Other pairings: Ron/Hermione. Sirius/Remus. Lucius/Astoria. Lucius/Ginny [implied]. Teddy/James.
Disclaimer: Hermione decides that the drama in the wizarding world is growing too much. She decides to open up a café in the muggle world, so as to enjoy simplicity during the day. Little does she know that one of the applicants for a job there, will cause a whole new circle of drama for her. And how exactly will her little café benefit Harry and Draco's lives, and how will it banish the drama from both worlds they live in? You know what they say, about Granger's café; her food is like magic, that's what they say, because it keeps all your problems and troubles at bay.
Cecelia was snoozing lightly against Draco's shoulder as they walked around the spacious, unfurnished large family house. It was located in a remote part of Canterbury. Harry thought the location would let them be near enough to London, but also far away enough from the press and any immediate ties to the recent events. Draco had to admit that what Harry lacked in general personal style, he made up for with his choices of property.
This particular house had mainly white-washed walls, with wooden floorboards. However downstairs in the kitchen-come-dining area, large bold stones were packed into the walls their beautiful grey stonework showing out and warm with the sunshine filtering in through the windows. There was a large fireplace in the living area which would be perfect for their floo network. The upstairs was a brightly lit corridor, thanks to the skylight in the hallway, with a staircase leading off upstairs to the attic room, and then a good few doors leading off on either side. Exploring each of the rooms, Draco could feel his smile growing wider and wider.
Upstairs, the attic room was beautiful. It had a small balcony-patio-area that over-looked the half-acre garden. It looked perfect for lazy mornings reading in the suns. He could picture it so perfectly! He bounced his daughter softly as he drifted from room to room whilst Harry spoke to the realtor. There was even an amazing en-suite in the attic room and a large family bathroom on the second floor.
Of all the houses they had seen over the last few days, despite a lot of the similarities, this was literally the house. It was large enough for all of them to have their own space and family time and had a large kitchen and dining area that would be perfect for a large family Christmas. A pleasant shiver ran through him at how wonderful the house was for their family.
A knock on the door brought him out of his musings. He turned with a smile as Harry grinned from the doorway. "The house is perfect, Harry!" he grinned as Cecelia blinked her sleepy eyes and nuzzled her father's shoulder.
Harry chuckled as he wrapped his arms around the blonde, "I'm glad you like it, darling, because I may have already put down the deposit for it."
Draco blinked in bemusement, "And how did you know I'd love it?"
Harry quirked an eyebrow and then laughed out right, "Oh Draco, I know you, sweetheart. This house is large enough for us all to feel at home, but also to have our own space. It has that beautiful upstairs balcony which I know you're going to love." He nuzzled Draco's neck, "And to be honest, if you don't love the idea of that amazing custom-sized bathtub then I don't know what's going to sell this house for you!"
Draco chuckled, "Well yes I did get some rather amazing ideas whilst exploring, I must say," he gave the brunette man a mischievous little grin. He wrapped an arm around Harry's shoulders before bending his head down and pressing his mouth to the brunettes, moaning softly at his taste. "I love you so much," he breathed softly as he rubbed their noses together before stealing another little kiss.
Harry combed Draco's hair out of his eyes. "I can't wait to tell the kids about their new home. A new place for new memories!"
"You'd better tell them soon then, before we start accumulating all their furniture for them." The blonde paused and then frowned slightly, "This is going to cost you a lot of money, Harry. Are you sure we can even afford this?"
Harry nodded, "I've been sitting on two substantial fortunes for a very long time. It's about time I actually SPENT some of it."
Draco still looked a little uncertain but didn't push it anymore. "We are going to paint some of these walls, right? As much as white looks nice RIGHT now at this time of year it might get depressing during the winter."
"Oh we will don't you worry. Lily will no doubt have something bright and girly all over her walls. Not pink, but maybe purple."
Draco snickered, "At least there's a nice little room off of ours that we can turn into a study once Cece is old enough for her own room."
Harry dropped a kiss to their daughter's forehead, "Well it's big enough for a toddler room for when she's slightly older, so you might have to wait until she's at least six."
