Chapter 25 : Epilogue
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Neville looked up as Ron entered the Leaky Cauldron. "Ron! Hey mate!"
"Neville!" Ron exclaimed as he grabbed his former roommate in a hug. "How are you? I heard you were travelling."
"I was," Neville acknowledged. "I just got back from South Africa."
"Wow." Ron was impressed with Neville. "Are you staying here at the Leaky?"
"Yeah," Neville replied as the two of them sat at a booth in the back of the pub. "I didn't want to stay with my Gran, so I've been staying here."
He blushed as Hannah Abbott approached them to get their order. After they placed their order, Ron turned to Neville. "So, Hannah?"
He laughed as Neville turned an even deeper shade of red. "Yeah, we've gone out for coffee once or twice. She's really nice."
Ron nodded. "She's always been very friendly. Are you headed back out somewhere exotic or are you sticking around for a while?"
Neville shook his head. He had been working for the Apothecary on Diagon Alley as one of their Herbology experts since he had graduated from Hogwarts. "No, actually. I'm going to be working at their nursery in Newbury."
"Hey, congrats, mate! That's great."
"So what are you doing these days?" Neville asked after they had placed their orders. "Are you still working with the twins?"
"No, I started working for the Department of Magical Games and Sports," Ron said proudly. "I've been there for almost two years now."
"Two years? Wow, has it been this long since we've seen each other?" Neville asked.
"I think so," Ron replied. "Wasn't it at Seamus and Demelza's wedding?"
"Yeah, I think it was," Neville said in amazement. "I can't believe it's been that long. I saw them not too long ago."
"Yeah. They were in South Africa for the World Cup. Harry and Ginny were there as well," Neville explained. He flushed as he looked over at Ron.
To his relief, Ron nodded. "I got a letter from Harry about the World Cup. He and Ginny enjoyed South Africa so much that they were going to stay there for a while."
"Yeah, Ginny really loved the animal reserves. She wants to learn more about the Care of Magical Creatures. After the World Cup, they were headed up into Zimbabwe to vacation at Victoria Falls," Neville said.
Ron's eyes lit up. "Did they tell you their news?"
Neville started to shake his head, but stopped. "Is she pregnant?"
"Yeah, they just let us know," Ron replied enthusiastically. "Mum is so excited. She wishes they were closer, but she is very excited about another grandchild."
"That's great. I am so happy for them," Neville said. "Demelza said that she thought Ginny might be pregnant, but neither Harry nor Ginny said anything."
Hannah brought their order over with a smile for Neville. After he dug into his shepherd's pie, Neville asked Ron, "So are things better with you and Harry?"
Ron grimaced slightly. "Yeah, we've been writing back and forth. We both made mistakes and we are getting along much better. He and I went to see a match between Gimbi and Patongo a couple of months ago and it was great." He smiled at the memory. "Did you hear about me and Hermione?"
"What?" Neville looked shocked. "Did the two of you finally get together?"
Ron blushed. "Yeah. She studied in France and Australia before coming back to work at the Ministry. We started dating and it's been…great. In a way I'm glad we didn't get together back at Hogwarts. I'm not sure we would have made it. She has also made her peace with Harry and Ginny. It's taken a while, but they are getting along now."
"That's great, Ron," Neville said. "I'm happy for you."
Ten years after the Defeat of Voldemort
Ginny shivered as her bare feet hit the cool, stone floor. Crossing the room, she opened the door and walked out onto the balcony. She looked out over the extensive grounds with mixed feelings. She loved the house and grounds with its Quidditch pitch and swimming hole, but she wasn't sure how she felt about being back in England. They had only been in England for two days and the media was already all over them.
The Daily Prophet had run a huge spread on the Potters when Harry had been chosen as seeker for England. Much of the coverage was positive with a rehashing of Voldemort's defeat, but there were also stories bringing up the old stories about her. Even after ten years and a full confession by Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson-Nott, there were those who still persisted in believing the old stories about Ginny's involvement with Dark Magic. There were times when she thought the two year sentences that both Pansy and Blaise were given for their involvement in her kidnapping were too light.
She jumped slightly as Harry quietly walked up behind her and slid his arms around her waist.
"Hey, beautiful," Harry murmured as he began to trail kisses down her neck.
Relaxing into her husband's arms, Ginny arched her neck slightly.
"What's wrong, my love?" Harry whispered.
"Did we make the right choice?" Ginny replied softly. She turned in his arms so she could look up into his eyes.
Harry smiled down at her. "You mean in coming back to England?"
Ginny nodded. "I just feel so torn. I love travelling and we get to see the family often enough. Everyone came to see us this summer."
"I thought you wanted the kids educated in England?" Harry replied.
Ginny sighed. "I know. James and Sirius are so excited about being able to see their cousins more often. I love my new job at the magical zoo and you are playing for England. It just…I wish more had changed. We haven't lived in England for over ten years and I guess I had hoped we wouldn't be the topic of conversation for the papers."
"I know, my love," Harry said. "I'm hoping it will die down soon."
Smiling up at him, Ginny nodded. "I hope so." She laughed. "I'm just…you know how I get when we move someplace new. I get all nervous at first and I'm fine in a few days."
Harry swung her up into his arms. "I think I know a way to make you feel better."
Ginny hummed as she completed her final walk around the unicorn enclosure. She loved her job at the zoo and despite her fears, the papers had soon lost their overwhelming interest in them. The Potters were happily establishing a home in England. Over the past six months, they had entertained a steady stream of family and friends.
James and Sirius were fast friends with Frankie and Roxanne, George and Angelina's two children as well as Bill and Fleur's three children. Percy had reconciled with the family, but he and Ginny did not see much of each other. Fred and Charlie had yet to marry despite their mother's best efforts. Hermione was pregnant with her and Ron's first child. The Lupins with their three children and the Woods with their two boys were also frequent visitors. Harry and Oliver were playing Quidditch together for the first time in over a decade and they were having a great time.
The sound of laughter greeted Ginny as she came home from work. Following the noise, she walked out onto the patio. Harry had their twins in the air, flying in low circles. Sitting on his broom in front of him, Harry was holding their two year old daughter, Lily. Flying with the Potters were Oliver and his two boys, Colin and Mark.
Alicia turned when she heard Ginny. Greeting the other woman, Ginny asked, "Did they behave for you today?"
"Of course," Alicia replied. "The boys all had a great time. Oliver and Harry finished practice early so we came over here so they could play."
"They sound like they are having a great time," Ginny replied as she caught sight of her youngest daughter, Heather, in her swing. She picked up the baby and snuggled her close.
"So are you happy to be back in England?" Alicia asked.
Watching her husband and children, Ginny nodded. "I am. I loved travelling, but I am really enjoying being so close to all of our family and friends. When we left England, I was so tired of the attention and publicity. The press is still there, but they aren't as hateful as they were before."
She smiled as she heard Lily squealing as Harry looped a circle around James. "I may not have had the life I had planned, but I like this one even better."
Harry looked up and caught her eye. "I love you."
Ginny blew him a kiss as she walked over to join her family.