A/N- This epilogue was such a pain in the rear end. I wanted to get it up New Year's Eve but I just couldn't decide what to do with Ron. I wonder if this is how JKR felt when she was debating killing him off. After attempting 2 separate attempts to bring Ron back in I had to concede that he was messing up my epilogue. So I tossed him aside. This epilogue is almost exclusively focused on Harry as I had everyone else mostly settled. I did bring Pansy in, but if you were hoping she'd get with Harry that's not in the cards.
There's alot of just text covering what's happened in the five years between events in this chapter and the previous one, but I opted to condense it in one space so that I didn't interrupt the dialogue too much with exposition (nothing kills a [fic] like too much exposition) - you get 100000 internet points if you get that reference.
Also if you want to see the most ridiculous/epic/massive swingset ever, this is the reference (just delete the spaces): goo. gl/ ZBCxsE (And yes, I did find it by typing 'epic swingsets' into Google and scrolling through many pictures)
Happy New Year!
~5 Years Later~
"Samir it's time to go!" Harry Potter smiled as a three year old boy with dark skin, messy black hair, and bright green eyes came running into the room.
"Daddy I dressed myself!" Harry grinned and picked up his son, "See?"
"I do and you look good," his son had taken to dressing himself recently, though Harry's wife Parvati was the one who got the clothes out for their son. "Are you excited to go see your cousin Scorpius?"
Samir nodded his head eagerly. Hearing footsteps behind him Harry turned to see his wife with their one year old daughters, Shanti Lily Potter and Sri [pronounced SHREE] Chandra Potter (named after their paternal and maternal grandmothers, respectively). "Guess who dressed himself Mummy."
"I did!" Samir declared, raising his hands in the air.
"You did a good job," Parvati kissed her son's head, then kissed her husband, "Let's go then. We don't want to be late." Harry nodded and led the way to the floo room. With two shouts of 'Malfoy Manor' they vanished from their home.
After leaving Ron five years ago, Harry had returned to the hotel. He'd had to beg and plead for the receptionist to even contact Blaise, and the dark skinned Slytherin had been unmoved. Harry had been required to vow he wouldn't cause trouble at the party and hand over his wand for Blaise to even consider letting him back in. Harry had then found himself the center of attention. He'd apologized to everyone for Ron's behavior and for the lack of communication over the years. He'd said he wanted to come home and eventually he received forgiveness. Kind of. Ginny was still furious with him and Draco and the Slytherins clearly didn't trust him as far as they could have thrown him. Hermione wouldn't even speak to him at the time.
He had known that leaving as he and Ron did would hurt Hermione's feelings. Looking back Harry knew that far too often he'd hurt her feelings or, perhaps worse, he'd ignored them. Harry had certainly never felt like he was using Hermione for grades, but looking back at the way they just left without even a proper goodbye and never wrote her…Harry could see how she came to such a conclusion. If they were such good friends, if they were best friends, shouldn't he have bothered to write her?
Unfortunately, Harry had no reason for his behavior after leaving England. He could only try to make amends but Hermione spent very little time with him and when she did it was always in a group and conversations between the two of them were short and awkward.
George gave Harry a job at his store when they returned to England and Molly let him stay at the Burrow in Ron's old room. Harry was grateful because it enabled him to catch up on everyone's lives with Molly and Arthur who were the most forgiving of everyone he'd left behind. Molly and Arthur told him all about the trials; Molly had kept many of the newspapers from the time which was also helpful. Harry felt sick at the things Malfoy had been threatened with if he didn't do as Voldemort demanded.
Myrtle's testimony about what Draco would confide in her shattered the image Harry had long held of the rich blonde. He'd never thought about Malfoy being forced to do anything. That he could have been abused. It explained plenty about Malfoy's behavior in school, of course, but it still surprised him. He also had plenty of time to think about all he learned about Malfoy and the other Slytherins. They seemed to go out of their way to avoid him. And at first, Harry felt horrible about it. But George explained it best- it was better for Harry to be at arm's distance rather than accidentally run his mouth and worsen the damage to his relationship with Hermione. That made perfect sense to Harry and he'd focused on the few people who would talk to him.
After a couple of months, Harry was finally admitted to Hermione's circle. It was strange, seeing the Slytherins without their scowls. What was most shocking, though, was Daphne and Hermione's relationship. The two women were very close and so unlike their school selves. Daphne had always been almost invisible in Hogwarts but at Hermione's birthday party that year they had a drinking game of 'I Never'. Harry still wasn't entirely sure that you could have sex while windsurfing, but Daphne had sworn that she and Blaise had done just that on their honeymoon while Hermione had admitted to shagging Draco in all four common rooms while they were at Hogwarts that final year. The smug smirk on Draco's face that time was well-deserved, in Harry's opinion. It was an impressive feat to pull off.
