Chapter 20 : Epilogue
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“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
A/N: Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen to the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Elixir a Lumina and, therefore, the final chapter of the series. As in my first epilogue, I have again made use of flashbacks here to tell the story, this my seem a little similar and uninspired, but the content is very different and, hopefully, original. Anyway, I'll keep you no longer, read on, enjoy and please leave a review to tell me what you think.
“How’s Bill doing?” Remus asked.
Just over two months had passed since the final battles at Hogwarts and Leaena castle and he and Harry sat eating lunch at the table in their kitchen, discussing as ever the lingering effects of the short but bloody civil war that had torn the wizarding world asunder. Fleur’s betrayal had turned the eldest Weasley son’s world upon its head when she was unmasked after being defeated at Hogwarts. Bill was still suffering from a broken heart as his love sat, along with so many others, in the ministry holding cells, awaiting trial.
“He’s okay,” Harry replied. “The Weasleys are nothing if not supportive and loving, the family have rallied round him to help him recover. It came as quite a shock though, Ginny says they’d become very close over the past couple of years, they’d even talked about marriage.”
“Getting in closer with the Weasleys would certainly have been a smart move for a spy. We knew there were still leaks in the order, but it always comes as a shock when the culprit is revealed. You knew Fleur too, didn’t you?”
“Not really,” Harry said. “We were in the triwizard tournament together and met a couple of times in working for the Order or at the Burrow, but I never really knew her well, I guess this shows that none of us really knew her well. Bill never met her family apart from her sister but the Aurors haven’t uncovered any connection with the Dark Arts in her past and she isn’t talking. Maybe her trial will turn up something.”
“The trials seem to be going well,” Remus commented. “We’re getting more guilty verdicts than not and there’s been no hint of corruption, even for the likes of Lucius Malfoy. For the first time since I’ve been alive, the ministry seems genuinely just, more than a little of that is your doing.”
Harry shook his head. “The ministry isn’t clear of corruption Remus, at least not yet, it’ll take a lot longer to rid it of centuries of bigotry, corruption and dirty dealing. The Wizengamot, however, is clean and that’s the most important thing. Ever since Snape’s first trial I’ve known who among the Lords and Ladies were in the Death Eaters’ pockets and it didn’t take a huge amount of effort to find evidence to support that, especially now those silenced by fear and intimidation have been liberated by Voldemort’s death. With the justice system working as it should, we’re at least on track to eradicating the darker elements of the ministry and dragging the wizarding world into the modern day. Amelia Bones assures me that werewolf rights will be top of the agenda once the courts aren’t tied up with Death Eater trials.”
Remus smiled and an easy silence fell for awhile as the two wizards tucked into their meals with fervour.
“And how are you recovering from the war?” Remus asked as he started to clear the plates.
“I’m now sure that the whispers have gone for good,” Harry responded, heading towards the living room with a butterbeer in his hand. “I haven’t heard any voices since my confrontation with the Lycans. It’ll take awhile to get used to not having thousands of people and beasts actively trying to kill me but apart from that I’m fine, getting better at least.”
“Has there been any news about our lupine friends?” Remus asked, joining Harry in collapsing down on to a chair, butterbeer in hand.
“They’ve gone back into hiding to lick their wounds, literally and figuratively, as have the Nosferatu for that matter. They’ll reappear someday I’m sure and I think it’s fair to say I’ve been struck from the Christmas card list but both species lost huge numbers during the war and neither has the capacity to be much danger to wizards, especially with the population so militarised. For now, at least, they’re back to killing each other in the dead of night.”
“The giants have also retreated, those that weren’t killed have left the country and the reports say that the Dementors are firmly back under ministry control, though I won’t be turning my back on them any time soon.”
“What have the Dementors ever done to make you mistrust them Remus?” Thane Harding asked as he walked through the door. “I mean, sure they joined Voldemort and tried to kill us all but that was almost nine weeks ago, don’t you think it’s time to move on?”
