here's the last of the delightful images by a contemplator @ TDA
“I give you the Graduated Class of 1977!!”
A cloud of black pointed hats with wide brims wobble uncertainly into the air before spiraling back down neglected in a rainbow sea of gold, green, scarlet and blue dress robes. Melody stands on her chair and scans the crowd for us.
“Over there!” She shouts. “They’re over there!”
I push and shove through the crowd of my classmates who are all swarming, grabbing each other in hugs and congratulatory squeals in the general direction of the Gryffindors and my boyfriend, Remus Lupin.
In the end, which would be now I suppose, time had passed faster than I might have expected. N.E.W.T.s were dealt with as was appropriate. Some homework was neglected in favor or spending time together for our last few months. I had decided to take the less stressful avenue and not desperately search for a job in the hopes that it might come to me later on. I wasn’t concerned. I had other things to worry about.
Remus leaps out at me from the side and pulls me into a tight hug and a long, shameless kiss.
“Have you told them?” I ask him breathlessly upon release.
“I haven’t even seen them!” he laughs. “I was waiting for you. Took you long enough.”
“It’s harder than it looks shoving my way through this lot,” I tell him.
“As long as there’s no lasting damage, I’m not worried,” Remus jokes, shouting over the celebrations around us.
The situation could not be avoided. It was obvious to us both that even if Remus did choose to get his own apartment, he would be spending too much time at the house with me to make the rent worth paying. He would simply have to move in. We weren’t the only ones with the idea. Lily and James had sold the Potter mansion in favor of a new cottage on the outskirts of Godrics Hollow. Maybe we were too young, maybe not. It didn’t matter to us anymore. There was a war taking place outside of Hogwarts as we had heard it. We just wanted to be with the people we loved.
“The Wilkins’ are here too,” I shout to Remus. “I need to thank them for coming.”
“You want me to tell my parents first don’t you?” Remus asks with a smirk.
It wasn’t that they didn’t like me. I think they just didn’t understand how easy it was for Remus and I to love each other. They seemed slightly estranged from their son. Remus explained that the lycanthropy had taken a toll on their relationship in it’s earlier years. They had never seen how happy Remus could be at school and with his friends, only how miserable he was without them.
“They ought to hear it from you,” I say.
Remus shrugs, “I don’t think they’ll care either way.”
I squeeze his hand and together we push our way out of the cloud of students who are now filtering into the crowd of awaiting friends and family. I spot the Wilkins’ standing with Professor Austrin, my Astronomy Professor.
“Congratulations ‘Liope!” Sarah screams happily into my ear after engulfing me into a strong hug. Anthony smiles at me over his wife’s shoulder.
“Congratulations Calliope,” Anthony tells me wholeheartedly. “I’ve just been talking about you with your Professor.”
“She’s my prized pupil,” Austrin says proudly, setting a friendly hand on my shoulder. “She hasn’t missed a star on her charts since her third year.”
Coming from Austrin, who has never really expressed any affection to any student, this means the world.
“Lawrence Carmichael is about to retire at the Daily Prophet, Calliope,” Anthony tells me with a grin. “He was the editor in charge of the Astronomy page. They’re looking for some fresh blood. I thought I might recommend you.”
My mouth drops open and my eyes widen in surprise and delight at Anthony who laughs.
“I take it you’re interested? You’d be able to work from home,” he explains.
“I’d love it!”
“It’s a lot of night work, love,” Sarah says in disapproval. “You’re sleeping patterns would be ruined.”
“She’ll be fine Sarah, she’s young yet.”
“I’d love it,” I repeat ecstatically.
Anthony laughs and reaches out to hug me, “You’d be perfect for it.” He whispers into my ear, “We’re very proud of you. You’re parents would be overwhelmed.”
I smile warmly, “Thank you.”
Out of the corner of my eye I can see Remus waving urgently to me. Sarah spots him as well and laughs.
“Looks as if you’re needed, darling.”
“I’ll get in touch with you soon, Calliope,” Anthony assures me.
I grin and then rush, ducking and dodging my way through the crowds. I see James shaking hands with a tall man with red hair who’s arm is wrapped around Lily Evans protectively.
“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Lupin,” I say shyly upon arrival.
