Chapter 38

Well, here we are, reaching the end of this long tale. Thank you so much for your support through it all, for patience and encouragement.

Big thanks to Asher Henry, you're the greatest.

I hope you have enjoyed the story at least as half as I enjoyed writing it.

''A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.''

-M. McLaughlin

Epilogue-10 years later

''Iris, leave your sister alone, please.'' commanded Hermione.

''She started it.'' pouted Iris as she let go of her almost four years' younger sister Eleanor Andromeda.

''Do you understand how ridicules an 11 year old lady sounds saying something like that?'' asked Bella as she entered the kitchen.

''Mommy, I'm going out!'' stated Iris ''I finished breakfast and I cleaned my room yesterday!'' she smiled knowing it would get her permission.

Hermione looked towards Bella who nodded, ''Indeed she did. I was surprised as well.''

''Bye mommy, mom, mother.'' she yelled already out of the house through back door

''Andy, honestly girl, '' Bellatrix said from her portrait in living room ''You need to stand up for yourself. You will be in school in three years and there will be much worse people then your big sister.''

''Don't tell her that.'' scolded Hermione, ''She'll be frightened before she even comes near Hogwarts.''

''I'll try better mother'' promised Eleanor looking at the portrait and running towards the stairs.

''Where are you going?'' asked Bella.

''I'm going to read'' smiled Eleanor ''Finally I can do it faster.'' she finished and ran upstairs.

''Not only does she look more like you, she's behaving more like you every day.'' Bella shook her head in amazement.

''She'll be better off like me than like you'' smiled Hermione and started to cast various spells to clean the kitchen.

''Well, at least we have Iris.'' Bellatrix said.

''Yeah, we do.'' said Bella ''Which is troubling.''

''Why?'' asked Bellatrix somewhat annoyed with the statement.

''Well, don't you remember what we did when we were in school?'' asked Bella.

''I'm pretty sure it won't go that far.'' said Bellatrix ''Hermione is still a teacher at that school and you and I both know she'll be keeping an eye on her.''

''I know, but still.'' said Bella.

''I'm more worried about the house she gets into.'' grumbled Bellatrix.

''Morning Hermione'' greeted Minerva.

''Morning Minerva'' smiled Hermione. It took few months after the battle to patch up things between her and Minerva, but she was truly glad they did. Hermione worked briefly in Ministry, but after she had Eleanor she needed more time for her kids. So after Eleanor turned two she decided to help out in Hogwarts as they lived fairly close to it. Three years later she became Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and managed to stay alive and sane in the position.

''Good to be back?'' asked Minerva.

''Yeah, it is.'' smiled Hermione ''I enjoyed my vacation, but in all honesty I started to feel little bored. Iris is always running around, causing troubles.''

''That is no surprise'' smiled Minerva ''After all, both of her mothers were troublemakers in this school.''

''I was not.'' Hermione pouted ''Harry and Ron did that! I just...''

''Helped'' Minerva said with a smirk on her face.

''Not funny'' smiled Hermione. ''Yesterday I found her playing Quiddich. She never took flying lesson, she could've broken something. And what is worse she's setting bad example for James and eventually will for Albus as well. Those boys look at her like she is some sort of god.''

''How about Ely?'' asked Minerva as they entered the elder professor's room.

''Well, I am little worried for her.'' mused Hermione as she set down her papers. ''She's like me and I remember how I didn't fit in. She likes books and spends little time outside, but she adores Bellatrix. She loves to listen to her stories; she is sometimes just studying her expression. Both she and Bella, I kinda feel left out.'' Hermione said.

''Don't.'' said Minerva ''Iris is coming in school in few days and you'll spend more time with her at home. Maybe you'll convince her that there is life outside a book.''

''You look worried'' said Bella as she sat down next to Hermione on their back porch.

They built their house here 9 and half years ago and at the time there wasn't even a road to get there. There weren't house for miles- Hogwarts and Hogsmeade were only populated places near them. But soon after they settled in they got neighbors; first Ginny and Harry, then Ron and Luna, and finally Neville and Hannah. People soon started to call it Heroes road, which was ridiculous for all the inhabitants but very catchy to others. Hermione was glad they were all so close to her, and that she was still part of their lives and they part of hers. It made life even better watching her 'nieces' and 'nephews' growing up. Iris and Ely were the oldest, but James was only year younger then Ely so they got along well. Iris was a troublemaker; her never ending imagination has matched up perfectly with all the free space around their house. Ginny, who was pregnant with third child, often said that even Weasley's hadn't come up with some things Iris did. Hermione knew that Iris was probably bored given the fact that there weren't any children of her age nearby, but Iris never made a complaint or wanted to go to the city.

''Tomorrow is her first day at school.'' said Hermione ''She'll be sorted into a dorm and she won't be coming home until Christmas breaks.''

''Hermione, you work at Hogwarts, you'll see her every day.'' said Bella ''If anything I should be complaining.''

''But as her professor, not as her mom.'' said Hermione rolling her eyes ''What if she won't get along with others? Or what if she won't be good at school?''

''Or what if everything goes horribly, tragically okay?'' asked Bella earning a slap on her shoulder.

''Honey, we cannot lock her up for the rest of her life.'' said Bella ''She will grow up, whether you want it or not.''

''Well, if we lock her up then growing up won't have effect on her, and she'll be under our constant supervision.'' Hermione mused.

''Merlin, woman'' laughed Bella.

