Epilogue…and you all thought I was done (Song, All the things I’ve done, by The Killers) When there's nowhere else to run Is there room for one more son One more son If you can hold on If you can hold on, hold on I wanna stand up, I wanna let go You know, you know - no you don't, you don't I wanna shine on in the hearts of men I want a meaning from the back of my broken hand Another head aches, another heart breaks I am so much older than I can take And my affection, well it comes and goes I need direction to perfection, no no no no Help me out Yeah, you know you got to help me out Yeah, oh don't you put me on the backburner You know you got to help me out And when there's nowhere else to run Is there room for one more son These changes ain't changing me The cold-hearted boy I used to be Yeah, you know you got to help me out Yeah, oh don't you put me on the backburner You know you got to help me out You're gonna bring yourself down Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down I got soul, but I'm not a soldier I got soul, but I'm not a soldier… Yeah, you know you got to help me out Yeah, oh don't you put me on the backburner You know you got to help me out You're gonna bring yourself down You're gonna bring yourself down Yeah, oh don't you put me on the backburner Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down Over and out, last call for sin While everyone's lost, the battle is won With all these things that I've done All these things that I've done If you can hold on If you can hold on * ** *** ** * Eight Months Later “Calm down there Harry.” Admonished Oliver Wood, at seeing Harry’s frazzled state. Harry didn’t answer but continued his nervous pacing around the English Quidditch teams changing rooms. “It’s going to be fine.” Oliver continued. “It’s going to be fine.” Harry repeated out loud, more for his own general assurance than Oliver’s. “Seriously Harry, you’re going to wear a hole through the floor if you keep pacing like that.” Oliver continued speaking, but by this time Harry had effectively drowned out his voice with his thoughts of the previous morning * ** *** ** * After waking at an ungodly hour in the morning, and after tossing and turning for a good three hours afterward, he had resigned to the fact that trying to get back to sleep was futile, and had risen to greet the day, stomach full of butterflies. So after a scalding hot shower, a shave, and a few minutes deep breathing he had walked down the stairs of Potter Manor, to find Remus, Sirius, his parents, Hermione, and the entire Weasley clan already eating breakfast and waiting for him. A chorus of, “Good Morning Harry’s!” greeted him as he lowered himself into a chair between Remus and his mother, while Mrs. Weasley set a plate full of bacon, eggs, and pancakes in front of him. “Eat up dear, you have a big day ahead of you.” She had ordered before bustling back over to the coffee pot. Harry had obliged, however much he didn’t feel like eating, he knew he had to if he wanted to perform well in the day’s challenges. Slowly, he took a sip of tea, running a hand through his hair glancing between the three doors leading out of the large kitchen. “Nervous?” His father asked breaking the silence in the room. “Yeah.” Harry smiled knowingly, as he pulled his hand from his constantly messy hair. “You’ll do great, I remember the first time I saw you fly…well not the first time, that time ended up with you in a coma…” Sirius began, but quickly quieted himself with a wince of pain and a sharp look in the general direction of James who seemed to have kicked him under the table, apparently thinking that, that type of talk would do nothing to help settle Harry’s nerves. “Like I was saying I’m sure you’ll do great.” He finished, still glaring menacingly at James. “What time do you have to be at the pitch again Harry?” Hermione asked. “Ten sharp.” Harry replied dryly, he was finding it hard to swallow his food. She sent him an unreadable look before turning back to read the page of the Daily Prophet that Ron had just finished with. “Come on Harry buck up!” Exclaimed Fred, or was it George. “Yeah Harry, today is your first game, and you look like you’re marching to your death.” Piped up the other twin. “I am.” Harry replied, causing a light laughter throughout the kitchen that seemed to take the edge off of his nerves ever so slightly. “Really Harry, you know you’ll do fine, we know you’ll do fine, everybody knows you’ll do fine. This is Quidditch, it’s what you do best.” Remus tried to lighten the situation. “But if I don’t do as well as all the hype then I’m doomed, this is my career, I turned down all my other offers, this is all I have!” He exclaimed rather excitedly. “Don’t worry Harry.” Ginny soothed, reaching over and placing a hand on his arm from across the table. “I know that you’re nervous, and that you won’t be fully confidant until you go out on the field, but if worse does come to worse. Which it won’t, anyone would hire you in a heartbeat.” “Why would they do that?” He asked skeptically. “Oh honestly Harry, you never give yourself enough credit.” Interjected Hermione, “Why would they do that? Well let’s see first there’s the fact that you’ve faced dark magic and come out the victor at the end of mainly every school year, there could be the fact that you were the one to defeat Voldemort, this little thing called Acer Motar, you’re the youngest seeker in a century, you