Chapter 17

Hermione followed the muffled sound of the piano down the corridor, stopping just outside of the polished oak double doors, pressing her ear to the wood to listen quietly. The light notes wove themselves through the oak and Hermione smiled to her self, listening to the familiar sound of the melody that Narcissa had composed for their daughter when she had found out that Hermione was pregnant. Very carefully she pushed the door open as quietly as she could and stood silently just over the threshold, simply content to watch from a distance. The warm evening sun was setting over the horizon, sinking lazily behind the hills, filling the music room with it's soft orange and pink glow. Narcissa was sat at the piano, their five year old daughter next to her, her little legs dangling off of the stool. Hermione couldn't help but smile as she watched her wife teach their child the simple lullaby, Bella's little fingers dancing over the keys with all her mother's natural talent. She was their little miracle, the child then never thought they would have, the child Hermione hadn't even realised was possible.

When the song was finished, and the child looked up at her mother expectantly, Hermione clapped loudly, walking over to the two of them smiling. The little girl's head spun round at the noise, her rich brown curls flying around her for a moment and then settling about her beaming round face, her cool blue eyes sparkling up at her mother. She slid off of the stool and ran towards her, making Hermione chuckle as she bent to scoop the girl up into her arms.

"What did you think?" Bellatrix asked nervously. "Did you like it?" Hermione grinned at her and laughed at the nervous expression on her little face.

"My darling you were wonderful," she said. "It was beautiful. Almost as beautiful as you." Bella beamed and planted a kiss on her mother's cheek, making both women chuckle. Narcissa moved up to stand beside them, smiling down at the pair of them.

"Your mother is right," she smiled. "She's always right." Bellatrix gave a wide yawn and both women smiled as she wrapped her arms around Hermione and nestled her head into the crook of her neck.

"Time for this little princess to go to bed I think," Narcissa smiled softly.

"I'm not tired," Bella said, yawing widely again as she said it. Hermione chuckled.

"Come on, no arguing," she smiled. She kissed her daughter's forehead and the two women took her up to bed to tuck her in, as they did every night.

Once their daughter was in bed and the lights turned out, the two women retired to the living room, which was now lit by the soft glow of the fire, the sun having sunk over the hill and retired for the day. Hermione lay, reclined against Narcissa on the comfortable sofa facing the fire, the two women sitting in a comfortable silence, filled only by the whispered crackling of the flames in the grate. Narcissa toyed idly with her wife's rich brown curls, gazing unseeingly into the fire. Hermione let out a contented hum as her fingertips grazed her temple. The cosy heat from the fire and the comforting sensations that her wife's fingertips sent across her skin were making her feel docile and sleepy. Narcissa chuckled, the sound warm and deep.

"Are you happy my darling?" she murmured, placing a soft kiss on the younger woman's temple, making her smile. She turned in her wife's arms to look up at her. Here, in the calm fire light, she reminded Hermione of the girl she had met in the Slytherin common room, her frosty blue eyes sparkling sharply against the warm orange light, her pale skin smooth and unblemished, her loose blonde curls that seemed to glow in an almost religious fashion in the soft light.

"Yes," she said simply, her voice barely more than a whisper. She placed a soft kiss on her wife's full lips, so soft it sent shivers down her spine as their lips just barely touched. "And you? Are you happy?" Narcissa smiled.

"The war is over. My children are safe and happy. My wife is safe and happy and I dare say she loves me almost as much as I love her," Hermione giggled at this. "What else could I possibly ask for?" Narcissa smiled. "Everything is perfect."