The Mountain and the Sea
I can't seem to make myself sit down and write this angsty story I'm supposed to be working on so I keep writing fluffy one shots and outtakes to my completed stories. I've got writers ADD or something.
This focuses on Draco and his children, so no M rating here. In case you've forgotten, the epilogue left off with Draco and Hermione's five year old twins, Paige and Phèdre, and another one on the way. This picks up shortly after that and skips along through the years.
"What do you think will make Phèdre feel better?" Draco asked his daughter, bending down slightly to her height.
"Mum says we can't have sweets when we're sick," Paige said, a delicate frown on her little face.
"Shhh." Draco theatrically held his finger to his lips and winked down at her. "What Mum doesn't know won't hurt her."
Paige giggled, clapping a hand over her mouth as her brown eyes darted toward her mother. Hermione, eight months pregnant with their third child, was happily browsing the aisles of the sweet shop. It was very much like Honeydukes, but located in Diagon Alley and thus much more accessible.
Usually, the family only visited here once a month or so during their weekly Saturday shop but since Hermione's pregnancy they had become far more frequent customers. With Phèdre sick and needing a specific potion from the Apothecary, they'd had to come to Diagon Alley anyway, and Hermione didn't want to miss an opportunity to feed her cravings for Rainbow Tarts.
"Go find something for you and your sister," Draco told his daughter, giving her a little nudge. She didn't need to be told twice and he watched as she took off for the chocolate aisle.
Straightening, he heard a bit of shuffling and looked up to find an unfamiliar old wizard behind the counter where there usually stood a smiling young woman. He was about to greet the man when the other wizard's face scrunched up and he slammed his hand down on the counter.
"I won't have the likes of ye in m'shop!" the old man bellowed, shaking a gnarled hand and glaring at Draco. "Death Eater scum!" he spat.
He heard a gasp seconds before his wife came storming down an aisle, her full pregnant belly preceding her and her wand out.
"You have no right—"
"And you!" He glared at Hermione, disgust clearly written all over his wrinkled face. "You that would marry'em! And have his children! What kind of woman—"
Before the old man could get another word out, Draco had his wand out and pointed directly at his heart.
"Not another word." His voice was barely a whisper but it held the weight of a threat.
"Draco." Hermione's hand was on his arm in a heartbeat. "Don't."
He looked to her, taking in her worried expression and the furrow on her brow. She was clearly worried about his Veela instincts kicking in. She had every right to; he'd learned with her first pregnancy that his ability to think rationally went right out the window when his mate was pregnant. Luckily for all of them, the old man wasn't much of a threat. With a sigh, he dropped his arm and glared at the old man. "Paige!"
The sound of little feet on carpet quickly reached his ears as his daughter answered the summons. "Daddy?"
"Come honey," Hermione said, holding out her hand. "We're going to go somewhere else."
"Because this store doesn't have the Rainbow Tarts your mother loves so much," Draco said, not taking his eyes off the wrinkled wizard behind the counter. He waited until Hermione had guided their daughter out of the store before he left, never showing his back to the other man. Hermione and Paige awaited him on the sidewalk and he plastered on a smile for his daughter, taking her hand and trying hard not to think about what had just happened.
"Grandfather, why do you and Daddy have the same drawing on your arm?"
Every head in the room swivelled towards Phèdre, who sat next to her sister on one of her Grandmother's uncomfortable sofas, her little legs dangling and a fine China teacup in her hand. Phèdre, and Paige for that matter, however, only looked towards their Grandfather.
Draco felt his wife tense beside him, quite the feat since she was always tense when they visited the Manor, and in his peripheral vision he saw his mother quickly put down her tea, but he couldn't take his eyes off his father any more than his girls could.
Slowly, the elder Malfoy put down his tea and uncrossed his legs so that he could lean forward with his elbows on his knees. He looked at the two little girls, who stared patiently back at him, and for a long moment Draco wasn't sure that he would answer.
"It is a reminder that I did something very, very wrong a long time ago."
"What did you do?" Paige asked, her voice sweet, young, and so innocent. Draco felt his throat tighten unexpectedly.
