The Big Goodbye
Harry raced through the silent corridors trying to find the others. He ran down the stairs they had come from the outside and down to the lower floor. He turned and raced down the corridor and stopped up short. He turned back and walked into the room with the three coffins. He pulled back one of the flags and regarded the old and rotted wood.
He pulled back the remaining two flags and looked at the coffins. He looked and saw a carving on the coffin lid. He leaned in and tried to read it.
MER P GAU
“Merp Gau?” Harry whispered in confusion, “Who’s Merp Gau?”
He looked away in confused thought, “Merp Gau. Merp Gau,” he whispered over and over.
He looked back at the engraving and then it hit him.
“Merp Gau,” he said, “There’s a space between the “r” and “p”,” he looked away then back again as he stepped back from the coffin in realization, “Merope Gaunt.”
He quickly looked at the remaining two coffins, but did not see any identifying markers. Harry was sure they were Voldemort’s grandfather and uncle, Marvolo and Morfin.
“Oh my,” he whispered.
Harry turned quickly and saw Charlie Weasley standing in the doorway.
“Harry, what are you doing here?” Charlie asked.
“Charlie,” he said, “It’s over.”
“What’s over?” Charlie asked looking around the room, “Where’s Kingsley and Kathryn?”
“Kingsley dead and Kathryn’s in the main chamber upstairs,” Harry replied, “Kathryn’s been hit with Cruciatus Curse.”
“Kathryn?” Charlie asked with a confused look, “Where’s Voldemort?”
“Dead?” Charlie asked with his eyebrows shooting into his hairline, “You mean…?”
“Dead, yes,” Harry said, “I had too. It’s over.”
Charlie broke into a large smile, “Tonks!” he shouted over his shoulder.
Tonks and Evans came running into the room, “What’s the ruckus?” Tonks asked.
“Harry’s defeated Voldemort,” Charlie said and Harry nodded, “It’s over!”
Tonks hugged Harry while Charlie and Evans shook hands, “I knew you could do it Harry! I knew it!” she shouted.
“Thanks,” Harry said with little enthusiasm.
Tonks looked at him in concern, “What’s wrong? You don’t seem happy about that.”
“I am,” Harry said, “It’s just I haven’t finished what Dumbledore and I started.”
“What’s that?” Tonks asked.
“Harry, did you remove the flags form these coffins?” Charlie interrupted looking down at the largest of the three.
“Yes,” Harry said, “They’re Voldemort’s family.”
Tonks took a look at the coffin she was standing next to and back away from it quickly.
“How do you know that?” Evans asked.
Harry pointed to the one he was standing in front of, “This is Merope Gaunt’s. She was his mother.”
Charlie came over and looked at the engraving Harry pointed to and then stood back, “Good Lord Harry. Why would he have unearthed them and brought them here for?”
Harry was thinking hard.
“Charlie we need to find the others,” Evans said from the doorway.
Charlie nodded, “Harry continue down this corridor and you’ll find the others. Tell them the great news.”
The three quickly left and Harry, taking one last look at the three coffins, left and quickly followed Charlie’s directions and found himself in the chamber. He saw three overturned altars and the one large one. He looked and saw a group of people standing near the opening above them.
Hermione shouted and ran and hugged him fiercely, “Are you ok?”
“I won’t be if you don’t ease up,” he whispered.
She chuckled and released him, “Where’s Kathryn?”
“She’s upstairs,” Harry said and they walked over to the rubble. Harry saw five covered bodies and Narcissa Malfoy being tended to by Mrs. Weasley and Professor McGonagall. Arthur Weasley and Ron were putting the last cover over what looked to be Lucius Malfoy.
“Harry,” Arthur Weasley said, “Where’s Kingsley?”
“He’s dead,” Harry said and saw Mr. Weasley’s face drop, “Voldemort killed him.”
There was a brief pause before he continued.
“Gone?” McGonagall asked as she stood and came over to him, “As in got away?”
Harry shook his head, “No, dead.”
There was a very long pause as the group absorbed the news. Hermione acted first by hugging Harry, again to within an inch of his life.
“I knew you could do it,” she whispered and released him.
