Disclaimer: Like always, not trying to take credit for Jo's work.
I also may or may not have had "Leaving Hogwarts" on repeat while I wrote this…haha
Nineteen years later…
Just like every other September first outing she could remember, King's Cross station was packed with Muggles. Leila tried to push her way through the madness but she stopped just shy of the entrance to the busy station. Memories instantly flooded back to her: the good and the bad. It really seemed like only yesterday, and not twenty-six years ago, that she and Harry had been graciously dropped off by Uncle Vernon for their first trip through King's Cross to board the Hogwarts Express. Leila chuckled to herself as she thought of how she and Harry attempted to find their way to Platform 9 ¾. If it wasn't for Molly Weasley, the woman who would years later become her second mother, she and Harry probably never would have made it to Hogwarts nor would she be here all these years later.
A Muggle businesswoman who was in quite a hurry pushed into Leila, interrupting her reverie. Leila attempted to apologize but the woman was in such a rush that she didn't wait for one. Leila shook her head as she quickly pushed through the crowds to catch up to a teenage ginger-haired girl pushing a trolley through the station. As she navigated the masses, her purse accidentally smacked into several Muggles to whom she quickly muttered her apologies. It seemed that despite the years of 'growing up' she still hadn't managed to outgrow her clumsiness. Maybe it was her age finally catching up to her, but Merlin, her daughter could navigate quickly through the traffic. When Leila finally broke through the masses, she found the young ginger-haired girl turned and facing toward her mother with a rather unpleasant look on her face.
"Mum, we're going to be late," the girl whined.
"Cassie dear, the train leaves at exactly eleven o'clock. It's only 10:20, sweetheart," Leila chided.
"I can't be late my first day as a prefect," Cassie drawled.
"You'll be on time, I promise," Leila sighed. "Now, if only I could say the same for your father."
Cassie looked at her mother pointedly before she rolled her eyes and muttered to herself. The teenage girl then started maneuvering her trolley through the crowds once again. Leila couldn't help but smile at her daughter's antics. Cassie was every bit as stubborn as she had been at that age, maybe even more considering she inherited that trait from both parents. It was funny how fast they grow up. Leila found herself choking back her emotions because she could hardly believe that her oldest baby was heading into her fifth year at Hogwarts.
"Mum!" Cassie shouted.
Leila scanned the crowd to find her daughter waiting rather impatiently just outside the barrier to Platform 9 ¾. She nodded her head at her daughter, acknowledging the girl's frustration before she picked up her pace to get through the crowd of Muggles. Leila looked once more to the spot where Cassie had been standing to watch as her daughter disappeared through the barrier. A few moments later, Leila herself discreetly walked through the barrier and quickly found her daughter waving at Teddy Lupin. Teddy grinned at Cassie and waved back before he quickly walked away. Teddy had graduated the year before from Hogwarts; but Leila had a suspicion that her godson was at Platform 9 ¾ looking for a certain Victoire Weasley. Cassie turned around and waited for her mother to catch up to her with a pointed expression.
"I should have known better than to wear heels," Leila muttered as she finally caught up with her daughter.
As Leila stood beside her daughter, she scanned the Hogwarts crowd looking for her husband with her other children. With a look of frustration, Leila looked up at the large clock that graced one of the platform's pillars; it read 10:31. He knew better than to be late. In fact she knew he rather hated to be late for things. Leila knew she should have taken the other kids with her; but she had promised that she'd take Cassie out for a special breakfast for making prefect; just the two of them. Leila mentally kicked herself for letting herself do that as Cassie grabbed her mother's arm and led her to the Hogwart's Express to load her belongings. Leila lifted the trunk from the trolley while Cassie place her owl Athena's cage inside. When all Cassie's belongings were off the trolley, Cassie moved to board the train; but Leila grabbed the young girl's arm.
"You will wait for your father," Leila said sternly.
Cassie reluctantly followed her mother to find an empty spot on the platform. Leila nervously tapped her foot as she scanned the crowd once again muttering to herself. Cassie caught her mother's eye as she pointed across the platform.
"Mum, it's Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny with James, Al, and Lily," Cassie said.
Leila looked where Cassie pointed and sure enough there was her twin brother and his family. Leila and Cassie both waved at Harry and Ginny, who waved back with smiles on their faces.
"I should have known better…" Leila began.
"Don't get your wand in a knot, Mum; seriously, stop worrying," Cassie groaned.
"Maybe we should just go wait by Uncle Harry," Leila sighed.
"If you say so," Cassie muttered.
Leila took one step in the direction toward her brother when Cassie yanked her mother's arm.
"Mum, I see Dad!" Cassie said.
Leila stopped midstep and turned around. She saw Percy Weasley with two daughters in tow walking straight toward them. She smiled softly as they drew nearer.
