Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to Harry Potter. If I did I would be a far richer man. And I'd be a woman. I also don't own Bathsheda Babbling. However with what Shiva has morphed into I probably own her.
Reviews are of course appreciated but certainly not required.
AN: And so it comes to a close. This final chapter is far shorter than the norm, but I felt it important to show that the core family group gets a Happily Ever After. It's been a hell of a ride everyone and I want to thank all the readers and reviewers for sticking with me. I never expected this story to grow so large or so popular and I am humbled. Not only is "Rune Stone Path" my first Harry Potter fanfic, but it's the first novel length story I've managed to complete and has given me more confidence in finishing my original works. I'll be continuing my other fanfics now that "Rune" is finished (though I still can't commit to regular updates on that front). Thanks for all the support and helpful criticism everyone! You guys are awesome!
Chapter 49: Epilogue
7 Years Later
Hermione Granger Potter scowled in annoyance as she signed the latest bill crossing her desk. She hated passing these types of pureblood-tradition-preservation funding bills. Narcissa Black had done her job well though and managed to convince the Wizengamot that any discriminatory practices were excised. Hermione had gone through the fine print of the bill herself to such a degree that her eyes had practically bled, yet she couldn't find anything to disagree with. Narcissa was a bitch, but she honestly only seemed to care about keeping some of the centuries-old traditions alive for another generation…something Hermione really couldn't bring herself to veto. So with a sigh, the Potter wife moved the bill to her outbox and watched it fold into a paper airplane and zoom out of the room, skimmed past the nose of a surprised Daphne Greengrass who had just opened the door.
"Wow, I know you're annoyed with the job, but trying to kill me with paperwork seems rather harsh," the blonde quipped with a smile as she pushed the door shut and perched on a chair across the desk.
"Haha, very funny. I hate you, you know that?" Hermione replied dryly. "Sure I get to make changes, but the politics involved in this job are awful! Just how many of your people did you have to buy off to get me into the seat anyway?"
"Less than you'd expect," Daphne shrugged. "I actually had to accept a few to promise to try and talk you into it. Considering I'd already talked to you about it…well I'm not one to pass up free money, but it felt like taking candy from a baby."
Hermione groaned and leaned back to rub her eyes as another paper folded itself up and flew out of the office. "Seriously? I'm twenty-four! What country votes for someone who hasn't even hit a quarter century to lead them!? I can't believe I let you talk me into accepting the Minister position…"
"You're the Witch-Who-Conquered," Daphne said with a grin and a waggled eyebrow. Hermione scowled in response and crossed her arms sending Daphne into a chuckle. "Honestly, Mione, I think people were just exhausted from the string of idiots we've had to deal with before Amelia and with her son on the way there was no chance of the woman running again."
Hermione cocked her head to the side and narrowed her eyes. "Son? Sirius finally got her to agree to check the gender then? He must be thrilled."
"He is. Stopped by the Manor about an hour ago and couldn't stop gushing about how he was going to get Remus and Cissa's son together with his own so he could start corrupting them into the Marauders 2.0. Lily had to grab his ear and make him swear to wait until they were old enough to choose for themselves."
Hermione nodded. "That was not remotely detailed enough for that man…I'm still surprised that he accepted the Bones surname…"
"I'm not," Daphne said shrugging. "He always hated his family, he's still not fond of the Black Manor despite the cleaning efforts, 'Sirius Black' carries Azkaban baggage whether or not he ever admits it, Harry is officially the Black Lord…Sirius Bones nicely wraps all of those problems up and tosses them away while helping Amelia keep her own name going so Susan can take Neville's."
"I will never understand the politics in this world," Hermione muttered. She returned her narrowed eyes towards Daphne and huffed, "Tangent aside, nothing you said explains why I had to run for Minister."
"Well it was always going to be you, Harry or me. One of the three of us had to take the vacancy and we both know there was no way in hell of getting Harry to agree."
