Disclaimer: I own nothing. J.K. Rowling owns everything.

Author's Note: I want to give a large THANK YOU to everyone who reviewed, told me what they liked, hated, and was confused by. I would thank a beta, but I don't have one, poor me. I started this fic out of sheer boredom and a thought. I'm glad I did. It's really inspired me to get back to writing, researching, and plotting.

Chapter Seventeen

(Ten years later)

There is an end to every story and this is mine.

I feel as if the first half of my life is over. Like in one of those long novels that have part one all about the past, then it ends, and part two begins, and it's about the present and future. That's me now…all about the present and future.

But let's take a journey to the past, for old time's sake.

(Our one year anniversary)

"What in the hell did he just say?"

Okay, I'll confess I've been the typical bride-to-be: in love with myself as a bride and totally barmy the morning of my wedding because nothing seems to be going right. We decided to have a Muggle wedding because of my family and let's just say…I never realised just how much effort and time go into the planning and execution of a wedding…without a wand.

It's maddening.

Ginny tries to comfort me, "Nothing, Hermione. You just head right along back there and get dressed."

But I'm not hearing any of what she has to say and approach the man, "Did you just say the room was ruined?"

He turns, sees me, and goes pale. "No, not at all."

"Look here, mister, and look here good. Tell me what the hell is wrong with the ballroom? My damn reception is in there!"

Seeing my hardened stature, the man speaks (albeit, against his better judgment and Harry's shaking head) to try to break it to me calmly, "There were just a few minor problems."

"Like?" I ask, leaning forward, hands planted on my hips.

He tries to ease into the sentence. "Umm…there was a teeny problem with the system early this morning. And the sprinklers went off in the ballroom." Seeing my eyes bulge out, he tries to soothe his voice as he continues, "And the rug is ruined. As well as the chairs…and tablecloths…and chairs…and centrepieces…and some of the flowers."

Exhaling the breath I'm holding, I freak, "Oh, my, God."

"Miss. Granger, its okay. We're just going to move you to the Greek Room." The grey hared man says, trying to comfort me.

"The Greek Room? That's like two-thirds the size of the Plaza," I groan, "I have a guest list of over 200. We can't all fit in there." In a moment, I feel a hand on my shoulder and I turn to Harry and Ginny, "This is a nightmare."

"No, it's not," Harry comforts as the man scampers off.

Ginny whips out her wand and slyly smirks, "Let us handle it the best way we know how."

Merlin, just thinking about that morning makes me angry.

As the morning progressed, we found out what else went wrong. The hair stylists we called upon brought one less than we hired. The cake was no longer white, as changed the day before from chocolate, it was looking to be yellow. I was waiting for the call telling me the cake was going to be strawberry or something ridiculous. Two of the cooks were running late, and thus prolonging the hors d'oeuvre preparation, thus prolonging each of the five courses in the dinner. We didn't have a DJ anymore.

And Tara, who Ron practically forced me to put as a bridesmaid, was nowhere to be seen.

The only bright side of that morning was the fact that Harry, Ginny, and the entire Weasley family, minus Ron, fixed the reception room.

(Same day)

Something sparks my eardrums and I bolt to the door when I hear voices in the hallway. Knowing full well who it is, I swing open the door and pull at Tara's arm, bringing her out of her intense snog with a red-faced Ron.

In a curt voice, I say, "Thanks for having her back in time, you piece of shit! I'd fucking murder you, Ron, I really would…but I'll spare your arse and your life because it's my wedding day!" And I slam the door in his face before he can say anything else.

Shoving Tara in the chair, I don't care that Mrs. Weasley and Ginny are standing there with their mouths ajar, I start ranting and raving, "Listen to me and listen to me good. I don't plan on ever getting married, ever again. This is the one day for me and you've already helped ruin it by being late. I asked you to be here nearly three hours ago."

"But—" Tara tries to break in before I cut her off savagely.

"My dress is three inches too short and we spent an hour fixing it magically. The cake is no longer chocolate like my family wanted. It's not even the flavour I fell back on just yesterday. Today, I had to take a yellow cake. I just had eight wizards and witches fix my reception back up from the fiasco earlier with the sprinkler mishap. The stylists are short-handed. The cooks are slow. You are three hours late! Nothing," I begin to yell with emotion dripping off my words, "Nothing is going to ruin this day for me! Now, sit in that bloody chair and let this nice wizard do your fucking hair and don't say another word to me until after we say the words, "I do." Do you comprehend?"

