"You look beautiful, Hermione," Ginny said with a smile as she adjusted the silver comb in Hermione's hair, holding the shiny black locks in place. "It's not a traditional dress, but then again, there's not much about this wedding that's traditional."
Hermione laughed. "Draco and I insisted. I don't care what anyone says, pureblood traditions are all outdated sexist things. Did you know some of the centerpieces were supposed to include eggs?"
"Eggs?" Ginny laughed.
Hermione nodded. "Eggs. Some fertility thing."
"Merlin, help us," Ginny said, eyes wide. "Not like any of us need help with that," she added and rubbed her distended stomach. "Your godson, by the way, is a right monster."
"He's half Weasley," Hermione said with a grin. "You're likely to have another Fred or George cooking in there."
She looked in the mirror to adjust her mother's pearls while securing her ruby earrings; birthday gifts from Draco the year before.
"He's also half Longbottom. I was hoping for a nice quiet pregnancy, thank you," Ginny insisted. "You ready? Wedding of the century, up ahead."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Should be interesting."
She made her way down the long aisle, her eyes instantly searching out Draco at the other end, smiling up at her as he stood next to Harry, Ron, and Sirius.
When she reached the end, Draco held his hand out to her and kissed her cheek, muttering, "You're gorgeous," before passing her off to stand next to her friends and uncle, turning to walk to the other side of the aisle to stand opposite the collected Gryffindors.
Sirius leant in and whispered. "You sure you don't want a big wedding for yourself?"
Hermione snorted. "I'm having a hard enough time with people looking at me right now. I'd prefer to not be the centre of attention, thank you."
"Welcome to my life," Harry mumbled and wiped the nervous sweat from his brow as the audience all stood when the bride appeared at the far end of the aisle, her dark hair pinned up with a mixture of silver and gold pins, looking down at Harry with a teasing grin. "No one tell Pansy, but instead of taking a Portkey to our honeymoon, we're flying on a Muggle aeroplane."
Ron laughed. "She's going to kill you, mate," he said, watching as Pansy readied herself to walk down the aisle, adjusting her father's dress robes and tie.
Harry shrugged. "She'll be my wife by that point," he said with a chuckle.
Daphne reached the end of the aisle to join Draco on Pansy's side—a wizard as an extra bridesmaid because Pansy thought herself very clever; then again, Hermione stood with Harry.
Daphne smiled as her and Theo's seven-year-old daughter, Thessaly, followed behind, tossing rose petals in her wake.
Behind Thessaly walked two boys, one taking precise steps in tune with the music, carrying the rings on a small pillow with such care it seemed as though they had been secured with a Sticking Charm—just in case. He stopped, only once, to blow the black strands of hair that had fallen in his eyes, and to look up at his father and grin.
Draco smirked back at the boy and then gestured for him to turn around. When he did, the boy sighed in irritation and rolled his eyes at his little brother, who was stopping to pick up the rose petals that Thessaly had dropped.
"Canis," he hissed at his younger, blonder counterpart, who didn't look up at the call of his name. Eventually, the black-haired boy huffed, stomped his foot and turned around to march down to the end of the aisle, thrusting the pillow up at Draco.
"Pst," Sirius said and crooked his finger, motioning the boy over. "C'mere, Al."
The boy sighed and looked down as he marched toward his great-uncle Sirius, purposely avoiding the looks that both Hermione and Draco were giving him for throwing a fit at his aunt and uncle's wedding.
"What do we say about little brothers?" Sirius quietly asked.
Al sighed dramatically. "They never get left behind," he muttered, adding an, "I know, I know," before walking back down the aisle, offering Pansy an apologetic look before reaching out for his little brother.
Embarrassed, Canis had crawled into his grandfather's lap as he sat beside Severus and Narciss. Lucius had remained behind at the Manor, still not entirely comfortable venturing out into public without the ability to carry a wand.
