Chapter 32 : The One That's the Epilogue
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"Where did you last see it?" Penny asked, hopping about on one foot as she struggled to strap her left foot into a black stiletto. I growled at her and pencil rolled out from under the bed, snagging a nice long ladder in my tights as I did so. I wrenched them off and bundled them up, trying to aim them at Dom and cursing when they fell a good three metres short.
"Well if I could remember where I last saw it, then it wouldn't be missing, would it?" Penny sighed and pulled open the lid of my trunk, and gingerly started poking through the haphazard mess that was seven years of Summer Lancaster's Dorm Room Clutter. Yes, with the capital letters.
"Alright, snappy pants, I was only trying to help. Do you know when you last saw it?" I scowled at her and tossed a random shirt off the floor at her head. She shrieked and dove to the side, not wanting to mess up her newly smoothed curls.
"No, no. Do you reckon McGonagall will shout at me if I go to graduation without my mortar board? I don't want her giving me the evils while I try and pretend to be listening to your valedictorian speech. Plus, my shiny hair will probably put you off your cue cards. And I'd look like a little bit of a tosser being the only person not wearing one." Penny shrieked suddenly and pulled a crumpled piece of blue material out of my trunk, waving it in the air.
"Found it, found it! It was wedged between Fred's beater's bat, the one you stole in third year, and a pair of shoes that I pray you have never worn because they are hideous." I shot her the finger, taking the mortar board from her and ironing it out with my wand.
I jammed it onto my head and tried not to look in the mirror, knowing that I most likely looked hideous and had ruined the hair that I spent an hour and a half styling.
"Nice look there, Summer. Suits you. You should wear that every day." Dom laughed, strolling back into the bedroom looking hatefully stunning in a tight black dress that revealed far too much cleavage and was going to be covered by her blue graduation robes anyway. Her long, pale legs looked like they could get to Sweden and back in high pink heels, her long hair wound into a curly bun on the nape of her neck. I hated her a little more instantly.
"Shut it, you, unless you want to be graduating in a robe with a giant hole cut in the arse." Dom laughed and elbowed me playfully in the ribs, letting me gently muss up the small curl in front of her ear. Penny adjusted two of the barrel-rolled curls that sat on her shoulders.
"Anyone ever told you how lovely you are? How you and James managed to make it to four months is beyond me – especially after you threw that bottle of rum at his head during your birthday party. He was in the hospital wing for a week." I scowled at her.
"I wasn't aiming for his head. It just so happened that his fat head got in the way when I was tossing a heavy glass bottle across the room to Rose. If your cousin wasn't an alcoholic then…"
Dom laughed and pulled on her blue gown, pulling her curls out of her collar. I adjusted my mortar board in the mirror so I looked less like a giraffe wearing a piece of coloured cardboard. Penny brushed imaginary lint off the front of her robes. The scene made me feel a little bit emotional – it was going to be the last time that three of us got ready together in our dorm room. After this we would be collecting our trunks and then heading off home.
"Right, well, this is it," I said quietly. "We better head on down." The pair of them turned to look at me, both with tears in their eyes to my abundant horror. They leaned towards me at the same time, and before I could pull away I was being subjected to some kind of group hug. I resisted the urge to bat them both across the face for being such sappy demons. "Yes, yes, I know you guys love me." They both dug me in the ribs. "And I suppose I love you too. Congratulations."
So I bet you're all wondering what happened after we left Hogwarts, right? I'm sure you are. I'm sure you're all clambering over yourselves to find out. Yes, you are – you can just shut up if you aren't. Stop trying to crush my fragile dreams.
Well, everything has to start somewhere – so let's start with Kyle. Why not? Kyle left Hogwarts at the same time as us and went straight into an internship at the Ministry, in the Department for the Regulation of Foreign Magical Exports. I know, sounds fascinating. His father was head of the department, and pulled a couple of strings to get him in despite his terrible NEWT scores. He did well, actually – after about six months he was promoted, and left his internship to join the team that oversaw all exports leaving the country.
He was with them for about five years, until his father got a promotion to one of the members in the Committee of International Magical Exchanges and that left a gap as the head of Kyle's department. No, he didn't get it – but when the guy who did get it tripped in front of a bus four and a half years later, Kyle finally got lucky. So at age twenty-eight, he became head of the department and his head swelled so much that it was larger than it was when it was at school, if you can believe that.
He'd been head of the department for about two years when he finally called a halt to his manwhorish ways and met a girl that wouldn't take any of his shit. She was called Melanie Radley, and she was an opinionated woman who wouldn't settle for anything less than absolute adoration and commitment from him. So after being together for eighteen months, he finally popped the question in their local chip shop, and she said yes.
Fuck knows why, but she did. Among the sound of spitting oil and hundreds of dieticians everywhere screaming, Kyle and Melanie decided to get hitched.
They got married three months later in a registry office in her hometown in Scotland, where they soon moved to after Melanie's father passed away and her mother was left living on her own. About a year after the big move to Scotland, Melanie found out she was pregnant... with triplets. Kyle Davies, serial manwhore and perpetual pain in my arse, was having triplets with his wife. No, I never saw it coming either.
But they had the triplets – Bonnie, Mischa and Emer, for any of you that were wondering – and as far as I know, they lived happily ever after. I suppose they did, anyway – but I didn't really keep tabs. And knowing Kyle, something probably went wrong.
So who next? How about... Erin? Remember her? I barely do, but James told me what happened to her so I might as well tell you. I'll tell you the short version, anyway, because I don't really care enough about her to drag it out. Anyway, moving swiftly onwards.
Blondie the Bitch left Hogwarts with pretty much perfect NEWT scores (urgh, swot) and went on to do... something... I'm not really sure what. But she went off and did something for about two years, until she went on holiday to Spain and met an English guy that had moved there three years ago. She was only there for two weeks, but somehow managed to "fall in love" and decided to move out there. I agree with you – it does show how much of a bint she is.
