Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.K. Rowling. I own nothing of hers!
The Final Chapter
"We're going to be late! Come on, Mum!" Rose yelled up the stairs as Hermione came rushing to the top. Her trunk was packed and ready to be levitated into the car. Yet, the eleven year old thought her family was taking much too long to leave.
"If you know your Mum at all, you'd know she'd never be late," Ron commented, grabbing Hugo's coat and tossing it to him. He rubbed his chin; the light beard he's been tending for the past several years a bit more trimmed.
"Sorry, love. Clara had to use the toilet again," she sighed, as the newly three year old girl bounced beside her mother down the stairs. Her curls springing wildly with her.
"Gross Mum! I don't need to know that!" Rose scrunched up her nose disgustedly. Her plait whipping along her back while shaking her head.
"Mummy! Mummy go potty too!" Clara pointed out when she got to the bottom of the staircase. She let go of Hermione's hand and bounded off in search of her doll.
"No, wait. That's perfect! You can get all your embarrassing things to say out here, and then you'll have less to say when we get there!" Rose confirmed, as she huffed away to grab her bag and jumper for the train ride.
"Since when did she care about us embarrassing her?" Ron asked, turning toward his wife; even more beautiful than the day he married her.
"When she turned eleven," Hermione smiled tiredly at him.
"Well, I don't care for it much," suddenly noticing his wife's pale complexion, "you feeling alright, love?"
"Yea, just tired and...not looking forward to this," Hermione ended in a whisper.
Ron pressed a kiss to her temple, speaking quietly to her, "I fear she's the only one who is." He glanced over at their son, who had been downcast the whole week leading up to this day.
"Do I have to go?" Hugo pouted, still putting on his coat and dragging his feet. Meanwhile, Rose had already headed to the car.
"Afraid so, buddy," Ron ruffled his hair, while Clara grabbed his hand, and her dad's; her favorite doll strapped into her favorite pink backpack she was known for always having with her. She beamed up at her older brother.
Hugo managed a small smile before they loaded into the car.
"Mum! There's Victoire and Aunt Fluer and Uncle Bill!" She halted her steps, turning around to her family. "Remember, don't embarrass me!" She warned, before turning back and running ahead towards their extended family.
"If she's like this when she's eleven, imagine when she's actually a teenager?" Ron shuddered thinking about it, while Hermione squeezed his hand.
"I see you made it safely. Ron must not be too terrible at driving after all!" Bill jested, patting Ron on the shoulder.
Clara broke into a laugh hearing her uncle speak, "Daddy no drive. Mummy drive us!"
Ron felt his face flush, he knew he could do it. There were just so many bloody rules to the road! Flying a magical car in the air was much easier.
"He'll be driving us all next year," Hermione swooped in, linking fingers with Ron. He squeezed her hand in thanks. "Besides, I don't believe you've learned how to drive yet?"
Bill let out a roar of laughter and nudged Ron for his wife's humor.
They waited precisely ten more minutes, making conversation, before the first whistle blew for the children to head aboard. The platform was very crowded by now, and Hermione and Ron we're getting more than enough glances.
All the children were loading the train. Rose quickly grabbed her trunk and waved goodbye to her parents, turning and walked toward the train.
A moment later, she stopped, turned around, and ran towards her family. Ron caught her in a fierce hug.
"I love you, Dad. I'll miss you so much."
"I love you too, Rosie."
Next, she went to her mum, who was by now, tearing up. She reached out wide to hug her.
"I love you, darling. In just a few weeks it'll be Christmas and we'll be together." Hermione pressed a kiss to her cheek.
"Okay, Mum." Did her voice sound emotional too? "I love you so much Mum."
Finally, she reached down and hugged each of her siblings with one arm.
"Be good for Mum and Dad, okay? When I come back, I'll have loads of stories about Hogwarts," Rose told them reassuringly.
Hugo nodded rubbing his jumper's sleeve across his face. Clara nodded enthusiastically, truly not understanding how long her sister would be away.
Another whistle rang.
"I better get on." Rose said solemnly. She boarded the train, and quickly found a spot with an open window.
As the train lurched forward, and a chorus of people rang out in goodbyes.
"Be good! Listen to the professors! Study for your lessons! Say hello to Neville for us!" Hermione called out, the family all waving to their beloved member.
"I will Mum! Love you!" Rose called out, as their window exited their view. They stayed until the entire train had left, and began to feel the full effect once everyone decided it was time to leave.
"Mum said she wanted to have lunch at the Burrow today. To take the kids' minds off Rose and Victoire leaving," Ron mentioned, knowing that Molly intended to have the family close to have everyone's minds taken off the loss of the day.
Hermione nodded, wiping a few small tears from the corners of her eyes. Ron reached down and scooped Clara up to his shoulders to leave, as Hugo went to his mother's side and wiped more tears into her sweater.
