DISCLAIMER: All credit to JK Rowling
AN. I was really nervous about writing the epilogue, because if there's one thing HP fans are going to complain about, its the incredible lack of information in the DH epilogue, right? But i think it turned out ok, i wanted to end on a positive note.
Seven Years Later
The sun was shining brightly and the sky was a dazzling blue, not a cloud in the sky. Hermione hummed to herself happily as she rocked the baby to sleep, listening to the sounds of their extended family laugh, talk and celebrate.
For their five year wedding anniversary, Harry had surprised Hermione by buying a large villa in Italy, which had been their favourite spot on their honeymoon. The Villa Armonia, which translated from Italian into 'Harmony', was situation in the town of Amalfi in Italy. It was the perfect spot for Harry and Hermione, because the villa was large and spacious, not too far from any towns or big cities (especially when they could Apparate), yet was isolated enough that they could hide away from the rest of the world. They had their own private beach, which was great for the kids and the townsfolk were friendly and welcoming.
For the five years that they had owned the villa, it had become a summer retreat for the whole family. Some people, depending on their jobs, only came for a few weeks; but most of the family would pack up and spend the whole summer in Italy. Besides Harry and Hermione themselves, this was mainly Sirius and Leah; Remus, Tonks and Teddy; Andromeda; Minerva; Dumbledore; and the majority of the Weasleys, although it differed from year to year.
But everyone was gathered in the villa at the moment to celebrate Harry's thirtieth birthday, and Hermione couldn't help but reflect on how much had changed in the past few years as she quietly left the bedroom and returned to the party, carrying the baby monitor with her.
"Hermione? The Kappa's the one you have to trick into bowing, isn't it?"
Hermione stopped at the sound of Teddy's question, who was sitting at in the room he was sharing with Jamie, Ike, Bill and Fleur's son Louis, and Ron and Luna's sons, Artemis and Hamish. Teddy was alone in the room, sitting on his bed surrounded by books.
"That's the one," she confirmed with a smile. "What are you doing, Ted?"
He held up the book in his hand. "Just reading. Dad said we get to learn all about magical creatures in Defence this year; so I'm getting a head start."
"Well, you definitely didn't get that from your mum," Hermione laughed, leaving Teddy to it.
Teddy was about to begin his second year at Hogwarts in September, and despite the fact it was "weird and seriously uncool" to have your father as your teacher, he was loving it. His first year had been blissfully uneventful, and had reported all the boys in the year thought it was "totally awesome" that Harry Potter was his godfather.
"Where'd all the kids go?" Hermione wondered, entering the living room to find Dumbledore, Andromeda, Minerva and Molly and Arthur talking over tea.
"Everyone's gone down to the beach," Arthur answered her question. "Did Zac go down okay?"
"Out like a light," Hermione smiled.
Zachary Cedric John Potter was six weeks old, and Hermione had been firm about telling Harry that there would be no more children after this, four was her limit. Harry had agreed, both feeling their family was complete. Zac was not named after anyone in particular, Hermione had just loved the name. John was to honour Remus, and Cedric was to symbolise the first casualty of the Second War. Harry had gotten the idea after they had run into Amos Diggory and his wife on a family outing to Diagon Alley during Hermione's fourth month of pregnancy. Harry had not seen them since just after Cedric's death, and as he introduced his children to them, he realised that the Diggory's chance for grandchildren had been destroyed by Voldemort, that they were alone now.
Hermione had loved the idea of including Cedric in the name, and when Sirius' column had announced Zac's birth, Mrs. Diggory sent them a lovely letter, thanking them for commemorating Cedric's memory in this way. Zac was the only one of the Potter children to inherit James' hazel eyes, and he also had Hermione's brown hair. He was a perfect blend of both his parents, and had been Hermione's only drama free pregnancy and birth.
"If you want to join them, dear, we'll keep an ear out for the baby," Molly offered and Hermione hesitated.
"Are you sure, Molly?"
Molly took the baby monitor from her firmly and waved her away. "Go, enjoy the sunshine," she ordered and Hermione laughed.
"Fine, you talked me into it," she said teasingly and she heard Dumbledore and Arthur both laugh as she headed outside and down to the beach.
Molly and Arthur were the proud grandparents of twelve, sixteen if you counted Harry and Hermione's children (which they did), and had another two on the way. Molly found it was slightly ironic how she'd gone through six boys until Ginny was born, but her own children had had more girls than boys.
As Arthur had said, they were all down at the beach, and Hermione sank down onto the warm sand to sit with Angelina, Katie and Leah, who were watching everything that was going on.
"Zac asleep?" Leah asked.
"Yeah. Molly's watching him," Hermione replied with a smile.
