A/N:  Here it is, the last chapter at last!  Well, more like an epilogue really, but it works.  Now that this is over, I plan to go over Crushed Velvet and re-do some things that I think need work.  Some changes will be small and some large so stay tuned.  I'm not sure if ff.net considers replacing chapters as updated, so for those who want to follow my updated version, keep checking.  I'll leave a note at the beginning of each chapter to let you know that it is the updated version.  I have a few new things in the works that should be up in the future… um, 2 one-shots, a collaboration with Relle, and a new bunny that just bit me Saturday.

I have a new story in the works, a one-shot, by the name of 'Separate and Superior.'  It's about Remus.  It's a little unusual and I need some help in tweaking it.  I'm looking for anyone, more than one person preferably, to just read it and tell me their impressions on it.  If you think you have a good idea of who and what Remus is, and what makes him tick, let me know and I'll send a copy.  It's not totally done yet, but it should be finished any day now.  You can request a finished version or whatever I have now.  Thank you!

And, of course, a special thanks to everyone who read and reviewed!  Your comments really do help, so keep up with the great work!  I couldn't have done it without you!

Part 10: Epilogue: Say Goodnight, Not Goodbye

"…And I want you to report to Madam Pomfrey the moment you arrive," Sirius continued, helping Harry load his things onto the train.  "I promised her that you would."

"Yes, Sir," Harry repeated for the hundredth time that hour.  He couldn't help but think that Sirius was acting like a fussy, overprotective mother that would put Mrs. Weasley to shame, but he didn't say anything.  He knew that Sirius was only concerned for him… although for what, he couldn't imagine.  His minor injuries were completely healed, and the more serious ones were nothing but nagging reminders now.  He no longer flinched every time someone other than Sirius or Remus touched him either.  He was now taking this better than Sirius in his opinion.

"Lay down if you feel unwell.  And you'll owl me if there's a problem, right?"  Harry gave him a patronizing look.  Sirius' black eyebrows shot up at that.  "What?"

"I'll… be… fine… Sirius," Harry said slowly and carefully so Sirius couldn't claim sudden deafness.  "I'm not going to break.  There's no place safer than at Hogwarts.  The most trouble you'll hear about is me throwing Filibuster Fireworks into Ferret Boy's cauldron." 

Sirius decided that now was not the time to remind Harry of all the times that he almost didn't come home from Hogwarts.  Contrary to popular belief, Harry could manage to find danger in the safest places.  He put his hands on his hips and tried to look indignant.

"If you get through a year without having a near death experience, it'll be too soon.  Just take care of yourself, all right?  I'm rather fond of this parenting job."

Harry smiled at him, "So am I."

"All aboard!" the conductor called over the intercom, "The Hogwarts Express is leaving in 5 minutes."

Sirius stood back to let Harry board the train, but was surprised to be caught up in the boy's sudden embrace.  He didn't seem to care about the other students on the platform that may have been watching.

"I promise I'll be careful," Harry said quietly.  He knew he was probably too old to be acting like this, but he rationalized that he had over a decade's worth of hugs to make up for.  Sirius returned the embrace, mindful of the boy's still tender back.

"See that you are.  I'll have Hermione reporting on you."

"Well, bye then… dad."

Half afraid to see Sirius' expression to such a sacred word, Harry spun and boarded the train behind a waiting Ron and Hermione.  Behind them boarded Draco and his friends.  The young Death Eater shot a glance at Sirius, but otherwise, made a point not to notice him.  It would have been a perfect opportunity for him to jeer at Harry, but he remained silent and chose a box away from the Gryffindors.  His lackeys, Crabbe and Goyle, shared worried, but confused looks with one another at his unusual behavior.  He normally liked nothing more than to be the first to greet Harry and his friends back to school.

Sirius, meanwhile, stood there rooted to the spot for a moment, digesting what had just happened.  Had he missed something?  Where had that come from?  Had he transformed into a father and not even realized it?  He didn't know.  But that did not stop him from practically floating all the way home. 

Before leaving the platform, he caught a glimpse of the boy, his son, laughing at a joke one of his friends had made.  It felt good to see him laughing again.  It was a sight that he sorely missed over the summer during their brushes with death.  And it was something he had tried to cause every moment of their remaining summer together.

He would miss Harry over the school term, but he knew it would not be forever.  He was his forever and no one or thing would ever separate them again.  Not prison, not death, and not Snape's dreaded double Potions class.  It would take time for Harry to heal completely, and longer still until Javen no longer haunted his darkest nightmares, but the boy was strong.  Javen hadn't succeeded in breaking his spirit or his faith in the Light for which he fought alongside Dumbledore's followers.  He and Sirius were a family now.  And they had all the time in the world…

Say goodnight not good-bye

You will never leave my heart behind

Like the path of a star

I'll be anywhere you are

In the spark that lies beneath the coals

In the secret place inside your soul

Keep my light in your eyes

Say goodnight not good-bye

Don't you fear when you dream

Waking up is never what it seems

Like a jewel buried deep

Like a promise meant to keep

You are everything you want to be

So just let your heart reach out to me

I'll be right by your side

Say goodnight not good-bye

You are everything you want to be

So just let your heart reach out to me

Keep my light in your eyes

Say goodnight not good-bye


Here are some questions I should address before I respond to reviews …

If Javen led the Death Eaters to the house, then why did they pretend to think Harry was dead?  And why would they agree to kill Sirius, but spare Harry?

