AUTHOR'S NOTES: I really changed things up with the ending of this story starting with getting rid of the song lyrics and adding a mini-epilouge. Hopefully y'all like this verson of the story better than the original
In his secret lair, Voldemort sat in his main chamber, pondering his next move. He'd tried sneaking into Harry Potter's mind but the boy's mental barriers—while still new—were sufficient to prevent violation. If he went too forcefully, Potter would know that Voldemort was trying to access his thoughts and Potter would seek help to protect his mind.
So how was he supposed to lure the boy into the Department of Mysteries to retrieve the prophecy?
As Voldemort continued to ponder the question, he started to consider that perhaps he should start by slowly increasing the force he used to penetrate Potter's mind. With enough force, he should be able to plant a luring vision in Potter's mind and if he worked slowly, he'd be able to avoid detection.
Returning to Hogwarts after the holidays, Angelina cornered Ginny and Mallory in the Gryffindor common room before dinner. "I realize that it's still snowing," Angelina said, quickly. "But I want a team practice in 2 hours. That should be sufficient for us all to grab a bite to eat before we head out."
Mallory nodded and dashed upstairs to change into her Quidditch robes before she headed down to the Great Hall. Sitting next to Ginny, she pulled a platter of chicken towards her and grabbed a couple drumsticks before loading up her plate with food.
"Mallory, I want to apologize," Ginny said, after a while. "How I treated you at the start of the year was entirely unfair. I'm sorry."
"Hey, I understand jealousy," Mallory replied. "I know you like Harry and to you I was just some American brat stealing your boyfriend. Or potential boyfriend, anyway. Besides, you…" She trailed off as she saw Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, and George running up to the table. Harry looked weak and kept rubbing his head as though he'd just gotten over a wicked bad migraine.
"Harry?" Ginny asked, looking concerned. "What's wrong?"
"Voldemort just broke through my barriers," Harry said, weakly as he sat down, willing the pain to end. "I saw… I don't know where it was, but… Voldemort was after something. Something important." After a few beats he said, "I need to tell Dumbledore."
"We'll come with you," Ginny said, starting to get up. Quidditch could wait after all if the problem was Voldemort.
"Stay here," Ron muttered, his eye catching a flash of pink by the main doors. Keeping his voice low, he went on, "Umbridge just walked in. 'Mione and I will take Harry to Dumbledore. If Umbridge asks, Harry was having a migraine."
Fred and George nodded that they understood watched as the trio headed off to find Dumbledore while Ginny—who always instinctively knew when her brothers were hiding something—asked, "What is it?"
Fred looked at George who replied, "We managed to get a few details of Dad's attack out of Sirius."
Fred picked up the line. "Dad was in the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic."
"And what could possibly be in there that Voldemort would want?" Ginny asked, confused. Her brothers' only reply was a dual shrug.
"We should be with Harry, not out here," Mallory said as she blocked the quaffle one of the chasers had thrown her way.
Ginny flew nearby, snatching the Snitch out of what seemed to be thin air. "I agree," Ginny replied, not really aware that Mallory had been musing aloud to herself. "But we can't just leave without warning. Especially not with Umbridge watching our every moves."
Mallory tossed the quaffle back to Angelina then nodded. "Yeah, that's true…" But she noticed the look in Ginny's eye and added, "But who says that should stop us, huh?"
"Come on. Let's go to the Ministry and see what Voldemort's after," Ginny said and after hasty good-byes to a shouting Angelina, Ginny and Mallory zoomed off towards Hogwarts.
"Shouldn't we be going to London?" Mallory asked as they hovered near the Astronomy Tower.
"Wait here," Ginny said, dodging the question as she managed to jump from her broom to the open window. "I have to ask someone a favor before we go."
"They went where?" Harry exclaimed as Angelina Johnson caught up with him in the Gryffindor Common Room half an hour later.
"They thought something was up with you," Angelina replied, curious as to the look of rising panic on Harry's face. "So they just took off and headed to London."
