"Daddy where's my wand?"
"Mum have you moved my broom?"
It was nine am on September 1st and as per usual the family were running late. It was difficult to pinpoint why, perhaps they'd gotten up too late or perhaps the children weren't as packed as they said they were. Either way, their mother was stressing.
"Darling your wand is next to your bed and the broom is in the broom closet, where it should be!" Hermione Weasley twisted a lock of her hair between her fingers as she balanced herself between her two younger children and assessed the situation.
Her three oldest children were running around packing the last minute items into their Hogwarts trunks with the help of her husband whilst her youngest two children clung to her as she hurried them along. If someone had told her that nineteen years after the war she would be happily married to Fred Weasley with five children she would have laughed in their face, she'd always imagined that she'd be a career woman, and yet here she was. She now knew that this was by far the better option, there was nothing more satisfying than being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a happy family, and she now understood exactly how Molly had been content for all those years.
She and Fred had married on September 1st three years after the war had ended and Lucas was born four years after that. She had given up her full time hours at the Ministry, much to Kingsley Shacklebot's protest, but was offered and advisor's position from Kingsley himself, a handwritten letter asking her to join his team with hours as flexible as she wished. He had told her that the Ministry would suffer a great loss at her departure and he had always wished that she would join his own team, of which she knew Harry was a part of. After much discussion with Fred, who had reminded her that she loved her job and he could hardly see her at the joke shop for the rest of her life, she accepted and, twelve years later, she was Kingsley's own personal advisor.
She and Fred were good for each other, he had always encouraged her every career move and had taken to being a father with a natural flair. There were days when she would catch him playing with the children and wonder how on earth she managed to get so lucky in life.
"We're ready!" her daughters called from the front door.
Daisy and Holly, twins of eleven years old, were preparing for their first journey to their home for the next seven years whilst the eldest Weasley child, Lucas, was returning for his second year. The twins had inherited their father's genes, with long auburn hair and already an eye for mischief. Hermione suspected that he and George had already been preparing them as the next generation of infamous Weasley twins. Lucas, on the other hand, took after his mother. He had brown hair and, despite his good looks and his father's charm, was incredibly clever. As Fred emerged with Lucas and his trunk in tow they were finally ready to leave. Hermione managed to get Fred to see to eight year old Noah, who was still clinging to her leg, whilst she wrapped six year old Ellie in her coat and put her boots on for her.
"Come on, we don't want to be late." She told them, even though they still had forty five minutes to spare.
With the wonder of floo powder they were at the station ten minutes later, ploughing through the magical barrier which led them to Platform Nine and Three Quarters. It wasn't long until they found Harry and Ginny, their three children milling around them before the platform filled with students and their families. It was a tradition that they now met each year as their children boarded the train and afterwards they would go to Molly and Arthur's for lunch and a good catch up. As the parents stood and exchanged general chit chat, the children fell into their own little group, Noah held Ellie's hand as they stood, Lucas and James were already discussing Quidditch matches for the year and the twins were frantically discussing houses and Hogwarts with Albus.
It wasn't long before Ron arrived, his own family in tow. After the war he had rekindled his romance with Lavender Brown and eventually settled down with her. Hermione could even tolerate her now, even though she and Ginny did occasionally have to let out some sort of frustration about her over a large glass of wine. Their two children joined the, now large, group of Weasley and Potter cousins and soon all of the children were laughing and playing with one another.
"They're all getting so big now!" Lavender said as she watched her eldest daughter, Rose, complain as the twins told her she'd be placed in Hufflepuff.
"Girls, be nice to Rose." Hermione warned her daughters, much to their disagreement.
Soon the other Weasley's were arriving on the platform; George was slipping joke products into his son's pockets and telling him to make him proud whilst Percy barely paid them any attention. As quarter to eleven stuck the clock, the parents began to say goodbye to their children.
"Lucas please look after your sisters for the first few days, make sure bad things don't happen to them." Hermione told him as she pulled him into a hug, "And let us know how quidditch is going, I want to know when you make the team!" she grinned before he quickly hugged his dad and ran off onto the train with James, the pair of them bantering and disappearing a moment later.
"Good luck girls, remember that it's not as scary as you think and that you can do absolutely anything that you set your mind to, ok?" she told the twins.