“You’re right, how narrow-minded of me,” Remus responded with a smile. “It’s good to see you Thane, can I get you a drink?”
“Actually I can’t,” Thane replied, his face suddenly taking on a more sombre expression. “I just came here to tell you that my father has died; liver disease according to the healers. I know you didn’t know him but it would mean a lot to me if the two of you came to the funeral on Friday.”
“We’ll be there,” Harry said. “I’m sorry for your loss Thane, are you OK?”
The Auror shrugged. “I’m alright. You know as much as anybody how much I hated the guy, any grief I feel is for how things could have been, rather than any sense of loss. I’d love to stay but I need to get back to the office; if I have to hear one more Death Eater begging for mercy or raving about ‘the Dark Lord’s return’, I’m going to go crazy. Snape’s trial can’t come soon enough, when their rallying point disappears, maybe we’ll have a little peace. ”
With these words Thane walked from the room, leaving a contemplative silence behind him as the others considered what they’d just been told. It seemed odd to Harry that death was still amongst them in the peace following the storm of war and he didn’t quite know how to feel about Thane’s Dad’s passing from the world. Whatever Thane had said, it was clear that his father’s death had had a profound effect on him and Harry had lost enough people he loved to sympathise.
The next Friday found Harry and Remus, each decked in dress robes of black, apparating into a small clearing in the midst of a small wood. Just visible through the trees was the small country church that was their destination and the two men started to head that way. As they walked, Harry’s mind started to drift back a few days to a holding cell in the ministry of magic.
“You have made a big mistake Potter,” Snape said as Harry closed the door of his cell, leaving the two of them alone. “As ever your Gryffindor stupidity has prevented you from doing what was necessary; you had the perfect opportunity to be rid of me and the rest of your short life will be spent regretting not taking it.”
“Is that so?” Harry asked neutrally.
“It is. I am a very careful man Potter, there is nothing to link me to any crime but witnesses and, in a world of glamour charms and polyjuice potions, witnesses mean nothing. I may have been captured in Death Eater robes, but my work as a spy is well known and the Order’s heinous treachery in turning on me was proved in the highest court of the land. It is only a matter of time before I am free Potter and then I will take up my rightful place.”
“Thanks for the warning Snape but I’m confident that the jury will return the right verdict. I’m here to inform you that your trial has been scheduled for tomorrow at eleven am, I’ll be here to escort you at half ten.”
With those simple words, Harry walked out the door.
Entering the small, simply-decorated church, Harry spotted Thane sitting alone on the front row of seats, his eyes fixated on the wooden coffin, which lay on a raised platform before him. The rest of the church was empty but for a balding, middle-aged vicar, who welcomed them as they walked inside and ushered them to the front. Thane greeted his two friends, shaking each of them by the hand before they all sat down and waited for the funeral to begin.
“Are you expecting anyone else?” Remus asked.
Thane shook his head. “His wife left him a couple of years ago. I don’t know the details but it’s not difficult to connect the dots; he was abusive to his first wife and he has shown himself that old habits die hard. He wasn’t the sort to make friends.”
“Your mother?” Harry enquired.
“I wouldn’t put her through this; she suffered for him enough while he was alive. I thought about not coming myself but I think somebody should be here to show that he made some impact on the world, besides, I paid for the bloody funeral.”
About fifteen minutes passed in whispered conversation before the reverend seemed to realise that no one else was coming and made his way to the pulpit to deliver his sermon. Remus patted Thane comfortingly on the back as the man started to speak.
“We are here today to commemorate the life of Robert Harding....”
The vicar’s words started to fade into the background as again Harry started to reminiscence, his mind this time taking him to two days prior and the trial of Severus Snape.
Harry kept his eyes forward as he led Snape by the arm into Courtroom one, his gaze determinedly away from Snape’s boastful expression and the flashing bulbs of the cameras wielded by the baying media. Depositing Snape in the defendant’s chair, he bound him in place before taking his seat in the gallery. With the Wizengamot cleansed of corruption it had been decided that Harry would be of best use acting as a witness rather than on the jury and he sat down between Ginny and Hermione.
