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After the War...

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“You know, Professor McGonagall’s offering a year’s extension to ‘all students who have had their learning disrupted during the Second Wizarding War.’ You gonna retake sixth year or move on to seventh?” Ginny asked, plopping down next to Luna and Neville, who were sitting by the Great Lake.

Luna had already heard the news and made a decision. “I’m going to retake sixth year. I barely took any classes this past year, and then the Death Eaters kidnapped me. I’m really behind.”

“Me too,” Neville piped up. “I need to catch up on Herbology. What about you, Ginny?”

“Well, I was kind of waiting to hear what you two would have to say. I mean, how was I supposed to retake sixth year without my two best friends by my side?” She grinned.

Neville looked at over the lake, his expression serious. “Do you think everything’s going to go back to normal?”

Ginny looked over at him. “What do you mean?”

“Ginny, we just fought in a war for the better part of a year. How are we supposed to go back to just being students, taking classes and doing homework, as if we haven’t witnessed the worst kinds of things?”

“You have to learn to look past the shadows.” Both Gryffindors turned to look at Luna. “I was kidnapped by Death Eaters. I was tortured and starved. A brave elf named Dobby gave up his life to save mine. But before that, I was a student. I studied and practiced magic and answered riddles.” She turned to face Neville. “There’s more to those walls than just bad memories, and you are the only person who gets to decide who you want to be.”

“So who are you going to be?” Ginny asked.

Luna turned to look at the forest. “A student, and then an explorer.”

“Thanks for the advice, Luna. Maybe Slughorn can make me a potion that’ll make me less jittery.”

“So do either of you have any ideas for your future?”

Neville sighed. “I don’t know, just as long as it’s something with Herbology.”

“I don’t care what happens, as long as you two are there with me,” Ginny said.

Luna smiled as she looked at her two dearest friends. Maybe things wouldn’t be go back to “normal”, but she’d never been a fan of that anyway.