A/N – This is just a short epilogue to round up the story. I want to thank everyone for reading this story, and especially those who took the time to leave me a review. Thanks for the support, and I'll be back in a couple of weeks with a new story.
Five Years Later.
It was a glorious day as the guests gathered for the wedding of Narcissa Black and Severus Snape. Even though Lucius had refused to sign divorce papers after he went sent to Azkaban, the Ministry still granted Narcissa her divorce and she'd gone back to using her maiden name. For Narcissa, her life as a Malfoy was over, but she knew Draco would carry on the Malfoy name and redeem it from all the damage Lucius had caused.
Five years after the war, Draco had done just that and even though Lucius was still alive, and rotting in Azkaban, when people thought of the name Malfoy, they thought of Draco and his family. He and Hermione were now married, and had been for nearly four years. The couple were also expecting their second child. Lyra was a bubbly child approaching her sixth birthday, with no lasting effects from her coma and she was loved by everyone who knew her.
The wedding was taking place at Draco and Hermione's large house in the Wiltshire countryside. Once Draco had come into possession of the Malfoy fortune he'd sold off almost every property and business so he could start afresh, which he'd done so with Hermione at his side as his partner in life and business. The house he and Hermione lived in had been built from scratch for the couple, and even though it was almost as large as Malfoy Manor, it was a proper, warm and welcoming family home.
As for Malfoy Manor, Draco had knocked down the entire building and gave the land to the Ministry so they could build a community centre for wizarding children. When Lucius heard of what his son had done to the family home, he'd had a heart attack. Not that it had elicited much sympathy from either Draco or Narcissa, and neither of them had visited him while he was sick in hospital. Much to Lucius's distress the heart attack didn't kill him, and after a couple of weeks in hospital, he was transferred back to Azkaban to continue his life of misery knowing his son hadn't just married a muggleborn and had a child with her, he'd now destroyed the only home Lucius had ever known and handed the land over to the Ministry without making a single Knut.
"I think we're nearly ready," Hermione informed Draco as she peeked outside and saw all the guests were seated.
"Yeah, I think everyone is here," Draco confirmed with a nod, before turning to where his mother and future step-father were preparing to tie the knot.
Narcissa and Severus had decided to have a low key wedding, which meant no large bridal party. Severus didn't have a best man and Narcissa had no bridesmaids and no-one to give her away. They would walk down the aisle together. The only exception was Lyra, who was a flower girl and was dressed in her own specially made dress.
"Are you ready?" Draco asked.
"We're ready," Narcissa replied. "Are you?"
"I am," Draco answered. He knew his mother and Severus had been wary of telling him they were together, but he couldn't be happier for them. They both deserved happiness, and Draco couldn't think of a better wizard for his mother than Severus.
"See you out there," Hermione said, kissing both Narcissa and Severus on the cheek before reminding her daughter to do as they'd practised with the flowers as she led her grandmother and step-grandfather down the aisle.
Hand in hand, Draco and Hermione headed out into the warm garden where they took their seats at the front of the gathering. Almost everyone who had been involved with the Order during the war was present as they were still a tight knit group and they'd supported each other as they'd moved on from the devastating events of the war.
Moments later the harpist began to play and the air was filled with oohing and aahing as Lyra made her appearance, looking adorable in her new lilac dress. As Lyra skipped down the aisle, scattering rose petals, she waved to everyone she knew. Which to be fair was most of the congregation as she had a special place in almost everyone's hearts after what she went through in the war. She had more surrogate aunts and uncles than Hermione could count, and when it came to birthdays and Christmases she was always overwhelmed with presents.
Narcissa and Severus calmly walked down the aisle behind Lyra, their happiness obvious for everyone to see. When they reached the front of the aisle, where a minister was waiting to marry them, they both hugged Lyra and sent her off to her seat beside Hermione and Draco.
"Was I good?" Lyra whispered to Draco.
"You were perfect, princess," Draco replied, hugging his precious daughter.
