Epilog and thoughts.
Snape groaned as he awoke. He reached up and ran a hand over what was thankfully his own face. He glanced over at the smirking man at the table. “I’m not doing that again any time soon.”
Xander chuckled, “Hey you’re the one that wanted to see snake face’s expression when we blew up the building. Small price to pay to be sure he’s dead.”
Snape nodded absently as he pulled himself to his feet and looked around the cheap muggle hotel room. “You couldn’t find a nicer place while we waited for the heat to die down?”
“Hey, it was the only place I could find close enough to the site to not chance losing your soul that didn’t have cameras. Besides it’s not like I had any idea when you would wake up. Willow said it could be anywhere from several minutes to several hours. I would have just taken a portkey but Willow told me not to use magical transportation until you stabilized a bit. She went into great and long boring detail about the reasons but she lost me shortly after displaced souls and bad things happening.”
Snape wasn‘t really a fan of just sitting around doing nothing but he also wasn’t a fan of dieing either. “Are you going to hunt down the rest of the death eaters?”
Xander shrugged, “Depends on what else happens. With Professor McGonagall signing off on allowing the gang to take their newts a year early, we might just leave. Not sure, it sort of depends on what the kids want to do. I can’t really see them wanting to stay but it’s always possible. So what about you?”
“What about me?”
“You going back to teaching?”
“It doesn’t really appeal to me as much as it used to. I might actually take Miss. Rosenberg up on her offer of relocation. A new start where I don’t have to worry about a bunch of crazy students blowing themselves up sounds nice right now.”
Xander couldn’t help but chuckle.
In another part of London hidden from all manor of normal people one Percy Weasley sat sipping a cup of tea in the back room of a notorious joke shop. “You know, I’m going to miss working for the ministry.” At Fred’s raised eyebrow he shrugged, “Alright not all that much.”
George chuckled, “You know the one barmy part of all of this?”
“The fact that I faked my own death?”
“Nah, while it was a brilliant piece of spell work, it was quite within your skills. No what surprises me was that you didn’t bother to inform Ron of your plans first. I heard he almost had a heart attack when he received the notice of your death on April Fool’s day.”
Percy shrugged as he tried hard to keep the smile from his face, “Well clearly as I have according to everyone no sense of humor it was just an oversight. I should get back to the Burrow though, spend some time with the family before slipping off to my new posting in America.”
Fred nodded, “Yeah mum would like that.”
Percy nodded, “Oh I almost forgot, here.” He pulled an envelope out of his pocket and set it on the table. “Happy birthday.” He smiled as he tapped his watch and vanished with a small crack.
Fred tapped the envelope several times with his wand to check for traps before opening the envelope.
George looked at his twin with concern, “What’s up?”
Fred just shook his head, “The… I can’t… no, no way, didn’t happen.”
George frowned as he reached over and pulled the card from his brother’s hands. He was more than a little shocked to see several pictures of Ron’s shocked face upon receiving the notification of Percy’s death. But in order for there to be a picture let alone several, that would mean that someone else had been warned ahead of time to watch for it. George joined his brother in shock, he had almost forgotten the last time Percy had told a joke. It had been years and years, so long in fact that they had long since given up on him actually having a sense of humor.
Willow smiled as a rain soaked Helen appeared in the designated portkey area. “So how are the boys?”
“Doing fine, Xander’s tormenting grumpy pants with bad jokes and planning out the next few moves for finishing off the death eaters.” She tossed her hat on the hat rack and hung her coat on the coat rack.
“Dobby and Morrigan made some breakfast if you’re interested.”
“That and a hot shower sounds really nice right now, you’d be surprised how soaked you get in a London downpour crossing the street let alone waiting on a roof top for a signal.”
Willow chuckled, “Well I don’t think you’re going to melt from a little water.”
“Well I always assumed that was a witch’s job.” She turned with a smirk and walked out.
Willow let her lips curve up slightly as she watched the young lady walk from the room. “Nah, just the evil ones.” She chuckled as she heard a soft “Yeah, right.” from down the hall.
Dawn looked up from her book as Willow walked in with a slight smile on her face. “I’m guessing by the smile on your face that we won?”
Willow chuckled weakly, “It’s a bit early to tell but from what I heard from Helen things went well.”
Dawn watched her wife’s face fall, “And yet you’re not breaking out the bubbly.”
“You know there was a time when I would be appalled at us for blowing up so many humans, I should be appalled but I’m not. I‘m starting to wonder if we‘re slipping.”
