A/N: I've been reluctant to post this chapter because it means that this fanfic is over. This is the last chapter! I can't believe it. What a ride! I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it – I know there were some rough times, and so I hope the ending is satisfactory enough to make up for some of the angst! I want to thank all of you who read and reviewed so diligently. I know people say this all the time, but faithful readers really do make the difference! I loved hearing your thoughts as each chapter was posted. I also want to once again thank my beta, Indie, whose advice and encouragement made all the difference. She spent hours (and hours!) reading and correcting my mistakes before it was ever posted, and I can't thank her enough.
That being said, I hope you enjoy this final glimpse of Harry and Ginny.
Ten years after the defeat of Voldemort:
Charlie Weasley appeared at the edge of his parents' property in England for the first time in six months. He was both happy and nervous to be home as this was the first time he was bringing home a girl. Charlie was a notorious bachelor. Although his brothers and sister had all married and turned out grandchildren faster than Mrs. Weasley could ask for them, he had remained single. He'd just never found anyone who was worth the time and effort; until Emily Watson had shown up on the dragon reserve in Romania over a year ago. He'd asked her to marry him just two weeks ago.
"Nervous?" he asked as they began the trek towards the Burrow. Even though the war had been over for ten years, Arthur and Molly still kept strict wards up to ward off sightseers and other nasties. Charlie could get in, but Emily couldn't, and he chose to walk with her.
He took Emily's hand and squeezed it.
"A little," she admitted. "Do you think they'll like me?"
"Sure," he smiled broadly at her. "Mum'll be thrilled, and Fred and George will probably prank you."
"Or," he amended, "their children probably will."
"Will it bother them that I'm from America?"
"I think they'll barely notice," he said, shrugging his shoulders a bit.
"Uh oh, mum's seen us," Charlie said. "Brace yourself."
Emily took his warning quite literally. A plump, cheerful looking woman with shockingly bright red hair, despite her apparent age, rushed out the back door and threw her arms around her son.
"It's wonderful to have you home!"
"Mum," Charlie said, hugging the shorter woman tightly before stepping back. "This is Emily. My fiancé."
"Oh!" Molly Weasley gasped. "She's just lovely! You're American, is that right dear?"
"Please, call me Molly, or mum," she said dismissively. "Everyone else does." She turned back to yell through the open kitchen window.
"Arthur! Charlie and Emily are here!" She turned back to Emily. "Welcome to the family, dear. We've been looking forward to meeting you. You're a dragon trainer too?"
"Yes, ma - Molly. Although I'm actually more of a dragon vet." Emily smiled up at Charlie. "Charlie's the best though. I've never seen anyone work with dragons like he can."
"A vet, dear? How interesting…"
Charlie watched in amusement as his chattering mother led Emily off to a set of picnic tables where his brothers were sitting. She introduced her while pouring her a glass of lemonade. Any thought of watching from afar vanished when he saw Fred hand her a plate of suspiciously wrapped candies.
"Don't eat that!" he barked just as Emily was reaching for one. "You'll turn into a bird or something."
Fred scowled at his older brother. "Killjoy. She's new. I'm just trying to welcome her to the family."
"Yeah," George said. "It's a rite of passage, really. She's going to be a Weasley. Go on, Emily, take one."
Emily looked around at the amusement on her future brother-in-law's faces and decided that taking the plunge into her future family was now or never. Boldly, she took a candy, unwrapped it and popped it into her mouth. As soon as she took the first bite, there was an explosion of green smoke and when it cleared, Emily's lovely brown hair had been changed to a garish orange.
"There!" Fred said cheerily. "Now she's ready to be a Weasley."
"Gits," Charlie said, taking the seat next to his now red-headed fiancé. "Change her back."
"It'll wear off in an hour," George said. "Here, take a look." He conjured a mirror and held up for Emily.
Emily examined herself critically in the mirror. "It's brilliant! I love it! How on earth did you do that?"
"Magic," George said simply. He tapped the side of his nose and winked at her.
Charlie's head snapped up and a broad grin spread across his face. "Ginny!"
