"Hey," said Edward Granger coming in through the door. Hermione was staring into the mirror. "It's time." He said softly. Hermione turned around and smiled. He grinned as well.
"You look amazing," he said softly a tear rolling down his face. "I can't believe my baby is all grown up." He hugged her. She smiled and put her arm in his. "Are you ready?" He asked. Hermione grinned.
"Let's go," she said.
As she made the slow march down the stairs of the hall down to where she would walk down the aisle, she thought about the past two years. When push came to shove, she decided it would be better to wait a while during the engagement, get to know George better. She wished she could wave her magic wand and get married a few weeks after he proposed, but they both wanted to make sure that it was perfect. Anna had already started at Hogwarts and she enjoyed it immensely. In fact, she, Ted, and Victoire had become very close friends.
Christmas 2010 became the best possible choice for the wedding, Anna would be home, and they could have it exactly two years after George's 'hilarious' proposal. As Hermione came to this thought, they had both reached the doorway. Ginny gave Hermione a small wave as she and Ron walked down the aisle together. Finally Hermione took a deep breath and set foot on the plush.
George felt his heart beat around his throat as she made her way down the aisle. Her gown captured her beauty and her eyes sparkled. The past two years of planning had flown by. They had sold both of their apartments in New York and moved upstate to a more sprawling place with a yard. He could floo in to work every day, and she found a job (after obtaining her healer's license) in a local magical hospital. Anna decided she wanted to go to Hogwarts and Percy pulled some strings to have her attend as an international student.
George loved their life together, the only way he could be happier was to complete the ceremony they had been painstakingly preparing for over the last few years. Finally Hermione and her father arrived and he relinquished Hermione's arm to George.
"Take care of her," said Edward.
"I intend to," said George with utmost seriousness. Hermione smiled as he winked at her after her father had sat down. The ceremony began but neither of them listened to the minster, they only stared deeply into each other's eyes, and before they knew it—
"I Hermione, take thee George," she said after the minister's prompt.
"I George take thee, Hermione," he said softly. Ron then handed George two rings.
"With this ring, I thee wed," said Hermione and George echoed, both placing the rings on each other's fingers.
"George and Hermione have made their declarations and it gives me great pleasure to declare them husband and wife," said the Minister with a grin, and before he could say anything else, George dipped Hermione in a rather elaborate kiss. The entire room filled into thunderous applause and what they had taken two long painstaking years to plan was over in a matter of about a few minutes.
Grinning, they both stepped down from the altar and headed down the carpet to all of their friends and well-wishers applauding them. Hermione waved to Jenny who was standing there with Michael, grinning as he had his arm around her. She then saw Charlie and Arnaud hand in hand also waving. He winked and grinned. She grinned back and waved with equal fervor.
"Thank you," said Charlie referring to Hermione's support as they danced together at the reception. Over the past two years, they had grown incredibly close to one another, realizing that the two of them were not so different, both so caring about others; they did not stop to consider themselves.
"For what?" Hermione asked, "Now don't answer. You don't have to thank me for anything Charlie." She grinned. He grinned in return and kissed her chastely on the lips. She grinned and saw George wink at her as he sat at the main table chatting with Harry.
Two Years Ago
"Wait, I don't understand," said Molly softly, Arthur sat with his head in his hands while Charlie told them about Arnaud and his secret relationship.
"There's not much to understand," Charlie said standing out of his armchair and looking out the window.
"Muriel sent me an owl when she went on holiday in Romania—said you were having dinner with another man," said Molly, "I told her you must have had other friends, or she must have been mistaken—I have had drinks with girls, doesn't mean that I am—you're not?"
"I feel like you've never told me anything. Bill has always been close to me, as has Percy, and Fred and George had each other, Ron had Harry and Ginny was close to me, so I never. Merlin—" she said walking over to the fireplace, creating distance between herself and Charlie.
"The nights got really lonely Mum, and it's not just that, but it gets to you. Studying dragons, the mortality rate isn't exactly low in my field—and he's really handsome."
