Chapter 26 : Epilogue: one year later
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It was a perfect analogy of their lives. His and hers, perfectly interblended to one harmonious plane of existence. No more was he tormented by the have beens and what may have beens. He no longer drifted from day to day eking out a painful rat race life trying to escape the past and live down his failed future.
Fueled by death’s suggestion he had started a very successful Potions business his alchemical skills were desired all over the world and he had helped millions of people in one short year.
His pretty young wife had written their story, which was still on Flourish and Blotts best seller list and now bore down to the task of writing updated textbooks for Hogwarts students
“Who the devil needs a house bigger than the ministry?”
Draco glanced up from his reverie to see his best friend Blaise sauntering across the lawn carrying his five month old son in some sort of odd sling,
“Who the devil indeed?” Draco smirked and hugged Blaise careful not to crush the baby.
“How is my handsome godson today?” he took the baby from his father’s arm.
“Nonsense... Fiyero is like his godfather, never ever cranky, always sunny”
“Who lied to you?”
Draco laughed and handed Blaise back the baby gesturing to the house.
“Celestia and the kids are out back in the garden”
The two walked together in companionable silence until they reached the garden.
Draco exhaled sharply. Even after a year the sight of his wife still flustered him. She was seated at her little wicker table sucking on a quill in thought. His fifteen month old son played empty potions bottles at her feet
“I see Scorpius is starting early with the potions, just like his old man I see” Blaise chortled and Draco shook his head
“Actually I believe he has more of his mother in him. She reads facts to him all day and he just stares at her like he understands, hungry for more”
A cry pierced the air, barely heard over the din of construction and destruction and Draco was across the lawn in three steps scooping up his three month old daughter who was instantly silenced. He cuddled her to his chest running his fingers through her headful of dark messy curls.
“This one on the other hand is daddy’s little girl”
Cara cooed happily and clasped his fingers in her tiny hand. Draco felt himself melt all over again. His expression was not missed by Blaise who sighed.
“This is how it should be” he sighed and Draco nodded.
Later that night after the last pieces of the house had snapped together, all the people were gone and the children were asleep Draco walked through the new improved Malfoy manor. He had methodically removed all of his bad memories and replaced them with new happy ones.
The dungeons had been torn apart and replaced with a child’s fantasy play land. His old study had been revised into a workspace for both he and celestia where they could work side by side.
Only one thing was left. Draco stood in the dining room staring at the menacing portrait of his father that had always commanded so much respect.
Lucius’ face sneered down at Draco.
“Foolish boy, what have you done to my house?”
Draco reached up a lifted the portrait off the wall
“You hold no power here” he told it like a mantra. “Not anymore and not ever again”
“Don’t you know who I am, boy?”
“Nothing but a bad memory”
Draco held the corner and lit fire to it. As he watched it burn, he felt cleansed. Now the past was truly gone. Now he was truly free.
With the wave of his hand Lucius’ portrait was replaced by their most recent painting. Draco was smiling looking down at Celestia with an adoring gaze as she looked back up at him. You could feel the intimacy just by looking at it and if you didn’t know the Malfoy’s you would say “here is a man holding on to the most important thing in the world. And you’d be right.