There will come a time, you'll see,
With no more tears.
And love will not break your heart
But dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see,
What you find there.
With grace in your heart,
And flowers in your hair.
After the Storm
Mumford & Sons
My eyes blinked open. Someone would be coming round in about an hour. I concentrated on the dream. It would be Harry Potter. He was an auror now, he probably had a case he wanted me to look at for him. He always had a case he wanted me to look at. I might be a seer, but I did have a life. It was eight in the morning, did he think I didn't have better things to do than wake up specially to see him.
I got up and did my daily reading. I took the cards from their box and shuffled them. That done I spread them out on the table before me. Running my hand over them I chose the three that called to me the most. The first was the four of wands, I set that at the point of the triangle I was about to make. Then came the Page of wands, I placed this on the bottom left. Finally, I picked the five of cups and placed it on the bottom left.
The four of wands was my card for the day. It was a card of celebration and freedom. It brought a smile to my face. The Page of wands was the card I needed to attend to for the day. It showed a new insight, fresh ideas and confidence. Perhaps that was what I was supposed to give Potter. Then what I needed to look out for today. The five of cups represented loss and regret, the road not taken and feeling deprived of love. Well, if that wasn't Potter in a nutshell for me. I made notes in my Book of Shadows.
I wanted to spend longer considering this, but I also wanted to be dressed when my visitors came. And there was definitely two of them, I was sure now. Perhaps Potter had brought his Weasel. I dressed in my usual, relatively casual robes. A charcoal coloured tunic made of soft cotton. The sleeves came down to my hands and came to a point over my middle finger, attached by a thin ring of material. Over that I put a pale blue-grey robe. It was made of silk and the metallic thread almost shimmered. The sleeves split around my hand and flowed to the floor, showing the point of the sleeve of my tunic. Then I pulled on soft, grey, knee-high boots. They had no heel and were made of supple rabbit skin. They laced up the back and reached to just over my knee.
I started to braid my hair. It had grown long over the seventeen years since the final battle and now reached below my waist. Today I decided to separate my hair into three. Two smaller sections on either side at the front and the main section at the back. I braided the main section, weaving in black and grey feathers. I tied it at the bottom with a black ribbon and started on the other sections. These I separated and tied into a dozen tiny braids on each side, each tied with a ribbon.
I stared into my mirror, then applied a little kohl around my eyes. I wasn't making a particular effort for Potter, I did this every day, especially if I had visitors. Anyway, I liked to think I'd stopped making a special effort for Potter years ago.
A house elf popped into the room to inform me that Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley had arrived and been shown into the morning room. This was a conservatory situated to best catch the morning sun. I requested that she serve tea and a light breakfast there and made my way down.
I entered the sunlit room and bowed to my guests. "Blessed Be." I greeted them, I didn't bother to tell them they were expected.
"Ah, yes, good morning." Potter looked flustered. He always looked flustered when he came to the Manor. Weasley just grunted.
"How are you this morning?" I asked them.
"Uh fine, thank you."
"Good, and your family, Mr Potter?" Potter had three children, the oldest of which would be starting Hogwarts this September.
"They're fine." Silence reigned as I waited for him to remember his manners. "Um, so how are you and your family?"
"We are very well, thank you. The children will be in their sixth year this year, we are just waiting for their OWL results."
I have triplets. Two girls, my oldest Kestrel, she is tall with dark auburn hair and green eyes; and there is Lorelei, the youngest. Lorelei is the image of me, small with white-blonde hair and grey eyes. Thirdly is my son Scorpius, he has dirty blonde hair which never lies down and blue eyes. Kestrel and Lorelei are in Slytherin and Scorpius is in Gryffindor. They do not let their different houses stop them from being close. I do not have a wife, I carried the children in my own body. There is no father named on the birth certificate. The fact that they are Potter's children was the worst kept secret in the wizarding world. Well, to everyone but his wife, Ginevra.
"They're here at the moment?" This was the first time Potter has called in the holidays.
"Yes, but they are still asleep. You called quite early, Mr Potter." I smiled at them and Potter shifts uncomfortable.
I invited him to their naming ceremony, the Wiccan version of a christening. He decided not to come. He knew where we lived, he never wrote or visited unless on Ministry business. He always pretended they didn't exist. I allowed it. He couldn't hurt my children if he didn't see them. And if I cried for him at night, it was certainly a price I willing to pay. I shook myself, the cards had told me today would be a good day.
I broke the silence. "So, is there something I can help you with?" I helped myself to a croissant and some coffee as I waited for their explanation.