"You thought I wouldn't make it, didn't you?" a voice drawled from behind her.
Leila turned around to find Draco standing behind her with a smirk on his face, holding a young blonde girl with shining emerald eyes in her arms and a young dark-haired boy with grey eyes trailing behind his father. Leila leaned in to place a gentle kiss on her husband's cheek as she looked behind him, not seeing what she expected to see.
"Would I doubt you?" Leila retorted.
"Yes," Cassie muttered.
"Cassieopeia," Draco scolded before he placed a gentle kiss on his wife's temple.
"You two are disgusting," Cassie said rolling her eyes. "I'm going over by Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny since you two are too embarrassing to be around."
Cassie folded her arms across her chest and stomped away from her parents and younger siblings headed right for her aunt and uncle.
"She's your daughter, through and through," Draco said shaking his head.
"Because I was the only one with an attitude at that age," Leila said sarcastically.
"At least you admit it," Draco teased.
Leila gave her husband a look that told him she wasn't amused to which he responded by placing a kiss on his daughter's cheek.
"Where are the twins?" Leila asked.
"They're…taken care of," Draco answered.
"Draco, it's my privilege as their mother to see them before they leave me for Hogwarts for the first time," Leila responded.
"And I told them that you would say that and to come find us before they boarded the train," Draco smirked. "Besides, it's not like you'll never see them again."
Leila rolled her eyes and playfully smacked her husband's arm. Draco chuckled before he set his daughter, Elladora, down beside her older brother Regulus. Regulus pulled his little sister's hair which Draco intervened before the situation got out of hand and then he wrapped his right arm around his wife's waist.
"You were supposed to take Ella and Regulus to your mother's," Leila said.
"You know how Ella gets," Draco responded.
"You can't keep giving into her, Draco," Leila sighed.
"I didn't think it would do them any harm to see their siblings off to Hogwarts. They'll be going off soon enough, themselves," Draco argued.
"I suppose you're right," Leila gave in.
"Finally realizing that after how many years of marriage?" Draco smirked.
"And it's time like these that make me wonder why I'm still married to you," Leila retorted.
"Because you love me," Draco answered.
"You keep telling yourself that," Leila chuckled.
Draco shook his head and pulled Leila a little closer to him. Leila smiled. Even after all these years of marriage, it still seemed like they were in that so-called 'honeymoon' phase. While she knew that not to be true, that they had their issues over the years; she never regretted the day she said "I do" to Draco Malfoy. Nine year old Regulus wanted his mother's attention, so he tugged at her sleeve. This got Leila's attention immediately as she turned to look at her youngest son.
"Yes, sweetheart?" Leila asked.
"Can I please go by Lily?" Regulus asked. "Cassie's over there."
"You want to go over by your cousins?" Leila teased. "I don't know about that…"
"Mum," Regulus groaned.
"Oh all right, we can go over by your cousins, dear," Leila chuckled.
Regulus smiled and started to run through the crowded platform toward his cousins. Draco shook his head before he moved his mouth close to Leila's ear to whisper in it.
"Do we have to?" Draco whispered.
"Draco Malfoy, we're not at Hogwarts anymore," Leila whispered back.
"I know," Draco smirked. "Just figured I'd make you feel more sentimental of our good ol' Hogwarts days."
"If you're so fond on reliving the good ol' days; just like I did back then, I'm going to walk away from you," Leila retorted.
"But you know I'll just follow," Draco grinned.
Leila winked at her husband before she reached for her daughter's hand and led the trio of Malfoys to where the Potter and Weasley families stood with Cassie and Regulus. Leila was surprised to find that her twin sons Scorpius and Sirius, who looked nothing alike, were standing with Harry's sons James and Al. It was funny; Scorpius looked practically like Draco did at that age while Sirius looked remarkably similar to Harry. Sometimes Leila and Harry would joke that Sirius and Al looked more like twins than Sirius and Scorpius did. Leila gently rested her hand on Sirius' shoulder which caused him to turn around, his emerald eyes meeting her own.
"So this is where your father let you two boys run off to," Leila commented.
"It's my fault, Aunt Leila," Al said coming to his cousins' defense. "I wanted to show them my new owl."
"No worries, dear," Leila smiled.
Leila placed a kiss on Sirius' cheek which he immediately wiped off. She then reached for Scorpius and repeated the gesture to him, but he had the same response as his twin. Leila chuckled as she turned to find Draco shaking hands with Harry and then Ron. Never at any point during any of her trips on the Hogwarts Express would she have thought that Harry and Ron would become like brothers to Draco. Sometimes it seemed like the boys were too comfortable around each other…but Leila would take that over the alternative any day.