Leah and Sirius had gotten married four years ago. When Harry and Hermione had announced they were expecting their third child; Sirius had decided enough was enough.
"Jamie and Anna are already calling you 'Nan', so we might as well make it official... well, as official as it can be," he'd reasoned and Leah had raised an eyebrow at him.
"Be still my heart. How could I ever resist such a romantic proposal?" she'd replied and Harry, Remus and Tonks couldn't stop laughing.
Hermione had more tact than that, but she'd still rolled her eyes at Sirius' admittedly unromantic proposal. It was a small ceremony a month later, just Remus, Tonks, Harry, Hermione and the children had been in attendance, with Leah's parents; and Dumbledore had married them in their living room. But the couple were happy, with each other and their roles as grandparents.
"Have I mentioned how much I love gelato?" Angelina declared, as she and Katie ate their way through a huge tub of the Italian dessert.
"Have I mentioned it's creepy you guys are even craving the same flavour?" Hermione replied and Katie giggled.
Both Katie and Angelina were seven months pregnant, they were in fact due within three days of one another; despite George's long ago claim,
"Just because we're twins, doesn't mean we do everything together."
This was Fred and Angelina's second, eight years after Ike was born; and George and Katie's third. They had two girls already, three-year-old Sarah and Rachel, who was one and a half. Both girls were expecting boys, and Fred and George had been campaigning for the past six months to name Fred's son George, and George's son Fred. Needless to say, everyone was against the idea.
Hermione carefully scanned the stretch of beach their family was spread across, and smiled to herself in amusement as she noticed they'd seemed to have divided into a group of girls, and a group of boys.
Not too far away, Luna, Fleur, Tonks and Ginny were building sandcastles with the young girls. These were Bill and Fleur's daughters, Victorie, who was now ten, and Dominique who was five and a half. Sarah and Rachel were also there, along with Ginny's five year old daughter Evangeline; Ariana, who was now nearly seven, and Harry and Hermione's third child, Olivia Elizabeth Potter.
Harry had held to their agreement to wait awhile after Anna's birth until they had another child, but when Bill and Fleur announced her pregnancy with their youngest child and only son Louis who was was now four, it was Hermione who started longing to be pregnant again. Harry hadn't been difficult to convince, and had been thrilled with the idea of another girl.
As Hermione had rightly predicted, Ariana was a complete Daddy's girl, and had Harry wrapped around her little finger, even at seven. Jamie was still a carbon copy of Harry, except with Hermione's eyes; and as much as Anna had looked like Hermione at birth, as she grew older, she was a pretty perfect combination of the two of them. To Hermione's delight, Anna did have Harry and Lily's emerald green eyes and Hermione's dark brown curls.
Olivia however, or Liv as she was most commonly called, was a complete miniature Hermione, except with black hair. Even in personality, there was almost no sign of Harry in her at all, which Harry didn't particularly mind.
The name had been Harry's idea. One night as they tossed around names, and getting nowhere, Harry had sighed, rubbing her stomach gently.
"We could name her after you?" he suggested and Hermione snorted.
"I am not going to do that to our daughter," she said firmly. "I mean, seriously? Shakespeare used some beautiful names, and my parents pick Hermione."
"I like it," Harry protested but Hermione shook her head.
"No. I got teased so much in primary school for my name. Half the time, no one could pronounce it. I'm not doing it," she refused and Harry relented.
"Hey, what if we pick another Shakespeare name?" he asked abruptly, as inspiration struck him.
"That way, it's kind of after you... with the theme and all, but we'll pick a name that fits in the twenty-first century," he grinned and Hermione pondered that for a moment.
"You're not going to drop the idea of naming it after me, are you?" she asked suspiciously and Harry shook his head.
"Nope. I think it's perfect."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Ok, fine. But it has to be a normal name," she stressed and Harry had gleefully agreed.
So, they had gone through every Shakespeare play looking at names, and narrowed it down to three, Isabella, Olivia and Juliet.
But Liv's birth hadn't been easy, and was probably the reason they had waited another three years before having Zac. Hermione had gone into labour six weeks prematurely in the middle of April, and the doctors had ended up rushing her to have an emergency caesarean; and Liv had been in intensive care for her first few weeks. It had been touch and go for awhile, and Hermione and Harry had been terrified they would lose their little girl.
But Liv had pulled through, which a relieved Sirius said was a sign she had inherited her parent's stubbornness. And the first time she'd finally gotten to hold her daughter, Hermione knew she was meant to be an Olivia. Elizabeth was in honour of Hermione's Aunt Bess, the only real mother figure Hermione had known throughout her childhood, and who had been a major support in the early days of Liv's birth, having gone through the same thing when Steph had been born nine weeks early. Leah had also gotten Hermione through it, after having lost Jessica, and Harry had never been more grateful for his new godmother than he was during that time.