Draco shrugged a shoulder, "Harry, now that I have you and the kids, I can honestly say six years to wait to watch her grow up and smile and dance and laugh JUST to have another place to put books? It's worth it."
Harry smiled as he watched the deepening sunlight pour in through the beautiful thin-framed windows that dance over Draco's alabaster skin, his pale gold hair and his shining grey eyes. He had never felt more in love than he had at that moment. It felt like his heart was about to burst. He felt like he was sixteen years old all over again, and totally obsessed with Draco Malfoy. "Will you marry me?" he breathed, looking up into Draco's beautiful eyes, their fingers entwined together, so soft, so familiar.
Draco felt his heart skip a beat and then leap into his throat. The sunlight shone in Harry's eyes and made them gleam. He could picture waking up to those eyes for the rest of his life more clearly than anything. "Of course I'll marry you, Harry!" he grinned brightly, winding his free arm around Harry's waist and tugging their bodies even closer, shifting a little so as not to disturb Cecelia blissfully cuddled against Draco's chest.
Harry felt happiness exploded within him and make him feel giddy as he cupped the blonde's face in his hands and captured his lips in a firm, hungry kiss. He felt Draco shiver against him and smiled into the kiss.
It was only when Cecelia started fussing, did they return to the cafe.
"The court is called to order!" Kingsley's voice rang out through the courtroom along with the sound of his gavel. "Please be seated," as everyone shuffled slightly and adjusted themselves into their taken seats, Kingsley addressed the room, "Today we will begin the trial of Lucius Abraxas Malfoy." Turning his attention to the man sitting upright in his charmed cage-enchantment, "You are here on the charges of attempted theft, conspiring to aid a kidnapping and the sexual assault of the now deceased Astoria Malfoy nee Greengrass." Lucius barely even blinked as the charges were read out to him. "How do you plead?" Kingsley asked as he scrutinized the white-haired male in front of him.
"That is difficult to answer, Minister," Lucius stated curtly, "I will quite happily plead guilty to the other offenses, however I did not conspire to still Mrs. Weasley's child."
Kingsley frowned, "According to the report she was followed back to Malfoy Manor."
Lucius inclined his head, "Yes, she did in fact come to my Manor at an unholy hour of the evening. But I did not request her presence. I had thought I'd cut off all ties of correspondence with the wench since -Well, about March or April this year. I have not spoken with her since."
Silence hung in the courtroom for a moment before Kingsley cleared his throat and continued, "According to the official report you had given a letter following the arrest of Ginerva Weasley and the return of the child -Jason Weasley." Dark eyes lifted up to regard the elderly Malfoy.
"You may read the letter out to court, Minister. At this point I have nothing else to hide," a twitch of a smile touched as his lips.
Kingsley nodded his head and then drew out the letter, the emerald green Malfoy seal on the envelope gleamed faintly in the dim light of the room. The tear of the paper set Harry's teeth on edge.
'To Whom This May Concern,
I would like to address a few issues that will no doubt be dealt with when I am once I am finally called up in court. First of all I could like to say that, regardless of my sentence, I would like to address the situation of Ginerva Weasley. At first I admit the idea of hurting Harry Potter for somehow corrupting the pure-blooded ways of my son, Draco Malfoy, was one that helped me to sleep at night. I had a good few brief moments of undiluted madness. However, in the last couple of months that I have been in my own self-imposed exile, I have had a lot of time to reflect on the actions of my life. I am not going to say that I have changed, or seen the error of my ways, because the truth is that even if you do those things, you are not guaranteed to have redemption. I would just like to draw attention to the fact that I had no contact with Ginerva prior to the kidnapping of the Weasley child.
I would also like to apologize on behalf of Miss Weasley, as I know that she will not do so of her own accord. Mrs Hermione Weasley did not deserve the cruel punishments she suffered at the hands of that wench. Childbirth is traumatic enough on a woman's psyche, I heard from the papers that she suffered even more trauma and I would like to extend my deepest sympathies towards her and her two children. I hope they are safe and well, and she has thirty days to sign an agreement I have arranged at Gringotts bank; it is not a form of charity, it is merely something that I feel she deserves. I had a begrudgingly high opinion of her throughout her school years, and it was remarked upon that she was the brightest witch of her age. Fortunately, she is also one of the bravest.
