Chapter 5 : The many 'talks'
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Harry Potter - Friday May 22nd, 1998
During the past week the Weasleys plus Hermione, had at first tried to talk Harry out of giving away his gold. By the end of their battle, the entire family had finally succumbed to Harry's wishes and accepted his gold. Mrs Weasley was thrilled at both Harry's idea of the trust fund, and even happier that since the end of the war her responsibility outside the Burrow had increased in an amazing capacity. She was now a member of the Wizagmont, and head of a trust fund worth twenty five million galleons.
Talk had ensued about if Arthur needed to go back to work, since he no longer needed to support his family financially, but it was Arthur that had said that he would of course be going back to work, as he was now a Head of MLE, and was needed at work.
Andromeda Tonks was more reluctant to accept Harry's Gold than the Weasleys. It took a solid hour and a small threat of using all of the gold in the account to buy Teddy unnecessary things for the rest of his childhood. Andromeda laughed and finally agreed if Harry promised to visit the child as often as possible. Obviously Harry readily agreed to the deal. And for the remainder of the day He, and Ginny played with the baby for hours.
This morning was the Trio's meeting with the Minister of Magic; Kingsley Shackobolt. They just arrived through the floo network in the Atrium and were met by the welcome wizard asking for their wands to determine who exactly they were. Once they had finished with the wizard they made their way for the lift, when all hell broke loose.
"ITS HARRY POTTER!" was the only coherent thing the group heard before reporters, witches and wizards everywhere were yelling and trying to get questions out of the three young adults.
"Mr Potter! Mr Potter! Where were you and your friends during the second war!? Why were you hiding while others were dying? How can you explain yourself" Rita Skeeter yelled louder than anyone else.
Harry began to get that look of despair he had been having since the end of the war. Even though no one he knew or cared about blamed him in the slightest, and they would consistently tell him that he was not to be blamed he did at times still blame himself.
"Mr Potter the readers demand to know"
"Get your bloody arse out of our way you lying beetle!" screamed Ron
Taken aback a bit by his clear comment towards her animagus ability she decided to bite back "Mr Weasley are you upset with your former best friend for consistently trying to win back you current girlfriend Hermione Granger?"
"You are a horrible bloody bitch!" Shouted a thoroughly enraged Hermione "How dare you, you pathetic excuse for a witch. Get back before I curse your arse off" Hermione continued as she was pulling out her wand and about to curse Rita Skeeter.
"GET BACK, EVERYONE GET BACK IMMEDIATELY! MAGICAL LAW ENFORCEMENT DEMANDS EVERYONE TO CLEAR OUT" Yelled the enraged voice of Arthur Weasley. He was clearly upset at the questions made in regards to the people he cares about. "Johnson escort Mrs Skeeter out of the atrium please, Baldwin, Crispin handle the crowd, and you three please follow me" he motioned for the trio. Mr Weasley said as he took complete control of the situation perfectly. "You three should have waited for Fleur to take you to the meeting"
"She owled us saying she was going to be late dad, we didn't think it was necessary for her to have to escort us everywhere"
"Well Bill and Percy were busy and George...has been George, so I asked Fleur to take you to Kingsley. I know you three do not think you need an escort, but Bill, Fleur Percy, and George are much older and while they may not command more respect in these situations, they are able to handle certain situations better then 'three hot headed teenagers'"
"Mr Weasley I do not think that we are 'hot headed'"
"Of course you don't Hermione, of course you don't" chuckled Mr Weasley "Besides I have told you dozens of time to call me Arthur"
They spent the rest of the time walking towards the Ministers office to discuss what the three have decided to do starting in September and what was expected out of them during the memorial service. As they walked into the Ministers office Harry was impressed. During his visit to Fudges office it was full of expensive...expensive everything. While Kingsley's office was quite plain, and not so 'pompous' looking at all. "Hello" boomed the calming voice of Kingsley Shackobolt "Thank you for coming in today, we have much to discuss please sit down you three. Ah Arthur problem today?" he said as he noticed Arthur.
