Author's Note: This is it, the end of the story of Ellie, Sirius, their children and the friends who made up their family. Several of you have asked for more stories with these characters, there might be a one-shot or two, but there will not be a continuation. This is a good place for me to stop and take on a new story arc. Late this spring, or early summer I will start up-loading my new Harry and Ginny centric story "Continuum", but I need to finish writing it first. P and D was the first and last time that I will ever be writing to solely update.
The personal journey that I took while writing this story is reflected in the arcs that the characters took. It wasn't until I finished writing it the other day that I realized just how much. "Knots" and "Prophecy and Destiny" will always remind me of the internal struggle that I had in dealing with my cancer. Perhaps that is the greatest gift that writing can give someone.
So, here it is, the finale. I hope that it lives up to your expectations, and I really would love to hear what you think. Thanks to all of you who have taken this journey with me. It means so much to me, and I still get excited when I look at the stats and see over 500 hits for a day, or a chapter getting 100 by itself. You have no idea how thrilled I am, and it is with most humble gratitude that I thank you for reading along. Several of you have become friends, and you can never have enough of those in life. Thank you to my betas, my dear husband who let me run ideas past him, and my children who were the inspiration for Ellie and Sirius daughters. God speed all of you, and I'll see you when the next story begins. MNF
Prophecy and Destiny Fulfilled
Midnight, December 31, 1995
Sobs racked Ellie's body as she clung to that of Sirius. The sound that she made was unbearably sorrowful as she was screaming out to the universe, her soul being ripped in two. The children were all weeping, Harry and Ginny clinging to one another; Ainsley putting her head onto the bosom of Grace and Quinn being lifted by Uncle Remus. Seeing what was going on outside, Arthur had quickly cast a Silencio charm, therefore protecting the sleeping youngsters from the noise and sorrow in the yard below.
No one could move, it was if time had stopped. Ellie's voice finally gave out, and her screams turned to pitiful moans and whimpers as she held her expired husband's body. She was still weeping, but the longer she did, it was as if more and more of her life was draining away into the bloodied and bruised man that she loved. Remus finally gathered his strength, handed Quinn off to Arthur, and went to Ellie.
"El, we need to move him," Remus whispered. "It's too much for the children."
"We can't," she told him through her tears, her voice little more than a whisper. "I can't breathe without him."
Remus wasn't sure what to do, she was indeed gasping for breath now as she sobbed. He had to wipe his own face as well, for lying at his feet was his closest childhood friend, his brother in all but name. In life, Sirius had always been a force of nature, but in death he looked so small.
"Ellie, please," he begged her, but she only clung to Sirius tighter, she had now moved her body so that it cover his whole torso, and her hands held onto his face, her fingers had closed his eyelids. The return to the farm and her embrace now had moved his head back to a more natural position, and he looked merely asleep, rather than dead.
Remus could hear Ellie chanting something, but her voice was so low he couldn't make it out, so he went and knelt at the far side of the body, reaching across to put a firm hand on her shoulder. He knew that it was up to him to get Ellie to release the body, so Arthur and his sons could carry it away, maybe to the barn and prepare it to be buried. As he listened to her small, hoarse voice, he couldn't make himself tear her away just yet.
"Heart of my heart, body of my body, soul of my soul, I love you, I love you always, I am clothed in your stain," she repeated over and over, slipping from the English into the Irish of her heritage. "Croi de mo croi, corp de mo corp, anam de mo anam, Is tú mo ghrá, Is tú mo ghrá i gcónaí, mé eadak bhur smál." On she went, sounding fainter and fainter, as if she was slipping away from this world. She finally stopped chanting, and in a weak voice, whispered: "I cannot live in a world where you do not exist."
Remus was genuinely fearful that she too was going to die, right here and right now from a broken heart. As he resolved to pull her away from Sirius, willing to take upon himself any anger or wrath that she might have over his decision, he looked at the pair once again. Ellie had her chest pressed up against Sirius', her mouth close to his ear as she whispered. It appeared as a lovers embrace, and his resolve wavered, unsure which would indeed kill her -- leaving her or tearing her away.
