"Harry, are you paying any attention?" Hermione demanded. "NEWTs are in eight weeks. We need to be revising."
Harry laughed, "Hermione, it's the first day of Easter break and I just don't feel like revising right now. It's a beautiful day out." Seeing the look on his friend's face he relented slightly, "How about we take our books outside? I just don't want to be cooped up in here."
Hermione grudgingly admitted, "Okay, but I really want to review our Transfiguration. These human to animal transformations are difficult."
"I'm going to check on Ginny," Harry said. "I'll be right back."
Shaking her head, Hermione couldn't hide her smile as she watched her best friend clatter up the steps. She was so happy to be back at Hogwarts and back with her friends. Over the past month, her relationships with her roommates had changed into something Hermione never could have imagined years earlier.
When Hermione had returned to the school, she, Parvati, and Lavender had sat down and actually talked. They hadn't taken the time to do that in a long time. For so long it had been Lavender and Parvati with Hermione feeling left out. Hermione's first night back they had all talked about their relationships with Ron and found that they were all happy now. Lavender had even apologized for going after Ron when she knew that Hermione liked him.
Hermione had found to her dismay she had been a bit jealous of Ron's newfound relationship, but soon realized that she and Ron were still friends and that helped. She realized that she had subconsciously assumed that Ron would still be pining over her. While she missed their old relationship, she was happy with Charlie and Ron seemed to be quite happy with Parvati.
Harry came bounding down the steps a few minutes later. "Gin's resting, so let's go!"
Amidst much laughter, all of the seventh year Gryffindors spilled out of the castle to the beautiful grounds. The grass was a brilliant green and the lake was sparkling blue and inviting. Some of the sixth year students were playing in the edges of the lake; they didn't have any major exams coming up and were reveling in their freedom.
To Harry's recollection, , the tulips and daffodils had never looked so bright and cheerful. The brilliant colours of the flowers against the grey of the castle just made everything more beautiful.
As they settled near the lake, Harry laughed at his friend, "See, isn't this much better out here?"
Shaking her head Hermione had to join in his laughter, "Yes, Harry. It is nice and it's surprisingly warm out."
Ron conjured up some blankets for everyone to sit on. There was a great deal of teasing over the bright orange colour, but soon they were sitting in a loose circle lounging and relaxing. Parvati was laying on her stomach flipping through her Transfiguration notes while Hermione was sitting up straight opening her book.
Clearing her throat, she looked at Harry. "So what is the difference between human to animal transfiguration and becoming an Animagus?"
"In human transformation, the animal's brain can take over. Normally a witch or wizard can retain some control over the animal, but there is the danger they can lose themselves in the animal. An Animagus is a witch or wizard who controls their transformation and they transform into the same animal each time." Harry replied promptly.
"Bloody hell, mate, you sound like you swallowed the text book," Ron said.
"Language, Ron," Parvati and Hermione said severely.
Harry shrugged, "I've always found it interesting. I'd love to maybe become an Animagus someday."
"That would be cool," Neville spoke up. "I wonder what kind of animal you would be."
"I don't know," Harry mused. "It would be fun to be a dog or wolf, but I'd love to be some kind of animal that flies."
Suddenly Ron burst out laughing. Everyone looked over at him, but he was laughing too hard to pay attention. After a moment he calmed himself down, "Sorry. I just had a vision of Harry turning into a Golden Snidget. Can you see that? I mean it only makes sense, he's the best seeker in forever."
By this time, everyone had joined the laughter – even Harry. He shook his head, "I was thinking more along the lines of an eagle or a falcon, mate. I'm not that small."
"You were though," Seamus laughed. "I bet if you could've become an Animagus during your first year you'd have been a snidget."
Once the laughter died down, the group got to work. First they gathered up some rocks and practiced transforming the rocks into animals. Everyone was able to transform their rocks on their first try, so next they tried to change their animal into another animal. This resulted in some fairly amusing animals.
Ron had a half chipmunk half cat running around while Neville had a spotted squirrel. To no one's surprise, Hermione was able to perform the transformation perfectly. Harry also had no difficulty transforming his squirrel into a cat.
"Okay," Hermione said after everyone had practiced the spell for a while. "Who wants to try the Human to animal transformation first? We can't all do it at the same time."
