Disclaimer: Anything you recognise
does not belong to me it belongs to JK Rowling. I'm not making anything
from this, so please don't sue me.
A/N: Well here is the final chapter of this story. I would like to give my heart felt thanks to all those you have read and reviewed this story. I would particularly like to thank those who have been faithful and had the patience to keep coming back even when I have not updated for a while. Thank you.
Oliver woods chic, Satans little princess,
Kristawen, Kimmy Larisa, Princess Hermione, Gwacella, Thistlemeg, Elea,
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Confuzzler, Twistie, Lil' dudette, Occamy, smalls, Sakurantokyo, bookworm,
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lucky, Becky, Juliane, Midnightlily, alli, Alexa, seas, The shady guru, one
bright star, Queenoftherogue, dandylion 345, Kisey, Devonny Stratton, Beauty
fall, Hermione lucky, Iris, pickle princess, Quack quack 88, tinkandtoodles,
Esther, Morrigan, Jo, Little A, Sue, Skategirl 370, doesn't matter, Rachel,
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pixie ice, Cho and Harry forever22, winged goddess, Dragon mage,
lemmonspritzer, Crystal lily, fallen phoenix, Hayley.J the bat, Lovely lily and
many more……….. If I have missed you off
this list I am really sorry it was unintentional.
Thanks again to my Beta Allie for putting up with my erratic writing pattern. I am truly grateful.
* The end of an era *
With Easter break almost over and the return of Remus Lupin from the shrieking shack, the male members of the Gryffindor Quidditch team were holding a final meeting in the sanctuary of the seventh year boys' dormitory. The only agenda for this meeting was the humiliation of four very pretty witches. The girls reprieve had come to an end, the Quidditch cup had been won and the holiday was almost over with just one more weekend and the great hall would once again be full at breakfast and the perfect opportunity to make the girls pay for the prank they had pulled a few weeks before the Quidditch cup decider.
On the other side of the Gryffindor tower the small group of very pretty witches were getting ready for a trip into Hogsmeades, totally unaware of the plotting and scheming that was going on in their honour. This was to be the last trip before Lily would insist on the gruelling revision schedule she had planned, so as to get them all ready to take their newts. They had just four weeks until the exams and Lily was determined that everyone was going to excel.
Finally ready the girls headed down the stairs into the common room just in time to hear a tapping on the portrait. Smiling Annie headed over and swinging open the entrance to the Gryffindor sanctuary was happy to be confronted with the face of Danny Brocklehurst. Holding her hand out to him, Danny took it as he climbed through the archway and together they went over to join the others on the sofa.
As they were sitting chatting Lily noticed the time and rolling her eyes and huffing she said, "Danny would you mind going up and finding out what they are doing. Tell them if they don't hurry up we will leave without them."
Sliding Annie off his knee Danny smiled at her saying, "Sure thing Lily."
"Thanks," she replied.
Ten minutes later Danny reappeared in the common room with the four seventh year male Gryffindor's in tow. As they reached the sitting area the girls raised from their seats and throwing their summer cloaks over their robes, each moved towards her respective partner. This left just one student unaccompanied.
Noticing Peter stood alone Lily asked, "Are you meeting Morag today Peter?"
Nodding at her he said, "Yes, in the entrance hall."
With everybody together Sirius grinned as he said, "Well are we going or not. I'm sick of hanging around, waiting for you girls to be ready."
At this the sound of male laughter rang around the common room accompanied by indignant shrills of the female members of the little group. Before any of them could actually do any harm to him, Sirius quickly kissed Marie and smiled at the rest.
In no time at all they reached the main doors to the school and Peter waved goodbye to them as he went over to meet Morag. It had been noted by more than one of the group that since Peter had been seeing the small dark Slytherin he had spent less and less time with them, preferring to go into Hogsmeades with the her and her friends and making no effort to introduce her to them.
Once in the small village it was decided that they would split up into couples for the rest of the morning. Each couple headed off in different directions. Sirius persuaded Marie to go to Zonko's first much against her better judgement. Remus and Aggy headed over to Honeydukes for much needed chocolate supplies. Danny and Annie were off in search of books at the new shop that had opened. The three other boys looked on in envy, as James was the only one to be heading to the Quidditch supply shop with his girlfriend both engrossed in a discussion of the new gear that Lily needed for the upcoming summer training with Puddlemere United.
With lunchtime upon them they all found themselves in the Three Broomsticks sat around the large table near the window enjoying a butterbeer and some lunch. Stood at the bar beside her father Rosmerta took in the sight of the seventh years enjoying what she knew would be their last visit until after they had sat their newts. Smiling to herself she remembered not very long ago when she had been in a similar position herself.
