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Chapter Thirty
Finishing Fifth Year

The next day a ripple of shock spread through the Great Hall when the four time travellers walked in at breakfast.  The Slytherin table especially seemed very surprised to see them.  When they were all seated, the questions started immediately, but they all remained quiet, telling the students they would have to wait for the Daily Prophet to arrive.  When the post owls started circling the ceiling ten minutes later, there was a flurry of excitement as the wizarding newspapers were dropped in front of those with subscriptions.  Shouts of surprise and joy filled the Hall as everyone read the front page.


Yesterday afternoon, a mysterious group of Light wizards, lead by Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is reported to have stormed the headquarters of the Dark Lord Grindelwald.  In a bold, and what some would call suicidal, attack aimed at freeing prisoners, thirty of the Dark Lord's followers, as well as his apprentice, are said to have been captured or killed.  
Grindelwald himself is said to have been killed at the end of the battle in a spectacular show of bravery by Professor Dumbledore, who our sources in the Ministry claim will be rewarded with an Order of Merlin, First Class, for his efforts.  
An eye witness at the battle, one Daedalus Diggle of the Department of Mysteries, claims, “ We all fought bravely against about twenty of Grindelwald's followers.  They have all been captured and are awaiting trial.  Our group was lucky, we didn't lose anybody, and we managed to free fourteen prisoners, including two captured members of our organisation, one of which was its founder.”
What is this mysterious organisation?  This reporter can only guess.  What I do know for sure is, they certainly have my support.  When pushed, Mr. Diggle revealed, “ We cannot give you any information.  However, I will say that we are dedicated to preserving peace and ridding the world of Dark forces.”
What will the future hold now that Grindelwald is defeated?  Who knows?  Now, though, the wizarding world is at peace, and everyone can sleep more soundly at night.


Elated chatter filled the Hall as the article was read and reread, those without a copy of the newspaper borrowing it from those who had finished the front page.  A few minutes later, as Dumbledore entered the Great Hall for breakfast, cheers rang out from all of the House tables, although less enthusiasm came from Slytherin.  The headmaster smiled at everyone benignly as he made his way to the head table, where he stood before his chair to speak to the students.

“ Hello, everyone.  As you have undoubtedly heard, the Dark Lord Grindelwald is no longer a threat to the wizarding world.  For most, this is something to be celebrated, and for some, it is a source of disappointment.”

Here Dumbledore glanced quickly at some scowling Slytherins, especially Satanus and Caligula, who were both giving him poisonous looks.

“ I would personally like to thank everyone involved in his downfall, and especially those without whom victory would have been impossible.  Would Harry Evans, Virginia and Ronald Weston, and Hermione Granger please stand.”

The four students looked at Dumbledore in horror as they got to their feet amid cheers from their Housemates.  Minh, Eustace, Gallatea and Peeves were cheering the loudest, the latter causing much of the school to stare at him in confusion.  The mischievous poltergeist wasn't known for showing such support for students.  Once the din lessened, Dumbledore continued with his speech.

“ These four extraordinary individuals have saved many lives over the course of the year.  First, they helped to great effect at the attack in October.  During the Christmas break, they single handedly fought off an attack on Muggles by Grindelwald's followers in London.  At the end of March, they all participated in the battle in Paris, which you will all have heard about from the Daily Prophet.  It was at this point you would have noticed their absence from school, as they were captured by the enemy and held prisoner for two months.  Despite this, they all fought bravely yesterday and were instrumental  in the defeat of the Dark Lord.  For this, they will all receive awards for special services to the school from me, and Orders of Merlin, First Class from the Ministry of Magic.”

The noise was deafening as everyone cheered and stamped their feet in support of their fellow students.  The four in question were bright red with embarrassment, but were deeply flattered that they were getting such honours bestowed upon them.  Eventually, the noise died down and Dumbledore sat, before everyone tucked into their breakfasts.


Later that day brought a big shock to the four former captives.  It was their first lesson when it occurred to them that their OWL exams started the following week, and they had two months worth of work plus revision to fit into seven days.  Ron was the most panicked, as unlike the other three he wasn't really into studying things in advance.  Harry and Hermione weren't at all worried, as their Ravenclaw experience had made them more studious, and they had both covered the whole year's work months before in their own time.  Ginny had a little bit to catch up with, but she was sure she would be ready by the time the exams came around.  

