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Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six | Chapter Seven | Chapter Eight | Chapter Nine | Chapter Ten | Chapter Eleven | Chapter Twelve | Chapter Thirteen | Chapter Fourteen | Chapter Fifteen | Chapter Sixteen | Chapter Seventeen | Chapter Eighteen | Chapter Nineteen | Chapter Twenty | Chapter Twenty-One | Chapter Twenty-Two | Chapter Twenty-Three | Chapter Twenty-Four | Chapter Twenty-Five | Chapter Twenty-Six | Chapter Twenty-Seven | Chapter Twenty-Eight | Chapter Twenty-Nine | Chapter Thirty | Chapter Thirty-One | Chapter Thirty-Two | Epilogue | Timeline
The funeral was a quiet affair. After gaining permission from Dumbledore; Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Eustace and Robert had used floo powder to reach the Burrow, where they were to meet the Weasleys and other people who were attending the funeral. Minh was going to come with them, but she wasn't as close to Percy as the others had been, and felt as if she would be intruding.
For Hermione and Harry the whole affair had been interesting from a cultural point of view. They had never been to a wizarding funeral before, so they weren't quite sure what to expect. Before they had left for the church, Harry had pulled Persephone's parents to one side, telling them he wished to speak to them in private. After they led him into the kitchen, he pulled a small object out of his pocket and enlarged it, using his wand so as not to arouse suspicions. What appeared was a life-size statue of Persephone Weasley. It was magically carved out of white marble and had a small platinum plaque at the bottom awaiting an inscription. The detail of the statue was superb, showing Percy standing in her school uniform, wand in hand and a smile on her face. Harry had even managed, through magic, to recreate the twinkle in her eyes. Upon seeing it, Mrs. Weasley immediately burst into tears and buried her head in her husband's shoulder. Harry started to feel nervous.
I'm sorry, Mrs. Weasley. If you don't like it I can make it different
It's not that, Mr. Evans, Mr. Weasley told the boy, It's just that it looks so much like her. Did you make this yourself?
It's beautiful work. We can't thank you enough. The platinum plaque must have cost fortune.
The price is irrelevant, sir. I just felt that Persephone deserved the best, so that is what I have used. I left the plaque blank, though. I thought you might like to add the inscription yourselves.
That was very thoughtful, thank you. We shall do it as soon as we come back for the wake. Now, I suggest we leave now, the funeral will be starting soon.
The three headed back into the main room, where all of the friends and family started to head out of the door. The walk to the church was a rather solemn affair. Once they reached the building, Mr. Weasley led them down the aisle and through a door at the back. This led into another part of the church, obviously meant for wizarding ceremonies. Taking their seats, they watched as an old wizard in deep purple robes stood up before the assembled mourners and began to speak.
Ladies, gentlemen, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of one Persephone Virginia Weasley, who passed away last week. She died a noble and brave death, fighting Dark wizards to save her schoolmates.
Harry growled slightly at the insinuation that the wizards were evil because they were Dark. Ginny, who had started to cry, gently laid her hand on his arm and shook her head at him. He immediately calmed, nodding back to her, before tuning back in to what the wizard was saying.
and may we pray to our Lord Merlin for her safe passage into the next life, where she will one day be joined by the friends and family she left behind. May we also ask the Great Father to watch over her soul, now and for eternity.
Tears started to leak from Harry's eyes as Persephone's casket was enchanted to appear transparent. A preservation charm had been placed on her body, so that she would remain unchanged for all time. The Weasley men, including little Arthur, stood and lifted the coffin, carrying it out of the church. The other people stood and followed them outside and to a small crypt in the woods near the Burrow. Inside, Harry and Hermione were surprised to see row upon row of stone sarcophagi. Ron leaned over and whispered an explanation.
This is the Weasley burial site. Our family has been using it for hundreds of years. When someone dies, we have the ceremony, and their transparent coffin is placed in a sarcophagus. If you lift the lids of the other ones, you will see perfectly preserved bodies of the rest of my family. We all know this place is here, but Mum and Dad forbade us from ever entering unless it was for a funeral. It's the one rule even Fred and George obey.
