Disclaimer: Not mine. Damn.
A/N: Hey y'all! Thank you so much for the reviews- I'm glad y'all liked the chapter. QueenofDuctTape- no holding your breath and passing out, cause then I wouldn't get any more lovely reviews from you! Anyways, for those who mentioned the contraceptives issue- good looking out! And for those who asked about when Harry would get the pensieve- in about ten minutes, or however long it'll take you to read up to his birthday, hee hee. Also, I'm aware that Severus may not be totally in character, but I can't say I care too much. I think he's in character, but he is changing, as I explain a little later on, because he doesn't have to hide, and because Hermione's forcing him to. So, with that said, have at it, and have fun with this chappie, cause I did!
Love Means Never Having to Time Travel
Chapter Seventeen: Celebrations!
"People like you and I do not grow old, no matter how long we live. We never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born." -Einstein
"Come on Hermione," Fred whined as he threw himself on the floor in front of her. "You've been working non-stop all day, and it's absolutely gorgeous outside! Please, please, please, come outside with me, or take a break, or something!"
"I have not been working non-stop," Hermione commented lightly as she stepped over him and sat down at her desk. "I took a break for lunch."
"But that was ages ago!"
"It was not," she rolled her eyes and turned to the lesson plans she was looking over and revising. "And besides, Harry's party is tomorrow, so I'm working on this now so I don't have to worry about it."
"But still, it's what you've been doing every day for the past couple of forevers!"
"Past couple of forevers? That's an interesting way of categorising time," she responded without looking up from her desk.
"That's it!" Fred suddenly jumped up.
"You're coming outside and that's final."
"I'd like to see you try," Hermione looked up at him defiantly.
Fred matched her gaze, though his was decidedly more mischievous than hers. Knowing that glint in his eyes meant he was up to no good, Hermione drew her wand, but it was knocked from her hand before she could utter an incantation. The next thing she knew, Fred had grabbed her around the waist and slung her over his shoulder, holding her legs tightly even as she beat against his back.
"Fred!" Hermione yelled as he walked out of their quarters nonchalantly, a satisfied grin on his face. "Put me down this instant!"
"No can do!" He replied cheerfully as he continued walking.
"You seem to have an unusual growth on your back Fred," Severus stated with a raised eyebrow as Fred and Hermione passed him and Albus in the entrance hall.
"Yeah, you know, I don't know how it got there," Fred played along. "But I do know a dip in the lake should have me right as rain!"
"FRED!" Hermione screamed furiously as he began whistling, heading outside in the direction of the lake.
"Oh to be young again," Albus chuckled, watching them.
"I know," Severus nodded in agreement before they headed towards Albus office to finish discussing a few school related issues.
"I swear Fred, if you drop me in there, you will spend your nights sleeping with Hagrid's new batch of Blast-Ended Skrewts!"
"It'll be worth it to keep you away from your work for a few hours," Fred replied cheekily as he walked out on to the pier that had been constructed a few months previously.
"Did you ever think I had a reason for wanting to get my work done now?" Hermione asked in irritation as he swung her off his shoulder and into his arms, princess style.
"And what might that be?"
"Well, in about eight months I'm going to be horrendously tired from getting up to do two a.m. feedings, and won't want to have to worry about lesson plans," Hermione stated matter-of-factly.
"Eight months…two a.m. feedings?" Fred's eyes widened in realization, and before she could say anything else, he had dropped her into the water in shock.
"Ooh, you're in trouble," Hermione sputtered as she broke the surface, treading water as she glared up at him.
"Sorry! You just totally took me by surprise!" He apologised, reaching a hand down to help her onto the dock…and found himself being yanked into the water beside her.
"Now who's gonna be in trouble?" Fred shook his head back and forth, water spraying every which way.
"Not me, cause I didn't start it."
"Maybe so, but you finished it."
"As would any respectable woman."
"Too bad there's none around," Fred teased, then promptly threw his hands up as Hermione began trying to smack him at that comment.
"Is that anyway to treat the mother of your children?"
"Don't you mean child?" Fred asked.
"No, I meant exactly what I said," she repeated, an eyebrow raised in amusement. "Think love, you are a what?"
"A married man?"
"Getting closer," Hermione rolled her eyes. "Think Fred, or should I call you Forge?"
