Harry opened his eyes to find himself surrounded by almost pure white. He blinked several times, then shook his head. Slowly, things began to come into focus.
Everything was still pristinely white, but now he could make out the various platforms of what was obviously an empty King's Cross Station.
"Oh, Merlin, I'm dead, aren't I?" Harry exclaimed. "How?!"
"You're not dead," a very familiar voice called out. "Not yet, at least."
"Of course it's me, silly. Who were you expecting? Albus Dumbledore?"
"Well, kind of," Harry admitted, "but this is much better. So, what is this place? Some kind of spiritual limbo? Let me guess, these platforms represent different destinations in the afterlife? And if I take a train I die, but if I want it enough I can return to life and continue on?"
Hermione smiled kindly, then put her hand on his shoulder comfortingly. "Oh, I'm afraid there is no continuing on from here. We're in the epilogue now."
Harry snatched his arm away from Hermione, eyes going wide. "Oh no, they still have me!" Harry tried to flare his magic, concentrating as hard as he could on waking up.
"Who still has you? What are you going on about?" Hermione asked.
"None of this is real," Harry said to himself. "Wake up, wake up, wake up!"
"Oh, the Matrix." Hermione said with a short, melodious laugh. "I see what's happening. You think you're at the end of Harry Potter and the Illusions of Reality." Hermione took Harry by the hand and pulled him along behind her. "But that's a very different fanfiction," she said pointing to a train on platform labelled 00001001.111. "Frightfully interesting. I looked it over when I was doing a bit of light reading. Quite worth a look."
"But this is the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Weasley Seer," she assured him.
"Oh," Harry huffed. "But, isn't this kind of cheap and not really satisfying? Won't the readers want to see the aftermath of the events rather than just being told about them, or worse, getting a low-effort comedy routine foisted on them?"
"Don't be silly. People love the Omakes, Harry. Mother to a house-elf Draco and Pepe Le Pew Fleur are the most popular chapters of the entire story, if you are judging by number of reviews. Personally, though I think my turn as a genre savvy 4th wall breaker is underappreciated," she said with a short sniff.
"Maybe," Harry said, "but it would be nice to see what happens with Ron after all of this."
"What about me?" Ron's voice called.
"Ron! You're here!" Harry called out and embraced his best mate.
"Well, of course I'm here, Harry. Where else would I be?" Ron looked around for a bit. "Um, Harry, where are we?"
"King's Cross Station," Harry replied.
"At the epilogue," Hermione specified.
Ron shrank back. "Harry, she's doing that weird mental meta-thing again."
"It's alright Ron, it will all be over soon. Just ignore the crazy stuff for now," Harry said, placating his excitable friend.
"So, what's going on?" Ron asked.
"We're deciding how everything ends," Hermione answered. "I mean, like how our lives are going to go on from here," she clarified.
"Well," Ron sad, "Obviously we're going to be rich and famous the rest of our lives."
"And you'll deserve all the fame and money you'll get," Harry said. "After all, there is no way I would have defeated Voldemort without your prophecy."
Ron laughed, "Can you believe everyone bought that bit of acting?"
"You got pretty good at it there at the end, mate," Harry assured him.
"So, Ron," Hermione said, "what do you want to do now? The Divinations post at Hogwarts is yours for the taking. You could write a book of prophecies, or even an autobiography now."
Ron lifted his hand up and gestured as if to push the very thought of such a life away. "No way, I don't want to be some kind of bookworm. No offense, Hermione. Well, I might come back and teach Divinations when I get older or something, but what I'd really love would be to be a professional Quidditch player!"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Boys."
"Harry could easily play professionally as a Seeker. Too bad being the 'Weasley Seer' doesn't make me better on a broom. If only there was some way I really could see the future! Then I'd know exactly how to move to block every shot attempt. I'd be the greatest Keeper in history!"
"Ron, you realize that was exactly what I did to defeat Voldemort, right? I watched myself fight him and took notes on what to do before time travelling back again, you do remember? You could just do that but for Quidditch."
"Bloody brilliant!" Ron said beaming. "All I'll need is a time turner!"
Harry and Ron looked over at Hermione with matching grins.
"Absolutely not," she said.
"Come on," Harry said, "everyone already believes Ron sees the future. This will just be the same kind of thing, but with sports!"
"It would be cheating! Would you really want to win that way, Ronald?"
Ron shrugged. Hermione sighed, then handed over one of her time turners. What, did you think she'd not take a few spares while she was in the Department of Mysteries? Time Turners are dead useful for studying, you know.
"What about you, Hermione? Minister for Magic? Headmaster of Hogwarts?" Harry asked.
"Why not both?" Hermione asked. "If Dumbledore could be Supreme Mugwump, Chief Warlock, and Headmaster, surely I can hold two positions at once."
"Speaking of Albus," Harry said just as that very phoenix descended towards the ground before transforming into a wizard—a much younger wizard than they had known, but recognizable all the same.
"Excellent work, my boy," the phoenix in human form said. "Things turned out even better than I had ever planned. A shame Tom could not be redeemed, but there is no darkness staining you from what you did. I would know."
