Tonks stared blankly out the window as her mother drove them home. Her final bit of time at Hogwarts had passed surprisingly fast, given how slowly each day seemed to go by. She had, toward the very end, moved her things out of the Pit and rejoined the other seventh year girls back in Ravenclaw Tower. Something about sleeping in a smaller bed seemed to ease the pain in her chest when night rolled around. There was still no word about whether Harry was actually dead or whether he was alive and just missing somewhere.
Everyone was planning to meet back up at Number Twelve that summer, saying that they needed to make it a regular occurrence so that, at least once a year, everyone could get back together for awhile. Hermione had somehow managed to pull out being the highest-scoring student at Hogwarts, despite her absence for several months. As far as Tonks knew, she was going to study abroad for awhile before settling back down. She said that traveling to Germany had been an interesting experience, the war aside. Apparently it had instilled a bit of wanderlust in her.
Ginny hadn't done too poorly for herself, either, scoring higher than Ron had, much to her brother's great chagrin. When Tonks had asked, she had cocked her head and grinned, saying she always thought her brother Bill had a cool job. She had mentioned how boring Hogwarts life seemed after going to Germany with Harry. Ron, on the other hand, had apparently been in talks with Percy on how best to deal with the twins' joke shop. Ginny said that if Ron and Percy didn't take command of the place in Fred and George's absence, it would surprise her.
Malfoy and Pansy had vanished from Hogwarts a week after the former had returned. They had left no note on where they were going and hadn't corresponded with anyone since then. Even Narcissa Malfoy didn't know where on earth her son had taken off to so suddenly. This was, perhaps, one of the things that had helped Tonks move forward each day. The thought that, just maybe, Malfoy had gotten some kind of lead on Harry's whereabouts and was just trying to get proof before letting anyone know one way or the other. She didn't know if they were going to show up at Number Twelve that summer, but she was hoping.
Stargazer, having spent most of the year guarding an empty sanctuary, had asked to be released from his contract so that he might wander the planet. Unable to help herself, Tonks kept imagining the beholder floating along after Hermione as she went from place to place, investigating and learning. In Harry's place, Tonks had agreed and the beholder was set free. Before he left, he had said something strange. Through the months Harry and company had been absent, he thought he had seen and heard something near the fireplace. He never got a clear look at it, and the sound was far too faint to clearly work out the source. Tonks had searched all around the fireplace and sound nothing, though she wondered what it might have been. To the best of her knowledge, the only thing that should have been in the Pit during their leave should have been Dobby and Stargazer.
Gryffindor had won the House Cup and the Quidditch Cup that year, which made them almost intolerable to be around. The Ravenclaw team had never quite recovered after it had lost Harry, and with Malfoy and seemingly half their House gone, Slytherin certainly wasn't up to it. Hufflepuff had given it their all and had almost pulled an upset, though the Gryffindors had caught the Snitch in the end. It was fitting enough, Tonks thought, especially since they had dedicated both victories to the memory of Fred and George.
Blowing out a sigh, Tonks turned her gaze forward. They were getting closer to home, though it didn't feel right. Harry wasn't with her. And while he didn't have any Dursleys to go home to now, he also wasn't around to be with anyone else. He had never had a chance to be truly free. She felt her mother reach over and clasp her shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. She smiled weakly at the older woman. They would get by, somehow. She wouldn't be 'fine' for a long time, but they would survive.
As Andromeda pulled into the driveway, she looked at her daughter and asked, "What's on your mind, Nymmy?"
"Same thing as always." Tonks said, voice quiet.
"Hungry at all?"
Andromeda chuckled quietly. "That's always a good way to indicate just how upset you are, you know."
"Oh, hush." Tonks said, fighting the urge to stick her tongue out. Sighing again, she closed her eyes and rubbed the bridge of her nose. "Everyone else knows what they want to do, but... here I am, still with no clue what I want to be."
"What did Harry want to be?" Asked Andromeda.
"Dunno. If he ever talked about a future beyond fighting Voldemort, it's been so long that I can't remember it. All he ever thought about was the fight." Tonks said.
"And you haven't heard from Draco or Pansy yet?"
Tonks shook her head. "Not a peep. Thinking about sending Hedwig after them, though. I've held back this long because I didn't want to blow their cover if they're trying to keep a low profile, but..."
"But you want to know."
"Well... you can think about what you want to write tonight and send it first thing tomorrow, okay? Come on. Let's get inside before it's completely pitch black out here." Andromeda said, opening her door.