“Me too, mate,” Ron said clapping his hand on Harry’s shoulder, “Well done.”
“It doesn’t end here Potter,” a voice whispered stopping the celebration.
Harry looked around Hermione and down at the source of the voice. Narcissa had heard him and was looking at Harry with both fear and revulsion.
“You can never defeat the Dark Lord,” she whispered to him.
Harry’s jaw tightened and he turned to leave. Hermione and Ron were close behind.
“Harry?” Ron asked, “What’s wrong?”
Harry stopped just outside the door, “She maybe right. I haven’t found the last horcrux yet,” he whispered.
Hermione looked at Ron with wide-eyes, “That’s not good.”
“I know,” Harry said and walked down the corridor with the two in tow, “So it’s not really over yet.”
“Any clues where the last one is?” Ron asked.
Harry shook his head and stopped just outside the door of the crypt. He looked and saw the three coffins. There was something about them that was nagging Harry.
“We found those earlier,” Ron said, “We don’t know who they are.”
“It’s Voldemort’s mother, his uncle and grandfather,” Harry said pointing to each one.
Hermione and Ron’s jaws dropped. They followed Harry into the crypt and read the engraving.
“Why would he have dug them up for?” Ron asked, “It’s not like he could bring them back to life.”
Harry’s mind suddenly turned to the image of three small altars in the large chamber.
“Hermione, is it possible for a person to place a spell on a corpse for the purpose similar to a horcrux?”
She turned to Harry, “I’ve read about it and it’s quite fascinating. Back in the 1650’s a wizard named Frouc…”
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Harry said interrupting her, “Then he must have been using these as new horcruxes. There were three small altars in the chamber. These must have been placed on those and he was able to cast a horcrux on them.”
Ron’s eyes went wide as he looked at Merope Gaunt’s coffin, “Blimey! That’s absolutely nutters!”
“Actually its brilliant,” Hermione said realizing what Harry said, “He can re-bury them anywhere in the world knowing there’s three more that no one can touch except him.”
Harry looked at her and she nodded. He looked back at them, “Then these need to be destroyed.”
“But it has to be by a magic more powerful than ours,” Hermione said, “To insure that they truly destroyed.”
Harry’s mind drifted back to when Dumbledore destroyed the diary.
“Everyone out,” he said and headed towards the door.
Hermione and Ron quickly complied and stood behind him.
“Harry you can’t possibly know…,” Hermione started.
Harry pulled out his wand, “Ustilo santus flamous!”
The three coffins started glowing a bright white. The three friends turned and shielded their eyes as the spell took affect. The air seemed to be sucked inwards towards the coffins before they heard a loud whoosh of sound. They turned and found the coffins were reduced to ashes on the ground.
“Now it’s over,” Harry whispered, finally able to let out a breath of relief.
He let out a large sigh as if letting go of a large burden. He then looked at his two friends and smiled, which shortly turned into a soft chuckle. They quickly joined in and hugged each other and jumped up and down in joy.
Several days later Harry walked into St. Mungo’s and went up to the forth floor. He past may people who thanked him and congratulated him. He smiled and nodded to them and kept walking. He stopped outside her room and took a deep breath. He turned the knobbed and quietly entered.
A man stood up when Harry entered and recognized him. He was dressed in plain blue jeans, and green collared shirt and a hat that had a symbol of an bird. He smiled at Harry and gently shook the figure in the bed.
“Kat, Harry’s here.”
The woman in the bed opened her eyes and saw Harry standing there and smiled. The man bent over and kissed her on her forehead and whispered to her that he’d be waiting outside. He gave Harry one last nod and left.
“Please come and sit Harry,” she whispered to him.
Harry came and sat down in the now vacant chair, “I came as soon as I got your owl.”
“Th-th-that’s ok,” she said sitting up in her bed, “I know you’ve been busy.”
Harry harrumphed and looked away, “No kidding.”
“I wanted t-t-to tell you how proud of you I am,” she said, “and t-t-to th-thank you for everything.”
“You’re welcome,” Harry said. There was a brief pause, “So when will you be back to school?”
Kathryn smiled sadly at him, “I won’t be.”
Harry’s face fell.
