Harry casually leaned against the stone barrier, letting himself fall through the wall. Clutching a tiny hand, he stepped onto Platform 9 and ¾ and took in his surroundings. The platform was only mildly crowded, but it was still 20 minutes before the train was set to head out of the station. Hermione insisted that they arrive plenty early to allow the kids enough to time to put their luggage on the train and to say their goodbyes. Harry personally didn't see why they had to arrive so early, but at this point, he just knew it wasn't worth even discussing. Just let Hermione have this.
"Daddy, I want to go on the pretty train," the small girl holding his hand told Harry resolutely.
Harry frowned down at the small figure who was scarcely six. "You want to leave mommy and daddy, Dora?"
Dora seemed to ponder this for a moment. "Well, no, but I still want to go on the train."
Harry laughed this time. "In a few years you will, I promise, but for now you have to stay with mommy and daddy."
"Let go mum. I can push it myself," a boy of eleven told the woman clutching the boys trolley with one hand, while her other arm was tightly placed around the boys shoulders.
The woman gave a small, sad smile, releasing the boy from her grasp. "Of course, Severus."
Right behind the boy and woman came a pair of identical boys, right around the age of fifteen. They pushed past Severus, Hermione, Harry, and little Dora and immediately headed towards the train to look to see if any friends had arrived yet.
"Boys," Harry hollered after them. "Put your trunks away and then I want you to come back to say goodbye."
One of the boys waved back absentmindedly, as they headed into the growing crowd.
Harry sighed, wondering if they intended to follow his directions. He shook his head, and turned back to the small boy that was now being fussed over by his mother. "Hermione, let him be. He looks fine."
Hermione straightened up reluctantly. "I guess. I just wish his hair would lie flat."
Rolling his eyes, Harry snorted as he knew that there was no point in attempting to manage the hair. No matter what was done to the hair, it would just stick on end, determined to look as messy as possible. He had hoped with age his own hair would become manageable, but no such luck. Nothing changed except for the few gray hairs on his head. His hair was as unruly as when he was a teenager.
He looked down at the pale face of the boy. In the physical sense, he was a spitting image of Harry; dark hair, emerald eyes, and pale complexion. But, that was pretty much where the similarities ended. In personality, he took after his mother. He loved reading and was very soft spoken. Harry couldn't count how many times he peeked into Severus' room to check on him before Harry went to bed to find Severus asleep, a book on his lap and the light still on. Harry would always go in quietly to place the book on the nightstand, and tuck Severus in properly before kissing him goodnight and turning off his light. A tug of sadness visited Harry as he faced the boy. It was going to be tough saying goodbye to another one of his children.
Harry crouched down so that he was eye level with Severus. He met Severus' eyes before speaking softly, "are you scared?"
Severus hesitated before answering, "yes."
"About what?" Harry smiled.
"Everything. What if I don't make friends? What if I fail? What if I'm not in Gryffindor?" Severus blurted out, telling Harry the fears that had kept him awake the last three nights.
"You are going to be fine. You are going to make friends, no matter which house you are in. Plus there is always Fred-Ron to keep you company. He is going to be starting this year as well. As for you failing, impossible. You are too much like your mother to fail." Harry gave Severus a quick wink at this. "Finally, if you are not in Gryffindor, then it doesn't matter. I actually have a sneaking suspicion that you are going to be Ravenclaw."
"But the whole family has been in Gryffindor and isn't it the best house?" Severus queried, concern written all over his face.
"The whole family is not from Gryffindor. Remember Uncle Draco was in Slytherin, along with your namesake, Severus Snape. Then Aunt Luna was in Ravenclaw. Each house has it's honors and they are equally great. Mum and I are going to be proud of you no matter which house you are in."
Severus' face relaxed considerably as he let Harry's words sink in. "Okay, I'm going to go find a compartment and put my stuff away. I'll be back in a few minutes."
Harry nodded and patted Severus on the shoulder. "Sounds good. Hurry back, I believe your mum hasn't fawned over you quite enough to her liking."
Severus laughed as he saw his father get hit over the head by Hermione who was now holding Dora on her hip with one arm. Severus trotted off in the direction of the train.
"I'm not fawning over him, Harry," Hermione said indignantly.
"Of course, dear," Harry replied in sickeningly sweet voice, kissing her quickly on the forehead.
