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Hidden Family

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Chapter XLVI

19th June, 1998

Mount Street Flat

Biggles smiled fondly as he watched Ginger standing in front of the mirror trying and failing to arrange his tie. "Will you ever learn the proper way?" he teased.

Ginger, startled, turned to the door. "I’m afraid my early training was lacking," he gestured to the tie hung round his neck. Growing up he hadn’t much use for neckties. Most times now he could easily affix his tie; it was only when the occasion was deemed important that his lessons in the art were lost.

Biggles moved into the room, coming to a stop in front of the younger man. With deft fingers he quickly had the tie set to rights, giving Ginger’s shoulder a pat when done. "There, wouldn’t want you looking anything but your best today."

"I can hardly believe our lad will be graduating today," Ginger smiled. "It seems only days ago I brought him home and now he’s grown."

"Hmmm, but not so grown he doesn’t need his grandfather."

"And uncles," Algy commented from the door. "Are you two nearly ready? The ceremony will begin soon and we want to find good seats."

"No jolly fear old boy," Bertie joined them. "Sirius promised to save us seats. Said he’d give a stinging hex to anybody that argued. Funny lad that."

"Do you have the portkey Lucius sent?" Biggles asked.

"The portkey!" Ginger exclaimed. "I nearly forgot it." He went to the bureau, returning in a moment with a longish piece of rope in his hand. "Everybody take hold," he instructed.

"Becoming quite forgetful in your dotage are you?" Algy teased. "You haven’t forgot the activation code have you?"

Ginger aimed a mock scowl Algy’s direction. "My dotage? You’re older than me, don’t forget."

Algy grinned, winking at the others, "No need for a reminder, I’m not the one in the habit of forgetting things."

Ginger chuckled, "Yes well...ready then?" Seeing the others nod he spoke the words that would take them just outside the wards of Hogwarts. "Change is good," with that the four former airmen disappeared from the room.

19th June, 1998

Hogwarts Grounds

"It seems strange, doesn’t it?" Harry asked, dodging adroitly to one side as a few younger years ran past them.

"That you were ever that small?" Draco smirked.

Harry smacked his friend’s arm, "Prat."

Hermione chuckled, the antics of her two best friends always able to surprise a laugh from her. "It hardly seems the same school as the one we first entered as eleven year olds."

Harry nodded, "Though I was referring to the fact that our time here is nearly over."

"That too," Hermione readily agreed.

"It’s amazing the changes your father has managed in only a few years time Draco."

"I know what you mean Harry. What amazes me even more are the changes in the Ministry. Father told me there are actually two department heads now who are muggleborns, albeit small departments but it is a beginning."

"Yes Sirius told me the same thing," Harry confirmed. The plan he and his family had come up with to bring the Wizarding world onto a more equal footing with the muggle world was moving along at a pace even they had not anticipated. Of course they couldn’t have known of the schemes Dumbledore would attempt when Harry returned to the Wizarding world or how those schemes would ultimately begin the changing of their world earlier than expected.

When he had first begun to learn about the Wizarding world and his place in it Harry had loved much of what he discovered. Many of the old traditions were fascinating and he believed they should be kept as they could only strengthen their ties to magic and the magic itself. But there were other things that had to change if the cycle of Dark Lords and Ladies was to end. Throughout their history various wizards and witches, desiring power, had gathered followers to themselves as they attempted to subjugate the Wizarding world to their will. None had ever succeeded in the long term but the damage they did with their efforts had allowed the Wizarding world no time to grow while maintaining a perfect breeding ground for corruption and attempted takeovers.

"Speaking of Sirius does he intend to continue living in the muggle world?" Draco asked. He had been as shocked as most had been when the newly freed Lord Black had opted to live outside their world. Most still believed the man was doing so out of pique for what the Ministry and Dumbledore had done to him. Draco of course knew his cousin had chosen the muggle world so that he might live close to Harry, taking a flat as near to the one on Mount Street as he could manage.

