trio so some degree, most were especially surprised that none of their children would attend Hogwarts. All of their children instead attended the Alice Springs School at least through their fifth year. Two then transferred over to the Southern Academy of Magics and Technomage Studies.
As for the Hogwarts students, the students, staff, and parents were shocked to discover that only one or two of the Muggle-raised students had the backgrounds to take the very basic Introduction to Technomagic Studies each year. Still, there were a few other Sixth and Seventh year students with enough talent in both Charms and Transfiguration and knowledge of Runes and Arithmancy to do well in Enchantments.
Whereas Harry had a difficult time getting his classes to understand the material, Hermione had fewer problems. Besides the (essentially nonsense) material needed to pass the O.W.L., she taught what she called ‘Practical Survival Skills for the Muggle World’, which included several popular field trips to high streets, Muggle tourist sites, an airplane ride from Glasgow to London, and the London Underground. The small number of students taking Muggle Studies doubled, and continued to increase once the Trio had left Hogwarts, since Hermione’s replacement kept the basic curriculum.
In later histories of the period, 1991-2010 was seen as when British wizarding society changed its direction. It had been, in most ways, a very stagnant society after the Grindelwald Wars. The old families not only had a stranglehold on its social system, which was not unusual for many societies, but also on the political and economic systems as well, and those families were dead set against change. In many ways, the First Rise of Voldemort was seen later as having been between those factions of the older families which had political power and those, like the Malfoys and Lestranges, which wanted to follow Voldemort into control and domination.
Compared to most wizarding cultures, Britain, and Europe in general, would always lean towards the conservative side. Their populations would remain fairly steady, with more people leaving the societies for more liberal and open ones than migrated in. Still, the deaths of the many pro-violence Purebloods, and the political humiliation of many of the establishment ones in the 1990s, did lead to a Ministry where merit at least had equal standing with blood purity, which was an improvement. Corruption and nepotism had also dropped, as competitive exams led to better hiring policies, while, by 2010, nearly all Pureblood legal rights had been extended to the rest of the wizarding population.
Sirius Black had returned to Britain in 2003 and had led the reform movement from within the Wizengamot. No one ever connected his various places of residence with an increase of the crup population.
Luna, once the children were all off to school, became the most famous magical Zoologist of the twenty-first century. As she had also gotten degrees in the Muggle world, some of her theories were incorporated into what were considered ‘fringe’ texts, but which became very mainstream once humans made contact with alien worlds. By the late twenty-third century, she was considered one of the mothers of Xeno-zoology.
Hermione became a very prominent writer on sentient rights within the wizarding world, as well as a major theorist whose ideas bridged the magical, technomage, and Muggle worlds. Her theories led to major discoveries in the late twenty-second century, which would later lead to the unification of the wizarding and Muggle worlds, with the technomages providing the links. She was well-honored as a founder of the unification, as well as Luna.
Harry, outside of those who studied British or European wizarding history, would be the least famous of the Trio, best known for being the man who fathered Hermione and Luna’s children. Unlike Hermione and Luna, whose theories dominated their fields, Harry was only a middling technomage, brilliant at performing magics rather than creating new ideas. He was acknowledged for his fight against Voldemort and as a leader in the suppression of three other would-be Dark movements, but that was all.
One of his direct heirs would always have an invisibility cloak. Another, usually whichever one possessed ‘the Sight’ to the highest degree, would wear a very old ring. However, when Harry died, undefeated in battle, his heirs found that the wand he most commonly used, made from elder, was now no more than a worn stick. Whatever power it had held or channeled no longer functioned.
Pansy’s ghost was indeed released a few days after Harry’s death. She was surprised to learn how much Harry had revealed. She statement that Harry had been the Shadow, and had stunned and hanged her, did nothing to injure his reputation in the long term. Historians who interviewed Pansy often came away rather wishing they could strangle the bitter and bigoted ghost all over. Pansy was kept on as an exhibit by the technomages for hundreds of years, so that people could learn exactly how bigoted and hateful the twentieth century had been. When she finally faded away, no one really missed her.