Harry had just taken his seat on stage in between his two best friends Hermione and Ron. On the stage there were close to twenty chairs, all for specific dignitaries; the new head of International Confederation of Wizards and his wife, who both seemed to be the same age as Dumbledore was. Ministers for numerous countries all across Europe, and the Minister of Magic for Canada, and America with their respective partners; Kingsley and his wife as well were in attendance. Across the massive Hogwarts field there were several hundred chairs set up, with most of them being filled, the front chairs were reserved for families who lost someone directly in the battle of Hogwarts, while the rest were taken on first come first serve. The chatter amongst the different Wizarding families was immense. To the left of all the chairs were another group of empty chairs that was apparently reserved for sitting members of the Wizagmont.
"Welcome everyone" Boomed the loud but soothing voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt "Today is a day of remembrance. A day of celebration. And a day of realization. We must remember what prices have been paid to ensure our freedom, so that these acts can never occur again; we must act appropriate to injustice in our world, it is up to all everyone to stand up for what is right and proper in our world" Kingsley told the crowd that had assembled to pay tribute to the souls that were lost during the war. "This is also a celebration... A celebration that we must honour at least once a year. We must celebrate our freedom, as we now know what it's like to no longer have it. We must celebrate our victory over our tyrants. We must celebrate LIFE itself! For everything its worth" he shouted, Harry looked into the crowd and noticed that almost everyone was staring intently at their Minister. He noticed all the Weasleys minus Ron in the front row with Andromeda and baby Teddy. Members of the DA sitting all throughout the crowd with their respective families, all of whom he considered friends. "We must also come to the realization of something. Intolerance cannot thrive in a free and just world. Intolerance caused the deaths of countless people who we are mourning today. Intolerance can cause so much damage to a society, and it can happen so fast. We must come to the realization that Muggleborn witches and wizards are just as qualified as the 'Pureblood witches and wizards. That just because your parentage is different from another by no means makes the other unqualified to practice magic, or to be allowed the basic necessities of life. Just because....." Harry had noticed out of the corner of his eye a glint of red and orange flying through the air directly into the window of the Headmistresses office. Smiling to himself as he witness Fawkes returning to Hogwarts, he began to think of his past, and before he knew it everyone was standing up to give a moment of silence to everyone who had died directly or indirectly at the hands of Voldemort.
"I would now ask that members of the British Wizagmont proceed to their designated seats to my left" In the crowd he noticed twelve different Witches and Wizards getting up and making their way over to the seats "During this war the Wizagmont lost more than half of its members. Either supporters of Voldemort who have been arrested, or members who tried with their dying breath to ensure that 'Pureblood fanatic' laws would not past. Law states that only Pureblood Witches and Wizards are allowed to sit on the Wizagmont. It is with great pleasure that the first huge change in old laws have been eradicated. Anyone can now be voted to the ancient decision making body"
"I would now like to call up the three individuals who are the main reason that this war is over. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ronald Weasley. Please step up. The Heroes of the Second War" The trio made their way up to the podium where Hermione took the agreed upon place in the middle, with Harry on her right and Ron on her left.
"Hello everyone" Harry began "For the people who know me...know me well.. they know that I hate public speaking" people throughout the crowd chuckled softly "I would like to say that we--I am not a Hero... We left the behind the true heroes, we were left with a task that allowed us to go underground. We may have taken the necessary steps to end his regime once and for all... But.." Harry began to lose his focus as memories of all the bad things this past year came flooding back into his head.
"But you..." Ron carried on for Harry "…Everyone here. All of you are the ones who did the day to day things needed to ensure that many more survived. Normal members of society realizing the lies of Voldemort and his Death Eaters, and did everything in their power to hide Muggleborns and muggle alike in their homes. Or perform the Fidelous Charm on your neighbors to ensure their safety. You hid these victims until members of the resistance were able to portkey them away from this country. To Countries whose Ministers are represented here today. All of you are Heroes. As our these Ministers whom allowed us to use their countries as a safe haven for our 'undesirables'" Ron stated with the most confident voice he had every managed.
