Chapter 5 : Epilogue- Closure
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A/N: And, finally, the entire thing is re-written.
Draco knew what he had to do. As much as he wanted to go away for a while, breathe the fresh air of the world, he had something that needed to be taken care of.
Leaving Hermione to her friends, Draco Apparated back to the remains of his childhood home.
Upon arriving in what had been Hermione’s home for months, he saw the still unconscious Snape. Feeling no emotion except hatred towards his former mentor, Draco pulled out his wand.
"Difindo," he whispered, and Severus Snape’s head was no longer attached to his body. With a heavy sigh, Draco walked silently out the door. As he left, he set the building on fire; he got rid of the last of the memories.
"Ron, hurry up! You’re going to miss your own wedding!" urged Harry. "Hermione will have your head."
Ron buttoned the last buttons on his new dress robes and rushed past Harry, out of the room. He bolted through the rest of the many floors of Harry’s home. He reached the back door and burst through it.
He opened it to see a multitude of his and Hermione’s beloved family and friends. Ginny stood at the end of the runway, in front of Hermione. She smiled reassuringly at her brother. Ron could hear Harry’s footsteps behind him, and he once again took off towards the alter. He was out of breath when he arrived in front of the Ministry official who was about to marry him to Hermione Jane Granger.
Harry walked up and stood next to Ron, who was obviously anxious to see Hermione walk down the aisle. And she did.
Hermione walked slowly down the aisle. The high heel shoes that she was wearing added a few inches to her average stature, but as she approached Ron in her stunning, silk, white dress robes, it was apparent that she was still a great deal shorter than her fiancé.
"You look beautiful," breathed Ron as Hermione reached him.
Hermione only smiled. As she turned to the ministry official, she saw, in the far back of the crowd, Draco. He smiled encouragingly and Hermione turned away from him to face the love of her life, Ron.
"Ginny, Ginny!" cried Hermione.
"What in the world is going on?" Ginny dried her hands on a towel as Hermione burst out of her
"It’s happened! Ron isn’t home yet; I haven’t told him." Hermione’s face was flushed with excitement.
"What’s happened? I can’t read your mind, Hermione," said Ginny.
"I’m going to have a baby," confided Hermione.
Ginny squealed and gave her friend a hug. "Hermione, that’s wonderful! You’re right, Ron will be so ecstatic. Do you mind if I Floo Harry?"
"As long as he doesn’t tell Ron, it’s fine."
A while later, Hermione left Harry and Ginny’s house and returned to the modest home that she and Ron shared. For dinner, she made what she knew was Ron’s favourite. When he trudged in from work later that night, he was surprised to see his favorite meal on the table.
"Special occasion?" Ron inquired.
"Something like that." Hermione could barely contain her excitement. "Ron, I’m going to have a baby "
"She’s beautiful, isn’t she Ron?" Hermione tickled the underside of her newborn daughter’s chin.
"She is," agreed Ron, and he meant it. The little girl’s face was round and a little fuzz of bright red hair was peaking out of the crown on her head. "What do you suppose we name her?"
"What about Alicia?" suggested Hermione.
"No." Ron shook his head. "Alicia’s a much too common name for this jewel. She needs a name as beautiful and unique as she is."
"Belinda, maybe? It does mean beautiful."
"It’s perfect," said Ron. "Our beautiful daughter will be named Belinda."
"She’s beautiful, you two." Draco had come for one of his occasional visits. Three-year-old Belinda was playing in the backyard on her toy broomstick.
At that point, years after the incident of Hermione’s kidnapping, Ron, Harry, and Ginny had become accustomed to the new Malfoy. Or, more appropriately, Draco.
"Thanks," Ron said. Perhaps he and Draco would never be friends, but they were certainly more than civil. "How are you and Alice?"
Alice was Draco’s new wife. He had met her when he traveled; after he had taken care of Snape, he wanted to get away. Alice was quite possibly the sweetest woman that any of them had ever met.
"Wonderful as ever," Draco said, beaming.
"That’s good," Ron said.
"Yes, that’s really good," Hermione added. She and Draco shared a smile.
"Take care of your brother and sister, Belinda!" cried Hermione as the Hogwarts Express pulled away from the station.
"Sure thing, Mum," answered Belinda. "I’ll miss you!"
Hermione was overcome with tears and could do nothing but wave goodbye to her three children.
Hermione went back to her husband, Ron.
He watched as the scarlet train disappeared from sight. "Can you believe it, Hermione? We’ve got a daughter in her fourth- year, and another daughter and son just starting their first- year. They just grow up so fast."
"They do." Hermione snaked her arms around Ron’s waist. "Guess what? In another twelve years, we’ll be having another child to send on that train."
Ron stared down at Hermione. "Do you mean, we’re going to be having another baby?"
When Hermione nodded, Ron scooped her into his arms and twirled her around in excitement. "We’re going to be parents, again."
"Who’re you writing to, Hermione?" questioned Ron.
"An old friend," responded Hermione.
"Who?" asked Ron, again.
Hermione sighed. "Viktor Krum."
Ron looked like he was about to comment, but stopped. "That’s wonderful, love. How is he?"
"He’s fine," answered Hermione.
Well, it looks like Ron has finally grown up, concluded Hermione.
"You know, it’s seems like just yesterday that we were naming her," sobbed Hermione.
"But she’s not a baby anymore, is she? This husband of Belinda’s better be good. No one will ever be good enough for her, but hopefully he’ll come close," said Ron, ever the over-protective one.
Hermione smiled at Ron’s fatherly instincts. "He’s Dean’s son, Ron."
"I know, but still. I almost lost one girl to his family, and now I’ve totally lost one," huffed Ron.