"That's George's nick…name…" Fred's eyes widened, looking down at Hermione's stomach. "Twins!"
"Finally," Hermione laughed. "I was getting worried."
"We're having twins?"
"As in two…more than one…possibly identical, possibly not…possibly a girl and boy…that type of twins?"
"I'd say yeah, that about covers it."
"Wow," Fred breathed as he sat down. Of course, as he was in chest high water, it covered his head as he fell on his arse on the murky bottom. He immediately popped back up. "Meant to do that."
"Course you did," Hermione giggled, picking a weed off of his head. She let her arms fall to rest around his neck, her legs wrapped around his waist. "Honestly, if this is how you react to my simply telling you about them, what are you going to be like when you're with me in the delivery room?"
"Let's not worry about that right now," Fred was quick to say. "How'd you know? That you were pregnant, I mean?"
"Well, my period should've come about two weeks ago. I'm pretty regular; the middle of the month," Hermione stated briefly, knowing he, like most guys, wasn't big on women's bodily functions. "So when it didn't start, I suddenly remembered that we didn't use and contraceptive spells that night."
"Let me guess, you went to the library," Fred teased.
"No, though any other case that'd be a good guess," Hermione smiled. "I went to see Poppy, and of course, she diagnosed me. It's a girl and a boy by the way. Apparently with magical children they pick a sex only a few days after conception."
"So they're about a month along then?"
"Mm-hmm," Hermione nodded. "Speaking of. I know it's probably a bit early to be thinking about this, but for names, do you have any ideas?"
"Well, I want Harry and Ginny to be Godfather to the boy, and Severus to be Godfather to the girl," Hermione informed him. "Assuming that's okay with you?"
"Good," Hermione smiled, and continued to explain. "And since we'll probably tell everyone tomorrow since they'll all be there, I'd to have names."
"So, names…I like Benjamin Arthur Weasley. That way my dad's honoured too."
"I like it," Hermione kissed his nose. "Well that's one then. Now for the girl."
"Well, Felicity Helen Weasley, so we honour my mum?"
"Works for me," Fred rubbed her stomach, talking to it. "Hello Benjamin and Felicity. I'm your papa."
"You know, I don't know why people always say it's so hard to agree on names. We had no trouble picking them out, and we had two!"
"Guess we're just incredibly cool people like that," Fred smirked.
"Of course, that's it exactly," Hermione shook her head, laughing.
"I love you," Fred said softly and seriously. "You already made me the happiest wizard in the world by marrying me. And now, when I thought things couldn't get better, you surprise me with this."
"You helped to make them too," Hermione pressed her lips to his a moment before pulling back. "I love you too."
"Just try to remember that when you're in labour, won't you?" Fred grinned as he walked them out of the water. "So can we tell everyone?"
"Well, our family and friends will find out tomorrow, since Molly's invited about a million people to Neville and Harry's co-birthday party," Hermione unhooked her arms and legs, sliding to the ground. "So if by everyone, you mean Albus, Minerva, and Severus, than sure, we can tell everyone."
"Goody!" Fred clapped his hands, grabbed Hermione's hand, and began running towards the castle, pulling her with him.
"Are you aware that you're both in quite a state of disarray?" Severus commented dryly as they came running into the hall, laughing. "And you're dripping water on the floor?"
"Couldn't…care…less," Fred answered, breathing heavily.
"We have a favour to ask of you Sev," Hermione walked over to him and picked up his hands in hers.
"Whatever it is, my answer's no," he deadpanned.
"Then I suppose your god-daughter will just be left to Ron's mercy."
"You want me to be Godfather to your child?" Severus stared between her and Fred in shock.
"One of our children," Hermione smiled. "We're having twins. We'd like you to be Godfather to Felicity Helen Weasley. Harry and Ginny will be godparents to Benjamin Arthur Weasley."
"I don't know what to say."
"Yes might be a good answer," Fred joked.
"I…" Severus paused, swallowing heavily. "I'd be honoured."
"Well I think this calls for a celebration," Albus' eyes twinkled, and with a wave of his hand, five bottles of chilled butterbeer appeared.
"Thank you Albus," Hermione walked over to embrace him, and then Minerva tightly.
