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Chapter twenty: Thank you for the Music.

NEWT exams passed over Hogwarts as all exams do. With a hint of panic as students tried to memorise years worth of information turning to dread as they realised time was not with them and upon completion, utter relief as each one could be put aside only to begin the process again for the next one.

But this feeling was nothing compared to the feeling when the final “quills down” resonated throughout the great hall. The collective sigh that passed over the student body could possibly be heard outside the hall and if it wasn’t, just to let everyone know it was finally over, the loud cheering started by Sirius black would have definitely been enough.

The last thing the teachers heard as the seventh years exited the great hall was the familiar voices of Sirius Black and James Potter calling all to the party in the Gryffindor tower.

“Why professor,” Dumbledore said as he walked to where McGonagall watched with great amusement. “Are you not going to stop them?” he asked with a twinkle in his eye.

McGonagall shook her head, “I just can't seem to bring myself to do it.”

“Yes it would seem a shame to ruin their celebrations. And I think we can safely assume that nothing will anyway.”

McGonagall chucked. “Never have I had a group of students that I fear I will actually miss as much as this year.” She said wistfully.

Dumbledore laughed. “My dear Minerva are those tears I see?”

***

I am going to kill him! Lily fumed running up the steps to Gryffindor tower.

Entering through the portrait hole she almost crashed into Ruby who was attempting to clean the common room from last night’s party with Holly’s help. Both were already dressed in their uniform like Lily but there was no sign of the boys.

“Where is he?” She asked.

“Who?” Holly asked innocently, kicking a stray pair of pants across the floor. “What the hell went on here last night?”

“Potter!” Lily growled.

“Ah we woke them about half an hour ago.” Holly said. “But they still haven’t surfaced.”

Lily shook her head weaving her way to their dorm. “He was supposed to meet me half an hour ago. I am going to kill him.” She said, hearing her friends laugh as they went back to talking about the pants owner.

Lily practically kicked the door to their dorm open where it slammed against Remus’ bed. He woke up with a jolt.

“What the-“He cried but stopped as Lily picked up his pillow and hurled it across the room at James.

“Potter!” She screeched as the pillow hit him.

He sat up quickly in his bed, yawned as his eyes adjusted to the light. “Morning Lily.”

Lily smiled sweetly at him. “James, honey. What am I wearing?”

“Uh…Your uniform?”

“Uh huh. And why am I wearing my uniform?”

“Um…” James stuttered squinting to look at her. It was way too early for questions.

“Let me help you out. Today is graduation. Graduation starts at noon. We were supposed to meet with Dumbledore at eleven. And what time is it now?” She asked her voice getting louder as she went on. Turning in a circle in the middle of the room she looked at the three boys all half asleep still. “Don’t worry its only eleven. Thirty. FIVE!” She screeched again as James winced and the others groaned. “Up! Up! Up!” She said clapping her hands as she walked from the room making sure to slam the door on the way out.

Silence fell upon them as no one bothered to move.

“EW!” They heard Ruby scream from the common room. “Pettigrew was pant-less last night!?”

All three of them cracked up laughing. James raised his head just enough to see Peter’s empty bed. “Sounds like Pete had a good night.”

“Uh.” Sirius groaned after it had fallen silent. “How long did she say we had?”

“Twenty-five minutes” James said pulling himself from bed and stumbling in the general direction of the bathroom.

“Twenty five whole minutes?” Sirius murmured closing his eyes again.

“Less now…” Remus said flopping back hard on the mattress. “Where the hell is my pillow?”

***

It was five to twelve when Lily began to pace the length of the small chamber where the graduates were waiting.

“Lily, stop it!” Ruby exclaimed tired of watching her. “Will you just calm down?”

“Calm? Calm! I can't calm down. I am about to walk into that hall to give the biggest speech of my life and the person who I am supposed to give it with isn’t HERE!” She cried. “I am going to strangle him.”

“Strangle who?” James asked finally making it downstairs in his full uniform. Considering he woke up less that 20 minutes ago that was quite an achievement.

“You.” Lily hissed attempting to get at James to if not strangle him at least give him a good sharp smack. Fortunately for James, Holly and Ruby caught her by an arm each and forced her to sit.

“Breath Lily. Breath.” Holly told her.

“I am still going to kill him.”

“Later if you don’t mind Miss Evans.” McGonagall chortled sweeping through the room. “Line up Please! James, Lily wait with me…Miss Evans where is your hat?”

“My hat?” Lily stammered touching her head frantically.

“Oh stop panicking.” Ruby scolded pushing forward to hand Lily her hat.

Scowling first at Ruby then at James just for good measure Lily jammed her hat on her head taking a deep breath as she heard Dumbledore announce the graduating class.

They forwarded into the hall, which was full of family and friends, after the rest of their class. While everyone else took a seat Lily and James were to walk straight to the front to deliver their speech as head boy and girl. They were to open the ceremony and Dumbledore was to give the final speech.