Tara releases the air in her lungs she held during the tirade with enlarged eyes.

"Now," I pop my knuckles rather calmly, "Where was I?"

Mrs. Weasley and my mum clear their throats simultaneously, but my mum speaks, "I think the dress was next…"

"Dress it is."

But it was all worth it, in the end.

All the hell, the stress, and even the tears are worth it…getting married to Draco that day made everything worth it.

(Same day)

"Do you, Draco Malfoy, take Hermione Granger to be your lawfully wedded wife? To have and to hold, until death do you part?"

He smiles confidently, "She may be an insufferable know-it-all bookworm, who's completely barmy most of the time…and was nervous the entire time I proposed, but of course I do. I love you."

A few guests chuckle and I find myself chuckling too. Always has to go above and beyond, that one. Little liar. He's been telling that one since we got engaged. In all fairness, he did warn me that he would retell the story.

"Do you, Hermione Granger, take Draco Malfoy to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold, until death do you part?"

"He may be the most presumptuous, spoiled, narcissistic, annoying, megalomaniac I've ever met, and is a little lying ferret because he was the one who was nervous, but, of course I do. I love you too."


Some people say it moves mountains. Others say it makes the world go around. Some people even put all their faith in it. Some people say it hurts. Clichés? That may be the case, but, as I lay here in his arms over ten years after our wedding, I think about how far love has brought us and I can safely say that some sayings, no matter how clichéd they are, still hold truth.

Love has made me into the person I am today. I'm happy. I'm content. I'm living the life I want and I'm being exactly who I want to be. But sadly, life doesn't always go as planned. Draco and I didn't just get married and live happily ever after in wedded bliss. No.

I wish…but no.

It's been a bumpy road.

The first year of our marriage was the roughest year of my life. Between two miscarriages that nearly tore us apart, getting past my own jealousy of Ginny when Albus was born, and working long hours in the ministry, Draco and I fought and cried and screamed and yelled and pulled our own hair in frustration…

…but we made it…

…and he didn't walk away.

(Eight years ago)

"One more push, Mrs. Malfoy, you're doing great!"

Laboriously, I cry out, panting and sobbing in pain, "I can't! I can't push anymore! It hurts!"

Draco squeezes my hand, "Come on love. Squeeze my hand as hard as you want. You can do this."

"Easy for you to say that! You're not having a bloody baby!"

"You can—"

"No, I can't! I'm not ready to be a mother!"

"Yes you are! You read all the ruddy books, you made me read all those ruddy books, we took all the classes, baby-proofed the new house down to the ruddy spark plug, you're ready, Hermione. We're ready. We've been waiting two years for this."

Sobbing, "I'm scared."

"Don't cry, okay. I hate it when you cry…you're a bloody Gryffindor, for Merlin's sake. You're brave, braver than I am. Just breathe, okay. Breathe." He starts taking slow, dramatic breaths so I can mimic him. We've been at this twelve hours and I just want to go to sleep. I just want this to be done. I just want the pain to stop. I'm a fool for not taking the pain-relieving potion.

Okay, I take a deep and shaky breath.

Then another. And another before I feel myself start to calm down…for the most part, "Okay…okay…I can do this. You're right. I'm a Gryffindor. I have courage and all that other bullshit. I'm calm. Let's do this. I'm ready. We're ready. Let's bring Addison into the world."

"Ready?" The Medi-witch asks.

I nod wordlessly.

"Okay, Hermione, I need you to push…right now."

So I push…and scream…and struggle as hard as I can. And just when I think I can't go on any further, just when I feel like I'm dying…a small cry fills the room. Just a small one…and I stop and collapse back on the bed, knowing everything will be okay.

The Medi-witch holds up the baby, "It's a girl and she's beautiful!"

Yes, we have a child, wait…children.

Three children to be exact.

And none of them are name Dracona. Bleh.

