A/N: After a 3 year hiatus, I posted the end, so just as a heads up, you might want to go back to the beginining of chapter eleven to see where the stuff posted today begins.
Buffy felt older, and younger as she stood in the graveyard.
It was raining slightly as she stood behind Harry at Sirius grave. The sky was a misty grey, and it suited the grief hanging off the shoulders of everyone in attendance. The turnout was sizable. All of the remaining members of the Order and all the Aurors who had fought in the last battle, stood there, dressed in black, silently facing the tombstone, which laid the second marauder to rest next to his best friends.
“Someone should speak.” Ron said, but he trailed off and no one picked up. Sirius tombstone was inscribed with his name, the dates of his life, and a single bold word. Hero. No one contested it. For all that they had done, Voldemort would have survived to fight again another day, and pull the same toll from their battered army, drench another field with their thinning blood, had the locket not been destroyed.
Only the rain moved, as they all stood there in silence. It came pelting down on a sharp angle and soaking their cloaks until the bottoms were muddied up to the knees. Hermione and Ron were off to the left behind Harry, who stood at the front of the crowd before the grave with Draco and Buffy to the right. Ginny's hand lay on Harry’s shoulder, ignoring how it shook. Behind them, among the ranks of grimly dripping wizards, were Lupin, freshly cleaned up and frail, leaning slightly on Tonks, and Snape, who despite all attempts at healing, would never walk again, his face somber at the graveside, no victory on his features.
More funerals still waited. Fresh graves dotted the cemetery as far as it could be seen from where they stood. Many had died, and many had fought and as Harry turned his face up to sky, Buffy tilted her own face up, feeling the cool rain pelt at her face, and felt his emotions on the wind. The war over, and they were all wondering about tomorrow.
The day no one thought would come.
The funerals would pass. The grief would dull and new lives would be waiting. Lives away from the constant battle. Days they could spend together. And soon enough, a child to be named after his godfather’s godfather.
And despite the grief that still held firm grip her heart, Buffy couldn't help but think that things would be better.
For her, for her friends, for everyone.
She had hope, as she smiled a bitter sweet smile into the crisp rain that beat down against the freshly turned soil that covered the dead of the past, and cleaned the air for the lives of the future.
And she felt as she stood there, one hand in Draco’s, with brother in front of her, surrounded by all the people that she loved, with her free hand curled around the precious heartbeat strong inside her, that this was finally a world she could let herself live in. One that she could bring Sirius into. This was a world she could share with her baby to be.
And that's all folks. Any thoughts?