A/N: Wow... We've reached the end. I am sorry for keeping this away for so long, I needed it to myself for a bit before finally publishing this last chapter.
This is the epilogue- I thought you perhaps might want to see stages of their lives together, so have done it as so.
I cannot begin to express my eternal gratitude to everyone for their support for this fic: It's been absoloutely amazing.
Three years later
"Gwandad! Gwanma! Look at me!"
The older man felt his hand being tugged at sharply, and obediently put down his book to look down at the little girl next to him. Her deep brown eyes gazed up at him determinedly, her bright blonde ringlets falling delicately around her petite, heart-shaped face. She tugged impatiently at his hand again, her tiny fingers just about clasping a fraction of his large thumb.
"Darling, what am I looking at exactly?" Lucius Malfoy asked, bending down to pick the little girl up easily, the corners of his mouth tugging into a smile when she giggled happily at the sudden movement. "Ah I see. Your mother will not be happy, Bella."
The girl giggled again, shaking her hair out of her face, revealing the speckles of colorful paint scattered over her flawless, pale skin. "Mummy will forgive me."
Typical Malfoy. Lucius thought to himself in admiration, turning to the woman next to him to voice his thought to her, noticing her smile in reply. The woman, her bright, sleek blonde hair shining brightly in the sunlight, moved to stroke the little girl's hair out of her face properly so it wouldn't stick to the paint before kissing her nose gently.
"She certainly is so, Lucius." Narcissa Malfoy agreed with approval.
"Come." Lucius turned back to the girl in his arms. Lifting her up in his arms, he started to walk back into the bungalow. "Let's not take any chances with your mother forgiving you, Bella."
Narcissa watched them go, her smile slowly starting to fade as her thoughts washed over her, invading her mind away from reality. She never would have thought she'd be here- yet here she was indeed, sitting outside of her son's bungalow and sipping iced tea in his large gardens, watching her first granddaughter play.
The medicine- or help that she had received had been extremely beneficial. Lucius had been instrumental in her recovery, and Narcissa owed him her life for it. Looking back at her past, she physically winced, knowing the hurt and pain she had brought because of her own selfish actions.
Whilst she had her condition, it was no excuse, and to win back Draco's affections- and indeed, Hermione's- Narcissa had had to wait years. Lucius, whilst he had visited her and helped her as much as he could, knew that their relationship was not the same as it was once before. They were quiet friends now- companions that offered comfort to each other. Her three months in Azkaban had helped Narcissa almost feel herself again, as absurd as it sounded. When she was released, she had quietly accepted Lucius's offer of taking residence in France, and taken his help. She was not, of course, a completely changed and extremely good woman- she would still have that dark past entwined within her, but seeing Lucius and how he had adapted, and looking into the beautiful eyes of her granddaughter for those precious few moments, shook Narcissa into action to get better.
Had it not been for Hermione Granger, Draco would have refused Narcissa into his life. But there was something of that determined young woman that spurred Draco into allowing his mother to attend the wedding. And so Narcissa had- with a small seat in the back, with no one to accompany her. That was until her ex husband had approached her.
"Cissa," Lucius had greeted- almost warmly- as he took a seat beside her. "How good of you to attend. They suit each other, do not you think?"
Narcissa, still touched by the ceremony that had just taken place and Lucius's unexpected kind revelation, only nodded in agreement. "She is… rather beautiful."
Narcissa had meant what she had said. Hermione had looked stunning, and her son, she had noticed, had not removed his eyes from her. She wore nothing exceptionally flashy- indeed, only a very simple, plain strapless dress, with a slit up the side of the gown. The top, sleeves and back of her dress were made up entirely of delicately woven lace; almost reminiscent of the muggle woman Grace Kelly, Narcissa had noted with interest. Hermione's curly hair was gathered up into a loose bun with small beaded pins, set off with a beautiful veil. Her make up was classic and pretty, her lips painted a beautiful deep red lipstick, those endearing doe brown eyes lined with a soft, slightly smudged charcoal liner, and finished with a light coat of mascara. Her cheekbones were glossy and highlighted in a blush pink: she looked radiant.
Narcissa sighed to herself a little, content with her thoughts, and turned back to the book in her hands, her eyes almost misting with the strong emotion that the memory had brought her.
"Daddy, daddy, daddy look!" The little girl wriggled out of Lucius's arms as soon as she saw her father sitting in the kitchen, reading a newspaper. Lucius obliged her by putting her down, watching as the little girl trotted over to her father, her tiny feet pattering on the tiles.
Draco Malfoy glanced up from his newspaper, his mouth opening a little as he examined his daughter's face. With a look towards the man next to him- his best friend Blaise Zabini, who merely shrugged lazily- Draco looked back down again at the exuberant little girl who was now trying to crawl onto his lap. Carefully, he put down his newspaper and gently lifted her by putting his hands under her armpits, hoisting her up to sit onto his legs: but was cautious to not have her wet face near him.
"Adabelle, what have you been up to?" He asked her, almost resisting a groan, but failing to do so as he examined her face carefully.
A gurgle of delight escaped her lips. "Painting."
"You monster," Draco sighed, bending to kiss the top of her head before standing and lifting her into his arms in the process. "Blaise, take look out for Hermione would you?"
Blaise only chuckled at his seemingly childish demand, but obeyed him, rising from his chair and moving towards the open kitchen door to peer his head out and look down the long hallway, careful to watch for Hermione. Draco swiftly carried his daughter to the kitchen sink, removing his wand to turn on the water tap and summon a clean tea towel, hovering it underneath the water to soak it before taking it and, putting his daughter onto the counter top, he gently started to dab at her face.
"Ada, you must promise daddy you won't try to paint your face again."
"But I like painting."
