Title: Rise of the Dark Angel
Chapter: 26: Epilogue for Harry and Friends
Settings: AU after OOTP: It's canon up to the beginning of the battle at the DOM when they are in the veil room, after that, it's AU and mine and Tonks.
Pairings: HP/DM; LV/SS; LM/RL; NL (CL)/LL; RL/BL
Warnings: This story will contain mentions of Violence, Child Abuse, Adult Language, Alcohol Use, Slash/Het Sexual situations and Death. Please discontinue reading if such scenes or themes are offensive to you.
A/N: here is the first of the two final epilogues. Initially, I had this and Voldemort's epilogue together, but I thought that it was better, and would feel less convoluted if both had their own separate epilogues. To everyone who has waited patiently, I hope you guys like it.
Happy birthday babyvfan! I hope this helps in you celebrating today. Also, if you haven't read her story Stages of Friendship, Love and Kisses yet, then you should go find it. It is an awesome Drarry story that started out as a one-shot and was turned into a novel. Seriously, go check it out.
Disclaimer: I own nothing…if I did, Ginny would have died in the CoS, Dumbledore would have choked on his lemon drops and Harry would have stood up for himself against Molly and Dumbledore.
Disclaimer 2: this story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Letter or commentary/introduction and flashback
~…~ indicates scene change
O.P.D.: Tuesday 17th January, '17.
The rest of the year passed by and the Wizarding World entered the new year without incidents. In the following months, rumours swirled around that the Halloween battle that had ended Dumbledore's life had been between the former leader of the Light and Voldemort himself. However, since no move had been made by Voldemort's side since then, even more rumours came about that just maybe the Dark Lord had died as well.
Although the Ministry, especially the minister, was eager to truly confirm whether or not that was true, they had to acknowledge the undeniable fact that they probably would never know exactly what happened that fateful night and that they couldn't continuously pour galleons and resources into it. So, they moved on.
As for the young teens, school continued on and before they knew it, the year was over and it was time for summer break. It was a unanimous decision that the summer would be spent at Harry's place, with the teens and the adults finally meeting Gabriella's mother.
Meeting Gabriella's mother wasn't the only thing that was experienced that summer. Just two weeks in, Harry received an owl from Hermione; it was a detailed letter further explaining herself and her actions and what truly made her turn against the Weasleys and in essence Dumbledore as well.
"What is it?" Draco asked as he looked up at his boyfriend.
"It's a letter from Hermione," Harry told him as he sat on the floor in front of the blond's seat.
"Really?" Pansy looked up from the book she was reading. "And why is Granger writing you?"
"Don't know," Harry shrugged, "haven't opened it yet. To be honest, I was a bit too surprised to see the letter."
"So open it," Gabriella encouraged.
Luna simply hummed from her place next to Cory, reading a book about magical animals.
Harry shared a look with Draco and when the blond nudged him, he opened the letter.
I bet anything you're shocked by the fact that I actually wrote you a letter and if you're actually reading this and haven't thrown it, then I am deeply grateful.
So the reason for this is simply because I need, not want but need, to apologize to you regarding my actions for the past school year; well, to be honest, for the last few years.
I never should've agreed to spy on you for Dumbledore. The only reason I can offer as to why I gave in, was because I felt like I still had something to prove; that I wanted to show all the Pure-bloods who thought I didn't belong that not only was I just as smart, and capable, but that I could gain a position that they may have deemed too superior for the likes of me. The thought that it would've been a bought position didn't really occur or sink in. We were friends first but I let everything he promised go to my head and allowed it to cloud my judgment and for that, I sincerely and deeply apologize.