"Albus! So, you have mastered how to return to wizard form now!" Harry exclaimed.
"Oh yes, it was quite tricky, a thrilling tale but for another time. I expect if this were not the end of the things, having me be able to become human would have been far too overpowered and the powers that be would never have allowed it. Of course, there were some who suspected I would return as an infant, and that would have been delightful, but I am quite pleased with how things turned out."
"Sorry you had to die, Professor," Hermione said apologetically. "But you do understand for the hero's journey to have any meaning, any strong mentor figure capable of resolving the tension has to be eliminated or at least temporarily taken out of the picture."
"Indeed, it was for the Greater Good after all. It is nice that I was able to live on as a phoenix and quite a happy ending for me that I can return to wizard form now," Albus replied. "Though I cannot remain in wizard form for long. I only came to say goodbye, though, I daresay I expect to see you again often!"
"What do you mean?" Harry asked.
"Now that Tom has been vanquished and all is well, I have decided to use my unique hybrid wizard-phoenix powers to give the world a new holiday: Phoenix Day! I'll travel around the world in a flash of fire, sometimes appearing as a great magical bird, and sometimes an eccentric old man. Either way I'll heal the good of heart with my tears and leave while showering the area with lemon drops, chocolates, and sweets of all kinds!"
"Wicked!" Ron cried.
"So what of you, Harry? What will Harry Potter do? Retire quietly and enjoy life as the husband of the Minister of Magic?" Albus asked, eyes with a flaming twinkle in them.
"Husband of the Minister of Magic sounds wonderful," Harry said. "But I think I'll travel the world for a bit and secretly solve problems for regular people."
"Harry Potter, Wizard in Disguise?" Hermione suggested as the title of a future fanfiction.
"Actually, on second thought that sounds like too much work. I think I like Ron's idea of playing professional Quidditch for a bit. I'd still get to travel. I have always wondered how American Quidditch is played."
"You mean Quodpot?" Ron asked.
"No, American Quidditch," Hermione responded. "I read all about it on . You'd like it Ron. It's a lesser-known, American version of Quidditch that in my opinion solves the problem of the Seeker basically being the only important player on a team."
"Well, with that sort of shameless self-promoting going on, I'm afraid I cannot stick around," Albus said, tut-tutting the excessive fourth wall breakage. With that Albus transformed back into his phoenix form and flew up. I'll see you all on Phoenix Day!
"Well, that covers the three of us." Harry looked around to see if there was anyone else in sight. There wasn't. "But what about the rest of the minor heroic characters?"
"I'm pained, Harry," Sirius Black said, appearing as soon as he was spoken of, "that you would consider your godfather and guardian for the past several years 'minor' in any way!"
"I didn't mean it like that!" Harry protested to the dashing, well-groomed, mustached man who had shown up to wrap him in a hug.
"I know, kid," Sirius said with a roguish smile. "Honestly, you don't need to worry about me. I'm good looking, well respected, and richer than ever. Plus, I'm the most eligible bachelor in all of Magical Britain. The moment you get out of Grimmauld Place, I'm going to start holding tryouts for the future Mrs. Black. If you need to worry about anyone, it would be Remus."
"Moony is doing just fine, thank you," Remus said.
And it was true. Remus Lupin was looking well. Gone were the days where the man would wake up with aches, pains and wounds. Gone was the constant worry and self-doubt that plagued him for most of his life. He was well dressed, well groomed, and had a lightness to his demeanor in place of the melancholy that once had been his lot in life.
"It's good to see you, Padfoot," the Marauder said as he gripped his friend tightly by the arm. Then he wrapped Harry in a hug. "And good to see you too, Harry." Ron and Hermione did not get a hug from the man, but he did give them a firm handshake. Not everyone could be the son of Remus's dearest friends.
"How are things doing and what are your plans, Professor Lupin?" Hermione asked—for the sake of the reader, of course. It wasn't like Remus hadn't been around. He just didn't get much description. Sorry, about that.
"Well with Harry's perfection of the homorphus charm, allowing werewolf bite victims to have their bodies locked permanently into human form and prevent transformations, I've been quite busy helping the werewolf population undergo the spell. Of course, there are few wizards or witches actually strong enough to successfully make the human transformation permanent, so it was slow going, but by this point there are very few lycanthropes on the loose."
"And Greyback?" Ron asked.
Remus smirked grimly, "There's a reason the Order never had to face him on the battlefield. I'll leave what I did to him up to your imaginations."
"Nice one, Moony!" Sirius cheered. "So what will you do now?"
"I had thought of teaching again," Remus said. "I do enjoy explaining things to young minds. Oh, and I have a date with Nymphadora Tonks. We hit it off while battling Death Eaters."
"That sounds wonderful, and I can continue calling you Professor with you continuing at Hogwarts," Hermione noted.
"Hermione, what about all of our friends who supported us, but had a much diminished role compared to—you know—canon? What about them?" Harry asked.