"Also to everyone who protected our most unprotected members of society. The students. Members of the newly reformed Dumbledore's Army who under the leadership of Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, and Ginnny Weasley.." Hermione said as she noticed the incredible proud faces of Molly, and Arthur Weasley, as well as the incredible proud face of Augusta Longbottom. "...these three led the student resistance. They stood up for the intolerance within the school, and refused to act in a way unbecoming of a witch or wizard. They refused to curse younger first year students. By doing this they were punished themselves. This however did not deter them, they led the resistance until their lives were very well on the line. Until they themselves had to go into hiding. These are true Heroes. To whom I believe one of the biggest hero of the war. Professor Minerva McGonagall. She stayed on as Deputy Headmistress, for one simple reason. To protect students, and did she ever... It was because of her help that the DA was able to go into hiding, it was her who stood up to the Carrows, who punished her greatly under the Crucio Curse, to protect her students. She never once left her post during the entire year. She remained at Hogwarts suffering torture daily to protect the students. The only reason that the Carrows did not kill her was because of the influence of Professor Snape" Looks of complete disbelief were being displayed all throughout the crowd. Even though Snape's involvement in the war was cleared up and was deemed a 'good guy' very few people knew about the torture the elderly Professor endured daily. Only two people knew the full details. Hermione Granger and Kingsley Shacklebolt.
All eyes were on the stern looking professor. Complete shock was being held until one witch stood up. Molly Weasley had stood up and began applauding. All of a sudden everyone was standing giving their beloved professor a standing ovation. Most of the people in the crowd had been taught by this professor, and most to all of them had all known her to be a stern very intelligent and loyal teacher, all of them now recognized her as the teacher that stood in between evil and their children. After several minutes of applause and as a usually private person beginning to blush, Hermione retook everyone's attention. "So that being said it is with express permission and on behalf of Minister of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt to present Minerva McGonagall Headmistress of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardy an Order of Merlin - First Class. And a very personal Thank you." As Hermione, Ron and himself retook their seats. Very touched and with a newfound respect for their teacher. With Minerva McGonagall walking up to the podium clearly touched with the affection that was being given to her by everyone at the service and proudly accepted her award before retaking her seat in the front row.
For this first time the head of the International Confederation of Wizards Mortimer Pagelow stood up and walked to the crowd. "I would also like to thanks Minerva McGonagall on her dedication to the protection of the young students of Hogwarts. I would also like to recognize someone else. This individual is also strongly responsible for the downfall of the Death Eaters during the final battle. On order of my predecessor Albus Dumbledore, he took the plight of the British Wizards to other European Countries. He demanded an audience with the International Confederation of Wizards so they could hear is plight. After this individual said what he wanted to say the Ministers of France, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, and Austria dedicated fifty wizards from each country to follow him back into battle on the grounds of this historic school. Could I please have Charlie Weasley come up here to accept this award on behalf of the British Ministry. Order of Merlin 2nd class." Huge applause again took place, as both Molly and Arthur stood up beaming with pride at the award none of them expected. Charlie made his way up to the stage with a look of shock. He never once expected recognition for what he had done. He had done it because it had needed to be done. "Also I would like to congratulate him on the continual care of the dragons of Europe, and would like to offer him a seat on the International Confederation of Wizards to represent Britain at this historic committee"
"WHAT!!?" Screamed an overjoyed but shocked Molly Weasley, who had taken off from her seat at the Wizagmont area and raced up to the stage to give Charlie one of her famous hugs. "Charlie I have never been so proud of you in my entire life" She whispered.
"Thanks mum...But no offence your kind of embarrassing me" joked Charlie.
"Of course. Of course" Molly stated as she realized what she had done, and hurried to retake her seat.
Charlie shook all the dignitaries hands, given his award, and told to expect an owl for further information in regards to his new position.
Kingsley retook the podium and began announcing the remaining awards." The following people please come take the stage, please remember if your name is not called, we, the ministry, still would like to thank you for your actions. Alicia Spinnet, Dean Thomas, Dennis Creevey, Katie Bell, Lavender Brown, Parvati Patil, Seamus Finnigan, Cho Chang, Michael Corner, Padma Patil, Terry Boot, Ernie Macmillan, Hannah abbott, Justin Finch- Fletchley, Susan Bones, Filuis Flitwick, Rebeus Hagrid, Horace Slughorn and Ponama Spout" After everyone had gathered on stage and looked at each other with a mix of pride and nervousness "It gives me great pleasure to give each of you the Order of Merlin Third Class. Trust me when I say that without you the war could have very well turned out differently." All of the recipients of their respective awards made their way back into the crowd with a proud look on their face.
