Author's Note: The cover image is the Norman Rockwell painting Freedom from Fear.

Lavender Finnigan had known for a while that she wasn't able to have children. She was lucky to be alive, even, after Fenrir Greyback had torn out her stomach. The Healers had worked day and night to keep her alive, using whatever parts of her stomach they could find laying around Hogwarts, but she would never be able to have children.

It didn't bother her, at first. She had better things to do with her life than deal with children. Sure, she had often dreamed during that last year that after the War was over, she'd be able to have a perfect life: career, marriage, children. She had dreamed of growing old as her children went to Hogwarts, untouched by fear the way every child of her generation was.

She wouldn't have done anything differently, if she had known that her decisions would mean she would never be able to have children (except turn to face Greyback before he jumped her), because she wanted peace for everybody else's children, too. But it was a bit disappointing at first that her dream from back when she was still Lavender Brown would never come true.

But everyone had lost something in the War, and her ability to have children wasn't even the worst thing Lavender had lost, let alone what other people had lost. So she didn't think of it much, didn't let it bother her, because she was truly happy, and if she wanted children, she could visit her godchildren, or attend any of the frequent parties her many friends held, to which they all brought their abundance of kids.

Lavender was a little disappointed, when she thought about it, but mostly she didn't think of it. She had a career she enjoyed, and a husband she loved, and plenty of friends she enjoyed spending time with. She was happy.

But as she got older, she thought of it more and more often. It was an ache in her heart that grew and grew, and nothing Lavender did would make it go away. She was able to ignore it, at first, although it became more and more difficult as the years went on. But eventually it grew too strong for her.

She knew it was simply her body telling her that she should have kids before it was too late, but she couldn't help but become jealous of her friends, with their many children. She tried not to, but she couldn't seem to stop. She needed a child. But she couldn't, and so she didn't know what to do.

Lavender had never been shy, but this was something she kept close, only telling her husband and best friends what was going on with her. They were supportive of her, as always, but didn't know how to help her any more than she did.

And then there was the Dark Witch who managed to kill seventeen people before they finally caught up with her. She was the worst Dark Wizard since Voldemort, (although admittedly there hadn't been many), and her victims had always been happy families.

They caught up with her too late to save the last family, except for a not-yet-two-day-old baby. The baby was screaming when they got to it, and Lavender was struck by her old dream of having children that would never know true terror. She wanted that for this child. This child's family had been brutally murdered, and he had a bloody cut across his face, but she was going to make sure that he grew up happy and safe.

It was exceptionally easy to adopt the child. He had no living relatives, and nobody wanted him. Children with nobody to care for them were so uncommon in the Wizarding World, even with the recent Wars, that the rare exceptions were generally placed in the Muggle system. Nobody particularly liked that arrangement, so nobody objected to Lavender taking this child as her own.

Seamus was the hardest to convince. Her husband hadn't expected to be woken up late one night (it was closer to morning than evening, actually) and told that they had a two-day-old son. But he wanted a child, too, although it hadn't been bothering him as much as it had been bothering Lavender, and so he had no real objection.

Thus Lavender Finnigan got her dream of a perfect family, even if they all had more scars than the family she had always dreamed of. And Lachtna Finnigan, though the first two days of his life were filled with hunger and fear, grew up happy and successful, never knowing the feeling of genuine terror, unlike so many children of Lavender's generation.