Here's the end!
For those of you who've sent reviews implying that the world will end and that life will lose its meaning with the end of TNL: I already have plans for several other stories, and only have to choose which one of them to write so that I can get started. Hopefully that will give you something new to look forward to? ^^
Some called it the Battle of Hogwarts, but there had never been any real battle and for those who had expected one, the end must have been quite anticlimactic. With barely any students left at the school and most professors away after having participated in the battle at the Ministry, Hogwarts fell quickly and Voldemort could take the power over the school with ease. The Ministry fell shortly thereafter, the wizarding community paralyzed by the death of their "Leader of the Light" and unprepared after having denied the resurrection of Voldemort for such a long time. The British wizarding community was remoulded and reshaped, picked apart to be put back together, the drastic changes violently protested by many – at least in the beginning. Once the new community ruled by Voldemort started taking shape and the most radical changes had been carried out, things calmed down as people realized that the changes imposed on their lives were not necessarily negative in nature. The opposition became less and less active until only a few remained, a group of stubborn wizards and witches who adopted the name of the Order of the Phoenix and narrow-mindedly upheld the notion that nothing connected to Voldemort could possibly be good. The support they received from the public lessened as time passed, and a few years later, the tone had changed completely, the Prophet reporting violent acts committed by terrorists.
A light snore broke Elijah from his recollections and he glanced at his lover, the man lying beside him in bed, turned towards him with an arm thrown over him to secure him safely to his side. With his dark hair tousled and purple bite marks blooming around puncture marks along the side of his neck, the man looked nothing like the respected leader he was. Smiling lightly, Elijah snuggled closer, soaking up the warmth of the other's body, a body he laid claim to repeatedly. The arm around his waist tightened briefly, then Tom grumbled under his breath and contentedly continued sleeping.
Turning away from his lover, bright blue eyes swept over the quarters that now belonged to him, the big, ridiculously soft bed overflowing with pillows and covers taking up most of the space of his bedroom and leaving little room for the great chunk of wood that was his wardrobe. A small fireplace stood opposite to the bed, the coals smouldering red. The mantelpiece was littered with moving pictures in wooden frames, Tom waving from one of them with Hermione and Lucius flanking him on either side, the Minister's office in the background. Life had continued in its steady pace, the old times becoming a thing of the past, the rule of Minister Riddle turning into a flourishing future to look forward to. The man led the country with a steady hand as he remoulded it with Lucius Malfoy by his side as his ever so proper and correct Undersecretary. Hermione had become a high-ranking Ministry official with some vague title to mark her importance, her place within the authorities impossible to name properly since she seemed to be everywhere at all times. With stubborn determination and the support of Tom, she had worked day and night for a couple of years to eradicate prejudice from the Ministry and the wizarding community as a whole, and many would say that she had succeeded now that equality between species had been firmly legalized. Hermione still wasn't satisfied but had calmed down a bit now that she had achieved her primary goals, and the Ministry as a whole had seemed to breathe a sigh of relief when she had slowed her pace to a more reasonable one.
A gaggle of children in muggle clothing smiled shyly in front of the entrance to a low brick building in another picture, the first group of muggleborn children attending preschool at the year of ten to learn about the magical world. The idea had been to introduce them to magic before Hogwarts and teach them about wizarding culture and norms so that they would have some basic knowledge about the world they were about to enter before they started their education at Hogwarts. The result was reduced cultural clashes as the children adapted better to wizarding society than before, and Elijah was privately happy that no child had to enter the world of magic as ignorant as he had been.
A third picture showed Hermione and Draco, both of the smiling brightly as they stood dressed in white, gleaming gold rings adoring their fingers as Draco held his newlywed wife with an arm slung around her waist, the witch turning to her husband a little now and then to peck him on the lips. That hadn't been too long ago and even though Lucius had worked alongside Hermione for some years by that time, he had still been close to a heart attack when learning his only Malfoy heir was going to merry a muggleborn. Old habits die hard, after all.
His attention was torn from the pictures when rustling announced his lover's awaking, and his lips were claimed in a lazy kiss moments later, his arms coming up to hug Tom's neck.
"Good morning," Tom greeted him sleepily, his voice rough after their nightly activites. "I really must have done a poor job last night if you've got enough energy left to wake up before me."
"I did take quite a lot of blood," Elijah answered with a chuckle, enjoying the solid body that settled atop him, warm hands stroking down his sides to grab his hips, sending a shiver down his spine.
"I might just be getting old," Tom answered with a slight whine to his tone before he bent down to such a mark onto Elijah's shoulder.
"You're the one who said it," the vampire answered, slightly breathless as desire stirred at Tom's ministrations. Teeth bit his shoulder in answer, making his moan and move his legs to tangle with his lover's under the covers, naked skin pressed together and growing heated, breath becoming laboured in anticipation.
The muted knock on a door reached them and Elijah sighed, moving to get up. Tom, on the other hand, seemed determined to ignore whoever was asking for their attention and continued, leaving open-mouthed kisses in a trail southwards over Elijah's torso.
"Nnngh, Tom," Elijah said, trying to sound admonishing but failing spectacularly.
More knocking, firmer and more insistent this time, and Elijah managed to roll them around so that he ended up on top, seated on his lover's chest. Leaning down, their lips locked in a passionate kiss, warm hands coming up to cup his bum. When whoever waited for them knocked again it sounded like the door was about to come down, and Elijah ended the kiss to rise.
"Coming!" he shouted as he swatted the hands off his bum and wandlessly summoned a dressing gown from a chair to wrap it around himself before exiting the bedroom and crossing his sitting room to open the door that separated his quarters from the rest of Hogwarts.
