Chapter 1 : A New Beginning
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I was afraid they’d ask that one, Harry Potter thought to himself. In the seven years of education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and wizardry, Harry had never struggled more with a spell than that one. The answer was at the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t – for the life of him – remember the exact phrase!
It was Harry’s last week at Hogwarts, and he was sitting in one of the rows of desks that filled the great hall instead of the four long house tables that usually stood in their place.
Expecto... Portuguese? No, that wasn’t it. Expecto Porridge... THAT would raise some eyebrows, he thought while he disguised his laughter as a fit of coughs, earning him a death-glare from one Hermione Granger – Gryffindor. Those Gryffindors, Harry thought, really seem to have been put on this earth for my torment. Harry mentally scolded himself at his thoughts; he had been raised by two of the world’s greatest ex-Gryffindors, and as such, he was raised to never discriminate against any person from any house.
It did, however, came as quite a shock when he was placed in Slytherin by the sorting hat seven years ago. His godfather, Sirius, joked that the school probably didn’t want another Potter in Gryffindor after his Father. “We certainly gave that school quite a bit of trouble back in the day, ‘ey James?” Harry’s father laughed with his best friend at this...
“Five minutes left seventh years, if you’re staring at the paper hoping an answer is going to startle you with its delightful presence, I suggest you don’t get your hopes up too much and finish a question you DO, in fact, know the answer to.” Professor Lupin said from the front of the great hall, wrenching Harry back to reality.
Panic set in and Harry started wildly guessing at any words that started with the letter 'P'. Portable? Looking to his right he subconsciously admired Hermione and the way she grew out of her bushy-hair and massive-front-teeth phase. True, he could never see himself being with her, but she had truly come a long way from correcting everyone’s pronunciation and spewing random facts that nobody, except that boyfriend – Weaselby - of hers, seemed to be interested in.
Finally he remembered the phrase needed to answer his question! Patronum! EXPECTO PATRONUM! He excitedly wrote down his answer and was extremely proud to have been able to answer every question in his NEWT Defence against the Dark Arts final paper.
Then it hit him. He was finally done with school. His years of studying, practising spells and playing seeker for the Slytherin quidditch team were over. He looked down at his “Head Boy” and “Quidditch Captain” badges and fondly remembered the looks of pride from his mother, father and godfather as he ran into the living room to give them the news - He had received his last letter from Hogwarts and as he opened the package, the two badges fell into his hand.
He snapped out of his reverie as professor Lupin announced that their time was over. He looked at Harry with expectation that could be seen in his raised eyebrows. Harry smiled and nodded, silently telling his professor that he thought that he did well with his examination. Professors McGonagall and Flitwick then proceeded to take in the answer papers alongside Lupin.
Professor Dumbledore then walked - with surprising speed for a man his age – to the centre of the raised platform where the teacher’s table always stood. His blue robes ant pointy hat in perfect condition, as always. “Well seventh years, I congratulate you on sticking out to the very end. Though your life as a student may be at its end, I assure you, a wonderful world awaits for every person sitting in front of me.”
The hall erupted into applause and Dumbledore waited for a few seconds before raising his hands to bring the hall back to order. “I look before me, seeing the next generation of Aurors, Teachers, Entrepreneurs, and even Lawyers, and I can’t help but feel proud that I had the pleasure of being a part of your education as Headmaster to each and every one of you. As such, I wish every one of you the greatest success in life. As a final request, I do ask you to not race me to the door, as it would rather hurt my feelings!” he finished with a humorous tone.
The great hall erupted in cheering once more as all of the seventh years celebrated the end of their days as students at this school and also their new-found freedom!
Two days later, Harry was lying on his bed as he watched Draco packing his final belongings into his trunk. The dorm room that had housed Harry and felt like a second home to him, was a sight that he would truly miss. “I can’t believe I had so much rubbish in this thing, I really am very glad to be rid of it.” Draco laughed at his discovery and turned around to find his best friend looking very bored on his own four-poster bed. “What’s wrong with you, then?” Draco asked Harry.
