It wasn’t until the early hours of the morning that Hermione arrived at her cottage with sleeping Mia in her arms, Draco not far behind them. It had been an unspoken agreement that he was allowed to stay another night at the cottage; the anxiety of the day had exhausted Hermione and, even though the outcome of the birth had been good, she couldn’t bring herself to sleep alone in her kingsize bed. So, after Hermione had said goodbye to Ginny with a promise that she would visit the Potter’s house tomorrow afternoon, Draco had handed over their sleeping daughter and twisted on the spot, only one thought in mind; home.
It was funny to think that he considered the cottage to be his home already when he had only spent a night there; he didn’t even know the village that sat on the outskirts of the forest. He supposed it as to do with the fact he could picture every moment that his daughter had ever had in the cosy cottage that made it feel like he belonged. It was dark when they apparated into the living room but it didn’t seem to bother Hermione. She had wove in and out of the furniture in the dark many times before and now it was like a second nature to her as she wandered up the stairs towards Mia’s yellow bedroom. Draco followed hesitantly behind, as if unsure whether or not he was allowed to see the sacred space of their daughter, but when Hermione in the doorway to face him, all she said was,
“Would you like to tuck her in?”
He smiled and nodded before following her into the bedroom. His retinas were suddenly attacked by the different shades of yellow that filled the room but instead of feeling blinded, he was reminded of the way Mia’s hair shone in the sunlight. The room seemed to represent her attitude to life as well as her smile and Draco understood perfectly why his daughter would want a yellow room.
Hermione lifted the corner of the buttery coloured duvet and placed her daughter expertly between the sheets. Standing aside, she watched with a smile as Draco took the same corner and tucked it under the mattress, before placing Ellie the doll that he made her on her left hand side and Cuddles on the other.
Mia snuggled deeper into the duvet so that it reached underneath her nose and it wasn’t long before they heard the tiny snores of their daughter as she dreamt of daffodils and yellow unicorns. Draco didn’t want to leave; he wanted to watch their little angel sleep all night but Hermione pulled on his arm and reluctantly, he closed the door.
The pair ended up in the kitchen next to the kettle.
“Well, that was an eventful day.” Hermione switched on the kettle, before reaching up to rub her tired eyes. She hadn’t realised how tired she was until she finally had the time and stop and think. Sensing her near exhaustion, Draco wrapped his arms her body before snuggling deep into the crook of her shoulder.
“Are you okay?”
She wanted to say that she was, that she was really happy that Ginny was okay and nothing bad had gone wrong but Ginny’s dreams were still eating away inside. So was the knowledge that the dark figure in the garden was still lurking somewhere in the world, probably lying in wait for Hermione’s return.
“I’d be lying if I said I was.”
Shadow swooped in from a slightly open window and perched neatly on his stand which Hermione had made shortly after he had brought her the letter from Harry. It felt strange to think that that was just under nine months ago; that she had only been reunited with her family and her past in just under a year and already she felt like she had never left.
Shadow’s twinkling eyes seemed to smile at her sadly, and with a flutter of wings, he had flown swiftly to her outstretched arm before rubbing his head against her skin. She ran her fingers over the brown and grey feathers and was delighted to see the Barn Owl ruffle in pleasure. They stood there for a while, the bird perched on Hermione’s arm while Draco snuggled deeper into the crook of his girls neck. The kettle clicked announcing that the water was boiled and with a sigh, the Brunette let the bird flutter off to sit back on his perch, before pouring steaming hot water into two mugs.
Handing the second to Draco, Hermione hugged her own for warmth her eyes glazed slightly, as if her mind was on other things. Draco decided not to interrupt her thoughts. Instead her studied her beauty from the warm glow of the kitchen lights and was shocked that he never saw her as anything other than a mudblood bookworm all those years ago.
Her hair shone as usual, but the light also allowed him to see the imperfections of a hard stressful life that were starting to etch across her features. Her frown lines were slightly too deep for her person of her age, and her hands were illuminated to show that her fingernails were not well manicured. The one thing that striked Draco’s attention was the lettering that was scarred onto her skin on her left arm. He felt a sudden pang of guilt as he remembered the way she screamed on the floor of his mansion; so high pitched and pure agony; it had made his heart bleed.
