Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
A/N: Huge shout out to EVERYONE who favorited or followed this story, and everyone who took the time to review! Big thanks to reviewers from last chapter: winxgirl1997, Pwrmom2, uwishuwerecool, DarylDixon'sLover, Avalon Starfire, Andree 07, articcat621, thelight-ofnight, JuliSt, Guest, chibi-Clar, Smithback, sugurasasa, Hollowg1rl, Lrblucky13, Malik Zelix Cullen, Guest, A Week of Sundays, supersmallfeet, SereniteRose, animelover5107, Sampdoria, Anna Alexis, Calimocho, SilverIce523, and Mc111! This story has gotten so much more response than I ever could have expected for a rare pair, and your continued support means so so much!
If you are looking for other stuff by me, I have some things in the works. You can check out my profile or tumblr (nauticalparamour) for updates. I did just publish the first chapter of a new story that I am really excited about yesterday. It's called Sleeper, and I would love if you would check it out (I know some of you already have!).
Well, here is is, the last chapter. Please please please let me know what you thought! I am happy with the ending, but were there any loose ends that you don't feel were resolved sufficiently? Did you like it? Let me know and thank you all once again!
Maybe if the stars align, maybe if our worlds collide
Maybe on the dark side we could be together, be together
"Well, today's the day." Harry said to Hermione, sitting across from her at the breakfast bar of the Lestrange home in Jersey. It had taken her a few days for her to finally reach out to him after the battle. But, when he arrived, he had patiently listened to Hermione's explanation of her relationship with Rabastan.
Harry had been pleasantly surprised to learn that Rabastan hadn't pushed a sexual relationship with his friend, and had waited to consummate their relationship until she was ready. He'd been surprised to learn that it had taken quite so long.
He had scoffed when he heard that Rabastan's reasons for leaving Voldemort and the pureblood dogma was purely statistical, but Hermione reminded him that not everyone can be expected to change their thinking over night, especially if they'd grown up with it. Harry was surprised to hear that several Lestranges had married half-bloods for the purpose of reinvigorating their lines.
Harry was impressed to hear that Rabastan had helped Hermione locate a horcrux and destroy it. Destroying the locket with Ron had nearly broken their relationship completely. He was even more impressed to hear that he'd fought his own brother and killed Bellatrix to save Hermione. It made him finally accept that maybe his friend's husband wasn't so bad.
The reason, though, that Harry decided to support Rabastan's side of the trial, was when Hermione told him about how he'd been falsely imprisoned in Azkaban for an equal amount of time as Sirius had been. Although Harry could recognize he did have a bit more evidence against him, he couldn't accept that Rabastan had been imprisoned as an underaged wizard. It just wasn't right.
It hadn't been easy, though. Harry had to break the news that Ron would probably never support her relationship with Rabastan, even after she'd passed a psychological examination at St. Mungo's. Ron had requested a welfare check for Hermione, thinking that she had been cursed or had her memories modified.
She'd spent a week in the hospital, letting healers poke around in her mind until she'd satisfied them that she really had just developed feelings for Rabastan naturally. It had been rather violating to have their relationship subjected to a fine tooth comb, but there wasn't anything she could do about it right now.
Still, her friendship with Ronald was now fractured, seeing as he just couldn't accept that she might love someone else that wasn't him. It broke her heart to lose one of her friends, but she knew that Ron was like this. He'd tossed her and Harry aside more than once during their sixth years as Hogwarts students, and had apparently come quite close to leaving Harry alone while they were on the run. She knew that he would come around eventually, barely apologizing, and expecting things to go back to normal. She didn't know if she'd be able to forgive him.
The other Weasleys were coming around, but at their own pace. At least they would still speak to her and not categorically ignore her like Ron did. It had come to her surprise their reason for coming around, as she'd been completely unaware. It seemed that Rabastan had shielded Fred from a wall that undoubtedly would have killed him.
Hermione had needed to do some cajoling, but she was eventually able to get Fred to testify on Rabastan's behalf. She'd promised him that he didn't need to say anything about Rabastan's character, simply tell the Wizengamot what had happened. He'd done it, but only after extracting a promise from Hermione that she would consult on joke products in his newly re-opened shop.