"Isn't that what you saw in that vision you had?" Hermione said, fear creeping into her voice. "Ginny and Mallory being captured?"
"We've got to get to London," Harry said, quickly. "Before the Death Eaters get to them."
"But how are we going to get there?" Ron asked. "And let's not forget the fact that you're blind, Harry."
"I'm fully aware of that fact, Ron," Harry snapped, angrily. "But we have to do something. We can't just sit here." After a few moments of thinking of how to rescue the ladies, he said, "We can fly to the ministry."
"You can't fly a broom, Harry," Hermione said, gently. She hated to remind Harry yet again of his disability, but it happened to be a crucial issue.
"So what?" Harry replied, again annoyed by the reminder. He was well aware of being blind, thank you very much. He didn't need his friends bringing up the issue every 30 seconds. "I can ride with you or Ron."
"What about your tutor?" Hermione suggested. "Maybe she might be able to get us to London safely."
"Mac?" Harry asked, his brow furrowing. After a second, though, his eyebrows raised. "That's… not a bad idea. Yeah, let's go talk to her first."
As the three best friends headed out of the room, Ron asked, "Harry, if we're running off to the Ministry isn't that kind of walking right into You-Know-Who's trap?"
"It's Mallory and Ginny," Harry replied, succinctly.
"Yeah," Ron agreed as he thought of his sister being in danger. "Let's go."
"Did you ever stop and think this is a trap?" Ginny asked as she and Mallory walked into the strangely deserted Ministry of Magic. There was no one about and the only sounds were their footsteps on the worn marble and tile floor.
"Of course it's a trap," Mallory said, her wand out and her eyes in constant motion as they swept the room looking for any signs of an attack. "That's why we're here. We're either bait for Harry or we're springing the trap early."
Ginny looked apprehensive as she also looked around the Ministry. "If we're bait, then isn't it bad for us to be here?"
"It's only bad to be bait if you don't know that you're bait," Mallory countered, thinking of all the horror movies she'd seen. "And the first rule of not being bait is that you don't just go wandering aimlessly. You should either go directly to where you need to or stay put." Mallory went off to the side of the room and sat down on top of an abandoned desk.
Ginny joined her a minute later after securing the room but the eerie quiet made the hairs of the back of her neck stand on end. "What are we doing now?" Ginny wanted to know, looking expectantly at Mallory.
"Waiting for the sudden happening of events," Mallory replied with a shrug. At Ginny's confused expression, she added, "Hey, I was in hospitals a lot as a kid. I watched a lot of horror movies. Kinda easy to pick up on the consistent plots and patterns after a while."
Ginny nodded and as the minutes ticked by, she decided to try small talk as she asked, "So… where did you live in America?"
"I've been waiting for you to turn up," Mallory said when she finally saw Harry, Ron, and Hermione come through one of the Floo fireplaces in the atrium of the Ministry of Magic. It had been almost an hour since she had arrived and she'd been starting to get increasingly bored.
Sitting casually on the edge of the fountain, Mallory seemed perfectly calm and didn't seem worried at all about Voldemort. "Where's Ginny?" Ron asked, looking around, suspiciously. Something about this didn't seem right and he wondered if Mallory was under the Imperious Curse or something.
Mallory stood up and looked over the others. "I told her to alert Dumbledore as soon as we found this place deserted. She argued with me but she finally left. She's safe, don't worry."
Harry had his cane out in front of him as he slowly walked around. "Any signs of struggle?" he asked, wondering if everything looked normal or if there had been a battle here earlier.
"Nothing," Mallory replied. "But let's take a look around. Maybe we'll find whatever it is the Death Eaters came for."
Harry, Ron, and Hermione followed as Mallory led the way down a corridor but Harry's attention focused when he heard something odd. Or, rather, he noticed a lack of something that should have been there. "Thanks for getting Ginny out of here," Harry said, trying to figure out how to execute his newly forming plan. "Ron and I were really worried about her."