"You could've done it," Hermione replied glaring.
Daphne just snorted and waved it off. "No. I work from the sidelines."
Hermione just huffed and kept her glare going. It wouldn't do to let Daphne win so easily if she hoped to be able to use this against the woman for a bit of leverage eventually…that emerald ring had looked ever so nice… "I still don't think we needed to be on the first ballet after Amelia left."
"Better to push our biggest changes through while we can still ride our big win and people still want to be our best friend. Give me ten years and I can get a good chunk of the corruption out while still forcing the Old Guard into the closet and bringing the Muggleborns into their vacant seats."
Hermione sighed and leaned forward to read through another sheet from her inbox. "Fine, fine, I can agree that many of your reasons are valid though we will have to agree to disagree on some. You still owe me a lot though, Daph."
"Agreed," Daphne said smiling and obviously assuming the argument had been won.
Hermione almost smirked as she flagged the document for further review and idled tossed her bomb towards Daphne. "I think I'm going to call in a small section of that debt."
"Oh," Daphne asked leaning forward and sounding eager. "How so?"
"Luna stopped in earlier…" Hermione trailed off and waited until Daphne started to fidget slightly before she continued. "She mentioned that you were still putting off having children and Tracey keeps saying how the house feels empty sometimes. She went on to explain – in great detail – how Tracey managed to convince her that a child right now was the absolute best idea in the world."
"So that's why Trace has stopped asking about whether I'm still waiting…she shifted targets…" Daphne muttered. She sighed and looked up with her mouth quirked into a sad frown. "So you want me to try and talk Luna out of having a kid? I don't know how you expect me to be able to do that. Only Harry and you have ever been able to talk that girl out of anything."
Hermione's composure broke at that point and she sat back in her chair laughing and shaking her head. "No, Daphne, I don't care whether Tracey and Luna want a child. That's their decision and you have to fight that particular battle yourself if you're against it. What your job is…is to convince Harry he's going to participate."
Daphne blinked a few times with her mouth hanging open. Hermione just kept laughing barely composing herself before Daphne got her own wits back. "I'm sorry, what?"
"Luna warned us years ago that she expected Harry to be her sperm donor when she was ready for children."
"Yeessss," Daphne frowned before her eyes widened and she fell back against the chair back chuckling. "She was serious. I should've known she was serious! She's still against doing it the fancy Muggle way too so isn't she?"
Hermione shrugged and rolled her eyes. "I rather doubt that Luna has anything at all against IVF; she's simply looking to sleep with Harry as much as she can until she gets pregnant."
"Sneaky little minx…" Daphne commented. "Well, I can't really blame her and we already share him between the four of us. You ran it by Fleur and Nymph already?"
"Of course. Fleur is intrigued and Nym's only comment was that she's amazed it's taken Luna this long to ask."
Daphne nodded and shrugged. "Okay, so it doesn't sound like an issue. Why are you calling in a favor for this?"
Hermione's eyebrows rose as she stared knowingly at Daphne. "Harry has to be willing."
Daphne's grimace showed she finally understood. "Ah, good point. Curse him and his noble nature…who would've thought we'd ever be conspiring to get our boyfriend to want to sleep with another girl…We sure that we can't simply ignore this for a few months?"
"You live with Luna half the time," Hermione replied laughing again. "If we don't get Harry onboard she's just going to start showing up naked in our bed spouting innuendo left and right until he's worn down enough to agree!"
Daphne startling laughing along with her friend. "Damn, you're right, she would do that. We spoil her far too much."
"I don't think I've ever been able to ever refuse that girl anything when she turns those eyes on me," Hermione said with a smile.
"None of us have," Daphne replied. "Okay, I'll give it my best. Why me though?"