"Is he—nice?" Arthur asked, finally speaking up, his voice cracking. Charlie bit his lip and stared straight down towards the ground. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw both Hermione and George sitting on the steps providing him the utmost moral support. They both grinned and flashed him a thumbs up sign. He turned back to his parents.
"It's weird. It's not that he's a man—it's just him. And only him. If you paraded around Gilderoy Lockhart magazines, it wouldn't affect me, but there's something about him that I just—and I don't even know what it is that we are, all I know is that I love him. So—I didn't want to make a big deal about it before because it wasn't anything. But it kills me that you don't know him—both of you, because he makes me happier than I ever thought I could be," he said his voice cracking at the end.
"My baby," Molly cried rushing forward and hugging Charlie tightly. "I don't care who it is, if you do not bring him to dinner next week, I will march out to Romania and drag him here myself." He smiled and wiped a tear from his mum's eyes as he did the same. Arthur came up next and hugged his son.
"Why do you kids never learn that secrets aren't the way to be?" Arthur asked, "You know well enough that the consequences of not coming clean are far worse than being honest. I thought your mum and I taught you that."
"I know," said Charlie, not too keen about being lectured by his father as an adult of 36, but he felt a sort of catharsis as his dad took him into a hug and he felt part of his family once more. He left the room and Hermione and George still sat there, side-by-side, grins on their face. Bill was behind them, and the rest of the family followed him, Ginny carrying a baby bundle.
"Guess you all heard, huh?" Charlie asked. They all laughed and hugged him, excited to meet Arnaud.
"No seriously," said Charlie as they both snapped out of similar daydreams, "it was all because of you that I could come clean. That Arnaud became my life, and well, I've found such a close sister in you." He kissed her hand. Hermione felt a small blush creep up her face from pure joy.
"Put icing on her cheek!" Ron exclaimed from the side as George went to feed her the cake. Hermione shot Ron a death glare as not only did George put icing on her face, he smushed the cake into her face met by a thunderous roar of laughter.
"George!" She exclaimed, taking a napkin from Ginny's hand to wipe it off.
"Let me," said George reaching over and taking her by the small of her back and licking the cake off of her face, finally capturing her lips in a kiss. There were several wolf whistles from everyone gathered around the table.
"Ew," commented Anna standing towards the back with Victoire and Ted. Ted laughed. Anna had escaped the first round of cake tasting and picture taking, but when the fight started, she and her friends had retreated.
"Hey," said a small voice behind Anna.
"Hey," she said turning around, it was a 12 year old boy about her age, she had seen him around at Hogwarts.
"I've seen you around Hogwarts," he said. Anna laughed.
"Yeah, I'm Anna Weasley," she grinned.
"Erich, Erich Wood, I think our parents went to school together," he said. "Anyways, its weird I got put in Ravenclaw, my dad was definitely a Gryffindor, but you're just in one of my classes and I just wanted to say hi," he said shyly putting a hand out.
"Hey," Anna grinned shaking his hand awkwardly. She noticed Ted and Victoire had slipped away. "We're in Charms right?" She asked. He nodded, excited she could place him. They spent the rest of the evening speaking to each other about their classes, and he related to her his favorite pranks that she had made famous.
"I see a budding romance," said George with a grin as he and Hermione had resumed dancing on the floor. She looked over at the two of them.
"Oh that's Oliver's son," she said happily, "I do like him."
They continued dancing peacefully with one another, finally content at beginning their life together forever.
Several weeks later
"And you are sure you're ready for term to begin again?" Hermione asked checking Anna's trunk for the nth time.
"Yes mom," she groaned, tying a letter to the leg of her owl and watching him fly away, her lovely spotted owl with its letter to Erich.
"Now don't send me any more of those owls saying you want me to send you some more parchment or ink, or that you left Advanced Charms Second Grade just on your desk. Your dad and I will be in Hawaii for the next few weeks, so we can only send a few owls, and even they have to be the long distance ones unfortunately."
