Harry Potter and the Burden of Becoming Chapter 74 – Epilogue
The day had been long, the evening even longer, and Harry’s mind was filled with an explosion of possibilities and futures. He waved at her from his window, blew her a kiss, walked blearily backward, falling fully onto his bed, and he pondered the possibility of children. She would be a wonderful mother, he thought as his eyes closed and a smile curled on his lips. Quickly, his mind faded into sleep.
Save for the lake, the pair were surrounded by the tall trees. The air was suddenly quite cold and all sound was muffled into an eerie silence. For the first time that Harry could remember, he was looking into two grey eyes that bore nothing but pure happiness. Harry watched as Draco plunged naked into the water. Dumbledore’s voice echoed in his mind. “If not, his clothes would wash away, a sign to Centaurs that such things as robes are unclean.”
Harry watched as the stones about the great pool grew skyward. They encircled him in a great grey tomb. He held out his lit wand, but its light was feeble against the darkness. This was neither lake, nor forest. There was a stench of death here, and as Harry tried to stumble forward climbing over the rubble he saw a rat scurry across a pile of dust and debris. Harry kicked it with his foot; the dust flew into the air revealing beneath a set of robes -- black wizard’s robes.
Suddenly Dumbledore’s voice began to laugh. It was coming from every direction and Harry turned to see Gargoyle head after Gargoyle head, broken on the ground around him, each roaring with laughter and gleaming at him with bright blue eyes.
In the early morning hours, Harry woke to the darkness of his room on Privet Drive and quickly flipped on the lamp at his bedside. He was cold, and yet sweat dripped down the side of his face. His heart was racing, and like a small child who might reach for a blanket, he grabbed a well-worn piece of folded parchment and opened it beneath the lamp’s light reading it for the hundredth time.
My dear Harry,
Would that I could reset the hands of time and set the world right, but alas my magic is no match for the fate that stands before each of us. It is clear to all that the path you’ve been forced to travel has been cruel and unkind. And still, with all the adversities you have faced, with all the battles you have fought, you have found time to smile, to care, to love. Could there be someone else in all the world with more loyalty, with more bravery, with more compassion?
We are all forever in your debt. You faced death but did not strike, and in so doing brought light to darkness, life to death. It is by your example we still have hope that, one day, we will win this war against hatred.
With all the love a mother can give her children,
“It’s just a dream,” Harry whispered to himself. He took a deep breath, carefully folded the parchment, and set it at his bedside. His racing heart slowed, his body warmed, he turned off the lamp and closed his eyes. A smile curled on his lips and soon he was fast asleep.
Just outside of Glasgow, the Chang family finished saying their goodnights. It had been a busy day and although everyone was exhausted the children still wanted to stay awake and share yet more stories of the year’s events. Finally, Mr. Chang put his foot down. If he hadn’t, Patrick and James would never be off to bed. As it was, he had to tell them to go to sleep at least three times before the two friends finally settled down.
In the quiet darkness of the night, still unable to sleep, it was Patrick that heard the scuttle across the wooden floor in James’ room. Ignoring it, he forced his eyes to remain closed just as a loud thump hit the floor. He whispered for James, but the young Chang was already in a deep sleep. Again, Patrick could hear a skittering and this time a rolling along the floor. Risking a bit of magic he lit his wand.
There on the floor beside his bedroll was a rat with colorless fur pushing the black Snitch of the Magpies that Hermione had given him to keep watch over. He reached down and grabbed the Snitch just as the rat bit his finger. A drip of blood rolled onto the black orb, and suddenly the white signatures across its surface began to erupt in a brilliant light that sent focused beams onto the walls displaying the player’s names. The Snitch began to expand and crack. Patrick held the black ball up for a closer look as a dark, sooty smoke began to issue forth through the growing slits of names. Patrick felt very cold as he watched with wonder the smoke curl upward toward the ceiling. Suddenly, the glowing orb flickered and went out— the darkness had returned.
Author’s Note: Thanks for taking the time to read this story. I hope you enjoyed it. I ask that you review, provide honest criticism, and offer suggestions for the sequel. Please!!!!!!!!
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