"Aunt Leila…" Al began.
"What did I tell you about calling her that?" James reprimanded.
Al looked to his brother and sighed as James turned around and continued to tell his cousins all about Hogwarts. Al looked to his aunt as she knelt down at his level.
"It's going to be hard to call you Professor Malfoy," Al said.
"I don't mind if you call me Aunt Leila," Leila smiled. "Besides, James called me that all the time last year. Your brother likes pulling your leg; but that's what brother's do best."
"Aunt Leila, you and Uncle Draco were in Slytherin, right?" Al asked.
"You know we were," Leila answered.
"And you two are nice…" Al continued.
"Al, what's this about?" Leila asked.
"What if I'm in Slytherin?" Al whispered.
"I know that your family will love you no matter what House you're in; but if you want a second opinion, I'm sure your father will tell you the exact same thing," Leila said.
"He will?" Al questioned.
"He had a sister in Slytherin after all," Leila smiled.
Al nodded sullenly. Leila could tell she hadn't convinced him of anything. She ruffled her nephew's hair before she stood up and looked to her brother.
"You're going to need to talk with Al," Leila whispered.
"Are Scorpius or Sirius that nervous to be Sorted?" Harry asked.
"Of course they're nervous, but they also inherited Draco's ability to hide their emotions," Leila answered.
"I should just tell him that James cried in the pantry every day the week before he left," Harry chuckled. "I swear James likes to get Al all wound up over nothing."
"An older brother winding up his younger sibling…wonder where he could've gotten that from" Leila said sarcastically.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Harry chuckled. "I was the best brother to you; don't even try to deny it."
Leila looked at Harry pointedly as he patted his sister on her back.
"Well, well, if it isn't the infamous Professor Malfoy," a woman spoke.
Leila turned around and squealed as she threw her arms around Daphne Greengrass…well, Daphne Nott now. The blonde greeted her former roommate with open arms. Theo shook hands with Draco, Ron, and Harry as Daphne moved to hug Hermione and Ginny. It was nice that Theo and Daphne seemed to fit in with their band of misfits, so to speak, although, it wasn't something that happened over night. Daphne then walked back over to Leila as she attempted to discreetly point at the children. Leila turned to see Daphne's daughter Olivia talking with James. Olivia was in the same class at James, except she was in Slytherin unlike her brother Oliver who was two years older than her and surprised the families by ending up in Gryffindor. Rounding out the Nott family was ten year old Ophelia. Leila rolled her eyes at what Daphne thought she was seeing between the children.
"They're too young to go there," Leila chided Daphne.
"I knew you and Draco would end up together first year," Daphne argued.
"You have terrible timing, you know that?" Leila whispered.
At just that moment, Pansy Parkinson, formerly Goyle back to Parkinson, the girl who had once been infatuated with Draco for years, walked by with her son in tow, who had the same pug face that she did. Pansy had married Gregory Goyle and had one son with him; but even he must have gotten annoyed with her because they were no longer together. Leila didn't know any specifics on that relationship, nor did she ever care to.
"Didn't realize she was back in the country," Daphne said.
"I assumed he'd be headed to Durmstrang," Leila furthered.
"I think Goyle actually managed to put his foot down with her," Draco chuckled.
"So that's little Toby," Ron said. "Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother's brains."
"Ron, for heaven's sake," Hermione said half-stern, half-amused. "Don't try and turn them against each other before they've even started school."
"Yeah Ron, I think we all know how those situations end up," Leila grinned as she caught her husband's eye.
"You both make good points, so sorry 'bout that," Ron said. "Don't get too friendly with him though, Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pureblood."
The adults tried to contain their laughter at Ron's comment; but they couldn't. Leila turned her face into her husband's shoulder as she slightly shook from the laughter. When she was finally breathing normally, she looked back up to find Cassie already dressed in her Gryffindor robes with her prefect badge already pinned in place.
"Can I go now?" Cassie asked.
"Just a few things," Leila said. "Make sure you look out for your brothers and cousins."
"I know," Cassie groaned.
"And behave," Draco added.
"Dad, I'm a prefect," Cassie said seriously.
"Didn't stop your parents," Ron interrupted.
"Don't listen to him," Leila hissed.
"I've heard plenty of stories about you two," Cassie said with her hands on her hips.
"Most of them probably aren't true," Leila said.
"But Uncle Harry said…" Cassie began.
"And on that note, it's time for you to go," Leila said.
Cassie was about to protest when she realized that the whole reason she had come back to her mother was so that she could get on the train. Leila hugged her daughter tightly before their prefect hugged her father. Cassie quickly kissed her father on the cheek and then her mother's cheek before she practically ran to the Hogwarts Express. Leila chuckled at her daughter as Sirius and Scorpius walked over to their parents.