"Yeah, there's this case we're working on. A little girl who went missing a couple of days ago. We were hoping you could help us."
"I'll see what I can do. Have you brought something of hers?"
"Yes," Potter pulled out a lock of hair in a sealed vial and a soft toy.
I smiled in thanks as I walked over to the bay windows, they were open and I stepped through. Just outside the door was a beaten copper bowl that had collected rain water. I picked it up and returned to my guests. I placed the lock of hair in the bowl and lit three candles. I pulled a sketch pad out of the nearest dresser and placed it next to the bowl on my right side. Then I placed the toy on the other side of the bowl. I am ambidextrous, but I find it easier to get readings with my left hand.
Seating myself I cleared my mind and looked into the bowl. Silence fell as I felt soft material under my hand and saw the hair floating in the bowl. Slowly the image came to me. The girl was hurt, I could feel her pain. I thanked the Goddess that she was at least alive. It was dark where she was. Dark and cold, I was cold. There was a little stream near me, and trees. I was in a wood. Her memories washed over me. I had been playing with the dog, it had run into the woods and I had run after it. I knew I wasn't supposed to, and Mummy would be so cross. Then I couldn't see my dog anymore and I was all alone. The floor suddenly tilted down and I fell, tumbling down the hill into a ditch with a stream flowing along the bottom of it. Then I hit my head and everything went black.
I gasped, becoming once more aware of my surroundings. I looked to my right where I had quickly sketched what I had seen. I pushed the paper towards my guests.
"The girl is in the woods by her house. She was chasing her dog when she fell and hit her head."
Potter was shaking his head. "We searched every inch of those woods, there is no way she's there."
I raised an eyebrow. "Then clearly you did not search thoroughly enough, Mr Potter. She fell into a ditch and hit her head. There was running water directly beside her."
Weasley snorted. "Always water, isn't there Malfoy?" Weasley sneered. The psychic's cliché.
"Indeed, it does seem to come up quite frequently. Surprising when you consider how much water there is around, don't you think, Mr Weasley?" I kept a straight face, he snarled.
Potter interceded. "I still don't think she's there, we searched every inch, Draco." He had a nerve, using my given name.
"That's right, I searched the ditch myself, Malfoy." Weasley always managed to sound so aggressive.
"Mr Potter, whether you choose to believe what I say is your choice."
"Have you ever known Papa to be wrong, Mr Potter?"
We all looked to the door to see Kestrel standing there. She approached me and I stood to lightly embrace her. She kissed my cheek gently.
"Morning blessings to you, Papa."
"Morning blessings, Kessa."
Her sister followed behind her, the two were joined by the hip. She too embraced me and kissed my cheek.
"Morning blessings, Daddy." She murmured. She was quieter than her sister, the baby of the family.
"Morning blessings, Leia."
Kessa, meanwhile, had turned back to Potter. "Well, Mr Potter?"
We seated ourselves as we waited for his reply. He was just staring in wonder at his daughters, it would have been the first time he had seen them in the flesh. Kessa and Leia, consummate Slytherins, just raised an eyebrow at his silence. They both knew who he was to them, there had been enough gossip, but they did not let it show.
"No, Miss Malfoy, I must say I never have."
They gave him deceivingly sweet smiles.
"But you do not believe him this time?" Leia asked softly.
Potter flushed. "We have already looked in the place he is suggesting."
Kessa smiled her beguiling smile. "So one of you has made a mistake."
Leia fixed him with her silver eyes. "The question is, which one of you?"
Potter was flustered. But then it was not everyday one finds themselves being grilled by two beautiful, sweetly smiling teenage girls.
"My money is on Father being right." Scorpius stood in the doorway, straightforward and ever the Gryffindor.
He came over to me and grasped my hand. "Morning blessings to you, father."
"Morning blessings, Scorpius." He was already a man. He was the man of the house as I was submissive and my daughters far too ladylike. He was wearing shorts that almost reached his knees and a T-shirt. "You are going to Muggle London?"
"Yes Father, me and the girls." Now that I looked they were both wearing muggle dresses. Kessa's was black and Leia's was soft grey.
I inclined my head in acceptance, not that I would have challenged him. He was almost of age now. I never burdened him with anything he couldn't deal with, but I gave him the responsibility and trust he deserved. He would look after the girls.