Harry and Hermione nodded their heads in acknowledgement. As the casket was lowered into its stone resting place, Harry closed his eyes and started to softly sing an elven funerary song. The haunting melody soon filled the stone crypt, as everyone turned at the sound of his deep voice, holding the notes perfectly. A moment later, much to everyone's surprise, Fawkes flew through the door and landed on the casket, his soft trills of phoenix song joining in Harry's lament. When the song was finished, Harry opened his tear filled eyes and was surprised and embarrassed to see everyone watching him. Turning to the Weasleys to apologise, he was pleased when they simply smiled at him.
Once the ceremony on the crypt had been conducted, everyone was led back up to the Borrow for the wake. Once there, the elder Weasleys pulled Harry into the kitchen and closed the door. Mr. Weasley stood in front of the boy and gestured to the statue.
We would like to add the inscription, if that is alright.
Of course, Mr. Weasley. Feel free.
Would you do the honours, if we tell you what to put?
Of course, if you wish me to.
Harry knelt down in front of the statue and placed his hand on top of the plaque. The Weasleys gave him a funny look but dismissed it quickly. It was Mrs. Weasley who recited what she wanted the plaque to say.
Persephone Virginia Weasley, 1930 - 1043, Died in Battle to save her friends. In Loving Memory.
The assembled group watched in awe as Harry's hand started to softly glow gold. When he pulled it away, the inscription had been added in an elegant cursive script. Standing up, Harry shrunk the statue and replaced it in his pocket, before making to leave. Before he was out of the door, the quiet voice of Arthur Weasley piped up.
Harry, what was the song you sang?
Harry turned back to look at the young boy and came face to face with several expectant stares.
It was an elven funerary song, traditionally sung by close friends as a way of helping the soul on its journey to the afterlife. I'm sorry if you did not approve, but at the time it felt appropriate.
Nonsense, child! It was a lovely touch. It's nice to see a young man who cared enough about our daughter to think of things like this. Just one thing, though you said the song was elven where did you learn it?
I have a friend who is an elf, Mrs. Weasley. She taught it to me last year.
Friends with an elf, whatever next! Well, let us return to our guests, they must be wondering where we have gotten to.
They headed back into the living room, where Harry headed for his friends. Not long afterwards they excused themselves from the wake, as Dumbledore had told them not to be back too late. He still didn't fully trust Harry, especially when he was with some of the younger students. Once they were back at Hogwarts, Eustace and Robert headed for the Gryffindor common room, while Harry created a door to his room and the others went in and sat by the fire. Ginny had told Peeves to meet them there after the funeral so they could tell him about it. Once the poltergeist turned up, Harry went over to a corner of the room near one of the windows while the others filled Peeves in. Taking out the statue, he enlarged it, before adding his own inscription to the bottom in elvish.
To a dear friend and talented prankster,
May you forever find joy and happiness.
Until we meet again.
The weeks passed by and life continued, although the students were a little more subdued than usual. All except for the Slytherins, that is. Caligula and Satanus had been having a field day, saying how the battle was a disappointment, and how Grindelwald should have taken out a few Mudbloods before he left. Harry had come very close to cursing them a few times, but his friends had managed to stop him. By mid November, though, things had started to die down. The Marauders had even taken up pranking again, now helped by Minh-Minh-Lama. They were going to stop their pranks, as they didn't think it would be appropriate after the recent events, but Eustace had pointed out that Percy would have wanted them to carry on. If their pranking stopped, it would be an insult to her memory. They rest had reluctantly agreed, and their first prank after the battle involved falling bubbles and a laughing potion, in honour of Percy's fight at the battle.
Over the weeks, the four time travellers had been getting increasingly frustrated. Hermione, Ginny and Ron were all still missing their families, and the more time they spent in the past the worse the homesickness was getting. Even though they were nearer their time than they had been the previous year, and familiar faces such as Albus Dumbledore and Alastor Moody were to be found, it still wasn't the same as their own friends. Harry was starting to miss Sirius, even though he didn't know his godfather that well. Simbi and Nirah had been a great help though. For snakes, they were surprisingly good at giving pep talks. Harry had been sending them through the castle and spying, much like he had done the previous year. This time they weren't looking for anything in particular, just for anything that seemed a bit odd. All they had discovered so far was that Kiriani, Slytherin's head snake, had actually been a much younger version of the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets. This news brought a shudder down Harry's spine. He had seen the snake a few times talking to Slytherin, but it had never occurred to him that it was a baby basilisk. Thinking of the basilisk reminded him that Moaning Myrtle had only been killed two years ago. It saddened him to think that she would have gone to school with the current students. The same went for Tom Riddle; although Ginny's subtle enquiries about him had yet to yield any results.
