Happy Christmas everyone!

I've had a bit of a writers block lately, and then one night this little chapter came to me and I
decided to write it down. It's not much, but it gives the story a bit more closure. It hasn't
been beta'd, but eventually I will bug the Queens and get it posted at gt.net.

Cheers all

RA

Of Wishes and Dreams (epilogue or chapter 4)

****

"Harry," the voice called again, as if from a long distance. "Harry, dear."

And just as quickly, the dream faded away, leaving him with nothing but vague images and a
feeling of utter contentment

****


"Ginny?" he asked sleepily, as he slowly began to waken, his eyes blinking owlishly as they
adjusted to the darkened room.

"I'm afraid not," a voice chuckled from above him.

Recognizing the voice, Harry sat up abruptly. "Mrs. Weasley!" he squeaked, his face flushing
hotly. "I was dreaming and I… and Ginny… and, well, I…" inwardly he groaned as he
floundered for words.

"Not to worry, dear," Mrs. Weasley smiled, patting him on the head. "You don't need to
explain. I imagine Ginny would be flattered that she was in one of your dreams. Would you
like some tea?" she asked before he could even think of something to say in response.

"Uh, sure," he finally managed, but she had already gone into the kitchen. Straightening his
glasses, Harry took a deep breath and followed her, determined to somehow explain that he
hadn't been dreaming about only Ginny. It was embarrassing for him to think that Ginny's
mother would think that he'd been having those kind of dreams about Ginny, when he
hadn't… at least, not this time – the memory of other dreams of that nature causing his blush
to deepen.

"What are you doing down here so late?" Mrs. Weasley asked as he hesitated in the door way.
"Too much excitement for you today?" She handed him a mug of hot tea, chamomile by the
smell of it.

Harry took a careful sip. "I guess," he shrugged. "It was my first real Christmas, and I," he
paused awkwardly, "I just want to say thanks. It was a lot of fun to be included in your
holiday."

Mrs. Weasley smiled benevolently at him. "You're welcome, Harry. And you are always
welcome to spend the holidays with us, I want you to know that. I wish you could have spent
more of your holidays here, but… Dumbledore had his reasons. Now that you're of age…" she
smiled at him. "You and Hermione are a part of this family and will always be welcome.
Please remember that."

A warm feeling flooded through Harry, settling in his chest and seeming to expand until he
could barely breath. He was wanted. And welcomed. She thought of him as a part of the
family. "Thanks," he whispered into his tea, unable to look at her for fear of losing what
control he had over himself. He was too old to cry.

"You're welcome," she told him kindly.

They drank their tea in a comfortable silence, the fact that it was past two in the morning not
seeming at all odd. Harry enjoyed the companionship. He spent many late nights up by
himself. His aunt – when she had ever discovered him out of his room - simply scolded him
and sent him back to bed; Ron, whenever he noticed that Harry was out of bed, would search
for him and then grumpily drag him back, he was never much of a night person; Hermione
was more inclined to talk and try to sort out whatever was keeping him awake.

Sitting in companionable silence with Mrs. Weasley reminded him of the few times Ginny had
found him sitting by the common room fire. She hadn't said a word beyond, 'can I sit here?'
But her presence had been extremely soothing .

"I wasn't really dreaming about Ginny," Harry blurted out when he was almost done with his
tea, surprised that his earlier mistake was still bothering him. "I mean, I was… she was in the
dream, but it wasn't like… well, like that."

"Okay," Mrs. Weasley agreed, pouring them another cup. "Is there another reason you were
downstairs so late, or was it just the excitement?" she asked after a moment.

Harry shrugged. "I'm not… I don't sleep much and tonight… I couldn't sleep. Ron was snoring
something horrid," Mrs. Weasley grinned, "and I got to thinking about… about the old play
rug that Fred and George were teasing you about."

"Really?" Mrs. Weasley asked, raising an eyebrow – a look that reminded him of Ginny.

Harry nodded, looking into his tea again. "Yeah. It made me realize that I don't have any
traditions, or at least I don't remember them. There's so much that I've missed out on and I
was… sad."

"Oh, Harry, you'll have your traditions someday," she told him gently, reaching out to pat his
hand. "You will have your own family and your own traditions. It might not make up for what
you've lost, but it will fill the gap, and until then, well, you will always be considered an
honorary Weasley."

"Thanks," Harry said sincerely. "That means a lot to me. And I know that someday…" his
words faded away as he remembered his dream. "That's what my dream was about," he
finally told her. "About Christmas traditions. Before I fell asleep I made a wish – I wanted to
know what Christmas was like with my parents." He heard the sharp intake of Mrs. Weasley's
breath, but didn't dare to look at her, he couldn't stand to see the pity on her face. Instead he
gazed out the window, his eyes unseeing.

