A/N: So this is the end of this story. I just realized that I made a mistake a few chapters back when Chloe introduces herself to Narcissa and everyone else. I ended up saying Chloe Athena Drake when I meant Evans for the last name. My bad. If you didn't notice well now you will haha. Anyway, I loved this story and I'm sad to see it end, but by this one ending it means I can focus on my other stories :) I hope you've enjoyed this story with me and I hope the Epilogue ties it all up for you :) Thanks for sticking with me!
After being checked out by the healers and recounting what happened to the aurors Harry, Draco, and Hermione were finally able to leave the devastating site. As they were walking towards the alleyway to apparate away Harry was stopped by someone calling his name. He turned to look at Antonio's mother walking carefully towards him. She was wringing her hands in front of her and she stopped a few feet away and bowed slightly to him.
"Mr. Potter, my name is Francesca Moretti. I wanted to apologize for what my figlio did to you and Chloe," She said to him.
Harry stepped towards her and she cowered slightly. He stopped and his face fell at the thought that she was afraid of him. He didn't step any closer. "Please don't be afraid of me. It's not your fault for what Antonio did. He got caught up in something that he shouldn't have and he paid for it," Harry explained.
"I am not afraid of you. This is how I've been raised, to fear man. But now I have no man to fear which his rather, how do you say, exciting, I think," She replied with a smile.
Harry chuckled and nodded in agreement. "I hope you never have to worry about that again," He said to her.
"Me too. I also want to ask you if I may spend time with Chloe. I loved Adele like my own daughter and I knew that Antonio was killing her for his own selfish reasons, but there was no way either of us could stop it. Although it hurt to see her leave I knew that for Chloe's safety she needed to leave so I helped her. My figlio never knew my part in her disappearance. I'd like to get to know her though for Adele's sake. Her parents have been long dead and I'm the only other nonna that she has," Francesca explained.
"Mrs. Moretti, Chloe and I are going back to the states. It's still not safe for us here. We like where we live, but we'll visit and I would like for her to have a connection to her family. She has grandmothers between me and my adoptive family and Draco's mother, but another grandma would thrill her I'm sure. We just won't be here all the time," Harry tried to explain. He heard Draco take a deep breath and sniffle as well as heard Hermione gasp at his words.
Francesca nodded slowly and dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief. "I understand. When you get settled send me an owl and we'll work something out. Thank you for your generosity. Good luck to you Mr. Potter and thank you for saving my family," She said. She smiled kindly at them and turned around and walked away. Harry watched her leave and sagged his shoulders in sadness. He turned to face Draco and Hermione who looked like he had ripped both their hearts out. He sighed and walked past them into the alleyway. They followed behind him and all apparated back to Malfoy Manor.
Harry ran inside yelling out Chloe's name. He heard a gasp come from the sitting room and he ran in there. The small kitten looked over at him from the couch and leapt off bounding towards him. As it leapt into the air into Harry's outstretched arms the kitten transformed back into a little girl.
"Daddy!" She cried as she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, tears streaming down both their cheeks. Harry buried his face in her hair and took a deep breath cherishing the scent of his little girl. "Oh daddy, you're okay! I was so worried!" She cried as she sat back and placed her hands on Harry's cheeks. She turned his head this way and that looking at the bandages that were on his face. "What happened to your handsome face?" She questioned as she kissed each of his bandages.
"It doesn't matter. You're okay and you're safe. I thought I was going to have a kitten for a daughter forever, but at least I'd still have you I suppose," Harry teased her as he kissed her forehead.
"Oh daddy, you're so funny. I couldn't change back. Grandma Narci says it's because I was so worried about you that I could not focus long enough to change, but then I saw you and I was able to change," She explained happily.
"Well that makes sense. How are you feeling? Did they treat you horribly?" Harry questioned her as he walked over to take a seat on one of the chairs.
"He wasn't very nice, but his mum was though. I guess she's my grandma too, but I don't know. He's a horrible man and I hope he never tries to get me again," Chloe declared defiantly.