Fred's testimony had done worlds of good, and of course Hermione's memories of how he'd protected her and helped her with the horcrux had also aided in Rabastan's defense. She hated seeing him in the Azkaban jumpsuit, looking relatively worse for wear, but still her same Rabastan. She couldn't imagine what it was like to go back to Azkaban.
She'd done a lot of testifying after the war. She'd also been called as a character witness for Draco and Narcissa Malfoy. She'd enthusiastically participated in Draco's trial, telling them about how he'd immediately tried to help her, finding and destroying a horcrux, and how he'd provided her with material support to find further horcruxes. He'd been cleared of all charges, begrudgingly, but the public still didn't care for someone who bore the Dark Mark. Since he'd been released, he'd been a constant at Rabastan's trials.
Hermione gave Narcissa a less stellar review, compelled to share with them the way that Narcissa had forced her to marry Rabastan, but also telling the Wizengamot about the good she'd done for Hermione, how comfortable she'd made Hermione. Hermione also shared that she thought Narcissa's primary concern was keeping her family safe.
With Harry's testimony that Narcissa had lied to Voldemort, Narcissa had been given a year of house arrest, as the Wizengamot found her complicit in her husband's crimes, as well as sheltering Voldemort in her home.
Hermione had immediately gotten involved in Rabastan's case, working closely with a well regarded solicitor who was somehow related to Theo Nott. Still, Nikephoros Slewyn had come highly recommended, and quickly took Hermione's suggestions on board. He'd also greatly appreciated all of the research into Wizarding law that she was doing, going so far as to offer her an apprenticeship at his firm.
She told him that she would think about it when Rabastan's trial was over, as getting her husband safely home was her primary concern right now. Not to mention that she hadn't even finished her N.E.W.T.s yet!
Rabastan had a variety of other witnesses, including his brother, who had admitted that Rabastan hadn't participated in the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom, only that he had been made to come along. That it wasn't his choice to be a Death Eater, but rather, his father was the one who made him join. Hermione knew that Rodolphus wasn't able to do much to help his brother any longer, but that this was one small stepping stone in forgiveness.
Not everyone believed that testimony. Neville still wouldn't speak to her once he'd found out that she was choosing to stay with Rabastan. He just couldn't understand her desire to be with someone who'd been involved with what happened to his parents. Harry told her that he would come around, but Hermione wasn't holding her breath.
The most damning evidence, against the Ministry, had been the evidence that they had sentenced an underaged wizard to Azkaban. Hermione had been utterly delighted to read all the resulting opinion pieces in the Daily Prophet after that bit of evidence came out. Most people were completely outraged to hear of that. To mention that he'd been there for fourteen years was unforgivable to many of the people writing in.
But, as Harry had reminded her, today was the day that Rabastan would be given a ruling. He had managed to keep his nose out of most of Voldemort's activities since being freed from Azkaban, but he had been at the break in at the Department of Mysteries. Hermione refused to press charges for being made to marry him.
Dressed in her best dress robes, she had Harry escort her to the Wizengamot, where she would sit directly behind her husband to show her unwavering support. She held Harry's hand tightly when the Chief Warlock began to speak.
"Although we the members of the Wizengamot have found that you have been held unjustly in the past, your crimes cannot be overlooked." The booming voice said from the dias. Hermione felt tears in her eyes and held Harry's hand tightly. "However, your good deeds, proven her by upstanding witches and wizards stand in your favor."
"We have decided to commute your sentence to time served. However, you will have to remain under house arrest for a year, and your wand will be monitored for twenty years, with review every five years. You are free to go Mr. Lestrange."
Hermione could barely contain her whoop of joy and ran down the stairs to hug Rabastan. He didn't care who it was that saw them and wrapped her up in an embrace that had some members awwing and some members shaking their heads in disgust. "I am so glad that I can take you home now." Hermione said, punctuating each word with a kiss.
