There doesn't have to be a reason

Epilogue

Soon enough, the Sorting Hat was back where it belonged, with a hand waved explanation that they found it in some corridor. The sword stayed safely locked away in Lisa's trunk, until she could think of something to do with the damned thing, other than keep it away from Death Eaters. She had discussed with Remus whether or not it was a good idea to turn it in somewhere, but Voldemort had people in the Ministry and as the Hat had already proven, even Dumbledore's office wasn't safe.

The rest of May and June passed by in a blur, as the exams came and went. Gryffindor lost the last Quidditch match against Ravenclaw, but thanks to their enormous lead against Hufflepuff, still won the Cup for about a third year in a row, which inflated James' head to unseen proportions and made him just insufferable for a while.

The Death Eaters weren't happy about their failure one bit, but Dorcas hexed anyone who as much as looked at Lisa funny. Touched by how he almost died for her, Marlene got over herself and gave Peter a chance, which finally made Dorcas admit she was wrong about something for once. Frank passed an incredible amount of N.E.W.T.s and told Lisa he was thinking of applying to the Auror Office. Lily stopped addressing James by his last name and warmed up to him considerably since the beginning of the year.

Lisa and Remus were as happy as ever. Excluding the occasional guilt crisis, he was the kindest, sweetest, most attentive boyfriend she could have ever wished for. Their friends eventually got used to the 'disgusting' book reading and other things they did together, though Sirius had the most trouble letting go of the jokes.

The two of them sat comfortably next to each other in the train compartment in the Hogwarts Express on the last day of June, which was taking them to their last summer vacation. Dorcas, Lily, Frank, Alice, Marlene and the Marauders barely fit in with them, so some of the couples had to share a seat.

"What is it?" Remus asked, noticing Lisa was staring out the window and not participating in the conversation.

"Nothing," she shot quickly.

He was silent for a moment, but was too perceptive for his own good. "You're thinking of her, aren't you?"

Lisa sighed deeply. "I just... I don't know what to say to them. I don't know where I'm even going. Our house was destroyed, so..."

"You're going to Grandpa's," Frank called, having overheard. "Uncle Rob told me at the funeral."

Remus gave her a sad smile. At least they'd be close during the summer.

Lisa cringed at the mention of the funeral. How would she even react upon seeing her parents? She hadn't read a singe owl they sent her since that day. Deep down she knew she wasn't being fair, but she was so angry with them. They were there, yet she died! They let her die!

Sensing her anger somehow, Remus laced his fingers with hers and it seeped away, replaced by his comforting warmth.

She didn't let go of him, even as the train arrived at Platform 9 ¾ and she looked around nervously. Her parents were nowhere to be seen.

"Take care," Frank said, pulling her into a strong hug.

"You too," Lisa muttered into his chest.

"I'll come visit," he promised her and made way for Alice's hug.

"Write the usual way," Dorcas said when she embraced her. "Owls are too unreliable right now."

"And be careful," Lily added worriedly when her turn came.

"I'm more concerned about you," Lisa told her. "Keep in constant contact with Marlene and the Marauders. If anything happens—"

"You really think I'll let it get to that?" James asked cockily, throwing an arm around Lily's shoulders. "You don't have to worry, I'll watch over her."

Lily rolled her eyes in annoyance and removed his arm, but the corners of her mouth were twisting upward. Sirius and Marlene nodded behind them, and Lisa gave them a small smile, feeling a bit more reassured.

"See ya next year, Pete," she added to the short boy and ruffled his hair.

"I don't see your parents, but mine are coming this way," Remus said and the two of them waved goodbye to their friends, as everyone split off to find their families.

Upon seeing Lisa, Hope Lupin pulled her into a tight, motherly embrace. "Oh love, I'm so sorry about what happened to you! Your parents took it very hard; they sent us to get you so they wouldn't attract attention..." Her eyes trailed off to Lisa and her son's intertwined fingers and when she smiled at her, there were tears gleaming in her eyes.

They made their way to the magical barrier and Lisa stopped and stared at it. On the other side was the real world, a world of pain and death, of danger and uncertainty. A world where she had to look her parents in the eyes and walk around a house full of haunting memories. Remus squeezed her fingers gently and she looked at him, as he gave her a slight, reassuring smile. She squeezed him back and took a deep breath.

Whatever was out there, they would at least face it together.


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