A/N: Alright. I'm done. I know I said this would be up yesterday, but I apparently didn't mean it. I can hear again, which is a definite improvement over Friday. But yes. I took your suggestions into account for the epilogue, and someone said something about having Lucy narrate, and someone else (I'm too lazy to figure out who right now. Sorry.) suggested having it be five years later. I liked those two ideas, and even though I liked the others as well, those two stuck. So, this takes place five years after the end of the last chapter. And it is the end. Done. No more. Finally. It's only taken me a year or so to write this story...
Epilogue - Don't Panic (Lucy)
"No, don't put that there, it'll-" CRASH "…break."
Chaos. That was the only word to describe it.
"What about this one? Do you like this sweater?" Roxie asked, holding it up.
"Yes," Ly replied.
"But it's…scandalous," Dom said.
"I'm getting married, I'm not dead," Ly insisted, grabbing the sweater.
"Good, because that would be creepy on my part," James said.
I rolled my eyes at the four of them and kept stacking Dom's Quidditch books in a box.
"I still think you two should've just moved into the flat above the WWW," Roxie said, folding her own clothes into an ancient Hogwarts trunk.
"No, we'd have had to live with Fred if that were the case," Ly said.
"Yes, let's just get married and throw our bridesmaids out on their arses," Dom grumbled, hauling a crate of Bludgers out of her room.
"At least you've both got somewhere to go," I pointed out.
"I really do have a nice flat, don't I?" Sam asked, carrying one of Dom's boxes for her.
"Yes, you do," she agreed, kissing him.
"Ugh, sap fest," Roxie said, staring at them with minor disgust. I raised my eyebrow at her.
"So, flowers were a bad idea?" Frank asked from the doorway, holding a bouquet.
"No!" Roxie exclaimed, trying to backpedal. He laughed.
"Right," I said, standing up and dusting the knees of my jeans off. "I've left Lysander in charge of the shop, and that doesn't always end well, so I'll see you lot later."
"Bye, Lucy," they chorused.
"Thanks," Dom added, handing the box of books to Sam.
"Sure," I said. "Bye."
I ducked out of their flat and made my way to the shop. We'd only been open for about an hour, so hopefully, he hadn't managed to run us into the ground yet. I walked in to discover Al and Dylan sitting at one of the tables, drinking coffee.
"Hey, Luce," Al said. "Serving coffee was the best decision you ever made. Ever."
I raised my eyebrow at Dylan for explanation.
"We had a late night," Dylan said. I nodded slowly.
"Should I expect your business partner to show up in the next few minutes demanding explanation for last night?" I asked.
"If by business partner you mean my stepbrother, then probably," Dylan said.
"What'd you do to him?" I asked, sitting down at their table. Lysander handed me a mug of coffee and a kiss on the cheek before returning behind the counter.
"We may have moved all of his stuff into Rose's flat without his knowledge," Dylan said.
"And drunk all his alcohol," Al added.
"That was entirely you," Dylan said.
Dylan and I stared disapprovingly at Al for a moment. "You let him do that?" I asked finally.
Dylan shrugged. "He's funny when he's drunk."
"Aren't you both supposed to be at work?" I asked.
"Me? The drunken doctor?" Al asked. "Why on earth would I actually go to work on a Tuesday morning?"
"He just worked for two days, almost straight," Dylan supplied.
"Why?" I asked.
"Shift trades," Al mumbled, putting his head back down on the table. "Because no one else wanted to deal with the irate Tornadoes and Arrows fans who were busy having a countrywide brawl. Which doesn't even matter, since whoever wins the next game is going to lose to the Harpies anyways."
"What's your excuse, Dylan?" I asked.
"Well, see, my business partner and I are currently employed to write articles for the economics section, the lifestyle section, and the business section for four different papers," Dylan said. "All of which are about the WWW management transfer, Ly and James getting married, and what exactly the management shift is going to mean for the economy."
"Aha," I said. Ever since Dylan and Scor became freelance and then syndicated they've been somewhat hard to follow. No one can hire Dylan as a photographer without hiring Scor as the journalist and vice versa. "So, why were you moving Scor's stuff into Rose's flat?"
"Because I want my own damn place," Al grumbled. "They've been together for five fucking years, they can suck it up and live together."
