A/N: Aw, here it is, the end. Thank you again to everyone who favorited, followed or reviewed during this story. All of your support and kind words makes writing exciting. I hope you will check out some of my other work, in my profile, or follow me on tumblr (nauticalparamour).
Please let me know what you thought of chapter thirty-one!
"Do you think he'll be excited?" Hermione asked one hand tightly grasping her husband's hand, the other lightly resting on her belly. She hadn't started to show yet, but her healer insisted it was certain to happen in a short amount of time.
Theo moved them forward in the portkey line. "I'm not sure. It will probably come as a bit of a surprise, I'm sure. It might get him to stop...oh, sowing his wild oats, as they say." He told her with a smirk, before she elbowed him in the side.
"I can't wait to see the old house." Hermione said with a smile. "I can't believe that I haven't taken you here before." They were going to the summer home in France, where her papa had been staying for a few months. Unfortunately, Grimmauld Place had contracted a very severe doxy infestation, and Luna Lovegood was studying their behaviors. Soon, though, the would be removed from the old townhouse.
"Yes, I'm excited to see it. I know that you love it there, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it as well." He let his thumb trace patterns on the back of her hand. Before they knew it, they were at the front of the line and ready to take their portkey.
Arriving in the south of France, Theo was overwhelmed with the salty smell in the air, but there was no denying that it was picturesque. He could easily see why Hermione would love the rolling blue sea and sunny skies.
They had decided to walk up to the house from the local Inter-Country transportation office, but now Theo could see that his wife was just getting more and more nervous. She bit her lower lip, before turning to face him. "What if he thinks it's too soon?"
Theo stopped walking so he could look at her. "Do you think it's too soon?" He asked, his green eyes looking over her face for any kind of doubt. Though, he figured, it was a little bit too late to worry about it.
"No, of course not!" Hermione told him, with a roll of her eyes. "It's just...I know how hard it was for him to accept me growing up, you know, becoming a woman, and I don't want to upset him." She said honestly.
Theo leaned down to kiss her forehead. He knew many people were curious about their height difference, but they both found that they fit together perfectly. "Hermione, your father only ever wants what's best for you, what makes you happy. If you are happy, he will be happy." Theo knew that this was true, though he was a little bit nervous.
It had taken a long time for Sirius to come back around to Theo, but by the time that they'd gotten married a year ago, he'd had the elder Black back on his side. He had Hermione had a somewhat long engagement, by pureblood standards, waiting slightly over a year after they'd gotten re-engaged to get married.
They'd enjoyed the courtship, though, getting to know one another well, even better than they had as students. They still had a lot in common. Hermione had wanted to get her career with the Ministry up and running as well. She knew it was odd for a pureblood woman to have a job, but it was what she wanted. Theo fully supported her.
"Alright, let's go." She told him, her smile brightening. She was eager to see her papa, as it had been a few months. After the war, he'd been a bit hesitant to date, seeing as women mostly just wanted him because of his story. It didn't take long for the hype to die down, though, and he resumed his womanizing ways soon after, to Hermione's consternation. She just wanted him to settle down with someone who would make him happy, as happy as Theo made her.
When they walked up the long gravel driveway, she could see her papa eagerly bouncing on the balls of his feet, waiting for them to finally arrive. As she got closer, Hermione couldn't wait any longer, and ran up the walkway to where Sirius was waiting with open arms. His arms wrapped around her in a tight embrace, he whispered in her ear. "Oh, sweetheart, I've missed you."
After their bag was taken upstairs to Hermione's old room by a house elf, Sirius dragged them out onto the patio, where he had some bread, meat, cheese and oil waiting for them, as well as some wine.
Her papa proposed a toast, and Hermione raised her glass, but didn't drink, causing his grey eyes to narrow in confusion. Knowing that he'd ask questions, Hermione decided to just get it over with. "Papa, Theo and I have some news for you." She gave him a shy smile, and felt Theo give her leg a comforting squeeze under the table. "You are going to be a grandpa!"