Addison Narcissa Malfoy is the eldest at eight. She has his grey eyes, bushy dirty blonde hair, and his nose. She may have quite a few of my personality traits, in fact Draco calls her "mini-me", but Addison walks like him, laughs like him, glares like him, smiles like him…she even has a touch of his arrogance. But, thanks mainly in part to me, she has a reason to be…she's brilliant, very well-spoken, adventurous, very curious, and loves to read…

…I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

(Three months ago)

"Mummy! Daddy!" Addison bursts through the door and launches herself onto our bed. It's well past her bedtime and she's holding a book I'm very familiar with, The Tales of Beetle the Bard. She climbs up between me and Draco, opens the book, and looks at us, excitedly, "Is it true? Is it true?"

"Is what true, sweetheart?" Draco ruffles her hair and drops a kiss on her head lovingly.

"The story, daddy?" She rolls her eyes like he's the most ridiculous person alive for asking such a silly question…exactly the way he rolls his eyes at me.

I finger the pages. I haven't looked at this book in years, "Where did you get this book from, sweetie?"

"I found it, this morning, in the library." She's distracted with turning the pages, "Is it true, mummy?"

"Yes, it is."

"Is that why Uncle Harry has a blanket that makes him invisible?"

Draco and I exchange looks. He mouths, 'How does she know that?' and I just shrug, stunned.

"Umm…yes, but how did you know that?"

"Albus was too scared to go exploring last month. He said he didn't want to get in trouble so James went with me when he came home for the Christmas holiday. We found it. It was locked in—" she cuts herself off, realizing she's said too much. Addison blushes and looks at Draco and tries to turn on the charm with her captivating smile…did I mention it's an evil little captivating smile? "Nevermind, forget what I said. It was nothing daddy."

"Oh, no you don't, little lady," he smirks and I know Draco is trying not to pump his fists and cheer for her very Slytherin behaviour. He presses with a stern, but smooth, "Where was it locked? Tell us."

She pouts, reluctantly replying, "In a chest."

More questions, "How'd you get it open?"

Addison shrugs innocently, still blushing, "I promise, I just pointed at it and it opened…with James's new wand."

Draco covers his smirk with a stern look, "You used magic? You could've hurt yourself, Addison. What did we tell you about—"

"I know, I know, daddy, but James didn't know the spell and I did…am I in trouble?"

Three years later, Benjamin Draco Malfoy was born…and boy did Draco put up a fight to make him a junior.

But we came to a compromise. Ben looks more like me than Draco anyway, so ha! Light brown hair, brown eyes, and soft facial features. He's terribly clever, too curious, smart, ambitious, intuitive, and seemingly innocent…too bad he's not. He's the one I always have to keep an eye on; he's always up to something.

We already know he's going to be a Slytherin hell-raiser…and Draco couldn't be prouder.

(Last month)

I'm stirring a pot of spaghetti sauce, adding spices and tasting it when I hear the front door close. I quickly drain the noodles, turn the temperature down on the sauce to let it simmer, and check on Addison who is setting the table with two extra spots for Albus and Lilly, who are spending the week here while Harry and Ginny vacation to Vienna. James is in his first year at Hogwarts, a Gryffindor and already stirring up trouble worthy of Fred and George.

She sits down the last fork and looks up for approval, "Mummy…is this good?"

I kiss her head and pat her unruly hair down, "Perfect, sweetie. Run along and tell everyone dinner is ready."

Addison nods obediently, scoops her book off the chair, and runs off, yelling at the top of her lungs, "Dinner's ready! Dinner's ready!"

Shaking my head, I chuckle to myself and head back to the kitchen to put the sauce and noodles in bowls to set on the table. I'm in the middle of finding a spoon when I feel hands. Big hands. Husband hands, that wraps around my waist and pulls me gently into him. Turning around in his arms, I lift up to kiss Draco quickly, but it turns into a full on snog sessions that has me pressed against the refrigerator.

When he finally pulls away, I smile breathlessly. Merlin, I've never gotten used to those greetings. Never.

"You're home early. How was your day?" I ask, closing my eyes when he starts nuzzling.

"All right, I suppose. People were particularly stupid today so I decided to leave. I had a nasty little meeting with your Secondary, please fire that man."

Stubbornly, "I'm not going to fire him because you don't like him."

