-13 years later-
"I never thought I would live to see this day," Hermione Black-Lupin (neé Granger) strode through the Hogwarts gardens, looking to the beautiful starry sky above her as she leaned ever so slightly on her husband Remus Lupin,
"You say that every time we walk this way, love," the man chuckled, tightening his grip around his wife's waist as she sighed and smiled, marble eyes gleaming with hidden mischief.
"I know. But it's true isn't it? We could have died all those years ago, and then we wouldn't be here, seeing these beautiful gardens again,"
"I suppose so, 'Mione. Do you still think about it? Your past life I mean,"
Hermione shrugged, turning to start walking again as she picked up one of the beautiful orchids hanging from a wire trellis,
"I suppose I do. At night, or when I'm simply lost in thought. But it's not very often,"
"Mm. And, do you suppose we should be getting back to the Castle? Lily must be having a fit right about now, wondering where we slipped off too,"
"Yes," Hermione smirked and took in the sight of one of the Hogwarts fountains, "I really don't need the Potions Professor angry at me so early in the year,"
"I don't think you need Lily Potter angry at you any time of the year, love,"
Hermione laughed lightly as she nodded her head,
"Yeah, I guess that's true. Say, aren't Lily and James expecting soon? Another boy isn't it?"
"Indeed. James is absolutely over the moon. Get it, over the moon,"
"Oh Remus that was terrible," Hermione complained, smacking her husband across the shoulder as they turned and headed back towards the tall shadow of Hogwarts, "you don't even have your Lycanthropy anymore,"
"I'm still a wolf at heart, love. No changing that."
Remus lunged towards his wife and swept her up into his arms, leaving the woman to laugh and hold out her hands,
"Careful Remus, careful. I have a human inside me, remember?" Hermione held her stomach gingerly as her husband sighed contentedly and leaned down to kiss Hermione's belly,
"For which I am very excited,"
"I can see that. Now please put me down before a student happens to come by,"
Growling slightly in the back of his throat, Hermione rolled her eyes as Remus nipped at the lobe of her ear before gently setting her down on the front steps of Hogwart's back entrance. Removing the invisibility cloak from inside the bag at her waist, Hermione threw it over them as they silently entered the back staff from flanking the Great Hall. Soon, both reappeared at the staff table before the great hall, taking their respective seats,
"And where have you two been? Frolicking in the moonlight again?" Lily's voice was irritated as Hermione hooked a loose strand of dark auburn hair behind her ear, smiling breathlessly as Remus squeezed her hand under the table,
"That's exactly what we were doing, Lily,"
"Oh lay off em', Lil'. They were just having a bit of alone time before the first years get here," James complained with a glint of humor in his eyes, "we would do that too if it weren't so difficult,"
"Sorry I'm too busy being pregnant for you to notice, Potter," Lily growled, though it was all in good fun as Hermione chuckled and glanced down as a large black dog padded down the center of the Great Hall, tall wagging, tongue sticking out,
"Hey Padfoot," Remus greeted, watching as the dog turned to man right before the tables of students waiting for the feast to begin,
"Wotcher, Mooney. Liontail. And how was your romantic evening?"
"Not long enough," Hermione stated, leaning on a hand as she smiled lopsidedly, "did you get your lesson plans finished?"
"I did indeed, miss Headmistress. Down to the letter. You know I do have a greater respect for Professor McGonagall? Who knew being Transfiguration Professor could be so hard."
Sirius plopped down into his chair as Hermione rolled her eyes and glanced at all her friends sitting together at the staff table. It was really a given that the Marauders would stay together after the war. But Hermione hadn't expected them to immediately return to Hogwarts.
It started when Professor McGonagall offered the job as Headmistress to Hermione a few years after her graduation (Something about being too old for the job?) Which of course Hermione thought was bloody nonsense. But she took the position anyway, allowing McGonagall to remain on staff as the Dean of Students. Eventually though, Hermione needed someone to replace Slughorn as Potions Professor, and her first thought was Lily Potter. She, of course, took the job. And where Lily went, James went. He became the new Quidditch coach and Flying Instructor. Remus (once cured of his Lycanthropy using a mix and match of Wolfs Bane and Essence of Man created by Hermione), accepted the position as the new DADA professor, and finally, Sirius joined them for Transfiguration.
Smiling slightly at the thought of them all together, Hermione glanced up as the doors to the great hall opened wide. The first years were clad in their waving black cloaks and pointy hats as the other houses quieted down. The Sorting Hat was already placed on the stool for the sorting, and McGonagall looked at stern as ever. As they approached, Hermione inhaled sharply. This was the moment she had been waiting for all day long. After the usual speech about waiting turns, names were soon called out,
Hermione's heart jumped into her throat as she forced to keep herself from jumping up and down in excitement, feeling Remus proudly beaming beside her as he took her hand and squeezed it. That was her daughter up there. Her brilliant, brown haired, marble eyed little girl with two front fangs, and a love of chocolate. There was a moment, a seemingly endless moment before,
Hermione felt the tears well as she forced them back down, clapping politely as her highly excitable daughter skipped down the steps towards the awaiting table, taking a seat next to second year Bill Weasley. After another short wait, Hermione saw a familiar black haired boy with circle rim glasses moving closer to the front. His green eyes were striking, and his smile infectious. And, the best part, his forehead was clear of any scar.
The boy move to the stool and sat. The answer was almost immediate,
More clapping as Harry ran towards his awaiting table and sat next to Emma, giving her a large hug as she blushed ferociously. And finally, towards the end and after a few more names like Neville and Mason Longbottom, Luna Lovegood and, surprisingly enough, Draco Malfoy (his hair was actually a normal color of blond?),
Hermione watched the small, awkward figure of her once ex-boyfriend move to the stool and sit,
Hermione felt a deep and heavy breath escape her throat as the redhead stumbled off the stool and towards the correct table, plopping down between Emma and Harry and practically slamming his head against the wood in relief. Smiling as the last of the names were called, and McGonagall returned to her place at the staff table, Hermione stood up. Running a thumb over the Resurrection Stone on her finger, she glanced at the three wispy white figures standing at the very back of the great hall. Harry, Ron, and herself. They stood close together, clean and in dark robes, smiling broadly as Hermione swallowed back her tears again. It was the beginning of a new year, and everything had fallen back into place. Glancing at Harry, Ron and Emma, they were laughing and grinning at one another as Hermione chuckled and lifted her hands,
"Let the feast begin,"
•That's it folks. To all of you who read and voted and commented, I love and appreciate you all! If you haven't checked out my other completed HP story, 'Checkup', please feel free. Or, if would like to invest in another on-going story, check out my new HP project, 'Sanctuary'. Both are posted on my profile. I can't say enough thank you's, so I'll just say it again. Thank you all. I solemnly swear I am up to no good. Till we meet again.