In October George officially bought out Zonko's in Hogsmeade and sent Harry to, as George put it, "Capitalize on the Boy-Who-Lived thing by keeping you close to Hogwarts." Harry was helping the branch transition and the grand opening was to be on Halloween. Harry didn't mind the move or the work. It was rather nice, seeing how things had changed since the war. Madame Rosmerta kept him a room in the Three Broomsticks to stay in and Harry continued to learn about this new circle of friends he found himself in. He was surprised to learn that many of the hotels he and Ron had stayed in were actually Zabini properties.
At the grand opening Harry had re-met Parvati Patil, who was a reporter at the Daily Prophet on assignment covering the store's opening, and he'd been struck by how mature she'd become and also how beautiful she was. Padma was identical to her in appearance, true enough, but Harry had always dismissed Parvati as half of Gryffindor's 'gossip girls'. He'd granted the interview, though requested it be over dinner. Parvati had given him a coy smile before agreeing.
Over dinner Harry had apologized for their fourth year date and Parvati had graciously accepted it. The interview didn't take long and when it finished their conversation became personal, talking about Parvati's life since the war. Harry told her about his travels and why he'd decided to come home. It had been an enjoyable evening and Harry had asked her out afterwards on a proper date, without any work involved. She'd agreed and thus their romance had begun.
In early December Hermione told everyone she was pregnant. She and Draco were thrilled and Harry found himself smiling when she told him over lunch in Hogsmeade. Two weeks later at the Burrow Angelina and George announced that they were also expecting and a week after that, Daphne and Blaise announced that they were also expecting a child. It was a crazy December but Harry made an effort to make time for both his friends and for his girlfriend Parvati.
In February the Hogsmeade location was fully up and running smoothly so Harry returned to London and began to renovate Number 12 Grimmauld Place to make the house more functional. Narcissa Malfoy and Andromeda Tonks then decorated their ancestral home before Harry gave the house to Teddy Lupin and the two women moved in to give Draco and Hermione privacy in the Manor as they started their family; to keep the house going, Narcissa's favorite house elf went with them.
March saw Harry moving into Parvati's flat with her and leaving the Burrow. He also began to plan his own little shop which he wanted to create to cater to people who loved to fly as much as he did. Working in George's stores he'd learned that he quite liked the work and helping people, but he wanted to have his own business. With help from Hermione making a business plan he worked out the particulars. He wanted a wide selection of brooms, from training brooms for children (available only via special mail order normally) to racing brooms to casual brooms, including long flight brooms and family brooms. He also wanted to stock cleaning kits (also usually exclusively mail order) and a few quidditch things like training snitches and quidditch starter kits but by and large, he wanted the focus to be on the brooms themselves. There were plenty of quidditch shops. But a shop devoted to brooms themselves wasn't common at all. Parvati and Dennis helped him with marketing and advertising, with George offering advice on getting the store's name out as well.
Even Draco helped out, helping him get contracts with the big broom companies to carry the things usually available only via mail order. Harry was grateful for Malfoy's business sense as he managed to get a great deal on the items.
It took a great deal of work, so Harry had only just opened the store in early July when Hermione went into labor. After a surprisingly quick labor Draco and Hermione welcomed Scorpius Apollo Malfoy to the world. Two weeks later George and Angelina welcomed Fred Loki Weasley into the world. And only four weeks after Angelina gave birth, Daphne went into labor and delivered Alex Caius Zabini. Holding the newborns, and seeing Parvati hold them, had given Harry ideas. On the eve of their first anniversary he proposed to his girlfriend and she said yes.
The wedding was 9 months later and soon Parvati was pregnant with their son Samir Orion Potter. From Malfoy Harry had learned how it was pureblood tradition that the first born son bear the father's first name as his middle name (Draco Lucius, William Arthur, Harry James as examples) and Harry didn't want to adhere to it but wanted to pay tribute to Sirius. Remembering Sirius' middle name, and Parvati preferring Orion over Sirius, Harry'd gone down that route.
Shortly after Samir's first birthday Hermione delivered her and Draco's second child, Cassiopeia Athena Malfoy (Hermione going with the Greek tales from which her own first name was taken for her children's middle names). That same year Angelina gave birth to Roxanne Hermione Weasley. George had insisted that any daughter of his bear the name of the woman who'd brought him out of his depression after Fred's death (despite a blushing Hermione's protests). There were plenty of children in the large circle of family and friends; Harry, Draco, George, and Blaise already had a fund started to send alcohol to the professors of Hogwarts when their children began attending.
The Potter family arrived at Malfoy Manor to what could politely be called bedlam. Exiting the floo room after being greeted by an elf (Draco had exposed Hermione to plenty of elves and after talking to them she altered her goals to simply put in place programs to protect the elves from abuse and to house freed elves with families that needed them) they walked outside to see little children running around the yard with the Malfoys' dog, whose name was Pavlov. It was chaos but the air was filled with laughter. "Can I go play Mummy?" Samir asked.
