The Human Stain
By Anna Kate
everyone who helped me on this;
Jon W-H, Lisa H, Anou W-B, Stya W-H, Ti T, Anastasia S, James B, Amy W, Laura W, Zoë H, Erin H, Annabel J, Phoebe R,
Bella C, Imo T, Hannah G, Harriet M,
Karis H & Clare I
Thank you all!
Epilogue- Snow Drop
Love of mine,
Someday you will die,
But I'll be close behind,
And follow you into the dark.
No blinding lights,
Or tunnels to gates of white,
Just our hands clasped so tight,
Waiting for the hint of a spark.
-I'll follow you into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie
Sitting in front of a mirror, he picked up the hair ornament. It was made of jade, with a mother-of-pearl lily on it. It was a wonderful, pretty thing. Something to be treasured. The lily was traced with gold and the design of it matched those on the cuffs of his white robe.
There was a knock on the door.
"You ready?" a slim girl with long ringletted black hair poked her head round the door. He turned to look at her. "You look great." She told him, grinning. He looked down at himself.
"Do you think so?" he glanced back up at the mirror. "I think I look like I'm about to be sick." He said and she laughed. She walked into the room and took his hands in her own small, slim ones.
"You look amazing Draco," she kissed him on the cheek, then noticed the hair ornament. "Here, let me put this on." She took it out of his hands and he turned around, facing the mirror. Pulling his hair back on both sides, Claudia slid the hair ornament down so that it gripped his hair in place. Draco looked at himself in the mirror. Fourty-four years old and getting married for the second time.
He really was getting too old for this.
"Perfect." Claudia whispered and Draco nodded, feeling his throat close up.
"What do you think your Dad'll think?" he asked and Claudia grinned.
"Which one?" she asked him and Draco laughed, gripping her hand on his shoulder. There was another knock on the door and a boy with short black hair stepped in.
"It's time, Draco. Come on Claudia." He offered his arm to the black-haired girl and she stepped away from her soon-to-be step-father and took it. She smiled and left him to it.
Draco looked at his reflection and frowned. He knew he wanted this. He knew this was what he had thought about for two years straight. Claudia, when Harry had proposed, had been 14. She was now 16. Tom had come to them at the age of 19, he was now 21. Outside, in the congregation, Merlo was fully recovered from his ordeal as Lucifer's captive, though his voice was still at the level of a whisper. He was 17.
People had aged. Draco had aged. Lucifer was still out there, still biding his time, figuring out a way to get past Claudia's defences. They would be ready for him when he came. Hermione, Ron and Harry had forced their old relationship into action, and worked tirelessly to find a way to defeat him. Claudia was in training with John every day, who taught her all he knew about necromancy from the talking textbooks. Draco continued to work at St. Mungo's, as the only living Natural Healer in the world. Someone had to do it!
Yes, things had changed. The war with Lucifer was even more real than before. The light side was working hard to prevent it becoming like the Voldemort war, where hundreds died to save seemingly one boy.
That boy was the man Draco was about marry. Harry had proposed not only because Claudia had bullied him into it, but because John had. John had spoken on 'behalf' of his parents and said that Harry's life was his own. And so Harry, one night in bed, just when they were about to hit their climax, had asked. Draco had been too shocked to move for about 10 minutes.
He had said yes.
So now, he was about to have a heart attack in the back of the Great Hall, with so many people outside waiting. There was another knock on the door.
"Draco?" a friendly voice that Draco recognised as Remus Lupin called out to him. Draco stood and his white flowing robe swept gently around his ankles. He looked at himself, one last time and turned to Remus. Opening the door, he took Remus' offered arm and began walking towards the open field of Hogwarts.
Stepping out, Remus took both his hands and closed his eyes and together they disappeared before reappearing in front of the ruins of an old cathedral, torn down 200 years ago but still standing strong, made of stone and memories. They walked towards it, up the winding path, Draco's long white robe dragging behind him slightly, but not damaged.
At the entrance, he stopped. He looked at Remus and nodded. The doors opened and Draco gasped. The cathedral had been decorated with white petals and benches and lilies were propped up against them. Snow was falling gently from no where, stopping metres above the congregations head. Everyone stood as they noticed Draco and as he walked down the aisle.
Glancing up, Draco saw Harry. He was wearing a light blue robe with a black suit underneath. His hair hadn't been tamed, but his glasses were gone, replaced by contacts. He looked amazing. Draco smiled as he joined Harry in front of the old stone altar, where the Holy Man stood.
"You look beautiful." Harry whispered to him. Draco smiled.
"You too." He whispered back and the Holy Man cleared his throat.
"We have been gathered here to day to witness the union of these two men in a bond of magical matrimony. Harold and Draco have made their own vows, which they will repeat now." He told the congregation and Harry coughed.
"Draco… 28 years ago, we were enemies. But something changed in you when we were 17 and I changed with it. Now, we're both older, stronger… supposedly wiser but I don't know about that," Draco laughed. "But every day, I love you more and more. We were in love once, and now we're in love again. We have a beautiful daughter," Harry glanced over at Claudia, who dabbed her eyes with a tissue. "And a wonderful life ahead of us. So I want to thank you, for believing in me, for standing by me, for loving me."
"28 years ago, if someone had said we would be getting married, I would have hexed them. But now I can see they were right. We have always been meant to be together, whether we knew it or not," Draco began, looking up at Harry. "Throughout my adult life, I have been looking for someone to cherish, to adore and you are that person. You mean the world to me, and without you I don't know where I'd be. I love you. And I always will." Harry smiled at him. The Holy Man began to speak again.
"Do you, Harold James Potter, take Draco Kader Sulwyn Malfoy to be your magically wedded husband?"
"I… I do. Completely." Harry whispered and Draco bit back a sniffle.
"Do you, Draco Kader Sulwyn Malfoy, take Harold James Potter to be your magically wedded husband?" the Holy Man asked Draco and Draco thought.
"I do. With all my heart." Draco said, loudly and clearly. The Holy Man waved his wand and two bands appeared in onyx and silver on Harry and Draco's right hands. They looked at them and laughed, grinning.
"I now pronounce you husbands," Harry and Draco didn't wait, and kissed each other. "You are now kissing the groom." The Holy Man said and the congregation laughed and cheered. Claudia gave a very loud sob and Tom patted her on the shoulder.
He froze, and then turned to Claudia. She frowned at him and held her hand against his aura.
"I'm leaving." He said and Claudia frowned.
"I'm going home. Back to Lily and James." He whispered and Claudia nodded sadly.
"Go then. I release you." She whispered and touched his forehead with two fingers. Tom bowed his head and suddenly he exploded into a thousand white butterflies, which flew throughout the congregation and disturbed the kissing couple. Giving a gasp, Draco looked at them butterflies and one landed on his rings. He grinned down at it, and swore he saw it smirk, before it flew up, up and away.
Author's note: The final chapter! The Human Stain is officially finished! It's sad, isn't it?
The next in this trilogy, should be out after Halloween. I'm starting it, but I want to take a break before. The title is The Human Emotion if anyone is interested. And it should be interesting.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this, as much as I did writing it.
See y'all soon!