Holy crap! I've gotten so many hits since I last updated! Seriously- the first two days I got over 8,000 hits each, then 4,000 hits on the third day, then 2,000 the next day, and so on... I'm in awe of this- just WOW! Thanks to everyone who read, seeing that many hits just made me feel so good!
As you can see by the chapter title, I've decided to do an epilogue and not a sequel. Sorry to everyone who asked for a sequel, but I decided, and my beta agreed, that I really don't have enough material to create a sequel for this story... I hope you all enjoy the epilogue.
Speaking of my beta, I want to thank her for all her hard work on this story- it really wouldn't have been anywhere near this good without her. I also want to thank everyone who reviewed and left me comments- you really kept me going!
Draco stumbled through the darkness, mentally berating himself for not waiting for backup. He was a very talented Auror, yes, but the Dark wizard he was tracking was also very dangerous. He had realized, when he'd arrived at his foe's location, that there must have been a leak in the Ministry since Jugson was ready for him. Quick thinking and pure instinct had saved him and turned the tables in his favor; now he was chasing Jugson through a wooded area. As he ran, he heard the cracks of Apparition behind him and felt the satisfaction of knowing the other Aurors had arrived. Or some more of Jugson's ilk, but, if Dark wizards and witches were surrounding him at this very instant, there wasn't much he could do about it, so he preferred to think help was on the way, no matter what the likelihood. Too much time around damn Gryffindors.
Draco reached a clearing, narrowly dodging a hex. Jugson was fiercely waving his wand, only giving Draco time to defend, and not attack. Spells were cast and blocked, cast and blocked, again and again. The clearing filled with lights of blue, green, purple, and red, each one coming faster than the last.
Twenty yards to his right, the crack of Apparition sounded, revealing one of the Trainee Aurors- too new to know not to Apparate so close to a duel so as to not distract a fellow Auror. Unfortunately for Draco, he was distracted by the young Auror. Jugson's eyes lit up in excitement as he saw his opportunity. "Avada Kedavra!"
Time slowed down.
The trainee's eyes widened in fear of what he had just caused. Draco tried to dive, but he could see that the curse would hit its mark. Knowing there was nothing he could do, Draco didn't stop Hermione's face from flashing in his head. He thought of her, home alone with their fourteen-month-old, Lyra. He thought of her pregnant with his twin sons, that now he would never meet. He thought of their last kiss and felt her lips on his.
The burst of light was coming closer, almost touching him now. Suddenly, he felt an intense heat coming from the band of metal on his left thumb, the serpent ring from his first Christmas with Hermione. The heat grew and burst forth to meet the green ball of magic that was rushing towards him. Too quickly for it to register, the protection charm from the ring bubbled around his body and rebounded the Killing Curse back towards Jugson.
Draco landed in a pile of leaves, completely unscathed – save for a heat blister already forming beneath the fast-cooling metal.
The Hogwarts Express whistled suddenly, breaking Draco from the memory of his first near-death experience. He lifted his hand and looked at his ring, the ring that had saved – and scarred – him countless times since that night.
It was his sons' first year at Hogwarts, a day he never would have seen if not for Hermione's protection charm. Volans tugged on his sleeve. "Dad, what if I get Hufflepuff?"
He chuckled. "Don't plan on coming home."
"Draco!" He grinned at his wife. Hermione was just as beautiful now as the day he'd first realized he loved her.
"I'm kidding!" He put his hand on his son's shoulder. "You won't have to worry about Hufflepuff, Volans. Neither of you need to worry about it; any child of mine will be in Slytherin."
Serpens laughed. "But Lyra is in Gryffindor!"
"Well that is because she is an exact copy of your mother…"
"Well, I'm not like mom and I want to be in Gryffindor! What about that, Dad!?" Serpens smirked the Malfoy smirk.
Hermione laughed. It was true that Lyra was exactly like her mother. It was also true, however, that Serpens was his father's son. Draco couldn't believe that someone so much like him would actually want to be in Gryffindor. Then again, Draco had never honestly believed anyone in their right mind would want to be a Gryffindor. Serpens must've hit his head harder than they thought that time he the twins were two and he forgot to take his son's height into account when carrying him piggy-back through the manor....
Volans whined, as he was no longer the center of attention. "I don't care what House I get, so long as it's not Hufflepuff!"
Hermione kissed his cheek. "Then tell that to the Sorting Hat. Now go on before the train leaves you!"
Draco held Hermione's hand as they watched Volans and Serpens join Lyra on the train. Just as the train was pulling away, Serpens stuck his head out the window. Whatever he had tried to say was lost to the wind, though his sly smile left no doubts to its intent. Gryffindor indeed!
Well, I hope everyone enjoyed this. I hope this wraps everything up for everyone because this is the last you'll hear from this story! Be sure to let me know what you think about everything!
Again, thanks to everyone who read this (especially those who have been here from the beginning)! I hope I can write some more awesomeness for you in the future!
P.S.- If anyone needs a beta, please feel free to ask me.