Hermione was breathless as she ran through the halls of her house, looking for her husband. She was seeping with good news, and she couldn't wait to share it with him.
It had been three years since they had gotten married, and four since Scorpius, James, and Hugo had come from the future and changed their lives forever.
And every moment had been filled with nothing but joy, excitement, and happiness. Every moment with her family had been a blessing, and nothing she would change for anything in the world.
Draco had proposed to her less than a month after her kidnapping, and there was nothing more in the world that she wanted to do than accept.
It had been a rough day at work, and Hermione was exhausted. She was so tired of dealing with all the politics involved with working in a hospital, and all she wanted to do was go home and fall asleep next to her boyfriend.
She was still a little drained from everything that had been happening in the world, and she just wanted a break from all of it. Sure, things had quieted down significantly since Marcus had been arrested, but there was always something.
And while the press had managed to follow her around and constantly want to cover her after the war, it seemed like after the fall of the Ministry, they wanted nothing more than to constantly know what the Golden Girl was up to. It was just as bad for Harry and Ron, and worse, they were starting to pick up their coverage of Draco and Scorpius as well.
She didn't want that for her son; she wanted him to grow up a relatively normal, especially after everything he had already gone through; he deserved to have that much at least. She and Draco had repeatedly iterated that they wanted their privacy respected, or at the very least to leave Scorpius out of the papers. It was just as bad for the other boys, and with Ginny's pregnancy, the media had a way of grasping on to certain things, such as the timeline, and exploiting it for their own methods.
She understood why the world seemed to want to know about her, but at the same time, she didn't. there wasn't anything interesting about her life, other than the research she was doing, but very few people seemed to care about that sort of thing. No, they wanted to know about all her dates with Draco, and they wanted to know what she was wearing. They wanted to know about her favourite music or where she liked to eat. Why did any of that even matter anyways?
"Rough day at work?" she heard Draco ask as she came through the fireplace. He was dressed in nice formal robes, and she couldn't help but smile softly at how wonderful he looked. He always was immaculate with his attire, and she couldn't help but feel like perhaps she had won some sort of lottery with him in her life.
"The usual nonsense," she said tiredly, "I thought you were working late nothing! What are you doing here, and dressed so nicely?"
"I lied," he shrugged, "I took half the day off, because I wanted to set up a surprise for you. With everything that had happened lately, I figured you deserved a bit of pampering."
Everything that had happened: the Ministry, Marcus, the politics, the press, and worse, her parents.
But that wasn't something she wanted to think about at the moment.
"I love you," she blurted out as he approached her. She wrapped her arms around his neck as he held on to her waist softly. "I love you," she said again.
He smiled at that, "I love you too, Granger," he said, before capturing her lips with his own. She let out a small gasp and he chuckled at her response.
"Come into the kitchen," he told her with a grin, as he grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the room. They still lived in his flat, except now it was theirs as they both were reminded every day.
She followed him, a bit unsure of what to expect, and the sight of a candle lit dinner with a fancy table cloth was not what she was expecting. There was a plate of spaghetti on both of their plates, and a glass of her favourite wine already poured out for her.
"Draco," she said, breathlessly, "This is amazing."
He led her to the table with a twinkle in his eye and pulled out her chair for her. As she sat down, she couldn't help but wonder why he was doing all of this for her, but she refrained from asking.
As they began to eat, he asked her all about her day, listening patiently as she told him about everything that was happening, the way the Ministry was pressuring her to take a job with them no matter how much she refused, how the private conversation with one of her colleagues about much she loved Scorpius somehow made it into the afternoon edition of the Prophet, how her research was still at a standstill, and she didn't know what else to do, and how she really wanted to get away from the circus that was her life.
When they were done eating, Draco magically cleared their dishes and sent them back to the cabinet.
"Thank you," she told him, "You made today so much better."
"I'm not done yet," he said, sounding slightly nervous. She was about to question in, when he got down on his knee in front of her, "I know we've only been together for a month, Hermione. And in any other timeline, I would think I was crazy for doing this so soon. But I love you so much, and I don't want another day to pass without us being a proper family. I didn't tell you this, but that day in the hospital, before all of this began, I was going to ask you out. I was sure you were going to reject me, but I wanted to anyways. Then everything happened, and you made it clear that I was the last person you wanted to be with, so I pulled away. Hermione, if I've learned anything from this adventure, it's that some things are just meant to happen, in any timeline, and I think the two of us are one of those things. I love you so much. Will you do me the honour of marrying me?"
