Outtake (Approximately Eight Months Post-Epilogue)
It was day four of the worst week of Draco's life. His youngest had been wrapped around him like Devil's Snare for at least the last two of those days. He couldn't actually remember the last time she'd allowed him to put her down.
For that matter, he didn't remember the last time he'd had a shirt on- he was fairly sure he'd given up on them sometime in the middle of day one when he realized they were only going to continue to get soiled and was now only wearing a pair of light linen trousers that were surely in desperate need of laundering. He did know that he hadn't had the opportunity to properly bathe for the entirety of this ordeal thus far. The man he'd been before he'd had children would be appalled.
Effie had been sent to the Manor where she was probably bored out of her mind and pestering the other elves for something to do. She was used to having her own family of six to care for and would almost certainly find a way to make them subtly pay for the indignity of being sent away for months after this was over. But while most wizarding diseases had no effect on elves, dragon pox was actually more dangerous for them than it was for humans. So, the moment Hermione had discovered a telltale green spot on her arm she'd given their faithful elf an airtight order to go to Wiltshire and not return until called by herself or Draco.
They'd been preparing to send the children to their grandparents as well when they, almost simultaneously, all began to exhibit symptoms. So, they'd battened down the hatches and settled in for the duration. Which meant that a pregnant Hermione and the four kids hunkered down in the master bed and he was left to play nursemaid. That had been eighty two hours ago.
Despite being the only one not to exhibit any symptoms, Draco was no longer convinced he was going to make it out of this alive.
If it had just been Carina, Alcyone and Hermione, he was sure things would have been fine. Carina, while normally somewhat of a drama queen like the grandmother she so resembled, was actually a very good patient. She just curled up on one side of their bed with the stuffed dragon Teddy had given her at birth and a stack of books. At nearly nine she was already vain enough to ask for his help regularly applying the potion that would keep the pox from permanently maring her fair skin, and in keeping her curly hair neatly plaited. But those weren't exactly the kind of requests he begrudged. He was actually relishing a bit in fussing over her, she was quickly getting too old to regularly allow for that kind of attention from her parents.
And his sweet Alcyone. All she seemed to want was him, to cling to him and be able to hear the sound of his heart beating beneath her ear. True, it had gotten rather tiring, having a feverish little body wrapped around him for so long, but it wasn't a comfort he was going to deny her. She had also quietly requested: "wings please, Daddy," while looking up at him with her mother's brown eyes, about twenty-four hours ago, which was no problem. He could maintain his transformation effortlessly these days, but he was so tired he kept forgetting about his damnable wings and bumping into things with them. Last time he'd been so startled he'd stubbed his toe and it had bloody well hurt! Still, that was fine, it had made his little girl giggle.
Then there was Hermione, who steadfastly refused to ask for anything at all. He was fully convinced that: "I'm fine, Draco," were the most maddening words in the English language. He could tell through their bond if she was suddenly in pain or something truly alarming, but despite how familiar he was with her emotions, he still couldn't read her mind.
He'd stupidly taught her occlumency and she'd kill him (possibly literally) if she felt him trying to sneak into her mind. So, he needed her to tell him if she prefered soup, or a sandwich, or both for lunch. Or about any more of several dozen choices he'd been forced to make for her over the past days. But she was stubborn. She just kept telling him to take care of the kids and she was fine with whatever he could manage. It was all he could do not to growl at her that of course he was going to take care of their children, but he would appreciate it if she would allow him to dote on his pregnant wife too.
But he refused to snap at her. He reserved that for his nightly floo calls with Potter and his father. The former, whose spawn had given his family this infernal illness and, for that reason, Draco thought, fully deserved to share in the suffering. The latter just found this all a little too amusing for Draco's liking, but whom he was required to call with an update once a day or risk his mother coming to Scotland to check on them herself.
But it was his sons who were going to send him round the bend with their award worthy dramatics. The moment he had started feeling poorly Scorpius had climbed into his mother's arms and hadn't emerged since. Presently, he had his face smashed against her chest, fast asleep. Draco wasn't really sure how he could breathe like that, but he wasn't saying a thing about it. This was the only respite he'd had in hours from the constant whining the boy had been doing since he'd gotten sick.
