by: Cynthia and Emerald J
Hermione twitched the white wedding gown carefully, and tried not to fidget too much as her mother adjusted her veil every bit as carefully. "I am so nervous!"
"I was the same way when I married your father," her mother told her with an amused smile. "You'll get over it. It's simply natural."
The witch nodded, fidgeting even more. "I know. But I can't help it." She shuddered, laying a hand on her slightly swollen stomach. "I hope I don't throw up." Her nausea had become less frequent over the weeks, but today was a special day.
"If you think you will, make sure you turn so you don't get it on him," Her mother advised, grinning. "That really doesn't go over that well on the wedding day."
Hermione refused to dignify that with an answer, and instead turned her attention to her Maid of Honor. "You look beautiful, Ginny. Harry's going to be drooling when he sees you." She glanced down at her own gown nervously. "How do I look?"
Ginny eyed her friend up and down carefully. "Just perfect. I don't think anyone will really notice anything either." She motioned briefly to Hermione's midsection, and the brown-haired witch nodded. Not all of the guests understood about the pregnancy, or magic. That was the penalty of having a mostly Muggle family.
"Draco hasn't seen it yet, of course. I hope he likes." She glanced at the door, wondering how much more time was left until the actual ceremony. "Do you know who his best man is? He wouldn't tell me." Ginny shook her head, and Hermione groaned. "That's just what I didn't want to hear."
The youngest Weasley smiled briefly, then stood up, checking the time herself. She had adapted to a few Muggle customs, at least for today, for Hermione's sake. "It's almost time." She adjusted her dress self-consciously; this was one of the few times she had worn anything other than common Muggle clothes in public. It did look magnificent on her, though.
Hermione carefully covered her face with her veil and waited for Ginny to be ready. Her parents had insisted on this being a traditional wedding, and the Malfoys had let it slide, though with extremely bad grace. At least they're going to be here, though. Draco would never stop whining if they didn't. "Where's dad?" She looked around, trying to find some glimpse of her father in the group of Muggles and witches all around her that were forming her bridal train. Lavender and Parvati were having some kind of conversation with a couple of her cousins, and it was hard to tell who was the more confused. There would have to be a visit by the Oblivators before this was over, she feared.
"Seeing to some things. He'll be here shortly," her mother reassured her. Hermione fidgeted again, staring around even more. This was the last day that she wanted to be stressing on, for a wide variety of reasons. "Don't worry, he'll be here to walk you down the aisle. He'd never miss that."
Hermione nodded, then grinned as she spied him coming towards them. "Ready?" He asked, resplendent in his tux. His daughter nodded and took his arm. "Then let's go."
Together they headed out, the bridal party preceding them. One by one the bridesmaids went down the aisle, then Ginny started her walk. Taking her arm as Draco's best man was...Lucius Malfoy? Hermione could hardly believe her eyes. What did Draco have to promise him to get him to do that?
Now as the music swelled, it was her turn. She carefully walked, making certain not to move too fast to keep her nausea at bay. Most of the ceremony was a blur, but she clearly recalled the speeches that she and Draco made to each other before taking their vows.
"When I first saw her, I won't even repeat what I thought. It's not the right place or time, and it doesn't matter any more at any rate. What does matter is that I love you, Hermione, and I always will. This wasn't something I was thinking about when I first asked you to date me, but I'm glad it did."
"Neither one of us thought this was going to last when we first started, but we fell in love somehow. I'm not sure how, and I care even less. That's one mystery I'm not going to worry myself about. I wouldn't trade anything that we've been through for anything, because we went through it together, and that's what matters over everything else."
Then the vows were taken and they were kissing, and the priest's voice rose over everything. "May I be the first to introduce Draco and Hermione Malfoy." Hermione had made certain that she wasn't known just as "Mrs. Draco Malfoy". She was her own person, even now.
Hermione and Draco stood together, hand in hand, watching as their guests talked and moved around each other. No one was going to dance until the two of them started, but everyone was relaxing for the moment, letting the buildup of the day slowly leak out of them. There was a band, Muggle or magic Hermione couldn't tell at the moment, and she slowly turned to look at Draco as the music began to change.
"Stormy Weather." She vividly recalled telling him that she'd thought he'd like it. That moment seemed so far away now, but he'd apparently remembered. He grinned down at her and kissed her softly.
