Chapter Thirty-Seven

The Best Scene

There would never be a more lovely scene to Hermione than the one she was witnessing. An hour after giving birth she watched tiredly in the hospital bed as Draco in a green hospital gown held their baby girl wrapped in a pink blanket in his arms. There were happy tears in his eyes as he looked down at their daughter. If his smile became any wider it would reach his ears.

Hermione couldn't have been happier herself. She felt like she was going to burst with it. She couldn't have imagined loving one human being so much. That little girl was hers. She couldn't wait to take her home, show her to her bedroom. Hermione thought seriously of changing the green color of the walls to a soft purple. The rest could be kept up, but the green had to go.

"Ara Narcissa Malfoy," he stated before sighing, "a Gryffindor for sure," he mumbled.

Hermione raised a brow surprised at his admittance. "What makes you think she'll be in Gryffindor - granted that she will be."

He rolled his eyes. "She's brave." He said it as though it should have been the most obvious thing in the world, like telling her the sky was blue, or the grass was green, or that he was a ferret.

"Hand me our daughter, Draco."

With the utmost care he laid Ara in her arms. Hermione cuddled her to her chest looking down at her perfect features, skin as soft as petals. She had long dark lashes, a hint that she would have Hermione's hair, the poor girl. She was bald at the moment, like Hermione was as an infant, but soon there would be curls that she would put into bows. She was glad to see that she had Draco's tempest eyes. She was hoping that she would.

"Perfect," the new mother whispered. "Absolutely perfect."

Draco sat on the small space at the edge of the bed. He kissed the top of her head, sliding an arm over her shoulders. "Thank you for this."

"I have as much to thank you for. I read the book."

He grinned. "Her bedtime story."

"It should wait until she's older. It's a bit... Mature."

"Most of it," he agreed grazing Ara's forehead with his fingertips.

"Looks like you have your family back."

He looked quizzically at her. "I've always had my family. You are my family, and now this little one. I just felt that the last of it had been taken from me. It was foolish."

"That would be an understatement."

"I'm sorry for everything, Hermione. I've put you through much more than I should have."

She sighed tiredly. "Yes, you've put me through a lot, but you've given me everything I could ever ask for. I entrusted you with emotions that you kept safe, you let me love you without regret, and you loved me back. You've given me an adorable daughter, and your heart. Everything that you have ever done has been fully made up for."

Draco closed his eyes. "I haven't scratched the surface. I'll be living the rest of my life to make it up to you." He looked back at her sighing.

"Forgive yourself, Draco. You promised you would." She stared into his eyes, and repeated a phrase she remembered clearly, "don't look to the past, it holds no reason."

"Leave it to you to use my words against me."

They laughed, and Hermione held their baby closer to her trying not to wake her as she had just fallen asleep.

"I do, Hermione. I forgive myself. I have to, I have a daughter to raise."

She nodded. "I love you, Draco."

"I love you too, Hermione."

She yawned widely, and handed Ara carefully back to him. "I need to sleep. The day's catching up with me."

"Lets seeā€¦ According to my new dear friend, Ginny, you've apparated from another country - something Blaise will pay for later I might add. I don't suspect you've slept well in months, and you've just given birth. I think you should rest for another eight months."

"I'm sorry I ran away from you," she added.

"I had it coming. Made me see that I didn't lose my whole family. I went blind there when mum passed. Blaise was right, she would be ashamed of me..."

"Maybe she would then, but overall I think she would be quite proud of you. You're going to be an amazing father. You didn't faint once during the birth." She let a smile creep on her lips.

"You're a barrel of laughs. Shall I show her to the crowd again?"

She nodded, "go right ahead." Her parents, the Weasley's, Harry, Teddy, Seamus, Luna, Neville, and Blaise had already seen her once, but they were anxious to again staying in the waiting room. One look at Ara, and Ginny said, "she needs another cousin." Harry paled considerably at that. Then Angelina cooed, and George instantly said, "no! No more, Fred's enough!" Hermione laughed when she thought of that.

She laid her head back on her pillow. Before the door shut behind Draco she heard their family bustle with excitement at seeing the baby again. She could hear George say, "no more," again. Hermione chortled lightly.

Most of the family had come around to the idea of Draco. All except Ron, and Seamus. Ron had to be treated for half an hour after the birth. When he held Ara he made the comment, "there's hope, this looks like Seamus' nose." Draco had calmly taken Ara from him handing her to the safety of Harry's arms, and then he gave a nice muggle punch to Ron's nose. It bled for a good fifteen minutes, and blood remained down his front Quidditch uniform. Mrs. Weasley, and Hermione scolded both of them, they thought they were both pretty low to be acting that way. Seamus didn't make it any better; he laughed, which bought him a dangerous glare from everyone.

One day she was sure they would come around, but asking them to like each other was too much. There was too much damage made in the past. She suppose that her, and Draco got lucky to be able to forgive. For some inexplicable reason she didn't care if he got along with the others. She would never admit it to anyone, but she enjoyed their fights, she found it amusing.

Hermione's eyes slipped closed, and that night, and forward the nightmares of Draco, and Hermione ceased.

A/N: I'm a bit sad to be leaving this story. It has taken a lot of my time, and I've loved writing it, but here it is. I'm happy with the way it turned out, and I hope you are too. I'd like to thank all of the readers/reviewers, you certainly encourage me.