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A/N: Here's the last and final chapter of "Finding Love the Hard Way". This epilogue is written in Harry's POV. Italicized words equal to flashbacks. Harry is telling us what has happened.
Normal text – Harry's POV
Italics -- third person/the past
I enjoyed writing this story, and I'm glad you liked it. So thank you all for sticking with it! :D
Chapter 32: Six Years and Counting (Epilogue)
As I sit here, outside on the front porch under the mid-summer night sky, I look up and smile as the stars above me twinkle and shimmer like tiny lights draping across the black expanse. With the chirping of crickets and the soft rustling from the leaves, my mind went back to all the things that have happened during the past six years.
I still remember clearly the day Draco left us. I went up to his now empty room--Severus and I never used it after Draco left--and found on the table the present he never gave me. Never had a chance to give me. I remember how my tears were threatening to fall, but I kept it all in. I tore open the wrappings and opened the box. Inside was a beautifully crafted wand holder. Just from the looks of it, I knew then that it was extremely expensive. I held the holder close to my heart and then I blindly walked back to my room. Even to this day, I kept that holder inside a glass case, set in one of Severus' bookshelves.
Anyways, a month after the day Draco left, he wrote me a letter, telling Severus and I that he finally settled and had bought a small house in Paris…
"Look Sev!" Harry called as he ran down the stairs and into the living room, waving a piece of parchment, "Draco sent me a letter! He finally wrote to me!"
Severus looked up from his book and arched one eyebrow at the excited teen.
"Harry… calm down," Severus chuckled, "You're going to rip the parchment if you grip it any tighter."
"What? Oh. Anyways, look! He wrote that he finally decided where to stay," Harry sat down next to the older man and laid the crinkled letter on Snape's lap, "He's in Paris now and he just bought a house there, too! I can't believe he's living in France… but I'm just glad he's settled." Harry smiled and looked up at Severus.
Snape hummed and picked up the letter, read the contents, and not a few minutes later, a small smile appeared on his face. It seemed his godson was doing well.
"Well, I'm glad he's alright. I was getting a bit worried, him leaving like that."
Harry's smile faltered and turned into a frown. He remembered that day. It was so hard for Harry not to cry…
"Yeah… I was a bit worried too… But look at him now!" Harry brought his smile back, "Draco's fine, he's happy… and I hope he'll find someone to love…" Harry trailed off and looked away. Severus sighed and took Harry's hand in his.
"Draco wanted you to be happy. He understood that much I'm sure. You know… the day before he left, I had a talk with him. Remember on your birthday?"
"… You mean when you left the room?" Harry asked softly, his eyes still averting Severus' gaze, "Yeah, I remember."
Severus rubbed small circles on Harry's hand with the pad of thumb, his hold on Harry tightened.
"We played a game of chess. I knew something was off, I could tell by the looks of his face. He denied it at first but I told him I knew. I knew what he did and Draco just… told me everything. I didn't mind that he loved you before but I told Draco that I hate to see you hurt Harry."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Harry asked, he was now staring at Severus with wide eyes, "Why didn't you tell me this happened?"
"I wanted Draco to explain things to you himself, it's better that way. Anyways, I told him that if he really loved you, he would let go and let you be happy. And he did, he chose the right decision." Severus whispered and held Harry close.
"I-I guess so…" Harry mumbled, "I just hope that now he can truly be happy…"
"He will Harry, Draco will."
I still have that letter; it's in a box, along with all the other letters Draco sent me throughout the years. Some were yellow with age, some look not over a day old. I wrote to him continuously and he always replied back. Then on a nice, cold Christmas Eve evening—my second Christmas shared with Severus—a beautiful raven came swooping into the living room and dropped a letter on my lap. It was Draco's raven, I recognized. I think its name is Abel or something; Draco mentioned it, once in one of his letters. After giving a small treat for the bird, it cawed and flew away and back to its owner. I opened the letter and read…
Harry scanned the parchment in front of him and gasped, "… Oh sweet Merlin!"
"What?! What happened?" Severus looked up at his lover, scowling. Harry laughed and thrust the letter under Severus' nose, "Read it, you'll scream out just like I did when you're finished."
"Harry, I'm sure I won't… scream out like a girl after reading the letter." Severus drawled, "Is it from Draco?"
"Yup! Go on, read it!"
Severus snatched the letter from Harry's fingers; his eyes flickered back and forth as he read what Draco wrote. As he neared the end of the letter, Severus' eyes grew larger.
"He… Draco's engaged?" Severus choked out; he was so shocked that he was actually choked up on words.
