Chapter 27 : Any Other Reality (Epilogue)
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CI by abbynormal @tda :')
Any Other Reality
Hi hi hi hi omg omg omg omg :) I just finished typing the entire epilogue out and moved to this A/N but I'm not going to keep you from reading it so meet me at the bottom of the page! ENJOY xx :')
Ps: If you need help imagining the characters even though the CI is up, here are people you can google to get:
-Adriana Malfoy: Brittany Snow
- Matilda Longbottom: Zooey Deschanel
- Aaron Malfoy: Ulliel Gaspard
- Nathan Zabini: Asher Book
The dark brown haired twenty year old cursed loudly as the chopping knife sliced right through her index finger.
"Dammit! Dammit dammit dammit!" She cried, shaking her hand and searching the kitchen for her wand with almost-watering blue eyes. She was dressed in a light pink dress and her hair was pinned up in a high ponytail and there was a pink flower tucked into the side of her hair.
"Why do you insist on helping the muggle way, Aubree?" A voice said from the doorway. She turned to see a twenty four year old boy with brown hair and eyes that had turned a murky blue (not making him the least bit unattractive) over the years stride in, dressed in a white shirt, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows and black slacks. He took her arm and dragged her to the kitchen sink and with his right hand holding her right hurt one, he snaked his other arm around her and turned the tap on, putting her hand under the tap.
Matilda Aubree Longbottom hissed in pain and Aaron Malfoy apologized, his grip tightening in a comforting way. "You really should just do it the magical way."
"Your mother enjoys teaching me the muggle way." Matilda said softly, watching the water fall from the tap, a clear transparent, and then fall from her hand, a red translucent. "And I enjoy learning."
"Well I don't particularly enjoy watching you slice yourself every time you pick up the cutting knife." He said, his cheek practically pressed against her's. She felt her breath get caught in her throat and focused on the cool water running off her skin, soothing it. He's only trying to unnerve you, Matilda! She scolded herself, get a grip!
He shut the tap and grabbed a tissue from the box beside the sink. He turned her to face him and wiped her wound with the soft material. "You alright?" He asked, looking at her finally. She didn't answer. She couldn't exactly find her voice.
His movement stilled and he looked at her, a burning intensity in his eyes as he lowered his face towards her's.
No! Matilda said, her eyes widening. You know this won't work! Move before he does anything!
"Are you don-" Aaron moved swiftly away from her and tossed the tissue into the dustbin beside the refrigerator. He leaned sideways against the wall, his heart beating at an unnatural pace and watched his mother enter the kitchen, looking slightly guilty. "I- Im sorry! Was I disturbing something?"
Aaron looked at Matilda, who was looking anywhere but at him. "No, I was just leaving." He said shortly before turning and leaving the kitchen.
"Matilda...?" Her aunt Hermione asked, looking at the younger girl.
"I- I cut myself while chopping the vegetables, Im sorry." She whispered, trying to restrain her heart from beating right out of her chest. Hermione stepped towards her and using her wand, conjured some bandages to tie around her finger. Once that was done, Matilda moved to the microwave to heat one of the dishes while Hermione continued the chopping. Silence ensued for a few minutes until-
"Is it because he's older?"
Matilda's head snapped towards the lady she considered a second mother and wondered how she could've possibly known.
"It is, isn't it?" Hermione asked, looking at Matilda fondly. "Do you love him?" Matilda instantly felt tears prick the back of her eyes and she stared at the microwave, willing the tears to disappear. "It doesn't matter, you know? If he's older, that is."
"It's four years." Matilda choked out.
"My parents were five years apart." Hermione said, smiling sadly as she remembered her father and mother. Her mother was currently in hospital, recovering from a fall she had a few days ago. She was nearing seventy and was growing weaker everyday. It would be a surprise if she made it past another year and Hermione knew that despite everything that happened in their past, the day she left would be a difficult one.
"Do you love him, Matilda?" Hermione asked, putting the knife down and observing the girl in front of her. She had held her when she was just a day old and here she was, twenty years later. Oh, how time flew...
Matilda nodded, the tears blurring her vision. "I don't know if he does, though."
"You know what I think?" Hermione asked and Matilda turned to look at her. "I think he loves you like he's never loved anybody else."
"I've been avoiding him. I think he's getting angry... And tired. Of me." She said, her voice breaking.
"What are you afraid of?"
She shrugged, the tears falling. "I don't want to lose him."
"If you keep thinking like that, you might just." Hermione stood up and went over to place her hands on her shoulders. "There's no better time like the present, Matilda."
