A.N. (This is it; the final chapter of my story is finally up! I'm both happy and sad. I'm happy, because this is the only one of the many stories I started which I actually finished, and sad, because I'll miss writing it, and let me admit…reading all those kind heartfelt reviews! To answer many people's question, am I going to write a sequel, the answer is YES! However, it won't be out for awhile yet, because my Sophomore Year in NYU started last week, and I'm very busy! So please hang tight until it does! Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this last installment, and I especially hope you all enjoyed this story. I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it! And a final thanks to all my kind reviewers! You really did make my day each time I read those words of support! Thanks a bunch!)
Elizabeth (Beth) Leslie Vance
A Personal Message to Swift Shadow: "I'm really sorry I didn't get a chance to use the name Mike Akranos in the way I said I would. I promise you though; he will turn up in another way before this epilogue ends.)
One Last Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters, settings, etc. The only characters that I made up are Diana, Duncan, and Delilah Dursley, Anne, Will, and Emma Potter, and the rare mentions of Lily Potter's childhood friends. Anything you are familiar with is not mine, because it all belongs to J.K. Rowling, the great woman who created this magical and delightful series. Thank you…
would be good to give much thought, before We're still
reminded--: sometimes by a rain, as back then, when nothing
happened to us And became as lonely as a sheperd - By Rainer Maria Rilke-
you try to find words for something so lost,
for those long childhood afternoons you knew
that vanished so completely --and why?
but we can no longer say what it means;
life was never again so filled with meeting,
with reunion and with passing on
except what happens to things and creatures:
we lived their world as something human,
and became filled to the brim with figures.
and as overburdened by vast distances,
and summoned and stirred as from far away,
and slowly, like a long new thread,
introduced into that picture-sequence
where now having to go on bewilders us."
would be good to give much thought, before
reminded--: sometimes by a rain,
as back then, when nothing
happened to us
And became as lonely as a sheperd
- By Rainer Maria Rilke-
Two years passed, and in those two years, Dudley and Diana Dursley "bloomed and flourished" under the loving care of the Potters. As the days and months passed, they both truly realized what an unhealthy lifestyle they had been leading when living with their parents, and became immensely worried about their two siblings, Duncan and Delilah. Both Dudley and Diana knew in their heart that if their two younger siblings continued living with Petunia and Vernon, they would grow up to be overweight arrogant bullies, much like Dudley had been before showing traces of his magic. As Duncan and Delilah grew older, they might even do worse, like joining a gang, smoking, drinking, etc. When Dudley and Diana discussed their worries with their aunt and uncle, and asked hopefully if there would be any chance Duncan and Delilah would show magical signs when older, Lily and James wrote a letter to Dumbledore, asking him.
"Maybe then, mummy and daddy will disown them too, and they can live with us!" remarked Diana. Her old shyness had long since disappeared and instead brought forth her bubby excited little nature, which had been suppressed when she had lived with her parents, due to her siblings' rowdiness.
"If they do show signs of magic, they will of course be welcome here," replied Lily, smiling at Diana.
"Auntie Lily, are we…are we too expensive to look after?" Diana suddenly asked. Lily nearly dropped the book she had been reading.
"Why, Diana Dursley!" Lily exclaimed, "Whatever put that silly notion into your head?"
"This boy in our school said…said taking care of six children is too expensive. And…and since you already have four, we're, I mean Dudley and I…imposing on you," replied Diana, looking at her feet.
"Who is that boy?" asked Lily, a frown creasing her forward. She was already preparing the speech she was going to give his mother.
"He's the new kid, and his name is…Mike Akranos," Diana promptly replied.
"Well, first of all, I'm going to have a long talk with that boy's mother tomorrow, telling her to discipline her son a little more, and second of all, you two are most definitely not imposing. Did you know that when I was a child, lots of families had six to eight children?" Lily asked Diana.
"Wow," she replied.
"Wow is right," said Lily, "And when we can most definitely afford to keep you, don't you say that ever again, alright?"
"Okay," said Diana.
"And even if we ever are less on money, you and Dudley will never be imposing, because you're as good as our children now," said Lily with a stern look at Diana.
"Aunt Lily! Aunt Lily!" Dudley loudly called out, running into the room huffing. Ever since he had been living with his aunt and uncle, he had lost a lot of fat and was very healthy looking now.
"What is it, Duds?" asked Lily.
"You will never (huff) believe this," began Dudley.
"I'm a witch dear," Lily said, "I've learned long ago to believe the impossible. Go on."
"A letter (huff) from mum (huff) arrived in the mail today, and (huff) it looks very fat!" Dudley exclaimed, finally catching his breath.
"A letter from Petunia?" asked Lily, shocked.
"Yes," said Dudley, handing the indeed thick envelope to his aunt. Looking at the kids, Lily said, "Dudley, Diana, why don't you go outside and play with Harry and Anne? I prefer to read this alone."
"Yes Aunt Lily," both kids chorused, although they were curious to see what the letter said. After they left, Lily climbed the stairs and settled down on a comfy armchair in the Master Bedroom before becoming immersed in the contents of the letter.
By the time you read this, I will be gone. Yes, gone, so please don't go looking for me. Before I disappear though, I have something of utmost importance to reveal to you. I am not in the habit of dilly dallying when I speak (or write in this case), so I'm going to say it outright. I never hated Dudley and Diana, and still don't now. There, I said it. I know you probably don't believe me, and are probably throwing several curse words at me (although you were never the one to curse). However, the truth remains that I love sweet Dudley and Diana with all my heart, and never wanted them out of my life, but I was forced Lily, by none other than Vernon. Oh Lily, if only you knew the pain I went through everyday. Vernon's evil, I know that now, but I was blinded by the truth. What happened was this. That day two years ago when Dudley and Diana showed signs of magic, Vernon and I had a terrible fight, so loud that I'd be surprised if Dudley or Diana didn't tell you about it yet.
