Chapter 15 : Three Years Later
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I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received from the readers of this story and I would like to say to you all a huge thank you. I really don’t know if I would have completed it if it wasn’t for all your encouragement and lovely words. I appreciate anyone who has taken time out of their day to read and review, know it has meant the world to me. And so for the final time, I hope you enjoy the very last chapter of Beautiful Within.
Hermione crept passed the open door; she knew she should have resisted the urge to peek inside but the temptation was too great. Silently she popped her head around the door and breathed a sigh of relief. The two children, the little girl with curly white blonde locks and the smaller red haired boy were still fast asleep. The night before she had been awoken by the sound of screaming, grabbing her wand she had dashed through the landing bursting into the child’s room only to find Seren telling off the younger child for not stacking his bricks appropriately.
“Seren! Leave him alone, he is younger than you, why don’t you show him how to do it correctly not scream at him for doing it wrong. Say sorry.”
Her four year old daughter went on to fold her arms and stare defiantly at her Mother. “No.”
“Seren.” Hermione carried on, her voice dangerously low.
“Ok mummy.” She then looked at the red haired boy and said, “I’m sorry you are stupid.”
Hermione leaned against the door frame and smiled at the memory. Seren really was a handful, more often than not she was a loving, kind, and helpful little girl but she could be so mischievous and sly, she knew how to get the things she wanted alright. Hermione’s eyes rested on a picture that hung above Serens bed, it was taken the Christmas before and it contained a red faced Ron and a giggling Seren, what the picture didn’t show was Ron chasing Seren around the garden for a whole hour before because she had convinced him that she was capable of flying a broomstick. When Hermione went into the garden and witnessed her barley four year old daughter zooming around six feet in the air she dropped the tray of cakes she had been holding.
Her eyes lingered for a moment longer on her daughters giggling face; Seren really was a pretty little thing. Her blonde ringlets fell past her shoulders; her sparkling grey eyes so much like her fathers in colour were the same shape as hers. She really was a mixture of the two in both looks and personality. She had a love for books which she most certainly inherited from her, and a passion for brooms that she most definitely got from her Father.
Confident that the sleeping children would not wake soon she retreated from the room.
“Goodnight, I love you.” She whispered to the sleeping figures.
She was about to close the door when she heard her daughters voice, “I love you to mummy.”
“Shit.” She uttered under her breath. “Seren, mummy’s sorry she disturbed you, go back to sleep.”
But it was too late; the sleepy blonde was climbing over the red head boy who thankfully was still lost in dreams.
“Mummy, I need a drink.”
Hermione resisted the urge to sigh and instead held out her hand. “Come on then.”
The small girl reached her Mother and took her hand. Hermione bent down and picked her up.
“Mummy, you don’t need to carry me. I’m not a baby.”
Seren was nearly four but she would always be her baby. She remembered so well the first time she held her; the love she felt for the tiny infant was instant and powerful, and she knew what unconditional love was as she gazed into her daughter’s eyes for the first time.
She twirled one of her blonde ringlets, “you will always be my baby.”
Seren smiled, “and you will always be my mummy, mummy.”
They reached the kitchen and Hermione put the little girl on the counter. “What’s it going to be then? Something sugar free I think.”
“Mmpf, I want coke!”
Hermione cocked her head to the side. “”I know, how about a glass of water?”
“No, I want coke!”
Hermione rolled her eyes; her daughter really was a madam sometimes. “Alright coke it is.” She put Seren on the floor. “Will you go and get mummy her slippers from the living room?”
Seren nodded and rushed away. Hermione waited until she was out of sight before pouring her daughter a glass of water and quickly bewitching it to look like a glass of coke. Just as she tucked her wand back into her jeans pocket the little girl reappeared.
“Here you go princess.”
Her daughter eyed the glass suspiciously. “Is that really coke?”
Hermione couldn’t stop the smirk that played on her lips. Seren questioned the slightest thing and Hermione knew she got that particular trait from her father.
“Don’t you trust me?”
“Of course I do mummy.” And the little girl happily drained her glass. Hermione had discovered since becoming a mother the art of lying. She didn’t like it but on times it was a necessary part of being a parent.
Hermione made herself a cup of tea and headed for the living room. She curled up on the sofa and Seren snuggled next to her.
“Mummy, peas will you tell me about him?”
Hermione didn’t need to ask who her daughter was referring to. She had become a lot more inquisitive over the past few months, ever since she heard Harry and Ron talking about him over dinner. You think children don’t pick up on things but they do, Hermione had discovered that the hard way. She glanced down at her daughter who was waiting with hopeful eyes.
“Ok Seren, but close your eyes and try to sleep. Deal?”
The little girl let out a squeal and frantically nodded her head. “Close your eyes, are they closed?”
“Yes mummy there closed.”
Hermione held up three fingers but when Seren didn’t acknowledge them she was satisfied enough to begin. It was hard enough dressing the story up to be some sort of fairytale and it made it even harder when her daughter’s eyes pierced her own.
Hermione spoke slowly and softly whilst she stoked her daughter’s hair.