Harry stood gracefully, "I'll try."
The others watched nervously as Harry seemed to concentrate and with a pop, a large black panther appeared in front of them. The panther opened his eyes and looked around. He walked around inside the circle of his friends sniffing and looking around. Lavender reached out a tentative hand to pet him and he stopped to allow her to do so. Suddenly his attention was diverted by a squirrel in a nearby tree. With a mighty roar, he leapt over Hermione and dove after the squirrel.
"Harry!" Hermione squealed.
Ron and Neville stood up and neared the panther. He seemed to stop and looked between his friends and the squirrel that had scampered high up in the tree. Turning, he closed his eyes and in the next minute Harry was on the ground in front of them.
"That was amazing, mate!"
"What happened?" Parvati asked.
Harry shrugged sheepishly, "It was kind of cool looking around at you lot as an animal. I could smell everything a lot more clearly, but then I saw the squirrel and the panther took over." He shuddered, "I'm glad I didn't catch him, the panther wanted to eat him."
The others laughed, but seemed a bit less leery of trying the transformation. To everyone's surprise, Parvati was the next one to successfully transform. She transformed into a beautiful peacock. Neville was the next, he managed to transform into a toad and had fun hopping at the water's edge. Seamus transformed into a puffin, much to the amusement of his friends. The last two to transform were Ron and Hermione. Ron transformed into a small weasel while Hermione transformed into a cat reminiscent of Crookshanks. Not everyone was as precise as Harry so there were some entertaining half transformations, but everyone eventually had the transformation down.
Lavender was the only one not practicing the transformation. Due to the still healing wounds in her abdomen, Madam Pomfrey had warned against attempting animal transformation at this time. Harry allowed her to transform him into an animal so she could also practice the spell. To everyone's amusement, she transformed him into a kangaroo. They watched in laughter as he hopped around them.
Charlie walked up as Harry was hopping around. He watched in amusement, "Should I be worried about a kangaroo invasion?"
Before they could reply, another voice spoke up, "Is that Harry?"
Hearing his wife's voice, Harry hopped over to her and gently rubbed his nose against her cheek. She laughed in delight and felt his soft ears. "You are so cute."
"How did you know it was him?" Hermione asked.
Ginny shrugged, "I can feel his magic. I don't know if I can explain it exactly, but I can tell it's him."
The kangaroo looked over at Lavender who promptly changed him back. He fell to the ground laughing, "That was fun, Lavender. Thanks."
Hopping back up to his feet he asked, "What made you think of a kangaroo?"
She blushed slightly as Parvati started laughing, "I've always liked kangaroos. My parents and I went to Australia when I was little and I've just always liked them."
"Plus she has a stuffed kangaroo on her bed," Parvati burst out laughing.
"Parvati!" Lavender protested laughingly.
"Sorry, Lav, I couldn't resist."
Charlie watched the group with a smile. "Are you lot revising for Transfiguration?"
"Yes," they chorused.
"You've been doing pretty well," Charlie replied. "I've been watching for a while." He laughed, "I loved the puffin with Seamus' legs."
Seamus blushed, but joined in the laughter.
"I thought it was great," Harry said. "I'd like to learn how to become an Animagus like my Dad and Sirius."
"You're really good at wandless magic," Charlie said. "I'm sure you will be able to master it."
As the others started talking, Harry turned to Ginny. "I thought you were tired?"
She shrugged, "I was, but it's such a beautiful day I wanted to join us." She giggled and whispered, "I had to laugh when Hermione was left with a cat tail."
Harry agreed, "I know. It reminded me of our second year, but I didn't want to say anything. Ron's getting better because he was definitely holding back laughter."
"Are you about done here?" Ginny asked.
"I'm done," Harry said. "I'm sure Hermione's going to keep revising, but I'm done for now. I mean everything is a lot easier for me now and I don't want to spend my whole day revising. It's too beautiful and you are too beautiful to ignore."
Ginny blushed and leaned in to kiss him. "Thank you, love."
The second week of Easter break started much as the first week had. The beautiful weather continued as if nature understood the magical world had suffered long enough and now wanted to celebrate. Thanks to Hermione's schedule, and Harry's talking her down to a more reasonable revising schedule, the seventh year Gryffindors had a productive and fun break.