"I..." Lucius paused, frowning slightly as he tried to find the words. "I listened to someone that I shouldn't have. That decision caused my family a lot of pain and I nearly lost everyone I love because of it."
"That bad?" Phèdre's eyes were wide.
"Mum sometimes sends us to our room when we're bad." Paige piped up.
"And so she should." Lucius' eyes darted towards Draco and his wife. "She's a smart woman, a talented witch, and a good mother."
Draco heard Hermione's breath catch in her throat and, looking over at her, he reached for her hand. She squeezed it tightly in her own, her eyes on her father-in-law's. For all the fact that they were related now, that they shared holiday dinners and the occasional Sunday tea, they were not friends. They were not even friendly, the two of them. Narcissa and Hermione had made their peace though they would never be close either, but only the least amount of words possible were ever exchanged between Lucius and Hermione.
Meeting his father's eyes, Draco nodded in acknowledgement. He would never say the words, of course, but perhaps he didn't really need to.
He ran a hand over Hermione's swollen belly, gently rubbing in a salve that helped with the tight, itchy skin. She hummed contentedly from her throne of pillows that propped her up and relieved the pressure from her back.
"Remember we were talking about names?"
She opened her eyes and peered down at him, her gaze sweeping over his shirtless chest and exposed wings. He 'displayed' a lot more when she was pregnant, something he couldn't control, even when they were alone. She didn't mind, but she knew that it irritated him and he could have sworn he heard Harry mutter 'peacock' once. If he could prove it, Potter would be six feet under.
"Yes, we couldn't decide between Eoin or Conor, and your mother wants Scorpius which is just not happening."
"I was thinking about something different," he said softly, looking down at her taut skin, shiny with the salve.
"Oh," she breathed, making him look up at her. Slowly, she smiled at him. "I think he'd positively hate the idea."
Draco's lips twitched and he nodded. "Yeah, he would, but...he saved my life, Hermione. I want to honour him."
She nodded, understanding in her eyes. "I know, but what about Albus? Severus is his middle name."
"Somehow I don't think either Harry or Al will mind." Draco chuckled. "Al will probably think it's cool."
Hermione nodded, still smiling. "Okay. Severus Malfoy, it is."
Paige wrinkled up her nose and looked down at her baby brother.
"He looks funny."
"He looks like a newborn," her mother corrected.
"He doesn't look like Paige and I did when we were babies," Phèdre announced with a tone of superiority.
Her mother looked at her from the hospital bed, her face tired but content, and shook her head.
"How on earth would you know?" Draco asked. "You were too young to remember what you looked like."
Paige looked at Phèdre and her twin nodded.
"We just do."
"Mum, can we have a dog?"
"What about a Crup?"
"Don't they lick the inside of your nose while you sleep?"
There was a dull thud, the sound of a forehead meeting a wooden table.
"Go ask your father."
Draco frowned as he spotted his wife, standing in the doorway to their bathroom, and approached to see what held her attention. Standing behind her, he automatically placed his hands on her waist, pulling her body into his as he looked over her shoulder...
"What the heck is he doing? !"
A tremor shook her frame and a hand quickly came up to cover her mouth as giggled erupted from her. Draco stared in shock at his son, only a year and a half, sitting on the bathroom floor with his mother's make-up kit spread around him. The white tiles were liberally decorated in various shades of beige and taupe with a splash of bright green or blue, or occasionally a smear of glossy pink here and there.
"Your son likes make-up, it seems," Hermione gasped, unable to contain herself.
Draco's eyes slowly crawled up his son's body, from his sparkling, make-up caked hands to the very red lipstick that he had clearly tried to apply to his own face. The little boy grinned at his parents, showing off two front teeth.
"Is this 'cause it tastes good?" Draco asked hopefully.
Mr. & Mrs. Malfoy,
It is with regret that I write to inform you of the actions of your daughters, Paige and Phèdre Malfoy. This evening at approximately eight in the evening there was an altercation between your daughters and several other students. While no one was harmed, there were several hexes and jinxes cast and one boy was taken to the Infirmary after a particularly powerful Bat Bogey Hex left him unable to breathe through his nasal passages.
