Okay, here is the last chapter. Thanks to all of you that favoured and followed this story. I hope I managed to wrap this story up properly and didn't leave any major loose ends. I have some other stories in work but they're not ready for publishing yet. Enjoy the chapter.
Time skip 5 years
Daphne Potter gleefully sat in the audience when her hated step-mother Stella Greengrass was sentenced to five years at Azkaban for running an illegal business with dark artefacts. She had found out about it from Harry who worked as an auror full time now and she couldn't help but silently celebrating how now nothing stood in her way to reclaim what was rightfully hers anymore. It was really stupid how Stella had tried to make more profit than the legal businesses brought in with dealing with dark artefacts that had been left from the time of Voldemort's second rise. The aurors were massively more competent than back then and there were no sympathetic members of the Wizengamot left that could have helped her.
While Astoria was now married to Draco Malfoy, why she didn't refuse to marry the arse after he had finished his time at Azkaban she really couldn't understand, every normal contract had a loophole including a fine for breaking a clause and getting convicted for a crime fell under that clause, the two had no power to refuse her the control over the remainder of the Greengrass estate. She really couldn't imagine that her father would have been stupid enough to void the criminal clause. Draco wasn't well-liked and had no political influence and had only barely managed to take his NEWTs two years after being released from prison. Before that he had had to constantly do his community work. Not to mention that spending two years with dementors wasn't good for the mind. The remaining dementors were stuck at Azkaban, a new scheme of wards that Hermione had come up with in cooperation with Harry and Padma Patil had seen to that. All existing dementors had been herded back there and then were placed in warded rooms.
The wards had a similar effect as a patronus but were more powerful. If the dementors tried to pass the wards they would be burned and too much contact would see them destroyed. Harry had come up with the idea of creating a ward that imitated the effects of a patronus charm but didn't need to be powered by a wizard all the time a year after the war. Hermione and Padma had worked out the runic scheme and Arithmancy behind it. With how the dementors tended to follow one dark lord or another they couldn't be trusted and their world had needed a reliable solution for the problem. The dementor's kiss had been abolished as a punishment as taking care of the soulless shells was costing too much. Those that committed the worst crimes were now pushed through the veil. The dementors now couldn't glide around anymore but their presence still kept the prisoners under control. Daphne really didn't want to imagine how Stella would look after the five years. Draco had looked horrible after just two.
As the oldest remaining Greengrass descendent without any close connection to criminals and current or former prisoners, her father didn't count as she had still been at school when he committed his crimes and the actions taken by Stella against Daphne were well-known, all the businesses that filled the Greengrass vault would now come under her control. A little bit of help from Tracy who worked at the Ministry in the Department of Business Regulation and Commerce, which was tasked with overseeing businesses to make sure none of them were illegal, and she would become listed as the new owner of those businesses. She knew that she could make sure that the ingredient farm and the crystal mine could be managed a lot better and bring in more profit again. And it would ensure that Stella would be broke once she got out of Azkaban. Right now there wasn't a lot that remained of the Greengrass fortune. While she had heard rumours that Stella had managed to reduce her expenses to one hundred and fifty galleons a month, really that woman was just wasting money for useless things, the businesses only brought in five hundred galleons profit per year.
Which really wasn't what they could bring in. Years of mismanagement and nepotism for the top positions had led to leeching the profit away from them. She was sure with a rigorous cleaning of the management positions and a little expertise from Neville their plant-based ingredients would soon double the profit made. Neville had discovered a few methods how you could improve the quality of the plants and the quantity of plants cultivated by several means. He was the foremost expert on Herbology in Europe now. And Harry had come up with the idea to employ werewolves that signed contracts to make sure to always take wolfsbane potion the week prior to the full moon for the creature based farms and to expand the products they delivered. She hadn't thought about this possibility. Werewolves were desperate to get paid work and would even take slightly dangerous jobs if it meant they could earn their living.
Harry had used the example of Remus Lupin to point out how ridiculous it was to let people that couldn't choose their situation crowd around extremists because the Ministry made their lives hell. He had managed to get the werewolf laws that Umbridge had helped create abolished and had set up a reasonable set of laws that stated that werewolves could take up any job that they were qualified for as long as they agreed to take any necessary security precautions on the nights of the full moon. Many were not fully convinced but some had decided to give it a try and were doing well with their werewolf employees.
Werewolf children, and sadly there were a lot of them thanks to Greyback after the war, were allowed to attend Hogwarts under the stated security precautions. Professor McGonagall had been very open to the suggestions and Harry had set up a fund to assure that the school always had enough supplies to brew wolfsbane for the full moons. The Shrieking Shack had been renovated and was again used to house the children for their transformation. It was a security precaution to ensure if a batch of potion was faulty that no other children were in danger. With information and education prejudices were slowly taken down. All students at Hogwarts knew that werewolf children were allowed to attend but that security precautions were taken. Discrimination against those children wasn't tolerated and after some strict following the new rules with detention and point deduction those that had prejudices were kept silent.
