A/N: Well, this is it: the final chapter. You guys have been so great; thank you all for your wonderful reviews and follows/favorites. To top it off, I reached over 200 reviews on this story yesterday! That made my day, thank you guys so much!
Someone asked if I had anything else in the works right now: currently, it's just my Harmony story but I do have a few ideas running around in my head for Dramione so you'll hear from me again soon. You guys are the best and I hope you like this final chapter.
Epilogue: Ten Years Later
Ten years. A lot can happen in ten years; hell, a lot has happened. But as I sit on the porch swing, wrapped in Draco's arms, enjoying a beautiful summer evening, I wouldn't change a thing.
I don't like to dwell on the past too much, but for old time's sake, let's take a look back, shall we?
The first few weeks after the Gemini Hunter case closed, everything kind of blurred together. My transfer request was approved and I moved into my new office in the Regulation of Magical Creatures department while Draco gave his resignation and began to run his family business. Harry was a little disappointed at our leaving but he understood, especially after what we had been through.
About a month after Draco and I leave the Aurors, we hold a small party at our place with just some friends. It's here that Ginny announces that she's pregnant! Harry nearly cries with happiness and I practically tackle her into a bear hug.
"I'm so happy for you!" I say, later.
"Thank you," she smiles but then it falls and she squeezes my hand. "Are you okay?"
I nod. "I'm great! Really, Gin, I'm so happy for you. Don't worry about me; when it's time for Draco and I have a kid, it'll be when we're ready. And in a far less stressful situation."
She laughs. "I'm glad to hear that Hermione. Especially since I want you to be the godmother to the baby."
I squeal with excitement and hug her, accepting wholeheartedly.
James Sirius Potter was born three days before my birthday that September and he has been causing trouble ever since. While I love my godson, he lives up to his namesake a little too well. But he's sweet and very protective of his other siblings; that is, when he's not driving them crazy. It freaks me out that he starts Hogwarts this year. Time really does fly.
Speaking of time flying, August marks mine and Draco's ten year wedding anniversary.
I've probably been the most relaxed bride you've ever met. But, after everything Draco and I have been through this past year, freaking out over something so trivial as flower arrangements and music is a walk in the park. Besides, Narcissa has basically taken the job of wedding planner to heart so, knowing her, everything will be perfect.
After a lot of discussion, I allowed Narcissa to hold the wedding in the Manor gardens on the condition that the guest list did not exceed one hundred people (I didn't even know I knew that many people) and she agreed- although Ginny just went outside and said that she suspects that there's more than a hundred people here. Figures.
My wedding party is small: Ginny, my matron of honor, and Jacque and Luna as my bridesmaids. I picked out simple bridesmaids dresses that would fit all of them- especially Ginny since she's due next month; they're navy blue, v-necks that stop just above their knees with capped sleeves. Very classy but can still be reused at a later date (I stole that from Luna).
As for my wedding dress, gods, I get breathless just looking at it. Ginny and I stumbled upon it while looking for bridesmaids dresses and just fell in love. I bought it on the spot. It's silvery white, v-neck on both sides, with beautiful flower beading that covers the front v-neck and leads to a belt that goes around my waist and back up the sides of the v-neck on the back; the sleeves are a soft, see-through material that's covered with more beading. Narcissa was more than a little surprised at my wedding dress choice but after I tried it on, she understood why I fell in love with it: it's not the most typical wedding dress, true, but I feel beautiful in it. Besides, whoever said I liked typical, anyway?
With the help of Ginny and Jacque, I manage to put my dress on without smudging my makeup and then sit down so Luna can finish my hair. We've put it up in a bun with some braids mixed in and now, Luna is putting small flowers in my hair to match with the dress. When she's finished, she has me stand in front of the full length mirror and I nearly break down into tears.
I'm beautiful; and I mean that in the least conceited way possible.
After Hogwarts, I began to get more comfortable in my skin and embrace myself as a woman; but even then, I only ever thought of myself as pretty. Now, though, now I feel like the most beautiful woman on the planet.
A knock at the door brings me out of my thoughts. "Come in," I say, my voice cracking.
"You ladies decent?" Theo says, poking his head in. He's come quite a long way since the Gemini Hunter case. He got some better help with better medications and, with a lot of patience and time and dedication, he's overcoming his depression. It's been a process and not an easy one but he's doing it and I couldn't be more proud of him. We've all become really close- he's like a brother to me, now- but the one that surprised us all was Luna.
