READ THIS A/N: This is it folks, the last chapter! I am really excited that it is done and I hope you enjoy. Please read my note at the end of the chapter.
Harry awoke with a start and tried to orientate himself. "No," he heard Ginny mutter in her sleep. "No," she moaned.
"Ginny love," he shook her gently. "Wake up. It's just a dream."
Her eyes popped open and she stated at him. "Did yesterday really happen?"
"Yeah it did." He sighed and kissed her.
She closed her eyes and seemed to relax. "You beat him and it's over."
"Yes." Harry kissed her again.
"Mumma! Dada!" Nicole's voice floated into the room along with some happy baby babble.
Ginny and Harry laughed together as they got up and threw on robes. "This is a nice way to wake up." Harry told her as they walked into the nursery. Harry saw Nicole standing up and smiling in her crib. She held out her arms to him as he lifted her out.
"New nappy then breakfast." Ginny informed them. At the breakfast table the mood was lightened from the day before. Harry was surprised to see Dumbledore there, digging into a plate of kippers. "Good morning Headmaster." Ginny said as she strapped Nicole into her highchair.
"Good morning Mrs. Potter." The Headmaster replied. He ate his last bite. "I was wondering if I might borrow your husband for a moment?" Ginny looked sideways at him but nodded and Harry followed his mentor out and up to the library. "I want you to try and transform into Garuda." He told him when the door was closed.
Harry started. "He almost had control of me yesterday! Why do you want me to go back to that?"
"We need to be sure he is truly gone and won't gain strength and control later."
Harry nodded, closed his eyes and tried to transform into Garuda but nothing happened. He opened his eyes and looked at the Headmaster. "I can't."
Dumbledore beamed. "Excellent! That is what I hoped would happen. It would appear that the Animagus form existed only to destroy Voldemort."
"So I'm not an Animagus anymore?" Harry was not sure whether he was amused or peeved.
"I would like you to use the revealer spell again, just to make sure that you truly cannot transform." He told Harry before conjuring a large, gilded mirror.
"Right." Harry turned to the mirror. "Animagus Revelus." Harry watched himself transform but it was not to Garuda.
"Well." Dumbledore said, with a twinkle in his eye. "That was unexpected." Harry had to agree as he studied his new form, a lion, and then felt himself start to change but he did not turn back into himself. He found himself staring at another animal, a snake. He blinked as he looked and started as he changed into yet another animal, this time a zebra. And again, and again and again… over and over he changed until he heard Dumbledore speak. "Concentrate on turning into a phoenix Harry." Harry thought about Fawkes and found himself changing into the magnificent bird. He tried to speak but knew that Dumbledore only heard phoenix song. "This is most interesting Harry and I believe we were all wrong about the power that Voldemort did not know."
Harry concentrated on becoming himself again. "What do you mean?"
"You're a Metamorphanimagus."
Harry shook his head, recalling what he had read about the shape shifters. "Can't be! I would have transformed like this the first time we tried and I would still be able to transform into Garuda."
"I disagree Harry. You just turned into several animals and you perfectly replicated Fawkes. I might remind you that there are no two phoenixes that look identical." Harry still looked skeptical so the old man went on. "What was your main focus when you tried the transformation the first time?"
"Well, I suppose it was finding the power to kill Voldemort." Harry laughed. "This is what I found and if I would have figured out that that I was a Metamorphanimagus then I would probably have not realized that I could be Garuda."
"That would be my best assumption as well but I would talk this over with Hermione and see if she can't figure it out. I am only thankful that you can no longer become Garuda. It means that Tom Riddle is truly gone." Dumbledore moved towards the library door.
Harry didn't move. "It's so rare… this gift for being able to transform into any animal form. The last one died several hundred years ago." Then a smile lit his face and he walked towards the Headmaster who had stopped at the threshold. "We had best get down to breakfast. I suppose we have to go to Azkaban today."
"I am afraid so." He replied and together they walked back down to the kitchens.
"I'm just amazed that you weren't more drawn to becoming an Animagus. I mean it's not like the Metamorphmagus. They can transform without a spell but I read the accounts of the last one and she said that all she wanted to do was be with animal and as soon as she got to Hogwarts she found the Animagus revealer spell." Hermione informed him that day as she, Ron, Harry and Ginny got onto the lift to head up to the Minister's office. Nicole had decided that she would rather play with Tyler and her Nana than go with Harry and Ginny to the Ministry, which was surprising but Ginny just kept reminded him that it was good for her to build attachments to other adults. He wasn't sure if she was telling him for his sake or for hers; he thought he'd seen a tear in her eye when they had left the house that morning.
