Chapter 8: Hogwarts Rededication
|Chapter 7||Chapter Index||Chapter 9|
The day of the Hogwarts rededication ceremony had arrived. Harry waited for Hermione by the fireplace. They were first going to the Burrow to meet up with Ron. Presently, Hermione walked into the room from the hallway. They were both dressed casually and neatly.
Harry said, "You look nice."
"Thanks." She gave him a peck on the cheek. "Do you have the invitations?"
"Yeah, they're in my pocket. Ready to go?"
A moment later, they stepped from the fireplace at the Burrow. They went over to Ron at the table.
Harry said, "Ron, have you heard anything more about what to expect at the ceremony today?"
"Just that we're to check with McGonagall when we arrive for last minute instructions. Mum and Dad left for Hogwarts a little while ago. There's a new entrance hall fireplace. Katie and I connect it to the floo network last week. It's the one we'll use for our classes when term starts. It only works for certain students."
Hermione said, "Ron, has Ginny gone yet?"
"Yeah, just before you arrived. She's meeting up with Neville and Luna. How are your parents getting to Hogwarts?"
"They were provided a portkey and should be there by now."
"Okay then, let's go," said Ron.
Ron stepped toward the fireplace followed by Hermione and Harry. He took a pinch of floo powder. "See you there." Green flames erupted and Ron stepped into the fireplace. "Hogwarts!" Hermione and Harry followed.
Stepping from the fireplace, they joined a number of people milling about the entrance hall. The nice day had enticed many to wait outdoors. Ron spotted McGonagall and motioned for Harry and Hermione to follow.
"So good to see you," said McGonagall. "We will be inviting everyone to be seated shortly. Would the three of you please wait in the antechamber on the left side. Some of your other friends are already there. The Great Hall will be filled to capacity so I ask that you to sit in the front section on the left."
Entering the antechamber, the trio saw many familiar faces from the D.A. milling around and talking, happy to see each other again. Ron caught sight of Katie on the far side of the room and moved away to join her.
"Harry, Hermione, good to see you," said Neville.
"Hi Neville," said Harry. "Good to see you too. And Luna, how are you?"
"Exceptionally well," said Luna in a dreamy voice. "There is so much positive force in this room right now. Everyone's aura is glowing quite brightly."
Hermione said, "I see some people here that I haven't met."
"They are D.A. members from last year when you were away," said Luna. "We are going to continue the D.A. meetings this year. Headmistress McGonagall is supportive. You are both welcome to teach a lesson whenever you want."
"We might take you up on that Luna," said Hermione. "We'll let you know."
Neville said, "Harry, will you be attending classes at Hogwarts this year?"
"Yeah, both of us, mostly evening classes."
"That's great. It'll be nice to see you two a bit more often. Do you know that dinner is available to students before their evening classes?"
"Yes, we heard about that; another good reason to come early."
"Hi Hermione, hi Harry," said Ginny as she gave each of them a hug. "Isn't it wonderful to see our friends again?"
"Yes, it's great," said Harry. "Everyone seems to be doing really well."
"McGonagall said there's a lot of interest in the D.A. She's leaving it up to the club's judgment but recommends membership be limited to individuals in fifth year or above. She said older students are more ready to make the necessary study and practice commitment."
Neville said, "Charmed coins are the official membership badge used by the club now. That was a brilliant idea Hermione."
The door to the staff room opened and a woman slowly entered.
"It's Lavender," said Neville. "She was discharged from St. Mungo's just the other day. I've been visiting her when I go to see my mum and dad. She's still healing but expected to make a full recovery."
People were greeting Lavender and wishing her well as she slowly made her way into the room. Lavender and Hermione caught each other's eye and they both moved toward each other. As they embraced, they whispered in each other's ear.
"Lavender, I've been so ashamed of the way I treated you in sixth year. Please forgive me."
"Oh Hermione, yes I do. Please forgive how I treated you."
Releasing their embrace, Lavender looked at Hermione with an expression of deep gratitude. "More importantly, I want to sincerely thank you. From what I've been told, another second and his bite would have made my life so very different."
Hermione said, "We need to spend some time together really soon."
"I'd like that very much."