"I know! I just knew Draco will find somebody," Harry grinned and sat down next to Severus, taking the letter back from the older man, "He said the man's name is Richard right? And I'm guessing he's French. Richard's two years older, but Draco said he's really nice and loves him very much. Draco said he's really happy with Richard. I can actually see Draco laughing as he wrote this letter." Harry said as he folded the letter and laid it on his lap.
"Indeed. I wish to see this Richard Draco talked about. They're getting married in April I believe."
"Yeah, they are," Harry sighed dreamily, "He invited us to the wedding… It's going to be my first time seeing Paris! I'm so happy for him."
"I seriously think Draco shouldn't marry at such a young age," Severus muttered, "He's not even nineteen!"
"Oh Sev… Stop worrying so much. You should be happy your godson found a guy and by the looks of it, they love each other completely."
"Severus, this means Draco has moved on." Harry said, "He moved on and he's not living with the past. I'm no longer a problem; he let that go."
Severus sighed and then his thin lips curled upward, "You're right. He's moved on."
Harry nodded and smiled, "Yes, he has."
April came sooner than we think. Severus and I fussed around, worrying about what to wear, what we need to bring, when we should actually leave for Paris. It's funny now that I think about it. My first time stepping in French grounds and I was ecstatic. The weather was so different than England; it was warmer and more humid there. The first thing Severus had commented as we took a cab to the place Draco's wedding was held, was that he had never sweated so much in his life… and it was barely April! I had to wholeheartedly agree with him. The wedding was small. Most of the people there were from Richard's family; they were all nice people. Severus and I were the only ones that were from Draco's side. Draco said he didn't want other people to know of his whereabouts, especially his parents.
Oh, and Richard's a wizard as well, apparently a pureblood. Guess if Lucius Malfoy was still talking to Draco, he would be happy to know that his son did marry a pureblood… it's just that the person is a male, not a female.
As the ceremony ended, Draco pulled me to the side and we had a nice little chat with each other…
"Thanks for coming Harry," Draco said as he sat down in a table that was set up for the wedding.
"Hey, I wouldn't miss it for the world," Harry told the blond, "Besides, I wanted to see if Richard is a good looking bloke or not."
Draco laughed and punched Harry on the arm.
"You prat! Well, either way, I'm glad you guys came. It means so much to me."
"Draco…" Harry said, looking down into his folded hands, "I-I'm just really happy you found someone… I-Sometimes I still think of all the pain I had caused you back then. It wasn't just me that was hurting, you were, too."
Draco smiled softly and turned to look at his husband, who was chatting with his family members.
"I'm happy, too. I really thought I wouldn't be able to find another guy that I will come to love. Like I said, I really did love you Harry."
"But you were happy with Uncle Severus already… what I did was wrong and stupid. I'm glad Severus set me straight and let me fix my wrongs. Severus told me that if I really did love you, I'll let you go and let you be happy."
"Severus told me about that…" Harry said softly; he looked up and smiled at Draco. "Seeing you happy with someone, I think a weight has been lifted off my chest."
"Yeah, the weights are gone for me as well," Draco grinned and waved as Richard walked up to the two men.
"Love, the limo is here… Are you ready to go?" Richard smiled at Draco; he turned his blue eyes on Harry and stuck out his hand. "Harry is it? Draco told me all about you." His voice was laced with a light French accent.
Harry blushed and shook Richard's hand, "Oh. Yeah… I'm sure he did."
Richard let out a hearty laugh and took Draco's arm as the blond stood up.
"It's a pleasure, and thank you for coming to our wedding." Richard said, "Draco, I'll wait for you by the car alright?"
"Okay, I'll come in a minute," Draco said, kissing Richard on the lips. Richard turned and walked off. "Well Harry, when is Severus going to ask you to marry him?" His grey eyes glowed with mischief.
Harry's face turned crimson, "Oh! I… I don't… Damn you Draco!" Harry flustered and Draco snickered at Harry's reaction, "I don't know… I don't even know if Severus wants to marry or not…"
"Well… I-I guess I do." Harry whispered; Draco smiled softly and took Harry's hand and held it.
"I'm sure, when the time is right, he'll ask you. Trust me, he will because Severus loves you." Draco looked over Harry's shoulder and gave the brunet a chaste kiss on the cheek, "I have to go now, take care Harry. Take care of my godfather as well." Draco let go of Harry and started walking away, towards the limo.
"Don't worry Draco… I will." Harry called out; Draco turned and looked at Harry one last time before walking farther, and farther away.
