Disclaimer- Hello this is Templa Otmena and welcome to Prior the Incantatem (dot net…via JK Rowling)

A/N- There's not much to say here. All I can say is once again thank you for sticking with this fic. It is a story that I would have had to get out of my system anyway, even if no one had reviewed. But thanks to all that have reviewed for your continual comments and encouragement. ENJOY!

Epilogue

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

Dumbledore sat at his desk. He sat silently and still. There was no one there to disturb him yet still he did not move.

Perhaps it was tiredness that had finally overcome him for he did look so still that he could have been asleep. But in looking closer it could be seen that he blinked from time to time and that he breathed, shakily.

He had sat like this for some time and he was content to remain there.

But life had to go on.

Another day had dawned and with it had come yet more problems, this one laden with more than any other. And yet with it there came hope.

Dumbledore released a heavy sigh and shifted in his chair.

Their hope lay in the hospital wing, and through the sacrifices of others was he there. So much life, so much young life had been wasted. It could not be in vain. The light had to prevail.

The old wizard adamantly stood and no longer looked tired. The full strength and power of Dumbledore was always revealed in moments of stealth and conviction and this moment was of no exception. In that moment it could be fully understood why people said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared. A sense of power radiated from Dumbledore as though he was giving off burning heat.

And then it was gone. His expression relaxed into a slight frown and a tear could be seen trickling down Dumbledore's face into his long silver beard.

For a while he stood like this, once more lost in his thoughts.

It was the noise of hundreds of people moving towards the same destination that brought him back to his senses.

Life had to go on.

Another day had dawned.

Dumbledore blinked back his tears. He effortlessly made his way across his office and was at his door in an instant. He opened it and disappeared from sight down the staircase and past the stone gargoyle.

Another day had dawned…

*

Sirius Black fell in a heap to the ground.

'Humph!'

Remus Lupin appeared beside him and stifled a laugh. Sirius looked up at him and scowled.

'Don't you start.'

Remus once again bit back his laughter and helped Sirius to his feet.

'Well?' Sirius urged.

'I wasn't going to say a thing.' Remus half-heartedly assured him.

'Its been a long time since I Apparated…practice…see you do better…' He muttered.

Remus rolled his eyes as he waited for Sirius to brush himself off. He then narrowed them in concern for far from the first time that morning.

'Sirius…' He slowly implored.

Sirius looked up at him with a tired expression. He already knew what he was going to say.

'Yes.' He hurriedly answered.

'But…the risk, Padfoot…think of Harry…' Think of me…

Sirius exhaled heavily and shut his eyes. 'I know, Moony…but I have to see them…'

It was evident from the longing in Remus' eyes that he too held the same desire. But caution was there. He couldn't lose Sirius. He'd lost James and Lily all over again last night and to lose Sirius…it was too much, the risk was too great.

'Moony.' Sirius reached out to his friend's shoulder and grasped it tightly. 'Everything will be all right. I promise.'

Remus snorted and then reproachfully nodded upon seeing the serious look upon his friend's face.

'Right.' Sirius said, his tone matching his expression.

'It's this way.' Remus implored. He began to lead the way down the gravel path that crunched so loudly beneath the feet of the two men.

'I know.' Sirius quietly said.

Remus threw him a quizzical look, Sirius answered it.

'After I escaped, I…I came here first…I had to…' he quickly admitted.

Remus nodded and then turned away.

He always found it painful coming here. Seeing them. It made it cold and it made it real.

He had come here many times, especially in the months following their deaths. It was all that he could do for them. He couldn't have Harry. He'd tried but his lycanthropy had never left him in much doubt as to the outcome.

But he had chosen this place for them, a quiet corner where they could forever rest. He had not, however, been here since Lily's birthday at least six months ago and he dreaded to see the disrepair in which their grave had fallen into.

Remus shuddered. James and Lily had a grave. The thought always quailed him. He willed himself to look up into the morning sun to try to feel some of its warmth. It helped.

Sirius looked over to his friend. He smiled to himself. Despite everything that had happened Sirius was happier this morning than he had been in thirteen years.

This time just over a year ago he had not had Remus and he had not had Harry. And last night he had seen Lily and James.

Sirius could not even think of sleep for fear that he would wake up and find that last night had all been a dream. He knew that it wasn't but he wanted to enjoy the feeling and the memories for as long as he could hold them without sleep fogging them. Staying awake made the gap between he, James and Lily smaller as the memories were still so clear.

He released a sigh.

Being near Godric's Hollow again was so strange. Sirius felt that all it would take was for him to run back up the road, past the cemetery and there he would find James at his door. Waving gleefully with one hand and balancing Harry in the other as Lily enclosed his waist within her arms.