Draco heard Lucius chuckle, and fought the urge to smile himself. "Yes I know sweetheart, and you can still paint, just paint on the pieces of that special parchment mummy bought for you. Okay?"
"Okay daddy." The little girl chanted just as he finished and, with a smile, he leant down and nuzzled his nose against hers before kissing the tip of it.
"Good girl. Come on then," He lifted her up before placing her down onto the floor, looking at Blaise who was still keeping an eye out. "Blaise, I'm done. You can get away from there now."
Blaise turned and watched as the little girl ran back out into the garden, raising an eyebrow at Draco. "You do realize that we need to stop this whole look out thing?"
"Er… yeah. Perhaps. But I don't want Hermione to get worried. I intend to take her on a date tonight... finally."
Blaise rolled his eyes- but not before the three men heard a familiar set of footsteps echo down the hallway, and before they knew it, a woman dressed in a silky, short red dress with her curly dark hair hastily put back in a messy bun walked in, reading a letter in her hands, a frown on her beautiful face.
"Draco," Hermione murmured as she entered the kitchen, stopping to look up at the said man that she had addressed. "I-
She stopped, spotting the paint covered tea towel in his hands. Her eyes snapped up and narrowed as she gazed at him suspiciously, dropping her hand to point at it. "Draco," She started with a warning tone, clearly telling him not to lie to her. "Did Adabelle paint her face again?"
Lucius and Blaise met each other's gazes and swiftly, Lucius opened his mouth to drawl first: "Is that Narcissa calling? She must need me."
And with that, Lucius swept out of the kitchen hurriedly, leaving Draco and Blaise alone with a very suspicious Hermione, the echoes of his footsteps bounding through the spacious room.
"Er…" Draco scratched the back of his neck, before looking down at the tea towel. "Maybe… but listen, Mia, we're actually running late…"
She rolled her eyes, and put the letter down upon the counter, swiftly taking out her wand. "Accio tea towel!"
She raised her eyebrow when she examined the tea towel, looking back up at him. "Darling," She started sweetly, edging closer. "I think the evidence is stacked up against you. She clearly did. Were you going to hide it from me?"
"No," Malfoy scoffed indignantly, but stopped when she only raised her eyebrow further. "Erm, well, yes. But I didn't want you to worry that she had consumed any again."
"How do you know that she didn't?"
"Blaise checked, didn't you Blaise?"
Both turned to the other man in the room, who looked startled at being addressed. He scratched at his jaw, looking at Malfoy, unsure of what to say. "Erm… yeah, totally."
Before Hermione could say anything, Malfoy quickly seized the tea towel and threw it into the sink, before winding an arm around her waist.
"I believe we have dinner reservations." He told her firmly, pulling her in closer to him. "So perhaps you could drop the subject of Adabelle painting her face and we can leave?"
"-No buts," Malfoy rolled his eyes, moving his hands to plant them swiftly onto her hips and twirl her around, urging her forwards to start walking out of the kitchen and towards the hallway. "She'll be fine."
"I've just not left her totally alone for a night before, that's all."
"Hello," Blaise interrupted indignantly, holding up his hands. "I'll be here."
"Exactly," But Hermione turned to wink over her shoulder, signaling it was a joke, and forced herself around, stopping Draco from pushing her further, and walked to the door that lead to the garden. "Adabelle! Come here please sweetheart!"
Surely enough, the little girl could be heard running towards them and cried with delight when she saw her mother, throwing herself into her arms. Hermione lifted her effortlessly, carrying her on her hip whilst Adabelle placed her arms around her neck, resting her head in the crook of her neck with a yawn.
"Darling," Hermione rocked the girl gently, adopting a soft voice for Adabelle was clearly very tired. "Mummy and daddy will be leaving now. Will you be alright with Uncle Blaise, Grandaddy and Grandmama?"
The little girl mumbled something into her mother's neck, but pulled away to nod before craning her neck to spot her Uncle Blaise. When she did so, her face broke into a smile. She reached out her arms, and Blaise immediately stepped forward, taking her into his with a kiss upon her cheek.
"Uncle Blaise, will you make me pasta for my tea tonight?"
"Of course," He promised her firmly, moving to sit her down in her high chair. "Whatever the lady wants, the lady gets."
Adabelle giggled happily, clapping her hands as Blaise started to summon pots and pans with his wand. Draco only grinned before bending his head to kiss his daughter goodbye, firming pulling Hermione out of the door when she lingered a little too long for her turn to do so, indicating her uneasiness.
"She'll be fine," Draco draped Hermione's cloak over her shoulders, bending to kiss her smoothly. "I promise. Blaise is a natural. And father and mother are here."
She nodded and allowed him to pull her out the door, but frowned first, pulling back to peer up at him in bewilderment when he turned back to look down at her. "Aren't we apparating?"
"I thought you might like to walk," He smiled at her, his hand still clasped firmly in hers. "Come on."
She returned his smile and followed him out of the door, her laugh tinkling through the hallway and causing Blaise to pause in his tickling of his goddaughter and smile himself.
Two years later
Hermione Granger was not a woman who was easily swept with romance. At least, she didn't think so: until now.
She felt the coarse, cool grass kiss her between her toes and she leaned her head back pleasurably whilst wriggling them gently amongst the soft ground. Her long, chestnut brown hair brushed against the back of her bare arms and she turned her head a little towards the warmth that the sun above her provided.
Her eyelids opened slowly and she moved her head forward to gaze ahead of her, a smile spreading in her features smoothly when she spotted a little girl run towards her.
"Aalima," She greeted the girl warmly and held out her arms to catch her daughter when she jumped into her mother's embrace, her button nose nuzzling into Hermione's soft neck, Aalima's glossy ringlets- that were so like her mother's- bouncing around her. In her fist, she held a bunch of wild flowers, which Hermione did not fail to notice. "Those are beautiful."
