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HP stories following Canon including OotP >> Graduating by Secret_Muggle

Simple Text - To view MORE chapters use the chapter jump box to the right.
"And now we welcome our graduates." The oak door opened and we were let in. I can't believe I'm a graduate. I'm graduating from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Seven years worth of hard work and fun is ending for me now. Right in front of me is Hermione; she's wearing the graduating cloak as well as I am, but she also has the valedictorian ribbon on. I am proud of her. She's absolutely exceeded herself in school work. She is amazing; I don't know how she continues to do it without a Time Turner.

I wish she didn't have to give it back after the third year; I might have been tempted to use it, to turn back time. I would have done it; turned back time to save my best friend. To hell with all the rules and speculations. It wasn't right it had to end that way. We're all here because of him; everyone standing around me as we walk through the Great Hall owe their lives to him. They can live in peace, and enjoy their lives, but he can't. He's in a coma and he's been like that for a year. My mom and dad won't give up on him, nor is the ministry going to give up on him. They are continuing their treatment, but what does it really matter. Give him peace for crying out loud. He's seen things no one should see, he's done one thing, no one should ever be forced to do. I've been trying to convince my mother to let him be, let him sleep. Let him go to his parents, let him see Sirius again. Just don't let him hurt. No one knows if he's hurting or not, they just assume he wants to live.

I don't know if he wants to live or not. I haven't visited him since Christmas. I hope he's alright, of course, if something drastic would have happened; I would have known. I don't talk about him very often either. I just don't want to upset Hermione. But right now, I wish I could have taken these steps with him. The two of us, walking side by side to get our diplomas.

We had so many plans, we were going to ask Hermione and Ginny to move in with us first of all. Then we were going to Auror school. We were going to finish and get married and have children and live our lives. Now I have to go through all of this alone.

I am not going to Auror School. Even though there is a spot for me, only waiting for me to give the word. I have to find Bellatrix Lestrange and kill her. I know she did this to Harry, and to preserve his memory and avenge everything that ever happened to him. I have to do this, for Harry.

I hate to think of him a only a memory; but I have to, for the sake of my sanity. I hoped and hoped for the first sixth months he was admitted to Saint Mungus. I even went to a Muggle church with Hermione once, to say some kind of prayer. Hermione said that, that was what muggles do when they want something that bad. They pray for it. It didn't do anything; his condition never changed and it's never going to change. He's going to stay like that forever, if no one does anything.

We stopped. I almost bumped into Hermione. I saw Ginny sitting at the Gryffindor table. I tried to smile; I wanted to hide my sorrow from her. She's lost something even more dearer then a best friend. She's lost the love of her life. I don't understand how she can sit there and smile back at me.

"Welcome everybody, to this years graduation. This years valedictorian is Hermione Jane Granger of Gryffindor House." Hermione took a deep breath before walking up to Headmistress Minerva McGonagall. The gold and red ribbon went nicely with the decoration. Gryffindor had won the house cup again this year. She stood in front of, what was once, Dumbledore's rostrum. She took another deep breath and raised her head and looked out to the entire student population waiting for her to start speaking.

"Fellow students, I stand here before you as a reminder of what you can accomplish in life if you only work hard and attack every assignment as it were a fight for your life. We have all succeeded to graduate from Hogwarts after seven years of hard work. Some of us may not have worked as hard." She glanced down at me; I chuckled silently.

"We are done, fellow graduates. It has been seven years of homework, fun, danger, competitive spirits and friendship. We must all remember where we came from. We grew up here. We spent half of our life under the protective wing of our parents and we spent half here, making friends, getting sick from eating to much candy from Honeydukes and realizing our O.W.L's and N.E.W.T's came too quick. We did it. We must let our creative differences float out of the window. We are not just a Hufflepuff, Rawenclaw, Gryffindor or Slytherin student anymore, we are adults. We are ready to tackle the real world. We've made friends for life now, and we must stay united still." Hermione redirected her look and caught my eyes.

"Ronald Bilius Weasley, one of my dearest friends. I would like to honour you now by thanking you. Through this hard year, you have been my support. You guided me back on route. I thank you for being able to give this speech today. Without you I would not have graduated. When you at last had me on the correct path, you went back to being the goofy Ron Weasley I know. I know you have secretly, or as secretly as you were able to, copied of my work these past years, and I let you; because that is what friends do. Friends help each other through the best and worst of life."

I felt a burning feeling behind my eyelids. I looked down into the floor for two seconds, just to get my feelings straight. Hermione's voice were staring to shake a tiny bit, but it was only for a tiny second. Her voice rang across the room, loud and clear.

"Next, to Ginerva Molly Weasley; the beautiful Ginerva Weasley who has supported me even though she was hurting, if not just as much as I have, but even more. You have to know Ginny, that you are the most extraordinary woman I have ever met. You should be proud of yourself, I know he would be too."