"Just trying to help," Mallory replied, keeping her eyes peeled for anyone else as they arrived at the elevators. "Come on. Ginny said that her father was in the Department of Mysteries when he was attacked, so I guess we should start there." As Harry got in the elevator he managed to casually tap Mallory's left leg with his cane. "I'm right here, Harry," Mallory replied, touching his shoulder gently. "You're okay."
"Sorry," Harry replied, his mind, racing. His cane had hit her ankle… not the metal brace. He wasn't sure whu was now with them, but whoever it was, it most definitely was NOT Mallory Harper.
The real Mallory checked her watch for the 6th time in an hour and finally looked at Ginny. "Okay, That's it. I can't wait any longer. We're going to the Department of Mysteries," she said, getting off of the desk.
"But what about the trap? I thought you said it would be better if we waited here." Ginny asked, pulling her wand out and following suit.
"Harry's the real target," Mallory explained. "If he springs the trap right now, he'll be without any backup." The two headed down the hallways and stopped as they saw an elevator returning to position. "Someone's here," Mallory said, looking at Ginny before fingering her wand cautiously.
"But who?" Ginny asked as she and Mallory got in and gave their destination.
"Only one way to find out," Mallory said as the elevator began moving.
"So… are you scared?" Ginny asked, trying to calm her own fears. She didn't know what was going on and she hated when that happened.
Mallory nodded. "Oh, yeah," she admitted, freely. "I'm afraid we're too late and something's happened to Harry… that we'll be killed… Only an idiot wouldn't be afraid right now." Glancing over at Ginny, she added, "The trick is to use fear as a caution to keep you from doing something stupid."
"So… we're not afraid…" Ginny said, trying to be braver than she felt. "We're being cautious."
As the elevator stopped, Mallory admitted, "I'm scared shitless. You?"
"Definitely," Ginny replied as they got off the elevator and started looking around. "There's wandlight coming from down that hallway,""
Mallory pulled her own wand out and took the lead, Ginny right behind. "Stay behind me," Mallory whispered as they got closer. "Keep your wand out."
Behind him, Harry heard two sets of footsteps, one of which was uneven. Turning, he heard Ginny exclaim, "Harry! You're okay!"
"Ginny?" Ron turned to see his sister coming down the corridor with—"Mallory?" Turning to the girl leading the way, Ron pulled his wand out and pointed it at her. "Who are you?" he demanded, quickly.
"And don't even bother pretending to be Mallory because I know you aren't," Harry added, calmly.
The fake Mallory tried to look calm as she replied, "How did you know?"
"You don't limp," Harry said, succinctly. "So who are you really?"
The fake Mallory sighed before looking at Ginny. "You didn't tell me about the limp."
"I… didn't know about the limp," Ginny replied, defensively.
"Okay, not that this isn't amusing to watch but I still want to know who the hell you are, buster!" Mallory—the real one—said, angrily. "And why the hell are you pretending to be me?"
"It's… Malfoy," Ginny said, quietly. "Malfoy took a dose of PolyJuice Potion with one of Mallory's hairs."
"MALFOY?" Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the real Mallory exclaimed, shocked. "And why exactly is Malfoy helping us?" Ron wanted to know.
"I owed Ginny for… well… what happened between us," Malfoy said, trying to maintain a cool demeanor. "She asked for my help and I obliged."
"Well, now you can do us all a big favor by getting the hell out of here," Mallory snapped.
"Mallory, maybe he can help," Ginny insisted, not sure why the other teenager was so upset by the situation.
Mallory let out a long, exasperated sigh before looking at Malfoy. "Okay, here's the problem with you being here, Malfoy. I limp because I was born without the tendons in my left ankle. Magic and muggle surgery helped, but my ankle gets out of joint easily, thus the reason I wear a brace. You're ankle isn't braced which means if you even just trip you could dislocate your ankle and then you'd really be in trouble."
"I don't care," Malfoy insisted, stubbornly. "I promised to help Miss Weasley and while I'm not exactly very fond of any of you I will keep my word."
