Until The End

Dark Lord Defeated: Harry Potter Saves Wizarding World

The headline of the article was blown up to a huge size and splashed across a gigantic screen. It was just beginning, and already there were women reaching for tissues.

"So clever . . ."

Last Death Eater Standing: Draco Malfoy still at large

"Whatever . . ."

Hit and Run: Malfoy disappears after Longbottom murder

"I'm done with these endeavors," the rough, deep voice crooned. He stood on the stage below the massive screen, gripping his wand to utilize as a microphone. He stood with feet planted firmly, body rigid, his head hanging low to look at the ground.

Boy Savior Marries! Potter-Weasley wedding day festivities

"It's over, no longer, I feel it growing stronger . . ."

His voice was getting a little stronger, too. His long black hair hung like a curtain in front of him, but you could see his shoulders hunch to provide more power to his rasping, brooding voice.

Potter child abducted, Rescued same night

"I'll live to die another day . . . Until I fade away!" His head snapped up and he faced the crowd with electrifying green eyes, his hair spilling over his shoulders and revealing how gaunt his face had become. His completely black outfit did nothing to mask his white complexion or the bruising of exhaustion around his eyes. Sirius Potter had always been handsome, but not today.

Our Savior Sends a Message: Harry Potter Addresses Wizarding World

The letter, that letter that Harry had written to beg forgiveness for Draco Malfoy, so many years ago. With it, the song. "Why give up, why give in?" the singer cried out, the voice that was so suited to his revolutionary rock music performing at its best, with the harsh edge of pain only adding to its perfection. This song he'd written was exactly what it should be. And the pain stabbed deep into Ran. "So I will go on until the end . . ." Wasn't that what they'd all vowed to do? To go on together?

Stretched Thin, By Tabitha Talent

"We've become desolate . . . It's not enough, it never is . . ."

Too true, that, Ran thought. He squeezed the small hand that slipped into his, and tried to focus on the song, only the song, not all the thoughts that crowded into his mind.

The Nightmares Are Over

"But I will go on until the end . . ."

What a way to celebrate the lives of two such gifted and amazing men. Blowing up the media snippets of their lives, and hoping that Sirius' beautiful song could hold it all together. Ran remembered when that article had been published. He'd only been thirteen. Back when he'd first discovered he had a certain talent for getting people to talk. Life had gone so far since then. Growing up had only been the half of it.

"Surround me . . ."

They did surround him. Ghosts. Mostly one. The ghost of a girl, a beautiful, stubborn, crazy, amazing girl. She'd kissed him, and that had been everything. In his family's garden, when he was twenty-two, managing a Quidditch supply shop, and thinking his life had approached something normal. With Maggie, nothing was ever normal . . . and that was just perfect.

"It's easy, to fall apart completely," Sirius nearly broke on that, and once more, Ran felt the stab of pain shoot from his friend directly into him. Fall apart? Now, certainly. Now that they could. Now that it was over, and they were free to fall apart instead of trying go on. And easy enough. He'd fallen apart months ago, it was no great thing to do it again.

The hand in his squeezed gently. He barely noticed.

"I feel you creeping up again . . . in my head."

Merlin, how he missed her. He would never, never stop loving his wife, no matter how long he had to go on without her.

The flash of the screen changing caught his attention, and he wondered how many headlines had gone by without him noticing.

Harry Potter Appointed Head Auror

"It's over . . ."

Flash.

Draco Malfoy releases magical addiction treatment to the public

"No longer . . ."

Flash.

Malfoy name will live on: Draco and Vianne welcome birth of son

"I feel it growing colder . . ."

Colder. Yes. Ran had felt cold indeed for the last few years, since all this had started. The last few months had been like something from another man's life.

The Power of Faith published: Matt Potter and Basil Townsend release definitive research on holy places

They'd decided that it was appropriate to include some of these headlines, the headlines about the rest of the family. Family was so, so important, to all of them. It had to be part of this ceremony.