Tonks nodded and followed her mother into the house. It felt too big here, now, like it had gotten used to three people living in it again. Kicking her shoes off carelessly, Tonks told her mother that she was going to go lay down and headed upstairs. She didn't bother turning the light on in her room as she entered. She knew where things were in the dark. Throwing herself onto her bed, she lightly hit her pillow.
"Jerk... leaving me like this... s'not fair, Harry..." She murmured.
Rolling over, she hugged at her pillow and stared across the room. She hated trying to sleep alone after so long. It was one of the things she had never been able to do easily since returning from Germany. Her body had long since grown accustomed to short bursts of sleep and insomnia. She didn't mind so much, as her dreams tended to be pretty bad still. The less time she spent asleep, the better, as far as she was concerned.
Closing her eyes and leaning against the pillow, she whispered, "Come back already. Please..."
Though she still needed to think, mostly about what the future held in store and what she wanted to say to Malfoy, her body wouldn't listen. Though it had gotten used to a general lack of sleep, it still didn't like it. And, back in a familiar setting, it seemed like all of the exhaustion she had been trying to hide from everyone had crept up on her the moment she let her guard down. Unable to stop herself, Tonks had fallen asleep.
The next few days passed by without Tonks really taking in any of them. She got up, went through her usual out-of-school routines, and went back to bed. She was trying to think as little as possible so as to not altogether depress herself again. She had sent Hedwig off, but the owl had returned without any reply. She knew that Malfoy at least got her letter, even if he hadn't responded to it. It meant he and Pansy were still alive. That was good enough for now, she figured.
Just after dinner on the night before she was going to visit Number Twelve, she decided she needed to get out of the house. To walk for a bit as she digested. She needed to clear her head and sitting around obviously wasn't getting the job done. Informing her mother where she was planning to go, she put on a jacket and left the house. It was a strangely chilly evening, with rain threatening to fall from darkened clouds at any given moment.
Hands slipping into pants pockets, she let her eyes unfocus a bit as she traveled down the sidewalk that led up the road. Without really actively choosing her destination, she found it nonetheless. Looking around, she smiled weakly. She had made it to the park she had met Harry at. Had he ever been that tiny and meek? Walking over to the largest object, she knelt down next to it, peeking into the opening underneath it. Harry had been sleeping down there after running away from the Dursleys. She had found him after ditching her mother. So many things had worked out just right for them to meet up.
Glancing around underneath the playground equipment, she figured she was still small enough to fit. Crawling under it, she had to curl up slightly, but she was able to hide under it. Thunder cracked off in the distance and she closed her eyes. If she imagined it hard enough, maybe Harry would come back and ask her what SHE was doing, upset and hiding under a kid's play place. Her eyes opened as lightning flashed somewhere nearby. She was just about to get out from her spot when the skies opened up.
"...Damn it, are you kidding me?" She muttered under her breath, poking her head out long enough for it to get damp. Scowling, she ducked back under the equipment, which was still quite good at keeping the rain out, and pushed some of the gravel-like material up at the entrance to her hiding spot. She wasn't sure it would keep any rain out, but she also didn't want to risk it. The last thing she wanted was to catch a cold before going to Number Twelve. She hadn't even thought to bring her wand with her, either.
"Getting absent-minded." She said, fidgeting slightly. She wasn't as short as she used to be. If she had to camp out under the playground equipment all night like Harry had, she was certain she was going to be aching pretty badly come morning's light. Her mother would probably also wonder where the hell she had gone. The chances of Andromeda thinking to look under the equipment was pretty low.
Another scowl escaped her lips. Tucking her right arm under her head, she tried settling in, hoping idly that there weren't any creepy bugs or anything that wanted to hide with her. Eyes slipping shut, she blew out a sigh. The rain was coming down fairly strong. At least she wouldn't have too much trouble drifting off. She was going to almost have to nap to try and stave off boredom. For a moment, she thought about just pulling her jacket over her head and making a run for it. But she would get drenched no matter what she tried at this point. Best to just try and wait it out and hope her mother would understand.
Indeed, the rain helped her fall asleep, though it took longer than she would have liked. When her eyes next opened, she wasn't entirely sure what time it was. It was somewhere between light and dark, though she didn't think it was the same evening she had left on. The rain had stopped falling at some point, and the wind was blowing pretty heavily. She only knew this because she had to stretch and was surprised when her arms were suddenly hit by the wind.
