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Ninety-Five Percent

Chapter Text

December 2004

Hermione sat curled up on her couch, sipping a cup of hot coffee as she reflected the evening before. She and Ron had fought, again, and broke up… again. She sighed to herself. They really needed to just stick to being friends. They keep trying, and it just doesn't seem to work. After ten times, you would think they would have gotten the hint by now.

She glanced at the clock and saw that she had just a little over an hour before she had to be in the office. She relaxed against the couch, knowing it would take half that time to finish getting ready so there really wasn't a rush. Besides, she didn't feel like talking to Harry about what happened between her and Ron, as she was sure he went over there to vent to Harry and Ginny after their breakup.

She glanced out the window and saw that an owl was heading towards her building with this mornings post. The front window was charmed so that the owl can just fly through without having to open it, but it also kept out the elements and acted like a normal window as well. The owl flew in, a regular post barn owl, and dropped the mail on the coffee table in front of her. She thanked the owl absently as she reached for the mail and stood up to take her cup of coffee to the kitchen. The Daily Prophet was on top and the heading caught her eye. She set her mug on the small dining table as she opened the newspaper. She gasped, dropping the rest of her mail on the floor as she began to read:


After many meetings, and much debate, the Ministry of Magic has finally agreed to a new wizarding marriage law to take effect at the beginning of the year. Due to the tragic numbers of deaths of witches and wizards all over the world during the Wizarding War of 1998, the number of marriages and offspring has dwindled and there is a huge risk of decline to the wizarding population.

This law will affect witches and wizards who are between the ages of 25 - 35 and will be in effect for at least the next ten years. After ten years have passed the Ministry will reevaluate the wizarding population and will determine if the law will be revoked or reinstated for another ten years.

For those who are between the ages of 25 - 35, they will have six months to find a partner and get married. If they are unable to find someone themselves, they can fill out the Compatibility Assessment Forms (CAFs) and the Ministry will match them to someone with the most compatibility to ensure the best possible outcome. Once married, the couple will have one year to either become pregnant or produce an offspring. If they are unable to get pregnant on their own, they can get medical assistance to help the process, or they may choose this option from the beginning.

If after five years of marriage, and after successfully having at least one offspring, the couple does not wish to be married any longer, they may separate.

More detailed information will be available in personalized letters sent to all eligible witches and wizards for whom this law will affect-

Hermione finally tore her eyes away from the Daily Prophet and began looking around for the rest of her mail that she had dropped earlier. She scooped them up from the floor and flipped through them until she found one with a thick envelope with the Ministry's wax seal. With a shaky hand, she opened the letter.

Dear Miss Hermione Granger,
As you should be aware, the Ministry will be putting into effect a new Wizarding Marriage Law starting at the first of the year. This law will affect witches and wizards who are between the ages of 25-35, and since your 25th birthday has already passed on the 19th of September, this law does in fact apply to you.

Starting January 1st, you will have six months to find a spouse and get married. If you cannot find someone, or if you want to be matched up instead of finding someone yourself, please fill out the Compatibility Assessment Forms (CAFs) that are enclosed with this letter. We will match you with someone with the highest compatibility percentage to ensure the best possible outcome.

Once you or the Ministry have found a suitable partner, you will need to notify the new Wizarding Law Marriage Department of the date you will be married. Once married, your marriage certificate will be sent to this office for their records. You will then have one calendar year to either produce an offspring or become pregnant, whether it be natural or with medical help. If, at the end of five years, and you have successfully produced at least one offspring, you wish to terminate your marriage, you may do so.

If you wish to be in a same-sex marriage, that is perfectly acceptable. We will provide help for you and your partner on having a child together, whether it be finding a surrogate to carry your child or finding a sperm donor. The choice will be yours.

We thank you for your cooperation in this matter. With people like you, you will help the wizarding population succeed in the upcoming years.

Margaret Walters
Wizarding Law Marriage Department

Hermione read the letter twice, not wanting to believe what was transpiring. There had been rumors around the office of this happening, but she never believed it… never thought this would be possible.

Six months. She had six months to find someone and marry them… it seemed impossible. Especially with how busy she always was at work, she barely even had a social life as it was. She took out the rest of the papers inside in the envelope and started to read the information about the Compatibility Assessments when her fireplace chimed, letting her know of an incoming person coming through the floo network to her home. Within seconds, her fireplace roared to life and out stepped Ron Weasley. He looked around and spotted her, relief shown all over his face.

"Ron? What are you doing here?" she asked.

Ron walked quickly over to her and dropped to his knees.

"Hermione.. Hermione I'm so sorry. Please… please will you…" he fumbled around his pockets before producing a black, velvet box and opened it up. Inside was a ring… a simple gold band with a small diamond on top. Hermione's mouth dropped open in surprise and her eyes flitted between the ring and the Ron, unsure of what to say.

Ron cleared his throat though his voice still cracked as he asked, "Will you marry me?"

Chapter Text

"What?" asked Hermione in disbelief.

"I said, will you marry me?" Ron asked again, pushing the ring closer to her face.

"But… but why? We just broke up…" Hermione said, her mind racing.

Ron shrugged, "We break up all the time. Maybe if we get married, we can actually make it work. Besides, we kind of have to now anyways…"

Hermione blinked, "Have to? What do you mean?"

Ron motioned to the letter in her hand, "That. That marriage law is kind of forcing our hand in this, don't you think?"

Hermione closed her eyes and sighed. Of course. He only wanted to get married because of the stupid new law.

"Ron. I'm not going to marry you because of the new law," she said.

"But," Ron sputtered, finally getting up on his feet again, "why not?"

"Ron… I love you, but I'm not in love with you. And I have a feeling, you feel the same way about me," she said.

Ron shook his head, "Does it matter? Love is love, right?"

She shook her head, finally sitting down at one of the chairs. "We'd be miserable. We would fight all the time. That's not how a marriage should work," she said, trying to reason with him.

"So you'd rather try and find someone within six months and marry them instead? How are you going to do that, Hermione? The only people you see are me, Harry, and Ginny and that's only because we have to drag you out!"

Hermione shrugged, "There's always the option of getting matched up."

Ron's mouth dropped open, his face turning red in anger, "You'd rather get matched up with some… some stranger, than marry me?"

Hermione huffed out a breath, starting to get annoyed, "They'll match me with someone who is more compatible than you and I will ever be. It might work. Besides, I can always end the marriage after five years, which isn't that long if you think about it.." she said, trailing off.

Ron stared at her in disbelief for a few seconds before stuffing the ring back in his pocket. "Fine, whatever. I was trying to make this easier for you, but I guess-"

"No, Ron," she said, cutting him off and standing up again, "You were trying to make things easier for you. Did you realize when you proposed to me that you never once mentioned you did it because you love me and want to spend the rest of your life with me? No, you said we had to get married because of the law. If I'm going to marry someone because of the stupid law, then I want it to be someone who I won't fight with all the time!"

"We don't fight all the time," he said, crossing his arms.

"Yes, we do," she said, mirroring him,

"No, we don't," he said, his voice rising.

"Yes, we do. We're doing it right now!" she said, practically yelling.

He glared at her for a second before finally sighing and dropping his arms to his side. "Fine," he said again, walking towards the fireplace, "Do it your way. But if in six months you haven't found someone, and you don't like the person they matched you with, you know where to find me."

He tossed some floo powder into the hearth, stepped in, and disappeared in a gulf of green flames.

Hermione pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. She wouldn't worry about this now. She still had six months.. she had time.

She glanced at the clock and swore under her breath. Time had gotten away from her and now she had only fifteen minutes to finish getting ready and get to the ministry before she'll be late.

Twenty minutes later, Hermione stepped out into the main corridor of the ministry. It seemed busier than normal and realized that it was probably because of the news of the new law that will be passed soon. She hurried along to the elevators and squeezed into one that was almost filled to capacity. She glanced to her side and regarded the person next to her, holding in the groan that wished to escape.

"Hermione," he said stiffly.

"Ronald," she replied.

They didn't say anything else on the way up.

Hermione and Ron got off at the same floor, as they both worked for the Magical Law Enforcement, though in different areas. Ron worked with Harry as an auror, having finally completed all their training. Hermione had an office and filled out reports and filed paperwork for the department. She had had enough fighting battles to last her a lifetime.

She opened her office door, walked in, and closed the door behind her, finally letting out a breath. She went to her desk and sat down, noting that she already had a desk full of memos. She set her bag on the floor and began reading through what she needed to do for the day.

A little before lunch, there was a knock on the door.

"Come in," she said absently as she read over a report that had landed on her desk only an hour before.

Harry walked in and gave her a smile. "Hey Hermione," he said.

She finally glanced up and smiled back, "Hey Harry, how are you?"

"I'm good," he said, leaning a hip on her desk.

"And how's the Mrs?" she asked teasingly. Harry and Ginny had gotten married less than a year ago.

Harry laughed. "Ginny left with the Harpies today for a week of extended training. So it's just me and the cats to fend for ourselves."

"I'm sure you'll survive," she said reassuringly. She glanced at the clock, "Is it really lunch time?"

Harry nodded, "That's why I'm here, to see if you wanted to get a bite to eat. Or at least offer to bring you something since I know you'll forget to eat….again."

Hermione sighed. "I probably would starve if you didn't remind to eat every now and again," she said, grabbing her bag, "I need some fresh air anyways."

They walked out of her office and passed the auror offices on the way out. She saw a glimpse of red hair but kept on walking.

"I take it you've talked to Ronald?" she asked crisply.

Harry nodded, "I did."

"You're not going to tell me I should marry him, are you?" she asked, glancing sideways towards him.

Harry shook his head, "No."

"Good," she said with a nod.

They walked towards the floo and made their way to the Leaky Cauldron. Once there, they walked down the street towards a sandwich shoppe that they both liked to frequent. They ordered their food then sat down at one of the small tables. With a discrete wave of her wand, Hermione placed a privacy bubble around them so they couldn't be overheard.

"I still can't believe the ministry is doing this. A marriage law?" she groaned at the thought before taking a bite of her sandwich.

Harry took a few bites of his sandwich before responding, "What are you going to do?"

Hermione shrugged, "I'll think of something."

"There's less than a month till the beginning of the year…"

"I know, Harry. I'll find someone…" she said, trying to convince herself as well as him.

"And if you don't?" he prompted.

"Then I'll fill out the Compatibility Assessment Forms and get matched up. I feel like I'll have a better chance of getting someone who will work with me than if I were to just settle for Ron…"

"He's still hoping you'll change your mind," Harry said.

She nodded, "I know. But it just wouldn't work. We've tried and tried again to be together and it just isn't working for us. We are too different. He's one of my best friends, and I love him, just like how I love you. But there's nothing more than that. We shouldn't have even gotten back together this last time, but, stupid me said yes at giving it one last shot." She shook her head before continuing, "I'm almost glad we broke up before we found out about this law. At least now I don't feel guilty saying no to his proposal."

"He's had that ring for a while, you know," Harry said.

"Really?" Hermione said, genuinely surprised, "How long?"

Harry shrugged, "A few years. But every time he thinks he's going to ask you, you guys end up arguing about something so he puts it off."

"Well, hopefully he finds someone who will be more compatible with him too," she said, finishing off her sandwich.

"Let's hope," mumbled Harry. He looked up at Hermione. "Promise me you'll try and find someone?"

She nodded, "I'll try."



Chapter Text

June 5, 2005

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Draco grumbled, still asleep, turning to his other side on the bed.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Draco opened a bleary eye and glanced at the clock. A quarter after nine in the morning. Great.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

"Ugh….I'm up, I'm up. Come on in," he said, sitting up from his bed and stretching.

"Good morning, Draco," said Narcissa Malfoy as she entered his room, a house elf in her wake carrying a tray full of food, "Happy birthday, darling."

Draco yawned, "Thanks Mother." He accepted a kiss on his cheek before the house elf levitated his breakfast tray of food onto his bed. "Thanks Millie," he said absently, tucking into his breakfast.

Narcissa sat on the edge of his bed, "So, do you have any plans today?"

Draco shrugged, "Not really. I think Blaise and Theo wanted to take me out for drinks later. I'll probably work in my lab until then."

Narcissa tsked under her breath, "You shouldn't be so reclusive."

Draco sighed, familiar with this argument which was about to start, "Mother, it's fine."

"You're twenty-five now, Draco, You have six months," she reminded him.

"Yes, I know. And I'm sure you have more eligible women lining up for me to take out between now and then," he said, almost bitterly.

"No," she said.


"No. I do not have women lined up. I tried that the last few months and aside from the obligatory first date you went on, nothing ever came of it. So now it's up to you. You need to take charge of your own life," she said, taking a piece of his toast and nibbling on it.

Draco rolled his eyes, "That's what I've been trying to tell you."

She ignored him and pulled out a small wrapped package from her robes pocket. She placed it gently on his tray.

He wiped his mouth with a napkin and picked up the small box. He unwrapped it and saw that it was a dark green, velvet box. A ring box. With a sigh, he opened it up. Inside was his grandmother's wedding ring. He closed it and placed it back on his tray, pushing it slightly towards his mother, "Not really my style," he said.

Narcissa shook her head and took the box and placed it inside his wardrobe. Then she took out another present. This one was slightly larger.

Draco looked at it apprehensively.

"Don't worry, it's not wedding related," said Narcissa, a soft smile on her lips.

Draco opened the gift and found a silver pocket watch with his name engraved on the front and the Malfoy family crest on the face of the watch. His father had had a similar watch.

"Thank you," he said, still admiring the gift.

Narcissa nodded, "Your father picked that out for you before… well, before," she said sadly.

Draco nodded, placing the watch on his nightstand.

Lucius Malfoy had been sent to Azkaban for his wrongdoings during the war. His sentence was considerably less than the other Death Eaters, only five years compared to a lifetime, but it still put strain on his already deteriorating health, which he had hid well previously. When he was able to return home, his health only declined more. He passed away two years prior. Draco and his mother, with the testimony from Harry Potter, had gotten off without any sort of punishment.

Setting his now empty try aside, Draco got out of bed and walked around it towards his mother. He gave her a tight hug, "Thank you, Mother."

She placed a hand on his cheek and kissed his forehead. Without another word, she left his room.

Draco sighed again, glancing at the watch, then started to get ready for a day in his lab.

Draco emerged into the Leaky Cauldron and let his eyes focus on the dark room before looking around. He spotted his two friends, Blaise and Theo, in a booth towards the back and made his way over.

"Ah, there's the birthday boy!" said Blaise, clapping Draco on the back as he sat down.

"We were beginning to think you'd never show up," said Theo, taking a sip of his butterbeer.

"And what, miss an evening with you assholes? I think not," said Draco, smirking.

A waitress came over, "What'll it be?" she asked.

"Your finest Firewhiskey, please," said Blaise before Draco could say anything.

"And burgers and crisps all around too," said Theo,

"Am I able to order anything? I thought it was my birthday?"

"No," they said together.

Draco sighed, handing his menu to the waitress.

"So. The big Two-Five," said Blaise conversationally.

Draco glared at him, "Don't you start too."

Blaise chuckled, "How many women does your mother have lined up for you?"

"None. She said she's backing off. Thank Salazar," Draco muttered, swiping the rest of Blaise's butterbeer and chugging it.

"By all means, have the rest," said Blaise sarcastically.

Draco just grinned at him.

"So who do you have in mind?" asked Theo.

Draco shrugged, "No one at the moment."

"You mean to tell me out of all the girls your mother set you up with, none have struck your fancy?" asked Blaise.

"My mother only set me up with rich, pureblood girls," said Draco.


"So… there's more than those type of girls," Draco said, staring into the empty mug.

"And how do you exactly think you'll meet these other girls if we always have to beg you to even come out and hang out with us?" asked Theo.

"I was actually thinking of just filling out the forms and getting set up. At least then I'll be matched with someone compatible rather than just by money and status alone."

Blaise raised his eyebrows, "You're going to let the Ministry choose for you?"

"It'll only be for five years, then we can split and go on with the rest of our lives, after doing our duty for the wizarding world and procreating a child."

Theo blinked at Draco then looked at Blaise.

"Who are you and what have you done with Draco Malfoy?" asked Blaise.

Draco glared at him, "If the ministry isn't going to give us a choice, then what does it matter? I'll get married to my best match, have a kid, get divorced or whatever in a few years. It's not that long in the grand scheme of things."

"You'll never truly be rid of her though, she'll still be the mother of your child," Blaise pointed out.

Draco just shrugged.

Theo thought about what he said, "You know… it kind of makes sense."

"Oh no, not you too," said Balise.

"Hey, not everyone is lucky in love like you," said Theo, punching Blaise in the arm jokingly.

Blaise winced and rubbed his arm, "You're right. I am lucky. Daphne and I found each other in the nick of time. Sure, we got married a little sooner than we wanted, but it was going to happen anyways."

"How is Daphne?" asked Draco of their fellow Slytherin.

"She's good. Said to tell you happy birthday. I invited her out with us tonight, but she said I needed male-bonding time, whatever that means. I think she just wanted me out of the house because her sister was coming over," said Blaise with a shrug.

"Astoria?" asked Draco. The waitress came over with their baskets of burgers and crisps. He absently said thanks as he waited for Blaise to continue.

"Yes. Astoria. You know, the one you hooked up with after the war?"

Draco shrugged, "Nothing was really coming of it though and we sort of fizzled out."

Blaise snorted a chuckle, "That's not what she said."

Draco frowned, "What did she say? And why was she talking to you about our relationship anyways?"

"Relax, I overheard her talking to Daph. She said you would rather work in your lab then spend time with her. Said something about waiting for you in the lab, naked, and you just pushed her aside to tend to your potions," Blaise said, chuckling. Theo nearly choked on his burger.

"Potions are a time sensitive thing! I would have gladly shagged her after it was done, but by then she was already packing her bags." Draco shook his head, "It wasn't going anywhere anyways. She only wanted to be with me because I was a Malfoy. There was no love there."

"And you think they'll be love with someone the Ministry matches you with?" asked Blaise with a raised eyebrow.

"Who knows. If we're compatible, it could be possible."

"OK, enough about this marriage shit. We're here to celebrate your birthday," Theo said, filling up three shot glasses with the Firewhiskey that was on their table. They each lifted their glasses and clinked them together, "Happy Birthday, mate. May your year be better than the last."

"Here here!" said Blaise, taking his shot.

Silently, Draco agreed, though he still had his doubts. He plastered a smile on his face as he took his shot, hoping whoever the Ministry placed him with wasn't going to kill him.

Chapter Text

"You promised me, Hermione," said Harry.

"And I tried, I really did," she said, crossing her arms.

"How many dates have you gone on in the last seven months?"

"Three," she mumbled, not looking at him.

"I'm sorry, what was that?" asked Harry.

"Three ok? I've been on three dates," she said, exacerbated.

Harry shook his head, "You said you would try, Hermione. Three dates isn't enough."

"I'm sorry if my dating life doesn't meet up to your expectations," she said bitterly. "I've been busy! I have a career you know. I'm not going to stop everything just to find a husband."

"You have a month left until your six months is up. What are going to do?" he asked, finally sitting down on her couch.

Hermione joined him, "I filled out the Compatibility Assessment Forms and sent it today. I'll just get matched up and hope it's someone I can tolerate."

"And what if you can't tolerate them?" Harry asked worriedly.

"I'm hoping that since they're matching me with someone I'm compatible with, that that won't be an issue," Hermione said.

"When do you get your results?"

"A week," she said. She glanced at Harry and said softly, "I'm scared."

He put an arm around her shoulders, "If you can't stand the bloke, you can stay with me and Ginny. Marriage is just a piece of paper anyways. No one said you have to live together."

"Thanks Harry," she said with a smile. "But hopefully it won't come to that. You and Gin need your privacy and I wouldn't want to intrude."

Harry shrugged, "We'll make it work."

"Where is Ginny, anyways?"

"She's went to the burrow for dinner. Infact, I told her I'd be there after checking in on you," he glanced at her, "You wouldn't want to join me, would you? I know Mrs. Weasley would really love to see you."

Hermione bit her lip, "I don't know…"

"You can't avoid him forever you know," Harry said, knowing her hesitancy was due to a certain red-head she used to date.

"I just can't deal with him right now. I know he'll keep badgering me about marrying him. He knows I only have a month left. And as much as I love Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, I have a feeling they'd be on his side and would try to persuade me as well."

"Well, if you change your mind, we'll be there through the weekend," he said, as he got up from the couch and headed towards her fireplace. Hermione followed him and gave him a hug.

"Thanks, Harry. I'll think about it, but we all know I'll just stay here and bury myself in a book for a while," she said sheepishly.

He smiled and shook his head, grabbing a handful of floo powder. He stepped into the fireplace.

"Give the Weasley's my love," she said quietly.

He nodded before dropping the powder onto the floor and disappeared from her flat in a gulf in green flames.

Once alone, Hermione looked around her empty living room. She had had a long day at work and with Harry coming over right after and badgering her made her tense. She decided that she would indeed read, with a glass of wine, while soaking in her bathtub.

Draco stumbled into his room after two in the morning. He, Blaise, and Theo got obnoxiously drunk that evening. He didn't mean too. He was only going to take a few shots and be done. Somehow he was talked into more and before he knew it, the three of them had finished off the entire bottle of firewhiskey. Thank Salazar for the floo as there was no way he would be able to apparate in his state of mind.

As he walked towards his bed, he began stripping off his close and tripped over his pants in the process. Grumbling, he took off his shoes and tossed them across the room before finally dispersing of his slacks and leaving them on a heap on the floor. He crawled into bed in only his boxers, hoping that sleep will soon follow him.

It didn't. Instead, the contents in his stomach threatened to make an appearance and he made it to his bathroom just in time to vomit.

On the way back to his bed he glanced at his desk. There on top was all the paperwork he needed for the Compatibility Assessment. He had filled it out months ago, when he first got the letter, he just never sent it in.

"Fuck it," he said. He grabbed the papers and stuffed it into the pre-addressed envelope. He opened his windows and whistled for one of the owls that were in the family owlery. His own owl, Artemis, flew in.

"Here, take this to the ministry before I change my mind," he said, tying the letter roughly to the owl.

The owl nipped at his fingers, but not hard enough to break skin.

Draco ignored it and when he was done, he said "Go!" and the owl flew off.

There, now that portion of his life was taken care of.

He threw himself on top of his bed and instantly fell asleep.

"Rise and shine, Draco darling," said the sweet sing-song voice of Narcissa. She walked across the room and threw open the curtains and Draco hissed at the offending brightness.

"Mother, what are you doing?" he asked, throwing the covers over his head to block out the light.

"We have company. Lunch with some friends of mine… and their daughters," she said briskly.

Draco peered over the covers and glared at his mother, "I thought you said you wouldn't meddle anymore."

Narcissa shrugged, "I made this lunch date well before I said that. Now, make yourself presentable and come downstairs. It's rude to keep our guests waiting."

"It doesn't matter anymore," grumbled Draco, laying back down, throwing his arm over his eyes, "I already sent in the paperwork to the ministry. They'll be setting me up with someone. So you can send everyone home. I just want to sleep," he said.

"Whether you get matched up or not, you can still decline it choose someone else. And no, I will not allow you to sleep the day away. It is not my fault you came home drunk off your arse," she stuck a hand in her pocket and produced two vials and placed them on his nightstand. "Here. Pepperup and anti nausea. Take those, get dressed, and come downstairs." She made her way to his door, "NOW Draco," she said with finality, before closing the door behind her.

Draco grumbled, tossing the covers off of him and sitting up, then winced as his head started to pound. He took the two potions first and didn't move until the room stopped spinning. He would go downstairs, appease his mother, but not before showering and feeling human again.

After letting the hot water wash over him, he dressed and combed his hair before making his way to the dining room, his face plastered in the fake, Malfoy smile he had been taught to give, no matter the company.

Let's get this over with, he thought to himself as he faced a room full of beautiful, yet unappealing, women.

He surely hoped the ministry's matchmaking wouldn't let him down.

Chapter Text

Hermione's work kept her busy. She was usually the first to arrive and the last to leave most days. So while it shouldn't have been a surprise, she was still shocked when a letter from the Marriage Law Department was dropped onto her coffee table one Saturday morning.

She looked at the envelop with some trepidation. She glanced quickly at the fireplace, wondering if she should have someone, anyone, with her while she opened it. Maybe Harry or Ginny…

No. She'll do this herself. She was a Gryffindor after all, and she faced trolls and dragons. This was just a letter, she could do this on her own.

She inhaled a deep breath and picked up the envelope. It felt lighter than she thought it would. On her exhale, she finally broke the seal:

Dear Hermione J. Granger,
Thank you for completing the Compatibility Assessment Forms! After careful review, we have compared your results with many other eligible bachelors. We are pleased to inform you that we have found you a highly acceptable partner, with a 95% compatibility , and our highest match yet! Below is his information:

Draco L. Malfoy

Age: 25
Birthday: June 5, 1980
Occupation: Freelance/Makes medicinal potions for Wizarding hospitals

If you would like more information, please make arrangements and have a meeting amongst yourselves.
Both you and Mr. Malfoy will have one week to either accept or decline this match. If you wish to accept, then please make an appointment with the Wizarding Law Marriage Department to schedule a meeting to go over your marriage contract. If you choose to reject, then we will send you your next closest match within a week's' time.

Margaret Walters
Wizarding Law Marriage Department

Hermione stared dumbfounded at the letter in her hand.

Malfoy? Draco Malfoy? He was her most suitable match? Clearly someone at the Marriage Law Department was playing a cruel joke on her.

She very nearly crumpled the paper in her hand and toss it in the rubbish bin.

"No," she said to herself. She wouldn't. Not yet. She had a week to decide. Malfoy would have gotten a letter too. If she didn't hear from him in six, no five, days, she'd reject it. If he contacted her, well.. she'd see what he had to say. Maybe they'd both actually laugh at this whole thing and go along their merry way.

She rarely, if ever, saw Malfoy these days. If anything it was at Diagon Alley or one of the few wizarding pubs that Harry, Ron, and Ginny would drag her too. Aside from recognizing him, she never paid any attention to the blonde Malfoy heir, nor did she care too. He never seemed to acknowledge her as well, so the feeling was probably mutual.

She glanced at the letter again. Ninety-five percent compatibility. There was no possible way. Right?

She thought about what could they possible have in common. They were both smart, she'd give him that. Infact, while she was top of her year, he had always been right behind her, except for maybe during their 6th year, but knowing what she knew now, she hardly blamed him for slacking on his school work. They were also both the only child in their families.

Aside from studies and lack of siblings, she couldn't think of anything else they had in common. Everything else was completely the opposite: She was Gryffindor, he Slytherin. He was Pureblood, she muggleborn. He was rich beyond reason, she, while living comfortably, depended on a job to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. He lived in a mansion, she lived in a small flat that was probably as big as his dining room alone.

No, there was no possible way they had anything else in common.

Could they?

"There's no way. No. Fucking. Way." Draco said, staring in disbelief at the letter in his hand.

He was eating breakfast in the dining room with his mother when an owl came and dropped off the mail.

"Draco. Language, please," Narcissa scolded lightly.

"Sorry," he mumbled, rereading the letter for the third time.

Narcissa watched as he skimmed over the letter in his hands. She noticed it was from the Ministry and realized what the letter entailed.

"I take it the match is not to your liking?" she asked coolly.

"It's a fuc-," he cleared his throat at his mother's glare, "Just someone playing a cruel joke on me. That's all." He tossed the papers on the table before resuming his breakfast.

Narcissa placed a few fingers on the parchment and slid them over to her, lifting up the pages to read the results.

Her eyes skimmed over the name in big, bold printed letters.

"Miss. Granger?" she asked, her thin, dark eyebrows raised with surprise. "The same girl who-"

"Yes, mother. That girl," Draco said, bitterly, "The same one who was bullied at school by me and then tortured here in my home by my dear, crazy aunt, while I stood off to the side, doing nothing." He shook his head, "There's no possible way she'd ever set foot in this house again, let alone marry me."

Narcissa regarded her son, "Would you want to marry her?"

Draco's eyes shot up and stared at his mother. "No," he said a little too quickly.

She cocked one brow his direction.

"I don't," he said, trying to reassuring both his mother and himself. He took the papers from her and read them over again. "Besides, there's no way she'd want to anyways. But this 95% compatibility makes me curious…"

"Well, why don't you talk to her about it?"

Draco scoffed, "Please. She's probably already sent in her rejection notice."

"You never know. She might just be waiting to see what you had to say as well," Narcissa said, wiping her mouth daintily with a cloth napkin.

"I don't even see how this possible. How in Salazar's name are we this compatible when we couldn't even talk to each other without fighting?"

Narcissa shrugged, "You were children. You're both adults now and things change. If I recall you used to fume around the house about how she always seemed to have better grades than you, which means she's smart. That's one thing you have in common."

"What about everything that we don't have in common?"

"Such as?"

He wracked his brain, trying to think. Everything came back to house rivalries and blood status, both of which were weak excuses, especially now, when neither really mattered. "I really don't know anymore," he said absently.

Narcissa smiled, before standing up from her chair. She placed a hand on her sons shoulder and said, "Talk to her. You never know what will happen unless you try."

"You do realize," he said, as she started to walk away, "That if we do marry and produce a child, that you won't have any those little pureblood grandbabies that you're always talking about?"

Narcissa shrugged, "Seeing as how you've rejected just about every eligible pureblood witch in the area, I've come to the reality of that dream just being that, a dream." With that, she took her leave, leaving Draco alone.

Draco sat there, picking at his breakfast and mulling over his conversation with his Mother. It was the weekend, so he couldn't even talk to Granger until at least Monday when he could catch her at the Ministry. He doubted she'd like him showing up at her house, not that he knew where she lived, and a letter seemed too.. impersonal for something like this.

Before Draco realized, he had talked himself into seeing her on Monday morning. Afternoon. No, morning. He needed to get this over with as soon as possible.

He ate the rest of his breakfast then got up and went to his lab, submerging his mind into his work where he didn't have to think about a certain witch that he hadn't been in contact with in years and wondering how she would react when he went to her office Monday morning.

Chapter Text

Hermione's office door was open. She was bent over a parchment on her desk, scribbling away. She had already been here for a few hours and was glad for the work as it kept her mind busy.

As shadow loomed in the doorway and without looking up she said, "One second, Harry. I'll be done in a minute."

Someone cleared their throat and she realized it was definitely not Harry.

She glanced up from her work to finally see who was at her door and was shocked to find Draco Malfoy standing there.

"Oh," she said, unsure of what else to say.

"Granger," he said stiffly in greeting, not stepping over the threshold.

"Malfoy… can I help you?" she asked curiously.

He raised an eyebrow at her. Surely she had to know why he was here. He cleared his throat again, "May I come in?"

"What? Oh, yes, sorry. Take a seat," she said, indicating to the chair in front of her desk.

He nodded curtly before walking in and closing the door behind him. The room instantly felt smaller with them in there together, in such close proximity. She still wasn't sure why he was there, though she had an indication, and was briefly worried he was here to hurt her because of it. She glanced at her wand on her desk, contemplating.

Draco saw where her eyes landed and said, "I'm not going to hex you, Granger. I just came to talk. But if it will make you feel better… " he pulled out his wand slowly and placed it on her desk, pushing towards her.

She relaxed slightly, then looked at Draco curiously, "What did you want to talk about?"

He gave her a wry smile, "I'm sure you know." He reached into his coat pocket and produced his letter from the Ministry, dropping it next to his wand on her desk. "I take it you received this as well?"

She nodded, opening her desk drawer and pulling out her own copy and placed it in front of her.

After an awkward, silent moment Hermione finally spoke, "If you've come to tell me that you sent in the rejection notice, that's fine. It won't hurt my feelings and if I were honest, I almost sent one in right away after receiving the letter Saturday morning..."


"I mean, no one would blame us one bit if we declined each other. We're so different… but then, there's that 95% compatibility… that's strange, don't you think?"

"Granger…" he said again.

"I thought it was a joke at first. Anyone who knows us would know that we're complete opposites…"

"Granger!" Draco said loudly, finally getting her to stop talking, "You're rambling."

"Oh…," she said, biting her lip nervously.

He drummed his fingers on his knee, looking around her office. Where to start? he thought.

She waited patiently, not wanting to speak incase she started rambling again.

"I haven't sent in the rejection notice," he said, causing her to jump slightly at the suddenness of his voice.

"Oh? Why not?" she asked.

Draco shrugged, "I figured I'd talk to you first and see what you thought about all of… this" he said, gesturing towards their letters.

"I really don't know what to think," she said honestly. "You were honestly the last person I would expect to get matched with."

Draco snorted, "Same here."

"Right? We're just so different. I'm muggleborn, whereas you're pureblood. Not to mention our school houses are a bit of rivals."

"True, but, did you notice that while filling out the forms, it never once asked what Hogwarts house we had or what our blood status is?"

She took a moment to recall the forms she filled out and realized he was right. "I guess I didn't notice that."

They sat in silence again before Draco asked what had been on the tip of his tongue since he walked in, "Why didn't you send in a rejection notice?"

Hermione took a deep breath and sighed, "I really don't know. Curiousity I guess? Curious to see what you were going to do. I was going to give you until Wednesday to contact me and if I hadn't heard from you then that was my answer." She looked up at him, caught his eyes with hers before looking away, "But here you are…"

He nodded, "Here I am."

She stole another glance, "Why? You hate me."

He glared at her, "I don't hate you."

She scoffed, "Since when?"

"Since during the war, maybe before that."

She frowned at him suspiciously. He sighed irritatedly and continued, "As a child I hated you on principle. You were muggleborn, something I was taught was beneath me. And yet, you bested me in everything." He tried not to sound bitter, though he didn't quite succeed.

She gave a small smile, "Well, not everything. You were a better flyer than I was. Though that's probably because I'm afraid of heights and I find brooms uncomfortable. I'm sure if I liked it, I would have bested you in that too."

He shot her another glare before shaking his head, "Lucky for me, you don't like it so I can at least keep some of my dignity."

She smirked at that, then frowned in thought, "We were horrible to each other. How would this even work with the past that we've had?"

"I think we'll just need to put the past behind us, if we can. At least for the five required years," he said with a shrug.

She blinked at him, "Does this mean… you want to accept this match."

He shrugged again. "What else do we have to do lose?" he asked.

"I don't know. I think we should talk about it more, maybe come up with some agreements for if we decide to go through with this." His eyes made contact with her once again, about to say something before she continued, "But not now. I have so much work to do and I'm already behind."

"Shall I come back again at your lunch time?" he asked.

She shook her head, "I already have lunch plans today."

He rolled his eyes, "Tomorrow then?"

She thought about it, taking her time which caused him to roll his eyes again. "Sure. Tomorrow works," she finally said.

"Do you want go out or eat lunch here? I can bring something," he said.

"How about here. This way I can write down anything we talk about," she suggested.

"Alright," he stood up and she found herself standing as well, "Well, I'll see you tomorrow."

"Yes, tomorrow."

He grabbed his wand and papers from her desk and stuffed them in his coat pocket before turning around quickly and heading out, closing the door behind him.

She sat in her chair, exhaling a breath. Before she had a chance to even think about what transpired, her door opened again, this time Harry walking in, looking at her questioningly.

"Was that Malfoy who just left your office?"

She nodded, "It was."

He frowned, sitting down in the chair that Draco had just vacated. "What did he want?"

With a deep breath, she handed him her letter from the ministry, "He came to talk about this."

Harry opened the letter and read it. Hermione knew when he came across the name as she saw his eyes widen then look at her in shock. "Malfoy? Malfoy is your best match?"

"Apparently," she said.

"Are… are you going to accept?" he asked, unsure if he wanted to know the answer.

She shrugged, not looking at Harry, instead she focused on a quill that she was playing with in her hand, "That's why he came by. We're going to meet up for lunch tomorrow and talk about it. If we can come up with an agreement that will work for us, I think we might."

"But…. it's Malfoy!" said Harry.

"I know, Harry. But he's not the same kid we knew in school. He's grown up, just like you and me. He never once sneered in my direction or called me derogatory names. I think he's curious, as well as I am, how we could possibly be this compatible with each other. What other way to find out then to get to know each other?"

Harry shook his head, "This is all too surreal." He glanced at her, "Do you want me here tomorrow? When you meet him."

She smiled at her friend, "I think I can handle Malfoy. I'm 25, I don't need you to protect me all the time, you know."

Harry smiled sheepishly, "Sorry, it's habit." Then he ran his hand through his hair, "Merlin, what's Ron going to say.."

"Don't tell him anything," warned Hermione. "If and when I decide what is happening, I will notify people myself."

"Can I tell Ginny?" he asked.

"Of course. She's your wife, I don't expect you to keep secrets from her. But tell her not to tell anyone else, ok?"

Harry nodded.

"So. Did you come here for anything else or just wanted to know why Malfoy was in here," she asked, leaning back against her chair.

"Well, I could say I came to see if you wanted to go to lunch, but there's still an hour till then. Guess I was just curious."

Hermione smiled and shook her head, "I'll see you in an hour, Harry." She began going over the paperwork on her desk again and Harry knew he was being dismissed. He got up and left her office, making sure to keep the door open.

Chapter Text

I'll be there within the hour.

Draco sent the note to Hermione before getting ready. He didn't know what time she went to lunch and figured he would send a letter to make sure she would be there when he did arrive. Wouldn't want her running off to get food if he was coming later than her usual lunch time. He decided on his usual attire when he left the house; black slacks and white button down shirt. He rolled the sleeves up since it was hot outside, though not too much so that it still hid the Mark. Even though it dulled in color the moment Voldemort died, it was still there, reminding him; taunting him. He combed his hair and deemed himself worthy of walking into the ministry for the second time in two days. He really hated the place but it didn't mean he couldn't look his best when going over there.

He picked up the small bouquet of flowers he had picked from his garden. Nothing fancy, just a few lilies that seemed to be in bloom. He had given some to his mother and kept a few for Hermione. He was not trying to woo her, he assured himself, he just wanted to try and ease the tension. Shrinking the bouquet and placing a protective bubble around it, he placed them in his pocket then apparated into an muggle alley way near a restaurant to pick up food he would bring to her office.

Half hour later, he was knocking on her office door. He looked around and was glad that the place seemed deserted. Good, he really didn't want to run into anyone else if he could help it. Impatiently, he knocked again and this time he heard someone say "Come in," from the other side.

He opened the door and saw Hermione looking flustered, gathering paperwork from her desk, "Sorry, sorry. I lost track of time. I was going to have this all cleaned up before you got here."

"It's fine," he said, placing the bag of food on an empty chair as she continued to clean off her desk. He reached into his pocket and produced the flowers. He enlarged them and took off the protective bubble, "Here, these are for you," he said gruffly.

She looked up at him, nearly dropping the papers in her hand in shock, "Oh. Thank you…"

She took the flowers and inhaled their scent. How could he possibly know they were her favorite? She conjured up a vase and poured water in from her wand before placing the flowers in it. She placed them on the corner of her desk, out of the way of her work so they wouldn't get knocked over.

Draco put his hands in his pockets and looked around her small office while she finished cleaning up. Her voice brought him back to her attention.

"Is that Chinese food I smell?" she asked, indicating to the bag.

"It is," he said, picking up the bag and placing it on her now empty desk.

She looked at him curiously, "I would never have assumed that you eat food like this."

"Well, you know what they say when you assume things, right?" he said, smirking before sitting down across from her.

She blushed slightly, "Sorry. I just assu- I mean, I just thought you ate at home most of the time."

"Oh, I do. But Blaise brought this stuff over and it was delicious. The house elves tried to replicate it, but they couldn't get it right. So I just go to the source whenever I want it now." He glanced at her, "Is it ok?"

"Hm? Oh yes. I love Chinese food. What did you order?" she asked.

"A little bit of the usual stuff. I wasn't sure what you liked so I got sweet and sour pork, beef and broccoli, kung pao chicken, white rice, vegetable rice, and lo mein noodles. I like all this stuff so just choose what you want and I'll eat whatever is left."

"You just named practically every thing I like," she said, shaking her head in disbelief. She grabbed the sweet and sour pork and a container of white rice, as well as a pair of chopsticks, and dug in.

They ate in silence for a few minutes before Draco finally said, "So, rules, right?"

"Yes, rules," she went into her desk and took out a blank piece of parchment and dipped her quill into the inkwell. She looked up at him and frowned, "Where do we even start?"

"Living arrangements?" he suggested. With her nod, he continued, "I understand if you don't want to live at the manor. We have other properties, not as grand as the manor, but enough rooms to where we'll have our own space," he said absently, eating some rice.

Hermione thought about it, "I think the manor should be fine. If for some reason I can't handle it, or I'm extremely uncomfortable there, we can look into one of the other properties. Is that ok?"

Draco shrugged, which she took as affirmation, and wrote down the details.

"I'd have my own room, I assume?" she asked, glancing up at him.

"Yes. There are ten rooms in the house. Two are already taken; one by me and one by my mother. You are free to choose any of the other eight remaining rooms."

Hermione's mouth dropped open. Eight rooms to choose from? She scratched that information down as well.

"Since you'll be married to me and have the Malfoy name, all the wards on the manor wil-"

"Hang on a second," she said, interrupting him. She saw a flash of annoyance on his face but she didn't care, "Do I have to take your last name? I can't just keep my own?"

"Well, if you want the wards to let you in, or let you apparate within the manor, yes."

Hermione frowned, "Would hyphenating my name work?"

Draco thought about it, "I believe so."

"I'll do that then," she wrote on the parchment.

"Do you hate my family so much that won't take our name?" he asked, almost irritably.

She looked up at him and shook her head, "It's nothing to do with your family. Ever since I was a little girl, I always said I would keep my last name, even if I got married. If I had married Ron, I would have done the same thing."

Draco felt slightly better and nodded. He decided to change the subject, "Do you have any pets?"

"Mhm, Crookshanks," she said.


Hermione chuckled, "That's the name of my cat."

"Oh," he said, taking in another bite of food. "Well, he can come too."

"Thanks. What about you? Do you have any pets?" she set down the quill and ate some more as well.

"Not really. My parents used to have albino peacocks that roamed around the manor grounds, but they were annoying and loud. I contemplated getting another kind of animal, maybe a dog, but I never went through with it. Work keeps me too busy to really care for a pet. We do have about five owls though, they live in the small owlery right outside the manor."

"Wow… you have everything, don't you?" she asked incredulously.

Draco shrugged as he ate more food.

"Will there be anything obligatory I will need to do, being a… a Malfoy?" she asked hesitantly.

"There's the occasional balls and banquets my family hosts or gets invited too. It would be weird if my wife didn't attend with me," he said with a casual shrug.

Wife. She'd be his wife. Her palms began to sweat almost instantly. She ate more food to keep her nerves at bay.

"What about me? Anything obligatory I would need to do being your… husband?" he asked. Now his palms were sweaty. He wiped them on a napkin.

"Nothing grand as attending banquets or anything. You should probably meet my parents… I've been trying to spend most holidays with them, but, I'm sure I can split my time between your family and mine during those times."

"Speaking of your family, how many of them know about you being a witch?" he asked curiously.

"My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who are old enough to not tell," she said.

Draco looked at her, surprised, "How did you manage that? Doesn't that break the wizarding secrecy law or something?"

"After the war, I asked Kingsley if I could tell my family about me. I had, uh, modified my parents memories and erased me out of them, then sent to Australia on an extended vacation until everything was over. This way, if something happened to me, they wouldn't be burdened with losing their daughter, not to mention, Voldemort couldn't use them to get to me. When we returned, we needed to tell the rest of my family something, and I figured the truth was best. I got permission from Kingsley and that was that."

Draco's mouth nearly dropped open, "You erased yourself from your parents memories? To keep them safe during the war?"

"Yes. It hurt our relationship for a while, but in the end, they knew what I did was because I didn't want to see them hurt. They've forgiven me and moved on. We just don't talk about it."

"Do they know about... this?" he asked, indicating between the two of them.

"No, I'm still debating if I want to tell them the truth or just let them believe that we've been dating for a while and decided to get married on a whim," she said, biting her lip.

Draco shook his head, "Tell them the truth. You already lost their trust once. Wouldn't they be upset if they found out from someone else that you had to get married because of some law?"

Hermione took a deep breath, "You're right. I should tell them the truth."

Draco smirked, "I get can used to that."

She gave him a quizzical look.

"You said I was right," he said, explaining.

Hermione looked at him then laughed.

Draco chuckled along with her.

Their laughter subsided and Hermione glanced back down at the paper. She hadn't been writing anything down in a while. She picked up the quill again, "Anything else? We really don't have much else on here, just living arrangements and changing of my last name."

"I guess just the usual stuff. Once we're married, you'll have access to the Malfoy vault. I know you'll have your own," he said, before she began interrupting him, "but it will still be available to you none-the-less."

"I'm also keeping my job," she stated.

Draco nodded, "Of course. Though if you wish to quit, you could. Most Malfoy wives prefer to be housewives, but I have a feeling, you'll be an exception to the rule."

"You got that right," she mumbled, jotting the notes down.

"We should probably talk about children…" he said, glancing towards her. He noticed she flinched slightly.

"I suppose we must," she agreed.

"I figure since it's your body, you can decide when you want to start carrying a child," he cleared his throat, "and how to go about getting pregnant."

She quirked a brow at him, "I figured we'd be most comfortable with going the medical route. Though I guess, when the time comes, we can talk about it. It won't be anytime soon though."

They sat in uncomfortable silence for a moment, both picking at their food. Hermione glanced up at Draco and closed her eyes before asking "Are you sure you're ok with this? I mean, when we have children… they'll be half-blood. The Malfoy pureblood line will be forever tarnished. I… I don't want you to hate your children." She whispered out the last part, but with the room being so small, he heard every word.

"I wouldn't," he said angrily, "I'm not my father. And I wouldn't be here, talking to you about this marriage, or whatever you want to call it, if I wasn't ok with it." He tried to take a deep, calming breath, but he was still irritated, "I understand your worry, knowing our history and how I used to treat people who were not pureblood. But that was before. I've changed. I'm not the same manipulated little prat I used to be. I understand now that it doesn't matter how pure your blood is. You're either magical or you're not. It took me a long time to figure that out, but I finally have. I just hope one day, you'll believe me when I say it."

She heard the sincerity in his voice and knew she already did. She couldn't find her voice so she simply nodded.

"Good," he said, standing up. "I think I should go. Let you get back to work. Look over that document, add anything else to it. I'll meet you here tomorrow morning, sometime between 7 and 8. We'll add any changes we see fit. If we agree, we'll head to the Marriage Law Department and fill out the necessary paperwork. How much longer until your six months is up?"

"Two and a half weeks.." she said meekly.

"Cutting it a bit, close, don't you think?" he said, a little irritatedly. "If you choose to accept, pick a date. We'll hash out the rest of the details tomorrow."

He turned to head out.

"Malfoy, wait," she said.

He turned around and looked at her. She conjured up a copy of the document and gave it to him.

"It's charmed so that if either of us makes changes, it will appear on both copies," she said, handing it to him.

He rolled it up and stuck it in his pocket. "See you tomorrow, Granger."

Chapter Text

Draco stormed into Hermione's office early the next morning.

"Granger, what the hell is this?" he asked, shoving the charmed document in her face.

"Good morning to you, Malfoy," she said briskly before flicking her eyes at the parchment, "That's the rules document of our marriage."

"I know what the document is, what I mean though, what is this that you scribbled in last night?"

She glanced at her writing at the bottom of the page, "I don't see what's so confusing. It just says if you choose to take on a mistress during our marriage, that I would be ok with it. I was reading up on arranged marriages, since this is basically what this is in an odd sort of way, and this was common practice." She saw the anger grow on his face, "I thought you'd be happy I put that in there."

"Well, you're wrong. Take it out. I tried, but because you wrote it, I can't," he said, throwing the paper on her desk and pacing around her office.

Hermione crossed her arms over her chest, "So what do you plan to do when you have an itch, so to speak, and doing it yourself doesn't fix it? Going to come around asking for me to help you out?"

"I don't know, maybe!" he said, and instantly regretted it.

Hermione stared at him, dumbfounded. "You would? But… why?"

He groaned, sinking into the chair in front of his desk, "I don't know, ok? We'd be married, it would only make sense. It's not like it would happen often, or even remotely soon. But I would hope that we would get comfortable enough to help each other out with that sort of thing... eventually. Having a mistress just seems so… dishonest, even if you would know about it and said it was ok."

She noticed he was blushing. Blushing! And completely avoiding eye contact with her. She found it almost… cute.

She thought about his words and took a deep breath, "Ok."

His head whipped up, looking at her, "Ok? You'd agree to that? Just like that?"

She shrugged, "It makes sense. We're two grown adults. Surely we can have adult relations without it becoming complicated. It would be like a…a friends with benefits sort of thing."

He nodded, "Yes. Exactly."

She glanced at him as she erased her writing, "Don't get too excited. It'll probably be a while, a long while, before any of that happens." She looked back down on the paper, seeing his added addition he wrote last night.

"So you want to have dinner together, every night?" she asked.

He sighed, "It was my mother's idea, but she did make a point. We can use that time to talk and help us get to know each other. We most likely won't be awake at the same time for breakfast, and you'll be at work for lunch, so I figured we'll just make a standard rule to have dinner together. If for some reason one of us can't make it, we'll send notice ahead of time."

"That sounds fair," she said, "Though I do usually try and meet up with Harry and Ginny at least few times a month for dinner. To catch up and whatnot." She glanced at him. "Depending on how comfortable you feel about it, you could even come?" she offered.

"I'll… think about it. Potter and I, while we've been cordial with each other if we happen to see one another, I wouldn't say we're friends," Draco said.

"I know, but if we're married, you both will need to get used to each other since you're both going to be part of my life," she stated.

"Weasel, too?" he groaned.

Hermione winced, "I'm not sure about him. He'll probably just avoid us honestly. He's not very fond of you and I'm sure the feeling is mutual."

Draco grunted in agreement, but didn't say anything.

"Besides, he's not very fond of me at the moment either," she said. He caught a hint of sadness behind her voice.

"What happened between you two… if you don't mind me asking," he asked hesitantly.

She shrugged and started swiveling her chair lightly, "We could just never get it to work. We're too different, I think. We tried time and time again, but, we always ended up fighting and breaking up. Then we'd get back together, promising we'd both change, only, we never did. We can't change who we are. We're better as friends and once he's done being bitter about me rejecting his proposal-"

"Wait, he proposed to you? When?" Draco asked, genuinely curious.

"The same day the notice in the Prophet talked about the new marriage law. He figured we'd just get married to make things easier."

Draco shook his head, "He actually said that?"

"More or less. I told him no, that I'd either find someone else or get matched up with a person who's more compatible than we ever were. He didn't take too kindly to that."

"He's going to explode when he finds out that person is me," said Draco, a grin creeping up on his face.

"Well you don't have to be so smug about it," she said, though her lips tugged at the ends, causing her to smirk.

Draco waited a minute before asking, "Is there anything else you wanted to talk about in regards to this, uh...marriage?"

"Yes," she said, "How does the 20th work for you?"

He looked at her, "Does this mean we're going to accept the match?"

"I think so. I mean, if you want to?" she asked him.

He nodded, "I think so. Besides, if we really can't stand each other, it's only for five years."

"Ya, not so long in the grand scheme of things," she added.

He nodded, "Exactly. So, shall we make our way to the Marriage Law department?"

"I suppose we should," she got up and followed him out of her office towards the lifts.

"So what made you choose the 20th?" he asked, as she pressed the button for the floor they needed.

"Well, I figured this weekend I need talk to my parents then use the rest of the following week planning everything. I'm assuming we're going for simple?" she asked him.

"That was my take on it," he said before glancing at her, "Do you want me to go with you?"

She looked at him and frowned, "Go with me where?"

"To tell your parents," he said.

"Oh…" she said. She wasn't sure if she was shocked or touched that he would offer to go with her. "If you want... it may ease their minds a bit if they see a face to the person I'm marrying before the actual day."

"Then I'll go," he said decisively.

They were quiet for a moment as the lift moved all around to their destination.

"Thanks," she said softly.

He nodded in response and then they both lurched slightly as the lift came to a stop at their floor.

They walked side by side towards their destination, happy to see that there wasn't a line so they could be seen right away.

An hour later, they emerged from the office, copies of their marriage agreement in their hands.

"Well, I guess I'll go home and tell mother the good news," he said with a bit of sarcasm in his voice.

Hermione rolled her eyes, "Don't sound too thrilled there Malfoy. You might wrinkle. Though I do hope she is alright with all of this."

They walked towards the lifts again, heading back towards Hermione's office.

"She hasn't voiced any complaints so far. Just don't be surprised if she owls you and offers to help plan things. It's one of her many hobbies, planning events."

Hermione bit her lip, "I've been meaning to ask…. I know you'll probably want to have the wedding at the manor, but, do you think it would be ok if we do the ceremony somewhere more.. muggle? For my family? I was just thinking that it might help ease their mind of this whole thing. Unless your family won't attend, then I guess we can have it at your place, it's just that-"

"Granger, you're rambling again," he said with a sigh.

She pressed her lips together, which made him slightly smile, "Pick a place and just let me know where. As far as my family goes, it will just be me and my mother. Everyone else is either dead or estranged."

"Oh," she said, frowning. "Are you planning on inviting any of your friends?"

Draco shrugged, "If anyone, probably just Theo and Blaise." He glanced down at her, "What about you? Are you inviting the whole Weasel clan to the wedding?"

Hermione shook her head, "I think just Harry and Ginny, if that's ok. Maybe Luna too."

"I guess I can manage that," he said airily.

The lift stopped on her floor and he opened the doors for her and let her walk out first before following.

"I'll owl you anything I plan and get your confirmation. And I'll let you know when I plan on heading over to my parents house so you can go with me," she said, as they entered her office. She stopped short when she saw Harry sitting at her desk. Draco nearly bumped into her.

"Harry," she said in surprise, "What are you doing here?"