Meanwhile, down at the water's edge, Harry, Sirius, Remus, Dean and the Weasley boys were playing around in the water. Lady, still around and beloved by all the children, ran through the water excitedly, followed by Snuffles, and purely for the amusement of the young boys.
Ron and Luna's two boys, Artemis and Hamish were the only twins of the next generation of Weasley's, who were a year younger than Anna; and Dean and Ginny's son was two year old Leo, short for Leonardo in honour of Leonardo Da Vinci, Dean's favourite artist. No one was really sure where Hamish had come from, but Artemis was chosen by Luna for the middle name of Newt Scamander, author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them.
"Hey, what do you guys think of the name Raphael?" Angelina asked them.
"Sounds very Italian," Katie replied.
Angelina shrugged. "I know. I was just thinking... if I had the baby before we go home, it would be cool to give the baby an Italian name. Kind of like, in honour of his birthplace. You know?"
Leah grinned. "As long as you don't name him after his place of conception, it's fine."
"We're safe there. I already vetoed kitchen-table Weasley," Angelina quipped in reply and the others all groaned.
"Angie, that's way too much information," Katie said laughing.
"You can only do that if the baby was actually conceived somewhere interesting or exotic," Leah added. Then she smirked at Hermione. "You and Harry could have done that for Liv. Given her an Italian name."
Hermione blushed scarlet. "I never said where Liv was conceived! Or any of the others, for that matter!"
Katie snorted. "Please, Mione. It's not exactly hard to figure out. Your due date with Liv was May twenty-third. Nine months prior, that means you got pregnant in August. And you've been here every August for the past five years."
Hermione was mortified. "Is this what everyone does every time I'm pregnant? Sit around discussing when we conceived?"
"Well, I can't say for Jamie because I didn't know you guys then but yes for all the others," Leah replied grinning and Hermione moaned.
"We've also guessed that Anna happened around Jamie's first birthday, and Jamie was your first wedding anniversary," Angelina told her and Hermione blushed deeper, which they all took as a sign they were accurate.
"And Zac happened in September as far as we can guess, which... all we could come up with was your birthday," Katie added.
Hermione smiled secretly. "September is actually a big month for us," she admitted.
"How?" Leah asked her.
"Well, September first is the anniversary of the day we met," she began slowly. "And then there's my birthday, of course. I think Zac happened somewhere in the middle," she frowned thoughtfully.
"Mummy! Come look at our pretty castle!"
Hermione smiled as her daughter's ran up to her, and tugged her to her feet.
"Ok, let's go look at your castle," she agreed, swinging Liv onto her hip.
"Nan, you have to come too!" Anna begged Leah, who obediently got to her feet.
After Hermione and Leah had appropriately admired the sandcastle, the girls ran off to help the boys bury Ron in the sand. Of course this had been the Fred and George's idea; but the kids loved it. Hermione found Harry standing down by the water, watching as Jamie and Ike played with two of Fred and George's fake wands in a mock sword fight, both laughing hysterically.
She wrapped her arms around him from behind and planted a soft kiss on the back of his shoulder, before he pulled her to him in silence.
"Is Zac okay?"
"Yeah, Molly's watching him... are you having a good birthday?"
Harry smiled as he kissed the top of her head. "I always have good birthdays, as long as I have you."
Hermione giggled, and yawned slightly as she leaned against him. "The girls want to show you their sandcastle when they've finished burying Ron."
Harry grinned. "That's a great tradition."
He turned his head to see where all the kids, and some of the adults, were steadily piling sand on Ron's body, whilst Ron took it all calmly. Five summer's on, he was used to it now, and no longer put up a fight. Harry had thought that might take all the fun out of it for the twins, but apparently not.
Maybe the best thing about summer's at the villa was how completely relaxed everyone was. It was their little piece of paradise, and Harry and Hermione were both cherishing these early years before the kids got old enough to want to bring friends with them, or not even to come at all. The mere idea of it made Hermione feel old.
Harry kissed her again, until they jumped apart as a cold jet of water hit them.
"James Sirius Potter, you did not just do that!" Hermione glared at her eldest son, who was grinning at them mischievously.
"I didn't do anything! It was Ike!"
"Yeah, sure," Harry said sceptically.
"If you guys cut it out with the PDA, I wouldn't have to do it," Jamie replied with a straight face.
Harry rolled his eyes. "You've been spending too much time with your grandfather. Why don't you and Ike go help bury Uncle Ron?"
"Ok," Jamie agreed happily, and he and Ike scampered off.
"He's your son," Hermione sighed as way of an explanation and Harry merely laughed.