"You've made her very happy y'know," Fred commented lightly to Severus as he sat down next to him. "I don't think I ever thanked you for working things out with her. She was really upset when we had to leave. And that we couldn't tell you either."
"I know, I was a bastard, happy now?" Severus rolled his eyes, something Fred found very funny as it was completely uncharacteristic of him.
"To hear you say you were a bastard? Of course. Now all my fantasies are fulfilled."
"Severus has filled your fantasies?" Hermione sat on Severus' lap, hugging him around his neck tightly before moving to sit on Fred's lap. "Should I be worried?"
"Of course not; you know you're the only one for me. For now, and for always," Fred grinned, kissing her cheek.
"Yes, he's ever the true Gryffindor, and completely devoted to you," Severus smirked.
"Hey, at least I've got a girl, and being as in love with her as I am, I'm perfect happy to be a total sop who's devoted to her," Fred retorted.
"Ooh, you know what this means?" Hermione's eyes lit up.
"Salazar help me," Severus muttered, not liking the look in her eye.
"We get to play matchmaker and find someone to hook you up with!"
"I think not," Severus said kindly, yet firmly. "I appreciate the sentiment, but I am a confirmed bachelor by choice. Yes, I love you and can talk with you, but you must realise how rare that is. I don't interact well with people, or do well in social situations. I'm not entirely fond of the majority of women, with the way they're vapid and shallow, and care only for how much money and prestige one has."
"Hey now," Hermione began to protest.
"I said the majority of women. That doesn't include you, as well as a few others."
"But I just want you to be as happy as I am," Hermione smiled sadly.
"I am Mya," Severus stood up and leaned forward, pressing a chaste kiss to her forehead. "You'll never hear me admit it aloud again, but I am."
"Love you," she jumped up and hugged him.
"You too," he sighed, hugging her back.
"Oh Severus, if only the students could see you now," Minerva smiled at the scene in front of her. It was so uncharacteristic of Severus. But a lot of things had changed after the war, and not even Severus was exempt from some of the changes that seemed to affect everyone.
"I'm sure they'd die of fright if they knew I had a heart," Severus huffed.
"Well then you'll be the cause of a number of funerals tomorrow," Hermione giggled. "You are coming, aren't you?"
"I already said I'd go with you, didn't I? Though I still don't think Potter will want me there."
"I asked him, and he said it was fine," Hermione insisted. "I'm sure he expects you to spend most of your time with the adults anyways. Molly's invited a number of the Order members, as well as Albus and Minerva."
"Lovely," he said sarcastically. "I can spend the evening being chided by Minerva for glaring at everyone, as well as dealing with Albus' damnable eye twinkling."
"Precisely," Hermione beamed, standing up. "I'll see you tomorrow at nine then!"
Harry's party was going to start about ten in the morning with a few games of quidditch. Then there would be a barbeque lunch, followed by some swimming, and then cake and presents. Then for the rest of the afternoon and evening, Lee Jordan was DJ-ing, and there would be dancing and partying, with a few snacks in place of dinner.
"Hey Charlie," Hermione greeted her brother-in-law as she and Fred walked through the gate into the backyard where almost everyone had already gathered. She and Fred had slept through their alarm, and thus left the castle at a quarter to eleven.
"Hey sis," he kissed her cheek in welcome, taking the two brightly wrapped presents she was carrying. "You look nice."
"Thank you," she smiled, spinning around once. She was wearing a simple yellow sundress that flowed to mid-calf. Fred had just worn jeans and a t-shirt, since he was planning on playing quidditch.
"Have the games started yet?" Fred asked.
"Nope. Harry just got here a few minutes before you did, so they're getting ready to go play right now," Charlie answered as he placed the gifts at the base of a huge stack of presents off to one side.
"Is Severus here?" Hermione looked around the yard for him.
"Uh yeah, somewhere," Charlie nodded, than grinned suddenly. "You should've seen the looks on people's faces when he showed up! I swear, they looked like they were about to drop dead from shock. Especially since he was carrying two presents, and not wearing all black like in school."
"What's he wearing—ooh, I see him!" Hermione squealed. "Talk to you later."
"See ya," Fred shook his head as he watched his wife suddenly take off across the yard.
"Severus!" Hermione yelled as she dashed over to him, her yell attracting most of the other guest's attention. "You wore the light green shirt like I told you to!"
