Five Years Later.
Despite the fact she was supposed to be working, Hermione kept sneaking looks at the clock. She'd only been back at work for an hour and already she was ready to go home. Hermione had just returned from maternity leave after having her first child, a boy named Scorpius, three months earlier. While she was off work Hermione had kept up to date with work via Lavender so she wasn't totally unaware of what had been happening.
"You know I can manage if you're not ready to come back." Lavender remarked, spotting Hermione glancing at the clock for the third time in ten minutes.
A year ago Hermione had given Lavender a promotion and she was now the second in command at DL Holdings. Lavender had ran things in Hermione's absence, and while Hermione was still the boss and had final say on major decisions, Lavender had a fair bit of power in the company.
"I've been itching to come back since before I had Scorpius. I just never realised how much I would miss him." Hermione said.
"He is a cutie." Lavender smiled. The youngest Malfoy was a gorgeous child and he'd instantly won the hearts of Draco and Hermione's closest friends.
"He is." Hermione agreed. "But let's press on. Once I'm back up date with everything I should be able to work part time for the next few years. Unless of course, you're planning on having children any time soon."
Lavender chuckled at Hermione's words and shook her head. "Maybe one day, but not right now. Greg and I are happy just the two of us."
Lavender and Greg had gotten married two years ago, and the couple were still blissfully happy and head over heels in love with one another. And while children were definitely something they both wanted, they weren't quite ready for parenthood just yet. Lavender's career with DL Holdings was coming along nicely and she had no intention of scaling back her work, especially now she had extra responsibility following Hermione starting a family. Greg's career was also on a high as project manager on all the Dark Lady's buildings. He spent his entire time travelling from site to site making sure everything was on track and he was invaluable to Hermione and her business.
"Let's start at the beginning." Hermione suggested to Lavender, keen to press on. "We'll deal with each business one by one, starting with the school."
Lavender nodded and pulled out the file that dealt with the school. As usual there was nothing that needed Hermione's attention at the school, Narcissa had everything well in hand. Looking over the admittance figures, Hermione was pleased to note that there was only a tiny portion of wizarding children who didn't attend the school. The school had been a massive success, with Wizarding Britain welcoming it with open arms.
The school had also been a massive boost for Hogwarts. Hermione's school had now been open so long that the curriculum had been changed at Hogwarts. First year lessons were no longer as basic as the children entering Hogwarts knew much more about magic. That had a knock on effect throughout the rest of the school and some of the classes in sixth and seventh year were much more advanced than they'd ever been before. Also rivalries between the four houses had simmered down and were now just friendly banter. Severus often commented on how common it now was to see children from all four houses mixing freely, and friendships effortlessly stretched across houses.
As well as her first school, Hermione also had schools in almost every country with a magical population. The muggleborn registration programme had also been implemented a lot more throughout the last five years, and more importantly relations across the entire wizarding world was stronger. Witches and Wizards now regularly transferred to work abroad for a few years, and there was currently talk of an exchange programme being set up with various schools across the globe.
Moving her attention away from the schools, Hermione found her other businesses were running just as well. Her shopping centre was so popular it now had a waiting list for businesses wanting to get a place in the centre. In fact the list was so long that Hermione wondered if it was worth building a second shopping centre, maybe somewhere up north. When Hermione suggested it to Lavender, the other witch chuckled and mentioned that she'd already found the perfect site up in Scotland.
"I was just waiting to run it by you." Lavender told Hermione. "We've got first refusal on the land, I just have to let them know by next week."
"Go ahead." Hermione said to Lavender. "And you can take charge of the entire thing, this can be your project."
"Really?" Lavender smiled at the opportunity she was being handed.
"Yes." Hermione nodded. "I've got a new project of my own in mind."
"Do I get to find out what?" Lavender asked.
"I'm going to buy an island and create an exclusive holiday resort." Hermione announced. "If it works, we could have dozens throughout the world."
