A/N: All things Harry Potter belong to JKR. I make no money from this.
Many thanks to my awesome beta, SouthernWitch69! Sun, you're the greatest!
Thank God For Kids
Pansy Parkinson nervously arranged and rearranged the canapés that she'd planned on serving that evening while looking with a critical eye over everything else in the sitting room. She wanted tonight to be perfect.
"Don't fuss, Pansy," Lucius lightly scolded. "All is well."
Pansy turned and smiled. "Thanks so much for allowing me to host my gathering here, Mr. Malfoy."
"You're welcome, especially since part of what we're celebrating includes me. Won't you tell me what else you are going to announce tonight?"
"No!" Pansy picked up the glass she'd set on the table and had been neglecting, taking a small sip. "You'll have to wait like everyone else."
"Well, considering that—"
"Oh, here come my first guests!" Pansy said excitedly when she heard the house-elf greeting someone at the door, cutting Lucius off. "Where's Harry? HARRY!"
"Pansy, calm down," Harry said from behind her as he placed both hands on her shoulders, trying to relax her.
She jumped instead, not knowing he had been there, and then scowled. "Easy for you to say! I'm not as liked by this group as you are!" she told him as she went to greet whoever was at the door.
She was glad to see that both couples, the Snapes and the Malfoys, were there together. "Welcome, everyone! Thanks so much for coming—especially this close to your due dates!"
Hermione smiled. "Oh, it's not a problem, Pansy. I have to admit, we're all a little anxious to find out what the mystery announcement could be."
"Too right," Draco agreed. "I've been driving my lovely wife crazy, trying to figure it out since we received your invitation!"
"Indeed he has," Ginny agreed, rubbing the discomfort in her back. "I finally had to hush him, telling him he'd find out today and no sooner."
"And now that we're all here…" Severus started and let the sentence hang.
"Yes, come into the sitting room. Lucius and Harry are in there," Pansy told them.
"Together?" Draco asked incredulously. "Alone? Oh, I've got to see this."
When they walked into the sitting room, Lucius was standing by the mantel, swirling a brandy, and Harry was sitting on the sofa. Neither were speaking. Pansy sighed. "Everyone's here!"
Harry immediately stood and walked to Ginny and Hermione, hugging them both. "Whoa! I can barley fit my arms around either of you!"
Hermione raised an eyebrow while Ginny fisted her hands on her hips. Their husbands smirked with glee at the potential demise of Harry. "What did you just say, Harry James Potter?" Ginny demanded.
When the doorbell sounded once more, Harry murmured, "Saved by the bell!"
"Who can that be?" Pansy wondered. "Everyone is here."
"Not everyone," Harry informed her. "I've invited Ron and Luna."
"Oh, I forgot! I'm sorry, Harry—I wasn't thinking!" Pansy told him as the two couples in the room watched her wringing her hands nervously.
"It's not a problem," Harry reassured. "They're here now, and that's all that matters." He walked to her and put his hands on her shoulders, facing her. Harry bent down and kissed Pansy's forehead in a comforting manner. "It's going to be perfect, so please stop fussing and worrying."
Pansy simply nodded and ran her left hand through her hair. Hermione gasped and grabbed Ginny's arm, gesturing to Pansy's left ring finger with her eyes. Ginny's eyes widened, but they both remained silent.
After the canapés were eaten and the small talk was running short, Lucius said, "All right, Pansy. We're all curious now, and we've waited long enough. What did you want to announce to all of us?"
She looked at Harry, and he stood to go her side, taking her hand in his. Pansy took a deep breath and said, "We wanted to make sure that you guys—as more than friends to us, but family as well—were the first to know." She held up her left hand, showing a square cut emerald. "We're getting married."
At first, nobody in the room uttered a word. Surprisingly, it was Luna who broke the ice. "Oh, how wonderful for the two of you! Have you set a date? Could I print a picture of the two of you and write this up in my paper?"
Harry laughed. "Calm down, Luna. And honestly, we'd appreciate it if you'd keep this quiet for now. We don't want a spectacle made of this."
