Chapter 27 : And Love Prevails
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I can't believe how far this story has come! And I know that - a while back - I said my chapter number estimate was between 35-40, well it's safe to say at this point that there is only one more chapter after this. I know! Sad day! It was originally looking at being that length, but I was able to cut out the unnecessary stuff and get less wordy with all of it, so this is where And Love Prevails stands!
I just want to give a quick thank you to everyone who helped this story get to where it is today. When I began this story two years ago, I never imagined that it would be received this well. I wanted more than anything to write an Ignotus Peverell story, and it was my way of throwing an extra twist in there to get Dominique to travel to him. I had no idea how it would be received, if it would have any fans, any readers or reviewers, but I did it anyway for love of the idea. But you guys completely proved me wrong by having so many faithful followers over the past two years, in reads, reviews, and in favorites! This story has even won some awards! :O So thank you, you guys! So very much.
And if you are as desperate to not let go of Ignotus like I am, then please feel free to turn to my story Hallowed once this one has completed. Again, that is the tale of the three brothers and what would have happened without Dominique.
Also, something I quite often do for my stories is match the climax chapter with a song that inspired me. This story is no exception. One song in particular helped me format and write this chapter the way I did. It was such an inspiration to me, and if you would like, feel free to listen to it as you read. I will say in the chapter when to begin the song. The song is Mother of Dragons by Ramin Djawadi from The Game of Thrones Season 2 soundtrack.
With that said, please enjoy. :)
But first, we'll live."
-Game of Thrones
- 1234 -
Ignotus had stood by his word. He left Godric's Hollow that night and didn't look back. At first, he didn't know what he was supposed to do, where he was supposed to go, or what he would do with his life.
All he had to keep him going was Death's words. Dominique Weasley dies in the year 1291.
What was he to make of that? He wanted to believe that she would come back to him, that she would return, that he would find her, and that they would live out a long and happy life together. But something sat in the pit of Ignotus' stomach, something that churned, made him uneasy, and made him sick with dread. What if something had gone horribly wrong when she left? What if she wasn't taken back to 2022, but another year instead?
He wished he had a way of knowing, but he didn't. He had nothing more than what Death told him and his faith.
He finally lived his life how Dominique had always asked of him. Under the cloak.
When he left Godric's Hollow, he rode Caspian for days, wandering the hills, unsure of where to go, his cloak wrapped tightly about him. He passed no one, for which he was grateful of. He knew he would have gathered unwanted attention if anyone were to see his horse riding about freely, saddled and everything.
He had continued to ride until he was finally struck with an epiphany, and he didn't know why he hadn't thought of it before.
He returned to the very spot in which he had found Dominique and also watched her willingly leave him. He stood on that very spot, out in the middle of a vast plain. He scanned the landscape around him and looked to the edge of the wood a fair distance away. He had mounted Caspian once more and rode for the wood. When he reached it, he turned back to look at the spot in which Dominique had come and gone. He could still see it perfectly, despite the rising and falling of the hills.
Satisfied, he set off into the forest and gathered wood for a fire. He waved his wand and watched trees collapse to the ground and shed their bark. After the trees had fallen, he took the labor upon himself. He always enjoyed manual labor. It always a decent pastime for him, and he needed a pastime now more than ever.
He chopped at the trees with an axe he conjured and labored away until he felt his muscles ache. By the time the sun was setting across the plain, he had readied an entire section of wood. He curled up by the fire that night with nothing more than the cloak about his body.
For days his routine continued like this. He awoke early, accomplished some hunting in the plain so he was well fed, and he found a river nearby to fetch water and bathe in. Then he would labor until the sun set. After a solid fortnight, he had accomplished his task.
He had built a small home from the ground up, with walls and a roof from the trees he had cut down himself. He continued to build even after he completed his home by fashioning furniture for it, such as a table, chairs, and a bed. He knew he could have conjured up the rest of those things, but he had nothing more to do with his time than to work. So he didn't mind.
By the time three weeks had come and gone, he had a cozy home, fully furnished and livable. When there was nothing more to be done, he pulled one of the chairs outside and sat comfortably in it, his gaze set on the horizon where he could only hope and pray that Dominique would return to him.
Now, he could do nothing more but wait.