Harry shrugged, "Came to see how your meeting with Malfoy went yesterday, but it looks like I got my answer." He cocked his head to the side, "Morning, Malfoy."

Draco nodded curtly towards him, "Potter."

Harry glanced back at Hermione, "You're really marrying him?" he asked.

"Yes, Harry, I am. We just got back from filling out all the paperwork. We've worked out a lot of issues and we agreed to talk things through like adults if something arises," she said confidently.

Harry nodded, getting up from her chair and walking towards them, "Alright. As you said before you're an adult and you don't need my protection. But I'll give you fair warning, Malfoy," he said, looking at the blond, "You hurt my best friend, and you'll wish you were never born, got it?"

Draco rolled his eyes, "Sure, Potter. Whatever you say."

Hermione looked between the two men and sighed, before rolling your own eyes, "Honestly. Both of you can leave now. I have work to do. If you want to act like barbaric men, please do so outside my office."

Harry looked at Hermione, "I have to go somewhere with the other aurors today. I may or may not be back in time for lunch. Make sure you eat," he said.

She chuckled, "Yes, dad. Now get out of here."

He smiled at her before looking at Draco, giving him a steely glare, before walking off towards his department.

"Do you really forget to eat that often?" Draco asked.

"No, not all the time. He just likes to tease me," she said dismissively as she walked into her office and sat at her desk, flipping through her memos that she received while out. She glanced up and saw that Draco was still standing at her doorway and frowned, "Is there anything else you need?"

He started to speak, then decided against it, "No, I'll leave you be. I'll owl you, alright?"

"Yes, yes," she said, shooing him off as she looked back at her notes.

That afternoon, Harry didn't return for lunch. An owl came in and dropped off a sandwich from her favorite shoppe. A note was stuck on it.


A smile tugged at her lips as she opened the sandwich wrapper. Turkey, swiss, lettuce, and tomato on whole wheat with a dash of honey mustard. Her favorite.

Chapter Text

Hermione yawned as she poured herself a cup of coffee. She had stayed up late the night before, making lists of everything she needed to do in the upcoming week before the wedding. She had also spent a long time on the phone with her parents, trying her best to explain what was happening. They weren't happy, to say the least, especially since she waited so long to tell them. She was worried this was going to ruin their relationship, but in the end, they said they understood and would be there for her on her wedding, even if it wasn't to someone she loved.

As she poured some of her favorite hazelnut flavored creamer into the coffee, an eagle owl swooped in and landed neatly on her table.

"Oh? And who might you be?" she asked. She knew it wasn't a regular post owl, since those were mostly barn or tawny owls. She noticed that it had a collar on of sorts and saw the Malfoy crest on it. She untied the note from his leg and ran a finger along his head towards his collar. She flipped it over and saw that it had a name on it.

"Artemis," she said softly. Then she looked at the bird and smiled, "Well, nice to meet you, Artemis. Did Malfoy send you?"

The owl hooted and ruffled his feathers. She got out a bowl of water and placed it next to him before finally opening up the letter:

Your presence is requested at dinner tonight. I can give you a tour of the manor and you can choose your room so we can prepare for it for when you move in. Dinner is usually at 6, but we both know you won't leave the office until after that, so we can make it 7.
Send your response with Artemis.
P.S. You can floo directly to the manor. I have changed the wards to allow you in.

After reading the letter, Hermione got out a piece of parchment she kept in one of her kitchen drawers and responded:

Dinner at 7 sounds fine. I'll try and be there by 6:30. I'll floo directly from work.
P.S. Thank you for the sandwich yesterday, it's actually one of my favorites.

She tied the note to Artemis and watched from the window as he flew off. She drank the rest of her coffee then got ready for her day.

At six o'clock that evening, the alarm charm she set on her wand went off. She was buried in paperwork and was thankful she actually remembered to set it, or else she would have been there for at least another hour before she remembered she had plans. Her office door was already shut, so she cast a locking charm on it so she could change out of her work clothes. She was sure what she wore to work would have been fine for dinner at Malfoy's; a light blue button down top with a navy blue pencil skirt; but she wanted to wear something a little less office-y. She rummaged in her bag and pulled out the simple knee-length dress. It was in her favorite color, purple, and while it was just one solid color, she always felt very pretty and confident in it. She needed all the confidence she could get tonight if she was going to the manor. She hadn't been there since before the war ended, and what she remembered was not all that pleasant. Plus, she was going to meet Mrs. Malfoy, and for some reason, the thought of that terrified her. So, she put on her favorite, confidence-boosting dress. She re-applied the little make-up she usually tossed on in the mornings; mascara and lip gloss, then ran her fingers through her hair. She charmed the back of the door to act like a full length mirror. She deemed herself acceptable, grabbed her bag, and walked out towards the atrium where all the floo's were located.

As she stepped up to one of the many fireplaces, she chided herself about how she shouldn't be nervous. It was just dinner… with her future husband and mother-in-law. No, not awkward at all. After a few calming breaths, she stepped into the hearth, closed her eyes, and said, "Malfoy Manor," before tossing the floo powder at her feet and whirling away to her destination.

She didn't open them again until she felt her feet plant firmly on the ground. She opened her eyes and stepped out of the huge fireplace, which was so tall that she didn't even have to bend over to step out of.

She brushed herself off absently and looked around the great sitting room. It seemed lighter then she remembered, like maybe it had been painted, and the windows were open to let in the last of the day's light. She looked in front of her and was surprised to see that there was a large couch not more than five feet from her, with Draco sitting on it, a book opened in his hands, though his eyes were on her. She gave him a small smile and walked over, "Hi."

"Evening, Granger," he took out his pocket watch and glanced at the time before quirking an eyebrow at her, "You're early. Didn't expect you for at least another five or ten minutes."

"I put an alarm charm on my wand so I would make sure to stop working in time. Glad I did too because I was really immersed into some paperwork I got this afternoon and I hadn't set a timer I-"

"Rambling again," he said, closing the book and setting it next to him.

Hermione chuckled, "You're the only one that calls me out on it. Everyone else just lets me talk."

"Does it annoy you when I do that?" he asked, standing up and facing her.

"Surprisingly, no," she looked nervously around the room, her mind trying to place if she'd been in here before.

He watched her and knew what she was thinking, "Don't worry, it's not the same room. That one has been sealed off and locked. Has been since after the war. Not before stripping it of all dark magic, of course."

He motioned for her to follow him as he walked out of the room.

"You like... nice," he said, conversationally, though she felt like it was particularly hard for him to pay her a compliment since all he was used to doing was the opposite during their whole time at Hogwarts.

Knowing he was trying, she gave him a small smile, "Thank you." Then she looked him up and down and said, "You like nice tonight too, Malfoy," she said cooly.

"Well, naturally," he said smugly, turning to grin at her. She shook her head in amazement which caused him to frown slightly, "What?"

"You're just… different. A good different, but different. You don't sneer nearly as often as you used too."

He rolled his eyes sarcastically, "I can sneer at you if you want."

"No, that's quite alright. I much prefer this new Draco than the old one."

Draco's lips tugged at the sides at the use of his name. He led them towards the front doors where they boasted a huge entryway that led to a set of grand staircases on either side. He started walking up the right side as he began talking, "At the top of the stairs are two wings, the east and west. My mother currently has a room on the east wing, the very last one on the left. All the others are empty. At the top of these stairs here," he said, as they reached the landing, "Is the entry to the manor's library."

Her eyes widened in surprise, "You have your own library?"

Draco shrugged nonchalantly, "Of course. You'll be welcome to use it anytime you wish. There are a few comfortable arm chairs and a sofa or two throughout, as well as a fireplace and a balcony for your reading pleasures."

She wanted to stop in and take a look, but he gripped her elbow and tugged her along while he kept talking, "The west wing is essentially mine, since I'm the only one that uses it. My room is the last on the right . There are four others on this side, but one in particular I think you'd like best of all."

They walked down the hall and passed a few rooms until they reached the end. He opened the door that was across the hall from his own.

She knew exactly why he thought this room would suit her. It had two huge bay windows that nearly touched the extended ceiling, with a bench seat beneath them; perfect for reading or to just simply daydream. The walls were white in color and the only things in the room were a gigantic bed, a desk, and an armoire twice the size of normal ones. There was also a small door to the left at the end of the room and Hermione gaped as she walked into a massive bathroom, complete with sunken clawfoot tub, walk-in shower, porcelain sink, and a vanity.

She walked back out of the bathroom, her mouth still agape, "This room is gorgeous."

"It's yours then," he said with a decisive nod.

She bit her lip, "You don't care that it's directly next across from yours? If you want more privacy, I can get one of the other ones in the other wing-"

"It's fine," he said simply and with a shrug.

She nodded then looked around the room, "I guess I should start packing my things soon, huh?"

Draco nodded, "You can bring things over any time you want now that you have floo access, or you can call upon one of the house elves to help you transfer things from your place to here. Millie!"

"Oh you don't need too-"

A loud CRACK resonated through the room and a house elf, dressed in what looked like a brand new green pillowcase with the Malfoy crest in silver, appeared before them. She bowed slightly before looking between Draco and Hermione, "Master Draco called for Millie, sir?" she squeaked.

"Yes, Millie, thank you. This is-"

"Ooh! Millie knows who this is, she does! You're to be Master Draco's Miss!"

Hermione smiled awkwardly towards the little elf, "Yes, that's right, but-"

"Millie can get you anything you like, Miss!" she squeaked happily.

"Thank you Millie," said Draco, "Miss er, Hermione is not quite ready to move into the manor yet, but she's going to start packing her things and she'll need someone to help her get them here," he said.

Millie's eyes widened, "Oh! Millie would be happy to help! Oh yes, Millie would!" She looked to Hermione with wide, excited eyes. Hermione knew if she told the little elf that she didn't need help that she'd break her heart. So, she smiled and said, "I'd be honored to have you help me, Millie. I'll call for you when I need assistance, ok?"

Millie squealed and jumped up and down before hugging Hermione's leg.

"Alright Millie," said Draco, a small smile forming on his lips, "Can you please find Mother and tell her that we'll be down for dinner soon. I just need to finish the rest of the house tour first."

Millie nodded, "Yes, Master Draco." She gave another small bow then disappeared from the room.

Hermione looked to Draco, "She seems very….energetic."

Draco grinned slightly and nodded as he led her down the hall towards the staircases again. He saw her look longingly towards the library and he rolled his eyes, "If I let you go in there now, you'll never emerge. After dinner I promise you can check it out, ok?"

Hermione blushed, knowing that what he said was true. She smiled and said, "Ok," as they walked down the steps.

"On the main floor is the entry way and the parlor, which is where you entered from. The dining room, kitchen, and two studies are down here as well on the west side. On the east side is where we hold our banquets that we host. There are a few bathrooms down here as well. We have a basement, which is where the house elves sleep and there is also a room down there that I use as my lab. We can store your belongings there from your flat if you wish as well."

He led her towards a set of double doors, "The garden is through here. Mother planted so many different kinds of flowers after the war that it seems like a botanical garden now. If you follow the path a ways, you'll find the pool, which is heated to the perfect temperature so you can use it year round."

Hermione took in all the pretty colors and scents as they walked through the different types of flowers. She looked ahead and what she saw made her gasp. She walked quickly towards the towering tree, which was in full bloom of cherry blossoms.

"I can't believe you have a cherry blossom tree. It's so pretty!" she said, standing under it. She looked around in amazement. Draco walked towards her, his hands in his pockets. He could just see her mind ticking away.

She glanced at him and nibbled her bottom lip.

"Let me guess… you would like to have the location of the wedding to here now?" he asked.

Hermione nodded, looking back towards the tree, which was swaying slightly in the light wind. "I just love this. You don't find many of these types of trees just anywhere. I've only ever seen pictures of them and always wanted to see it in person." She glanced at him again, "Would it be alright? Having it here? Could… could my parents come?"

"I don't see why not," he said with an indifferent shrug.

Hermione nodded then looked back at the tree once more.

Draco took out his pocket watch and checked the time, "We should head back in. Dinner will be ready in just a few moments."

"Ok," she said walking back towards him. He led her towards to the house towards different set of double doors, which were already opened. A tall, blond woman was standing there, looking at them coolly, waiting for them to join her.

Chapter Text

The first thing Hermione thought as she walked towards the woman, was that Narcissa Malfoy was unreadable. She stood there with so much poise and sophistication that Hermione all of a sudden started feeling self conscious and nervous. She absentmindedly started to slow down her walking and Draco looked over at her and said, "It's alright. She won't bite."

Hermione chuckled nervously and nodded, picking up her pace to match his.

When they were only a few feet away from the Lady Malfoy, she finally cracked a small smile, "Well, don't you two look like a perfect picturesque couple," She let her eyes wander over Hermione for a second before saying, "I do hope my son has been an acceptable host so far."

Hermione gave her a nervous smile, "Yes, he's been quite the gentleman."

"Good to know all those years of training haven't gone to waste after all," Narcissa said, giving her son a wry smile.

Draco rolled his eyes, "I know how to treat my guests, Mother. You needn't worry."

"Hm, I beg to differ," she said coolly as she turned to walk into the dining room.

Draco rolled his eyes once her back was turned. She was obviously still sore at him for being late to lunch while her friends were there a few days prior.

Hermione glanced at him and frowned. He looked over her and shook his head, "She's just complaining about something that happened a week ago. It's fine."

He led her into the dining hall where their elaborate table was set for the three of them. Hermione was glad that all the settings were on the same end of the table; how awkward would it be if they were all different ends?

Draco pulled out a chair for her, which was seated next to his own. She thanked him quietly as she sat down and placed the cloth napkin in her lap. Narcissa had already sat down at the head of the table, so Draco took his seat next to Hermione.

"So, Miss Granger. I was wondering, why did you feel the need to fill out one of those Assessment forms to get matched up? Surely someone of your… popularity would have suitors lining up outside your door to take your hand in marriage."

"Mother, I really don't think that's any of our-"

"No, it's alright," said Hermione. She looked at the elder Malfoy, "While I'm sure you're right, I honestly don't have much of a social life. My work keeps me busy and while I have gone out on a few dates, they were with people who I just weren't compatible with me. I figured if the Ministry was going to match someone based on compatibility, that I had a better chance with them then trying to weed out those who wanted to date me because of who I am, or because they actually like me."

Narcissa gave her a thin smiled and nodded, pleased with the answer. "I think that was Draco's issue as well. So many women flocking to him, but all mostly because of our last name and our vault in Gringotts. He too wanted someone who was more…. compatible."

"If I recall mother, most of that flocking was helped by your hand," Draco said, irritably.

Narcissa waved him off dissmissivly, "That's neither here nor there."

Draco looked slightly annoyed and uncomfortable, "Mother, I think we should have the house elves bring out dinner now."

"Yes, I agree," she said. She clapped her hands three times and three house elves walked into the dining room, each wearing matching green pillowcases with Malfoy crest on them. They were each levitating a tray of food and placed them in front of each of the dinner guests. When the lids of the trays were lifted, Hermione found a plated salad in front of her.

"This looks delicious. Is this apple and guida?" she asked, spearing some lettuce onto her fork and eating.

Narcissa nodded, "Yes. It's one our favorites."

The three ate in silence for a few minutes before Narcissa asked, "So Draco, did you finish giving Miss Granger a tour of the manor?"

Draco nodded, "I did. She also picked out a room. It was the one I told you should would like best."

"It was the windows and bench seat that sold me," Hermione said, blushing slightly.

"Do you have any questions about the manor, Miss Granger?" Narcissa asked.

Hermione shook her head, "Please, call me Hermione. And no, at least not at the moment. The manor is pretty amazing, you've done a wonderful job with it."

Narcissa gave her a warm smile, "Thank you. I've spent the last few years re-doing each room."

Once their salads were consumed, their trays were replaced with the main dish; cornish game hens, steamed carrots, and roasted red potatoes.

"Oh, I do have one question, if you don't mind," asked Hermione thoughtfully. At Narcissa's nod, she said, "I know Draco said that it would be alright to have the wedding here, and I was wondering if it would be ok if we had it in the garden, under the cherry blossom tree? I'm only planning on inviting my parents, and maybe a few friends, so we wouldn't need a lot of space, and Draco said that it would just be you and him attending from his side. I just really love that tree, especially since it's in bloom and-"

"Rambling," Draco said softly. Narcissa gave them an amused look.

Hermione flushed slightly, "Sorry. I tend to ramble when I get excited or anxious about something."

"It's quite alright dear, it just shows you're passionate about things. That's hardly fault," said Narcissa.

Draco shook his head and let out a soft chuckle. If only his mother knew just how much stuff Hermione was passionate about.

"Speaking of the wedding, Draco, I still notice that your match here is still without a ring," said Narcissa, giving her son a small glare.

Draco sighed irritably, "I was planning on giving it to her later."

"Why not now? It's not like you need to plan an elaborate proposal and catch her by surprise," Narcissa said flippantly.

Draco shook his head at his mother, "Fine," He took out his wand and conjured a small box into his hand.

Hermione looked at it nervously. For some reason getting the ring made this feel more… real.

Draco opened the box and before he could say anything, Narcissa interrupted, "Draco, that isn't your grandmother's ring."

He looked at her, "No. It isn't."

"But I gave you that ring to give to your future wife," she said, frowning at him in confusion.

"Mother, when Grandmother was on her deathbed, do you know what she told me? She told me to give it to the person I love. Love, Mother. What Hermione and I have… it's, well, it's cordial, maybe even friendship, at best. But not love," he looked to Hermione and she nodded in agreement. She understood and he felt better about it. He looked at his mother again, "If and when I fall in love, then I will give that woman grandmother's ring. But for this marriage, the one that the ministry is basically forcing our hand in, I will give a ring that I chose."

He turned to Hermione again, facing the box towards her. Inside was a band of silver, with small diamonds inset all around it.

"It's beautiful," she said.

"You didn't seem to strike me as a person who wore gold, so I thought silver would be best," he said simply.

She looked at him with amusement. How could Draco, the person who barely knew her, know she'd prefered silver to gold? Whereas Ron, who had known her since she was 11, didn't?

Before she realized it, he took her hand and slipped the ring onto her finger, where it fit perfectly.

"I figured our wedding bands will be simple silver ones. Is that ok with you?" he asked her.

She nodded, still looking at the ring on her hand. It really was beautiful, even if it wasn't the family ring Narcissa wished she was wearing.

The rest of the dinner went smoothly, with small conversations here and there. Once dessert was over and the meal was done, Hermione thought happily to herself that this was a pretty successful night.

Narcissa bade them goodnight and retired to her room, leaving Draco and Hermione alone.
She looked over at him and gave him soft smile, "Do you think-"

"Yes, go on Granger. Go check out the library. I'll check in on you in a while."

She very nearly squealed as she got up and left the room, heading towards her destination. Draco smirked and shook his head. If a library was all that would make her happy, then the next five years should be easy.

An hour later, Draco found Hermione curled up in one of the sofa's in the library, a book in her lap, but her eyes were closed. Apparently a late dinner and some reading was exhausting for the girl. Sighing, he walked over to her and gently shook her shoulder, "Granger. Granger, wake up."

Hermione blinked rapidly a few times before finally focusing on his words. She gave a little yawn before uncurling herself. "Sorry. Must have fallen asleep reading. What time is it?"
"Nearly nine in the evening. You're welcome to stay as long as you want, but I'm heading to bed and I'm pretty sure you get up early in the morning for work," he said.

Hermione nodded, standing up, "Yes. No matter what time I go to sleep I'm always up roughly the same time every morning. Even on the weekends. It's a curse, really."

He smirked slightly, "I'm kind of the same way. Anyways, you can use the floo here in the library. All of them are connected to the network to leave the Manor but only the one in the parlor lets people in."

Hermione walked towards the fireplace, opening the small container of floo powder that was on the mantel and took a handful before turning around to face Draco, "I had a lovely time tonight. It went better than I thought it would, honestly."

He nodded, "Glad to hear it."

"Well, goodnight," she said, stepping into hearth.

"Night," he said.

"Oh wait, before I forget. I'm going to visit my parents this Saturday, if you still wanted to come," she said.

He nodded again, "Alright. Send me an owl with arrangements."

She grinned at him, "Will do. Bye."

He gave an absent wave as she disappeared from the fireplace then apparated to his bedroom. Having Hermione visit seemed to have been a good thing; she realized that the place wasn't as scary as she probably thought it was, and he realized having here wasn't nearly as scary either. Maybe they really could make this work.

Chapter Text

As Hermione ate her breakfast the morning after visiting the manor, she couldn't help but stare at the ring on her left hand. It really was quite beautiful. For picking out a ring for someone he didn't love, or really want to marry for that matter, Malfoy did a pretty fantastic job. She wondered briefly if she'd be able to keep it when they eventually went their separate ways in five years. For commemorative reasons, obviously.

She had just gotten up to put her dishes in the dishwasher and get ready to leave for work when her floo chimed and Harry stepped out moments later.

"Harry? What are you doing here? I was just about to head into-"

"He knows," Harry said, walking up to her, "Ron knows and he's on his way over here. He tried to floo here but couldn't get through," he said breathlessly.

Hermione huffed impatiently, "I blocked him months ago. I'm surprised it took him this long to figur-"

There was banging on her front door then, followed by Ron yelling, "HERMIONE! LET ME IN! WE NEED TO TALK!"

"How did he find out?" she asked Harry, looking at the door wearily.

"He kept asking me if I knew what you were planning on doing, since he knew your six months were nearly up."

There was more banging on her door, followed by more yelling by Ron, demanded to be let in.

"So you told him?" she asked in a hiss.

"No! He.. he used legilimency on me," he mumbled.

Hermione gave him an incredulous look. She knew that part of their Auror training was learning legilimency, she just didn't realize how well Ron had gotten at it.

"I'm sorry, ok! I've gotten better at occlumency, but I didn't have my walls up in my own home with only my friend in the room!"

She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose as Ron kept banging on the door, "It's fine, Harry. He would have found out soon enough anyways. You better get out of here so I can talk to him."

"No way. I'm sticking around so you two don't kill each other, because if that happens, then I'll have to deal Malfoy as well," he said, grumpily, sitting on the couch.

Hermione rolled her eyes then walked towards the door, "I'm coming!" she yelled.

Ron was mid-knock when she opened the door and he nearly fell into her when she opened it.

"About bloody time you answered! What took you-" he spotted Harry on the couch, "Oh, it's you," he said, glaring at Harry.

"Don't blame Harry, Ronald. I told him not to say anything," she said.

He snapped his eyes to her, "So it's true? You're really marrying that.. that ferret?" he asked, his face turning red with anger.

Hermione stood her ground. "Yes, I am. And I don't appreciate you violating your best friends memories to get information about me! If you wanted to know what was going on, why didn't you just be a man and come ask me yourself!"

"Because you weren't talking to me!" he yelled.

"How would you know! You haven't come around to even see if I would have or not!" she yelled back.

"Well, you never sought me out either! It's not all my fault, you know!" he roared back.

"ENOUGH!" yelled Harry, standing up and positioning himself between the two of them. They may not have realized that they were both clutching their wands, but he had.

"You both need to calm down. Yelling and screaming about things that have already happened isn't going to fix anything. Ron," he said, turning to his friend, "You have to let her go, mate. You two were never going to work. Forcing yourselves into a marriage would have made you miserable."

"But-" Ron sputtered, but Harry had turned to Hermione.

"And Hermione. Ron has a point you know. You've been avoiding him just as much as he's been avoiding you. I understand waiting until you knew for sure what was going on, and I agree that he should not have entered my mind to look for information. But if you two would stop acting like angsty teenagers, and actually talk to each other like adults, then maybe, just maybe, you two can work things out and salvage this friendship."

"I don't know if that's going to be possible if she's going to go and marry him," Ron said grumpily, sitting on the couch, folding his arms over his chest.

Hermione sighed and sat down on the opposite end of the couch, "It's not like it will be forever. We only need to be together for five years."

"But you'll have to have a child together. Don't think you'll be able to get rid of him that easily," Ron pointed out.

"I understand that. I'm hoping by the end of the five years that he and I will have formed a friendship and be able to co-parent effectively after we divorce," she said.

Harry sat between the two of them and sighed, glad the yelling had stopped.

"Why'd you accept the match though, 'Mione?" Ron asked seriously. "I mean. This is the same bloke who was horrible to us in school, but most of all, to you. How could you just forgive and forget what he did to you?"

"Because now I understand why he acted the way he did. It was how he was raised and he honestly didn't know better. He realized on his own how wrong it was, and that right there shows promise in his change of heart. He's different now. I'm sure he'll still be an ass sometimes, just like I'm sure I'll annoy him with my facts and ramblings. But, the few times we've seen each other since this whole thing started, he's been very cordial and even bordering on friendly at times."

She fiddled with her ring absently as she talked, to which Harry noticed. "Did he give you that?" he asked.

Ron looked over and saw what he was referring too, then looked away grumbling.

Hermione looked down at her hand and nodded, "Yes. Last night. I went to the manor for dinner and he gave it to me. It's not an heirloom ring, which I'm thankful for."

"So when are you two… you know… getting hitched," Ron asked, trying not to sound sour.

"The 20th," she said, causing Ron to look at her and gape.

"But that's a little over a week from now!" he said.

"Yes, I know. But I only have until the end of the month and I'd rather get it done sooner than later. It's going to be a very small ceremony with just our parents and maybe a few friends," she said.

"Well, I hope you're not expecting me to go," said Ron, crossing his arms again.

"I wasn't, actually. However, Harry, if you and Ginny want to come, you're more than welcome," she said.

Harry looked at her then at Ron then back to her, "I'll, uh.. I'll talk to Ginny about it. See if she's free that day."

Hermione nodded her head then finally caught sight of the time, "Crap. I'm late for work. You two can use my floo to get to the Ministry when you're ready."

She got up and gathered her bag before stepping into the floo and disappearing without another word to the two.

Ron grumbled, "I still can't believe she's marrying that git."

Harry sighed, "To be honest, this is all weird for me too. But, Hermione is a grown woman and there's nothing we can say or do to change her mind. We either need to accept it and move on, or don't and lose risking her forever. I don't know about you, but I know what I'm going to do. I suggest you think about it."

Harry got up from the couch and went to the floo to head into work as well.

Alone, Ron sighed, thinking about what Harry had said. After a few minutes he walked slowly over to the fireplace and floo'd into work, still unsure of what to do.

I told my parents I would be at their place around 10am on Saturday. Does that work for you? You can floo to my place. I have changed the wards to let you in and we can leave from there. My mother would also like for us to stay for dinner, if you do not have plans. I was planning on staying the whole day but of course, you don't have to-

There was a knock on her door and she looked up from the letter she was writing to see the recipient standing before her.

"Oh, I was just writing to you," she said, giving him a small smile and handing him the letter. "I wasn't expecting to see you today. Is everything alright?"

Draco took the letter and nodded, sitting down in the vacant chair across from her, "Yes, everything is fine. I just needed out of the house for a bit to get some fresh air. One of the potions I'm working on is very pugnant. Figured I'd see if you had lunch yet while I aired out the lab." He glanced at the letter then handed it back to her, "Saturday at 10 works for me and I did have plans with Theo and Blaise that evening but I can push it back. It's just getting a pint at the bar so it's nothing important," he said dismissively.

"Well, if you're sure.. I don't want them to think you're ignoring them for me," she said.

He shrugged, "They'll get over it, seeing as how we have a wedding to plan. I'll let them know later today about the change of plans for Saturday and I'll also invite them to the wedding, if that's still ok."

Hermione nodded, "Yes, that's fine. I talked to Harry today too actually, and he said he was going to talk to Ginny and make sure they're free."

Draco nodded, "Ok. So about lunch… have you eaten yet?"

"I haven't, no," she said, "I was about to head down the cafeteria after I had finished writing you."

Draco wrinkled his nose, "Cafeteria food?"

Hermione chuckled and rolled her eyes, "It's not that bad."

"Well, I'm not about to find out. Come on, we'll get something to eat elsewhere," he said, getting up and waiting for her to follow.

Hermione returned an hour later to find Ron leaning against the wall next to her office door.

"May I help you, Ron?" she asked crisply as she opened her office door and walked in, Ron following after.

"I just….well," he scratched the back of his neck, "I just wanted to say I was sorry. That's all."

Hermione sat down and looked at him, "Alright. I'm sorry too. I shouldn't have been avoiding you. Harry was right, it was rather childish."

Ron gave her a sheepish grin.

She gave him a small smile in return, "Does this mean you're ok with me marrying Malfoy?"

Ron frowned, "I still don't like it, or him for that matter. But, I trust you. I just want us to go back to being friends. I won't be comfortable hanging out with him or going to the manor to see you, but I would hope we could do lunch and stuff, you, me, and Harry, like before."

She smiled, "I'd like that as well."

He smiled back, "If you haven't already gone, we're having a late lunch now."

"Oh," she said, looking at him apologetically, "I just got back actually. Malfoy came by and-"

"Oh, nevermind then," he said, getting up to go.

"Ron," she sighed, "Don't be upset. I didn't know you were going to ask me lunch today. How about tomorrow? We can go to that pizza place you love."

Ron's eyes lit up briefly before scowling, "You sure your fiancé won't mind?"

Hermione rolled her eyes, "He doesn't care if I eat lunch with other people, Ronald. He has nothing to get jealous about. He doesn't like me like that. He had just stopped by earlier and asked me to lunch. If it will make you feel better, I'll owl him later today and tell him that tomorrow I have lunch plans so he doesn't need to stop by."

"Ok. Ok, ya, that sounds good," he said, "Well, I should get going. I told Harry I'd be back about ten minutes ago so we could go to lunch. I'll talk to you later, 'Mione."

Hermione gave a small wave and Ron left. She shook her head at her friend and smiled before going back to the work on her desk.

Chapter Text

Draco arrived at Hermione's flat on Saturday morning to an empty living room.

"Granger?" he called out. He was momentarily worried that he was in the wrong place, but then he saw a framed picture of Hermione with Potter and Weasley. He walked down the hall to see if he could find her and heard the shower running. He knocked on the bathroom door and chuckled when he heard her yelp in surprise.

"Malfoy? Is that you?" she called out.

He opened the door a crack so she could hear him better, "Yes, it's me."

"Am I running late? Or you early?" she asked.

"I'm early. Have you eaten yet?" he asked.

"Um, not yet. I was going to make some toast before you came over," she said.

Draco rolled his eyes. "Haven't you ever heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Toast just won't do. Hurry up, I'll fix you something more substantial," he said, closing the door before she could argue.

Draco went to the kitchen and opened up the fridge. He was actually quite skilled in the kitchen. After the war and before he got into alchemy, he decided that he wanted to learn how to cook. He would watch the house elves and eventually started cooking things for himself. His favorite was breakfast. He grabbed some eggs, butter, cheese, mushrooms, and spinach that she had on hand.

By the time Hermione walked into the kitchen, he was plating her an omelet.

"Well, this is a surprise," she said, sitting down at her little table.

"What, that I can cook?" he asked.

"Well, yes," she said honestly, taking a bite of her food. Her eyes lit up as she ate another bite.

Draco sat across from her, "I only just learned a few years ago how to work my way around a kitchen. I was bored and wanted to learn a life-skill, so to speak. So I took up cooking. It comes in handy when I work long hours in my lab and missed a meal or two. This way when I want something to eat at three in the morning, I don't have to wake any house elves."

Hermione gave him a small smile, "I noticed how much better they were treated then how Dobby was. I take it that was your doing?"

Draco nodded, "Yeah. I never did like how my father treated them. Dobby was mostly his though so he treated him especially horrible. It was no wonder he was actually willing to be set free," Draco said bitterly.

"He was definitely a one-of-a-kind house elf though. The only one I ever met that liked being free. And believe me, I tried talking to other house elves into asking for wages and whatnot and they all fought me on it. It's why I'm not too upset that I'll be living in a place with house elves. As long as they are treated well, which between you and me, they will be."

Draco nodded, "It took forever trying to find a way to give them their new uniforms. They all used to wear tea-towels that they never changed so they were filthy. They won't take clothes so we opted to getting them pillowcases and altered them they can use them as tunics. They also have extra sets so they can wash them as well."

Hermione smiled as she finished her breakfast, "That's nice. And this was delicious. Thank you," she said, taking her plate to the sink to wash really quick.

"You said your parents knew this wasn't your typical wedding right? We don't have to pretend to be a couple in front of them?"

She shook her head, "No, they know the truth. They're not very happy with it, but they're coming around. My mother did perk up at the prospect of a grandchild though."

Draco chuckled, "Yes, my mother is also pretty excited about that."

Hermione dried her hands and looked at Draco, biting her lip, "Is she really ok with it though?"

Draco nodded, standing up, "Yes. She told me a while back that she gave up on the idea of pureblood grandchildren since I had dismissed almost every pureblood witch she threw at me."

Hermione looked at him curiously, leaning against her kitchen counter, "Why did you? Dismiss them I mean."

Draco shrugged, "I didn't find anything in common with them. All they talked about was shopping and gossip and most only wanted to marry me for my wealth. I didn't want a wife like that."

Hermione nodded understandingly, "I know what you mean. Whenever Ron and I broke up and it was on the front cover of the Prophet or Witch Weekly, I would be propositioned by men I've never seen before. They only wanted to date me because I was Harry's friend or because I was one of the 'golden trio'." Hermione rolled her eyes at this.

Draco groaned, "You realize that our.. union, is publicized, right? There was actually an article in the profit today about our engagement."

Hermione nodded, "I know, I saw. I have a friend at the Prophet that I was thinking of inviting ot the wedding, but I wanted to run it by you first. This way, we can let them take pictures of the wedding and write a story. She'll also let us review the story before it's published."

"Who's your friend?" Draco asked.

"Padma Patil," said Hermione.

Draco nodded as Hermione left the kitchen and returned a moment later with her bag. "Are you ready to go?" she asked.

"Yes, though I was wondering if what I was wearing was ok? You know, for being around muggles?" he asked.

Hermione looked him over, noting his black slacks and dark blue button up shirt with its sleeves rolled up a bit. "You look fine. Though they might question why you're wearing long sleeves in the middle of summer. Aren't you hot?" she inquired.

Draco glanced nervously at his left arm then scratched the back of his neck, "Not really, no.

Realization struck and Hermione's cheeks flushed, "Oh. I'm sorry…"

Draco shrugged, "It's alright. It's why I keep it hidden. I don't like it getting any attention."

"Well, if it helps, my parents don't know what it means. If you wished to wear a short-sleeve shirt while visiting them, they'll just assume it's a normal tattoo."

He shook his head, "No, that's ok. It's not something I like to look at," he said flatly.

Hermione nodded, absently rubbing her right arm, "I understand."

Draco watched her rub her arm, noting that the scars on her arm were not visible. "Concealment charm?" he asked.

Hermione looked at her arm and nodded, "Yes. I do it every morning. I barely even realize I do it now, it's just become habit. My parents… they don't know about it and I'd like to keep it that way."

"Alright," he said. "Well, we should probably head over. Do we apparate there or is their place connected to the floo?" he inquired.

"Um, well, actually, I usually just drive there," she said hesitantly.

Draco looked surprised, "In one of those muggle vehicles? You know how to drive one of those things?"

Hermione nodded, "Yes. I got my license right before sixth year."

Draco thought about it for a moment, "Alright."

She widened her eyes in surprise, "Really?"

He shrugged, "Sure, why not? I've ridden in them before, the ones from the Ministry. I'm sure it's the same."

Hermione nodded, "Yes, it is." She gathered her keys off the hook by her front door and opened it. Draco walked out first so that she could close and lock the door behind her. She locked it both by key and by magic, just in case.

"There's no lift in my building, so we'll have to walk down a few flight of stairs to get to the parking garage," she said, as she guided him down the stairwell. "This is a muggle complex so I don't want to risk apparating into the garage incase someone is there."

Draco nodded absently, following her. After a few minutes they were finally on the bottom floor and she opened a door to reveal an underground parking garage. She took out her keys and pressed a button. A car two stalls away beeped. "That's my car," she said.

Draco had to keep himself from rolling his eyes; he had figured that much out on his own. She must be used to Weasley and needing to explain every little thing to him.

Hermione opened the driver's side door and sat down then raised an eyebrow as Draco went to open the back passenger side door. "You can sit up front, you know."

He hesitated at the opened door, then closed it and opened the front passenger side and slid in.

"I've never rode up front before," he said, as he buckled his seat belt.

"Well, I know you're used to luxury and all, but I'm not about to be your chauffeur," she said, as she started the engine and backed out of her spot.

He turned to glare at her and opened his mouth to retort before she laughed, "Relax, Draco, I was only kidding. Lighten up."

Draco sighed and turned his head to look out his window as they drove.

The drive to her parents house was pretty quiet, except for when Hermione would sing under her breath with the radio. He found he didn't quite mind when she did that. After a half hour, she pulled up next to a curb in front of a house and stopped the engine. "Well, we're here," she said.

"Must you always state the obvious," he said as he unbuckled.

Hermione was about to snap something back when he interrupted her, "Relax, Hermione, I was only kidding. Lighten up." He gave her a wink before exiting the vehicle.

She wasn't sure what she was surprised about the most: the fact he used her first name or the fact that he winked at her. She smiled to herself as she got out of her car and led them to the front door of her childhood home.

Chapter Text

Joe and Kathleen Granger greeted their daughter when she entered the front room of their home. They both hugged and kissed her then turned their attention to the tall, blonde man standing in the doorway, looking slightly uncomfortable.

"Er, mum, dad, this is Draco Malfoy. My, uh.. fiancé," Hermione said.

There was a brief, awkward moment when no one said anything. Then Mrs. Granger went over to Draco and pulled him into a hug, "Hello Draco. It's nice to meet you."

"Er, nice to meet you to, Mrs. Granger. Or should I call you Doctor Granger? Hermione told me you were both dentists?" he said, once he was released from her hug.

"Oh, just Kathleen is fine. It'll get too confusing saying Doctor Granger around here," she said chuckling.

Draco nodded then looked at Mr. Granger, who still had an arm around Hermione's shoulders. He wasn't glaring at Draco but he wasn't smiling either. Draco held out his hand, "Pleased to meet you, sir," he said.

Mr. Granger looked Draco's hand, then to Draco's face, and finally shook his hand, "You too. You can call me Dr. Granger."

Hermione elbowed her dad in the ribs playfully and he finally cracked a grin, "I'm only kidding. You can call me Joe."

"Well, come on in and close the door. We don't want all the cool air to escape from the house," said Kathleen.

Draco closed the door behind him then walked the short distance to the couch in their front room. He sat next to Hermione while her parents took the love seat.

"Have you two eaten yet? Besides toast, that is?" Kathleen said, looking at Hermione pointedly. Draco snickered.

"Actually, yes. Draco made me an omelette this morning," Hermione supplied, then went vivid red when her parents mouths dropped open in astonishment. "I mean, he came by early and made me breakfast. He didn't spend the night or anything," she said quickly.

"Mhm.." said Joe, eyeing Draco, "So, Draco. How do you feel about all this? Forcing marriages just to increase the population of magical folk?"

Draco merely shrugged his shoulders, "Honestly, I kind of saw it coming."

Hermione looked at him with raised eyebrows, "You did?"

"Yes. Our population was depleted greatly by the war. The ministry had to come up with some way to get the numbers back up. It's not any different than purebloods having arranged marriages for the same reason. Though at least the ministry isn't focused on blood purity, which is just fine by me."

"Did your parents have an arranged marriage for you? I've always wondered," Hermione asked him.

He shook is head, "No. I'm sure if things gone… differently, my father would have tried though."

Hermione's parents listened to their conversation and Kathleen asked, "Wait.. you're from a pureblood family? What was your stance when the war was happening then?"

Draco fidgeted nervously, trying his best to think of how to explain his role during the war, but Hermione saved him. "His family was actually part of Voldemort's inner circle, though not by choice. It was either do what they were told, or die, and not a quick and painless death either. Thankfully, Draco was still too young and too new to really be taken seriously within the group, so he didn't have to do anything. It was actually because of him and his mother that we survived," she said, looking at him with a small smile. She didn't know if he had actually done anything or not, but her parents didn't need to know that and it looked as if Draco was grateful of her little white lie.

Kathleen sniffled then went over and hugged Draco again, "Thank you, then. I don't need any more specifics. I'm just glad our Hermione is alive."

"Erm…you're welcome..." said Draco, looking towards Hermione for help.

"Mum, let Draco go, please. He's not really that kind of an affectionate person," she said, trying to stifle her giggle at his uneasiness.

"Oh, sorry," said Kathleen, letting go of Draco and sitting back down next to Joe.

"Dad, you're awfully quiet. Are you ok?" asked Hermione.

Joe nodded, "Yes. It's just a lot to take in. Between the war, everyone's involvement, and then the different things that happen within the wizard community… I'm both amazed and baffled, honestly."

"How do your parents feel about your marriage, Draco?" asked Kathleen, "Being a pureblood and Hermione being…. what is it called? Muggle born? Are they upset about that?"

"My mother has come around to it and my father passed away a few years ago. I'm honestly not sure what he'd think, probably not happy with it, but would also not fight it, being that it is the Ministry doing this."

"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your father," said Kathleen.

"Thank you," said Draco quietly with a polite nod in her direction.

Hermione cleared her throat, ready for a new subject, "So did I tell you that we're going to have the wedding at Draco's place in the garden? His mother has this gorgeous cherry blossom tree that is in full bloom right now. I thought that getting married right under it would be so beautiful."

The two women started talking about the wedding and everything that needed to be done before next week. Hermione informed them that she was taking off work to plan the wedding and to get herself situated at the manor. Kathleen pulled out some bridal magazines and the two started looking at dresses.

Joe and Draco took their leave down to the basement and Joe showed Draco how they worked the telly and he introduced him to baseball, his favorite sport.

The women called them up an hour later for lunch and they sat around the small dining room table, eating sandwiches and crisps.

"So, when do you think you'll have kids?" asked Kathleen right as Hermione took a sip of her drink.

She sputtered and coughed as her cheeks flushed in color, "Mum!"

"What? You told me you two had to have a child within the first year of marriage. I was just wondering if you were going to do it sooner rather than later," she said.

"Later," Hermione and Draco both said at the same time. She looked sideways at him and grinned and saw that he was doing the same before she continued, "We decided that we'd wait until it was closer till the year was up. I'm still very busy with work and would need to hire a replacement for when I am on maternity leave anyways."

"I've been meaning to ask," Joe said to Draco, "Do you have a job? Or are you so wealthy that you can just lie around all day?"

"Dad!," hissed Hermione.

"No, it's ok, it's a fair question," Draco said to Hermione before turning his attention to Joe, "I have enough money to where I don't have to work, neither will Hermione, or probably even our great-grandkids. However, I'd go insane with nothing to do all day and I know Hermione is the same. It's why I don't see any reason for her to quit her job once we're married. As for myself, I make medicinal potions and donate them to wizarding hospitals. I also experiment with existing ones and see how to make them more effective by alternating the instructions in different ways."

"So…. you're like a scientist?" asked Kathleen.

"I believe that's the muggle term, yes," said Draco.

They were all quiet for a few minutes when Kathleen asked, "Have you discussed names at least?"

"Mum!" said Hermione exacerbated.

Draco chuckled. He kind of liked his mother-in-law to be.

The rest of the afternoon was spent sitting around and talking. Kathleen went into the kitchen an hour before dinner to start cooking and Joe got called into the office for an emergency dental procedure, leaving Draco and Hermione alone in the living room.

"I hope this hasn't been too awkward for you," Hermione said, taking a sip of tea.

"It hasn't been really, not after the first hour anyways," he said, drinking his own tea. "You're mum is nice. Your father still shoots daggers at me with his eyes every now and again, but I think he's just being protective of his little girl," he said, smirking.

"Well, that is a father's job after all," she said, matter of factly.

Draco chuckled softly before saying soberly, "Thank you, by the way, for saying what you did when your mother asked about my involvement in the war."

"You're welcome. Most of what I said was true. I wasn't sure if you had actually any part in any of the attacks or whatnot, but I figure what they didn't know wouldn't hurt them," she said with a slight shrug.

"You pretty much had it right. Except for the, uh, mission in sixth year, I wasn't really involved in anything else," he said, staring into his mug.

Hermione placed a hand on his shoulder, catching him by surprise. She squeezed it gently before removing it and went back to drinking her tea.

That evening, Joe returned just as the timer on the oven went off. Once again, the four of them found themselves sitting around the dining room table, this time with homemade meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Draco looked at the meat with a questioning look and Hermione whispered, "It's called meatloaf. It's actually quite good."

Draco took a tentative bite and gave her a small smile when he found that he liked it.

"So how will Joe and I be getting to your place, Draco? Can we drive there? Is it far?" asked Kathleen.

"It's not very far, but you won't be able to find it. It has wards around it so that muggles can't get to it. You'd all of a sudden feel like you forgot something at home and would turn around," he said and chuckled at their amused faces before clearing his throat, "I'll have to apparate you there myself or we can set your fireplace to the floo network and you can get in that way."

"Floo," Joe and Kathleen said in unison.

"Hermione took us along one of her apparitions once. Never again," said Joe. Kathleen nodded her head in agreement.

Hermione giggled at her parents, "I'll go to the Ministry on Monday morning and set everything up. And Draco, you'll need to fix the wards to let them in, right?"

Draco nodded, "Yes, I'll do that when I get home tonight so I don't forget. I was also thinking that you could all stay at the manor on the night before the wedding. We have plenty of room and I've already cleared it with my mother."

Kathleen smiled at Draco warmly, "That sounds like a lovely idea, thank you."

Draco nodded at her and looked at Hermione, who was giving him the same kind of smile her mother was.

They finished dinner and Hermione and Draco said their goodbyes. As Hermione hugged her mother goodbye, she promised that she would let her know when she was going dress shopping so she could come along. Draco and Joe shook hands and this time, Joe smiled at Draco, thinking that if Hermione was forced to marry anyone, this Draco kid wasn't half bad.

Another round of hugs and kisses between Hermione and her parents passed, and she finally made her way back to her car, Draco following behind her.

It was dark by the time they returned to her parking garage.

"Thank you for coming. I think you've helped ease their fears about this whole thing," said Hermione, as they walked up the stairs to her flat.

"It was no problem. I liked them," he said.

Hermione opened the door and walked in while Draco stood at the entrance. She glanced over and chuckled, "Are you a vampire or something?"

Draco gave her a confused look, which only made her laugh as she said, "You don't have to wait to be invited in. You'll know when you're not welcome."

He was still confused about the vampire comment, but came inside her flat anyways, closing the door behind him.

"Would you like anything? Tea? Coffee?" she offered, getting two mugs down from her cupboard.

Draco shook his head, "No thanks. I told Theo and Blaise I'd meet up with them soon, so I'm going to head out."

"Oh ok," Hermione said, putting back one of the mugs.

"I'll send an owl tomorrow, ok? And remember to call on Millie when you need her to help bring things to the manor," he said, going to her fireplace and grabbing some floo powder.

"I will," she said with a nod. She walked over to him and hesitantly kissed his cheek, "Thank you, again."

Unsure of what to say, or make of the kiss, he simply nodded, "See you, Granger."

"Bye, Malfoy."

"You know," Draco said, as he stepped into the hearth, "Soon we'll have to just stick with our first names when we're together. After all, you'll be a Malfoy yourself in a week." He gave her another wink before disappearing in green flames.

Draco floo'd from Hermione's flat directly to The Leaky Cauldron where he was to meet Blaise and Theo. As usual, they had arrived before him and already secured a table and some butterbeers.

"So," Blaise said as Draco sat down, "Does the reason why you pushed back our usual meet up time have anything to do with this?" He dropped the Prophet in front of Draco where the headline was on full display:

Draco Malfoy, reformed Death Eater, to marry the Golden Trio's Princess, Hermione Granger!

He didn't bother reading the article. He pushed the paper back towards his friend. "Yes. I was meeting her parents tonight and they wanted us to stay for dinner. I just left Granger's place before coming here."

"Is there a reason why you didn't bother to tell us who your match was, and instead, made us wait to find out through the Prophet?" Blaise asked snarkily.

Draco sighed irritatedly, "Look, I was planning on telling you both tonight, but the article came out earlier than I expected. That's why I only changed the time of the meet up instead of just canceling all together. I wanted let you know who I got matched with and to ask you blokes to come to the wedding."

"You could have at least owled us," Blaise said bitterly.

Draco shrugged, "I was busy."

"With what? Your potions or your new fiancé?" asked Theo.

"Both, I guess. I still have orders for Mungo's I need to full-fill and Granger and I have been busy wedding planning."

Blaise narrowed his eyes at him then shook his head and sighed. "When's the nuptials happening?"

"A week from today," informed Draco.

Theo choked on his butterbeer, "A week from today? Why so soon? Don't you still have like five months?"

"Yes, I do, but Granger only has until the end of the month before her six months is up. So we're getting married next weekend. It's going to be small. Only a few of our friends."

Blaise snorted, "Right, like your mother will allow you to have a small, simple wedding."

Draco shrugged, "She really doesn't have a choice. We did the invites ourselves, which by the way, you should be receiving tomorrow."

"Can Daph come?" asked Blaise.

"I don't see why not. She's your wife. Potter's going to be there with his wife."

His friends groaned at that information

"Can I bring a date?" asked Theo.

Draco raised an eyebrow, "A date? Who?"

Theo shrugged, "I'll find someone. Maybe Pansy. You know, just as friends."

Draco snorted, "Yeah, that's fine but I wouldn't count on her wanting to come. I think she's still pissed I broke things off in sixth year and never sought her out when the war was over."

"No, you just dated Daph's sister instead. Did you invite her too?" asked Blaise.

"No, and I appreciate if you don't bring her along," said Draco dryly.

"So no ex's. Does that mean Weasel isn't coming?" asked Theo.

"Nope, only Potter and his wife, Lovegood, and a friend from the Prophet to give them an exclusive- one of the Patil twins," said Draco, drinking the last of his butterbeer then ordered a round of Firewhiskey.

The three friends talked another hour more when Draco decided to go home before he got pissed drunk again. With farewells and promises of hanging out at the wedding, Draco went home to get ready for the week ahead, which he knew would be full of wedding planning. He wouldn't admit it, but he was almost looking forward to it. He never wanted a big, extravagant wedding and his wedding to Granger would probably be the first time he'd get something that he wanted for once.

Chapter Text

The week leading up to the wedding seemed like a blur. Hermione was thankful for the first time since she started working that she took time off; there was no way she would be able to do everything that needed to be done without doing so. She owled back and forth with Narcissa about wedding details which included everything from flowers to food. Draco floo'd over one evening with cake samples and they both agreed on the vanilla cake with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. She also spent a great deal of time packing her things. She knew she could pack with magic and be done within an hour, but she preferred the muggle way, as it kept her busy and helped keep her nerves at bay. Ginny even came by to help pack her place and grumbled and complained about not being a bridesmaid. Hermione informed her that it was just going to be her, Draco, and the Minister and everyone else was going to be a guest. She did promise Ginny that she could go with her and her mum dress shopping and that seemed to cheer her right up.

To Hermione's surprise, she had a great time going to a muggle bridal shop and trying on dresses with her mum and Ginny. She had even reached out and invited Narcissa to come, who had declined, saying that she didn't want to intrude and to let her mother have this day. After trying on dress after dress, her mother found one that they all agreed was perfect. It was a blush colored dress with a lace overlay and lace capped sleeves. It was fitted to her body from her chest down, then flared out at the waist. The dress ended up fitting perfectly, so they bought it on the spot without any alterations needed. Even if it had needed alterations though, Hermione could have fixed it on her own; the muggle shop lady didn't need to know that though.

Before she knew it, it was Friday night and Hermione and Draco had just floo'd her parents over to the manor from their house.

Her mother stepped out dizzily from the fireplace and Draco caught her elbow before she fell over.

"Thank you, Draco. I didn't realize how fast that was going to be. Still better than apparating though."

Hermione and her dad stepped out right after and Joe nodded, "Yes, much better, though slightly dirtier," he said, brushing off some soot from his clothing.

Draco and Hermione gave her parents a tour of the manor, who were so in shock at just how grand the place was, that they barely said anything. Their room was on the same wing as Narcissa and once they were settled in, they went down to gardens to check out the progress outside.

Seats were set up by the cherry blossom tree. The tree provided enough shelter from the sun that Hermione didn't want a canopy over them and Draco agreed. The small reception was to be held in the the dining hall, but with the double doors open to the gardens, so that the guests could be either inside or outside.

They found Narcissa in the kitchen, talking to the house elves about the menu for the next day. When she caught sight of Draco and Hermione walking in, she excused herself and gave each a hug before turning her attention to the Grangers.

"You must be Hermione's parents. It's a pleasure to meet you," she said, offering her hand to each and giving a delicate hand shake, "I'm Narcissa, Draco's mother."

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you too. I"m Kathleen and this is my husband, Joe."

Narcissa smiled at the two, "Has Draco given you a tour of the manor yet?"

"Oh yes. It is such a lovely home!" said Kathleen, "And the room we're staying in seems to be as big as the first floor of our house."

Narcissa chuckled, "Yes, the rooms are quite grand. Malfoy's don't do anything small. Though I think this wedding might be the exception." She turned her attention to Hermione, "Have you been to the gardens yet? Is the set up the way you envisioned it?" She escorted them out of the kitchen and passed the dining room to one of the sitting rooms.

Hermione smiled at her and nodded, "Yes, it's lovely. Thank you so much for orchestrating all of this."

Narcissa gave her a friendly, dismissive wave of her hand, "Think nothing of it. I live for planning parties, no matter how small. Perhaps sometime in the near future we'll be hosting a baby shower as well?"
"Mother," Draco sighed, "Don't start. We're not even married yet and we've already discussed that we're waiting a year."

"Well, one can dream, can't they?" said Narcissa, earning a chuckle and nod from Kathleen.

"I agree on them waiting," said Joe gruffly.