Aalima leaned back, her eyes sparkling, and a huge toothy grin on her face. "Mummy, they are for you." She pushed the small, squished bouquet of flowers into her mother's chest, her smile widening when Hermione took them and inhaled their scent, her eyes closing in pleasure.
Hermione kissed her little daughter's forehead, feeling tears almost rise in her eyes. "Thank you, sweetheart. And where is daddy?"
"I ran ahead, I beat daddy and- and my flowers are better than his!"
"I don't doubt it my love," She kissed her again before they were interrupted by another loud, high pitched voice ringing through the summer air, accompanied by a deeper, male voice: Draco. She hugged Aalima before standing up; Aalima balanced on her hip, her small arms holding tightly around Hermione's neck.
A tall, lean figure appeared, his blonde hair shining brightly in the sunlight, his large hand clutching the smaller hand of a girl next to him, her own wavy, bright blonde hair identical to his. The beautiful girl, her chocolate brown eyes glowing brightly, swiftly dropped her father's hand, running towards Hermione and Aalima quickly. She seized Hermione's free hand when she reached them, looking up at her mother excitedly.
"Mummy mummy- I made the flowers grow bigger!"
Hermione's smile- although still there, dissolved a little as her eyes snapped up to meet the eyes of the man, who now stood before them, clutching a bunch of flowers too.
"What?" She asked weakly, gripping Aalima a little tighter in disbelief. "Adabelle, did you use magic?"
"Maybe," Her daughter answered slyly. Hermione could only internally sigh- she really was her father's daughter.
"She couldn't help it." Draco Malfoy leaned in to kiss Hermione lightly on the lips before moving towards the girl held in her arms. "Aalima, may I have a kiss too? I am distraught after losing to you yet again."
Aalima giggled before complying him with a sweet kiss on his cheek, her hand moving to pat her father's head in amusement. "Daddy, mummy likes my flowers better than yours. She told me so."
Hermione met Draco's eyes and only sent him a sympathetic but amused gaze, putting her daughter down on the ground once again. "Into the house, girls. You both need baths before bed time."
Both groaned but Draco only leaned down, whispering something to them that Hermione didn't quite catch- but recognized that he had clearly promised them some sort of treat as both instantly shot into the house when he had finished speaking. She shot him a disapproving look: she certainly did not agree with bribery, and told him so.
"I was not bribing them," Draco defended insistently. "Simply offering an incentive."
She snorted, but said nothing, only rolling her eyes and making to leave for the house with him, their hands instinctively entwining together. "You really are a Slytherin through and through."
"Both of our daughters are showing signs of following in my footsteps," He drawled arrogantly with a smirk tugging at the corner of his lips, bending to kiss her at the top of her head before, having now entered the kitchen, moving to pour himself some water. He stopped, however, noticing the flowers still clutched in this hand. "Ah, yes." He turned to her, his eyes dancing mischievously. "I picked you some flowers."
"Draco Malfoy, pick me flowers?" But she took them, sniffing at them happily. "Thank you, they're lovely."
"I was informed by Aalima before we left that they are- and I quote- "rubbish" compared to hers."
She couldn't help but laugh, moving to kiss him sweetly before exiting the kitchen, needing to give her daughters their baths, but before leaving she swiftly threw over her shoulder: "And you listened? She certainly has you wrapped around her little finger."
Draco could only give her his trademark smirk. "She learns from the best," He called back in reply, struggling to keep back an amused laugh as he sipped at his water.
"I put them both to bed. They're finally asleep, your father is in the study-
Hermione cut off as she entered, her hands in her hair, loosening her messy ponytail in a hair band. She stared at Draco, who stood before a mirror, clad in beautiful smart dress robes. He turned to her with a small smile, lifting his hand- a silky purple tie resting delicately between his fingers.
She understood immediately, and moved to help him put it on, weaving it around his neck and tying it gently. Her fingers ran along the deep-colored tie, tracing the soft material lightly before she sighed a little and let go. He looked down at her in slight amusement, his hands moving to rest firmly on her hips before he spoke.
"What?" He murmured.
Malfoy could only chuckle, his husky voice radiating a warmness through her as she looked up at him with her dark, hazel eyes before she hesitated, deciding to continue.
"It's just…" Hermione ran her palms down his ironed, crinkle-free shirt, an admiring look on her face. "I can't believe you are the youngest man to ever have been promoted to Head of the Law Enforcement Department. Arresting people, locking them up…It's kind of…" She trailed off purposefully, looking down before back up at him slyly through her dark eyelashes.
"Yes?" He asked, beginning to smirk again as he anticipated her answer.
She leaned upwards, her warm breath caressing his ear as she breathed: "Sexy."
He inhaled sharply through his nose, but before he could do anything, she let him go, moving swiftly away from him and into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. He could vaguely hear her chuckle and cursed to himself, smoothing his hair back before reaching for his cologne, pondering over what effect she had just left him with. "Damn." He muttered to himself.
"Mr. Malfoy, congratulations."
Draco shook the hand of the man who had just spoken, nodding his head in gratitude. "Sir Peters." He spoke smoothly. "I trust you are well?"
"Very well, thank you. And how are the Malfoy's?"
As Draco opened his mouth to answer, he felt a pair of lips press gently into the back of his neck and could only close his mouth again to give Sir Peters a broad smile. Fingers slipped into his and Draco gently pulled Hermione forward to his side, slipping his hand out of hers to weave an arm securely around her waist.
"We are all well, thank you Sir Peters." Hermione answered for Draco charmingly, her eyes twinkling with amusement as she leaned against him. "But if you would be so kind as to excuse us- I need to talk with my husband for a minute."
