Content Harry Potter Trixie Belden Star Trek: TNG My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
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Harry was spending a great deal of time, when not in classes, down in the Potions dungeons, in a little used laboratory. He had the Potions Master's attention because there was no magic being used for the concoctions that he was making. Finally curiosity got the better of the man in the middle of February, just before Valentine's Day.

"Explosives, sir. These are Muggle explosives that I'm making. I'm going to seed that area heavily before you pass the information along, but I need the material with which to seed, after all."

"Is there anything I can do to help you?" Snape asked.

Harry turned to face the man. "I appreciate that." He thought for a long moment. "I'd imagine that Tom is expecting some magic there. I can't imagine that he'd be so arrogant as to see me there, not detect any magic, and assume that I was utterly without back-up. He's paranoid enough to decide that something must be up. If you can come up with something magical that you know his defences can withstand, but that might take out some of his Death Eaters, I'd really appreciate it. If he sees me set that sort of thing off and he walks through it basically unscathed, that might make him feel arrogant and let his guard down."

"He never lets his guard down, at least not completely," Severus Snape replied with a darkly wry smile. As an afterthought, he added, "Harry."

Harry's eyebrows rose, but he smiled and accepted the offered olive branch.  It had taken most of the year, but Snape was finally taking the next step beyond their truce.   "At this rate, I should be ready for him by late March, or possibly late April, which is the very end of the time span I've allotted myself. I intend to churn the soil in that area very heavily, Professor, and see if I can add as many Death Eaters as I can to the soil mixture."

Snape blinked for a moment at the imagery before changing the subject. "In a situation where we are alone such as this, I will not complain if you call me Severus," he said slowly.

Harry stopped completely and turned to face the man who had been his nemesis all these years. "I appreciate that more than I can say … Severus." After a very short pause he added, "I don't remember whether or not I've done it before, but I think it needs doing." He stood straighter and said, "I'd like to think that my father would have realised that he was being a bully and eventually apologised, but he's not here to do that. Therefore, in my father's stead I apologise for what was done to you during your time as a student at Hogwarts, and I apologise for whatever further pain I myself may have caused once I was here."

For the first time that Harry could remember, the Potions Master smiled. Not a smile of anticipation of a prank or a revenge going off, nor the smile of someone forced to respond with politeness, but a smile of acceptance. "I can easily live with that … Harry. Now, let us 'get down to business', as the saying goes."

"One last thing," Harry said. "I'll likely say it again when we get closer to D-day, but I'd like to get to know the real Severus Snape, so I'd appreciate it if you didn't die."

Severus returned a somewhat lopsided smile that looked as if his trademark sneer were attempting to make an appearance. "I'll do my best," was his only comment, in a voice Harry recognised all too well. He chuckled quietly to himself as they jointly continued Harry's work.


Whenever the ladies had somewhere else to be, Harry had taken to walking the halls under his Invisibility Cloak, just to avoid being stopped by the average student who tried lamely to apologise. He'd been intrigued to note that many of the Gryffindors had tried in ones and twos, but that Ron Weasley had made no effort to approach him. He'd forgiven the first and second year students pretty much across the board, in all Houses, simply because there was no real way for them to have gotten to know him. The third year students were largely forgiven as well, save the few who had taken their dislike during the year to some extremes, what with following the older students’ examples. Fourth year and above were pretty much out of luck, although he tended to forgive those who simply accepted their fault and made no effort to ingratiate themselves with him, such as Ginny had done. A few people had apparently learned the lesson he'd tried to teach.

It was a week after the peace declaration between Severus and him. He was rounding a corner near the Potions laboratory he was using, intending to check on his latest batch of explosives, when he came across Ginny and Ron talking in the hallway. "Why don't you apologise to him, Ron? You'll never be his best friend anymore, but you at least owe it to him to tell him that you were like the rest of our family - an idiot."

Ron's reaction told Harry a lot; he simply nodded.

"Damn," Ginny added. "You must be depressed. That would normally have gotten you angry, even if I pointed out that I get hit with the 'idiot' label too."