Sirius didn't know what to think when he heard those words, he was just overcome with emotion. Part of him wanted to castrate the Nott boy, but then he had to remember that his little girl was twenty-one now and she was a Nott herself. It wasn't as though this was a mistake, but rather, a joint decision that they were excited about.
He felt tears swimming in his eyes, to his surprise, but he gave Hermione a reassuring smile. "Sweetheart, I am so happy for you. This is wonderful news. Congratulations." He cleared his throat, not wanting to ball his eyes out right at the table. "How far along are you?"
"About twelve weeks." Hermione said resting her hand on her stomach again, a fond smile on her face. "The little one is due to arrive in early November."
Sirius smiled at that, it would be a lovely birthday present for him, for his family. He almost couldn't wait to hold the little tyke, knowing that he'd missed out on the baby years of Hermione's life.
"Now." Hermione said, with her prim and proper voice that meant he was going to get a scolding. "If we can just find a nice witch to be grandma, I would be happy." Sirius gave her a sheepish grin at that. He wasn't ready to settle down just yet.
"Sirius was such an adorable ring bearer." Daphne gushed over the little boy, currently sleeping on Hermione's shoulder, in his miniature dress robes. Hermione smiled at her friend softly, running her hand through his blond curls.
She'd seen baby pictures of Theo, and knew that her son would one day grow to have the same brown sugar colored hair that her husband had. The black family had contributed his wild curls, though, and Hermione felt a bit bad for the boy, remembering the trouble they had caused her as a child. At least he could get hair care tips from his grandpa Sirius.
Daphne sighed, watching the bride and groom waltz around the dance floor. "Ugh, I wish I didn't have this baby inside of me, so I could at least drink." Hermione wanted to remind her to be happy that she'd finally gotten over her morning sickness. "Astoria was such a bridezilla. I am glad it's finally over. She's Draco's problem now."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Oh really Mrs. Potter? Need I remind you what happened at your wedding? You decided to change the color scheme the morning of your wedding! I was charming floral arrangements for hours."
Daphne laughed at the memory. "I didn't realize how much the red I'd chosen would clash with the Weasley family. We should blame Harry for it...he's the one who invited them."
Hermione was inclined to agree. Though she'd grown quite close to Harry, she certainly wasn't fast friends with the Weasley family, though she could tolerate them. Daphne and Harry had gotten married not long after Sirius was born. "I suppose that's fair."
"Did you know Astoria had the gall to tell me not to get too fat so that I wouldn't fit into my bridesmaid's dress?" Daphne asked, a scowl marring her pretty face.
Hermione gasped. "No!"
"Yes! I told her I wasn't fat, I was pregnant. And I'm only four months. I barely even have a bump." Daphne regaled her.
Hermione glared daggers at the bride for her friend. Draco's bride looked completely different from her sister, with dark brown hair and big blue eyes. She was rather pretty though, but a complete pain in the arse.
She couldn't believe that Draco had contracted for her. Hermione knew that some of the so called old pureblood ways were still prominent in her social circle, she'd thought that her cousin would avoid marriage for as long as possible. That was, of course, until he met Astoria after her graduation from Hogwarts. He'd approached her father immediately. It helped that Astoria was just as smitten as he was.
Daphne was a bit hurt because of the way her parents longed for Astoria to clean up after Daphne's mess of rejecting the pureblood ways by marrying Harry Potter, who, although he was the hero of the Wizarding World, he was still just a half-blood. A barely acceptable half-blood.
"I heard that they are going on a grand tour for a year." Hermione said, fondly looking at her cousin. If he was happy, she was happy. "It will be nice to get her out of your hair for a while. Will she come back for James's birth?"
Daphne nodded absentmindedly. "Oh, yes, that certainly wouldn't be acceptable to mother and father." Hermione agreed, before scanning the room, looking for her husband. He'd been called out to the patio to share a cigar with Harry and Sirius. "Oh, look at Tracey and Blaise!" Daphne cried eagerly.
