Harry woke up slowly, and if his internal clock was any sign, it was probably just after the sunrise. His wife - it was still a bit weird to call Daphne his wife, but mostly because it made him grin like a lunatic every time - was still sound asleep on the bed, and Harry decided that he could let her sleep a bit more, taking the hair out of her face and kissing her cheek for a moment. She was so tired, lately; letting her sleep in was something Daphne deserved.
With a sigh, he rose up from the bed, putting on his glasses and opening the curtains just a bit to confirm that yes, his internal clock was correct, the soft light blinding him for a moment. Harry closed the windows and crept to the other room, where his daughter was asleep.
He hadn't planned on having another child - no, having four was enough for Harry. However, life hadn't liked that decision, and he had a fifth child, a little girl he and Daphne named Ianthe - not for anyone who had died; Harry figured that he had paid his due, in that regard. The name still paid homage to someone, though: an aunt of Daphne's that had invented something or another -, but Greengrass instead of Potter. Harry figured he had enough kids to pass the Potter name forward, while Daphne only had Lilian.
He stared down at his daughter, watching her sleep peacefully for a moment; if Lilian looked like him, he supposed Ianthe looked like Daphne, straight black hair and grey eyes and the same nose. How odd were those things. Harry messed carefully with the baby's hair, doing his best to not wake her up as she stirred quietly, almost holding his breath.
When she didn't wake up, Harry sighed, shoulders relaxing, and went to get a headstart on breakfast. Lilian, Albus and Lily would come soon. James had said nothing in that regard, but Harry knew it was discomfort over... Well, everything.
It had surprised Harry when his kids had accepted the divorce from their mother so quickly, but Albus - always quick and perceptive, that one; Harry had no idea who he had taken it from - told him that at least he and Lily had seen it coming, something in their mannerisms or something. James was always too much like him at the same age, thick-headed and foggy, to see things for what they were. Albus had accepted it rather easily, even if he had paused when he learned who he was remarrying for a mere second, and then asking something, in a mumble, about Scorpius. That was rather cute, Harry supposed, picking up the ingredients for pancakes. Lily, meanwhile, had just shrugged and said it meant she now got twice the gifts, and Harry hadn't need to worry anymore about how she had gone to Slytherin as well.
He also had been surprised at how easily Hermione and Ron had gotten over the divorce subject, as well - Hermione had listened to it baffled and with a vein popping dangerously on her forehead, and Ron had just looked at him like Harry hadn't been telling him he was going to divorce his sister.
"You know what, Harry, you're pretty grown to know what you're doing. And you!" She turned to face Ron, and he looked at Hermione, almost bored with the entire situation. "He's divorcing Ginny and you're not even reacting!"
"Ginny told me to expect a divorce a few years ago, and honestly, Harry, you just made me lose a bet I had with George, so thanks for that." He pointed out, shrugging, and Hermione seemed to get red. "Besides, it's not like he's seventeen anymore, right? I mean, he's old enough to know what's best for himself."
Ron was being cool with everything, which… Came as a surprise, really. Harry had been pleasantly glad of Ron's acceptance, until he smiled.
"However, I will be really pissed if you neglect my nephews." While Harry wasn't usually afraid of Ron, he made an exception here.
Harry was halfway through the second pile of pancakes when he heard the sound of the door opening, the voices of Lilian guiding Albus and Lily inside. Now that he thought about it, Lily and Albus had only come over briefly once, didn't they? When Ginny had gone to cover a game in Russia and she didn't want to leave Lily alone for the week; Albus had come with her, and so did James. Well, James didn't need to come, exactly - he was an adult already living on his own -, but Harry made the polite guess that he didn't want to leave his younger siblings alone. However, he disappeared to a friend's house after a day or two with sagged shoulders, and Harry took it as approval.
Had Harry been reckless with his decision to divorce? Probably, considering he was a public figure and all that jazz. Had it made him significantly happier? Of course it had, even Molly had noticed - she had simply sighed, patted his hair as if he was the same gangly kid she had met and made a vague comment to bring out his other daughter to Christmas as well -, and she had spoken nothing of it. Harry only hadn't divorced Ginny earlier because he feared the reaction of others, but perhaps he should have, if they all would have accepted it so easily. Even Skeeter had been easy to control with little protest - sure, he had asked Ginny to slip her an Animagus permit, but he didn't expect that to actually work. Ginny had said she had spoken something about the subject...
Harry was taken out of his thoughts when he heard Lilian and Albus chat about something as Lily almost flew in, going for the kitchen almost automatically, holding Salem in her arms. Lily was excited about something, and Harry was almost sure it had everything to do with the fat cat on her hands.
"Hi, father. Where's mum?" Lilian asked, sitting as Lily jumped excitedly into place, the cat seemingly not noticing. Harry had no idea how. "Luna has decided that she's taking Salem to Hogwarts with her, by the way."
To make matters easy, the two just called each other by their middle names. Harry didn't think it was easy at all, but it was none of his business.