As a group all of the Gryffindors coloured Easter eggs together in the common room. Harry and Ron had hidden eggs for the younger children to find on Easter morning.
Harry woke up on Easter morning, but to his surprise his wife was already up. Lifting his head, he saw her puttering around their kitchenette.
"Good morning, beautiful."
She looked up startled and smiled, "Good morning. Happy Easter."
Harry joined her in the kitchenette and looked down at the beautiful basket she had put together. "Gin, this is amazing."
He lifted basket to examine it. She had woven emerald green ribbon into the basket and wrapped the same ribbon around the handle. His name was written in sparkling glitter and she'd drawn a broomstick and a snitch on either side of the basket. Inside the basket was a variety of Easter candies as well as several Easter cakes.
She blushed a bit under his praise, "I didn't make everything from scratch like my mum always did, but I did make the basket."
"It's great." Harry said. He turned and summoned her basket from the wardrobe where he'd left it. "I'm almost embarrassed to give this to you now. Ginny's basket was a yellow basket with her name in a flame red colour. He had filled the basket with her favourite Honeydukes sweets as well as a few Muggle treats. On top of the sweets he'd placed a small jewelry box.
"Thank you, love." Ginny smiled as she took her basket. She reached out for the jewelry box. Opening the box she found a pair of heart earrings comprised of tiny diamonds. Half of the diamonds were blue and the other half were pink. She looked up at him.
He read the question in her eyes, "Because we are having a boy and a girl, I wanted to honour both of them."
"They are lovely," Ginny said as she quickly put the earrings in. Harry conjured up a mirror for her so she could admire the effect. She leaned up and kissed him. "Thank you."
Setting her basket down on the table, she said, "You have been so good to me, so I want to spoil you today."
Directing him to sit down, she called out, "Dobby!"
Dobby popped into the room with a large tray, "Yes, Miss Ginny. Dobby is here."
"Thank you, Dobby." Ginny replied as Dobby set the tray on the table. "Dobby, I have something for you."
Dobby's ears quivered as he looked up at her adoringly. "For me?"
She smiled down at him, "Yes, for you. You've done so much for our little family."
Summoning a little basket from her nightstand, Ginny handed him a basket filled with handmade, Easter themed socks. "Harry told me how he set you free with his sock and I thought you might like some new socks to wear."
Dobby's smile lit up the room, "Miss Ginny is a great witch. She is more than a match for Harry Potter. Thank you Miss Ginny."
"You're welcome," Ginny smiled. "Happy Easter."
"Happy Easter," Harry added. He smiled as he watched the ecstatic little elf pop away. "That was very sweet. You are wonderful."
She smiled as she lifted the cloche from the plates. As she had requested, Dobby had made some traditional hot crossed buns, but with a twist. They were all different pastel colours. There was also a large platter of bacon and sausage as well as eggs.
"This looks amazing," Harry said reaching across the table for her hand. He lifted her hand to his mouth and kissed the palm of her hand. "Thank you for arranging this for me."
"You're welcome." Ginny beamed as she watched him dig into the meal. She was happy to provide him with a good meal after he had done the same for her so many times. A twinge raced across her belly and she gently massaged her large belly. She helped herself to a hot crossed bun, but found that she really wasn't very hungry.
"What do you want to do today?" Harry asked after he'd finished his breakfast.
Ginny laughed, "Hermione doesn't have your day all planned out with revising?"
Harry groaned, "I'm not revising today. Today I am spending the day with my beautiful wife. I'll show you all of the amazing charms I've learned or transfigure things for your delight, but I'm not picking up a book."
To demonstrate, he banished the dishes. "I'm going to take a shower."
Ginny felt another twinge streak across her belly as she rummaged through her wardrobe. Easter at Beauxbatons had always been about the colourful hats and dresses as much as the bright baskets full of sweets. This was the first year in a long time she'd not had a new dress.
She just felt so huge right now that she really hadn't felt like a new dress this year. The earrings from Harry had really made her day. She found a white and blue dress that Fleur had helped her resize just the week before. Pulling on the dress she brushed out her hair and felt she looked decent.
The door to the bathroom opened and Harry emerged dressed in his comfy jeans and a button up white shirt. She ran her eyes over him, "You look nice."