She had been crying softly at that point, but she nodded in response. "Yes!" she said shakily. "Of course. A thousand times, yes."
They were married in a small ceremony later that year, at her insistence. She wanted things done properly, and no matter how much she loved Draco, she refused to rush the ceremony.
While she had still been in the process of working things out with her parents, they had declined the invitation to her wedding. They made it clear that they still thought she was making a mistake, and made it clear that they still wanted her to be a muggle.
Honestly, if it weren't for the fact that Draco had gone to them after she was kidnapped and told them, she doubted she would even talk to them at all anymore.
If it weren't for Draco shaming them by saying that Scorpius claimed he never knew them, and that Scorpius was their son regardless of their mundane views, then Scorpius still probably would not know her parents. Not that they were all that close anyways. No, there was just the occasional card or visit, but nothing that meant their relationship was strong. Nothing that showed that her parents approved of the lifestyle she was living. And when her parents had found out she had been kidnapped, the silent 'I told you so' was constantly hanging in the air, unspoken but not unheard. They still didn't understand why she continued to stay in world that "seemed to be doing everything it could to push her far away from it". She knew she couldn't make them understand it, that there was just no reasoning with them. And sometimes, she wondered if maybe, just maybe, it would be better for them to not be in her or her children's lives at all.
She could not be more proud of either her children, Scorpius and Lyra. Their little girl with curly brown hair and silver eyes was born a year and a half into their marriage, and she and Draco had been absolutely ecstatic by that. Scorpius had immediately adopted the role of older brother, and he played it so well, to the point where her eyes would sometimes water up at how wonderful her family was, despite everything that had happened.
"Hermione?" Draco's voice carried from the hall, "Is there something wrong." When he came into view, he frowned at the speed she was running, "Did something happen to the baby?"
They had found out she was expecting less than a month ago, and if she thought her husband was overprotective with her first pregnancy, it was nothing compared to this.
"No, the baby's fine," she insisted, "It's about my research into memory effects! I finally did it! I found out how to mark memories and how to make them more prominent in one's mind!"
Ironically, it had been easier to develop a time travelling potion, one which she had placed in the Department of Mysteries. The potion was powerful, and while it was rather difficult to brew still, it was one of those things that shouldn't be common knowledge.
Draco's eyes lit up at that, "I'm so proud of you, Hermione!" Draco praised her with a grin. "I knew you would be able to do it."
"That's not all," Hermione said with a smile, "It wasn't the marking of the memories that took me so long to figure out; it was utilizing it to my advantage."
"Meaning?" Draco asked her as he subtly attempted to get her to sit down on the sofa. She wanted to roll her eyes at her husband's antics, but chose not to say anything.
"Meaning I can finally use it for what I always intended to use it for, to reverse the effects of the cruciatus curse. With this spell I can bring out the memories muffled by the after effects of the curse. People who suffer the spell are driven into insanity, but the spell and subdue those memories all together, so the victim doesn't have to remember the torture they went through. Then it can bring out the memories of their life, and slowly help their mind heal. It's still a test, and it's going to take time to perfect, but-"
"But nothing," Draco cut her off, cupping her face, "It's brilliant. Think of all the people whose lives you are going to give back to them. Neville will get to know his parents once more, and so many others will have a shot at living a life they wouldn't have had before. It's amazing, Hermione."
She blushed softly at her husband's praise, but smile, "Where are the children?" she couldn't help but ask. It was going to be a long night for the both of them, seeing how they were inviting Draco's mother, the Weasleys, and their friends over to dinner to tell them the news of her pregnancy. She did plan on telling her own parents about it, but there was no way she was going to invite them over to her place when the house would be filled with so many magical people.
It was during her pregnancy when she and Draco had finally decided that a flat wouldn't work for the two of them, and that they needed to go and get a place for their own. She had been worried about Draco wanting to move into the Manor, but he had assured her that he had no intentions of ever living in that house again. They had moved into a house in the country side, so their children would be able to grow up with privacy and thanks to the wards over the property, there was no chance of any muggles or wizards who were uninvited to somehow find their way onto their land.
"Lyra's asleep," Draco told her softly as he mentioned their two year old, "I thought I would put her down so she could be well rested. And Scorpius is playing with his Quidditch figurines. We really need to thank Ron for that by the way, he absolutely adores it."
