I do not own Harry Potter.
Ten years have passed since the final battle at Hogwarts, the Wizarding World has truly become a different place entirely. Once old Voldy died, the Death Eaters that were still alive were forced to under go extensive life counselling. The ones deemed reformed were free to live how they chose, the ones who wouldn't change their views, or were unable to deal with living among muggles, and muggle-born's, were tried and sentenced. They were either sent to Azkaban, or another form of institution.
Harry and Ginny were married soon after the final battle, and are awaiting their third child. James is turning six this summer, and Albus will be three in the fall. The relationship that blossomed between Ron and Hermione during the war fizzled out quickly after a few months. They parted amicably and Ron went travelling with Seamus for a few years. While he was in France, he met a witch. Ron moved to France permanently and they have been married for two years.
Hermione dated a few men since Ron, but nothing permanent has come from it. After the war ended Hermione chose to go back to Hogwarts to finish her last year of school. One day while out with Ginny they spotted a little storefront in Diagon Alley for sale. Hermione fell in love with the idea of a bookstore. She bought the building, and spent her time turning it into a successful business. It took a couple years but her business is doing well, andto fill her free time, she started writing stories. She just finished her second book and sent it off to the publisher, the first one was a bestseller and was even sold in the Muggle world. Not wanting any more attention, she writes under the pen name Harmony Jean. Most people don't know it is actually Hermione.
On a seemingly normal Tuesday morning, Hermione is shelving and straightening books new books that she had just received. After she shelves the last few, she'll take her lunch, but no matter how many books she gets, she has to check each one out. Reading the back cover, and making a mental list of which ones she needs to read. She is jolted out of her musings by a little voice…
"Hello. How are you Miss?" I look down to see a little boy with bright blonde hair tugging on my pants leg. "Do you work here?"
"Yes, I work here, and I'm fine sir, how are you?" Amused by his questions.
He is wearing a fashionable pricey looking set of robes for young wizards, and there is a slight click in my memory, he reminds me of someone, but I can't quite place who.
"Oh, I'm just fabulous, my dad brought my here to buy me a new book." He smiles brilliantly his pale blue eyes twinkling as he hugs a stuffed dragon to his chest. His smile transforms his face to make him look almost ethereal.
"Oh, and where is your dad, now?" I kneel down next to him so that I can be on his eye level, sticking the book I was looking at under my arm. I guess him to be around five years old, as I'm not very tall and he is still shorter than me.
His eyes go wide and he leans forward looking mischievous, "Can I tell you a secret? Promise you wont tell?" His voice soft as he glances around looking thoroughly adorable.
I lean in smiling. "Of course, I won't tell, I promise." I glance around as if to see if anyone is listening just as he had.
"Well, you see dad and I got ice cream earlier, and I asked him to bring me here." He stops, glances around again, then looks back at me a little nervously. "You see, I love books, and I really wanted to see what happened next in the book I was reading the last time I was here. Dad said that he had to go back to work, and we didn't have time to come here, so I said okay, even though I was horribly disappointed." He does look a little sad, though my stomach flutters nervously, as he continues. "So I told dad I had to use the potty, and I came here instead." He looks quite pleased with himself at this pronouncement.
I smile trying to hide the fact that this kid very well ran off from his father, and is now in my bookstore confessing this to me after I told him I would keep his secret. I look at him a bit closer, I still don't recognize him, but that familiar look to him tugs at my mind. I try to recall in my memory his dad since he said they had been in here, but I haven't got a clue.
I take a deep breath and then glance around leaning in toward the little boy once more. "Why don't you go find the book you were reading before and we will find out what happens next?" His eyes light up in hope and pleasure as he hugs his dragon closer and runs off to the children's books.
I take a deep breath and close my eyes for a moment so as not to panic. I put the book I was looking at back on the shelf and head to the front counter. Ducking behind the counter I quickly send a Patronus to the ice cream shop a couple doors down, then head over to settle in with the little boy. Hopefully the father will show up soon.
