Here is the final part of this story. Please review and let me know what you think! Thanks for reading!
"Good job, Al!" James said, speaking as if they were teenagers again and Al had just made a spectacular catch of the Snith. "Now, let's get this back up to Dad." He stood up straight and wiped the dirt off of his pants. "Don't let go of it, Al. We don't know when it'll reveal itself to us again. Remember what Dad said:..."
"I know, I know, don't abuse the Stone," replied Al. He closed his fingers around the Stone and felt the jagged markings in his hand. He stood up and looked around, half-hoping and half-remembering his grandparents, his uncle, his grandparents' best friends, and his father's old headmaster and professor.
"We have to hurry," Lily said. "Dad..."
"Don't worry, Lils." James took her hand. "We'll get back in time. And Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron are there with him. He's fine. He's just...waiting until he can see Mum again..."
Lily sadly smiled at him. She nodded. "Yeah..."
A few hours later, James, Al, and Lily entered number 12 Grimmauld Place. The place was quiet, but faint voices were heard carrying down from upstairs. James looked around at the bright hallway and nodded toward the stairs at his brother and sister. He brushed against the troll-leg umbrella stand and caught it before it fell over.
"Sounds like everyone's out except for Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione," he said in a low voice.
Lily gazed at an empty spot on the wall. It was lighter than the rest of the wall. "Ever wonder what fun we could've had if Mrs. Black's portrait was still here."
James gave her a mischievous smile while Al shook his head. "No, she would've just been yelling at us, according to what Dad said."
James and Lily shrugged their shoulders at his words. "Oh well," said James. "Would've been fun."
"But I do have to ask Aunt Hermione how she managed to get the Permanent Sticking Charm undone."
James shrugged again. "I'm just glad that they never touched Sirius' stuff in my old room."
"Are you going to leave it like that forever?" asked Lily.
"As long as it'll stay up," he answered matter-of-factly. "Besides, I think the kids like having the pictures of the motorcycles and Muggle women up." He and Lily laughed as Al shook his head at them, with a smile.
The three of them headed upstairs quietly, skipping over the creaky steps. They passed the row of shrunken house-elf heads and continued up to the master bedroom on the third floor. James chuckled as they passed by his old room, Sirius' old room, and continued to his parents' room. He lightly knocked on the half-open door.
"Dad?" he said in a small voice. He grinned as he walked into the room, kissing his Aunt Hermione on the cheek and clapping a hand to his Uncle Ron's shoulder. "We have it. Al found it."
Harry coughed and smiled at his eldest child. He was lying on his bed, above the covers, in red and gold pajamas. Despite being out of school for a long time, he didn't give up his love for his old house. "Thank you, James." He gestured around him. "Find a seat." He sat up and leaned against the bed frame. "Come in, Al, Lily."
Al and Lily hesitantly walked in.
"How are you feeling, Dad?" Lily asked, enveloping her father in a tight hug.
"Much better now that you are all here." He nodded and smiled at his two best friends.
Hermione understood the hint. "We'll be right downstairs if you need us." Ron nodded and smiled. The two of them headed for the door.
"Wait, Ron. Hermione."
They stopped and looked at Harry, who sat up and extended his arms to them. He gave each of them a long hug and smiled at the two of them. "You two are my very best friends. I love you both. And...I...I just can't imagine my life without you."
"Oh, Harry!" Hermione cried with tears in her eyes.
Ron pursed his lips and nodded. He, too, had tears in his eyes. He didn't say anything as he led Hermione from the room. At the doorway, he turned around and faced Harry. "Harry...out of all the brothers that I've had...you...you're probably my favorite." He smiled and laughed a bit. "Take care, Harry."
"Shall I close the door, Dad?" asked Al, a little too politely.
Harry laughed. His green eyes twinkled and his children stared at him like he had gone mad. "No, no, Albus, my dear. Just sit down." Al sat down on Harry's bed. "Now, tell me, do you have it?"
Al nodded and reached into the pocket of his robes. "Yes, it's right here." He held it in a closed fist.
"Did you all find it all right? Did it take you ages?"
"It took almost no time at all. Just a few minutes, I think."
Harry nodded. "Maybe it was meant that you were supposed to find it and bring it to me." He glanced around a little suspiciously. "You three haven't-"
They all shook their heads.
"No, Dad," answered James. "We haven't touched it except for Al, here, who kept it safe for you."
Harry nodded. "Thank you." He sighed and glanced at each of his children. He raised his hand and brushed it against Lily's cheek. "You all know that I love you, right? And you've made my life such a joy. And I've loved every second of it." He glanced at James. "Every owl that we've received about your pranking." James smirked and looked away. Harry glanced at Al. "Every award." Al smiled and took his father's hand. Harry's gaze fell on Lily. "And every detention that you've received." Lily's cheeks turned red and her eyes narrowed indignantly, but she didn't say anything because Harry started laughing. "I thought my life was...I thought my life was already full of surprises and joy...but you three, you've brought me all the happiness in the world and more. I love you, all."
"We love you, too, Dad," James said, throwing his arms around his father. Al and Lily followed suit.
