Chapter 39 : Epilogue.
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“Up.” A small voice cried out from behind me. “Daddy, up!” The voice was more persistent this time. I looked down at my feet to see a small toddler grabbing onto my pant leg. She was the perfect amount of both of her parents. Unlike a traditional Malfoy she didn't have pale skin, instead it had more color like her mother's. Her hair was a mess of curls, but in an adorable way. It currently stuck out from all sides due to the way she moved in her sleep. The little blue eyed girl with her blonde curls looked up at me, then reached out her arms and made a grabbing motion with her hands. She loved to be picked up and carried around. I, of course, obliged and picked her up, setting her on one of my hips. It was early still, I was on my way out for work. Hermione had gotten the sleepy little girl out of her crib just a few minutes before when she heard her wake up, knowing that this was the only time she'd probably have time to shower and get dressed for the day. Hermione had taken the day off for this special day. I was only going in for the morning to catch up on some back work that needed my attention. I had made my way up the ladder and had taken over the head supervisor of the aurors at the Ministry. I made sure that people like Harry Potter were doing their jobs. Through this I had warmed up to Harry, and he as well to me. I could even manage to be in the same room as his shrill wife now. Though I still wasn't the Weasley's number one fan I could deal with most of the family. Ron was never around, something that I was very thankful for, after moving to America. Hermione seemed relieved after hearing this news, she didn't want him to be part of her life anymore than I did. I looked up from my thoughts to see her standing in the kitchen doorway with her crazy bed head, much like her daughter's was currently, and a hand on her hip. When I caught her eye she smiled and turned away. "I'll only be 10 minutes!" She rushed off towards the bathroom.
I watched her retreating figure before smiling down at the little girl in my arms. "Sophia, do you know what today is?"
A smile spread across her face. "Birfday!" She squealed. "Party!" She clapped her hands in delight.
"There will be a party." I chuckled. "All for you!" I set her down on the counter top as I sipped my coffee. She kicked her feet, letting her heels bounce off the cabinet doors below, rattling them quite loudly. I had chided her for this on multiple occasions so when I shot her “that look” she knew exactly what to do; stop. This didn't hinder her response at all and she responded in a cheerful manner.
"All for me!" She repeated, smiling at me. She had Hermione's smile, which was stunning. Though Hermione's wasn't perfectly natural. It had a little help from me back in the day. In our fourth year at Hogwarts, you know before I came to my senses and realized that she was the love of my life, I cast a Densaugeo spell on Hermione. This spell made her already somewhat large teeth grow too big for her mouth. She was sent to Madame Pomfrey, who shrank Hermione's teeth to a normal size. Well at least I could say I helped put that smile on her face...kinda.
"Can you tell me how old you are?" I prompted. She was picking up new words all the time. Honestly it was shocking just how quickly she was learning. Though she did have Hermione for a mother.
"This many! " she laughed as she held up two fingers.
"How many is that?" I asked again.
"Two, Daddy!" She sighed, in a very "duh!" type of way. She had such a personality.
I smiled down at her. “That's right!”
“Hey, get out of here! You're gonna be late!” Hermione giggled as she walked back into the kitchen. She quickly swooped Sophia up off the counter and into her arms. “I'll see you at one. The party starts at two.”
I smirked at her. “I know, darling. You've only told me a million times.”
She shot me a look back. “Slight exaggeration.” She rolled her eyes.
“Nah, sounds about right.” I chuckled. “I wouldn't miss her party, trust me. Good luck setting this all up, the brigade you have helping you just may do more harm than good.”
She sighed.”I know...” but then laughed, “Alright go! So you can hurry back and set up S-O-P-H-I-A's P-R-E-S-E-N-T.” She spelled out.
“That's my name!” Sophia giggled, her eyes lighting up.
Hermione sighed again, throwing her hands up in frustration, but couldn't hide the smile. “She's too smart for her own good! Next thing you know she'll have our Gringotts pin number figured out and will be buying herself a unicorn!”
“I fear you may be right.” I said looking down at my innocent looking daughter. “I should get going, I'll be home before you know it.” I kissed Sophia's cheek and then once she was set down by Hermione I pulled Hermione into a kiss. “Bye, love.” I smiled at her. “Happy birthday sweetheart!” I called to Sophia who had already scampered out of the kitchen.
