Chapter 41

Seventeen Years Later

The platform was crowded as the family made their way to the train. The hustle and bustle of the start of a new year was evident. New students excited to start, older students wishing for a longer summer, children too young wanting to go with their elder siblings.

'Two years, I want to go now!' Lily Potter's voice was easily recognisable as she begged her parents to go with her brothers.

Hermione smiled, giving her best friend and his family some space as she led her family towards the train.

'I'm just going to, um, go... I'll be back in a minute.' Teddy mumbled, blushing.

Remus chuckled at his son's retreating back. 'I'll give you five galleons if he isn't going to see Victoire.'

'Oh, Dad, you know that's where he's going, it's hardly a fair bet.'

Hermione looked at her little girl. She wasn't quite so little anymore. At seventeen years old she still had her father's eyes in her mother's face and she was stunning. She was smart and had a quick wit, she worked hard and it paid off. This year, her final year, saw the Head Girl badge pinned to her robes. Remus was absolutely beaming with pride.

Teddy had never made Head Boy last year, he had caused too much trouble in school for that. Hermione claimed that it was all his father's Marauding influence, but Remus blamed it all on Nymphadora's genes. The topic never made them uncomfortable, it was who they were and as much as Hermione loved Teddy and treated him like her own, she and Remus had always made sure that he never forgot his mother.

He slouched back towards them now, looking sheepish.

'You've got lipstick on your cheek, son.' Remus commented dryly while his wife and daughter laughed. Teddy wiped it off and shrugged.

He had grown up handsome, there was no denying it. Naturally, he looked like Remus, lean and tall, all angles and bones. Right now, however, his hair was bright blue and his eyes light green. It was a part of him. So was his career, after dropping his little sister off he would be heading to Auror training for the rest of the school year.

The train whistled and Rose gave her family once last hug before jumping on board. Hermione waved frantically as the train pulled out. She felt tears start to form in the corners of her eyes as Remus wrapped his arms around her, pulling her back to his chest.

'It doesn't get any easier, does it?' A voice asked from her left. Harry and Ginny had yet to get used to sending their children away.

'A little,' Hermione lied, 'but at least you still have Lily at home.'

'Yeah,' Ginny muttered, playing with her daughter's hair, 'one more year to go and then we'll be alone.'

'I like being alone,' the velvety voice of Hermione's husband whispered in her ear. He suddenly raised his voice, 'I guess you'll be leaving us now too, Ted?'

'Yeah,' the young man answered, 'I have to report for induction soon so...' He hugged his father briefly before turning to Hermione.

'Stay safe,' she muttered as he embraced her, 'I love you.'

'I love you too,' his honest eyes met hers as she pulled away, and there were tears threatening to betray his attempts at male bravado. 'Thank you, for letting me be part of your family.'

It wasn't the first time Hermione and her step-son had talked about her role in his life, but the last time Teddy had been a rebellious thirteen year old who had yelled at her for acting too much like a mum. This more mature version of the boy she had helped raise was a different matter.

Overcome, she threw her arms around him again. 'Thank-you for letting me be a part of yours. Your mum would be so proud of you.' She whispered the last part so only he could hear before Teddy turned on the spot and disappeared.

'Home?' Remus asked her.

'Home.'

/-/

After nineteen years together Remus conceded that his wife wasn't completely perfect. They fought as all couples did, but she was perfect for him. She was an incredible mother to Rose, a brilliant friend and role model to Teddy, a political spitfire in her job at the ministry and the most caring, thoughtful and loving wife he could imagine.

Not to mention that she was only thirty-eight and still a knockout. Remus had seen men's eyes follow her on the platform.

'Malfoy was checking you out earlier.' He mentioned in what he hoped was a casual voice as Hermione hung her cloak by the door.

'I'm sure you were seeing things, dear.' She said, pulling her hair down from its tight knot and letting it fan out over her back. Merlin, she's gorgeous. She has no idea.

'I don't "see things",' Remus whispered against her neck as he slipped his arms around her waist. She shivered delicately and her breathing picked up ever so slightly. 'You're beautiful,' he punctuated his point with a kiss to her neck, 'and smart, and confident, and sexy.'

'You're not so bad yourself, old man,' she teased as Remus began to undo the buttons of her blouse.

'Old man,' he scoffed, 'I'm only five years older than you now.'

'I know,' she moaned breathily as his fingers teased the skin of her collar bone, 'but it's good to hear you recognise it.' Remus watched as she shrugged off her blouse and kicked her shoes away before sauntering away from him and towards the staircase. She cast a sultry look over her shoulder. 'And I'm looking forward to you showing me why you like being alone.'

Hours later, Remus brushed a strand of Hermione's hair away from her face as they lay in bed. He leant over and kissed her gently, whispering 'I love you more now than I ever have'.

'I love you more,' she answered sleepily.

'Not possible,' Remus replied, but he realised that she was already asleep.

Remus lay with his wife as the sun set and the moon rose. He would answer it's call in time, but tonight all he had to focus on was the beautiful woman sleeping, content in his arms.

Author's Notes:

I just can't seem to say goodbye to this story. I have truly loved writing it and the reviews and alerts I have good from it are beyond flattering.

So thank you to everyone who has commented or added Practically Married to their favourites. I hope you enjoyed this little add on.

If you liked this story (and you're also a Twilight fan) keep an eye out for my upcoming story. It is as yet untitled, but will follow Seth Clearwater in what, I hope, will be an original look at imprinting and the world of the La Push wolves.

Again, thank-you to all my readers for your support. I know the story isn't the most reviewed or widely read but those who commented seem to have enjoyed it and it was a pleasure to write.

AllIsButToys