are an established Occlumist and you can practice Legimency, you hold the Order of Merlin First Class, you’re a member of the Defense Against the Dark Arts League, you have a place in the Wizemgont, you received nine OWLS, and placed the highest in Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration, and the list just goes on.” Hermione said, ticking off each point on her finger as she said it, “If that isn’t enough to qualify you than nothing ever will. Harry felt himself redden as Hermione named off his achievements especially when she mentioned his Order of Merlin, and the positions he held on various boards at such a young age. He had received the honors at his graduation from Hogwarts at the end of his seventh year, which now seemed so long ago, even though it had only been a few months, by the minister of Magic himself. He tried to subdue the uneasy feeling that continued to persist in the pit of his stomach by busying himself with the pile of post Hedwig had delivered. “Anything good?” Asked Remus. “Bills…Junk Mail…More Bills…Junk Mail…letter from Stallworth…something from Hogwarts…more Junk Mail…Quidditch Weekly.” Harry read aloud as he thumbed through the stack. He carefully set his Quidditch Weekly to the side, normally he would be thrilled that his issue had arrived, but today he didn’t need anymore reminders about what he would be doing in only a few hours time. Ginny seemed to sense his unease and decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to get away. “Harry, what do you say we go for a walk, I think you could use the fresh air.” She suggested. “Yeah, alright.” Agreed Harry as he lifted himself from his seat and excused him from the table. The two walked in companionable silence out onto the grounds behind the large manor, until they made their way to a stone bench obscuring their view from the house by a large segment of bushes. “What’s up Ginny?” Harry asked as he sat down on the bench and mentioned for Ginny to join him. “Nothing, I just thought you might need to get away for a bit, you know, relax.” She explained as she sat down next to Harry. “I suppose.” Harry agreed. “You’re going to do fine.” She assured him yet again. “I know, but this is so big for me. It’s the beginning of my professional career, this isn’t just Slytherin versus Gryffindor, this is an international Quidditch math, I’m just afraid that I’ll completely miss the snitch, and I’ll ruin my chances for any type of future with England.” He mused his fears aloud. “Harry, the coach chose you before he even met you face to face, he didn’t even make you try out.” Ginny reminded him. “But he’s seen me play before, he wasn’t just going off a guess.” He countered. “Exactly, he saw you play and he knew you had genuine talent. It’s his job to find the best, and in my opinion, he found it.” She told him smiling. “It’s still hard not to be nervous.” “I would think you were a coward if you weren’t a little bit nervous, it’s only natural.” “A coward?” “Yes, I think a genuinely foolish, idiotic, and fearful person goes into a new and strange situation like this one feeling immortal, it only shows that you’re human, and that you’re man enough to admit your fears, that just makes you look stronger.” “I still don’t get it.” “I don’t know if I do either, dad always said it, and it always just sounded right, even though I could never put my finger on why it sounded that way.” She said, her gaze growing slightly unfocused, as she seemed to be remembering times her father had coined the phrase. “I guess it does sound right.” He agreed quietly. “Just have faith and confidence in yourself, that’s all you can do.” “I just wish I could get it over with, or do something productive to keep my mind off it.” He said loudly, obviously frustrated at his nervous state. “Hmmm,” Said Ginny pursing her lips together, “Well I think I might be able to do something about that.” “How?” He looked at her skeptically. “Well be quiet and I’ll show you.” She commanded, and he obliged. Slowly she leaned in close so that she was only a few feet away from her, catching on quickly to her intentions, Harry made the trip easier by meeting her the rest of the way. The kiss was soft and shallow, light and teasing. After a while she broke away, causing a grunt of protest from Harry. She frowned at him before leaning back towards him, he tried to come forward for another kiss, but she ducked away and instead planted a small kiss on his forehead. “You…” She kissed his nose. “Will…” She kissed his cheek. “Do…” She kissed his other cheek. “Great…” She kissed his temple. “Ginny.” Harry pretended to pout. “What?” She asked innocently. “Don’t tease me.” He complained. “Tease? Me?” She feigned innocence. “Yes, you.” Harry replied as he pretended to be upset. “Well we certainly don’t want people to think I’m a tease now, do we?” “Of course not.” “Well then let’s not let anyone come to that conclusion.” She smiled at him, as he ducked quickly around her outstretched arm and met her for another kiss. This time around it was deeper, filled with more passion, yet the more prevalent emotions were understanding and love. Ginny slowly ran her hands across Harry’s once again muscled back. After he had woken up in the hospital wing since his defeat of Voldemort and the return of his parents Harry’s outlook had been much more positive, especially after Oliver and England’s Quidditch coach had come to see the final