“I guess I don’t know where I’m going to go after this?” he answered truthfully. Harry had never worried much about the future, you see. In his eyes, the future was always a long way off! “Are you kidding, Potter? Not only were you the most successful head boy Hogwarts has seen since your father before you, but you led our quidditch team to glory for the 9th consecutive year!”
Harry huffed at his remark. “You do say the sweetest things, dear,” Harry shot at Draco with a smirk; “But honestly, my father keeps giving me the future speech, and wants me to go into the Auror direction - believe me, I want to - but he is just putting SO MUCH PRESSURE on me to make a decision. I guarantee you that he went to talk to the Head Auror in my place already...” He heaved a deep sigh and looked at the dorm room’s ceiling. “You’re so lucky to have it all figured out: Malfoy the healer...” he paused dramatically. “Beware wizarding world!” he mockingly added.
Draco socked him one on the arm, laughing at his best friend’s bad joke. “That’s the last time I try to cheer you up, ‘dear’!” he used the same mocking tone Harry had used moments ago and proceeded to close his trunk. “You’d rock the whole “Auror” –thing. As I recall you have quite the flair in duelling. You showed that to the entire school back when Professor Lockheart was gracing us with his irritating presence. And so what if your father is pressuring you, just tell him that you want to do what you want to do, and that you want to do it on your own terms.”
Harry was always a little more relaxed when he talked things through with Draco, so when he checked the golden watch his parents had given him on his 16th birthday and jumped up from his bed, he was feeling a lot more at ease about his future plans. “Thanks mate I’ll try. Now come on, we’re going to miss the train if you don’t hurry up!”
After a rather uneventful ride home on the Hogwarts Express, Harry stepped off the train and onto Platform 9¾. He searched for his parents and quickly identified his mother by the fiery red colour of her hair. He walked over to her and gave her a kiss on the cheek and gave his father a hug. This caused his mother to raise an eyebrow at him, causing him to start laughing. “What? Isn’t a man allowed to show a bit of affection towards his loving parents?” Lily smiled the smile she reserved only for her only son and her husband if she wanted a cup of tea before bed. “I’m not saying that at all, I was just worried that my kiss and your father’s hug would be followed by something like ‘I’m so sorry but I accidentally burnt down Hogwarts’”
James Potter laughed at his wife’s humour and picked up his son’s trunk. “So Harry, have you given any thought to my proposition?”
It was right before the start of Harry’s last term at Hogwarts when James cornered him, asking if Harry would want to join him at the ministry of magic as an Auror. It wasn’t that Harry didn’t want to become one, he just didn’t want to be one of those people who relied on their parents’ reputation to get somewhere in life.
“Dad, I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and I’ve decided that I want to become an auror...” he was interrupted by his father as he excitedly started to ramble.
“Excellent, I’ll just go and speak to Kingsley on Monday, and see what I can...” “Dad!” Harry looked at his father with an amused smile, trying to phrase Draco’s advice into his own words. “What I was trying to say is that I want to become an auror, but only if I’m good enough to become one myself. I don’t want you to talk to Kingsley on Monday, because I want to be the one speaking to him myself.”
Lily put her arm around Harry’s waist, smiling proudly. She looked over at James and knowingly said “I told you he wouldn’t want you to talk in his place.” Harry questioningly looked at his parents, “What do you mean by that mum?”. James Potter laughed nervously as his son waited for an answer. “I wanted to go and speak to Kingsley the moment you went back to Hogwarts, but your all-knowing mother,” he smiled at his beautiful wife at this, “convinced me to at least wait for your decision before I made anything official.” Harry, knowing his father had only the best intentions for him, shook his head while he laughed at what he predicted to have happened.
Harry looked over at Draco with his parents talking animatedly about what looked to be a quidditch match. He then threw his arms around his parents’ shoulders and the Potter family stepped through the barrier between platforms 9 and 10 for the last time. (At least, for now...)
Thanks for reading my story, it's my first so ANY and ALL reviews are more than welcome! Second chapter is pending authorization, should be up no later than the 26th!
Thanks again for reading!