"I can't apologise to him yet," Ron said. "Part of me wants to work my way back into his friendship, but that's never going to happen. Until the day that I can say it and simply mean it as an apology and not a way to get back in with him, I won't do it. I hurt him badly in fourth year, and then I … damn it, he was almost my brother, and I turned on him like he was a Malfoy! I should have known that he wouldn't ever do what Bill and Charlie said! I should have told them to go fuck themselves unless they could bring me physical proof! Instead, I just sat there and did a Crabbe and Goyle - I let someone else do my thinking. So until I can get my brain in gear and working for me, and not wait for someone else to tell me what to think, I'm not apologising, because I wouldn't completely mean it. When I can say it and walk away, knowing that I've said goodbye to the best friend I ever had, then I'll say it. Right now it would include some hope that he might accept me back as a friend, despite …" He paused for a long moment before starting up again. "How the mighty have fallen, you know, Gin? We Weasleys are so damned proud of our integrity." He barked out a brutal, hate-filled laugh. "Right now, there are only three with any integrity at all - you and the twins."

"I don't exactly think that -"

"You apologised and knew that it was goodbye. I can't do that yet."

"Make it soon, Ron. The last battle is coming soon. I can feel it like it's a Hungarian Horntail breathing down my neck. You might not be alive afterwards to apologise, or Merlin forbid, he might not. Give him what you can now, so that you … It's why I did what I did. I don't think I'm going to survive this, Ron, and I wanted him to know that I knew I'd been an idiot and threw away the best thing I'll ever have in my life.   Tell him you're sorry. Convince yourself if you have to, but just do it. If you don't survive, do you really want to be facing his parents and Sirius knowing that you could have at least apologised?"

Ron looked at her for a long moment before sighing. "You're right, Ginny. I need to find him and say it. Maybe I can even convince him that I'm not asking forgiveness, even if I do have that stupid little part of me insisting that I deserve to be forgiven." He shook his head and turned toward Harry's invisible form.

Harry slid into a nearby niche as he watched the two walk by.

He thought about what he'd heard as he finished his intended task in the potions laboratory and walked slowly back through halls rarely used. He noticed footprints in some of the dust on the floors, showing that even Filch rarely got to these halls, and decided to follow them.   As he neared the door that they led to, he heard the muffled report of what sounded like a firearm from inside.   He opened the door to see Hermione with a rifle at her shoulder, taking aim at Pansy, who was grinning madly against the far wall of the deep room. Before he could say anything, another shot rang out, driving Hermione back slightly, and the impact drove Pansy back slightly as well.

Harry ripped off his cloak as he stepped into the room, confusion and panic fighting for space in his expression. "What the hell are you doing?" he yelled in a voice just seconds from hysteria.

"Testing a new defence in the war against Dark wizards," Hermione said sweetly, carefully setting the rifle down and then taking her now shaking husband into her arms. "I'm sorry, but this is why we didn't tell you."

He looked over to Pansy and was surprised to see her stripping out of the blouse she was wearing, exposing a vest of some sort.   Luna murmured a Reparo Charm on the blouse and then helped Pansy out of the vest, exposing the black lace bra that Harry liked so much.

"It's a dragon-hide vest based on Muggle bullet-proof vests" Pansy explained.   "The outer layer is the heavy hide from the back of the dragon, with the scales still on.   Then beneath the dragon skin is a series of cold iron plates.   We'd prefer steel, but cold iron is far better for stopping magic than steel is.   We put a lightening charm on it because the iron is heavy, and because it’s fragile and likely to shatter, we added an inner layer of the thin hide from the dragon’s belly, with no scales that might tear the lining.  That will stop any bits with sharp edges that might try to poke into the wearer.  Then we added a lining of heavy silk spelled not to rip and cast every cushioning charm we could think of.   So far it's stopped a twenty-two pistol and long-range rifle, both shot from what might as well be considered point blank range. It has also stopped a Webley thirty-eight calibre and a Webley four-fifty-five from the same range. I've yet to even feel anything, and before you ask, we did tests against a dummy first, but no dummy I know of can tell you how much force is making it through the vest, so I volunteered to wear it.   Cheap heroics, since I already know that it can take the force of a shotgun slug at literal point blank range without breaking the cold iron plates." She laughed. "I really sound like I know what I'm talking about with the firearms, don't I?"

"That's because you've been listening to me, love," Hermione said. "I come from a military family.   Mum and Dad both did a stint in the Army, although Dad was the one who did the firearms work." She laughed. "It's illegal as hell, but I've known how to handle a pistol and a rifle since I was old enough to be taught how dangerous they are. I had to be talked into firing at Pansy. I was trained never to point a weapon at someone unless I wanted them dead, and … well, I think you can tell that the only death I want her experiencing is the little one, if you get my meaning."

"It needs to be done, Hermione," Susan said.   "And by waiting until we were sure that the vests could stop everything that we can throw at it, it makes it safer on her. And you forgot to mention that Kelvar or Kevlar or whatever stuff that sits between the belly hide and the silk."