So she moved to Spain, and within six months she was pregnant with the bloke's kid – and that was when the drama started. Or that was when I started listening to James, at least. The guy freaked out about the fact he'd got his twenty year old (freak of a) girlfriend pregnant and bogged off. Apparently Erin was a state – she wouldn't come out of her room for weeks, cried about how her life was over all the time, etc, until her mum flew out to Spain and forced her to see that she was going to hurt her baby with her stupid behaviour. So she sorted herself out, and eventually had her kid.
It was a little boy, who she called Maxwell after his estranged father. When she eventually realised she couldn't work and raise her newborn son on her own, she moved back to England and in with her parents, who were really good to the baby – spoiled him rotten, from what I've heard.
When Maxwell was four, Erin met a guy in her job as a receptionist in the Maternity Ward of St Mungos – he was her mail guy, I feel I should specify... not a woman having a baby – who was good to her and good to her son. So after a couple of years of a fairly standard relationship, they got married. They didn't have any children together, but her new husband adopted Max and essentially became his father. Maxwell Senior was forgotten, by the sounds of things.
So who next? How about Jack? I'm sure you're all desperate to know about him. Jack was a lucky bugger in the work department – he got the job he wanted as a reporter for the Daily Prophet, and it wasn't even as a shitty intern – his example article was apparently so good that they hired him fresh out of Hogwarts.
Jack met many lovely people and jetted off to many lovely places with his new job, and he sent me a gift from every place he went to. Jack and I remained very close friends, to the point where I practically considered him to be as close to me as I considered Dom and Penny. We went out to lunch together at least once a fortnight, and in the beginning I was always his date to his fancy work functions – the poor schmuck was single and didn't want to show up alone, and I wanted the free booze.
He had a few short relationships up until he was twenty five, when a twenty one year old intern called Josie Right moved into his section and absolutely bowled him over. He was mad about her – literally from day one. So after a couple of months of subtle flirting, I got bored of the pair of them and asked her out on his behalf. I suppose you could say I meddled.
But she said yes, so you'd think he would have taken it better than he did – apparently I made him look "stupid".
But it all came back to bite me in the arse, because he started taking her to his functions and things got pretty serious pretty fast. He was absolutely head over heels for the girl, and after they'd been together four months he proposed. She actually said yes, despite the four year age gap and the fact they'd known each other even less time than my dad and Lulu had, but it came back like the bitch Karma is – her ex boyfriend moved back into town a month later and she ran off with him.
Yes, literally like it was straight out of a soap. Well, maybe it was a little more normal than that. She basically sat down with Jack, gave him his ring back and told him that she did love him, but she wanted to get back with her ex. So Josie buggered off, and left Jack single and broken hearted. He was crushed, seriously. It made me feel sick to see what she did to him.
He stayed like that for about a year, until I met a lovely woman at work, who was two years older than him but absolutely amazing – even I liked her, and I generally don't like people. She was kickass funny and stunningly pretty – she was just incredible. She had a three year old daughter called Kaitlyn, but Jack loved kids so that wasn't an issue. I introduced them, doing my good deed for the day and whatnot, and he smiled in a way that I hadn't seen him since Josie left.
Genevieve and Jack took it slow, and after a year he finally proposed to her. We'd all been waiting for him to since they hit the six month mark – well, all of us except James, who said (and I quote), "I don't give a flying shit what he does with his life – if he wants to curse her into marrying him then he can. Git."
Anyway, on the day of their eighteen month anniversary they tied the knot, and she became Mrs Genevieve Goldstein. As Kaitlyn's father had been a good-for-nothing, she had her mother's maiden name, and after the wedding Genevieve had her name changed to Kaitlyn Goldstein, so they could be a proper family. Jack raised her as his own, and she called him 'Dad' from the moment she met him. Genevieve and Jack took a while to have children on their own – she was nearing thirty by the time they got married and they took another five years to finally have a child. Coincidentally, on Kaitlyn's tenth birthday, Genevieve gave birth to another little girl, who they called Jean-Louise, after the main character in Genevieve's favourite book.
All very cute and whatnot.
Who next? Albus Potter? Sure, why the hell not? Okie-dokes. Well, when we graduated, Natalie graduated. She might have been a bint, but she was still a smart-arse. So she graduated, but dear Albus was left behind in Hogwarts for another year. Both of them were convinced the other was going to cheat on them, and so there was a year of absolutely no trust and a lot of arguing when Albus came home for the holidays.
I actually got James to invite me over to their house when he came home over Easter, just because I knew that Natalie was planning on screaming the living daylights out of the place. It was a bloody entertaining show, I'll tell you that much. But anyway – the pair of them, yeah – they ended up staying together throughout the whole year, even though neither of them trusted each other as far as they could spit.
Things got a little more serious after that. Natalie was roofied in a club when she was nineteen and a half, and Albus was about eighteen and a half. He wasn't with her at the time; she was out with some girlfriends and some low-life scum slipped something into her drink when she went to grind with a guy that allegedly looked like a drug dealer. After her friends managed to drag her to hospital and managed to get on the blower to Al, things got very ugly. After Albus collapsed and whacked his head on the side of a table, consequently splitting his head open, everything just went pear shaped.
Natalie, sadly, began to suffer from paranoia, and Albus developed a tendency for migraines that had never happened before. Their relationship quickly deteriorated even further and soon two of them couldn't be in the same room together. Natalie was diagnosed with depression. The position that Albus had on the reserve team for the Tornadoes was in jeopardy, because he was hardly ever showing up due to migraines and just not feeling like it. And the sick thing was, there were people out there who thought the pair of them deserved it. So they were nasty in school and deserved it.
No. Just no.
James himself began to get involved – to the point where I ended up trying to help. Yes. Me. That's how bad the situation had gotten. James invited Natalie and Albus around for dinner and the two of them actually managed to have a civil meal together, for the first time in months. But to their credit, they never even mentioned splitting up. That is, until around four months later, when Natalie took off and left for Tanzania or Zimbabwe or Kenya, or somewhere like that. I can't really remember where.
