Minerva McGonagall walked over to Harry who was still with the band and waited until the photographer had stopped taking photo's.
'Harry,' Minerva gave him a smile.
'Professor, it's good to see you.'
'It's good to see you too Harry and even though you're music is not really my type, I enjoyed watching you. Do you know why?'
Harry laughed, 'No, so why don't you tell me Professor.'
'You looked happy. I haven't seen you happy very often, so it was nice to see.'
'I am happy Professor, even with the danger still out there, but it's different than what it was. Oh this is my band,' Harry introduced the members of his band to his old teacher, 'So how's Hogwarts?'
'It's slowly getting repaired, still has a bit to go yet though. After seeing you play, I take it you are not coming back to finish your last year?'
'No, I'm way past feeling like a student anymore, but I am going to miss the place. Do you know I called Hogwarts my first real home, that's how I felt about the place?'
'Yes, Albus told me and I can't blame you. I have always loved Hogwarts myself, but I never went through what you did. I'm glad all that never tarnish your happy memories of Hogwarts.'
'I was worried at first, but I realised it was never the place, it was always Voldemort and his death eaters. Well, add Umbridge, Quirrell, Fudge and even Lockhart to that.'
'He wasn't evil, just stupid and tried to take credit for what others have done. Oh but I think the minister is getting ready to speak. I'll let you go ready to accept you're award, which you do deserve Harry, so smile graciously.'
Harry rolled his eyes, but laughed, 'I will…Minerva,' he gave her a cheeky grin.
Minerva laughed, then surprised everyone when she hugged Harry, 'It is Minerva from now on, so finish enjoying the night.'
'I will,' Harry smiled then watched her leave before he turned and stood with Hermione, Ron and his friends.
'Welcome everyone, we are here to celebrate that Voldemort is gone, but we are also here to remember the ones we lost. I'm not just talking about the ones we lost during the Battle of Hogwarts, but from the time Voldemort first started to gather followers. People all over the magical world know of course of Lily and James Potter. Their story is well known and the story of Harry Potter surviving the killing curse as a baby. There are stories of great heroics, of sadness, of survival, of torture, of murder and of course of love. That is why Harry Potter was able to defeat Lord Voldemort, it came down to love. Albus Dumbledore told me once that Harry has a natural caring nature, he loves fully and he uses that love to protect, not just the ones he cares about, but to protect everyone. His DA or Dumbledore's army as they were called, they learned from Harry, some too young to know most of the spells he taught, but they still learned because they knew what was coming. Because they trusted their leader, Harry Potter, they trusted him when he said Voldemort had returned when most of the wizarding world were trying to stop that information getting out by making Harry out to be crazy and an attention seeker.
'Now even though you saw a different side of Harry Potter tonight, normally he hates attention and hates the spotlight. But I recently found out why that was. Harry was known as the-boy-who-lived, his parents died, he lived, he didn't want to be known as that just because he survived over his parents. Then he was called the chosen one, for a fifteen year old boy to hear it must be him to either kill Voldemort or die himself, must have been frightening, but Harry never showed his fear. Then he was known as undesirable number one and we all know who came up with that name as it was Harry that wouldn't stay quiet, so they tried to make Harry out to be the bad person.
'Now Harry is known as the saviour of the wizarding world, but as he tells me and everyone else, he never won this war alone and he's right. All his friends, the DA, they fought alongside him and when he was away, they fought in his name. They protected the younger students at Hogwarts, they worked behind the scenes to do what they had to, to survive and to help. Harry told me once that when he was away with Hermione and Ron, there were times they were losing hope, he hated to admit that, but he was, everyone was and we all thought we'd never see an end to this war.
'Then one night they got to hear Potterwatch, a radio show thought up by Lee Jordan, who wanted to get information out there so all of us could hear the real news, not what Voldemort and his death eaters kept trying to make us believe. Lee, along with his friends Fred and George Weasley contacted friends they trusted to talk on their show, to give all of us any information we needed, I was also one of those people that spoke on Potterwatch. Harry said even though he hated the name Potterwatch, he said listening to what everyone had to say and how people were still fighting no matter how dangerous it was, it gave Harry, Hermione and Ron a lift, gave them the hope they needed, gave them the strength to go on. They had been away for so long and hadn't heard anything about what was going on in the world. They were scared for their friends, for family, for everyone. But the moment they heard Potterwatch, it just gave them the energy to keep going. The three friends arrived at Hogwarts to find their friend Neville badly beaten, other friends suffered the same fate. Ron told me that Harry tries not to get angry, but when he saw his friends, all he wanted to do was get it finished.
It was not long after arriving that he got the shock of his life. He finds out he has to die to finish it, but he never let that stop him, he went to die and Harry did die, for a while anyway. Doing that, sacrificing himself helped all of us that were fighting that night. The moment Voldemort said Harry Potter was dead and we saw what we thought was Harry's body, a surge of people turned up to avenge Harry's death, all of us were not going to stop because Harry never stopped and he wouldn't stop until Voldemort was gone.