When the mist finally cleared itself from Dominique's vision, she was greeted by the sun. She raised her head to the sky and let the sun kiss her cheeks. She didn't need another moment to know that she was back in 1234. She could tell she had returned by the way everything felt around her. The air was thinner and smelled fresher; the sun seemed brighter and kinder. She was home. Even if Ignotus was already married to Brigid, the simple atmosphere of 1234 made her a thousand times happier.
She closed her eyes to the sun, opened up her arms graciously, and smiled. When she opened them, she was ready to set off on her task. To find Ignotus.
She looked about the plain. She knew the direction Godric's Hollow was in. It would be a long and tiring journey on foot, but she had no choice. Ignotus was worth it; he would always be worth it. Determined, she began her journey home.
Ignotus was dozing off as he sat in his usual chair outside his small home. It was a particularly lovely day, and even he could feel the breezy atmosphere has he continued his regular routine of sitting in his chair, his gaze fixated on the spot where he hoped Dominique would return.
His eyes snapped open as he realized what he was doing. He couldn't take his eyes off that spot. Not for a single second.
When he looked to the plain once more, he was startled by what he saw. He jumped up from the chair, his heart hammering in his chest.
There, across the plain, was that familiar mist. It swirled and swirled about, and when it faded, it revealed the woman he loved. She seemed so happy, her long, strawberry blonde hair billowing out behind her with the wind, her arms opening and her head back to the sky.
He opened his mouth to shout, to catch her attention, but he found no sound would come out. It had been so long since he had spoken. He was beyond bewildered. Part of him wondered if he was dreaming, if he was imagining it. Could you want something so much that you imagine it for yourself? Was she even real?
He started forward for her. When he saw her set off in the direction for Godric's Hollow, he began to run, and he found his voice deep within him. "Dominique!"
She was startled by the voice, so familiar to her. She whipped around, hearing it ring across the plains. She spun about, looking for him, her heart thumping wildly in her chest. She called out in search for him, "Ignotus?!"
"Dominique!!" he called out again, and this time she saw him.
There he was, running for her across the plain as fast as he could. His face looked determined and full of pure happiness. He wore his brown trousers, a plain white tunic, and had his belt strapped about his waist. His hair had grown out nearly to his shoulders and was in desperate need of a cut, but he was still clean shaven.
She reached down for her feet and yanked her heels off. She tossed them aside, and then she ran for him, tears clouding her vision. She desperately swiped them away, picking up her feet, demanding herself to go faster. If only she could reach him. He was there, only across the plain, and yet he seemed so far away. All she wanted was to be back in his arms.
She picked up the skirts of her bridesmaid's dress as she ran. They were closing the gap. He was getting closer, and closer. Finally, he was only feet in front of her. He stopped short, opened up his arms, and she pitched herself into them. Her arms went around his neck, holding him tight.
His thick, loving arms went around her and held her desperately, refusing to let her go. His large hands knotted themselves in her hair, and he breathed a sigh of relief into her curls.
"I knew you would come back," he moaned through his tears. "I hoped, and I had faith. I knew you would one day return to me."
"I'm so sorry, Ignotus!" she blurted as she pulled just far enough away so she could look him in the eye. "I'm so sorry I left you! I was angry, and it was rash! It was the biggest mistake of my life. I'm so sorry!"
"Shh," he soothed, cupping her face in his hands. He wiped away her tears with his thumbs. "It is I who should be sorry. I am sorry for never telling you I was betrothed, for keeping it a secret for so long. I should have acted sooner. Please forgive me."
"I forgive you," she whispered lovingly, reaching for his face. She held his face in her hands as he held her own. She ran her fingers through his long, black locks. "There was nothing to forgive. I acted foolishly. I never should have left you."
"I knew you would come back, though," he blurted quickly. Now that she was back, he didn't care why she had left. He didn't care about the hardships he had gone through, wondering if she would return to him. None of that mattered now. "I left Godric's Hollow, and I built a home here. I waited, and I waited. I waited for you to return to me. And you did. You and I. We love one another, more than anyone could ever fathom, and love prevails. Always."
"Ignotus," she sighed, "I love you."
"I love you, Dominique," he whispered.
He pulled her to him and kissed her with all he was worth. They savored one another, molding to the other's form. When Ignotus pulled away just long enough to breathe, Dominique placed a firm hand on his chest before he could kiss her again. He looked at her in surprise, but he awaited what it was she had to say.
