A/N: I just reread this for editing purposes and now I'm in tears.
You guys…I don't even know what to say. This has been such an adventure for me, for you, for us together. It's my first novel, the first of many (look for my name on bookstands some day!), and a part of my soul, here, on paper (or on your screen, whatever). The support I've gotten from you has been amazing, each review a spark of light in the dark, every view a door to my mind, every favorite a favorite moment.
So. Well, here it is. The epilogue. The end. I hope you love it, I really do. It's filled with fluff and just a touch of angst (it wouldn't be Drarry if there was no angst :P). It's everything.
I love this story and I love all of you. For the final time, enjoy!
(p.s. I'll be publishing shorter, mostly one-shots on Mondays from now on. There will be "enjoy"s then ^.^)
The flat-warming party was a remarkable success. Harry and Draco spent one last night at Malfoy Manor and collected even more books to bring, not to mention Draco's bed. They left very early and squeezed in as much shopping and unpacking as they could by four. By then they had a kitchen set, bread, milk, pasta and sauce, and a bottle of champagne, walls and walls of shelves that Draco had already filled, and a dresser, which was a disaster area. Clothes hung out of drawers, unfolded and hastily thrown in. Harry's study was empty, and they still didn't have a couch or chairs, but they made it work.
The sheer number of people was staggering. Ron and Hermione, Neville and Aurora, and Luna, of course. All of the Weasleys; even Charlie apparated in from Romania. Mrs. Malfoy. Professor Whisp—who was now Amelia—and her family. Members of the Order came and went; even Kingsley stopped by for a few minutes in between meetings.
Dinner was pasta, and halfway through Draco stood. The table had been lengthened to take up the entire living room as well as the dining area, and the chairs had multiplied like bunnies. He glanced at Harry, and his mum, who knew only because he needed to get his grandmother's ring. Mr. Weasley suspected, as Harry had written to him about jewelers, but had kept his suspicions to himself. Then Draco announced and everyone applauded, even Ron. Mrs. Weasley had tears in her eyes. Ron and Hermione held hands. Harry realized with a start that Mrs. Malfoy was going to be his mother-in-law. And, holy Merlin, Lucius Malfoy his father-in-law. That was—that would certainly be something. Draco summoned their rings and, finally, for the first time, they wore them together, in public.
Harry and Draco had the summer to plan their wedding. It was not an easy process, and nearly every night Harry went to bed hating Draco as much as he loved him. Eventually Mrs. Weasley and Mrs. Malfoy took over all planning duties, and after that things went much more smoothly. Harry and Draco were left with the fun parts—sampling cakes, choosing lettering for the invitations (they ended up having Daisy do it), and deciding where to honeymoon. Harry complained they wouldn't have time, not once he started training, but Draco insisted. He did concede they to waiting to make any final decisions until Harry knew more about his schedule.
There was the matter of when to have the wedding. Harry wanted to have it before he started at the Ministry, but Draco absolutely refused any date before his father was released. Harry thought that to be a very reasonable request but, as he told Draco for the hundredth time, so was not having the ceremony in the middle of the night when he finally got home, utterly exhausted from training. Their fight escalated into a screaming match and culminated with Draco breaking down into tears. The decision was put off while Harry owled Kingsley and the current Head of Auror Office. He felt like a heel for trying to get time off before he even started, but apparently there was a long history of marriages taking place during the training season, and Harry was granted three days off in mid-October.
The second big fight revolved around where: Harry wanted the Burrow and Draco Malfoy Manor. Harry physically dragged Draco into their fireplace and to the Burrow, once again setting off the Caterwauling charm, to show him where Bill and Fleur's wedding had been, and pictures from the event. Mrs. Weasley calmly took the photo album back from Harry and suggested they have the ceremony at the Burrow and the reception at the Manor. Draco started to argue for the reverse until it was pointed out to him that the Manor was much more suited to an occasion as fancy as a wedding reception than the Burrow was.
