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The One Who Holds The Stars

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“Draco?” Hermione whispered, coming in the back entrance of the house. She didn’t want to wake the children, but her husband had been absent from the garden for some time and Harry and Ron were growing impatient. She peeked in the rooms as she passed them, but found each one empty. She paused at the bottom of the stairs and took a deep breath to prepare herself for the hike up. Being 9 months pregnant left her little energy, especially after a day spent in the heat celebrating Harry’s 40th birthday.


Hermione reached the top and paused again to catch her breath. Harry and Ron owed her for this; it was their brilliant idea to play quidditch in the dark and they just needed Draco to partner with Ginny for a fair game. Her attempts at pouting were lost on her best friends, even after she groaned loudly while rising from her comfortable seat.


Hermione continued to waddle down the hallway towards the bedroom Draco and she used when they visited Grimmauld Place. She peeked inside and found the room empty yet again. Where was her husband?


She crossed the hall to the room where all the children insisted on piling together to sleep and quietly opened the door. She looked inside to find Draco laying in the middle of the giant bed he had transformed only hours before, sound asleep with a book open on his chest. Tucked in on one side of him was their own sweet Cora; Ron’s son Hugo tucked tightly against his other side with Draco’s hand resting on the boy's leg. Above him, Scorpius, James, and Albus were sprawled out in various uncomfortable looking positions. The other girls, Lily and Rose, were curled up beside Cora, the three of them sharing one large blanket. And last, clearly trying to look like he wasn’t also enjoying the story, was Teddy laying by Draco’s feet.


Hermione smiled fondly at the scene and pulled the door closed. She wasn’t about to wake him up. Her husband, ever the guardian, was right where he wanted to be.

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From the time Draco was born, it was ingrained in him that being Pureblood and a Slytherin was of the utmost importance. Ingrained so deep that it wasn’t an option nor even an expectation, simply a truth, a prediction for his entire life. One of his first memories as a child was finding a stuffed lion while shopping with his mother. He had gathered the small toy in his still chubby hands and snuggled his face into its soft mane. He felt pure joy until his mother saw and ripped it from his grasp, replacing it with a rigid, scaly, toy snake. He cried, looking longingly at the lion as his mother pulled him to the next shop.


From then on, everything in his life was green and silver and covered in snakes. Christmas was even absent of the wondrous red one would normally enjoy during the season. “Red is a sign of weakness,” his father would say. When he wanted softness and warmth, he instead received rigidness and cold.


Upon entering Hogwarts, he saw the lions and the red that adorned the Gryffindor table and he smiled, finally able to enjoy it.


The pride he felt when finally joining Slytherin was met with a stony response from his father. That first year’s holiday was spent creating a plan for Draco to defeat them all. Best Potter in Quidditch. Top the “mudblood” in studies. Tear down the Weasley kid.


He was Hercules sent to defeat the Nemean Lion.


The years passed and Draco fought tooth and nail to fulfill his father’s plan, which was then replaced by The Dark Lord’s plan. He was fueled by envy of his school mates. Even while up against Voldemort and literally fighting for their lives, they had what he always yearned for: warmth. Laughter. Friendship. Love.


His plan came to a screeching halt on the day of the Final Battle when the lion in his fight found him hiding in a corner. Upon seeing the tears streaming down his cheeks, Granger grabbed his face in her hands and stared into his eyes, into his soul.


“Draco, please, come with me,” she pleaded with him, pulling him into a tight embrace against her warm body. He buried his face in her hair and there it was, the joy he felt as a child. The warmth he craved. Draco sighed, relieved.


The lion had won.

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Pavo the peacock was having a fabulous day. Upon waking from a glorious slumber, he challenged the pride to a race to his favorite tree in the orchard and was rewarded with the first pick of the trees' new blooms for breakfast. A short rest was followed by mid-morning grooming; as the finest of all peacocks, it was vital that he kept his pristine white plumage in tip-top shape. Once he was satisfied, he found a quiet area to hone his mating dance. The hens wouldn’t be able to resist him this season, he was sure of it.


As he was settling down amongst the pride for his afternoon nap, Pavo heard a faint noise coming from near the Manor. He perked up his head and listened intently.


“Boys!” a voice called out.


Master Draco!


Master had come to visit! Pavo sprang to his feet and took off running, jumping into the air occasionally to fly a few yards. It had been ages since Master Draco had visited.


As he drew near the Manor, Pavo noticed that Master was not alone. He was standing in Mistress Narcissa’s rose garden with a woman.


Pavo slowed his pace and walked towards the pair with his head held high, his plume trailing behind him.


“Ah, here they are,” Master Draco said as the pride arrived. Master introduced the others as Pavo looked the girl up and down. She was clearly not of the same class as Master, what in her simple dress and unkempt hair. Did she not know the proper way to groom her own plumage? Pavo thought to himself.


Upon arriving in their view, Pavo shook out his plume and let it open in grandeur. The girl gasped at his beauty, and Pavo strutted in a circle to let the sun catch every last crystal.


Master grinned at him. “And this is Pavo, my first and best peacock.”


“You named your peacock “the peacock” in Latin?” The bushy-haired girl asked the Master, laughing. Pavo gave a chirp of indignation and ruffled his plume as he lunged at her.


The audacity! No one made fun of Pavo.


Just before he was to nip the girl, Master jumped in front of her and threw his arms wide. “Pavo! No!” Master yelled.


Pavo was shocked. Master was protecting her! He forced his plume back down and squawked loudly.


“Merlin Draco! What is he doing?” the girl screeched, cowering..


Master Draco gathered the girl in his arms and Pavo watched as he kissed her.


Ah. So she was Master’s hen.


The girl was approaching him now, under Masters guidance, with a handful of Pavo’s favorite seeds. “I’m sorry. Pavo is a beautiful name.”


Pavo stared at her indignantly for a moment before acquiescing. He bowed before her and took the offered seeds, nipping her finger in the process.


“Ouch!” she cried.


No one would insult Pavo on his fabulous day, not even the future Mistress.