Epilogue. Five years have passed since I died and chose my life, five and a half years since I died for the first time and paid the price for getting a second chance. Now, I am facing my biggest challenge yet and I am writing for dear life, my hand numb as I scribble line after line of my answer to the very last question. I can feel my forehead prickling with perspiration and my hair is sticking to my neck as I bite my bottom lip and taste ink; how in Merlin's name did I get ink there?
I glance towards the hourglass and speed up as the last grains of sand fall through, and then―
"Time's up, everyone!"
The parchment is summoned from under the tip of my quill, leaving a line of ink across the remaining inches of paper. With a tired sigh, I drop the quill onto the desk and collapse back in the chair with closed eyes.
There's a growing pressure in my temples that's about to develop into a full-blown headache born from many hours of complete focus and concentration, but I am happy.
I've done it.
The scrape of chairs and the rustle of clothing fill the hall along with a murmur of voices, and I open my eyes with a triumphant smile. Along with many others, I rise from my seat. I can feel their glances, some more discreet then others, as I take my quills and ink and put them in a pocket, but I ignore them all as I follow the stream towards the doors that now stand open. My age, along with the fact that I am not wearing school robes, set me apart and makes me a subject of interest; I know for a fact that many a teenager who's gotten stuck on the test have spent their time staring at me, but it bothers me little.
Soon, I manage to squeeze out through the door and make my way through the crowded Entrance Hall and out onto the front steps. There, on the green lawn under the shining sun, they're waiting for me, and with a triumphant whoop of joy, I run to meet them. I practically throw myself at Draco and he catches me with ease, twirling me around in his arms before he sets me down on my feet and kisses me. The flash of a camera goes off and a catcall comes from a passing group of teenagers and Neville laughs beside us; with a great grin on my face, I break apart from Draco to smile at them all.
"Congratulations, Harry! You did it!" Hermione cries happily and dances over to give me a hug.
"I still don't get why you wanted to do it, mate," Ron sighs and shakes him head, but he's smiling.
"Of course he did!" Hermione exclaims. "Now he's got proof of his magical abilities!"
"I haven't gotten my grades yet," I remind her.
"I'd be surprised if you get anything below Acceptables," Draco says and steals a kiss and I swat at him.
"I had great teachers," I say happily and smile at them all, remembering the many hours we've suffered through as Hermione, Neville and Draco have tried and, hopefully, succeeded in teaching me all I need to know to pass the NEWTs.
"To the Three Broomsticks!" Ron calls and marches us all off towards Hogsmeade. "We're going to celebrate, we're going to drink, and it's going to be on me!"
We laugh and cheer and follow his lead, Draco with and arm securely around my waist and me with a silly grin on my face.
It's been five and a half years since I forgot my old life and started my new one, five years since I decided to keep this life I have.
Not for a moment have I regretted the choice, and I don't think I ever will.
I know some of you may feel that this story is somewhat unresolved, but the story I wished to write and now have written ends here with Harry taking control of his own life and shaping both it and himself. For me, this was never a story about a relationship but a story about choices in life – to be true to yourself or try to please everyone else?
I'm glad to hear that some wish for it to go on, but this is it. I hope you have enjoyed it and don't find the ending too displeasing. I like it and have far too many stories giving birth to themselves in my head to go on with this, so this is it.
Hopefully, I'll see you all in the next story!