AN: And here we are, the last chapter of this story, my dearest followers. I would like to thank you all for your wonderful and most welcome support and comments. They are what motivates my writing, and I hope to bring you another story soon (yes, I already have a few ideas)! Enjoy the rest of your holidays, whether winter or summer, and much love to you all. Always,
FIVE YEARS LATER
"Viva Katherine Lupin! Sit down this instance and don't make me repeat myself!" Hermione said sternly and watched as her daughter finally sat down quietly, realising she has done something wrong.
"I'm sorry, mummy.." she said quietly, not looking up at her mama. She was a good mummy and she loved her very much, and Viva knew she only raised her voice when she did something wrong. But what did she do?
Hermione sighed and rand a hand through her wild curls as she crouched beside her chair. "What are you sorry for? What is it that you did wrong, Viva?" she asked gently, coaxing her little girl to realise her mistake.
Viva thought quietly for a moment before looking up at her mummy. "I was running around the kitchen?" she piped up softly.
Hermione nodded her head. "Yes. There are times when you can and cannot. This was the time when you ran around the kitchen and it was not a good time. Why?" she coaxed further until she saw her daughter realise it.
"There is a large pot and flame!" she pointed to the cooker.
Hermione nodded. "Yes, ma petite. Nd you know you are not to run around when something so hot can fall on you." she smiled.
"Oui, mummy. I'm sorry." he said softly.
"There, all is forgotten if you promise me not to do it again." she smiled and kissed her little girl's forehead. "Go play now with your brother, he's in the garden."
She chuckled and shook her head when her little ball of energy ran out, already calling for Teddy. She looked at the exuberant boy of almost 6 years, laughing and chasing his little sister around the swings. It looked like he was in a very happy mood today as his hair kept flashing all colours of rainbows. It was not a rare sight, but even in happiness he often settled on just one. A rainbow was an indicator that it would be quite fun putting him down to sleep that night.
A pair of strong arms wrapped around her waist and pulled her close into the heat of a large male frame. The smile on her face widened a little and she leaned back into her fiance.
"She's learning fast." Remus said softly against the skin of her neck as he teased it with his lips.
Hermione hummed and closed her eyes as she enjoyed the simple affections Remus always bestowed upon her. "She is I let her watch the French programme from the 80s, about life and the human body, you know the animated one. She wouldn't speak English to me until after lunch." she chuckled.
"And her latin?" Remus asked.
"Soon. She's picking up bits and pieces from my spell work and research when I pace and learn out loud. But I don't think she'll need it for another year or so before she goes to magical pre-school. Her magic is guided by her core for now, not by spells." she mused. "Oh, Teddy drew you a picture today."
"Let me see." he said and let Hermione slip from his arms, only to return with Teddy's sketchbook. He was no Leonardo yet, but he clearly had artistic skills. The wolf was a little shaky in places, and still pretty simple, but with more lessons Teddy could grow into his talent. "We need to sign him up for some lessons." Remus mused as he leafed through the pages.
"Does he take after you, or was Tonks artistic?" Hermione asked, looking over the drawings with him.
"Dora, definitely. All Blacks were led to a proper education, painting and music very much a part of it. Or so she told me once.." he mused, remembering his former wife for a moment. Ever since he and Moony became one, he realised his love for Tonks may have been honest, but not quite what this love for his mate felt. Even so he felt a sense of nostalgia whenever he thought of the woman taken from him.
"You should talk to him. I mean I know you tell him plenty about Tonks, but this could make him even more motivated to draw, be closer to his real mum." she suggested.
Remus shook his head. "I will tell him, and we can sign him up for some classes. But you know you are his real mum. Teddy knows no other. He hears about his birth mother, and respects that you did not give birth to him but you must surely see he loves like you like the only mother in his life." he pulled her close and kissed those full lips of hers that still did things to his inner beast and made him want to never let her out of his embrace.
Hermione smiled. "And I love him, I just want him to know early on who he is." she said softly, looking out of the window again when she heard a happy giggle from their daughter. Teddy had picked her up and was spinning her while hugging her close. "He loves her so much." she mused.
"Yes, and I love you so much." Remus hummed and occupied her lips once more.
Hermione chuckled and wrapped her arms around his neck, holding onto the man who would soon become her husband. It took them five years to get here. Years of difficulties, tears, happiness and hard work. But it was definitely worth it. It took Remus a while to come to terms with his new senses in everyday life, with the way he sounded and appeared now that he and his eternal creature were joined into a single being. His eyes would never lose the golden flecks, neither will his hair loose the grey already setting at his temples but his aging would slow down due to his creature inheritance, and for that he was glad. Hermione was blossoming into a powerful and beautiful young woman each day, and he was glad to know keeping up with her youth and vigour was no worry.
Coming to terms with being a mate of a wolf had been difficult on her at first, but Hermione made her choice and never regretted it since. Their beautiful daughter Viva was born when she was only 19, but she wasn't the brightest witch o her age for nothing. Looking after two children was a full time occupation, but she worked hard relied on Remus who helped her the best he could while she pursued a degree in healing at the Magical University of London. Just last year she received her degree and was already working on her Masters. Remus could not have been more proud of his mate.
