Here it is, the end! I had a really wonderful time writing this story for the last 2 weeks and a really enjoyable time reading all the lovely reviews and useful inputs all of you departed unto me. Thank you for all your time and love, I cherish it all. (Not to mention that I had blushed more in these 2 weeks than my entire lifetime put together)
To all who ever reviewed for this story and to you who's reading this right now, this last one's for you! XOXO
Owls with pink hearts and rose petals to:
xoxoPunkRockRachaelxoxo, Lover of Estel, missgiggles12087, Elven Warrior 1 and centaur219
Year One: Fever (Up by Friday, hopefully)
A strange kind of contagious pneumonia-like flu virus hits the whole of Hogwarts, and its victims aren't getting better. Can the professors find the root of this problem and a cure or does Harry manage to stop it and further risk his life, definitely without the approval of his guardians?
With Time Comes Trust: Forgiving and Moving On
Sirius had paced the entire hallway from the bottom to the top, top to bottom about like, uncountable times, much to the frustration of the portraits and the annoyance of the gargoyle. Thoughts were running through him one after another, flashing on and on until he got tired but he couldn't stop them. He felt as if he was a hamster on a stupid treadmill.
After an excruciating half an hour, the door to Dumbledore's room had opened, letting out the Headmaster whose hand was on the shoulder of his Godson who had obviously had a cry. Sirius approached them slowly, unsure of what to say.
"Sirius..." Albus said softly. "Vernon Dursley's funeral should be over, I want you to take Harry to his grave."
"What?" Sirius said, not believing what he heard. "For what?"
Severus appeared around the corner. "Headmaster, you wanted to see me?"
"Yes," Albus said. "Sirius, Severus would accompany both of you to the graveyard."
"Are you going to tell me what's going on?" Sirius asked angrily.
"It's time to let the past go, Sirius," Albus said gently. "Time to release Dursley from his own Hell."
Sirius' mouth fell open. "You are kidding! He deserves it!"
"No, he doesn't," Harry spoke up. "He just wanted his family to be happy."
Sirius started to reply but the Headmaster shook his head, and he stopped. "Harry..."
"It's his wish, Sirius," the Headmaster said. "If it gives him peace, so be it."
Severus stepped up and took Harry's hand. "Then let's get it over with. Come."
Sirius took a look at his Godson's determined face and realized that Vernon Dursley had just let a precious gem fall from his life. Even in death, his nephew was willing to free him, to forgive. If it was him in the place, he would never be able to even think about it much less do it.
"If you want it to be, it shall be," Sirius said softly, surrendering to Harry's innocence and purity of his very soul to forgive the one who had made his life difficult throughout his existence for the last decade.
"Thank you," Harry whispered.
The St. Phillips Graveyard was void of living souls, only carrying the dead in its bowels, protecting them as they slowly turned back to dust throughout the years. Although proclaimed a graveyard, it was nothing like one. Lush green grass coated the surface of the land, and broad trees in strategic places sheltered the lost. Marble gravestones stood out of the earth, bearing the names of those forever remembered and cherished. Bouquets of fresh flowers lay in bunches in front of almost every grave for the dead was not forgotten by its beloved.
So desolate, yet so loving.
Vernon's funeral was held yesterday but not many had turned up. The Dursleys were scattered around the globe, and most of them could make it. They sent their condolences by cards, emails, and whatever they could lay their hands upon, and they were all probably written half heartedly.
It was true, they had never took the time to really get to know each relative well, bond or send good wishes every festival. Hence, they were blood by name, strangers to face. They each lived in their private bubble and if it burst...oh well. It was your business after all.
Vernon's co-workers at Mannings had attended his funeral (they left halfway when the priest was talking) and his boss dropped by to give them a flowery wreath. Marge turned up, she was the closest to them of all of their relatives, and she stayed with them at the hotel for a full day and returned the next. However, Petunia was grateful that she even stayed.
For now, as she stood alone facing her husband's gravestone, she felt loneliness building and a certain amount of helplessness she hated. Without her husband, where could she go? The house was burned down, she had Dudley to take care of, insurance to be dealt with, bills to pay. She was never good at anything other than holding a frying pan and cleaning the house. She never had to do anything other than that, and for that, she had to pay.
Dudley was at the hotel, he had refused to come out (it was too hot) preferring to watch the television and munch on expensive treats he had discovered at the mini bar in the room. His father's death was just a snap of his life, a slight disrupt in his schedule. He was no help at all.
