Chapter 6 : The Epilogue
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“So, tell me the story from the beginning,” Lara demanded as she snuggled into Al later that night on their bed, happily changed into her pyjamas and prepared to have “the talk.” After snogging Al silly for several hours during the reception, the couple had returned to their room to sort out the details.
“Erm, you’ve already heard most of it,” Al said, blushing. He was absently playing with her hair, twiddling strands together.
“Ah, I’ve heard Emerald tell it,” she corrected. “On national radio. Trying to preserve anonymity and stay vague. Just a tip- in the future, don’t mention what year you were at Hogwarts, or what House she was in. That was pretty much a dead give away.”
“You didn’t even figure it out though! You can’t tell me that we didn’t do a decent job hiding identities.”
“You’re not getting out of telling me the details.”
“Fine. I first noticed you when we were in fourth year-”
“You’ve fancied me for seven years?!”
“Do you want to hear the story or not? That’s what I thought. Anyway. I saw you hanging out with your ‘Puff friends on the grounds one day at the end of the year; you were helping them review for OWLs even though you hadn’t even learned that stuff yet.”
Lara’s Hufflepuff friends hadn’t been the fastest bludgers in the shed, so she had read ahead in some classes to help tutor them. She had enjoyed learning more and it made fifth year much easier.
“I was like, Who’s that girl? She seems uber smart. So I did some research and figured out who you were, and pretty soon after that, I saw you on the grounds again, reading a book. I was playing catch with James and Aiden. Aiden wasn’t paying attention and the Quaffle hit him on the nose. It was bleeding really hard, right, and everybody in the area was freaking out about it, but you just kept reading your book. I guess that’s when I started fancying you really. So I then spent the next few years trying to gather enough courage to speak to you.”
“You do realise that I don’t bite, right? You could’ve come up to me at any point and done basically anything and I’d have accepted it.”
“Even if I’d done this?”
Another round of snogging ensued, and Lara decided that she could get quite used to this type of life.
“Continue, kind sir.”
“Fine. So I didn’t say much to you aside from when we were partners- and yes, when I got really drunk, I would tell Scorp stories about that, but I don’t do that anymore- and I just generally chilled. Then when graduation rolled around, I had this big speech to say to you about how I didn’t know you but I wished I did and would you maybe fancy a drink with me? But then I couldn’t find you, and I decided that I would try and get over you.”
She had spent most of graduation catching up with her ‘Puff friends on the grounds instead of the giant mass that formed in the Great Hall after the ceremony was over.
“So I didn’t try and seek you out for three years- though I did still talk about you when smashed, apparently, and Wizbook stalk you frequently- until I randomly saw you at the Crossed Broomsticks like a month and a half ago. And I was like- Merlin, it’s Lara Polorous and she’s looking mega fine! Maybe now’s my chance! But then you just ditched and I was super bummed, so Scorose and I went to eat some brunch, and who was our waitress but Lara Polorous! And I really subtly wrote my number on the check, but I don’t think you noticed. Anyway, I decided that I needed to speak to you and decide if I really had a crush on you or if it was just my own version of you. So I got Scorose to help me follow you from work that day and ‘accidentally’ bump into you at the ice cream shop while I watched outside. Once they decided they liked you- Rose actually wouldn’t shut up about how awesome you were the whole next day- I decided to take the plunge and meet you for real. I don’t know if you remember our discussion about books? Well, I practically fell in love with you at that point because you’re really smart and so similar to myself and I just wanted to snog you senseless. So I tried to keep hanging out with you and get you to like me, but then I didn’t know how to ask you out because I’m hopeless with girls because I’ve only fancied you since I was fourteen.”
Lara blinked a few times, staring at the ceiling as she digested the adorable word vomit she’d just heard. Then she turned around, pecked him on the lips, and said, “You are so cute.”
“I am not cute!” Al protested. “I’m a manly, rugged handsome man, not cute-”
“You’re adorable,” Lara interrupted, squishing his cheeks. “I couldn’t have asked for a better stalker.”
“I am not a stalk-”
Lara silenced him with a kiss.
Lara was pretty much in complete awe of her surroundings. The entire building had such a cosy feeling; it seemed like nothing bad could really happen in such a cheerful place. Even in their small room, filled with microphones, sound equipment, and tangled wires, there was a sense of complete happiness. It was akin to how Lara imagined the Hufflepuff common room felt.
“Welcome, Rush Hour listeners! We hope you’ve had a wonderful Friday and are looking forward to the weekend,” Scorp intro’d, smiling into the mic. “Today we’ve got a special guest in the studio with us. She’s been the subject of much of the show for the past month, and I’m very pleased to welcome Raven onto the show.”