Brow creasing, she pulled them back under the equipment she had slept under. It was still and warm under there, and it really shouldn't have been. Frowning, she stuck her hand back out. The minute it passed the entrance to the hiding spot, the cold wild licked at it again. This was... different. Pulling the gravel back where it should have been, she crawled out, wincing as she stretched properly. Her back wasn't happy with her at all, nor were her legs. Through the wind, she could hear an odd sort of creaking noise. She had heard it somewhere before, though she wasn't entire sure where. As she sat there, trying to straighten her poor, aching body out, it came to her. It was the sound of an old, rusty chain!
Cocking an eyebrow, she turned to look toward the swings. And, sure enough, the chains were the source of the noise. Her interest in the chains was, however, short-lived, as it wasn't the wind that was causing the swing to move. Sitting in it, lightly pushing it back and forth and staring off at some point on the horizon, was Harry. He looked pretty rough, too. His hair was longer and messier than she remembered it, he had bags under his eyes, his robes were slightly tattered and dirty, and he had the distinct problem of only having one arm. He was holding onto the swing's chain with his left hand, but his right sleeve hung empty at his side.
Hardly believing what she was seeing, Tonks stood up, staring at Harry and unable to move toward him for fear that he might disappear again. Her movement stirred the gravel at her feet and snapped Harry out of whatever thoughts he was having. He looked her way, his tired eyes meeting hers as he gave her an equally-tired smile.
"'Lo, Nym." He said, his voice sounding hoarse, as though he hadn't used it much lately.
"Harry...?" Tonks said, hesitantly, as she slowly advanced on him.
"M'not goin' anywhere." Harry said. "Not gonna vanish again."
Sure enough, as she drew nearer, Harry stayed where he was, watching her with interest as she approached. Her hand raised when she was within reach of him, shakily moving toward the hand he still had clutching the swing's chain. He quickly shot it out and grabbed hold of her hand before she could get to him, however. Squeezing it softly, he whispered, "I'm sorry."
It felt as though someone had punched Tonks in the stomach. The knot that had been there for so long had returned, twice as big as before. And all of the emotion she had tried to hold back was returning with force. Tears welling in her eyes, she flung herself at him, screaming his name as she knocked him backwards out of the swing. He yelped as his head smacked the gravel underneath, his legs still tangled up on the swing alongside most of Tonks' body.
He sighed as she beat on his chest and sobbed against his shoulder, demanding to know what the hell he was playing at, turning up out of the blue after vanishing the way he did. Knowing he wouldn't be able to get a word in edgewise until she had gotten everything out of her system, that's just what he let her do. Arms wrapping around her, he held onto her as tightly as he could until he felt her breathing slow down once more.
"It's a long story." He murmured, rubbing at her back soothingly.
"I've got the time." Tonks said, her voice quiet.
"I... Balthazar did something when the third lock was released. Best I can tell, he made a move to take over my body. I was having to fight it every second the Susceptor was active. Even when it had ended, and I'd pushed Voldemort back through the Void, I was fighting it. But... I was tired. The Susceptor took a lot out of me, Nym. More than I thought it ever could. For a moment, he managed to wrest control away from me. I think Luna noticed. I'm not sure. I could hear Draco getting closer, and I had to do something, because Balthazar wanted all of you dead.
"I somehow managed to gain control for a split second and apparated away. I didn't care where I ended up, I didn't care what happened to me. All I cared about was that no one else die. I couldn't let him hurt any of you. I...threw the rest of my power behind it. And that was a mistake..."
"What happened?" Asked Tonks, getting up off of Harry and sitting next to him.
Pulling his legs down from the swing, Harry sat up as well. "I... ended up in Brazil."
"Yeah. Only I didn't know it at the time. See... I guess I overloaded my own system or something when I threw so much weight behind randomly getting away. Managed to put myself in a bloody coma. I only woke up about two weeks ago. They were just about to take me off life support, apparently. They knew who I was - uh... 'they' being the people in the hospital. Couldn't speak the language well, but I was found by wizarding folk. Finally had a little luck where it was needed, huh? Anyway... they had all but given up on me when they noticed what they Gauntlet was doing. They hadn't really paid too much attention to it directly, since they were... y'know... more concerned about keeping me alive and all. But they finally paid attention to the Gauntlet. Which was what was keeping me out." Harry explained, rubbing at the bridge of his nose.