Quidditch game of the season, which Harry had won no sooner than it had begun by snatching the snitch right out from under the Slytherin’s seekers nose. He had been thrilled when the coach, a man named Jerry Burton had come up, vigorously shaken his hand, and basically pleaded that he come play for England. Harry of course had practically signed the papers on the spot. He had also made good of his vow to improve his health, and with the help of those around him had regained his appetite, stopped questioning himself, slowly come out of his depressed state, gained back his lost weight, and combined with his vigorous Quidditch training practices had regained the muscle he had lost during his seventh year. Harry now could swear he heard a muffled noise from the back of Ginny’s throat, which only incensed him to deepen the kiss, running his hands lightly up and down her arms, making her involuntarily shiver against him. They briefly pulled a part to catch their breath, but rejoined just as quickly desperate for the alone time that had been too few and far between since the beginning of the summer. Harry had been busy getting to know his parents, training for Quidditch, and working on the various boards he had been appointed to. All this combined had left little time to spend with Ginny, as she too had been busy with her own summer activities. It seemed as well that whenever they did manage to sneak off that they had quickly been called apart either by one or both of their mothers who seemed to know that their children were doing more than just talking with each other. Harry could feel Ginny tugging at the buttons on the cloak he had put on before they went outside, as he slowly tugged on the sleeve of her muggle t-shirt. After quite a bit of fumbling, and Harry falling off the bench, Ginny had managed to get the cloak undone and settled herself down next to him on the grass below. He pushed her back against the bench carefully as he leaned up against her, using her as a brace so he didn’t fall against the stone of the bench. He lifted his hand and ran his hand through her silky hair, as she set a hand behind her to support herself and a hand up to grip Harry’s messy hair. Ginny began trying to unclasp the buttons along Harry’s navy blue polo, finding them just as difficult if not more so than the buttons of his cloak had proved to be. She eventually had to break away, her shaking hands making it just as hard. As soon as she had the final button unclasped, and Harry had begun to lean forward to resume where they had left off they heard a shout from the house. Harry let out a groan of disappointment and leaned forward to rest his forehead against Ginny’s. “Who is it this time?” He mumbled as he pressed a kiss to her temple, trying to smooth his erratic breathing. Ginny craned her head slightly towards the direction of the noise to try to discern the caller’s identity. “Sounds like your mum.” She finally replied, brining a hand up to smooth down her messy hair. “Crap.” Harry swore under his breath, “What is it with those two?” He asked to no one in particular, referring to his and Ginny’s mothers. “I don’t know.” Said Ginny sighing as she lifted Harry off her, and re-sat herself on the stone bench, while Harry remained sitting on the ground brooding about the interruption. The call came again, and reluctantly he called back, “COMING MUM!” “I suppose we should go back in then, I don’t feel like having the talk with my mum again, and I don’t think you want to go through that whole uncomfortable ordeal with James, Remus, and Sirius again.” Ginny said, standing from the bench and offering a hand to Harry, who seemed to be in a better mood since she mentioned the comical situation with the three older men. A few weeks before graduation while Harry had been visiting his parents in their Hogwarts quarters, his mother had slipped away, and at some point Remus and Sirius had entered. They, along with his father, had spent the next two hours stumbling embarrassedly through the ins and outs of women and dating, all three a distinct shade of red. Growing up in a dormitory with four other boys made most of what they had said not all that new to Harry, but he was having too much fun watching them struggle through their explanations to interrupt them and alert them of that specific fact. Later he and Ginny had, had a good laugh about the whole situation. “I guess so.” He relented, allowing Ginny to help him up. They both took a moment to compose their appearance before walking back to the house where sure enough Lily was standing in the doorway waiting. She smiled at them benignly and stepped back from the porch doorway so they could enter the foyer. “It’s about thirty minutes to ten, you might want to think about apparating to the pitch soon.” James said, walking into the room, as Sirius sidled up next to him. “I still don’t like the idea of you playing Quidditch, you know I think that position they offered you at Hogwarts sounded quite interesting.” Lily began. Everyone in the room rolled their eyes, Lily had gone over the subject so thoroughly that it was fairly easy to predict what she was going to say next. True to everyone’s predictions she continued on as usual. “You would have been a great Defense Professor, since Jonathon decided to retire to go back to work for the Department of Ministries, I really don’t think they could find anyone better suited.” “I know mum, we’ve