~Chapter Twenty-One: Epilogue~

The Second War had been brief considering the amount of pain accumulated stemming from the First War. Certainly there had been numerous deaths on the day they had been victorious. Dumbledore had been the first to go followed by Ron. These two deaths had been something relished by many. The remainder of the Order that had taken part on that day hadn't been executed quite in the same way as those two. No they'd been taken down to the dungeons to await their trials which would decide their fate.

Ciaran hadn't been present for any of the trials against those he'd once sided with. Marvolo, Severus, and Draco had forbidden it for his mental health. With his ability to hear others thoughts it would have been truly torture. Added to this he had heard they'd been relatively hectic especially with their argument they'd been fighting for the "Greater Good." No one had accepted that as a plea for their lives. Yet they continued along this line of thought. Ciaran was glad he'd been forbidden from attending.

Hermione Granger had been the first on trial for her relationship to Harry Potter (not that anyone had been informed of such). She had managed to stick to her beliefs, so brainwashed by Dumbledore, she couldn't even admit that having a differing curriculum for muggleborn students would improve relations between the two warring sides. Numerous people had been horrified by her words against it. She had been sentenced to Azkaban for ten years in the hope that perhaps once she'd returned she would see the changes had been for the benefit of the world.

Ginny Weasley had been sentenced exactly the same way as had many of the younger generation. Though some had been given shorter sentences depending on how close they were to the Order's beliefs. Ciaran was glad it had turned out that way. Not everyone should be punished for their parents pushing their beliefs on them.

Ciaran admitted that while his father and grandfather might have forced a few of their beliefs on him he still maintained certain morals that neither could tamper with. The Order children weren't that lucky. They were made to believe everything their parents spoke without any decisions of their own.

The adults amongst the Order were trialled differently. Ciaran didn't know many of the details for this but it was mentioned briefly that every wrong doing against the Dark was marked against them. Even moments they'd discredited the Dark Lord were counted. However there were a few moments included that had his father and grandfather growling. They'd included the wrongdoings against Harry Potter as a crime though he was meant to be dead.

This mention of course had the Order believing Harry Potter was still being held by the Dark. They weren't wrong yet they weren't going to be corrected either. No one wanted it mentioned that Ciaran Snape had once been Harry Potter. That was kept tightly under wraps. Anyone from the Order who figured it out was ordered to have the Kiss.

The Dark were fair in their judgement of everyone or so the public agreed. Some people still felt terrified over the Dark's victory yet no one could help that. After all they had witnessed how brutal some of the Death Eaters could be with their enemies. Not many would choose to openly stand against that and say they weren't afraid. However they weren't openly shunning the new changes that were beginning to occur.

They embraced the hidden community the Dark Lord was creating. Regardless of how well known Dumbledore had been many hadn't approved of his love of muggles knowing what they were capable of. Marvolo held more sway with his change of public opinion than anyone else in the Ministry. Everything was beginning to work out.

Even his relationship with Draco was beginning to pick up. Certainly they weren't doing anything his grandfather wouldn't approve of but they were moving forward and away from his past. Potter and Malfoy was a thing of the past and only Ciaran and Draco remained. They made each other happy and supported each other through moments that were difficult. They existed for one another.

Ciaran smiled into the flames before him, the warmth licking his skin and setting up a comfortable atmosphere where he could simply relax and be himself.

"What do you think the future holds for us?" Ciaran enquired.

Marvolo looked towards his grandson who was patiently waiting the return of Draco from the Ministry along with Lucius and Charlie. Severus remained at Hogwarts for most of the year overseeing the school as Headmaster. It was a tough job and one where Ciaran couldn't visit for long however it was something that provided more time for Potions which his father adored.

Looking back on the past year, Marvolo couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if everything hadn't been revealed. Ciaran would still be Harry and he would still be attempting to murder his grandson. Considering this, there were many topics they needed to discuss. Certainly everything was in place but nothing lasted forever especially with a few of the Order members still on the run.

"I do not know, child." Marvolo admitted. "Many times I have known what path to take and yet stepping down them have only led to misery."

He thought of the attack on Halloween and then the scene in the graveyard. Every time he'd been certain that path was the correct one and yet it had turned out to be nothing more than a trick. The only thing he knew for sure now was that Ciaran was the most important person in his life. He had a family though unconventional and he wasn't about to lose it to anyone else.

Ciaran nodded his head accepting his grandfather's words.

"All we can hope, Ciaran, is that the future will be brighter than yesterday."

Together they shared a smile. Nothing was perfect in this world that they were recreating however nothing in the world was ever perfect. All they could do was enjoy the time they had with the people who surrounded them. Whatever challenge came next would happen and they would welcome it with open arms.


The End. I hope you enjoyed it.

~MidnightEmber