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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1834621-Burying-a-Wonderful-Headmaster
Rated: ASR · Draft · Other · #1834621
This is the starting post for the thread by the same name. We posted it on 12/19/11.
Burying a Wonderful Headmaster


Sasha walked slowly down the hall from the Head Master’s office. No, she would have to remember it was the HeadMistress’ office from now on. Sadness flowed through all the halls, but it was strong here. Thinking back to when she had first seen the proof that her beloved friend and leader were truly gone.


The old Headmasters’ portraits had always come alive at the Headmaster’s time of death. Joseph’s picture started smiling the night of The Grand Ball. It had upset Flara so badly, she had not even known that she nearly knocked Sasha down as the new Headmistress had come looking for her. Sasha had followed the woman, which she had grown fond of. When Sasha had enter the Headmaster’s office and seen the portrait, Sasha understood.

Just as she had gotten fully into the room, Joseph spoke. He explained that he needed to talk to Sasha. Flara turned and quietly left the room. Then Joseph’s eyes went to a spot that Sasha knew was the spot that Darik preferred when he came to help guard Joseph, when he had been in a coma. Headmaster Joseph’s smile widened as he talked to the old freed house-elf.

After that, they talked for hours as her old friend explained what had happened. He explained why Flara had been chosen to take his place both here at the school as well as concerning TOE. Sasha had nodded but stopped as Joseph asked if she could do for Flara what she had done for him. Sasha had not known what to say. She had been Joseph trusted friend and unknowingly but to a few close friends Sasha was also his protector. Sasha frowned as she realized that she had not done such a great job, or her cousin Gab’s friend and roommate’s picture would not be on the wall and talking. Joseph must have known what was bothering her as he put her straight pretty quickly. Everything had been planned to insure that their plant in the Seven was at least safe and hopefully at least a little trusted. By the time, they had finished talking, Sasha had agreed to all of Joseph’s requests.


It still hurt, though Sasha refused to break down as she opened the door that lead to the gardens where the funeral was about to begin. She had a promise to keep no matter what her own feelings on the matter were. It had been the last thing that Joseph had asked her to do, though Sasha had not been liking the fact that so many important people would be in attendance. Sasha nodded as she tried to understand why Joseph wanted the funeral so quickly.


As she got into the gardens, Sasha finally realized why. It was for his beloved school that Joseph was asking for it to be done quickly. Since he was not able to protect his students, he wanted to ensure that the Ministry did. At least until the students, went home after the funeral. Sasha, Flara and the Ministry had agreed to cancel the rest of the term.


Finding Tamika Riggs, Sasha smiled as best she could at her cousins. They were seated next to Tarik Sadiki. Her family had accept Tarik without question. Both Tarik and her cousin Joseph had been keeping a very close eye on Tia. Her friends the Allies had pretty much encircled the family, including William Blakelee and his family.


Sasha saw her friend and fellow member, Adarian Ackland. She realized that he had probably gotten very little if any sleep as she walked up to him.


Looking around, Sasha saw most of the Order as well as all the students of Hogwarts and their families. There were also friends from the nearby village of Hogsmeade, including Sara Puddifoot and Darik, who had asked to be one of the speakers. In all there would be at least twenty speakers, including Gabriel Lupin, her cousin and one of Joseph’s best friends. He appeared to be missing and it had her more than a little concerned, she said a little worried as she turned and faced him, “Adarian, I hope somebody gave Gabriel something to do? Because Joseph was not just any friend to my cousin, Gab will want payback even more than I do. I just hope Gab has not decided to go after Daniel.”


Sasha knew that the Seven had not killed Joseph as did Gabriel but Daniel had still order that Joseph be taken out. In Gabriel and even Sasha’s eyes, that made Daniel and the Seven responsible. Neither of them though placed any blame on Adarian as she had come to understand just how stubborn Headmaster Joseph was.


Moreover, if the young man had not done what need to be done, Sasha knew that Daniel would have ordered the boy’s death without so much as a second thought. Sasha just hoped Adarian had not blamed himself. “Adarian, how are you holding up my dear?”, Sasha said more upset then hopefully she sounded. “ Councilman Fairmont is the Ministry representative. I will say a few words, and then introduce you. After you say what you want,then introduce Lucas Fairmont and he can begin the service. Flara is far too emotional right now, though she will most likely end the service. ”


Walking up to just in front of the glass coffin, Sasha felt as her knees was about to buckle as Joseph’s favorite band Eye and the Newts played the song “Safely Home”.

I am home in heaven, dear ones;
Oh so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light.

All the pain and grief is over,
Every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in heaven at last.

Did you wonder how I so calmly
Trod the valley of the shade?
Oh, but Jesus' love illumined
Every dark and fearful glade.

And he came himself to meet me
In that way so hard to tread;
And with Jesus' arm to lean on,
Could I have one doubt or dread?

Then you must not grieve so sorely,
For I love you dearly still;
Try to look beyond earth's shadows,
Pray to trust our Father's will.

There is work still waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand;
Do it now, while life remains,
You shall rest in Jesus' land.

When that work is all completed,
He will gently call you home;
Oh, the rapture of that meeting,
Oh, the joy to see you come!



Tarik must have seen what was happening because he held her hand as he said, “Sasha, I know that all you want is to break down. Now is not the time as you have never failed in your duties and I doubt if you are about to start now.”


She knew he was right as she stood tall and looked out at everybody. Smiling for the first time since Joseph Witchard’s death, Sasha said as calmly as she could manage, “It is not very often that an exceptional headmaster graces the halls of Hogwarts. Headmaster Witchard was just such a man. As we lay him to rest, each of the speakers have their own stories to tell. Before we begin though, I would like to read something from the people that knew him best, his family.” She had received the owl that very day.