Harry was spared from Hermione's response as two boys ran towards Harry and Hermione.
"Can we keep the good-bye's to a minimum. We have friends waiting."
"Your friends can wait," Hermione told them as she set Dora down on the ground and enveloped both boys in her arms, squeezing them tightly. She started to sniffle.
"Now, don't cry mum. We are going to be seeing you really soon," a muffle voice spoke.
Hermione released the boys and took a step back, quickly wiping her eyes. "Oh I know, it's just you are growing up so fast."
One boy turned to Harry. "It's your turn," he said, opening his arms wide, grinning. "Go on, dad. Have a good cry."
Harry smirked. "That's okay, thank you. But I need to talk to both of you."
Hermione took the hint, grabbed Dora's hand, and slowly walked in the opposite direction to see if anybody else had arrived yet.
Harry took stock of the boys who had almost reached his own own height. They were identical. They had Hermione's brown hair, and Hermione's dad's blue eyes. They were tan from being outside most of the summer, exploring. He could still remember the day they were born as vividly as if it were yesterday. It had been such a shock when the boys were born, and well, they weren't girls. Harry and Hermione had been told that they were going to have girls, and they had female names picked out.
When the witch came by to ask what they had decided to name the boys, Hermione and him had just stared wide eyed at each other. The names they had picked out were not appropriate for boys. They were going to name one Dora after Tonks and Anne after Hermione's mother. However, that was no longer a good idea. So, they told the witch they needed more time.
Hermione told Harry that they each should pick one boy name, and call it good. So, Harry sat in silence for a few minutes, trying to decide what to do. He thought of naming the boy James, but that didn't feel right. As much as he would love to name his child after his father, he didn't know him. Then he got to thinking on who deserved to have one of his son's name after them. That brought on way too many names, Cedric, Albus, Hagrid... Then it came to him. He had told Hermione that he wanted to name one of the boys Sirius James Potter. Hermione nodded and then said that she wanted to name the other boy Remus Peter Potter. It took some explaining about giving Remus the middle name of Peter. Hermione said that it was in memory of the boy that had been friends with Sirius, James, and Remus. It was in memory of the boy who had been poisoned by Voldemort. It was for the man who saved Harry's life. At hearing Hermione's conviction, he could do nothing but let it happen. After all, the idea of all four marauders being remembered in these two young boys was a nice idea.
"Dad?" Sirius laughed, snapping a finger in front of Harry's face.
Harry looked at the boys sheepishly. "Just remembering the day you were born."
Remus and Sirius gave each other an amused look. "Are you going to get all sentimental on us now. Talk about how much we have grown and what men we have become."
Harry had to laugh at that, "no, I wasn't. What I want to talk to you about is Severus. I want you to watch out for him."
Remus nodded solemnly, however there was a glint in his eyes. "Of course, we will make sure that he is taken care of."
"No, it's just I want you to make sure he has some fun. It will be so easy for him to get too wrapped in his studies and not play at all. Make sure he doesn't take his studies too seriously," Harry explained.
"Oh, mum would kill you if she heard you talking like that."
"I know, but she doesn't scare me." Contradicting that was Harry's eyes, who were darting to where Hermione was, making sure she was still out of ear shot. He saw her standing a ways down the platform talking to Ron and Luna who was seeing off Fred-Ron.
Sirius laughed and patted Harry on the shoulder. "That's right. You keep telling yourself that. Is that all?"
Harry nodded. "Yeah," Harry paused. "Oh, and I guess you should try to scrape some O.W.L.S this year, for your mothers sake."
"We will do our best," the twins said at the same time.
Harry smiled, feeling slightly less guilty after adding that last sentence. He gave the twins a quick hug each and sent them on their way. Harry looked over at Hermione who was chatting with Ron and Luna. Hermione and Ron's relationship had lasted a little less than a year and what a year it had been. It had been full of fights, break ups, and reconciliations. The first month after the final break up had been very awkward, however, after that Hermione and Ron were as good of friends as ever and there was never any lasting ramifications from them dating.
The same couldn't be said about Ginny and himself. They had lasted a little longer than Ron and Hermione, but not that much longer. One night Harry had been comforting Hermione, when Ginny came storming in, jealous and convinced that Harry was cheating on her. They broke up that night, and Hermione ended up having to comfort Harry. Although Harry and Hermione waited a year before starting a relationship, Ginny was always a little bitter about it. Ron, just thought it was funny, since he had moved on with Luna.
