Three months later
Finley Parkinson-Thomas was a radiant, joyful baby. He was rosy-cheeked with big, dark eyes and copious amounts of black curls that were equal parts wild and adorable. He giggled when Harry held him, his little pink fingers reaching out for his glasses.
Hermione stood with Ron a few yards away as they watched Harry interact with the baby. Around them, people were laughing and talking on the lawn, flutes of fizzy champagne in their hands. She recognized most of them from Pansy and Dean's wedding. They had all come dressed in white – a striking combination against the lush green of the Parkinson-Thomas very kempt lawn – with gifts for Finley's christening.
Ron eyed the baby suspiciously. "He's a bit too happy, isn't he? Are we sure that's the baby that came out of Pansy's leering vagina? I mean, you weren't actually in the room when he came out, were you?"
"Come on, Ron," Hermione laughed. "He's adorable. Look at him!"
Ron watched as Finley got a hold of Harry's glasses. His eyes were crinkled, mouth open with delight.
"I didn't say he wasn't adorable," Ron muttered.
Harry came back around to them, and Dean joined to dote on his son. "Look at that. Just oozes Gryffindor bravery, don't you think, lads?"
"I don't know," Harry mused. "From this angle, I see a little bit of a Hufflepuff."
"Oh, sod off, mate," Dean said. "Give me back my child if you're going to joke around like that."
Dean took Finley back and began to walk away, joining the other crowd. Harry's glasses were still in the baby's chubby fist, raised triumphantly above Dean's shoulder.
"Can I at least get my glasses back?" Harry called after him.
Suddenly, Hermione felt something cool around her shoulders. She knew exactly who it was from the way Ron's face changed immediately into a frown of disapproval.
"I was hoping I'd dreamt it all," Ron grumbled, referring to when Hermione had finally told him about her and Malfoy. "I reckon it's not too late to wake up from all this madness, though. Is it?"
"Better get comfortable then, Weasley," came Draco's drawl from above her. "You'll be waiting a long, long time."
"Right. I'm going to leave," Ron said, while Harry chuckled and clapped him on the back. "Before I end up being the bloke that mauls somebody at a baby's christening."
Ron left their small group and headed towards the bar.
"He'll get used to it," said Harry. "Ron's got a bit of an aversion to change. We've talked about it. He's thinking of joining a group."
After some more small talk, Harry left to get his glasses back with Neville's guidance. Seamus had come by to say hello before going off to mingle. Hermione looked around and noticed there weren't as many whispers and glances to get used to - after all, they'd been outed in Witch Weekly as a couple just three weeks before. Technically, in the gossip circuit, they were old news by now.
The day that issue had printed, Hermione hadn't even known about it until an owl came through her flat and dropped it on her table. On the cover page was a picture of her and Malfoy leaving a restaurant, holding hands. It had been circled in dark red ink with the words YOU OWE ME written underneath. Pansy Parkinson-Thomas was nothing but vigilant in the things that she decided mattered to her.
And now here she was, Hermione Granger, with Draco Malfoy, doing exactly what she thought had been so impossible all those years before: smiling up at him and holding his hand, out where everybody could see them, out here in the sun.
Thank you THANK YOU to all of the readers and reviewers - both new and old. Completing fics - writing the last chapter - is always so nerve-wracking albeit gratifying to write. It's the thing that I both anticipate and dread the most. Regardless, thank you for sticking with this fic despite the lengthy wait for its resolution. I truly treasure each one of you.