A/N: Due to numerous requests, here is the very last chapter! I really hope you enjoy it!!
Thirteen Years Later:
Hermione wiped the sweat from her forehead and leaned against the kitchen counter, closing her eyes and breathing deeply, listening to the war yells coming from upstairs. "Expelliarmus!" someone upstairs yelled, followed by a loud thump and a short wail.
"That's it," Hermione growled. She pushed herself away from the edge of the counter and marched out of the kitchen. "George!" she called, every ounce of Ministry official tone she possessed being used in that syllable.
There was a soft groan and a short laugh from above. Within a moment, a head of impossibly curly red hair poked out through one doorway. "Yes?" he asked, a half smirk spreading across his face as he casually slid not one, but two wands into his back pocket.
Hermione leaned against the banister and couldn't resist smiling up at her son. "Would you come here, please?" she asked, just as casually. George sidled out of the room, his lanky legs causing him to stumble for a moment, causing another titter from the room. Finally, he managed to stand in front of Hermione, looking up into her face.
"Yes?" he asked again, batting his eyelashes in a way that almost always worked on his mother.
"What have I told you about playing with your sister?" Hermione asked.
George paused for a moment, seeming to ponder her question. Hermione knew that he was deliberately stalling, since she knew he did not lack intelligence. Far from it. All the professors at Hogwarts had told her on her last visit what a brilliant student he was once he settled down and stopped slipping different joke potions into people's drinks and food. Hmm. She wondered where he got that from.
"Well?" Hermione asked, waiting. She tapped her foot to prove her impatience, and George sighed.
"Sarah is a girl, and must therefore be treated with more respect and gentleness than cousin James or anyone else," George said in a monotone, wincing even as he said it. Oh yes, he knew the rules perfectly well.
"Then why have you ignored that fact?" Hermione asked, mentally cringing when she realized that she sounded as though she was cross-examining a witness at the Ministry. This was her son, not a criminal! She sighed. She was beginning to think that it would be a good idea to stay at home more often.
George shook his head angrily. "I was only defending myself!" he protested. "She came at me!" He sounded dangerously close to whining. "She cast the Rictumsempra charm on me!"
The tickling charm. Hermione sighed. Of course it had come down to a battle of who could draw their wands again faster. "Sarah!" she called. "Come here please!"
The owner of the giggling voice appeared moments later, a large bruise already beginning to form over her eye where, no doubt, some part of George's body must have hit her. She was as tall as her brother, and when she came down to stand next to him, Hermione couldn't help but marvel at the similarities between them. Anyone could tell that they were twins.
"I'm sorry," she said immediately, but her apology was aimed at her mother and not her brother.
"It's not me that you should apologize to," Hermione told her daughter. "It's George."
Chastised, but not appearing completely repentant, Sarah turned to her twin. "Sorry about that," she said, her voice already eager to make amends and get back to their game.
George shrugged good-naturedly. "Sorry about that eye," he said, nodding to his sister's left eye. "I didn't realize that I'd hit you when I jump-I mean stumbled-over you." He cast a quick glance at his mother to see if she had caught his mistake, and then grinned. "Come on. Let's get back to our project!"
Together, they raced back up the stairs, and Hermione grinned. That was how quickly such arguments were resolved in her house. She didn't even bother to try to put a stop to their "projects" anymore since their father continued to encourage them and egg them on. Speaking of which, Fred should be home soon. Hermione glanced at the clock and realized that he would be home any moment.
She moved to set the table, and in doing so, let her mind wander. Thirteen years had passed since she and Fred had saved each other's lives. They had married only a month after all of the drama had died off, and, amongst teasing about getting started on the Weasley bunch, Hermione had become pregnant on her honeymoon. George and Sarah had been born early, eight months and two weeks later.
Since then, many things had changed, though some had stayed the same. Fred bought a house only a few miles from the Burrow and was able to apparate to and from the shop daily. George had indeed married Jessi after all, and they had gone on to have one little boy, Fred, and one baby girl, Hannah. They lived comfortably above the shop, and their flat was a regular stop in Hermione's day. She continued to work at the shop as well as on a few special projects for the Ministry, which Fred was still hinting at that she needed to resign from.
A burst of green flames interrupted her musings and Hermione turned towards the fireplace to welcome the arrivals. Just as she had expected, there stood her husband, holding a squirming little bundle. "Honey, I'm home!" Fred teased, and Hermione grinned back at him.
"Mommy!" the little bundle cried happily, squirming all the more in the hopes of escaping into Hermione's arms.
Fred laughed and shifted the bundle. "I found her on the way home. Darling, can we keep her? She's so cute!"
Hermione's heart swelled with love as she took the little girl into her arms. Her Clara. Her darling little girl. At five years old, she was sturdy and strong, but still protected by everyone in the family to a certain extent. Hermione had almost lost Clara during her pregnancy, and the actual birthing had been far too strenuous on both mother and baby. For a long while, the healers had worried that Hermione might lose her baby again, but time would heal all, and Clara would be their little ray of sunshine.
