Disclaimer: I still do not own anything related to the Harry Potter franchise. I also do not own the lyrics used here. They come from the song, "The Scientist," by Coldplay.
Questions of science…science and progress…do not speak as loud as my heart…
Draco buttoned the last button on his shirt and brought up the knot of his black silk tie, adjusting it around his neck. He grabbed his finest black robes and shrugged them on, wiping away all imaginary lint.
He turned his head when he saw Hermione in his periphery, walking into their bedroom in her long dark green gown. Her rounded belly stood out in front of her as she walked towards him with a smile on her face.
People would always say that pregnant women glowed and Draco always scoffed at that, wondering how a person could ever glow. But for the second time, he understood exactly what people were talking about when they said women in their later months of pregnancy glowed with a fine radiance unmatched by anything else.
"Your tie is crooked," Hermione said as she came up next to him at the full-length mirror and fixed it for him.
He grabbed her face and planted a sweet kiss on her lips, surprising her with the action.
"You're in a good mood," she observed. "Of course you would be in a good mood seeing as how you didn't get up thirty times in the middle of the night to pee."
Draco laughed and watched her nimble fingers as they played at his collar after fixing his tie. "Are you ready to get going?" he asked.
She looked up at him with a warm look. "Yeah… I'm ready. Are you?"
"Um… I'm more ready than I was last year. I think it gets easier every year," he said as a sad smile crossed his lips.
Hermione nodded and leaned up on her toes to kiss him softly. "Come on, I left Noah trying to tie his own shoes."
"I don't understand why we can't just teach him a spell…" Draco started.
"Draco, we've gone over this. He's only three and a half and we should not be teaching him how to do magic outside of school," Hermione said as they walked up to the third floor of the Manor.
"I did magic at his age and there's nothing wrong with it… it's not like he's going to hurt himself," Draco argued.
Hermione sighed. "We'll talk about it later."
Draco smiled and kissed her cheek just as they reached their son's wing.
"Noah! Where are you?" Hermione called out, looking around the playroom where all of his toys were stored.
A little patch of blond curls popped up from behind the couch and hazel eyes peered back at them for a swift second before hiding back behind the couch.
Draco and Hermione each gave a small smirk that they had perfected over the years. "Now where did Noah go?" Draco asked loudly. "I swear I saw him in the closet. Did you see him, Hermione?"
"Hmm. I thought I saw him under the bed. If he keeps hiding, then he'll never get that super-strawberry-fudge sundae after the service."
The head of blond curls popped up again and the chubby face of a three-year-old Noah smiled back at them. "I'm ober here, mama! I'm ober here, daddy! I wasn't hiding away. I was here on the couch!"
"There he is!" Hermione said, placing her hands on her hips.
Noah ran towards his parents and squealed happily when Draco lifted him up off the ground and held him in the air, before bringing him back down to sit in his arms. "Where are your shoes, mate?" Draco asked, looking at the already dirty socks on his son's feet.
"I couldn't tied them!" Noah said with wide eyes framed by dark blond lashes. "I put them in the battub."
"You put them in the bathtub?" Hermione asked, walking to Noah's closet to get some other shoes. Most of the time, only Hermione and Draco could understand what Noah was saying.
"Yeth but they're not wet. Only dry," he explained, resting his head on Draco's shoulder. "Cam we get the thundae now? And cam we see Auntie Belle? She thaid she had a thurprise for me!"
"We're going to see Auntie Belle at the service along with Uncle Harry and Ron and Auntie Ellie!" Hermione told him as she put his shoes on that matched his pint-sized three-piece suit. "And then daddy's treating us all to ice cream!"
Draco raised an eyebrow. "He is?"
Hermione smiled at him. "Of course he is. Because he has to make up for saying mummy's tummy is finally bigger than her bum."
Draco hid a smile and winked at Hermione. "I happen to like your bum."
"Yeah, whatever," Hermione rolled her eyes. "Now, let's get going. We don't want to be late."