"Thank you for keeping your promise, and not giving up on me." Rabastan pushed her curly hair behind her ear. "I know hearing some of the things that I've done cannot have been pleasant." His light green eyes looked worried.
Hermione swallowed thickly. It hadn't been nice, but it hadn't changed her love for him. Plus, she wanted to focus on the future with him, not the past. "Come on, I want you to meet Harry properly. He's been supporting me through all of this."
She dragged him over to her bespeckled friend and watched in amusement as the pair of them awkwardly shook hands. She knew that things were going to be difficult for a while, but she had great hope that the new normal would suit them.
"I can't believe Kingsley is doing this to me!" Hermione practically shouted, pacing back and forth in the kitchen. "I voted for him for Merlin's sake." Hermione had been working with the Minister of Magic to see if she could get her husband special permission to attend the birth of his children with her.
Rabastan came up behind her and put a loving hand on the swell of her belly. She was having twins and because of the risk, the healers had scheduled her to be induced. The only problem was, it was two weeks before Rabastan was set to be off his house arrest. "Calm yourself, darling. It will be fine."
"I just...I need you there with me." She said, truly upset that her husband wouldn't be allowed to attend the birth. He'd already been denied the pleasure of attending all of the healer's appointments. "It's not right." She said, wiping away the tears in her eyes.
Her pregnancy had come as somewhat of a surprise. Neither one of them talked much about intending to get pregnant when Hermione just stopped using contraceptive spells. She just figured that it would happen when it happened. But neither one of them had expected her to become pregnant so quickly.
Once Hermione and Rabastan had returned home when he was freed, they both discussed their desire for further education. Seeing as neither one was able to complete their N.E.W.T.s, Hermione had arranged for them both to take their courses via correspondence. Although Rabastan was a little rusty on a lot of his subjects, it was nice to have a competent study partner. He really was brilliant at arithmancy.
Hermione, being able to leave the house, was able to go to the Ministry to be tested and received nine Outstandings for her hard work. She was still contemplating Slewyn's offer to come work for him.
She'd felt awful, being that Rabastan wouldn't be able to take his N.E.W.T.s until once he was off house arrest, but he'd promised her that they would celebrate properly after he'd passed his, seeing as she was about three months along when she'd found gotten her own results. Rabastan was planning on attempting a mastery in Arthimancy once he got his N.E.W.T.s.
If they were surprised to learn that she'd become pregnant so quickly, they certainly weren't expecting to get two children on the first go. She wasn't sure if she should be nervous or excited. Ginny had gone with to all of Hermione's appointments, seeing as Rabastan wasn't able to attend, and she didn't want Draco or Harry to go with, and cause all kinds of drama in the newspapers.
It was actually one of the things that quickly repaired Ginny and Hermione's relationship. Once she found out that she was having twins, it brought Mrs. Weasley more firmly over to Hermione's side as well. The older woman knew how much support she would need with two children.
Everyone else was able to see how much it affected both Hermione and Rabastan to not have him there during such significant milestones of the pregnancy's progression, so why couldn't Kingsley just give them a pass this one time? He would be with her the whole time in the hospital, and she was already going to be surrounded by aurors. Cursing under her breath, Hermione shook her head. "It's not right. I will just have to push back the appointment until you can be there with me."
She turned to look at Rabastan's brilliant light green eyes. It was the most logical decision. His voice was strained, and she could clearly hear his slight accent. "That is dangerous for you and the children. No, I don't want that...I can be there for the...the next one."
Hermione shook her head knowing that he was truly hurt not being able to attend his heirs' birth. "Exactly, Kingsley is endangering me. I should let him know, too." She had a determined look on her face that meant business. "I will go tell him now."
He'd waited until the twins were christened to go visit Rodolphus in Azkaban. Honestly, he wasn't entirely sure how he'd pulled it together to go there by himself, but he didn't want Hermione going there. In his pocket, he carried a picture of his two new perfect children to show his older sibling.
Rabastan wasn't sure why he felt compelled to visit his brother, seeing as he didn't think he could ever forgive him for wanting to murder his wife. If he dug deep enough, he'd probably put it on family. Even though he'd resented the responsibility of carrying on the Lestrange name for so many years, he wanted his brother to know that the Lestrange name would be well taken care of. Even with half-blood heirs.
