(continued from Part A)
(All characters and locations within belong to J.K. Rowling unless otherwise stated.)
The best thing to happen after Harriet had awoken came the following day when Madame Pomfrey and Miss Momori finally relented and allowed all of her friends to come and visit her. Absent amongst them was Dora, who Hermione explained was still spending time with Nicolas and Perenelle before they finally passed away. Harriet felt sorry for Dora, and even quite guilty, but somehow as she sat there in bed, recounting the true tale of what had happened after she had gotten through the fire, seeing the looks of wonder and concern on her friends' faces, Harriet couldn't help but smile.
Her friends were a very good audience. Hermione actually shrieked when Harriet told them about Voldemort's face in the back of Quirrell's head. They also told Harriet their own stories in return. Kieran it turned out had made it all the way to the owlery, sending off the owl. He'd then returned to the third floor corridor, where he was able to put Fluffy back to sleep so that Dora and Marcus could help the still very dazed Ronnie out of the trap-door. Dora had tried to go back in but the two boys managed to convince her to wait, that Dumbledore should be returning soon.
"And then just as Hermione and Scott got back, Dumbledore showed up," Ronnie explained.
"Aye, he somehow knew, he didn't even say anything to us, he just strode past, leapt down into the trap door, and then ten minutes later he came back out carrying you in his arms. You looked like you were
" Kieran explained though he trailed off, unable to finish the sentence.
"You know, I've been thinking about it all
giving you the cloak like that
letting you find out how the mirror worked
do you think Dumbledore intended for you to be the one to go after Quirrell and You-Know-Who? I mean I wouldn't even be surprised if Dumbledore said Dora's last name out loud at Christmas to help clue you in," Ronnie said looking thoughtful.
Hermione looked scandalized. "Well if he did that would be awful! I mean all of us could have been killed, especially you Harriet!"
I don't know he's a funny man, Dumbledore. It's almost like he felt I had the right to face Voldemort if I could, and I guess
I guess I do
" Harriet said as she looked at them. "I mean, I am the one who stopped him the first time
so I think he just taught us all enough to help. I don't think it was an accident he let me find out how the Mirror worked, and I think you're right, Ronnie, I'll bet you anything he said Dora's name aloud on purpose. I don't think much of anything goes on here that Dumbledore doesn't know about."
There was a few moments of quiet as they all digested this theory. Then Ronnie smiled and changed the subject. "Well, forgetting all that, Harriet, you have to be up for the end of year feast tomorrow!"
"Oh yeah!" Harriet said then felt her heart sink. "Who won
" Ronnie muttered. "We got flattened by Ravenclaw in the final match without you. But the food'll be great!"
Just then, Madame Pomfrey bustled over, looking irritable.
"Alright, you've had half an hour, that is quite long enough. Back to bed-rest with you, Potter, you can see your friends again tomorrow."
* * * *
The following morning, Harriet was finally starting to get restless. Her scar hadn't hurt for a whole day, she'd already read the first two of the Nancy Drew books that Hermione had given her, and she was getting very annoyed having to be in bed all the time.
"So, Madame Pomfrey, would it, I mean, could I please go to the feast tonight?"
Madame Pomfrey pursed her lips as she checked Harriet's pulse and temperature.
"Professor Dumbledore requested you attend
" Madame Pomfrey muttered, sounding slightly disapproving.
Just that moment there was a knock on the door. Harriet heard Miss Momori answer it, and saw that she had a slightly knowing smile as she stepped around the edge of the curtains.
"Well, Potter, it looks like you have another visitor."
"Oh, who is it?" Harriet asked, curiously.
As she asked, the massive head of Hagrid appeared over the top of the curtains. Madame Pomfrey and Miss Momori bustled off and Hagrid sat on the floor beside Harriet (the chair being too weak to carry his weight, and he was more than tall enough already), looked her in the eyes, and broke down into sobs.
"It's all my fault! All mine! I told him! I told that evil git how to get past Fluffy! I nearly got you killed! I'll never drink another drop again! I should be chucked out once and fer all! Not fir ter live a life better than a Muggle!"
