Chapter 36: Epilogue
AN: And here it is, the final chapter. I'm not afraid to admit, I cried a little when I was writing this as I realised that the story is now over. But, I have plenty more in the works. Thank you everyone for reading, reviewing and sticking with this story, especially when I had some trouble in real life, and you were all so lovely and understanding, that I convinced myself I could and would continue. Can you believe it's been nearly a year? I was surprised when I saw the publish date. Anyway, you're angels. Thank you! xxx
Hermione laid on her bed with the twins either side of her, holding her hands. Her eyes were closed, her breathing weak and her heart rate was slowing.
Hermione was tired. Not in the sense that she was physically tired, but that she was emotionally and mentally exhausted. Hermione was now five hundred years old, her physical body had stopped ageing not long after her fiftieth birthday and from that point until now, she had been healthier than anyone ever thought possible. She was never ill, she never had a cold or the flu, nor did she get a sore throat or a case of the snuffles. Physically she had been fine, it was the emotional and psychological issues she had to deal with over the last four centuries. She had to watch as her father, uncle and grandfather passed away. She had to watch as her brothers and sister-in-laws passed away. Her friends, her nieces and nephew, her children.
She could remember the entirety of her life as if it was the day before.
She had had a traumatic childhood in the Muggle World, she had been adopted by a man that was the best father she could have ever asked for, she had grown up in war, she had married her mates and had their first child, she had helped to win a war, and then went onto change the world for the better.
After Alexander had been born and the war was over, the twins and Hermione had collectively decided to not use any contraceptives, both magical and muggle, and to leave their futures up to the fates. If they were to have more children, then they would love and cherish each one of them, if they were to only remain parents to Alex, they would cherish the gift they had already been given.
And much to their joy, they had not only been gifted another child, but a total of five, and each of their children were special.
As Alex grew older they knew that it hadn't been Hermione's magic that had caused all the hassle with fire, both during and after the pregnancy. It had been Alex as it turned out he had an affinity for fire. He couldn't control it or command it the way Hermione could, but fire seemed to be drawn to him and him vice versa. Alex was always most comfortable when he was sat in front of a roaring fire, he was able to concentrate and feel peace.
When Alex had turned three, their second and third children came along in the form of twin brothers, Joey and Jay. They were a mix of their parents, Hermione's hair colour with the twins' turquoise eyes and pale complexion. Much to their surprise, Hermione's magic had gone wonky for a while and after the twins were born, it was clear to see they too had an affinity to the elements. Joey's was water and Jay's was quintessence, his mother's lightning and thunder storms. Joey preferred to sit outdoors in the rain, or to swim in the lake on their property, it was a nightmare to get him out of the bathroom, since he'd sometimes fall asleep whilst in the bath or shower, the water calming him as it always did. Jay could always be found standing outdoors, in the pouring rain as the thunder storms were accompanied by lightning. Joey would be focused on the rain whilst Jay would have a look of awe plastered on his face and his eyes would light up in delight as the thunder roared and shook the ground, and the lighting dashed and danced across the sky.
After Joey and Jay turned two, they had their first and only daughter, Jessica, and much to Sirius' joy, she was a spitting double of her mother with chocolate brown eyes, mahogany curls and a button nose. Hermione's magic had once again, gotten a little out of control during and after the pregnancy, this time with the element of earth. As Jessica grew older, it was clear that like her older brothers, she would have an affinity for a particular element. Jessica preferred to be outdoors, surrounded by nature, by fauna and flora. She liked to grow plants and try to cross-breed them, she would sit for hours just staring at a single blade of grass until one of her brothers came along and teased her.
By the time Jessica turned three Hermione fell pregnant one last time. Shaun was the final and youngest child of the family and as he grew, it wasn't a surprise that he showed an affinity to the final element of air. He could always be found flying over their cottage on his broom, as laughter pealed from him as he was literally, in his element.