"If you get us killed," Mallory said, pointing her wand at Malfoy's left ankle. "I'm going to make your afterlife a living hell." Using a bandaging charm, she wrapped Malfoy's ankle and then turned to the others. "Okay, that should keep you from getting too badly hurt. Now let's find out what the Death Eaters wanted so badly."
Aspen Meadow, Colorado
In her two-bedroom apartment, Bethany Harper was sitting in her small living room, staring at the coffee table. The water glass was empty and the bottle of whiskey that stood next to it was full. A fresh joint was nearby next to her favorite lighter. She had the whole evening open and the day off from work the next day.
Ever since Thanksgiving at Hogwarts, Bethany had been getting completely drunk and high on a regular basis, eventually stumbling into to work at the local library when she was clean enough. She didn't even care what she was doing to her family. What did it matter, anyway? Mallory didn't care about what her mother did, so why did Bethany have to care either?
Hell, even Daniel had basically given up on her. He told Bethany that unless she was going to make an honest attempt at cleaning up her life, he didn't want her anywhere near himself or Mallory.
Reaching forward, Bethany poured a hefty amount of the whiskey into the glass and leaned back on the couch, studying the amber liquid inside. It was her favorite brand and the booze offered a different feeling than the drugs. She felt numb rather than foggy.
Get drunk, get high, and get rid of the pain and the nagging doubts in her mind. That was her plan and it was such an easy routine to keep. No effort needed and no one bothered her when she was like that.
But the drinking and smoking were what had gotten her to this point in the first place.
And it certainly wouldn't help endear her to Mallory.
Thinking on her daughter, Bethany sighed. After her little girl was born all she'd wanted was to make up for what had happened. Bethany had gotten cleaned up, stopped drinking and drugs and was the most wonderful mother. Every time Mallory had fallen, she knew her mother would be right there to pick her up. Her little girl had been in and out of hospitals for years and it had taken a long time before Mallory could walk without any serious limping.
Looking at the full glass again, Bethany sighed and was about to start drinking when she heard Mallory's voice in the back of her mind: "I'm done, Mom."
Mallory had never given up on her. No matter what Bethany had done, Mallory had always accepted her mother's promises to clean up and stay clean. But now Mallory was giving up. She wasn't going to be handing out any more chances.
Standing up, Bethany hurled the glass at the wall where it shattered, spilling liquor everywhere. Grabbing the open bottle, she tried to resist the urge to take a swig before pouring it down the drain. Instead, she turned and threw the bottle at the opposite wall.
This was the last time Bethany would let her daughter down. No matter what it took she'd prove to Mallory that she could be a good mother. Mallory had been through so much and if Bethany couldn't even be a strong and tough as her own daughter…
The phone rang and Bethany snatched it up quickly as she felt a terrible twisting in the pit of her stomach. "Hello?"
"Beth, have you heard from Mallory?" Daniel's anxious voice said. "Has she called you or anything?"
Bethany froze at the question and she replied, "She's at school, isn't she?"
"Dumbledore just contacted me," Daniel said, hurriedly. "Mallory's gone to the British Ministry of Magic with—"
"I-I'll be there as soon as I can," Bethany said, quickly, cutting her ex-husband off. Hanging up the phone, she paced frantically for a moment before grabbing her wand and heading for the door.
Ministry of Magic
Department of Mysteries
Hiding behind a pile of rubble with Hermione, Ron, and Mallory, Harry was trying as hard as he could to keep his girlfriend from rushing into the battle where her father was fighting gallantly against Bellatrix Lestrange.
In the Department of Mysteries, the teenagers had been ambushed by Death Eaters and it was only the fortuitous arrival of the members of the Order of the Phoenix and Mallory's parents which had saved the Hogwarts students from being killed.
But despite the danger around her, Mallory had wanted to join the fray and fight alongside her father. "Let go of me!" Mallory shouted, trying to get to her father, even though Harry was holding her back. "He's my dad! I have to help him!"