"Still," he said, a little shakily, "to open the door and see one of my wives shooting at another one with a deadly weapon -"

"I know," Hermione said, "but it needs to be done."

"And I'm the only other one with any real idea about Muggle equipment like this.   Hell, I'm closer to Luna and Susan in my understanding of it, but we needed a target that can talk back and tell her when it hurts. By the way, love? Still nothing."

"Are those fitted to each of us, or one size fits all?" Harry asked, finally calming down enough to start thinking again.

"The prototype, which this is, fits anyone," Pansy said.   "We've got an armourer ready to fit them when we've finished our tests." She grinned. "Being one of the wealthiest families around is nice at times like this."

"Your family is paying for this?" Harry asked.   "They shouldn't have to. I'll talk to them -"

"- and have them point out to you that it is the least that they can do since they don't really have the skill to get involved with the fighting.   Dad's working to get you some more explosives, by the way. I think he said something like 'There's no kill like overkill' when he told me what he was doing."

He picked up the vest and looked at it for a long moment. He could see the rough silk lining the inside, and ran his hands along the inside until he felt a slit, held closed with a charm, at the edge of an inner pocket.   He opened it and then slid out a heavy sheet of iron, which he examined for a long moment before sliding it back into its place. Moving to the front, he looked at the dragon hide, letting his hand slide across the smooth scales.

Nodding, he turned to Pansy. With a light in his eyes, he walked over to her and began to gently brush his fingers across the exposed skin, making her shiver slightly. "No bruises that I can see," he whispered as he smiled to himself, noting the goose flesh reaction he'd caused.

"I didn't even feel the impact," she said, her voice quavering slightly.

"I need to keep checking, though," he answered her, and undid the bra clasp between her breasts. The black fabric fell away, and he unconsciously bit his lower lip as her erect nipples came into view.   He leaned forward and kissed them both gently, making her moan. "Nope. No bruising here," he murmured.

"You evil man," she whispered back. "You know that we don't have time for what we both want right now. Why are you arousing me now, of all times, when we're going to have to go to classes within the next hour?"

"A promise for later, my wife. Not just a desire, but a promise." He stood and cupped her breasts for a moment, teasing her nipples once more, and then cupped her cheek. "My beloved Pansy. Do you have any idea how terrified I was to see you on the receiving end of a rifle shot, even knowing that the others were in the room and watching?"

"We're sorry," Hermione said. "Our problem is that we're not done with the testing. It seems that the twenty-two calibre rifle is completely unable to be felt, so now we have to step things up."

"Right you are," he said as he watched Pansy reluctantly redo her bra.   While her hands were busy, he picked up the vest and slid it on, quickly figuring out how to get it snug and secure. "Okay, what's the next weapon?   Actually, what's the most powerful weapon that you have available right now?"

"Uncle Ted got me a Barrett fifty calibre," Hermione replied slowly. "Fired it from about this distance, and it dented the iron plates in the vest. That's it over there." She pointed at a weapon against the wall.   The thing looked heavy, and he could believe that it was a powerful weapon.

"Okay," he said.   "Set it up and I'll stand against the far wall."

"This one could hurt - it could even break your ribs!" Hermione exclaimed.

"I know a little about these things because of dear delightful Duddikins and his … shall we say 'penchant for violence'?   The weapon dented the plates in the vest from this range. A Barrett is designed to do that from well over a mile away, if not break right through them. It should have torn right through the vest and the iron plate when fired from this close. That tells me that I'll have a bruise, and maybe a broken rib or six, but nothing will happen that a handful of potions won't fix in nothing flat." They still looked dubious. "You wouldn't have brought it if you weren't sure that whoever was wearing the vest would survive it, and while I might not be able to stop you from firing these things at living targets - it gives us much needed information - I can keep your perfect bodies from developing imperfections."

Hermione shook her head for a moment. "I want to argue, but you're right. We need a target wearing the vest. We're also going to need to test how they handle the explosives, but we have to find somewhere other than the school for that."

She went to the wall and carefully picked up the Barrett. It was slow going, considering the weight of the weapon. Once on the table, she ensured that the safety was on before loading a single impressively large bullet into it and then righting it onto its tripod. While she did this, Luna, Susan and Pansy triple-layered Silencing Charms throughout the room, and then donned heavy earmuffs. Raising an eyebrow, Harry concluded that it would be a good idea to cast a Deafness Charm on himself.

