This story is now finished. I want to thank those of you who have read and reviewed it. Thank you so much for your support and kind words.
All canon characters belong to JKR.
Thanks to June for all of her suggestions and help.
Chapter 24 â€“ The holiday comes to an end
Upon their return to the castle, Lucius and Ginny gave everyone the good news on their impending nuptials. Lucius insisted that Ginny tell her parents, so they went into the living room and Flooed Arthur and Molly. The parents of the bride came through the Floo and immediately congratulated the couple. Molly was excited and hoped that Ginny would be the one to give her and her husband their first grandchild, since none of the Weasley boys seemed to be in any hurry to become parents.
For his part, Lucius assured Molly that he had no problems starting their family that very evening.
They celebrated into the night. Odin and Sage fell asleep on the couch next to Albus and Minerva. Draco and Cho kept glancing at each other smiling, as though they had some sort of secret they wanted to share, but werenâ€™t sure whether or not to say anything.
Severus and Hermione volunteered to give them an engagement party once they returned home.
Harry, for the most part, kept to himself after the newly engaged couple came back down from the mountain. Heâ€™d been sitting near the fireplace when Luna walked over to him.
â€śHarry?â€ť she asked as she stood over him. Harry looked up at her. â€śWhy are you sitting here alone? Arenâ€™t you happy about the engagement?â€ť
â€śMy ex-girlfriend just got engaged to a man she barely even talked to before this holiday. A man who happens to be old enough to be her father,â€ť said Harry bitterly. â€śWhy would I be happy about that?â€ť
Luna cocked her head to one side and studied him.
â€śSomeone you cared about has found happiness, even if it isnâ€™t with you. Thatâ€™s why you should be happy.â€ť She began to walk away when Harry stood and grabbed her arm.
â€śEveryone seems to think I should, but no one can give me a good reason why. Tell me Luna, why should I be happy about their engagement?â€ť
â€śBecause, Harry. The world doesnâ€™t revolve around you, or me, or Ginny or Lucius. The world doesnâ€™t need us and doesnâ€™t care about making us happy. Itâ€™s up to us to do that for ourselves. People move on, they live their lives. You didnâ€™t make her happy, so what. Deal with it. Once you realize you canâ€™t change what happened youâ€™ll be much happier, Harry. There are things we canâ€™t control. Itâ€™s those things we need to let go of, and instead think about making the things we can control better.â€ť Luna looked towards the group on the other side of the room. â€śLook at everyone else. They are all happy for those two people. Their friends are happy, Harry. Why canâ€™t someone elseâ€™s happiness be enough for you?â€ť
Harry looked at Luna and thought about what she said. He remembered a time when he was like that. His friendsâ€™ happiness meant something to him. What had happened to him, he wondered. He looked to Ginny. She glowed. He couldnâ€™t remember ever seeing her like that, and he thought she looked more beautiful at that moment than she ever had when she was with him. He then understood what Luna was talking about. He acknowledged he hadnâ€™t treated Ginny nicely, and that was his fault, but now she had someone who was ready to commit to marriage. He felt warm inside seeing Ginny happy â€“ and in love. He turned back to Luna.
â€śYouâ€™re right. It should be enough.â€ť He looked into her eyes. Heâ€™d notice they were blue, deep blue, like the ocean at night. Deciding it was time to mend some fences, Harry walked over to Lucius. As the two men faced one another, the others stood by quietly.
â€śCongratulations, Lucius,â€ť Harry said as he looked to Ginny and smiled. â€śI hope you two are very happy, I really do. Iâ€™m sorry for everything.â€ť As he turned, Ginny moved towards him and wrapped her arms around him.
â€śThank you, Harry.â€ť She kissed his cheek and withdrew from him, allowing him to shyly walk away.
Lucius took Ginnyâ€™s hand and squeezed it. She turned and saw him smiling. He knew that now they would be able to begin their lives without Harry Potterâ€™s jealously hanging over their heads.
At nearly four oâ€™clock in the morning Arthur and Molly went home, and the rest of the castle guests retired for the night. They all slept past Sunday morning, and little by little everyone came trickling down with their bags packed and ready to go. Severus and Hermione walked into the living room with Odin and Sage in tow. As they entered, Lucius was patting his son on the back and Ginny and Cho were squealing with joy.
â€śDid we miss something?â€ť asked Severus as they stopped next to the fireplace.
â€śCho and I are having a baby,â€ť said Draco as she smiled widely.
â€śCongratulations!â€ť cried Hermione as she moved towards Cho.
Albus and Minerva joined in the melee of congratulatory pats and hugs, along with Severus and the children, and Harry and Luna.
