Don't look back in Anger

Can some angry words change everything?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10669760/1/Don-t-look-back-in-Anger

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19. The Story is Retold

Harry kissed both girls goodnight before he left their bedroom. Like him, Hermione was probably too wired to sleep at the moment but Luna was exhausted. There was no way either Hermione or Harry wanted Luna to be alone so Hermione would stay, with Harry promising to visit and spend the night with her later. After a much needed bath and a good brushing of her teeth, just cuddling into Hermione while knowing Harry was nearby allowed a knackered Luna to fall into a peaceful sleep.

Heading for the terrace, Harry was already feeling better. They were home and his two girls were safely tucked up in bed. The wonderful view across the bay of Naples also helped, it was hard to maintain your anger when faced with such a twinkling light beauty.

Their villa was high enough up the volcano to afford them the privacy they craved, yet still less than fifteen minutes from Sorrento in Dan's Range Rover. With Dobby and Winky available to pop them into Naples, they really had the best of all worlds here. The time difference between Scotland and Italy had just moved them from late Monday to the early hours of Tuesday morning but it was refreshingly cool outside. With the terrace charmed to keep insects away, this was usually where the family spent most of their time together.

All were patiently waiting on Harry, Amelia had even been provided with a small table and writing materials.

Wanting to set a relaxed tone from the very beginning, Amelia told Harry exactly what she was doing. "I intend to note down only the main points of what happened earlier. I will then let you read it, and ask you to sign that it is a truthful rendition of the facts."

Agreeing with that, Harry began to fill the gaps in their knowledge of what had happened tonight. Knowing from Hermione that everyone pretty much knew the sequence of events in the lead-up to Luna's abduction, Harry then took them through what followed that catastrophe.

Amelia had been present when Hermione ejected Dumbledore from her mind, she had no problems imagining the same thing happening to Voldemort. What the head of the D.M.L.E. struggled to believe was Luna's courage at defying the dark Lord in his own lair.

When Harry got to the matter of Luna's escape, it took Emma sitting with her arm around him before he could bring himself to tell the story. "Killing someone with your wand is a hard thing to do, and so it should be. Grabbing someone by the throat with your jaws and, even although your mouth is filling with their blood, holding on until they're dead is at least a hundred times harder. Luna knew what needed to be done, and Moonlight carried it out. Nott was the same age as us but had already made his choice, that choice didn't leave us any other options but the ones we took. I was so proud of Luna, she showed amazing bravery tonight. She's also worried in case any of her family thinks differently of her now, that was why Hermione shared with her back in Hogwarts. Luna knows exactly what Hermione and I think about her after what happened tonight, we couldn't love her any more than we do."

It was Dan who chose to speak for all of them. "That could so easily have been Hermione who was snatched today, and I felt every bit as bad because it was Luna. Emma and I think of them both as our daughters, that won't change because of whatever Luna was forced to do to survive. We love both our girls, and our son, and are more thankful than we can say that all three are back home with us tonight. We may be a couple of months away from making those relationships official but that's how we already think of you and Luna." Emma holding Harry tighter confirmed she agreed with everything her husband just said.

As the newest member of the family, Claire decided to make her opinion known. "What Luna faced today was horrible, but the way she dealt with it was nothing short of magnificent. I know my husband already loves all three of you, I can't see that changing because of tonight."

"I don't know, love. I already thought I couldn't be any prouder of these three, then they go and prove me wrong. Remus and I taught you lot most of your moves yet both of us would have struggled to cope with what you were faced with."

Remus tried to lighten the mood. "Can you see Bulstrode opening that cell door because Sirius was standing there in his underwear?" Managing to raise a smile from Harry had Remus counting that attempt as a success. The smile was fleeting though as the retelling of their escape continued.

"I don't know if becoming a horcrux had a physical effect on that snake, or whether it was other things Voldemort had done to it. What I do know is that it was an absolute nightmare to kill. Smart, strong, lightning fast, and with a viciousness that was matched only by her master. That snake nearly was the death of us."

