apparates with all the cast that ever played in her two stories Yes, we have come for the grand epilogue! Snape and Remus flank her, Dumbledore makes sure the decorations are all up and perfect, Harry fidgets bashfully
Actually you have my mother to thank for this, because she asked me to do a certain courtesy to Harry, and I need a break after the first 100 pages of my original story (things are getting really hairy in that one! hehe).
WARNING: This takes place quite a few years after the end of GWTT2, so expect everyone to be OOC. People evolve, and these are Voldy-less times. Enter at your own risk. You have been warned.
So, without any more ado: drumroll EPILOGUE! hit play
It was Spring. Everything smelled beautifully, the songs of birds chirping and relishing in the great rejuvenation of Nature elevating even the most burdened souls. It was also a day for an outing to Hogsmeade for the student body of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Although the students went, although they raided every candy shop and gift shop, they did not linger in the pubs or tea parlours nor did they waste any time returning back to Hogwarts. An odd tension, an apprehension wafted in the air, from the youngest first-year to the oldest seventh year. They were not the only ones, either. The professors were, too, anxious. They hadn't been this edgy and fidgety in all the swift years that had passed since Voldemort's demise.
Everything showed that this week was going to be terribly important, and everyone failed completely to pretend that it was just a week like every other. It was Wednesday morning when Severus Snape walked in the Potions classroom with his cloak billowing around him as usual and his cutting remark of 'any incessant noise will deplete the point reservoir of your house'. It was 2nd years Gryffindors and Slytherins (tradition was something very hard to shed, after all), and they were all ready in getting out their ingredients.
Snape watched the class, his frustration mounting. They were obviously not the least beat focused on what they were doing- even his best ones in this class were making a hack job of their roots. When halfway into the period he had to charm away 4 melting cauldrons and contain an explosion, he growled at the class.
"Much as I would love to chalk up the death of your intellect to spring, I can't bring myself to blame nature for your incompetence. What in Merlin's name is going on with you today?" his voice hissed across, admonishing the students who rigidly put down whatever they were holding and stared at him like little blinking owls. One student dared raise her hand. Of course it would be the youngest Weasley to come to Hogwarts- Emma Weasley, daughter of Ron and Hermione, and a nightmarish combination of her parents.
"Yes, Miss Weasley?" Snape asked, folding his arms on his chest to complete the towering effect. Much as his terrifying act had significantly diminished over the decade, he still found that a little discipline never hurt. The red-haired girl asked with the boldness of her mother:
"Professor Snape, today is the day Professor Potter stops teaching DADA, isn't it? My little brother said that Professor Lupin taught class this morning instead of him."
"It is very reassuring to see that gossiping never fails to blossom in your brother, Miss Weasley. No, Professor Potter won't stop teaching. He is not even leaving the castle," Snape said, and squinted his eyes over the students.
"Why would Professor Potter's whereabouts be such a distracting agent for you?"
"Will he finally be able to see again?" piped up another student.
"That is the whole point of what we are doing, isn't it?" Snape asked sardonically. A pause fell over the classroom, and Snape sighed. He too didn't feel up to a lesson, and since it had failed to provide the slight refuge before he had to go and make Harry swallow yet another odd concoction and watch him be hopeful, then disappointed at the outcome, he saw no point in continuing it today.
"I think it is best for humanity in general that we postpone the practical part of this lesson for later. I expect 6 feet of parchment on the uses of the potion you so dreadfully ruined as well as a detailed description of the proper way to brew it by Monday. Class dismissed."
The students rushed out happily, and Snape wondered whether their concern for Harry Potter, the resident Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor for the last six to seven years or so, was just a perfect way to manipulate him into letting them skip class. Children had become far more Slytherin in their ways of thinking lately, and Snape had grown tired of being stern and utterly feared 24-7. Indeed in the years that had passed, and in his interaction with Harry and his friends regularly, he had learned to relax a little bit, to allow himself to show that he was capable of being human.
He had even allowed himself to laugh in public lately.
Walking up towards the infirmary, his heart picked up in beats. It had been a very long, very tedious journey of discovery to Potter's regaining of his sight. Up to then everything had failed. Many a time he had entered into terrible rows with Black over whose fault it was for the failure, with Hermione rushing in to separate them. That girl- a woman, not a girl anymore- had been with them the whole time, helping or, in most occasions, running everyone up the walls with her questioning and brainstorming. Harry had actually casted Silencio once at her, just to regain some peace of mind.
