Every Time We Touch

Disclaimer: neither ladykyo nor separate-sisters own the rights to Harry Potter or any of the other characters created by J.K. Rowling. The songs in this fanfiction are the property of their writers and artists. No money is made off of this story … the only benefit is getting this out of my head, and dreaming even more about Rupert Grint. The songs are not the property of the author/authors either. We just borrow'em.

Some notes: This chapter has been written in response to loving reviews from my wonderful readers. So, here's your epilogue. And a special 'thank you' to connieewing,

BTW: The second song from ch. 19 was I'll Be, by Edwin McCain; it is my boyfriend's and my song (and no, I don't know the most grammatical way to put that. Do any of my readers? 'Cause I'd love to know, just for my own edification)

This is it. Maybe I'll write a sequel someday, depending on how this works out.

Chapter 20 Epilogue: Home Is Where the Heart Is

Home Is Where the Heart Is, McFly

We all dream, we have desires.

Win the cup, and we'll hold it higher, than it's ever been

Raise your hands and lay down your weapons,

We could turn this around in seconds right,

Cause we believe.

"'Mione, if you adjust my robes one more time, I'll go mad," Ron growled at his wife, reaching around his back to rearrange his dress uniform the way he liked it. He turned and looked at his wife as if she were the most delectable dessert on the planet. "Besides, we can apparate there now, so what's the hurry?"

Hermione smacked Ron's shoulder. "We can't be late for this, Ron. We promised we'd be on time, and I intend on keeping that promise. And besides, we're not supposed to apparate unless it is an emergency. And this doesn't count."

Ron grabbed his wife's wrists and held her arms to her sides, kissing her fiercely before he let her up for air.

"'Mione, what you do to me. . . Trust me, this qualifies as an emergency."

Hermione let her husband run his hands over her body, relishing his touch as her eyes closed on their own. She moaned as he caressed her bosom through her own dress uniform, opening her eyes a slt so she could see his face.

"Maybe just this once."

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Home is where the heart is,

It's where we started,

Where we belong, singing.

Home is where the heart is,

It's where we started,

Where we belong.

The youngest Weasley couple did manage to make it to their intended venue in time, however, and even managed to beat the Potters and the Lupin's. The Malfoy-Snapes were already there, however.

"Finally! I thought you'd never get here!" Lavender screeched as her hurried towards Hermione, Ginny and Tonks. "We've only been waiting here forever!"

Draco had to smile at his wife's show of affection for the other women. As a girl, Lavender had been catty, deceitful and at times downright nasty to Hermione and Ginny; as a woman, she cherished their friendship and support system. For his part, Draco stuck out a hand and shook the hands of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Remus Lupin while the women reconnected. As if they didn't reconnect every bloody day at the Ministry's Office of Aurors.

"Are you all quite finished?" Draco sneered, and the women turned and smirked at him. "Because if you would like some extra time, we men-folk will go in and honor our arrangement while you cluck at each other."

Tonks smacked Draco upside his head; Lavender seconded it.

"Anybody else?" Draco asked, hands up to defend himself.

"Not right now, no. You, Hermione?" Ginny asked innocently.

"Then let's go inside before they send Hagrid or Maxim outside to get us, shall we?" Remus asked, shuddering at the thought of being flung over on the half-giants' shoulders for the trip.

"Yeah, let's go," Harry and Ron agreed. Each man offered his woman an arm, and escorted them up to the annual Hogwart's Opening Feast, the first time parents had been allowed or invited.

Each couple had at least two children starting this year, and none of them wanted to miss the Sorting.

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We will always be united,

So much more than a game we're fighting now, come and sing with us

We are the .. know the meaning,

A thousands army whose hearts are beating, loud

Feel that they bite the dust.

Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall were waiting for everyone to seat themselves before they brought in their latest crop of first years. Minerva had been giggling to herself most of the day while students arrived because of the sheer number of relatives and children and friends that would make up the newest class. Albus had arranged for tables to be set up near the staff table for the parents that had decided to attend, and as he looked to see that his grandson and his wife and friends were seated, he took note that Professors Longbottom and Longbottom were sad.

"Oh, Albus. For their friends to have children here and not them it is rather cruel," Minerva said under her breath, keeping an eye on her House. "Is there anything to be done for them?"

Albus patted Minerva's hand as he stood to open the Sorting, reaching for the honored hat.

"Minerva, time will tell. I find it hard to believe that the gods will not find a way to bless the Longbottoms. You will have to wait and see," Albus said before he turned to address the assembly.

"Friends and family, I welcome you to the first open Opening Feast of Hogwart's School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. We have the honor of entertaining, tonight, people who were responsible for the downfall of Voldemort and the subsequent rebuilding of the Auror corps, the finest defense in the wizarding world. You will know these children and their families by name and honor, and I expect you will give them the respect they deserve, no more, no less."