The third and final blowout was over dress robes. Harry wanted Draco in white and wouldn't hear of anything else. Draco insisted it was emasculating and Harry pointed out he wasn't exactly the picture of masculinity, which earned him a broken nose. Hermione was there to fix it, and she quietly suggested perhaps they could both wear white.
"Three times," Harry said, still holding a hand to his nose, despite the fact that it had stopped bleeding and didn't hurt anymore. "Three times you've broken my nose. I should get something for that."
"You picked the cake," Draco shot back. "White raspberry with red raspberry filling. It was one kiss. You don't need to base our entire relationship on one bloody truffle!"
"Oh come off it, it was your favorite too," Harry snapped.
"No, I wanted the—"
"Shut up!" Ron yelled. "You've already decided, and you didn't even have a fight over it. If you're going to get into a screaming match, at least stay focused."
Draco spun around to face Ron. "You know why he wants me in white?" he asked dangerously. "Because once, before we were even engaged, he wanked to our wedding, and he had me in white." Ron turned a bright red, and Draco whirled back to Harry. "I'm not wearing white!"
"What if you did, but Harry was the one to walk down the aisle?" Hermione suggested. "You'd each be filling both gender rolls."
Draco's eyes continued to burn, but he didn't entirely reject the proposition. "Who'd walk you down?" he asked angrily. "The bloody Mirror of Erised?"
That time it was Draco's nose that was broken.
Eventually, though, they settled on Hermione's suggestion. Mrs. Weasley was to give Harry away. Harry would wear black, Draco white. The figures of them on top of the cake would be wearing opposite colors. Draco was still rather sulky about the arrangement, but the moment he agreed to it Hermione insisted on an Unbreakable Vow, and after that there was nothing to be said.
Besides, the makeup sex was worth it.
Harry dropped out of the planning process completely on the first of September. Auror training was every bit as grueling as he had expected, if not more so. He left for the Ministry at six in the morning and was lucky if he got home by ten. Draco rose to the occasion magnificently. Every night Harry was greeted with a warm dinner, even if the only preparation was boiling water or heating up a pot of store-bought soup. When he was too exhausted to do it himself Draco would undress him, and heal any wounds left over from the day. They did have sex, despite Harry's worries. Tired, Draco-doing-all-the-work sex, but sex nonetheless.
The only night Harry had an empty bed was October 1st, the day Lucius Malfoy was released from Azkaban. He and Draco had already discussed it, and thought it would be best for him to remain at home. It was a family night, and while Harry was soon to be family—in exactly three weeks, in fact—neither of them felt it a good idea for Mr. Malfoy to come home to Harry Potter in his sitting room. He had cereal for dinner that night and collapsed into bed, sleeping in his robes. It might have been a Saturday, but trainees only got a day off every other week, and Harry had been off Wednesday.
Draco was back in their flat by the time Harry got home Sunday night, looking as though nothing had happened. It turned out not much had; his father had spent a long time sleeping, even longer talking to his wife in private, and Draco only spent a few hours with him. He had also changed his mind about telling his father about the wedding, despite the impending date. This made Harry nervous, but he kept it to himself.
A new routine was born, though at first it didn't seem to affect Harry directly. Draco was always there when he woke up and when he got home from work, but he had stopped spending his days in the flat and instead stayed at Malfoy Manor with his father. Harry wasn't thrilled with the idea; every day it seemed like Draco considered the flat more and more Harry's instead of theirs, but he didn't know how to raise the topic without sounding like an absolute jerk.
It came to a head when Harry came home to an empty flat, devoid of both Draco and his precious chaise. It seemed the couch was enchanted to follow Draco wherever he lived; it had appeared in the flat without any coaxing from Hogwarts. Harry Flooed to Manor and they had another screaming match. It turned out that was how Mr. Malfoy found out about the wedding, when Harry threatened to call it off since they weren't even living together anymore. Mr. Malfoy stopped the argument in its tracks: he lectured Draco for being insensitive and not holding up his end of the relationship and then Harry, for not making an effort to be there for Draco when he so clearly needed it.