"Did you find the book you were looking for?" Smiling at him as I sit next to him against the wall on a cushion.
"Yes." He holds up the book, then takes it upon himself to climb up onto my lap and snuggle in handing me the book, "Would you please read to me?" He looks up at me sweetly with a half smile on his face, the expression tugs at my memory a bit again, but I focus on him.
"Of course, I will but first may I ask what your name is young sir?" Hoping maybe I will be able to place him and his father.
"My name is Scorpius." He says primly and then furrows his brow. "Um, miss, I forgot to properly introduce myself to you earlier. I'm sorry, please forgive me." He looks up at me shyly. "What is your name miss?"
"My name is Hermione, and you are forgiven." His face relaxes and he grins at me.
"Can we be friends? I like you, you are very pretty." He smiles widely and looks hopeful.
"Of course we can be friends, sir. I must say you are a very handsome young man, Scorpius." I add and wink at him.
He blushes and burrows into me turning his face so as to hide, and I clear my throat and begin to read suppressing my smile so that I don't embarrass him more.
About ten minutes into the story Scorpius falls asleep, and so as not to wake him, I lay the book up so I can keep reading against him and wrap my arm around him getting comfortable, knowing his dad will be showing up soon anyway. When I sent my Patronus, I just told them that a young boy came in to my bookstore and told me he hadn't told his father he was coming here, so to let the man know where is son is once he realizes he is indeed missing. Twenty minutes later, I hear someone rush into the shop, the footsteps rush our way. I tense a bit and grab my wand just in case, not knowing exactly who it could be. I always grab my wand to defend after fighting in the war when I hear rushing footsteps. An old habit, though hopefully this is just the distraught father.
I see a man with the same bright white hair run between the two bookshelves in front of me towards the front counter. I hear rather than see him stop then after a moment he turns and heads back in our direction. From what I can see in between the shelves, he is very tall and slim, though his shoulders do seem wider as if me maybe he has some muscles. Then I hear his frantic breathing and I wrap my left arm that is holding the book around Scorpius, and my wand hand I raise and point it towards the only way the man can enter the children's area.
What I see next almost makes me goggle but I force my expression to stay neutral, Draco Malfoy rushes around the low bookcase separating the children's area from the rest of the store, and stops dead looking at me sitting on the floor. I realize, that it is his son who is still sleeping on my lap. He is clearly out of breath and his face is flushed, but he still looks handsome. He looks a bit older than the last time I saw him, but time has helped rather than hurt him, he has filled out to where he doesn't look like a pale skeleton anymore. I shake my self then raise my wand slightly just in case I am wrong about Scorpius being his but I watch in shock as Draco looks down at his son and focuses his gaze there.
"Oh, thank Merlin." He breath rushes out and his whole body seems to sag once he realizes his son is safe. He moves towards us and I barely hear him say, "Oh Scor."
I quickly flick my wand and put a silencing charm around Scorpius so we can talk without waking him just yet. "Hello." I say and watch as his eyes focus on me.
"His eyes grow wide and he blinks a couple times as if he can't really see me. "Granger?" He says sounding like he really can't believe who is sitting in front of him and is maybe hoping he is wrong.
"Yes, hello, Malfoy." I say in response then lower my wand and gesture to Scorpius, "I promised him I wouldn't tell his secret, then he told me his secret, and I decided to send a Patronus so technically I didn't tell." I then add, "I cast a silencing charm around him so if you need to yell at me go on."
Malfoy slowly lowers his eyes from me to his son, who has one arm around my waist and the other clutching his stuffed dragon. He is breathing evenly and his mouth is slightly open, we both watch as he snuggles closer to me and continue to sleep. I look back up at Malfoy whose eyes had softened while watching his son, and then he seems to remember he isn't alone, and his brows furrow as he takes in my arm wrapped around Scorpius then he looks back up to my face.
