Harry Crow

What will happen when a goblin-raised Harry arrives at Hogwarts. A Harry who has received training, already knows the prophecy and has no scar. With the backing of the goblin nation and Hogwarts herself. Complete.



103. Aftermath

While enjoying the impromptu party that had broken out in the stadium, Ginny wasn't the only one whose eyes continually scanned the path into Hogwarts. First sign of people appearing, Ginny was off and running. The wide grin on her face began to fade the closer she got as Ginny noticed there were a lot less people than she'd been expecting, and just two of them had red hair. It was also hard to miss that none of them were celebrating, or even smiling.

She slammed into the twins at full pelt, only to discover their return hugs were just as needy as hers. "Where is everyone else? Why all the long faces? I thought we won, and everyone was fine?"

Fred tried to smile but his heart wasn't really in it. "One question at a time, Gin. Dad, Bill, Percy and Penny are all working now. Can you ask mum to make sure Jenny either gets home with the McDonalds or ends up at the Burrow? Bill had to go on one final mission and doesn't think he'll make it back to Hogwarts in time to pick Jenny up."

"Why can't you tell her yourselves? There's a great party going on…" Seeing both twins shy away from the idea of a party, the entire group actually all reacted exactly the same, had Ginny really worried. "What aren't you telling me?"

After an involuntary shudder, George tried to explain their reactions to his sister. "Ginny, that was without doubt the worst experience of my life, and last summer an inferus chewed my ear off. We had to watch those bastards trying to kill our friends while we attacked the wards, Neville's screams while Lestrange had him under the cruciatus is something I could have done without ever hearing."

Roger had his arm around a shattered Fleur, his girlfriend only sparking to life when she spotted Gabrielle running toward her. As the sisters embraced, Roger added his two knuts worth. "Hearing Harry roar when Hermione got hit by Voldemort's killing curse will give me nightmares for years. it was as if his heart had been torn out…"

The smallest redhead could hardly speak at that, her voice now barely above a whisper. "Sirius never mentioned that, he said everyone was okay…"

"Everyone is, Ginny, or at least they will be. Bill told us Hermione's bracelet is some of the finest work goblins have ever produced, it has just about every protection enchantment possible on it. Even so, everyone was still surprised the first time it began to expand like Harry's armour - it shouldn't be able to do that."

Fred now had Ginny in his arms, offering his sister some much needed comfort. "The killing curse hit that golden armour, and we're taught only physical objects can block that curse. Hermione's armour saved her life, Ginny, though she will need to get pieces of it removed from the wound on her shoulder. Bill also said that's at least the second time Hermione's armour has saved her."

Needing to have armour save your life twice before you were sixteen was not something Roger wanted to contemplate. "At least now we know the reason behind all that training, and why they have been a little strange recently. Imagine knowing that was coming to face you? I also can't think of any other group who could have pulled that off. We four will ace our N.E.W.T. defence practicals, but those four are in a whole different league from us."

George had the last word though. "They needed to be."

As Severus followed the weary group up toward the castle, his mind couldn't help but drift back to the last time celebrations were held over Voldemort's defeat - he didn't celebrate that day either. He also understood exactly how Harry felt when the centurion thought Hermione was dead, Severus had felt as if his heart had been ripped out his chest on that terrible Halloween Lily had been murdered. The difference here however was Hermione hadn't died, and she clearly returned Harry's feelings with as much love and passion she could.

He'd made a promise to the woman he loved that very same Halloween, Severus Snape would do his best to avenge her death - and look after her son. Today he'd upheld both of those promises. Her son was safe and Voldemort was no more, Dumbledore was surely finished too.

Everyone was now free to get on with their lives. Both Black and Lupin had already married well, it was time for Severus to break from the past and begin living in the present. He already had an offer from Augusta to teach here again next year, as well as a position waiting on his return to Gringotts. Severus would take the first few weeks of the holidays to see what he wanted to do with his life before he made any decisions. Just having those decisions available to him meant he was already in a better place than he had been for many, many years.