From the second they met, they just had this connection that couldn't be broken. She saw what was really going on with him and, almost immediately, she got him to open up to her about everything. She's been really good for him: he's been smiling more, he's laughing, he's able to stay focused longer which has allowed him to keep a job longer (he's been working at The Quibbler for a couple months now).
We're all pretty sure that they're falling in love with each other but only time will tell if they'll act on their feelings.
I smile at Theo and nod. "Physically, at least. I'm kind of a wreck emotionally."
He smiles and walks towards me and gives me a hug. "You look beautiful," he says. "And I have something for you." He pulls something wrapped in a handkerchief out of his pocket. "It's from Draco." He unwraps the handkerchief and I'm left breathless as I look at the beautiful pair of diamond earrings lying underneath. "For your something new," Theo says, smiling.
Ginny whistles next to me. "Damn; you gotta admit, the man knows his jewelry."
I chuckle and take the earrings and put them on. "The perfect bride," Ginny says, grinning.
"Not yet!" Narcissa says, walking into the room and clipping a veil into my hair. "This veil was mine when I got married. I had Jacque tweak it a bit to make it more appropriate for the dress but consider this your something borrowed."
I smile and squeeze her hand. "Thank you, Narcissa."
"What's your something old, Hermione?" Luna asks, her arm linked with Theo's.
I smile and lift the dress to show off my shoes. "These were my mother's wedding shoes. I figured she wouldn't mind if I used them for my wedding."
"I'm sure she'd be honored," Narcissa smiles.
"And, I take it we're your something blue?" Jacque says, referring to the bridesmaid's dresses. I laugh and nod and Jacque grins, approving of my idea.
There's another knock at the door and Harry pokes his head in. "We're ready."
I take a deep breath and watch as everyone else leaves to start the ceremony. Harry stays behind, however, waiting for me. I asked him to walk me down the aisle since he's the closest thing to a brother I have- although I have Theo, now, too. But not only is he walking me down the aisle, he's also Draco's best man.
I was surprised when Draco told me that he wanted Harry to be his best man but he explained that, despite their differences, they really have become good friends over the years and it just felt right for him to have Harry by his side on our big day. I couldn't argue with that.
Harry smiles at me and takes my hands in his. "You look beautiful," he says.
I smile. "Thanks, Harry."
I nod, confident. "More than ready."
It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception was amazing; Narcissa really outdid herself. Arthur officiated the wedding ceremony and Daniel and Q (who got married about four years ago) insisted on playing DJs for the evening. I agreed only because I trusted their taste in music; more than once that night, I questioned whether or not that had been a good idea.
I ended up sharing a dance with Lucius during the parent's dance and it went a lot smoother than I expected. He was really sweet and welcomed me to the family with open arms, something I couldn't stop grinning about afterwards. We've gotten along famously ever since.
I got to share a dance with Theo, Harry, Q, Daniel, and even Blaise (who had stuck close to Miranda- his girlfriend by that time- the entire night) before staying in Draco's arms the rest of the night.
Over the past ten years, our marriage, like any other, has had it's highs and lows. We fought, we cried, we nearly hexed each other even; but he never left. And neither did I. We pushed through and I know, for the rest of our lives, we'll keep pushing through because we love each other and that's what you do when you love someone: you push through the bullshit.
I sigh and snuggle closer to Draco as I think about how far we've come. He kisses the top of my head and rests his hand on my bulging stomach.
Yes, I'm pregnant. But it's not my first; hell, it's not even my second.
Believe it or not, I'm pregnant with mine and Draco's fourth child! Yes, you read that right: three kids and a fourth on the way. Did I mention they're all under the age of ten? We have quite the busy household, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Our oldest, Noah, turns nine in November. When I was pregnant with him, Draco nearly lost his mind making sure I was always comfortable and okay. I know he was worried about me; especially after the miscarriage fiasco during the case but the pregnancy could not have gone any smoother. Even when I gave birth to him, the labor was ridiculously short. Draco was a mess the entire time but after he held Noah in his arms for the first time, I knew he'd be okay. Fortunately, after Noah was born with no problems, Draco calmed quite a bit when I became pregnant with our other children.
