A/N: Okay, I'm trying to get this off really quickly before I leave on vacation with my family, so no time to individually thank those who've reviewed ch.35 so far…but a general shout out to those who have—like I said, I've loved doing this story, and I would never have imagined I'd break 1000 reviews, much less 1321 (current count)! You are all amazing, wonderful, lovely, fantastic readers!
Right. Epilogue. Go.
Oh, and to remind you of the fonts:
Epilogue: Hello It's Me
Well, I survived, and am now safely on the train back to Hogwarts. Just thought you'd like to know, as it's your fault I had to dodge my mother's wrath in the first place. Actually, she wasn't as angry as I thought she'd be when she found out I'd been at your house all night—I think her relief that I hadn't been murdered by a psychotic serial killer (her words) overpowered everything else. Still, you're probably lucky it was your mum and not mine who caught you coming out of the library half naked. If that had happened at my house, you'd have been dead faster than you could say . . . something short and clever that I can't be bothered to come up with right now.
Merlin, the holiday train is boring.
P.S. All right, I wasn't going to tell you this, but I suppose you have every right to know what you've gotten yourself into. In my defense, the following only transpired as the result of extreme boredom. I've started studying for N.E.W.T.s. There, now you know the full extent of my swottyness. Mock away—honestly, I'm even judging myself a bit for this one. If you're starting to have any regrets, it's not too late to back out.
In the spirit of assigning blame, you should know that Sirius and I didn't finish cleaning up the mess from the party until nearly noon. And that was with magic, too. We'd nearly starved to death by that time, since we couldn't even snack on the leftover food as we worked. Apparently, someone had charmed all of it to turn your skin orange and make hair grow out of your ears, as Sirius was only too kind to discover for us. That's what he gets for having the weakest resolve when it comes to food. Remus and Peter'd already finished breakfast by the time we got there, lucky sods. I'm fairly certain Mum gets some sort of sadistic and decidedly un-mother-like pleasure out of torturing me.
I would offer my sympathies with regards to your boredom, but I did say you should have stayed here. If you had, you can be sure that you'd be so far from bored you wouldn't even remember what it feels like.
P.S. I'm holding back all of the teasing comments I could make about your studious nature, as I've decided to practice restraint in that area. Not only does it seem the right thing to do, considering recent circumstances, but it's much more entertaining to be able to see your reaction in person. Don't worry, though, no second thoughts here. I will never regret you, Lily.
Much to tell, but it deserves to be done in person, not a letter. I should be back around two hours after you receive this, so be sure to make yourself available for your lovely and news-filled best friend.
Fine. If you're not inclined to show me sympathy, I'm not offering any to you, either. I do wish I could have been there to laugh at Sirius, though. You're right—the boy is far too dependent on his stomach.
I'm finally off the train and back among the distractions of the holiday version of the Gryffindor common room (which means no more insane urges to study for exams that are still six months off). It's amazing how mad everyone goes when there's no class. Even without you and your fellow Marauders here, things still manage to get quite out of hand. I—
I was promised news. Big news. Spill.
Just let me finish this.
I can't believe I've been replaced so easily. Just give me a quick summary. You finally shagged James, didn't you?
Don't be absurd. And I will tell you in a minute. It's your fault for not being around when I got back.
You're being completely unfair—I was at dinner, and you got back earlier than you'd said. Just one little hint?
Macdonald, if you do not leave me alone, I swear I won't tell you anything. Except that I snogged James at his New Year's party.
I've lost my train of thought. Sorry
P.S. Blame Mary—she kept pestering me to share the details of last night, but I think I've managed to placate her for the moment. She's currently alternating between squealing in delight and laughing like a maniac. I'm starting to get a bit worried, actually. As to the regretting thing, well, er, good. I'm glad you didn't tell me that in person, because I would have been sure to make an even bigger dolt of myself trying to answer than I have with what I've just written. As it is, I'm still grinning like an idiot about it.
It's all right. I often have that effect on people, even when they aren't standing in my blindingly handsome presence. I'm sure you'll recover your mental processes shortly, though be prepared to lose them again when I return. Hmmm, sounded a bit ominous, that, didn't it? Well, just to clarify—I'm going to snog you senseless when next we meet.
P.S. Excellent—glad to hear it.
Well, that's something to look forward to, at least. And I have full confidence in your ability to do so, if recent events are anything to judge by.
Which (sort of, except not really at all) brings me to what I've been working on in your absence. You may or may not want to kill me for this, but I've come up with some rules for us. Well, mostly for you (yes, I know how you hate rules, but just bear with me on this one).
1. No public snogging. Kisses under five seconds, hand-holding, occasional lap sitting—that's all well and good, but anything else . . . I'm not going to be one of those couples. And before you offer any objections, may I just remind you of the single rooms currently in our possession that will serve quite nicely for any 'snogging senseless' or related activities.
2. No cute nicknames. I know I sort of already brought this up, but I don't think you really took me seriously (do you ever?). I promise a swift and painful retribution if you continue with the 'Flower' business.
3. Related to that, I am in fact not a fan of grand gestures of affection . . . or whatever you want to term them. Even though I know you'll just gloat and be completely unbearable about it, I did think A.J.'s stunt was a bit excessive for six months. There, I've said it. I mean, maybe for a marriage proposal—er, not that I'm expecting you to propose to me, obviously. At least not soon. Or ever. Or . . . well, maybe. That is—I mean—okay, let's just forget number three, shall we? Right, on to number four.
4. You're not allowed to hate A.J. I know that sounds weird, and sort of . . . I don't know, demanding, but this is a list of rules, after all. But if he ever stops hating me, I'd like to be friends with him. And I'd appreciate at least your tolerance of that.
P.S. Am I completely talking you out of this?
Good lord, Evans, I never knew you were so high maintenance. I think I'll have to carry this list round with me so I can consult it at regular intervals to make sure I'm not violating any of these rules. Though, despite my hatred of all things rule-related, I've no urges to off you over it, just so you know.
Funny you should mention them, but our single rooms actually figure into my plans for how you're going to make up all that emotional distress you caused me. And you might be able to convince me to do a little making up on my end as well.
I don't hate Rookie—to be honest, I'm fairly sure he hates me, actually. But I think I could manage to tolerate this hypothetical friendship.
And I think we should at least go on a date first before we talk about marriage, Evans. (You though I was just going to let it go, didn't you? If only I was that kind, eh?)
P.S. Surprisingly, no.
Merlin, I feel like a complete git for sending that list. Let's just forget those rules, yeah? Except maybe number one. But I don't want to be one of those girlfriends who—well, hang on, am I your girlfriend? Stupid question? I don't know. Probably. Maybe we should have that talk about labels and such when you get back tomorrow. It can wait until after the snogging, though.
Well, in light of that, I suppose there's really only one thing left to say: Evans, will you go out with me?
A/N: And that's officially the end. Bye for now!
(If you're looking for some amazing J/L fanfiction to feed your addiction, I'd highly recommend The Life and Times by Jewels5 (I know some of you are LaT fans already) or Commentarius by B.C. Daily.)