* Okay, you have spoken and I have listened. Some wanted a sequel, but most requested an epilogue. I thought a sequel would be kind of boring, so, here's the epilogue. It's four years later. But be warned, it is super sappy, especially at the end. I love a happy ending though, and I hope you do too.
Can't wait to see the movie! I'm going to the midnight show on Thursday and dressing up, like the geek I am. Although, we're thinking that people who don't dress up will be in the minority. lol
And don't forget to check out Pottermore-J.K. Rowling's new site for all things Harry Potter. It's gonna be totally awesome (a la A Very Potter Musical)
I love you people so much! Thank you for always making me smile!
Harper walked around the house to the backyard. People were milling about dressed in suits and dresses on a fine and unusually warm May afternoon. He, himself, was dressed impeccably, as usual. A light olive green jacket, with slightly darker trousers, and a cream colored, barely discernibly striped dress shirt. His tie was wide and matched the trousers perfectly. The whole ensemble set off his skin and brought out his eyes. If there was one thing Harper knew, it was how to dress to kill. Four years after Hermione and Draco's wedding, he was still quite fit and carried himself just so.
Pansy waved to him from her seat. He thought married life must have agreed with her, as she had a glow about her. She didn't appear as harsh as she had in school. She was softer, more feminine, less femme fatale. True to his word, Ron had proposed to her when he was certain she was ready and the two of them ran off to Gretna Green in April, the year after leaving Hogwarts.
"Pans, good to see you," Harper leaned over and air kissed her cheek, then took a seat next to her.
"You still look fabulous," she smiled.
"And you look . . . content."
"I am . . ."
"But?" he prompted.
"Oh, I shouldn't complain," she sighed.
"What? Pansy Parkinson, not complain?" he laughed.
"Weasley," she corrected. "And I don't really have anything to complain about. How have you been? It's been, what, over two years?"
"About two and a half," he answered. "I've been working at the Apothecary in Diagon Alley for over a year now. I see Ginny every now and then at St. Mungo's when I deliver potions."
"Yes, she told me. She also said she'd invited you to join us for several get togethers. Why didn't you ever take her up on it?"
He shrugged. "I guess I thought it would be uncomfortable for Blaise. I figured you all were only friendly with me because of him, anyway."
Pansy put her hand on Harper's arm. "Not at all. You were just as much a part of the group as any of us. You must join our next soiree."
Harper's attention was suddenly directed away from Pansy as he caught sight of Blaise. He was talking to Ron and Neville Longbottom.
"Hello?" Pansy snapped her fingers in front of Harper's face.
"Sorry," he pursed his lips.
She turned her head to see what had drawn Harper's attention. Smiling to herself, Pansy offered some advice, "Go talk to him."
"I wouldn't know what to say," Harper said, keeping his eyes on Blaise.
When Blaise finally glanced his way, Harper gave a weak wave. The sight of Blaise walking toward him, suddenly made Harper nervous and he stood to greet him.
With an easy smile on his face, Blaise held out his hand. "How've you been?" he asked.
Harper shook his hand. "Good. You?"
"Great. Busy, but great," Blaise replied. "I had no idea you were coming."
"I wasn't sure myself."
The pair stood awkwardly for a moment before Blaise excused himself.
"I need to talk to George. I'll see you later, yeah?" Blaise patted Harper's shoulder and walked over to George.
"Good thing that wasn't extremely uncomfortable," Harper said sarcastically.
Pansy nodded toward Blaise. "Well, he's looked back at you at least three times. That's a good sign."
"A good sign for what?" Harper asked. "It's not like we're going to get back together."
"Oh . . ."
"Pansy!" Hermione yelled and waved and she waddled toward her. "Oh my goodness. Harper? I haven't seen you in years."
"You got busy, girl," he said eyeing up her plump form.
She smiled and rubbed her burgeoning belly. "Yes, we did."
"How are you feeling, Mione?" Pansy asked. "I swear, you look bigger than you did last week."
"I'm a bit tired and my ankles have swollen to the size of grapefruits, but otherwise, I'm fine," Hermione answered.
"When's the big day? Ginny never mentioned it," Harper said.