She never even said goodbye to Albus, and he was as crushed as an orange that had been chucked off the top of the Eiffel Tower and had been smushed on the pavement. But to cut a long story short, because this is beginning to ramble, Natalie left for six months and nobody heard from her. Albus even flew to whatever country she was in and tried to find her, but he couldn't. He threw himself into work to get over her and got promoted onto the main team for the Tornadoes. And in typical them fashion, the day before his big coming out game as their newest player, Natalie showed up.
They got back together and got involved in counselling. Two years later they flew back to wherever Natalie had gone, together this time, and got married on the coast. They never had any children but the two of them realised their love of dogs and ended up having about six of them – Nico, Jam, Punter, Beer, Spotty and Hamish. So it was a happy ending for them in the end, but they earned it... and I can say that, if I put everything that happened between us into the past. Bitterness, bye bye.
Lily? Never got married, that chick. She had more boyfriends than you could shake a stick at, but she never married any of them. In total, six different guys proposed. And the moment a bloke got down on one knee or pulled out some form of rock, she was on her bike. It wasn't that she was afraid of commitment – it was just that she did not want to get married. I don't know. I never bothered to ask. Let the chick do whatever she wants, it's no skin off anyone else's nose.
When she was about thirty-odd she met a guy called Colton, an American lad from a huge family – he had about six sisters and four brothers. They dated, well, for the rest of their lives. He asked her to marry him twelve times, in total. She said no every time. But they were happy, and that was that. Lily never wanted children, and so they never had any. She did, however, build up a very successful empire selling brooms that she designed herself. Colton joined the business as a silent partner and the two of them together became millionaires. Lucky fuckers.
Kane Owen left school with two NEWTS, in total – both of them just an Acceptable. After realising that he wasn't going to get any form of wizarding job with those qualifications that paid enough for him to keep up with his social life, he went off abroad to look for work. He ended up in the South of France, working on cruise ships as a waiter. It paid well, and apparently he looked fucking delightful with a tan. Not that that makes him any less of a git, mind. He worked there for about eight years, and then took a job as a barman on the coast of France and stayed there for the rest of his life. Other than to visit his family a few times, I don't think he ever came back to England.
When he was about thirty five, he met Elodie, a French muggle that he decided he'd taken a bit of a fancy to. I can't remember how old Penny told me she was, but I think she was a couple of years younger than he was. He asked her out, and she turned him down – she believed he was a manwhorish alcoholic that only wanted to take advantage of her.
To cut a long story short, after six months – clearly the charm wasn't working, Owen – she agreed to go on a date with him. Two years later, she gave birth to their son. I think they called him something appallingly awful, like Jean-Philippe-Vincent-Paul the fourth, after her father. Poor kid was going to get picked on in the playground, anyway. When JPVP IIII was about four years old, the social were called out to their house and Kane Owen was arrested on suspicion of beating his girlfriend unconscious several times, the latest of which left her with several broken bones and a permanently misshapen face – wife beating, essentially, without her being his wife.
He pleaded guilty and was going to be given a suspended sentence until the prosecution said they could provide evidence that he had beaten up his girlfriends before Elodie. Penny flew out there for a few days to be a witness in the case. Said that she might have never stood up to him, but she wasn't going to stand back and let him treat another woman like that, especially not when there was their son to factor into the equation. He was sentenced to four and a half years in prison with twice weekly meetings with a physiatrist to try and figure out the root of his compulsion to beat women.
Upon these meetings, it was discovered that Penny had been right all along – Kane wasn't sound in the head. If he had followed her advice when they were seventeen, then he wouldn't be locked up in prison at forty years old with his son locked on the outside. He had several things wrong with him – I remember Penny saying that he had officially been diagnosed as schizophrenic and at the time, he was being tested for bipolar disorder. He was moved from the prison to a mental hospital, to better manage his state of mind. I don't know what happened to him after that, other than he left prison and worked very hard on gaining control of himself, using new medicines and new forms of psychotic therapy. Elodie never took him back, but married another man. JPVP IIII saw his father once a month under his mother's supervision.
And even I felt a little sorry for him. But all I ever had to do was remember the state of Penny's face after he beat her that last time, and I forgot all about feeling sorry for him.
My mother, Antony, and their sprog is next on the list, folks. She had a little boy in the end – thank Merlin, I would have seriously have hated having to share my shit with a sister – and they called him Winter. I'm joking, I'm joking – no, I just thought it would be funny. Summer and Winter, geddit? My humour is wasted on you lot. No, they called him Nicholas, in actuality. 29th of August, the little babe was born, and he was the cutest effing thing I had ever seen in my life. So much so that I told James we were going to have to have one sharpish, because I wanted one of my own, to which he said "okay". He slept on the couch for the next two weeks, the crazy dame.
Antony and my mother were not together as anything more than friends and parents to be until around one month before Nicky was born, and then they finally announced that they were "partners" – old people talk for boyf and girly friend, methinks. Antony stuck around pretty well – sometimes it got too much for him and he slept in a hotel for a night, but other than that he lived with my mother in the flat he rented for the pair of them. Jack moved in for the first year of Nicky's life, since it was his brother too – and yes, I never got used to that.
He was fab with the kid – better than I was, though I was better than I thought I would be. I didn't hate the kid. I was older – I wasn't around the baby much, but I loved him to pieces. He was a cute little cutie pie that was no responsibility but I could play with and coo after when I wanted to. It was a win-win situation for me, really. Other than the fact I was no longer an only child.
When Nicholas was five and Jack and I were twenty three, my mother and Antony went off to Vegas and got married, leaving James and I looking after Nicky for a week. I nearly had a breakdown. Children just took up so much attention. I was a little pissed off with them; not because I wasn't invited, but because my plan all along, if I had to get married, had been to get married in Vegas. I wasn't going to get married in the same way as my mother.
They split up for a few months when Nicholas was twelve, but other than that; the pair of them were pretty good together. I never really saw 100% eye to eye with Antony, for various reasons, but I knew that he was good to my mother so I actually worked hard to maintain a civil relationship with the man. Wouldn't let Nicky put up with any shit from him, though. Over my dead body, babycakes.
