A/N: I read The Da Vinci Code for school last year, and one of the assignments was to write an alternate ending to the book. This is mine. It probably would have been longer had I been given free rein, but there was a limit to the length. So yes, it's rather short, but I'm also rather proud of it. Heh. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own The Da Vinci Code, nor do I own the couple of quotes in this story that were taken out of the book. I only own this version of the ending.

Epilogue

"Right," Langdon managed. "It's a date."

"Sounds good to me," Sophie smiled. "But you know what also sounds good to me?"

"What?"

"Sleep. You know, the one thing that I haven't been doing a lot of the past few days, as I've been quite occupied with other pressing issues." She looked at him sleepily, but earnestly. "I'm going to bed...contact me about Florence. Good night, Robert." She gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"Good night," Langdon said, as he watched Sophie turn away and walk back in the direction of the fieldstone house. He was extremely tired, too—exhausted, really—but somehow, he didn't feel like going to bed. He knew that he would have to deal with the consequences of his utter weariness later, but he felt as if he needed to stay up a little longer, and think.

Sophie's grandmother had said that she was positive that he would figure out the answer to Sauniere's riddle eventually, that he would suddenly understand what those mysterious lines referred to, if not the Rosslyn. Langdon, however, wasn't so sure. Yes, he was an expert on the connections between symbolism and art and religion and history, all of which were very helpful if not necessary in understanding the meaning of the poem. Nevertheless, the mystery remained just that--a mystery. For the life of him, he couldn't figure out what Sauniere's poem meant.

It's because you're so tired, a voice in the back of his head told him. Again, though, he wasn't so sure. He had been so positive that the resting place of the Holy Grail was at the Rosslyn, so positive that he had found the answer to the riddle and that his wild journey was over, he was finding it quite difficult to wrap his mind around the idea that the Grail might, in fact, not be at the Rosslyn at all. And that was a strange feeling for him, indeed—he usually had no trouble whatsoever accepting that he had been wrong. Upon finding out that he was wrong, he usually shrugged off the defeat and went about his search for the correct answer. However, this was different. Nothing was as it had been before.

Then, a strange thought occurred to him. It was almost as if the answer to the riddle didn't want to be found.

But Langdon shook off the idea almost as quickly as it had come. Ridiculous. How could an answer to a question not want to be found? Langdon might be spiritual, and he might be used to looking for things that other people might not see, but he was also practical. An answer to a riddle wasn't a sentient being; it didn't have desires...

But, part of Langdon's mind argued. The answer to this question is the location of the physical representation of the lost sacred feminine. The bones of Mary Magdalene. A lost goddess, in the eyes of many. She might very well be a sentient being with desires.

Langdon's mind felt overwhelmed by the very thought of it. Mary Magdalene, beyond the ages, thinking about how she wished for her location to remain a secret to him.

But if I don't know where she is, Langdon thought, frowning. That means no one ever will.

The little voice in the back of his head appeared once again, asking him, But would that really be such a bad thing?

No, Langdon realized suddenly. Maybe it wouldn't. He remembered the words of Marie Chauvel—how the Holy Grail appeared everywhere in the arts nowadays, and how she would never be forgotten, even if her location was lost in the depths of time.

And maybe, Langdon thought. Maybe it is a good thing for her physical location to be forgotten. She will lie in her final resting place forever in peace, undisturbed for all of eternity.

Marie had said that she believed that the Priory of Sion planned to never release the truth about Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Langdon had been shocked when he had heard that they never planned to tell the world the truth, but now he was beginning to understand their choice to remain silent. To reveal the secrets that surrounded the origins of Christianity was to uproot much of the foundations of the western world. Why do that, when the religious Christians had lived happily with their version of events for the past two thousand years?

But there was another reason behind keeping the truth about the Holy Grail secret. Something much less obvious and much more abstract. In the deepening night, as Scotland settled down to sleep around him and the stars began to twinkle ever more brightly in the sky, Langdon fully understood Marie's previous words to him for the first time that night.

"And for most, I suspect the Holy Grail is simply a grand idea...a glorious unattainable treasure that somehow, even in today's world of chaos, inspires us."

To tell people what the Holy Grail is, and where it is, is to end humanity's quest to find the impossible and the wonderful. Not only would it degrade the spiritual search of people for both the sacred female and male, it would make the trials and adventures of King Arthur and his knights meaningless. It would destroy the fun of the cowboys searching for gold and fame in the old west, riding their horses off into the sunset. The pirates would no longer have a treasure to dig for or a mysterious island to find or a wide blue horizon to sail to. The discovery of the New World and everything that came along with it would no longer hold the charm it once held for 16th century explorers. Neil Armstrong's landing on the moon would no longer be so magical and the study of outer space would no longer seem so fascinating. The unattainable treasure would have been attained, and where' s the fun in that?

Langdon sighed as complete and utter exhaustion beyond anything that he had ever experienced before suddenly washed over him like a tidal wave. His eyes felt grainy and heavy, and he felt as if he could collapse right where he was and sleep for days on end despite the going-ons around him—tourists coming to the chapel and all. Turning, he walked slowly and forcefully towards the fieldstone house where he could get some well-deserved rest.

Upon reaching the house, he paused at the threshold, turning to look back behind him first at the Rosslyn and then at the sprawling night sky. No, he would not try to solve the riddle. Not only to protect other people, but because he suddenly realized that he didn't want to know the answer any more than he wanted to forget everything that had happened the past couple of days—and he definitely didn't want to do that. Learning where the Holy Grail was would spoil his fun as well, and he didn't want to do that to himself. He wanted to continue to be inspired by the glorious unattainable treasure that was the Holy Grail. If the treasure was made attainable, much of the life would be taken out of, well, life.

That was why the riddle was best left unsolved, his questions best left unanswered, the treasure best left undiscovered and the Holy Grail best left hidden.

For she knows that humanity needs the inspiration to carry on through time.

A/N: I would especially like to hear what people think of this, as my teacher never handed back the assignment and I never found out what she thought or what I got on it! I like to know what people think...so please review? Pretty please? With sugar on top?