Dear Anonymous Reviewer: Oh, that's what you would have liked to think. I was going to pad the ending with about 25 chapters of meaningless fluff, but your review helped me decide to just put an end to the madness. (And, no, you never would have seen the birth anyway, because after all the fluffy stuff, I would have done exactly what I'm doing in the epilogue now.)

Everyone: I will post additional bits and pieces in the "Sidestories and Alternate Endings" compilation later, but the war is won and it's time I put an end to this monster.

~ Bitter Echo ~

- Epilogue: 12 Years Later -

(Anastasia)

"Welcome, students, to Introduction to the Dark Arts." Greasy old Snape drones on and on about what lessons will consist of and a bunch of other crap until the class is halfway over and almost none of us are paying attention anymore.

The caged cat on his desk is staring at me with an unsettling intensity. I roll a scrap of parchment into a ball and flick it at her. It bounces off the cat's forehead and she hisses in response.

"Miss Black!" the teacher snaps. "Just because you've already gained an extensive knowledge of the Dark Arts at home does not mean you will be excused from paying attention in my class. And do not torment my pet. She is quite irritable in her old ageā€¦"

~ the end ~