"Yes, Ella if you and your friends want to you can use the whirlpool now," Hermione answered her. "I'll prepare some snacks for you all for afterwards."
Ella gave Hermione a quick hug. "Great - thanks, Hermione. Where's Father?"
"He's clearing some of the snow from the path."
Ella left the kitchen, slamming the door behind her and Hermione sighed. The girl was like a whirlwind! As she had just turned fourteen, you would think she would have calmed down a bit by now.
Hermione prepared the snacks and then poured two glasses of wine and went into the snug. She grabbed a magazine, stretched her legs out in front of her and sighed contentedly. She'd come to love The Lodge just as much as Draco did.
The door opened and Draco stepped in - he'd removed his outer clothing but he still had snow in his hair.
"Well, that's cleared it a bit but I don't think we'll be going too far anytime soon," he said.
"Oh no! I remember what happened the last time we were snowed in here!" Hermione said.
"I asked you to marry me!" Draco sounded offended. "Why are you adding an 'oh no' at the front of your sentence?
Hermione laughed. "I never imagined myself getting married. I'm not the marrying type."
"Well, you've attempted it twice and managed it once," Draco smirked at her. "Unless there's something you'd like to tell me about you and Erik on our wedding day?"
Hermione threw a cushion at him. "And you're certainly not the marrying type."
"I've been married twice! How can you say that?" Draco asked. "Where are the children?"
"Scorpius and Albus are out the back, sledging down the back slope. Ella and pals are using the whirlpool." Hermione sat up and put her magazine down. "Actually, I need to speak to you about something," she said.
Picking up on her more serious tone of voice, Draco looked over. "What's the matter? What has she done now?"
"Nothing - she's done nothing. It's just she asked me something and I need your opinion on it."
"She can't come here without us - she asked me that yesterday."
"No, that isn't it," Hermione said. "Draco...she asked me if she could..." Hermione paused, feeling awkward. "Well, she asked if she could call me Mother." As she finished the sentence, Hermione took a deep breath because this was a huge thing and one she was quite sure would throw Draco into turmoil.
His eyes had widened and he stared at Hermione. "She asked you that? Really?"
"Yes. To be honest I had no idea how to answer her...I mean I'd love both of them to call me Mother but it isn't that simple," Hermione sighed. "Astoria is their Mother and you know I would always respect that...it's just it would sound so nice..." Hermione looked over at her husband. "I know you'd probably find it uncomfortable and I understand, so you must just tell me what you honestly think."
Draco moved along the sofa until he was next to Hermione. He reached out and gently cupped her face with his hands, staring into her eyes. "I think it would be amazing if they called you Mother," he said.
"Honestly? You're not just being nice?"
"Why on earth would you think that I wouldn't like it? The women bringing your children up would generally be called Mother."
"But they still refer to Astoria as Mother."
"Astoria's a lovely memory for them and I'm glad they both still talk about her," Draco said. "But you're the one looking after them every day and doing a bloody good job. You are their Mother in everything but name, Hermione."
Hermione smiled. "Thank you."
"So, they've had two great women in their lives? I say lucky kids!" Draco continued. He bent forward and gently kissed Hermione on the lips. "So tell that obnoxious child of mine that you'd love her to call you Mother."
Hermione laughed at Draco's description of his daughter. She knew he didn't mean a word of it and it was said with affection. Draco leant a little closer.
"See, now I'm thinking of the first time we were snowed in here," he said. "I think we could do with a trip here for just the two of us - it would give us a chance to relive our memories."
"I don't know what you mean," Hermione said, although she absolutely did.
Draco smirked. "Well, let's see - you were supposed to be tending to my serious wound but instead couldn't keep your wandering hands to yourself..."
"You have a bad memory - that isn't what happened."
"Yeh, it is. Then there's the ripping the shirt off and seducing me in the snow episode."
Hermione laughed. "You're forgetting you feeding me strawberries."
Draco chuckled. "Merlin! I had forgotten that! God, you were sexy."
"Were?" Hermione questioned him as he pulled her back towards him.
"Yeh - girlfriends are always that bit sexier than wives..." Hermione slapped him hard and he laughed. "Okay - I'll give you a chance later to prove me wrong..." He laughed again and Hermione let him pull her into him.
The door opened and Ella came in unceremoniously.
"Hermione - Jake keeps splashing the girls hair and it's annoying us. Katie is almost in tears, you know how she loves her hair..." Ella paused. "Oh and Scorpius has snapped the string on his sledge - he's stuck at the top of the slope."
Hermione and Draco glanced at one another and then both stood up, resignedly. As Hermione followed Ella to the whirlpool she smiled to herself. So what if hers and Draco's two minutes of alone time was being interrupted? So what if the children drove them crazy sometimes? This was what life was all about - being a family.
Short and sweet (I hope!).
Well, what I should really do now is put the laptop away and leave fanfiction well alone. I'm sure I'd have a much tidier house if it wasn't for this site! However, as I already have two ideas for new stories (one suggested to me and one of my own) so I'll be back shortly with a new one.
The story I've had suggested to me will be quite plot heavy so I'm going to go with my own idea first and do that one next. My own idea is going to be a bit different again - still about them as adults but a bit more light hearted and fun. It's best to keep swapping around so you (and me!) don't all get bored.
Put me on author alert because it won't be long till I start posting.