Chapter Fifty-Two: Happily Ever After

On December 8th of the year 1995, which happened to fall on a Thursday, Nicholas Flamel settled down in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place to a cup of tea laced with a very nice brandy and watched the family of his protégé in contemplative silence.

Sirius Black had lost his left arm in the Battle of Hogwarts, as it was now known. His new magically charmed prosthetic looked almost perfect, save for a slight aberration in skin color. It was amazing what they were doing now in magical medicine.

Sirius was not the only one in Harry's family to be hurt, either. Arthur Weasley lost both his legs below the knee in the blasting curse that took out the elder Weasley men in one fell blow. Fortunately for Bill, Charlie and the twins, Arthur was the worst. Like Sirius, his prosthetics worked marvelously, so much so that he stood through the ceremony that saw him inducted as the new Minister for Magic.

Sirius resumed his role as head of the DMLE, happy that he had found a new leader worthy to be followed.

The ghost of the Weasley Matriarch was almost palatable to the ancient Alchemist. He had never known her, and yet he could see her spirit in every expression on her family's face.

He then turned his attention to the swelling belly of his protégé's godmother. Rosemerta Black had an expression of contentment on her face—the realization of a dream she had abandoned so long ago she doubted she had it to begin with. She was the matriarch of her own family. Flamel saw in her aura a painful past, and thought it appropriate that the only surviving drops of Malfoy blood would flow forever hidden in the new, improved family of Sirius Black. Though not even Sirius knew, Rosmerta was Lucius Malfoy's older sister, a sister banished for daring to love a muggle while Lucius himself was still but a boy.

There were others there as well—the werewolf and his young mate, herself a Black. His mate's aura was warped by a dark curse during the battle, but she was recovering quickly, which was good given the life beginning to grow within her. Perhaps, Nicholas thought, the new life would help her move past the deaths of her parents. Ted and Andromeda Tonks both chose to fight at Hogwarts, and neither survived.

Nicholas turned his attention to another child there—the girlfriend of the youngest Weasley son, and the secret-keeper for his protégé's deepest truths.

Reading Hermione Granger's aura, Nicholas knew his young charge's secrets were safe. Granger would mature to be quite the formidable witch. Her chosen had no idea what he was in for, but he would enjoy the ride regardless.

Nicholas knew the moment everyone realized he was in the room by the silence that fell. As old as he was, Nicholas was not above a little drama, and enjoyed the way his suddenly appearing made people gape. It was Sirius Black who finally settled at the table near him and said, "Are they going to be okay?"

Nicholas nodded. "It took longer than it should have for Ginevra to conceive, but with the stone they are past the worst of it with no ill effects."

"And James?" Arthur Weasley asked.

"If he were any older, there would be danger," Flamel said. "While his youth made him susceptible to the possession, it also makes him more able to recover from it. He will be fine. Our friend Richter came up with an elegant solution that could only have worked with Harry and Ginny."

Relief caused shoulders to drop all around. "Will you be staying, Master Flamel?" Rosie asked.

"Non, mademoiselle. I have my own wife to return to. My own adventures to have. I came only to help them during this transition. I honestly did not think they would have to go through this for at least a century. But I realize now it was inevitable. You have a remarkable couple in those two. Please remember that."

"We will," Sirius vowed.

Nicholas Flamel finished his tea and brandy, nodded to them, and then disapparated right through the wards as only the most powerful wizard to have ever lived could do.

Upstairs, a young couple lay in each other's arms, dripping sweat and sighing in relief. The magic of their binding finally accepted that Ginny was once again pregnant, and the urge to have sex every other hour had faded.

He looked into her eyes, pleased to see the mixed green and brown, and smiled. "I'm hoping for a girl this time," he said.

"I know it'll be girl," Ginny said. "Ohhh, I'm so sore."

"Me too. Feels like my willy's 'bout to fall off."

"Might as well. I don't want to have sex again for a decade."

Harry frowned. "Now let's not go too far," he began.

Ginny smiled—too exhausted by the last three weeks to argue. "Harry?" she asked. "Will you love me forever?"

"Probably," he said. "Or at the very least, a very, very long time."

~~Bonds of Bloods~~

~~Bonds of Bloods~~

"No one came to his ceremony," Sirius said. "Except me and Remus."

"The two men he hated most," Harry said with a snort.

He and Sirius stood before the plaque of Severus Prince Snape, one of several in the magical Columbarium outside of Hogsmeade. Wizarding funeral rites normally entailed cremation to prevent the body from being used in dark rituals after death. Dumbledore was an exception because of precautions he took during his own life. However, Snape's will clearly espoused his wishes, and so the former potions master and spy was cremated and his ashes were stored behind a simple plaque.


"He saved our lives, you know," Harry said. "We couldn't fight Voldemort once he was inside our soul bond. I couldn't kill her because she was a part of me. He would have taken Ginny, and then he would have taken me. Once Ginny opened her soul to his horcrux, we lost all defense against him."

"Why didn't that happen earlier?"

"My mother's protection," Harry explained. "And then at the cemetery, the killing curse he cast at me killed his own soul fragment. It is also why Ginny was able to bring me back as easily as she did. This second time was a lot harder."

"Good thing Jorge called Nicholas," Sirius said.

Harry merely nodded. "I forgive him," he said softly. "Snape, I mean. Ginny and I both. Like Dumbledore said, he was like a dog who had been kicked all his life. We could see it in his aura. The only kindness he ever received in his entire life was from my mother. Was it surprising that he fell in love with her? Was it surprising that his heart broke beyond repair when he lost her to my father?"

"No, I suppose not," Sirius said. "So what now?"