"Yes but be careful," Parvati warned him, smiling as he ran after the group of young boys. "He's going to get his pants filthy," she wrinkled her nose at the thought.
"I'll clean them," Harry volunteered.
"You're a good husband," she said, kissing him sweetly.
Harry grinned and they walked over to the picnic table at which Angelina, Padma, Daphne, Ginny, Pansy, Fleur, and Luna were all sitting. "Hello ladies," Harry said.
"Give me my niece," Padma demanded and Harry acquiesced, handing Sri over to her aunt.
"Where are the boys?" Theo and Padma had twin sons, Rohan and Ravi, who were two years old.
"Watching the men help Draco build the swingset that's Scorpius' birthday present," Padma answered with an evil smile on her face. "No magic allowed. Hermione's orders."
Harry and Parvati laughed. Draco had no issues with the muggle world any longer; in fact the manor had one section that was all-muggle to acknowledge Hermione's heritage and Draco was a big fan of movies and video games. But to put together a swingset without magic had to be impossible for the pureblood wizard. Parvati sat down next to her sister, "Go help them out Harry."
"Or at the very least prove slightly more capable than Blaise," Daphne laughed. Harry grimaced remembering building a treehouse the muggle way for Teddy three years ago. Blaise had been a bumbling disaster. Physical labor was clearly not his forte. He walked off in the direction Angelina pointed. Hopefully Hermione hadn't killed the guys yet.
It wasn't hard to find the swingset. Harry walked over to Hermione, "Uh, Hermione? This is not a swingset. This is a playground."
She glanced up at him and smirked, "I know. But Draco had Teddy help him pick it out."
"That explains alot," Harry nodded. Draco wasn't in the habit of saying no to Teddy and anyway, Draco would have wanted the best for his son and daughter to play on. "It's really cool though. I mean, if I were a kid I'd want this in my backyard."
"Me too," Hermione nodded. "Draco actually was doing better on his own without Blaise, Theo, Oliver, and Greg around. Dennis has been very helpful."
"Why not tell the other four to piss off?"
"I think he doesn't want to offend them," Hermione sighed, "Plus the slides do need multiple people holding them in place so that they can be secured."
"Draco got most of it done on his own I'm guessing? Just how big is this thing anyway?" Harry asked.
"It's 38 feet wide, 49 feet deep, and 11 feet high," Hermione said, "and Narcissa came over to watch the kids this morning so that Draco and I could get started. Dennis came over just after breakfast to help us out and between the three of us we got most of the structure assembled. But the slides are too heavy for just the three of us so we had to wait until the rest of you came over."
"Well I'll help," Harry said. He was decent enough with a hammer, wrench, drill, and most other tools. Hermione stood with his help and they walked over to the men. Draco and Dennis had attached the walls at the base of one of the towers for the sandbox and Blaise was swiftly assigned the task of filling the sandbox.
"Muggles really buy these things for their kids?" Theo asked.
"Usually not something this extravagant," Hermione said. "Imagine just the swing section and one of the slides and that's more familiar to muggle children."
"Leave it to Draco to take the idea to a ridiculous level," Blaise said.
"Alex will love it too," Draco informed his friend.
"Well you always did want Malfoy Manor to be filled with life and laughter," Blaise stuck his tongue out at his friend.
Hermione rolled her eyes and pulled her husband to her, "Why do you put up with him?"
"I'm not really sure," Draco smirked. Blaise scowled and the Malfoys laughed, Draco leaning down to kiss Hermione. "We'll get the slides done and then everything should be complete. Go check on the kids."
"No magic," she told him. "Just the spells at the end that we talked about."
"I know," Draco assured her, kissing her again, "I'm not going to do anything that could impede me being rewarded for being such a wonderful husband and father and putting this monstrosity together."
"You're so smart," she purred, "Try not to be too tired tonight."
"I'm never too tired for you," he said, his hands moving to her hips.
She pulled away, "I'll go before you get distracted."
"You're a wonderful distraction!" Draco called after her. Hermione's laugh could be heard as she walked back up toward the house with Theo's twins in her arms.
"You two are ridiculous," Harry said.
"Just be glad you missed out on the honeymoon period after they first slept together," George said. "They were so obnoxiously sweet; my teeth hurt just seeing them together."
"We still weren't as bad as Blaise and Daph," Draco argued.
"Oh definitely," Theo laughed. "Watching Blaise go from philanderer to 'my one true love' was such a severe change Draco and I debated taking him to St. Mungo's for an examination."
"And Daphne going from the ice queen to someone warmer than Molly Weasley was disturbing for all parties; Astoria avoided her for over a month," Draco added. "I wished I could."
"That makes two of us," Theo shuddered at the memories.
Harry shook his head, "Okay so Dennis and I can attach the corkscrew slide if Oliver, George, Blaise, and Greg hold it up. Draco and Theo make sure it's angled properly."
