AN: I do not own Harry Potter.
Rated M: Mature
Chapter 36: Epilogue
I can honestly say that after the twelve years since Voldemort was finally defeated for good, my life was fucking awesome …even though Daphne would kill me if she heard me swearing around the kids. I had everything I had ever dreamed about and so much more than I ever thought possible. As I waited on Platform 9 ¾ for the first time since my seventh year of Hogwarts, I thought back to what these last dozen years truly brought me and couldn't be happier or keep the goofy lopsided grin off my face.
After my seventeenth birthday and an informative and a financially beneficial trip to Gringotts, I found myself in front of the Wizengamot to take possession of my new seats among the Lords and Ladies of the Wizarding World. There was a bit of an uproar and animosity shown towards me as they realized that I controlled eight seats among them, but there was little they could do about it. Thanks to Gringotts and the death of all Death Eaters, I had assimilated five families under the Black Family so my name wasn't ridiculously long and filled with the names of people I detested. They encompassed Malfoy, LeStrange, Crabbe, Goyle, and Parkinson since I didn't include Nott hoping to turn that seat over to Theodore Nott III when he came of age in two months and I was left with only seven seats and votes.
Few spoke against me openly since their were no more followers or supporters of Voldemort among them, and my status as the Boy-Who-Lived and Conqueror of Voldemort left many afraid to really try and challenge me. The Headmaster and Supreme Mugwump helped smooth any issues over, and I was soon sitting between the newly joined Neville and my future father-in-law Damien, who both welcomed me happily among the governing body. As a group, the Wizengamot then spent the next several years reorganizing Wizarding Law and the Ministry structure to better keep up with the modern times and to filter out the corruption and importance of blood status among our world to great affect.
Near the end of August that year, Daphne and I were happily married in what had become the wedding of the century. The ceremony took place at the luxurious and opulent Potter Estate in Wales and was attended by everybody who was anybody in the Wizarding World. Professor Dumbledore and Minister Bones concelebrated the actual ceremony with Dobby, Ron, Neville, and Blaise as the best men while Delia, Tracey, Sophia, and Hermione acted as maids of honor. Daphne was an absolutely stunning bride, and I felt like the luckiest man on earth when she promised to be my wife and partner in life.
Our honeymoon took us right up to the start of our seventh years at Hogwarts, and covered six amazing countries and locations of which the Greek Isles were both our favorites. As predicted, we discovered that Daphne was pregnant within the first month back at school making for a very busy and interesting final year at Hogwarts. On April 20th, 1997 we were blessed with the birth of fraternal twins Alexander James Potter Black and Adeline Lily Potter Black, something quite rare and unique within the Wizarding world, which was nothing new to me, and actually made sense with how my life usually went. They were mini clones of their parents, both with inky black hair already while Alex had my green eyes and Addy her mother's sparkling violet ones.
It was probably the single greatest day of my life holding my precious children with my beautiful new wife, and knew my life would forever be changed for the better. They were both instant hits with the teachers and other students even if we only brought them out in public on a few rare occasions. Nobody however, was happier than Dobby and Winky who were both overjoyed at having the next generation of Potters to care for and serve. It was a difficult choice for godparents, but we eventually settled on Ron and Tracey for Alex, and Blaise and Hermione for Addy with promises to others for our next child or children we planned on having.
After the stress of pregnancy and our kid's births, the NEWT exams at the end of the year seemed easy, although that could be because we were very well prepared for all of them for quite some time. It had become difficult nearing the end of the year to continue with the extra lessons from McGonagall, Dumbledore, and Harding, but we did as much as we could knowing how much more there was to learn in every subject. Remus had become the first multi-year DADA Professor in over three decades with the curse on the position being broken with Voldemort's death, but was only interested in holding the job until I could take it over from him.
Remus along with Professor Harding, both were convinced to hold off on their retirements for one more year so Daphne and I could have one year spending time with our new family and securing our masteries in DADA and Runes before we took their jobs. Graduation from Hogwarts was a merry and welcomed event, and all our friends were excited to head out into the real world and begin the rest of their lives. Blaise and Sophia were the first to announce that they were getting married, with Ron and Hermione only a few months behind them.
