DAYD Chapter 25- "Epilogue"
Neville: Here we are, guys. The last hurrah. The Final Countdown.
Harry: I can't believe it. The long more-than-a-year of torture is finally over.
Ginny: After all we've been through together…the laughter…the tears…the sex jokes…that odd long break where we thought we might not have to finish…
Luna: The slash….oh, the slash…
Hannah: Where are Ron and Hermione?
Neville: They decided to sit this one out, so it could be for us like it was when we started this thing-
Harry: But I was just a guest when we started.
Luna: Yes, and I wasn't involved…
Hannah: Nor I.
Me: Shut up! I can't keep track of seven characters for such a short piece! And Harry and Luna were practically there from the beginning! And Hannah has to be there because she's in this bit!
Hannah: Robert's here as well…
Neville: To comfort me.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 – FIFTEEN YEARS LATER
Ginny: Hmm, and here I thought the world was supposed to end in 2012. It would be worth it if it meant this fic didn't exist.
Someone was watching him, he could feel it.
Luna: Oh no, he's discovered us!
Neville's fingers tightened on the handle of his wand as he scanned the thick foliage carefully, looking for the glint of an eye, the fold of a robe that would give it away. There. The edge of a shoe peeked from beneath the glossy dark green leaves of the Flutterby bush, and his wand flashed out with lightning speed. "Levicorpus!"
There was a shriek and a rustle of branches as his would-be attacker was hoisted swiftly into the air, dangling now at eye-level by one ankle. He was filthy, caked in mud, but he was giggling madly, the round cheeks brightly flushed,
Harry: Manhandle your children with weird spells Snape invented! They love it!
Neville: For someone who claims to hate Snape, he is sure fond of his spells.
and Neville sighed deeply. "Hannah!" he called. "Do a head-count! You've lost one!"
Hannah: As a woman, it is my job to make sure the children don't bother the menfolk. Good to know nothing's changed in this fic universe.
A moment's pause, and his wife appeared at the kitchen door, hands on her hips as she regarded the dangling two year-old. Her lips were set in a long-suffering frown of exasperation, but her eyes were dancing as she exchanged a look with her husband, then turned stern again as she faced the child. "Tiresius Michael Longbottom, you are amudball!And what have I told you about stalking Daddy?"
Luna: That's nice! He named the child after Terry and Mike's love affair!
(The next part is just fluff about the kid being cute. I'm not trying to be a jerk, so I won't spork it, there's really nothing offensive or terrible here at all)
"It seemed like a good idea at the time," he shrugged, "Ernie couldn't remember where he and Trev had buried Peggy's gobstones when they were playing goblins, so I thought I'd enlist a little help."
Neville: "Trev?" I named the kid after my toad?
Hannah: No, in this fic that's your grandfather's name, remember?
Neville: Oh right, I named my toad after my grandfather. That makes much more sense. I'm glad my toad didn't have to be in this fic, by the way. At least he escaped the horror.
"Did not occur to me." He slipped one arm around her waist, nuzzling her golden hair. Terry's sobbing protest had faded for the moment, as a beetle had landed on his arm, and he was poking at it in fascination, the prospect of the dreaded b-word forgotten in the simple distractibility of the very young. "I'm useless without you, Hannah, you know that. I don't know how you manage it – leave me alone for a weekend with five children, and –
Ginny: HE IS A MAN, THEREFORE HE CANNOT LOOKS AFTER KIDS, THAT IS WOMENS WORK.
"These never stay clean long anyway," he gave a rueful smile, brushing only half-heartedly at the remains of the beetle. "We're doing Mimbulus Mimbletonia today."
Neville: Look, Robert! He's talking about your brethren.
Everyone else: ….
She made a face. "You're leaving your robes at the door, then."
Neville raised one eyebrow, giving her a suggestive smile. "Really?"
For a moment, she looked as though she were about to scold him for his cheek,
Hannah: Er, aren't we married? Why would I scold him for suggesting sex?
then her smile deepened, the emerald green of her eyes seemed to darken,
Hannah: Therrrre we go! Knew those had to be mentioned at least once.
Ginny: We have to continue the drinking game into the last chapter!
and she leaned in closely, her breath warm against his ear as she flicked her tongue lightly against the side of his neck, making him shiver.
Ginny: I may throw up.
Luna: Why must I see only bland, vanilla pairings and be denied my plant orgy?
"Definitely. But grade papers or something and get here after nine so all of the beasties are in bed."
Hannah: God forbid you come home early and help me deal with the kids before our rollicking sex.