"He won't. He will never bother us again. His mum would like to spend time with you though and I think its okay, but not if you don't want to," Harry said.
"I do. I liked her enough. I don't think she had much of a choice like me and it would be nice to learn more about my mum from her too," Chloe reasoned.
"Okay, well when we go back home and get settled we'll contact her, okay?" Harry agreed.
Chloe turned to look at him her expression filled with confusion. "You mean we're going home to Oregon? But I thought we were going to stay here with Draco and Grandma Narci and Grandma Molly and everyone else?"
Harry sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Harry you couldn't possibly leave," Molly said tearfully.
Harry looked up and glanced over at her. Her face was red with tears and Narcissa looked as if she had been turned to stone. He glanced over at Hermione who was crying quietly with her arms wrapped around her waist. His eyes finally settled on Draco and the look on his face made his stomach turn. He had his arms crossed and stood straight with an indifferent mask on his face. He wasn't looking at him or anyone else. Harry hadn't seen this look in many years.
"I- it's not safe for anyone if I'm here. You were all just fine thinking I was dead or far enough away to not cause problems. I'm here for barely a few days and I'm already causing problems. It's just safer for you all if I stay away," Harry tried to explain.
"And you didn't think to discuss this with anyone, especially me?" Draco demanded as he turned his fiery gaze on him.
"Draco, you've wasted enough of your life looking for me. It's not safe for you to be with me. I left to protect everyone and it worked until now so I just want to go back to that so that you are safe," Harry explained.
"I am so glad you are determining what's safe and what's not in my life! Don't I get a say? Doesn't your daughter get a say? I have not wasted my life! If I didn't love you as much as I do I would have just let you stay 'dead' and never come looking for you! You are not leaving me Potter!" Draco yelled.
Harry stood up, Chloe sliding off his lap. "It's just better this way! You can find someone to marry and have children with and Chloe and I will just stay away from you, from everyone! Get on with your lives again!" Harry yelled back.
"I don't want to marry anyone else or have children with anyone else but you! Don't you get it Harry? Don't you get that I love you more than my own life? Don't you get that I never gave up on you? And you just want to throw it all away because you think it's not safe for me?!" Draco screamed.
Harry stared at him his face red with anger and frustration. Chloe looked up at him and then Draco and then stood up herself and stared hard at Harry. "If Draco doesn't come with us or we don't stay here then I am not going anywhere with you daddy!" Chloe cried. She placed her hands on her hips and glared at him. Harry turned to look at her his mouth dropping open in shock.
"Chloe, you can't possibly mean that," Harry said in a small voice. Chloe's lip trembled and she nearly caved under his hurt look, but managed to stop herself.
"I do mean it. You love Draco so much and I love him too. I love the new people I've met here, our family and I am not about to give it all up. So you can go back to Oregon and I'll stay here with them. If that's alright Grandma Narci and Draco," She said defiantly as she turned to look at them both with wide, innocent eyes. Draco and Narcissa's expressions faltered as they looked at her.
"Of course it is dear," Narcissa said quietly looking unsurely between Harry and her. Harry's face fell as he realized that he was going back to Oregon without his daughter. It would probably be better that way anyway. Keep her safe as well. Harry stood up straighter and strode to the door. He turned around and looked at them all his expression somber.
"Fine, if that's how it's going to be then stay here. It's probably safer for you here than with me anyway. Just remember I love each of you very much and I'm only doing this for you all. Hermione I'm sorry that I can't stay, but I want you to know that you're the best friend I've ever had and be happy. Molly, I appreciate all you did for me and I am sorry for the pain I've caused you all these years by pretending to be dead. You're like a mother to me and I'll always cherish that. Narcissa take good care of your son and my daughter. I appreciate your strength. Chloe, it breaks my heart that you won't come with me, but I understand why you want to stay here. I'll see you again soon love. Be good for your grandmas, aunts, uncles, and Draco. And Draco, thank you for everything. I love you. I truly do and I will never stop loving you," Harry stated. He gave them each one final look and then turned around walking away from them.
