BET ME!

Epilogue

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AN: Well, this epilogue just sums up everything. It's very short.

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Hermione sat at her parents' kitchen table and played with her wedding ring. Hermione moved her hand at different angles, admiring the way the diamonds on the ring sparkled in the sunlight. She could be seen playing with it many times throughout each day. Voices faded, people faded; her entire surroundings faded when she focused all of her attention on the ring. Lavender claimed that she was still in shock about the whole ordeal. And Hermione couldn't help thinking that she was right.

Time went by quickly during their engagement and before she knew it, she was walking down the aisle donned in a beautiful, white wedding dress; her eyes focused on the groom, Harry Potter, the man she loved. It was a wonderful wedding and the reception was even better. Everyone had a fabulous time. Her mother gushed to the many guests present about the great deal of planning she had put into the wedding. She was glad that it went off without a hitch. Hermione couldn't get enough of the congratulations she received on her wedding day. She loved the fact that she and her husband were the centre of attention.

She even put up with Lily Potter's attitude for the day. She had reluctantly given Harry's parents an invitation. It seemed the right thing to do. Of course, Heather was ecstatic. During the wedding preparations she followed Hermione everywhere, giving her good advice about the wedding. Heather and Hermione soon became very close friends. Lily Potter, on the other hand, didn't let bygones be bygones. She openly scorned every little thing about the wedding. At the reception she complained loudly about the food being very bland. She even joked around with a couple of the guests, stating that only Hermione could pick such a horrible caterer.

She hardly knew her! Hermione came very close to attacking the woman with her shoe. But she restrained herself for Harry. He was so happy at the reception. She didn't want to make things more complicated than they already were. After a while, Hermione ignored her and soon Lily Potter kept her mouth shut.

"Hermione, what are you doing!" Jane Granger entered the kitchen. A dirty apron was wrapped around her waist and she looked frazzled. "Here," she handed Hermione a tray full of sandwiches. "Distribute it to the children and adults." Before Hermione could object, Jane had shooed her out of the kitchen.

When the door closed behind her, Hermione made her way through the throngs of parents and children to the centre table where she set down the tray. Why had her mother insisted that the birthday party take place here? It would have been better if it had been held at Avery and Dean's place. It was their child. Not her mother's. Hermione surveyed the almost crowded room. Besides, if her mother had listened to Hermione when Avery had told them that she had invited her son's day care class (all 20 of them), they wouldn't be in this predicament.

Hermione heard laughter coming from the end of the living room. Her eyes shifted to an overexcited boy, gleefully opening presents. Avery and Dean were both at his side, surveying his movements with contented expressions. Hermione smiled at the trio. They had really come a long way. Especially Avery. She had risen from the ashes of her ruined engagement and wedding to Greg and was finally able to stand on her own too feet again.

The road was tough. During Hermione's engagement, Avery went through a very strange phase. You could have said, it was a breakdown of some sorts, other claimed that it was her way of moving on. Whatever they said, it was a destructive path. Avery became a serial dater. Men would come and go. Either she broke his heart or he broke hers. She had two engagements in nine months. She quickly broke them off. It was as if she was setting some sort of record; a very bad one.

It was in this destructive phase where she met Dean. They quickly became friends. He was always a shoulder to lean onto whenever one of her relationships was kaput. Twice he had asked her out but twice she refused. But he was still there: a reassuring friend when times were down. No one could explain their bizarre friendship. It wasn't until the second engagement, did Dean proclaim that enough was enough. No longer was he the friend to lean on. That night when she came running to him, he told her what he really thought of her actions. He was very harsh about it and Avery later told Hermione that that harsh lecture was her wake-up call.

Avery started to reflect on her actions. And she was grateful that Dean had been so patient with her. She soon realized that his patience had been his love for her. She apologized to him and he accepted. They started dating for a couple of weeks before tying the knot. Two months later, they adopted their son, Taylor. Avery was finally at peace.

"Were you playing with your ring again, Hermione?" Hermione turned to Luna. She smiled at the glowing woman. "I overheard your mother complaining about your idleness in the kitchen."

"You know, you'd think that after a wedding and a year of a thriving marriage, she would stop harassing me, by now." Hermione replied.