Sirius Black, with hair not-so-black anymore, was waiting for him in the entrance of the infirmary.
"This had better work this time, Snape," he said cuttingly.
"One thousand two hundred and three," Snape said with ironic humour as he swept past the animagus. Sirius frowned.
"What the hell do you mean by that?"
"Nothing, Black- I am only keeping up the tally of the threats you make before every trial. They have lost in their creativity quite a bit, I have to add; what happened to 'make this work or face your gruesome death'?" Snape said sarcastically, making Sirius fume. He grabbed Snape's arm, forcing the Potions Master to stop and look at him.
"I mean it, Severus. He has started to get tired. I… I am afraid that if this trial doesn't work, he will lose all hope of regaining his sight, and will not want to hear of any further experimentation. It was very hard to convince him to do this one," he whispered anxiously. Snape frowned, then hissed back:
"Merlin knows I have been trying my best here! If you think it is my pleasure to watch him go through every concoction known to man without so much as a flicker of light returning to him, then you should get out of my sight right now!"
Sirius swallowed and ran his hand through his hair. He breathed shakily and was about to answer, but a calm, velvety voice of gentle tones that always lightened the heart cut the two men off:
"Hey now- no speaking about me in the corridors. You are tempting me to come over there and eavesdrop. And you know my eavesdropping is an art!"
Snape thanked Providence for Potter's almost jovial comment and he entered the infirmary brusquely. It was not the infirmary of Harry's school days. Under Dumbledore's initiative, Hogwarts School had expanded, offering various Apprenticeships in Magical Medicine, Arithmancy, Dark Arts and Potions to name a few. Therefore the infirmary had expanded to a whole floor and looked like a miniature version of St. Mungo's. Dumbledore had resigned, to enjoy his 'final years' as he had put it with his family, and Minerva McGonagall was the Headmistress now. Still, he visited often and always in times where support was dearly needed by everyone.
"Far be it from us to forget the mischief that runs in your blood, Potter. Not even your job has quenched that," he drawled for the young man's benefit.
In the years that had gone through Harry Potter had become one of the most popular and loved bachelors in the wizarding world. The fact that he was blind yet leading an enormously active life had helped as an example to other individuals that had some impairment. In his early thirties, Harry Potter was a lean, exercised adult with raven hair that would never, ever be tamed and a pair of stunning green eyes that mesmerised regardless their immobility because of the rare mix of optimism and sadness that characterised them. Indeed Harry was eager to laugh and have a good time although one could feel the constant struggle with his very own demons, that Sirius in vain tried to guess and Snape never presumed to press him to reveal.
Harry had found solace in the class- he would forever be indebted to Dumbledore and Remus for virtually forcing him to take the job, pretending that Remus would be overwhelmed with the new Apprenticeship courses. He had felt extreme satisfaction to hear the students learn from him, to look up to him for guidance and reassurance and to consider him important in their lives. He gave his knowledge and support lavishly, and conveniently claimed work and other activities taking up the time for any relationship- he had not had even one and he had never felt the need, except for one brief pang of longing when Ron and Hermione got married some 13 years ago.
But that changed when she had arrived in his life, and she had forced him to pay attention to her.
She was more than a mere object of affection. She was someone that supported him, kept him from falling in the pit of depression- a task that Snape couldn't always do effectively. At first he had thought her to be a friend; like Hermione at best. Then, he considered her his very best friend. Then, a little while ago, he had admitted that she had become his soulmate, knowing everything there was to know about him- even the real story on how he got blinded. For Harry to confess that to her, was the highest declaration of love and trust, for he had thrown with that narration his very last defence between them. She had proven that he was not wrong to do so, and she had discussed with him until Harry felt strong enough to venture out to Surrey- a place he had not set foot at in more than a decade.
He found that Vernon had passed away, and Petunia sounded tired and shrill and aged to him. He had not touched her face though- he felt too disgusted for that. She was still afraid of him, even more so now that he was an adult and she was weak and aged. Dudley had left their home long ago to go to America, and Harry just didn't want to know what it was he would be doing there. Still, with her by his side he felt strong, superior, confident enough to forever disperse the nightmares from the summer he had turned 15. They had become a couple that day and it was because of her that Harry was now sitting on the infirmary bed, willing to try the latest attempt by his godfather and friend to restore what had been stolen from him all those years ago.