When I am undoubtedly sent to prison I refuse to let the Ministry repossess the Manor. Instead, I have signed the papers over to my ex-wife, Narcissa Black. She may do whatever she wants with it. Absolutely anything. It is hers now, to do with what she wishes. I have no use for a big drafty manor with no one for company except house elves.
To my son, Draco Malfoy. You are my son no matter what I may have said or done you will always be my son. I cannot say I approve of all of your choices in life, your sexuality for one of them. However, if you are to live in such a life-style, then I suppose you chose a wise man to be with in one, Harry Potter. Life is not an easy road, Draco. It is a constant battlefield of loss and greed and heartache, but as your mother showed me at one point or another, there is a chance for happiness and hope. Sadly, my moment of happiness ended as soon as you turned sixteen and were forced to receive the Mark. I felt I had failed you as a father, and sought to remove myself from your life as much as I could. To you and Mister Potter, I would like to give you the summer house in south France and the small bonds and fortunes I set aside for Draco's child, my grandson Scorpius, and any of his other future children, which by extension will include Mister Potter's. This is to be withdrawn from my own personal account at the set rate already given.
Finally, in memory of my treasured late daughter-in-law, Astoria Malfoy nee Greengrass, I would like to commission a water fountain to remember her. I would like it to be centred in the flower gardens of the new Dumbledore memorial gardens.
I am not asking for redemption or hoping that this letter will shorten my sentences, I will gladly serve whatever sentence I am given. I just feel that my money and properties could be put to better use to people who deserve such niceties and rewards for hardships in life. I had all of this handed to me for very little work on my part. It is time for it to go to the people who deserve it.
Lucius Abraxas Malfoy.'
Once the letter had been concluded a soft murmur drifted through the court from the Wizengamot. Lucius Malfoy was acting as though he was dying, signing away almost all of his property and wealth over to the people who had suffered. Why the sudden change of heart? Perhaps it wasn't so sudden; after all, he stated that this had been considered over a number of months at the very least.
On the other side of the room, Harry, Draco, Ron and Hermione had tensed up as the letter had been read out. The man had written it a month ago. According to Kingsley no one had read the letter until that very moment. He hadn't changed his mind. It had already been set into motion ahead of the trial. Hermione slipped her shaking hand into Ron's and leaned her head on his shoulder.
"What do you think he gave us?" Hermione breathed softly.
Ron shrugged, "Does it matter? It's going to be extravagant no matter what." Hermione looked as though she wanted to say something else but decided to leave it for after the hearing.
Kingsley put the letter down and looked down his nose at Lucius, "What exactly do you mean by this letter, Mister Malfoy?" he asked curtly.
Lucius held his hands up in a simple gesture, "I mean exactly what I have said in that letter there, Minister. I have nothing further to add and nothing more to say on the matter. These transactions have all been set into motion ahead of today."
There didn't seem to be much more to say at that.
Kingsley reviewed all the evidence that he had been given. A lot of it was done from analysing Lucius' memories since most of the events only had Ginerva as a witness, and the Minister wanted to make sure that the memories synced up with one another. It was a small miracle that they did, but then Blaise was extremely good at his job and personally looked over them several times just to make sure there were no attempts to doctor the memories given. A lot of it confirmed what they already knew.
Eventually, the Wizengamot had reached their verdict.
"Lucius Malfoy you have been found guilty on two of the three previously stated charges, and shall be given a sentence of ten years, with the chance of parole. Take him away to Azkaban."
The gavel banged and at last, it was all over.
As the sunlight streamed down onto their faces as they walked back out onto the Muggle Street, Draco breathed a shaking sigh of relief and smiled down at Harry before pressing a firm kiss to the younger man's cheek. "I love you," he murmured softly.
