"Come along, children." Narcissa herded her grandchildren into the Malfoy family estate in England. Over three years had past since the peace treaty had been signed and they were only now allowed to return to their ancestral home. The price for returning home had been high but Narcissa refused to dwell on the past. As the doors closed behind her and the children, she felt a familiar presence settle around him. "Welcome home, love." She whispered and blinked away the tears from her eyes. She may not dwell on the past but that didn't mean she didn't think about it. Feeling a tug on her robe, she looked downward into the green eyes of her eldest granddaughter. "Yes, dear?"
Danya tilted her blonde head to the side as she took in her grandmothers sad eyes. "Grandpappy is here with us, isn't he?" She questioned. "I can feel him."
Narcissa kneeled down and wrapped her arms around the five year old. "Yes, dear. Your Grandpappy is here with us. I think he wanted to welcome us home." It still amazed her that her granddaughter seemed to be in tune with the spirit world.
"I think so too." Danya concluded with a small, sad, smile. "I miss him." She whispered as she clung to her grandmother.
"I miss him too, Danya, so very much." Narcissa whispered back. The death of her husband, just six months ago, had not only been hard on her but her sons and their children as well.
"Come on Dany!" Daelan skidded to a halt in front of his grandmother and sister. "What's wrong?" He could feel his twins sadness.
Danya pulled out of the embrace and quickly wiped her eyes. "Nothing is wrong, troll breath!" She glared at her twin.
Daelan chewed on his bottom lip as if deciding if he was going to believe her or not. "Alright then, come on!" He grabbed her arm and started dragging her down the hallway where he and Marcus had disappeared upon arrival in the large, spacious, manor.
Narcissa watched the two disappear into one of the rooms down the hall. "So much like their father."
"Thanks mum." Draven stepped into the manor, three year old Dalton held securely in his arms. "Wow, it's just like I remember." He took a moment to look around. "I was sure that it would be in disrepair by now."
"The house and grounds were charmed centuries ago to withstand the passage of time." Narcissa explained, absentmindedly.
"Really? How fascinating. I had wondered." Hermione stepped into the manor and smiled as a feeling of peace descended around her. "I think you'll like it here, Dacian." She smiled down at the two year old boy held, tightly, in her arms. "You're a happy, boy. Aren't you?" She tickled his belly and was rewarded with a giggle.
"Oye, stop blocking the door!" Draco nudged his sister-in-law out of the doorway so he could stepped inside. "Where's Marc?"
Narcissa motioned down the hallway. "I believe he is with the twins."
Draco raised an eyebrow. "Unsupervised?" He questioned and something shattering was his answer. He shifted his one year old daughter, Mariam, in his arms. "Somethings never change." He couldn't help but mumble.
"No they don't. But somethings do." Narcissa held out her arms and took Mariam from her father. "Hello there, little one." She cooed to the grey eyed, blonde haired, baby.
"You're spoiling her, mother." Draco pointed out as he watched his mother interact with his daughter.
Narcissa didn't even take her eyes off the little girl when she spoke. "I am spoiling her as I have spoiled you and your brother not to mention the other children. She is a Malfoy, Draco, and deserves to be treated as such."
"And what about this one?" Sirius grunted as he stepped inside the manor with Marley in his arms. "Aren't you going to spoil her too?" He asked his cousin.
"As you have grown fond of pointing out, Sirius, Marley prefers to be spoiled by you. Only Merlin knows why, I suppose." Narcissa moved over to her cousin and granddaughter. "Are you being good for your..." She cleared her throat. "For your Padfoot?" She detested that Sirius had actually gotten one of her grandchildren to refer to him by that Merlin-forsaken name. She shifted Mariam around in her arms so she could reach a hand out for Marley to grab hold of.
Sirius snorted. "The kid got good taste, what can I say?"
Narcissa looked up from little Marley, eyebrow raised. "Mariam and Marley are twins, cousin. Their tastes are almost as identical as they are."
"Then why does Marl like me better than you whereas Mari prefers her grammy?" Sirius asked.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Enough, both of you." He shook his head. "My daughters like both of you equally, end of story."
Sirius shrugged. "I was just saying." He mumbled and moved over to Hermione. "Duck!" He greeted his godsons youngest son by his nickname. "What does a duck say, Dacian?"
"Duck! Duck!" Dacian chanted while clapping his hands and bouncing in his mothers arms. "Duck! Duck!" He repeated for good measure.
Hermione tightened her hold on the bouncing boy so he wouldn't fling himself from her arms. "I wish you wouldn't call him that. What kind of a nickname is Duck for a child?"
"It's a lot better than Ian." Sirius reverted to his commonly used comeback when arguing about the nickname he bestowed upon the little boy.
"Ian is a perfectly acceptable nickname, Sirius." Hermione countered. "At least it's better than Duck."
Sirius eyed her as if she had just grown seven heads and three tails. "Ian James Malfoy, it's like bloody nails on a chalkboard! Does he even look like an Ian to you?" He used his free hand to point to the still bouncing boy. "Well?!"
