[A/N: Well folks, this is it. The last chapter for this installment of Crafting Magic. I may continue with this story arc at a later time but for now I'll be starting the research phase for the next half of 'There Will Be No Foolish Wand Waving.' Many thanks to everyone who's stayed with me on this journey and to those who've left such heartwarming reviews!]

It was the start of June and the school was in its usual rush to get in some last minute studies before the end of year exams. For the first years, this meant a fair amount of panicking, as they had no clue as to what was involved with such thing. The older years weren't always a good source of information, and nearly all the firsties knew to never ask the Weasley twins for advice.

Harry was holed up in his trunk as Justin's whining about his head threatening to explode from the information overload was driving him to distraction. He had all of his textbooks, notes and previous classwork assignments stacked up on the kitchen counter as well as the dining table. Hermione had assisted by drafting up some study charts, color-coded to boot, to help him with time management.

At the moment, he was nose deep in his transfiguration notes and idly twirling his wand. 'The basics of transfiguration is the study of changing one form to another…' He glanced up and quietly muttered the proper spell while he waved his wand over a glass sitting on the table next to him and changed it to a simple box shape, and then he changed it again to that of a glass rose before reverting it back to its base form.

'Uncle Vernon was right; all transfiguration is, is magical engineering. Aunt Petunia too, was correct in that visualization is key. Keep in your mind's eye what it is that you want the starting object to look like and will your magic to effect the change.'

About an hour later, his study schedule started to chime to remind him that studying transfiguration was complete and that it was time to move to Charms. He ditched one book for the other and delved into a much more interesting subject, in his opinion. 'If Transfiguration is magical engineering then Charms would have to be magical physics.'

He practiced various wand movements and even experimented with performing them without saying anything. 'I wonder how small the movements have to be to get the same effect? Could I reduce the area in which I wave my wand to get the effect of let's say… the Levitation Charm?'

He sat up and focused on the textbook; he aimed his wand and with a movement that could fit within the diameter of a sickle, cast Wingardium Leviosa. To his surprise and joy, the book rose up off the table's surface. He released the book and jumped for joy, dancing around the room at his success.

He met up with Neville and Hermione later for lunch in the Great Hall. Hermione could see that he was extraordinarily happy about something and nudged his shoulder to get his attention.

"What's gotten you so happy?"

Harry continued to bounce around in his seat, "Hmm? Oh, did you know that wand movements don't have to be the wide, sweeping gestures that we learned about in class?"

Hermione nodded while Neville shook his head so Harry explained to him what it was that he'd discovered and how it affected casting speed and accuracy.

"I wish there was somewhere we could practice casting." He looked about and spotted Professor Flitwick up at the Teacher's table eating his own lunch. He got up and approached the diminutive teacher.

"Sir? I was wondering if the school has a room set up to practice casting spells or dueling?"

Filius was pleased to answer Harry's question, "Indeed there is Mr. Potter." Then he frowned, "You weren't planning on dueling anyone, were you?"

Harry shook his head, "No, sir. I wanted to be able to practice my wand work as well as show Neville what I'd discovered about the area of effective wand movements."

Filius accepted that, "In that case, go to the Grand Staircase and go up to the second floor. Hang a left and follow the corridor until you reach a suit of armor that is roughly my height. The door to its left is the room you want."

Harry bowed his head in gratitude, "Thank you very much, professor."

After lunch, the three kids followed Professor Flitwick's instructions and found the Dueling Practice Room. Hermione was impressed by the room's qualities such as noise suppression as well as a storage cabinet that contained several different wands, books and a number of awards and trophies.

Harry guided Neville to the raised platform and walked him through the steps to cast in a smaller 'zone' that what was normally taught. After a while, Neville seemed to have gotten the hang of it so the two boys began dueling each other, sticking to simple charms and harmless transfigurations of surrounding materials. Neville had proven to be quite adept at using the terrain to build walls and other obstacles to hide and cast behind. Hermione eventually got involved and spent most of her time trying to tag Harry with a magical version of a paintball round.

"Harry! You're too quick for me! How in the world did you get so fast?"

