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Badgers, Blushing and Gods of Lurve by LaylaBethJagger
Chapter 51: Epilogue
We’re back to Katie for the final chapter of this story, folks. I hope you’re all glad to see her. I’d originally considered writing a couple more chapters about Katie being let out and reuniting with her friends, but I ended up deciding to go down this track.
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything you recognise. All rights go to the respective owners.
51. An Epilogue
“Tell me again.”
I sighed, turning to see Emily and frowning slightly. “Are you sure, dude? Because I’ve said it like seven times and I would have thought that it would have gotten through to your psychosis by now.”
Emily hushed me, then made a variety of hand gestures that indicated she still wanted me to say it.
“I’m going to the wedding of Daniel Wood, and Dominique Weasley.”
She paused for a moment.
Then she let out an exuberant ‘whooping’ noise and punched the air.
“It doesn’t bother me!” She screeched enthusiastically. “Like not even a little smidge! I don’t care. I don’t care that he’s getting married.”
If anyone were to get more excited about this news than Emily, I knew who it would be. Sean and Emily had been in a relationship since I’d introduced them at the twin’s party. Apparently, while I was incarcerated, Fred had accidentally let slip to Sean the truth about Emily’s affections for the Quidditch coach, and ever since then she’d been trying to convince him (and herself) that she was done with that.
In the end, telling her that Daniel Wood was engaged was the best thing I could have done for her.
Yeah, who’d have thought?
Considering that, if I’d manned up and told her that at the beginning of the year, none of this would have happened to me at all.
And despite the fact that I’d been witness to a murder, blackmailed, framed and impersonated in the time since, there really wasn’t a reason for me to want to go back to that tap-dancing day and change things.
Because things were good now.
Emily and Rose had inevitably decided that they were going to have to share the title of ‘best friend’ in my mind, and had even mutually bonded (mostly over the annoyances of dating someone in another House, but on other things as well.) And, as it was said, testosterone being the great equalizer, Sean and Scorpius had initially butted heads (mostly over the fact that he’d obsessed about Rosie a great deal prior to their relationships) but eventually decided to stop behaving like morons and make peace.
Which they’d done.
It was good to know that the only other problem I’d seen as a potential threat to my new life was resolved, with their friendships.
So yeah. Life was good. All my friends were friends and the bad guys was in Azkaban for life.
Oh, also, I was dating a bonafide sex god, who was waiting for me at the Wedding in what were apparently very attractive dress robes.
“I’m happy for you,” I congratulated Emily, as she jumped up and down on the spot. As she calmed, it became apparent that now that she wasn’t harbouring affections for the groom, she could help me—the guest—get ready.
Because they were in Seventh Year, Rose, Scorpius, Fred and Al had all left the school about three days before us—their official break between the end of exams and Graduation. Which meant that it was far easier for them to make their way to the wedding than it was going to be personally. For me to attend the Wood-Weasley nuptials I would have to be portkeyed directly from McGonagall’s office.
Which would be alright, as long as Ron Weasley was set at the site, with his catching hands at the ready.
“This is a good dress,” Emily observed, “but you should keep your hair down.” She reached for the bun that I’d spent about forty minutes on, and pulled it apart—letting my hair fall onto my shoulders. “That’s better,” she observed, mussing my hair slightly, and then pushing a stick of lip gloss into my hands.
“Cheers,” I grumbled, lifting the gloss to my lips.
“What are you so grumpy about?” Emily queried with a frown.
I thought to the charm that I’d done to specifically pull my stomach in, and the shoes that were on my feet without a charm to help with the discomfort. For the sake of safety, I was wearing the necklace that Emily had given me ages ago—with a built in cushioning charm, should I fall over.
But I didn’t think I was going to.
The Felix Felicis was working brilliantly. In hindsight, Al and I should have really gone through official ministry documents regarding the Adversus Anima curse before scouring the Restricted section. James had done exactly that and found that the remedy was exactly what Albus had thought it would be.
Only James found out about six months before Al and I did.
Luckily enough, the time that James had had, he’d spent brewing a huge batch of the potion I needed to counteract the effects of the curse.
And it was actually working brilliantly.
“Nothing,” I said. “I just don’t like heels.”
Emily scoffed and said something about how I was a shame to all females in history—which could be taken as extremely anti-feminist, but honestly, Em just really liked heels—as she bent down to perform the correct charms.
“Right then,” Em said, straightening and rechecking my hair, moving it so it sat perfectly on my boobs. “When do you have to be there?”
I glanced at the clock on the wall.
“Crap—damnit.” I said, reading the time. “Five minutes.”
I may have been drinking a luck potion on a daily basis, but that didn’t mean I was necessarily any more organised than I’d been before.
“You’re a moron,” Emily informed me lightly.