"What if it doesn't work out?"
"If you never try, you'll never know." Hermione wiped away Matilda's tears with her thumbs. "I say you go for it. And if it doesn't work, there's someone else whose meant for you. But that doesn't mean you don't try."
"Go wash your face and find him. I'll finish here." Hermione ushered her out of the kitchen and Matilda stood there, in the living room, processing her Aunt's words. If you never try, you'll never know...
"Are- are you alright?" She turned, still half in a daze, towards the staircase where he stood, looking as dashing as ever with a concerned expression on his sharp-featured face as he took in her tears. He hurried up to her and held her face in her hands, wiping away the falling tears. "What happened?"
"I don't want to lose you..." She choked out, unable to tear her eyes away from his.
"What're you talking about? Of course you won't..." Aaron said, tucking her hair behind her ear. "You wont because I'm not going anywhere and I won't let you either." And just with that, she stood on her toes and kissed him. He stilled in surprise for a second before responding immideately.
"What the hell is going on here?!" They split apart quickly and stared with shock at the pale-blonde haired girl standing at the bottom of the staircase, her blue eyes wide and her fists clenched by her sides.
"Would somebody please explain to me what I just had the displeasure of seeing?" Adriana Cassiopeia Malfoy grit out, anger and betrayal burning in her eyes.
"Cassy..." Matilda trailed off, unable to find anything to say to her best friend.
"How long has this been going on?" She demanded, staring at the two. Her brother took a step forward and she pointed her index finger at him. "Don't come near me. Just don't." But he did. He moved forward and when he reached her, she pushed him roughly back. "Stay away from me!"
"Adriana, come on- it was nothing until-"
"It was nothing?!" Adriana cried. "You think this was nothing?! I walk in to find my best friend snogging my brother! This is definitely not nothing!"
"What is going on in here?" They looked towards the front door to see Draco and a black haired twenty year old boy dressed in a red and white checkered shirt and black jeans standing there, eyebrows furrowed.
"Why don't you ask them." Adriana snarled, nodding towards the couple in front of her. Hermione had emerged from the kitchen, wiping her hands on a towel.
"Adriana, honey, just calm down, okay?" Her mother said, placing her hand on Matilda's shoulder. The blonde girl was very close to sobbing, her lower lip trembling.
"You knew too, did you?" Adriana asked her mother, her fingers twitching for her wand. The dark haired boy went up to her and placed his hand on her arm, trying to calm her down a little. "Don't, Nathan." She shrugged his hand off her arm. Nathan Michele Zabini raised his hands in the air, showing her that he was backing off.
"Cassy, just calm down, okay?" He said but she ignored him and hurried back up the stairs. Nathan moved to head up the stairs but Aaron held him back.
He went after his sister and found her in their room, sitting huddled behind her bed and facing the window. He sat down quietly beside her and waited for her to say something.
"I'm sorry." She whispered, wiping at her eyes.
"Don't be. I should have told you."
"You both should have." Adriana said, looking down at her fidgeting fingers in her lap.
"We should have. We made a mistake. But I swear whatever happened, it was the first time. That was the first time we ever kissed."
Adriana turned to look at him and smiled softly. "How was it?"
He smirked a smirk worthy of any Malfoy. "Perfect. Just as I imagined." His smirk softened and he leaned his head against the bed behind him.
"You really love her?" She asked, taking his hand and playing with his fingers.
"I really do."
"Thats all that matters to me then. That you love each other." She leaned her head against his shoulder and he brought his arm around her shoulders.
"Are you okay?" He asked.
"I guess I'm still upset because of Steven." She laughed humorlessly. "I can't believe I actually liked him. What a jerk."
"Jerk indeed. He wasn't right for you, Ade. Though I don't like that you were the one hurt, I'm glad you broke up." Aaron said.
"I really didn't mean to get so angry downstairs. I'm okay with you dating Matilda. It's just that- there are so many couples downstairs that I got a little- intimidated. I'm the only single one down there."
"Not the only single one." Aaron said and she knew he wasnt hinting at seventeen year old Courtney Weasley. "You know he really likes you."
"He's my best friend." Adriana said, not understanding why she felt her cheeks grow hot.
"Nathan's a good guy, Ade. And I think you would be brilliant together. You know there's something there between you two- you just have to uncover it." Aaron said, smiling. "Even dad approves of him- that's definitely a plus!" They laughed silently together before he stood up, brushing his pants down and holding his hand out. She put her hand in his and he pulled her up and proceeded in straightening her yellow sun dress, pulling the bottom hem to unfold any areas that had been rumpled. "Your dress is too short."
