Family Life

It was Christmas eve at Potter Manor. Kreacher had the large table ready, helped by Winky and a few more house elves. It was now perfectly set.

A lower table, adjacent to the large table, was also set. It was just as festive, despite the size, which was perfect for house-elves or small children to enjoy.

The Lord and the Ladies of the house were still in the family room, entertaining their guests, while a bunch of children of different ages were playing, not really quietly, at the far corner.

Harry looked around and felt happy, seeing his family around him. He had Luna, Ella and Hermione close to him. Luna was showing a large baby bump. He knew she was expecting another pair of twins, due in two months. Hermione was showing a much smaller bump. She was expected to bring him a daughter more than four months later. Ella was not showing yet, but she was already expecting a boy – their first, and she already had that glowing look of pregnancy.

Daphne was busy talking with Dudley, who was hugging his new wife tightly. They had been married for only two months, yet the young blonde was proudly showing a four-months pregnancy already, about the same as Daphne's. Harry remembered Dudley's wedding, which he had attended with Luna while Hermione brought Ron with her for the proper appearance. It had been a perfectly normal muggle wedding. The nausea suffered by the bride had been explained to be caused by her excitement.

Susan was sitting near Petunia Dursley, breast feeding her new baby girl and keeping it discrete with the help of a colorful shawl, not that anybody minded. It was ironic that Petunia felt so close to the redhead, who reminded her of her lost sister, yet Harry was content that his aunt was finally at peace with herself.

Looking around, Harry saw Ron standing close to the playing children, ready to intervene if anything happened, while Lavender was resting her head on his shoulder. As Hermione was busy with her job at the Ministry, and then Lavender being a reporter, Ron had filled the void, taking the role of caring for the house and the children as a housewife would do. Surprisingly, he proved very good at it and enjoyed it very much, not willing to change his role even when Lavender joined them. Whenever he wanted some change, he could count on the women and the house-elves at the Manor to care for the children, while he worked at the WWW shop with George, showing some previously hidden talents in devising new pranks.

Hermione's parents were also present. Her mother was listening to some story Fleur was telling her, enjoying the company as well as the chance to brush her French a bit. Bill was once again in Egypt and couldn't come home for the holidays. Hermione's father was discussing something with Vernon, though. The big man had lost some weight since suffering a heart attack. He was still quick to anger and didn't really like the magical environment, yet both his son and his wife had made it very clear that such prejudices were no longer accepted. He also had a lot of respect for Mr. Granger. Even he knew better than to unnerve a dentist.

Harry remembered how it all started.

It was a few days after his eighteenth birthday. He had invited Dudley for the weekend, not really knowing what to expect. Luna and Hermione helped Dudley with traveling arrangement, supplying a portkey for him.

They were all surprised when Dudley arrived with his mother. "Dad refused to join us, but Mom felt she needed to come," Dudley said.

Petunia looked at Luna apprehensively, seeing the big belly, as Dudley made the introductions. "Luna, this is my mother, Mrs. Petunia Dursley; Mom, this is Lady Luna Potter, Harry's wife."

Luna smiled at the older woman, welcoming her, while Petunia still looked half dazed. "My husband is not yet home, although I expect him to arrive in a few minutes," Luna told the two, leading them to the family room.

Petunia was surprised to find two more pregnant women there. "These are my friends Lady Susan Bones and Lady Daphne Greengrass," Luna made the introductions. "Harry helped them both to bring an heir for their respective houses."

Petunia shook their hands silently, still trying to come to terms with this revelation. While she wasn't really surprised to find that Harry was rich – she knew that Lilly had married an heir to an old house – seeing that he was already married and had evidently had two mistresses as well was just too much to comprehend. Still, she couldn't fail noticing how comfortable the three women were with each other.

She didn't have too much time, though, as the door opened about a minute later and Harry stepped in, going directly to his wife and hugging her tenderly, as if they were alone. Only then did he notice the other people present.

