Chapter 1

Harry climbed through the portrait hole of Gryffindor common room into the corridor. The painting closed behind him.

Harry went down the repaired marble staircase and stopped in the Entrance Hall. The Leaving Feast was being held. It was his last - but Harry didn’t feel much like eating. He wandered down the front steps and down the lawns to the Lake. The Giant Squid wasn’t out today, even though the air was warm and there were few clouds in the lilac-blue sky. He sat down on the grass by the edge of the Lake, under the tree where years ago his father had taunted Snape. The sunlight glinted on the white marble of Dumbledore’s old tomb across the Lake. After Voldemort had cracked it open, Dumbledore had been moved to a new grander tomb in the Hogwarts graveyard. The old one was left as some kind of relic. Ivy had grown over it. It was there that Harry had hidden the Elder Wand, wrapped in a black cloak under the marble and ivy. No one but him knew where he had hidden it.

There were only a few hours left until he would have to leave. Forever. The prospect of “going home” didn’t make him miserable like it had every other year. Now he had a real home. He and Hermione had moved in with the Weasleys the previous summer. Harry had not contacted the Dursleys since he had last seen them a few weeks before his seventeenth birthday. He had no idea where they were. The same went for Hermione’s parents. She had decided to finish her education before travelling to Australia to track down her parents, and remove the Memory Charm she had placed on them for their own safety.

None of them really knew what they were going to do now they were faced with the end of their school days. They had finally taken their NEWTs, and until the results came they didn’t plan on doing anything of importance.

Harry got to his feet and walked across the sweeping lawn towards the graveyard, which was separated by a twisting silver fence. The gates were flanked by two stone phoenixes bursting from twin fires. A salute to the Order of the Phoenix. Harry walked through the rows until he came to the graves of people he had known. Remus Lupin. Nympahdora Tonks. Fred Weasley. Many others alongside them. Fresh flowers were placed on every grave by the new caretaker every day. Argus Filch had quit and left after the battle the previous year, and gone with Mrs Norris to who knows where.

The statue in the middle had a large circular podium for a base, on which stood a witch and a wizard, facing each other in their flowing stone robes, their arms crossing as they pointed their wands at the heavens. Around the base were carved the names of every person who had been killed by Voldemort and his followers throughout his reign of terror. Some people had carved extra names on that had been missed. Harry himself had added Hedwig to the list of victims. George, a while after he had gotten used to the loss of his twin brother, had jokily added ‘George Weasley’s ear’. Harry half-smiled when he saw it as he sat at the stone witch’s feet. He traced his fingers over the names until he found the ones he was looking for. Lily and James Potter. Next to them Sirius Black. At least they would be remembered by others.

Hermione and Ron had left the Feast early and, knowing where he would be, came down to the graveyard. They walked over to him and sat either side on the base of the statue.

“Our trunks are all in the Great Hall, ready,” said Hermione after a while of silence. “It feels…odd, doesn’t it? To be leaving for the last time.”

“That doesn’t mean we can’t come back,” Ron said, a little more brightly. “We haven’t got our NEWTs results back yet, but Neville’s already been offered a post as Herbology teacher by McGonagall. Sprout’s retiring this year.”

Harry nodded. “I heard. She offered me a post too…”

“Defence Against the Dark Arts, right?” Ron grinned. “Hermione got offered Transfiguration, so McGonagall could just be Headmistress without having to teach as well. She turned it down. But you turned yours down as well, though?”

“Yeah. I was going to be an Auror…but with Voldemort gone, there aren’t many Dark witches or wizards to catch.”

Hermione smiled as well. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t any.”


The trio stood up as one and headed back towards the castle. As they reached the steps, the crowds started to spill out of the front doors as the students made their way through Hogsmeade to the station. The Hogwarts Express stood scarlet and steaming as they boarded.

The three friends watched the castle retreating as they travelled away from the station.

“We’re leaving our second home,” said Hermione thoughtfully as they watched the highest towers disappear behind trees.

“But we’re going to our first home,” Ron grinned. “’Cause The Burrow’s the best, right?”

“Of course, Ron,” Harry and Hermione intoned in unison. They proceeded to stuff themselves with cakes and sweets from the plump witch’s trolley, cheerier than they had been for a while…

The End

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