“After all th-th-that’s happened, the battle with Voldemort, my health… I won’t be returning,” she paused, “I’m s-s-sorry Harry.”
Harry nodded, he’d half-expected this. The power of Voldemort’s final spell had left her with more damage than the healers could repair.
He cleared his throat before continuing, “I was just hoping to finish the Auror program with you.”
Kathryn looked at Harry with a quirk in her smile, “You don’t need me anymore Harry,” she said softly, “You never did. I watched your back if nothing else.”
Harry was silent as she continued.
“Besides, I’ll t-t-tell you this now,” she said shifting in her bed, “You’re and Auror now.”
“How?” Harry looked at her in shock, “I haven’t finished the program yet?”
“You d-d-don’t need too,” she replied, “I recommended you and Hermione t-t-to be promoted and the new Head Auror accepted it readily. Congrat-tul-tulations.”
“Thank you,” Harry said.
“It’ll be a very interesting t-t-time in the department now th-th-that you two are Aurors,” Kathryn said with a bright smile, “Heaven’s help them.”
Harry laughed at her expression and looked back at his new mentor, “Thank you.”
She smiled and winked at him, “My pleasure.”
“What are your plans now?”
“I’ve resigned as an Auror. My fiancée and I are going back t-t-to America for a while,” she shrugged her shoulders, “and from there who knows… maybe I’ll t-t-teach again.”
“Hopefully here at Hogwarts,” Harry said.
“Maybe,” she replied, “McGonagall’s given me an open invite t-t-to comeback anytime.”
“So much for the one year curse being broken,” Harry said referring to their conversation a few months ago.
“I think th-th-that curse was horse manure anyways. I just don’t th-th-think they found anyone who could stick it out,” she looked at him with a serious and meaningful expression, “I th-th-think there is someone already qualified for that post that no one can get rid of. And McGonagall would be smart to t-t-take that man when he goes to her for the job.”
“Maybe,” Harry said realizing what she was saying and smiled, “Will you be ok?”
She smiled back at him and placed her hand on his and gave it a gentle squeeze, “I’ll be fi-fi-fine Harry. Do me one favor please?”
Harry nodded, “Anything.”
“When you see Ginny again remember that anything and everything is possible.”
Harry looked to the door where the man she’d left many years earlier was now waiting on the other side and then back to her, “I will.”
He stood and put out his hand, “Thank you.”
She took it, “It has been my pleasure and honor Harry. Goodbye and good luck my friend.”
Harry stepped back into Grimwauld Place a short time later and saw Hermione sitting with Ron in the living room reading. He stopped in the doorway and looked at them both. All the years seem to past before his eyes at that moment. From the day when he first met them on the train to Hogwarts to now, almost eight years later.
Hermione noticed him first and smiled. She whacked Ron’s leg.
“Ow! What’d you do that for?” he looked, saw Harry and smiled, “Oh, hi ya mate.”
“Are you just going to stand there and stare at us,” Hermione said in a teasing tone, “Or are you going to join us?”
Harry smiled at her comment and walked in and sat down across from them, “I just came from seeing Kathryn.”
“How’s she doing?” Hermione asked.
“She’s doing better,” Harry replied, “She’ll be released soon.”
“Will she be back in time for Monday’s classes?” Hermione asked.
Harry shook his head, “No, she’s headed back home to America. She’s resigned as an Auror.”
Hermione’s face turned to sadness and she looked from Ron back to Harry, “I’ll miss her,” she looked at Harry and saw him nod, “But how are we going to finish our training?”
Harry looked at her, “She and I talked about that,” he paused, “We’re Aurors now, Hermione.”
“What?” Hermione looked at him in shock, “How? We haven’t finished training?”
“According to Kathryn we have done more than enough,” he replied, “She recommended us and the new Head Auror approved.”
“That’s wicked!” Ron said smiling at the two of them, “That’s great news!”
“Well then,” Hermione looked at Harry and nodded her acceptance, “Congratulations Harry.”
“You too ‘Mione.”
“Wait,” Ron said and sat up, “If she’s going back to America then who’s taking over the Defense Against the Dark Arts position?”
Harry looked from Ron to Hermione, “I have an idea.”