The rest of the week was spent mostly in the library.  Minh and Eustace were studying for their end of year exams, and the other four were trying to revise for their OWLs.  Ron was going ballistic, knowing he could never catch up in time, despite Hermione's efforts to help him learn.  He was picking up the practical side of things easily, but he was having trouble memorising all of the theory.  Although it was similar to what he knew of ancient magic, some of the theories had changed over time, and he had to distinguish between old and new.  If he wrote about ancient theory, he wouldn't pass.  While Hermione was frantically helping her boyfriend to catch up, Harry was reviewing his own work and helping Ginny to fill in any gaps in her knowledge.  Although she had nowhere near as much to cover as Ron, her knowledge in some areas, especially in Transfiguration and Potions, was a bit spotty.  Harry was having a good time teaching her, as he found it helped him remember things better.

When the Monday after the battle finally came, all of the students were highly nervous.  The OWLs were not to be taken lightly, as failure to pass all of the subjects meant that you couldn't progress to sixth year.  As they stood outside of the classroom where their first exam was to be held, which just happened to be Potions, Ron started to panic.

“ What if I fail it?  I don't want to do fifth year again, as I've already done it twice.  And it'd be really embarrassing if I was a year behind my little sister…”

“ Ron, stop worrying about it.  We don't have the knowledge for these ones that we had for the last ones.  The chances of us getting grade `O's it lower.  You may not get as high a grade as you would have done had you been here for the last two months, but I doubt you'll fail.”

“ It's alright for you, Harry.  You did the work in advance like `Mione did, and you'll probably get grade `O' for everything.  I mean, you're even taking the exams for all the subjects, even the ones we didn't have classes for.  I don't know when you find the time to cover all the material.”

“ Well, for some things, like Arithmancy and Ancient Runes, the material hasn't changed that much over the last 1000 years.  I just had to get up to date with new concepts and I was fine.  As for Muggle Studies, I grew up with Muggles.  I just have to remember what exists in this time, as some things haven't been invented yet.”  
“ But why did it have to be Potions first?”

“ Does it really matter what comes first?” Ginny asked her brother, “ After all, you have to do them all at some point.  You may as well get the one you hate the most out of the way first.”

“ That's true, Gin.  Actually, I'm quite looking forward to Potions.”

“ HARRY!  How can you say that?  Potions is an evil subject…”

“ Ron, just because Snape was never nice to us in lessons doesn't mean the subject is evil.  I've actually grown to like it.  After all, I have written three books on the subject.”

“ That's true.  How are your books going, by the way?”

“ Well, I've finished Dark and Light potions, and Dark antidotes.”

“ And I'm on my fourth book,” Hermione chimed in proudly.

“ Mine's an ongoing project, and I'm a bit behind at the moment, as we had two months away.  I'll catch up when the summer holiday starts.”

“ So are you three going to publish them when we get home?”

“ Hopefully, Ron.  Imagine what Mum and Dad will say…”

“ I'm sure they'll be proud, Gin.  I can't wait to see Fred and George's faces when we give them the quidditch book.”

Their conversation was cut off when Professor Sewell opened the door and ushered the nervous students into the room.  The OWLs had officially begun.


Two weeks later it was all over.  Despite all of his worrying, Ron didn't have too many problems with the exams, at least not as many as he had been anticipating.  For him, Potions and Divination had been the worse.  Sybil had gone in first, and when she had come back out, she had a smug look on her face.  When it had come to Ron's turn, he had looked into the crystal ball and had vividly described his own death.  Unfortunately, the Divination teacher, unlike Trelawney, didn't revel in hearing about her students' deaths.  She had sent Ron out with a detention and lost House points for wasting her time.  Harry had been slightly more successful, as he `predicted' how the Muggle war in Europe would progress over the next couple of months.  As he already knew what would happen, and the OWLs weren't marked until the end of the holidays, he knew it would be accurate.  Ginny of course, had no problem with Divination, as she was already a Seer.

Two days before the end of term, the group went up to Dumbledore's office to have a chat with the headmaster.  The holidays were almost upon them, and they still didn't know where they would be living for the summer.  As most of the teachers went home in the holidays, it wasn't feasible for them to stay there.  Eustace went with them as well, as he didn't know what was to happen to him.  He obviously couldn't go home, as his parents were dead and his house was destroyed.  When the group of five students reached the headmaster's office, they went inside and took their seats when asked.

“ Lemon Drop?” Dumbledore asked them, holding out the bag.

“ No thank you, Sir,” Harry started, “ We came to ask where we will be living for the summer.  As you know, Eustace is an orphan, and we have no family here.”

“ I see.  Well, as it happens, I was contacted a few weeks ago by Amelia and John Logan, who have asked if they can take young Mr. Potter in.  Would that be acceptable?”

“ Yes, Headmaster,” Eustace said enthusiastically.

“ Then that is settled then.  As for you four, it would probably be for the best if you remained at Domus Corvus Corax.  After all, it is your house, Harry.”

