"Indeed it has." Said Solieyu. "It has been... interesting, to say the least."
"Yeah. A psychotic old spy had it in for me, I had to deal with a waking nightmares, and you and Luna..."
"I'll thank you to excuse Luna and I from your list." Solieyu said, fixing Harry with a look.
"Who's skirting around the issue now?" Asked Harry.
The three were on their way to the Great Hall for the Leaving Feast. Tonks was happily
bouncing at the thought, as the Leaving Feast tended to have more interesting dishes than
one would normally find. Which baffled Harry, since they could order whatever they wanted,
but he let the girl have her bounciness. She had thankfully calmed down since they had left the Pit. She was still holding his hand, but she was moving around a lot less.
When they opened the doors, the first thing they noticed were the black banners hung from the ceiling in place of the usual House banners.
"He warned me about it. Doesn't make it any easier to look at." Harry said.
Tonks squeezed his hand softly. "Try not to worry about it."
"I am. It just brings back bad memories." Said Harry. "I'll be okay. Quieter than normal, maybe, but okay."
Dumbledore stood up then, giving a speech that made Harry feel a little better. They toasted Cedric's memory and the headmaster made him out to be incredibly brave. Which, Harry thought, was a good description of him. He hadn't quaked where he was tied up, whimpering about seeing the Dark Lord return. He had been braver than most would in the situation.
Harry put a hand on his left arm, patting at Cedric's wand which was holstered in its usual spot. It almost felt like the wand was giving off a sort of warmth at all the attention its former holder was receiving.
When the meal was over, the students started filtering away to collect their things. It would be an hour before the Express left. Harry's group already had their trunks, shrunken down and pocketed, so they spent their time loitering around the Entrance Hall, talking with their friends as they arrived.
The boarding of the Hogwarts Express was mostly uneventful as it usually was. Hagrid, as always, waved to them as they got on. Harry waved back this time and had thanked him for rounding up rats for Boris to feed on over the summer. Harry had forgiven the half-giant for bringing him to Number Four all those years ago. He was a simple man and followed Dumbledore's orders to the letter, and Harry didn't feel he should have a grudge against the man in light of recent events.
Harry, Tonks, Solieyu, and Luna found an empty compartment towards the back of the train that they happily set up shop in. Harry sat near the window with Tonks laying out as best she could, her head on his leg. She had to bend her legs to fit, but she seemed happy enough. Before long, and much to Harry's amusement, Luna had decided to copy Tonks. Harry grinned at Solieyu, who was blushing. Solieyu gave him a withering look in return.
Once the train got going, the rest of Harry's group popped in for brief visits. Pansy merely tapped on the window to their compartment as she passed by.
A few hours into the trip, and once both girls had fallen asleep, Solieyu looked up at Harry. "Dumbledore was talking to me the other day. Mother and I aren't going to be staying at home this summer."
"The vampires were one of the first groups Voldemort got to come to his side in the last war. The headmaster feels it best that we go into hiding. I'm not sure where he's got planned for us to be, but he insisted that it was safe." Solieyu said, lightly brushing strands of hair out of Luna's face.
"Wonder if he's going to start the Order of the Phoenix up again." Harry said.
"Order of the Phoenix?"
"Moody mentioned in." Harry said, glancing outside. "Something about a group Dumbledore started to fight Voldemort's force in the last war."
"Perhaps..." Solieyu said, nodding. "In any case, I'll try and write from wherever we get put up."
"If Dumbledore's finding it, owls might not be able to go in and out. But I'm sure he'll have some way for you to get letters to us." Harry said.
"Have you spoken to Parkinson lately?" Asked Solieyu.
"I have. The friend she's mentioned is apparently going to be writing me over the summer. Wouldn't say who it was. I have a few guesses, though. She doesn't hang around that many people." Harry said.
"I feel bad for the Slytherins. I honestly do. I wonder how many won't be returning next year."
"I've tried not to think about it. I'm going to be messed up if Pansy doesn't return, though. She may be confusing, but she's still my friend." Harry said. "...Damn it, I wish there had been a way to kill Voldemort the night he was brought back. So many people are going to suffer..."