"Mya," he couldn't help but chuckle as she threw her arms around his neck in an exuberant hug. "I think you're scaring your former classmates."
"Oh let them be scared!" Hermione rolled her eyes and turned to face the group of people watching them. "What? Aren't I allowed to hug my friends?"
"Well of course Mione," Harry walked over and kissed her cheek in greeting. "I just think you've surprised them by hugging this particular friend of yours, especially as none of them knew you two were so close and all that."
"Well I'll just have Severus glare them all into submission then," Hermione teased, hugging him. "Happy birthday Harry."
"Thanks," Harry smiled, then turned when one of the twins yelled out quidditch. "Gotta go!"
"How bout you Severus? You going to play? I seem to remember you were quite the chaser back at school."
"I doubt they'd want me in a game," he replied, walking alongside her.
"Well you never know," Hermione shrugged.
"All right, listen up everyone!" Charlie got everyone's attention. "Harry's captaining team one, I'm captaining team two. We're both playing seeker. Anyone else who wants to play, move onto the field behind us. And just to assure everyone, a couple of aurors placed special wards and charms to keep muggles from noticing, so no worries! For those who are watching, Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall will transfigure seats and platforms, and raise 'em up so you all can see. And of course, Lee will be commentating."
"Go on Severus," Hermione nudged him forward to join the group of teens and young adults standing on the field.
"All right, how do we want to do this?" Harry asked, looking at the players. "One by one?"
"Why don't you take the members of the Hogwarts quidditch team from when you were younger?" Charlie offered. "Oliver as keeper, Angelina, Katie, and Alicia as chasers, and the twins for beaters? I'll take Ron as keeper, Dean and Seamus as beaters, and Ginny, Tonks, and Professor Snape as chasers. And that accounts for everyone I think."
"Works for me," Harry agreed, and immediately pulled his team to one side, no doubt to begin discussing strategy.
"All right, so…" Charlie looked slightly ill at ease that Severus was on his team.
"You're the captain Mr. Weasley, I defer to your judgment," Severus inclined his head respectfully.
"Well I don't!" Tonks piped up, and grabbed Ginny and Severus by the hand, pulling them off to the side. "We're discussing strategy mate, so you work with them!"
Hermione watched the startled look that flashed over Severus' face in amusement. Tonks was a character all right. Her hair today was black and red, in honor of Harry and the Weasleys, according to her. Hermione continued to watch a very animated Tonks gesture and talk, Ginny occasionally speaking up too. Severus stayed silent, just listening, though he did nod at times. She couldn't help but notice that he would send Tonks furtive little glances every now and then.
"I'll have to ask him about that later," Hermione made a mental note, and turned her attention to Lavender, Parvati, and Padma who had just walked over.
Hermione smiled and nodded in all the right places, though in truth she wasn't listening as they stepped onto platforms that were raised high in the air. Her attention was focused on Fred primarily, though she watched all the players. The game was fast and fierce, and though Ginny, Severus and Tonks did an admirable job, Angelina, Alicia, and Katie had that previous knowledge, and with Harry catching the snitch, totally slammed Charlie's team.
"So what was going on with you and Tonks?" Hermione grabbed Severus' arm and drew him over to one of the tables that had been set up for lunch.
"What do you mean?"
"You kept giving her these odd little looks," Hermione pressed.
"I don't understand her, and I don't like that," he replied simply.
"But you had her as a student all seven years, so you should've gotten to know her a bit."
"Hardly. I didn't get to know anyone; in class or out," Severus scoffed.
"Well you worked with her in the Order."
"You like her," Hermione's eyes lit up.
"I hardly know her," Severus brushed off Hermione's allegation.
"Well then you could like her."
"I could like anyone," he smirked.
"Then go sit with her for lunch," Hermione dared him. "Look, she's by herself, so go keep her company."
"Fine, I will," he snapped, and Hermione watched gleefully as he walked over, and after talking to her for a moment, took the seat next to her.
"Ooh I am good," Hermione gave herself a pat on the back.
"Good at what?" Fred sat down beside her, placing a plate of food in front of her, his own piled high.
"Hooking Sev up, and I didn't even have to find the girl either, he did that himself."
