[Updated November 2017]
A/N: I don't think there's anything more to say, other than thank you.
Epilogue Part Two
August 31st, 2013
Sirius woke to the smell of bacon cooking downstairs and the sound of children running in the hallways. There was also the feel of something slightly heavy on his back and a tickle of hair on his skin. When he cracked an eye open to turn his head and look, he found himself staring at a tiny face, black hair, and chocolate-coloured eyes.
"Daaaaaddy . . ." the little girl said with a low growl.
"Has anyone told you lately that you sound like a troll when you use that voice?" Sirius mumbled sleepily.
The tiny witch jumped once, her knees landing on Sirius's lower back. "Daddy, wake up!"
"Ow, fuck!" He rolled over, pulling his daughter into his arms and off of him. "Princess . . . those are Daddy's kidneys," he told her, still wincing from the pain.
"Galleon in the swear jar!" she said with a greedy grin. "Mummy says so."
Sirius growled under his breath. Fucking swear jar. "What's Daddy's swearing buying this month?"
The almost six-year-old cuddled up beside him, toying her fingers through his hair the way her mother still often did. "Uncle Remus is going to take me and Lily to Chocolate Week in London! Swear jar pays for tickets."
Sirius chuckled, rubbing his forehead. "And why, my teeny, tiny kitten, doesn't Uncle Remus pay for the bloody tickets himself?"
"Jar!" she said excitedly and then added, "because Mummy said so."
Sirius faked a pout down at his youngest child. "Sometimes I think Mummy likes Uncle Remus more than me."
Pandora put her tiny hands on his cheeks and mimicked his stuck out bottom lip before saying, "I know."
Sirius laughed loudly.
Despite the trouble he often caused, Regulus had turned out more like Mia in the end, or really . . . Hermione if they were being specific. He was studious, well-read, and soft-spoken compared to his cousins. Teddy and Jamie, thankfully, had Hope there to boss them around when they got out of control. Remus's daughter was just as intimidating as her father when in a mood, and just as clumsy as her mother, which made for a dangerous little witch.
Carina, much like her mother who also had been adopted, developed Slytherin tendencies to rival those of her grandmother. When asked if she wanted to take the name Black during her adoption, Carina had asked if she could have a middle name as well, and then personally chose "Dorea." It should have been a sign. The girl held everyone in the palm of her hand—Sirius being the biggest sap of them all. Only the mothers ever caught on to her antics, which had settled a bit once she had been legally adopted. Her accidental magic had become well-controlled over the years, especially now that she had her own wand and was off to Hogwarts the following morning.
Sirius held his youngest tightly, using her as the healing salve of the open wound that Carina's departure would soon be leaving behind. He was thankful Pandora would not go to Hogwarts for several more years.
"Miss Pandora Mary Black, what should Daddy do to make Mummy like him more? Should I swear less?"
"No!" Pandora insisted. "Swear jar bought Christmas and birthday presents last year!"
He chuckled at the look of fear in her eyes. "You are aware that we're wealthy, yes? Pandora, you do know that even if we didn't have the swear jar that you'd still get Christmas and birthday presents, right?" he asked, suddenly concerned that perhaps her siblings or cousins had actually told her that his swear jar paid for everything they owned. He certainly would not put it past Jamie.
"But what about Chocolate Week?"
He sighed, planning on doing something horrible to Remus later for this. "If we didn't have the swear jar, Uncle Remus would stand on a corner and dance for Muggles, and they would give him money," he promised her, grinning when she broke out into a fit of giggles. "Why did Mummy have you come wake me up?"
Her laughter stopped, and she smirked. "She says that you have to punish the boys."
Sirius frowned, dread pooling in his stomach. "Which boys?"
Pandora grinned, looking too much like her mother for Sirius's nerves. "Mawders," she said, mispronouncing the word.
He sighed, knowing exactly whom she meant: Teddy, Jamie, and Regulus. "What did they do?"
"Took your bike."
"What?!" He sat up quickly, reaching for his jeans that were sitting in the armchair near the bed. He stood up, slipping the jeans on and throwing a t-shirt over his head before picking his daughter up around the waist and throwing her over his shoulder as she laughed at him.
"Regulus Charlus Black!" Sirius shouted once he had stepped into the hallway.
A head of black hair peeked out from an open door. "I didn't do it! Teddy did!"
Another head of black hair came out of Regulus's room. "It was your idea!"
Jamie stepped out from behind his cousins, approaching Sirius with a happy grin. "Can I just say how very young and handsome you're looking today, Uncle Sirius?"
