A/N: Don't own a thing, especially not HP. I hope you enjoy chapter one hundred and forty six. Italics denote thoughts. Bold is for spells. Also, thank you for the great feedback. Time for another song recommendation, "Years Go By" by The Irish Rovers. This is it, the last chapter of Partners? I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Shout out to Arnie1701 for helping me craft the story into the form you see today. I don't normally let my Authors Notes get this long, but I just wanted to say how amazing it's been getting all of the reviews and PM's from everyone. I'm taking a week off to finish up the first chapter of my next fanfic, so after this all you'll see is the usual chapter of Narcissa's Chance before I drop the first chapter of my new story.
Chapter 146: Years Go By
The battle was over now. The wounds in the land would heal and the deaths of the defenders, whether wizard, Veela, witch, or Goblin would be mourned. In the courtyard of Hogwarts a stone plinth was placed, and upon it was carved the names of the fallen.
On this stone, the names lay of the Defenders of Hogwarts. May their sacrifice never be forgotten and may the need for new Defenders be many years from now.
Minerva McGonagall watched as the next batch of Hogwarts letters flew out to the children listed in her book. She smiled as she saw one, in particular, a snowy owl, that she knew well, flying with a small satchel of letters tied to her leg.
Jordan Keyes found the eleventh anniversary of the battle coming up faster than he'd anticipated. He waited at the entrance of the bookstore, patting his pocket to make sure his package was inside it.
Lucretia Rowle stepped out into the sunlight blinking, she smiled as she saw him. He'd waited, just as he'd promised her when she was taken in for the murder of the Mercers. She'd gotten a far reduced sentence due to her actions, not just in saving his life, but in protecting the wardstones from Voldemort.
He'd visited her every week. Even at the beginning when she tried to push him away. She'd told him to find someone else. But he'd stayed. And now they were free to be together.
Jordan embraced her, "How was work?" He asked her as they began to walk down the lane towards the Leaky Cauldron. It was a very different world than she had seen before, there were so many possibilities now. She was free, having completed her seventh year of probation after the four years she'd spent in minimum security.
"It went well, it's less taxing than my former job as an unspeakable, but I think this is better...less temptation." She admitted, lacing her fingers in his, "They are discussing the possibility of making me a book buyer instead of just a clerk.."
The idea of being like this, walking hand in hand with someone who loved her, had been impossible to think of before. She'd never expected a life like this. Jordan had stayed faithful, even when she was rude to him, trying to drive him away.
He'd stayed because she was worth the wait. "You are the missing piece of my heart," He'd told her the day she finally admitted her feelings, "You are the woman I love, in spite of everything that happened in the past. You saved me life."
"I had to, I couldn't let you die...no one ever looked at me the way you did. Even when I still believed in the cause of Voldemort, I knew that I would never find anyone like you." She'd replied quietly, not willing to look at him as she sat in the visitation cell. She shook her head, "You loved me, when I lied to you. When I used you. How can you still claim to love me?"
His reply was still burning in her mind as she walked with him down Diagon Alley towards Ollivanders. "Because no matter what happened before, I can't see a true future for myself without you in it." It was time for her to purchase a new wand. Against the orders of her probation officer, Jordan had allowed her to hold her former wand. But it didn't feel right anymore. Walnut and Dragon heartstring wasn't the wand for her anymore. She was too different now.
Ollivander was the same slightly disturbing old man she'd met as a child when her father had brought her in. He was older now, much older of course, and he had at his side a young man learning the trade of wandcrafting.
Dennis Creevey loved his job as apprentice to Mr. Ollivander. He'd always teased his brother that he was the smarter one in the family. Colin had taken no offense, he loved his position as photographer for Katherine Lovegood. The pair of them traveled all over the magical world, but Colin always managed to send pictures back to Dennis.
Dennis was given his first task, feeling the magic of the woman before him and offering her wands to try. Box after box was opened and their contents tested and rejected, until finally a nine and one eighth inch holly and unicorn hair wand was found. "Well done, Dennis." Ollivander had said quietly as the couple paid for the wand and left the shop, "Only ten tries to find an ideal match, it took me twenty four my first time out.."
Jordan and Lucretia were happy, and once they had returned home and he made his proposal of marriage, the only response she could give was to embrace him and whisper yes in between kisses.