"Potter, I asked you a question. Kindly grace me with an answer," Snape's voice brought Harry out of his reverie.
"I'm sorry, Severus; I didn't hear it."
"What a surprise," scoffed Snape. Sirius chuckled.
"Don't worry, buddy; she'll be here."
"I asked her not to. At least… at least for now," Harry said quietly.
The awkward pause where so many things were implied about Harry's extreme agitation about what was most possibly going to be yet another failure was cut off quickly as Snape asked matter-of-factly:
"You have skipped breakfast as we'd agreed, correct?"
"Correct. I'm all starved and ready to be your lab rat," Harry said with a small rueful smile.
"Courage, Potter; at least you haven't been poisoned… too often," drawled Snape in his own sordid way of making a joke.
"Okay, Harry, Poppy's coming with the stuff. Make yourself comfortable."
"I am not stripping in front of you," said Harry incredulously.
"What a pity; but I believe that all your godfather is asking is that you get yourself on that bed. The potion will make you lose consciousness, luckily for you, which we will use to cast the charms required."
"I have a feeling this is going to work, Harry!" said Poppy as she came up to the group.
"Let's hope you are right, Poppy," Harry said shakily as he sat up in bed over the covers.
"Trust a woman's hunch is my motto," said Sirius as Poppy handed Harry the complex potion that had taken about three months to brew and more than 18 months to conceive. Snape wished that his energy and work would finally pay off.
The potion was clear and odourless, but as soon as Harry drunk it he felt as if his head was on fire. He grunted, clutching at his temples and felt hands easing him back on the bed before he completely blacked out.
"He is definitely resuming consciousness. Douse the lights, Sirius," he heard Snape whisper.
"Nox," Sirius' voice promptly said. There was a pause, and he felt his heart skipping beats. He didn't want to wake up, he didn't want to have to test if this had worked or if he would still be confined in darkness that only Sasha could for a little while disperse. Suddenly the whole escapade sounded ridiculous to him. Why should he race to get his sight back? Hadn't he managed beautifully without it? There was nothing he lacked, really; why put himself through all this trouble and turmoil? So he had forgotten what colours were like, reminded only when Sasha's eyes worked for him. So he had never seen a sun rise or a sunset ever since he was a boy. So what?
"I know you are awake, Harry. Might as well drop the act," came Snape's voice, reminding him of the other instance that this quote had been uttered, with considerably less warmth there, of course. He heart skipped beats. Perhaps, just like then, these words marked a transition from one condition to the other?
"Open your eyes, Harry," begged Sirius' voice, yet still Harry swallowed and refused to move, oddly anxious and agitated as if he had reverted to his 15 year old self.
"I… I mean… are you sure? Perhaps we won't have to do this, you know…" he said lamely, feeling his body tremble slightly. Demeaning though it sounded, Harry felt he was more scared of the moment when he did open his eyes than he had been when facing Voldemort in Stonehenge.
But then, a gentle hand slipped in his, rubbing gently in the way only she knew how, making him relax almost by reflex.
"You came…! Even though…?" Harry continued uttering unfinished sentences. Her warm chuckle was music to his ears.
"I wouldn't miss it for the world. Watching the Great Harry Potter squirm like in old times," she said playfully in his ear.
"It is just… just that I don't know… what will happen if I open them."
"What could happen that would be so terrible?" she asked, stroking his hair. Harry sighed, his eyes watering but still he refused to open them.
"You have nothing to lose, Harry. It is all going to be as they should be. I'll still be here… Sirius will be here…"
"For crying out loud, Potter you are a grown man! Everyone already loves you," snapped Snape with a sneer. Harry shivered, but managed a slight grin.
"Does that include you, Severus?"
"You're the love of his life, Harry, and he is fidgeting more than you are, so do the man a favour before he gets an aneurism," Sirius joked shakily, making Snape fix him with one of the deadliest glares of his Death Eater days.
"We are all here, Harry. If it wasn't the full moon today, Remus would be here too in person, but he is here in thought," Poppy added.
Suddenly Harry felt silly and in the same time enormously flattered and happy to have all these people around him, caring for him. I had said it well when I ended my first year in Hogwarts- here is my home… and here is my family, too.
He opened his eyes a crack, and doing that almost took his breath away- the blinding, blurring shapes shrouded in light was for the first time in nearly twenty years, perceived with his very own eyes.