Two weeks before the Christmas holidays were due to start, Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermione were called up to Dumbledore's office. They didn't know what to expect, as they couldn't think of anything they had done wrong. Sure, they had played a few pranks, but they always made sure there was no evidence they were involved, even though all of the teachers and students knew who was behind it. They just couldn't prove it. Reaching the gargoyle, the four stood there perplexed. They had no idea where to start with guessing the password. They knew it would be some sort of confectionary, but they didn't know what types of sweets and chocolates were around in wartime Britain. Muggle sweets were mostly out of the question, as rationing meant that most went straight to the troops. After a few minutes, they heard a clipped voice behind them shout something out.
The gargoyle leapt aside as Minerva McGonagall came up to the group.
And what might you four be doing here?
We're here to see Professor Dumbledore. He asked us to come, Hermione told the Head Girl.
Very well. Follow me.
The five headed up into Dumbledore's office and waited for him to offer them a seat. Once they were all comfortable he held out a bowl to them.
All five shook their heads and he sat the dish back on his desk, before folding his hands in his lap and turning to the Head Girl, who was shifting in her chair a little uncomfortably, much to the amusement of the other students.
Miss McGonagall, I believe you came to me at the start of the year, requesting the opportunity to learn the animagus transformation, is that correct?
Well, considering your status as Head Girl, and your perfect marks in Transfiguration, I have decided to grant your request.
Thank you sir. But I don't see why these other students are here
Patience, Minerva, patience. I have brought them here to ask them if they are prepared to teach you the transformation.
All five students looked at him in shock, the four friends because they had not been expecting this and the Head Girl because she didn't know the others were animagi. The first to respond was Ron.
Sir, I don't see why not. We have time at the weekends, although evenings would be out of the question, as Harry and I have quidditch practice. When would you like us to start?
As soon as possible. You only have until the end of the school year, as Minerva will be graduating. I suggest you meet in the Transfiguration classroom on Saturday evenings at seven. Does that suit everyone?
The five nodded numbly, Minerva still in shock. Turning to the younger students, she came out of her stupor long enough to ask them a question.
If you're animagi, what are your forms?
In response, the four moved over to a clear area in the middle of the room. First, Hermione turned into a large snowy owl, and flew a couple of laps of the room before returning to her human form. Ginny did the same thing, only turning into a beautiful pelican. Next came Ron's impressive form. Both the headmaster and Head Girl jumped slightly when a large thestral, black as midnight, appeared in the office. They were further impressed when Ron spread his wings and turned invisible. When it was Harry's turn, both recognised the large winged snow leopard. Minerva couldn't keep in the comment that was burning inside of her.
You were at the battle. You distracted the giants and eliminated the werewolves. I was wondering where such an unusual creature had come from, but I put it out of my mind. Now I know.
Harry turned back into his real form and addressed the headmaster and Minerva.
My animagus form was the hardest to manage. Part of the process is thoroughly researching your animal. As no winged snow leopards appear in recorded history, it was rather difficult for me. I had to read up on snow leopards and golden gryffons, as they were the closest things I could find.
After further discussions and arranging of meetings, the five students headed off to their respective common rooms. Minerva was happy, as she would finally learn how to be an animagus.
Saturday evening found a small group assembled in the Transfiguration classroom. They were sitting in a circle on the floor, meditating. The first hour had been spent giving Minerva the various notes she would need to complete the transformation. For this they had simply dictated the notes Lady Hufflepuff had given them, reading them in Anglo-Saxon but speaking them in English. She had then been told that after she learned her form, she would have to spend the next six weeks or so doing thorough research. After that they had shown her the proper way to relax her body and mind. She couldn't perform the spell to see her animagus form until she could meditate properly.
After a while, she was ready to try the spell. Making sure her eyes were closed, she whispered the spell to herself.
When she opened her eyes again she smiled as she watched the small tabby cat wandering around the floor.