The group stood in silence as they listened to the door slam shut and the faint pop of apparating. The silence was broken when Chloe let out a whimper and started to cry. Narcissa quickly scooped her up in her arms and took her out of the room, Molly following closely behind. Draco stood there staring blankly at the spot where Harry had been. He turned away and looked at Hermione a determined look in his face.
"What are the odds Hermione?" He demanded.
She looked at him in confusion. "What are you talking about?"
"What are the odds that something like this is going to happen again? That Harry is going to put us all in danger again," He questioned.
She bit her lip as she thought and when her face brightened after a few moments Draco smiled triumphantly. "With the death eaters that are known to still exist the odds are like one in a million. Harry has one in a million chances of putting us in danger again," Hermione replied.
"That's good enough for me. That man is going to be with us whether he wants to or not. He has to stop thinking about everyone else and think about what he wants. He wants all of this. He doesn't want to be alone anymore!" Draco exclaimed happily as he gestured around them.
Hermione nodded her head in satisfaction. "You guys can still live in Oregon and spend plenty of time here too. They have a new international floo network so there is no excuse for this. You need to stop him Draco. Don't let him decide what we want."
Draco nodded and ran from the room and up the stairs to the room that Narcissa had taken Chloe. Narcissa and Molly were trying in vain to comfort her and explain Harry's reasoning when Draco burst through the door. All three of them looked up at him in surprise.
"Did daddy come back?" Chloe asked.
"No, but we are going to go and get him. He's not making this decision for us, is he Chloe?" Draco asked her grinning broadly at her.
"No he isn't!" She exclaimed as she jumped up from the bed and ran to him. He scooped her up and quickly left the room. Narcissa and Molly right behind him.
"We'll be back!" Draco called over his shoulder as he and Chloe ran out of the house. Narcissa, Molly, and Hermione stared after them and shook their heads.
"Harry better stop being so stubborn," Hermione muttered in annoyance.
Narcissa and Molly began laughing and soon Hermione joined in. They left the doorway and sat down in the sitting room to patiently wait for word that Draco and Chloe had been successful.
Harry stood in line for the ticket counter fighting back his tears. He kept reminding himself over and over that this was the best solution for everyone. It would keep them all safe especially Draco and Chloe. He was a bit hurt though that Chloe decided to not go with him. I shouldn't be hurt. I mean I pretty much gave her no other option and isn't that what I wanted anyway, for her to be safe, away from me? And then Draco, oh Merlin Draco, I love him so damn much and to be without him is like having no air. You're an idiot Harry Potter. He chastised himself. He continued his inner battle completely missing that he was next in line and the ticket lady was waiting impatiently for him.
"Get a move on! Some of us have places to be!" Someone yelled behind him. Harry lifted his head abruptly and looked around. He blushed and stepped forward.
"Sorry. Um, when is the next flight to Portland, Oregon?" He asked quietly to the desk agent. Her face softened as she looked at the dejected look on his face.
"There is a flight that leaves in thirty minutes. If you hurry you can make that one. Otherwise the next one doesn't leave for another two hours," she replied. Harry looked behind him at the front entrance debating for a moment if he should just run back and beg for forgiveness from Chloe and Draco. He shook his head and turned back to the woman.
"Yes that will be fine," He murmured. She nodded and began tapping away on her computer as she looked over Harry's passport.
"Do you have any luggage Mr. Evans?" She asked him.
Harry stared at her for a moment like he didn't understand the question. Evans, who is that? Oh right, back to that again. He thought.
"Um, no I don't," He said. She nodded again and placed his boarding pass on the counter. Harry reached for it and she grabbed his hand in a kind gesture.
"I hope that going home again will put you in better spirits," She told him. She patted his hand and smiled once again before Harry returned the smile and quickly walked away.
When Harry got into his seat on the plane he reached forward and lifted up the airplane phone. He dialed a familiar number and waited for someone to answer. Finally someone picked up.
"Hello?" Came a deep voice.
"Hey Jason, this is Harry. How are you?" Harry asked.
"Harry! I am doing well. How are you?" Jason exclaimed.