Ginny Creevey held the picture her husband had owled her close to her heart. He had taken a picture of a pile of stones he had moved to spell out the phrase 'I Love You'. He's such a ham...but he's mine and I wouldn't have it any other way. She put the photo inside her locker and made her way out to the Quidditch Pitch.
Captain of the Ballycastle Bats, Ginny had led her team to the English Nationals against the Wimbourne Wasps. It was so strange to think about today and what the anniversary of that day had meant for her life.
She, like most of the other students, were in the Chamber while the battle raged. Colin had sat with her the entire battle, constantly talking to keep her mind off of the tremors that shook the castle. He told her everything that came to his mind. Strangely, the more he'd spoken to her, the more she wanted him to keep talking.
That was the spark that began their relationship through the rest of their time at Hogwarts. They'd married shortly after graduation, when he'd gotten his job from Xenophilius and Katherine Lovegood. It hadn't been easy at first, she was hired by Ballycastle only a few days after Colin went on his first assignment. But they'd made it work.
He wanted the pair of them to stay home more, they had been talking about adoption. Ginny would never have a daughter of her own due to the after-effects of the possession by Riddle's soul fragment. She'd made him a promise, if Ballycastle won the Nationals, this would be her last season, provided he got the Quibbler to give him assignments closer to home.
She saw the opposing captain and smiled, walking out she shook the hand of her opponent, "Hello Astoria.." Astoria Potter-Black, second youngest wife to Harry Potter-Black, had been scouted the year after Ginny. She'd rose through the ranks of Wimbourne just as quickly as Ginny though.
"Ginny, how's Colin?" She asked, shaking Ginny's hand. She took note of the smile that came to the face of the Bats captain, "Judging by that smile, I'd say he's also doing well."
The pair spoke briefly before they retreated to their corners of the Pitch. In the stands, she saw Arthur, Mafalda, and the youngest Weasley, Madeline. Each Weasley was dressed in the bright red and black representing Ginny's team. She waved to them before taking her broom and rising. As she reached the halfway point to her spot at the top, she noticed a small blonde man moving to sit beside Madeline. Colin made it...She thought with a grin.
Colin held up a sign, as Ginny read it, she felt her heart leap, I QUIT MY JOB GINNY, LET'S HAVE A FAMILY. Colin still had a lot to learn about how to prepare for bringing a child into their lives, but Ginny had to admit, her husband knew how to forge ahead with a decision, Must be the Gryffindor in him...and me.. She thought as she prepared to whip Astoria Potter-Black soundly.
The match ended with Ballycastle winning 170-140. When Ginny landed and shook Astoria's hand, Colin rushed from the stands and embraced his wife. "We're going to talk about how you quit your job.." She said quietly, holding him close, "But for now I'm just happy to see you again."
"Well, I do have something lined up...Xeno has purchased the rights to the Daily Prophet from Lord Greengrass...I'm going to work as the official photographer for events at the Ministry...I just thought that was too much to put on a sign.." He said, grinning as he kissed his wife, "Lord Greengrass must have told his daughters, before I got to the stands, I was given a note from Astoria.."
Ginny looked at the note, Congratulations Mr, and Mrs. Creevey. P.S: Ginny, if you adopt a baby girl, she'd better be named Astoria.
Hermione Weasley finished her first draft of the notes she'd been compiling. Becoming the Transfiguration Professor after Minerva retired to focus solely on her position of Headmistress had been difficult, to say the least. She was happy that the Headmistress had stayed on long enough for Hermione to complete her Mastery program though. Otherwise, she'd have never gotten the job.
Now she was the Transfiguration Professor and the new Head of Gryffindor. She rose from her chair. She'd earned a break and she knew exactly where she wanted to go to have that break. She went to the floo in her office and spoke her destination.
Stepping into the Hogsmeade branch of Potter's Prank Palace, she found Fred working on an experiment, "George, did you bring the doxy wings from the Alley store?" He asked, not looking back.
Hermione grinned and silently cast a charm to sound like George, "No, but I think 'Mione was confused about which of us is her husband. She showed up naked in my office wouldn't let me out.." When Fred turned around, he saw Hermione standing there.
"I should have never corrupted you into a prankster.." He said, walking over to his wife and kissing her, "Well maybe I should have, you're a lot more fun now.."
Peter Lalaurie walked with his daughter from his office to the manor. Evangeline held his hand, "Can we go to Paris today? I'm ready to buy the supplies for my first year. Aunt Gabrielle has already told me what books I'll need." She looked up at her father, "Please?"