A similar concept could be used for the mines. House elves were suited best to prospect for crystals thanks to their unique magic. After Hermione's laws they only needed to treat the elves properly and make sure that none of them were overworked. That was easy. She didn't know why Stella had so many problems getting the mine profitable. House elves liked to work after all. And most of them refused payment as it wasn't proper. So there was no need to fret over having to let them take breaks and get enough sleep, food and water. She would exchange the management again and that would be that. A head elf could watch over the work and report the progress, take care that all elves were healthy and that the crystals were ready for shipment to the buyers. Both parts together could easily earn about two thousand galleons each year in net profit. The most expensive parts in both businesses were the massively overpaid managers.
If she had calculated correctly about eight thousand galleons were left of the Greengrass fortune and that didn't take into account that there probably would be fines to pay. She couldn't do anything about Greengrass Manor, that property was going to stay Stella's seat of residence for a while, that much was part of her marriage contract with Daphne's father, but maintaining it after she got out of prison wouldn't be easy. And once the gold was gone she would have to offer it to Daphne for getting some gold to live from. And then Daphne could be really vindictive. After all, Harry and Daphne lived from about sixty to seventy galleons a month and had three children to raise not to mention that Harry liked to spoil his family including his godson occasionally.
Not that they couldn't afford a more expensive lifestyle, they didn't want it. Harry had grown up poor and abused by his relatives and knew how to live with little gold. She had always been taught the worth of gold by her maternal grandmother who had been her most important confidant as a child until she died when Daphne had been ten. Harry earned two hundred fifty galleons each month as an auror and she got eighty as a part-time healer at St. Mungo's. That didn't include the gold that Harry's book sales added to their family's vault. She had been really surprised when Harry told her how much you could buy in the muggle world with a galleon. Of course she knew that one was worth a lot, but to find out that one galleon was about fifty muggle pounds and that you could buy a week's worth of groceries for their family from it was a shock.
Harry had invested some of his gold from the books in young enterprises that were promising. His start-up money led to him gaining shares in the businesses and normally he had a good hand for choosing them. Not only was he part-owner of WWW, he also owned a fifth each of Seamus Finnegan's pub and Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown's beauty salon. And she knew that the two girls were really good at their job and their salon was regularly frequented by all kinds of witches. She was a customer there herself. While Lavender had lost some of her good looks from the attack of Greyback in the battle of Hogwarts, thankfully Hermione had blasted Greyback off of her before he could kill her. She had some nasty scars but they weren't too bad.
After the trial she looked at her wrist watch. It was nearly time to get Cas, Sody and Lily back from Andromeda who had looked after the three for the morning. Lily was her and Harry's third child and she had been born two years ago. She and Harry had decided that they first wanted to both have finished their training as an auror and healer before they continued increasing the size of their family. They had decided that two more children after the twins would work out perfectly. Overall a lot of couples now had children after the first years of cleaning up after the war had been over. The first ones to have a child were Bill and Fleur whose first daughter Victoire had been born in May 2001 which was followed by their second daughter Dominique one and a half years later. The next ones had been George and Alicia with their son Fred two months after that. They had married a year after Harry and Daphne.
Then came Lily and a year after Hermione and Neville, who had married two years after Harry and Daphne, had a boy called Reese. Others who had married were Susan and Terry and Oliver and Lara. Of the other Weasleys only Percy had got married but they didn't have much contact with him except on family celebrations where they were always invited. She wondered what Harry would say when she told him that she was pregnant again. Healer Cobalt whom she trusted more than any other healer after her first pregnancy had just confirmed it yesterday. She was contemplating how she would tell Harry this time. With Lily she had baked a cake and drawn little shoes on it. It was funny to see his reaction and his anticipation for the whole nine months of pregnancy contrary to the one month he had had last time.
Harry was holding his new-born son in his arms. He had been surprised when Daphne had handed him a present with a card which read 'open in eight months'. He had needed some time to puzzle the clue out but he had been incredibly happy that they would have another child. For this child he had got her permission to name him James Sirius after the two men who had been his fathers in his life in case it was a boy. They had named Lily after both their mothers, so her name was Lily Regina. His life had been good since he had married Daphne even if there had been some downsides. Ron and he had a major fight after Ron only got two NEWTs in Charms and Defence when he attempted the five classes he had taken in sixth year. Ron had been completely unreasonable and blamed everybody, especially Harry, for forsaking him, for his bad results. As Harry had already cut all ties with Ron over his accusations that Harry was turning dark because he had married Daphne, Harry hadn't been willing to let Ron sprout that nonsense again and had returned fire when Ron started hexing Harry.
