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Phoenix Rising
A Harry Potter RPG
Epilogue - October 29, 2008 
29th-Oct-2006 01:04 pm
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“Master Apprentice Longbottom?”

Hmmm?

”Sir?”

Oh, it’s this dream. I like this one. This is the one where I help first year certification students who think I know something about growing tropical plants and flowers in harsh climates.



“Is this a good idea? Perhaps we should let him sleep?”

Yes. Sleep is good. The pillow could be softer though. Then again, I don’t remember there being any pillows left in the flat anymore. Now it’s just full of tables and chairs and books. The front window is crammed with plant samples. The green walls are covered with charts and diagrams. The sofa’s still here, though, but it’s been pushed up against the wall to make room for the pack-n-play for Henry…

“Master Apprentice Longbottom, you’re drooling on your notes. They’re beginning to bleed…”

“He’s not waking up, is he?”

Henry?

“No, but we’ve got to try. Mr. Fernmeyer said half an hour. That was five minutes ago. Master Apprentice Longbottom?”

Henry!

The seat almost falls over as I shoot up to my feet, parchment stuck to my cheek. I peel it off and blink blindly around the flat. The pack-n-play is empty.

“Where’s Henry?” I panic.

“Uh, Mr. Fernmeyer has him,” Franklin Moog, Lucy Anne’s brother answers.

“Is Henry alright?” I ask, my heart pounding.

“He’s – he fine,” Joseph stutters and takes a step back. “Mr. Fernmeyer took Henry down to the back garden,” he points over his shoulder toward the door to the flat.

“Oh,” I nod. I exhale slowly and rub my face with my hands. Franklin and Joseph are both students I’m helping, along with Rose. She was accepted into the Certification program two years ago. She’s doing really well, but is sort of distracted right now with planning her wedding to Junior. And she changed her perfume. Now she smells a bit like Almond Kringle. “How long was I asleep?”

Franklin glances at his watch. “Thirty six and half minutes.”

I yawn. Merlin, I haven’t been this exhausted since…well, ever.

“Master Apprentice Longbottom?” Rose pops her head in the flat door and grins at me. “Good nap?”

I grin. “Yeah, thanks.”

“Parvati sent me up here to fetch you,” Rose explains. “She and Donzel just arrived and he’s acting strangly.”

“Stranger than usual?” Franklin comments dryly. Joseph jabs him in the side. “Oh,” Franklin pales. “I’m – I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to disrespect your friend.”

“No, that’s a good question when it comes to Donzel.” My chuckle transforms into a yawn I try and hide behind my sleeve. “I’d better go down.”

My garden diagram is tacked up on the wall above the kitchen table. If I were to plot it out today, the garden would probably take up three rolls of parchment, with one of them being for the childrens’ garden. That’s Jessie’s project. Jessie says she can tell a lot about a child from what he plants in his rows. I wonder what Henry will plant?

I glance back at the flat and its wonderful chaos. How could I have ever thought this flat was small?
 
29th-Oct-2006 09:13 pm (UTC)
I tap my toe as I wait for Neville to come downstairs. Donzel looks over at me and smirks. The two of us just went to visit Jessie in Hogsmeade briefly. She needed to be measured for her Bridesmaid dress – she’s going to be in Junior and Rose’s wedding in February. Donzel and I volunteered to help. Ever since we came back from Thailand, Jessie has helped out at Fernmeyers over her summer holidays. She and Rose have become quite good friends.

Jessie seemed excited by to see Donzel and me, but I could tell she was a little disappointed that I didn’t bring Henry along. Quite frankly, I needed the break. But I missed him half way through the visit. Donzel seemed to be amused by my anxiety – but, he has been acting strangely all day. Like he has a secret or something.

I hear Neville’s familiar footfalls on the stairs and I scoot around the counter to meet him. He emerges in the back room, hands shoved in his pockets, smiling.

“How’d it go?”

“Where’s Henry?” I ask immediately.

Neville laughs and points his thumb toward the back garden. “Nice to see you, too. Mr. Fernmeyer has him.”