He then described how they met Bulstrode again, knocking her down before making their escape as a wounded Moonlight crashed through a window. Hearing that the dire wolf changed into Luna and cast fiendfyre caused Amelia to pause in her writing. Harry never noticed, he was now blinded by tears as the possible consequences of tonight began to overwhelm his emotions.

"Luna was giving everything she had left to get us outside those wards. That venom was closing down her body though, her legs wouldn't work - and I couldn't do a thing to help. Then Professor Snape turned up. Luna and I were trying to come to terms with never seeing Hermione again, never seeing you guys again..."

It took Harry a few moments to get himself back under control, he wasn't the only one who needed those moments. Emma clinging on to Harry reminded him so much of Hermione, and certainly helped him restrain the powerful feelings that threatened to run away with him.

"Madam Bones, if you must hand out awards for tonight - our vote goes in favour of Severus Snape. If getting us to Hogwarts and then providing the anti-venom that saved Luna's life wasn't enough, Hermione told us he deliberately stunned Luna and left the two most junior Death Eaters as our guards. Without him, we probably wouldn't have made it home - and you might still have been left with your Dark Lord problem."

When Harry put it like that, the idea of awarding Severus Snape an Order of Merlin suddenly didn't seem so preposterous. It would also give the ministry a way of recognising and celebrating a hero from this pile of shit Albus had dumped them in. The mere mention that it was a grateful Harry Potter who proposed Severus for this award should see it sail through the Wizengamot.

The shock of Dumbledore's manipulations and then Harry Potter leaving Britain could be somewhat negated by the news Voldemort was no more and then providing a hero to thank. The coming few weeks were going to be murder, and Amelia was delighted Susan would be in Italy to miss it all.

Reading through her notes, the only thing Amelia could see for anyone to object to was Luna's use of the darkish fiendfyre spell. Since this is what finished off the Dark Lord, not one voice would be raised against her. She passed her notes over for Harry to read as Sirius then made an offer Amelia had no intention of turning down.

"Amelia, why don't you get a few hours sleep here. Then you can portkey back to Britain with Claire and I in the morning. You know it's going to be total madness for the next few days at a minimum, this would allow you at least to be fresh tomorrow."

"Augusta was calling an emergency Wizengamot meeting for ten..."

"Fine. Breakfast at eight, then you gain an hour on the trip back. We can sit here, enjoy one of Winky's fabulous breakfasts while looking over the bay, and you can still be in your office before eight."

Harry signing Amelia's notes was the signal it was time for everyone to head off to bed, Dobby appeared and led Amelia to a prepared bedroom.

His head had barely touched the pillow when Harry was heading off to spend the night with Hermione. As bad as they'd had it, Harry and Luna knew the position Hermione found herself in would be considered the worse by any of the trio. They'd at least had each other while Hermione was left alone, not knowing if they would make it back to her. Harry and Luna would be doing their best to make it up to the girl they both loved, you wouldn't be able to insert a sheet of paper between the three of them for at least a few days. Maybe then, things would get a chance to return to normal.

-oOoOo-

The Hogwarts rumour mill was of course churning out scenario after scenario with the little information available, each one more ridiculous than the rumour that spawned it. With everything happening too late in the day to be in today's Prophet, it would be tomorrow before all hell broke lose. Ron was sitting trying to enjoy a hearty breakfast but his heart really wasn't in it. He also couldn't care less about the care of magical creatures exam facing him after this breakfast. Then that hated voice drawled from behind, putting an instant end to any appetite Ron may have had.

"Weasley, my godfather told me what happened yesterday."

Ron turned around, ready to face the blond prick.

"I understand you are going to visit them in their home when Hogwarts breaks up?"

This saw Ron give nothing more than a wary nod in answer.

"Could you please pass on a message for me? The future Lady Black performed a great service to House Malfoy when she took care of that snake. I hated that fucking reptile almost as much as I did the Dark Lord..."