"I thought you'd like that. Come on, let's dance." Still joined by the hand, they went out to the cleared circle of guests and began to dance. One by one others started to join them, Harry and Ginny, Ron and Sam, their respective parents, the Weasleys, others, until almost everyone was dancing with someone. As was traditional with dances like this, the two of them exchanged partners happily, going from person to person with reckless abandon, only to come back to each other sooner or later. It was while she was dancing with Draco once more that someone tapped his shoulder.
Draco stepped back a little to see who it was that wanted to dance with his wife, and wasn't that surprised to see his father standing there. Without another word he backed off and let Lucius spin her out onto the floor. His movements were slower and statelier than most of those she'd danced with, but it was swiftly obvious that was because he had something on his mind.
"How have your dreams been?" The question was low-voiced and clear, with a hint of curiosity in those pale eyes. Hermione shook her head.
"I haven't had any since the last one while we were in school. That was the end of it." He nodded ever so slightly, then described exactly what she had heard and felt in the dream. She'd known he had seen it too, but this was the first time that someone else had described something she had dreamed to her, and she hadn't told them of it first. She nodded once he was done. "That was the worst of them all." She hesitated for a moment, not certain just how to phrase what she was thinking. "At the end, I felt as if someone were helping me. Not with words like the others, but just with strength. Was that you?" Steel-gray eyes looked down at her, and then he nodded for a moment, saying nothing more. "Thank you."
They continued to dance, and Hermione asked something that had been on her mind as much as what he'd asked had been on his. "Do you approve of me and your son now?" She was hoping for a different answer than what he'd given in the garden, or at least a more in depth one.
What she got was a cool, "I don't disapprove." He refused to say anything more on the subject, instead asking, "Are you enjoying yourself?"
"I am. I love your son very much, and he loves me, you know. We love this baby." She flinched suddenly. "Who has a very good kick already."
"It's a Malfoy trait." Lucius reminded her, stepping back as the song ended and Draco came from where he'd been charming Emma Granger to steal his bride back. They kissed deeply, arms going around each other in a warm hug.
"Can we go?" Hermione asked with a soft murmur. "I think I've had enough of this for a while. There's other things I want to do."
The two of them made their farewells and headed to the room that they'd reserved above all of this in the combined wizarding/Muggle hotel they were in. As the door closed behind them, Hermione pulled her wand from its hiding place and cast a combination locking spell and warding spell that would keep anyone from disturbing them. "Excellent work." Draco approved, doing the same for the various windows in the room. They weren't going to take any chances tonight.
Hermione reached up and started to undo the buttons that held her dress together, and as it fell to the floor, she stepped away from it and towards the bed, Draco seated beside her. She ran her hands down his still suited body, starting to work on the fastenings carefully, then winced briefly. "The baby is kicking, again." Draco laid a hand on her stomach and smiled a little as the child kicked harder. "Madam Pomfrey told me that I'll probably give birth at seven months."
"I hope it's healthy." Draco murmured, still feeling her stomach and watching to see if his hand jumped any more times.
"Thanks to Snape, and believe it or not...Neville, it will be." She could see the disbelief in his eyes at the thought of Neville having anything to do with this. "Madam Sprout didn't have time to help him, but Neville was the best in our class at Herbology, and helped with some of the rarer herbs."
Draco snorted softly "At least he did something right."
"He helped to create something that saved our baby," Hermione murmured. She would never forget that. Neville had been the first wizarding friend she'd made, and she wanted to make certain he was happy.
"And saving your life." Draco added. Hermione shrugged briefly.
"The baby is more important." That was what she thought at least. Draco said nothing against what she'd said, and she kissed him, knowing he hadn't disagreed because he didn't want an argument on their honeymoon. He kissed back gently, then both of them laughed as the baby kicked against his hand quite hardly. "I guess they want their daddy's attention!" Hermione laughed.
Draco just grinned, leaning in closer to her. "I believe you're right." He kissed her again and again, growing closer and closer, celebrating all their life and love together.
Several weeks later, Hermione prepared for her planned day of shopping at Diagon Alley. I need to get a fresh batch of maternity robes, and get to my appointment at the mediwitch's, and stop in to restock a few things. Full day. She glared down at her burgeoning stomach as it rippled with kicks. "Would you settle down"
The infant inside paid absolutely no attention, kicking and punching even harder as she showered and dressed. The home they were in was courtesy of his parents, and came complete with every magical convenience possible, and then some. Hermione wasn't in the mood to object to any of them as she headed down the stairs to see Draco preparing to go to work. "Draco, are you going to be home for dinner?" That felt so nice to say, so very homey and sweet.
