Author's Note: Hey guys! Thanks as always to everyone who's been leaving reviews, follows, favourites etc. Sorry this is out a bit later than usual. I've sort of lost the thread of this story a bit, if I'm honest. The other story I mentioned has taken off, however, with new significant plotlines that should take it a lot further. It's around 100 pages currently but I'm making some revisions before I'll be ready to post it - I am pretty excited for it and hope it's worth the wait. I do hope you enjoy xoxo cait

PS sorry for the mix-up in posting the wrong chapter last night. It has been a very long and tiring few weeks and some days I just can't brain.

Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Harry Potter franchise.

On Thursday of that week, Blaise apparated over unannounced. Draco looked up surprised, then smirked and set down his book. Blaise was clutching a bottle of whisky and was well into it by the looks of things.

Draco waved two glasses into existence and Blaise poured them each a drink, collapsing into a chair.

Draco sipped at his drink, waiting for Blaise to speak. His old friend looked very ragged; more so than Draco could remember seeing him in a long time.

Finally Blaise sighed.

"Lila's pregnant," he said.

Draco nearly choked on his drink.

"She's what?" he spluttered. "Pregnant? How did that happen?"

"Well, Draco," Blaise began sarcastically, "when a man and a woman -"

"Shut up," Draco cut him off. "Don't you use a contraception spell?"

"Yeah of course," Blaise said, shaking his head. "Usually. I don't know, Lila does it. Apparently it doesn't work all the time."

"What, really? That's crazy," Draco said, still absorbing the news. "You, a father."

"Right?" Blaise said, miserably drinking his whisky. "I mean, Lil's going to be a great mum."

"Yeah, she is," Draco agreed. "How's she taking it?"

"Surprisingly well. After the initial shock. She said I should be the one to tell you," Blaise responded. "I told her she doesn't have to go back to work after, if she doesn't want to. I've got more than enough money to support her. She hasn't decided yet."

Draco didn't want to think about Lila not being at work every day. He would have to find someone new for his team.

"I have no idea how to deal with this," Blaise admitted, looking to Draco. "She's going to move in with me. Should we get married?"

Draco shrugged. He had absolutely no experience with this sort of thing. He and Granger hadn't even discussed these topics yet.

"You should get married if you want to, not because you feel like you have to," he suggested.

"That makes sense," Blaise agreed. He poured himself another glass of whisky.

The two sat in silence for a long while.

"Hey," Draco said, breaking the quiet. "You're going to be a great dad, too."

Blaise grinned, not looking entirely convinced.

"I hope so," he replied. "Just nervous as hell."

Draco scrawled a memo to Granger, Friday morning.

Come over tonight? Dinner, drinks, nudity – not necessarily in that order?

He sipped his coffee, waiting for a reply. He also sent a memo to Lila, requesting she come to his office.

A few minutes later, Lila walked in, holding back a smile as she saw him.

"Blaise told you?" she asked, biting her lip.

"Yes," Draco grinned, "congratulations, doll. I'm happy for you."

"I'm sort of nervous," she admitted, "I don't know what it's going to be like."

"Blaise is nervous too. But you're both going to be great," he said. "And that baby's going to be so spoiled by Uncle Draco."

"Of course," Lila giggled. "Thanks, Draco. I appreciate your support and your being there for Blaise. He's terrified, truthfully."

"You know you're both welcome anytime," he scoffed. He gave Lila a quick hug. "Now back to work."

Draco walked Lila to the door, stepping out into the main offices. He met Granger's eye across the room and gestured with a motion of his head for her to come to his office.

Surreptitiously glancing around, Granger quickly walked over and into his office. Granger was wearing a short skirt today, and it made her arse look amazing.

Draco closed the door and slowly turned towards her.

"You look so good," he said, softly. He took a step towards her, tracing her cheekbone with his thumb, digging his hand into her hair.

In one smooth movement he had Granger's back to the wall, her legs around his waist.

Her eyes were wide with surprise, a smile playing at the corner of her lips.

Draco leaned in, kissing and sucking the soft flesh of her neck, smirking as he felt her breathing escalate. Worked his way up to her earlobe, biting and teasing.

He kissed her and she dug her hands into his hair, kissing him back with intensity.

He trailed a hand beneath her skirt, pushing her panties out of the way. Dipped two fingers in, feeling how ready she was for him – how ready she always was. He loved hearing her moan.

He played with her a moment longer, knowing she was near the edge.

Then he stopped. He slowly extracted his fingers, letting her legs down. Keeping her eye contact, he licked her juices off his fingers, one at a time. Granger swallowed with some difficulty but didn't look away.

Draco grinned.

"So, tonight?"

Granger's jaw dropped, eyes wide. Then her eyes narrowed.