As I understand it, the altercation was not prompted by your daughters but rather by some cruel comments towards the girls about their father and his family. While I understand the girls' instinct to protect their father and their family name, I must ask that you impress upon them the importance of not resorting to violence to solve their problems. As they are still First Years, this is a habit that must be broken early.
All of the involved parties will serve detention for a week after dinners and lose twenty House Points apiece. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me via owl.
Prof. N. Longbottom
Hogwarts School of
Witchcraft & Wizardry
P.S – You should have seen the size of those Bat Bogeys, Hermione. They were huge! Ginny should be proud of her handiwork.
Draco paused in his writing and looked down at his six year old son who held out his left arm for his father's approval. Draco took in the crude, clumsy drawing of the Dark Mark on his son's pale white skin and blanched.
"What have you done?" he demanded, standing up so fast that his chair skidded back, catching on the rug in his study and falling backwards.
Severus looked confused and glanced down at his arm before back at his father. "I made it like yours, Daddy."
Draco felt bile rise in the back of his throat as he quickly scooped his son up in his arms and practically ran into the kitchen with him. "Daddy?" Severus asked, his tone unsure.
Draco didn't answer him as he put his son down on the kitchen counter, turned on the tap and conjured a wash cloth. He wet it quickly and poured a ton of soap on it before taking his son's arm and beginning to scrub at it.
"Come on, come on!" he growled, pressing harder into the soft flesh, trying to erase the black lines of the Dark Mark. It wasn't fading. What had he used? One of those infernal Muggle things Hermione kept around?
"Daddy! Daddy, that hurts!"
Draco didn't hear him as he held the cloth quickly under the running water and began scrubbing again. Severus' skin was turning bright red but the Dark Mark would not fade. It wouldn't go—
Suddenly, his son was yanked away from him. He looked up, gasping, and saw Severus crying in Hermione's arms. His little blond head was tucked into her neck, his grey eyes looking fearfully at his father.
"Oh—oh, god." His stomach revolted and he turned just in time, throwing up to the sound of his son's cries and knowing that he was the reason for them. Head hanging over the side of the sink, his hair getting wet from the running water, he heaved and cried.
"Draco, Draco..." He felt her cool, wet hand on the back of his neck and he squeezed his eyes shut. He didn't deserve her gentle kindness, not after what he'd almost done to their son.
The water turned off and another cloth filled his vision as she wiped his face, much like she did to their children whenever they got sloppy. The thought made more tears leak out of his eyes.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I'm so sorry."
"I know, love, I know."
He looked up at her and saw that she had sat Severus down exactly where Draco had placed him earlier before he started viciously scrubbing at his arm. His son peered at him with wary, grey eyes and Draco's heart broke a little.
"I'm sorry, Severus," he whispered. "I'm sorry, little man."
The little boy sniffed, looking nothing like his namesake. Slowly, Draco reached out one wet hand towards his son and watched Severus' face as he gently took his marked arm and swept a gentle thumb over the pink and black flesh.
"I'm sorry, Severus. Can you forgive me?"
The boy hesitated for a second, and then nodded slowly. Draco reached for him with both hands then, pulling him into his arms and murmuring again and again just how sorry he was. Over his son's blond head he watched his wife with tears in her eyes and wished, not for the first time, that he'd never heard of Lord Voldemort.
It was absolute chaos.
Dominique Weasley was doing an incredible rendition of Luna Lovegood, standing under the crab apple tree while she danced and sang to herself.
James Potter was chasing a screeching Phèdre with a garden gnome.
Paige was whining to Albus that he wouldn't put his book down and play Gobstones with her like she'd asked him to 'only a million times before'.
Victoire was sighing dramatically, flipping through her copy of Witch Weekly, and glaring at the 'children'.
Lily Potter was chasing her brother with a stick in hand, intent on beating him apparently.
Severus was trying his best to catch up to all of them but at eight years old he was still too young to keep up with the bigger kids and so his plaintive 'Guuuuys! Guys! Wait for me! HEY! WAIT FOR ME!' could be heard just above Phèdre's banshee impression.
