Hello! So, tomorrow's my birthday and as a sort-of present, I thought I'd give you one more look into this family's life. Here we go and I'll see you at the bottom.
Disclaimer: I own nothing you may recognize. Any and all original characters are mine, the original characters of Harry Potter belong to J.K. Rowling; I'm merely playing in her sandbox with her incredibly cool toys.
Day 7,607: Bye Bye Birdy
(7,607 days post pregnancy)
~20 (or so) years later~
"Mum," Calum groaned, shifting slightly away from Hermione and her pinching fingers. "Come on. Not in front of Lily."
"Oh, I think it's adorable, Cal. You're adorable." Lily kissed my son's cheek and went back to talking to Hermione about Calum's infant years. Oh, and there were pictures.
"Ugh." Calum groaned and got up, walking over to me and taking the seat next to mine. "Dad, how can you live with her?"
"I spend a lot of time at the hospital." I chuckled. "What's got you down, son?"
"What has me down? Are you not hearing what's happening over there?" Calum gestured frantically to where Hermione and Lily were giggling over a photo at the kitchen table. "If Grandma Cissa were to show off your baby pictures to mum, you wouldn't be too happy about it."
"Ah, but that's already happened." I sighed. "So, I'm painfully aware of how you feel, and let me just say, you'll have to get over it. Happy wife, happy life."
"I can't even see them and yet she shows them to her! I just can't win!"
Calum sighed and slumped against the table, wincing every time Lily giggled about something. I looked at my son and smiled.
He'd come so far and grown so much since his birth seventeen years ago. Don't get me wrong, he'd had his problems. With being born blind, he'd had to work twice as hard at being normal as other children, as he couldn't play quidditch, read regular books, or play very many active sports without hurting himself. He eventually learned how to do all of those things, but it still pained me to see my son go through everything he had. As a parent, you would give anything to keep your kids from getting hurt, but sometimes, you just had to let them ride out their own storms. From bullies to broken hearts, Calum was a trooper and I was so extremely proud of him, especially when he and Lily had graduated from Hogwarts earlier that day.
He'd met Lily Potter the day after she was born, the two being one month apart. When they were but four years old, Lily declared that she and Calum were going to be best friends. She'd stuck by him throughout the years and without her, Cal probably would not be the man he was today, personality wise. While Calum was serious and loved learning everything, Lily was always laughing and preferred sports over school. She was fiercely smart and the two grounded each other, so it wasn't much of a shock when they announced they were dating two years ago. I was sure Hermione and Ginny were already planning their wedding.
Cal was planning on staying home for a year or two before moving to a wizarding community in America, where he could start a career without being immediately labeled as the son of the war heroine and ex-deatheater. He wanted to be a writer and had talked about writing a book from the viewpoint of a blind man, which he would have some experience in, hardy har har. I'd read some of his short stories and, I had to say, they were amazing. Calum had once included Lily in his plans to move away, but was scared to assume they would still be together.
We were all sure it would take no less than a hurricane to break Lily and Calum apart, but of course, teenagers know best.
"Hey, honey?" Hermione called me and I looked up at her. "Have you heard from Azula? She should be here by now... with you-know-who that has a very special you-know-what."
My face immediately fell. "Haven't heard from her."
"Well, let me know when she gets here. We'll be out back." Hermione and Lily stood from the table and walked out the back door, sitting on opposite chairs on the patio. I grumbled as I stood up and poured myself a small glass of firewhiskey.
"Woah, Dad. If you're drinking that, something's wrong." Cal told me, smelling the alcohol. "What is it?"
"It's your sister and her... boyfriend." I said the word like it was acid on my tongue. "You know, I never liked him."
"Pfft. Sometimes I think you like Jesper more than you like me sometimes." Cal laughed. "But seriously, what's wrong with them?"
"Nothing's wrong with them. Just... Jesper is going to ask me if he can marry Azula."
Calum was shrugged like it was nothing. "Oh. Cool."
I scowled. "It's not cool."
"Oh, come on, Dad. You had to have seen this coming; she brought Jesper home for Christmas last year." He took off his glass and rubbed his eyes, turning to look at me with those sightless silver orbs. "He's a good guy."
"I'm not doubting that he is. I just don't like him by principle."
"How dramatic of you." Calum laughed, standing and clapping me on huge back when the doorbell rang. "Oh, I'll get that, Dad."
"Watch it, son."