"Hey, Remus," Harry asked, whispering as the doors opened and the first years started pouring in. "Where's Sirius and Roz?"

Remus thought for a moment. He looked around, and while he saw Roz speaking with Luna at the staff table, his best friend was nowhere to be seen.

"I have no idea, Harry. He told me he had to speak with Severus about something, but I thought he'd come sit with us," Remus said, genuinely perplexed.

"Sh! Here they come!" Tonks said, craning her neck to see her brood.

"A few announcements before I let the Sorting Hat loose on your children, my friends," Albus said, his eyes twinkling. "Some staff re-arrangements. Joining our faculty are Luna Longbottom, Professor of Divining Arts and Professor Sirius Black in the coveted position of Defense Against the Dark Arts. We will also be utilizing the Ministry's visiting lecturer program, with seminars taught by Hogwart's alumnus Ron Weasley, Hermione Weasley nee Granger, and Draco Malfoy-Snape."

Sirius and Hagrid came striding through the large double doors as Ron, Hermione, Draco and Luna all rose from their seats. The applause was deafening, and brought tears to Albus and Minerva's eyes.

"Let the Sorting begin!"

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Singing

Home is where the heart is,

It's where we started,

Where we belong

Come on and sing it

Home is where the heart is,

It's where we started,

Where we belong.

The rip in the Sorting Hat opened up, and the ceremony began:

"Four founders, yes there were.

Four houses now there are

What do you fancy in yourself

To help you find your place?

"Brave like Godric the Lion himself

Or sly like Salazar?

Loyal and hardworking as in Helga Hufflepuff

Or smarter by far as Rowena Ravenclaw?

"You can't know, but yes, I can

To help you in your stay

Be honest, truthful and open

Your mind will lead the way

"Now take a seat

After that take a bow

For then you know

Where to go, somehow!"

"I think he's getting a bit punchy in his old age," Ron said, elbowing Harry as the hat finished its opening sound.

"Yeah. Remember our Sorting?" Harry said, thinking back to how the hat had wanted to put him in Slytherin, and shivering. How would things have turned out if the hat hadn't listened to him?

"Hush! They're starting!" Ginny hissed, clamping a hand over Harry's mouth.

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It's tired of music, blood and anger,

Our three lions love the danger

Sing your heart out for the young dreams

And go down in World Cup history

A number of students were sorted before it got to the point where our Order members were interested. More students were being sorted into Gryffindor and Slytherin than ever before, and up at the table, it was apparent that Minerva and Severus were more than a bit interested on who got which children from the Order.

"Five galleons I end up with my grandchildren and the Potters. Probably Black's, too," Severus said, plunking the money down on the table between him and Minerva.

"Ten says I get the Lupins, Weasleys, Potters and Blacks," Minerva said, slamming down her own coins.

Albus eyed his wife and friend warily before he stood once again.

"Tonight, we have the privilege of sorting the newest generation of Potters, Weasleys, Snapes, Lupins, and Blacks and everything in between. James Harold Black!"

Sirius and Roz's son scampered up onto the dais and shoved the hat on his head. After a few tense seconds, the Sorting hat shouted:

"Gryffindor!"

Minerva took one of Severus's coins and laughed.

"Andromeda Minerva Lupin!"

The first Lupin girl ran up and almost shoved little James off the stool in her haste to be sorted.

"Slytherin!"

Severus paled, but snaked out a hand to grab a coin from Minerva's pile. She glared at him.

"I got a Lupin. Now you've been wrong once."

"Apollo Regan Lupin!"

"Gryffindor!"

Severus groaned again but tossed another coin onto Minerva's stack.

"Hermione Lillian Lupin!"

"Slytherin!"

Severus grabbed another coin and hooted in glee.

"Ginevra Claudia Lupin!"

He looked at the hat and prayed he wasn't going to get all

"Gryffindor!"

Minerva grabbed one Severus's coins and laughed.

"You should be so lucky. You could have gotten all of them. Or little James."

"Severus Tobias Snape!"

Severus sat in rapt attention, praying that

"Ravenclaw!"

Severus let out a sigh of relief. He and his grandson. . . didn't get along. If only his granddaughter would be sorted into Slytherin

"Eileen-Lillian Narcissa Snape!"

"Slytherin!"

Severus whooped and practically jumped out of his chair. He'd never been prouder in his life, but something was niggling at him. The children had been called as 'Snape', but that wasn't on the birth documents. He'd have to speak with Albus and Draco after the feast. And yet they'd still be Sorted in order.

"Remus Albus Potter!"

"Slytherin!"