"Well?" asked everyone in tandem, in various levels of hushed inquiry. Harry let out a sob, and tightened his grip of her hands. She tightened hers, too.
"I…" he said, and his voice broke. His eyes hurt and watered.
"It's okay, Harry," said Sirius soothingly, with a sinking feeling. Harry laughed and cried in the same time, blinking the tears away. He had been afraid that his mind would have by now forgotten how to see, but Snape had been correct when he said that because of Sasha, there was no way to have forgotten it.
"No, no," Harry said, still hanging on to her as if she was his safety jacket in an overwhelming sea of joy. "I… only need my glasses," he said and burst laughing, and with him everyone that was in the infirmary.
"We'll get you new ones first thing tomorrow!" said Sirius between whoops of joy and triumph, while hugging his godson and relishing in his eyes that were jerking here and there as Harry squinted myopically.
"Here, these will do until tomorrow," came the cool voice of the Potions Master, still masterfully devoid of any dramatic feeling, and what he tended to Harry made everyone hush in surprise and awe:
Severus Snape was holding Harry's old, black rimmed round glasses; the very ones that he had pocketed the midsummer day he was sent to get the Boy-Who-Lived.
"I still believe they don't become you," he said to break the silence. Harry smiled softly and took them gingerly from the Potions Master, his hand trembling only just a little.
"You kept them all these years?" he whispered, his eyes watering again.
"I knew there would come the day you would need them back. Merlin help us if you keep them though- they make you look like a bloody owl," Snape said and sneered, and Harry laughed, feeling fulfilled and complete for the first time in his life. He hugged her to him and she snuggled up against him like a happy cat. He sighed deeply, surrounded by everyone that he felt he could call his own blood.
Now he would finally start living.
There! My mom said that Harry went through so many things that he deserved to get his sight back, so I obliged her. Thank her, worship her for this epilogue!
As for Harry's pairing, you see I tried to please you all. He is a bachelor, but now he will be paired. Who is the mysterious lady? That is up to you to decide.
the whole cast and the author bow I hope that you are now satisfied as I have fulfilled all my promises to you (even the ones I didn't actually promise). Wish me luck! I am half-way through my book, and beta readers I have tell me it is quite good! Wish me the energy I need to finish it in time, hehe. disapparates with everyone else
This is Tantz (Tantz Aerine) speaking. I am posting this here as an Author's note because I do believe it has more chances of being read than posting it only on my profile.
First things first:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
I hope you get all you ever wish for this year, and the one after that, and the next one… and so on and so forth.
There is a statement, in the profile and the Go With The Tide II fanfiction, about my decisions regarding writing (or rather, not writing any more fanfiction, remember?). Here's me sharing my news with you then, regarding that!
I have finally (officially) published my very own fantasy book!
It is called The Art of Veiling: Awareness and is the first book out of three (which are already written and under publication).
It is my pride and joy, the work of more than 5 years in which I have really done my very best with characters who still hold me captive (much, much more than Snape did… you will find that most of my characters are far more demanding than he ever was!). I believe that they will be just as fascinating to you as they were to the editor and are now to the people who are reading it as we speak!!
I would really, really appreciate it if you would give it a chance. If you liked my style, if you enjoyed all these interactions I wrote between Snape and Harry, I am just trembling with excitement and anticipation of how much you'll enjoy my style when I go all out and use full power in my own universe. shivers Heh heh.
Plus, I bet you'll be surprised when it comes to Elves, Dragons and Humans in my world: they have never been described and developed in the way they have been in my book before! ( ---- this is another person's quote, not mine)
I know this is a plug, but I am also so incredibly thrilled to share I can't wait or be demure or something- I need to talk about this!!!
I know some of you wonderful reviewers have already tried it out and your comments have made me confident enough to post this here and be shameless in speaking about it!
(Thank you for reading it those who got it! I am glad you are enjoying it!)
Those of you who haven't, I am hoping you will! It will help me go on writing, and it will give me a chance to renew this wonderful relationship I have enjoyed through writing fanfiction with you which I am missing so direly.
The url to the site where you can see the book cover (it BLINKS! Woo hoo!), read the blurb and, if you want, order it is:
www . mindpower . gr / ennews . php (just minus the spaces)
If you can't see it, the link is also up in my profile.
I can't wait to hear from you! I will have more news about my stories soon!
Talk to you soon!