~*~ Epilogue ~*~

She was small and very thin, with long black curls and slightly tanned skin. She looked normal enough, in her little muggle sun dress of purple, and her feet bare on the stone floor - protected by one of her mother's warming charms, of course. She'd gotten the anti-shoe sentiment from her mother, after all. Despite looking like a normal kid, she had weird eyes - and that set her apart from most - even in this place. One was pale green, with a very small pupil that worked well, though it did not seem to, and her other eyes was as black as obsidian. The little girl ran down the corridor from Professor Lupin's class where she had been talking to him , his wife and Doggie (as she called Sirius), going past Professor Potter in the hallway. She was late for lessons with her Mother, and she knew that her father would not be pleased if he heard of that.

"Ligeia, you know very well . . ." Harry began, but the girl gave him no mind as she went. The child was not yet of school age and he couldn't take points from her running in the hallways, but she knew more than most of the ones enrolled -even up to the 7th years. She was an evident mix of both her parents, making her a very perplexing character. At least she hadn't bitten his head off with a sharp remark this time. Sometimes, the child could prove more trouble than anyone expected of one so small and thin - she was even worse than her four older brothers -and that was saying a lot. Azrael, Mordred, Rattle and Anton had been hellions. Potter watched as she went through the halls away from him, soon being enveloped in the dark shadows. When he could see her no more, he shook his head and entered Lupin's class room.

"Ah, Harry. I was wondering when you'd get time away from your lesson plans." Remus teased. At his side sat Sirius Black - whose name had been cleared long ago - and Lupin's wife, a lady by the name of Guenivere whom Harry had met a few months before she and Lupin tied the knot. That too, had taken place long ago.

"Yes," Harry smiled "you know, planning to teach ickle ones how to ride brooms is very time consuming."

Before he sat down, he pulled the door closed behind him. They were two weeks away from beginning the school year, and it was good to know that they still had enough free time to visit with friends. Sirius was there just to visit before the school year began, off from his stint in the Ministry (which Hermione, Ron's wife, now ruled over) for a few weeks, and as Guenivere was teaching Astronomy, she had her own reasons to still be in the school with her husband. Lupin was now teaching Transfiguration. Why he'd ever given up the DAtDA class to his long standing successor, Harry would never know. He'd always thought Lupin had enjoyed teaching that course. His thoughts then turned toward the successor of that role of teaching. He wondered if Ligeia was in her presence yet. . .

~*~*~*~

A little while after that moment, the little girl was shyly knocking on the door that led into the Potion Professor's study. She knew that she shouldn't be back down here when he was grading papers - but if mother was not in their quarters where she'd just looked, she would be down here.

"Enter." The familiar silken voice called out. Ligeia did as commanded, going through the door slowly. Her eyes - mismatched in color - grew a bit wider when she came face to face with the man she knew the school children feared. Not only did he teach Potions, but he was also the Headmaster these days now that Dumbledore had gone into retirement. Potter, oddly enough, was deputy headmaster. Her father's hair, once midnight black, was now pepper colored with his age. His skin however, was still youthful looking, and his dark eyes still glittered with hints of malice from time to time. He raised his eyebrow at the child, letting a little smirk play his lips. "Ligeia, what did I tell you about bothering me in here?"

"Not to." The little girl - his little girl - replied. "But . . ."

"But?" The eyebrow went higher, and he knew she was questioning how it did that. She'd asked before, when she was about five. She'd said it was probably against the law of gravity. Mean spirited little thing she was, but with a good heart when it came to things of importance. It made him proud of her. He knew she'd be in Slytherin when her time came to be enrolled.

"I can't find Mother." She finished, her own gall rising at the fact of how impossibly annoying her father could be at times. Rules, rules, rules . . . that's what he was about. Rules, and sharp sarcasm. O, and her Mother -as well as herself and her brothers. Still, he was very cool at times, and she was a Daddy's girl if the truth be told - though if anyone ever found that out, she'd kill them. "She told me she'd be home."

"That's odd." He left the desk and went to his daughter, taking her hand in his own. "Audrey told me she'd be waiting for you there as well. I wonder where she's gone off to."

Ligeia's mother could be odd at times. It was an after affect of her part in the war, her father had said. The little girl was glad she'd been born after those time - the stories were always dark from those days. And it made her Mother strange sometimes, those stories.

"She's where she used to be at times, Severus." A woman's voice told them. The father and daughter turned around, to be faced with a vision of a ghost.

"What do you mean, Aunt Narcissa?" Ligeia questioned. While some children would have been bothered with a ghost for an aunt, it bothered her not at all. Other than mother and father, Aunt Narcissa was Ligeia's favorite person. Aunt's son, who was an Unspeakable at the ministry, was okay -but she thought Draco a little to arrogant - even if she was only 9 and had never seen the world.

The ghost smiled down at her in reply, then pointed up at the rafters over their heads.

"Not again." Father sighed. Then, he turned his face up so that he was looking directly at the revealed wood workings in the ceiling of the dungeons. "Audrey, come down. You were supposed to help Ligeia with her studies, remember?"

"No, we were going to bake a cake." Ligeia volunteered.

"Don't try to weasel out of this." Severus mumbled to her with a smirk, making her glower at him. He only smiled at his daughter, then looked back up at the rafters. "Audrey, really . . . come down. Stop acting like a little heathen."

At that, a woman jumped down from the hole in the ceiling. She was small, slightly chubby and tawny skinned with pale green eyes with small pupils. Like Severus, her flesh had few of the wrinkles age brought, but her bearing was now one that showed her wisdom -and at times her insanity. She had solid white hair - it had once been black with red highlights, Ligeia knew - but after the war, it had turned quickly to white. Her Father had told her it was from the stress of what she had done, Mother said it was because Father could be a total dolt and nearly got himself killed so many times. Ligeia guessed at a mix of both reasons.

"What did I tell you?" Mother hissed at Father.

"As though I ever listen." He smirked. Ligeia knew where she got it from, the sarcasm . . . but her's was worse than both of them - after all, she was her parents combined. Mother shook her head, bowing her chin to her chest. Then, she looked up and smiled. Next thing Ligeia knew, her mother had pounced on her Father and they were in the floor, Mother sitting on his chest. The child rolled her eyes at the old joke they had between them, not really understanding what it meant. Besides, she hated it when they got mushy with one another - and more often than not , it would come after a scene like this.

"Mother, I need help with my lessons." The little girl complained over the sound of her parent's arguing over something that had happened long before she was born. Most of the argument was teasing.

"Let them be for now, Lark will help you later Ligeia." Narcissa told her. The little girl huffed, then looked up at her Aunt. Narcissa lowered her voice then. "Besides, we can always raid the kitchens while they settle their … er … talking."

"Really?" The child asked in a whisper, knowing that Narcissa would help her in just that. So what if Father got angry? The house elves were fun to terrorize. The ghost lady nodded, and then, they were off - leaving her parents in the darkened hallway.

~*~*~*~

"Now, where do you think they've gotten off to? I need to help Ligeia with her Lakota." Lark stated. She looked up at Severus, who was then glowering at her. "What? So, I had a flashback . . .and I curled up in an old hiding place to remember… it happens."

"I know." Was all he said, trying to hide his troubled feelings. She took his arm, and soon, they were embracing again. When the released one another, Severus spoke again. "Let's go find our daughter . . . I believe she went off with Narcissa."

"Should be easy to find her then." Lark nodded.

"The kitchens." They groaned at the same time.

The End ^_^