"Two more weeks," she sighed. "And Elizabeth Narcissa Malfoy will finally be here. I knew I wasn't going to go early. I could have been in the wedding."
"Congratulations," Harper kissed her cheek. "But Hermione, darling, in your state, you would have looked like a puffskein in that color. Clearly, Ginny didn't consult me," Harper scoffed. "A pale buttercup would have been much more flattering on the bridesmaids."
Hermione and Pansy laughed. Same old Harper.
"Mione, you'd better take our seat." Draco walked up behind the group. "Harper? Is that you?" He held his hand out and the two shook.
"Draco," Harper nodded and looked him up and down. "Now that's an ensemble."
Soft music began to play and guests scrambled to take their seats. Draco led Hermione to the second row, behind Molly Weasley, George, Bill, Charlie and Percy.
Harry stood under a canopy of flowers beside Ron, both dressed in brown herringbone Tail coats with matching trousers, and ivory waistcoats and ties. Draco stood on the other side of Ron wearing the same attire.
As the music changed, George's wife, Angelina, began walking down the aisle formed by the chairs on the Weasley's back lawn. Guests turned in their seats to watch her as she made her way to the canopy. Fleur followed and took her place next to Angelina. Teddy Tonks and Victoire Weasley walked together carrying a traditional ring bearer pillow and basket of peach rose petals respectively.
As soon as the children took their places, the music once again changed, to a traditional wedding march and the attendants all stood to watch Ginny, escorted by Arthur, walk down the aisle.
"I don't think I've ever seen my sister look prettier," Ron commented.
Harry only beamed as he watched her make her way to him. She was dressed in a lace covered, champagne colored A-line gown with a halter top. Her ginger hair was swept up into a loose bun and topped with a small rhinestone tiara with a shoulder length veil attached. For all Harry cared, she could have been wearing a potato sack. He was too busy gazing into her eyes.
With tears in his eyes, Arthur kissed his daughter's cheek and gave her hand to Harry. He tried to say something to Harry, but his lip quivered too much and he only nodded. Harry nodded in return, seeming to understand what Arthur was trying to say. He was trusting Harry with his precious daughter.
Arthur returned to his seat next to Molly, who was a blubbering mess.
"You didn't cry this much when I got married," Bill whispered to her.
"That's because she was happy to be rid of you," George joked.
"Shush," Molly admonished.
They heard Hermione sniff behind them.
"Girls," Percy shook his head. He caught sight of his father wiping at his eyes and rolled his eyes.
Less than half an hour into the reception, Ron, Draco and Blaise had their jacket and ties off, shirts unbuttoned and sleeves rolled. Much to Harry's chagrin, he was still being photographed, and therefor had to stay fully dressed. He and Ginny made their way around the Weasley yard, thanking guests for coming and making small talk. Harry was too relieved for words when they were called to sit down to eat.
Ten or so round tables were strewn about the yard, each seating about six people. It was a small, but perfect party to celebrate the long awaited marriage of Harry and Ginny Potter. Friends from all four houses attended, plus a few Hogwarts professors, including Hagrid and Professor McGonagall. Guests ate and drank, reminiscing about the past, the good and bad.
Gradually, guests began to depart, wishing Harry and Ginny well. Harry, at long last, had taken off his jacket, and Ginny's shoes were lost somewhere in the yard. They finally sat down at a table with Hermione and Pansy. Draco and Blaise were catching up, drinking firewhiskey in a corner, while Harper was talking to Luna Lovegood, who was from his same year.
Ron grumbled as he helped his family clean up.
"Oh, go on, Ron," Molly said. "I've had enough of your moping. You're not getting anything done anyway." She shooed him with her hands. "Go join your friends."
He quickly put down the empty glasses he was carrying and bounded over to Pansy's side. Harper wandered over when Luna left and Ron offered him a butter beer.
"No thanks," Harper answered. "I should be going."
"Already?" Pansy pouted. "It's down to the eight of us. Just like old times. Well, except for Ron's family."
"Yeah, well, that's probably a good reason for me to leave."
"Are you and Blaise still not speaking?" Hermione asked. "I thought you would have gotten over it by now."