Draco was standing on the back stoop, staring in horror, when he felt a gentle tug on his robes. He looked down to find little Louis Weasley, the youngest of Bill and Fleur's children, looking up at him with bright blue eyes.
"Do you really have wings?"
He arched an eyebrow at the little boy.
"Do you really want to find out?"
Tap, tap, tap.
They all looked up, four heads swivelling to the dining room window where an owl attempted to land on the narrow window ledge, a scroll in his claws.
"Oh! That must be Neville!" Hermione got up from the dinner table and quickly let the bird in. "He said he'd owl us when Severus was Sorted..."
Draco watched as his wife completely ignored the owl, which glared at her for her rudeness, and ripped open the seal, her eyes scanning it quickly before a triumphant smile broke out over her face.
She looked up at him. "Gryffindor."
Harry and Ginny burst into laughter as Draco groaned theatrically. Privately, he was relieved. He had expressed his concerns to Hermione about his children, especially his son bearing the name of two powerful and notorious Slytherins, going into his old House and the assumptions the public would make of him. Hearing that his son took after his mother, and with their daughters both in Ravenclaw, he felt a surge of relief run through his system.
"Too bad, Draco. Not a Slytherin in the lot," Ginny grinned, taking a sip of her wine.
Hermione fed the owl a few treats before it flew off, closed the window and sat back down at the table. With another theatrical sigh, Draco nodded. "If it weren't for the hair I'd wonder if they inherited anything from me at all."
Harry snorted while Hermione reached under the table and took his hand, squeezing gently.
"I wonder how Severus feels about it? He was torn between wanting to be with his sisters or with Albus in Slytherin, I don't think Gryffindor even occurred to him," Hermione said.
"I'm sure he'll be happy once he gets used to the idea," Draco said, running his thumb over her knuckles.
There was silence around the table as the occupants resumed their meal, nothing but the quiet clink of silverware hitting plates, until Harry took a drink of his beer and sat back.
"I bet you Professor Snape is cursing us all from on high right now," he said thoughtfully, a small smile on his lips. "He's going to be so mad at you, Draco."
Draco looked up at Harry and grinned. He knew, and felt better for knowing, that Harry had met and talked with Dumbledore during the Final Battle. It made him hope that one day he'd see Severus, and that he'd be able to thank him for all that he'd done for him, for them all.
"I think I can take him," he said, chuckling at the thought.
"Daddy, I don't understand..."
Draco sat on the floor of the room Paige shared with her sister during the summers and wrapped his arms tighter around her, squeezing her to his chest. She was so slight, her and her twin, that she fit as easily in his embrace at sixteen as she had at six. He rocked her back and forth, gently, soothingly, the way he had when his children were infants. Pillowing his cheek atop her white-blonde head, he searched for something that would ease her pain.
"I'm not sure you can understand, sweetheart."
"Why not?" she cried, her voice thick with tears.
"Because you're not like him, love, you're not cruel and thoughtless."
"He—he said he lo-loved me."
Draco pressed a kiss to her hair. "Your Grandma used to always say that 'actions speak louder than words'." He told her, thinking of his late mother-in-law. "She was full of little phrases like that, but they were often true."
Paige sniffed, loud and wet. "So you're saying I shouldn't be-believe people. I shouldn't trust them?"
"No, sweetie," he ran his hand through her long, curly hair. "I'm saying that as much as this hurts now, it will pass eventually and you will be left all the wiser for the experience."
"It's a shitty lesson," she mumbled into his chest.
He smiled slightly, kissing her hair again. "It is, sweetheart, it is. Life is full of shitty lessons."
"Do you feel wiser, Dad? After everything that's happened in your life?"
Draco sighed. His children, especially his daughters, knew about his past as a Death Eater. He'd sat down with the girls years before and told them his entire story, even how thoughtlessly cruel he had been to their mother at one point. It wasn't something he had been proud of, not even something he'd wanted to share, but he knew that they needed to know.