And they were nonsensical, absurd complaints. Last time Scorpius had called for him it was to tell him that his socks felt too tight. He'd just stared at the kid at an absolute loss until Hermione quietly suggested that he simply remove them. Scorpius had positively beamed at her like she'd just hung the moon and the stars (and Draco was fairly sure his oldest son could be easily convinced that Hermione was, actually, capable of such a feat) and then sent Draco an absolutely scathing look over his shoulder.
"He's just like you," Hermione had snickered, carding her fingers through his hair, which was, as a matter of fact, just like Draco's. But he still hadn't appreciated the sentiment one bit. And it wasn't that he couldn't handle the behavior, he was just annoyed that the boy was being so unreasonable. It was disturbingly un-Malfoy-esqe.
However, he might have preferred that to the way Leo had chosen to behave. He'd camped out at the feet of his mother and siblings, covered himself in his ratty baby blanket, stuck his thumb in his mouth (a habit Draco abhorred) and resolutely refused to say anything, at least anything intelligible. He was four years old and fully capable of expressing his needs in a coherent manner, he just wouldn't.
But that didn't mean he was quiet. He whimpered, he moaned, and for at least five minutes two hours ago while Hermione was in the bathroom, he had actually wailed until Carina crawled down the bed and wrapped herself around him. And his second to youngest child had just stared at him accusingly with that mane of golden curls plastered to his face, like Draco was supposed to have known that Leo had wanted his big sister and he had been keeping her from him intentionally.
And if all of that wasn't enough, the lack of physical intimacy was definitely starting to get to him. It had been eighty-three hours since he'd so much as gotten to kiss his wife. Which was his eldest son's fault. He'd glared at Draco every time he'd tried to get near Hermione and she'd eventually told him to stop because he was "upsetting Scorpius." Well, he was upset too! Didn't she realize he had rights! Husbandly rights that were being denied him! And because of the fruit of his loins, nonetheless. How was that for irony?
He was just happy the new baby was going to be a girl. There was absolutely no room for more Malfoy men in this house. And what had he been thinking, wanting a quidditch team? They were absolutely done after this one. And if they needed a quidditch team they'd just borrow Teddy and one of the Potter boys who were both decent fliers (not that he would admit that out loud under pain of death) or some other kid who could be sent home at the end of the day. Yes, muggle contraceptives seem like a brilliant plan right about now, that is, if he even remembered how to make love to his wife after all of this was over.
"Merlin, Malfoy but you're having an epic sulk," Hermione called from the bed.
He looked up in alarm. She only called him 'Malfoy' anymore when she was teasing, or very, very angry.
But he breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that she was smirking. She held out the arm that she wasn't using to cradle Scorpius in his direction.
"Come here." She was pale, covered in green spots, her hair was unwashed and carelessly piled on top of her head, and she was bloated and obviously uncomfortable as a combined result of being in the sixth month of her pregnancy, and her illness. But he didn't see any of that, not really. He was as drawn to her as ever.
Without even really thinking about it he stood up from the armchair where he'd been lounging while he waited for another request from a member of his sick family, and made his way over to her. He carefully climbed onto the bed. Alcyone smacked her lips and rubbed her cheek against his chest, but didn't protest his movements. Leo watched him warily but didn't make a sound and, thankfully, Scorpius didn't wake. So, Draco was able to cuddle both his first born son and Hermione against his side while Alcyone still rested on his chest without a struggle.
Hermione reached up and caressed his cheek. "Are you feeling neglected my poor love?" She crooned, Carina snorted and raised the book she was holding to cover her face, presumably to block out any further parental sappiness. Draco couldn't bring himself to care.
"I'm fine," he said with as much dignity as he could muster.
She laughed at him and craned her neck to give him a light kiss. "I love you."
Draco found himself sighing with relief. Because while he generally thought that the muggle belief that uttering a simple phrase could make everything "magically" better was utter rubbish, that one actually did.
"I love you too."
Author's Note: Here's just a fun little outtake for you to celebrate this story surpassing 1,000 followers on . I wrote a bonus chapter for each of my other stories once they made that milestone, and I didn't think you guys should be left out just because this story was marked complete. Let me tell, you've I've missed our moody, dramatic, veela Draco, so I might even write more outtakes/future takes at some point. However, the story remains complete, it I decide to write a true sequel it will be posted separately. Beta love to Weestarmeggie who is the best! Thank you guys so much for reading!