A very short epilogue to conclude this story. And I do mean it when I say it's short. But I didn't want it dragging along till it becomes a full chapter. So Without further ado:
Epilogue – Two Years Later
Hermione looked from her knitting. Since her S.P.E.W days in Hogwarts she had picked up this muggle hobby of clicking the needles and found it strangely therapeutic. Over the years she had progressed on from misshapened socks to more ambitious pieces, like sweaters and coats. Right now, she was working on a smaller project though—a piece of afghan. Something that meant a lot to her.
The voice was a pleasant distraction though. It did mean one thing:
Draco had returned home.
She felt a familiar flutter in her heart. Would this ever stop?
Hermione made movement to stand up and greet him, but as usual he beat her to it. Before she could even manage to lift herself off the sofa Draco was already there, perched next to her. Within a short span of a second he had somehow end up by her side, curled on the couch with her.
He grinned unapologetically at Hermione.
When he first started this routine Hermione felt a mild irritation with him for smothering her unneccessarily. Now, she had learned to accept his overprotective, albeit adorable, ways and move on from her stubborn independence. Instead, she merely took his rough hand and entwined it with her own.
Draco was less subtle in his gesture and affections. The blond man leaned forward boldly, as if unsatisfied with her mild response. She complied and leaned in to softly peck his lips.
"Hello, lover," she whispered in his ear.
"Hello, darling," Draco greeted, unable to keep the smugness of his face. She knew as well as he did that he enjoyed such terms of endearment. "Hello, beloved," he addressed her again. His words sent shivers down her spine.
She put away her knitting temporarily. "Good day at work?"
"It was fine," he replied, smiling. He gave her hand a squeeze. "I bought you something."
Hermione didn't even look at the slim volume he produced proudly. She instantly knew what it was.
He grinned. "Another wouldn't hurt."
And here I was, thinking you liked books."
She tweaked his handsome nose. "I do. But isn't it a little outrageous to be buying so many similar ones?"
"I'm a Malfoy," he explained, sniffing. "I can afford it."
He handed her Hermione the book, and she glanced at it obediently. She flipped a few pages before snorting as her eyes landed on the content page. Draco frowned.
"What? The witch at Flourish and Botts said this was one of their bestselling copies!" He exclaimed, offended.
Hermione laughed. "Draco, this may sound entirely shocking to you, but I do believe that ninety-seven percent of this has about the same content as the book you bought yesterday. And the other one the week before."
He defended himself from the merry brunette. "But it's the different three percent that counts right?"
"Somehow, I don't think Popular Wizarding Baby Names of the Modern Age will provide us with something insightful than the rest."
Draco gazed at her tenderly and kissed her stomach softly. "Well, we won't take that risk with our baby, would we? Only the best for our boy here."
Hermione's hand dropped down to her stomach where Draco was currently small circles with his finger. A boy, she thought in wonder. They were expecting a baby boy.
This child of theirs came knocking unexpectedly seven months ago. Hermione had simply been chewing on a bacon sandwich when suddenly she felt a wave of nausea. The nausea (or food poisoning she had misinterpreted) lasted for several days before Draco excitedly solved the mystery by bringing home a Muggle pregnancy kit. A visit to the Healer a day later confirmed the results: Hermione was indeed pregnant.
How Draco ever had such suspicions in the first place though, was beyond her. It had even slipped the notice of someone as sharp as her. But nevertheless parenthood was something Hermione, and more so Draco, looked forward to.
No other father-to-be could be as excited as Draco. His enthusiasm was the reason why so many pregnancy books were in the bookshelves, why he willingly got up at the dead of night to prepare chicken fettucini for Hermione, and why they spent many weekends shopping for baby items. Bless him, he even attended prenatal classes with her like a devout!
"At least we know that it has to be a male name," Hermione said as Draco patted her tummy.
This was the part where Muggles had an edge over the Wizarding community. No spell could tell the gender of the baby, but a Muggle ultrasound could. When Draco found out about this, he excitedly dragged Hermione to book a session in a Muggle hospital.
He chuckled. "A pity Mrs Weasley didn't know about this kind of stuff. Otherwise she could have the girl she wanted earlier, and suffer less disappointment from the likes of six boy Weasleys."
"Don't let Ron hear you," she warned. He chuckled again.
"Besides, these books aren't really necessarily. Isn't it in the Black tradition to name their children something complicated or a star constellation?"
"Astronomically related," he corrected, as Hermione rested against his chest. "Tradition or not, I would like to name the child something we want. Not because of rules whatnot."
Hermione's eyes landed on one of the pages of the new book. "So what if I decided that I really really want to name our son Archibald Uther-Carlos?" She asked teasingly.
"Then we will really really name our son Archibald Uther-Carlos Malfoy."
She grinned. "Good thing I have better sense than that then."
"Good thing." He enveloped her into his arms. She sighed as she relaxed to enjoy the warmth.
"You better enjoy this as much as you can," she informed him sadly. "Pretty soon I'm probably can't fit into your arms again."
"I have long arms."
"I'm growing fat am I?" Hermione sighed, pushing him away slightly. "Tell me the truth. I'm as big as a whale!"
Draco smiled. "You are glowing, Hermione. You look radiant." He open his arms to welcome her back into it. She resisted.
"A radiant whale."
As if he can't bear to be away from Hermione any longer, Draco kissed her and pulled her into his embrace again. Hermione was flushed pink by the time he manage to detach his lips away from her. She blamed it on her hormones.
"Darling, you couldn't possibly look more beautiful than you do right now," he said earnestly. "In fact, I'm considering letting you be permanently pregnant."