Ah, the sister. Charlie was fairly close with his sister, but Emily had never met her. She knew Ginny Weasley had married Harry Potter, but had been amazed when Charlie acted like it was no big deal. Not five minutes ago, her future mother-in-law had unceremoniously introduced her to the famous Harry Potter who had smiled politely at her. He seemed so normal, sitting there with his brother-in-laws, laughing and joking. He had the most beautiful green eyes and a happy, contented expression.
Ginny walked across the lawn towards them and for a moment, Emily was struck by her simple beauty. Long, glossy, glorious red hair was swept back into a messy ponytail; large brown eyes smiled at her brother and her creamy apricot skin almost glowed in the summer sun. Ginny was shorter than she'd expected but she moved with a grace that Emily envied. She was dressed extremely casually in a pale yellow tank top, a jean skirt with frayed edges and wore thongs on her feet – not at all like Emily would have expected the wife of a famous wizard to dress. But there was something about the way she carried herself that made others sit up and take notice; Emily suspected it had little to do with who her husband was. She carried what looked like a naked child's bottom on her hip and her tank top was wrinkled up a little bit to reveal her perfectly flat, taut stomach. This was the woman who'd had four children?
Charlie stood up to hug his sister. When the thing on Ginny's hip shrieked he pulled back and looked down at it in amusement.
"Here," Ginny said to Harry. "Take your daughter." She dumped a completely nude toddler on Harry's lap and scowled down at them both. Harry fumbled with the child, eventually turning her upright to reveal a small girl with rosy, chubby cheeks, bright red hair fastened into two pigtails on top of her head, and a wide grin on her face. She looked at her father with matching green eyes.
"Daddy, I nekid!" The little girl squealed.
"I see that," Harry answered. Emily thought he looked like he was trying not to laugh as he looked up at his wife.
"What happened to her clothes?"
"She wished them away," Ginny said. "I left her for two seconds, and when I went back, she was streaking through the living room!"
Harry smiled at his daughter. "Do you like being naked, Lily-snitch?"
The little girl nodded solemnly. "Mummy said a ba' worwd."
"What did she say," Harry asked curiously.
"Bwuggering bwoody 'ell," Lily answered before giggling and burying her face in her father's shoulder.
"Take care of your daughter, Harry. I can't handle this right now. James has snuck off to fly brooms even though he knows he's not allowed to for another year. Molly and her cousin got into Mum's flour bin, and Sirius threw a temper tantrum when I wouldn't let him eat a Canary Cream." She threw an exasperated look down at a mini-Harry that had followed her out of the back door and climbed onto the picnic table on the other side of Harry.
"Do you really want to eat a Canary Cream?" Harry asked his son.
Sirius nodded excitedly.
"You know you'll turn into a bird," he warned.
"It'll be cool, Dad!"
Harry turned pleading eyes to Ginny. "What's it gonna hurt? So he's a bird for few minutes."
"Harry," Ginny's eyes narrowed. "I know you did not just usurp my authority in front of our children.
Emily watched as Harry Potter, defeater of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, cringed under his wife's glare.
"Sorry, Sirius. Your mum's right. Wait until you're older."
"Aw, nuts," Sirius whined.
Ginny sighed in defeat. "Fine. You're right. I was overreacting. Fred, hand the kid a Canary Cream." She looked pointedly at her brother. "And that had better be ALL you hand him."
"One Canary Cream coming up," Fred said jovially. He selected a wrapped candy from the tray on the table and handed it ceremoniously to his nephew.
"Cool! Thanks, Mum! Thanks, Dad!" Sirius promptly unwrapped the candy and popped it in his mouth. In a few seconds there was a loud pop and a small yellow bird stood on the bench.
"Bwoody 'ell!" Lily shouted.
Charlie's brothers erupted into laughter, and Harry groaned.
"You've corrupted another one, Gin," Bill said.
Charlie said in an undertone to Emily, "Harry and Ginny's kids have the worst potty mouths b/c Ginny has a hard time controlling her language when she gets upset. It's pretty funny."
"Does she get upset a lot?" Emily whispered back.
"She seems to go through phases," Charlie answered with a wink.
