Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered...
Well, that is another story, but it was also their
story, and the story of the whole wizarding world.
Life had resumed as it had never stopped for most.
Life had been a picking out of normalcy that wizards
everywhere had maintained so that they, and their
children, could feel safe and secure. They hadn’t
been, but they were now.
In the aftermath, even though certain faces were
missing from fond gatherings, and other names were
omitted from conversations as had been the Dark Lord’s
before his defeat, things continued as they had all
along. The ministry still moved in its merry order,
purebloods still looked upon those with mixed blood as
lesser creatures, and students still attended
Hogwarts. The way of things didn’t change, but their
place in life was about to.
It was difficult for them to believe it, but they
were leaving Hogwarts for the seventh and last time.
They had been through so many hardships, victories,
defeats, and had even come out of almost certain death
quite alive and well but for terrible memories. They
had as many, if not more, beautiful memories of
Hogwarts. Despite the trouble with certain Slytherins
who had redeemed themselves in the end, their
experiences were the best that they could have hoped
As they stood on platform 9 3/4, disembarking at
King’s Cross with the other students, they stood in
silence. Hermione was the one to break it.
“Well...” was what she said. It was most certainly
not the most intelligent thing she would ever say,
that would happen about fifteen years later, but it
was a start.
Harry and Ron shifted their feet uncomfortably and
nodded in a way that said everything and nothing.
Other students rushed by them as they stood in a
triangle of silence. Some waved to them, or thumped
backs, or touched shoulders in little good-byes, but
the nearly adult trio could do little but look at each
Hermione cleared her throat and opened her mouth
again, “Really, this is silly. It’s not like we’re
never going to see one another again is it? Honestly,
leaving the train station is hardly the end all and be
all of things.” She put her hands on her hips.
Anyone within earshot of the Gryffindor boy’s
dormitory would not have believed her confidence now.
They’d all been awake half the night talking,
laughing, and at some very sober moments, crying.
She rolled her eyes as the boys still stood in
silence. “Come on you two. You’ll be going home to
your family and we’ll visit you a lot, right Harry?
And you’re going back to Number Twelve to live with
Professor Lupin right? He probably needs a lot of help
fixing the place up after... well, you know. We’ll
both come by and help out.” She nudged Ron who nodded
at seeing Harry’s downcast face.
Harry had nothing left to say. He’d spilt his heart,
mind, and soul to them the night before.
Hermione tapped her foot. “Hey, I promised I’d come
and see you in two weeks right? I may even be able to
swing it earlier. You won’t even notice in such a
She pulled Ron into a fierce hug, and after a moment
he put his arms around her and hugged her tightly,
enveloping her in his large frame. “Take care okay
She moved away after a moment, holding his hands
lightly and meeting his eyes. “You too Ron. I’ll see
you soon.” She hesitated for a moment and leaned up to
kiss him with her eyes closed. Then she turned to
“You’re going to be fine Harry. The worst is over.
You don’t even have to stay with your terrible aunt
and uncle...and that fat cousin of yours.” She
wrinkled her nose and the boys broke into smiles at
that. One of the funniest days they’d had was the day
that Ron and Hermione finally really met Dudley. “Be
good Harry. Don’t go looking for any trouble without
us.” She bumped Ron with her hip. “It never works you
She hugged and kissed Harry too, the turned with a
flip and swish (not to be confused with flick and
swish) of her hair and skirt, a movement so decidedly
feminine that they hadn’t quite become accustomed to
it yet. She turned and smiled over her should and
waved as she left them at the platform. She turned her
head back before threatening tears could escape and
The boys looked after her and then at each other.
“You can come stay whenever you want Harry. Mum says
you’re always welcome.”
Harry nodded. “Thanks Ron, I’ll remember that.”
They put out their hands, clasped them, and pulled
each other into a tight hug. “Take care of yourself
“You too Ron.”
They released each other, and after a moment,
gathered their things and left the platform going in
The problem with living with the Dursley’s is that a
boy gets so used to the abject misery and solitude of
every summer, that he never gets used to anything
else. So while Harry was happy to be living with Remus
and helping him fix up Number Twelve after its
discovery by death eaters during the second war, he
still felt like a guest. Privet drive had never been
home to him, but neither was this. He was a guest. A
welcome and loved one, but a guest all the same. The
only place he’d ever belonged was Hogwarts, and that
was no longer and option for him.
Remus was kind and generous with him, and tried to
help Harry as much as he could, but no amount of
chocolate or sage advice could settle the restless
mind and body of a teenage boy.