Peter smiled, "We'll see what your mother says. If she thinks that it's a good idea, then we'll leave after lunch alright?" He saw Genevieve coming out to greet them, carrying their youngest.
Two year old Malcolm waved at his father and sister, "Daddy! Vangie!" He shouted happily. Genevieve pressed a kiss to her sons head, enjoying as he wiggled and laughed. This was not the life she had expected to live, but it was perfect in its own way. Peter was not just the accountant for the Potter-Black family's muggle businesses, he also worked with Potters Prank Palace as their accountant and with Gringotts as a freelancer. When the Goblins needed a second, third, or fourth eye to go over an account for irregularities, he was the one they called.
Fleur had suggested Genevieve for the position of Chief Liaison for the Paris branch when she'd resigned. Now, she worked from home, going to meetings when necessary but preferring to stay with their children and her husband.
Genevieve kissed Peter, "I take it, our little miss is ready to get her supplies? Good news then my love," She said stroking Evangeline's cheek, "Your letter came today."
"So we can go?" Evangeline asked excitedly. When her mother nodded, Evangeline leaped with excitement pumping her fist. "I'm going to Beauxbatons! I hope I get put in the same dorms as the triplets!"
The triplets, Dominique, Sabine, and Victoire Potter-Black. The children of Fleur and Harry, and currently the only Potter-Blacks at the French school. They visited the Lalauries each year before the beginning of term, preferring to spend their holidays in England with the rest of the family and coming back a few days early to visit with this branch of the family.
And it was family. The Potter-Blacks were her family as much as the Davis' were. Beatrice and Malcolm had joined them in France. Eager to be with her grandchildren as much as possible, Beatrice had taken a place similar to Doris and Constance. She taught them what she knew, Evangeline was able to read and write a full year earlier than her counterparts at Primary school.
Malcolm, being Malcolm, had installed a shooting range at the back of the Manors property. He insisted on forcing Peter and Genevieve to practice every weekend. He may no longer be the Major, but Malcolm is still a slave driver...She thought with a little smile as she handed the smallest Lalaurie to his father.
The day arrived and the Potter-Black children arrived at the station. Each one with a trunk, and each one with a familiar of their own.
James Cygnus, the eldest Potter-Black had a gray owl named Horace. Of all the children, he looked the most like his father. Partially that was due to both Harry and Bellatrix having black hair. But he'd also inherited the green eyes of his father.
Lilith Anne, the eldest girl had a tabby cat named Mab. The tallest of the children, she was a perfect match for her mother. Long blonde hair and already a strong desire to become a medi-witch.
Teddy was shorter than James and had inherited his grandfather Ted's portly frame. Like his mother, he was a metamorphmagus and had currently set his hair as black with yellow streaks in hopes of becoming a Hufflepuff. His familiar was Jasper, a small tawny owl that chose to sit on his shoulder rather than ride in the cage.
Lara and Harry junior were twins. The children of Rhiannon and Harry, they had gotten their mother's dark brown hair. Thankfully they had not been passed on the curse, though thanks to their families actions, the stigma for being a werewolf was nowhere near as bad as it had been. They shared their familiars, an horned owl named Cuth, and an orange cat named Bert, after their grandfather.
Phoebe, the youngest daughter of Andromeda Potter-Black, was paying less attention to the murmuring of the crowd and more to her owl Gert. The barred owl shook himself in irritation at the crowd but accepted a treat from his owner's fingers. Phoebe had warm brown hair tied into a tight ponytail, similar to the one Andromeda preferred when she was working on a project.
Next came Amelia's daughter Emily. Emily was sitting on her trunk stroking her cat Nyx. Nyx, was a small black cat who was currently a boneless puddle in her mistresses lap. Emily had short red hair, similar to her mothers, though Amelia these days preferred her hair to rest on her shoulders. Emily took after her Aunt Rhiannon and kept hers off her shoulders.
Apolline watched her son, Louis talking with the son of Neville and Luna. Frank, or Frankie as he was called by his best friend Louis wasn't quite old enough to attend Hogwarts. His familiar was Luc, a white cat that was sitting on Louis' shoulder rubbing his head against his masters. Louis took the hint and began to stroke the cats head as he continued to talk.
Hedwig and Diana stood together talking as their children did the same. "William says he's going to be the first of his year to learn to become an animagus.." Diana said watching her son. "He wants to be an owl like you."