"Certainly, certainly." Sir Anthony flashed Draco a knowing smile before kissing Hermione's hand, watching as they swiftly moved away.
Draco nodded at the people offering their congratulations, but his thoughts were fixed firmly upon the woman next to him. She led him out to the dark hallway and then, turning to him, looked up at him in amusement.
"Minx," Draco murmured, pulling her closer immediately. "I know you can't stand parties, but you can't keep making excuses to leave."
"I really do have something to tell you."
"Is it a ploy to give us an excuse to leave?"
"Tell me." Lips on neck.
Gasp. "I made a recent discovery."
"Yes. I don't think this is the best time or place, but I can't keep it to myself any longer."
"Mia…" Kiss. "Tell me."
She leant into him, nuzzling her head into his chest as his arms held her tighter; she could tell he was a little tense with worry, and decided not to keep him waiting for much longer. Glancing up, she met his glowing silver eyes before gently removing his hands from her waist and placing them on her stomach silently.
His eyes widened with both shock and realization and he only shuffled even closer to her, his fingers gently dancing across her slightly rounded belly. He couldn't believe he hadn't noticed it before.
They said nothing more to each other; they did not need to. Hermione gladly accepted the embrace he offered, his arms now moving back around to hold her against him, his lips pressing into her forehead.
"You have given me everything." He murmured simply: his muffled voice, clearly choked by verging tears, deeply touched Hermione, and she leaned back to press her palm into his cheek before rising on her tiptoes to kiss him soundly in response.
Twelve years later
"Blaise, I will not be kept waiting any longer! Come here right now!"
Blaise entered the kitchen instantly, a cheeky twinkling in his eyes as he winked at Hermione. "Yes, love?"
"Not you, Zabini." Hermione scolded, fighting the urge to laugh and focusing again with the task in hand. "BLAISE."
She heard a sigh from the hallway and rolled her eyes, looking pointedly at Blaise Senior to step out of the way. He did so, revealing a younger boy, his messy brown hair sweeping over his eyes: the very image of his father with his strong jaw, bright grey eyes and pale skin.
"Yes mother?" He asked wearily, flinching when she narrowed her eyes at him.
"Bad luck mate," Blaise Senior patted the younger boy on the back before leaving the kitchen hurriedly, clearing not desiring to stay any longer to see what would happen between the two.
"Blaise," Hermione drew herself up to her full height, looking sternly down at her son. "You are thirteen years old, are you not?"
"Yes mother." Came the sigh of a reply.
"And at thirteen, do you not think that you are capable of helping around the house a little more?"
"So why have you not washed the dishes?"
"Come on mum," Blaise swiftly switched to begging, looking up at his mother pleadingly. "You can easily use magic!"
"Certainly not. Come here and wash up, Blaise." Hermione told him firmly, before moving past to kiss the top of his head. "Then you can go out with your girlfriend."
"She's not my girlfriend!"
"What's this?" Draco had now entered, a newspaper tucked under his arm, spectacles at the bridge of his nose. He removed them and, sliding them into his shirt pocket, moved over to greet his wife with a tender kiss on the lips. Blaise wrinkled his nose in disgust but stopped after a stern look from his parents and swiftly rolled up his sleeves and proceeded to wash the dishes. Hermione, who had instinctively put her arms around Draco's neck, leaned in to kiss him again.
"Oh nothing, just Blaise denying the fact that he's got a girlfriend."
"She is not my girlfriend!" Blaise repeated indignantly, the tips of his ears reddening.
"Darling, don't try to fool your mother." Hermione advised him.
"Leave the poor boy alone," Draco turned to his wife, shaking his head. "There is no need to embarrass him. And how do you know that this- and I'm presuming it's her we're talking of- Stella girl is his girlfriend?"
"Oh please," Hermione scoffed, rolling her eyes impatiently as if she didn't need to dignify his question with a response. "I'm his mother. I know everything."
"But apparently-" Now another, softer voice drifted into the kitchen as a younger, beautiful girl with a slim figure, blonde, glossy curls and deep brown eyes entered the kitchen, a book in her hands. "-You don't know, mother, that Aalima also has an… other half, as it were."
This abruptly put all conversation to a stop, Hermione's eyes widening and Draco dropping his newspaper, astonishment and shock registered on his features. Only Blaise Junior continued to wash the dishes, humming to himself- he clearly already knew this piece of information.
"What?" Draco choked out, staring with disbelief at the young girl. "Bella, are you saying Lima has a… a… boyfriend?"
"Oh, but that's wonderful!" Hermione cried, clapping her hands in delight. The contrast between the two adults could not have been stronger. "Oh, have you met him? He's in her year, isn't he? But he must be! Oh that's just lovely! Who is it, Ada? Tell!" She grabbed her eldest daughter by the hand and pulled her towards her, clutching her tightly in excitement. "Is he in the same house? Oh, I know! Is it James-
"-Potter?" Draco now stood suddenly, absolute horror stricken in his features. "JAMES POTTER IS DATING MY DAUGHTER?"
"Oh Draco, don't be such a kill joy!" Hermione hushed her husband, shaking her head in amusement. "James is a lovely boy."
"He's…They… Not Potter's son! Of everyone! Why does it have- Oh…Lima! I didn't… see you… there."
All heads turned: Aalima, the last and middle child of the Malfoy children, stood at the doorway, a tear rolling down her face. Without another word, she turned on her heel and ran, her footsteps echoing off the hallway. Hermione sighed and only looked to glare at Draco, who also sighed, raking a hand through his hair.
"I've got it," He told Hermione flatly, moving swiftly out to follow his daughter.
It did not take him long to get to his daughter's bedroom, but he paused outside the door, uncertain of what to do. Slowly, he raised his fist and knocked, entering with relief when he heard a muffled: "Come in."