"What was left of him. Must've done some kind of damage to him when I overloaded my system. But he was still trying to take command. The Gauntlet had been slowly inching its way up my arm since I'd landed. Had they not noticed it when they did, I might not have been salvageable. If he had taken control, I would've replaced Voldemort. I'm certain of that. From what they told me, they basically took my arm off right then and there. No fancy methods, they just clean-cut it off near the shoulder before the Gauntlet could creep up past it. They spent a good while making my shoulder look presentable. It actually looks pretty decent. Here, check it out..." Harry said, slipping his robe off and pulling the sleeve of his shirt up to expose the spot where his right arm should have connected to the rest of his body.
Save for a small, criss-crossing scar in the center, it was tough to tell it had ever looked differently. The skin was smooth and mostly unmarred from the emergency magical surgery. Tugging his sleeve back down and his robes back up, he smirked. "With the parasite gone, I regained consciousness pretty quickly. From there, it was getting ahold of Albus and asking for help back over here. Still not back to full. Casting's a little off. Did I do the spell over there right? Wanted to protect you from the elements. Was raining pretty hard when I got back in town..."
"Yeah, was fine..." Tonks said. She felt almost like she was in shock. It was a lot to try and take in. It almost felt unreal to her. "So... Dumbledore got in touch with you? How long have you been back in the country?"
"'Bout three days, I guess. The trip really took a lot out of me. Was resting at the school. I'm sorry I didn't try contacting you, Nym, I really am. But after I woke up, things just happened rapid-fire. Figured a letter would be useless, anyway, given how soon I was planning to return. We should go back to Brazil sometime. Gorgeous place. Good food, too. God, felt like I gained back all the weight I'd lost while I was in a coma in the few days it took for my letter to get to Albus and for him to get to me." Harry said, leaning back on his arm and grinning up at the sky.
"So... uh... now what?" Asked Tonks. "This is... all..."
"Hard? Yeah, I know. I've been rambling a lot. Tell you what. Let's go back to your house, you can get a change of clothes, and I can get ahold of everyone else. Albus said you guys were going to head for Sirius' house today. Gonna have a lot of explanations to give, so I might as well wait to give them in front of everyone." Harry said.
"You ever run across Pansy and Malfoy? They've been out searching for you. Malfoy was convinced you weren't dead." Tonks said.
"Sounds like him." Harry said. "No, never saw 'em. Draco's probably going to be pissed he didn't find me early, though."
"More likely to punch you square in the jaw. Fair warning." Tonks said. "Hell, I feel like punching you square in the jaw right now, you ass. Vanishing like that right after Luna died, and Leon laying down as the hold over his soul went away. I felt like I had lost everything that day! And then you just turn up with this wild explanation and expect me to just buy it?!"
"No... I don't expect you to buy it. Not right away. I can show you as much as I can recall through my pensieve, though. Maybe take you to see Henry and Julia. They were the ones who found me. Middle aged, but damn funny. Helped keep my spirits up. Was pretty depressed after I found out how long I'd been in my coma... I didn't know what happened after I apparated. Albus has since filled me in best he can. I suspect you guys will tell me the rest. When he told me you were alright, it felt like a weight had been taken off my shoulders."
"How'd you know I was here, anyway?" Asked Tonks.
"Didn't. Just... felt like walking around a bit before stopping in at your house. Had a lot to try and work out in my head. Got nostalgic as I passed this place, figured I'd see if I could still fit under that damn thing. And then there you were, curled up. I thought about waking you up, but the bags under your eyes are worse than the ones under mine. So I did a small spell to make it more tolerable under there, and I've been swinging since." Harry explained.
Sighing, Tonks stood up, her legs wobbling slightly. "I think I need some aspirin. This is going to take a long time to get straight, isn't it?"
Pushing himself up as well, Harry nodded. "Probably. At least we'll both get some proper sleep now, though. ...Going to miss being able to hold you properly, though. Need to talk to Albus, see what the wizarding world can do for fake arms. If they have fake eyes as good as Moody's was, surely they can rig up a usable arm..."
"Pretty sure those exist. Like you said, you can ask Dumbledore. Well... come on. Mum's going to have a fit when she sees you, though." Tonks said, rubbing at the back of her head. There was an odd sort of irritating pressure sitting between her eyes.
"Yeah, I'm not looking forward to the next few days. Gonna be a lot of talking. Throat hurts from barely getting any liquid in it. They did their best to keep my systems functioning properly, but they weren't miracle workers. So... um..."
"I know... I don't deserve it still. I know I shouldn't even be asking at this point, considering what I did to you and everyone else. Do you..." Harry trailed off, but she caught him glancing down at her hands.