"Nice try, Jamie. Which of you touched the bike?" Instantly all three boys turned and pointed at the other two, pushing the blame off of themselves. Sirius rolled his eyes. "How can I make this clearer? When the three of you get busted at Hogwarts for shit like this—"
Pandora squealed and clapped her hands together. "Jar!"
"—you either take the fall yourself or deny everything. You do not turn on one another."
Regulus slowly let a grin cross his face. "Does this mean we're not in trouble?"
"Did you break the bike?"
Jamie shook his head. "It wouldn't even start. Teddy said we had to push while he steered and eventually it would turn on."
Sirius turned and looked at a snickering Teddy, whose hair shifted green. "Well, your cousin is a very good liar."
"What?" Jamie turned and glared at Teddy. "You suck!"
"I put a Stasis Charm on the engine. Something your Aunt Hermione taught me," Sirius told Jamie. "Honestly, don't touch the bike. When you're old enough, I'll teach you all how to drive it."
"Really?" Regulus asked, hope in his eyes.
"How mad is your mum?" Sirius asked.
Regulus took a moment to think about it. "Umm . . . stronger than a Stinging Hex, less than a Cruciatus?"
Sirius winced. That did not bode well. Her Stinging Hexes hurt like a bitch, and sometimes she shot them at tender areas and pretended she had a terrible aim. At least it was the boys in trouble this time and not him. "You finish packing your trunk?"
"You help your sister with hers?"
Jamie answered for him. "Al's helping her. Hey, Uncle Sirius, you want in on the bet?"
"What are we betting on?" Sirius asked, shifting Pandora from his shoulder down to the floor.
Teddy chuckled, shaking his head. "Whether or not Albus ends up in Slytherin."
Sirius frowned at their mirth. "I know you boys are a happy little lion pride, but don't cut your siblings out just because they get sorted into Slytherin. I'm serious about that."
"Aren't you Sirius about everything?" Teddy snickered.
Sirius ruffled Teddy's green hair until it turned yellow. "I like you, kid."
"Mum already gave us the lecture," Regulus chimed in. "Grandma Dorea was a Slytherin."
"So was your Uncle Regulus," Sirius pointed out.
His son nodded and smiled. "And he was a hero."
"Yes, he was."
"So is Uncle Draco!" Pandora said loudly.
"He's not our uncle, munchkin, he's our cousin," Regulus said, pulling his sister into a hug and looking up at his father. "Is he still coming?"
Mia walked around the corner. "Yes. He, Astoria, and Scorpius are meeting us all in Diagon Alley for some last minute shopping; at least that was the plan as of last night," she said as she watched the children scatter away from them, save for Pandora, who was back at a small table in the corner with glitter and glue already all over her hands. Mia kissed Sirius and smiled. "Morning, love. Did you deal with them?"
Sirius nodded. "Absolutely. Properly scolded. Rotten boys. Where are all the bloody adults around here?" he asked when he heard Hope and Lily giggling down the hallway.
"Ginny will be here for lunch. Harry said there was a dispute at the Burrow during a friendly family game of Quidditch, and she stuck around to make sure Ronald knew his place," Mia said with a chuckle. "Remus and Tonks went over to Shell Cottage to help Bill with something."
"Shell Cottage?" Teddy rushed back around the corner, looking eager and red-faced. "Can I go?"
Mia rolled her eyes. "Straight there?"
"Yeah. Thanks, Aunt Mia!" He grinned and rushed to the fireplace, abandoning Regulus and Jamie.
From her little table, Pandora hissed, "I hate Victoire."
Mia quirked her lips at Sirius and folded her arms across her chest. "Ask your daughter what she's been making this morning."
Sirius cringed. Specifying which children belonged to whom like that always meant trouble. Regulus was his son when he broke things or letters were sent home from Hogwarts. Carina was Mia's daughter when she convinced the boys to do something horrible. Pandora usually could go either way.
He knelt down next to his youngest and smiled at the pile of glitter and glue. "Got something to show me, teeny, tiny kitten?"
Pandora grinned proudly and pulled out a piece of cardboard that had been broken and glued back together, looking like two misshapen funnels hooked together by the narrow ends, then filled with glitter. "Look, Daddy. It's a Time-Turner."
"That it is. And a beautiful Time-Turner," he said with wide eyes, smiling at her and trying to avoid Mia's stare.
"Ask her why she's making a Time-Turner," his wife insisted.
"So I can flip it like this," Pandora said, turning the creation upside-down and sending glitter all over the table and floor. "And then I'll go back in time and, before Teddy can kiss Victoire, I will punch her in the nose and make her ugly so he won't like her anymore."
"That's—" Sirius stared at his five-year-old with mild shock. "—really fucking disturbing."