It was that moment when he saw her lying helpless on the floor, her arm oozing blood that he had decided he did not want to be like his father; he did not want to be a murderer and torturer. He sensed Hermione’s eyes on him and with small blush he raised his gaze to meet hers. She fingered the scars with her delicate fingers and said,
“Sometimes I can still see her standing over me with her wand in her hand. Luckily I know it can’t be real; Ron’s mum made sure of that.”
“It seems a lifetime ago that I was on the run with Harry and Ron trying to stop Voldermort, and yet, there’s still something in the world that’s out to get me. I guess trouble is going to follow me no matter where I run too.”
He reached out to stroke Hermione’s cheek but instead just gathered her into his arms without speaking; he didn’t need too. The feel of his arms wrapped around Hermione’s small, slender frame was just as comforting as the words that he could have spoken.
In the end he said, “I will protect you and Mia from all the world’s horrors; I won’t let you go again. Not this time.”
He kissed her lightly on the lips before sweeping her off her feet, so similar like the night before but with tenderness rather than intense passion. She did not protest. Waving her wand the kitchen light’s went out and the bottom of her beautiful cottage was in darkness once again. Usually it was a comforting sight, but tonight, Hermione felt scared of the dark. So, with another flick, she cast a invisible protection spell around her home and her family before she was whisked away to her bedroom by her night in shining armour.
She didn’t notice the pair red and green of eyes that were glowing in the darkness outside her window.
“So how’s the baby been keeping?”
Hermione tickled the plump little pink belly of Lily-Mae as Ginny changed her diaper. The redhead seemed to glow with new motherhood and her stomach which had ballooned over her pregnancy was slowly retreating back to its sleek figure; she obviously been doing sit-ups.
“Brilliantly; she hardly ever cries, she sleeps throughout the whole night and she eats healthily; I couldn’t ask for better! She’s so much more behaved than James ever was at this age.” Ginny picked up her new daughter and blew raspberries onto her stomach. The baby gurgled in happiness. It had been two months since Lily-Mae had been born and Hermione had decided to come and visit mother and daughter for lunch seen as Draco was taking Mia too work today.
“It’s weird to think that I would have been in labour today rather than two months ago. In all honesty, I don’t think I could have gotten any bigger without exploding; I’m glad she was early…even if it was a difficult pregnancy.”
Hermione smiled at her best friend, “She’s definitely healthy even after being pre-mature.” The brunette watched as Ginny slid Lily-Mae into her baby grow which Molly had knitted for her new grandaughter. The pair of women walked over to the kitchen table where their coffees were steaming in wait.
“Has James been jealous at all?”
Ginny shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t think so, we’ve been taking him a lot of places with the baby so that he realises that she’s always going to be there but Harry and I have been spending quality alone time with him at least once a week; he seems fine with Lily. In all honesty, I think he enjoys being a big brother; he keeps talking about when he’s going to Hogwarts!”
The women laughed and Hermione held out her arms for a hold. Lily-Mae gurgled a hello to her aunt and Hermione bounced her slightly on her knee. The little angel seemed surprised by the sudden movement; her little mouth a small shaped ‘O’. Ginny laughed before chucking her daughter under her chin.
“She so adorable; I’m glad I’ve had a girl. I was kinda worried I’d be like mum and have all boys; I certainly didn’t want seven rugrats.” She winked at her best friend before taking a sip of her coffee, “Although I think Harry would try!”
They both laughed; a sound that was so familiar, Hermione stopped short. It was like she had been transported back in time just like she used to with her time turner. She was sitting in the Gryffindor Common Room with Ron, Harry and Ginny and they were laughing at something Ron had said. She could feel the warmth of the fire that was lit and her heart swelled as she watched Harry and Ginny snuggle closer together. Her eye caught Ron’s and Hermione felt herself blush; she still hadn’t told him she liked him.
“Mione? Are you okay?”
Hermione raised her head; she was back in Ginny’s kitchen, Lily-Mae still sitting happily in her lap.
“Yeah, sorry. Just…just thinking back to the old day’s you know.”
Ginny nodded sadly and turned to the picture of her and her brother that was sitting on the worktop. They were both laughing and it was easily seen in Ginny’s eyes that she loved her brother dearly.
Turning back to her best friend she had a sad smile on her face, “You know, you can’t keep looking back Mione, he wouldn’t want that for you. Look what you’ve got; a gorgeous little girl and the man that helped create her; he’d want you to be happy!”