Silent tears slid down Petunia's cheeks as bent down to knelt, her forehead touching the cold marble of the gravestone. "Why did you leave me?" she sobbed. "What am I supposed to do? I was never good alone, you know that."
She stayed there the whole morning, the trees helping to shade the hot sun from burning her skin, a soft breeze to comfort her as she mourned for the closest person she was to in her entire life.
Petunia wiped at her eyes quickly then turned to see who it was. "You."
"Are you alright?"
Petunia stared at her nephew for a minute. "Yes. Yes, I am. What are you doing here?" she turned back to Vernon's grave. "Come to gloat? Happy now? We finally got what we deserved."
Harry's hand closed tightly around the mirrors Dumbledore had given him. "No, Aunt Petunia."
Petunia didn't answer him and he didn't say another word. They just stood there, in utter silence for 20 minutes until Harry quietly drew out the compact disc and opened it. Touching the murky darkness of the mirror, he drew a deep breath, looked at his aunt's back and let the forgiveness flow.
The top mirror swirled angrily for a second, then cleared immediately, swishing into the mirror below it. The second mirror hazed over then the gray mist disappeared. Both the mirrors turned bright sapphire for a second then it disintegrated in his hands.
Harry opened his hand and let the breeze blow the silver particles into the air. "Rest in peace, Uncle Vernon," he whispered.
It stopped. Suddenly. It was over. Vernon felt a numbness start to creep over his skin, take over his mind and soul. The real death was here.
Petunia closed her eyes and lifted her head, taking in a deep breath of the fresh air. "Harry?"
"Yes, Aunt Petunia?"
She opened her eyes, remaining where she was, not turning to look at her nephew. "I'm tired."
Harry blinked back sudden tears, his empty hand falling by his side. "I know."
"Let this end, shall we?"
Petunia stood up and turned to face Harry. She smiled a tiny smile, a smile of sadness. Drawing her nephew in a tight hug, she closed her eyes and relished the warmth radiating from him. Harry raised his arms and returned the embrace.
"It's okay, Aunt Petunia. Let it go."
And Petunia let the tears flow. Tears of grief, lost hope, loneliness, and pain. Harry held her for the whole length of her release. She finally let him go, wiping her tears on her sleeve.
"I'm sorry, it just..."
"It's okay." Harry whispered.
"You are a good boy, Harry," Petunia said softly, rising to her actual height. "I'm sorry we didn't see that earlier."
"It's not too late," Harry said.
"It is for me. You have a whole lifetime in front of you, Harry. Live it well."
Petunia gave a last smile, then walked slowly towards the exit of the graveyard.
"You too," Harry said when she disappeared out of sight. He turned back to his uncle's grave, pausing for a long moment, his gaze touching each letter engraved on the stone slowly.
"Maybe you don't, but I do, Uncle Vernon. Not much I must admit, but I do love you."
Resting his hand for a moment on the cold stone, he turned around to see Severus and Sirius getting up from behind some bushes a few feet away. He waited until they drew closer and Sirius reached out to take his hand.
"Are you alright?"
Harry nodded, eyes on ground, studying the blades of grass around his feet intently. "Yeah."
Sirius' hand tightened around his for a moment and Harry looked up.
"Will you forgive me?"
"What is there to forgive?" Harry asked.
"I guess so."
Sirius cleared his throat. "So...are we back to normal?"
Harry finally looked up. "I...can you give me some time?"
Sirius wanted to say something in return but somehow his throat was stuck again. He nodded.
Severus touched Sirius' shoulder lightly and Sirius turned slightly to lock eyes with his former classmate before the Slytherin disapparated away leaving them both alone in the graveyard. Harry didn't turn around, but the small 'pop' gave away the fact that Severus had left. He fought down the sudden bout of nervousness absently.
Still holding his godson's hand Sirius started to take a small step ahead, prompting Harry to step forward too.
"It's still early," Sirius said somewhat lamely, watching as a sliver of silver tinted the dull blue skies marking the early arrival of the evening. A bird chirped loudly as flew past them, it's wings outstretched as it glided towards his nest and mate high above a large tree overhead.
"Wanna have a walk?"
Harry didn't say anything, but Sirius understood. Together, they walked slowly through the graveyard, ignoring the fact that the sky was growing darker by the minute, pausing now and then to read a few names on gravestones and using magic to turn some withered flowers into fresh buds.
Hogwarts could wait.
