41 – HAVING A HAPPY LIFE
"Aunt Poppy? Evelyn?" Harry asked warily, trying to catch his breath. "What does that mean?" he added, pointing to the three babies, one of them on Evelyn's stomach, one of them in a small crib, and one cradled in Poppy's arms.
"Congratulations, Harry. You're the father of three healthy babies," Poppy told him, smirking, taking a step towards her godson just in case he fainted because of the news he just received.
"What? Three?" Harry replied flabbergasted before he carefully lifted the baby that was alone in the crib, and went over to Evelyn, kissing her softly. "You're brilliant, Evelyn, do you know that?" he asked, giving his wife a proud smile.
With a flick of her wand Poppy enlarged Evelyn's bed so that Harry could sit down on the bed with his wife before she placed the third baby between the new parents. Harry turned to Evelyn, "Did you know that you were having triplets?"
"No Harry; Poppy told me long ago that I'd be in for a surprise but I didn't know what it was."
"Oh, um… by the way are they girls or boys?" Harry asked, feeling stupid.
Evelyn chuckled, playing with the baby's fingers. "Two are boys and one is a girl. We have to think about what we are going to name them," she added with a yawn. Harry watched her as she fall asleep with the baby in her arms.
Harry didn't notice that he drifted off as well but woke up to a triple crying and felt a bottle being pressed into his hands. "Here Harry, please feed your daughter," he heard his godmother's voice and tiredly opened his eyes, seeing that Evelyn and Poppy had each began to feed one of the babies. He quickly sat up and carefully pressed the bottle into the third baby's mouth.
"Harry, I've thought about names," Evelyn announced smiling. "What do you think of 'Salazar', 'Godric', and 'Rowena'?
Harry nearly chocked from the shock. "Do you really mean that?" he asked hesitantly.
"Yes, honestly. Of course, we have to go for one more girl sometime but…"
The rest was downed out from Poppy's and Harry's laughter, and the names for the babies remained unchanged and were left as Salazar, Godric, and Rowena.
During the next few weeks, the triplets were keeping everyone busy. They always woke up at the same time, even at night, and as Evelyn couldn't properly feed all three of them at once and Harry had classes to teach in the mornings, Lily, Poppy, and Severus took turns helping the parents during the nights.
Evelyn and Harry had decided to name Luna and Noah as Salazar's godparents, Hermione and Brian as Godric's, and Lucy and Neville as Rowena's. Salazar and Godric were the spitting image of their grandfather Severus, while Rowena had red hair and green eyes like Lily.
After a few weeks, Harry put up playpens for the triplets in his office and classroom, as well as in Poppy's office. Except for the cases when a teacher was sick and Evelyn had to teach she mostly worked in Harry's and her office, taking care of the triplets and Isabella at the same time. Fortunately, Isabella was very helpful and always fed one of the babies when they cried.
When the triplets were able to walk just a bit after their first birthday, Harry took them to visit the Merlin Common room for the first time, and the children as well as the students enjoyed the visit so much that a group of girls asked Harry if they couldn't watch the triplets in the Common room from time to time. At first, Harry was hesitant but Evelyn agreed and made Harry put up a children's corner in the Common room, promising the students that they would let them watch the children every Friday from the end of lessons until dinner while Harry and her attended the regular weekly staff meeting.
Salazar and Godric loved computers. When they were two years old, they had to spend a week in Harry's classroom and office because Evelyn had to teach Herbology for Neville, who was sick. During the first lesson, they eagerly watched what the students were doing, while Rowena sat in front of an empty desk looking through several children's books.
As soon as the second class started, Salazar and Godric toddled over to an unused computer and told the student sitting at the next desk, "We wan pway too."
From that day onwards, Harry couldn't get the two boys out of his classroom or office. When they were three years old and already big boys – at least they thought so – their sister Helga was born. With her bushy brown hair and her brown eyes she was the spitting image of Evelyn. Rowena adored her little sister and helped feed her whenever she was allowed to. Rowena had always loved books but the thought of reading books to her little sister made eager to learn to read, which she did very quickly, and over the next few years, she spent a lot of time reading children's stories to Helga.
A month after Helga's birth Isabella was Sorted. She was very glad the Sorting Hat decided to place her into the Merlin House. Being in her adored big brother's House had always been her greatest wish, especially as she knew all Houses well and knew that Merlin House was the House with the most familiar atmosphere and that her brother was the Head of House, who did the most for his students.
When she finished Hogwarts a year before her two nephews and her niece entered, she became Professor Flitwick's successor as History of Magic Professor.
When the triplets were old enough to attend Hogwarts, the Sorting Hat placed Salazar and Godric into Merlin House and Rowena into Ravenclaw. Rowena tossed the Hat back at her grandfather, who was still the Deputy Headmaster, ran over to the Head table, shouting, "Mum, Dad, Granny, I made it! I'm in the House of Rowena Ravenclaw. I'm so happy!"