"Right, I understand," Luna said as she smiled at Pansy. "It's a very lovely ring. Very Slytherin."
"Lord, Luna! We're past that now—this isn't Hogwarts any longer," Harry teased. "She told me she didn't particularly want a diamond, so I decided to get her birthstone."
Ginny and Hermione simultaneously walked closer. "It's a very lovely ring," Ginny said as she took Pansy's hand for a closer inspection, and Pansy watched her closely, wondering if it bothered her at all. She was well aware of how much both of these women meant to her future husband.
"Yes, it is," Hermione agreed. "I can't believe you didn't say a word, Harry!" she scolded.
Harry shrugged. "We wanted it for ourselves for a bit."
"Can I come downstairs now, Mr. Malfoy?" a boy's voice called from upstairs. Draco's face immediately brightened.
"Yes, son, come join us," Lucius said.
Once he entered the room and saw all of the people standing there, Peter promptly walked to stand by Lucius. When his adoptive father laid a comforting hand on his shoulder, Pete rolled his shoulder enough to get Lucius' hand off of it and took one step away. Lucius sighed.
"As for our second, but not less important, announcement, Peter is now Lucius' son. Everyone, I am proud to introduce Peter Malfoy." Pansy smiled down at Pete to see him staring daggers at her fiancé. She shook her head.
"Wow," Draco said. "I finally have a little brother!"
At this announcement, Pete turned adoring eyes to Draco. "I'm going to be you're brother?"
"That's right," Draco told him, "and an uncle very soon to my baby. It's a huge responsibility, being an uncle, but I have no doubt you can handle that."
Pete turned to Ginny then and lowered his eyes, remembering how he'd acted the last time he'd seen her. When she smiled at him, he let out a relieved breath.
"I have something in my room that I'd like for you to have, Pete," Draco told him. "I've had it since I was ten, the year before I started Hogwarts. It's a stuffed Horntail Dragon."
Lucius turned a surprised eye to his son. Cissy had given him that, and as far as Lucius knew, Draco had taken it to Hogwarts with him every year, even if he did hide it in his later years. "You're certain, son?"
"Yes. He's been a great comfort to me, and I want Pete to have that comfort." Draco turned to the boy and smiled. "He's very cool. He flies and sometimes shoots fire."
"Oh, wow, Draco, thank you so much! Nobody's ever given me anything so special before! But are you sure? Don't you want to let your own kid have it?"
"No, I want you to have it, Pete. I have other things I plan to hand down to my son."
After everyone had been talking awhile, Ginny excused herself and went to the loo. The backache that she'd had all day long was starting to really intensify. When she walked out, Pansy was there waiting for her.
"I wanted to talk to you a moment privately, if you wouldn't mind," Pansy said.
"All right," Ginny replied, only wanting to go home and put her feet up.
Pansy sighed and started her well-practiced speech. "I have a proposition for you, Mrs. Malfoy."
"Oh, for Merlin's sake, Pansy! You're a year older than I am! Cut the 'Mrs. Malfoy' crap, would ya? My name is Ginny!" Ginny cringed. "I'm so sorry. You see—"
"Does it bother you that much?" Pansy demanded. "What? Do you want them all? Is having Draco madly in love with you not enough? You want to keep Harry on the sidelines as well?"
"What in the bloody hell are you on about?" Ginny moved to sit down, not able to stand any longer because the pain in her back had gotten worse.
"It's painfully obvious that you're upset about my engagement to Harry! Why else would you be so cross to me?"
Ginny rolled her eyes. "Pansy, Harry and I are only friends. That's all we've been for quite some time now. I love Draco, not to mention, I'm close to giving birth to our child. I will admit to you that Harry stopped loving me in that way before I did him… if he ever loved me like that—I think you and I have that in common, though it was Draco for you—so there is no reason at all for you to think I have any untoward feelings concerning your fiancé."
"Then what's the matter?" Pansy asked her. "I can tell something is wrong."