Harry shrugged, "No idea, Hermione. I've always been fast on my feet."

"Just as long as you're not light on your feet," Neville quipped in jest. Hermione rolled her eyes while Harry snorted and chucked a transfigured pillow at him.

Later at dinner, Millie plopped down next to Harry as she held onto her portfolio. At Harry's questioning expression, she explained why she was there.

"A couple of reasons really. First, we haven't had much of a chance to just hang out anymore now that exam time is here. I've been curious as to what you've been up to. I'm surprised that Hermione isn't stressing out like she used to. Second, I had an idea for a decorative statue that could be made by we artists that I wanted to run by you." She handed over the portfolio, which was tagged to show the proper page.

Hermione growled ruefully about the last time she stressed out about the mid-term exams. 'Totally not my fault!' was heard by everyone nearby and caused some lighthearted laughter. Millie smirked at her friend and crinkled her nose, "Hermione, you practically stalked Professor Snape to pester him about what your grades were." Said girl merely rolled her eyes in exasperation and waved her hand dismissively.

Harry chuckled at the byplay between the two girls as he opened up the pad and examined the sketch, "Ah, I see what you've done here. Pretty neat idea to incorporate as many of our different trades to showcase the single idea. I'm not sure about using a clenched hand holding a hammer though; it makes it seem like a tribute to being a revolutionary."

"Isn't that what you started though? A revolution in the Arts?" Millie asked. Harry allowed for that with a shrug, a slow grunt and a tilted nod.

"I guess so. It just seems a bit… militaristic. I do like the general idea though. I'd say, develop this a bit more by sketching out a couple of other centerpieces as alternatives if the council doesn't like the first one."

Hermione leaned over the table to see what the entire hullabaloo was about. She nodded her agreement that the clenched hand and hammer was a bit much and better suited to a laborer's movement dedication.

"What's the theme of the sculpture, Millie?"

Millie kind of waggled her hand, "I dunno. I was thinking of this being a tribute to the play on words of us 'crafting magic.'"

Hermione smiled at that, "I like that. 'Crafting Magic,' It conjures the mental image of exactly what we do when we practice our art."

Back in May, at the muggle retirement home…

Albus awoke to a strange feeling. He could feel something was different but couldn't quite place it. He opened his eyes and saw that he was in an unfamiliar room and lying on an unfamiliar bed. The bed was comfortable but rather plain. The curtains were drawn shut but he could see a bit of light peeking through one corner. He could hear a soft, consistent beeping noise to his left. He turned his head and saw a box with a glowing screen but couldn't identify it. There were wires that led from the box to taped patches on his arms and chest.

He managed to pull them off without too much pain and got up. He found a robe and a pair of slippers, his mouth pulling down in a moue of distaste when he saw how plain and boring they were.

"Hmmph," he shrugged, "better than nothing until I can find my way back to the castle."

He found the door to the room was unlocked and eased his way into a rather Spartan hallway. There were pictures and the occasional portrait but none of them moved. He tried tapping on the portrait but still got no response. Albus glanced around and saw off in the distance there was someone sitting behind a desk and shuffled over.

"Ahem, excuse me…" he began.

The duty nurse looked up startled and her eyes grew large when she recognized who addressed her.

"Mr. White? What are you doing out of bed at this hour?" she asked incredulously, "As a matter of fact, I'm surprised that you're even lucid at all. Wait right here sir, I need to call the doctor." She guided him to a chair then reached for the phone.

Albus didn't have a clue as to why she referred to him as Mr. White but figured that maybe it was a code name to hide the fact that Albus Dumbledore was in Saint Mungo's and to keep the public from panicking. He noticed a magazine lying on the table next to him and picked it up to read while waiting for this…doctor?

Later that morning…

Albus was having a bad day. The day shift nurse glanced over to where Albus was sitting in the retirement home's activity room and grousing about how his chair wasn't his usual golden throne like he used to have in his castle.

"Poor Brian, imagine thinking that you're some sort of king only to wake up one day and find out it was all just a delusion."