"These three decided they did not need an escort in today, and get caught up in some mayhem in the Atrium"
"Nothing serious I hope" inquired a more serious looking Kingsley
"Nothing that they couldn't really handle, but the MLE intervened anyhow" Stated Arthur "But I must be going anyways, Fleur will be waiting outside the Ministers office after your done" Arthur said as he walked out of the Ministers office. Being in charge of the MLE has made Arthur a lot more serious in his work, he still had a great love for all things muggle but was now in charge of one of the biggest departments in the Ministry, and Head of all things law related.
"Well then, would you like some tea before we get started today?" All three agreed and Kingsley summoned some tea from over on the other table "So then let's begin" Kingsley started "Harry? Have you considered my offer?
"Yes I have actually, I would like to take you up on your offer for the Auror Department" Harry stated confidently
"Excellent! Ron, Hermione would you also considers joining the department, it needs serious rebuilding, at this time we have only a handful of Aurors and you three joining would be excellent"
"Well I am with Harry, I would like to join as well...."Ron started, not nearly as confident as Harry was "..My brother George needs help with..with his shop, since F-F--Fred died..." Ron started but couldn't finish. Hermione gripped Ron's hand in support ".. and I need to be there to help him.. so I was hoping to maybe do the program p-part time?" Ron stated while questioning.
"Well Ron, usually we only allow the program to be taken full time, but alas nothing is usual anymore. The MLE is currently handling 95% of any crimes in the Wizarding world, and it has the department quite restricted. We need Aurors. Good Aurors. I fully believe you will be fantastic Auror, so yes Ron, Part time will be more then fine." Stated a proud Kingsley, while Ron looked ecstatic.
Ron had been worried for the past couple of days of what he would be doing if he didn't get accepted into the program. When Fred passed he gave all his siblings his third of the business with whomever was the primary helper of George a little extra, he was worried. As much as he wanted to be there for George as much as possible, he truly was not interested in doing it for the rest of his life. The Shop was to be reopened August 1st. One month before Hogwarts was to reopen for another year.
"Hermione?" Kingsley asked "Would you be interested in joining the department as well"
"I'm not too sure I would be interested.." Hermione started to say, Hermione had doubts that she would be up for the challenge of being in the Auror department. She had faith in her abilities, but did not think she could compete with Harry, or Ron's level of dueling. "..in joining the department, I am not too sure I'd be a good f-"
"Hermione sorry to interrupt, but I need to stress that I completely disagree with you. There is no way you would not be a good fit for the department, you are by far 'no offense Harry, and Ron' the smartest person of the generation, and one of the most accomplished duelists that I have ever met. During the Battle of Hogwarts I saw you. I saw you battle the most vile evil witch I ever had the displeasure of meeting, I watched as you personally took down Death Eaters three times your age" Kingsley stressed "Hermione believe me, you are more than capable"
Hermione began to blush a deep shade of red at the praise that was being given to her, she never overly thought of herself as a skilled duelist, she knew that she was not at all incompetent, but she didn't think she was as skilled as she was being told she was. "Thank you Kingsley" was all the Hermione was able to get out after the compliment.
"What do you think you would like to do?"
"Well I think I am going to go back to Hogwarts to finish my studies, there is still so much that I would like to accomplish and learn, after that I would ultimately like to completely eradicate all the Pure blood fanatic laws, and begin to help out other creatures, and members of the magical community." Hermione told him.
"Well that is truly a noble and much needed goal. I applaud you Hermione" Kingsley said "As you know the Hogwarts memorial is to be on May 31st, and Professor McGonagall and myself would like to personally ask you to take part in the service, and if possible give a small speech about some of the highlights of what you needed to do this past year, of course leaving out many of the more secretive components of the mission" he added "I would also like to ask that each one of you make yourselves available to one 'one on one' interview. I have done everything in my power to keep the reporters away from the Burrow, but I can only do so much for so long."