"I don't know Hermione." Harry finally told her when he realized that she was looking at him. "I'm just glad it worked and that it is over with." The lift arrived and they exited towards the Minister's office.
"Mr. Potter!" Minister Davies extended his hand and Harry shook it.
"Minister. This is my wife Ginny, and Ron and Hermione Weasley." Harry informed him. He had met the man before but none of the others had.
"Of course, welcome." The Minister shook hands with the others before offering them a seat in front of his desk. "I hear that you all did a spectacular job yesterday. My thanks are with you." He studied Ron and Hermione for a moment. "I believe that you two start work here on Monday."
"Yes sir." Hermione said with a smile. "I start in the Department of Mysteries and my husband begins his Auror training."
"Of course!" A broad smile crossed his aristocratic face. "I have heard great things about the pair of you. You will both be quite the asset."
Ron flushed but grinned. "Thank you sir."
"Minister, what will be done with the prisoners once I remove the charm?" Harry asked him.
"Ah yes." His smile faded slightly. "The public is calling for extreme measures and I am inclined to agree. They will be tried over the next week, on the island and if they are found guilty then they shall be transported to the veil of death in the Department of Mysteries."
Harry felt Ginny stiffen next to him. "There is no other punishment?"
"No, Mrs. Potter. We kept them in Azkaban the last time and they were freed. While You-Know-Who is actually gone we do not want this cropping up again in fifteen years." He paused. "He is really gone, isn't he?"
"Yes. I felt him when I was Garuda but when I transformed back into myself he was gone. I tried to change back into Garuda this morning and I was unable to."
Harry heard Hermione gasp and turned to her when she started to speak. "That's it!"
"What?" All of them asked simultaneously.
"I know why you can't change back Harry!" She said excitedly as she jumped up and down in her seat. "Did you read that account by Melody Hummings?"
"The Metamorphanimagus?" Harry asked her.
"That has to be stupidest name I have ever heard! Melody Hummings?" Ron snorted in laughter.
"I wouldn't talk Ronald Bilius!" Ginny retorted. "Go on Hermione."
"Did you read it Harry?"
"No. I was going to tonight." He informed her.
"She talks in there about how she was injured when she was a rabbit once." Hermione told the room. "When she transformed back she was not hurt!"
"That's not possible." Ron spluttered. "Wormtail cut off his finger and it was still missing when he was a rat! When he lost weight, his human self was also thin."
"I know and that was what surprised her." Hermione chimed as she turned towards her husband. "She expected to be hurt but was fine. She then experimented with it and when she changed into a different rabbit, she was unhurt but if she went back to that previous form she was still grievously injured. She decided to see what would happen if she stayed in her injured form. She eventually realized that she was going to die so she changed back to herself."
"I still don't…" Harry began but she cut him off.
"When she tried to change back again, she couldn't. She was never able to change back into that particular rabbit again." Hermione stared at him hard, trying to make him understand.
"OH!" Ginny exclaimed. "That rabbit was dead to her."
"Yes!" Hermione cried. "Just as Garuda is now dead to Harry but he is fine because he is a Metamorphanimagus! It is just part of their power. They can transform into any animal form as long as they are not killed in it. If they are then they cannot replicate that form again."
Harry grinned. "I get it now."
"Could he have been killed then? I mean, as Garuda?" Ron questioned. "If Voldemort would have killed him then Harry could have changed back, right?"
"He would have been dead and not able to transform. Melody finally died as a goldfish and immediately transformed back to herself but she was still dead. Nothing can stop death."
"A goldfish?" Ron murmured faintly.
"Well." Minister Davies interrupted their conversation. Harry jumped. He had forgotten that the Minister was there. "I can see that we really have a valuable asset in Mrs. Weasley." Hermione flushed and Ron beamed at her, his look of pride was unmistakable. "I am afraid that it is almost time to go to Azkaban
Harry felt the weight of guilt settle onto his chest. So many were going to die and some were his stupid classmates, like Crabbe and Goyle. They were just following Malfoy… but they did attempt to rape girls, like Ginny… the guilt lessened. "Fine."
The older man seemed to be studying him carefully. "This is my decision Potter and I am at peace with it. All I need from you is to remove the charm." Harry still did not speak and Ginny squeezed his hand reassuringly. "If you didn't remove the charm then those who stand guard would never see their families again."
"Right." Harry finally nodded. It was not his place to say what happened to the prisoners. "When do we go?"
