Well this is it...the final chapter. I hope you've all enjoyed reading this story! I know I've had an amazing time writing it. As promised, answers to your questions are at the end of the fic. Please refrain from going to the end and reading before reading the epilogue as it does contain one or two spoilers.
I finished recounting my memories of the first few months of seventh year. Sighing wistfully, I leaned into the armchair, clutching the diary to my chest.
"Wasn't that romantic?" I breathed happily.
Hailey stared at me, revulsion on her face. This expression was accompanied by an "I can't believe you" look in her deep, green eyes that she had luckily inherited from her father, which were also adorned by long, doll-like eyelashes. Unfortunately she had inherited my hair (thank Merlin she didn't get my teeth), but she was less resistant to hair products than I had been (and still am, for that matter), and often used Sleezeaky's Hair Potion to tone it done to a light frizz.
"You were so unbelievably thick, it isn't even funny," she finally spat out. "Honestly."
I turned to look at my very blunt daughter (she often reminded me of Ginny – well, at least concerning this certain trait). "What are you talking about?"
"You had to have been blind not to have realized in the beginning that dad was hitting on you!" she exclaimed. "Ew. Oh God. Hitting on you. Great. Just great. I hate you."
"Hailey Jessica Potter!" I exclaimed.
"I'm sorry," she apologized. "But how would you feel if you had to waste four, yes, four hours hearing your mother drone on and on about how she met your father, how her father hit on her and saw her naked in a shower, how another guy felt her up…oh Merlin." Hailey shivered. "Honestly. It's scarring." I was incredibly surprised by her ability to talk about this. At her age such a thing would've made me horribly embarrassed.
"You were the one who asked for some advice," I responded defensively, realizing that I was defending myself to my daughterbecause I had told her about my life prior to her existence.
"No I didn't," Hailey retorted. "I came in here asking for a copy of Hogwarts, a History to pack for Hogwarts tomorrow, and you began questioning my relationship with Eric." I noticed Hailey blushing slightly as she said his name, but I was fairly certain that she herself had no idea that she was doing so. "I told you that we were just friends, and then you, you being the most annoying mother in the world, no offence," she added quickly at the warning glare I gave her, "you had to drag me to the study and have us go searching through boxes of your old things, only to find this god forsaken diary and read your entries to me, recounting three pointless months! I know you two got together. How else would I be here?"
I stared at my daughter in disbelief. The nerve of her! I never had that much cheek when I was her age, at least not towards my parents. The only words I could muster were, "Book's in the library. Third bookcase, fifth shelf."
Hailey sighed, looking at me with pure exasperation. "And why you couldn't have told me this four hours ago?" She stood up and wiped the dust off of her jeans. After one more glance at me she shook her head and left me alone in the study. Moments later Harry joined me.
"What were you doing up here?" he asked, looking around in confusion.
"Just reading this to our dear, dear daughter," I explained, showing the diary to Harry.
Harry took it from me and began flipping through the pages. A smile played onto his lips until he finally burst out in laughter.
"What?" I demanded immediately. "What's so funny?"
"'While I'm at it,'" he read from the diary, "'convince the three mentioned above that I am not neurotic.'"
"What's so funny about that?" I asked him.
"You are neurotic," he told me. "That's what's so funny. You couldn't have disproved them if you tried."
"I could too!" I insisted, rather insulted.
"No you couldn't," came Hailey's voice as she passed by the room, carrying Hogwarts, A History in her arms.
I shook my head and sighed. "This is dead depressing."
"Even my fourteen-year-old daughter thinks I'm neurotic!" I exclaimed. "But I'm telling you, I'm not."
"I happen to like people who are neurotic," Harry informed me, smiling. "I guess this means I'm going to have to cheat on you with someone who is…"
"Okay, so maybe just a bit," I said quickly, grinning at Harry. "Anyway, do you know where Ginny is? I want to make sure she has all of her summer homework done before they leave tomorrow. I still can't believe that only Hailey received my gene for studying."
"I still can't believe you actually named our daughter after Ginny," Harry replied. "It made older Ginny's ego five times as big, and it was big enough already."
I shrugged. "Yes, well, she threatened to Avada Kedavra me if I didn't. You know she still claims to this day that she set us up, which I suppose, technically she did. It involved lying of course, but technically it was all her."
