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Chapter 96 : Epilogue
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There had been four of them; this was what Harry had said. Four boys. Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, James Potter and Peter Pettigrew. All Gryffindors in the same year, all best friends. They had met on the Hogwarts Express, had grown up together, done so many things together. They’d spend Christmas and the summers at each others’ homes. They had become Animagi together. They had gotten dozens upon dozens of detentions together and had created a map of the entire school. These were feats any student would kill to accomplish.
They had been destined for great things. They were destined to live long and prosperous lives. How had they been cut so short? Well, it wasn’t a question of how. It was a question of why. Why had their bond, one that had been so strong some believed it to be unbreakable, broken? Why had their friendship dissolved into tragedy? The rift that separated them, he knew there was a way it could have been avoided. Something had gone amiss and it had resulted in the tragedy of the four friends that had practically been brothers.
At least some rifts were mended before their lives ended. Sirius Black had proven himself innocent to Remus Lupin and to his godson, Harry Potter. He had proven that he would rather die than betray Lily and James. What a moment that must have been, the moment that Sirius and Remus were reunited as friends, that they could forgive each other for suspecting the other was the traitor, considering the real traitor was still around and had to be dealt with. He hated admitting this to himself, but he wished they would have killed him when they had the chance.
It would have spared the world a great deal of heartache.
Sirius had met his end only two years after his breakout from Azkaban. He was killed in the Department of Mysteries, killed at the hands of his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange. His best friend had seen it, had watched Sirius fall behind the veil, knowing there was nothing he could do to save him. Remus had to maintain his composure in order to help the students that were there. It must have been difficult, to think that you’d finally gotten your friend back, only to have him taken away without the possibility of a return. He couldn’t imagine how Remus had taken it. It had to have been difficult. It had to have been heartbreaking. It had to be worse than the first time he thought he had lost him.
Because now he knew that Sirius was innocent and realised there were so many years they had missed, years that could have been happy.
Again, it was all the fault of Peter Pettigrew.
But Peter got what was coming to him in the end. He had betrayed his best friends; he had sold their lives to save his own. In the end, his own body betrayed him. He must have thought he was perfectly safe within Voldemort’s pocket. He was a fool for thinking that. No one was safe, even if they were in Voldemort’s supposed protection. That silver hand of his, according to Harry, had turned on him. Peter tried to finally do the right thing and the hand choked him to death. It was no more than he deserved. If he had done the right thing years ago, more lives would have been spared.
Lives would have been forever changed, but not in a negative way.
He supposed it didn’t matter anymore, what was done was done. Maybe it was a cruel way to think. He knew his own life would have been different if Pettigrew hadn’t interfered. The final member of the group died during the Battle of Hogwarts. Remus Lupin and his wife, Nymphadora Tonks, had been murdered in the final battle, fighting to try and make a better world for their family to grow up in. They had given the ultimate sacrifice in the form of their lives.
Their time was over. The time of James, Remus, Sirius and Peter was over. They had lived their lives; they had done both great and terrible things. They had made their mark on the world and yet never lived to know that. They were supposed to be friends forever; their friendship was supposed to withstand any test that was thrown at it. War brought out all sides of people and it had brought out the best in three of the four. Yet it had also brought out the worst in all four. They had turned their backs on each other, failed to realise what was amiss. Yet three of them never would have seen that particular end coming.
Their time was over. Their memories had been made, their lives had been lived. Now, so many years later, it was his turn. It was his turn to make his legacy at Hogwarts and he sincerely hoped he would find friends the way his father had. He only hoped he would not be betrayed by them.
And so, taking a deep breath, Teddy Lupin stepped onto the Hogwarts Express for the first time.
Author's Note: Wow, it's strange that after I post this I'll be click the checkbox next to 'Complete' I've been writing this for nearly three years and it's awesome, and incredibly saddening, to have finished it. Thanks to Gryffin_Duck, LynnHelven, auror_snape, Rumor, Prongs05JP, Stag_Night, rainbowsocks and everyone for your reviews!
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