Here it is: the FINAL chapter of The Bond! Information about a sequel is below the chapter in my authors notes. Enjoy!
Epilogue: What Should Be, Will Be
Harry Potter had suffered much in his young life, and though things had changed, he still felt the need to live alone, secluded from the world he had come to love. Leaving the Wizarding World had been the hardest thing he had ever done; leaving his father and godfather, his friends….all alone. It weighed him down constantly, but Harry found the strength to carry on, coming to enjoy his time in the Muggle World.
Within a few months Harry had found a nice flat to settle in and a job. He worked in an office for a small company in London, and there he met a young girl called Charlotte. Her hair was of golden, her eyes a sparkling blue.
In an attempt to forget Ginny he had asked her out, and soon the two had become the company's couple, a favourite to the be the Christmas King and Queen when the time came.
Their relationship progressed until the point when Harry asked Charlotte to move in with him. Quite surprisingly she said yes, as Harry had learned that Charlotte was a cautious person. She had never had a boyfriend before meeting Harry and the fact that she trusted him explicably amazed him. It also showed her love for him.
Though he missed Ginny, Charlotte, he felt could be his equal in the Muggle world, though the gaping hole in his heart would never be filled, unless, by some miracle, he and Ginny came together.
Nearly four years past, and Harry hadn't the courage to ask her to marry him. Partly, he supposed, it was because of Ginny. He was still waiting, but she had left Hogwarts years ago. If she truly loved him, wouldn't she have come for him?
But then, he had never told anyone where he lived, though he had a sneaking suspicion his father knew. Once of twice he had seen someone disappear, so either they had an invisibility cloak or apparated he didn't know.
It was a feeling he had.
Ginny had left Hogwarts two years after Harry had left. Since Harry had refused to stay on into his seventh year, Ginny had spent a year alone. Ron and Hermione had left a year later, and shortly thereafter had gotten engaged and married. Ginny had become an aunt soon after to their first child, Suzanne Weasley.
When she had left Hogwarts, she had debated about finding Harry but found herself instead entering the Aurors. Voldemort's demise hadn't stopped the Death Eaters. They had still carried on, but since she had graduated from the academy, she had helped bring in most of them. Now only a few remained, content to sit at home and wait until the time was right to rise again.
It was the year 2002 when Ginny finally decided to track down Harry. She spoke to James who was working at Hogwarts as Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher with Sirius at his side. They were both proving to be a hit, though the teachers did despair of the fact that Dumbledore had hired them.
Ginny managed to convince James to tell her where Harry was living and so made her way to London to the flat where he lived. Nervous and excited she didn't know how to react when a young woman opened the door, holding a baby in her arms. From her vantage point, Ginny could see a tuft of black hair sticking up.
"I'm Ginny. Does Harry Potter live here?"
The woman nodded. "He does. Ginny Weasley?"
"Harry told me about you. Only mentioned you once; I don't think he expected you to turn up." The woman said. "I'm Charlotte and this little girl here is Danielle."
Ginny nodded politely. "Your child?"
Charlotte nodded. "Yes. Danielle is Harry's as well."
A rock hit Ginny's stomach as the truth sunk in.
Then I should leave.
Yet her heart would not let her.
Ginny swallowed, stepping into the flat, looking round. There were pictures on the walls of Harry and Charlotte, smiling and happy. She caught a glance of Charlotte's finger as she directed her to a seat in the lounge.
They were not married or even engaged.
How odd? A child, and not engaged?
Charlotte laid the child in a cot that was situated by the window. She then left the room, and when she returned Harry was with her.
Ginny tried to smile.
Harry came to her, pulling her into an affectionate hug. "I've missed you."
"Me too." She replied.
Harry seated himself across from Ginny and asked her what she wanted.
She bit her lip as she tried to come up with an excuse. "I just wanted to see you."
Harry nodded. "What have you been up to?"
"I've joined the Auro…" she trailed off as she saw Harry's look, meaning that he hadn't told Charlotte about his past. "Police Force." She corrected herself.
"Oh, where are you stationed?"
"London." Ginny replied.
"Where in London?"
"All over." Ginny replied. What can I say?
Fortunately Harry saved her from further embarrassment. "How is everyone?"
Ginny shrugged. "Fine. James and Sirius are teaching; Ron is working in the Government and Hermione is working with people."
By that Harry knew Muggles and Wizards.
"Ron and Hermione have married as well. One child they named Suzanne." She added.
"I should've figured." Harry grinned. He glanced over his shoulder, seeing the time. "Sorry, I was in the middle of getting ready for work, so I'm going to leave. You can stay for tea if you wish?"
"I'll think about it."
Harry stood up, shook Ginny's hand, gathered his folders together and left the flat, leaving Charlotte and Ginny behind.
"You still love him, don't you?" Charlotte spoke.