“O-oh,” I exhale. I push past Neville and exit to the back garden.

“I hope he remembered to put Henry’s hat on. It’s quite brisk today,” I say, twisting my hands together. Neville slips his arm around my shoulder and slows down my pace. I glance up at him and worry my bottom lip.

“I missed him,” I explain. Neville nods his head like it’s the first time he’s heard this from me.

“He missed you too, but he’s alright. Mr. Fernmeyer has him,” Neville says patiently. He rubs his hand on my arm and I take a deep breath. Merlin, I’ve never known myself to be so skiddish. But then, having a baby brings out different parts of one’s personality. I glance across the garden. Mr. Fernmeyer sits on a bench just outside the greenhouse. He murmurs something to Henry in his gruff voice and rocks him gently. And, Henry’s hat is snugly on his head.

“Safe and sound,” Neville says, placing a kiss on my hairline. A breeze rustles through the Autumn leaves and Henry sneezes.

“Let’s take him in,” I say, hurrying forward. I can hear Neville’s light chuckle behind me and I approach Mr. Fernmeyer.

“This one likes to hear about growling hedges,” Mr. Fernmeyer says, tickling Henry’s nose. He glances up at me and I bite my lip anxiously. “But, I reckon he wants his Mum right now.”

I smile at Mr. Fernmeyer gratefully and reach down for Henry.

“Hello, Sweet Pea,” I coo softly. I kiss his forehead and turn back toward the shop. “It’s a little chilly out here, isn’t it?” I rub my thumb across his cheek. Henry blinks up at me. His eyes are the same color as Neville’s. And, it’s not that I’m biased, but he really is one cutest babies out there. Neville opens the door to the shop for me and I step inside.

“There he is!” Donzel claps enthusiastically. “Oohh, he’s wearing the hat I got him!” Donzel hurries over to me and looks down at Henry. “Don’t you look posh,” he grins. Henry smiles back. Donzel places his hand on his heart. “I’ll never get tired of that smile,” he says dramatically. Mr. Fernmeyer snorts from behind us and Donzel straightens. “I know you feel the same way, Wally,” Donzel says, shaking his finger at Mr. Fernmeyer.
29th-Oct-2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
Merlin, Diagon Alley has barely changed except it has expanded. What was Knockturn Alley has been swallowed up and replace by a street swathed in pastel colors and smells of baby powder. The building that held our old flats has been replaced by an expensive looking witch-maternity/baby shop, a toy store, and a bookseller. It’s as if the wizarding world is suddenly procreating at warp speed. At least that’s the case for Neville and Parvati who we are on our way to visit just as soon as Padma’s done floating around and –

Where did she go?

Padma keeps drifting away. This is strange because she’s the one with the list who is usually dragging me down the street reminding me that we’re going to be late for something.

I shift the wrapped parcel that is our new nephew Henry’s baptismal gift to my other arm and glance up and down the crowded alley. A couple stores down, a dark head of curls is leaning down and examining something in a storefront window. Padma has that dreamy look on her face again as she presses a palm into the glass.

Maybe she’s just happy to be back in London again. Paris has been good to us, but because I’ve finished my magical art training and Padma has established enough of a niche for herself in the study of ancient text and artifacts where she has the flexibility to work from most anywhere, there’s nothing to keep us in France. It’s going to be hard to leave the city, food, night life, wine, art, and magical community, but we’ve decided that it’s time to come back home and try our hands at something new.

Our plan is to open a gallery featuring magical art and collectable ancient artifacts. Padma assures me that she’ll take care of the artifacts side of things if I just secure the artists and display some of my paintings once in a while. I don’t doubt her organizational skills, and if she has an ounce of her father’s business sense, then there’s nothing to worry about. She’s my little overachiever – nothing is too big for her. I’m a lucky bloke to have got her to marry me.

I smile to myself as I negotiate through the crowd toward her. Our anniversary is coming up. I’m not going to forget. I still need to make it up to her for setting fire to half of the kitchen when I was trying to make dinner last week.