"Sometimes, I suppose I do. Times like now, here with you, when I know that what you're going through is just a tiny episode of your life and that one day you'll look back on it and feel nothing but indifference. There are plenty of situations, however, where I feel just as adrift and...and...clueless, really." Paige chuckled softly, relaxing further into his embrace.
"The first time I held you and your sister, I was so terrified that I would somehow manage to hurt you that I wouldn't get off the bed where your mother lay just in case I dropped one of you."
"Mum wouldn't have let you drop us," his daughter said, a smile in her voice.
"No, she wouldn't have," Draco agreed. "But that didn't stop my irrational terror that somehow, someway, I would screw it all up and hurt my girls."
"You never have." She squeezed him briefly, tightly.
He kissed her head once more. "My point is, Paige, that with every experience, no matter how minimal or traumatic, we take away something from it. When we use that knowledge, that experience, towards new encounters in our lives, only then are we truly wise."
She was quite for a while, sniffing occasionally, with her face pressed against the beating of his heart.
When she spoke her voice was slightly muffled but he could hear the tentative smile. "So what you're saying is that by the time Severus came 'round you knew how to hold a baby and thus, you are wise."
Draco snorted. "Something like that, love."
"I said no!"
Draco stared his daughter down, arms over his chest and a glare on his face. She mirrored his pose, jutting a hip out to the side and arching a blonde eyebrow at him.
"You can't stop me from getting the job I want!"
"The hell I can't!" he yelled. "You're not becoming an Auror and that's the end of it, Phèdre!"
"Who died and made you king?"
"Phèdre!" Both of their heads turned towards Hermione. She glared at the pair of them, eyes darting from her husband to her daughter and back. "You will speak to your father with respect or not at all."
"I vote for not at all," Phèdre snapped.
"Good! You can sit and listen!" Draco pointed at the couch seat. Phèdre didn't even deign to look at it. "You are not becoming an Auror because it is too dangerous. You want to go into Magical Law Enforcement? Fine, but not as an Auror."
"I am an adult!" she screeched, throwing her hands up in the air. "You can't stop me!"
"I am your father!" Draco bellowed. "You will obey me in this, Phèdre!"
Hermione stepped between the two of them, holding her hands out slightly. They had often butted heads over the years, but never quite with such ferocity.
"Or what?" Phèdre demanded, sneering at her father in an uncanny resemblance to the late Professor Snape. "Going to ground me?"
"If you can't follow the rules of this house, you can get out!" He spat, pointing to the front door.
Hermione gasped and turned towards him, murmuring his name quietly, but he didn't acknowledge her as he glared at their daughter. Phèdre's eyes widened and her face went slack with shock for a second before it hardened.
"That's how it is? Fine." She turned on her heel and stormed to the front door, whipping it open so hard it bounced off the wall. "FINE!"
With another slam, she was gone. Hermione turned to Draco, shock and anger on her face.
"Why would you say that to her? You know she'd rather leave than shelf her pride!"
Draco glared at his wife, his heart pounding painfully in his chest. He felt guilty and hurt; he wanted her support in this but it was clear by one look at her face that she would not offer it.
"She needs to learn respect, Hermione! We let her run roughshod over us for years!"
Hermione frowned. "No, we didn't Draco. Yes, she's headstrong, but she's a good girl."
He turned from her and threw himself at the sofa, leaning forward on his knees. "She wants to be an Auror, Hermione!"
"Yes, she does. Something she's been telling you since she was five years old."
He sighed and dropped his head into his hands, threading his fingers through his hair. "I didn't think she meant it."
"Of course she did. And you encouraged her, you told her she could do anything she set her mind to, now you scold her because she believed you?"
He grunted, squeezing his eyes shut and trying to will away the sudden pounding in his skull.
Hermione sat down next to him, slipping her hand over his back and rubbing a familiar, soothing pattern into his skin. When her palm brushed over the spots where his wings would emerge from, his whole body twitched and began to relax despite the turmoil in his mind.
"You were too hard on her."
"She's too proud."
His wife made a soft snort. "She's a Malfoy."
He sighed and said nothing. She was right, he knew; he didn't want to go find his daughter and apologise.