Hermione laughed, “I’m not so sure about that Gin; I don’t think he’d be too impressed if he found out that my new partner is Draco Malfoy!” The pair were laughing again and Lily-Mae stared at her mother and aunt in confusion; what was this noise they were both making; it was rather odd.
Ginny reached out to take Lily back and snuggled closer into her baby; she loved the smell that Lily-Mae created; baby powder and honey.
“Speaking of which, how is dear old Draco; settling in I hope.” She gave a wink making Hermione blush.
“He’s happy living with us at the cottage; he said it’s the most he’s ever felt at home.”
It was true, Draco was loving it at the Cottage and after staying a couple of weeks he had suggested to Hermione about moving in.
Draco smirked as his beautiful girl did not raise her head from her book; still a bookworm after all these years.
“I was thinking of renting my place above the shop.”
She still didn’t raise her head, “Oh really, who too?”
He rolled his eyes heavenwards; it was like talking to a brickwall when she was reading! Grabbing the book off her he raised her chin so that she was looking at him.
“Hey I was reading that!”
“Yes and I’ve just told you that I’m thinking of renting my place.”
“Yeah I know, I was liste-“ Her brow furrowed, “Wait, if you rent your place out where will you stay?”
He shook his head smirking; she’s only just realised!
Her eyes widened. “You want to move in!”
“Well I was going to ask you, but you’ve kinda beat me to the punchline. So, what do you think?”
She scrunched her nose in concentration, leaving Draco in disappointment. He had thought that she would have been thrilled to have him living with her and Mia; he practically was anyway. He’d thought she’d just agree and jump for joy…obviously it was too soon.
He wasn’t looking at her, instead he sat there sulking quietly until she replied. Hermione giggled and poked her new boyfriend in the side, “Stop acting like a child and learn to take a joke; of course I want you to move in!”
He raised his head like a lost puppy who had found his owner. She grinned at him and placed a kiss on his stubbly cheek.
“Such an idiot.”
“Yeah but you love me for it.” He kissed her full on the mouth and she couldn’t help but smile into it. She had sold the flat a couple of months ago; it’s lease was ending and Hermione had missed her cottage for too long and just decided to floo and apparate everywhere; her cottage in Devon was too precious. They hadn’t even finished the decorating.
“He’s definitely living up to daddy duty as well.”
Meanwhile at Draco’s store
“So what do you want to do today? You can play with any of the toys out back or you could do some painting, or you could stand behind the counter with daddy?”
Mia scrunched up her nose in a way so like her mother’s that it made Draco’s heart melt. She was just as beautiful as Hermione even though their hair was different and her eyes were like a happier colour than his own.
“Ermmm, I want to….”
He waited patiently as she tapped her foot in concentration; it was habit he did himself when he was trying to work something out. The front door tinkled, and a customer walked in with her two daughters. Draco nodded to them and waited for Mia’s answer.
“I want to make something.”
She fixed him with a stare that could have done him justice in his childhood days. It was the same authoritive stare he’d give his mother when he was determined to do something. Draco had been worried at first that Mia would have none of him in but as he spent more and more time with his daughter, he had noticed certain querks that were nothing to do with Hermione and all to do with him.
He had felt sorry for his beloved at first, because she’d had to deal with a ‘Draco Malfoy’ attitude even when he wasn’t there but Hermione could tell that she loved her daughter even if she had Draco’s attitudes at times and she knew how to handle her well (she didn’t even punch her in the nose.”
“Well my little Princess, what would you like to make?”
She pondered this and then as if she had a lightbulb over her head she said, “A jewellery box for Mummy for Christmas!”
It was true that Christmas would soon be around the corner; it was mid October and his usually quiet business was suddenly booming for the beginning of Christmas period; toys upon toys were being sold and more and more orders were being placed for his homemade dolls.
“That’s a geat idea. Come up here and sit on this stool for me and I’ll get the stuff for you.” He watched as she clambered up onto the chair with difficulty but determination. His beautiful little angel; he was so lucky to have something as precious as her.
Once he was sure she was seated properly, he quickly vanished into the back to gather up the bits and pieces that Mia would need for her box. He returned with bits of wood,hinges, a little mirror, and wooden compartments that would slide inside the box, glue, glitter, stickers, shells and paint.
Mia’s eyes gleamed as she saw what her father had brought her and clapped her hands when he placed them in front of her; she was particularly drawn to the glitter.
