Author's prelude: It was a very touchy message that I received from a big fan of Boys on the Radio which compelled me, so politely and so humbly at that, to write some sort of epilogue to the story. I hope that he and all my readers find some closure in this candid, 'one-take shot' (so to speak) at some kind of epilogue despite several years' gap:


Ten Years Later...

I can't be near you,

The light just radiates.

Draco Malfoy, age 26, looks out at the mirage of London through the window of his Ministry office. Though of course he knows the picturesque image of Downtown London isn't real, Draco grins at its innocence, at the simplicity of the whole thing. When he'd first been employed as an Auror by the Minister of Magic herself, he'd gotten to pick what image would be imposed "out his window", and after long thought he'd decided on the square in London where Harry had dressed him up in Muggle clothing for the very first time. Gazing at the imaginary couples walking busily along the fanciful London street, Draco, caught up in the distraction of this idle, seemingly meaningless moment, indeed cannot help but think of Harry. Harry. The wonder boy who still had the pieces of his broken heart irretrievably concealed. Harry Potter, the boy-who-lived, the legendary vanquisher of Lord Voldemort. Harry Potter - the very boy who had saved him from a terrible fate, who made a man, a hero even, out of Draco. The boy who he'd taunted and rivaled callously for so many years...

Oh, and the boy who by some unstoppable force came to be his one true love, too.

Yes, the chilling fact that Harry was long gone, murdered ten years ago now as a matter of fact, in turn murdered Draco inside even still. No matter how many years went by, the insufferable pain of losing Harry remained a fresh, agonizing wound, profusely bleeding freely over Draco's goosebump-filled skin. Time was of no virtual concept to Draco in his mourning. The moment of Harry's death was a memory that played back, ever-vivid and ever-sharp, in his brain on the constant. It'd kept him all these years feeling on the brink of death, death from heartbreak, juvenile or frivolous as that may sound. There was simply no erasing the face of the beautiful boy, young man rather, whose charisma, bravery, passion, integrity and, most important of all (though also most forgettable, apparently, to the selfish masses), suffering saved not only Draco but the entire wizarding world from the unending terror of a seemingly indestructible Lord Voldemort...

Before Draco had been irresistibly enchanted by Harry's spell, he had been but a brutish, smug Slytherin who boasted about his own pure-blood ancestry and advocated the "greatness" of the Dark Lord and his mission to exterminate "undesirables" such as Mudbloods or half-breeds. He'd been a bully whose greatest pride was a whole family tree starting with his father glorious in foremost an association with the Dark Arts and its practice. When he and Harry were first brought together by that fate-writing radio show the summer before their fifth Hogwarts year, it was the start of Draco's transformation. Through all their sequential adventures and misadventures and world-saving missions Draco learned to accept the fact of evil that his family was and actually redact it out of himself rather than embrace it. He learned the key to survival and personal advancement as a person was not to hide from the past and its painful baggage, but rather to acknowledge it, bear it, and learn to overcome it...

Most of all, Draco Malfoy learned from that legend Harry Potter - who happened to also double as his most unpredictably long-destined, single-handed soul-mate, too, somewhat notably - to be the persevering victor, not victim, of one's own self, flaws and all. Draco obviously would not be the noble person he was today had it not been for Harry, would not, to be even more specific, be seated here right now in his office at the Ministry of Magic peering at the mirage of London through his window. This haunting, unarguable fact had been a heart-wrenching reminder sealed in his conscious mind for an indefinitely delayed length of time, an ever-present round of torture...

And yet.

Spontaneously, Draco blinked out of his disconcerted state as a sudden, shocking brightened epiphany encompassed his complete attention, making him wonder to himself, 'What the ruddy hell would Harry say about me allowing this strife, the pain of all my moping and depression, overtake my entire life?! I bloody reckon he'd be EMBARRASSED of me for it! I've been letting myself sink deeper and deeper into a soul-sucking hole of empty hopelessness!'

"...Enough!" Draco at last let out with a miraculous amount of enthusiasm and determination at his oyster. Each moment passing he was amazingly beginning to feel more and more inspired, more and more driven, more and more set on a now somehow realistic-seeming goal of no longer only day-by-day bare survival, but instead genuinely true, extraordinary recovery -

And it was all for Harry. If nothing else, Draco knew for sure that it was what Harry would want for him.


Author's Final Note: Lyrics, in suit by Courtney Love of course, come from Hole's "Malibu" (which yes, was excerpted for use in certain select chapters).