He smiled, "Thanks. You look great. Is that the dress you and Fleur were working on?"
She started to nod, but a much stronger feeling streaked across her belly. It was no longer a twinge, but a pain that raced across her belly. She reached for her stomach, but at the same time she felt something gush. Looking down she was horrified to see a puddle of liquid at her feet. Had she just peed herself?
As Harry looked at her in shock, she suddenly realized that her water had broken. Those twinges and feelings she'd been pushing aside all morning were actually the beginnings of labour pains.
"Harry." She whispered. She could see the realization dawning on him as well. Now that it was actually time for her to have the babies, she wished she had more time. She wasn't ready to be a mum, was she?
Luckily, Harry seemed to recognize the panic in her face and he quickly crossed the room to her. With a wave of his hand, he vanished the puddle and dried off her dress. He wrapped his arms around her and together they disappeared from their room and reappeared in the Infirmary. Ginny gripped his shirt in both hands and buried her head in his shoulder.
"Madam Pomfrey!" Harry called out as he gently guided Ginny to one of the more private beds. He summoned one of the privacy screens from their place against the wall and placed it around Ginny's bed. Remembering Alicia's instructions, Harry conjured up several candles – lavender, ginger and vanilla scented candles to induce calmness, as well as the rose and strawberry scented candles that Ginny liked.
With a wave of his hand, Harry lit all of the candles and set them to float around them. Madam Pomfrey rounded the corner of the screen and looked down at Ginny. "Labour, dear?"
"I think so," Ginny said. "M-my water broke and I've been having little pains all morning. I didn't know what they were."
Madam Pomfrey waved her wand over Ginny and nodded, "You are in labour." She looked over at Harry. "Mr. Potter, why don't you help her into one of the gowns and I will notify Mrs. Wood."
Harry gently helped his wife into one of the special maternity gowns that Madam Pomfrey had ordered. "Do you want anyone else here?"
Ginny looked up at him with confusion, emotion pooling in her chocolate brown eyes. "I…would you get my brother and Fleur?"
"Of course, love." Harry replied gently. He quickly cast a Patronus off to his brother-in-law.
Bill and Fleur arrived at the same time as Alicia. They all quickly embraced the younger girl and Alicia got to work casting spells and examining her.
She looked up at her patient and smiled reassuringly, "Everything looks good. Both babies are in good position. I believe the boy will appear first."
Reaching back into her bag she pulled out a vial of pale pink potion and handed it to Ginny. "Take this; it will help with the contractions. The calm, the scents you have chosen, and the love between you and your husband will make this a peaceful and beautiful experience."
Harry sat on the bed behind his wife and wrapped his arms around her. She locked her hands over his and relaxed into him. Harry gasped, "I can feel their magic. I've never been able to feel them like this before."
Alicia nodded, "As the babies prepare for birth, their magical core is strengthened and separates from their mother's magical core and in this case from their sibling's as well."
Suddenly the bed and floor were covered with rose petals, their fragrant scent filling the air. Alicia smiled, "That is your magic, Ginny. Remember, accidental magic is not uncommon during the labour process. As the babies cleave their own magic from yours, your magic replenishes itself."
Ginny nodded and smiled as Fleur commented on the peacefulness. The rest of the morning and beginning of the afternoon passed in a blur of peace and calm. There were several more showers of rose petals and on one occasion butterflies had filled the room. The spells Alicia had cast were creating a bubble of calm in the midst of the Infirmary.
Ginny looked down at her son in awe. He was perfect – ten little fingers, ten toes and everything else he needed. He even had a little shock of black hair on his head. He had latched on and was nursing easily. James William Potter had been born first and weighed a healthy 2.5 kilograms.
Looking over, Harry was cradling their daughter and staring down at her with the same look Ginny was certain she wore. Lily Elizabeth Potter was as perfect as her brother, but with a few wisps of red hair. She was a little smaller than her brother at an even 2 kilos.
Harry looked up at his wife with tears shining in his eyes. "They are so beautiful."
She nodded, "They are. I can't believe they are here."
The sound of a throat clearing made them look up an elated Bill stood in front of them. He hurried over to his sister and kissed her on the cheek before gently stroking the top of his nephew's head. "Are you up to a few visitors? Charlie, Ron and the twins are here."