Harry shook his head in disbelief. "She was really good at manipulating us, wasn't she?"
I laughed. "Yes, she was. Now, I'm going to go look for Ginny. Our daughter Ginny, that is." I sighed. "Honestly, this does make talking about them rather difficult, doesn't it?" I left Harry to search through my journal (I trusted him enough to let him read it, and anyways, it was over twenty years old), finally finding our 16-year-old daughter in the family room, laughing her head off as she watching some sort of comedy on the telly.
"Ginny Julia Potter what on earth do you think you're doing?" I demanded, walking into the room.
Ginny muted the television and turned to look at me, her brown eyes showing how horribly peeved she was with me.
"Watching the telly," she replied. "Obviously."
"Watch that tone," I said lightly, walking over to her. Ginny rolled her eyes. "Ginny," I warned.
"Sorry," she muttered.
"As far as I was concerned, you're leaving for Hogwarts tomorrow, correct?" I asked Ginny, looking at her expectantly.
"Yes, mum," she replied dully. "September first. 11 AM. Just like when you went."
"And I do believe that you have yet to finish all of your assignments," I added, waiting for her reply.
Ginny moaned. "Mum…come on! It's the last day of break!"
"Your point being?"
"I'll do it when I get there," Ginny half whined.
"Ginny," I sighed. "We both know that you're going to dump it on Hailey."
"But she enjoys writing these things!" Ginny protested.
"Ginny," I repeated, crossing my arms. "Work. Now."
"Fine," she sighed, turning off the television and dragging her feet upstairs. I couldn't help but chuckle as I watched her exit the room. My daughters were so different it was amazing. Even when it came to their looks. Ginny had straight hair, unlike Hailey, and also unlike Hailey her hair wasn't brown, but rather, like her namesake, a bright red, which she must have inherited from her grandmother. While Hailey's facial structure was more similar to my own, Ginny's was more akin to Harry. Where Hailey was short, Ginny was tall.
I shook my head once more and left the room, planning to check up on Ginny to make sure that she was doing as she was told. Passing Hailey's room on the way, I took a peek inside to see that she was writing furiously on a piece of parchment.
"Hailey, what are you doing?" I asked her, opening the door wider and stepping in. While Hailey was a lot like me, especially in terms of school, she was much more feminine than I had ever been (I blame that on the fact that my two best friends were males and my lack of close female friends until I was about fourteen). Her room was painted a light blue, with a huge picture window that looked out onto our backyard and had a simply gorgeous view of the sunset every evening. Dark blue taffeta curtains covered the windows at night, but every morning, after Hailey woke up, she would push the curtains aside and let in the sunlight (except, seeing as we lived in England it was often rather dreary out), almost as if she was in a romantic movie.
Her desk was situated under the window while her several thousand bookcases (I did say she was a lot like myself) were against the wall, perpendicular to the windowpane. Parallel to this was her daybed, which had white sheets scattered with purple flowers, accompanied by a fluffy white duvet and a feather pillow. Lined along the wall, where her bed also was, hung paintings by various impressionists, including original works by Monet and Renoir.
Her room was carpeted blue, and a rug of a lighter shade lay in the middle. The room was always well lit, due to the numerous amounts of lamps adorning it (as Harry and I had both grew up muggle for a lot of our lives, we had opted to live in a muggle house with, much to Mr. Weasley's pleasure whenever he visited, muggle technology).
Hailey looked up at me, her quill stopping mid sentence. "I just wanted to rewrite my History of Magic essay again," she replied anxiously. "I didn't like one of my paragraphs."
"Hailey, this is the fifth time you've rewritten it," I laughed, approaching her to take a peek at what she was writing.
"Yes, well, I wanted to make sure it was perfect."
I took the parchment from the desk, watching as the paper completely unfurled itself. I stared at it in pride, as it was just like something I would have written at fourteen.
"This has to be seven feet long," I told her happily. "Wasn't the requirement only two feet?"
Hailey rolled her eyes slightly and used a shrug that I had used many a times when asked the same question during my Hogwarts years. "There simply wasn't enough room to make my argument."
