February 4th, 2018
Author's Notes: Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy the last chapter!
Malfoy's Patented Daydream Scheme
Epilogue: One Year Later
Draco could not see the face of his bride as her father escorted her down the lavender petal-marked aisle. But that was fine. He knew inherently who wore the veil, and it wasn't Arthur Weasley on her arm who gave her identity away.
Over the last year, Draco had purchased and used close to a hundred Patented Daydream Charms, if not more. Every single daydream had featured the same woman—the same electric orange hair, the same polished-wood brown eyes, the same amused smile.
As far as Draco's research had been concerned, the consistency between daydreams had been a good thing. It was instantly obvious when he tested each version of his daydream potion whether or not the batch was a success because successful batches made Ginny Weasley the star of Draco's daydreams.
So far, this was a good batch.
Sunbeams cascaded through the branches of overhanging trees, leaving a dappled pattern of light and shadow on the wedding guests staring in awe at the bride's arrival. More than a few tears were dashed away with handkerchiefs and sleeves. Rubeus Hagrid and Minerva McGonagall openly sobbed from the third row.
Mr. Weasley delivered his daughter up to the altar and lifted her veil, kissing her cheeks as tears cascaded down his own.
And then Ginny turned to Draco, her hand offered into his, Mr. Weasley smiling proudly—with acceptance—at Draco before he returned to his seat in the front row, next to a sniffling Mrs. Weasley.
Ginny rolled her eyes and smiled Draco's favorite amused grin. He couldn't help but smile back.
The ceremony passed in a blur, Draco too preoccupied staring into Ginny's face that he missed his cue to say 'I do,' which garnered laughter from the guests and the bride.
And then they were descending down the aisle together, arm in arm and laughing as lavender petals rained over their heads and the light breeze set Ginny's wedding veil to flutter.
Draco felt as light as that veil, as transparent and fluttery as the lace that framed her face. His heart pounded and though he knew this was just a daydream, it felt so real. And because it felt real, he couldn't believe his good fortune that he had convinced Ginny Weasley that marrying him was a marvelous idea.
Even after pink fog swirled around them and Draco jerked back into consciousness, he still felt married to Ginny, still felt incandescently happy that she made it all the way to saying I do.
"Look at the stupid grin on his face," George said, his own smile wide and obnoxious.
The atmosphere of the daydream ebbed away, returning Draco to stark reality, to Ginny and George and Neville surrounding him in his sitting room at Hogwarts, all three carrying clipboards and scribbling on parchment.
"Are you alright?" Ginny asked, and Draco understood her concern. A couple months ago they'd had a setback with a bad batch of potion that had caused Draco and George to smile like deranged serial killers for two days before they'd developed a cure.
"I'm—fine," Draco replied as he wiped drool off his face with his sleeve, though 'fine' wasn't quite the right word to use.
Oh, physically he was perfect. His heart was still racing a bit, but he could feel it slowing down (which didn't stop Neville from checking his pulse and jotting down the results). However, inside Draco felt a little uneasy. No, uneasy wasn't the right word, either. Restless maybe. Impatient.
Ginny didn't seem wholly convinced, but she accepted his answer.
"How long was I out for?"
George, Neville, and Ginny looked at each other, their smiles lighting up their faces with excitement.
"A whole hour!" Neville said. "You didn't come out of the daydream once."
Draco nodded and stood, going to the workbench that had been installed in his sitting room when the one in his office had no longer sufficed to hold all of Draco's test batches. "Side-effects?"
Ginny read off her clipboard. "You didn't lash out or fall asleep. Your pulse stayed pretty steady. Vacant expression and only minor drooling this time."
He glanced into the cauldron of Test Batch #251. The lavender-colored concoction also carried an attractive lavender scent that would certainly appeal to customers more than Test Batch #249's coriander odor.
George, Neville, and Ginny waited patiently as Draco jotted down his own notes in his research journal, and then Draco put the quill down and glanced up at his partner, his colleague, and his girlfriend.
He smirked. "I think it's safe to conclude that Test Batch 251 is a success."
Whoops of delight filled Draco's sitting room as hugs were passed around. Ginny planted a celebratory kiss on Draco's mouth that made him recall with too much clarity the wedding he had fantasized about, the life he had anticipated sharing with Ginny in his daydream. They looked into each other's eyes, and Draco's mouth opened to convey some message, but George squeezed between them and slapped him on the back, interrupting the moment.
"We just need to come up with a name now," George said.
Draco waved his hand in dismissal. "I've had a name for ages."
George rolled his eyes. "Not your name. The potion's name!"
"I know what you meant," Draco said with a sneer. "The potion has a name. I'm going to call it 'Malfoy's Patented Daydream Elixir.'"
"Surely you mean 'Malfoy and Weasley's Patented Daydream Elixir.'"
Draco feigned a contemplative expression, as if he were actually considering George's suggestion. "No, I mean Malfoy's."
"Listen, as your most important test subject, I think it's only right that I get—"
He ignored the rest of George's tirade, which continued far longer than necessary. After a year of working together, he now understood when George was trying to pull his leg. His obvious attempts to annoy Draco practically rolled right off his back now.
Instead, he searched for Ginny, who had left Draco's side and wandered back to the workbench, perusing her clipboard and comparing her notes to Draco's research journal. She scanned the most recent entry, eyes widening as she read, cheeks flushing. She looked at Draco, shock and something else on her face. He merely shrugged at her, his smile warm and a bit apologetic.
Ginny didn't know that this wasn't the first time he'd daydreamed about their wedding, and she didn't know about the ring sitting in his locked desk drawer, waiting for the perfect moment.
Unlike Draco's daydreams, reality had a tendency not to produce perfect moments. He'd learned that excruciating lesson during the war and several times after. But here he was at Hogwarts, a Potions apprentice on the verge of mastery in his subject with a new potion ready to unveil to the world, Neville Longbottom as a reluctant friend, a Weasley on one side as a business associate, and a Weasley on the other as his lover.
Never in his wildest daydreams had he imagined his life turning out this way. As he took Ginny's hand and pressed her knuckles to his lips, he considered…. Perhaps it was time to dream bigger.