"...Of course, you jackass. Just because I'm mad at you doesn't mean I don't want to eventually get married." Tonks said, rolling her eyes. "Any other stupid questions?"
"None off the top of my head." Harry said, taking Tonks by the hand as they started walking back towards her house. "...Though I'm sure I could think of some, if you'd like!"
"Such as?" Tonks asked, sounding just shy of exasperated. To say nothing of being more than a little wary at what Harry could think of.
"Well... how about questions about the future?" Harry suggested. "I could ask what kind of house you want to live in."
"I want somewhere out of the city. Somewhere peaceful. I've had enough excitement to fill six lives. So somewhere quiet." Tonks said.
"Yeah, but what do you want the house to be like?" Asked Harry.
"I dunno. Two story place? I'm not the type of girly girl to get obsessive over interior decorating, you know." Tonks said. "Maybe - MAYBE - a small pool in the back yard so we can have parties with our friends in the summers. Number Twelve is nice and all, but... it's a bit gloomy at times, even with the redecorating..."
"Partying, huh? What, not planning to have kids together?" Harry asked, grinning slyly.
Tonks gave him a withering look. "Can you picture us being parents?"
"I can and have. You'd be a great mother." Harry said, smiling as she blushed. "C'mon, we'd be awesome parents. No one would dare pick on our kids!"
"Planning to have more than one, huh? Don't think I haven't noticed it's always 'kids' instead of just 'kid.'" Tonks said.
"Either way. One's fine with me." Harry said, chuckling. "...Hey, there's a good follow-up question! What about a name?"
"A name? What, for the kid that has yet to be?" Tonks asked, really wishing she had that aspirin.
"Sure! Why not? Go on then. Pansy was giggling about how she and Draco were plotting out children names one night when we were in Ur'terash. Now there's a pair I can't imagine as parents." Harry said.
"Pansy I could see, but Malfoy? I dunno... that'd be a tough sell." Tonks said. "...Oh, go on then. What names did they throw around?"
"They settled on a naming method. If it's a girl, Pansy gets to name it. If it's a boy, Draco gets to name it. Kinda hope Pansy wins this dice toss, to be honest. Said she picked out 'Viola Alexandria' as a name. Sounded pretty good to me."
"What about Malfoy?" Asked Tonks.
Doing his best to drawl like Malfoy, Harry replied, "Hydrus Zirnitra."
"That's what I said! You'd think with all the name taunts he got, he'd name the poor kid something a little more normal."
"Bah, normal is boring." Tonks said. "Besides, if we have a kid, I wanna keep the family's naming trend alive."
"Naming trend? What, after stars and stuff?" Asked Harry.
"Yeah. With Sirius gone and mum pretty unlikely to have any more kids... I'm technically the last one who can carry it on. Certainly not expecting Malfoy to do it. Not if he's chosen that goofy name for his son." Tonks said.
"So what do you think? I've heard it's customary in some wizarding families to name your kids after other relatives or close friends." Harry said. "Not thinking of naming our kid 'Sirius' if it's a boy, are ya?"
"Nah. There's only one Sirius." Tonks said, smiling faintly. "I dunno. How about..."
"Arcturus!" Crowed Harry suddenly.
Tonks stared at him incredulously. "No little boy of mine is going to be named ARCTURUS. I hate my name, but I'm gonna keep our child's name simple."
Harry gnawed idly at his lower lip for awhile before suggesting, "Altair? That's a bit more simple, yeah?"
"Think up a middle name, too. Gotta flow well. Can't just have two names smushed together and expect it to flow well into your last name, ya know." Tonks said.
"Altair something Potter." Harry said. "...Yeah, I dunno. What're we thinking for middle names? Keeping with the celestial theme or doing a more normal one?"
"Doesn't matter to me. If you can somehow make it flow well, I'm fine either way." Tonks admitted.
"Where's an Astrology book when ya need it?" Harry muttered to himself.
"Vega." Tonks said, suddenly.
"Vega?" Repeated Harry. "Vega what?"
Tilting her head in thought, Tonks mouthed a few possible combinations before vocalizing one. "Vega Cygnus."
"Vega Cygnus Potter?" Harry asked.
"Yeah, what do you think? Too much?"
"Nah, sounds fine to me." Harry said. "What about if it's a girl?"
"I've always wished my name was Lyra instead of... ugh... what it is. I'd kinda like Lyra to be her name if it's a girl." Tonks said.
"Middle name ideas? You seem to be on a roll, Nym." Harry said, grinning crookedly. "You sure you haven't thought about this before?"
