Chapter 1 : Visite inattendue
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A family of four stumbled out of one of the less-used, medium-sized fireplaces at the overseas Ministry of Magic Floo, which was lined with shabby wallpaper that merged with the soot all over it, emanating a musty smell.
"Shove it, sis," came the voice of a young boy as he stepped out, his tone clearly indicating his displeasure at the room’s ‘condition’.
"Really! I'm not the one hogging the fireplace," his sister snapped, dusting her robes.
"Both of you, move it!" drawled their father, stepping out aristocratically.
"Moving, dad," they both said in a monotone.
A smooth feminine voice cut their father off as he opened his mouth to berate them.
“Seriously, if you three don’t move…”
The father and the kids then rolled their eyes and moved over to the side, not wanting a tirade to start.
They found that waiting for them was the Minister of Magic himself, looking like he was stupefied into oblivion.
Chuckling quietly, their dad waved his hands in front of the face of Kingsley Shacklebolt, who stared blankly back at him.
"You could have just told me you found me very attractive, Minister,” said Draco Malfoy, smirking at him.
Aiming a glare at the back of her husband's head, Hermione Granger-Malfoy stepped in front of her husband and extended a hand but still hesitantly said, "Um, Kingsley... Hi!"
Snapping out of his reverie, Kingsley pulled Hermione forward by her hand and hugged her. When she pulled back from the hug, he held her by her shoulders and looked at her.
"Hermione Granger-"he started.
"It’s Malfoy now, Minister," interrupted Malfoy, coolly crossing his hands and leaning against the wall after casting a quick ‘Scourgify’. "And don't look so shocked; though I know you always fancied me."
"Stop that, Draco," Hermione scolded. "And Kingsley—"she said moving closer to her husband, who wrapped an arm around her waist. "We got married."
"You should ask 'Mione here for help in increasing your vocabulary, Minister." Malfoy said.
"Ignore Draco, Kingsley, and these--" she pointed to her two eleven-year-old kids, Scorpius and Siria Malfoy, who were almost identical, with Malfoy's blond hair and Hermione's hazel-brown eyes -- and proudly said, "are our kids."
"Wow! They're gorgeous."
"Of course, Minister, with parentage like theirs, it's inevitable, isn't it?"
"Don't be so cocky, Draco." She threw him a warning look and asked Kingsley, "How are you?"
"Fine I guess, and how are you doing, little dears?" he said addressing the kids.
“Good, thank you," said the twins together courteously.
"Wonderful manners, Hermione. Thank goodness they didn't take after their father!" He said chuckling as Malfoy growled low in his throat.
"Draco here has the same exquisite manners he had earlier, Kingsley. Anyway, I want a favour of you..."
"Sure, Hermione. But first tell me…where have you been all this time? I suddenly got informed out of the blue by the transportation department that my presence was specifically requested to validate this Floo arrival.”
"Um... Kingsley, you know only the Ministry has international Floo and Apparition areas and arrivals and departures are monitored by the Ministry. So I requested that you validate our arrival since I didn't want the news to be leaked. Please don't tell anyone we're here .We'll reacquaint with everyone at our own pace."
"Minister, we need some time," Draco cut in, "and we'll stay with my parents ‘til then."
"Have fun convincing your parents, Malfoy," said Kingsley laughing.
"Actually, Kingsley, his parents already know. Only both our parents were at our wedding. They are at Malfoy Manor now and are probably waiting for us," said Hermione.
"Uh-huh. Get going then and ask me if you need any more help," said Kingsley, still trying to process what he’d just found out.
"Thanks, Kingsley, and don't tell anyone, please," said Hermione, nodding at him before stepping into the fireplace and vanishing along with the kids in a burst of emerald green flame.
As Malfoy moved towards the fireplace himself, he looked back and sincerely said," Thanks, Minister."
Then reverting back to his smirking self, winked and said, "Try not to dream about me Minister, as tempting as it may be."
He left as well, engulfed by the cool flames.
Shaking his head as if to figure out if it was a dream or not, Kingsley walked back to his office, trying to think of all the ways he could tell everyone without breaking his promise.
And not surprisingly, he was distracted all day.
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