"As soon as Albus arrives." There was a knock at the door opened to reveal Dumbledore. "Perfect timing!" Minister Davies said as they stood. "Well, best get on with it."
"I can't believe that Snape thanked you." Ron said later that afternoon as they walked into the nursery at Grimmauld Place to find Mrs. Weasley sitting on the floor with her grandchildren.
"What was that?" Mrs. Weasley looked up sharply as they entered.
Nicole got up and toddled over to her parents. Harry swung her into his arms and kissed her cheek. "It turns out that Snape was suspected as being a traitor. If I hadn't sent him to Azkaban with the rest of the Death Eaters I caught that day, he probably would have been killed." Harry told her.
"Oh." She seemed too surprised to say more. She picked up Tyler who had been chewing on a rattle. "I'm going to put him down for a nap."
"Oh, Mum, Bill is back. He is down in the kitchen grabbing a quick bite to eat." Ginny told her. He had gone to St. Mungo's earlier that day to visit a friend whom had been hurt in the attack at the Minister. "He said that Scott is fine."
Mrs. Weasley smiled. "That is good to hear." Tyler started to cry. "Well, I had best be off."
"This has been an eventful day." Ginny muttered as she sat on the floor. Harry sat with her and Nicole started to play.
"It has and I'm rather tired. I didn't sleep very well last night." Hermione yawned.
"Go take a nap and we'll wake you for dinner." Harry told her.
Ron yawned as well. "She kept me up by tossing and turning. I think I'll join you." He and Hermione walked out hand in hand.
They three sat on the floor playing for another thirty minutes until it was Nicole's naptime. She went down with little fuss and the other two walked into their room and sat on the couch talking quietly about the events of the past two days. They held each other as they cried and mourned the loss of friends. They knew that tomorrow would hold several funerals that they would attend and the day after that, Monday, would begin the rebuilding process.
"Ginny, Harry!" Mrs. Weasley burst into their room about an hour later, not even bothering to knock. Both had been dozing on the couch and started when she came in. "We've had an owl from Mr. Lansing and he is requesting that we meet him as soon as possible in his office."
"What?" Harry asked in confusion. He then heard Nicole give a small cry so they all walked quickly into her room to get her. "Hey princess." He picked her up and cuddled her before turning back to his mother-in-law. "Does he say why?'
"No, just that he needs us as soon as possible. He wants Arthur and I there as well."
Ginny grabbed a small bag and packed several toys and her owl book. "We should give Nicole a snack but then we're ready."
Mrs. Weasley nodded. "I've already sent an owl to your father and he'll meet us there in an hour."
The group walked swiftly towards the door to Mr. Lansing's office and was greeted by Mr. Weasley who was waiting for them in the hall. "Hello all. Any idea why we are here?" Nicole fidgeted in Harry's arms.
"No." Harry and Ginny replied together. Harry knocked and heard Mr. Lansing beckon them in. When he opened the door he was surprised to find a teenage girl with blonde hair sitting in the corner, her brown eyes swollen and red, although she was not crying presently. Next to her were two small children, both with light brown hair and startlingly blue eyes that looked terrified. The boy was bigger and held onto the small girl's hand. She did not appear to be much older than Nicole. He looked over at Mr. Lansing and noted that the man was looking extremely nervous.
He started when he saw Ginny rush over to the kids and kneel down. She spoke first to the eldest. "You're Elizabeth, right? Elizabeth Dausch? In Ravenclaw?" The girl nodded but did not speak. She just drew her knees to her chest and hugged them tightly. Ginny laid a gentle hand on her shoulder before turning to the other and smiling gently. "Hello. What are your names?"
The others watched in amazement, as she seemed to calm them both with her presence. She sat down on the floor and gazed at them. The little boy studied her before he spoke. "My name is Erik Severn." He told her softly before looking at the small girl. "This is my sister Emily."
Ginny turned to Harry. "Set Nicole down please." Harry did and slowly his daughter walked over to his wife. "Nicole can we show them your owl book?"
Harry was stunned when Nicole nodded and got the book out of the bag. She would not usually share that book, especially with Tyler who wanted to chew on it. Nicole sat in Ginny's lap and they began to look at the owls while they showed them to Erik and Emily. Harry saw that Emily wanted to get a closer look and saw the longing on her face to sit with Ginny. Ginny smiled at her before opening her free arm and the toddler sat with Nicole in her lap. Erik moved to sit right in front of her so that he could see the book as well.