"That's because he feels he's too young to be called Grandpa," mumbled Kathleen, earning a glare from her husband.

"No, it's because a child should be born into a family whose parents love each other, not because they need to help populate the wizarding community," he grumbled.

"Dad," said Hermione softly, putting an arm around his waist and pulling him aside, "We talked about this. It's fine. Any child we have will be loved by both of us. I promise," she said, kissing her father's cheek.

"I still wish you could marry because you want not, not because you have too," he said quietly.

"I know, and I love you for that. But this is only temporary. Then who knows, one day, maybe I will marry for love, and give you even more grandkids," she said, earning a playful poke to the ribs.

Draco stood back and watched Hermione talk to her father while the two mothers chatted. Millie popped up next to him.

"Master Draco, Millie has come to tell you that dinner will be ready in five minutes," she squeaked.

"Thank you, Millie. We'll be right in," he said. The house elf gave a little bow before popping back to the kitchens.

Draco cleared his throat to get everyone's attention. "I think we should head over to the dining room. Millie just informed me that dinner will be ready in five minutes," he said. He offered his elbow to both Hermione and his mother and led them to the dining room; Hermione's parents followed behind, copying their behavior and linking arms as well.

While eating dinner, the group fell into comfortable conversation.

"So Hermione, who all is coming tomorrow?" asked Kathleen.

"Harry and Ginny. They'll be here a few hours before hand because Ginny wants to do my hair. Luna will be coming- you'll love her. And a friend from The Daily Prophet so she can do an article on the wedding, Padma."

"That's all? You're not inviting the Weasley's?" her mother inquired.

"The only Weasley who will be there will be Ginny," she said with a shrug, "It would honestly be too uncomfortable if Ron showed up and I'm pretty sure his parents are upset with me as well. I think the only Weasley who'd probably willingly talk to me, aside from Ginny, would be George."

Unsure of what to say, Kathleen just nodded at her daughter before turning her attention to Draco, "And what about you? Are a lot of your friends coming tomorrow?"

Draco shook his head, "Just a handful, three, maybe four tops. I've lost contact with most of my so-called friends after the war. So unless my Mother has invited anyone else, it'll be a pretty small group." Draco eyed his mother who daintily ate her dinner, avoiding eye contact.

"Mother," he said slowly, "Did you invite anyone else?"

Narcissa sighed, "Well, it was going to be a surprise…"

Draco sighed, "Who did you invite?"

"My sister," she said simply. "And her grandson. I think you've met them before, Hermione."

Hermione looked at her with bewilderment. "You invited Andromeda and Teddy?" she asked with amazement.

"I did, yes," she said, "Was that all right?"
Hermione smiled, "Yes, it is absolutely all right."

Draco frowned at his mother, "How come you never told me you reconciled with her?"

Narcissa shrugged lightly, "We've only been corresponding by owl for a few weeks. Tomorrow will actually be the first time I've seen her since… well, a very long time."

Joe and Kathleen looked between Draco and his mother. "Was there a falling out of some sort?" asked Joe.

Draco cleared his throat, "Her sister, Andromeda, was essentially cut off from the family for marrying a muggle. I'm not proud to say that my family believed in doing such things; they believed in only marrying other purebloods. It won't happen anymore, at least not from my side."

Before anymore could be said on the subject, Hermione interjected, "Mum, did I tell you what kind of cake we chose?"

Draco was thankful to Hermione for changing the subject. He really hated talking about his family and their prejudices and hoped that one day, his family wouldn't ever have to fear being cut off like so many had been.

The grouped talked as they finished their dinner then retired to one of the family rooms for tea and more conversation. Narcissa bade everyone goodnight and went to bed, and shortly after, Hermione's parents went to bed as well.

Draco and Hermione looked at each other, realizing they were alone again.

"So," said Hermione, unsure of what to say. "I guess I should head to bed as well. Have a long day ahead of us tomorrow," she said, rising from her seat.

Draco nodded, "Indeed. I'll take you to your room then probably go to bed myself."

Hermione chuckled, "It's not like it's out of your way or anything. My room is only across the hall from yours."

Draco smirked, "At least let me pretend to be a gentlemen, hm?"

"Oh, yes, right," she said teasingly. He offered her elbow and she held it lightly.

"So what's the rules for tomorrow? Are we allowed to see each other or do we need to avoid one another until the ceremony?" he asked as they walked up the staircase.

Hermione thought about it, "I'm not really sure it matters, honestly. But if we want to follow tradition, I think we'll be ok until I have the dress on, then we'll need to avoid one another until my father walks me down the aisle."

Draco nodded, "Sounds good to me. I was uh, also wondering something else," he said, as they walked down the hall to their rooms. They stopped in the hall between their doors. "At the end, when the Minister says to kiss the bride, how do you want to go about that?"

"Oh," said Hermione, blushing slightly. She forgotten that little detail. "I'm not sure really. What do you think?"

Draco shrugged, "I think a simple, chaste kiss should suffice. Unless you just want me to just kiss your cheek?"

Hermione tried to shrug nonchalantly, " A chaste kiss is fine, I suppose"

"You're sure?" he asked, "Because we've never actually kissed. Don't you think it would be awkward if the first time it happened was at the alter?"

"Well, then what do you suggest?" she asked, then immediately regretted it when he grinned at her.

Draco leaned in slowly and softly brushed his lips against hers. It lasted merely a second but Hermione swore her heart stopped in that time. As quickly as it started, it was over. He smiled down at her, "There, now it won't be quite as awkward." He tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. "See you tomorrow, Granger," he said, as he turned around and walked into his room.

"Goodnight," Hermione said quietly. She waited until he closed his bedroom before going into her own. Once inside and alone she let out the breath she had been holding. She lightly touched her lips with a smile and she realized that she wasn't dreading tomorrow at all anymore.

Chapter Text

There was a knock on Hermione's bedroom door at the manor.

"Hm?" She stirred in her bed, the room still dark due to the light-blocking charm on the curtains. She yawned and stretched as another knock was heard, louder this time.

"Come in," she said sleepily, sitting up and rubbing her eyes.

Ginny and Harry walked in and Hermione jumped out of bed, "Oh Merlin! I must be running late if you're here already!" she said.

"No no, we're early. It's only a little past eight in the morning," said Ginny, going over to the curtains to open them up.

"Yes, and I was hoping to get up at seven but this damn bed was so comfortable and the room was dark and quiet… I overslept!" she fretted as she ran into her bathroom and shut the door.

Ginny giggled, "I think she's nervous."

Harry smiled and nodded, sitting on the edge of the bed and took a look around. "I still can't believe Hermione is going to be living here. She's definitely braver than I am."

Ginny shrugged, sitting next to him, "It doesn't seem all that bad here actually. Granted, I was never here during the war, but the place actually looks inviting."

"That's because my mother worked really hard on ridding this place of dark magic and redecorating," said Draco from the door. His sudden appearance startled the two Potter's. Draco quipped a brow at them, "You're awfully early. The wedding isn't until this afternoon."

"Hermione asked me to be here early so I can do her hair. Do you know how long it takes to tame those curls?" Ginny asked with a smile.

A ghost of a grin played on Draco's face. "I can imagine. Have you two eaten?" At their nods he informed them that he would send up a house elf with a breakfast tray for Hermione so she could eat and get ready at the same time.

When he left Harry turned to his wife and frowned, "Did he just refer to Hermione by her first name?"

"He did," she confirmed, "That's to be expected though. He can't call her 'Granger' after their married. She'll be a Malfoy."

"She's keeping her last name, but hyphenating his to it," he supplied.

She shrugged, "Still a Malfoy. Anyways, I think it's a good sign. It means they're getting along, which will make this whole thing easier."

Hermione came out of the bathroom, her hair wrapped in a towel and a plush robe around her body, "Sorry about that. I'm just about ready to get started. I should probably head downstairs and get some food though."

"Malfoy came by and said that he was going to send a house elf up with a tray of food," said Harry.

No sooner after he said that, Millie appear with a tray of assortment of food. "You're breakfast, Miss Hermione," she squeaked.

Hermione gave the elf a smile, "Thank you, Millie."

The little elf bowed slightly then disappeared from the room.

Hermione walked over to the tray and popped a strawberry in her mouth when she noticed Harry looking at her with a surprised look on his face. "What?" she asked curiously.

He shook his head, "Nothing, I just never thought I'd see the day where you had a house elf."

Hermione sighed at him, "She's not mine, she's Draco's. And they're treated really well here. They have clean uniforms, I've never heard anyone raise their voice at them, and they don't cower in fear. I think under those conditions, I'm ok with it."

Harry still looked like he was in shock, "Who are you and what have you done with Hermione Granger?" he said teasingly.

She stuck out her tongue at him as she ate some more food from her tray.

Soon, Joe and Kathleen joined and the ladies started getting Hermione ready; Ginny was tasked with her hair while her mother did her makeup. Harry and Joe ended up leaving to check out the library and they found Draco there, reading a book, looking utterly relaxed.

"Shouldn't you be getting ready?" Harry asked him.

Draco closed the book, "It will only take me a half hour to get ready, so I still have time."

Joe had wandered off in the depths of the library and Harry walked closer to Draco, "Look, Malfoy, I wanted to talk to you."

"You already threatened me if I ever hurt her, Potter, you don't need to repeat yourself," he said irritably and stood up.

Harry shook his head and ran a hand through his hair nervously, "That's not what I was going to say, but the threat still stands," he said with a nervous grin, "What I wanted to say is that Hermione is my best friend and like a sister to me. And… I know it would really mean a lot to her if we at least tolerated each other."

"I tolerate you fine, Potter," Draco said with a dismissive shrug.

"Well, then cordial when we're around each other. No more snide remarks, no more making fun of each other. We put the past behind us and leave it there. Deal?" He extended his hand towards Draco and looked directly at him, "For Hermione?"

Draco regarded Harry and gave a single nod before shaking his hand, "For Hermione."

Joe had heard the entire exchange and smiled to himself. He knew that if Draco was willing to set aside differences with Harry, then he really wasn't all that bad.

Harry and Joe went back to Hermione's room. Her makeup was complete and her hair was almost done. A half hour later, she was in her wedding dress and her mother had tears in her eyes. "Hermione, you look beautiful sweetheart," she said, hugging her daughter.

"Thanks, mum," she said softly.

There was a knock on her door and Ginny went to answer it. When she saw that it was Draco she slipped out and closed the door behind her. "You can't see her, she's in her dress already."

Draco nodded, "I just came to check and see how she was coming along. She needs to be downstairs in twenty minutes." He was already dressed, except for his tie which hung around his neck loosely.

Out of habit, Ginny reached over and did his tie for him, "OK, I'll make sure she heads down there soon." She finished doing his tie and Draco frowned at her then down his tie, and quirked a brow at her, unsure of what to make of her actions. She shrugged and said, "I usually do Harry's. It's habit." Draco nodded as she continued to talk, "Harry told me about his conversation with you. Hermione will be pleased. She's one of my best friends also, so I'm willing to show the same courtesy towards you if you are," she said as she quirked a brow at him.

He gave her a genuine grin, "I think I can manage that, Weaslette."

"It's Potter now, thank you very much," she quipped with a smirk. "Well, I'm going to head back and make sure Hermione doesn't ruin her make-up or hair. She'll be down shortly."

She slipped back into the room and passed along the news and everyone bustled about to finish getting ready.

Twenty minutes later, Hermione's door opened and the group emerged and started towards the staircase. The plan was for everyone to meet at the dining hall and from there, all the guests would make their way to the seating area in the gardens. Joe stayed behind with Hermione as he was to walk her down the aisle, or in this case, the gardens.

Once alone, he took both her hands in his, "Are you sure about this, sweetie? You can change your mind; we can leave now."

She smiled and squeezed his hands reassuringly, "I'll be fine, dad. I promise."

He opened his mouth to say more but they heard music off in the distance. He smiled softly, "That's our cue."

Hermione nodded and linked her arm through his and walked out through the gardens towards the cherry blossom tree.

It really was quite picturesque. There were a handful of chairs on either side of a white cloth runway that led to where Draco and the Minister stood. The chairs were in the color of silver with dark green cushions. She smiled at her friends as she got closer; Harry and Ginny were on one side, with Luna sitting next to them, a radiant smile on her face. Hermione's mom was in the front row, an empty seat next to her that her father would occupy once he was done. Padma Patil was seated behind Harry, Ginny, and Luna and her photographer, who Hermione realized was Dennis Creevey, was snapping pictures while she took notes.

Andromeda and Teddy were sitting on the other side of the walkway, along with Narcissa. The two sisters were holding hands and Narcissa had tears in her eyes. Behind them were people that Hermione recognized but hadn't seen since her years at Hogwarts; Blaise Zabini, Daphne Greengrass (though she realized she was a Zabini now), Theo Nott, and Pansy Parkinson. She gave them a small smile and nod as she passed them.

Hermione looked ahead and saw Kingsley Shacklebolt smiling at her as she neared him. Next to him was Draco. Hermione flushed upon seeing him. He looked sharp in his all black suit with a white shirt and dark green tie. She tried to read his expression, but like his mother, Draco had learned how to hide his emotions. As she neared him however, she could have sworn that his lips twitched in a second-long grin. His eyes however, showed a bit of warmth in them. She unwound her arm from her father and after receiving a kiss on the cheek from him, she faced Draco, who had his arm waiting for her to hold onto. Once their arms were linked, they walked the few steps towards the Minister.

They faced each other as the Minister spoke, her hands within his. She tried to focus on the words, but her eyes kept looking up at Draco and examining his features. He looked relaxed; like he wasn't nervous at all. He was looking at her as much as she was looking at him and at one point he even squeezed her hand gently as to reassure her that everything would be ok. It wasn't until he rubbed a thumb along the top of her hand that she realized she needed to start repeating the vows the Minister said. She repeated the words then placed a simple, silver ring on Draco's left ring finger. Draco did the same and placed a band similar to his, though thinner, on her ring finger, right next to her engagement ring.

She felt the heat rise up to her face and Kingsley said, "I now pronounce you, husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."

Draco smirked briefly before his lips brushed over hers in the same manner that they had the night before. As quickly as it started, it was over and their friends and family were clapping. Theo let out a wolf-whistle which caused Pansy to elbow him in the ribs and Draco to chuckle.

The reception followed immediately after the ceremony and it didn't take long for everyone to start mingling around and eat the food that appeared on the dining hall's table. Hermione was surprised when Blaise and Theo hugged her. Pansy gave her a tight lipped smile and Daphne raved about how gorgeous her dress was and simply must know where it came from. She was shocked to find out that it was from a muggle shop and she and Pansy started talking about checking the clothing stores in Muggle London sometime soon.

Kingsley walked over to Hermione and gave her a hug.

"Thank you, Minister, for officiating today. I know you're probably really busy," she said. He smiled at her and told her that it wasn't a problem, especially for her.

"Now, I don't expect you to come into the office for another week, or even two," he said sternly.

Hermione raised her eyebrows in shock, "But, sir. I've already taken a week off. I don't need any more now that the wedding is over."

"That's precisely why. Take a holiday. One where you aren't planning anything. A honeymoon of sorts," he said.

Hermione blushed at that and said, "We'll see. But if I become bored, don't be surprised to find me sneaking into the office." He threatened to put wards on her office door then bade her goodbye before shaking hands with Draco and departing the premises.

A few hours later, after they talked with friends and did their interview with Padma and took the obligatory pictures, their guests started to leave. Once the last one left, who were Hermione's parents, Draco and Hermione both let out a sigh of relief, then smiled at one another when they realized they did it at the same time.

"I can't image how people can have huge weddings. Ours was small and I'm exhausted from just that," said Hermione, walking towards the stairs.

"Where are you going?" asked Draco, following her.

"To change out of this dress and into regular shoes. My feet are killing me," she said.

"When you're done, can you meet me in the first study? There's something you need to do now that we're married."

She nodded and said she'd only be a few minutes.

Ten minutes later, she knocked on the opened door to the office. Draco was sitting at the huge mahogany desk, reading over a parchment. When she knocked, he looked up and motioned for her to come over.

"This is the contract for the house wards. If you want the front gate to be able to let you walk right through, or to be able to apparate or floo into any room of the house, you'll need to sign your married name and also give a drop of blood. Is that alright with you?"

Hermione nodded and grabbed a quill from the inkwell on the desk. She signed her name "Hermione Jean Granger-Malfoy" and thought how strange her name looked now. She used her wand to cut open a small slice on her finger and she pressed it into the parchment right next to her name. The blood seemed to vanish by the time Hermione healed her cut.

"Is that all?" she asked.

Draco nodded and rolled up the parchment. He placed it into the desk and locked it with both a key and by charms before looking back at her. "Is all your stuffed moved out of your flat?" he asked.

"Yes, I turned in the keys yesterday. I still have a bit of unpacking to do so I'm going to head upstairs and do that then probably head to bed early. It's been a busy day," she said.

He followed her out of the office and up the stairs, "Would you like any help? Unpacking, that is."

She shook her head, "No thanks. It's not much." She looked sideways at him, "Thanks though."

They were each standing in front of their door, facing each other now, both unsure of what to say.

A moment later, Hermione said, "This is awkward, isn't it?"

"A little. I think it will be ok after a while. We just need to get used to each other is all," he said.

Hermione nodded in agreement, "I suppose you're right." She looked awkwardly up at him again, "Well.. goodnight."

Draco smirked, "What? No goodnight kiss for your husband?"

Hermione went scarlet and Draco chuckled, "I'm teasing. Goodnight, Wife."

After regaining composure, she smiled cheekily at him, "Goodnight, Husband."

Chapter Text

Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger wed!
Written by Padma Patil

The reformed Death Eater and the Golden Trio's Princess said "I do" this weekend in the picturesque backyard of Malfoy Manor. In what was probably the smallest wedding imaginable for the two, with only 14 guests (which included myself and our photographer), the couple exchanged vows under the gardens cherry blossom tree. Dressed in a blush colored wedding dress, the bride was walked down the aisle by her father, Joseph Granger. The groom, ever so handsome in his black suit and Slytherin green tie, seemed rather smitten as his bride walking down the aisle towards him.

This isn't your usual wedding though. Due to the new Marriage Law, Hermione Granger had to be married by the end of the month. Not finding love on her own, she filled out the Compatibility Assessment Forms and was shocked to find out that her best match (with a 95% I might add) was none other than Draco Malfoy.

The groom said that he filled out the forms because he was tired of being pursued by women who only wanted him to for the contents in his vault at Gringotts. He too was also surprised to find that Miss Granger was his best match.

For those who don't know these two personally, they were rivals while they attended Hogwarts; in both House and blood status - Malfoy, the Pureblood Slytherin, and Granger, the Muggleborn Gryffindor. Both started the same year and the distaste for each other was mutual from the very beginning. Malfoy admits this was mostly due to his pureblood supremacy upbringing. Now though, he admits that what he was taught was wrong and said that type of blood is no longer an issue with them. The newly married duo have both agreed to put the past behind them and only look to the future, especially for the sake of any children they happen to bring into this world.

There was no marriage bond at this wedding (those are usually done when the bride and groom are so in love and vow to always be together, until death separates them), only simple vows, exchange of rings, and a chaste kiss at the end. It was a beautiful wedding nonetheless and I for one wish this couple a happy marriage, even if they both think it will end in the required five years.

The article about their wedding came out the next day, with a couple of pictures spread throughout. It was the second day after their wedding that Hermione entered her bedroom after breakfast to find it littered with letters addressed to her. Curious about who would be writing her, she picked up the nearest one and opened it. It was letter that congratulated her on her marriage to Malfoy. Smiling, she picked up another letter and found the same result. It was at the third card that her smile faded. Instead of a congratulations, it was a death wish; hoping a mudblood like her would die before producing with a pureblood like Malfoy. She crumpled up the letter and opened another, then another, and another…

An hour later, Hermione sat on her bed with stacks of letters in front of her and a scowl on her face. Draco knocked on the opened door and when she didn't acknowledge him, he walked over to where she was.

"Fan mail?" he asked, picking up one of the letters.

She shook her head, "More like hate mail. There are a few who congratulated us, but most are very upset about our marriage."

The letter Draco had read wasn't very pleasant. He used his wand to light the fire in her fireplace and tossed it in. He turned to Hermione and saw that her eyes were red and wet with threatening tears; whether of anger or sadness, he didn't know. He sighed and sat down on the edge of her bed.

"The way I see it, we have two options. The first, we take these letters, open them up, and if it's hate mail, we take a shot of firewhiskey."

Hermione gave a watery chuckle and wiped an offending tear that escaped her lashes. "I think we'd die of alcohol poisoning before we're done. What's option two?"

Draco scooped up all the letters and walked over to the fireplace. "We toss all the letters in here, then go on a holiday somewhere. Away from the manor."

Hermione looked at him surprised, "You want to take a holiday? With me?"

Draco shrugged, "Why not? You have another week off of work. We can take a honeymoon of sorts, though it will be more like a getaway instead."

Hermione scrunched up her brows in thought. Draco dangled some letters over the fire, "So what'll it be, wife?"

Hermione sniffled and nodded, "I think a holiday sounds like a really good idea. Where did you have in mind?"

Draco dropped the letters into the fire, "That's a surprise. But you'll like it. So pack up and we'll leave after lunch."

Hermione got up from her bed and put her hands on her hips. "You won't tell me where we're going, yet you want me to pack? I don't know what to bring!" she said incredulously.

Draco rolled his eyes but he smirked at her as well, "It's summer time. Pack some sun-dresses, shorts, shirts, and swimwear. And whatever other girly things you need. I'll go let mother know of our plans."

With a smile on her face, Hermione went to her wardrobe and started tossing things onto her bed in preparation for her vacation.

Hermione dug her toes into the warm sand and lifted her face up to the sun's rays. For the first time in a long time, she felt relaxed, and it was all thanks to Draco. After lunch he had taken her to their vacation home in Fiji, with a beach front property and charms around the house so that no one could bother them. The house was gloriously small with only three bedrooms, a simple kitchen, bathroom, and living room. As soon she stepped out of the floo, she claimed a bedroom, changed into her swimsuit, and went down to the beach. The water was warm enough that she could just jump right in without getting a chill. She swam and waded for a while before laying out in the sun to soak in some rays. She checked the time on her watch and realized that it was nearly dinner time. She gathered her towel and went back up the house and briefly wondered what they were going to do about food. She hadn't gone shopping yet and she doubted there was food in the house; Draco said it was only used a few times a year.

She was delighted to enter the house and have her senses overtaken by a delicious aroma coming from the kitchen. She walked towards the source of the smell and smiled lightly as Draco stirred sauce on the stove.

She looked around the kitchen and noticed grocery bags on the counter.

"Did you go to the market?" she asked him.

Draco turned his head slightly from the stove to look at her, "Yes. I figured one of us should get food while the other played in the water."

Hermione blushed, "Sorry. I was just so excited to be here that I didn't think about anything else except spending time at the beach."

"No need to be sorry. I brought you here to relax. I was already planning on going to the market anyways," he said dismissively. "Why don't you go shower and by the time you're done, dinner should be ready."

Hermione nodded and left the kitchen to rinse off the sunscreen and sand she had acquired in the last few hours. When she was done and dressed in simple jean shorts and cotton shirt, she saw that Draco had set up two plates at the small dining table.

"This smells delicious," she sitting down and eyeing the food at the table. There was a huge bowl of spaghetti noodles, already covered in sauce, as well as garlic bread, and a fresh salad.

Draco set down two wine glasses and uncorked a bottle of red wine. He raised his brow, a silent question if she would like any. At her nod, he poured a generous amount into both glasses before finally taking his own seat at the table.

"Try the sauce. I made it myself," he said as he started twirling pasta onto his fork.

Hermione mimicked his actions and noticed that he was waiting for her. Her eyebrows raised in surprise at the first bite, "It's delicious. You made this?" she asked, twirling another forkful.

Happy that she liked it, he finally took his first bite of dinner. "Yes. This was one of the first dishes I learned how to make. Well, the sauce was pre-made at the time, but since then I found a recipe and learned how to make my own."

"The first thing I learned how to make was French Toast," said Hermione. "I'll make some tomorrow morning for us if you want."

He flashed her a quick grin, "Absolutely."

They ate in surprisingly comfortable silence, with random questions or statements here and there. When dinner was done, Draco started gathering the plates from the table but Hermione stopped him.

"No, I got this. You cooked dinner, I'll clean up. Have you had a chance to check out the beach yet?" she said, piling the plates and silverware and heading towards the sink.

"Not yet. Maybe tomorrow. Me and the sun don't get along well though and I usually return looking like a lobster," he said.

Hermione chuckled and she ran the faucet, "You know, there are both magical and muggle precautions for that."

Draco shrugged, "I always forget. It doesn't really matter, there is also a spell to heal the sunburn anyways."

Hermione rolled her eyes as he brought over more dirty dishes to wash to the sink and Hermione sighed at him, "I got this, Draco. It's your turn to relax now."

Draco just frowned before turning around and headed towards the living room.

Hermione hummed while she finished up the dishes, preferring to do it the muggle way rather then charming them to clean themselves. When the last thing was washed, dried, and put away, she found Draco sitting on the couch, reading a book. She glanced at the table where the two wine glasses were, then headed to her room.

She emerged with a large blanket under her arm, then picked up the two wine glasses, "Come on. Bring the wine."

He looked at her curiously, about to ask what she was doing, but she had already left through the back sliding glass door and headed towards the beach. He got up, grabbed the bottle of wine, and followed her. She had stopped half way between the house and the water and wordlessly handed him the two wine glasses. She spread out the blanket, took her wine glass back from him, then sat down. She looked up at him expectantly and patted the seat next to her.

They faced the horizon and the sun started the dip behind it, making the sky range from yellow, orange, and red to purple and blue.

"I figured since we're on our honeymoon, we should at least watch one sunset together," she said, taking a sip of her wine.

Draco nodded, taking a sip of his. "This isn't so bad," he commented.

"What? The beach? Watching the sunset?" she questioned.

"That and, spending time with you," he said.

Hermione blushed slightly before shrugging nonchalantly, "You're not so bad yourself, I suppose."

They made eye contact and chuckled softly. Draco poured them each another full glass of wine then raised his towards her as an indication that he wanted to make a toast.

"Here's to… getting to know each other better, even though we're already married," he said.

Hermione chuckled and nodded "To getting to know each other." They clinked their glasses together and drank. It didn't take long before their conversation began and they started to learn more one another.

Chapter Text

"Favorite color?"


"Really? I thought for sure it would be green."

Draco rolled his eyes, "I don't associate everything about me with that House you know."

Hermione grinned sheepishly and shrugged.

"And yours?" he asked. At her questioning look he added, "Favorite color."

"Oh, purple. Favorite season?"


"Me too," she said with a smile.

"Favorite holiday?" he asked.

"Christmas. Even though fall's my favorite season, I still just love Christmas. I can just do without the biting cold that usually accompanies it."

Draco chuckled, "I guess my answer is the same. But then again, Christmas always meant presents, and I was a rather spoiled child."

Hermione snickered, "I bet. Favorite hobby?"

Draco thought about that one before answering, "It's a toss-up between flying and making potions. I don't do nearly as much flying as I do potion making though. And I already know your answer to that question. Reading."

Hermione nodded at his guess, taking another sip of her wine.

"Favorite Quidditch team?" he asked.

Hermione wrinkled her nose, "I'm honestly not a huge fan of the sport. But I'll say the Harpies because Ginny plays for them. You?"

"Tornadoes. I've been obsessed with them since I was little but I think it's because their uniforms are blue."

"I'll take a guess and say that your favorite class at Hogwarts was… Potions?" At Draco's nod, Hermione smiled.

"And yours was probably History of Magic," he guessed.

She shook her head, "I actually really liked Ancient Ruins the best. Least favorite class?"

They looked at each other and both said "Divination" at the same time and grinned.

Draco swirled the contents of his glass before taking another sip as he contemplated his next question, "Worst fear?"

Hermione sipped her drink, "Hm… I'd have to say it's heights, or to be more specific, falling from a great height. It's why I hate flying."

Draco shook his head, "I don't think I've met anyone who's actually hated flying."

Hermione merely shrugged and sipped more of her wine, "I just don't see the appeal, especially when it's not very comfortable and the risk of falling from great heights is too high."

"You just have to know how to handle the broom. Maybe one day I'll take you up with me-"

"No, no thanks. Harry and Ron always tried that as well and I refused their offer. Don't need to start accepting it now."

Draco chuckled at her nervousness and decided to drop the subject… for now. "So I suppose it's my turn to share my worst fear?"

Hermione nodded.

"Snakes…" he muttered.

Hermione looked at him surprised "Really? Don't you find that kind of ironic since you're, well, a Slytherin and all?"

Draco sighed and shook his head, "When I was younger, nothing scared me, except for maybe my father's cane, which was sometimes used as punishment..." Hermione pursed her lips and frowned at that, but didn't interrupt, "But ever since You Know Who took up residence at the manor, and he had that fucking monstrosity of a snake always with him… I don't know. I just can't stand to look at them anymore. Even after the war, I used to think I saw something slithering by out of the corner of my eye." He took another long sip of his wine, "I also hate thunderstorms, which again didn't happen until after the war."

Hermione nodded, "Same here. I used to love them as a child, but, while we were on the run during our 7th year, and we lived in a tent for months, they lost their appeal. I never knew if it was thunder or someone attacking."

They were quiet for a few minutes, watching the last of the sun dip behind the horizon. Hermione drank the last of the contents of her glass and decided she was done. She set it aside and laid down on the blanket, putting her hands behind her head as a pillow. "What did you do after the war ended?" she asked.

Draco drank the last of his wine and discarded the glass as well before lying down and mimicking Hermione's potion. "The Minister told us under no specific terms that we were not allowed to leave the country until further notice. We knew we were going to be going on trial and we probably could have ran but I decided I was done and so was my father. It was then that he told us he was ill and actually had been for a while, he just kept it well hidden. A few days later, they took my father to Azkaban to await his trial. I thought for sure I would be going too, but the Minister told me that Potter convinced him to just place me under house arrest for the time being. I spent a good portion of that drinking copious amounts of Firewhiskey- too much shit had happened in a short amount of time and I just needed something to help me forget. A few weeks later, my father was sentenced 20 years to Azkaban. Once again, due to Potter's hand, I was let off, as was my Mother. I decided I couldn't stay at the manor anymore.. to much shit had happened there and I felt like I would go insane if I stayed there too much longer. So I packed a bag and traveled. I went all around Europe and Asia. Went to Japan and China. All over. I was gone for a year. The only person I was in correspondence with was my mother and after a year of being alone, she begged me to come back. Said she started fixing up the place so it wasn't as dark as it used to be. So, I returned. Picked up potion making as a way to keep myself busy, then would donate everything to St. Mungo's. My father's health was deteriorated more and more and after being in Azkaban for only five years, they released him so he could spend the last of his days at home." Draco paused there, unsure of what else to say.

After a few minutes, he said, "What about you?" When he didn't receive an answer he looked over and noticed that Hermione had fallen asleep. With a sigh, he sat up and gathered the glasses and now empty wine bottle and vanished them to inside the little house. He then gathered up Hermione and carried her to her room where he laid her down and covered her up. He watched her sleep for a moment then whispered, "Night" as he left her room to go to his own room.

He was surprised at himself at how much he had opened up to Hermione; sure the wine probably helped, but even when drinking he was pretty guarded. He realized that he liked talking to her, even if she did fall asleep while he talked. He hoped tomorrow they could continue their questions to one another. He was enjoying getting to know this certain witch and hoped the feeling was mutual.

The next morning, Hermione woke up with a headache. She turned over on her side and saw a vial of potion and water along with a note. She picked up the note first and read it.

Here's some pain relieving potion, just in case. You promised me French Toast for breakfast and I know I won't get any if you're suffering from a wine-induced hangover.

Hermione chuckled at the letter then winced as her head pounded. She set the letter aside and drank the contents of the vial before gingerly sipping the water. After a few minutes the pain was gone and she was able to get out of bed. She walked about the empty house and realized that Draco was still asleep. She went to the kitchen and gathered everything she needed for the promised breakfast of French Toast.

Draco woke to the smell of something mouth watering wafting through the house. His stomach growled when he realized that Hermione was making breakfast. He sleepily walked to the kitchen and saw that the table was set up with glasses of orange juice, milk, fresh fruit, syrup, a pile of french toast in the middle.

Hermione looked over and smiled as he sat down and began putting food onto his plate.

"Morning," she said cheerily, walking over and sitting down. "French toast, as promised. Thanks for the potion by the way, it really helped."

Draco nodded as he cut into his food, "You're welcome. If this taste as good as it smells, I think you're on breakfast duty for the remainder of the trip."

Hermione smirked at him when he took his first bite and was pleased when he continued eating. She put some food on her own plate and began to eat. "I wanted to apologize for falling asleep while you were talking last night. I don't normally drink that much wine and I guess it made me sleepier than I thought I was."

Draco shrugged as he chewed his food and didn't answer until his mouth was empty, "It's fine. Wasn't all that thrilling anyways."

"Would you tell me again? I promise not to fall asleep in my breakfast," she said, taking another bite.

He chuckled softly and nodded and recounted his story as they continued their breakfast.

When he was done, she looked sadly at him as she tentatively reached over and placed her hand on top of his. "I'm sorry you had to go through the pain of losing a parent."

Draco stared at her hand on top of his then looked at her and shrugged lightly, "It's not like he was well liked. He treated me and my mother horribly."

"But still. He was your father," she didn't say more, only squeezed his hand gently before removing it. She drank the contents of her juice and began to clear the table.

"I got this," he said. When Hermione started to argue he glared at her and said, "Wasn't it you who said whoever cooks doesn't do dishes? You cooked breakfast, I'll do dishes." With a wave of his wand, the table was cleared and the dirty dishes were in the sink.

Hermione smiled and shook her head, "Fine. Do you mind if I keep you company while you do them?"

Draco just shrugged as he walked over to the sink and began filling it with hot water. "So what about you?" he asked has Hermione sat atop the counter, "What did you do after the war?"

"Well, the day after the last funeral was held, I went to Australia to find my parents. Harry and Ron wanted to go with me, especially Ron, but I told them I needed to do this on my own. It took me a week to find them. I had only planted the idea of going to Australia and after that, they were on their own. I saw my mum in a grocery store and followed her home. Later that night I went to their house and knocked on their door. I told them that my car broke down and asked to use their telephone… it's a muggle communication device. When their backs were turned, I pulled out my wand and gave them back their memories."

Hermione's eyes watered slightly before continuing. "They were so, so mad at me. I don't blame them; I told them I would never use magic on them without their knowing. They told me to leave, so I did. I returned the next day and was thankful they had cooled down a bit. They had talked about it and understood, though they were still really upset. I went back to London and got their old house ready for them and they returned a week later. Kingsley offered me an Auror job along with Ron and Harry, but I declined and instead took up the job I have now. That's basically it, really."

By the time Hermione was done with her story, Draco was done with the dishes, thanks mostly to the help of magic. He had turned and listened to her, leaning against the counter. "It would have been stupid of them to stay mad at you. You essentially saved their life. Had you not, they would have been captured and tortured and later, killed."

Hermione paled. Draco had basically admitted that her family was targeted during the war. He swore under his breath and walked over to her, "Sorry, but that's what would have happened, had you not done what you did. Never doubt what you did was wrong, Hermione, ok?"

She nodded as her eyes watered. She realized this was what she needed; confirmation that what she did was justified; that it wasn't for nothing; that having her parents angry with her for months was better than having them murdered and gone forever. He was close to her now and she reached out and pulled him in for a hug. Draco stood there stunned for a moment, before slowly and gently placing his arms around her middle. She was still sitting on the counter, so he his rested his chin on her shoulder.

She let go and chuckled, "Sorry. I just… I've been feeling so guilty for what I did and now..."

"It's ok," he said, patting her knee gently.

There was an awkward silence for the first time between them since they got to the house. Draco finally broke the silence and said that he was going to change and head to the beach and asked if she wanted to join. She told him she'd be along in a bit and watched him leave the kitchen.

She hopped off the counter slowly and wiped her eyes from lingering tears. She promised herself she wouldn't stress over this anymore. With a cleansing sigh, she made her way back to her room to change and meet her husband down by the water.

Chapter Text

Draco looked skeptical at Hermione, "Are you telling me, that even though you're terrified of heights, that you've still rode on a hippogriff, a thestral, and a dragon?"

Hermione smirked smugly at him, "Yup. Though none of them were by choice, or my first option."

They were floating in the ocean on a couple of innertubes, bobbing up and down softly with the tiny waves. They had gone back to their game of asking questions and getting to know each other when Draco asked what was the craziest thing she had done since she found out she was a witch, aside from helping to defeat Voldemort.

Draco furrowed his brows in thought before asking, "When?"

"For which one?"

"Any of them."

"Hm, let's see…" Hermione brought a finger to her chin in concentration. "The hippogriff was when Harry and I helped Sirius Black escape during third year. The Thestrals were when we left Hogwarts to go to the Ministry during fifth year, and the dragon was when we broke into Gringotts right before the battle."

Draco's eyebrows rose a few inches in amazement, "That's… wow. I think one of these days, you'll need to tell me more about each of those stories."

Hermione chuckled, "Alright. Are you going to tell me the craziest thing you've done?"

"You mean aside from marrying you?" he said with a smirk. Hermione kicked the water with her foot, splashing him. He laughed and said, "Ok, ok. Craziest thing… hmm… well, if I leave everything from sixth and seventh year, then the craziest thing to date would probably be during the summer between fourth and fifth year. Blaise, Theo, and I were flying around on brooms in my backyard and we started talking about how high we could go. Needless to say, I won, though not without almost passing out due to lack of oxygen." He shook his head at the memory, "My mother threatened to burn my broom right then and there. Thankfully, she didn't and I was never stupid enough to go that high again."

Hermione's eyes widened at the story and by the end she was chuckling and muttering under her breath something about 'boys'.

They relaxed in silence for a few minutes while Hermione thought of her question.

"What form does your patronus take?" she finally asked.

Draco shrugged, "Don't know. Never learned how to make one. What's yours?"

"An otter. I can teach you, if you want?" she offered.

"Hm, maybe when we get back I'll take you up on that offer. I wonder what form mine would take... A dragon would be fuckin' awesome," he said with a grin.

Hermione chuckled and shook her head, "I think they all take form of regular animals and not mythical ones. Harry's is a stag, Ron's is a dog, Luna's is a bunny, Ginny's is a horse. Though, I think Harry said Tonk's looked like a werewolf so maybe it is possible…."

"As long as it's not a ferret, I think I'll be happy," he said with a grumble.

Hermione couldn't help but laugh at that, so he paddled over to her and flipped her inner tube so that she was now in the water. Her head broke surface and she sputtered while laughing, "Hey!". She swam over and flipped Draco into the water as well. Before he had a chance to surface, she swam to the shore then plopped down onto her towel. He joined her a minute later, dripping wet and scowling above her. Hermione conjured up a pair of sunglasses and put them on before laying down, "Would you mind taking a few steps to the left? You're blocking the sun." As she laid there with her eyes closed, Draco transfigured his cup of water into a bucket and promptly dumped it on Hermione's stomach. She gasped in shock but before she could retaliate, he was running back to the cabin.

They formed a routine while they spent their week at the beach. Hermione would make breakfast, they would toss together sandwiches for lunch, and Draco would make dinner. They did switch it up once when Hermione asked for omelets one morning, so she returned the favor by making a whole baked chicken with vegetables that night. In the evenings they would go out and watch the sunset then retire to the living room where they would wind down the day with some light reading. By the end of the week, they were both feeling forlorn about leaving, but Draco needed to get back to his potions for St. Mungo's and Hermione knew she would have a desk full of paperwork when she finally returned to work in a few days. Draco promised that they would come back the next time Hermione needed a vacation and she felt slightly better.

They returned to the manor slightly more tanned than how they left and their uneasiness around each other was almost completely gone. They still weren't too comfortable with physical contact, but slowly getting use to hugs and even the occasional kiss on the cheek (which was still very rare and far between).

Narcissa was happy to have them back, saying the manor had been too lonely without them. She had an extravagant lunch planned to welcome them back and they talked about what they did during their trip while they ate.

"Well, it sounds like you had a lovely time," said Narcissa as she finished the last of her lunch.

Hermione smiled, "It was rather nice. I'm almost sad to be going back to work tomorrow."

"We both know you missed your job, don't deny it," Draco drawled in a teasing manner.

She chuckled and wiped her mouth, finally done with her food, "Well, I'm going to head upstairs and write a letter to my parents. I'll see you both at dinner." She gave them each a smile and as she passed by Draco, she lightly squeezed his shoulder before heading out of the dining room.

Narcissa eyed Draco and took a sip from her water goblet, "Well, you two seem to be getting along well."

Draco gave a nod, "Yes. We talked a lot while on the trip and really got to know each other."

"And have you two become...intimate as well?"

Draco groaned, "Mother, whether Hermione and I have or not, is none of your business."

"I just need to know if I should start planning the nursery anytime soon," she said nonchalantly.

Draco shook his head, "We told you we were waiting a year. Now, if you will excuse me, I have some orders to fill. I'll be in the lab until dinner."

He stalked out of the dining room with Narcissa smirking, knowing full well that there would be a baby in the manor before the year was up. It may have gone unnoticed by Draco and Hermione, but Narcissa saw attraction between the two, barely there, but there nonetheless.

Hermione finished her letter to her parents and also sent one to Harry and Ginny as well, letting them know that she was back from vacation and will be returning to work the next day. There was still an hour until dinner and Hermione was trying to decide what to do until then. She had read so much during her trip that she actually didn't want to read anything at the moment. She peered in Draco's room and frowned when it was empty, wondering where he was before she realized that he was probably in his lab. She contemplated going down there, to check out his lab and seeing if he wanted company. She bit her lip as she wondered if maybe she should just leave him alone; after all, they did just spend a whole week together. After arguing with herself, she decided to head down there and see what he said.

She walked down the steps to what used to be the dungeons and a chill went up her spine. While she never had to be down there during their capture, Harry, Ron, Luna, Dean, and Mr. Ollivander had. When she reached the bottom she found that the place was actually very bright and the cells were transformed into rooms for the house elves; the bars were gone and replaced with actual walls and nameplates over their doors. She smiled when she peered into Millie's room and saw a framed picture of Draco next to her mattress on the floor. After she passed the rooms, she saw a door at the other end of the hall and it was cracked open. She looked in and saw Draco measuring some sort of liquid before adding it to the cauldron. She pushed the door open slightly and knocked softly. Draco turned his head and gave her a frown, "Everything ok?" he asked.

"Yes, just bored. There's another hour until dinner is ready and I was curious what your lab looked like. Is that ok? I can leave if you want me to.." she said, still standing at the entrance of the lab.

Draco shrugged and went back to measuring, "I don't mind as long as you don't care if I put you to use."

Hermione smiled, "Sure. What do you need help with?"

Draco made a copy of the instructions for the potion he was making and gave it to her, pointing out things he needed cut or ground in the mortar. With a nod of understanding she got to work. They worked in silence, but also worked well together, Hermione having ingredients ready right as Draco needed them. Once everything was in the cauldron and he set a timer on his wand, they went upstairs to the dining room where Narcissa was waiting and dinner was being served.

Dinner passed by quickly with little conversation trickling throughout. When Draco was done with his meal he turned to Hermione and said, "I need to head back down to the lab to check on the potion and if it's done, I need to start putting them in vials. Would you like to help me?"

Hermione nodded and followed Draco, bading Narcissa goodnight as she knew the Lady Malfoy would soon be retiring for the evening.

"You know, I thought you'd be sick of me by now," said Draco casually as they walked down the stairs.

Hermione gave a nervous chuckle, "I was actually thinking the same thing, that you'd be sick of me too. I can go back to my room if you want time to yourself," she said, slowing her pace.

Draco grabbed her hand and tugged her along and once he knew she was still following, he dropped her hand and stuffed his own in his pockets, "I usually don't mind working in my lab alone; I prefer it actually… but today I found myself wondering if you would have wanted to help and keep me company. I talked myself out of it but then you showed up anyways."

Hermione blushed slightly, "I think I just got used to having you for company while we were in Fiji."

Draco nodded in agreement as he opened the door to his lab. After checking that the potion was ready, he grabbed two ladles and they began pouring the liquid into vials.

A few minutes of silence went by when Draco said, "So my mother asked me if we're having sex yet."

Hermione nearly dropped her ladle in the cauldron, but caught it just in time, "Really? She actually asked that?"

"Well, not those specific words, but yes."

"What did you tell her?" she asked as she began filling more vials.

"Nothing. I told her it wasn't any of her business what you and I do or don't do, especially that." He shook his head, "I figured I'd warn you incase she started asking you about our… intimacy."

Hermione's cheeks turned red, "Thanks. Why is she asking anyways? Has she always been this… involved with your love life?"

"Merlin no. She just wants to know when to start decorating one of the rooms as a nursery. I told her not for another year, at the earliest." He finished pouring the last of the potion into a vial. With a flick of his wand, all the vials were corked and placed in a box while Hermione started cleaning up. He put a charm on it so that they wouldn't get jostled during delivery. "You don't have to clean up my mess. I'm going to head to the owlery and send this out then I'll be back in to clean."

"It's alright, I got this," she said.

"Ok, well, I'll see you tomorrow then?"

Hermione nodded and said goodnight. He gave her a small smile and leaned into kiss her cheek before heading out of the lab.

Hermione finished cleaning up then made her way upstairs, exhaustion finally hitting her. Once in her room, she changed into her pajamas and slipped beneath the sheets of her bed. She touched the spot on her cheek where Draco kissed her and smiled before instantly falling asleep.

Chapter Text

Hermione groaned inwardly as she opened her office door. She came to work early knowing she would have a pile of work waiting for her, and she was correct. There were at least twenty folders on her desk as well as around fifty inter departmental office memos, some which were still fluttering around her office. Hermione walked over to her desk and decided to go through the memos first before tackling the folders. It was a little past six in the morning and she hoped that she would get a few uninterrupted hours of work before her co-workers arrived.

Hours later, her eyes had started to feel strained and a headache was starting to throb.

She decided it was time take a break to use the loo and grab some coffee before going back to work. She realized the Ministry was full of people now and hoped that she wouldn't get stopped along the way by someone who wanted to talk about her wedding or marriage to Draco. She lucked out and was able to get back to her office and to the confines of her work, where she buried herself once more.

It wasn't until mid-afternoon when there was a knock on her door and she mumbled "Come in," without stopping filling out a form.

"Well, if it isn't Mrs. Malfoy. How was the honeymoon?" said a familiar voice.

Hermione chuckled and looked up at Harry, who was wiggling his eyebrows at her. "Shut up. You know it wasn't like that."

He sat in the empty seat across from her desk, "I know, but at least now you're not scowling at the paperwork on your desk."

Shaking her head, Hermione set down the quill and rubbed her eyes, "I've been working on paperwork for hours."

"Come to lunch with us then. Ron and I are going to the Leaky Cauldron and meeting up Neville. Said he had some news."

Hermione didn't hesitate at the offer to escape her desk for an hour, "Alright, sounds good. I could use some food and fresh air."

"Well, I wouldn't necessarily call the atmosphere at the Leaky Cauldron 'fresh'..." Harry said teasing her again.

Hermione smacked his arm playfully as they left her office.

Ten minutes later, she, Ron, and Harry entered the wizarding pub and found Neville already there waiting for them. He stood up and made his way to Hermione and gave her a hug, "It's good to see you Hermione. I hear you're a married woman now?"

Hermione nodded, "Yes, we got married a little over a week ago. I'm sorry I didn't invite you, we only had a handful of people there." She sat down in of the seats and scooted in, "But enough about me, how are you? How's it feel to work at Hogwarts, Professor?"

Neville blushed, "It's going well. I never thought that when Professor Sprout took me under wing that she was actually planning her retirement and giving me her job. It's fun work though."

"So what's this news you wanted to tell us?" asked Ron, just has Hannah Abbot came by with a tray butterbeer and sandwiches with crisps for all of them. She smiled at Neville and kissed the top of his head.

Neville wound his arm around Hannah's waist and smiled wide as he said, "Hannah and I got married the other day. We eloped."

Three stunned faces looked at the couple before a round of congratulations spread throughout.

"Ha! I called it, Pay up, Harry!" said Ron triumphantly.

Harry grumbled and put a galleon in Ron's outstretched hand.

Hannah put a hand on her hip, "You guys bet if his news was that we were married or not?"

"Well, I guessed you got married," said Ron smugly, "Harry guessed you two got engaged. I mean, you two have been dating for, what? A year now?"

"Two," they both said together and smiled at one another.

"We'll have you lot over for dinner one of these nights, to celebrate," said Hannah.

Neville nodded in agreement, "Once, we're all settled. We moved into the apartment upstairs that used to belong to Tom."

Hermione looked at them curiously, "Why's that? Where did Tom go?"

"Retired. Made my Hannah here the new Landlady of the place too," Neville said proudly.

"That's fantastic!" said Hermione and Harry while Ron asked, "Does this mean we get free butterbeer? Since we're mates with the husband of the Landlady?"

Harry smacked Ron upside the head and he winced, mumbling something about 'just kidding.'

Hannah shook her head and smiled, "I better get back to work. See you tonight, love?" With a nod from Neville, she gave him a quick kiss before going to another table to take orders.

Harry, Hermione, and Neville continued talking and it wasn't until they were about to leave when Hermione noticed that Ron was slouched in his chair, scowling.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

Ron just shrugged, "Nothing. Are we done here yet?"

Harry frowned, "Not until you tell us what's got your knickers in a twist."

Ron sighed, "Fine." He pointed to Harry, "Married." Then to Hermione, "Married." Then to Neville, "Married." Then to himself, "Not married."

Hermione gave him a sympathetic look, "You'll find someone, Ron."

"I doubt it. I only have a few more months until my six months is up. I… I'm thinking I'm going to fill out one of those forms.. you know, from the Ministry, like you did and just cross my fingers."

Hermione nodded and Harry clapped him on the back. Neville cleared his throat and said, "Well, I wish you luck on that, mate. I need to get going though. My next class starts soon. I'll owl you guys when we can host a dinner, ok?"

The three others at the table nodded and said their goodbye's.

"I'm going to head back too," said Ron, getting up and going to the floo and disappearing within a gulf of green flames.

Hermione sighed, "Part of me feels guilty about all of this."

Harry looked at her quizzically, "Why?"

"Because I have a feeling that he was waiting for me all those months when he could have been dating other people…"

"That's his fault, not yours Hermione," said Harry.

"I know. I just hope he gets a good match, you know?" she said as they both stood up and got ready to leave.

"I'm sure he will. I mean, look at you… matched up with Malfoy," said Harry.

Hermione eyed him, "I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not."

He grinned, "Maybe a little. But it's working out, right? You two are getting along?"

Hermione nodded, "Yes, surprisingly so."

"Good. Oh, that reminds me. Ginny wants to know if you two want to come over for dinner tonight? It's her only free night this week."

"Two? Are you actually inviting Draco into your home?" Hermione ask surprised.

"Well, ya. He's your husband. Plus, we talked before the wedding and we both agreed to put the past behind us. Not saying we'll be mates or anything, but.. no more fighting," Harry said sincerely.

Hermione gave Harry a hug, "Thank you, Harry. That means a lot to me. I'll owl him when we get back and see if he wants to come."

He gave her a smile then they both headed back to the ministry to finish out their day.

Sorry, I can't today, maybe another time.

Hermione frowned at the letter. If he had meant what he said about making an effort, then why was he avoiding going to Harry's already? With a frustrated sigh, she crumpled up the letter and tossed it in the rubbish bin and continued on her work.

At five, Hermione's wand charm went off, signaling that it was time to meet up with Harry and go to his place. She packed up her things and made her way to the auror's office. Harry had his own office and was currently reading a parchment on his desk. Hermione knocked lightly on the open door to get his attention and smiled at him when he looked up. "I'm ready when you are," she said.

"Is it five already?" he asked, rubbing his eyes beneath his glasses.

Hermione chuckled, "You sound like me. Are you ready or do you need a few more minutes?"

"No, no, I'm ready. We can go straight from my office."

Hermione waited for Harry to put away his things and grab what he needed to take home. They stepped into the floo together and Harry put his arm around Hermione's shoulder and said "Potter residence!".

Ginny was waiting for them and gave Hermione a hug as soon as she stepped out of the fireplace.

"I've missed you!" she said, "How was your trip? Where did you go? Did you do anything fun? Please tell me you didn't just read the whole time."

Hermione laughed, "I'll tell you about it over dinner, I promise."

"Is Draco coming?" asked Harry.

Hermione shook her head, "He said he couldn't make it today but maybe next time."

Ginny saw a flash of anger behind her friends eyes, "I'm sure he was just busy."

"Ya..too busy to make an effort. It's fine. Hopefully some day he'll come around. Is dinner ready yet? Do you need any help?" said Hermione, changing the subject.

The three of them ate dinner while Hermione talked about her trip. Ginny begged that they do a girls weekend there sometime in the future and Hermione fully agreed that they should. As much as Hermione wanted to stay longer and talk with her friends, she realized it was getting late and she should head home.

She floo'd directly to her bedroom and set down her bag on her bed. She went over to Draco's room and noticed his door was open. She peaked in to see if he was in there, but he wasn't. She checked the dining room next and was surprised to see Draco eating dinner at such a late hour.

"Why are you eating so late?" she asked, sitting across from him.

He looked up and shrugged, "I was busy. I just now left my lab. I've been in there all evening."

Hermione glared at him, "Did you start a potion later in the day just to avoid going to Harry's?"

Draco quirked a brow at her, "No, of course not."

Hermione scoffed and crossed her arms over her chest.

He glared back at her, "What's gotten into you? You're mad because I couldn't go to Potter's for dinner?"