Soon enough the largest play set Harry had ever seen was finished. Draco cast the spells Hermione had requested and they all congratulated one another before heading up to the house to see that lunch was ready. "Can I have my present yet?" Scorpius asked as they sat down to lunch.
"After lunch," Hermione answered, kissing the top of his head. "Your father and uncles spent all morning putting it together."
"Really?" Scorpius gazed at his father in awe.
"Really," Draco nodded. "Since before you woke up this morning." Scorpius beamed at his parents. Harry had been rather amused to see that when Scorpius was born he was brunette, not blonde. Not that the little boy didn't look like his father as he grew; he had Draco's grey eyes and facially was a carbon copy of Draco when he was a child. Having seen pictures of Draco growing up courtesy of Narcissa had Harry certain of that fact. Scorpius' hair was fine and straight yet thick, a very good combination of his parents' hair that had Hermione breathing a sigh of relief. Their daughter on the other hand was a mini-Hermione, though her hair was much more like her father's right down to the color and she also had her father's eyes.
As Harry fed his daughter he felt relieved that he'd gone to the World Cup and seen Hermione and the Weasleys and Teddy. Until he'd seen Teddy, seen Hermione with a wedding ring, he'd kind of forgotten about everyone in England. And the more he saw everyone interacting, learned who people had married, the more he'd felt the guilt grow. And then the yearning. He wanted to go home. He wanted to be in Hermione and Teddy's lives. So he'd apologized to Blaise, got his chance with the Weasleys and Hermione and her friends, and capitalized on that chance lest any of them ever regret giving him that chance.
Of course, he did occasionally have bouts of guilt about leaving Ron. But Ron seemed to be content, traveling and never settling down too long. Harry never would have just left Ron and returned to England out of the blue but at the World Cup he'd seen something in Ron that he'd maybe been numb to previously; Ron wanted to be a sixth year in Hogwarts again with everything easy in perpetuity. Slytherin = evil and Gryffindor = good. Ron both wanted Hermione to be his girlfriend and yet wanted nothing to do with her, deeming her an unsatisfactory option as a partner. He needed those rivalries and that anger and hatred. Harry was tired of hating Slytherins, tired of being angry at them. And he was tired of never having a bed of his own.
From the first time that Harry had seen Hermione with Malfoy, Harry had seen that she was loved and far happier than he'd ever seen her. It was in the couple's eyes and body language, clear as day. Ron had just seen the girl he liked but didn't want standing with his enemy and had immediately jumped to the conclusion Hermione was with Malfoy to get back at Ron for leaving. Harry thought that was absurd.
Even after five years, Harry and Hermione's relationship still wasn't where it used to be. She was closer to Daphne, Padma, Blaise, and Theo than she was to him and Harry had accepted that it was probable he never would hold that place in her life again. Blaise was godfather to Scorpius and Theo was godfather to Cassie and Harry was just happy to be a fun uncle to the two children. Given the way he'd left Hermione, he figured it was far more than he deserved.
Lunch was soon finished and they walked the kids down to the swingset, covering their eyes so they wouldn't give it away to Scorpius. Draco had once told Harry that he wanted Malfoy Manor filled with the laughter of children. It would drive Lucius around the bend that his own grandchildren were half-bloods and that Weasley children and Potters were roaming the estate. Harry grinned as Scorpius saw his present, "Wicked! Mum! Dad! It's brilliant," he hugged them both as Cassie opened her eyes and squealed with delight. "Best birthday ever!" Scorp declared before running toward the swingset. Harry set his son down and watched Teddy Lupin help Cassie and Samir climb up onto the massive playset as the children ran around, playing on the massive structure.
"What spells did you put on it?" Harry asked Draco.
"Magical reinforcement, weather repellent, and some safety spells and wards," Draco answered. "Let's just say our kids are practically superheroes on that thing."
Harry laughed. He watched Luna sit her and Greg's one year old daughter, Nola, in the sandbox. Parvati and Padma carried the twins over there to join her and Harry took in the scene. Teddy Lupin playing with Scorpius Malfoy, Fred Weasley, Alex Zabini, and Samir Potter. Victoire Weasley playing with Cassie Malfoy and Roxy Weasley. Rohan and Ravi Nott playing with Bruno Wood, Oliver Wood's two year old son he had with his wife, Pansy Wood née Parkinson. It was something he could never have predicted happening when he was at Hogwarts or when he was abroad after the war. While the children played the one year old dog Pavlov ran around the playset in the grass, pouncing on the older children when they came down a slide. The squeals of joy and laughter put a smile on his face. It felt good, being home. Looking at Parvati he was certain he'd made the right decision.
Hermione felt familiar arms wrap around her and she leaned into him, "I think you accomplished your mission love."
"Now all we have to do is torture Lucius with the information," Draco said, squeezing her affectionately and kissing her shoulder, "I look forward to that Azkaban visit. I haven't seen him since his trial."