Aalima sat on her bed, her eyes red and puffy- she looked so very much like her mother, Draco couldn't help but think to himself again. Her beautiful brown hair tumbled down her back and she was by far, the most intelligent of his children. All, were of course, highly clever: but Aalima had her mother's sharp wit and eagerness to learn. He hesitated before sitting next to her on the bed, wincing a little as it creaked. She turned her head slightly to look up at him: both pairs of silvery grey eyes met and Draco smiled weakly at her.
"I'm sorry sweetheart," He finally said as the silence grew too much for the pair, raising his hand to pat her shoulder a little awkwardly. He was not a natural at physical intimacy with his children still: he tried and always ensured he offered them as much of it as he could, but now that they were older and frequently at Hogwarts, it became a little harder. His daughter, however, naturally leaned into his embrace, sniffing a little.
"It's just…" He continued, encouraged by her move. "You're my little girl, you'll always be that in my eyes. I suppose I find it hard, trying to adjust to how you are all growing up so quickly."
"I just," She wiped her eyes, still sniffing delicately. "I want you to accept him. You accept Stella and Blaise."
"Well, darling, I suppose it's different with boys." Draco told his daughter gently. "Not because I love you both differently, but because it's easier. You find it easier to talk to your mother about… well… girl stuff… and I find it easier to talk to Blaise about… boy stuff-
"-Right yes, sorry. I'm getting off the subject." Draco scratched the back of his neck, furrowing his eyebrows in concentration as he chose his next words carefully. "I just want you to be careful. Potter is a… nice… lad, no doubt, and I didn't really mean what I said... Well maybe I did... I mean he is a Potter...but boys all have a one track mind, Lima."
"Er... well, they-
"-Do you mean sex?" His daughter asked in a matter-of- fact tone, so very true of how Hermione talks.
"Lima!" Draco was now feeling thoroughly uncomfortable. "Look, you… err…just-
"It's okay dad, I've had this talk before. I'll be careful. Okay?"
"O-okay. Good. Good." Draco nodded stiffly, getting up before awkwardly not knowing what to do next. "That's… good."
"Dad, you're stepping on my book."
"Ah," He immediately moved, nervously scratching at his neck still. "Right. Well. Come along to the kitchen when… when you're- Oh."
She had hugged him. His arms went around to hug his daughter back, holding her tightly against him; his head bending down to inhale her, his eyes closed as he did so. She made to move away, but he refused to let go, only holding onto her tighter.
"Dad…" He could detect she was embarrassed but ignored it.
"I love you, Lima." Draco told her firmly before letting her go, looking down at his daughter. "I know I don't say it often… but I do…So. So come to the kitchen." He finished, rubbing her arm a little before moving to the doorway.
"Did you talk to Lima about sex today?"
Draco shifted a little uncomfortably, his arm firmly around Hermione as they sat together on the garden bench, watching their children play Quidditch in the fields before them. He coughed before replying. "Well… not really. I did… try…. To explain that she should be careful."
"Of course," Hermione turned her head, closing her eyes as she inhaled Draco's comforting scent, kissing his chest before burying her nose into it. "But darling, she's a sensible girl, you don't need to worry. I've talked to her about these things."
"Yes, no doubt, but she has inherited her mother's beautiful looks and is therefore probably quite the catch in school. Like her other sister, of course."
"And her brother," She added, kissing him in the chest again in thanks of his compliment. "And it is not my "good" looks they've inherited, but rather yours."
"Must we argue of this constantly?"
"Yes," She looked up to smile at him mischievously and he could only return her smile, leaning down to kiss her swiftly. She returned it deeply, and Draco couldn't help but moan into her mouth as she pushed herself upward to kiss him passionately. He forced himself to pull away slightly, aware of where they were.
"Bedroom," He murmured against her lips, opening his eyes a little to meet her lust-glazed ones, knowing his own matched them. "Now."
"You've become very demanding," She breathed into his mouth before moving away to stand, tugging him up with her. "What about the-
"-Mia, they're old enough to look after themselves," He was already eagerly leading her back up the steps and into the bungalow, his hand clutching hers tightly as he pulled her along. "And I want some time with my wife."
Hermione silently agreed, sealing his words with an amused giggle.
"-James," James interrupted; Draco only glared at him.
"Potter," Draco continued, his eyes fixed firmly onto James's face. "What are your plans for the future?"
"Er…" James scratched the back of his neck. "I really don't know, to be honest-
"-So you're not ambitious."
"Draco," Hermione admonished, glaring at her husband before turning to James, smiling at him in assurance. "Your father tells me you've been doing excellently in your exams, James. How's your mother? I miss Ginny."
"She's well, thank you Auntie." James answered politely as he took the potatoes she offered with a nod of thanks. Although Hermione was not in fact his aunt, he looked to her as one due to the close relationship she had with his parents. "She told me to pass on all of her love and dad's."
Hermione beamed at him, causing Draco to roll his eyes and swiftly take a sip of his wine, now quite irritated. He felt her hand slide onto his thigh and squeeze gently, snapping him out of his thoughts as he rose an inquisitive eyebrow to her. She leaned over, kissing his cheek before moving to murmur into his ear:
"If you behave, I'll give you a reward later. Be nice to James."
Draco audibly gulped and nodded briskly, clearing his throat as he felt all eyes upon them. He whirled his wine around in his glass before taking another long sip and, turning with a pleasant look towards James, proceeded to smile. His wife had, after all, made an effort with this dinner and he didn't want to upset her.
"So, James-" James clearly looked taken aback that Draco was addressing him by his first name as he had wished. "-You intend to date my daughter?"
"Yes, Sir." James replied quickly, his arm moving a little- Draco narrowed his eyes, recognizing that the boy had moved his hand under the table to squeeze Aalima's. "I do."