"It's just an inch above my knees, Aar. Stop being such a protective older brother."
"That's all I know how to be." Aaron said and grinning, the two headed back downstairs. Matilda was waiting nervously on the couch, her fingers toying with her dress. As soon as she saw them, she jumped to her feet. And the next second, Adriana was hugging her tightly. Aaron winked at her over his sister's shoulder before leaving the pair of best friends alone.
"I'm sorry. I love you." Adriana said and felt Matilda relax in her embrace.
"Don't apologize, I should have told you I liked him. I love you too, Cassy. Always have, always will." The blonde said, a huge load off her chest.
They left the house and went out to the backyard where a large table and benches had been magically set up for that evening's dinner. Adriana split away from her best friend of twenty years and went to stand by her father, winding her arm around his torso and hugging him. He hugged her back and they watched the others laughing and talking with each other. The Zabinis- Pansy, Blaise, Nathan and his sister Estelle; The Potters- Harry, Ginny, James, Lily and Teddy; The Weasleys- Ron, Hayley and their daughter Courtney; The Longbottoms- Neville, Luna, Matilda and her brother Lysander; and their own family. Also present in the crowd were some of the other Weasleys like George and Angelina and Teddy's fiancé, Robin; James' girlfriend, Kaira and Lily's boyfriend, Neal. Estelle and Lysander were nineteen and dating.
"Real gathering, isn't it?" Draco chuckled.
"Consequences of having a big family." Adriana shrugged, smiling. "Yet I wouldn't trade them for the world."
"Especially not Nathan."
"Dad!" Adriana gasped, staring at her father in shock.
"What?" Draco laughed. "Anyone's better than that Steven and I really do like Nathan."
"Did nobody like Steven?!" She asked, frowning.
"Don't think his own parents like him very much." Lysander commented, passing them and she glared at him when he winked cheekily.
"I can't believe James' actually leaving!" She said, leaning her head against her father's side.
"He's twenty four, he's got a good job in Italy- I think it'll be good for him." Draco said, remembering the kid when he was just four and running around the Burrow with Aaron.
"It will. And he'll have Kaira too, which is nice." Adriana nodded. "But I'll still miss him so much. He was like a second brother to me."
"I know but he'll still come to visit." He rubbed her shoulder comfortingly. "Oh, looks like Dumbledore and Mcgonagall are here to wish James- Ill see you later, okay?" Adriana nodded and watched her father go up and greet her old Hogwarts' professor and Headmaster. She really did wonder how old they were.
"Do I see someone tearing up?" She heard someone ask from her right. She immediately felt lighter as soon as she saw him and knew that Aaron had been right. There was something. And it wouldn't take long to uncover.
"No." She said, suddenly realizing that her eyes were indeed growing wet. She wiped at them and Nathan slung his arm around her shoulders.
"He'll come back to visit."
She was surprised as to how he knew she was tearing up over watching James leave but then shook her head. Of course he would know, she thought, he could read her like an open book.
"I know but it still makes me sad." She said softly and he pulled her closer, resting the side of his head against her's.
"Everyone is going to leave eventually, Cassy". She realized that she loved the sound of her nickname coming from his lips. Matilda and Nathan were the only ones who called her Cassy, from her middle name; similarly, Aaron was the only one who called Matilda by her middle name. "It's inevitable. But you'll see him again. Family never actually leaves." She wrapped her arms around his waist and he hugged her close, breathing her in. The others had begun gathering at the table for dinner and Nathan moved to take her there but she stayed rooted to the spot and shook her head.
"Just hold me for a moment." She whispered and he did. He held her tighter and closed his eyes, allowing everything else to disappear for the moment.
Later that night, when everybody was dancing in couples, Hermione was by the table, waiting for her husband to return from the house. She felt a pair of arms wind around her waist and she relaxed in his familiar embrace.
"They grew up so fast." She heard Draco say as they watched their daughter laughing merrily with Nathan as he spun her around and Aaron and Matilda dancing close together, their foreheads against each other's.
"Time flies." She said, lacing her fingers with his and leaning back against him. "Soon they'll be getting married and having children of their own."
"Now you're just making me feel old." Draco chuckled. "Just enjoy the moment instead of thinking about the future."
"You brought it up." She protested, a smile playing at the corner of her lips.
"And I apologize." He said, letting go of her so she could come stand beside him. The entire yard was lit up with floating lamps and the full moon was high up in the sky, bright stars accompanying it. Soft, melodious music was playing all around them. He looked at her to see her smiling at him. "What?" He asked, his arm around her waist.
