Astoria Greengrass was brimming with anticipation.
She had been extremely tired, and had been looking forward to going home after her shift at the hospital ended, and slipping between the sheets with Zach for an hour or two before he had to get up and go to work. Maybe she'd even wake him up for a little play time.
Tori truly loved her life. How could she not. She was on course to become a first rate healer and had a wonderful family. Ok, yes, she had done it a little backwards from what she'd planned, but she just hadn't been able to resist Zach Smith. He was just everything she had ever wanted in a husband. Good looking, intelligent, and quite aware that she ruled the roost.
They had met in healer school, even though they had attended Hogwarts together, their difference in age at the time, not to mention their houses nearly guaranteed they ran in very different circles. Yet, after Hogwarts, houses stood for nothing, and Zach felt free to court the stunning young Greengrass.
Their romance was nothing short of epic, though not even close to her older sister's tale, Tori was very happy with her own love story. Upon his graduation from Healer school, Zach had proposed, and even said he'd wait until Tori finished school on her own. That had pretty much sealed it, and Tori and Zacharias Smith were married a year later. He hadn't even cared that she chose to keep her own last name.
Tori had a much tougher time getting through school however. Having two children will do that. Still, Tori never complained. As she knew all to well, life happens, no matter what your plan is, life loves to throw little curves at you, just to watch you squirm.
But she loved her life, and looking back, she wouldn't change a thing. Not a single one. That's where she had found herself at the end of another long graveyard shift at St. Mungo's when her world got thrown about, and she found herself making a list of contacts and preparing to contact them all and tell them to get to the hospital.
The first couple to arrive were Sirius Black and Amelia Bones. Sirius led the way, leaning heavily on his cane, his long curtain of black hair was only now starting to gray. If pressed, Astoria would have said that Sirius Black's life had changed the most after the war.
With the body of Peter Pettigrew being submitted, having been found among the fallen Death Eaters at Hogwarts, as well as pensieve memories submitted by himself, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, not to mention the fact that Sirius had plated such a pivotal role in the war and the final battle itself, the Ministry declared Sirius free, and gave him a very hefty sum of gold in reparation for his imprisonment. One of Minister Shacklebolt's finest acts, Astoria had felt.
Sirius was asked to teach at Hogwarts by Headmaster Flitwick, which Sirius accepted. Astoria remembered fondly her classes with the old marauder, and how much fun it was to learn Defense with him. He was nearly as good a teacher as Harry Potter had been in their secret classes during her third year.
Sirius had also gone in with The Weasleys, and rebuilt the Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, which had quickly outstripped Zonko's as the finest joke shop in all of Europe.
However, there were still people who refused to believe that Sirius Black was the upstanding gentleman that he was. Two years after the war, Sirius had been attacked while he was attending some formal function with Amelia Bones and Harry Potter. That was how he'd ended up using a cane, though the attacker had lost his life. Not a very fair trade in Astoria's opinion. Sirius shouldn't have been forced to rely on a cane.
Amelia had chosen the quiet life. Though she had been offered the post of Minister of magic following the Final battle, she had refused. She and Sirius had been together since the end of the war, and even before that if the stories were true. Astoria had been there, but had been far to preoccupied to really notice.
Though she was always seen with Sirius at functions, Amelia was said to be very happy at home, far away from admirers
Twenty minutes later, Nymphadora Tonks arrived, her hand gripped tightly around a little boy's as she entered the hospital. The Head of the DMLE sat her son in a seat next to Sirius and hugged Amelia before asking about the situation that had made her rush here instead of going into the office as she had been about to.
Tonks was an inspiration to Tori. After losing her husband to be, Remus Lupin that fateful day, Tonks had learned a few days later that she was pregnant. Over the next few years, she split her time being an Auror and her first born. Tonks was very happy in her life, and despite advice from friends and family, she never dated. So far as she was concerned, she had found her great love, and it had been more than enough.
It was Tracey Weasley and her husband Fred who arrived next. Astoria still had difficulty in figuring out how it had all happened. Tracey never gave too many details on their romantic life. Well, if you didn't count the sexual exploits. According to Tracey, Fred was an animal in bed… and the floor, the counter, the Knight Bus… Astoria shivered slightly.
Tracey's relationship with Susan Bones had fizzled almost immediately when they had returned to Hogwarts for their final year. Tracey often said that she wasn't surprised, but Astoria remembered how sad Tracey had been that year. Almost like she was lost. Though Tracey and Susan remained friends, so far as Tori knew, it had really hurt Tracey deeper than she had let on.