"Hagrid!" Harriet gasped, shocked at the display of emotion coming from her outsized friend. "This, this is Voldemort we were talking about! He probably would have just killed Fluffy or had Quirrell do it for him if you hadn't told him! It was them who were hurting the unicorns after all!"
"But yeh could've been killed! You an' all of yer friends! And don't say 'is name!"
"VOLDEMORT!" Harriet shouted. She shocked Hagrid so much that she actually made him stop crying. "I've met him, and I beat him again so I'm calling him by his name. I'm not going to let my fear rule me, and neither should you."
Harriet patted Hagrid's giant hand and saw his lower lip starting to wobble again.
"Cheer up, Hagrid, we did it, we saved the Stone! It's gone and he can't use it to return to power anymore. He's still just a whiff of dust or whatever he is."
Harriet reached over to her bedside table and grabbed up a Chocolate Frog and held it up to him. "Have a Chocolate Frog, people gave me way too many
Hagrid actually smiled looking down at it, "Neh, yeh've earned it more than I, 'sides it'd take a bit more than that fer me," he chuckled and patted his enormous torso. "But you did remind me, got a present for yeh. Dumbledore gave me the day off yesterday ter put it all together for yeh, I mean 'ee shoulda sacked me instead but, anyway, I made yeh this."
Hagrid reached into his pocket and drew out a leather-bound book. It had a bare cover, but inside was the greatest treasure Harriet had ever seen in her life. On each and every page were moving, wizarding pictures of her parents. In every one they were smiling and waving, laughing happily. Some of them were even of her parents when they were at Hogwarts.
There was also one of her parents at their wedding. Her mother looked so beautiful in her dress, and her father so handsome. Despite herself, she also had to admit that the young man standing next to her father, who she assumed was his best man, was very very handsome as well. The best one however, was one that had to have been taken just after she'd been born. Her mother was lying on a bed, her hair dishevelled and her eyes half closed, but her smile completely full as she looked down on the little bundle of blankets in her arms. Her father was sitting on the bed beside her, holding out a bottle of champagne at the camera and laughing with tears in his eyes, looking beside himself with joy.
"I knew ya didn't have any photos of 'em, not with the gits yeh grew up with
d'yeh like it
?" Hagrid asked. His throat sounded a little tight.
Harriet looked up at him. She kept trying to force out words but they wouldn't come. Finally, she swung her legs out of bed and jumped, hugging him as tightly around the neck as she could, tears pouring down her own cheeks now. She felt Hagrid's giant arms hug her back.
It was eight-o-clock that night before Harriet finally made her way down to the Great Hall. Madame Pomfrey had delayed her considerably with her fussing final check-ups. The surprise, however, came when Harriet made it to the Entrance Hall. As she entered, she saw a little family sitting together and talking on one of the benches. It was Dora and people Harriet could only assume were her parents. Dora looked over and saw her and immediately got to her feet.
Harriet felt distinctly awkward. She had been worrying about seeing Dora again, not knowing how Dora would take the destruction of the Stone and the inevitable death of her multi-great-grandparents. To her surprise, Dora actually gave a sad little smile and walked to Harriet, taking her by the hand and leading her to her parents.
Dora looked to be her mother in miniature. Her mother was tall and gracefully thin, with a round face, a little button nose and long, blond hair. Her father was a handsome though burly man, wide shouldered and barrel chested with a full beard and moustache, though as Harriet looked up at him, she saw that Dora had gotten his wide, twinkling blue eyes.
"And zo we finally meet Miss Harriet Potter," Dora's father said, extending a large, powerful looking hand. He had a distinctly French accent, though it was kindly and softer than she'd expected, and his English was very good. Harriet held out her hand to shake but to her surprise instead he simply took it in his hand and bent low over it before standing back up and smiling.
"Dora has told us so much about you over the last couple of days," Dora's mother said. As she did, Harriet couldn't help but imagine that she sounded just the way Dora probably would when she was older.