“What do you think the chances are of a guilty verdict?” Hermione asked in a whisper.
“We’ll get a conviction.” Harry responded and his tone was so absolute it left no room for argument.
As head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Rufus Scrimgeour served as the judge and Harry watched intently as proceedings got under way. Various witnesses were called proclaiming either Snape’s guilt or, in far fewer cases, his innocence with the trial going much the same as it had on the previous occasion. Harry knew that it was none of this that was going to swing the verdict, however, that was still to come, just as he had planned it throughout the previous months.
“I now call to the stand Savio Tornincasa,” the barrister for the prosecution said and Harry smiled grimly; it was beginning.
“You have stated a wish to testify under veritaserum Mr Tornincasa, is that correct?”
“It is,” replied the witness.
The truth serum was promptly administered and, as Savio Tornincasa’s face grew expressionless, the questioning began.
“Mr. Tornincasa, can you please describe for the court the events surrounding your wife’s death?” The prosecutor asked.
“We were shopping in Diagon Alley when the Death Eaters attacked. They laid down anti-apparition wards and we couldn’t escape, so we fled to a side-alley. We reached the edge of the ward but, just as we were about to apparate away, a Death Eater fired a killing curse, killing Medea. I had no choice but to disapparate and flee the scene.”
“Did you recognise the Death Eater who fired the curse?” The barrister asked.
“Yes,” Savio replied. “It was Severus Snape.”
“And can you point out Mr. Snape in this courtroom?”
Tornincasa nodded and did as asked. Snape’s expression grew shocked as the witness pointed him out and Harry watched in satisfaction as cross-examination failed to find any holes in Savio’s story. Part one of his plan was complete.
Next, the court-ordered healer was called to the stand to provide his evidence on the body of the deceased and, when prompted, began to speak.
“As was recorded at the time of her death, Medea Tornincasa was killed by a single killing curse. Upon Mr. Snape’s capture, I was provided with his wand and given the opportunity to examine his magical signature and I can confirm without doubt that the magical signature matches that found upon the body of Mrs. Tornincasa. As no other magical signature was present and the signature was strongest at the point of impact, this is quite conclusive proof that Mr. Snape fired the spell.”
A couple of questions were asked of the healer but little more information learned, he was clearly of the opinion that Snape had fired the curse that killed Medea Tornincasa. Glances were exchanged in the gallery; the trial was going their way.
With the physical evidence over, a shocked and shaken Snape was called up to the stand to give his testimony and the barrister for the prosecution stood to question him.
“Mr. Snape, do you consent to being questioned under veriaserum?”
It was a perfunctory question, one answered in the negative by every Death Eater who had gone on trial but Harry had a suspicion that this time would be different, in fact he was counting on it. Snape gave an arrogant smirk and drew himself up in his chair before answering in a clear voice.
The audience gasped in shock, with but two people in the entire court not surprised by this latest turn of events. It took a moment for Scrimgeour to recover, but when he did, he ordered, as was now standard practice, three random Aurors to retrieve the veritaserum.
The Aurors left the court and returned a minute later with a small vial of clear potion. One of the men stepped forward and administered the serum to a willing Snape, who allowed the drops to land on his tongue as he stared boastfully at his young enemy. Harry stared at Snape intently, focused on nothing but his objective; he knew that the next few moments would make or break the entire thing, would decide the outcome of the trial. Snape face went blank and his voice when he spoke was a dull monotone. The prosecution, as planned, went straight for the crux of the matter; they should only need one question.
“Did you, without legal excuse, kill Medea Tornincasa?”
There was a moment’s pause and the entire court held its breath before Snape opened his mouth to answer.
There was an uproar from the spectators before Scrimgeour restored order. The prosecution asked no further questions and, though the defence was allowed the opportunity to cross-examine, the baffled barrister could think of nothing to ask against such a damning admission. Snape’s face blanched and contorted in shock as the potion wore off moments later.