Ginny nodded and soon the area was overflowing with Weasleys. Fred was a bit more low key than previously, but he was obviously happy for his sister. He had only the week before been fitted with a prosthetic leg and he was a bit slow in moving around. George was his constant companion, but there was a bit more seriousness to them that hadn't been there previously.
Conjuring a chair for his brother-in-law, Harry handed his daughter over to his best mate. "Here Ron, meet your goddaughter."
Harry nodded as he watched his first friend gingerly handle the precious little girl. "Bill and Fleur are going to be James' godparents and Ginny and I wanted you and Aimèe to be Lily's godparents."
Ron looked up with tears in his eyes and smiled, "I would be honoured." He stared down at the baby, "What did you end up deciding on for her middle name?"
"Elizabeth," Harry replied. "That was my grandmother's name and it just seemed to fit. Lily Elizabeth Potter."
Harry looked around the Great Hall during the Leaving Feast. So much had changed in the last seven years; he remembered Hagrid telling him he wouldn't recognize himself after his seven years at Hogwarts and he found that was true. He never would have imagined himself married with two beautiful children at the end of his Hogwarts' career.
"Are you alright, Harry?" Hermione asked.
He nodded, "I'm good. I just can't believe the changes in the past seven years. It still seems a bit strange not to see Dumbledore sitting up there."
"I can't believe two of my brothers are up there," Ron said.
"What are they going to be doing next year?" Parvati asked.
"Bill and Fleur are going to remain on staff for the next year," Ron said. "Fedorov will work with them on their schedule so they won't be teaching at the same time, so someone will always be with little Victoire."
"What did Charlie decide to do?" Harry asked Hermione.
She blushed slightly, "He's going to be working at the Dragon Preserve in the Hebrides."
"Doesn't want to leave you behind?" Ginny teased gently. She was in the Great Hall for the first time since giving birth. Remus was watching the twins so Harry and Ginny could attend the Leaving Feast together.
Hermione coloured a bit darker, but she smiled. "No, we are going to be dating long distance for a while. I'm going to be attending University and living with my parents.. I've spent so much time apart from them that I want to live with them at least for the first year or so. I'm tired of living in dorms."
"I think that's great," Harry said with a smile at his friend.
Ginny looked around at the other seventh year Gryffindors, "What is everyone else doing next year?" She looked at her brother, "I know you're going to work for the Department of Magical Games and Sports."
He nodded happily, "Yeah, I can't wait."
"I'm going to be working with Madam Rosmerta," Seamus said. "I eventually want to open my own pub, but I don't really have any experience. I'll be taking classes in Restaurant Management from the Ministry." He winked at Demelza who was sitting next to him, "I don't want to be too far from this one next year." He was rewarded with a kiss.
Neville smiled, "You'll be in class with Hannah. She's going to be working at the Leaky Cauldron. I've got a job offer with a nursery out near Walsall. It's going to involve some travel; I'm headed off to Brazil in August."
The arrival of food halted any further conversation for a while. Harry and Ginny enjoyed the chance to chat with their friends, but they were anxious to head back up to their room and get back to their babies.
As Ginny finished her peach tart, she looked over at Harry. "I'm ready to head back up."
He jumped up, "Me too."
They said goodbye to their friends and hurried back up to Gryffindor Tower.
Hermione watched as Harry skillfully maneuvered the double pushchair around the park. "You do that very well."
He blushed slightly as he pulled up six month old Jamie's blanket and discretely cast a wandless warming charm on them. "Thanks, I try to bring them here every day. I don't know what I'm going to do once it becomes too cold or starts snowing." He smiled over at his friend, "So how is University? Everything you thought it would be?"
She laughed, "I'm having a great time. In some ways I feel so much older than some of the other students, but there are also some older students as well. I've made several friends and I even reconnected with a girl I went to primary school with. We didn't know one another well, but we've become quite friendly."
"That's great," Harry said sincerely.
Hermione nodded, "I had a hard time decided what to study-"
She broke off and glared at Harry as he started laughed, "I'm sorry, I'll be quiet."
Shaking her head she said, "I learned my lesson third year. As much as I would love to study many different subjects, I decided upon a course of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. It should take me three years and so far I am very much enjoying the classes. I think much of the information I am learning can be adapted to the wizarding world."
