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Epilogue
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A memorial service for Parvati Patil was held just before graduation, collecting the students in the Great Hall to remember the girl who gave her life for them all before they went in separate directions forever.

"Without her," Kendra said, her voice trembling, "none of us would be here now. We wouldn't be graduating and we wouldn't be going home for the summer before embarking on some new and exciting episode in our lives. Parvati's family has to know now that we are there for them all, for her parents, for Padma." She gestured to the girl who looked so much like Parvati, sitting at the Ravenclaw table with her head held high and tears glistening on her cheeks.

"Now, more than ever, we have to realize how very precious life is. Voldemort is no longer here to tear it away from us, but one girl gave up everything so that we could have this chance." Kendra bit her lip and swiped at the tears that had begun to fall. "Remember Parvati Patil and what she gave for you."

Kendra ducked her head, then gathered her papers off the podium set up at the Head table and slunk back down to the Gryffindor table. She slipped into her place beside Hermione, then squeezed the other girl's arm as Dumbledore stood once more.

"Our valedictory address will be given by Hermione Granger and then, for once and for all, I will dismiss you."

Hermione made her way up to the table and stood nervously. She held no papers in her hand and had no speech written out one tiny cards. She cleared her throat, stared out over the crowd and smiled.

"I had an entire speech written out, but that was before everything happened. That was before I learned the true meaning of friendship and saw what a real hero was made of. So, rather than standing up here and telling you to remember all the good people you met at Hogwarts, all the lessons you've learned, I am going to assume you will.

"Instead, I want to tell you to do whatever you want. Be yourself, grab life by the horns and ride it until it's done. Be what you want, follow your dreams and don't let anyone try to stop you because you never know when the world could end." She smiled. "Find it in your heart to forgive because life is not long enough to hold petty grudges, they could end up affecting you more profoundly than you'd ever imagine. Give people a break," her eyes ticked toward Snape as she said this, "give them a chance to prove they're more than what meets the eye. Listen to your heart once in a while, it can make some pretty smart decisions."

Hermione stared out over the crowd. "Happy Graduation and good luck," she said, then stepped down.

Dumbledore stood, smiled and waved his hand at them. Cheers erupted through the Great Hall as students rushed out to prepare for the graduation parties that would rage long into the night.

Hermione walked back toward her friends and smiled at them. She picked up her mug from the table and raised it slightly.

"To The Five?"

The others smiled and picked up their own mugs.

At the Head table, Snape tilted his own mug slightly and caught Kendra's eye. She saw the gesture and broke into a brilliant smile as Snape simply nodded. His return to his former, cold self didn't bother her because she knew that nod meant the same to her, as her smile did to him.

"To The Five."


End


Notes: Thank you so much for reading this. I truly loved writing this I can only hope it will be one of many stories I will enjoy so much. :) Thanks.