DISCLAIMER: Not mine! It's all J. K. Rowling's.
BETA READERS: Annie Talbot – thank you very much!
A/N: This is the Epilogue! Nathan and Trelawney take a look into the future of the Granger-Snape family.
The meeting with the other teachers had long ended, and yet his father was still in the headmistress' office. They should have taken off for Hogsmeade by now, but Headmistress McGonagall seemed to be having a hard time letting his father go. Didn't she remember it was still summer vacation? Term didn't start until next month!
It wasn't only the boredom of waiting that was making Nathan uneasy. He'd been feeling an odd sensation that seemed to be increasing in intensity, and he didn't know what to make of it. It felt like he shouldn't be there, that he was expected somewhere else.
Maybe a walk would make the feeling go away. Nathan sent a last look to the door between the gargoyles and started down the corridor with no destination in mind. What he didn't know was that his feet were very deliberately taking him somewhere. A light coming out of a door left ajar could have alerted him to his feet's purpose.
Unable to resist, Nathan pushed the door open and peered in. On a table sat a big crystal ball, shedding a bluish light.
As if in a hypnotic trance, Nathan was caught by the light and brought to stare at the swirling insides of the crystal globe.
"We've been waiting for you."
Nathan continued to stare at the sphere of light.
"The future wants to be unfolded for you."
"My future?" Nathan asked.
"Place your hand on the crystal ball."
Nathan did so. An adult's hand came to rest over his. He looked away from the ball and found it was Professor Trelawney's hand.
"What do you see?" she asked.
He focused on the swirling light behind the glass, searching. Three smears of light became gradually more defined, and bodies began to take shape. In another couple of seconds, Nathan could recognize his friends Kevin and Andy in Quidditch gear, and the third figure was… It was himself, also in full Quidditch gear, broom in hand. They were celebrating, he realized.
"I'm on the Quidditch team?" he said out loud, and the moment he did so, the scene dissolved.
When Nathan made to take his hand off the crystal ball, Trelawney`s wouldn't let him.
"What else do you see?" she asked, and as if by command, another scene started to form on the inside of the glowing sphere.
The figure of a girl started to form, gaining color as well as shape. Her hair was cooper, her body was lean, but a darker figure appeared besides her, making she look shorter than she probably was. The features of the second form started to get more defined, and Nathan was shocked to realize it was an older version of himself. He looked neat with longer hair. The girl approached and kissed him on the mouth.
"There's a girl kissing me," he voiced, shocked. Again, the scene seemed to dissolve with the spoken words.
"There's more. Look at it."
A white spot of light started to grow inside the crystal ball. It was, again, taking the form of someone. The figure was laughing, Nathan realized, and beside him, one arm on his shoulder, was another figure, another older version of himself. They seemed old enough to be one of the seventh-years, and they were laughing together. Looking closer at the blond lad, Nathan recognized him.
"I'm friends with Malfoy?!" The disturbing vision dissolved with the admission.
"Is there more?"
Many heads and then bodies started to become visible. The crowd was looking attentively at a figure in a higher position, a dais of sort. It wasn't Hogwarts, and the figure forming wasn't either his father or his mother. The man was younger than his parents, although Nathan was tempted to say it looked a lot like his father. Could this be a vision of the past? Nathan looked more closely as the crowd applauded the young man, and when the man smiled he realized it was himself. That took him by surprise. Lights flashed as an important-looking man shook his hand.
"I'm pretty important and famous," he said, admitting to what the images were showing him, and like the others, it dissolved.
"Do you see anything else?"
Nathan looked intently inside the ball again, hoping there would be more about his fame. The light re-arranged and lazily formed the figure of a man, and then another figure joined the first. This time, Nathan had no doubt the second man was his father, and in his arms there was a baby. His mother joined the scene, and Nathan felt an overwhelming urge to be with that baby.
"There's a baby in my father's arms," he answered the woman. Again, the vision dissolved, and Nathan felt a pang of loss he couldn't quite understand.
"Release my son right this moment."
Nathan blinked at the voice of his father, disconnecting himself from the glowing sphere. He took a few steps back from the magical object, and soon felt his father's hands, pushing Nathan behind him and placing himself between him and Trelawney.
"The next time I catch you using my son as a guinea pig, I won't remember we're colleagues in this school," he threatened her.
"The future wanted to be disclosed to him. The Inner Eye has—"
"Bullshit!" His father pointed a finger at the woman, which made her retreat in fear. "Stay away from us!"
Nathan was dragged out of the room and down the corridor.
"Do not get yourself alone with that lunatic, do you understand me?"
Sighing, the man asked, "What was happening in there? Was she hurting you?"