On the other side of the door stood Draco, patiently waiting, his hair slicked back and his robes as expensive and proper as ever. The years had evened out some of the pointiest parts of his face and given him a more mature, adult look that came across as rather regal, his aristocratic heritance unquestionable. Being closer to his thirties rather then twenties, he was still very handsome and many women looked after him with desire – and after Hermione jealously.
"Minerva sent me," he stated matter-of-factly, his grey eyes taking in Elijah's appearance with slight disapproval.
"Good morning to you too, Draco," Elijah answered amusedly.
"Hardly," the aristocrat answered with a shake of his head. "Morning has long since past, Elijah – the students will arrive within 30 minutes."
"Really?" the vampire said in disbelief, rubbing his face with a hand and yawning. "Can't believe I slept the whole day."
"I can, seeing as we didn't fall asleep until the morning," Tom stated from the door to the bedroom, appearing in only a pair of boxers.
"Minister," Draco greeted him calmly with a little nod of his head, completely unfazed by the man's state of undress as years of similar situations had cured him of the heavy blushing and embarrassed spluttering that followed the first time.
"Minerva wished to remind you both that attendance is obligatory at the sorting and that it will commence in less than an hour," he stated before nodding to Elijah and leaving with majestically billowing robes in black and Slytherin green with silver linings.
"I miss the violent reaction he had before," Elijah said with a sigh as he closed the door, arms encircling him and pulling him back against a strong chest.
"Let's continue with what we were doing before we were interrupted," Tom breathed against his ear before nibbling at the lobe.
"Tom!" Elijah exclaimed. "You heard Draco; Minerva will flay us alive if we're not in the Great Hall – presentable! – in 30 minutes!"
"Half an hour is a long time," Tom claimed, his words muffled and barely comprehensible as they were spoken against Elijah's neck.
"But I need a shower!" Elijah protested, the wicked grin that spread over his lover's handsome face almost making him regret his words.
"Shower sounds like a great idea, love," Tom stated before turning Elijah around so that they stood flushed chest to chest, their lips locking and hands grabbing at one another as they stumbled towards the bathroom for a very pleasant shower.
In the end, they walked down the stairs to the Entrance Hall when the students had already arrived and filled the hall on their way to the Great Hall. Their relationship was hardly a secret as it had been advertised on the front page of every magazine once people found out about it and the various marks on Tom's neck were concealed by a glamour, yet they still received some curious stares when they arrived side by side. The crowd parted before them, the students respectful before their Minister and the man that was commonly believed to be the strongest vampire in Britain. Some of the younger students still stared at the pare in awe, the older ones too used to them to display their respect so openly.
Upon entering the Great Hall, they were met by the slight glare of Minerva where she sat in the middle of the teachers' table, her back straight and her appearance as severe ever before, yet there was an amused twist to her lips. Elijah simply smiled at her in response, entirely unapologetic as he and Tom took their seats, Tom beside Minerva with Elijah on his other side.
"You sure took your sweet time," Draco commented dryly from Elijah's right.
"But we made it before the sorting," the vampire answered with a smile, making it sound like a great accomplishment – which it was, considering how many times they had not made it in time over the past years. "How's Hermione, by the way? I haven't heard from her in a few days."
"Her mood swings are getting worse by the day and she still insists on going to work," Draco answered with a tired groan. "She's driving father mad!"
"I can imagine," Elijah offered as sympathy with a laugh. "I was wondering what you'll do about work once the baby's been born?"
"I have discussed it with Minerva and we have arranged it so that I hold all my classes during two days so that I can stay at home with Hermione the rest of the time," he answered with warmth, a soft smile giving light to his features.
"Are you sure it's such a good idea to gather all classes to two days? You could barely stand it last year and then you had them spread out over the week with plenty of breathing space between."
"Don't remind me! The students this year cannot possibly be as inept at Dark Arts are they were last years! I'm just grateful that it's an elective only available for seventh and sixth years, I'd never be able to handle the younger ones."
"They're not that bad," Elijah defended his students with a smile.
"That's because it's still 'cool' to have a vampire as teacher in Magical Creatures," Draco argued before his attention was attracted by the teacher on his other side.
Shaking his head with a smile, Elijah let his gaze sweep over the sea of black robes and pointy hats that the students comprised. Lowering his gaze he found his reflection looking back at him from the empty plate before him. His blue eyes had lost their innocent dullness and turned sharp, yet the look in them was kind and understanding. The blonde hair was about as long, still gathered with a blue ribbon, but his face had matured into that of an adult. The person sitting there was no longer a child or even a teenager busy changing his life and the fate of wizarding Britain, but a respected man in heavy robes done in a warm grey hue and light blue.The doors opened once again to admit the first years led by Severus, many of them looking quite terrified after their first encounter with the snarky deputy headmaster. As the sorting began, Elijah leaned back comfortably in his chair, letting his gaze wander lazily over the students. Catching sight of a prankproduct from Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, he promised himself to keep an eye on the pranksters as a smile spread contentedly over his lips.
All was well and life was good. Those who'd known of the existence of a prophesy had forgotten about it, its words meaningless now that no one believed in them or even knew the whole prediction. Voldemort had become a monster you told children about when they refused to eat their vegetables and the tale of Harry Potter and the Boy Who Lived was told by bedtime. Never was Voldemort connected to their venerable Minister Riddle, and no one knew what happened to the Boy Who Lived.
Almost no one, that is.
Finished! Unbelievable! I actually made it! It feels kinda empty…
Thank you to those of you who've followed TNL since the very first chapter (if there is anyone who've had the patience to do so ^^') and all others who've actually read the whole thing! If it hadn't been for your fantastic and heart-warming reviews (that were sometimes not so gentle when kicking me in the butt to get me to upload again .), this story would most likely never have been finished 3