"Yes, ma'am," he nodded, then checked his watch, "but I'm going to be late if I don't –"
"Go ahead." She gave him another quick kiss, then flicked her wand again, letting Terry drop but catching him expertly, wrapping him in a tight cocoon of her apron before he could get so much as a speck of mud anywhere else. "And don't forget, we've got dinner at the Potters' tomorrow,
Ginny: Please don't come.
and theProphetsent an owl; they want to do a piece on the epidemic of hackleweed on the east coast, and they've asked for an expert opinion."
"I don't have time for an interview,
Neville: I'M TOO IMPORTANT!
(snip for class getting ready)
The class was already waiting when he got there, and in the front row, a tall young wizard crossed his arms, his hair flashing red with annoyance before settling to this week's vibrant canary yellow. "Late again, Professor?"
"Less than a minute, Mr. Lupin," he replied evenly.
Harry: Wow, the author managed to turn Teddy into a jerk while giving him just one line. That takes talent.
"And your first assignment today is that the next time you write your families, I want you all to apologize for ever having been two years old. Especially if you ever had insectivore tendencies."
Several of the students exchanged looks of confusion,
Harry: Apparently they are very dumb.
but he did not explain further, instead turning to the cactus-like plant on his desk and gently, carefully stroking the pustule-covered branches. It had been his for almost twenty years now, and it knew his touch, thrumming with what was very nearly a purr.
Neville: Could it be-?
"Now, does anyone know how I can do this, and what I'd get covered in if I didn't do it right?"
"Stinksap?" guessed a girl.
Hannah: Whose name he could did not care to know, apparently.
"And you've earned its trust, right?"
Neville: It's HIM, thank you very much.
Ginny: Neville, this is getting frightening.
"Exactly, and Stinksap isveryaptly named. Actually, the first year I had this little fellow, I decided to poke it with my quill, and I managed to douse an entire train compartment really very impressively. Drenched a half-dozen people and couldn't get the smell out of my robes for days.
Neville: Oh God, Robert, it is you. I'm so sorry you have to be in this fic. I feel like I might have made it happen by bringing you along! *snuggles him to his chest*
(I had completely forgotten the MM was actually in this epilogue when I did that joke about Robert sooooooo many moons ago. Then I realized it later on. Serendipity!)
But we're going to be covering that in a lot more detail this year,
Luna: The plants are planning their Great Rebellion as we speak…
along with a lot of other plants that can be either incredibly interesting or really pretty dangerous if you don't watch what you're doing. You guys are fifth-years now, so you're old enough to play with the big kids."
"What are the big kids?" Lupin asked eagerly.
"Venomous Tentacula, Devil's Snare, Snargaluff…" he grinned, "…the good stuff."
Harry: He sounds like a pusher.
Another girl in the back row stretched her hand high in the air, waving it to catch the Professor's attention. Neville nodded to her. "Miss Tenser?"
"Yes, sir…is it true that you used those to fight Death Eaters? I read inHogwarts: A Historythat plants were used in the defense, and I know you were –"
Harry: Stealing Hermione's line! The nerve of that girl!
"Nice try." Neville chuckled, then paused, coming around the desk to sit on the front edge, one leg crossed casually over the other as he looked across the bright young faces glowing in the golden September light that poured through the glass walls of the greenhouse.
Neville: Not just golden light, golden September light!
AS YOU KNOW BOB "I've been your teacher since Sprout retired in your second year
Ginny: "In case you've forgotten that for some reason, I'm reminding all of you!"
, and since…oh…" he paused in a moment of mock-contemplation, "…I guess about two minutes after I started, I've been getting questions about these –" Neville tapped a finger against the scars that ran diagonally across his cheeks,
Neville: "The students rolled their eyes, knowing he had actually been pointed at them empathetically until they had finally humored him and asked."
Ginny: Any excuse to bring up his scars. Nice to see the years haven't changed him.
"—and about the war. And I've been telling you that you're too young, that I'll tell you later. Well, I'm being honest. I've been holding out to make you want it more,
Hannah: Wow, he REALLY hasn't changed.
Ginny: Once a conceited douche, always a conceited douche.
because I'm going to quite frankly bribe you."
There was a shuffling of benches as the students leaned forward, some eagerly, some with looks of suspicion.
Ginny: "You're not going to force us to take off your shirt to show us your scarred and manly chest, are you? Because we hear you like to do that."
Neville's smile widened, and he reached into his pocket, pulling out a gleaming gold coin. "Does anyone know what this is?"
Ginny: "I will PAY you if you watch me flex."
"Is that one of therealones? From Dumbledore's Army?" Adrian Wood gasped, the young Seeker's eyes widening in awe.