The three agreed to what Kingsley has asked of them, even though both Harry and Ron both did not want to give a speech in front of a large majority of the Magical population, and none of them wanted to talk to reporters. After the meeting, and further details of what to expect in the coming months, Kingsley told the group to relax this summer, and try to enjoy themselves. As they walked out of the Ministers Office, they met a clearly disgruntled Fleur.
"I told you in zee letter, zat I shall onsly be ze minute, all three of you jould of waited for me" Fleur told the Trio. Harry had noticed that over the past three years of knowing Fleur he has noticed a dramatic difference in her. He has noticed that she has become much more confident in her abilities, much more forceful; without being rude, and a clear change in how clearer her English was becoming.
"Sorry.." the three mumbled before following Fleur down to the atrium.
"OUT! OUT OF ZE WAY NEOW!" Fleur screamed to the crowd, while pointing her wand, that was beginning to assemble as they noticed the Trio leaving the Ministry. The three were astounded that the group was actually dispersing.
"Bloody brilliant Fleur" Ron exclaimed
Hermione Granger - Friday May 22nd
"Absolutely not! We did what we had to, to save everyone!" Ron screamed at Rita Skeeter. The Trio were in the middle of their interview and to their huge distaste they found that Rita Skeeter was the one doing the interviewing. Harry had finished his as he stormed out of the interview and aparated home.
"Listen you wretched bitch, I'll tell you one more time. I stand behind everything we did during the year, it had to be done, and I cannot disclose any more information to you in regards to the subject so piss off!" Ron yelled as he got up and stormed off to the loo.
Hermione got up to go into the interview room. Hopefully her last one ever. "Alright before we even start here I will not be answering any question that both Ron and Harry have refused to answer so if that is your goal then I can leave"
"Deal, I promise I won't ask any of those questions" Skeeter promised with a smirk.
"First question: Is it true you and Ronald Weasley are dating and if so for how long?
"Yes, since the end of the battle"
"How did Harry take the breakup?"
"We were never going out so pretty fantastic I'd say" Hermione gritted out
"Is it true you lied to your parents about attempting to defy He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named"
"No I never lied, they were sent to a secure location while me and my friends and a large majority of the Wizarding word DEFIED Voldemort"
"Some claim you are the brightest person of your generation but rumour have it you were easily subdued during the Battle of Hogwarts, what do you say to these rumours"
"I would like to say that during the battle I stunned several death eaters, and fought in an intense duel alongside Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood with Bellatrix Lestrange, before Molly Weasley took over. I never once fell to a Death Eater"
"So it's true then. You could not hold your own in a battle?"
"Against the likes of Bellatrix? No. Not for long. But as memory serve I didn't see you at the battle once! We---"
"I would like to thank you for your time Ms. Granger" and with that Rita Skeeter was out of the room and gone.
"Well you clearly hit a nerve" Ron stated as he came up behind Hermione and wrapped his arms around her. "Let's be off then, I planned something..."
"WHAT!?" An excited Hermione screamed.
"You will find out shortly I promise" Hermione kept questioning Ron the entire time as they walked out of the Daily Prophet. Hermione grabbed a hold of Ron as her Aparated to his secret location.
"RONALD!!" Hermione screamed "This is amazing" Ron had aparated to a southern part of the English channel where it look as though a picnic had been set up. A large blanket laid across the ground with a picnic basket overflowing with delicious looking food.
"Anything for you love" Ron smiled nervously. "Lets start eating"
Hermione chuckled at Ron's appetite and stared at him for a minute. She could not believe how much he had changed in the past few years. She had been in love with the fool for nearly five years, ever since third year when Sirius Black sort of kidnapped Ron. When he took Ron she felt as if someone punched in the stomach, all she wanted to do was run straight into the Womping Willow without regard for her own safety. Then only the year after she finally thought Ron was going to ask her to the Yule Ball to only be completely disappointed and eventually devastated because of his actions that made her so very, very upset. Fifth year was so much different, they both clearly felt something but due to what was going on in Harry's life, and his father being attacked and almost killed at the Ministry of Magic, then to almost lose him at the end of that very year to a room full of brains. Lavender Brown, had completely ruined sixth year for her, everything they had worked for in the prior year was ruined, which of course left her furious with Ron. Obviously the last year dating options were impossible, so finally this was her chance to be with the guy she had loved since third year.
