Chapter 25 : Epilogue
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Luna stared speechless at the ceiling. She could not sleep tonight – not that sleep had come easily for her since she had arrived in Romania. She thought she saw his face again, through the grey swirling tones of a dull ceiling or through the fluttering plain curtains. It was chilly in the room, quite the usual for an early morning of July in the deep forests of the Transylvanian mountains. The dulcet sounds of a sad nightingale reverberated from the distance, but to Luna its song seemed so close, as if the bird was merely sitting inches away from her. What made it feel so close was the appropriate tune that it had taken, apparently ever since Luna had occupied this very room.
It spoke to her of a long-gone freedom, of a heart whose pounding had once made hers pound, of a secret language that she and Rolf had once spoken but whose words he had never truly understood; but most of all it made her remember all those times when love had made her feel so light and burden-less. Time…it now passed so slowly as if the hands of the clocks were now too old and withered by their daily routine to perform the movement with velocity. They were too tired of this life and their laziness only seemed to increase Luna’s anxiety, which lately seemed to enjoy far too much torturing her and draining that last ounce of sanity left in her.
It passed for Charlie when he’d be up from early morning until midnight, burying his youth and health in the researches he was so fond of. It passed for sister Ana who woke up everyday with a prayer for her God, continued the day with the activities that she performed with such delicacy and elaborateness and then as the last ray of the Sun would sink between the high peaks of the mountains, she went to her cell and ended her day with another prayer. It passed for Xenophilius Lovegood in the many voyages he now carried – searching for a new wild beast that no one had heard of, but in his heart realizing that he was actually trying to cast his loneliness aside.
It did not pass for Luna.
It went by with such velocity for others – Charlie always complained that the day had not enough hours for him – but in Luna’s world it stood still. The hours on the clocks were marked like years and the weeks had turned into centuries. Centuries of solitude… She did not seek to cast her loneliness aside, she did not make a routine of her life because she was afraid of boredom and certainly she did not work until feeling worn-out. She just stood there, contemplating her life and most precisely, the path which lately it seemed to have taken on without her consent. She allowed the days to pour from the hour-glass, knowing that she could not do anything to increase the pace. It went by in a slumberous rhythm, dizzying her…
She had not felt so life-less since her mother had died and possibly this aching was even harder to take, because she was more mature now. She saw the world differently and understood things that as a child she had missed or simply ignored, because her mind had not been ready to perceive the reality around her.
Luna knew that she loved Rolf, still. After all the pain, the afflictions and the lies he had lured her with into his wicked games of love, she still dared to feel – to feel for him. She wished she could take back her memories, her joys and tears and seal them in a box, which she would never open again. She had tried to write her feelings in a diary – like she had done then, when her mother had died – but she had not been able to write anything, but the three words she dreaded most. ‘I love him’ she had jotted on a blank page of a notebook, before throwing it out on the window.
These three words were more than a biography for Luna; they held a meaning that not even she could comprehend. In the immensity of those three simple words she found herself as being so tiny and insignificant, so fragile and inutile as if she no longer controlled her life. ‘I love him’ did the living for her.
A breeze penetrated the room making Luna flinch at the mere hearing of the curtains fluttering. The windows were open. It was almost morning and it seemed at that point that another night had gone by purposeless. She had not reached a conclusion; her mind had indulged itself again with the memories of a life she did not live in anymore and as the dawn of a new day approached she knew that the following hours would bring along the same incertitude. She lifted from the bed and headed for her closet, from where she took a long knitted cardigan.
She put the clothing on and then stepped outside her room, hoping that a long walk around the domain would help her clear the many thoughts swarming in her head. Luna walked past the inner yard and emerged outside on the land, through the giant door marking the barrier between the real world and the convent.
She decided that she would not circle the convent this time, but instead would go farther into the valley, to the west where the calm breeze bated. She watched her feet walking slowly towards a destination she had never seen but which she desperately needed to find. She clutched fiercer to her cardigan, pulling it tighter around her frail body, not on account of the cold outside but because she needed something to cling to at that moment. Her fingers needed to hold onto something – as insignificant as the fabric of her clothing – for hope was unreachable, untouchable for her.
She could cry, of course…she could scream and throw a tantrum, but it would not ease her hurting. It would not diminish her fright, it would not cure the gashes…it would not open the door towards a new, better destiny. She just had to face it and cling to what her friends and Charlie had told her. It would get better in time. These wounds that bled abusively would heal once the hours would re-take their normal rhythm. But for now she had to endure it all, to carry on fighting this lost battle until there would be nothing left but a memory and the scar of her struggle.
Curiosity had killed the cat, but Luna still had eight more lives to keep her going. By the time she would leave Romania, she will have lost one more with all this pain, but there were plenty enough left to ensure that she would live through it. She was the cat and perhaps something even smaller, like the spider that Zabini had drowned into the goblet of wine.