Daphne and I decided to head back to the Greek Isles after graduation where I purchased a large manor before shortly finding out she was pregnant again. Orion Sirius Potter Black was born the following summer on July 7th much to the happiness of his parents and siblings, and looked like a good mix of us both. On the first of September we moved back into my old expanded suite in Hogwarts to take over for the retiring Remus and Sarah (Harding). Daphne took over the Ancient Runes post while I began teaching DADA much to most of the Wizarding World's enjoyment in having our famous names associated with the school and in England.
Albus and the other teachers welcomed us both warmly as well as the students who had known us while we attended when we were introduced to the school during the Welcome Feast. They had even arranged for our children to have seats with us up at the Head table even if those seats were highchairs, so we could be together at meals. Professor Flitwick was the closest teacher to our family and was often found playing with our children and charming items on the table to keep them entertained and happy, and seemed to just love every minute of it.
It didn't take too long to get into the swing of teaching our classes, and because of the relative peace now in the Wizarding World and Ancient Runes being an elective for third years and above, we had plenty of time to spend as a family. There were even several occasions where either Daphne or I would teach the other's classes so we could handle our growing children or my Wizengamot responsibilities. We were both well liked by our many students of all houses because of our fairness, competency, and our hands on practical approach to our subjects …although being young and good looking certainly didn't hurt our popularity, especially with the opposite sex. More boys took Ancient Runes that year than almost any in the school's history, and DADA became a very important class for many of the female population.
Near the end of our first year of teaching we got several pieces of good news from our friends. Blaise and Sophia who were running the Daily Prophet announced that they were pregnant and having their first child, while Neville and Luna announced their engagement. Ron had gotten the reserve keeper position with the Chudley Cannons, while his wife Hermione became her father-in-law Arthur's assistant in the newly developed Muggle Relations Department of the Ministry that he ran. Tracey had accepted into the St. Mungo's healer school, and Fred and George had successfully bought out Zonko's and were expanding to Hogsmeade, Paris, and Barcelona. Dobby and Winky also had their second child, a girl they named Darry if you can believe that, but after their first named Haphne, Daphne and I had a good laugh and were quite honored they cared so much.
We also learned that Remus and Nymphadora, who had to quit her job after Voldemort's defeat because of her shoulder and wand arm injuries suffered in the final battle, had begun dating and traveling the world in no hurry to settle down yet and get married. Damien Greengrass had also found premises in Diagon Alley to move and expand his Antique Treasures Shop, but kept the old building in Knockturn Alley to rent out to an old school friend that was starting a small restaurant. Nicole Asterbury, one of the Slytherin girls a year above us who worked on the animagi bracelets had landed a job as a curse breaker for Gringotts under their best field agent Bill Weasley, while her best friends Bethany Trent and Aaron Brewer had married and began running the newly up and running Magical Orphanage founded and funded by Neville, Terry Boot, and I. Terry and Lisa had their first child and were still running the animagi bracelet production, and thinking about getting their own premises on Diagon Alley to sell runic wear after I gave them each a set of the earrings, rings, glasses, and tongue ring Daphne and I loved so much.
Our classes ended up doing very well, and all of our students did splendidly in their end of year exams, especially our OWL and NEWT students that made us both very proud. We were gladly welcomed to return for another year of teaching to which we both gratefully accepted since we both were enjoying it so much and simply loved everything about Hogwarts. I was even able to receive my Transfiguration mastery to add to my growing collection, and Daphne and I both decided to work on obtaining our Charms masteries next since we had such willing tutors among our fellow colleagues in McGonagall and Flitwick. The only downside to the year was the new/old Potion Professor who was hired to replace Severus, Horace Slughorn, who was constantly after both of us to talk and join his social circle which we both did reluctantly at times.
That summer we spent at Lily's Pad in downtown London in order to be closer to our friends and Daphne's family since so much was going on with everyone. On my nineteenth birthday party we celebrated that summer, Daphne announced that she was pregnant yet again …a truly wonderful present if I do say so myself. We attended Neville and Luna's wedding later that summer which was quite the event as most of our former classmates and friends were also in attendance. Neville also announced that he was taking over for the retiring Professor Sprout and would be teaching Herbology and fulfilling his lifelong dream. Luna would also be taking over the Quibbler from her father, but also promised to help Daphne substitute teach her Ancient Runes classes when her pregnancy forced her to take some time off, and we were glad to have some younger friends among the staff.