Remus’ father is tall and slightly grave looking with dark hair and thin blue eyes. His mother is smaller with pale hair and gentle brown eyes. They smile at me the same way they did upon meeting me, as if they don’t quite understand me.
“Congratulations, Calliope,” Mrs. Lupin tells me.
“How are Sarah and Anthony?” Remus asks.
“They seem good. Anthony is recommending me to the Daily Prophet for the Astronomy column.” Editor of the Astronomy column. Maybe. Awesome!
“That’s fantastic!” Remus tells me warmly, pulling me to his side.
“The two of you will need a good income like that, living on your own,” Mr. Lupin mentions with a sage nod. “Remus might have a hard time keeping a job.”
They’re always dropping hints about how hard life will be for Remus with his lycanthropy. All they need is a little optimism.
“I’ll manage,” Remus says simply without defense or offense.
“Remus says that you’ll be moving in together,” Mrs. Lupin says quietly, looking slightly awed.
I smile as Remus squeezes me again. “It seemed like the most convenient arrangement,” I say, trying to sound sensible. His parents smile humouredly at us.
In a surprising turn of generosity Mr. Lupin tells us, “You’ll be happier at least. That’s important these days.”
“Calliope! Move those bloody feet!” Sirius shouts at me through the crowded corridor of the Hogwarts Express. Our last ride of the year. Our last ride ever, I realize. I squeeze through a huddle of sobbing Ravenclaw girls sharing their goodbyes and into our designated compartment at the front of the train.
“Remus, tell Sirius not to talk to me that way,” I whine jokingly.
“He was the one who told me what to shout,” Sirius says with a wicked grin and Remus shrugs, playing along. I don’t bother pretending to be offended, simply roll my eyes and fall into Remus’ lap.
It’s over. After seven years of more studying than I should have taken part in, more frustration than I should have indulged in, more happiness than I realized I was experiencing at the time, it’s over. Hogwarts and adolescence are officially over. I wonder if this means that it’s time for me to start blooming. I am no longer a Hufflepuff, I’m just a girl, a woman if you will. I look to James and Sirius and even Remus and realize that I could never convince them that they are no longer Gryffindors, just young men. But I guess that’s the thing about Gryffindors, there will always be a piece of them that’s still the Hogwarts student.
“I can’t believe it’s over,” Lily sighs, setting her head on James’ shoulder.
“About freaking time,” Melody snorts and I laugh. The others look only vaguely insulted.
“Don’t tell me you won’t miss it, Cal,” Sirius says.
“What’s to miss?” I ask honestly.
“The food, your friends, your dormitory bed, the scenery, everything!” James lists.
“I can cook. I like my bed at home, it’s much softer. I have nice scenery around my house. And I’ll still see all of you now that we’ve graduated, at least I should hope so,” I reply.
“It’s not the same,” Hestia whines morosely.
I look around at my company and shrug, knowing that I will never win this argument. Melody and I catch each other’s eyes and smile. Hufflepuffs know. And yet, as much as I want to deny it, there’s a little part of me that feels slightly weepy and whiney as we trek through the hills of Scotland in the brilliantly red train for the last time. I don’t know what exactly I ache for now, perhaps just the end of the era. Of childhood. Of innocence. Everything’s going to change.
Remus sets a casual kiss at my cheek as he listens to his friends retell their favorite Hogwarts memories. Well…not everything will change. I relax into Remus and the edge of sorrow lessens as it always does when I’m with him. Anyways it’s not as if enough hasn’t already changed in my life.
“I love you,” Remus whispers in my ear, without looking away from his friends.
A year ago I had known that my last year at Hogwarts would be exactly the same as all the other years. Or so I had expected. I’ve never been very good with Divination. Still, in some ways, things are still the same. I lost my best friend, I lost my parents, I lost solitude and loneliness. I met the boy who will hopefully prove to be the love of my life. I gave away my two biggest secrets, loving Remus and having lupus. But in the end, very little has changed, because I am Calliope DeSole, and I am still a simple person.
AN: The End.
As of this chapter Remus and Calliope live happily ever after.
I recommend to anyone who likes this ending to not read the epilogue. And the Sequel Muse, even though I personally feel that it is even better than this story.
To Remus and Calliope! And my first finished story on HPFF! Cheers!
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