"You can't win them all, Harry. Be glad you escaped." Solieyu said.
"I am. It's just frustrating. Every year I've been at Hogwarts, it's been like I've had to deal with these huge problems on my own. I'm not used to something being out of my hands like this." Harry said.
"Ahh, so that's it."
"Yeah. I hope Moony and Sirius are okay out there..." Harry sighed.
"I'm sure they are." Solieyu said. "They're smart."
"Won't stop me from worrying. I'm going to need to try and keep busy this summer. If I don't, I'll worry myself sick." Harry scowled. "Wish I had brought some books from the Pit with me now."
The door to their compartment was suddenly slid open. Harry blew out an annoyed sigh when he saw who was standing there.
"Hello, Malfoy." Harry said. "To what do I owe this visit?"
"You'll lose." Said Malfoy simply.
"Against the Dark Lord. You'll lose."
"Don't be so sure. I'm not going to sit back and let him do what he wants, Malfoy." Harry said, a fire lighting in his eyes. "I'll beat him. For good this time."
"You? Beat him? Doubtful. People don't defy the Dark Lord." Stated Malfoy.
"Yes, that's right. Those that do have a bad tendency of being killed." Harry said, his voice rough. "But I'd rather die than wind up as a bootlicking toady like your father is. He was there that night, you know. He disarmed me. Of course, he did it from clean across the graveyard like the coward he is rather than face me directly. He may as well have been kissing Voldemort's feet, the way he acted."
"You take that back, Potter." Said Malfoy, his voice dangerously low. "My father would never be a bootlicking toady and neither will I!"
"I don't need to take it back." Harry said, shaking his head. "You'll see for yourself soon enough, I reckon."
"Yes. I will." Said Malfoy.
"Then go away and think about what your precious Death Eater family will be like. If you truly believe Voldemort treats his followers as equals, you're mad. They're nothing but expendable pawns to him." Harry said.
Malfoy glared at Harry, but turned and left anyway, leaving the compartment door wide open.
"That was fun. Can't imagine having to deal with that idiot and his father coming at me in white masks." Harry said, leaning his head back. "Little parasite gave me a headache."
"So nap." Solieyu said, drawing his wand and using it to shut the door. "We've got a ways to go yet."
"Good idea. Hopefully I'll be able to avoid nightmares. Usually I can for naps." Harry muttered, letting his eyes slip shut.
It was dark when Harry woke up next. Tonks and Luna were awake now, talking quietly with Solieyu, who looked like he wanted to be napping.
"Feeling sleepy?" Asked Harry as he wiped at his eyes.
"Sleepy and in need of a 'fix,' if you catch my drift." Solieyu mumbled.
Luna stared at him a moment before lighting shoving at his arm. Reaching into her robes, she pulled out a handful of still-wrapped Blood Pops. Solieyu stared at them for a moment, a mental fight raging. His weaker side gave in and he took one from the blonde, unwrapping it and popping it into his mouth. A relieved sigh filled the air a few moments later. Luna just smiled, tucking the remaining lollipops back into her robes.
"I hate blood." Muttered Solieyu around the Blood Pop. "But it does relax me."
"You think it'd keep your cravings at bay?" Asked Tonks.
"Doubt it. Just good to get that itchy feeling in my stomach to go away for awhile." Solieyu said. "It'll help until I can get home."
"Speaking of," Tonks said, nodding out the window. "There's the station."
And so it was. The train slowly pulled into King's Cross moments later, grinding to a halt. The four got up and made their way from the compartment. Amidst the sea of other students, they made their way through the train and out the doors.
Andromeda was waiting for the group near the barrier.
"Mum!" Tonks called, running up and hugging her mother.
"Hello, dear." Whispered Andromeda, hugging her daughter in return and smiling as the rest of the group walked over. "And you three."
"Have you heard?" Asked Harry.
"Yes. Albus told me." Andromeda said. "We can talk on the way home. Where are your trunks?"
"Pockets." Tonks said, shrugging.
"Ah. Well, I'll get those later, too."
"Luna, do you need any help?" Asked Solieyu.