Harry grinned back, "I love you too, it's a good thing Kingsley signed Cece's certificate straight afterwards, because I am far too hungry to go back down there."
Draco hummed as he pressed a kiss to the top of Harry's unruly hair. He looked up at Hermione and Ron who were standing a few feet away and were murmuring with their heads bent together. They looked concerned and were no doubt discussing what they had been given in Lucius' letter. He had been shocked himself, upon hearing the content of the letter, and so had most of the Wizengamot judging by the looks on their faces. He had been surprised at the fact that his father had given as much of his blessing as humanly possible to the both of them, as well as the summer house in France. It would be nice to go somewhere on holiday with the kids once in a while. He couldn't help but wonder what Hermione had been given.
He was snapped out of his musings by the couple wondering over to them. Hermione's face looked torn between tense and surprised, "Draco, your father he -he um ... Well he signed over one of your holiday homes to us. The one in Greece?" Draco nodded to say that he knew of which one she was talking about, "According to his lawyer you hadn't been there since before Hogwarts," he nodded again to confirm the statement. She flushed, "Well, along with that he has signed over ten thousand galleons to the twins." She blinked her wide brown eyes, the knowledge that she now owned a holiday home in Greece -something she had been looking into since she'd been pregnant with Hugo -along with money to help with anything her twins may need.
Ron smiled lovingly down at her, having an easier time accepting that now they had an all-expenses paid holiday home to go to whenever they wanted. He pressed a kiss to the top of Hermione's hair, "Don't stress about it sweetheart. The kids deserve a great holiday and so do you. Hire some summer staff for the cafe and let's go enjoy ourselves."
Hermione flushed, "You're right. It just feels weird. Like I should thank him but ... I know he wouldn't want it."
Draco snickered lightly, "Hermione, honestly, the only way he'd listen to that is either on his death bed, or his own funeral."
She grimaced but then smiled weakly and ran a hand through her hair, "I suppose we should go and grab the kids then. It's been a long day, but at least it's all over at last!"
They couldn't help but agree with her as they walked along to the Apparition point and disapparated to the Burrow.
Within an hour they were back home, having picked Cecelia up from Narcissa, Remus and Sirius. Teddy had apparently spent the afternoon morphing his features into silly animals to make her laugh and gurgle small bubbles in her little padded chair. She was all tuckered out by the time they got home. As Draco went to give her a quick bath and change her nappy, Harry picked up the muggle phone and ordered some take away. He had no energy to cook. He smiled as he settled down on the sofa, in a t-shirt and loose jeans, his feet finally feeling free from his pinching shoes and his mind almost a blank slate as he mindlessly flicked through the TV channels and dragged his laptop onto his lap.
"You can't be looking up more houses to look at? We already have one!" Draco mused with a wry smile as he wondered in from the main bedroom, pulling on a shirt over his ruffled blonde hair.
Harry rolled his eyes with a smile and patted the sofa cushions beside him, "Nope, I'm just looking up places where we could go after we get married."
"We haven't even set a date yet!" Draco pointed out, sliding up onto the sofa and resting his chin in the crook of Harry's neck. "Where were you thinking of?"
Harry shrugged, "Not sure, I'm just looking. Do you have anywhere in mind? Or more to the point, when are we going to have the ceremony and GO on our honeymoon? As much as I love the kids and don't really want to leave Cece just yet, I haven't had much time alone with you, all to myself, in a romantic setting," he grinned cheekily as he lifted his arm and let the blonde man snuggle up against his chest. He dropped a kiss into that beautiful blonde hair.
Draco groaned and swatted at the hand massaged his head through his hair, "We're in our fucking forties! Isn't romance meant to die at this age?" he quipped.
Harry snorted, "I have so much pent up romance in me, it's going to come bursting out all over the place."
"Wouldn't be the first time," the blonde murmured, only to have strong tanned fingers tickling his sides, making him rut and squirm down into Harry's lap. "Stop that you bastard!" he gasped through laughs, his cheeks red and flushed.