As he went to stand and try to move her he stopped and his knees slammed back into the ground. There was a faint glow coming up from her armor and down from the crown that still held to her head. Ellie went back to her chant, and the glow began to grow, now growing strong enough to attract the attention of her children. Several gasped at the sight, but Remus didn't know who, as he couldn't tear his eyes away from what he was looking at.
The glow grew brighter and brighter, shooting out from all over Ellie. Her hands were bright as they caressed his face. Remus gathered enough strength to stand, and when he did, his face traveled to each of the assembled family, all echoing his astonishment, and then to the faces of the princesses that surrounded them. He hadn't even realized that they were here, but each of them had serene smiles upon their mouths. It was as if they knew what was going to happen, some sort of blissful secret that they alone held.
As his eyes drifted downward, he saw that the glow had grown, and it now encompassed the pair, and the light was even a purer white than it had been before. He took a step back, as if it was too bright, too strong, too hot to be near them; and yet he was sure that they were not being burned by it.
The light began to draw back to the source, and as the brightness faded, he noticed a difference in the two, he couldn't place it, but he knew something had changed. Fear gripped him as he pondered if Ellie had indeed gone with her husband, and that her children were now orphaned. He resolved, knowing that Grace would agree, that his best friends children would be cared for by them and loved just as their parents had. As the light withdrew further, he saw Ellie's body rise and fall from breathing, and he breathed a sigh of relief that she had not died. He watched it closely, intent on seeing another breath. To his astonishment, it was not only Ellie's body that was lifting and falling as air moved in and out; but so was Sirius'.
He again made eye contact with Harry, who looked from the bodies up to meet his gaze. He must have seen it too, as he was perplexed and still filled with wonder. With the continuing retreat of the bright light, more and more of the family was astonished at what they thought they were seeing, but unable to believe that it could be true.
The light finally retreated fully, and Sirius face could be seen, and Ellie lifted herself enough to watch as his eyes flickered open. Ellie stared at him smiling, and yet slack-jawed at what had just happened. She knew that he was dead, she had felt him leave her; but now...he was...
Sirius eyes were open, and he looked around, disoriented, until his face met Ellie's, then it broke out into the most glorious of smiles. "How did you?"
"I don't know," she answered with a small kiss to his lips. She pulled herself off him, and went to sit. It was only then that she realized that his chest wound was now pouring fresh blood out of him. "Quinney, honey, we need you," she said with concern but not with fear. Ellie stroked Sirius' head and face, her gaze never breaking away from his.
Quinn wiggled herself away from Arthur, and dropped down to the ground, running over to her parents. "You know what you must do," Ellie said to her, and Quinn dropped to her knees and took out the ancient healing pouch from within her robes. She quickly rubbed it along the curse burn that was across her Papa's chest. Almost as fast as she did, the wound healed itself.
Sirius finally looked away from his wife, to his daughter. He sat with help from Ellie, and opened his arms to Quinn, who happily fell into them, hugging him tightly. Remus knelt again, putting a steadying hand on his friend's back, as he was fearful that the little witch's affections might knock him back to the ground.
At the sight, the rest of the children came forward, and Sirius embraced each of them. Grace came forward and wrapped a protective arm over Ellie's shoulder and she leaned into her best friend's embrace. The tears of the family had turned from ones of sorrow, to ones of rapture. After he had assured each of them that he was feeling fine, he turned to look at Ellie. His face turned to one of shock.
"Lolly, what happened to your armor? That wasn't there before!" he exclaimed. Everyone looked down, and there in the middle of her armor was a mark, a perfectly etched Serch Bythol, the intertwined triskeles that she had on her skin as the mark she wore for her love for Sirius.
"I have no idea," Ellie muttered in wonderment. It was only then that the Queen stepped forward to speak.
"Your magic, your faith, it has brought him back. The power of it burned through your armor, dear child," she said calmly, but Ellie looked even more confused.
"But, you can't return someone from the dead, there is no spell for that," Ellie replied.
"How little you still understand. Wasn't it you that proclaimed on that battlefield that 'Magic is not rooted in power, magic is rooted in love'?" she asked, and Ellie had to ponder what it was that was being said to her.
"You mean...love brought me back?" Sirius asked.