"Nothing's the matter. What did you want to talk to me about?"
"Well," Pansy began nervously, "it was Harry's idea initially, but I do think it has merit. You see, when Luna did that article on the orphanage, then the Daily Prophet soon followed with an article of their own, Wayward Souls, which was already overcrowded, became even more so. And lately, we've been getting a lot of Squibs."
"Oh, that's horrible!"
"Yes, it is. But you see, Ginny, I need help. I need someone who could volunteer, who wouldn't have to be paid to work there."
Ginny sat in silent thought, absently rubbing her back as her brain clicked. Suddenly, she gasped and looked up. "Do you mean to say you want me to work for you?"
"No, with me! With me! I have to have help, and unfortunately, not many people want to get involved. You could bring the baby," Pansy went on, trying to convince her. "It's just that it's becoming too much for me. Don't answer me now. You couldn't begin until the baby is a few weeks old at any rate. But, would you consider it?"
Ginny stood and began to pace the room, trying to alleviate the pain in her back more than anything. "Yes, I'll consider it. I'll speak to Draco about it tonight and… Oww!" Ginny stopped walking and bent slightly. "No, it couldn't be," she mumbled to herself. "Mum said that's the way it was with Charlie, but no… Not entirely in the back, surely… 'Course, it's been aching for hours… All day long actually…"
"Ginny?" Pansy asked, beginning to panic. "Can I get you something?"
"I… ah! I think that maybe you should get my husband. Oh, the pains are coming more consistently now. Damn, how could I be so stupid?" she said as she sat back down.
Pansy didn't have to leave the room, as the others came walking in, though she realized belatedly why Ginny had been so sharp with her.
"What's taking the two of you so long?" Draco demanded. "We need to get back and… Ginny? What's wrong?"
"It's time, Draco. We need to get to St. Mungo's."
Draco turned completely white. "Time? Are you sure? How do you know?" he asked, panicked, and earned a glare from Ginny.
"Yes, I'm quite… Ah, God! The pains are getting much stronger!"
"Why St. Mungo's?" Luna calmly asked. "I thought Madam Pomfrey would be treating you since you are both living at Hogwarts."
"Because," Hermione answered for Ginny since her friend seemed to be in a bit of pain just then, "Poppy told us that she didn't feel comfortable delivering the babies, as she didn't have any practice in that area. She agreed to do our prenatal care as long as we agreed to deliver at St. Mungo's."
"Who cares?" Ron said. "Ginny needs to get there now! Come on, Sis, let's go."
Ginny stood. "Ron, would you and Luna go to the Burrow and get Mum and Dad?" She turned to walk to the door and saw the wistful expression on her father-in-law's face. "Lucius, you and Peter are welcome to come as well."
"To St. Mungo's?" Peter whispered. "I-I don't know…"
Lucius smiled down at his new son. "It's all right, Son. You'll be okay, and I promise if it gets to be too much, we'll leave. Will that do?"
"Well, I do want to see the baby once it gets here. Okay," Peter agreed.
Draco suddenly sprang into nervous action. "Severus—the potion! Oh no! It's not here. We don't have it. She has to take it immediately once the baby comes. What are we going to do? We can't go."
"Calm yourself, boy!" Severus commanded. "I'll go directly to my lab and retrieve the potion I've been keeping on stasis and meet you at St. Mungo's." He turned to his wife. "I'll meet you there?" Hermione nodded her agreement.
"Right. Yes, that sounds good," Draco agreed. He turned to his wife. "Okay, love." Taking a deep breath, he said, "Let's go and bring our son into the world.
Ginny lay in the hospital bed, sweat rolling down her face and back. It had been hours, and everything was starting to take a toll on her. "Ah, God, here comes another one. The contractions are right on top of each other now it seems."
Looking a little green, Draco laid his hand on her belly and gently rubbed as it hardened and she panted. "I wish there was something I could do for you," he told her, feeling helpless.