"Now? Now, I take care of my family. We'll take our OWLS this summer and probably take our NEWTs at the end of sixth year so we can graduate early. Then we'll visit Nicholas and Paranelle before we travel. You and Rosie will have a new baby in the house to take care of, and Tonks is going to be delivering in about seven months."

"Yeah, still can't see how she ended up with Remus."

"Their age difference is not much greater than yours and Rosie's."

"Will they make it?"

Harry looked in the distance and said sadly, "No, probably not. Remus is too consumed by guilt to enjoy the relationship. He'll make a good father, but a poor husband. They'll probably divorce before their son reaches Hogwarts."

Sirius nodded, not surprised. "Too bad. So, you'll be going alone?"

"Me and Ginny and the kids," he said. "Why?"

"Well, it seems your friends are feeling a bit left out. You might consider taking them with you."

Harry thought about that. "Hermione does speak French," he mused aloud.

~~Bonds of Bloods~~

~~Bonds of Bloods~~

"But what if I'm in Slytherin?" James asked for the tenth time just that morning.

Ginny sighed. "Then you'll be the greatest Slytherin to ever get through school," she said without hesitation.

She and Harry stood on Platform 9 ¾ with the other rushing parents to see their son off to Hogwarts. Harry was holding Molly's hand, trying to comfort their daughter who wanted to go so badly.

There was a space around the two that the other parents wouldn't encroach. Word had spread that Harry and Ginevra Potter were seeing their firstborn to school. Minister Weasley let slip that aurors would be on hand for his Grandson's first train ride and reporters would find themselves fined, and so the normal media circus was wonderfully absent. It was September 1st, 2006. James Orion Potter was 11 years old, and he was terrified he would be in Slytherin.

Finally, Harry looked at his son and said, "James, you want to know a secret?"


"The Sorting Hat wanted to put me in Slytherin as well."

James's eyes widened, not with relief or awe, but fear. "So I'm really doomed! But…wait, why didn't it?"

Harry grinned. "Because I asked it not to. And so I went to Gryffindor."

"Oh." And like that, James had a revelation that once and for all stilled his terror at becoming a Slytherin. They saw him off, waving energetically while Molly whined about not being able to go that year.

"Remind you of anyone?" Harry asked his wife.

Ginny smirked back. "Well, she is a red-headed Weasley. What'd you expect?"

~~Bonds of Bloods~~

~~Bonds of Bloods~~

Harry held Hermione in his arms as the casket rolled into the cremation chamber, while nearby the wizened form of Dean Thomas performed the magical last rites. Around them, the Weasley family wept in silence. Rose Lysander neé Weasley stood beside her husband, near her brother Hugo and their combined five children, ten grandchildren and three newborn great grandchildren. In fact, the ceremony attracted almost a hundred Weasleys, mostly from Fred, George and Bill's lines. Charlie died on the dragon reservation when he was fifty, as single as ever.

Ron Weasley's body disappeared in flame while his family remembered him. "How will I go on?" Hermione asked. She was one hundred and five years old, but didn't look a day past eighty.

"With us, of course," Harry said. On Hermione's other side, Ginny nodded firmly. "We've always been family," she agreed.

Hermione wiped her tears and smiled at them. "Yes, we have, haven't we?"

~~Bonds of Bloods~~

~~Bonds of Bloods~~

"Will you help them?" the ancient wizard asked.

Harry looked at the old man from his rocker on Flamel Island in the Mediterranean. Overhead, he heard a loud boom as an orbital jitney came down to ferry the latest group of travelers to the hanging garden paradise in orbit.

"Tell me again what happened?" Ginny asked. She looked to be in her mid-twenties, while Harry appeared to be in early thirties. Their daughter Luna was around the island somewhere, running wild like she always did.

"We don't know exactly what happened," the headmaster of Hogwarts said. "They came across an ancient artifact, at least four hundred years old. It bore a soul-devouring curse that attacked Miss Grieal most heinously. It was just coincidence that Mr. Hastings was there. Whatever he did saved her, but at terrible cost. They cannot lose contact with each other without great pain, and have admitted to even sharing thoughts. I've only heard of one other couple experiencing anything like that, and then only in the headmaster's sealed library. That's why I came to you. Can you help?"

Harry nodded. "We can. Bring them here, Headmaster. Leave them with us over the summer. We'll do what we can."

The old headmaster, a descendent in fact of Bill Weasley and his wife Fleur Delacour, bowed with gratefulness and left for the boat that would guide him outside the wards. The sun was just starting to set, and they could see the glitter of the orbital platform that housed much of the human population following the wars that erupted when the statutes of secrecy collapsed, and the world learned about magic.

Their wards ensured few bothered them, but they did not live as the complete recluses their teachers did. When the headmaster was gone, they walked through the massive garden and into the manor house.

There they found Luna playing an intricate, impossible-to-follow three dimensional game with her great nieces and nephews, who were near her age, and her great, great, great nieces and nephews from the generations before that. The house was alive with the sounds of laugher and children at play, at least twenty in all.

"Papa!" Harry and Ginny's last child before Luna was already dead at a respectable one hundred and thirty years, but his eldest daughter treated her grandparents as if they were her real parents. The fact she was approaching a century herself and her grandparents looked younger than her own grandkids did nothing to change the relationship.

"Hello, Rosie," Harry said as he hugged his granddaughter. Ginny did the same. They made their way toward the kitchen where their assorted offspring were preparing the massive meal that would feed the many, many members of the Potter Family.

As they settled down to eat, Harry looked at Ginny, and she returned his look. All the fears they had were gone, all the anguish was faded. With their hands joined, they knew they had everything they ever wanted—family.