The Burrow was constantly loud these days with children and adults running around. Every member of the family was a parent now, minus the grandchildren, of course. In a few more years, many more of the Weasley/Potter brood would be making their way to Hogwarts. Though it was bustling, he still felt like something was missing, and he knew his eldest daughter was it.
Molly, even through her aging, thrived on the sound of children's laughter, and even though the family's procreating was done, she continued to act as if they were all having babies again.
Ron chuckled at the thought. He saw his son race by, playing a game with one of the many cousins. Clara was having a enchanted tea party in the garden with two of her older cousins. Clearly, they were, at least at the very moment, fine with their sister's departure. His eyes scanned the room for the very person who knew what he was feeling.
He searched the garden, the rooms where all the family was gathered and no sign of Hermione.
"Mum, have you seen Hermione?" He asked as he entered the kitchen, snagging a bun, still steaming from the plate.
She turned around quickly, her hand still viciously mixing whatever was in the bowl she was holding, "Last I saw, she checked on Clara, then went to use the loo."
He thanked her and managed to escape his family toward that direction. As he approached the loo, he noticed a light coming from the very top floor. Knowing that area very well, he quickly changing his destination. The door to his childhood bedroom was cracked open, enough to allow the light to shine through. Peering through the crack, he noticed his wife's curls swaying down her back and she looked out the window.
He watched her for a moment, before clearing his throat. She glanced over her shoulder before smiling.
"Hey," he spoke, slipping into the room. He looked around. He'd been here loads of time since he inhabited it. The young boys of the family found it the best place for sleepovers, as the girls thought it was too scary up too to enter. Yet, he still found the nostalgia of his boyhood woven into the walls.
"You found me," Hermione said, sitting down on the old mattress.
"I always do," Ron chuckled, before sobering, "I wanted to see how you were doing."
"I'm better than I thought I'd be this morning. But, when she actually hugged me, I could have burst right there," Hermione smiled, wiping a small tear from her eye.
"It's hard to remember how much she does love us. We were like that too, remember?" Ron put an arm around her shoulders as he joined her on the bed.
She scoffed, "perhaps you were. I always showed my parents affection."
Ron nudged her a bit, pressing a kiss to her temple.
They sat there in silence, letting the emotions of the day flow off them.
"Ron..." Hermione began, stopping until he gazed into her deep eyes.
Ron grinned widely, causing her smile as well.
"We weren't trying," He commented. Making Hermione laugh.
"When do we ever?"
They laughed, and Ron reached over to meet her lips.
"What do you think?" She asked, nuzzling her nose with his.
"It's brilliant as always. But, I mean, four kids... whew!"
"I know. I'm not even sure how- oh stop that! You know what I mean! But, it's for sure. I did the spell just a few minutes before you came up. I'll make an appointment with Healer Clarke for next week or so. I can't remember when she gets back from her maternity leave." She smoothed out her curls and laid back on the bed.
He followed her, as they lay, feet on the ground, side by side, touching shoulders.
"Are you scared?" Ron asked, knowing that even through Clara's he was constantly worried.
"A little. Clara's pregnancy was as normal as can be. We were just careful. Healer Clarke knows me very well. She won't let anything happen."
Ron nodded next to her, swallowing down his worry. Much smaller than the first few.
"I've been thinking."
She turned to look at him, "I've been thinking of cutting back from Auror work."
"How do you mean?" She truly was surprised by this.
"I mean, I'm coming up on 12 years and I'm getting a bit ...old," he shuddered, "to be out in the field as often as I am. I know once every few months isn't terrible, but, it's so risky... and ... I dunno. I want to make sure I'm there for our brood."
"Well, first, don't ever refer to our children as brood," she chuckled, causing him to laugh with her.
"But," she continued after collecting her thoughts, "I think you should do what you want. You've given them 12 years of your life."
"I want to train incoming Aurors or do something at Hogwarts to help prepare them. But, there's nothing like that." Ron shook his head.
"Then make it happen," Hermione started factually, "Hugo wasn't allowed to come to work with me, but, I pushed and he was allowed in my office. By the time Clara was born, I had her in a meeting with everyone. That would have never happened if I didn't do something."
"Have I told you how much I love your brilliant brain?" Ron leaned over and pressed another kiss to her temple
"I think you've mentioned it before," she smirked.
They laid quietly for a bit longer before Ron spoke.
"Do you ever think we'd be here today without you sneaking into this room in the middle of the night?" Ron mused.
As always, Hermione thought before she spoke, "Yes. Yes, I think we would. But, then we wouldn't have our Rosie."
"I'm really glad you snuck in that night."
She leaned forward to kiss him.
"I am too."
A/N: I truly can't believe I actually finished this! Thank you all for staying with me through these two stories. It's been a pleasure.