"Mate, besides you and me, Lucy and Lysander, and Will and Em, everyone's been keeping their own place," Dylan pointed out.
"No, we don't have our own place," Al said. "Because of fucking Scor."
"That's not entirely true," I said. "James has essentially been living at Ly's place for three years."
"Right," Dylan said. "They're just making it official since he kept leaving his toothbrush there. And they're getting married in two months."
"Dylan, we are the only married couple in the entire universe who have a flatmate," Al said, sounding slightly unhinged and desperate.
"At least you don't have a talking dog," I said.
"Flatmate," Al repeated. "Worse than talking dogs any day."
"That can't possibly be true," Scor said from the doorway, pulling up a fourth chair to the table.
Al looked murderous. "Want to bet?" he asked with a demonic gleam in his normally peaceful green eyes.
"Did you drink all my alcohol?" Scor asked.
"Yes," Al said, staring into the depths of his coffee.
"You're a healer," Scor admonished. "Shouldn't you know how bad that is for your liver?"
"I'm a healer," Al replied. "I know how to fix it."
Scor nodded slowly. "Any chance you want to tell me where all of my things are?"
"Rose's flat," I said cheerfully.
Scor looked confused. "Why?"
"Because we took the liberty of moving you in," Dylan said.
"Does Rose know about that?" Scor asked.
"She does by now," Al said.
Scor looked mildly amused. "Right. Well, I'm going to go apologise to my girlfriend and then tell her you absolutely refused point blank to let me move back in."
"Sneaky," Dylan said.
"Shut up, you," Scor replied, apparating away.
"You're not supposed to apparate in the shop," I said, my eye twitching.
"You're just bitter because you're not allowed to apparate," Al said.
I gave him a death glare. "Remember why I'm not allowed?" I asked in a deadly whisper.
Al leaned back away from me a bit and looked nervous. "Lysander," he called across the shop. "Your wife's trying to kill me."
"Not yet I'm not," I replied.
"Hey, Luce," someone said, grabbing me by the shoulders and keeping me from trying to strangle Al.
"Joys of pregnancy already?" Em asked, raising her eyebrow at me.
"Al called me bitter," I said by way of explanation.
"The not apparating thing?" Em asked. I nodded. She smiled apologetically. "Unfortunately, it's not over yet, since you're not allowed to take them by side-along until they're seven and have shown magical ability."
"Three years down, four to go, right?" Will said, letting go of my shoulders.
"Mummy, mummy can I get ice cream?" their very small daughter asked, pulling on Em's hand.
"Only if you ask Uncle Lysander very nicely," Will said. The little girl's eyes lit up and she toddled across the shop to Lysander.
Al, Dylan, and I watched her.
"Is being a parent as bad as it looks?" I asked finally.
"No," Em said.
"It's worse!" Will supplied cheerfully. Em hit him in the arm. "I'm kidding."
"Best accident we've ever had," Em said, glancing across the shop. "Oh, Merlin."
She dashed across the room to the counter where Lysander was giving their three year old a giant cone dipped in chocolate with sprinkles and a huge scoop of ice cream.
"Oh, yeah, he's going to be a great father," Al muttered. I hit him in the back of the head. He laughed.
I put my head on Lysander's shoulder and stared at the framed pictures on the opposite wall.
"You're the prettiest," he said, kissing the top of my head. I raised my eyebrow skeptically and looked at the picture on the far left side of the wall. Our official wedding photographer had been too preoccupied taking a picture of my bridesmaids that he missed taking a picture of the kiss. Fortunately, Dylan always had a camera handy and snapped a picture for us.
"You're full of shit," I said, nodding significantly at the other pictures on the wall. In addition to our wedding pictures, there were also pictures of Em, and Lizzie, at their respective weddings. However, the next one was of Al and Dylan's wedding. Mr Malfoy had ended up paying for it, since Will somehow managed to convince Al he had to pay for his wedding. When I asked Will why Al was paying, he smiled mysteriously and then ran away. Al likes to grumble about it to this day. However, I know for a fact that Will made a donation to St Mungo's equal to the cost of his wedding. I'm not sure Al knows about that.