"You'll be killed!" Hermione said, helping Harry restrain her. "Think about this for—"
"DAD!" Mallory screamed as she saw a jet of red light fly in her father's direction but to her shock and horror, Bethany leapt in front, taking the spell in the chest. Mallory could only watch dumbfounded as her mother fell backwards through the veiled archway. Just as she was about to run after her mother, Mallory felt arms circling her from behind. "NO! Let go! I have to save her! MOM!"
"Honey… Mallory… she's gone…" Daniel said, as he dragged Mallory away, struggling to hold his daughter as she kicked and fought to free herself.
"She can't be!" Mallory insisted, even though she knew it was true.
"She's gone," Daniel said, quietly, trying to hold himself together for his daughter's sake. "If she'd just fallen through don't you think she'd be back up by now?" Hugging his daughter, he added, "Thank God I didn't lose you, Mal."
"She can't be dead!" Mallory said, still fighting. "Mom! Mom, I'm sorry!" she cried at the veil fluttering as though a breeze had gone through the room. Finally twisting out of her father's hold, Mallory started to run after Bellatrix who was heading for the exit but catching her foot on a rock, Mallory cried out at she felt her left ankle slip out of place and there was a loud sound between a snap and a crack as she landed hard on her left leg. Ignoring the pain, Mallory got up and tried to hobble away, but again fell to the ground.
"Mallory!" Daniel exclaimed as he ran to his daughter and knelt down, staring at Mallory's leg in horror. "Oh, God… It's okay, baby."
"Get away from me," Mallory said quietly as she tried to stand but couldn't because of her dislocated ankle. When she fell to the ground again, she started sobbing and said something she hadn't since she was a child. "I want my mommy…"
"Mallory…" Daniel hugged her and didn't even try to stop his own tears. "I'm so sorry… I'm sorry, Mallory. It's okay, baby girl. I've got you."
Not knowing what else to do, Mallory hugged her father, crying as she tried not to think that her mother was gone forever.
Nearly two weeks later, Harry was sitting in the Gryffindor common room reading when he heard someone come in through the portrait door. "Who's there?" he asked, closing his book after marking his place.
"Just me," Mallory said, hobbling over to the sofa on her crutches and sitting next to Harry before putting her left leg—now in a full-length cast—on a footstool. "I see you're looking okay after what happened. By the way, what did happen to you anyway?" Mallory asked, confused. "Everyone was kinda vague with the details."
"I… Dumbledore told me I defeated Voldemort…" Harry said, slowly. "Voldemort entered me. It was the most horrible experience I've ever had. I wanted to die, but… When I thought about dying… and seeing my parents again… suddenly it was like I was facing off with Voldemort in my mind."
"Okay…" Mallory replied, confused, but trying to make sense of it. "So what happened then?"
"I could see him. My mum and dad were with me, and Cedric Diggory…" Harry gave a half smile and shook his head. "I felt… light. Strong… Suddenly, Voldemort was writhing in pain. I raised my wand, and I- I killed him." Feeling for Mallory's hand and squeezing it, he added, "Dumbledore told me that love was my ultimate weapon. That that was how I finished him once and for all."
"Love…" Mallory's voice cracked as she thought about her mother. "It's… powerful. Makes us do… really stupid things." Hugging Harry, she tried to push away the sight of her mom falling through the veil.
Hugging his girlfriend back, Harry asked, "How's the leg?"
Pulling away and wiping the tears from her eyes, Mallory replied, "Madame Pomfrey fixed what she could. Had to have surgery to take care of the rest. But I'm in a cast until my leg heals completely."
"How long is that?" Harry wanted to know.
"7 weeks," Mallory sighed. "Almost two months. And I can't put any weight on it."
"I hate to ask…" Harry started, wondering how the query would be received. "But how are you and your dad doing?"
Mallory looked away even though Harry couldn't see her tears. "I can't believe Mom's dead. Everything I said to her and… And she'll never know how sorry I am."
