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Chapter 19: Epilogue
A million definitions.
What's the word?
I'll give you one sentence using that word on the top of my head: After I severed all ties with the Marauders, I intended to go through the rest of my fifth year with minimal trouble.
Emphasis on I intended.
It didn't mean I succeeded.
True, I was confident that I passed my O.W.L.S. but I was not able to go through with the minimal trouble part of the story. It wasn't something major, but it did have a lasting impact on my memory.
It happened a few minutes after the OWLS, when Lily and Snape were talking to each other as they walked along the bank of the Black Lake. I wasn't really buddies with Severus, but I didn't hate him either. I doubt he hated me. But if he did, he certainly didn't show it. That would probably be for Lily's sake. I was Lily's friend, and it was her decision to hang out with Severus so I had no say in the matter.
I watched from afar, under a tree, rereading my notes while Severus had alone time with Lily. It was looking like a cool, uneventful afternoon so far. That was until the Marauders arrived. It was harmless at first, the bantering was normal. So was the jeering and laughing. But when I saw James take out his wand, I knew something bad was going to happen. I knew first hand what James could do when he wasn't thinking straight.
I winced. My hand automatically moved towards my arm. I ran a finger over the scar left by James. I closed my eyes and tried blocking the images of his drawn wand, the yellow light, and the searing pain that shot through my body through the newly made wound.
I wanted so much to interfere, but when I accidentally made eye contact with Sirius, it was enough to stop me from getting myself mixed up with the Marauders again. So I sat back down on the grass, watching as the scene played out before me.
Then I realized that I missed those days when the Marauders and I laughed at simple nothings. I realized that I wasn't a Marauder any longer.
Things went from bad to worse in less than a minute. Severus was hoisted into the air and Lily was defending him. She called James some nasty words until Severus' tongue got the best of him. He had called Lily -- unintentionally, I'm certain -- a Mudblood.
The tears that fell from Lily's eyes were evident even from my distance from the quarreling group. She ran away from them, she didn't even allow Severus the chance to correct his mistake or ask for forgiveness. James looked ready to kill the Slytherin. I followed after the red head, and when I caught up to her, she was already acting brave, wiping away the stream of tears and willing no more to fall from her eyes.
"I'm a fool, Crystal" Lily said when I wrapped an arm around her, my other hand stroked her hair. We were alone in the girl's dormitory. "I thought he could change"
I sighed "you are not a fool for trusting him. He's a fool for giving it up"
At my words, Lily let all her defenses fall. Her tears came down one after the other while I drew patterns on her back in an attempt to calm her down. It was silent in the room except for Lily occasional sobs. No words were said. She just needed a friend to be there for her, which was exactly what I was.
There weren't any other major events left in fifth year. Perhaps that strange dream that kept returning and disappearing night after night, but besides that, the school year ended rather normally. And the year after that was just as eventful.
Sixth year had passed in a blur.
Just as I had intended.
Well, sort of.
Did I mention that the word intended had more than one meaning?
It could mean what you desired to do.
Or what you planned.
Or the way you want things to be.
These all have similar meanings.
But there is one meaning that can be applied to my story. A meaning that will change the course I take in life.
Where to begin? Perhaps that day when someone rang the doorbell of my home during the summer after sixth year. It was a Sunday, and father decided to stay home and teach Micah how to fly a broom later that afternoon. But those plans were interrupted.
When the doorbell rang, I paid no attention to it because I knew either my mother or my father would answer the door before I would. I didn't worry at all.
I was wrong not to.
When my mother opened the door, I was upstairs in my room, writing a letter to Lily asking how her summer was so far. But I abruptly stopped writing when I realized that I hadn't heard the door slam shut yet. Something drew me to stop what I was doing and try to listen to the conversation downstairs by sticking my head out my door and into the hallway.
I heard my mother call for my father, who was at my mother's side in less than five seconds. It was only then that I heard the voices of the visitors. The deep voice of a man, the firm voice of a woman and the voice of someone who was yet to be a man but not really a boy anymore.
A voice that over the past few months, I had heard time and time again.
"it's a pleasure to meet you, Mister and Misses Wandlit" the voice said.
My father grunted, somewhat in uncertainty and acknowledgement. He then proceeded to invite the guests inside to the living room where there was a fireplace, bookshelves and two couches with a coffee table between.
They talked for a while in whispers so I was unable to hear their conversation in detail. Occasionally, my mother or father would chuckle nervously, or show great disagreement in the tone of their voice. But I never caught their words. They were muffled, and sounded slurred from where I hid.