"Yes mom," Anna groaned again. She had grown a lot taller in the past two years. She was almost her mum's height at this point and she was not even finished growing yet. She did well enough at school. By George's standards she was exceeding all of h is expectations, and Hermione only found her scores passable. But all in all, she was doing very well and managed to keep her jokes outside of the classroom. Hermione finally was content with the progress of things and kissed Anna on the forehead.
"Do write every night though," she said, "I love hearing from you about school. And be sure to tell me more about this Erich boy, he sounds lovely. Does he play quidditch?"
"Yeah, but he's still on the bench to play as a Chaser," Anna grinned, "He really wants to play. But we promised to be civil with each other during house tournaments."
"Do you like him?" George asked, leaning on the doorjamb. Hermione and Anna both turned and giggled. "Mum says dinner is ready," he added. The three of them made their way down to dinner and enjoyed Molly's cooking. After the holidays, they just stayed in London, and since both of them were leaving for their honeymoon and could only schedule a portkey for 8 in the morning (9 at night in Hawaii), so they could not see her off, but she had grown so close to the Weasley family that she did not mind. She only spent summers in New York nowadays, winter holidays were spent at the Burrow, and Hermione and George usually had to return to New York earlier because of work commitments.
They spent their honeymoon on the beautiful island of Maui. They were staying at a small resort that was hidden from muggles with the same enchantments as Hogwarts and there was a small lagoon that reached out to the sea. Their honeymoon was one that was different from most couples'. Usually this would be how they spent their honeymoons, in a cabana drinking cocktails and having copious amounts of sex. But and Hermione and George decided not to go that route, they had plenty of time for that, as it were. But instead, they decided to try everything.
The first week they spent hiking all around various volcanoes and travelling throughout the island, learning more about the culture. The second week they devoted to getting to know the ocean.
"Seriously?" George asked stealing the hardbound from Hermione's hands.
"What?" Hermione asked innocently.
"Surfing for dummies?" he scoffed. "Are you bloody kidding me?"
"I just want to be prepared," Hermione shrugged.
"No," said George as they found the surfboards they had rented out for the day. "Just watch me and learn."
"I read you're not supposed to do that," said Hermione as they were paddling out to meet the waves and George began to stand up.
"Oh really?" George asked. Moments later, a wave approached, and with ease, George stood on his board while Hermione wobbled a little uneasily on hers. She had cast a charm that would ensure that she would not fall off, and eventually she caught the hang of it, though not as easily as her husband who had taken it as he had taken to riding a broom.
"This place is beautiful," said Hermione after three weeks of lying in the sun on the beach
"You're beautiful," George said rolling on top of her and kissing her. "Mrs. Weasley." he said softly kissing her neck.
6 years later
"I can't believe we're giving our daughter away," Hermione said arranging her hair. George wrapped his arms around her pregnant stomach and leaned down on her shoulder.
"Seemed just yesterday she began Hogwarts," he admitted, "And now she's studying Potions of all things, who would have thought?" Hermione turned around and kissed him softly on his mouth.
"Daddy!" A voice came from the doorway and a little boy flung himself into George's arms.
"Freddy, what did I tell you about chocolate?" Hermione asked their four year old as she pulled out her wand to charm the stains away. "Who gave it to you?"
"Aunt Audrey," he answered honestly.
"It's time," Victoire announced to Hermione and George. Hermione placed her hand on George's and headed over to where Erich's brother would escort her down the aisle. Freddy and Erich's nice walked down the aisle first, her with flowers, and he with both rings. The crowd broke into a simultaneous "awww" as they went down. Then Hermione headed down the aisle, escorted by Erich's older brother. Molly and Arthur sat at the front, their wrinkled faces full of joy as they watched the first grandchild get married. When Anna walked down the aisle, placing her arm in George's, Hermione could not help but cry.
Although he met her later in her life, he had become more than a father should have ever been, and she could not have asked for a more perfect and beautiful life. Erich was very kind to her. Although he and Anna merely started out as friends, they had quickly gone to dating, and then realized they could not live without each other. Hermione grinned, although Anna was a surprise, she brought Hermione more joy than she ever thought she could live with.