It had been sad to see the remaining Weasleys less but after Ron had moved out of the Burrow Molly had again offered to look after the children when he and Daphne couldn't. Ron now worked as a shop assistant in the Magical Menagerie which wasn't at all the glorious and luxurious life he had estimated after winning the war. He had never really grown up. And he only got the job because the owner was an old friend of Arthur Weasley who had pleaded to let Ron have the job. He was a low level worker and in charge of getting new deliveries into the shelves and cleaning the cages.
After passing his final exam at the auror academy after two years of training Harry had started working as a junior auror with Proudfoot as his partner to show him the ropes. It had been interesting in the beginning but Proudfoot thankfully was a competent auror and Harry learned a lot about how the theoretical skills he had learned at the academy could be used on the job.
His most embarrassing raid had been on a clubhouse. Supposedly the ones meeting there were planning to attack prominent members of the Ministry, him included. Turned out that it was one of his fan clubs and the members there hadn't been unhappy about the auror raid at all as it gave them the chance to ask for his autograph. Proudfoot hadn't let him forget that mission for months. By now Harry was a fully qualified auror and had already led a few missions himself. Common problems were remaining members of Greyback's pack causing trouble, even with the new laws, some Death Eater wannabes trying to regain former influence or a real Death Eater causing trouble. Though the latter were rare as the interrogations of the caught Death Eaters had given them most of their names and they had hunted them down massively after the war.
The twins would soon start school. It had been Hermione's idea to set up a primary school for magical children. She was really successful at the Ministry and Kingsley, who was still Minister, had no problems with realising her ideas as long as they were beneficial for their world. One suggestion for a law that Harry had made had been to locate any magical children in muggle orphanages and place them in wizarding homes as foster children to avoid the circumstances that had produced Voldemort. Hermione had taken the idea and set up a muggleborn children protection bill that included Harry's idea and also created a new department at the Ministry that located muggleborns when they first did accidental magic to inform the parents what was going on and offer a place at a magical primary school and better information on what the parents should do to keep bouts of accidental magic far and between.
Even the traditional purebloods could see the advantages of having their children at a pre-school for Hogwarts where they would learn basic skills like reading, writing, some basics about harmless magical creatures and plants, how the wizarding world was hidden from the muggle world and so on. Basic brewing skills were also taught as nearly everybody remembered how difficult Potions classes under Snape had been and how much knowing the basics would have helped.
It had been easy to decide on Lily's godparents though. Luna got to be godmother and Stephen Cornfoot became godfather. For James they had already chosen George as godfather and Susan as godmother.
Time skip 5 years
It was time. He had known that this day would come but it was still much sooner than he had thought. Today was the first of September and Cas and Sody would start their first year at Hogwarts. They were really excited to go to Hogwarts. While they had already learned a lot of things at primary school they would only now get to use spells and had only got their wands after their Hogwarts letters had arrived early in July. Lily and James were complaining that they couldn't go to Hogwarts too but they were too young. Harry could remember overhearing another younger sibling ask her mother if she couldn't go with her siblings when he had been on his first trip to Hogwarts. Compared to him though his children were much better prepared and they already had some friends that would be in the same year as them. House rivalries weren't a concern for the Potters as their parents had been in the two houses that had the strongest rivalry.
If Harry had to guess he would say Cas would either be Ravenclaw or Slytherin, coming more after his mother while Sody would be a Gryffindor. No matter what, he would support his children in any house. By now he had made a name for himself as an auror and Daphne, even with her having to take a break from work after Lily was born for a few years, was a respected healer.
The twins were looking forward to seeing their friend and basically cousin Teddy Lupin again at Hogwarts. Teddy had started at Hogwarts last year and had written a lot of letters about how much he liked school. Teddy had followed his mother into Hufflepuff and was very happy about it. Neville who had had a bet going on with Harry had had to pay five galleons because his guess had been Gryffindor. Perhaps because he was the head of Gryffindor now. Harry had been sure that Teddy would become a Hufflepuff with his sense for fair play and loyalty.
After finding a compartment for the twins in the middle of the train and giving them some sickles to get some sweets from the snack trolley he told them to study well and have fun. He and Daphne hugged them and told them to write after the sorting as they wanted to know where they had been sorted. Otherwise they were told by Daphne to behave properly. Both promised and then climbed onto the train. Once the train left the station Harry looked at his wife and couldn't help but smile how one decision twelve years ago on Beltane had massively changed his life. One decision made while he was in dire need of a distraction from the war had given him what he had always dreamed of as a child. A family of his own. He couldn't be happier right now.
Okay, that's the end of this story. Thanks for staying with it until the end.