Ron was used to seeing Draco wrestle with his temper but never like this. He clearly wasn't angry at Ron, and certainly not Harry, Hermione or Luna.

Regaining control, Draco was able to continue with what he'd come over here to say. "That the future Lady Black then rid us of the Dark Lord leaves me again personally in her debt. This action removed the final hurdle from me inheriting next year. If you could pass on my thanks, my heartfelt gratitude, I would be most grateful."

Again Ron could only offer a shocked nod.

"When I become the head of the Malfoy family, please also tell Lord Black I would look most favourably on any alliance between our houses."

It was left to Susan to offer Draco their assurance his message would be passed on, along with the sentiment behind it. A speechless Ron again nodded, not even the smirk from Malfoy at his mute condition was able to draw a comment out of the redhead.

He'd returned to staring at his breakfast for all of two minutes before Ron found his voice again. "I knew I shouldn't have had those fried mushrooms, there was certainly something dodgy about them. Either that, or I would have to admit I was going mental. Did that really just happen?"

"Yes, love, it did. It's the smart thing to do, Draco takes after his mother in that respect." Ron at least managed a 'huh', needing his girlfriend to explain that remark.

"If you look at this from an outside perspective, it makes perfect sense. Houses Potter and Black just ended the Dark Lord, then left Britain for good. Hermione then pulled a master stroke by inviting a Longbottom, Bones, Weasley and Patel to spend part of the summer with them..."

"We're their friends..."

"I know, Ron. Remember, an outside perspective. Looking at the situation from that angle, it looks as if Harry is putting together a power base of influential families. Malfoy wants to regain influence, the best way to do that is to align his family with Harry. I'm certain he's genuine in his rejection of the dark. We heard Professor Snape last night, Voldemort wanted Draco dead. The dark now holds nothing for Draco, moving his family to the light just might save the name Malfoy."

With his head down, Ron admitted what he'd already worked out. "Just like me going to Italy might just save the Weasley family. They're my best friends, and I hate these games."

"So does Harry, and that's not what he's doing here. Did your mother take Harry into the Burrow because he was Harry Potter, or because he was your friend?"

"My friend..."

"Exactly, and it's as his friend you're invited to Italy. If doing so helps the family who helped him, that's win-win. Hermione would have figured that out in seconds. We both know Ginny needs to pay for what she did..."

"Too true! Did you see the state of Luna? She's lucky your aunt took her away when she did. Ginny wouldn't have survived Hermione seeing the condition Luna was in, and that's only if Harry didn't do the job first. I've been awake most of the night, trying to think what I could have done to prevent it..."

Susan leaned her head against Ron's arm. "She was clever enough to pull it off, yet not smart enough to see what she was doing was so wrong."

"Ginny had a blind spot, one that was ruthlessly exploited. She would literally have done anything to get together with Harry. I feared she might try something stupid. I was thinking more along the lines of a potion to get his interest, never something like this. It was like the more I tried to tell her that she and Harry would never happen, the more determined she became."

A friendly hand settled on Ron's shoulder. "At least you tried to tell her. Fred and I just teased Ginny about it. No one's laughing now."

Fred sat beside them and agreed. "I hate to think the trouble Ginny would have been in if old Snape didn't have that anti-venom. Luna was in a really bad way before she got that. Harry saved Ginny's life, then a couple of years later gave our family his Tri-wizard winnings. That thousand galleons is one of the reasons we Weasleys have a roof over our heads. George and I have been going over this all night, we just can't make sense of it."

Neville and Parvatti were sitting across from Ron and Susan, they had been listening to the conversation so Neville put his opinion out there too. "Sometimes things only make sense to the people doing them, simply because they want them to. Was Dumbledore's behaviour any better? He certainly knew exactly what he was doing, I think Ginny really knew what she was doing too. Like Ron said earlier, she would have done anything to be with Harry."

Parvatti thought she would also add her tuppence worth, she and Neville had talked about this into the wee small hours as well. She actually doubted if any of them had slept last night. "We all assumed Ginny had a crush on Harry. That was no crush, it went beyond infatuation and deep into obsession. All Bulstrode had to do was claim she was helping Ginny get with Harry, Ginny would then do whatever she was asked or told."