He couldn't help but admire his clear courage, Draco thought as he carefully assessed James's calm expression. The boy had clearly inherited that from his father.
"Dad," Aalima called softly, tweaking Draco out of his thoughts once again. "I am dating James. We just want you to be happy for us."
Draco was taken aback, but nodded again, softening at his wife's beaming grin towards the pair. He made to squeeze Hermione's hand gently, causing her head to turn to look at him, her brown eyes wide with curiosity, and he could only smile at her a little before looking back at the pair. "Of course we're happy for you, Lima."
The smile that broke out onto his daughter's face caused his eyes to dampen a little and, never wanting to admit he was feeling emotional, Draco Malfoy only cleared his throat and excused himself, lying that he needed the bathroom. His family and James only looked at him in amusement, seeing through the lie, but let him go, not noticing the tear that had rolled down his cheek.
"Do I get my reward now?" Draco climbed into bed next to his wife, winding his arms around her frame and gladly pulling her warm body towards him, moving his head to bury it into the crook of her neck and eliciting a groan from her. "I was nice to Potter Junior."
This caused an amused chuckle to escape her lips as her hands pushed against his shoulders, their eyes now meeting properly. "Will you continue to be nice to him?"
"Very well," Draco sighed, trying to move closer again. "Now can I continue?"
"No," Hermione laughed again, sitting up to swiftly throw her leg over his hip and sitting on him properly to direct his attention. This, however, only stirred a longing in Draco and he could only smirk up at Hermione, winding his arms around her waist. "Draco, not yet. I have something serious to discuss with you."
"Then discuss it, my dear." His lips were attached to her neck again, nuzzling their way along the softness of her skin. "I'm all ears."
"You are not, whilst you continue to do that." Her hands, however, weaved into his hair appreciatively, and clutched at the strands of his messy hair. "I need to discuss Adabelle with you."
"What of her?"
"Draco," She pushed him back gently, her brown eyes searching his silvery-grey ones. "Sweetheart…"
He instantly stopped trying to kiss her, and leant back, his eyes narrowing a little. He knew instantly something was wrong. "What's happened?"
"What? I didn't say that-
"-Hermione, you only call me sweetheart when you're about to explain something serious. What's happened to Adabelle?"
She bit her lip, causing his expression to soften as he cupped her face with his hands, leaning upwards to kiss her tenderly. "Mia…"
"I found a muggle pregnancy test in the bathroom bin." She blurted out, unable to keep anything from him any longer. They had never done so before; they had always had an extremely truthful relationship and this was no exception for Hermione. "And it isn't… mine."
Draco stared up at her, his eyes widening in shock. "What?" he choked out, subconsciously gripping her hips tighter. "What do you mean, Hermione? Who…Are you saying…"
"I went to see if you were alright after dinner, remember? You told me you'd check the children cleared the table, so I went to empty out the bin and… I found it… I thought I ought to talk to her first, but I can't bring myself to. Draco, what should we do?" Her voice was fearful and nervous, and Draco couldn't help but, amongst his shock and ever-verging rage, bring his wife closer to him in comfort, hugging her tightly.
"It'll be fine, my love. I promise." He kissed her cheek, noticing she was on the verge of tears, and swiftly rolled them over so she was lying down, moving to get out of the bed. "We ought to go and talk to her- now."
"Hermione, it's important. If she is preg- pregnant," He closed his eyes momentarily, trying to keep himself together. It was more important that he did at this crucial moment. "Then we need to find out now. Do you really want to leave it for the morning?"
She looked at him, comprehension dawning upon her features and, with a slight wince, shook her head, accepting the hand that he offered. United, they cast one last look towards each other before exiting to walk to their eldest daughter's room, squeezing each other's hands tightly on the way.
When they approached her bedroom door, Hermione hesitated before raising her fist to knock on it slowly.
She bit her lip, but Draco firmly pushed open the door, bending his head to swiftly peck his wife's cheek and press her into the bedroom, his hand resting on her back.
"Mum... dad." Adabelle was sitting on the bed, her long hair flowing beautifully over one shoulder, looking up at her parents, completely baffled. "What's wrong?"
"Bell- Adabelle." Draco corrected himself firmly, meeting his daughter's curious gaze with a stern look of his own. "This isn't… easy for your mother and I to discuss… but we must."
"O… okay." Her voice shook with a little nervousness now, and Hermione dropped Draco's hand to sit on the bed next to her daughter, her arm moving over her shoulders.
"Darling…" Hermione cast one final look towards Draco before turning back to her daughter. "I found a muggle pregnancy test in the dustbin."
Adabelle froze, shock starting to etch delicately into her beautiful features, her eyes snapping up to meet her father's, clearly distraught by the revelation.
"I...I..." She struggled to gain composure. "I just used it to... Muggle pregnancy tests are very a-accurate... Oh, what am I saying." Tears welled in her eyes and before either of her parents could say anything, she had burst into tears.
"Oh Bella," Hermione breathed, immediately enveloping her daughter into a comforting hug, Adabelle's head dropping into the crook of her mother's neck, her body heaving with shuddery sobs. Draco too, had swiftly moved towards the bed, dropping down onto his knees before his wife and daughter as he moved to squeeze his daughter's hand, closing his eyes momentarily, wishing this away. He noticed Hermione's face was now streaked with tears and quickly moved to sit up on the bed, taking both women by surprise. He only looked at them before raising his arms, holding them both as they collapsed against him, his hands in each of their mass of curly hair; Hermione sitting on his side, Adabelle in front and between them.
When Adabelle's sobbing died down into small, muffled sniffs, and Hermione looked up a little to kiss her husband's clenched jaw, he proceeded to ask quietly, knowing it was still a very delicate moment: "Is Ethan…?"