It was my mother actually, who first steered me off of the path I was on to a new one. But even before then, now that I look back, I see that I had already begun to deviate from that path and it was all because of you. When the school year had restarted back in September, I was expecting things to continue on as they had before. Bypassing what had occurred in Diagon Alley just weeks before then, I was so sure that things hadn't changed that much and that that incident was just a fluke. I was wrong. At the time, I never took into account just how much Sirius' death would've changed you and since those changes went against what I was supposed to be doing, I didn't accept them. But just because I didn't, didn't mean that they hadn't affected me. It was after the situation between us, when we argued over Umbridge's death, when it felt like a veil was being lifted from my eyes, albeit very slowly. I still clung to what I was told but not as much at that time. Honestly, though? I cannot believe the way I behaved towards to your reaction; I should've known better. I did know better because you were right. I was the one who helped with trying to heal the scars her "detentions" left behind and to judge you for feeling satisfaction at her death when I knew what she had been capable of…
And that day in Potions class when you rejected my help; it was such a slap in the face. For the first time, my intellect wasn't enough, it wasn't needed. And…that hurt.
But like I said, it was my mother who finally lifted the veil from my eyes. And how did she do it? I had written to her to complain about everything that had happened up to that fateful Quidditch practice. I knew she'd have a few scolding words, but I still expected her to be on my side. She was my mum. Once again, however, I was so devastatingly wrong. She tore into me. She reminded me of when we first met, how you risked your life to save mine; and how Ron had not been a very good friend or boyfriend given the fact that I was so willing to compromise my morals by stooping so low as to cheat to help him win, something I had never before done in my life. And then she went on to praise you for standing up and finally, in her words, speaking out against the unfair unburden that the Wizarding World placed on you the moment Voldemort was first defeated Halloween 1981.
When she told me that she didn't recognize the person I was turning into, it broke something within me and I knew then that I couldn't continue to go on how I was. That's why I broke up with Ron and that's why I came to you to apologize. Because it wasn't until that moment that I had realized just what I had lost with my own actions and words.
I knew when I came to apologize that I would never be able to undo the damage I did; that all I could do from that point was go forward. I will always regret my actions and the way I treated you. I also wanted to offer up my sorry for even being a part of Dumbledore's plans. Now knowing all the horrible things he's done, both to you and others, makes me sick to my stomach that I ever looked up to that man and that I threw away our friendship for nothing.
You did what I couldn't. You stood strong in your convictions and beliefs and stood by your friends no matter. The way you handled Cory's return is testament to that. I wish I could've done that because I miss you Harry. So much. But I do understand that things have changed irrevocably between us and I accept that now. But I think I needed to go through what happened to open up my eyes and take myself off of the pedestal I'd unknowingly place myself on.
I don't know if we'll ever be friends again. But I will say this, if there's one thing I've learned from you is to never give. So I won't. have a good life Harry and I do wish you the best in everything you do. I also want to congratulate you on your relationship with Draco. I didn't understand it at first, but I've come to realize that it does make sense, you and he. You fit together and I wish you both, and the others, happiness.
Hermione J. Granger.
"Huh," Draco murmured as one of his hands reached out to run through Harry's hair. "I have to say I was not expecting that."
"Well Granger is a smart girl," Blaise offered up. "It stands to reason that she'd want to reach out and apologize. Before this last school year, I would've said that she was someone who would never admit they were wrong, but she herself proved me wrong when she not only broke up with Weasley but came up to Harry to apologize as well."
"What are you going to do?" Cory asked.
Harry gave him a shrug. "Nothing really. I'm not even sure if it really changes anything between us."
"Playing Devil's Advocate for a moment," Gabriella spoke up, "but didn't you say that you were pretending from the moment you entered Hogwarts? That you realized what they wanted out of you, so you gave it to them. So if you think about it, you were basically lying to her about who you are."
Harry gave her a considering look before acknowledging her point. "True. But, I've always leaned more towards the dark side than the light and I suppose I might've been testing her a bit, but truthfully, even if I had revealed what kind of person I was, I don't think Granger would've been ok with it; not completely. You think if she knew all the things I've done so far, that she would be on board? No. Because regardless, she is someone who is Light to her core, so a friendship between us never would've worked. In a way, it only worked because I kept my true nature hidden and pretended to be the absolute Golden Boy."