"I am," he said. "But I made such a big fuss. It's awkward now."
"Did I miss something? I thought you broke up with him," Ron said, scratching his head.
"I did. Over something stupid. I didn't really mean it, and I thought we'd get back together, but he started dating someone else right away. I sent him a rather nasty owl."
Pansy filled in the rest. "Turns out Blaise's brother didn't like Harper much and just made it appear that Blaise was dating the other fellow. But the damage was already done and Blaise's pride wouldn't give Harper another chance."
"Blaise never told me that story," Ron pouted.
"Me neither," Harry added.
"He didn't tell anyone. I think he was too hurt that Harper never responded to his owl," Pansy explained.
"He never wrote me," Harper frowned. "That was the worst part."
Pansy cocked her head. "I was sure Blaise said he did, while he was still in Belgium visiting his brother." She shrugged. "Guess I was wrong."
"This is supposed to be a wedding party," Harper said. "Not a pity party. Drink up. I'm gonna get going." He leaned over and kissed Pansy's cheek, then Hermione, and Ginny. "Beautiful wedding dear, you look absolutely gorgeous. Next time, though, take me with you to pick out bridesmaid dresses," he winked.
"There won't be a next time, you twit."
"Not leaving already, are you?" Draco asked as he and Blaise joined the group.
"Um, well, I was, yeah."
Pansy gasped. "Wait, you can't leave yet. Now that we're all together, Ron and I have something to tell you."
"I hope it's what I think it is," Hermione smiled.
Pansy rested her hand on her belly. "Ron and I are having a baby too."
"Oh, thank Merlin," Blaise said. "I didn't want to have to be the one to tell you you were getting fat."
Ron glared at him. "Oi, mate. You never tell a girl she's fat. You trying to ruin my life? She's already asking me everyday if I think she's getting too big. And it doesn't matter what I say, it's always the wrong answer."
Draco laughed. "I can sympathize." He looked down at Hermione. "Although, at this point, I can safely say you are indeed the size of a house."
"A beautiful house, though." Draco kissed her forehead.
Ginny and Harry gave each other a secret look and giggled.
"What are you two up to?" Hermione asked.
"Should we?" Ginny questioned Harry.
"Is it too soon?"
"I don't think I can wait," she said.
The rest of the group listened to their conversation and waited anxiously to be enlightened.
Harry entwined his hand in Ginny's. "Gin's pregnant. We haven't told her family yet though."
"Mum's going to flip!" Ron said. "Two grandchildren at once."
"I'm only three months along. I had a hard time fitting into this damned dress." Ginny sighed. "Six months of dieting to fit into a dress and I get myself knocked up and have to let it out a bit," she laughed.
"You should have chosen an empire waist," Harper advised.
"Harper, what are you doing at the Apothecary? You missed your calling, you know." Ginny said. "You should be a fashion consultant."
"I can do both."
"Yes, you still dress to the nines," Blaise commented. "And pull it off quite well."
Harper glanced at him, then away, blushing lightly.
"This is what I've always wished for," Hermione began to get teary eyed. "Our children are going to grow up together. The next generation of Hogwarts students." A quick calculation in her head brought her to the realization that the children would not all be in the same class. "Pansy, how far along are you?"
"Four and a half months. I know, I did the math too. They'll be in different years. But that's all right. They'll be the best wizards there."
"Guess I'll just have to settle for being the fun uncle," Blaise said, with a twinge of sadness.
"You never know," Hermione smiled.
"I do know. It's all right. I'll babysit, then send them away when they cry or soil their diapers," he chuckled. "At least you've, got a shot. You still dating that girl?" Blaise addressed Harper.
"That blonde girl. The one you started dating after . . . me."
"Are you talking about Sharon? I never dated her. I haven't dated anyone since . . . " Harper trailed off.
The other six members of the group were like spectators at a tennis match, their eyes going back and forth between the two men, on opposite sides of the grouping.
"You haven't? But I thought . . . I saw you with her several times."
"I was in an apprenticeship with her. At the Apothecary. You saw me and didn't say anything?" Harper furrowed his brow.
"When you didn't return my last letter, I figured you didn't want to see me," Blaise explained. "But that was before I found out my brother intercepted the owls. I never got yours. Except that first one."