"Um, not that great, but it's a long story. I'm heading home now so do you think you could take Ana to the house? I should be home in a few hours. Oh, by the way, how's Jules doing?" Harry asked.
"I'm sorry to hear that and Ana has been waiting impatiently for you and Chloe to return so she'll be happy to go home. Jules has been frantic. I didn't tell her where you went and she's just been going nuts wondering where you are. She was under the imperius curse you know and she's got this big gap in her memory. All she knows is that one day you were there and then the next you were gone. She has a bad feeling that she caused something to happen to you," Jason explained.
Harry felt his throat constrict again knowing that Chloe wasn't coming back with him. "Well, Jules was being used that's for sure, but listen we are getting ready to take off so I better go. I'll see you soon and thanks again for taking care of Ana for me," Harry said quietly.
"Not a problem at all. Have a safe flight and we'll see you both soon," Jason responded. Harry heard a click so he hung up the phone and sat back. He closed his eyes letting a few tears escape. He glanced out the window and watched the plane head down the tarmac. He could see London moving away from him and his heart ached for what he was leaving behind. He let out a choked sob and closed the window shade. He knew deep down that he had just made the biggest mistake of his life.
Harry was jostled awake suddenly by a jolt in the plane. He opened his eyes and looked around. They were landing in Portland now from what he could tell from the window across from him. He felt even worse than he had before. He sat up a bit straighter and waited for the seatbelt light to go off so he could get ready to get off the plane. It was in the evening, probably around six or seven. It completely threw him off though.
He walked slowly across the airport to the baggage claim. He wasn't sure how he was getting home since he knew Jason took his car home for him. He figured he'd just take a taxi. It would probably be better that way because his mind was in no place to drive. He looked up as he approached the doors and saw a familiar woman standing near them. Even though it had only been a few days since he had last seen her, it seemed like years had passed. She smiled tentatively at him and he grinned fully at her. One good thing about being back here, at least he had a friend like Jules. Her smile broadened and she jogged forward and gave him a huge hug.
"Oh Patrick! I'm so glad you're alright!" She cried as she hugged him tighter. "Where's Chloe?"
"Hey Jules. You have no idea how good it is to see you. It's a really long story on why she's not with me so I hope you don't mind me talking most of the way back home. How did you know I was coming back?" Harry replied.
"Jason called me and sent me here to pick you up. I'm all ears. I feel like I'm missing a big part of my memory so I'm hoping you'll be able to fill it in for me," Jules explained.
Harry nodded. He followed her out to the parking garage and before they even left the airport Harry began his story from the very beginning. Sure enough by the time they got home Harry had just finished telling her about why Chloe wasn't with him. Jules had been shocked, saddened, humored, depressed, and more throughout his whole story. She really didn't know what to say. When she pulled up in front of her house she walked slowly to the other side where Harry was getting out.
"Well, Harry, that's going to take some getting used to, I feel better now that I know all of this and you know I'm always here for you. I've been able to do a lot of reflecting since you've been gone and I realize that no matter how much distance there is between you and Draco, you'll never stop loving him. Go get some sleep. You look like hell. Hopefully tomorrow will bring on a better day for you," Jules surmised.
Harry reached over and gave her a hug. "Thanks for listening and not freaking out by the end. I hope tomorrow will be better as well. Good night."
"Good night," she whispered as she watched him walk over to his darkened house.
Harry reached the front door and sighed as he unlocked it. He knew that the house was going to feel very empty without Chloe there and he wasn't ready to face it, but he knew that he would have to sooner or later. He opened the door and clicked on the light. As expected Ana was waiting patiently by the door. His heart warmed to see her and he knelt down and wrapped his arms around her neck inhaling her doggy scent. She acted as if she knew that Chloe wasn't with him because she didn't look behind him for her.
Harry sighed as he walked further into his house. He glanced into his moonlit office and sighed at the stack of papers that were waiting for him. Just because he was a PE teacher didn't mean he missed out on correcting papers once in awhile. He figured Jason kindly placed them in there for him. He chuckled slightly at his boss and friend. He stepped into the living room and kitchen area and looked up the stairs to where Chloe's door was open slightly. He felt the lump coming back into his throat and he felt tears springing to his eyes. He blindly walked over to his couch and collapsed on it, but all too suddenly he let out a startled cry as he shot back up and whipped his wand out turning on all the lights.