Harry watched, smiling, as Draco got into the limo with Richard. He waved as the car drove away.
Now, five years later, I'm happy to say Draco's marriage is still going strong. In his last letter, Draco mentioned that he and Richard had just adopted a baby girl, seeing how they're both men and can't have kids of their own. Her name's Natalie. Draco also sent a picture along with the letter; it was a moving photo. The baby girl is adorable and so very small when she was held by Draco; he's smiling at the camera, bouncing his daughter, and then kissed Natalie on her chubby cheeks while the baby was happily yanking at Draco's blond locks. Then Richard also came into the picture and kissed both Draco and their new daughter. Both Draco and Richard looked at the camera and waved, even little Natalie was waving her arms. I laughed when I saw the picture. I guess Draco's the 'mother' of the family. He sure looked like it. You know... she actually kind of looks like Draco, even though she's not biologically his. The girl has blue eyes like Richard, pale skin, rosy cheeks, and wild, blond curls. Natalie was the perfect daughter for the couple. I wrote back saying that Draco should visit Severus and I with Richard and his new daughter. I even mentioned the 'mother' thing to Draco; he's going to flip when he reads the letter. I wish them all well.
As for me, marriage still hasn't happened yet. It's not like I don't want to; I asked Severus once and he said we should give ourselves a bit more time before taking the next step. I'll wait, whenever he's ready, but not too long I hope. You know, actually I think I'll pop the question… Yeah, I can't wait to see Severus' face when I ask him to marry me.
Looking across the front lawn of Severus' house, I can see how our wedding would be like. I don't think he would object to have our wedding held here. It's big enough. I think summer would be the best time. We don't have to worry about the weather and stuff like that…
I'll let you in on a secret… I actually have the engagement ring already. Just in case my courage explodes and I wanted to propose to him, confess my undying love. Can't do it without the ring now can I? Severus doesn't know about it of course. I sure hope I can do this right… don't want to screw up now. I'm marrying the man I love damnit!
Oh. There's my lover, standing by the doorway with two cups in his hands. I think I smell coffee. Six years being with me and he still looks the same, except for a few strands of white hair. I told him about it and he shrugged; Severus said he knew he was going to get white hairs sooner or later for being with me. I denied him sex that night he said that.
"What are you doing sitting out here? It's windy at night, you'll catch a cold Brat."
Even when I'm twenty-three—almost twenty-four—Severus still calls me a 'Brat'. Oh well, I like being called a brat. It's endearing I think.
"Oh nothing. I just like sitting out here, watching the stars. Thinking about things."
"Really? Hm, I didn't know you actually think with that brain of yours."
He laughs; I love his laughter, so deep and rich. Like dark chocolate.
"Laugh all you want Sev, but seriously, I like the night sky during the summers. It's so nice and clear."
I looked up; there wasn't a cloud in sight.
"Well, it's cold out here so why don't you come back inside and we can look at the sky together?"
I look back at him and smiled. Pushing myself up, I walked up to Severus and smacked a wet one on his lips. He rolled his eyes at me and gave me one of the cups. Ah, nice dark coffee.
"Come on Harry, let's go." He took my hand and held it.
I look back and once again I imagine how our wedding will be like. It won't be long now. I swear, I'll ask Severus within the month. Then maybe, we'll get married on my birthday! That would be the best present ever…
"Hey Severus… what do you think about having a nice, big birthday party for me this year…?"
He shook his head at me as he closed the front door behind us.
I grew up believing that nobody will love a boy like me. I've been called a freak, kept in a cupboard, and ignored for a good part of my life. I loved—of course I did—I love Severus don't I? But I've always thought that my love wouldn't be returned. I learned. Throughout these six years, I learned.
You know, I've never really thanked Dumbledore for making me stay with Severus back when I was a seventh year. If he never proposed that idea, I think I'll probably still be single, trying to find the right person. I'll be alone, never knowing how it's like to love someone and have that person love you back. Just like Draco, I would have to forget Severus... Thank goodness I with Severus now. Hm, guess I'll invite Dumbledore to my wedding as my thanks.
Love can come with many obstacles, it comes in many forms and shapes. Gender and age shouldn't matter; you're falling in love with the person, not with the number and the sex. And sometimes love is very difficult to find…
But I believe love can be found… when you look in the right place.
.: FIN :.
A/N: FINISHED! Omg! I finished! –cries happy tears- hope you liked the this epilogue… I just have to add one to the end of the story. It's done! Thank you all once again for reading! I greatly appreciate it! I'll see you all soon. I might have another Snarry coming haha :P