Harper blushed, "It figures. You get the one saying all those awful things, but not the ones apologizing. I never received any notes from you either."
"I'm terribly sorry for interrupting," Hermione said sheepishly. "But could you hurry this reunion up a bit? I so want to see you get back together. But my water just broke and I'm afraid I'm going to miss it."
Draco face paled. "Sorry? Are you saying it's time? Now?"
She nodded her head.
"Shite! We've got to get you to the hospital," Ron panicked. "You can't apparate, can you?"
"It would be best not to," Hermione told him.
"We need to fly," Draco suggested.
"I am not getting on a broom in this condition."
Ginny piped up. "We'll take the flying car. It still runs. It's not as fast as a broom but it's better than Muggle transportation."
"We'll take the car," Ron corrected her. "You two have a honeymoon to go on."
Harry and Ginny looked at each other and said simultaneously, "We're coming, too."
"I'll get the car," Ron took charge. "Ginny, you go tell Mum and Dad. And you might want to change while you're at it. Harper, you go ahead to the hospital and tell them Hermione's on her way."
"Which one?" he asked Hermione.
"St. Mungo's. They just opened up a new wing."
"Really? Brilliant," Ron said, then continued barking orders. "Blaise, have you been to Narcissa's place? Can you go there?"
"Yes, I'll go get her and bring her to St. Mungo's."
"I don't have my bag. My bag for the hospital," Hermione remembered.
"Harry, go to Draco and Hermione's and get her bag. Meet us at the hospital."
"It's blue with yellow flowers on it. Right by the front door," Hermione called just before Harry disapparated.
"What should I do?" Draco asked. "You've assigned all the important jobs," he smirked.
"Stay calm?" Ron shrugged. "And keep Hermione calm."
"Wow, that Auror training sure is coming in handy," Pansy observed. "You really know how to command a situation. It's very sexy."
"Not now, Pans." Ron winked at her and lowered his voice. "You can tell me all about it later, though."
Each of them carried out their assignments and eventually, all met up at St. Mungo's. Hermione's room was ready when she arrived, thanks to Blaise and Harper. And her bag was on a chair next to the bed. Hermione and Draco were whisked away, leaving the six remaining friends, plus Molly, Arthur and Narcissa in the waiting room.
A squat nurse came out to greet them and said that it could be a couple of hours before the baby made an appearance. She suggested they make themselves comfortable or go to the dining hall for a snack.
"I wouldn't mind a small snack," Ron bit his lip.
"Didn't you have enough to eat at the wedding? I'm the one who's supposed to be gaining weight, not you." Pansy said. Then she realized what she had said in front of Ron's parents.
Molly sat up straighter, "Pansy?"
"We've got to tell now, I've already said it," Pansy told Ron when she saw the look of surprise on his face.
He nodded. "Mum, Dad, you're going to be grandparents again."
Molly jumped up and hugged Ron. "That's wonderful news," she cried.
Arthur stood and shook Ron's hand, Then kissed Pansy's cheek. "Congratulations, son, Pansy." He snickered, "Now your mother will have someone else to knit for."
"Thank Merlin," Ron muttered.
Ginny and Harry decided to share their news as well, sending Molly right over the edge. Between the wedding and the two baby announcements, she never cried more tears of joy in one single day.
The women talked about everything to do with babies, while the men went down to the dining hall to get drinks for them. On the way, Blaise pulled Harper into an empty waiting room.
"We didn't get to finish our conversation," Blaise reminded him.
Harper swallowed nervously. He hadn't been alone with Blaise in over two years, but it was still familiar, and still electric.
"I know now that my brother sabotaged our relationship. He didn't think you were good for me. Not that it was any of his business." Blaise licked his dry lips. "I was really hurt by your letter."
"But I tried to take it back-"
"I know. When I broke up with Bryan, last month, my brother made a comment about him being worse for me than you, and that he should have gotten rid of him as well. I pressed the issue and he confessed to manipulating you into thinking I was going behind your back. That's when he told me about the letters he intercepted. He burned them, so I never did see them."
Unsure where Blaise would end up with his story, Harper said nothing and waited.