All Lily could think about as she walked down the length the of the great hall was how long it was. And with every step she could feel herself growing more anxious. Looking across at James she was disgusted at how calm he seemed.

Lily heard herself let out a faint whimper which James must have heard as he grabbed her hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

He still had her hand as they stood behind the podium looking out at the sea of people. James let out a low whistle which was heard throughout the hall earning him a small titter of laughter. “Wow, Look at everyone down there.” He mumbled as Lily shuffled her cue cards on the podium. James smiled to himself. Here her speech was written on colour co-ordinated card and his was on the back of an old potions assignment.

“It was seven years ago we all stood here and looked out at the school.” Lily began. “Most of us terrified about the sorting and what we would find in the days ahead. But somehow we survived and became the seventh years we once feared so much.” She finished looking back at James expectantly who was currently searching every pocket of his uniform, at first discreetly but more frantically as he realised that everyone was waiting for him.

“Ah, would you believe that I have lost my part of this speech?” He asked.

“What? I can't – " Lily hissed, James grinned at their audience as he clamped a hand over her mouth.

“Actually most of you would.” He went on. “Those of you who know me anyway. Never been what anyone could consider a model student. But somehow I stand before you as your head boy.” Pausing he looked at Lily who seriously looked like she was about to strangle him. “Sorry folks she’s a little on edge.” He said patting her on the head. “Graduation time and all. But she need not worry.

“Our seven years have been packed with so many memories it would be impossible to share all them all. Every person would have a million different stories of their own but today is one we will all share.

“Today we will leave here with a sense of fulfilment. We come away with friends, knowledge and the experiences that will light the pathway for the rest of our lives. As we embark into the big wide open world we will take the experiences of Hogwarts with us, We will laugh at the situations we once found embarrassing and reminisce over the good times.

“We will think of the friends we made, the love we shared and the enemies we fought. We will remember McGonagall’s stern looks, our love to you Minnie, Dumbledore’s vague and cryptic speeches, napping through history of magic and bribing Slughorn with crystallised pineapple. We will remember the rivalry of Quidditch – Go Gryffindor – Many Hogsmeade visits, pranks and detentions, oh wait that’s just me.” He added with a chuckle. “And a few others. And – what are you doing?” James asked interrupting his own speech to look at Lily. She smiled at him as she tore the last of her cue card in two and shoved it in his hand.

“What he is trying to say is together we started this journey and today, together we finish it. To our teachers, friends and families we owe our thanks. Together you have given us more than an education in magic but an education in life as well. With your wisdom we can now attempt to conquer our dreams whatever they may be. No matter where life takes us we will always have memories of Hogwarts that, hopefully to most, was more than a school but a home too.”

“So heres to friendship.” James added. “The old and the new, to our memories of school and most importantly the future, and whatever is in store.”

“On mine and James’ behalf I would like to say it has been an honour to be your head boy and girl this year. And as we open this ceremony we would like to be the first to say congratulations class of 1977.”

“Thankyou.” They both said together. Smiling as they picked people out of the cheering crowd. James laughed bending down to her height.

“That wasn’t so bad was it?”

Lily laughed too, hugging him. “I’m still going to strangle you.”

Hand in hand they walked back to their seats as Dumbledore and the heads of houses stood to begin the presentation of their certificates.

As the last name was called and Dumbledore stood the hall erupted in one final burst of applause.

“Thank you all for being here today. Just a few words as not to confuse Mr Potter. We have come so far but alas it is time to part. We have all grown so much in so many ways. I send you forth today with hopes that each and every one of you will succeed no matter what you pursue in life. I wish you the wisdom to make the right decisions. Remember happiness can be found even in the darkest of time if only one remembers to turn on the light.

“Now in the true spirit of Hogwarts would you please join me in congratulating the class of 1977.”

With a loud cheer the seventh years stood up and with James and Lily in the lead left the great hall.

Together the Gryffindor’s stood on the steps surveying the large crowd that had spilled out onto the lawns of the school.

“Hey Prongs nice speech.” Sirius joked.

Lily shook her head. “I can't believe you forgot your speech.”

James grinned. “It was worth it to see the look on your face.”

“I am still going to strangle you. But later. I am much too happy at the moment.” She said hugging him. “It’s been a wild year but I can't help like where we are.”

“Yeah and who would have thought it would turn out like this.” Remus mused.

Holly laughed. “Not me.”

“It’s true.” Ruby agreed.

