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In Fond Remembrance

Chapter Text

HOW DID HE GET IN HERE AGAIN!?”

 

The pale blond man retained the sinewy athleticism of his school days, if not the strength. As they would all recall later, it hadn’t mattered. Familial indignation and outrage powered him out of the chair at maximum speed and towards the interloper.

 

“Vous êtes déraisonnable! [You’re being unreasonable!]” the stunning young woman screamed at him through her tears, awkwardly trying to defend her love.

I BLOODY WELL WON'T HAVE HIM HERE!!” her father screamed.

“Mum, s’il vous plaît! [Mum, please!]” came the plea in “Frenglish”, that odd mixture of both languages she adopted when angry or anxious.

“Calm down and sit down, sweetheart. He’s here to discuss the situ—”

 

The sound of fist in face — accompanied by a satisfied smirk on the older man’s features — propelled the women to the fallen youth’s side.

 

“Il saigne! Regarde ce que tu a fait! [He’s BLEEDING! Look what you DID!?] Baby, are you okay?”

 

From the floor, the young man's eyes tracked invisible birds flying a pretzel pattern in his semi-conscious vision.

 

“‘m fine, sweetheart,” came in a sing-song manner, like the host of a television programme for very young children.

“You’re being a HYPOCRITE. We’re no different than you and Mum!”

“She has a point...”

 

This reminder from his mate landed like a cannonball in his chest.

 

I BEG TO DIFFER, YOUNG LADY!!”

“Why don’t I get the pensieve and we can all see how things progressed to this point. Is that reasonable?” the older woman suggested, the only rational mind in the room right now.

 

The older magic wielder growled and grumbled while his own lover slooooowly embraced him. As had happened for years, her touch acted as a soporific.

 

FINE! We’ll see the truth and then I’ll HEX HIS BOLLOCKS OFF!!

“I’ll get the — no, no! Rest yourself, love. I’ll get the pensieve. You two get started filling those vials,” the still beautiful witch instructed as empty vials materialized on the kitchen table. Filled vials floated in batches from their storage place in the attic.

“And, dear?”

What now, witch?” the handsome aristocrat barked back at his wife without justification.

“Leave the child be. Wouldn’t want the poor boy to lose his bits prematurely.”

“Spoilsport…” the aggrieved family head muttered under his breath.

 

Minutes later the movie of their lives together and apart played out.

 

“Memory Lane” had more than a few cracks, crevices and craters along the way…

 

Chapter Text

Based on her memory of their beginnings, Hermione couldn’t really blame Draco. If she hadn’t mistaken a close friendship for love, then she’d never have stumbled into the first of several defining moments. If she were honest (and Hermione generally was with herself), Ron’s complaints about her workload (and her work-related absences from their life together) contributed mightily to the constant state of siege in their home while they called themselves married. That didn’t (to her way of thinking) give the ginger git permission to pack Pansy, Pavarti and Padma into her oversized soaking tub (the one she’d worked months of overtime to purchase) to apply their “female cures” to his particular “male problem”, cures Hermione labelled “adultery”.

No… 

Absent her singularly large (and unmitigated) failure, the former Gryffindor Princess would never have found herself in the exclusive wizard’s club “Votre Désir”; the English translation of the name — “Your Desire” — should have been a dead giveaway that being there turned a questionable consideration into a distinct disadvantage. Had she been in her right mind and not rebounding emotionally from her recent annulment (thanks to Harry’s interventions — she and Ron had been married barely a year), she’d have quickly realized that the sight of Draco Malfoy, leaning against her Ministry desk in his tailored robes (like a gourmet meal dressed for table presentation), brought impending disaster directly to her door.

 

“C’mon, Granger. Let’s celebrate the end of your shackling to the Village Idiot.”

“Don’t call Ron that, Malfoy! It… it wasn’t meant to be is all.”

“And it took a year-long engagement and another of marriage to the ginger git —”

“Don’t —”

“Ah-ah-ah… I heard you call him that yesterday when Potty came by to check on you. Come with me — we’ll both celebrate our freedom from self-inflicted torture.”

 

Away from the need to get back to productive work, she’d have given the invitation the attention it deserved (and not acquiesced while distracted by his seductive smile and unblinking gaze). He’d just shed Astoria Greengrass (who ranked just behind Pansy, Pavarti and Padma as her least favorite Hogwarts alums). The magical divorce filing (that awaited adjudication in an office whose door sat less than 50 feet from Hermione's) made every wizarding publication in the United Kingdom and on the continent.

She’d come home from the club with her head spinning, off-balance and hazy in her recall of her time spent with Draco. Pretty upsetting since she’d nursed a single glass of zinfandel all evening. Draco Malfoy was that ride at the amusement park that exceeded your wildest expectations and made you want to ride over and over and over to get that feeling of being alive — except it scared the living shite out of you and you never wanted to go near it again.

