Chapter 44 : Epilogue: Enter the New
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“At least this time you won’t be alone.” Harry’s reply came from the doorway.
Ginny swatted at him. “This is not funny. You aren’t the one who has to carry this thing around for nine months. And I had just convinced the Harpies to let me back on as a reserve!” She stormed passed Harry into the bedroom and threw herself dramatically on the bed.
“C’mon Gin, it’s not so bad. Besides, don’t you love the results?” He moved closer to her, but not close enough that she would be able to take a swing at him.
She turned around onto her back and faced him. “Please, you know I love James, but… well I was just getting into the swing of things and now I have to do it all over again.”
“I know,” he sat on the edge of the bed, still out of arm’s reach, “but you’ll have Hermione, and Angelina, and Mitzi… damn, you are one fertile group of witches.”
Ginny kicked him off the bed. Silly Harry, he didn’t think about her legs. She giggled as she watched him gather himself from the floor.
“That’s funny is it?” He growled, though he was grinning as well.
“I guess it won’t be so bad.” However, she really wasn’t looking forward to lugging around all that baby weight again.
“It’ll be great.” He came and sat dangerously close to her on the bed once more. His eyes darkened as he gave her that all too familiar look.
“Oh, no. I don’t think so. That’s how we got into the mess in the first place.” She pushed him away from her.
“It’s not like you can get pregnant again.” He neared her once more.
Who was she kidding? She pulled him towards her. Their lips met, their hands explored, they forgot about everything but each other. Harry was her weakness, and if they kept going as they were they would probably end up with just as many kids as her mum.
The thought might have sobered her had she not been so intent on their lovemaking. He really was rather good in that department.
Hermione had decided to join Ginny on a walk about the park. James was sitting comfortably in his pram. Ginny’s belly protruded slightly, Hermione’s pregnant tummy was a bit larger. A wooden bench sat nicely along the edge of the trail, and being rather tired from the twenty minute stroll, they decided to take a rest.
James was telling Ginny a story in some language that neither of them could understand. What they did know was that it involved a ‘baw’ and ‘mum’.
Hermione looked over the other people that also decided to take in the unseasonably warm weather, smiling as she watched a little girl pushing a pram while her mother walked beside her, baby swaddled against her chest in a sling.
A boy was tossing a Frisbee back and forth with what Hermione guessed to be his older brother. Two were women pushing their strollers along the walk, one even more pregnant than Hermione. It was when the women passed the boys playing Frisbee that Hermione thought that she recognized them.
When Ginny elbowed her in the ribs, she knew it to be so. It was Daphne and Astoria Greengrass, or rather, Astoria Malfoy – the idea only slightly bothered her – and Daphne Macmillan. Her first instinct was to duck, though where she was going to do so was beyond her.
Then she decided that ducking was silly. There was no reason that she couldn’t be completely pleasant with this woman. Instead, she decided to steel her nerves and go and say ‘hi’.
“… and then Scorpius lifted himself up to the table and started walking around it.”
Scorpius? Really? Hermione felt a little awkward interrupting, but it was too late to back out now. Astoria had spotted her.
“Hi,” Hermione said in as cheerful a voice as she could muster.
“Hello. Hermione, right?” Astoria’s smile was large and fake. It made Hermione instantly regret coming closer.
“Right. Is this your son?” She asked as she looked into the pram. A baby boy with white blonde hair, about five months, was seated in the stroller with a teddy bear’s ear shoved in his mouth. “He is adorable. He looks just like his father.”
“Yes, well…” Astoria didn’t seem to be pleased by Hermione’s comment. “I see you are expecting?” She eyed Hermione’s belly as if it were a thing of distaste.
“Yes, seven months.” She looked over towards Daphne. Hermione had never really spoken to Daphne before, being in Slytherin a major deterrent, but she now looked to her for some kind of relief from this awfully stiff conversation. She had married a Hufflepuff after all, how bad could she be?
Thankfully, Daphne got the hint. “I’m eight. I'm due April twelfth, actually.” Her voice was genuinely cheerful, and it helped to ease some of the tension.
“You look wonderful.” Hermione gestured towards Daphne’s stomach. “I would never have thought you were that far along.” It was a lie, but the comment obviously pleased Daphne, and she smiled.
“This is my daughter, Adrianna.” A small girl very near James’ age sat happily in her pram, and she handed Hermione her pacifier in a gesture of good will.
“She is darling,” Hermione said as she passed the pacifier onto Daphne.
“Isn’t she?” Daphne looked down at her daughter, adoration and love filling her eyes.
