Chapter 26 : Epilogue
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Harry Potter was sitting at his desk in his new office. He had been reading the Daily Prophet, but couldn’t really concentrate. Even at the age of 55, the saviour of the wizarding world still felt nervous to start with a new job. He turned around to look at the portraits that hung behind him. His two predecessors were looking down at him smiling.
“Are you ready for your first day, Harry?” Dumbledore asked.
Harry nodded. “I think I am. But I’ll have a hard time following two of the greatest headmasters that Hogwarts has ever seen.”
McGonagall smiled lovingly at her successor. “You will do great, Harry.” she said friendly. “I don’t think there is one person in this world that cares more about this school than you do.”
“You have our full support.” Dumbledore smiled.
They were quickly backed up by various other portraits. “All of us strongly approve of the choice the school board made.” the voice of Armando Dippet said firmly.
“The only right decision.” said the friendly voice of Newt Scamander.
“Thank you all.” Harry smiled. He looked at the portrait of the last headmaster that had ever been sorted into Slytherin. “Even you, Phineas?”
“I suppose so.” Phineas said silkily. “Despite the fact that you are the third headmaster in a row that comes out of Gryffindor!”
Harry grinned. He stood up from his chair and walked towards the window. He looked down at the lake. In one year, two graves had been added next to the one of Dumbledore. His heart filled with sadness as he thought about the passing of one his oldest friends and probably the most loyal man he had ever known. He had been the one to tell Harry that he was a wizard and who had made him accustomed to the wizarding world. He turned around and saw that Dumbledore was looking at him with a comprehending smile.
“He lived a long and happy life, Harry.”
“I know he did.” Harry smiled. Before he could say anything else, someone softly knocked on the door of his office. “Come in.”
The door opened and Neville Longbottom, the new head of Gryffindor house and deputy headmaster entered. “The students have arrived in Hogsmeade, Harry.”
Harry nodded. He walked towards the shelf where he kept the Sorting Hat, above the show case that held the sword of Godric Gryffindor.
“Are you alright?” Neville asked as Harry handed him the Sorting Hat.
“Yeah, sure.” Harry smiled. “It’s just… weird.”
“Yeah, I know.” Neville said understandingly. His eyes moved towards the portraits that hung right behind Harry’s desk. He smiled when he saw that both Dumbledore and McGonagall were awake.
“Good evening, Neville. Harry told me he chose you to take over his tasks now that he is headmaster.” McGonagall said. “I must say that I strongly approve of his choice.”
“Thank you, Minerva. That really means a lot.” Neville smiled. “I’d better go, Harry. Charlie will be arriving with the students soon.”
“Alright, Neville. I’ll be down in a few minutes.”
After Neville left, Harry walked towards Fawkes and absent-mindedly stroked his scarlet and golden feathers. After a few minutes he walked to his desk, opened the top drawer and took the golden coin that lay on top of a pile of parchment. He looked at it for a moment, before he put it in his inside pocket.
“Here I go.” he said softly. When he reached the door, he turned around one more time and looked at Dumbledore and McGonagall. “Thanks.” he said. “For everything.”
“Good evening and welcome for another year at Hogwarts. As you probably all know, our dearest headmistress Professor McGonagall has regretfully passed away over the summer. I have been appointed to be your new headmaster and I sincerely hope that this decision meets with your approval.”
A thunderous applause rose from the students. Harry smiled and raised his hands. “Thank you.”
He cleared his throat before he continued. “I can announce now that our Herbology teacher, Professor Longbottom, will be taking over my duties as deputy headmaster and head of Gryffindor House.” The students at the far left table clapped enthusiastically at that news.
“It is also my pleasure to introduce to you our new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher: Professor Ted Lupin.” Harry’s godson, who was seated at the far end of the staff table, rose from his chair and bowed towards the students, who were applauding politely.
“I will not bore you any longer while you are all hungry enough to eat a Hippogriff. I just want to finish with these few words. Nitwit, blubber, oddment and tweak. Tuck in!”*
“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best, do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen. Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” – J.K. Rowling
A/N: I’m sorry this last chapter is very short. I didn’t actually plan to write it, but I wanted to include a look into the future. Now this really is the end… I don’t know when I will be posting a new story, but I will definitely keep writing. Thanks again to all of you who read the story and a big thanks to all the people who left a review. I appreciated every comment!
*Quote from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (page 92), by J.K. Rowling.
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