They received a tip anonymously.  They entirely intended to kill Harry.  Javen took that risk because he knew Sirius long enough to know he would give his life for the boy and would see to it Harry got out.  If Sirius failed to get Harry out of the house, then Javen's plans would have been ruined.  The Death Eaters really did think Harry was dead.  Only if you looked closely, could you see the curse miss them both by inches.  So it was as much a close call for Javen as it was for everyone else.

What would Javen do when Harry had to return to school?

Javen had absolutely no intention of allowing him to return to school for obvious reasons.  He was hoping that by the time Hogwarts opened, he would have Harry molded into what he wanted him to be.  He would just say something to him that explained why Dumbledore didn't want him back and why his friends no longer wanted to have any contact with him.

Who tipped off the hit-wizards about Sirius?

Draco Malfoy sort of let it 'slip'.  He's not an angel by any means.  But he hated Wormtail with a passion and felt he could relate to Sirius' situation.  He was not so sure he had made the right decision and while he never liked Harry or Sirius very much, if at all, that didn't mean he wanted them dead.  It was a bit of repayment for Sirius' silent support and listening skills.  It was also his headstrong and rebellious nature that kicked in too.

Does that mean that Draco will be nicer to Harry and/or Sirius?

By no means.  The 'death' of his arch nemesis shook him up quite a bit.  It made him see how real and close to home this was.  He never really wanted to see anyone killed.  However, now that things are back to the way they were, he will return to his old self.  To him, Harry owes him big time for what he risked.  And come on!  Did James saving Snape affect their feelings any?  Not by a long shot.  Draco is still public enemy no. 1!

Is Javen really dead?

I'll let my sequel 'Crushed Velvet' answer this question…

Now it's review time!!

TeamExtremeGurl:  Thank you and I hope to see more from you in the future!

Larissa Hahn: 

Moonrider666:  Thank you!

ParanoiaIn2005:  Oh thank you!  I tried to get a good bit of fluff in there without driving people to the dentist's.  And thanks for your thoughts about Remus.  He and Sirius are my all-time favorite characters and the insides of their minds are oh so interesting to get into.  Yeah, Harry does seem a little young, doesn't he?  shrug  That's one of the things I hope to avoid in Crushed Velvet as I re-edit it.  If you have any suggestions for the sequel, if you see some things that should or shouldn't be in there, don't hesitate to shout out and let me know.  I'll talk to ya later!

Katie:  I'm glad you liked it!  And that's the second good comment this round that I had about my Remus.  That must mean I'm doing something right.  He's so much fun to do, and I had hoped he would turn out believable.  The adorable talk?  I'm not sure what one you're talking about.  Hopefully you found it   Your favorite part in CV is when he makes Harry cry? Oo  j/k It's a silly promise to make, isn't it?  Oh, poor impulsive Padfoot…

ShardWing:  I'll BUMP as soon as I can.  blush thanks, that's really sweet to know I have a home on your harddrive.  I do that with my fav stories too.  It's always good to have something to go back on.  Nice predictions and you're so close if it were a snake it'd jump out and bite ya!  But you'll have to read the sequel to know for sure.  See you around!

Nuwie:  big hug glad to see you!  yeah I figured you spoke French from your profile.  I can read French only a little so I'm limping my way through your story :( I know I'm missing out, but I want to read it so bad.  Yay for abnormalness! waves flag And yeah I know!  I definitely wanted more Harry/Sirius father/son moments.  But I did like how she really built up Sirius and rambled on about him at times   It's the little things that got me to grin.  I'll check my email as soon as this is posted!  And yes, of course I'm interested in you still reading my story.  'Beta' is just a term that loosely means editor, but who also helps suggest things to the author if they have thoughts or ideas.  It get the impression that you know Remus' character pretty well and it's needed for this story.  It's not so much a 'story' as… well… you'll see.

Siri Kat:  See?  I can do things quickly when I'm on a role proud grin.  Hehehe, sorry, hun, you got the bug in my ear.  Now I'm off to give the sequel the same treatment as the first I suppose I can't blame it all on you… well, yeah I can.  Most of it at least. ;)  I love writing about Remus in case you couldn't tell. : )

Talamh:  Thank you!  I don't remember seeing you around, so welcome!  Yes, the title is from a song by Beth-Nielsen Chapman.  It's a beautiful song and I highly recommend it.  You'll have to read the sequel to answer your question…