Title : Ars Virgarum - Epilogue - De Requie
Authors : xnuinx & draco_crescendo
Pairing : Overall gen - implied pairings may occur.
Rating : Overall R/NC-17
Warnings : War-fic, dark stuff, angst.
Disclaimer : All HP characters and names are copyright of JK Rowling. We use them for our own pleasure, we do not make money out of this.
Feedback : Oh yes, hit us harder!
Beta : essayel & flosspyromaniac.
Summary : After Dumbledore's death, loose ends are left untied. The war is lurking from behind the corner, ready to strike. While the Trio begins their search for the Horcruxes, they encounter a number of obstacles that must be overcome. Will they succeed or will all of their efforts fail in the end?
Chapter Art: .com/art/Illustration-Ars-Virgarum-21-78122238
Epilogue - De Requie
Harry was leaning against the crispy white pillows of his hospital bed in St. Mungo's. He had woken up several hours ago, but none of the healers had come to check on him yet. His body ached all over, feeling like it had been run over by a horde of Hippogryffs. He was covered in cuts and bruises, many of which he couldn't even remember when or how he had gotten them.
Harry only knew that he felt drained, like all of his energy had been sucked out of him, but he supposed that had to do with getting rid of the Horcrux and destroying the last soul part in Voldemort's body. He hoped one of the healers would drop by soon to tell him he could go home. At that moment, there was a knock on the door.
McGonagall opened the door to Harry's hospital room slightly and peeked in to see if he was awake. She had arrived earlier that day at St. Mungo's to check up on everyone who had come out worse for wear from the battle, enough to be admitted.
While the healers had given her a lot of grief by refusing to let her visit, her steely resolve to see every member of the Order and other allies had forced the healers to comply eventually. She, herself, had walked out of the final battle with a few minor scrapes and bruises, and a slight limp in her let foot.
When McGonagall saw that Harry was sitting up in his bed and wide awake, she walked into the room with a smile on her lips. "Good afternoon, Harry." She greeted.
"Good afternoon, Professor." Harry nodded. He didn't quite know what to say next, so he fumbled with the sheets instead.
"How are you, Harry?" McGonagall asked and went over to sit down on the chair by the side of Harry's bed. "You have been out for quite a few days."
He shrugged. "I'm alright, I guess. I'm tired. Just… Tired."
"Logically." She nodded. "You used a rather large amount of magic to kill Voldemort." McGonagall reached out and patted Harry's hand.
"It's over now, isn't it?" Harry quietly asked. "It's really over now, right? With Voldemort gone for good?"
McGonagall smiled and gave his hand a squeeze. "Yes, you did it, Harry. All of you."
He nodded. "How is everyone else? Are Ron and Hermione alright? What about Tonks and Professor Lupin?"
"They're all fine, a few bumps and a couple of broken bones." She answered. "Ron and Hermione needed to let their magic replenish, but they are doing just fine now. They went home the day after. I believe they were here earlier to visit you, but you were still asleep, I suppose." McGonagall let go of Harry's hand. "As for Tonks and Remus, they were released yesterday and are staying at Tonks' place for the time being."
Harry nodded again. "What happened to Snape? His body, I mean…"
McGonagall looked down at her lap, a sad smile on her lips. "He was buried the day after the battle."
Harry scrunched up his face in confusion. "Uig?" He frowned. "Where in God's name is that?"
"It's a small village in the north of the Inner Hebrides. Severus was brought up there."
There was a silence between them. Harry shifted uncomfortably, looking away with a nod. He remembered how he and Snape had viewed parts of each other's minds during the Occlumency lessons, under cover of Remedial Potions. He recalled the memory of a small boy cowering in a corner while another deep voice scolded. Harry had never known the exact circumstances of that memory, but he felt like he didn't need – or didn't want – to know. He had never liked Snape, loathed him even. Nothing if that had changed, not even after Snape had taken a curse for him at Godric's Hollow. But sometimes, you talked and thought different about someone after their death. Not that Harry would ever admit that to anyone out loud. He heaved a sigh.
"Am I allowed to leave this place?" He looked up from the sheets. "Today?"