"Yes," Came the small mumble from his daughter, and Draco held them both a little tighter, nodding slightly.
"Does he know?"
"No… I only just found out myself."
"How could you not think of protection, Bella?" The question caused Adabelle to wince, but it was not said in a hard tone- in fact, it was surprisingly calm and gentle, and she knew she was lucky to have it like so.
"I…" She hiccupped a little, burying her head further into her father's chest, Hermione's hand moving to weave into her hair. "I d-did… Then this one time… I f-forgot… It wasn't his fault… I've always cast it… A-Always… He didn't think to check because I…"
"Alright," Draco hushed gently. "I'll sort this all out tomorrow."
Harry Potter looked up and met the eyes of his best friend, blinking confusedly. "But… but they'd had to have had…"
"Oh Harry. You must of known that they were having sex. You can't tell me you were unaware of it." Hermione moved to squeeze his hand gently. "Listen, Harry, Ethan is going to need yours and Ginny's support-
"-YOU GOT HER PREGNANT?"
Hermione cringed. It was too late. The raised voice clearly belonged to none other than Ginny Potter: obviously not at all pleased with her eldest son.
"Auntie," Hermione, Draco and Harry, from downstairs, could hear the conversation between Adabelle, Ethan and Ginny from above them. Hermione recognized her daughter trying to soothe Ginny. "Auntie, it was my fault-
"-ETHAN POTTER, WHAT HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT BEING CAREFUL-
"-But mum, I thought-
"-YOU ARE ONLY JUST TWENTY ONE YEARS OLD! AND SHE IS SEVENTEEN! I KNEW THERE WAS TOO MUCH OF AN AGE GAP-
"-Auntie, I'm eighteen soon-
"-YOU SHOULD'VE THOUGHT OF PRECAUTIONS, ETHAN-
"-Mum, Belle is trying to tell you-
"-DON'T MAKE EXCUSES-
Hermione sighed as the arguing continued, letting go of Harry's hand as all three adults immediately stood and swiftly moved upstairs, into Ethan's bedroom. Hermione smiled with assurance at her daughter and Ethan before moving over to Ginny, who was breathing heavily, clearly furious.
"Gin," Harry too walked over, soothing his wife with a kiss on her forehead. "Come on, let's all calm down and talk about this properly. Ethan, Adabelle: downstairs."
"Now," Draco added sharply as they made to protest- both obeyed their fathers and moved downstairs, their hands entwined. Draco rubbed Hermione's back gently and she turned her head to kiss at his jaw in gratitude, before both looked at Harry and Ginny.
"Come on," Hermione said softly, reaching for Ginny's hand and leading her out of the room and downstairs. Draco turned to meet Harry's eyes; both men stood simply staring- or more glaring- at each other, before Harry opened his mouth to speak.
"I won't let you have a go at my son," Harry told him quietly, but firmly, standing completely still to let Draco assess his words. Draco's eyes narrowed, but he replied.
"I wasn't going to. He's as much of my son as he is yours. And Bella has told us it was her mistake. But Ethan better think of his responsibilities."
"He knows his responsibilities," Harry growled, clearly offended. "I brought him up to know them just fine."
"I didn't say you didn't, Potter," Draco raised a hand to rub at his temples, frustrated. "Look, let's just get downstairs. They need us right now, alright?"
Harry stared at him for a moment longer, before relaxing a little and nodding. Draco cleared his throat before both men awkwardly moved out of the room together, but eventually relaxed the more they walked on. After a while, Harry turned to Draco.
"You've been influenced by Hermione far too much."
"I know." Draco admitted with a slight groan.
Both Hermione and Draco looked up from the loveseat that they were sitting on in the library and spotted their son, Blaise Junior, standing at the doorway and shuffling his feet nervously. They both smiled at him and Hermione put down her book and held out her hand, to which Blaise came over and took it before she pulled him down to sit on her lap.
"Mum," He wrinkled his nose a little, but settled into her embrace. "I'm not a baby."
"Of course not," She stroked his hair admirably, before moving to kiss his soft cheek. "What's wrong, darling?"
"Nothing… Just… Is Belle okay?"
Draco mirrored his wife's slightly worried look before turning to face his son. "She's just fine, Blaise, don't worry. Perhaps you should just avoid her for the time being, she's going through a difficult time."
"Have I done something?"
"Of course not, son." Draco ruffled Blaise's hair a little in comfort, giving him a small smile when Blaise immediately yelped and tried to pull away. "Just don't worry, like I said."
"Fine," Blaise muttered, but accepted his mother's kiss to his cheek yet again before getting to his feet and starting to peruse the bookshelves, searching for something to devour next. "May I order a new book then?"
"Of course," Draco answered calmly, his eyes back to his own novel. Hermione chuckled before placing a bookmark in her own and setting it down on the seat, then standing up.
"I better go check dinner," She started, but Draco's hand had caught hers and she turned to look at him curiously; he only looked back up at her before tugging her back down onto his lap.
"Please don't start now," Blaise's voice drifted from behind another bookshelf to their left. "I'm here, in case you forgot."
"Brat," Draco rolled his eyes, kissing Hermione's shoulder gently. "I wasn't about to do anything, and even if I was, don't be so rude. Leave me the title of your book on my desk in the study on a spare piece of parchment, and go and do some homework. I know for a fact you still have an essay to write."
Blaise groaned, but obliged his father begrudgingly, shuffling across the library to the exit before swinging the heavy door to a close behind him. Hermione immediately turned to her husband, but he gave nothing away- only a little satisfying smirk to himself as he lifted his book and started to read it, resting it against her stomach. She rolled her eyes and pushed it away, and when he looked up to raise an eyebrow at her, she burst into laughter. "Oh don't give me that look! Tell me! What is it?" She bounced enthusiastically on his lap, not noticing the quick effect this was having on him, and he forced himself to grab her wrists and roll her around so she was laying down on the loveseat, and he over her, effectively pinning her down.