"Okay, so fire him because he knows nothing about magical creatures…and because he's a git."

"What did he do?"

"Well, it's about the Martin house elves case. You know…the ones who taught their kids unforgivable curses using their house elves," I nod, very familiar with that case, "Well," Draco continues, "I asked him for the report because it goes to Wizengamot next week and he tells me that not only has he not finished his report, but he knows nothing about the case that our departments have been working on collectively for the last month."

My eyebrow threatens to touch the sky, "He, what—"

"Exactly, love…next time you decide to take a week off, please let it be a week I can take off too. That way, when the ministry goes to hell, I won't be there to witness it."

I smile and kiss him again, "You sound stressed."

Gruffly, "I am."

"Well, you're off tomorrow…and the kids are going to the Quidditch match with Ron, Tara, and Cherry. We will have the entire day—"

A smirk grows on his face, "I like where you're going with this."

Kissing him one last time, "Glad you do…honey, grab the bowls with the sauce and noodles, and I'll grab the garlic bread and be out there in a minute. Make sure Ben doesn't have mud on his hands and Addison doesn't her—"

Draco kisses me to shut me up, "I got it, love." He smiles, grabs the bowls, and leaves.

When I come out, Draco is sitting at the table with Addison and Lilly, looking around. With a raised eyebrow, I sit the platter with the garlic bread down and look at the girls, "Addison?"

Smiles politely, "Yes, mummy?"

"Where's your brother?"

Shrugs, "He wasn't in his room."

I move to the next girl, "Lilly?"

"Yes auntie?"

"Where's your brother?"

Another shrug, "Last I checked, he and Ben were sneaking out of your room."

I look in Draco's direction…and he's already out his chair and halfway out the room, heading in the direction of the stairs, "Already on it."

Before Draco can take another step, Ben comes storming into the dining room, out of breath like he's just run a full-scale marathon, "Before I get in trouble," he starts breathlessly, "I just want to say that it's all Addison's fault!"

"Hey! You take that back, you little twerp! I didn't do anything!" is his sister's defensive cry.

"Well, it is…" he argues, defiantly.

Her voice is so shrilled now it reminds me of nails on a chalkboard, "Is not!"

"Is too!" he screams back, "If you hadn't told us about the charm that made your teeth grow fast, I wouldn't have stolen mum's wand from her drawer, and Albus wouldn't be upstairs with his front teeth growing past his knees."

As if on cue, little ten-year-old Albus comes walking in (as best as he can), his front teeth threatening to touch his shoes, "Help," is his muffled and hopeless whimper and I detect tears in his eyes. The room falls into a stunned silence. Lilly and Addison pause, just for a moment, and proceed to burst into fits of laughter. Lilly actually has tears in her eyes from laughing so hard.

Draco snorts to cover his laughter and I bite my lip to stop from snickering, "Aww, Albus, sweetheart, here sit down. Your uncle Draco did the same thing to me in 4th year. I'll see what I can do to stop it. Draco, honey, owl a Medi-witch. Tell them it's an emergency."

And finally, two years ago we had Grace Andromeda Malfoy. She's an adorable, calm, constantly moving busy-body with a head of blonde hair and the prettiest hazel eyes I've ever seen. Simply adorable…and she loves to sleep. Grace has a lot of his mannerisms and a ton of facial expressions that tell us exactly what's on her mind even when she's unable to tell us, but it's too soon to tell if she's going to be like Ben, Addison…or if she's going to be totally different.

I'm shooting for something different…as long as it isn't going to drive me insane.


I bring home a few files in order to leave the office early. There is much to be done. With the new law I helped pass in Wizengamot that is harder on wizards and witches who treat their house elves harshly, the cases of house elf cruelty are coming in by the hundreds. I should still be working, I really should, but I've been working all week, almost non-stop…and after today's doctor's appointment, being here is more important than work.

So, now, those files are sitting in my office on my desk and I'm standing on the back porch, watching Draco twirl Grace in his arms while Addison places flowers on Crookshanks' grave under the tree Ben is currently climbing (not too high though) in the back of our yard with her pygmy puff, Oscar, flying faithfully over her shoulder. It's been nearly three years since he died of old age and Addison always makes sure he has fresh flowers on his grave.