He decided that this had been the correct action when he watched Hermione prepare herself and then pull the trigger. He saw the smoke come from the barrel at the same instant that he felt himself impacted in the chest. It staggered him back a few steps - or would have if he hadn't been flat against the wall - and it felt as if he had been hit in the chest by a rhinoceros charging at full speed. He took a deep breath, which was not as easy or painless as it should have been, and cancelled the Deafness Charm.

"I have but one thing to say at a time like this," he said with a small laugh. "Ow. That felt … well, I will admit that it hurt." His wives were rapidly undoing the vest and peeling his clothes off him. "Pansy," he said with a grin, "I wasn't hit below the waist."

"I need to be sure," she said with a wicked grin. In very short order he was being thoroughly distracted from the work being done on his chest by Luna and Susan. Pansy was very skilled with her tongue, after all.

Several minutes later, after Pansy had finished distracting him, he looked for Hermione and found her looking at the plate from the vest. The dimple was not overly pronounced, but it existed. Her eyes were suspiciously bright. "I'm fine, Hermione," he assured his wife.

"It cracked a rib, Harry!" she cried.

"Yes.   It cracked a rib from a range that should have left an exit hole big enough for a firstie to stand up in. It's a powerful weapon - we knew this.   And I survived it.   I'd say that the vests are a success so far.   All we need to do now is to test them versus explosions and then practice your charm and see what it will stop." He paused for a moment. "You are aware that if the charm fails against the explosion, everyone wearing your vests will leave behind perfect bodies with no recognisable heads, arms or legs?   There’s no covering for those parts. And I really think that there should be better coverage below the waist."

"These are prototypes, Harry," Hermione replied. "We knew that there’d be more work to be done, but there’s no sense in building the entire suit if the most important part of it is a dud." She put her arms on her hips and developed a somewhat angry look. "And you still haven’t explained why it had to be you wearing the vest when I fired the Barrett."

He cupped her cheek. "I had a feeling it was going to do that to whoever was wearing the vest, so I decided that it should be me who feels that kind of pain."

Hermione looked at him, some heat entering her gaze. "So you decided that we were too frail to experience the pain?"

He smiled indulgently, despite the aforementioned cracked rib. "No, I decided that if it was in my power to protect you from anything, I would. It's the same as you deciding to build these vests in order to have as many of us survive the upcoming battle as possible. I had it within my power to prevent one of you from getting cracked ribs, so I did. Besides, I have a history of dealing with pain, so I'm far more used to it that anyone else, except maybe our pretty little flower." He scowled. "I just know that I'm going to run into that little ferret again someday, even if he is supposed to have ended up in prison."

Susan scowled in answer. "Auntie told me that Narcissa and Draco escaped custody during the transfer a few days ago. Considering that it left a dead Auror team behind, it was definitely Voldemort freeing them." She   looked abashed. "I was looking for the best time to tell you about it."

Harry looked thunderous for a moment. "Okay. Next time I see either of them, I hex first and ask questions later. They've already stated that they're solidly in Voldie's camp, so I just kill them, rather than run the risk of letting them start a rebellion after Tom's gone."

"I'd like to complain," Hermione said slowly, "but he was the one wielding the wand when that block nearly kill us."

"I just know that he's too stupid to have learned his lesson.   With luck, he'll try to fire a Killing Curse at me."

"With luck?" she shrieked.

"Remember what happened when he fired that Bludgeoning Curse from point blank range?   It never reached me. Instead, it blasted him against the wall. I doubt that the Killing Curse would hit me. The curse he invoked on himself will see to that." He smiled. "So, how'd the armour fare?   I can see the dent in the iron, which is what we expected, but how about the armour itself?"

"Apparently, dragon hide has a regenerative ability that continues after the death of the dragon," Luna said.   "At least those dragons that died naturally, the way that the ones that supplied the hide for these vests did.   There was a noticeable dent in the dragon hide for a short time, but there is no sign of where the impact happened now. A new plate where the old one was, and the whole vest should be just fine." She smiled. "It was in our best interests to wait for a dragon that died naturally, ignoring all the worries about poaching and Thundering Snifflehumpers. The hide gets tougher as they age, so the hide of an old dragon will be significantly tougher than that of a young one."

"We should study to see if the regenerative qualities are in all dragon hides," Hermione said. "It could give an economic excuse for conservation."

"I want us all in these vests, even if they can't handle the explosion we'll be setting off, just in case that marvellous shield of yours lets some debris through at higher speed than we’d like." He frowned. "There's no way in hell I'm going to convince you three not to be there, is there?" he asked, looking at Susan, Luna and Hermione.