All could see the truth in those words, Neville also thought Susan had been right earlier too. "While we know it's friendship that got us invited to Italy, Susan's right in that those invitations will certainly send out signals to anyone watching. With Harry now Lord Black, Sirius would have ensured his godson knew what he had learned growing up in a pureblood household. Because of their sharing thing..."

Ron finished the rest. "What Harry knows, Hermione and Luna would know too. Our family never bothered too much with things like that, but Hermione would know exactly how to use that information."

"Must be a great way to learn..."

That saw Ron jump all over his girlfriend's suggestion. "Hell no, not a chance!" With the other five now staring at him, Ron told them the downside.

"I asked Harry about sharing, and he even offered to do so with me - without the kissing I have to say. There is a price to pay though, a price I thought was way too high. This sharing is exactly that, sharing everything with the other person. Harry explained that thinking 'I don't want them to see that' brings the very memory you want to hide right to the front of your mind. I don't think I could cope with that, or knowing absolutely everything about someone else either. That's why those three are so close, and one can speak for all three of them."

It was Parvatti who summed up all their feelings on this matter quite nicely. "Padma's my identical twin, and I wouldn't want to share that much personal information with her."

As the four finally trudged off to their exam, their difference in spirit when compared to yesterday morning was startling. Then again, yesterday morning their friends were with them - and Ginny hadn't yet crossed over the line into criminality.

-oOoOo-

Augusta had just opened the emergency session of the Wizengamot when the Minister of Magic stood. Albus decided to get in first with his version of events, before anyone else could murky the water.

"Members of the Wizengamot, I ask for your indulgence as I make a Ministerial Statement."

With that claim, Dumbledore had the floor. The chamber's own traditions decreed the floor was also his until he decided to give it up. He was not going to leave anything out, rather just put the best slant on the facts he was about to present.

"It was almost exactly a year ago I took up this position as Minister of Magic. In our country's hour of need, I was persuaded to sit in this chair. I did so with the clear understanding that I would use this position to end the genocidal threat Voldemort and his Death Eaters posed to our community. I can now stand here and say that goal has been achieved, Voldemort met his end last night..."

Rumours of this had been spreading around the ministry like wildfire but they had all waited on the official word before even thinking of celebrating. Now they had that official word, the chamber went nuts.

Giving them a moment to get that out of their system, Albus called for order once more. "I don't need to remind anyone in here just how deadly or ruthless Voldemort could be, we've buried enough of our kith and kin to each know that. As a leader, sometimes you are placed in a situation where there are simply no easy options. This chamber elected me to make those difficult and horrible decisions, that is what I did."

Dumbledore was a superb orator, and had the entire chamber hanging off his every word. "While I have no intention of accepting any of the plaudits the real heroes of this piece deserve, I would certainly have accepted the not inconsiderable blame had this scheme backfired. Unfortunately, some innocents may have been harmed by what I deliberately let happen. Please bear in mind, I only let these events happen in the hope of ending the threat of Voldemort - I didn't arrange them."

Looking around the chamber, Albus made eye contact with as many of the members as he could. "We stood shoulder to shoulder in this very chamber and handed out justice to those who deserved it. All I would ask now is that, in our hour of victory, you show some compassion for those caught up in matters outwith their control. I say you because this is the last time I will speak to you as Minister of Magic. I did what was necessary to rid us of Voldemort, now I will retire so no taint may be associated with the honourable position that is the Minister of Magic. My friends, this is goodbye…" Bowing his head in respect to the chamber, Albus Dumbledore then left to utter silence. No one inside the chamber knew how to react to what they'd just witnessed, no one but Amelia Bones.

She now stood, ready to say her piece. "I would like to thank former Minister, Albus Dumbledore, for doing the honourable thing and resigning. Had he acted with that same honour yesterday, we would probably not be standing here today. It will be up to the British wizarding public to pass judgement on whether he was correct to make the decisions he did, his protection as a sitting Minister of Magic meant all we in this chamber could do was to take that position away from him."