"Wouldn't. There's a difference," she stated. He shook his head, getting angrier but before he could say anything she continued, "You agreed with Harry that you'd be cordial and make an effort. I don't call hiding at home 'making an effort.'"

Draco stood up, his ears red with anger but he tried to keep his temper in check as he spoke, "I started that potion earlier today. I had to stir it ten times every hour for eight hours. That's why I couldn't come. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go back to the lab and finish my work for the evening." He left without a backwards glance at her.

Hermione thought about what he said and bit her lip. She had overreacted, she realized that now. Sighing, she got up and walked slowly to the lab, mustering up her pride and trying to figure out how to apologize. When she got the lab, she stood at the entrance watched Draco from the doorway.

Draco looked at her and scowled, "What? Coming to see if I was actually working? If you want the instructions for the potion I made today, to verify that I had to be here all day, the book is over there," he said, gesturing towards a book which was laid open on a small table.

"I don't need to look," she said meekly, "I believe you."

He rounded on her, "Oh, so now you believe me? But not before?" He turned his back to her, picking up the ladle again and scooping up the liquid from the cauldron.

"No, and I'm sorry, ok? I overreacted," She entered the room and sat on the couch that Draco had in there, "I don't know why I did either. I know it's going to take a while for you to be comfortable hanging out with my friends, but… I guess I was just so used to being with you all of last week that I just sort expected you to come, and that was unfair of me to assume that, knowing that you are usually busy working.

Draco sighed, his anger slightly dissipating as he continued to pour the potion into vials. "I guess I could have explained more in the note as to why I couldn't come. I didn't think I would need to go into detail though," he said with slight annoyance. "I'll try to be more specific next time."

Hermione nodded, "Ok. And I'll try not to overreact."

He smirked at her, "Yes, that would help too."

Feeling a little better, she stood up and walked towards him, "Do you need any help?"

He shook his head, focusing on pouring the potion and not spilling any, "I've got it."

"Oh, ok." She glanced at him, "Are we ok?"

He gave a slight shrug, not looking at her, "I guess. I'm still a little irritated."

She gave a small nod and said quietly, "I'll leave you alone then and head to bed. See you in the morning?"

He nodded, "Sure." He heard her walk out and made himself not to turn around to look at her.

Draco finished ten minutes later and, feeling exhausted after a full day of dealing just one potion, he decided that he would box the vials and send them out in the morning. He apparated directly to his room and saw that Hermione's door was open with a light on. He walked the short distance to her door and looked in. Hermione was in bed, a book opened in her lap, a lamp on, but she was fast asleep. He walked in quietly, closed the book and put it on her nightstand before turning off the light. He tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and kissed her lightly on the forehead before leaving the room. As he closed the door, he whispered, "Goodnight, wife."

After the door closed, Hermione mumbled, "Goodnight, husband" and drifted back to sleep.

Chapter Text

For the next few days, Hermione barely saw Draco. They still ate dinner together along with Narcissa, but conversation was sparse. Narcissa eyed the two, but didn't say anything. After dinner, Hermione would offer to help in his lab, but he always refused, saying he was either done or he could handle it, and she eventually stopped offering to help out.

After the fourth day, as they ate their dinner in silence once again, Hermione was growing frustrated. She had apologized and meant it. He didn't need to keep making her feel bad and hurting her feelings. As soon as Narcissa retired to her room after dinner, Hermione spoke up, "Alright, how long is going last?"

Draco quipped a brow at her, "What are you talking about?"

"This silent treatment. You barely talk to me anymore. I thought we were getting along with each other," she said.

He shrugged, "I'm not not talking to you on purpose. I've just been preoccupied."

Hermione narrowed her eyes at him, "I don't believe you. You used to make an effort to at least start conversations with me."

He mirrored her expression, "Alright, fine. I've been ignoring you. Happy now? I've been avoiding you because it pissed me off that you would assume I would do anything to get out of hanging with your friends. I'm not the same kid you knew in school-"

"I know you're not!"

"Then stop acting like it! Give me the benefit of the doubt. Let me explain things before you go getting all pissed off about things for no reason," he said, throwing his napkin onto the table.

They glared at each other a moment more before Hermione sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose, "You're right. I already apologized for overreacting though. You're the one acting like a third year, giving me the silent treatment."

He glared at her for a brief moment, but he knew she was right about his actions; he was acting childish.

"I don't know what else to do to make us ok again," she continued softly.

"Just… give me time, ok?" he said, sighing as well.

"Alright. You know where to find me when you're ready to talk to me again," she said as she got up and headed towards the stairs.

Draco watched her leave and weighed his options. He was still pissed, but how much longer should he let it affect him? With an irritated sigh at himself, he ran a hand through his hair. She was right, they needed to stop acting like teenagers and more like adults. He got up and walked quickly towards the stairs and saw that Hermione was almost to the top.

"I could use your help tonight in the lab, if you're free," he said.

She turned around and eyed him wearily, "You sure?"

He nodded, "Yeah."

She gave him a small smile and a nod, "Alright. I'll meet you down there in a bit. I want to change out of my work clothes."

He gave a nod and headed down to the lab, a small grin on his face.

The next morning Draco woke up with something heavy on his chest that also seemed to be...vibrating? He opened his eyes and was met with a ton of orange fur. If he could take a guess, he would say cat, but there was so much fur he really wasn't sure. He stirred a bit and the creature on his chest lifted it's head and glared at him. Draco glared back. The cat got up and took it's time stretching, still on top of Draco's chest, before it sauntered across the bed and hopped off, leaving the room from his balcony, which he always kept open on summer nights.

He was trying to remember when his mother had gotten a cat and couldn't come up with anything. Then he realized it was probably Hermione's. He hadn't seen the cat at all since she moved in and he had completely forgotten about it. He glanced at the clock and saw that it was seven in the morning.

"Ugh," he said, tossing the covers off of him. Now that he was awake, he wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. He wondered briefly if Hermione had left for work yet. Still too sleepy to apparate, he walked down to the dining room and saw it empty. He was about to turn around when he heard voices in the kitchen. He redirected and walked towards the source and peeked into the kitchen. In there he found Hermione, sitting on a bar stool, eating a bowl of oatmeal at the counter, while house elves roamed around.

Sensing him, she turned her head towards the door and grinned, "Good morning. You're up early."

He walked over to where she sat and leaned against the counter, "Yeah, you can thank this big, orange, furry, monstrosity of a cat that was lying on my chest for that."

He went over to a drawer and pulled out a spoon as Hermione stifled a giggle, "Sorry, that was probably Crookshanks. On the bright side, I think he likes you."

"Joy," he said sarcastically, taking a bite of her oatmeal with the spoon he procured.

She frowned at him and smacked his hand away as he went for a second bite, "There's a whole pot of oatmeal on the stove."

Sighing with mock frustration, he went over to the pot and poured oatmeal into a bowl then added some milk and brown sugar. He found another stool and pulled it next to her as he ate his breakfast, "So what's on the agenda for today?"

She shrugged, "Same as every week day. Work. Lunch at some point. You?"

"I don't have any orders today, so I was thinking of getting out of the manor at some point. Would you be interested in meeting up for lunch in Diagon Alley?"

She smiled and nodded, "Yes, I'd like that."

"Ok. Meet me at noon at the Leaky Cauldron and we'll go from there," he said, finishing off his oatmeal and placing the bowl in the sink. Hands in his pajama pockets, he walked back towards the door and called over his shoulder, "Have a good day at work."

Thanks to the alarm charm once again, Hermione met Draco at the Leaky Cauldron right on time and from there they made their way to Diagon Alley. As they walked along trying to find some place to eat, they noticed people staring, pointing, and whispering at their direction.

Draco scowled, "It's like they've never seen a married couple before walking down the street."

"I think it's more the fact that it's us rather than a married couple," said Hermione with a shrug. She'd long gotten used to the stares and whispers that she barely noticed it anymore.

"Still, they can mind their own bloody business," he said under his breath.

Hermione gave him a small smile and grabbed his hand, squeezing it, "Just ignore them."

He nodded, squeezing her hand back before letting go, "So, where did you want to go eat?"

They decided on a new deli shop that had opened up then stopped for some ice-cream cones before they headed back towards the Leaky Cauldron.

"Thanks for asking me out for lunch," she said, as they neared the floo.

"You're welcome," he said.

"Do you want to walk me back to my office?" she asked.

He nodded and together, they stepped into the fireplace and floo'd back to the Ministry.

They walked to her office and as they rounded the corner, they saw a very angry Ron, pacing back and forth in front of her office door, muttering to himself.

"Ron?" asked Hermione.

He looked up and scowled at the two of them, "There you are! I've been waiting for forever!"

Hermione looked at her watch, "I'm right on time, actually." She turned to Draco, "See you tonight?"

He nodded then leaned in and kissed her cheek before walking back towards the atrium.

Hermione turned her attention back to Ron, who was gaping at her.

"What?" she asked, walking passed him and opening her office door.

"Were my eyes playing tricks on me, or did Malfoy just kiss you?"

Hermione rolled her eyes, "He's allowed to kiss me, Ronald. He is my husband after all." She sat down at her desk, "Now, I'll ask you again, is there something you needed or do you just intend to stand there and ask about my relationship with Draco?"

Ron pulled out some crumpled pieces of paper from his pants pocket and dropped them on her desk before he started pacing her office.

"What's this?" she asked, starting to flatten out the crumpled piece of parchment.

"That," he said, "Is all your fault." He flopped himself onto the empty chair across from her desk, "They are match results," he muttered.

Hermione's eyes widened in surprise, "Match results? You mean a marriage match?"

He grumbled and didn't say anything but he did give a nod in confirmation.

"Who is it?" she asked, still trying to work out the wrinkles of the papers.

Ron mumbled something that she couldn't hear.

"What?" she asked

"I said Parkinson," he said with annoyance.

"Oh," said Hermione, "She was at the wedding. She isn't as bad as she used to be…"

"Not that bad? She's the one who wanted to turn in Harry to You-Know-Who at Hogwarts during the battle!"

"She was scared, Ron! You can't really fault her for that," she said.

"We were all scared, Hermione. But no one else suggested handing Harry over," he stated.

"True," she said, "But Ron, that was a long time ago. What's done is done; It's time to let it go."

Ron crossed his arms and grumbled some more.

"What did you mean earlier when you said that this was my fault?" Hermione asked.

"If you had just accepted my proposal, I wouldn't be stuck with… with her!" said Ron, pointing at the papers.

Hermione sighed, "You can always just decline the match."

Ron shook his head, "We only have an 75% compatibility. I can't risk the next person being any worse."

"Why don't you do what Draco and I did… meet up and talk first?"

Ron scoffed and continued to glare at nothing in particular.

"Look Ron, I'm sorry the match isn't to your liking, but getting pissed off about it isn't going to help either. Neither is blaming me. Either decline her and take your chances on the next match, or owl her and have a civil conversation with her," she said. "Now, if that was all you wanted to talk about, I'm going to have to ask that you please leave because I still have mounds of work to do. Go talk to Harry or something if you still need a sounding board."

"I already did," he said, still grumbling. "He said the same thing you did."

"Then as your two best friends, don't you think you should listen to our advice?" she asked pointedly.

Ron groaned and got up. "I'll think about it, I guess," he said.

He left her office still grumbling, and with a flick of her wand she shut and locked her door. Now hopefully she would be able to finish some of her workload in peace.

When she floo'd home a little before dinner, the first thing she heard was crying. More specifically, a woman crying. And if she wasn't mistaken, it was coming from across the hall from Draco's room. It didn't sound like Narcissa, so Hermione walked quietly over to her door and opened it. She was surprised to see that Draco's door was open and he was sitting on the edge of his bed with a distraught Pansy next to him, some papers clutched in her hand.

Realizing what this was about, she decided to give them space and turned back into her room until she heard someone yell, "YOU!"

She spun around and saw that Pansy was glaring at her. "This is all YOUR fault!" she yelled.

"Why does everyone keep blaming me for things out of my control?" she muttered to herself. She walked into Draco's room and stood before the two, "Good evening to you too, Pansy. Now, can you please tell me what exactly is my fault?"

Pansy stood up and Hermione was glad that she was still slightly taller than her. "If you would have just married that oaf of a Weasley, then I wouldn't be stuck with that blood-traitor!"

"Pansy," said Draco warningly, "Don't go blaming Hermione for this. You're the one who filled out the forms. It's not her fault you don't like the results."

Pansy faced him, her eyes brimmed with tears, "We're supposed to be together! You and me! And she was supposed to marry that Weasel and have a litter of babies like his mother! But now… now…." she started sobbing again as she sank back onto his bed.

Draco sighed and looked at Hermione for help. Hermione shrugged, unsure of what to say.

Hermione knelt in front of Pansy, "If it helps any, Ron came to my office today to talk about this very thing."

Pansy sniffled, "And what did he have to say about all of this?"

"He…. well, he's unsure about it, to put it mildly. But I told him that he should owl you so you two can meet up to talk. That's what Draco and I did and we found that we had a lot of common ground. It helped fortify the decision."

Draco nodded, patting Pansy's back lightly.

"I.. don't know," she said, hiccuping, "Never in my life had I ever even considered being match with him."

"He's really not all that bad," said Hermione.

"If he's not so bad, then why didn't you marry him?" Pansy asked with venom.

Hermione sighed, "Because it just wasn't working out with us. But you... you two have a chance, according to this," she said, indicating to the papers. "Why don't you meet up for coffee, or a drink at a bar or something. If it's really horrible, decline the match and take your chances with someone else."

Pansy seemed to be mulling it over, still sniffling every once in awhile.

Hermione looked to Draco, "I'm going to go change and head down to dinner."

Draco nodded, "I'll be there in a minute."

"Pansy, you're welcome to join us, if you want?" invited Hermione

Pansy shrugged, "Maybe some other time. But, um, thanks though."

Hermione smiled and gave a nod before heading to her room.

Ten minutes later, Draco joined Hermione and Narcissa at the table.

"Everything alright?" Hermione asked.

"I think so. She said something about going home to write an owl so we'll see where it goes," said Draco.

Narcissa looked between the two, "I seem to be out of the loop on something."

"Pansy got matched with Ron Weasley and she's not too thrilled," stated Draco, before cutting into his pork chop and eating a piece.

"I see," said Narcissa with a nod, "Well, hopefully things work out for them, like they have with you two."

Draco and Hermione looked at each other and smiled.

"Yes, one can only hope they're as lucky as we are," said Draco.

Hermione blushed, and silently agreed.

Chapter Text

The next few weeks went without incident and Draco and Hermione found themselves in their own routine. Draco would join Hermione in the kitchen most mornings for breakfast, mostly due to the fact that Crookshanks liked using Draco as his own personal bed. They met up for lunch at least once a week and still had dinners every night. Most evenings, Hermione joined him in his lab and either helped out or just kept him company. What once was a place he'd go to for solitude, was a now a place for them to work together or hang out, and it was something they both seemed to looked forward to each day. Things were going well and Hermione had no doubt in her mind that they were actually friends at this point.

There was a part of her however, a very small part, that wanted just a little bit more. Now that she got to know him and saw him differently, she realized just how different he was since their days at Hogwarts. He was nicer and very, very handsome. His smile, a real genuine smile, almost made her swoon the few times he had given it to her. She didn't want to risk what they had though. They were comfortable with each other; they were friends. Maybe one day they'd be more, but for now, they'd stick with what had.

She was thinking about Draco when there was a knock on her office door and Harry came in.

"Hey Harry. What do I owe the pleasure of your visit today?" she asked.

"Well, I wanted to see if you would like to go to a quidditch game tonight. One of Ginny's... " he said hesitantly.

Hermione gave him an apologetic look, "You know how I don't really like going to games on work nights. If it was on a Friday or Saturday night you know I'd be there."

"I know. It's just that.. she's playing Seeker tonight," Harry said excitedly.

"Seeker?" she asked, "I thought she was Chaser?"

Harry nodded, "She is, but she's also the Seekers replacement. And during practice yesterday, Becky got injured and can't play in tonight's game, so Ginny is taking her spot."

Hermione bit her lip and contemplated, "I'll… think about it."

Harry smiled and nodded, "There'll be a ticket waiting for you at the entrance, if you decide to go, ok?"

Hermione nodded, "Ok."

They talked for a bit more, and Harry informed her how Ron had met with Pansy not once, but twice, since they got the their match notice. "They're talking about accepting the match," he said.

Hermione smiled, "I'm glad they took our advice. Hopefully all works well."

Harry scratched the back of his head nervously, "Yeah, hopefully."

Hermione frowned at Harry, "Everything alright?"

"Yeah, It's just…. I'm not used to having to share my best mates with some Slytherins, that's all," he said sheepishly.

Hermione rolled her eyes, "There's more to them than being Slytherins."

Harry nodded, "I know. You and Mal-... Draco, still planning on coming over this weekend for dinner?"

Hermione nodded her confirmation and Harry grinned, before catching the time and realizing he was going to be late for a meeting and left with a hasty goodbye.

Hermione worked until her alarm charm went off. She rubbed her eyes and realised there was no way she'd be able to go to the game tonight. She was exhausted already and who knew how long the game would last. She would owl Ginny in the morning and apologize profusely and swear she would go to the next (non-weekday) game.

Once home at the manor, she had dinner with Narcissa and Draco then went up to her room to write her letter to Ginny that she would owl out first thing the next morning. As she was getting ready for bed she heard the fireplace in her bedroom chime with an incoming floo-call.

She got on her knees to see who it was and was surprised to see Harry there.

"Harry! What's wrong, is everything ok?" she asked worriedly.

"Everything's fine! Ginny caught the snitch!"

"That's great!" she said, "I'm sorry I couldn't come-"

"Don't worry about it! She caught it within ten minutes of the game! A record! And because they won, her team is going to the finals in a few weeks! We're at the Leaky Cauldron now celebrating. You should come out!"

"Oh, Harry.. I'm not sure…"

"Come on Hermione, come celebrate with us! Just for an hour then, we'll let you go," he pleaded.

Hermione mulled it over before smiling weakly, "Fine. Let me change and I'll be over in a bit."

"Yeah! See ya soon! Hey guys! Hermione's coming!"

Harry's head disappeared as Hermione chuckled. She stood up and sighed, going over to her wardrobe to find something to wear.

"Going somewhere?" asked Draco from her doorway.

Hermione jumped and turned around, her hand on her heart, "You startled me," she said laughing at his amused look. "Yes, I'm going to the Leaky Cauldron for a bit. Ginny won the game for their team and Harry begged me to come out." She glanced over at him, "You by chance don't want to come do you?"

He gave her a sincere apologetic look, "I'm sorry, I can't. The potion I'm working on has a half hour more to go before I start the cooldown process and vial prep."

She nodded, "It's alright. I knew it was a long shot." She pulled out spaghetti strap dress in a light pink color and headed to the bathroom. When she emerged again, Draco was sitting on her bed and looking at her up and down. She could have sworn she saw hunger in his eyes.

"How do I look? Ok?" she asked, spinning once on the spot.

Draco stood from the bed and walked towards her, "You look… really nice." he said.

She quirked a brow, "Just 'nice'?"

He grinned at her, "Well, any nicer and I would have to go with you, to make sure no other blokes hit on my wife."

She rolled her eyes, "Such a possessive husband I have." She leaned up and kissed his cheek, "I'll be back in an hour."

"Have fun.. but not too much," he said.

Shaking her head and grinning, she stepped into the floo and called out for the Leaky Cauldron. As soon as she stepped out, someone handed her a tumbler of firewhisky and grabbed her hand to pull her towards a rowdy crowd.

"George?" she asked the person who was tugging her along.

He looked over his shoulder and flashed her a grin, "Hey Hermione, about time you showed up!" He let go of her hand and disappeared into a crowd. Hermione looked around and saw that almost the whole Weasley clan along with Harry, Neville, Hannah, Dean, Seamus, and Luna. George reemerged, this time with his own tumbler of firewhisky. He clinked his glass with hers and said "To finally getting your married arse out of the house!" He chugged his drink in one gulp and Hermione followed suit, wincing as it burned going down.

Harry and Ginny joined them, another tumbler placed in her hand, another toast made, another gulp of firewhisky drunk.

This seemed to be the pattern for the better part of a half hour. By the time she finally sat down, she was drunk off her arse. She pulled Ginny to sit with her and ordered a couple of waters.

"I'm really, really, really sorry I missed your game, Ginny," Hermione said for what was probably the tenth time that night.

Ginny waved her off, "It's fine. I know you don't like going to games on weekdays. They could last for bloody hours."

A waitress came by and set the waters in front of them and Hermione started gulping hers. Ginny frowned at her glass, "Water?"

"Drink," ordered Hermione, "You'll thank me tomorrow."

Ginny snorted, but complied and took a sip. "Even drunk you're smart." She took another sip, "So anyways, how's married life?"

"Dull," said Hermione automatically. Ginny giggled. "Well, it's true! We're married but we don't do anything. We talk. We hang out. That's it."

Ginny frowned, "No shagging?"

Hermione shook her head, "Nope. Not that I haven't thought about it, but… we're friends right now. I don't want to ruin what little friendship we have now." She looked at her glass before groaning and resting her head on the table, "He's so damn hot. It's not fair how sexy he is."

Ginny giggled again, "Have you told him this?"

"Merlin, no!" said Hermione, horrified, "I don't go around telling people they're hot."

Ginny rolled her eyes, "He's your husband. Tell him you think he's hot and jump his bones. Pretty sure he won't argue or complain."

Hermione scrunched up her brows as she thought about what she said, "You really think so?"

Ginny nodded, "I know so."

Hermione glanced towards the fireplace, biting her lip.

"Go, I'll cover for you," said Ginny in a loud whisper.

Before Hermione could say anything, Ginny got up and went over to Harry and jumped into his arms, wounding her legs around his waist and snogging him senseless.

Hermione laughed then realized this was her chance to escape. She quickly walked over to the floo and called out her bedroom fireplace.

She tossed her purse onto her bed and glanced at her closed door. Some small part of her knew that she would never have the nerve to do this if she hadn't been drinking, but she didn't really care.

Squaring her shoulders and taking a deep breath, she marched to her door and opened it. In two long strides, she was at Draco's door. She knocked and let herself in without waiting for an answer. She was glad to see that he was still awake, sitting up in his bed, reading a book, a firewhisky tumbler in his hand; his usual nightcap. He glanced over at her and raised an eyebrow, "Back so soon? I thought you'd be gone at least another hour."

Hermione shrugged slightly as she walked slowly into his room, "I decided to come home early."

"Oh? And why's that?" he asked, setting the book aside.

"Because…." she said as she slipped off the dress she was wearing and let it pool at her feet, never once taking her eyes off him, "I have an itch I need you to help scratch."

Chapter Text

It took everything Draco had to not gape at the women before him. With cool eyes, he let them roam the length of Hermione as she stood there, her dress pooled at her feet, wearing nothing but lace knickers and a bra in what should have been a boring color, but was surprisingly arousing. When he finally met her eyes with his own he smirked, "An itch, huh? And where exactly is this itch at?"

Hermione gave him a sultry look, "Oh I think you know exactly where."

She walked closer to the bed and tripped slightly on the dress that was on the ground. Realization struck Draco.

"You're drunk," he stated, slightly irritated.

"Only a little," she admitted with a giggle. She got up on the bed and crawled over to him until her hands were on either side of him and her legs were straddling his waist.

He put his hands on her shoulders to hold her in place and looked her in the eyes, "You're drunk," he said firmly.

"So?" she asked.

"So… it means you're not thinking clearly. As much as I want- as much fun as this would be, I think we should wait until you're sober and won't regret your decision in the morning." He was silently berating himself, knowing full well that he would be suffering in the morning if they didn't do anything tonight.

Hermione huffed out a breath and sat back, her bum resting on his legs. "I know what I'm doing, Draco. You're my husband. I won't regret sleeping with you." She reached behind her and started trying to undo her bra.

He grabbed her hands and stilled them. "Hermione…. Don't… don't start something tonight that you won't want to finish."

She glanced down and noticed the bulge growing beneath his pajama bottoms and smirked, "I think it's too late for that."

He swore under his breath, "That I can handle. But if we go further…"

"Draco," she said, leaning in closer to him, "I want this. I've wanted this for a while. I'm already sobering up and I still want this. Now, are you really going to deny your wife a shag tonight?"

Draco licked his lips, letting go of her wrists, "And if I told you that I had been thinking about this for a while too… what would you say?"

She replaced her hands to either side of his body and leaned in until they were just a breath away, "Then I would ask 'why are we still talking?'"

She saw a flash of a grin as she brought her lips to his. Is wasn't soft and sweet like the two chaste kisses they had before and during the wedding. This one was full of need and heat. Lips bruised each other as they tasted and teased. Their tongues wrestled each other for dominance. Draco slid down the bed so that he was lying flat on his back with Hermione hovering over him. He tried to flip her over, but she broke their kiss and shook her head, "No. I initiated, I choose the position, and I want on top."

Draco grinned hungrily at her, "Fine by me."

She bent her head and instead of going to his lips again, she kissed along his jaw towards his ear, kissing the soft spot behind it. His hands came up and covered her breasts and his thumbs rubbed against the slightly padded bra. He traced his fingers along the sides of the bra until he found the clasp on the back and undid it with a flick of his fingers. Hermione brought her lips back to his, "That was pretty impressive," she said against his lips. He chuckled and deepened the kiss as he brought his hands back around to her now exposed breasts, his thumbs circling her nipples, hardening them. She moved to nibble at his ear and he groaned involuntarily. She trailed one hand down the length of his chest and dipped it straight into the waistband of his silk pajama bottoms and was pleased to find that he was sans underwear. She kissed down his neck and nibbled at his collarbone as she gave his cock a few, slow tugs from shaft to head.

Draco moaned and said huskily, "If you keep doing that, I won't make it to the actual shagging part."

"Well, I can fix that." She let go of his member and he groaned at the loss of contact but hitched a breath as she sat up slightly and pulled down his pajamas in one quick motion. She positioned herself above him and using one finger, she shifted her wet knickers to the side and placed his head right at her entry. On a moan, she lowered herself onto him and took him in.

He let out a moan of pleasure as he closed his eyes and arched his hips. He placed his hands on her hips and moved her back and forth. She rocked him a few times, moaning as his hardness hit her clit.

Draco groaned louder, "Fuck...Hermione...I can't… I'm not going to last," he breathed out, trying to hold himself a little bit longer.

"It's ok," said Hermione reassuring, leaning forward and nipping his ear again while her hips moved quicker to help him along. One arm circled around her back, while the other lifted him up slightly and he buried his head into her chest.

On a long moan, Draco finished and shuddered before finally collapsing back onto the bed. Hermione smiled triumphantly as she slid off and laid on her side next to him.

His eyes closed as he was catching his breath, he said, "Fuck, sorry. I wanted to last a little bit longer, but it's been such a long time since I had a shag." He turned and looked at her, "Were you able to finish?"

Hermione grabbed his wand from the nightstand and said, "No, but I never have, so it's fine."

She handed him his wand and he looked at her with wide, shocked, eyes, "You've….never? You've never had an orgasm?"

She shook her head and shrugged, "No. It's no big deal though, it's not all that uncommon. A lot of women can't orgasm. I'm just one of them."

Draco cast a quick scourgify on them, and tossed his wand aside, "I bet I could get you to orgasm." He shifted so that he was hovering over her now. He leaned down and whispered into her ear, "I bet I can make you scream my name." He lifted his head and looked into her curious eyes and then she smiled.

"I'd like to see you try," she challenged.

He smirked at her and said, "Close your eyes."

She gave him a wry look but complied and closed her eyes. She waited for something to happen and was about to say something when she felt his hot breath, followed by his tongue, on one of her breasts. He licked and circled her nipple until it hardened, then nibbled at it until she started to squirm and whimper in pleasure. He did the same to the other one and she wiggled beneath him, instinctively grinding her hips into his. As he worked her breasts with his mouth, one hand roamed down her stomach and into her knickers, cupping her heat. With his thumb, he circled her clit and she let out a moan.

"More," she whispered, her eyes still closed.

He continued to circle and put more pressure on her throbbing clit as he started trailing kisses between her breasts and down her stomach and straight towards her heat. He removed his hand from inside her knickers and in one hard tug, he ripped them apart and tossed them aside, then replaced his thumb with his mouth and she arched her back at the unusual sensation.

"More," she said again huskily; urgently.

He kissed and licked her as her hands went to his hair and she started threading her fingers through it. When she was whimpering and felt like she couldn't handle anymore he started sucking her, right at her throbbing clit. The sensation was so overpowering that she half moaned, half screamed out his name and wriggled under him.

"Oh merlin.. oh.. oh… OH!," she shuddered and came and he licked her up like she was a delectable dessert. She was still having rippling spasms as he trailed his lips and tongue back up her stomach, between her breasts, along her neck, and finally her lips.

She looked at him with half closed eyes and said, "Wow…I… I… just wow."

Draco chuckled and smoothed out her hair and tucked it behind her ears, "Looks like you definitely can orgasm." He gave her a cocky grin, "I told you so."

She smiled, "I think I'm alright with being wrong on this one." She yawned and stretched, a single shudder ran through her once more as she relaxed onto one of his pillows. "I don't think I can move. My legs feel like jello. That was definitely one of the best shags of my life… ever."

He kissed her forehead and said softly, "You don't have to leave if you don't want too."

She closed her heavy eyes, exhaustion from her long work day, the drinking, and her orgasm hitting her all at once. "Mmm… ok."

Using his wand, Draco turned off the lights and laid down next to her, his arm loosely laying across her waist. Her breathing became heavy and even and he knew she was already asleep. He smiled to himself as he closed his eyes and touched his forehead to hers, sleep finally hitting him as well

When Hermione woke the next morning, the first thing she realized was that the sheets on the bed were not hers. She looked at her pillow in confusion, wondering when she had put dark blue sheets on her bed before she realized that she wasn't in her room. She shifted her head and winced as her eyes met a stream of sunlight coming through Draco's curtains.

"Ow," she said, turning over onto her back and placing an arm over her eyes. She bumped into a body next to her and peered over to find Draco sitting up in bed, drinking a coffee, and reading the Daily Prophet. He looked over at her and chuckled before reaching over to his nightstand and grabbing a vial, "Here, I had a feeling you'd need this."

She took the proffered vial, "What is it?" she asked, sitting up slowly.

"Hangover potion. I also have fresh coffee for you when you're up for it," he said, going back to the paper.

Hermione drank the potion in one quick motion and set the vial aside, laying back down with her eyes closed until her head stopped throbbing. "What time is it?" she asked.

"Nearly seven in the morning," he said.

The potion already working its magic, Hermione sat up making sure to pool the sheets around her chest, and Draco conjured up a mug of hot, steaming coffee. Hermione took a delicate sip and looked at him, "Hazelnut creamer?" she asked.

He nodded, "It's what you usually use, right?"

She nodded, wondering how he knew that, and sipped some more. "So, about last night..."

Draco tensed, and cursed under his breath.

One side of her mouth pulled up in a grin, "I just wanted to say… thank you. For thinking about my intentions because I was drunk."

His shoulders relaxed slightly, "You're welcome."

"The shag wasn't that bad either," she said simply, taking another long pull from her mug.

Draco cocked a brow at her, "'Wasn't that bad', huh? I think you're brain is still a little muddled in there, because I'm pretty sure you told me I was the best shag you ever had."

Hermione blushed, forgetting that part. "Well, maybe some other time we can have a repeat performance. One where I'm not quite as inebriated."

She lifted her eyes to his and saw them smouldering as he said, "Just let me know when."

She nodded, "Will do. But right now, I need to shower and get ready for work. Thanks for the coffee." She leaned over quickly and kissed his cheek before she slipped out of bed and walked around his room, still stark naked, gathering her discarded clothing. She found her knickers, torn in half, and picked them up with her pinky, and arching a brow towards Draco. He merely shrugged and flashed a grin. She rolled her eyes and added the garment to the pile in her arms. As she got to the door and opened it, she looked over her shoulder and asked, "Are you coming, or what?"

He didn't need to be asked twice.

Chapter Text

Hermione groaned as she looked at her watch. She was late for work. For the first time since she started working at the Ministry, she was late. Maybe she shouldn't have invited Draco to shower with her, especially since she knew she was already running behind. But the way he looked at her made her want him just as badly as he seemed to want her. And what she had wanted was Draco, shagging her senseless.

Which is precisely what he had done, and why she was late for work. She recalled, with a faint smile as she hurried along the Ministries coordinators to her office, how her back was pressed up against the cool tiles of the bathroom shower, her legs around Draco's waist, holding onto him as he pounded into her until she came… again. That was twice he made her do that. She shivered slightly at the thought that he would be able to do that every time they decided to have sex and her face grew pink at the thought of it.

She rounded the corner and saw that Harry was pacing in front of her office door.

"Harry?" she called out, walking quickly to him.

"Hey, where've you been?" he asked, as she unlocked her door.

"Running late… drank too much last night and ended up sleeping in longer than usual," she said steadily. It wasn't necessarily a lie.. she did drink too much and she did sleep in.. she just didn't specify which bed. Besides, Harry really didn't to hear the specific details of her and Draco's relationship. She glanced up at him, "Did you need something?"

Harry frowned, "We have a meeting together. I was going to go over a case with you. Remember? I told you about it last night."

Hermione sighed and leaned back in her chair, "If you told me last night while we were all out drinking, then no, I don't remember. I had quite a few drinks before I finally went home."

"Did you end up staying the whole hour? I tried looking for you but couldn't find you," he said, pulling out a folder from the inside of his robe.

"I was there for almost forty-five minutes. A little less than what I promised, but I had had enough to drink and just wanted to go home and sleep." She motioned for him to hand her the files and she leafed through them.

They talked about the case for almost an hour before Ron knocked on the door, interrupting them. "Hey, what's going on in here?" he asked cheerily.

"Just going over a case with, Harry," said Hermione, not looking up from the current file she was reading.

Harry looked over at Ron, "So how did last night go? Did you meet up with Pansy after you left the bar?"

Ron blushed and scratched his head, "Yeah… we met up. We, uh, decided to go ahead and accept the match. She's.. she's really not that bad, I guess. We just got back from filling out the paperwork at the marriage law department. Ceremony will be in a month."

Hermione looked up at him and smiled, "That's great, Ron! See, I told you that you just needed to give her a chance and talk to her. Those Slytherins from school aren't as horrible as they once were."

"Oh, our first meeting went awful.. in the beginning at least," he said, as he sat down next to Harry. "She started going on about how she wouldn't be used as a breeding mill, or something like that. I asked her what the bloody hell she was talking about and she said that there is no way she'd ever agree to having seven kids, like my mum did. I told her good, because there is no way in hell I'd want that many either. She finally calmed down and we were able to talk. Then we met up a week later at a bar and talked more and… I dunno. We seem to get along. Did you know that she stopped believing in all that blood purity stuff? That's kind of cool I think," he said with half-grin.

Hermione bit her tongue and refrained from saying how much of a prat he had been when she tried explaining that Draco didn't believe in that stuff either. Instead she said, "That's wonderful."

"I, uh… we also slept together, last night," Ron said, his cheeks turning the color of a beet.

Hermione and Harry gaped at him.

"You what?" asked Hermione.

"We slept together. When I met up with her last night, I was… well, I was pissed drunk and I kissed her right when I got there and one thing led to another and…"

Hermione and Harry both started begging him to stop and Ron grinned sheepishly.

"Ron, do you really think that was wise? You were drunk. Don't you think your first time should have been while sober?" Hermione asked. Hypocrite, a little voice inside her head said. She reminded herself that her and Draco had been married for a month and really got to know each other first. It was completely different. Not really, said the voice again, but she ignored it.

Ron shrugged, "She didn't seem to mind. And it wasn't like I was so drunk that I don't remember anything today. We're going to go house hunting this weekend sometime," he said, changing the subject, "She doesn't want to live at her place anymore and there's no way we're living at the Burrow with Mum and dad."

"There's a few places in Godric's Hollow that are available," said Harry with a grin. "We could be neighbors."

Ron chuckled, "We'll see. Anyways, I'm meeting Pansy for lunch. See you two later."

After Ron left Harry looked at Hermione and sighed, "I'm glad that he's finally found someone. It was getting bloody irritating how much he was moping about and complaining about, well… you." He looked at Hermione apologetically.

Hermione snorted, "I'm glad he's finally moved passed me too. I hope this means that he'll finally be ok about me and Draco being married."

"Well I hope he realizes that this means he'll probably be seeing Malfoy more than he ever thought he would, since Pansy is one of his friends and all," said Harry with a smirk.

Hermione shrugged, "Hopefully, but I have a feeling he'll always have some sort of hard feelings towards Draco," she said, going back to the paperwork on her desk.

Harry glanced at his watch and sighed, "I need to get going. I have a lunch meeting with the other aurors about this case. Thanks, by the way, I think with your advice, we can figure this out now," he grinned at her and walked around her desk and kissed her cheek. "If I don't see you later, Ginny says to let you know that dinner will be at six tomorrow. You're still coming, right?"

Hermione nodded, "Yes. I'm really looking forward to it."

"Me too," he smiled as he walked towards her office door, "See ya, Mione. And don't forget to eat lunch," he said sternly.

"Don't worry, I'll make sure she eats," said a voice behind Harry, making him jump slightly.

Hermione glanced up and smiled, "Hey Draco."

Draco peered in the doorway next to Harry. "Hey. I just got out of a meeting at St. Mungo's and I figured I'd bring you over some lunch on my way home," he said as he lifted a take-out bag. "You left in a hurry this morning and I'm pretty sure you didn't eat breakfast."

Hermione nodded. "You'd be correct. I'm starving," she said, a blush rising on her face and she only hoped that Harry didn't ask why she didn't have breakfast.

Harry quirked a brow but didn't say anything then turned to the blonde to him, "Thanks for making sure she eats. I'm glad someone other than me make sure she takes care of herself," he said.

Draco smirked, "Well, it is my job ya know, taking care of my wife."

"Um, hello, I'm right here," she said, getting up and walking over to them, crossing her arms in front of her, glaring at the two.

"And that's my cue to head out," said Harry grinning, "See you two tomorrow."

Draco gave Harry a nod in confirmation and Hermione said goodbye as she eyed the food bags in Draco's hand. "Are those burritos I smell?" she asked.

He brought the bags up to her eye level, "Yup."

She snatched one of the bags from his hand and turned to head back to her desk, Draco following her in and closing the door behind him.

Hermione unwrapped her overstuffed burrito and moaned as she bit into it, "Oh Godric, this hits the spot."

Draco chuckled, opening his own burrito and taking a bite. "Maybe you should keep some food in your office, incase there are other mornings where you're running late," he said, wiggling his eyebrows.

Hermione gave him a wry look, "I don't plan on making a habit of being late to work."

"And shags in the shower? Are those something you don't want to make a habit out of?" he asked, cocking an eyebrow at her direction, making her blush.

"Well, I don't mind the occasional uh, shag in the shower, as long as it's at the regular time, or earlier, so that I don't have to worry about being late to work."

Draco nodded, taking another bite of his burrito.

"Did you hear the update about Pansy and Ron?" Hermione asked.

"You mean the fact that they're engaged now or the fact that they've already slept together?" asked Draco.

"How do you know that they slept together? I only just found out…" she said.

Draco shrugged, "Pansy owled me a little while ago. Wanted me to thank you for telling her to give Ron a chance."

Hermione smiled, "Well, I'm glad things worked out between them. Though this will probably mean that you and Ron will be seeing more of each other."

Draco grunted and continued to eat his burrito as Hermione smirked at him.

They talked as they ate and when they were done, Hermione vanished the trash with a flick of her wand. Draco stood and said, "Well, I need to head back to my lab. I'm doing a double order today so that I can have tomorrow free."

Hermione smiled at him, "Thank you, for agreeing to come to dinner at Harry and Ginny's tomorrow. It means a lot to me."

Draco shrugged as he grinned down at her, "I guess Potter isn't so bad. And out of all the Weasley's, I'd say the Weaslette is my favorite. Just don't tell her I said that," he said with a serious tone that made Hermione laugh.

"Don't worry, your secret is safe with me," she said. On a sigh, she glanced at the paperwork on her desk, "I should get back to work."

Draco lifted an eyebrow, "What? No kiss goodbye?" he said teasingly.

Hermione chuckled and rolled her eyes. She stood up and motioned with her finger for him to lean over her desk and when he did, she kissed his cheek.

He grinned and said, "See you tonight."

She nodded, "Yes though I may be home a bit later than usual, to make up for being late this morning."

"I figured as much," he said, walking over to the door. He turned and gave a small wave as he left her office and Hermione sat back down and went back to work, though her mind kept drifting back to Draco and their shower-shag. She blushed at the memory and was looking forward to a repeat tomorrow, when she didn't have to worry about work and just enjoy being thoroughly ravished.

The rest of the work day seemed to move incredibly slow, and by the time Hermione floo'd back to her room, she almost felt too tired to have dinner. But she knew that if she didn't go, then Draco would come looking for her. So she changed out of her work clothes and into some comfortable clothing, a t-shirt and jeans, and went down to the dining room.

Dinner went as usual, with small talk between Draco, Hermione, and Narcissa, though Hermione kept yawning every few minutes and apologizing every time, "Sorry about that, I'm just so tired."

Narcissa looked over at Hermione, a worried expression on her face, "Are you alright? You aren't feeling sick, are you?"

Hermione shook her head, "No, it's nothing like that. I went out last night to celebrate my friend, Ginny, who won a quidditch game for their team and I didn't get to sleep at my usual time."

Hermione could feel Draco smirking, even if she didn't look at him. Smug prat, she thought to herself.

"Well, at least tomorrow is the weekend so you can catch up on sleep," said Narcissa.

Hermione nodded, "That's exactly my plan. In fact, after dinner I think I'm going to run a bath and read then head to bed early." She glanced at Draco, "You didn't need any help in the lab tonight, did you?"

He shook his head, "No, I got it."

Hermione nodded and said goodnight to Narcissa and Draco and made her way upstairs. She gathered her pajamas, a book, and her wand and made her way to her bathroom to turn on the tubs faucets. When the tub was filled, she slipped in and used her wand to levitate a book so she could read without it getting it wet. She wondered briefly if Draco was done working in his lab and smiled to herself when she heard a knock on the bathroom door.

Chapter Text

Hermione schooled her features as she said, "Come in."

The door opened a crack and Draco stuck his head through, "Hey, mind if I keep you company?"

Hermione shrugged lightly, her eyes on the book in front of her, "Sure, but I thought you were going to be busy in your lab tonight?"

"Funny enough, I couldn't concentrate," he said, leaning a hip against her bathroom counter.

"Oh? And why's that?" she asked innocently, glancing at him.

His eyes narrowed and she saw a flash of heat behind them, "I think you know why."

Hermione chuckled and grabbed her loofa from the hook on the wall near her head and squirted some body wash onto it. She lathered it up and said, "You know, if you're going to be in here, you could at least help me wash my back."

That flash of heat, along with a bit of lust, passed over his eyes again as he walked over to the tub and made a reach for the soapy loofa, but Hermione pulled it away, "Don't you think it would be easier if you were actually in the tub? I wouldn't want you to get your clothes all wet."

Draco eyed her as he began to unbutton his shirt, "Are you sure you got sorted into the right house?" he asked. "You're acting very Slytherin."

Hermione shrugged lightly, "Maybe you're just rubbing off on me."

He flashed her a grin that made her chuckle as he stripped, then a shudder rippling through her as he disposed of his boxers and tossed them aside. She moved her legs as he stepped into the tub so that he was sitting on the opposite side, facing her. They stared at each other for a moment before Hermione said, "This is nice. Just a nice, warm bath before bed." She rubbed her foot on the inside of his thigh and saw him hitch a breath. "Wouldn't you agree?"

Draco smirked and grabbed her foot, tickling it and making her flinch and pull her foot back, glaring at him. "You fight dirty," she stated.

He leaned back against the tub and smirked while raising one of his dark blond eyebrows, "I do believe you needed help washing your back?"

"Hm? Oh, yes," she handed him the loofa and he took it in his fingers and examined it, wrinkling his nose. He tossed it over the tub out of reach.

"Hey! Why'd you do that for?" she asked, reaching for her wand, but his Seeker-like reflexes grabbed it before she could and tossed it as well. He smirked at her and said, "Oops. Sorry."

She crossed her arms over her chest and huffed out a breath, but he just motioned for her to turn around and on a sigh, she complied, sitting in the middle of the tub. She squeaked in surprise when he placed his hands on either side of her hips and pulled her closer to him, then took the creamy body wash, which smelled like vanilla and lavender, and squirted some in his hand. He pushed her back slightly so that she leaned forward and started spreading the soap on her back and onto her shoulders, kneading the knots that she didn't even know was there.

"Mmm… that feels good," she said with her eyes closed.

Draco grinned. "So how was your day?" he asked conversationally, as if they were just sitting around talking, not naked and in a tub together, his hands working magic on her back.

"Long," she said, "Tiring. Had a few meetings today and lots of paperwork. How was your day?"

"Busy as well. Had that meeting at St. Mungo's I told you about then came home and did two batches of Dreamless Sleep potion. It's still in the cauldron downstairs actually, cooling down."

Done with her back, he wound a one hand around her stomach and pulled her even closer, so that her back was flat against him and her head rested against his chest. In painfully slow movements, he rubbed her chest then massaged each breast with his hands, before moving slowly to her stomach. She hummed in pleasure then hitched a breath as one hand stayed on her breast and the other slipped between her legs and inserted one, then two fingers into the center of her heat, his thumb circling her clit expertly. She arched her back and rocked her hips slowly against his hand, the hand on her breast rolling her nipple between his thumb and finger, giving her double the sensation.

She struggled to speak but was unable too and instead just moaned in glorious pleasure as the sensations kept on coming, until she was at the brink of ecstasy. Knowing she was close, Draco added more pressure to her clit, squeezed her breast nipple, and leaned his head down to nip at her ear. She shuddered out a breath as she orgasmed, her muscles spasming around Draco's fingers, and when she was done, she fell back against him again, completely sated.

Draco chuckled, "Feeling relaxed I take it?"

"Mmm… oh yes," she said sleepily.

He shifted her so that she laid sideways on his lap, then hooked an arm under legs and hoisted both of them out of the tub, her eyes opening in surprise, "What are you doing?"

"Putting you to bed," he said simply. "Grab my wand as we pass by the counter, would ya?"

She complied then closed her eyes as he walked her across the bathroom and into her room, placing her in the middle of her bed. He used his wand to cast a quick drying spell so that neither she nor her bed were wet, then waved a quick warming charm over her. He pulled the covers over naked body and she watched him as he went back into her bathroom and came back out with his clothes back on. "What about you?" she asked, sitting up slightly, looking at him curiously.

"What about me?" he asked.

"Well, you pleasured me, don't you want me to uh, return the favor?" she asked shyly.

He grinned and shrugged, "I'm alright. But I won't mind taking a rain check." Hermione blushed again as he continued, "You really looked exhausted tonight, so get some sleep and I'll see you in the morning, ok?"

She nodded, laying her head back on her pillow as he noxed the lights in her room and closed her bedroom door quietly.

Once in the hallway, he went to his room and to his own bathroom, stripping is clothes again and standing under a very cold shower, willing his erection to go away so he could go back to his lab to finish his work.

The next morning, Draco started stirring awake when he felt his bed dip slightly and the covers of his sheets slowly pulling away from his body. It wasn't until he felt the gentle tug of his pajama bottoms being pulled down that he opened one bleary eye and saw Hermione hovering over him and his flaccid cock. "Hermione?" he asked, his voice still scratchy from sleep. He was slightly disappointed that she wasn't still naked like how he left her, but instead was wearing a spaghetti strap tank top with matching cotton pajama bottoms.

She smiled up at him, "Good morning."

"What are you…." but his words were cut off as she took his cock into her hands and began to slowly pump it, trying to stimulate it awake. She took him fully in her mouth, which was rather easy since he wasn't hard yet, and he closed his eyes as her tongue did wonders, slipping and sliding over every inch of him.

Hermione felt incredibly pleased with herself as his cock started to stiffen while he was still in her mouth, and before long, he was rock hard and moaning. She licked his head as she pumped the length of him, going faster in rhythm until she saw him clutching his sheets.

"Hermione… fuck… I'm going to… you better stop before I come in your mouth," he said breathlessly.

She looked up and raised an eyebrow, her hand still pumping him, "And why would that make me stop?"

He lifted his head slightly and looked at her, "You… you don't mind?"

She smiled and shook her head, placing her mouth on him again and sucking and licking the slit at his head. She took him fully again, sucking harder, and she felt him shudder and release inside of her, swallowing as she felt the warm, sticky goodness hit the back of her throat.

His breathing ragged and his body like jello, he laid on his bed, panting. Hermione looked up at him and smiled, wiping her mouth with a finger and licking it.

"Hermione, that was the best damn wake up call ever," Draco said.

"Yeah?" she asked, crawling up next to him and laying her head on his pillow, "Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I wasn't sure when you wanted me to cash in that raincheck, so when I woke up this morning and remembered, I decided to act on it now."

He brushed a wild curl from her face to behind her ear, "Can't say I can complain with that logic. Though it is still early and you were told that you should sleep in."

"It's nearly eight, that is sleeping in for me," she said, sitting up. "I'm going to head down to the kitchens and see if breakfast is ready. Want to come?"

"I'm pretty sure I already did that this morning, thanks to you," he said with a wicked grin.

She smacked his arm, calling him a git while she blushed. He conceded that he was then got up and pulled up his pajama bottoms and tossed on a plain white t-shirt, then the two of them made their way to the dining room. He slung an arm over Hermione's shoulder comfortably, much in the same manner that Harry or Ron would have done, and Hermione realized that she and Draco really were friends now… with some side benefits. She smiled to herself as they entered the dining and spotted Narcissa standing near the table, but had not yet sat down. She turned around, about to wish them both a good morning but raised a thin eyebrow at the two of them instead, Draco's arm still slung over Hermione's shoulders.

Draco cleared his throat and removed his arm then walked over to his mother and kissed her cheek, "Good morning, Mother."

"Good morning dear," she turned her attention to Hermione, "Good morning, Hermione. Sleep well?" she inquired.

Hermione blushed slightly and nodded, "Yes. And you?"

Draco pulled out the chair for his mother at the head of the table.

"I slept well," she said, then placed a hand on the chair, "Actually, before we sit down, I wanted to talk to you about something."

"Is everything ok?" Draco asked, giving his mother a curious look.

"Oh yes, everything is fine. It's just that.. well, when your father passed, I became the Head of the Malfoy house. But now that you're grown and married, I think that role should be passed down to you."

Draco frowned, "Ok… but, I already do most of the things Father did… what is going to change?"

"Well, for starters, you should be seated at the head of the table, with your wife to your left. I'll sit on your right."

"Oh," said Draco, looking at the seat he had recently pulled out for his mother, "Are you sure? I don't mind sitting where I normally do."

She waved a dismissive hand, "Of course I'm sure. Now, sit down and we'll have breakfast."

Hermione watched the exchange and was slightly confused if it really mattered who was where, but she sat in her designated seat, now facing Narcissa who was smiling at the two of them.

The house elves brought out food and the three of them tucked in.

After a few silent moments, Narcissa cleared her throat, "There was also something else I wanted to discuss with you both."

Draco raised a brow at his mother as he continued eating, "Ok.. what is it?"

"Well, as you are both aware, I am finally in contact with my sister, Andromeda, and well, she was saying how lonely it was raising Teddy by herself, especially now that he goes to school during the day. She asked if maybe I would be willing to move in with her and I told her that I would think upon it."

Draco looked surprised at his mother, "Do you want to? Move in with her, I mean?"

"I really don't know. The manor has been my home for many years now, and despite the awful things that happened here, there are many more good memories that outway those bad ones."

"Well, whatever you decide, we'll support you, Mother," said Draco.

Hermione nodded her agreement, then furrowed her brow, "Why doesn't Andromeda and Teddy move in here? It's not like we don't have the room."

Both Draco and Narcissa looked at Hermione. Narcissa asked, "I.. would you be alright with that? I had thought about it, honestly, but didn't want to make you feel obligated."

Hermione gave her a smile and a slight shrug, "I've known Andromeda for years and Teddy since right after he was born. I wouldn't mind at all."

Narcissa gave her daugher-in-law a smile, "Thank you, dear. Draco?" she asked her son.

Draco looked between the two women and gave a nod of assent, "I don't mind. As long as Teddy doesn't go into the lab downstairs, it'll be fine."

"We could add an age line to the doorway of the lab?" Hermione suggested.

Draco nodded, "Yes, that will work."

Narcissa's eyes glistened, "Thank you. Both of you. I'll owl Andromeda after breakfast and see what she says."

They ate the rest of their meal and then Hermione had the rest of the day to lounge about until she and Draco had to go Harry and Ginny's for dinner. She decided to spend her time by the pool, seeing as she had yet to check it out. She walked idly through the gardens until she came upon a gigantic inground pool. She dipped a toe in and and found that it was pleasantly cool, but not so much that she wouldn't want to swim in it. She shed her terry cloth robe and dove in quietly, making a few laps, before she found a large inner tube in a shed and floated in the pool, reading a book and relaxing. A house elf came by and delivered lunch for her and she wondered briefly what Draco was up too. She knew he had to mail off his potions to St. Mungo's but after that, she didn't know if he had any plans. She ate her lunch, lounged a bit more, then took a few more laps before going back to the manor.

As she passed the library, she noticed the door was open and Draco was sitting in one of the arm chairs, reading a book.

She knocked softly and gave him a small smile when he looked up at her, "So this is where you've been hiding," she said, sitting on the arm of his chair.

Draco nodded and closed the book, "It's rare that I don't have anything to do on a Saturday so I picked up a book I've been wanting to read." He fingered the terry cloth robe that she was wearing, "Did you finally check out the pool?"

She nodded, "Yes. It's very lovely. We'll have to make sure we take some precautions if Teddy does live here though. I'm, not sure if he can swim and I don't want to take any risks."

