Last installment for this verse. Thank you all for reading and being so awesome in your comments.
Until next time!
One month later…
Before he knew it, he was standing at Kings Cross again saying goodbye to the kids as they prepared to board the Hogwarts Express. It was too soon, Harry thought. He was so used to the chaos now. The house would seem empty without his four hooligans running amok. On the bright side, Severus would be leaving as well. That, at least, made Harry smile.
"Geez, Dad, you could pretend to be a little sad," Al grumbled as he wrestled with his trunk.
"Trust me, I'm dying inside," Harry retorted, ruffling his hair a bit. "Besides, you'll be back before you know it."
"I bet Draco will miss me," Al replied huffily. "Won't you, Draco?"
"I'll be counting the minutes until you come back."
Al gave him a happy grin, turning to take a look at the Hogwarts Express. "Let's go grab a compartment, Scorp," he suggested. He gave the blond a sly grin before adding, "I just saw Melanie Carlisle get into that one."
"Shy, not awkward," Harry whispered as Scorpius turned to him instinctively. Scorpius smiled and gave him a quick hug, leaning into him before letting go. "Thanks, Harry. I'll write to you every week, okay?"
"You do that, kid. I'll miss you."
"Oh, perfect," Al grumbled. "Him you'll miss."
"Go," Draco laughed, herding them off. "Before we decide to keep you lot here." They gave him a hug each before running off, laughing and jostling each other. Full of enthusiasm for a new year. Harry smiled. That was just how it should be.
Lily was far more sedate, hugging them affectionately and promising to keep an eye on all her stupid brothers.
"And I'll keep an eye on Lorcan Scamander," James grumbled, making a show of cracking his knuckles.
Lily gasped. "Don't you dare! Daddy, tell him not to…"
"Don't worry, princess," Harry said, placating her effortlessly. "I'll have a talk with him. Go on, go see your friends. And write to us every week."
She smiled and skipped off and Harry waited until she was safely in the train before turning to James. "Seriously," he muttered. "Keep an eye on that Scamander kid."
"You know I will, Dad," James muttered, looking a bit put out.
"What's the matter?" Draco grinned. "Don't you want to go back to school?"
James groaned and slumped against Harry's shoulder. "Didn't do my homework," he whined, sounding eight years old all over again. "Binns is gonna freak. Don't make me go back there, Daddy!"
Harry chuckled and patted his head fondly. "That's my brave Gryffindor," he teased. "You'll be okay. Just do what I did. Stay up all night and finish it."
"That only worked because you had Granger's notes to begin with," Draco commented dryly.
James groaned again. "I'm doomed."
It took until the first warning whistle to pry him off and get him on the train. Too soon, Harry thought again as his oldest clambered on and his other two…no, three waved and called to him from the windows.
"And we won't lose house points! Every day!"
"We love you guys!"
"There they go," Draco murmured softly. Harry sighed and reached for his hand, finding comfort in the slim fingers wrapped around his own. The Hogwarts Express shrieked one final warning, trundling to a slow start as it left the station. Harry watched in silence. They were leaving. They were off, back to Hogwarts, back to a new year.
So far away…
"I'm going to miss them," Draco said softly.
"Me too," Harry replied. "It's a good thing they're coming back for Christmas."
"It is," Draco agreed. He fished a tattered old book out of his pocket and grinned at it. "I guess we won't need The Standard Book of Spellsanymore, will we?"
"Oh, I don't know," Harry smirked. "I picked up the Deluxe Edition yesterday. Let's just say it's…promising. Specifically, Chapters 4 to 8."
Draco raised an eyebrow at his husband. "Is that right?" he drawled, even as his grey eyes glinted with interest.
"Well, we have to find some way to pass the time until they come back."
"That's true," Draco smirked. "We do have a lot of lost time to make up for."
"I couldn't agree more."
"And that, Potter, is why I married you."
Harry laughed and pulled Draco close as he prepared to apparate them home. It wasn't the life he had planned for himself and it certainly wasn't the family he had expected, but he knew one thing for certain:
Nothing, absolutely nothing could be better.