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Chapter 32 : In The End
 
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          Draco was standing, silent, staring out across the ocean. Hermione came up behind him, wrapping her arm around his waist. He smiled down at her as he wrapped his own arm around her back.

            “This was a wonderful idea, Granger.”

            “You know, you really should stop calling me that Draco. I haven’t been a Granger for five years.” He laughed and pulled her closer to him.

            “I know, but I like calling you Granger, love, I really do.” She sighed as she turned into him. He tried to lace his fingers behind her but was unable to do to her large belly.

            “Triplets, I still can't believe we’re having triplets.”

            “You can't believe it? I'm the one who actually has to give birth to them! But, maybe next time we’ll have quadruplets. I mean we have our oldest, then the twins, and now the triplets, who’s to say we aren’t simply counting up and up?”

            “Well, my dear, your dad might. But he’s probably too busy with the five of them now isn’t he?”

            Hermione laughed as she thought of her parents. Her mother had had two more sets of twins, one identical set of boys, another fraternal boy/girl set, and then another boy. Brett was always busy, teaching and playing with the boys and poor Kali, their girl, was always trying to roughhouse with them, even though she was only two years old.

            She remembered Molly asking when they were going to stop having children and Josi had simply shrugged, “Oh I don’t know; he’s always wanted a lot. I used to tell him I would deal with three maybe four. But when he broke the memory spell, I realized that life is too precious. And I do love him so much, so why not? The only thing I really don’t like is having to clean up after them. But isn’t that beauty of magic?” Then she had given everyone that gorgeous smile of hers that made you want to agree with everything that came out of her mouth.

            Brett had laughed and said, “That’s why she always gets her way,” then he pointed to her lips, “That right there.” And then Dustin had come running up to him screaming, “Daddy, daddy, watch!” He climbed onto Brett’s lap, a big smile on his face, and threw a paper plane across the room.

            Hermione realized how good her father was with children and felt a pang at the fact that she hadn't gotten to grow up with him. Then she had hated herself, Bryan had been a most wonderful father. However, he had only stayed after the war to walk her down the aisle. He hadn't been seen since. Sure, he sent letters, but they never saw him.

            Hermione looked behind them and watched her three year old boy Jason trying to help his little sisters walk on the sand. Josi was standing behind them smiling, Kali on her hip. Brett was out in the water with his other kids, as well as Harry and Ginny’s three year old girl Angela.  Harry and Ginny were setting up the picnic they were having later. Ron was swimming out into the ocean with Fred, George, and their wives. The two had finally settled down about a year ago, marrying girls they had met while traveling in America .

            And Ron, well, who knew when he would find a woman for him. It was obvious that he still had feelings for Hermione, but he also, finally, accepted that there was no way he would ever have her. No way that she would ever leave her husband, especially for him. 

            Ron saw how much Draco loved her, how much she loved him back, and there was no way he was going to try and break them up again. He wanted what they had with someone, what Harry and Ginny had, what their parents had.

            Everyone had learned the truth soon after the war. Bloody, bruised, and very nearly broken, Josi and Brett had found Harry alive and rejoiced the moment they saw him. Brett’s face had become utter joy, Josi had simply thrown her arms around her boy and whispered over and over, “Thank Merlin you're ok. Thank Merlin my boy’s ok.”

            Harry had hugged her back, confusion written all over his sweaty and sanguine face. And then it had all spilled forth. Brett’s words were shaky and Harry very nearly collapsed from the shock.

            But in the end, he accepted the truth of himself. Brett had explained everything to him, and then to all of them again. Hermione and Ginny had sat on either side of him, there to support him. Draco had simply stared at his fiancé, remembering when he had told her her own truth, when Brett had given up his story, and then when they had called Brett out on Harry’s story, when they had gotten that truth.

            Sitting at the beach, surrounded by her family, Hermione couldn’t help but be grateful. No one in her close, personal, family had died. Sure, there were many of the casualties that she knew, and yes she missed them greatly, but her family was still all here. She would try not to think of Neville, of Luna, of the Patil twins, of Remus, of McGonagall, of all the others that held a spot in her heart, but rather she would think of all those who had deserved the price they had paid. Voldemort, for one, Bellatrix had killed herself upon learning of her master’s defeat, her husband following soon there after, Luscius Malfoy, Blaise Zambini, Theodore Knott, and so many others.


            Time passed, yes I admit, much time has passed. Never once have I regretted my life spent. Not one moment, especially after Draco had come into my heart, did I regret. I see my siblings and my children when they come home on breaks now, well, not all. Dustin and Alec (Dustin's identical twin) graduated last year, and are now out working. Both spend much time away from England because of their jobs. I wish I could see them more, as I much imagine Mum and Brett do.

            Yes, I do still call my father Brett; 'Dad' just never seemed to work. I tried it a few times and not once did he respond. I haven’t seen Bryan in years, but he has visited a few times since the end of the war and I do get letters. Apparently he found a woman now, with whom he is very much in love, and I'm hopeful to be hearing wedding bells for them in the near future.

            There will be much more in our lives, much more that will challenge everything in this life that we have created, but I can say, for now, that we will be happy for many years to come. I hope and pray that I will find a happily ever after, but I do believe that can only be achieved once a person has died and their companion of life has joined them. Only then can there be an ever after, for only there is life eternal.

                                                                        -Hermione Malfoy


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