"We can put a fence around it and have it password protected," Draco said, his hand resting on her knee, his fingers rubbing it absently.

Hermione nodded and felt flustered at his touch, "That's probably the safest option." She rested her hand on top of his to still his movements, "I should probably go shower and start getting ready."

Draco looked at the time from his pocket watch, then arched a brow at her, "We still have a couple hours… how long does it take you to get ready?"

"Well, that all depends…" she said, looking at their hands which were still on her knee, his thumb caressing her now since his fingers were trapped under her hand.

"On what?" he asked.

"On if you need to shower as well," she said with a coy smile.

Draco smiled back and nodded. He used his wand to return the book to it's shelf and the two of them made their way to Hermione's bathroom.

A little while later, Draco was sitting on the end of Hermione's bed, dressed in black slacks and a dark green button up shirt. He was flipping through one of her books that was on her bookshelf, waiting for her to come out of the bathroom so they could head to the Potters.

"Are you almost done?" he asked the closed bathroom door.

Hermione peaked out and narrowed her eyes at him, "Don't go blaming me for running late, you're just as much at fault as I am." She shut the door as he smirked. They had shagged, multiple times, in the shower and he wouldn't be sorry about that in the least.

Another ten minutes later and Hermione finally came out of the bathroom, her damp hair pinned up into a bun and wearing a summer dress. She turned her exposed back to him and asked, "Can you zip me up, please."

He walked over and zipped up her dress and when he was done, she turned around and kissed his cheek, "Thanks. I'm ready now."

"About bloody time," he said, though there was no malice in his voice. He tucked a stray curl that had already gotten loose from her bun and tucked it behind her ear, then they both stepped into the fireplace and floo'd to Harry's.

Harry and Ginny had bought a little cottage in Godric's Hollow soon after getting married. He had been living at Grimmauld Place, fixing it up the best he could, but decided that it was entirely too large for just the two of them. He and Ginny had agreed to get their own house and let the Order use Grimmauld Place for visitors or the rare occasion of hiding someone who was in trouble.

Draco and Hermione stepped out of the fireplace, brushing off the soot that they had acquired in their transit. "Harry? Ginny?" Hermione called out.

Ginny poked her out through a door, the kitchen from what Draco guessed, and smiled at her visitors, "Hey! Just in time. Dinner's just about ready. Harry's had to stop off at the store for a minute but should be back soon." She disappeared back into the kitchen just as Harry apparated into his living room near the front door.

"Harry!" said Hermione, who jumped slightly as his sudden appearance had startled her.

Harry grinned at her sheepishly, "Sorry Mione. Didn't mean to scare you." He set a bag down on the couch as he walked over to them and gave Hermione a hug, then turned his attention to Draco and held out his hand, "Draco. Good to see you," he said.

Draco nodded as he shook Harry's hand, "Thanks, um, you too."

Harry went back to the bag and pulled out a bottle of wine and some beers, "Want one?" he asked Draco, shaking the six pack lightly at his direction. Draco nodded and then he and Hermione followed Harry into the kitchen.

Ginny turned from the stove to give Hermione, as well has Draco a hug, as Harry poured his wife and best friend a glass of wine, then opened two beer bottles, handing one to Draco.

"Dinner's just about ready. Hermione, can you put plates on the table? And love, can you get the silverware?" Hermione and Harry nodded, each doing their duties as Draco glanced at Ginny, "Is there, uh, anything I can help with?"

Ginny smiled at him and shook her head, "No, it's your first time over for dinner so you're exempt from helping out. Next time though, I'm putting you to work."

Draco grinned at the redhead and nodded. He walked over to the direction that Hermione and Harry had gone and found them through another door which lead to a small dining room.

"I'm going to go help Ginny with the rest of the stuff. You two make yourselves comfortable," said Harry, walking back into the kitchen.

Hermione and Draco sat down, both sipping their drinks, "So we've been here for almost ten minutes and no one has hexed anyone yet. I'd say this is a good start to the evening," Hermione said.

"Well, it is still early," Draco teased, sipping his beer. He had never had muggle beer before, which he assumed this was, and was pleasantly surprised how much he liked it.

He offered Hermione a sip and she wrinkled her nose, "No thanks. I don't like the taste of beer. I prefer wine or butterbeer."

Draco shrugged and drank some more. A moment later, Harry and Ginny came back, both levitating different dishes of food onto the dining room table.

As the four of them began to pile food on their plates, Harry said, "So, I heard that Andromeda and Teddy will be staying at the manor for a bit."

Hermione frowned, "How did you hear about that already? We only discussed that this morning."

"I was visiting Teddy when Andromeda received an owl from her sister, then they talked through the floo for a bit." Harry explained.

Draco nodded, "Yes, Mother told me that they're going to try living there for a month and see how they like it. After that, they'll either make it permanent or go back to their old place."

"I didn't know they made a decision already," said Hermione happily, "It'll be nice having more people there. It's just so big and there's only just the three of us."

"For now," said Ginny, wiggling her eyebrows at Hermione. Hermione just rolled her eyes and took a lengthy sip of her wine.

The two couples chatted as they ate and when dinner was done, Harry took Draco outside to the back porch where they took the remaining beers while Ginny and Hermione cleared the table.

"So," said Ginny conversationally, "You two finally shagged huh?"

Hermione nearly choked on her sip of wine she was taking, "What? How do you-"

"I'm the one who told you to go home and shag your husband, remember?" Ginny said with a smirk.

Hermione blushed as she turned her attention to the sink, "I forgot about that, actually."

"So?" asked Ginny, arms crossed over her chest and giving her friend an impatient look.

Hermione sighed, "Yes."

Ginny squealed, "I knew it! The chemistry around you two is different than it was a month ago."

"I don't think much has changed between us honestly," said Hermione, who started washing dishes by hand. "We treat each other how we treat our friends, but with the side benefit of shagging. We're not in love by any means, but we're comfortable with each other."

"That's good," said Ginny, watching Hermione. "You know, there are easier, faster ways to do the dishes."

Hermione chuckled, "You sound like Draco… I always default to doing dishes by hand since that is what I grew up with."

With a wave of her wand, Ginny set the rest of the dishes to wash themselves, then took the bottle of wine and the two of them went to the living room. As Ginny topped them off, Hermione asked, "So when are you and Harry going to have kids?"

Ginny shrugged, "I don't know. We're not really trying at the moment. I still have another few years until I'm required to have a child, and since I'm so busy with Quidditch and Harry with the aurors, we're not really focusing on that right now. Maybe in a few years, after I've played for a bit longer. I'm just not ready to become a housewife and stay at home mum."

"You don't have to give up Quidditch just because you become a mum, Gin. You can hire a nanny, or I'm sure your mum will watch any grandchildren you give them so that you can live out your dream career."

"Maybe. I guess we'll see when the time comes," she eyed Hermione, "Now that you and Draco are shagging, have you two talked about kids?"

"Nothing's changed in that area, we're still waiting a year. Right now we're just… enjoying each other," she said with a smile.

A moment went by before Ginny said, "I wonder how the boys are doing by themselves."

"Should we go save them?" asked Hermione.

Ginny giggled, "Probably. They're either getting drunk off their arses and getting along or they're ignoring each other."

"Or they hexed each other," offered Hermione, as they walked towards the backyard.

Harry and Draco had not hexed each other, nor had they been ignoring one another. They didn't have a lot in common, but they both enjoyed Quidditch, so their main topic of conversation when the girls found them was arguing about which team would win the finals.

"Harpies, of course," said Harry.

"You're only saying that because you're married to one of them," said Draco dryly. He smiled at Hermione as she came into view. She smiled back as she sat in a chair next to him, while Ginny sat next to Harry.

Ginny scowled at Draco, "No, he says that because we will win. We're going against Puddlemere United and their seeker is nowhere as good as ours."

"Ginny's going to play seeker," Harry whispered loudly to Draco and Hermione.

Hermione grinned, "When's the game?"

"In two weeks," said Ginny excitedly. "You're coming right?"

"Wouldn't miss it," promised Hermione.

Ginny turned her direction to Draco and raised a brow in question, which he returned back, "What?"

"Are you coming to the game?" she asked.

"Oh. I wasn't aware I was invited," he said honestly.

"Of course you are. So will you come?" Ginny asked.

Draco scrunched his face as if he was really thinking about it, making Ginny growl. He finally grinned at her and said, "I guess I can clear my schedule and attend."

Ginny rolled her eyes, "Thanks ever so much." But she returned his grin.

Harry and Draco continued sipping their beers while Hermione and Ginny drank their wine. They returned into the house to have some cherry pie that Ginny had made and once dessert was done, Hermione and Draco returned to the manor.

As they stepped through Hermione's fireplace, she grinned at Draco, "So tell me honestly, did you have a good time?"

Draco shrugged indifferently, "I guess."

She huffed and rolled her eyes, but smirked at him, "Admit it, you and Harry got along just fine and it wasn't so bad."

"I will agree to no such thing," he said stubbornly.

Another eye roll later, Hermione went on her toes to kiss his cheek, "Well, thank you anyways. Are you still planning on meeting Blaise and Theo tonight?"

Draco sighed and scratched the back of his head, "I suppose. I'd rather just stay home though."

"Why don't you just invite them over to hang out? Is there a rule that it has to be at a pub?"

"No, I guess not. I'll floo them and see what they say," he said.

"Alright. I'm probably going to change and head to the library for a bit to read. I'll leave you guys alone for your male bonding time, or whatever it is you do."

"We usually just drink, talk shit, and punch each other goodbye," Draco said good naturally.

"Well, have fun," she said chuckling.

A few hours later, Hermione emerged from the library to head to bed. Draco's door was closed but she heard muffled voices behind, sounding like a bunch of men laughing about something. She grinned as she turned to her room, wondering if she'd be able to talk Draco into taking a dip in the pool tomorrow… just the two of them.

Chapter Text

Two weeks flew by and Hermione and Draco were getting along better each day. They still argued, but mostly over silly things, and mostly done in jest. They didn't shag every day, but when they did, it was frantic and fast and hot, needing to get their sexual frustrations out and using each other for that reason. Outside the shagging, they acted like friends. If they kissed, it was on the cheek or sometimes a forehead. The only time their lips connected was during sex. It worked for them and they were happy with how everything was going.

Andromeda and Teddy moved in the previous week. Teddy was hesitant at first, being in such a large place. But once he saw Hermione, he instantly felt better and she gave him a tour of the manor, letting him pick out a bedroom on the same wing that Andromeda and Narcissa were on. At seven years old, he wasn't ready to go to Hogwarts, so his Grandmum entered him into muggle primary school for the upcoming school year. Narcissa offered to get him tutors and do his schooling at the manor, but Andromeda said that Tonks always wanted her kids to attend muggle primary schools, plus that it would help with him with socialization and not be stuck in the same place all day. Teddy had mastered the ability to change his hair color, so he agreed that when he was at school, he would keep it a mousy brown, the same shade as his mother's, but when at the manor, he could switch between blue, pink, or his favorite, turquoise.

Mealtimes were livelier than ever, with two extra people, one of them being a child. Hermione didn't know if Draco and his mother ever smiled as much before. Perhaps they had, when Draco was younger and a child himself. She had seen pictures of him on the walls-he had chubby, rosy cheeks, and always wore something in the green variety. Hermione hoped that when they had kids, that they could have more color options other than Slytherin green.

Work kept Hermione busy, as usual, and Draco was now filling out orders for another Hospital in Ireland, as he was recommended by St. Mungo's for the position.

Hermione and Draco kept their promise to Ginny, no matter how exhausted they were, and found themselves in one of the top boxes at the Harpies Arena along with Harry, Ron, Pansy, Blaise, Daphne, Theo, and to Draco's surprise, Astoria, whose arm was linked through Theo's. Draco pulled Blaise aside to ask what was going on and according to Blaise, Theo filled out one of the Compatibility Assessment Forms and they matched him up with Astoria.

Draco felt slightly uncomfortable, now with two ex-girlfriends in the same box as him, but at least they were with other blokes. Though Astoria kept shooting him glances, she didn't talk to Draco at all and Draco couldn't care less. He stuck to Hermione's side as they ate food that was served to them: fried chicken, crisps, onion rings, meat pies, sausages, pitchers of butterbeer and bottles of Firewhiskey ladened the tables. Hermione wrinkled her nose and muttered, "Is there nothing healthy around here?"

Draco smirked, piling a plate of all the fried things, "Not usually. I'm sure you could call Millie though and she'd get you something."

Hermione gave him a dismissive wave and put a little bit of everything on her plate; about half the amount that Draco did, and grabbed a butterbeer.

The game lasted almost four hours, the score tied at 275. The snitch had been seen by the Puddlemere seeker first, but Ginny was quicker and snatched it just before the other team. Their box roared with joy and while Hermione was extremely happy that her friend won the championship for her team, she was bloody exhausted and feeling nauseated from all the fried foods.

They were invited out to celebrate and while Draco accepted, Hermione declined, looking very apologetic to Harry, "I'm sorry, Harry. I just ate so much food that I feel like I'm going to puke.. literally. I promise to come over tomorrow afternoon and congratulate Ginny in person."

Hermione was about to apparate home when Draco caught her wrist, "Do you want me to accompany you?" he asked, his eyes looking worried as she looked slightly pale.

She shook her head, "No, I'm fine. Just over did it. I need to go home and sleep and I'll be better tomorrow. Go and celebrate with the others and I'll see you later, ok?"

Draco hesitated but then nodded. He leaned forward, kissed her forehead, and bade her goodnight.

The feel of apparition made her stomach lurch and she was thankful that she apparated in her room, right by the bathroom. She made it to the loo just in time and retched everything she had eaten during the game. Hermione thought hopefully that now that the foul food was out of her system, that she would start feeling normal again.

She splashed some water on her face, changed into pajamas, and went to sleep, already feeling better.

The next morning, there was a knock on her bedroom door. Hermione glanced at the clock and noted that it was a little after nine in the morning. Surprised at how much she had slept in, she mumbled a "Come in," as she rubbed her eyes and sat up.

Draco opened the door, carrying a breakfast tray. "Good morning," he said, setting the tray that contained two plates of food on her bed "Hungry?"

"Starving," she said. "I ended up throwing up everything I ate last night. I think I had food poisoning or something."

"No one else got sick," said Draco, spreading some raspberry jam on toast, "Maybe it was just too much greasy food, like you said."

"Probably," said Hermione, taking a sip of orange juice. "Anyway, I'm feeling much better this morning. I knew getting some much needed sleep would help."

Draco nodded. "Oh, I'm supposed to tell you that Mrs. Weasley is inviting us to Sunday brunch next weekend," said Draco. "Weasel, Weaslette, and Potter all reminded me to tell you. Like I can't remember a fuckin' bloody message," he said grumbling.

Hermione smiled and patted his knee, "Well, message received. I'll owl Mrs. Weasley back and let her know I'll be there. Do you want to come too?" she asked.

"Well, seeing as how I was invited by the Weasley Matriarch, it's not like I can decline now, can I?" he asked with a raised brow.

Hermione smiled and shook her head, "No, not really. And she'll probably try to shove food down your throat, saying you're too skinny."

Draco poked at his own stomach, "No I'm not," he said questioningly.

"She says that about everyone," said Hermione with an eye roll. "Anyways, what are your plans for today?"

"I have orders to fill, you?"

"Nothing planned. Maybe take Teddy swimming after lunch. He's been asking all week and I felt bad that I've been too tired to take him after I get home from work."

Draco frowned, "Don't feel bad. You work your ass off. You don't need to feel guilty because you're tired after working all day."

"I know, which is why I told him I'd take him this weekend," she said pointedly, finishing off her bowl of fruit.

When breakfast was done, Draco called Millie to take the tray away as he got up to go to his room.

"Thanks for breakfast!" Hermione called as he opened her door. He turned to smile and give a small wave before leaving the room and closing the door behind him.

Hermione and Teddy went swimming that afternoon and she was happy to find that he knew how to swim already. Andromeda and Narcissa joined them at the poolside, chattering while sitting in lounge chairs, and sipping on cold lemonade. Draco emerged from his lab a little while later and cannon-balled into the pool, splashing the older women, who threatened to hex him if he ever did that again.

Draco, Hermione, and Teddy played in the pool until dinner time. Teddy complained as they walked back to the manor how he didn't want school to start in a few weeks because he was having too much fun.

"Remember though, Ted," said Draco, "During the weekdays, we're all very busy, so it really won't be any fun here during the day. Weekends we can all do something though."

Teddy looked up at his cousin and smiled, making his hair turn a white-blond that resembled Draco's. "Ok!"

He raced back to the manor on his own to change into dry clothes and get ready for dinner.

Throughout the following week, Hermione was still finding that she was having bouts of nausea that would just happen randomly throughout the day; sometimes it was just unpleasant and other times she had to run to the loo. She always pinpointed it on certain foods she was eating, or maybe because she was overworked and overtired most of the time.

When Sunday rolled around and she had to get to get ready for brunch, her feet barely touched the floor when her stomach rolled. She was retching over the loo when a pair of hands grabbed at her hair and held it back. She glanced at Draco with watery eyes, "Thanks," she mumbled.

"Are you alright?" he asked with concern in his eyes, "Do you want to cancel brunch today?"

"No… no. I'm fine. Really. I thought my lunch smelled funny yesterday and I think it was that. I'm better now, really."

He stepped aside, watching her as she brushed her teeth with extra toothpaste and then gave him a smile, "See, all better."

He looked at her wearily but nodded, "Ok. Come get me when you're ready."

Hermione nodded and took a quick shower before getting ready to head out.

A half hour later, she and Draco found themselves in a field that laid before the Burrow, Hermione looking green and feeling as they apparated.

Draco steadied her, "Are you sure you're ok?" he asked again.

"Yes, I'm fine, come on, everyone is waiting," she said, walking ahead and leading the way. Draco frowned behind her and told himself that if she was still having nausea and dizzying spells in a week that he would drag her to St. Mungo's himself.

They were greeted at the door then promptly lead to the backyard where the tables were set. Most of the Weasley's were already familiar with Draco being around, and those who weren't treated him like everyone else; which meant he was teased, picked on, and pranked.

"Sorry, I probably should have told you to never take anything from George," Hermione said, fighting back giggles as Draco plucked some feathers from his head.

He growled, "Noted." Then he dropped his voiced and whispered, "How are you feeling?"

"One hundred and ten percent," she said cheerily. He gave her a wry look and she batted her eyes at him playfully as everyone was called to the table for food.

Draco and Hermione sat across from Harry and Ginny, both of whom looked extremely nervous and picking at their food. Hermione kept shooting worrying glances at both of them, which were ignored.

When brunch was almost done, Harry clinked his fork to his goblet, getting everyone's attention as he stood up.

"Um, Hi everyone. We uh… we have some news," he said nervously, glancing at his wife, who smiled at him then stood, "Yes. We wanted to let you all know that we're-"

There was a squeal at the end of the table then a clatter of silverware as Mrs. Weasley ran over to her one and only daughter, "A baby!? Please tell me it's a baby!" she exclaimed.

Ginny's eyes watered and she nodded, looking first at her mother, then at everyone else, "Yes, we're going to have a baby!"

The table erupted with cheers and congratulations. When things finally calmed down, George asked, "Wait, what about Quidditch?"

Ginny shrugged, "Well, I obviously can't play now, but I can help with practices and stuff. Then I'll take a year off and when I'm ready, I can play again. I already talked to my coach and worked out a plan."

"Oh, I can't believe my baby is having a baby!" blubbered Mrs. Weasley.

"How far along are you?" asked Hermione.

"Oh, just a few weeks, barely even pregnant," said Ginny, finally eating some food.

"How did you find out so early then?" inquired Hermione.

"Well, the funny thing is, is that I kept getting sick all the time, for no apparent reason. And I was always exhausted. I remember mum saying that she always had morning sickness really early in her pregnancies. So, I went to a healer and they confirmed it," she said brightly.

Hermione smiled then went pale. Random sickness? Always tired? No… she couldn't be…. could she?

Harry saw how pale Hermione got and whispered, "Are you ok, Mione?"

"Hm?" she asked, not paying attention. He repeated his question and she nodded, "Yes, yes, I'm fine. Just, uh, thinking about a work case," she lied.

She glanced at Draco, who was busy talking to Charlie about dragon's and was glad he didn't overhear the conversation. She would need to figure out if she was indeed….. she couldn't even say it in her mind. If she was, then she'd tell him. And if not, then no need to worry him. She tried to count back when the last time she had her cycle and was coming up blank. Merlin, if she was… how far along was she? She absently placed a hand on her stomach and rubbed it. It didn't feel any different… She probably wasn't, she convinced herself. She'd just been working herself sick, literally, and stress also caused missed cycles.

In any case, the moment they returned to the manor, she was going to hold herself up in the library, looking up spells that would let someone know if they were…. gulp, pregnant.

Later that night, Hermione pulled out the book from under her bed and flipped to the page she was looking for. She chanted the incantation, waving her wand in a circular motion above her stomach and waited. A faint glow pulsed around her stomach, confirming her assumptions.

She was pregnant.

Chapter Text

Hermione told Draco the next morning, his already pale face going even more pale.

"Are… are you sure?" he croaked.

Hermione nodded, handing him the book she used, "Yes. I used this spell to confirm it last night."

Draco read it quickly and glanced at her, "May I? I just… I want to see for myself," he said.

Hermione nodded and waited while he did the spell. When he received the same results she did, Draco looked at her, his eyes wide. "We're having a baby," he said quietly.

Hermione's eyes watered, "Yes, we are. Are.. are you ok with this?"

Draco rubbed his hand over his face, scratching the one-day stubble, "Yeah.. well, I mean it's earlier than expected, but we always knew we were going to have a baby eventually." He looked at her, trying to read her face, "How do you feel about it?"

Hermione shrugged, slumping down on the edge of her bed, "I'm still in shock, I think. I wasn't expecting this at all. But then Ginny announced she was pregnant and was talking to me about her symptoms and I started wondering if I was too... " She looked at him, biting her lip, "I hope you're not mad that I didn't tell you yesterday. I wanted to confirm before I said anything."

Draco shook his head and sat down next to her, "No, it's alright. What do we do now though?"

Hermione closed her eyes and took a breath, "Well, first things first... I go to St. Mungo's and see a midwife healer to confirm and then… go from there I guess."

Draco nodded. "Do you want me to go with you to the appointment?" he asked.

Hermione nodded and looked at him, "Please?"

He nodded again and put his arm around her shoulder, kissing her temple. A few silent minutes went by before Draco said, "Oh Salazar.. Mother's never going to get tired of saying 'I told you' after this."

Hermione chuckled and nodded in agreement, "She will be quite unbearable to live with after this.".

"When do you want to go to St. Mungo's?"

"Is 'now' too soon?" she said, "I just want confirmation."

"Sure. Let me get ready and I'll meet you back here in a few minutes, ok?"

He kissed the top of her head then left, returning a few minutes later with shoes on his feet and wand in his pocket.

Taking a deep breath, Hermione and Draco floo'd to St. Mungo's (the idea of apparating made her nauseous just thinking about it), and headed to the Obstetric ward.

"Well, good news, you are most definitely pregnant," said the midwife-healer, Susan Bones-McMillan. She had just performed a diagnostic spell, similar to what Hermione and Draco did at the manor. "If it's alright with you, I'm going to see how far along are you. Just lie down here. Have you ever seen or heard of a muggle ultrasound before?"

Draco shook his head while Hermione nodded as she laid down on the table, "Yes, it's where they use a device and send ultrasonic waves to whatever they want to see and an image shows up on a screen. I went with my aunt once to one of hers."

Susan nodded, "I'll be doing something similar to that, but without the use of ultrasonic waves. The images will be shown above your abdomen as I move my wand around."

"So… we're going to see the baby?" Draco asked, slightly amazed.

Susan smiled and nodded as she placed her wand over Hermione. She muttered a spell and soon a blurry image could be seen, projected above Hermione's abdomen, just as she said it would.

"There's your baby," said Susan. A tape measure came flying out from somewhere as Draco and Hermione's eyes were transfixed on the tiny human that was currently residing in Hermione's stomach. The tape measure measured the length of the baby.

"Is the baby really that big?" asked Draco incredulously.

Susan chuckled, "No, this is a magnified image of the baby. Your baby is about 5 weeks old though, so roughly the size of peppercorn."

"Five weeks.." muttered Hermione, still gazing at the tiny human floating above her. It was wiggling around and looked a little like a gummybear. She tried to touch it but her finger went right through the image.

"Let me just check the rest of your uterus and ovaries, to make sure everything is in top shape before I let you go, alright?"

Hermione nodded and watched while Draco moved his chair closer to the image of the baby. A small hint of a smile ghosted his lips as he turned to Hermione, who finally broke her eye contact from the baby as well to look at him. They stared at eachother while Susan did her check when they heard her say. "Oh…."

The two of them looked at Susan. "Is.. is something wrong?" asked Hermione nervously, wanting to clutch her stomach to protect whatever it was that might be harming her child.

"Oh nothing is wrong, it's just.. well, if you take a look here..." she indicated to another gummybear-like blob that was out of view when Susan had initially did her scan.

Hermione gasped while Draco frowned, "What does that mean?" he asked.

"Well Mr. Malfoy, what it means, is that your wife is carrying twins," said Susan.

Draco's eyes widened in surprise, "Twins?" he whispered, looking back at the projection.

Both Hermione and Draco had gone pale and quiet. Sensing they might want some privacy to talk about this new information, Susan stopped the projection and said, "I'll leave you two alone for a few minutes while I get some pamphlets and get your prescriptions ready." She quickly and quietly slipped out the room.

Hermione sat up, her face furrowed in concentration.. "Five weeks.. twins…" She buried her face in her hands, "Oh Merlin, I'm never drinking and shagging ever again."

Draco hadn't moved, still staring at where the images of his children were at. When Hermione spoke, he shook his head as if trying to focus then looked at her, "What did you say?"

Hermione removed her hands and sighed, "Five weeks… that was roughly the time I got drunk off my arse and sauntered in your room and throwing myself at you. I'm pretty sure that's when the baby, er, babies, were conceived."

Draco moved his chair so that he was in front of Hermione and took both her hands in his. He saw all the worry lines on her face and asked "Are you alright?"

She looked at him, her eyes welling with tears, "Am I alright? Am I alright?! No, Draco, I'm not," she said. "I… I was just starting to be ok with finding out I was pregnant, but to find out there are now going to be TWO of them. I.. I don't know if I can handle it. I know newborns don't sleep and I'll be dealing with twice the sleep deprivation. Two sets of nappy changes, two screaming babies wanting to eat.. Merlin, I was planning on breastfeeding but I don't know if I can do that with twins, and-"

"Sh…. sh… calm down, Hermione," said Draco, trying to sooth her. He was rubbing his thumbs along the tops of her hands, "It'll be ok. We'll get through it. You won't have to do everything alone either, you know."

Hermione glared at him, "If you think for one minute that I'm going to have house elves raise my children for me, you better think again Draco Malfoy."

Draco glared back at her, "I wasn't talking about house elves. I was talking about me."

"I.. what?" asked Hermione, her anger dissipating.

"I want to help. I will help. I'll be there for all the midnight feedings, nappy changes, burpings. My own mother did everything by herself and when she was exhausted, that was the only time she let a house elf watch over me. My father wasn't really involved until I became older, but I don't want to be like that. I want to be involved, helping out, from the very beginning. Got it?"

Tears were running down Hermione's cheeks as she flung her arms around Draco's neck, "Thank you," she whispered.

He hugged her back and they embraced for a moment until Hermione pulled away. She gave Draco a watery grin, "So.. twins." she said, her excitement starting to bubble over.

Draco smiled, a wide, true smile and he leaned forward and placed a quick, chaste kiss on her lips. Susan peered in and saw them smiling at each other and knew it was safe to come back in again.

She gave Hermione pamphlets on pregnancy in general, some prenatal vitamins, anti-nausea potions, and book recommendations that deal with having a twin pregnancy.

"Now, as your doctor, I won't say anything about your pregnancy to the public, but just to warn you, the Prophet usually has reporters who hang out around here to get inside stories. If you're seen walking out of this department, then it'll be splashed all in front of the morning paper tomorrow."

Hermione groaned, "I hope we can avoid that so we can tell our families and friends before the paper does."

Susan smiled, "Don't worry, you can floo directly from my office which is right through that door." She indicated to the door that led to her office. "Take one of the antinausea potions so you don't get sick though. You'll want to keep apparating to a minimum, and only do it when it's absolutely necessary. Now, as a reminder, I want to see you again in three weeks. Eat and drink plenty of food, take your vitamins, and if you're tired, you need to rest. Growing a baby is exhausting work, but growing two is even more so. If you have any concerns, come straight here."

Draco and Hermione nodded and thanked Susan, then she left to see another patient. Hermione dug through the bag she was given and drank the anti-nausea potion, then Draco and her floo'd back to the manor, where they talked about how and when they were going to tell everyone about the twins.

Chapter Text

Hermione and Draco decided that it would best to tell their parents at the same time before anyone else, including their friends. At breakfast the next morning, Draco informed his mother that Hermione's parents were long over-due to visit the manor and they should be invited over for dinner some time this week. Hermione had sent a letter to her parents saying much of the same thing, and they agreed that the upcoming Friday would work best. Hermione hoped she could wait that long before people started to suspect. Hermione was also sure that Narcissa had guessed what was going on, but Draco told her that because of her stressing about it that she was assuming things that weren't actually happening.

Hermione had to take daily anti-nausea potions just to functions most days. Even though the nausea was practically gone due to the medication, she still felt like she was dragging her feet by the end of each work day. Harry noticed how she had been acting and kept asking if she was alright. After the tenth time, Hermione snapped at him and told him that if something was wrong, she'd tell him, and to please stop pestering her. She hated not being able to tell her best friend of her pregnancy, but this was something that both she and Draco had been adamant about. She swore to herself that the Saturday after telling their parents, she would talk to Harry and Ginny first thing in the morning.

Friday came faster, yet slower, than Hermione had anticipated. She knew this was a good thing, but she was still nervous about telling her parents she was pregnant. Hermione had set up their house to the Floo network the day before so Draco went and got her parents while she paced nervously in her room, trying to will the nausea to go away (which she was sure was mostly due to nerves rather than pregnancy; at least she hoped). She glanced at the clock and saw that it was time for her to meet her parents downstairs. She took a calming breath and made her way to the entry parlor.

Just as she entered the room, Draco emerged with his arms linked to her parents. They stepped out and brushed of the soot. The moment Hermione saw them, she rushed over and engulfed her parents in a hug. She hasn't realized just how much she missed them!

"Hermione!" said her mum said with delight, "It's been entirely too long. How are you sweetie?"

"I'm fine," she said, wiping away a tear. Damn these hormones! "I just… I missed you guys."

"We missed you too, sweetie," said Kathleen, hugging her daughter again. "Maybe one of these weekends you and Draco can stay at the house for a few days or something?"

Hermione nodded, "I'd like that."

Kathleen smiled at her then turned her attention to Narcissa and the two women exchanged pleasantries while Joe hugged her daughter again.

Teddy ran in, his hair a brilliant blue, and said that dinner was ready, before rushing back out.

Joe raised a brow at the boy then looked at Hermione, "Is that Teddy? What's he doing here?"

"Andromeda and Teddy live here now. Or at least, they will be once they decide they want to stay here permanently," Hermione said with a smile.

"And, uh, why is his hair blue? Wasn't it brown at the wedding?" he whispered as they neared the dining room.

"He's a metamorphmagus. He can change his appearance anytime he wants. He prefers alternating between bright colors while at home," she explained.

Andromeda was waiting for them in the dining room with Teddy sitting next to her. She gave the Granger's a hug in greeting and they chatted idly as they waited for dinner. Hermione sat in her seat to the right of Draco, her leg fidgeting under the table in nervousness. Draco, who had sat down after pulling out a chair for his mother, placed a hand on her knee under the table and rubbed in gently, trying to calm her. She glanced at him and gave him a small smile, moving her hand to rest on top of his.

As everyone sat in their seats, Narcissa stood and smiled, "We don't normally make speeches at dinner, but I wanted to extend our welcome to Hermione's parents, Kathleen and Joe, and thank them for joining us tonight. It has been entirely too long since you've been here and we simply must start making this a more common occurrence." Kathleen and Joe both smiled at the Malfoy Matriarch and nodded in agreement as she continued, "I also wanted to give some exciting news… even though Andromeda and Teddy said that they would give it a month before deciding to live here, after only a few weeks they have made the decision permanent."

Hermione smiled at Andromeda then at Teddy, his cheeks turning red.

House elves emerged from the kitchens and placed covered plates in front of each person. "I hope you all enjoy this meal, Teddy picked this out, determined that everyone here would love it," said Narcissa. They lifted the lids and Teddy giggled when he saw the pizza he requested in front of him. Narcissa smiled at Teddy then looked up again, "Alright everyone, tuck in."

As Narcissa sat down, Draco squeezed Hermione's knee in reassurance before standing up as well. "I'd also like to say something, if that's ok."

At smiling faces and a nod from Hermione, Draco took a breath and said, "Hermione and I had other intentions of inviting her parents here tonight, though we do agree that it had been too long since we had seen them, so it was due to happen anyways. But, the real reason we wanted you here tonight is because we have an announcement to make… Hermione's pregnant."

"Oh sweetie!" said Kathleen with watery eyes. She enclosed her hand around her daughters and smiled proudly at her.

"That's uh… that's not all," said Hermione shakily before standing as well, still holding to her mother's hand, "We're having twins."

There was stunned silence before there was a whir of exclamations and questions.


"That's amazing!"

"When did you find out?"

"Do you know what you're having yet?"

"How far along are you?"

"When are you due?"

"How did you get TWO babies in your tummy?"

The last question was asked by Teddy, and all adults turned to him. He ducked his head at the attention as he mumbled, "Sorry."

Hermione smiled at him, "It's ok, Teddy. But that's um, something that you need to be a little bit older to understand, ok?"

"I'll explain it to you later kiddo," said Draco with a wink.

Hermione glared at her husband and said, "Don't you dare."

He smirked at her and amended that he would tell him later… in a few years.

Teddy slumped in his chair but went back to eating his pizza as the adults continued to talk.

Hermione sat down and started answering the questions thrown at her: Yes, they were quite surprised at not only finding out she was pregnant but with twins as well. She was about six weeks along now. No, they don't know the genders yet. Yes, they intend to find out. No, no one else knows but they will start telling friends tomorrow.

The grandmothers-to-be were excitedly talking about baby showers as dessert was served. Hermione glanced around her mother and saw that her father had been fairly quiet after the announcement. She scooted her chair back and walked over to sit in the other seat next to him and leaned her head against his shoulder. "Penny for your thoughts?" she asked.

Joe chuckled under his breath, "I'm fine. It was just a bit of a shock. You two had been so adamant about waiting a year that this was completely out of the blue."

"Trust me, we were just as surprised," said Hermione.

Joe cleared his throat and shifted in his seat, "I also thought you and Draco weren't, well.. you know… that close."

Hermione rolled her eyes and nudged her dad, "Dad, come on. I'm a grown woman, who has needs and urges just like everyone else-"

"Geeze," said Joe, shaking his head and laughing uncomfortably as he covered his daughters mouth, "I really don't need to hear this about my daughter."

She removed his hand and chuckled, "I wasn't going to give details. I was just stating a fact that it's perfectly natural and acceptable for two grown, sexually active adults to, well, help each other out every now and again."

"I think that's still too much for your father to hear. As far as I'm concerned, you were artificially inseminated and we'll leave it at that," he said with a nod of finality.

Hermione chuckled while getting up, "Whatever helps you sleep at night, dad." She kissed the top of his head as she headed back to her seat, being dragged into the conversation held by the older witches and her mother.

Later that evening, as Draco was pulling on his silk pajama bottoms, there was a soft knock on the door followed by Hermione's head peeking into the room. "Hey," she said.

"Hey," he said, sitting on the edge of his bed. "Everything ok?"

She walked into the room and sat next to him, "Yeah, I just got off a floo-call with Ginny. I told her that I wanted to hang out soon so she's inviting me over for lunch tomorrow. You're welcome to join."

Draco shook is head "Can't. I have orders to fill tomorrow, otherwise I'd be there."

Hermione smiled, "Are you sure you're not just scared of what my friends will do to you once they find out that you impregnated me?"

Draco scoffed, "Me? Afraid of a bunch of Gryffindors? Please."

"Well, Pansy will be there too I think."

"Then I'm definitely not coming," said Draco with a grin, getting up and heading to the bathroom to brush his teeth.

Hermione followed and leaned against the door frame, watching him. "Afraid of Pansy then?"

Draco's eyes met hers in the mirror, both bright with humor, and shook his head, "No. I just don't want to see her getting all cozy with Weasley."

Hermione rolled her eyes but grinned, turning back to his room and waited for him to finish in the bathroom. A book caught her attention on his nightstand and she picked it up, reading the title: Preparing to be a Father? A Guide for First Time Dads.

A soft smile spread on Hermione's lips. Draco had gotten a book to prepare him for fatherhood? How incredibly sweet.

She was flipping through the book when he emerged from the bathroom and saw what was she looking at. She looked up at him and grinned. He grinned back sheepishly. "I saw it at a store the other day and decided to pick up," he explained.

"Any useful information in here?" she asked curiously, sitting back on the edge of his bed while continuing to flip through it.

Draco shrugged as she sat next to her, "A little bit. The first few chapters talk about dealing with... er, I mean, helping along your pregnant significant other. Like how your hormones are all out of whack so not to take offence when they start yelling at you all the time. Things like that."

Hermione chuckled and nodded, "Yes, some of my pregnancy books talk about the same thing." She looked over at him, "Are you nervous? About becoming a parent?"

"Terrified. You?" he asked, putting an arm around her shoulders and kissing her temple.

"Pretty much the same. But I'm glad you're taking an active role in all of this. It helps alleviate some of the worry, honestly," she said, leaning her head against his shoulder.

"Well, I'll try my best to help out as much as I can," he said.

Hermione nodded and yawned, "I should head to bed."

"Do you want to sleep here tonight?" he asked, leaning in to nibble at her neck.

Hermione smiled but shook her head, "No, not tonight." She glanced at him, "Sorry."

Draco shrugged, "It's ok. Maybe some other night then?"

"Yes, maybe," she stood up and kissed his cheek, "See you tomorrow for breakfast?"

"Of course. Good night, wife," he said cheekily.

"Goodnight, husband," she replied cheekily back.

When she left, Draco slipped into bed, propped up some pillows, and continued reading his new book, his excitement growing with each new chapter read.

Chapter Text

While Hermione got ready to go to Harry and Ginny's, Draco was in his room, getting ready for a day in his lab. As he buttoned up his shirt, there was a knock on his door. "Come in!" he yelled and was surprised to see Teddy enter his room.

"Hey Ted. Anything I can do for you?" Draco asked, as he pulled out some socks from a drawer.

Teddy shook his head, "Not really. I was looking for Hermione but she didn't answer when I knocked."

"She's probably in the shower and getting ready to go to the Potter's to tell them about the pregnancy," explained Draco.

"Oh… ok," said Teddy dejectedly, slumping in himself onto the edge of Draco's bed.

Draco sat next to him and patted Teddy on the back. "I'm sure she would have offered to have taken you, but she needs to have this conversation with just adults. I bet next time she'll have you come with her," he said reassuringly.

Teddy nodded and blew out a breath.

Draco frowned, "Is everything ok? Something you… want to talk about?" Merlin, he hoped he didn't want him to talk about how Hermione got pregnant right this minute… while he wasn't a prude, he didn't feel it was his job to talk to the kid about the birds and the bees.. plus he was only seven..

"What are we?" asked Teddy, breaking Draco's current train of thought.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean… are you my cousin of sorts? I'm a little confused," Teddy confessed.

"Oh.." said Draco, scrunching his brows in thought. "Well, your grandmum is my Aunt. And your mother was my cousin. So you're my… second cousin, I believe. Maybe once removed, but I'm not sure."

"And…. what will your babies be? Will they be my…. third? cousin?" Teddy asked.

Draco nodded, "I believe so, yeah."

"Oh…" said Teddy, looking down at his lap.

Draco put a finger to chin, as if he were contemplating something, "But, you know… because you'll be living here with them and seeing as how I know you'll be a big help after they're born, you'd be more like a big brother than a cousin."

Teddy perked up at that, "Yeah? You really think so?"

Draco nodded knowingly, "Yes. Definitely."

Teddy frowned, "I'll never have any real siblings of my own, will I?"

Draco shook his head and gave the child an apologetic look, "Sorry, Ted. But, there's always my kids… So what do you say? Do you want to be a big brother to the twins?"

Teddy nodded his head enthusiastically, "Yeah! Will you and Hermione mind if I call them my brother and sister to my friends?"

Draco shrugged, "I don't see why not. But, buddy, you know that we don't know the genders yet. They could easily be both boys or both girls."

Teddy shook his head, "Not uh. One of each."

Draco raised a brow, "How about a little wager? I'll bet you two galleons that they are both boys."

Teddy grinned mischievously, "You're on!"

"What's on?" asked Hermione from the doorway, her hair still slightly damp from her shower.

Draco slung an arm around Teddy's shoulders, "We put in wager on the genders of the babies. I'm betting on two boys and he's betting on one of each."

Hermione tsk'd under her breath, "Draco, you really shouldn't take bets with a child. Besides, I have a feeling you're both wrong and they're two girls."

Draco narrowed his eyes teasingly, "I don't think so. Malfoy's only sire boys."

Hermione shrugged indifferently, "Perhaps it's time your streak ran out. After all, these are the first half-blood Malfoy's ever, right?"

"Hm. I will admit you have a point. But I still think they're both boys," he said.

Hermione placed a hand absently on her stomach and smiled. "Well, we'll see in a few weeks, won't we?" she challenged before turning around and throwing a grin over her shoulder. "See you two later. And no more bets."

Draco shook his head and smiled as he watched her leave, then looked at Teddy, "I bet you anything there's some biscuits we can knick from the kitchen. Want to go see?"

With a grin and nod, the two boys left Draco's room and went in search of an early morning snack.

Hermione stepped out of the fireplace and into the modest living room of the Potters. Feeling slightly queasy from the travel, Hermione closed her eyes and took a deep breath to help gain back her composure.

"Everything alright?" asked Ginny, as had stepped into the room just as Hermione had entered.

Hermione nodded, "Yes. I'm fine. Just got a little dizzy, is all."

Ginny narrowed her eyes at her friend before gasping and clamping a hand over her mouth. "Are… are you? Are you what I think you are?!"

Hermione placed a hand on her stomach and blushed, giving a slight nod as an answer.

Ginny was about to squeal when Hermione stopped her, "Shh! I want to tell Harry and Ron myself."

"Alright, alright. But I want details later!" said Ginny with a huge grin as she hugged Hermione.

"Details about what? Or is it something I really don't want to know?" asked Harry, coming into the room, his hair damp and sticking up in all directions, as he hugged Hermione in greeting.

"You really don't want to know," said Hermione with a smile. "Is Ron here yet?"

Ginny rolled her eyes, "No. He floo called earlier and said that he and Pansy were running late. I think they're living together already, but he won't admit it."

"Well, they are getting married soon. Next weekend, right?"

Ginny nodded in confirmation as the three of them made their way to the kitchen, "Yes. I can't wait till it's over. Mum is driving us all crazy. She and Pansy's mum kept butting heads on everything but I think they're finally working together." Ginny glanced at Hermione as she handed Harry some glasses from the cupboard, "Are you going?"

Hermione nodded, going to the drawer where the silverware was at, "Yes, though maybe not for the whole time, maybe just the ceremony, but we'll see how tired I am and go from there."

Harry looked at Hermione questioningly, "So have you finally gone to see a mediwitch to see what's ailing you? I know something is wrong with how tired you always are at work."

"Um, yes. I found something out," said Hermione with a faint blush, not looking Harry in the eye, "That's the reason why I wanted to talk to you all today, actually."

"Oh.." Harry placed a comforting arm around her, "Is… everything ok? You're not like… dying, are you?"

Hermione gave him a smile and kissed his cheek, "I'm not dying. I promise I'll tell you all everything once Ron get's here."

"Did someone say my name?" asked Ron, walking into the kitchen with a grin, Pansy following close behind, her hand holding his loosely.

"About time," Ginny grumbled, "It's not nice to keep a pregnant girl waiting, you know."

Ron looked at her sheepishly, "Sorry, we, uh, got caught up with something."

Pansy snorted and ducked her face behind him before glancing over his shoulder, "Sorry, we'll try to be here on time at the next get together."

"Yeah yeah," Ginny grumbled under her breath, but gave Pansy a wink to indicate she really wasn't mad.

"Grang-, Er, I mean, Hermione. It's good to see you again," Pansy said with just slight awkwardness.

Hermione gave her a small smile, "You too. Are you excited about the wedding?"

Pansy's face lit up with a smile that seemed to light up her face, "Extremely. I'll tell you all about it while we eat," she said.

Hermione swore she heard Ginny and Harry groan at this declaration, but she cleared her throat and said, "Actually, I have something I wanted to discuss with you all, now that we're all here."

"Before you begin, can we please go sit down and start eating? I wasn't joking when I said not to make a pregnant girl wait to eat," said Ginny seriously.

The group agreed and made their way to the table as Harry brought out their lunch, which consisted of homemade macaroni and cheese and a fresh loaf of bread.

As Ginny moaned in delight after taking her first bite, Ron looked over at Hermione as he was about to shovel food in his mouth, "So, 'Mione, what did you want to talk about?"

"Oh, um…" she glanced at the table, everyone looking at her expectantly, except for Ginny, who was grinning and nodding at her to continue. Why was this easier to tell my parents than my friends? she wondered. "Well, what I came here to tell you is… I'm pregnant."

Both Harry and Ron's mouths dropped open, each earning a jab to the rib by their significant other before Ginny beamed at her, "I knew it! Was that why you were asking me about my symptoms? Oh Merlin, how far along are you? I wonder if we're due at the same time!"

"I didn't suspect until after you announced, actually. And I'm six weeks along currently," informed Hermione, who kept looking over at Harry and Ron, who were both still gaping at her.

"Oh, I'm about five weeks. Only a week difference! Won't it be amazing if our kids share the same birthday?" Ginny asked excitedly.

"Well, they probably won't considering that it's rare that twins make it to their due date," supplied Hermione with a small grin.

"TWINS?" squealed Ginny in shock.

Pansy, who still hadn't said anything, dropped her mouth open in surprise too, then mumbled something that sounded like "Way to go, Draco," under her breath with a smirk.

Hermione nodded and smiled at her friend, then looked at Harry and Ron, "Can you two please say something? Your silence is unnerving."

Harry finally shook himself back to focus and said, "You're pregnant? With twins? Wow… Congratulations, 'Mione!"

"Wait.. with… Malfoy?" asked Ron

Hermione rolled her eyes, "Of course, with Draco. He's my husband."

"Yeah, but you weren't supposed to sleep with the bloke!" Ron retorted.

"And why not? He's my husband," asked Hermione indignantly, crossing her arms.

"But you said you were going to wait a year and get medical help when it was time to have a kid," argued Ron.

"Plans change, Ronald. Plus, I never said anything about getting pregnant with medical help, only if it was needed. And why does it matter to you anyways? Yes. Draco and I sleep together occasionally. So what? It's mine and his choice to do so. I don't go making you feel bad because you sleep with Pansy!" said Hermione, fighting back angry tears that were threatening to shed.

"Shit, Hermione, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that.. I just.. I still have issues with you marrying him, you know that. Any other bloke and I wouldn't care as much. But him? It just… gets to me," said Ron with a sheepish look.

Before Hermione could say anything, Pansy narrowed her eyes at her fiance, "And what exactly do you have against Draco? I grew up with him, I still consider him one of my good friends, and when we dated he wasn't that bad of a boyfriend. Hermione's lucky to have him."

"He was a complete arse to us in school, especially to Hermione," said Ron, trying not to get angry at his fiance.

"So was I, but I don't see you complaining now do I?" Pansy asked pointedly.

Ron struggled with an answer, "That's different… I… we… " he looked between Harry, Hermione, and Ginny, his eyes pleaded for help. Ginny held up her hands as if saying she wasn't getting involved, Hermione just stared without expression, and Harry was busy inspecting his meal, never taking his eyes off of it.

"It's not different, Ron. He's a Slytherin, just like me. His parents were Death Eaters, just like mine. We both grew up hoping that You-Know-Who would return and not get killed by this guy," she said, motioning to Harry. "We both grew up with fucked up views, but that's not the case anymore and you have to let it go. He's changed and I'm sure Hermione wouldn't fuck him if he hadn't." Ron tried to interject, but she wouldn't let him, "If you can't get past Draco being married to Hermione, or the fact that my whole family and all of my friends are Slytherins, then… maybe we shouldn't get married after all." Pansy stood up and looked at Hermione, "Congratulations, by the way. I really am truly happy for you and Draco. Tell him I'll owl soon."

Hermione nodded in response as the black-haired witch strode from the dining room towards the front of the house.

Ron stared after her for a few seconds, cursed under his breath, then got up to follow without saying goodbye to his friends.

A few silent moments later and Hermione said, "Well, at least he's learning to go after someone instead of hiding or running away." She took a bite of her meal and smiled at Ginny, "This is delicious."

Ginny smiled back, "Thank you. It's mum's recipe."

"So… twins?" asked Harry. "I bet that was a surprise."

Hermione nodded, "Yes. It was quite a shock, trust me."

"How long ago did you find out?" asked Ginny.

"A week or so ago. The only reason why you just found out now was because Draco and I wanted to tell our families first. We invited my parents over for dinner last night and broke the news."

Ginny grinned, "I bet Mrs. Malfoy and your mum are ecstatic."

"You have no idea... they're already planning the baby shower and how to decorate the nursery. I have a feeling I won't be allowed to do any of that stuff with those two planning everything," Hermione said fondly, shaking her head.

"Get used to it," chuckled Ginny.

Hermione returned back to the manor a few hours later, feeling utterly exhausted. She dropped her bag onto the floor and sat on the end of her bed, letting her back fall against the mattress. She closed her eyes for what she thought was just a few a minutes, but when a knock on her door roused her, she noted that two hours had passed. She mumbled for whoever was on the other side to enter and wasn't surprised to find Draco step into her room.

"Hey," she said with a sleepy smile, sitting up.

"Hey. Did I wake you?" he asked curiously.

She nodded. "I didn't even realize I fell asleep. I just laid down for a second and next thing I knew, it was almost dinner time," she said, chuckling. "They weren't kidding when they say that growing a baby, or in my case, babies, takes a lot of energy."

Draco nodded and sat next to her, "So how did telling your friends go?"

Hermione groaned and flopped back onto her back again.

Draco chuckled and laid next to her, "That bad, huh?"

"Well, Ginny and Harry are happy for us. Ginny is positively thrilled and is crossing her fingers that our kids and her baby will share a birthday." Draco nodded but didn't interrupt as she continued, "But Ron… he was, well... Ron," she said with a slight shrug. "He and Pansy ended up arguing and they left pretty abruptly."

"Yeah… Pansy floo-called me and told me about it. But our conversation was cut short because Weasley showed up. I haven't heard from her since so either they've made up or she killed him," he said flippantly.

Hermione chuckled, "Hopefully not the latter." Draco nodded in agreement.

She sighed in frustration after a moment, "I just wish he'd get over his dislike for you. I mean, yes, we all had issues while in school, but you and I are ok now, and you and Harry get along well. He just can't seem to let go of his dislike for you."

"I don't know if it's all his fault, honestly," said Draco, "Our families have been feuding for centuries. The Weasley's are actually really, really distant cousins, that's not uncommon for pureblood families, but became estranged when the Malfoy's weren't accepting of their status as 'blood traitors' as they called it."

"I just hope Pansy can finally get through his thick skull and beat some sense into him," Hermione grumbled.

"Knowing Pansy as well as I do, I'm sure she will," he said rather fondly of his friend.

Hermione smiled then blushed as her stomach growled, "I guess I'm hungry."

"Well, that's a good thing, because dinner is just about ready." Draco got up from the bed, then offered his hands to help pull her up and onto her feet.

Hermione smirked, "You know in a few months, doing that won't be that easy."

Draco smirked back as they walked out of her room, "I'm always up for a challenge."

Chapter Text

At Ron and Pansy's wedding the following weekend, Hermione and Draco found themselves in quite a shock when Ron came up to them, offered his hand to Draco, and apologized for acting like a prat. He agreed to let the past stay in the past and hoped that he and Draco could be cordial to one another. Hermione, with her hormones going haywire, burst into tears and threw her arms around her friend. He grinned sheepishly, patting her on the back, and reminded her that he needed to finish getting ready to meet his bride down the aisle.

Draco had to hand Hermione a handkerchief as Ron and Pansy said their vows and kissed as husband and wife. They were surprised at the small number of people in attendance to the wedding, but was even more surprised at Pansy's announcement during the dinner reception that she was pregnant. The news seemed to be a surprise to Ron as well, who at first went white as a sheet but was soon grinning ear to ear. Ginny, Hermione, and Pansy were talking excitedly about how all their kids were going to be the same age and would hopefully grow up to the best of friends.

Hermione was able to stay for most of the wedding, but after an hour of dancing, she found herself drained and Draco quickly escorted his wife home to put her feet up. They drank sparkling cider as they sat in her bed, propped up with pillows, and talked about the their friends wedding and all the upcoming babies that would soon be joining them. Hermione found herself leaning against Draco's shoulder as he placed an arm around her shoulder and absently rubbed her arm. She fell asleep as he rambled about his upcoming order he was going to be working on the next day and woke up the next morning slightly disappointed that Draco wasn't still there next to her.

Another week went by and Hermione and Draco were back at St. Mungo's for their second prenatal appointment.

"How are things going?" asked Susan after she entered the exam room and greeted them.

