"Are you almost ready to go, Rose?" Hermione called upstairs.
Rose wrestled with the diaper bag and with a squirming Hermia who refused to sit still in the carrier. "Almost!"
"We're all waiting on you!" Hugo shouted. Rose heard a scuffle and a muffled, "Mum!" and realized her dad had clamped a hand over her brother's mouth and he was calling for Hermione to save him. Rose rolled her eyes. What a family.
Hermia gurgle-laughed at Rose's eyes rolling and Rose leaped over to her daughter. She'd laughed!
"Mum! Dad! Hugo! Mia laughed! She laughed!" Rose called, delighted. "Her first laugh! C'mere!"
There were three pairs of feet racing up the stairs and bursting into the room. Hermia laughed again at the flushed and bright red faces of her uncle and grandparents.
"She's laughing!" Hermione said, tears springing to her eyes.
Rose picked Mia up and swung her around, making both of them laugh harder. It looked like little lights were being illuminated in Mia's eyes.
"She's already laughing and she's only a few months!" Hermione said. "She's going to be one happy little girl."
Ron took Mia and looked at the baby girl. Rose saw exactly what had happened when she'd been born without realizing it. Ron was completely entranced with her, her eyes locking onto his. Mia gurgled and smiled right at him, making Ron beam. Rose hadn't seen her dad this truly happy in a long while. Maybe everythin was worth it just to make her dad happy again.
When Rose arrived at the Burrow with her parents and Hugo, the 'party' was already in full swing.
Rose set Mia's carrier and diaper bag down in the kitchen and picked up Mia, walking over to Scorpius and Al.
"Hey, my two favorite girls!" Al cried, earning him many glares. "My favorite cousin who's the same age as me and my favorite goddaughter!" he amended, earning himself a few laughs.
Al took Mia from Rose as Rose turned and kissed Scorpius. "Hello, how was your day?" Rose took a look at the firewhiskey he was holding. "Apparently it wasn't that great."
Scorpius groaned and took a sip. "Auror training's hard," he moaned, but the smile on his face showed otherwise. "Your dad's a hard ass."
"Oh, he's just making you do it because he knows you can do it," Rose smiled, taking Mia back from Al as she started grabbing for her mum.
Scorpius pouted. "Don't I get to hold my daughter?"
"She wants her mum," Rose stuck her tongue out at Scorpius.
"Now, Rose, is that any way to behave like a grown up?" Dominique floated into the circle, smiling.
"I never claimed to be grown up," Rose responded, smiling too.
"Oh, we all know that," Lucy said, joining the conversation. "You had way too much influence from your cousin James," she jerked a finger over to their cousin, where he was jumping up and around like a chimp, much to Claire's delight.
Rose, Al, and Scorpius giggled and chuckled, respectively, at the sight while Lucy and Dominique looked on with disgust, until they realized that he was doing it for Claire and not just drunk.
Dominique and Lucy rolled their eyes and walked away, talking about how Witch Weekly was displaying hideous fashion trends this year.
Lily bounded over and wrapped Rose in a hug, careful not to crush Mia. "Hello, and look at my beautiful little," Lily paused as she tried to figure out what the word was, "grand-niece? No," Lily shook her head. "Second cousin? Grand cousin? Or…I give up. How are you?"
Rose laughed. "I'm good. Mia's good. You?"
Lily shrugged. "I'm devastated. You three," she glared and pointed at Scorpius, Al, and Rose, "left me alone at Hogwarts with that nutcase over there," she pointed to Hugo, who had joined James in the chimp-dance for Claire, though Claire was over in Victoire's arms now, and fast asleep.
Al chuckled. "Sorry, Lils, I guess that's just the price you have to pay for being born at the wrong time."
Lily stuck her tongue at her brother and flounced away, joining her cousin Molly outside.
"What is with this family and not being mature?" Scorpius chuckled and put the bottle of firewhiskey – still just about full – into Al's hands so that he could take Mia. He grinned as soon as she was in his arms.
Al shrugged. "Well, you got Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey," he said, "and Molly, Lucy, Dominique, and Roxanne. Rose and Victoire can be mature at times, just not very often. But there's Aunt Hermione, my dad sometimes, and Fleur." He looked thoughtful as he realized that that was the entire list of people in the family with over an ounce of maturity. "Okay, well, I guess it's just mostly everyone's kids who aren't," Al conceded.
"Hey, erm, Rose," Scorpius said, "I think she's hungry," he finished, looking extremely awkward as Mia continued to nuzzle his chest and began to cry when she didn't find what she was looking for.
Al made a face. "Yuck. Don't you dare do that in here, Rose."
Rose rolled her eyes and took Mia. "Chill, Al, I'll go upstairs."
On the staircase, Rose looked down at her family, sprawled inside and outside the house.
They were laughing and talking and teasing each other. There was a delicious aroma in the air, smelling of her nana's fantastic cooking.
No matter what happened, these people bonded together and rose above it. They'd stood behind her when she'd discovered she was pregnant, they'd helped her overcome her fears and the marks left behind from being raped, and they'd band together to help her, again, or any single one of them, if they were needed.
There was nothing this family couldn't do, Rose realized. Heck, they'd defeated the most evil wizard of all time together.
Rose looked down and saw Scorpius looking up at her. He grinned and mouthed the words, "I love you."
Rose beamed. Happiness radiated from her and Rose couldn't remember a time when she had been more satisfied, more content, more peaceful, in her life.
Rose looked down at Mia and grinned, her daughter smiling lazily back up at her. Her daughter. The earth felt like it was rotating as Rose looked down at Mia. The world somehow revolved around the little girl in Rose's arms, now.
As Rose turned around, she had this feeling inside of her. It grew and grew, exploding within her. Everything was going to be okay. Because love conquered all, no matter how cheesy it sounded, it was true. Real love, family love, the Princess Bride's true love, it beat everything else. And that was why everything was going to be okay.
Because Rose believed in love now. After all, how could she not?
thank you all so much for staying with this story the whole way through! thanks for all your amazing reviews and thanks just for reading it at all.
i've started writing a sequel for all those who'd said that they'd like one. it's called: Realization's of A Malfoy. i hope you all check it out! thanks again!