"What?" Ginny looked astounded. "No…I don't…"
"You do. I see it in your eyes. I saw his love for you in his." Charlotte sat down in Harry's vacated seat, and stared at Ginny before speaking again. "I don't know what drove you two apart but something has wounded Harry beyond repair. He's never told me about his past. I know you have something to do with it."
"I can't tell you, not if Harry doesn't want to say." Ginny bit her lip. "I know it's hard, but believe me, Harry is a caring, young man. You're lucky to have met him."
Charlotte smiled sadly. "You know, Danielle isn't Harry's child. She's not mine either."
Charlotte nodded. "I can never have children. Harry pays for Danielle's stuff. We adopted her the moment she was born. I will never forget his face when he saw her. She may have black hair but her biological parents did. We love this little girl, but I see there is more love between you two then there ever can be for me or him. I always knew you would come, it was inevitable, and no matter how much I love Harry, I know it will never be. I can't keep him here while you are the one he loves. I would let him go so that he could truly be happy."
Ginny sat stunned through this speech. "I would never dream of taking Harry from you."
"I know. For years he has dreamt of you. I hear him in the night saying your name. You are special to him, I do not want to take that from you." Charlotte looked sad, and Ginny moved over to her, hugging her.
"I can't take him from you." She shook her head. "I'm going to leave. I can't put pressure on Harry to choose between us."
She walked down the hall and opened the front door. Charlotte had followed her. Ginny looked over her shoulder, smiled lightly and said: "Harry cannot return to our world. The pain he bears will not let him."
And then she parted leaving Charlotte behind, gazing at the striking young girl that had got her mind whirling with questions.
Harry returned sometime later. He found Charlotte sitting alone in the lounge, looking forlorn. "What?" the grin that was on his face fell. "What's wrong?" He sat down, pleading with her to explain.
"You still love her." She said simply.
"What?" Harry sat back, stunned.
"I know you do. Don't try and deny it."
He put his hands to his face. There was only one way he could get out of this. Tell the truth.
"Charlotte…." He fumbled for words, "I love you too…but Ginny will always be in my heart. No matter where I am. I wish I could make things easier but I can't."
"Why don't you start from the beginning? Tell me everything about yourself. I need to know, please."
Sighing Harry walked over to a cupboard and pulled out a chest. Within it was a family album of his parents as well as photos taken later on. He pulled his chair round to Charlotte's and carefully explained everything about his past; how his parents had been murdered and how his father had returned. How he had fought Voldemort and won….everything that he had kept hidden all these years poured forth.
And for the first time, Harry felt the weight in his heart lift. He was no longer keeping a secret to the woman he loved.
When he had finished, Charlotte sat back in her chair, clearly thinking, her eyes shining with unshed tears. Slowly, after five minutes she turned to look at Harry.
"You don't belong here. I always knew there was something different about you. I've always been a believer in magic but I never thought I would meet someone so special to another world that I would even consider doing this. Harry, I want you to be happy….I want you to leave and go with your love. You've given me the best time of my life. I have Danielle, but I will always remember you."
"I can't." Harry shook his head, clearly denying it. "I can't go. I can't return to a world that I left. It's too much."
"And yet you suffer in this world. You are not the person you are meant to be. You can never be that if you don't return." Charlotte swallowed. "I love you, Harry, more then anything in the world, but I've always realised where your heart truly lies. I always said to myself if the opportunity came, I would let you go, no matter how much it hurts me to do so."
Harry remained silent, stunned by Charlotte's decision. "I can't forget you, and I won't." he said fiercely. "I'm not cutting you out of my life."
"You don't need me." Charlotte whispered. "You never did."
"That's harsh." Harry said quietly. He stood up. "But I'm not going to walk away from you. You are part of my family. I will continue to support you. After all, without you I could not have found myself as well as I have done."
Bending down, Harry kissed Charlotte on the forehead. "I'll contact you soon. I promise."
Taking his leave Harry left the home he had made for himself.
Sitting in his office, James was grudgingly marking homework, while Sirius was preparing their next lesson in his own office. The two had combined duties, swapping each job so it was fair. His head was bent reading through the scruffy handwriting of a twelve year old Slytherin girl (who had got most of her facts wrong) and in the end marked the paper as a failure. James brushed his hands through his hair, sighing in frustration.
As he looked up he saw his office door close. His eyes widening he picked up his wand. "Who's there? I know someone's here!"
In front of him Harry appeared, having pulled off his invisibility cloak that he stashed beyond the Third Floor corridor all those years ago. "Hi."
"Harry!" James rushed forward pulling his son into a tight hug. "My boy, I never thought I'd see you again. I'm so glad you're safe."
Harry smiled, leaning against his father. It had been a long time.
"Why are you here?"