"Yes, that is exactly what I mean," Maeve said calmly.
"But my wounds. Why weren't they all healed?" he asked her.
"Ellie's love healed the mortal wounds, the non-lethal ones would just have to be dealt with on their own," she said with a continued smile, and a nod of her head.
"How does that...wouldn't that mean that whenever a spouse dies, the other should be able to bring them back to life?" Harry asked, having recovered his composure, and going into his normal inquisitive and thoughtful self.
"Harry, it doesn't quite work like that," Maggie Potter came forward to speak. "What is between your parents here, it was...it is...written in the stars and blessed by the gods and goddesses. We knew that Sirius was coming long before he met my sweet Ellie."
"Mummy, what are you talking about?" Ellie asked her mother, and now it was time for Ainsley Hightower to speak.
"My dear sweet girl, before you were born, I had a vision of you, all grown up, standing next to Sirius, holding a baby girl while the apple blossoms were on the trees. I told your mother, and we both agreed that it was a secret best kept between us," she explained.
"That first summer day, when you brought Sirius home with you from swimming, your Grandmummy took one look at him, and knew that he was the one she had seen coming," Maggie took up the story. "You were six years old, and you had just met the love of your life. It was hard to know that you were little more than a baby yourself, and yet, you had already met the one that you were destined to be with." Ellie looked from her Mum to her Grandmum and then back at Sirius.
"I still...I don't understand," she stammered out.
"The universe ordained that you were made for each other, to ensure that your daughter would be born. You are soul mates, in the most true and pure form," the Queen explained. "You were either both going to go, or you would both need to stay. I'd say that you must still have work to do, since you are both here and breathing."
"It doesn't make sense, I don't understand..." Ellie admitted, her head and heart jumbled from all of the emotions that she was having.
"How about if we don't try to understand, Lolly? How about if we just believe?" Sirius questioned her, and a bright and joyful smile burst from her face.
"You're breathing and smiling at me, how could I do anything but believe?" was her answer, just before she leaned down to kiss him. Somehow, the familiar action caused the family to clap and cheer in joy.
News of Voldemort's defeat and the imprisonment or death of the remaining Death Eaters was met with great joy in Britain. Amelia took on the task of dealing with how the battle was reported in the media, taking special measures to play up the role that the other creatures had played, and especially the type of magic that had been used by the family to defeat Voldemort. She knew this was what would bring on the change that the Wizarding world so desperately needed.
Since the only ones that had seen Sirius die were their family and closest friends, news of his death and subsequent not–death was kept among the family. A few of the imprisoned Death Eaters had tried to tell others, but their stories were met with sniggers and passed over as the ramblings of those who had gone mad at the loss of their leader.
Ginny remained with Harry for a while, and then returned to the Burrow to be with her family. While she talked with Harry several times a day on their mirrors, it wasn't the same, and their separation was hard on them both. After two weeks of living at home, Arthur and Molly sent her back to Italy. After all that she had done, they only wished for her to be happy.
The family remained at the farm for the entire second term of the school year. There was too much attention on the children to send them back to Hogwarts. Their parents wanted to protect them from the scrutiny and give them a chance just to be children for a while. The lesson schedule was eased up greatly, and Ellie and Sirius gave them the choice of taking the International Wizarding Standard exams or not. All four chose to take them, just to see how they did. They were pleased with their grades.
Shortly before Harry's sixteenth birthday, the family moved back to England. It was decided that all four would return to Hogwarts together in the fall. The board of Hogwarts decided that given the advanced level of her magic training, and the role that she had played in the battle, Quinn would be allowed to enter school a year earlier than she would have normally been allowed. It seemed right that they would all be there, together.
On August first, the holy day of Lughnasad, the reigning princess of the line of Maeve and her two progeny went to address the Wizengamot. They had been invited this time, on this date, to begin fulfilling the rest of Ainsley's prophecy. As they walked in, they were followed by Sirius, holding his nearly one year old son and Harry. The Lupins and the whole Weasley family were in the gallery to watch as Ainsley rose to accept her destiny.
"The floor is given to the reigning princess of Maeve," Dumbledore told the assembled delegates as the session was called to order. A hush came through the room as everyone looked to Ellie. She gently smiled and began to speak.