"I'm glad you've found something you want to do,"' Harry said with a smile. "I'm sure you're going to love your classes."
"How's it going with Ginny?"
"Wonderful," Harry's face lit up at the mention of his wife. "She goes over to the Lupins' for about five hours a day. She'll spend a bit of time there after the lessons to try and get some work done. Remus is thrilled to have a student and Ginny is very eager to learn. She really likes History and Ancient Runes. I've even been studying with her a little bit. I wish I'd taken Ancient Runes when I was in school. Remus said he'd set up an intensive course for me if I want to study it."
"That would be great!" Hermione enthused, always happy to hear Harry applying himself. "Not that I'm trying to discourage you, but why would you do that?"
"Ginny is thinking she wants to be a Treasure Researcher for Gringotts. Seeing as we can't really be separated for any length of time, I thought I might investigate that as well."
"What's a Treasure Researcher?" Hermione asked intrigued.
"They work closely with the Curse Breakers and document the treasures the Curse Breakers find. Finding the history of the items and documenting any curses placed on the items, that sort of thing." Harry explained. "She used to want to be a Curse Breaker, but the more she found out about the Treasure Researcher position, the more she thinks that's what she would like to do."
"That does sound fascinating," Hermione admitted. "Would she have to travel?"
"Maybe, that's one of the reasons I want to work with her, but either way we would travel together." Harry said as he bent over the pushchair. Lily had awakened and he lifted her up. Kissing her on the cheek he said, "Hello, love. You decided you want to see the park?"
Lily giggled at the sound of her father's voice and reached up for his face. She patted him on the face as he talked to her. He turned her slightly in his arms, "Say hello to Aunt Hermione."
Hermione smiled at the infant and when Lily reached for her, she took the baby into her arms. Bouncing the baby, she followed Harry over to a bench where he took the baby back and started feeding her a bottle.
"I saw Andromeda last weekend," Hermione said. "She's doing great and seems to really enjoy Garnet."
Harry nodded, "She does. Remus told me she's considering moving in with Remus and Tonks. She loves little Teddy and it would be easier if they were all living at the same place. There's actually some debate where they should move. They don't want to get rid of Grimmauld Place, but Andromeda's house would be a better place to raise kids. Remus has been thinking about either trying to tutor full time or even open his own school – an alternative to sending kids to Hogwarts or possibly teaching younger children before Hogwarts. He's not entirely sure what he wants to do."
Hermione laughed, "If he wants to teach a primary-type school, he'll have a ready built class in a few years. Garnet, Jamie, Lily, Teddy, Victoire…what did Alicia and Oliver name their little girl?"
"Enya," Harry replied. "Enya Angelina. Trust me, Remus has thought about that. Plus there have been a lot of magical births this summer. Mr. Weasley told me that the number of births have increased dramatically in the past year. There are also a lot of people getting married…kind of celebrating the end of the war."
"How is it going with the Weasleys?" Hermione asked hesitantly.
Harry shifted his daughter up to burp her before answering. "Better, I guess. Mr. Weasley is great and he comes over to visit quite frequently. Jamie especially loves his time with his grandpa." He sighed, "Mrs. Weasley is a bit more complicated. Most days I'd rather just say forget it, but Ginny wants to have a relationship with her mum. She's been over to the house a few times and fusses over the babies."
"I'm sorry," Hermione said. "I hope it gets better."
Harry shrugged as his daughter snuggled into his chest. He wrapped her blanket more tightly around her. "Did you hear about Percy?"
Hermione nodded, "He's been released from prison."
Percy had been convicted of collaborating with known Death Eaters, but he had not been charged with the death of Dave Williamson; that had been ruled as self-defence. He had been sentenced to six months in prison, but he was released after two months. To the Weasleys' relief he'd been sent to the prison the French were letting the British government use for their non-violent offenders. It was much preferable to Azkaban.
"Not just that," Harry said. "He's working with the twins."
"What?" Hermione had a hard time picturing the straight laced Percy working with the fun-loving prankster twins.
