Chapter 31 - Peace

Nineteen Years Later:

It was the first of September.

As Draco Malfoy stepped through the barrier of Platform 9 and ¾ he was reminded of the first time he had boarded the Hogwarts Express… 25 years ago.

The world had changed since then. For the better he thought. For 19 years the Wizarding Community had been at peace… secure in the knowledge that it's greatest threat… the most powerful and evil wizard in the world… was gone for good.

Peace suited Draco. The simple pleasures of family life had proved far more rewarding than service to a master who had cared for none of his servants.

To his surprise he had found he didn't miss the excitement… didn't feel a single twinge of nostalgia for the bad old days.

He couldn't help smiling as his son appeared on the platform. With his light blue eyes, pale pointed face and silvery blonde hair Scorpius looked almost exactly like Draco had at that age.

Astoria Malfoy stood at her husband's side, her slender frame garbed in an elegant midnight blue coat. Her pale blonde, straight hair hung to her shoulders and her eyes were a darker blue than either her husband's or her son. With her pale coloring and pretty, aristocratic features she bore more than a passing resemblance to her mother in law

The corners of her mouth crept up as she saw Draco smile at Scorpius. She could see how pleased he was their son resembled him so much. In looks anyway. In personality Scorpius was more like his mother. Something her husband was quick to point out whenever their son misbehaved she thought with a grin.

Draco saw his wife's grin and grinned back, clearly guessing what she was thinking. After all this time he could read her like a book.

She could feel eyes on the three of them. On the other side of the platform. Harry and Ginny Potter were standing there with two boys and a small redheaded girl who could have only been their children. Next to them were Ron and Hermione Weasley and their son and daughter.

Draco gave them a curt nod. He quickly took Scorpius aside, saying something in his ear that she couldn't make out.

With a final goodbye he was on the train, waving at them as the scarlet Hogwart's Express started to pull out of the station.

"I hope you told him he needs to beat that Potter kid in everything… Quidditch… exams…" Astoria said airily as they left the station. He gave her a 'are you kidding' look. She managed to look serious for a while before a smile broke out on her face. He chuckled and rolled his eyes.

The old house elf rushed to take their coats at they entered the manor, eager to welcome the master and mistress home.

When the house elf had rushed off to tend to lunch they walked through the glass doors leading from the sitting room into the garden. A bottle of wine in a bucket of ice was sitting on the table.

"Are we that predictable?" Draco said amusedly to Astoria. She chuckled and poured them both a glass.

When he had sat down she took out her wand.

He watched as she waved it slowly over her face.

Her hair darkened to a deep brunette… its straightness giving way to messy curls… and her eyes slowly turned dark brown. Her skin became paler… more porcelain. Her nose became smaller… but her eyes slightly bigger… her lips slightly fuller. Even the shape of her face changed subtly… becoming less oval… more heart shaped… the cheekbones more pronounced.

Draco smiled warmly as he looked at her real face... the face of the woman he loved… the face that had hardly changed in the 15 years they had been married. She looked like she was in her mid to late forties… only a handful of years older than him.

"You are as beautiful as ever" he said admiringly. "Awwwww" she said sweetly, leaning in towards him. "I think you're full of it" she finished with a grin, her tone amused and playful.

He laughed, pulling her towards him. She sat his lap and put one arm around his neck.

"Maybe I am a little biased…" he said with a wicked grin. She gave him a mock-affronted look. He laughed and she couldn't help laughing too. "Well then it's just as well you married me for my sparkling personality… and not my looks, isn't it darling?" she said teasingly.

"That and your undeniable skills in the bedroom" he teased affectionately. "Well someone had to teach you" she purred wickedly. "Oooooh you'll pay for that…" he said wickedly, a grin on his face. Her snort turned to laughter as he ran his fingers lightly down her sides, tickling her mercilessly.

As Bellatrix sat there in the garden… laughing in her husband's arms… she realized something surprising.

That her life now was almost a direct contrast to her life before the last battle. Simple… peaceful … domestic. And she wouldn't change a thing.

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I couldn't help it doing a J.K Rowling and showing what happened in the future. The temptation to keep it canon proved irresistible

Thank you to all the readers who have read the story in its entirety (all 32 chapters). And a very warm thank you to all those who told me you enjoyed it. Without your feedback, support and encouragement 'Torture Tears and Terrible Temptations' would not exist.

And to every reader who secretly wanted a happy ending for Draco and Bella… I dedicate this ending to you.

Ms Shay X. Pear