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“Is something wrong, Harry?” Ginny asked as they stopped before stepping through the portrait hole.

“No,” Harry responded as he turned to look around the common room. “I just wanted to take one last look at it.”

“I know what you mean, mate,” Ron said as he and Hermione also turned to look.

“It’s strange to think that we may never see it again,” Hermione said. “This room holds so much history for us all.”

“How many games of chess did I lose here over the past seven years?” Harry asked. “It just isn’t going to feel right playing anywhere else.”

“I never thought I would miss having those chairs to plop down into while I wrote all of those essays for one class or another,” Ron said.

“I got engaged in this room,” Hermione said. “Right over there.”

“Will we ever find another room that can provide so much for us?” Ron asked.

“There will be other rooms,” Harry said. “Each of them will be special to us in some way, but we’ll never forget how we felt here. Through the good times and the bad, it served us well.”

Several minutes later, Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione had joined the rest of the Gryffindors for breakfast in the Great Hall. Spirits were high as they all prepared themselves for the ride back on the Hogwarts Express.

The seventh years looked up to see the owls swooping in to deliver the mail one last time. Harry and Hermione both had mail dropped in front of them.

“What did you get, Harry?” Ron asked.

“It looks like a few more letters from people I’ve never heard of before,” Harry said. “I don’t know what I’d do without that quick notes quill I got for Christmas. It’s been a lifesaver for me. I’ve finally finished answering all of the cards I got while I was in St. Mungo’s.”

Ginny looked over at Hermione who was already carefully reading the letter that she had gotten and asked, “What is it, Hermione? Not bad news is it?”

“Well, no,” Hermione said as if she didn’t believe what she had just read. “It’s from the Ministry of Magic.”

“Well, go on,” Ron said when she didn’t say anything else.

“They’ve offered me a job,” Hermione said still stunned. “They want me to work for them in the Department of Mysteries.”

“Really?” Ron asked intrigued. “They usually don’t recruit from outside of the Ministry. They usually only take people that have already been working for the ministry for years.”

“Sometimes it pays off being the most brilliant witch of your age I guess,” Harry said. “Congratulations, Hermione.”

“Thanks, Harry,” Hermione said with a big grin letting some of her happiness show through.

“I take it you’re planning to take it then,” Ginny said with a smile.

“You bet she is,” Ron said.

“Well that’s taken care of then,” Ginny said. “Both of you are employed. I’d say that goes a long way to beginning a life together.”

“Now all you have to do is worry about the wedding,” Harry said with a grin.

“Oh, don’t remind me,” Hermione said. “Ron will be leaving almost right away to play quidditch. I’ll have to make all the plans myself.”

“I doubt it,” Ginny said. “Remember who his mum is. I’d say you’ll have more help than you can deal with.”

“Speaking of weddings,” Ron said as he looked over at Draco and Cassidy sitting reading their mail at the Slytherin table, “I wonder how long it’ll be before they settle down together.”

“Excuse me for a minute,” Harry said as he got up and walked over to the Slytherin table.

“Morning, Harry,” Cassidy said as she looked up. “Have a seat.”

“Morning,” Harry said.

“All set to leave, Harry?” Draco asked as Harry sat down.

“As ready as I’ll ever be I guess,” Harry said. “What about you? What do you plan on doing now that school is over? I imagine it could be a bit awkward going home to your mum after what happened with your dad.”

“I don’t expect I’ll ever be going back there,” Draco said. “I’m going to leave here with Cassidy and Professor Bane. Cassidy’s parents said I could come and stay with them over the summer. After that, I guess I’ll come back here and find a job.”

Harry reached inside his robes and pulled out a folded piece of paper that he handed to Draco before he said, “When you come back, you can stay here if you’d like. This is the address for the Black family estate. You have as much right to it as anyone.”

“Harry,” Draco said as he unfolded the paper Harry had given him, “this is the deed to the property.”

“I know,” Harry said. “I inherited the house. I don’t ever plan on living there, so it’s yours if you want it.”

“Harry,” Draco said, “I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything,” Harry said. “Just fix the place up, and fill it with happiness. That has been missing from the house for quite a while.”

“Well at least it looks like he’ll be able to afford to fix it up,” Cassidy said.

“What do you mean?” Harry asked with just a hint of a grin.

“We both just got notices from Gringotts that accounts had been opened for us,” Cassidy said. “I just can’t figure out where the money would have come from. It’s really weird.”

“That is strange,” Harry said trying to look surprised.

Later that morning, Harry watched Hogwarts shrink from his view as the Hogwarts Express sped them all back toward London.

“Then we may see each other occasionally, Hermione,” Neville said. “I just got the letter this morning saying that I had been accepted into the auror training program.”

“That’s great Neville,” Hermione said. “I thought you said your grades weren’t good enough for you to make it in.”

“Well, they weren’t,” Neville said. “I’m ashamed to admit it, but I asked Harry to write a letter of recommendation for me. I think that’s what got me in.”