So that all went relatively well. Probably didn't require the massive overreaction that I put her through when I found out, but hey-ho. Life goes on, man, you know.
I did go to Lulu and my father's wedding, in the end. Even though I said I wouldn't, I actually went with James because I wanted to get very drunk and see exactly how much of a train wreck the thing was going to be. I didn't mature for it, though, like my father hopes that i would, but refused to shake Lulu's hand at the reception since I had heard her speaking to her bitchy little mates before the ceremony, telling them less than savoury things about me.
Lulu looked like a puffy pastry in her wedding dress – it was a pure white affair with a lace bodice and fifteen lace underskirts and a white satin corset and white satin shoes and... pink roses acting as buttons up the boned back. It was appalling. It looked like she had tried to re-enact a cartoon princess wedding and it had just gone very, very wrong. The vows were absolutely sickening, to the point where I wanted to chuck up in my complimentary basket of potpourris. My father looked like he wanted to shoot himself in the head the entire time he was saying his.
Their marriage lasted a year longer than I thought it would, because in total it lasted a year and a day. Three hundred and sixty six entire days of marriage. I'm surprised they made it that far, to be quite honest. Lulu never got preggo, even though father decided to confide in me for a few seconds and for some unknown reason told me that Lulu had been pestering him like a mad woman to knock her up. His refusal to have another kid was the main reason that they filed for a divorce.
I have no idea what happened to Lulu after that – all I know is that she eventually married a posh Quidditch player from Kensington in London and they had about six or seven children, who all had stupid, twattish names like Italie, Sheffield and Beedah. My dad remarried again a few years later – yes, his third marriage – to a woman just a year younger than him, called Marie... something. I dunno, I didn't speak to stepmummy much. Her and my father moved out to California before the wedding, which I didn't go to, and I only saw them a few times until my father died, aged fifty five, when I was about thirty four. Heart attack due to a stressful job and the fat filled shit that Marie fed him for the rest of his married life.
I'm sure a lot of you are still reeling from the shock that Lulu and dear Daddy did not remain married.
Lulu's sister, Sarah, who I shared a dorm with for six and a half years before she revealed herself to be a prick and a half, ended up following in her sister's footsteps and became a fully blown bitch. She started dating a guy in his forties when she left Hogwarts and though they never married – I take it he was, unlike my father, worried about the gold digging factor – they were together for a hell of a long time. I don't know if they ever split up, but I know they were together long enough to not bother factoring in the fact they might have split up. The bitch was a complete snot and she drove a fucking Ferrari from the age of eighteen. Life is not fair. She never even worked a day in her life.
Now onto the people that you actually care about, the reason you're reading this in the first place.
Rose and Scorpius? Scorpius asked Rose to move in with him when the pair of them graduated from Hogwarts, Rose with perfect grades and Scorpius with... acceptable ones. But Rose said that she didn't want to move in with each other flat out of school – she needed space to become 'independent' and 'learn to live on her own' before she made the decision to commit to Scorpius 'for life'. Yes, they were actual words that came out of the crazy bitch's mouth. Uncle Draco wasn't very happy about how serious his relationship with Rose had gotten, but he kept his trap shut. Said he was doing it for Potter, since he 'owed him'. No one ever listened to the crazy man for a reason.
Rose got a job working in St Mungos, working on new potions and spells to try and find cures for diseases like spattergroit, which were still going untreated. She worked for a month in St Mungo's while living at home with dear Ron and Hermione before she showed up on Scorpius's doorstep with a suitcase, asking him whether the offer for her to move in was still open.
Turns out Ronald didn't relent on his daughter's curfew just because she had, you know, become of age and graduated. Scorpius was over the moon, but took a while to adjust to cohabitation, all the same. Rose was forever moaning that he left cupboard doors open and didn't replace the loo roll if he used the last of it and –hey, let's break out the clichés– never put the toilet seat back down. But they got on very well – a little too well. Pissed me off their relationship was so perfect.
Scorpius knocked Rosie up when they were both twenty, and she had a little girl called Annabella Summer Malfoy. Annabella was beautiful and bright, but she was a sickly little girl – spent a lot of her early childhood in and out of St Mungo's. When she was five, one of the cures that Rosie had been researching turned out to be one that could cure her. She had to take the potion every day for the rest of her life, but little Annabella was in perfect health until she died an old lady – other than the odd cold, of course. And let's face it, little kids always have colds.
To celebrate Annabella's curing, Rose and Scorpius tried for another baby, and got two for the price of one. Twins, for the dimmer of you out there. A boy and a girl, called Fred and Georgina, after Rose's favourite uncle and his twin. When Fred and Georgina were able to walk on their own, Rosie decided she wanted to be a mother and a wife, so she told Scorpius to marry her.
Yes, I do mean that – she told Scorpius to marry her. He did, and they tied the knot in a giant ceremony in a refurbished church in Devon, where the stained glass sprinkled pretty patterns onto the ceiling. The one of the Virgin Mary cast a beam of red right into my eyeball the entire ceremony, and James teased me for getting emotional at a wedding. No. Just no.
They had another baby much later in life, one I suspect was an accident (but that's just between you and me), so when Fred and Georgina were ten and Annabella was sixteen, they had another little boy, and adorable little muffin called Harvey Hyperion Malfoy. I know, poor kid. But his devilish good looks more than made up for the fact that his parents gave him a rather unfortunate, alliterative name. Still, it's better than being Harvey Hyperion Halfoy, I suppose.
And that was it for Rose and Scorpius, really. They bought a country house in a lovely area of the Lake District and lived there until they were an old couple. He still looked at her everyday like she was the sun from above, and it was adorable. She adored him too, but in a less obvious way. Even when he threw a hissy fit about Annabella announcing she was getting married at seventeen to a twenty-one year old army recruit.
But that's another story.