I wait for him to get angry or tell me to let go of his son, who might I add is clutching on to my waist, and not get my mudblood germs all over him. Instead he lowers himself gracefully to the floor next to me and settles his back against the wall, letting out a deep sigh. His head falls back against the wall, his eyes closed.
I turn my head and gape at him, he didn't yell, he isn't demanding to get my mudblood germs away from his most likely pureblood son. He turns his head toward me as if he can feel my gaze and smirks, "Yes?" He questions.
I close my mouth and scowl at him, "You aren't yelling at me." I state while kicking my chin up a notch as if ready for the verbal assault.
"Why is it I should be yelling at you again?" He questions leaning forward and turning more fully towards me his smirk still firmly in place.
I shake my head trying to figure out what is happening, Scorpius snuggles again, which draws my attention away from Malfoy and down, then I slowly shake my head back and forth thinking how odd this is. Not able to actually form a full sentence in my head or able to answer him.
"So apparently you have given your word to my son about keeping a secret, but maybe you could tell me why he is asleep on you." Malfoy says bringing my attention back to him.
"You mean this kind of thing doesn't happen often?" I quip cocking my eyebrow.
"Ah, no, I can't say I have ever found my son, after running away, laying on anyone asleep before." He says matter of fact though his mouth seems to quirk up on one side, "Of course he has never run off before." He adds, a haunted look comes into his eyes and any small trace of a smile is gone. "I was so." He starts then seems to catch himself, and stops his mouth firming in a small frown, evidently not wanting me to know the end of that sentence.
"Oh. Well I guess it is a good thing he ran into me, then." I say not really thinking about what I was saying just about how he was found and is safe.
"Yes." He says then quickly adds, "Is he getting heavy, should we move him?
"I'm fine, and to answer your question, I sat down to read a book with him and he just crawled up onto my lap." I shrug and lift up said book to wave it a bit.
"How long has he been asleep?" Malfoy questions with a slight scowl on his face no doubt because his son is in such close contact with a mudblood.
"He's been out for about thirty minutes now." I say then remember what Scorpius told me. "You must be terribly late for work, if you help me by levitating him, he might just stay asleep." I suggest putting the book I had been reading down next to me on the floor.
"Oh, yes I guess I was late going back to work, but I sent a message as soon as I realized I couldn't find Scor, and took the afternoon off." He says simply relaxing a little and I stop moving to look over at him. "It was only paperwork that needed tending today."
"Oh, well." I say then my mind simply goes blank I have no idea what to say. "Well, you must want to go and get him away from me, I'll help you if you levitate him then I can pull his arm off me." I say and glance over at Malfoy.
He has a deeper scowl on his face and he opens his mouth presumably to agree when Scorpius takes that moment to try to roll over half tumbling off me he wakes, and I remove the silencing charm. "He looks up at me and smiles while rubbing his eyes with his fists. "Hello miss Hermy Herm…in Herminnie." He says stumbling over my name looking frustrated he can't pronounce it.
"Hey, Scorpius, all my friends call me 'Mione." I smile, "Maybe you could just call me that." I suggest and he nods.
"Okay, 'Mione." He then seems to realize his dad is sitting next to us. His eyes go wide and he looks panicked. "Um, hi dad." He scoots to where he is half hidden next to me.
"Scorpius, could you come out from behind Granger so that I can talk to you?" Malfoy's voice is stern though not unkind.
Slowly he moves from next to me to in front of Malfoy, and looks down at his feet not meeting Malfoy's eyes. "Did 'Mione tell you my secret?" He mumbles softly.
"No, she didn't tell me your secret, but I did happen to notice that you did not go to the loo." Malfoy says as Scorpius' head snaps up to look at me then he shifts his gaze to his dad. "Why did you tell me you were going to go to the loo, then leave and come here?" Malfoy asks and I watch in awe at the way he speaks to his son. Nothing at all how I remember Lucius talking to him when we were at school.
"I wanted to read a book." Scorpius says simply looking down again.
