DISCLAIMER: The characters and canon situations in the following story belong solely to JK Rowling, Scholastic and WB. I am not making any money from the publishing or writing of this story.

Chapter twelve

Sebastian Malfoy's first birthday party wasn't what one would expect from Lucius Malfoy. It was a quiet affair with only close family and friends invited. The Potter's, Thomas's, and Weasley's were there, as were Draco, Ele and Scorpius. There was cake, ice cream and gifts along with good friends and better conversation. A good time was had by all.

Time seemed to be flying for Hermione and Lucius, seasons changing in the blink of an eye and before either of them knew it, March had come around again and their third wedding anniversary was upon them. Hermione celebrated by gifting Lucius a tiny Onesie that read "Future Quidditch Star." At first he was confused but then put two and two together and looked to his wife for confirmation. Her smile was all the answer he needed. She was indeed expecting again.

Hermione's second pregnancy passed with as little excitement as the first. Sure she dealt with a touch of morning sickness towards the beginning, but other than that, she was the picture of health. Over the course of the summer, Ele, Angelina and Megan all announced their own second pregnancies. At the beginning of September, Ginny told the women that she was expecting twins.

Halloween morning dawned and Lucius walked into the Solarium to find Hermione eating breakfast, enjoying her coffee and feeding Sebastian. He sat next to her, stole a piece of toast from her plate and began discussing their plans for the evening. Hermione found herself explaining, once again, the humour of the costumes they would be wearing to the Potter's Halloween party later that day. The Catholic priest and pregnant Nun bit never got old, she told him. At that moment, an owl flew in with their mail and the morning edition of The Daily Prophet. Hermione almost spit out her coffee when she read the headline.


Ministry Allows for Bond Reversals

In a stunning move by the Ministry, The Daily Prophet as received word that thousands of disgruntled witches and wizards will at last be able to find happiness. Minister of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt, along with the whole of the Wizengamot, went over documents presented to them from the healers at St. Mungo's and have decided that the Edict passed back in 2005 has fulfilled its purpose.

In regards to their decision, the Ministry of Magic has issued the following statement:

"Due to the success of the Edict Maritus, passed only three and a half short years ago, our civilization is assured a bright future. A record number of births have taken place, magical signatures were tested and it is with great confidence that the Ministry can report the fewest number of Squibs born in almost a century. It is with these statistics in mind that Minister Shacklebolt has withdrawn the recent marriage law effectively immediately. Any couple wishing to proceed with the dissolution of their union may arrange an appointment Monday through Friday in the Department of Magical Relations."

'Oh God!' Hermione exclaimed, unable to read any more. 'How could they do this? What about all those children! Don't they know what divorce does to people? To kids?'

'Hermione. Hermione stop. We need to talk about this.' She looked up at him and he continued in a sobering tone. 'Listen, love. I know that before all of this you were happy with Ronald. Should you choose to go back to him, know that you will be taken care of, as will Sebastian and this little one.' He put his hand on her expanding belly and went on. 'I know that you and I are an unlikely couple and I can understand if you don't want to spend the rest of your life with a jaded old man like -'

'What?' she breathed. 'What are you talking about? Leave you? Why would I want to leave you, Lucius? We have a son together! I am carrying our second child in my womb right now! Our family means the world to me. YOU mean the world to me!' Hermione paused for a moment, considering her words, before looking down and continuing without making eye contact. 'I love you.'

Lucius was silent and unmoving. Hermione kept her eyes downcast and tried to fight back the feeling of rejection that washed over her. She knew that she was going out on a limb by expressing her feelings for him, but they had been growing exponentially and she could no longer fight the truth. She loved him. However, now that she had told him, another truth was crashing down around her: he didn't love her. She opened her mouth to speak some retraction, to negate the words she had allowed to fall from her lips, but nothing could get passed the gigantic lump in her throat. As she began to shake with barely contained sadness, Lucius reached a hand up and lifted her face to his. Using the pad of his thumb, he wiped a traitorous tear from her cheek before speaking.

'Nothing would make me happier than to have you by my side for the rest of my days and to see you pregnant with many more children of mine. I love you, too.'

End story notes: Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and review this story. I know that the ending may have seemed a bit rushed to some of you, but for what I was trying to accomplish with the story, it was perfect. This was never a story written just to get Hermione and Lucius in bed together, nor was it a device to explore how the two would interact once they found happiness. I could have written chapter upon chapter about their sex life and Hermione's pregnancy, but in my mind it would have all been fluff filler. This was a tale to show two people who got off to a rocky start find common ground with each other and eventually found love. I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks again!