"So it only worked on one level," Cory said thoughtfully, "but that level is a superficial one at best, and it wouldn't work at your core level; who you both are deep down; you, like you said, will always go more to the dark and yes, Hermione has spent the last five years getting into all sorts of trouble with you, but deep down, she will be more for the Light. Although, one could argue that she might possibly be more Grey than Light."
"What are you going to do?" Luna asks, looking at Harry with clear eyes.
Harry looks around at his friends. "What do you guys think?"
"Personally," Pansy was the first to speak, breaking the silence that hovered the room for the past few minutes, "I don't like her. She betrayed you to Dumbledore. Although, like Gabriella pointed out, you were deceiving her as well, so in some way, those two points cancel each other out. And, yes, she's smart, but she was also arrogant and condescending with it; and I know, that's something coming from me as a Slytherin, but we don't outright brag of our genius,"
"Except Draco," Blaise injected with a grin.
"Shut up," Draco replied, throwing a cushion at his friend.
"Point is," Pansy continued after a pointed look at the Italian. "She may be a genius, and have even been called the smartest witch of our generation, but nobody likes it to be thrown in their faces. She cannot handle someone knowing something that she doesn't know. If she could lose all of that, then I won't try to poison her or even glare at her too much if you do decide to retain your friendship with her."
Harry stared at the girl for a few seconds as Blaise laughed from his spot, before he nodded, "Good to know Pansy." He looked over at his fellow Gryffindor. "Cory?"
"My biggest fault with Granger," Cory started, "Other than the obvious of her once working under Dumbledore's orders and dating Weasley, is that she is a very judgmental person, even if she tries to play it off differently. It wasn't too much over the years, at least not until fifth year and the way she treated Luna, dismissing her words simply because it was something she didn't know or understand. And then this last year—before she got her head on straight—and how she treated you in Potions, expecting you to run back to her for help. If you got help from somewhere other than her, or you did something better and faster than her, then it was a huge issue. It's as if because she was proclaimed as the smartest witch of our generation, she believed that her words were law and absolute truth and if she didn't know about it or experienced it herself, then it simply must not be true. Look at how she treated you when it came out that Umbridge was dead? I do believe though that she does have some redeemable qualities, otherwise you wouldn't have given her that little piece of hope on the platform the day we left."
Gabriella looked confused, but she wasn't the only one. "What do you mean?"
"When we were on the platform," Cory explained with a slight smile, "just before we left with Remus, Harry looked over at Granger and gave her a small yet genuine smile. Based on her reaction, I'd imagine it was enough to give her hope and the courage to write this letter."
Eyes turned to Harry, but it was Draco that spoke. "I hadn't realized you had done that."
Harry shifted to look at him. "To be honest, I wasn't even really thinking about it and I honestly can't even tell you why I did it. Maybe I just felt as if it was time, you know? Dumbledore was dead, everything was exposed, plans had come to fruition. It was time. I meant what I said when I said that we could all move on now. After all, I did forgive her last year after she broke up with Weasley and came up to apologize."
"So what are you going to do?" was repeated for the third time.
Harry hummed. "Nothing much really. She doesn't expect us to be friends, and neither do I. I'll acknowledge her words, but for now, that's it."
In the end, Harry replied back telling Hermione that while he appreciated her apology—and offering up his own—as of now, things would remain the same between them but he did leave an opening where he admitted that perhaps in the future, they might be able to call themselves acquaintances.
With that out of the way, the gang spent the rest of the day simply relaxing.
The next few weeks were spent getting reading ready for Harry's birthday. So anticipation was quite understandably the setting around the manor. Both the teens and the elves got into decorating the Manor after Harry had revealed that he had never had a birthday celebration, complete with parties and everything. At the admission, Remus had looked fairly murderous and it was only the calming touch of Lucius' hand on his arm that had prevented from him heading to Surrey to exact his revenge. When July 31st came, Harry woke up with a smile on his face, one that stayed on throughout the entire day as he celebrated his birthday surrounded by his friends and family.