"...Maybe." Tonks said, quickly and under her breath. A bit louder, she pondered, "Hm... middle name for a girl... I dunno. Can't think any constellation names that would fit in between 'Lyra' and 'Potter,' can you?"
"Maybe take the 'normal middle name' route here?" Suggested Harry.
"Yeah, might be a better idea. Any ideas there?" Asked Tonks. "Maybe some kinda flower, in honor of your mum and, at least towards the end, your aunt?"
"I've never been good with herbology. Only one I can think of off the top of my head is 'Iris' and I'm not entirely sure how well 'Lyra Iris Potter' flows..." Harry said.
"Well, we have plenty of time to work out the details. Not like I plan on having a kid any time soon, after all. First things we need to do are to get a nice house, figure out what the hell we're going to spend our lives doing, and forcing you to explain in greater detail what on earth happened in Germany. Not in that order." Tonks said.
"Tsk. Was hoping to distract you away from that." Harry said, putting his hand into his pocket. "Ah well. You're right. We've got all the time in the world."
Tonks rolled her eyes, patting Harry comfortingly on the back. They were almost back at Tonks' house now, and for some reason, she couldn't quite shake an odd feeling still lurking in the pit of her stomach. Harry was back and, for the most part, seemed to be no worse for wear. Especially given what had transpired after defeating Voldemort. So why the hell were her hands shaking ever so slightly? Why did she feel so nervous? Why was she second guessing everything he had said since they had started talking?
Why did it feel as though something, somewhere, had gone terribly wrong?
Author's Notes: And so the R-Series... or... R-1, as I've been calling it for awhile now, has come to an end. Or has it? This ending and the one in the previous chapter seems to lean the other way, don't they? As though something wasn't quite right. As though things weren't quite the way they were supposed to be.
Well, that's because it's true. This isn't the proper ending. But that isn't going to come for a little while now. The basis of any good story is to leave 'em wanting more. And I hope, after seven books, I've managed to make you want more. Because I have so much more planned. Two projects, which may or may not run alongside one another, are planned. There's the F-Series, which I'm still doing reconstruction work on from the alpha version some of you saw during the time I was having computer problems awhile back. And then there's R-2. A DIRECT sequel to this series, as opposed to the F-Series, which takes place chronologically 1,000 years in the future, give or take.
Though I'm going to probably be alternating - I'll update R-2 one week and F-Series another and so on (helps prevent burnout, I reckon. This isn't set in stone yet, though...) - the proper order for these will be R-1, F-Series, R-2. But there's not really anything in R-2 that won't make sense if you skip the future series. It's just going to explain a few things that are GOING to leave people confused. Harry having both arms, for instance. And the right one isn't a fake. So why does he have that when he clearly got it blown off? You'll have to read on to find out. F-Series is going to be where the TRUE ending to R-1 here plays out, through a series of flashbacks. Originally I was planning there to just be an 8th book detailing the true ending. But then I figured, given how closely the F-Series is going to tie in, it'd probably be a better idea to just explain it all through the course of that series! It's also going to be seven books. If I can pull that shit off again. R-1 has taken somewhere in the realm of 5 years to write, and is the first COMPLETED project I've ever written. Well... I guess it technically isn't over yet, but you know what I mean. Over half a million words isn't chump change.
I'm going to take a brief break. Probably a month or less. I always say I'll be taking time off longer than I actually do. But I only have a bare bones idea of where I want F-Series to go. There are certain milestone moments I need to have happen. Obviously the true ending to R-1 fills a couple of those out. The F-Series is gonna be like R-1 here was. The protagonist is gonna be powerful as crap by the end, lotsa action-y scenes and whatnot. R-2, however...? Well, that's another story. R-2 is going to be more character driven. There's seven books planned, but I doubt they'll be quite as long as R-1 or the F-Series are. It's going to be a fair bit of angst and a lot of emotional stuff. Love will play a big part in it. But you know me, I love doing things differently!
Thank you all for reading this far. It's because of you that I've been able to continue. There's nothing worse than starting a lot fanfic series by someone only to find out it's been abandoned. I promised myself I wouldn't abandon this project. And after writing them so long, in my mind, I can't help but feel like my take on things is the 'proper' one, as stupid as that sounds. I can't go back to the canon anymore. I've spun this web into a monster and I've got to be the one to face it down. The ride isn't over yet, boys and girls. Check back soon. Things are about to get crazy.
Not every story has a happy ending. And not all heroes are heroic.
I'll see you in the sequels!