She turned and kissed him, "We're going to be the cool house. You know what that means don't you?"
"Yeah no privacy to have sex in the living room or study or even the library," Draco pouted.
"Such a man," she rolled her eyes.
"Your man," he reminded her.
"And yet I don't regret it," she teased, making Draco pout. A kiss brought that smirk back to his lips. "I love you."
"I love you," he responded, pressing his forehead to hers, "marrying you was the smartest thing I've ever done."
"No argument there," she laughed before he kissed her again, "the kids will be exhausted before bed time," Hermione said when they parted.
"Good maybe I can get you naked sooner," he gave her a lecherous grin and she pressed her head to his shoulder. "What's the smartest thing you've ever done?"
"Saying yes when you asked me to Hogsmeade," she answered. "I wasn't sure that I even wanted to go with you back then but I wouldn't trade any of our time together for anything."
"Me either," he smiled. "How about we use the hot tub later?"
"I was thinking I'd bring out your old uniform shirt actually," she said.
Draco swallowed, "With the tie?"
"Of course," she slid one hand under his shirt and ran her hand over his abs, "I do know you, after all."
"Very well," he grinned. "We'll go with your idea. It's better."
She smiled, "I had a feeling you'd think that." Her hand slipped out from under his shirt and she turned in his arms to watch their children play. Draco held her close, savoring the contact. Ten years ago he'd been awaiting trial. He'd been certain he'd end up in Azkaban. Instead he'd been cleared; all thanks to the woman in his arms. She denied it but he knew that if Hermione hadn't testified for him, about Myrtle and what she'd seen with her own eyes, he wouldn't have been cleared.
Once he was cleared Draco Malfoy had set a new course in his life. Restore the Malfoy name to prominence. The first step, in his mind, was to thank Hermione for testifying. And from that conversation they'd become friendly and Draco hadn't taken long to realize he was attracted to her. When he realized it was mutual he wondered if their constant bickering in school had been efforts to temper that attraction to each other; looking back he was fairly certain he'd recognized she was attractive right around fourth year. Hermione later admitted that around fifth year she'd finally realized she was attracted to him.
Their first date had been a little stilted and awkward, but at the end of the night when they'd kissed sparks flew and it took everything in him to not take her straight to bed. The lust in her eyes when he pulled back indicated she was certainly feeling it too.
On their second date neither one had the same self-control from the previous date and the couple ended up in Hermione's bed. After that they never spent a night apart. The only exception, in almost ten entire years together, was the night before their wedding. Molly and Narcissa had insisted on that tradition being adhered to and the only person Draco feared more than Hermione was his mother.
"I love you," he whispered. "So incredibly much."
"I know Draco," she smiled up at him, "I love you too Mr. Two-Time World Cup Champion." He grinned. England was the first country to win the Quidditch World Cup back-to-back and he felt immensely proud of himself about that accomplishment. Scorpius and Cassie had both watched their father win and flown with him on his broom in a victory lap afterwards. For Draco the best accomplishments in his life were his wife, his children, and then his two World Cup wins.
Initially he'd wanted to make his name good for himself and then for Hermione so she wouldn't have to endure the whispers about how she could have done better than a 'Malfoy'. But then when they started to have kids he'd found a new goal. Giving his kids something better than he'd inherited. He had accomplished that feat. "I was thinking for our anniversary we could go to one of the islands, just the two of us. Let mum and Aunt Andi watch the kids."
Hermione smiled. Narcissa loved babysitting her grandchildren and Andromeda doted on her great-niece and nephew. And with Teddy starting Hogwarts that year, the two women could probably use the distraction. "I think that's a great idea. How long would we be gone?"
"I was thinking a week," he kissed her neck, "It is our tenth anniversary, after all."
"That's true," she nodded, "It seems both longer and shorter than ten years."
He laughed, "It does, doesn't it? I loved all of it though."
"Even when I broke your hand delivering Scorpius?"
"Well maybe not that," he conceded, making his wife laugh. "You're much stronger than you look you know."
"I'd have thought you learned that third year when I broke your nose," she teased.
"I was still a prejudiced arse back then," he shrugged.
"Good thing you grew out of that."
"Very good thing or I wouldn't have fallen for you. And imagine how empty your life would be without me in it," he added with a smirk.
"Horribly awful, I'm sure," she rolled her eyes. He might not be a bigot, but he was still arrogant. She didn't mind; she had her own flaws and they kept one another in check. "I'm just grateful our children have my humility to even out your arrogance."
"You're too humble for your own good," he said. Hermione rolled her eyes again. "Teddy's excited for Hogwarts."
