A/N: The only thing that is worth mentioning at this point is the date. The main body of Et Dona Ferentes was set in 1997- 1998. This epilogue is set thirteen years later, not nineteen, so in terms of the story, it's all happening... right now.
Epilogue - 13 Years Later
Stella sat on her Dad's hip, thumb lodged firmly in her mouth and frowning.
"But I want to go with Bear," she moaned around her thumb, blinking her big blue eyes. "And James," she added as an afterthought. Draco squeezed her in reassurance but Bear cut in before he had chance to say anything.
"You've got a couple of years left at school yet, squirt," Bear said. He tickled her ribs to make her squirm, kissed her cheek and turned his hair green to make her laugh. Which she did. "Don't worry. Hogwarts isn't going anywhere."
The swirls of steam and cacophony of noise at King's Cross had been a familiar sight for the past four Septembers when they'd loaded their eldest son onto the Hogwarts Express. Stella had practically grown up with the journey across London. This year was James' turn, leaving the youngest of the Malfoy- Potter clan to spend the next, torturous, seventeen weeks 'til Christmas on her own.
They attracted a fair amount of attention wherever they went, Harry being an international Quidditch star and all, but especially here, among those who knew the family. Draco lifted his hand in a wave for Ginny Thomas; both her and Dean's children were too young for Hogwarts yet but this time of year seemed to bring everyone out for moral support. Pansy and Blaise had already loaded Cynthia on to the train and Blaise was desperately trying to reign in their two youngest... The twins were a handful (Draco knew this from first hand experience) and he turned his face into Stella's hair to hide his smirk.
From behind them another family burst through the entrance to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters; they were a funny hodge-podge of skin and hair colour, freckles, eyes, heights... but a family, nonetheless.
"Alright, George?" Draco said and George rolled his eyes and shouted at his sons.
"Trunks, now, or you'll miss it!"
"Fine, Dad, chill," Titan said, rolling his eyes right back.
"Yeah. We've got ages," Apollo added. The second of Angelina and George's sons was as tall as his father and blond, with unusually dark eyes. His owl, a light feathered bird, was perched on his shoulder and hooted indignantly as Titan helped his brother load their cases.
"Victoire is down in on of the end carriages," Apollo said.
"Shut up," Titan hissed.
"Don't start," Angelina sighed, resting her head on George's shoulder.
From the train, the man Draco was waiting for suddenly appeared in the doorway. His eyes scanned the crowd and lit up when they landed on his partner and daughter.
"Thanks for helping," Harry said to Draco as he hopped down from the train, rolling his shoulders after hauling James's trunk into the carriage.
"Stella," Draco said in way of apology, bouncing their little girl and smiling mischievously. "Where's James?"
"With Hugo," Harry said in the same tone, his own explanation.
Ron followed Harry down from the carriage, rolling his eyes as Hermione dished out a long list of rules. She paused to smile at Stella, then continued. A slightly bedraggled looking Hugo followed her and James brought up the rear. Stella wriggled out of Draco's grasp and ran off down the platform, likely having spotted someone she just had to talk to, while Rose handed her dad a ribbon to reattach to the end of her long braid. The tip of Ron's tongue stuck out of the corner of his mouth in concentration as he tied a neat bow.
"Shouldn't we have a list of rules?" Harry whispered. Hermione was still going strong with her instructions. But Hugo was her eldest and the first to leave his mother - who was suitably distressed at the notion. In true Hermione fashion, her emotions were expressed with a desire for order and reassurance that bordered on obsessive. Some things never changed.
Draco shrugged. "I don't know. Bear is doing alright, isn't he? We didn't give him any rules."
"Bear!" Harry shouted over to where their eldest son was standing with a group of his school friends. "Watch out for your brother, okay?"
"Yes Dad," Bear said, smirking slightly.
"There," Harry said, pleased with himself. "Done."
Laughing, Draco let his hand slip into Harry's. "You're doing a wonderful job."
"Being a father."
"Pssh," Harry said. "I knew that already."