Both the pubic and press galleries were full to capacity, having heard rumours about the reason behind today's emergency meeting. What they had already heard today was shocking enough, that there was to be even more had the press contingent sharpening their quills in anticipation. They wouldn't be disappointed.

"Ever since I first proudly pulled on a set of trainee auror robes, I understood and accepted the risks that came with that position. As my career progressed, I was forced to take decisions that sent me and my fellow aurors into danger. They, like me, knew the risks involved and accepted their orders - trusting that their training and the aurors who stood solidly by their side would see them safely home at the end of their shift. That is the tried and trusted method of doing these type of things, the way it's done all over the world. Albus Dumbledore had his own methods, methods I find abhorrent. He deliberately left unsuspecting and unsupported children to face Lord Voldemort in the Dark Lord's own hidden lair. There are two Hogwarts students now dead due to Dumbledore's very deliberate inactions."

The chamber descended into chaos, with people trying to shout their opinions over everyone else. There were those who blindly supported Dumbledore, just as there were those who wanted him dragged back into the chamber to answer for his crimes. All though wanted more information, information that Amelia clearly had.

At breakfast this morning, she had discussed with a now much calmer trio just what degree of their secret she could reveal. Without knowing that Harry could find Luna, Dumbledore's manipulations made no sense. They agreed on a format that Amelia was now going to pass on.

"Harry has a way of finding and being with both of his fiancées. This is what kept him sane while locked in Azkaban, and also offered him protection against the dementors. He had confided this secret to Albus Dumbledore and myself, Dumbledore then used that information against Harry. Dumbledore had Severus Snape pass some of that secret on to Lord Voldemort, we all know how obsessed he was with the boy-who-lived. The Dark Lord then set a trap, a trap that was sprung yesterday. The witch now known as Luna Potter, who will become Lady Black when she reaches age to marry Harry, was abducted by marked death eaters from Hogwarts yesterday."

Amelia could spin a story too, and again the entire chamber were enraptured by her gripping tale.

"Severus Snape, in his role as spy for the light side, had warned Dumbledore what was about to happen. Albus Dumbledore knew who was involved, what they intended to do and even when it was going to happen - yet he did nothing to stop this nor did he warn anyone. His plan was for Luna to be snatched, Harry to find her and then report back to Albus where Voldemort was hiding."

She was left shaking her head in disbelief at this folly while continuing the story. "Had Dumbledore mentioned this plan to Harry, it might have stood a chance of succeeding. He didn't, and we almost had a catastrophe on our hands. In all his careful planning, there was one thing Dumbledore had overlooked. Harry loves both those girls and would never leave one to face a fate like that alone. This was the fatal flaw in what Dumbledore considered a good plan, a plan that almost resulted in the deaths of Luna and Harry Potter."

Amelia then read out the statement of facts she had written last night to a chamber who clearly now shared her earlier disbelief at Dumbledore's folly. As she finished, the signed document was handed over to the clerk for filing.

On hearing what Luna had accomplished, their was an outcry for her to be awarded an Order of Merlin, placing the brave witch on the same footing as her future husband. Augusta Longbottom's sarcastic laughter at that proposal had the entire chamber turning to the Chief Witch for an explanation. She didn't disappoint.

"I was laughing not because I disagreed with that proposal, It was Luna's response to Amelia mentioning this possibility to the young witch last night I found amusing. She wanted any medal stuck up Albus Dumbledore's arse. I think it's fair to say the destination for Harry Potter's will now be the same."

The Chief Witch then explained the reasons behind the awards' proposed less than illustrious destinations. "When the trio refused to have anything to do with the now former minister, citing the only ministry contact they would talk to in future was Amelia Bones, Dumbledore then tried to bring all three up on charges of being unregistered animangi. Harry then announced that the Houses of Potter and Black would be leaving Britain, renouncing their British citizenship in favour of the Italian one they also held. After Dumbledore's behaviour, I for one don't blame them. As any head of House knows, their first priority is to protect the members of their house. That is simply what Harry is doing here. He can't trust the British Ministry of Magic so has removed his families from our influence."