Dear Hogwarts students and Staff;

…Hogwarts was a great source of joy and comfort for Joseph, I'm sure as he fought some very personal issues and for that, we thank everyone. It was great for him to have the school as an outlet…

Love and Support,

The Witchard Family



After the letter from Joseph’s family was read, Sasha went into her memory of her dearest friend. “My feelings on the Headmaster are not so simple to put into words. When I came here two years ago, I was unsure of if he would even hire me as I had been gone for 12 years. He did not only hire me but made me his Deputy Headmistress, against some high-ranking members of the ministry’s wishes. They believed me too young and inexperienced to have the position.” ,Sasha began as she remembered how he had reminded them that Sasha was actually older than he was.


Continuing though the tears had began to surface, “Let’s just say that he had showed them how illogical their words were. Joseph had his own way of doing things and that included hiring his staff. I for one was honored to have known Headmaster Joseph Witchard and will miss him greatly.”


After collecting herself, Sasha said, “Now I would like to introduce, Adarian Ackland.”


With that, Sasha went to sit down by her family as she wondered what each story was. Tarik smiled as he said, “You did fine, my love. Joseph would be proud.”


In the days following the announcement, Adarian had gone into hiding. He wasn't sure of his mission anymore. He could feel that something big was on the horizon but he was no longer sure that he was most needed as a spy in the Seven. he felt that he should be back home with the people he cared about in an attempt to rebuild and fortify their position. However, he could not simply walk away from the Seven. It just didn't work that way. So, Adarian did the only thing he could do. He quietly returned to London to await the funeral of his friend under the pretense of paying a visit to a nosy wizard that needed to be silenced.

Adarian arrived in Hogsmeade the day before Joseph's funeral, keeping to himself. Grief had numbed Adarian's senses and it caused him to drift in and out of states of nearly catatonic depression. Joseph Witchard had been an amazing mentor, protector, and most importantly, an amazing friend. It was hard to accept the fact that he was gone. Word that the former Headmaster had fallen ill was guarded so fiercely that Adarian barely learned of it before the man passed away. It gnawed at Adarian's conscience that he didn't get to see his friend one last time. That he didn't get to tell him how much he loved him, that he didn't get to tell him how grateful he was for everything that Joseph has done. He didn't register much before the funeral started. There were a lot of people and he heard people talking. He was certain that at least one question had been addressed to him but the words were barely audible to him. He simply sat, head in hands as the proceedings began. Again, there wasn't much that could draw him from his sorrow. There was music and words. He was sure that they would have been beautiful under most circumstances but Adarian couldn't find much beauty in the world these days.

The sharp sound of his name grabbed his attention and slowly he realized that he was to approach the podium. He rose from his seat, looking around at all of the witches and wizards gathered here through puffy, red eyes. He wondered to himself if amongst the gathered masses lurked Daniel Marsden. He knew that there was a respect between the two men, even if they didn't see eye to eye. "Sonorus," Adarian said softly as he approached he reached the podium. As he looked out at the crowd, he felt a lump rise in his throat and he had no idea what to say or how to address the people before him. Adarian looked down at his left palm, as he always did when he was unsure of himself. The scar was a stark reminder of who he was and what he would do to keep those he loved safe. Just like him, Adarian thought with a sad smile.

"It saddens me, as I'm sure it saddens all of you, to be called here under the present circumstances. It saddens me even more to tell you that I have no words of my own prepared to express myself. Every original thought I could think seemed to lack the eloquence and meaning to truly reflect how deeply this loss affected myself, and all of you as well. Instead, I will read you an exert from a letter that was written a very long time ago. A letter that I feel can express what I want to say far better than I ever could," he said, as he reached into the inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a piece of parchment. He unrolled it slowly, placing it on the podium before him and cleared his throat.

"I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine that would attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the world that he spent his life protecting. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved, lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have known a man who willingly laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."

Adarian returned the parchment to his pocket and tried his best to hide the fact that his hands were shaking so bad that he almost dropped the parchment. When he spoke again, there was no hiding the cracking in his voice. It stopped any words he could muster and Adarian stood there for a moment, head down and shoulder heaving, betraying his sobs. Adarian finally looked up after a long moment and finished his speech simply. "Thank you," he hoarsely croaked before turning and stepping down from the podium. He hoped that somehow, somewhere Joseph heard him and he finally had his chance to say thank you to the man he loved so dearly. He knew that there were many other people that wished to speak of their memories but Adarian had withstood about all he could. Adarian made his way down the aisle, passing grief stricken mourners as he made his way to the castle, leaving the funeral behind him.

In all there would be at least twenty speakers, including Gabriel Lupin, her cousin and one of Joseph’s best friends. He appeared to be missing and it had her more than a little concerned, she said a little worried as she turned and faced him, “Adarian, I hope somebody gave Gabriel something to do? Because Joseph was not just any friend to my cousin, Gab will want payback even more than I do. I just hope Gab has not decided to go after Daniel.”

Lucas watched as Deputy Headmistress Sasha McChey tried to talk with a young man called Adarian. After hearing something about Gabriel Lupin, Councilman Lucas, reached in his pocket for the letter that said Headmaster Joseph Witchard's wishes concerning what was to be done today. Lucas realized that Joseph had known that Gab had needed to be kept busy. Walking up to Sasha, He whispered in her ear, "Don't worry about your cousin Gab, Sasha. I have him watching for a couple of people that Joseph requested to be here. It seems that Joseph was also concerned how Gabriel would handle this. By the way, I was asked to come and insure that the Headmaster's wishes are carried out to the letter."