Hermione smiled. He really was eager to go to Hogwarts. As he'd aged they'd told him about the war and about his parents; Teddy knew more than most kids his age. He'd handled it very well, actually. And he'd never held Draco's actions against him. It was incredibly heartwarming seeing Draco tell Teddy about his part in the war and then see Teddy hug him and tell him it was okay and he was still his hero. Hermione had only ever seen Draco cry three times, and that had been one of them. It had taken a nine year old's forgiveness to soothe Draco's self-inflicted guilt; something the courts and Hermione had been unable to do.
When their children had been born Draco and Hermione had been careful to include Teddy in family things. With Teddy seven years older than Scorpius, that could be difficult. But Teddy seemed to like being a big brother and was very patient with Scorpius; Draco had to admit it helped that while his son looked just like him (minus hair color, obviously), he had a thirst for knowledge that was very much Hermione. Already Scorpius was wise beyond his years. Narcissa would say that Scorpius was 3 going on 30 and Draco thought it was accurate.
The couple was pulled out of their thoughts when Scorpius and Teddy ran up to them, "Can we have cake now?" Scorpius asked.
"We thought you'd want to play for a bit first," Hermione said.
"Yeah but cake is good fuel," Scorpius responded. Draco buried his head in Hermione's hair to hide the grin at his son's words. Scorp was a sponge and his vocabulary was beyond his years.
Hermione looked at Teddy, who smiled innocently, before she nodded, "We can have cake now."
"Yay! Cake time!" The two boys ran off to tell the others, Teddy careful not to get too far ahead of Scorp as they ran.
"That was all Teddy," Hermione said. "You let him spend too much time with George."
"Me? George is closer to you, love," Draco reminded her. "And it's worth reminding you that you are not as innocent as you like people to think. Umbridge, Bellatrix, Edgecombe, and McLaggen come to mind."
Hermione sighed, "I never should have told you those things."
"I rather liked that you hexed his bollocks off," Draco smirked. "Wanker deserved it."
"Hardly an appropriate thing to call him now," she nudged him and he laughed. "Come on, we have a cake to get ready before the angry toddlers revolt on us with their gang leader Teddy."
"I wouldn't believe Scorp was a toddler if I didn't remember your labor vividly," Draco mused as they walked up to the house.
"That makes two of us," Hermione said. "He's going to be so much trouble at Hogwarts. Your looks, my intellect…"
"I'm not an idiot," he reminded her.
"You're quite brilliant in your own right," she kissed him apologetically, "I'll rephrase. Your looks, our combined intellects, and my hunger for books has combined into a hellion."
"Maybe McGonagall will be retired by then," Draco mused. "If not we can send her loads of high-quality Scottish whiskey." Hermione laughed.
Several hours later Harry scooped up Samir as Padma settled the twins to floo home, "Thanks for having us. He's going to be eager to come back soon and play again."
"It's good having him, even if he's a Potter," Draco smirked. Harry shook his head in silent laughter lest he wake up his son. "But I wouldn't hold that against him. He is half-Patil after all, and they're perfectly acceptable."
Parvati kissed Draco's cheek, "I knew I liked you."
Hermione smirked and wrapped her arms around her husband's waist, "Thanks for coming. Scorp had a blast today."
"Just wait until these two are mobile," Parvati indicated her twins.
"I'm more interested in watching Potter here lose his mind when boys start to notice them," Draco smirked. Harry's horrified expression at the mere thought had the Malfoys laughing.
"Come on Harry," Parvati smiled, rather than laughed, at her husband. "Let's get these three down for the night. Then we can turn in."
That put a grin on Harry's face and the Malfoys watched the Potters leave. "Potter's fun to mess with," Draco said.
"You've always thought that," she teased.
"I can't help it," he protested. "Potter is just so easy to bait."
"He is that," Hermione admitted. "Come on, we have some children to get into a bath before it's bedtime for them."
"And playtime for us," he smirked.
"You do need your reward," she wrapped her arms around his neck, "I believe I've already said it today, many times, but I love you Draco Malfoy."
"I love you Hermione Malfoy," he smiled genuinely and kissed her. "Ten very wonderful years, two beautiful children, four league wins, and two World Cup medals. We've been busy."
"We'll be even busier once you retire in another three years or so," Hermione reminded him. Draco was going to be heading up Malfoy Industries properly once he retired from Quidditch. Although then they'd be working closely together, it'd still be much more work for Draco.
"More time with you and Scorp and Cassie," he smiled. "I can't wait."
"Me either," she smiled and kissed him, "now let's get the kids get ready for bed and you can enjoy your reward."
"You'll enjoy it too," he whispered in her ear. She nodded her head. She always did.
When the Potters arrived home there was owl mail. Harry looked at it, "It's addressed to me. Looks like Ron's handwriting, actually," he said.
"Do you need to read it now? Samir needs a bath and the twins need to be changed and then put to bed."
"I can read it later," Harry said, putting the letter on the table. "I'll bathe him and then get him ready for bed."