When the contraction ended, she lay back exhausted. "I'm too tired. I won't be able to push once the time comes. I can't believe I didn't recognize the back pain for what it was so that we could get here earlier!"
Draco bent to kiss her head just as she sprang up from another contraction. Her head hit his nose. "Damn it!" he yelled in pain. Rubbing his nose, he looked at his wife who was concentrating on her contraction.
"Oh, I have to push! Get the Healer!" Ginny yelled in her excitement. "He's coming!"
The mediwitch calmly checked Ginny and then walked out of the room to get the Healer. After a few minutes that seemed like hours to the Malfoys, he arrived and positioned himself at the end of her bed. Once he checked her, the Healer said, "Okay, Mrs. Malfoy, on the next contraction, push!"
Eventually, Ginny had to sit up and grab her knees to push for all she was worth. "I can't! It's too much! Just take it out—get it out of me, please…" She lay back drained.
"It won't be much longer now," the mediwitch soothed. "Come on, raise up. There's a dear. Mr. Malfoy, you get behind her and support her back. The head is crowning."
Draco ignored the mediwitch and quickly went to see his baby's head. "I see it! Gin, I can see our baby's head! Push now, love."
"Help me!" she yelled. "I need you, Draco."
Draco hurried around to help support his wife, knowing that he wouldn't be able to watch the entire birth. He'd felt sick when he'd looked at the head, but he couldn't stop himself from having a peek.
Ginny raised herself up again, grabbed her knees, and groaned deeply in her throat as she lowered her chin to her chest and bore down. "Breathe, Mrs. Malfoy! Don't hold your breath!" the Healer instructed.
She panted and laid her head back on Draco's chest in relief when she heard, "Stop pushing, the head is out!" from the mediwitch.
"Now the next push will be the hardest," the Healer told her. "You've got to get these shoulders out." He patted her knee. "Let's bring your baby into the world, Mrs. Malfoy. Push!"
After continuing to push for an hour, tears rolled down both Ginny's and her husband's faces when they heard the first wails of the newest Malfoy.
Draco quickly handed the Healer the potion Severus had given him once he'd arrived so that the three drops of blood could be added.
Ginny quickly swallowed the potion and looked at her husband as she wiped the tears away. "Go let everyone know, would you? I'm sure they are all dying for some news."
Draco bent to kiss his wife, who despite her splotched, sweaty face and tear-swollen eyes, was still the most beautiful woman in the world to him. "Yes, I'll let them know. Still the same name we discussed when you first became pregnant?"
"Absolutely," she told him as her eyes drifted closed. "I just need to rest my eyes a bit." Ginny was snoring before Draco made it to the door.
The waiting room was completely full. Most Weasleys were in attendance along with Lucius and Pete and Harry and Pansy. Luna had decided to remain there with Ron as well. Every so often, someone would go and get drinks and snacks for everyone.
It seemed to be taking a long time, and Lucius noticed that Pete had curled up in a chair and had fallen asleep. Lucius went to stroke the child's hair, and startled, Pete jumped up and quickly moved away.
"Peter, I'm not going to hurt you."
Rubbing his eyes, Pete shrugged and simply said, "You're a Death Eater. I know what Death Eaters do."
Clearing his throat, Lucius told his son, "Yes, I was a Death Eater. I made a very bad mistake many years ago—one that I regretted almost as soon as I'd done it. But you have to understand, it wasn't something that was easily corrected."
"So, you didn't kill… people then?"
"I had nothing to do with the murder of your mum, Peter. I promise you that."
"Other kids' mums then?" Pete demanded.
Lucius sighed. He'd come to the realization that no matter what he did, he would never stop paying for his past crimes. "A long time ago." Lucius looked away. Maybe this was a mistake, especially if the boy couldn't feel comfortable around him.
"There's nothing I can do or say to change it, Peter. I'm sorry that you don't feel safe with me. I can only promise never to harm you. If that isn't enough, you may speak with Miss Parkinson and go back, if you wish."