"We thank all of you for your kind invitation today, and it is our honor and privilege to speak before you. We are here today, as it is one of the holiest days of our year and one that we should remember and celebrate as we were taught in the earliest days of our magic," she stated. She then stepped aside, yielding the floor to her daughters, the ones who would truly wear this mantle.
"We have gone astray. We have forgotten what we once knew," Quinn began to speak with far more poise than any ten year old should have. "I survived and ultimately escaped from those that would have enslaved us, not by power but by faith and an understanding of the magic of my heritage." Quinn stayed where she was, and grabbed her older sister's hand as Ainsley began to speak. Much had been made of Ainsley's gift of sight, and its use in the preparation for the final battle. Even at the mere age of thirteen, she was known as a powerful seer and mystic in her own right.
"I have had two visions of our people, of our future. In one, we continue as we have. Other's will rise and try to seize power, and we will again live in fear. We will insulate ourselves further, paying less and less attention to the world around us. We will ignore the sufferings of all other beings that inhabit our time and space. We will forget that we are intertwined, and it will be our downfall," Ainsley stated calmly. With the exception of her family, those who were listening were aghast. They had just seen their greatest enemy brought down, how could there be another at all like him in the future?
"The other vision that I have had is a brighter future. It is one where the magic that saved us from Voldemort is embraced, and we as a people remember our roots. We strive for equality, not just for witches and wizards, but for all, be they Muggle or Fairy or Elf. We will celebrate the days like today, with feasting and prayer. We will offer the gods and goddesses their remembrances, and pay homage to those that have lived and gone on. We will be a people who do not rule by power, but by compassion and understanding."
"Where we go now, what happens next, that is for us all to decide. We need to contemplate which future it is that you wish for my generation to inherit. I put before you today that as the ruling body of our world, the first step must be taken by you. There are laws on our books that have allowed one such as Voldemort to rise to power as he did. There has been a campaign of disinformation that has been allowed to go on for years concerning the Ancient Magics and Faith. This body must decide if it will allow it to continue, or if it will strive for change," Ainsley said with force.
"I know that there are many that look upon me as a child, but please remember, it was four children and that Ancient Magic that did away with the dark presence that haunted our existence. The stories of that day are true, what you have heard is real."
Ainsley bowed her head and stepped back, as her Mama came forward again. "We thank you for your time in hearing us today. I know that we have given you much to consider. With your permission, sir, I would ask that you allow us to withdraw, so that you could begin your deliberations."
"While I would grant you that permission, Princess Potter-Black," Dumbledore started, "I believe that it would be much more helpful if you, your husband and your son were to take your seats among us. You are all still members of this body, and your guidance and understandings in these matters could prove invaluable to us."
Ellie looked at her former teacher and mentor, and was struck by the tone of his voice and the words of his request. Something had changed between them, the long–held adversarial state had begun to fall, and Dumbledore had made the first move to heal their old wounds. Ellie needed to respond in kind.
"I believe that we can fulfill that request, sir," she replied with kindness in her voice. Ainsley took Johnny from her Papa, and she and Quinn went to sit with their Aunt and Uncle, while the rest rose up the stairs and took their seats. Ellie still stood out in her gown, crown upon her head, but seated between her husband and her son, she did not feel out of place.
"I believe that our first act should be the review of all current laws on our books, looking at them to see where we can improve our relations with others. Ms. Bones, may I call upon you to chair a committee that will review such matters?" Dumbledore asked.
"You may sir," Amelia replied. "Thank you for your trust in me."
Ellie reached for the hands of her husband and her older son, and then looked over at her daughters and sleeping younger son. So much had happened, they'd all been through more than it was still possible to comprehend. But yet, even through it all, she was living to see change in her world, change that had been foretold long before she or her mother, or her grandmother, or any of the many in her line had lived. This was a day over three hundred years in the making. That she had lived to see it astounded her, but it humbled her too. She closed her eyes, and said a prayer of thankfulness to all those who had led them to this place, and then asked for their guidance in what was to come. She opened them and looked at little Quinn, now squirming in her seat with excitement, and she knew that the world was indeed good. Very, very good.