Cheers to everyone reading and reviewing!
Loverwren - I might at a later date, I'll try anyway :) Of course they'd get married, wouldn't be totally spot on unless they did! :grins:
Prophetess - nope, wasn't Pig sadly. Though this chap picks up much after that last chapter as you'll find out, I'll tell you that the owl was named Hericles, and it was from Sirius and Taryn. As to why they owled him, you'll find out shortly. :)
chriss - yup, they did keep their 'muggle' looks...remember what Draco said, "Harry and Draco" did die, in name only of course...they are still the people they wanted to be in the muggle world...and were married that way. In both muggle and wizarding world, they are still Daniel Brandon and Tomas Brandon (though the wizarding world probably will never call them that heh). To Ron, Hermione, Severus, Remus, etc, they are still Harry and Draco though...hard to break old habits!
Minerva McGonagall, Assistant Deputy Headmistress, was waiting at the top of the Grand Hallway for these new students, ready to make her speech as per every year. Normally she would feel apprehensive of what the newest batch of students would be like, but not this year, this was different. This year there would be students coming that she knew, and knew all too well. For a moment, before the 1st years arrived with Hagrid, she smiled at that thought, though seeing the students now coming in she quickly hid it underneath her usual glare, secretly though the smile never left.
"Welcome to Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. In a few moments you will pass through these doors to be sorted then join your classmates. The four houses are Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Slytherin. While you are here you're houses will be like your home. You will eat, sleep and take classes with your house. Points will be rewarded for good deeds, and points taken away for bad ones. At the end of the year the house with the most points will be awarded the House Cup. If we are ready, then let us begin." Minerva said glancing round the new set of students, her eyes coming to rest upon several of them who smiled back at her.
She turned round, opened the doors, and they walked in to the most magnificent room the children had ever seen, or atleast, most of the children had seen. As they filed up to the small platform at the end of the tables, Minerva went over to an old stool, with an even older looking hat on it. She unrolled a scroll she had been carrying, noticing that some of the students were looking in awe at the hat, while some of them hardly noticed it at all, and were instead looking round the room.
"As I call you're name, you are to come up, place the hat on your head, and you will then be sorted. When you are done being sorted, you will take your place at the correct table."
The hat upon noticing the students, seemed to come alive then, and opening a wide seam in the brim of the hat, began it's tale for the newest group of students.
Oh I am the Sorting Hat
Made in days of old
Here upon this stool I sat
Waiting for your minds to hold.
Created by a little charm
If only but to see
There is no cause to be alarmed
For I only aim to please.
Sit now upon this ragged stool
And place me upon your head
For I alone in this school
Shall see where you are fed.
Shall you be a Ravenclaw
Whose heads are filled with smarts?
Or shall you be a Hufflepuff
Where truth and loyalty play a part?
Shall you be a Slytherin
Filled with sly and cunning?
Or shall you be a Gryffindor
Whose bravery is forthcoming?
Whichever house I do choose
It is I alone you see
Your minds shall give me all the clues
For where I set you out to be.
Privately Minerva thought that this year the Sorting Hat was overdoing things a bit, but overall, it had relatively little else to do all year round but sit on Albus's shelves, so she gave it the grace. Looking at her scroll now, she called out the first name, and motioned for the child to take their place on the stool.
'HUFFLEPUFF!" the hat called gleefully.
Hmm...interesting, very interesting. Another Marauder in the making eh? Very well then, for you it shall be... "GRYFFINDOR!"
Another one of you eh? Hmm, touchy, very touchy. Also born of two houses, but where to put you? You have the courage of one parent, and the cunning of the other. The intellgence of a Ravenclaw, yet loyal like a Hufflepuff.
Anything but those last two, please, I"m begging you hat! the girl said silently.
No? Not Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw? Well then...decisions, decisions. However now that I see the truth young heir, there's only one place to put you... "GRYFFINDOR!"
The girl smiled, and quickly ran off to join her best friend, and adopted cousin Orion. She was thrilled, even risking the small hug she gave him, and was glad he was happy enough to hug back. Their fathers and Orions mum would be estatic they were both in Gryffindor, but talking to them would have to wait till later. She turned her attention back to the sorting realizing they had actually called quite a few people by then, and held her breath until the name she was looking for was next called.
Yet another Gryffindor/Slytherin mix, ahh and I see you are like 'that'. I can hardly put you in any other house however seeing as how much you take after 'him'...even though I might hear about this later...I think I shall put you in.... "GRYFFINDOR!"
Severus Snape glanced at his husband Remus Lupin and gave him a slight grin. He'd somehow expected that sorting considering what their son was. Perhaps it was for the best, the brave and courageous Gryffindors would give him more friendship then any Slytherin would or could have.
"Looks like we've another set of Marauders on our hands love, think you're up for it?" Remus grinned while leaning over to whisper into his husband's ear.