Harry sat Lily bare-bumed on the picnic table in front of him and with a wave of his wand, conjured on a yellow sundress to match her mum's shirt. Lily scowled at him.
"Sorry, baby girl," he said apologetically. "But you have to wear clothes at grandmum's house."
"Bwugger," his daughter muttered and her uncles laughed again.
"How old is she?" Emily asked.
"Two," Ginny answered, "going on 47."
"Oi, Ginny," Charlie said. "You're in rare form today. What's got your knickers into a twist?"
A broad grin broke over Harry's face. "She's pregnant," he announced.
Ginny glared at her husband. "I am not."
"Sorry, Fury, but you've got that glow."
"I do not."
"Yes, you do," Ron piped up. "I bet you'd glow in the dark."
"Shut up, Ron."
"Don't you want to be pregnant?" Emily asked uncertainly.
Harry laughed. "She never does in the beginning, but then she gets used to it." He smiled fondly at Ginny. "Fury's a great mum."
"Harry calls Ginny 'Fury,'" Charlie whispered in her ear. "It's been his nickname for her since they were at school."
"I can see why," Emily murmured.
"I am not pregnant, you git," Ginny said. "Four kids are enough. I'm done."
"Ah, ah, ah," Harry singsonged. "We made a deal. Three years ago, you promised me a whole Quidditch team if I bought you an Extreme Firebolt. You owe me three more. I still need a pair of beaters and a keeper."
"You exchanged having children for a racing broom," Emily asked incredulously.
"It's a really good broom," Ron said apologetically.
"The best," Ginny added. She turned back to Harry. "I am NOT pregnant. Stop saying that!"
"So the morning nausea is because of what?"
"I ate some bad prawns." Ginny put her hands on her hips.
Harry whispered something to Lily who promptly squealed "Baby! Baby, Mummy! Baby in dere?" She pointed a chubby finger at her mother's stomach and looked up at her mum.
Ginny groaned. "No, you little nugget. There is no baby in Mummy's belly."
Harry snagged his wife around the waist with his arm and pulled her close. "Face it, Gin," he said, pressing a smacking kiss to her flat stomach. "You've got Bean Number Five in there."
"Harry and Ginny always call their babies "Bean" until they're born," Charlie explained in Emily's ear. "No one knows why. They're sort of weird."
"Baby!" Lily shrieked. "Bwoody baby!"
"I am NOT having a baby," Ginny bellowed. "I just got done breastfeeding that one four months ago!" She gestured at Lily who smiled brilliantly back at her.
"What should we call him, fellas?" Harry turned back to his brother-in-laws, his arm still around his wife's slim hips.
"Barney," Fred said. "I've always wanted a Barney in the family."
"Name him after our Uncle Farton," Ron suggested. Harry laughed.
"What do you think, Lily?" Harry asked. "What should we call your new brother?"
Lily pondered the question seriously. "Bwopsy," she finally said.
"Do you know it's a boy?" Emily directed her question to Harry.
"Are you listening to me?" Ginny interrupted. "I am not pregnant!! Stop talking about it!"
"Only one way to find out," George suggested. "Katie's inside. She can do a spell and see."
"Katie is George's wife," Charlie told Emily. "She's a Healer."
"Fine." Ginny stuck her nose in the air and walked back into the house.
Harry watched her go and turned back to the table with a glint in his eyes.
"She really pregnant, mate?" Ron asked.
"Oh yeah." Harry nodded. "She's always so reluctant to admit it though. She never even knows until I tell her. It's great fun. Gets her all wound up."
Two small boys ran up to the table just then. One of them was obviously Harry's, Emily thought. He had glasses and black messy hair and his mother's eyes.
"James," Harry's spoke sternly to his son. "Were you flying?"
"No, Dad," James' eyes went wide with innocence. His father continued to look at him, and Emily could see the defeat rise in his small shoulders. "Well, just a bit. But only on Jack's baby broom."
"It doesn't matter," Harry said firmly. "You know the rules. When we get home, you'll be punished."
"Aw, man." James slumped in the seat next to his cousin Jack, who was obviously Ron's son.
Emily turned to him. "Hi, I'm Emily."