"No, my father will be along soon. He can unshrink mine." Replied the blonde.
"Right. Well, you guys, I should go and catch the Bus." Said the vampire. "I've got a bit more traveling to do before I can relax."
"Take care of yourself, Leon." Said Harry.
"You too." Solieyu said. He turned to Luna and started to say something, but the blonde was quicker, wrapping her arms around Solieyu and whispering something to him. He just smiled and murmured, "I'll try."
With that, Solieyu waved and passed through the barrier back to the Muggle side of the station.
"You sure you'll be alright on your own, Luna?" Asked Tonks.
"I'll be okay." Luna said. "Father should be arriving any time now."
"Alright then. If you're sure." Tonks said. "Well, let's get going, mum!"
"As you wish. Coming, Harry?" Asked Andromeda.
"Yup. See you later, Luna! Take care!"
"You too, Harry, Tonks."
Harry's group slipped through the barrier in a line, Luna waving at them as they vanished from sight. A few minutes later, her father popped through, looking tired. She just grinned at him and ran up to give the man a hug.
"It's going to be tough." Andromeda stated as they pulled into the driveway of Number Nine. "I'm just glad you're both alright."
"So am I." Tonks said, moving one of her hands over one of Harry's.
"So what's the plan this year?" Asked Harry.
"We plan to stop by regularly until you can come and stay with us." Andromeda said. "With any luck, you should only be there a week or two."
"I can handle that. After the year I've had, I don't think the Dursleys are going to pose much of a threat." Harry said, opening the door and stepping out.
Tonks did the same and walked around the car to hug him. "You just make sure those idiots don't try anything. Wards be damned, you get your butt over here if you even think they might try something."
Harry wrapped his arms around the girl, nodding. "I will. Try not to worry too much, okay? I survived Voldemort. I can survive a pair of bloated hippos with body odor problems."
Giggling quietly, Tonks let go of him and took a step back. "Even so, I want you to be careful."
"I will. Promise." Harry said, pulling his trunk from his pocket and looking over at Andromeda. When the older Tonks woman had managed to fix his trunk up (complete with wheels for easy travelling), Harry gave Tonks another look.
"Yeah. I know." Said Tonks, walking back up to kiss Harry softly. "Me too."
"See you in a day or two, then." Harry murmured, smiling at the two before turning and heading off up the road.
"We always watch him walk away and it never gets any easier." Tonks whispered, hugging herself.
"You'll see him again soon, sweety." Said Andromeda. "More importantly, I think you have some explaining to."
"Uh-oh. You noticed the ring?" Asked Tonks.
"No, but I have now." Said Andromeda. "I was referring to the kiss. What's the deal with the ring?"
"...I think we need to go inside for this." Tonks said, rubbing at one of her arms. "You may need to sit down."
Author's Notes: Thank Y'golonac, Goblet is finished!
As unexpected, this is a shorter, epilogue-y type final chapter, like Chamber had. I want
to thank you guys for continuing to read and review. And for putting up with my stupid ass
for taking a few MONTHS between updates at one point. Thanks for sticking with the story.
It helped to know that people still wanted to read it. Thanks also for putting up with my laziness in fixing Philosopher's Stone's messed-up formatting. I can't recall if I've mentioned it - surely I have - but just in case: It's fixed and you can read it without having to deal with giant, formless blobs of text.
Um... I think I'll take a week off to rest between books. Get away for a little bit before starting in on Order. I actually have a good chunk of one of the early-ish chapters finished. I just couldn't resist. Here's a little hint - Harry and Tonks will continue to sleep with one another at Grimmauld Place. And you know how Mrs. Weasley likes to wake people up. Mwahahahahaha.
Take care of yourselves, kids, and I'll see you in Book 5: The Order of the Phoenix Reassembled! It will be the last book in the series where I'm sort of following the canon, as Half-Blood Prince was mostly an atrocity and I can't imagine Deathly Hallows being any better. After hearing its title, I'm glad I decided to truly AU up the last two books. For now, I'm-a go get some rest. I've written the last few chapters of Goblet in the same night. Seeya later!