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"You ready?" Draco asked.
"Yes!" Teddy exclaimed.
"At least someone's excited for the three of us." Draco muttered into Hermione's ear.
Hermione shook her head. "Yes well he's four. He doesn't quite know we're walking into."
"How I miss being four." Draco muttered.
Hermione looked at him with one brow raised. When she realized he wasn't kidding, she gave a giggle.
"What's so funny Aunty Mione?" Teddy asked looking up at Hermione.
"Nothing love." Hermione said as she bent down to pick him up. "We're going to side apparate. I need you to hold onto me very tight."
"Okay." He grinned as he laid his head on her shoulder. "I love you Aunty Mione."
"And I love you." Hermione smiled at the darling boy.
Draco looked on, with an unreadable face.
Hermione looked up at him and smiled. "I'm ready when you are."
"Okay then. I'll see you two there." Then with a pop he was gone.
"Okay Teddy, remember hold on." Then after taking one big sigh, the two of them disappeared.
Narcissa knew the moment her son apparated to the Manor.
Before the house elf could say anything, she stood up and said she would get it.
Narcissa entered the hall just as the grand doors opened.
Standing in the door way was her son and a woman with a small boy in her arms.
"Is this place yours?" Teddy asked in awe. "It's huge!"
"No, not yet. One day, I guess." Draco said. Then he looked up at the sound of approaching footsteps. "Mother."
"Draco, you're here."
"Of course. Mum. Like I'd want to make you mad."
"Well at least you've gotten wiser these past years."
Hermione had to cover a laugh. Narcissa Malfoy turned her head towards Hermione and Teddy's direction. Teddy kept wiggling so Hermione put him down just to look up into the eyes of the woman in front of her.
Hermione was caught at full impact just how beautiful the woman was. Well she had to be beautiful really. She was Draco's mother. And even though she would never say it out loud. Draco was handsome with aristocratic features that you could see as plain as day came from the woman in front of her. Even in her mid forties the woman could be considered more beautiful than the women half her age. With her long blonde hair, flawless features, and beautiful eyes. She looked regal and a little intimidating.
"I assume you are Hermione Granger." She fixed her ice blue eyes on Hermione.
"I was right. You are a hidden beauty."
Hermione blinked. "Pardon."
"The first time I saw you at the Cup. I knew then and there that you were not going to stay the ugly beaver that my son claimed you to be. You were one of those whose beauty is withdrawn until they are ready to show the world."
Hermione was at a loss for words.
"Aunty Mione's beautiful now!" Teddy said breaking the silence.
"Yes, yes she is. And who might you be?" Narcissa smiled almost fondly?
"Hi, I'm Teddy, Teddy Lupin." Teddy grinned. "I like your hair. It's long like my Mummy's but it's not red. I still like it though."
Narcissa took a step back as she recalled a letter from some years ago.
You probably are wondering why I am writing after so many years. I know you may not want to hear from me but…
You and I are the last of our family. Well no that's not right.
Cissy, Nyphadora gave me a grandchild before Bella could... He is my first and only grandchild. I want you to know him. His name is Teddy Lupin. He's named after his grandfather. He's an adorable child. His eyes are just like the Black Family eyes. Big and brown.
I hope one day you will meet him. I know you would love him.
Your sister always,
The letter was stained in tears. Some that were old. Then the new ones that came from her own eyes. It was one of her biggest regrets. She never got to meet him before Andy died. Her first glimpse of him had been at her funeral and he had been in the arms of Ginny Potter, crying. Not because he knew what was going on but because everyone else had been crying. Even she had shed tears. Then when Harry Potter came over and asked her if she wanted to meet him… she had declined not wanting to cause a scene which she knew would happen if she had seen the little boy.
Tears once again formed.
Narcissa took a step forward. She put up her hand and cupped the boy's cheek. She stared at his eyes. Eyes that were like her father's and her two sisters. "I have waited years to meet you Teddy. Your Grandmother was right. You do have the Black Family eyes."
"You knew my Grandmother?" Teddy said wide eyed.
"Yes. She was my sister."
Teddy cocked his head to the side. "Sister?" Then he looked at Hermione.
Hermione bent down to be at his level. "Teddy, she was your grandma's sister and your mum's Aunt. Not Ginny but your other Mum's." She smiled.
Teddy's brows furrowed as he took it all in. "So, I'm related to him." He pointed at Draco.
"Teddy it's impolite to point like that but yes, Draco is your second cousin."
"He's your Mum's first cousin making him your second."
Teddy's mouth opened to form an O. Then he looked right up at Narcissa. "Hi." He said a little more shyly this time.
Narcissa smiled softly.
Teddy took a hold of Hermione's hand then leaned in to whisper in her ear.
Hermione listened then nodded at him. Smiling.
He then looked up and walked to Narcissa. She also bent down to be at level with him. She was taken by surprise when the little boy gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Can you tell me about my grandma? Any stories. I really miss her."
Narcissa's mouth opened slightly but then she closed it again and tears welled up in her eyes. She nodded at last. "Yes of course. Over sandwiches and cookies. Is that okay?"
Teddy gave a toothy grin and nodded enthusiastically.
Narcissa stood back up. "Please follow me."
To all their surprise, Teddy grabbed her hand and began walking and talking.