"Oh, th-thanks," Harriet said, feeling a little lame. "I'm
I'm sorry about"
"Not at all, Harriet, please, do not blame yourself. You did a great, brave and wonderful sing for ze wizarding world. Ze choice to destroy ze stone was my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfazer's, and his alone."
"Yes, my dear, in fact that's why we're here, we wanted to thank you in person. Nicolas and Perenelle wanted to come but it seems that finally their age is catching up with them," Dora's mother said kindly.
Dora's father reached into his pocket and pulled out a letter and handed it to Harriet.
"He did, however, want us to give you zis. He requested however you read it in private."
Harriet nodded taking it. Dora's mother smiled warmly.
"We're very glad Dora made friends like you here Miss Potter," She said putting a hand on Harriet's shoulder. Harriet couldn't help but smile, giving Dora a sideways glance and seeing her blushing brightly and trying to avoid Harriet's eyes.
"Well, we won't keep your any longer from ze feast. Dora, dear, would you like us to wait for you, or would you like to remain tonight to come home on ze train wis your friends tomorrow?" her father asked. Dora looked up at him then finally at Harriet. Harriet couldn't help but smile invitingly.
I'll stay mum, dad," Dora said and quickly gave them both hugs. They smiled down at Dora and Harrie and waved them off to the Great Hall.
"So we're friends now, huh?" Harriet asked under her breath as they walked. Dora bumped Harriet hard in the shoulder with her own.
"Shut it, Potter
" she said sounding a little grouchy. Harriet kept smiling though it only took Dora another couple of paces before she said, "Of course we are. You don't put a giant three headed dog to sleep, fight off Devil's Snare, catch an enchanted key and play a giant game of Wizard's Chess with someone and not become friends with them."
Harriet laughed and they finally pushed open the door to the Great Hall. Her eyes were hit by a giant wave of green. The Great Hall was entirely decked out in Slytherin green, in celebration of Slytherin's winning the House Cup. As they stepped in, the Great Hall immediately fell silent, before it once again broke out in noise. This time, however, it was hushed whispering, some people even going up on tip-toe to look at her. Harriet felt herself blush and Dora gave her another sad little smile before she made her way to the Slytherin table and Harriet went off to the Gryffindor table.
Hermione and Ronnie both moved aside for her to sit between them. Kieran and Marcus both smiled welcoming, and Dean, Seamus, Parvati and Lavender all leaned over to start asking Harriet questions themselves when Professor Dumbledore himself stood up and the Great Hall felt silent.
"Alas! Another year has come and gone! And before we all stuff ourselves to the brim with our delicious feast so we can hardly move, I please ask you to give me but a few more minutes of your time."
By the sound of reverent silence, Harriet was quite sure that even with the feast coming, everyone was more than anxious to hear anything Dumbledore had to say.
"My, what a year it has been! Hopefully you all learned a little and managed to fill your heads right to the brim with new knowledge while you were here, as you have an entire summer ahead of you to empty them once more.
"Now, before we begin, the House Cup needs awarding once more. As of now, the points stand, thus: In fourth place is Gryffindor, with two hundred sixty-two points; in third, Hufflepuff, with three hundred fifty-two points; in second place, Ravenclaw, with four hundred twenty-six; and finally in first place, Slytherin, with four hundred seventy-two."
There was a roar of sound from the Slytherin table. Harriet felt slightly ill, watching Draco Malfoy, Pansy Parkinson and Pixie Fanfarró in particular jumping up and down and slamming their silverware on the table, chanting and cheering.
"Yes, yes, well done, Slytherin, well done," Dumbledore said and the din died down a little more. "However, there are recent events which must be taken into account."
At these words, complete silence fell over the Great Hall.
"In light of recent events, which I must take into account, there is quite the swarm of new points that have to be taken into consideration.
"First, to Mister Scott McIntyre, for his demonstration of excellent knowledge of Astronomy, I award Ravenclaw House fifty points."
The Ravenclaw table exploded with noise. Doing the math in her head, Harriet knew that put Ravenclaw House four points ahead of Slytherin, putting them in the lead.
