Two years later.
It was a bright summer's day as Hermione and Draco's friends and family gathered in the couple's front room, eager to meet the couple's new daughter. The couple were due home any minute now and there was a real sense of excitement in the air. After seven years of separation for the couple, the last two had been spent putting their lives back together, and now their life was complete following the arrival of their daughter.
After leaving the family business, two years ago, Draco had sold his house in France and with Hermione's input he bought a new one in England, the same house he now lived in with Hermione. Even though Draco had been the only one living there initially, it had always been their plan to find somewhere they could both live, which is what they'd done. The house he'd bought was a large one storey property, which the couple had renovated to their liking. As they'd talked about they made sure the house had no stairs, to make things easier with Draco's leg.
As it was, he'd noticed a massive difference in his leg since moving back to England, with its cooler weather. Initially Draco had been hesitant to let Hermione see just how badly he was struggling, but she'd made him see that his struggles didn't affect how much she loved him. It didn't bother Hermione that he was more reliant on his cane that what she'd seen of him in France. All she cared about was that he wasn't in too much pain, which he wasn't, he was just adjusting to the change in weather. Now two years later, he was coping much better and while he still needed his cane, and in the winter it was a real struggle to walk, the pain wasn't any worse than it had been since his accident.
Initially the couple hadn't lived together as they'd taken the time to get to know one another yet again. However, they'd lived together for over a year now and they'd gotten married three months ago in a quiet ceremony, attended by their friends and family. Happily the physical side of their relationship hadn't been as problematic as Draco as feared. Once they'd discovered Draco could still perform, they'd set about building up his stamina. Initially Draco hadn't lasted long in their sexual encounters, but with practice his old stamina had returned, and apart from the fact he wasn't as flexible as he used to be and Hermione had to take control more than she'd been used to, their sex life was as good as ever.
Aside from his romance with Hermione, and relocating back to England, Draco had spent his time setting up his own Potions Company over the last two years. The company was still in its infancy, but Draco had big plans for the business and everyone who knew him were confident he would succeed in making the company the success he desired. He was going to be a successful businessman, and he certainly didn't need the family company, despite his father still trying to get him to return to the fold.
For the last two years, Lucius had refused to give up on being reunited with his wife and son. Even though Draco still refused to speak to his father, Lucius wrote to him religiously every few weeks, begging for a second chance. Lucius also wrote to Narcissa, and had even persuaded his wife to meet up with him a few times. Lucius professed to be deeply sorry over his actions, and he'd promised Narcissa he would never do anything to hurt Draco again. Draco didn't believe his father's apology was genuine, but Narcissa did think her husband regretted his actions. Not that it changed anything, and she still couldn't forgive him for causing their son so much hurt. However, Lucius wasn't giving up and he was still determined to win his family back round, it just remained to be seen if Draco would ever forgive his father for his despicable actions. At the moment, a reunion between father and son seemed pretty unlikely, but who knew what the future would bring. Maybe one day, Lucius would get his wish, but it wouldn't be any time soon.
The other player in the wicked deception, Pansy, had also been ostracised from the group. Initially Pansy had tried to talk to both Draco and Theo, but neither man would give her the time of day. Draco had told his friends he wouldn't hold it against them if they still wanted to be friends with Pansy, but they'd all washed their hands of her. She'd betrayed Draco in the worst possible way, and none of them could forgive her for that. Eventually Pansy had got the message and she'd stopped contacting the group, no-one had now heard from her in over a year.
As Draco and Hermione's friends and family waited for the couple to return home, Lucius and Pansy weren't the only people missing from the gathering. The other noticeable absentees in the group, were Molly and Arthur Weasley. Molly had never forgiven Hermione for what had happened with Ron, and even though Ron and Hermione were still close, Molly refused to have anything to do with Hermione. Like Hermione had predicted, Molly's outburst in the shop had resulted in the press getting hold of the full story and as a result they spent months pursuing Draco and Hermione for their side of the story. The couple had never spoken to the press, but that didn't stop Molly from speaking up and trying to paint the couple in a bad light. Ron hadn't been at all impressed with his mother, so he'd given an interview setting the record straight and publically giving his backing to Hermione and Draco. Ron's interview had not gone down well with Molly, and from that day on she'd pretended as though Hermione didn't exist. Even when they saw each other at family events, like George and Angelina's wedding, Molly acted as though Hermione was a total stranger. Molly's actions hurt Hermione quite a bit, but the rest of the Weasleys had stood by her and they all still considered her part of the family, and they were all waiting to meet her new daughter.
"Here they come," Ginny suddenly announced as the sound of the floo network sounded from the next room.
Everyone waited expectantly as the door to the front room swung open, and Hermione appeared carrying a small child in her arms. Draco was at her side, carrying a bag and leaning heavily on his cane. Even though the weather was warm, he'd been on his feet a few hours and it was time he needed to rest for a while.
"Wow, what a welcome," Hermione said with a smile as she looked around the room. Of course she'd known everyone was going to turn up, but it was still overwhelming to see everyone she loved gathered together to meet their daughter.
"We're all eager to meet the new little Malfoy," Blaise said with a grin.