"Why would you want to do that, love? Victoire likes you," he assured her. "And you have to be nice to her. She's—"
"Pack," Pandora said, interrupting him and rolling her eyes. "I know. But if I go back in time and make her ugly then Teddy won't like her, and then I can marry Teddy. Like how Mummy used her Time-Turner to go back and marry you."
Shocked silent, Sirius kissed the top of his daughter's head and stood, walking away from the situation entirely, only to be followed by Mia. "Why do all the women I love prefer Lupins over me?"
"Don't be dramatic. I told you she was too young for that story. Didn't I tell you?"
Sirius bowed his head. "You told me."
"Now she's making a Time-Turner."
He turned and grinned at her. "Maybe she and Teddy will be very happy together," he suggested and ducked as she tried to punch him in the arm.
"You're a bad influence," Mia insisted, pointing at him.
He grinned and caught her finger in his teeth. Pulling her forward and against him, he released her finger to capture her lips, ignoring the echoing sounds of "Ewww!" around the house. "We going to be infested with Weasleys soon?"
"Ron, Daphne, and the kids are staying at the Burrow, but they'll be here for dinner tonight along with everyone else."
"And the Slytherins?"
"Notts or Malfoys?" she asked. "Be more specific."
"Malfoys are meeting us in Diagon Alley in an hour. Luna and Theo and the twins are coming by tonight for dinner with everyone."
"Do we have time to . . . ?" Sirius waggled his eyebrows at her.
"Are you kidding me?" She laughed and patted him gently on the cheek.
Sirius sighed as she walked away. He made his way back to Pandora's glitter-covered table. "Teeny, tiny kitten? Can Daddy borrow your Time-Turner? He just needs an extra hour."
Draco and Mia sat down in front of Florean Fortescue's for their traditional ice cream date, now shared with their entire family—something that was much less peaceful and calm than when the pair used to go out right after the war to commiserate over battle, dead Death Eaters, and nosy reporters. Now, however, they were surrounded by screaming children, the majority of whom did not belong to either of them.
"Sweet Salazar," Draco groaned, "were we this loud and awful as children?"
Mia snorted. "You were."
"I was charming and brilliant. Where's everyone else?"
"That's a long list, don't make me go through it all."
"Fine," he relented. "Where're Potter and your husbands?"
She raised a daring eyebrow. "Plural?"
"Everyone knows you and Nymphadora share," Draco teased her.
"Yes. All the responsibility of two wizards and none of the benefits," Mia said dramatically, and they shared a laugh, though Draco's was much more subdued as he was in public and could not be thought of as undignified by any passersby. "Grown boys are all in the Leaky, little boys are all in the broom shop."
"Dad, can I go?" Scorpius pleaded from behind his father.
Draco appeared anxious, a look on his face that most would interpret as anger, but Mia knew better after all these years.
"He'll be fine, Draco," she promised him as turned around to spot one of her nephews. "Albus!" The eleven-year-old broke away from the crowd of cousins to rush back to their table. "Take Scorpius with you to look at brooms. If anything happens you come straight here, got it?"
"Yes, ma'am." Albus nodded and gestured for the other boy to follow. "C'mon, Scorp."
Draco watched his son rush down the street, and he finished his last bite of ice cream before peering into Mia's half-eaten dish.
"I'll stab you if you try," she threatened.
"So, what's the pool up to?" he asked when he looked up to check on the children, still in sight thanks to Scorpius's beacon-like head of hair.
Mia grinned wryly. "Three hundred Galleons."
He laughed. "For one Sorting?"
"He's got four Gryffindor grandparents, two Gryffindor parents, his godfather is a Gryffindor, and all of his aunts and uncles are Gryffindors," she said with a smile, glancing over her shoulder to watch as Albus and Scorpius looked to be in a friendly argument over one broom model versus another. "Plus he's a Potter, and my dad always said Potters get sorted into Gryffindor."
Draco smirked. "But?"
"Well, his godmother is a Ravenclaw," she said, as though Luna's influence had anything to do with Albus's Sorting that would take place the following evening.
"Don't let Lovegood fool you. Theo tells me what she's really like. That witch can be cunning when she wants to be . . . and pretty filthy. She does things to Theo that Astoria would hex me if she knew I was thinking about. You know where the kid's going, don't you?"
Mia shrugged. "Why should I tell you insider secrets?"
"Because I'll toss in fifty Galleons of my own and split the winnings with you."
"Albus is going to be a Slytherin," she said quietly.
"How do you know that?"
"Because Blacks get sorted alphabetically before Potters," she said while grinning. "And my daughter is a Slytherin. Carina and Albus are attached at the hip. She gets sorted, and the second that hat gets tossed on his head, he's going to beg it to put him with her."