'Neville said to Harry right before he faced Voldemort that night, we're going to keep fighting, you know that, don't you Harry,' Kingsley smiled at Neville, 'He was right, we were all going to keep fighting and nothing was going to stop us, just like nothing was going to stop Harry. People knew there was a chance they could die, all of us, it doesn't matter whether we were students, aurors, professors, shop keepers, mother's, fathers, all of us knew we could die, but it was a sacrifice any of us were willing to give.
'Fred Weasley, who did die that night, he said to Harry the moment he turned up, time to fight and it was. George Weasley, Fred's twin told me he and his brothers all talked a few days before. They knew anyone of them could die, so they all wanted to make sure whichever ones survived to be there to help their mother. Molly Weasley is a surprising woman, after losing her son and almost losing her daughter, she stepped up and faced Voldemort's worst death eater and she did it alone. She refused to let anyone help and she didn't need help, she took care of Bellatrix Lestrange herself.
'There are so many stories of how this war was won, so many stories of heroics and sacrifice, and thousands of people that were part of it. Even though all those people died help fight, it still came down to one man, Harry Potter,' Kingsley waved his wand to reveal a twenty foot statue of Harry, 'This statue of Harry is a symbol of hope that our world will never face another war again, but it is also a reminder that when everyone joins together, anything is possible. Harry and his DA proved that. They were children, not fully trained, not adults, but they were the ones that brought an end to our war. Every part of the statue apart from Harry's face of course, has the names of everyone that died due to Voldemort. Harry's parents are where they have always been, in his heart, so their names along with Harry's godfather Sirius Black are right above Harry's heart. This statue was to be placed at Godric's Hollow, but by overwhelming letters all asking the same thing, they asked it to placed it at Hogwarts, so that's where this will stand, but not on the grounds, but at the gates of the historic school and that will let everyone see it whenever they wish.
'Now it is time to award Harry Potter's DA, but just know this, everyone that fought in the battle of Hogwarts will be receiving a new award, one that was named by Minerva McGonagall. As there are too many to call out, you're awards will be handed out and this award is called the Harry Potter courage award, because that's what everyone had that night, courage to stay and fight,' Kingsley smiled at everyone in the room as the gold medallions shaped like a stag started to float to almost everyone in the room.
Kingsley then started to present the order of merlin, third class, then second class before the first class. Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Neville, Seamus, Luna, Dean, the Patil twins, George, Lee, Angelina, Katie, Hannah, Michael, Terry, Ernie and Susan, the DA that stayed to fight were all awarded the order of merlin first class.
'This last award is another new award, the order of the phoenix and it goes to Harry Potter,' Kingsley placed another award around Harry's neck, then shook his hand, then gestured for Harry to speak.
Harry nodded, then faced everyone, 'I do appreciate the words from the minister even if I wished he would have left out the statue,' Harry shook his head as everyone laughed, 'That night, I saw things that surprised me, that shocked me, than saddened me, but as I stared at my friends, I saw them fighting alongside people like aurors, the teachers of Hogwarts and that filled me with pride. I might have been busy and couldn't show it, but I saw it but I also saw people die, people I knew, friends, family, but I also saw the strength and courage of everyone. Ron as all of you know is one of my best friends, he lost one of his brothers and at one time he was overcome with fury which I don't think anyone could blame him, but he knew what needed to be done and that was to keep fighting. Ginny was underage and wasn't supposed to leave the room of requirement, but as I found out, she has a mind of her own and snuck out the moment no one was looking, then almost gets herself killed. At the time I was still under my invisibility cloak so no one knew I was alive, but right then I felt like I was going to die again, seeing another one of my close friends die.
'Teddy Lupin, my godson,' Harry smiled down at Andromeda, 'Both his parents turned up that night, Remus, Teddy's father turned up to support me because he was best friends with my father. Tonks or Nymphadora turned up because it was her duty as an auror even though she just gave birth to her son. They lost their lives that night, but I know what they both would say, they were willing to sacrifice themselves to give their son a good life, which they did. All of us here have suffered in some way due to Tom Riddle or Voldemort, whatever you want to call him and we all knew what needed to be done if we wanted to live in a free world and not one dictated to by him. We had to fight and we did and were willing to die to make sure our world was safe for the children of our future. Thankfully to all of you here, it is safe. So from someone that keeps getting thanked, I thank you for trusting me and supporting me, but mostly for doing what was right and not what was easy,' Harry gave everyone a smile then the whole room started applauding. The band, Madeline and James all stood in shock at what they heard and how Harry was looked upon, with respect, with admiration and in some cases in awe. During the applause, the crowd called for Harry and Lightning's Kiss to play again, which they did.