The talk around the table turned to Quidditch causing two of the party to groan in frustration. With the Quidditch season over they had honestly thought they would get at least a few more weeks of sport free discussions.
Noticing Annie and Marie's disgruntled faces Lily smiled to herself. Looking at Aggy she motioned with her eyes in the direction of their friends and receiving a nod from her, Lily said, "Why don't we split up for the rest of the day. I really don't want to sit here all afternoon talking Quidditch."
Looking at her James said, "Are you sure? Should we all meet up before going back up to the castle?"
Lily raised her eyebrows at him as she said, "I think we should be ok. I'm sure we will be able to find our own way back to school with out the help of you boys."
"Very funny, you know what I meant," James replied.
Smiling at him Lily said, "Sorry, I'm sure everything will be fine. We'll see you later"
Having made the decision to take their leave the four girls stood up and once again donned their cloaks. With their goodbyes said and plenty kissed cheeks later, especially as Sirius had insisted that he kiss all of them, the four girls finally found themselves in the streets of Hogsmeades.
No boys to disrupt them the girls headed for the robe shop to look at the new fashions and possible outfits for after Graduation. They may have to wear their school robes to the ceremony but the party the evening afterwards was open season. For what seemed like the first time in ages the four friends had a girly afternoon, trying on different robes and accessories. Fortunately for most of the time they were the only witches in the shop.
Reluctantly the owner had to remind the girls it was time to head back up to the castle but she thanked them for a wonderful afternoon. From the moment the Gryffindor's had entered the shop the sound of laughter had floated in the atmosphere non-stop.
Aggy and Annie took the lead, linking arms behind them Lily and Marie were busy discussing their latest potions assignment. From this the topic of conversation soon turned to revision schedules as the two girls became engrossed in sorting out the best order to learn their potions notes.
Further up the path Aggy and Annie were also engaging in an in-depth discussion of the possible careers options for after graduation. It wasn't until they reached the edge of the school grounds that they stopped and turning around discovered that their other two friends were nowhere to be seen. Sitting down on an old fallen tree trunk Aggy and Annie resumed their talk while they waited for Lily and Marie to catch up.
Taking her eye off Annie every so often to scan the path that connected Hogwarts to Hogsmeades. Aggy had been keeping her eye on the time and was now concerned, it shouldn't have taken them this long. Anxiety rising in both girls, neither noticed that they had stopped talking and were now staring at the path.
Unable to take it any longer Aggy said, "I think we should go back and look for them."
As Annie nodded both girls were already getting to their feet and moving back down the way they had come just ten minutes earlier.
They didn't get far before coming face to face with Severus Snape who was carrying a stunned looking Marie Devon with a very white Lily Evans walking beside him. Rushing towards the unlikely trio Aggy was surprised to find Lily tumbling into her arms, while Snape looked awfully uncomfortable now the number of Gryffindor's had doubled.
Righting herself Lily said, "Sorry, I just tripped." Giving her friend and apologetic smile.
Looking at Lily Aggy flicked her eyes to the tall dark haired Slytherin and as she returned her gaze to her Lily Aggy said, "Lily, what's going on?"
Glancing behind her Lily suggested, "I think it would be best it we got closer to the castle first." Turning to Snape Lily asked, "Are you ok Severus?"
Severus Snape eyed the new comers carefully before he replied, "I'm fine but I would like to get this over with," and with a nod of his head he encouraged them to get going. "It's not exactly safe here and I would like to put this girl down before we are seen."
Annie took the lead, while Aggy dropped back to the rear and slowly the strange little group made it to a small grass track that would take them to the back of the greenhouses. Taking the initiative Annie detoured off and turning her head was pleased to see the others following her. As they reached the back of Greenhouse four Annie stopped and signalled for Snape to put Marie down.
Marie although grateful for the assistance was also relieved to be out of the arms of Severus Snape and thanked the lords that they had not been seen by Sirius. Annie was by her side as soon as she reached the ground, her wand out ready to cast a simple diagnosis charm. As the spell ended Annie let out a sigh of relief as she found that Marie only had minor injuries.
While this was going on Aggy turned to Lily asking, "What the hell happened?"
Casting a glance at Snape Lily said, "To be honest I'm not sure. We were right behind you two and then Marie lurched forward as if she had been hit with something. Next thing I remember is looking up and you two had disappeared and then Severus arrived out of nowhere and picked Marie up and not long after that we met you."