Not wanting the Wizengamot to turn on Harry, Amelia fought his case. "Let's remember it was this ministry and Hogwarts who forced Harry to compete in a deadly tournament he didn't enter. It was former Minister Fudge who arrested Harry on suspicion of murders he didn't commit at the end of that tournament. Senior Undersecretary Umbridge then shipped Harry off to Azkaban, before later torturing him using the cruciatus and then leaving his cell door open so dementors could gain entry. Harry then had to fight a deadly battle in the middle of Diagon Alley, a battle where he saw the wizard who would have become his father-in-law murdered right in front of them. Discovering yesterday that another Minister of Magic almost cost Harry and his fiancee their lives was the final straw. Like the Chief Witch, I can understand and support Harry's decision. What other choice did he have, what other choice did we leave him?"

Into the still silence Amelia's declaration caused, Augusta dropped a pebble of knowledge that caused ripples throughout the chamber. "While Harry may have turned his back on our ministry, he is not turning away from Britain. This weekend, my grandson and his girlfriend will leave for Italy to holiday with their friends. Neville will also be one of Harry's groomsmen when he marries this September. Arthur Weasley's youngest son and his girlfriend, Susan Bones will be holidaying there too. Both will also be a groomsman and bridesmaid at the same wedding."

Arthur had offered his resignation to Amelia, he refused even to speak with Dumbledore. She had declined his offer, saying he would remain as Senior Undersecretary unless the Wizengamot or the new Minister of Magic wanted him out. With Augusta declaring they needed to elect a new Minister, and then nominating Amelia for the job, Arthur was reluctant to second the motion. Not because he thought Amelia wasn't the best candidate, more a case of not wanting to hurt her chances. Arthur needn't have worried. Amelia was quickly seconded and, with no other names nominated to stand against her, was soon being sworn in as the new Minister of Magic.

Her first action as Minister of Magic was to nominate Severus Snape for an Order of Merlin, First Class.

-oOoOo-

Back in Italy, there was a meeting taking place that was of much more importance to the trio. With Dan and Remus off for their morning hike, Hermione suggested they might be better sounding mum's opinion on what they were planning first. This was a suggestion Harry grabbed like a drowning man thrown a lifeline. His two ladies managed to contain their smirks, but barely.

Emma had her easel set up on the terrace, she was working on painting a mountain view today. She too managed to hold her smirk when approached by the trio.

"Mum, can we have a word with you?"

"Of course, dear. Can I keep painting or is this a talk I need to sit down for?"

"Eh, I think you'd better sit down."

"Ah, so you're here to tell me that after the wedding, you intend to live as if all three of you are now married?" Emma couldn't contain her smirk any longer, one glance at a trio of shocked faces set it off. She put down her paint pallet and led the three of them over to have a seat, Dobby already had drinks waiting there for them.

It was Harry who managed to get his brain in gear first. "How did you know?"

"It wasn't exactly hard to figure out. After all, you've been living with us for a year now. In all that time, I don't think I've ever seen you make a difference in the way you treat Hermione and Luna. You don't even realise you're doing it, each one of you looks out for the other two. The idea that you and Hermione would go off on honeymoon and leave Luna behind is so absurd, it's simply a non-starter. We also understood you wouldn't go sneaking behind our backs to achieve what you want. All of us knew this approach was coming, and we're all in favour of the changes you want to make. Having the wedding after Luna's birthday was another big clue. She's then over the age of consent but still a year away from being legally able to marry. How close am I?"

Luna moved over to sit on Emma's knee, both wrapped their arms around each other. She still had signs of bruising on her face but the tears in Luna's eyes were those of happiness.

"Thank you so much for understanding. It would have killed me to be apart from them…"

"Never going to happen." That Harry and Hermione practically shouted that in synchronised stereo gave Luna and Emma the giggles.