"Malfoy," she hissed, "you're the worst."

"Draco," he corrected. "Granger, I told you there were benefits of working together."

He was going to be uncomfortable as hell for the rest of the day but it was worth it for the look on her face.

Granger silently fumed.

"Great, come over at seven? Have a great day," he grinned, sending her from his office with a smack to her arse.

He was going to pay for this one.

Granger had apparated in shortly after seven that evening. It seemed she was still sour from that morning as her eyes were narrowed as she saw him.

Draco had gone out of his way to avoid her all day, knowing it would just add to her irritation. Sometimes she was just too fun to mess with.

He had kissed her, poured her a glass of wine, and carried on cooking supper. As she sipped her wine she had relaxed, and through supper it seemed she had forgiven him – but Draco knew better. This would come back to haunt him one day, soon enough.

"So, I heard some news," Draco said as he opened a second bottle of wine following dinner, filling both their glasses.

"What's that?" Granger asked, interestedly.

They both took a seat on the couch, and Granger made herself comfortable on his chest. Draco put his arm around her, reflecting that this was probably his favourite way to be.

"Lila and Blaise are having a baby," he informed her, grinning. Draco was genuinely excited, now that the news had sunk in.

Granger's eyes instantly lit up.

"I mean, she's quite young, but I did suspect she was pregnant," Granger admitted. "That is exciting news."

"How did you know?" Draco asked.

"At Blaise's, last friday, she was filling her wine glass with her wand. You can only do that with water," Granger shrugged. "I thought maybe she didn't feel like drinking. I didn't bring it up, of course, in case it was a sensitive subject."

Draco shook his head. Of course Granger would notice something like that. She was too smart for her own good sometimes.

"It's made me think," Draco said, taking a big sip of his wine, uncomfortable. "Do you want kids? Someday?"

"Yes, someday," she replied. "Not now, of course. Do you?"

"Yes," Draco nodded. "When the time is right. I'd very much like to be a father."

"You'll be an amazing father," Granger said, softly, tracing patterns on his chest. She smiled. "When the time is right."

"Thank you," Draco replied, touched. He sometimes felt weird opening up to Granger and then remembered he had already told her he loved her and she was still here. "Can you even imagine how talented and attractive our children would be?"

Granger laughed, loudly. Draco idly wondered if she was drunk.

"Our children will make the other children feel bad about themselves," she replied, snorting. Draco laughed simply because it was such an un-Granger-like thing to say. Yes, she was drunk – or close.

"Our children," Draco elaborated, grinning, "will be star Quidditch players, top students, and have loads of friends."

Granger smiled, polishing off her wine glass. Draco poured her another.

"I can't wait," she said, quietly. She kissed him then pulled away, happily sipping her wine.

Granger thought for a moment, eyes sparkling.

"Do you want to know the best part?" she asked.

"Yes," he said, unable to resist another quick kiss.

Almost instantly Granger kissed him again, longer this time. She giggled as she spilled some of her wine on him.

"Sorry," she whispered, cleaning it up with her wand. Draco laughed, feeling the effects of the wine as well.

"It's okay," he whispered back, kissing her again. "What's the best part?" In between kisses.

"Hold that thought," she muttered. Setting down her wine glass, she was suddenly straddling him, kissing him, aggressively, hurriedly working the buttons of his shirt.

Draco's eyes widened, but he didn't dare stop her.

"So what's the best part?" Draco asked, rolling over. He grinned.

They had somehow made it to the bedroom, a trail of clothing left along the way.

"The best part," Granger said, softly, turning to him, "is that our children will be raised to have respect, and integrity, and character. Like their dad."

Draco was momentarily speechless. He just stared at her, his brow furrowed. He felt a strange welling of emotions in his chest.

"Granger," he said, before correcting himself, "Hermione, that's – the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me."

"Well it's true," she replied idly, looking away from his gaze. "I can no longer reconcile you at all with the version of you that I knew back in school."

"That makes me so happy to hear you say that," he said quietly. He felt very overwhelmed.

"And," Granger went on, so softly that Draco almost had to strain to hear her. "That's what made me fall in love with you."

Draco squeezed his eyes shut, taking in what she had just said. He simply pulled her closer to him, not trusting himself to speak. He knew she could feel his heart racing.

He wished he could bottle this feeling – joy, acceptance, worthiness – love.

He knew he had never felt so happy.

"Do you want to go to Diagon Alley today?" Draco asked the next morning. He had slept amazing.

"Sure," Granger said sleepily, smiling at him. "For anything particular?"

"I need to go to Gringotts, but that's it," he replied. "You?"

"Not that I can think of," Granger thought for a moment, "maybe a quick visit to Flourish and Blotts."