With so many people involved in the battle, and all the spectators in the Hogwarts stadium, news of Voldemort's final demise quickly spread around the country. The next edition of the Daily Prophet was still eagerly anticipated though, especially as Rita Skeeter was rumoured to have been at the scene of the battle. Neither Rita nor their daily newspaper disappointed, the readers actually got a lot more than they had bargained for.

The picture on the front page cranked up the drama from the instant they unrolled their newspaper, an unconscious Hermione being carried on a stretcher by four centurions, Harry, Dan and Barchoke at her side. Clearly visible in the background were three aurors standing guard over Voldemort's dead body. As if that picture wasn't iconic enough on its own, Rita's headline took it to another level.

The Girl Who Lived!

That particular headline dispelled any remaining doubts the country had about this witch one day marrying their hero, they were obviously fated to be together. Rita's article then went on to give a practically spell by spell account of the battle, especially how the three terrorists were dealt with before explaining exactly what had saved Hermione's life.

She also painted a fuller picture of the battle by including a lot of the background action, describing how aurors had tears running down their cheeks as they tried their utmost to get Voldemort's wards down. Watching those five brave people fight and not being able to intercede went against everything they stood for. Frank Longbottom having to be restrained for his own safety while Bellatrix Lestrange used the torture curse on his son was understood and heartfelt by every parent reading Rita's compelling words. She also described how over a hundred warriors began physically attacking those same wards with goblin steel as Miss Granger fell, desperate to avenge her. This might go some way in accounting for their wild displays of jubilation on discovering she had survived, Miss Granger is clearly a well-loved figure within The Goblin Nation.

Rita also had quotes that other journalists would kill for. The Bulgarian Minister of Magic was magnanimous in his praise for the efforts he had played a small part in here today.

"Last summer, like the rest of the world, I was shocked and appalled at the horrific attack after the Quidditch World Cup. The British Ministry of Magic and our friends from the Goblin Nation have been methodical yet relentless as they pursued these three murderers. What you witnessed here today was the result of almost nine months of careful planning, reversing Voldemort's trap and then finally ending it at Bannockburn. I perfectly understood the need for secrecy, I myself only becoming aware of this operation due to Minister Fudge needing my assistance with a matter regarding Albus Dumbledore. I don't want to say any more about that but I will say Viktor Krum and I were honoured to participate in justice being done on behalf of our fellow countrymen."

Borislaw knew his final remark would be popular. He just didn't realise that everyone else would have to follow suit, not that they wouldn't want to anyway.

"When I return home, I shall be recommending to my government that these five heroes receive recognition from the witches and wizards of Bulgaria for the crucial part they played here today."

Cornelius and Ragnok echoed the same sentiments, including looking at rewarding the heroes of the hour. Amelia though had something a bit more substantial to say. She didn't want there to be the slightest doubt about what happened here today.

"What is already well documented is that these four teens have extra training four days a week. What is not so well known is that, for the last two years, their training has been identical to that afforded to trainee aurors. Their tutors and I have been so impressed with them, Miss Granger, Miss Patil and Mr Longbottom have been awarded the rank of Honouree Aurors - all will be able to wear auror dress robes when accepting any awards. Harry is of course a Centurion, though my department would certainly be blessed to have any of those four working there."

Rita promised that future editions of The Daily Prophet would have full details of how this plot of Voldemort's was discovered, what steps were taken to overcome Voldemort's scheme and the part Albus Dumbledore played in aiding the dark lord. This guaranteed these future editions would sell every copy printed.

The paper's owners had literally begged Rita to return, offering her any position she wanted at the Prophet. With her growing reputation and rapidly swelling vault, Rita took great pleasure in turning them down - then screwing even more gold out of them for her future exclusives.

It was a subdued Hogwarts great hall who read what their fellow students had faced yesterday. It was beginning to dawn on them just why the four friends and two champions who had fought to bring Voldemort's wards down didn't want to talk about it. There were no Hogwarts lessons today, Augusta and Minerva taking the view that the students would have been almost impossible to teach today anyway. Their minds were clearly on other things, or other people.