“It’s not true!” Snape exclaimed. “The potion has been tampered with, these are lies!”
“That is enough Mr. Snape,” The judge silenced the protest. “The closing statements will now be delivered.”
This was done swiftly and with the evidence presented, the jury was dismissed to a side room to consider the verdict and Harry and the others left the court to nervously discuss the proceedings and impatiently wait for their return. The jury didn’t take long to decide. Less than an half an hour after they had left the court, they returned, their faces stoic and determined to a man as all but the foreman sat.
“Has the jury reached a verdict?” The judge asked.
“We have,” the foreman replied. “On the charges of murder and Death Eater affiliation, we find the defendant guilty.”
“I didn’t kill her!”Snape shouted, straining at his binds.
“The verdict has been given,” Scrimgeour said, banging down his gavel to call for order. “Severus Snape, due to the dreadful nature of your crimes, your high status in the Death Eater ranks and your great danger to the public, I am compelled to visit upon you the harshest sentence allowed for your crimes. You will receive the Dementor’s kiss.”
“....and so we say farewell to Robert Harding in the knowledge that he is in the loving arms of the Lord.”
Dreary organ music started to play as the vicar’s speech came to an end and Thane stood to thank the holy man for his time, before being left alone by the coffin as the reverend retreated to his office. As Harry and Remus stood to join him, he released a short, mirthless laugh, shaking his head in disbelief as he stared down at his father’s lifeless form.
“See the gold watch on my father’s wrist?” He asked in response to their questioning eyes. “It was a seventeenth birthday present I got from my Grandma, it went missing around the time I saw him last.”
“Do you want it back?” Remus asked after a moment of shocked silence.
“No,” Thane replied with sadness in his eyes. “Let him keep it. Look around you Remus,” he gestured to the empty church, “what else does he have?”
Thane collapsed down onto the hard wooden bench, burying his head in his hands as Remus and Harry sat beside him. A heavy silence fell and hung for some time before Thane sat up once more.
“What a bastard, eh?” He asked, a sardonic smile on his lips. “His own son’s coming of age present. Since I found out about his death, I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to come up with one redeeming feature he had and, so far I’m struggling. It makes you wonder if a man can truly be evil.”
“Well one name springs immediately to mind,” Remus chipped in. “I didn’t know your Dad, Thane, so for him I make no comment, but Voldemort at least was pure evil.”
“I don’t know about that,” Harry said, surprising even himself. “I mean, there’s no doubt that he became truly evil, that by the time he opened the Chamber of Secrets, he was far less than human, but don’t you think the infant Tom Riddle had hopes and dreams? Riddle himself spoke of our similarities, about the fact that we’re both orphans, is it possible that as a child, he didn’t dream of his Mummy and Daddy coming and taking him away? I suppose in a way, Voldemort’s first victim was that little boy.”
As they all pondered that point, Harry’s mind drifted back to the question he had been asking himself over and over since the previous day. Had he done the right thing? Was there really no other way? Or had he joined the ranks of Voldemort and Robert Harding by doing something truly evil? His brain wrestled with these questions, his emotions in such turmoil that he wasn’t even aware of a new presence in the room before her arms snaked around his shoulders from behind and her lips pressed gently against his ear.
“You did the right thing Harry,” Ginny whispered. “If you’d done any different, you’d have needlessly put the world at risk and you don’t have it in you to do such a thing just because it was the easier decision to make.”
Deep in the bowels of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Harry Potter walked the long journey through the mazy halls of the ministry’s cell block, coming to a halt before a large set of doors, guarded by four Aurors, all of whom snapped to attention at the sight of him.
“Has the motion passed Lord Potter?” One of the guards asked, snapping off a salute as did so.
“It has,” Harry replied, resisting the temptation to roll his eyes at the man’s exuberance. “One of you please fetch three Dementors while the others show me to the cell, I would like a private word with the prisoner before it is done.”