I start down the steps, heading towards my family.

Addison skips to her daddy, Ben jumps from the tree, and Draco puts Grace down…who picks up a handful of flowers (AKA: small branches with leaves and dandelions) and makes a beeline towards me, as fast as her little feet will carry her. She trips a few times and lands on her bum in the grass, but she quickly gets up, undeterred.

"Tag, you're it, daddy!" Ben and Addison tag him at the same time and proceed to take off running in different directions.

"Well, that's no fair," Draco calls after them, "Two on one, not fair at all." He looks over at me and winks.

Ben keeps running, hell-bent on not being it, but Addison slows down and walks over to her father, eager to explain the rules. I guess she gets that from me, "That's how the game works, we tag, we run, you chase—"

Draco is quick, like lightning, "Such a little Gryffindor, just like your mother…easily distracted and so very trusting," he tags her and takes off, "Now you're it!"

Addison lets out a scream and runs after him, "You tricked me, daddy! Not fair!"

I scoop Grace up in my arms and swing her around before hugging her close. She giggles gleefully, "Mummy, mummy," she hands me the flowers, proudly, "For you."

"Why, they're beautiful, Gracie, thank you." I take the flowers and kiss her pudgy cheek.

Grace blushes and then yawns, "'elcome."

"Are you sleepy, baby?"

Her eyes are glazed over when she nods, "Mmhmm."

Grace puts her head on my shoulder and in about five minutes of rubbing her back, rocking, and petting her hair and she is sleeping peacefully. Draco, Addison, and Ben are out of sight briefly…

that is until I see Addison and Draco running from Ben. Just when Ben is hot on his heels, Draco spins around, sweeps the boy up and snags Addison, exhausted from the running, "Alright, you two, daddy is tired from running from you two and it's nearly dark. Go take a bath and mommy will order us all pizza tonight and we'll watch movies too." Pizza and movies are a rarity in our house, they only happen together on special occasions. It's funny that he decides to make tonight a pizza and movie night, especially since he doesn't know just how special it is.

"Pizza! Movies! Yay!" They both scream and attack him with hugs before running past me and into the house.

Draco drops a kiss on my lips and then one on Grace's head as she snuggles deeper into me. Merlin, she's so beautiful. They all are…and he is too. I smile at Draco, trying to hold back tears with a joke, "Mind-reading again?"

He looks puzzled, "What?"

"I already ordered pizza, about fifteen minutes ago. Should be here by the time everyone finishes bathing. I bought some movies too…"

He just grins. There's a quiet exchange of Grace from my arms to his and when he returns from putting her down in her playpen in the family room, he returns to my side and in almost silence, with his arms wrapped around me and his chin on my head, we watch the sun set over the horizon.

As Draco's hands thoughtfully rest on my stomach, I smile to myself. Everything is about to change again and Merlin, it feels wonderful.

I never even imagined that I'd have three kids…hell, I could barely imagine having one…but now that they're here and even though they stress me out, I can't possibly imagine my life without them.

Their love, (my husband, my children, and friends) makes the world continue to go around. For sure, if they disappear from my life, it will stop, and life, as I know it, will end.

Love. It's the scariest and most fulfilling emotion there is. It can bring highs that you never dreamed of, and lows that bring such despair you think you'll surely die from it. Love heals and causes wounds. It gives strength and makes you weak.

It's the only emotion I know, that can make you laugh one minute and cry the next. It's the highest of the highs, the lowest of the lows, and everything in between. Love. It's what brings me here today, to this place. It's the reason I'm here…

Consciousness begins to dawn on my brain at its own leisure pace.

Blearily, I push a few locks of curls from my eyes, not caring whether or not they are tangled. It takes a few minutes for my hearing and attentiveness to the area around me to become somewhat clear. Somehow, I manage to un-tuck my tender arm from underneath the pillow and stretch it out beside my body.

Then, my eyes open and immediately search the room for any kind of light. And they find a dim light pouring into the living room, but I don't have the energy to figure out its source.

So I lay here.