Lucas knew this was going to be a very unusual funeral for a very special Headmaster. Reading his instructions again, Lucas smiled as his job should be easy.

Sasha just hoped Adarian had not blamed himself. “Adarian, how are you holding up my dear?”, Sasha said more upset then hopefully she sounded.

He was certain that at least one question had been addressed to him but the words were barely audible to him. He simply sat, head in hands as the proceedings began. Again, there wasn't much that could draw him from his sorrow.

Lucas realized that in his letter Joseph had seemed worried about how his death would effect certain people. Lucas read the names and realized that the young man Adarian was one of them. Whispering to one of his guards, Lucas completed Joseph's wishes concerning Adarian. The boy was to be watched and guarded and all this was to be done without Adarian being any the wiser. The others that Joseph seemed worried about was Gabriel, who Lucas had been told just how to keep him busy. The Deputy Headmistress Sasha, who Joseph insured that he would handle that. The new Headmistress Flara, which Lucas had both sent guards as well as asked Sean, the head nurse here if he could check on her. There was others but Joseph had put in his letter that he had already insured that those were looked after.

“ Councilman Fairmont is the Ministry representative. I will say a few words, and then introduce you. After you say what you want,then introduce Lucas Fairmont and he can begin the service. Flara is far too emotional right now, though she will most likely end the service. ”

Lucas nodded and said, "Or Sasha, I could just come up to the podium when he is done." The people that was to speak had already been chosen by Joseph himself. All Lucas had to do is read part of a letter and insure that Joseph Witchard's final wishes were carried out.

Walking up to just in front of the glass coffin, Sasha felt as her knees was about to buckle as Joseph’s favorite band Eye and the Newts played the song “Safely Home”.

Tarik must have seen what was happening because he held her hand as he said, “Sasha, I know that all you want is to break down. Now is not the time as you have never failed in your duties and I doubt if you are about to start now.”


Noticing that Sasha was about to fall apart, Lucas watched as Tarik talked to her. Lucas now understood one of the requests.


She knew he was right as she stood tall and looked out at everybody. Smiling for the first time since Joseph Witchard’s death, Sasha said as calmly as she could manage, “It is not very often that an exceptional headmaster graces the halls of Hogwarts. Headmaster Witchard was just such a man. As we lay him to rest, each of the speakers have their own stories to tell.

He waited until Sasha was okay, then handed Tarik, Joseph's note to the Medjai. Giving a smile Tia's way, Lucas knew that Tarik would honor Joseph's dying wish. Lucas figured that the Medjai would probably ask her after she sat down. He was being to see what today was all about. Headmaster Witchard had wanted in death what he had tried to make happen in life. Sasha was right. Headmaster Joseph Witchard was exceptional., Lucas thought as he wished he had gotten to know the man better.

“My feelings on the Headmaster are not so simple to put into words. When I came here two years ago, I was unsure of if he would even hire me as I had been gone for 12 years. He did not only hire me but made me his Deputy Headmistress, against some high-ranking members of the ministry’s wishes. They believed me too young and inexperienced to have the position.” ,Sasha began as she remembered how he had reminded them that Sasha was actually older than he was.


Continuing though the tears had began to surface, “Let’s just say that he had showed them how illogical their words were. Joseph had his own way of doing things and that included hiring his staff. I for one was honored to have known Headmaster Joseph Witchard and will miss him greatly.”


Lucas heard what Sasha had said and had to laugh as he remembered that day well. Maybe he did have a story to tell after all.

After collecting herself, Sasha said, “Now I would like to introduce, Adarian Ackland.”

With that, Sasha went to sit down by her family as she wondered what each story was. Tarik smiled as he said, “You did fine, my love. Joseph would be proud.”

"It saddens me, as I'm sure it saddens all of you, to be called here under the present circumstances. It saddens me even more to tell you that I have no words of my own prepared to express myself. Every original thought I could think seemed to lack the eloquence and meaning to truly reflect how deeply this loss affected myself, and all of you as well. Instead, I will read you an exert from a letter that was written a very long time ago. A letter that I feel can express what I want to say far better than I ever could," he said, as he reached into the inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a piece of parchment. He unrolled it slowly, placing it on the podium before him and cleared his throat.

"I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine that would attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the world that he spent his life protecting. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved, lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have known a man who willingly laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."

Adarian finally looked up after a long moment and finished his speech simply. "Thank you," he hoarsely croaked before turning and stepping down from the podium.


Lucas got up as it was almost time to carry out Joseph's wishes.

He hoped that somehow, somewhere Joseph heard him and he finally had his chance to say thank you to the man he loved so dearly. He knew that there were many other people that wished to speak of their memories but Adarian had withstood about all he could. Adarian made his way down the aisle, passing grief stricken mourners as he made his way to the castle, leaving the funeral behind him.

As Lucas was about to due what was instructed, he watched as Adarian headed for the castle. Turning to the guard that he had talked to earlier, He whispered, "Follow but not too close. See that he reaches The Headmaster/Headmistress' office as Joseph wants to talk to the boy. Then see that they are not bothered."

After watching and seeing the guard follow Adarian, Lucas opened the note addressed "To be opened at the time of my funeral" Doing the spell that would ensure that everybody heard him, Councilman Lucas Fairmont began.

