The long awaited epilogue. Let's hope I got everyone.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, with this chapter, this story is done. Nearly two years after I started writing, one and a half after I began to post and, and over four hundred thousand words, I present to you the final chapter of JEDI POTTER, with my most sincere appreciation for your dedication, support and comments, both good and bad. This has been one of the most difficult and yet rewarding things I have ever done, and I deeply appreciate those who’ve stuck with me over the course of the story.
On thirtieth July, harry unsealed the stasis tanks for Ernie Macmillan and Sybill Trelawney. Lifting them out with the force he transferred them into Merrifield’s care. Immediately he and Jacoby began to run their scans.
A half hour later, Merrifield approached. “They’re both in fine condition. In fact, they haven’t changed at all! They’re exactly as they were the day they went into the tanks!”
“That’s why it’s called a stasis. It holds the metabolism in a static condition. They could have been in for five thousand years, and they’d still be precisely as they were when they went in.”
Harry sat by Ernie’s bed as the arrogant Hufflepuff woke. As soon as he had, Ernie asked: “Were are we, Harry? This isn’t Hogwarts?
“You’re in the infirmary of Potter Castle. You came down with Gamorrean fever. So we had to put you into a healing trance.”
“Oh!” Ernie accepted the lie. “So how are we gonna deal with the Death Eaters? I remember you saying you wanted us to keep them busy while you went after Voldemort.”
“Ernie, relax. It’s over.”
“It’s over. Voldemort and all his Death Eaters are dead.”
“Mmmhmmm.” Harry smiled. “It’s the end of July. You were pretty out of it. You’ve been in hibernation for the past nine months.
“Mmmhmmm.” Harry hummed. “We had to keep you in isolation. Gamorrean fever is contagious as hell. Even the healers had to come in wearing special protective clothing. Unfortunately it took this long for them to come up with a proper potion. As soon as they had, though, we got it into you, and now, you’ll never have to worry about that particular illness again.”
“Is it gone?”
“It’s gone. Healer Jacoby will check you over again, before we let you go. I have assurances from both Hogwarts and the Ministry that all the students who’ve missed the past year can make it up. The train leaves from King’s Cross, September the first.”
“Hey, I’m sorry I missed the war.”
“Don’t be.” Harry sighed. “We lost four good men…including Ron.”
“I’m sorry, Harry.”
“Yeah…” Harry choked out. “So am I.”
Waking Sybill in a similar fashion, Harry explained that Voldemort was dead and the blood-based compulsions Dumbledore had placed on her, had been removed. Sybill began to weep.
Harry flooed Hogwarts and asked Minerva to come to Potter Castle. Less than a minute later, the new headmistress stepped gracefully from the fireplace. She assured Sybill that she’d have a place at Hogwarts for as long as she wanted it, but hereafter, Divination would only be offered to those who actually had the gift. It was useless teaching the art to those who couldn’t use it. She made no mention that most of the students who took her class, did so for the easy grade.
Sybill knew that already.
That afternoon, the Jedi students and staff again stood in ranks…this time in the throne room of Buckingham palace. In the audience, were nearly two hundred family members.
Again, the Jedi who actually fought in the battle stood in one group and those students who had not been selected, in another.
The Queen stood and addressed the media. “This is not the largest mass awarding of the Victoria Cross or the George Cross in history but it does seem to be. That does not lessen the impact of these awards one bit. This is also the first time these medals have been publicly awarded to magical citizens of the United Kingdom. These young men and women, set aside their lives for the realm, leaving behind their families, their schooling and their whole existence, as they dedicated themselves to destroying the terrorist threat known as Voldemort. The grueling training they underwent over the course of this past year was so intense, that even our Special Forces types were amazed. While not all of them were in this fateful battle, they all deserve recognition for their selfless dedication to duty, which is, in our opinion, over and above the call.
First, we shall award the George Cross. The following people in alphabetical order: Stewart Ackerly, Katherine Bell, Charlotte Bestler, Amanda Brocklehurst, Lavender Brown, Malcolm Cadwaller, Dora Carey, Owen Cauldwell, Stephen Cornfoot, Colin Creevy, Dennis Creevy, Emma Dobbs, James Farrington, Seamus Finnegan, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Astoria Greengrass, Dwight Hindley, Darlene Hyatt, Angelina Johnson, Lee Jordan, Laura Madley, Natalie McDonald, Kenneth McMichael, Sara Moon, Paul Neller, Liam O’Lorcain, James Peakes, Graham Prichard, Alicia Spinnet, Roan Stewart, Michael Swanson, Dean Thomas, Lisa Turpin, Romilda Vane and Kevin Whitby, for your unswerving dedication to duty, and great personal sacrifice over the course of the past year in preparation for the battle just fought, we award you the George Cross.”
The Queen spent some time speaking to each and every one of the thirty-five people she just mentioned, pinning the decorations on to their Jedi tunics, and thanking them for their dedicated service to the crown.
Returning to the podium, she addressed both those who had been in the fight, and the watching press.
“The following people: Harrison James Potter, Lord Gryffindor, Hermione Jane Potter, Lady Gryffindor, Neville Franklin, Longbottom, Lord Longbottom, Former Captain of the Special Air Service; Doctor Mackenzie Granger, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Hannah Abbott, Susan Bones, Terry Boot, Derek Chambers, Kevin Entwhistle, Anthony Goldstein, Daphne Greengrass, Terrence Higgs, Wayne Hopkins, Megan Jones, Morag McDougal, Anika and Anna Montgomery, Padma and Parvati Patil, Sally-Ann Perks, Adrian Pucey, Orla Quirke, Su Li, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Ginevra Weasley and Luna Weasley, Oliver Wood, and for the first time in history, a non-human recipient, Dobby the house-elf.
Ladies and gentlemen, these young people faced an implacable enemy in close combat and utterly destroyed him. Their actions ended a deadly insurrection that was not less than thirty-three years in the making and which has claimed the lives of thousands of our subjects. These terrorists, for there is no other word to describe the atrocities these people have committed, have held many of our citizens in thrall for the past thirty-three years. Due to the unique nature of the abilities these people control, Lord Gryffindor decided to use a new and untried technology to eliminate a wizard who was sixty years his superior in every way.”
As before, the queen spoke with each recipient as she pinned their medals to their tunics. When she was done she returned to the dais and spoke once more.
“This award has also been given posthumously to Ronald Weasley, Aurors Sean Christopher, and Michael Bleaksley and French Gendarme supérieur, Eduard Guillaume. They gave their lives for the safety of Britain.”
The press was eating this up! Not only had they been informed of an entirely undiscovered world, hidden for centuries, they were privileged to witness the awarding of their nations highest awards to more than sixty heroes who had faced and destroyed the terrorists responsible for so many of the inexplicable disasters that had taken place in the past thirty years.
“A further award…” The Queen signaled and two liveried attendants swung the doors open. Standing there blushing, were Dudley and Marissa, and behind them, Vernon, Petunia, and Adam and Laurel Gentry. Even with his son being honored by the nation’s monarch, Vernon did not look happy. Colonel Bowman took a position behind him…just in case.
“Dursley” He whispered. Vernon turned his head to acknowledge the man behind him. “This needle…” Bowman lifted a small syringe. “…is filled with digitalis. If I poke it into your skin…anywhere, you will have a heart attack within seconds. Now, that said, if you do anything I find even remotely threatening to Her Majesty, the royal family, or Lord and Lady Gryffindor, I will stab you…understand?”
Paling, Vernon nodded rapidly. Beside him, Petunia also nodded.
“Good. Now smile. This is your fifteen minutes.”
They stepped down the red carpet incidentally passing under the watchful eyes of over sixty dun-clad, lightsaber-armed, Jedi students, to the dais, where Dudley and Marissa stood alone.