Harry was surprised at how on point and direct Mr. Malfoy was, as well as the lack of scorn and derision in his voice. Harry and Draco apologized to each other, and they spent the next few hours with both of Draco's parents. As soon as the fight was over awkwardness had taken over, and all four of them had to work against it. Mr. Malfoy in particular was put off, blaming everyone in the room for not telling him about the wedding sooner, for not informing him there was going to be a reception in his own house. He carefully avoided ever saying outright it was Harry who Draco was going to marry but he also didn't come out and condemn it, and Harry was quite pleased with that.
By the time Harry and Draco returned to their flat the chaise was back in its customary place.
Harry forced himself to stay up with Draco, at least most nights, and the difference was immediately noticeable. Draco was once again there. The closer it got to the wedding the more conversation centered on it. Harry was shown seating plans, menus, a set-list for the band, and while he could carry a conversation on any one topic, it flew out of his head as soon as they moved onto the next. Even though he was sure Draco had told him a hundred times, he still nearly had a heart attack when Madame Alezae, the witch from Île de Caché from whom he had bought Draco's cloak, showed up in the middle of a particularly difficult training session and frog-marched him into a spare room. She took his measurements, circled him several times, and pushed him back out to train. When Harry mentioned this to Draco he laughed, and said she'd be back in a few days with his robes.
"Can't she drop them off here?" Harry asked. "Everyone was laughing at me."
"No," Draco said, rolling his eyes as if it was obvious. "What if she needs to make alterations? It's our wedding, Harry, you've got to look perfect."
The second encounter was much worse, and from then on his fellow trainees would only call him Fancy Pants. For the first time in his life, Harry missed the days of The Boy Who Lived. Even Scarhead was better than Fancy Pants.
And then, quite suddenly, it was October 20th and the wedding was tomorrow. They held a rehearsal dinner at the Burrow, complete with an awful, embarrassing Best Man speech from Ron. The wedding party was a little awkward, since they so closely shared a small group of friends. Ron was Best Man to both of them, despite some whining from both Draco and Ron, and Hermione was Maid of Honor to both. Ron and Hermione would be standing on Harry's side and Neville and Aurora on Draco's, a decision reached by the flip of a coin. Luna had gotten special permission from Kingsley to perform the ceremony. Harry was a little nervous about this, but Draco insisted everything would be fine.
The day of the wedding dawned crisp, cool and sunny, the perfect fall day. They had spent the night at Malfoy Manor, ironing out any kinks with the reception and squeezing in last minute time with Mr. Malfoy, who was still cool around Harry and very awkward about the whole thing. Hermione whisked Harry away as soon as he woke up and Draco took care of himself, though Neville was assigned to keep him company. It was kind of reassuring, to be somewhere other than where wedding was taking place. Harry didn't hear the arrival of all their friends and family and family of friends and a few professors and their families, or the string quartet warming up, or the sounds of the chefs setting up and holy Merlin where would they be? The kitchen at the Burrow was hardly enough to hold three professional chefs cooking for two hundred. Harry started to go into conniptions over this and insisted on apparating over to the Burrow to check on things, but Hermione held him firmly in place and kept repeating that everything was being taken care of.
Harry fidgeted endlessly as he dressed, as Hermione put on the finishing touches, especially when Mrs. Malfoy showed up with a small handful of accessories. Blue socks. Cufflinks that had been in their family for at least a century. A new rose, plucked from their garden, tucked into his breast pocket. Everything she gave him was borrowed. He felt ridiculous, but she insisted it was tradition and Draco was getting the same treatment.