The next picture was of Em and Will's wedding party. Sam, Lizzie, Fred, and I all stood dutifully on either side of the bride and groom. It was just possible to see Mr Zabini in the background holding their then six month old daughter. Apparently, once Em told her dad she was pregnant, he grabbed Will by the collar and told him that if he didn't make an honest woman out of his daughter right that instant he'd have him killed. Em intervened and told him that she was not getting married until after she'd lost the weight from the baby.
For about a year, Fred was too scared of Mr Zabini to ask Lizzie to marry him. He finally grew a pair about a year ago. Their picture was next to Em and Will's. They haven't come back from their honeymoon yet.
"How long do you think it'll be before Sam and Dom get married?" I asked.
"I bet he does something stereotypically Sam-like and proposes accidentally in the middle of Ly and James's reception," Lysander said.
I laughed. "So true," I agreed. "What about Frank and Roxie?"
"Give them a few more years," Lysander said.
"You mean when they finally get over themselves and admit they've been in love with each other for years and it isn't just sex?" I asked.
"You'd think that after five years they'd have got to that point," Lysander said pensively.
"I know Frank is, but Roxie's stubborn," I said. "Although, now that she's probably moving into his flat, maybe they'll get over whatever their inhibitions are."
"I hope so," Lysander said. He laughed. "Do you remember the looks she gave us when we said we were getting married?"
"How she looked like I'd suddenly agreed to sell my soul to the devil?" I asked.
"Yeah, that look," he agreed.
"Frank looked kind of hurt about that," I said. "I dunno. I think it was just because we were the first ones to take the plunge."
"You make it sound like you sold your soul to the devil," he commented, lacing his fingers through mine.
"I dunno about that," I said. "But if this kid kicks me in the liver one more time, I'm going to be quite irked."
Lysander winced appreciatively.
"I'm sorry, and I love you?" he said, flinching like he sort of expected me to hit him.
"It's not entirely your fault," I said. "I was there too."
"What about Rose and Scorpius?" he asked, relaxing a bit.
"And getting married?" I asked. "I don't know."
"They will someday," he said confidently.
"I don't know," I said. "Could ruin his career. He still manages to pass himself off as single to get information out of people."
"Out of women," Lysander corrected.
"Not always," I said. Lysander blinked in confusion. "And it's just harder to do with a wedding ring on."
"He could always take it off," Lysander said.
"Not if he does something silly, like buy his rings from Sam," I said, glaring accusingly at him and pulling on my permanently stuck wedding ring.
Lysander shrugged apologetically. I shook my head at him. "I didn't know he'd charmed them," he said.
"Honey, it's Sam," I said. "He charms everything."
"I know that now," he said.
"Four and a half years too late," I added. He smiled guiltily. I shook my head at him.
"Just stop freaking out," Roxie commanded, grabbing Ly's shoulders to stop her from pacing.
"And stop walking around in your underwear," Dom added, holding up the dress.
"Cold feet?" Rose asked curiously.
"No," Ly said. "They're actually kind of swollen."
"She meant the emotional condition, not the physical condition," I said.
"I think I'm going to be sick," Ly said, dashing into the loo.
The four of us exchanged looks.
"What have I missed?" Em asked, walking into the bridal suite.
"Ly's feet are swollen and she feels sick," I summarised.
Em and I exchanged knowing looks while Rose, Roxie, and Dom looked confused.
"Lyra," Em said, knocking on the bathroom door. "How long have you been throwing up in the mornings?"
"Go away," Ly replied. Em waited. "A week."
Em and I exchanged looks again.
"And how long have you been waiting to tell James this?" I asked.
Roxie, Dom, and Rose understood at that moment and started squealing excitedly.
Ly opened the bathroom door and looked shameful.
"I was going to tell him on the honeymoon," she said sheepishly.
"Best of luck," I said, glancing at my own oversized belly.
"You'll do fine," Em said comfortingly.
"At which part?" Ly asked. "Being married or being pregnant or being a mother?"
"Yes," Em said. Roxie and Dom hugged her.
"But my mum and I never got along," Ly said, sounding like she was starting to panic. "Ever. And then she died. And now I'm pregnant."
"Well, there has been an almost ten year gap between the two events," Rose pointed out.
Ly just stared at her.
"You'll be fine, Ly," I said. "Just…don't panic."
Review! (Since it's your last chance)
Title from the Coldplay song, and in fact the inspiration for this entire story, even though the song actually has nothing to do with it.