Hermione smirked and raised her eyebrows. "Daph, Harry does whatever you tell him to do. The rest of us have him wrapped around our fingers to one degree or another, but you might as well have him whipped. For you, he'll whine and put up a fuss for maybe ten minutes then he'll cave. Fleur or I would have to work on him for a week or a month at least. Tonks would probably give in to him and we'd be back to square one."
Daphne snorted and crossed her arms. "Surely it's not that marked of a…" She trailed off as she started thinking over the past few years. "Wow, it really is isn't it? I feel like I should add another title to my name – the Woman-Who-Whipped-Harry-Potter. Or I should just spend more time at Potter Manor. Maybe I can convince Tracey to move in there for a few months while Luna is pregnant – or trying to get pregnant at least."
"Up to you really," Hermione said shrugging. "The last thing we want is for your relationship with Tracey to be strained. We do have a nice schedule set up as it is."
Daphne nodded at that. "Agreed. It is nice knowing that some specific nights are reserved for each of us alone." She leaned forward and draped a hand over Hermione's own as the brunette returned to the stack of papers in front of her. "So are you coming home anytime soon, Mione?"
Hermione sighed and shook her head. "I still have so much more to look through. It'll be a few hours I think."
"Hermione Granger Potter," Daphne said with a stern tone, "will you tell me what day today is before you make that your final decision?"
Hermione frowned and ran through her internal clock. "Wednesday the 15th."
Daphne reached over and tapped the calendar on the desk in the far corner. "Hermione, luv, it's the 16th, otherwise known as…?"
"Our Anniversary…" Hermione murmured as her face paled. "Oh my god! What time is it?! I need to leave! We need to leave! The paperwork can wait until tomorrow. I need to tell my secretary that I'm heading home. I need to tell the Department Heads. Daphne, let's go!"
Laughing Daphne stood and shook her head. "Relax, Mione, I already told your assistant that you were heading out and we still have a few minutes before the party starts. We'll use your Floo. Grab your things dear." Hermione nodded and rushed to grab her purse and the few items she always took back to the Manor at the end of the day. In less than ten seconds she was standing next to Daphne at the fire grate and hitting the locking rune in the corner. At her nod, the blonde picked up a pinch of Floo powder and tossed it in stepping into the fire immediately after. Hermione took a brief moment to compose herself again before following her partner into the glowing green flames.
Harry plopped down onto his couch with a groan and rubbed his eyes. Shiva looked up from her book and smirked. "Long day at the office, kid?"
Harry rolled his eyes and looked over at Shiva. "I'm old enough now that 'kid' doesn't really apply anymore, mum."
"Tomayto, tomahto," she replied waving her hand.
"You're impossible," Harry said chuckling. "Yeah, long day. I think I finally managed to get the initial plans created for a portable version of the Fortress. Still have a long way to go, but I'm almost certain I hit on the right concept this time. I've been staring at that thing so long though, my eyes hurt…" He smiled and shook his head reaching over to his bag. "Oh and I got word from Millie in Sofia. She sent pictures of the new store."
"She's the manager of that one right?" Shiva asked looking through the photos that Harry handed over. Millicent was standing in front of the doors with her arms spread wide and gesturing to the front display in the first. The second had Krum beside her as the line behind them slowly progressed inside. "Looks like business is going great."
"Yeah, asking Viktor to help market the Superman harness really jumped up business." Harry frowned as he continued, "I don't know why I didn't do that years ago…"
Lily walked in and handed a mug of cocoa to both shrugging. "Didn't Hermione try to get the professional Quidditch players wearing them a few years back?" She sat down next to Shiva and took out a potions book and a red pen. "Hmm, I thought Daphne and I had corrected this in the last draft," she muttered leaning over the book and marking her corrections. "Need a new publisher."
Harry ignored his mother's muttering and shook his head. "Yeah, Mione tried to get them to adopt it as a safety regulation, but too many complained that it 'removed all the risk from the sport'. Now that Viktor is wearing one though they've apparently changed their tune."