Harry walked over to Ron, Luna, and Hermione where Ron was giving his son a talking to.
"Now, son, you better be in Gryffindor."
"RON!" Hermione exclaimed.
"I don't know," Luna piped in with a slightly dreamy smile on her face. "I think it would be nice if you were sorted into Molventuff. It is supposedly the house of the fifth founder of Hogwarts."
Hermione made a face and Ron laughed good naturedly. "Well, let's just hope you got the Weasley blood in you and you get into Gryffindor."
Harry decided to break this up, and spoke to Fred-Ron, "so, are you excited to start up?"
Fred-Ron nodded excitedly. All of the first born Weasley boys were named Fred, which led to having to use the boys father's name to distinguish between them. It started with Bill naming his son Fred, but after that Percy was mad because he had planned on naming his first son Fred. Percy being stubborn, did it anyways. George was the next to have a son, and thought it would be a jolly great joke if he named his son Fred as well, and none of the other Weasley children had the heart to break the tradition. So now there were five Fred Weasleys and a Fred Malfoy.
Severus came up and joined the group, where Hermione instantly took up the opportunity to start fussing over him. She tried once again to straighten his hair and started to brush imaginary dust off of his shirt when the train whistled that it was time to board. Hermione started to tear up as Severus made a move away from her to head towards the train, calling out goodbye. Ron ruffled Fred-Ron's hair and gave him a quick hug before he went off to the train. Luna was waving calling out to watch out for Nigglesnaps.
They all stood there watching as the train pulled out of the station. Harry had his arm around Hermione and in his other arm was Dora. She looked curiously at her mum before speaking to Harry. "Why is mum crying?"
"Your brothers are going away and they are just growing up so fast," Harry responded quietly.
"But, aren't we going to see them tonight? Aren't they going home?" Dora questioned.
Harry nodded. "Yes, but it's just not the same. You'll understand when you are older."
"I don't know," Dora said skeptically, leaning her head on Harry's shoulder.
Harry and Hermione looked at each other and laughed. Dora always had the affect of cheering up her parents when ever they were having a bad day. And the thought of seeing their sons tonight at the feast or in class tomorrow was a brightening thought. After all, Harry was the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor and Hermione was the Transfiguration professor. Not to mention, since the family lived in Hogwarts, the boys would often come to dinner on the weekends or stop in for a visit. Everything would be fine.
"So, Ron, where are the rest of the kids?" Harry queried, referring to Luna and Ron's four other children.
"They are at my mums. We are going back there now for lunch. She was hoping that you guys would join us."
"Sure," Hermione answered for both of them. "I have been craving Molly's cooking."
Ron clapped his hands. "Good, it's settled. Now, let's go find Draco and Ginny and we can head to The Leaky Cauldron to floo to her house."
Ron put his arm around Luna leading the way down the platform looking for Draco and Ginny. Harry put his own arm back around Hermione, Dora still in his other arm. He and Hermione's steps instantly fell into sync with each other, and at that moment Harry was at peace with the world. Life without Voldemort still had it's bad days. There were days when his students were difficult or Hermione and him were in an argument. Then there were days when his kids took every last drop of his energy. However, Harry wouldn't have it any other way because for every one of those days there were thirty great days where his life was exactly as he had imagined. He didn't care that a few gray hairs were sprouting on his head, or that today was the end of summer vacation. Voldemort was gone and his scar has yet to hurt since that fateful night. He had the family he always dreamed of, surrounded by great friends. What more could he want from life?
A/N-This was in response to a lot of the fanfiction out there. I saw a lot of h/h stories that either ignored or took the epilogue into account. However, what I thought was missing was a rewrite of the epilogue. I know that this is a little awkward, but it's hard to write an epilogue to a story that isn't yours, lol. Anyways, there are a lot of changes and they were all purposeful. Besides the obvious coupling, I wanted to change what the farewell was like and I disliked the names of the kids, for the reason I stated in the story. Harry didn't know James and Lily yet he did know Sirius, Lupin, and Tonks and they deserved a kid named after them. Not to mention who names their kid Albus? Well, I hope you enjoyed and all feedback is welcome! Please review and tell me what you liked and disliked.