"First let me introduce myself, I am Councilman Lucas Fairmont. Before I read what is on this note, I would like to explain my laugh earlier. You see I remember the day your Deputy Headmistress McChey was talking about. We had just finished for the day, when a very angry Headmaster popped into the council chamber. Joseph was banishing an offical order. He said and I quote, How dare you! She is older than me! I ran my school not this council! I pick my staff and I chose her as my Deputy! Get use to it because she is not going anywhere! Then he without another word, Joseph popped right back out. I will say this, the council never tried again to send him orders."

Lucas hoped that everybody finally understood why he had laughed. He continued, "My job here is to read Joseph Witchard's wishes and insure that they are carried out. There are wizards coming that will encase Joseph's crystal coffin forever. These were hand picked by Joseph to do this and I will not go against his wishes. So now for his own words:

Dear Hogwarts,

My only request for my funeral is three.
1) Share your memories. The speakers each have a story to tell, including you Lucas.
2) Use the attached note in regards to certain people. It will be hardest on them and so I ask that special instructions are followed.
3) Wait for The Spellman Quads before encasing me. Send Gab to wait for them as I want it to be them, Gab, the Medjai Tarik and my special friend Darik to do it.

As for my words to the school, "Just know that Hogwarts and those who dwell within are the best thing that happened to me. I will miss you all greatly but nobody should tempt fate. Just remember me and that is all I can ask."

As for my special friends, "I know what you guys want but now is not the time. Especially you Sasha, I hold you to your word."

Now, let's get started on those stories, shall we?

Your Old Headmaster,
Joseph Witchard"


Lucas remembered why he hated Howlers. It would take weeks for him to hear properly again. As he stepped down, Lucas tapped the next speaker on the shoulder. Sitting down Lucas realized that somebody had removed the spell so he would not shout.

Flo had decided to sit near the front. The only real family she had was already at the school. She had others but during the past two terms she had but them lovingly in the background. When her husband had been killed she had wondered for ten years before coming to Hogwarts. She owed her present life to Joseph Witchard. When she had first applied it had been on a whim. She had experience as a Nanny but none as a teacher. Joseph saw something in her she did not realize she even possessed.

She listened with bent head to Sasha and Adrian’s tributes. Her heart hurt with the anguish in their voices. So many had come and each had the hurting hearts of those who have lost a great part of their lives

Lucas remembered why he hated Howlers. It would take weeks for him to hear properly again. As he stepped down, Lucas tapped the next speaker on the shoulder. Sitting down Lucas realized that somebody had removed the spell so he would not shout.

Watching as Councilman Fairmont descended from the podium, through tears which would not stop, Flo wondered who would be the next to speak. She felt the slight tap on her shoulder and realized it was her turn to pay honor to the man who had set her on the life’s path she was walking. Very slowly she rose and fumbling in her pocket for the scrap of parchment which she had tried to prepare some type of tribute on, she stepped onto the podium. Her eyes had trouble focusing on the crowd. She looked at Tarik the father-in-law she had found at the school.

Looking over to the crystal coffin, she questioned in her mind, “Headmaster, how can I tell them what you have done for me?” Looking at the scrap of parchment again, she wadded it up and put it back inside her pocket. Taking a deep breath, she consciously steadied her voice as much as possible. “The man we have come to honor today was a fantastic individual. I am not talking about his wizarding abilities, which were far beyond any hint he had given us; I am talking about his abilities to help others be the best person they could be. Joseph Witchard, allowed a person to come to this school, which had very little experience, and was emotionally lost in a living world. For this I will be eternally grateful.”

“He was a mentor. With his help I learned how to teach and show my students and others about the world around them. I would send him reports on what I wanted to try in the class and although he turned down several of my ideas, it was always done as a gentleman would do, and as a friend. Gently he guided me through my terms as Muggles Studies Professor.”

“When he talked about the school you could not help but see the future through his eyes. Joseph Witchard put long days and even longer nights into making sure every detail was maintained to very highest standards for this school.” Again looking over to the coffin, Flo finished by saying, “I make this promise now Joseph, I will do all I can to make this school safe and continue as you wished. Goodbye my friend.”

The tears were staring to flow again. Looking at her friend Pippen English, Flo asked with her eyes for her to be the next one to speak, then she stepped down from the platform.

Pippen sat next to her best friend, Flo Richards, with her hands in her lap. She had been to several funerals in her life. Most of her friends were up in years and she had learned, the world kept moving even when friends left this world for the other. It was harder though when the one leaving was so young. There never seemed to be a reason. Pippen had not gotten to know Joseph Witchard as much as many of the others attending the services. When she originally applied it was for just something different to do.

Joseph Witchard though made sure she felt important, and had a role to play in the daily life of the school and the students. He gave her the job of Professor of Arithmancy which was not a popular class, but one she could handle. He gently guided her through what she could teach and what was not appropriate for the young minds she would be helping to fill.

The tears were staring to flow again. Looking at her friend Pippen English, Flo asked with her eyes for her to be the next one to speak, and then she stepped down from the platform.

Pippen looked up at Flo. Flo had started the year she did and they had become fast friends. The woman had found lost family here and mentor in Joseph Witchard. As she realized Flo was pleading with her to be next, she rose from her seat and limped to the podium, just in time to touch Flo’s hand as she passed. Pippen had not prepared anything, because she did not think she would be talking, with so many others in attendance.

Looking out over the crowd she started, “I did not know Joseph Witchard personally. He was always kind and would listen to even ranting from this old lady, with all the composure of a gentleman. He was always ready to hear suggestions and help with ideas, even when you knew he was tired from long periods he put into taking care of the school.”