They ate well into the evening talking about everything, from school to future plans. She learned the Ron was excited to help out George in his shop while very nervous about being in the Auror program.
"I'm just afraid that I'm going to look like the idiot friend of Harry"
"Ron..."Hermione started "Don't be silly, you are most of the most talented wizards I know. You have saved me countless times, and have taken on numerous witches and wizards that have far greater training"
"I know everyone says that, but I feel like I constantly get lucky, and that I--"
"Ron! Do not lose in faith in yourself, you are such a powerful wizard...Just trust me...Trust yourself."
Ever since the battle Hermione had learned that Ron had been doubting himself a great deal, he had been trying to deal with the death of Voldemort, his sudden famousness, and taking on more 'adult' responsibilities. He just didn't want anyone to think bad of him. Of course Hermione could never be able to do that, she loved him for him.
For the past several weeks she had been living at the Burrow, bunking with Ginny she had learned so much about Ron's past, she had never spent so much time laughing then she had in the past little while. She had also spent a lot of time with Ginny talking about her relationship with the closest thing that she had ever had to having a brother. Harry. She learned that the two have grown so close as a couple, and have tried to forget about past mistakes and issues, that no longer need to be brought up.
Finally after everything she and her friends have been through they are finally allowed to be completely happy.
Harry Potter - Saturday May 30th
"Harry, how are things with Ginny"
"Uh a lot better, we have had a lot of time to talk about things that needed to be discussed"
"Well Harry we need to talk to you about a few things privately, so please take a seat in the kitchen while I get some tea"
"Harry m'boy, I hope you know how much I care for and respect you, but Ginny is my only daughter and youngest child. I know how much you hurt her last year, and I have to say, even though you brought down Voldemort, I promise if you hurt her like that ever again I promise you Molly's wrath is nothing in comparison to what Volde--Ouch" As Molly smacked his head.
"Harry dear what my foolish husband is trying to say is if Ginny is mad, then I am mad. But I know that wont happed right?"
"Of course Mrs Wea-"
"Of course Molly, I promise you I will never hurt her again, I will protect her as be-"
"I hope by protecting her you don't mean leaving her behind again, When Voldemort was attacking during the war. Arthur didn't leave me to protect me. No. We discussed what actions should be taken as a couple and what was best for our family"
"Of course Mrs W-- Molly. Besides if I ever try to do it again she will hex me into oblivion."
"A tad bit of advice Harry, never ever get on the wrong side of a female Weasley. They become crazy when angry. Look at Fleur. People at the Ministry still say that she had a crazed look on her face when her family was swarmed last week, and she has only been a Weasley for under a year." Arthur stated "Molly dear don't look at me like that it is true"
"Harry dear, I do believe you should go out to the yard to hang out with Ron, the girls will be back later this evening from Diagan Alley. Me and my husband have some discussing to do" Molly said as she gave a venomous look to her husband.
And out the door was Harry before Molly could even begin to start her tirade on Arthur.
"RON! RON!" Harry yelled at his best mate "Are you deaf? I've been yelling at you for two minutes"
"Sorry, deep in thought. I have been thinking---" Ron began "Never mind...Did you get a 'talking to' from Mum just now?"
Harry deciding to leave what Ron was about to say for the moment "Yea pretty much what you and your brothers have been saying to me since you guys found out, just not to rush through things"
"I agree... Me and 'Mione were taking it slow for the first week, but I 'dunno.. We just love each other so much I want to just experience everything..."
"Uh not that I really wanna know.. like I feel like she is my sister in every sense but blood...but...uh..h-have you..you know?
