Chapter Twenty Six: Epilogue
Their time is now as the masses gather,
They will love, and a new generation will be born,
And in that, their motivations will become clear.
Those in denial of our world will most need it
when the skies erupt and fire scorches the earth.
The western world will hold their own,
but victory is unassured.
Only with a return to true belief in all things magical
will our world be balanced.
Good and evil, black and white, East and West.
The power no longer hidden
will be the only defense.
The group that gathered around the table that night was sombre, yet happy. Those who had faced Mahood, those who had suffered at his hands, and those who loved them.
Harry sat at the head of the long dining table, watching them all, and wondering how he had come to be the person he was now. As he caught Ginny's eye, she smiled at him, and he realized how truly blessed he really was.
From childhood, he had never really had anyone to call family. Sure, the Weasley's had been there for him, as parents, as siblings, through the years. From the time he was eleven years old he had been able to rely on this family. And now, through Ginny, they truly were his own, as riotous and loving as he could ever have wished for.
Ginny and the girls, he thought, looking at each of them in turn. The blessings that he had had to lose her to gain. Dean's children, but his, too.
And their children. He looked to Ron, who balanced Jamie on his knee with one arm firmly around the boy's pudgy body.
Looking at Jamie's twin sister, Harry's smile widened. Lily Mione had stolen the heart of the least expected person there. Severus Snape held the baby gently, paying more attention to her than to his meal. Lily seemed okay with it as she gazed around the room, secure in the former Death Eater's gentle arms.
Arthur, seated at the other end of the long table, with Molly at his side, smiling down at his bride of nearly fifty years.
All of Ginny's siblings, all but Percy, of course, and their spouses and children.
Somehow, he had acquired a very large family.
And Hermione. She will take her rightful place by his side, to die together, as was meant to be, from the beginning of time. Hermione had found her place, next to Ron, and Harry had no doubt that in the fullness of time, the prophecy would be proven true. Anywhere one was in danger, the other would be by their side. He hoped that that part of the prophecy was years away yet.
Tonks sat, toying with her food. Harry knew that she found it difficult to eat at times. The doctors said she would recover fully, and Harry hoped it was true. She laughed at something Charlie said, and Harry was reminded of the young woman he had first met over twenty years ago.
Kingsley sat to her left. Kingsley, who had been her partner for years, and was never far from her side these days. Harry suspected... well... perhaps.
Luna and Neville sat together. There was another couple brought together from this. Luna smiled at her shy husband. They'd been married for four months now. Harry suspected that they'd be hearing another happy announcement from them soon. Luna had a look about her... but perhaps it was just happiness.
Colin Creavey sat next to Minerva. Neither of them had been there that night, but they were both involved. Harry had asked them both to attend because they were as central to it all as the rest of them, and in some strange way, were also family.
The program at Hogwarts last year had been considered an unqualified success. While the mainstream muggle world still hadn't accepted that a magical one existed, there were many within it that had. Over nine hundred people had been through the Hogwarts basic course, and almost one hundred of those had been asked to stay on for further study. In time, it would succeed.
Harry's thoughts turned to that night, the reason for this night's celebration, one year later, and what he must do. In spite of it, he smiled.
Those loyal to Mahood and the Dark cause were still operating. While the war in the middle east continued in the muggle world, the magical world had taken a bit of a break after Mahood's death. Harry knew that it was just that. A break. Just a breather between rounds. He knew it would start again, and soon.
Things must be done. This group, especially, needed to be told. They were not finished, and they must be told of the new prophecy. As he looked at each of them, Harry felt strong. These people were his strength. They were the reason why he fought, and would continue to fight, for the Light.
"Harry?" Ron looked at him as he lifted Harry's son up against his shoulder to burp him. Harry smiled at this. "Something wrong?"
Harry hesitated, not wanting to spoil the mood this night. Knowing that it would come... within the month he must speak to them.
But not now. For now, he wanted them to feel the peace that he so longed for.
"No, Ron. Nothing," he said with a sad smile. "Right now, everything is fine."
Thank you all so much. You have no idea of how very much your support and encouragement have meant to me in writing this, my first fanfic.
I promise, I will be posting in the not-too-distant future with a sequel, which I have already begun. Watch for it.