Epilogue


"Lawson, Nathan."

Somebody settled down next to Harry and he turned, glaring.

"You nearly missed it!" he hissed.

"Oh, I did not. Calm down," Draco said soothingly. "I left in the middle of J, and they still had all those awful Jacobson triplets to go through. Reminds me of the Weasleys."

Harry laughed despite himself but straightened up. Draco glanced at him, smiling, as they read out the names.

"Lovett, Reica. Loxin, Charles." McGonagall drew another breath. "Lupin, Theodore."

Teddy strode up to take his certificate and stand with his fellow graduates, winking devilishly at his girlfriend.

"He looks so tall," Harry murmured. "I can't believe he's seventeen already..."

"You're not going to cry, are you?" Draco teased. Harry laughed, shaking his head, and the next name was called out.

"Malfoy, Scorpius."

Draco's hand instinctively tightened around Harry's as Scorpius bounded up to accept his certificate. Instead of the traditional handshake, he embraced McGonagall. Her eyebrows disappeared into her hairline as the students laughed, Scorpius grinning madly away.

"Is McGonagall blushing?" Draco asked disbelievingly. "That old minx!" But Harry could tell he was proud, watching Scorpius stand next to Teddy, the two swapping roguish grins.

"He's not winking at anyone," Harry observed.

"Course not, he's got three girlfriends. Can't give the game away."

"Mancini, Leonardo," McGonagall said, and Leo hurtled across to her. She shook her head in despair at his lopsided tie and inkstained hands; he just grinned and accept his scroll, joining his friends.

"Look at them," Harry said, "all ready to leave Hogwarts forever, go out and find themselves."

"Don't cry, you'll embarrass them."

"Oh, I wasn't going to. I think the Jacobson mother is doing enough crying for everyone. Oh, here we go with the awards..."

Draco glanced towards the front of the Great Hall again, applauding politely as the Duxes were handed out.

"Dux of Defence Against the Dark Arts...Theodore Lupin!"

Teddy hurried forwards, accepting the certificate and returning to his seat just in time to be called back up again — to much laughter — to collect his Dux of Advanced Potions award. Scorpius and Leo slapped Teddy on the back as he returned to his seat for the second time. On Harry's other side, Andromeda dabbed discreetly at her eyes. McGonagall cleared her throat and read out the next award.

"Dux of Care of Magical Creatures...Scorpius Malfoy."

If Scorpius was pleasantly surprised, he didn't let on. He accepted the certificate and returned to his gobsmacked class, looking as though he regularly received academic awards.

"Dux..." whispered Draco.

"You're not going to cry, are you?" Harry said mockingly.

Draco just smiled quietly.

In the end, Scorpius triumphantly emerged with two Duxes: Care of Magical Creatures and Herbology.

"You two don't have to look so amazed," Scorpius said breezily when he met them later by the lake. "I find that rather offensive."

"You can go if you want," Teddy said, piling his various awards into Harry's arms. "The other parents are leaving..."

"Alright, alright, we take the hint," Draco laughed. "I'll whisk Harry away before he embarrasses everyone and begins sobbing over the two of you."

Harry just laughed, but couldn't help and reach out to ruffle Teddy's hair. He sidestepped him neatly.

"Don't mess it up, please."

"He spent five hours in the bathroom this morning," Scorpius said wickedly. "Got to look good for his girl."

"Whereas you don't bother to look good for three girls," Teddy retorted, loosening his tie a little. Scorpius just smiled again, his little smirk that he so clearly inherited from his father.

"Don't be jealous," he teased Teddy. "Come on, we've got those Merlin-awful photos to sit through. We'll see you on Platform 9¾," he told Harry and Draco.

"We'll be waiting."

Scorpius and Teddy were soon swallowed up in the chaos, converged upon by congratulatory classmates, by friends hollering and laughing and flinging their arms around each other, bellowing out the school song as if they were drunk. Harry and Draco watched them disappear into the castle, the grounds becoming empty and still again.

"There they go," Harry said. "Our two prodigies."

"There they go," Draco repeated, gazing across the summer-hazed grounds, the lake as still as a mirror. In the distance, the Whomping Willow stirred lazily.

And then the summer, so damply hot and smudgy-skied, opened up with a thunderous noise as the clouds tore apart, the rain suddenly streaming down. Harry and Draco laughed at each other, their shirts soaked to their skins, their hair already darkening with droplets. They ran on through the grounds of their childhood, through the wide quidditch pitch where they had chased each other and their dreams, past the lake with the rain dappling across its surface, the forest where the water ran down the boughs.

And then they were at the gates, running through them, laughing into the rain and holding each other as though they would never let go.

And, far behind them, within the ancient halls of Hogwarts, Teddy and Scorpius raced joyfully through the corridors, tracing the footsteps of long-ago enemies.