It was through Daphne that Astoria had learned of Tracey's engagement to Fred Weasley. Tori remembered Fred as being very upbeat and humorous, but the loss of his younger brother had changed him. He still joked, and made people laugh, but there was always a hint of sadness in his eye. Tori had not seen it, but had heard how George Weasley threw himself in front of a killing curse to save his brother. No family had sacrificed more than the Weasleys. As far as Astoria was concerned. three of their children had died, two of them at Hogwarts just before Voldemort himself fell under Harry Potter's blade.
Tracey and Fred were followed closely by the elder Weasleys Arthur was much balder than he had been nearly ten years ago, and Molly was a bit heavier, but she was still every bit the motherly woman she had been. Tori hadn't seen her too often since the war, but always kept up to date and tried very hard to make it whenever the woman invited her to any function.
Tori had felt very fond of the elder Weasleys. They had been a surrogate family for her, when she hadn't been able to be with her own. Molly was the one who had gotten her interested in medicine. Seeing the woman heal cuts bruises, and broken bonds, all while doing her best to keep her patient's spirits up was awe inspiring. It was that woman who Astoria thought of whenever she met with her own patients. Plus, molly had really twisted sense of humor that she very rarely let out, but when she did, it was clear where Fred and George had inherited it from.
Tori remembered hearing her sister talk about the year after the war and how relentless Molly had been in convincing Harry that she wanted him to be a part of her family, that he had not been the reason she had lost several of her children. Harry had eventually given in, and Daphne always speculated that it was the Weasleys who had shown Harry what Family was really about.
Her own parents arrived and greeted her warmly. Her father was now retired, and her mother was in the middle of her latest book, which Tori was quite anxious to read. Especially her parts. This was to be the most complete book on the fall of Lord Voldemort. Mrs. Greengrass had interviewed absolutely everyone who had survived that day, including the remaining Death Eaters who were locked in Azkaban. Not only that, but she had been given notes from Harry written by Albus Dumbledore himself.
Tori only hoped she'd look quite heroic in the book.
Finally, the Longbottoms arrived, with Hermione waddling to a seat. She was very nearly ready to pop, if her belly was any indication. Everyone came around to say hello to the former bookworm, and greet Neville as well. Both Neville and Hermione had gone into law, though different careers. Hermione had found her way into legislation, and with hard work had worked with the control and regulation of magical creatures to repeal some very old and restrictive laws and make life better for Werewolves, house elves, and Centaurs, among others.
Neville on the other hand had gone into the Auror corp. Neville had become a legend quite quickly among the Aurors, and had even been asked to train aurors in America, Sweden, and France. He decided however to remain in England, and train the future law enforcement agents. Hermione had been pleased as she preferred not having to worry if he'd be coming home at night. Astoria felt that Neville lost his taste for chasing Dark Wizards before he'd even entered the Corp, though he had yet to realize it.
"Has there been any word yet?" Sirius asked, stepping over as Hermione and Mrs. Weasley began talking about Ginny Weasley's upcoming season as captain of the Holyhead Harpies. Rumor had it Ginny was a shoo in for the English national team this year.
"I haven't heard a thing yet." Tori smiled at the older man who looked like he was about o have kittens. Amelia came up and guided him back to a seat close to Hermione.
Astoria turned around to see a young nurse smiling at her.
"They're asking for you."
The nurse nodded and Astoria informed the group she'd be back in a few moments. Tori followed the nurse down a hall and into a room where the patient was screaming at the top of her lungs while a thin man with unruly black hair was trying to calm her down.
"What have you done?" Tori asked loudly, yelling over the woman's shrieks.
"I think she's having second thoughts." The man said, looking tired and exasperated.
"Uh, little late for that, isn't it?" Astoria asked wryly.
"She nearly hexed the healer. Luckily I was able to disarm her. I don't think he wants to help us anymore, so I asked for you. I figured she'd feel a little better if it were you."
Astoria shook her head and stared at the woman, grinning. "Ever the princess, eh Daphne?"
"I've changed my mind is all." Daphne Potter said flatly, terror lacing her voice. "I'm not ready yet."
"I don't think you're going to get anymore ready. It's not that bad." Tori said, coming around the bed to have a look.