"How was grandpa and grandma's?" Hermione asked as her daughter snuggled into her shoulder.
"Good!" the little one chirped. "They fed me."
Hermione laughed and glanced up at her husband. "Don't they always?"
Fred smiled and pulled her into a soft kiss. "Always," he agreed. "Where are the kids?"
"-stairs," Hermione finished with a laugh as twin footsteps thundered down the stairs, racing to greet their dad.
Fred scooped up his twins, hugging them tightly for a moment before he set them back down and spoke to each of them. Clara, who had followed Hermione around to the other side of the kitchen, saw her brother and raced towards him, crying, "Georgie! Georgie!"
Her little foot caught on the leg of a chair and she felt onto her knees. Instinctively, Hermione gasped, but one look from Fred halted her forward progress to her daughter. His silent message was clear. Clara was fine. They couldn't baby her forever. Sure enough, her daughter rose back up, unharmed except for a skinned knee, and rushed the rest of the way to her brother.
As soon as she was in his arms, George rocked her back and forth, chatting with her and keeping her happily occupied while he checked her over for injuries. Hermione felt her heart swelling once again, this time for her little boy. Not many eleven-year-olds would treat their baby sisters like that, but George Weasley doted on his sister, just as his namesake did whenever Clara came over to visit her "Uncle Georgie."
"Mom, can we go outside and play?" Sarah requested, watching her twin carefully as he examined their sister.
Hermione consulted her watch and saw that dinner had another half an hour. It was a warm summer night, and the children were restless. "Sure," she said. "But I don't want you getting too dirty, understand?"
The twins nodded vigorously, and George swung a squealing Clara over his shoulder as he raced out the door. Sarah accio'd their favorite quaffle, and the children were off to grab their brooms. "Thanks!" they hollered.
"George Weasley!" Hermione hollered. "No higher than three inches!"
The young prankster, who was already settling Clara in front of him on his broom, just grinned and pushed off the ground, exceeding three inches in less than a second. Hermione frowned, but rolled her eyes. They went through this every time the twins went out to play and took Clara along. Though she knew that George would never let anything happen to his baby sister, Hermione couldn't stop worrying.
"They'll be fine," Fred assured her, grinning as he kissed her cheek and ran his hands over her shoulders. "Stop worrying."
Hermione turned around so that she could face her husband. "I know," she said with a sigh. "It's my nature, though."
"I know," he responded with a smirk, leaning in and capturing her lips in a soft kiss. The feelings that he stirred within her with that simple touch reminded Hermione of the news she had to tell him.
"I have something important to say," she told Fred when he pulled away far enough to get the words out without mumbling.
Fred tilted his head. "Really?" he said excitedly. "Let me guess, you'll let me give you back those galleons, right?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. Even after all these years, he wouldn't leave that subject alone. "No," she told him with a mock frown. "It's something much more important than that."
Fred's expression changed from teasing and playful to completely controlled. Hermione now had his full attention. "I'm listening," he assured her.
"Well," she hedged, looking down and twisting her wedding ring around and around, "do you remember when we discussed the perfect family we'd like to have?"
Fred nodded, his slight frown telling Hermione without words that he was surprised by this sudden change in topic. "Yeah," he said slowly. "We decided on two little girls and two little boys. But Mione, what does that-?"
Hermione raised her eyebrows, waiting for it to click.
It did. Fred's mouth dropped open. "Are you sure?" he asked, gripping her hands tightly in his, hope shining in his eyes. With the complications of Clara's birth, the healers had warned the young couple that they might not have anymore children.
Hermione, however, was nodding at him, even now. "Very sure," she told him. "I got the news today." She smiled widely. "Another little boy."
Fred understood without another word that his dream family was falling into place. He drew Hermione close, holding her small frame to his body as though he could infuse her with all the love he had for her in that simple action. "Thank you," he whispered.
Hermione grinned, just as a loud thump signified that the quaffle had thumped against the side of the house. "No fair!" George cried. "You don't have an extra rider!"
"You're thanking me for providing you with more of that?" Hermione teased, sliding her arms around her husband's neck.
Fred smirked. "You can't fool me," he told her. "You love every minute of it."
And as he bent his head and kissed her again, Hermione knew that he was right. She had opened her heart to him, and she had loved him through the darkest of times. He, in turn, had loved her back with such an indescribable passion that couldn't be explained. In that moment, Hermione was glad that she had dared to work for the twins all those years ago.
She had dared to feel, and love was hers in return.
A/N: I, personally, really like the way that this chapter finished everything off. I hope you agree, so please review and tell me! Thanks to all of those people that asked me for this chapter. It was fun to write! :D