Molly Weasley passed away only weeks after Marianne Weasley, the youngest grandchild was wed to Christopher Brandon, a muggle she had met when she was working at a nonprofit group for children who were to attend Hogwarts but were brought up in an orphanage, thus they could avoid everything that happened with Tom Riddle by monitoring magic and providing counseling to those children. Hermione and George had both retired at this point. Freddy Weasley was married to Lila Boehm, a girl who had attended Durmstrang.
After a few months of grief, Arthur followed his dear wife and passed away as well. Everyone was incredibly saddened to see him go. They had outlived their generation, and now Hermione and the rest of them could not believe that they had gone from being the youngest to the oldest. When Marianne was married, Freddy and Lila were expecting their first child while Anna and Erich not only had two of their own, but were also adopting twins from Cambodia.
After all the kids had left, Hermione, George and the rest of his family made the Burrow into an assisted living center for themselves and anyone who had lived through the war. It was mostly so that they would not bother the kids. Anna and Erich decided to live in England, nearby and all the grandchildren of the Weasleys were closeby. Erich himself was the healing director of the community, much to Anna's joy. It became a place of joy and laughter, full of everyone Hermione and George had gone to school with.
There were houses, similar to when they were in school, but that was only in name. The entire community was made up of anyone who desired to be there, and they made it in Dumbledore's name.
"How are you mum?" Anna asked. Perdita sat by her mum playing wizard's chess with George.
"I'm good," said Hermione pulling out a tray of baked goods. "How's work?" She asked Anna.
"Fantastic," Anna replied honestly, "Did you read my latest article? I mean since they moved me up to editor in chief, I don't get to write as much, but I just did a huge piece on—"
"The Muggle-Wizard relations and the first annual expo, I read all of it," said Hermione proudly.
"Yeah, It's even on the fridge," George said, "Checkmate. Perdita, you shouldn't be losing to me, seriously, I'm almost 70, you're 5"
"15," Perdita said exasperatedly.
"Where are the twins and Orlando?" Hermione asked Anna who had rushed to the fridge where magnet pictures of all of their grandchildren held her article up.
"They're just playing outside with Lily's kids possibly," said Anna checking out the window. There was a playground on the Hufflepuff pavilion that kids could play at.
"CHECKMATE!" Perdita yelled, "gotcha Gramps!" She laughed and hugged George tightly. Hermione smiled as she saw the scene before her. This was how most of the weekends in the summer went, and after the kids went to Hogwarts, she and George would look after the twins, George Jr and Horatio. They were excited to start Hogwarts in a few years.
"Did you ever think we'd get here?" Harry asked as Hermione and Ron sat down at his condo for tea. Ron's eyes were vacant as he stared at the wall. It had been a few months since Parvati died. He was pretty inconsolable. Hermione placed her hand on his. He gripped it and smiled in her direction, his smile not reaching his eyes. Hermione placed her head tenderly on his shoulder.
"It was her time mate," said Harry with a small grin. It took him a longer time to get from the kitchen to the living room. His hands shook slightly as he placed the tea down on the table and sat on the other side of Ron.
"Thank you," Ron said softly. They had already been through tragedy. Bill had passed away only the previous year and Charlie followed a few years later. Arnaud and Fleur both died a few weeks after their beloved. Percy was still alive, but he was confined to his bed, old age claiming most of his frail body. Their grandchildren had pretty much grown up at this point, and they knew that the end was finally in sight. George was doing well, as active as a man of almost 85 could be. His mind was slipping a little, sometimes he would imagine people being there that had passed away years ago. Ginny and Harry were good, and as much as Hermione and Harry hated to admit it, Ron was slipping faster and faster.
Merely a few weeks later they were by Ron's bedside. The healers took Ginny and George aside to speak of his hospice services. He refused to eat, refused to drink anything—he was finished. Hermione felt tears run down her face as she clung onto Ron's hand. He smiled at her sadly.