been over this, but that’s not what I want right now.” “But it would be so much safer, and just think how much you would be able to teach people, you’re so talented…” “I know mum, but don’t you think it would be a bit weird to teach people only a year younger than I am.” “I can’t help but worry about you.” Lily said, her shoulders shrugging. “I know mum, and I appreciate it, I really do, and who knows one of these days I may want to be a professor, but not right now, I’m only eighteen, there’s time to be a professor in the future if that’s what I really want to do.” He tried to reassure her like he had already done so many times before. “Come on honey why don’t we go get everything ready so we don’t have to rush around at the last minute when it’s time to leave for the match alright?” James asked, rushing forward to Harry’s assistance, not wanting Lily to start on about how worried she was Harry would get hurt, and all the horrible Quidditch stories she had heard. “Alright.” She relented, and allowed herself to be led from the room by James. “I better go and get myself together as well.” Sirius announced to Harry and Ginny, he made his way to leave the room, but leaned down first to whisper in Harry’s ear, “You have lip gloss on your chin.” Sirius walked out of the room smirking mischievously as Harry blushed a deep red and energetically began to rub at his chin. Ginny looked at him oddly as he did so, and once satisfied that he was lip gloss free waved her into the hallway that led to the kitchen with him. They re-entered the kitchen to find everyone virtually the same as they had left them. “How was your walk?” Asked Mrs. Weasley smiling at them. “It was fine.” Ginny replied simply, grabbing a glass of pumpkin juice off the table. “Well that’s good. Harry dear, I’ve packed a little something for you to eat after the match, I put it over in your Quidditch bag. I daresay you’ll be famished.” She said, pointing to his training bag that was situated in a corner. “Thanks Molly, I really appreciate it.” He replied earnestly. “Well we don’t want you turning back into that stick figure.” She said, as she continued her work throughout the kitchen. Harry felt the mood in the room darken quickly, and sensing the unease that her comment had caused, decided to change the subject. “Why don’t you sit down? I told you, you didn’t have to clean up while you’re here.” Harry told the woman he considered a second mother. “Nonsense.” She waved her hand, “I just simply hate the idea of you here in this big old house all by yourself, besides you barely have any time yourself to get things done, always so busy with all the responsibilities you’ve taken on.” “I have Dobby and Winky to help me, besides I always have someone around visiting, I’m hardly ever alone.” He reminded her. “Still, I don’t like the idea of it all.” She replied crossing her arms, signifying the matter was closed. Harry had a flashing vision of Ginny doing something remarkably similar, and suppressed a smile at the thought of where she had learned how to end a conversation so effectively. “Harry you should probably head out now, ten minutes to ten.” Remus called over looking at the clock on the kitchen’s fireplace mantle. “Oh yeah…” Harry was instantly reminded of why he had been so nervous earlier and felt all the nerves that had been alleviated return just as quickly as they had left. After everyone had wished Harry another round of ‘good lucks’ and ‘you’ll be fines’, and he had assured that everyone would be there in the seats he had, had reserved for them, gotten one last inconspicuous goodbye kiss from Ginny, he made his way out into his office to apparate. * ** *** ** * “Harry are you even listening to me?” Oliver’s voice interrupted Harry’s train of thought. “No,” He replied distractedly. Oliver looked like he was going to say something more, but was stopped by Jerry Burton, England’s coach enter the locker room. His presence settled down the rest of the team and they all slowed down their activities to pay attention to his pre game speech. “Alright!” Jerry’s voice rang throughout the now silent locker room, “I know that for some of you this is old habit by now.” He glanced at a few of the players, “Some of you are coming in from other teams,” He glanced at Oliver and another player who had come from an American Junior League, “And for some of you this is your first shot at anything remotely compared to International Quidditch.” His eyes finally settled on Harry before he looked away again and focused his eyes straight ahead. “No matter where you all have come from, you’re a team now, and a damn good one if my opinion counts at all. There is real talent here, in every single department; we have three outstanding chasers, two beaters who are as vicious on the field as they come, a keeper who makes every save, and a seeker who could catch the tip of a pin instead of the snitch with barely any trouble at all.” The coach paused for a moment, leaving Harry to glance around the room where every member of the team was looking pleased at the praise they had just earned. Oliver, he noticed, had a determined gleam in his eye that could only be brought about by a Quidditch game. “Now Ireland is good, but they have a poor defensive strategy, one that we should be able to break through easy enough, and their seeker has had a poor track record recently.” Jerry continued, “If we work together, we’ll be able