An indeterminate amount of time later, Draco was pulled from the quiet solitude of his cell and pushed into a carriage. There were other people in there with him, but he didn't look at them, preferring instead to stay in his carefully constructed state of isolated numbness. He was sure he would achieve denial any day now.

Then, some time later, one of them poked him.


"Mmph," he managed, annoyed to have his private hell invaded so.

"Draco!" This time he was shaken roughly by the shoulder.

"What?" he groaned, startling himself by speaking.

"Oh good, I thought you'd gone catatonic. I was just saying, you do realise we're being rescued, right? You-Know-Wh—I mean, Voldemort's dead, apparently." This last was said more hesitantly.

Before he thought about it and realised what he was doing, Draco looked up and into the pale but somehow lively face of Ginny Weasley. "...What?" he managed again, blinking.

She regarded him sympathetically. "We've been rescued."

Draco's brain struggled with the concept of this. Rescued, from hell? But hell was inside his head, surely it didn't matter where his physical body was. Hell would come with him wherever he went; there could be no rescue from something which was a part of oneself.

"Oh," said Ginny, "We've stopped." She craned her neck to see out of the small window. "I think we're in Hogsmeade."

"Oh," said Draco. So? he thought.

Then Ginny let out a shriek which hurt his ears, pushed open the door of the carriage and leapt out into the bright, piercing light of day. Draco winced.

The other occupants of the carriage followed Ginny more slowly, then Draco was left alone, squinting against the glare. He was only allowed a moment of respite, however, before Ginny's arm reached in and pulled him bodily out after her.

There were people assembled in what had once been the village square; Draco recognised some of them. There was Snape, looking at once irritated and ecstatic when Ginny leapt into his arms. Molly Weasley, sobbing. McGonagall, with—With...


Draco's daughter was put into his arms wordlessly. He felt more than directed his arms to tighten around her, some disused instinct reasserting itself. She giggled, and bounced and smiled and clapped, and Draco felt suddenly, horribly overwhelmed.

Then she kissed him on the chin, and he melted.

He kissed her back, on the forehead, and the private hell inside him receded somewhat for the first time since its construction. And the space it left behind was filled with a sudden gushing of some new feeling, something which felt an awful lot like Hermione.

Hazel grinned up at him, and he understood with a jolt what that feeling was.

He was home.

The End

Author's Note: Yes, it's really the end. I can't believe it either. Thank you all so much for reading and reviewing, it always means a lot when someone takes the time to say they've enjoyed my writing. I've written a reflecty-type entry on my writing LJ if anyone is interested (link on my profile).

Otherwise, au revoir, mes amis. It's been good fun:)