When it got too dark to play in the water anymore, and the youngest kids began to tire, they all returned to the house for Harry's birthday dinner. Molly had insisted on doing the cooking, and she had really outdone herself this year, helped by Hermione, Andromeda and Fleur. They ate 'al fresco' and everyone laughed and talked as they ate.
"Here we go!" Molly sang out, interrupting everyone's conversations by re-appearing outside after a short absence hovering an enormous candle-lit cake before her.
"Ooh!" squealed Liv from Sirius' lap with delight, and they all launched into a rendition of "Happy Birthday."
"Hip-hip!" Fred and George began, but Molly silenced them with a death glare.
"So help me boys," she threatened and the twins hastily shut up.
"Daddy, I wanna help blow the candles!" Anna begged, and Harry smiled as he lifted her onto his lap.
"Ok, Anna. You ready? One... two... three!"
Anna took a deep breath and 'helped' Harry blow out all the candles, as the family applauded.
"Good job, princess," Hermione said to Anna as Harry and Molly began cutting up the cake.
Anna beamed happily, and took it upon herself to hand out everyone's piece of cake before settling herself upon Dumbledore's lap to eat her own piece. Anna knew she was named after Dumbledore's sister, and had promptly attached herself to him ever since. The kids called him 'Uncle Albus' and adored him.
"Look what Uncle Ron brought for everyone to play with!" Ron announced to the kids, typically just before they were about to be sent to bed.
He conjured a large box of ordinary Muggle sparklers from thin air, and handed them out to the delighted kids.
"Does Zac want one too?" he asked Hermione, offering Zac an unlit sparkler.
Hermione grabbed it before Zac could get his hands on it and glared at Ron. "Zac's likely to try and eat it, Ron. And if you let him touch one, lit or unlit, you're likely to lose a finger," she said lightly and Ron grimaced.
"I'm going to go put him down," Hermione said to Harry standing up with Zac against her shoulder.
"I'll do it," Leah offered, reaching for her youngest grandson. "I'm going in for a sec anyway, Mione."
"How are we going to get all the kids in bed now?" Luna demanded exasperatedly as Hermione resumed her seat.
Harry grinned. "That sounds like a problem for Ron, if you ask me."
Ginny laughed. "Definitely."
Hermione rested her head on Harry's shoulder tiredly, and he wrapped an arm securely around her watching the kids run around with the sparklers, most of them using them as wands. The rest of their family were relaxing quietly, some talking amongst them, some watching the kids.
Sirius came and sat by his godson after Hermione had dozed off on Harry's shoulder a few minutes later.
"How is she?" he asked him quietly and Harry smiled.
"She's okay. Just tired... Zac's still not sleeping well, and Liv had a bad dream last night."
Sirius shook his head with a slight smile. "I can't believe you're thirty. You sure know how to make a guy feel old, Harry."
"That's not my fault," Harry grinned. "You're just old."
His godfather scowled at him. "Thank you. I think you were lucky to make it to thirty."
"I think getting to thirty was easier than getting to twenty," he pointed out and Sirius grinned in agreement.
Harry sighed, looking down at his sleeping wife. "I'm going to get Mione up to bed."
"Sure. What about the kids?"
Harry grinned. "We've decided that's Ron's problem. He's the one that introduced sparklers at bed time."
Sirius laughed, and Harry gently nudged Hermione awake.
"Come on, hon... You're going to bed."
Hermione opened her eyes blearily and didn't argue. "Ok," she yawned, standing up. "Goodnight, everyone."
"Night, Mione," Remus replied warmly and Hermione headed towards the house.
Harry stood up to follow her, and Sirius stood up too, still looking at Harry with a wistful look that meant he was thinking of James and Lily.
"They'd be feeling old too, huh?" Harry asked him quietly.
"Oh yeah," Sirius agreed. Then he sighed and pulled Harry into a gruff hug. "Happy birthday, kid. Love you."
"Love you too," Harry grinned back at him and then headed inside to find his wife.
"Hey," she murmured sleepily when he climbed into bed a few minutes later.
"Hey. Sorry, I was talking to Sirius," he apologised.
Hermione nodded, her eyes already closed. "Is he okay? Today must be a little hard for him."
"He's fine," he assured her, kissing her cheek. "I'll get up with Zac tonight, okay? You just sleep."
Hermione didn't argue. "Ok. I love you. Happy birthday."
Harry smiled. "I love you too, sweet girl."
It had been a long day, Harry reflected as he closed his eyes tiredly, keeping an ear trained in the direction of Zac's crib in the corner. But as exhausting, large and confusing as their family was, he wouldn't have it any other way. This was everything he'd wanted since he was a kid and had wanted nothing more than to leave the Dursley's and find a proper family, whatever that was. It had taken awhile, but he had the family he'd always wanted. Life was pretty much perfect.