James glanced at his brother and sister and knew they were fighting tears in their eyes. They didn't want their dad to see them upset and sad or crying. The four of them stayed hugging each other for a long time.
At long last, James released his family from his hold. "Well, Al? I think..." his breath caught in his throat. "I think we better get a move on."
Al nodded and held out his hand over his father's palm. In a quick second, Al opened his hands and Harry caught the small stone, still having Seeker's reflexes. He felt the Stone for a long time and moved his finger along the jagged markings of the sign of the Deathly Hallows.
How long ago it was that he searched for them and unknowingly became the Master of Death in his bid to defeat Voldemort.
How long ago it was that he even fought Voldemort.
How long ago it was that he attended Hogwarts.
And how long ago it was that he lived in the cupboard of his aunt and uncle's house.
Harry looked around and grinned at his three children sitting around him. This was just how he imagined it, how he planned it, even though he knew that you couldn't plan these things.
He gazed at his eldest son, James Sirius. From the moment he was born, Harry had taken in those hazel eyes and the black hair that stuck up everywhere and knew he was a James Potter. He had also decided on Sirius because those his father and his godfather were the two people that he needed and wanted close to him. And as James was growing up, Harry knew that he was living up to his namesakes'. Both of them. Sirius had only alluded to the trouble that he and James had gotten into at Hogwarts, but since they made the Marauders' Map, Harry had no doubt that his father and grandfather were trouble at Hogwarts. He vaguely remembered Madame Rosmerta, from the pub at Hogsmeade, talking about how his father and his godfather would come to her pub and make her laugh.
Harry then gazed at his middle child, Albus Severus. From the moment Albus opened his eyes, Harry saw his mother's eyes staring back at him. He knew he had to honor those eyes, but his wife refused to allow Harry to name their second son, Lily. Harry smiled, amused at the memory. He had taken the mickey from Ron for even suggesting it. So Harry decided to name him Severus after the man who gave up his life to protect the son of the woman that he loved. And Harry knew that he also had to honor the greatest headmaster, the one who taught him many things. And he named his son Albus Severus. Again, Harry believed that the name was chosen well. It was like a wand, it chooses the wizard or witch. Albus was very different than his older brother. He was quieter, more studious, and more reserved. Much of what Harry imagined Dumbledore and Snape to be when they were at Hogwarts. Albus also had an aptitude towards Potions and Harry thought of how Snape must be proud of that.
He then turned to his youngest. His only daughter. Lily Luna. From the moment she was born and Harry caught sight of the infamous red hair, he first assumed it was the red hair of his wife's family. But as she and Harry continued to stare at their daughter, they noticed that her hair was not the flaming red hair of the Weasleys. It was a softer red, dark and almost auburn. When Harry noticed this, he blurted out his mother's name and his wife vehemently agreed. They also saw one of their old friends in their daughter, Luna Lovegood. Harry had hoped that his daughter would be as comfortable and at ease with herself as Luna was. He had hoped that his daughter would see the world as Luna did. And she did. She carried the same grace as her grandmother, the same fire as her mother, and the same curiousity and open mind of Luna. Harry knew it was this open mind that opened Lily to marry Scorpius Malfoy. It must've been the first Gryffindor and Slytherin marriage of all time, he had thought.
Harry thought back to Scorpius' father and his longtime Hogwarts enemy, Draco. They were no longer enemies; how could they be when their children were married to one another? No, they were no longer enemies. They came together, although it was in a strange way, but it did happen. The Room of Requirement. Harry knew now that Draco never truly wanted to be what his father was. He knew that Draco merely only wanted to make his father proud and keep his mother safe. It did truly disgust him, the things that Voldemort had forced Draco to do. It almost made Harry pity Draco. For years after the final battle at Hogwarts, Harry and Draco were always civil to one another. They were never friends, but the relationship between the two had changed from when they were at school. Harry had done all he could in his power to keep Draco and his parents, Lucius and Narcissa, out of Azkaban. It worked and Harry hoped that the Malfoys had learned their lesson. It seemed that they did. Lucius still retained some of his old prejudices, but Harry knew that he wouldn't be able to change those overnight. Narcissa and Draco seemed to be more tolerant, though. Draco and his wife, Astoria, raised their son to be without the same prejudices that Draco had when he was growing up. He was open-minded of all blood types and his best friend at Hogwarts was even a Muggle-born, who was placed in Slytherin, to everyone's surprise.
But Harry didn't want to think about them in his last few moments. Instead, he focused on the three faces in front of him and the two who had left the room.
Ron and Hermione. The memories he had with these two are beyond irreplaceable. The three of them had long ago placed many of their memories in a Penseive, at James' insistence, saying that he wanted the memories of the three of them to be preserved and to live forever because that's what their friendship deserved. But Harry, Ron, and Hermione knew that James just wanted to see firsthand what happened during the war. They obliged him, but only because they, too, wanted their memories to last long after their death. Harry had been through so much with the pair of them that he didn't even know where to begin thinking of them. He first thought back to the very first train ride to Hogwarts. That was where he met both of them for the first time. And then he thought about the troll, way back in first year. That was what made them become friends. The three of them. He smiled, thinking about it. They went through hell and back, at his side, just for him. Harry didn't deserve such good friends.