Malfoy resigns from Hogwarts: Says he plans to do full-time research on magical cancer treatment

"I knew this day would come to end," Sirius rasped, his whole body hunched forward again, the way he always was on stage when powerful emotion took him.

Sons of Gryffindor releases debut album: Harry Potter first in line for his son's autograph

"So let this life begin!" Sirius nearly shouted, and suddenly the power in his voice moved to a new level, something that could hardly be anticipated. They'd all thought he was already singing with all his heart, but now it was something else. More than heart. Complete devotion to this song, the only performance this song would ever receive.

"Why give up, why give in?"

New Ministry Department Created: Famous werewolf Ran Edwards to head Ministry Intelligence Division (MID)

"It's not enough . . ."

Bitter Irony: Draco Malfoy perfects cancer treatment research, Wife Vianne succumbs three days later after long battle with the illness

"It never is . . ."

Ran heard Scorpius choke. He wouldn't cry, not Ran's baby brother. Not here. His pride wouldn't let him. Ran risked a glance at Scorpius, who sat beside him, but with all his attention focused on Ginny. She'd been something like a mother to him after Vianne died, just as he was getting ready to start school. The two of them sat there, dry-eyed and stoic, both just as pale and upright as the other, but worlds apart emotionally. Ginny had gone beyond grief. She was too shocked to cry. Scorpius, on the other hand, was in the middle of a storm of pain and couldn't let himself show it. He took his last name too seriously for that. He'd lived his entire life determined to make his heritage mean everything it should—including the ideals his father had adopted as an adult. Ran's brother was an extraordinarily good man, if an aloof one.

Favoured Hogwarts Reinstated: Malfoy returns to Hogwarts

"But I will go on until the end," Sirius nearly whispered.

"My goals have never changed": Head Auror Potter revels in time of peace

God, that had been a good time. A good time in everybody's lives, if only it weren't for Vianne's death. Ran and Maggie married, Scorpius making Draco so proud . . .

Hogwarts has a new headmaster: Malfoy accepts title humbly

And that was all the joy, that brief little period in their lives. Now would come the hard part. The recent part. The part that had taken over their lives and consumed all their resources. They had to see these same gut-wrenching headlines again.

Accidents in London look suspicious, Potter and Edwards refuse to comment

"I've lost my way," Sirius cried out.

Dark Arts on the Rise?

"I've lost my way . . ."

"We will end this threat": Potter declares of recent Dark activity

"But I will go on until the end . . ."

Death Toll Rises, Leaders Grim

"Why give up, why give in?"

They couldn't have given up. None of them. But Ran remembered the night Harry had come to his office with bags under his eyes and the gray in his hair looking mighty thick, and asking if he was thinking what Harry was thinking. And Ran was. Another Dark Lord. Worse than Voldemort. A Dark Lord targeting wizards.

Have we become obselete?: New Dark threat exterminating wizards for the good of Muggles

"It's not enough, it never is . . ."

When was it enough? When was the last threat like this? Grindelwald in the first generation, Voldemort in the last one, and now this one had come up. Ran had always known how tough and determined the Head Auror and the Headmaster of Hogwarts were, but to see them acknowledge this new threat and start crying had scared the hell out of him in a way he'd never been scared before and never would be again.

Dark Lord Tertius spotted at crime scene: It is confirmed he targets magical children

"But I will go on until the end."

Potters and Malfoy remain strong during crisis: Former Savior still leads fight

With his courageous wife at his side, Ran thought, and saw that Ginny was squeezing the life out of Scorpius' hand. Matt was on her other side, and his hand was looking a bit pinched, too. She'd warned them that she would have a hard time handling this part.

"We've become desolate . . . It's not enough, it never is . . ."

Sons of Gryffindor give benefit concert: Infamous "Crash" donates proceeds to war victims

"But I will go on until the end," rasped the "infamous" Crash Potter. He was almost as well-known for things like falling off the stage as he was for his unique voice and style in the wizarding world. Ran didn't know how he was even getting through this.