And as it was, when seventh year started, it was a group of excited and well refreshed students that convened that first night in the Great Hall. The air buzzed with energy, not only for the new students, but also for the sixth years and also because it finally felt as if they could all breathe. The war was seemingly over and they had nothing to worry about, no deaths or attacks. All they had to worry over was whether or not Potions would be easier or what assignments were missed or would take the longest to complete.
Harry and Hermione, along with the rest of the group, slowly formed a tentative friendship; it started with a few 'Hellos', but it progressed as the school year continued on and they spent time in the library doing homework. For her part, Hermione was completely grateful and determined not to waste the second chance she had been given. December came around and with it, the now implemented annual Yule Ball before end of term; students from both Durmstrung and Beauxbatons were in attendance.
Fleur had attended as a chaperone, and she had spent most of the night talking and dancing with Harry and friends; it was something that had surprised the majority of the students, including Ron and Ginny as they hadn't known that their brother's wife was close to Harry or any of the others. The French woman was a delight and her eyes glowed with pride as she regaled the group with tales of her young daughter. The Yule Ball was once again a complete success and the students went home with smiles and laughter.
After graduation, things changed even more, but yet for the better. Plans had already been made during the course of the year, so it was simple enough to start implementing them. Draco had decided to do a Potions apprenticeship; his plan was to eventually become a Potions professor. As he had already made mention of his plans over the last year, Severus had adjusted his own to help, so Draco spent the following year shadowing some of the best Potions Masters in the world before coming back to work under Severus' tutelage at Hogwarts. Severus was delighted as that meant that he could finally move on from teaching at Hogwarts as it was never something he had ever wanted to do.
So September '99 found Draco becoming Severus' teaching assistant during classes, slowly moving from him grading some of the papers belonging to first and second years, to teaching a class once a week by himself by the end of term. When the new term started in January '00, he was teaching twice a week, alternating each week between first and second year students. Draco was slightly surprised at just how much he enjoyed teaching, but while he was, neither Harry nor Pansy and Blaise had been. By summer, Draco had not only a Potions Mastery, but also the equivalent of a teaching license and when the new school year started that September, Draco was a full-time professor. After much talking and many conversations, he and Severus had come to a mutual decision; instead of the older man fully retiring from Hogwarts, he would teach the fifth through seventh years as per his reasoning, those students would be the ones who had decided on a career that featured Potions as an aspect; Draco would teach the first through third years and the two would split the fourth years with Severus teaching Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaw while Draco taught Gryffindors and Slytherins.
Draco wasn't the only one to go the teaching route; Harry had decided to do so as well after much thought and consideration as to what he wanted to do. Many had expected him to go the route of the Auror force, but that wasn't the case. Harry had confessed to Draco, and then the others, that all he had been doing since he re-entered the Wizarding World was fight, and that he was done, unless it was an absolute must. It wasn't until a discussion where not only the DADA was brought up, but the way Harry had started teaching the other Lions about other things that were going on the world (the memory of Dennis and Colin and how he Harry had explained their deaths and the way that the other students had listened in rapture) that Harry figured out that he was going to follow in his boyfriend's footsteps and become a professor as well.
So while Draco travelled the world doing his Potions gathering, Harry was learning and researching all he could about not only defence against the Dark Arts, but the Arts themselves; after all, as he had pointed out, learning about the origins of curses like Avada Kedavra and others, would remove most of the stigma and fear that surrounds the Arts. He too travelled the world, occasionally meeting up with his boyfriend so that they could spend time together and catch up on what the other was doing.
He was also helping Voldemort with his plans for the Wizarding World, including buying up plots of land, meeting with foreign dignities and getting to know more about not only the world he now lived in, but the entire world as a whole.