Our family and friends don’t know about the gallery venture unless you count Donzel and Leo who have been Flooing us nonstop with potential gallery locations in wizarding London for the last two months. Donzel is like one of those Muggle wind-up toys that jump around and spit sparks (only he’s usually dressed in violet and wearing pointed shoes) – he runs on at length about us opening next door to his wand spark expressions gallery.

Not only does nobody know about the gallery (Leo assured us that Donzel will keep this news to himself if he has to hold his favorite pair of alligator loafers hostage), we’ve not told anyone that we’ve decided to return to London permanently. That’s something we’re planning to do on this trip as well as find a flat or a house and a look into the gallery locations that Donzel has gleefully suggested. But now that she’s an aunt, Padma seems eager to relocate sooner (she wanted to just stay here this trip), which may also explain why she’s eyeing more baby clothes.
29th-Oct-2006 09:16 pm (UTC)
“Do you think we should’ve bought Henry something else?” I hold up the parcel.

Padma looks up and smiles. She strokes the glass behind which sits a pair of tiny pink bunny slippers adorned with bows. “Aren’t they adorable?” she coos. The bunnies wiggle the noses at me. One of their ears flops over. I blink.

“Uh … you think Neville would like Henry to wear pink bunnies because I’m not so –”

“Dean, there’s nothing wrong with bunnies. And I’m sure Neville wouldn’t care – I think he likes rabbits.”

An imagine Neville in a bunny suit flits through my head and I start laughing.

“What’s so funny?”

“Blue bunnies, then?” I snort.

Padma shakes her head and jabs me lightly with her elbow. “You are incorrigible!” She leans up and whispers, “Watch out, because you just might end up with pink bunny slippers one of these days.”

This shuts me up pretty quick. Padma gives me a self-satisfied look and then winks before strolling down the street. When I catch up with her she’s chucking to herself. I’m about to tell her that it’s going to be impossible to find pink bunny slippers big enough for my feet when she stops and yelps, her eyes wide.

“Oh, look!” she grabs my arm and squeezes as she points to a book displayed in the bookseller’s window. “It’s Parvati’s book!”

Sure enough there’s Inflecto Lingua and Other Simple Charms for Language Translation by Parvati Longbottom. I lean in quickly, accidentally hitting my head against the glass. “Wow, it is.” I raise my eyebrows and grin as I nod my head. “And I thought all this time she was just sunning on the beach and having babies,” I say just to elicit a reaction from Padma.

She takes my bait and we continue down the busy alley laughing as she pretends to hit me with Henry’s gift. We round the corner into the old part of Diagon Alley. Among the parade of store signs hanging over the alleyway there is the green one with ivy that says Fernmeyers, Est. Long Enough. I smile. It feels good to be back.

Padma hurries forward, her fingers clenching around my hand as her heels tap out a rapid staccato on the stone. She hasn’t seen Pavati since Henry was born almost two months ago. I know she wants Parvati to be the first to know about us moving back to London, and after the initial whirlwind of excited yells and general twin craziness abates, that will likely be the first thing out of her mouth.

I pull open the door and usher Padma inside. A bell jangles overhead. Then two identical shrieks cut through the air as a pair heads of dark hair streak across the small shop and converge. I grin and search for Neville amid the flurry. It’s exactly like it always is, like the merging of two tornadoes.
29th-Oct-2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
“I can’t believe you didn’t tell us you were coming!” Parvati exclaims as she wraps her one free arm around me, shifting Henry to the side. I feel like a school girl again as I squeal and try to hug my sister without squishing her son. It has been far too long since we’ve seen each other, and there’s so much to tell her. I can’t believe this is the first time Dean and I have made it to London since she had the baby.

“We wanted to surprise you!” I grin as I pull her close. “You look so good! Are you sure it’s only been eight weeks since Henry was born?” I grin at my nephew and wave.

“You’re just being nice,” she laughs. “I don’t think I’ve gotten a proper night’s sleep in weeks. Henry, meet your Aunt Padma.” Parvati begins to move like she’s going to hand Henry to me, and then hesitates for a second. She seems to get over whatever was bothering her and carefully places Henry in my arms.