Our second year of teaching went much like the first, only easier as we had a much better understanding of what to expect. Daphne's sister Delia, now a third year Slytherin was starting her first year of Ancient Runes and was just as promising and brilliant of a student as my wife. By March however, Daphne's pregnancy forced her to miss teaching as it became too hard for her to get around, nor did she want our unborn child to be around too many untrained magicians or magic. On the 23rd of that month, our fourth child was born, a girl we named Astoria Serene Potter Black that had my green eyes and black hair, but with a noticeable reddish tint.
Neville and many of the other teachers teased us about our large growing family and wondered about how many children we were planning on having and if we were competing with the Weasleys. We usually just shrugged it off since we ourselves didn't really know for sure, although Daphne knew of my desire to have a large family, which she happily supported. Luna was a real help in taking over a bunch of Daphne's classes, and Delia was an absolutely wonderful babysitter for her niece and nephews. By the time the twins celebrated their third birthdays a month after Astoria was born, Daphne was back to her normal teaching schedule and glad for the break from the craziness that was watching all of our kids constantly.
Dobby and Winky were both brilliant with our kids and were the real heroes and lifesavers that let us get our work done when we needed to. Their kids and ours where instant friends with both sets growing up together, and they all got along splendidly. We also got help from two more of our house elves, Tutze and Cebo who picked up a lot of the slack with cleaning up after our now very large and messy family. That year we also moved out of my original suite due to a lack of space, and were given one of the previously unused towers for our large and quickly growing family which we all loved for the extra space it gave us.
The following year brought with it the biggest change at Hogwarts with the retirements of Horace Slughorn, the Head of Slytherin House, Aurora Sinistra, the Head of Hufflepuff, and the largest of them all the Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. Albus decided to finally step down after surprisingly asking Griselda Marchbanks to marry him and accompany him on a tour of the world to explore other cultures and magic's while collaborating on a series of books that touched all fields of magic they had both studied over their long lives. His retirement from the public life sent shockwaves throughout the entire Wizarding World leaving Hogwarts, the Wizengamot, and the International Confederation of Wizards without their long time leader and most recognizable face.
Pierre Dellacour, the Grandfather of Fleur ascended to the top spot in the ICW, while Blaise' father Antonio Zabini took over at the Wizengamot. Minerva McGonagall became the new Headmistress of Hogwarts while claiming Professor Flitwick as her Deputy and bringing in a new era for the old school that had been such a part of Albus' long and full life. Marcus Beltby, the inventor of Wolfsbane became the new Potion Master and teacher, while Susan Bones took over the Astronomy position and became the Head of Hufflepuff as the only alumni of that House on staff. Daphne and I became the Heads of our old Houses now that Minerva could no longer act in that capacity, and we were both welcomed warmly and accepted by our students. Andromeda Tonks, Nymphadora's mother was hired to teach Transfiguration now that Minerva was the Headmistress, but she had no plans to stay long and was only doing it as a favor to her favorite teacher and friend.
With Albus gone, the mood in the school was kind of low at the beginning of the year, but by the Christmas break everything was doing much better. Beltby was an absolute Potions genius, and really took to and enjoyed his new role as a teacher and being back at his old school. Susan and Andromeda both performed admirably and were very business like and efficient, and Susan brought a lot more interest into Astronomy especially for the teenage boys in the school. Minerva was a fantastic no nonsense Headmistress, and seemed to pay a lot more attention to all of her teachers and students by sitting in on classes and visiting all the Common Rooms relatively regularly.
Before Astoria celebrated her first birthday in March, Daphne discovered that she was pregnant again and we couldn't be happier at finding out. We also heard that Hermione was pregnant with their first child, and Sophia with her second. Near the end of the school year, I got a letter and book from Albus telling about their world travels and a pre-published edition of The Life and Times of Albus Dumbledore. It was a very informative and interesting autobiography, and simply amazed me at everything the old wizard had accomplished throughout his full life. It probably could have done without the chapters on Snape, Voldemort, and yours truly, but even I had to admit that we played a large role in the later years of his life and was at least happy that he made me seem not too extraordinary.
