Wow. I did it. We actually made it to a hundred. Be honest – who thought it would happen? Well, this is definitely the last chapter, and I thought the next generation was a nice way to end it. I know the last point isn't strictly about the next generation, but it just sort of wrote itself and I thought it was a nice ending. So, big, big thanks to every single person who reviewed, and wow at the amount of them. I never thought I'd get that many, or this thing would turn out to be so long, but thanks.
Love to you all and Merry Christmas.
100. The Next Generation
1. Victoire Weasley and Teddy Lupin were best friends for as long as they can remember. The day after she was born, he was taken to see her, and, at two years old, was fascinated by her. She, however, barely glanced at him before falling asleep in her father's arms. As they got older, the two year age gap didn't prevent them from becoming close, with Victoire trying to run around after Teddy before she could really walk, resulting in many bruises. They balanced each other perfectly, argued rarely, and got into trouble together often. When Victoire, at eight years old, told him that she hated her name, in a guilty whisper, it was Teddy who started shortening it to "Vee", which the whole family caught on to.
And then, he went to Hogwarts. A whole two years before she would, and Victoire was distraught. Her best friend (her only friend, really) was abandoning her, going off to Hogwarts without her. She'd hardly see him anymore, and he'd make lots of new friends and forget all about her. He soon lost patience with her, and rather than persisting with his attempts at comfort and reassurance, got annoyed and told her that she was being a stupid little kid. Which went down so badly that they barely spoke at the station, with a brief, moody "goodbye" passing between them before he climbed on the train.
But he missed her, and she him, while he was away. It was two weeks before he gave up, swallowing his pride and writing to her. And she wrote back, in a nine year old's scrawl, with words misspelled and uneven, telling him she was sorry and she missed him and wanted to be friends again. He kept that letter always, tucked away various desks or drawers throughout his life. And when the Christmas holidays finally came around, Teddy stepped off the train and found Victoire hurtling towards him. He not only let her hug him, but hugged her back, without caring that some of his new friends were watching.
Because though he'd made new friends, and she, too, would make her own later, they were always best, always the most important.
2. Lily Potter married at nineteen. This was, to much of her family, a surprise, because Lily had never seemed the type to settle down young. But, Lily told them all, there was no point in waiting around. She and Scorpius had gotten together when she was fifteen; by the time she was sixteen, they'd been in love, and, three years later, despite the doubts and murmurs and assumptions that it would never last, they still were. She was only two months out of Hogwarts when he proposed; six months later, they married, moved into a house. It seemed, to everyone, that they'd rushed into things, and many expressed worry that they were too young to understand what they really wanted, what they really felt, and that it would all end badly. Molly Weasley, the matriarch, however, was unexpectedly supportive. Though most of the family had thought she'd have the most doubts, she'd be the one who'd need most convincing, she instead defended the couple and their decisions.
"You may be young," she told Lily quietly on the morning of her wedding, "but you're not stupid. And I know you wouldn't do this is you weren't completely sure. There's nothing wrong with marrying young, if it's right." She smiled, and toyed with her own wedding ring. Molly and Arthur had, after all, married young themselves, braved the doubts and whispers. And though few saw any likeness between Lily and her maternal grandmother, Molly did. And so when Lily and Scorpius went on to have three children, when their marriage stayed strong, Molly Weasley could be seen sending smug looks to any who'd doubted her youngest granddaughter.
3. Fred and Louis Weasley were the next generations answer to the Weasley twins, their first year of Hogwarts. They tried, possibly, a little too hard to live up to expectations, and there were those who found them more annoying that amusing. But mostly, they were well liked, and their antics well received. Their second year, they were joined by James, and by Mitch Longbottom, Neville's eldest. With a small group of friends spanning both their year groups, they were often seen crowding up corridors, or in a corner of the courtyard. Plotting, many teachers nervously suspected.
The next year, they somewhat reluctantly allowed Rose, Albus, and Allison Longbottom to join them sometimes, though James and Mitch particularly would mutter that they didn't want their little brother/sister around. They even more reluctantly made room for Scorpius a little while later, the only Slytherin in their group. He turned out to have his advantages, as it happened, being able to enter to Slytherin common room, and collect information on certain members of his house. And the group was somewhat more accepting of Rose when she suggested using the Room of Requirement to spend their free time, rather than cluttering up hallways, or freezing outside.
4. Similarly, Lily and Hugo spent much of their time, from their second year, with Lydia Longbottom and the Scamander twins, all three of which were in the year below them. They, too, were occasionally permitted to join the group in the Room of Requirement, so that sometimes it was so crowded in there that Rose would half-joke that they were a fire hazard.
Later, when Fred and Lou and James and Mitch had left Hogwarts, Rose, Albus, Ally and Scorpius spent much of their time with Lily, Hugo, Lydia and the twins. It was here, during the elders' last year, the Lily and Scorpius got together, though there'd been something there for a while before hand. It was also here that Rose and Lorcan grew closer, though it would be around another three years before they got together. Point is, there was always a crowd of Weasleys at Hogwarts. Even if the rest of the family weren't strictly part of either group, they were sometimes around, much to the teacher's despair, and the younger students' intimidation.
And then, finally, Lily and Hugo had left, and the honorary family members had gone too. And everything seemed different with a Weasley-free school. Teachers would often uneasily remark how quiet things were, or how empty the school was. Students would sigh and say how dull things were without that family. It was around four years before Teddy's eldest daughter arrived, so Hogwarts had just gotten used to life without Weasleys when they started arriving again, albeit with different surnames.