“He will be missed greatly. Even though he was not old in years, he was mature in life’s experiences and helped others to see, no matter what life throws at you, you had to keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward.” Looking up toward the clouds she said, “You will be missed Head Master, with all the respect and love we here at the school can hold in our hearts.”

Pippen scanned the crowd one more time, and then slowly returned back to her seat. Taking Flo’s hand in hers she gave it a slight squeeze, and bent her head in a silent prayer.

Will had not been prepared when he got the owl. It had been at least a year since he had heard or talked to his friend, and now, all he wished was to have that time back. To have spent more time with one of the few men that truly had made an impact in his life. Will had experienced grief before and even death, the two seemed to follow him around quite often. But this, this was not something that could be described as mere grief. He felt ashamed for not having been there when it happened, he felt selfish for not having given more of his time. That, and now he really wanted to punch someone's face in.

He tried to find the best robes he had, but they only made him feel worse. When he taught at Hogwarts, he was notorious for his dusty and world-weary robes, but he always thought they added character. Except for when it came time for the end of term ball. He had asked Joseph if it was fine to go in his normal robes, it wasn't like he was trying to impress a date. But Joseph would hear none of it, nope. So Will had to go out, and buy special robes for the occasion, and had only worn them twice....and now there would be a third.

He sat and listened to all the speakers. Will hardly recognized a few people, such as Adarian Ackland. He could remember when he taught that kid, man now he supposed. Will was never really nice to him, on account that his dad was the reason Will walked around with a scar across his eye. He used to say 'Whenever an Ackland was around, trouble would be soon to follow', but now, hearing what the young man had said about Joseph, he felt much more warmth towards him then he ever had. Joseph had always told Will that Adarian wasn't like his father, and seeing how choked up the kid was over their friend.... maybe he was right.

It seemed that wasn't the only thing different around here. All the staff and groundskeepers he didn't know. It made him feel out of place. He could've sworn he had met Sasha person before, and he wondered where Flara was, but other than that, it was hard to see people he knew. Will grinned slightly at another memory of Joseph, in a meeting they had a while after his resignation. But the grin was brief, and tears began to cloud his vision as he realized that was the last time he had spoken to his dear friend.

After sitting and listening to everyone before him, and nearly losing it when he heard Joseph's voice through the Howler, Will decided it was time to speak before the lump in his throat got any bigger than it already was. He made his way to the podium and pulled out a few small pieces of parchment. He had tried to sound poet and appropriate for the occasion, and with many scribbles and rewrites, he thought that just maybe it would be better to speak whatever occurred to him, while using the parchments as a guide. He looked up at the crowd, and nearly lost it again, just by seeing the size of attendance.

"I think everyone here can agree that Joseph Witchard was a great man. His dedication to this school was the most inspiring thing I have ever seen. I came to know this man even before I was associated with this school, and I'm till this day ever grateful for our chance encounter. I've held many titles over the years, had many jobs, but none have been as satisfying as when I worked under Joseph Witchard. The man was so damn formal, it took me months for him to call me anything other than Professor Fremen. But under that formality lay a man who quickly became my confidant, and I his. He was the only one capable of keeping me in check, he was the only man I ever allowed to yell at me and walk away without a broken nose. I respected him, he had wisdom far beyond his age and he never lied to me. Throughout my years on this earth, I've known many people, but none of them come close to Joseph. He was a true friend, one that always gave and never took, one that I could count on in any rough situation, and no one can ever measure up to what he meant to me." Will opened his mouth to speak again, but the tears were already started up, and the lump was now the size of a boulder inside his throat. "I'll miss him so...." he said before finally giving in, and stopped talking.

He walked down back towards his seat, rubbing out the tears from from his cheeks, but stopped for a moment. He stood facing the glass coffin, holding his friend, and Will looked at the man inside. He closed his eyes, composing himself, before whispering: "You taught me how to smile again, when I had forgotten...... Goodbye old friend, I hope you've finally found your peace." He opened his eyes once more, the tears had stopped, and he looked at his friends face one last time before sitting down.

As Sara listened to the speakers, and stories about the adult Joseph, her mind wondered to the small boy sitting at a table and reading adventure books. He had grown into the man who all were having difficulty saying in words what their hearts felt at his loss. Sometimes words did not fully tell the story.

Sara walked slowly to the podium. The town, most of who were in attendance, had been asked to say a few words if they wished. Looking toward the Garden Maze she could barely see Darik, stationed on top of the hedge so he could watch everything. He had made a promise to Joseph and even now he was determined to keep the promise. Mounting the steps she slowly turned around and looked over the large crowd. “Joseph you did make something of yourself as I knew you would.” she thought as she surveyed family and friends.

“For those who do not know who I am, my name is Sara Puddifoot and I own the Tea Shoppe in town. I have been asked speak about our love and respect for Joseph Witchard. About 20 or so years ago, a small boy walked into the Tea Shoppe, sat down at a table and ordered Tea and a biscuit. He opened his book and started to read. Most of the time when children come in they are followed by friends and idle chatter. Not Joseph, he always had a book, even when friends were with him.”

“I remember one day when I asked him what he was reading, he told me anything about the world. It seems the young Joseph had a yearning to see the world and experience life’s mysteries. He never out-grew the wish. He would talk about the places he wanted to go and the adventures he hoped to have. Then one day he became Head Master of Hogwarts. His adventures became those of the school and its inhabitants. He never lost his dreams; he just put his original dreams on hold and started new ones. One of his dreams was for Hogwarts to be the best wizarding school in the world, teaching not only magic, but how to navigate life’s adventures. He taught skills which could be used in the world in general, whether you were a wizard or a muggle.”