"Hello Rodolphus." He greeted his brother, trying to keep his tone neutral, but it was hard not to see him so haggard. "I come to bring you some good news." He slipped the wizarding photograph between the bars of the cell.
Rodolphus took it eagerly. In the picture, Hermione and him were smiling, while two sets of godparents held their children - Draco, Millicent, Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. Rodolphus smiled, perhaps his first smile in a year, and stroked the page, enjoying the movements of the tiny bundles. "What did you call them?"
"Arista and Russell." Rabastan said quietly. Hermione had suggested Arista, after his half-blood ancestor, saying that their daughter would be in good company. Rabastan had suggested the name Russell, after seeing the dark reddish brown hair that his son had. Plus, his family had a penchant for R names.
"A son and daughter in one try." Rodolphus said with a grin, showing off his dirty teeth. "I guess you didn't need tips after all. I am very happy for you brother."
Rabastan nodded. "I just wanted you to know that the family was in good hands. I hoped...it might ease your mind somewhat." He sighed, not wanting to say the next part, but knowing it was necessary. "I won't visit this place again...I have already spent too much of my life here."
Rodolphus nodded, some sadness seeping back into his mind. He knew that he had helped his brother what little he could during his trial, but that it wouldn't absolve him of his sins. "I...understand. May I keep this?" He asked, gesturing to the picture.
Rabastan nodded. "Goodbye, brother." He offered his hand through the bars and let Rodolphus grasp his hand for a moment, keeping eye contact. But, then, he let it go, and it was time for Rabastan to leave.
Without a second look back at his brother, Rabastan turned and left Azkaban as quickly as possible. He wanted to get home to Hermione as quickly as possible. She had chased all the darkness from his life, sharing bits and pieces of her to show him how much she'd sacrifice for the light side.
When he returned home, Hermione was sitting in the library, with the twins. She looked so radiant to him, more radiant than the day that she'd brought their beautiful children into the world. Yes, he'd been able to witness the birth, but only after Harry Potter had given his personal promise as an auror to keep track of him. It was something he'd be forever grateful for.
She looked up at him, holding Arista in her arms. "How was it?" She asked, knowing that it was so hard for him to face what he was and what he'd been through for so many years.
He sat down, kissing his pretty little wife on the lips, delighting in the way that she melted against him. "As well as can be expected. He is happy for us." Rabastan knew that that wasn't what Rodolphus had said, but it wasn't worth it to upset Hermione. "It fills me with so many regrets."
Hermione smiled at him. "As much as I hate the person you used to be, the man that you supported, I can't help but be thankful for it, sometimes. Without the dark side, we never would have had a chance to be together." Hermione told him, pleased. "I never would have given you a second look."
"You wouldn't have been distracted by my dashing good looks on the battlefield?" He asked, knowing just how much she enjoyed his physical form.
"Hmm, facing you over unforgivable curses doesn't really lend itself to attraction." Hermione said with a giggle. "But I certainly never would have come to see how much we have in common, how intelligent you are, and I certainly wouldn't have come out of this war, stronger with your support. I love you, Rabastan." She was suddenly shy, telling him so much.
"Do you ever worry about what we will tell them, about our relationship?" He said, gesturing to their two children.
Hermione took a deep breath. "I imagine we will have to have a frank conversation with them once they are old enough to understand." She rested her hand on Rabastan's arm. "I am not going to hide my heritage from my children, Rabastan."
He nodded, kissing his daughter on the top of her head. "I am never going to hide my love for you from my children." He sighed, not realizing he'd been holding his breath. "I hope that one day they will understand."
Hermione snuggled into his arm, delighting in his presence now that they were truly together. "I am sure that they will."
"I am glad." He told her, unable to believe how well things had worked out for him.
"Hm?" She asked, a bit confused.
"That we got a chance to be together." He told her. He never thought it was possible that he'd find happiness with swotty Hermione Granger, but he had. And he was certainly better for it.