Before he knew it he was apparating to the Burrow. He was confined to Ron's room, lest he see Draco before the wedding. He could hear everything now, and his heart refused to beat regularly. Why couldn't they just go to the Ministry and get their papers signed? Why had he agreed to such a big ceremony been? Then he remembered that he was the one who had wanted it; Draco had said he would have been fine with just his family and their friends at the Ministry. Harry cursed himself.
Ginny took Hermione's place as his guard while Hermione saw to last minute details. Harry was twisting his engagement ring over and over again, pacing the tiny room, and then it suddenly occurred to him who he was with, and that this might be awkward. He stood still, facing Ginny.
"Is this okay with you?" Harry asked. "Me and Draco getting married? I'm not, I dunno, breaking your heart?"
Ginny laughed. "If you were going to do that, Harry, it would have been ages ago. I'm very happy for you, and I wish you nothing but the best. I'm here with Dean, you know. He's my plus one, or would be, if he hadn't also been invited."
"Right," Harry said. "Sorry. Stupid question."
He resumed pacing. He was nineteen, and he was getting married. Every time that hit him his stomach twisted. Then he imagined Draco's smiling face, and he relaxed. This was fine. It was good. It was right.
The number of people downstairs, however, was not nearly as okay. He started listing them in his head and lost track halfway through Dumbledore's Army. Not for the first time he felt a little guilty that they were mostly his friends, but Draco had shrugged it off, saying he'd rather be surrounded by Weasleys than Parkinsons.
"Ginny, where're the cooks?" Harry asked, again jerking to a halt.
She smiled at him. "At Malfoy Manor, getting ready for the reception. Nobody eats during the actual ceremony."
Harry's shoulders fell. Right. That was obvious. He knew that. He resumed pacing.
And then, quite suddenly, Mrs. Weasley relieved Ginny, and a few minutes later they were walking downstairs and gathering by the back door. Amelia's daughters were flower girls, wearing matching pale blue dresses, hair tied back with bows. They looked very cute. They'd also be the ones walking behind Harry, the ones he would disturb if he tripped or forgot how to walk or something. The door was propped open and Harry could hear quiet conversation and, Merlin, this was actually happening.
Everything else faded away. This was happening. Harry couldn't think of anywhere he'd rather be, anything he'd rather do than marry the man at the other end of the white carpet. He was so absorbed in thinking about how lucky he was that he missed his cue entirely. Mrs. Weasley grabbed his arm and dragged him out the door, Winnie and Eirinn following close behind. Harry kept his eyes straight ahead. He didn't want to look at the guests, didn't want to think about how everyone was staring at him, wanted only to see Draco, who was still blocked by all the faces turning to watch him. He could see Luna directly before him, wearing a wispy lavender dress, but that was it. No Draco, no Ron, Hermione, Neville or Aurora.
And then, as he drew closer, he saw Draco. His feet tangled, and if it weren't for Mrs. Weasley's hold on his arm, he would have fallen. There weren't words for how Draco looked, they hadn't been invented. He was wearing all white and it set off his skin and his hair and it almost looked like he was sparkling before Harry realized that indeed he was. His cloak reflected in the bright sunlight, radiating tiny flecks of light. Draco was so relaxed, so at peace, Harry couldn't help relaxing himself. The rest of his walk was lost in Draco's eyes, and he tripped again over the low platform. Mrs. Weasley pushed him up as Hermione grabbed his arm, and there was some laughter from the crowd, but he didn't care. He was marrying Draco. Actually marrying him.
Luna recited Draco's favorite sonnet, the first he had ever read to Harry, the one Harry had gifted him. She gave a beautiful and slightly strange speech about love and a creature called a Vorintle Puncavian. Harry and Draco held hands, Draco's eyes fixed on Harry's, which really didn't help Harry understand what Luna was saying at all. Draco's hands were cool, as they always were, and soft, and his fingers long and graceful, and his eyes were the color of ash from a magical fire or rainclouds or the stones of Hogwarts and yes, Harry knew all of this, but it felt like he was learning everything for the first time.