Cory had decided to do an apprenticeship in Herbology, but unlike Draco and Harry, he did not do it with the intention of becoming a professor. Instead, he had decided to open a plant emporium; a place where he would have the widest range of plants, from the common and basic variety to the rare and nigh impossible to locate ones; the Greenhouse back at Potter Manor was his base where he grew and tendered the plants until they were ready to be sold in his store. After much searching, Cory finally found a nice spot in Diagon Alley; it was an empty building just past Ollivander's and after going through accumulating the necessary permits to not only buy the building, but also for his plants, by the end of summer of '99, his store CL's All in Bloom was ready to open.
When Luna graduated in 1999, she decided to continue the tradition that her and her father had started. So for the first few years after graduation, she travelled the world. The young girl found herself continuously going to many places, with Newt Scamander's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book as a guide. During her worldly travels, she sought out many different magical creatures, including those that others were convinced didn't exist but that she knew of. It was an amazing time for her as she had the complete support of her closest friends; knowing she had that base waiting for her, filled the young woman with a sense of joy and it translated well into her adventures. Unlike the others, she didn't go into teaching or open up her own store; instead, she wrote books about her travels and about each animal she encountered (including some that were not in Fantastic Beasts) and had them published. When Reperio Academy opened up in 2002, she was asked by Voldemort (now going by Marvolo Prince) to be the professor of Magical Creatures and she accepted with complete delight loving the idea of showing young children the world through her eyes. Christmas that year brought another surprise when Cory proposed to her in front of their loved ones; she said yes before he had even finished his question.
Blaise, Pansy and Gabriella didn't travel the world like the others. Gabriella went to work in the Magical Child Services Department. She started out as an intern, learning how things worked, while also studying up on the laws surrounding abuse, neglect and everything else that affected a child being in danger. Her no-nonsense attitude combined with a compassionate voice rose her through the ranks and after a few years, she was one of the best MCS workers in the Ministry. Blaise also had a position in the Ministry. Using his mother's connections, and all the missions and lessons growing up and throughout his years at Hogwarts, he studied and learned all about the different departments in both the British Ministry of Magic and the Italian. When Voldemort became Minister for Magic, ousting Scrimgeour, Blaise was in perfect position to be the liaison between the two Wizarding Ministries. Pansy went into a different direction. Unlike her boyfriend and friend, she decided she wanted to be a lawyer. When she was questioned as to why, the reply was that she enjoyed verbally cutting people down and winning and she might as well transcribe that to a job that would pay her well. She studied under the finest barristers in Europe and like Blaise, when Voldemort became Minister, she had completed her studies and gained her license. She was put to the test when Alastor Moody and few remaining Order members brought accusations against Voldemort, going by Marvolo Prince, exposing his past as the Dark Lord and person who had fought and killed Albus Dumbledore.
Molly Weasley, as it turned out to their utter shock, had convinced her husband to use every morsel of coin in their name, pulling every heirloom locked in the bank, even going as far as to put their own house on the market, to support the cause. It was she who was seen marching down the streets with posters and flyers, reciting at the top of her lungs all the good the man has done for the Wizarding world, trying to keep Dumbledore and his utterly-shattered name alive. It was she who marched into the Ministry, demanding a trial to bring forth the truth once and for all.
And it was she whose face was fifty shades of mortifying red when using Voldemort's help, Pansy sliced the woman and her band of Order members to shreds with undeniable, unbeatable solid evidence that Marvolo played no part in Dumbledore's death.
What cemented her victory over the Weasley matriarch and their Order members, was Pansy's final words during the trial.
"If anything, given all the strings the man has been pulling for years to save face, all the lies, all the manipulations, I'd say that Albus Dumbledore finally got what was coming to him and justice was served."
With everything that had been brought into the light on Dumbledore's past, no one argued against the claim. Most certainly, not the judge, who glanced over from a shaken Molly Weasley to a smirking Pansy, and ruled in Pansy's favour with a final slam of his gavel, dismissing all charges the Order tried to bring in.