At this point both Lily and Aggy looked at Snape and then down to Marie who was having her ankle bandaged by Annie. Both girls returned their attention to the Slytherin who now looked beyond uncomfortable.
"Well can you fill us in on what you know?" Lily asked. As Snape shrugged Lily said, "How did you know we where there? Why did you stop to pick Marie up? Why did you dash off at such a pace I almost had to run to keep up with you?"
Quickly looking around before he spoke, Severus said, "I saw you all leave Hogwarts, as did a few others. Once I realised what was being planned I hung back from the group I was with and then flanked them on one side in the hope that I would be able to cut them off. She was hit with a delaying spell and knowing that the person who had cast it would not be far behind I did the only thing I could do."
This was the type of behaviour that Lily Evans had come to expect from Severus Snape but seeing it for themselves first hand had the other three girls reeling with shock.
Rolling his eyes at their expressions, Snape asks, "I assume you can manage from here?"
All Annie, Marie and Aggy can manage was to nod but smiling Lily said, "Yes thank you Severus."
Walking away Snape turned abruptly and glaring at the four girls said, "I hope we are in agreement that this incident will go no further. You will not mention it to anyone." Watching them nod their agreement he said, "Good day to you all," and with that he was gone.
Together the girl worked on Marie's visible injuries and by the time they made it back to Gryffindor Tower Marie was walking without a limp and the bruising from falling over was concealed beneath her robes.
Later that night Marie broke the agreement that had been made with Snape earlier that day. Cuddling with Sirius in the common room after everyone else had gone to bed Marie had to explain the bruises on her knees and elbows. At first Sirius had done the usual and flown off the handle, threatening to curse the git tomorrow at breakfast but eventually with a little female persuasion Marie had convinced him that he should let it go and under no circumstance was he to mention this to any of the others.
This was the last time the incident was mentioned between the two but it was by no means forgotten. The following morning Sirius had to do the one thing he never thought he would do and he called off the prank on the girls. In doing so he had to break the promise he had made to Marie and praying she never found out he bound the others to silence.
With the final week almost over before the end of year exams, the Gryffindor common room had become a morgue and the younger students were all secretly glad that this was to be Lily Evans's last year. Mostly because it meant the end to enforced silence in the common room during weeknights for the three weeks leading to the final exams.
Lily had kindly made revision schedules for her friends. The boys had groaned when they had been handed the dreaded bits of parchment early one morning at breakfast, each silently thinking how much Lily reminded them of Professor McGonagall. She was also unrelenting in the execution of said revision plans.
For the boys it was the slowest three weeks of their lives. They had lived with this girl for nearly seven years and in just the last two Lily Evans had turned the lives of four teenage boys upside down. It was unbelievable that one person could disrupt this many lives and do it so effectively. The only bonus was that rather than dreading the exams beginning all the Gryffindor's heaved a sigh of relief because nothing the teachers threw at them could be as bad as a stressed Lily Evans.
And before they knew it, it was all over. Every exam had been sat and they now just had to wait for the results to arrive. The enforced silence had been lifted but most students were still a little wary of the red head as she had a tendency to be nice one minute and then bite your head off the next.
Fortunately for Lily her friends understood her well enough and none of them took offence at her but by the end of the first week after the exams James's patience was wearing thin. The end came when late one afternoon Lily told them all she was going to do some extra credit assignments just in case her grades weren't good enough.
Sighing in frustration at his girlfriend's lack of confidence in her own ability James stood up as he said, "Come on Lily I think you and I need to go for a walk."
About to open her mouth Lily was cut off as James interrupted her saying, "Now Lily," taking her hands in his he pulled her up off the sofa and guided her out of the common room.
Lily and James walked down to the lake in silence. Reaching the waters edge James guided Lily towards a smooth patch of grass and sat down pulling Lily with him.
"James, what's wrong?" Lily asked, confused at her boyfriends behaviour.
Sighing James said, "Lily you know that I love you but at the moment you are driving everyone crazy." James continued as Lily frowned at him, "Lily you have got to be the smartest witch that Hogwarts has seen for decades, yet for the last three weeks you have terrorised the whole of Gryffindor. I don't understand why you are so worried, its not as if you have ever failed anything since you came to school."
Lily groaned as she lay back and let the late afternoon sun wash over her before saying, "I know I've been a little unbearable but I just can't help it." Watching James raise his eyebrows at her she smirked and said, "Alright I've been down right despicable. I'm just terrified of failing, I'm sorry and I promise I will make it up to everyone."