“Of course sir,” the leader replied before directing one of his men away and leading Harry through the doors and into a long, narrow corridor.
The three Aurors and Harry reached a single cell door, practically smothered in security wards of the Boy Who Lived’s own creation before, as one, the trio of soldiers waved their wands in a complex pattern until a recess appeared in the door in the shape of a hand. Harry placed his palm within and, as his magical signature was recognised, the door slid open. The younger wizard thanked the Aurors and sent them away before stepping inside.
The small, dank cell within contained just a bunk, toilet and rickety metal table, with two seats around it, the small amount of light was produced by magic and luxuries such as a blanket, mattress, toilet seat and daylight were noticeably absent. Sat quietly upon one of the chairs was Severus Snape, his eyes gazing at the door with an expression that spoke of extreme boredom and yet fear over what was to come next. For a full minute, the two wizards just stared at each other, each assessing the other until Snape broke the silence.
“I didn’t do it Potter,” He finally spoke, his voice defeated and desperate. “As ridiculous as that may sound to you, I swear on my life and my magic that I didn’t kill her.”
Harry didn’t answer at first, instead checking that the guards had retreated back up the corridor before silently layering the room with powerful privacy wards and turning slowly to face his long-time foe.
Snape’s eyebrows flew up to his hairline at these words and the smallest hint of hope sprung to life in his soulless black eyes.
“Then you must get me off. No matter your feelings for me, it is your duty to seek that justice be done.”
Again, Harry allowed the Death Eater’s words to be followed by tense silence as he sat down in the seat opposite Snape.
“And that is exactly what I’m doing,” He finally replied and terrible realisation dawned upon the old Slytherin.
“You did this. You framed me for murder.”
Harry simply nodded, no trace of satisfaction on his face and the smidge of regret for circumstance rather than actions taken.
“Medea Tornincasa was killed by Death Eaters, in fact as far as I know, she may even have been killed by you, but of course there would be no way to legitimately prove it if she had been. It was a random attack, she and her husband were in Diagon Alley when the Death Eaters arrived and she was killed almost immediately by a masked wizard while trying to flee down a side alley. Her husband managed to escape.”
“Her husband testified under veristaserum that he saw me fire the curse,” Snape pointed out, confused.
“And that is exactly how he remembers it. When this plan first struck, I found an article, which made mention of Medea, describing her attack in quite a bit of detail, including the fact that her husband was the only witness. There was also a quote from said husband about how his wife was always compelled to do what is right, no matter how difficult and the need to bring the Death Eaters to justice whatever it takes.”
“You contacted the husband,” It was a statement of fact but Harry answered anyway.
“I did. I sent a letter to Savio Tornincasa with a brief outline of my plan, charmed of course so that only he could read it, I couldn’t risk being exposed if he didn’t agree with my reasoning. Luckily, he did agree and I sent a more detailed plan before going over to meet him. With his permission, I obliviated him; replacing his true memory of his wife’s murder with one that was ever so slightly altered; one where he saw the face of her murderer.”
Surprise flitted across the old professor’s face before he concealed it behind a well-practiced mask of ambivalence and contempt.
“I wouldn’t have thought your mental powers up to such a thing Potter, the man must have been exceedingly weak-minded. Your deception doesn’t account for the physical evidence, however.”
Harry ignored the jibe and continued his explanation. “While at the Tornincasa residence, I travelled to where Medea was buried and wiped her of magical signatures before transplanting yours on to the scene. It was a spell I came up with myself, there were traces of your magic in your office so it was a simple matter of containing it and placing it upon Medea’s body, naturally I knew she would have to be exhumed when you were accused of her murder.”
“And we come to the most puzzling of all; my confession.”
“I took the gamble that, when you realised you were being falsely accused, you would waive your right to testify without veritaserum, to prove beyond doubt that you didn’t commit the murder. I’m sure you realise by now that the potion you took wasn’t veritaserum, it was in fact inadfectus, the empty-mind potion. I made its potency such that it lasted as long as veritaserum and, during that time, your mind was completely blank, open to my manipulations; you said what I wanted you to say, the wandless leglimency was the easy bit.”