“He’s so beautiful,” I gush. “Those eyes!” Henry yawns and stretches his tiny arms. I chew on my bottom lip and steal a glance at Dean, who’s been quietly talking to Neville while Parvati and I got our girlish squeals out of the way.

“Dean come meet your nephew,” Parvati calls, beckoning him over. He peaks into the bundle in my arms, stroking a finger through Henry’s fine hair.

He’s going to be a great father… I just have to get up the nerve to tell him. I found out a few weeks ago that I was pregnant. I’m happy, but I’ll be happier when I know how Dean is going to react. We’ve talked about having children, but not in the near future, especially since we’re just starting out on a new business venture. It’s why I’ve been in such a hurry to come home. I want to go through my pregnancy near my family, and I definitely want to raise our child at home. I’m sure he’ll be happy… at least I hope he will be. I know I’m just being a big chicken, but I’ll find a way to tell him soon.

“You all right?” Dean asks me quietly. “You looked like you were in your own little world for a minute there.”

“I’m fine,” I reply, handing Henry back to Parvati before kissing my husband’s cheek.

“You know, Padma,” Parvati says with a devilish glint in her eyes, “if you lived closer I could give you baby clothes.”

“How’d you know?” I ask at the same time Dean exclaims “What!” Parvati laughs, careful not to disturb her son and Neville pats Dean on the back comfortingly.

I turn to face Dean and take both of his hands. “I’m pregnant.” He stares at me for a moment before a goofy grin breaks out on his face and he wraps his arms around me. He pulls me up off the floor and swings me around in a circle, laughing gleefully.
29th-Oct-2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
Holy Merlin!

Padma throws her arms around my neck as I set her down. Both of us are laughing. I feel like my face is going to break in half I’m smiling so hard. I hug her as Donzel clasps his hands and begins to talk rapidly about haute couture baby wear.

I can’t believe she’s pregnant … all that talk about pink bunny slippers….

Then I realize I’m probably squeezing Padma too tight. I hastily let go, causing her to stumble backwards.

“Oh, sorry!” I reach out and steady Padma as Neville grabs her other arm. “I just didn’t want to, you know.…” I look Padma up and down for any overt signs of distress. “Are you alright?” Padma nods and smiles as she brushes her hair back from her face.

After Donzel gives her a kiss on each cheek, Mr Fernmeyer says his congratulations, and Parvati has hugged both of us, Padma’s eyes look a little bright and her cheeks are flushed. “I think you have a fever. Maybe you should sit down,” I say.

Padma assures me that she’s fine. Donzel make a clicking noise with his tongue and swats the air in my general direction as Mr Fernmeyer rolls his eyes. “The female body is very resilient. Some women positively thrive during pregnancy,” Donzel says, flashing an alarmingly white smile at Padma. “And if you’re like Parvati, you’re going to have hair thick enough to absolutely die for.”

Padma blushes and then presses a hand to her hair, her eyes meeting Parvati’s. She smiles. “Really?”

“Welcome to future fatherhood.” Neville grins and claps me on the shoulder and then gives Padma a kiss. He loops an arm around Parvati’s shoulders and stifles a yawn as he rubs his hand over his face.

I squint and look closer. Whoa, Neville looks tired. In fact, both Parvati and Neville look exhausted. Is this what parenthood is about? “Well, it looks like you’re both still alive,” I say half joking. Mr Fernmeyer chuckles and mutters something about surviving before shuffling into the back room.

Parvati rocks Henry and says, “There’s nothing to worry about, Dean. Babies are stronger than they look. You’ll be a terrific parent like Neville.” Neville blushes and then smiles proudly at Henry.

