Day Four-thousand-fifteen: Morning
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Draco turned to his daughter as he adjusted the magical prosthetic of his left arm and smiled. "Yes, lil' Snitch?"
Four-year-old Rose Malfoy dimpled up at her father. "Why do you wear the pretend arm? What happened to your real one?"
"A troll bit it off, kneazle breath," nine-year-old Scorpius Malfoy answered tauntingly as he seated himself at the breakfast table.
"Scor," Hermione admonished him with a stern look, "what have I told you about referring to your sister as kneazle breath?"
The preteen rolled his eyes. "To not to," he muttered, reaching for a piece of toast from the plate in the center of the table.
Hermione and Draco shifted their matching frowns at their son's cheek back into smiles at their daughter. Rose's tiny mouth was pulled into a scared pout.
"Did a troll really eat Daddy's arm?" she asked, honey eyes wide and welling with tears.
"Of course not, Rosie," Hermione assured her gently.
Rose furrowed her little brow at Draco's prosthetic. "Then why doesn't he have it anymore?"
Draco glanced up at Hermione who smiled nostalgically before looking back at their daughter.
"A long time ago," she answered, "Daddy's arm got hurt in an accident. And it got hurt so badly that the Healers couldn't fix it and they had to take it off."
Young Rose contemplated her mother's explanation for a moment and then looked back at her father.
"Daddy, are you sad that the Healers had to take off your arm?"
Draco blinked at her and then turned to Hermione again. "No," he said surely, reaching his right hand over to squeeze Hermione's, "I'm not sad at all."
A thousand emotions and memories passed silently between husband and wife in that moment before Draco returned his attention to the youngest Malfoy.
"And do you know why I'm not sad, lil' Snitch?" he asked her.
Rose's eyes twinkled with innocent anticipation. "Why?" she asked eagerly.
Draco released Hermione's hand and grinned mischievously at his daughter. "Because I can still catch you!" he shouted as he shot up from his chair.
Rose shrieked gleefully as she darted from her seat. She laughed as she ran down the hallway, Draco at her heels. Scorpius bolted from his chair as well.
"Make way for the Bludger!" he announced, taking off after his father and sister, his toast forgotten on the table.
Hermione watched her family play, her hand at her heart, and then turned to smile out her favorite of their many kitchen windows. It was the one shadowed by the plants growing up over its panes.
Red roses twined with green briar.
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A/N: The End.
Wow…This piece was difficult for me to complete, because when I write I really put myself into the story, and so I want to thank each and every reader who helped encourage me along the way. Your recs and reviews have really meant so much, and I hope you enjoyed this story…well, as much as someone can enjoy an angsty survival fic, LOL.
Also, I've probably done more research for this fic than all of my others combined as I wanted to make sure that the medical aspects were as accurate as possible. I took some liberties, obviously, with the amount of brain damage Draco probably would've sustained in real life, however, since he technically was only without oxygen for ten minutes or less and they gave him nerve restorative potions right away, I figured in that magical circumstance I could be forgiven. ;)
And there were a number of comments about Draco's arm possibly growing back because the magical world has healing spells and Skelegro potion. However, from canon we have several instance of amputees that did NOT have their body parts grow back. Moody had a missing eye and a missing leg that were replaced with magical prosthetics, Voldemort replaced Peter Pettigrew's severed hand with a magical silver one, and Professor Kettleburn (Hagrid's predecessor in Care of Magical Creatures) lost an arm and one and a half legs. So, based on those examples, I felt it was clear that magic was limited in the area of reproducing a true new arm for him.
Thank you so much reading and reviewing!