A/N: Thank you all so much for your reviews, favorites and follows throughout this story! I have been so blown away by all the love and support :D When I started this, I hadn't read a single Regumione fic before, but I just feel incredibly lucky with how much the fandom has supported me. It honestly means so much. Well, here is the epilogue - it's always so hard to say goodbye to a fic, but I hope that you will enjoy where I've left it. If you have any lingering questions, please feel free to ask! You can also follow me over on tumblr (nauticalparamour) where I post sneak peeks, story updates and answer questions!
If you enjoy my work, I am working on a Marcus/Hermione story right now, and then I will be taking a tiny break while I go on Vacation! I will be back in mid-June with some Thorfinn x Hermione action though (hopefully!).
HUGE HUGE thank you to Alassea Black, who has been with this story from the beginning, for her beta services!
Please let me know what you thought of the story!
Five Years Later
Hermione felt her eyelids flutter in the morning sunlight, wondering just why she was waking up at such an early hour. An imperious little whisper from next to the bed let her know exactly why. "Mummy is awake," a little boy said with an annoyed air about him. She felt her hair being lifted from where it rested on her face, only to have hot breath tickle her ear. "Mummy? Are you awake?"
She giggled, reaching down and pulling the three year old boy up into her arms. "Arcturus, just what are you doing up so early?" she teased, before smiling shyly up at her husband, while the little boy prattled on about how it was his birthday. Hermione never expected to become a mother at twenty, but once she'd fallen into Regulus's arms, it seemed as if fate had other ideas.
The few weeks after the death of Lord Voldemort were busy and tumultuous. Mostly, people were rejoicing, so happy to be free of such an oppressive man. There was a lot of work to be done; Death Eaters to be arrested and people to be put on trial. Regulus provided invaluable intelligence to the Ministry about how the Death Eaters worked, and was responsible for helping put numerous men behind bars including Lucius Malfoy and Rabastan Lestrange. Sirius found a new respect for his little brother, grateful for the changes that Hermione's presence precipitated, and he did try much harder not to be mean spirited where Regulus was concerned. Their relationship had only gotten better since.
Severus, like Regulus, avoided jail time for his good acts during the final battle. A befuddled James Potter had explained how Snape had saved his arse during the fighting, and had even tried to thank the dour man for it. Severus had told him, with a very pained tone, that he'd only saved James because he knew how much Lily cared for her husband. It was enough to give Severus and Lily some closure, but they were never fated to become friends again.
Hermione had also been worried that she could be sent back to her time at any moment. After a week of nothing happening, she could cheerfully agree with Regulus that she was now a permanent member of the past. She promised the man that she wouldn't make any attempts to go back on her own. She had mourned the friendships and family that she had in the future, but knew that she'd made the world a better place for them.
Hermione had held off talk of a wedding until after she completed her NEWTs, but by the time she'd gotten her scores back - some of the highest in a century - Hermione was completely head over heels for Regulus that she didn't even need to think when he asked her to marry him.
It helped knowing that he was doing it because he loved her and not because his mother wanted him to.
Walburga had been a constantly disapproving of the relationship that Regulus and Hermione had once she learned that Hermione was a muggleborn. Regulus only barely resisted being disowned when Sirius proved that even though he provided a pureblood grandchild, he was still a miserable heir. Orion, buoyed by the thought of having Sirius back as a productive member of the family, had taken Sirius to one session at the Wizengamot before insisting that Regulus continue his duties as the chosen son. After that, he put his foot down when Walburga tried to complain about Regulus's "life choice" of consorting with a muggleborn. After that, Walburga begrudgingly accepted that Hermione was going to be a member of the family.
Cassiopeia and Narcissa, though, were firmly on the side of the young couple and worked to smooth things out in the family, only too happy to help plan a quiet wedding. Narcissa used the remaining months of bedrest to organize everything, apparently not bothered in the slightest that her husband was going to be in prison for the rest of his life. Draco Cygnus Malfoy was born a few months later, apple of both of his grandfathers' eye, and godson of Regulus Black.
Harry Potter was born a few months later at the very end of July. Hermione never felt one hundred percent comfortable around James and Lily, remembering their ghosts too well, but she couldn't deny that she held such a fond spot for their son, something that she'd never be able to explain to anyone but Regulus. Still she saw them with some regularity as they became closer to Marlene and Sirius. Marlene and Hermione ended up getting along smashingly well, their friendship becoming more than just proximity as the Black brother's girlfriends. They only grew closer once Alphard was born in mid-August.
After Alphard was born, Walburga did everything in her power to get Sirius and Malene to follow Regulus and Hermione's example and get married. She was completely aghast that her first grandchild was born out of wedlock. The couple remained steadfast that they didn't need to get married, especially seeing all the work that went into planning Hermione and Regulus's wedding.
Hermione and Regulus were married in late October to the joy of practically everyone who knew them. Cassiopeia was happy to give away her little princess, having deemed Regulus good enough for her. Orion had even begun to enjoy her presence more than he'd admit, once she could be more open and honest around them, and they could frequently be found debating aspects of Wizarding Law. He wanted his daughter-in-law to go into law, but to his dismay, she'd decided to pursue curse breaking at Gringotts.