The school year ended well, and our family decided to spend the summer at the Black Moor Villa in Castile, Spain. For Orion's third birthday that July, we spent the day in Barcelona's magical district shopping and checking out the sights, and even visited and spent a good bit of money at the Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes new store. Also, because of Spain's less severe laws, Daphne and I were both able to go to Zurburan's Fine Wands to get an additional wand each with no questions asked. We also picked up several children's training brooms knowing that whatever the twins did, at least Orion would try to emulate it …plus, it was his birthday. By the time we moved back into Hogwarts for the next school year, Addy had already worn out her training broom and was begging for a real one since she seemed the most capable up in the air.
Just before the new school year started back up, we gave them all a real treat and took all the kids to their first ever Professional Quidditch match. Mostly to see their Uncle Ron play in his first game as the now starting keeper for the Chudley Cannons, and got Addy totally hooked on the sport and her uncle's favorite team. Ron played surprisingly well, much better than I'd ever seen before, and the Cannons even won without catching the snitch because of his brilliant saves and play. Ron along with the Cannons new coach tried to convince me to come for a tryout at Seeker but I had to refuse liking my job too much even despite Addy's pleading and begging.
The school year began like most of the others now that everyone was familiar with Headmistress McGonagall and the slight differences she initiated. By the middle of October however, Daphne could no longer teach her classes due to her pregnancy and Luna once again filled in for her even though she herself had just discovered that she was pregnant as well. I finally had a great Halloween exactly twenty years after my parent's deaths, with the birth of our fifth child and third daughter, Nicole Severnia Potter Black. She had the usual inky black hair of all of our children and her mother's sparkling violet eyes, looking a lot like Addy did when she was born.
The rest of that school year as well as the next both passed without much change to our schedules and lives, other than our growing children. The then six-year-old twins were growing so fast, and we had begun home schooling them in all the basics and even introduced them to Magical History and Theory. Orion was close enough in age that he too started to learn along with them, and was surprisingly very intelligent and easily kept up with his older siblings. Addy never lost her love of flying and Quidditch, and was a natural terror in the air scaring her mother often with her reckless and incredible stunts. Alex tended to follow me around wherever I went, and took to imitating me with everything he did.
Our sixth year of teaching saw Hermione taking over the teaching position of Transfiguration from Andromeda Tonks, who returned home to help her daughter raise her and Remus' first child. They had finally settled down and gotten married the past year after starting a Werewolf safe house and muggle construction company that utilized those infected with Lycanthropy as a very capable work force. Hermione had left the Muggle Relations Department in the hands of Arthur and her replacements, Colin and Ginny Creevey who had also been recently married and were trying to begin their family. Hermione was up for a new challenge, and wanted to take after her idol and mentor Professor McGonagall, and was quite capable of doing so.
That year, Daphne's sister Delia was named Head Girl in her final year of school due to both her intelligence and popularity among the students and teachers. By Halloween that year and our youngest Nicole's third birthday, Daphne discovered that she was pregnant once again surprising us both and making it another busy and interesting year. Near the end of the school year, Astoria celebrated her fifth birthday and we began her home schooling while a month later the twins turned eight. Daphne was able to teach almost to the end of year exams, and ending up giving birth the day after school let out to our sixth child and fourth girl, Denaria Justine Potter Black another clone of Daphne.
The next three years of teaching seemed to fly by as we watched all three graduating classes that we had taught through the entirety of their seven years of schooling. Hermione really took to teaching Transfiguration, and with so many of our former classmates among the ranks of teachers it was a lot of fun to be at Hogwarts. Our kids were all growing up so fast, and all except the youngest had been doing very well with the home schooling and preparation for their time at Hogwarts. At the end of our ninth year of teaching, the twins turned eleven and were both beyond eager to start their first year of real school four months later on September the first, 2008.
"Now, I hope you both behave …I don't want to be hearing from your other teachers," I started with long looks at my two oldest children, who were both practically bouncing with excitement as their eyes kept moving all over trying to take in all the other parents and children getting ready to board the Hogwarts Express. "I also want you to know that you can always come to your mother or me if you have any questions or problems …and are welcome to stay in your old rooms in our tower if ever you want."
"Yes Dad," answered Addy with a sarcastic roll of her violet eyes, who despite looking like her mother took more after me and seemed ready to set off on her own. "Now can we get on the train?"
"Once you give your siblings and us a hug goodbye," countered Daphne with a slightly apprehensive look at our two oldest who had just grown up way too fast for her liking, and not wanting to see them go.