"Yes, it is. Still works too…although these days, my wife usually just uses it to tell me I left something at home," he acknowledged. "But I made this deal with my last two O.W.L. classes…everyone who's been carrying marks enough that I think they'll pass, I'll tell them the whole story. Not what you get inHogwarts: A History.Not what you'll find in old copies of theProphet. The real thing. A lot of people would say you're too young to hear it,
Neville: "But I say people should be exposed to terrible fanfic at a young age, so they can get used to it. Besides, despite the gore and violence, the whole story is rather childish."
but the way I see it, if half the witches and wizards wholivedit were your age, you're certainly old enough toknowabout it. It'll take all day,
Neville: "Because I do like the ramble….in purple prose…"
Harry: Really? All DAY? Those kids are going to get very bored very quickly.
but one of the advantages of teaching Herbology is that we get to do field trips when I say, and it'll be the last day or two of school, so it won't be a problem clearing your schedule."
A murmur of excitement rippled through the class, and Teddy Lupin raised his hand again. "All we've got to do is pass?"
"I expect you to do your best, and I'll grade accordingly if I think you're not really trying, but yes, that's the deal," he nodded. "Acceptable or better, and you get the story of the whole year."
Ginny: That year, a great majority of the class failed Herbology on purpose, and their teacher was fired.
His eyes fell on a girl in the second row. She was sturdy yet slender,
Hannah: Well, thank God she was slender. Otherwise she would have been sacrificed to the Dark Gods of this fic.
Luna: Or become victim of the Flesh-Sucking Robes!
a rustic beauty with long, dark hair and her mother's sweet, pursed mouth, but she had her father's hazel eyes, and Neville's smile turned bittersweet.
Ginny: He smeared dark chocolate ALL OVER his mouth.
"And this time in particular, Miss Macmillan, I'm going to make sure to tell it right."
Ginny: Oh, no! The spawn!
Harry: Wait, he's bribing her with the story of how her father died? That's sort of twisted, isn't it? Also, way to single her out in front of the entire class! I know I always loved it when teachers did that to me.
Hannah: Wouldn't she have already heard the whole thing from other sources, anyway? Her mother…her mother's friends…
Ginny: She only heard the story from DAINTY WOMEN! Time to hear it from a REAL MAN! With SCARS!
Neville: What matters the most is we must publically remind the Macmillan girl that her father is dead! In the middle of class! And refuse to tell her how it happened until she passes Herbology!
Ginny: I'm glad this story keeps true to its roots and ends with its main character being a jerk.
ooo THE END ooo
Neville: Oh God are you kidding me FINALL-
Harry: There's still the author's note.
Me: I'll spork that without characters.
Ginny: Wow. Here we are. At the end. I suppose we should all reflect on what we've seen. I saw someone with my name reduced to dainty, fiery arm-candy that wants to bone Neville because Harry isn't as cool or something. Any role I had in reforming the DA was totally shoved aside to make way for Neville's manly prowess.
Hannah: I was the same, except without the fiery part. Also, I had to be made skinny to fit with this fic's ideal of beauty.
Neville: I saw a posturing nitwit who was so insecure about his masculinity he had to rub it in everyone's faces every five seconds, cut off human emotions, crow constantly about how everyone was going to die, try to hog the spotlight at all time, pretend he was in a military base and skip through a rain of blood at the very end. He was an overblown, testosterone-driven, military fetishizing arse who was determined to get all the conventionally attractive girls, always be in charge, and let everyone know he was not the crybaby loser I am and everyone who was mean to him in primary school better watch out. It was some bizarre projection of various teenaged boys' fantasies and weird issues. Who knows.
Harry: I was told I was not good enough and hadn't suffered enough to be a hero by this fic several times in several different ways. I was presented as some sort of fallen idol. It was odd. I was just a kid trying to do my best, but apparently that's reprehensible.
Luna: I saw several young men fail to work out their sexual repression and instead project it into machismo. The young women never got to go free and do as they desired, instead they were shackled to the men as trophies to prove heterosexuality and manhood. Seamus was possessed by a malevolent leprechaun. Snape got a Greasefly stuck in her hair that turned him quite homicidal. Neville was attacked by various diseases that gave him terrible strength and plant powers he never used for justice. Hannah died a slow, sad death from the flesh-eating monsters stuck in her robes. The sea of blood at the end reveals this dimension to be in fact as sacrificial grounds to some dark ritual, possibly so the Lord of it can gain followers by pitting these unlikable, poor creatures against each other like animals fighting for entertainment. But don't worry, someday I will infiltrate this dark world, crack the Ravenclaw conspiracy, overthrow the evil overlord and liberate the subjects. And I will write a book about it. It will sell quite well.
Harry: I'll buy it!
Neville: That was such a nice speech.
Ginny: Well, we survived this. Congratulations to us. It was nearly as hard as fighting Voldemort. Come on, Harry, let's shag until we forget all this. And then play Quidditch or something.