"NO!...Not that we ha--....No. No we haven't" Stammered a clearly embarrassed Ron, whose ears were a deeper shade of red then his hair.
The two best mates conversation took a sudden standstill for several moments as they readjusted from the very awkward moment that they just had. When they were interrupted by two attractive women running through the burrow's orchard yelling their respective names. The two young couples spent the rest of the evening discussing what their plans were for the memorial service that was going to happen tomorrow and what they were going to say to the crowd that were all expecting a speech.
Sunday May 31st, 1998
The sun had just come up across the horizon of the orchard. Harry and Hermione were discussing what they expected from the event that was occurring later in the morning. Everyone was expected to gather at Hogwarts starting at 11:00 in the morning. This was to be their first time being back on the grounds of Hogwarts since the deadly battle that had taken place only twenty nine days ago. They had begun the healing process and were excited to move on with their lives. There had been no murmur from any escaped or 'on the run' Death Eaters, one issue that Kingsley has informed only 'trusted' members of the Ministry and of course the OotP were the sudden disappearance of the Dementors of Azkaban. After the battle they had all simply disappeared and he knew it was not the last he would hear of them.
On the other side of the Country, Minerva McGonagall sat atop her office at the newly rebuilt Hogwarts School, discussing her new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor with her Mentor and good friend Albus Percival Wilfred Dumbledore.
"I believe if the candidate accepts the position you have offered her, the Hogwarts will have gained an excellent new Professor that will bring an entire new way of teaching to the students of this legendary school"
"Thank you Albus, I must admit when you told me of the way that she had carried herself during the war, there was no way I couldn't offer her the job, plus she will have quite the assistance for the year to help redevelop the way DADA is taught here at Hogwarts. As to the Potions Master position Professor Slughorn has agreed to resign a contract for at least three more years, and will stay on Head of Slytherin. Transfiguration has been a bit tricky I must admit, I will be staying on part time teaching year 5-7 for this year while the same assistant for DADA will be teaching years 1-4. I have yet to tell the assistant professor yet." McGonagall chuckled "You will be happy to know that Rebeus Hagrid, will be taking over my position as Gryffindor Head for the time being."
"Well Minerva I must say that I am truly proud of you" Albus said while Minerva's normally stern face shed a couple of tears at her good friend and lifelong mentors praise "and as much as I trusted Severus Snape, I never had ever wanted him at the Head of Hogwarts...No offense Professor" Dumbledore said to a portrait of Severus Snape who was feigning sleep in the portrait directly behind McGonagall's desk.
Hermione Granger May 31st, 1998
"Wow this place...it looks...like..."
"Like nothing ever happened?" Hermione finished for Ron
"Yea. Its...it's so surreal. After seeing all the damage that had been done, to see nothing at all damaged...Wow...."
Hermione couldn't even argue with him. She was astonished. They had just walked through Hogsmeade into the grounds of the school and saw that nothing was damaged. At all. It truly looked like it always had...Except for the entire front of the castle had hundreds of white chair set up, that looked exactly like it had for Professor Dumbledore's funeral. His great white tomb was not even two hundred metres away from the podium. Beside his tomb was a massive object that was completely covered up by a magically enlarged sheet. Up beside the podium was a massive stage, that had at least twenty chairs, which was clearly for Ministry officials. The few Aurors that the Ministry had were patrolling the grounds with great assistance from the MLE.
Hermione and Ron were walking up towards the castle, Professor McGonagall wanted to talk to the three of them quickly before the ceremony.
"Lemon Drops" Hermione said to the Gargoyle that guarded the Head of the Schools office.
"Welcome Hermione! Ron! I am so glad you could meet us here. I was just talking with Harry while we were waiting for you" McGonagall said as she turned her voice into teacher mode "He informed me that Mr Weasley and himself will not be attending Hogwarts to finish their studies!" McGonagall said fiercely with her Scottish accent.
