Chapter 1 - The Beginning of the End
The war was over. Although Harry and his companions had quite a few losses, they had defeated Voldemort once and for all.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione boarded the Hogwarts Express that would take them back to Platform 9 ¾ where they would be going home with Ron’s mother, Mrs. Weasley.
“Do you think we’re going to go back to Hogwarts so we can finish our Seventh Year? We still have to take our N.E.W.T.S., you know.” Hermione asked.
“I don’t care much about N.E.W.T.S., to be honest.” Harry said. “I only want to go back because Hogwarts was the first place that felt like home to me.”
Ron laid a hand on Harry’s shoulder to comfort him. “I know, mate, I know.”
“You know what?” Hermione burst out, causing Ron and Harry to jump.
“What’d you do that for?” Ron asked.
“I’ve just gotten an idea!” She said excitedly.
“Oh no… “ Ron muttered.
“Shut up, Ron, I heard that! Anyway, I’ve just thought that we could write to McGonagall to tell her how much we need to take our N.E.W.T.S.!”
“I’ve just said I don’t care much about my N.E.W.T.S.!” Harry protested.
“Don’t you get it, Harry? That’s how we’re going to go back to Hogwarts!” Hermione said, exasperated.
“I think we should wait and see if we get a letter from McGonagall first before we send her anything.” Ron mused. (?)
“I agree with Ron.” Harry said.
“Fair enough.” said Hermione, thoughtfully. (?)
The train compartment door slid open, revealing Ron’s sister, Ginny, a blonde witch, and a dark-haired wizard.
“Hello.” Luna, the blonde witch, said dreamily. “May we sit with you?”
“Everywhere else is full.” the dark-haired wizard, Neville, added.
“Sure.” Ron, Hermione and Harry replied, scooting closer together to allow room for the new arrivals.
“I miss Hogwarts.” Neville said, looking with longing out of the compartment window at the rolling hills flashing by.
“Me too.” said Ginny.
“But you have one more year!” Ron burst out. “We don’t!”
“I’m sorry.” Ginny said, looking down. “I didn’t mean it like that, Ron. It won’t be Hogwarts without you guys.”
“We might have to come back.” Hermione said. “We haven’t taken our N.E.W.T.S..”
Ron and Harry rolled their eyes.
“It’ll give you an excuse to come back.” Ginny pointed out.
“True.” Ron said, accepting defeat.
Harry sighed and leaned his head against the window.
“Are you okay, Harry?” Luna asked. “You look like a Crumple-Horned Snorklat (gotta change the creature name) emitted fumes (oh come on i can come up with something more creative than that lol) on you.”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” he said, avoiding her eyes and forcing a smile on his face.
“No, you’re not.” Luna said, putting her hand on his shoulder, making him look at her. “You’re never ‘fine’ when you look like that.”
“Oh yeah, I’m being taken away from the only place that’s felt like home to me and I may never return. But other than that, I’m perfectly fine.” Harry said, sarcastically.
“I’m sorry.” Luna said, coming to sit next to him.
“I don’t want it to be the end, but I think it might be.” he sighed, accepting the hug she was giving him.
“It’s not the end and it never will be as long as we are still friends.” Neville said.
“And we ARE still friends, right?” Ron joked, punching Harry’s shoulder softly.
“Yeah, don’t worry, Ron.” Harry said, grinning.
It may be the end of the story, Harry thought, but at least he still had friends that would stick with him through the Epilogue and beyond.
The train pulled into the station, the wheels screeched against the track, forcing them to a stop. The friends stood up and headed towards the compartment door, talking amongst themselves.
Suddenly, Harry heard a shout from behind him.
He knew that voice anywhere. Draco Malfoy.
Chapter 2 - Apologies and Owls
“What the [heck] does he want?” Ron asked, annoyed.
“Give me a minute, guys.” Harry said to them. He headed toward the compartment where Malfoy had called to him from. “Yes?” he said to him.
“I- I just wanted to- to thank you. For- for saving my life. You didn’t have to do that.” he said, his pale face tinting a slight red.
“I know I didn’t have to.” Harry replied. “I wanted to.” Harry sat down next to him and took Malfoy's hand between his own.
Malfoy looked momentarily shocked, then collected himself. “Well, thanks. I could never repay you.”
Harry smiled. “And you don’t need to.”
Malfoy’s skin went a little darker. “Are- are you sure?”
“Absolutely. C’mon.” he stood, starting to make his way towards the exit.
It was quiet, barely louder than a whisper, but Harry heard him. Harry turned, looking taken aback that Malfoy had used his first name, but inclined his head anyway to show he was listening.