Good grief, babies are tiny! And how and when did Neville figure this fatherhood thing out? I begin to feel uncomfortably warm. I tug at my shirt collar. Henry waves his fist, and my eyes lock on his impossibly small hand. It’s hard to fathom a baby growing in Padma – something that is both her and me. The shop is suddenly small, or else Henry is growing unnaturally fast and everything else is shrinking. I stare. We’re having a baby? I try to swallow, but my mouth has spontaneously turned into a field of cotton. Just as I start to feel slightly wobbly, someone grabs my arm and steers me to the counter on the other side of the room. The cool edge of a stool hits the back of my legs as two hands push me down into it.
29th-Oct-2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
“Just sit for a while. You better not Apparate either. Have Padma Side-Along Apparate you until you’ve recovered.” Neville leans against the counter and ducks his head, but not before I see his lips twitch.

I nod numbly and begin twisting my wedding band on my finger with my thumb.

“You’ll be fine.” Neville raises his eyebrows at me. “Just move sooner than later. You’ll need some good British ale, and Parvati will be able to help with Padma and the mood swings.” He cracks a knowing smile.

“Mood swings?” I croak out.

Across the room, Donzel says something in a high-pitched voice and Padma and Parvati begin talking very fast. Padma seems alright now, but then again she almost fell.

“Merlin, why is she wearing those heels? She’s going to fall down and break herself. They can’t be good for her back. And doesn’t being pregnant affect a woman’s back or something?” I say in a worried voice, my eyes never leaving her.

Neville whispers, “Don’t mention shoes. Believe me, just say, ‘yes’ to whatever they want. It’s safer that way.” He shakes his head warningly.

There’s a shriek from Parvati. Neville and I jump.

Then Donzel exclaims dramatically, “You don’t say, Padma! Well, isn’t that just such a surprise! Honestly, I had absolutely no idea that you were moving back to London!” He widens his eyes in surprise and touches the side of his face with his forefinger.
29th-Oct-2006 09:22 pm (UTC)
“You’re moving back?” I squeal. I shift Henry in my arms and reach over to give Padma an awkward one-armed hug. “Where will you live? You should move into the same neighborhood as Neville and I. Oh! And you can use all my maternity clothes!”

Padma laughs and lightly touches her stomach. “I reckon that will come in handy,” she says. I drop my gaze to her shoes and sniffle.

“You can wear those a little longer,” I say, indicating her heels. I can tell she got them Chaussure Parfaite. I reckon Gérard went a bit mad after seeing her feet too. All my beautiful shoes are packed away in their boxes on the top shelf of my closet. I miss them. “I didn’t give my shoes up until I reached my fourth month.”

“Mum let you get away with that?” Padma replies, raising her eyebrows.

“Not really,” I smirk. “She just got tired of arguing with me about it.”

“It’s a shame they don’t fit anymore,” Donzel sighs. “You have such lovely shoes.”

“Don’t remind me,” I reply. I glance down at Henry. He gurgles and smiles up at me. “It was worth it though,” I say softly.

Padma takes a step closer to us and looks down at Henry. “I reckon it is,” she agrees quietly.

“It will be nice to have them home,” Donzel states, indicating Padma. He pulls out a silk purple handkerchief and dabs his eyes.

His tone is a bit suspicious and I raise my eyebrows at him. He hides behind his handkerchief. Suddenly, it clicks. “You knew, didn’t you?” I say in a low voice.

“What do you mean?” he replies, looking up to the ceiling.

“You knew! You were acting odd all afternoon because you knew they were moving home!” I accuse and poke him in the chest with my finger. “You haven’t been able to look me in the eye all afternoon and you giggled when I ordered French bread with my soup at lunch. I can’t believe you knew!” Henry squirms and lets out a little whine. I shift him in my arms. “Are you all right, Sweet Pea?”

“You upset the poor bloke,” Donzel replies. His eyes are alight with laughter.

“I know that you knew about Padma and Dean,” I shoot back. Henry squirms again and lets out a little whimper. I lift him to my shoulder and lightly rub his back.

“Neville,” I call over my shoulder. “Donzel knew about Padma and Dean moving back.”

“You don’t say,” he responds, stepping up to my side. “It explains all those suspicious owls then.”

Donzel crosses his arms and looks around the shop. “I don’t know what you mean,” he says airily. Dean snorts. Donzel glares at him. I can’t hold back my giggle. Henry interrupts with a peal of crying.

