Ed the Giant Raccoon: Thank you! I am thrilled. And I really liked your story. I'm thinking about writing a Fernald fic too...
VisualPurple: It ain't over yet...
NewbiaTheElf: Well, the whole quarter behind the ear thing was mostly just to show that Sunny is starting to act a little less like a fugitive running from the law and a little more like a normal kid. And, since she is a kid, she probably didn't worry about Violet as much as Violet worried about Sunny. Leave the emotion to Violet, lol.
Nny11: Now, that's when! And how long have you been hiding all those marshmallows?
Lady Emily: Yes it is sweet. And it is about time Klaus told Sunny. That's why I'm writing this chapter! ;)
Arden C. Evans: I'm not too sure what really happened to Fiona; my research is inconclusive. Maybe if I ever get around to writing that Fernald fic I'll find out...
MlynnBloom: Yay! –Considers pulling out her accordion but thinks better of it- I'm sure you're all getting tired of "Scream and Run Away."
Phoenix72389: I think I got the number at the end of your name wrong on one of the recent chapters...Oh well. Sorry! Anyway, I love Christmas too! 1: Because of all the presents. 2: Because the Lemony Snicket movie is coming out on the 17th of December!!!
QQuagmire: No, she didn't know in the last chapter, but she will in this one!
Thank you everybody! This is the last chapter of "After All: By K. Baudelaire," but remember, that doesn't mean you've seen the last of me! So here it is, as I promised you:
Chapter 14: E p i l o g u e
It doesn't feel right for me to end this story with thirteen chapters. You may have read the sad tale of my and my sibling's childhoods, written by a man named Lemony Snicket. He truthfully captured the tragedy of that part of my life, and, whether it was when Count Olaf was pursuing us, or maybe when we were first delivered the news of that terrible fire, he ended each volume with thirteen chapters.
I feel that now, the tables have finally turned, and turned for the better. So here I present to you an extra chapter, an epilogue, giving you a taste of what my life was like after I was reunited with my sisters.
Isadora has a magnificent house. It has three floors, a stately dining hall, an inviting parlor, and many other rooms. But I'd have to say my favorite room was the one with the Wall of Remembrance.
It was really just an idea we came up with when she first bought the house. We were unpacking her things, and we came across some old photographs, ones that had been taken a long time ago and were nearly forgotten.
Isadora, being the poetic person she is, started going on and on about how she wished she had some way to remember everything that had occurred over the years and how she wanted to be able to look at all the pictures whenever she wanted. So we chose a wide, blank, white wall and hung some of the old pictures on it.
Over the years, the wall, which Isadora fondly named the Wall of Remembrance, accumulated more and more photos, each one depicting a certain moment in time. Today, there are more pictures than I could count. Well, I could probably count them; it's just that I don't really want to take the time to number them all. I have more important things on my mind now.
But still, I found myself staring at that wall that one day, after we got back from France.
It was in the evening, when our Christmas party was over and everyone had begun to wind down. There wasn't much fuss over having a big celebration. No one had thought of buying presents to exchange. I didn't mind though. I had all I needed.
My eyes fell on a portrait of Isadora. She looked very pretty. I had bought one present: A necklace for Isadora, like I had promised myself I would. She really liked it. I think so because she threw her arms around my neck and begged me to help her put it on. It made her even prettier, if I do say so myself.
There were several other pictures I paid special attention to. One was a clipping from The Daily Punctilio, the photograph that was printed when our faces first appeared in the newspapers. "Baudelaire Butchers" they called us. I shook my head, glad that Duncan was currently working on another story that could change the authorities' minds about us.
There was a small group of photographs that Isadora had lined up in a special way. It was the part of the Wall that was used for pictures of those who were no longer alive. I didn't look at them often; sometimes it hurt too much. There was a portrait of the Quagmires' parents, right next to a smaller picture of mine. There were various photographs of different Volunteers, those who had gone missing in action, and those who had given up their lives for the greater good. To the lower right, there was a photo of my dear friend Fiona, a slight smile curling up her lips, eyes shining behind her glasses. Next to her, there was a picture of Jacques Snicket, and underneath him were portraits of Aunt Josephine, Uncle Monty, and Olivia, who was sometimes known as Madame Lulu. I'm sure there were many more people we did not have pictures of, but I guess it's a good thing that we didn't.
Once again, I pulled a small book out of my pocket. Inside it I kept several photographs of my own. Flipping to the picture of my sisters and I playing in the snow, I held it at arm's length, closing one eye and searching for a spot on the Wall it would fit into; the first side, not the part devoted to the Dearly Departed. It was about time I stopped keeping the past hidden in a closed book.
I heard small, quiet footsteps behind me. I didn't have to look to know that Sunny had walked in. Staring at her tiny self in the old photograph, I could just imagine her now, marveling at the many pictures hanging on the wall.
I turned around and casually stuck my hands in my pockets, waiting for her to speak. There was something different about her demeanor; she wrung her hands nervously and looked down at the floor, seeming to want to say something but not knowing how to.
Sunny glanced over her shoulder. I followed her gaze. Standing in the doorway, leaning against the frame, was Violet. There was a certain smile on her face, the first real Violet-grin I had seen in a decade. She stared at Sunny expectantly.
I was surprised when I felt two thin arms wrap around my waist. Looking down at Sunny, I put a hand on her head, still somewhat puzzled.
"I always kinda figured," she said, her voice muffled by my thick jacket. "Always kinda hoped I had a big brother like you."
Violet was still beaming when I looked back up at her. I suddenly understood. Sunny knew. She now knew that I was Klaus Baudelaire, her long-lost brother who wasn't quite so long-lost anymore.
Soon, Violet was at my side, and mentally, I placed that picture of us three, finally standing there as a family again, on the Wall of Remembrance.
There is a new photograph of my sisters and I on that wall now. It is a very recent one. We are at the beach, and the sun is shining. Sunny is grinning widely; all her teeth are showing. Violet's hair is tied up neatly in a ribbon, and she is smiling also. I'm not facing the camera in that picture. I'm looking ahead, at the blue waves, the seagulls soaring in the air, and at the future. The past is behind me.
Maybe I'll get that happy ending after all.
With all due respect,