“Hello,” Lara intoned weakly.
“Raven’s got a bit of stage fright, Rush Hour listeners,” Scorp continued. “As we’ve mentioned many times, she’s a pretty shy bird.” A beat of silence followed his comment. “Really, guys? Not even a chuckle? I thought that was at least worthy of a chuckle.”
“Not really,” Al said, grinning easily at Scorp as he narrowed his eyes. They bickered quickly for a few moments before resolving the issue with a forced laugh from Al.
“So, Raven,” Scorp said with a wink to Lara, “I’ve got a few questions prepared for you to answer.” He handed Al a piece of paper. “Go right ahead, Emmy.”
“I’m sorry, Raven, ” Al began, looking at Lara earnestly. “He’s got some serious blackmail on me. Otherwise you wouldn’t be put through this.”
“It’s okay, Emmy Wemmy,” Lara laughed. Al narrowed his eyes.
“That’s how you’re going to play it? Fine. First off...are you considering pressing legal charges because of my stalker like- Scorp, I did not stalk her!”
“So following her to the library and watching her for hours isn’t stalking?”
“As did you, broski. As did you.”
“But that was years ago! I don’t stalk her now. It’s a very two-sided relationship now.”
“Raven, how can you stand snogging this git?”
“Scorp, don’t drag her into this-”
“Just get on with the questions, Emmy.”
“Fine,” Al sighed, turning back to Lara. “Are you considering pressing legal charges because of my not at all stalker like tendencies?”
“Erm, I’m not particularly inclined to do anything like that,” Lara answered.
“Look how nice Raven is, listeners,” Scorpius declared with a grin. Al cuffed him about the head.
“It’s funny how you bicker on air just as you do in real life,” Lara commented idly.
“Deep down we love each other,” Scorpius affirmed.
“I’ll take your word for it,” Lara chuckled.
“Onwards with the question, Emerald!”
“Okay, erm...do you think that I described you accurately on the blog and programme?”
“I feel like you’ve set incredibly high expectations for me to live up to, but I can try my best.”
“AWWWWWW!” Scorpius cut in obnoxiously.
“Thank you, Scorpius. Erm...how did you figure out that you were Raven?” Al’s voice took a gleeful tone.
“I didn’t,” Lara muttered, looking down.
“What was that, dear? Can you please repeat that?”
“I didn’t figure it out. Emerald had to tell me.”
“It gives me hope that I’m not terribly outmatched intellectually in this relationship,” Al joked.
“Oh honey, we best start this relationship out honestly.” At this, Scorpius started laughing on the other side of the booth and Al pouted. “Aw, did that hurt your feelings?”
“Yes,” Al mumbled.
“I think I can make it better,” Lara declared before leaning over and lightly kissing Al.
“Are you sure that you want to do this?” Al asked for the eightieth time as they walked through the shiny building, passing huddles of people holding papers and talking in hushed voices.
“I’d rather the truth get out than the wild rumors continue,” Lara replied, squeezing his hand lightly. She smiled at him reassuringly. “It’ll be fine, hon. Don’t worry.”
“I just hate that you have to deal with this because of me,” he sighed, sliding a hand through his hair.
“I’ve dealt with it for over seven months already, I’m getting used to it,” she said. They stopped walking in front of door marked “PC.” She brushed her hand through his hair and wiped off his shoulders carefully before pecking him on the lips. “I’m ready, I swear! I know that I need to not mention anything about RH or the whole business with that. Seriously. It’ll be fine.”
He nodded grimly before opening the door to a chorus of bright flashes aimed at them. Lara smiled widely at the waiting reporters, leading Al up to the podium at the front of the room and hoping that they couldn’t tell how fast her heart was beating or how sweaty her palms were becoming. A few people started yelling questions out to the couple, but the noise died down quickly.
“Well, hello everybody,” Al greeted with a grin. “I think we all know why we’re here. This is my girlfriend of six months, Lara Polorous. We’ve gotten pretty tired of the rampant speculation, and since this seems like it’s working out pretty well, we thought it was about time to clear up some rumors. Please try and keep it classy, alright? Some things are private, and everybody should respect that.” Lara knew that he thought their entire relationship should be in that category, but they were too tired of the slanderous articles for that to really happen. “Okay, we will now accept questions.” The room filled with the shouts of the reporters, leaving Al to randomly select one from the crowd.
“How did you two meet?” the reporter yelled, his quill poised in the air beside him.