Lavender nodded enthusiastically, but before they could get down to talking about Hermione's new plans they had to finish looking over the rest of her businesses. Like with the school the animal sanctuary was running smoothly in Charlie's safe hands. Their sanctuary now boasted the largest collection of magical creatures in Europe, and last time Hermione had spoken to Charlie he was talking about expanding the sanctuary. Now she was back at work, Hermione made a note to visit the sanctuary so they could discuss plans.
Looking over the figures for the museum and library, Hermione was pleased to see that was doing as well as her other businesses. Her mother had really done a great job at making the museum interesting and inviting. Hogwarts regularly ran school trips to the museum and they'd also had enquires about opening up a similar style museum over in France.
Hermione's newest venture was a luxury hotel complex, complete with spa and gym facilities. The place had opened a few months before she's discovered she was pregnant, and at the time Hermione planned to open a similar hotel in as many countries as possible. Looking at how well the business was doing, Hermione was hopeful it could still happen now she was back at work and could give new projects the go-ahead.
After viewing all her profitable business ventures, Hermione turned her attention to the squib charity. The charity was still going strong, and two years ago they'd made their first breakthrough. Daniel and his team had invented a potion that when injected into squibs at a young age could help their magic develop. It wasn't a cure, and often magic was still pretty limited in those who'd received the injection, but at least it was a start. They were giving magical people a chance of having some magic, where before they'd had none at all. Although even with the potion, research was still ongoing to find a long term solution to squibs and Daniel seemed pretty confident that answers would be found eventually.
Once Hermione had finished checking over her various business ventures, she and Lavender settled down to talk about her new idea of the island resorts. After an hour or so talking business their conversation drifted into gossiping about their friends. Hermione had kept up to date with her friends lives throughout her pregnancy, and while she'd seen them all since having Scorpius, her son was now taking the majority of her attention.
"I've got a postcard from Daphne in my office." Lavender told Hermione, when she inquired about a newly married Daphne and Theo. "Apparently they're having a great time."
"I can't believe she had time to send postcards on her honeymoon." Hermione laughed. "I never gave anyone but Draco a second thought on our honeymoon."
"I was the same." Lavender said. "The only thing on my mind was having fun with Greg."
"Speaking of fun, what do you know about Blaise's new girlfriend?" Hermione asked.
She'd been totally surprised when during one of his visits to the house, Blaise had mentioned a girlfriend. However when Hermione had asked him more he clammed up, claiming it was early days and he didn't want to jinx things. When he left Draco confided in her that Blaise had told him he was serious about this witch and he thought she was the real deal.
"You don't know." Lavender looked at Hermione in shock. "Haven't you read the paper this morning?"
"I didn't have time." Hermione replied. "I had to get Scorpius ready to go to my mothers."
For the minute Scorpius's childcare was being provided by his two grandmothers. Since Hermione was only coming back to work part time, it was easy enough for the three of them to arrange a schedule so that sometimes Narcissa had Scorpius and other times Kathleen had him.
"Here, have a look at the gossip section." Lavender said, summoning a paper and handing it to her friend.
Hermione flicked through the paper until she reached the gossip section. When she found what she was looking for her mouth dropped open in surprise. The largest picture on the page was of Blaise coming out of a club with his arm around a smiling Ginny. There was another smaller couple of pictures of the pair, and in all of them they looked very happy together.
"Wow, I didn't see this one coming." Hermione said, placing the paper down on the table.
"I don't think anyone did." Lavender laughed. "I never thought I'd see the day when Blaise got serious about someone, least of all Ginny."
Hermione had to agree with Lavender, not only was a serious relationship a surprise coming from Blaise, but his choice of witch was strange. Hermione had to wonder how he could be with Ginny all the time knowing that Harry was dead and he'd helped make her believe that he'd left her. Next time she saw him she would have to talk to him, just to ensure that their secret remained a secret. Although if he really was serious about Ginny, she doubted he would tell her the truth. Telling her the truth would be a sure fire way to end the relationship before it even had a chance to really begin.
