A/N: This is the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Guardians of the Veil! Thirty-three chapters and nearly five years (Jesus, I was fourteen when I started writing this). Anyway, I'm leaving to go out of town tomorrow and figured I should upload before I go.
I told myself I'd finish it, if anything to prove that I could, and I did. I feel this is a major accomplishment for me. My writing has really changed since I started this story and I'm still fixing up old chapters to repost.
One thing to keep in mind, Neville and Irma are still not boyfriend/girlfriend at this point. Also, Draco doesn't want it. I don't really picture him as the kind of guy who'd do it before marriage, he just wants some action.
And thank you, of course, to all my readers and especially my reviewers!
Will closed and locked her trunk with a sigh, gazing around the sixth year Gryffindor girls' dormitory, burning every little detail into her mind.
How strange would it be to go home to her mother's tiny apartment, to her tiny room, without Lavender and Pavarti's quiet giggling in the room? Without Hermione's quill scratching at two in the morning? Without Elyon and Cornelia only feet away from her to keep her company?
"I'll miss it too." Cornelia said, brushing the red cloth curtains by the only window with her hand.
"It's going to be a long summer." Will sighed, picking up her trunk. "I guess we better go now."
Cornelia picked up her own trunk, paused, and looked curiously at Will.
"I just realized we aren't going to be able to write to anyone."
Will nodded. "Yeah, it'll be hard, not knowing what's going on, what everyone's doing. At least you and Elyon will be able to keep in contact with the… really important people."
Cornelia shook her head. "Elyon told me she's not going to visit Malfoy over the summer, she says it probably wouldn't be good for him after his sentencing."
Will chewed her bottom lip. "I hope he doesn't get Azkaban…"
Silence fell and the two friends stepped out of the room, looking back a final time before closing the door and knowing they wouldn't see it again for another two months.
Elyon didn't protest to the gentle but firm hand that took her shoulder and turned her around. She had come to the dungeons to find him.
"Store room, it's private." Draco Malfoy whispered.
Elyon followed him silently, mounting her courage to do what she had decided to do a week ago.
Malfoy closed the door, turned to her, ice blue eyes sincere. "I've gotten my punishment. It's all been very low key, thanks to Dumbledore, none of the other Slytherin's know about it, my betrayal, I mean."
Elyon stood silently, waiting.
"I'm going to an apartment in London, almost next door to the Ministry. I'll be under house arrest for the summer, but I'll be allowed to come back here for school in September. No contact with anyone all summer. I think Dumbledore's the reason I got off so lightly…"
Elyon didn't answer.
"It's going to be hard for you, if you stay with me…"
"We'll get through it." Elyon stated boldly.
"I'm a criminal."
"No you're not."
"I'm always going to be hated."
"Not in my world."
"I meant that literally, Draco." Elyon interrupted firmly.
"You mean… The other side?" The surprise in his voice was evident.
"No one will know, no one will care." Elyon answered.
Malfoy was silent, thinking.
Elyon waited patiently, her hands at her sides.
"No?" Elyon blinked in shock.
"No, I have to make amends here." Malfoy replied.
Malfoy hugged her fiercely. "But after I serve my time, after next year, I'll go with you then, when I can stay."
Elyon sighed. "I had to give it a shot."
"I wouldn't done it too, if you and your damned goody two shoe personality hadn't rubbed off on me."
"Don't be too good Draco, I like that part of you a little bit." Elyon said with a smile.
He gave her a smile in return and then kissed her, a hand on her cheek.
She accepted, returned it, but backed away when he asked for more passion.
"Aw, come on." He whispered teasingly, his arms still around her.
"I have to put up some limits Draco. That was only our first kiss."
Draco was silent, but kissed her again, not deepening it any more than she liked. "One more thing, I'm going to act like I don't have much to do with you in public, at least, make it look like we're not together."
"I understand." Elyon said with a small smile, and meant it.
"Sit with me on the train though?"