"Not surprised," Draco rolled his eyes but grinned. "Sounds good. We can do lunch as well."

"Sounds like a plan," Granger said happily. Draco loved seeing her carefree. "Get up."

"Oh I will, but we aren't getting out of bed yet," Draco grinned, waggling his eyebrows at her unintentional innuendo.

Granger laughed but succumbed to his never-ending sex drive moments later.

"You can come in, you know," Draco said. Granger had been uncharacteristically quiet on the cart ride to his Gringotts vault. Gingerly she stepped into the small room where his money was kept, her features carefully schooled. His vault was modest but enough for him to live on.

Draco watched her for a moment.

"I know you want to ask," he said simply.

"I just knew your family was quite wealthy," she said, flushing red. "Not that it makes a difference or anything."

"Here was me thinking you were only interested for my money," Draco joked, trying to make light of the situation. "This is my personal money. The only money I use."

"So it's all just sitting somewhere, unused?" she asked, wide-eyed.

"I donated lots of it, after the war. It made my mother happy," he told her, his tone soft. "But yes, the rest is still here. Technically it's mine. Just in case something were to happen, things would be covered."

Granger didn't say anything. She looked very uncomfortable.

"Would you like to see it?" he asked. "I don't have any secrets from you, Granger. The money in that vault is more than I could use in my lifetime."

"Only if you'd like to show me," she said, still looking like she had crossed some horribly awkward boundary.

"I would," he nodded.

Getting back into the cart with his withdrawal, Draco directed the goblin to his family's vault. He hadn't entered it in years. It reminded him too much of his father.

The vault was much larger than his, nearly the size of a house.

Stepping inside, Draco felt very cold. He glanced at Granger. Her jaw dropped, eyes wide.

"This is..." she trailed off. "How much did you donate?"

"About half," he responded, shrugging. "I do want to be sure I can provide for my family one day. But if I never need to use it, I'll donate the rest."

"I've never seen this much money," Granger admitted. Draco sighed.

"Granger, growing up, I was taught that money made you inherently superior. Those who had it were simply better than those who didn't." He made a face. "Money. Blood."

Granger slipped her hand into his. It felt reassuring.

He hadn't shared about his family since they had been in Australia.

"It took getting away from his influence for me to realize how ridiculous it was," he frowned. "I had blind faith in all the wrong things."

"He was your father," she reasoned. "You were never taught anything else."

"I can't justify it, now," he shook his head. "Just seeing this – it disgusts me. That's why I rather donate it than keep it for myself. The hurt that he inflicted. I guess it's a small way of trying to make up for it. Which I'm well aware will never be accomplished."

"You aren't anything like your father," Granger said softly, squeezing his hand.

"That's my hope," he responded. He looked at her. "Thanks for coming down here with me. I think I needed this."

"Of course, Draco," she smiled.

"Love you," he glanced at her, lips curving into a smile. The words felt foreign in an amazing way.

"Love you too."


The brunette at Draco's side spun around at the sound of her name. Her eyes lit up.

Draco turned as well, his eyes narrowing slightly almost automatically.

It was Potter.

Potter froze, about to say something, when he realized Draco was there as well. He quickly closed his mouth.

"Hi, Harry," Granger said, smiling.

"Potter," Draco said in greeting. The air felt thick with tension.

"Hey, Herms," Potter said, ignoring Draco. "What are you doing here?"

"We were just about to go for lunch," Granger replied. Either she didn't notice or was doing a good job of ignoring how awkward this was.

"Would you like to join us, Potter?" Draco asked, softly.

Both his companions turned to him, equal looks of shock on their faces. Draco shrugged.

"No," Potter responded, too quickly to have given his question proper consideration. He turned back to Granger. "I'm here with Gin, she'll be waiting for me."

"Ginny is welcome to join us too," Granger encouraged, smiling at him.

"No," Potter repeated. "Maybe another time."

Draco almost laughed. From Potter's tone it was evident that he would rather do literally anything else than sit down with the two of them for lunch.

Draco thought Granger was trying not to look disappointed but was hiding it well. He placed a hand on her back reassuringly. Potter's eyes flickered to the contact.

Potter quickly excused himself, all but running off.

Granger sighed, turning to Draco, nervously chewing her lip.

"Give it time," Draco murmured. "I didn't expect him to say yes. If he had, can you imagine how awkward of a lunch it would have been?"

"Thanks for offering," she said, smiling at him, laughing despite herself. "Surprised me."

"He's your best friend," Draco said simply. "That's important to me."

"I appreciate that," she said softly, smiling up at him. Quickly she kissed him.

"Lunch," Draco suggested, steering her toward the restaurant they had been heading towards prior to running into Potter. Granger laughed, taking his hand.