"Dammit Potter, watch where your going," A familiar voice said from the couch. Harry took his glasses off and wiped his eyes furiously and replaced them. Lying on his couch, massaging his stomach was Draco looking slightly bent out of shape. "Did you get lost on the way here or something? Geez you should have been home hours ago," Draco asked as he stood up from the couch.
"What, what are you doing here?" Harry stammered.
"To remind you that you're an idiot and that I'm not going to let you do another thing for someone else. It's about damn time you listened to your own wants and needs and those needs are me and Chloe and your family back in London," Draco responded.
"Its not-" Harry began, but Draco promptly interrupted him.
"Don't give me any of that 'it's not safe' shit. Hermione calculated the statistics. You have a one in a million chance of compromising our safety when you're around so nice try. Give me something else to debunk," Draco finished crossing his arms smugly.
Harry opened his mouth to respond, but closed it when he couldn't come up with anything else. He sat down heavily in a chair and sighed. "Alright I've got nothing, but give me time and I'll come up with something else to reason why you should stay away from me," Harry answered.
Draco crossed the distance between them and knelt down in front of him. "Harry, I'm not going anywhere. I know you want me and I know you want to have Chloe here with you and I know you want your family. We aren't going anywhere, ever. I love you Harry James Potter no matter how much you drive me completely insane, I could never stay away from you. Besides there's a few houses down the beach that are for sale and I believe that your family is in the process of buying them up and it would be such a hassle to back out now," Draco reasoned.
Harry sighed and tilted his head back. He couldn't help, but give in. He knew that he could never be away from them all again especially since he had just gotten them back. He knew that he was just afraid. He tilted his head forward and looked into the deep pools of silver that belonged to a man who had gone to the ends of the earth to find him. How could he possibly deny himself Draco when he was there in front of him, ready and willing for the taking?
"I hope they're buying the really gorgeous ones because there are a few down there that are a bit under the weather," Harry finally answered.
Draco beamed at him and leapt forward. He wrapped his arms around Harry's waist and pulled him as close as he could manage. He leaned his head back and brought one hand up to wipe away a small tear that had escaped Harry's eyes. He smiled again before he leaned forward and pressed his lips against Harry's. He easily lifted him up off the chair and instinctively Harry wrapped his legs around his waist pressing their groins together in a passionate embrace, their lips never wavering from each others. Draco walked to the stairs and skillfully managed to climb them without hesitation. He stopped halfway between Harry and Chloe's room and broke the kiss.
Harry gave him a questioning look and sighed. "I'm being selfish. There's a certain little girl who is waiting ever so patiently for you to read her a bedtime story," Draco explained.
Harry smiled broadly and unwrapped his legs from Draco's waist and settled onto his own two feet. He walked carefully towards Chloe's room and pushed the door open. She was sitting up in bed with a book on her lap. She beamed at him when he walked in taking a seat next to her.
"I want you to read this one to me daddy. It's about two wizards who fall madly in love and have a little girl who is the apple of their eyes," She said with a broad smile.
Harry returned the smile and wrapped her up in a hug. He kissed her forehead and she giggled softly when he gave her a quick raspberry on her cheek. He sat against the headboard with her and wrapped an arm around her. He opened the book and was about to read when he looked up to see Draco leaning in the door jam. He glanced down at Chloe and she nodded her approval.
"Draco, how about you help us read?" Harry asked. Draco grinned and walked over and took a seat on the other side. He looked up at Harry who leaned across Chloe's head and captured Draco's lips in a tender kiss. "I love you too," He whispered. Draco smiled at him and they each grinned wickedly as they moved down to kiss Chloe on her little round cheeks. "And we love you to pieces as well," they said together. She let out a gleeful cry and settled in between them. Then they began reading her the story starting a new tradition that they would do every night for many nights to come.