“This school, the town, and the wizarding community were lucky to have his brilliance among us for even the short period of time, he was here.” Sara looked over to the crystal casket, “Goodbye my friend. You will be missed by all those who knew you and learned from you.” Sara slowly descended the steps and returned to her seat. The other town people told her thank you with their smiles and nods. She hoped some of them would also get up and speak. For now she bowed her head and gave a silent prayer.

Nedea gave small courteous smiles to the people who passed her. She had volunteered to help with Headmaster Witchard’s funeral and was given the task of ushering the attendees in. She had kept herself together quite well the past few days. Well truth be told, Nedea never really handled deaths quite well. She never knew quite what to do or what to say. There was always some sort of a paralyzing effect on her. Nedea was able to have her own time with the Headmaster earlier before all the guests arrived and only the staff was present. At that time, she briefly held on to the small pendant she wore and wondered if Will would come today.

Seeing a few familiar faces was comforting. Yet, at the same time, it saddened her that the reason why they had gathered was the death of someone dear in their lives.

After listening to a few of the eulogies, Nedea couldn’t help but drift into her own thoughts. She was sure that she wouldn’t be the only one to say this but Headmaster Witchard, even if they weren’t that close, became the father figure in her life. He protected and watched over her. He showered her with an unconditional love of a parent. They’ve also shared their disagreements like a father and daughter would have, to which he responded accordingly by being her voice of reason. She was thankful for that. She owed alot to the late Headmaster. If it was not for his kindness and understanding, she would not be where she was in Hogwarts right now.

After finishing the Headmaster’s letter, Nedea couldn’t take it anymore. She excused herself and ran into the castle, trying to hold on to the tears that dared to fall. She didn’t know exactly where she was going but she found an old abandoned room and went in. She leaned her back on the wall and used it for support as she tried to catch her breath, placing a palm on her heaving chest. The suppressed tears began to fall. She began to feel the grief of the loss of a loved one. She was crying her heart out and she could hear her voice echoing around the room. She missed him so much. The very regret of not giving time was what ached in her heart. She would give anything just to spend some time with him again.

Nedea realized she was in the music room where she visited frequently during the earlier parts of her days of being a student. So many memories were made here, good and bad. She walked towards the burned down piano. She softly pressed on a key and it emitted a tiny squeak which softly echoed. She let the silence envelope her as she hoped it would help her begin to calm herself.

“It’s difficult to find the words I want to let you hear but I’m sure you’ll find what it is that I want to say to you, in my heart.” She softly whispered.

Starling sat very still in her seat. Her parents had not been able to come to the funeral so she sat with some of the other Allies’ families. It was hard to sit there because everyone was so sad. Starling had not been to many funerals. The members of her family lived all healthy long lives. One other one she had been too was when the orphanage had blown up, but at the time she knew no one there so she just watched. As she looked around her and wished she could help some of the more distraught people, tears came to her own eyes.

The Headmaster was known around the school as a very caring person. If you had a question and he was around, you never felt leery about asking for his help and opinion. Once she had been part of a study group, trying to figure out the proper pronunciation of a spell. They had been in this very garden at the time. No one realized he was listening, but there he was walking up close and smiling. He took his time to explain exactly what everyone needed to know, asked if there was anything else he could help with, and receiving a negative answer, smiled and walked away.

Ever since she was very young, Starling had learned that if you were quiet and sat out of the way of all the grown-ups you could learn many things. She had heard older people talk about the Headmaster, always in terms of being very wise, kind and good natured. He would be missed by many, not just from the school, but out in the world.

Starling bowed her head and said a prayer, for the man who had been in charge of her life at the school, since she had arrived two years ago.
Anna sat down quietly in her seat at the funeral. She sat by some of the other Ravenclaw's that she knew, because her mom and dad were not able to come because they were muggles, and not able to get to the school. It was her first time at a funeral, and she was sad and suprised about what had happened. It was just the end of her very first year at Hogwarts, and she knew the late Headmaster had been very kind and considerate. She was paitent at the funeral, knowing that respect was needed. She looked around and saw all the sad people, which brought tears to her own eyes. Her mom and dad were not able to come because they were muggles

The Headmaster was a very special person to the school, and that is why he was being buried at the very location of where he worked. He was a very young Headmaster, but a great one by far. He always was kind to others, and helped everyone out. Anna knew she was at a very special funeral, because more lots of people, most of whom she had never met, were attending the funeral.

Anna saw the headmaster in the glass coffin where he was being buried. Tears came to her eyes at the sight of this. She heard adults and children crying. Everyone was in a circle around the coffin, in their seats, quietly praying.

Anna said a prayer, for the late Headmaster, a man who had helped everyone at the school she had been attending for the past year. She sat quietly through the rest of the funeral, as he was being buried, tears still in her eyes.

Abele wiped his cheeks with a black handkerchief. He didn't want anyone to see him crying, he felt so vain trying to hide his tears. Memories of Joseph jumped around in his head, he had been such a great man. Abele had always felt a bit uneasy around him, but he had still admired him.

Joseph didn't intimidate Abele, like other people his age did. He was Abele's closest friend, maybe his only friend.

He caught snippets of the words of mourners, but nothing felt real at the moment. He felt as though he were watching the procession from a far away place. When he had first hear the news, it seemed as though the world had dropped out from beneath his feet. He picked the news up through hear-say mostly, but the realization of what happened was painful, like a punch in the throat.