“Look, I just want to apologize for all the stupid stuff I’ve done. I’ve called you and your friends names, I’ve bullied you, and, [heck], I even tried to lock you in a train compartment at the beginning of last year! If someone hadn't saved you, you could've…" his voice trailed off.
He knelt down to his level. “I forgive you.” Harry said, looking into his eyes. And he meant it.
“I [fricked] up, Harry. I [fricked] up.” he buried his face in his hands.
Harry laid a hand on his back to comfort him. “It’s fine, Draco, I forgive you.”
“But I don’t deserve it!”
“That doesn’t matter! Let’s move on from our past. We have the rest of our lives ahead of us.”
Draco looked up, and smiled.
“Anyways, let’s go.” Harry led the way to the exit.
They approached Hermione, Ron, and the others, who all looked impatient.
Draco spotted his mother. “Thank you.” he whispered in Harry’s ear, making him smile, before running to catch up with her.
“What the [heck] just happened?” Ron asked, bewildered.
“I’ll tell you later.” he said. “Where’s your mother?”
“Over here.” Ron said, leading the way.
Molly Weasley took one look at Harry and ran over to him, strangling him in a hug. “Thank you.” she whispered through joyful tears. Harry smiled, remembering that Malfoy had just done the same thing moments earlier.
When Mrs. Weasley had finally let go of Harry, George made a brilliant suggestion. “How about we go home and have a victory dinner?”
Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys sat down at the dining table while Mrs. Weasley prepared steak and kidney pie with mashed potatoes and gravy on the side.
When she was finished, she placed the food on the table and sat down.
George didn’t waste a second before grabbing a fork and digging into his portion.
“This is delicious, Mrs. Weasley.” Hermione said, wiping her mouth on her napkin when she had finished.
“Thank you!” she replied, smiling.
The Weasleys, Harry, and Hermione moved into the sitting room once everyone had finished. Suddenly, they heard a tap-tap-tap of an owl’s beak on the kitchen window. Harry ran to go open it.
Sitting on the windowsill was one of the most beautiful owls Harry had ever seen. It was a brown Eagle Owl with piercing orange eyes. Attached to the leg was an envelope addressed to Harry. Once Harry had finished inspecting it, the owl flew to rest on his shoulder, something no other owl had ever done besides Hedwig. Harry thought the bird looked familiar, but couldn’t place it.
He walked into the sitting room, the owl still on his shoulder. “I’m going to go open my mail in my room. Let me know if you need me.” he said, heading up the stairs.
When he got to the room he and Ron shared, the owl flew off his shoulder and landed in front of him, holding out his leg so Harry could untie the letter. When he had finished untying it, the owl flew back onto his shoulder.
Harry opened his letter, which was sealed with a crest that had a massive M in the center.
The letter read:
Harry immediately ran downstairs, the owl still on his shoulder, to ask Mr. Weasley to take him.
When he emerged into the sitting room, he found Mr. Weasley sitting on the sofa reading the Daily Prophet.
“Mr. Weasley!” Harry said.
Mr. Weasley looked up from his newspaper to acknowledge the teenager in front of him.
“Mr. Weasley, are you going to work tomorrow?”
“I wasn’t planning on it. Why?”
“I-” He looked around at the rest of the Weasleys who were listening to their conversation. “-have some post-war business to attend to.”
Mr. Weasley looked momentarily confused, then remembered the hearing. “Ah,” he said, “I see. Yes, I will take you.”
“Thank you so much!” Harry said, then scrambled back up the stairs to write Draco a response.
It took me FOREVER to make those letters! I hope you like them! :)
Chapter 3 - The Hearing
The next morning, Harry couldn’t eat. He couldn’t stop thinking about how, in a few hour’s time, Draco’s entire future would be on the line. He hadn’t told anyone besides Mr. Weasley where he would be going today, and wasn’t planning on it.
“You need to eat something, Harry.” Mr. Weasley said. “To prepare for what’s coming.”
Harry stabbed at his sausages with his fork. “I can’t.” he admitted.
Ron looked over at him. “Are you sure you’re okay, Harry? I’m your best friend, you can tell me anything, you know.”
Harry didn’t answer.
Around 11, Mr. Weasley came into Ron and Harry’s room to get Harry for the hearing. “You ready Harry?”
Harry looked up from his game of Wizard’s Chess. “Honestly? No.”
Mr. Weasley nodded understandingly.
“Is anyone going to tell me what’s going on?” Ron asked, annoyed.
“I’m going to the Ministry to attend to some personal matters.” Harry said.