"Tonks!" Fred exclaimed after looking around and finding him.
"Yeah. He doesn't understand her, and that bugs him," Hermione grinned, taking a bite of her grilled chicken sandwich. "They're gonna be great together."
"Yeah, if they don't kill each other," Fred chortled. "Now, just leave him be. No more interfering."
"I didn't interfere!" Hermione protested. "Except to suggest that he go keep her company."
"Interference," Fred coughed out the word.
"Ha ha, very funny," she rolled her eyes, and went back to eating her lunch.
Lunch was a boisterous affair, with hardly anyone staying in their seats. People were continuously in and out of there seats, talking to others, and wishing both boys happy birthday. Some of the Order members were changing off keeping an eye out in general, not that there was any threat from evil. Rather it was to make sure no press tried to get in. Molly, with Dobby and Winky's help, was running between the kitchen and the buffet table making sure there was plenty of everything set out.
As lunch winded down, the newly-graduated teens were the first to strip off their clothes and change into their swimsuits, hopping into the pond and swimming. Hermione decided to forego swimming, but was content to spread out on the warm grass with Hannah Abbot and Susan bones, chatting. However, when the boys started a chicken fight rumble royal, Hermione was dragged in by Fred to be his partner. They went down pretty early on, and watched as it narrowed down to Bill and Alicia versus Harry and Ginny. Bill and Alicia won, as Bill had a few inches on Harry, as did Alicia.
"Cake!" Molly called out as they all climbed out and dried off. "Gather round to sing!"
"Really, you don't have to do that," Neville protested as his friends pushed him and Harry to stand together in front of a humungous sheet cake.
"Course we do!" George clapped him on the back before bursting into the 'Happy Birthday' song, everyone else joining him.
"Make a wish, and blow out the candles so the waddlesbores don't breed in the flames," Luna smiled at them from where she was leaning against Ron.
"Thanks Luna," Harry fought a laugh, and on the count of three, he and Neville blew out all the candles in a single breath. Molly used a cutting spell to quickly divvy up the cake, and soon everyone was eating. Harry was like a little kid; finishing his cake quickly before rushing over to the presents, waiting impatiently for everyone else to come over too.
"No more sugar for Potter," Snape muttered to a laughing Tonks as he scowled at the hyper teenager.
"All right Harry, you and Neville can start," Molly laughed as the guests settled themselves in a semi-circle around Harry and Neville and their huge pile of gifts.
"You can go first Harry," Neville gestured to the gifts. The boys were going to take turns opening presents.
"Thanks mate," Harry grinned, and grabbed a present, tearing into it with child-like enthusiasm.
Everyone couldn't help but laugh each time it was Harry's turn to open a present. Each time, without fail, he tore the paper off in seconds, genuinely admired and exclaimed over the present, and then went to hug, or shake hands, with the giver before taking his seat again. Neville was much more sedate, and took his time opening the presents, though he exclaimed over his just as much as Harry. By some odd stroke of luck, Severus' gift, and Hermione and Fred's present winded up being the last three to be opened.
"That's my gift Potter," Severus called out as Harry looked around. As each gift was picked out, the giver let him or herself be known, as Molly was keeping track for Harry and Neville's thank-you notes.
"Oh, thanks Professor," Harry said automatically as he opened it, somewhat warily, even though the professor had been nothing but tolerable, even to Neville. His gift to Neville had been a rare herbology text. But still, Harry had never quite stopped being suspicious of the professor, hence the wariness. However that changed when he opened the gift. "Oh wow."
"What is it?" Ron asked.
"It's a pencil sketch of my mother," Harry beamed, holding up the small framed portrait.
"I have others I've done," Severus stated. "That was one of my best, and I thought you might appreciate it."
"You did this?" Harry looked surprised, as did a number of others.
"Yes," Severus nodded curtly.
"Sorry sir, I think you just took us by surprise," Ginny apologised.
"Oh come on Sev, be nice," Hermione rolled her eyes. "They just didn't realise you were a man of many hidden talents. Now, open our presents Harry."
"Open the flatter one first," Fred spoke up.
"Gotcha," Harry grinned, tearing the paper off. Opening it, he pulled out the non-descript album. "Ooh cool, a photo album."