The Queen smiled at him and spoke:
“Dudley Malcolm Dursley, it gives us the greatest pleasure to present to you the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery in the face of the enemy, and self-sacrifice far above and beyond the call, as set forth in the following citation. On twenty first December, of last year, you did face fifteen armed terrorists whilst being unarmed yourself, and forsaking your personal well-being to protect those around you, did engage and kill five with your bare hands. Your actions saved the lives of nearly eight hundred people that night, and eliminated five extremely dangerous terrorists, known as ‘Death Eaters’. Your actions also provided Ministry’s, Special Forces time to arrive, which resulted in another six terrorists killed.”
The queen picked up the medal and slipped the plastic backing into Dudley’s breast pocket so the medal hung, visible, on his chest.
“Your Majesty…” He whispered nervously. “I’m afraid I didn’t do it to protect anyone. Erm…I thought they’d killed Marissa and I was…well…I…I kind’a lost my temper.”
Queen Elizabeth smiled softly at him and murmured. “It’ll be our little secret then.”
She turned to the press and continued: “It is rare indeed, that a civilian is awarded the Victoria Cross, the George Cross being more common, but in this instance, we felt the greater award was both justified and necessary. We are indebted to you Mister Dursley, for the lives of eight hundred of our subjects.”
The applause began not surprisingly with Harry and Hermione. The Jedi students followed on immediately, and after them, the family members and press. Soon the room was filled with applause. Dudley just stood there blushing and Marissa was smiling so hard, her face hurt.
When the applause had died off, the Queen spoke once more.
“Before we adjourn, we have two final announcements. Lord Gryffindor, Lady Gryffindor, please approach us.”
Puzzled, Harry and Hermione did so.
“This is not our normal investiture…” the Queen began. “But in this instance, we feel it is both necessary and long overdue.”
She directed them to kneel before her and continued.
“Lord Gryffindor, Lady Gryffindor, you are both recognized as peers in the magical world, yet, due to the careful mismanagement of one wizard, there has been no mention made of magical peers for at least seventy years. In reading through some of our family journals, we discovered that in years gone by, naming peers from the magical community was, if not a regular occurrence, at least not unheard of.
That said, for services set forth in the previous citation; specifically in that you, Lord and Lady Gryffindor, did arrange the selection, training, and arming of the warriors who were to face Voldemort, and in planning Voldemort’s defeat and in executing said plan with minimal casualties; we do hereby dub thee, Harrison James and Hermione Jane Potter to be known forever more as Sir Harrison, and Dame Hermione, Lord and Lady Gryffindor.”
To everybody’s surprise she lifted Harry’s spare lightsaber and thumbed it to life. A gentle tap on each of their shoulders and they were Knights of the Realm.
On July thirty-first, readers all over the world opened their newspapers, and found themselves utterly amazed at the stories therein. The first was a factual and completely accurate description of the awards ceremony of the previous day and the reasoning behind it. The second was even more astounding.
In an official press release, Queen Elizabeth, has informed the population of Great Britain of the existence of a world previously only suspected. The world of magic. Yes, that is correct. There is a magical world coexisting with ours that has been hidden since 1692. In that year, the magical peoples of this world enacted the ‘International Statute of Secrecy’ to protect themselves from the religiously driven political ravages of the non-magical world. The witch trials of the twelfth through seventeenth centuries destroyed many thousands of innocent people simply because they were thought to be able to use magic, which was something those in authority, both religious and political, did not want, for magic gave people power and those who held supremacy, wished to keep that power to themselves. (For more on the witch trials, see page 17)
Said Queen Elizabeth: “These people are as much citizens of our world as are anybody else. That they have talents and abilities, different from others, matters not a whit. From the beginnings of this country, our magical citizens have served with distinction in our armies, have laid down their lives in defense of our country and have fostered medical and technological advancement. In actions only recently concluded, these few magical citizens have faced and defeated a terrorist so vile it was forbidden to speak his name. This terrorist and his minions were directly responsible for nearly ten thousand deaths over the past thirty-three years. Here in the United Kingdom, it is our command that these magical citizens, should they wish to divulge their nature, shall be treated as just any other citizen, and any persecution based upon their magical abilities will be dealt with in the harshest manner under law.”
Says the Right Honorable, Sir Winston Englesey, physician to the royal family: “Her majesty is in full possession of her faculties. Had I not spoken to several magical citizens, and seen what they could do, I would likely have thought differently, but she is and they are and that is all I have to say about that.”
(For in-depth coverage of the magical world, see pages 18-29)
Our associates around the world have petitioned their respective national leaders for information. US President, Bill Clinton, had this so say:
“While it was not the ideal way to disclose the magical population of our world, it was necessary to prevent another dark lord from rising. The magicals have been productive citizens of this great country from the very start. So many medical and technological advances have been made, that without them would still be dreams. I agree wholeheartedly with the Queen in saying: Like artists and sculptors and writers, magical people are simply people with different talents. They are not evil; they are not ‘touched by the devil’ they are not going to sacrifice your children to Satan. If you don’t know if someone is magical, then assume they are not. If you are made aware of someone’s magical talents, treat them like you’d have them to treat you. As Queen Elizabeth said, any persecution against magicals will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.”
Other countries around the world, some reluctantly, affirmed the existence of the magical population. They too had had their troubles with dark wizards and the like and understood that the International Statute of Secrecy was in great part, responsible for the rise of those magical tyrants.
Although there were factions who vehemently objected…specifically the religious fanatics, who wanted all magical people to be executed as being ‘ungodly’.
In a surprising turn, the Pope announced that the magicals were children of God and should be treated as such. Many other religious leaders disagreed, but without accurate knowledge of the magical peoples’ capabilities, they understood that to demonize or attack someone simply because they were thought to have magic would be a disastrous idea.
Not that a few didn’t try anyway.
Unfortunately, many televangelists, seeing the profits from their self-pandering beginning to dry up, showed no such restraint and over the next few years, thoroughly castigated and condemned the magicals as being tools of the devil, intent on capturing innocent souls and destroying the ‘proper order of things’.
A case in point; the famous televangelist, Larry Foulmouth gathered his hand picked television crew and took his privately owned, tax-exempt, 747 to England, where he demanded, in the name of Jesus Christ, to interrogate this heretic.
When she was asked, the Queen volunteered St. George’s chapel for the confrontation, with an evil smile. Foulmouth was astonished. His program televised live from such a beautiful arena would be his crowning achievement. Just the residuals alone would make him staggeringly rich…er!
Harry and Hermione met them in the opulent chapel, and with several hundred witnesses of note present, both religious and secular, and used cool logic and reason to shred every one of his arguments. Worse, they used the very same scriptures he’d chosen for their destruction, to do it.
When in desperation, he pointed out that in Deuteronomy, it clearly said: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Hermione pulled up several dozen treatises from noted theologians over the past fifty years, that cast doubt upon the word ‘witch’. Most of the papers indicated the word ‘witch’ was a mistranslation from the original, and the word intended was instead, ‘poisoner’ or perhaps ‘assassin’.
Finally, Foulmouth fled in defeat, but as soon as he’d returned to the US, he began a vituperative campaign against magicals in general and Harry and Hermione Potter in particular, claiming ‘the devil can quote the scripture when it serves his unholy purpose’. His proselytizing set citizens against each other nearly as badly as McCarthy had fifty years before, and without firm action by the government, could well have started a civil war.
As it turned out, Foulmouth was discovered to be involved in a sex-scandal the following year, which involved several underaged girls in a Las Vegas hotel, and was under indictment for tax evasion. He explained those away as ‘The faithless establishment trying to stifle the voice of God!’ and it was only when he was found dead in his Hollywood mansion several years later, of a cocaine overdose that people began to question the pious image he’d shown them.