Ron looked at him skeptically.
“What?” he said. “It’s the truth!” Just not all of it… he thought.
“We’re going to be late. Bye, son.” Mr. Weasley gave Ron a hug goodbye and Harry shook his hand before the two spun around, apparating to the Ministry.
They arrived a little bit early. Harry’s visitor name tag still read, “Rescue Mission” from the last time he had come. He was nervous, and he didn’t think to change it. He smiled, thinking it was quite fitting.
Mr. Weasley walked Harry to the Department of Law Enforcement, where the hearing would take place in Courtroom Six. “Good luck.” he whispered to Harry, before leaving.
Harry walked into the room and looked around. He saw Lucius, Narcissa, and Draco chained to three chairs in the centre of the room. Harry tried to catch Draco’s eye, but he was looking down.
“The disciplinary hearing of offenses committed by Lucius Malfoy, Narcissa Black Malfoy, and Draco Lucius Malfoy, residents of Wiltshire, England.” The minister said, banging his gavel on the podium.
Harry had never heard Draco’s full name before. He thought it had a nice ring to it.
“Charges: Being Death Eaters, fighting with the Dark Lord during the Battle of Hogwarts, and, for specifically Mr. Draco Malfoy, being responsible for the death of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.”
“But I didn’t-!” Draco began.
“SILENCE!” the Minister roared.
Draco jumped and slumped back into his chair.
Harry hated seeing him like this. He seemed helpless and weak, unlike the strong, confident, and proud Draco Malfoy he was used to.
“Witness for the defense:” the Minister said, looking over to where Harry was, expecting no one. He looked taken aback when he saw him. “Harry James Potter?”
“Good afternoon, Minister.” he said, cheerfully.
Lucius glared at him. “Great. Here comes Potter to ruin everything.” he muttered.
Draco couldn’t believe it. He sat up suddenly, looking around for him. They locked eyes and Draco’s face lit up with a renewed hope. ‘You came!’ he mouthed. Harry nodded. He smiled and the two turned back to the Minister.
“So, you’re here to defend the Malfoys.” A lady to the right of the Minister said. “What did Lucius threaten you with?”
“I- nothing!” Harry stammered. “I came because I wanted to!”
Harry caught Draco’s eye and smiled.
She raised an eyebrow skeptically, but continued nonetheless. “So. What have you got to say for them?”
“Quite a lot, actually. First and foremost, Draco didn’t even want to be a Death Eater. If you would have been there the day I made the worst mistake of my life, Draco wouldn’t be sitting here right now.”
“What are you talking about?” Draco hissed.
Harry smiled. “You’ll see.”
“The worst mistake of your life?” the woman said, questioningly. “Ans what was that?”
“When I nearly killed him.” He nodded to Draco.
Draco put a hand to the scar in the centre of his chest and winced, remembering very clearly now.
“Before I nearly killed him, he was in the bathroom, crying.”
Draco buried his face in his hands. “Harry…” he moaned.
“He was saying something about he couldn’t do it, he couldn’t kill him. I didn’t understand at the time, but now I do.”
“You mean to tell me that Mr. Malfoy was assigned the task of killing someone, but was crying because he couldn’t do it?”
And why, may I ask, did that result in crying?”
Harry looked over at Draco, guiltily. ‘Sorry.’ he mouthed, before turning back to the court.
“Voldemort told him that if he could not, he would kill him and his whole family.”
Harry looked over at Draco again, to see that silent tears were rolling down his cheeks at the memory. Something in him yearned to run to him, to take him into his arms, to tell him it would be alright, that Voldemort was dead, that he didn’t have to worry... but he couldn’t. They were in the middle of a hearing for his future. Comforting could wait.
The woman crossed her arms. “That’s not enough evidence to clear him.”
“I know. I’m getting to the rest of it. When I was at his house, the Death Eaters were having a meeting there and-”
“So they let the Death Eaters use their house to meet in?”
“No! Listen! They were uncomfortable, I could see it on their faces! From what I know, they couldn’t do anything about it, they just came in!”
“Back to your earlier point, Mr. Malfoy couldn’t kill Dumbledore. What evidence do you have for that?”
“I was there. I watched the entire thing.”
“What?! How?!” Draco blurted, unable to ask his shock.
“I was under the Invisibility Cloak and Dumbledore stunned me.” Harry explained. “He was shaking. His voice, his hand… He could barely disarm him, much less kill him!”
“So if Mr. Malfoy didn’t kill Dumbledore, who did?”
Harry took a deep breath. “Snape.”