"Pretty good. I still have nausea in the morning, so I'm continuing to take the potions you gave me," informed Hermione.

Susan nodded, "Yes, it's typical for morning sickness to peak between seven and ten weeks. Hopefully in a few more weeks it'll start to pass, but I've also had expectant mothers who have it longer than that or even their whole pregnancy."

Hermione let out a groan, "Hopefully that's not the case for me."

Susan chuckled, "Would you like to take a look at your babies?"

Hermione nodded and glanced at Draco, who had been staring a poster in the office how a baby grows in the womb. He turned his head at the mention of seeing the babies and sat in the chair next to Hermione. "Ready," he said.

Susan waved her wand over Hermione's abdomen and just as before, images of the babies appeared above her. They were a little more developed this time, with visible heads, bodies, and tiny arms and legs. They were wiggling around and Hermione smiled while absently reaching for Draco's hand.

"They look very active and healthy," said Susan. She got her tape measure to measure their length, "And they are right on track of how big they should be."

"How big are they now?" asked Draco.

"At nine weeks along, they are about the size of a pecan," Susan said. She glanced at the couple and said, "Would you like to know the genders?"

Hermione's eyebrow raised in surprise, "You can already tell? Isn't it too soon for that? Most books I've read said that that can't be determined until at least eighteen weeks gestation."

"Muggles have to wait that long because of their technology. We have spells that can determine the genders much sooner than that."

"Oh.." said Hermione. She glanced at Draco, "What do you think? Should we find out now or wait a bit more?"

"Why wait?" he asked with a shrug.

Hermione smiled at him then turned to Susan, "We'd like to find out now, please."

Susan nodded, "Let me just adjust the focus so that it only has one baby to view." With a few simple waves one of the twins enlarged and the other disappeared from view. "Alright. Let's see who we have here. Genere rivelano." A white light surrounded the baby and pulsed three times before turning a light shade of blue. "Congratulations. You have a boy!"

Draco smiled and squeezed Hermione's hand, his eyes meeting her watery ones before looking back at the image of his son.

"And for the next baby…." Susan shrank the little boy and enlarged the second child before muttering the gender revealing spell. This baby was also surrounded by a white light that pulsated three times, but this time, it turned pink. "A girl!" Susan announced with a smile.

Hermione squeezed Draco's hand and looked at him, "One of each! How exciting. This means that Teddy was right!" she said with a light laugh.

Draco groaned, "This means I owe him two galleons."

"Four, because I bet on two girls," reminded Hermione.

With another flourish of her wand, Susan had the images of the babies vanish before taking out her chart, "Well, it looks like everything's going well. Your weight gain is right on track, if not a little under, but that's probably due to the morning sickness. Don't be surprised when you start showing, which will probably be soon, since you have two babies in there. Once you hit the second trimester, you'll start feeling more like yourself again and not get as tired either. The babies look great and as long as there isn't any pain or bleeding, I shouldn't have to see you again until your next appointment, which will be in three weeks. I usually schedule appointments every four weeks, but with twins, I want to be on the safe side and see you a little more."

Hermione and Draco nodded and thanked Susan as she headed out of the room and onto her next patient. After stopping at the reception desk and scheduling their next appointment, they went to Susan's office and used the floo back to the manor, where Narcissa was waiting on one of the plush sofa's.

"Well?" she asked, "How did the appointment go?"

Hermione smiled, "It went very well. We saw the babies again."

Draco nodded, "They are starting to resemble little humans rather than little blobs."

Narcissa smiled and nodded, "So they are well? No issues?"

Hermione shook her head and sat down, "No, no issues. We also find out the genders."

Narcissa gasped and clasped her hands around Hermione's, "I was hoping you would! What are they?"

Draco gave his mother an apologetic look, "You're not going to like this mother, but we've decided to wait on announcing the genders until we do what Hermione calls a 'gender reveal party.'"

Narcissa frowned at her son then looked at Hermione again, "I'm confused."

Hermione gave her a sheepish smile, "I want all my friends and family around when we announce the genders. I was hoping this weekend we can invite some people over and we'll announce it then?"

Narcissa opened her mouth to speak, but then shut it. She was trying to process this new information, "So… you know the genders, but you won't say what they are until you can gather everyone and tell them at the same time?"

Hermione nodded, "Yes, precisely."

"Why don't you just do what we normally do and announce it through the Daily Prophet? Everyone will find out the same way then."

Draco leaned in close to Hermione and mumbled, "Told you so."

Hermione waved him off and addressed Narcissa, "We could, but it's not as… personal. We can still do the announcement in the Prophet, but not until after the party."

Narcissa sighed, "I suppose we can wait that long." She glanced coily at Hermione, "Can I at least have a hint?"

Hermione smiled and shook her head.

Narcissa pouted and stood, "Well, I'll just be going back to my chambers then, I will see you two at dinner."

With graceful elegance, the lady of the house exited the entrance parlor. Draco chuckled after his mother and shook his head, "I do believe that my mother is pouting."

Hermione smiled and shook her head, "Well, she'll just have to get over it. She'll find out along with everyone else. Now, if you will excuse me, I have some letters to write and send out today to invite people over this weekend."

"Would you like any help?" offered Draco, walking in step with her towards the stairs.

"I got it, but thank you. If you want to invite any of your friends though, like Theo or Blaise, you can write to them if you want?"

Draco nodded, "I'll do that."

Teddy was waiting for them at the top of the stairs, "So, do I get my galleons now or later?" he asked with a knowing smirk.

"You'll just have to wait and see if you won the bet or not when we tell everyone at the same time, this weekend."

Teddy gawfed, "This weekend? Why do I have to wait that long to know that I'm right about something?"

"It's only a few days, I'm sure you can handle it," said Hermione with a smirk.

Teddy crossed his arms and scowled before then glanced at Draco, "You'll tell me, won't you? I am your favorite cousin, after all."

Draco ruffled his turquoise hair, "Sorry pal. If I can't even tell my mother, I definitely can't tell you."

Hermione and Draco chuckled together as Teddy stomped off towards his room and Draco slung and arm around her shoulders as they walked the opposite direction towards their own rooms.

That weekend, with their close friends and family, they gathered everyone into one of the banquet rooms. It was decorated with white balloons that covered the ceiling and white table cloths covered the small, round tables scattered throughout. There were bite-size appetizers for everyone to snack on, but most of their guests were waiting around for the main event of the gender reveal.

With their guests gathered around them, Hermione said, "I want to thank everyone who came here today. Draco and I wanted to make sure everyone we love and care about found out from us rather than by second hand. As you can see, all the decorations in here are white. When I count to three, Draco will decorate one half of the room in the color for the first baby and I'll decorate the other half for the second baby. So we'll either have a room full of pink, or blue, or both." She glanced at Draco, "Are you ready?"
Draco nodded and took out his wand.

"Alright," said Hermione, brandishing her own wand, "On the count of three… One.."


"Three!" they said in unison. They waved their wands and half the room was colored in pink while the other half was covered in blue. Cheers erupted with a few groans as some had lost bets, but happiest of all was Teddy, who was jumping up and down yelling "I knew it! I won! I won!"

Draco tossed him a cinched fabric satchel and inside of it was five galleons.

"Please don't spend all that money at Honeydukes," begged Hermione.

Teddy rolled his eyes but smiled at her, "Alright, alright." He ran off to show his grandmum his winnings as other people gathered around them and started talking all at once.

"-One of each! How exciting!"

"-Congrats! I knew it would be both."

"-Could have sworn you were going to have two boys! Glad to be wrong, even if it did lose me a few galleons."

"-Have you picked out names yet?"

"-Are you going to keep with up the Malfoy tradition and use celestial names?"

"-Now that you'll have one of each, do you think you'll have more?"

They answered questions as best as they could, the main being about names. Draco and Hermione informed everyone that they hadn't even started talking about names and since they had over half the pregnancy to go, they weren't in any rush to pick names just yet.

Ginny and Harry pulled Hermione and Draco aside and told them that they also found out the gender of their baby.

"We want to keep it a surprise though," Ginny said, "At least for a little while longer. I've never heard of these gender reveal parties, but this was fun! Maybe we'll do something like this later on."

"I can help you plan it," said Hermione with a smile. Pansy and Ron also joined in, saying that they were going to wait to find out the gender until the baby was born, but if they did find out by accident, that a party would a great idea.

By the time the party ended and all the guests left, Hermione took a long bath to sooth her back which had been starting to ache. When she finally emerged out of the bathroom in her pajamas and her hair wrapped in a large, plush towel, she was surprised to see Draco in her room, reading a book on her bed, and his feet crossed at the ankles. She noted he looked rather comfortable and wondered how long he'd been waiting for her.

"What're reading?" Hermione asked as she used a towel to dry her hair.

"Baby name book," said Draco.

Hermione chuckled, "You know, we still have thirty more weeks to go. There is plenty of time to pick out names."

Draco shrugged, still looking at the book, "I know. Just getting ideas."

Hermione nibbled her lip as she watched him flip through the book, "I've been wondering… do you want keep using the Malfoy tradition of using celestial names?"

He looked up at her and slightly shrugged one shoulder, "I don't know. I know it would mean the world to my mother. I was always assuming I would have a boy and kind of had a name in mind, but the girl name is throwing me off."

"What name did you have for a boy? No, wait. Don't tell me yet," she sat next to him on the edge of the bed, "I think we should take a few weeks, maybe even a month, and come up with some names that we like then show them to one another. Maybe come up with three each? Whatever name we both like, will be the names we choose. Deal?" she held out her hand to shake on it.

Draco took her hand and nodded, "Deal."

Chapter Text

She sighed out his name as soft lips kissed behind her ear, "Draco…"

He hummed in appreciation and nipped her earlobe, causing her breath to hitch.

It had been too long, much too long, since he kissed her like this. Touched her like this. His hands, soft yet firm, were molding against her breasts, squeezing and playing and pinching. Her hands were running through his hair as he kissed along her neck and along her collarbone. He licked the area between her breasts then suckeled and teased each nipple in turn. She moaned in satisfaction and whispered for more. He trailed his tongue down further and planted butterfly kisses across the small mound that was starting to form.

"So beautiful…" he murmured against her skin, making tiny goosebumps appear all along her flesh.

She smiled to herself but soon whimpered as the weight of his body left hers. She opened her eyes slowly and saw him sitting on his knees between her legs. He lifted one of her legs and placed it on his shoulder and began kissing the underside of her knee. He trailed open mouth kisses up her leg and nipped at the soft flesh in the inside of her thighs, causing her to shiver in anticipation. He placed her leg down and lifted the other, giving it the same treatment as the last. When he was done, he lifted the first leg again so that they both rested on his shoulders. She closed her eyes and waited. And waited. Finally, she felt his hot breath come closer to the center of her heat. He kissed her opening gently, first with his lips, then his tongue. She quivered and trembled as he sucked and kissed her nub. When she was about to come, he stopped, and laid her legs back on the bed before kissing up her stomach, between her breasts again, and finally his mouth reached hers. He lips were so soft. So gentle. His knees pushed apart her thighs as he prepared to enter. She felt the tip of his head press into her opening….

Hermione woke with a start and sat up in bed while she pressed a hand to her thumping chest.

A dream? That was all a dream? It felt so… real.

She tentatively reached between her legs and felt that her knickers were soaked through. She got up and grabbed a new pair from a dresser drawer and used the loo as well since she was up. She climbed back into bed but sleep evaded her. She glanced at the clock and saw that it was nearly five in the morning. With a groan, she turned on her side and willed herself to sleep but her mind wouldn't let her. Why did she have a dream like that? She supposed it had been a while since she and Draco had been intimate. Infact, she couldn't remember a time since she got pregnant. She wondered if Draco thought that maybe she used him to get pregnant and didn't need him anymore? No, that was silly. If he thought that, surely he wouldn't be so kind to her. But… what if he was just really good at hiding it? Or maybe he was repulsed by her now… or too afraid that he would hurt the babies if they ended up shagging.

Hermione tossed and turned and saw that it now close to 5:30. She nibbled her bottom lip and wondered if Draco wouldn't mind an early morning visitor. She needed to talk to him or else she wouldn't be able to think about anything else the rest of the day.

She slipped out of her bed again for the second time that early morning and padded her way quietly across the hall to Draco's room.

She knocked softly and said, "Draco? It's Hermione. Can I come in?"

She heard a grunt of assent from the other side and gently opened the door and looked in. He was laying in the middle of of his bed, covers up to his waist. She walked over to the side of his bed and whispered, "Draco?"


"Can… can we talk about something?"

He opened his eyes just enough to peer at the clock beside his bed, "It's not even six in the morning. Can it wait?"

She shook her head, though realized he had closed his eyes again, "No… I have something on my mind and I can't sleep until I talk about it…"

Hearing the fret in her voice, Draco simply lifted the covers, inviting her to join him. She slid in and snuggled up against him.

"So what did you want to talk about?" he asked, the side of his head resting on hers.

She closed her eyes and took a breath before talking, "I was wondering… do you think I used you?"

He frowned, "What?"

"Do you think I used you? To get pregnant?"

He opened his eyes and propped himself up with his elbow, looking down at her, "What made you come up with a crazy assumption like that?"

"Well… we had finally started to become, well, intimate. Then I got pregnant and I've brushed you off since then. I just wanted to make sure that you know I didn't do that intentionally. It's just that between the morning sickness and the exhaustion, I just haven't been in the mood and.."

He placed a finger to her lips to silence her. He shook his head and gave a slight grin, "Hermione, I understand. I read the books too, you know. I figured when you were ready to become sexual again that you would let me know. I wasn't going to push you. I saw how sick you were in the mornings and how tired you were in the evenings. As much I wanted to join you in bed most nights and have my way with you, I realized this wasn't just about me, but about you and your health and the health of our children."

Hermione's eyes watered slightly as she nodded, "Thank you. Thank you for understanding."

He nodded back and kissed her forehead before laying back down next to her. "So what brought this on anyways?"

Hermione blushed and was thankful it was dark in the room, "I, uh, had a very explicit dream earlier that made me realize how long it had been since we had done…. anything."

Draco nuzzled her neck with his nose, "So does this mean you're ready?"

"I don't know... " she said with a sigh, closing her eyes as he kissed her neck. She felt as though this is where her dream had started… maybe it was a sign. "Perhaps."

"Well, how do you feel? Any morning sickness since you've been up?" he asked, slipping his hand under her shirt.

"I don't feel like puking, if that's what you're asking," she said as she arched her back against his touch.

"Hmm.. then maybe you should tell me about this dream of yours…" he nipped her earlobe, "And don't leave out any details."

Hermione yawned as she read the newest report on her desk. While she didn't regret the early morning shag she had with Draco, the fact of the matter was that it had been really early and now she was exhausted at only half past two in the afternoon. She contemplated going home for the rest of the day and working from there, but she knew full well that if she went home, she'd just take a nap, wake up for dinner, and then go back to bed. She had had her allotted amount of coffee for the day, but she supposed one more cup wouldn't hurt. She was about to get up from her desk when Harry walked in, carrying a candy bar and some bottled water.

"Hey. Early afternoon pick-me-up," he said, gesturing to the candy and drink.

Hermione smiled and sat back down, "You're a lifesaver Harry. How did you know I was in need of something to wake me up?" she said as she tore open the candy wrapper and took a bite.

Harry grinned, "Well, considering you were yawning all through lunch, plus you usually start getting tired around this time every day, I figured I'd get you something to help tide you over until work ends."

"Well, I appreciate it," she said standing up to throw the wrapper away.

"Woah!" said Harry, eying her stomach.

"Hm? What?" asked Hermione, opening the cold water.

"Nothing, it's just that.. you're showing. A lot more than Ginny is at the moment."

Hermione shook her head and chuckled, "Well, I do have one extra child growing in there."

"Yeah, but, I don't remember you showing last week," he said, scratching his head.

She shrugged, "The babies just had a growth spurt and finally passed my pubic bone," she informed.

"Er, if you say so," said Harry.

"Honestly Harry, pick up a parenting book and know what's going on with your wife, as well as me, and what's to come. It really helps," she said, setting the water bottle aside.

Harry mocked-rolled his eyes, "Yes Professor. And I assume you made Malfoy read those kind of books too?"

Hermione shook her head, "I didn't have to. He did it all on his own." She smirked as Harry cursed under his breath, not liking that he got bested by Draco.

"Alright fine. I'll pick up a book tonight," he said getting up and heading out of her office.

"Thanks again for the candy and water!" she called after him.

He smiled and nodded as he headed out, leaving Hermione to get back to work.

Draco was in his lab, busy pouring some of the current potion he was working on into a vial when there was a tentative knock on the opened lab door. He turned his head slightly and was surprised to see Teddy standing there.

"Ted? What are you doing down here?" he asked, putting a stopper on the vial.

"Hermione just got home and wanted me to let you know that dinner is almost ready," he informed.

"Is it that late already?" he asked, glancing at a clock. "Why didn't she just send a house elf to come and get me?"

"She was, but I told her that I wanted to ask you something so she sent me instead," said Teddy.

Draco nodded, "Alright. Give me five more minutes and I'll be out."

Teddy nodded that he understood and waited for Draco to finish. He had installed an age-line at the door frame so Teddy wasn't allowed in.

Draco worked quickly, not waiting to keep Teddy, or his family, waiting for dinner. When he was done, he knoxed the lights and walked with Teddy down the cellar walkway towards the stairs.

"So what did you want to talk about?" Draco asked. A smile crept on his face when he remembered he asked this same question to Hermione that resulted in a lovely shag, even if it was at the bloody crack of dawn. He shook his head to clear his mind as Teddy started to talk.

"I, well.. I wanted to ask you… have you decided on a name for the girl baby yet?" he asked.

Draco shook his head, "No, not yet. We're waiting another week or so to really start talking about it and deciding. Why?"

"I was wondering if… are you going to use my mum's name, Nymphadora? It's a celestial name, like everyone in her and your family… and I, well, I was just wondering.." he said again, his cheeks turning a light shade of red.

"Do you want us to?" asked Draco carefully.

Teddy shrugged, "I dunno… I was thinking that it would be nice…. maybe, if you wanted to that is."

Draco put an arm around Teddy and asked him, "Don't you want to save that name for one of your own kids?"

"Huh?" asked Teddy, "I'm not having any kids."

Draco chuckled, "No, not yet. But when you're an adult and get married and start having a family of your own, you might want to use your mother's name for your own daughter."

Teddy scrunched up his face in thought, "I guess I never thought of that before…"

"Tell you what. I'll talk to Hermione about it and see what she says. But I think that if we did happen to use your mothers name, it would probably be as a middle name, not a first name," said Draco.

Teddy nodded, "Ok. That will work."

"Alright," said Draco, "Now, why don't we head upstairs and have dinner. You wouldn't by chance know what we're having, do you?"

"Shepherd's pie. With a banana cream pie for dessert. Hermione requested both," said Teddy with a grin.

"Well, let's not keep the pregnant woman waiting," said Draco with a chuckle as he and Teddy headed towards the dining room.

Chapter Text

Three weeks came and went and Hermione floo'd into Susan's office for her scheduled appointment. The office, which was usually empty whenever she and Draco came in, was filled with giggles and laughter as she stepped through. She saw Susan with a little girl on her lap, giggling as she was being tickled by Susan. There was a man standing next to Susan, watching with amusement, who Hermione realized was Ernie McMillan. He had glanced up when she stepped through and gave her a wide grin. "Hermione! It's been a while! How are you?" he asked, walking around the desk towards her and giving her a hug.

"I'm well, if not a little tired," she said, placing a hand on her ever growing mound. "How are you?"

"I'm good. Me and Julia came by to see Susan at work today. Have you met our daughter yet?"

Hermione shook her head, "I haven't." She smiled at the little girl who was cuddling her mother now, her thumb in her mouth. "How old is she?"

"Almost three," said Susan, kissing the top of the strawberry-blond head. "Can you say hi to Miss Hermione?" she asked the little girl.

Julia buried her face in her mother's chest in answer. Susan chuckled, "She's shy at first but once she gets to know you, she'll chatter your ear off."

Hermione just smiled, wondering how her children would act around strangers, when Ernie pulled her out of her small daydream. "It was great seeing you Hermione, but I need to get Julia home and down for her nap. Plus, it looks like you're here for an appointment, correct?"

Hermione nodded, "Yes, though I am a bit early. It was great seeing you though."

Ernie took Julia from her mother and she buried her face in her father's neck, her eyes already drooping. Ernie looked at Susan and kissed her cheek, "See you at home for dinner?"

Susan nodded and said goodbye to her husband and child and watched as they disappeared through the floo. With a soft smile she turned to Hermione, "So, ready to start your appointment? Will Draco be attending?" She gathered charts as she and Hermione left her office and made their way to an exam room.

"Unfortunately, Draco had a meeting he needed to attend to. He tried to rearrange it so he could make this one, but they wouldn't change it. He's threatened to view this appointment through a pensive the next time we're home together," she said with a chuckle.

Susan laughed, "I don't think that will be necessary. This should be a fairly quick appointment unless there was something you wanted to discuss?"

Hermione shook her head, "Not at the moment, no. I'm happy to report that my morning sickness is finally gone."

"That's great to hear!" said Susan, "Though I do have to warn you, sometimes it comes back in the third trimester. But since you just started your second, you should have a few months free of nausea."

Hermione mock-glared at her doctor, "I will pretend you didn't just tell me I might get the morning sickness back and be blissfully unaware."

Susan chuckled, "Sorry, I'll try to only give you good news from here on out."

Hermione smiled, "That's more like it."

Susan performed the regular practices of checking Hermione's weight and checking the size of the babies, both of whom were still growing right on track. As their images floated above her abdomen, she couldn't help but sigh, "I wish Draco could be here to see them…"

"I have something that might help with that," said Susan. She opened a drawer and pulled out a wizards camera. She snapped a few picture of the babies, one of each by themselves and one of them together. The filmed developed like a polaroid and she handed the images to Hermione, who smiled widely. "This is perfect. Now we can show our friends and family too."

The two ladies talked for another few minutes before saying goodbye, Hermione scheduling another appointment in three weeks, putting her at 18 weeks.

That evening at dinner, everyone was seated and almost done with their meals when Draco walked in briskly into the dining room. "Sorry I'm late," he said, giving his mother a kiss on her cheek as he passed her chair, followed by giving Hermione the same treatment, before sitting down. "That meeting took forever, then I needed to make a few stops before coming home and time snuck away from me." A house elf emerged from the kitchen and set a fresh plate of food in front of Draco. "Thanks Gilly," he said as he dug into his pot roast.

"How did the meeting go?" asked Hermione.

"It went well. They are requesting a double in production though."

"Double? But you're already so busy with the current load. How in Merlin's name are you supposed to produce double?" she asked.

Draco gave her a knowing smirk, "That was why I was late today. I told him I could do it, but not before taking on someone who could help me. So I had to think about who excelled at potions along side the two of us, which was pretty hard to top, trust me." He grinned at that, and Hermione grinned back then nodded to let him continue. "Anyways, I had to track down Blaise and after some convincing, he agreed to help out a few times a week. We're going to try and double production, which will mean expanding my current lab's size and getting a few more cauldrons, but we should be able to get it work."

"And I can help in a pinch too," said Hermione.

"Absolutely not," he said sternly, "Some of the fumes are not safe for you during pregnancy, plus most evenings after work you are exhausted and can barely keep your eyes open for dinner. I don't need you overworking yourself because of me."

Hermione was about to argue when Narcissa chimed in, "He's right dear. You don't want to overdo it. The bigger you get, the more tired you will feel, plus not to mention all the swelling of your feet after a long work day. If anything, I can help Draco out. I was rather good at potions back in my day."

"So you've told me before Mother, but, it's been years since you've brewed anything," Draco pointed out.

"Then I guess my son will just have to make sure I do it correctly the first time and then I'll be set. Like most things, potion making is like riding a broom; once you learn, it's easy to pick back up again."

Hermione raised her brow, "I didn't know you rode brooms, Narcissa."

The elder witch nodded, wiping her mouth delicately before speaking again, "When I was a student at Hogwarts, yes. I was even offered the position of chaser on the school Quidditch team, but I was involved in many other extra-curricular activities so I had to decline ."

"I can help too," said Andromeda, "Maybe not the actual brewing, but filling up the vials and getting them ready to ship out."

Draco looked at his family around him and gave a small smile, "Thank you, everyone. Your support means alot to me." He took a few more bites of food before glancing at Hermione. "How did the appointment go?"

She smiled at him and pulled out the photo's from her pocket, "It went well. I got pictures since I know you were disappointed about not being able to see them today."

His smile grew as he viewed the images.

"I told Hermione earlier that I think they have the Malfoy nose, don't you think?" Narcissa asked as she leaned in closer to Draco to view the images again.

Draco chuckled and nodded in agreement, even though he couldn't really tell what shape their nose was because they couldn't see that much detail yet in the images. "We should frame these."

Hermione nodded, "That's what I was thinking. I made a few copies as well, but I wanted to frame these and maybe put them-"

"-in the nursery," Draco said along with her.

They smiled at each other as Narcissa cleared her throat, "Speaking of the nursery. We'll need to start working on that soon."

The group of adults talked about different nursery ideas and even asked Teddy his opinion so that he wouldn't feel left out. After a simple dessert of some pumpkin pie, they all went their separate ways for the evening.

Draco found Hermione in the library, curled up on the sofa in front of a roaring fire later that evening. He plucked a book from a nearby shelf, sat down next her, and began to read. After a few silent moments, Hermione leaned her head onto Draco's shoulder and sighed contently as she continued to read. Draco smiled to himself, but was soon startled when Hermione jumped and placed a hand on her stomach, "Oh!"

"What? Is everything ok? Are the babies alright?" he asked worriedly.

"Yes, everything's fine. I think.. I just felt.. yes! There it is again. Here, feel!" she grabbed his hand and placed it on a spot on her stomach. He felt a slight bulge but no movement. A minute went by and when nothing happened, he was about to remove his hand but then he felt it; the slightest nudge against his hand. His eyes met Hermione's and they were grinning at each other,

"Is that.. one of the babies?" he asked.

Hermione nodded, "Yes. And if they didn't switch positions since the appointment, I believe that's your little girl there. Oh!" She placed her free hand on the other side of her stomach, "And there's our boy. Apparently he wanted to make his presence known too."

Draco placed his other hand just under Hermione's, and felt his son push against him. "Doesn't that hurt?" he asked her curiously.

"No, not really. It feels kind of weird honestly. I'm sure once they get bigger it will probably be uncomfortable though," she said.

They sat there for a while, both their hands roaming around her stomach, trying to feel for any more movements and every time they felt something, their grins grew wider. "I can't believe there are babies in there… I mean, I know how pregnancy works, but it's different to think about when your own child," said Draco.

Hermione nodded, "I know what you mean. It's one thing to read about it, it's a whole other thing experiencing it yourself." Hermione stifled a yawn as she finished talking.

"You should head to bed," said Draco, reluctantly removing his hands.

Hermione nodded, her head resting on his shoulder again, "I will, soon."

Draco felt her relax and nudged her, "Come on, I'll help you to your bed."

Before she could say anything, he stood up then scooped her in his arms.

"Draco Malfoy, put me down! I'm entirely too heavy for you to carry me," said Hermione, trying to wiggle out of his grip.

Draco scoffed, holding her tighter so she wouldn't fall, "Please, your weight is fine. Now, in a few more months, I won't be able to pick you up, but I'm quite capable of carrying you at the time being." Too tired to argue, she stopped squirming and relaxed against him during the short walk to her room. He set her down near the edge of her bed and she looked at him almost shyly, "Do you… would you like to sleep here tonight?"

The hunger in his eyes and the smirk on his lips were confirmation enough.

Hermione chuckled and shook her head, "I really mean to just sleep… maybe after I get some rest we can see about other activities though."

Draco let out an exaggerated sigh, "Fine, alright." He pulled his shirt over his head and dropped his trouser pants to the floor, leaving on just a pair of his usual silk boxers.

Hermione left to use the loo and came back out in an oversized t-shirt and cotton pants. She had a faint frown her face, "I had to enlarge my pants slightly. I guess it's time to start looking into maternity clothes.. or applying charms to everything I wear…"

Draco, who was already lying in the middle of the bed, just smiled and shook his head, patting the space next to him. She climbed in, lying on her side to face him while he mirrored her.

"You know, it's not a bad thing that your clothes aren't fitting you. It just means the babies are growing," he said, pushing a stray curl behind her ear.

"I know, I think it's just a natural reaction though. I'll get used to it," she said, shifting so that she was on her back as she laid a hand on her stomach. Draco covered his hand over hers.

"Did you know that Teddy was wondering if we were going to name our daughter after his mum?" he asked after a few silent moments.

"Hm? No, I didn't know that. Is that what he wanted to talk to you about earlier?"

Draco nodded, "I told him that we hadn't really discussed names yet, but I think it would be best if we not use it at as a first name, incase he wanted to use it later whenever he had kids."

Hermione nodded, "To be honest, her name hadn't even crossed my mind to use. Though if we really wanted to honor her, we could anyways use it as a middle name... "

"That's what I told him," he said with a nod.

A few beats went by before Hermione glanced at him, "Are we actually going to start talking about names now?"

Draco shrugged, "We can if you want. Or we can wait till morning. Or another week or month. I have my list made already so whenever you're ready, we can discuss it."

Hermione bit her lip, "I have a list too…" she said.

Draco raised a brow, "Really?"

She nodded, getting up from the bed and pulled out a folded slip of paper from her desk drawer. She handed the list to him as she crawled back into bed.

"Hang on, let's look at the lists together," said Draco. He shifted to the edge of the bed and grabbed his wand from his trouser pocket. He accio'd the list from his room and it was in his hand within seconds. He handed her the folded piece of paper and at stealing one last glance at each other, they opened their partners list of names.

Draco read the list of names Hermione had chosen:



He glanced over at her as she read his list:



"Well," said Hermione, "It looks like we have our boy name, since that's the only one that matches on our lists." She gave him a wide smile before looking at the name and trailing her fingers over the letters that Draco wrote, "Scorpius. Honestly, when I read it in the book, I wasn't sure, but it grew on me over time and added it in at the last minute."

Draco smiled, "That's the name I mentioned before, the one I had in mind for a while. I'm glad we're going to use it. Though Orion and Hyperion were also good suggestions." He almost added that maybe they could use it for their next son, but thought better of it. "What were you thinking of for a middle name?" he asked, secretly hoping she wouldn't suggest Potter or, Merlin forbid, Weasley.

"Well, I was thinking of using your name. You have your father's name as your middle name and if I am to assume correctly, he had his father's name as his middle name, right?" Hermione asked.

Draco nodded, "Yes, that is our middle name tradition, but seeing as how you're already using celestial names to accommodate our first name tradition, I don't mind changing the middle name if there is another that you would like better, like your father or one of your grandfathers."

Hermione pondered for a moment, "Well, my father's name is Joseph and my grandfather's names are Jack and Charles… So it's between Scorpius Draco, Scorpius Joseph, Scorpius Jack, or Scorpius Charles." She peered over at him, "Which do you think sounds good?"

After mulling it over in his head, Draco said, "What about Scorpius Joseph Draco Malfoy-Granger?"

"That seems like a mouthful for a child, don't you think?," she asked with a chuckle, "We can just leave it as Scorpius Joseph Draco Malfoy and I think it sounds perfect."

Draco smiled and nodded in agreement, "I agree, but if we do two middle names for him, we'll have to have two middle names for her as well, to make it fair, right?"

"Yes, I believe so." Hermione said nodding, glancing back at the lists, "Speaking of our girl, it looks like we both like Calvera and Lyra."

Draco took both lists in his hand and looked them over, "They're both nice. How do we choose?"

"No idea. We can always just say the name and see if it elicits a response from her?" she suggested.

"How will we know if it's her or… Scorpius, kicking?" he asked, testing out the name in reference to his son. He found he quite liked it. "We were only just guessing earlier who was who when they were moving around."

"Hm, good point. We can always wait until my next doctor's visit and see where she's at?" Hermione suggested as she stifled a yawn.

Draco set aside the lists and noxed out the lights, "Or, we can sleep on it, and maybe one of us will have a dream as to which one to choose."

"Hm, not a bad idea," she agreed, closing her eyes as she snuggled closer to Draco. She kissed his cheek softly, "Goodnight Draco."

"Goodnight, Hermione," he said sleepily, pulling her closer and resting his hand on her stomach, smiling slightly when he felt a small nudge. "And goodnight to you two as well," he whispered before drifting off to sleep.

Chapter Text

Hermione sat on a bench overlooking the playground. There were a bunch of children running about, but it was easy to spot her own due to their hair making them stick out in any crowd they go to. The 4yr old twins raced over to the swings, the little girl getting there first. Hermione watched, unsure if her son would throw a fit or not. She was relieved when he offered to push his sister on the swing instead. She smiled at them, still not believing they were hers. The little boy was an exact replica of his father with straight, platinum hair and grey eyes. The little girl also had a head of the blondest hair she could imagine but instead of straight like her brothers, hers was bouncy with curls like her mother's with her eyes a brilliant blue, a trait from her paternal grandmother's side. Hermione sighed and placed a hand on her protruding belly, hoping that this next child would inherit something from his mother, perhaps darker hair or brown eyes.

She looked up when she heard a familiar cry ring out through the hair. She saw that her daughter was on the ground crying while her son stood next to her, looking extremely worried. She walked over to them and as soon as he saw his mother he said, "It was an accident! I didn't mean to push her off!" Hermione noted that he was close to tears with worry and guilt.

She knelt down beside the little girl, her cries already starting to slow, to check for any injuries, as she addressed her son, "It's ok, Scorp. You just need to be careful next time, ok?"

Scorpius sniffled and nodded, "Kay, mama."

Hermione lifted the chin of her daughter, wiping away the last of her tears with her thumbs, "You alright, Ly?"

Lyra sniffled, "Yes. But Scorp pushed me too hard and I felled!" she whined, her lower lip protruding with a quiver.

"Now sweetie," Hermione said as she picked up the little girl and placed her on her hip, "I don't think he meant for that to happen. And I'm sure he's very sorry about it as well." She looked over her daughter's head and looked pointedly at Scorpius.

"Yes, I'm very sorry Ly-Ly!" he said earnestly. "Do you want to go play on the slides now? You can go first."

Lyra smiled and nodded, wiggling out of her mother's arms to hold her brothers hand as they ran towards the slides.

Hermione sighed as she began to wake from her dream. She felt the weight of Draco's arm around her waist and his soft, heavy breathing into her hair. She smiled at both him and of her dream, then realized that she had called her little girl Ly, which just had to be short for Lyra! Draco was right, damn him, that sleeping on it would help her choose. Then her mind remembered another tidbit of the dream, the one where she was pregnant with another child. She wondered briefly what that meant, if anything… as far as she knew, she and Draco were going to go their separate ways after the required five years, but still work together to co-parent their children. Unless… She nibbled her lip, unsure if she should want, or hope, that they don't separate. She could admit to herself that she had some feelings for Draco now, but was it enough to make it a lasting marriage? She debated if she should tell Draco about the pregnancy bit of her dream or just not bring it up, and only tell him about the little girl...

"You're thinking awfully loud for this early in the morning," he mumbled sleepily.

Hermione jolted slightly, unaware that he had woken up, "Sorry. Though you'll be pleased to know that you were right."

She knew he was smirking as he said, "Of course I was. But, it would help if you could clarify what exactly I was right about this time."

She nudged him playfully with her elbow causing him to shift to his back as she did the same until she was on her side, facing him.

"I had a dream about what we named our little girl. The twins were older, like four or five years in age, and we were at the park. I called the little boy 'Scorp'," she said.

Draco nodded. "And the little girl?" he asked anxiously.

"Lyra. Well, I called her 'Ly', but I am guessing that's just a nickname," she said smiling.

"Lyra," he said with a grin. "Should we make it official and say that that will be her name? Or do you still want to think more on it?"

"No, I think that's the name. What do you think of Lyra Narcissa Kathleen Malfoy?"

Draco's eyes widened slightly, "You want one of her middle names to be my mother's name? Are you sure?"

Hermione nodded, "Yes, absolutely."

"She's going to go out of her mind with happiness once she finds out," he said chuckling.

"As I'm sure my mother will as well. But… I was thinking maybe we should wait on telling everyone their names? Maybe keep this little information to ourselves until they are born? What do you think?"

"Hm, I like that. Plus, It'll drive mother and all of our friends crazy," he said with a mischievous grin.

"Then it's settled. We have the names picked out, but everyone else will have to wait until they are born to know them," she said as she stifled a yawn.

"You should get some more rest. It's Saturday after all. You are allowed to sleep in you know."

"I don't know if I can fall back asleep now that I'm up… though I can maybe be persuaded to stay in bed longer if you wanted to lounge about a bit more?" she asked, stroking one finger lightly down his chest to hem of his boxers.

Draco grinned and removed her hand while shaking his head, "As much as it pains me to decline that wonderful offer, I need to get up. Blaise is coming over later and I need to go to Diagon Alley first to pick up more ingredients before we start brewing."

"Oh. Well, do you want some company to Diagon Alley?" she asked.

At Draco's nod, she climbed out of bed, "Alright. Let me grab a quick shower and we can leave in a half hour."

"Do you need help washing your back? I'm a very good back scrubber you know," he informed, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively at her.

Hermione chuckled then angled her head towards the bathroom, indicating for him to get in before she changed her mind.

The refreshing, crisp November air had Hermione smiling as she and Draco walked down Diagon Alley. Her arm linked with his, Draco escorted her to a shop where he would buy his supplies. As he added his wares to a handbasket, Hermione poked around and picked out some supplies of her own, mostly things to help sooth heartburn which she had read was very common during the last trimester of pregnancy. She also picked up stuff to help with back pain and ingredients to make a concoction for colicy babies. From what Narcissa told her, Draco cried the first few months of his life due to colic and she only hoped that her own babies, as well as herself, won't have to suffer through that.

She came across a bottle of cream and smiled in realization of what it was. "Oh!" she said excitedly, picking up the bottle and reading the back.

Draco heard her and briefly wondered if something was wrong, but the smile on her face made him relax. He looked over to the bottle in her hand and asked, "What do you have there?"

Hermione handed him the bottle with the label Madame Lucinda's Belly Cream on the front. "Ginny was talking about this the other day when we met up for lunch," Hermione explained, "She said that she had been looking everywhere for it but they were sold out. It looks like they have a few bottles here though. Maybe I'll get one for myself and one for her… and Pansy too, I suppose, since she's also expecting." Hermione plucked the bottle from Draco's hand and tossed it, along with two others, in the handbasket.

"Are you ready to go or did you need to get some more things?" she asked.

"I'm done," he said, heading towards the front counter to pay for his supplies as well as Hermione's. She knew it was useless to argue with him about paying for her things; She'll just pay for the next outing, whatever that may be.

As they headed back towards the Leaky Cauldron, Pansy called out to them, coming out of Fortescue's.

"Hey Pans. Ice cream huh? Don't you think it's a little cold for that?" Draco asked with one raised brow.

Pansy shook her head, "I'd usually agree with you, but this little bugger is making me crave it."

"What did you get?" asked Hermione, eye the bag and contemplating getting some for herself.

"Just chocolate. With chocolate brownies mixed in. And fudge," the dark haired witch said with a grin.

Hermione grinned back, "That sounds lovely. I think I'm going to get some myself. But first, I need use the loo… one of the twins is currently using my bladder as a pillow" she said with a pained look before turning to Draco, "Do you want me to you any ice-cream?" she asked.

Draco shook his head, "No, thank you."

As Hermione made her way to the ice-cream parlor, Pansy gave Draco a cool look, "So, what are you and Mrs. doing out here this chilly November morning?"

"Had some errands to run before Blaise comes over and helps out in the lab," he said airily, watching Hermione enter the establishment.

"And here I thought you were actually taking your wife out on a proper date," she said, tsking under her breath.

Draco sighed irritably, "What are you talking about, Pans? I take Hermione out all the time for lunch."

"A lunch date is not a date, Draco dear. A girl likes to be wined and dined and swept off her feet every once in awhile."

Draco rolled his eyes, "I sweep her off her feet plenty. In fact, just this morning in the shower-"

"Please stop there" Pansy interrupted, wrinkling her nose, "I really don't want to hear about specific details of you shagging Hermione."

Draco smirked at her, pleased that he had gotten under her skin.

Pansy sighed and gave him a serious look. "What I meant to ask was, when was the last time you ever took Hermione out to dinner, to a nice restaurant, just the two of you? Or out to a play or something?"

Draco thought about it and realized with a start that he never had. Their meals always took place at the manor and they were always joined by friends during their outings.

Pansy smiled knowingly, "Now you see what I'm getting at. Maybe you should rectify this if you plan on keeping her longer than the obligatory five years."

Draco frowned. "How do you know I want to do that?" he asked skeptically.

She patted his cheek, "Draco, I've known you for forever. You obviously care for her, more than just what the marriage agreement needs from you."

Draco shook his head, unsure of even his own feelings. "Has she complained of our lack of, dates, as you put it?"

Pansy shook her head, "No, but I can see the wistfulness in her eyes whenever Ginny and I talk about our dates with our husbands."

"Are you telling me that Weasley is a better husband than I am because he takes you out on proper dates? That is just unacceptable," he muttered. Pansy just smiled. She knew that would light a fire under Draco's arse.

"Well, then, do something about it," she said, poking his chest for emphasis, "And the next time her and I go to the Potter's for brunch, I expect to hear about a wonderful and romantic time she had out with her husband."

Draco rubbed at the spot she had poked and scowled at her, "Oh, you can bet your arse that she'll be bragging, believe me."

Pansy just rolled her eyes and glanced to the ice cream shop, noting that Hermione was coming back, two bags in her hand.

WIth a sheepish grin, Hermione said, "I got the same kind you did, but then I saw their mint double-chocolate chip brownie ice-cream and had to get that too…"

"Well, seeing as you're eating for three, I think that's acceptable," Pansy easily easily and without malice. "Well, I better get going before this melts and I end up drinking it instead."

Draco rolled his eyes, "You're a witch, Pans. Just refreeze it."

"It doesn't taste the same," said Hermione and Pansy at the same time. The girls grinned at each other.

"Oh! I have something for you," said Hermione, handing Draco the bags of ice-cream as she took the other bag from his hand that held the items he bought at the store. She riffled through it and came up with a bottle of the belly cream, handing it Pansy.

"Is this that cream that Ginny was talking about?" Pansy asked, inspecting it.

"Sure is. I also got one for her as well. The shop we went to had a few of them in stock and since they are rarely found in stores, I got one for all three of us."

"Well, thanks. I appreciate it. I'll see you at Ginny's tomorrow for brunch?" Pansy asked.

Hermione noded, "Yes, tomorrow."

As Pansy walked ahead of them, Draco took the bag from Hermione, holding all their purchases including her ice-cream, then offered his free elbow. "I didn't realize you and Pansy were friends now," he said conversationally.

Hermione shrugged, linking her arm through his once more, "We've gotten to know each other better I guess. And I think we both realized that since she's your friend and Ron's my friend, that we should at least be nice to each other. So yes, a friendship of sorts of formed between us."

Draco let her through the Diagon Alley entrance and held the door open to the Leaky Cauldron for her. "I'm glad you're getting along. She and I have been friends for a long time, except for the few years after the battle when I dated Astoria instead of going back to her. I thought she'd never talk to me again, but I guess she's put everything in the past."

Hermione smiled and kissed his cheek right before they stepped into the fireplace and floo'd back to the manor.
"Well, you are a great friend to have, Draco. I dare say that you are one of my best friends, along side Harry and Ron, of course."

Draco made a dramatic sigh, "While I never much liked being on any sort of the same pedestal as those two, hearing you say that does mean a lot to me. And…" he lightly grabbed her hand, kissing her knuckles, "You're one of my best friends, too."

Hermione's stomach fluttered slightly at the effection. She gave him a smile as she hid her blush and said, "Well, I'm going to go put my stuff away and let you get ready for your day in the lab."

He watched as she opened her bedroom and he called to her before she stepped in. She turned her head, looking over her shoulder at him with an eyebrow raised in question.

"I was wondering… I was thinking of sending Blaise home around dinner time. Would you care to accompany me out to dinner this evening? Just the two of us?"

Surprise registered on her face, "Just us? Like a… a date?"

Draco nodded, "Yes, like a date."

Hermione smiled, "I'd like that. Pick me up here, at 6. And don't be late." She gave him a mock-serious look as she continued. "A first date is very impressionable on a young woman, after all." She threw a wink his way as she closed her door, leaving Draco smiling back at her, already thinking of what and where they will go on their official first date.

Chapter Text

The day seemed to go at a crawling pace, at least, according to Draco. He knew the saying that a watched cauldron never boils, but that still didn't stop him from looking at his pocketwatch every few minutes.

After only two hours of brewing and Draco looking at the time, again, Blaise groaned, "Why the bloody hell do you keep looking at your watch for? Do you have other plans or something? If I'm not mistaken, you're the one who told me to be here today, even though I protested that it was the bloody weekend."

Draco ran an irritated hand through his hair, "I know, I know. But that was before... " he sighed, "That was before I made plans for a date tonight and I'm kind of preoccupied wishing that the bloody time would go faster."

Blaise blinked, "A date? You made a bloody date for tonight? With who? And does Hermione know?"

Draco glared at his friend, "I would think that you would know me better than that, Zabini." He shook his head as he checked on one of the cauldrons. "I asked Hermione out."

Blaise raised a brow, "You asked your own wife out? Why are you so on edge then? It's just Hermione."

"It's not just Hermione. I mean, yes, it'll be just the two of us, but… I don't know how to put this…" Draco paced the room while Blaise watched with interest. He went to another cauldron and checked on its progress as his friend tried to explain again, "The past few months, we've gotten to know each other and we've spent a lot of time together. It's been strictly platonic except that we occasionally shag to help with our 'needs', as she calls it. But we've never dated. I never got a chance to actually court her. When we married, we were just beginning to be cordial to one another. Our honeymoon was spent talking and getting comfortable around each other to try and get past our history."

Blaise thought about what Draco said then he looked up at his friend and asked, "Are you just asking her out because you feel that you have to? Because she's already carrying your children? Or are you asking her out because you want to? To see if you guys might have a real connection and relationship that can go beyond the five year requirement?

"I want to see if we can make it work," Draco said without hesitation.

Blaise smiled, "Well then, while these potions steep, I'll help you plan the best fuckin' first date ever."

Time seemed to go quicker for Hermione. She spent a good portion of her day reading and eating some of the ice-cream that she bought. When she glanced at the clock and realized she only had two hours until Draco was supposed to take her out, she yelped and hurried to her expansive bathroom to get ready.

She showered, dried, applied makeup, and styled her hair. She usually let someone else do her hair for her, but she wanted to try her hand at it and found that she was pretty good at the charms now. Wrapped in a plush robe, Hermione stood before her wardrobe and pondered what to wear. She probably should have asked Draco where they were going, but knowing him, it would be a fancy restaurant. She picked out a navy blue, long sleeve, knee-length dress with a v-shape neck line that promptly enunciated her ever-growing breasts. Taking mind to her hair, she slipped the dress on then rummaged through her drawers for a pair of black stockings. Finishing off the ensemble were a pair of black ankle-high boots. She had to enlarge almost every article of clothing to fit her pregnant belly, but when she looked in the mirror she found that she didn't quite mind. She slipped on some silver and gold dangle-bracelets, a pair of pearl earrings from her parents, and finally, a silver chained necklace with an otter charm that rested just above the middle of her breasts.

As she finished putting on last minute touch-ups on her makeup, she heard a knock on her bedroom door. She grabbed her favorite perfume and spritzed the area in front of her, then walked through fragrance on her way to meet her date.

Draco was there, with a bouquet of purple lilies in hand. "Good evening," he smiled at her, taking her in. "You look beautiful." Even though she blushed at his words, he could have sworn she was also glowing. She was saying something and he had to shake his head slightly to pay attention. At his questioning look, she laughed softly and gestured to the flowers.

"Oh, these are for you. I believe I remember you telling me that your favorite flower were lilies, correct?" he asked, handing her the flowers.

Hermione smiled and nodded as she took the offered bouquet. "Yes, that is correct. They're in my favorite color too." She inhaled the flowery scent before transfiguring a glass cup into a vase and used aguamenti to fill it up with water. She placed the flowers into the vase and put them on her bedside table. Draco crossed over to her and picked up her coat from the foot of her bed and held it open for her so she could slip her arms in. She grabbed a small clutch and smiled, "So do I get any hints to where we are going?"

Draco smiled, "Well, as you can assume, we are going out to dinner. However, I booked reservations to two places."

Hermione gave him a quizzical look, "Two? Why two?"

"Well, I figured I'd let you know the locations of the two places and we can go to one while I cancel the other."

"Where are the two places at?" she inquired.

"The first place is at an upscale Wizarding location. The other, while also upscale, is in Muggle London."

Hermione's eyes widened, "You made reservations to both Wizarding and Muggle establishments?" At his nod she smiled and shook her head, "Why did you do that? I would have been happy with either."

Draco shrugged, "Well, I was originally going to take you the Wizarding place by default. But I know you don't like the attention that usually comes with going to places like that and there are always reporters there. I also didn't want you to think I was taking you there to deliberately show you off."

Hermione made to say something but Draco held up a hand to stop her. At her nod, he continued, "So then I thought maybe I'd take you to a Muggle place… but I was afraid you would have thought that I didn't want to be seen with you. I was having a hell of a time choosing, so I decided to book both places and let you decide."

Hermione opened her mouth a few times to say something, but each time nothing came out. Finally, she gave him a smile and said, "Thank you, for thinking of me like that. But I can assure you, I wouldn't have thought those things about either location. I'd actually never been to an upscale Wizarding restaurant before and since that is where I was assuming we were going, I was already preparing myself for that."

Draco nodded, "Alright. After we leave the manor, I'll call and cancel the muggle restaurant."

Hermione looked at him curiously. "Call? As in, a telephone?"

Draco smirked and pulled out a cell phone from his pocket, "I saw yours and thought how nice it was to have instant communication. So I ventured out and got one for myself. I've only had it for a week, but I also thought it would be good to have incase you need to get a hold of me in emergencies."

Hermione smiled, "Look at you, using Muggle technology."

Draco rolled his eyes, pocketing his phone, "Oh yes. And I'm pretty sure my father is rolling in his grave as we speak."

Hermione laughed as he escorted her towards the fireplace in her room. He grabbed a handful of floo powder and together they vanished to the Leaky Cauldron.

As Hermione stepped out, she eyed Draco, "This better not be the 'upscale' place you were talking about."

Draco snorted, "Of course not." Without any further explanation, Draco offered his elbow to escort her through Diagon Alley.

"I know there are a couple of restaurants in Diagon Alley, but I didn't know any of them would be considered "upscale" here either," said Hermione as they walked down the cobblestone street.

"That's because it's not on the main Alley street." As he said that, they turned into a alleyway between two other wizarding shops. The alley twisted and turned and finally stopped at the entrance to what Hermione could only describe as a massive red-brick building. Outside the building were reporters milling about with their photographers. When she tried to look through the windows, she saw they were fogged over, probably to give the patrons their privacy.

Draco cleared his throat, "Ready?" he asked.

Hermione nodded, tightening their linked elbows.

As soon as they stepped out of the shadows, cameras started flashing.

"Malfoy! Malfoy! Over here!"

"Mrs. Malfoy, how are you feeling? Is it true that you're carrying twin boys and will be naming them Lucius and Cygnus?"

"Do you know what you're having yet?"

"Any names to give the public?"

"Mr. Malfoy, what are you doing here this evening?"

Draco glared at the latest reporter and his cameraman as if they were mental. "I'm taking my wife out to a nice and private dinner. Why else would we be coming here?"

The reporter looked flustered as his cameraman snapped a few more pictures while Draco pulled Hermione into the safety of the restaurant.

"Don't worry, they're not allowed in here," he assured her as he helped her out of her coat.

"That's good, I wouldn't want to be blinded while trying to eat my dinner," she said, blinking a few times to get the spots out of her vision.

As a house-elf took their coats, a waiter stepped up to them, "Ah, Mr. Malfoy, right on time." He looked at Hermione and smiled, "And you must be the lovely Mrs. Malfoy, yes?" He took her hand and kissed her knuckles quickly. "If you two will follow me, I have a table all set up for you."

They followed the waiter through the restaurant, Hermione couldn't stop staring at all around her. Every table was lit with three or four floating candles to create an intimate setting. The walls were decorated with works of art, some muggle, some not. There was even a wall lined with shelves, filled with books. Draco knew as soon as she saw them since he heard her gasp softly.

He smiled and looked down at her, "I knew you'd like that."

"How did you find this place?" she asked, still looking at everything she could. She especially liked the miniature statue of a Sphinx, which would every now and again, would swish her tail, or bat at something in the air.

Draco shrugged, "It's been here for forever. It mostly caters to those with money though. I've only been here a handful of times myself."

She gave him a wry look, "Let me guess, this is your usual first date spot?" she asked.

Before he could answer, the waiter stopped by a table at the other side of the restaurant, right in front of a massive window.

After they sat and were handed their menus, the waiter offered them some red wine to start off the evening.

"I'll take a glass," said Hermione.

Draco lifted a brow, "Can you? With being pregnant and all?"

Hermione nodded took a sip of her wine while the waiter poured a glass for Draco, "Yes. All books I've read said that I can actually have one glass per day if I really wanted to. I just haven't indulged but I figured tonight can be the exception."

"Alright, but just one," said Draco firmly.

Hermione rolled her eyes before looking at the menu again. After few moments, the waiter came back and took their order. Once he was gone, Draco looked at Hermione and said, "To answer your earlier question; no. I don't use this place for all of my first dates."

"Oh," said Hermione, blushing slightly. "Where do you usually take them?"

Draco shrugged, sipping his wine, "Usually a restaurant of sorts, just not this particular one."