"Yes I think he will. He quite likes it, though his flat is as magical as any other wizard’s home. He says his notoriety in our world makes it difficult to go anywhere without finding himself accosted by well-wishers or detractors. It’s refreshing, he says, to traverse the muggle world without anybody bothering him save the occasional muggle who remembers his unjust incarceration." Harry grinned, "Besides it makes it harder for Dumbledore to find him."

Draco laughed and Hermione smiled. "Is he still trying to convince Sirius that Riddle’s return is imminent?" Soon after Sirius gained his freedom an investigation into He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had been launched by a determined reporter. Through exhaustive research the man’s true history had been discovered and published, but many still feared to say his name. In an effort to confirm the story as published the DMLE had begun questioning the Death Eaters in Azkaban. It was at this time they had discovered that every one of the Death Eaters within Azkaban no longer bore the dark mark, leading the Ministry to conclude that the man was well and truly gone. This combined with the truth of his origins had destroyed the fear his name had engendered and with a few exceptions most wizards and witches now referred to him by his name.

"Yes but it really is just as well," Harry smirked. "After all while Dumbledore is busy looking for Riddle and trying to convince others that he will return he doesn’t have time to interfere with the reforms our world needs."

"Will you be taking your seat in the Wizengamot after graduation Harry?" For the past few years Sirius had voted the Potter seat. Though he could be emancipated and take on the mantle of Lord Potter as last of the line, Harry could not vote in the Wizengamot until he turned 17 and completed his NEWTS.

"Yes Hermione, Sirius and I discussed it with Grandfather; we all agreed it would be best for our agenda."

Hermione nodded, she knew of course that we all included Biggles, Bertie and Algy as well. "But what about your plans to become a Healer?" Hermione wanted to see the reforms made; she fully believed the Wizarding world needed them if it were to survive, but the thought of Harry sacrificing his plans left her feeling hollow.

"That won’t be a problem Mione," Harry said, smiling in understanding. "The Wizengamot doesn’t meet all the time and our plans have already been given a good start. Our generation and the years directly above us have been changed greatly by the new classes Draco’s father implemented while the years below us are practically unrecognizable from the generation of only a decade ago. I’m sure I will have plenty of time for my studies as well as my duties in the Wizengamot and if that should prove untrue Sirius will once again vote the Potter seat."

"Good, I should have hated to see your talents being wasted."

A movement at the front of the castle caught Draco’s eye. "I believe it is time for us to go in, the ceremony will begin soon and we still have to change into our dress robes." The others nodded their agreement and the three friends entered the castle arm in arm.

In the decade following the three friends saw the plans Harry had made with his family come to fruition. The classes in Wizarding and Muggle cultures had eradicated the misunderstandings and cultural biases of the past. Purebloods would always be proud of their family history but now realized that all wizards and witches must be treated equally if their world was to grow and thrive, the alternative wasn’t to be considered. This realization and the education efforts of Lucius Malfoy, once a proponent of Pureblood superiority, had led to a further realization concerning magical creatures. Another decade would follow before all magical beings were given equal status under the law but it would happen.

Albus Dumbledore spent the remainder of his years, with a few stalwart followers, searching for evidence of Voldemort’s return. He never ceased in his efforts to convince Harry and Sirius that this would happen and that Harry would have to face the man. When faced with the reality of the disappearing dark mark Dumbledore insisted that the Death Eaters must have found a means of covering it. The fact that those locked in Azkaban lacked both the wands and the ability, after decades under the care of Dementors, to glamour the mark seemed to elude him.

Albus finally passed away, in his sleep, at the grand age of 140, never having lost the belief that Voldemort would one day return. Perhaps he was watching when, five years after his death, a new Dark Lord emerged. If he watched from beyond then he should have been gratified to see that this new threat, with his dozen or so followers, was quickly laughed out of the new Wizarding world to quickly fade into anonymity.

The End.

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A/N: I never intended to take the story proper past Harry's third year. At that point, with Sirius freed, Voldemort gone and Dumbledore without his former influence everything needing done fell more into the political and educational realm. Frankly I don't think I could have written in depth about either without boring us all to tears. ;)