Author Note: This one is for Wendy Waddles, Dontgotaclue and Elza who have been there through it all. You have been an amazing support and I'm more grateful to you than I can express. Wow I got a new reviewer since I posted my last chapter... Thanks Carin for stopping by and letting me know what you think. I'm glad you have enjoyed it. I'm amazed that you read through the whole thing so quickly. Now that is a compliment to me :) Thanks to another two wonderful readers for adding "Fire and Ice" to favourites lists: Mrs Spicy and Wilting Tiger. You guys are awesome. Thanks!
Author Note: This one is for Wendy Waddles, Dontgotaclue and Elza who have been there through it all. You have been an amazing support and I'm more grateful to you than I can express.
Wow I got a new reviewer since I posted my last chapter... Thanks Carin for stopping by and letting me know what you think. I'm glad you have enjoyed it. I'm amazed that you read through the whole thing so quickly. Now that is a compliment to me :)
Thanks to another two wonderful readers for adding "Fire and Ice" to favourites lists: Mrs Spicy and Wilting Tiger. You guys are awesome. Thanks!
Goodness I can't believe this will be my last ever post for this story. What a journey it's been! I will miss it, but I am glad to give the story it's resolution. Five years ago I never thought I would see this day so it feels like a big accomplishment for me. Thanks to everyone who has read the story and is still here reading this note at the start of the epilogue! You stuck with it and for that I am very grateful! I'm sure I didn't deserve this many wonderful readers after I took such a long break from writing, but I am glad that I took it back up again last year. It's been great fun!
Happy reading and I hope to cross paths with you again in the future. All the best! xxxxxx
~ Hail, Memory, hail! In thy exhaustless mine,
From age to age unnumbered treasures shine!
Thought and her shadowy brood thy call obey,
And Place and Time are subject to thy sway.
Thy pleasures most we feel when most alone,
The only pleasure we can call our own.
Lighter than air, Hope's summer visions die
If but a fleeting cloud obscure the sky;
If but a beam of sober Reason play,
Lo! Fancy's fairy frost-work melts away;
But can the wiles of Art, the grasp of Power,
Snatch the rich relics of a well-spent hour?
These, when the trembling spirit wings her flight,
Pour round her path a stream of living light,
And gild those pure and perfect realms of rest.
Where Virtue triumphs and her sons are blest ~
- Samuel Rogers
Three Years Later...
Long blonde hair shimmered against the dazzling white of the dress that clung to her curves and butterflies fluttered in her stomach at the thought that she was actually wearing her wedding dress.
"He's going to love it." Jez told Juliet as she secured the hem with another pin, shaking Juliet out of her reverie.
The blonde smiled at Jez. "I have no doubt. Your design is exquisite." Jez felt her stomach squirm with pleasure at the compliment as she recalled a conversation she'd had with Tamara long ago. She had told her best friend that her ambition was to be a fashion designer but that her father's sentiments had held her back. Now, three years later, she had decided to follow her dreams and Juliet's wedding was set to be her debut. It would be a momentous occasion for them both.
Finished with pinning the dress, Jez rose to her feet and invited Juliet to look at herself in the full length mirror that stood in the corner of the room. Moving tentatively, Juliet stepped in front of the mirror and gasped, tears welling in her eyes. Without hesitation, she pulled Jez into a tight hug.
"Thank you." Juliet whispered.
Later that day, when Jez had gone home for the night, Juliet sat curled up on the couch as she thumbed through a catelogue of flower arrangements. The door swung open and Draco greeted his bride-to-be with a kiss.
"They said yes." He said, simply, his cheeks flushed.
"Really?" Juliet exclaimed, dropping the catelogue in surprise.
"Yes. The Ministry gave me permission to create the new watch-dog department. I'll extinguish corruption from the Ministry, just you wait and see." Draco told her, a fierce tinge in his voice. Juliet immediately knew that he was thinking of his father, Lucius, and recalled his vow that no-one else would be hurt by men like his father if he could help it. She reached forward and drew Draco into her embrace, admiring the strength of his determination.
Tamara waved goodbye to Elizabeth as they left the Ministry. They had both worked hard over the past three years and were finally ready to move forward to new and exciting times. After the terrible battle with Voldemort, Elizabeth had been rewarded for her brave and selfless help in treating the wounded. She had been given permission to study herbology and aspects of wizarding healing in the hopes that a new branch of healing could be created incorporating muggle medicine that was soon to be trialled at St. Mungo's. Elizabeth had proven to be passionate about the prospect and was elated that the time had finally come to begin the trial.
Tamara, however, had been torn over what path to take. Her grades and her part in the war meant that she could have chosen anything she pleased. Her power and experience would have made her a good auror but memories had come flying back to her of how she had once loved the idea of embarking on a career as a healer, and her love of potions had also instilled in her a fascination with the prospect of teaching. After all, Hogwarts was still in desperate need of teachers. The battle had robbed the school of many of its staff members and replacements had been hard to come by. While Snape now taught the subject he had always coveted, Defence Against the Dark Arts, other positions had been filled largely by aging teachers who had been convinced to come out of retirement on the condition that permanent employees be found, meaning that Tamara could indeed choose to teach potions if she wished. In the end, it was this that she had chosen and at present she made her way toward the train station having decided to take the Hogwarts Express for old time's sake.
As dusk began to shroud the castle in darkness, she sat in the staff room with the other teachers, Snape sitting in an overstuffed armchair beside her. Once McGonagall had told them all they needed to know for the coming school year, which was due to start the following week, Tamara was whisked away by a teacher who was also starting this year: Thalia. After Professor Trelawney's untimely demise in the battle three years prior, Thalia had been promised the position of Divination teacher if she completed the required educational training.
Arm in arm, the two girls walked the corridors of the castle together talking about everything. They spoke of what had become of Harry his friends... Harry had almost finished auror training, as had Ron, while Adelaide had returned to school to finish her studies and was on the cusp of graduation. And though Tamara hadn't seen much of their old friend Hermione, the two had still managed to catch up on occasion and Tamara was happy to report that she was excelling in her higher education as only Hermione could. Tamara and Thalia also discussed the upcoming wedding between Juliet and Draco which was steered only too easily to the topic of Tamara's relationship with Snape. Thalia pressed her, wanting to know when they were likely to hear wedding bells for the duo. Tamara blushed and said nothing though the expression betrayed by her eyes asked the question for her. What did her psychic friend see in the future for she and Snape? Thalia smiled knowing what Tamara wanted to ask, and as she searched the depths of her soul for the answer they both realised that they didn't need to ask that question at all. Tamara trusted her feelings for Snape, and his for her. Not only had they survived the darkest times in Wizarding history but their relationship had continued to grow, even in spite of the long absences that they'd had to endure while she was away studying at the Ministry to become a teacher with Snape remaining at Hogwarts to take up the Defence Against the Dark Arts post. They had survived all this and Tamara remained as strong and sure about their relationship as ever.
Later that night, Snape and Tamara retired to their shared quarters together. With a subtle wave of his wand, Snape lit a fire in the grate which spread it's heat to the farthest reaches of the room, banishing the cold that hung in the air. With a wry smile, he drew her toward him in a tight embrace. She smiled back at him as she pulled him toward the bed so that they both fell into the blankets together, losing themselves in each other's touch with the same urgency that they had felt on their first night together three years ago. And as they lay huddled together they let sleep crash over them, comforted with the thought that tomorrow, and every night after, they would be able to fall asleep together all over again. Fire and ice had finally come together and the world's elements were balanced in perfect unison once more.