"Yes." She said and nodded. "Which was one of the reasons I came to see you today. I will escort you back to Grimmauld Place if you want?"
Harry have a small smile, then shook his head. "That won't be necessary, Professor." He softly said. "I'm not going to Grimmauld Place just yet. I think there's something else I need to do first."
McGonagall looked at him and arched an eyebrow. "Well." She got up from the chair. "Then perhaps, I should finish my visitation rounds and let you get dressed." Smiling at him, she headed toward the door.
Harry nodded and when she was out the door, he got out of the bed and started to get dressed.
After looking up the location of Uig on a map, Harry travelled their by train and other Muggle transportation. For some reason, he simply didn't feel like Apparating to a place he had never been to before. What if he splinched? Or ended up somewhere completely wrong? 'Oh yeah, perfect for the Boy Hero." He shook his head with a small grin.
Uig was a small village indeed. People passed him by without sparing him a second glance, but Harry didn't mind one bit. He walked around for a while, frowning when he couldn't find a cemetery. On his right, he noticed a pub and decided to try his luck there. He entered it and walked up to the counter.
"Excuse me." He spoke up in a loud voice, since the place was rather crowded and noisy. "Is there a graveyard around here somewhere?"
"What, boy?" The bartended asked. "Come again?"
"A graveyard!" Harry shouted in the man's ear.
"A graveyard? In Uig?" The bartender gave a toothless grin. "Mate, you listen to me. We haven't buried a corpse in Uig's graveyard for years. Our graveyard is old and has been unused for ages. We bring our dead to…"
"Where is it?" Harry cut in. "The graveyard. Where can I find it?"
"Well…" The man sighed. "If you insist. It's at the edge of the village. Where the burnt down church is. You won't find anything there, mate."
"Thanks anyway." Harry nodded and turned to leave again.
He looked around some more and couldn't help but smile a little when he noticed a burnt down church a yew yards away. The actual village had probably moved away from the church a bit over the years. Why they hadn't simply rebuilt the church was a mystery to him, but that was not why he was here today.
Arriving at the graveyard that lay beside the church, he peered through the rusty gates, before pushing them open. It surely seemed that no one had been buried here recently. Harry walked around for a while, sighing. Maybe McGonagall had been wrong about the place? Well, she had to be since… Then, something caught Harry's eye.
In what had once been the solid brick wall surrounding the graveyard, there was a big hole. He frowned and walked over to it. When he stuck his head through it, he could see a lonely house standing on the edge of a cliff, looking out over the sea. 'Strange place to build a house.' Harry thought to himself.
Involuntarily, he shivered. There was something special about that house, he could sense it. It was all around. Not only coming from the house, but also from its direct environment. He frowned and when he had studied it for another ten minutes or so, it suddenly dawned on him. It was magic. 'Then this must be the house that once belonged to Snape's mother, the one Snape and Malfoy had been hiding in after they fled Spinner's End.' Things started to fall into place as Harry remembered overhearing that part in a conversation between Malfoy and Parkinson.
He pulled his head back and turned around, glancing around the graveyard again. Something in the far corner drew his attention and he went to see what it was. And there it was after all, a deep grey tombstone.
"Severus Tobias Snape.
Our Most Trusted.
There were no flowers on the grave and Harry couldn't help but think that Snape would probably have hated them anyway. The only thing that stood out was the gold medal embedded in the stone. Harry kneeled down to take a closer look at it. It was an Order of Merlin, First Class, awarded to Snape post-mortem.
"Finally got what you wanted after all, didn't you, you greasy bastard?" Harry gave a humourless, bitter smile. "Yeah, well. I think you may have deserved this one."
He rose to his feet again and made his exit, glancing over his shoulder at Snape's final resting place one more time. When he neared the gates, he noticed a familiar figure standing there.
Pansy was walking toward the small graveyard with the intent of visiting Professor Snape's grave. She hadn't been there since his funeral and she felt like she should visit him once in a while, the professor had after all done what he could to protect her life. Pansy kicked up a few pebbles on the ground as she came closer to the rusty, iron gates.