"Wotcher, all," Tonks said as she pranced into the room. Harry rolled his eyes and silently started his countdown. Just as he hit zero Tonks' foot caught on the carpet and she squeaked as she started to splay forward. Harry just held out his arm, snagged her on her trip to the carpet and deftly pulled her onto his lap. "Stupid carpet. The bloody thing hates me just as much as that troll leg at Grimmauld," she muttered glaring at the offending piece of upholstery. "Thanks for the save, Wonder Boy."
Harry rolled his eyes and kissed her forehead. "You're welcome, Nym."
"Maybe I should try to stay off my clumsy feet for a bit. Best to be careful for a few months," she replied with a grin and a wink.
"I doubt a few months are going to make much difference in restoring your balance when years haven't done anything to help," Harry replied rolling his eyes. Lily paused and looked over to Tonks with a questioning tilt to her head before snorting at Harry.
"So, did you tell them we were invited to the wedding, Harry?" Tonks asked avoiding meeting Lily's gaze and never losing her grin.
Harry shrugged. "I was getting to it! Mum, Mother, we're all invited to Millie and Viktor's wedding. Your card is in my bag. I can't give it to you though because Hedwig would take offense at not getting to play messenger." As if summoned, the white owl flew into the room and settled onto the arm of the chair bobbing her head at Harry and staring intently at his bag. He laughed and held it out towards her while Tonks chuckled and reached out to pet Hedwig's wing. "Hey, girl, did you do anything fun today?"
The owl poked her head into the bag pushing items around until she came out with a fancy yellow letter. As soon as she came up for air she dropped the letter in Tonks lap and barked at Harry, tilting her head to the side. "Okay, okay, business first." Before Harry could satisfy the impatient avian Tonks reached over and handed the invitation to Hedwig who carefully clutched it in her outstretched talon and flew over to Shiva and Lily, dropping the letter between the two. Chuckles resounded from pretty much everyone as Hedwig gave an amused bark and flew back over to Harry and Tonks butting her head affectionately against Tonks' hand.
Harry raised his eyebrows at the bird. "Good now?" Hedwig barked at him and bobbed her head. "Okay then. How's that barn owl I saw you flying around with a few days back?" Hedwig covered her head with her wing and Harry grinned. "That good huh? Well there's certainly room in the roost if you decide to keep him around." Hedwig glared at him and fluffed her wings. "Don't get snippy, girl, you bug me about my partners so I can bug you about yours." Hedwig turned her head around and stared at the wall. With a final bark she took off and headed back upstairs.
"She'll come around eventually," Tonks said with a laugh as she looped an arm around Harry's neck and kissed his cheek. "Suitors and babies always make females a little insane."
Harry snorted at that. "Well then I'm going to have to step extremely carefully whenever you get to that point considering you're already halfway insane."
Tonks raised her eyebrows and her hair switched to blue. "Well if I'm halfway, you're completely there. You're really not getting this are you, Wonder Boy?"
"Nah, I admitted to being partially insane years ago, Nym!" Harry replied kissing her nose. Tonks rolled her eyes and Shiva slapped a hand against her forehead.
"Nymph? Nyyymmmmph?" Fleur's musical voice floated into the room followed shortly by the Veela herself. "Ah, zere you are! I zought we were going to get ze food before settling down?"
"I asked Ginny and the twins to grab it all," Tonks said shaking her head.
"Ze twins? Seriously?" Fleur planted her hands on her hips and glared. "You entrust zose pranksters with our Anniversary dinner?! If not for my condition I'd be zrowing a fireball at you!"
"My point," Tonks muttered to Harry rolling her eyes.
Harry just frowned up at Fleur and shifted Tonks enough so he could sit up straighter. "Are you sick, luv?"
"Sick? Why would you zink zat?" Fleur asked cocking her head at him. She turned back to Tonks. "I could've sworn we told him zis morning…"
Tonks laughed as Shiva let her head slam on the table with a groan. "I thought so too, but apparently loverboy is a bit denser than we had anticipated."