Abele crossed his heart and bowed his head to pray. He wondered if Joseph would hear his words, or even if he could. Everything felt so out of place to Abele. Abele was practically nocturnal, for one thing. For another he could see his old friend, laying motionless under a glass case, Abele felt the need to thank Joseph, but his wish was fruitless, his friend had passed now. He wished he had have said something when he was still breathing.

Bridge’s facial features displayed no emotion as the funeral procession continued. It was just very difficult to comprehend that the Headmaster was truly gone. Gone from body, but not from spirit, Bridge chanted mentally to herself as she observed one person after another stood up in front of the glass coffin and confessed their farewells and their memories of the beloved Headmaster of Hogwarts, the best Hogwarts has seen in many years even when she herself had been attending the majestic, awe-inspiring school.

Bridge ran her fingers through the tendrils of her youngest daughter’s blond hair as Angela’s head lay on her mother’s chest, eyes swollen and puffy from many tears that had been shed. The young girl has been through so much that it made Bridge’s eyes well up with tears once more as she thought of them. Victoria had failed to get better as she promised (though the promise had been a weak one when she had spoken it) she would. The death of Waverly has Angela, Bridge included, distraught and detached. Angela seemed to be going through the motions. Her face seemed permanently fixed as passive and pale, the purple bruises under her eyes the only given evidence of how exhausted she was from many sleepless, teary nights. Bridge has attempted to console her distressed, young daughter but the efforts were deemed futile as nothing seemed unable to bring Angela to life again.

Bridge was never particularly close to Hogwarts former Headmaster. Of course, this did not imply that they have never spoken at all during the years she has been employed under his service. However, from those few moments that they have interacted, Bridge found him immensely kind and caring. He certainly valued his staff’s best interest at heart, which was why she admired him because he must have been aware of the complications that may have arisen from a professor whose children were attending his school, as well? Yes, Bridge decided as gently lifted Angela up from her chest so she could speak, Headmaster Witchard was far too intelligent to not have thought of those silly, but honest complications.

Though it was difficult to do so, Bridge managed to produce a smile upon her lips as she cleared her throat to address the crowd of grieving people. “Headmaster Witchard was an astounding man. He was kind and caring, as well as intelligent; the qualities of which created the brilliant man and Headmaster of Hogwarts we knew today.” Bridge’s voice broke as she continued, “Joseph had an understanding of love and family, including the complications of it. It is because of his understanding that I may not have been in the position I am in at present, the professor for Defense Against the Dark Arts, and because he has assisted me financially and comfortably, I shall always be grateful to him.” Rubbing the exterior of the glass coffin, she whispered, “Rest in peace, good friend.” Then Bridge returned to her tearful daughter, bringing Angela close to her, the warmth and love radiating contenting them greatly.

Franco had arrived at Hogwarts as soon as he had received the owl. He knew that his brothers would also be there. The investigative reporter watched as a councilman talked to Gabriel. From the look on Gab’s face, Franco realized that his friend was more than upset. I hope that somebody has given Gab something to keep him busy?, he thought as Franco had seen that look a couple other times. The first time was when they had been told what Gabriel had become. He just hoped that Neo would show up soon, just in case they needed to deal with Gab. Neo was one of few that could talk Gabriel down or at least distract him long enough for Leo, Marco and him to knock some sense into their friend.

Franco noticed that the one that had hand delivered the message was also watching Gabriel. He was sitting on the hedge with his finger every now and again pointed at certain people. The unique house-elf was named Darik, or so the little man had told Franco last night. Franco looked at the message one more time as he tried to find this Medjai in the crowd. Having spotted him as the council member handed him a message, Franco could see what his brother Neo’s friend Joseph saw in the man.

He watched as many got up and spoke of their memories of the beloved Headmaster. Franco was not there to speak about what the man had done. He was there to help lay Joseph to rest. After that, Franco planned on finding out just how Joseph Witchard died. If it was the illness, then no worries. If somebody killed him, then he and his brother would see that person follow their friend in death!, he vowed as he looked at the casket. Having seen Neo as his brother sat down next to him, Franco knew that Neo was thinking along the same lines. Smiling as should have known that Neo would see though the muggle look.

Franco saw Bridge speak and his mood changed. Neo must have noticed as he put a hand on Franco’s shoulder and asked if Franco had ever really gotten over her. At his brother’s words, Franco shook his head as he whispered, “And I never will, but she made her choice.” Then he remembered Joseph’s words at the bottom of his message, It is time my friend to tell her. You both have been unhappy for too long. You never gave her any other choice, did you?

He knew that Joseph was right, he had never told Bridge how he had felt. The only one outside of Joseph and his brothers to know was Anthony Mirabeau. That was due to Marco’s big mouth. Franco looked at Neo as he said quietly, “Joseph asked that I tell her. I plan to honor that request soon. Can you insure that a certain brother doesn’t interfere again?”

Neo had nodded as he pointed out to Franco that the other two brothers had arrived. Franco had realized that Gab had been sent to wait for them. Getting up as he realized that it was time, Franco walked to his position by the casket. He watched as Darik took his place by Joseph’s feet. The Medjai Tarik was positioned at Joseph’s head. Marco was by Joseph’s right arm with Leo at the right leg. Neo was opposite Marco, with him across from Leo. Now they waited until the signal was given by Gabriel. Franco knew that each of his brothers had also received the Egyptian Spell. This was to be done like clockwork.

Gabriel talked about growing up with the Headmaster. About them being roommates and how he had always been able to count on Joseph for anything. Franco and his brothers knew that Joseph and them had been some of the only few who had not turned their backs on Gab after his accident. Franco smiled as he realized with Gabriel’s words just how much that had meant to his friend.

