Last chapter! Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my story.
The wedding was to be held two months later. The grounds of Malfoy Manor were pristinely decorated with flowing white lace, fairy lights, and pink and red roses. An archway was set up, under which the nuptials would take place. Four rows of chairs sat on either side of the white runner used as an aisle.
From a second floor window, Hermione observed it all as the florists put the finishing touches on the decorations. She turned around at the sound of delighted giggles and watched Ruby twirl in her flower girl dress.
"This is fun, Mummy!" she declared, taking another spin.
"Don't tire yourself out now. Daddy's going to expect you to twirl around the dance floor with him," Hermione reminded her. Ruby's eyes widened with excitement and she took a seat on the sofa. Fifteen minutes later, there was a knock at the door and Harry entered.
"You look beautiful," he commented.
Ruby hopped off of the sofa and hugged him. "Thanks, Uncle Harry."
Laughing, he addressed Hermione. "You look beautiful too."
"Thank you," she replied. "Ready to walk me down the aisle?"
Nodding, Harry untangled Ruby's arms from his legs and held out a hand to his best friend. Ruby took his other hand and they exited the house.
"I can't believe you're really marrying Malfoy," Harry murmured, shaking his head. Ruby was already making her way down the short aisle towards her father.
Hermione smiled as she watched her procession. "Sometimes I can't believe it either," she replied, smiling at her friend. "I do wish my parents had come though."
"Still completely untrusting of the magical world?" Harry inquired, though the joking tone from before was now gone.
"Wouldn't you be too if your child wiped away your memories and shipped you off to a foreign country?" she said bitterly. Taking a deep breath, she set a smile back on her face as the bridal hymn began to play. "I'm sure they'll get over it some day. Today, all I care about is this."
They took their first steps together, and before Hermione knew it, her hand was in Draco's warm, firm grip. Words buzzed in her ears, but all she saw was her soon-to-be husband's smile and excited gray eyes. She spoke her vows, and heard Draco's before the "I do's" were exchanged. His lips pressed softly against hers before the music started up once again.
"It's over?" she asked when he took her hand to walk back up the aisle.
Draco laughed as Ruby ran up to take hold of his left hand. "One day, when people ask us about our wedding day, I'm going to tell them my wife didn't pay it a lick of attention," he teased.
The smile on her face grew at the word "wife." She would let him tell people whatever he wanted so long as he kept using that word. "I love you," she told him as their guests filed past to congratulate them.
Leaning down he kissed her cheek before whispering in her ear, "I've never loved anyone more than I love you."
The reception lasted well into the night. After hours of dancing and eating, Ruby had fallen asleep across three chairs with her father's coat draped over her. Hermione and Draco were the only ones left on the dance floor, swaying delicately to the soft music that permeated the air. Guests had already begun to leave, but no one else seemed to exist in the newlyweds' world.
Draco sighed and held Hermione closer. "We should get her home," he said, though he gave no indication of actually wanting to leave.
"We should," she agreed, glancing wistfully to where their daughter slept. For Ruby was now officially her daughter. Along with the marriage certificate, Draco and Hermione had signed the adoption papers, making Hermione legally Ruby's mother. They had also signed the forms changing Ruby's last name from Granger to Malfoy. Hermione rested her head against Draco's shoulder and sighed. "I don't want to leave her."
"We don't have to," he informed her, a smile in his voice. Hermione looked up with questioning eyes. "I thought we'd take her along on the honeymoon. I'm not really keen on the idea of being apart either."
A smile lit up her face before she kissed him. "Who would have thought that you would turn into such a great guy," she mused.
Feigning a wounded air, he turned his chin up and looked away from her. "Apparently not you, my dear wife," he replied. Looking back to her, he asked, "Was I really that awful?"
"When we were younger, yes," she informed him with a bubbling laugh. "And then you showed up at my front door six months ago, and everything changed. I always wondered, long before even we knew, if Ruby knew you were her father. All that talk suddenly about wanting a father after you showed up...I mean, it's possible, right?"
The song ended and the band began to pack up their instruments. The dance stopped, but Draco kept his arms firmly around his bride. "I don't know if it's possible," he replied, walking over to where Ruby slept. "I mean, she seems to be able to sense certain things, like whenever someone is coming. But that's a standard child witch or wizard trait. It used to drive Lucius crazy when I would announce that someone was on their way. As for knowing who I really was to her before even we knew, well, we could always ask her."
The couple made it to the chairs and finally, begrudgingly, let go of one another. Hermione removed Draco's coat before he picked Ruby up, careful not to wake her. The little girl sighed and pressed her face against his neck. Her breath tickled Draco's skin, causing goosebumps to raise against his flesh.
"I knew," she murmured, seemingly still asleep.
Hermione moved to stand in front of Draco and rubbed Ruby's back softly. "What did you know, sweetheart?" she asked quietly.
Again, she shifted sleepily in Draco's arms. "That Daddy was my daddy," she told them. The family made their way into the Manor's travelling room where they could floo to their own house. "I could feel it," she added.
Hermione stepped in first, followed by Draco and Ruby. When they were home, he carried her to her room and helped Hermione undress her. Her eyes remained closed as they worked, but she continued to talk. "Daddy looked like me. That's how I knew," Ruby said. "And when he first came here, he glowed. Didn't you see it, Mummy?"
"I...I glowed?" Draco asked.
Ruby nodded, her head resting against her pillow. "Like there was a light around you," she replied. "It was a sign, right, Daddy?" She rolled onto her side, her eyes remaining shut as she cuddled her teddy bear to her chest.
Draco leaned down beside her and kissed Ruby's cheek. "Yeah, baby, it was a sign," he agreed. "A really really good sign that we were meant to be together."
"Love you," she murmured, her words forming into one as sleep overtook her.