She walked farther, all this time doing comparisons between her situation and that of the little bug that had lost its life that night, when aristocratic drinks and childish prides had exceeded the normal level. She stepped out from the glade and ventured onto the highlands, where the morning mist seemed to have thinned with the approaching of the sunrise. It was not dark anymore and the sky seemed to have gained a purple shade.
She lost her sight into the distance until she could make out the shape of a man approaching. She could not see his face but that walk, that self-assuredness emanating from his gestures and the way his hair fluttered in the calm breeze – she knew those. She had seen them before. The figure kept approaching and she stood still, unable to move as if she had just been stunned. Her eyes fixed the tall young man wearing a black coat reaching to his knees and a green t-shirt beneath. He was now closer to her and on a second look she recognized him.
It was Rolf.
He seemed to have recognized her as well, for as soon as he laid his eyes on her, he began running faster than Luna had ever seen him do. In just a couple of seconds, Rolf Scamander stood before his Luna, panting for air and unable to take his eyes of her. She could not speak either, but this time she would not be the one to break the awkward silence. If he had come all the way from England, then he had a couple of things to tell her. He would do the talking today. Luna would just listen.
“Luna…” he whispered, his eyes narrowing as though trying hard to keep the tears from falling from them. “I want you to listen to me because I need you to. I want to say all the things that I’ve left unsaid all this time. Will you listen, Luna?”
“Yes…” she managed to mumble, through her open mouth.
“I am sorry…so sorry and I know that this mere apology will not do for all your sorrow. I’ve hurt you in the cruellest of ways and I will never be able to forgive that, myself. You were pure, warm and everything that I ever wanted in a woman yet I could not see your worth. I was vain and immature. I was the blind one, Luna, because I failed to see that you are the woman for me. I’ve missed you so much since you’ve been gone; I’ve missed your laughter, your eyes, the way you made feel, the natural manner in which you completed me. My heart, my mind, my whole body is not what they used to be once, because you’re not there to fill in the blanks and the open space between my arms,” he paused.
“I was afraid, so afraid of being different, of changing… But I’ve been another man from the very day I laid my eyes on you. You make me a new man Luna, just by merely looking at me. You loved me so tenderly that within your kisses, all my fears vanished regardless of my own awareness towards this ever happening. You know, Luna, my grandfather died and…” he chocked and for a split second he thought he would not be able to speak ever again, for the pain in his chest threatened to kill him.
“I know…” she spoke bitterly, while tears started rolling down on her cheeks. “I read it in the newspaper. I’m sorry I wasn’t there…”
“His death made me realize that life is so fragile and it can end so fast. I don’t want to find myself at the end of my days without you. I want to grow old you, to share everything in me with you. I want to be able to die in my bed – whether it’s tomorrow or a hundred years from now – knowing that I had the love of my life by my side. Life is short and sinuous but I want to hold your hand for as long as we both shall live, because I love you…”
“I love you more than words could ever explain. I love you beyond my fear and pride. I love you in your every shape, with your dreams, your voice, your beautiful eyes and that calm you bring about when you walk into a room. I love how you dance all by yourself, how you hum songs, how you whisper words of wisdom, how your hair smells like in the rain… I love you with every beat of my heart, with every breath of my body because you give me life. You’re my air, that song that has been playing non-stop in my ears since you’ve left… you are the reason why I haven’t died until now. I am Rolf Scamander because I love you… Come back with me to England and I promise that you’ll never shed another tear of bitterness. I know I’ve made promises that I’ve been unable to fulfil in the past, but this time I mean them. Come back to me…”
She gaped at him, taking in every of his words like songs from a distant memory. She could not believe her senses; Rolf was there, in bones and flesh, apologizing and saying that he loved her. And how he loved her… she could not control the shivering anymore, her hands had long lost their stillness and her tears had long begun their journey on her red cheeks. She looked him in the eyes – in those big green eyes – and saw that he too was crying. She could feel the grief and pain in his heart, as if she were experiencing it. His face was just as mesmerising as it had always been, with the arched eyebrows and thin lips, the long nose that added more elegance to his masculine features.
“Marry me, Luna!” he said and then rummaged through his pockets. He took out a purple box which he opened instantly, revealing a pearl ring. “I want to live the rest of my life with you… I want to have a family with children that look exactly like you. I want you to live as Luna Scamander!
She threw herself into his arms and kissed him like she had never kissed him before. He could feel her lips rubbing against his and at that point no feeling could ever match that pure and delicate sensation of their mouths melting in the sweetest perfection. Her fingers were clasped between the black strands of his wet hair, while his arms lifted her higher in the air. When their lips finally parted he allowed her feet to touch the soil but his arms did not leave her back. They curled around her tiny waist, pulling her closer to him in order to feel her warm breath upon his own skin. How he had missed that… how he had missed everything that made Luna who she was.
