On their tenth anniversary, Ginny had given him a strangely-shaped piece of purple candy, claiming it could make all of his fantasies come true. Draco was fairly used to her lunacy at that point in the relationship, so he obligingly stuck the strange little concoction in the underwear drawer, gave her a kiss, and asked her if she would just have uninterrupted sex with him for their anniversary. She agreed enthusiastically, and they enjoyed an entire evening of playtime for grown-ups while the children spent the night with Gram and Pop at the Burrow. That was three years ago, approximately.
Today, Draco had woken up and gotten dressed for work, all business in his suit and tie. He tripped twice on the stairs over toys, one of which was a wet, soapy rubber duck that nearly caused a wipeout, and he got down to the kitchen to find that only one of the house elves had been kindly given the day off so there was no coffee. He frowned his way through a glass of milk, glared at a trail of crumbs on the floor, and slunk off to work in a very foul mood indeed. While he understood that days off were good for house elves and that being up at the crack of dawn was unnecessary, he did wish Ginny had gotten up to make him a pot of coffee.
At the office, he meandered through nasty piles of paperwork, listened to complaints from customers who were claiming his services came too pricey, and found that his personal bathroom was flooded. What good did it do to be the CEO of a high-profile public relations and marketing firm if no one would fix your bathroom when the toilet over-flowed? By the end of the day, his hair was mussed, his frown a permanent facial fixture, and his feet hurt from walking back and forth to maintenance to demand toilet support. The Manor was a welcoming sight when he finally returned that evening, but upon Apparating into the front door, he was greeted by silence.
"Nobody thought to be home for me," he muttered grouchily and walked into the empty kitchen. He was making himself a sandwich when he spotted them through the window in the yard. The picnic table back there, one of the many Manor additions over the years, was laden with dinner that his wife must have busted her ass to make with all the kids home and no house elves to help. He spotted a big pot that he suspected contained French Onion soup, his favorite. Gratitude surged through him in a sudden wave, accompanied by shame for ever thinking a negative thought when he entered his home.
Ginny was wearing a green sundress, with thin straps and low enough to make his heart do a funny jump in his chest even after all this time but high-cut enough and long enough to be mommy-appropriate. She was chasing two-and-a-half-year-old Kyan – a result of their uninterrupted tenth anniversary sex – around the table as he brandished a large serving spoon that his father recognized as a piece of the family-crested heirloom silver. Even through the window, Draco could see the tell-tale Malfoy smirk on the lad's face. Five-year-old Glorianna was seated at the table organizing the silverware; she was a little lady, with her mum's fiery hair but refined manners that matched neither of her parents. Then there was seven-year-old Julius, sitting under the tree with a portable wizard's chess set, lip tucked between his teeth, forehead furrowed as he concentrated. The eldest Malfoy child's life goal was to beat his father at their favorite game. Julius had his father's eyes under his father's blonde hair and above his father's aristocratic features.
In fact, Draco remembered when Julius was born, how Ginny had looked at the baby in utter surprise and said, "Was I even there for making him? He looks just like you!" He had been bursting with pride; that first moment of fatherhood, a moment much more sharp, vivid and intense than any he had experienced through his wife's pregnancy, had made him suddenly certain that he would never be his father. The fears that had haunted him since they first slipped wedding bands on each other's fingers vanished. He knew that he would be a father of hugs and kisses and games. He would be a father who knew how to love because he was married to the very woman who had taught him how.
He left his sandwich fixings on the counter and headed for that backyard scene, but then he paused. He remembered what an awful day he'd had, he remembered the tripping on the stairs and the clogged work toilet, and he looked back out at his family in the backyard, smiling and playing. He remembered the strangely shaped piece of purple candy his wife had claimed could give him any fantasy he wanted. Thinking of that, he walked upstairs – dodging the toys – and fished it out of his underwear drawer. It looked wicked in his hand, like a temptation to see what else he could have.