Harry let go of Mallory as she got up and he heard her going upstairs. He couldn't imagine how devastated she felt and wished he could do something to help her deal with her mother's death.
On the last day of the school year, Mallory was sad to leave Hogwarts. The castle had become her new home and for the first time she could remember, she wished her mother would be picking her up.
The Great Hall was half empty and most students were just grabbing a quick bite of breakfast before going to board the Hogwarts Express.
Sitting alone at one end of the Gryffindor table, Mallory picked at her food, not really hungry. She couldn't stop thinking about the last time she'd spoken to her mother and when she thought about it, she wished she could all of the things she'd said. Bethany had sacrificed herself so that Daniel would live. More than that, Bethany had given her life because she knew that Mallory needed her father fore than her mother.
"You're going to be late for the train," said a light, dreamy voice.
Looking up, Mallory saw Luna Lovegood—a friend of Ginny Weasley's—sitting opposite her. "Thanks, Luna," Mallory muttered, getting up from the table. She was surprised when Luna followed her.
"I'm sorry about your mum," Luna said, gently. When Mallory gave her a surprised look, she shrugged, lightly. "Harry told me. I know it's hard to lose someone like that. My mum and I fought before she died. I wished I could tell her that I was sorry, but I know now that she knows I didn't mean it."
"How do you know?" Mallory asked as she stopped walking to look at the Ravenclaw student.
"I feel it in my heart," Luna replied, as though the answer were obvious. "I know Mum forgave me for what I did. Just like I know your mum forgives you."
Mallory wasn't sure she believed what Luna was saying, but it made her feel better to think that her mother had died with forgiveness, rather than thinking that Mallory hated her.
5 Years Later
The church was getting crowded as people—witches, wizards, and muggles—came to Aspen Meadow, Colorado, to see Harry Potter and Mallory Harper marry.
In the small office off of the main room, Mallory looked at herself in the mirror, trying to calm the butterflies in her stomach. Her dress was perfect and made her look like a princess. Her hair was in an elegant braided knot and a small heart-shaped pendant hung around her neck—an engagement present from her father. But more importantly, Mallory was marrying a man she loved and who had helped her through the past 5 years after her mother's death. "I wish you were here, Mom…" Mallory whispered. It had been 5 years since her mom had died in the Department of Mysteries in the British Ministry of Magic and today that pain felt as new and fresh as if it had been yesterday.
Mallory's closed her eyes, trying to picture her mother standing next to her. But when she opened her eyes, she couldn't help smiling as she saw her father standing there in a tux. "You look beautiful," he said as he looked over his little girl. "I love you more than anything in the world. You know that, right?"
"Yeah, Daddy," Mallory said as she hugged him, not wanting to think of how she could have lost him all those years ago.
The office door opened and Sirius Black came in, smiling as well. "You look radiant, Mallory."
Mallory smiled, her right hand fiddling with the diamond engagement ring on her left hand. "Thanks, Sirius."
Looking at Daniel and Mallory, Sirius said, "We're ready whenever you are."
"We'll be right out," Daniel promised, before helping his daughter with her veil. "You look even more beautiful than your mom when we got married."
"I wish she was here," Mallory whispered, a tear sliding down her face.
"I do, too," Daniel said, taking Mallory's hands in his. "But I know she's watching you, baby girl. And I know she would want you to be happy today."
Mallory hugged her father and let the tears fall freely as she felt him hug her back.
Standing at the altar, Harry's knees were shaking as he tried to picture how Mallory would look in her wedding gown. 7 months ago he had asked Mallory to marry him and when she had said yes, he couldn't remember feeling happier. Sirius had congratulated him and Mrs. Weasley was so excited. But as Harry waited for his future wife to arrive, his thoughts drifted to his parents.
His mum would have loved Mallory. The two would probably have collaborated and made the wedding an even bigger spectacle. Or perhaps Lily Potter would have talked Mallory into a simple ceremony with ony closest friends and family invited.
