"Is it too late to elope?"
Harry laughed as his son nearly mirrored the words he'd spoken twenty years before when he'd married Draco. Deciding Ron's wisdom worked well here too, he repeated it. "Don't you think your grandmother wouldn't just make you go through all this when you got back?"
Richard sighed, accepting the inevitable and giving his father a wan smile, then making a face as Tihomir Krum stepped into the room. The year-older boy had remained fast friends with Richard throughout growing up, even though Hogwarts had divided both by a year and sent one boy to Slytherin and one to Ravenclaw. Now Tihomir would stand as his best man, while younger brother Eridanus was serving as groomsman.
The nervous groom turned to Harry, enveloping him in an impulsive hug. Harry returned the embrace, glad that even as an adult, his son had retained the loving nature he'd had as a small child. All six of the Malfoy-Potter children were expressive in their emotions, a trait their fathers had encouraged thoroughly.
Eridanus chose that moment to join their hug, the seventeen year old laughing as he squeezed them as tightly as possible. "Can you believe Richard's getting married, Da?" he asked.
Harry was about to respond when he felt a familiar form join the hug, with a gentle kiss being pressed to the side of his neck. "I don't know about your Da, but your Papa certainly can't believe it."
"I take it the girls are ready then?" Harry asked as the group hug ended, but making no move to leave his husband's arms that remained around him. He watched as Tihomir helped Richard adjust his hearing aids, recasting the charms that kept them functional around the magic that seeped into the very air around them in Malfoy Manor.
"All four are sleek and sparkling and drawing such looks from our male guests of similar ages to them that I think my father's considering threats of gelding, even to Allie's own husband."
Harry laughed, as did their sons. Tihomir seemed to be considering agreeing with Lucius' idea, but then again, he had three sisters to consider himself. He turned an assessing eye on his sons, realizing that time was growing short. "Pick a hair color, Eri, and something that won't cause your grandmother to die of shock."
The young Metamorphagus grimaced but complied, changing his riot of Hufflepuff yellow and black curls to a sedate blonde that precisely matched the honey tone of his older brother's hair. Harry was glad to see he'd kept the curls, since both he and Draco liked the reminder that Hermione had given them the Malfoy heir. He wondered if needing Tonks' help in training the boy's talent early on had trended him into Hufflepuff like his mentor, a house no Malfoy, Potter, or Black had been part of for as many generations as Lucius could trace.
Then again, the twins had both Sorted into the house, giving them three Hufflepuffs and one child in each of the other houses. Perhaps it was something to be said for how the children had been raised, with devoted fathers, godmothers who had donated their time and bodies to bring them into the world out of loyalty to the men they loved as family, and grandparents and godfathers completely committed to their well-being. The Hufflepuff mascot certainly showed the fierce dedication of those who helped raise the six children, and it had been the youngest three to end up in the House of the Badger.
With one last hug from each father, Richard turned to spend his last few moments as a single man with his brother and best mate, allowing the older men to slip away and find their seats with the girls. Harry wasn't surprised to find them split evenly between their daughters. Their star children flanked them, Allie on Harry's right and Talitha on Draco's left, and the flora-named twins – Cassia and Linnaea – in the middle.
Allie's waistline was swollen with her second pregnancy, her dress robes crafted as much for comfort as style as she slipped her hand into her Da's and gave him a beautiful smile. She was hoping for the child would share the birthday she already shared with Harry, and he had a funny feeling it just might happen. Happy coincidences happened like that in their lives, like when Eri had arrived six weeks early, but still healthy, on Draco's birthday. The baby's Metamorphagus talent had, like Teddy's, been evident within hours after birth when the pale brown curls he'd been born with had changed to black as Harry held him.
He met Luna's gaze on the other side of the aisle, remembering her serene belief despite the premature labor, that the child Hermione carried for them would be absolutely fine. She'd been right, just as she had when she'd assured them the child she'd carried two years prior to Eri would be a girl, not the heir Lucius anxiously awaited. How she'd known without a spell or potion, no one knew. It was simply Luna. When she'd suggested Hermione try next, they'd taken her advice.
