There was another memory he eventually told them about, long after the final battle was fought and won. Snape, as a young boy of maybe 15, had poured his genius into a potion that allowed him to go to the school dance desirable. The girls batted their eyelashes at him; the other boys clapped him on the shoulder with admiration. “The Prince Charming Spell,” Hermione said softly. “Yes,” Harry confirmed with a sigh. “He cast it to know a moment of temporary happiness, but found it made him realize how miserable he really was. Eventually, you go back to who you are and the life you have. He never used the spell again.” Ron, who had long wished to be someone else, fell silent for a long time.
The bogart sat glumly in its dressing cupboard, glad to be away from the children. It typically enjoyed reading their projections of terror and then roaring out from behind the mirror as the thing they feared most. Today, however, little Emma Ottoline saw her mother in him and couldn’t cast her protection spell; she just crumbled to the floor and laid there until the teacher put him back. “There are all kinds of defenses against Dark Arts,” he thought sadly, “but dark hearts … not so much.”
Simon drew near the last owl just after the break of dawn; she seemed not the least bit concerned at his approach. “Calm now, my lovely,” he cooed. “We’ll just put this wee bracelet on and that will be that.” He was thinking about the comfort of his bed when something on the animal’s foot caught the early morning light. Turning the silver band carefully, Simon saw that it was stamped with a name, not a tracking number. “Hedwig,” he read aloud. His eyes grew wide. The owl looked deep into his eyes. “Hedwig,” he said again with awe.
Just 2 doors down from the wand shop was Heel & Toe, where the footwear selected the wizard as well. Draco Malfoy attracted some evil-looking black military boots (then discovered that the silver filigree tongue design was really bent chicken wire), Harry Potter felt drawn to some felt-bottomed walking shoes (lined in snakeskin), and Hermione Granger secretly tried on hot pink platforms with inset metal beads (that would occasionally release small bolts of lightning). Although no sales were made, more was revealed in the choosing than the actual buying.
Plucked from his fire den in Hungary, he was just a baby (still had his toddler spikes from nose to tail) when he was carted off to some wizarding school for sport. They chained him in a pit while some ridiculous twerp figured out how to steal his golden egg. The whole experience changed Smaug, who turned out to be the nastiest Horntail of them all. When at last released, he destroyed the village closest to the Lonely Mountain and claimed it as his own. He would never lose a piece of treasure again.
Wysteria Yewberry made her way slowly along the dirt path to her cottage. She had given the boy all of the power she had left for his epic battle - not for his sake or even for the glory of victory, but in memory of the man she’d held most dear. He’d never noticed her (his affections had always belonged to Lily Potter), but that mattered little to her heart. She mused that this … unrequitedness … could be the very thing that bound the two of them together forever (if, in the end, it couldn’t be love).
Lying on the mountain, covered in snow and charred pieces of Balrog, Gandalf gathered his thoughts as he slowly turned White. Maybe, if he made it through this, he’d answer Dumbledore’s letter about the ‘Defense Against the Dark Arts’ position. He had to admit that a desk job sounded terrific at the moment.