The emotions within the Order ranged from shock to fury, flinging loud protests left and right as they were led away by Aurors from the courtroom with Molly screaming the loudest. The exact opposite of her pale-faced, shock-slack husband who was a statue as Aurors carried him away.
Ron Weasley was present with his sister for the hearing, watching in shock as their parents were dragged away. He covered his bright-red face with his hands, avoiding cameras and reporters that swarmed them. Ginny, on the other hand, looked over the courtroom, as if she expected aid to fall onto her lap.
Hope lit her eyes as she spotted Harry across the room, watching them. Hope that quickly suffered a horrible, painful death as a smirking Draco cut her with a look before pulling Harry into a deep, slow kiss that the boy melted into like chocolate.
"Harry!" she shrieked, her cry falling to deaf ears. Harry, with a loud moan, wrapped his arms around Draco's neck and allowed him to be pulled in tighter.
Long minutes later, the two separated; still holding each other close, to share a smile.
"Well, that was certainly entertaining," Harry murmured.
"Which part?" Draco smirked. "The part where Pansy decimated the last of Molly Weasley's actions and those of the Order? Or the part where the Weaselette, even after all these years, still expected you to drop me and come to her aid?"
"Both," Harry grinned, kissing him briefly.
Draco laughed, returning the kiss.
"Now come on," Harry smiled, "Let's go home."
20 years after graduation…
"Aren't you ready yet?!" Harry shouted up the stairs. "It's getting late!"
"I'm coming dad!" a young boy's voice returned. Minutes later, he appeared at the top of the stairs, his trunk levitating behind him. "I'm ready."
"You're late," Harry snorted even as he smiled up at his son.
The boy rolled his eyes, and smirked, looking so much like Draco that Harry shook his head. "Not yet."
Seven years ago, during his routine visit to the House of Prince, an orphanage that Voldemort had built after he became Minister for Magic, Harry had met and quickly bonded to a then four-year-old Ryan; the little boy had been taken from his family (a single mother who was completely overwhelmed by her magical son and who admitted that she wanted nothing to do with magic) and had been placed in the orphanage where he had thrived in the company of others like him. He had taken to Harry just as quickly as Harry had taken to him and after spending a few more visits with the little boy and of course talking it over with Draco, they had decided to adopt him.
With the help of Gabriella, who was now one of the top workers in the Magical Child Services Department, the adoption had gone through fairly quickly and the boy went from being called Ryan James Stanford to Ryan James Potter-Malfoy. A few weeks after the adoption went through, after talking it over with Ryan, they had blood adopted the little boy. The result was Ryan now sporting a darker shade to the Malfoy blond hair but with the Potter messiness, grey-green eyes, Draco's smile and Harry's nose; personality wise, the boy was a mixture of both his parents with his own mixed in.
"Harry is Ryan ready?" Draco called out as he came around the corner. He stopped short when he saw his son and husband standing at the bottom of the stairs. "Oh. You are ready. Then why are you standing around?"
"No reason," Ryan shrugged. He looked around. "Where's Lainey?"
"In the kitchen eating," Draco told him, directing the boy forwards so they could start to leave. "She was almost done when I left to see what you were up to."
"I'm done daddy," the little girl as she came out the kitchen.
Three years ago, when again visiting the orphanage, they had met Elaine Rebecca Marshall. Draco had taken one look at the then feisty little six-year-old and promptly fell in love with her. Later he would claim it was because she reminded him of Harry. Little Elaine had lost her parents (who were both magical and living in England for the last few years) in a car accident almost a year before then and had been sent to House of Prince when no family came forward to claim her. They had done the same thing with her as they had done with Ryan; spending time and getting to know her and when the little girl was presented with the opportunity to go home with them, she had been excited yet shy (this time reminding Harry of Draco when it was just them sometimes) but had agreed. The legal and formal adoption had taken place a few weeks later. The blood adoption followed a month after that, resulting in Lainey with blond curly hair, emerald eyes, Draco's pointed chin and Harry's smile.