"Nope. We're pregnant, not invalids," Susan said cheerfully. "I will not be so large as to make being there an imposition for everyone, and me sitting here at Hogwarts worrying about my husband will be just as troublesome for the baby as my being there to worry. Besides, the more people you have to power the shield spell, the stronger it will be."

"Pity the mad, passionate sex thing didn't help the shield strength," Pansy purred.

"No, but it sure helped my sense of mental well-being, as well as my cardiovascular system," he replied with a laugh as he gave her a hug.   "Think you could work on helmets and something to protect the tummy and thighs?   Just to keep those babies behind as much armour as possible?"

Pansy looked at Hermione and groaned.   "I can’t believe we didn’t think of that.   More design work?"

"More design work."


They talked with the Headmaster and found a good site for their tests - a quarry in Wales that saw some sporadic use, so the occasional explosion wouldn't be seen as too out of place. The tests took place at the end of February, and the armour performed far better than they could have expected - the dragon hide survived the explosion easily.   The lining, which had been open to the air during the test, took some damage, but since the wearers shouldn't be exposing those parts of the armour, this was not deemed to be a problem.   The iron plates took a fair amount of damage and the metal helmet form was cracked, but all in all it looked like most of the critical parts of the wearer’s anatomy wold be protected.

"We need to test one more thing, I'm sorry to say," Harry said after their impromptu celebration. "You know that Tom's people will be throwing a certain sickly green spell around as if it were a Tickling Charm.   We need to see if the armour will protect against that."

"Loath as I am to admit it, Harry is correct," Dumbledore added. "I shall tell Amelia that we have a potential protection, but we need to test it."

"I'll talk with her as well, if you'd like.   If it's explained that it was designed to help me survive to destroy our local Dork Lord, then she might be a little happier about it."

"Dork Lord?" Dumbledore asked with a smile.

"Just giving him all the respect he deserves," Harry replied impudently.

Amelia Bones actually came to the site when Harry called her, and was suitably impressed by the power of the Barrett when Hermione shattered a boulder half a mile away. Her eyes nearly dropped from her head when Harry said that he had survived being shot by that weapon simply by wearing the armour they were showing her. "Broke my ribs, but I was twenty feet away from it, and you saw what it did to that boulder half a mile away. I think I described the hole it should have left in me as 'large enough for a firstie to stand up in'?" He frowned. "Now we need to test the vests versus the one curse that everyone says can't be stopped. The Killing Curse."

"If it can't be stopped -" she began.

"It can be, though," Harry interrupted.   "Get a piece of hard material in the way and the curse shatters it but the spell is stopped. It's a physical blow as well as a magical one. What we need to test is whether or not this vest can stop a Killing Curse." He grinned. "Can you imagine the Dork Lord's reaction to seeing someone getting hit by a Killing Curse and not falling down dead?"

"Dork Lord?" Amelia asked with a slight smile.   "And how can the vest stop the curse?"

"Well, you saw what that weapon does? I was wearing the vest, as I said, when it was fired from a few feet away. Besides, when was the last time you heard of a dragon being dropped from a single Killing Curse?"

"Do you mean to stand there and tell me that we might have had the means for blocking the curse within our grasp all this time?"

"Quite possibly," Harry said grimly. "But we need to test it."

"Very well," Amelia said. "On the condition that I be the one to cast the curse.   After all, I do head the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, so it should be fairly easy for me to justify." She laughed slightly.   "Especially if it works." She looked at them for a moment. "Man-sized animal, I think."

"Three tests," Harry added. "First, with the animal stunned."

"Why?" she asked.

"Honestly, if we're wrong about this protecting against the Killing Curse, I'd like its last moments to be peaceful, not filled with terror. If it survives getting hit the first time, we try it again still stunned without the plates in the way to see if it's just the dragon-hide armour that helps against the magic. If it survives the second, we put new plates in and wake it up to see if being unconscious was the difference."

Hermione was beaming, as were his other wives, and both Amelia Bones and Albus Dumbledore were looking at him with mixed expressions of pride and surprise. "Just when I think that I cannot be any more proud of you, Harry, you do something like this," Albus said.

"What?" he asked, honestly puzzled by the reaction.

"You care, beloved," Susan replied, hugging him. "You worry about the animal that's going to be subjected to this test, while most people would simply not think about it, because it's nothing more than an animal."

"It's a living, breathing thing," Harry responded, and it was obvious that he didn't see why it was so unusual. "Animals can get scared, too."