"We're very happy for you too, sweetie," Lily was the first to reply.
"But you better go and sit down at your House table now, Wena," Harry added gently, giving his daughter a comforting smile.
"When I'm big, I wanna be sorted into Rowena House too! Or do I have to go to Helga House?" seven-year-old Helga spoke up in her high, childish voice and the whole Hall exploded with laughter.
"No, sweetie, the Sorting Hat will sort you like he does all the students, but I'm sure that if you want to be a Ravenclaw student, you will manage to be sorted there," Harry explained in a calming voice, making his youngest daughter smile.
Three years later, Helga conferred with the Sorting Hat for nearly as long as it had taken Harry to be sorted into Ravenclaw, but finally the Hat shouted, "Merlin." Helga happily hugged her grandfather before she returned the Hat to Severus and ran over to sit between her big brothers at the Merlin table.
Harry asked when he came into the Common room after the Welcoming feast, raising an eyebrow at his youngest daughter. "I thought you wanted to be sorted into Ravenclaw?"
"Oh, Dad, that was years ago! No, I wanted to be here in Merlin House of course," Helga replied, smiling happily.
Over the years, more and more wizards and witches were making use of the Internet, and during that time Harry was very busy as he still had to Charm every computer that was operated within the wizarding world. When Salazar and Godric turned fourteen years old, they started helping their father, even if not willingly but because of a two-months detention ordered by their grandfather after helping James and Sirius to prank the whole school. Severus, who had become worried about Harry as he began working too much once again, used the opportunity of getting his son some much needed help. After their two months of detentions, the two boys enjoyed helping her father so much that they decided to build their own computers and sell them to the magical world once they finished their Hogwarts education.
Shortly before they finished their NEWTs, Harry bought the Shrieking Shack that still belonged to Hogwarts but wasn't used anymore since Severus and Harry had developed the wolves cure. Together with his two sons, he re-built the building, so that his sons could live in the upper portion and work from the ground floor, where they started the only computer shop within the wizarding world. Harry had extended his patent to his sons, so that they were able to Charm the computers to work within the magical world and be connected to the Internet without Harry's help. They also took over the job of making Internet Pages for private customers. Harry was very glad about this development as he was busy enough teaching and taking care of the PCs within the Ministry, Hogwarts, St. Mungo's as well as a few private companies.
At the same time Rowena became the Ancient Runes Professor and continued living in the huge Snape quarters. Three years later, Helga became an apprentice to Poppy and after another three years she started working as a Healer in Hogsmeade.
On Harry's fiftieth birthday, Minerva asked him to take over the position as Headmaster so that she could retire. When Harry started to decline, she offered to stay at Hogwarts and teach the small children until they were all old enough to attend Hogwarts, knowing that Harry already had twelve grandchildren, of which the oldest would be finishing Hogwarts soon and the youngest was still a year old.
"All right, Minerva; that would be a deal," Harry said pensively. "But shouldn't my father become Headmaster rather than me? Or Neville? Or Mum?" he added uncertainly.
"No, Harry. I have spoken with all teachers, and they all agreed that they want you to become the next Headmaster."
After an hour's talk between Minerva and Harry about Harry's ideas and intentions, they returned to the huge birthday party in the Great Hall. They sat down at the Head table, and Minerva tapped her spoon against her glass.
"Attention pwease," three-year-old Benjamin, Helga's oldest son, spoke up, and everyone's attention was turned to the Head table where Minerva announced that Harry would be taking over the position as Headmaster beginning the next school year, while she would be holding a class for the young children to learn and play.
When Minerva sat down again, Harry stood and addressed his visitors. "Thanks everyone for giving me such a nice birthday party. All right, I didn't really want to become Headmaster but if I have to then I will change a few things. The most drastic change will be the abolishment of the House system and the Sorting. Beginning September first onwards, Merlin will be the House for the first and the seventh years. One of the other Houses – I suggest Slytherin, but we will speak about it in our next staff meeting – will house the second and the sixth years, and the other three Houses will accommodate the third years, the fourth years, and the fifth years."
Ignoring the huge gasp he continued, "I do not like the rivalry between the Houses; moreover there is one House, Hufflepuff, that has gained fewer students each year and would be near to closing before my youngest grandchild is even old enough to be sorted."
Harry caught Severus' eye, and over the huge commotion, he ended his speech, "I have to do that for the students and for Neville, Head of Hufflepuff, who is my best friend. He and my father are the two people, who changed my life for the better so many years ago. Thank you both for giving me the chance for a better life and letting me know the Mystery of Age!"
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All recognizable characters in this story belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.