After a bit more gossiping, Hermione did a bit of work before calling it a day. She trusted Lavender to handle things at work, and she knew where to find her if there was an emergency. Saying goodbye to Lavender, Hermione left the office and apparated to her parents' house.
When Hermione entered the house she headed for the front room. Stopping in the doorway, she smiled at the sight in front of her. Her father was sitting in his chair, with Scorpius cradled on his lap. Voldemort was talking quietly to his grandson, and Hermione could see how thrilled he was that he'd lived to see his grandchild. These days her father was extremely weak, and in her heart Hermione knew he didn't have long to live. However she didn't like to dwell on that and she just embraced every day she and Scorpius had with him.
"Hi." Hermione smiled at her father and son as she entered the room.
Walking over to the chair her father was sitting in, she gave him a kiss before turning her attention to Scorpius and giving him a kiss as well. Perching on the arm of Voldemort's chair, Hermione sat talking with her father for a while. She was still sitting there a few minutes later when her mother entered the room and settled down on the sofa.
Hermione stayed with her parents for another hour before packing Scorpius up and headed off home with her little boy. Home was no longer the penthouse, home was now a three story house in the country, a few miles away from the Manor. Hermione and Draco had bought the house when they discovered Hermione was pregnant. The house had a large garden and plenty of spare bedrooms as the couple planned on adding to their family in the future.
After spending a few hours playing with her son, Hermione fed him, bathed him and got him ready for bed. When Draco returned from work, he found his wife and son on the balcony of the nursery. Hermione was sitting in the rocking chair, cradling Scorpius as she talked to him. Standing watching them, Draco smiled as he listened to his wife tell their son about his destiny.
"You are going to be the next Dark Lord." Hermione told Scorpius. "When you're bigger you're going to continue on our work. You're going to make sure muggleborns never get back in our world, and you're going to achieve great things. You my little darling, are going to rule the world."
"If you tell him stuff like that, he'll be uncontrollable when he's older." Draco chuckled, moving out onto the balcony and kissing his wife and son. "He is a Malfoy, and you know what our egos are like."
"True." Hermione laughed, knowing that Draco and Lucius were pretty egotistical without someone building them up further.
Handing Scorpius to Draco, Hermione stood up and followed her husband and son into the nursery. While Draco was tucking Scorpius into his crib, Hermione shut the balcony doors and ensured the wards around the house were all in place. Since Harry there'd been no danger to her family, but she wasn't taking any risks. Draco and Scorpius meant the world to her, and she would do anything to protect them.
Once the wards were secure, Hermione turned around and helped Draco settle their son. The couple stayed with Scorpius until he was asleep, and once the little boy had drifted off they headed off downstairs to eat and have some time on their own. Over dinner Hermione informed Draco of her new plans for the island resorts.
"Are you still not finished?" Draco chuckled. "How much more power do you want?"
"It's not just about power anymore." Hermione admitted. "I really like creating something special and making the wizarding world a better place. The power I get from doing so, is now just a bonus."
"And you're just building up Scorpius's empire." Draco added. "Between your business and the family company, he's going to have a lot of power and influence when he grows up."
"He is." Hermione nodded. "But he'll be able to handle it just fine. I have faith he's going to grow up to be a great and powerful wizard."
Draco nodded, fully agreeing with his wife. Scorpius had a great future ahead of him and Draco was in no doubt that his son would live up to the expectations laid upon him as the son of The Dark Lady and grandson of The Dark Lord. He even suspected that in the right circumstances his son could outshine both his mother and grandfather. With his heritage he could very well be the darkest wizard to ever live.
A/N – This is it, the end of the Dark Lady. I can't believe what started off as one story turned into such a huge trilogy. However, I enjoyed writing every single chapter and I'm really pleased with the end result. I'm also really pleased by the positive support I've received for this story. So once again, thanks to everyone for their reviews/follows/faves.