They exited the storeroom and Elyon immediately turned bright red because Cedric was standing outside, arms folded, scanning the passing Slytherins intently. His eyes moved to Elyon and she saw a frown pass over his face as he strode toward them.
"My lady-" Cedric began.
"Elyon." She said automatically.
"My lady, Mr. Malfoy." Cedric repeated, ignoring Elyon.
Elyon sighed and Malfoy gave a curt nod, obviously uncomfortable.
"That was a… rather disgraceful way to conduct yourselves."
"Like anyone cares." Malfoy grumbled loud enough for Cedric to hear.
Cedric narrowed his eyes at Malfoy. "I see I shall have to watch you two closely. I will accompany you on the train."
"Cedric, that's not-" Elyon started hurriedly, raising a hand.
"As you may recall, you gave me authority as your advisor and I am advising you that I don't leave you unattended." Cedric interrupted with a frown.
"Even if I say no you're going to, aren't you?" Elyon replied in defeat, glancing at Malfoy, who was wearing a frown to match Cedric's.
Cedric said nothing.
"Very well." Elyon relented.
Cedric's face momentarily showed a look of smug triumph before he took on his usual cold, casual look and turned to lead them away.
Malfoy grabbed her hand, after making sure it was well hidden, as if determined to irk Cedric a least a little.
Elyon smiled, wondering how they could be so similar and why she fell for their type.
Will and Cornelia had just arrived at Hogsmeade station together and within moments of Elyon.
Both girls were about to go join their boyfriends, when they noticed Irma, Hay Lin and Taranee crowded close to each other, only there was something strange about it.
Taranee's face was in her hands, Irma and Hay Lin both had an arm around her, while Neville and Seamus stood to the side, looking awkward.
Will, Cornelia and Elyon handed their luggage to the porters and then rushed to their friend (Elyon leaving a confused looking Cedric and Malfoy).
"What's wrong?" Will questioned upon halting directly in front of her three fellow guardians.
"Dean." Hay Lin answered sadly.
"Dean what?" Cornelia snapped, the protectiveness she had for Taranee obvious.
"He broke up with her, obviously." Irma muttered.
"What? But they were crazy about each other." Elyon put in, looking confused.
"'Were' being the obvious word." Irma said.
Taranee didn't say anything, didn't even make a single noise, but wet tears leaked through her fingers.
Irma moved so that Will could take her place. "Why'd he do it?" She asked softly.
"He said he couldn't handle it, the-" Taranee's voice choked and muffled voice stopped abruptly as she fought back a sob.
"Guardians." Will finished with a sigh.
Taranee moved to hug Will, while Will rubbed her back.
"It'll be fine, you'll find someone loads better." Cornelia said, trying to be helpful.
"Thanks, I know it's for the best." Taranee replied in a whisper, straightening up and taking her glasses back from Hay Lin, her eyes red but her face set.
"Do you want us to sit with you?" Will asked, knowing that all of the girls would gladly give up their plans to sit with their new friends to comfort their long time friend.
Taranee, however, shook her head. "I think I'd like to be alone."
"You sure?" Irma asked, laying a hand on Taranee's shoulder.
Irma slowly nodded, gave Taranee's shoulder a squeeze and then joined Neville to board the train with him.
Cornelia hesitated. "Call us if you need us." She slowly walked to Caleb and spoke to him for a moment before they moved off down the platform.
Hay Lin was already gone, speaking to Seamus as they went onto the train through the same door Irma and Neville had taken.
Elyon was gone too, and Will couldn't see her anywhere within sight. She guessed she had gotten on the train already.
"You sure you're okay?" Will asked.
"Just go Will, you won't see him again for a long time."
Will gave her best friend another hug and squeezed her hand before she left to find Harry.
He was standing at the last train car, as if he'd been waiting for her, breaking into a smile when he saw her.
Will's heart sank even lower at that smile. She'd seen Dean smile at Taranee like that, seen him hold her hand, whisper to her. Now she didn't have that. With that thought, Will walked faster and settled herself in his arms.
