Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter
Looking Beyond: Chapter One Hundred Sixty-Six: Epilogue
So many things had changed and it was still so odd for Hope to be standing at the platform waiting for the train to come in and for her children to exit it.
So many years had passed since any of the battles that Hope had taken a part in her youth, but they weren't even close to the end of her hardships. She could still remember the circumstances surrounding her second daughter's birth like they were yesterday, even though more than eleven years had passed, the complications that had kept her and George from having anymore children (though after four they thought that was good enough).
But the sun was shining and the day was new and Hope was happy with how her life was. She was still the Department Liaison of Curse-breaking even after more than a decade, which had come as more of a surprise to her coworkers than anything, given how feared that position was.
"They're late," proclaimed a petulant voice at her side and Hope shared a smile with her husband.
Hemera Blackwood II was named for her cousin, but that never seemed to bother her. She had her mother's fiery hair, her father's dark eyes, and with a complexion a few shades too light to compare to her father.
"Sometimes that happens, Mera," Hope said with a laugh, running a hand through the girl's hair, making her squawk in indignation, shooing her hand away. "Don't you want to see your cousins?"
Hemera ignored her, darting around to George, who was evidently her favorite of the day. "Uncle George," she appealed to him, tugging on his arm, "can we all play Quidditch together after?"
"If you can rally the troops," George laughed, knowing full well that she'd have no difficulty there and Hemera's eyes positively glowed.
The scarlet train pulled into the station slowly, steam overflowing and Hope couldn't help but smile at the sight of it, squeezing George's hand briefly where it interlocked hers and he gave one in return, pressing a light kiss high on her cheekbone. It had been nerve-wracking enough when they had first sent the twins off and Hope had been terrified, knowing all that she had gotten up to in school, but that time was over, this was a time of peace, and Hope had learned to part with her children little by little, comforted by the knowledge that they would return sooner or later.
The train came full stop and the doors opened and students flooded through. Hope was met with stares, even after so many years, but she had grown used to them, her eyes only focusing on the four children leaving the train with wide grins.
James and Sirius were the first out, their hands moving as they talked and Hope was certain she saw the pranking book she had given them for their previous birthday in James' hands.
But then they saw their parents and wide grins adorned their lips as they embraced their mother and father, recounting in detail of their most recent prank.
James and Sirius were their first borns and were the most difficult for Hope to carry, she'd ended up having them early in St. Mungo's by three weeks. They were identical and had inherited their mother's hair and their father's eyes, and though they, like all of Hope's children, had inherited her Metamorphosing skill, they settled on a single look, much like Hope did. And like both of their parents, they had been sorted into Gryffindor immediately and became Beaters in their third year.
"How did McGonagall feel about it?" George asked eagerly and Hope rolled her eyes while Hemera laughed.
"Wasn't too pleased," James conceded.
"But Uncle Neville thought it was rad!" Sirius added.
Hope shook her head as her third child approached. Lily's fiery coil of hair was mounted high on her head, her wand stuck through it and her radish earrings swinging with every movement. Lily had been named for her grandmother and her aunt, but it was the aunt that had affected her most profoundly; who else could get her to like things that could hardly be considered the height of fashion? There was a book tucked under her arm, fitting for her being sorted into Ravenclaw.
"Mum, you won't believe what I found!" Lily's eyes glowed as she pulled out the book, flipping it open to a random page and Hope took it, bemused, before chuckling as she read the angry scrawl in the margins.
"Well, I always had a bit of an annoyance towards anyone calling the Ancient Arts Dark," Hope admitted and her children laughed with her husband while the last of her children descended the train.
Morea was the most like Hope and the least like George. Her hair was always set in dark curls and her green eyes were impossibly bright, and it was Morea alone who had been sorted into Slytherin. And Hope had been proud that one of the last of Slytherin's line had actually been sorted into his house.
"Exciting first year, Morea?" she inquired.
Morea scowled at Sirius who schooled his face to appear innocent. "Ri turned my broom pink. I hate pink."
Hope turned her eyes on her son and Sirius fidgeted. "That spell will be countered when we get home," she said, "or you won't be playing pick-up with Hemera."
"Aw, what! Dad—!" He appealed to his father.
George shook his head. "Listen to your mother, Ri."
Sirius pouted and complained loudly when Morea stamped on his foot in vexation while Hemera laughed. Her children weren't perfect, but they were children, they weren't expected to be.
Hope could see Teddy standing with his mother, his turquoise hair contrasting with his mother's bubblegum pink as they waited for Remus to disembark with Alena, leaving school as a fourth year Hufflepuff.
In the distance there were Rose and Hugo, Ron and Hermione's two children squabbling over something that Hope couldn't hear before Justin and Ella, Ginny and Seamus' children joining in, clearly amused by whatever argument they were having.
Roxanne was hugging Angelina as though there was no tomorrow and Charlie was gesticulating wildly to Fred who was positively roaring a moment later.
Victoire had caught Teddy off guard and the next thing his mother knew, her son was heartily snogging his just-graduated girlfriend in public while Dominique gagged and Louis directed his father towards the scene with disdain.
The cousins Scorpius Malfoy and Elias Greengrass were weaving through the crowd with difficulty and Elias had to grab the back of his younger cousin's robes to keep him from falling on his face.
It was chaotic and fresh and exciting, but mostly, it was the peace that Hope and all the others had fought for, it was a peace for generations.
All was well.
AN: This fic has been a part of my life for more than two years and I've grown so much in writing it and I am so very glad that I had all of you to share it with. You made Hope's story worth telling and you are the ones that inspired this great fic's completion.
For those of you who have been with Hope from the start, and even those of you who were just here for Hope's end, thank you for making this journey with me.
Hope's story is not done, there will still be snippets in A Girl Named Hope as well as the various Hope Potter AU ideas you have all given me. Serpent Tongue will be off hiatus and I look forward to writing Hope's darker and cleverer side.
For those of you that want to stay up to date on the various Hope Potter AUs as well as my other fics, please check out my fanfic tumblr greygryffindor, which is where you'll find a lot of little snippets that never made the final cut or have the potential to.
You are all my inspiration, and I will never forget the advice and critiques and suggestions you have all given me.