He closed his eyes tight shut. He would never forgive himself. But they had forgiven him. James had told him over and over as he sat before Dumbledore's desk that he forgave him, and that it was not necessary to seek his forgiveness.

Now maybe the nightmares would stop. Lily would not hide as he approached them. And Prongs would no longer run from him.

Sirius too found himself relishing in the sunlight but no sooner had he resigned himself to bathing in its warmth that he found himself before the grave of two of his best friends. His family.

Remus had abruptly stopped before them but now both he and Sirius edged that little bit closer.

James and Lily lay together, beneath the same headstone. Remus had wanted them to always be together. Never alone.

Their tombstone was overgrown with the thick grass that surrounded it and it pained them both to see it so. Remus fell to his knees beside it and began gently pulling at the overgrowth that covered it. Sirius lowered himself at the opposite side and did the same.

They worked silently; the only noise was the tearing of grass and the soft thud as it hit the ground nearby.

About ten minutes later when both were satisfied with their work they stood and backed away slightly, staring at what lay before them.

In Everlasting Memory.

Once more Sirius and Remus sank to the ground before the tombstone, this time side by side.

Of James and Lily Potter.

The images of last night blossomed within their minds, still crisp and fresh. It was a relief to have it so, to them both. It had been a gift for which they would be eternally thankful.

Devoted Friends.

The thought had entered both of their minds of telling Harry all that had unfolded.

But James and Lily had said goodbye in their own way. Remus and Sirius had watched them in the hospital wing as they had been with him. It was both a wonderful and heartbreaking moment to behold for it was something that they would never again see.

But they had seen it and Lily and James, in whatever form, had had that chance.

Loving Parents.

Last night seemed to have re-ignited with a greater vigour a flame that had always burned within the chests of Remus and Sirius. Vengeance. James and Lily would be avenged, as would the countless others. However long it took those at fault would pay for all that they had done. They would both see to it. Through last night their resolve was set more steadfastly than it ever had.

Silence had descended upon them, as it was wont to. But they were content with the company and the place.

*

Harry Potter lay within the hospital wing. He was staring up at the ceiling. He felt as though he wanted to cry, that he should cry. But it was as though he had been through too much to take it anymore.

The recollections were very painful. He wished that he could fall asleep again, forever. Just slip away, unnoticed. But he couldn't now.

Too many people had died. He owed them something. He did not know what yet, but he was alive for a purpose.

His most painful memory, perhaps because it was so fresh, even fresher than the events of the previous night, was playing over in his mind again. It was his meeting with the Diggorys that had taken place that morning.

He finally found the courage to look up into the faces of Mr and Mrs Diggory. Mr Diggory sobbed as he had done since he had entered the hospital wing. Every one pained Harry mortally. Mrs Diggory's grief seemed to be beyond tears.

And yet Harry found that he could believe them now. They had told him that they did not blame him for what had happened; on the contrary, that they were eternally grateful to him for returning Cedric's body to them. Their eyes held concern for him. He felt his chin tremble. Mrs Diggory took this opportunity to speak.

'He suffered very little, then,' she said, Harry had just told her how Cedric had died. 'And after all, Amos…he died just when he'd won the Tournament. He must have been happy.'

They sat in silence for the rest of the interview.

When they had got to their feet, Mrs Diggory looked down at Harry and said, 'You look after yourself, now.'

Harry seized the sack of gold on the bedside table.

'You take this,' he muttered to her. 'It should've been Cedric's, he got there first, you take it.'

But she backed away from him. 'Oh, no, it's yours, dear, we couldn't…you keep it.'

Harry squeezed his eyes shut and opened them again, trying to quieten his mind. He looked around for something to do to try and busy himself. His eyes fell upon the sack of gold to his left that now sat upon the chair that Mrs Weasley had occupied the previous night.

It glittered in the sunlight. He regarded it for a moment, his eyebrows knotted together in confusion. Something…something he wanted to remember…

He opened his mouth in disbelief.

His mother's face.

His father's voice.

Harry sat up with a jerk and looked around him. The memory was so clear.

His mother's face.

His father's voice.

He lay down again, trying to recall the memory. He screwed up his face in concentration but nothing happened.

After a few moments Harry turned his head to his left so that he was once again facing the chair and the gold. He closed his eyes and then snapped them open where to Harry were revealed eyes that were undeniably his. They were settled upon his face and filled with loving tears.

Harry's eyes widened before lapsing. He couldn't stay awake.

Lily reached out her hand to Harry's cheek and stoked it comfortingly. Harry mumbled something incoherent and turned his head slightly to his right so that he was facing the ceiling.

Lily looked up at James who was watching them both in awe. His eyes sparkled in the light that was pouring into the room. He placed his hand on Harry's head and gently released a soothing tone, meant for his son but that also succeeded in calming himself and Lily.