"Ahem," Dumbledore said, calming the Ravenclaws down. "And second, it takes a great deal of courage to go against one's own house and do what is right. Therefore, I award Dora Flamel and Slytherin House another fifty points."
What happened next was one of the more odd reactions Harriet had ever seen. Even though Slytherin House was once again in the lead, their reaction was oddly subdued. Harriet supposed it was because on one hand, Dora had put Slytherin House back in the lead, but on the other hand, she had done so helping out Harriet and her friends. Dora on the other hand looked quite pleased with herself, as did her other friend Sae, who was hugging her around the shoulders in a congratulatory way.
"And third, to Miss Ronnie Weasley, for the best played game of chess Hogwarts has perhaps ever seen, and courageous self-sacrifice, I award Gryffindor House, fifty points."
Gryffindors burst into loud applause all along the table, many reaching over to pat Ronnie on the shoulder.
"My sister, you know! My little sister! Got past McGonagall's giant chess set even sacrificing herself to do it!" Harriet could hear Percy shouting proudly.
Professor Dumbledore cleared his throat and silence fell again.
"Fourth, to Mister Marcus Van De Lakk, for a cool mind, and excellent use of his talents and his lessons to come to the aid of his friends in a time of great need, I award Gryffindor House a further fifty points."
Gryffindors were cheering louder than ever. They had moved up to third place now.
"Fifth, to Miss Hermione Granger, for the use of cool logic in the face of fire, I award Gryffindor House another fifty points."
Hermione burst into tears and buried her face in her arms as Gryffindor again burst into cheers. Harriet looked over and managed to catch Kieran's eyes. Unlike the rest of them, Kieran was only sitting and applauding. Harriet thought she knew why. Of all of them, Kieran was the only one who hadn't gone through any of the trials.
"And sixth, to Miss Harriet Potter, for her pure nerve, and her outstanding courage, I award Gryffindor House, sixty points."
Gryffindors exploded once more with cheers. They were almost tied with Ravenclaw. If Dumbledore had only given Gryffindor House another ten points or so. Harriet leaned forward and actually gave Kieran's hand a squeeze. He looked down at her hand on his and returned the squeeze, though he still looked miserable.
"And seventh, to Mister Kieran O'Brien," Dumbledore said.
Kieran actually jumped and looked up at Dumbledore in disbelief. "It is certainly brave to rush off into the face of danger in support of your friends. But it takes a special kind of character and bravery to be the one to volunteer to remain behind and give the other support your friends need. I therefore award Gryffindor House another fifty points."
Kieran's mouth fell open, completely slack as Gryffindor House was finally on its feet. The fifty points Kieran had won put them equal with Slytherin House. They had drawn for the House Cup. Dora was on her feet too, and drawing very ugly looks from the surrounding Slytherin students for it.
Dumbledore once more raised his hand and quiet reclaimed the Great Hall.
"There are all kinds of courage in this world, and it takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to one's enemies. But it takes just as much, if not more, to stand up to our friends. I therefore award Neville Longbottom and Gryffindor House a final ten points."
Harriet's ears were ringing. Neville was bowled over in the wave of students that were hugging him. Ronnie had actually climbed over the table to do so; kissing his cheek and making him go so pink in the face Harriet thought his head might explode from all the blood filling it. Neville had never won as much as a point for Gryffindor the entire year. Harriet looked up at Professor Dumbledore and couldn't help but smile at who she now recognized as the kindest man she had ever known. Seeing the looks of sheepish pride on Kieran and Neville's faces, Harriet knew Dumbledore had intentionally saved them for last, making them the two heroes of Gryffindor House, and she was incredibly grateful for it.
Dumbledore waved his wand and the banners changed from green to maroon. Malfoy, Parkinson and Fanfarró were looking utterly miserable, which only made Harriet feel even happier. Harriet saw Professors McGonagall and Snape shaking hands. Professor Snape looked like he had lock jaw as he forced a smile on his face. Professor McGonagall caught Harriet's eye and gave her a little wink. Harriet tried to catch Professor Snape's eye too, but he was now steadfastly looking in another direction. She had the odd desire to ask him about having known her father, but she knew that was mere wishful thinking.