"Sure." He walked out of the room and I heard the door open, plus the sound of my oldest's squeal.
"Hey, Azula. Yeah- missed you too. Hey, Jesper- yes, I'm actually blind. No, it wasn't a joke. Yeah- uh huh- no, I understand, simple mistake. Good to see ya, er- you know."
Azula, my twenty year old little girl, came bounding into the room and nearly knocked me off my feet as she tackled me into a hug.
"Hey, Daddy." She mumbled, her face in my shirt.
"Azula." I hugged her back tightly, ignoring the slight pain in my ribs from her assault on me. "You know, I'm getting old. You're going to have to be gentler with your dear old Dad."
"Whatever." She let go and kissed me on the cheek just as Jesper walked into the room behind Calum. "Dad, you remember Jesper, right?"
Jesper was a French man she'd met during her internship in France. He was studying in the care of magical creatures and specializing in dragons. He was twenty-two and had been dating my daughter for almost two years, now.
"Uh huh." I nodded, sticking out my hand towards him. When I squeezed his hand in a vice grip he squeezed right back, silently telling me he wasn't about to back down around me. I appreciated that, but I sure wasn't about to say it. "How've you been, Azula?"
"Oh, France is wonderful this time of year. Final exams are next week and then I'll be finished with school, so I'm looking for a job." She replied, instantly tucking herself into Jesper's side. "Jesper and I might move in together."
"Oh, are you, now?" I eyed Jesper, making him look sheepish.
"Um, Mr. Malfoy... could I have a word?" Jesper gestured to the other room.
"Sure, why not. Azula, why don't you go let your mother know you're here? Lily is here, too." I stuffed my hands in my pockets and stepped into the living room, Jesper following behind me. "Now, what was it you needed to say to me?"
"Sir, I... I love your daughter more than anything," He said quickly. "I know we're young, but I can't imagine living without her; she's my everything."
"Spit it out, boy." I narrowed my eyes at him.
"I wanted to ask you for permission to marry Azula." Jesper said quietly, his hand fiddling with something in his pocket. "You and Mrs. Malfoy's opinions are very important to her, so I want to ask for your blessing."
"And what did my wife say?"
"I... didn't have to ask her, sir. She sent me a letter weeks ago, telling me she would be floored if I was her son-in-law."
"I can't say that is much of a surprise." I sighed, then stepped closer to him. "But let me tell you this, Jesper. Azula's my baby girl and if you hurt her, there will be no place on this planet where you can hide from me. Treat her right or I'm sure she'll get you before I do."
"Yes sir," He nodded. "I'll take care of her to my very last breath."
"She wants to travel the world, Jesper." I replied. "Did you know that?"
"And I'll follow her wherever she goes." Jesper said. "I've thought this through, Mr. Malfoy. She's just... she's it for me. Whatever she wants do, wherever she wants to go, I'm willing."
"You'd better be." I nodded. "She's just like her mother- stubborn and terribly intelligent. She's not one to let things go." I told Jesper to take a seat as I sat opposite him. "You're both very young. There's so much more time to get to know each other, so why now?"
"Why not?" He responded. "This isn't some fling or school romance, Mr. Malfoy. I can see us forty years down the line, happy. I can see myself spending the rest of my life with her and I've never felt that way before. I can see us, old and gray and still laughing as we sit on the front porch of our house. I haven't any reason that you should believe me, but... I know we'll make it, as young as we are. I'm better with her than I am without her and she knows it. She feels the same."
I sighed, staring at the young man sitting across from me. He did not squirm under my gaze, nor did he break eye contact. He seemed sincere in his words and, I thought, if Azula had to marry someone of my choosing, I would have chosen Jesper for her. Though I didn't like the fact that she would grow up and have her own family, I knew it would happen and, as her father, I would always look out for her.
"You have my blessing, then. It goes without saying that you my wife's, also." I told him. Hermione was completely enamored with him as if he were her own son. I stood up and shook Jesper's hand. "You're a good young man, Jesper. I appreciate that you asked me beforehand."
"Azula values your opinion over anyone else's, so i figured, concerning her, I should too." He let go of my hand and smiled. "I was hoping to ask her after dinner tonight." Jesper pulled a small box out of his pocket. "Would you like to see the ring, sir?"
I nodded. He opened the box and I cracked a smile. It was a silver ring with a large emerald in the middle of it and several smaller diamonds around the band and the emerald. It looked exactly like the ring I gave Hermione when we married, save for the fact that hers was a ruby.