"I will miss you so much," Hermione managed to choke out. Neil and Nik were sitting on the other side of Ron's bed seeking comfort in their wives. Their children, both grown also sat by Ron's side clutching tears. They left later that night, promising to come back in the morning, and pretty soon George and Ginny both went back to their condos leaving Harry and Hermione at Ron's side.
"Butterflies," he said softly and happily.
"What?" Hermione asked tearfully. Harry grinned, his hand shaking as he held Ron's other hand.
"They're here," said Ron, "I knew they'd come. I'm following the butterflies." He said full of joy, closing his eyes for the last time. Although Hermione knew it was inevitable, she felt pain at his passing. He was her first love, one whom she had never stopped loving, even if it was a different kind of love.
"It was our second year," said Harry, "Hagrid said to follow the spiders. You were petrified. Ron asked me simply, 'why Harry? Why does it always have to be follow the spiders—why can't we just follow the butterflies? Bloody git." He laughed. He walked slowly over to where Hermione was and hugged her tightly.
It was like this that they had to say goodbye to so many of their friends as the community home was filled with new people, people Hermione could no longer recognize. It became just her, George, Harry, and Ginny.
"You know," said George one night. "I never thought I'd get old." Hermione laughed and leaned into his embrace. "No I'm serious!" He exclaimed as she began to read The Daily Prophet looking for more stories by Anna.
"What, you thought you'd be young and debonair your whole life?" Hermione asked. George nodded.
"At least I kept my hair, even if it is grey," he laughed. Hermione laughed as well.
"That is true, I may have had to leave you if you went bald," she laughed. George laughed.
"George," said Harry softly as George stared at her lifeless body.
"No," he whispered softly, "leave me alone."
"George, the nurse wants you to go home with her," he said. George felt a mediwitch help him out of his chair and on to a wheel chair as she would take him back to the Gryffindor pavilion to his condo. He stared blankly at the floor. He couldn't believe she was gone, that a simple cough could turn into something so much worse. She had been through so much from the war, she was already much older than her years, but he thought they had more time together.
"Fifty years was not enough," George said sadly. Harry grinned as he walked by the wheelchair slowly. Ginny held Harry up, helping him walk through the mild Parkinson's.
"A hundred wouldn't have been either," said Ginny sadly. They made it down to the waiting room where Anna, Freddy, and Marianne were waiting. The three of them relieved Harry and Ginny and took George back to the condo. The four of them spent that night with a few firewhiskeys talking about Hermione and how much they missed her. Tears turned to laughter, and laughter turned back to sobbing.
"I can't believe she's gone," said Anna softly, "I feel like it was just yesterday she came into my room and told me I was getting a father." She stared down at her feet as George pulled her into a hug.
"Hey Forge," Fred said to George when he came home after Hermione's funeral. He was still young, looked better than ever. George smiled and sat down on the couch slowly.
"Hey Gred," he said. "You look way too good."
"I know, I always said I was the better looking twin." Fred sat down on the couch beside George.
"What are you doing here?" George asked. It was not accusatory, he was genuinely curious.
"Remember what I said last time we spoke?" Fred asked. George nodded, and a smile broke out on his age worn face. "You've had a beautiful life." He said honestly.
"Yeah," George agreed, "I'm glad I stayed alive. I mean, my life turned out to be so very different from what I thought it would have been, but I've been pretty blessed."
"You have," Fred agreed. "Who would have thought that this was the life you would have had with Hermione Granger?"
"Not me," said George. "What's the afterlife like?"
"Well everyone is here now. We're still waiting on Ginny, but she'll be joining us soon, I think. It's pretty phenomenal though, you'll be less saintlike for sure."
"No more holey head?" George asked hopefully, "I mean I love magical hearing aides, but I hate depending on one ear to hear everything. It seems so bloody one sided."
"You leave making jokes to me," said Fred with a laugh. George punched him in the side lightly.
"Oi!" Said Fred, "That hurt!"