Augusta was also down three professors, the extended family all staying in London last night. She wanted to be there herself but had a school to run, Augusta was also receiving constant updates from the family, indicating everything was going to be fine. The family meeting was planned for Sunday, she could wait until then to hug them all. Just knowing everyone had survived this time was enough for Augusta.


Hermione left the goblin medical facility on the Friday evening, her arm in a sling and warnings about overtaxing herself ringing in her ears. The plan was to stay in Gringotts for a couple of nights, the healers wanted to check on her for the next few days anyway, attend the family meeting in Hogwarts on Sunday before returning home to Crow's Nest.

All four students agreed to give the last week at Hogwarts a miss, Padma, Neville and Hermione had sat their potions O.W.L. the week before. Hermione's wand and writing arm would be in a sling for most of that week anyway, and Neville was still getting odd bouts of the shakes. The couple had taken down Rookwood and then Padma parted Lestrange from her arm, there were now more important things to be dealt with between them than being inside the castle for the final week.

As Harry and Hermione sat in father's apartment, Jamie happily sitting on Harry's lap with his sister right next to them, it was time to discuss the first subject of importance. All three parents were pleased to see the subject in question totally catching the couple out.

"I have spoken to Dan and Emma to explain my, and The Nation's position on your relationship. You are both considered adults in our society, adults who chose to complete their bond. If you hadn't taken that action, we would have lost the daughter, sister and wife who means so much to all of us here. In my eyes, and the eyes of our people, you are mates - husband and wife - married. While you are inside Gringotts, you will be treated as such."

Hermione didn't know it was possible to be embarrassed and excited at the same time, she looked to Harry but her mate appeared to be in a different world. Jamie was chatting with his big brother as only a toddler can, his little fists wrapped around two of Harry's fingers as he pulled that hand around and giggled. Harry seemed as enraptured as Jamie was, his mind though was in a different place - and a different time.

"Father, how did you go on? When I thought my Hermione was gone, there was nothing here for me anymore. I would have gladly gone with her, I don't think I could have continued without her."

It was as if all the air had been sucked out of the room, only Jamie seemed unaffected. Barchoke struggled to answer his son. "When my mate passed away, I had a newborn son who needed me. When he then left a few days later, I was an empty shell. I did my best for Gringotts and my clients but I was simply going through the motions. That all changed the day you appeared on my desk, I suddenly had a son who needed me again."

The goblin's gaze shifted slightly to Hermione, all there seeing the unshed tears in the corners of Barchoke's eyes. "I know you are truly my daughter because that feeling returned with a vengeance when you fell. A large part of me was missing again, only to be repaired by Harry screaming for a healer. I am not ashamed to say Dan and I clung to each other like a couple of scared little tots who were afraid of the dark. That continued right up until we got confirmation from the healer that you had survived, then things got a bit crazy."

Dan wasn't the only one wiping moisture from his eyes. "I was jumping up and down like mad while hugging Ragnok, only his guards doing the same prevented me being beheaded. Apparently our girl here is something of a celebrity in The Nation, a well loved one at that."

Taking a deep breath, he then continued with what he wanted to say. "Your mother and I have been talking about the marriage issue too. The only thing against us accepting this outright is the age we know both of you currently are. Since you certainly behave and physically appear older, we have decided just to ignore the numbers. Having witnessed what happened on that battlefield, I can certainly understand Harry not wanted to be parted from Hermione for the foreseeable future. Rather than have you sneaking about behind our backs, we give you our blessing - though the wedding next summer will still go ahead as planned."

This was soon confirmed by Emma. "I know you are both sensible, and have major plans for your future. Let's just make sure Jamie is a good bit older before you make him an uncle."

Harry kissed his brother on the forehead before carefully leaning into Hermione and capturing her lips. He'd always intended spending the night with Hermione but here they were being given oh so precious permission by their parents to do so. "I don't really know what to say, except thanks."

Dan summed it up for all three parents. "In a choice between a new baby or another battle, we'll take babies every time. Please you two, my heart couldn't take going through that again - no more battles."