Lying down next to her James propped himself up on one of his elbows while his other hand gently stroked her cheek before he tipped his head so that their lips met. Slowly Lily's arms snaked a path around his neck and as the kiss ended they settled back on the grass enjoying a quiet moment alone.
From dinner that night the Gryffindor's saw the return of the Lily Evans they all knew and liked but they all recognised that it would be short lived, as the results were due out in another week.
For the seventh year students in particular it was a slow week leading up to the posting of the exam results. Lily had kept her word to James and made up for her behaviour. It have taken a little persuasion of Professor McGonagall but Lily managed it and with the help of the house elves Lily surprised the whole of Gryffindor with a party in the common room the night before the results were to be announced.
Also that night during dinner a small tawny owl made its way into the Great hall to the surprise of the remaining students and winged its way to the Slytherin table. As it reached its destination it released the package into the stunned lap of Severus Snape. Raising his head to take in the stares that were being directed his way Snape glared at them with a sneer firmly planted on his face and lowered the secret parcel onto the floor under his chair.
Much later that night hidden behind the safety of his bed curtains Snape opened the brown paper parcel. As its contents were revealed he smiled to himself and picked out the small statue of a golden lion with a silver snake wrapped protectively around it. There was no card but this didn't matter he knew who had sent it.
Unknown to Snape up in Gryffindor Tower the delivery of the gift had not gone unnoticed and four seventh year female Gryffindor's smiled at each other as the clock in the common room struck eight o'clock.
It had been the perfect distraction for Lily and the rest of the student's from what now seemed like impending doom.
With the sun breaking over the horizon the light that filtered through the large arched windows in the Gryffindor common room drifted across the softly closed eyes of Lily Evans. As the light intensified Lily's eyes fluttered open and little by little she focused on her surroundings. It took a moment for Lily to realise that she was lay on one of the sofas in the common room and that she was curled up against the warm firm body of James Potter.
Gently Lily raised herself up and smiled at the sleeping face of her boyfriend. It had been a long time since Lily had seen him so relaxed and peaceful. Raising her hand Lily trailed a finger over his forehead, gently pushing a stray wisp of hair aside and then down his nose where her finger traced the outline of his lips. Just as James opened his eyes Lily replaced her finger with her lips.
At the warm soft contact James opened his eyes just as a low moan escaped from deep in his throat and then a groan as Lily released his lips. Blinking James took in the scene before him and smiling he raised his arms pulling Lily closer to him.
As she snuggled back into his embrace James whispered into her hair, "Good morning."
Raising her face to meet his soft brown eyes Lily smiled as she said, "Morning James," then hearing the first footsteps in the dormitories above them Lily lowered her head back to his chest. "I suppose we had better get going before anyone gets down here."
It wasn't long before they where heading up to the seventh year dorms and their separate ways.
Entering the dorm Lily headed straight for her private space and collected a clean set of clothes before making her way into the shower room. Ten minutes later a refreshed Lily Evans left the bathing area only to come face to face with three expectant faces.
Noticing the look on their faces Lily asked, "What?"
But all she got in reply was Aggy raising her hand and pointing to Lily's perfectly made bed.
Lily chuckled and in response said "Wouldn't you like to know!"
For the other three girls this was the wrong response and Lily soon found herself under the deadly glares of her friends as the advancing teenagers backed her towards her bed.
All Lily could manage was to laugh and holding her hands up she said, "Alright, keep your hair on. I slept in the common room with James." Noticing the three sets of raised eyebrows she said, "No, we slept and nothing else. You lot have got dirty little minds."
Laughing at Lily's mock outrage the others made a mad dash for the shower room and before they knew it the moment of truth was almost upon them.
Making down into the common room they found four anxious looking teenage boys waiting for them. This morning's walk down to the great hall was very quiet as she contemplated the envelopes that awaited them with this morning's owl mail.
Deep in thought Lily didn't notice the concerned glances her friends were giving her. Over the years Lily had made her feelings about exam results very clear and her silent behaviour today of all days was now worrying them.
Finally making it into the great hall they wordlessly slid into their seats at the Gryffindor table. All around the huge room anxiety stricken faces could be seen as the students of Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry waited for the delivery of this years exam results. The sudden flurry of wings had the students looking up into the rafters as the school owls descended with their precious cargo.
Up at the head table the arrival of the mail was watched and as with every year the audible sigh from the seventh years did not go unmissed.