Anyway, this was what happened. Vernon wanted Dudley and Diana out of the house, claiming them no children of his, and vowing to disown them. No matter how hard I cried, he insisted on leaving them on the streets that very night, but I wouldn't stand for that, so do you know what he did? He slapped me, Lily. It was the first time he physically abused me! I was so shocked, and so was he I guess, because the next moment, he said he was going to call Marge, my sister-in-law, and ask her to take Dudley and Diana in, or else it would be the streets or the orphanage. Oh Lily, you don't know the dilemma I faced then. If anyone is more evil than Vernon Dursley, it is Marge. Do you remember that one time you met her long ago, and found out about her obsession with dogs? Well, it's the same. Her dogs are her very life, more dear to her even than her own family. Well, what happened once was that one of her most favorite dogs got into a fight with another of her dogs and lost his leg in the scuffle, the poor mite! And do you know what Marge did? She drowned him! Couldn't bare to have a "worthless" dog, as she says, and Vernon wanted me to give Dudley and Diana, my own flesh and blood, my very life, to that kind of women? How could I? Marge doesn't particularly like children, especially abnormal ones, as Vernon would have convinced her Dudley and Diana were, had I not stopped him.
That's when I thought of you Lily, my sweet little sister, and I instantly knew you would take care of my precious darlings as if they were your own. Vernon instantly approved of that idea, and that's when I wrote that hateful letter to you. Oh Lily, Vernon made me write that letter, and watched over my shoulder the entire time I was writing it! I couldn't help it, and knew then what you must have thought of me! Oh, what Dudley and Diana must have thought of their mother!
That's not it, Lily, there's more. Duncan…and (there were tear marks here) Delilah aren't my children! This is a long story too! What you or anyone else don't know is that one year after Diana was born, I had a terrible illness, and nearly lost my life in the process. I was hospitalized for many months, and when I finally showed signs of life, it was nearly a year later. Recently, I found out that Vernon…Vernon had…an affair with another woman during that time, and do you know who she is? Of Lily, it was my very own best friend, Yvonne Summers! I'm still in denial. How can Yvonne, my…my best friend since primary school, have betrayed me like this?
Duncan is Yvonne's son. What happened was that after I came out of my unconsciousness, I lost my memory for, guess how long? Nine months. During that time, Yvonne was pregnant with Vernon's kid, and Vernon fed me these pills that made me believe I was pregnant, although I really wasn't. And during those nine months, we didn't live in Privet Drive, but somewhere up in Scotland in our vacation home. Now I realize that was only so none of our neighbors would guess the reason. Anyway, after Yvonne gave birth, Vernon took the baby, paid her a lot of money, and faked this whole scene where I believed I was giving birth. And I believed everything too, because of the memory lapse and the pills. I was barely conscious during that time, and Vernon took advantage of it, because I was vulnerable and believed anything.
About Delilah. After I became well again, I became pregnant, and what a rough pregnancy is was, Lily. I was bedridden again, for most of the nine months, and I had to depend on Marge, who lived with us for awhile, to look after the children. I found out recently that Vernon again had another affair with Yvonne, and again she became pregnant around the same time I did. We both also went into labor at the same time, in the same hospitals, in neighboring rooms. Of course I didn't know anything. The baby girl I gave birth to died after one hour, but I didn't know that, because I had a C-section and was in deep slumber. What happened was that Vernon again paid Yvonne a handsome amount of money and took the daughter born to Yvonne, who happened to be Delilah.
Oh Lily, it was only two days ago I found out everything, and that too because I was cleaning out the attic, and came across all these documents hidden in a secret drawer in an old cabinet. When I confronted Vernon, he revealed everything. He had been drunk at the time, as he had been for awhile, since he lost his job, and couldn't control himself from hitting me again, calling me all kinds of dirty names. I couldn't help it Lily, and ran across the street to Mrs. Gordon's house. And although she still hated my guts, let me in out of sympathy.
Anyway, Vernon and I are getting a divorce, and…and Vernon is going to marry Yvonne Summers, and is taking Duncan and Delilah with him. Oh, I know I have no claim over them whatsoever, but I did raise them since they were babies, didn't I? And although they were born over an affair, those poor little mites couldn't have helped it, could they? But that's how it's going to be, and always will be. As for Dudley and Diana, I have changed their last names to Evans, our surname, because they are not to be marred by the disgraceful name of Dursley. I have enclosed their new birth certificates which contain the names of Dudley John Evans and Diana Elizabeth Evans. As for me, I am going to disappear out of this country which holds nothing but terrible memories for me. Goodbye Lily, ever since Dudley and Diana showed their magical abilities, I have not hated you. In fact, I love you, my sweet beautiful little sister.
Sorry for everything I ever said to you out of jealousy,
Lily had tears streaming down her cheeks, as she closed the letter and held it to her heart. "Oh Petunia," she murmured, "My poor poor sister! Oh, how much you must have suffered!"
A.N. (That's it! Everything else will be revealed in the sequel, and to everyone who is confused, since in the Dursley's Misery part, I wrote as if Petunia still hated Lily, she didn't. It was only so that the readers wouldn't find out so soon. Also, I am changing the rating of this story to T, since some of the content of this chapter isn't appropriate for children. Thank you…)