Noah's a spitting image of Draco except for the softer features and small amount of freckles he inherited from me. He's definitely a spitfire and has both his grandparents wrapped around his fingers. Let me tell you, watching Lucius Malfoy carry a four year old around on his back while making horse noises was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen. I'm never letting him live that down.
There's a bit of a debate going on between all of us about which house he'll get into but my gut is telling me Slytherin. There's a lot that Noah gets from me but he's far too much like his father to be in any other house. No matter where he ends up, I'll be proud of him.
Our seven year old, Sybil, shares a birthday with Ginny and Harry's youngest, Lily. Because Ginny and I got pregnant around the same time, we decided to everything in regards to our babies together: baby showers, baby shopping, even nursery planning. We weren't expecting to go into labor at the same time, though. Ginny was due before me but I went into labor about a month earlier than planned. Fortunately, my baby girl was born incredibly healthy, as was Lily. The girls are the best of friends and are practically joined at the hip. The debates haven't started yet, but Ginny and I are almost positive that both of them are going to end up in Gryffindor together.
Where Noah looks just like Draco, Sybil looks just like me, except her curly hair is far more manageable than mine, thank Merlin! She acts like me too which kills Draco. Any time she and Noah start fighting, she does exactly what I do when I'm mad at Draco: hands on hips, stern voice, and "the glare that could kill," (Draco's words, not mine). I have to admit, though, it is pretty hilarious.
Our current youngest, Lucas, just turned three back in March. Like Sybil, he also inherited my curly hair but he has Draco's eyes. He's also the wildcard in the family because some days he's like me, other days he's like Draco, and some days, he's his own person. It'll be interesting to see who he turns out to be more like as he grows.
Oh, and he also has the metamorphmagus gene and has already become Teddy's protege. Currently, Lucas has become fascinated by Teddy's blue hair and keeps trying to emulate but he keeps coming up with purple (which looks adorable on him, by the way). He'll get it eventually.
I'm just glad that Teddy won't be at Hogwarts by the time that Lucas gets there; Heaven knows what kind of trouble those two would get into.
A small kick on my stomach pulls me from my thoughts and I adjust myself to a more comfortable position.
"Comfy?" Draco asks.
I smile and nod. "Yeah, I think she's just restless."
Oh, did I forget to mention that? We're having another girl. We've yet to decide on a name, though. Nothing that we've thought about seems right for her. I've accepted the fact that we may not know until we meet her.
As if reading my mind, Draco brings the topic up. "How do you feel about Grace?"
I think about it for a moment. "I like it."
"I do too; it's the first one I've thought of that seems like it could fit."
I rest my hand on my stomach and smile. "What do you think, little one? Is Grace the one for you?"
Both Draco and I feel the small kick in response and we laugh. "I think she approves, love," I say.
He smiles. "So it's decided?"
I return his smile. "It's decided."
Baby Grace is born two months later and is absolutely perfect. She has a full head of platinum blonde hair and dark brown eyes. The moment she wraps her small hand around my finger, I'm in love.
When Draco brings the kids into the room to meet their new sister, they're all very excited. Having done this before, Noah and Sybil are very gentle around Grace but Draco has to make a point to pull a pink-haired (in honor of the birth of his sister) Lucas aside and explain that because she's so small and fragile, she won't be able to play with him for a while. He seems disappointed that he can't play with her right away but understands that he needs to be gentle and treats her like a beloved toy. He lightly kisses her forehead and I nearly tear up at the tenderness behind his gestures.
After the kids and grandparents have met the newest Malfoy, Narcissa and Lucius take the kids back to the Manor for a couple days while Draco and I get adjusted to having the new baby at home.
As we lie in bed tonight, facing each other with a sleeping baby Grace between us, I smile.
"What?" Draco asks.
I shake my head. "Nothing; just thinking about us."
"What about us?"
I caress his face with my hand. "Just how far we've come since our Auror days."
He smiles and kisses my palm. "I'm proud of us for how far we've come."
"Me too," I say.
"And now, onto the next adventure," he jokes and I chuckle.
"As long as I'm with you, I'm ready for any adventure that might be coming," I say.
He runs his hand along my arm, soothingly. "I love you, you know," he says.
"I know," I reply. I sit up and lean over Grace to kiss him gently. "I love you too."
Hope you liked it! Hermione's wedding dress and the bridesmaid dresses are on the TCC Pinterest board.