"Oh, I can tell you about my family," Ron interjected. "Mum and Dad are doing just fine. Considering all the money and gifts I've received as the Weasley Seer, which of course I share with my family, Dad's thinking of completely renovating the Burrow. It's not like we don't have the land to expand on!"
"That's nice, Ronald," Hermione said, patting the ginger on the head as if he were a pet.
Ron scowled. "I get no credit!" he complained. "Anyways, you all saw Fred and George's joke products in action. Harry was the first to invest, but I had the foresight—see what I did there?—to put up half the money for their stake. So, now I'm a silent partner in the business. So, they're good.
"Percy never became a prat," the Weasley Seer continued. "Hermione tried to explain timelines and stuff to me, but it's a bit over my head. Anyway, he's still on good terms with the family. You guys never really saw Charlie or Bill much, but they're both doing just fine. As for Ginny...well, she's a bit disappointed that she doesn't get to be with her 'one true love' and all, but she did snag Dean Thomas, who I punched."
Hermione crossed her arms and raised an imperious brow. "If Ginny wanted to be with Harry, she shouldn't have waited until the fifth canon story to become slightly interesting. It's totally her own fault."
"Wait," Harry protested, "you mean, Ginny likes me? Why didn't anyone tell me?"
"Harry!" Hermione gasped.
Harry Potter grinned. "Just kidding. I'm happy with my ending. Wouldn't change a thing."
Hermione smiled despite herself. "You! Just for that, I'll have the narrator go through the rest with just exposition!"
Which is just fine with me. Hagrid's secret mission for the Order was a much bigger success than originally. With Voldemort too preoccupied with Harry and his forces weakening rather than growing in strength, and with Umbridge never gaining any power to persecute non-human beings, the giants were persuaded to remain neutral. Naturally, Hagrid brought back his brother, but this time without needing to hide him.
Fleur Delacour missed out on Harry Potter. But she's half-veela. She'll be fine. Eventually she'll find someone that doesn't become a blathering idiot around her and she'll live happily.
Luna Lovegood was sadly missing from all but a brief mention in the last chapter, and that's a shame, but there was never really a good place to add her in. Xenophilius raised her in a way that encouraged her to believe in possibilities, and Harry found that her beliefs often more closely matched the true nature of magic than most people's. She's a prospective ICW member. Sorry to those who were disappointed not to have more of Luna. She's a favorite for good reason.
And Peter Pettigrew…
"Wait," Sirius Black interrupted. "Did we not take care of Peter Pettigrew at any time since the return of Voldemort? That…that seems like something we should have done."
Hermione looked up in alarm, then over to Ron. He shrugged his shoulders. He looked over at Remus who shook his head. Remus upturned his hand towards Harry questioningly.
At first Harry looked from side to side in confusion. Then he raised one finger. "Oh, right! Wormtail! Yeah…did I forget to tell everyone that during one of the raids from the Death Eaters that I caught the rat? I didn't mention it to anyone?"
"No!" everyone present shouted in unison, "you didn't!"
"Well, after disabling all the Death Eaters with stunners and such, Wormtail was there. He pleaded for mercy, said my father would have wanted it. So, I let him go."
"You what?" Sirius and Remus shrieked.
"I let him go…after I forced him to transform back into his animagus form and permanently locked him into the shape of a rat. He'll never become a wizard again. I picked him up and tossed him into a London sewer filled with a lot of other rats."
"Nice one!" Sirius said giving Harry a high-five.
Right, so, that's handled.
Lucius Malfoy suffered pretty severely under Voldemort's hand. The Cruciatus is not nice. So, while Lucius had done some evil things, lots of corruption for certain, and he probably murdered someone at some point in time, his relatively light sentence of ten years labor is mitigated by the torture he suffered. Of course, had he not turned informant it would have been much harsher. Draco learned some important lessons in humility and became a more humble prat, but still a prat. Narcissa escaped any punishment as her cooperation was mostly under duress and whatever aiding and abetting she was guilty of was offset by her family informing on the Death Eaters.
Severus Snape resigned his posts at Hogwarts. He finished out his year as the upper years DADA professor and Potions teacher, then never set foot in a classroom again, to the joy of all. He did, however, have a very lucrative career thereafter as the star of a reality show called "Hell's Cauldron" where aspiring potioneers attempted to brew potions under the harsh criticism of Snape's ascorbic tongue. It was a huge hit.
Remus, Sirius, then Ron and Hermione faded into whiteness. In the void of King's Cross, Harry was left alone, or as alone as any character in a story ever is with ever-present reader watching everything.
"Some people may feel that keeping the secret of the power of belief on magic is wrong," Harry said to nobody in particular, "But I experienced what a person unconstrained by rules could do with magic, and I believe in the need to maintain the secrecy. The same goes for prophecy, but in reverse. Without the secret, it would lose almost all power. Think about that."
And then Harry faded away into the whiteness.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. If you are sad to see it end, remember this story is based in large part on the power of belief. If you believe the story goes on hard enough, you can make it so, at least in your own imagination. As for this fanfiction, though, that's—