Scorpius seated himself with his sisters. Potter just sat staring at what we had made. They were all perfect in their own way. Scorpius looked like he had just gotten out of a gale, but exuded strength enough to weather the storm. Lorelei was petite and adorable, she seemed vulnerable, but scratch the surface and you would find that she could fight for herself with little trouble. And Kestrel was my Elizabeth Bennet. She was self sufficient and quick-witted, she was unafraid to speak her mind but enjoyed playing games as much as any good Slytherin should.
Potter seemed to shake himself from his reverie. "Well, thank you for you help, Draco. We should go."
I stood. "May the Goddess protect you."
They left with little more ceremony. I was exhausted.
"That is our other father?" Kessa's voice broke my thoughts.
"You still love him." Lorelei did not phrase it as a question.
"Yes," I repeated.
"He is not worth it." Her voice was steel.
I looked at her surprised. All of my children had something of my powers. Lorelei got feelings about people and things. Kestrel read cards and scryed, the way he had for the girls or with a flame. Scorpius had dreams, that like the one that told me Potter was coming. None of the three were ever wrong.
It was later that morning, just before the children had planned to leave, that their OWL results arrived. Both of the girls had received Os in all their subjects, and Scorpius had received the expected mix of Os, Es and even a few Ds.
"I suppose this is the good part of the day, like your cards said, Daddy." Lorelei murmured.
"I suppose so. I'm so proud of all of you. We'll spend the rest of the summer at the Cornish estate, how does that sound?" I drew all three of his children near to me, I wanted them to know just how proud I was of them. They agreed it sounded like a good idea.
On September the first, I stood with my children on platform nine and three quarters. It was a beautiful summer's day and we'd walked there from our London flat. Kestrel and Lorelei were wearing floor length summer dresses, such was the most recent fashion. Both wore black, the Malfoy family has always been somewhat monochromatic. Kestrel wore an rather wide-brimmed black summer hat, while Leia had a black lace parasol, neither liked their faces to tan as pale skin is a Malfoy trademark. Scorpius wore his usual shorts and T-shirt, he had never been one for fashion. The girls had bought him an idiot proof wardrobe, but he wasn't what one would call creative. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt as well as we had walked through muggle London, wearing my usual robes would have attracted a little too much attention.
I was people watching when I saw Potter and his wife and children enter the platform. They made a graceless picture, the mother fussing, the father steadfastly ignoring her and the children either whining or playing the fool. Their oldest son would be starting school this year; James, as he was so predictable named. The middle child was Albus Severus. Severus would have been mortified, he hated the Potters more than anything else in this world. Then Lily, even more horrifyingly predictable than the rest. It had always seemed to me that they were perhaps trying just a little too hard, but maybe just wishful thinking.
They stopped a little way away from us, my children's quiet conversation all but ceased as they watched their other father with distaste. Mrs Potter was fawning over her oldest now, the younger two whining about not being allowed to go. Potter saw me, a slightly panicked expression overtaking his features. I gave a little acknowledgement but otherwise ignored him.
As the time arrived for the train to leave, I bid my children a restrained farewell, we had said our more emotional goodbyes at home, it would not do for us to make a spectacle of ourselves in public. Potter's wife was crying into her son's hair while he struggled to get away.
When all they children had been safely loaded onto the train, Potter took it upon himself to approach me.
"You were right, about the little girl, I mean." He began awkwardly.
"Yes?" I knew I was. I don't understand how I see the things I see, but I know that it works.
"Yeah, Ron must have missed that part of the ditch or something." Or he was so busy getting drunk and sleeping with other peoples wives that he allowed a child to lie unconscious in a ditch for two days.
"Yes, or something." Potter ignored my implication. Silence reigned until he abruptly broke it.
"The children are mine, aren't they?"
I effect coy confusion. "Well, it's not my place to say, but I've never heard any suggestion that Mrs Potter has ever been anything but utterly faithful to you." Of course I had heard plenty of suggestions to the contrary, but no matter.
Potter actually growled, which I persuaded myself didn't affect me. "I meant the triplets." They hate to be called the triplets. It makes them sound like one entity, and they are close, but not the same.
"Who else's would they be?" He had known I was pregnant when he left.
"The hell if I know, I just want to know if they're mine." Potter lost his temper so very easily.
"They're yours. Are you satisfied?"
Potter looked away, shifting uncomfortably. "I need to think about this. It's all too sudden, I'd never even seen them until this summer and now you tell me they're mine."
Typical, so completely typically Potter. "Oh do get a grip, you've known they were yours since they were born, I asked if you wanted to be on the bloody birth certificates. May the maiden, the mother and the crone preserve us from your over dramatics."