Dawn held up her index finger and thumb just a touch apart, “Maybe just a little. It‘s sort of like Giles, you can’t do the job we do for all the years we have and not slip a little. He’s a great guy but he can be a little scary, especially when something threatens one of his girls. I’ve given a lot of thought to things over the years, we aren’t champions Willow, we never were, that was always Buffy’s thing, a slayer thing. People like us, like Xander we don’t have it in us.” She shook her head when Willow opened her mouth presumably to start to defend Xander, “He’s got too big of a heart to let little things like divine will or pesky laws of the world keep him from doing everything to protect his friends. Anyways we aren’t like the slayers, they fight because they were called to fight it’s in their nature they can’t help it. We on the other hand fight because we choose to. We don’t have the same level of faith that things will work out, that some vampire isn’t going to pull a gun and cut the slayer down like a rational creature rather than fight them with those crazy martial arts moves they always seem to know. So maybe we are going to slip now and then but so what, each of those people were worse than demons, it’s better that they’re dead.”
“You know I still don’t understand where they pick up the crazy moves, maybe we can ask Giles again.”
“You just want to see him rub his glasses.”
“Even after all these years it still makes everything better. He rubs the glasses then comes up with a brilliant plan and everything is right again with the world.”
“I don’t know if the glass rubbing is enough to fix it this time.”
Dawn chuckled, “You know maybe we are losing it but some of Helen’s ice cream sounds just about perfect right now.”
Willow chuckled, “Well, even if you haven’t gotten more evil you’ve certainly gotten more perverted over the years.”
Dawn chuckled, “Well I did marry two cute girls that enjoy it and I’ve got to be honest spending time with Anya hasn’t really helped with having a normal sense of humor.”
“Your sense of humor such as it is, was never normal.”
“Hey now, keep this up and I might have to steal your ice cream.”
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, I know where you keep your diary and I have a scanner.”
Dawn shivered, “That’s dirty, I’m sure there is enough ice cream to go around.”
Willow chuckled, “So when do we get to tell Buffy what exactly the ice cream she loves so much is made out of?”
Dawn chuckled, “How about the 13th of Never? Or maybe when she’s in a different dimension where she can’t kill us in our sleep?”
And as happens from time to time the days turned to weeks and the weeks turned to months and before he knew it the end of the term had come and gone. He wasn’t sure how to feel about this being his last day at Hogwarts. Gabrielle, Rose, William, Lenora, Lillian and him had all taken the O.W.L.s. He was even fairly sure they had all passed, though they would have to wait until later to find out for sure. It had started as a joke between him and Gabrielle but the more they had talked the more they decided to go for it. They weren’t really all that interested in continuing at Hogwarts especially not with Trista’s continuing education looking questionable not to mention their parents finishing a year early. Apparently not even Umbridge’s death had stopped the rampant anti-werewolf regulations the ministry had been pushing for the last several years. Leo would have thought that having Voldemort presumed dead and the death eaters broken would have stopped that type of crap. Sadly it just meant that the ministry in a bid to be seen as doing something important pushed even harder against anything that wasn’t purely human. He glanced around the Gryffindor common room, despite having only spent a school year here it still felt a little like saying goodbye to a trusted friend. He had to admit that he had had some good times here, even if there were some bad, mostly dealing with the Slytherins, still it had been home. He smiled as he hummed the Hogwarts’ school song on his way to the train.
Lenora watched the castle pass from view with a sense of bitter sweetness, she was happy to get back to her life at home but still she was going to miss several of the people at Hogwarts. She would miss McGonagall’s no nonsense lectures and firm if stern support. She would also miss never having played on the Gryffindor quidditch team, that alone had almost been enough to get them to stay. Hell William had almost cried when he had realized that. It had been a little bit funny.
Lillian smiled as Hogwarts fled from view, she knew she would miss some things but other than Luna who she was planning on seeing again she wasn’t going to miss the rest of the students. She was forced to admit that her twin had been right about being smarter having not ended up in Ravenclaw. Most of them were a bunch of pretentious pricks that really weren’t half as smart as they thought they were. She wasn’t going to mess much about Hogwarts other than maybe her charms professor and head of house.
William wasn’t sure if he was making the right choice but he would take his chances with Leo and his siblings. They were usually a lot more interesting than the students at Hogwarts had proven to be. Honestly he was looking forward to being done with school work at least for the summer.
Gabrielle sighed wistfully as she watched Hogwarts vanish around the bend, she was going to miss the place in some ways. The feeling of the magic was unique, the age, the history of the place screamed out to her, even though she knew it wasn’t real, it felt real. She would miss her walks at night in the forbidden forest. She wasn’t quite sure if she would miss the actual walks or just the easy source of magical powers more, but miss them she would. She’d even miss the giant squid in the lake. Her eyes sparkled with purple fire as she gazed out over the landscape, “Homeward bound.”
It's been an interesting story to write. But as the girls end their Hogwarts adventures the story comes to a close. I plan to continue the characters in my other story but for now I think I'll just mark this as completed. Thanks to everyone that stuck with this story through all the twists turns and contortions.