"I'm not sure," Nathan answered after some hesitation. "I felt the sphere calling me… I looked inside and I might have been watching my future, I don't know. I saw you, and Mum, and myself, only older. There was a baby…" The feelings associated with that specific vision were still clearly gripping Nathan. "You were holding the baby."
"I never hold babies, which proves that what you saw wasn't anything but another cheap invention of that fraud."
It hadn't felt so, but Nathan could sense when not to argue with his dad.
They moved quickly into Hogsmeade, where they were to visit the apothecary and then meet his mother for lunch. Nathan tried to leave the strange happenings behind and enjoy the day.
Nathan was getting ready for bed. It had been a long day, and he felt exhausted. It might have something to do with the crystal ball incident—it had drained him.
His mother appeared at the doorway of his bedroom when he'd just settled in bed.
"All right, there?"
She came into the room and approached his bed, visibly unconvinced by his affirmative. She placed a hand on his forehead, but of course he wasn't overly hot. There was nothing physically wrong with him, except for the exhaustion.
"Your father told me about the episode with Trelawney. He said there was a great amount of magic involved. Are you sure you're feeling all right?"
"I'm fine. I'm just tired, I guess."
She sat on the mattress and pushed his hair away from his eyes.
"You need a haircut."
Nathan rolled his eyes. "I've already told you that I'm growing my hair."
"All right, you stubborn boy." She said that and remained sitting there, watching him. "Are you sure you're only tired? Because you were awfully quiet all day today."
At his mother's words, the pang was back into Nathan's chest. A sadness he couldn't define the origin of took hold of him, and he felt like crying.
"In one of the visions in the crystal ball, I saw Dad holding a baby," he told her, hoping she would be able to explain why these feelings were assaulting him. "You were there, too, and it made me happy and sad at the same time."
"Oh, honey. Why is it making you sad?"
"I don't know."
"It was only a vision, and if I know Trelawney well, it's not even legitimate. Don't let it get to you, okay? I hate to see you sad."
"I'll hex Trelawney next time I see her." Nathan hadn't noticed that his dad had been listening to the conversation from the doorway. He was now approaching the bed, too.
"It's not going away, is it?" his mother asked, and Nathan shook his head.
"All right, so what do we do about it?" she enquired with a hand resting on his chest.
Nathan closed his eyes and tried to reason his feelings and thoughts. "You like each other, don't you?" he asked his parents.
"We do," his mother answered for both of them.
"If you like him, and he likes you back, why didn't you stay together when I was born?"
"It wasn't as simple as that." His mother's hand made circles on his chest. "Your father and I… We were just leaving a war behind us."
"I didn't have a place for a family in my life back then. Your mother made the right decision when she took you away," his father chimed in.
"I wish she hadn't," Nathan insisted, still unsure of why it was so important to make them understand. But it seemed it wouldn't be an easy task; his father was shaking his head in disagreement.
"You wouldn't if you had met me then. Take my word for it, Son, I'd have made you both miserable if she had stayed," he argued.
Nathan had held his tears as hard as he could, but the overwhelming feelings were too strong.
"But why? Don't you love us?"
"I love you like I never thought I'd love anyone," his father confessed with all sincerity in his eyes. "I wouldn't have known this, twelve years ago," he completed. He looked at his mother; she was shedding silent tears, too. "Your mother knew that."
"I missed you," Nathan continued. "I watched all my friends with their dads, and I had only Mum. It wasn't fair."
"No, it wasn't," his mother agreed. "I'm very sorry for that."
"You could have at least told me he existed." He lapsed into the old argument, his voice wet with tears.
She bent and kissed his forehead.
"Shhh. No more crying about it," she whispered against his skin. "It's the past, now. Shhhh."
Severus sat on his other side on the bed. "I'm here, now." Nathan threw himself into his father's arms. "I'm here. I'm not going anywhere."
Hermione came behind Nathan and hugged them both. "We're all here, and if it's love keeping us together, then we'll be like this for as long as I live."
~ THE END ~
A/N: I'd like to thank from the bottom of my heart every single person who has got this far and finished reading this story. It's been to me a long and fulfilling journey to write and share these words with all of you.
Nathan, Severus, and Hermione were living entities in my mind for more than seven years, and I'll miss them very much now that I won't be writing about them every day. Nathan, in particular, will always be my baby, even if I had to give him to Hermione. ~lol~
Also part of this journey were all the reviewers, cheerleaders, archive mods, and of course, my beta-readers. I had the luck to have the help of wonderful ladies such as SnarkyRoxy, Poultrygeist, GinnyW, Indigofeathers, Annie Talbot, and the Snapetes. Thank you so very much! I could not have done this without you.