"How can you be so calm about this?" he asked, turning to her.
She smiled at him, her eyes crinkling in the corners. At nearly fifty, she hardly looked her age. It was in part due to her magical blood, she would live at least another hundred years, but he was of the opinion that she would always look graceful and beautiful no matter how old she got.
"I'm not, but I can't stop her either, love. She is an adult, she can do what she wants with her life. We have to trust that we taught her how to take care of herself properly."
"She could get killed doing this, Hermione." His chest constricted at the thought.
"Draco, any of us could be killed at any moment. That is simply how life is. Yes, there is more inherent risk in being an Auror, but she's a smart girl and she's been learning Defence since before she entered Hogwarts. You know that, you've taught her plenty yourself, so has Harry and he is an Auror."
"All the preparation in the world isn't always going to be enough."
"That is a possibility," she nodded, looking away. He watched her face tighten slightly and he knew she was thinking about a world without her beautiful girl in it; she slipped her hand into his and held it tightly. "But if this is something that she wants, she will go for it and, knowing her, she'll get it. You have to decide whether you can live with the possibility of her job causing her harm, or losing her completely when she refuses to bow to your demands."
"Draco, you are not your father," she said softly. "But you are just as stubborn and unyielding when you want to be. Do you really want to sever your relationship with her over this?"
He dropped his head into his hands again. "No."
"Then go apologise. Explain yourself, your worry. Tell her that you'll always love her, no matter what she does with her life, and bring her home."
Draco watched his son as he paced back and forth in front of them, his movements short and jerky. It was in moments like this where he realized just how different Severus was from the professor he was named for. He was tall and thin, yes, but fair and handsome, charming when he wanted to be, and very well liked. He'd started to grow out his hair in the traditional style, the one that Lucius favoured and Draco abhorred, and the white-blond strands had begun to curl slightly—evidence of his mother.
With each turn, that hair lifted slightly and fell back down against his neck; he was moving so quickly that Draco honestly wondered if he was making himself dizzy yet. Hermione, sitting beside him on their family room sofa, watched her youngest child worriedly.
"Severus, just tell us what this is about. You've been awfully mysterious but it's obvious that something is bothering you."
He stopped and looked at his mother, his face stricken. Draco's heart jumped. "Are you in trouble? Has something happened?"
"No," Severus said quickly, shaking his head. "I'm-I'm not in trouble...yet."
"Severus, just tell us," Hermione implored. "You're scaring me."
He looked to his mother, his grey eyes softening slightly. He looked so much like his father had at fifteen, except less angular. "I'm sorry, mother. I don't mean to."
"Well, then sit down and talk to us," she gestured to the armchair across from their sofa. "Whatever it is, we'll work through it."
Draco watched his son walk towards the chair and hesitate before he sat gingerly. He looked at his lap, hands clasped in front of him, and looked for all the world like a young boy about to be severely scolded. Without looking up at them, he mumbled, "I don't know where to start."
"Wherever you feel comfortable starting," Hermione urged him.
Severus opened his mouth...and then closed it.
"Just spit it out, son," Draco said, getting a mite frustrated. He caught Hermione glaring at him out of the corner of his eye but he ignored it; she had bedside manner, he did not.
Draco blinked. "Pardon me?"
Severus swallowed hard, clenching his hands together as his legs began to jerk nervously. "Please don't make me say it again."
Draco stared at his son as a curious blankness took over his mind. He didn't know how to feel about this revelation; he'd been raised in a traditional wizarding world, one where things like homosexuality were not spoken of and certainly not condoned. Of course, he'd also been raised to believe that people like his wife were the scum of the earth and he knew that to be complete and utter bollocks.
He turned to Hermione, who was staring at her son, tears beginning to form in her eyes and blurted the first thing that came to mind.
"This is your fault, you know. You and your make-up." *
Hermione's head whipped around and for a second, her face was the picture of shock and confusion, before his words sunk in and she began to laugh.
Draco turned to his son. He looked lost and unsure and Draco felt his gut clench at the sight. Hermione, still laughing, stood up and quickly crossed the room. Kneeling in front of her son, she took his hands in hers.