“ Yes, Sir, I know it is.  We just don't want to get in the way.”

“ Goodness!  You could never do that.  There is plenty of room, anyway, especially now that the former captives have been returned to their homes.  The only people living there on a semi permanent basis are some of the Order members, and the elves.  Your friend Minh-Minh-Lama will be staying there for part of the summer I believe, until she and her family return to the elven world.”

“ That will be nice, Sir,” Ginny said.

“ Then it's all settled.  Now, I suggest you get back to your friends.  After all, some of them you will probably never see again.”

“ On that note, could I ask you a favour Professor?” Ginny asked.

“ Would it be possible to assemble the students and staff on the front steps on the last day, before they go to the train.  I would like to take a photograph of the whole school.”

“ Of course.  In fact, I think it's a wonderful idea!”

“ Thank you, Sir.”

The group of students stood up and headed out of the office, leaving Dumbledore the shuffle through some papers on his desk.


The Great Hall was filled with chattering students the night of the Leaving Feast.  Most of the students were excited at the start of the summer, the seventh years being especially joyous at the thought of graduating from Hogwarts.  There were six students, however, who here not so happy.  For Harry, Hermione, Ron and Ginny it was a sad occasion, as it marked the end of their year in wartime Britain.  They were excited about going to a new place, and coming ever closer to home, but they were depressed at the thought of what they were leaving behind.  Minh and Eustace were also enjoying the feast less than the other students, as they knew they would soon be losing their friends and adopted older brother.  Just before dessert appeared, Dumbledore stood up to say a few words.

“ I hope everyone is enjoying the Leaving Feast, but I have a few words to say before you gorge yourselves on dessert.  This year has seen several important events in the history of our school, both good and bad.  We have suffered losses, and have won victories.  I am sad to say that we are losing six students from Hogwarts.  Satanus Snape and Caligula Malfoy are both transferring to Durmstrang Institute to finish their education.  Harry Evans, Virginia and Ronald Weston, and Hermione Granger are also leaving us after only one year.  They will be moving to a different school of magic, although I am not at liberty to say where.  I would also like to congratulate Ravenclaw on winning the Quidditch Cup and Slytherin for winning the House Cup.  Thank you all for your attention, and enjoy your summers.”

Talk resumed in the Great Hall as the students went back to their conversations.  Harry was talking quietly to Minh in elvish, as he was unfortunate enough to be sitting next to Sybil, and he didn't want her to overhear anything she could use in one of her `predictions'.  Unfortunately, he was roused from his conversation by the so-called Seer when she let out a short yelp.  Looking to her, he noticed she had a glazed look in her eyes, one he recognised from his third year exam.  She started speaking in a deadened tone, grabbing the attention of those around her.

“ One child, born of himself,
  Shall end that which others cannot,
  Two shall fall, and two shall perish,
  While one shall stay to defeat again,
  Born to save, of his own flesh,
  Ouroboros created by the fates,
  To end the darkness for eternity.”

The glazed look left Sybil's eyes and she blinked, before turning to the boy opposite her.

“ What were we talking about, Brian,” she asked in confusion.  The boy stared back at her in disbelief.

“ Sybil, what was that?”

“ What was what?”

“ That thing you just said.  About darkness falling and someone born of his flesh.”

“ I didn't say anything.”

“ Yes you did,” Harry added thoughtfully.  The students around him nodded in agreement.

“ I don't remember anything.”

Harry turned back to Minh.

“ Minh, I need to speak to the headmaster after the feast.  I'll meet you in my room at eight.”

“ Alright Harry.”

The green eyed boy quickly sent the same message around to the others using his telepathy, adding that he had just heard what he believed to by Sybil's first real prediction.  Turning his attention to the headmaster, he sent a quick message.

~Sir, can I speak to you after dinner?~

~Of course, Harry~ came the quick reply.

Harry turned back to his dinner; thoughts of what Sybil had predicted swirling in his head.


Sitting in front of Dumbledore's desk, the headmaster watching him carefully, Harry wasn't quite sure how to explain what had happened.  Instead, he created a connection with Dumbledore's mind and played back the memory of the event at the feast for the old man to see.  When it was finished, he thought it would be best to elaborate.

“ Sir, when I was in my third year she made a real prediction during my end of year exam.  When I spoke to you afterwards, you told me it was only her second real prediction.  What happened today was just like the last time I saw it.  It was real, I know it was, and I think it's the prediction you were talking about.”

“ That is entirely likely, Harry.  Do you know what any of it means?”

“ I think I do, but I can't tell you, as it may interfere with time.  All I can say, though, is that I think it was about me.”

“ What makes you think that?”

“ Because I am Ouroboros.”

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