Dom and Connor? Aah, dear ConDom. Dear ConDom did stay together in the end – and turns out, I wasn't too far out with my guesses about marriage. Against my advice, I feel the need to add, they got engaged a couple of weeks after we graduated from Hogwarts. They'd moved in together when we did actually graduate from school – again, against my advice – and things seemed to go pretty well… so by that logic, they just had to get married. Of course.
They waited two and a half years to get married though, since Dom wanted the perfect wedding and that took one hell of a long time to organise. I was the… ahem, maid of honour – please don't make me say it again, it was painful enough when I had to announce it in the wedding speech. Dom and I patched up our friendship, piece by piece, after James and I got together. It took a while, since she still irritated me and she thought I was rude and obnoxious, but we got there. I loved Dom, she was like a sister to me, but gawd damn, we had our issues over time.
We never really got on perfectly ever again, you know – we stuck together for the rest of our lives, but we still fell out every now and again… well, pretty much every three months. But we stuck together, and that was that. I was made her maid of honour as more of a gesture than anything else, since Penny was only a bridesmaid and she would have been a much better choice. Victoire threw a hissy, too, since Dom and been her maid of honour in her wedding to Teddy. But hey, life goes on.
So, aged twenty, they got hitched in the biggest wedding that the Weasley family had ever seen – and that includes the one that George Weasley threw for his wife, Angelina. Dom wore a dress that transformed her into a princess/pastry for a day, and Connor was coerced into a pale blue suit that he hated and attempted to charm another colour before the ceremony started.
I convinced him out of it, in the end, since it would have clashed with Dom's perfectly planned bouquet and table arrangement and napkins and whatever other shite just had to match each other.
They honeymooned for a month – yes, a month – in Barbados, and when they returned, Connor decided that he wanted to change careers. Dom had immediately gone into a career in Quidditch administration and became a scout and manager for the Chudley Cannons, but Connor had been unsure what he wanted and joined a potion manufacturing firm as a financial officer (glorified accountant). He hated the job, but he refused to let Dom support him.
While on his honeymoon, he became interested in the way foreign countries interacted with one another (no, no one had any idea why something as boring as that would interest him) and joined the ministry in the Auror department as an overseas diplomat. He was in charge of… something… and he had to… do something, and it was all very boring but he enjoyed it. He didn't earn very much, but Dommie earned enough for the both of them so it was all fine.
So yes, that was that. Both of them firmly had their feet on the careers ladder and whatnot.
Anyway – so, being married and having good careers that they enjoyed, so they decided that it was time for them to pop out a couple of sprogs. They were twenty three, which I considered to be far too young to have children, but you've already seen that Dom paid little to no attention on my opinion on her personal matters.
They tried for a baby for a year with no success – when they turned twenty four I gave them my blessing for having children, since that was just deemed 'old enough' by my good self – and so they decided to go and get themselves checked out. To cut a long story short, Dom couldn't have children – her womb wouldn't hold a baby.
They were both crushed, and went off on a second honeymoon to the same place in Barbados for another month to try and fix the cracks that it had caused in their relationship. I suppose they both just really, really wanted children. When they came back, they announced their decision to adopt a baby. Of course, that meant that they had to go through the enormous process in the UK of attempting to adopt a baby, which was a pain in my arse.
They asked both James and Penny to write them a letter of recommendation to go in their portfolio to basically vouch for the fact they were good, generous people that wanted a baby, but they never asked me. Shock. Fred cried when they found out they didn't ask him, but Dom tossed some strawberry shoelaces at his face and he calmed down.
After two years, Dom and Connor were told of a young girl who had gotten pregnant at seventeen and wanted to put the baby up for adoption, and had been told of them as possible parents for her baby. She decided she wanted to get to know them well beforehand, and they went to meet her.
Her name was Alicia Sherlock and she was just a teenager that had gotten pregnant and was trying not to have to deal with it. I never met her, but I was told she was nice enough. Quite a looker, which Dom was relieved; she couldn't have dealt with an ugly kid.
Might sound harsh, but it's the ugly truth.
Alicia's baby was born in the middle of the summer, and together they decided to name her Valentine Alicianna Dale – may I point out that Dom's married name was Dom Dale? – which I believed was truly horrendous. It was made slightly better by the fact her name was pronounced Valen-teen, not Valen-tyne.
Because the adoption process took so long, they decided to keep Valentine an only child, which led to her being absolutely spoiled rotten – in a good way, of course. She was a sweet little kid that had a lisp until she was six years old and Dom involved her in speech therapy but she always had trouble saying 'fish fingers'. She was gorgeous, too, the lucky kid. That pissed Connor off to no end, like.
Dom and Connor moved from their flat in London to a large house in Oxford when they found out that Alicia was filling them in on the adoption forms, and they lived there for the rest of their lives – why not, after all, the place had a sodding swimming pool. An indoor one, naturally, since this is England. If you want to go swimming in ice, go ahead.
Other than Connor having a heart attack when he was sixty two but making a full recovery, nothing else really ever happened with them. Dom became vegetarian when she was thirty… and that's it.
So we might as well move along to Penny. Crikey, this is taking longer than I thought it would. Why do all of them have to have such interesting lives?
Anyway, Penny. Right… ahem. Not to break any of your dear, teenage hearts, but Penny and Fred didn't stay together. What were the chances that the three relationships made in one friendship group were going to stay together? Not very likely. It was surprising that two of them worked out – even more surprising that I was involved in one of them.
Penny and I moved in together after graduation – Dom moved in with Connor, and Fred and James decided to become apartment buddies, too – and rented a cute little two-bedroom on the outskirts of Kensington. Yes, my daddy paid for the majority of it – why do you think I went to his first wedding? The one to Lulu, I mean.
So Penny and I lived together for two years after graduation, until we were both twenty – in Penny's case, nearly twenty one. She joined healing school – advanced placement, since she did so well in school, and finished the course in the two years we cohabitated instead of the usual four. Penny and Fred dated for that entire time, but they weren't really into it through the last six months or so. They eventually decided to call if off, and Penny went off travelling for a couple of months. That coincided with Dom's honeymoon, so I was seriously lacking in rarely-wanted girl talk for quite a while.