The years had been kind to them both, allowing them to expand on their small family while both were still in their early twenties. James, born to an old friend when Bear was four, was so clearly Harry's son it wasn't worth claiming him to be anything but. Although Bear had a sense of adventure and mischief that came partly from his Marauders heritage and partly from his fathers, it was surely James (so Draco claimed) that they would be receiving the owls from school about. With four years seeming to be a good age gap for their children, and with both parents still in their twenties (thank you very much), the longed- for daughter finally completed the family. Stella Luna was bright and shy, excitable and introverted, a paradox of a little girl.
"Daddy!" Stella exclaimed as she rushed over.
"Where have you been?" Harry demanded.
"Talking to Luna," she said, slightly breathless. "She said she would come over and we can go out and pick some dir- some diri- … dirigi-"
"Dirigible Plums?" Draco offered.
"Yes!" Stella said. "Can Rose come too?"
"You'll have to ask Rose's mummy," Draco said, hauling her back up into his arms. "Oof. You're getting heavy."
"Too heavy for cuddles?"
"Never," Draco promised.
Along the platform, train doors started to slam shut. Children hung out of windows and open doors, waving at parents and siblings left behind.
"And just be good!" Hermione wailed as Hugo hopped up onto the train. Ron gently pried Rose from Hermione's grasp and wrapped his arm around her shoulder, rescuing his daughter from Hermione's death- like grip.
"You too, James," Harry said.
James wrapped his arms around Harry's waist in a bone- crushing hug. Harry ran his hands gently through James' hair, the same dark crop that James had inherited from his father... and his grandfather.
"I will," James said. "Um, Dad?"
"I sort of need to go."
Draco snorted with laughter. "Bye, James. Be good. Write. And don't listen to anything your brother tells you. He's a Gryffindor. He can't be trusted."
James laughed, delighted, as he ran for the train.
"Bye, Dad!" Bear yelled as he slammed the train door shut behind his brother. "Bye Stella!"
"Bye bye," Stella whispered, then turned her face into Draco's neck, convinced she was too old to cry.
"Don't worry, sweetheart," Draco said softly, running his hand over blonde curls barely contained in a pink hair band. "I'm going to miss them too."
The red train whistled and the sound of the engines were too loud, then it rounded a corner and disappeared out of sight.
"Right," Ron said brightly as they headed back to the main part of the station. "Who wants to go for some lunch?"
Both Stella and Rose escaped from their fathers and held hands as they rushed ahead, leaving the four grown ups to follow. Hermione gave Ron a watery smile; he gently pulled her close and pressed a kiss to the top of her head.
Looking down, Draco realised that his hand was in Harry's, completely without him meaning to put it there. In the brisk Autumn air Draco had rolled his sleeves up to his elbows; Harry slid his hand up Draco's forearm, over scarred, marked skin, then back down to link their fingers again. Draco looked to his partner and raised his eyebrow, as if to ask if everything was alright. Harry nodded, smiling, and Draco leaned in to brush his lips just barely over Harry's scar before they burst into the bright sunlight outside the station.
All was well.
A/N: Disclaimers always amuse me. Yeah, I know you don't own it. If you were JKR you definitely would not be writing the shit I read. However, with a plagiarism case surely hanging over my head right now, it's worth mentioning that I do not own the Harry Potter series, and although my name is Joanne my last name is not Rowling and I'm really not making any money out of this.
Epilogue? THIS Epilogue. (Ahem.)
To Kira and Ines - thank you for your time, your criticism and your unwavering support. To greeneyedgirly - I'll hold onto that last bit of hope that maybe, someday, you might read this (I'm a sucker, I know.)
To those who have been reading my stories since summer 2009, you are the reason I do this. Whether I know you by name, by username or by a statistic point in my Traffic bar chart, thank you.
Since I'm the boss around here I'm going to pimp out my other story... Unbroken is a Charlie Weasley/ Harry story which has been receiving some awesome feedback. If you fancy giving something new a try, go and check it out. I'd love to know what you think.
In response to the requests for more, or a sequel; drabbles aside, I have never written the same pairing in a story more than once. I'll make no promises to write more Drarry fic, then if I do, it'll be a pleasant surprise for us all. I'll say now though, I never could have dreamed that this exploration of "Harry Potter, Book 8" would have been so wonderful. Thank you all again! And maybe I'll see you on the next one.