"I love it when you take the hard jobs," Parvati whispered into his ear before giving him a teasing kiss and heading up the stairs with the girls.
Harry grinned. He'd fallen for Parvati the minute they re-met, and he was so relieved when she didn't hold the Yule Ball against him. Their romance was intense, probably the most on-par with Hermione and Draco's passion for one another. Harry had been surprised to learn that Parvati was in Padma's circle of friends. But then as he thought about it Lavender had died during the war and according to Hermione, Parvati had become much closer to Padma in the war's aftermath. The two women had put aside childhood differences and their bond had tightened to a level that, while not quite the level of Fred and George (because no twins could be that close but those two), was surprisingly close.
Not having a family of his own, Harry was fine with Padma and Parvati's closeness. In fact he and Theo had struck up a strong friendship of their own. Harry'd known nothing about Theo, but he was pretty laid back and put family first. Harry saw himself pretty similar, actually, and the two had become fast friends when Harry started seeing Parvati.
Harry woke Samir as he carried him upstairs, "You ready for bathtime buddy?"
"Do I have to?"
"Yes but I'll try to be fast okay? Then mum can come kiss you good night."
"I'm sure we can read you a bedtime story," Harry nodded.
"Okay," Samir leaned into him and Harry sat him on the floor as he ran the bath and got out some of Samir's bath toys. He loved being a dad. Being the center of his son's world for the sole reason that he was 'Dad'. It didn't matter that he was the 'Boy-Who-Lived' or the 'Man-Who-Won'. He was just 'Dad' with the broom shop to Samir and the girls and for Harry, it was a very pleasant feeling. While he knew Hermione had always seen him as 'just' Harry, he'd not been entirely sure the Weasleys had in the beginning.
An hour and a half later Samir was asleep and Parvati was carefully closing the door to his bedroom. "Wards are fine?"
"I've never known anything to get through Hermione's wards," Harry said quietly. "She's scary good at them." When they'd bought the house Hermione had warded the property for him with some additional wards Draco knew that were, to quote the blonde, 'borderline' dark magic. They weren't illegal or particularly dark but they were dangerous to anyone who meant the Potters harm. Harry had no issues with that. His children weren't growing up without their parents. "I checked them after checking on the girls."
"So now it's just the two of us," her arms wrapped around his neck and Harry leaned in to kiss her, "shall we go to bed?"
"That sounds good to me," Harry lifted her up and Parvati's legs locked around his waist, "I love you."
"I love you," she responded before their lips met again and Harry walked the familiar path to their bedroom, Ron's letter completely forgotten.
When Harry woke the next morning it was to spooning Parvati with one arm and leg draped over her, holding her against him. He gave her a gentle squeeze and kissed her neck softly, not wanting to disturb her sleep. Her hand found his, "Good morning handsome."
"I didn't mean to wake you," he apologized.
"You didn't," she laced their fingers and pulled his hand up to her chest, "I just woke up."
"How long before the kids wake do you think?"
Parvati leaned forward to look at the clock, "We have some time. What do you have in mind?" Harry's grin was the only answer needed and she turned to kiss him.
An hour later the rest of the Potter household was awake and Parvati was making breakfast as Harry put the twins in their high chairs. Harry only remembered Ron's letter when Samir found it as he sat down, "What's this?"
"That's for Daddy," Harry said, taking the letter. "I forgot about it last night."
"What do you think he wants?" Parvati asked. She'd never thought much of Ron in school. She'd learned later that Hermione's friendship with Ron was pretty much solely because of Harry so while that explained Hermione's relationship with the volatile redhead, Harry's relationship with Ron was a mystery to her.
"I don't know," Harry admitted. He had written Ron four different times (including an invitation to Harry's wedding) but the letters were never responded to. He wasn't sure he honestly wanted to open it. Ron hadn't wanted to talk to him for five years. Harry had tried to write him about falling in love with Parvati, about marrying her, about the birth of their children…Ron never sent anything back. Ron had fallen out of Harry's life despite Harry's best efforts. Why would Ron suddenly want to contact him? "I'm not sure I want to read it," he told his wife as he helped her make breakfast.
"It's your decision," Parvati said. She really wasn't the biggest fan of Ron Weasley. She'd thought Lavender could do better than Ron when her best friend had started dating the temperamental redhead. And she especially disliked how Ron had treated her sister at the Yule Ball despite him begging Harry to get him a date too (Hermione had informed her of that when they'd all been upstairs getting ready that evening).
Harry felt two voices in his head. One sounded like Molly Weasley, desperate to know what her son was up to. The other was Hermione, whose last encounter with Ron had been, in a word, horrendous. And all on his part. She would point out that Ron had abandoned them both because of petty school rivalries and that Ron wasn't part of their lives any longer. "I feel like I'd be betraying Hermione if I opened it. But Mrs. Weasley would probably love some information on Ron."
