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Harry tapped the ward stone that Trinket monitored, officially signing out from the site for the night. This particular tomb was proving to be a fascinating blend of magic's from three very old cultures, an almost unprecedented find. His team were once again breaking new ground, having to re-write the procedural handbook to deal with the spells, traps and wards on this site, and he wouldn't have it any other way. They were the best in the field, and he didn't want them getting bored with their jobs. If that happened they might think about leaving, and then he'd have to hold interviews to replace them, and that just didn't bear thinking about.

His apprentice was waiting just inside the cities wards, and Harry repressed a sigh. The woman was not really cut out for living in a city of tents, the lack of night life, dearth of shopping and the limited shagging opportunities had all been almost insurmountable stumbling blocks for her. Harry was almost ready to fail her and return her to Gringott's for further remedial training, as her impatience and sloppy research habits were also holding her back from progressing as he would expect someone of her age and reported abilities.

Harry had sent her back to the camp to research exactly why it was never a good idea to test any wards strength by sticking your wand into it and sending an unfocussed pulse of magic through said wand. They had been very lucky not to have to mop her up and send her back to the Bank in buckets, and after a truly spectacular tantrum on his part; Harry had dismissed her to her tent for the day. Now he understood where Snape had gotten some of his vitriol from in Potions class.

The requested essay was not up to standard, and Harry took mean satisfaction in telling his wayward apprentice so, almost quoting some of his former Potion's professor's comments from his own homework essays as he tore the work verbally apart and sent her away with a flea in her ear. He sent a message bird to Ray with a request that his assistant start the paper work to get the woman reassigned to the nearest branch of Gringott's and stretched some of the tension out of his shoulders as he headed for home. If he knew Ray at all, the man had the paper work all ready to go and carefully hidden in a compartment of his desk. In fact Harry would be willing to bet that Ferdi had probably helped him with it.

In the five years since Ron had become the Papa of the Potter Herd, things had gone from strength to strength. Jimmy had eventually recovered from the terror of watching Harry rebound the killing curse, and Davy's health had been recouped with some tender loving care and close monitoring on Armando's behalf. The boys had been unable to tell them what curse had blasted Davy out over the water, and the near drowning had only complicated things for his eldest son. Jimmy and Davy were now attending the Nomadic Academy for Magical Excellence, as were May and Lily. All four of them were thriving in school, and the challenge of mastering the spells that he now used without second thought was something that his children clearly relished.

The familiar tent with the blue and gold awning came into sight, and Harry chuckled when he spotted Kit sitting outside in the old deckchair that Harry had conjured so many years ago. There was a book in his son's lap, and a pad of paper balanced on the arm of the chair. Kit was evidently doing his homework, or at least researching his homework, and it was probably too noisy inside for him to concentrate. His children had not lost their love for Marauding, and the noise levels could be a bit much to tolerate when you were trying to concoct a decent reply to a homework task.

"Hello son," Harry bent and kissed the red stripe in his son's hair, and Kit looked up with a pleased smile, shutting his books and giving his father a hug.

"How was work Daddy?" Kit asked, and Harry smiled. His children liked to ask how his day was, though they rarely got a complete answer on that topic. There were some things they just didn't need to know about and some things were not fit topics for discussion at the dinner table. He didn't lie; he just didn't give them the whole and unvarnished truth.

"It was a bit stressful today, my apprentice made a very serious error, and nearly got hurt," Harry helped collect the deck chair and Kit frowned up at him.

"You should send her away, Daddy. She's made lots of big mistakes now," his son advised him, and Harry chuckled, messing up already wild hair. Kit scowled and tried to straighten it, to no avail. All his children had inherited his hair, though the girls at least had an advantage as they wore it long and braided it out of the way to disguise their unruly curls.

"I'm thinking very seriously about it," Harry admitted, and Kit nodded seriously. The rest of his children spotted him, and Harry found himself giving hugs and kisses and listening to the thousand and one details that his children deemed important to tell him about their day. Ron interrupted long enough to give him a kiss of his own, and Harry snuck a friendly grope when no one was looking.

"If there's any more of that behaviour there will be a short sharp visit from the smack fairy!" Ron whispered in Harry's ear and the green eyed man snorted before starting the process of getting everyone cleaned up and ready for dinner.

As he stood in the bathroom curtain-way, he ran his eye over the familiar interior of his home. The canvas walls were adorned with a series of photos of the children and the rest of the family, Ron's achievement and industry awards interspersed among them, as were Harry's own. There were artefacts from countries all over the world on display, and the familiar and beloved clutter of eight children, two men and two house elves scattered over the tables and book cases. The couches were currently hosting no less than five wands and a mug with 'papa' on it in wonky letters, and Harry wondered what charm or spell Ron had been demonstrating before he'd come home.

It may not be the traditional cottage with two and a half children and a white picket fence, but it was Harry's life, built out of necessity, steeped in love and blessed with family, and there was nothing in the world that he valued more.

"Daddy! Are you coming? We can't start dinner without you!" Abby scolded from the dining table, and he rejoined the world with a rush. Nine faces smiled their love at him, and he couldn't help but smile back.

"Sorry pet! Coming now!"




The end the end! There ain't no more! My story's done! That's all, that's all!