'Ssssshhhhh…Harry…Ssssshhhhh…'

Lily smiled and blinked back her tears.

'Go back to sleep, Harry.' James continued softly. 'Everything's going to be all right' He whispered.

Harry released a non-committal sound. He wanted to fight the slumber that was overcoming him but there seemed to be no point, as he felt safe as it took him.

His mother's face.

His father's voice.

A love and comfort like he had never known filled him as he drifted away beneath the light of the midday sun.

~ * ~

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening Robert Frost

That's it! I'm done! I've ended it and I'm happy with it…I think! The Harry ending was something that I'd thought about since I began. It, I think, fits in with GoF and OotP and yet leaves all of the issues unresolved with a sort of finality…I hope! *gulp* lol!

There's nothing more to say except to launch into the individuals…

Stinky Stan- Yup! It's ended! Phew! I needed to move on! I've been on an ultimate HP high since June and it has only just slipped. If it hadn't have been for this fic…and for FanFiction as a whole this summer where I could… 'channel'…stuff…I'm sure that it would have lasted for a whole lot unhealthier time longer…and with me when I say unhealthy I mean unhealthy! I'm ready to move onto pastures new…until huh hmmm…probably next week…cough cough cough…Thank you so much for always reviewing Julia!…get writing! *grins*

Mystic Catface- I do not *pretend* to be modest…this fic was a labour of love and enabled me to deal with a *lot* of pent up HP angst. Thanks for all of the excess reading that you have generously carried out! Forever appreciated! Now…run along you, you Great Orlando (cough cough…random Ned Kelly quote…but not…hmmm…) and get working on Where the Dead Walk…why are you even reading this? Get going…NOW…but seeing as you're here, you might as well review…*smiles sweetly*

Dutch Lily Flower- Thank you…and thank you so much for continually reading and reviewing. It made you cry? It was a distressing chapter to write. I didn't have a plan and it just happened as I wrote so I got quite teary eyed along the way as well! You be writing more so that I can read more!

Nitte iz- Hey! Thanks for reading and reviewing! And thank you more so for writing Hold Me While I'm Here. Now get writing more…

This Parrot has ceased to be- You did? I cried whilst writing this chapter too, more so than I did the last one. And no problems. I always try to check out the work of people that take the time to review me. Huh hmmm…please continue with This Way of Existing as soon as may be. It is well written and I really want to see how the your version of events and characterisation develops…may you connect with Peter *smiles through a cringe*! lol! Thanks for taking the time to read and review!

azntgr01- Thank you very much…and for taking the time to read and review. And…you get posting! I want to read!

Chocolate Taco- Yup! Closure is needed! Obviously not just for Harry but for us…we need it…cliffie too severe; Sirius closing-off-ingness is needed…hmmm…Thank you so very much for reading and always reviewing this fic. They all meant so much and I loved knowing what you thought! Thank you!

Captain Oblivious- Firstly, hey! I've just read and reviewed If You're Not The One…took me a while to get there but I made it on account of stupid schoolwork! Humph! And it sure was worth the wait! It was horrible to write for the characters (their 'deaths') but probably in a senile and deranged way I enjoyed getting it out *shrugs*…is that wrong? lol! Need to read more of your work…go now…

Aconite- Hey! Unexpected huh? Hehehe! I hope that it wasn't so bizarre that it was just plain weird! lol! Thank you. And thanks for always reading and reviewing, every one much appreciated! Have you got any fics up anywhere? If you have or if you are planning on posting any could you please email me to let me know, as I'd love to read some of your work! Thanks again!

Katrina Littlebird- Yeah…no Harry. I just couldn't do it, it didn't fit. I hope that the way that I integrated him and Lily and James was…OK *again with the gulp*…I'm happy enough but I'd really like to know what you think. Thanks for everything…all of the reading all of the reviews…*sigh*…I'm not all too fond of Brit schools either…*sigh*…

tv-fan-06- It's written! Phew! I finished…thanks for r/ring and get writing and posting ASAP!

Glamenessence- …it's posted! Thanks for all of the wonderful things that you said…very, very much appreciated…as are all of your reviews. Thank you! I am not going to write *that* quote, as you suggested…you're watching a certain something right now so it's of no consequence whether I do or don't! 'And then I'm gonna take that inch!'…you happy? Written by me but for you!

Also to Alphie, Authoress, The morrigan three, Lisa Meunier, Titanic-HarryPotter-lvr-2, Bessyboo, Crystal, Lily, James and Sirius, madabouterangelharrypotter and Justin11.

Gone overboard? I don't care! As my first proper fic I couldn't have asked for better or more supportive reviewers! And for one last time with the thank you!

Cough cough…review…cough cough…please…huh hmmm…