Her eyes instantly darkened, matching his own smoky grey ones, and she shifted to get a little more comfortable before waiting for him to speak.
Slowly, he opened his mouth, his trademark smirk rising on his lips as he drawled: "I have arranged for a weekend away. For the two of us."
Hermione blinked at him in shock before immediately sitting up as far as she could with the weight of his hands pressing on her wrists. "What?" She breathed with delight, a smile breaking out onto her features as she looked up at him, their noses grazing against one another. "Are you serious?"
"Perfectly," He returned with his calm, slightly arrogant tone- but something she had come to adore. "We leave tonight."
"Tonight? But what of the children? And I haven't packed-
"Everything has been provided for. Mother and Father will stay with them, although I doubt they will need supervision, and they'll be bringing Inky with them to cook and clean."
She had to admit; he never failed to impress her. Moving ever so slightly to raise her head and press her lips to his, could only grin. "Are you serious?" She repeated.
"Where are we going?" She asked excitedly as he raised himself up and pulled her with him, bending to lift her into his arms and starting to carry her out of the library, a new bounce in his step. "Draco, tell me!"
He merely continued to smirk as he strode up the hallway elegantly, his long legs allowing him to take long, quick strides before they reached their bedroom. Muttering under his breath, the door swung open, and Hermione's eyes widened when she saw a trunk packed for them. He set her gently down upon the bed before bending to kiss her forehead and move away to the trunk, sinking to his knees to mutter a locking charm. She watched him, still completely taken by this sudden news, not even noticing when her eldest daughter knocked at their door.
Draco turned his head, his expression softening when he saw Adabella standing cautiously nearby. "Belle, come in."
"You're all packed then?" She asked, a small smile gracing her features as she spotted the trunk. At this, Hermione snapped out of her daze and looked confusedly up at her daughter.
"You knew?" She asked.
"Yes, dad asked for me to pack your stuff-
"Belle," Draco's voice interrupted them warningly. "Don't tell her the location."
"Oh but isn't it exciting," Adabelle sat next to her mother and hugged her tightly. "Have fun, okay mum? You totally deserve it-
Adabelle being there, however, only reminded Hermione of her duties. "But what of you? We should be here."
"No," Adabelle refused firmly, kissing her mother's cheek with affection. "I'll be fine. I need time alone anyway, as do you. So just go, and I'll look after everyone."
"-Mum, no arguments. Dad's made a lot of effort for this. Just go. Seriously."
Hermione hesitated, before both women looked over to Draco, who was rummaging through some drawers. She turned back to her daughter, her hand moving to cup her face. She was beautiful, she thought to herself as she studied Adabelle's exquisite face. Her skin felt so soft, just like it did when she was a baby, and Hermione stroked her thumb over the smooth cheek.
"Alright, darling. Go and get Blaise and Aalima and tell them to wait in the hallway to say goodbye."
Adabelle nodded before flashing her mother a smile and darting out of the room excitedly, yelling for her siblings. Draco turned to Hermione, who had risen from the bed and walked over to join him, her arms moving to slink around his neck.
"You," She leant in to kiss him deeply, running the pads of her thumbs into the back of his neck. "Are gorgeous. But please tell me where we're going."
He simply gave her a small smile, pulling her in closer. "Venice."
She gasped in amazement, starting to jump up and down. "We aren't!"
"We most certainly are," He smiled at her again, his hands firmly on her hips to stop her from jumping so he was able to lean down and kiss her. "Oh and- a thank you would suffice, but I recommend you wear that underwear I purchased for you too. It'll earn you bonus points."
"Underwear?" She burrowed her eyebrows in confusion. "Draco, do you mean to tell me you went shopping for my holiday things?"
"Of course. I also bought you a bikini, three dresses, some night wear-
"-You absolute git!" She hit at his arm hard, glaring when he yelped. "How much have you spent for me to wear for your sexual little fantasies?"
"Really, Mia, I pay for a holiday and you're concerned of the clothes I bought for you instead?" He rolled his eyes, only taking out his wand to levitate the trunk out of the door. "You could just-
His next words were swallowed with a simple, sweet kiss Hermione had placed on him. He blinked at her in surprise when she pulled away to smile at him, and slowly returned it, reaching for her hand when she offered it to clasp it tightly. Draco sneaked a glance at her, knowing his next words would receive a punch on the arm.
"Women will always confuse me."
As predicted, his wife had hit him, snorting with both amusement and irritation, to which Draco Malfoy could only do what he did best.
A/N: Well, there we are. I really hope you've enjoyed it! I had always planned this ending and I think I'm happy with how I've written it. It's really a happy ending, which I don't always do, but I thought I would for this story.
I want to pass on all of my love and thanks to everyone who has ever reviewed, or put this on their alert/favorite lists. I really could not have done this without you all! You are all amazing to have kept with it for so long and so patiently!
rebeccadominguez and HarryPGinnyW4eva- You both mentioned a wedding- which I did intend to write, but decided against it, purely because I felt I wanted it to be left to everyone else to imagine, as it were. I thought of simply mentioning it would be okay for everyone, so I hope you're not too disappointed!
I have finished this fic, but 'Wizards of the Caribbean' is beginning: if you're interested, just look on my profile or follow this link at the end of '' etc:
Perhaps I wanted more of an emotional ending, but it didn't... feel right. If that makes any sense at all. I just thought this story carries so much emotional and so much drama, that my ending for it was good for me. I hope you agree.
If you could leave a review to leave me with a final note, I could wish for nothing more.
All my love,