Severus smirked and grabbed a coin from Minerva, who stuck her tongue out at him in a wonderful display of maturity.

"Sirius Severus Potter!"

Minerva cackled at the look on Severus's face. Surely hadn't expected another namesake, but on top of that from Potter?!

"Gryffindor!"

"It figures," Severus grumbled, shooting a coin at Minerva.

"Aislinn Minerva Weasley!"

"Gryffindor!"

"Kieran Regulus Weasley!"

"Slytherin!"

"How can that many children only end up in two out of four houses? And so many for Slytherin. I wonder how all the other parents are going to feel about that," Luna grumbled good-naturedly to her husband. There were no new Ravenclaws or Hufflepuffs in the broods of their friends.

"Well, one of Severus's grandchildren ended up in Ravenclaw," Neville offered, and his wife just glared at him. "Yeah, I guess you wanted someone else's bloodline there, hmm?"

Luna sighed. "Guess we're just going to have to do that ourselves."

"But I thought "

"You thought wrong. I'm due in February. Save the date, dear. You're going to be a daddy."

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Now's you chance think of your lovers,

We are all sisters and brothers.

Now's you chance think of your lovers,

We are all sisters and brothers.

Now's you chance think of your lovers,

We are all sisters and brothers.

The festivities continued well into the night, as Albus and Minerva had wisely decided to start classes late the first day. After the meal, the tables were cleared away and dancing started. Each of our couples managed to dance with their own children once or twice, relishing that last time before they went to school for the year, starting a long and arduous journey of knowledge and adventure.

Lavender and Draco were speaking with Severus himself when their son came over to talk to them.

"Mum, Da, can't they sort me again? I'm sure I'd make it into another house if " Sev began, but this grandfather shook his head.

"One Sorting, that's all any are allowed. The hat knows best, Sev, and you have to obey it. You'll understand"

"You don't care! All you care about is that Ei-Lily ended up in Slytherin, so you're fine! None of my friends are Ravenclaws! Get the Headmaster to do something about it."

"No, Sev," Lavender said, putting her foot down. Draco and Severus stared at her while she continued. "Your grandpa explained it to you already. One Sorting, that's it. And you'll make friends, Sev. Just like your sister will make friends. But you'll still be brother and sister, and you'll still see your friends. Now run along and play or I'll give you a tail to keep you company till you make those friends."

Sev ran off to his sister, who was talking with Apollo and Kieran. Sev tried to grab her hand, but she blew him off, shaking her head at him and pointing to where Apollo's sisters were. Sev gestured at her, but she turned her back on him. He scowled and trotted over to the Lupin girls, who each engaged him in a dance.

"Nicely done, Lavender. Perhaps there is hope for him after all. And he'd never have done well in Slytherin. Too easily pushed, I think, and altogether too smart to be at the whim of that House," Severus said, watching his beloved granddaughter chat with the boys. "Ei-Lily will do just fine under my protection. Once I kill"

"No killing, Da. Ei-Lily knows how to handle people. She even has you wrapped around her finger. What did you want to speak to us about?" Draco said, eyeing his father warily.

"Snape."

"Yes, that is the family name."

"No, you dolt. I thought the children and you two had taken the hyphen route. Why the change, and how did you do it?"

"Tonks helped out with the paperwork. It wouldn't do for the children to grow up with the 'Malfoy taint' when they are truly brave Snapes."

Draco smiled at his father, who returned it for once. The blame and animosity had faded, and they were all just a family now. For good.

"Will somebody please dance with me?" Ei-Lily had shown up, and her black eyes were smiling. Funny, only she had truly gotten the Snape eyes, and they never ceased to melt Severus's heart.

"Sure," Draco said, offering his daughter his arm.

"When I said 'somebody', I meant Gransa."

"Oh. Thanks. What am I, a vomit-flavored Bertie Bott's?"

"Pretty much. Come on, Gransa I want to re-introduce you to Kieran and Apollo."

"All the better to find and kill them before the hormones start," Severus said under his breath.

"What, Gransa?"

"Lovely. Haven't seen them in a while," he lied glibly, gliding across the floor with his granddaughter.

"I knew she'd warm him up," Lavender said quietly.

"I love you, Lav," Draco said, smiling as they began a new dance.

"I love you, too. Care to have a few more?"

"Can we wait until these two are ensconced here?"

"Sounds good to me."

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Home is where the heart is,

It's where we started,

We're England.

Ron, Hermione, Harry and Ginny all sat at a small table Hermione had transfigured from a pebble she'd found in Kieran's pocket. Ron and Hermione had danced a few times, but Harry and Ginny were rather quiet, focusing on each other and waiting for something.

"You two are rather quiet tonight. Anything you'd care to share?" Hermione was a bit louder than usual, thanks to Tonks spiking their punch. She tried not to imbibe overmuch on her own, so Tonks had made Hermione her special case. This was the result of that case.