"But mum …there are people watching," whined Addy cutely, and I did have to agree with her assessment since entering the platform almost everyone was occasionally glancing over at us, but mostly just the parents that wanted to see the famous teaching couple that defeated Voldemort.
"It might help your popularity," I supplied with a lopsided grin that had Daphne lightly smacking my shoulder and giving me her customary 'you're not helping' scowl that only made her look more attractive, "…and besides, it's our right as parents to embarrass you."
"Fine," huffed Addy as Alex just smirked at her whining tone, having no problem being seen off by his parents as most of the other children were as well, even those much older.
"We are so proud of all of you," I spoke to the children at large as I gave my two oldest hugs while their younger siblings watched on with sad eyes at seeing their brother and sister off, "so …go make friends on the train, and we'll see you at dinner for the opening feast."
"I just hope my years at Hogwarts are as exciting as yours were Dad," replied Alex with a slight smirk on my eleven-year-old clone's face, causing the kids to laugh at my wide-eyed look of panic.
"Merlin I hope not," gasped Daphne but with the slightest upturn of her lips at the kids and my reaction to his statement, "you'll give your old man premature grey hairs!"
"He's already got those," laughed Orion with a matching smirk on his ten-year-old face, looking much like his older brother and mother who he seemed to take more after.
"I do not!" I pouted defensively, and then sent a mock glare at Orion and then everyone else who was busy laughing at me, "I'm not even thirty!"
"Whatever old man," laughed an eight-year-old Astoria, which was followed by even more laughter by my kids who all seemed to be ganging up on me at the moment while my beautiful wife just smirked in triumph at my disbelieving face.
"What is this …pick on dad day?" I cried out defensively and gave my family another mock scowl as they laughed away at my expense, drawing even more attention to our group in the already crowded and noisy platform.
"No, it's just pick on old people day," responded Orion who could barely keep a straight face through his words as they all again erupted into laughter, and non more so than Daphne.
"That was a good one Ori," laughed Alex happily, giving his slightly younger and only brother a pat on his back as he regained his breathing, one of the first in the family to do so …well, besides me.
"Yeah, a real comedian this one," I mock scowled again at the younger of the two boys who I thought this separation would be the hardest on since they seemed the closest with Astoria and Nicole a close second. "Okay …everyone say your goodbyes to Alex and Addy, we'll see them later tonight. The trains should be leaving in just a few more minutes."
The round of goodbyes and hugs wasn't too sad of an experience since we would all be at Hogwarts the whole year anyways, but it was the first time the kids would be somewhat separated. Alex and Addy were starting school and would be too busy with their own work and young lives to spend much time with their younger siblings. Orion would probably have the hardest time losing his oldest brother and best friend, but was only a year away from joining him as a Hogwarts student, and would probably spend that time learning and studying so he could keep up with Alex. Astoria and Nicole at eight and almost seven in two months had each other and would be fine, although they did look up to their oldest sister Addy, they didn't hang out all that much together. Denaria had just turned three, and probably wouldn't really notice too much of a difference other than having two less babysitters during some parts of the days.
Daphne will probably miss them the most, especially because she doesn't get to teach first or second years and won't be seeing them in weekly classes. Although if I had to guess, both boys are almost guaranteed to be Slytherins making her their Head of House while Addy would most likely be a Gryffindor with me and her younger sisters when it was their time to start at Hogwarts. Watching all their happy goodbyes, or slightly emotional goodbyes in Daphne's case was just another treat and blessing I had in my wonderful life that had changed so much over the years. I had a truly great wife and family, and made a small promise to myself that when we returned to school, I would take Dobby out again for some time between the two of us. He was just such a great friend and helper, and the reason my life had turned out so well in the end.
AN: There you have it; Runic Animagi comes to an end! I wanted to try my own epilogue in Rowling-style both to show what happens after Voldemort, but also to bring this story to an end so I wouldn't be asked constantly about writing a sequel. If someone wanted to write one based on the kids and characters of this story they are more than welcome to, just let me know so I can read it, but I am finally done with this story and it was one of my absolute favorites to write.
I can now get back to finishing my other two works in progress, and am planning to post a couple chapters of Harry De Vie today so anyone looking for something else to read has something to keep up with now that this is over. I hope everyone enjoyed this one, and have loved all the reviews and positive feedback it's received …it has made me want to keep writing and working on it until it was finished, so thank you all!