Here it is. The final chapter. The epilogue. It's been so much fun writing this, and I'm going to miss hearing your opinions. As usual, J.K. Rowling owns.
Memories of those days fill me with warmth, followed by an aching in my heart. Because they are lost forever. My Ted is gone, where he can't come back.
I know that we were lucky. We had nearly thirty years together. They weren't always easy, but then, life never is. Thirty years of near perfection. As close as it got. As close as one could get, what with You-Know-Who rising to power.
There are some days when I can barely get out of bed in the mornings. Sometimes, I feel as though there is nothing left. The Death Eaters took them away, my husband, my daughter, a little boy, already handsome, complaining that his brother always beat him at Wizard Chess, the brother of that little boy, who tried his best to bring down the darkest wizard of all time.
Sometimes, I feel so alone in the despair that I can hardly get up.
But I always do. I have a reason for existence, something that I know many people were deprived of. My grandson, my little Teddy, with his grandfather's name, and his mother's extraordinary talent, and, I hope, his father's courage. I try not to look at him, and see what I have lost. Instead, I look at him, and see the most amazing gift that can be given, the gift of life.
Who would have thought that such an extraordinary person could be brought into existence? And yet, against all the odds, he was. I can't wait to tell him all about his family.
There was a time, right after the war, when I first heard of the deaths of my daughter and her husband, when I blamed myself. I still do in a way.
I try, when I close my eyes, not to remember that terrible night, when so many were lost, when I sent my daughter to her death.
Dora just can't sit still. She's pacing the room anxiously, fidgeting with anxiety, her hair flickering from red, to blue, to bright pink. She picks up her tiny son, just a few months old, cradling him gently.
I'm busy knitting Teddy a jumper. It's one of the things I do to keep my mind from wandering. The rhythm and monotony of it builds up a wall between sanity and the howling wilderness beyond. But Dora is making me anxious too.
"For goodness sake! Nymphadora Lupin, if you're that worried, just go and join them!"
My daughter's head snaps up. I almost regret my outburst. "Will you look after Teddy for me?" she asks.
I nod. She puts down her son and heads for the door. "Dora," I call after her. She turns around. "I love you," I say, holding her close to me. She has her father's smile. "Look after yourself," I add. "And if you see Auntie Bella, you know what to do!"
She laughs, a musical sound, so much like her father. "I love you too mum. I… I'll see you soon." And with that, my daughter is gone.
I sent her to her death. I told her to go. I felt as though I'd killed her myself.
It took a visit from Harry Potter to make me realise. He arrived, mere days after the battle, looking far more worn, exhausted and just older than he was nearly a year ago, when he crashed into my pond.
He wanted to meet his godson. After he had, I offered him a cup of tea, and he imparted some wise words on me.
"It's not your fault," he told me.
"But I told her to go!" I cried, my eyes filling with tears.
"If I know Tonks at all, she would have gone, with or without permission," he said. Of course she would. How could I have forgotten that? "But now she knows that you were proud of her."
"Harry's right," his girlfriend told me, the youngest Weasley child. "She and so many others, my brother included, made the ultimate sacrifice. But they've made the world a better place." She took Harry's hand then, and even in the midst of my grief, I couldn't help but feel the amazement that love could still prevail in this time of sadness.
Almost a year later, the pain still hurts. But it's feels as though the bruise is fading. I try every day, to think of something to be grateful for. Usually it's my little Teddy, who's growing up so fast. I can't bear to miss even a second. But sometimes, it's the knowledge that those people did not die in vain. They died fighting for a better world for all of us.
I was relieved, when I found out that my sister was dead. All the pain and the hurt that she caused so many people, myself included, will no longer be inflicted upon anyone else.
It also felt strange, visiting my little sister in Azkaban. She wasn't there long. Harry Potter stood up for her in court, and told them how she saved him, lied for him during the battle. Slowly, we are building a relationship.
It's too late to have anything resembling a sisterly bond, but that isn't our fault, in a way. She was too young, so easily influenced by Bellatrix, and our parents, and that Malfoy boy she married. I've even met her son, whose life has been damaged by the war. I hope that he can move beyond this to become a better person.
At last, the darkness is fading from the world. We have Harry Potter, and his faithful friends to thank for this. He made this world a better place. We are obliged to enjoy it. The future is ours, if only we can embrace it.
nik-edward is my love, HogwartsDreamer113, Chibi-Lill, TheMoonIsLowTonight-funkyfish, narniaandharrypotter4ever, iheartweasleytwins, SiriuslySlytherin17, AKToad, HereForRhona, and Haraxniss, I can't thank you enough. Your supportive comments have kept me updating. Thankyou so much.
I'd also like to thank anyone elso out there who has read this fanfic, favourited or put it on their story alerts. Every notification email made me smile. Thankyou.
I've got a few more projects that I'm working on, but nothing with a specific storyline, more a series of one-shots, so keep an eye out for those. Also, I'm vaguely planning on writing a sequel to this.
This may have been my first fanfiction, but it certainly isn't my last. Watch this space!