"There is one more I would like to thank before leaving. Even though he could not be here today with us; he has a special place in my heart. He thought me to be brave and he thought me to care. He is my saviour and my personal hero. He is Harry James Potter. I owe Harry my life, and I love him even though he is not with me. He should have been here with us, but sometimes life just isn't fair. We all owe our freedom to him, he risked his life and his freedom for our. We have to keep his memory close with us, we have to remember what he fought for. We have to keep his memory alive and honour it. We must remember what we had to go through to get here. We must remember who we lost; if we keep these memories alive we can learn from this. We will eventually have to move on. But for now, let us remember Cedric Diggory, who wouldn't have had to die. Albus Dumbledore, who was taken from us too early; and Harry Potter, whom we shall remember and keep in our hearts forever and so many other's we have lost a long the way. Everyone of them has my deepest respect." Hermione fumbled together her papers and threw them into the air. She pointed her wand and made them burn. I watched the ashes fall to the ground and disappear. I took a deep breath, trying hard to control my emotion which was trying to burst through more deeper and powerful then ever before.

"And for a final note, I would like to quote on some very serious words I heard from the best Wizard in the world, who is no longer with us. Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!“ Every student chuckled before applauding Hermione. She stood back, allowing the Great Hall to applaude her. She stepped back and went to shake hands with the headmistress before rushing down to me and embracing me, taking in deep breaths.

"You did great Hermione. That was a fantastic speech." I whispered in her ear. She let me go, and turned around to give McGonagall her undivided attention while drying her eyes dry.

"When I call your name, come forth and receive your diploma." One by one trotted up to the headmistress and received their diploma, before walking over to receive their graduation hat. The hat had the Hogwarts crest on it, and below the crest the name and emblem of your house. It's a new tradition. This is actually the first year it been handed out. Since the fall of Voldemort a bunch of new traditions has been instated. This is only one of them.

"Weasley, Ronald." I walked up to shake hands with McGonagall. She gave me a scroll; my graduation papers.

"Congratulations Ronald."

"Thank you Headmistress." I walked on, over to Professor Flitwick. He put the hat on my head. Ginny stood up and clapped. She whistled at me. I waved at her. She seemed so cheerful, so ordinary; I know why Harry was so in love with her. She's like no other girl I've ever met. She's totally herself. Like nothing ever happened. Right there I decided to go see Harry. I needed to show him the hat and to say good-bye, before my journey begins.

"And final, this years valedictorian: Miss Hermione Jane Granger." Everyone stood up and applauded Hermione, people whistled after her. She smiled as the Headmistress handed her, her diploma. She walked over to Flitwick and received her hat. She laughed as she went to stand with the rest of us.

After the ceremony Hermione and Ginny caught up with me. I was on my way back up to Gryffindor Tower to pack the last of my stuff.

"Where are going to go now Ron?" I hugged my little sister.

"Gryffindor Tower, little sis." She kissed my cheek.

"Yes, I can see that. Tomorrow, where are you going?"

"I have to see Harry one last time and then I am going." I turned around and began walking again. Hermione stopped me.

"Are you going to go after Lestrange?" I was surprised she had guessed it; I hadn’t told anyone about it. They would have just tried to stop me, these two girls could see right through me.

“Yes, I am.”

“Ron. Please... Don’t do this. We’ve suffered enough.”

“I have to, for Harry.”

"You don't have to do anything Ron. Harry wouldn't have expected you to." I turned around and walked briskly further down the corridor. The girls followed me.

"Who knows what he would have expected me to do? I am going, and frankly, you can't decide what I want to do with my life." We reached the painting of the fat lady in a pink dress.

"Babylon." She swung around, revealing the same portrait hole we have climbed through for seven years. The Gryffindor Common Room, with the comfortable sofas and chairs, has always seemed like home. Everything has always invited us to sit down, relax and enjoy life. Now it's just another thing I'm never going to see again; now it's just another thing that's done. I made it through the empty Common Room and up to the old dormitory. We've had our best times in here and some of our worst times in here also.

I've been sitting in this bed worrying about playing Quidditch; I can't believe I was that stupid. Had I known what I was in for back then; I would not have worried about stupid Quidditch; I would have worried about surviving. I stood starring at Harry's empty bed. It hadn't been removed since the Headmistress found out Harry wasn't coming back. The red curtains were closed; if I hadn't known better I would have sworn that Harry was just about to remove the curtains and come out grinning.

"Ron?" I turned around, seeing Hermione and Ginny standing at the door. "You can't change the past." A owl pecked at the window, making all three of us jump. Ginny hurried to the window and let the snowy white owl in. She soared around the room, hooting excitedly.

"Hedwig? What's happened?" She landed gracefully on my shoulder and presented the letter tied to her right leg. I pulled it of quickly and starred at the sender address. It was from my father. When ever there were news about Harry, my father would send a letter. I couldn't bare to read anything about Harry and passed it on to Hermione. She took a deep breath, ripped it open and read it trough very quickly. She screamed and hugged an surprised Ginny. I ripped it out of her hand. There were only a few words scribbled down with a slight messy hand writing.

Harry is waking up. Come quickly.

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