"Open it silly," Hermione laughed as he made to put it aside, assuming it was just an empty album.
"Hermione, Fred," Harry breathed in shock as he looked over the first page, realization dawning on him.
"You honestly think we'd spend all that time in the past and not do something to bring you memories of your parents?" Hermione smiled as she leaned back against Fred, his arms around her. "We spent the year collecting pictures, and working on the scrapbook."
"I don't know how I can thank you for this," Harry started to get up.
"Hey, don't thank us yet," Fred chuckled. "You've still got one more to open."
"I hope it's not like this one," Harry joked as he started to tear into it. "My emotions won't be able to handle it."
"Well than get a bunch of tissues ready," Hermione giggled as he pulled out the silver bowl. "Cause what you've holding is a pensieve filled with copies of our memories of your parents and various events involving them."
"Thank you," Harry got up and came over, grabbing her tightly in a hug, fighting back tears. The other guests dispersed and headed to the dance floor, giving them some space. "Thank you, thank you, thank you, and a million times more. Merlin, that feels totally inadequate!"
"Don't worry about it Harry," Hermione sniffled, hormones already kicking in, even at just over a month along. "Your happiness with the gift is thanks enough. I'm only sorry we couldn't stay for your parents wedding so you could have that memory."
"Here," Severus came over just then, silver wisps attached to the end of his wand. He placed it in the bowl. "Now you do."
"Thanks Professor," Harry held out his hand, and Severus took it after a moment's consideration.
"Now Harry, I think you've got a lovely fiancée waiting to show off her dancing skills with you on the dance floor," Fred tried to lighten the situation. "You'll have plenty of time to look through them later on. Go have fun at the party!"
With one last smile of thanks, Harry practically bounded over to his girlfriend who was on the dance floor with a number of others. While Harry was recomposing himself, Lee had started up the music, and all the guests, except for the older adults, were dancing.
"We did good," Hermione grinned up at her husband.
"Yeah," Fred agreed, kissing her. "I'm gonna go use the bathroom, so I'll catch up with you in a bit."
"All right. I'll be dancing," Hermione moved to join her friends as he headed to the house.
Fred didn't actually need to use the bathroom; he was simply using that as an excuse to get away from her for a bit. He had planned something for her, with Lee's help, and Harry and Neville's permission. Since today was their anniversary, Fred wanted to do something for her, but he also didn't want to encroach on Harry and Neville's day. They had whole-heartedly given their permission and support to him to steal the limelight away from them. Once inside, Fred changed into a tuxedo, and grabbing a bouquet of light purple roses he'd had Lee pick up for him, he cast a notice-me-not charm and made his way over to Lee, letting him know he was ready as he took off the notice-me-not charm.
"Good evening everyone!" Fred's voice carried across the yard, thanks to the sonorus charm. "Everyone having a good time!"
Everyone cheered and applauded. Fred grinned as he noticed the looks of confusion on a few people's faces, including Hermione's.
"I'm sure everyone knows that Hermione and I are married," Fred paused as a few catcalls were let off. "What most people don't know, is that today is our anniversary. So I would like to wish my beautiful wife a happy anniversary, with the hope for many more. This is for you Hermione."
Nodding to Lee, a melodic song started to play, and Fred took a deep breath, and opened his mouth to sing 'She Thinks She Needs Me'.
"I love you Hermione," Fred said once he'd finished, and walked down to her on the dance floor and handed her the roses, kissing her tenderly, bringing awws from all the girls.
"I love you too," she accented each word with a kiss, her eyes shining brightly as she struggled not to cry.
"Oh great, how are we suppose to top that when it comes to our girlfriends?" Seamus muttered to no one in particular.
"You can't," Hermione laughed, wiping her eyes. "He's perfect."
"Perfect for you," Fred said sweetly, and all the girls awed once again.
"Any more surprises up your sleeves, or are we allowed to continue partying?" George grinned at his twin.
"Does the fact that Hermione's a month pregnant with twins count as a surprise?" Fred questioned nonchalantly. "Cause if not, than nope, no surprises."
"Way to drop the bomb on them," Hermione smacked his arm.
"GRANDBABIES!" Molly squealed, rushing over along with the rest of the family to congratulate them.
