This is the epilogue, and my favourite chapter.
I Aslansphoenix declare that I do not own the Wizarding world, Hogwarts or any of the information, characters, ideas provided by the great J. K. Rowling. Or anything else that you may recognise. Well I do own all the characters that you don't recognise, but they belong to the Harry Potter world so they don't really count.
I promise that I am not making any money for or from this story; I am only writing it for enjoyment.
Chapter Twenty - 70 Years Later.
It was an autumn afternoon one day that the Forbidden Forest saw an old man walking along the path. The man; whose hair had once been as red as fire was now as white as the moon, his skin was leathery with wrinkles and laugh-lines, and he no longer moved with constant energy of leaps and bounds.
But Godric Gryffindor still stood and walked as a noble knight, his bearing still held the power that commanded all who encountered him, and his blue eyes still held the starlight of mischief.
Slowly he made his way beside the stream, heading towards the middle of the forest; a place that only the Founders and the ones they had married, had known about. It was a clearing; a circle of trees surrounding four giant marble statues and four tombs. Godric arrived and eased himself onto a boulder leaning against a tree.
He leaned back and gazed fondly at the four statues. A cunning looking snake, an intelligent eagle, a loyal badger, and towards the East his own lion resting protectively in front of the rest and his yet to be filled tomb.
The old man smiled and began to speak.
"Here we are, all Four again.
I was told that I am a Great-Great-Grandfather today. Which means you are a Great-Great-Grandmother Helga. Our granddaughter, it is still hard to believe that my daughter married one of your sons, she married that Weasley boy.
Oh you would hate him Sal, he and his whole family are as Gryffindor-ish and muggle-loving as you can get, but don't worry the Malfoy family you are so fond of, they still have that family rivalry going on with the Weasleys. Oh Helga, one of your other granddaughter's just got engaged … to Abbot Someone, or was that Someone Abbot? Oh well he was a nice young Hufflepuff either way.
Oh; you'll be happy to know Ro – Ravenclaw won the house cup last year. And we have a Slytherin Minister of Magic, isn't that good Sal?
You know I still have trouble believing that I am the last of us still alive, we were all convinced that I would be the first to die; doing something stupid and heroic. Instead though; Sal died being heroic ... Don't worry Sal, as per your request I haven't told a soul about that. Then Ro died from a sickness; I still wish you had told me I would've travelled the world to find a cure for. Then Helga dying suddenly of heart failure, some twenty odd years ago ... I'm just glad you didn't feel any pain.
And here I am; an old man, Headmaster of the oldest Magical School in Britain. Yeah, yeah I finally admitted I'm the Headmaster don't look so smug. Actually I'm not, not anymore – I finally retired just yesterday. It was a little bit sad to hand over my school to another, but it was time and I know the school will be safe.
Even with Peeves causing chaos ... but the Baron keeps him in line.
Ro, I hope you do believe me when I say that even though Helena is a ghost, I'm sure she loves you, why else would she have come back to Hogwarts?
I hid my sword a few years ago. Would you believe - in the Sorting Hat; which I still like by the way! Well now ... any true Gryffindor that needs help, especially to save someone, they'll be able to pull it out of the hat and they'll be able to pull it from wherever the sword is.
I want you to know … I love you all. The three of you are my best friends, my family. Even you Sal, even though we fought and you hated all things good I still love you brother … I am – for once - being completely serious, you all at some point stated that; me saving you when I was ten (– was I ever that young?) was amazing to your lives, but I don't think any of you realised how important to me it was.
I never got to properly thank-you. I said thank-you but I wish I could have told you in a more official-have-you-believe-me-way.
I love you all.
What is dying like?
I have faced death so many times and always survived … now I cannot defeat Him … I do not even want to … to live for forever would be … lonely I think.
Although it would be incredible to watch the numerous grandchildren of mine, and Helga's grandchildren and those that are the great-grandchildren of the both of us, grow up … And to see all the Hogwarts students and how Hogwarts will flourish … Remember how we came up with the name, Ro and Sal complaining about warts and hogs. It was really quite funny.
Do you know, I think I am finally ready to greet Death as the old friend he really is. I will see you all, and my beautiful wife soon … soon.
It's a beautiful day don't you think."
Godric stopped talking and rested his head against the tree. He started singing the Hogwarts school song then slowly fell silent and listened to the nature of the forest.
Red and gold leaves gently wafted down from the tree branches and the sun warmly caressed the magical clearing.
And so it was that the last of the Hogwarts Founders, an old wizard with the spirit of a ten year old hero, slept with a smile on his face.
And for a time; all was well.
Here this Story ends.
Thank-you for taking the time to read this.
Saturday 13th January 2018.