"I know," Harry laughed. "I had a hard time believing it as well. He had quite a bit of time to reflect on his actions while he was in prison and he has apologized to his parents and all of his siblings. Ginny is quite pleased; he seems very sincere this time. He's come over to dinner and met our twins. Anyhow he is helping the twins with the bookkeeping and marketing part of their business. They opened a branch in Hogsmeade and are looking into opening a shop in the town of Beauxbatons."
"Wow, I hadn't heard that," Hermione said.
"They are becoming quite the businessmen," Harry said proudly. He lay Lily back in the pushchair. "Let's head back; it's a bit cool out today."
"Of course," Hermione replied. The two old friends headed back to the Potter house and spent the afternoon catching up and, of course, playing with the twins.
Five years after the fall of Voldemort
Hermione looked at Harry and Ginny in amazement. "Are you sure? I know the two of you love this house."
She couldn't believe that Harry and Ginny were considering selling their townhouse. They had put so much time and effort into restoring and redecorating the house.
Ginny beamed at her friend, "We've kind of outgrown it."
"What?" As Ginny's meaning dawned on Hermione she squealed. "Really, you're pregnant? Again?"
Ginny laughed, "Yes, I'm pregnant, again. Honestly Hermione, the twins just turned five and Sirius is two. We just don't have the room we want here. Please, we want you and Charlie to have it. It's our wedding present to the two of you."
Hermione looked over at her fiancé. He reached out for her hand and squeezed it. "I think it's a great idea, Hermione. You been wanting something in London so you aren't too far from your parents, and I can Apparate to work."
Smiling, Hermione looked around the cozy home the Potters had created. She had always loved the home and the proximity to Hyde Park. "That would be so wonderful."
She hugged her future sister-in-law, "Thank you so much."
Harry brought in a tea tray and followed by the children. Before long Jamie, Lily, and Sirius were swarming all over their aunt and uncle. Charlie was soon dragged away to see the playroom and tell them about the dragons they had decorating one wall.
Taking advantage of the quiet, Ginny asked, "How is the wedding planning going?"
Hermione rolled her eyes, "I really wish I'd eloped. Between my mum and your mum…Merlin I never realized how difficult wedding planning could be. We are trying to merge both Muggle and wizarding traditions as well as trying to hide magic from the Muggle guests. Luckily there are certain protocols in place. Percy has actually been invaluable in helping us."
"Have you decided where to have the wedding?" Harry asked.
"We will be having it at my parents' church and they belong to a beautiful club nearby so we have decided that is where we will have the reception." She looked over at Ginny. "I hope you don't mind, we aren't having any children in the wedding. We didn't want to offend anyone by leaving their children off. Of course all of the children are welcome at the wedding; we just don't want any in the wedding party."
Ginny snorted, "Seriously Hermione, that is just smart. I wanted to kill Audrey last year when she put Jamie and Lily in their wedding party. It was just a disaster and I swear Harry and I spent all day chasing them around and straightening their clothes or cleaning up spots."
"Good," Hermione sighed. "I didn't want to offend anyone. The wedding party is going to be really small." She smiled at Ginny, "It's just you and Bill. My mum wanted my cousin to stand up with me and your mum wanted more of your brothers, but Charlie and I decided to limit it to just the two of you."
"That's perfect," Ginny said. "I'm glad the wedding is soon so I won't be as huge as a whale."
"You never get as huge as a whale," Harry said loyally brushing a kiss across her cheek.
She laughed and smiled at him. Hermione watched both of them with a smile, "Your mum was telling me about Ron."
Ginny rolled her eyes, "She's bragging to everyone. Don't get me wrong, he's doing really well. He was a huge help to us last year when Harry was on the English team. To be one of the planners of the next World Cup is amazing."
"Parvati is so proud of him," Harry commented. He brightened up, "Did you hear?"
Hermione gasped, "Is she pregnant?"
He nodded, "Yes, they found out a couple weeks ago, but they didn't want to tell anyone at first. They just started announcing it ."
Hermione nodded sympathetically, "After her miscarriage last year, I don't blame them. I'm so happy for them. Ron will be a great father."
"He will," Ginny said. "He's great with our three."
"I heard about George and Aimèe," Hermione said. "That surprised me."
Ginny laughed, "I always thought he was a little sweet on her, but when they opened that shop near Beauxbatons – I don't know they just clicked. He's been spending more and more time in France. She's very happy with him and she can keep him in line."