She smiled, looking up at him and staring into his shining blue eyes. "I love you, you know that?"
"I might be aware of the fact." He smiled back at her. "I love you too." Draco said, leaning down and kissing her softly. "Forever and always."
"Forever and always." She repeated, kissing him again, the smile refusing to leave her face.
An old man- so old that he sometimes forgot how old- stood across the yard, his twinkling blue eyes looking over the crowd. And though he thoroughly enjoyed watching his recent graduates grow into young confident young men and women, that was not what he enjoyed the most. No, if there was one thing he enjoyed more than that- other than sherbet lemon of course- it was seeing the generation of students before this one. His eyes focused on one couple in particular. He had not forgotten that one day 28 years ago when a certain blonde Slytherin and a bushy haired Griffindor had come into his office, fingers laced together, on the second day of school. 28 years ago they had made a decision that neither remembered till date. And yet, he knew for a fact that despite all the uncountable difficulties that they had faced, they wouldn't trade this reality for any other. Given a wish, they most definitely wouldn't ask for Any Other Reality.
* * * * * The End (and a new beginning for many!) * * * * *
I'm actually having a hard time believing that this is actually over. That this is the last Author Note that I'm ever going to write for this story and even though it's extremely relieving, I'm so so upset that it's over. I can STILL remember starting this and how it began with just an idea that I was sharing with a friend from school (thank-you's come later!) and progressed into so much more and just wow. When I started with Be Careful What You Wish For- I didn't even THINK I'd get so far and that too, with so many reviews and so many readers and this entire experience has been seriously brilliant and I'm so happy I began this and I'm so glad that it was enjoyed.
So here are the thank-you's and mind you, they are in no particular order of importance okay? I'm just typing as my mind is moving.
Dushi- you're probably going to be the first to read this epilogue so i hope you loved it haha. I still remember the time I told you that I was 'Feltonlewis' and your disbelief :) Thank you so much for always being here for me through legit everything. You're the best.
Pooj- MY INTERNET FAMOUS BESTIE. If my ideas have progressed thanks to anybody, you're one of the top in that list. Seriously. I think your fantasies are what drove me to write romance (; Thank you for that and for so much more.
Sonu- You were that friend I shared the idea of this story with- it was on the way to Art while climbing the staircase. I remember so clearly. And you were the one who started EHFAR with me and helped me go through with it. Thank you for being my first fanfiction buddy and for helping me get started and being there through this entire journey (:
Nishka- Cause I promised I'd include you in my thank-you note haha :D Thank-you for being interested in my storylines- laughing and gasping at appropriate places even if I'm not sure that you actually understood and/or actually liked it :P
Rosh- HAGMIONE. No. Not now, not ever. Ugh. Only you could have thought of it. Either way, thank you for everything- you don't need me specifying :P Keep that eyeliner on and don't cry it out while watching Siriusly Dark Knight Rises, yeah?
'Troy' and 'Abed'- I couldn't resist adding you two in. Troy for being the coolest Blaise to my Hermione (; And Abed for those pureblood/mudblood conversations that have possibly been one of the most entertaining conversations I've had with anybody.
Shelli, Lavanya, Marni- for being the coolest online buddies ^^ You guys are brilliant and don't you forget it.
Subu and Srishti- For giving my story a chance and giving me an ego-boost even in school about it haha :') thank you guys.
Okay here's the most important one- For each and every one of you readers and each and every one of you reviewers. Seeing that readers' count go from 0 to 75,727 (from what I just calculated) and seeing those reviews go from 0 to 548- Wow. The encouragement I received from you all and each and every thing you told me was just so... I can't describe it! The number of you who have claimed my fan fiction their favorite on the site or told me that Im one of the best authors you've read from- I don't know what to say. I could NEVER have imagined it because Ive read so many stories on this site that are so much more brilliant and professional so thank you all so so much because your words meant the world to me. Honestly. The main reason Ive come this far is you. Believe it because it's true. I had the pleasure of working with you all and it's been such a brilliant journey and I just could not have asked for better companions. You guys are the absolute best. I mean it. I hope someday that my reviews touch 600 and just... haha, Im so overwhelmed! Oh my god! It's ACTUALLY OVER. No more chapters of "TOR". This is just... unbelievable! Thank you all for being so patient with me and just know that this story has reached here only because of you.
So here's me signing off and finally tagging this story "Complete".
I love you all to the end of the world and back,
FeltonLewis xx :')