Harriet felt it was the best evening of her life. The party continued on into the night. On their way back to the common room, several older students, including Fred, George, and Oliver Wood bore Neville and Kieran on their shoulders. Neville of course hit his head on an overhang, but he still seemed so overjoyed he didn't seem to notice. Harriet knew she would never, ever, forget tonight.
However, later that night as she lay in bed, Harriet finally pulled out and read Nicolas Flamel's letter. When she'd finished, she had tears in her eyes again, though she finally felt better about everything that had happened.
I know it sounds odd to someone your age for me to say so, but I want to thank you for what you have done. Perenelle and I really did rather wear out our welcome in this lifetime. It is now time for us to take our new adventure.
But more than that, I especially want to thank you for the kindness and acceptance you have shown to our dearest granddaughter, Dora. She had been down to attend Beauxbatons near where her family lives, but with Voldemort openly after the Stone, our worry that Dora may become a target herself was too great, and so we sent her with the Stone to Hogwarts. One could say she was there for protection as much as the Stone was.
Most of her childhood friends, however, still went to Beauxbatons, and it was our great worry that Dora would have a hard time fitting in. She is, after all, quite as headstrong as her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, and come to think of it all her great-grandmothers since, her grandmother, and her own mother. But having heard that she met someone like you who accepted her for who she was has heartened me greatly, and was the best gift you could have given to someone of my excessively long age.
Do not feel sorry for Perenelle and myself. We are quite ready for what is to come, and we wish you all the best in your coming years. Our one regret is that we did not think of destroying the Stone sooner, as it would have saved you considerable peril, but then in the end we would have cost you the chance to prove your qualities. You are a truly great witch, my dear, and you have every right to be proud of yourself. When I see them on the other side, I shall be quite sure to tell your parents what a good person you have made of yourself, though I have no doubt they now that quite well enough already.
All the best,
Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel
* * * *
The exam results were handed out at breakfast the following day. Harriet and her friends had passed everything, and fairly well too. Hermione was even top of their year, with Scott behind her by only a few points. As they showed each other their results and Harriet saw the looks on Hermione and Scott's faces, Harriet knew at once that a friendly rivalry had begun between the two that would probably continue until their very last day at Hogwarts.
It all happened very fast that day. In no time at all, Harriet's trunk was packed, Hedwig shut safely in her cage, Neville's toad Trevor was found, and they were all given their notices informing them they were not allowed to use magic outside of school, much to Fred and George's continued misery.
Instead of the boats, however, Hagrid lead them all to a long line of carriages that seemed to be magically enchanted to pull themselves, as they had no horses. They also seemed to be magically larger on the inside than they appeared on the outside, as Harriet, Ronnie, Hermione, Kieran, Marcus, Scott, Dora and even Neville all managed to fit into the carriage. Harriet felt her mood slowly slipping down as they boarded the Hogwarts Express at Hogsmeade Station and it began chugging away from the platform.
She still joined in all the fun her friends were having as they went. They replayed the game of dare she and Ronnie had started on the Hogwarts Express their first time, daring each other to eat randomly drawn Every-Flavour Beans and trying to guess what the flavours would be before they did. As she looked around at them all talking and laughing, Harriet actually felt her mood climbing. Even if she was going back to the Dursley's it would only be two short months before she was back aboard this very same train. And besides, she had Hedwig; she could keep in touch over the summer.
The train finally arrived that evening back at King's Cross station. There was a bit of a rush getting off the train, and many yells of happiness as parents and students reunited. Many people called farewells to her as she and her friends made their way to the barrier to the Muggle world.
"Still famous," Ronnie whispered in her ear grinning.
"Heh, not where I'm living
"Oh, that reminds me! You lot have to come visit this summer! I'll send an owl!"
