A/N: Dear readers, may I present you the final chapter of High on Magic?
It has been a wonderful journey for me with all of you and all those kind words and reviews, every laugh and fair critique - they mean so much to me and make me smile and laugh and giggle and blush (A., no comma here because of the effect, right?). THANK YOU!
But I want to thank one person in particular, one that made me believe in the American Dream in some aspects again and who will be, without any doubt, be a highly sought-after author one day in the not-so-distant future. My Alpha Reader, my bunny-evolver, my smut-happens-Lady: The fantastic MrBenzedrine!
I'm honoured to say that she dedicated a story to me I absolutely cherish and you must check out: The Closet Relativity Theory!
THANKS FOR YOUR ENCOURAGMENT and believing in things for me when I am down (great, now I'm crying ;))!
Another author I'd like to give my shout-outs here is waymay, her awesome stories Background and Empire are-wow!
Hermione sighed. "Okay, Mr. Diggle, I'm going to explain it again: This," she held up a plant with her gloved right hand, "Is Aconite. The plant you were looking for, one of Europe's most poisonous plants, by the way. This, on the other side," she showed the brown-haired man before her another plant with her equally gloved left hand, "Is Delphinium, though not as toxic as the former, it is quite dangerous. They are easy mistaken for another, so the next time you collect Aconite for your Wideye Potion, take a botanical book with pictures with you, yes? You can thank Merlin you had a bezoar in your pocket."
"I really am. -Doctor Granger...by any chance, you're not seeing anyone, are you?"
Hermione rolled her eyes, this man had nerves! "Good day, Mr. Diggle!"
"Yes, Doctor Granger," the man mumbled ashamed.
With a reassuring smile, Hermione released her patient and enjoyed the quiet minutes that followed, reminiscing the last months.
There had been the trial of Jackie Stevens and Viktor Krum at the Wizengamot. Viktor had been charged to a lifelong sentence in Azkaban, because he wasn't only the criminal mastermind behind Morgana's Touch, but he was also accused of attempted murder of Harry Potter and attempted rape of Hermione Granger. Jackie, well, she was a special case. After all, she committed her crimes out of unrequited love, and that was why Hermione took pity and spoke on her behalf. The brunette suggested, instead, the following punishment: her wand snapped, Jackie was banned to a life between muggles for five years, scrubbing bedpans in Hermione's former hospital for a living. Draco thanked her for her Slytherin-ness with a set of emerald earrings.
With a knock on her open door, Hermione was shaken out of her reverie. The heavily pregnant Ginny Potter supported herself on the doorframe, clearly in pain. "Sorry to interrupt your musings. But I assume you have time for helping your goddaughter's birth?"
Grinning, the doctor rushed to the other witch's side, gently leading her to the maternity ward. "Of course, let's get the party started!"
The friendship of the Golden Trio was still strained, and at some points, they were sure that it would never be the same trust and understanding between the three of them. Nevertheless, they were fighting for it. It helped Hermione a lot that Draco had been in Harry's circle of friends for some time now and knew about many things she had missed. For example there had been this one occasion when he'd pried a sobbing Albus out of her arms, and gently asked if it had been the Flint boy who'd upset him, again. After some words of encouragement and a short briefing in Slytherin for beginners, Albus had regained his sunny nature - and Pansy's son was in for a hairy and sticky surprise the next day.
Hermione was regularly invited to the gatherings at the Burrow- and had been welcomed there with open arms and a lot of tears (and apologies). Though, she wasn't too proud to admit it had been Draco's calming hand on the small of her back which guided her through the first visit.
All in all, it was a natural development, when some months ago, Ginny had stated the wish that it should be Hermione who'd be the midwife for the Potter's fourth child's birth and the godmother to the little girl. Minutes after that, Hermione had opened her books to refresh her knowledge on childbirth and arranged a meeting with Juliet's colleague, the resident obstetrician of her old workplace. She was quite fascinated by the matter, and this was why she installed the peridural anesthesia as her first deed in her new job as Head of Trans-Magical Medicine. Hermione split her work hours between working and researching in St. Mungo's and her lab at the Ministry.
She didn't regret for a second that she returned fully to a life as a witch, though there had been problems that needed solving. Explaining to her muggle friends she was moving in with Draco, who lived in an expansive manor in Wiltshire, had been the easier part - but installing the charms and wards that made Malfoy Manor appear like any other vast muggle building in their eyes called for a good portion of creativity and inventive magic from her and Draco.