"We all knew we couldn't keep you apart anyway, you would just have shared..."

The shudder that went through Luna at that suggestion alerted Emma she'd said the wrong thing. "I didn't mean anything..."

Her genuine concern soon had Luna smiling again. It wasn't just their time spent sharing with Hermione that had both her and Harry looking to Emma as their mum too, she was just so good at it. She never made you feel uncomfortable and was always there if you needed to talk - talk about anything. It was time to talk about this. "When we decided that the three of us were going to form our relationship, there was one thing each of us was adamant about. When those relationships reached beyond us kissing and snuggling, it would be done so without anyone sharing at the time. It's lovely to snuggle into Hermione at night and know that Harry's there too. All three of us though are looking forward to spending our nights together."

Both her partners were nodding at this though it was Hermione who voiced her agreement. "Our relationships are very different because of sharing but that's one part none of us want to be any different. We'll certainly share our memories of it later, but never our minds during. It just feels so wrong to all of us."

Emma then got to hear Harry's views on the matter. "Our sharing is its own form of intimacy - you got a very small sample that night back in the cottage. Knowing my Hermione and Luna like that is so special, something so pure. It would almost feel like tainting a thing of great beauty to use our sharing for that. Once tainted, it could never be the same again. That's far too much to risk for nothing more that a quick thrill."

He found himself being kissed by Hermione. "Couldn't have said it better myself, love. What we have between the three of us is precious, and needs to last a lifetime. We can now start to make plans for that lifetime, but that's one thing none of us can see changing."

Her mother now smiled back at Hermione. "This is the main reason none of us are giving you grief over the arrangement you proposed earlier. You have handled this whole thing with a level of maturity that belies your years. The entire family is very proud of you, and will support you in this."

Luna kissed Emma on the cheek before returning and sprawling over Harry and Hermione who were sitting on the wicker two seater couch, all three of them now very happy.

"So what are these plans you're making?"

Hermione was now gushing with excitement and couldn't wait to tell her mum. "Oh nothing too far ahead. Knowing that all three of us will be married that day just makes our wedding even more special. We won't be going on a long or elaborate honeymoon, too much studying to do so can't take more than a week off. We all loved Venice, I think it was there the seed of staying in Italy was planted. Dad turned the Range Rover south and things just kept getting better and better - until we ended up here. So a week in Venice is now looking favourite for our honeymoon. We can go somewhere further afield and stay for longer when it's Luna's wedding."

Luna was snuggling into both of them, and every bit as excited. "We will have sat all our exams by then, perhaps we should go somewhere quiet and just think about what we want to do with the rest of our lives?"

"To be honest, I haven't thought much past keeping our family safe. With the threat of Voldemort now over it feels good to look to the future."

Emma brought up a practical matter none of them had yet thought about. "You have friends staying with us from Saturday. I think you better start making plans for that first."

This fairly lit a fire under Hermione as she started rattling off things they could do and see. It took Harry kissing her to get Hermione to stop.

"Most of that seemed fine, Hermione. Remember though, there has to be time in there where we can just all hang out and be friends. That's what I miss most about us not attending Hogwarts, just sitting around sometimes and talking about nothing in particular..."

Luna then had a suggestion that should please Harry and Hermione. "What if we planned something every second day? That would leave the others to hang out by the pool, go for walks, do anything we want." That did indeed find favour with everyone, including Emma.

"That will give Dan and I a better chance to get to know them too."

All Hermione had to do now was decide which of the dozen ideas she'd just had would be put off for a later visit.

-oOoOo-

Albus hefted his carpet bag, a bag charmed inside and out. Inside it was spelled to be bigger and lighter, outside the carpet material changed colour and pattern to match whatever robes its owner was wearing that day. With all his possessions packed, Albus was rather hesitant to leave the place he'd called home for the last year. This hesitancy was not caused by any deep love Albus had for his ministerial accommodation, rather more that he didn't know where to go now.

 
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