"She has a gift." Mr. Lansing whispered to Harry who turned quickly to the man that was standing next to him. "With children. I haven't gotten more than two words out of them since they were dropped off this morning."
"Why are they here?" Harry asked him.
"Yes, we'd also like to know why we are here." Mrs. Weasley interjected. Harry noted that none of the children were watching their conversation.
Lansing looked downtrodden. "They were orphaned yesterday and there isn't any other family."
Harry nodded in understand. "I'm glad you owled us." He looked over at Elizabeth. "You wanted Mum and Dad here because of Elizabeth?"
He nodded. "She's only three years younger than you are and she still needs parents. She lost her sister six months ago in the attack on the Leaky Cauldron."
"I remember that." Harry muttered.
"She has no family?" Mrs. Weasley looked horrified before turning to her husband who nodded his head slightly. "Of course we'll take her in!"
Mr. Lansing smiled. "I'm glad. I really didn't want to send them to an orphanage." He turned to Harry. "Are you up for taking two more children?"
"Of course we are." Ginny said adamantly. Harry looked down and saw that she was looking up at them from the floor.
Harry smiled at him. "There is your answer."
Elizabeth stood up and looked at them. "So you're going to… you're…" She started to cry and Mrs. Weasley enveloped her into a warm embrace.
"We will, absolutely. My name's Molly and you can call me that or Mum. It's up to you. This is my husband Arthur."
"Hello." Elizabeth choked out. "I go by Liz." Mr. Weasley also gave her a tentative hug but she held on to him before moving back to Mrs. Weasley.
"Well, I need you to sign some forms and then you can be on your way. We have already collected everything Liz wanted from her home." Lansing told them.
"You'll need to locate Dumbledore or she won't be able to get into the house." Harry reminded them. Mr. Lansing looked startled, as did Liz. "The house is under the Fidelius Charm. Since she can read she won't be able to get into the house without being told where it's located by the secret keeper."
"Oh." Liz said dully.
Harry moved over to Ginny and the children and sat down. The girls were still looking happily at the owl book but Erik was studying him. "My parents are gone." He told Harry quietly.
"I know." He replied. "Mine are too."
A tear rolled down the child's cheek and he swiped at it with a small fist. "Really?" He asked and Harry nodded in affirmation.
"Do you want to come and live with us?" Ginny asked him.
"Would…" He seemed nervous as he looked between Ginny and Harry. "Would you leave us too?" More tears fell down his cheek and sobs started to rack his small body.
"No!" Harry denied and he saw Erik looking longingly at him. Harry put a hand on Erik's shoulder and he gently guided the child towards him. Without much persuasion Erik went into Harry's arms and he held the boy as he cried. He murmured soothing words to him and he rubbed a hand up and down his back. "We won't leave you." He promised him. Harry saw that Ginny was also comforting a crying Emily who appeared to be upset by her brother's tears. Nicole was patting Emily on the head.
When the tears were finally spent, Erik looked up at him and Harry was once again struck by the deep blue of the child's eyes. "So you'll be my dad then?"
Harry matched his gaze. "Yes."
"I had a dad."
"I know and you'll always have him and your Mum. They'll always be watching out for you even if you can't see them." Harry tried to hold back the tears. "But that doesn't mean that we can't love you as well." He heard Ginny let out a small sob but he kept his eyes on Erik.
"Okay." Erik murmured before he put his arms back around Harry's neck for another hug.
"The resilience of children constantly amazes me." Ginny told him later that night after they had tucked the children into bed. They had added another crib for Emily who would be two in two months and a small bed for Erik who had turned four in June. They were in their room, dressing for bed. She looked over at Harry and smiled. "I never imagined we'd have three children before we'd even been married six months."
Harry nodded. "I wish their parents hadn't died but since they did I am glad that we have them." Ginny pulled him into her arms and comforted him. "At least I know that they will be loved and not neglected like I was."
"I know Harry." She whispered soothingly and kissed him. "You are an amazing man, an amazing father, did you know that?"
"Ginny…" He shook his head. "You're the amazing one. You've taught me how to do this."
She grinned at him. "Let's get some sleep. It has been a long day."
"Yes dear." He kissed her again as they crawled into bed and fell asleep.
Harry sat up and looked over at the door to the nursery. He saw through the dark room that it was cracked open and that three children were looking at him. "What is it?" Ginny asked him hoarsely.
"Our children are standing at the nursery door." Harry told her as he motioned for the kids to come over.
"How did they get out of the cribs?" She rubbed her eyes before sure turned her smiling face towards the three who had raced to their bedside. "Never mind. What's wrong?"