"There mum! There she is! I can see her!" called a shrill voice as they got near the barrier. It was Ronnie's mother, Mrs Weasley with Ronnie's younger sister, Ginny. Ginny had grown a little during the school year and was waving frantically. She broke from her mother's grasp and ran up to them, first giving Ronnie, Fred, George and even Percy rib-cracking hugs before turning to Harriet and shaking her hand vigorously.
"Hi! I'm Ginny, Ginny Weasley, Ronnie, Fred, George and Percy's little sister! Oh it's so great to meet you finally!" Ginny said talking a mile a minute.
"Oh I, uh, thanks," Harriet said, blushing brightly. Ginny continued to beam.
"So how was your year?! Is Hogwarts amazing!? I bet it is! I bet you were top of the year too!"
"Er, no, that was my friend Hermione, here."
"You were!?" Ginny asked looking equally impressed and shaking Hermione's hand. "You must be so smart! I can't wait for next year when we're all there together!"
"Now, now, Ginny," Mrs Weasley said as she finally caught up with them. "Hello dears, did you have a good year, busy?"
"Yes to both, Mrs Weasley!" Harriet said, smiling. "And thank you so much for the jumper and the fudge!" Harriet said and actually gave Mrs Weasley a hug around the waist.
"Oh! Oh well, it was nothing dear," Mrs Weasley said patting Harriet on the back.
They finally filed out onto Platform Nine. A ministry guard was letting them out through the barrier in pairs so they wouldn't alarm the Muggles. Harriet looked around once she'd gotten through, having walked through side by side with Ronnie, wondering when or even if the Dursleys would be coming for her.
"Ready, are you?" asked a gruff, irritable sounding voice nearby. Harriet turned to see Uncle Vernon, still as purple-faced, moustachioed, and angry as ever walking towards them. His gaze moved over the Weasleys and the owls on Harriet's and Percy's trunks, his face full of utter disapproval. Harriet could see Aunt Petunia and Dudley standing a few feet behind Uncle Vernon, looking terrified of not just Harriet but the whole swarm of other wizards standing with her as well.
"Oh, you must be Harriet's family!" said Mrs Weasley, walking up to Uncle Vernon and holding out a hand in greeting.
"Unfortunately," Uncle Vernon muttered, turning away from her to glare at Harriet. Mrs Weasley looked deeply affronted and even Harriet couldn't help but glare back at Uncle Vernon for his rudeness. "Hurry up, girl, it's late enough as it is," He said before he turned to walk back to Aunt Petunia and Dudley.
Harriet lingered just long enough to give her final goodbyes to her friends.
"Okay, now I've seen them I'm definitely sending you an owl as soon as possible!" Ronnie declared, looking beside herself with anger at the Dursleys. "Is that one Dudley? Come on let me poke him in the nose just once"
"It's fine, Ronnie, it's fine, I can't wait to hear from you all."
"Hope you have a
as good a summer as possible," Kieran said looking completely dumbfounded at the Dursleys. Hermione had found her own parents and brought them over to introduce to everyone too. They were definitely much friendlier people than the Dursleys, which seemed to reassure Ronnie quite a bit.
"Girl!" Uncle Vernon called angrily.
"See you all later then," Harriet called, gave everyone another round of hugs and turned to finally follow the Dursleys. Her friends had seemed a little perplexed at the smile Harriet had on her face. But in her head, Harriet was remembering the notice in her trunk, the one telling her she couldn't do magic over the summer. The note she knew she would never show the Dursleys, and she knew would make her summer much more fun than the last.
It was as she stepped outside though that Harriet stopped once more. Unless she was much mistaken, she could hear a violin. It was a very pretty sound, but as she looked around, no one else seemed to hear it. She remembered back to last summer when she had arrived for the first time, the street performing violinist she had met. She looked around frantically, hoping it was him, but she didn't see anyone.
Then she remembered, well more of half remembered. The violinist had said his violin had been "magic." And more than that, she thought she could remember someone having once told her when she got back to King's Cross to listen for something no one else could hear, and that when he heard it she'd know someone was watching over her and keeping her safe. The feeling reassured her greatly and she smiled, already eager to return for another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.