"Mummy?" Hermione and Ron’s seven-year-old daughter tugged at the sleeve of Hermione’s dress robes.
"Yes, pumpkin?" answered Hermione.
"When do I get to get married?" asked Camellia, her youngest daughter.
"Well, probably in-"
"Never," growled Ron. His resolve was set in stone.
Hermione laughed. "Someday, I promise."
"Okay." Camellia skipped off happily, telling anyone who would listen that she was going to get married some day, and wear pretty robes just like her sister, Belinda.
"Ginny, please, calm down, just tell me what’s wrong. I’m sure everything will be alright," assured Hermione.
"No, no it won’t!" Ginny was sobbing uncontrollably. "Harry’s dead!" Ginny had previously been standing but her knees gave out and she sunk to the floor.
Hermione gasped and began to cry herself. She kneeled next to Ginny. "No, Ginny, that’s not possible. What happened, he was fine yesterday? Harry’s young; only forty-six years old, why would he die?"
"Because, poisoned his food. We were at a dinner at the damn Ministry, and he died right there," informed Ginny. At that point, she didn’t seem to be able to say another word broke into incoherent babbling.
Hermione heard the front door close, and Ron walked into the den. "What the bloody hell’s that matter with you two?"
Hermione took a deep, steadying, but shaky breath. "Harry is dead."
All that could be heard was sobbing. The only funeral that Ron had ever seen with more people than Harry’s, was Dumbledore’s.
Ron couldn’t believe it had happened. His best mate was dead. He had freed the wizarding world of their terror, killed Voldemort once and for all, and then he was killed by poison. Some things just weren’t fair.
He looked over toward his Ginny, and her five children. They were all sobbing, even the older ones. Her youngest, Henry, was clinging to Ginny’s black robes and would not cease crying. Ginny did the best she could to comfort him, whilst crying her own eyes out.
Tearing his eyes from his crying sister, he watched his wife. He imagined that she was feeling the same as he at the moment. They had both lost their best friend. They had been through just about everything together. From calling names, to trolls, to evil wizards; he, Harry and Hermione had been through it all.
He offered a comforting arm to Hermione who buried her face into his shoulder."I can’t believe he’s truly gone," whispered Hermione though her tears.
"He’ll never be gone, Hermione. Never." Ron looked down and spent a few minutes paying silent respect to his best friend.
The cream colored walls of the nursery brought back memories for Hermione.
"Belinda, I just cannot believe that I am a grandmother," gushed Hermione.
"Daniel, I’m so happy for you and Belinda." Ginny cradled her brother’s grandson, happy to be holding a young child again after all the years of not. "Harry would have been so happy for you two. He always said that he considered anyone in Ron’s family his own."
Ginny’s passing mention of Harry brought forth teary eyes, for he had died only three years ago, and the memory was still fresh.
"Sis, can I see her, please?" pleaded Emily, Ron and Hermione’s second-eldest daughter.
"Sure," agreed Belinda.
Belinda carefully handed her daughter to Emily, who said, "She’s beautiful, Belle."
"Isn’t she? And she has your eyes, Dad."
The dimly lit room was very quiet. It was the first day of what would have been summer holiday for Hogwarts. But all four of their children were already out of school and living on their own.
"I know I always used to say how much I hate the noise," began Hermione. "But, really, I’m starting to miss the hustle and bustle of it all."
"Well you know what the only answer to that is? The Burrow." Ron yanked Hermione up from the couch and dragged her over to the fireplace in the dining room.
"The Burrow!" bellowed Ron as he threw the floo powder into the fireplace and whirled away to the Burrow.
Hermione did the same, and before they knew it, they were being strangled by the grey-haired, plump Mrs. Weasley. "Oh, dears How are you? You both look so thin, come on, lets get some food into you."
Mrs. Weasley beckoned Ron and Hermione into the kitchen. The crowded kitchen. Ginny was there, along with the rest of the Weasley siblings and their spouses. Children were there, and the children’s children, if they had any.
"It’s seems that every time we get together, another child has been born," remarked Hermione.
"Come on, you lot. Sit down, I’ve got too much food for just myself," called Mrs. Weasley.
Chatter broke out amongst the family. It was like old times again. Worries were forgotten, empty places were filled. Really, Harry and Mr. Weasley were gone, but inside hearts, they would never be forgotten.
Hermione nuzzled Ron’s cheek and ran her fingers through his mostly grey streaked hair. "You know, Ron, sometimes I look back on the days in school, and I become so sad. I remember being young and carefree, and Harry was there."
Tears trickled down Hermione’s face, Ron too. It had been almost fifty years since Harry’s death.
"Back then, I didn’t worry about getting old. I look at myself now and think, ‘Where did time go?’ My hair is grey, my body is weak, and we’re nearing a century now, Ron. Where did time go?" wondered Hermione.
"I wonder, Hermione. I truly do. We are not that same people we were then."
Quiet set in upon the pair, and they did nothing but gaze absently for a minute or two.
"I love you, Ron," breathed Hermione.
"I love you too, Hermione," whispered Ron. "That is just the same as it was then."
Ron and Hermione sat in each other’s arms for a few moments, basking in their true love.
Grief came with death. Knowledge came with age, as well as wonder. Love had been with them forever, waiting to be awakened. Sense that was lost some eighty-five years ago, was finally returning.
Life happened, love happened, it was all a part of them now.
A/N2: Well, that's it. Please tell me what you think - writing an angsty story like this is definetly out of my comfort range. I've only written one other, and it certainly wasn't as dark as this. (Not that this is dark compared to some other fics I've read out there.) But, let me know what you think, please.