Harry glanced between all four women present. Shiva still had her head on the table, Lily was holding her hand over her mouth obviously stifling her laughter, Tonks' chuckles were pleasantly shaking her bum against his chest and Fleur was looking to the ceiling for assistance from on high. "Okay, what am I missing? I know I've been a bit distracted with the expansion lately, but I didn't think I had ignored something big."
"Kid," Shiva murmured picking her head up and looking at him with pity. "You are even more oblivious than when I met you."
"Don't tell him!" Tonks said with a grin. She leaned up and lightly kissed Harry. "He's cute trying to figure it out!"
"He is, I will grant you zat," Fleur said rolling her eyes. She walked over to him and briefly kissed him as well. She pulled back and ruffled his hair saying, "Ze children will have you wrapped around zere finger in no time."
Harry shrugged and nodded. "Well yeah, if I can't say no to you women how the heck am I supposed to say no to my kids? The trick is going to be making certain that they know I shouldn't be trying to overrule Hermione or Daphne."
"Oh so we are ze chopping liver?" Fleur asked with a raised eyebrow and crossed arms.
"No, that's not what I meant! I mean, of course if either of you say no then I'm not going to let them do it anyway! I'm just saying that you both are less likely to glare and yell than Mione or Daph. And you'll both probably cave to the little ones just like me!"
Lily finally lost her internal battle and let out her laughter in deep rolling chortles. "Harry, honey, stop talking. You're just digging yourself in deeper!"
"You can say that again…" Harry muttered. "At least I don't have to worry about this shite for another few years…" Tonks and Fleur shared a look at that and rolled their eyes together.
Before anyone could say anything further, the Floo flared green and Daphne stepped through followed almost immediately by Hermione. "I hope we're not late! I got so distracted and I didn't even realize the day let alone the time! Is there anything that I have to do? Is there anything that we missed? I feel like I've forgotten something else now! The Minister job is turning out to be even more hectic than the N.E.W.T.s were!"
"Mione, mon amour, breaze," Fleur said moving over and hugging the frantic brunette. "Calm down and breaze. Ze Weasleys have been dispatched to get ze food and we sent Daphne after you expecting you to have been consumed in your work."
Hermione took a few deep breaths and nodded slowly. "There aren't any fires to put out?"
"Well there's a fire in my loins, but I think we should wait to put that out until tonight," Tonks said holding up her hand with a wide grin and orange hair.
Daphne groaned and shook her head. "Already, Nymphadora? We're here less than a minute and you're already trying to get us all into bed?"
"Well I've got to make the most of it," Tonks replied wiggling her eyebrows and winking at Hermione. "Gotta do it while I'm still mobile! Well…mostly mobile…minus the falling and the tripping and the banging into things…"
Fleur wiped a hand down her face and playfully slapped Tonks on the back of the head. "We have monzs before zat is an issue and even zen I have a book zat has better positions for us. I am sure zat Mione is already well versed as well."
"Wait…" Hermione said as she and Daphne both halted in the middle of the room and narrowed her eyes at Fleur and Tonks.
Harry saw the metamorph's answering smirk widen and Hermione's eyes grew round followed shortly by Daphne's. "Okay, these two figure out the big secret within moments and I'm still sitting here clueless! Come on, people! Someone tell me what the bloody hell I'm missing!"
Hermione smiled from ear to ear and ran to Fleur holding her by the shoulders for a brief moment before crushing her into a bear hug. "You're pregnant!"
"Congratulations, Nym, Fleur," Daphne said with an equally large smile plastered on her face as she walked over and leaned down to hug Tonks. "Just try and wait a few days before we tell Luna okay? She's looking to try for her own and I still need to convince Harry first. The little blonde won't leave us alone once she knows you're both already expecting," she said chuckling and drawing back.
