He Did Not Have To Be

Chapter 34

Six Years Later

Draco Malfoy walked up to the bar. He felt like hell; today had to be one of the worst days of his life. He had a meeting he had been putting off for days; a meeting with David Clearwater. He wanted this meeting like a Muggle wants a root canal. He ordered the bartender, "Double Firewhiskey, on the rocks. Now!"

Once he was given his drink, he took a long sip.

"Long day?" a familiar voice said from beside him.

He looked over to see Harry Potter sitting two stools down from him. "You have no idea." He didn't want to think about what was bothering him, never mind discuss it. "Why are you in here?"

The dark-haired wizard lifted his glass. "I needed some liquid courage," he explained.

"You? For what?"

Harry reached into his pocket and pulled out the last thing Draco wanted to see; a ring box. "I'm going to ask her tonight," Harry stated.

Draco tried to bite his tongue, but it didn't work. "She's an amazing woman, Potter. Don't fuck up this time, 'cause I can't clean up your mess again."

Harry shook his head. "Trust me, I made that mistake once. I sure won't again. I've been lucky to get this second chance."

"Does Lily know yet?"

"Yes, she came with me to pick out the ring." He flipped open the lid of the box. There sat a beautiful princess cut diamond.

"She'll love it. Lily always had great taste." Draco frowned, thinking about Lily.

"How about you? Why are you in here?" Harry asked.

Draco sighed. "It's finally happened; I have lost her." It hurt him to admit it, and he didn't want to let her go. She was his whole world, and because of her he had three wonderful sons. He had many happy years, and now she was someone else's. But she always was someone else's; she always was Harry's. Of everything in Draco's adult life, that would have been the first thing he would have changed if he could.

"I really should thank you," Harry conceded. "You did something I still can't believe; you were the father to Lily that I can only hope to be. She'll always be yours, Draco. Lily loves you more than you'll ever know. I wish she would love me like that," Harry admitted. He paused. "So David came and asked for Lily's hand today?"

"Yes. I just finished up with him before coming here."

"So are you sitting here because you're upset or because you don't want to tell Lucius you told the boy he could ask her," Harry inquired.

For six months, years before, Harry and Lucius had fought for Lily's affections before Draco had had enough.

Flashback: After the end of the last chapter

"Lucius? Ginny and I need to talk to you," Draco informed his father.

Lucius didn't like what was coming. "What now?" The irritation was clear in his voice as he rose from behind his desk in his study.

"This 'pissing war' between you and Harry needs to stop."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Lucius lied.

"I'm tired of dealing with Lily being upset by the two of you," Draco explained.

"Lucius, I don't understand why you're bothered by Lily getting to know Harry. The bond you and she have is something that, to this day, I don't understand, but Harry isn't going to change it." Ginny said.

"Yes, Father, Ginny's right. Be the bigger man; you know your actions are only hurting Lily."

"I have never done anything to hurt that child!" Lucius bellowed.

"No, you're just so scared of losing her that you're hurting her by trying to keep hold of her. Father, let her and Harry figure out what type of relationship they want. Lily will only love you more for giving her the freedom and trust to make up her own mind."

"All right, if you insist," Lucius replied through clenched teeth.

End of flashback

"Both, I think," Draco admitted.

Harry smiled. "Draco, go home. Have your perfect wife with you when you tell him. She deals with him so well."

"You still think Ginny's perfect? Aren't you about to ask Olivia Wood to marry you?"

"You're married to Ginny; you know she's perfect. Why do you think it took me over twenty years to find someone who could compare to her?"

Draco downed the last of his drink. "You're right." He then got off of his stool. "'Night, Potter."

"Draco, one more thing; at Lily's wedding, could we sit with you and Ginny?"

"I'll clear it with Ginny." Harry nodded.

Harry and Lily became close friends. In fact, he had asked her to be the best person when he got married.

In the years that had passed, Harry had slowly mended fences with the Weasleys, but Ron could never fully forgive him. They never got back their 'best mate' friendship, but they could speak to each other now without Ron hitting Harry.

When Draco arrived in his and Ginny's bed chambers after work, she was busy getting ready. There was a fundraising ball to attend tonight. She was in her dressing room, so he walked over to his nightstand to empty his pockets. He found a potion vial with a light rose colored liquid in it where he always placed is money pouch. He picked it up, knowing it wasn't his, and went to ask Ginny about it.

At thirty-seven, she had only become more beautiful. Her hair was done in a complicated looking set of twists and knots and that rich color still expressed her personality. She was wearing her housecoat over what he was sure was a very sexy set of underwear. Draco's mind started to wander towards the things he would rather do tonight than hear about a bunch of sick children or homeless Squibs or whatever the fundraiser was for tonight. Ginny would fill him in on what they were attending before they got there. She looked over and smiled at him. Even after all these years, it still made his heart stop for a second.

"Love, what's this?" He held out the vial while looking at his wife.

"That?" she grinned.

"Is it yours?" he asked.

"Not really," she retorted. "You don't know what it is?"

"I don't have a clue," he admitted.

She got up and faced her husband. "I'm a little surprised; you always did so well in Potions. Then again, I think the only other two vials of that potion you have ever seen were both blue."

That's when it hit him; this was a pregnancy potion! "We're expecting? A girl?" She nodded. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close to him. "This is great! You're alright with this?"

She gave him a quick frown. "I can hear what Lucius will have to say about this; how I'm a Malfoy and not a cat having litters of kittens."

"No he won't. This will soften the blow; David asked me for Lily's hand in marriage today."

When told the news, Lucius teasingly commented to Ginny, "Is it your personal goal to return the number of Pure bloods to pre-War levels?"

And weeks later, when Ginny and Draco told the Weasleys, miles away Ron's voice could be heard, "MALFOY, can't you keep your bloody hands to your bloody self for ten bloody seconds?"

"Really, Weasley, it's been seven years... and didn't we agree that we would make no comments about each others' sex lives?" Draco replied with a smirk.

A/N: Thank you to all of you who have stayed with me all this time. Thank you to each and every one who reviewed this story. I got more reviews for it than I could have ever dreamed of. I will admit to dragging my feet on this of late, but I think it was because I knew the end was so close and I love this story so much I, too, didn't want to see it end.

I scared you there for a minute, didn't I? Did you really think after all that I would let Harry have Ginny? I'm Eveil, but not that evil!