Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter…too bad, it would be quite nice to be richer then the Queen of England wouldn't it.
So we have reached the end and I want to thanks everyone who has stayed with me though the story. To my three BETA's, as well as all of my readers and reviewers, thank you for your support!
Now on with chapter 31…Happily Ever After.
Happily Ever After
I smiled lovingly at the picture in the center of the mantel. It had been taken on our wedding day, well second wedding day, a little over two years ago. It wasn't magically charmed, but a still muggle photograph of my beautiful wife sitting on my lap as I fed her a piece of cake. It had been taken by Susan, my father's wife, during the reception, which took place at a beautiful park in Vancouver just a few miles from the small chapel we married at. It was a small affair just Lily and I of course, as well as my dad, Susan, Gavin and my baby half-sister Olivia and Rose. We had already been magically bonded in England several months before, the ceremony had been much more grand in scale, as most bonding ceremonies are.
Lily had allowed Petunia to be her Maid of Honor, sort of returning the favor as it were; Alice and Mary were her bride's maids. In that I was short in the friends department, Andre, who I had truly come to see as a good friend, was my Best Man, and so naturally little four-year-old Junior was a groomsmen instead of the traditional ring bearer.
It was the very best day of my life, a day, at one point I thought as nothing more than a pipe-dream. I had always loved her, always, but how she came to love me, after everything I have done to her, I still didn't understand.
"Sam, are you ready?" I turned and smiled at my wife, her hand resting on her bulging belly.
Taking her hand, I leaned in and kissed her lips softly. "More than ready." Today we would see what we were having. My money was on a boy, Lily was of course holding out hope for a girl.
I was beyond excited, though nervous as well, I would be seeing a picture of my baby for the first time. I was hoping for a girl, but I think most mothers do, at least for their first baby, however I have been told by several of my friends, my sister and my own mother that the way I'm carrying the baby, low and all out front, that it was most defiantly a boy. I suppose I'll find out today if they are right or not. Though really, it doesn't matter, as long as the baby is healthy then I'll be happy, plus there always next time. Severus and I decided on two kids, four to five years apart, roughly, or that's the way we have it planned, but who knows.
Alice and Frank had recently had a baby, a son they named Neville, after Frank's father, which I though fitting in that he looks just like him, apparently Augusta was quite happy with the name choice as well. We see the Longbottoms a few times a month for tea and gossip, and on occasion James and Mary will join us too. Yes, they're still together and actually engaged. It only took Mary getting pregnant for James to finally pop the question.
We flooed directly into the Gynecology lobby of St. Mungo's, and after a short few minutes in the waiting room I found myself on the examination table, my shirt lifted up to my breasts exposing my enlarged belly.
"Alright, mum and dad are we ready for this." We both nodded eagerly at the healers words.
The wizarding world is advanced to muggles in many ways, however when it came to internal images such as Cat Scans, MRI's and Sonograms, they had absolutely no clue. At least as far as spell work. Thankfully, however St. Mungo's had been open minded enough to invest in some muggel medical equipment, and that had only been in the past decade before that before we relied solely on magical scans which can tell us if there is a problem such as a eruption or blockage for example, but we could never see the problem until we actually went inside the person's body to perform the surgery.
"This is going to be a bit chilly." He rubbed a white jelly sort of substance over my stomach, and yes it was quite cold and I hissed slightly as touched my skin. "Okay now this is called a Sonogram Machine, it's a muggle device but it will help us get a sneak peak of the little bundle."
"It's okay," I reassured him, "I'm a muggleborn I know what to expect."
"That's good to know." He said smiling kindly.
I had been to the doctor with my sister when she found out she was having a son and daughter to help further carry on the Del Sarto family name. Antonio had been unable to make the appointment because of a legal matter, as to what I didn't press further. So my mum and I took a port-key to France where mum happily watched Junior while I went to the doctor with Petunia. David Louis Del Carlo was born just a few days after his big brothers fifth birthday, and was joined by his twin sister Rosalynn Amiee just two minutes later.
It was at that point my sister, as happy and blessed as she was, decided to get her tubes tied.
My eyes widened in awe as I beheld the black and white picture of our baby on the muggle image screen. That was our baby, I helped make that. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, at least up to that point. Lily squeezed my hand, as she too took in the sight of our baby.
"Oh Sam, look, I can even see her tiny hand and-oh my god, she's wiggling her fingers."
"You're right," The healer grinned, "that is the baby's hand, and there thee are its feet, head, stomach, and…you want to know the gender, correct?"
We both nodded excitedly.
The little arrow on the screen lowered from the image of the baby's head past his tummy and between his legs, my eyes widened as the machine drew a small blue oval around what I had at first thought was part of the umbilical cord.
"Congratulations mummy and daddy, it's a boy."
A boy. We were having a boy! I felt like running down the hall and shouting it at the top of my lungs.
"Looks like you were right, Sam." Lily smiled up at me, her emerald eyes shining with love and joy. "We're going to have a baby boy."
I simply nodded unable to form proper words at the moment. It was an emotional moment for me, my first glimpse at my little boy, my son. We had already had a name picked and even at that moment, I knew it fit him perfectly.