When she returned, with a glorious tan, she joined St Mungo's as a healer and threw herself into her work. She met another healer while she worked there, a man quite a bit older than her, and he eventually decided to screw the 'no dating between co-workers' rule and asked her out on a date. She'd been waiting six months, and practically screamed yes in his face.
Michael Watkinson – who was thirty to Penny's twenty one – was nice man with a gentle disposition and a quiet sense of humour. He was very, very good looking, in the older-man sense. He had high cheekbones and dark hair that fell into his brown eyes, and was only single because he worked so hard. But since Penny worked the same hours as him, apart from emergency call out, things went well for the pair of them.
They got married after four years of dating, after an engagement of a month as opposed to Dom's two and a half years. After she got married she decided she wanted to be called Penelope as opposed to Penny, and I had to get used to her changed name. Selfish cow.
Because they were both so busy with work they never had any children, but they had many cats over the years. After they retired they moved to Spain and spent the rest of their retirement there. We never lost contact, even though her job swallowed much of her life, and she always made time at least once a month to go out with Dom and me.
Freddie next. Despite the fact the great Preddie split had been a mutual decision, Freddie still took the break up hard. James spent the few months after the separation travelling all around London, picking Freddie up from various bars and clubs after he had gotten wasted and collapsed. Eventually I decided that enough was enough, and gave Freddie a stern talking to. He cried. I cried. We both cried and then I punched him the stomach for being a cissy.
He'd become a professional Quidditch player as soon as he had left school, getting signed to the reserve team for the Wanderers. He took a few months off after the Preddie split, but he did well.
After three years of building up his reputation on the reserve team, the last year of which he spent single, not even sleeping around – he later referred to this as his Mourning Period for the death of his most serious relationship – he got promoted onto the actual team as their Beater, alongside Perry Williamsburg, who was the best looking man I had ever seen in my wife. I would have tossed James headfirst into a wheelie bin for a night with him, but that's neither here nor there.
Anyway, he got promoted to the main team and one year later, during which he had had two girlfriends, but neither of them lasted very long, he was put onto the reserve team for the England National Squad. The party James and I threw was where he met his first wife, a nice woman called Shannon Rey. She worked in James's Auror Department as a secretary and had somehow managed to wangle an invitation.
Freddie slept with her that night, and actually asked her out the next morning. After dating for several weeks, things going alright but at the usual slow pace new relationships did go, Shannon found out that she was pregnant. The kiddie was Fred's – to be on the safe side, they had a paternity test done – and Fred immediately proposed to her. Shannon said yes, and they married before Shannon was even three months pregnant. They moved into a small flat in Manchester City Centre when Shannon was six months gone.
Freddie's son, Antonio Luca, was born on the second of June, and he was absolutely adored by Angelina, whom Fred struggled to get out of their apartment most nights. When Antonio was three months old, Shannon announced that she was pregnant again. This time it was a little girl, whom they called Giovanna Lucie. When Giovanna was one year old and Antonio was nearly two, Shannon announced another pregnancy, pondering James to wonder the difference between having children and just flat out breeding. This time it was with twins – Francesca Louise and Elena Rosa. To keep up with their growing family, they moved to a large house in the Manchester suburbs. Freddie was promoted to the actual England Squad a few months later.
Shannon and Fred didn't have any more children, as after the girls were born their relationship took a rocky turn. They just didn't know each other, which was the problem. Freddie was gone so much with work that they never saw each other, and their whole lives revolved around their children – they had married for their children, and over time they had forgotten to fall in love.
They cared for each other, yes, but neither of them ever said 'I love you' in all the time I knew them. But they had four children together, the most out of any of us, so they had to go about separating carefully. They got involved in marriage counselling, around the kids and Freddie's hectic career – which Shannon loved the salary of, don't get me wrong – but it didn't help.
You had to love each other enough to want to try, and they didn't. After the divorce, Freddie realised that his constant abroad matches meant his kids couldn't live with him, so Shannon got primary custody and her and Fred's amicable split meant that he came to see them every minute he was home. He adored his babies, anyone could see that.
Two years after his divorce, during which Fred moved to a luxury bachelor pad in Cambridge, he met an Italian woman – ironic, considering what he had called his children – called Giorgina who he fell for on the spot. Despite rushing into marriage before, he did it again, and he married Giorgie within four months of meeting her.
Giorgie had their first child on the one year anniversary of their wedding, a little boy called Mario Francesco. Shortly after Mario's birth, Shannon died in a car accident on the way to her friend's hen party. Years later, the friend who had been with her in the car admitted she had been stark raving drunk when she'd gotten behind the wheel of the car. The four children moved in with Fred, Giorgina and Mario, meaning twenty-one year old Giorgie was raising five children, four of which were not her own, while Fred was away.
She handled it well, though. Only a few temper tantrums and screaming matches and throwing vases in fits of Italian rage. Unfair that Merlin made her calm and beautiful, but life isn't fair, is it?
The kids adored Giorgina, and after a few months Antonio plucked up the courage to ask if they could call her 'mum'. He couldn't have been any older than five or six at the time. She cried and said yes. Giorgina had another two babies the following year and the year after, a boy called Domenico Bruno and a girl called Antonietta Franca.
Fred announced, while still in the hospital after Antonietta's birth, that he didn't want any more children. He then revealed he'd been aiming for seven his whole life – so he could have his own Quidditch team made up of his children. Penny – sorry, Penelope – laughed for ten minutes straight when she found out, until Fred threw a bedpan at her.
Moving to a mansion in Essex, Giorgina and Fred actually had a discussion and decided they really did have enough children. I mean, really – Antonio, Giovanna, Francesca, Elena, Mario, Domenico and Antonietta… does that not seem a bit excessive?
But Fred had his Quidditch team, and that was all that mattered. When the kids were older, they were hopeless at working together, but that didn't stop Freddie from trying. Antonio gave Gia a black eye more times that I could count with his Beater's bat, but Freddie refused to let that deter him. He made them sleep in a tent together for three days until they agreed to stop arguing and Antonio apologised to his sister. Needless to say, they bonded over mutual irritation at their father.