5. The Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes began expanding about a year after the end of the war, with George determined to make his and Fred's dream a reality, and keeping himself busy. Eventually they had shops scattered all over Britain, as well as keeping their mail-order service. This meant that the Weasley grandkids grew up knowing that there was always a job waiting for them in the business, giving them the kind of security most teenagers can only dream of. It was, however, only Fred, Roxy, Hugo and Louis who decided to work at WWW, and Molly insisted that George treat them as he would a non-related employee, making them start with the position and wage any other eighteen year old would. He did, though it is possible he let them work their way up slightly easier than he would had done if they weren't his children or nephews.
6. Over the years, Neville and Luna became part of the family. Luna had, after all, lived with Bill and Fleur for those last few months of the war. And Neville was, for Molly Weasley, much like Harry; in need of a family. So they were accepted into the family before they'd even realised it, with their spouses accepted as in-laws, with their children accepted as part of the family, and referring to Molly and Arthur as their grandparents. None of the Longbottom or Scamander kids ever once questioned their place in the family, never once felt insecure because of the lack of blood tie. They were family in every way that mattered. Eventually, a couple of marriages made things legal, but no one noted any difference. Blood or marriage, they were always family.
6. Three weeks after Lily's wedding, Lysander Scamander announced that he was leaving. Seeing the world, he told them. The next morning, he left, sending brief postcards back every now and then, telling the family where he was. Occasionally, he'd include some detail of his trip, an event, a place he particularly loved, but mostly, the postcards were short and superficial. His departure left the family concerned, and some of them annoyed. Lily, Lydia and Lorcan, as the people closest to him, took it particularly hard. He returned just before James and Ally's wedding, to mixed reception. Though most of the family were simply pleased he was home, his brother and best friends took some winning round.
He wouldn't have expected any less.
7. Much of the family had paired or grouped up. Roxy and Lucy. Fred, Lou, James and Mitch. Rose, Albus and Ally. Lily, Hugo, Lydia and the twins. Victoire and Teddy. This left Dominique and Molly to pair up. There was a year between them, and they never managed to become as close as the other pairings; possibly due to this, theirs was the only pairing not to survive Hogwarts. Dominique went first, and made her own friends. By the time Molly arrived, a year later, they'd drifted apart, and there was no place for Molly in Dominique's group of friends. Molly had, however, expected this, and wasn't especially fazed by it. She, too, made her own friends, and there was no resentment from their failed friendship, despite their cousins' continuing close friendships.
However, at family gatherings, they still often sit together, talk together, and are still friends. They just don't have the bond like the others, and never really did.
8. It wasn't easy for any of them, having the surnames they did. With Harry Potter as their father or Uncle, they were bound to get much attention. With Ginny Weasley, well known and admired for her Quidditch fame, as their mother or aunt, they were going to get added attention. Throw in Ron and Hermione, famous for their place in the war, throw in George, co-creator of many students' favourite franchise, throw in Fred Weasley the first, who's name graced the memorial plaque, throw in Neville, who killed Voldemort's snake, throw in the rest, who fought in the war and were there on the night it ended, and you have a very famous family. The next generation were faced with stares, whispers, people desperate to be their friends, and people desperate to be their enemies. They had to learn to deal with attention, with constant questions, and with snide remarks.
This is the reason they tended to stick together, forging few friendships outside their group. It was hard to know who to trust – gossip about this particular family was highly prized – hard to know who was around simply because of the surname, hard to get used to the constant, personal questions. So they stuck together, permitting very few to join them.
9. Scorpius Malfoy was one of the few permitted to join them, and one of the few who understood what they were going through. Albeit for different reasons, Scorpius received as much attention, and more snide remarks. The victim of bullying throughout his Hogwarts career, he needed sanctuary, and found it, too. The viciousness of the bullying deteriorated once he'd been attached to the Weasleys, but it never faded away completely, and scarred the boy. Albus was the first friend he made, and he was accepted by Rose and Ally almost straight away. He knew at the time that this was out of pity, for the boy who couldn't walk down a corridor without something being said, the boy who'd been jinxed and hit and pushed, the boy who'd been shoved down half a flight of stairs during his second week, the boy who'd been locked in a broom cupboard during his third week, the boy who believed he deserved all of it because of his family's actions. But he accepted their pity, their company, and over the years became as close and attached to them as he had done to Albus. Though he'd managed to avoid family gatherings throughout the friendship, once he and Lily became a couple she began to drag him to them.
And while Scorpius had expected rejection, humiliation, even hate, from the family, he found acceptance. They accepted him, as Albus, Rose and Ally's friend, accepted him as Lily's boyfriend. And their grandmother, particularly, saw past his blood and surname, and saw the bullied, insecure, damaged boy he was. And as she had done with others throughout the years, she brought him into the family.
10. Once Molly Weasley had gotten all her grandchildren, the only thing she wanted was great-grandchildren. She wanted to see all her grandkids settled, happy, and to have more babies about the place. Though little Dora Lupin was her first great-grandchild, Molly did get more, did continue to have her house filled with family – the only thing, after all, she'd ever wanted. She had step great-grandchildren, who she accepted without reluctance. She had adopted great-grandchildren, whose blood didn't matter to her in the slightest. The Burrow is crowded with pictures of children of varying ages, and if any friend, neighbour, casual acquaintance or complete stranger was to inquire about the well-being of Molly's family, they would be provided with a number of stories, anecdotes, or comments about multiple children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren.
And while Christmas and birthday may be expensive, with it takes her great time and effort to crowd them all into a picture together, they're her family, the only thing she ever wanted.
And so above the fireplace in the Burrow's sitting room is a wide picture, with her entire living family – blood, marriage, adopted and honorary – crowded together, sitting, standing, being held, all smiling at the camera, because Molly insists they smile on pictures. Four generations, captured forever. She'll take a new one every year, to incorporate new members or the changes the years bring. And one day, there'll be a new generation added to the picture above the fireplace.