The party finally got back underway, even more enthusiastic than before. Everyone was in high spirits, and just having an all around good time. Harry and Ginny happily accepted the offer of being godparents to Benjamin, and promptly joked they'd return the favour in a few years. Of course, Ginny's brother immediately threatened to padlock Harry's pants closed, politely informing him to not even consider that specific bedroom, baby-making activity for many years.
As it neared midnight, the last of the guests left, leaving only Harry, the Weasleys, Severus, Tonks, and Remus sitting around enjoying the coo night air.
"So the twins'll be due around March?" Ginny asked from where she was sitting on Harry's lap.
"Mm-hmm," Hermione nodded.
"They'll probably be early; most twins are," Molly advised. "Fred and George were five weeks early. Something I'm thankful for. Carrying one child is hard enough, but two! Merlin, I was huge, and it hurt to walk, and sleeping was miserable! Though you're lucky like I was. You won't be eight months along, and dealing with the horrid August heat."
"Now Molly, you don't want to scare the poor girl," Arthur chided his wife gently.
"I think it's too late for that," Hermione joked. "No, really, I don't mind. It'll be nice to talk to you when I've questions about something."
"My door is always open," Molly beamed. "Oh I'm so happy for you two! And I'll be happy to baby-sit anytime you need to get out for a while."
"Ditto," all the Weasley boys chimed simultaneously.
"Me too!" Tonks exclaimed, and promptly tripped over her own feet, landing on her arse. "Or not."
"Aren't you going to offer too Severus?" Hermione teased.
"Why should I?" He smirked, helping Tonks up. "You seem to have plenty of volunteers already. Besides, as Felicity's godfather, I took that mean I'd end up baby-sitting anyways."
"Though again, I state my reluctance, as I have no experience with young children," Severus pointed out.
"You'll be fine, Severus, it's not that hard," Remus assured him.
"Thanks wolf," Severus scowled.
"Now Sevvie, that's not very nice," Tonks teased.
"I'm not very nice."
"Ooh, someone needs to get laid," Tonks teased again.
"You offering?" He retorted, bringing laughs from everyone as Tonks blushed, at a loss for words.
"Not on the first date," she finally managed to get out, using her metamorphagus skills to clear up her blush.
"So you're okay with the second?" Severus smirked, enjoying the bantering.
"Why don't we see how the first goes?" Tonks brazenly walked over and plopped down on his lap. "You can pick me up Friday at seven. Surprise me with where we go, as long as it's casual."
"May I?" He raised an eyebrow.
"Yep, you may!" She jumped back up. "Come on Sevvie, you can make sure I get home safely. Night everyone!"
"Night Tonks, Severus," Hermione spoke for everyone.
"Good night Arthur, Molly. Thank you for the pleasant evening," Severus said graciously before turning to Hermione. "Good night."
"You know, Tonks isn't going to let him go," Charlie commented with a laugh as the two disapparated with a pop. "She finds him interesting."
"He finds her just as intriguing, namely because he doesn't understand her," Hermione added.
"Well, I'll just say that they're one couple I never would've imagined," Ron looked slightly surprised and disgusted, bringing laughs from everyone.
As the laughter died down, everyone started to gather their things together. Hermione and Fred made the hugging rounds, taking in one last congratulations from everyone before disapparating back to the edge of Hogwarts' grounds. They arrived just in time to see a ruffled Severus appear, trying to smooth his hair back into place.
"Someone got lucky," Fred teased in a sing-song voice.
"Fuck you," Severus growled as Hermione helped him straighten his robes.
"I don't think Tonks would approve if I did," Fred grinned, and with a snarl, Severus whirled about and stalked ahead of them to the castle.
"That wasn't very nice," Hermione chided, but she couldn't help but smile as they entered the castle and headed to their quarters, and eventually, bed.
A/N: Okie dokie, that's it. Loooong chappie- just about 6,000 words. And I know, this chapter was maybe kinda clichéd, with the babies/pregnancy and all, but hey, clichés are nice write, and fun to read. So I can't say I care, lol. Hope Tonks/Sev doesn't squick anyone out too much. I wanted to hook him up with someone, and rather than introduce some OC, I thought of Tonks. I think the relationship has some potential. Let me know what you think in a review :-) Next chapter, which will be the last I think, will be up in two weeks or so. We'll see, like always!