The psychologist merely nodded as he perused Albus' case file. 'Poor guy, indeed. Psychotic delusions coupled with a unhealthy obsession with some boy named Harry Potter.'

Albus was taking a nap just after lunch when the strangest dream came over him. He dreamt he used to live the high life as the Headmaster of a magical school in a castle but was now consigned to scratching a living in a modest hut. He couldn't think of a reason why he had to remain here. Sure, he had everything he needed to live comfortably but something was missing. He could vaguely remember that there was something he needed to do and a place he needed to be but the memory kept escaping him. He wandered through the rooms of this nice little building he found himself in, gazing at the pictures on the walls and listening to the chirping of the birds outside. A gentle breeze wavered in through an opened window bringing with it the heavenly scent of cherry blossoms. He ended up outside on the small porch and sat down in the rocking chair he had placed earlier and tried to remember…oh, well, it would come to him eventually.

Present time…

Albus let his eyes sweep across the room he was in. Despite the past month and a half to get himself used to his new surroundings since his awakening, he was still troubled by his thoughts and a general sense of uneasiness. His doctor said that this was a normal reaction to having been in a coma for the past ten years and would eventually subside. He wasn't sure about that. He would swear that he hadn't been unconscious and had been living in a castle in another land far to the north of here. He would swear that his name wasn't Brian White but was in fact, Albus Dumbledore.

At the moment though, he wasn't really disturbed. This facility was a pleasant sort of place. He was sitting here at a table with three other people waiting to get served breakfast. The food here was quite exceptional even though he did miss his lemon drops. The company was nice, the others residing here were able to hold a decent conversation even though the topics were confusing to him. There was a garden out back with a delightful fountain and benches that he would have to investigate more thoroughly when it warmed up.

He remembered back to his last therapy session with his therapist, Dr. Alan Hunter…

"So, Mr. White? How are you feeling today?"

"Better. I daresay that after being in a coma, I'm well rested." Both men chuckled at that.

Dr. Hunter had brought him up to speed slowly, going over things they had discussed before. Apparently, Albus' real name was Brian White, a retired Mechanical Engineering professor at the Royal Academy of Sciences in London for the past fifty years following a stint in Her Majesty's Army during World War Two. He had unfortunately lost his wife during the early part of the 1970s from the IRA bombings and began a slide towards senility culminating in his attack on a young family in 1981. During said attack, he had taken a blow to the head and fell into a coma.

Albus shook his head to clear his mind from the ruminations. He took a deep breath and let out a small sigh. He hoped that the family had recovered and didn't blame him too badly. He looked over at the scheduled activity posted on the bulletin board and wondered what movie night was. "The Wizard of Oz? I shall have to make myself available. Oh, look! Bridge in Clubroom three!" he mused.

Astronomy Classroom

Harry and the rest of the Hufflepuff first years were sitting in their Astronomy classroom taking the end of year test. He was confident that he'd pass with at least an Exceeds Expectations. He maintained a steady pace as he scribbled out his answer for number 43:

'Who first taught that the Earth is stationary and at the center of the universe, with the sun, the moon, and the planets moving around the Earth in perfect circles?'

He glanced over at the others to see how far along they were as well as their general reactions to the test. Hermione, as predicted, was nearly finished and just double checking her answers. Justin apparently was further behind but still working at a fairly steady pace. Susan was done and had handed in her test. She was busy reviewing her textbook for the upcoming Potions exam.

Harry nodded to himself, 'Hermione's study suggestions seemed to have worked. I'll have to congratulate her later.' He let out a sigh and moved onto the next question.

'Name the system that Ptolemy developed for ancient astronomers.'

Potions Classroom

Harry was busy chatting with Draco since they shared the classroom with the Slytherins this time. When Severus finally arrived, he quickly handed out the test papers and ordered everyone to begin. The questions were on the interactions between the ingredients that they'd used during the year and also touched on the history of the subject in general. The practical side involved brewing a cauldron of a Cure for Boils, which was their first potion they'd attempted back in September. This time however, parts of the instructions were missing and they had to figure out what had to be included.