While the social reformation wasn’t fast, and it certainly wasn’t easy, people across the world had begun to think for themselves.
Judith had been very busy over the past two months. She and Hermione had planned most of her wedding when she was younger, and now, all there was left was to arrange the ceremony in The Round Church in Cambridge. While August was a busy month for weddings, Harry’s name, along with the Queen’s endorsement…not to mention the many people on royal retainer who specialized in such ceremonies, guaranteed a quick arrangement. Judith was astounded at the ease, with which it all went together. When the vicar asked why, she’d explained that while they two were married by the rites of magic, which qualified as a civil ceremony, and was duly noted in the records, she’d always wanted her baby girl to have a beautiful church wedding.
And it was. On the fourth of August, Harry stood at the pulpit awaiting wife. The doors opened and the organ filled the room with music. A choir of children began to sing, and a silk draped Hermione paced down the aisle, a proudly smiling Mackenzie Granger by her side. In the front row, Judith was daubing tears from her eyes. On the other side of the aisle, Molly Weasley was doing the same. Arthur sat next to her and an enlarged photograph of Ron, taken the previous year by Colin Creevey, was set on an easel next to Arthur. The rest of the Weasleys were arrayed behind their parents, though Fleur had to strictly control her aura lest she become the center of attention.
Neville stood beside Harry, and Luna, Ginny, Hannah and Susan were Hermione’s bride’s maids.
As they reached the waiting groom, Mackenzie kissed his daughter and placed her hand in Harry’s.
“Dearly Beloved…” The vicar began. “We are gathered here today to celebrate the joining of this man and this woman in the sacred bonds of matrimony…”
The reception held for the mundane guests served two purposes; first, it gave Judith an opportunity to show off her beautiful daughter, and second, it provided Hermione some measure of revenge for the many years of insults suffered at the hands of her fellow students and neighbourhood children.
With the newspaper articles about her being both magical and a peer, those few who braved the gathering, kept their mouths firmly shut.
It didn’t hurt that Harry had worn his lightsaber.
Remus’ next transformation was miserable for all concerned. He had to go at least two cycles without the Wolfsbane to ensure his system was as clean as it could be.
That meant he was dangerous as all hell and Harry had personally arranged for triple security around the dungeons. He and Hermione had returned to England for the night, and stayed up with a weeping Tonks, holding and trying to comfort her as best they could, all the while listening to Remus howl, first in agony, and then in rage.
The end of the cycle couldn’t come soon enough. At six, Tonks was demanding entry, but Harry refused, until, watching through a scrying glass, he saw Moony become Remus once more. Finally he had Dobby drop the wards, and opened the iron-barred door to the dungeon. Tonks pushed past him and bolted into the underground room, where her lover lay in the heavy steel cage, exhausted, unconscious and bleeding from his many scratches and scrapes.
As always, Harry carried Remus to the infirmary and settled him in to the private room, with tea and broth. He asked Jacoby to make sure Remus has some pain killers, muscle relaxants and, as soon as he finished his light meal, a sleeping draught.
As soon as they were sure their friend was being taken care of, they both kissed Tonks good-bye, and asked Dobby to pop them back to the south of France for the remainder of their honeymoon.
Harry had the first course of Nanites ready in a bit over a month and so, on the last of August, the day after they returned from their abbreviated honeymoon, Hermione handed a phial to Remus, explaining how it was designed to locate and confine the traces of silver in his system much as the body’s white blood cells did, and then shift them to his digestive tract for elimination.
When Remus made a snarky comment that sounded like ‘He-Who-Passes-Silver-Logs!’ Tonks decorated the wall with her tea…an impressive feat because the wall was almost three meters away!
Remus drank the potion and raised a curious eyebrow. It had only an aftertaste of lemon. Hermione explained: “Snape made his potions taste that way on purpose. It doesn’t help that the British potions brewers are still using poisonous ingredients like bile and spleen juice. There are far more efficacious materials that aren’t nearly so dangerous. Even flobberworm paste needs a detoxifier to make it safe to ingest. This tonic is mostly the nanites in some distilled water and a chemical to help absorption. That’s all.”
Harry and Hermione returned to Hogwarts with the rest of their students, where they took the sixth year curriculum. Minerva asked Harry to take over the position of Defense against the Dark Arts professor. He declined, nominating Remus instead. She approved wholeheartedly and with the capable assistance of ‘the ladies’, she encouraged the Board of Governors to agree. Given the absence of Malfoy and his ilk, it wasn’t all that hard. All they had to do was show the results of the OWL’s and NEWT’s of the year Remus had instructed.
As before, Remus proved to be a favorite teacher and those few who recalled his disease accepted the headmistress’ word that he would be safely contained during the full moon.
Andromeda Tonks had volunteered to take the vacant position of potions instructor. While she was not a potions master, she proved herself as adept with a cauldron as her predecessor had…and a lot easier to get along with. Unlike Snape, she actually taught the art.
Since Ron was far too young to even consider having a portrait made, Harry arranged for a bronze statue of him wearing his Jedi kit and lightsaber, and showing his dual awards of Victoria Cross and Order of Merlin, to be erected in the entry hall, by the stairs, so that all new students would see him as they passed into the castle for the first time. Not surprisingly the Chudley Cannons paid for both that statue, and an identical one set up in their stadium.
In the decades to come, many erring students, would serve their detentions by polishing that statue.
Harry kept his promise to Nagini. He arranged for her transfer to the United States, specifically, the Academy for the study of Animal Magicks, in the Anasazi ruins near Shiprock New Mexico. He also arranged for a young Native American ‘snake-talker’ to tend to her. Oddly enough, as she had a white streak in her hair, the child’s name was ‘Touched by Lightning’.
Every so often, Harry would visit Nagini, and ‘Touched by Lightning’, usually accompanied by his family, just to see how things were going. Both snake and speaker appreciated the visits.
Nagini lived for fifteen more years, and following her death, ‘Touched by Lightning’ lived on as Shaman for another eighty-seven.
On sixteenth September, Harry locked the last Marauder into his cell. There were no animagi available to romp in the forest with Moony, so Remus had to suffer his curse alone. Harry, Hermione and Tonks curled up in their bed and held each other through the night.
As in August, they were waiting outside the dungeon door the next morning when Moony became Remus once more. Minerva stood right beside them. Not unexpectedly, the rest of the Jedi students had found excuses to be there as well.
Flopsey, who’d retaken her post as senior elf at Hogwarts, checked to ensure Remus was in fact, Remus, before she unsealed the dungeon door.
Harry lifted his friend and carried him to the hospital wing, where an impatient Poppy waited. She immediately tried to shoo everyone out. Just as firmly, Tonks refused to leave. Egos flared and the two witches became embroiled in a hissed argument that neither would abandon. Anxious to avoid the fallout of such a conflict, Harry and Hermione decided to leave the battling witches to themselves. On the way out of the infirmary, seeing as Poppy and Tonks were still fighting, Harry whispered a suggestion to Flopsey. She nodded her head and called for Ostie. Flopsey explained what was needed and the Hospital wing elf popped away, to return with the tea, nutrient-rich broth and the various potions they’d used during the past year. She placed the items on Remus’ bedside table, before popping away again.
Hermione snickered and she and Harry left the hospital wing arm in arm.
They’d have to take blood samples again; to see if there was any difference between the Wolfsbane’d Moony and the unpotioned one.
Hermione’s birthday feast on the nineteenth was a treat for the entire school. To her surprise, she received tokens of affection…or at least appreciation, from every second year and up.
Harry’s gift was a white T-shirt with a black lined, yellow arrow pointing down, and the words ‘Baby on Board’ emblazoned across it.
