CHAPTER FOUR: WE ARE FAMILY
Epilogue – Five Years Later
"You're late," Hermione accused him, hands on her hips and foot tapping. She was dressed in a lovely damask silk formal gown, gold with black velvet flower and leafy swirl patterns up and down the dress. It had a lovely matching, hooded cloak. Her hair was pulled back into a tight bun at the nape of her neck, and around her throat was a webbed, onyx beaded necklace of gothic style. She was the picture of perfection for a night out at the opera.
The sight made Draco harder than steel in a second. He loved the schoolmarm attitude that only his wife could pull off.
"You're stunning," he greeted her with heat in his eyes, reaching to grip her waist and pull her in close.
Her irritation altered in a blink to one of amusement, and she wrapped her arms about his neck allowing him to kiss her. "You're forgiven," she easily pardoned him after a thorough snogging.
He held his arm out to her and she took it, and they entered the flying coach that was to take them to the Royal Wizarding Opera House. "How many times have we gone to see this thing?" he teased her, knowing full well she'd know. Hermione never forgot a single important detail in her life, and each time they'd gone to see 'La Traviata," something momentous happened in their relationship. The first time had been four months into their dating. Even though she couldn't understand the words, Hermione had cried at the opera's beauty. That night, he openly told her he loved her for the very first time. The next time had been a year later, and she'd just graduated from university, and he'd asked her to finally move in with him. She had the very next day. The third time, another year had passed, and after the performance, he'd gotten down on one knee right there in their balcony box seat and asked her to marry him. She'd accepted, crying in joy. This time, Hermione had bought the tickets.
She cleared her throat, and fiddled with her necklace. "In case I forget to tell you later, I had a really good time tonight."
"Nice dodge, love," he snarked, reaching out to pat her hand resting on her thigh. "Try again?"
"Well," she hedged, "Um… remember when you told me that people's reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic? You said: 'they either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don't, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.' Remember that?"
He nodded, wondering what she was getting at.
"It sort-of got me thinking," she admitted, fidgeting with the hem on her dress and smoothing it down. "I see your words as a spiritual truism regarding a lot of aspects in life: careers, relationships… impending fatherhood."
His brain stopped working.
She glanced at him from the corner of her eye, her face carefully balanced between a wary panic and hope. "So, I was wondering where you stood on that philosophy being applied equally to such things?"
That was the extent of the reply he could intelligently make at that particular moment.
Hermione snapped her fingers in front of his face. "Draco? Have Blaise and Theo been feeding you magical 'shrooms again?"
A slow smile spread across his face as thought coalesced into action, finally.
"I've got those wankers now! Theo and Blaise owe me a hundred galleons a piece!" he gleefully announced.
His wife smacked him in the arm. "You bet on me getting pregnant?"
Draco shook his head. "Technically, we each bet that our own wife was going to get pregnant before the others. That was… seventh year, I believe, back in the dorms."
It was Hermione's turn to blink in confusion. "But they aren't married yet – neither of them."
His grin was positively devious. "Exactly." He puffed his chest out, and rubbed a loving hand over her still-flat belly. "You see? A Malfoy never loses a bet."
That night, they skipped the opera, and went to dinner at their favourite restaurant, instead. After, they went home and made passionate love (actually, it was hot wall sex that ended up with them falling to the floor because of the weight of her dress, but when you're orgasming, who cared about semantics?). As he lay back into the carpet in the afterglow, the beginning of a serious case of rug burn on his knees starting to fire his nerve endings, Draco could only grin as he contemplated what had brought him to this place…
He'd stolen a Muggle automobile, inadvertently discovered a witch, and gotten his eleven and his fairy tale all on the same night. He'd won Witch Weekly's Most Favourite Quidditch Player Award three years in a row after that with his lovely woman's marketing skills, made a pile of galleons from the advertising genius of his fiancée, gotten married soon after that, and was now going to be a father.
"Live the life you want, believe what makes you truly happy, and love what gives you joy and peace. At the end of your life, that's all that counts."
Hermione had been right.
His witch had been the smartest bet he'd ever taken.
Yes, he thought as he stretched, laying his head into the cradle of his hands, naked and sated in the middle of his bedroom floor, it was official: Draco Malfoy loved his life.
AUTHOR'S FINAL NOTES:
Song title for this chapter:
We Are Family by Sister Sledge
Lines borrowed & rewritten for this chapter from "Pretty Woman" the movie:
Vivienne: "You're late."
Edward: "You're stunning."
Vivienne: "You're forgiven."
Vivienne: "In case I forget to tell you later, I had a really good time tonight."
Edward: "People's reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic; they either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don't, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul."
(they go to see La Traviata, and Vivienne cries at its beauty, even though she has no idea what the actors are saying to each other)