She rubbed her stomach unconsciously as she smiled at the mention of her children.
"Well, we do have a bit of time before tonight," Hermione said as she leaned into her husband, laying her head against his chest. "What do you say we take advantage of the time alone?"
Draco simply grinned, "I love the way you think."
Seven hours later, and the house was filled with life. There were children running around playing games with each other, as the adults talked and enjoyed each other's company.
Five years ago, if someone were to tell Draco that this would become his life, he would have laughed. Friday nights were spent eating alone, on his sofa as he read some book or listened to the radio. They were rarely spent with company, much less with family.
Yet here he was, in the middle of all of it, enjoying every moment of watching Scorpius run around with his cousins, and play on their brooms in a game of Quidditch.
When he was six years old, Draco had bought him his first broom. It was still a training one, and could barely go more than five feet off the ground, but it was enough to give Hermione a heart attack. It had taken lots of coaxing, and protection spells for her to even consider it, and when she had finally come around, she had insisted Draco watch him for every moment of it.
And at nine, he could tell his son was a little Quidditch prodigy.
He knew Scorpius was a little upset, seeing how James had turned eleven a few months ago, and would soon be off to Hogwarts, and Hugo would be gone, soon after. Albus, James' four year old brother, was far too young to understand what was happening, while baby Lily at two years old didn't know any better.
Draco had talked to his son about that, and promised that he would get his turn soon enough, but then mentioned how lucky he was because he had two whole years before he had to worry about essays and exams.
Not that Hermione wasn't letting them off like that. No, she had insisted that her children would have some sort of schooling before Hogwarts, and they would be tutored at the very least.
"Can we have your attention," Hermione addressed the dinner table as she stood up and Draco followed suit.
"We've invited you all here today because we have recently learned something special that we wanted to share this with all of you," Draco grinned, wrapping his arm around Hermione's waist. He looked over at his wife, knowing she was eager to be the one who told everyone and nodded for her to do so.
"I'm pregnant," Hermione blurted out, a smile still plastered on her face.
The room burst into life again, as everyone began offering their congratulations, and Hermione and Draco were swept into conversation with their friends and family. His mother looked like she was about to cry from happiness at the prospect of another grandchild, and Molly was already sobbing.
"Ready to be a father again?" Ron asked him as he cradled a sleeping Rose in his arms. Draco smiled down at the young girl. Lyra was currently waddling around the room, as Scorpius was playing some game or the other with her.
Draco nodded, "I love Scorpius and Lyra, and honestly, I couldn't be happier. Hermione's a wonderful mother."
"Yes, well she had years of practice mothering us, didn't she?" Harry joined in with a grin, earning a light smack from Ginny.
"He isn't wrong," Hermione laughed, "Merlin the trouble I tried to keep the pair of you out of. "
"Trouble always did have a way of finding us, didn't it?" Harry reminisced.
"Says boy who went looking for a troll," Draco snorted.
"I think things turned out rather well, considering," Ron gestured around the room. "We all did well for ourselves."
He could tell Ron was staring at a heavily pregnant Luna as he mentioned that.
There was a time where he would have died at the irony at the Malfoy line was tied against Ron Weasley's for the number of children they both currently had, but those days were long gone.
It hadn't been a smooth five years since the Ministry had fallen, and it had taken time to get their country back on its feet. If anything, it had strengthened the alliances that England held with the other wizarding countries as most offered to help them out through the tough time, and slowly but surely, they had restored their Ministry, making it stronger than ever.
There were still some secrets that needed to be kept from the general populous, but the Ministry had gotten better with its transparency, which helped the people significantly restore their trust in them.
As he looked around the room, he took in the number of people in his life who cared about him and his wife. All of them were there tonight because they were celebrating Hermione's pregnancy, and that they all cared enough to be there for them.
When Caelum Malfoy is born, he's the happiest baby Draco has ever seen, and he can't remember a time where he's this filled with joy with his children all around him, and his wife in his arms.
It's funny how a simple change in time can't change things like who you love, but somehow gets you exactly where you want to be.
A/N: I was planning on adding in another chapter before the epilogue, but as I started to write, it just felt right to me to end it here. I also wanted to add that I never intended for Hermione to make complete amends with her parents, as that wasn't what I wanted for this story. I would like to thank you all for following this story, for favouriting it, and reviewing it, as it's meant a lot to me. I hope you enjoyed it, and I'll be back in a few months with a brand new story.