“I knew it!” someone shouted. “That no good son of a-”
“SILENCE!” the minister yelled.
“It’s not what it looks like.” Harry said. “They agreed on it long before then. I delved into the memories that Snape gave me as he was dying.”
“And the proof?”
“Hermione asked me later,” Harry continued, as though nothing had happened. “If I thought Draco would’ve been able to do it. It was my reply then, and is still my reply now: no. No, I don’t think he could’ve done it.”
“We’ve seen your evidence for Draco, but what about his parents?”
“Okay, first off, if you like me, if you appreciate me at all for finishing Voldemort off for you, you can think Narcissa that I was even alive to do that.”
Gasps and murmurs went up from the court.
“Do you mind explaining to us what you mean, Mr. Potter?” The woman asked.
“I was a horcrux.” he answered simply.
The courtroom grew suddenly quiet, silently urging him to go on.
“Voldemort thought he had only made six, but put another piece of his soul in me when he murdered my mum and dad. So I had to let him kill me, so I could kill him. When he killed me…”
“...I nearly cried.” Draco whispered so only Harry could hear. Harry turned and saw that he was crying again. Harry smiled encouragingly before continuing.
“When he killed me, I didn’t die because I had two souls.”
“Where does Narcissa come in?”
“I’m getting to that!” Harry said, getting annoyed. “When I woke up, Voldemort could hardly believe that he had killed me at last. He sent Narcissa to make sure I was truly dead. She discovered very quickly, though, that I was not. However, she told Voldemort that I was, because she knew, just as I did, that if he attempted to kill me again, that he would be successful.”
“I’m GETTING there!” Harry shouted.
The court went silent.
Draco, who had his face in his hands, looked up suddenly. He hadn’t heard Harry this mad in quite a while.
“I remember you saying that they were charged for fighting with Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts?” he continued calmly.
The woman only nodded.
“Well, none of them did fight in the Battle of Hogwarts.” He reached into the folds of his robes and pulled out Draco’s blackthorn wand.
Draco’s eyes widened, but he didn’t say anything.
Harry caught his eye and mouthed, ‘Later.’ “This,” he said, twisting the wand between his fingers, “is Draco’s wand. I disarmed him at Malfoy Manor, making the wand mine. Narcissa then gave him her wand.” he pulled it out of his robes. “Draco dropped it when the Room of Requirement caught on fire. I retrieved it, intent on returning it later. This means both Narcissa and Draco were wand-less during the Battle of Hogwarts, which leaves only Lucius. He and Narcissa were looking for Draco for the whole battle. So even though Lucius had a wand, he still didn’t fight. So there you have it. A few solid, applicable reasons that the Malfoys should be cleared of all charges.” He sat down.
The woman finally spoke. “Those in favour of conviction?”
About ⅙ of the court raised their hands, including the Minister.
“Those in favour of clearing the accused of all charges?”
The rest of the hands went up, including the woman that was speaking.
The Minister sighed. “Cleared of all charges.” He half-heartedly banged his gavel on the podium.
Harry released the breath that he didn’t know he was holding. He’d done it! He stood and looked over at the Malfoys, who couldn’t hide the shock on their faces.
The chains binding the Malfoys to their chairs unclasped themselves and fell to the floor. Draco got up first, and, before he realized what he was doing, ran at Harry and threw his arms around him, kissing him full on the mouth.
Draco’s lips were surprisingly soft against Harry’s. He then realized that it was his enemy for six and a half years that was kissing him. However, he couldn’t bring himself to pull away. He couldn’t explain it, but somehow it felt right. He’d had many kisses before now, but this felt like his first kiss; his first real kiss.
So he kissed him back, feeling a smile appear on Draco’s lips which, he knew, must be mirrored on his.
Draco had no idea what he was doing. Not only was he kissing Potter, he was enjoying it! He felt so alive, more alive than he’d ever felt before.
When they finally broke apart, everyone, including Mr. Weasley, who had arrived at precisely that moment to pick up Harry, had their mouths hanging open.
Draco looked over at Harry. His lips were bright red and his emerald eyes were shining. Draco hadn’t ever seen him this beautiful before. He was suddenly overcome with the urge to kiss him again, but held back. Instead, he just brushed Harry’s hair out of his eyes, caressing his cheek with his thumb.
Lucius and Narcissa got up from their chairs at last. Lucius was livid and Narcissa was having difficulty hiding her shock.
He returned the wands, then leaned into Draco and whispered, “See you soon!” Draco smiled and kissed him on the cheek. Then Harry went home with Mr. Weasley, happier than he had ever been before.