"Dad, it's over - I have no intention of fighting any more battles. I still hope to keep our morning training up though, it should also help me get this shoulder back in action. I'm pretty sure we're finished with hammering ourselves four times a week however."

Harry agreed with his mate. "I hope the only battles we fight in the future are diplomatic ones. We've been taught you only fight when there are no other alternatives, it's going to be father's and then my job to make sure it never comes to that again."

Now that was something all of them could accept and readily agree on.


It wasn't the pain from where her arm was now missing that had Bella in such a state. Nor was it the loss of her mate and their master, Bella was certain she would be joining them soon. No, it was the uncertainty over her beautiful baby boy that had her climbing the walls with anxiety. She'd known Augustus was dead before she'd been stunned. Just the demeanour of those who woke her in this cell told Bella their master had suffered the same fate.

The instant she regained her senses, Bella began reciting Marvolo's location - irrespective of what question she was asked. The truth serum had soon followed with Bella spilling every secret she knew, though she fought it to keep repeating her baby's location. Then nothing. Apart from passing food and drink into her cell, she'd had no contact with anyone. Shouting the instant the hatch opened brought no results either. Bella was going crazy thinking of her little Marvolo, hungrily crying for his mummy and no one attending to him.

Bellatrix Lestrange was a cruel, sadistic bitch of a witch. She was far more likely to be proud of that fact, rather than attempt to deny it. Bella thought the torture she was undergoing at the moment was worse than anything she'd ever dished out to her hapless victims, this not-knowing the fate of her baby was killing the doting mother a piece at a time.

The cell door opened to reveal Mad-eye, a black auror and her pink haired niece. "You're comin' with us. Please believe that if you try anything, you'll be missin' another limb when it's time for your sentence."

Bella certainly believed Moody wouldn't hesitate to do something like that, she couldn't resist having a verbal pop at her niece though as they walked along the corridor.

"You are still too weak to win this war, using stunners in a fight just emphasises you don't have the stomach for this battle."

Tonks however was more than ready for her aunt, she also knew what was to follow here today. "When a schoolgirl can cut you down with her blade, I thought a stunner was appropriate. I also stopped that schoolgirl from finishing the job, purely because I didn't want Padma having your death on her hands. The couple had already dealt with Rookwood, and the Longbottom family would have cherished their newest addition even more if she had put her blade through your chest too. I just thought the ministry should deal with vermin like you, it's actually what they pay me for."

All three aurors could see Bella was desperate to attack Tonks for that, it was never going to happen though. With her remaining arm attached to the restraining belt around her waist, that option for retaliation was not available. Her ankles were also shackled, a fifteen inch tether meaning she could move no faster than a shuffle. With a trio of wands on her, Bella wouldn't be doing anything they didn't want her to do.

She was led into a room and fastened securely to a chair, Moody couldn't resist a parting comment as he and Shack left Tonks with her. "If I had my way, this wouldn't be happenin'. You never showed your victims the merest scrap of mercy, you shouldn't be receivin' any now. The Minister says that's why we're better than you, and why we won in the end. Personally I would rather see you die without knowin', takin' that anguish to your grave. That might be because I've seen enough of the poor bastards who you sent to theirs, or maybe it's time for me to retire before I become like the people I hate the most."

Tonks stood with her back against the wall, ignoring her aunt's taunts and waiting for the fireworks to begin. She didn't have long to wait.

Elspeth Parkinson entered the interview room, with Cissy's arm around her waist and a toddler in her arms. It was like a bolt of lightning passing through Bella.

"Marvolo, my baby. Mummy's here, son. These murdering bastards killed your father but mummy's still here."

Elspeth held the sleeping child lovingly in her arms, he'd been spelled to nap so as not to cause the toddler the slightest hint of distress. "He's not your son anymore, nor is that despicable name still attached to this beautiful baby boy. This is Bruce Parkinson, our son."

That Cissy bent to lovingly kiss the baby's head, before then doing the same to Elspeth's lips set Bella off like a rocket.

