I'm sorry for the long wait! I couldn't get this last chapter up for almost a week, and I was fully prepared to finally put up this epilogue! I know a lot of you were awaiting to see what finally happened to Hermione, and I'm sorry the update took so long.
I want to pay Honoria a special apology for accidentally labeling this story as complete. I did that with full intentions that this last chapter was up, and forgot to change it back to in progress. Sorry.
Okay, enough of that. You all know that characters aren't mine, and I hope you enjoy the ending!
My dearest Severus,
I know it may seem like I've been ignoring you lately. Indeed, I'll admit that I didn't want to face you after that evening. But I can't just leave an unresolved problem there, so that the last memories are all suspended in thin air. As a result, I'm writing this.
You may wonder, still, at least why I haven't come to see you for a week. I'm in the hospital. I'm not incredibly weak or anything. Rather, I've found myself blacking out quite often, and during a recent check-up, the doctors determined that it had something to do with a brain problem and amnesia. I don't know the details (I try not to listen too hard) but I have a feeling that I might not live much longer.
I know people usually try to comfort you, to try and tell you that it will be okay, to move on, not to worry. It just doesn't seem quite right to say that to you. I think you already know—after all, you've dealt with death before, haven't you? You've taught me so much about life that I would just sound redundant repeating these things to you.
However, I do want you to know a few things before I leave. As I sit quietly on this bed, no light peeking in from the curtains pulled tightly closed beside me, I realize that I've underestimated all too much the times I've spent with you. There's only an artificial light above me, and it reminds me a lot of my lonely dorm I occupied in college before you found me. It seems so long ago, that day you walked me back home…or maybe not. I think home is with you. The dorm was just a place I occupied during a stage in life. You protected me, made me happy…I can't imagine feeling safer and more loved anywhere else. I feel content with you, and I feel as if I can trust you with more than my life. Sadly, there's not much more I can give to you.
But that's beside the point. There're just so many things I want to tell you, but I don't know where to start.
Could you keep Ginger for me? I'm certain she wouldn't mind staying with you—we found her in your garden, after all. At least now she'll get an open backyard to run in rather than a few pieces of furniture to navigate. I have a feeling she's always wished for that. Keep her safe; I trust you'll get to know each other well. You both can keep each other company during sad times. It can't be any harm to own a pet, anyway. Don't fuss about it; she's yours now.
Have you planted the lilies yet? I can well imagine them blooming there, next to the lawn and the gazebo. I'm sure they'll be beautiful come spring, and for the while when there's just soil, you can remember the promise of life. For every daffodil that died, plant a new lily.
Don't forget to take a little time from everything everyday. I know that there's always something to do in the garden and a book always awaits in your magnificent library. I can imagine you saying right now that it is time spent away from everything, tending to chores in solitude. After all, what could be more relaxing? Yet maybe a visit to the park, just to sit on the bench and watch everything pass by, would be just the thing. I know it will bring back memories—what won't? But you never know who you'll meet or what you'll find.
On the other hand, life still has a purpose. I feel that you came here to get away from everything, but you can't hide from your problems forever. I know that this is your home now, and I couldn't ever get you to go back to the world you once knew. But for me, never stop believing in magic. Believe that nothing's impossible, and that there's always something to find out there. Never stop seeking for answers, however irrelevant they may seem. Do it by writing a journal, dreaming…however you want. I gave you a little magic—don't forget to share it with others! Magic can't be kept a secret for long.
Thank you for always being there for me, Severus. Every time I came running to you, you were never at a loss for an answer. Even if the answer sometimes wasn't truly an answer at all, you gave me what I needed to tackle life's challenges again. How can I ever repay you? I just hope you don't mind me pouring out all of my feelings to you.
I still wonder if I have magic running through me. It seems like a dream, to be able to call things to you with a flick of wrist, to be able to control things with your mind. Of course, you'd probably say it wasn't so simple. I can always wish very hard for magic to happen, and I'm certain it will. But do you think I could have become a witch again if I had the time to learn it? Maybe I was just seeing things, but I thought I saw an envelope hovering above my table just the other day. Well, I guess it doesn't do much good to think about things like this, it will probably only make me feel worse and get grumpy all over again. But I can't help thinking: what if I could help? It would be great to find cures and counter curses to all of the things that happened in the war. Or even if I couldn't, I could help rebuild hope, couldn't I? I would have to bring you along though, you're the star that fuels my hope, and I would probably burn out without you.
When I leave, I'll still be with you. I know that the two statements completely contradict each other, but this is what I'm trying to say. After I go, I'll come back everyday to check on you, to make sure you're okay. Nothing can stop me from coming into the room you're in and smiling at you, whether it's the rain or the sun. And if you're not okay, I'll do everything I can to make everything okay again. After everything you've done for me, I have to stay. It's not like I won't move on to my next life (if there is one, or whatever happens after we all die), but I'll visit! Don't hide from me, because it'll make me worry.
I look forward to seeing you once more, whether it's today or in our next life. Do you think we'll remember each other? I hope so; I don't want to lose everything that happened in this lifetime. It's all so valuable.
Don't worry about me. I'm happy and content, and hopefully, that will help you get through whatever fight you're ever in. I wouldn't want life any other way, and meeting you was the best present of my life. Thank you.
I'll always love you,
The man at the desk smiled gently for a moment, closing the book with a love only bestowed on the most cherished objects. Sliding it back into place in the drawer of a desk, he stared at his hands, then used them to push himself out of his chair. Running his fingers through his graying hair, he walked over to the open window.
The garden was much the same as it had always been, he mused. The orchard trees still bore the sweetest fruit, and the flowers brightened the landscape during the warm seasons. The gazebo still stood, tall and sturdy.
Beside the gazebo, lilies bloomed. Their arrangements swayed lightly as a cat stalked through, placing a paw on a stone in the middle of the flowers. He didn't have to squint to know what it said.
Hermione Jane Granger
An angel reincarnated
For whom trust, love and magic will always bloom
A small smile tugged at his lips. Her beaming face, brown eyes sparkling as her hair tumbled around her would always stay in his mind. Indeed, she did come visit everyday. More times than not, she would come with Ginger late in the afternoon, her scent coming with the breeze. Sometimes, he would feel her fingers brush his hair from his temple, and he would close his eyes, imagining how she would look like standing before him.
The rain had stopped. Just then, a sliver of sunlight came to land on Ginger and the stone. He turned away, straightening the trunk by the door before leaving. Closing the door gently behind him, he stepped down the stairs.
If he just believed a little in magic, he could see Hermione there again.
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed the story!