Sad to say, this is the end. I just want to say, that I love you all so much, and it makes me so sad to end this story, but I just gotta do it. There WILL be a sequel, so please, add me to your author alerts to keep an eye out! Once again thank you so much for all your support and kind words! I wouldn't have gotten anywhere without all your support. Time will jump throughout this chapter. So thank you all!
"Harry?" Hermione started fidgeting. She could feel a panic attack coming on. She wasn't ready for this.
"Hermione, goodness, calm down!" Harry sighed exhaustively.
"I can't! I can't do this!" She cried out, pulling at her hair.
Harry grabbed her shoulders, shaking her roughly. "Hermione, you gave birth to a baby in the middle of a war! You've been preparing for this since you were born. Hermione Jean Granger, you can handle you're N.E.W.T.S. You'll do just fine."
She began to hyperventilate. "You know, I think I should go home, Eridanus probably needs me."
"Remus and Tonks have him. He's four months old. He's a big boy Hermione, he'll be fine." Harry assured her, dragging her towards the Great Hall.
Everyone had worked so hard to rebuild the castle so quickly. Money and time were all donated, and the old magic was restored.
Hermione had spent most of her time repairing the library and then repairing the courtyard. Tonks and Andromeda often watched Eridanus for her, and she was eternally grateful.
Ron and her had restored their friendship. He had come to accept that her heart would always belong to Sirius, even in death. Unfortunately, that meant Hermione had to put up with Lavender. But the witch wasn't as bad as Hermione had thought. Nearly dying during the Great Battle really changed Lavender's perspective of things. The two witches gathered for tea every week.
She had moved in with Harry right after the Battle. He had been so accommodating and so incredibly helpful with Eridanus. Harry would even feed him and change his diaper! Harry was the Wizarding World's hero, but he was also Hermione Granger's personal hero. He was the brother she never had, and she loved him to bits and pieces.
Ginny had also been incredible with Eri. She would often play with him, their favorite being peek a boo. She could make they baby boy laugh like no other.
Harry had proposed to Ginny days after the battle (with Mr. Weasley's permission of course). The two of them plan to be married in December at Godric's Hallow.
Hermione was so happy for her two best friends, but couldn't help the stab of jealously she felt. She wished it was her getting married to the love of her life, but alas, things didn't always work out the way you wanted.
Remus and Tonks came by almost everyday to see the little guy and to help Harry fix up the old headquarters. Tonks was well on her way to have her own bundle of joy. Hermione wished the two of them the best.
Molly and Arthur were also so helpful. Molly often made dinner and brought it over, convinced that neither her nor Harry could cook. She didn't mind though, it was one less thing she had to do.
"Hermione?" Harry asked, snapping out of her flashback.
"Yeah?" She replied, sounding somewhat dreamily.
"Go on, and good luck." He whispered, pushing her forward.
She entered the Great Hall, her heart pounding. She sat down at a desk, inhaling deeply. You can do this, she told herself.
"Hermione Granger," Professor McGonagall called out. Taking a deep breath, Hermione stood, climbing up on the stage to get her diploma. She could feel hundreds of eyes on her.
"Hermione, we're so proud of you," Minerva whispered, pulling her in for a hug.
"Congratulations Hermione," Kingsley said with a smile.
"Thank you," she said with tears in her eyes. She grabbed her diploma, and waved to her friends.
She had officially graduated. She smiled. Nothing would stop her now.
"How was your first day Hermione?" Harry asked, while trying to feed seven month old Eridanus. The food was going everywhere but his mouth.
Hermione sat down at the table, relaxing immediately. She began to help herself to the pasta Molly dropped off.
"It was great," she replied. "Right now, I'm mostly just doing paper, but in a month or two, I'll be able to start doing research on the Veil."
"Now Hermione, just remember, don't-"
"Yes Harry, don't get my hopes up. Yes I know. But regardless of Sirius, the Veil is intriguing. Don't you know what the voices you heard were?" She pressed, waggling her eyebrows.
"I suppose. Just be careful," he said with a small smile, turning his attention back to Eri. "You are just the cutest little guy, aren't you?" Harry cooed.
Eridanus had a head full of black hair, his eyes a striking brown. He really was the cutest baby she had ever seen.
"How was your shift Harry?" She asked.
"It was great, raided the Lestrange manor earlier. We hit the jackpot." He said with a grin. Bellatrix was dead, but the crimes would be pinned on Rodolphous.
Hermione rolled over, moaning. She walked to Eri's room where he was crying. She gently picked him up, and began rocking him.
"Come on baby, go back to sleep," she asked him gently.
He was getting so big, and everyday, her love for him grew more and more.
After twenty minutes, Eri finally fell asleep. Hermione gently laid him down, and then crawled back into bed.
She was exhausted. She had begun her research on the Veil, but it was draining all her energy.
She began to cry, wishing Sirius was here. She needed him. Needed his support and his love. "I miss you so much," she whispered, then burying her face into her pillow sobbing.
"Harry!" She burst into the kitchen. "Oh hey Ron." She gave him a small smile when she saw he was playing with Eridanus.
"Guess what! I've proved my theory, it's being reviewed now!" She shrieked, bouncing up and down.
"Oh?" Harry asked. "What was your theory again?" He asked sheepishly.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "I've proved that the Veil leads to an alternate universe! Now all I do is translate the runes surrounding it."
He grinned, "Brilliant Mione!"
She nodded, "Luna is being so helpful. I'm glad I recruited her to the team. She sees things so differently. We make a great pair."