Abruptly, after some time, my mother called out, "Crystal, cone down dear, we have guests who want to meet you"
I furrowed my eyebrows together. Visitors? For me?
Despite my uncertainty, I calmly walked downstairs after changing into smart casual clothes. I prepared a way to say hello to the unknown visitors. But those greetings wouldn't leave my lips when I took sight of the three people who sat in our living room. All of them were dressed in casual dark clothing, but their posture was fit for royalty. Of all people, I had never expected to meet the trio in my own home.
Orion and Walburga Black. And sitting between them was their son.
I stopped dead in my tracks when the trio's eyes landed on me. I blinked repeatedly before my mother gently took my hand and lead me to sit between her and my father. With a blank expression, I asked my father "what is happening?"
My father cleared his throat. He didn't looked pleased at all. "Crystal" he began "there was a pact, made by the children of Davyne McQuillen and Pyxis Black. That one day, their magic be united that Azalea may return in another form" he leant towards me to whisper "remember the children stories I told you about him? Azalea? I may have omitted some details, but he is real"
I nodded my head, but I still couldn't understand. Unite our magic? how? "but dad" I began "what do you mean unite?"
At this, my father sighed and answered "we have been unfair to the Blacks for far too long. The rivalry will come to an end, today"
To my left, my mother was silent, but her eyes glossed.
A question hung on my lips, but my father answered before I could voice it.
"like two powerful kingdoms at a disagreement, it is the heirs that are the solution . . . To intermarry with the other family" my father looked at Regulus.
I followed my father's gaze. Regulus looked confident, like the man he was to be in a few years. It was then that I remembered: he was already 16 years old. An incoming sixth year student at Hogwarts.
He spoke, "what he means to say, Crystal," he was unnaturally calm about everything while I struggled to grasp the subject "is that the feud will stop with a magical bond between one Black and a Wandlit. The two will be bonded through a marriage"
Regulus rose from his seat and walked towards me. He pulled something out of his pocket. It was shimmering in the light. From where I sat I could see that it was a white gold ring with the black stone that adorned it surrounded by smaller, white diamonds. There were swirls along the ring and that simple filigree seemed to pull everything together. I had to admit, it was beautiful. Probably crafted by the finest and most talented jewelers in the Wizarding World.
Then the shimmer faded when Regulus covered the source of light as he walked. I lost my focus on the ring and began to realize how close he was.
My heart began to pound, as if begging for release from my ribcage. I could hear my blood pulse in my ears. I felt my throat dry up. Time seemed to still as my eyes focused on the beautiful ring between his fingers.
He took three steps before taking my hand in his then slipping the ring on my slender finger. I had to focus my mind on breathing to avoid doing anything I'd regret later. I watched his every movement. The even breaths he took, the blink of his grey mysterious eyes and how they did not stray away from my own brown ones. He did not let go of my hand yet, and I was suddenly aware of how gentle he was despite the callouses I could feel on his skin.
Regulus' other hand came up to tilt my chin towards him so that I was forced to meet his expressionless gaze "in other words, my dear Crystal, you are my intended"
A million definitions.
What's the word?
Author's Note: Well, we're done with this story now! :) okay, maybe not, but I'd like to imagine it to be. You see, I'll let you readers on a little secret, my name is, at this point nothing of significance, but I live in the Philippines and I was rather young when I began writing this story. I stopped writing a year later. And now, as of February 22, 2012, two years and eighteen chapters later, this story has met its end.
Age wise, this story was written by a child. I'd like to keep it that way, kind of preserving the documents as how it was written by me back then with all it's mistakes and creativity.
I've written some events based on actual event in my life, except those concerning Crystal and Sirius' intimacy because I've never had anything close to that. I now know that in real life, some of the events in my story cannot happen. But like I said, I am going to leave documents as they were back in 2010.
So as usual, thank you for your kind words in the reviews but I'm open to creative feedback too :) and lilypotterfan123, I swear that if it hadn't been for you, Crystal might have never gotten into this wild adventure :D thank you so much!
I'll probably write a sequel, or a parallel universe because I like toying with the idea of Crystal's duties as a daughter and as an independent woman clashing . . . Oh, you don't know what I'm talking about? Well that's what the sequel is for! But this last chapter, the "Epilogue"is quite an AU to the sequel. If you're happy with how Crystal's life is now, then the sequel doesn't exist. But if you want to know what COULD have happened if Regulus hadn't proposed, then go ahead and read the sequel!
As always, I am eternally grateful for the support of my readers. This story was written for you.