Harry turned to his notes in a journal that he'd started at the suggestion of one of the prefects. He compared his notes to the instructions before him and filled in the missing ingredients and procedures before heading to the cupboard to pull the necessary materials.

Charms Classroom

Professor Flitwick was already in place and smiled pleasantly at the students as they filed into the classroom, "Now, don't worry everyone. I promise that your test will not be as difficult as some might believe."

He went on to prove just that. There was the obligatory written test but it only had a dozen questions on it, mostly on how to hold your wand and the patterns needed to achieve a specific spell. The practical was infinitely more enjoyable, the tiny professor had each student give examples of the Lumos charm along with several variants, Wingardium Leviosa; and finally he had them make a pineapple tap dance across a desk.

Transfiguration Classroom

Despite Professor McGonagall being elevated to Acting Headmistress until the Board of Directors made their decisions, she took the time to administer the exams for her students. Harry smirked as he blazed through the written questions and beamed when he managed to turn his mouse into a pretty snuffbox.

He waited around for the others and as they exited, asked them how well they thought they did.

"I think I did pretty well," Hermione commented, "Your tips on how to visualize what it is you want your magic to do really helped."

The others said pretty much the same thing.

The school took a break for lunch and while they were eating, the Great Hall was relatively quiet. Most everyone was busy reviewing their notes interspersed with the tinkling sounds of silverware and glassware on the tables.

Draco dropped into a chair next to Harry and groaned, "I'm not looking forward to our next test."

Harry looked up and swallowed what was in his mouth, "Why? Which class is it?"

"History of Magic." Harry rolled his eyes and groaned in sympathy.

"Ear plugs. Must remember to bring ear plugs."

The rest of the tests went pretty much as they expected. When it was all over, Harry immediately dashed out of the castle towards Potter's Place to do some much-needed mental decompression and create some sculptures he'd wanted to attempt.

The day before they were scheduled to head down to the station for the train ride home, everyone except for the fifth and seventh years received their grades. Harry got his slip from Pomona and smiled happily at his scores:

Pass Grades: (O) Outstanding, (E) Exceeds Expectations, (A) Acceptable

Fail Grades: (P) Poor, (D) Dreadful, (T) Troll

Harry James Potter, Hufflepuff, has achieved the following grades:

Astronomy: E

Charms: E

Defense: O

Herbology: O

History: A

Potions: O

Transfiguration: O

He glanced over inquiringly at Hermione and Neville who both beamed happily back. Hermione shared hers first and he saw that she'd achieved Outstandings in every subject. Neville had gotten Exceed Expectations for nearly all subjects except for Herbology where he scored an Outstanding.

Harry looked around the room and spotted Millie and Draco entering the Hall. He waved them over and said that the grades were being handed out now. The two Slytherins immediately sought out Severus and got their grade slips. They returned to where Harry was sitting and shared their grades with the Puffs.

"I think this has been a rather good showing for first year. Aside from the hassle of Dumbledore and his manipulations, I had fun."

"So what do you have planned for this summer, Harry?" Draco asked.

Motioning towards Neville, Harry mentioned that the two boys were going to hit up the Royal Conservatory and Gardens as well as whatever art galleries were open then if they had time, Harry was going to introduce the magically raised Neville to the joys of muggle entertainment.

"Yeah, like what?"

Harry shrugged, "The cinema, roller skating, spend the day at the local theme park and go on as many roller coasters before we get sick, that sort of thing."

Draco looked impressed despite not knowing half of the things that Harry had planned.

The Hogwarts Express steamed southbound with its carriages full of chattering and excited students. Everyone was busy exchanging contact information and finalizing plans for future activities. Harry handed Hermione his phone number and address and in return got hers and a kiss on the cheek. Both kids blushed madly but were inwardly pleased. Their relationship had solidified into something sweet without it being mushy.

When Harry exited from the magical barrier, he spotted the Dursleys waiting for him. Petunia spotted him and waved him over.

"Welcome home! I've missed you so much." She gave him a warm hug.

Dudley slugged him gently on the shoulder, "So how was it?"

Harry theatrically 'swooned,' "Have I got stories for you…"

End of Year One