Pete panicked. He didn't want to go back to the orphanage! He wanted to be Draco's brother more than anything! "I'd like to try staying with you first, sir. Miss Parkinson told me it would take some getting used to…"
Suddenly the door burst open, and Draco came into the waiting room. "The baby's here!"
Everyone stood, silently waiting, and when Draco didn't say anything else, Molly chided, "Well, for heaven's sake, boy! What did she have?"
"Oh! She had a seven pound, eight ounce, baby girl! She's absolutely gorgeous!"
"A girl?" Arthur asked. "I was under the impression she believed it to be a boy."
"Yes, well, she was wrong!" Draco said and laughed. Turning to his father, he said, "Ginny and I would like to name her Narcissa Molly Malfoy. I imagine we'll call her Cissy. What do you think?"
Lucius strained to contain the tears in his eyes. "I think that's perfect. It's as it should be." He looked down at Peter. "Life goes on."
"When can we see them?" Ron demanded.
"Soon," Draco said. "They just want to clean them both up first and check to make sure everything is okay." He turned to look at Peter. "You have a niece."
Peter smiled. "I have a niece."
Hermione was sitting on the sofa when Severus returned from Honeydukes with her favorite chocolates. "Back so soon?" he asked.
"Yes, I'm not feeling great today. I didn't realize you were going out."
"I had thought to surprise you with these," he told her as he shook the box. "How are Mrs. Malfoy and her baby?"
Hermione smiled. "Oh, I know it's only been a week, but little Cissy has grown so much! They are both doing great! Cissy's hair is so white you almost can't see it."
"A Malfoy through and through then. I don't believe that Lucius would have permitted anything else."
Hermione laughed. "He was there with Pete. They seem to be slowly adjusting to one another. Pete is in love with the baby; he held her the whole time I was there."
"The boy seems to be doing okay, although I think it's somewhat early to declare him out of the Forbidden Forest just yet."
"Hmm," Hermione said absently, "I agree."
"Would you like your chocolates?"
"Thank you, but no. As I've said, I haven't felt good today."
"Any cramps?" Severus asked hopefully.
"Unfortunately, no. I can't describe it really, just achy and tired. Perhaps I'll go lie down for a bit, and we'll have the chocolates later while you read to me." She looked at him expectantly.
Severus chuckled. She often requested him to read to her at night, and he knew it was his voice that she enjoyed even more so than the books. "As you wish, my dear. Can I get you anything?"
"No thanks," she told him as she stood. She had only taken two steps when she stopped suddenly. "Severus! My water broke!"
Severus immediately looked towards the floor. "I don't see anything!"
"No, it wasn't very much—only a trickle." Then she felt the contractions begin. They were very mild. "Severus," Hermione said as she looked at him excitedly, "it's beginning!"
"Right, right. Okay. Would you like for me to notify the others?"
Hermione bit her lip and looked at him guiltily. "Would you mind terribly if it was only the two of us? I don't think I could handle the lot of them pacing around out there."
Severus walked to his wife and kissed her firmly on the mouth. "I've never loved you more than I do at this moment."
Hermione laughed out loud. She knew her husband and how he only tolerated her friends for her, although she suspected he was beginning to—if not like—then not mind their company. This was just something she wanted kept private, just between the two of them.
"Do you think we should go to St. Mungo's now or time the contractions?" Hermione asked.
"I want to go now since your water has broken. I would feel better. Let me get the potion and your bag, and then we'll leave."
"All right. Severus?"
He turned back to her. "Yes?"
She looked around their rooms and then back to her husband. "After today, nothing will ever be the same."
He smirked. "Nothing's been the same since Minerva performed that spell on you. Thank God."
Because it was late in the evening when they reached St. Mungo's, the crowd was small. Hermione was grateful. She didn't think her husband would be able to stand much more excitement.
Once she'd been checked and it was determined that her water truly had broken—really! As if she couldn't tell—Hermione was admitted.
"All right," the mediwitch started, "everything seems to be in order. Now all you can do is wait until your little one decides to make an appearance."