(A/N At the beginning, from Anastasia.)
Lily: We were strangers
James: Starting out on a journey
Holly: Never dreaming
Sirius: What we'd have to go through
Ruby: Now here we are
Remus: And I'm suddenly standing
All: At the beginning with you

Sirius: No one told me
Lily: I was going to find you
Ruby: Unexpected
James: What you did to my heart
Remus: When I lost hope
Holly: You were there to remind me
All: This is the start

Girls: Life is a road
Boys: And I want to keep going
Girls: Love is a river
Boys: I wanna keep flowing
Girls: Life is a road
Boys: Now and forever
All: Wonderful journey

Boys: I'll be there
Girls: When the world stops turning
Boys: I'll be there
Girls: When the storm is through
Boys: In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

Ruby: We were strangers
Remus: On a crazy adventure
Holly: Never dreaming
Sirius: How our dreams would come true
Lily: Now here we stand
James: Unafraid of the future
At the beginning with you

Girls: Life is a road
Boys: And I want to keep going
Girls: Love is a river
Boys: I wanna keep flowing
Girls: Life is a road
Boys: Now and forever
All: Wonderful journey

Boys: I'll be there
Girls: When the world stops turning
Boys: I'll be there
Girls: When the storm is through
Boys: In the end I wanna be standing
All: At the beginning with you

Remus: I knew there was somebody somewhere
Ruby: Who could understand the dreams of my heart
Sirius: Now I know our lives will go on
Holly: And with friendships so strong
All: Nothing's gonna tear us apart

Girls: Life is a road
Boys: And I want to keep going
Girls: Love is a river
Boys: I wanna keep flowing
Girls: Life is a road
Boys: Now and forever
All: Wonderful journey

Boys: I'll be there
Girls: When the world stops turning
Boys: I'll be there
Girls: When the storm is through
Boys: In the end I wanna be standing
All: At the beginning with you

Lily: Life is a road and I wanna keep going
James: Love is a river I wanna keep going on....
Both: Starting out on a journey
All: Life is a road and I wanna keep going
Love is river I wanna keep flowing
James: In the end I wanna be standing
Lily: At the beginning with you…

***

“One last game of exploding snap just for old time’s sake?” Sirius asked pulling the deck of cards from his trunk.

Everyone gathered round as he tipped the trunk on its side as a table for their game.

“So what are your plans?” Ruby asked throwing a card on the pile and wincing as she waited for it to explode. Lucky for her it didn’t.

“Plans for what?” James asked.

“The future. Life outside Hogwarts.”

“That’s easy. I want to fight in the war. I want to help.”

“Me too.” Lily chimed. “I don’t want our kids to grow up in an unsafe world.”

“Kids?” Remus questioned. “You two have actually talked about that?”

They both nodded. “You’re all invited to the wedding.” James joked.

“Wow. Oh Shot gun best man!” Sirius cried. “And Godfather to the first born!”

“You can't have everything!” Remus cried.

“You didn’t even ask them!” Holly admonished hitting him in the stomach. “You can't just shot gun something like that!”

“Can I?” Sirius asked giving them his best puppy dog eyes.

And they all laughed, launching into a round of ‘do you remembers’ as they passed through the outskirts of London.

Sirius was just finishing his recount of that day after the defence exam in their fifth year when the train pulled into the station. They all sat there for a moment not saying anything.

Remus was the first to stand pulling his trunk from the luggage rack. Slowly the others followed suit.

“Well it’s been fun.” James joked looking out at the station from the steps of the train.

“Yeah.” Lily agreed. “When do you think we will be back here?”

“When you bring the kids of course.” Ruby said with a grin.

“Then of course I will be here. As his godfather.”

“Who says it will be a boy?” Lily demanded

Remus snorted. “Who says you will be godfather?”

“You are both idiots.” James laughed.

Sirius suddenly wrapped his arms around James’ neck pretending to cry. “I just want to be part of you family!”

“Get off me!” James cried pushing Sirius away. Laughing he offered Lily his arm. “Shall we?”

Lily grinned. “We shall.” She responded taking his arm and together they lead the way from the platform one last time. After all would they ever return?

***

I'm nothing special, in fact I'm a bit of a bore
If I tell a joke, you've probably heard it before
But I have a talent, a wonderful thing
'Cause everyone listens when I start to sing
I'm so grateful and proud
All I want is to sing it out loud

So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

Mother says I was a dancer before I could walk
She says I began to sing long before I could talk
And I've often wondered, how did it all start?
Who found out that nothing can capture a heart
Like a melody can?
Well, whoever it was, I'm a fan

So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

I've been so lucky, I am the girl with golden hair
I wanna sing it out to everybody
What a joy, what a life, what a chance!

So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me.

THE END

A/N- TADA! This is it guys. Its over. Last chapter. No sequel. The end. I say done like a dinner.or if you prefer, DONE AND DUSTED! WOOHOO!!! If we knew how to say that in another language (or more to the point spell it) we would but sorry we cannot. We would like to thank faithful readers and reviewers. We love you. And now because its all done we want lotsa reviews! Pretty please??? Coz we asked so nicely. I know its probably not the best chapter but I have never written a ending and I have never written a speech. (I don't do speeches.) And for those of you who aren’t Abba fans the last song is well Abba.

As its usually just me writing these author note thingies, i would like to thank padfootismygod15 whose original idea this story was and somehow exploded into, well, that. hope you liked!

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