And it's really not a bad thing. I want to be here, more than anything. I don't want to leave the comfort of our bed and the man lying beside me. Draco is such a light sleeper. Anything wakes him up. So, I'm going to let his arms stay wrapped around me, I'm going to let him snuggle with me, I'm going to let him breathe lowly in my ear, and I'm going to relax.

He hugs me closer, forcing me to meld my back into his chest. And as uncomfortable as it may sound, it actually feels nice and cosy; the cosy part is something I will always love. After a few more minutes, I wane myself out of my laziness, flex my hand, move my arm that is smothered under his, and rub my head as I roll over…to see a face grinning back at me.

I frown. Draco has been awake the entire time. And he's still grinning. God, that grin drives me crazy.

And then I realise something…"Draco?"

"Yes, love?"

"It's too quiet."

"So…it's 5:27 on a Saturday morning. Everyone's sleeping. I checked."

Chuckling, "Not for long." I kiss him quickly, "Breakfast?"

"I'd rather have dessert," he replies huskily, touching my bare leg.

Still, after all these years, I still get a shiver in my spine and feel those mutant bats in my stomach when he's in close proximity, "You're insatiable."

Cheekily, "You're correct."

"Well," I kiss him deeply but quickly pull away, "Ginny and Harry volunteered to take the kids tonight so we can go to the Burrow early for Ron's wedding to help prepare." I kiss him again, he groans when I pull away, "So tonight, when we drop them off, we'll come home and have all the dessert you want." I kiss him one last time before getting out of bed and putting on a robe.

He relaxes in bed, "I like the sound of that…I just can't believe Weaselbee is getting married."

Rolling my eyes, "He and Tara have been married for six years now. You remember when they eloped. It was huge news for weeks. Their parents were so pissed. They're just finally going to do it the right way, for their parents and for their recent reconciliation, I guess. Whatever works," I shrug.

Ron and Tara have been on this six-year rollercoaster where they break-up and get back together frequently, but I guess they really love each other because no matter what, they always manage to find their way back to one another. I hope, not just for their sake, but the sake of their five-year-old Cherry, that they finally have it together.

Yes, their daughter's name is Cherry Rose Weasley, just like she said…and Ginny told me yesterday that she may be pregnant again.

Let's hope it's a boy, for the child's sake.

"…maybe we can start working on number four," flashes a wicked grin.

Funny he should mention that. My sarcastic laughter fills the room, "You're joking?"

Draco's still in the bed, staring at me, "Actually, I'm quite serious."

I look at him, smirking like he can't be serious, "Draco, four kids? You want four kids under the age of eight to be running around the house? Between Addison's reading habits that spark all kinds of curiosity and Ben—well, being Ben and his experiments and I don't even know what Gracie is capable of…as if we don't have enough chaos—"

He cuts me off smoothly, "I think we do pretty well, actually. You won't see any of our kids trying to assassinate the headmaster—"

"Yeah, but I can see Ben setting bluebell flames on anyone who pisses him off and sneaking into the Forbidden forest and pissing off Filch. I can see Addison mixing Polyjuice potion in the girl's bathroom to turn herself into someone from another house so she can see all the common rooms she's read about in Hogwarts: A History. Let's just hope she doesn't turn herself into a cat or worse, a ferret."

Draco laughs, "True, but they're good kids."

He's right, you know. They are good kids. All of them, even Ben, who keeps me on my toes at all times. I smile giddily and plop down on the bed next to him, "They really are, huh?"

Nudges me with his shoulder, "Yes…and Gracie was telling me that she wanted another little brother or sister…"

I crack up laughing, "The two-year-old did not tell you that."

Draco grins like a kid who's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, "Okay, well, maybe not, but she will love being a big sister."

"Really…well, I certainly hope she will because I just found out yesterday that in about six months, that's exactly what she's going to be."

(The next day)

For all the hell they've been through, they really make getting married look easy…

…too bad she was a monster right up until she walked down the aisle.

The wedding, which took place in the same spot as Fleur and Bill's wedding, was absolutely beautiful and amazing. Draco humorously kept handing me tissues…that I used. She may still be an idiot, but she makes Ron happy and that's all I ask for. They released charmed butterflies as they walked down the aisle as man and wife. Tara really does look beautiful with her noticeable baby bump, glowing as she smiles and dances with George while Ron, Draco, and Harry converse on the other end of the dance floor, all smiles and no wrestling…

Merlin, it is a good day.