“Right first, you need some glue” He picked up the tube of glue, “and place it on the each corner of the wood.”
He held the wood so that Mia could squirt the glue in the corners, her little tongue poking out in the corner. She held the glue up to him proudly to say that she was finished and he couldn’t help but laugh.
“Good girl, right let daddy just get his wand so that the wood will stay together.” He reached into his back pocket and was just about to tap to assemble the outer-rim of the box but was interrupted by Mia.
“Can I help daddy?”
He shivered in pleasure at the word ‘daddy’. It was like getting everything you wanted at Christmas and more. Hermione had swiped him the other day because he had given into Mia’s charm once again. Hermione had complained that Mia would end up being really spoilt if he carried on. Yet, he just couldn’t resist his little Princess.
“Of course sweetheart. Put your hand on mine and we’ll wave together.”
She did as she was told and watched, fasinated as the pieces of wood assembled all on their own. She was always mesmerised by magic. He had been shocked when Hermione had admitted that Mia hadn’t known about magic since this year. He had been angry; his daughter not allowed to know magic just because of something that happened so many years ago but he understood Hermione’s reasons. She had been hurt by magic; and she wanted to protect their daughter.
“Right now put a line of glue along this flat piece of wood here and well give it a tap with the wand afterwards.”
Again she followed the instructions with confidence; she was definitely smart as her mother. The customer who had her two daughters were watching with interest, their shopping momentarily forgotten.
It took about twenty minutes for the actual box to be completed with hinges and lid and Draco was about to suggest to leave it to dry for an hour but Mia was enjoying herself so much, that with another tap of his wand it was ready to be decorated.
“Now, I think that we’ll put the mirror in last, but I’m afraid Daddy will have to do that because its made of glass and we don’t want you cutting yourself.”
Mia nodded and asked, “So what am I supposed to do now?”
Draco grinned and waved his hand over the glitter, paint etc, “Go mad.”
She grinned back and picked up a pencil.
He left her to it for a little while as he carried on with his latest doll which needed to be finished by tomorrow for pickup. After an hour or so, the little store was swarming with customers that were asking for more orders of dolls and generally shopping for their sons, daughters, nieces and nephews when one woman exclaimed,
“Is that for sale?”
She was pointing just past Draco where Mia was sitting and he turned around in suspicion; nothing was back here except papers and packages that were wrapped for delivery.
It was then he noticed Mia’s nearly finished box. He had expected her to make a mess and the box to be covered in everything under the sun but instead all he saw was a intricately design box that was now getting an outline of glitter.
She turned around her eyebrows raised in surprise, “What?”
He pointed to the box that was laying beside her, “Did you use my wand at all?” yet he knew the answer would be no; he could feel his wand snug in his back pocket.
“No Daddy. I did it all by myself.”
She held up the box and he noticed the swirly green on the top of the lid was green vines. In the right hand corner was a closed red rose with silver glitter edging the pettles like raindrops. The box itself had been painted a baby blue; the same colour as Mia’s eyes with tiny hearts edging the rim in pink glitter.
She hadn’t even used the stickers.
“Sweetheart, that’s a masterpiece!”
Mia blushed in happiness and replied, “Do you think Mummy will like it?”
“I’m sure she will.” He ruffled her bouncy curls and turned back to the customer who was still admiring the box that his lovely daughter had created.
“I’m afraid its not for sale.” The woman became sullen faced before asking, “Are you planning to make anymore?”
He was about to say no when Mia piped up with, “Who’s it for?”
The woman eagerly replied, “My niece she’ll be eighteen in two weeks.”
Mia shrugged her shoulders, “I have it done in a day as long as Daddy has the parts.”
With that, Mia began making another box and Draco was taking orders for more. It seemed like child labour making his daughter work but when he had quietly whispered that she didn’t have to do it, all she had replied,
“I want to be like you Daddy; I want to make people happy.”
His eyes brimmed with tears and he had given her a quick squeeze before answering, “Okay but only for today. I don’t want Mummy thinking I’m making you work for your pocket money.”
Mia giggled and carried on with her glitter; she truly was Daddy’s little girl.
A/N: Okay, so it’ not amazingly long but you did get some Daddy/daughter time J Hope you all enjoyed it and please read and review the next chapter will be up soon.
Yours Stagzpottern x