* * * * * *
Replies at the bottom instead, a suggestion from Miss-Cho-Potter (here you are!)
Hermione Gardiner, Krylancelo, Invisible Child, MikiBaby, Alynna Lis Eachann, I-Like-Chickens, TeeDee, DarkFelineHuntress, Eric2, xoxoPunkRockRachaelxoxo, Love of Estel, Japonica, magicgirl10, Nemati, Loopy Luna Lovegood, Thowra, Tristin Silver, Rin, MissGiggles12087, Froboy, Andie Potter, AthenaKitty, Lyss33, Ruby Chubb, Elven Warrior1, Rhanna, sykoticstalker27, silvernightshade, jeangab057, Felinity, Starlight Dream, purplefirepheonixx -- With people like you, I feel happier when my 'online time' comes! XOXO by the zillions to you through cyberspace!
-- The starting will be of Harry's first year. Boy, I just love
writing angst...haha! Thank you so much for your review, it warmed me from
Wiccan PussyKat -- Thank you! Cactus the Cat! That's hilarious! Ooh yeah, I just adore your trademark! Keyword: ADORE.
QueenRemmy -- Yay, little people! Sometimes I just think I'm using those to bribe reviews...haha!
Calimora -- Yeah, I tend to make him sound younger but oh well. Can't go editing the whole story :)
Purple Bunny -- Thank you! Philospher's Stone? I don't think so, I mean, if I do that it'll be like reading version two of JK Rowling's book. Won't that be boring?
Serrebi -- *starts heaping you with Cadbury* Chocolate! Here! Chocolate!
Tielle -- Ooh, love you too!
Hi  (...should get a beta) -- Hehe, let's skip the beta. I hate to mail my chapters to people then wait for them to reply back. I don't much like depending on others on when to post my story. Well, writing more will help me improve, no? (I hope!) Ooh, luv u 2!
Hi  (Look I reviewed. Goods. i like.) -- You reviewed! Woohoo!
J Wish -- A book? That's a hard one...*thinks hard* nope, I'm stuck. In which aspect does it represents life? The pages? LOL. How much can an 11-year-old understand? ^^; Everyone's telling me that Harry's acting a little under age, so I'm pushing the "smart" factor up a bit. Never mind, let's just pretend he does! Haha!
Gaia -- Oh, that, haha! I reread the chapter, found out what you meant. I corrected it :) Thank you!
Centaur219 -- *BLUSH*
Ash of Mine -- I tend to make my favorites a saint! *beam* Thank you! *bows back and blushes. Again*
texasjeanette -- Yes, they should spend more time together (secretly, I'm a big Severitus person...shhh) Thank you!
ParanoiaIn2005 -- *looks disappointed and drops the baseball bat* You sure you don't want me to smash them? :o) Well, you are the brightest bulb in my box! -- Sick, sick people I tell ya'--- That will be me...haha!
Cat Riddle -- *gasp* Standing ovation? *clasps hand on forehead and faints* That's gotta be the highest praise I've ever received...
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Orlandolover01 -- Thank you! [I like the way you keep reminding people to review. I think it's creative] -- I wouldn't exactly call that creative, bribing would be more suitable! :)
Wytil -- Now what? Now sequel :)
RosieCotton -- I'll probably make Voldemort attack in Harry's second year, I've got something planned for his first already. Thank you!
BiAnCaStArRe -- THANK YOU! XOXOX
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Alexis-Lee -- *shakes head* Definitely can't ruin a pure-hearted person!
Cruenta -- He's too young to understand? Oops, boy, I have problems with getting him to act his age! *nods* yeah, continue reading...and reviewing *beam*
SiriusGirl -- Confused? OH NO! *starts shaking you* DON'T BE! lol
fanficloveronunfairsite -- *winces and looks at book five in my shelf* Don't remind me about book 5; I'm still a little, if not much, mad about that. Thank you! You just called me amazing! *dances around*
Avvy Kavvy -- YES! Keep reviewing! lol
ERMonkey, Queen of Insanity -- He did abuse him, but I just have to turn the sufferer into a saint...
Yana5 -- What is what? :)
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Nathalie -- LOVE you too!
Serpent of Light -- Yeah, I do play (not liking it much, though) Take the idea if you really think it's nice! Tell me if you do, I'll trot off to read it :)
kikyogirl021989, SiriKat -- Yes, I've named the kitten! Check the next sequel for the *drum roll* NAME! Haha! Thank you so much! XOXO