“I-I’m sorry. Did that upset him?” Dean replies nervously. I shake my head and press my hand against his nappy.

“No, you’re fine, Dean. He just needs to be changed.”

Henry’s cries continue and I shift him to the other arm.

“I’ll just go change him – ”

“I’ll take him,” Neville says.

I raise my eyebrows at Neville in question. He’s had him all morning.

“It’s fine,” Neville responds. “You want to talk to your sister.” He motions between Padma and I.

“You’re sure?” I bounce Henry. He kicks his legs in irritation.
29th-Oct-2006 09:23 pm (UTC)
“Yup. Come here, sprout,” I say and reach for my son. Henry’s diaper squishes against my palm as I nestle him on my shoulder. I lean down to kiss her on the cheek. “You can have the next one.”

Parvati bites her bottom lip and nods. “Okay.”

I chuckle. “You sure about that?”

“Yeah,” she answers faintly, her eyes not leaving Henry.

I hug Henry to me and lean down to whisper in his mum’s ear. “He’s in good hands you know.”

Parvati pulls backs and blinks up at me. “I know that,” she says sincerely. “I never thought he wasn’t.”

I laugh and kiss her. “You’re a wonderful mum,” I grin. I turn toward Dean. “Want to come, Dean? Get some practice?”

Dean looks up at me. His nose is wrinkled, his eyes glazed, his feet immobile. I bite the inside of my cheek. I remember that look. It’s the battle of overwhelming, unexpected love with the horrific fear that you aren’t old enough, responsible enough or good enough to be a father. It’s nice to know it wasn’t just me. Padma prods him forward and he stumbles up the steps behind me. I push the door open with my elbow and head to what used to be the bedroom. There’s still a bed in there buried under five years of certification work.

“I’ll just get a new nappie,” I say over my shoulder.

Dean is still standing in the doorway when Henry and I return. “Something wrong?”

“Neville?”

“Yeah?” I try my hardest not to laugh at Dean bewildered expression.

“Am I ready for this?”

I give up and laugh while I settle Henry on the sofa. “Nope,” I answer honestly.

“Will I ever be?” Dean asks uncertainly.

“Probably not,” I answer again.

“Were you?”

“You’ll be fine, Dean,” I grin and carefully remove Henry’s soggy bottoms.
.
Dean walks slowly to the sofa and peeks over the edge. “He’s so small.”

“But growing every day,” I answer knowledgably. “Mr. Fernmeyer is already talking about getting him his first trowel.”

“Really?” Dean asked surprised. “Mr. Fernmeyer?”

“Yeah,” I chuckle. “Henry won him over the first time he fell asleep on him.”

“What’s your Gran think of him?” Dean smiles down at Henry tentatively. Henry blinks back.

“Gran’s already bought him his first Rememberall,” I answer wryly and stand up, drippy nappie in hand. “Want to sit with Henry while I go dispose of this?”

“You sure?” Dean asks wide-eyed.

“You’d rather deal with this?” I ask holding up the diaper, trying not to grin. Merlin, I hope he’s having twins.

“Uh, not yet,” Dean answers and gingerly perches on the side of the sofa. “Hi, Henry,” Dean waves at his nephew. Henry stares back. “I’m Uncle Dean.”

I pull the cupboard door open under the kitchen sink and hold my breath. I pop the top on the bin and shove the nappie in as quickly as possible. I don’t breathe again until the cupboard doors are closed.

“Ah!” Dean yelps. I shoot straight up. Dean does too. An arch of darkening spots stream across his shirt. Dean looks at me in shock.

“He only does that to the people he loves best,” I answer with a straight face.

“Really?” Dean asks and holds his shirt away from his body.

“Oh yes,” I laugh. “And he’s a very loving little bloke.” Dean steps back so I can sit down and tuck Henry’s new nappy around him. I tug at the waistband. Two months and no gaps. I’ve come a long way. I lean down to kiss my son. “Nice shot,” I whisper in his little ear.