"She once said she adored her mother's ring," Jesper noted. "I had this one made for her."
"It's nice." I told him, clapping him once on the back. "You be good to her, son."
"I will... Dad." He smiled, causing me to cock a brow. "Um, too soon?"
I walked out of the living room and onto the porch, taking the seat next to Hermione, who had pulled her hair into its usual tie and was chatting with Azula. I kissed her neck and took her hand, pulling her up and leading her to the kitchen with me.
"So? Is it happening?" Hermione urged.
"Well..." I sighed. "Yes, it is-"
"AH!" My wife grabbed my hands and squealed jumping up and down on the spot. "THIS IS SO-"
"Shush!" I clamped my hand over her mouth but she continued to practically vibrate with excitement. "Any louder and you'll clue Azula into what's happening! Then I'll be the one she's furious at!"
She nodded, closing her mouth and trying hard to lose the smile on her face before we went back outside. She could contain it no more and opened her mouth in a silent scream, making me smile and roll my eyes.
"Alright, get yourself together, woman." I told her, taking her in my arms and kissing her soundly. "Nadira's due to be home any minute, and you know that girl could easily sniff out something if you don't hide it well."
"Okay, okay," Hermione giggled, hugging me closely. "This is just so exciting! Our first baby- our little Azula- is going to get married," She giggled again. "And our son has just graduated from Hogwarts at the top of his year. Soon, our baby girl is going to be out of the house and-"
"AZULA! AZULA, ARE YOU HERE?!"
"-still screaming at the top of her lungs." I finished for Hermione. We walked into the living room to see Nadira standing in the door way, her bookbag thrown onto the floor and forgotten. She was staring at Azula's jacket that hung on the coat rack. "Nadira! How was sch-"
"AZULA?!" She screamed again, ignoring my greeting.
"Nadira, is that you?" Azula walked into the room and smiled brightly when she saw her sister. "NADIRA!"
They ran to each other and flew into each other's arms, talking wildly about how much each of them missed the other. It was no secret- to anyone, really- that Azula's favorite person in her life was her little sister and that Nadira preferred Azula over anyone else. It was great to see that they were so close, but now that Nadira had started Hogwarts and Azula had found Jasper, it seemed to take hours for the two to get reacquainted. They were best friends, truly.
"Alright, alright!" Calum came into the room while rubbing his temples. "I can hear your screams all the way from outside! I'm trying to have a conversation with my girlfriend!"
"Cal!" Nadira hugged her brother as well.
"Nadira, I saw you earlier today at graduation. Okay, fine. I missed you too." Cal rolled his eyes but hugged Nadira nonetheless. Azula cooed at them and hugged them both, making Cal somewhat uncomfortable with all of the touching. He had never been ecstatic about physical contact because he couldn't always 'see' it coming.
"Oh, wait! Let me get a picture!" Hermione ran to the cabinet and pulled out her camera. "Smile... Calum, smile for Mummy, please!"
Calum managed to grin and Hermione snapped the picture with a flash, pulling the camera from in front of her face to stare at our children.
At eleven, seventeen and twenty, our children were truly the best thing to happen to us. It was hard to believe that they were all small enough to fit in our arms at one time and now two of them were adults and one was becoming a young woman.
"We made some amazing kids, didn't we?" I slipped my arm around Hermione's waste.
"Yes, we did." Hermione nodded. "And to think, each one of them came out of my-"
"Mother!" Calum yelled and shivered.
"What?! I was going to say 'belly'!" Hermione went up to Calum and pinched a cheek. "You're the one who made it uncomfortable!"
"Huh?" Nadira looked confused.
"They'll tell you when you're... well, I'm sure they'll tell you soon." Azula giggled and walked back outside.
"But I want to know now!" Nadira whined, and began to follow her sister. "Azula! Tell me what-"
"Nadira," Hermione called, and our youngest daughter turned around. "School shoes. Take them off before they get ruined."
Nadira huffed and kicked her shoes off her feet, sending them flying towards Hermione. I reached out and caught both of them before they hit her in the shins.
"It's good to know my reflexes haven't lessened with age," I smirked, handing her the shoes. "You know, ex-seeker and all."
"Funny, I remember something different about your seeker days." She smirked right back at me as she went into the kitchen. "Namely, a game against Gryffindor in your second year that didn't go as you had planned."