On the twenty third of September, when he was finally released from his little yellow prison, Dumbledore Polyjuiced himself to look like his brother, and took the Knight Bus to Diagon Alley. There, his disguise wore off and as soon as he knew he’d been recognized, he tried to take credit for Harry’s victory, claiming it was his expert and benevolent tutelage that allowed Harry to emerge victorious. He hadn’t read Rita’s story, but if he had, he wouldn’t have thought it worthy of consideration. After all, he was the greatest wizard in the world. Unfortunately his placement of Harry with the Dursley family had garnered a great deal of antipathy, though not nearly so much as his creation of Voldemort in the first place, and his dreams of convincing the sheep of the wizarding world that he was the epitome of the light, came to a screeching halt as someone conjured a rotten tomato and flung it at his head.
He’d hardly recovered from that impact when other pieces of spoilt fruit decorated his body.
That first public appearance nearly ended in a riot, as witches and wizards sought to beat him to death. It was in fact, Harry, Hermione, Remus, Neville, Hannah, and Ginny appearing in a circle around the fallen wizard, who finally calmed the angry mob. When Remus apparated Dumbledore away, Harry addressed the crowd.
“Albus Dumbledore has committed many grievous crimes, but he is, and will, be paying for those crimes for the rest of his life. We cannot bring back those who died due to his actions, but his entire estate has been placed in abeyance, pending litigation to divide it amongst his victims. If any of your family has died because of his actions, go to the ministry and file a claim against his estate. Either way he’ll not be allowed to wander again. The Queen has ordered his house arrest. Since he has violated that order, I will see to it that wards are set around his house to prevent his leaving again.”
In a special session of the Wizengamot, Albus Dumbledore was formally stripped of his titles, and some rather painful goblin wards around the property, ensured he would remain in the little house in the Cotswold’s. As Graswold had intimated the year before, the goblins didn’t like him either.
Harry asked Winky to see to his needs for a time, but within three weeks, a desperate letter from Dumbledore asked him for a house elf who wasn’t so…vindictive.
Harry sent Dobby, who reported with a nasty grin, that the second Dumbledore had seen him, he’d run screaming from the little house.
Laughing, Harry finally asked Bobbo to go, instructing him to take no rubbish from the old man. He would provide basic food, and essentials to Dumbledore but little else, explaining that Albus was being punished because he was a bad boy.
Bobbo nodded firmly, understanding that bad boys should be punished.
On October sixteenth, Tonks wasn’t happy. Her lover would have to undergo a third transformation without the calming influence of the Wolfsbane potion. Harry sighed as he explained. “Tonks, there’s no other way. I have to have that information if I’m to make the nanites function properly. I really wish this wasn’t necessary, but I had to ensure his blood was as clean as possible. Now, I’m reasonably sure it is, but with the silver poisoning gone, his blood chemistry is going to be affected. He’ll have to go through this one more time. I’m sorry.”
And he was.
Tonks growled and stormed off.
That night, as Remus shifted into Moony, Harry held him firmly with the force while Dobby rapidly took three blood samples. One before, the change, one during and one after. When that was done, the elf left the cage and Harry released his ‘uncle’.
Moony snarled in a rage and leapt at the door, knowing that his prey was on the other side. The heavy iron banded oak door held firm, and with a quiet: “I’m sorry, Moony.” Harry led his wife and small friend from the room. As they passed through, the second and third doors were sealed behind them. Flopsey activated the security wards and detailed three house elves to maintain a watch overnight.
Harry asked Hermione to see to Tonks and then had Dobby pop him to Potter Castle. In the secure lab, he fed the blood samples into the analyzer and positioned himself at the electron microscope.
He was gratified to learn that his caution had been justified. There were differences in the samples he’d taken three months before and these ones. They were slight, but they were there. Since he’d set up the basic matrix already, he activated the computer’s programmes to integrate the new samples into the nanite programme. He’d check the progress the next day and if he was satisfied, he’d have it begin producing the nanites.
He returned to the castle and as usual, entered his bedroom to find his wife and friend already in the bed. He was rather surprised to find that Luna had joined them as well. Shrugging his shoulders, Harry climbed into bed with the trio. After all, Luna was family already. They held Tonks through the night.
The next morning, Remus was, as usual, battered and bruised. Tonks gathered him to her breast and rocked him, weeping for her lover’s pain.
Harry picked up the exhausted werewolf and carried him to madam Pomfrey’s tender mercies. In the small room off to the side, he set the older marauder onto his bed, and asked Ostie to heal up his scrapes and scratches.
Poppy entered the room to find a newly wakened Remus Lupin chatting tiredly with his friends, sipping the rich nutrient loaded beef broth that had worked so well over the past year.
Remus was listening carefully as Harry explained the differences in his blood samples from the first ones he had taken. Tonks was mightily impressed. To her, blood was blood. Differences at a microscopic level were just outside her worldview. Remus, being as he’s spent a goodly portion of his life in the mundane world, understood more.
Harry and Hermione returned to Potter Castle after classes the next day. For the next five hours they peered through his powerful microscopes eyepieces, carefully searching for the one bit of DNA that caused Remus such pain. With the computer’s able assistance, they found it, but it was by no means, a simple process. In fact, it was Hermione who saw it first.
Her quiet but elated: “There!” alerted him. Hermione fed him the coordinates and as he adjusted his eyepiece, he found what she had. In the transitory and active samples, the aberration in the gene sequence was visible, nearly a thousand times larger than in Remus’ normal blood.
“Sneaky little bastard!” Harry mused. The aneuploid transposon initiated the polymerase chain reaction. With these transposons eliminated, the chain reaction woud be unable to start. Without that chain reaction, there would be no werewolf.
A chuckle from Hermione told him he’d been heard. He smiled thinly.
Quickly isolating the offending genetic sequence, Harry had the computer create a three-dimensional map, which they could study.
Leaning back from the eyepieces for the first time in nearly five hours, Harry winced at the sharp pain in his back.
“I’ve got to replace those with a monitor.” He grumbled, arching his sore back. Gentle hands pushed his aside and began to massage him.
“Aaaahhh! OhGod! Ohyeah!” He moaned under Hermione’s remorseless assault.
When his aches had eased a bit, he turned to his wife and returned the favor. Soon enough, his hands began to roam from her back, to her little baby-bump. Harry could never get over the fact that she was carrying their daughter. Her sweet moans reminded him that they hadn’t made love in almost two days, so lifting the squealing Hermione in his arms, he carried her to their bedroom in the now-empty castle.
“What are you doing, Harry?” She giggled.
“Well, I heard ghosts can sometimes feel the world around them, so I figured we should give Voldemort’s ghost a major headache…just in case. How ‘bout it?”
“Mister Potter, that is a lovely idea!”
If there had been a ghost of Tom Riddle, he would have been in agony.
They determined that the nanite solution could be given at any time before the moon-shift, but the activator had to be ingested within three days of the full moon.
As with Dumbledore, it would take about four months for the nanites to infect all his blood cells. Harry decided on six…just to be sure he got them all. Even one missed DNA strand could conceivably reinitiate the werewolf transformation.
“Harry” She said. “We’re going to have to adjust the nanites to work with and without the Wolfsbane potion
“Yeah, but that’ll come later. For the now, I’m focusing on Remus. I hate using him as a guinea pig, but I need to know this works before we make it available to anyone else.”
Typing in instructions, he ordered the computer to produce a test batch of the nanites they’d need. If it proved itself, he would test it on Remus’ blood, and if that worked as he hoped it would, he’d begin production. Later, he would ask it to research ways to make one series of nanites that anyone could use.