Hermione burst out laughing, seeing the pair dance together. They were pressed so tightly together, she thought that they just might fuse that way. After the war, Blaise had found Tracey irresistible, and had tried to date her at every chance. Unfortunately for him, Tracey wanted nothing to do with him.
Seeing the way his hand was tangled in her long red hair, Hermione figured that they were finally giving it another go. She was glad, their sexual tension was ridiculous and she knew that they would do well together. It was nice to see Blaise taken down a notch too.
The acrid smell of cigar smoke overwhelmed her when Theo came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her shoulders, kissing little Sirius on the head. "Shall we head home, Hermione? We've all had a big day."
Hermione nodded at that, having been up before the sun was up to assist Draco with his wedding and to get herself dressed up as well. "Goodnight Daphne. Tell Harry goodbye for us, won't you?"
Theo led her from the room, proud to have such a gorgeous witch on his arm. Not only that, but she was powerful and intelligent. She'd taken the Black family seat on the Wizengamot, and he loved to watch her debate with lesser wizards who continually underestimated her because she was a woman.
When they got back to Nott Manor, they settled three year old Sirius into bed, before standing over his sleeping form, watching him dream. "He's so perfect." Hermione whined. "I love him so much."
Theo murmured in agreement, before kissing her on the cheek. "I can't imagine life without him in it. I can't imagine life without you in it. I am so glad that everyone talked me into giving you a second chance." He told her with a smirk, laughing when her elbow connected with his side. They'd both been given second chances.
Hermione bit her lip, nervous about whatever she was going to ask him. Tearing her eyes from Sirius, she turned to look at her tall, handsome husband. "Do you ever think about having another one?" She asked, decidedly mischievous.
Theo's eyebrows practically shot to his hairline. He supposed that he did think about it time and again. Hermione had been very beautiful, swollen with his child. It was some kind of primal feeling in him. "It's crossed my mind. Shall we go give it a try, Mrs. Nott?" He asked her.
She nodded, cheeks pinker than he'd seen in a while, before turning tail and running from the room, leaving Theo to give chase. By the time he captured her in their bedroom, she was giggling.
"Isn't she perfect, Sirius?" Hermione asked her son while she held his baby sister at Saint Mungo's. "She's so beautiful."
Her son gently grabbed her little hand in his, staring at the tiny nails on her perfect little fingers. "When can we take Cora home, mummy?" He asked, his legs swinging off the edge of the bed. Hermione stared into her son's gray eyes. She'd been surprised that he got that Black family trait, as no one was really sure how a blood magic adoption would affect her. Then again, she had no idea what her biological parents looked him.
"Tomorrow morning, we will be able to take her back home with us." She promised him. Cora, named for the paternal grandmother that she'd never meet, was born with the same curly blonde hair that Sirius had and she was so gorgeous that both mother and father had fallen in love on sight.
"Are you ready for visitors?" Theo asked, wanting to make sure Hermione had enough time just the four of us before she was overwhelmed with well wishes of friends and family.
Hermione yawned, sleepily. "Oh maybe just my papa first." She decided, knowing that her papa was probably out in the hallways pacing and worrying, even though the healers and doctors had probably already told him everything was fine.
Theo left and returned a few moments later with Sirius Black in tow. He let out a low whistle. "Would you look at her! She's gorgeous, sweetheart." He smiled at the tiny baby in Hermione's arm. "Don't think I've ever seen a baby with so much hair though."
Theo cracked a smile at that. It was certainly a trait that Cora had gotten from her mother. "Would you like to hold her?" He asked.
Sirius nodded eagerly, taking the tiny bundle and sitting in one of the provided chairs. Little Sirius quickly hopped from the chair and sat on his grandfather's knee, unwilling to miss a moment with his little sister. "Oh, you are going to have your work cut out for you when she gets to Hogwarts." Sirius mused.