"And that, Albus," said Amelia, "is why there are no worries about him becoming the next Dark Lord."


They walked from the quarry a few days later, after testing the vests against the Killing Curse. The pig they'd used was simply happy to get away from the humans.   The humans all had stunned looks on their faces. "I knew the theory," Amelia said, "but to see it in action -"

"And that Auror deserves an Order of Merlin," Harry said.   "Watching the armour protect an animal is one thing, but to volunteer for having someone shoot a Killing Curse at you … hell, after that, I’d say put the pig out for stud duty — to hell with him gracing a dinner table." He turned to Hermione and the others.   "You're aware that if you weren't married, the four of you would have received multiple proposals for your contribution to Auror safety?"

"And the spell you've designed will make you rich beyond the dreams of avarice," Amelia added.

"I already am," she said, hugging Harry's arm tightly. "I have a wonderful husband.   Everything else is just icing on the cake." He hugged her back and pulled a water bottle from the small pack that they'd brought with them.

"Too much icing?" Amelia asked with a wide grin. "Is that why three of the four of you are getting a tad chubby around the middle?"

"It's more along the lines of enjoying the cream filling a little too much," Luna said with a straight face. Luckily no one was in front of Harry at that moment, otherwise they would have been drenched as he did a classic spit take. The Aurors trailing them were trying very hard not to laugh, but nothing was stopping Amelia and Albus from laughing   heartily as Harry coughed.

"I may spank you for that," he finally said, eyes twinkling madly.

"Susan is the one who prefers that," Luna replied with a dreamy smile, drawing a squeak of embarrassed outrage from Susan.

"Maybe I should tie you down, then?" he asked, wiggling an eyebrow.

"Promises, promises," she replied, her voice just a little breathier than previous. Harry smiled to himself as she proved that she was definitely equipped to feed the child she carried inside her.

"We should likely stop the foreplay before Grandpa Albus gets jealous," he said with a laugh. He noticed quickly, however, that the Headmaster had come to a complete stop.   "Sir?"

"My apologies, Harry," the man said.   "I likely read too much into the statement."

"Not likely," came Harry's reply. "I don't have any family other than these beautiful women and their families. The Dursleys are gladly shut of me, which they made sure I was well aware of. Don't apologise, sir," he said quickly as the Headmaster opened his mouth. "It was a necessity. But as I was saying, I might as well complete my family of choice.   I have any number of in-laws to play the mother and father parts, but I would be honoured if you would allow my children to think of you as 'Grandfather'."   He walked over and pulled the man into a hug. "And maybe even let me think of you that way?" he added softly.

"It is I who am honoured, Harry. That you can offer that after the life I unwittingly forced you into speaks for your character more than any words could ever express. I will proudly act as great-grandfather for your children and likely spoil them rotten." He returned the hug. "And perhaps a little spoiling of you as well."

"You'll probably have competition in that, sir," Hermione said. "As much as my parents have always said that they're too young to be grandparents, they've certainly gone into overdrive now that they know that I'm carrying Harry's child. And they love Harry as if he were their own."

"I think if Daddy were undignified enough to do so, he'd emulate the Squiffling Nosehopper, which, despite its name, makes something of a squeeing noise. He cried when I told him what you want to name our girl," she added as an aside to Harry.

Harry chuckled to himself as he heard the animal's name. During one late night session of post-coital conversation, she'd admitted that she enjoyed making up creatures on the spot.   She felt that certain ones did exist, such as the Snorkack (although she admitted that it might be known under another name, much as the Diricawl is the supposedly extinct Dodo), but largely she did it because she actually enjoyed the looks that people developed. Those who looked past it were definitely worth knowing. "Biblically, in at least one case," she had purred at him, which led to them being tired in classes the next morning for the best of reasons.

"You know something?" he asked with a sudden explosion of laughter as his mind returned to the here and now. "We're going to win this! We've got armour that will stop at least a couple of Killing Curses, a shield that stops physical attacks, which will protect the people there from the debris that the explosions will bring, and we've got a man — me — who wants to rid the world of the festering sore that is Voldemort so that he can raise his children in peace. We can't help but win." He cupped Susan's cheek in his hand before kissing her gently, and then ran his other hand across Pansy's cheek. With an impish grin he added, "And I've got another child to conceive, since Pansy here swore not to get pregnant until after Tom was dirt." Becoming serious, he laid a hand on Hermione and Luna's as yet barely swollen bellies. "I have everything in the world to live for."

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Author Notes:

We're in the home stretch now folks...