Epilogue: 19 Days Later
Last month, I began a miniseries based on speculation and fan opinions as to what events may have occurred 19 minutes following the final battle. Much of Harry Potter’s world remains unknown, between the time of that battle in May and the Hogwarts Express departing from King’s Cross 19 Septembers later. Even with the new timeline debuted by Pottermore earlier this month, fans are still yearning for more information on what came next for our favorite hero.
This month we will continue to wonder what the wizarding world was doing merely 19 days later; the date is May 21, 1998.
Summer hadn’t quite arrived, but spring was a month away from ending, and a lot can occur in a little less than three weeks. Kingsley Shacklebolt would have been appointed permanent Minster of Magic as a result of his impeccable skills handling the position on a temporary basis, and the Auror department would be restaffed along with the rest of the Ministry. Investigations would be underway for any and all persons involved with Voldemort during his time of power, including any persons under the influence of the Imperius Curse, to ensure proper treatment as a result of any involuntary actions.
The initial shock and celebration would have simmered by then since funerals would be completed, and memorials would be in the works to immortalize those who courageously fought and lost their lives. If you can remember the pain we all felt when reading those final moments with our beloved characters, the concept of their families and friends laying them to rest is an unfathomable one. For certain, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes would remain shut while the redheaded clan continued to grieve the loss of one of their own. I can imagine Harry, Ron, and Hermione attending as many funeral services as possible to pay their respects and speak with the families. I feel that Harry would believe this to be the least he could do considering the pain felt by so many.
Yet the war was over by then, and it would be time to move forward. Both Hogwarts and Gringotts would have begun to be rebuilt, and while I am not a master in magical construction, I reckon it would take a while to bring back those magnificent buildings and equip them with their proper charms. With 101 days until Hogwarts was to reopen for the following term, there would be extreme focus on ensuring the castle was prepared for students and staff to return and be able to resume their studies.
Imagine the air of comfort surrounding the wizarding world three weeks following the end of Voldemort’s regime. His supporters would have continued to be rounded up, with Aurors on the hunt for those who had gone missing. There would be ongoing trials for those involved to determine what was to be done with them (again Lucius Malfoy seemed to escape…), but there would be a feeling of relief knowing that the world was finally calm once more. Is it possible that Death Eaters continued to act out in revenge and fury over the demise of their beloved ruler? Naturally, I believe some retaliation would happen, but the Ministry would not tolerate any of that and put an end to it at once.
The most compelling and bizarre thing about 19 days after that battle would be the return to normalcy. For years and years the wizarding world had constantly been at war, and finally that is all done and over with. Parents can open the Daily Prophet without fear of seeing the body counts of their friends and colleagues. Children are free to enjoy the merriment that is their magical abilities. Witches and wizards can walk Diagon Alley at night without fear, and the radio can return to playing Celestina Warbeck compared to updates on Voldemort’s last sighting.
Nineteen days later, and the world was starting to come to terms with the fact that it all really was over. The world would not be healed in three weeks, but it sure was a start. No one could ever forget, but perhaps it was time to start moving on.
What do you believe would have occurred 19 days later? Comment freely since everything is speculation (… at least until Rowling says otherwise).
Want more? Check out the first post in the series, 19 Minutes Later. Check back next month for ’19 Weeks Later’.