I turned away, ready to leave, when Potter caught my arm. "I'm divorcing Ginny." He blurted.
"My condolences," I offered calmly. "Let the God and Goddess guide you both through this difficult time."
"I don't want your condolences, I want to see you again." He was still holding my arm, I shook his hand off.
"Strangely enough, Potter, I haven't felt the need to become someone's rebound lately."
Potter's divorce was all over the tabloids in the next few weeks. His now ex-wife was making a mess of things, refusing to accept that her ship had sailed and she no longer had any claim over the wizarding world's favourite hero. She tried everything from withholding the rights for Harry to see the children, to throwing herself at him at public gatherings. He got his way in the end though, the courts could deny Harry Potter nothing. She retained custody and a decent amount to live on, but he had unlimited access to the children. I was very thankful that he'd never gotten his claws into mine.
I didn't see Potter for another six months. When he came to the Manor, I didn't have any forewarning, it was a split second decision. Perhaps that endeared him to more than anything else, the impulsiveness of his decision.
He actually banged on the front door. A house elf let him in and showed him to the sitting room I was in. He was unkempt, clearly not on official business.
"Is there something can help you with, Mr Potter?" There was no harm in hoping there was some vaguely coherent reason.
"I need to talk to you." Eloquent as ever.
"Indeed, is there a case you are having trouble with?"
He looked surprised, as if he hadn't considered the idea that this could be a motive for his visit. "No, no, this is personal."
I rearranged myself in my chair. "Really? Well, what did you need to talk about." I tried to keep my voice painfully impassive.
"I need to apologise."
"Yes, leaving you the way in did was unforgivable."
"You don't say." I tried my best to imagine we were talking about the weather. I had imagine some impassioned plea to sleep with him, not an apology.
He ran a hand through his hair, pulling at the ends, making even more impossible. "Draco, seventeen years ago I was a teenager. I thought I had better things to do than bring up children. I didn't know what I was giving up."
"I'm truly heartbroken for you, Mr Potter."
"Draco please, you know I was determined to be a playboy after I destroyed Voldemort. I thought the wizarding world owed me some fun. So when you told me you were having our children, I ran in the opposite direction, because I though it would... it would spoil my fun." He hung his head, I struggled not to comfort him.
"I married Ginny when I felt it was time to settle down. I thought it would stop me missing you. Then I thought maybe the children would. Then I thought maybe if I could see you, just for work, then it would hurt less. It didn't, though, that's why I had to divorce Ginny. I couldn't live with not loving her the way I love you. And our children are so beautiful."
I fought not to be drawn in. His pretty words didn't mean he was sincere. "I told you my position on this at the station, Mr Potter."
"You said you didn't want to be my rebound, Dray, so I waited. I waited as long as I could. I divorced her so I could be with you."
"If only you'd informed me before hand, I could have saved you the trouble."
"Why, Draco?" He leant forwards, towards me. "Because you've had all those other guys since then, you've moved on so well. I know full well you have been alone." He was depressingly accurate.
He had left his chair now. He was crouching on the floor in front of me. Then he kissed me. I let him.
He picked me up, his lips and tongue doing incredible things to my mouth, it had been so long. He remembered the way to my room and he remembered how my robes undid after he had laid me out on the the bed. When he had me naked, he sat up.
"Is this okay?"
I couldn't talk, so I nodded, terrified at the idea that he might stop. He didn't. He kissed down my neck, down my chest to gently tease a nipple. Then he continued down my stomach. I was so hard and he swallowed me whole. I think I might have screamed. He suckled me until I was pretty sure I would come, then he stopped. In my daze it seemed to take him hours to undress, the he was turning me over. He settled between my legs, partly me cheeks with both his hands. When he began to kiss and lick me I writhed. He took his time, learning me again. He pushed in two fingers, I hissed in discomfort, sixteen years is a long time.
"Its okay," he soothed me. "I'll go slow."
In the end he had five fingers in me before he considered entering me. When he turned me over and slid inside me it felt like nothing could ever be wrong again. He moved slowly until I all but screamed at him to go faster. His thrusts became more powerful, pushing against my prostate repeatedly. He had gained some finesse in recent years, something which I tried not to consider. I could feel my orgasm quickly approaching. Then it crashed over me with a blinding force, my muscles spasmed and it went dark for a while. I became conscious as Harry was coming inside me. Watching his face as his thrusts slowed was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen.
I slept immediately, and I dreamt. I dreamt of us together in the year to come. Happily ever after. My dreams did not always show the truth, but I had hope.