"I think I will be. I don't think anything's going to come up." He chuckled a little. "Of course that's why they call it unexpected work in the first place." As she winced again, he frowned. "Are you all right?"
She nodded quickly. "The baby's just kicking a lot today, that's all. I have an appointment with the mediwitch that Madam Pomfrey recommended, so that should tell us something."
"Let me know if anything happens," he advised her. He'd gone with her every other time she'd went back to Hogwarts to get examined by Pomfrey, and he didn't like missing out this time. They kissed farewell lingeringly, then Hermione set off for Diagon Alley.
The first people she ran into there were the Weasleys, complete with Ron. He was still living at home for the moment, and had come there to help the twins out with their shop for a few days, or so his last owl-delivered message to her had said. "Hey, Hermione!" He waved at her as she came up, then frowned as she winced before returning the salute. "What's wrong?"
"Baby's kicking, that's all. I've got an appointment with a mediwitch, it shouldn't be a problem." She winced even more suddenly, a more powerful pain shooting all through her. "Uh-oh..."
Ron stepped closer, touching her shoulder. "Are you sure you're all right?" Hermione shook her head slowly, feeling something wet and terrifying since it shouldn't have been there in the first place.
"No, I'm not..." She could see Molly hurrying over to her. "My water just broke." This couldn't be happening, she was just five and a half months along! She still had six weeks to go! Why was this happening now?
"I'll call the mediwitch." Molly told her, turning towards Ron at the same time. "Go find Draco and bring him to the Leaky Cauldron. That's the closest place that has anywhere she can possibly give birth."
Ron might've been a freshly graduated and of age wizard, but when his mother said jump, like virtually every other Weasley he was six feet in the air before asking just how high it should be. He Apparated out of the alley and to Draco and Hermione's house, hoping his friend's husband hadn't left for work just yet. He started to pound on the door, hardly noticing when it was yanked open under his fist.
"Damn it, watch it, Weasel!" Draco snapped harshly. "What do you want?"
"Hermione's in labor! At the Leaky Cauldron!" Ron didn't waste any more time, just Apparated back, trusting that Draco would have sense enough to do the same thing. It became obvious once he had arrived that Malfoy had, since the silver-haired wizard was already charging up the stairs almost before Ron himself had fully arrived back.
Hermione's pain-filled screams were the first thing he heard as he banged the door open, and her eyes fastened on him at once. "Damn you, Draco Malfoy! This is all your fault!" He stood there stunned, unable to do anything but stare as Molly and the mediwitch delivered a small screaming bundle of something.
"It's a girl!" Molly declared as she started to clean the tiny wriggling thing off. Hermione screamed again, and the mediwitch turned back to her.
"I hope you two are ready for your second child!" The trained Healer told them, starting to work on delivering the second of the unexpected twins. Hermione glared at her husband, eyes burning with the unholy fires of a witch experiencing pain.
"I am going to get you for doing this to me!" Draco decided he was going to have a very long talk with the mediwitch for not using any of the pain relieving spells he had always thought were customary with this sort of thing. Hermione cursed and swore violently for several moments, then Draco's attention was pulled away as Molly handed him a small wrapped up bundle.
"Meet your daughter, Draco." The small woman told him, then returned to helping the other witch deliver the second one. Draco stared down at the baby, who had come into the world with a full head of silky blonde hair and the usual pale blue eyes that all babies had. She yawned, not appearing to be very impressed with her father looking back at her.
She's definitely a Malfoy. As the girl slipped into easy baby sleep, Hermione's scream pierced the air again, and Draco glanced at her worriedly. His concerns had no foundation, however, as a small healthy cry announced the arrival of their second child, a son with Hermione's hair. The Muggleborn witch closed her eyes, relaxing into the bed almost at once.
"She's exhausted." The mediwitch took care of everything that needed it, most of which Draco didn't understand, and cleaned everything up. "I hate that it hurt so much, but the usual pain-nulling spells wouldn't have had much of an effect on a veela-tainted birth. Veela have very odd reactions to our magic at times, and I didn't have time to work on something that would have helped, the way I thought I would. But everything should be all right. Would you like to hold your son?"
