Chapter 20 : Part 2: Epilogue
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DISCLAIMER: I own Aria, Ashley, Lucan, and Cassie.
A/N: This was written before OotP, and it's in Sirius' point of view taking place right before the fifth book.
By the end of our first year of being Aurors, James had married Lily, and I had married Aria. James had also inherited a small fortune from his mother who had passed away, and he and Lily moved into a nice large but cozy house in a neighborhood called Godric's Hollow. When Lily found out she was pregnant, the Potters had thrown a party at their house, in which we six had laughed and talked until the wee hours of the morning. Not long after, Remus and Ashley became engaged, and to my delight, Aria told me that I was going to be a father.
Soon, Lily gave birth to Harry, and James became a proud father. They also named Aria and I his godparents, which made us happier than we could ever explain to them. He and Lily were completely crazy about their son, taking him out to see ducks in a nearby pond, playing peek-a-boo with him, reading to him, and showering him with all the love a child could ever dream for. Lily, after giving birth, had taken Harry in her arms and had vowed: "I am going to give you everything I never had. You'll never, ever be without my love, even long after I'm gone. You're never going to live through the life I had." And as far as we could tell, she and James fulfilled that promise every day.
Ironically, a month later Aria gave birth to our daughter, Cassiopeia Neroli Black. I was so scared when the doctor first put my daughter into my arms. She was so tiny and delicate. I was overcome with emotion as I realized that she was completely dependent upon her mother and I. In other words, I was responsible for someone's life, someone who could not take care of themselves and needed me. I made a vow to always take care of my beautiful little girl, to give her anything she ever desired, to keep her happy. After discussing it with Aria, we decided to name Remus and Ashley as Cassie's godparents. Remus had looked at me, surprised. He asked why on earth I would pick him to be my daughter's godfather when he turned into a ravenous beast once a month. I told him that there was no one in the world that I would rather have as Cassie's godfather beacause no one was wiser, kinder, funnier, smarter, or braver than he. That left him at a loss for words.
The six of us had never been happier in our entire lives. As Cassie grew to be a few weeks old, Remus' and Ashley's wedding drew nearer. The two of them must have been the most perfect couple in the entire world. They were totally, completely, madly in love with each other, and although I was with Aria and James was with Lily, there's was a different sort of love, a kind that was so deep that it could not be explained in words. It simply was. However, the greatest joy of Remus' life was about to be snatched away from him.
The night before the wedding, Remus, James, Lily, Harry, Aria, Cassie, and I went to Ashley's parent's house for dinner. She was going to meet us there, and we were all in a happy mood, laughing and talking, but all of that was soon to change
It was a beautiful September night. The moon was waning high in the starry sky, and everything looked picturesque. However, the beauty disappeared as the group neared the McKinnon's house. The six stopped dead in their tracks, the color draining from their faces as they looked up to see the enormous, hideous Dark Mark floating above the simple house.
"NO!" Remus yelled, and he ran as fast as he could towards the symbol of evil.
"Lily! Take Harry and go home!" James whispered, and with a look of pure terror on her face, Lily Apparated herself and her son to safety.
"Aria! You've got to leave!" Sirius said hoarsely.
Aria stood rooted to the spot, paralyzed with fear and shock.
"ARIA! You've got to leave! Go home with Cassie!" Sirius said, risking a louder voice.
Aria snapped out of her trance and brushed away a tear. She nodded, and Shimmered home, her daughter held tight. Sirius and James ran to the house, where they found Mr. and Mrs. McKinnon's bodies strewn grotesquely over the porch, and Remus cradling something in arms on the front steps. They rushed over and saw Ashley with a deep, ragged gash across her chest. Blood was oozing out of the wound quickly, and was soaked up by Remus' shirt. Tears were streaming down his face.
"Ashley! Ashley, can you hear me?" Her breathing was shallow and irregular. "Ashley! Say something! Please, please say something! Anything! Don't leave me, Ash, please! Hang on, fight it!"
Remus begged his love to hang on, but it was already too late. She was fading fast.
"Re-Re-Re-Remus," she said, barely louder than a whisper.
She winced with pain and the excruciating effort it took to speak.
"I-I-I love you. I love you more than you'll ever know, more than anyone could ever know. I love you."
Remus showered many kisses upon her face, and she smiled faintly.
"Don't leave me, Ash," he whispered. "I can't go on without you. I need you. Without you I'm nothing. Don't leave me!"
"I-I-I-I'm not leaving you, darling, I'll be right here-" she struggled to lift her hand to point to his heart. "-and you ARE something. You're my everything, and that makes you a lot of something. I'll always be with you."
Her breathing became more and more shallow, and he begged her to hold on, but she was already gone
I close my eyes and struggle to forget the pain and anguish Remus went through. Lily and James were killed soon after that, and I was locked away in Azkaban for twelve years. But now I'm free, I'm here with my true love. Remus is slowly getting over the pain of losing Ashley. I look at the alarm clock and see that its time to get up and go meet Dumbledore to hear him out on the Order of the Phoenix's new mission.