Five Years Later.
The reception hall in the Ministry of Magic was bustling with activity as the wizarding world prepared to hold a celebration to commemorate five years since Voldemort's downfall. The event was being held to celebrate the free world they now lived in. Despite Voldemort's defeat five years ago it had been a long trek to sort out the mess he had left, but now it was felt to be the right time to acknowledge the past and move on.
The noise in the room suddenly began to die down as the Minister for Magic, Kingsley Shackelbolt took the stage. Kingsley had taken over the position on a temporary basis after the war, but once things had settled down he had been elected to handle the job on a more permanent basis. In his five years as Minister he had revolutionised several areas of wizarding laws and regulations and was been hailed at the best Minister to ever hold the position.
"Thank you all for coming." Kingsley announced as silence descended on the room and he stepped up to the enchanted microphone to start his speech. "As you all know today marks the fifth anniversary of Voldemort's downfall. Many good people were lost both on that day and in the years leading up to that day, so to begin I'd like to announce a two minute silence for everyone who lost their lives at the hands of Voldemort and his Death Eaters."
When Kingsley stopped talking the room went dark, and on the wall behind him dozens of pictures lit up. The pictures were of all people who lost their lives in either war against Voldemort. Almost everyone in the crowds knew someone who had died or they knew someone who had lost a loved one.
Once the silence was over the lights came back on and Kingsley stepped back up to the microphone.
"Of course there is a more positive note to this year's celebrations. While people lost their lives in the war it also created heroes. Every single person who stood up to Voldemort and his tyranny is a hero, but today we want to celebrate the achievements of four people, without whom the war never would have been won. Today I will be presenting The Order of Merlin, to four very special people. Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy."
Applause rang around the room as the three wizards and one witch stepped onto the stage. One by one Kingsley shook hands with them and handed them their award. He then spoke at length about what they had achieved, destroying the Horcrux's and enabling Voldemort to be defeated.
"Now ladies and gentlemen, it's time to end the formalities." Kingsley announced, after he had finished praising Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco. "Thank you all for coming, and I hope you have a good evening."
As the crowds started heading towards the bars and buffets that were set up, Kingsley turned his attention to the four young people on the stage with him. Harry and Ron were now Aurors and he saw them daily as they chased down the remaining Death Eaters and worked so hard to ensure the wizarding world stayed safe. Draco had taken over his father's business interests and together with Hermione he had turned the company into one of the biggest and best in wizarding Europe.
"Thank you all for doing that." Kingsley said, knowing none of the foursome had been overly keen on painting themselves as heroes.
"Thank you for the honour Kingsley." Harry replied. "Although it really wasn't necessary. We didn't do what we did for glory, we did it because it was the right thing to do."
"I know, and that's why you deserve all the praise you receive." Kingsley said. "I meant every word I said back there, you four are the reason we're standing here today free from Voldemort."
Before any of them could protest, as he knew they would, Kingsley said his goodbyes and darted into the crowds. Left alone the four friends also headed into the crowds to find their friends and family. They found the Weasley's standing with Narcissa and Severus and there were hugs all round as the foursome were congratulated.
"Can we stop with the hero talk." Harry said, wrapping his arm around Ginny's waist. The couple had gotten back together after Voldemort's defeat and were currently engaged to be married.
"Yeah, I'm sure we can find something better to talk about." Ron added.
"Like what?" Ginny asked her brother. "Considering where we are the war is the big topic of conversation."
"I could tell you all about my latest date." Ron suggested. Since the war he was happily single and had no intention of settling down like his friends had done.
"Is this one going to last?" Harry asked.
"I doubt it." Ron snorted.
"Then we don't need to hear about it." Ginny said firmly.
"Actually we have some news." Hermione said, drawing attention to where she was standing with Draco.
After the war the couple had stayed together and they had gotten married two and a half years ago. Draco's arm was still badly scarred and he had slight nerve damage, meaning it wasn't as strong as it should be. Despite everyone knowing of the scarring Draco kept his arms covered up, Hermione was the only person he allowed to see his arm.
"Well what is it?" Narcissa questioned. "Don't keep us in suspense."
"We're having a baby." Draco announced with a grin.
Draco and Hermione's news was met with cheers and congratulations all round. Everyone hugged the couple and told them how happy they were for them. Draco had been firmly accepted by the Weasley's and he was as much a part of the family as Hermione was.
"I can't believe I'm going to be a grandmother." Narcissa cried, clearly thrilled with the news.
"I still can't believe I'm going to be a father." Draco said quietly to his mother and Severus, while Hermione was talking with Molly. "What if I screw up, I didn't exactly have a great role model growing up."
"You'll be an excellent father, Draco." Severus reassured the blond.
"Severus is right. You'll be great." Narcissa nodded, agreeing with her partner. She and Severus had become even closer after the war and a little over a year ago they had embarked on a relationship, with Draco's full backing.
"I hope so." Draco sighed, glancing over to where his wife was now talking happily with Harry and Ron. "I don't want to let Hermione or our child down."
"You won't." Narcissa insisted. "Now stop worrying and go and have fun with your friends."
"Thanks mother." Draco smiled and gave Narcissa a quick kiss, before heading over to join Hermione.
Wrapping his good arm around Hermione's waist he easily slid into the conversation and was soon laughing and joking with Harry and Ron. The war had totally changed his relationship with the Gryffindors and now he considered Harry and Ron to be two of his best friends. But most importantly it had changed his relationship with Hermione, they had gone from being enemy's to reluctant partners as they tried to escape their prison, to friends and then to lovers. From there the love had blossomed and now Hermione was the most important person in his life and soon their family would be complete with the birth of their first child.