"Wimp," George muttered.
"So are you ready?" Fred asked. George nodded.
"I think so," he said, "I mean, Anna is at a good place in her life. I would have loved to see Perdita getting married, but I really can't leave the facility anymore. So I guess I really am ready."
"Great," said Fred jumping up and holding his hand out. George reached out to hold his hand and was shocked when the wrinkles were gone and his hand looked around seventy years younger. He stood up and saw his old body sitting on the couch, head back, eyes closed peacefully.
"I thought it would be more painful," George said. Fred shrugged.
"Only takes a moment," Fred admitted, "I mean you'd think the killing curse would hurt, but I just felt nothing, saw you for a few seconds and was dragged—well here." He said.
"It's the shop," said George. Fred grinned and nodded.
"Yep," he said. George laughed as he saw the rest of his family sans Harry and Ginny wandering the store. He greeted every one, but could not find the one person he was looking for.
"No," he whispered. He turned to Fred. "Where is-?"
"Your wife?" A voice asked behind him. He closed his eyes and felt tears streaming down his face.
"Well technically it's until death do you part," said Fred from the side, smirking, "So my boy is technically single." George turned around and there was Hermione, looking as she did when they got married so many years ago. He ran towards her and picked her up, kissing her to Fred's thunderous applause.
"Hey," he said softly to Hermione.
"What took you so long?" She asked him.
"Well I had to make sure your funeral was perfect silly," he said. He stared down at his feet. "That is a sentence I never thought I'd say." Hermione laughed.
"Well I had to spend the last three weeks, weeks? I don't know time is different here. But I had to spend a long time with your twin."
"Oi!" Fred shouted, walking over towards them. "Okay, so now I have to go into the schpiel to you. Now that you've seen what we have here, and you've experienced part of the afterlife, before we leave the shop you can either choose to come with us, or return as a ghost—"
"I'm staying," said George with a grin.
"Thought you would twin," said Fred. The three of them then headed towards the door where a warm bright glow was waiting for him. He felt Hermione's hand in his own, and he placed his arm around his twin's and headed into the light.
(A/N) IT'S OVER! I always wanted to end with the three of them. Harry and Ginny I would imagine would join them a few days later, but this is the way I wanted the epilogue to end. This story has taken me exactly ONE YEAR to write. Like, I put my first update exactly one year ago, and now is the very last one. I'm so sorry there were so many gaps between my writings, but really thank you for sticking with me thus far. Clicking the complete button will make me sad, but very happy at the same time. I definitely had trouble writing this epilogue, it made me sad but happy and hopeful at the same time.
I'd like to thank my beautiful reviewers who have stuck with me for multiple chapters:
TheLocket, you're one of my best friends and regular reviewers, I'm so happy you stuck with me, both I an E.G. thank you immensely
Sasajataka: You're frikin amazing, and I'm glad you're here to read my stuff!
I'd also like to thank Binka Fudge, kutner love, Tecumsah Dean, WhiteTigerXOXO, Alex 11215, ilovefieryredheads, Debbie-lou, Sampdoria, Readerforlife, Sergeant Wellington, Nutters4Potter, ForTheLoveOfNargles, little-miss-beth, Brass Camera, wanderluster, amrawo, Emmiline-Zahara-Rose, Lets go skydiving, Gred and Forge rule, I'm Obsessed With Fred Weasley, against the clock, DontDieFred, PlainJane, Areej, Fabiana Gideon-Avea Wester, I'm Not Psychotic. I'm Gifted, Koa, gemma smells like apple cake, Avanell.
Also I want to thank everyone who put this as a favorite story, and put this on ther story alerts, and every one of you who has read it. I too have read many stories and haven't reviewed, and I like them fine, so its totally okay, I get each email notification and it makes me smile like no other.
I'm so sorry this author's note is so super long, but I really really really love you guys. Thank you! Please please please continue to review, keep me on author alerts, I'm starting the new one, VERY soon and it will be a George/Hermione one. I love y'all!