"Uh yea M'am..." Ron said with his head staring at a very interesting spot on the floor. Hermione however had noticed that Harry was snickering in the corner.
"Ronald, I must admit that was an attempt at humour. I already knew prior to my meeting with Mr Potter that you two would not be attending. And I must say that I truly am proud of both of you. To become Aurors is an amazing thing that neither of you would have had to do after what you have already done. Hermione on the other hand I am so happy you want to finish your education, there is much I would like to discuss with you in private at a later date." McGonagall stated "I would however like to do both Mr Potter and Mr Weasley a personal favour" at this statement both Harry and Ron looked at their Professor with renewed interested "It has come to my attention that you and Ms Granger have come to your senses after seven years that you are insanely in love with each other" she stated to am embarrassed Ron and Hermione "And to you Mr Potter, it has come to my knowledge that you and the young Ms Weasley have restarted your relationship again. I must admit it was truly painful to watch what she was going through the past year. I am Happy she has found you again"
"So. This is my plan. It does have conditions that must be met, but if they are ALL met then I along with the Board of Governors have agreed to allow both Mr Potter and Mr Weasley to 'stop' by and visit whenever they wish during non curfew hours, and to allow Ms Granger and Ms Weasley to go back to the Burrow at least once a month via my personal Floo" she said to the three ecstatic young adults. Although they had tried to avoid the topic of separating the past month they were all upset and worried about it, and now their usual strict rule following Professor was assisting them in dealing with the situation.
"Professor McGonagall... I think I speak for all four of us when I say we are speechless. Thank you. Thank you so much, I personally have gotten quite use to being around this git quite often" Hermione said with a complete straight face.
"Shut up Ron" said the other three voices before they all erupted in laughter.
"Now the conditions are as followed. 1: Ms Granger and Weasleys grade must remain top notch. 2: There is no activity that will be taken place that will reflect poorly on Hogwarts..." McGonagall said to the three teenagers whose face went from normal to dark red with embarrassment once they realized what she was talking about "3: This unfortunately is up to Hermione only. It is a rather personal favour that we will discuss later. If all these are met then I am more than happy to be able to do this small favour to you three."
"Deal!" Ron and Harry said.
"Well after me and the Professor talk we will see" said Hermione
"Now one last thing before we go down to the Memorial service. It is with amazing pride and a honour that I present Harry James Potter; Hermione Jean Granger; and Ronald Bilius Weasley with their N.E.W.T level certificate with a mark of Outstanding in the subject of Defense Against the Dark Arts, Charms, and Transfiguration"
"But we haven't taken a test yet" Hermione exclaimed, while both Ron and Harry looked incredibly proud of themselves
"Ms Granger, is it true or false that you three took down Voldemort?"
"Well there is the DADA NEWT. True or false that you three performed countless charms, that ensured your survival in both hiding from snatchers and charms up to and including the Fidelous Charm. A charm that is not even taught at Hogwarts."
"And lastly it has also come to my attention the only reason you three didn't starve is because you were able to transfigure smaller food to larger more appetizing food, transfigure various object into what you needed at the time during you hint for Horocruxs far beyond that of a NEWT level knowledge?"
"Well yes" Hermione said defeated.
"Then my decisions makes sense. Now we must get going, it is already 10:30. The service is about to begin.
A/N - I decided to stop here because I think I want the memorial to be one chapter. After the memorial I think that I will be picking up the pace for the rest of the summer, only to be stopping at major points.
I also decided to take out a fight scene I wrote for this chapter, because after writing it I felt that it didn't flow with the story as I wanted it to. So as of yet no thrilling actions scenes.
Also the part with McGonagall I don't know if anyone knows who is going to be teaching DADA, but I would be interested in your ideas. I think it is kind of obvious who will be the assistant.
I hope you are all enjoying the story, and enjoy the reviews. So please feel free to comment about any aspect about the story. Also I would be interested in knowing what everyone thinks of the length of the chapters. Sometimes I feel that they are either to short or to long. Thanks!
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