to beat them no problem, but we must stay united and help each other out when we’re out there. They may have a bad defense, but they have a keeper good enough to rival Oliver.” Harry saw Oliver give a nod of assent at the coach’s words before turning his attention back to the speech. “Now that is no need to worry, like I said before if we stick together and just use the strategy we used in practice we’ll be fine. Also, remember that this is only a pre-season game; it doesn’t count in our standings, but that doesn’t mean any of you can slack off. This game is being highly profiled, so I suggest you all do everything in your power to give them a good show. We’re going to show them that England is a force to be reckoned with.” *** “AND NOW WELCOME ONTO THE FIELD THE IRELAND NATIONAL QUIDDITCH TEAM JOHNSON, WARD, SHERRY, SIMINGTON, BLOOM, MARSI, AND CRICKET!” The announcer called out into the stadium. The crowd roared their approval as the Ireland team came flying out onto the field in green and gold uniforms. The Ireland Team did a lap around the field, finishing they positioned themselves onto the field to await the entrance of England. “AND NOW PLEASE WELCOME THE ENGLISH NATIONAL QUIDDITCH TEAM, YOUR HOME PLAYERS, WE HAVE MARPLE, MATIN, ANDERSON, BROWN, WOOD, PIERCE, AND SEEKER HARRRRRRYYYYY POOOTTTTTEEEERRRR!” The crowd let out a deafening roar as England flew onto the field, which increased with extreme gusto at Harry’s entrance, who decided to ignore the cheers of the crowd and concentrate fully on the game at hand. As Harry flew around on his opening lap, he felt his prior jitters melt away, all he felt was the wind blowing through his hair, this was where he belonged… * ** *** ** * “AND HARRY POTTER HAS CAUGHT THE SNITCH!” The announcer roared over the deafening screams of the crowd an hour later as Harry lowered himself onto the ground, quickly engulfed in a large hug by his excited teammates. But it wasn’t his teammates, the crowd, the various reporters who had come to cover the match, or his coach’s praise that caught his attention, it was the group of people up in the stands jumping about and hugging each other that made him feel happiest of all, because up in those stands was Sirius, Remus, Hermione, Ron, The Weasleys, his parents, and many others who mattered to him. They were all there. His family. * ** *** ** * * ** *** ** * Well there you go, it’s over, this fic is officially over. El Fin. Done. Over with. Sorry about the cheesy ending, and the short epilogue, I wanted to have this whole Quidditch match typed out, plus a few other scenes, but it’s around 2 am, and I’m going out of town this weekend, so this was about as much as I had time for. I might come back at some point and add that in though. It feels really weird typing this, after all the work I’ve put into it, it’s finally over. Well, not really, there is still the sequel. I have given a great amount of thought to the sequel and I think I’m settling on having the time frame when Harry is a bit older, and maybe with a family. The plot line I have planned out, could really work at any age, but I feel it would be best in the aforementioned time frame. As far as when it will be posted, I honestly cannot answer. I have a few things I want to finish before I even attempt a new plot line. I want to finish my Lily and James Story, edit this story, and post a revised version on fanfiction.net. Once that’s all done, then I plan to focus all attention on the sequel. I want to write a lot of the sequel before it’s posted though, as I feel it helps to be able to go back and change things as you write further with the story, helps things flow better. In reality I really think that this fic, although it had a strong response, was lacking due to the fact that I changed my mind on quite a few occurrences and characters halfway though the writing, leaving a few things vague, with not a lot of foreshadowing, and in my opinion quite a few sketchy transitions. That’s partly why I want to edit this story on this site, and post a revised version on another; I won’t be able to rest with this until I’m completely satisfied that it is the best I can do. I plan on editing each chapter one at a time, and will place an asterisk next to the edited chapter’s title, on the chapter page, so if you’re inclined you can check that out, as it’s being re-published. I will go through correctall grammer faux paus, and add in a lot of extra scenes, some of which may have impact on the story line of the sequel, so I would recommend at least glancing over them. I must also take this opportunity to thank absolutely everyone who has responded to this story, and inspired me with ideas and encouragement along the way, without all of you this story wouldn’t have made it past chapter one. And for that I am very, very grateful. So, that’s it, not much more to say, although I will tell you the title of the sequel so you’ll be able to look out for it, it will be called…The Truth About Tomorrow, and I will tell you now that Harry fights as much of an internal battle as external. So please watch for that in the future. Many thanks over and over again, I really cannot emphasize how much the response has meant to me. Much, Much. Much love, Treacy, a.k.a SeaMar “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” --I really have no idea who said this, but I absolutely love it!
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