Epilogue, Nineteen Years Later
Nineteen years flew by.
Nineteen wonderful years.
Kingsley was Minister of Magic and brought a Golden Age to the Wizarding World. With Professor Snape's name cleared, he was still headmaster of Hogwarts and things were faring wonderfully at the school with his help and the staff. He had gained great respect and his dark past was forgotten.
Every Death Eater had been locked up for good or was gone. We four worked in the Aurors Office and were settled down with our spouses. The Wizarding World looked to all the members of the D.A., the Order, and we four as heroes and there was peace and prosperity.
Before I knew it, it was a crisp golden autumn day on September first. Cedric and I were headed down to platform nine and three-quarters, accompanied by Sirius, who was rather fond of our three young children and wanted to see them off. Lily, our daughter was tugging at Cedric's sleeve and looking quite upset.
"It won't be long and you'll be going too," said Cedric.
"Two years," Lily sniffled. "I want to go now!"
I smiled as I shook my head. She was so much like her Aunt Ginny, it was unbelievable.
"Mummy, Daddy, can't I please go?" she asked.
"You're not old enough, sweetheart. But soon you will be," I said.
Albus and James, our sons, then resumed their argument they'd started in the car.
"I won't! I won't be in Slytherin!" said Albus.
"James, give it a rest!" I said, sternly.
"I only said he might be," said James, smirking. "There's nothing wrong with that. I only said he might be in Slytherin."
"James," I said, warningly, as he fell silent as he ran through the barrier.
Albus turned to us. "You'll write to me, won't you?"
"Everyday if you want us to," said Cedric.
"Not every day," said Albus, turning red. "James says most people only get letters from home about once a month."
I chuckled. "We wrote to James three times a week last year."
"And you ought not to believe everything James tells you about school. He likes a laugh, your brother," said Sirius.
"Remind you of anyone?" I said.
Sirius laughed. "Come on, let's go."
We walked through the barrier and Albus was looking for the rest of our friends and family. "Where are they?"
"We'll find them, don't worry," said Cedric.
"Hey, Moony, Tonks, over here!" said Sirius.
Lupin and Tonks smiled as they walked over to us. "Good to see you all. Excited about your first year, Albus?" Lupin asked.
"Yes," said Albus.
"He's a bit nervous about his Sorting," said Cedric.
Lupin nodded understandingly. "Everyone usually is."
"There are the others," said Sirius.
Ron, Hermione, and their two children Rose and Hugo, came into view. Rose was wearing her new Hogwarts robes. Hugo, was Lily's age, looked envious.
"Hey there," said Ron. "Parked, alright? I did. Hermione didn't think I could pass a Muggle driving exam, said I'd have to Confund the examiner."
"I did not," said Hermione. "I had complete faith in you."
"As a matter of fact, I did Confund him," he whispered to us. "I only forgot to check the wing mirror and I can always use a Supersensory Charm for that."
"Only you, Ron, only you," said Cedric, as we chuckled.
"Well, look who's here," said Sirius.
Draco and his wife and son came into view. His eyes met our and we gave each other a curt not. We'd never become friends, but there was a bit of respect between us, far from the hatred we'd once shared during our school days. Draco's son, Scorpius resembled him as much as Albus resembled Cedric and Lily resembled me.
"So, that's little Scorpius," said Ron, disgustedly. "Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank heavens you inherited your mother's brains."
"Ron!" said Hermione, half-amused, half-stern. "Don't turn them against each other before they've even started school."
"Right, sorry," said Ron. The he whispered, "Don't get too friendly with him. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pure-blood."
Cedric laughed. "Should I tell Lily the same when it's her turn?"
"Maybe," said Sirius. "It'd be good advice, wouldn't it?"
"We'll worry about that later," I said. "They're only first-years after all. And Lily's a bit young for boys right now."
Just then, James came running to us. "I've just seen Teddy in the back of the train! He's kissing Victoria! Our cousin! Our Victoria! And when I asked him what he was doing—"
"You interrupted them?" said Cedric. "James, what've I told you about that? You're so much like your Uncle Ron..."
"—and he said he'd come to see her off and told me to go away. He's kissing her!" said James. He seemed disappointed that we weren't reacting as he thought we would.
"Oh, it'd be wonderful if they got married," said Lily, enthusiastically. "Teddy would really be part of the family, then!"
"Well, we'll see what happens," said Tonks, smiling.
"He already comes around for dinner three times a week and I am his godmother. He's been family for a long time now," I said.
Sirius chuckled as he slipped James a small parcel.
"Pull at least one good prank for the Marauders, James, won't you?" he whispered.
"I will, Uncle Sirius," said James, slipping the parcel into his pocket.
I chuckled as I shook my head at them. James was certainly like his grandfather in more ways than he knew. Lily and Hugo were already chatting eagerly about Hogwarts and what House they'd be Sorted into.
Ron said, "If you're not in Gryffindor, we'll disinherit you, but no pressure."
"Ron!" said Hermione.
Lily and Hugo laughed, but Albus and Rose looked solemn.
We started loading the kids' trunks into the baggage car and when we'd finished, I checked my watch. "It's nearly eleven; you'd better get on board. Boys, remember to give Neville our love," I said.
"Mum! I can't just give a professor love!" said James.
"But you know Neville," I reminded him.
James sighed. "But in class, he's Professor Longbottom, isn't he? So, I can't just walk into Herbology and give him love."
"Listen to your mother, young man," said Cedric.
"Yes, Dad. Sorry, Dad. But if anyone laughs, I'm blaming you." He hugged Cedric and allowed me to kiss his head before he then got on the train. "See you later, Al. Watch out for the Threstals."
"I thought they were invisible? You said they were invisible!"
"Threstals are nothing to worry about," said Cedric, as James laughed. "They're gentle things. There's nothing scary about them. Anyway, you won't be going up in the carriages. First-years go in the boats."
"You just need to relax, you've got nothing to worry about," I told him. "We'll see you at Christmas. Remember that Hagrid's invited you for tea on Friday. Be nice to Dobby and visit him from time to time. Don't duel anyone until you've learned how. Don't mess with Peeves. And don't let James wind you up."
Albus nodded but then tugged on my sleeve and whispered, "Mum, what if I am in Slytherin?" he whispered.
I could see he meant this for me alone, so I pulled him aside and knelt down. Alone out of all our three children, Albus had my mother's eyes.
"Albus Severus," I said. "You were named for two of Hogwarts' greatest headmasters. One of them, your godfather, was a Slytherin and he's one of the bravest men I know."
"But just say—"
"—if you're placed in Slytherin, it'll have gained a fine student, won't it? It won't matter to us if you're in Slytherin. But if it really bothers you, then tell that to the Hat and choose Gryffindor instead. The Sorting Hat takes your own choice into consideration as well."
"Really?" said Albus.
"It did for me."
I'd never told any of my children this, and for some reason I was glad I did now. Albus looked at me in wonder and awe as he hugged me once more and then hugged Lily. "I'll send you lots of stuff from Hogwarts and write as often as you want, okay, Lils?"
"Okay, Al," said Lily, as she hugged him.
Ablus then got on the train as we smiled.
"Why are they all staring?" asked Albus, beckoning to the crowd.
"Don't let it bother you, it's because of me, I'm very famous," said Ron, as we laughed.
James and Albus waved good-bye and soon the Hogwarts Express disappeared in a cloud of steam and smoke.
"He'll be fine," said Cedric, squeezing my hand.
"Yeah, I know," I murmured, unconsciously rubbing my old lightning bolt shaped scar. The scar hadn't pained me in nineteen years; I had a family and peaceful life. All was well.