"Will?" Harry asked, putting his arms around her despite his surprise at her show of affection.
"Dean left Taranee."
Harry was still confused. "Left…?"
"He said he couldn't handle it all."
All was clear to Harry now and he sighed, remembering he had put Will through what Taranee must be going through mere months before.
"All aboard!" A distant voice from the front of the train called.
Will and Harry climbed onto the train, found an empty compartment and sat next to each other, dreading pulling into King's Cross.
The platform was crowded with parents, and Mrs. Weasley found her children quickly, and began fussing over Ginny and pestering Ron while Hermione stood at Ron's side with an amused grin on her face.
The guardians said farewell to their friends sadly, Hay Lin, Taranee and Irma bidding goodbye to a large group of Ravenclaws, including Luna Lovegood, while Will and Harry said goodbye to the Quidditch team. Elyon was speaking to Malfoy, both irritated by Cedric's presence. Cornelia and Caleb stayed connected at the hip as always.
Finally, Will and Harry gathered their things and pushed their trolleys back into the muggle world. They scanned the crowd for a moment before Will saw three very unpleasant looking people heading their way.
"That them? You aunt and uncle?" Will asked, pointing at them.
"Yeah." Harry said bitterly.
Will turned to him, her brown eyes twinkling, and kissed him. She sensed his amusement at what she was doing and thought to herself how much bolder she had become this year.
"What the hell are you doing?"
Will and Harry broke apart and Harry took Will's hand as they turned to find Uncle Vernon's furious purple face leering at them. Behind him was Aunt Petunia's white, shocked face and Dudley, who's mouth was hanging open.
Will restrained a smile, because she'd gotten exactly the reaction she'd wanted.
"This is my girlfriend, Will Vandom." Harry said, matter-of-factly.
"Harry's told me so much about you." Will said pleasantly.
"She's from America, transferred to… my school because she's gifted." Harry half lied, and did it well.
The horror on their faces was incredibly pleasing.
"If you don't mind, I'd like a moment alone." Harry said, leading Will off to some piled high luggage where they were mostly out of sight.
"So I'll see you in two months." Harry said.
Will hugged him tightly, happy that he held her just as tight. Will closed her eyes and they stood like that for a moment, very much lost in it.
"It'll be all right, two months and we'll all be back together again at Hogwarts." Harry said gently.
"I wish there was some way I could stay in contact. We won't have any idea what's going on." Will replied, her voice muffled from her face being pressed against Harry's shoulder. "If there was, you could tell me if the Dursley's give you any trouble, and I'd be over in a heart beat."
Harry smiled, squeezed her in the embrace one more time and then they parted ways, both looking over their shoulders at one another for one last moment. Harry found the Dursley's right where he had left them, Uncle Vernon's face still purple.
"Let's go." Uncle Vernon snapped, starting off with Aunt Petunia at his side.
Harry and Dudley followed, and Dudley surprised Harry by speaking to him.
"Yeah." Harry said slowly, giving his cousin and confused glance.
"She… wasn't bad looking."
"Yeah." Harry repeated, refusing to let on how confused he was and didn't ask Dudley why he had said that.
Meanwhile, Will had found Irma, Taranee, Cornelia, Hay Lin and Elyon grouped around platform ten, Caleb and Cedric hovering close by.
"Well, it's gonna be weird at home now huh?" Irma stated more than asked, hands in her jeans pockets.
"For you guys maybe. It'll be pretty normal for me." Elyon answered with a laugh.
"That reminds me, this whole school thing has brought a generic age old question that I thought I knew that answer to, but now I don't think I'll ever really have the answer." Will said.
"What?" Hay Lin asked curiously.
Will gave a huge grin. "What does normal mean anyway?"
A/N: I know, one of the lamest ending lines ever. It seemed all right to me in this context.
Work on the sequel is underway, just don't ask me when it'll be up… I'm pretty busy so I can't really commit to a lot of writing right now.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed Harry Potter and the Guardians of the Veil.