"I will not have my gorgeous boy raised by a couple of witches' witches. I don't give a shit how pure your blood is, my son will need a strong male in his life if he's one day going to rule this country."

"Oh I agree Bella, our little Bruce is gorgeous. We called him Bruce after the statue your master was finally defeated under, they burned Tom's body just where it fell. Bruce here will also have plenty of strong male figures in his life to aspire to, Draco, Sirius and Severus are just the first three that sprung to mind. He's about the same age as Astrid Black and Jamie Granger too, we're hoping all three can be friends..."

"Cissy, you bastard. I was forced to marry that poofter, Rodolphus, while you got stuck with Lucius. It was only Augustus that taught me what a real man was like. Don't do this to my son, we don't need another poof in the family. I certainly don't want my boy mixing with the wrong sort either, creatures and mudbloods!"

This had Cissy shaking her head. "He will grow up loved, with two mothers, a brother and a sister. His sexuality will be something for Bruce to decide when he's older. We didn't get to choose who we loved, I guarantee he will get to make that choice for himself - just as he will get to choose who his friends are too."

Elspeth glanced at Cissy before addressing Bella again. "You tortured my husband to death and I hated you for it. In his own way, Edmund Parkinson was a good man. You took my husband from me, now I've got your sister and your son - I'm happier than I've ever been and certainly think I got the better of the deal."

Tonks then really stirred the cauldron. "Did you know your beloved master had set the wards around your son to fail if Tom died? Bill Weasley led a team of curse-breakers, warriors and aurors to your hideout, just in time to stop a bloody great snake eating that baby. It was in the corridor leading to Bruce's room when the warriors made short work of it. My mother and Aunt Cissy are his two closest living relatives, the ministry have already awarded custody of Bruce to Cissy and Elspeth - two widows who have paid a high price for this war."

Tonks wasn't sure if her aunt had heard a word she said, all her attention was focused on the baby in Elspeth's arms. Bella was now struggling like a maniac in her futile attempts to get free, foaming at the mouth as her promises of retribution against those who would 'harm' her son got darker and darker.

Cissy led Elspeth and the still sleeping Bruce out the room before glancing over her shoulder at the thing her sister had become. "I won't be at your sentencing, Bella, so this is goodbye. I'll leave you with my promise to look after your son, and love him as if he were my own."

When Moody and Shack returned, they were left with no other option but to stun a now crazed Bella and levitate the unconscious witch back to her cell. Seeing her condition drew a smirk from Mad-eye. "Perhaps I was wron', it looks like this bitch got a doze of her own medicine after all. Now all that's left is to give her an overdose of veritaserum tomorrow."

"Isn't there going to be a trial?"

"Tonks, she's already had the death sentence passed on her before you took her down. We have enough confessions of torture and murders to see that sentence carried out a dozen times over, tomorrow is nothin' more than a public execution."

Seeing this troubled the young auror, Shack tried to put her mind at rest. "This isn't like Sirius Black, Tonks, this piece of shit is really, really guilty. I personally heard her confess to cutting a little girl's throat, just because her last name was Potter. She also butchered Edmund Parkinson and Harry's aunt, we don't need the entire country hearing that. I wish I'd never heard it."

Dumping Bella on the little bed in her cell, they removed the restraints and left her there. Tonks also decided she wouldn't be there tomorrow when justice was finally done, this would be her goodbye to her crazy aunt. She had already arranged that, as soon as the trials were finished, Tonks was going on extended leave. With the Hogwarts term finishing at the end of the week, Remus would be free then too. Tonks had never looked forward so much to a summer in her life before, she also hoped to be pregnant by the end of it.


Arthur always seemed to be busy with his new position. He may have gotten a large raise in salary but he was having to work bloody hard for it. That he actually loved the work he was now doing meant Arthur hadn't enjoyed himself this much in years. He and Bill were briefing members of the muggle government on how the battle had gone, and that the Potter killers were no more.

There were copies of The Daily Prophet spread around the table but all eyes were glued to the goblin viewer displaying Ragnok's memory of the fight. Bill had to adjust the volume control to a lower level when the goblins discovered Hermione had survived.