It was time for Luna to go, and Harry came with her down the stairs. After everyone else had gone to bed last night, they sat outside talking until dawn. Oddly enough, he felt comfortable talking to her, despite not having seen her in years. Luna always had a way of clearing things up for him. She put things in a way that made him see what a complete ass he was. This afternoon, as Harry walked Luna to her car, he realized he didnâ€™t mind things as much as he thought he would.
â€śLuna, I was wondering if you might want to go out sometime,â€ť asked Harry hopefully.
Luna opened her car door and looked at him.
â€śThat would be nice, Harry. Iâ€™ll be back in London in a few days. Give me a call at my office. We can have lunch,â€ť she said.
â€śI was thinking, dinner and maybe a movie.â€ť Harry smiled and moved slowly towards her.
â€śLetâ€™s start with lunch. We can make our way up to dinner. Iâ€¦Iâ€™m not looking for a shag buddy, or someone who calls me once in a while because he doesnâ€™t have anything to do. I like you; I told you so last night. But Iâ€™m tired of meaningless relationships.â€ť
Harry didnâ€™t blame her for jumping to conclusions regarding his motives. His reputation preceded him.
â€śAll right, lunch then,â€ť he said as he hugged her and kissed her cheek. â€śI like you too, Luna.â€ť
He stepped back and allowed her to drive away. He winced when he saw her blue Mini Cooper scrape past one of the large flower-filled urns along the side of the driveway. He mentally reminded himself never to get into a car with her if she was driving.
He returned back inside and walked into the living room, where the others were still talking about the baby announcement. While he didnâ€™t say anything more than â€ścongratulations,â€ť he was happy to learn that Draco and Cho would be having a baby. Cho always did love children. She would be a good mother, just like Ginny would be someday.
With promises of contacting each other once they all got settled back into their daily routines, they one-by-one stepped into the fireplace and Flooed home.
It was now twelve months later.
Lucius and Ginny married in the gardens of Count Heinrichâ€™s castle. When the count found out they had fallen in love and subsequently become engaged while they spent the holidays there, he offered the castle for their wedding.
As Minister of Magic, Arthur was able to perform the ceremony, thus giving Albus the opportunity to watch a wedding for once. The entire Weasley clan was in attendance, as well as the Hogwarts staff and several Ministry officials.
Friends and family were smiling and crying as the couple exchanged vows.
Severus acted as Best Man, while Hermione was Matron of Honor. Odin and Sage cheerfully stood next to their parents, as they were ring bearer and flower girl. Draco and Cho were sitting in the front row, with their four-month-old daughter. Cho had been one month along with little Galatea Malfoy the last time she had been in the castle.
Ginny had wanted both a traditional handfasting ceremony, as well as a Muggle wedding. Lucius happily agreed, knowing that if it made her happy, it would make him happy.
Harry and Luna showed up late. As it happened, that day was their six-month anniversary of being a couple. After dating Luna for a few weeks following their return from their holiday, he began to realize that she gave him the peace and stability he was looking for, and very much needed.
No one knew which was more of a surprise, the fact that Harry had finally settled into a real relationship, or the fact that Ron and Neville were holding hands and making goo-goo eyes at one another
When Severus saw the two young men together, he immediately insisted to Hermione that Ron had purposely walked in on him as he was getting out of the shower during their stay at the castle last Christmas. Hermione just rolled her eyes and patted him on the shoulder. Sometimes being the sympathetic wife wasnâ€™t easy.
Severus became Headmaster of Hogwarts after Albus and Minerva retired. Hermione and Minerva wrote a book on Transfiguration, which became the benchmark against which all other books on the subject were measured.
Odin and Sage went on to cause havoc in the halls of Hogwarts, as students. Of course they were sorted into Slytherin. And Hermione never discovered their secrets from the castle.
Lucius and Ginny had two children of their own, and together continued Luciusâ€™ philanthropic projects.
Draco and Cho had a son two years after the birth of their daughter.
Harry and Luna eloped. Luna had always wanted to go to Las Vegas. Harry surprised her on a Valentineâ€™s weekend, not only with a trip, but also a proposal. Unlike the last time he was there, he didnâ€™t even think of visits to bars or lap-dancers, as he and his bride had eyes only for each other. Of course he did find it amusing that there were musical revivals playing of Hair and the other for Rocky Horror Picture Show. Luckily, Luna had no interest in going to either of them.
Ron and Neville happily became godfather and godmother to Harry and Lunaâ€™s first baby.
Years would pass and they still remembered the holiday they spent together at the castle. While their holiday those many years ago started out a bit shakier for some more than for others, it had ultimately given them all a lifetime of memories, which would be frequently remembered in happy conversations enjoyed around a table full of loved ones.
But Severus never again permitted Hermione to invite friends along for a holiday.
Thank you once again for reading this. I hope you enjoyed this final chapter.
The Snapes go on holiday by ancientgir