A/N This story's final bow…the epilogue…

Chapter V: Epilogue

The cool morning found Harry and me sitting on the deck, with each of us enjoying a customary cup of coffee. The sun was just above the horizon, and the pink glow of the sky's aura made the sunrise only so much more beautiful. Cheerful birdsong permeated the air – the melody only made me smile.

It was the simplicity, peace and beauty of the surroundings that made me love summer mornings so much. I loved love too, especially when it was sitting right beside me; and that made this morning more memorable than any I had experienced before.

I took another sip of my coffee, reflecting on the thoughts in my head. After last night, my mind had thankfully returned, and I was finally able to reason with relative competence…

For once, my heart and my mind agreed on one matter of vital importance – I loved Harry. He was a part of me, and even at the tender age of sixteen, I could not be more convinced. Both of us had gone through and seen so much in years past…life had taught me how to appreciate love, life and friendship, because it had also shown me how easy each of those could be snatched away, and never be returned.

Even in the blissful retreat that was my summer house, the weight of what lay ahead never really lessened, regardless of the fact that me and Harry forgot about it for a while…

Voldemort was still at large, as dangerous and unforgiving as before. He was growing stronger by the day, threatening the security and lives of ordinary folk, as myself and Harry…while he remained a celebrity, I knew he did not feel as one. What mattered to him was life, loyalty and friendship – all qualities that I came to appreciate much more within him since the last few days.

He turned his eyes from the horizon, and focused on me. His gaze was distant and detached…seemingly yearning for something that could not be…without words, I understood him perfectly. He wanted what we discovered, only, in peace and not in war…

The weight on his shoulders was indeed immense, but I could see a glimmer of hope. Despite the risk of being killed, torn apart, and made to suffer, I could say that I knew our love would be a constant through everything that could happen in the future…

I watched Harry, as he continued to stare distantly at the horizon, and took another thoughtful sip of his own coffee. Beneath the sixteen year-old beside myself I could see not a boy, but a man, whom I loved with my whole heart.

Harry looked at me again, and stretched his hand across the table, to take mine into it, and gave it a light squeeze, before relaxing his grip, but not releasing it.

It was at that moment that my heart told me - our fates were intertwined, forever.

Forever, for eternity.

Fin.