I couldn't help myself. Maybe this will make up for the time between updates? Just a little bit? No? Okay.
The Second Epilogue
Carina very purposefully flipped her long blond hair behind her shoulders, making sure to keep a straight face. She hoped he wouldn't notice how she'd subtly straightened her back and pushed out her boobs. Well, she hoped he'd notice, just that he wouldn't realize she'd done it on purpose!
Carina's head whipped around to find Professor Longbottom, who had just said her name, and she flushed when she saw his raised brow.
"Yes, sir?" she said, maintaining her grace and refusing to sound embarrassed. To her great satisfaction, no one in the greenhouse laughed, as they were wont to do when someone got told off.
Professor Longbottom sighed good-naturedly and rolled his eyes at her.
"Pay attention, hm? This'll be on your O.W.L.s."
And he was off again, explaining something or other about Snargaluff Pods. There was a mention of the Battle of Hogwarts, how they'd been used on the Death Eaters, but Carina had heard stories of the war from her fathers many times, and besides, she was much too focused on impressing a boy right now.
When the bell rang and Professor Longbottom dismissed them Carina tried to keep an eye on Blaine even as Lacey caught up to her and began gossiping away. She only zoned in on what Lacey was saying when the girl exclaimed,
"But, Carina! Blaine was staring at you all throughout class, didn't you notice?"
Carina immediately stopped in her tracks and looked around, making certain no one might have heard as they all trudged back up to the castle, and when she was completely sure spun back to Lacey. Her heart was thumping in anticipation.
"Was he really?"
Lacey grinned. "Yes! I was just trying to tell you that, but you wouldn't listen!"
Carina smirked and folded her arms. "Well, I was busy ogling him, wasn't I?" Lacey laughed. Her curly brown hair bounced around her shoulders as she walked beside Carina, seemingly without a care in the world other than boys.
"I think he likes you, honestly. Step up your flirt and he'll be yours in no time."
The two girls stepped into the castle, grateful for the refuge from the chilly December air, and headed to the Great Hall for lunch. They took their seats at the Slytherin table, though Carina spotted Blaine at Ravenclaw, laughing with his friends and looking gorgeous as always. Quite suddenly he looked over, caught her eye, and his lips lifted into a teasing half smile. Carina blushed furiously and looked away, though she couldn't keep her own smile off her face.
"Oh my God, Draco, she's fifteen, it's not like this is the boy she's going to marry!"
Draco spun to face him looking venomous and Harry recoiled a bit.
"I will have you know, Harry Potter, that we knew each other when we were fifteen! As did Ron and Hermione and . . . and all of our other classmates who got married!"
Harry couldn't help smirking. He walked over to Draco and circled his waist, pulling him close. He kissed the tip of his nose and delighted in the blush it evoked.
"Stop worrying. She's already been with him since December. She obviously likes him, and he likes her. They'll date for a few more months and then teenage angst will tear them apart and she'll find another boyfriend for us to harass, and we'll continue on that way until she finally finds someone who passes what will be your no doubt rigorous tests, and then she'll get married, and we'll have grandchildren to worry about. Sound good?"
Draco grimaced. "Ugh. You won't even love me anymore when I'm old and saggy."
Harry laughed and kissed him full on the mouth. "Draco, I will love you until we both can't get out of bed anymore, in which case we'd have sex all day, and even after that."
"How will we manage sex if we can't get out of bed?"
Harry pursed his lips in apparent thought. "We'll figure something out," he said with a wink. Draco chuckled in spite of himself and looked down at his watch.
"We should get going. The train will be at the station in a few minutes and I still need to mentally prepare myself to meet this boy."
Draco and Harry stood at King's Cross station, two years older than they'd been the first time they'd met Blaine, but the only thing that had changed since then was Draco's attitude.
"I don't believe he hasn't proposed yet. I mean, what is he waiting for? They've just graduated, for crying out loud!"
"Draco!" Harry laughed incredulously. "They're not even nineteen!"
"I must say, I agree," Mrs. Bradford agreed, and she placed a hand on Draco's shoulder. "I've been urging him all year!"
Harry looked to Mr. Bradford, whom he'd learned had gone to school with his own parents, though only for two years, and they shared a bewildered glance.
"It's not as though they aren't arse over tits for one another," Draco said to Harry, eyeing him dully. Harry saw Mrs. Bradford blush and Mr. Bradford chuckled.
Harry had been on the verge of explaining to Draco and Mrs. Bradford that Blaine and Carina were eighteen years old, and that's what happens when children are eighteen years old, but was stopped from doing so when Hermione, Ron, George, Bill, and Fleur came through the barrier, all looking frazzled.
"Oh, we haven't missed the train!" Hermione cried, her hand jumping to her heart. "I was so afraid we'd miss Carina coming home!"
Harry glanced at his watch. "You've still got a few minutes. Calm down or your hair will never be tamed again, 'Mione."
Hermione harrumphed and Ron laughed.
"We just got a letter from Carina," Bill said, his lips positively itching to turn into an enormous grin. Draco whipped around to look at him, as did Mrs. Bradford. Bill looked a bit startled but recovered quickly enough.
"She caught Teddy and Victoire kissing on the train," Fleur informed them, smirking herself and yet, somehow, simultaneously looking disapproving.
