I pushed the thoughts from my mind as McGonagall announced, “And now I would like to begin the commencement with our House Cup Champions, Slytherin.” On those words the entire house stood in unison. “We will be giving special recognition to the valedictorian and salutatorian in each house, and then everyone else will fall behind in alphabetical order,” she explained. We already knew that, but our parents sure didn’t. I was sure mine were wondering why I was second in line; T was not very high in the alphabet, after all.
McGonagall cleared her throat before continuing. “Slytherin’s valedictorian- Artemis Fowl the Second…” Artemis took a deep breath and left the line, walking up to the podium, where he shook all the professors’ hands before McGonagall handed him a small slip of parchment. It wasn’t our real diploma; we didn’t get those until later. Once Artemis reached the end, McGonagall called the next name, “and the salutatorian, Audrey Taylor.”
I left the line as well and made my way through the line Artemis did only seconds before. As I shook all my teachers’ hands, I couldn’t stop myself from getting teary-eyed. This was it, and this was probably the last time I would ever see any of them, unless my future children got accepted here. Unlike a lot of the students, I liked most of my professors. They were awesome, enough said.
I went back to my seat after McGonagall handed me the parchment before continuing onto the next student, “Millicent Bulstrode…”
Artemis glanced over at me. “Why do you look so bothered?”
“This is it. We’re done with school,” I sighed. “It’s… surreal. Like… it seems like yesterday we just got here, and were sorted. And now… we’re graduating.”
“I know what you mean,” he said back, in a whisper. “But you have to remember, although this door is closing, another one is opening for us. We have our whole lives left ahead of us, for new adventures, new friends… in the end, graduating is a good thing.”
Deep down, I knew he was right, but I knew that this transition was going to be crazy for me. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life now that school was ending. I thought by now I would’ve had an idea. For a while, I wanted to be an Auror, but now that the Death Eaters had infiltrated the Ministry, I wanted nothing to do with it. Maybe I would come back and teach? But as quickly as that idea came to me, I shook it off. I surely didn’t want to teach snot-nosed brats for the rest of my life.
I looked up to see Malfoy crossing the stage. That was something I had never suspected. He was always getting into trouble; watching him receive his diploma was a miracle. Though in recent times, he had also calmed. Ever since New Year’s Eve, he had taken more care in what he did. It was great to see him and Artemis both make the one-eighty’s they did.
As McGonagall continued, I looked out into the crowd. There was so many people, happy parents, siblings, grandparents. It wasn’t often you saw this many witches and wizards gathered in one place. It was crazy. I was surprised they were all able to even fit inside. Soon after, McGonagall finished reading the Slytherin graduates names, and had moved onto Gryffindor. Hermione Granger was their valedictorian, which was not surprising. She had been since year one.