"She's waiting for the grandchildren." Luna said, giving Hermione a meaningful stare. Hermione shook her head. Since when did her best friend and her mother were at the same level?

"Sorry, Luna. No can do. She'll just have to settle with Taylor and maybe an Avery junior. I told you. Harry and I decided no children." Luna groaned.

"Not even adoption?" Luna begged. Hermione sighed, giving in.

"Well, since Taylor is such a sweetheart….maybe. But I'm not sure, so don't look so happy!" She added quickly when Luna's smile grew wider. "The only 'baby' we have in the house is lovely Crookshanks."

"That cat gives me the creeps sometimes. And he hates Ron!" Luna exclaimed.

"Yes, well, if Ron just stopped provoking Crookshanks, maybe she won't feel the need to scratch him every time he's around." Hermione replied. They both laughed at this. "And Luna, don't think it's only me who's head-over-heels with something. I've caught you gazing in the mirror, once or twice, at your growing stomach."

Luna rolled her eyes. "Yes, but I'm a mother-to-be. I should be ecstatic."

"I'm a wife! I should also have the right to be happy." Hermione argued. "By the way, where's Lavender?" She began fanning herself with her hands. The heat inside the crowded room was getting to be too much.

"She was entertaining some kids with contents of her handbag." Luna said casually. Hermione's expression changed instantly to confusion.

"What?"

"Yeah, she said that they looked immensely bored and she was going to use them as practice." Luna replied. Hermione fanned harder. This was crazy! The heat was unbearable. And where was Harry?

"Practice for what?" Hermione asked.

"For when my baby is born. She wants to be the very best godmother." Luna remarked. Hermione smiled. "Isn't that sweet?" Luna continued. Hermione nodded in agreement.

"Listen, Luna. I need to get some fresh air. It seems as if all the air inside this room has been used up." Luna let her go and Hermione made her way to the back door.

Before she had even closed the door, a blast of cool air whipped across her face. She breathed in deeply, loving the fresh smell that accompanied it. Finally, she could breathe!

"Harry, you have to come. I'm telling you, no, ordering you to come with me." Hermione followed Ron's voice to where he and Harry were standing.

"Go where, Ron?" Hermione asked once she was beside Harry.

"Ah! There's Hermione now. You can ask her." Ron exclaimed. Harry turned to Hermione but Ron beat him to it. "Hermione, you wouldn't mind if Harry goes to a chess convention with me?"

"No, not at all." Hermione replied. "When is it?"

"Tonight." Harry said this time. Hermione shrugged. Ron smiled. "See? I told you she wouldn't feel lonely tonight." Ron remarked.

"Oh, yeah, go right ahead Harry. I'll even make tonight a girls' night with you gone." Hermione said. "Honestly, Harry. Lonely? Do you think I'm that melodramatic?"

Harry shrugged. "I was just looking out for you." He then addressed Ron. "Fine. I'll come." Ron smiled, patted his friend's back and stated that he was going back inside to look for his wife. "You know, Hermione," Harry said, his arms sliding around her waist. "We need to get back to the party."

"Please, let's not." Hermione groaned. "I've had enough of that party. I love Taylor, I really do. But…the heat in that house…"

Harry chuckled. "Well, at least I know one party you would find bearable."

Hermione smirked. "Does this party include us running up the stairs into my old bedroom?" Harry acted innocently surprised.

"Yes. How'd you know?"

"Just a lucky guess." Hermione responded. "Well, I suppose that party would be more fun than this one." Hermione continued. "So who am I to say no?" They shared a smile before they held hands and ran toward the backdoor.

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AN: Thank you for all the reviews. They motivated me to write this story. I loved each and every one of them. Some persons asked if I was going to write another story. Well, we have three months until HP7 comes out. I have three story ideas in mind. But I can only choose one. I'll have to think about which one to choose.

Next thing. I didn't have a beta when writing this story. Thus, the reason why you find some spelling and maybe some grammatical errors. I guess I'm in need of a beta. I'll try and find one when I come with the next story. I have a deadline of three months. I'll need to really focus on the next story. Plus, I got exams in May-June so more pressure for me. But I'll try it out. It'll be challenging but I'll find a way.