Don't Look Back
Dedicated to Anna - We're all still missing you.
"And so, good luck to all of you-as you journey out into the world as brilliant witches and wizards!" The Headmaster called a twinkle in his eye, a smile beneath his silver beard.
"As you forge your paths in many different, wonderful ways! Do not forget your friends, for true friendship will not end as you leave this school!"
James grinned, that was true. And he had no doubt that when he left Hogwarts, Sirius and Lily, Moony and Wormtail, would be at his side. It didn't take Albus Dumbledore to remind him of that. Lily wouldn't leave his side, at least. He planned on proposing, after all. And Sirius, well, James knew that it would take a lot more then the end of their seventh year to get rid of the Black. And the Potter was fine with that.
"Make your choices, and make them well-for second chances may not always be there in front of you, as you will soon find."
Remus nodded a little, his faded blue-brown eyes flickering down to the black hat in his lap. That black hat had been with him since his second trip to Diagon Alley (his first had been when he was five and he had gone with his older sister to buy her own Hogwarts supplies). He had never lost it, unlike, Remus remembered with a smile, Peter had in their second year. Silly it was probably to be so fond of a hat, but it was more then that, somehow.
"Try your hardest not to make enemies, for they do not give mercy like your allies. Instead, be a friend to all, and do not hold grudges, but hold hope-you'll find it's much more enjoyable to have when you find yourself in the dark."
Sirius had to chuckle a little at that. But he disagreed a bit with what Dumbledore was saying. Do not hold grudges? That would be near impossible. No, it would be impossible. Sorry, Dumbledore, but he was not going to become friends with his pathetic little brother, and unforgiving family. Not in a million years. But he could be a friend to James and Remus and Peter. Even Lily. He already was, wasn't he? That wasn't going to change. He, Sirius, wouldn't let it.
"Remember all that you have learned! Even what was not taught inside a classroom, but what happened by accident, or unintentionally. I think you'll see that life teaches you more lessons that are not planned, then it does those that are."
Alright, thought Peter, I can live with that. Not that he paid much attention while inside the classroom anyway. He knew that he couldn't be the adherent to James, Sirius, and Remus for the rest of his life. Pity. It had worked out so well at Hogwarts. Ah, well, he could always become their butler, or something. Peter looked back at Dumbledore, wondering if someday he, too, would become as great, wise, and powerful as the headmaster of Hogwarts.
"And so, my dear students, we have spent seven wonderful years together. I have watched you grow, learn, and thrive among the company of your friends, and rivals. Flying and soaring above the Quidditch Field, and into your own destinies. I could say goodbye, but then what would come of that? It would seem that I was saying it was the end, and dead end of your road. I would be lying. For, my friends, I assure that this is not goodbye."
In the middle of the room of teary students of Hogwarts, sat four friends. For once, they were silent, attentive. They did not wait eagerly for the time their next prank would be put into action. They did not hex the poor kid next to them. They did not laugh out when a joke, any joke, was told.
"So, instead, I will say only this: As you leave these halls, as you exit your dormitories and common rooms. As you leave this school. Don't look back."
Don't look back, thought James. Because the future is stretching out before them, and they needed to fly out and greet it with open arms!
Don't look back, thought Sirius. Because if he did spend too much time in the past, then he may loose complete sight of his life in front of him.
Don't look back, thought Remus. There would always be full moons, but after all, most of the nights were not. And that was the important thing.
Don't look back, thought Peter. Because he was his own person, so now was his opportunity to be the man he knew that he could be!
And as the speech was ended, and the feast was finished, the seventh years of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry finally left the Great Hall.
"We're done!" Sirius cried out when they reached the grounds.
"Alright!" James cheered, pumping a fist in the air.
"Race you to Hagrid's!"
And as they ran, none of them stole a glance behind him. They didn't need to, each knew perfectly well what they would see.
But even as they neared Hagrid's hut, Sirius peeked just a bit over his shoulder, his hand resting on the brass doorknob.
He saw green fields leading up to the castle, the Quidditch Field rising in the distance. He saw black hats bobbing up and down as other kids left the school to relax once more, for a last time on the school grounds.
"You coming, Padfoot?" James asked, as Hagrid opened the door.
Sirius grinned, laughing a little. "Yeah." He said. "Yeah, I'm coming."
And as he closed the door, he reminded himself.
Don't look back.
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