Hermione almost jumped in shock when she felt a hand lightly touch her waist. She turned the direction that she felt his presence.
"I don't think my mum will be grilling us today." He grinned down at her.
Hermione looked at him puzzled. "You were going to feed me to her?" She said outraged.
"Well no, technically it would be the both of us that would've been at the belly of the beast. I think that runt's just become one of my favorite people."
"That's great." Hermione said. "Oh before I forget," Hermione whacked him on the arm.
"Owww, what was that for woman?"
"Ugly Beaver! Oh you and guys like you are the reason why girls have no self confidence." She hit him again.
"Seriously Granger, we need to find you a better outlet for your anger. I do have a fair complexion and bruise easily." He said as he rubbed his arm.
"I barely hit you."
"I'm being abused by my girlfriend. Wait until the Ministry hears of this."
"They'd all just laugh at you. Poor Malfoy getting beat up by Hermione Granger." Hermione snorted.
"What took you so long Aunt Mione?" Teddy asked when they got to the garden where the lunch was apparently going to be at.
"Yes, Draco what did take you two so long."
"We were just christening some clos-"
Hermione whacked him nice and hard over the head.
"Now that hurt." He turned to glare at her.
"It was meant to." Hermione gritted. "I do not want to explain to a four year old what-"
"What does Christening mean?" Teddy asked right on cue.
Hermione groaned. "I'm going to strangle you Malfoy."
With those words he took a big step to the right of her, out of strangling range.
Draco was fairly surprised how well the lunch was going. His mother was fawning over Teddy so much that she'd only asked Hermione one question. Granted the one question was a jab at him but he guessed he deserved it after the christening sentence.
"How do you put up with him?" His mother had asked Hermione. His own mother was taking the opposite side and chumming up with Granger.
"I have to go to the bathroom." Teddy whispered into Draco's ear.
Draco raised his brow and looked at him. "Okay."
Teddy looked at him like he was stupid. "I don't know where the bathroom is."
"Oh." Draco felt like slapping his forehead. "Come on I'll take you." He said sighing.
"Where are you guys going?" Hermione asked.
"The men's room."
"Oh. Well he might need your help washing his hands. The sink might be too tall."
"Have you honestly never been around a kid before?"
"Who would trust their kid with me?"
"Good point. Have fun." Hermione smiled at him.
Draco frowned. "Why do I feel like as if you're laughing at me?"
Hermione just grinned at him. Not answering.
Draco got his answer a few minutes later when he began to lead Teddy to the nearest bathroom.
"What's christening mean?"
"You're too young to know kid."
"What's christening mean?"
"If I didn't answer the first time, I'm definitely not answering the second time."
"What's christening mean?" He ignored Draco.
"You're an extremely persistent kid you know that?"
"Yes. What's christening mean?"
"Aren't you tired of asking the same question?" Draco groaned.
"If you would just answer my question." His voice getting louder at the end.
"Look Teddy, it's not a… proper word to use."
"But you used it. So what does it mean?" Teddy demanded.
"Christening, christening, christening."
"Merlin why me?" Draco said to the sky. "Where's the damned bathroom." He muttered under his breath as Teddy still repeated the same word over and over again.
"Finally!" Draco near yelled when he got to the bathroom. "There, there's the bathroom. Take all the time you need."
"Christening." Teddy said one more time before strolling into the bathroom.
Draco took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He was never ever going to say any innuendos ever again in front of anyone under the age of 18.
"Draco, I can't reach the sink!" Came a cry from the tactless four year old.
Draco slapped his forehead. Stupid know it all Gryffindor.
Hermione regarded the woman sitting across from her. She took a small sip of her drink.
"My son, he's become the man he is today because of you."
Hermione looked up sharply in mid sip. "I'm sorry."
Narcissa put down her cup. "After the war, I had to persuade Draco to go back to Hogwarts. He didn't want to. I was on trial and he wanted to be with me. But I knew he needed to go back to Hogwarts. Get away from the ugly scrutiny. Not that I thought there would be none at Hogwarts but… It was for the best." She took a small sip of her tea. "I worried though for him. I knew he wasn't going to be welcomed in open arms. Blaise and Daphne would be the only ones that he knew and could trust."
"The first few weeks back I could tell he was miserable despite how much fun he kept insisting me he was having in the owls. There's just something a mother knows. But one week suddenly it changed. His letters. They were longer and he was making big strokes. Mistakes here and there on his grammar whist before they were immaculate. Many of them mentioned a certain female. A certain female potions partner. In a blink of an eye, Draco came back to life. He was happy again despite some of the frustrations he would write to me. And I knew the reason why." Then she looked at Hermione coolly.
"Hermione Granger, you brought Draco back to life and turned him into the man he is now. You gave him something that many didn't. You gave him hope, sincerity, and kindness. To my dying day I will be grateful of you for saving Draco."
There was a long silence as Hermione tried to absorb everything. For some reason she felt her eyes misting.
There was a sound of footsteps behind her. Hermione turned to look and almost gaped at the sight.
Draco was carrying Teddy over his shoulders. He found it was the only way to keep the boy from saying the "word". Instead Teddy kept saying wee as he swung his arms and would tell him to run faster, the bossy little bugger. But the bugger was starting to grow on him.
Teddy was grinning ear to ear as he announced that he was taller than everyone there.