Questions of science… science and progress… do not speak as loud as my heart…
"I thank you all once again for joining us at this dedication ceremony," chief of medicine, Healer Brandon, spoke to an audience of fifty or sixty people. "It has been one year since the passing of Narcissa Black, who was a devoted patient in her final years and who donated more money to this hospital's pediatric and psychiatric wings than any other person in history. I am joined today by her son, Draco Malfoy, a philanthropist who has followed in his mother's footsteps and has only thought of others before himself. With his continued donations, this hospital is able to open new branches in parts of the Wizarding world where there is poverty and illness.
"His generosity and the continued loyalty from his family to this establishment are greatly appreciated by witches and wizards around the globe who benefit from St. Mungo's Hospitals and affiliates.
"Please join me in welcoming Mr. Draco Malfoy, his wife, Healer Hermione Malfoy and their son to the stage for the presentation and dedication of this new hospital.
"I hereby proclaim this hospital, The Narcissa Black Institution for Cognitive Progress, a hospital for the victims of abuse and mental illnesses. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire Wizarding health community, I thank you for your efforts in making this world a better place to live in."
Draco and Hermione shook hands with Healer Brandon and posed politely for the Daily Prophet.
It was the fourth service that they had been to in the past year since Narcissa's death. This service included an interview with the Daily Prophet that Hermione and Draco had tried as much as possible to avoid, but had been eventually persuaded to give.
They were escorted to the lobby of the new hospital they were currently at. Isabelle, Harry, their infant girl, Cissa (who Isabelle had named personally after growing close to Narcissa in her final two years of life), Ron and Ellie mingled among the new patients while Draco and Hermione gave their interview.
"Thank you for allowing us to cover this story, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy," the reporter, a young man with an eager face, said.
"You're welcome," they replied quietly as Noah lay sleeping on his father's lap, his thumb stuck in his mouth haphazardly.
"My first question to you is: why did you decide to give your money to St. Mungo's and not any other corporation or establishment?"
Hermione looked to Draco for him to answer. "Well, when my mother was being treated for her schizophrenia and her body started failing, she told me in specific terms that she wanted a sizable amount set aside for donating to the hospital that had helped throughout her treatments once she got out of the Domiciliary Care Program. Both my mother and I knew that we wouldn't want our money sent to just any place. Also, my wife worked at St. Mungo's before she decided to stay at home to take care of our son and write books on her specialty"
"Speaking of which, Mrs. Malfoy, could you please explain to our readers exactly what your books are about?" the reporter asked.
"I've written two books on the differing personalities between people who effectively use their right-brain and people who use their left-brain. One of those books was a how-to book on successfully keeping a relationship with a person who uses a different side of the brain. All the proceeds from those two books went directly to this new hospital along with the money Draco donated."
"And are you still working on those types of books?" the reporter asked.
"Actually, no. With the new baby on the way and taking care of Noah, I haven't found much time to sit down and write. I've also been busy traveling to all those dedications Draco drags me to," Hermione said jestingly.
"The public has really just fallen in love with the story of your continued commitment to helping those in the Wizarding world who don't have access to health care and who desperately need medical help. You have a beautiful family, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy, and I thank you again for giving me the time to share your story with everyone."
Questions of science… science and progress… do not speak as loud as my heart…
"Daddy?" Noah asked sleepily as they arrived at Florean Fortescue's.
"When is mama going to have the new baby?"
"Do you know how long a month is, Noah?" Draco said as they reserved a booth for everyone.
"No," he replied standing up on the bench next to his father.
"Well, you go to Auntie Belle's house every Friday to play with little Cissa, right?" Draco said.
"Thitha is a baby!" Noah exclaimed.
Draco laughed at his son's inability to follow a conversation and nodded. "Your mum will have the baby after you've been to Auntie Belle's house four times. Do you understand?"
Noah nodded enthusiastically and wrapped his little arms around his father's neck.