Tucking it in his fist, he strode back down the stairs, out the back door and into the backyard. Ginny's face lit up when she saw him, and she outstretched her arms to him, smelling like home cooking and motherhood and yet still like the firecracker who had battled his seduction so long ago. He tucked her into his arms, kissed the top of her head and whispered, "I had a shitty day."
"Tell me all about it tonight once we put the kids to bed?" She replied, and his lips curved into a smile against her hair. That was the perfect thing to say. She wasn't rushing him to spit out a brief summary of his day right now and get to the family. She was going to wait until he could talk as long as he wanted. He kissed her head again and took a step back to look at her. He fished into his pocket and pulled out the candy.
"If I ate this, would this fix my toilet at work?" He demanded. She looked bemused, and the kids, who had all jumped up when Daddy got home, looked confused.
"Yes. It would fix your toilet at work," she chuckled. Her laughter would not bother him. She had no idea how much he had wanted to be able to use his own personal bathroom today instead of the cretin-filled regular bathroom. He opened his mouth, popped the candy in, and sucked. It tasted like grape Coca-Cola with an occasional pop like orange juice, not a particularly pleasant flavor, but he persisted as it quickly shrank to nothing in his mouth. He just prayed the wish he made had come true.
"You really just wasted that on fixing a toilet? It could do anything!" She admonished, shaking her head. The corners of her mouth twitched with amusement though at his puckered facial expression from the candy's unfortunate flavor.
Draco gave her what he hoped was his trademark 'Hush, loony woman' look and replied, "Do I look like I want world domination? I just want a damn toilet that works."
"Damn! Damn! Damn!" Kyan echoed proudly, using his toddler senses to quickly assess which word in that sentence he should not repeat and doing it anyway.
"Don't say that, Ky," Glori said quietly, and Julius tugged lightly at her red ponytail.
"You're not Mom, Glori, so quit telling him what to do!"
Draco saw the need for parental interference had begun about thirty seconds ago and quickly scooped Kyan up onto his shoulders and caught the two older children's gazes.
"You kids didn't really make this dinner for me all by yourselves, did you?" He asked with a wicked twinkle in his eyes that he knew only Ginny would understand.
"Yeah!" Kyan shouted, triumphantly throwing his small fists in the air.
"Mum did most of it, but we helped where we could," Julius qualified with an impish grin. "Which meant I made the French Onion soup almost all by myself. She just did the magic parts!"
"I set everything up on the table before Ky messed it up," Glori said.
"Well, you all did a fantastic job as far as how it looks, but how's it going to taste?" He teased.
"Great!" All three children chorused together. The family clambered to get plates and everything together. Draco getting a small plate for Kyan while Ginny ladled the hot soup out for the two older children. Once everyone had a plate, they sat down to eat. The kids had not told their father a lie; it was all delicious. But as Draco looked at his quietly smiling wife, he suspected he had no one but her to truly thank for that. Sometimes he thought he had no one but her to truly thank for anything.
"You might have had a bad day, but you must be having a pretty good life when you're willing to waste something like that piece of candy on a clogged toilet," Ginny teased, blowing on Glori's spoonful of soup for her. Draco watched her administering motherly cares like it was the easiest thing in the world without ever losing her focus on their conversation. She was awfully angelic for someone who did such naughty things in bed.
"I don't need anything else," he said sincerely, looking around. There might be toys on the stairs, little to no time for sex and private conversation, and his wife may be distinctly softer all over than she was before three children popped out of her, but there were hugs and kisses, Malfoy Manor looked like a fairy-tale home, and every night, he crawled into bed next to the one woman who had made his whole life worthwhile.
When he thought of the thousands of Galleons his friends had paid him in that bet to sleep with Ginny so long ago, he always smiled. He should have paid them because without them, he never would have gotten here.
He was a reformed devil with three kids and wife who hadn't given up on blowjobs after over a decade.
And now his toilet wasn't even clogged. What a happily ever after.
He leaned over and kissed Ginny's cheek. "I love you."
"I love you too," she replied with a smile.
And didn't that just say it all?
AN: That is the very end, my friends. A little epilogue from Draco instead of Ginny. Leave me one last review. :)