Their faces were so close to each other now that all their eyes could see was the blurry image of their counterparts. She saw the green swirling around the black pupil, he saw the blue that always hypnotized him and so the future seemed so much brighter. She could trust him again. He had travelled far to come and serve his heart on a silver platter and from that moment on, Luna knew that Rolf Scamander would never lie or hurt her ever again. He loved her and she loved him back. There were no mysteries, no riddles to be solved and as awkward as it may seem for Luna and Rolf – as they had always enjoyed the secrecy around the other – it brought comfort and peace. There were no hidden catches – just Luna, just Rolf and the love they would share despite their blurry pasts.
He looked her straight into the eyes and realized that from that moment on there should be no odd moments of silence. They would tell it all.
“Luna…” he spoke, cupping her face. “Let’s go looking for Crumpled-Horned Snorkaks!”
“Oh, I’m afraid they don’t exist,” she replied shyly, still delving into his stare.
“How come…? But you’ve always…”
“You see…” she cut him off. “I’ve been looking for Crumpled-Horned Snorkaks half of my life and all this time I never realised that it was my mother, the one that I was really trying to find. They are not real… They’re just the product of the imagination of a girl who lost her mother in a time she needed her most.”
He was silent, not because he lacked the words to sooth her but he realized that there were no more wounds left to heal. She – just like him – was ready to start a new life and leave behind the past.
“But Nargles,” she spoke while he placed his arm around her shoulder, together walking towards the convent. “Now, those are the creatures that we should focus on. I think Daddy can help us set a campaign…”
Rolf smiled because he knew that albeit having changed, Luna was still the dreamy and eccentric young girl he had once met in a late afternoon by the shores of Dorset. He nodded approvingly and then began telling her the steps that needed to be taken regarding this campaign, once they would get back to England but also how they should also organize the best wedding Ottery St. Catchpole and Dorset had ever witnessed. They walked over to the convent and entered the inner yard, without looking back. An adventure was at its start.
Luna gazed up from the book she had been perusing for a couple of hours, only to find that the house was silent – which was rather peculiar. Nevertheless, she looked down again at the neat writing that marked the final sentence of a story she had not only devoured in the pale light of the afternoon, but also one that she had lived with every ounce of her body. She turned another page and came across another catenation of words. This was a dedication.
“To my wonderful husband, Rolf (who has also helped me fill in the missing moments of our story), so that our love would live on forever – long after we shall both die. To my extremely gifted children – Lorcan and Lysander – so that you would one day understand the miracle that has brought you about. And last, but certainly not least, to my loyal friends who have always been there for me, in times of grief and in times of happiness.”
She smiled as she noticed her name scribbled at the bottom of the page in italics. She closed the book and then decided it was time she went outside to check on her family. Luna emerged from the room, stepped on the marble floor of a long hallway that led to a back door. She opened it with a creaking and then stepped forward onto the small terrace from where she could see Rolf – now in his forties – with their twin sons, Lorcan and Lysander, playing in the back garden of their handsome Victorian house on the Cornwall shore. She could feel the warm breeze of the sea caressing her cheeks and meddling with the blond hair that she had passed onto her children.
They were the spitting image of her except for the eyes, which naturally resembled their father’s. Rolf waved at her, upon seeing her sitting in the doorway and then invited her to come and join them. Luna nodded and then walked over to her three men, hopping and humming a song that she knew all too well. Rolf took her in his arms and kissed her on the forehead, fondly.
Twenty years had gone by since Luna and Rolf had first met that day, following her graduation. They were now married, had two clever sons, she had two books published – one with the beasts that she and Rolf had discovered along the years and the other retelling their story – and he had a painting exhibition in a Muggle art gallery.
In the end, they did not find Crumpled-Horned Snorkaks but for Luna and Rolf, things couldn’t have turned out for the better.
AN And so it has come to an end, one that I hope you have enjoyed and above all seen as the true and logical outcome of our lovely Luna and handsome Rolf. It is of great joy to me to have shared this story with you and I thank you humbly for the reviews and the support you have given me. Thank you! This story truly belongs to you and I truly truly hope that one day when you’ve found your Rolf/Luna you’ll remember me and this little story:)
Thank you for the amazing 300+ reviews, for the 27000+ views and the 261 favs and the Dobby, which I would have never been able to win had it not been for your votes! Leaving my sloppy speech behind, I would like u to answer this one question ”What did u like best?”. I can’t wait to hear your responses. And btw, I’ll be posting the video tonight too and youtube so feel free to check it out:) One more time, THANK YOU! I’m going to miss this story so much!
PS. The lyrics belong to Eva Cassidy, the song being "Fields of Gold"
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