“No need to tell me twice,” I said with a grin, as I hastily grabbed my clutch (with a Rose Weasley expansion charm meaning I could easily slip a pair of flat shoes inside for later) and ran to the door.
As fast as I could make myself move, I still ended up at McGonagall’s office late.
“You are aware you’re going to a wedding, aren’t you Dalton?” she said, obviously referring to my lateness.
I wheezed a little more.
“The portkey is just over here,” McGonagall said, gesturing to her table. On it, I saw a hair clip with a small white flower to decorate it. “When you get there, just ask Miss Weasley to deactivate the portkey for the moment, and then, when you need to return, you can use it to return straight here.”
She’d managed to create a portkey that matched my dress and shoes.
It was a little uncanny.
I smiled at McGonagall a bit awkwardly—the last time we’d spoken, we’d been meeting so that I could transfer my memories to her. After she’d seen them, she’d apologised and assured me that Todd wasn’t coming back for a long time, before dismissing me.
I had time to glimpse her slight smile and then a nod of her head before I grasped the portkey and vanish. As usual I felt the sickening twisting sensation of travelling via portkey and was suddenly landing far quicker than I’d thought I would.
When I landed, my feet hit the ground first, but my coordination skills weren’t quite good enough to keep me standing. Just as I internally lamented the loss of the dress before the wedding had even started, I felt arms come out and grab my shoulders, pulling me onto my feet.
I opened my eyes to see Fred grinning at me.
“Why is it that Weasleys are always catching me after these things?” I asked him.
Letting go of me, Fred grinned and stepped back. Beside him, Sabriel Malfoy was smiling slightly at me.
It had been weird, to come out of the Astronomy tower and find out that the person mainly responsible for getting me out of there had been Sabriel Malfoy. It had been explained to me—and I knew exactly how much everyone else had tried to help me—but it was still a bit odd to see her smiling at me.
She’d been spending a lot of time with Fred, since the incident. Most of the Slytherin’s had shunned her—for ousting Todd Williams (who they’d all considered to be some sort of mortal god)—and Fred had obviously decided to jump in and help.
“It’s because we’re big damn heroes, lover,” he smirked at me. I had time to laugh before he continued. “You’re late, Dalton. Your boyfriend’s been looking for you.”
As if on cue, Al seemed to have spotted me from the crowd and shouted my name. Making his way hastily to my side, he grinned.
“Thank god you’re here,” he gushed, slipping an arm casually around my waist. “I need you.”
I frowned slightly, smiling in amusement. “And why do you need me, Albus?” I asked him with a smirk.
He looked alarmed.
“Because I was just talking to my Dad, and I realised I couldn’t see his hand.”
Fred recoiled, obviously understanding. I would require a bit more expansion.
“That means his hand is invariably on my mum’s butt.”
“And do you, Daniel Wood, take Dominique Weasley to be your lawful, wedded wife? To love, and to hold, to honour and to cherish, in sickness and in health, through triumph and adversity, as long as you both shall live?”
Daniel grinned at Dom.
For a second, I expected him to say something entirely inappropriate like ‘Hells yes I do’ or ‘you’re damn right’ but he decided to do the right thing, and with a glowing smile on his face, said:
They sealed the ceremony with a kiss, amidst cheers, whoops and hollers of congratulations. Al’s grandma was crying beside Dom’s aunt—while Dom’s dad stood next to George, Ron and Harry, as well as the two uncles I hadn’t met—who must have been Percy and Charlie.
“I knew it was going to go well,” Scor observed to us all, after the ceremony had died down, and the tent had transformed into the reception parlour. “I can just smell these things.” He turned to Fred and smirked. “It’s like a sixth sense.”
Rose rolled her eyes and patted his arm. “Sweetie—that’s one of the five.”
We all had a good chuckle at the flush that crept up on Scor’s neck when he realised his mistake. As we laughed, none of us noticed as Harry and Ginny approached us.
“Did you enjoy the ceremony, kids?” Ginny asked with a kind smile—not nearly the terrifying grin she’d worn when asking me about my feelings for Al last Christmas.
We all nodded our heads quickly. Harry looked at me closely. “Is the potion working, Katie? You’ve got enough for the rest of term?”
Harry had found out about the Felix Felicis from James when I started to take it—if he hadn’t just known before hand. The others, I’d told after getting out of the Astronomy tower and having Al explain that that was what had been in the yellow vials they’d been bringing me.
Rose had guessed.
I’d had to explain to the others.
“I’m all set, sir.” I said with a smile. “Thanks.”
Harry smiled before letting out a wistful sigh as he examined the entire area. “It feels like we were getting married just yesterday, doesn’t it love?” he asked Ginny, now that the serious conversation was out of the way.
Ginny let out a similar smile and nodded. “We found out we were having James the morning of.” She told me with a smile. “We had to cast an anti-nausea spell, although we really should have seen it coming with the way Harry and I had been—”
Al interrupted her with a loud and hasty cough, his face turning a pale shade of green.