As the memory faded, eyes moved to Graham Cole. "I think there are a few of us at this table who now owe you an apology, Graham. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who wondered if your report on these supposed kids had been magically enhanced. It was hard to tell from watching that memory which one of the five was the auror."

After a few nods of agreement, their attention returned to the Weasleys. "Her Majesty's Government would also like to offer an unreserved apology if we suggested either of your governments were in any way complacent in using what we considered children to fight this battle. Graham's report highlighted this couldn't be further from the truth, we just got to graphically witness that here today. Even with the foreknowledge that they all survived, that was still incredibly difficult to watch."

A few 'here, here's' were followed by a question. "Why did you ask us for help with technology when that viewer sitting there is more advanced than anything we posses? Being able to store and replay a memory is a wonderful invention."

"This is goblin device," Bill said, "As a people, they have a national archive of memories going back centuries. That does not take into account families who keep their own generation after generation. History is very important to The Nation, they treasure it, and teach it to the following generations. The young man you saw fighting there, Harry Crow, intends to attend one of your universities to study history and politics - his fiancee hopes to attend the same university to study law. Padma will apprentice under The Nation's most prestigious Potions Master while I don't think Neville had looked past the battle all four knew was coming."

Stopping for a drink of water, Bill took a moment before continuing. "None of those four chose this, Voldemort is the one who believed in the prophecy and went after Harry - killing both his parents in his first attempt to murder him almost fourteen years ago. Harry told his three friends the danger they might be in the first week he met them, all three wanted his friendship so accepted the dangers. I have been teaching those four every Saturday and Sunday for the last four years. If there was any way I could have taken their place inside those wards, you have my solemn word that's where I would have been. Those four are like family to me, and family means everything to us."

His father's hand on his arm stopped Bill saying any more. "You'll have to excuse us if we get rather emotional. We lived what you just watched and didn't have the benefit of already knowing the outcome. Myself, four of my sons and a young lady who will soon become my daughter-in-law were all stood there, pouring everything we could into bringing those wards down. Penny actually fainted from relief on hearing that Hermione was alive. She was their prefect at the boarding school for three years, holidayed with them and now works for Harry's father. This whole thing is very personal to us but we're here to do a job." It was Arthur's turn to need a drink of water before he could continue.

"We asked for help specifically with technology none of these three would know, therefor wouldn't guard against. Harry actually came up with a solution that worked brilliantly. We understood why the offer was withdrawn but, as you clearly saw, this was not an option we entered into lightly. Most of our people are celebrating the defeat of this dark lord, that does not include anyone who witnessed the battle. We all know how close we came to losing someone very dear to us. Had Hermione fallen, our two governments would have been in mourning - that's how close we came to losing. Make no mistake, defeating Voldemort and losing any one of those five would not have been a victory."

"We can all see that you have had a traumatic few days, unfortunately I am just about to add to that. Her Majesty is most anxious to hear how this went, I would ask if you could repeat your presentation for her?"

Neither Arthur or Bill felt they could refuse which was why two Weasleys were soon in a government car and making the short trip to Buckingham Palace.


The story that the Potter killers were no more broke in the muggle press on Sunday, the story that was reported essentially being the truth. These killers had set a trap for Lord Potter but he and his security forces had reversed the trap and ended the conflict. While two of the trio of terrorists had been killed outright, the third was not expected to live past the weekend. Lord Potter's party had taken some injuries but nothing too serious.

Like the rest of the country, and certainly most of Crawley, the Reverend Robert Richards studied the story intently. His intended sermon now lay forgotten as he scribbled down notes for a new one. This may be a national story but it had touched Crawley. While the entire congregation had known the Dursleys and knew the Grangers, Robert now understood there would be a lot more to this story than what was reported here. He could also make a good guess just who those private security forces were.

As he stood in church to begin today's service, Robert's entire face lit up as he noticed who just walked in the door. Too late, he realised why the group had deliberately arrived at this late time, obviously attempting to avoid attention. The Reverend Richards staring at the door with a wide smile on his face saw a few heads turning in that direction, a couple of gasps later and the entire congregation was facing the church doors.