Twelve hours later had Severus Snape irritably pacing the floor. Her contractions had been steady for the last few hours and lately, very strong.
"Ah, Severus, here comes another one."
He quickly went to her and grabbed her hand. "Hold on to me, Hermione. I'm here." Once the contraction subsided, Severus told her, "This is ridiculous! I am going to get the Healer."
Panting and sweaty, Hermione agreed, "All right."
Her easy acceptance worried him because she'd been telling him not to bother the Healer. Severus rushed out and a few moments later entered with the Healer.
"Mrs. Snape," the Healer greeted. "We've just been reviewing your case, regardless of what your husband thinks." He shot Severus a meaningful look. "It seems that despite the potions and spells we've tried, you're still not dilating. The mediwitch just informed us you've developed a temperature of 38.89 degrees Celsius. I'm afraid we're going to have to perform a caesarian-section to avoid the risk of infection."
"Oh, God! Severus!"
"Calm down, Mrs. Snape. All will be well." He turned to Severus, surprised, because he had sat down on the side of the bed and took his wife's hand into his own and was gently stroking it to comfort her. "Will you remain in here with your wife during the procedure?"
"Wild Thestrals couldn't drag me from this room, sir."
"All right. I will get the mediwitch, and we'll set everything up. Do you want to remain awake, Mrs. Snape?"
"If it's at all possible, then yes, I would. I want to be awake when my child comes into the world."
"Very well then. I'll be back directly."
When the Healer left the room, Severus turned to Hermione before she could speak. "It's going to be fine, Hermione." He bent to kiss her forehead. "I'll make sure of it."
Hermione simply nodded. She was sweaty, tired, and irritable. Right now, she desperately wanted a bath. The thought of taking a bath at that moment made her giggle, and then her giggle turned into a desperate laugh.
Severus recognized the bordering hysteria. "Hermione, stop." He gently rubbed her arms to soothe her. "Our baby is going to be okay, and so will you."
"How do you know?" she snapped and immediately regretted it. "I'm sorry, Severus. I didn't mean to snap at you, but I just want this over." Tears filled her eyes. "My parents won't even know their grandchild. I want my mum here."
"It's okay. I understand—"
"All right, Mrs. Snape," the Healer said as he re-entered the room, "let's get your baby here."
Once he positioned her, he held up a jar. "This will anesthetize the area, and this," he held up a vial, "will keep you calm."
"All right." Hermione looked at her husband. "This won't interfere with the other potion, will it?"
"No," Severus told her. "It will be fine to take them both."
Severus stayed at the head of the bed by Hermione, not wanting to see the doctor cut her open and remove their child. To his surprise, it took only a few moments to hear the wailing cries.
"Mr. and Mrs. Snape, may I present baby girl Snape?"
"Oh, she's beautiful," Hermione babbled.
Severus said nothing, just looking down at his daughter. She was red, wrinkled, and wailing. Severus was brought out of his revive when Hermione gasped. "Okay, Hermione. Just hang on a second."
He gently got the drops he needed and gave the potion to his wife. After she took it, her eyes began to droop. "What do you want to name her, Hermione?"
"I've always liked the name Mary Jane," she said as she fell asleep.
The Snapes and the Malfoys stood at platform 9 ¾, waiting for the Hogwarts Express. Severus thought that the whole thing was ridiculous, but Lucius insisted that Cissy experience the first train ride to the school, and everything Cissy Malfoy did, Eva Snape did as well.
Severus remembered that his wife had wanted to name the child Mary Jane. They had fought over that. He'd told her the name was too plain, and she'd insisted that after growing up with the name Hermione she wanted something plain for their child. His wife told him that with a name like Severus, she thought he'd understand.
He had told her that he'd done some research, and that Eva meant 'giver of life,' which is what their daughter had given to her. So they'd both agreed on Eva Jane.
Narcissa and Eva had been inseparable from the beginning. Mostly mischief makers, Severus thought as he watched them huddled together, one with almost white hair and brown eyes and the other with dark brown curly hair and the Snape nose, no doubt concocting something to do on the train.