Draco nodded, handing the baby girl over to Molly so he could take the newest Malfoy heir in his arms. Just like his sister, the newborn didn't seem that impressed by his father, or by his grandfather as Lucius appeared in the doorway and peered over his son's shoulder.
"He looks like your grandfather," The elder Malfoy told him, going over to pick up the girl as she started to wail and cry in the cradle Molly had conjured up and placed her in. The Weasley wife was about to pick the little girl up when Lucius waved her to the side casually. "I'll deal with this." He rocked the newborn back and forth carefully, calming her cries very easily.
A second set of wails proved that her brother had a healthy set of lungs, and Lucius noticed that Draco looked completely lost on what to do. "Try walking like I was just doing," he advised his son. "Rock him slightly. That usually calmed you down." Soon quiet reigned once more, and Draco looked a lot less likely to fly apart at the seams.
"Have you thought of any names yet?" Narcissa asked as she joined them in the room. "We had you named before you'd ever been born, you know."
Draco nodded; that had been part of the story of his birth for as far back as he could remember. "We were only expecting one, though, so we haven't really thought much about them. We'd decided on Jazmyne for a girl." He explained the unusual spelling, and Narcissa shook her head.
"It's a good thing they're being raised in the wizarding world. Muggles would make quite a bit of fun of her."
Her son snorted. "Not for long. She also has a middle name." He looked down at his daughter. "Jazmyne Maria Malfoy."
"Maria?" Lucius sniffed slightly. "I believe that would be from her side of the family?"
Draco nodded, wincing a bit. It wasn't his kind of name, but Hermione had been quite insistent about that. "It's Hermione's mother's middle name. She insisted on it." The things she'd done to make certain he'd agreed had been interesting, to put it one way.
Narcissa glanced briefly at her husband, then back at her son. "Why don't you use her father's and your father's middle names for your son's? Fair to both sides of the family that way."
"I like that idea, mother." Draco glanced at Lucius in amusement. This would answer something he had wondered about for years. "Just what is your middle name, father?" Lucius just shook his head, murderous looks smouldering out towards Narcissa for this. "Father!"
"James." Lucius muttered at last. Draco could understand why he didn't want it known; no respectable follower of Lord Voldemort would want to have the same name as James Potter, after all.
Narcissa chuckled in amusement. "Now, what's her father's middle name?"
"I haven't asked." Draco shrugged slightly. "I can ask her when she wakes up, though. He won't suffer for not having a proper name until then." His parents both nodded, then headed out of the room, letting them both rest for a while. Draco sagged down into a convenient chair, keeping an eye on his offspring and his wife, hardly able to grasp that it was all over. Somewhere during the time he'd been talking to his parents, Molly Weasley and the mediwitch had left, and he was grateful for the quiet time.
It's not even been two years yet since I really met her. He didn't really want to think of that time before the Christmas of their seventh year as having met her. They hadn't known each other beyond a few snipes and snarks.
When the door swung open, and Arthur and Molly came in, the only thing Draco actually saw was the food and drink that Arthur was carrying. He didn't care if it had been made by Muggles at this point; he hadn't done much more than watch, but Draco was feeling ravenous just now.
"Thank you." He grudgingly remembered his manners as he started to eat once the tray was put down, then motioned towards the sack that Molly was carrying. "What's that?"
The elder witch glanced from Hermione to him and back again. "I remember how I felt after I had Fred and George. Hermione is going to be uncomfortable for a while. The things in here will help her recover faster, and make her feel better." She eyed the young witch worriedly. "She's so pale. This took so much out of her."
She got to work making Hermione as comfortable as she could, and a few minutes later, Hermione's eyes fluttered open and she smiled. "Are they all right?" Draco could hardly believe that was the only thing that was on her mind, but it was so like her.
"They're fine. Just fine. Hermione...what's your father's middle name?" Might as well get this dealt with, after all.
"Alexander. Why?" Hermione smiled as Draco explained what his mother wanted to do, and nodded. "Alexander James Malfoy and Jazmyne Maria Malfoy." She curled up against her pillow a little and smiled at him. "Hold me, Draco?"
There was no way he could deny that, so soon the two of them were spooned up together, arms around each other, and drifting into deep and restful sleep. The Weasleys left the little family to be alone, remembering when their own children had been born, and wondering just what future lay ahead of them all. If it was anything like their past, it was going to be impressive.
