A/N: Hi Everyone! Well, this is it, the final chapter of Race Against Time! It's hard to believe that this story is done, having started writing it so many years ago. This last chapter is a short one, but I think it wraps up the loose ends. Thanks so much for sharing this journey and special thanks to everyone who favorited and reviewed this story. You helped keep me motivated and I appreciate all the feedback along the way.
When the day finally came for Jamie's release, the healer gave him strict instructions to take it easy for at least another week, and Victorie vowed to ensure he adheared to those stipulations, under penalty of revealing some extremely embarresing stories and pictures of his youth to his beautiful girlfriend. Jamie glared at the young healer but begrudgingly promised he'd behave.
With that the young man was escorted out of the hospital, literally surrounded by his family, which was fortunate since there was a mob of photographers and reporters waiting outside St. Mungos upon his release.
James was no stranger to the press, given his choice of careers, and honestly he didn't mind being the center of attention and talking about his passion, Quidditch. Unfortunately, most times the reporters weren't satisfied just asking about that topic. They always wanted to ask him absurd and upsetting questions about his personal life, ("when are you going to pop the question?" "are you worried if you have kids with Lyra they will be squibs too?") or about his dad, ("is it true that your father cheated on your mother with Draco Malfoy?" "do you worry that his violent past and current job are making him more prone to violence himself?") or even about his Slytherin brother ("are you ashamed of having a brother in the same house as He Who Must Not Be Named?" "do you worry that he will be the next Dark Lord?"). Who knew what they would come up with now that they had caught wind of the fact that his "minor illness" had caused him to be in hospital for weeks. He wouldn't be surprised if he read in the Prophet the next day that he had contracted a sexual disease or the plague. Thank Merlin he could count on Xenophilius and The Quibbler to set the record straight. He had an appointment with the elderly and eccentric man later that day to give him an exclusive interview. Given the means by which they procured the cure, James couldn't tell Mr. Lovegood the whole truth, but he would tell him something as close to it as possible, and he was sure it would be far closer to the actual truth than anything the other media outlets could come up with.
Before that, though, he was going to relish the time catching up with his friends and family, particularly those that had passed away or had not existed in the previous timeline. Although his parents, brother, and sister had visited him regularly in the hospital, the high profile nature of their family and the hospital rules prevented most of the extended family members from spending much time with him. He hadn't yet had the chance to meet Scorpius' younger twin brothers, despite having memories of them, which was odd to say the least. He also had only one brief encounter with Remus since he was still on potions that made him drowsy when the werewolf came to visit. He was looking forward to really getting to know his best friend's father. Of course, he was also anxious to spend more time with his girlfriend. It took some getting used to having feelings of love for a person he remembered, but at the same time he knew didn't exist in his world only a few weeks ago.
Once the group had safely made it to the magically expanded car that was waiting for them, they piled in and Harry and James let out a synchronized sigh of relief. This caused them all to laugh, and Harry couldn't help but pull his eldest sone into his arms for a fierce hug. Ginny joined in and they relished that fact that their first born truly was healthy and well again.
The driver, one of Harry's aurors, turned around to make sure everyone was accounted for and then signaled the cavalcade of aurors escorting the vehicle to head out. A disillusionment charm had been cast over all of the vehicles in the party so that the reporters couldn't easily follow them. When they arrived at Harry's home at Grimmauld Place, the place was filled to the brim. All of the Weasleys were there, including even Charlie and his long-time partner Nickolas, along with the Lupins, the Blacks, the Malfoys, Mr. Lovegood, the Scamanders, and James' entire Quidditch team.
James was blown away by the amount of people that had turned out to welcome him home and he couldn't help thinking how blessed his life was. Seeing the huge smile on his son's face, Harry beamed with pride and warmth, but couldn't help leaning over and whispering a warning in his ear. "Don't go getting it in your head that you can start messing with time now just because it worked out well this once," he advised with a smirk.
"I know, Dad," he sighed melodramatically, knowing he was mostly kidding. "Besides, I have everything a guy could want now, why would I ever want to go messing with that?"
"My thoughts exactly!" he agreed with a wide smile as he gave him a loving kiss on his forehead. "Now go spend some time with your teammates since I'm sure we'll all have a lot to talk about once they leave for the night."
James complied with a smile and moved over to the group of enthusiastic young men and women, being swallowed up in hugs and slaps on the back.
"He's a very special young man," a pleasing baritone voice chimed in behind Harry, and he turned to see Remus Lupin gazing at his son with pride, with Sirius and Mira standing just behind him.
"Yes, he is," he agreed with sparkling emerald eyes. Looking at his former professor, he couldn't help but think of what his children had revealed of the kind man's fate in the alternate timeline that he couldn't recall. Thinking of how unfair it would have been for Teddy to lose both of his parents so young, for Harry himself to have lost both of his key role models and parental figures, and for the world to lose such kind, intelligent, brave men, Harry couldn't help but think that maybe his kids recklessly traveling back in time was meant to be all along. After all, Potter's never did do anything the normal way!