Hermione tilted her head back to get a good look at her youngest son and with a small sigh had to agree that Dacian did not look like an Ian. In fact, just like his older siblings, he didn't look like any of the more common names. So it hadn't come as a surprise that when the baby was born, he had been named Dacian instead of Daniel or David. "I won't add to your delusions by answering that." She sniffed.
"See!" Sirius laughed in triumph. "I was right! The boy doesn't look like an Ian." He then proceeded to dance around the entranceway, Marley held tightly in his arms.
"Aren't you going to do anything about him, Draven?" Hermione asked with a huff.
Draven raised an eyebrow at his Godfather then shrugged. "He's got a point, Hermione." Was all he would say as he looked around. "It's good to be home."
"That it is, brother." Draco stepped up to his brother and laid his hand on his shoulder. "It's been a long, hard, road, but we made it."
"Not without casualties." Draven said as he caught sight of Mariam, one of his nieces. "Does the twins not have a right to know their mother? How about their Grandfather?"
Draco squeezed his shoulder then let his hand drop. "Father's death wasn't your fault, Draven. The Mediwitch said that it was just his time to go. As for Pansy..." He trailed off. "You didn't attack her, those rebels did. Besides, you're the one that managed to save the girls and for that I am forever grateful."
Draven frowned. "I should have been able to save her as well." He thought back to the day, one year ago, that Pansy was killed. Draco had been busy so Draven had volunteered to accompany Pansy to the Mediwitch. Halfway there, they had been attacked. Pansy was hit with an unknown spell and went into labor. He drove the lightside rebels off then went to work on Pansy. Having very little training in the ways of medicine, he managed to deliver the babies but had lost Pansy in the process. She died before she could hear her childrens cries.
"Be thankful, Draven. Our family is doing well despite our losses." Draco grinned. "Think about the banquet tonight, that should take your mind away from dark thoughts."
"Perhaps." Draven gave his brother a small smile then nodded. "Very well." He turned to his wife and held out his arms which was promptly filled with a squirming Dacian. Snuggling the boy close, he used his love for his children to fight back his dark thoughts.
"Come along then, we have much to do." Narcissa spoke up having been silent during the exchange between siblings. She began to heard her family deeper into the manor so that they could prepare for the nights festivities.
By the time full moon rose, Malfoy Manor was full of people laughing and talking. The war had been hard on everyone but now was a time for celebration. Three years had passed since peace had fallen over the Wizarding World and that was something to be happy about.
"Here's to peace. May our children never have to go through what we did." Draco toasted then sat down beside his brother at the long head table.
"To Peace!" The crowd echoed as they drank to the toast.
Draven took a moment to look around the crowded room. He had no doubt that parties such as this was happening all over Wizarding England. "To peace." He whispered and took a sip of his own sweet ale. Lazily, he surveyed the familiar faces mixed amongst the not so familiar.
Ronald Weasley was sitting to the left of the Malfoy family. His son Chandler was off running around with his Malfoy and Weasley cousins. His new wife, Persephone, formally a Greengrass, was by his side nursing their three month old daughter, Cae. Their marriage was only two years old but they loved each other and that's all that mattered.
On down the table sat the twins, Fred and George Weasley, and their respective families. Fred's wife, Daphne and George's wife Jordan, were in deep conversation about their husbands' latest pranks while their husbands were in deep conversation planning their next prank. Gabriel, Ferne, and Isobel, all belonging to Fred, were off with the other children while Faron, Gordan, Olivia, and Cole, George's brood, were sticking close to their parents, content on playing with each other which wouldn't last very long.
Lily Potter and her daughter Roslin were sitting near the head table and looking rather uncomfortable being around so many purebloods. Their relationship with Malfoy family was tenative but Roslin was slowing getting to know her brother and his family. And Lily was still getting used to being called Grandma. It wasn't that long ago that she thought a relationship with her lost son was impossible.
Orion Lestrange was sitting to the right of Draco along with his wife, Susanna Montague, a respectable pureblooded witch according to his mother Bellatrix. Their two children, Rose and Aster, were being cared for by the Malfoy's house elf, Dobby, upstairs in the nursery. Orion's eldest child, a daughter with his first wife Ginevra Weasley, Ileana, was currently being entertained by her grandmother, Bellatrix Lestrange at the end of the table. Ileana had been somewhat of a surprise since nobody knew of her existence besides her mother and a trusted nanny. Nobody knew Ginny had been pregnant upon her release from Malfoy Manor. And nobody knew about the baby until Ginny died, just three months after giving birth. The nanny left in charge of the child then contacted Orion against her mistresses last request that the baby be raised away from the Lestrange/Malfoy influence. Ileana has been raised by her father and step-mother ever since.
Draco was in conversation with his mother while Mariam and Marley played just behind him on the floor, out of the way. Marcus, no doubt, was racing around the room with his cousins, attempting to get into some sort of trouble.
Finally Draven's eyes landed on his own family. Hermione was humming and rocking a sleeping Dacian. Just to her left was Sirius who was entertaining Dalton. And the twins, Daelan and Danya, were off playing with the other children. One thought crossed his mind as he watched the people in the room. 'Life was good and he was glad that he had the chance to grow up a Malfoy.'