He rarely saw Hermione who was now, not surprisingly,
up to her ears in auror training. Nor did he see Ron,
who with his dad’s sudden promotion to Fudge’s old job
after his death, was hardly home as much as he’d like
to be with his family. The family household had
dwindled to Arthur, Molly, and two children including
Ron. All of the others had their own lives, and in
some cases were starting their own families. They had
their own lives and worries now. It was up to Ron to
see Ginny through her last year at Hogwarts and help
his mother as a good son should.
Harry’s life was by no means empty of friends, but
empty of the only ones who could really understand him
and what he’d been through; the things that kept him
up at night.
Remus could understand to a point, but he hadn’t been
there. They had.
The funny thing about memories like that is that the
experience never leaves you. Harry’s scar still
twitched occasionally, sending him into a panic of
flashbacks and what-ifs. If Ron and Hermione had been
there, they would have helped. But they weren’t, and
like every summer, Harry had grown bitter and overly
critical of the little mail and visitations he did
Then on day while he was helping Remus hang pictures
in the hall, the majority of the original portraits
had been blessedly destroyed by the fighting, Harry
dropped everything. Quite literally; all the hung and
un-hung portraits came crashing to the floor much to
the dismay of their inhabitants. McGonagall looked out
sternly at him from one, and Dumbledore busied himself
with the righting of his office.
Remus looked at him, startled by his outburst.
“What’s the matter Harry?” Ever generous, he didn’t
comment on the portraits, some of which he suspected,
might need new or repaired frames.
“I can’t do this! I can’t be here!” he yelled.
Remus only looked at him and waited.
“I can’t be here in this house alone. Not after
everything. I can’t be here at all. I’m not happy and
this is making me crazy. You never have anything to
say about it either. You just go on like everyone else
like nothing ever happened, like everything is okay
“Harry, it is. Everyone’s moving on.”
“Moving back to what’s normal! What’s normal for me
Remus? It’s not this. It’s the Boy Who Lived. I’ve
always had his life. Dangerous quests at Hogwarts and
miserable summers with the Dursleys. What do I have
now? Not even my friends? Did you know Ron and
Hermione are getting married?”
“Yes Harry, they sent each of us an invitation for
“Everyone else has something to move on to and from.
What do I have Remus? Voldemort is gone for the second
time. Now what do I do? I fulfilled the bloody
“You do what you want to Harry.”
What he wanted to do was take a walk. At least that’s
how it started.
He’d found himself a flat and had put out and
advertisement for flat mates. It was December now,
nearly Christmas, and he’d had the ad out for two
months. Plenty of wizards and witches had come by, but
none stayed. They were all honoured to meet Harry
Potter, but wouldn’t dream of intruding. He wanted to
So it was a surprise on Christmas Eve when two people
he hadn’t expected to see, had shown up at his door.
He hadn’t told anyone where he was. But they were here
all the same.
His mouth opened in surprise. It took him a moment to
let them through the door, all smiles and cold red
faces, arms full of parcels.
“Don’t look so surprised Harry,” Ron laughed and
unceremoniously dumped presents beneath a half-hearted
attempt at a Christmas Tree.
“You weren’t exactly hard to find Harry,” Hermione
said. “I just asked around the ministry a bit. I seems
several people had been interested in your flat...”
“We told them to go bugger themselves.” Ron grinned.
“What Ron means to say, is that we told them the
rooms have been filled. That is...” suddenly she
seemed timid, “If you’ll have us.”
Ron looked at Harry nervously. Harry’s face had grown
dark and troubled.
“Harry... We’ve missed you. Nothings has been the
same without you...” She looked to Ron. “We’ve put off
the wedding. We wanted to find you before we did
anything that stupidly drastic.” She laughed,
“Besides, you could always keep us from killing each
“Please Harry.” Ron’s voice sounded urgent, “I mean,
Hermione’s great, but I mean, well, she’s a girl. She
doesn’t five two sickles about quidditch or my
brothers’ joke shop.” He hurriedly reached into a
paper bag and withdrew a bottle. “Butterbeer?”
They were both so desperate that Harry had to laugh.
It swelled out of him, shattering the unhappiness that
had settled somewhere about his middle all those
months since they’d left school. “Tell me the truth.
You two just got kicked out of your last flat for
arguing so loud and just want to park here until you
Hermione’s mouth dropped open in indignation and Ron
began to utter, “Mum’d kill me...” until Harry started
They laughed with him. He’d missed them too.