"Ginny came to me. Charlotte, the girl I live with, told me that I can't stay not while I love Ginny. She gave me permission to leave, to go. I feel bad. I've returned for the simple reason that I love Ginny. I've suffered all these years trying to forget her, but I can't. No matter how much I care for Charlotte, Ginny's memory will always be with me."
"She still loves you,"
"I know. That's why I'm here. For me to accept Ginny, I've got to accept magic. I may be hurt from everything but I can heal. This is my world; this is where I belong. No where else."
Harry hugged his father again. "I've missed you." He whispered.
"Harry!" Ginny stared at Harry, hardly daring to believe it was really him. "What? Why?"
"I'm here for a simple reason." Harry smiled lightly as he took in Ginny's thin form. Stepping right up to her, he pulled her into a passionate kiss. When they parted, Ginny could only stare at him, and then she pulled him back, kissing him again.
He ran his fingers through her hair. Gently he planted a kiss on her forehead. "I love you Ginny, I always have done. Nothing an ever change that."
"What about Charlotte?"
"She let me go. Told me to."
Ginny hugged Harry again.
"I know this seems soon, but…" Harry reached into his pocket and drew out a ring he had brought a few months ago, but he had never proposed to Charlotte. "Ginny, I love you so much. Will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"
Without hesitation Ginny shouted 'yes', her face beaming with pleasure. Once again Harry kissed her long and passionately.
So it came to pass that Harry Potter found peace in the one place he had thought impossible: the Wizarding World.
Though he wasn't adept at magic as he had been before, Harry did take the option to learn again and he found that he still held extraordinary power, which Dumbledore found surprising, and that allowed Harry to just enter the Auror Academy.
James had held a party celebrating Harry's return in which Sirius, the Weasley's, Remus, (even Draco had turned up) had attended. The party was a huge hit allowing Harry to regain a feel of the Wizarding World.
By the end of the year Harry and Ginny were married. Charlotte had moved to a small house which Harry paid for, and he visited Danielle regularly. He wanted to include his extended family in his real life.
After all, Charlotte would always be special to him.
No matter what.
2 years after their marriage
They sat on the lawn together, gazing up at the stars that littered the sky above. Harry leaned over and kissed Ginny on the cheek. "I love you," he whispered.
"I know. You say it at least a hundred times a day." She cheekily replied.
Harry couldn't resist hugging her. "I never thought that this world would be where I truly belong even after everything."
Ginny laid a hand on his cheek. "This is the society you were born into. You will always belong here, no matter what your heart tells you."
"Besides you've got something to look forward to." Ginny pressed Harry's hand to her stomach. "Little Potter."
Harry grinned. "I know this is early, but I have two names, one for a boy and one for a girl."
"Go on." She encouraged.
"Well, if it's a boy I would name it Regulus, for the simple reason, if Regulus, Sirius' brother hadn't hidden that Horcrux, then we would have never have found it. It would be my way of saying thank-you."
Ginny nodded. "And a girl?"
"Lily, after my mother."
"I'm sure we can arrange something."
And together they turned their attention back to the sky, cuddling up, feeling content in each other arms. Nothing could ever tear them apart.
Ihope Harry's reasons for choosing the names of his children as Regulus and Lily are okay (he needs to remember the two people who helped him most, right?).
Ok, this Epilogue was really hard to write and get done. I just couldn't get it started. It took me a long time to get it right, so I do apologise (if to you) this chapter is below my normal standard. But it is done. Any questions I will answer through the review system.
News on a sequel
At this moment I am not planning on a sequel as such, as the story is wrapped up, and Harry and Ginny are now married and happy, however….
There is still much to tell about the lives of the characters after this. Sometime in the future, I don't know when, I will start posting a story entitled: Potter Heirs that will detail the marriage of Harry and Ginny as well as their struggle with parenthood. There will be no plot in it, just random fluff. It will not go together as a story but make up a series of one-shots that will come together in a way. As I write, a plot may come forth, but I highly doubt it. I will try and get the first chapter up by the end of July, but I haven't started planning it out yet, so I have no clue when I will post it.
I am also concentrating on another Harry Potter fic that I desperately want to write. This project is an AU (very AU) and I want to pre-write it before posting, as I know there is a danger I will not finish it, since it is such a huge project to take upon. If this is ever posted, it will be called: The Chosen Ones. Please do not get your hopes up for this story. Once I know I am fairly sure that I could complete it I will update information on bio. If all goes to plan it should be posted sometime next year (since I am fast writer and once I get going, I get tons done, it could be Christmas this year, but once again, I do not think so).
So there you go. The Potter Heirs and The Chosen Ones are my projects for now.
Thank you so much for all the support so far, especially when I was unable to write The Bond for a portion of last year when I fell ill. For this, I will be dedicating Potter Heirs to all of you for your support and being patient with me.
Once again, all of you have been great.
Farewell for now,