Epilogue: Venturing Into the Unknown
"Seriously, Harry, it was the weirdest thing," Ron laughed as the four friends sat in the sitting room of Grimmauld Place. Ginny was happily snuggled against Harry's side, playing peek-a-boo with 4-month-old Teddy, whom Harry had nestled into the other arm securely. Teddy seemed more than delighted to have even more attention (as if he didn't already have every other person in Grimmauld Place wrapped around his tiny fingers), laughing as he grabbed Harry's finger.
"I didn't think graduation was supposed to be weird, Ron," Harry said with a grin. Teddy let out a squeal of indignation when Ginny finished their game, and Harry paused momentarily. "Hey, what's your problem?" he asked the baby. Teddy just squealed again, eyes sparkling, and he laughed. "You'd better quiet down, or your mum's going to come rampaging in here and put you back to bed."
Tonks' voice came echoing indignantly from upstairs. "Which one of you three baby-snatching marauders took Teddy?!"
Harry sprang into action (almost, Hermione noted to herself, as though the play was practiced) immediately at the call. "Ron, pass me the blanket there." He lifted Teddy up and settled him comfortably against his shoulder.
"Why?" Ron asked suspiciously, passing Harry the requested article.
"So I can at least pretend to be letting him sleep," Harry replied, quickly tossing the blanket over the baby, who nestled down obligingly. "Yeah, that's a kid," he said with a laugh just as Remus came in. "We train you well."
"She's going to kill one of us one of these days," he commented, dropping into the empty spot on the other side of Harry. "Give him to me."
Reluctantly, Harry passed the dozing infant over. "Hey, better you than me."
"Oh, she won't rip into me," Remus said with confidence. "I fixed her jacket."
"You sure about this, Harry?" Sirius asked softly as he watched his godson put the last of the clothes into his bag. "I mean, you don't need to do it this way. You can – "
"Sirius, if I'm going to be coming and going all the time from here, the safety is going to be compromised," Harry replied quietly. "It's safer for everybody involved if I'm elsewhere. Especially with the – "
"Don't you dare talk about that damn prophecy," Sirius warned. "You heard Dumbledore. They don't always happen."
"Funny, I heard him say it was going to happen whether I like it or not, because Voldemort was stupid enough to listen to it." Harry closed his bag and stood up. "Listen, Sirius, I'll be fine. I had a good teacher," he added with a grin. "I just have to go save the world again. Be home by Christmas."
Sirius shook his head, a brief chuckle escaping. "You'd better be."
To be continued…
To be continued…