by Healer Pomfrey
Please refer to the disclaimer and warnings in chapter 1!
Chapter 20 - Epilogue
Together with Poppy, Lily and Severus hurried into the Shrieking Shack to enquire if their potion had worked or if Remus had still transformed.
Remus waited for them with a smile on his face. "Thank you so much, Lily and Severus," he said in a soft voice. "I still transformed into my wolf's form; however, I was not a werewolf but more like an Animagus. I still had my human mind."
Lily and Severus looked at each other in clear disappointment. "So sorry Remus," Lily apologized, before her thoughts wandered off to the ingredients, which they had used, and she absentmindedly followed her friends back to the castle.
It was later the same day, when Lily and Severus headed to their for another experiment, that Severus uncertainly cleared his throat and hesitantly spoke up. "Lily, will you become my girlfriend?" He pulled a small box out of his robe pocket and tossed it at Lily, observing in evident excitement as she opened the box and stared at the chain that was inside in awe.
"Oh Sev, of course I want to be your girlfriend," she replied, smiling, only to add, "Have I ever been anything else?"
Severus smirked. "Oh well, in fact I'd prefer to ask you to marry me, but we probably have to wait until after our NEWTs anyway," he replied, regrettably.
Lily smiled. "It's ok, Sev; if I know you want to marry me, I can well wait for another two years," she said brightly, before she looked back at the chain and the golden pendant, and finally gave Severus a questioning look.
"I hope you like it. I designed it myself and thought to make it a symbol of our family, considering that we're both cat Animagi," Severus explained, hesitantly.
"It's beautiful," Lily said, amazed. "And it's a wonderful idea."
"The jeweller, who made it for me, added several charms to it, for example against attacks, illnesses and potions accidents," Severus continued, smirking. "I hope it'll help me to keep you save my dear."
"Thank you so much, Sev," Lily said, happily eyeing the chain.
Severus let out a sigh of absolute relief, before he stepped nearer and gently took the chain out of Lily's hand to carefully fasten it around her neck.
Minerva chose that instant to step into the lab and was the first to hear the good news. "Congratulations, Lily and Severus," she said, feeling very happy for her son and the girl, who had been like a daughter to her since her first Hogwarts year. "Do you have a few minutes to join me in the living room? I'd like to speak with you both, but especially with Severus, about what you intend to do after your OWLs, considering that you're going to take your NEWTs in Potions in two weeks' time."
Both students readily followed the professor into the living room, where Lily and Severus looked at the professor in expectation.
"Severus, even if you still have to study two years for your other subjects to finish your NEWTs, it would be possible that you took over some of Professor Slughorn's classes if that's what you want," Minerva said gently, looking from Lily to Severus.
Severus let out a long sigh. "Thank you so very much for offering this," he said slowly. "However, I'm not sure if I'd be a good teacher. I'd like to become the Potions Master for Hogwarts though, provided that it's possible to separate the two posts."
Minerva nodded her understanding. "I'll tell Poppy and Theresa about your suggestion, and we'll speak with the Headmaster. I know for a fact that they'd appreciate it a lot if you could continue brewing for them and they didn't have to rely on Professor Slughorn."
Severus thanked his guardian profusely and continued, "Mum, in fact, I wanted to speak with you and Lily about this anyway." Seeing that Minerva cast him an expectant look, he continued, "The apothecary in Hogsmeade told me that he wants to retire and is looking for someone to take over his shop. During our last two years at Hogwarts, I intend to study for the Potions Mastery, and I'm thinking about having our own apothecary in Hogsmeade, provided that Lily agrees to do this together with me."
Minerva looked at him in surprise. "That sounds good, especially if the two of you can work together," she said, smiling. "Then you would be well able to provide Hogwarts with potions."
"Lily?" Severus queried, quirking an eyebrow.
Lily was sitting there, stunned. "Sev, this is just wonderful. Of course I'll do this together with you. Will the apothecary wait till we finish Hogwarts though?"
Severus smirked. "Well, that was the first thing I asked him, and he agreed immediately. He told me to come to him in order to sign the contract as soon as I've got the result from my Potion NEWTs." He let his eyes wander from Lily to Minerva. "By the way, there's something else that I'd like to discuss with you. I think Lily should be allowed to take the NEWTs in Potions as well, not the OWLs. All these years, she has been brewing together with me and knows as much as I do about Potions. I'm sure that she'll be able to receive an O in the NEWT exam."
