A few weeks after they discharge me from the hospital, I sit outside the hole on the beach cliff watching the waves and the cloudy sky, feeling the sand between my toes, the soft and gentle zephyr blowing through my hair. Some of the memories from the real world that were supposed to have erased by this dream world I was inside of have been slowly worming their way back to the front of my mind and oftentimes, I find myself needing quiet places in order to reflect on the thoughts.
The memories from the dream world stay with me as well. All of the good, such as seeing a crumple-horned snorkack, and the bad, such as witnessing Dotty Pop getting decapitated by her own sister. These memories are so vivid and surreal that I doubt I shall ever forget them.
"Thought you'd be a tad lonely being out here by yourself for so long," a voice says.
I look up to see dad smiling kindly at me. Things have been slightly tense on his side. He's tried to keep out of my way as much as possible, but I think I understand why. But if he wants to be by me, I don't mind their either.
"You don't mind if I sit out here, do you?" he asks timidly.
"If you want to."
He takes a seat next to me and for a few moments we say nothing. But I don't mind. There are people you can be with and merely their presence is enough. We sit in each other's presence in such a way for a few moments until he speaks up.
"How many more days is it until you go back to school?" he asks.
"Shouldn't be too long now," I reply.
"I'm hoping to take some magizoology courses with Rolf."
"Rolf, isn't he the one with the swarthy skin?"
"Yes, that's him."
A few more moments of silence pass.
"Luna," he sighs.
"Do you….like him?"
I shrug at this.
"Of course. Rolf's my friend."
"Yes, but do you like him more than that?"
"Since when were you so interested in my love life?" I laugh playfully.
"Ah! So you DO love him!" dad gasps in triumph.
After trying to figure out an alternative meaning behind that, I come up clean and I sigh in defeat as my cheeks blare red.
"Yes, I do love Rolf."
"Do you think you might marry him?"
"I dunno," I reply.
"Marriage is probably far in the future for me. But I have been thinking about names for my children, should I decide to have them. I think I'd go with Lydia or Lysistrata if she's a girl. If he's a boy, I'd go with, maybe, Lorcan or Lysander."
"Oh," he responds.
We sit in more silence until he finally asks what he's been asking for a while now.
"Do you…truly forgive me…..for what happened that night?" he asks cautiously.
"Of course," I say sincerely.
"Hermione told me she figured you all were controlled by Riddle at the time. Even if you weren't, you had a valid reason for feeling that way."
"Doesn't mean that it was the right thing to do, though."
"No, it wasn't. But when extreme emotions take over, you rarely think about what's truly right and wrong. It's not always the first thing that comes to your mind."
"I suppose you're right about that."
Another long moment of silence passes before I begin to feel a bit tired.
"I think I may take a nap here," I say as I prepare to lie on the warm sand.
"You're not worried about getting sand in your hair?"
"Don't worry," I laugh.
"I'll take a bath or a shower afterwards."
"Nevertheless, I think sand inside of a house is supposed to attract baby nargles. Do you want to use my leg as a pillow?"
I lean my head against his leg.
"When you wake up," he says.
"Will you tell me about what your mother looked like when you saw her? And what she said?"
I look up at him and nod.
"Of course. And I can tell you about the dream world I went to. And maybe if you modify the machine so that it doesn't take away my memories, I don't think I'd mind going back to that dream world every now and again."
"Not until I figure out the proper dosage of the pink mist, as well as how to rebuild it correctly," he says shaking his head as he gives me a soft smile.
"It's still hard to imagine that my little Luna is growing up into such a beautiful, strong, and intelligent young woman"
"Growing up? Yes. Growing old?" I yawn.
"I don't know. I believe anyone can stay a child-at-heart. It simply can take more work in this world, depending on who you are. I think it's simply easier for me because I'm not as exposed to the evils of the world as some might be, or at least not as affected by them, but I don't really mind. Innocence can be useful, or even powerful, to the one who has it, after all."
"Very true," he says as I settle in.
"But do you think you'll still be sweet and innocent when you are old and I may be gone?"
I consider his question for a moment. After some time of thought, I shrug.
"I don't really know. Only time may tell. But innocent or not, what matters is that I'm true to myself."
I feel the breeze in my hair and listen to the waves crashing on the shore, reflecting back on some of the happy memories mum, dad, and I all shared. I deliberate in my head whether what I saw on one of our beach trips truly was a crumple-horned snorkack until I begin to feel myself drifting off.
And for the first time, in a long time, life is at peace.
(Author's Notes): GAHHHH! I've been so reluctant to upload this one. Why? Because this is the last chapter of THIS fanfic. I just have to tweak and edit some chapters. I may make a sequel with the Tom and Luna ending or endings. Or I may add it onto here. Who knows? But I do know that, for now, the main storyline of this fanfic is finished.
I'd like to thank everyone who's come along with me on this journey. Those who've liked it and have commented.
Oh! And I have ideas for other fanfics. Keep a watch on the author's notes in this chapter because I may update it with information on future fanfics!
Until then, stay beautiful. :)