"Malfoy," Harry said as he approached the duo, Lily on his arm, looking like a mirror image of her grandmother but with Ginny's eyes.
Draco gave a nod in greeting. "Potter."
"Been a while. How's the wife and kid?"
"Wife's with her sister and the Weasel, kid's just run off with your son."
Harry paled and his eyes widened as he turned to Mia. "Which one?"
"Albus," Mia said, and Harry let out a sigh of relief. "Don't worry."
"Kids are going to put me in St Mungo's," Harry exclaimed, taking a seat beside her and pulling Lily up next to him, kissing her head. "Not you, love, you're the good one."
Lily stared at him with a single lifted eyebrow. "For now."
"That's . . . frightening," Draco commented to the little redhead. "You might be my favourite."
Mia chuckled as Lily preened under the compliment while simultaneously trying to look like she neither needed nor wanted his approval. "Don't let Pandora hear you say that."
"I think she's got eyes for someone else," Draco said, gesturing over Mia's shoulder.
They all turned to watch Sirius and Remus leaving the Leaky Cauldron with Teddy, Hope, Victoire, and Pandora. Teddy and Victoire were trying to subtly hold hands, but every time they attempted it, Pandora reached up and tugged on Teddy's shirt to gain his attention. Sirius and Remus looked like they were trying—unsuccessfully—to ignore what was happening.
Finally, when Pandora growled audibly at Teddy's girlfriend, Sirius picked her up and moved her away from the young couple. "Pandora! Leave Teddy and Victoire alone and come over here and . . . say hello to Draco," he said, dropping Pandora in the seat next to the blond.
"Draco, you're looking well." Remus smiled in greeting as he took the seat beside Mia.
"Daddy," Hope said as she settled in next to him, "can I go into Flourish and Blotts?"
"Take one or two of your cousins and get their school books so we don't have to be here all day."
Hope smiled and kissed his cheek, standing up and looking around for any number of her cousins. When her eyes fell on a head of long, straight, black hair she called out, "Carina! C'mon!" and then ran off, grabbing Carina's hand and dragging her toward the bookshop. By the time they got there, several of the others were heading in that direction like a large herd, or . . . rather pack.
"Come on," Mia said, tugging on Remus's arm as she stood up. "I want to go get a new copy of Lies About Lycanthropy."
"You've got at least eleven copies," he complained.
Sirius laughed. "You know she just likes to pretend that she doesn't know you when she buys the book and then asks you for an autograph in the middle of the store."
"I know," Remus whinged, and Mia laughed.
They approached the bookshop several paces behind their children, only to stop short at the sight of a skinny woman with shoulder-length black hair and an angry expression.
"Persius! Hurry up!" Pansy Flint shrieked loudly at the burly boy who was struggling to keep up with her. "Your father has to be back to work in an hour, and I'm tired of walking around. This place is filthy!" she said when her eyes fell on Mia and Draco.
When the witch turned to smugly walk away, they all rolled their eyes and nearly missed it when Pansy's son rammed into Carina, knocking her harshly to the ground.
"Watch where you're going, loser!"
Sirius stepped forward growling, but Mia's hand flew out, pressing against his chest to stop him. "Wait," she insisted when she noticed the children descending on the young Flint boy.
"Hey!" Albus was the first to shout as he ran forward, followed by Jamie and Regulus. "Don't talk to my cousin like that!"
Flint glared at Albus. "Piss off, blood-traitor!"
"Did you just push my little sister, you git?" Regulus snarled, looking more like Sirius when he was angry than any other time.
Hope, flanked by Regulus and Jamie, looked just as enraged as her cousins as she walked up and stood right in the younger boy's face, causing him to step back quickly and trip onto his arse. "You like running about shoving little girls, do ya?"
"I'm fine," Carina huffed bitterly, glaring at the bleeding scratch on her elbow. She turned and glanced up, her eyes meeting a matching grey stare, and she smiled sweetly. "Thanks, Scorpius."
"Careful," he said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a black and green handkerchief embroidered with a silver "M" and handing it to her. "You're bleeding there."
She blushed and accepted the handkerchief in addition to his hand.
September 1st, 2013
"What's wrong with those two?" Mia asked Ginny as she kissed her cheek hello when they met up in front of the Hogwarts Express. She gestured to Lily who was sniffling, and Albus who was shouting at Jamie, with Harry trying to separate the boys.
Ginny rolled her eyes. "Jamie has been teasing Al all morning long about the Sorting. I've never been happier to ship them all away. And this one," she said, looking down at a teary-eyed Lily, "is upset that she can't go with them."