"So does that mean Fred is the only one not attached to anyone?" Hermione asked.
"He's seeing Katie Bell," Harry said with a laugh. "Fred came out with me and Oliver a few weeks ago and he got a bit plastered. He was telling us all about how wonderful Katie is and how much fun they have together. It was rather funny."
"I'm very happy for them," Ginny said. "This is the first girl he's become serious about since Angelina."
"That's wonderful," Hermione said.
Charlie came back downstairs, "The kids are colouring dragons in the playroom."
"Thanks, Uncle Charlie," Ginny said with a smile. "They save up their dragon questions for you. I think Jamie wants to visit the dragons again. We took our twins, Garnet, Teddy and Victoire to see the dinosaur museum. It was so funny. Teddy, Garnet, and Jamie were trying to decide who win a fight between a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Hungarian Horntail. It was quite an intense debate."
"Sirius didn't go?" Hermione asked.
Ginny shook her head, "He stayed with Uncle Remus and baby Andrew. He had a brilliant time. He loves his Uncle Remus."
Charlie turned to Harry, "So what are you going to be doing? Are you going back to Treasure Researching?"
Harry had played for England in the World Cup the previous year, helping to lead England to victory for the first time in a century. Ginny and the children had travelled with him.
He laughed, "Actually, we finally decided to go ahead and have Remus tutor us in Arithmancy. It's not as bad as we thought it would be."
Hermione almost choked on her tea she inhaled so quickly, "You're taking Arithmancy?"
"Yes, we want to get certified as Curse Breakers as well as Treasure Researchers," Harry explained.
"That way we can form our own team and free-lance," Ginny added. "We've had inquiries about helping break Dark curses on houses or jewelry here in Britain."
"Wonderful," Hermione enthused. "That sounds fascinating."
Harry laughed, "Actually, Hermione there is something else I've been working on."
"What's that?" Hermione asked curiously.
With a grin at his wife, Harry stood and suddenly in front of them was a black falcon. Hermione's jaw dropped. "No, Harry! Merlin, I didn't know you were working on that."
Harry changed back and started laughing, "I've had some time off and it's something I've always been curious about."
"That's brilliant, mate," Charlie said.
"It is," Harry exclaimed. "Flying is…I don't even know how to describe it. I thought flying on a broom was on was of the best feeling in the world, but flying with your own wings… I love it." He laughed, "I've even been out flying with Hedwig."
"Ok," Hermione looked over at Ginny. "You never do anything by yourself, so what about you?"
She laughed, "I'm a leopard. I don't want to transform while I'm pregnant, we aren't sure what would happen. Professor McGonagall thinks I would simply be a pregnant leopard, but obviously we aren't going to try it out just to see."
The sound of little feet pounding down the steps caused Harry to go and check on them. Jamie and Lily swarmed past him to show Uncle Charlie their dragon pictures. Sirius was much slower on the steps. Harry waited for him at the bottom of the steps.
Although all of the stairs had cushioning charms, Harry still worried about them on the stairs. Sirius made his way to the bottom of the staircase and smiled up at his father. "Dragon, Daddy."
Harry reached down and lifted Sirius onto his hip; he looked at the picture and praised the green circles Sirius had drawn. "Nice job, Buddy."
Sirius beamed up at him, his green eyes shining at his father. Harry carried Sirius into the sitting room and sat down on the sofa next to his wife. Sirius curled up on Harry's lap while Harry watched his two oldest showing their pictures to Uncle Charlie.
He couldn't believe that only six years earlier he didn't remember Ginny and none of this seemed at all possible. While he wished his parents and Sirius could have lived to meet Ginny and the kids, he was ecstatic with how things had worked out.
"I love you," he whispered into Ginny's ear.
She beamed back at him, "I love you, too."
Author's Note: I can't believe this story is finally finished. It has been over three years in the making and has come a long way from my original twelve chapter outline. Special thanks to both Jennyelf and StephanieO for their hard work as betas for this story. I appreciate all of the reviews - they have meant so much to me. Thank you for all of the gentle reminders that I need to finish the story and all of the support I have received. I am going back and naming all of the chapters and fixing some of the more grievous errors. The beginning of this chapter was heavily influenced by the fabulous works of Abraxan.