"Yeah, and it's because Salem has been so sad he's leaving Hogwarts this year." Sighed Albus, who had also adopted the cat. Harry sneaked a look at the cat, who seemed fat and content. The sadness was probably leaving the feast behind.
"Lilian, your mother is asleep, and I ask you three to make as little noise as possible because Ianthe is also asleep." Albus nodded quickly, and Lily at least stopped jumping into place, letting Salem go. She sat by Lilian's side, Albus in front of his little sister, and Harry levitated the pile of pancakes to the table, picking up plates and cutlery himself. "Alright, which of you wants to tell me what has happened this year?"
Lily jumped on her chair as Harry put the tableware in front of his children, and Harry sensed he knew why Neville had been having more grey hairs lately.
"Dad, did I tell you how I accidentally made a new plant?" Lily said, eyes shining. Harry wasn't so sure on the "accidentally" part, but he shook his head as Albus sighed. He had a feeling the boy had been through hell and back, this year. "Well, it all started when Arachne sent me a potion to make hair grow…"
"In my defense, Luna said it was because she wanted longer hair!" Lilian interrupted, eating her pancakes, but Lily didn't seem to notice. Harry listened to the story, wondering if that was how professor McGonagall felt at the end of the day, when Harry and his friends had just done something previously thought to be unfathomable, such as finding the Chamber of Secrets, fighting and winning against a basilisk at age 12. Probably, he reckoned.
Daphne arrived with a yawn as Lily finished her story, and Lilian greeted her with a small wave, Albus nodding to his stepmother for a brief moment.
"... And then when I accidentally dropped another hair growth potion, I think professor Longbottom fainted, but I'm not sure because the other students started screaming." Lily finished, with a shrug, and she turned to Daphne, who quietly sat down by Harry's side. Ianthe still seemed half-asleep, but Harry wouldn't count on it too long. "And hi, Daphne!"
"Hello, Lily, Lilian, Albus. Lily, I do hope you're planning on leaving Hogwarts in one piece." Daphne said, picking up a plate to herself with magic, eyeing the pile of pancakes. Perhaps Harry should make more. "And besides the general destruction of Hogwarts as we know it, what did I miss?"
"I sealed a very interesting deal with Al's help. Apparently," Lilian pointed her fork at Albus, who blushed as a smirk played on his older sister's lips. ", mum, father, did you know the French really like black hair and green eyes?"
"Scorpius is so going to kill me." Albus moaned, and Daphne laughed a bit, her face lit with a smile that made Harry's heart melt.
However, when Ianthe started crying, Daphne rose, looking worried. Harry, however, rose up as well, putting up a hand on Daphne's shoulder.
"I'll go. Eat, you haven't yet." He hummed, leaving Daphne on the table, and Albus rose up as well, muttering something about having a cute little sister for once while Lily started her tale of the future demise of Neville. Harry made a mental note to send him some firewhiskey as he made his way to Ianthe's room - Lilian's old room, since she had moved to live with Molly in Italy. He only occasionally saw Molly nowadays, sleuthing some story or another, or when Lilian appeared, so the room had sat empty for a while. -, and Albus seemed silent behind him.
Harry approached Ianthe's crib quietly, and while he checked her up, trying to give Daphne at least a few moments to eat something before feeding the baby, he spoke up with Albus, who was looking at the shelves. They were things the kids had sent for decoration - pictures of the cities they had been, photographs of themselves, trinkets from little shops. Harry and Daphne loved each and every item.
"If you don't mind me saying, Albus..." Harry started, as Albus started looking around Ianthe's room, accidentally making a small toy broom go flying. His son looked at him, and Harry smiled to Ianthe. "I'm actually really happy that you kids took to Daphne so easily."
"Well, I knew Arachne from the get-go, so I figured that anyone who raised her couldn't be a bad person. Luna also had a year to figure that out. James…"
There was a pause, and Harry understood why. James had never been Lilian's friend as Albus had, more similar to Quidditch rivals, seeking the same position. Perhaps that was why they didn't get along well. It made no sense, though; James always had something nice to speak about Lilian before.
"But…" Albus continued, as Ianthe slowly quietened up. Seems like she had just woken up from a nightmare, after all. She had her mother's eyes, didn't she? "But I think he's easing up on it, dad. I mean, you're happy, why shouldn't be, as well? It's not any of my business..."
There was another pause, and Harry looked at Albus carefully. He never realized kids could mature so fast. Maybe that was what Daphne had felt years ago?
"I mean, unless you treat mum bad, which then I'm going to protest and hex, but it's not like you're going to do that, right, dad?", Albus hummed, and perhaps he had been spending too much time with Scorpius. Just a hunch. Harry held Ianthe a bit better, and smiled to Albus.
"I'd never. Now let's go, or else your breakfast is going to get cold,", Harry replied, going back to his family. Finally, all was right.
glad y'all rode this far w me! thank you for all the reviews and a special thanks to those who bugged me to keep writing. see you around!