When Antonietta, the youngest, was four, Freddie was in a Quidditch accident that left him in St Mungo's for two and a half weeks, and then in rehabilitation for another three months. Giorgina nearly had a mental breakdown trying to deal with the seven children on her own while Fred was hooked up to breathing machines and heart monitors and learning to walk again. But Fred git better, and in the end decided to leave professional Quidditch and work as a team manager instead, after being put into the English Squad Hall of Fame.
Giorgina and Fred renewed their vows on their tenth wedding anniversary in an enormous ceremony on some lovely beach in Barbados, and Giorgina looked stunning in a coral silk dress that matched all the dresses of her little girls, but theirs were in a pale blue colour. The four boys, however, were not too happy with having to wear blue and pink tuxedos. Antonio set fire to his with some drift wood at the reception, and James and Fred got far too drunk and started to dance around the resulting bonfire like really crap tribesmen. Ah, the maturity of thirty-something year old men.
They stayed together for the rest of their lives, Giorgina officially adopting Fred's first four children before Antonio turned ten, and raised them as her own. They ended up having twenty three grandchildren and forty seven great-grandchildren together, the majority of whom also had Italian names that I struggled to pronounce. I didn't bother to learn their names after the first ten.
Mario went on to follow in his father's footsteps and became a keeper on the England National Squad, making it onto the Hall of Fame next to his father. Antonietta married a man that would eventually go on to become the Minister for Magic. Elena had eight children herself, loving the experience of growing up in an enormous family. Domenico, on the other hand, was unable to have children and so adopted one baby from America with his girlfriend, Cathianne.
And that was Fred's life, really. Surprisingly smooth and simple, it seemed, since he never complained of any problems. Still, Fred acted like a child right up until he died, so I wouldn't be surprised if he just laughed off anything that happened. He never really did grow up, but I think that might have been a good thing – we all adored him as he was.
And last but not least, James and I. It's taken a long time to get here, hasn't it? I could give you the brief summary of my life – I trained as a lawyer, lived with Penny, moved in with James after two years, eventually married him and we had three sons together. But where's the fun in giving you the abbreviated version?
So, from the top we go. I was accepted into Oxford University – that's the muggle university, yes – because in order to become a Wizarding lawyer you need to train as a muggle lawyer and then do an additional year in a ministry course learning Wizarding law. I graduated with one acceptable, three exceeds expectations and three outstandings in my NEWTs. I trained with them for two years, learning the basics of law and how to defend criminals; that's the area I trained in, criminal law.
James left school with decent grades and immediately joined Auror training alongside his father, taking the three year course that is expected of all new Aurors. He did very well, and was one of the top in his class in the majority of his sections and examinations.
He moved in with Freddie after school, and they got an apartment together three blocks away from the Ministry. Freddie had to floo to the Wanderers stadium every day, but that didn't bother him. When Penny moved out of our apartment after two years, James and I decided to move in together, and we bought a small apartment in the middle of London.
It wasn't too great, but it did us. We decorated it like mad people – none of the rooms matched each other, but we loved it. The living room was red – red walls, red carpet, a red couch, big red canvases and a white fluffy rug in front of the fireplace that didn't work. Our bedroom was blue – so many shades of blue that it gave you a headache just to step into it unprepared. The bathroom was green, he kitchen was yellow with spotty tiles… the place was hideous, but we adored it.
James proposed to me for the first time when we lived in that apartment, just after we moved in. We'd made chicken kiev and mashed potatoes with butter for dinner and I'd just put the plates on trays and taken them into the living room when James suddenly pegged it into the bedroom. I was in the kitchen, making coffee to go with it, when I turned around to find James on one knee. To be quite honest, he didn't seem to know what he was doing.
He rambled on and on, using a lovely speech and flowery words that just had nothing to do with us and didn't seem to relate to our relationship. He pulled out a ring – the ring was sodding gorgeous, I'll give him that one – and I just blinked at him. And then I said no. James stayed on his knee for a while, thinking I was joking, and then got up and stormed out of the place. Threw a few t-shirts and hoodies into a bag and took off to stay with Fred for the rest of the week.
Kid didn't even give me a chance to explain, but I decided to give him some time to cool down. Dom was off on her honeymoon and Penny was travelling, so there was no one for me to talk to. Jack did his best to give me some advice, but he didn't really know what to say.
When he eventually came back – twelve days later – I finally explained it all to him. He wouldn't apologise for storming out on me, but I didn't expect him to. I had only just turned twenty, for hell's sake – I was too young to even think about getting married. James might have been ready, but I most certainly wasn't. I explained about my dad and Lulu, and how they had met and then gotten married and had already split and were in the process of a money-sapping divorce.
I'd been put off marriage for a very long time. I knew I wanted to marry James eventually – that made him smile, that did – but I was not ready to go about it. James said that was fine, and we put it behind us. Oddly, though, he asked me to wear the engagement ring anyway, but on the ring finger of my right hand, instead of my left. I did as I was asked.
After two years in the Ugly Apartment, as it was later nicknamed, James decided he wanted a more grown up home to go with the fact that he had just been promoted. He bought a house, this time, instead of an apartment, in the London suburbs instead of the city centre. He hired an interior designer for this home instead of unleashing me with a paintbrush, and this home was actually all lovely and matched. I was promoted shortly after we moved into the place, to the team leader of the Criminal Law department in the Ministry, and James proposed again.
Again, I said no. I was only twenty two, my work life was still very hectic and up in the air… I just wasn't ready for marriage. The thought made me feel sick, and it still worried me. Penny slapped me over the back of the head when she found out I'd said no again. This time James let me explain, though, and we were alright. He was a little funny with me for a few weeks, eventually letting on that he thought he loved me more than I loved him – yes, like a little kiddie – but eventually he moved on with his life.