“There was once an army of cruel knights who served the evil king Voldemort, a king who made the magical folks lives a misery and many, many people were scared of the king and his army of cruel knights including Mummy. A battle between the goodies and baddies raged on for years and years. Until one year the battle came to a head, everybody took their sides, the goodies on one side of the field and the baddies on the other. Well, that’s how it was supposed to be, but what the evil king did not know was that two cruel knights had seen the light and had decided to fight for the goodies...”
Hermione looked down at her daughter and smiled. The little girl’s soft, deep breaths confirmed she had fallen back into her dreams.
“So the two cruel knights became two brave knights. Mummy fell madly and deeply in love with one of the knights, he was her soul mate, he gave me you. My precious princess. So the battle between the goodies and baddies came to a head and Uncle Harry, the brave soldier that he is saw that the evil king and his army of cruel knights could never hurt anybody ever again. Mummy was so happy, that she, daddy and you could live in harmony. But what Mummy didn’t know was that one of the cruel knights had escaped and he cast a spell at Mummy that would have damaged her beyond repair but.....But the spell never got to Mummy. Because the brave knight stepped in front of the harmful spell to save mummy and you...”
A tear slid down her cheek and she kissed her daughters head.
Hermione had just closed her eyes when she heard the soft pop of him apparating in the hallway. She checked her watch; he was home early, his job as a Hit Wizard required him to work all hours and she despised his night shifts. The bed didn’t feel right with him not beside her.
He walked into the kitchen and she watched him make a cup of coffee, with the use of magic of course, he would never be capable of doing it the non-magical way. He still hadn’t noticed her presence so she coughed lightly.
He poked his head around the door, his face lit up at the sight. Hermione put her finger to her lips and pointed at Seren. He made his way across the room and kneeled down beside them.
“And how are my girls?”
He kissed her lips and her body tingled. “We are fine, she asked about him again.”
His eyes narrowed and even in the poor light she could see the hurt in his eyes. “What did you tell her?”
“The same as before, she wasn’t awake for most of it anyway.”
“Well I suppose she will learn about my father as she grows up anyway.”
“Draco, you have nothing to worry about, your father was a hero.”
“No Hermione, he wasn’t.”
In the years following his father’s death Draco had learnt to forgive him for his cruel ways. But Lucius Malfoy had been no hero, Draco was certain of that. But he had given his life for the woman Draco had loved and the unborn grandchild he had no idea she was carrying in her womb…Seren.
“James is asleep upstairs.” Said Hermione deciding a change of subject was for the best.
Draco rolled his eyes. “Babysitting Potters brat again are we?”
Hermione slapped his shoulder. “Will you carry her upstairs? I swear this boy weighs a ton." She looked down at her growing bump.
He lovingly placed his hand on her stomach. "Our little Scorpius will be here soon enough."
Hermione screwed up her face. "Oh, Draco we've discussed this, we're not calling him that!"
"We'll see." He replied, a smirk on his lips. "Are you coming to bed?"
“In a second, I want to wash the cups first.”
Draco gave her an exasperated look and carried their daughter from the room. She wasn’t sure if he would ever come to terms with his Father’s death. He had never truly grieved or acknowledged what Lucius had done for them that day. Maybe it was still to raw.
Hermione finished with the cups and crept silently up the stairs, pausing outside her daughter’s bedroom she listened intently, Seren had obviously woke and Draco was talking softly, in a voice used strictly for his princess.
“Daddy, mummy told me about granddad Malfoy again.”
“Did she, what did she say?”
“I fell to sleep.”
“Yes, and that’s because it’s well past your bedtime. Come on madam, get into bed.
“Aww, daddy, peas can I come in your room? I hate sleeping with James, he snores.”
Draco laughed causing Hermione’s smile to widen, she knew Seren wasn’t going to win.
“No Seren, you are a big girl now, and daddy needs you to stay here and keep watch on James, got that?” He then whispered quietly. “And we all know how much of a baby those Potter’s are.”
Hermione heard a creek and she knew Draco had got off the bed. She hurried down the hall stopping when she heard Serens voice again. “Daddy, will you tell me about granddad Malfoy?”
There was a pregnant pause, Hermione held her breath not sure of how Draco would react.
“Your grandfather was, he was...he was my father, and I loved him very much, that’s all I know.”
“Like I love you daddy?”
Draco chuckled, “yes. Just like that, goodnight princess.”
Hermione waited for Draco to close Serens bedroom door before she spoke. “Well, I think you handled that perfectly.”
He run a hand through his hair and let out a long sigh. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and together they walked to their bedroom. “I only told her the truth.”
“And that’s all she needs to know.” Hermione replied, smiling up at her husband.
They undressed and fell into bed, she snuggled against him and before long his deep breaths told her he was asleep. She gazed up at him in wonder. Who would have ever believed it possible, Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy with a four year old daughter and a son on the way?
To that day people asked her what on earth she saw in him and her reply was always the same, she simply told them;
“Draco Malfoy may be many things, but above all he’s beautiful within.”
Well, there we have it guys, the end of Beautiful Within. I hope it hasn’t disappointed you, and again thank you for making my first experience as a fanfic writer worth the journey.
The word Seren translates to star in welsh.