Astoria started fidgeting with Scorpius’ teddy bear, trying her best to take it away from him, but every time she tried the baby cried out in an ear-splitting wail.
“I think someone needs a nap,” Astoria looked sternly at her son.
“Well, I better get back, just wanted to stop over and say hi. It was nice seeing you again Astoria, Daphne.” Hermione bent over towards the strollers. “And it was very nice to meet you,” she said to Adrianna and Scorpius.
“We will have to get together sometime,” Daphne added just before Hermione turned to walk away.
Shocked, but not displeased by the offer, Hermione responded, “That would be lovely. I’ll owl you.”
Daphne grinned, Astoria merely waved, and Hermione headed back towards Ginny. Maybe one good thing came from the awkward encounter, Hermione thought. She shook her head and laughed at the thought of being friends with Draco’s sister-in-law.
Ron and Hermione stood in the doorway of the kitchen, looking out on the back yard of the Burrow. Albus – Harry and Ginny’s second child - and Rose were sitting on a blanket playing a game of exploding snap. James and Dominique were fighting over who got to play the winner while Fred, George and Angelina’s first born, was working on convincing Lucy and Molly (Percy’s two kids) that grass really did taste delicious. Teddy was changing his hair color from green to blue to red in an attempt to impress Victoire, though she continued playing with her dolls as if Teddy did not exist. Lily (Harry and Ginny’s third, and according to Ginny, final child) was chasing Ron and Hermione’s youngest, Hugo, around a tree while Louis (Bill and Fleur’s son) watched, too afraid to jump in on the game, but excited by it all the same.
It was quite a brood that the Weasley’s had created, if they kept on at this rate the whole of Hogwarts would be populated by their offspring.
Ron wrapped his arms around Hermione’s middle as he rested his chin atop her head.
“Do you regret it?” He asked, suddenly needing reassurance that Hermione was in fact as happy as he was.
“Regret what?” She turned to look at him, her eyes questioning.
“Y’know, marrying me? Living this life? Having to deal with all of my family. Do you regret it?” After all, she could have been living in a manor home with only Malfoy to distract her from reading, writing or working. Instead she was stuck with him, never a spare moment to herself. One family member or another always popping by with their kids. It wasn’t often, but sometimes Ron still worried that she might have been happier leading the glamorous life with Malfoy.
“Never. I could never regret you.” Her eyes shone with love as she propped herself on her tip toes and leaned into him for a sweet kiss.
He couldn’t help it, forgetting exactly where they were, Ron grabbed Hermione closer, taking their kiss deeper than she had probably intended. Hermione wasn’t arguing though. Her lips moved just as feverishly against his.
“Ugh! They’re kissing.” Ron broke away from Hermione to see James pointing at them from his seat on the lawn.
“That’s gross!” Fred added.
“Yeah! Gross!” Albus piped in reply.
The rest of the children all stopped and stared at Ron and Hermione, each one adding their own special commentary. Hermione blushed, but her face was shining with pleasure. Ron, well he was just looking forward to pawning off Rose and Hugo for an hour or two on Nana Weasley, there was no way that Hermione was getting away with kissing him like that without some form of revenge. He grinned, thoughts of all the things that he would do swimming in his brain.
“Daddy? Why are you smiling like that?” Rose called out.
“Just, er… Happy. Really, really happy.” He looked down at his wife, and over at his children. He really was happy. Who would have thought it could be possible after everything that had happened?
A/N: *Tear* So that is the end. I know there were a ton, and I mean a ton, of new young characters introduced... I am hoping that it wasn't too confusing. Sorry if it was.
So let me know what you all thought of my little (or rather, big) tale. I am so close to 1000 reviews I can taste it :)
There is so much to say: but I will not be too much of a brat. I would of course love to thank my wonderful Beta Georgia Weasley who has helped me tackle all my wonderful grammar and puncuation malfunctions (to which there were quite a few).
And I want to thank all of you wonderful reviewers, to which there were so many that I am unable to mention all their names. You wonderful people know who you are.
And to all of you who are reading this now that the journey has ended, know that I will always, and I mean always, respond to reviews, so don't hesitate to leave them (in fact I would very much appreciate it).
Lastly (I know, I know) I would like to mention that I am working on the sequel right now for NaNo, so hopefully I will have that up sometime in December. Though it looks like it will take a lot more than 50,000 words to tell my Next Gen Tale.
And if you have bothered to read this far, you might as well go all the way (I know I said Lastly, but I lied) I have an author page which doesn't get nearly as much action as I can handle, so please any questions you have, please go there, ask. Link on my Authors Page.
SpringTime - Out! Love you all.