She swallowed the nervous lump in her throat. She hadn't thought about how or when she would tell him she was pregnant with his child. She had been too caught up in seeing him again, but she felt as if now was as good a time as any to tell him. She didn't want to keep this news from him.
"There's something else I must tell you, Ignotus," she said uneasily.
What would he say? They were young. She was young in the 2022 comparison to be a mother; here in 1234, she supposed she was the average age of new mothers. But Ignotus was young to be a father, she knew that much. In 1234 or 2022, he was young.
"Then share, my love," he encouraged, taking her hands into his.
"I'm pregnant, Ignotus," she whispered.
Ignotus went still, his expression unreadable. In that moment, Dominique felt her stomach hollow out into a never-ending pit. She wanted to bolt in the other direction, or to suck her words back in.
Finally, though, Ignotus spoke. "And the father...?"
Dominique gasped. So that was what made him uneasy. "Ignotus!" she cried out in shock. "How could you think something like that?! You, sweetheart. You are the father."
She watched his shoulders drop in relief, and then he smiled. It was a true and genuine smile, so happy and perfect that Dominique felt as if she couldn't even be angry with him or question why he had to be sure he was the father. It didn't matter. His smile spoke in volume for him.
He let go of her hands, and he let his own play out across the smooth plain of her stomach. He moved his hands gently across her belly, a gesture of caressing his child within her.
Dominique felt her tears return as she watched him perform such a simple gesture, but it meant the world to her. It meant this was where she was supposed to be.
He didn't need to say anything more. She knew he was happy to be a father. So, with his hands still pressed lovingly against her belly, she pulled him to her in a kiss. This was her home. This was the man she was meant to be with, the man she was meant to marry, the man who was meant to be the father of her children, the man she was meant to love. Always.
"Harry," begged Bill Weasley, "please. We know you know something. Please. She is our daughter. Tell us."
Harry shook his head again. How could he tell them after he had made a promise to Dominique? He would be going against her word. He knew that Bill and Fleur, along with the rest of their family, deserved to know where she went, but Harry couldn't completely ignore her wishes.
"I'm sorry," he said again to Bill during his visit to his in-laws the day after Dominique had left. The wedding night had continued on happily; everyone saw Teddy and Victoire off on their honeymoon, and no one seemed to notice that Dominique was gone, for all the attention was on the bride and groom. It seemed that only Harry noticed who was missing.
The evening had gone from there. Everyone only assumed Dominique had left the wedding reception after Teddy and Victoire left, and no one had worried about it. But Harry knew he had to tell them before too long; he didn't want them to fret over another disappearance. So he had reached the inevitable. He had asked if he could come by for lunch, and they willingly obliged. It was after they had finished their meal and they were sitting in the den of Shell Cottage, sipping tea when Harry knew he couldn't hold off telling them any longer.
They had been devastated at first, confused, and they had demanded to know why she had left. Fleur had cried, and Bill took her into his arms to comfort her, even as he felt his own overwhelming sadness. They didn't seem understand what Harry was trying to tell them: that it was nothing against them, it was nothing they had done or could have done better, it was simply her choice.
"I made a promise to Dom," said Harry. "I'm so sorry. I know that, if it were Lily in Dom's position, I would feel the way you do now, but I must respect Dominique's wishes. She asked this of me."
Fleur pursed her lips to suppress her cries. "But our little girl has left us!" she cried out horrifically.
"I know, and I'm sorry," Harry quickly said. "But she's happy! She'll be so happy where she's gone."
"I don't understand," cried Fleur. "Was she not happy here?"
Harry swallowed a lump in his throat uneasily. He and Bill suddenly made eye contact, and in that moment they shared something. Bill knew it just as well as Harry did, that Dominique had only been partly happy.
Harry did not know how he was to answer Fleur's question without going against Dominique's wishes, without explaining it in such a way that would lead to more questions, questions of what could Bill and Fleur have done different to make her happier. Harry was grateful when Bill was the one to speak. "Darling, we know she was happy here," he said, consoling her as he rubbed her back. "We know she was, but we also knew there were times when she wasn't. When she felt left out, when she felt different. Ever since she returned, that was all I saw from her: her sadness, her longing for something else. Then last night...She was happy again. I didn't know why, but she must have made her decision then."