"Your attention please." McGonagall was standing by the door that opened to the Great Hall. "Would each of you please take a seat in the Great Hall. We are ready to begin."
They filed out and seated themselves in the front section. The Great Hall somehow seemed bigger and was filled with the buzz of people quietly talking. Instead of the dining tables, many rows of chairs had been setup with aisles down the middle and sides. People were standing in the back and along the walls. Flashes of light and puffs of smoke erupted as a photographer roamed the hall. In the front of the hall, where the teachers table normally stood on the raised floor, two rows of chairs held dignitaries. An aisle separated these seats into left and right sections. It was easy to see that a stone was missing from the back wall. A podium stood partway to the left side. McGonagall stepped to the podium and the Great Hall fell silent.
With hands raised toward the gathering, McGonagall's magically amplified voice echoed in the hall. "It is my great pleasure to once again welcome each of you to Hogwarts." There was loud applause and cheering at these words.
When silence returned, McGonagall continued. "To our distinguished guests, students past and present, families, friends, and faculty gathered here today. Through your support, encouragement, and generosity, Hogwarts is restored and normal term will begin in a few days. We gather here today to rededicate the school and to thank those who have given so much to its defense and restoration. So, without any further ado, please welcome our Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt."
Everyone applauded as Kingsley stepped to the podium.
"Thank you headmistress McGonagall. Hogwarts is once again the place we all remember and cherish in our hearts. Well done indeed!" There was more applause.
"Friends, these last few years have brought deceit, turmoil, and destruction to many of the ideals we hold most dear in our world. With time, things can be mended and trust can be restored. However, fallen spirits are forever lost to us. Professor Flitwick, will you please present the commemoration."
Professor Flitwick stepped forward and swished his wand. A pedestal and stand appeared opposite the podium on the right side. With another flick of his wand, a large plaque appeared and floated into place on the stand. The plaque contained an ornately framed area. Within the frame, a magical moving image of a fallen defender was seen. The image periodically changed. Below the image, an engraved personal commemoration appeared.
Kingsley said, "This commemoration honors those who were recently lost in the great battle of Hogwarts. It will serve to remind us of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of Hogwarts and the ideals it teaches. We stand in awe of their courage and strength of chara, to strive to make the world a better place for all. Please observe with me a moment of silence for our lost friends and loved ones."
Harry put his arm around Hermione and discretely glanced around. Katie held Ron's hand as they both stared motionless at the plaque. Ginny was sitting stiff lipped and misty eyed between Neville and Ben. She held each of their hands. Neville had an expression of pride on his face and was holding Luna's hand. He saw that Luna's teary-eyed face held the hint of a smile. Her expression seemed to be of acceptance and of seeing beyond the loss. It reminded him of what they had both heard from beyond the veil while in the Department of Mysteries.
"Thank you," said Kingsley. "The memorial will be moved to the entrance hall where it will be placed on permanent display. I encourage you to have a closer look following the conclusion of this ceremony."
"I would now like to introduce to you Tiberius Ogden, the head governor for Hogwarts School."
Tiberius stepped to the podium and motioned to Flitwick. Professor Flitwick stepped forward again and waved his wand. A large flat stone levitated up and floated silently to the center of the hall just in front of the raised floor.
"This is the final stone to be replaced. It bears the names of those who have contributed in so many ways to the reconstruction of Hogwarts. I ask the governors to please take their places along the aisles."
The governors seated in the first row of chairs stood and moved to the side aisles. They spaced themselves, six on each side, along the length of the Great Hall. Each governor raised their wand and pointed toward the ceiling. The final stone then began to float toward the opening in the back wall.
Pointing his wand toward the ceiling Tiberius said, "We rededicate Hogwarts to the education of witches and wizards. May it stand today and into the future as a pillar of strength, a source of knowledge, and a beacon for those values that empower the good in each of us. May the wisdom of its founders, the conviction of those who have served throughout its history, and the ongoing efforts of its staff and professors today, continue to faithfully enrich the lives of all who enter into this hallowed Great Hall."
As the stone fit itself into its place Tiberius said, "Dedicavit ad veritatem et scientiam". (Dedicated to truth and knowledge.)