Erik looked nervous. "Bad dream." He looked down at his feet.
"Come on then." Harry reached over his wife and pulled him up onto the bed and Ginny picked up each of the girls. Nicole climbed over Ginny to get at Harry. She giggled before snuggling into his right side and shyly Erik moved to his left. He pulled his children closer to him and kissed the top of their heads. He looked over at Emily who was clinging to Ginny. The baby had not wanted anyone but Ginny since they had brought them home. Ginny held her close and kissed her cheek. He once again felt the surge of love for her, for her giving and stubborn heart that had once again made room for two more children. He looked at Emily's delicate face. She was shy and a quiet Harry could see the intelligence in her eyes. Erik was also quiet but Harry thought that was more the grief than his personality. He was caring and protective of his sister and he was quickly starting to act the same way towards Nicole.
"Too many more kids and we won't have any room left in our bed." Ginny told him in a whisper a few minutes later. Harry looked down and saw that all three children were asleep. They were so precious and looking at them, in that instant he fell in love with both of them, head over heels, just as he had with Nicole.
"This is incredible." He told his wife. "How can I love them so much when I just met them?"
"Because you are who you are." She kissed Emily again before running a hand lightly over Erik's head. "You would not be the man I loved if you couldn't do this."
He watched Emily for a moment. "I guess I have two princesses now." He smiled as she shifted contentedly in Ginny's arms.
"And a prince." She reminded him.
He glanced down at Erik before looking back towards his wife. "We have a son."
"I like this feeling." He told her shyly. "I always thought having kids would tie me down but I feel…" He couldn't locate the right words to describe it.
"I know Harry. I feel the same way. I love you."
"I love you too." He looked deeply into her beautiful brown eyes. "I am so glad that you decided to marry me."
"Me too." She informed him with a grin.
A/N: I think I have wrapped many lose ends BUT if you still have questions, please let me know and I'll address them in the sequel. Now… about that sequel… I am going to take a small break this week, give my mind a break, read some stuff that I want and then I'll get cracking just like I did with this one. I promise it will happen, so please don't worry about it. I only promise when I'm going to follow through and I'm promising. I hope you enjoyed and I look forward to your reviews. Thanks for all the feedback and THANK YOU to my amazing editor! Oh and do not worry, Ginny will have babies to add to their family! (she's still in school though)
mysticruby: Glad you liked it and YES he is gone.
Fensta: He's gone and yes, it was that easy. I hope you liked it anyway, even though it was so easy… maybe a bit of a let down. Let me know.
Miliardo Peacecraft: I'm glad you liked it! I hope your questions were answered.
RyougaZell: That would have been sooo amusing… I wanted to work it in but it just wouldn't fit. I did laugh though at the idea!
Pearl's Pinky: I'm glad you liked it and found it interesting. It's also good to know that I tied up the lose ends. That's something that drives me nuts when I read stories. Let me know if you have any questions.
Harrie: Surprises are fun… I hope I fully answered your question.
equatorialguinea: I'm happy you liked it. Look for more in a week.
Lilia3: I'm glad you liked it… up until the battle of course. It was cut and dry and I was pretty surprised that it was when I wrote it. I figured it would go on for so much longer and then… this just seemed to work for me. I hope that I cleared up your questions about Voldie's soul and I also hope that you liked the ending… or is it a beginning. Anyway, thanks for your candid comments. I appreciate them, so thanks!
Jen: That one word says so much. Thanks!
Lourdes: Does the war ever end… well hopefully it will be for quite awhile. I plan on the sequel being all fluffy days in their life, of course with problems but no more death! I only ever planned on those other three being orphaned and for Harry and Ginny taking them in. I read a fanfic that had a wizard orphanage in it and I liked it a lot… probably more realistic than only four kids ending up without any family but the Harry that evolved through this story would probably have taken them all on anyway. I do have plans to showcase DA members in the next part and I'm looking forward to it. Hope you enjoyed it and thanks for all your comments and encouragement.
weselan: Hmmm… Fred and George indeed. I almost put them in this chapter but decided to let that one go for later. Hope you liked it and thanks for all the great feedback.
James and Lily 4eva: It was more complicated but basically that easy. I hope it wasn't too big a disappointment. Gave Hermione a chance to show off in front of the Minister with her explanation…
Kritbug: It was actually 27 days ago that I posted it so less than a month but it does seem like the time flew. I'm so glad you enjoyed it… thanks!
pumkin: Thank you! I hope the ending was worth it.