"Hi, Dudley. Had a good trip?"

"It was OK, but Mom didn't feel too well, though. I'm not sure she's already recuperated."

Harry turned around, noticing his aunt for the first time. As he approached her, she seemed to become teary. "Oh, Harry, I'm so sorry!" She ignored his extended hand and just hugged him tightly, almost like Mrs. Weasley.

Harry was confused by her behavior. His aunt had never hugged him, as far as he could remember. "It's alright, Aunt Petunia. We may talk about it later." He reluctantly hugged her back.

It was the first of many visits. Dudley and Petunia used to come for the weekend about once a month. Dudley seemed much more comfortable around magic, probably due to the time he had spent in hiding with magical people. Petunia was still very apprehensive. Only the arrival of the babies made her overcome her fears. She felt a special affinity to Susan, though, and the redhead was eager to accept her as family, having lost her whole family in the war.

Vernon would not hear of visiting Potter Manor or even acknowledging Harry, no matter what his wife and his son would tell him. It was only after his heart attack, about a year later, when the doctors recommended spending a few weeks in the country, with fresh air, as much sun as possible and just a bit of exercise, that he agreed to spend the time there. It was actually the cost of such a vacation which persuaded him. It turned out to be too expensive for him to afford, and Potter manor was much better than even the most luxurious hotel and would cost him nothing.

Harry looked at Ella again. He was really proud of her. Ella didn't let her marriage interfere with her studies and was now able to add "PhD in Physics" to her name. When magic wasn't an issue, Ella proved to be just as smart as Hermione and no less mischievous, occasionally.

Kreacher popped in front of him. "Dinner is ready. You should all move to the dining room now, or the food may get cold."

It was the common excuse. By now, even Vernon knew that some warming or heating charms could be used to keep the food at any desired temperature.

Harry hugged Luna and then held her hand, his other hand holding Hermione's. "Please follow us to the dining room," he announced, noticing that the children were already running out of the room, using the other door.

Harry sat at the head of the table. Luna sat at his right, followed by Ella, while Hermione sat at his left, with Ron at her side, followed by Lavender. Susan and Daphne took their places near Ella, followed by the older children and the other guests. Kreacher was seating a grumbling Vernon at the other end of the table while the smaller children were being herded by Winky to sit at the lower table, along with the house-elves, whom Harry considered part of the family.

It was a wonderful evening, the kind he couldn't even dream of during his childhood. He was surrounded by his wives and his bond-mate, with the other ladies of his heart, Susan and Daphne, nearby. Fleur, with whom he had no more intimate relations since that unforgettable week, had also become very dear to him, along with her son, who wasn't his, yet he had taken a major role in his conception.

There were other children, even closer to his heart. The twins, James and Lilly, now seven; three-year old Sirius; Hermione's Hugo and the boys Daphne and Susan had brought him. They were now joined by a girl who made Petunia gasp, as she looked so much like her sister. Some more children would arrive soon, and Harry already felt he loved them. He was planning to name Luna's twins Remus and Nym, or maybe Dora. He hoped that Teddy, his eight years old godson, would love them as much as he loved his older children. And there were some more births expected just shortly after. He now had more family than he had ever expected.

Dinner was a bit noisy. Nobody expected it to be otherwise, though. With so many adults, children and house-elves, all feeling happy and willing to share their happiness with others, it was impossible to stay quiet. Harry enjoyed hearing bursts of laughter coming from both tables.

Fleur was waiting patiently for him to finish kissing Luna after the meal. "Harry, Bill and I would like another boy and we intend to conceive him when Bill comes home for the new year. Are you willing to help us?"

A.N. Life goes on and it is difficult to say where a story ends. Another author may have chosen to cut this tory short while still another would drag it until all children matured. I've chosen to end it here, with an optimistic and happy view, knowing just too welll that life is much more complicated than most stories. Still, I hope you enjoyed this story, and, as usual, Please Review!