“And how exactly did you manage to switch this potion for the veritserum?” Snape asked. “Apart from anything else, inadfectus has a distinct taste.”
“That was tricky, after the debacle at your last trial, I myself ensured that at least two independent experts always check the veritaserum before it’s administered and my potioneering isn’t good enough to fool them. So, while you were unconscious, I dulled your sense of taste and smell and, from my position in the gallery, performed a silent, wandless, motionless switching charm on the veritaserum, replacing it with the potion, which I had made previously. It took quite a bit of effort to bypass the security charms on the goblet without so much as moving but I put in a lot of practice and made sure to learn the exact nature of the charms before I attempted it.”
For a long moment, Snape sat in silence, his despair-laden mind working over the information he had just been given and rebelling at the idea that it was Harry Potter who had lain down such a nefarious and intricate scheme.
“Well I now know your methods Potter, but one thing still puzzles me,” he said at last. “Why go through such trouble? You had me on my knees and at wand-point in the midst of battle, you would not have been condemned for taking my life.”
“It’s true that I wanted you dead, no, I needed you dead,” Harry replied before pausing, “but I didn’t want to kill you. When I first came up with this plan, I couldn’t have known that we would eventually duel, but your rising power and status meant that you couldn’t be allowed to walk away from a crooked trial once more. I needed to ensure that you were dealt with when captured and I also thought that the conviction of the Dark Lord’s apprentice would have been a major morale boost for the country and a major blow for the Death Eaters. On the night of battle, however, my decision became much more personal. My sparing your life that day was not an act of kindness to you, but one of selfishness. I didn’t want to kill you, to damage my soul any further for the likes of you, and after months of bloodlust imposed by the Rock of Initium, I liked that about myself. Besides, the country needed to see their justice system working; we need to rebuild faith in the ministry as we turn it into something to justify that faith.”
“Well this has been a very interesting tale Potter, one that I will be sure to bring up at my re-trial.”
Harry smiled slightly, but again it held no joy and as he started to reply, he stood from his seat and walked over to the cell door.
“Actually Snape, that’s part of the reason I’m here. This isn’t simply a personal visit but a professional duty as a Lord of the Wizengamot. You see a State of Emergency is still in effect and as the Wizengamot is so busy with Death Eater trials, certain emergency rules have been activated. Your request for a re-trial has been denied and your sentence is to be carried out without delay.”
At these words, a madness descended upon Severus Snape’s features and he leapt to his feet, thrusting out his hands in Harry’s direction and willing his magic to come to his aid. The result, however, was but a spark at his fingertips, which petered out into nothingness without effect.
“The magic-suppressing shackles are a good idea aren’t they?” Harry said, not even flinching at his old professor’s desperate display. “The idea and design were Hermione’s, but the execution was mine. I spent hours pouring magic into them to ensure that your impressive wandless capabilities would be muted even in the adrenalin rush of approaching death.”
Harry opened the door as Snape slumped back, defeated, into his chair, but as he went to leave, he paused and looked back.
“I’m sorry it has come to this Snape, I truly am,” he said, neither expecting nor getting a response before he walked out of the cell and slammed the door behind him.
As he walked down the corridor, his heart heavy and his melancholy set to the echoing beat of his own footsteps, Harry saw the three Dementors. The evil creatures seemed to shy away, almost as if they were frightened of him, but as he fixed them with a gaze and gave them a nod, they glided obligingly towards the cell to perform their heinous duty. As Severus Snape’s dying screams filled the hall, Harry didn’t look back.