Harry nodded, for Bill was right.
Fleur only shook her head in protest, and Bill continued to console her. "Sweetheart, we have no choice but to accept it. We cannot bring her back to us; we don't know where she is."
"Then what can you tell us?" asked Fleur of Harry. "If you can't tell us why or where she has gone, then what can you tell us?"
Harry smiled, not to Fleur or Bill, but to his thoughts of Dominique. He thought to how happy she had appeared in her final moments before magic had whisked her away. She had been so happy, so thrilled, and Harry knew he had done the right thing in convincing her. There was only one thing he could tell Fleur and Bill that would get the point across, that would cease their questions forever, that would - Harry hoped - allow them to fully understand that Dominique was gone and wouldn't be coming back. Perhaps with this knowledge they would understand that it wasn't their doing that led to her leaving, but something else entirely different that they had no control over.
"She fell in love."
The cemetery Harry had so rarely visited over the years was empty and lonely. The leaves from the trees were brown and falling from their limbs, littering the ground he walked on as they crunched under his feet. After his visit with Bill and Fleur, he had found himself wandering here. He didn't quite know what had prompted him to visit the cemetery in the first place. The idea was only a small one, one that was present in the back of his mind, a curiosity.
He took a moment to stand before the grave of his parents, his fists balled in his pockets, before continuing through the cemetery. Finally he reached the location of the cemetery where he remembered Hermione finding one grave in particular more than twenty years ago. It was a distant memory, and yet he could still remember the first time he had laid eyes upon that grave as if it were yesterday.
He leaned over the long, stone tomb in the ground and spread the leaves from the surface. The name of his ancestor was revealed, followed by the sign of the objects Harry knew so well.
1214 - 1291
Beloved Husband & Father
He hesitated over the tomb of his ancestor. Harry thought about the man Dominique claimed to know. What was he like? Was he worthy of loving his niece? If all the stories were true and Ignotus was a humble man, then Harry wanted to believe that he was. He believed Dominique fully. While it seemed outlandish and unfathomable, of course he believed her, and he hoped that she had good sense to love a man who was worthy of her love, a man who would always care for her and look after her, who would return her love unconditionally and irrevocably.
"I hope you took good care of my niece..." he muttered to the grave before him.
Sighing and dusting off the knees of his jeans from where he had knelt, he prepared himself to turn away from the grave. However, something caught his eye. A grave he had never noticed before. A grave beside Ignotus Peverell's.
Had it always been there? He didn't think it had.
That was when Harry's heart began to race in his chest; that was when he realized just why he had come to the graveyard. Even when he hadn't quite realized it himself, his subconscious had been leading him here for this very reason. Hesitating, he turned to the long grave and knelt by the stone that had been worn down over the years. He felt the leaves crunch beneath his knees, and with a shaking hand, he reached out and brushed the leaves away from the tombstone.
First revealed on the tombstone was the symbol of the Deathly Hallows once more, only this one was different. It was not lightly carved and worn down from years of weathering like Ignotus’ was. This one was different; it looked fresh, as if the symbol had only been chiseled into the rock yesterday. What sparked Harry’s interest also was how the entire Deathly Hallows symbol seemed to rest inside another circle.
Furrowing his brow, he reached forward and touched the symbol. He was bewildered when he felt the stone move beneath his hand. Giving it a little pressure, he turned his hand, and he found the entire circle in which the Deathly Hallows symbol sat began to rotate. The circle turned in the stone until finally Harry was able to pull it free.
Inside was a deep cavity in the stone, and Harry peered inside. There rested his cloak, and with it, an old and fraying piece of parchment with his name on it. He pulled the contents out of the tomb in awe and replaced the symbol back into the grave, rotating it until it clicked back into place.
He leaned back on his knees, and a gush of wind cleared the leaves around him, wiping the tombstone clear. Then his breath caught, and his eyes filled with tears. He had the strangest urge to smile, but he didn't quite know why. Perhaps he wanted to smile because he knew his niece had found her home, that she had found her happiness, that she had found someone to love who would love her whole-heartedly in return. Perhaps he wanted to smile because this was proof she had lived a long and happy life.
Harry reached out and caressed the name on the tombstone.
1214 - 1291
Beloved Wife & Mother