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-Chapter twenty four-

“Okay Eden.” I said to my happily gurgling baby sister. I turned slowly on the spot letting her catch all of the sights of the grand party that surrounded us, our parents one year anniversary. “Let me teach you about life.”

I took her hand and helped her point to some of the most important people in my life, determined to teach her everything I knew. “See over there? That’s my best friend. I hope you have a best friend like her because someone like Nat will make almost any situation fun. Together you can make a million memories of the insignificant moments. Make sure she is someone who you can tell anything and everything to and know you won’t be judged too harshly. Someone that will gossip all night with you, listen to your problems no matter how big or small, lend a shoulder when you need to cry and ask if you are okay when no one else bothers... Someone who will see the glass as half full when you can't."

In my arms Eden shrieked indignantly. "I know, I know." I soothed. "It's a lot to ask of one person but Ede, you are going to have so many friends you can take a little from everyone. You may not be as lucky to find it all in one person but I hope you do."

I grinned as Nat and Eben noticed us. Nat waved and blew a kiss our way and Eben stuck his tongue out at me. Once again Eden cried out.

“Yes." I agreed. "That was rude. Now you have to know that if your Nat comes with an Eben you are both blessed and cursed because even though he will annoy you constantly, make fun of you when you are down he is the kind of person that will always have your back. You have to patient with him because really when you think about it he is only a stupid boy." I nodded solemly. "And on top of that he can be fun to annoy.”

She let out a squeal. “Yeah!” I cooed back. I turned some more until I found someone else to talk about. I spotted Mother and David. She waved at us and I waved back. Eden gave another squeal. “That’s mummy and daddy. They are good people and with them you are going to have a good life. He’s good for her. See? They compliment each other.

“He is going to remind her of everything she is missing this time. And I am going to be here to remind them both of the things they are both missing. You will have the best of both worlds – muggle and magic and I can teach you about both. I know how it was to grow up right in cross over and I don’t ever want you to think that you don’t belong anywhere like I did once. You can belong to both and you can love both as well. Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? Well kid it took me a long time to realise. It was stupid of me and you wont ever have the chance to feel like that, not with me around.”

I spotted Elspeth a Jeremy sitting, totally oblivious that we were there. “Now, those two people are your Aunt and Uncle, the coolest people you will ever meet. At least at your age. One day you may prove me wrong but for now they can have that title. When you are old enough you will learn all sorts of things from them like I did. How to ride a bike or even a broom if you are interested.

Eden moved her head like she was listening to me. I nodded earnestly. “And you should be, because you are special, remember? The best of both worlds.”

“Now, over there are your grandparents. Learn their names – one day you may need to know them and you will be awfully embarrassed if you don’t know. They are Ida and Derek. Try to remember that just in case they ask. They will be okay as far as grandparents go. A little fussy at times but still at least you will know they love you. Just don’t let them talk you into anything you don’t want... if you don’t want to have a coming out ball you don’t have to. Remember that.

“Now while we are on the topic of grandparents you need to know about your other gran and grandpa. I may not be the best one to tell you about your grandpa because I don’t remember too much either but I can tell you so much about our gran, the one you were almost named for. She would have loved you but you would have had to be granddaughter number two, I’m not quite ready to give up number one." Eden, not really caring what I was saying reached over to take hold of my hair. I gently pried her fingers away.

You would have liked her though." I continued anyway. "She lived a life unlike any others. She had a great philosophy. One I hope you inherited – confidence is the key. She was of course right. Confidence can take you far as long as you don’t have too much. Too much can be a disastrous as not enough.

“A good example of this is your cousin Alexander. Sorry to say kid but you are related to him. Or maybe that is a good thing. See you will learn one of the great displeasures in your life may be snotty muggle boys like this one here. Or snotty wizards. You will probably come across both. And if you do, if someone like that ever comes near you, you just tell me and I will show him what it means to be cursed, I have definitely got your back kid.” I continued. She began to grizzle and I shifted her to my other hip, which seemed to settle her.

“Now listen closely, because I just know you are going to be a little heartbreaker you are going to get some unwanted attention from people who believe they are worth your time and for you, a lot of them aren’t going to be and you should know that.

“Without being arrogant of course, I just don’t want you to settle for someone like Alexander. You deserve someone who will treat you like a lady because he thinks you are not because he thinks he should. And at the same time he should know what you are capable of. Even if you want to be treated like a lady you are no damsel in distress baby. Don’t ever let any guy put you in little white gloves. Find a good guy. Someone to treat you right.”

She gurgled again; plucking at the bracelet Sirius had given me. Since Christmas the ‘A’ and the tiara had been joined by a silver heart, a gift for the sixth month milestone I think everyone was surprised we reached. I wasn’t stupid, I knew what people were saying but who was I to care? It was just another month down the road and the only thing I was feeling was happy. Once that I would have considered that word as mundane and lacking, especially when one could use words with so much more meaning. Now, happy was good enough for me. Happy was achievable.

“Yes, you sure are a fast learner.” I told my sister. “One of the good guys gave me that. Well not just a good guy but a great one, and for so many reasons. He is someone that would never put me in little white gloves. He gets me, knows my flaws and yet still hangs around. Doesn’t take any of my bullshit, can make me smile and I will never get tired of talking to him. Eden if there is one thing to make sure you have it's conversation. It doesn’t have to be intelligent or particularly witty just as long as you can talk.”

"Don't ever fall into the trap of saying you don't believe in magic. And I'm not talking wands and spells magic. I mean love. You have to believe in love, especially for yourself. Love will take you further than confidence will."

