AN: Ah, dear readers. Ink and Blood started many moons ago as a story based around a sort of image that came into my mind one day. Hermione and Draco in a dark hospital room, tortured by their own dislike for each other and simultaneous attraction towards each other. Soon after came the idea of her rescuing him from a dark alleyway, beaten and bruised. Now, well... you know the rest. Here's the epilogue and final chapter to Ink and Blood. It's been absolutely brilliant writing this story for all of you, and I'll miss it dearly. Sorry this took ages, my spotty lack of computer usage gets in the way of updates. Enjoy, review, and cheers!
"I still think Potter shouldn't be bringing the Weaselette. She's not exactly keen on the idea of us being together as it is."
"Nonsense, Draco. Ginny's my friend. And while she may not be as happy as she would have been had I stayed with Ron... she's just happy I'm happy."
Draco rolled his eyes, leaning back against the kitchen counter. He'd long since sold off both flats, purchasing a newer, larger one in the center of the city. There were three bedrooms. This meant progress on the topic they'd avoided for nearly a year.
"Like she was happy about our engagement. Right. And like she was so overjoyed about our marriage that she couldn't even be bothered to attend."
"Draco... I was married to her brother. While we were very young, it still meant something to them. And even Ron told her to come to the wedding, to support me."
"He would. Becoming as noble as Potter, then."
"He's just trying to be nice... we were best friends for over a decade, you know."
She was right. Ron had been her best friend, her boyfriend, her husband, and then... well, now he was her ex-all of those things. They were on friendly terms, if you could call polite silence and a few exchanged words friendly at all. If Draco had any say, he'd flat out tell her that Ron was being a stubborn, regretful prat who didn't want to see her married to Draco at all. But the wedding had passed, and with it went some of Draco's severe dislike for the ginger and his clan. After all, it was hard thinking so negatively about someone who had messed up badly enough to give Draco himself the chance with Hermione. For an idiot, the guy wasn't so terrible after all.
Just following Draco's speech at Hermione's birthday, the pair became engaged. Since most of the wizarding world hadn't known the two were involved to begin with, it came as quite a shock to anyone who hadn't been involved. Their engagement was short, Draco paid for a wedding that came six months later, with three hundred guests in attendance. Seven of them were Draco's. Hermione had gone a little overboard on the guest list, perhaps, but it was Draco's highest priority to give her whatever the hell she'd wanted for this wedding. You only got married once, you know. Or twice, in her case. Whichever.
They'd been married in early spring, and by summer the news had died down. People could only remain shocked for so long. The wedding was talked about in papers and magazines for months. Draco's heart had continued to give him slight problems, but none serious enough to cause alarm. He was on medication and in physical therapy for the damage to his legs. He was assigned a muggle doctor for that, by Hermione's orders, and he thought he'd never un-see the smug look on her face when Draco actually really took to the old man. Muggles... weren't so bad after all.
"Back to the list. Potter and Ginny. Blaise and his date, whoever that is. Healer Rathbone and his wife. My old nurse and her boyfriend. You know McGonagall will throw a fit if she doesn't hear the news first..."
Draco could see Hermione grimace. Right. Minerva. Since Hermione had been promoted once more to head of her department, she'd seen Minerva in four times. She'd suffered some curse damage in the first war and had to go through therapy once a month for it. Initially, she hadn't been very enthused about the idea of Hermione and Draco together at all, let alone married. She'd believed in him, though, when others hadn't, and eventually their nuptials grew on her. She'd even sent them a toaster that told them in seven languages when their toast was perfectly golden. Draco had used it every morning since.
"She'd probably hurt us. We'd never hear the end of it."
"I can hear her now, 'Mione... 'You two invited everyone outside of Hogwarts besides me!" Old bat..."
The pair laughed, and Hermione duplicated the small invitation for the dinner party, writing Minerva's full name on the folded outside. She tied the letter to the rest and then tied them all to the leg of Draco's large barn owl, Scorpius. The owl took flight, and Hermione breathed a sigh of relief. "I told them all to start arriving around seven. That means Harry will be here at five with wine, looking for crackers, and Blaise will show up at ten with more wine, looking for cake."
"Precisely. Have you thought about how you're going to break the news to everyone?"
"I thought I might just do it very vaguely at first. Clearly no wine. If someone guesses ahead of time, I'll let them yell it out. If not, I'll propose a toast at dessert and we'll announce it then, together."
"I really do hope it doesn't get that cheesy."
"It will. And everyone will love it."
Draco groaned, pushing himself off the counter and walking across to where Hermione stood, by the window.
"Fine. But try and make it a little more obvious beforehand. Play with them. Act like you're feeling sick but aren't bothered by it. Rest your hand just there."
He placed his hand over her lower abdomen and didn't fight the urge to smile. They'd been hoping this would come along. After a few months of casting contraceptive charms, the pair had simply stopped, no discussion. They were ready to try again. It had only taken three weeks for Hermione to conceive, and they were pregnant again. She was a little over eleven weeks along. When Draco heard her scream from the bathroom, he had nearly given himself a heart attack running to see what was the matter. She had come out with a little plastic white stick, very clearly positive, crying and babbling on about a bigger apartment and a baby's room and tiny shoes. He'd been awestruck. A child. His first reaction was very nearly terror, dread. The first time he'd gotten her pregnant had not ended well. This time, though, they'd been given a second chance. This was their new start. He wondered if Hermione would let the baby have the name of a constellation, but thought that maybe it wasn't such a great idea anyway. He might not want to carry on any old Malfoy traditions. Any at all.
Christmas was fast approaching and this dinner party was designed to celebrate that. The guests didn't know what else would be announced. The swell of emotion he got whenever he thought about their child, their future... it was enough to bring him to tears. He'd been through so much in his previous life. This one was different. This time, there was no fear, no rage. There was only love, and hope, and peace.
He sniffed. "Hmm?"
"Shut. Up. Nobody hears about this."
The pair laughed, and Draco leaned in to kiss his wife just once on the lips. He pulled back and took in her smiling face, remembering all that they'd been through before, and looking forward to all that they'd go through in the future, together.