A glow emanated from the final stone and quickly spread to the four walls. Everyone watched as the glow rose toward the ceiling, guided by the twelve governors. It joined and formed a canopy high over everyone's head. There was a brief flash of light, a rumble of thunder, and then the enchanted ceiling came to life again. A blue sky dotted with small puffy clouds became visible. The silence erupted into applause and cheering.
The governors returned to their seats. Kingsley stepped to the podium and the Great Hall fell silent again. "Tiberius, governors, thank you."
"The Ministry of Magic will now recognize the following individuals. Please step forward when your name is called. Hannah Abbott, Katie Bell, Susan Bones, Terry Boot, Lavender Brown, Cho Chang, Michael Corner, Seamus Finnigan, Anthony Goldstein, Angelina Johnson, Lee Jordan, Ernie Macmillan, Cormac McLaggen, Padma Patil, Parvati Patil, Leanne Spinks, Alicia Spinnet, Dean Thomas, Romilda Vane, George Weasley, and Nigel Wolpert."
They each came forward and stood in two rows, shoulder-to-shoulder, facing the assembly.
"Will Dennis Creevey please step forward to accept posthumously for Colin Creevey. Will Arthur Weasley please step forward to accept posthumously for Fred Weasley."
Dennis and Arthur joined the others facing the assembly.
"These individuals have long demonstrated the highest regard for others in the face of adversity. Each was instrumental in the defense of Hogwarts. By the authority vested in me by the Ministry of Magic, I confer on each of you, Order of Merlin 3rd Class with all associated rights and privileges." There was applause and cheering and the photographer's camera flashed light and puffed smoke.
A shimmering bronze medal on a charcoal black cord appeared and hovered before each recipient. Then each cord threaded itself around the person's neck. A green vine began to spiral-wind itself down the cord from behind the neck toward the shimmering medal. An emerald leaf inlay appeared around the medal's edge. The medal contained a life-like image of Merlin that looked out with an expression of satisfaction and pride, occasionally shifting his gaze.
The recipients turned to each other with hugs of heartfelt congratulations. Kingsley and the Ministry officials moved among them shaking hands and congratulating them. The applause subsided as the recipients return to their seats.
After a short pause Kingsley said, "The Ministry of Magic will now recognize the following individuals who will please step forward. Neville Longbottom, Ginevra Weasley, and Luna Lovegood."
There was shock and surprise on their faces as they came forward and faced the assembly. Neville held the hand of Ginny and Luna on each side of him.
"These individuals have demonstrated leadership, fortitude, and tenacity in the face of affliction. Their courage and bravery rescued many students from unjust and deplorable circumstances. By the authority vested in me by the Ministry of Magic, I confer on each of you, Order of Merlin 2nd Class with all associated rights and privileges." The assembly applauded and cheered. Light flashed and a puff of smoke rose from the photographer's camera.
A shimmering silver medal appeared before each of them. As before, the cord threaded itself around their necks. A blue vine spiral wound itself down the cord from behind the neck. A sapphire leaf inlay appeared around the edge of the medal. There were silver points of light that sparkled like stars in the inlay surrounding the life-like image of Merlin.
Neville, Ginny, and Luna turned and firmly hugged each other. Their smiles beamed happiness for the honor they had received. Kingsley and the Ministry officials shook their hands congratulated them.
After they returned to their seats, Kingsley said, "It is difficult to know where to begin for our final awards today."
The hall was completely silent now and intensely focused to hear the words about to be spoken. Harry, Ron, and Hermione glanced at each other with an uneasy expression on their faces.
Kingsley said, "Will Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ronald Weasley please step forward." A few members of the assembly clapped and cheered.
They stood and moved to the front of the assembly. Between them, Hermione took hold of Ron and Harry's hand. As they looked out at the assembly, they saw admiration and happiness in the eyes of those looking back at them. They heard a rustling sound from behind. Glancing over their shoulders, they saw that the Ministry officials and governors had all stood.