Potter family tragedy: Charlotte killed while leading raid

"I've lost my way," Sirius groaned, his voice amplified. He had. He'd lost it badly when his baby sister had died. It had taken everybody to pull him out of that.

2,000 wizards and witches confirmed killed in Western Europe

"I've lost my way . . ."

Headmaster Malfoy Opens Doors: Hogwarts a safe haven for war victims

"But I will go on until the end."

There was an interlude in the music, very brief. A lot of people were weeping openly, now. Not their families, but the rest of the people gathered. They'd been up against so much, and while it had never seemed fair, everyone knew that the Potters, Malfoys, and Weasleys had always and would always lead the fight. Would always save them. Their gratitude made them weep as much as their sorrow for what had been happening in their world recently.

Prophecy Fluid? "Maybe I was destined for this fight all along," says Potter at niece Maggie's funeral

The hand in his tightened desperately. Ran had thought he would cry at this point. But he didn't. He stared at those words. Maggie's funeral. Months ago, and he still couldn't believe it. Why, why in Merlin's name, did his wife have to be such a Weasley? Why couldn't she just stay home and let others do the fighting? Why did she have to be the one to die?

Maggie's funeral.

"The final fight I'll win," Sirius sang strongly. Ran tried to feel the hope of that. He was meant to, Sirius had planned this. He could see other people sitting up straighter.

WAR IS ENDED!

Dark Side Surrenders!

"The final fight I'll win," he screamed in a raw, furious tone.

Victory at High Cost: Malfoy and Potter killed in action

"The final fight I'll win," Sirius sang with absolute power, his audience mesmerized, his arms spread out, tears streaming down his face as he wept for his father.

And the headlines ended. There were no more. This memorial service was taking place only a week after their death, there hadn't been any headlines of note since then. They'd killed that bastard Tertius, the two of them, together in a blaze of glory. But it wasn't just headlines. There was the photograph. A young photographer, only seventeen years old, that Harry had laughingly said reminded him ever so much of Colin Creevey (dead three years ago), that had followed Harry and Draco around for much of the war. This final photo, his masterpiece, would give him whatever job he desired. He'd followed them to their final confrontation with Tertius. And now the whole world could see just who Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy were.

Harry's wild head of gray hair was blowing in a fierce wind, his determined expression making the huge scar on his cheek pucker, not hidden by the thick glasses he wore. He was obviously wounded, leaning heavily on Draco. Draco himself was leaning on the cane he'd needed for the last few years as his bad leg got old, and his scars were such a network of old, faded, things, that somehow Harry's stood out more. He had no hair to blow back in the wind, and his neat, pointed white beard seemed to be weatherproof. They both had extended their wands at the man surrounded by a dark cloud that could only be seen at angle in the background, with red and green jets of light shooting out from both wands. They leaned on each other, with no fear, laughing maniacally as they fought for their lives.

They'd lost that fight. But they had won something much greater. They'd won the lives of their loved ones. Ginny, Matt, and Sirius and his wife were safe. Ran, Scorpius and his fiancée, and never could he forget the small hand in his, the hand that had never let go of him throughout this gorgeous, tortuous display of what Harry and Draco had meant to the world. That hand squeezed him again as they saw the picture for the first time, and Ran stopped trying to be proper or calm or respectable. He dragged his Ronny into his lap and hugged him tight while Sirius ended the song, panting with exhaustion and sorrow. He'd put all of himself into this performance, on behalf of the men who'd given their all for him.

"But I will go on until the end."

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So, we're going to pretend that Sirius Potter is actually Ben Burnley, and we'll ignore the fact that this story is, technically speaking, a songfic. Because it's NOT a songfic. Honestly. Oh, come on, it's a really GOOD songfic. I hope you guys have enjoyed this series, and I hope you like my completion of it. I'll see you in a few weeks with the beginning of The Wise One.

Thanks for all your support,

Faren