On the morning of the twenty-first, Minerva woke with the feeling that she would be needed at Gringotts. Asking Filius to take charge for a bit, she flooed to Diagon Alley and marched straight to Gringotts, where, to her surprise, both Potters and Dak Graswold awaited her. There, she led them to a space between two vaults and said clearly: “Albus Dumbledore’s secret vault can be found between vaults 2193 and 2195.”
Slashsack was rather irritated by this new vault’s presence, but more that he’d been unaware of its existence. Security was his responsibility, and here was a vault, where there had been none before…and nobody had known about it, or what was inside.
That was embarrassing!
Minerva touched the door and it immediately opened. Inside were several piles of valuables, including more than a hundred boxes, some of which were neatly labeled. Amongst them, were: ‘Potter’, ‘Longbottom’ ‘Weasley’, ‘Bones’, ‘Brown’, ‘Meadowes’, ‘Prewett’, ‘Moody’, ‘Tonks’, ‘McGonagall’, ‘Black’, ‘Snape’, ‘Malfoy’, ‘Bulstrode’, ‘Greengrass’, ‘Davis’, ‘Parkinson’, ‘Crabbe’, ‘Goyle’, ‘Lestrange’, ‘Riddle’, ‘Diggle’, and ‘Diggory’. In each box were small treasures from that family. Harry reverently opened the box marked ‘Potter’. There, resting on top, was a rosewood presentation box…his first Order of Merlin. He set the box aside, unopened, to find his parent’s will, their wands, Lily’s engagement ring and their wedding bands. There were also deeds to many houses Gringotts didn’t know of, and several shrunken photo albums.
Harry broke down, fell to his knees, and just…cried.
Hermione knelt beside him, gathered him to her breast and rocked him, like a mother would her most precious child.
That same day, Alice cried out in a voice rusty with disuse: “Neville?”
She didn’t have to wait. Neville set down his tea and shifted from his bedside chair to the mattress next to her.
“I’m here, Mum.”
Alice immediately wrapped him in a loving embrace, shedding thousands of tears.
Frank woke late that afternoon to find his wife and nearly-adult son smiling tearfully at him.
Fred and George did return to the forge room, and under Dobby’s careful supervision, created new crystals for their weapons, though they kept their unique grips. Since they would be going into Jar-Kai within the year, Harry allowed them to create two stones each, following Luna’s example. When they needed a spare lightsaber, they’d each have the stone ready to use.
Nobody was surprised when they both honored their fallen brother by using his choice of ‘Chudley Orange’ for their blades.
In mid-November, the nanites proved themselves. Inside the microscope, Harry introduced the nanites and their activator to a fresh sample of blood taken only hours before, and the nanites immediately infected the cells. He watched as the activated machines ate their way into and through the enlarged transposons that forced the change from man to monster.
Harry ordered the machine to produce half a billion of the virus-sized machines. It was overkill, yes, but this was far too dangerous to leave to chance. Better too many, than not enough.
In December, just before the Yule break, Harry handed Remus a goblet. His transformation on the fourteenth had been easier, as Harry had allowed him to take the Wolfsbane once more. The next morning, Tonks emerged from the confinement area nearly doubled over with laughter.
“Did you get the pictures? Harry had snarked. In response, the giggling twit brandished her small camera.
“This is it, then?” Remus asked, hopefully.
“Yeah.” Harry replied. “You do understand that this is purely experimental, right?”
“Of course, Harry. This is a dream for me, and I really didn’t expect this much.”
“Hopefully this is all we need.”
With a nod, Remus tipped the goblet to his lips. He was used to potions. His entire life had been one course of portions after another. His parent’s had bankrupted themselves trying to find a cure for his disease and now, if this worked, they could rest in peace, knowing the scourge of the wizarding world had been conquered.
“When will we know?”
“I’m going to give you the activator in about three months, so we should know one way or another in about five or six.”
“Remus…” Harry chided gently. “Even that’s pushing it. We’re trying to infect your entire body, one blood cell at a time.”
Remus just flushed. “Sorry, Harry. It’s just that…” He flapped his hand ineffectually.
“I see you and Hermione, and now, she’s really showing, and I know you’re about to have a family. You know, Tonks is been asking me about that. She wants a baby.”
“Hopefully, within the year, you can give her one.”
April Potter was born at six twenty-five, on the morning of February twenty-ninth, with Poppy acted as midwife, which irritated the hell out of Molly.
Harry sat on the birthing couch just behind his beloved, holding her and supporting her as she groaned and strained to introduce the newest Potter to the world. Unfortunately, her daughter was proving to be exceedingly difficult. She saw absolutely no reason to undergo this discomfort! She was quite happy where she was, thank you very much! Hermione had been in labour for over thirty-four hours already, and in the last four, she’d broken all of Harry’s fingers at least twice.
He endured it, because he hated seeing his best friend in pain. Since the child within her was part his, he should be there for her…whatever she needed. But…permission or no, he decided, the next time, she’d have an industrial strength pain potion.
Hermione screamed in pain as the contraction coursed through her. When she regained her breath, she returned to the threats she’d been making to her husband, specifically explosively removing a certain vital portion of his anatomy. Wisely, Harry had locked her lightsaber…and his…into his office safe. To her extreme annoyance, the stupid berk stayed calm and reassuring. She hated when he did that! He was supposed to be panicked and cowed by her righteous fury, not calm and collected! She drew breath to threaten him again, when another contraction hit.
When she could breathe again, Hermione rasped through strained vocal cords: “Goddamnit, Harry, this is all your fault! If you ever come near me again, I’m gonna blow that miserable excuse for a vibrator off you, sauté it in onions and lime, broil it on a bed of rice and force feed it to you!” Her last words were uttered in a scream as another contraction hit and little April was pushed another bit toward the outside world.
“Ooh! Nasty!” Poppy smirked. She’s seen the delivery of many children, and was more than familiar with the pain-induced threats…although that one, she hadn’t heard before. She was pleased to see Harry take the abuse with such decorum. Mackenzie blanched at the threat. Judith just chuckled, earning her a glare from her daughter.
“I know it’s my fault, my love.” Harry replied. “But it’ll be over soon, sweetheart, and you’ll be holding our baby...” Poppy smiled her approval.
“Unless you want to carry the next one, this is gonna be the last child we have!” Hermione snarled. Harry was fortunate he was ensconced behind her, or she likely would made good on her threat to painfully remove his very favorite part.
Poppy carefully gauged the baby’s progress. “We’re almost ready, Hermione. You need to begin pushing."
“I am pushing!” She roared. “What the ruddy fuck do you think I’ve been doing for the past five bloody years!?!”
Poor Hermione felt like their stubborn child was trying to force her way out of her body, while breaking every bone she had along the way!
Twenty-seven minutes, nine more death threats, and a snarled offer to turn Harry into a woman, later, Madam Pomfrey urged her to push and Hermione pushed.
And then, it was done.
A mighty heave, and Poppy, smiled: “Here she comes!” She announced, as April’s head popped free. She used her wand to clear the baby’s nose and mouth. Harry, sitting behind Hermione, holding her, grinned widely.
“One more, love!” He whispered into her ear.
Hermione looked up, panting from her exertions, wanting to strangle him, but melted when she saw his anxious face. She smiled wearily. Harry leaned over her shoulder, and kissed her warmly. “I love you, my heart!”
Poppy interrupted the lovers, with: “All right, Hermione. Here she comes! One more big push!”
Hermione gritted her teeth, and pushed with everything she had. April’s shoulder came free, followed immediately by the rest of her body. Poppy deftly caught the slippery babe, and vigorously rubbed her back. They all smiled as the reedy wail of the newborn child filled the room. Hermione smiled in exhaustion at her husband and Harry grinned madly, losing himself in the exhausted eyes of his beloved.