"These individuals have been united in a quest to defeat evil and defend justice since the first year they entered this Great Hall. The journey was often difficult, filled with hardships and dangers to each of their lives. They chose to walk this path guided by faith in a mentor and trust in each other. In so doing, they have shown courage, fortitude, and love for both the wizard and muggle worlds. These worlds are a safer place today because of their selfless efforts. With the greatest of pride, admiration of your noble accomplishments, and the authority vested in me by the Ministry of Magic, I confer on each of you, Order of Merlin 1st Class with all associated rights and privileges."
The assembly rose to their feet and broke into thunderous applause and cheering. There were many flashes of light and puffs of smoke. A shimmering gold medal appeared before each of them. Then the cord threaded itself around their necks. A crimson vine spiral wound itself down the cord from behind the neck. A ruby leaf inlay appeared around the edge of the medal. There were points of gold light that sparkled like stars in the inlay surrounding the image of Merlin.
Kingsley and the ministers congratulated each of them. The applause went on and on, cheering and shouting of their names. Harry, Hermione, and Ron beamed at each other. After a moment, Harry went over to Kingsley and spoke in his ear. Kingsley nodded and stepped back from the podium as Harry moved to stand behind it. Hermione and Ron moved to stand on each side. Harry motioned to the gathering. The applause ebbed into silence as everyone seated themselves.
"Umm ... I just want a quick word to say how honored and overwhelmed we are." His voice became shaky and he looked down for a moment. Hermione moved close, took his hand, and gently squeezed it. Ron put his hand on Harry's shoulder.
After a short moment, Harry looked up. "Thank you to those who taught us here at Hogwarts and encouraged us by the sharing of your knowledge and collective wisdom. Thank you to Severus Snape who taught us bravery and Albus Dumbledore who taught us the power of love. Thanks to the families and friends who defended and sheltered us. Thank you to our friends in the D.A, you kept the spirit alive. Thanks to all of you here present for your faith and trust in us. And most of all, thank you to my two best friends for being at my side through it all."
The assembly applauded and cheered. Harry, Ron, and Hermione exchanged warm tearful hugs with each other. Then they returned to their seats.
McGonagall stepped to the podium. "Thank you for those kind words. I wish to extend my congratulations to all of you who were honored today. We, and Hogwarts, are very proud of you. This concludes the formal activities. Please feel free to remain and partake of refreshments. For the remainder of the afternoon, Hogwarts will be an open house so that you might leisurely see the restored classrooms and castle grounds. Please enjoy your stay. Thank you."
People got up from their seats and began talking and milling about. The D.A. members excitedly moved into the gathering to be with family and loved ones. Harry, Hermione, and Ron stayed close as a circle of well-wishers surrounded them eager to shake hands. Their senses became dulled by the many words of praise and congratulations for their well-deserved recognition. Eventually, Katie was able to stand close to Ron. Slowly, they made their way toward the refreshment table and then outside onto the castle grounds.
A while later, Ginny, Ben, and a few others came over to them smiling.
Ginny said, "How about a friendly game of quidditch? The pitch is ready and there are recently donated school brooms in the team lockers. McGonagall said it was okay."
A broad smile came to Harry, Ron, and Katie. Harry looked at Hermione. She smiled and nodded back. "Go have some fun. I'll get my parents and we'll watch from the grandstand. They've never seen quidditch."
Harry gave her a quick hug. Then he joined the others as they headed toward the pitch. A while later, the sky over the pitch contained double the normal number of players on each team. The stands held a large number of people who were talking to each other and watching the loosely played game. The team members mostly just chased each other. There was laughter and playful heckling as they passed the quaffle to each other. They zoomed and weaved around the grandstands and raced up and down the pitch. It was an enjoyable and wonderful afternoon.
|Chapter 7||Chapter Index||Chapter 9|
Bond of the Spirits is an original fanfiction story based on the seven book series 'Harry Potter' written by J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter, the characters, names and related characters are trademarks of Warner Bros., Inc. Harry Potter publishing rights © J.K.R. This is an unofficial, not for profit site and is in no way connected with J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Books, Bloomsbury Publishing or Warner Bros., Inc. This site is not endorsed by any of these aforementioned parties. Rights to characters and their images is neither claimed nor implied. This fanfiction story is owned by the author and subject to copyright law under transformative use.
Copyright © 2012-2017 Don Buczynski
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Last Updated: 12/08/17