"You're not in trouble," she told him gently, lifting his hands and kissing them both. "And I love you, very, very much."
"Of course, you silly boy!" Hermione laughed through her tears. "Don't you ever doubt it."
Severus ducked his head and Hermione murmured something too quiet for Draco to hear. Whatever it was, it made Severus squeeze his eyes shut tightly and nod his head, his hands tightening on his mother's. She wiggled one free and cupped his face, tucking his hair back. Standing up quickly, she pressed a kiss to his hair and sat herself on the arm of the hair, one hand still in his.
Draco frowned slightly, trying to think of what to say. He didn't know what to say, really, or how he felt about Severus' revelation. What he did know is that he wasn't disgusted by the revelation—just a little thrown. Looking up, he saw that his son was watching him carefully.
"Are you sure?" he asked finally.
Severus' lips twitched and he ducked his head slightly. "Dad, when were you sure that you were straight?"
Draco's eyebrows rose and he opened his mouth to answer when it hit him. He closed his mouth and the corner of his mouth lifted. "Point taken."
Severus shrugged slightly, his fingers squeezing his mother's hand. He looked terribly vulnerable and Draco was reminded of the fact that, for all his quiet maturity, his son was only a fifteen year old boy.
He stood up and approached them, reaching out, he took his son's other hand.
"I don't really know how to feel about this," he confessed quietly. "I imagine it will take some getting used to, but never doubt that I love you."
Severus let out a small sound and leaned forward, resting his forehead against his father's stomach. Draco reached up and cupped the back of his head as he looked to his wife. She gave him a watery eyed smile and a shrug.
"Don't think that this gets you out of continuing on the Malfoy line, you know." Draco grinned as his son made an odd choking sound. "Your Grandfather would have a coronary if you never produced an heir."
Their house was completely silent and slightly unnerving.
"What do we do now?"
Hermione looked at him and then around their very quiet family room. "I have no idea."
He watched as she slowly walked over to the couch and sat down, putting her feet up on the table the way she never let the children do. Of course, now that they had all moved out she could feel free to not lead by example.
"Maybe we should have more children?"
She looked at him as if he were completely and utterly insane. "And will you be carrying and birthing these theoretical children?"
He smirked and sat down beside her. "You've still got some child bearing years in you, love."
She wacked him with a throw pillow before, laughing, she climbed into his lap and straddled his thighs. His hands automatically sought out her waist, slipping his thumbs under the hem of her light jumper and brushing against warm skin.
"How about we just practice making children?" she suggested, a brilliant smile on her face.
"I suppose that's probably best," he agreed, nodding sagely. "I mean, they'll be back on the weekend, anyway."
"You honestly think Severus can clean his own laundry?"
"Well, he knows how to use household char—"
"Have you met your daughters? Neither of them can cook to save their lives. They'll be living off take away during the week and bombarding us come Friday evening. Why do you think they only just moved out? They didn't want to be the only twenty-two year olds still living at home while their seventeen year old little brother had his own flat."
Hermione frowned and slumped against his chest, looking thoughtful. "Shit. You're right."
"I'm always right, when are you going to learn this, woman?"
"Oh, I don't know," she replied flippantly. "Maybe in another twenty, thirty years?"
"That quickly? And here I was thinking it'd take you a good hundred."
She pulled back, smiling brilliantly at him. "Well, it's a good thing you have all that time to educate me, isn't it?"
He smirked and pulled her in for a kiss. "Come here, witch. I'll teach you a thing or two."
* This is actually a little family anecdote. When my cousin and I were little we liked to dress up, play with our mothers' make-up, and put on little fashion shows in the long hallway of my house. I used to put hideous amounts of lipstick and eye shadow on the poor boy, I even shaved his eyebrows once because he didn't like them (this mother was not impressed). When he told the family years later that he's gay it became a running joke that it was all the make-up and sashaying down the hallway that did it. He's actually now a make-up artist and I tell him that he owes it all to me and my penchant for trying to make him look like a Rocky Horror Show hooker. We have a special family.