James Potter would have embraced Mallory as his daughter in law and probably could have said something along the lines of Harry being as much a charmer with the ladies as his old man.
Yes, it was a day to be happy… but Harry still missed his mum and dad. But he knew that they would always be with him in spirit
The ceremony started and Harry heard Mallory's slight limping footsteps coming closer along with her father's even steps. Holding out his hand, Harry waited until he felt Mallory's hand in his and he smiled warmly.
"I love you, Harry," Mallory said as she smiled at her husband to be.
"I love you, too," Harry promised her.
The priest, Father Jason Grant, waited until everyone had ceased whispering before starting to speak. "Love cannot always be seen or heard. It is something that we feel deep down inside ourselves. It is something that can lift us when we have sunk lower than we ever thought possible and make the best moments of our lives seem even better. Words and gifts are an outward symbol of love, but these gestures mean nothing if the feelings are not truly felt within."
Harry didn't have to look into Mallory's eyes for her to know how he felt. Taking her hands in his, he said, "I've loved you ever since the first time I heard your voice. I worried that my life was over because I couldn't see, but really, it had just begun. I don't have to see you to know you're there. I've been blind to a lot of things in my life. But when I met you I finally was able to open my eyes to all the wonderful things in the world."
Mallory tried not to cry as she smiled at Harry. "I've been let down before… And until I met you I never had a real friend. You've been my best friend and a rock… and the one to hold me up even when I'm at my weakest. Nothing matters more to me than you. And I wouldn't want to be me if I didn't have you in my life. I love you, Harry. And I can't imagine how I could have made it this far without you in my life."
Harry fumbled only slightly as he slid the thin, gold wedding band on Mallory's finger. "With this ring, my eternal promise to you… I thee wed."
Mallory took the ring from Hermione and slid the thicker band on Harry's ring finger, saying, "With this ring, my eternal promise to you… I thee wed."
Harry felt for Mallory's veil and once he'd lifted it, her pulled her close and slowly leaned forward to kiss her.
19 Years Later
No matter how many times Harry came to King's Cross Station and stood on Platform 9 ¾, the smell of the train always brought back memories of the first time he'd ever seen the bright red train.
Harry felt a small hand tug on his and he grinned as he stooped to pick up his youngest daughter, Zoe. "Hey, there, muffin," Harry said, smiling. "Where's Mum and your brother and sisters?" But before Zoe could answer, Harry heard Mallory's all-too-familiar footsteps and the sounds of their other three children.
Clio was the oldest and would be entering her final year at Hogwarts. She had her mother's face and Harry's eyes and—to Clio's dismay—his messy black hair as well. Clio was constantly trying to tame her hair but most often kept it pulled back in a ponytail.
The next down was 14-year-old Maureen and unfortunately, she had inherited her father's blindness. Harry's Healer, Nicole Valentine, had been surprised that the disability had passed from Harry to his child, but she wasted no time in helping Maura deal with her situation. Now Maureen was 3rd in her year at Hogwarts and hoped to become a Prefect next year.
12-year-old Haywood 'Woody' Potter was the spitting image of his father. But despite physical resemblance to Harry, personality-wise, Woody had always had more of Mallory's quiet nature.
As Mallory and Harry got their children off to school, Mallory thought about things had changed over the years as she saw Hermione and Ron Weasley and their twins, Elizabeth and Rose, further down the track. The two had had a tumultuous relationship but they always put their daughter's first.
Looking about, Mallory also saw Ginny with her 2nd husband, Neville Longbottom, and their 11-year-old son, Franklin. With them was 16-year-old Justine Malfoy—Ginny's daughter from her first marriage to Draco Malfoy. Sadly, Draco had been killed 12 years ago in a car crash the day after his and Ginny's 10th wedding anniversary.
Once the kids were gone and Mallory had given Zoe to Hermione to babysit for the day, Harry and his wife headed out of the station and down the parking lot to their car. Arm in arm with the woman he loved, Harry couldn't imagine a better life than this.