"Go with your brother, it's okay," Regulus said with a smile to little Canis, who had buried his face in his dress robes, tiny rose petals still clutched in hand.
The two boys eventually continued their march down the aisle, hand in hand this time. Young Alphard moved to stand beside Draco, adjusting his robes and taking a moment to readjust the rings on his pillow as his father handed it back to him, making sure they were adequately attached and precisely positioned. He took only a small moment to observe the runes that had been carved into the rings with great detail.
Draco sighed and looked up at Hermione and mouthed, "Ravenclaw," at her, gesturing to their eldest son.
She nodded and held back a chuckle as little Canis pressed a few rose petals into her hand, and then proceeded to offer one to Harry, Ron, Sirius, and then ran to the other side to give the rest to his father, Alphard, Thessaly, and Daphne.
The audience all quietly laughed at the scene, and Hermione smiled, looking up at Draco and mouthed, "Hufflepuff."
He shrugged and then nodded, acknowledging the very, very obvious.
Pansy and Harry exchanged vows they'd written themselves, smiling happily as their friends and family stood with them in support.
Hermione and Draco had been pestered for years, starting immediately after graduation, as to when they'd be planning their inevitable wedding. Excuses came and went as one by one—or pair by pair as it was—each of their friends took their own trips down the aisle.
First Ron to Luna, followed by Daphne and Theo shortly after leaving Hogwarts. Two years after that, Ginny and Neville made the trip, and even Blaise had settled down with a Muggle he'd met at a coffee shop who always gave him an extra shot of vanilla in his daily latte.
Hermione and Draco initially said that they didn't want to rush. Too much needed to take precedence, first and foremost, the restoration of Regulus as the Head of House Black. Sirius gave up the title and then celebrated.
Their next excuse was that they wanted to wait for Draco to graduate from University, followed by Hermione receiving her Mastery in Transfiguration. Her article on the Animagus and Patronus affiliations was well received in multiple magical publications as she'd eventually achieved a full Animagus form of her own—still a kneazle—but had managed to keep her otter Patronus.
An otter Patronus that Draco shared once he'd finally been able to accurately perform the charm.
Babies started coming after that, and it gave a decent excuse for Hermione and Draco to hold off on a wedding. None of her potential bridesmaids wanted to be pregnant at the ceremony.
When Hermione got pregnant herself with Alphard, Lucius demanded that the pair do the right thing by getting married before the new Malfoy heir was born.
Hermione and Draco defiantly refused and then, just to drive the point home that the world had changed, they gave their firstborn son, the Malfoy heir, the middle name "Granger".
Lucius had made slow steps toward adjusting to the new world, but having his firstborn grandson named after a Muggle was a step too far. He and Draco had gotten into their now yearly argument over it, and Draco gave his father the ultimatum: adapt to the new world, or he would do something utterly Mugglish with the Malfoy fortune, for which he was still in charge of.
Lucius had called his bluff.
He really shouldn't have.
The home for war orphans and the primary school for Muggle-born children were both built and fully funded within six months, and the Malfoy scholarships for Muggle-born wizards and witches was established two months after that.
Lucius never spoke another word about it.
When Canis Severus came along two years later, born with hair as white-blond as his father, Draco and Hermione fulfilled the promise of the Blood Magic they were tied to, that said both families would continue through their union, and their second son became a Black instead of a Malfoy.
But just in case the magical contract was still at work, they eloped one weekend with Regulus and Narcissa as witnesses, and never said a word about it to another living soul. They didn't need a paper to tell them what they were to one another.
"It'll be confusing to have two sons with different last names," Lucius insisted when Cabins was both, but Hermione and Draco laughed and assured him that somehow, the boys would remember that they were brothers, belonging to the same parents; the same family.
Canis' last name was less of an issue for everyone else, but Severus threw an absolute fit at the idea of any child being named after him. They'd settled on a middle name which kept him annoyed but silent, until Harry suggested that he would name his own child after the man, finding it amusing to provoke his old Potions Professor.