“Harry?” Poppy asked, interrupting their moment. “Would you like to cut the umbilical?”
Surprising them all, Harry smiled. “You go ahead. I’ve got something more important to do!” He wrapped his arms warmly around his wife and kissed her gently. Plucking up a warm, damp towel, he gently laved his wife’s tired and sweaty face. Hermione moaned in pleasure at the tender washing.
Poppy had Harry dismount from his position behind Hermione, and placed the swaddled April in his arms. Her tiny fingers wrapped around Harry’s, with a surprising strength. His face was entirely made of smile.
Judith took pictures and had Harry place the newborn in the weary Hermione’s arms to nurse.
Hermione gazed fondly at her daughter, as she held the babe to her breast. April immediately buried her face in Hermione’s milk-swollen breast, suckling contentedly. Harry watched as his daughter nursed, smiling the same goofy smile new father’s have worn for eons.
Harry stayed with Hermione and held the sleeping April, as Hermione delivered the placenta. The spent organ was examined carefully to ensure there were no tears or missing pieces left inside Hermione’s body, then wrapped for the naming ceremony to take place that afternoon at the Burrow.
The naming ceremony was a private thing. Harry asked Hermione if they could have it at the Burrow. She kissed him fiercely, and nodded.
An announcement would be made for the news outlets, but only family and very close friends were present at the ceremony…which meant sixty two Jedi students, three future students, twenty three parents and guests and ninety one house elves, not to mention Judith, Mackenzie, the Weasley clan, Amelia, Augusta, Andromeda and Ted, Carolyn, Nymphadora, Remus, Minerva, Filius, Hagrid, Shack, Arabella, Xeno and Sagacious Ollivander.
As soon as she was asked, Katholin Arwyn agreed to perform the naming rite for little April…and any other children produced by Harry’s extended family. Given her status, he understood that this was an offer of immense respect. Quite frankly, he was astounded!
The gathered friends formed a circle and Harry, carrying the traditional offerings, and Hermione, carrying baby April, entered the ring, and walked toward the druid priestess who awaited them at the center. Beside her was the Weasleys’ consecration fire-ring. The stones had been taken long before from the earth when the Burrow was first built. It had been the scene of seven such ceremonies, and now, it would host another.
Harry knelt and placed the offerings, on the Earth beside the Druidess. The five offerings, in this case, a small lump of gold, a cone of incense, a perfect piece of rainbow quartz, a rock of sea salt, and a tail feather from Fawkes, to symbolize the earth, air, fire, water, and magic.
Hermione handed April to Harry, and walked slowly around the outside of the circle of gathered witnesses, sprinkling the seawater they had collected to secure the spirit of the group intention. When she arrived at her starting point, she retuned to her husband and child.
Luna began to play a soft, earthy tune on her lytherette. Fawkes trilled a soft counterpoint from his accustomed position on her shoulder.
After a few moments, Katholin announced: “Greetings and welcome, on this day of naming.
As at the wedding, the gathered guests returned her greeting with quiet pleasure.
“This ceremony of naming comes down from the time of the mists, changeless and yet ever-changing. So as it was in the beginning, so shall it be now.”
This morning, we welcome to the world a new life, a conjoining of two ancient lines, one of old magic and one of new.”
The aged priestess sang: “We call upon the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Magick, which created our world, and which give us life. We ask you for your blessing upon this naming of a new-borne child.”
Luna’s strumming fell to a nearly inaudible level…more like the gentle susurrus of air than music. Fawkes trill was just as quiet, but everyone there could hear it all the same.
Katholin continued: “Though many new parents are unsure of the name they will give to their child, Hermione and Harry have never doubted; and so, we welcome April Joanna Potter to the world.”
Luna struck a slightly louder, yet no less comforting tune until the Druidess spoke again.
To acknowledge the thee generations present at the gathering, Harry would normally have given his offerings to his children that they could offer them to Arthur and Molly, Judith and Mackenzie who all stood in as ‘grandparents. Since Harry’s parents were gone, and he had no other children, he instead asked Kyle and Sarah to stand in. He handed them one token at a time, and together they brought the gifts to Arthur, Molly, Judith and Mackenzie, with the last one going to Minerva.
Taking April from Hermione, Katholin nodded her head and Harry and Hermione both began to incant the ancient ‘Nine Blessings’.
"Nine waves before you,
Nine winds above you,
Nine paths beneath you,
Nine fires transform you,
Nine wells sustain you,
Nine wisdoms open you,
Nine gifts given you,
Nine skills given you,
Nine strengths given you,
All Nine fold the blessings of the God and Goddess"
Addressing the crowd, the Druidess asked: “Will all of you present here on this naming day, who feel you are able, say your names out loud, first the woman, and then the men, as God and Goddess Parents. For everyone gathered here is family. Each of you who wishes to name yourself, can look to this child’s needs and blessings.”
Though it was not loud, Harry could hear each and every person there, speak their names. He turned to Hermione to find her smiling brightly, and knew she’d heard the same thing.
Katholin smiled down at the sleeping babe in her arms. “As your parents have named you, so shall I…April Joanna Potter.” With a warm smile, she handed the sleeping baby back to Hermione, and together, she and Harry walked round the circle in the direction of the setting sun, to introduce her to each person there, from giant to elf.
Faces were filled with smiles and happy tears, as each of the guests welcomed little April.
When they’d returned to the center of the circle, Katholin began to speak in Celtic.
Tabhair dom an neart chun buaireamh an slí a iompair; thaispeán dom conas a shúileach faoi comhtheacht, múin dom rúndiamhairaí Draíocht na Soilse.”
For those who did not understand the ancient tongue, she repeated the blessing in English. “Give me strength so that I may bear the trials of the path; guide me that I may walk in harmony, teach me the mysteries of the Magic of Light.”
When she’d finished the blessing, Katholin Arwyn joined the circle. They all joined hands stepped in to surround the new family, visualizing happiness, joy and peace for their friends. They broke their handholds and held their hands out to the center of the circle, saying as a group: “We give of our love, and of our light to you, Harry, Hermione, and April Potter.” and fed a bit of their magic into the center of the circle.
The trio glowed a brilliant white. Even the ancient Druidess was surprised.
Shaking her head in bemusement, she again entered the circle and announced: As with all things, this Welcoming and Naming Ceremony for April Potter, has come to an end. May the circle be opened and may you each find peace and joy in your travels in this life. Blessed be.”
The crowd answered her blessing in a quiet susurrus.
Luna began to play again, and Fawkes, always the center of attention, began to trill along.
April woke them and announced her hunger. With a chuckle, Hermione turned to the burrow for some privacy.
Molly immediately took charge and announced that foods and drinks were available inside.
Several hours later, the crowd gathered again, this time, near the gateway in the low rock fence that surrounded the Burrow, the ancient Druid priestess stood by a hole in the earth to one side of the path. On a low altar beside her was a slender oak sapling with a few leaves sprouting, a package wrapped in linen, a large wooden bowl filled with water and a ladle beside it. Next to the hole was a pile of earth. Harry, Neville and Arthur had shared in the chore of digging the frozen soil from its resting place and chopping it fine for its return to it’s home…without the use of magic…or metal tools. Instead they had had to use special ironwood blades, to preclude any interference with the natural magic in the ritual.
The revered Druidess stood facing East, and said: “In honor of the Earth our mother and of the sky our father, and of the magicks which are the source of all around us, I ask that I may plant this birthing tree, nurtured by the blood of the mother, to bring clear air to the blue sky, and rich soil to the dark earth. May it grow tall and strong - its roots reaching deep into its home, its leaves questing ever higher towards the sun.”