Speaking of the blond Auror - he entered the delivery room one hour after Ginny and Hermione, his eyes closed in fear of seeing something he rather wouldn't. Though, he could hear his witch talking to Harry's wife, which was groaning and panting heavily.
"You're progressing nicely, Ginny. Your cervix is already dilated fully, which was expected to happen so fast. after all, this is your fourth birth. You should be able to start pushing, soon. Open your eyes, Draco, don't be ridiculous. The birth of a child is the most natural occurrence in the world," she admonished, as if she was talking about picking flowers, and not about the circumstance that the redhead - and red-faced -woman, whose spread legs she was positioned between, doing Merlin-knows-what, was about to press a human out of her womb.
"And an occurrence which the father of the child should be part of, don't you think?" Draco answered, his view firmly on the floor.
"Where is Harry, this sodding bastard?" Unnecessary to confirm, it was Ginny who uttered those words.
"That is why I came here. He's still in Scotland somewhere, and our owls can't reach him."
"Oh, Draco! Really?" Hermione scolded him as if it was his fault. "I have barely had time for the PDA. This was bound to happen so fast!"
She meant to make him feel at least a little guilty with that tone.
"What can I do?" The moment he finished, he knew the words were a mistake.
"You are her birth partner now!" Hermione ordered.
"Excuse me?" - Damnit, he lifted his gaze to Hermione's and saw the ugly mess surrounding her. Most natural occurrence in the world - Salazar's arse! This was a massacre!
His girlfriend must have seen him swaying, and, the sweet girl she was, helped him with his misery, "Draco, for God's sake! Get your act together and climb behind Ginny. Hold her hands and let her curse you instead of Harry!" Of course, Harry had been in for the fun part, he was the one who'd finish his job. Not that he ever wanted the fun part with Ginny.
Twenty minutes and what felt like a dozen broken bones in his hands later, a baby's cry echoed through the delivery room. After the little girl had been weighed, cleaned and declared absolutely healthy (and Hermione had healed Draco's crushed bones), Harry Potter had the decency to finally arrive.
After the expected round of tears and hugs and more tears, the proud father placed the wrapped bundle in Hermione's arms again. "Hermione, Draco, may I present you: Minerva Hermione Potter!"
"Oh, Harry!" Carefully, as not to squish the delicate baby in her grip, Hermione hugged her friend, equally dissolving in tears.
Draco, after hugging his partner (in a manly way, of course) and giving Ginny a kiss on her cheek, stepped back to observe the scene. All three other adults had their eyes on the newborn. The Malfoy heir chuckled at the irony that this baby, conceived under the influence on Morgana's Touch, was born on the day which was followed by Beltane's night. At the same time, his grey eyes softened when he saw tears of joy falling down Hermione rosy cheeks. Unconsciously, he reached for the little box in his robes, which held an ancient and sparkling secret. For a second, he contemplated if they were indeed ready for the next step. But when Hermione lifted her beautiful brown eyes to smile lovingly at him, Draco knew without doubt: This was the witch he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, their love the only magic he needed to be high of.
Nine months after that night (and seven and a half after a laughing fit of the soon-to-be father, because the magic of Beltane had apparently overcome the Muggle contraceptives Hermione insisted on using), Draco's and Harry's dream of a complete Quidditch team in the next generation came true: Scorpius Draco Malfoy entered the magical world of his parents - and of course, he'd play Seeker.
A/N: *ducks* yeah, I know, I'm the total sucker for sweet endings, but I simply can't help myself...
Thanks to the lovely reviews to the last chapter: HarryPGinny4eva (love the voices, too! I swear I don't have a personality problem in RL...), Gimina Wow (good that you were only about to...), KnowInsight (ah, the Gryffindor tendencies in Draco are there, but not as visible, I think *smirks back*), Hanable-13 (happy day, indeed!), mega700201 (perfectly welcome!), writerspassion18 (adventurous, yeah, sounds about right ;)), Dramione shipper 17 (you so got the aspects of her personality right!claps!), Grovek26 (thank you!), pgoodrichpoggs (hope you liked more of the vibe), Jaqueline Noir (unbearable, i hope not ;)), Sam Wallflower (had sooo much fun writing the Narcissa scene, honestly!), ErikaNeubert (cool, a German name! Willkommen an Bord!), Vanessa85 (yayyy!), MrBenzedrine (you rock my review account!), BoredRavenclaw620 (thank you for the compliment!), waymay (imagining a funny wheelbarrow... LMFAO!), IrishPrincess1987 (you didn't fell off the seat, I hope;)), Guest (here's the new chapter, sorry, the last ine...), zoesheppard (totally welcome!).