"I would now like the following people to come up to the stage. Arthur Weasley, Molly Weasley, Bill Weasley, Fleur Weasley, George Weasley to accept his and his brother Fred's award, Ginny Weasley, Angelina Johnson, Lee Jordan, Dennis Creevey to accept his brother Colin's award, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Aberforth Dumbledore, and could be ask Andromeda Tonks to come up to accept an award on behalf of Nymphadora and Remus Lupin" Everyone called made their way to the front of the stage to accept their awards "It is with great pleasure that I award the Order of Merlin Second Class to these fine people. And I thank you all for all your contributions" with that everyone made their way back to their seats.
"Lastly can we have Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and Harry Potter step up to accept the prestigious Order of Merlin First Class. Despite what these humble friends say, the war ended because of a result of what these three did, and we are forever in debt to you" Harry and his two friends made their way back to their seats which were on stage. and looked at Kingsley making what he thought was going to be his last speech of the day, he was thanking everyone for everything they had done, and for coming out to pay tribute to the heroes who died.
"Before we let everyone carry on with the remainder of their day..."Minerva McGonagall once again said as she was retaking the stage "...I ask you to visit the Memorial that has been dedicated to the grounds of Hogwarts, this memorial has the name of every single individual who paid the ultimate price during both the first and second Wizarding War, on one side while on the other is the names of everyone who fought during the battle of Hogwarts. Thank you for coming here today"
Ron Weasley - Sunday May 31st, 1998
"Ron! Charlie! I AM SO PROUD! An Order of Merlin First Class, and the representative to the ICW! What an honour!"
"Thanks Mum" the two brothers said in embarrassment
"I am sorry to say I have to leave early though Mum, the ICW wants to meet with me in Italy for a couple of weeks, so I have to rush back to Romania to ask for a leave of absence."
"Oh.." Molly said clearly upset that her second oldest son had to leave so soon, but had understood why.
"Well then I suppose we should have a little party to celebrate!
A party was thrown in honour of all the Weasley and everyone was invited, students, friends from the ministry, teachers from Hogwarts, fellow Order members. By the looks of it over one hundred people showed up, and the party went well until the wee hours of the morning.
Harry and Ginny had be spending quite a bit of time together, it has almost been two months since the final battle, and both were healing from the physical and psychological wounds, both had forgiven each other for past mistakes. The OotP had met last week, and the only thing that had needed to be discussed in the handful of Death Eaters that escaped and the hundreds upon hundreds of Dementors that had mysteriously disappeared after the final battle. Much research still needed to be done to actually determine how to kill these horrid beasts once they were found.
Harry had also spent a lot of time with his friends Ron and Hermione, they had also come really close, and seemed to be attached to the hip. Harry was very happy for his two best friends, they deserved all the happiness in the world. The four friends have tried their hardest to stay away from public areas in order to remain out of the sight of reporters, well wishers, and other annoying witches and wizards. Whenever they did have to go out in public either Bill or Fleur went with them. Charlie had been away for several weeks, and he sounded really busy, in-between Romania and his beloved dragons, and the ICW. Because of this he spent little time visiting anymore.
Harry with the help of his girlfriend and his two best friends, he visited all of his parents and Sirius's houses. Most of them were uninhabitable due to lack of care, or simply because they had been ransacked and damaged by Death Eaters during one of the two wars. The ones that were liveable he, with the help of Hermione put them under the Fidelous Charm. He did this because he had decided to follow one of the OotP's mentors constant advice. Alastor Moody. CONSTANT VIGALANCE. He figured that as much as he hoped that the peaceful times would continue, he did not want the OotP to not be able to help out as many people as possible, so every house he owned and did not want he would ensure it was well hidden and would become a safe house. There were a total of eleven houses. Each one with a different Secret Keeper, each of the four friends and all the Weasleys. If anything happened again their was a secret safe house.
He was now house hunting for his future house with Ginny. Both of them knew they would spend the rest of their lives together but at the request of her parents they would not even think of marriage before Ginny at least finished school. Harry was looking for a large house. He did not want it to be extravagant but he wanted it to be more then comfortable. He decided that it was to be at least three floors, several bedrooms, huge kitchen, and at least a massive yard.
The young famous couple searched through magical listings for several hours trying to find something that would be appropriate for him. He decided that by time Ginny leaves for school he wanted to live in his own place. No offence to Molly and Arthur but he felt that he wanted his own space.
