Chapter 26 : Epilogue
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Christmas Day, 2010
"Draco! Theo! Come on, we're going to be late!" Hermione shouted from her position at the bottom of the staircase.
"We're coming, calm down!" Four year old Theo retorted, his voice laced with the attitude of a teenager.
Draco appeared at the top of the stairs, looking as handsome as always in jeans and a plain black shirt. He grinned at Hermione and winked, Hermione understanding his intentions. As she expected, Draco disappeared to the left of the upstairs landing and appeared mere moments later, a pair of kicking legs dangling over the front of his shoulders and protests coming from behind his back.
"Put me down! I was coming! I know how to walk down the stairs you know, Dad."
Draco chuckled, "I know you do, but I also know you weren't coming at all, you were far too busy entertaining yourself with your presents. Curse Santa for getting you that toy Firebolt."
The pair had now reached the bottom of the stairs and Draco planted a kiss on Hermione before putting their son down on the floor at her feet. Theo was exactly like his father, pale skin and platinum blonde straight hair. The only part of him that bore any resemblance to Hermione were his eyes, chocolate brown as opposed to silver-grey like Draco's.
"Can you two stop kissing please? We're going to be late you know." Theo rolled his eyes whilst his parents laughed.
Hermione ruffled his hair fondly.
"You're absolutely right. Lets get going, Molly will have a fit if we keep her waiting any longer. Grab the floo powder please love."
Draco did as requested but as Hermione held her hand out for the pot of green powder, he pulled it away.
"Are you sure?" He asked her sceptically. "Is it definitely safe?"
"Draco, we've discussed this. It's fine, the Healer said it was fine, the books said it was fine, trust them even if you don't believe me."
"I do believe you, I'm just checking. I just want you both to be safe."
Hermione smiled at him. "I know, you're always worrying about me and it's one of the many reasons I married you. This is perfectly safe, honestly. For both of us." She looked down at her large stomach and rubbed it lovingly. With a matter of weeks left before the arrival of their second child, Draco's protective instincts had gone into overdrive.
Getting impatient, Theo grabbed one of both Hermione and Draco's hands and pulled them closer to the large fireplace. Taking the hint that his son was eager to leave, Draco grabbed a handful of powder and threw it into the flames, which immediately turned a vivid shade of green. The family stepped into the cool fire and said 'The Burrow!' in unison. They felt a familiar squashing sensation momentarily and then took a step forward into the kitchen of The Burrow.
The house had not changed in the many years Hermione had been visiting it. In the kitchen, there was still the usual pile of shoes by the door, the long wooden table and chairs took up most of the floor space and the usual array of housework and cooking books filled the shelves that were haphazardly placed around the room. The smells that filled the kitchen were as delicious as ever. Hermione took a deep breath in, taking in the scent of roasted meat and vegetables, gravy and freshly baked mince pies. Various kitchen utensils were stirring, chopping and peeling by magic on the counter tops and the Weasley family matriarch could be seen in front of the stove, flicking her wand in different directions without looking up from the boiling pots and pans below her.
"Aunty Hermione!" A voice squealed from the doorway to the right that led to the garden. A small dark haired boy appeared there, a toy cauldron filled with dirt swinging by his side.
"Hi Albus. Merry Christmas, did you get some good presents?"
"Brilliant! Nana and Grandad Weasley got me this!" He held up the toy cauldron. "I'm making Polyjuice potion like you, Dad and Uncle Ron did. When Teddy gets here I'm going to put his toenails in so I can be him and go to Hogwarts." He grinned widely at Hermione, thrilled with his plan. "Come on Theo, you can help me. James is outside too." The pair , well wrapped up in hats, scarves and gloves knitted by Molly, ran off through the door and into the garden, leaving a trail of mud behind them.
Molly waved her wand at the dirt and it disappeared. She greeted Hermione and Draco with a tight hug.
"Gracious, Hermione. Are you sure that baby wasn't due a month ago, you seem to have doubled in size since the last time I saw you."
Hermione sighed. "You're telling me, I feel much bigger than I did with Theo. I just hope she isn't two weeks late like her brother."
"She'll come when she's ready. Having nine children taught me that much! Any names in mind yet?"
"Actually, yes." Draco glanced at Hermione, silently asking permission to reveal the name they had agreed of for their daughter. She nodded. "We're calling her Aemelia, she's named after a Shakespeare character like her Mum." He placed his hand around Hermione's waist.
"Aemelia Malfoy." Molly tested the name. "It's perfect. Now, sorry to be unsociable, my dears, but I really must get on with the dinner otherwise we won't be eating until next Christmas. Everyone is through there." She gestured to the door on the left of the room.
Hermione and Draco left Molly to finish the dinner, after she refused their help, and entered the living room to find it full.
Harry and Ginny were sitting on the floor with two year old Luna who was playing with a 'Weasley's Wizard Wheezes' fake wand, the red-haired toddler giggling every time it turned into a chicken.
Ron and Lara were cuddled on the sofa, sleep deprivation evident on their faces. Lara had given birth to twins one month previously. She was holding a sleeping baby Celia and Ron was feeding baby Leon. The couple half-heartedly waved at Hermione and Draco but looked too exhausted to speak.
Andromeda and Teddy and the other Weasley's arrived in time: Bill and Fleur with Victoire, Dominique and Louis. George and Angeline with Fred and Roxanne. Percy and his wife, Audrey, with their two girls, Molly and Lucy. Charlie was a surprise addition to their group, he had told his parents that he would be working in China with a new breed of dragon over Christmas but had managed to her the time off, causing Mrs Weasley to sob uncontrollably whilst carving the turkey.
Dinner was the usual extravagant feast, Mr Weasley had set up a marquee in the garden, bewitched to keep heat in despite it being the middle of winter. Mrs Weasley had made far too much food despite there being twenty six guests around the tables, she scolded Mr Weasley every time he reminded her of this.
Each person ate and drank until they were fit to burst and then ate some more under the stern glare of Molly Weasley. After dinner, the adults, other than Hermione, enjoyed glasses of firewhiskey and they exchanged gifts. Each and every guest received an obligatory knitted jumper bearing their initials, and immediately put them on. Everyone was in agreement that Celia and Leon looked best in their tiny jumpers. In keeping with more traditions, eggnog and mince pies were enjoyed accompanied by the old songs by Celestina Warbeck, Ron and Lara had bought Molly the albums several years previously, much to the Fleur's disappointment.
Hermione and Draco decided it was time to leave when Theo had crawled into his Dad's lap and almost fallen asleep. They said their goodbyes and flooed back to their own home.
After putting an exhausted Theo to bed, Hermione and Draco collapsed on to their sofa together, curling up to watch 'Gremlins' together. Draco smiled at her choice of film.
"Remember the first Christmas after the war? We watched this film at your Mum and Dads house."
"Of course I remember, that was the night we first kissed. It feels like just yesterday." She sighed happily and rest her head on his shoulder, he responded by placing his hand on her stomach, feeling his daughter moving beneath it.
"Best Christmas ever." He said simply, kissing his wife with as much love as the first time, twelve years ago.
So, that's it! Story officially completed. I hope those who asked for the epilogue enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Feel free if you're on the HPFF forums to go to my meet the author page and ask me any questions you might have about this story of any of my others :)