"Have you taken anyone here?" she asked.

"I took Astoria on her insistence once, but that was it," he said. "What about you? Where do you normally go to on dates?"

"Depends on the person taking me out I guess. Some have just been out to coffee or lunch, or to a cafe attached to a bookstore. Ron and I would sometimes go to the movies, though they sort of scared him," she said with a slight chuckle.

"What's a movie?" Draco asked genuinely curious.

"Do you remember how my dad took you to watch some television at my house?" she asked.

Draco nodded.

"Well, it's sort of like that, but the screen is huge and you watch it with other people who want to see the same movie," she said.

Draco thought about that and said aloud, "Maybe next time we can go see one of those movie things."

"A next time huh? And what makes you think there will be a second date?" she asked teasingly.

"Didn't you know?" he asked seriously, "I'm irresistible." He flashed her a grin that made her laugh and almost choke on her sip of wine.

Their dinner arrived and sat and talked all throughout eating.

When their meal was almost complete, Hermione said, "Can I ask you something?"

"If I say no, will you ask anyways?" he replied with a grin.

Hermione smiled and nodded back. He shrugged and said, "Then ask away."

"Why did you ask me out tonight?" she asked curiously.

"Am I not allowed to take my wife out to dinner?" he asked back.

"You know what I mean," she said seriously, "We've been married for a few months now and this the first time we've gone out a proper date."

Draco thought about what she said as he ate another bite of food. "You'd say that things have changed between us since we first got matched up, right?"

Hermione looked pointedly down at her stomach then back to him with a raised brow, "You think?"

Draco chuckled, "I mean besides that. You and me. We've already admitted that we're one another's best friends which is a huge leap from the somewhat awkward cordialness we had around each other in the beginning, yes?"

She nodded, "Yes."

He reached over and took her hand in his and squeezed gently, "You're my best friend. And you're beautiful, and you're the mother of my children. Not to mention smart, stubborn, and sexy. Why wouldn't I want to ask you out?"

Hermione blushed, "Well, when you put it that way…but why did it take you so long?"

He let out a breath, "Honestly? I've been telling myself that we're both fine with how things have been between us, but now…"

She squeezed his hand, "But now?"

He just smiled at her, squeezing her hand back, "You should finish your dinner, you know. We still have the second portion of our date to get to."

She looked at him surprised, "The second portion? You mean, there's more?"

He nodded and looked at his watch, "In fact, we have to leave in about ten minutes if we want to get there on time. Why don't you use the loo and I'll pay then we'll head out, ok?"

"Where are we going?" she asked with a mixture of excitement and curiosity.

"It's a surprise," he said mysteriously.

She gave him a friendly glare and stood to made her way to the ladies restroom while Draco got the waiter's attention for their bill.

Eight minutes later, after Draco and Hermione wound their way to the back entrance of the restaurant, Draco pulled out a small, black comb from his coat pocket.

At Hermione's questioning look, he shrugged and said, "Portkey."

Hermione's eyes grew, "Portkey?"

Draco nodded and held it out to her so she could hold onto it too.

"Can I at least have a hint?"



"No, quit asking. You'll find out in thirty seconds."

Hermione pouted and batted her eyes, "Please?"

Draco sighed and rolled his eyes but he couldn't help the grin his lips formed, "You're such a big baby, you know that?"

"Are you calling me big?" she asked indignantly, one hand on her hip while the other still held a portion of the comb.

He grinned, "Yes."

Before she could retort, the portkey went off and whisked them off to their destination.

Chapter Text

Hermione wasn't sure where Draco had planned to take her, but when she opened her eyes, she didn't expect this.

"The Louvre?" she asked in a hushed tone.

Draco nodded, "Yes."

"But… we just appeared inside the entrance to the The Louvre? How is that... possible? What if someone saw us?"

Before Draco could answer, a voice near them said, "Ah, you must be the 7:30 reservation. Malfoy, is it?"

Draco turned and looked at the guard who was stationed to the left of them, "Yes, sir."

"May I have your portkey, please?" asked the guard.

Draco handed him the comb and the guard took out a list and marked something on there.

"Alright, my name's Gus. Welcome to the Louvre. As you can see, it's currently closed to the public, but since you have a reservation, the whole place is yours for two hours."

Hermione's eyes widened, "The whole place… ours? I... I don't understand."

Draco chuckled, "You don't seriously think that places like this only relys on Muggle anti-theft tactics, do you? No, they're guarded by both wizard and muggle technology alike. The muggle minister knows, of course, as do the people that run the place, but no one else. All guards on duty are wizards, though their wand is usually transfigured to look like a torch." Draco looked at Gus, "Did I get that right?"

Gus nodded, "Yup, that's the basics of it. If you have any questions, just stop any guards that are on patrol and they'll help you out. Come back to me when you're ready to leave and I'll give you a portkey that will take you back to London."

"Thank you, Gus. We'll see you in a few hours," Draco said as she took Hermione's arm and led her deeper inside the famous museum.

"Have you ever been here before?" Draco asked conversationally.

Hermione nodded, "Yes, but it was extremely crowded and I could barely see anything."

"Well, it doesn't look like we'll have that problem this time around," said Draco teasingly.

Hermione looked up at him and smiled a brilliant smile, "This is incredible. You're really going to have to have a tough time topping this on our next date."

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you're in-charge of the next date," he said smugly.

"Fine, the third date then," Hermione said absently as she walked up to a display and began reading the information.

"A third date? What makes you think there'll be a third date?" Draco said, mimicking Hermione's earlier statement.
"Didn't you know?" she asked and she turned to him, "I'm irresistable."

Draco smiled at her, "Well, no argument there."

Hermione blushed then leaned up to kiss his cheek. She grabbed his hand and interlaced her fingers with his and pulled him along to the next display.

They walked the whole museum and Hermione talked the whole time. Draco, who had never really been there before, save for when he was very young so he didn't retain much information, actually liked how she explained everything. She showed so much passion into what she talked about that he paid more attention to her then to the exhibits. And to think, over ten years ago, he would have made fun of her for going on and on and on about such things. How times have changed

Draco checked his watched and had to inform Hermione that they needed to get back to the entrance hall to get their portkey back home to London.

"Can we come back again? Maybe after the kids are born and they are little older? They won't really understand anything, but I think introducing them to this kind of stuff early on is very fundamental in their growth development."

Draco just smiled and said, "Sounds like a date."

They apparated from where they were to the front and Gus looked up at them from his magazine and smiled, "Have fun?"
"Oh, it was marvelous! Thank you so much for letting us come here," said Hermione.

Gun blushed, "'Tis no problem Miss. It's actually very common for Wizard folk to want to come after hours and have the place to themselves instead of along with Muggles.. You know, just in case accidental magic happens and whatnot. Especially with children."

Hermione nodded, "Yes, I completely understand." She laid a hand on her stomach and sighed, "I hope when we come back with these two, that they'll enjoy it as much as I did. And from the kicking and moving around they are doing right now, I am going to assume that they will."

Draco smiled at her then looked at Gus, "Thank you, Gus. It really was interesting."

Gus nodded, "Now, you two will need a portkey back, right?"

"Yes," said Draco, "To London. Do you need a location?"

"Is Diagon Alley alright with you?" asked Gus, pulling out a miniature portrait of the Mona Lisa.

Draco looked at Hermione who nodded, then said ,"Yes, that's fine.".

Gus tapped the picture and mumbled the spell then handed it to Draco. "This will go off in about two minutes. And it's also a souvenir for the pretty lady," he said with a wink.

Hermione smiled and thanked him while Draco shook his hand. They walked slightly away to where they first appeared as they both held the portrait.

"Thank you for such a lovely evening," said Hermione.

"You're welcome," said Draco.

"I can't wait to tell Ginny and Pansy all about this tomorrow at brunch!" Hermione said excitedly.

Draco just smirked but didn't say anything as their portkey began to glow and take them back to London.

"He took you to the Louvre? Last night?" asked Pansy.

Hermione smiled and nodded as she ate her fruit salad.

"Merlin that man works fast," Pansy mumbled to herself.

Hermione laughed, "What?"

"Oh, it's nothing. I just told him that he should take you out on proper dates, since coffee and lunches are not considered those, and that when he does, I want to hear about the fabulous time you had. And that was yesterday morning," said Pansy, pushing away her fruit and going for a piece of pie instead.

"I never minded the lunch dates, actually, but you're right, they were more cordial than an actual date is. And I really did have a fabulous time," she said again with a happy sigh. "Though my feet were killing me by the time we returned home."

Ginny came back to patio where the girls were having their brunch, "Sorry about that. This child makes me have to use the loo every hour it seems," she said, putting some fruit onto her plate. "What did I miss?"

"You should try having two of them fighting for your bladder. It's really fun," said Hermione sarcastically.

"Hermione here was just telling me about how Draco took her to Paris last night and they got to visit the Louvre all by themselves."

Ginny's eyes widened and faced Hermione, "Really? Tell me everything! Start from the beginning though."

So Hermione told them of their time during the dinner then the surprise of the portkey to Paris. "By the time we returned," Hermione concluded, "I was exhausted."

"I'm sure Draco especially enjoyed your thank you," said Ginny with a wink.

Pansy made a disgusted sound while Hermione shook her head, "Actually, no. After we got home, I basically passed out."

"Wait wait.. You mean tell me that your man took you to an extravagant restaurant, followed by a whole museum all to yourself, and you didn't give him hot, thank-you sex?" Pansy asked, clearly stunned.

Hermione blushed, "Well… I'm sure he would have liked that, but we were pretending that this was like our very first date… and, well, I don't have sex on the first date."

"Uh, Hermione, hate to break it to you, but it's kind of too late for that," said Ginny, motioning to her friends belly.

Hermione responded by sticking her tongue out.

"Speaking of the twins, have you come up with names yet?" asked Pansy.

"Yes," said Hermione, taking another bite of food.

"Well?" asked Ginny, "What did you choose?"

Hermione smiled mischievously, "That, my dear, is a secret."

"A secret? Until when?" her friend demanded.

"Until they're born, of course," said Hermione as if it were the most obvious answer.

"What?!" Ginny and Pansy said at the same time.

"But.. that's not fair!" Ginny whined. "You guys already know what we're going to name our kid if it's a boy or girl."

"I have a feeling that even if you didn't tell us, everyone would have known that Harry was going to pick either James or Lily as names. But speaking of James or Lily, when are you planning on having your gender reveal party?" Hermione asked, knowing it would change the subject.

"I was thinking in a few weeks, when I'm halfway along. Do you still want to help me plan it?"

Hermione nodded. "And I think," she said with a grin, "I have the most perfect plan for you."

Chapter Text

As the girls made party plans and chatted over fruit and desserts, Draco was in his lab, checking on potions and bottling others.

"Knock, knock," said Blaise, as he stood at the entrance of the lab.

"What are you doing here?" Draco asked, as he glanced towards the door.

"Came by to see if you wanted to help finishing up the work from yesterday."

"Well, why are you standing by the door then? Come in and make yourself useful. I'd like be done before dinner," said Draco.

"My, my. What a grouch this morning. Didn't get enough beauty sleep?" Blaise said, grabbing empty vials and going over to a cauldron.

"It's not that," said Draco.

"What? Did the date not go well?"

"Oh, it went fine. Great even. She said that she's planning the next date," said Draco.

"So, what's the problem then? The sex last night wasn't satisfactory enough for you?"

Draco growled and gave his friend a scathing look.

Blaise lifted his hands as a sign of surrender, "Alright, fine. We won't talk about your sex life."

They worked for a few minutes in silence before Draco said, "Just to inform you, sex with Hermione is always great. I don't think the words 'wasn't satisfactory' would ever come to mind. The reason why I'm grumpy, as you put it, is that by the time we came home, she was dead on her feet. And I was… well, not."

"She left you hanging, so to speak," offered Balise.

Draco nodded, "I don't blame her... She is growing two humans inside of her. And I would never, ever force her. I was just really looking forward to-"

"Stop," said Blaise, "I don't want specifics. Just take a bloody cold shower or something."

"I've tried. A few times. I can't get her image out of my head," said Draco, closing his eyes and rubbing the area between his eyes.

"Well, let's finish up here and maybe we can convince Theo into going to a pub for a quick drink," Blaise suggested as he finished up one cauldron and made his way to the next.

"Fine," mumble Draco, marking off the sheet on his desk and packing up the prepared vials.

An hour later, their work finally done, the two friends made their way to the main floor of the manor.

"I'm just going to shower and change. Meet you at the Leaky Cauldron in about a half hour?"

Blaise nodded and disappeared into the floo to his own residence while Draco took the steps, two a time, on his way to his room.

As he opened the door to his bedroom, he heard a voice behind him, "Draco?"

He turned around and a smile instantly formed on his face, "Hermione. You're back already?"

She nodded, walking over to him, "Yes, just got back. Been keeping yourself busy in the lab?"

"Yeah, Blaise came by and helped me bottle potions. I'm going to take a quick shower and he wants to go hang out at the Leaky Cauldron for a bit."

"Oh, ok," she said.

"I can cancel, if you want me to stay or… something," he offered.

"No, no. You go, I had some girl time, you go have guy time," she said, shooing him off.

"Well, if you're sure…"

Hermione nodded and took another step towards him, wrapping her arms loosely around his neck, "Before you go though, I just wanted to thank you, again, for last night."

He smiled down at her, his arms encircling her waist as much as he could with the slight bulge of her belly between them, "You're very welcome."

Hermione lifted herself on her toes and pressed her lips to his, pulling him closer. Draco tilted his head and deepened the kiss, walking backwards into his room, taking Hermione with him.

"When do you have to be there?" she asked him as she broke their kiss and started playing with the hem of his shirt.

"Half hour. But I don't care if I'm late," he said, kissing her again and closing the door with his foot.

"You're mother will have a heart attack if she heard you say that," she teased, slipping her hands under his shirt and up his back so that her hands touched his bare skin.

"Can we please not talk about my mother while I'm trying to snog you?" he asked pleadingly, his forehead against hers.

"I suppose that's a reasonable request," she said, trailing kisses along his jaw until she got to his ear and nibbled. His hands twitched and clutched her tighter. "How about I help you out with that shower of yours?" she whispered in his ear.

For an answer, he took the hem of her shirt and pulled it over her head. He moaned as his hands were cupping her breasts, lightly stroking her nipple under the lacey fabric. "Do you have to wear such sexy underthings all the time?"

"Well, if you want," Hermione said, tilting her head back as he trailed kisses along her neck, "I can change into a plain, cotton one.

He tweaked a nipple playfully, making her squeak, "No need. This one isn't going to be staying on much longer anyways." He made good to his word as his arms snaked around her back and undid the clasp in a single flick.

"I swear you cheat with magic when you do that," she said, pulling his shirt off over his head so they were on even ground.

He grinned cockily at her, "You wish. I'm just that good."

They each shimmied out of their pants; his a pair of black slacks and hers a pair of pregnancy jeans. Draco moaned again as she saw her matching knickers. "You're killing me with these underthings. Now that I know you wear these, I'm going to wonder every time I see you which ones you have on."

Hermione shrugged, "It's not my fault I like lacy underthings." She turned her back and walked towards his bathroom, shooting him a look over her shoulder, "Coming?"

He smirked at her, "Eventually. And so will you," he said, walking up behind her and running his hands along her breasts and down her stomach, nipping at her ear at the same time.

"Promises, promises," she said airily and gasped when he picked her up and walked into the shower.

He set her down and turned on the water.

"Draco!" exclaimed Hermione, "I still have my knickers on."

"Not for long," he said with a smirk. His lips pressed into hers as one hand tangled in her wet hair, holding her head against him while the other ran along her side and dipped inside her wet, lacy underwear. "Hm, I can't tell if you're wet because of the shower or because of me," he mused against her lips.

She smiled against him, "Guess you'll never know." She let out a moan as two of his fingers entered her while his thumb rubbed her sensitive nub. Her hands, which had been spread against his chest, trailed lower until they found the hem of his boxers and started shifted them down until his erection sprang free. Using one hand to stroke him and another to dig into his hair, she pumped him match for match while he pumped her.

As their breathing intensified, Draco let out a growl and removed his fingers from her to pull her soaking knickers all the way off then did the same with his own boxers. He looked at her then, her lips full from his kissing, her face and body flush from the heat of the shower. He wanted to pick her up where she was and shag her against the wall, but in her currention condition…

"Turn around," he said huskily.

She kissed him one last time, nipping his lower lip before finally letting go and turned around. She put her hands against the wall and felt one of Draco's hands cover hers while the other went back to pumping her with his fingers. He kissed along her neck and shoulders as he picked up pace and when he knew she was about to come, he removed his fingers and replaced with his throbbing erection. Hermione gasped and rocked with him as best as she could, both of his hands now over hers against the wall, intertwined. A few more thrusts and they both moaned and came together.

Her legs a little weakened from such a climax, she continued to lean into the wall until she was sure she wouldn't fall on her bum. "That was...amazing," she said while catching her breath.

Draco stepped back from her and turned her around, moving her arms so that they were around his neck again, "I wanted to take you against the wall, but," he rubbed the sides of her growing belly, "I didn't want to hurt you guys."

"Well, you'll hear no complaints from me," she said, kissing him softly before letting go, "Hand me my shampoo, please?"

As he turned around to grab the bottle, Hermione looked down and instantly paled. "Draco.. We need to go St. Mungo's…. Now!" she said.

Draco turned quickly and saw what Hermione was staring at; Blood trickling down her legs and into the bottom of the shower, swirling with the rest of the water down the drain.

Chapter Text

"Alright, so, good news is, you and the babies are all fine," Susan said as she walked into the room.

Hermione let out a shaky breath and nodded, though her grip on Draco's hand remained intact. "And the bad news?"

"The bad news is, you'll need to be on complete bedrest for a few weeks until we check you again. If things are still going well, we can modify the bedrest as necessary."

Draco nodded, "We can handle that."

"I'm confused on what happened," Hermione said, her hand that had a vice-like grip on Draco's loosened slightly. "I didn't feel any pain or anything then I saw blood in the shower and soon after that, a contraction, and then a few more after we got here."

Susan nodded, "You said you had just got done having intercourse, right?"

Draco nodded, "Yes, but I read that sometimes bleeding can happen after, uh, intercourse, and that it was normal."

Susan nodded, "Yes, that's true, but because Hermione was also having contractions afterwards, we have to be careful that she doesn't go into preterm labor, especially when you are not even halfway through yet. We gave you some potions to stop the contractions and they seemed to have helped, correct?" Hermione nodded as Susan continued, "Good. We'll have to keep an eye on you a little more closely throughout the rest of the pregnancy, until it's safe for the babies to come."

"Will I have to be on bedrest the remainder of my pregnancy?" Hermione asked, already worrying about her workload.

"Only time will tell. But for the next two weeks I want you in bed. You're only allowed to get up to use the loo. No stairs, no walking more than necessary for the bathroom, and no sex. If you have any questions, you can floo-call me anytime, I leave mine open for calls after business hours at my home. Or you can send me a patronus and I'll come to you if necessary."

Hermione nodded, "Alright. Am I allowed to go home now?"
Susan smiled at her, "Yes. But-"

"Yes, straight to bed, I know," Hermione said, standing up. Draco shook Susan's hand then the two of them used the floo straight into Hermione's bedroom.

"I'm going stir crazy," said Hermione, shutting the book she was currently reading and tossing it on her bed.

Draco chuckled, "It's only been a day... Not even twenty-fours yet."

They were sitting on her bed, both propped up by pillows and reading books. Draco had been by her side since they returned from her appointment as if it was his personal mission to make sure she followed the rules and remained in bed. She had written to her office and had most of her paperwork was sent to her by owl so she would have work to do, but the Minister said that he was going to distribute anything new to other employees for the remainder of her bedrest. Draco scourged his library for books he thought she might enjoy, which were currently stacked on her nightstand.

"I know, and usually I am content to just sit and read leisurely, but because I can't get up, it's all I want to do," Hermione complained.

Draco closed his book and set it next to him, "Can I get you anything? I bought some more of that ice-cream you love from Fortescue's" he said, hoping to cheer her up.

"That actually does sound good…"

They were interrupted when the floo to Hermione's room roared to life and Ginny stepped out. Hermione smiled at her friend then looked at Draco, "Make it two bowls?"

Draco nodded and gave a mock salute before heading out of the room.

Ginny laughed as she sat on the edge of the bed next to Hermione, "What was that about?"

"He's getting us ice cream," said Hermione as she nodded towards the canvas bag Ginny was carrying, "What's in there?"

Ginny smiled wide, "Entertainment." She pulled out a few editions of wizarding gossip magazines as well as nail polish. "What will it be? Hot pink or Cherry red?"

The two girls smiled at each other and said, "Red" at the same time.

Hermione was thankful she had a houseful of people who cared enough to keep her company. Narcissa and Andromeda sat and talked with her about designs for the nursery, which they finally agreed wouldbe the room at the very end of the hall, next to Hermione's. She decided on a zoo theme, since it was something that appealed to both genders and they could easily decorate.

She was equally thankful when she remembered she had a box of muggle board games in the basement where her stuff was stored, which Millie was happy to get for her. Every day when Teddy came home from primary school, he would pick out a new game for her to teach him and if it was a multiplayer game, Draco would usually join as well. Teddy's favorite game was Chutes and Ladders while Draco despised it, saying that he always got the chutes while everyone else got ladders. If it wasn't for Hermione's rule of no wands nearby while playing (due to the fact that whenever she played with Ron, and sometimes Harry, they made a habit of cheating), he would have fixed that issue long ago.

Between work correspondence owls, reading, napping, friends visiting, and playing muggle games, Hermione was pleased when she realized she only had one day left of her bedrest and could get back to moving around more. She was getting ready to send an owl to her mum when Molly Weasley knocked her bedroom door.

"Mrs. Weasley!" Hermione said with a wide grin, "What brings you here?"

"How many times must I tell you to please call me Molly, dear," Mrs. Weasley admonished. Hermione gave her a sheepish smile before she continued, "I was visiting with Narcissa and Andromeda, but I also wanted to stop by and see how you were doing."

Hermione shrugged, "I'm doing alright. Glad that tomorrow I can finally be off of bedrest."

"Did I tell you," said Mrs. Weasley, sitting on the edge of the bed, "That I was also put on bedrest when I was pregnant with the twins?"

Hermione shook her head, "No. Did you have something similar happen as well?"

"Yes, but it was later in my pregnancy than yours was. However, I still had Bill, Charlie, and Percy running around the house while Arthur was at work, so actual bedrest was hard to come by."

"What did you end up doing?" Hermione asked curiously.

"Well, I ended up barricading myself and the three boys in the living room and put barriers on all the exits so that they had to stay with me. We played a lot of games and I read a lot of stories. Charlie was already obsessed with dragons at that age and I remember reading the same dragon book over and over again." Mrs. Weasley smiled fondly of the memory before shaking her head slightly to come back to focus. "I also wanted to talk to you about your baby shower-"

"Oh, Mrs Weasley, I don't need a baby shower. Really," Hermione interjected.

Mrs. Weasley looked sternly at her, "You're having a baby shower, and that's final. But what I wanted to discuss with you is if you wouldn't mind letting me host it for you." Before Hermione could say anything, she continued, "You've always been like a daughter to me, and you're my daughter's best friend, and my youngest son's first love. Since you three are all expecting a child within mere weeks of each other, I thought I could host one gigantic baby shower for the three of you."

Hermione smiled, "I really like that idea. I'll talk to my mum and Narcissa to make sure they haven't started planning anything yet."

Mrs. Weasley waved her off, "I've already talked to both of them and they love the idea as well. I just wanted to confirm with all you expecting mothers to make sure they don't mind sharing the day."

"Well, I can't speak for Ginny or Pansy, but I certainly don't mind," she said, reaching over and squeezing Mrs. Weasley's hand.

Mrs. Weasley gave her a smile and squeezed her hand in return, "Well, I better be off. Have a party to plan and dinner to cook. You come visit me when you're better and we can compare twin-pregnancy stories, ok dear?"

Hermione smile and nodded, "Sounds great. Give Mr. Weasley my love."

"I will," she said, as he stepped into Hermione's bedroom fireplace and floo'd back to the Burrow, her mind already full of ideas for the best baby shower the Wizarding world had ever seen.

Chapter Text

Hermione stepped into her bedroom after her appointment the following day, a wide smile on her face. Draco emerged right after her and she turned to face him, "I'm so glad to be off of bedrest finally!" she said, doing a small spin right on the spot.

Draco chuckled and shook his head, "Well, you still can't over do it. Remember, Susan said that she would rather you be sitting as much as you can-"

"Yes, yes. But at least now I can go to into work and actually eat dinner with the rest of the family," she said happily. While Draco had taken every meal with her in her room, she really missed eating and conversing all members of the household.

Draco walked closer to her and grabbed both of her hands, kissing the top of one, then the other, "Just don't over do it, ok?"

Hermione rolled her eyes but smiled, "I promise, mum," she teased before she kissed his cheek and let go of his hands. "I really do appreciate everything you did while I was stuck in bed for those few weeks. Hopefully the rest of the pregnancy will go smoothly until it's actually time to have the babies."

"I fully agree with you. Now," he grinned at her, "Would you like to see the nursery?"

Hermione's eyes widened, "Is it done?"

"Not yet, but nearly there. I think you'll love it though," he said, taking her hand and leading her out of her room.

The bedroom door was closed and Draco knocked while Hermione gave him a curious look. He didn't need to answer though, as the door opened and Narcissa was standing on the other side. "Just in time," she said with a smile, "I just got done with some of the last minute touches." She stepped aside and let Hermione walk in, hearing her let out a small gasp as she looked around.

The room, which had been painted a light grey color previously, was now much more inviting and light. The top half of the walls were painted a pale yellow, while the bottom half was a pale green. In between the colors was a white wooden border with magical zoo animals carved into it that moved around the border and interacted with each other. The cribs were side by side along the wall to the right, and a changing table was across from the door, settled between two windows. On the left side of the room was the door to the adjoining bathroom and next to the door were two tall dressers. The cribs, changing table, and dressers were all made in the same light pine wood so that everything matched. Hermione's eyes welled up as she walked around the room, "I love it. It's beautiful and even better than I imagined." She walked over to Narcissa and put her arms around her in a hug. Taken by surprise, Narcissa lightly hugged Hermione back and smiled down at her.

"I'm glad you like it. But I cannot take all the credit. Andromeda helped as well," she informed.

"Where is she? I'd like to thank her, too," asked Hermione.

"She's in the playroom across the hall," Narcissa said airly.

Once again, Hermione's eyes widened in surprise, "The play room?"

Narcissa nodded, "You don't expect all the amount of toys that these children will receive to be able to fit in their bedroom, do you?"

Hermione laughed, "No, I suppose not." She looked out the door to the room across the hall, "Can I see it?"

Narcissa shook her head, "Not yet, but soon."

Hermione nodded, going over to the cribs and running her hands along the smooth surface.

"We still need to pick out bedding and curtains for the room. Not to mention clothes, diapers, and bath things. I also think having two rocking chairs rather than just one would be best. Their bathroom has a tub that we shrunk so it wouldn't be as deep as yours, and once we get towels, washcloths, and soap, we can store them under the sink," Narcissa said.

"Sounds perfect," Hermione said with a smile, glad that Narcissa didn't complete all the tasks so that she could do some herself.

"Oh, I forgot to ask, but seeing as how you're walking around, I assume your appointment went well?" Narcissa asked.

Draco nodded. "Yes, she's finally free, as she says," he said, smirking at his wife.

Hermione stuck her tongue out at him in jest then returned her attention to her mother-in-law, "Yes, I am off of bedrest, but I have to take it easy and be careful still."

Narcissa nodded, "It will be good to see you around the manor again. Meals were not the same without you or Draco present."

Hermione sighed and looked over at Draco, who was leaning against the door frame and smirkd in her general direction. "I told him he didn't have to, but he insisted that I not eat alone," she said with a sigh then smiled at him, "Which, I will admit I am grateful for."

Draco pushed himself off the doorframe and walked over to where Hermione was standing, "I'd do it again, no matter much you tell me otherwise," he said, tugging on one of her curls playfully and chuckled as she batted his hand away. He looked over at his mother and said, "See Mother, I told you she'd like this rather than the usual pink and blue."

Narcissa waved him off, "Yes, yes. I do admit, I like this color scheme much better. But don't think I will be dressing them in only these colors. I already have a few pink dresses for our little princess and some cute blue and green dress robes for the little prince."

Hermione chuckled, "That's fine, as long we don't go overboard on the blue and pink."

"Wouldn't dream of it," said Narcissa with a slight smirk that made Hermione wonder just how much the grandmother-to-be had bought for the kids already.

"I was going to write the children's names over their cribs," Narcissa continued as she inspected her nails, "But I was informed that we will not be permitted to know them until they are born," she said with a raised eyebrow at Hermione.

Hermione blushed and but nodded, "Yes, that's correct. Since everyone else knows that we're having twins and what their genders are, I wanted just one thing for me and Draco to have until they were born. But don't worry, you'll be the first to know their names and then you can come home and write them before we return from the hospital."

Narcissa smiled, pleased with that arrangement, "That sounds like a good compromise. Well, I must head downstairs and talk to the elves about dinner." She kissed Hermione's cheek, then her son's, before leaving the nursery.

Hermione took one look around again, a smile plastered on her face, "I really do love this room. It's very light and inviting."

"If you want, we can go out and pick bedding, curtains, and rocking chairs sometime this weekend?" Draco offered.

Hermione nodded, "That sounds lovely. There are few baby boutiques in Muggle London that I've wanted to visit, if that's alright with you?"

Draco nodded, "Yes, that's fine." He glanced at his watch and sighed, "Well, I have to go down to the lab and work on some potions before dinner. Blaise should be down there, so it shouldn't take long." He walked the short distance to Hermione and pulled her close, her arms automatically going around his neck. "Will you be ok if left alone to your own devises for a little while?"

Hermione rolled her eyes, "Yes, dear. Infact, I know just what I'm going to do while you're busy."

"Oh, and what's that?" he asked with a smirk.

"Plan our second date. You did say I was in charge," she reminded him with a mock serious tone.

"That you are," he said grinning. He leaned down and brushed his lips softly to hers, "I'll see you at dinner."

She pulled him down for another quick kiss, "You can count in it."

Draco smiled on his way to the lab. He and Hermione had slowly begun to show affection towards each other, ones that didn't just lead up to shagging each other senseless. They were still keeping their displays of affection to themselves so as not to make a big deal in front of everyone, but Draco was happy with the progress of their relationship. They held hands more often and stole kisses when no one was around, and in a way he almost felt like they were being secretive about their relationship, which was silly to think about considering that she was already pregnant with his children. But it had become more than just shagging; he now felt like they were starting a real relationship; one where maybe it could bloom into something more.

The smile was still on his face as he entered the lab, which Blaise he noticed and started chuckling, "I take it Granger is a free woman again and can now leave the confines of her bedroom?"

Draco nodded, "Yes, though she still has to keep it easy."

"So, still no shagging?" asked Blaise.

Draco shook his head, "Still no shagging. Which is fine-" He heard Blaise snort and decidedly ignored him, "I'd rather not have a scare like that again if I can help it. Besides, there other things we do besides shagging and once the babies are here, we can do what we like again."

Blaise shook his head, "You're a braver man than I, I'll tell you that much. I don't think I'd be able to go that long without being able to shag my wife."

"If Daph ever has to go on bedrest, then I'm sure you'll be able to manage. You'd be surprised what you are willing to do, or not do in this instance, for your family," said Draco.

"Yeah… I don't know if it will come to that honestly," mumbled Blaise.

"What?" asked Draco as he inspected a cauldron.

"It's nothing," Blaise said, going over to one of the tables and working on the next set of ingredients. He picked up a knife and began chopping bat tongues.

Draco walked over to him, "What?" he asked again.

Blaise sighed and placed the knife on the table, "If I tell you something, you have to swear you won't tell anyone, alright?" Draco nodded, picking up the discarded knife and took over the task while Blaise collected his thoughts. "Daph and I, for a while now, have been trying to have a baby. She really wants one and while I'm not all that comfortable around kids, I figured it would be different if it was my own, ya know?" Draco nodded, knowing better than to interrupt.

"Anyways, we've been trying for a while and nothing has happened yet. I, uh, didn't want to tell you this before, but when I told Daph that you and Hermione were unexpectedly expecting twins, she broke down crying. Don't get me wrong," he said quickly, before Draco could say anything, "She's very happy for you both. But she's also upset that while we've been trying for over two years now, you guys ended up pregnant only a few months after getting married."

"Do you guys know why you're having trouble with it?" Draco asked after a few moments.

Blaise shrugged, "We've gone to see healers. First they checked my swimmers, but they're fine. Then they ran some tests on Daph and… well, without going into too much detail, she will basically always have a hard time getting pregnant, if ever."

Draco put a hand on Blaise's shoulder and squeezed, "Sorry, mate."

Blaise shrugged again, "It is what it is. Daph doesn't want anyone to know, not yet anyways. We've been talking the past few weeks about looking into adoption though."

"Yeah?" asked Draco, going back to cutting.

Nodding, Blaise said, "Yeah. There were a lot of kids who were orphaned during the war. We were thinking of looking into it. We didn't want to say anything until we knew for sure though."

"Well, if you need any help, just let us know. I, for one, think you will be a great father," said Draco sincerely.

"Thanks man," said Blaise, finally looking up at Draco and gave him a small smile. "So.. we should probably get back to work if we want to spend some quality times with our wives tonight."

Draco nodded, handing the knife back to Blaise, "Agreed. You finish up here, and I'll work on bottling up the potions that are ready. We're ahead of schedule for our orders so we can probably take the weekend off. Maybe you and Daphne can come over to dinner one night?" suggested Draco.

"Sounds good to me, though I'm sure Granger would like to go somewhere aside from the Manor, so maybe we'll have you two over instead. I'll talk to Daph and see what she says," offered Blaise.

"Alright, but do me a favor?" Draco asked. At Blaise's inquiring look, Draco smirked and said, "Make sure your elf makes that eggplant parmesan I love. You know I only eat the one that Chester makes."

Blaise grinned, "I'm sure I can talk him into it."

Chapter Text

The dinner at the Zabini's ended up being a bigger get-together than originally planned. Not being one to feel left out, once Pansy heard that Draco and Hermione were having dinner at Blaise and Daphne's, she invited herself and Ron to join as well, which then led to Ginny and Harry being invited. Astoria was invited by Daphne because she didn't want to be the only non-pregnant woman there, who brought along Theo, where they announced their engagement to the surprise of everyone. Chester, Blaise's long time house elf and main chef, was delighted to cook such a large dinner and went all out with eggplant parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, fresh salad with a homemade vinaigrette dressing, and toasted garlic bread. For dessert he made eclairs, much to the delight to all pregnant ladies present, as well as the Greengrass sisters.

Despite the fact that house was filled with both former Gryffindor and Slytherins, the evening went without anyone hexing or causing a fight, a true testament to how much these group of people had grown up and changed over the years.

It wasn't until the end of evening, when they were all sitting around and talking in the living room, where Daphne, who had been unusually quiet throughout dinner, suddenly burst into tears and ran out of the room. Astoria excused herself and followed her sister to the master bedroom, where she found Daphne sobbing into a pillow.

"Daph? What's wrong?" Astoria asked, sitting next to her sister and started rubbing her back soothingly.

"It's just not fair," she said with a muffled voice, as her face was still buried in the pillow.

Astoria gently moved Daphne so that she could look at her. "What's not fair?" she asked softly, removing a strand of hair from her sister's face.

Daphne's lip quivered, "I want a baby," she whispered. "So badly. We've been trying for years, Tori, years. And nothing! Then those three get married and wham!" She sighed and sat up. "It's just not fair."

Astoria put an arm around her sister, "I didn't know you were having issues with getting pregnant… why didn't you tell me?"

Daphne shrugged and sniffled, "I don't know. I guess I just kept hoping that someday we would eventually conceive a child and everything would be alright."

"Have you seen a healer?"

"Yes and the prospect of ever having my own child is not good," Daphne said grimly.

Before Astoria could say anything, there was a light knock on the bedroom door and Hermione, Pansy, and Ginny peered in.

"Hey," said Pansy, "We came to check on you."

"Are you alright?" asked Hermione.

Daphne was about to wave them off and tell them she was fine, but instead she burst into tears all over again. All at once, the other three girls were sitting in her bed while she relayed the information about all her pregnancy issues and before long, they were all crying along with her.

"So there's nothing the doctors can do?" Hermione asked as she conjured up some kleenex and passed them around.

Daphne blew her nose, "Not really. There are procedures we can try, but they aren't guaranteed. And even if I do get pregnant, there's a possibility I won't be able to go to term."

"Have you thought about adoption?" Astoria asked.

Daphne nodded, "Actually, we've been talking more and more about that. I'm just.. I'm afraid that I won't have the same kind of connection to the child like I would if they were my own."

"I don't think that will be the case," mused Ginny. "I think once you find a child and you take them home, then you'll feel differently and love them just as if they came from you."

"You really think so?" Daphne asked hopefully.

All the girls nodded and she let out a tiny chuckle.

"Come on, let's get back out to the guys before they start to worry," suggested Pansy. "Besides, I want another eclaire before we leave."

The girls all chuckled as they made their way back to the living room. Draco raised an eyebrow to Hermione in question and she just gave him a small smile and a nod, letting him know everything was ok.

Blaise had walked to Daphne as soon as they re-entered the room and asked her quietly if she was alright. She gave him a reassuring smile and nodded before saying, "I think… we should move forward and talk to some adoption agencies."

Blaise smiled, "Yeah? Are you sure?"

Daphne nodded, "Yes. Let's finally get started on growing our family."

By the time everyone left, all five couples agreed that they should continue having regular get-togethers every few weeks and alternate homes. With plans to go to Harry's in two weeks, everyone said goodbye and Hermione and Draco found themselves in Draco's room.

"Well, that went a lot better than expected," said Hermione as she yawned.

Draco nodded, slipping off his shoes and placing them to the side so as not to trip on them. He saw Hermione yawn a second time. "You should probably go to bed. You look exhausted."

Hermione nodded, "Yes, very. Did you still want to go out shopping tomorrow?"

"Only if you're feeling up to it," said Draco, sitting on the edge of his bed.

"Are you staying up or heading to bed as well?" Hermione asked sitting next to him and slipping off her shoes.

"I'm not quite tired yet. I was thinking of heading to the library and reading for a while," he took her hand and began playing with her fingers. "Why? Did you want me to stay with you tonight?"

Hermione blushed and nodded, "I find that I sleep better when you're there... But if you're not ready for bed, that's fine."

Draco kissed her temple, "Let me get ready for bed and grab my book and I'll read in your room."

"You sure?"

"I wouldn't offer if I wasn't sure," he said simply, standing up and pulling her along.

Hermione smiled and kissed him lightly before heading to her room. She changed into her nightclothes, slipped under the covers and left one of the lamps on for Draco before closing her eyes. She tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable, until she heard her door open and close softly, followed by the covers of the bed being pulled up and Draco slipping in next to her. As soon as he adjusted the pillows behind his head so that he was propped up to read, Hermione moved closer and snuggled up against him and within minutes, fell asleep.

The next few weeks kept Hermione and Draco rather busy. They went shopping in muggle London to a few baby boutiques and found everything else they needed for the nursery but making sure not to go overboard as they were bound to get a lot of gifts from friends at the babyshower that Mrs. Weasley was hosting. Hermione and the babies had a follow-up appointment a week after she was off of bedrest and was pleased to hear that everything was still going well and the babies were growing right on track.

On Friday evening's, they would go to Harry and Ginny's, taking along Teddy who was starting to spend every other weekend with them. On Saturday's, either Hermione and Draco would go to Hermione's parents house or her parents would come to manor for lunch. Sunday's were usually free until one day they received an owl; to Hermione's amusement and Draco's surprise, they were both invited to Sunday brunch at the Burrow from here on out. Hermione had been attending every once in awhile but now that Draco was also invited, they felt it would be rude to not attend at least a few times a month.

Christmas time was upon them and Hermione was 24 weeks along. She woke up one morning with the whole manor decorated, complete with a Christmas tree in every room of the house, including one in her own room and two small ones in the nursery. On Christmas Eve, Narcissa invited all of their friends and family and threw a Christmas party that would be talked about for ages. With three women who were at least halfway through their pregnancy or more, there were side bet's going on who's wife would cry first, eat the most, or fall asleep first. As it turned out, Ron ate more than anyone, Harry fell asleep on one of the chaise lounges, and Teddy was the first to cry when told he needed to head to bed at midnight even though the party was still going.

Presents were passed around on Christmas day after brunch, once everyone had a chance to sleep-in after such a long party. Even though the twins weren't due yet for another few months, they still received the most presents out of everyone in the house and received gifts of mostly clothes and toys. Hermione had received some new maternity clothing from Andromeda, a journal from Narcissa with her name engraved on the cover, and various types of chocolates and candies from friends who knew that her sweet tooth was overpowering the further along her pregnancy went. Her parents had given her a new ornament, a tradition, depicting a very pregnant woman with the year's date on the figurines protruding belly. The gift she loved the most though, was from Draco, who gave her a silver charm bracelet with a few charms already on it: a book to represent her love for books, a pink pendant and a blue pendant to represent their children, and an otter, which he found out was not only her favorite animal but also her patronus. In return, she had gotten Draco a book on potion making that he had been keeping an eye out for the past two years and inside the cover were tickets to one of the upcoming quidditch games of his favorite team, the Tornados. So excited by the book and tickets, Draco thanked her and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. She smiled at him in return, then her cheeks turned a slight shade of pink as she realized he had kissed her in front of the other members of the house. She looked around and saw that no one seemed to have minded or cared that their affection towards one another went from casual pecks on the cheek to now on their lips. She leaned back against the couch she was sitting on next to Draco, and leaned her head slightly on Draco's shoulder, while they watched Teddy continue to open his gifts, not noticing the small smile spread across Narcissa's face as she saw how comfortable the two had become towards one another. Maybe, just maybe, this relationship could last after all.

Chapter Text

Hermione sighed contently as she soaked in the tub. Her back had been bothering her a lot more these days, though with the amount her stomach had grown, it was no wonder. She lifted the washcloth she had over eyes and looked at the mound that was her stomach sticking out from the water.

It's like a bloody island, she thought to herself.

She returned the washcloth to her eyes and leaned back once more, letting the warmth of the water help her aches and pains.

There was a knock on the door, and knowing who it was before the knocking finished, she bade the guest entrance. The door opened and closed and she heard Draco chuckle. Moving the washcloth once more to glare at her husband, she said, "What's so funny?"

He shook his head, "Nothing. Is the bath helping your back pains any?"

She shrugged lightly, "A little." She peered at her stomach again and sighed, "I can't even take a proper soak anymore. My stomach doesn't even fit all the way under the water."

Draco sat on the edge of the tub and used his hand to pour water over her stomach. "Better?" he asked with a teasing glint in his eye.

She rolled her eyes at him but couldn't help but smile. "Oh yes, much," she said sarcastically. She leaned back once again and asked, "What time is it?"

"Quarter to 2," he said, glancing at his watch.

"Guess I better get out if we want to make it the appointment in time," she said regretfully.

Draco leaned forward and kissed her forehead then went to the other side of the tub to pull the plug, letting the water start to drain.

As Hermione stood, Draco grabbed one of the large, plush towels for her. He helped her out of the tub so that she wouldn't fall, then wrapped the towel around her shoulders.

"Thanks," she said, kissing his cheek before walking out of the bath and towards her wardrobe.

Once dried, dressed, and hair pulled into a tight bun, the two of them made their way to St. Mungo's.

"So, almost 30 weeks along," said Susan after she took Hermione's weight and measured her belly, "How are you feeling? Anything new or different from the last time I saw you?"

"I'm doing alright," said Hermione, absently rubbing her belly, "My back's been hurting more and more."

"Is it like a pinching feeling?" The healer inquired.

"Yes, exactly," said Hermione.

"It's probably the babies sitting on your sciatic nerve. I have a salve for that will help ease some of the pain, but it won't be able to completely go away. Just make sure to rub it in really good, alright?"

"Sounds good," said Hermione, who knew Draco would jump at the chance to help her apply it.

"How's work going? Are you still working are you on maternity leave already?"

Hermione groaned, "On leave already. Kingsley made me stop working at 28 weeks. I still get some work sent home to me, but he hired a few other people in my department so it's not just me doing all the work anymore."

"How long are you planning on staying home with the babies, if you don't mind me asking," Susan asked.

"I'm still not sure," said Hermione, biting her lip, "Kingsley said I can take up to a year off, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do that."

Susan nodded, "Well, you still have time to think it over." She gave Hermione a warm smile before looking at her notes once more, "Well, being thirty weeks means that we're in the final stages of your pregnancy. Usually term is at 40 weeks, but with a twin pregnancy, it's 36 weeks, which means you have roughly 6 weeks to go. Make sure to have your hospital bag packed and easily accessible, have a list of contacts ready, and make sure everything is ready for your little ones."

Hermione and Draco nodded, not needing to tell Susan that they have already finished most of these tasks already.

"I want to see you in two weeks and then again when you're 34 weeks along. After that, I'll see you weekly until it's time to have those babies of yours."

Hermione smiled nervously, "I can't believe we're in the home stretch. It seems like just a little while ago I found out I was pregnant."

Susan chuckled, "I hear that all the time. At our next appointment, we'll discuss birthing options so that we have it on your chart, such if you want a water birth, medications to help with the pain, stuff like that. Just brush up on all your research that I know you have and we'll talk more in depth about all of that in two weeks time, ok?"

Hermione nodded, "Sounds great."

"I'll be back with that salve in a few moments and then you can be on your way," Susan said as she headed out.

Hermione looked at Draco, "I can't believe it's almost time to have these babies."

Draco placed his hands on top of hers, which were resting on top of her stomach, "Everything will be fine," he said reassuringly.

"Easy for you to say! You don't have to push out two tiny being's out of your-"

"Ok ok, I get it," he said nervously. He noticed that Hermione seemed to get more irritated lately, especially as it got closer to her due date. He chalked it up to part hormones and part nervousness. "We'll look at all your options when we get home so that you'll be as prepared as you can, alright?"

Hermione blew out a breath that moved a strand of wild curl from her face, "Alright."

Susan entered the room again and handed Hermione a bag with the salve, then bade them farewell, reminding them again that if they needed her, day or night, to not hesitate to call.

Later that evening, Draco found Hermione sitting in the library, her feet outstretched on the couch and roaring fire next to her. She had a book open but her eyes were staring straight ahead into the flames, a crease in her forehead that let Draco know she was deep in thought.

He cleared his throat to make his presence known and Hermione blinked a few times before looking over at him.

"Hey," he said, walking over, two mugs of hot cocoa in his hands.

"Hey," she replied, smelling the sweet aroma coming for the mugs, "Are one of those for me?"

"Nah, I figured I'd drink both right in front of you. Because, you know, I have a death wish," he said sarcastically.

"Prat" Hermione said, sticking her tongue at him. She moved her feet slightly to let Draco sit on the couch, then placed them on his lap.

He handed her one of the mugs with a cheeky grin on his face, "Alright, I guess I can share. But only because I'd like to live to see my children."

"Ha, ha," she said, just as cheekily. She blew slowly at the surface of the hot liquid before taking a tentative sip. "Mm.. This is delicious. How did you know this was just what I needed?"

Draco shrugged, taking a sip of his own drink, "It's chilly tonight and I know you're worrying about giving birth. Plus, it never hurts to give a pregnant woman chocolate."

Hermione giggled, "This is true. These kids sure do love their sweets. Must have gotten that from their father."

Draco grinned, "I do have quite the sweet tooth."

They sat in companionable silence, sipping their drinks, watching the flames of the fire.

"You're right though," she said after a while.

"Of course I am," he said, taking another sip. She glared at him and which made him laugh, "Alright, what I am I right about this time?"

"I am nervous about the whole birthing experience. From what I have read, birthing twins naturally and vaginally is a lot tougher than just one child. In the muggle world, most doctors do what's called a cesarean section, where they surgically remove the child from the mother's womb-"

"Wait, wait…" interrupted Draco, setting aside his mug on the side table, "Muggles have doctors cut out their children?"

Hermione nodded, "Yes, it's common practice actually."

"But… why? Isn't there more risks with a surgery like that than just giving birth?" he asked completely serious.

"Medical techniques are different from the wizarding world. Sometimes an emergency happens and they have to get the baby out right away or else there is risk to both the infant and the mother's lives. Other times, the babies are not head-down and doctors don't like their patients giving birth to breech babies. Those are at least two reasons I can think of at the top of my head."

Draco thought about this for a moment, "I'll be honest, I haven't read up a ton about the birthing portion in any those books yet. What if those issues come up in the wizarding world? The emergencies or breech?"

Hermione frowned in thought, trying to recall what she read, "If a baby is breech, it really depends on what kind of breech is happening. If the baby is just feet-first, they can still be birthed like that. If they are on their side though, they can easily turn it with the use of magic that won't harm the baby. Muggles sometimes try to do this too, but it can put the baby in a lot stress that can be harmful. As for emergencies, wizards have the ability to cure mostly anything with magic or potions. I've read a few cases they do need to surgically remove the child, but it's not as invasive as the muggle way, and they don't do it nearly as often either."

"So it's actually safer to have the babies at St. Mungo's then at a muggle hospital?" Draco asked.

"From what I can tell, yes," said Hermione, finishing off her hot cocoa.

Draco seemed to be relaxed by that. With his hands no longer occupied by the mug of hot cocoa, he focused his attention to Hermione's feet and, seeing how swollen they looked, he began to massage them.

Hermione leaned against the side of the couch, enjoy the impromptu massage. She would have never asked, mostly because she never thought he'd ever do such a thing, but she was grateful. Her mind began to wonder back to her birthing plan.

"Are you going to be in the room?" she asked out of the blue.

Draco looked at her curiously, unsure of what she was talking about, "The room?"

"The birthing room. Do you…. Are you planning on being in there or in the waiting room?" she asked.

"I was planning on it… Why? Do you not want me there?" he asked.

She opened her eyes and looked at him, "Of course I do. But.. I wasn't sure how comfortable you were about being in there… most husbands end up passing out, or least they do in some muggle shows I've watched…"

Draco wiggled one of her toes to stop her rambling, "I'll be there. I don't think anything can stop me from seeing my children get born. I may not want to see what's actually happening down, uh, there, but I'll be by your side, the whole time," he vowed.

She smiled at him, feeling immensely better, "I'd like that."

Chapter Text

Molly Weasley had decided to hold the baby shower when Ginny, Hermione, and Pansy were 35, 32, and 28 weeks along respectively. She knew it would be risky to have it any later than that, especially with Ginny already having random contractions and Hermione only a week until she term; she knew twins could be born early as well (Fred and George were born at 36 weeks; apparently it was their life mission to be born on April 1st, of all days). All three mothers were decidedly over their pregnancies, so Mrs. Weasley hoped that a party celebrating them and their babies would cheer them up. She put all the men in the house to work so that the Burrow was spotless. She baked cakes and pies and treats the day before the party and put charms on everything so that no one would sneak any (Mr. Weasley and Ron being the main culprits). The party was due to start at 3pm sharp and knew she would have everything set on time, especially since Andromeda came along and helped in the kitchen. When the baby shower was to begin, she planned to send all the men and kids to Malfoy Manor, so that the Burrow was only women and they didn't have to worry about little ones running amok.

As Mrs. Weasley was preparing the list minute preparations, Hermione stood in front of her wardrobe once more, trying to decide want to wear. She eventually chose a pair of black leggings and a long, wrap around shirt in dark blue and purple swirls. She put half of her hair up in a barrette and was in the middle of putting on some earrings when she saw Draco through the mirror come up behind her.

"You look lovely," he said, moving her hair to the side and kissing her neck.

Hermione chuckled, "Please. I look like a house."

"But a very sexy house," said Draco, grinning at her through the mirror's reflection.

Hermione snorted, "You must be severely sex deprived if you think a house is sexy."

He dropped his forehead onto her shoulder and sighed, "I am. I really, really am."

Hermione turned so that she faced him and lifted his head so that he looked at her. She gave him a smile and kissed his lips "Soon," she said.

He returned the kiss, deepening it until she was breathless, "Now, 'soon'?"

She sighed and shook her head, "Not yet. You've been very, very patient, especially since I make you sleep next to me every night, but… I'm just too scared that if we do anything, something will happen again, and…"

He cut her off with a searing kiss, "It's alright," he said quietly, kissing her again, "I understand. I do. And you do help me out when you can, which I very much appreciate."

"Would you… like some help now?" she asked, moving her hands to his belt buckle and working on undoing it. "It might ease some of that tension you have. And you don't want to be all tense when your house will be filled with all of the men later today."

He stiffled a moan as she was able to get the buckle loose, "I can't believe my mother volunteered the manor for that."

"So, would you like help or not?" she asked teasingly, her fingers playing with the hem of his boxers.

He nipped her ear, "If you think I'll ever say no to you 'easing my tension', you're not as smart as you let people on."

She playfully hit him in on the chest for that, but he grabbed her hand shoved it down his boxers. Getting the hint, she grasped his hardening erection with one hand while her other worked on unzipping his trousers and pulling them, and his boxers, down. He moaned when he was free and his hands automatically went to fondle her breasts. "Hm. I think they're getting bigger."

"They should be. I've grown two cup sizes since I've gotten pregnant," she said, stroking him slowly.

"I have no idea what that means, but I like it," he said, squeezing them gently.

She continued to stroke him, gradually increasing her speed, while her other hand went into his hair and began kissing him. She nibbled his lip before breaking the kiss, "Lean against the counter," she said, turning them both around so that his back was against the bathroom sink.

When she stopped her stroking, he looked at her curiously before she said, "Can you help me?"