"I was worried when I couldn't find you. Do you understand that you can't just leave and go where you want without me?" He asks Scorpius firmly though without a harsh bite in the words.
"Yes, father." Scorpius says, "I'm sorry I didn't mean to make you worry." He adds looking shamefully up at his dad. "Do you forgive me?" He asks quietly and I have to blink quickly at the sudden moisture in my eyes.
"Of course I forgive you." Malfoy says quickly. "Promise me you won't just leave and go where you want without me again." He says solemnly and Scorpius nods enthusiastically.
"I promise, dad." Scorpius says seriously then throws himself at Malfoy, "I love you Dad." He says hugging him like a monkey.
"I love you too Scor." Malfoy voice is soft and full of warmth, I am blinking furiously trying not to blubber, while feeling a bit odd at the emotion displayed by these two Malfoy's.
"Dad, I'm hungry." Scorpius says leaning back looking at Malfoy as if all the drama hadn't just happened. "Can we go get some food?" He asks then seems to catch himself adding, "Please?"
"Malfoy chuckles shaking his head, "You are a bottomless pit, when is comes to food."
"Please, dad?" Scorpius begs grinning.
"Only if you promise me you won't leave me again." Malfoy says smiling at his son.
Scorpius gives a squeal and nods his head, "I promise." He then looks over at me and blushes then leans in to Malfoy's ear. "Can we take miss 'Mione too?" I hear him clearly apparently he hasn't mastered the art of whispering.
Malfoy's brows rise and Scorpius looks hopeful, "Well, I don't know if she is able to leave, she works in this store." Malfoy responds.
Scorpius nods in understanding, "I know she works here, I asked." He looks proud of his knowledge and I have to clear my throat so as not to laugh.
"Maybe some other time, yes?" Malfoy suggests to Scorpius, and even though he looks disappointed he nods his head.
I almost said I haven't had lunch, and I really could leave for a bit, but I don't since I wasn't actually invited by Malfoy. Even though Scorpius is adorable, Malfoy probably really wants to leave. I smile politely all thought of laughing gone as I realize he wouldn't have invited me unless I was pureblood anyway. I pick up the book I had been reading and stand. Malfoy stands also and takes hold of Scorpius's hand, then looks at me with an uncomfortable look on his face. Even after all these years, the idea that someone can dislike me for something I have no control over, it still hurts. I swallow hard mentally shoving the feeling away.
"Well, um thanks Granger for um reading to Scor." Malfoy words seemed forced out and after a humming moment he looks down at Scorpius and must decide that insulting me would be bad in front of his son. I'm relieved I didn't invite myself to 'lunch' knowing that Malfoy would rather deal with a blast end skrewt than be around me any longer. I thought maybe when he first came in everything would be fine and we can get past the, well, past and move on, but clearly my inferior blood is still an issue.
"Yeah, Malfoy no problem. I do enjoy reading." I answer nonchalantly then kneel down in front of Scorpius who has a confused look on his face, I forget about Malfoy and focus on Scorpious, this isn't his fault. "It was wonderful meeting you, and thank you for reading with me." I say.
Scorpius' face lights up and he drops Malfoy's hand to throw his arms around my neck to hug me. I can feel the shock on my face and after a second I hug him back, he leans back and smiles brilliantly at me. "Bye 'Mione."
"Bye." I say quietly and then look up at Malfoy as Scorpius takes his hand again, there is a funny look on his face. I can't place it and it passes as he blinks the look away, nods at me before turning and walking out the door.
I rise and watch until they disappear then smile to myself at how sweet Draco Malfoy's son is, I never would have thought, it must be his mother who taught Scorpius how to be so caring. I try to recall whom it was that he married, but I don't remember seeing anything about it, or if I did I didn't pay any attention to it. I shrug the thoughts away and finish putting the few books on shelves, before fetching my bag from my office and locking up to go find some lunch. I shove all the events of this morning away knowing I probably won't have to deal with either Malfoy again.
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