He closed his eyes, still thinking about his two best friends.
After a few moments, he felt a warm hand over his own. "We're here, Harry," he heard Hermione say in a tearful voice.
"Hermione...remember when you set those birds on Ron?" he asked, smiling as he opened his eyes to look at her.
"Don't remind her, mate," replied Ron, turning a bit pink around the ears.
"Remember the spiders that Hagrid made us go into the Forest after?"
"Erm...don't remind me." Ron rolled his eyes, but smiled at Harry.
"Just rest, Harry," Hermione said.
"Did...did I ever tell you what was in the Snitch?" Harry asked. He saw his children stand together on one side of the room.
Hermione and Ron looked at each other and shook their head. "You didn't have to tell us, Harry," replied Hermione. "What's done is done. You've already beaten him."
"It was the Stone," Harry said, acting like he didn't hear or listen to Hermione. "The Resurrection Stone. It was true. The tale of the Three Brothers. The Deathly Hallows. It was true."
Ron looked surprised and Hermione looked skeptical. "Harry, you-"
"No, Hermione, it was true. All of it. The Invisibility Cloak." Harry glanced at James and Al. "The Elder Wand." He glanced at Lily. "And the Resurrection Stone." Harry held his hand out and opened his palm to reveal the Stone.
Ron looked incredulous. "But doesn't that mean-"
"Oh, Harry!" Tears freely flowed from Hermione's face.
Harry nodded and smiled sadly. "I love you guys." He looked at Ron. "You...you were my first friend, ever. I will always, always treasure that." He turned to Hermione. "And you, Hermione. You kept me alive at school!"
"That wasn't me, that was all Dumbledore and Snape."
Harry shook his head. "No. It was you. You were the one who forced us to do our homework."
"To study for those damn exams," added Ron.
"Who helped me with the Triwizard Tournament."
"Who punched Malfoy." Ron glanced apologetically at Lily. "No offense, Lily."
"Who made me keep my mind on destroying the Horcruxes and not finding the Hallows. I don't now what I could've done without you, Hermione."
"Well...now you've got all three of them, anyway," said Hermione, tearfully.
Harry nodded. "It's time, you know. To greet it like an old friend. To finally be able to rest after all these years." His eyes filled with tears. "To be reunited with my dad, my mum. Sirius, Remus. Fred. And...and Ginny. I've kept her waiting for too long." He looked around the room and gestured his children to come nearer. "Ron, Hermione. I know they no longer need it, but look after my children. Look after my grandchildren. I love you, both and I truly cannot imagine life without either of you." He glanced at his children. "You three have made my life worth living. You have all at one point, drove me insane and back, but for that, I love you even more. I love watching you grow up, watching you all marry and have your own children."
"We love you, too, Dad." The three of them said in unison.
"I never thought I'd be a dad," Harry said fondly looking at his children. "I never even thought that I'd live to see the end of my seventh year at Hogwarts. But the three of you have made this experience truly memorable. I've loved every second of it. And I wouldn't trade any of it for anything in this world. I love you."
At once, Harry held up his hand and turned the Stone over three times. Almost suddenly, it was like a curtain had been drawn, blocking Ron, Hermione, James, Albus, and Lily from him. He could still hear and feel them around him, but it was almost like they were fading. He could hear the cries and feel the tears, but it was so faint and so light that it may not have been there.
He closed his eyes and opened them a second later.
"Hi, Son." His father's hazel eyes were an inch away from his own.
"Dad!" Harry said, trying to sit up.
"Harry. I'm so proud of you!"
"And what about us?"
"Hey, what am I, chopped liver?"
Harry laughed. "Hi, Fred."
"Well, well, Harry. It seems like you have finally chosen to, uh, what did you call it? Board a train?"
"Professor Dumbledore, I believe you called it boarding a train. I merely said that it looked like we were at King's Cross station."
"A train, Potter? That's what you make of us?"
"And Professor Snape." Harry looked upon the hook-nosed man in front of him. His hair no longer seemed greasy, but he was still wearing long robes of black. "I've never thanked you for-"
"No matter, Potter," Snape said, holding up a hand.
Dumbledore clapped his hands. "Well, well. We should be on our way, right? James, Lily, if you would help Harry out of bed..."
James and Lily helped Harry stand and in a flash, Harry's gold and red pajamas were gone. In its place was his old Auror's uniform, even though he had been retired for years.
"Wait-" started Harry. "What about-"
Harry turned his head and if he was still breathing, he was sure that it stopped in his chest. For there, standing in a beam in front of him was his lovely wife.
"So you have finally decided to join me, have you?" Ginny asked, smirking as she slowly walked towards Harry.
"Well, I had to let you all catch up, didn't I?" Harry grinned. He leaned over and gave Ginny a long kiss. "I love you."
She smiled. "I love you, too."
He took her hand in one of his own and took his mother's hand in the other. He smiled at both of them and glanced at Dumbledore.