Kneeling, Katholin carefully placed the wrapped placenta into the bottom of the hole. Then, she held her hands over the pile of earth and say: “I ask that this earth might be blessed, that it might feed and nourish this young sapling well.” Those close enough could feel the magicks she directed into the soil.
Using the special wooden tools, Harry, Neville, Arthur, Mackenzie and Remus each placed two spadesful of the finely chopped and mulched earth into the hole, covering the spent organ.
She picked up the young tree and as she placed it into its home, she spoke softly: “May you grow fine, strong and tall. May you give respite from the sun, food to the birds and small creatures that depend upon you, and joy to children who will play in your limbs.”
Harry and Arthur spaded the soil into the hole, tamping it down to give the new tree a firm base
When the sapling was firmly planted, the Druidess held her hands over the water and said: May this water be blessed, may it refresh and sustain this young sapling well.” Again, she directed her magick; this time into the bowl of water.
She poured the first ladleful of water in a circle around the tree’s trunk, then handed the dipper to Hermione. She and Molly poured the remainder of the water around the base of the tree, and then all four held their arms out over the tree, and said: “In earth and water will you grow. In the air will your leaves speak as you reach towards the fire of the sun.
We respect and honour and admire you, O tree, and all trees, for you represent both peace and power - though you are mighty you harm no creature. Though you sustain us with your breath, you will give up your life to house and warm and teach us. We give thanks for your blessing upon our lives and upon our lands. May you fare well in this chosen place. Awen.”
The crowd sang back: “Awen.” three times.
Three weeks later, Luna delivered a squalling bundle of red-haired joy, with Molly acting as midwife. Harry stood in for his first friend, cradling Luna in loving arms. As he had with Hermione, he soothed the flaxen haired witch as best he could, as she introduced her son to the world. The child was named Mathias Ronald Weasley, but they all called him ‘Matty’.
As she had promised, Katholin Arwyn presided over the naming ceremony for little Matty, and later that day, the tree planting ceremony.
His tree was planted directly across the path from April’s, so that when they matured, they would create a shady archway over the gate.
In July of ‘98, Remus and Tonks danced naked under the full moon. The experiment was not only successful but amazingly so. It had done the same thing for Remus as it had done to Albus…sought out the specific genetic tracers to, in this case, remove the most terrible disease known to the wizarding world. The cure was named the ‘Experimental Treatment for Lycanthropy’. Hermione didn’t even try to make an acronym for it, although Tonks frequently referred to it as ‘Wolf-be-gone’.
They married a month later, and within a week, Tonks announced her pregnancy. Teddy John Lupin, named for both his father and her’s, was born on June 22, of the following year.
Harry arranged to make the cure available throughout the world for free. His only caveat was that the werewolves had to enter a controlled encampment for six months, where they could transform in peace and safety. He, Hermione, Remus or Tonks, had to personally pass it out, and the person ingesting it had to do so in front of one of them, and then he or she had to remain in the encampment until their time was done, before being allowed to leave. Nanites were far too dangerous to just let anybody play with them.
Given that the most rabid source of infection was dead, within five years, all werewolves on Earth were extinct. In their places, were happy, healthy, and productive citizens…most of whom worked for the Potter - Lupin Foundation for Experimental Technomagery, at very good wages.
In an unusual ceremony, Neville Longbottom took both Susan Bones and Hannah Abbot as his wives. There was no ‘first’ or ‘second’ nonsense. They considered themselves equal in every way. Each gave him two children. Susan; two boys Neil and Robert and Hannah; a girl named Francine and a boy named Kevin.
Alice and Frank took over the running of the Longbottom estate and within three years had it back to the point it had been at their imprisonment at the hands of a maniac. While Augusta was a capable administrator, like all the purebloods of her age, she relied far too much on Dumbledore. Alas, that proved to be a mistake. He’d stolen from them as well, and in doing, had reduced the estate to its bare essentials.
In five years they joined with the Potters and the Goblins, and began the first wizarding multinational.
Together, with their friends, the Potters established the official Jedi Academy on an unplottable island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and invited several dozen students to attend. Only those who had real force sensitivity were asked, including three goblin mups, nine house-elves, and several muggles, which caused more than a little hate and discontent in other magic users who felt they should have been chosen
When April and Matty were one and a half, Harry and Hermione decided that since they were all family anyway, why not make it formal? They asked Luna to be part of their family. While Molly was somewhat unnerved by the idea, the Longbottom marriage had set a precedent, and she conditionally approved, as she considered them all her children already. Luna happily accepted their offer, and together, they raised their children, in peace and love, and taught them the way of the force from the very earliest. They later decided that might have been a mistake. While a dedicated student, and firmly on the side of the light, Matty’s parents, his mentors Helen, Kyle and Sarah, and his ‘sister’ April, had their hands full trying to keep him from pranking everything in sight.
Hermione gave him two more children; Gregory, when April was four, and a year and a half later, Robert, both of whom were as brilliant as their mother and as skilled as their father. April frequently told her parents that she wanted to send them both back and get a unicorn instead.
Three years later, Luna had two other children by Harry; twins she named Maia and Gaia who proved that more is definitely not better. Matthias and ‘Uncles’ Gred and Forge took them under wing, and by the time they entered Hogwarts, both had actually been arrested for their pranks…more than once. For some reason, April liked them much better than her brothers.
Neville and Luna formed a business partnership. His knowledge of herbology and hers of unusual magical creatures; enabled them to set up a business advising schools, groups, and companies in the proper husbanding of such natural resources. When April and Ronnie turned eleven they joined them at Hogwarts as teachers for Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures. Headmistress McGonagall claimed that they were the best teachers in those subjects since Sprout and Kettleburn.
Augusta died that winter with a smile on her face.
Dumbledore died after only six years, alone and bitter. Quite surprisingly, his long-held wishes were honored and he was buried on Hogwarts grounds, in the small cemetery by the edge of the forbidden forest, though his tomb wasn’t nearly as grand as he’d hoped. Harry delivered the eulogy, extolling the old man’s virtues while excluding his faults. The Prophet, called it: ‘A touching tribute to a once-great wizard.’
In June of that year, Dudley told his parents he’d asked Marissa to marry him. With diligent work, he’d become Surrey’s boxing champ. Though he’d never see the big-time, he did work at a local gym teaching the kids there both the basics of boxing, and how to control their tempers. His regular job was as a graphics designer at a local sign-making firm. While Vernon constantly found fault with it, mostly because it was not ‘manly’ enough, Dudley enjoyed the focus and precision of his work. It also paid well enough to provide for a family and when he’d saved enough to afford to buy an engagement ring, he’d proposed.
Dudley’s announcement met with squeals from Petunia and insults from Vernon.
The fat man forced himself up from his chair and began to howl: “No son of mine! No son of mine will ever marry a freak! That little bitch…bitch…” He got no further. Grasping his left arm, he fell to the tiles, his face a rictus of agony. Petunia called the emergency services and Dudley did his best, performing CPR. The emergency people arrived within minutes and took over, but it was a very expensive exercise in futility. Vernon’s coronary was long overdue. Harry arrived immediately, carting Poppy along, but not even magic could undo the damage.
When Petunia had requested cremation, Harry had taken care of the cost.
Speaking to Joshuah Grunning, Harry was able to locate a job for his aunt. It was a lower range position as a junior auditor in the procurement department. The work was detail oriented and quite frankly boring, but Petunia said she would give it a go. She proved remarkably adept at it, and so over time, made herself in to a valuable asset to the company. When Joshuah, retired, his son Jeremiah forgave her the rest of the debt Vernon had incurred.
Dudley and Marissa married in December of that year, with Petunia seated on the groom’s side. She wept happy tears, knowing her baby was marrying a woman who truly loved him, magic or no. Adam and Laurel Gentry sat across the aisle, equally pleased with their daughter’s choice.