I stand and scoop up Henry. He fits perfectly under my arm. Dean grins at us. He seems to be warming up to the idea of fatherhood. Together, we head to the door.

“So Master Apprentice Longbottom, eh?” Dean observes as we pass the diagram of my garden tacked on the wall.

“For one more year,” I nod. “Gallery Owner Thomas?”

“Yeah,” Dean smiles widely.

I hold out my free hand to Dean. “Congratulations,” I offer sincerely.

“Thanks,” Dean grasps my hand. “Same to you.”

Henry grunts. I glance at him. His nose begins to wrinkle up and his brow furrows.

“Is he alright?” Dean asks looking a bit alarmed.

“Yeah,” I nod. “But it’s time to get mum. This one’s hers.” I pull open the door to the flat and call down the steps. “Parvati?”
29th-Oct-2006 09:24 pm (UTC)
I watch as Parvati changes Henry’s diaper with ease, knowing that in a few months it’ll be Dean and me up to our elbows in dirty diapers. I’m glad that our baby won’t be too much younger than Henry, though. I think it’ll be good for him or her to have a cousin close in age. I don’t know what I would have done growing up without Parvati. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how important it is to have family you can depend on.

In my younger days, the thrill of work and traveling took me away from my family and my home. Now, I’m moving work back home to be with my family. I’m excited that Dean and I are going to be able to work for ourselves. I know we can do it. I know we can run a successful gallery. If the beginning of our relationship proved anything, it’s that we can handle anything together.

Looking for Horcuxes feels like a lifetime ago. We moved on and forward with our life together after we left Greece. Dean and I both knew that we wanted a more peaceful life, and I think Dean has a sense of closure knowing he’s taken care of his father’s unfinished business. We’ll never forget Ernie and of course we still talk to our friends that made the journey with us, but we put that part of our past behind us.

Parvati lifts her son off the changing table and brings him against her chest. My hand travels to my stomach of its own will, like it does so often these days. I sense Dean’s presence behind me before he places his hand over mine. I lean back against him, letting the serenity of this moment sink in.

My sister and best friend is a happily married mother. She and Neville make each other so happy, and they’re both accomplished professionally. I’m married to the love of my life, venturing on an exciting professional journey, and I’m going to have a baby. Some days when I wake up in the morning I half expect to see the curtains from my four post bed at Hogwarts instead of Dean’s large frame. But then reality sinks in and I remember how far I’ve come and how wonderful my life is.
29th-Oct-2006 09:25 pm (UTC)
“Do you ever wonder when we became adults?” I ask, taking a moment to look over every member of my family in the room. We all look a little older, a little more tired; we all have some scars from life’s lessons.

“I think the day I gave birth to Henry it became impossible to deny,” Parvati says, smiling at me. I can tell from the look on her face, though, that she knows exactly how I feel.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, being adults,” Dean teases, poking my side. “Wasn’t it just yesterday you started a food fight and we ended up in a mess on the floor?”

“I don’t believe I started that!” I exclaim laughing. I turn around to face him and swat his chest playfully. “And it was like five years ago!”

“I’m afraid that you’re wrong, my love,” he replies before leaning down to kiss me. “That fight was entirely your fault, though I did enjoy watching you squirm in goop.”

“You’re right, you’re not an adult at all,” I chuckle, “and I wouldn’t have you any other way!”

“All I know is that apparently adults don’t get much sleep,” Neville pipes up, moving over to where Parvati’s standing and placing his arm over her shoulders. He leans down and kisses the top of Henry’s head before continuing, “But I wouldn’t trade being an adult for anything.”

“It does have pretty good perks,” Dean agrees, wagging his eyebrows.

I exchange a look with Parvati that says, ‘men,’ but I can’t help but agree with my husband. My life is everything I ever dreamed it would be; I’m happier than I have ever been before. After Dean and I settle on the location for our gallery, we can work on building our home, and in about seven months we’ll have a new addition to our family. Life as an adult is really pretty great.

I know there’s no way to predict what will happen in our future, but I’m not worried. As long as I have my family by my side, I know things will turn out okay
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