"Guess we'll soon find out if I am or not" he whispered back, but watching his son and seeing him glance worriedly at his father, he nodded his head letting his son know it was allright, and smiled when he saw the very visable relief spread over him. Severus turned his attentions back now to Minerva, who was at the last name on the list.
Hah! Another Weasley eh? Oh, and I see a Granger in there somewhere. Smart yet I can see the passions for tricks. I know just what to do with you.... "GRYFFINDOR!"
Aurora grinned and ran over to her friends Ophelia, James, and Orion, thrilled that they were all in Gryffindor, and wouldn't have to be seperated. She stood next to Orion, a huge grin on his face as he playfull swatted at her hug, but she knew he really didn't mind. The four of them had grown up together, and she and all of them, were incredibly happy they were to remain together.
As they all sat down at the long tables, Ophelia next to James, and Aurora next to Orion, the Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, began his speech.
"Welcome to another year. Please note that as usual, the Forbidden Forest is off limits to all students." his twinkling eyes seemed to glance for a moment at James who blushed, then he returned to his speech. "Mr. Filch, our illustrious caretaker, asks me to remind you that using magic in the hallways is not allowed."
"On to other affairs. As you know, several of our teachers have choosen to retire at the end of last year. Madam Hooch, Professor Flitwick, Professor Sinistra, and Professor Dupre who was in charge of Muggle Studies. Replacing them shall be.."
"Professor Daniel Brandon as our new flying instructor. Professor Tomas Brandon who will be teaching Astronomy. Professor Hermione Weasley who will take over Charms, and Professor Taryn Brandon who will be taking over Muggle Studies. Please make them all feel welcomed." he said clapping and turning his twinkling gaze towards the 4 adults now sitting at the head table, and suddenly noticing that a fifth person was stealthly joining the rest of the table hurriedly.
The loudest applause of course, came from the Gryffindor table, and rightly so. At first the children had been horrified when they found out the new arraingments for their parents, but after discussing it with each other at great lengths over the summer, they came to realize that it actually might be nice to have them close by, and in the end, everything had worked out.
The adults gazed round their old school, and at each other. All of them had become firm friends over the last 12 years, including Severus and Sirius, although that had taken a bit more doing on Remus and Taryn's part. It was for their children's sake though that won everyone over in the end, for their children all past issues had been put aside, and would never be a problem again.
As the evening wore on, and the children were led back to their dorms, the adults lingered in the Great Hall talking bout times gone by, and the what the future would hold. This year promised to be quite an interesting one, and all of them hoped that their children would enjoy their stay here at Hogwarts. Alteast they were here during times of peace, and not war like when they had been students. Evil would come and go, but their friendships, as well as their children's, would last forever.
"I think they'll all be allright. Atleast they're all together." Hermione said thoughtfully.
"In Gryffindor you mean." Severus said sighing slightly.
"Could you really have seen our son in Slytherin Sev? He's grown up round the others, not to mention here at the castle with Albus, Minerva and Hagrid, all Gryffindor's, we can hardly expect he'd want to go away from them. They'll take better care of him under the circumstances you know." Remus said putting his hand on Severus's arm gently.
"I know, you're right as always Remmy. We knew what we were doing, we took the risks, and now...." Severus said clearly worried for his son.
"Severus, the kids will take care of him, they allways have haven't they? They dont care what he is anymore then we cared what Remus was when we found out. They're smart kids, they wont let anyone hurt him okay?" Sirius said gently. He'd arrived late due to taking care of business back home in Coxley where they still owned their home.
"You're all being maudlin if you ask me. James is a werewolf, big deal. It's not like when Remus was a boy and didn't have the Wolfsbane, and with both you and Remus here it's shouldn't be a problem at all. Personally I'd be more worried bout Ophelia." Hermione said with a knowing grin at Taryn who was grinning back.
"What about my daughter eh?" Draco said finally putting his nose into the conversation.
"Oi love, dont tell me you haven't noticed anything at all Tom. You cant be that blind can you?" Harry said gazing in the air. Even Harry had noticed certain things going on that past summer.
"No Daniel, honestly, what?" Draco said getting a bit annoyed, and Harry knew that cause he had used his whole name.
"Really, cant you see Ophelia and James are pretty close?" Taryn said chuckling at Draco now who look completely flabberghasted at what she was suggesting.
"Are you nutters? They're 11 for chrissake! That's...that's just...well...wrong!" Draco said worry creeping into his voice.
"Oh do calm down Tom, it's not like they're going to go off shagging each other at 11. Just let them go, and we'll see what happens allright? Really if our daughter is to like anyone, I'd much rather her like James then anyone else." Harry said thoughtfully.
"Not that I'm inclined to agree with you on that Harry, but I will. If my son were going to have the fortunate exprience one day of liking someone, and a girl, then atleast it's Ophelia. Now, can we please drop this subject? Frankly it's making me sick." Severus said with a scowl.