Hedwig grinned, "Jane is certain that she'll follow our footsteps and become an Auror, but given how she moons over Jonathan when he's home from school, I think it's more likely she'll go wherever he does.." The two children, each with a screech owl sitting in their cages were best friends, the screech owls, however, were not. Each one glared at the other.
Jane had her mother's short white-blonde hair. She had Alexandra's blue eyes instead of Hedwig's golden ones. William had his mother's blonde hair but it was messy like his fathers.
Emma stood beside Harry as he spoke with Bellatrix and Narcissa, "With Andi and Dora already at the school and Rhiannon at the Ministry it's been lonely at the Manor when you're all away...I was thinking I might-"
"Nope. We've had this conversation Harry." Said Bellatrix with a teasing gleam, "You're staying home to make sure your wives have a delicious dinner waiting on them. We bring home the bacon, you cook it." She softened the blow with a kiss, pulling him against her.
Narcissa nodded, "You are always welcome to come with me when I'm not in a committee meeting, you could keep me company while I'm going through requests from the other members of the alliance." She said, straightening his robes, "In fact, once the children are off, why don't' you come with me...I've been meaning to redecorate and I want your opinion on if I should keep the couch.."
"She means she's ready for another daughter.," Bellatrix said rolling her eyes.
Narcissa, to her credit, only looked mildly annoyed with her sister, "I would also welcome a son Bella.."
Emma laughed softly, "Looks like the missing Potter-Blacks made it after all.." Sure enough, Tonks and Rhiannon walked off the train hand in hand. Andromeda came behind them, Phoebe rushed to her mother, embracing her. Emma looked down at her own swelling stomach, "This one is nearly ready to meet his family.."
Emma had not set out to become the only muggle wife to Harry. But as time went on and she spent more and more time with him, she couldn't ignore the burgeoning attraction she felt. Finally, two years after the battle Hermione had pulled the two of them into the study of the Manor and threatened to hex the both of them 'if they don't get it over with and start snogging'. That threat had led to a date and that date had led inexorably to marriage three years later.
Dan Granger had only seen his daughter and ex-wife once since the divorce. Finding out she had remarried to Harry Potter had infuriated him. He'd swung at her, only to find himself blasted into a wall by a furious Harry. Needless to say he was no longer the recipient of Hermione's attempts to reconnect.
Celestine, the eldest of the wives, had only a single daughter with Harry. She had requested that Amele be brought up at the Enclave as well as the Manor. She was only seven, too young to attend Hogwarts, so she would spend the school year learning from the other Veela. She was especially close to Gabrielle, the youngest wife of Harry Potter. Celestine and Gabrielle stood watching the activity, while Gabrielle told her Grand-mere about her current job as a dancer in the Royal Ballet.
Tonks and Rhiannon had gone to the muggle world and had married in a private ceremony. Now, if they ever needed to travel into the muggle world they had a set of Ids that called them Rhiannon and Dora Tonks-Cosgrove, and another set that called them Rhiannon and Dora Potter-Black.
Susan and Pansy both hadn't had children yet. They preferred to wait until they were settled in their chosen careers. Susan was currently acting as an apprentice for Madam Pomfrey, preparing for the day the Matron would retire. Pansy, like Bellatrix, had ended up working at the Ministry. Pansy was a clerk in the Department of Magical Sports and Games, a position she enjoyed greatly, as it gave her a chance to snap up tickets to Quidditch matches for her and Harry's date nights.
A final arrival just before the whistle showed Ron and Romilda Weasley along with their son. Conceived the night after the battle, Arthur Charles Vane had his father's red hair and his mother's largish nose. He'd inherited his father's quick temper, though only to those who insulted his friends or family.
It was a large crowd, the Potter-Blacks, their children and their friends. Large enough that one could be forgiven for wondering just how large a series of ripples this family would make in a world free from Voldemort and his ilk.
Albus had made the best of things. He had secured a comfortable place to stay and enjoyed free room and board, All I had to do was use the Imperius to make them take me to this hotel and set me up with everything I need for my revenge...at least I finally have the Elder Wand working for me again.
The nurses pitied poor Mr. ', Merlin'. Beyond laughing and waving a wire hanger at passersby shouting the phrase 'Imperio' and demanding that they take him to the fanciest hotel in London, he did little besides pace in his room and mutter half-formed plans for 'dealing' with someone named Potter.