Ron and Neville stepped forward, and Harry realized that this was it, right now, this moment.
"Draco Lucius Malfoy, do you agree to hold and to cherish, to take on adventures, to fall and get back up again, to fight and forgive and to fly to the moon and back with this man?" Luna asked.
"I do," Draco said, slipping the ring onto Harry's finger. Harry had never heard more beautiful words in his life.
"Harry James Potter, do you agree to love and lie with, to fight with and for, to be here for, to be fearless with and to fly to the moon and back with this man?"
"I do," Harry said. His hands were trembling so much he nearly dropped the ring Ron handed him, but he managed to get it on Draco's finger.
"Then, by the rather sudden and short power given to me by the Minister of Magic, I declare you bonded for life."
The crowd burst into cheers Harry didn't hear as he kissed Draco, as he kissed his husband. His lips were so soft and tasted of vanilla, and when Draco's hands moved to his lower back, Harry wrapped his arms around Draco's neck and they stood and kissed for what seemed like ages.
They broke apart when Hermione nudged them, clearing her throat and holding out a bouquet. Neither Harry nor Draco had consented to carrying it but Draco insisted on the traditional throwing of the flowers, and had made Hermione hold it for them. Harry and Draco took it together and tossed it into the crowd, where it was caught by Ginny, who blushed a typical Weasley red. Harry kissed Draco again, not ready to let go, and he didn't even notice as Draco apparated them to Malfoy Manor until he opened his eyes.
The guests were, quite literally, appearing before their eyes, and they went to stand by the cake, waiting until everyone arrived before cutting the first slice. Draco fed it to Harry, even though they had agreed not to do that, not after the marshmallow incident at Christmas, so Harry ran his finger through the icing at the base of the cake and smeared it on Draco's nose. Mrs. Malfoy, who had seen this before, quickly dissolved the situation by pushing the boys away and cutting the cake properly. It suddenly struck Harry that they had done this backwards—it was supposed to be dinner first and then cake—but he didn't particularly care, and neither did anyone else.
While everyone was busy with the cake, Mr. Malfoy slipped over to Harry. They stood facing each other for a moment before an extremely surprised Harry was pulled into a hug.
"I don't understand," Mr. Malfoy said, breaking away. "But you make my son very happy, and for that you will always be a part of our family."
"Thank you," Harry said, genuinely touched.
Then the moment was ruined by George appearing, wrapping an arm around each of them, and grinning. "Father and son bonding moment, eh?"
Mr. Malfoy flinched and pulled away, and Harry elbowed George in the ribs. He hadn't talked to Draco's parents about how he was to address them, but he was quite confident it wasn't going to be mum and dad.
Draco walked over holding two plates of cake and handed one to Harry. "What did Father say?" he asked, taking his first bite. Before Harry could answer he let out a small moan. "Bloody hell this cake is good."
"He was welcoming me into the family," Harry said. "It was sweet."
Draco smiled. "I told you he's not all bad."
They made it through dinner before apparating away, not bothering to stay for the dancing or conversation, not when they could be having sex on a private island in the South Pacific. Harry found that married sex was the best sort of sex, even if beach sex resulted in sand in all sorts of unwanted places. Shower sex fixed that, and bed-in-their-private-beach-house sex had all the benefits of beach sex without the hassle of sand.
It was very late when they ate the meal Daisy had prepared for them. Draco had insisted on a house elf for their honeymoon, and Harry had insisted on Daisy. Afterward they sat on a swinging chair on the front porch, cuddling and holding hands, looking out at the ocean. Either fairies were native to the island or the travel agency had imported them because the palm trees were sparkling with light.
"It's never going to end, will it?" Draco asked quietly. "Us, I mean. We're never ending."
"Always," Harry said, squeezing his hand. "At least until Monday when I've got to go back to training."
Draco smacked him. "Shut up, Potter."