Of course Regulus would not allow for anyone but himself to be Hermione's midwife, and for each of her pregnancies, some disaster happened in which resulted in Regulus having to deliver the babies since the healer assigned was always unavailable. Regulus complained for decades that Hermione had scarred him for life. And though he never had children himself, he treated his nieces and nephews as if they were his own.
Alex had started his first year at Hogwarts by the time Shaun had been born and true to Hermione's words, Professor Snape had made a full recovery and was back teaching potions, and once Alex entered his classroom, Snape put on his billowing robes and the snide comments began. Though for Alex, it had been fun to partake in, since he had been warned by his parents regarding the grumpy potions professor, and he had a best friend. Lyla Lupin, who was slightly younger than him, since it turned out that Tonks had been pregnant during the final battle, once Remus made a full recovery, he fainted at the news and it took Hermione and Sirius two months to calm the silly wolf down. And much to their surprise, Lyla and Alex had started dating their fourth year and were married by the time they turned twenty-four, giving Hermione her first grandchild a couple of years later, whilst Alex became an Unspeakable like Regulus and Orion, but he mainly focused on research in fiendfyre and other fire magic.
Now the twins' Hogwarts years were a stressful time, since they had inherited their father's love of pranks and mischief, and when they also had two thirds of the Marauders in their lives, well, it was eventful to say the least. They had almost sent McGonagall into an early retirement at least three times during their education. The twins grew up and joined the family business, learning the ropes and helping their fathers create new products, and before Hermione knew it, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes was no longer a small family run business in Diagon Alley, they had opened up shops all around Europe, and within the next two centuries, with the help of their many greats of grandchildren, they had left the continent and moved into Asia, Africa and both of the Americas, making the business one of the most successful businesses in the Wizarding World. They had created a legacy that would be around till the end of time itself. They were far wealthier than The Malfoys had ever been and were one of -if not- the wealthiest families in the Wizarding World.
Jessica had immediately taken to herbology in Hogwarts and once she entered her third year, care of magical creatures. When she graduated she had moved to Romania and stayed with her uncle Charlie, learning all about the dragon reserve and how to care for dragons. She not only became a dragon tamer herself, much to Mrs Weasley's horror, but she was a world renowned herbologist.
It was clear from the age of five what Shaun wanted to be when he grew up and so his fathers and uncles worked with him for years, helping him to be the best he could be. It also helped that they knew Oliver Wood, a player for Puddlemere United, and he'd pop by the cottage every now and again as well. Shaun made it onto the Gryffindor Quidditch team his second year as a chaser. He was quite versatile, being able to play all positions, what with Ron once being a keeper, Harry and Charlie being seekers, the twins beaters and Bill a chaser, but his favourite position to play was chaser. By the time he entered his fifth year he had been made Quidditch Captain and he was recruited for the Falmouth Falcons before his graduation ceremony was over, making it onto the England National Team within three years and helping to secure the World Cup for England.
Hermione couldn't have been any prouder of her children for fear of bursting. Whilst they were out being successful and living their lives without fear, Hermione had aided Kingsley in rebuilding The Ministry which took several years. Afterwards she fought for equal rights for all magical creatures, house-elves getting them twenty years later, werewolves, before her two hundredth birthday. With the help of Sirius, The Ancient and Noble House of Black was no more, now it was The Ancient and Noble House of Weasley-Black, creating an entirely new house with its own traditions and morals.
Orion passed barely fifteen years after Alex was born and he died of natural causes. He had had a long and tiresome life and Hermione was grateful that he could finally rest. Her father had passed with her and his great grandchildren by the side of his bed, he was happy as he would once again see James and Remus, whom had passed a few years before. Regulus went a year after Sirius after contracting a Wizarding form of stomach flu, but his immune system was weak and he died in his sleep.
Now her brothers and sisters she missed greatly.