Everyone chuckled at that and did indeed drop the subject. Clearly though James and Ophelia weren't the only two who'd noticed each other, for Orion and Aurora were certainly close as well. Over all though, none of the parents really minded, and were glad atleast it would be 'in the family' so to speak if anything ever did come of it all.
"Sorry to break this up, but I have to go meet Ron. Ever since Percy got shifted into another department and Ron took over as Head of Improper Muggle Item Uses, he's been putting in overtime. I have to go pick him up in Hogsmeade, so I'll see you all at breakfast." Hermione said getting up and saying her goodnights.
"I think we'll turn in as well, going to be a long day tomorrow with my first classes and all. Come on dear, oh I do hope I wont get lost again!" Taryn said sighing and saying their goodnights as well, Sirius led her out by the arm.
"I suppose we should too. Tell you though, hard to believe this is all real sometimes. I wasn't sure I'd ever return to the wizarding world, didn't really want to, and now look at me...at us. Teachers back here at Hogwarts. I guess life has a funny way of coming round full circle eh?" Harry said with a soft sigh.
"It's real Harry, dont ever forget it. James, you're father that is, would be proud of you right now. I know I am, we all are. Of both of you at that." Remus said softly.
Harry smiled at Remus, but didn't need to respond to that. He stood up, taking Draco's hand in his own, and led him off to their room near the Gryffindor tower, leaving behind only Severus and Remus to finish talking.
Remus looked at his spouse thoughtfully, he could almost hear all the thoughts running through his head at the moment. "It'll be allright Sev, promise. His friends are here, his 'family' is here, and we're here for him. Voldemort's gone, Lucius is gone...Harry and Draco have a life now, and so do we love."
Severus gazed at Remus softly, the love clearly in his eyes. "It's no wonder I married you Remus, you allways know exactly what I need. I had doubts back then you know, when we first decided to have James. I didn't think you'd be strong enough, I wasn't sure if with your transfomations that it wouldn't create some horrible monster rather then what we wanted...but you proved me wrong. Now I cant picture my life without the both of you in it." he said taking Remus's hand in his own and gazing down at their wedding rings.
"We knew there was the risk of James becoming a wolf Sev, but I remember what you said to me the day I found out the spell worked. You told me you didn't care, that no matter what, you would love the child, because together we had made him, and that love would see us through. And it has Sev, it has."
"You know, I love you more now, then I think even back then. You took care of me when I didn't want it, you loved me even though I tried to cast you out. I dont deserve you Remus Lupin."
"I deserve you though Severus, and that's Remus Lupin-Snape, and dont you ever forget it." Remus said with a twinkle in his eyes, and standing up pulled Severus from his chair into his arms, gazing deep into his eyes. "We finished what we set out to do all those years ago with Harry and Draco. They're happy now, their finally complete. Now Severus it's our turn. You're mine Severus Snape, my lifemate, and now it's our turn to live. James will be taken care of, we dont have to coddle him any longer. Let's live our life out now Sev, together." and with that said, Remus drew Severus's lips to his own.
They stood there like that for a few more minutes, then Severus took Remus in hand, and they both headed out of the Great Hall towards the rooms they shared in the dungeons. Tomorrow would come, bringing the first day of classes, but tonight was theirs.
They didn't notice at all that 2 pairs of eyes were watching all this from the shadows, a twinkle in their eyes as they watched Severus and Remus disappear.
"So it all worked out in the end, but you knew it would didnt you." Minerva McGonagall said softly, yet accusingly.
"Can fate be overturned Minerva? Can true loves really fail to win?" Albus said, a small smile playing at his lips.
"If anyone had told me 15 years ago that I'd be standing here today and seeing Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape and Remus Lupin together, I'd have said you were daft you know." Minerva said with a shake of her head.
"All's well that ends well. Oh do come Minerva, I'm not a dottering old fool yet." Albus said with a chuckle.
"Hmph, well atleast you're not old at any rate Albus Dumbledore. But perhaps you're right, who are we to challenge fate, and it really has come full circle in the end." she said with a sigh, more of happiness then anything else.
"Join me in a Butterbeer Minerva? If I am correct, I think we'll be in for quite a time this year with those 4 new "Marauders". We may as well enjoy the peace while we can." Albus said with a chuckle.
Minerva grinned, then laughed. "I do believe Albus you are right on that. Ah well, we've survived them and worse, we'll survive now. But so help me, if that Weasley girl throws one more dungbomb at Peeves like she did during the summer when she visited James, I'll personally let Filch have her!" she said wryly.
"Shall we then Professor McGonagall?" Albus said laughing, then walked off in the direction of his office, and Minerva with a last glance at the Great Hall, followed him. She knew in heart that the 'old fool' was right, and everything had indeed, been for the best. The seasons would come, and the seasons would go, but love, as always, would remain.
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