A chorus of "Happy Birthday"s were being sung as Sophia looked at her cake, eyes wide and clearly wanting to stick her little fingers into the thick pink and yellow frosting. She looked up every so often and smiled at one of the guests, who always smiled back. That was Sophia, you couldn't help but to smile as you looked at the little girl. She had a way of lighting up even the dimmest of situations. Like when my mother passed away from an unexpected heart attack. It threw me out of the loop. Sure my mother could be annoying and overbearing, and she did marry a horrible man that truly screwed up her life, but she still tried. Accepting Hermione was when she really became a big part of my life. She was also there to lend a much needed helping hand when Hermione and I became brand new parents. She fell in love with Sophia almost as fast as I did. Sophia was the biggest joy in her life. And then she was gone. A bright and sunny day turned dark when I received the phone call. She had been out with a friend when it happened. Losing her tore my world apart... but two girls in my life got me through it. Hermione was my rock while Sophia gave me something to believe in. She was the light in the dark, piercing through the stormy clouds that had plagued my mind for too long with the sunshine she brought with her into this world.
My mother left me the manor, of course. At first I wasn't going to take it, too many bad memories. Yet I was talked out of it by Hermione.
"Draco...sweetheart I know this is hard but she wanted you to have it. I understand there are bad memories there. Trust me I am well aware that some abhorrent things have taken place there. " She nuzzled closer to me, a 9 month old sleeping baby girl held in her arms. "But don't you see? This is the time for redemption. You've proven that you have been redeemed, but now you can prove that the Malfoy name has been as well. "
I wrapped my arms around the two of them. "We'd have to do away with certain things there, like the dungeon."
She just rolled her eyes. "Well duh! But think about how perfect it will be for Sophia to grow up there." She beamed an award winning smile at me, one that instantly made my heart melt. She knew I had a hard time saying no to her normally, but then she hit me with that smile and I was a goner. I didn't even stand the slightest chance when she was holding my daughter in her arms.
I kissed her forehead and the leaned down to place a soft kiss onto the baby's head as well, careful not to wake her. "Well...this little princess does deserve a palace." I smirked at her, not believing how lucky I was to have them both in my life.
"Draco?" Hermione pulled me out of my thoughts. "Hey there, love?" she laughed at me when she got my full attention. "Would you like to cut the cake? Just make sure Sophia gets one the flowers!"
"Flowahhh!" Sophia squealed in response, reaching those tiny hands towards the cake once again. I just shook my head and did as was asked of me, giving her a huge piece of cake (which most of it would end up on the floor anyway) with the largest pink flower.
“Mine!” Harry and Ginny's son whined as he reached for the cake I was handing to his pregnant mother. James Potter was just over a year old but the two were already working on their second. Ginny laughed when she told us of her second pregnancy saying she wouldn't stop until she had a little girl like Sophia. Which was crazy because no one was like Sophia. She was one of a kind.
After everyone ate their cake I watched my daughter tear into her presents like a wild animal. At least she still looked adorable while doing it. I couldn't take the smile that was plastered on my face off of it. I was happy. Truly and deeply happy. Life was good.
Still there was one last thing that was bothering me in the back of my mind. As I watched more and more of our guests leave the nerves started to get to me, though I tried to play it cool. No reason to be nervous, right? Right?
All of the guests had finally left the manor and Sophia had finally crashed from her sugar high and was sleeping blissfully with a new teddy that glowed in the dark, from the Potters, in her brand new "big kid bed" that was a gift from Draco and I. She loved that she was now sleeping in a bed that was "just like mommy and daddy's" since it was a small replica of the four poster bed we had in our own room. Draco thought this may make her stop crawling into bed with us so often, which I really didn't think he minded too much anyway. But I did have to agree that this would make it more comfortable for him when he fell asleep reading to her at night, like he often did. Draco joined me in the spacious living room which pulled me from my thoughts. I heard him approaching from behind me as I gazed into the fireplace, not bothering to turn around. It was late August, so it was finally just getting cold enough at night for us to use the beautiful fireplace for an actual fire.
“I don't know what could make life any better, this is perfect.” I sighed happily watching the embers glow and the flames dance. I had a beautiful daughter and the man I loved. We had moved into this amazing home that really was fit for the little princess we had. We had good friends and a career that allowed us enough time to spend with each other and our daughter. Life was perfect.
“I know one thing.” I heard Draco clear his throat from behind me. I turned around to face him but had to look down where he had taken a knee in front of me. He opened a baby blue box as he spoke next. “Marry me?”
Well...that's all she wrote.
Thank you all for reading this, it really has been a journey! I am making a second story. It is called The Dark and is already on my page. I do hope you read that as well(: I love you all and it really has been a blast!