"We know mum." They wrapped their arms around her tightly and then stretched up to kiss her cheeks at the same time.
"Don't cause too much trouble in your first few days but after that…remind them you're my girls!" His eyes were sparkling as he spoke.
"We will Daddy, we love you!" they gave him a final hug before finding Albus and Rose and heading onto the train.
Once the goodbyes were said they stood back in their usual group, the remaining children asking over and over why they couldn't go too. Fred picked up Noah as Hermione lifted Ellie and once the train was beginning to pull away from the station he quickly moved in to place a kiss on his wife's lips, "Our girls will be fine. Besides, George and I made sure they'd carry on our name." he grinned before Hermione rolled her eyes and waved the train around the corner. "Now, ladies and gents, unless any of you would like to be massacred by our mother I suggest that we get a move on to the burrow." He slipped Noah onto his back and set off on a jog for the floo point that they'd come in through.
Fifteen minutes later and everyone had arrived at the Burrow, Molly momentarily abandoning the cooking to dote on her remaining grandchildren before they all ran out into the garden to see the gnomes that were still living there.
"They're all so big now!" her eyes were welled up slightly with tears as she waved everyone off and returned to cooking the food.
The rest of the clan had gathered in the living room and it was a sight that Hermione loved, it changed every year. This year, as well as the usuals, Charlie had brought his girlfriend Miriam to the Burrow to stay for the first time with the news that they were expecting their first child together and the entire family were delighted at the prospect of yet another little one running around.
Hermione leaned against the doorpost of the back door as the children all laughed and played with one another in the garden. Fred snuck up behind her and wrapped his arms around her, grinning as they watched the children together.
"We could still pop another couple out you know." He whispered in her ear.
"What's wrong with the five that we already have?" she laughed.
"Absolutely nothing. In fact, they're so perfect I'd love some more."
"You're so full of shit!"
"Hermioneeeeee I want you to have more of my babiesssss!" he groaned and suddenly they were in fits of laughter as Charlie stood next to them and stared.
"Can I ask you a question?"
"What's on your mind brother?"
"How do you cope?"
"With five kids."
"Scared of fatherhood are you Charles?" Fred smirked.
"Weren't you with your first?"
"Bloody terrified. I'd change the subject when Hermione spoke about baby things and pretend to be busy when she was going to some sort of baby class. Then Lucas was born and I realised that I'd been really stupid and that this little boy was the second best thing to ever happen in my life."
"What was the first?"
"Getting Hermione to be mine."
"Merlin, you're such a soppy bastard these days!" Charlie laughed and clapped Fred's shoulder before returning to the rest of the group.
"He's right you know. I'd always presumed I'd be the soppy one but I've been proved wrong." Hermione laughed.
They watched the children for a few more minutes before they were called to the table for lunch. Hermione and Fred placed themselves on either side of their children and waited as everyone shuffled into places around the, now enlarged, table.
"I'd like to take this moment to make a toast!" Arthur announced as he stood at the head of the table. "Firstly, as we do every year, happy anniversary to Fred and Hermione, may you continue to have a long and happy marriage. I would also like to welcome Miriam to our family for the first time. We were delighted to hear that you would be bringing another Weasley into our world and we want you to know that we are all your family now. Finally to all of our beautiful grandchildren who continue to make us smile and surprise us every single day. To family!"
We raised our glasses in toast and called out in unison to our enormous extended family and as they all took a drink Fred turned to Hermione, lifted his glass and mouthed one simple phrase to her:
I'll love you forever.
This is the final chapter in this fic and I feel like it rounds things off rather nicely, I hadn't intended for any drama to happen here but I love writing the nineteen years later section. A few things: I always found it unfair that Charlie ended up alone. Sure, dragons were a huge part of his life but I always imagined him to settle late and have a small family, like he has here. I always imagined that Hermione would have a large family, I've often seen bits of Mrs Weasley in her so this made perfect sense to me. And finally I give you my comment on soppy, romantic and Daddy Fred. I always saw Fred as someone who would be a brilliant father when I began this and so, when it came to writing the epilogue, I had every intention to carry this through and fill it with lovely fluff!
Thank you for all of the support during this fic, it's taken me a long time but I'm proud of it! Please leave me your final comments, in particular on this chapter!