At the Gryffindor table Lily Evans closed her eyes for a moment and then raised her face just in time to see the envelope fall in her direction. Reaching up she plucked it from the air and held onto it just staring at it until a cough brought her back into the real world.
Looking at James she saw him hold out his envelope but Lily shook her head and with that movement she set the pattern for the last breakfast for them as Hogwarts students. Each of the eight seventh year Gryffindor's sat holding their futures in their hands and then in unison they broke the seals.
Eight faces quickly scanned the parchments and eight gasps were heard. Smiling faces all round told the story without words being needed, everyone had achieved what they had hoped.
With the dreaded deed done the chatter soon followed and they shared each other's joy at having pasted their newt's. To no ones surprise both James and Lily were in the top five in the year for all subjects. The biggest surprise of the morning were the results of Hogwarts winner of the most detentions Sirius Black who had also managed to finish school in the top five and above Remus Lupin who had finished top in defence against the dark arts. Marie was pleased to see that she had come second in potions and glancing over her shoulder at the Slytherin table she caught sight of the person who she knew would have come top. Both Annie and Aggy had exceeded their own hopes and Aggy was very happy to have come second in charms to Lily's first. Even Peter had managed to pass all his subjects, just.
With all the exam slips delivered Professor Dumbledore rose from his seat, standing for a moment he surveyed the students before him and then said, "Well done everyone. I would like to remind the seventh years that the graduation ceremony will take place this afternoon."
With breakfast over most students returned to their dormitories and finished their packing as tomorrow they would be making the return journey on the Hogwarts express and home. Seventh years all over the castle were packing for the last time and more than a few tears were being shed. By lunchtime the talk for seventh years had turned to the time they were going to spend in Hogsmeades once graduation was over.
As was tradition the seventh years remained behind in the great hall once lunch was finished and the graduation ceremony commenced.
Professor Dumbledore stood before the sea of faces that he had watched grow and develop. Today was a proud day but for this particular year he also knew that within a year some would no longer be living and he dreaded to think how many of them would be dead in five years. Whether it be fighting for the light and salvation or murdering and pillaging for the dark.
"It is with great pride and honour that I stand before you today. Today you all become fully qualified witches and wizards setting out onto the road to your futures, I hope that each of you fulfils your destiny and that there will always be a place for you here if you need it," looking around the room Albus made sure that eye contact was made with a few students in particular and hoped his message was heard. "Without further ado when you name is called please come forward and collect your certificate."
Over the next hour each student in turn made the journey to the head table shaking hands with the people who had facilitated their learning over the last seven years before reaching the headmaster who had encouraging words for each of them.
The great hall was a hive of activity as the newly graduated students milled around having last words with people they would probably not see much of in the coming years. The only group who didn't socialise were the Slytherin's who had departed at the first opportunity. The remainder of the day was spent in frenzied activity, most were dashing around the castle wanting to get a last look at the old building that had been their home for the last seven years.
At the end of year feast that evening it was the first time in six years that the Gryffindor's didn't win the house cup much to the delight of the Ravenclaw's who celebrated loudly. As the results were announced Marie held onto Sirius's hand tight as she watched his head droop slightly. Noticing his friend James sighed knowing that Sirius was probably blaming himself, rolling his eyes James patted his friend on the shoulder.
With dinner over for the seventh years who were no longer bound by the evening curfew found themselves spread around the castle.
At the exact same moment unbeknown to each of them four proposals of marriage were being issued.
Down by the edge of the Hogwarts lake James was on bended knee smiling up at the shining face of Lily Evans. Out at the Quidditch pitch Danny Brocklehurst was professing his love for Annie Ryan under the Ravenclaw banner. Up in the astronomy tower Sirius Black was holding the small delicate Marie Devon as if she was the most precious thing in the world. By the edge of the forbidden forest Aggy Court with tears sliding down her cheeks was standing in the warm embrace of Remus Lupin who she knew she would love till the end of time.
*************** Beta note: OMG! Tears! It's over. I say sequel sequel… *
A/N: Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. At the moment I am planning to do a sequel, if there is anything in particular you would like to appear in the sequel please leave a question (or suggestion) in your review, I will do my best to answer as many as possible. I have a good idea about what I want to write, at least three quarters is planned out (either on paper or in my head). In terms of expected arrival of first chapter probably somewhere around Christmas holidays. I hope to see you then.
Thanks again. Please don't forget to click the little button one last time for this story and let me know what you think of the chapter, story in general and what you want to see in the sequel.
p.s. I intend to put the uncut chapters up at www.adultfiction.net &or www.snitchficton.net once they have been edited.