Then Franco heard what they all were waiting for as Gab looked at the man in the casket and said, “We will miss you old friend. But now you can sleep with the Pharaohs!”

With that all six raised their wands and the transformation began. Franco smiled as he realized that their friend Joseph Witchard was being given the burial of a pharaoh. It was a fitting reward for somebody who had touched so many lives, including his own. As the spell finished, Franco looked at the pyramid that held Joseph’s mummified body as he said, “Sleep well my friend as you have earned it!”

Just then a woman started to speak and Franco wondered who she was.

Lindsey stood standing near the back of group during the funeral for Joseph. Her eyes were puffy and swollen, her cheeks tear streaked as she listened to what everyone was saying about the Headmaster. Her cloak was drawn tightly around her as she felt her body being held upright by her husband. Her body was so consumed with different emotions that she had a hard time even standing up. She kept thinking back to the days that had passed. Everything seemed to be going normal. Then she had the vision. The vision that came too late, too late for her to do anything other than scream and send a patronus to the other members of the TOE. She should have been able to stop it from happening. She should have been paying attention to where Joseph fell was going to be at. She could have prevented it, if not prevented it, then given him more time. Her self-loathing was reaching an high was the moments passed. She had been assured by everyone part of TOE that it wasn't her fault, wasn't her fault that Joseph was dead, that her visions didn't always tell the future, but things that were happening currently.

Lindsey's nights had been filled with nightmares while she slept after his death before the sleeping stopped for her, insomnia wrecked havoc on her as she refused to succumb to the nightmares and fall asleep. Currently she was working on 48 hours of no sleep. With her being an Auror it wasn't a long time, as she was used to going this long sometimes without sleep, but no sleep for 48 hours and a combination of her grief was taking a toll on her. Lindsey felt Ethan's breath against her ear as he spoke softly that Gabriel was heading towards them. She nodded her head slightly before turning to talk to her fellow TOE member when he asked how she was holding up.

"Joseph, was one of the only people I could trust when I first came to Hogwarts. He still is.." tears started filling her eyes as she corrected herself, “he was the closest thing I had to a father, I considered him a father. He was always there for me, when I had a vision... when I needed someone to talk to, or someone to calm me down after one of my many outbursts during my schooling, he was the one that convinced me to become an Auror, to fight for what is right in the world." Lindsey's fingers clenched her coat as she took a deep breath trying to compose herself before she continued to talk, "I can't even begin to describe how much he meant to me. He helped me over come my fears and embrace them, making me stronger in the process, he taught me to accept my gift and not let it get in the way of life, to live life to the fullest." She choked, "I let him down though... I should have seen it coming... I should have seen what was going to happen... I should have prevented us from standing here right now, mourning... I hope that where ever he is right now, he can forgive me for not saving him... forgiving me when I can't even forgive myself..." The tears were now flowing freely down her face. The torment she was feeling was taking over everything, “I’ll... miss..." Lindsey couldn't finish what she was saying through her tears, the grief was to powerful for her, she ran off the stage not even finishing, towards the hidden area at the edge of the garden, out of sight. Her body slumped down into an sitting up fetal position hidden in the tiny clearing surrounded by trees. The only thing that could be heard was her muffled sobs.

The witch was hidden near the back of the crowd wearing all black. Normally for a funeral she would have worn a robe, but Joseph knew she was more comfortable in muggle clothing. Flara was wearing a black long sleeved dress that hugged her body and reached her knees with a pair of simple black heels. Her hair was worn down and as she leaned forward it covered her face. Her eyes were red and her face swollen. She had been sobbing almost non stop since seeing his portrait come to life before her eyes. So now she was at his funeral waiting to give the final speech.

Flara watched as others went up and spoke there memories. The tears creeping from her eyes fell faster. There was no way to avoid them. Joseph was her best friend. He had been there with her at the school since she first walked through the doors. He had made her his Deputy and his second in command for the Order. And even when she had no idea who she was, he was still there standing beside her believing that she would regain the lost. There had come a time where she fled the school, but still Joseph supported her. So she had returned to Hogwarts, with most of her memories restored to run the school while he was ill. But to the witch it had always been temporary. Because who other than Joseph could truly run Hogwarts?

Now she stood in the back of a crowd of mourners as the official Headmistress. Though in her mind the position should have gone to Sasha by all rights. The pair had not spoken much since everything had come to pass and she wondered how the other woman felt about the situation. Flara took a few deep breaths as she prepared to make her way forward to close out the ceremony. She ran her hands through her hair before wiping her eyes on her sleeve. She had wanted to look composed when she went before the crowd, but it was obvious now that would not be happening. As she walked up the aisle her heels clicked on the ground. Flara kept her eyes trained on the ground before her as she tried to pull herself together. She though she succeeded, until she began to speak.

"Joseph is," The woman paused her voice breaking and fresh tears spilling from her eyes, "I mean, Joseph was my best friend. He was an amazing man who always did what he could to help others. I would know, he always helped me." Her solemn gaze scanned the crowd. A few faces stood out briefly before melting into the blur of mourners. "I can not think of another person in this world who stood up for what was right more than him. Many of us would not still be here without him." Her hands were gripped on the podium, knuckles white. And the witch wished she had water to drink. But for once her wand was left behind. It was the last thing on her mind as she had prepared to come to the service.

"Anyone who met Joseph knew he was passionate about his beliefs. But he in my mind will always be the kindest person I ever met. Regardless of the situation he was always there for people. Standing here today is the last thing I ever wanted." By this point the witch was sobbing again, so she decided to end her speech, "I wish it could have been me."

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