"I'm James. I'm six." He stuck out a small hand for her to shake and Emily took it, charmed.
"Do you like flying?" she asked.
He nodded. "Yeah, but my parents won't let me fly until I'm older. I go up with my mum and dad sometimes though. It's brilliant!"
"You're gonna be a Seeker aren't you, sport?" Charlie ruffled his nephew's hair although Emily decided it didn't make any messier than it had been.
James nodded again. "Dad's been showing me some moves for when I go to Hogwarts!"
"Your parents are both good fliers, then?"
"Oh yeah, they're the best. Dad was the youngest Seeker in a century when he went to Hogwarts." James smiled proudly at his father who was chatting with Ron and trying to keep a firm grip on a squirming Lily.
"I like your mum," Emily said. "She's really pretty."
"Yeah," he said. "Daddy thinks so too. He's always telling her how pretty she is. Sometimes, it makes her blush."
"Really?" Charlie was amused.
"My parents are disgusting," James informed Emily solemnly.
The whole table stopped to listen. Emily fought back a smile.
"Why do you say that?"
James made a face. "They're always kissing and hugging and making weird noises."
"James!" Harry said quickly. "Stop talking about your parents. She doesn't want to know that."
"Well, you are," the boy retorted. "It's gross." He turned back to Emily. "Kissing girls is gross."
Harry rolled his eyes. "It is not, as I keep trying to tell you -"
"One time, I was over at Jack's house and when I Flooed home, Mummy and Daddy were on the couch and Daddy had his head up Mummy's skirt," James told Emily. "He said they were just playing a game, but I think it was more kissing stuff."
Charlie and his brothers stared open-mouthed at James. Emily turned bright red.
"James! You will cease talking and go play elsewhere immediately!" Harry looked at his son horrified and avoided his brother-in-law's eyes.
After James and Jack ran off to play with the chickens, silence rang at the table. There was snort, then a snicker and soon the whole table was laughing uproariously while Harry buried his face in his daughter's small body. She patted the back of his head consolingly with her small, chubby hands.
"I think you've scarred the boy for life," Bill said through his chuckles.
"When Ginny finds out he said that she's going to blow her top!" Ron laughed. He stopped laughing suddenly. "Will you take a picture?"
"Harry, I'm so sorry," Emily stammered. "I had no idea…I didn't mean-"
"Don't worry about it," Harry assured her. "It's not your fault, it's James. He knows better than to talk about family stuff. I'm sorry if he embarrassed you."
"Well -" Emily began, but a sudden angry yell from inside the house interrupted her.
"And that's my Fury," Harry said, breaking into another large grin. "I guess Katie confirmed my earlier diagnosis." He stood up, propping Lily up on his hip. "Excuse me, gentlemen. She'll get all worked up and it's not good for Bean."
"We'll watch her," Charlie offered, and Harry handed Lily over with a grateful smile.
"Bwoody 'ell Daddy!" Lily called after him.
Harry walked into the Burrow's kitchen to find his mother-in-law drying her eyes with the corner of her apron and his eldest daughter covered in flour on the floor with her partner-in-crime, Bill's daughter Victoria.
"Oh, Harry," Molly said excitedly. "Another baby! Congratulations!"
"Thanks, Mum," he said, kissing her on the cheek. "She just figure it out?"
Molly nodded, a small smile gracing her lips. "No one can do denial quite like my Ginny."
Harry winked at his mother-in-law. "I told her this morning, but she wouldn't listen."
Ginny burst into the kitchen just then and stopped short when she saw Harry. "Come to gloat?" She crossed her arms in front of her chest.
Harry grinned at her. "Nope." He strode over to her and bent over, grabbing her by the knees and tossing her face-first over his shoulder.
"Harry! Put me down!" Ginny shrieked.
"Not gonna happen, Fury." He turned to Molly. "Mum, would you mind keeping an eye out?"
"No, of course not," she waved her hands at them. "Go, go."
Harry looked pointedly at his wide-eyed daughter on the floor. "I'll deal with you when I get back," he said, gesturing to the mess she'd made. "You and Victoria have to clean this up all by yourselves, got it?"
"Yes, Daddy," said Molly in a small voice.