"You told me that it hurts worse than getting… "
"I was having you on, for Merlin's sake. Stop being such a coward and lay back down!" Astoria smirked, and waved her wand at her sister to get a diagnostic reading on how things were progressing. "Haven't you been telling me for years you wanted children? A lot of children?"
"Not all in one go. I was hoping to spread them out. It's his fault." Daphne shouted pointing to her husband who was shaking his head, and coming around to take her hand. Him and his super magic…"
"HEY! As I recall, you were involved too. In fact, I distinctly remember you ripping my clothes off and begging me to…"
"Ok! I think I've heard enough." Astoria shouted, placing her hand on her own stomach and making a sick face.
"I wanted one at a time, Potter. One at a time. Spread them out over a few years time." Daphne snapped, her face pale."
"The next one will be just one, I promise.' Harry Potter said, looking deep into his wife's eyes. Daphne looked scandalized.
"What on earth makes you think I'm ever going to allow your wand near me again."
"That's funny." Astoria grinned from her position. "I said the same thing to Zach when Emily was born."
"And then you went and had Griffin." Harry smiled and Tori nodded.
"What can I say, Zach just des it for me."
"Oh, Stop it." Daphne whined. "I don't want to throw up and give birth to triplets at the same time."
"Then I suggest we focus on what we have to do. Now Daph, for once in your life, I'm begging you to listen to me and do exactly as I say, because these kids want out now."
Tracey was the first to see him coming down the hall. She was leaning into Fred's arms, taking in the scene of so many old friends together again. They hadn't all be together like this since Susan and Justin's wedding four years ago. Though, Ginny and Bill and Fleur had been there as well. Still, Tracey couldn't help thinking how nice it was.
She turned when she saw him. He looked tired, but proud. Happier than even on his wedding day. The secret wedding on that island seven years ago. Tracey had to admit, the Potters knew how to have a wedding.
"Harry?' She asked, and somehow, that single word brought a tense silence down on the formally boisterous waiting room.
Harry Potter smiled at each and every face, his eyes sparkling with joyful tears as he nodded, trying to find his voice.
"Everyone is perfect.' he said after several moments. "Daphne's extremely tired, but she, James, Ron, and Andrea are all in perfect health."
"My gods Harry, triplets?" Amelia asked breaking the silence. "You never do anything by halves, do you?"
Harry simply smiled softly as he allowed himself to be hugged and kissed by his extended family.
Upon returning from their getaway, Harry and Daphne finished Hogwarts with their friends, and Harry contemplated entering the Auror core as had been his dream, but both he and Daphne felt they had given enough of themselves fighting the Dark Arts altogether. Daphne's father had even asked that Harry consider something else all together.
So it was that Harry and Daphne began working with orphans and underprivileged magical children. He, Daphne and Tracey helped establish a school for young magical children to better prepare them for Hogwarts, which Tracey now headed.
Daphne and Harry found they enjoyed their life, free of schedules, and thanks to their vast wealth, gave them the freedom to do as they pleased. It was how they had managed to pull off the great wedding caper, as Sirius like to call it. Inviting their friends to what was supposed to be a celebration on a far away island in the Caribbean that turned out to be the union of House potter and House Greengrass.
Though they had talked about having children for years, Harry and Daphne kept putting it off, though they never had a real reason to do so. It wasn't until Daphne had decided that she was ready that they truly discussed it. Daphne felt they needed a few years to themselves. They had given up a good part of their youth, Harry especially for war. Daphne felt they needed the time to have a sort of youth. But, when she felt they had been selfish enough, and the desire for a baby became so strong, Harry and Daphne started to make their family.
Had Daphne known what she was getting herself into, she may have thought about it a little more. Though, not much more.
Tired, and weak, Daphne looked at the two little miracles in her arms as her younger sister cooed to the third, smiling proudly at Daphne. In all her years, Daphne was sure she had never seen anything more magical than the three brand new lives before her. The lives she and her husband, her truest love had made together.
Harry stepped into the room and took his daughter from his sister-in-law, and sat next to Daphne, stooping to kiss her ever so gently. Tori smiled and left the new family alone, deciding she should go talk with the crowd in the waiting room, who was likely throthing at the mouth for all the details. Knowing Harry, he'd only told them everyone was alright, and came back.
Daphne sighed with exhaustion and real contentment. As she smiled at the two sleeping boys in her arms she knew in her heart that this was real magic. This was what it was all about. This is what the prophecy had been talking about all those years ago. This was the power he knew not. This was love.