Harry and Hermione also attended, seated right beside the woman who’d made his life such a hell. It took some convincing, but Harry finally managed to talk Hermione into allowing his aunt off the hook. He spoke with the courts, and showed them the evidence he’d gathered as to her reformation.
In the end, the court agreed. Reluctantly, yes, but they agreed. Her remaining sentence of house arrest was set aside. She would no longer have to wear the ankle bracelet.
Surprising them all, Petunia insisted on finishing her community service. She spent the next twenty years, working in the local shelters, feeding and assisting the less fortunate; and the rest of her life in the local hospitals reading to children who’d landed there.
She died at eighty one.
Dudley, Marissa, their three children and four grandchildren attended the funeral. With Dudley’s permission and consent, Harry, his wives and children and their grandchildren, took her to the academy and buried her in the place they’d spent their lives to establish.
Hermione had served three terms as Minister of Magic, before returning to their hidden island to take the controls of the Jedi Academy. Neville’s grandson, Andrew Longbottom, was current headmaster of Hogwarts, and following Remus’ death several years before, Tonks was overseeing the raising of her ‘litter of grand-pups’ as she called them.
Fourty four years after the fall of Voldemort, Jedi Master, Harrison James Potter, died peacefully in his bed, surrounded by family. He was fifty-nine. His statement to Arthur Weasley so long before, had been borne out; the damage done to him by the Dursleys under Dumbledore’s orders, was cumulative. While he’d been given a chance to set things right, his body was still as abused as before and the internal injuries he’d suffered for most of his youth, eventually killed him. He told his grieving family that very night, that he had no regrets. “I’ve lived a full and fulfilling life. I’ve done what I needed to do, and you and Luna have made my life a joy. You’ve given me six beautiful children, who have been the bright spot in my life, and now we have fifteen grandchildren and twenty-nine great grandchildren, and together you’ve showed me what love really is. The academy is running well, and as a result of our efforts, the Earth is by far a more peaceful place than it once was. I can ask no more than that. Now it’s time for me to rest. Yoda once said: “Twilight is upon me, and soon night must fall. Such is the way of the force.” You know it’s true, my loves.” He kissed each of them one last time, and then lay back. As he surrendered himself to the force, his body faded away.
To him the most important thing was that he, and his beloved family, had ushered in a new era of peace and prosperity. Wars still happened, but Jedi Ambassadors were usually able to settle things without too much bloodshed.
Fifty two years later, Luna spoke to her co-wife. “It’s time, Hermione. Harry is waiting for us.” Luna had been the academy’s chief medical officer for the past fourty years, and while she still liked to tell stories of the elusive Snorkacks, she was a powerful Jedi, a disciplined healer and an even better administrator.
Hermione handed the Academy to her protégé, and great grandson, Theodore Remus Lupin-Weasley, and retired to her bed. She found Luna waiting. Like their husband had, so many years before, they surrendered themselves to the force.
The Victoria Cross ceremony: In fact, Private Johnson Beharry was the first serviceman to be awarded the VC in 23 years and the first living one since 1965. He was invested, by Queen Elizabeth on 27 April 2005, for twice saving members of his unit from ambushes on 1 May and again on 11 June 2004 at Al-Amarah, Iraq. He sustained serious head injuries in the latter engagement
Mass awards of the Victoria Cross have taken place, the first being in 1857 where 62 of 111 recipients were honored by Queen Victoria, herself.
The George Cross (GC) is the highest civilian decoration of the United Kingdom, and also holds, or has held, that status in many of the other commonwealth countries. The GC is the civilian counterpart of the Victoria Cross (VC) and is the highest gallantry award for civilians as well as for military personnel in actions which are not in the face of the enemy or for which purely military honours would not normally be granted. In this case, while the students did a whole bunch to prepare, and all were committed to destroying Voldemort, as they weren’t actually part of the final battle, I couldn’t justify giving them the VC. Fortunately, the GC can be awarded for this sort of extended dedication. In Dudley’s case, he was directly fighting an implacable enemy of Great Britain at the time.
I know I named them all twice (in this chapter and in the last), but they each received two separate awards from two separate sources.
I haven’t the slightest idea what words are spoken in an investiture, so I hadda wing it.
Credit for ‘He-Who-Passes-Silver-Logs’ goes to Disruptor. Here’s to ya, Tom.
The argument about the word ‘witch’ in Deuteronomy is one of the most hotly debated. ‘Witch’ is a modern spelling of the druidic ‘wytch’, a medicine woman who’d use herbal healing…usually at much lower prices than the physician’s guild. Unfortunately as the guild discovered their profits were less in towns where wytches lived, they, in my opinion, decided to take some action. I believe they crossed some clerical palms with gold and the Deuteronomy phrase was introduced during the ‘Council of Mycenae’ in 932. As most people of the time were illiterate, the priests and monks were their only source of education. Remember: “Control the information and you control the people.”
‘The devil can quote the scripture when it serves his unholy purpose’. That self-serving phrase, is actually one of the reasons I broke with the Catholic Church when I was ten. It was to me the height of hypocrisy to deem it justifiable to torture people…usually women…to death, because someone claimed them to be witches.
Many horrific tortures were introduced to ‘extract confessions of truth.’ when in fact, ‘truth’ had little to do with it. Most people accused of witchcraft were so accused because someone else had something to gain. Land, cattle, gold, whatever. In the case of women, it was often simply because they were women.
According to the members of the inquisition, a witch could not read scripture, without her tongue burning, (Ignoring the fact that most people of the time were illiterate in the first place.) but if a suspected witch did read the scripture, the so-called pious and holy inquisitors claimed: ‘The devil can quote the scripture when it serves his unholy purpose’. That attitude still exists in many places throughout the world; most notably right here in the US.
Yes, McGonagall is an animagus, but can you really see her romping through the forest with a werewolf?
Back when I was young, (Lo, those many eons ago when dinosaurs still roamed the earth) I helped a friend deliver her baby. Her husband had been killed on the same day I was hit in Beirut, and when I got out of my cast, she asked me to stand in. It was interesting, to say the least. The midwife had me sit on the reclining bench, with her back against my chest and I was to hold her and provide whatever comfort I could…including washing her face and having my fingers crushed.
Eleven years later, my own daughter was born, (C-section, due to a placenta previa…a fascinating surgery, I must say!) The doctor handed her to me and I held her down for my Pauline to see, and I swear, the little monster grinned at me just before she shit in my hands!
Awen is pronounced Ah-OO-En.
‘Aneuploid transposon initiated the polymerase chain reaction’ is a real term in genetics. The transposons tend to jump from one gene sequence to another in a strand of DNA, hence their name, and that usually results in mutations…which is basically what a werewolf is. It’s considerably more complex that that, but I have neither the credentials in gene theory nor any desire to attain such.
Despite what most people think, CPR does not ensure the victim will live. It is designed to help the victim survive until better care can arrive. In canon, Vernon is morbidly obese; with his temper problem, and the accompanying high blood pressure that comes with it, and with the average British male’s lack of physical activity…especially after fourty, his coronary was simply a matter of time.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to let Harry die. On the one hand, he had a great deal to do, but on the other, he’d done so much already. In addition, I intentionally never made a magical (sic) correction for the physical damage he’d taken from the Dursleys. I did, however, make a few mentions of the scarring he still bore, and in chapter four, I had him tell Arthur: “I’ve had so many internal injuries that wizard or no, I won’t live past sixty.”
I figured it was best to let him pass away peacefully after a fulfilling life, knowing the world was in saf(er) hands.
Hermione and Luna are both strong women, each in their own ways, and so I had them continue to run the academy until it was self-administering, before choosing to join their husband.