''C'mon'' said Bella getting up and reaching to Hermione.

''What are we doing?'' asked Hermione taking Bella's hand. Bella waved her arm and soft music could be heard in background.

''We're dancing.'' Bella smiled and started to sway to the sound of music. ''I know you're scared, but we'll be there for them and if they fall we'll catch them. We'll set them in right direction the best we can.''

''I know.'' whispered Hermione ''But you know how frustrating is when you can do only so much.''

''Well, we can't live their lives'' said Bella ''We have our own.''

''I hate when you're right.'' smiled Hermione.

''You always hate me?'' asked Bella in teasing voice.

The great hall was filled with students sitting at their tables, professors and large group of children waiting to be sorted into their dorms. Hermione was very nervous, but she somewhat calmed down when she saw Iris.

Professor Sinistra was reading the children's names after which they were sorted into their dorms.

''Iris Victoire Black'' she called and Iris proudly marched to the stool.

''Black!'' exclaimed Sorting hat. ''Proud blood is going through your veins, extremely talented, hmm...wicked...honest, bold, and brave. My, my you are real daughter of your mothers aren't you? Well, then it'll be...''

Hermione joined Ron and Harry who sat in Harry's back yard sipping butterbeer.

''Hey, Mione'' smiled Ron.

''Evening, boys'' she smiled.

''So how did it go?'' asked Harry.

''Alright.'' said Hermione. ''Still hated the feeling of leaving her there.''

''C'mon, Mione'' said Ron ''You have to let her go, she'll have a blast. Remember how much fun we had breaking every rule in the book.'' he smiled.

''I don't think that helps Ron.'' said Harry.

''I'll see you in few years'' Hermione muttered.

''First in six years, Mione'' smiled Ron ''I'll learn from the two of you everything by then.''

''Daddy!'' yelled 5 year old Hugo ''Mommy says you need to tuck us in.''

''Blimy, it's 9 already.'' Ron shook his head ''See ya tomorrow.''

''Bye'' both Harry and Hermione said.

''You okay?'' asked Hermione

''Yeah, just thinking.'' Harry replied.

''Share.'' Hermione commanded.

''I was thinking about Snape.'' he sighed.

''Yeah?'' Hermione asked with confusion. ''Where did that come from?''

''I've talked to my father's friends.'' started Harry. ''We actually talked through my lunch break and in one moment he mentioned how much fun they had in school, tormenting Snape.''

''That was your father,'' said Hermione gently ''Not you.''

''But I'm like him, I judged him and accused him for everything and it turned out he was protecting me all along.'' Harry said

''You're not like your dad.'' said Hermione ''Besides, your father had flaws just as Snape had them. We all have good and bad qualities, you just need to accept it.''

''I know.'' sighed Harry

''So what's the problem?'' asked Hermione

''I'm starting to think Snape was better guy than my dad was.'' replied Harry sadly.

Hermione touched his cheek and that made him look up from the ground ''It's alright to feel how you feel. Just because you think Snape was a great man, that doesn't mean you're being disrespectful towards your father. Your dad loved you and your mom very much and that's all you need to know to love him.'' she paused ''Honestly, I can't imagine your father, or anybody for that matter, being angry at you because you respect Snape for everything he has done.''

''I know.'' he smiled ''Thanks Mione.''

''That's what I'm here for.'' she smiled

''Mione, can I ask you something?'' asked Harry

''Harry you know you can.'' she rolled her eyes

''It's about Bella.'' he started ''She's really starting to...you know...''

''Look like Bellatrix Lestrange?'' laughed Hermione ''Bellatrix said that few days ago too.''

''How do you feel about that?'' asked Harry

''I love it.'' admitted Hermione ''Don't get me wrong, I found Bellatrix very attractive and I know how Bella look in future and, if anything, it makes me happy to be married to such hot woman.''

''Well, that she is.'' laughed Harry.

''And where was she sorted?'' came the question from the portrait. She had barely opened the front door when it was shouted at her.

''Good evening to you too, Bellatrix.'' snorted Hermione.

''Hi honey'' greeted Bella as she entered the room carrying Ely. ''Hi mommy.''

''Oh hi honey'' smiled Hermione taking Ely and kissing her cheek.

''Oh, c'mon, have some mercy'' Bellatrix whined.

''Oh alright.'' Hermione rolled her eyes ''Bellatrix...''she paused ''She was sorted into Hufflepuff.''

''Oh dear Merlin'' said Bellatrix in strained voice. ''Why? What a shame on our family!'' she exclaimed. ''Hufflepuff! That's not even a dorm! It's a bloody drop-out part of Hogwarts! Who ever heard for it, except Hogwarts?! Slytherin spreads fear and respect worldwide!''

''Oh, c'mon,'' started Bella ''It could've been worse.''

''How?!'' asked Bellatrix ''Hufflepuff! Merlin, anything but Hufflepuff would be fine!'' she shook her head.

''Well I'm glad you're thinking that way'' smiled Hermione ''She got into Gryffindor.''

''Cruel.'' said Bellatrix ''That was very cruel.''

''She got you there.'' laughed Bella.

''Don't worry Mother.'' smiled Ely ''I'll make sure not to get into Hufflepuff either.''

''You are my favorite, you know that right?'' smiled Bellatrix truthfully.

''I know.'' Ely smiled brightly.

Well, that's all folks! Please review the story and tell what you think about it :)

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