When I was twenty four, I found out that I was pregnant. I decided, upon finding out that I was having a baby, that if James was to propose to me again then I would accept. It wasn't that I was preggo; it was that I was in a good place in my life. I was doing well in work; I was as high up as I was going to be for a very long time. I was in a serious relationship with a man I was nuts about, and I was having his baby. All was good. In a way, I was waiting for his proposal. But it never came.
On the first of March I gave birth to a beautiful little boy, whom we called Benjamin Arthur Potter. Given that I wanted to marry James, I didn't see any point in putting Lancaster into the equation. I quite wanted to get rid of every part of my father's family, to be quite honest. But even after Ben was born, James didn't mention marriage again.
I dropped down to work part time, three days a week, so I could spend more time with the little one. Though I never thought I'd be any good at it, I found that I adored being a mummy. Jack was a godsend, helping me every day, and I eventually named him godfather, along with Lily as godmother. James threw a hissy fit over it, but said it was all cool since Jack was just the 'weedy little godfather, whereas I'm the actual father'. Maturity, thy name is James.
When Ben was nearly three, I got pregnant again, with another little boy. I wanted a little girl, but it seemed it just wasn't on the cards for me to have one. I adored my sons, anyway.
September the fourteenth, I gave birth to my second son, whom we called John Franklin Potter. Again, I waited for the proposal, but one never came. By this point I was twenty seven years old, and had been with James for near enough ten years. I couldn't understand why he hadn't proposed to me – we had two children together, for hell's sakes, and we lived to together.
When little John was two years old, and I was twenty nine, I lost my patience. James wanted to try for another child, and I was perfectly happy to do that – I found that I loved having kids, so why not? – but I had one condition: he had to tell me why he suddenly didn't want to marry me anymore. He hadn't proposed to me since I was twenty two, and I was now one year off being thirty. Thirty.
James laughed, and said he'd been waiting years for me to ask him that. Turns out, he wasn't going to bring up marriage until I did, since I'd already rejected him twice and he didn't want to make it a round three. And right there, in our living room, while I was bouncing little John on my lap and Ben worked on his letters on the coffee table, James got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Ben started to cheer and John, mindlessly following his big brother, joined in.
I said yes – well, at first I jokily said no, but James didn't appreciate the humour and made me answer him properly – and we married six months later, when I was three months pregnant. We had a reasonably small ceremony, in comparison to Dom's, with Ben being world's most adorable pageboy and John being carried down the aisle by Freddie holding a cushion with our rings.
Dom and Connor took the boys for a week, helped out by Harry and Ginny (the boys were their only grandchildren, so they were spoiled rotten) so that James and I could go to New York for a week on our honeymoon. It was a great trip, though James bollocked me for spending as much as I did. Nicky also helped out while we were on that trip, and the boys thought it was hilarious that they had an uncle that was not that much older than them.
Six months later, I had my third son, a little sprog called Joshua Leon Potter. James said he took after me the most, because he ended up being an argumentative little bugger, and he was the apple of his mummy's eye. The kid couldn't do a thing wrong to me, something Ben was always ready to complain about. We decided that we had enough children, then, and not to try for any more, though I still wanted a little girl. I had to make do with stealing Dom's little Valentine from time to time.
Four years after Joshua was born – I refused to ever call him Josh, even though James did – I went back to work full time, since all of the boys were involved in good primary schools. Six months after doing this, I was promoted to the head of the legal department, since the old bag that used to fill the position croaked in the middle of the night. It meant I had to work extremely long hours, so James took his work down to part time to fill the gaps with the boys. I felt terrible about not seeing them as much, but James pointed out I'd had seven years of putting the boys before my career, and now it was his turn. I still missed them, though.
Two weeks after taking my new job my father died, and Marie wrote to me asking me to be involved in the organisation of the funeral. What I didn't understand was that she wanted me to pay for it, which I did in the end. The funeral was only small, and my mother chose not to attend.
Eventually all the boys grew up and went to Hogwarts, at which point James went back to working full time and soon took over as head of the Auror department from his retiring daddy. Ben got his girlfriend pregnant when they were seventeen, and I had my first grandchild.
She was a little girl called Maya Oriona – I cried buckets when Ben told me that bit – and she was born just after Benny turned eighteen. A little earlier than I would have liked, but they handled it well, Ruby and Ben. They married when they were twenty, and had another little girl, called Jemima. Yes, like Jemima Puddleduck.
And that was my life, really. I spent the days until my death running around after my little boys and their little children, and eventually their little children, and I never regretted any of it. James and I argued every single day of our lives, and I loved him more and more as the years went on. We moved into a huge mansion with six bedrooms and a swimming pool when we were in our forties, since we were both earning so much, and we lived there for the rest of our lives, even though we did argue over how to decorate it. No, he wouldn't let me paint that house, either.
And that's everyone, I think. Thirty two chapters of my life and it all boils down to this. Our lives. What happened to us in the end. James and I got our happy ending, in the end, even though we had to work for it, and that was that. We had three beautiful little boys, who went on to give us eight grandchildren and twenty four great grandchildren. And that was our life.
Thanks for sticking around to see it.
disclaimer: nothing in this chapter belongs to me.
well well well. my my my. I've finished a story before, but you know, I feel a bit more about this one. this one has always been my favourite to write. I mean, I've been writing it for... well, since January last year. so over a year. crikey, that's a long time. I really, really appreciate every single one of you that read this story, because it's become so much more popular than I could ever have imagined it to be. your reviews have all been amazing and spurred me on so much and I love you all lots.
I hope you all liked the epilogue, anyway. I know it was longwinded but I didn't just want it to be a chapter set in the future, I wanted to really map out what happened to every single one of the characters. I really hope that I didn't leave anyone out. anyway, I really hope that you enjoyed it. thank you all again for reading. i hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
I've got two other WIPS going on if you want to check them out, and... erm, yeah. i might be uploading a third one soon. possibly. about a hired killer, whooo! always the positive bunny. anyway, kisses, my darlings. for the last time, love youssssssss
ellie :) xx
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