Harry: Sounds like a plan.
Luna: I'm off to discover new species!
Neville: I suppose I'll put Robert away and we can have relaxing cup of tea, Hannah?
Hannah: Sounds nice. I hope to never meet any of you in these sorts of circumstances again.
Everyone: Farewell, and thankfully this is over!
FINAL AUTHOR'S NOTES
(Snipping the super-long disclaimer)
"Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness" has been a truly massive undertaking, far more than I ever imagined when it began. It has wound up at more than 247,000 words, which is far longer than the novel which originally inspired it,
Oh, Jesus, no wonder it took so long to spork. And half of those words could have been cut out. Sometimes less is more, you know!
and I have my readers to thank for this. You have stuck by Neville and the D.A. for over two months,
He…he wrote this in two months? He wrote a fanfic that was LONGER THAN THE SEVENTH HARRY POTTER BOOK in two months? Did he do absolutely nothing else with his life during that time period? Not that it's any of my business, but wow. I suppose I'm jealous, I can't even really manage a page of writing a day. Though, maybe this thing would have turned out better if he'd taken it slower and sent it off to be edited or something.
through all the ups and downs of this wild ride. I am aware that following such a story is an effort and a dedication just as much as writing it,
You have no idea how much effort and dedication it takes to SPORK it. Uggggh…
and I want you to know that if you have gotten this far, I truly thank you, and would love to hear from you.
Unless you're wondering about those con-artist charges, in which case he probably wouldn't. Just stating a fact…
This is the first thing I have ever written, and I am always delighted to know that others have read it, whether they loved or hated it.
I hated it. But I did read it. Multiple times. So you must be super delighted.
It is my intention that you have laughed occasionally,
Probably not for the reasons you wanted, but yes.
maybe even cried,
Probably not for the reasons you wanted but- no, never mind, I've never cried. That's sort of weird thing to say you wanted your readers to do. Though I'm always flattered when someone's moved enough by my writing to cry, I never state it as my goal and am always floored I can evoke such a reaction in someone. But that's just me.
and I would hope that at least once or twice, it has made you think.
It has made me think about gender issues, stereotyping, and military fetishes a lot, but only because the fic was so bad about those things. If you meant for this fic to get me to think new things about war and children, I'm afraid the fact none of your characters acted like children and also that the gore and "oppression" was so over-the-top and cartoonish it was unbelievable. If want a nuanced take on war, child soldiers and the oppression surrounding such circumstances, there are stories told by people who handle it with the sensitivity is deserves, people who have actually researched and even experienced it. You clearly did neither, as is obvious even to someone who has no experience with such circumstances (save my Dad's war stories and various other accounts I've heard and read). You handled it with subtlety of a sledgehammer.
The characters you have followed through this story were almost all originally background people in the Harry Potter books, but even the people in the background of our lives are still people, and everyone has a story to tell. The D.A. certainly grabbed me by the keyboard and demanded to tell theirs.
Huh, I wonder how someone grabs someone else by the keyboard. Since it is apparently fictional characters who did this, perhaps that's best not contemplated.
This story, however, is not dedicated to my readers, or to a group of fictional, if – at least to me – compelling teenagers. It is dedicated to the real-life soldiers who gave their time and effort to help me with the psychology of war.
I'm sorry, I really doubt you talked to anyone all that much. You wrote this story in two months, so I can't at all imagine you had the time to do the appropriate research. There was also absolutely nothing in your story that reflected anything about real life war.
Many of these young men and women are as young as eighteen themselves, and they are not fighting with wands and hexes on the grounds of an imaginary wizarding school. They fire real bullets and shed real blood on the very non-fictional battlefields of the Muggle world even as you read this, andtheircourage,theirsacrifice is too often ignored because they do so out of our daily sight.
The author likes to pretend to be one of them!
If you have admired the bravery of the young witches and wizards in this story, know that I have based a great deal of it – especially what a young person goes through in battle, what it is like to watch a friend die, what it is like to prepare for your own death when you have barely begun to live – on these real heroes.
The part where they survived a ridiculous number of lashes and then passed out for three days without food or water bleeding freely was also based on real heroes! Except no.
Go ahead and drop me some feedback if you want, but I would also ask that the next time you spot a young man or woman in uniform, take a moment to shake their hand. Their truth is much greater than fiction.
Did…he just do a namedrop of himself at the end, there? He did. Okay, moving on.
- Andrew a.k.a. Thanfiction
Fool in Charge
Author: Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness
…You don't have to add that last line, who else would be writing the afterword and have that username?
Anyway, with this, the sporking of DAYD is finally finished. It's been a long journey. I'd like to clarify a few things.
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