"I guess this is goodbye then," Leila said with tears beginning to form in her eyes.
"Leila, you'll see them tonight at the feast," Draco chuckled as Ella demanded to be picked up.
"I know that; but it's not every day your babies go to Hogwarts for the first time," Leila argued.
"Mum, you still have two more kids to send to Hogwarts for the first time," Scorpius said.
"Yeah, you can't forget about Reggie and Ella," Sirius added.
"Oh, just give me a hug before I start crying," Leila said.
Scorpius and Sirius looked to each other before they wrapped their arms around their mother. Leila hugged her sons tightly before they walked over to hug Draco. Draco's arms were full because of Ella, so the boys hugged him around his midsection. Leila then kissed her boys twice, once for her and once for Draco before she finally allowed them to head for the train. The boys turned around, but Leila could still hear the beginning of their conversation.
"I think Mum's getting soft in her old age," Sirius said.
"I just hope she's not that bad in class," Scorpius added. "Can you imagine how embarrassing that would be?
"We might have to do something about that," Sirius responded.
Leila chuckled at her twins as they hopped aboard the train when Regulus pulled at her sleeve once more.
"Mummy, why can't I go to Hogwarts this year?" Regulus asked.
"Because you're still needed around the house, young man," Leila smiled.
"Will you be this sad when I go to Hogwarts?" Regulus asked.
"Do you want me to be?" Leila asked.
"Yeah, because then I'll know that you miss me," Regulus grinned a grin so similar to Draco's.
Leila sighed as she ruffled her son's hair as Draco set Ella back on the ground. It was a sweet sight to see as Regulus hugged his sister, holding her tightly to him. Ella and Regulus' relationship somewhat reminded her of her relationship with Harry. Leila smiled softly as she looked between her children still left on the platform and her older brother who was finishing talking to Al. All too soon, Al boarded the train and he was instantly met by the Malfoy twins. Leila placed her fingers on her pursed lips as she watched her twins walk down the corridors of the Hogwarts Express with their cousin through the windows. Draco noticed his wife attempting to keep her emotions in check, so he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her close to him. With tears shining in her eyes, Leila looked to her handsome husband and smiled. She then wrapped her arms around his middle and rested her head on his chest to watch the Hogwarts Express slowly begin to move.
"Three down and two to go," Draco whispered.
"Make that three to go," Leila whispered back.
Draco's eyes instantly focused on Leila in confusion, causing her to chuckle. She bit her lip and her face looked like she was trying to keep a secret; but Leila couldn't contain the excitement much longer.
"You heard me," Leila retorted.
"Another one?" Draco asked.
"Yes, in about another seven months little baby Malfoy will make his or her appearance," Leila smirked.
"Merlin, I feel like old-man Weasley," Draco muttered.
"Is that a bad thing?" Leila asked.
"Not as long as my beautiful wife is there with me," Draco winked.
"Have I met her?" Leila teased.
"No, I don't think so," Draco teased back. "Would you like to?"
"I don't think so; you're stuck with me old man," Leila retorted.
Leila held up her left hand which had a sparkling diamond ring on her ring finger and placed it on Draco's chest. She looked into Draco's eyes, which still made her heart race after all these years. Things hadn't been exactly perfect between the two of them for the years; but what they worked through things together. That's what made them work.
"You're a great father, Draco," Leila said.
"Because of you," Draco responded.
"I wish I could take the credit, but I can't," Leila said.
"I didn't want my children turning out like I did," Draco sighed.
"I don't think you're so bad," Leila whispered. "At least not now anyway."
Draco chuckled before he placed a kiss on his wife's cheek. Leila found herself blushing as she looked up to her husband.
"Will you two stop being teenagers for a minute? The train's about to pull away," Harry groaned.
The blush on Leila's face intensified as she looked to her brother who stood beside her. She never would have imagined that their lives would have turned out like this. Leila then looked to the train where Rose, James, Al, Scorpius, Sirius, and Olivia waved from the window. She hoped they would have a 'normal' year at Hogwarts and they would if she had anything to do with it. Suddenly, the train began to pull away. Leila could feel the tears beginning to sting her eyes. It never got easier seeing them leave. Leila sighed and snuggled a little closer in Draco's safe embrace while with one hand she squeezed her brother's hand. Harry looked to her and offered her a smile.
"Together," Harry mouthed.
"Together," Leila whispered.
Leila smiled at her brother before they both turned their attention back to the crimson locomotive which beginning to become harder and harder to see. Sure, their lives weren't perfect…but they were happy ones. Leila knew what it meant to be happy and content with her life. But most important of all, Leila knew that she was loved. Loved by her husband, her children, her brother, the rest of her family, her friends, her students…What more could one ask for?