Knowing Harry would be mentally at war at himself all day, Parvati squeezed his arm, "Harry just talk to Hermione about it. Visit her today and talk to her about it."
"That's a good idea," Harry nodded. "You're really smart," he added, kissing her.
"You just need a strong woman bossing you around to function," she teased, giggling at the pout on his face.
After breakfast Harry kissed Samir, Shanti, and Sri goodbye before kissing Parvati, "I really love you, you know."
"Likewise now go open the store. And talk to Hermione!"
"I will," he promised before leaving the house and Apparating to Diagon Alley.
Parvati looked at the clock before looking at the kids, "Who wants to go to Grandma Molly's?" Three grins were her answer. "Samir go pick the toy you want to take."
Harry sent Hermione an owl when he got into the store, the letter in his pocket. He opened up and set about helping customers. When he'd first opened the store he had his fair share of gawkers enter who just wanted to stare at the 'Boy-Who-Lived'. It was Malfoy who suggested capitalizing on it by letting George create Harry's likeness in a line of toys which Harry could then sell in the store. Since they were cheaper than the brooms and whatnot, people could buy them as a reason to be in the store and Harry would capitalize on people who just wanted to see him in the flesh.
There were Harry Potter figures flying on his Firebolt broomstick, Harry Potter figures flying on a Hippogriff, and Harry Potter and Hermione Granger figures riding a dragon. Hermione did not find it as amusing as George, Draco, and Harry did but she kept quiet. Although she hadn't been pleased when Harry gave Scorpius that one for his birthday the day before. But everyone else thought it was funny.
It was almost lunchtime when he heard, "Harry Potter I will get revenge."
He turned to look at Hermione leveling a glare at him that would have made Malfoy wet himself once upon a time. Harry looked at her, "What'd I do?"
"My son has been asking when I ever rode a dragon because I hate flying," she glared at him. "He's not old enough to understand the war Harry."
"Just tell him you're a hero," Harry shrugged.
"Have you met my son? He wants the full story, with details; not some bland explanation," Hermione's glare remained and he started to feel uncomfortable. She really could be scary.
"Well he could probably understand you fought and defeated a bad guy."
"And when he asks if daddy helped?"
Harry closed his mouth. He'd forgotten that. "You could technically say that Draco did help. He didn't identify us."
"That alone indicates that Draco was on the Death Eaters' side."
Harry winced and blushed, "Look Hermione I'm really sorry. I just thought it was amusing to give him that toy."
Hermione smiled, "Relax Harry. We've already explained to him that Daddy had to pretend to be bad to protect Grandma. He's might only be four but Draco and I discussed long ago how to answer questions about the war that they'd have."
Harry stared, stunned that she'd just put him through all of that, "You're evil."
"Draco's Slytherin ways have rubbed off on me."
"Well that's just gross," he wrinkled his nose and she rolled her eyes. Harry could be so immature sometimes.
"So what did you want to talk to me about?" She asked.
"I got a letter from Ron last night and I'm not sure if I should open it," Harry answered. "I was wondering if I could ask what you think I should do over lunch."
Hermione regarded her friend as they walked to a nearby café for lunch. For her, it was easy. Don't read it. Ron had ignored Harry's wedding, the births of his three children, and as a result she didn't think he deserved Harry's forgiveness. But Harry could overthink anything in order to make himself feel guilty. It was almost a talent.
Once they'd sat down and ordered Harry looked at her expectantly, "Well Ron's ignored you for five years. I certainly see why you wouldn't want to open it. Why would you want to?"
"He might say what he's up to and I think Molly would love that."
"If Ron wanted to write to his parents, he could," Hermione pointed out. "Harry, before you came back she'd written off both of you as just gone. That hasn't changed regarding Ron. And really, wouldn't it hurt her more to know that Ron wrote you but not her in your scenario?"
Well that hadn't crossed his mind. Harry frowned in thought. Hermione gazed at him, "Do you want to open it? You could read it but not respond."
"I don't know," he answered. "Part of me is curious what on Earth could be so important that he's writing me now but I'm really hurt by his treatment of his family and friends over the past 10 years."
"Harry very few of us, if any, give Ron much thought. I didn't until I saw him five years ago and since then I've not thought about him except when you would mention him. You're not betraying those of us that want nothing to do with him by reading it but it's really your decision. No one else's." Harry rubbed the back of his head. He still wasn't sure what to do. They ate lunch and chatted, leaving the subject behind.
By the end of the day when he closed up the shop Harry knew his answer. He burned the letter and went home. Hermione's words about not even thinking about Ron had him thinking about himself. In truth, he hadn't thought of Ron very much over the past year and a half either. At the Burrow he smiled watching Samir playing with Fred and Roxy in the yard and soon he was being tackled into the grass by the three kids. Harry was very glad he went back to the hotel that day over five years ago. It was possibly the third smartest decision he'd ever made (first and second being asking Parvati out and asking her to marry him, respectively).