She stopped suddenly just as she was about to enter through the half open gates. Someone was sitting by one of the graves and Pansy could make out the dark silhouette of a man. When he got up and turned around, Pansy gasped. "Potter?"
"Pansy." Harry nodded in greeting, stopping a few metres away from her.
Pansy looked past him to where he had been crouched and noted the dark grey tombstone. She walked past him with a slight nod and stopped by the professor's grave. She stuck her hand into her pocket and fumbled around in search of the item she had brought with her. Pulling it out, she took her wand out at the same time and enlarged the book to its original size.
Pansy placed it by the tombstone, then brushed her hand against the stone. "Thank you." She muttered and turned around to look at Potter. "They finally let you out of St. Mungo's then…"
"Yeah, they did. I don't even know how long I've been out…" He shrugged, then peered past her. "What's that book?"
"Just an old potions book he let me borrow to pass the time at Grimmauld Place." Pansy shrugged. "But it had his notes nearly everywhere in the margins, so I thought he might like it back."
Harry remained quiet for a few minutes, staring off into nothingness, before turning his attention back to Pansy. "The Order took good care of you?"
Pansy nodded. "I was bored like you couldn't believe it. But I'm alive." She grinned and walked toward Potter. "As for how long you've been out? Nearly a week."
"Honestly, I don't think I've missed much." He gave a small smile, before turning serious again. "What happened to Malfoy by the way?"
"Haven't missed much?" Pansy snorted and walked out of the graveyard, once outside she stopped and waited for Potter to follow. "Only my trial." She muttered. "And Draco is in France with his mother."
"I see." Harry nodded, then frowned. "Your trial? Wow, that went fast… Wait. How did that go?" He quickened his steps to catch up with her.
Pansy rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Well, how do you think it went since I'm standing here… with my wand in my hand and no Aurors in sight?" She smirked. "I owe your friends my gratitude and I owe my freedom especially to Granger. If it weren't for her testimony I would be in Azkaban now."
Harry nodded. "Yeah, that's Hermione. Made quite a show it, too, I suppose." He paused. "I owe my friends a lot more than just gratitude." He tucked his hands in his pockets and looked at the sky. "So… What are you going to do now that the war is over?"
Pansy tapped her chin slightly with a single finger. "I don't know really. I mean I haven't even finished Hogwarts with everything that happened… but then neither have you." She gestured at him. "I'm not sure, maybe just live for a while and then maybe see if I can take seventh year again next term." Pansy shrugged lightly and began walking slowly toward the centre of small town.
"Yeah. Time will tell, I guess." Harry shrugged.
"I guess it will." She smiled and looked up at the sky as well, closing her eyes and soaking the warmth of the sun's rays. "What about you? Do you have any grand plans?"
"Not really." He sighed. "I hadn't really thought ahead." 'I didn't dare to…' He admitted to himself.
"Oh." Pansy nodded and looked at Potter. Smirking, she leaned over and kissed his cheek quickly before drawing back, continuing to walk ahead. "I never did thank you for all you did for me." She smiled and said sincerely. "Thank you, Potter. For everything. And don't make me repeat that, ever."
He looked at her with a smile. "I won't." He continued to walk. "So… How about some drinks while we decide about what we are going to do next?"
"Drinks?" Pansy arched an eyebrow. "What exactly are you proposing?"
"I'm suggesting we hit a bar wherever and celebrate the end of this war." He grinned. "And our return to a normal life."
"Hmm… I might agree to that." She smirked. "You're paying."
Harry couldn't help but laugh at that. They walked off together in silence, each lost in their own thoughts about life, war and aftermath. Harry inwardly let out a sigh in relief, but couldn't hold back that one thought that crossed his mind. 'And to think it all started with a prophecy, a normal family and that one stupid scar…'
Authors' Note: So finally I've managed to get around to uploading all the chapters of this story, even though it itself has been finished for several years. Unfortunately, until recently school, work and pure laziness had been kicking my butt and still is once the Easter hols are over. But now, with my deepest apologies for leaving the story hanging, I have completed it. Also I have added links for the chapter illustrations, also made years ago. *_*