"Is everything ready for the wedding?" he asked once they calmed their passions for the time being and sat down with a cup of tea, watching over the children from the kitchen.
"Not only that." Hermione grinned and summoned the letter she received earlier that day, handing it over.
Remus' eyebrows nearly disappeared into his hairline when he read the contents. "They're in Mexico? Severus is so whipped..." he mused. Harry's love of Frida Kahlo and Aztec culture were well-known to them ever since the young man started gobbling up books, all manner of internet sites and research. Remus liked to call him Hermione Junior just to make him blush and see Severus' reaction to all that blood flooding Harry's cheeks. He still prefered not know about his godson's sex life, but those two were impossible, it was no use.
"Harry wanted to finish their American travels there, before they return for our wedding and begin exploring Europe." Hermione mused, taking a sip from her tea.
Remus groaned quietly once he realised what that meant. "Merlin save me, Teddy will be unstoppable for the next three weeks once he finds out..."
The only answer to his moaning was Hermione's laughter of joy...
Harry stretched languidly, enjoying the soft cotton against his naked skin. With the senses and the sensitivity of a vampire, everything seemed so much...MORE. His eyes remained closed as the sun heated his skin and breathed in hot Mexican air. They had packing to do as their portkey was activating in 5 hours and he yet didn't have a wedding gift for Hermione. Remus was easy. After he became the head of the Department for Regulation of Magical Creatures, anything to do on obscure laws, creature history and such was most welcome. And Harry had of course gotten him a book on the folklore of South America, featuring all kind of creatures and even their local legends of moon creatures. Hermione thought, that would be tricky...
He still couldn't believe it. Well, he couldn't believe it when she fist told him she was pregnant even though it was her idea to finish their education and go to university. But she was his first and bestest of friends, and if she was happy, Harry was happy for her. Who was he to judge with the way Severus and him were going?
The first two years after the war were...interesting, to say the least. They got to know each other better. And argued. And fought. And made up with kisses and whispers of love. Harry finished his N.E.W.T.s, and with no more obligation and money to spend, he decided to travel. And of course Severus indulged him. His throat took a year to heal properly, and he only got his voice back while they were exploring New York, but it was no obstacle for them.
What proved difficult was however the pull of the bond on them both. The strain for Harry's blood and companionship began to show in Severus' behaviour, but he continued to refuse turning him for as long as he could, arguing that Harry should get all the human experiences he could. The young man finally managed to knock some sense into him one winter afternoon when they were traveling through Canada by basically slitting his wrist to force the man to take his blood and did not allow him to stop until he satisfied the bond that had been gnawing at them ever since the summer after the war.
The beginnings were difficult, and Severus while not angry did resent Harry for forcing his hand (or fangs rather). But he could not begrudge the young man his desires any longer, not when his own body hummed with the litres of Harry's blood, and his senses positively sang with the presence of his Childe so close. Harry pulled through the first couple of weeks until he adjusted to functioning with his new body and needs, before he succumbed to Severus' coaxing this time, and gave himself over fully, to become the man's companion, as was vampire custom. Not once since that day did he regret that decision...
"Hmmmm...I can feel you watching me.." he hummed, still refusing to open his eyes. Harry was so attuned to his Sire and lover that he would even wake when Severus could not rest with him and watched him in the night. They needed little sleep, but Severus' body had adjusted in his 20s. Harry's body was still getting used to not needing so much sleep even after 3 years of being a vampire.
He felt Severus come closed and leaned into the touch that traced the length of his spine, a soft moan leaving his lips when they slipped even lower between his cheeks to the still stretched opening that felt that same touch but a few hours ago. "Sev...we don't have time...I need to pack...and He-fuck...Hermione's gift..."
"You'll get her a few feet of various Aztec fabrics to do with as she pleases. You know how she adores the different patters and colours." Severus mused, perfectly calm despite the young man beneath him pressing onto the two digits he used to drive him mad.
"Yes...head bands..and..and..ung...blanket...for Viva..and..." but no more words left his lips, only a meowl of pleasure at the expert way Severus toyed with his body.
He would gladly say the man will be his death one day, but as an immortal, that would be quite a lie. And in that particular moment, Harry couldn't care less even if Voldemort returned from the dead. Not when Severus touched him just like THAT...
The wedding was a small family affair, with only the children, and Harry and Severus present to see Hermione Granger become Hermione Lupin. The sun was just setting above the garden behind 12 Grimmauld place, and the happy couple looked positively radiant. The gifts were plentiful with Harry going crazy for both the newlyweds and his godchildren, and the food even more so as Severus took care of the feast by making a few calls the moment they returned.
That night when the children were asleep, Mr and Mrs Lupin enjoyed their wedding night, and Harry and Severus laid in their bed in companionable silence, glad for the silencing charms. It was only disturbed by Severus' very simple question.
"So, when should I start looking for a ring?"