Mia smiled and brushed a strand of red hair from Lily's eyes. "Pandora's sad, too," she told her niece. "Why don't you go over there, and the two of you can make plans for all the fun things you're going to do this year."
Lily seemed to be slightly mollified by the suggestion and made her way over to where Pandora was sniffling in Remus's arms, while Sirius walked Carina and Regulus over to meet up with Harry, Jamie, and Albus. Ron and Daphne arrived beside Draco and Astoria, and soon Hugo joined the younger children who were sad to not be going to Hogwarts.
"Rosie, you'll be loved just as much if you end up in Slytherin," Daphne promised her daughter while Ron grumbled behind his wife's back. The poor girl looked absolutely terrified, and Mia was tempted to have all of the children taken aside to have a pre-Sorting pep talk.
However, Harry already had Albus covered, as he was kneeling in front of his son with Sirius leading the rest of the children away from the duo. Mia smiled and ran her hand affectionately through Carina's hair before her daughter walked over to say hello to Scorpius. She looked up and smiled at her husband, who seemed annoyed. "What's wrong, love?"
"You should hear the shit Harry's telling Al. 'Bravest man I've ever known,'" Sirius said in a mocking tone.
"Hey!" Jamie approached them with a jaw-splitting grin on his face. "Teddy's . . . back there," he said breathlessly, gesturing to a section of columns past the billowing clouds of steam coming from the train, "snogging Victoire!"
Regulus was suddenly right beside him, laughing hysterically. "He had his tongue in her mouth!"
Pandora, overhearing her brother, growled viciously, and Remus had to hold on to her before she rushed off to push Victoire in front of the train. He glanced apologetically over at Bill, who was groaning miserably at the overheard news from the boys, and he and Tonks walked off to find their children and put a stop to the public indecency before it got completely out of hand.
"Do you think Teddy and Victoire will get married?" Lily asked. "Then we'll all really be a family," she said with a dreamy look in her eyes.
"We're already related too much, dear," Mia told her niece with a chuckle.
"Not me. Technically I'm not blood-related to any of you," Carina said, her grey gaze falling on Scorpius, an action that was caught by a not-at-all-amused Regulus, who stepped in between his sister and the young Malfoy.
Sirius did his best to ignore the commotion and allow his son to handle what he was apparently not at all ready to acknowledge. He turned around and smiled as Harry brought Albus over, looking much happier as he joined Carina and Scorpius: the other future Slytherins.
"Everything okay?" Mia asked, and Harry bobbed his head with a smile.
"It's nearly eleven," Sirius shouted. "You'd better all get on board!" He kissed the top of Regulus's head and pulled Carina in for a tight hug, clearly reluctant to release her.
Remus put Pandora in his arms instead before walking forward to lecture Teddy and kiss Hope goodbye.
"Don't forget to give Neville our love," Ginny told Jamie as she bid him farewell with a kiss on his cheek.
"Mum! I can't give a professor love!" he whined before being dragged onto the train by his robes by Teddy, Regulus, and Hope. The adults watched through the windows as Remus's daughter pointed at her brother and cousins, directing them to the back of the train.
"They ever remind you of—?" Remus began.
"Far too often," Sirius confirmed. "Stresses me out a bit."
Behind their siblings and cousins, Albus, Carina, Rose, and Scorpius stepped onto the train with an equal mixture of nervousness and excitement. Their parents stood on the platform and watched, misty-eyed, as the clock struck eleven and the train pulled out of the station.
"They'll be okay," Mia said, swallowing down her building emotions.
"You sure?" Sirius asked.
She nodded and smiled when Remus took her left hand in his and Harry took the right. Sirius wrapped his arms around her from behind, and she closed her eyes. She sighed happily when she could feel—even if she could not see—Ginny link with Harry's arm, and Tonks take Remus's. No one was left behind. Family.
Soon the Malfoys and Weasleys joined them, talking about grabbing lunch—and a drink—to "celebrate" the kids being sent off. Those who were parting with their children for the first time were hesitant about the meal but looked forward to a glass or two of firewhisky.
"You doing okay?" Mia asked Draco, who was still staring off in the direction that the train left.
"I don't know how the rest of you have done this before. He's my only son."
"It gets easier," she said thoughtfully. "When they write home and tell you about all of their classes and the friends that they've made."
"She's lying," Sirius said.
Remus chuckled beside them all. "It never gets easier, and you worry about them constantly. You just have to smother them even more when they come home."
"My kids hate that," Harry said with a grin.
"Doesn't matter," Sirius insisted, "it's your job."
Mia smiled. "Our job."