The young couple were a bit surprised to learn that they were expecting a child about a year after they'd been married, and Arcturus was born in early September the year after. He was named for Regulus's favorite grandfather, and was quite adored by all of his grandparents and parents friends. With wildly curling dark hair and grey eyes, he was the spitting image of the Black family, with a hint of Hermione thrown in.
Sirius and Marlene announced that they were pregnant again shortly after Arcturus was born, this time with twins. It had led to an epic shouting match between Walburga and Sirius, who was still refused to cow to his mother's wants and just marry Marlene already. The couple said there was no shame in not getting married, and that their relationship worked just fine as it was. In the end, it was Sirius's insistence on having children out of wedlock that probably did Walburga in. She withered away as all her family beliefs did, and died before Agatha and Stellan were born. Orion seemed to open up much more after his wife had passed, making Grimmauld Place seem open and welcoming for the first time.
"Mummy," Arcturus said, sounding completely exasperated, pulling her out of her thoughts. "We have to get ready for my party."
"Of course we do," Hermione agreed, before picking him up, and reluctantly leaving the warmth of the bed. "Let's go check on Kreacher and see how all the food is coming along." Hermione would probably never feel comfortable that they'd been gifted another sentient being, but she knew that the bond Kreacher and Regulus was something more. She'd reluctantly accepted the wedding present from her in-laws, with the caveat that she'd never order him to do anything, and tried to encourage the older elf to take time to himself. He would not accept a wage, but she'd quickly learned that he had a very soft spot for satsumas.
Hermione looked around the party, watching as all the young children played together, a pile of presents building up in the corner for Arcturus to open. Her husband's arm wrapped tightly around her waist, Hermione let her head drop to the side. "We must make sure not to let Arcturus get too spoiled," she chided. "He's going to have to get used to the idea of sharing."
Regulus smiled at her, before pressing a kiss to her forehead, and a hand to her yet small baby bump. They were expecting another child, and Hermione could just sense this time that it was a girl, one she hoped to name Cassiopeia, in honor of the witch that had helped her through so much once she was thrown into the past. She just wished that Cassiopeia could have lived long enough to meet her namesake. Hermione had noticed that it really was getting harder for her guardian to get around once Arcturus was born, and sadly, she'd passed in her sleep the year prior.
"Of course. I have plenty of first hand knowledge to give to Arcturus on how a big brother is meant to behave," he said, his eyes finding his brother where he was playing on the ground with the excited children, roaring like a bear. Surprisingly, Sirius took quite well to being a dad, maturing considerably.
She nodded, watching as all the children played together. It seemed that Harry Potter would have different friends this time around, being fast friends with Alphard Black and perhaps even Draco Malfoy, though he couldn't stand to spend any time with his little sister Millie. After all, girls had cooties.
All in all, it was a much brighter future, Hermione thought. Draco Malfoy would not grow up to be a prejudiced bully, as his mother had taken it upon herself to create a summer school for young muggleborn children. After taking her incarcerated husband's seat on the Hogwarts Board of Governors, Narcissa had used her influence to procure the names of muggleborn children on the roll. Then, she would contact their families to invite the children to the school, hoping to gradually introduce the children to the wizarding world, hoping to better assimilate them. "After all, just look at how well you assimilated, Hermione. There is no reason why muggleborn children should seem any different to wizarding born children," she'd reasoned, proudly.
Perhaps her ears were burning, but Narcissa walked over to Hermione and Regulus at that exact moment. "What a wonderful party, Hermione," she said, pressing a kiss to each of Hermione's cheeks. "I have to tell you the most interesting development."
"Oh?" Regulus asked. "And just what is that?"
"Well, Draco's got himself a little girlfriend," Narcissa said playfully. "Abraxas is actually a bit concerned about it, but I've told him they are just children and not to worry about it. She's one of the muggleborn students, you see?"
Hermione nodded, knowing that not everyone would be ready to embrace muggleborns completely, but she was just glad that Narcissa's father-in-law supported the school as much as he did. "That's nice. But you are right, he's barely five. Nothing to worry about."
"Well here's the interesting part," Narcissa said, clear blue eyes sparkling with mischief. "He's absolutely thrilled because she shares a name with his favorite Aunt Hermione. She's brilliant really, and they had the silliest little conversations. Thick as thieves really."
Hermione practically choked on the punch she was drinking when she heard that. Clearing her throat awkwardly, she looked away from Narcissa, feeling unusually guilty. "Hermione is a moderately common name in the muggle world," she lied through her teeth, feeling Regulus squeeze her hand in support.
"Yes, I'm sure that's what it is," Narcissa said with a snort. "I'm sure Hermione Granger is a very common name for muggles," she grinned wildly. "Listen, you don't need to explain anything to me. But she's a really talented witch. I can't wait to see what she accomplishes," Narcissa explained, before wrapping Hermione in a hug. She pressed her lips to Hermione's ear. "This time."