"How come, grandpa?" Sirius asked, confused about what Hogwarts would have to do with his sister.
"Well, she's going to grow up to be so beautiful that boys will be lining up outside the common room to get a chance to talk to her." Sirius promised the little boy. "And it is your duty to be her chaperone, to look after her and make sure she doesn't get into trouble and the make sure that none of the boys hurt her."
"I won't let anyone hurt Cora." He promised, again touching her tiny little hand. "I will make sure to keep all of the boys away from her. Except Teddy, I guess he can play with her." He decided that his friend, Teddy Lupin would be alright.
"Let me give you a little advice." Sirius told his grandson with a smirk, before eying up Hermione and Theo who were watching the scene with a smile on their faces. "When she comes and tells you that her best friend is a boy, remember that even he might be interested in her. In fact, he just might try to marry her."
"Cora won't have a best friend who's a boy!" Sirius said with a giggle. "Cora's a girl and she will want to play with tea sets and ponies, not play quidditch like me." The little boy already had a training broom, to Hermione's utter dismay, and he loved trampling around the Dales, making a mess.
"Well, that's what happened to your mum." His grandfather said quietly. "She told me about this boy at Hogwarts who was her best friend, and I thought, 'oh, isn't that interesting?' and then six years later she was getting engaged to him."
Little Sirius turned to look at his parents. "Is that true? Were you mummy's best friend at Hogwarts?"
Theo gave his son a warm smile. "Yes I was. I knew from the first time on the train that we would be good friends."
"But mummy doesn't even like flying!" Sirius was exasperated. This didn't make any sense at all.
"Yes, but we both loved books and she was the only one of my other friends who liked to read Hogwarts, A History." Theo responded, his hand grasping Hermione's tightly. "And at first, I didn't think of her as anything, but a friend, until one day I realized that I'd fallen in love with her."
"Then what happened?" Sirius asked, eager to hear the rest of the story.
"Then I kissed her." Theo told him, laughing when his son made a face and muttered something about how kissing was yucky. "Well, shall we let the others in to meet your sister? I think Teddy is bouncing off the walls out there."
The little boy finally nodded, and Theo called for the other visitors to come in. The little family moment was soon overwhelmed by their friends and family, eager to meet the new addition to the Nott family.
When Hermione's fourteen year old daughter stormed past them up the stairs the moment they got home from King's Cross on their Yule Break, she immediately turned to her son. Seventh year Sirius Nott was already looking wistfully after his sister, clearly upset. "Mum, something's wrong with Cora, but she wouldn't tell me what happened."
Her son was as tall as his father these days, his hair the same shade of brown. One might even think they were twins if it weren't for his curly hair and gray eyes. "I'll go talk to her." She promised, before making the slow walk up the staircase to her daughter's room.
When she pushed open the door, Cora was laying on her side on her bed, watching the snowflakes falling through the window of her room. "Cora, darling, what's wrong?" Hermione asked, tentatively entering the room when she heard her daughter's sniffling.
Hermione sat down on the edge of the bed, pushing Cora's light brown curly hair away from her face, so that she could look into her light green eyes. Theo's eyes. "Hugo Weasley said that all Slytherins are evil, dark wizards and witches. He said you and dad were Death Eaters."
Cora had been sorted into Slytherin house two years ago when she started at Hogwarts. Sirius had been a Ravenclaw, to his parents surprise, given that he didn't seem to enjoy reading as much as either of his parents. Still, he was very bright and was an excellent addition to Ravenclaw's Quidditch team as a beater.
Hermione pursed her lips together, trying to think of the best way to tackle her daughter's fears. "Sweetheart, you know that your father and I weren't Death Eaters. Why would you listen to what Hugo Weasley has to say?" Ronald Weasley got over his infatuation with Neville once his sister became Mrs. Longbottom. He had married Lavender Brown and they had two children.
