Chapter 26 : Chapter TWENTY-SIX - Epilogue
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AN: The last chapter!!! I wrote this nearly a year ago so it hasn't taken long to get up xD thanks so much for reading!!
Disclaimer - everything you recognise is JKRs :) x
There is not much more left to say. I gave birth to my baby girl on that morning of the sixteenth of April. Regulus came to see us at my request, and his face as our child’s tiny hand clutched his finger was priceless. He stayed all day. I felt like light was glowing out of my face. I was so happy.
We named her Aspin. And Hydra for my mother, Molly for a woman who may as well have been my mother, Savannah for a girl I once knew, and Niamh for the light she was born into.
A week later, I left St Mungo’s with my baby, and went back to the cottage at Ottery. She is three weeks old now, and as chubby and lovely a baby as anyone could wish. Like her mother, she is quiet and reserved, and like her father she smiles rarely but beautifully, setting the world alight with her joy. She has a tuft of black hair and grey eyes the colour of his, shot with the green of a spring leaf.
This story does not have a happy ending. If you so wish, you can stop reading now, and pretend that we lived happily ever after.
But it is not so. Last night, Albus Dumbledore arrived at my doorstep and invited himself in, as I was rocking the Aspin to sleep in the kitchen. He bought with him news so unhappy that I hate to tell it; Regulus Arcturus Black was dead. Killed by the Dark Lord he served.
I think I screamed. I know I cried, and Aspin cried, woken by my scream, and I cry now as I write this, smudging the ink with my tears, the crabbed letters wavering as my quill hand shivers. I must do a thing so terrifying I cannot write it; but you will know soon enough.
I will leave the cottage as a monument; in it, this manuscript so that someday Aspin may know her parent’s story. I have sold the animals, but faithful Flora remains curled around my neck. How I love her, my stalwart companion.
I have broken my own heart too many times. I know now that truthfully, I was not deserving of love. There is something wrong with me that drives people away, that warns them off, and turns their fear to hate. I have no friends but the Weasleys, no lover but a dead one, no prospects but the empty crib in the corner.
I could not take her to Molly. Molly has enough children – no doubt she would argue with me and refuse to let Aspin go – but I have done what I know to be best. My child sleeps tonight in an orphanage in London, and I have left a piece of my heart with her. They will try to rehabilitate her, to palm her off on some upstanding member of society who will become her other mother, but she will always have that piece of my heart with her. Aspin, if you ever find this, you will know I did what I must. And I love you.
I feel calm. I know what I must do and I find no joy in it, but a sense of rightness. He was the love of my life. I bore his child, and in her both our blood will live on, although I hope my curse with people has been erased.
He is dead and it feels as though my heart has been ripped out, gouged like an eye from a socket. I cannot live like this. I will follow him into the endless night of death, and know that at the end he waits for me, for my tired, old soul, and he will hold out his hands with joy and we will be one again.
I loved many people. Hydra and Mortimer Candleworth, Savannah Brown, Molly and Arthur Weasley, Bill and Charlie and Percy and Fred and George Weasley, and Regulus Arcturus Black. Most of them are gone now, but my love for them remains, and it is to them I go.
AN: Thank you all so much for reading!! Hopefully my new stories willl be up soon ¬¬' but thank you all so much for reading this and all your lovely comments!!
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