"Romance is in the air!" George shouted. "Oh, Ginny will be so upset she couldn't be here to tease Teddy. She's been saying forever that she knew he had a crush on Victoire."
"And why was I not informed of this?" Draco snapped.
"We only just found out," Bill laughed. "I didn't even know about Ginny's suspicions."
"Speaking of romance, are Carina and Mister Ravenclaw married yet?"
Mrs. Bradford and Draco took deep breaths at the same time—presumably to begin another round of why-hasn't-Blaine-proposed-yet and that's-just-what-we-were-wondering!—but didn't quite manage because the sound of the train's engine filled the air, alerting the platform to its imminent arrival.
Hermione quickly conjured a bouquet of roses with her wand while Fleur fidgeted with the one she'd already been holding. Draco grabbed Harry's hand, tears in his eyes, and bit his lip. Harry leaned over to kiss his cheek.
When the train came to a stop and one last puff of smoke was blown, the doors opened themselves and not a moment later a throng of students began pouring out. There were shouts of greeting and excitement, cats yowling and dogs barking, and even a toad could be seen attempting freedom from its owner's hands.
The first of the Potter-Malfoy-Weasley children to be spotted was Rose, who flew into her mother's arms, nearly knocking the bouquet to the ground. Ron caught it just in time. Next was Teddy, and he went straight for Harry.
"So," George began, walking nonchalantly up to his nephew. "Have a good ride home?"
Teddy blushed furiously and looked from one pair of amused adult eyes to the other, eventually stopping on Draco, who merely raised his eyebrows and looked away.
"What do you all know?"
The moment George opened his mouth Draco cleared his throat loudly. He eyed the redhead in annoyance, but George only laughed. Victoire herself put an end to the awkward questions when she came bounding out of the train and ran up to her mother, enveloping her in a hug.
"Where is my daughter?" Draco moaned.
"Oh, there's Blaine!" Mrs. Bradford cried. "Carina surely isn't far behind."
And she was right—the second Blaine's feet touched the platform he turned and extended his hand into the train, helping Carina out and kissing her cheek when she was firmly planted.
"Oi! Graduates!" Ron shouted, and both teens looked over, smiling delightedly when they saw their families together. Carina took Blaine's hand and ran over, ploughing into Harry and hugging him tightly. Harry laughed and ran a hand through her hair.
"Congratulations, darling," he whispered. "I'm so proud of you."
Draco cut in then, pulling his daughter into a tight hug and nuzzling the top of her head.
"Congrats, dear!" Hermione shouted, and so began the game of passing Carina around the circle, until she stopped at her Uncle George, who kissed her cheek and allowed a tear to trail down his face.
"You're a trouble-maker, you know that?" he said. Carina smiled brightly up at him. "Freddie would've been proud."
Ron pulled his brother into a one-armed hugged and nodded his agreement.
"Oh, you look beautiful, darling," Mrs. Bradford cooed, finally having joined their circle. Carina blushed. "Blaine, I can't imaginewhat you're waiting for."
"Mum!" Blaine shouted, harassed. Ron stifled a laugh while Harry outright chuckled. Draco clicked his tongue in disapproval.
"She's right, you know," he said. "Your mother and I would just like to know how much longer we'll be made to wait before we can start planning a wedding."
Curiously, Blaine colored while Carina moved her left arm behind her back.
"Actually," she said, and Harry's heart leapt into his throat.
"Oh no . . ." Bill whispered.
"Oh, yes!" Fleur exclaimed. "Oh, Carina, really?"
The girl held out her hand to display a shining diamond ring that none of them had noticed in the frenzy of the greeting. Draco snatched her hand up immediately, his eyes wide with excitement, and examined the ring.
"It's gorgeous!" he concluded.
"Oh my goodness," Mrs. Bradford gasped. "Oh, dear me, we have to begin immediately! Mr. Malfoy! Draco! Quick, we'll retire to my sitting room and start this evening. There's no time to lose!"
"You're absolutely right!" Draco kissed each child once more before grabbing Mrs. Bradford's hand and apparating away with her. The remaining adults glanced at each other in amusement and bewilderment.
"I hope you've always dreamed of an enormous wedding," Mr. Bradford said to Carina with a light smile. "Because it's what you're going to get."
"Are you kidding?" Harry answered for her. "She's Draco Malfoy's child. She wouldn't settle for anything less." He looked to Blaine. "I hope you know what you're getting yourself into. She reverts to a French accent when she's yelling."
Carina rolled her eyes while Blaine laughed. The Weasleys and the Bradfords began making their way to the station exit, but Blaine called Harry over before he could join them.
"What's up, Blaine?"
"Mr. Potter . . . at school, when everyone found out Carina and I were engaged, I got a bit of trouble from some people for choosing to marry a Malfoy." He must have seen Harry's anger because he hurried on, "You're the only other person in the world married to one, and I know she's like her father in a lot of ways, so . . . is it that difficult? I know you're biased because you've been her father for a long time, but you're still closer to my position than Mr. Malfoy."
Harry's anger fled and he smiled, patting the boy on the shoulder. "They're tough, Blaine," he laughed. "But you know what?" He leaned in conspiratorially, as though he was about to divulge a great secret. "The two of us are the luckiest guys in the world. Because no matter how hard you look, you will never find someone quite as strangely perfect as a Malfoy."