When Hermione had been pregnant it wasn't just Alex that made Hermione's magic flare up whenever Ginny had been around. When Ginny had finally met Alex after the final battle, the fire in the living room had spit at her like an angry volcano, and when Fred took him from Ginny, it had stopped. When Ginny first held Joey and Jay, a thunder and lightning storm replaced the calm blue sky. When Ginny had held Jessica for the first time, there had been in a tremor in the ground and when she held Shaun for the first, every door and window in the cottage was blown open by a sudden gust of wind.
It hadn't just been upon the first meeting, the affinity the children had for the elements, it was as if it wanted to protect them from something. And that all became clear at Harry's twenty-fifth birthday party, when he revealed to everyone that he was engaged, to Charlie Weasley.
Ginny had lost it, she threw hexes in every direction and Hermione had to conjure several tornados to surround everyone there, until the hexes had been absorbed by the vortex and she dropped them. Hermione bound Ginny and when she got close, Ginny's eyes were red, blood red. She had been taken to St. Mungo's that day, and had never left; she died there seventy-years later. It seemed that Voldemort's possession of her had done far more damage to her soul then anyone realised, and it explained a lot of her behaviour over the years, since it had been steadily getting worse.
Harry and Charlie married and adopted three children, Albus Severus, James Siris, and Lily Potter, who all attended Hogwarts. Bill and Fleur had three children, Victorie, Lucas and Domonique, who ended up marrying Teddy Lupin, the son of Tonks and Remus. Percy married someone from The Ministry, and had two children, Molly and Lucy, whilst Ron married Luna, and they had two children of their own, Hugo and Rose. Draco become the Head of the House of Malfoy and had the manor stripped of everything, allowing his mother to decorate it as she wished. It had kept her busy for a year, whilst Draco decided to do some travelling, coming home every so often to catch up or for a family obligation. After nearly two years, he returned, engaged to half-blood witch they had never heard of, let alone met. She was American and Draco had met her whilst he visited the Grand Canyon in the Muggle World. Five years afterwards, they were married with a son, Scorpius.
Over the years Hermione and her husbands watched everyone they loved die, including their own children and grandchildren and great-children and so on for close to five centuries. And they were tired, so very tired and they knew their time was coming to an end and death was upon them. But they didn't fear it, they didn't fight it, they welcomed it. It would take them to the afterlife, where they would be reunited with their family, friends and children.
"Grandma?" A voice said quietly. Hermione opened her eyes and turned her head slightly.
"Reggie," her voice was hoarse and it cracked from a lack of use, for the last two weeks Hermione and the twins had been bedridden. It must've been an odd sight, the three of them, looking no older than fifty yet laying in their own death bed.
Weasley red hair came into view, turquoise eyes shining with unshed tears and a quivering lip. Reggie was her many greats of a grandson and had recently turned six years old. It had always amazed her how every few decades, a Weasley-Black child would be born and they would either be a spitting double of Hermione or the twins, but that was genetics for you.
"I don't want you to leave."
Hermione was saddened by his clear distress and she gave him a weak, tired smile.
"Whether I am here or I am in the afterlife, I will always love you, as will your grandfathers. We have been around for a very long time, we may not look old, but we are, so very old and it's our time to go. You know of The Blue Mage and you know that I am here only until the next is born. And she has been, I must go so she can grow and learn and continue to better the world, just I had to do, as did my predecessors before me."
Her eyes turned to her many greats of a granddaughter as she propped Reggie up on her hip. Something in her eyes must've been seen because moments later, her bedroom was filled to the brim of her all of her family, not one person was missing, not even those that worked out of the country, including her grandson who had been undercover in Russia for the past six months.
"Is it time?" the twins both asked her, their eyes opening.
"It is time, My Mates," her voice becoming musical and her eyes changing colour for the first time in years, at this, everyone knew it was the end. The Blue Mage was leaving.
"We love you all," they three spoke together.
"I'll be waiting for you," Hermione whispered.
"We'll be there with you," her mates replied, and their eyes closed for the final time, to the sounds of crying and family members comforting each other, as they lost the matriarch and patriarchs to The Ancient and Noble House of Weasley-Black.