Even if it did tangle the family tree a bit, he couldn't imagine any girl he'd rather Richard marry than one of Luna's sweet daughters. Luna said it was fated that one of the twins would be a Potter and that's why she'd given them names from nature, so they'd feel at home. Whether it was true or not, Harry loved the thought of it and thought young Sage did too.
The family tree had concerned him a lot more when Allie had married, but then again, his Gryffindor daughter had fallen fast and hard for young Adrian Snape. Lucius had opposed the union at first, terrified of the fact that they were too closely related. But Allie's tears had driven Draco and Harry to take the couple to a Muggle geneticist, and a few tests later, the young couple was given the happy news that despite the close relation between Adrian's mother and Allie's grandmother, their children were safe from the dangers of inbreeding at least.
And since Harry had sired no son after Richard, his designation of Adrian as the Black Heir was formalized upon the former Ravenclaw's marriage to Allie. For the first time since Sirius' death, that Most Noble and Ancient house had an heir who carried the Black name that Allie and Adrian had taken as a couple. Harry had cried when they'd named their firstborn Sirius, and Severus had simply sighed and acknowledged that it was perhaps the best revenge on his old rival, to have an adored grandson carrying on his name.
Talitha, at nineteen, had her mother's dirty-blonde hair and her paternal grandmother's ice blue eyes. She also had made them near-despair at her wish to date her way through the male population of Hogwarts in a very analytical fashion typical to her Ravenclaw House's normal dedication to intellectual pursuits. It had come as a surprise when a year after Hogwarts she'd come home with Greg's oldest son, five years her senior and announced she was going to marry the man when she finished her apprenticeship with Hermione's research company. He'd seemed as surprised as her family by his future marriage plans, but the way he'd accepted it easily and his obvious affection for Talitha had won them over to the idea.
The twins had been a true surprise to the Malfoy-Potters, but no less cherished for getting two girls when they'd expected one child as the surrogacies always seemed to produce. Both Luna and Hermione had been surrogate to Draco only, since Harry had declared the children his no matter what and having no urgent need for more children specifically of his own blood with Richard's magic already proven to exist. When Millicent had asked if they were done having children when Eri was not quite four, they'd decided they missed having a baby around and taken her up on her offer.
But instead of choosing either Harry or Draco as father to the new child, they'd decided on a surprise for their youngest child. Unlike the previous surrogate pregnancies, transferring two fertilized eggs hadn't resulted in a single baby. Harry could still recall Severus' laughter as he'd gotten results from the paternity potions on the newborn girls, whose dark hair could have come from Millicent and whose eyes were the indeterminate blue common to newborns. He'd then smirked at the fathers, told Millicent the results in private, and informed them they could bloody well figure it out as the girls aged.
They'd shrugged it off, not truly caring about the exact circumstances of paternity. By their first birthday, it was obvious anyway, as Cassia's eyes had lightened to a pale grey matching Draco's and Linnaea's were the same emerald green Lily had gifted to Harry.
It seemed rather poetically perfect, all in all, how that had turned out.
As Richard stood at the altar next to Tihomir and Eridanus, watching Tihomir's older sister walk down the aisle on her father's arm, Harry slipped an arm across the twelve-year-old twins's shoulders to slide his fingers into the silky hair at the nape of his husband's neck as he had many times over the past two decades.
Then as Severus repeated the traditional words to a new generation of their family, Draco's eyes met Harry's. They leaned in regardless of the quiet huffs of their daughters, the sedate kiss carrying the comfort and love of twenty years spent between two people who knew just how precious a gift they shared.
Thanks to everyone who stuck with this story all the way to the end, especially my steady reviewers (Lientjuhh, Lupinesence, RRW, Sunset on Heartache, Silvermane1, attagrl, xxxxParvati-Patilxxxx). There may be more of these characters in one-shots or short stories, especially since Charlie/Millicent and Viktor/Luna keep tickling around in my imagination that they have a story or two to tell.
I'll be posting a new story soon, as the end of this one makes me in the mood for lots of Luna! :)