"Harry, if you don't put me down, this second-" Ginny threatened.
"Oh stop," Harry said, smacking her lightly on the bum. He started walking up the stairs.
"Harry! Put me down! You'll hurt Bean!"
"Don't be ridiculous," he said when they reached the first landing. "Besides, I'd put you down if I thought you'd stay."
"Where are we going?"
"To celebrate Bean," Harry answered.
"Here?! In my parents' house?" Ginny blanched at the thought which was really difficult to do considering Harry had her upside down and all the blood was rushing to her head.
"Don't worry," Harry said dismissively. "They all expect it by now."
"Oh, because Harry and Ginny are always so randy," Ginny muttered.
Harry pushed open the door to Ginny's old bedroom and carried her inside. He tossed her on the double bed and went to shut and lock door. He pulled out his wand and cast a few silencing charms.
Ginny sat up with a huff and scooted to the edge of the bed as Harry kneeled on the floor in front of her.
"C'mere," he said. He wrapped his arms around his wife's waist and pressed his face into her stomach. He took a deep breath and was still for moment.
"Thank you," he whispered finally. "Thank you for another one."
Ginny felt her ire melting, and she ran a hand through his hair. It wasn't that she didn't want another baby; it was just that it was always such a surprise. It irked her that Harry could always tell that she was pregnant before she could — it was her body and her baby. How could such a change be taking place without her knowledge? She really thought four would have been enough but now that Bean Number Five existed, she couldn't imagine going through life with only four children.
"You're welcome," she sighed. "I suppose you really are going to hold me to that deal aren't you?"
Harry lifted his head and smirked at her. "Of course. No takebacks. You didn't seriously think I'd let you out of it, did you?"
"Fine," she sighed again. "It really is an excellent broom."
Harry stood up and pushed Ginny back onto the bed and crawled up after her. He smoothed up her shirt and unbuttoned the fly on her jean skirt. Spreading aside the fabric, he placed a soft kiss on her lower abdomen.
"Hullo, Bean," he said softly. He stroked the skin with the tips of his fingers. "This is your dad. Try to not to give your mum too much trouble okay?" He kissed the skin again reached up to nuzzle her belly button with his nose. Ginny giggled.
"I love when you're pregnant, Gin." One hand peeled back more of the fabric while his mouth travelled over to nibble on her hipbone. "You're so beautiful."
"Beautiful because I swell up like a balloon and get fat ankles?" Ginny ran her fingers through his hair.
"Beautiful because you glow. Beautiful because you are carrying our child," he corrected.
"Plus," he scooted up and pulled her shirt up further, exposing her bra-covered breasts, "there's these."
Ginny watched in amusement as Harry popped the front clasp on her bra and cupped her breasts with glittering eyes.
"They always get bigger, Gin," he said, his eyes still fastened on her breasts. "It's amazing. I mean, they're perfect now and just when I think they can't get any more perfect, you get pregnant and wham, they're even better!"
Ginny's laugh turned into a gasp when Harry's mouth closed over the tip of one. "Harry," she said weakly. "We can't do this now. The kids are downstairs and my entire family is here."
"Sorry, Gin." He didn't sound sorry at all as his mouth travelled over to the other breast. "It's tradition to celebrate Bean's new life this way. Don't want to break tradition while you're pregnant. Who knows what the kid'll turn out like if we did?"
Harry's hand slid down her taut stomach and began tugging on the waistband of her skirt. "C'mon, Fury, you know you want to."
Well of course she wanted to, Ginny thought. Harry's mouth had only gotten better with age, and the things he'd learned to do with his hands…Merlin!
"S'not the first time we've done this here," he reminded her, his mouth doing wicked things to the skin just below her breasts.
"Yes but then…oh…then everyone didn't know…oh, Harry." Ginny arched into her husband's hand and any resistance she had to the idea of making love while her children and family were downstairs flew out the window. She pushed him back and whipped off her shirt and bra, kicking her skirt off the rest of the way.
"C'mon, Harry," she said, scooting back up on the bed and holding out her arms. "Let's celebrate life."
And they did. Twice.
THE ABSOLUTE END