Remus looked at Harry, taking in his haggard appearance. "How is she?"
Harry frowned, "She seems all right during the day, but at night, she just tosses and turns nonstop. I can hear her screams."
Remus frowned. "I was hoping she would be doing better."
Harry nodded. "Me too. I don't know if she remembers the nightmares or not... she never mentions them during the day, and I'm far too afraid to ask her about them. You know how she is."
Remus nodded. "I'll try and stop by and see her soon. Maybe she'll want to talk to me?"
"Good luck with that. She doesn't like talking about him. Master of changing the subject, she is." Harry said with a chuckle.
"Ron, I really shouldn't be giving you advice on this, this is awkward." Hermione said, bent over the sink washing dishes.
"But Mione, you're the only other girl I talk to! And Ginny hates her, so it's not like I can ask her." Ron protested.
"It's a decision that needs to be made between you and Lavender, not you, me, and Lavender." Hermione argued.
"Pleaseeeee," he whined.
"Fine? You really want my opinion?" She huffed. Ron nodded eagerly. Hermione sighed. "Lavender wants you to propose. She thinks you've been together long enough. Don't interrupt me," she shot him a glare, "But honestly, I think you should wait longer. People change so much as they grow up, and I just think you should wait. You're young, you have your whole life ahead of you. Put things off, trust me."
"You really think so?" He asked.
She nodded. "I love Eridanus, don't get me wrong, but it's hard. This isn't how I pictured my life. I thought I'd be going out, having fun with the girls, but I'm home changing nappies. Like I said, I wouldn't change it for anything in the world, but I can't see you doing this. You're young Ron. Go out and live your life. Live it with Lavender if you want, but don't just tie down yet."
Ron nodded, then pulled her in for a hug. "Thanks for being the best friend ever," he mumbled into her shoulder.
Hermione chuckled. "I love you Ron, you'll always be my best friend."
"AHHHH! NOOO!" She screamed, tossing and turning in her sleep.
Harry burst into the room minutes later, seeing her tossing about, tangled up in her sheets. Her body was covered in sweat, tears pouring down her face. He frowned, crawling into bed with her.
"Shhhh, Hermione, it's okay," he cooed, holding onto her tightly.
She continued moaning and turning for another half hour or so, before she finally fell back into a peaceful sleep.
Harry looked down on her frowning. This happened almost every night. But nothing could stop it. He leant down and kissed her forehead. "Sleep tight Mione."
He quickly exited the room, then went and checked on Eridanus to make sure he was still asleep. The baby was snoring slightly, causing Harry to smile.
"So Remus, how is Tonks holding up?" Hermione asked, laying back on the couch watching Eridanus play with his toy.
"Oh, she's doing good. Been a bit moody lately, but that's expected." Remus said with a light smile.
The two of them watched Eridanus play. He was nibbling on the corner of his favorite toy, which just happened to be a stuffed dog, who looked just like Padfoot. Uncle Remus thought it'd be perfect for his little man.
Hermione grinned, leaning forward to wipe away the spit that was dribbling down his face. He cooed, causing her to giggle.
"You're doing great with him," Remus said.
Hermione smiled at him. "I couldn't have done it without your help. Thank you."
Remus chuckled, "This is all you. You're a great mother, and I'm proud of you."
"Do you, Harry James Potter, take Ginerva Molly Weasley to be your wife? To have and to hold for life?" Kingsley asked.
Harry grinned, "I solemnly swear."
Hermione smiled. His choice of words was perfect.
"And do you, Ginerva Molly Weasley, take Harry James Potter to be your husband? To have and to hold for life?"
"I solemnly swear!" She shouted, tears streaming down her face.
"I pronounce you bound for life. You may kiss your bride!"
Harry and Ginny kissed, causing everyone to erupt into applauding.
Ron put his arm around Hermione, holding her closely. She wiped away a lone tear. She was so happy for the two of them. They were going to have their ever after.
There wasn't any two people in the world who deserved it more.
She watched as they danced around, lost in their happiness. She bounced baby Eri on her hip. He was getting so big. Molly was ensuring he became a nice plump baby.
"You'll find your happily ever after too Hermione, don't worry," a soft airy voice said behind her.
She jumped in suprise, turning to find Luna smiling at her. "Luna, don't sneak up on me like that! You know I hate it."
Luna smiled. "Maybe if you were more observant."
"Maybe," Hermione cheekily replied.
"Who did you come with?" Hermione asked, curious. Her and Neville had tried dating, but things just didn't work out. They remained close friends.
"Oh, his name is Rolf. He's very charming, and he smells nice." She said smiling.
Hermione grinned. "Well, he sounds lovely."
"Oh he is. And Daddy loves him! They talked about Nargles for over an hour the other day." Luna stated dreamily.
Hermione scribbled in her notepad. She could almost translate the runes. She was close, so close. But she was getting tired, and she needed to get home. She stood, gently approaching the Veil.
"Sirius, I love you," she whispered, trailing her hand over the archway, skimming the runes. "Come back to me," she said, tears leaking from her eyes. She let go of the archway, and headed towards the door.
It was time to get back to her baby. His birthday was tomorrow. He beautiful one year old baby.
She cast one last glance at the archway. "I'll see you in two days," she whispered.
She closed and locked the door behind her, warding it shut, not noticing the runes were glowing.
Once again, thank you all so much for your support. Keep on the lookout for the sequel. In the meantime, check out some of my other stories, I'm sure they might hold your interest. I love you all! :D And thank you for the great opportunity! I couldn't have done it without you! Thanks again! :D