"Shatter my self-esteem, why don't you!" I shouted at her, following her into the kitchen. She stood at the counter, staring outside with a wide smile on her face.
I stood next to her and slid my arm around her waist, looking along with her. Calum stood in the back with his arms around Lily, Azula was leaning on Jesper as they sat on one of the chairs, and they watched and laughed as Nadira excitedly demonstrated what new spells she had learned at Hogwarts. She accidentally turned Calum's hair blue and, although he didn't see it, he was annoyed by it. Azula changed it back and Nadira plunged into a story about a 'monster' in the lake she and her friends had found, her arms flailing about wildly.
"I couldn't have asked for a better life." Hermione mumbled, sniffling. She turned to me and kissed me soundly. "Thanks for... you know, being the guy I had my babies with, and for being the man I married."
"Well, you made me this way, you know." I smiled back at her, my hands on her hips. "I wouldn't be nearly as mushy as I am today had it not been for you."
"Don't pretend that you don't love it."
"Aye," I chuckled. "I do. I'd be anything as long as it got you to smile."
"Laying it on thick tonight, aren't you?" Hermione smiled at me.
"Just telling the truth," I smirked. "And if that means ending up in bed with you tonight, with less clothes on, so be it."
"Well, you certainly are heading in that direction." She smirked, leaning in to kiss me.
"Ew." Nadira stood in the doorway with her siblings and Lily behind her, the older two smiling at us while Nadira looked flat out disgusted by our display. "Mum, Dad, I love you both, but that's gross."
"Oh really? I happen to recall you blabbing on about how handsome Lorcan Sc-"
"Shut it!" Nadira said furiously. "It's gross for them, not me!"
"I'm sure." Azula laughed. "Anyway, it's not gross. It's sweet... as long as no more children come out of it."
"Yeah," Calum agreed. "I've lost too many bets with Azula to keep making new ones-"
"- and I would hate to keep taking his money."
"Oh, please. I'm done with that particular business." Hermione scoffed. "Now, I'm just waiting for my grand-babies to come along, and I'm having a hard time guessing if they'll come from you or Calum first."
"Pass." Calum said before taking Lily's hand and dragging her out of the room.
"Now, hold on a second-!" Lily giggled as she and Calum disappeared upstairs.
Hermione turned to Azula and cocked an eyebrow.
"Don't look at me!" She raised her hands and Jesper coughed awkwardly. "Jesper and I haven't even-"
Jesper clamped his hand over my daughter's mouth and laughed nervously. "Ahem, uh, what she meant is that, er- I'm a gentleman to her, and, um... I just didn't-"
"Alright, before Jesper here has an aneurism," Hermione laughed. "That wasn't a statement that needed any answers."
"At least, not any answers I need to hear." I shivered. "Alright, go tell your brother and sister to get ready for dinner. We leave at eight."
When Hermione and I were the only ones left in the room, she sighed and threw her arms around my neck. "You know, now that our birds are beginning to leave the nest, we're going to have a lot of free time." She smiled.
"We could take a trip to an island, like you've always wanted." I agreed. I put my hands on her hips and we swayed back and forth, dancing only to the music in our own heads. "Maybe explore a jungle or sleep on a beach under the stars."
"Like you'd ever want to wake up in sand." She snickered.
The smile on my face turned into a look of seriousness. "I'll sleep anywhere as long as I get to wake up next to you."
She breathed deeply and smiled wider. "You have quite a way with words, Draco."
"Every one of them is true." I smiled back at her, taking her face in my hands. I brushed my lips across her neck and breathed her in, the familiar scent of mint and strawberries filling my nose. "I love you."
"I love you, too." She breathed.
A/N: Thanks for reading! And guess what? There will be MORE of A Friendly Wager! I'm making two more stories: one outtake story filled with things that didn't fit into this one, and a sequel(sort of) story that is told mainly through Hermione's journals that she had written throughout her life and career. Any questions- Arthur's watch, Ron and his girlfriend, what happened to Blaise and Gwen, and what happened to Hermione's patients- will and have already been written out! These new stories will be published soon, so if you'd like to read them, put me on Author Alert and you'll get an email!
Again, thanks for reading, my lovelies. What do I want for my birthday, you ask? I'd love some last comments on the story. Just remember, this story isn't completely serious and was meant to be light and fun. So, what'd you think of it all? Will you be climbing aboard the sequel ship? -Nikki- a.k.a.- Twipotterfreak28