Draco looked down at his little girl. "Good." He withdrew his wand, casting a quick Tempus. "Alright, it's time to go."
Ryan's eyes lit up with excitement.
Harry chuckled when he saw. "A bit excited, are we?"
"Yes!" Ryan grinned.
Lainey pouted. "I don't want to go. Why does Ryan have to leave? It's not fair."
Draco crouched down in front of his daughter. "Sweetheart, Ryan has to go because it's what has to be done. Your papa and I went when we were eleven as well."
"And," Harry added, "you'll be going yourself in just a couple of years, so you'll be in school with your brother."
The words relieved the little girl enough to put a smile on her face and soon enough, the family was leaving.
The Platform was as bustling as it ever was and both Ryan and Elaine took in the sight with eyes opened wide in complete excitement.
"Uncle Cory!" Lainey squealed when she saw the man approach with Luna and their kids; thirteen-year-old twins Serena and Cassiopeia, eleven-year-old Zeus and nine-year old Hyland.
While Lainey went to Cory for a hug, Luna hugged Harry and then Draco with a smile. The two families exchanged small talk as Ryan questioned Serena and Cassie about Hogwarts. Not long after that, Blaise and Pansy and their kids joined, followed by Gabriella and her daughter (her husband was staying at home as their youngest was sick) and then Hermione and her husband (a French man she had met through her job, first working for Research Department in the Ministry and then later on at Reperio Academy) and their three kids as well. The families chatted until it was time for the kids (those who would be heading to Hogwarts, both returns and newcomers) to get on the train. As it was their son's first time, Harry and Draco were taking the train, and after they left, Luna would be taking Lainey, and the other younger children, to Reperio Academy with her and Hermione.
The families said goodbye to each other, proud smiles on those whose kids were experiencing Hogwarts as first time students, and soon enough, the Platform was emptying and the train was departing. Later on the train, after making sure the kids were settled in, Harry and Draco found an empty compartment for themselves. They settled down, with Draco snuggled into Harry's arms as the dark haired man leaned against the window.
Things were quiet between them before Draco spoke up.
"Almost thirty years ago we travelled this train for the first time," the blond murmured.
"And I made the decision to hide who I was," Harry added on.
Draco sat up and turned to face his husband. "It was the best and right decision at the time. Who knows what the Old Fool would've done with you so young if you'd shown your true nature. You may not have been able to outright show it, but you still acted like a true Slytherin; you gave them what they wanted but you watched and you learned and then you made your move. And though it was as a result of losing Sirius, I can't help but be glad you decided that it was time to show them who you really were."
Saying nothing, Harry simply leaned over and kissed the blond. "So what House do you think Ryan's going to be in?"
A playfully heated discussion erupted on their son's potential House for the rest of the journey, switching over to Lainey's potential House in a few years as well.
Harry and Draco slipped into the Hall from the side door and quickly took their place at the Head table. They gave nods to the other professors and when Headmistress McGonagall caught their eyes, the three shared a smile and a nod before the woman turned to look down the Hall, giving a nod towards Remus, who opened the doors and led the procession of new students down the middle. The smiles stayed as each child was sorted and as McGonagall stood up and looked down at her students to address them. "My name is Headmistress Minerva McGonagall, and I would like to welcome all of you to a new year at Hogwarts."
A/N 2: I just want to thank everyone for sticking with this story over the years. It took a while but we finally at the end. I know the story went in different direction than what it seemed at the beginning and if things were out of left field, I apologize profusely. As stated at the start of the story, there's a second final epilogue and it'll be about Voldemort and his plans for the Wizarding World; it'll have more details than this, and possibly be more dialogued.
A/N 3: thanks to Archangel of Revenge for the Accipio to Reperio correction as "Reperio" means to discover, learn; they gave me Repertiens Collegium, which translates to Learning Academy but I kept it as Reperio because I like the look of a school's name with part of it in Latin (or some other foreign language) and the other in English.
Review and let me know what you think