“It was a long time ago though, wasn’t it honey?” Harry said, now watching the dancing groom and bride as they spun around the dance floor. “We’re so old.”
Ginny shot him a sharp look.
Under that look, many men would have shrivelled up and begun grovelling for forgiveness. Harry, upon seeing the look, shrugged his shoulders and brushed it off. “Oh, we’re sexy old.” He reassured her. “Like vampires.”
Al cleared his throat. “Right, and on that note...” Al grabbed my elbow and pulled, leading me towards the dance floor.
In a smooth move, reminiscent of our time tap dancing, he swung me into his arms and dipped me back—in some sort of significant move that indicated the beginning of our dance. When I was upright again, we had begun casually dancing—swaying in a sort of non-conforming waltz.
“God, I hate weddings,” he grumbled. “It always seems to make the adults more inclined to over share.”
I giggled slightly.
“That’s because they’re drunk.”
Scorpius and Rose, who’d obviously followed our lead and extracted themselves from awkward conversations by making their way to the dance floor, momentarily paused beside us.
“I think they prefer it if we call it ‘tipsy’.” Scorpius said with a grin.
Rose glanced over to where Ron and Hermione were kissing on the dance floor. It was nothing extravagant—just the kiss of people who’d been married a long time, and were happy to show it.
“That’s something you don’t see every day,” I observed lightly.
Rose let out a groan. “I’m going to be in therapy til I die.” She moaned.
“Oi!” Fred shouted from the other side of the dance floor. It seemed, unlike the four of us, he was dancing with Sabriel because they were both enjoying it. “Stop clogging up the floor, you wankers.”
We all hastily began to dance again.
I wrapped my arms around Al’s neck, and smiled up at him.
“I don’t hate weddings.” I told him with a grin.
He shot me a smile and raised an eyebrow. “Yeah?” He questioned. “Why’s that?”
“Well,” I responded. “For one, my parents aren’t here.” I grinned as Al glowered at me for a moment, before returning his face to its brilliantly sexy smile. “But also because I can see you—it’s weird, not having you at school.”
It had been weird. With the seventh years gone, I still had all my sixth year friends. But without Al, Scor, Rose and Fred to keep me company at least during parts of the day, it felt oddly new (like I hadn’t done it for the five years prior to this one.)
“Fred and I are getting a flat together,” Al said with a grin. “The empty flat above the Hogsmeade branch of Uncle George’s store.”
The grin broke out on my face before I even considered stopping it.
Why I would stop it, I didn’t really understand.
“You’re going to be in Hogsmeade?” I verified, making sure I hadn’t heard wrong.
Al grinned down at me, pressing a quick kiss on my nose. “Yep,” he said gleefully. “We’ll be right there. Rose and Scor are getting a place in Godric’s Hollow, closer to Mum and Dad—but only after they get back from their trip.”
It had come as news to me when Rose told me that she and Scor were going to be travelling back to Romania for a couple of months, and staying with her Uncle Charlie before they came back to get jobs and proper work. Scor was interested in working with the dragons and Charlie had offered him the opportunity.
It would be weird without them, but if Fred and Al were only in Hogsmeade, it wouldn’t be as weird as I’d thought it would be.
“That’s going to annoy Eric. I think he thought everything was going back to normal once you guys were gone.” I told him grinning.
All smirked, leaning down and this time pressing a quick kiss to my lips. As per usual, the fireworks arrived and I felt my knees get weak slightly.
Hopefully he hadn’t noticed.
“Well, I don’t think I’d last long without you,” Al said.
I glanced at his slowly recovering fingers—the bones fixing themselves from the shattered state he’d put them in.
“So,” Al continued, “I’m sorry to disappoint Eric.”
I grinned, leaning forward, this time being the one to press my lips to his.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’m not.”
I’d like to thank all you guys a million times over for actually taking the time to stick with this story, through the drama, the plot holes and the bad grammar and editing. I worked without a beta for a good part of this fic and for that I’m sorry.
I remember starting this fic with five chapters—when I was struck by the inspiration of seeing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on the big screen. Now, with fifty one chapters under my belt, and having just seen the final movie (twice, as of the time that I’m writing this. It’s 6:24 on Sunday, the 24th of July 2011—as of the moment I write this. And while I acknowledge that you won’t be seeing this chapter for a while now (I think I just got Chapter 40 validated) I’m sure that updates will be (have been, in your case) quicker.
Again, thanks for reading. It was really upsetting to get to the ‘Edit Story’ area and tick the ‘complete’ box. But it was also good. This story has really helped me develop my writing skills, and I feel nothing but thanks to the people who stuck with me, gave me advice and helped me out.
So, for the final time in Katie’s concern (unless I’m struck by the urge to write a seventh year for my girl),