Understanding what she finally meant, he helped her get down onto her knees before he braced his hands on the counter and locked his elbows. He looked down at her as she began to stroke him again then put him fully in her mouth. She looked up at him and winked, causing him to close his groan as she began to slowly torture him with her mouth. She sucked, and licked and swirled her tongue all around him. When she could feel him pulsating, she began to pump and suck in unison until he let out a shuddering moan and emptied into the back of her throat.

"Fuck.." he said breathlessly, trying his best to not let his let his legs collapse.

Hermione smiled up at him and licked her lips, "Feel better?"

He helped her to her feet then crashed his mouth to hers, not caring that he tasted himself on her lips. "Much," he said. He kissed her again, "Do we have time for me to return the favor?"

Hermione shook her head, "No, but I'll make sure to take you up on that offer later." She moved to the sink and brushed her teeth while Draco put his clothes back together. She gave him one last, quick kiss as she left the bathroom.

Hermione slipped on some black flats and waited for Draco to return from the bathroom before they headed to the Burrow. Holding his hand tightly, she dropped the floo powder into the hearth and called out their destination.

When they arrived, Draco had to steady her or else she would have fallen forward. "Ugh, I hate this. I can't wait to get my equilibrium back and not have to worry about losing my balance when doing such simple things like using the floo."

They looked around and saw that the house seemed to have already started filling up with guests. Hermione found Ginny sitting by an opened window, fanning herself.

"Gin, you do realize that it's freezing out there, right?" Hermione asked while chuckling at her friend.

"I can't help it. It's these bloody hormones. I'm always sweaty and radiating heat," Ginny complained.

Hermione nodded her head towards Draco, who was talking to Harry and Ron a little ways away, "Draco says that I'm his personal heater at night because I'm the same way."

"Ugh, Harry does that, but I have to push him away after a while because I feel like I'm suffocating," said Ginny, looking towards her husband. "I feel bad sometimes, but I already have to do deal with my own body heat, I don't need his as well."

Hermione giggled, "I haven't minded when Draco snuggles up yet."

"So things are going well with you two? Sleeping in the same bed now, huh?" Ginny said while wiggling her eyebrows.

"Surprisingly, things are going very well. And yes, we sleep in the same bed, mostly because we both sleep better when we do. He still has his own room, but we almost always sleep in mine," said Hermione, shifting her feet side to side as she talked.

"Why don't you just move into his room?" Ginny asked while she conjured up a chair for her friend.

"Thanks," Hermione said as she sat down, "I don't know. It's nice knowing we have our own space if needed."

"I guess I can understand that," said Ginny contemplatively.

Hermione and Ginny continued to talked as more guests arrived. At three o'clock sharp, Mrs. Weasley announced that it was time for all the men and children to leave so that the baby shower could commence. They said goodbye to their significant others as they made their way to Malfoy Manor, where Draco promised the men a hearty meal of steaks, potatoes and other manly dishes, as well as pizza and mac and cheese for the kids.

Once the menfolk were gone, the baby shower went into full swing. The ladies of honor each got a sash to wear; Ginny had a blue one that said "It's a boy!", Hermione had a white one that said "It's boy/girl twins!", and Pansy had a green one that said "It's a surprise!". Each guest received a clothespin to attach to their clothes and if they got caught crossing their legs (something that the pregnant women cannot do due to their massive bellies), then their pins got taken away. The guest with the most pins at the end of the party was promised one of Mrs. Weasley pies to take home.

They played games where everyone had to guess the flavor of baby food; guess how many squares of toilet paper would fit around the pregnant women's bellies; and see who could change a nappy on a babydoll the fastest while blindfolded.

When it was time for presents, the three ladies of honor were placed on one of the large couches, then were handed presents. Mrs. Granger, Mrs. Weasley, and Pansy's mother, Prudence, were in charge of writing down who got what and from who, and made sure presents were not mixed up.

The ladies had an overwhelming amount of gifts which included clothes, blankets, hooded towels, wash clothes, toys, books, bath soaps, lotions, nappies, wipes, bottles, pacifiers, and much, much more. Mrs. Weasley had outdone herself and knitted each child a hat, scarf, blanket, and jumper. The mom's weren't left out either as they received gifts such as cozy slippers and robes, shirts that were breastfeeding friendly, and ointments to help with stretch marks.

The baby shower lasted almost five hours before the men began returning with sleepy children and full bellies. Narcissa shrunk down the presents and placed them in bags, then went ahead and sent Hermione's directly to the nursery at the manor.

Hermione thanked Mrs. Weasley profusely as they were getting ready to leave. They left laden down with leftover cakes and pies and promises to come by and visit again later that week.

Later, after Draco fulfilled his promise on repaying Hermione back for pleasuring him, not once, but twice, they laid in bed and listened to the rain and wind as it howled outside.

"So I never got a chance to ask, but how was having all those guys over here?" Hermione asked as she laid on her side while Draco ran lazy fingers along her back and belly in the most soothing way.

"It was fine. A little weird at first since I didn't know almost any of Ginny's teammates husbands or boyfriends. But it's not that hard to bond over quidditch and beer," he said chuckling,

Hermione smiled, "No, I guess not."

Draco kissed her shoulder, "How about you? Did you have fun at the baby shower?"

"Surprisingly, I did. I think it helped that not all the focus was on me, but also on Ginny and Pansy as well. I'll have to show you all the stuff we got for the babies and start putting it away."

"Knowing Mother, she's already seen to that," Draco said.

"Oh, I didn't even think about that. That's fine though, I can still show you the stuff," she said with a yawn.

"You should sleep. You had a busy day," he said.

"If you keep up what you're doing with your fingers, I will probably pass out in just a few minutes," she said sleepily, her eyes already closed.

Draco smiled and kept up his movements. Once Hermione's breathing evened out and he felt her relax against him did he stop. He buried his face into her hair, breathing in her scent, and instantly fell asleep as well.

Chapter Text

When her due date came and went, Ginny was done; completely over being pregnant. She had heartburn, even with water; she couldn't sleep more than an hour without having to pee ("It's practice for when the baby comes, dear!" her mother kept telling her); and she waddled like a penguin. She just wanted this child out!

"Harry," Ginny whined as she waddled into their kitchen, "When will your son get out?"

Harry looked at her sympathetically, "I've sorry, love. Do you want to go for another walk?"

"No," grumbled Ginny.

"I can get you some of that spicy chinese food you like?" he offered.

"No, my heartburn is already atrocious," she complained.

"We can always... you know," he wiggled his eyebrows at her.

She giggled but shook her head, "We've tried that, multiple times in fact. This baby just doesn't want to come out."

Harry walked over to his very pregnant wife and kissed her, "Do you want me to draw you a bath?"

She nodded, "A bath sounds lovely, thank you Harry. I don't know what I'd do without you."

"Probably just use your own magic to get things done," he said with a wink.

She rolled her eyes at him as he took the steps two at a time to their master bath where the deep tub was located.

Ginny rummaged through the cupboards and took out her newest craving; canned peaches. Not fresh peaches, no. They had to be from the can. With a flick of her wand, the lid popped off and she got a fork from the cutlery drawer and began eating the sliced fruit straight from the can while waiting for Harry to come down and get her. She sat down at the dining table and ate the last bit of her treat. When she stood up, she froze. A gush of something very wet and warm was trickling down her legs.

"Uh….. Harry?!"

Hermione and Draco were just climbing into bed when a stag patronus came sauntering into the room.

"Ginny's water broke! Heading to St. Mungo's now. We'll keep you informed!" came Harry's voice.

Hermione gasped. "Ginny's in labor!" she said excitedly.

"About bloody time," said Draco, "Poor Potter... I mean, uh, Ginny. She was looking pretty miserable yesterday."

"Well, I'm sure that's a natural look when you go over-due," Hermione said simply. She placed a hand on her ever growing mound, "You realize that can be us any time now, right?"

"Any contractions?" Draco asked. He had started asking this almost nightly as it got closer and closer to her due date.

"No, but I do believe I've been having some braxton hicks, which are like false contractions," she informed.

Draco nodded, "Did you want to go St. Mungo's and wait for Ginny to have the baby?"

Hermione bit her lip, "I do, but… she could be in labor for a long time and those chairs in the waiting room are not the most comfortable to sit in… "

"Alright. We'll wait till morning and see how things are," he said, setting up his pillows so that he was propped up. "Do you need me to rub some salve on your back?"

"Please?" she said, turning to her side so that he could access her back easier.

He put a good portion of salve on his hands then rubbed it into her lower back where he knew she was having the most problems.

"That feels nice," she said mumbling into her pillow. When he was done, Draco went to the loo to wash his hands while Hermione situated herself and her many pillows for bed; she had two under her head, one between her knees, and one under her stomach as she laid on her left side. Just as she got comfortable, Draco grabbed his pillow and moved it so that when he laid down, he was facing her stomach. He levitated a book that was on his nightstand and opened it to where he left off, then began reading the next story in Tales of Beedle the Bard. Hermione smiled as she listened to Draco read while her fingers ran through his hair; her nails scraping along his scalp from his brow to the nape of his neck. She remembered the first time he had done this and it made her heart skip.

She closed her eyes as he read and was almost asleep by the time he finished. He put the book back on his nightstand and moved the pillow up near the head of the bed, next to Hermione. He usually slept up curled up against her back but tonight he decided to sleep on the other side and faced her as she slept. He moved a stray curl from her face then rested his hand on the side of her stomach, smiling when he felt the small movements of his children. Hermione moved her hand and placed it on top of his, interlacing her fingers, before they both fell fast asleep.

"Oh, Gin. He's gorgeous," Hermione said as she held little James Sirius Potter. "And I can't believe how much hair he has," she exclaimed as she ran her fingers through his black, downy-soft locks.

"He better have, or else all that heartburn would have been for nothing," said Ginny, smiling.

As the girls talked, Harry and Draco stood off to the side.

"Way to go Potter, you managed to replicate yourself," Draco snarked good naturally.

Harry grinned proudly, "I did, didn't I?" He looked over at his wife, who had his son in her arms again. "Just wait Malfoy, you'll be grinning like a fool like me when your own children come into the world and look like you."

"The boy, maybe. I have a feeling the girl may take after her mother, though maybe with lighter hair," Draco said.

"I can see that," Harry mused. He glanced at Hermione, who had one hand on her back while the other rested on her stomach, "How's she doing anyways?"

Draco shrugged, "Pretty much how Ginny was at this point. Sore, tired, moody. And if you repeat that, I'll hex you," Draco warned.

Harry chuckled, "Trust me, I wouldn't dream of it."

They watched their two witches for a few silent minutes before Draco asked quietly, "So, uh, how was it?"

"How was what?"

"You know… the whole birthing… thing," said Draco awkwardly, scratching the back of his head.

"Oh that.. That was, well, 'intense' is probably the best word," said Harry contemplatively. "So many things going on at once… first there's the panic and excitement of everything happening, and there's yelling and screaming and she's cursing your name. Trust me when I say that if she tells you to get out, don't. Or if you do, only do so for a few minutes. She'll need you, even if she is threatening to hex your balls off."

"Great," said Draco sarcastically.

Harry grinned, "Then she's pushing and you try not to look, because you really don't want too, but at the same time, you just can't help but watch your child being born into the world. And then there's this, this being that is yours, that you helped create. And that," he said, indicating the sleeping baby in Ginny's arms, "does not come out like that. Wrinkly, covered in blood and this white stuff-"

"Vernix," mumbled Draco.

"Yeah, that, but at the same time, it doesn't matter, because you know he's yours. They do eventually bathe them and they start to resemble a human at that point."

Draco chuckled, running a hand through his hair, "Is it weird to say that I'm both excited and terrified about all of this?"

Harry shrugged, "I think that's normal. But for what it's worth, I think you'll do just fine."

"Thanks, Potter," said Draco, clapping Harry on the back in comradery.

"Draco?" said Hermione, walking over to him with James back in her arms, "Would you like to hold him? You could use the practice," Hermione teased.

"Um," Draco looked at Harry, who nodded encouragingly, "Sure…"

Hermione placed James in Draco's arms. Draco was tense, not wanting to move for fear he'd drop or hurt the tiny bundle, but Hermione placed a reassuring hand on his arm and he started to relax.

"We've uh, we actually wanted to ask you two something," said Harry, who looked at Ginny. Ginny smiled at the other couple and said, "We would very much like it if you would be James's godparents."

Hermione's eyes teared up while Draco's widened in surprise. "Really?"

Ginny nodded, "Yes really. That is, if you accept?"

One look at Hermione and Draco knew they would. He gave the Potters a nod of acceptance then glanced down at the sleeping child. "Hello, godson."

Hermione leaned forward and kissed James's forehead then lifted her head and kissed Draco lightly. She smiled and wiped the tears from her eyes before looking back to Ginny.

"So tell us what happened last night, Harry said your water broke at home?"

Ginny nodded, "Yes, Harry was just setting up a bath for me and I was downstairs, sitting at the table and eating some peaches. When I stood up, my water broke. I yelled for Harry who came barreling down the stairs and almost fell face first at the bottom."

Harry groaned, "Thanks, Gin. They didn't need to know that part."

Ginny giggled, "Sorry, love. Anyways, we sent out a few patronuses and floo'd here. They ran some diagnostic spells to determine how far dilated I was, then set me up in the birthing room. I thought for sure I'd be laboring for hours, but apparently I was already at seven centimeters when I got here and it didn't take long until I had to start pushing."

"So, wait, was he born last night or this morning?" Hermione asked, "After all, I do want to make sure I have my godsons birthday correct."

"He was born last night, about ten minutes to midnight," said Harry.

"So, March 28th then?" Hermione verified.

"Yup. Only a week after my due date. He sure did take his sweet time, but now that's he's here, it was worth it."

James began to stir and whimper in Draco's arms and he had a slightly panicked look on his face, "Uh… what should I do?"

Harry smiled, "I'll take him." Draco gladly handed off James to his father. Harry bounced him lightly in his arms and kissed his forehead, "I think he's hungry," he said to Ginny, walking over to him.

"We should probably head out," said Hermione. She knew Ginny was nursing James and she wasn't sure if she, or Draco for that matter, would be comfortable doing that in front them."

Draco and Harry shook hands while Hermione gave Ginny a quick hug. They promised to stop by their house the following day when Ginny and James were released from the hospital.

When they returned back to the manor, Hermione started pacing.

"Everything alright?" Draco asked, watching her.

"Hm? Oh, yes, everything is fine. Just seeing Ginny and James at the hospital makes me think I should double check our hospital bags and make sure the nursery is ready.. You know, just in case."

Draco smiled and walked over to her, grabbing her hands so that she stopped pacing, "You know full well that we're more than ready. Why don't you sit down and put your feet up for a bit and I'll have Millie bring us up some lunch?"

Hermione nodded, "You're right, you're right. And yes, lunch sounds really good right about now."

He guided her towards the bed where he helped her get in and situated before calling for Millie, who appeared with a pop.

"Can Millie help you, Master Draco?" squeaked Millie.

"Can you please bring up a couple of sandwiches and crisps? We're going to take our lunch in our room," Draco said.

Millie nodded and bowed, "Millie will be right back with yours and Misses Hermione's lunch!" She disappeared with another pop as Draco looked over at Hermione, who had both hands on her stomach and a frown on her face. "Are you ok?" he asked.

Hermione nodded, "Yes, but I think I just had a contraction."

"Really?" said Draco, slightly panicked, "Should we head over to St. Mungo's?"

Hermione smiled at him, "I don't think there's any need to quite yet. It was just one. I read that I really don't need to head to the hospital until my contractions are about five minutes apart or if my water breaks."

Draco looked at her slightly skeptical, "Alright…"

Millie appeared once more, levitating two trays of food. She moved one towards Hermione and Draco took the other, setting it down on the desk, where he ate and watched Hermione from the corner of his eye.

Over the next few hours, Draco refused to leave Hermione's side, afraid that at any moment she would go into full blown labor. Hermione had gotten rather annoyed at Draco when he tried to follow her to the restroom, and she had to threaten to hex him if he didn't give her a few minute of privacy. He paced outside until she reemerged from the bathroom, where he gave an audible sigh of relief and she just rolled his eyes at him.

He wrote down anytime she had a contraction, which were happening randomly throughout the day. It was nearing dinner time and Draco was trying to convince Hermione to take her meal in her room, but she was adamant that she wanted to join everyone else at the dining table.

They walked slowly down stairs, stopping once as a contraction hit her again.

"Are you sure you want-"

"Yes, Draco. I want to eat with the family. I'll be fine. It'll probably be hours until anything significant happens and I want to make sure I have plenty of food in my system to keep up my strength."

"But you can still eat plenty of food in the room-"

"Draco, unless you like your pretty face, I suggest you shut it, or I'll hex it right off" growled Hermione, as another, albeit smaller, contraction hit.

Draco knew better than argue any longer. He got her to the dining room and into her seat. All throughout dinner he kept glancing at her, to the point where Narcissa inquired what was going on.

"It's nothing," said Hermione.

"It's not nothing. She's been having contractions off and on all day," said Draco.

"What? Why is this the first I've heard of this?" Narcissa asked, looking between Draco and Hermione.

"I didn't want to worry or excite anyone, because I know it could still be hours, or even days, until thing really progressive happens."

"How far apart are the contractions?" Andromeda asked.

Before Hermione could answer, Draco said, "They are ranging between 6 to 7 minutes."

"Hermione, dear, maybe you should go rest in your room for a bit-"

"With all due respect Narcissa, I think I should be able to decide what I should, or should not be doing. And right now-" She stopped mid-sentence, a look of surprise on her face. After a few seconds, she cleared her throat and said, "Right now, I think we should head to St. Mungo's, because I do believe my water just broke…"

Chapter Text

Draco ran a hand through his already messed up hair and looked at the clock. They had been at the hospital now for about four hours without much progress. When they arrived, the healers checked to insure that Hermione's water had indeed broken. They also checked to see how far dilated she was (he pointedly looked out the window when they did this) and they announced she was already 4 centimeters along. He helped her into her hospital gown and got her situated in the bed provided, then the waiting game commenced.

Hermione was glad that they could monitor her and the babies through magical means and not hooked up to monitors like she read about; she found that walking around helped with the contractions. They had been at the hospital now for four hours and she only progressed one centimeters (so she was now a total of 5) since being admitted. The staff offered her a pain potion but she told them that she wanted to work through the contractions naturally. Draco, who apparently was not comfortable seeing her in pain, kept asking if she was sure she didn't want pain potions. Only after she stated that he would need some if he kept pestering her about it, did he finally stop. If she wanted a damn pain potion, she would bloody well ask for it!

Draco sat in one of the chairs in the room with a book in his lap. He had brought the book to help pass the time, but he couldn't concentrate on it. Instead, he found himself watching Hermione walk around and tried to be there if she called for him. She was a strong woman, that much was for sure. If it wasn't for the fact that she would suddenly stop, close her eyes, and take a few deep breaths, no one would have guessed she was in labor. She wasn't even yelling, screaming, or cursing his name. Yet, he thought grimly. He knew once things started progressing more that that would change. He started thinking about how calm she'd actually been during the whole process that far, when he heard her moan out loud for the first time. He quickly got up and was at her side, "Everything ok?" he asked.

Hermione nodded, "Yeah. That contraction was just stronger than the others, that's all."

"That's good right? That means things are moving along like they should?"

"I bloody hope so," she said as she began to walk around again.

"Why don't you lay down for a bit? You look exhausted," he said.

Hermione shook her head, "Walking helps me focus and it's supposed to help things progress too."

"But, if you use up all your energy walking around then-"

"Draco! I'm fine. Just leave me be, alright?" she snapped.

"Ugh, fine!" he snapped back, walking over to the door.

"Where are you going?" she asked.

"Out," he said, "I'll be back in a few minutes, I just need a change of scenery."

He left before she could say anything, but saw that some healers were heading towards the room to check on her progression, so he didn't feel too guilty about leaving her.

He walked down a few halls and stopped when he came across a long window with bassinets on the other side. He looked around and quickly saw the one that said "Potter" on the name tag.

"Hey, how are things going?" Harry asked, stepping up next to Draco.

Draco shrugged, "Fine, I guess. Just slowly. Nothing I suggest is helpful though so I left to get a breather."

Harry nodded, "Don't take it too personal. If I know Hermione at all, she probably rejected the pain potion, right?" Draco made a noncommittal noise, which was confirmation enough. "She's stubborn, but tough," Harry continued, "She can get through it. How far along is she?"

Draco rubbed his face absently, "Last time they checked she was at 5 centimeters. Hopefully she progressed some when they check her this time."

"I bet she has. Also, I'm sorry I haven't been by yet. They just now took James into the nursery so that Ginny could get some sleep. I was just on my way over when I saw you here."

"She'd probably like another face to look at besides my own, even if it yours," Draco ribbed.

"Ha ha. Come on, lead the way," Harry said, walking towards the direction of the birthing rooms.

Hermione was indeed happy to see Harry and asked him how Ginny and James were doing. Draco noticed that Hermione's contractions were getting closer together and when she closed her eyes to breath through them, she couldn't help but moan.

"What did the healers say? How far along are you now?" Draco asked.

"I'm at a 6, almost 7. They said that after I pass 5, it usually goes quickly. From the strength of these contractions and how frequently they are coming, I'm beginning to think they're right, owwwww," she said, as another contraction hit. Draco was by her side, holding one of her hands and rubbing her back until it was over.

She looked up into his and eyes and whispered, "Please don't leave again. I don't think I can get through this next part without you."

Draco kissed her forehead, "I'm not going anywhere. I'm sorry I left before."

"It's ok, I shouldn't have snapped," she said.

"You have every right to snap at anyone in your current condition," he argued with a grin.

She opened her mouth to respond when another contraction hit. Her grip on his hand tightened and he rubbed her back once more until it was over.

"I'm going to head back to the room and try to get some sleep before they bring James back in," said Harry.

Hermione looked up at him, almost forgetting he was in room, "Thanks for stopping by Harry. Make sure to drop in before you all leave tomorrow, ok?"

Harry nodded, "Will do, Mione." He walked over and kissed her forehead, "Just remember, you can do this, ok? You helped defeat the most evil wizard of all time, birthing twins should be a piece of cake."

Hermione gave a shaky laugh, "I'll keep reminding myself of that."

"Draco, take care of her, alright?" Harry said to the blonde.

"Don't worry, I will. Take care of that wife of yours, as well as my godson."

Harry grinned and waved at the two before leaving the room.

Draco checked the time and noted that it was practically the middle of the night. "Well, looks like they won't be here on the 29th. Maybe the 30th?" he asked, trying to distract Hermione.

"Hopefully," she said through a yawn.

"Look, I know you don't want too, but I really think you should take a pain potion and try to get some sleep, even if it's just for a few hours," Draco almost pleaded.

Hermione sighed, "I think you're right. These contractions are taking a lot out of me. Some rest will help for when I have to start pushing."

"OK, I'll help you into bed and get someone who can give you the potion," Draco said with a sigh of relief.

Draco charmed the door to their room so that the outside of it glowed, meaning they needed assistance, while he helped Hermione into her bed. Within moments, a healer came in and Draco notified them that Hermione would like potion to help with the pain.

"Nothing too strong," she added, "I just need something so I can rest for a bit."

The healer nodded and left the room, returning less than a minute later with a vial. Hermione drank the potion and settled back into her bed. Draco thanked the healer then looked over at Hermione, who already seemed to visibly relax.

She held out her hand for him to take, which he obliged.

"I didn't realize just how tired I was," she said.

He kissed her hand and sat down in the chair next to her bed, "Get some sleep. I'll be right here."

"Can you… can you lay next to me? There should be enough room for both of us…"

As an answer, Draco slipped into the bed with her. Hermione shifted slightly to her side and tried her best to curl into him. He intertwined their fingers and brought their hands to rest on his chest. He waited for Hermione to close her eyes before he followed suit, willing himself to try and get some sleep, for he knew that in a few hours, everything would be different.

Draco opened his eyes in what seemed just five minutes later. He was surprised to see that it was nearly four in the morning. He looked next to him and saw that Hermione was still asleep, her hand loosely holding his. If it wasn't for the fact that he needed to use the use the loo, he would have tried to have gone back to sleep. He slowly pried her fingers from his and left the bed as softly as he could and quietly entered the adjoining bathroom. When he slipped back into the bed a few minutes later, Hermione shifted slightly and said quietly, her voice still thick with sleep, "Where'd you go?"

"I had to use the loo. Go back to sleep," he advised gently.

She placed her hand on his chest, where he covered it with one of his own, "Can't sleep. Potion wearing off."

"Do you want me to get the healer to get you some more?"

"No. They should be in soon to check and see how far along I am soon. Hopefully something happened while I was able to sleep. What time is it anyways?"

Draco noted that Hermione had yet to open her eyes, "It's about four in the morning."

Hermione moaned slightly, her hand grabbing onto Draco's shirt. He squeezed her hand reassuringly until the contraction passed. "I think they'll be here today," she said when it was over.

"Should I go get a healer to check you?" he asked as he started to sit up.

Hermione grabbed onto his shirt again so he couldn't move any further, "Don't. Not yet. I'm sure they'll come in shortly. Just… stay here, please?" She finally opened her eyes and peered at him.

He nodded and leaned over, kissing her lips softly before settled on his side next to her. They laid like that, talking quietly in between contractions, which were getting stronger every few minutes.

At nearly five in the morning, one of the healers came in to check on Hermione's progress. Draco stayed in the bed with her while she shifted to her back so that the healer could do her work, but he made sure to keep his eyes closed. He opened them went the healer spoke. "Well, good news, you're at a nine. Only a little bit more to go. I'll contact Healer Bones and we'll start prepping for delivery. Did you want to birth in the bed or should we get a birthing pool in here?"

"I think I'd like to try the pool, if that's alright," Hermione said.

The healer nodded, "Yes, perfectly fine. We have them all set up, we just use a simple transporter spell to bring them in, already filled with warmed water so we don't have to waste any time."

The healer cleared the room with a woosh of her hand, then did another movement and an inflatable tub was in the middle of the room.

"Mr. Malfoy, why don't you help your wife into the tub and we'll be back shortly to get the ball rolling," the healer said as she started walking out the door.

Draco got out of bed then rounded his way to the other side so he could assist Hermione, only stopping once so she could focus on a contraction. She stood on wobbly legs and clutched to Draco's shirt.

"You alright?" he asked, helping her stay upright.

"Yeah, just that one contraction took a lot out of me. Let's get over to the water before another one comes," she suggested.

Keeping one arm around her waist, Draco helped her walk over to the pool. She untied the hospital gown and Draco helped her slip out of it and placed it on the bed. He dug into their overnight bag and pulled out s nursing tank top so that she could be slightly covered up, but still able to nurse when the babies came. He helped her put on the tank top, kissed her lips once more, then helped her step into the water. The warmth of the water immediately helped some of her aches, taking some pressure off of her back where most of her contractions seemed to come from.

Two contractions later and Susan walked into the room, "How are we doing here?" she asked with a smile.

Hermione gave a shaky laugh, "Oh, just peachy."

"She's been having contractions every two to three minutes and they're lasting longer," he informed her.

"Sounds like excellent progress. I'm going to run a few diagnostics spells, check your dilation, then see how the babies are situated before we start you pushing, alright Hermione?"

Hermione nodded, taking a deep, cleansing breath.

Susan ran her diagnostics and confirmed that everything looked normal, "Babies heartbeats are great, your blood pressure is slightly high, but that's understandable. We'll keep an eye on it though, just in case. You're nearly at 10 centimeters so I think it's safe to say we can start pushing in a few minutes."

Draco and Hermione both nodded as they gripped each other's hands. This was it, no turning back now.

Susan did one more spell and a projection of the twins appeared above Hermione.

"They look so squished in there," Draco commented aloud.

"Yes, they rather are. But, soon they'll have plenty of room to stretch out. It looks your little boy is in position and will probably make his appearance first, though they're both head down, which is a good sign." Susan ended the charm and the images of the babies disappeared.

"Alright, I'm going to get into the water with Hermione. Draco, you kneel behind her outside of the tub and count while she pushes. I'm sure you don't want front row seating for this show, but from there you'll be able to coach Hermione and also be able to see the babies being born."

Draco shifted so that he was behind Hermione, his head right next to hers. She rested her head against the side of his for a moment while Susan got situated.

"Alright Hermione, at the next contraction, I want you to push, ok?"

Hermione nodded, shifting slightly to get into position and waited for the next contraction. When she finally felt it coming, she closed her, tucked her chin in, and started to push. Draco counted to ten and Hermione stopped, breathing in out a few times to catch her breath.

"Alright, that was good, Hermione. I think only a few more pushes and we might just have a baby."

Hermione pushed again at the next contraction, as well as the next.

"I don't know if I can do this," she said in a quiet voice so that only Draco could hear, the side of her head leaning against his once again.

He whispered into her ear, "I know for a fact that you can. Just focus, love, alright? You've got this. I'm right here. Squeeze my hand if you must. If you break any bones, I'm sure they have some skele-grow they can give me."

Hermione chuckled then instantly started to moan as another contraction hit her. She pushed as Draco counted, screaming out as the baby's head began to crown.

"Alright, he's almost here. One more push, ok?" encouraged Susan.

Hermione nodded and immediately began to push as the next contraction was already forming. She screamed out again once the head was completely out.

"Ok, just relax, and I'll help his get shoulders out," Susan said.

Within moments the tiny body slipped out and was placed on Hermione's chest.

"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh," said Hermione, looking down at the tiny human on her chest, her arms wrapping around him protectively.

"Congratulations, it looks like your little boy decided to come out first," said Susan with a smile.

Draco looked down at the wrinkly baby and a smiled spread across his face. A son. His son.

"Hey little guy," he said, leaning over Hermione's shoulder to get a better look. The baby was whimpering pitifully, but slowly starting to calm down under his mother's body heat. The little hair that was on top of his was matted with blood and vernix, but Draco could see the white-blonde strands underneath.

He turned to Hermione and kissed her cheek, "You did wonderful," he said.

"Thanks, you're not a bad coach. But before you forget, we still have one more to get out," she reminded him.

Draco smile and nodded, giving her a quick kiss. Susan instructed him on how to cut the cord with his wand then told them that they needed to take the baby so they could clean him and check his weight. Another healer came up and handed Draco a blanket. He held it open as the healer took the baby from Hermione and placed the him in his father's arms, wrapping him up so that he kept warm. Draco held his tiny son for a moment until Hermione moaned and he knew it was time to get ready for their daughter. He handed him to the healer and went back to kneeling behind Hermione.

Susan checked to make sure that their daughter hadn't turned during their son's birth and was relieved when they saw that she was still head down.

It seemed like too short of time had passed before Susan began telling Hermione to start pushing again. Hermione wasn't sure if she had the energy to push another child out, but with Draco whispering encouraging words into her ear, she felt she ought to at least try. She closed her eyes once more, tucked her chin to chest, and pushed again.

While Hermione gave birth to their son, Draco had kept all eyes between her legs, looking for the first signs of his child. This time, he kept his eyes on Hermione. The look of determination on her face even though she was exhausted; the sweat dripping from her forehead that he helped wipe off; the moans that turned to screams as she pushed. He knew in this moment in time that he'd never love anyone as much as he loved Hermione. She was his best friend and he knew he couldn't ever let her go. He smiled to himself and began counting again as Hermione began to push.

"I love you," he whispered in her ear. "You can do this. Let's meet our daughter."

Hermione looked at him briefly, her eyes locked onto his, and nodded. She pushed once more and, with the help of Susan, their daughter was born.

Chapter Text

"So, are you finally going to tell us their names?" Ginny asked. She and Harry were visiting on their way out, as promised. Ginny was sitting in a wheelchair, a requirement of the hospital, and holding her sleeping son.

"We will, once everyone else arrives," said Hermione with a smirk. She was currently holding her daughter, who was nursing contently, while Harry was holding her son, with Draco standing next to him.

Once washed and clean, the babies both sported the Malfoy white-blond hair. It was too soon to tell if the girl would have curly hair like her mother, but Hermione knew deep down that she did.

Within the next half hour the room began to fill up; Narcissa, Andromeda, and Teddy (who was excited to miss school so he could meet the babies), arrived first. The two elder witches each scooped up a child and began cooing over them. Mr. and Mrs. Granger arrived, with the help of Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, shortly after, followed by Ron and Pansy. Blaise, Daphne, Theo, and Astoria arrived last.

"Well, I think this is a significant amount of people, wouldn't you agree, Draco?" Hermione asked.

Draco nodded, "May we please have our children back, so we can introduce them properly?"

Reluctantly, Hermione's mother and father passed back the babies to their parents.

"You all have been very patient and we thank you. We do want to start off saying that we did follow the Malfoy tradition and each child has a celestial name," Hermione began. She heard Narcissa give an undignified squeal from where she stood.

"So, without further ado, I want to introduce our son, Scorpius. Scorpius Joseph-Draco Malfoy, his middle name after myself, obviously, and his grandfather" announced Draco.

"And I would like to introduce you to our daughter, Lyra. Lyra Narcissa-Kathleen Malfoy, named after her two grandmothers." Hermione said, noting that the two women mentioned were now openingly crying.

There were collective "awe's" throughout and the babies were taken once more. Mr. Granger went up to Draco and gave him a hug, thanking him for the honor of having his name be his grandson's middle name. "But what about your own father?" He inquired, fully expecting his name to be used in memory of him.

Draco shrugged, "It's usually customary for the first born son to have his father's name as his middle name. Hermione really wanted to use yours, so we compromised and gave him two middle names. It was only fitting that Lyra have two middle names, so we picked both of our mothers names."

"Well, I know Kathleen is over the moon about this," he said, looking at his wife who was holding their grandson. "They are beautiful."

"Well, you do have a beautiful daughter, sir," said Draco.

Mr. Granger smiled and looked over at Hermione, who was watching contentedly from her bed as her children got fawned over, "That I do."

Throughout the day more and more visitors came; George and Angelina, Percy and Andrea, Bill and Fleur, Luna with her boyfriend Rolf Scamander, Neville and Hannah, plus many others. Harry and Ginny went home for a while but promised to return later. Reporters requested interviews, which were promptly denied. Draco and Hermione would submit their own story, along with pictures, later on and the wizarding community would just have to wait for their debut.

A healer came in and told their guests that it was time to leave so that the new family could have some time to themselves. Hermione and Draco requested that Harry and Ginny, who had returned an hour before, as well as Blaise and Daphne stay behind for a few minutes more. Mrs. Weasley took James back to their house since he had just nursed and they promised to not be too long.

"Ok, so now that the masses have left, we wanted to talk to you four about something really important," began Draco, holding Lyra, who was currently gazing up at him and clutching one of his fingers.

Hermione nodded while holding Scorpius, who was snoozing peacefully after nursing to his fill, "We've been talking it over the past few months about who we want the children's godparents to be."

"And it's basically come down to the two sets of you," finished Draco.

"Uh, do you guys realize how scary that is when you talk as if you're one?" asked Blaise.

Draco smirked, "Shut up and listen, Zabini. Since we couldn't decide on just two of you, we decided to have all four of you be their godparents. No one specific child to a couple, just… they each get two godfathers and two godmothers."

"Really?" asked Daphne who was very much surprised. "Why us? I mean, I understand why you chose Harry and Ginny, but why Blaise and I as well?" .

Hermione smiled at her, "I know how close you are to Draco and how good friends you all are. I also know how much you love children."

"Wait, so, you chose us? Not the Potters?" asked Blaise, clearly confused.

"I did, yes. When we were talking about godparents, I suggested you two while Draco suggested Harry and Ginny, since they are my best friends," Hermione explained. She turned her focus on Harry and Ginny, "You two were obviously one of my top choices, but I also knew that you would have the opportunity to be godparents to many other children on the Weasley side of the family. But Draco was the who insisted that you guys be godparents too."

Ginny looked at Draco, tears in her eyes, "Oh Malfoy, you old softy," she said teasingly, wiping away a tear.

Draco chuckled and swung an arm around Ginny's shoulders, "What can I say, Weaslette, you grew on me."

She laughed and kissed his cheek, "And Harry?"

"Eh, he's part of the package deal I suppose," he said.

"Thanks, Malfoy, means a lot," said Harry sarcastically, before chuckling.

Draco stood up and offered his hand which Harry shook without hesitation.

"We should probably get going," said Ginny, "Or else we'll find that my mother has moved in."

"Well…. She is staying for a few weeks," said Harry awkwardly, scratching the back of his head.

"What? Why is this the first I'm hearing about this?" Ginny asked, glaring at her husband.

"She offered to stick around and help out a bit, until we get settled," he said.

She narrowed her eyes at Harry before walking over to Hermione, "I'll see you soon. Take care of my godkids, ok?"

"I will," she kissed her friend's cheek, "Now go, spend time with your baby and husband."

"And my mother too, apparently," said Ginny rolling her eyes.

Hermione chuckled and whispered, "Don't be too mad at him. He was only thinking of you."

Ginny sighed, "I suppose. But I think I'll make him sweat it out a bit." She gave Hermione a wink before turning to hug Draco. Harry hugged and kissed Hermione and shook Draco's hand once more before they headed back home.

Hermione looked over to Daphne and Blaise, who had grown quiet and were off the side as the Potter's said their goodbyes, "You two alright?"

"Did you choose us because we can't have kids?" Daphne blurted out.

Hermione shook her head, "Believe it or not, I suggested you both before I knew about that. Once you did tell us though, that really cinched my decision."

Daphne nodded and before Hermione could say anything else, she swooped down and hugged Hermione, trying not to squish the baby in her arms. "Thank you," she whispered into Hermione's ear.

"You sure about this?" Blaise asked Draco as the two women talked.

Draco nodded, "Yes. Though I hope you're not too put out that I suggested Potter instead of you."

"Nah, I get why you did. They're her best friends. I'm surprised she chose us, but I'm grateful nonetheless," he smiled to himself, "I've never been a godfather before. I think I'll like that."

"It'll be great practice for when you have your own kids," said Draco.

"Speaking of that…" he looked at Daphne who smiled at him and nodded, "We have some news."

"Oh?" asked Draco.

Daphne nodded, "We met up with an adoption agency and we got to tour one of the orphanages. There were these two little kids, a brother and sister. They are so adorable. The little girl is about four and the little boy is just a little over a year. We were only planning on adopting one child, but… they took to us and we took to them and we're now in the process of adopting them."

"Oh Daph, that's great!" said Hermione.

Draco clapped Blaise on the back, "Congrats, mate."

"Thanks," said Blaise, "I'm nervous as hell, but it'll be fun. We're finally going to be able to grow our family. Now we just need to get the rooms ready, and get clothes, toys, and everything else kids need."

"If you need any help, let us know," said Draco, with Hermione nodding in agreement.

"Thanks," said Blaise. "Well, we should probably go before the Healer comes back and kicks us out forcefully."

They said their goodbye's and for the first time since the babies were born, it was just the four of them.

Draco, with a now sleeping Lyra in his arms, sat on the bed next to Hermione. They stayed like that for a few minutes, each holding a child and watching them sleep.

"They're beautiful," said Hermione, tracing a light finger along Scorpius's cheek. He flinched but continued sleeping.

"I don't know if I told you yet, but you did amazing. I don't know anyone who could have done what you did," said Draco, looking at Hermione.

Hermione rested her head on Draco's shoulder and sighed contently. Eventually they placed the babies in the small bassinets in the room and the to new parents fell asleep, exhaustion hitting full force after the day's events.

The next day, after only getting a few hours sleep due to the babies waking to nurse every few hours, Draco and Hermione finally floo'd home. When they landed in the entry parler, they were greeted by Narcissa, Andromeda, and Hermione's parents. Teddy had made a sign before he left for school that day that said "Welcome Home Scorpius and Lyra!" which was hung up on the wall.

Hermione and Draco passed off the babies to grandparents as they went upstairs to unpack and get situated.

Hermione convinced Draco to shower first since she knew the babies would need to nurse soon. She pattered around the nursery until her parents came in, each holding a fussy baby. "We think some little babies are getting hungry," said her mother.

"I knew they would be. I'm going to nurse them in my bed, since it's easier to feed both of them that way."

They followed their daughter to the bedroom and waited for Hermione to get situated with many pillows surrounding her. One at a time, she latched on a child to nurse (her father looked away as she got situated), and soon they were both gulping thirstily.

"We're so proud of you, sweetheart," said her mother.

"Thanks mum," she sleepily.

"We're going to head home and let you guys rest, but we'll be back in a few days, ok?" her father said.

"You know you both are welcome here anytime. Just call me and I'll send someone to get you through the floo," she said.

They each kissed their daughter on her forehead then headed out of the room.

A few minutes later, as the babies finished nursing, Draco came back into the room, fresh and clean from his shower. "They eat?" he asked.

"Yes, can you take Scorp and burp him please? I'll do Lyra," she said.

Draco picked up his fussing son and put him up to his shoulder and patted his back, waiting for the belch he knew was coming.

Lyra and Scorpius each burped at the same time, causing their parents to both smile.

"Give me Lyra and go take your shower. I'll change their diapers and see if I can get them down for a nap," offered Draco.

"Are you sure?" Hermione asked.

Draco kissed her forehead, "Positive."

Twenty minutes later, Hermione left the steamy bathroom and went in search of her husband and babies. She found them in the nursery, Draco sitting in one of the rocking chairs, a baby asleep in each arm. Draco himself seemed to have dozed off as well. Hermione stood there, leaning against the door jam, smiling at the scene. Her heart skipped a beat as she watched Draco, her childhood bully, sleep peacefully with their children in her arms. They've come such a long way. She thought back to what he told her that he loved her while she was in labor. She hadn't said it back yet; wasn't sure if she could. She had feelings for him, that much was obvious, but was it love? Another look at him with her children and her heart fluttered once more. She walked over quietly and picked up Scorpius, causing Draco to open his eyes.

"Sorry," she whispered, "I'm just putting them in the crib."

Draco nodded, and once Hermione had a hold of their son, he got up with Lyra and placed her in the crib next to her brother. They had agreed that for the first few months, they would share a crib, as most twins slept better when they are in close proximity to their sibling. The twins nested together and their parents quietly made their way out of the room. Hermione took Draco's hand loosely as she led them back to her room.
"I don't know about you, but I could use a nap," she said.

Draco yawned and nodded, "Me too."

They both slipped into the bed, meeting in the middle. Draco pulled her close so that his arm rested against her waist, "Hm, this is nice. No huge belly in the way anymore," he said with a smirk.

Hermione gave him a wry smile, "I still have a belly, just not as big as before. That will go away with time, once I get the clearance to work out and-"

He stopped her talking with a light kiss. "Shh… rest," he whispered.

"You sure are bossy," she teased, but scooted in closer and closed her eyes.

A few silent moments went by before Hermione said quietly, "I hope you don't think that I'm ignoring what you said before."

"Hm?" Draco asked sleepily.

"What you said to me as I was in labor," she clarified. "I haven't forgotten."

Draco opened one eye to look at her, "I knew you wouldn't forget. But since you hadn't mentioned anything, I figured you were still working out your own feelings," he said simply, closing his eye again.

She nodded slightly, "You're right. I didn't want to say it back just because you said it. And with everything that was happening, I didn't want to say it because I was caught up in the moment."

"Is that why you think I said it?" Draco asked, both eyes open, frowning.

She shook her head, "No. I know you. You don't do things like that, not on a whim. I knew that once you said it, you meant it. And I… well, you know me. I have to overthink everything. I didn't say it back, or mention anything, because I was still processing everything."

"And now?," he asked, his facing resting so close to hers that their noses touched.

She rubbed her nose against his slightly, "I'd say the feeling's mutual."

He opened his eyes and gave her a wry smile, "Not even going to say it?"

She smiled and kissed him. "I love you," she said, mumbling against his lips.

He tightened his grip around her waist and pulled her close, giving her a hard kiss, "Say it again."

"I love you," she said. She ran a hand through his hair and pulled him close for another kiss, opening for him when she felt his tongue brush her lips.

"I love you, too," he said between kisses. He tucked her into his side, where they fell asleep, both looking forward to what the future had in store for them and their family.

Chapter Text

Two weeks after the twins were born, Pansy and Ron welcomed a little girl, who they named Rose Lucretia Weasley. Much to the dismay of her mother, little Rose was born as bald as can be and it wasn't until nearly her first birthday that she enough hair, black like her mother's, to put pretty bows in. Their son, Hugo Arthur Weasley, had a full head of red hair like his father when he was born four years later.

When James Potter was just about two years old, Harry and Ginny welcomed his little brother, Albus Severus. A few years after that, they had little girl named Lily Luna. Ginny proclaimed the baby factory closed and they were happy as a family of five.

Blaise and Daphne's adoption to the orphaned siblings, Chloe and Benjamin, was finished a few months after the twins were born. Three months later, Daphne found out she was pregnant. She was on bedrest most of her pregnancy but had a beautiful baby girl, who they named Hope.

Astoria and Theo married and spent a year traveling before finally settling down and starting a family. They welcomed a little girl named Cecilia a year later and were happy to spoil and love just one child.

On the twin's first birthday, Draco gave Hermione his grandmother's ring and asked her to marry him again. They renewed their vows on their second anniversary, with their two children toddling by their side. When the twins were almost three, they welcomed a little boy who they named Orion Lucius Malfoy. Three years after that, they welcomed their fourth, and last child, Cassiopeia Ariana Malfoy, or Cassie for short. Orion and Cassie favored their mother as they both had brown eyes with light brown hair, a perfect combination of their parents. Lyra and Orion were both cursed with Hermione's curly hair while Scorpius and Cassie had straight hair, like their father.

It was now September 1st and the twins, along with James Potter and Rose Weasley, had left on the Hogwarts Express on their way to Hogwarts earlier that day.

"I wonder if they got sorted yet!" exclaimed Orion as he took a bite of his dinner.

"They probably have," mused Hermione. "I'm sure they'll owl as soon as the feast is over."

"Can we stay up and wait for their letters if we promise to go to sleep really fast afterwards?" asked Cassie.

Hermione smiled and kissed the top of her daughter's head, "Sorry sweetie, but if the letter doesn't come before bedtime, you'll just have to wait until morning. You and your brother have school tomorrow."

Cassie pouted but nodded, knowing better than to argue.

"I still can't believe you got Scorp and Ly brooms for their birthday," said Orion. "Hey dad, can I-"

"No, not until you're 11," Draco said, cutting him off with a smirk. It had the been topic of many dinners lately. Orion wanted desperately to have a real broom of his own, not a training one. He had already sneaked out Scorp's few times, and found that it was much easier then a training broom, but he couldn't very well tell his parents that. Orion huffed out a breath and took another bite of food, trying desperately to find a way to convince his parents to get his own broom and show them just how good he was at flying.

They finished their dinner and the two kids asked to be excused to go play before getting ready for bed.

As Millie cleared the table, Hermione and Draco went to the living room and sat down on the couch.

Draco was staring towards the window and Hermione touched his hand, "You look more nervous than the kids did this morning," she said.

He picked her hand up and kissed the top of it, "Maybe I am a little. I always planned on my children to be in Slytherin, but I really don't see either of those two in that house."

"Will it really be so bad if they're in another one?" she asked.

"I suppose not," he intertwined their fingers, "Did I tell you that Lyra told me she thinks Scorp will go into Hufflepuff?"

Hermione nodded, "Yes. She read through my copy of Hogwarts, A History, plus the updated one, and she said that whenever she read Hufflepuff's description about loyalty, dedication, and patience that Scorpius always came to mind." She looked at her husband, a frown on his face, "You realize if he does get in, that there will be no more making fun of Hufflepuff's in this house, right?"

He smirked at Hermione, "Yes, dear."

She smacked his arm playfully, "I mean it."

He chuckled, "I know." He sighed as Hermione rested her head on his shoulder, "You realize that Lyra is a mini-you, right? She'll probably be in Gryffindor."

"Nah, I think Ravenclaw," guessed Hermione. "Believe it not, but I think she's smarter than me at that age."

Draco chuckled, "Hopefully she doesn't run into a little pureblood brat who'll make fun of her for the next seven years."

"Well, I don't know. It didn't turn out too bad for me," she said lightly.

He turned her face so that he could capture her lips in a light kiss, "I love you."

"I love you too," she said, kissing him again, then setting against him once more. "Have you heard from your mother?"

Draco nodded, "Yes, she and Aunt Andromeda are having fun traveling. They miss the kids and especially missed the fact that they weren't here to see the twins off at the station. But she promised that she'll pick them up for the winter holidays as a surprise."

She smiled, "They'll like that."

There was a pecking sound at one of the windows which caused Draco to stand up quickly, making Hermione fall onto the couch and land in the place that he currently vacated. She flipped to her back and waited for Draco to return. When he did, he had two letters in hand. Hermione moved back to the sitting position so that Draco could sit down next to her.

"So, whose are we reading first?" she asked.

"I'll read Scorps, you read Lyra's, then we switch, ok?" he suggested.

Hermione nodded, taking the letter that had Lyra's beautiful script on the envelope and opened it up.

Dear Mum and Dad,

I'm in Ravenclaw! I knew I would be! James got into Gryffindor, but we all saw that coming, and Rose got put into Hufflepuff! I promised Scorp that I wouldn't write in my letter where he ended up because he wanted to tell you himself.

The train ride to Hogwarts was a bit boring, so I'm glad I brought some books to read. (I already finished Standard Book of Specials: Year 1 so I started Alice in Wonderland, recommended by Auntie Luna.)

The feast was amazing and now I am stuffed! And I sat next to another first year girl named Patty, who's a muggleborn and she and I talked a lot about books. We're thinking of starting a book club, what do you think? Maybe mum can give us suggestions on books.

Well, it's late and I need to rest up for classes tomorrow. Write back and tell Or and Cassie that I miss them and love them.


Hermione smiled at her daughter's letter. She looked over at Draco who was staring off somewhere in front of him.

"Can I read Scorp's?" she asked.

Draco nodded and handed her his letter, taking Lyra's from her.

Mum and Dad,

I'm in Hufflepuff. I know dad will be disappointed, but I'm happy about where the sorting hat put me. Lyra had read all the different house descriptions on the train and asked me which house I thought best suit me and we both agreed that Hufflepuff was my house. I know dad was joking that he'd disown any of his kids that were in Hufflepuff, but please don't let him, ok mum?

Rose is in Hufflepuff with me and James got into Gryffindor, which we all knew would happen.

Train ride was fun and I sat with a couple new people and made some new friends already. I even bought some treats from the trolly and shared with the kids in the cabin.

Food at the feast was delicious but not as good as mum's.

I have to go, the Prefect just came by and said it's time to go bed. I'll write later.


"Oh Draco, did you really say you'd disown any of your kids if they got into Hufflepuff?" she asked exasperatedly.

Draco had the decency to look embarrassed, "It was over a year ago and I was just joking around. Of course I'd never actually disown him." Draco took back the letter from Scorpius and read it again, "He's right though. That house does fit him pretty well. If you don't mind, I'll write him back this time, ok?"

Hermione smiled and kissed his cheek, "Sounds like a good plan to me. I'll respond to Lyra's."

Cassie and Orion came bounding into the room and Cassie squealed, "Letters!"

Draco laughed and scooped up his youngest while Orion sat next to Hermione, "Yup. We just found out that Lyra is in Ravenclaw and Scorpius is in Hufflepuff."

"Yes! I knew it!" Cassie turned a triumphant grint to Orion, "Pay up. I told you Scorp would be in Hufflepuff."

Orion grumbled but took out a galleon and placed it in his sister's outstretched hand. She then looked up at her father and batted her eyelashes, "Daddy, if I save up enough galleons, can I buy a real broom?"

"You don't even like flying, Cass," Hermione said and Draco just laughed.

Cassie shrugged, "So? At least I'll have a real broom before Or does."

"Hey! Dad, Mum, you won't let her really buy a broom, will you? She's only 5!"

Cassie stuck out her tongue at her brother.

"That's enough you two. Run along to your rooms and we'll come and tuck you in a few minutes," Hermione said.

As they watched their two youngest quietly argue as they left the room, Hermione shook her head, "You want to know which kid will be in Slytherin? That little girl of yours."

Draco smiled proudly, "Yeah, I've been thinking that for a while now too. Orion will probably beg the hat to choose Gryffindor, so he could be with James."

Hermione laughed, "That's probably true."

Draco stood up and offered his hands to pull Hermione up. She accepted the gesture and he pulled her into his chest, where he kissed the tip of her nose. "Shall we go tuck those kids into bed and have mommy and daddy alone time?" he said while wiggling his eyebrows.

"Maybe if you're lucky," she said pecked his lips quickly.

Hand in hand, they made their way up the grand staircase towards the bedrooms.

"You realize though, that if Orion does get into Gryffindor and Cassie goes to Slytherin, there will be a Malfoy in every Hogwarts House for at least one year."

Draco grinned at that thought, "That would be pretty nice."

Hermione tucked in Cassie while Draco took care of Orion, then swapped kids so they each got to say goodnight to both of them. Once the kids were settled and tucked in, Hermione and Draco made their way to their own room.

"So, Mr. Malfoy," Hermione said as she linked her hands behind his neck.

"Yes, Mrs. Malfoy?" he answered back, his hands resting on her hips.

"How does it feel having two kids in Hogwarts?"

Draco pondered for a moment. "Old," he said, grinning down at her as Hermione rolled her eyes. "Alright alright. I'm pretty damn proud, actually."

"Even if one of your children is in Hufflepuff?" she inquired with a raised eyebrow.

"Especially because one of them is in Hufflepuff," he said, kissing her softly.

She let the kiss linger for a moment before sighing into his embrace. "You know, for all the stuff the Ministry has done, good or bad, I think that whole marriage law thing turned out pretty well."

"I think they were wrong on the whole 95% compatibility though," Draco said seriously.

Hermione raised her head and looked at him, frowning, "Oh?"

He dipped down to kiss her once more. "I think it's more like 100%" he said against her lips.

Hermione smiled, "I agree… 100%."