Draco really couldn't have been happier than he was at that moment. Despite losing his mother after the effects of her physical abuse and the effects of the multiple cruciatus curses finally caught up to her and deteriorated her internal organs, he still knew that she had passed peacefully, spending her last two years enjoying her first grandchild as he grew from an adorable infant to a precocious toddler.
Narcissa had in fact named Noah, using the name she had planned to give Draco before his birth. Draco and Hermione were going to keep with that tradition and name their new baby girl: Lia, the other name Narcissa had planned to name Draco had he been a girl.
With a beautiful, intelligent boy, a little girl on the way, the most gorgeous, sexy, wife a man could ask for, Draco couldn't think of any other time in his life that he felt more at peace. He continued doing the financial work for Hogwarts and spent a lot of time on the Boards of different hospitals in the area, thanks to his generous donations.
"Daddy!" Noah squealed, driving Draco away from his thoughts.
"Yes?" Draco replied.
"When my new brother comes, cam I play with him all the time?" Noah asked, his hazel eyes wide with inquisition.
"You're not going to have a new brother, Noah; you're going to have a little sister," Draco said for the umpteenth time.
Noah could be as stubborn as his parents. "But I wanted a boy brother. I don't want a girl brother."
Draco smiled and kissed his son's cheek. "If you had a boy brother, he would take away all of your toys and he would always want to try on your clothes and he would always eat your ice cream… a girl brother is much better to have."
Noah nodded in stunned agreement. "Yeth. I don't want a boy brother anymore, daddy. Only a girl brother."
Hermione came into view with her eyebrows raised. "I thought I told you to correct him when he didn't use the right words."
"Noah, tell mama that she's being a horrible stickler for grammar and that you are only a three-year-old boy who hasn't developed the syntactical and semantic comprehension of an older child yet."
Noah laughed and promptly sat down in between his newly seated mother and father.
"I hate when you throw psychology back in my face," Hermione said after she childishly stuck her tongue out at her husband.
Isabelle tiredly sat down across from them and smiled deviously. "It serves you right for psychoanalyzing us all these years, Herms."
"I never… oh what's the point?" Hermione sighed as Noah tried to unsuccessfully sit in her lap. Her belly was in the way, so he opted instead to jump up and down on the bench until Draco dragged him down and settled him on his own lap.
Harry sat down next, placing a sleeping Cissa in her baby seat on the table.
"Shhh. Thitha is thleeping," Noah whispered.
"It's ok, mate," Harry replied. "This kid could sleep through a Quidditch match and not even twitch."
Isabelle snorted. "It's been proven since my genius husband actually took her to a game. My baby girl slept through the whole thing."
Ellie and Ron came last, bringing with them everyone's orders of sugary treats. In no time flat, Noah had consumed his ice cream, most of which ended up on his clothes and his father's lap.
"Oh, I spoke to Charlie the other day," Ron said. "He said he was sorry about missing the dedication today, but they just had a delivery of new feral dragons and he had to portkey back to Romania."
"It's been a while since we've seen Charlie around," Hermione said, resting a hand on top of her belly as she wiped Noah's mouth and face from the ice cream.
"Oh!" Isabelle said suddenly. "Guess what?"
"What?" they asked, used to Isabelle's short attention span.
"Guess who Healer Brandon is considering to make Head of the Pediatric ward once they get off of maternity leave?" she asked with a wide smile.
"Isabelle! That's wonderful news!" Hermione exclaimed. "Why didn't you tell us earlier?"
"Well, I almost forgot because Cissa has colic and I've just been so tired tending to her crying… but I just remembered and I had to tell you guys."
"Congratulations, Isabelle," Draco said. "You're the only person I would ever trust with my children, despite your quirkiness."
Isabelle beamed with the compliment and settled against Harry's side, where she had the perfect view of Hermione, Draco and Noah epitomizing the picture of a happy family. In truth, that's what they were…
A family that had overcome obstacles and hardships that other families didn't even come close to experiencing. A family that answered one of the most debated questions of science: that opposites, in fact, did attract.
Questions of Science… science and progress… do not speak as loud as my heart…