Harry was standing there with Jamie in his arms, at Hermione's insistence. She loved him to bits but his continual hovering to see she was alright had really began to grate on her nerves. Just because her arm was in a sling didn't mean she couldn't still do things for herself. That Harry constantly blamed himself for her injury wasn't helping either, giving him Jamie to look after allowed Hermione a break - it was also a solution that both boys were happy with too. Padma and Neville had come along as well, both liking the Reverend Richards. They were flanked by Dan and Emma, the trio of Blacks bringing up the rear.

Knowing this group would have wanted to avoid attention, Robert started speaking before the congregation broke into applause or something just as stupid.

"I was just thinking about you this morning and intended to lead the congregation in prayers for your safety, it would seem our prayers have been answered. Dan, Emma, Lord Potter and Lord Black, it's delightful to see you and your families again - Jamie and Astrid are getting so big."

This drew all eyes back onto the reverend, the fact he knew everyone who had just walked into his church was a surprise to all in his congregation.

"We have of course known the Grangers for many years. Due to circumstances beyond their control, the family were unable to attend church. That didn't mean their church couldn't go to them, or should that be their minister. I have stayed in their beautiful home in Kingussie, christening their son, Jamie, back in September of last year. I returned during the Christmas holidays to preside over the marriage of two family friends. Next summer sees a double wedding on the estate, Lord Potter and Hermione being one of the couples I'll join together that day. Let us all rejoice that they are once more safely back amongst us by singing the first hymn…"

They had almost reached the first chorus before the congregation got into its singing stride, so shocked were they at their reverend's revelations.

With Hermione sitting on one side of him, Sirius on the other, Jamie on his knee and Astrid taking the same position with her father, Harry was very happy to be in church. He kept waking up during the night in a cold sweat, only discovering Hermione was laying right beside him and still breathing allowing the possibility of sleep to return. Harry knew he was driving Hermione crazy but both also knew he couldn't help it. They couldn't wait for all this to be over and then head for the island, perhaps there he would be able to relax.

After the service, all knew the interrogation would begin. While Dan and Emma were busy telling everyone they would be moving to Scotland permanently, the younger members of the family were answering different questions.

"You're getting married, Hermione?"

She thought for a second about the terrible joke Harry had coined and decided not to go there. "Yes, Harry arranged the date with the Reverend Richards when he was up in Kingussie to christen my brother. August 4th next summer, the wedding will be on our estate."

"What happened to your shoulder?"

"Oh, I was shot in the shoulder. My body armour absorbed most of it though, the sling is to stop me using my arm before it's properly healed."

This halted the questions for a moment, Harry standing beside her still with Jamie in his arms meant Hermione could cope with anything today."

"So, you're not coming back to Crawley?"

"No, Kingussie is our home now. After our wedding, we'll be searching to see what university we'll apply to. It's been nice seeing you all again but we have a long journey in front of us now."

With that, the Grangers' association with Crawley ended. They would certainly be keeping in touch with Reverend Richards, he'd already been invited to spend some time with them on the island, but there was nothing else here for them now. Dan, Emma and Hermione were all different people from when they lived here, Kingussie was home to all of them now - something Jamie would certainly benefit from.


The three older Longbottoms were at a different kind of ceremony. Bellatrix Lestrange was led into the sparse facility, the charges she'd been found guilty of read out before an overdose of veritaserum was administered. Once she became unconscious, the murderer was taken away to die in her cell. So ended the life of the dark lord's last follower. Now all that remained were the trials of Umbridge and Dumbledore.

Those would be far grander affairs though and, since the wards would allow them to enter, be held in the Wizengamot Chamber. After Rita's explosive expose today, neither Augusta, Alice nor Frank would be surprised if their sentence was the same as the one Lestrange had just received. When they thought about it, none of them were bothered by that prospect at all. Dumbledore's image as a light wizard had been well and truly destroyed.

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