"We could always do it at the end of summer holidays," Draco pondered aloud, "That way everyone is available to be there, and then we can go on our honeymoon in September. Most of the kids will be at school, and I'm sure mum or Molly could watch Cecelia and Lily. I would say Hermione but she already has four to look after."
"Four kids," Harry mused out loud, "Look at us, all grown up."
Draco snorted, "Yes, well we now have five kids combined, Potter, so don't you dare go sniffing around for a sixth because I may just have to curse your balls off." Harry laughed a beautiful sound that vibrated through Draco's chest.
Harry put the laptop to one side, and curled his arms around his blonde fiancé until their take away arrived. Once their food was dished out, a new movie flickered onto the television screen and so they sat watching it, the mild comedy making Draco laugh around his Chow Mein. It wasn't until almost three quarters in that Draco chimed up, "What about if we go there?" he asked, his eyes still glued to the screen, pointing his fork at the movie.
Harry frowned, "I don't think that exists."
"Not the made-up place, Harry!" Draco sighed and rolled his eyes, "You moron. I meant where they -filmed? -right, filmed it. They must have filmed this somewhere and it honestly looks beautiful. I've never been to a place like that. Can we at least look online for that place? Where it was filmed?"
"Alright alright, hold your horses," Harry grinned as he tugged his laptop back up and placed it on the armrest. He browsed through Google a few times and soon came up with the information of the movie they were watching. Finally a name popped up. "Huh, it was filmed in Bora Bora." He turned the laptop screen a little so that Draco could crane his neck and see. They scanned through some pictures and a couple of websites. "That actually does look pretty beautiful," he murmured softly as he browsed through some sites. Turning his head to Draco, he cocked an eyebrow; "Look good to you, love?" he smiled.
Draco nodded, "Oh yes that is really beautiful. I've never seen the ocean so blue before. It always looks greyish from anywhere in England. Or a dull green."
Harry grinned, "Brilliant. We can book it after we've eaten, yeah?" Draco nodded and so Harry bookmarked the page and set his laptop on the floor.
By the time they went to bed they had booked their holiday online, booked the flights and printed off the tickets for safe-keeping. Draco had jumped at the whirring of the printed, still not used to the contraption just yet. He frowned at it wearily as the movie ended and they packed the left-over food into the fridge and binned the empty containers. Feeling worn out by the long day and the security they felt warming their stomachs -along with their Chinese food -at having quickly sorted out a good few of their wedding arrangements -well, the honeymoon -they wondered into the bedroom and collapsed side-by-side on the mattress.
Draco looked over at Harry, looking at him properly for the first time all day; the skin was wrinkled slightly at the corners of his eyes -crow's feet his mother called them -his over-night stubble was already shadowing his face and his face was a little more fleshed out that it had been at school. Still handsome though. Definitely still handsome. His heart swelled up with love and adoration as he watched Harry's closed eyelids flicker slightly before those bright green eyes lazily slid open and drifted so that they were now looking deeply into one another's eyes.
Harry licked his lips and rolled over slightly so that he could press a kiss to Draco's mouth. He eased his tongue along Draco's lips and just as the blonde moaned and parted his lips, Cecelia's shrill cry broke through the air. Harry sighed into their kiss, broke away and pressed his head against Draco's. "I'll handle madam, you just stay there and look sexy," he purred, sucking Draco's bottom lip between his teeth and making the blonde harden underneath him. With a tired smirk, he drifted out of the bedroom and hurried to calm their daughter. Draco watched him go before flopping back on the bed with a sigh. He strained his ears to listen for Harry humming to their daughter. He felt a pleasant feeling warm his stomach and decided to undress.
He must have fallen asleep before Harry came back, so exhausted was he from the long day in court. He awoke at 3am to the feeling of Harry's bare chest pressed against his back, his warm breath tickling at his ear and tan legs tangled with his own. He shifted and pressed himself back into Harry's body, revelling in the contentment that washed through him.
He soon drifted back to sleep, and his dream of sunbathing on the beach looking out onto the bluest of oceans.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the end of the trial. I know the actual court part was shorter than the last, but I hope you enjoyed what you got to see in the letter.