Hermione smiled at the interaction as she reached over and took Draco's hand in hers. Weddings always made her emotional and she was fully expecting to be crying by the end of the ceremony. Sure enough as Narcissa and Severus exchanged heartfelt vows, Hermione descended into a blubbering mess. By the time they were announced as man and wife and shared their first kiss as a married couple, Hermione had tears streaming down her face.
"You didn't even cry this much when we got married," Draco chuckled as he handed his wife a handkerchief. At their own wedding, Hermione has been overcome with emotion as they said their vows and even Draco had to fight back tears as he was finally married to the witch he loved.
"It's the hormones," Hermione explained, patting her large stomach. At seven months pregnant she was fairly heavy, and she swore she was never as big when she was carrying Lyra.
"Sure it is," Draco replied with a smirk, kissing the top of his wife's head.
"It is," Hermione protested with a chuckle.
Hormones or not, it was an emotional ceremony all round and Hermione hadn't been the only one to shed a tear as the happy couple exchanged vows. Although those weren't the only tears shed that day as at the reception Draco reduced more than a few people to tears when he gave his moving speech and told everyone what his mother meant to him. He credited her with getting him through the worst period of his life, and there was a moment of silence as everyone remembered those terrible days during the war.
Fortunately there was also plenty of happiness as people celebrated the happy occasion. Even though the day belonged to Narcissa and Severus, Lyra was still the centre of attention and she happily danced with everyone. However, even Lyra couldn't go on all night and before the party had broken up she was dead on her feet.
"I'll take her to bed," Draco said, picking up his daughter from where she was lying on Remus's knee at the table where he was sitting laughing and joking with the Weasley twins, Harry, Sirius, Blaise and Theo.
"I'll come with you," Hermione offered.
"You can stay here," Draco told his wife. "I won't be long."
"I could do with a break," Hermione said, stifling a yawn. To be honest she quite envied Lyra being carried off to bed, but she could hardly go to bed herself when she and Draco were hosting the wedding party for his mother and Severus.
Leaving the party going on in their back garden, Draco and Hermione let Lyra say her goodnights before they carried her off to bed. Fortunately the rooms in the house were all sound proofed, so even though the party was going on below Lyra's window, her room was nice and peaceful.
"Daddy, what's this?" Lyra asked sleeping, her small fingers tracing the red scar on Draco's left forearm as he tucked her into bed. "Grandpa Sev has one."
Draco glanced over at Hermione, wondering what he should say. The red scar was a remnant of The Dark Mark, and although it wasn't as nasty as the actual mark, it was still a visible reminder of his past. A past that one day he knew his daughter would find out about.
"Tell her," Hermione whispered as she joined her husband on her daughter's bed. "Tell her how it's a mark of your bravery."
"Is it?" Draco asked, looking down at the dull red scar on his forearm.
"Yes," Hermione replied with a firm nod. "You took the mark for us. You took it to save Lyra."
Hermione now knew every single thing Draco had done while he was Voldemort's prisoner. It hadn't been easy for Draco to tell her everything, not had it been easy to hear. But they'd gotten everything out in the open as they'd known it was the only way to move on with their lives. There were no secrets between the couple, and together they'd been able to deal with the war and its effects on their lives.
Knowing that Hermione was right, and Lyra deserved to know the truth, Draco turned back to his daughter still not sure what he was going to say to her. However, answering Lyra's question wasn't an issue that night as events of the day had caught up with the five year old, and while waiting for her father's answer she'd drifted off to sleep. Leaning forward he pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead and brushed her curly blond hair away from her face.
"We'll tell her the truth one day," Hermione vowed to her husband. "One day she'll know just what her father did for her. One day both of our children will know how brave you were."
"How brave we both were," Draco corrected. "I wasn't the only one suffering. You carried on without me. You looked after Lyra when I couldn't be there for you."
"I had a lot of help," Hermione replied, tilting her head towards the window where down below everyone she'd relied on during the war were celebrating Narcissa and Severus's wedding. "We were never alone, Draco."
"And you'll never be alone again," Draco promised, kissing his wife passionately.
With one final check of their daughter, the couple headed downstairs to re-join the party, happy in the knowledge that ultimately good had won. The dark had been vanquished and love and light had prevailed.