Minerva cast Lily a questioning look. "That would be awesome, Professor. I'd really like to take them now and then study for the mastery together with Sev."
Minerva smiled at the two sixteen-year-olds. "I can't promise anything, because I need to ask Professors Slughorn and Dumbledore, but I'll speak with them during dinner," she promised, only to add, "I'm very proud of you both."
Fortunately, Professors Dumbledore and Slughorn agreed to all points, and after taking their Potions NEWTs at the end of their fifth year, Severus and Lily became officially responsible for the supply of all potions that were needed in the hospital wing, in spite of only being sixth years in all subjects but Potions.
During the next two years, Lily and Severus intensified their efforts to develop a remedy for lycanthropy, and a mere few weeks before the end of their seventh Hogwarts year, Remus Lupin was the first werewolf to be cured by the wolfscure potion.
The fact that the two youngest Potions Masters that Britain had ever seen, who had received the Order of Merlin first class for inventing the wolfscure together, were the owners of the new apothecary in Hogsmeade spread like a wildfire over Britain's magical world. If Lily and Severus had feared that there would not be enough work for both of them, even if they had to supply Hogwarts, they were completely mistaken, and after a year of totally overworking themselves, they decided to hire a part-time assistant, especially when it became clear that Lily was pregnant.
To the small family's delight, their best friends, Alice and Frank, had a baby boy just one day before their own boy, Harry Severus, was born, and the two babies practically grew up together.
When Harry and Neville were one year old, Severus noticed that Lily was not as happy and calm as she used to be, and after observing her for a few weeks in utmost concern, he finally asked his wife what was wrong.
"Sev, do you remember the vision, which I had so often during the last ten years?" Lily asked quietly. "I think it's going to occur soon, but I don't know what we could do to prevent it. Probably nothing... right?"
Severus let out a long sigh, before he asked, "Would you please show me the scene again?"
After watching the vision once again, he said quietly, "We can only wait and see, be as alert as possible, so that if it happens, it'll end well like in your vision. Still I don't think that it's going to happen," he added soothingly, not wanting to upset his wife more than necessary.
In the evening of Halloween, Severus was still downstairs in the apothecary, serving his last customers, when all of a sudden, the door to their apartment was flung open and a man clothed in black robes was standing in the doorframe.
"Step aside! I only want your sons," the figure hissed at Lily and Alice, who were playing with Harry and Neville.
'My vision became true. It's Voldemort,' Lily understood immediately, staring into the evil wizard's red eyes. The worst that could happen was just taking place. "No, please take me and leave the children in peace," she pleaded.
"Step aside," Voldemort demanded, pointing his wand at the young witch.
Lily barely heard him cast the spell, before she saw a red light travel in her direction. 'This is the end,' she thought, knowing that she was going to die. 'I love you Harry and Severus,' she thought, preparing herself for the inevitable.
However, an instant later, she was still conscious. The red light had stopped on its way and was suddenly flung back to its origin. Just when her eyes travelled farther to meet the evil wizard, the backfired spell hit him square into the chest, causing him to collapse on the floor.
Lily was just about to hurry to her son's side, when she heard a voice calling from downstairs. "Severus," she shouted back, before she picked Harry up into her arms. "Come quickly. It just happened."
"The boys must have used very strong accidental magic," Severus said in amazement, closely inspecting the scars on the two babies' foreheads.
"Will you be able to give them something for those scars?" Alice queried, looking from Severus to Lily.
"We'll have to invent something," Severus replied, thoughtfully.
"Otherwise they'll just have to live with their scars," Lily added, "so that we'll always be reminded that they saved our lives tonight."
"Lily, take Harry and go and visit Granny," Severus decided after Alice had taken Neville home through the Floo. "I'll call the Aurors and clean up here."
"Yay, Hawwy go Gwanny," Harry cheered and toddled ahead towards the fireplace, grinning happily, when Lily threw in the Floo powder, shouting, "Minerva McGonagall's rooms, Hogwarts."
Thank you so much for your continuous support throughout this story!