"And how could you possibly do that?"
He smiled wickedly. "Why, you have to bear many of my babies of course. Well, I probably give you a few months break in between so we could squeeze in a wedding. Because despite what you say, I am going to make an honest woman out of you."
She pinched him lightly.
The carriage came before the marriage for the couple. Technically speaking, Hermione wasn't even engaged to Draco yet, although he had intended to propose to her. But the baby arrived before he had a chance to pop the question, and Hermione stubbornly insisted that she didn't want to marry with a belly protruding out of her white dress, a decision that made both Narcissa and her parents appalled. But she was adamant about it, and none of them could change her decision.
Besides, she loved him. She thought that meant much more than any official documentation.
Narcissa was horrified when she realized that Draco had given in to Hermione's wishes, even if only temporary (although privately Draco assured her that he fully intended to propose after Hermione gave birth). Narcissa Malfoy spent her months oscillating between moaning that she could not plan the grand grand wedding she wanted to throw for them and cooing over her beloved soon-to-be grandchild.
In the meantime, Hermione would be free from the wedding stress and just be contented in Draco's arms.
"How many children do you want, Draco?"
"How many do you want, Hermione?"
She pouted. "I asked first."
He grinned. "I wasn't kidding when I say that you are going to be carrying as many of my babies as possible."
Her eyes became round. He rubbed her stomach again.
"Well," Draco said thoughtfully. "I grew up as an only child and though I do cherish the freedom, there are times where I can't help but feel… lonely. I would definitely want a big family with you, Hermione. I like kids."
"You have a number in mind?" she said, reading his expression.
"I really like seeing you pregnant with my child Hermione," he said carefully.
"I don't have an exact one. But," he said. "I wouldn't be opposed to trying to up the number of Molly Weasley's flock."
"More if possible." He smiled. "But it also depends on how many you want. So how many do you want Hermione?"
She sat silently for a minute, and decided to go for the truth.
"As many as I can give you."
"That is a good answer," Draco smiled, dropping the book onto the coffee table. "For that, I will even forgive you for listening to Prudence's bad advice and pulling the am-I-fat? line just now. I hope she just stop hanging around our lovely home soon. Where is she anyway?"
A protesting voice came from the kitchen where Hermione nodded, and a pouting redhead came storming out.
"To think I was nice enough to give you two ten minutes of privacy and snogging time. And this is how you repay me?" She frowned.
Prudence was as redheaded and fiery as ever. Nothing about her had changed, apart from her last name.
Draco pulled apart from Hermione grudgingly, and shot a look at his friend.
"It wasn't totally privacy if you could hear me. Besides, I still would have display affections for my girlfriend regardless of your presence… Or any irritating advice you offer her."
"I was teaching her how to handle a man." Prudence nodded briskly.
"Funny. I was at your mansion a couple hours ago telling your husband how to handle a woman like you," Draco snorted. Hermione gave him a warning look as she spied a glower on the redhead's face.
Prudence and Blaise were married less than eight months after the initial courtship. It was a hasty but certain affair. Blaise had looked at the redhead during lunch and told her that he was going marry her. Prudence simply looked back and steadily said, "Okay.". Less than three days later, they were Mr and Mrs Zabini.
Unlike Draco and Hermione, they were always bickering and disagreeing. Something about their the dynamics of their marriage made them behave like two teenagers No one can say that they didn't love each other though, despite their many fights. Because they did. They were just extremely dramatic and Shakespearean about it. As in Benedict and Beatrice style.
It was funny how despite the fact that the pair had consummate their relationship legally first, it was also them who continued to behave like a honeymoon couple, even until now. Whereas Hermione and Draco were the unmarried ones behaving like an old couple.
Draco continued in a mild manner. "Speaking of which, when would you finally stop camping out in my house and go home?"
Prudence flicked her hair. "When he apologises first."
Hermione looked at her friend and sighed "I hardly think that him forgetting to buy broom polish would cause someone to move out of their house for the tenth time."
The corners of Prue's lips twitched. "It isn't… But it makes our marriage a lot more interesting." With that, she flounced back into the kitchen. "I'm going to make tea." She announced.
Draco patted Hermione comfortingly. "Don't let it distress you, darling. We all know that Blaise is going to turn up any minute. He can't bear a night without her."
"And when he does," he continued in a whisper, wrapping his arms around her. "We are going to carry out more activities involving you and many more bellies swelling with babies."
Hermione blushed. She didn't even give hormones as an excuse this time. "I hope your biology is good enough so that you know I can't get pregnant with another one right now."
"I know," he winked seductively, kissing Hermione's neck. "But practice always makes perfect, don't you think? You know, for future purposes..."
"That does make sense…" Hermione murmured.
"Of course it does," Draco kissed her.
"The moment Blaise picks her up," she decided.
"The very moment," he agreed.
"Get a room!" Prudence hollered from the kitchen.
But neither of them were paying attention to their friend anymore. They were too wrapped up in each other, in their world and love nest to care about anything else.
They were perfectly blissful, the three of them. Him, Hermione and their son definitely not named Archibald Uther-Carlos.
There you go. The epilogue of Over Tea Leaves and Coffee is finally done. The story has finally ended.
And of course, Hermione and Draco's son will be named Scorpius.
I'm extremely thankful to my reviewers out there. Thank you for sticking around for this story, even though it took me a god damn long time to write. Two years to finish such a story is definitely too long a time, and I apologise for that.
This chapter is definitely dedicated to all my wonderful readers who forgave me for my porcastination and sticked around for the ride. Thank you again and again!