Chapter 21 : Epilogue
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They loved each other, this I know. Whether or not he knows what pain he caused my mother by leaving her, I'll never know. But I do know that he's up there somewhere, watching us make decisions – good and bad. I know that he would have loved me, had he lived. I know that Mum still loves him with all her heart. I know that I would love him if he had lived to meet me.
As I sit here, writing this tale of two lovers, I wonder whether or not such a love exists out there for me. People wait a lifetime and then some for what my parents had and I'm not quite sure that I want to wait that long. I also know that there are many people in London for me to meet and the perfect man for me is out there somewhere, just waiting.
Sighing, I run my thin fingers through my head of thick, blonde hair. Everyone says that I look like my mother, but she says the only thing of hers that I have is her hair and heart of gold; nothing more. I'd have to agree. When I look at myself in the mirror, I see nothing of her. I don't see her button nose or round face, not even her large blue eyes. I see...Sirius. His misty gray eyes and slightly haughty but lovely features. I'm glad that I do have these things of his if I can't have anything else. I honestly don't want anything else.
What most people don't know is that my facial features aren't the only thing that my dad left me. He left me a fire to fuel my passion. Writing. He left me that and it is enough for me. I write about him every day, whether it is a poem about missing the man I never knew or a story like the one you are about to finish reading. That's my passion and my calling. Mum supplies me with old letters that they wrote each other and I feel as if I do know him. I may not know him by person but I do know him by heart and spirit.
I smile wistfully as I stare out the window at the winter snow. For some reason, it reminds me of my parents. I'll never know why, but it does. The purity, perhaps, and the innocence. I love that about them; they didn't know that he would die. Actually, I prefer to call it murder because that's what it really is. I know that one day Mum will join him and then when I'm old and gray, I'll finally meet my father.
A few tears spill from my stormy eyes as I think about this. I choose to close the leather bound book I'm holding in my lap as I reread my story. This isn't a story that I'm going to choose to send to a publisher. This is one that I'll leave strictly for my future grandchildren to read and hopefully never share with anyone outside the Black family. I don't think that my parents would want their tender story to be shared with others and perhaps I made a mistake by penning it. Even if I did, I'm keeping the story alive. I want future generations of my family to know this beautiful and bitterly sweet story.
Another set of salty water drops come from my eyes as I finger the gold lettering on the front. I could feel the words Alina Hale on the front. This book was not meant for me, but my mother wanted me to have something of his. Of course you're wondering why it has my mother's name on it if it's my father's. She found it in a drawer in her flat the morning after he died. He'd left it for her. I shake the book so that the letter stuck randomly in the pages falls out.
This is for you. I want you to write down the things that you do without me in so that I'll know what I missed. You can tell me when it's your time to go, of course, but if anything spectacular happens I want you to write me a letter. I'll see it, don't worry.
I'll love you always,
I swallow back the tears and rest my head against the wall, stretching my legs out on the length of the window seat I am in. Mum on wrote on only one page and remembered to date it. There's no more stopping the tears as I read this letter.
As I write this, I'm wishing you could be here to see her. I named her Violet Anne and of course gave her your last name. She was born just after midnight on April 3, 1997. She's beautiful, very much like you in looks. Her eyes look precisely like yours, as do her facial features. Of course, they're a bit more feminine than yours. Well, I'm writing this to say that I wish you could be a father to her rather than simply watching us from above.
I've always wanted to tell you this, ever since I found this book. It was as if you knew you were dying that night. Did you know? If you did, I just wanted to thank you for leaving me a token of your memory. I truly appreciate that.
This is how I know how much they loved each other. It isn't necessarily the 'always yours' and the 'I'll love you always' that told me this, but the way the wrote to each other. The sheer beauty of it brings me to tears each time. It is filled with romance and sorrow, and as my mum said, it was as though he knew he wasn't coming back to her.
Sighing, I take the picture sitting on the windowsill and pick it up. This is my favorite picture of my parents. They look so incredibly happy in this photograph. Sitting in front of the Black Lake at Hogwarts, they're underneath the shade of a large tree. Dad has his arm wrapped around Mum's shoulders as she puts an arm on his chest lovingly. More tears come as I pen the final sentences of my story.
There was a barely a chance to do things right that time around, though. There was barely even time to say goodbye, for things ended quickly and in a way neither expected.