“Don’t sell yourself short, Neville,” Harry said. “The aurors were all there when you took on Bellatrix. If they could see how well you did against her and still not let you in, then they would be a bunch of fools.”

“Well, at least we’re not all leaving school unemployed,” Ron said. “I had actually wondered if I was going to make it into the auror training at all.”

“Now it doesn’t matter,” Hermione said. “Now you’ll be playing quidditch. Although I’m not sure which one is the more dangerous.”

“Speaking of that,” Harry said, “there’s something I wanted to give you, Ron.”

Harry stood up and retrieved his broom from the overhead storage before Ron asked, “What are you doing, Harry?”

“I want you to have this,” Harry said as he held the broom out for Ron.

“Harry, I can’t take that,” Ron said. “That’s your broom.”

“My quidditch days are over, mate,” Harry said. “Besides, It would make me feel good knowing that you’ll be flying “The Spirit of Gryffindor”. If the team ever buys a set of brooms that makes this one obsolete, you can pass it on to your son for when he goes to Hogwarts.”

Ron stood and took hold of the broom before pulling Harry into a hug and saying, “I love you, mate.”

“I love you too, Ron,” Harry said. “Just make sure to stay away from those bludgers.”

“I’ll try,” Ron said with a smile as they separated.

“By the way,” Harry said. “There’s something else I wanted you to take with you. I’d like to know what your seeker thinks of this.”

Harry pulled a small box from his robes, and opened it to reveal a small crystal ball with thin gold lines crisscrossing its surface. Harry pulled the ball out of the box and wings with bright gold tips sprang out of the sides.

“Brilliant,” Ron said.

“I was thinking of asking Fred and George if they wanted to start marketing these,” Harry said. “Brooms are getting so fast it’s gotten almost too easy to catch the golden snitch. I think this crystal snitch would prove to be considerably more challenging.”

“You can say that again,” Ron said. “This will drive the seekers crazy. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start using it as the standard snitch within a couple of years.”

Harry stuffed the snitch back into the box and handed it to Ron as Hermione said, “That’s an awfully sadistic thing to do, Harry. I don’t suppose it has anything to do with the fact that you won’t be looking for them anymore.”

“I might try to chase one down every now and then just for fun,” Harry said.

“He won’t get the chance too often,” Ron said. “I’m sure the auror training will keep him pretty busy.”

Ginny looked at Harry and saw the same look in his eye she had in the hospital wing after the quidditch match. She had forgotten to ask him what he might be hiding then, but she felt that the time was at hand.

“What is it, Harry?” Ginny asked.

“What do you mean?” Harry asked.

“I saw that look the last time someone said something about you going to auror training,” Ginny said. “You’re hiding something, aren’t you?”

“Am I?” Harry asked.

“Well, that proves it,” Hermione said. “You were right. He is hiding something.”

“What is it, Harry?” Ginny asked. “Remember…”

“I know,” Harry said holding up his hand. “I have to answer anything you ask me. It isn’t a big deal. I’ve just been thinking about something.”

“What?” Ginny asked.

“Well,” Harry began, “I don’t think I want to be an auror anymore.”

“What!!?” Ron said. “But, Harry, you’ve wanted that for years now.”

“I’ve changed my mind,” Harry said.

“Harry, this doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that I have another year of school left, does it?” Ginny asked.

“No,” Harry said taking her hand. “It’s me. I originally said that was what I wanted to do because it seemed like it would be really exciting. Well, after all the fighting through the years, and the final battle with Voldemort, it just didn’t seem like so much fun anymore. I’m tired of it. I just want to go through a year when I don’t have to worry that someone will be waiting around the corner with a killing curse for me.”

Everyone was silent for a few seconds before Ron said, “I can understand that. I guess you have carried a heavy burden on your shoulders for longer than anyone should have to already.”

“If you don’t want to be an auror,” Luna began, “what do you want to do?”

“I don’t really know,” Harry said. “I haven’t really come up with anything yet.”

“You just have to come up with something you really love,” Hermione said.

“I’ll bet Fred and George would give you a job for a while if you wanted,” Ron suggested.

“I’ll think about it,” Harry said. “Maybe for a while.”

Just then, a small owl flew in the window and landed right on Harry’s lap. Once Harry got over the shock, he untied the message from the owl’s leg.

“Who’s it from, Harry?” Ron asked.

“It has a Hogwarts seal on it,” Harry said. “I wonder if I forgot to return a library book or something.”

“You had better hope not,” Hermione said as Harry opened the letter and began to read. “If you did, Madam Pince will hunt you down to get it back.”

They all waited as Harry read the letter and his eyes grew wide as a smile spread over his face. Harry pulled out a quill and ink and began to jot down a response.

“It wasn’t really an overdue book was it?” Neville asked as Harry tied the message back to the owl’s leg and sent it out the window.

“No,” Harry said as his smile got even wider. “It could be a bit awkward for a year or so, but I just realized what I really love to do.”

Author's note: This is the last official chapter for those of you who are reading. There will be an epilogue posted soon that will be the official end to this story. Thanks.

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