Last chapter, guys. I will write more next-gen stuff, but I'm not completly sure when, or who about.
Big, big thanks to anyone who's stuck with this, and reviewed, and especially those who've read and reviewed my other stories, too.
"Scorpius…" Lily would have rather liked to have stayed in the living room and wait for Lydia and Lysander to come back down the stairs, but her husband picked that moment to drag her out into the garden with him. "What is it?"
He rolled his eyes at her. "Still impatient. Don't ever change."
She laughed a little. "I wont. Promise. What's up?"
He shook his head, tugged her hand and led her to the bottom of the garden. There were memories here, thousands of them, from running around it as a small, small child, chasing her brothers, or making daisy chains with Lydia - she'd never quite got the knack for it - to the first time Scorpius had mingled with her family, or third time when they'd snuck around the corner of the house and kissed until she felt dizzy, and then done the same the first time she here as Mrs Potter-Malfoy, to Dominique giving birth on the grass almost two years ago, much to the shock and panic of almost everyone.
"I know I've been working a lot lately. I know it bothered you."
She shrugged a little. "You came home when I asked you to. That's all that counts." And she still couldn't quite explain why that meant so much to her.
He made an amused sound, lowered his head for a second. "You understand, though, why? Why I was…"
"Yeah. Yeah, I get it. But, Scorpius, to me, and the family, to everyone who matters, your name - it's not -"
"I know. But I don't want you to ever be made to feel ashamed because my name's on the end of yours. I don't want to have to be ashamed of it myself. I don't want our kids growing up facing hostility because their last name is Malfoy."
"Half their last name, and they'll face hostility from some people because of the Potter." She told him. It half amused her that they were calmly discussing kids they didn't yet have.
"I know. It was just something I had to do. It's not right, and it's not fair, but I had to work twice as hard as anyone else there to prove I was as good as them, to prove I was good enough. It annoyed you that I went into work this morning."
"I thought you'd skip coming here. You've missed a lot of stuff lately."
"I know. I had to go in, though, Lily. It paid off. I got promoted this morning."
For a moment, she only stared of him. "Are you serious? That's - you said there was no chance of them -" With a kind of laughing shriek, she launched herself at him.
"I didn't think I had a chance." He said as he caught her. "But I, I had to try. This is what I wanted, and it's more money, and I'll finally get some respect in that place instead of being looked down on."
"You deserve it. You deserve it more than anyone. I'm so proud of you."
"I won't be working like that ever again. I swear. I didn't mean to leave you alone so often."
"It's OK. It doesn't matter. You've always supported me, and I, I get I should've been more -"
He silenced her with a kiss, and she thought that everything was back again. This was how they were supposed to be.
"You don't have to do this." Lydia murmured as they walked slowly down the stairs. "You maybe should tell Lorcan first, or -"
"No. This works. Unless you'd rather let your immediate family know first -"
She tightened her hand in his. "No. OK." Not a big deal, Lydia mused. She was only going to announce to everyone who mattered to her that she was in love, and with Lysander Scamander, no less.
They walked into the living room, still hand in hand. Nothing changed; the noisy talking and laughter continued, little Dora Lupin chased her youngest sister around the room. Finally, Lorcan looked up, caught sight of them and grinned.
"S'about time. Hey, Lily!" When Lily, who was curled in a chair with Scorpius, looked up, he nodded towards Lydia and Lysander. Lily looked over and grinned wider than Lorcan. She said nothing; words weren't necessary. Lydia caught herself grinning back.
"Uh, something you want to share?" Hugo asked loudly. Looking from the two of them to Lorcan and then Lily, he looked insulted. "This is what was going on? Was I the only one out of the loop?"
"Sorry, Hugo." Lydia barely hid the smirk. "We'll tell you all about it later."
"You going to tell everyone else about it, too?" Ally asked, looking at Lydia with raised eyebrows. Silence fell slowly, but it fell.
"There a story here, Squirt?" Mitch asked, with an innocence that told her he knew at least parts of it. She shouldn't have been surprised, really.
Both Lydia and Lysander surveyed the room. Not a single negative expression looked back at them, and neither Lydia nor Lysander could ever have put into words how much that meant to them.
Lydia relaxed, broke away from Lysander, sat down. And prepared to tell her love story.
Two years later
Two years later
She moved from room to room, greeting people, accepting congratulations. There were flowers everywhere and they were starting to make her nose itch, and there were so many people in her house - not just hers, theirs, now, hers and Zander's - that the temperature was on the wrong side of comfortable.
But she didn't care. Nothing could ruin her day.
Lydia had never put much thought into her wedding day. She'd wanted to meet the right guy, of course, and wanted to marry, but the actual day - well, that was just one day of her life, wasn't it, and it wasn't that important.
Still, she'd always remember this, and always think of it as perfect. She'd remember the decorations that Lily and Rose and Ally had painstakingly chosen and hung. She'd remember the smiles of everyone she cared about as she'd walked down the stairs and into the living room where Lysander was stood by that fireplace. She'd remember Molly crying, then her mother, then Luna, as they recited their vows. She'd remember every word of those vows.
For as long as she lived, Lydia wouldn't forget a minute of today.
"Hey." Lily grabbed her, grinning. "How's things, Mrs Scamander?"
Lydia grinned. "Everything's perfect. How long until this feeling fades?"
"The giddy, I'm-married feeling? Few weeks at least."
"And the giddy in-love feeling?"
Lily glanced away, and, as always, found her husband easily in the crowd. "I'll let you know when it happens." She murmured.
Lorcan grabbed her next, hugging her. "How're you feeling, sis?"
She grinned at that, nodded. "Great. Can't get rid of me now, can you? Always gonna be your sister."
"Best one I could ask for." He told her solemnly. "Seriously, I just wanted to say - there's no one I'd rather see with Zand, no one I'd rather have in my family."
"Thank you." She replied simply, her gratitude in her eyes.
Lysander watched them, his brother and his wife, and then looked around the crowded house. They'd grown slightly over the last couple of years, this family, but overall, they hadn't changed.
And they were his. Every one of them. Molly - who was beaming proudly, talking to everyone, and bouncing Jasper, Ally and James' recently adopted son, on her knee, was his grandmother. Lysander took a moment to to watch the boy, who had the brightest smile he'd ever seen, and wondered if, one day, Molly would be bouncing his own kid on her knee. He hoped so.
He had uncles, here, and aunts and cousins. Ally had, earlier, kissed him loudly and told him he was her new brother, which he felt very good about.
He sipped his drink, and thought, with some amusement, that just a few short years ago he'd ran away to find out where he belonged. He'd travelled the whole world in his search, and only now did he understand.
This was where he belonged, where he always had belonged, and where he always would do. This was his family, his world, right here.
"Hey." Lydia smiled at him as she joined him. He smiled back at her, remembering how she'd looked when she'd walked towards him, how she'd smiled as she said her vows, and how her eyes had filled with tears as he'd said his own.
"Hey." He murmured, and slipped an arm around her.
Yes. Right here was exactly where he belonged.