More years passed, and when Harry and Pansy announced their engagement, Lucius quietly sat Draco and Hermione down and asked when they were going to fulfill the Blood Magic created contract between the pair.
The two had smiled politely. And because he didn't want to give Lucius a reason to think he'd won anything, Draco had taken Hermione's hand in his and said, "Fuck the contract."
After Harry and Pansy's wedding, the family returned to Grimmauld Place where Narcissa had long since taken over, insisting that if Regulus and Severus refused to remarry—or marry in the first place in Severus' case—then she would have to do all their decorating for them.
Previously black and grey walls were painted over cream with hunter green accents throughout the house. Walburga Black's portrait was removed—after three years, six specially hired Curse-Breakers, a case of firewhisky and both Black brothers drinking themselves unconscious in celebration.
The family tapestry also, thanks to Regulus and Hermione's diligent charm work—though they were both much more talented at transfiguration—was repaired, returning Sirius and Andromeda to their rightful places.
Hermione smiled, standing in front of the old tapestry, doing her best to ignore her two boys who were chasing one another from room to room, giggling as they were followed by an old black dog nipping at their heels.
She stepped forward, touching her hand to the beautiful black stitching, connecting her name to those of her children and Draco, to her father and mother, as well as her Muggle parents, who had been a personal addition to the tapestry by Regulus himself; a gift for Hermione's twentieth birthday.
Sirius and Remus were there, connected to one another on the tapestry and linked to the Muggle-born son they had adopted four years earlier, who they named James.
A few names away sat Harry, there against the fabric in beautiful lettering, his marriage to Pansy already reflected in the magic of the large family tree.
Hermione ran her finger over an empty space next to Alphard and Canis, a secretive smirk toying at her lips.
"What do you think?" she whispered, her free hand brushing against her stomach. "Are you going to be a Black, a Malfoy, or a Granger?"
"What was that?" Draco asked as he stepped into the room.
"What?" Hermione jumped, startled by his entrance. "Nothing."
He stared at her. "What're you hiding?"
"What makes you think I'm hiding something?"
"Because you're a terrible liar," Draco insisted. "Will I be upset? Did one of the boys break something?"
Hermione laughed and kissed him. "Nothing to worry about, I promise."
He eyed her suspiciously but relented and returned her affection. "Come on then. Potter and Pansy will be here any minute, and Weasley and I finally figured out how to rig their luggage. When they get to the hotel and open the suitcase, no less than fifty Snitches will be released into the air. Let's see how fast he can catch all of those," he said with a grin that was far too smug and reminiscent of his younger self.
"I'll be right behind you, love," she said with a laugh and smiled as Draco left the room, passing her father on his way out.
"Do I want to know?" Regulus asked.
She shook her head. "Boys and their toys," she said and smiled as he walked up beside her, looping an arm around her and pulling her close so that he could kiss the top of her head.
"Can you keep a secret, Papa?"
"Many," he replied.
Hermione smirked. "I'm pregnant again."
Regulus laughed and hugged her close. "I take it Draco doesn't know?"
She shook her head. "I'm going to surprise him later. Can you watch the boys?"
"I'd be happy to."
"It's a girl," she whispered. "I'm going to name her Helen."
Regulus smiled and held her closer, the pair of them taking a deep breath together, releasing it as the brief sting of grief and healing fell over them at once.
"That's a fine name," he whispered and kissed her forehead, turning his attention back to the tapestry, no longer dark and dreary as it once had seemed not so long ago.
He reached out and touched the tapestry, his own name, which had been charmed back to have the death date erased, still left behind a strange fade in the fabric, marking the fact that the stitching had been there at one point.
Regulus smiled and traced the line connecting him to his daughter and her family, a part of the tapestry he had once believed he'd never see filled.
But there they stood, all etched in along with everyone else, connected to her, the one point on a single tapestry that changed everything in Regulus' world, his daughter's name on the wall in elegant lettering:
Hermione Granger Black