Eden gurgled happily yet again. She understood, I knew she did. I looked over her soft blonde hair to see Sirius approaching. I couldn’t help but grin.

“And make sure he is good looking too.” I whispered in her ear. "A real prince charming."

“What was that?” Sirius asked.

I tried to look innocent. “Nothing at all. Just teaching my sister everything I know. What to do if an annoying stalker guy starts stalking you.” I said smoothing down her curls.

“I was not stalking you.” He countered tiredly. So I liked bringing up that day, can you blame me?

“That’s what they all say.” I told Eden as I said smiling up at Sirius. Did I mention he was my boyfriend? Because as much as I didn’t want to I loved using that word. It was funny, at first when we had arrived back at school Sirius had sat there coaxing me to say it. Lucky for me he found it amusing.

“Hey Eden,” Sirius said bending down so he was more level with her. She cocked her head to the side intently studying his face. “Would it be okay with you if I steal your sister for a while?” She said nothing but stretched out her hand and grabbed his nose. “I will take that as a yes.” He said removing her hand and shaking it. I lead the way back to my mother to give her Eden.

“Where are you two going?” She asked.

“Outside.” I answered turning away.

“But it’s almost midnight!” Mother called. I waved at her over my shoulder. I knew what she was talking about.

“Did you remind her?” I asked Sirius. He only shrugged in response.

“Didn’t have to. She asked me a couple of weeks ago what I thought you would like.”

“What did you tell her?”

“Not pearls.” He said tugging on my hand so I would stop. He pulled me into a dance pose and laughed at me as I tried to remember the steps.

After a while I stopped concentrating and laughed at myself too. A lot had changed since we had both sat out by the creek throwing rocks and theories into the darkness. And this fact couldn’t have rung truer as I ironically stood in almost the exact same place I had a year ago now. I listened to the swish of my new dress, the tapping of my heels. I twirled and I shimmied. And I wouldn’t have minded if my dance partner stared down my dress. The most important thing though was this time I was having fun.

I don’t think the dopey smile had left my face since the moment I had walked back into the Christmas ball. My grin only grew as I remembered the knowing look on Nat’s face, the triumphant nod and the constant pestering from then on

With a smirk I had come to see as charming, Sirius twirled me again slowly then dropped me in a dip. I laughed off any embarrassment hugging him tight. “Come on.” I said dragging him on towards the door again. Together we stumbled across the yard easily locating the familiar rock.

“So what do you think?” I asked moving my hand out to the creek as we sat down. “Any different?”

“Nah, not at all.” He said taking my hand. I watched my bracelet glimmer in the dim light, sliding down my arm.

Sirius must have been watching the bracelet too as he let go of my hand to pull out another lumpy gift. “I know it’s a little early but this is for you.”

“Couldn’t be another charm could it?” I joked pulling the velvety pouch open. A tiny question mark. As I stared at it Sirius leant forward, kissing the side of my face and neck. The question mark seemed to sum of my apprehensive feelings. My smile faded as the one question I had been going over in my mind surfaced for the first time that night.

“Hey Sirius?”

“Mmm?” Was his only reply.

“What happens this year?”

He looked up at me. “I mean with us, are you going to stay here in London? I already know I have to go to school and – “

“And what?”

“It wont be the same.” I whined.

“No, but its only one year. And we'll always have Hogsmeade.” He said, unintentionally paraphrasing Mothers favourite movie. Then he really did turn serious, over serious. Bordering on mocking serious. “You have to promise me something An.”

“What's that?”

“You have to promise to stay on top of your homework this year. I don’t want another smart arse stalker kid having the chance to annoy you.”

He said it with such a straight face that I couldn’t help but laugh. “I promise.” I said eventually. “As long as you promise that every time I am in Hogsmeade you are there too.”

“Done.” He said. I stared carefully at his face. In this light his eyes looked silver. I loved when his eyes were silver. I looked up at the moon for the first time. And then in the distance the clock began to chime twelve.

“Hey happy birthday Enigma girl.” He said, kissing me on the cheek like he had exactly a year ago. I must have had a strange look on my face as he grinned then kissed me properly, making me shiver in delight. It was a feeling I hoped never went away. It was something I would definately miss when I went back to school in a week.

My dopey grin returned as we drew apart. His hand was still in my hair and his face close to mine as he grinned his own dopey grin. "Totally different." he told me in a whisper and I couldnt have agreed more.

Now if my story was ever a movie this is where the scene would fade out as I left you with my parting words, my own pearl of wisdom that i can share with the audience. I don’t have any parting words, or even an ending - all I have is a fairytale to prove non-believers like me wrong.

Because I suppose in their put away secret heart of hearts all girls secretly hope for their own real-life fairytale ending. I was lucky enough to find one. I just hoped it didn’t end too soon. After all, to quote my grans beloved Walter, true love stories have no endings.

We could only hope.


A/N. well thats it! as soon as i hit that preview button and save i am going to click complete with great delight.. not that i havent enjoyed wtiting this one but to say it is completed is a great accomplishment. for i, rarely finish anything i start.
i hoped you liked saving ana and i hope you review. hint hint...
tell me exactly what you thought. i battled with this epilogue... i wanted to exaplain things and i wanted it to be similar to the prologue... i wanted happiness and an ending as while its not the end ofr ana its the end for us.
thankyou for everyone who has reviewed, especially those who have done so from the start!!! and now i bid you good night!

oh and i dont like the picture for this one... cant win everything though.

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