Cora shrugged her shoulders. "I don't want to be a dark witch." She whispered, knowing the horror stories of the last war. Hell, she even knew what her cousin Draco had gone through.
Hearing that, Hermione tried to keep her smile from her face. "I promise that you won't become a dark witch on accident, Cora. In any case, you know that not all Slytherins are evil, just like not all Gryffindors are good. The only thing that people can do is what they think is best, and even then, it might not turn out as well as they think it will. Just look at Dumbledore."
Albus Dumbledore was a conflicting character in modern history. He had played a large role in bringing down Voldemort, but he also had damaged a lot of people's lives, and not everyone looked on him so fondly. Hermione wasn't sure if she'd ever be able to forgive him.
Hermione's own role in history had been reduced to a small paragraph, for discovering the nature of the taboo charm, thus saving hundreds of lives. It was a bittersweet note on her life during the war, which was far more complicated than that.
"Further, even if someone does something wrong, like when cousin Draco became a Death Eater, you can always change your mind and work to fix your past mistakes." Hermione promised her daughter, whose tears were drying up.
Cora sat up, wiping the tears from her cheeks. "You promise that I won't become a Dark witch?"
"I promise, Cora." Hermione said, fondly. "Honestly, those Gryffindors always see things so black and white. Me good, you bad. They are like cavemen, the lot of them!" She said teasing her. "Your grandfather was always a bit like that too. He could never understand the subtle intricacies of being a Slytherin."
"I sometimes forget that grandpa was a Gryffindor." Cora responded, a bright smile on her face now. "You're right, Hugo Weasley is a fool. Did you know he exploded three cauldrons already this semester in potions?"
Hermione shook her head. "He doesn't sound like he knows much of anything. Alright, you get changed, and then meet us downstairs. We are going to Grimmauld Place for dinner tonight."
When she stood from the bed, she saw her husband listening in from the door, a soft smile on his face to see his two girls interact. As soon as she was out in the hallway with him, he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her in for a kiss. "Do you ever regret it?" He asked.
"I will always have regrets." Hermione told him, a bittersweet smile on her face. "I regret that my actions hurt you so much, and made you doubt what I felt for you. If I could do it over again, though...I think I would still help out. It wasn't right."
Theo was nodding along, his hand laced tightly in hers as they walked down to their bedroom, so that they could also change for dinner. "I know what you mean. All the blood purity...it never made sense to me. And well, I suppose I saw the damage that Voldemort did to families...to my family."
"I can tell you one thing though." Hermione said, with a grin. "I am glad that I was chosen because if I hadn't been, I would have never met you, befriended you, fallen in love with you. You are worth all of the pressure and awfulness that I went through. So, I don't regret that one bit."
He smiled down at his wife of nineteen years - nineteen years - now able to joke about her work as a spy during the last war. "Hmm, I would have been curious to see what some of your seduction...I mean, interrogation techniques would have been if I had any information work gathering." Theo ribbed her. Thinking about how Hermione would have tried to get information from him was something he'd thought about recently.
"Oh you would, would you?" Hermione asked sharply, intrigued by his insinuation. "I bet I can get you to tell me what you got me for Christmas this year before I even open the box." She promised, her hands on her hips, reminding him of the bossy school girl she once was.
"Oh really? I doubt it." Theo teased her, excited to see where this would go.
Hermione smirked before pushing him back on the bed. "I think that you will find that I can be very persuasive, Theodore." Her voice dropped to a husky tone he rarely heard. "But you'll have to wait until after dinner for me to prove it. We're expected in fifteen minutes."
He growled at her playfully, before pulling her back onto the bed with him, planting a kiss on her lips. They still felt as lovely and soft as they did all those years ago in the Slytherin common room. His small family was everything he'd dreamed of in his sixth year as a Slytherin and he couldn't think of anyone better suited to him than Hermione.
They were an hour late for dinner. He didn't regret it either.