There they all were.
It was just like good old times… minus the children of course.
There were six of them, all gathered at a few tables that had been pushed together at the Leaky Cauldron. Ginny, Harry, Ron, and Hermione enjoyed a hearty laugh with their dear friend, Neville and his wife, Hannah. They had been gathered there upon Neville's request, seeing has he hadn't seen his friends in quite some time. "It's great that you were all able to make it," Neville said cheerily with a sniffle. "I apologize for my illness, though."
"Neville Longbottom," Hermione chuckled as she took a quick sip of her drink. "You're the herbology professor at Hogwarts, but you can't seem to find a cure for your own cold? That doesn't sound very reassuring."
He laughed lightly blowing his nose into a handkerchief. "Well, we all know—"
"Is Luna coming?" Ginny interjected. "I know it's off topic, but I feel that there's a certain… well, she hasn't been here to mention any sort of odd creatures being the cause of your cold." The group let out a small burst of laughter. "It just seems rather odd."
"She's supposed to be coming," Neville told her. "That is what she told me, after all. I'd assume that she'd be here any minute with her children."
"Yes." He nodded, taking a piece of food into his mouth. "Her husband should be coming, too."
"Loony Luna Lovegood got married, and none of us were invited to the wedding?" Ron gasped. He leaned back into his chair. "Bloody hell! Who'd marry Loony anyway?"
Hermione's hand came in swift contact with the back of her husband's head. "You be nice, Ronald," she scolded. "She's our friend, and besides, we don't need to teach our children to speak about other people like that. It's rude."
Rubbing the back of his head in agony, he muttered, "But, it's true." He turned to his sister, who was wearing a mask of shock on her face. "See? Even Ginny wasn't invited, and the loon seemed to like her the best. If she had been invited, we would've known, and then we might've been—"
"Hello?" a wistful voice sounded through the air. "Ah, you're all still here." The blonde practically floated to the table with her usual, grin dancing across her lips. "It's lovely to see you all."
The entrance creaked open once again, obviously bringing in Luna's children and husband. "Come on, Scorpius, Verona," a familiar man's voice sighed heavily. The whine of a small boy followed. "Don't use that tone with me, Scorpius. Get inside."
"Oh goodness!" Ginny's eyes opened wide along with the others at the table. "Oh, hello."
The man looked up from attending to his children before looking directly back to the ground. "Hello," he simply mumbled in response. "Go on upstairs to play with the other children now."
"Alright, Papa," the little girl replied happily before skipping up the stairs.
The boy, however, simply looked up at his father with silver grey eyes and then trudged to the stairs to follow his younger sister up. It was amazing how both of the children showed to be carbon copies of their parents.
"So," Harry coughed. "You two… when did this happen?"
Luna took her seat next to Ginny, smiling all the while. "Well, it was all very sudden," she admitted. "A very quiet, little ceremony, you must know. It was maybe five or six years ago." Her blue eyes wandered around the room. "It hasn't changed much here. You've taken good care of it, Hannah."
Hannah simply nodded without taking her eyes off of the man by the door. He was tall, hair a silvery blond, as they all had remembered, but something about him had changed. His eyes, although their stony color hadn't changed, had a certain glow about them. His expression wasn't one of disparagement, but one of embarrassment. For the first time ever to their knowledge, his cheeks were glowing a light pink.
"Draco, dear," Luna chirped. "Why don't you come have a seat?" She gently patted the seat beside her as incentive for him.
"It would be that crazy git to marry the bloody loon," Ron scoffed under his breath, receiving another strike on the back of his head from Hermione. "Right, I deserved that one, didn't I?"
"Are you living in the manor?" Harry questioned with a roll of the eyes at the childish words of his best friend. "Or, have you decided on a home elsewhere?"
"We are," Luna replied, biting a warm biscuit and then chewing slowly. "The children very much like it there. The land allows them to run for hours. In fact, they often run out of energy far out in the expanses of the property. We usually find them asleep under a tree somewhere."
"You allow your children to—" Hermione elbowed Ron in the gut, giving him a sharp glare. "You're right. I forgot who I was talking to for a moment."
Draco merely watched the banter that went on between the friends, feeling slightly uncomfortable with being there. In all honesty, he was only there because Luna had wanted him to come with her, and whatever the lady wanted, she got.
He could feel the eyes of Harry and Ron occasionally bore into his skull. Not that he could really blame them. All through school they had been enemies. He had been on the side of the Dark Lord for a bit of time. It was understood that he wouldn't be greeted warmly by them, but again, it was what Luna wanted.
"Just tell me this, Luna," Ron began, wiping off the corners of his mouth with his napkin. "Why Malfoy of all people?" He brought his hand up to catch Hermione's before she had to chance to whack him upside the head again. "I feel it's a valid question."
"It's quite alright, Hermione," Luna assured her friend, smiling. "Well, when I'm with Draco—"
"She calls him Draco," Ron snorted.
Luna blinked, confused. "I certainly wasn't going to call him Malfoy once I was one too," she explained, tilting her head to the side slightly. "Shortly after the war ended, we met up for some closure of sorts. It was quite dank and dark while I was imprisoned in the manor, you know. He wanted to apologize, I suppose. I was very suspicious of why Draco Malfoy would want to apologize to me specifically, of course, but I do think the wrackspurts got to my brain because I don't really remember how I came to fall in love with him. I accepted the fact very much, though. I'm very glad I did." She beamed at her husband, who gave a small, meek smile back to her.
"That's brilliant," Neville piped up. His abrupt statement caused every one of them to stare at him in wonderment due to the fact that they all knew of his crush on Luna all through school. All of them except for Luna, of course. "I mean, of all the people that could change Draco Malfoy, don't you think Luna is a right good pick for that?"
All nodding in agreement, the group slowly drifted off into another conversation about the past and the present. Jokes were made. Memories were brought back into focus. Parenting tips were shared. All the while, Draco managed to stay absolutely silent, especially when the war had been mentioned.
A hand rested upon his left forearm, the thumb tenderly caressing the fabric of his shirt. He looked up from the table to his wife. His gazed focused on her for a few moments before he looked back down. He knew she accepted him, regardless of what was there on his skin for the rest of his life. He was sure that she would be the same exact way she had been since that first meeting they had for the rest of their time together. That's why he loved her, his Luna.