"My brother thought being bent was a phase I was going through. He told me it was disgusting and wrong. We had a huge fight and I left. We haven't spoken since."
"I'm sorry," Harper offered. "There will always be people like that, I suppose."
"You really haven't dated since we broke up?"
Harper shook his head.
Harper picked at his manicured nails, feeling vulnerable. He wanted to tell him, but Blaise seemed to have moved on. When he looked up into Blaise's chocolate brown eyes, though, he couldn't help himself.
"Because I still love you," he whispered.
It felt like an eternity as Harper watched Blaise slowly close the distance between them. Without a word Blaise leaned forward, close enough to feel one another's breath on their lips, but not touching.
"I want you back," Blaise breathed.
Harper placed his hand on the back of Blaise's head and pulled it to him, bringing their mouths together. Harper melted into Blaise as they kissed. He wanted Blaise back as well. More than anything.
Neither one was quite certain how long they'd been there, snogging. No one had walked by the deserted hall to stop them. Reluctantly, they broke apart.
Blaise cleared his throat. "They'll be wondering where we are."
"Probably not," Harper laughed. "If I know Pansy, she wouldn't have let them look for us, hoping to give us some privacy."
Blaise smiled. He was right.
"So, will you take me back?" Blaise asked.
"I thought I answered that already," Harper grinned. "But if you need me to say it, yes, I want you back. And you forgive me?"
"It was a misunderstanding. It's forgotten," Blaise said. "Just please trust me this time."
The pair walked back to the waiting room, where everyone was still awaiting news of Hermione and Draco's baby. Pansy beamed when she noticed they were hand in hand.
Ron was less subtle. "About bloody time. Pansy's been bugging me all night about you two. As if I had a say in it."
"Things are back the way they should be," Ginny smiled.
"Yeah, two fun uncles are better than one," Harper joked.
Suddenly Draco flew through the door, looking a bit shell shocked. Narcissa stood, anticipating.
"She's here," he said out of breath.
The room erupted in cheers and hugs.
"How is Hermione doing?" Narcissa asked.
"Tired, but she's all right. She's over the moon."
"When can we see her?" Ginny asked anxiously.
"They're moving us to a different room after the baby is checked out. Then Hermione can have visitors. But not for long."
He turned to go back to his wife, and stopped in his tracks. He turned back around, still with a look of bewilderment on his face.
"I'm somebody's fucking father." He quickly turned back and ran through the doorway and out of sight.
The others could help but laugh. Molly, the loudest.
"Oh, you think you'll be any different?" she laughed. "Harry, you already have that look on your face and it isn't even your baby."
Draco sat in a chair, next to Hermione's bed. She was exhausted, after attending the wedding, then giving birth.
"Let me take her for a while," he said. "You should try to sleep."
He leaned over and carefully scooped the tiny bundle out of Hermione's arms and kissed his beautiful wife on the forehead.
She closed her eyes. "I'll just rest for a moment."
Draco sat back down in the chair and gazed at his precious daughter. He was so in awe, he couldn't take his eyes off her. He stroked her fine white hair and ran a finger gently over her rosebud lips.
"Elizabeth," he whispered. They chose the name of their favorite character in literature. "I have a feeling you'll be just as strong willed," he said quietly.
"Mum will want to spoil you rotten, little one. But I'm not going to let her. I want you to be just like your mother-kind, generous and loving. And brilliant. An amazing witch . . . I suppose that's a pretty tall order. Your mum is going to be a tough act to follow, but I have confidence in you."
He caressed her miniature, velvety soft fingers. "I promise I'm going to be the best father I can. I'll make mistakes now and then, and you'll have to forgive me. But I'll never force you to be anything other than who you are. I love you so much already, Elizabeth."
Lying in her bed, Hermione smiled listening to Draco, her eyes still closed. Draco was going to be a wonderful father. He was already ahead of his own father in that regard.
Life was perfect as Hermione slipped into sleep, dreaming about her little towhead playing in the yard of their cottage in the meadow, with a young brunet boy and a ginger girl.
Hogwarts' future Golden Trio.
* And this is truly the end of this story :(
I told you it would be super sappy