By the end of the day he and Ginny felt like they had found the perfect place to live, the house had three floors, a huge kitchen, library, and study on the main floor. On the second floor it had four bedrooms, and several bathrooms. A huge yard that was big enough to play a real game of Quidditch. The cost for the mansion was a bit on the high side, but Harry didn't care, Ginny loved the place and that was good enough for him. He asked Bill to purchase the house with the money in his vault on his behalf, the total cost being three hundred and thirty seven thousand Galleons. A done deal.
"Ginny have you any idea who is going to be the new defence and transfiguration Professor?" Harry asked
"No clue, but it certainly won't be any worse than the past four years. The last good one was Remus Lupin..." Ginny said as she began to tear up. Even though they had all been getting better at dealing with their emotions every once in a while they would say or talk about something that be resurface their memories and would make them get emotional again. Harry could tell that as much as Ginny wanted to spend more time with him, she was excited to finally go back to finish her Hogwarts career.
Hermione Granger - July 28th, 1998
"Lemon Drops" Hermione said to the guard of the Headmistress office. She had gotten an owl from Professor McGonagall earlier in the week requesting to see her on this specific date. She had owled her back immediately agreeing to the date requested. Hermione was worried that the professor had reconsider allowing her to re-attend Hogwarts, only Neville and herself were the two returning seventh years. Everyone else either were not interested in coming back to Hogwarts for personal reasons or were offered jobs by the new ministry, so she was worried that she wouldn't be allowed to re-attend.
"Ms Granger please come up" Minerva called down to her young student which brought Hermione out of her daze.
"Hello Professor McGonagall"
"Hello Hermione. Please in this office you can call me Minerva. I suppose you are curious to why I asked to see you."
"Y-yes I am Minerva" Hermione had been through so much this past year, and one of the few pluses beside her wonderful boyfriend and her family was being able to return to Hogwarts and finish her studies.
"Hermione dear whatever is the matter" McGonagall asked to the clearly nervous young girl.
"I am just worried that you have changed your mind about allowing me to re-return"
"Oh heavens my child no, not at all. Actually I need to request quite the favour from you this year."
Hermione was clearly relieved, and now intrigued asked "What is the favour? What can I do?"
"As you may or may not know I have found a DADA teachers. You as a matter of a fact are quite familiar with the lady. Molly Weasley." McGonagall told a shocked Hermione. "She has more then been able to prove herself on more than one occasion, and I believe she will make an excellent addition to Hogwarts."
Hermione was shocked to hear all this, she to thought Molly was an exceptionally powerful and intelligent witch who should really not be messed with, but was quite curious to what the favour could be about.
"So you are probably curious to what the favour is. I'll get right to it. Since you have already received your NEWT in Charms, DADA, and Transfiguration, I would like you to assist Mrs Weasley in the teaching of DADA"
"Professor... I can't teach..."
"Of course you can Ms Granger. I have complete faith in your abilities."
"But--I -- If you really think I can..."
"Excellent. You of course have to meet up with Mrs Weasley several time prior to the start of class, and she will inform you have the new curriculum we have developed together. I am happy you have agreed to the part of the favour-"
"Yes Ms Granger. Part. I was also hoping you would also teach the subject of Transfiguration from year one to four. I will continue to teach year five to seven until I can another suitable replacement"
"Ms Granger you are one of the most talented Witches I have ever had the great pleasure of teaching. I have no doubts in your abilities. You will do an excellent job"
"Thank- Thank you so much Professor. I would be honoured to do this favour for you" Hermione was tremendously touched by her favourite professors praise.
"Now of course there are some ups and downs involved. First I am sorry to say you will not be Head Girl. As unfortunate as it is, because if anyone deserved the title it was you, but alas it wouldn't be fair to the original seventh years. The title you will hold is associate Professor. Your friend Mr Longbottom also holds that title for Herbology. You have all the same powers of Head Girl, you can assign detentions, give or revoke house points, and patrol the halls according to a teacher patrol schedule."
"Wow...thank you so much again Professor. I really appreciate this"
"No Ms Granger I thank you. I will be in touch shortly before the school year to assign you a teacher quarters. Thank you" Taking the cue that the meeting was over Hermione thanked her professor and left, she was so excited to tell Ron this amazing news. She had not been so excited in such a long time.
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