Hermione Malfoy sat between Harry and Draco at the head table at Hogwarts, watching the line of first years coming up the aisle between the tables. Arithmancy teaching for a year. Who would have thought it? She still couldn't quite get used to this, even after spending most of the summer researching and preparing her lesson plans. Harry looked quite comfortable beside her, but this was his third year teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, after all. He'd broken the string of replacements they'd lived through for seven years, and looked as if he'd keep on in the job for quite a while. Draco himself looked almost as nervous as she felt but he had slightly more reason. Going from his family's business into teaching was a large step, and one she wondered if he was quite ready to make. Time would tell, she presumed. He was still learning the ways of teaching, but since he'd taken several lessons on how to teach from Snape, he'd probably wind up just as terrifying to the new ones as his mentor was. And he'd like it, too. With Snape as the Potions Master and Draco teaching Transfiguration, nochild would escape their stern methods.
Deputy Headmaster Severus Snape called out the names of the new students, hurrying them along to be Sorted. Two of them in particular caught Hermione's eye, but she avoided giving them any particular attention. They were going to have to make their own way here.
"Malfoy, Jazmyne!" Snape snapped, and the eleven year old hurried up to take her seat on the stool, the Sorting Hat sinking down over her head. Hermione would have given a great deal to be able to hear what was going on under there. Gryffindor or Slytherin? Which one is it going to be? Draco'll gloat all year if it's Slytherin. She gripped her goblet a little tighter, wondering what was going on. At least I'm not alone in this. Harry'll probably be freaking out when his son is doing this in two years.
At last the Sorting Hat's mouth opened up, and a single word was shouted out. "RAVENCLAW!"
Hermione laughed out loud as her daughter pulled off the Hat and plunked it down on the stool, running to the table where her new housemates were cheering and laughing in joy. She stole a look at Draco and snickered softly to herself. If Alexander gets into Ravenclaw too, I think I'm going to hurt something laughing. The look on her husband's face was simply and utterly priceless.
"Malfoy, Alexander!" Snape motioned to the next one in line, and the young boy hurried along to take his sister's place on the stool. Draco watched nervously, holding onto his goblet and deliberately not looking at his wife. Once again silence fell as the Hat and Alexander had their moment together. Then the rip opened once more, and again a single word shout out.
The table of the blue and bronze cheered massively as the second twin joined them, and Draco groaned, just barely visible to the students. "How in the world do I break this to my father? A thousand years of tradition...gone!"
"It's easy, Draco." Hermione teased him. "They've just got a little of their muggleborn mother in them. The Hat wanted to put me in Ravenclaw, after all." She snickered at the look on his face and sipped her pumpkin juice lightly. "Oh, I was offered a new job after I leave here this year. I'm going to be the assistant to the head of the Arithmancy department at the Ministry of Magic. He's retiring in two years and he wants me to take over for him."
As they squeezed hands and hugged a little, their children kept an eye on them. "Jaz, they're doing it again." Alex muttered softly, getting a groan from his sister. He also got a look from his mother that clearly said she'd heard that and they were going to discuss things later. He'd seen it a thousand times as he was growing up.
"How does she hear just about everything we say, but dad doesn't?" Jazmyne wondered. Her brother shook his head as he started to eat.
"I wish I knew. You know, granddad is going to freak when he finds out what House we're in. All those years of "Slytherin pride" and everything." Alex grinned to himself; he'd been looking for a reasonable excuse to redecorate his room anyway, and the blue and bronze would definitely drive Granddad out of his mind. He rolled his eyes in memory. "Slytherin is where every Malfoy has been for centuries!"
The Ravenclaw table cracked up at his mimicry. "You sounded just like him!" Jaz teased her twin. Alex glowered at her playfully.
"Don't insult me like that! I'm a Ravenclaw!" He avoided looking at his mother, knowing another look was shooting his way. Jaz shook her head.
"We're going to have to watch it while Mom's here. I don't think she'd mind giving us a detention."
Alex winced at the very thought. "I know, I know." He didn't even want to think about what that might possibly include, either. Jaz sighed, digging into her food with enthusiasm at the same time.
"Why did this have to happen our first year? Why couldn't it have been...next year or something?"
Her brother shrugged. "Bad luck?"
"Sounds good to me." The twins grinned at each other, then up at their parents, and got to work on their food, ready to start their first years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which had turned out many memorable students skilled in magic: just like their parents.