I quickly scope the room for my kids. Addison is charming Neville, Luna, and the soon-to-be retired McGonagall with her extensive knowledge about all things magical, no doubt. Ben is dancing with Lilly, or at least I hope that's what he's doing. It kind of looks like the funky chicken gone awry. James, who they brought home for the occasion, is laughing in the corner at his friend. Mrs. Weasley is holding Grace while other adults coo over her.

"Apparently it's a girl." Ginny sits next to me.

I snap from my thoughts, looking over at Ginny, "What?"

"Tara and Ron's baby…it's a girl."

My mouth drops, "Holy shit. What are they naming her?"

"Strawberry Blossom. She apparently is stuck on naming her kids after fruit and flowers. Ron's trying to talk her out of it, he's trying to get her to change it to Apple, but she's hell-bent on Strawberry. Something about apples being too tangy or something..."

"Apparently," I shake my head sadly, "Poor Strawberry Blossom Weasley."

Ginny busts out laughing and I laugh too. A few moments later and we're sighing and shaking our heads, "How did Draco take the news of your pregnancy?" Of course, Ginny was the one with me when I found out. What else are best friends for?

"Very well, he's over the moon. Determined to convince me this time to name the baby Dracona, if it's a girl."

Snickers, "He will never learn, huh?"

"Apparently not."

After a few more minutes of talking, Ginny takes Albus out on the floor to dance alongside his sister and my son. James manages to coax Addison out on the floor and they're out there doing some good luck dance Luna taught them. Of course, Luna is doing it with them. Neville, too.

Shaking my head, I wander over to the boys, stopping and talking briefly to a few people and Mrs. Weasley, who tells me she just put Grace down for a nap.

Ron and Harry are laughing about something when I finally make my way to them.

"Well, I hope I didn't miss anything too funny." I announce my presence, taking my spot between Harry and my husband.

Ron immediately sweeps me into a hug, "Malfoy was just telling us the good news. Congrats!"

"Congratulations are in order for you too…another girl for the Weasleys? Too amazing."

Ron smiles proudly.

"Congratulations on number four," Harry hugs me next.

I pull back from his hug and smile at my boys. We've all come a long way from being outcasts on the Hogwarts Express our first year. Friendships, enemies, fighting, break-up, make-ups, love, hate, births, deaths, war, peace, happiness, sadness…everything has led us right up to this moment.

"Thanks guys, really."

Draco takes my hand and kisses it, excusing us so we can go dance to the slow song now playing. The kids have vacated the floor, Ginny finds Harry, Ron finds Tara, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley find each other, Bill and Fleur, and countless other couples are on the floor with us. He twirls me around and drops a small kiss on my temple, "I was just telling them that I'm going to name this baby Dracona, even if it kills me."

Smirking against his chest, I sway with him, "And if you even think about sneaking it in there, I will kill you. No respectable daughter of mine will be named something ridiculous like Dracona…besides, I think it's a boy...and if it is I'm going to name him Andrew."

As I dance here with my husband, as I later watch him dance with Addison and a bleary-eyed Grace, and even as I watch him horse around with James, Ben, and Albus, I really don't feel like I'm living out one of the romance story Ginny reads religiously (she swears I am, though).

You see, they all have laughter, conflict, joy, tears, break-ups, fighting, cheating, ridiculous characters, pain, lots of sex, happiness, a shaky friendship that blossoms into love, and yes that may describe our story perfectly, but let's dive deeper for a moment, shall we?

I think the story of me and Draco as a story that has something those other stories lack, and it's based on something profound. Our story is a proper love story. You see, there aren't too many just proper love stories so they're hard to spot. I like to think that it's because stories like those are so rare.

Our story is a proper love story because it's not complicated; it's simple, just how love should be. How we all want love to be. Sure, the proper love story is surrounded by craziness, crazy people, and crazy situations, and often it's messy, but still, it's based on love…and you know what? That's just what makes our story better.

And when Draco talks to our growing baby later tonight when we're lying in bed, I smile with the realization that maybe this isn't the end….

Maybe this is the start of something new, wonderful, and special….

The beginning.