"Yeah, what's wrong? Mum is taking care of the rest of our broods, of course Fred and George are there, too. Oh. Fred and George," Ron said, thinking a minute. The youngest of each of their children were at the Burrow, with Molly. And Fred and George. Perhaps that was enough to worry over, then.

Harry shook his head. How could he explain that Hogwart's had been his first true home? Hermione had lived in muggle London, and Ron and Ginny had the Burrow. What did he have, before the letters, Hagrid, and meeting everyone at Hogwart's?

"Y'know," Hermione said, standing a little straighter. "I'm not worried about the kids tonight. I look around, and don't you know, this place was the first place I ever truly felt at home? Back with them," Hermione scowled. She'd kept her promise her parents didn't know their grandchildren at all, not even through pictures. She asked Remus and Tonks for advice, when needed, or Molly and Arthur. "I always knew I wasn't what they'd wanted. Serves them right I came here. Here, I learned and I grew strong, and people loved me people who didn't have to love me because I was their child, but loved me anyway for who I am! Don't you feel the same way, Harry?"

Harry nodded gratefully. He still wasn't clear on what had happened with Hermione's parents, because neither she nor Ron would speak of what had transpired. But this told him something. And it was enough.

"Yeah, 'Mione. Before this place, it was the Dursleys. And if it hadn't been for Hogwart's, I wouldn't have Ginny, or you and Ron. Or my grandparents," Harry said, slinging an arm around each Hermione and Ginny. Ron slugged him on the arm, and they all laughed.

Albus and Minerva had been dancing, but they stopped to see the interactions of the grandson and his friends. Both were smiling, but as the dance drew to a close, Albus had one more trick up his sleeve.

"One last thing I had forgotten to mention earlier. With our beloved Madame Hooch run off to join a new quidditch league, we've been accepting applications for flying instructors and Hogwart's Quidditch League patrons. I am pleased to announce that Harry and Ginny Potter have accepted those positions, and will be joining our staff posthaste. Of course, they are still aurors, so they will be sharing the duty with the Snapes and Weasleys, but I'm sure you'll find all of them quite accommodating."

Another round of applause, and the students finally began filing back to their dormitories. Albus and Minerva said goodbyes and accepted congratulations as well as gave them. Sirius and Roz were smiling as they accepted luck from their friends. Severus gave his daughter-in-law a tight hug as he told his family he'd keep an eye on their children. Albus and Minerva cried as Harry and Ginny hugged them tight, before pulling back to let others in.

"Harry, Ginny, will you be living here?" Minerva asked, her eyes bright.

"Perhaps. We still have the rest of the growing brood to consider, as well," Ginny said, smiling.

"Growing?" Minerva asked, eyes wide. Ginny and Harry already had three more not old enough for Hogwart's.

"Lot of that going around," Hermione laughed. "Tonks, didn't you catch it, too?"

Tonks laughed at the look on Remus's face. "Yup. But I hadn't told him yet, 'Mione."

"Sorry, Mum," Hermione joked. The night was still young for the group, and they all ended up outside.

"The stars are beautiful, aren't they?" Ron asked his friends.

"Yeah. Remember our first journey here?" Harry asked, his arms around Ginny.

"Yeah. Hagrid and his carriages. What about the flying car?"

"And the Whomping Willow."

Everyone laughed.

"Do you know how worried we were, Harry?" Albus said, trying to be serious.

"From the man who led us all to believe he was dead and gone?" Harry said, an eyebrow quirked.

"Yes. I assume some things are inherited, hmm?"

As the night grew darker, then lighter as the morning broke. The group broke up, each family heading its separate ways.

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Home is where the heart is,

It's where we started,

Where we belong

Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny all managed to run into one another back at the Burrow. Each family had a house, but they were all reluctant to leave one another. It had already been hard enough to see their children enter Hogwart's; it was as if time was telling them they needed to find a new home, a new life.

"I can't believe our children are wandering those hallowed halls now. I guess it isn't our home, anymore," Hermione sighed, resting against Ron's chest as their children packed up to head back to their house.

"Hermione," Ron whispered in her ear, "It doesn't matter. Home is where the heart is."

"I know. And you're my heart."

"And you're mine. Shall we go everyone?"

Children clamored onto their parents and waved to one another.

"We shall."

POP!

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All right, there it is. And I might even write a sequel. If y'all want one, that is.

Thanks for coming along on the ride, and I hope you all enjoyed it.

Please try my other stories, under this name and the penname separate-sisters, as well as through links in my profile on this site. You won't be disappointed (I think)

Catch you on the reviews page!

ladykyo

Brenna, of the separate-sisters