“Well, I had always...admired her at school,” Al coughed awkwardly, blushing a bit. “But she became friends with my two best friends and we just kind of intersected because of it. We really clicked there, and formed a friendship from there. Um, you there next.”
“Miss Polorous, you are studying to become a Healer, correct?”
“Yes,” Lara said hesitantly. “I’m going to graduate in a few weeks, actually.”
“What are your plans after that?”
“I’m going to begin working at St. Mungo’s in July as a general Healer.”
“Is it true that you had a scholarship to the training programme and are graduating a year early?”
“Yes, it is true.”
“And during Hogwarts, you were in Ravenclaw and the same year as Mr. Potter?”
“How did you two get together?”
“Well,” Al chuckled. “I ended up being Lara’s plus one to her friend’s wedding in France and somewhere along the line I guess the champagne just gave me the courage to finally go for it.”
“Why have you waited so long to hold a press conference?”
“We wanted to make sure it was going to be a long term relationship before releasing information about it.”
Lara was surprised at how tame the whole affair was; she expected some wild and offensive questions from them.
“Miss Polorous, how do you respond to those saying that you are just going out with Mister Potter for the fame?” Ah, that was more like it.
“Excuse me,” Al interrupted as Lara’s brain tried to produce an answer to a question that ridiculous. “Please don’t bother us with questions like that. I think we’re all above that.”
There was a few seconds of hesitation before the reporters raised their hands once more, and Lara watched as Al easily answered the questions, giving her a break.
“Miss Polorous, have you met the Potters yet?” one reporter yelled.
“Yes, I met them a few months ago,” Lara replied, glancing to gauge Al’s mood after that. His gaze had darkened, as he hated the press’s interest in his family.
“And how did that go?”
“Erm, it was fine. His parents are incredibly kind and hospitable.” Al looked very irate, so Lara stopped word vomiting.
“That’ll be it for questions today,” Al interrupted, causing some reporters to groan and others to mutter angrily. Lara didn’t know what else they wanted to learn from them, but she didn’t really understand any part of it to begin with. “We’ll be leaving now.” Al stood up and Lara joined him as he strode quickly away from the crowd of reporters, Lara struggling to keep up with him.
“Al,” Lara murmured, grabbing his hand and slowing down in the middle of a hallway. “Al, stop.” He turned around quickly, his expression still angry. “I know that you hate the press-”
“Why can’t they mind their own damn business?” Al bit out angrily, his tone quiet to avoid being overheard. “Why do they care about what you and I do?”
“I know you don’t want anybody to care about us,” Lara soothed quietly, moving her hand up and down his arm comfortingly. “But in reality, people do. They want to know more about what you do, and what I do, and what we do together. I know that neither you nor I can really grasp this idea, as we’re just regular people doing regular things, but it matters a lot to people. So it’s better if we just do what they want every once in a while so that they don’t go too crazy. Okay? What your dad did and how he did it really affected the entire magical community. People worship him. And I know that you feel like you haven’t done anything to merit the attention you receive, but it won’t stop them from coming after us. So it’s best if we just suck it up and don’t get too upset while doing it.” Al stared at Lara for a long moment, digesting what she said.
“I love you,” he declared, some what nervously, still staring at her. She broke out into a big grin.
“I love you, too,” she replied, before pulling him into a deep kiss, ignoring the few flashes of light that went off in the background.
AN: And that's the end, folks! I couldn't bring myself to write another scene about them getting engaged or married or some such because it would just be a bit too much for me. I mean the story is only one month to start with so...whatever. It can be your own special head canon. :D
Just so y'all know, there probably won't be anything else relating to Brighter Than Sunshine. I had thought about doing a prequel of Al in Hogwarts being super nervous and stalkerish, but I decided against it. Probably. We'll see. Even if that doesn't happen, look out for Al and Lara in any future stories of mine; I have a very detailed idea of a whole outline for a bunch of next gen stories with the same characters in all of them. We'll see if that works out. :)
Anyway, please let me know what you thought of this story! It was my first multichapter story so I was a bit nervous to post it, and any feedback is greatly appreciated!
Okay, well that's about it. Thanks for reading my silly little story! :)
Also, I'll give anybody bonus points for listing all the references they can find in here. There's definitely at least Doctor Who and Gilmore Girls, so it's fun for the whole family. xD
DISCLAIMER: I draw heavy inspiration from In Love With My Radio, another fanfic in the Merlin fandom. The original idea for this story is from there; beyond that, there's little in common. Additionally, the entire world of Harry Potter is not mine at all; I'm just strolling through JK's beautiful garden. I am also not Kurt Vonnegut or any other actual author mentioned in this fic. Same goes for bands.