"It was strange, because one minute I was on your couch and the next I was standing in the
middle of an unfamiliar living room," he told her, "Only, it wasn't really unfamiliar. And there
was a tree decorated with ribbons and bows and flowers – the most beautiful tree I've ever
seen," he said wistfully. "And lots of presents all over. And then, Sirius was there, and
Professor Lupin and they looked so young and… happy. And my parents and me and…" he
swallowed with difficulty, his voice hoarse with the suppressed emotions. "And we were
happy. They were happy. They laughed and teased each other. They fought over who would
open my gifts. And then I… I got sad again.

"It's not fair," he finally said, wiping away a stray tear that had fallen against his will.

"No, it's not, Harry, dear," Mrs. Weasley quietly agreed from across the table.

"The dream changed before I was ready for it," Harry managed to continue after a minute. "I
was thinking how unfair it was that I didn't get to have a family, and I was thinking that I
would give anything to have that again and then everything just changed around me and I
was standing in the middle of a bedroom. I thought it was my parent's room – and I saw a
little boy go down the hallway, he was probably 3 or 4 years old, and then I heard a little girl
crying and I thought… I thought my dream was showing me what my life would have been like
if my parents hadn't died."

"But it wasn't," Mrs. Weasley said softly.

"No it wasn't," Harry agreed, blushing slightly as he looked into his tea. "It was my room.
And my son. My daughter. It was me in bed with…" he faltered, not sure if he wanted to say
Ginny's name, "with my wife and she was… pregnant," he blushed profusely, "with twins. She
was going to surprise me with the news as a Christmas gift, but I was standing there in the
room… watching her, while the other me, the older me, was downstairs with the Jamie and
Carolyn."

"Jamie and Carolyn?" Mrs. Weasley asked curiously.

"That was their names, the little boy and girl; Jamie and Carolyn." He paused for a moment.
"I've never really thought about what names I'd like to name my kids," he said thoughtfully.
"I've never really thought about having kids," he admitted. "But they're nice names and they,
they…fit somehow."

Mrs. Weasley smiled. "Most boys don't think of such things."

"I guess. It's just that, until this dream, I've never even really thought about getting married
and having a family. I mean, I have, to the point where I think 'someday, when Voldemort is
gone,' because that's what you are supposed to do when you grow up – get married and have
a family, but, that's it, I didn't think it would really happen. But this dream was so real and
detailed. I can still tell you what everyone was wearing…" his eyes went unfocused again as
he thought back on the dream.

"Mr. Weasley had even less hair, but he didn't look as worn out as he does now – he looked
happy. And you, you were holding a baby and smiling, your hair with just a touch of gray.
Bill looked the same, and Charlie was married to a small blonde woman and they had a little
girl that looked just like her, a baby, not more than a year old. Charlie was wearing green
dragon hide pants. Fred and George were doing something to the Christmas tree and George
was married to Angelina – they had twin girls, Abby and Maddie, maybe five years old with red
hair. They seemed to be as mischievous as Fred and George. Fred had a little boy, Brendan,
about Jamie's age, who was a terror. He switched Fred's shaving cream and toothpaste,
charmed his broomstick purple and made the cat bark."

Mrs. Weasley let out a snort of laughter. "It's good to see them getting a bit of their own
back."

Harry grinned. "Percy was there too, with a little baby. I recognized his wife… she must have
gone to Hogwarts, but I can't remember her name. He looked a lot like Mr. Weasley, actually,
but very tired." He paused and smiled. "Ron showed up next and all the kids piled up on him,
and Hermione was with him. Fred called them the newlyweds – and Hermione was pregnant
too. She was whispering with… my wife about something, and then we all went into the
kitchen for breakfast before opening presents, just like my mum had wanted in my other
dream. And then it ended," he trailed off, blushing. He had never spoken to anyone so much
about something that was so personal.

Standing up, Mrs. Weasley took his mug to the sink and rinsed it out. "It sounds like a very
nice dream, Harry," she told him. "It's good to know that my boys finally manage to grow up
and become respectable," she winked at him and Harry grinned. "Now, why don't we go back
upstairs? I'm feeling a bit tired now, and I'm sure you'd like to see if you can catch up with
your dream again."

Harry blushed and stood up. "Yeah, that would be nice."

Silently they walked up the stairs, but one question was gnawing at Harry's mind. On the
second floor landing they paused, Mrs. Weasley turning to go to her room.

"Good night, Harry, dear, sleep well."

"Good night," Harry responded, and then, "Mrs. Weasley?"

"Yes, Harry?" She turned back to him.

"I didn't… how come…" he floundered momentarily. "Aren't you curious to know how Ginny
was?"

Mrs. Weasley smiled a knowing smile. "I think I already know, dear," she told him.

"You do?"

"Yes, she was very, very happy. But I imagine her feet were a bit swollen – mine always were
when I was pregnant." And with that, she closed the door, leaving Harry to make his way up
to Ron's room, his thoughts spinning and images of Ginny now, and in his dream, floating
across his mind's eye.

Maybe the future wasn't so bad, after all. Maybe one day he would get his traditions.

The thought made him smile as he passed Ginny's room on his way upstairs. Gently he
touched her door as he walked by.

Someday.

End – I think. Unless I skip back to the future again. ;)