After the funeral, Thane, Harry, Remus and Ginny travelled, as planned, to the Three Broomsticks, where they met up with Ron, Hermione, Tonks and a dozen other witches and wizards from the Order and the DA. The butterbeer flowed and, for awhile at least, their woes were forgotten as they all spent time with friends. Laughter filled the old pub as Harry was mocked for his yet further increased fame and the former soldiers simply chatted and had a good time. They were now well into the school holidays and without the threat of war, almost all the graduating students were taking a well-earned break before pursuing their chosen careers. For once, talk of the future was not tinged with fear and death but hope and excitement as they spoke freely about their plans.
As the conversation lulled, Harry reached into his robe pocket and wrapped his hand around an ancient crystal goblet. Pulling out the Elixir a Lumina, he placed it upon the table, silencing the crowd as they gazed upon it within something akin to awe.
“What are you going to do with it?” Ginny asked after a moment’s quiet.
“I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last few weeks layering it with as many protection and preservation spells as possible. Over time a skilled and powerful witch or wizard might be able to break into it, but the goblet could float into the centre of the sun and the Elixir a Lumina wouldn’t be destroyed,” Harry answered. “It would take years and massive effort for me to set up anything like Leaena castle but I think I’ve got something better.”
Drawing his wand, Harry closed his eyes for a second and, when they opened again, they shone with power. He then aimed beside the table and slashed his wand down, conjuring an apparition shield, which rippled with magical energy. Plucking the Elixir a Lumina from the table, he hesitated for just a moment before throwing it into the rip in the fabric of space and allowing the apparition shield to heal. Some of the assembled witches and wizards moved to speak, but Hermione raised her hand as she saw the look of concentration on Harry’s face and the crowd watched with bated breath until the young wizard seemed to come back to reality with a smile of satisfaction on his face.
“Where did you send it?” Remus asked curiously.
In response, Harry simply picked up his drink and stood, beckoning for the others to follow him as he walked towards the door. Striding out the Three Broomsticks, he walked for a small way before coming to a halt, his friends stopping behind him.
“Hogwarts?” Ron asked with a trace of incredulity.
“I don’t think so,” Harry responded with a smile. “I think we had enough of that with the Philosopher’s Stone. Look up.”
As one, the gathering turned their eyes to the star-strewn sky and realisation dawned that among the sparkling lights of the heavens sat an ancient and powerful potion.
“Even I’m not exactly sure where exactly the Elixir is,” Harry said, “but somehow I don’t think any future Dark Lords are going to get their astronaut’s licence anyway.”
Again, a contemplative silence descended upon the group and Harry’s gaze wandered of its own volition to the newest addition to Britain’s only fully wizarding village. It was a large and beautiful monument; a memorial to the glorious dead. It sat just beyond the boundary of the Hogwarts grounds and consisted of two crossed wands of polished black granite, reaching high into the sky, with the names of the fallen carved in silver in the podium beneath. Harry walked over towards it and stood gazing down at the podium, his eyes as ever naturally seeking out certain names. James and Lily Potter, Sirius Black, Neville Longbottom, Rubeus Hagrid, Alastor Moody, Filius Flitwick, Seamus Finnegan and Albus Dumbledore. His heart ached each time he read those names, but today he didn’t allow depression to cloud his mind, instead he turned back to the crowd, to his friends and those he considered family, who had gathered around him once again. Raising his glass, he said;
“To fallen friends.”
The others raised their drinks and echoed back;
“To fallen friends.”
A/N: Well that’s it; after four years I’ve finally finished writing my first series of novels. Thank you very much for reading and I hope you enjoyed them, I had a lot of fun writing them both. At some stage I’ll go over the start of Birth of a Legend and smooth out the writing and my next project will be to continue ‘Fifteen Months’, the first chapter of which is already up and which follows James Potter and the Marauders in the last fifteen months of his life after Harry’s birth. In the mean time please review to tell me what you think and thank you very much for all your reviews and support so far. Special thanks goes to my brother who has read every chapter I've ever written before it was published and given me brilliant advice and ideas throughout, especially in Elixir, which contains many ideas of his creation. He is on this website under the name prongs_pet_monkey and I strongly suggest you read the comedic one shot he wrote, which is absolutely hilarious and can be found in my favourites.