"Here she is," Hermione said, smiling down at the little girl in her arms. "Everyone meet Kayleigh Cassiopeia Malfoy."
"She's gorgeous," Narcissa cooed, approaching Hermione. "Can I hold her?"
"Of course you can." Hermione passed Kayleigh over to her grandmother, and watched as Narcissa chattered on to the little girl.
"She's adorable," Ron said, giving Hermione a warm smile. "How old is she?"
"Eight months," Hermione replied. "And she's now officially our daughter."
Ron smiled affectionately as he watched Hermione perch on the side of the chair where Draco had settled himself and the pair turned their attention to their new daughter, who was being fussed over by everyone. He knew how hard it had been for the pair that Draco hadn't been able to have children of his own. Even though the couple had gone through extra testing once they were back together, the end result was the same, Draco was unable to father children. While that might have been enough to split some couples, it wasn't enough to come between Hermione and Draco. Instead the couple had supported one another and started the adoption process, which had officially ended that day with the arrival of Kayleigh and completion of all the paperwork.
For the next couple of hours, Kayleigh was the star attraction as she was passed from person to person, everyone keen to give the baby a welcoming hug. Luckily she was a placid child and was thoroughly enjoying the attention she was getting from everyone. It would seem that even though she wasn't Draco's biological child, she was still like her father in the fact she liked been the centre of attention, which was something he'd always revelled in when he was a child.
While Hermione was chatting to some of the others about Kayleigh, Draco got to his feet and headed into the kitchen, where he'd seen Ron heading earlier. In the last few months the pair had become quite good friends, despite the fact they'd essentially been rivals for Hermione's affections. Fortunately, Ron didn't hold onto grudges and he didn't resent Draco for being the wizard Hermione had ended up with. He'd always known Hermione's heart lay with Draco, and he was just pleased that his best friend was happy. Besides, he'd moved on with his life and found himself a witch he was madly in love with.
"Are you okay with this?" Draco asked as Ron popped the top off the ice cold beer he'd just pulled from the fridge.
"The beer?" Ron frowned. Taking a sip he nodded his head. "Yeah, it's good."
"I meant all this fuss with Kayleigh," Draco replied with a slight smile. He had a feeling Ron had known what he meant all along and was just trying to keep things light between them. "It must be hard for you. After all, a few years ago this could have been you and Hermione."
"Nah, I don't think it would have been," Ron admitted. "Don't get me wrong, I love Hermione, but we never would have worked. I'm just happy she's with someone who loves her and will give her everything she's ever wanted."
"And you couldn't do that?" Draco asked. Even though the pair had become friends, they'd never really discussed the fact Ron had been involved with Hermione and had asked her to marry him.
"I was missing one vital thing," Ron replied.
"I wasn't you," Ron answered with a causal shrug. "I could never give her everything she wanted, because what she really wanted was you. Fortunately, things worked out and she got what she always wanted."
"And what about you?" Draco asked. "Did you get what you wanted?"
"I did," Ron replied with a smile. "My best friend is truly happy again and content with her life, and I've met a witch I love. Everything has worked out for the best."
"I'm pleased you think that," Draco said with a relieved smile. "Thank you Ron, for everything. You're a really good bloke, and I'm pleased Hermione has such a good friend. She really is lucky to have you in her life."
"I'm the lucky one to have her in mine," Ron replied with a shrug. "But then again, you know that from experience don't you. We're blessed to have Hermione in our lives."
Draco nodded his agreement, and shaking hands with Ron, he headed back into the front room to join the others. As Draco left the kitchen, Daphne entered and when she looked at Ron, he knew she'd heard quite a bit of the conversation he'd just had with Draco.
"Do you always listen to other people's conversations?" He asked with a teasing grin.
"I just didn't want to interrupt," Daphne replied as she refilled her glass of wine. "And for the record, I agree with Draco."
"What on?" Ron asked.
"That you're a good guy," Daphne answered with a smile. "Most men in your position would have clung onto Hermione, despite knowing she'd be happier elsewhere. It takes a big man to let go of someone you love, knowing they'll be happier with someone else."
"I was just doing what was best for both of us," Ron said with a shrug of his shoulder. "Hermione deserved to be happy, and so did I."
"And are you?" Daphne asked.
"Am I what?" Ron retorted.
"I am." Ron grinned at Daphne as he closed the gap between them and gathered her in his arms. "I love you, Daphne. Finding out the truth about Draco, not only gave Hermione her happy ending, but it gave me mine. We're both happier now we're with people we truly love."
"I love you too," Daphne said as the pair shared a quick kiss. "Now let's get back into the front room, I want to see more of Kayleigh before they put her to bed."
Smiling contently, Ron followed his girlfriend back into the front room where everyone was still making a fuss of Draco and Hermione's young daughter. He'd meant what he'd said to Daphne about things working out for the best. Not only had Hermione been reunited with her true love, but Ron had also had the chance to find real love with Daphne when the pair had become friends via Draco and Hermione's romance. Finally Ron knew what it was like to truly be in love with someone, and it made what he'd felt for Hermione pale in comparison. They truly were better off as friends, and it had been worth all the heartache of two years ago for them both to get their happy endings.