In the midst of all the hugging and shouting Harry could only sit there and stare with his mouth hanging open far enough he could be mistaken for a metamorphmagus himself. He made an odd noise in his throat as the girls started chattering amongst themselves. Hermione found her hands cupped in Fleur's own and held over the taller girl's stomach while Daphne settled in near Tonks to discuss more practical things like colors for the babies' rooms and whether Dobby would be allowed to take care of the kids unsupervised. It took a good five minutes before Harry could finally close his mouth and another three before the dryness receded enough for him to form words. Finally, Harry gulped loudly and looked very, very slowly between Tonks and Fleur. Taking another deep breath he carefully asked, "I'm going to be…a father!?"
A large grin split across his face as his family laughed and nodded around him. "I'm going to be a father!" He laughed with them and squeezed his arms around Tonks, drawing her against his chest as hard as he dared. "I'm going to be a father!" Tonks squealed as he hugged her and the others started to shake their heads at him.
"Finally figured it out huh, kid," Shiva said smirked. "They've only been discussing it for the past ten minutes."
"Who cares! I'm going to be a dad! Twice! And – " Harry stopped short in mid-sentence and frowned. "Wait…Daph…what was that about Luna?"
Daphne's leer and wiggling eyebrows were answer enough. Harry groaned and leaned back. He snaked an arm out and grabbed Fleur dragging both her and Tonks back to cover and shield him from the room. "Mothers of my children, protect me from the insane blondes!" The room burst into laughter and Harry just held his shields and prayed for the strength to maintain his sanity in the months to come.
One way or another, his family would help him work it all out. After all…he was going to be a father!
AN: A final shout-out to RhysThornbery for the extremely helpful beta assistance on this story!
Recommendation for this chapter: "Last Will" by HPFANGIB. This one's premise is that Hermione discovers Harry's will in Sixth Year and in order to help him survive Voldemort she goes about creating a Coven ("not a Harem!" sorry, bit of a recurring joke…) for him. There are quite a few included girls though to list them all would be spoilers. It's good and very cute plus it's a oneshot so it can be read in a single sitting.
Continuing Fic rec: Looking for another "Rune Stone Path" fix? Try "Dodging Prison and Stealing Witches - Revenge is Best Served Raw" by LeadVonE. It's a very in-depth – and very AU – fic that has just recently entered a few months hiatus after finishing the second major arc. This fic is based on Harry having a twin brother and his parents surviving the night. Dumbledore knew that he was the Chosen One, but tricked everyone else in order to maintain control and ends up getting a Dursley-raised Harry sent to Azkaban. After Voldemort wins the first time around, Harry is offered a chance go back and set things onto the correct path since his brother screwed up so bad when he was given the same option. So now, Harry is sent to his eight year old self and has to deal with a second time traveler with far less experience/sense plus a practically evil Dumbledore. Oh and he resolves to steal all of his brother's women for himself starting with Hermione, Luna, Daphne and Ginny. Notable in that while Harry is overpowered, the universe still manages to screw him over multiple times. Now has a youtube audio version as well!
Final rec: "What Everyone Missed" by cb-hp-writer (formerly known as 'chelseyb'). My first recommendation ever was by this author so it seemed an appropriate bookend to make her my last for as well. As I've said before, pretty much all of her stories are epic and this is no different. This is a Harry/Tonks humor fic all the way and it's finished which is always great! The premise is basically just hilarious situations where various people find out about the relationship in extremely entertaining ways. Sadly the author seems to have disappeared from here and the only fic of hers that is easy to find on another site is "The Rebel and the Chosen" over on Ultimate Harry Potter Fanfiction. I have FINALLY managed to find a site hosting "What everyone missed"! It's: fanfics. me / read2. php ? id =153286 (no spaces). Word of warning, the buttons are in another language but the story is still the original English and it's not too hard to figure out what the buttons do. The chapter selections are in a section in the middle that you have to click on to see. It's just above the ad.