Before you read the epilogue, read this.
While I was writing this story I couldn't decide if I wanted it to be officially Snarry, or more of a mentor/student relationship. I ended up being bullied by my mom, who is not a fan of Snarry, into not doing that. The story, as it stands right now, could go either way, depending on how you read it. I love that about it, and it was very on purpose. But for the epilogue, in order to feel like I had wrapped things up, I needed to go in one direction or another. If you have your heart set on this being Snarry (which I don't blame you for, I kinda want it to be too), then DO NOT read the epilogue. Just stop here, and rest assured that Sev and Harry eventually fall in love. On the other hand, if you're neutral, don't ship Snarry or just curious, continue on. There's a chance that some day I might write an alternate epilogue or a sequel that takes the Snarry rout but for now, this is what I've got.
That said, I do like the epilogue quite a bit. I'd never publish anything I don't like. I fully stand behind it, and by Sev and Harry's actions. They're both still very much in the story and very involved in each other's lives, just not romantically.
Whatever you chose, I hope you like it, and know that I've loved sharing this story with you. It's been a blast, guys! Enjoy!
And thus Harry entered the best phase of his life.
He spent the remainder of the summer brushing up on second and third year potions—he'd be taking over those classes as well. Apprentices usually added one year for each year they were teaching, but Slughorn was eager to return to retirement, so Harry's apprenticeship was accelerated.
At least once a week Harry and Snape would walk down to the field Snape had enchanted for flying and spend the night as serpents, just for the joy of being free.
A week before classes started, a very, very nervous Harry took Ron and Hermione aside and told them about his condition. Hermione slapped him, then burst into tears and pulled him into a tight hug, saying she had known all along and couldn't believe it had taken him two years to tell her. Harry was baffled by this, but accepted the reprimand. Ron, who had been told by Hermione years ago, was less physical about it, merely clapping him on the shoulder and saying that he would always be their friend, no matter what. When Harry told them he and Snape had effectively cured his condition Hermione gaped at him, then demanded to see the potions, all the notes they had taken since their first attempts, and had to be cut off—repeatedly—from spending the entire night asking Harry about every little detail. When she heard about Os Grabatum, the potion that rendered his transformations painless, she insisted on taking a flask with her to the Ministry in hopes of getting it patented and out on the market. Harry tried telling her that he only tested it with his changes and not on any actual broken bones, but it fell on deaf ears.
The only way to stop the much too detailed conversation about the potions was to suddenly blurt out that Snape was his godfather and now an Animagus. Hermione rolled her eyes and said she knew that as well; she did work in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and she saw all new names added to the Animagus registry. Ron was more than a little disgusted by the fact, but even he had to admit how much Snape had done for Harry, and how close they had become over the years.
Despite a rather embarrassing attempt to sit at Gryffindor table on the first night, Harry's second year of apprenticeship was even better than the first. He lived with Neville in a sort of apartment, sharing just the living room, though that was where they spent most of their time. Harry was very hesitant to tell Neville about himself, as Neville still hadn't fully recovered from being in charge of the Mandrakes, now keeping a few growing at all times, just in case, but when Harry disappeared for the third night in a row, arriving back just as Neville was waking up, he let out an exasperated sigh and said that Ron and Hermione had told him the summer after their eighth year. Harry felt like a complete arse, but Neville assured him it was okay and he didn't blame him, and when he did, he had a small beanbag with a picture of Harry's face that he threw darts at.
Harry still spent a significant amount of time with Snape; Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights were devoted to advanced potion lessons, finally in the comfort of the potions lab instead of the Chamber of Secrets. They went out as snakes at least once a week, keeping to the wee hours of the morning, though even then they inspired a new Hogwarts rumor. It was more of a boogeyman story to scare the first years—if you aren't in your dorm by curfew, the Basilisks will get you. Harry felt guilty about this, but while Snape refused to admit he found it anything other than inane, Harry saw him bite back laughter a few times when the rumor circled back to him.
There was only one big surprise that year—Madam Hooch was retiring halfway through the year. The manager for the Chudley Cannons was forced to retire after taking one too many Bludgers to the head, and she was asked to fill his position. There were great deal of rumors regarding her replacement, and Harry was surprised to hear that one of the least believable was the truth—the former Seeker of the Ugandan team, the Sumbawanga Sunrays, would be taking her place. Namono Kakiri arrived the first day of the holiday so she would have time to adjust to the school before teaching, and Harry was beyond embarrassed by how quickly he fell for her. She was a few years his senior, but not by much—Seekers were known for being the youngest members of the team. He finally worked up the courage to ask her out for Valentine's Day, to which she replied, "About time."
There was only a single slip-up, which occurred in beginning of March. Harry had been too busy with his new relationship to remember to take his Vita Salvus on time—he had been keeping track of the days, he swore, he just thought he had one more to go—but he was with Neville, and, eyes clamped shut, he summoned the potions and changed back. They were both severely shaken by the incident, but emerged unharmed and agreed to never, ever tell Snape, who would have Harry's head if he heard.
That summer was beyond hectic. He lived at Spinner's End, continuing his apprenticeship, but spent as much time off as he could get in Uganda, as well as his weekly lunches and dinners with Ron and Hermione, and going out for drinks with Neville at least once a month.
Harry had been planning on spending winter break in Uganda but ended up getting sucked into Ron and Hermione's wedding plans. He spent the vacation at the Burrow and, to his delight, so did Namono.
Ron and Hermione married on the first day of summer, and Harry proposed to Namono that night.
Three years later Harry replaced Slughorn as Potions Master. His apprenticeship with Snape came to an official end at Slughorn's retirement party, and Harry quietly excused himself to have a cry in a nearby empty classroom. Snape joined him a few minutes later, and Harry was shocked to see that he looked to be holding back tears. They had a long hug and spent even longer talking, ending in Harry forcing Snape to physically state they would remain close, despite Snape's hatred of discussing anything emotional.
Harry and Namono married on the first of July. Snape gave the Father of the Groom toast. He spent the whole time scowling and looking extremely uncomfortable, but Harry couldn't have asked for anything more. It was a small wedding, but Ron, Hermione and Neville were all there, all of the professors of Hogwarts, and Namono's friends and family. Looking around the room, Harry couldn't be happier.