11 YEARS LATER
I had been told by my friends and my sister that it's beyond difficult to watch your oldest board the Hogwarts express for the first time, and I couldn't agree more. I knew he would be fine, he had his friends of course, Neville, and even Potters son Harry, not to mention his cousins, David and Amiee who were just a year above him, and Junior who was starting his seventh year. Yes all thee of Petunia's children had turned out magical, and despite her original reluctance, she had grow to not only respect their magic but also appreciate the gift that her children had been born with.
"Mummy, I want to go." I looked down at my seven year old daughter who was now pulling on my robes, her dark eyes pleading her will.
"You know you're too young, El."
My youngest just pouted, sticking out her bottom lip and crossing her arms over her chest. "Not fair."
Sam laughed, scooping his daughter into his arms. "Life's not fair, sweetheart, but don't worry in a few years you'll be off to join your brother."
She sighed snuggled her head into her father's chest, Sam, softly ran his hand through her red curls and down her back. He was the only one who could sooth her when she was upset.
"Mum, dad, can I go now." Our son asked, his impatience getting the better of him.
"You need to wait for Aimee and David." Sam stated firmly.
"Why, Nev and Harry are already on the train." He whined, his face pulling into a scowl his emerald eyes narrowing.
"Severus Samuel Princeton, you stop your pouting right this minute, your acting like a five year old! Besides, look, here they are now."
Petunia, as much as she has opened herself to her children's world, was still rather uncomfortable in settings with a large magical population, her current uneasy was very apparent as she clutched her husband's hand tightly, her two youngest just a few steps ahead of her, her oldest just beside her. In that the Del Sarto's are living in France all three of their children had originally received invitation to attend Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, Petunia however, felt slightly more comfortable with them attending Hogwarts simply because it was at least somewhat familiar it, so she happily pays the extra fee to accept out of region students.
"I've got to, go." Junior spoke up. "Prefect meeting."
David laughed, "You mean you want to find your girlfriend and snog before the train leaves."
Junior just rolled his eyes before giving his parents as Sam and I a quick hug then quickly boarding the train.
"So, your first year," Antonio said smiling down at my son, "you must be excited."
"I'm super excited, if only mum would just let me go."
"Alright, alright," I laughed at his anxiousness, "but I want a big hug first." Severus groaned but complied. "I love you Sev."
"I love you to mum." He smiled, than standing on his toe he kissed my cheek.
"You write me first thing tomorrow."
"Okay, my turn." Sam handed over Eileen, so he could give a proper goodbye to his son.
Sam kneeled down, placing both his hands on his smaller shoulders and smiled up at his namesake. "I want you to know, that I love you and that I am proud of who you are and who you will become. And never forget that I am always here for you, Sev, always. Whether you are having a problem with a class, or a friend or even a girl," a slight blush rushed to my sons pale cheeks at the mention of girl problems, "you can always come to me."
Sam and Sev have always had a close relationship, of course it helps that they are nearly identical in every way, from to the love of potions, to their annoyingly stubborn streak. I knew he valued his fathers opinion more then anyone's, even my own.
Sev leaned in and gave his father a lingering hug, then whispering something into his father's ear. Sam gave a slight laugh and nodded.
With a final quick hug to his aunt and uncle my little boy followed his older cousins off the platform and onto the train. I couldn't help the tears that formed in my eyes.
"It never gets easier." My sister sighed, coming up beside me, "not really."
"That's not comforting, Petunia."
She smirked and shrugged. "Maybe not, but at least you know he's safe and happy, and that's what matters the most."
My sister's words were wise and true, and it did bring me some comfort. Beside I knew he would write me in the morning and I would get the news that he was sorted into Slytherin, he was too much like Sam not to be. Suddenly I felt a pair of warm lips against my cheek. "He'll be fine." He whispered in my ear.
We both looked up at our youngest who was now smiling.
"Can we go out for ice cream, pleeease."
Sam laughed as he took El back into his arms. "I think that can be arranged."
"Yea! I was strawberry."
"Then strawberry it is."
Sam took my hand, our daughter still firmly in his arms, and with a quick wave good bye to my sister and brother in law we made our way back through the barrier.
At one point I in my life, a very difficult and low point, just after Lily had ended our friendship I didn't believe that I would ever marry or have a family. That the only joy brought into my life would have been from my potions and spells, and that I would probably die young and alone, the name Snivillus engraved on my tombstone. What a long way I have come from such harsh and solemn thoughts.
My life had in fact turned out quite the opposite. I had a good job, a beautiful wife who also had a successful career and two wonderful children. I did lose a significant part of myself in order to gain it all, but it isn't something I wouldn't do again if given the chance. Heritage is important in that one should never forget their family and where they came from, but it's better to lose ones family name then ones soul and I know that's exactly what would have happened if I had chosen a different path.
My name lives on through my son, and although to most the Princeton line isn't old or pure blood, but its honest and strong and light sided and even if my son is sorted into Slytherin anyone who knows our family will know what kind of person he is.
I will never regret the day I approached a crying girl on a swing in a park and introduced myself as Sam. It was the day my life changed forever. It was the first day of the rest of my new life, my Happily Ever After.