I shook my head and laughed again. "Looks like I'm not the only one who's neurotic. And if I'm correct, you'll be helping Eric finish his essay tomorrow night before classes start."
Hailey sighed, twirling the quill in her fingers as she thought about what I had just said. "You're probably right. Actually, he'll probably end up needing my help for most of the year. But what can I do? He'll be too busy playing Quidditch all the time or getting into some sort of trouble, most likely dragging me along." She saw my worried look (I knew that it was highly hypocritical of me to do so considering all I had done in my Hogwarts years, but I was a mother and it was my goal to raise my daughters right) and added, "Not too much trouble, mind you. It's not as if we could get into anymore trouble than you and Dad got into."
"True," I agreed with a slight nod of my head. "Just stay away from the Forbidden Forest. The centaurs aren't the nicest creatures."
"You're just saying that because you hate horses," Hailey said. I glared at her slightly and she sighed once more. "Fine, fine. No Forbidden Forest. But it's not as if Gryffindor won't win the house cup. My responses in class usually make up for the points we lose."
I laughed and then added, "You should tell Eric to read a book." I set her novella back down while I waited for her to answer.
"He'd still fail without me," Hailey replied, now settling for twisting a curl instead of her quill, "and you know how much I hate it when people fail. And besides, this is Eric we're talking about, not just some guy. I can't leave him hanging."
I stifled a laugh at the fact that she hadn't even comprehended that she had just said, "Not just some guy." I settled on a smirk and giving her a look that plainly said, "I told you."
"I know, I know," she sighed, shaking her head sadly. "I'm just as neurotic as you are."
"As long as we have that settled," I told her lightly, patting her on the shoulder. "Though that wasn't the only thing I was smirking at."
"Wait, what? What else was there to smirk at?" she asked as I left the room.
"Oh, just the fact that I felt the exact same way with your father when I was your age as you do now with Eric. I expect that you go to all of the Quidditch matches and shout yourself hoarse cheering for him despite the fact that you hate flying, are afraid of heights (and you must admit, those seats are rather high up), and you aren't particularly fond of sports, and Quidditch is no exception. Am I right?"
Hailey responded slowly, clearly not grasping what I was trying to tell her. "Well, yes, I suppose I do. I mean, I always have, ever since he joined the team in second year, but what does that have to do anything?"
"Oh nothing," I called casually behind my shoulder, closing the door on my daughter's loud protests ("What did you mean by giving me that anecdote? What does that have to do with Eric and myself? With you and dad? You can't walk out on me like this! Mum!"). I heard her yell for a few more seconds until she finally gave up and I heard the noise of a scratching quill once more.
I turned and smiled at Harry, who had just joined me on my quest to check up on Ginny.
"What?" he asked, looking at my wide smile.
"Not only is Hailey just as neurotic as I am," I stopped to let Harry laugh, "but she will most likely end up marrying Eric." I giggled, something I rarely did, but the thought of it made me happy enough to, well, giggle.
Harry stared at me. "She insists that they're just friends," he told me finally.
"Exactly," I told Harry. "And what did I say for six years?"
Harry's eyes grew wide as he finally realized what I meant.
"How long do you think she'll be in denial?" he asked me as we continued down the corridor.
"Considering that she's just like me," I told him, "I would say a very long time."
A/N: Well it's been a remarkable eight months. I can't believe that I started writing this fanfic in December. It took a long time, and there were many times when my brain completely froze up and I had no idea how I would continue the story (thanks tons to Terese for the amazing ideas when I had those brain freezes), but we finally got here. Hopefully you enjoyed the ride as much as I did.
Now, enough for the corniness. LOL. There seemed to be only one question on everyone's mind: will there be a sequel?
At the moment I have no plans for a sequel. There really isn't anything more I can do with Hermione… After all, what more is there to be neurotic about? LOL. I suppose I could do one around the time when she and Harry are preparing for their wedding… Or maybe even a next generation sequel for Hailey – "I'm Not Neurotic! It Just Runs in the Family…" type thing. LOL.
However, I truly do not have any current plans to write a sequel. However, I will not say that it will never happen, so definitely keep an eye open for one (and for my other fics, too!).
To everyone who's read, thank you so much. And special thanks to everyone who's reviewed.
Thanks for sticking through!
Until the next story,