He looked up just as the Potters and the Weasleys walked towards their group. "How surprising," Severus drawled out as he looked at Harry.
Harry smiled. "What? We couldn't miss our goddaughter's big day! Come, give us a kiss, Cissy! You too, Eva!" Harry gently shifted his one-year-old son, Brian James Potter, to the side so that he could give the girls a kiss. He and Pansy had decided with the all the children at the orphanage, one child was enough.
Severus rolled his eyes. The Malfoys had made the Potters the godparents of their first-born. Severus had put his foot down when Hermione suggested Ron and told her 'absolutely not!' They'd both agreed on Lucius and Minerva.
Then Ron Weasley had married the year after the Potters. Luna had given Ron a son and, due to numerous complications, had never been able to have any more children. They decided to adopt two children from Wayward Souls, two more boys. Mrs. Weasley certainly had her hands full.
His gaze drifted to his son, Aden. At four the child was fearless. Right then he was occupied by Peter Malfoy, who'd come to see his niece off, and Carina, the second child of the Malfoys. It seemed they were stuck on constellation names. Carina was one year younger than Aden, but tried her best to keep up with him and most often did.
Severus turned to watch Lucius. Much to his dismay, Peter had decided to become an Auror. Severus smirked to himself, remembering when Lucius came to his office to rant about that.
"Daddy!" Eva called. "Here it comes! Here comes the train!"
"Me wanna ride twain too!" Aden pouted as he held his arms up for his father to hold him.
"Aden, it's not 'me wanna ride,'" Hermione chided. "What are you supposed to say?"
"I wanna ride! Twain! Can we, Daddy?"
"I ride too!" Carina yelled. She had noticed that Aden had walked away and gone to find him. "Me too, Cissy!"
"NO!" Eva and Cissy said in unison. "It's not for babies," Eva informed them both.
Carina stuck her bottom lip out, and tears filled her gray eyes. Lucius bent to pick Carina up. "Narcissa, that is not the proper way to treat your sister. She is much—"
"I know! I know! She is much smaller than me. God!"
"Narcissa!" Ginny said. "What's wrong with you? You know better than to speak to your grandfather that way!"
"I'm sorry, Grandfather," Cissy said meekly and rose on her toes to kiss his cheek. He smiled and winked at her, discreetly putting an envelope of Galleons into her robe pocket.
"There it is!" Eva grabbed Cissy's arm and pulled her. "Bye, Mum! Bye, Daddy! We'll see you back at the school!"
Both Hermione and Ginny had tears in their eyes as they watched their girls board the train. "So it begins," Hermione murmured.
"Indeed it does," Ginny agreed.
"What to you say we let the men take Aden and Carina back to Hogwarts and we go indulge ourselves with lunch?"
"I'd love to, Hermione, but I have to meet Mum at the orphanage today."
"How does she like working there?" Hermione asked.
"She loves it! Dad had the right idea there. With all of her children gone and her grandkids scattered, this was the perfect thing for her. And believe me, she knows how to handle those kids."
"I don't doubt it, not after raising Fred and George."
"Too right," Ginny agreed, and they both laughed.
"Ice cream!" Aden said as Hermione turned to him.
She looked up at her husband holding her son and her heart filled. "All right, lets go get some ice cream."
She turned to say goodbye to Ginny and took a good look at her friend, blissfully standing there with her husband and daughter. Hermione continued her inspection and looked over at Harry and Ron and their families.
"Everything is as it should be." Hermione smiled at Severus. "Thanks to Viktor Krum, everything is as it should be."
"Yes," Severus agreed. "Everything is unequivocally as it should be."
Christy's Notes: This is it! I hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it! I want to thank you guys for all the kind reviews! Now—off to the next story!
Thank God For Kids by the Oak Ridge Boys is from 1983.
Southern's Notes: Ah, a lovely end to a lovely tale. Thanks so much for coming up with this. Cheers.