 

Hindsight would be kinder, reminding her that she did nothing halfway — even committing life-altering mistakes (of which the club "date" wasn’t even the first).

 

When he’d suggested they spend a fortnight at his property on Crete, she thought she’d handled the polite response effectively and gracefully. Blaming her refusal on her workload, she’d invoked the “Evil Shacklebolt monster” — the boss who must be obeyed. In no way, she lamented, would he spare her for the trip.

For this reason, Hermione prepared no backup plan for the interoffice memo that zinged through the halls and crash-landed in her inbox. The Minister’s seal (prominently displayed where the document's edges closed over each other) tamped her irritation that the pompous memorandum cared not a bit that it had disturbed — as in sent flying, involuntarily, all over her desk area — weeks of neatly piled-up work ready to be delivered.

 

The memo was short:

 

Hermione —

Draco’s idea has merit and the costs are affordable. I’ve approved his plan to perform research on the protection schemes used for Crete's magical creatures — it will make our case for bigger budgets.  I’ll see you back in the office in a month; have the report on my desk two weeks after your return.

Thanks for taking Draco on in your department. I think you’ve turned a corner with him. Well done!

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Kingsley”

She also should have anticipated the arrival of the snake-in-her-department on the heels of the memo. 

 

“It’s Tuesday. I’ll send a list of items to pack; everything we’ll need for the survey is waiting there for us in my cottage. We’ll leave on Thursday.”

 

His list arrived at close of business and mandated —

  • a bikini bottom 
  • sunscreen 
  • a hat 
  • and her wand

Hermione’s mental unsettlement at the assignment could be blamed for her willingness to travel without clothes, shoes or a bra for a one-month stay. He really did provide everything.

From the moment they apparated in Crete, Hermione later concluded, everything that followed could be blamed on Draco Malfoy. Her choices in Crete were driven by his — under less luxurious circumstances they could be deemed a form of harassment. His mouth, hands and… other parts went places and did things she'd not previous encountered in her experiences with Ron (most hadn’t been “entertained” since). Every part of her tingled when he touched her, as if she held both ends of a low-voltage wire.

 

The pensieve’s replay left no doubt of his promise and his delivery of the results…

 

Leave it to the albino ferret to start his seduction at apparition. While her luggage landed in the Malfoy “cottage” (which two-and-a-half of her own cottage woud have fit into with room for an indoor, Olympic-sized swimming pool), Hermione landed at the water’s edge of the private beach to a sunset that scorched the azure waters alight in golden-tipped waves.

Hermione sighed… just sighed at the absolute perfection of Draco’s sabotage of her planned opposition to his seduction; she’d had no intention of falling prey to the Mafloy mystique.

So much for that plan of resistance… 

Standing there, shedding stress like it was a nest of ants crawling all over her, she ignored the tickle that meant her clothes had been magically removed. After years of endless work for Kingsley and endless adultery from Ron, she deserved a bit of unconventional behavior — she was only 21, after all.

When Draco gathered her small hand in his own and encouraged her towards the water, she complied. What tight arse wouldn’t want to sink into the aquamarine warmth of the Aegean Sea (a mere ten steps in front of her) and what woman — hetero or bi- — wouldn’t jump at the chance to swim with the alabaster god whose tight muscles and trim bum walked naked ahead of (and a bit to the left of) her. People — meaning: women — paid exorbitant amounts to vacation on this island on this coastline to have this experience.

When he laid her over himself as he back-floated in the saltier (and therefore more buoyant) sea, she flexed one time in a full-body stretch and used Draco like a recreational flotation device. The feel of his hands (massaging shoulders that hadn’t dropped to their birth position in years) instructed every one of her muscles to “stand down” from their perpetual “RED ALERT” status. The casual touch on her own bum of his flaccid member, as it floated underneath her, proved he had no sexual attraction to her — their sexual banter, like their bickering, was just that: banter. His massage trailed down her sides, across her midriff, onto her stomach and as far down her legs as his long arms could reach, avoiding her erogenous zones. He did for her what any well-meaning friend would do to comfort someone undergoing a particularly trying time in their life.

So, to her own way of thinking, Hermione should get a pass for ending up facing the Slytherin sex machine and Magical Britain’s Most Desirable Wizard (according to last week's "Witch Weekly's Eligible Wizards — Double Edition"), legs wrapped around his waist, breast pressed against his chest and quim working his stiffie until her thighs burned despite the soothing seawater moving over them.

Gods! After months of enforced celibacy (as Ron’s sex calendar seemed always filled with other women), Hermione decided that all sexual hiatuses should end this way. There was too much: too much kissing from those soft and talented lips, too much closeness as he near squeezed the breath from her body, too much touching as every part of her felt almost every part of him, too much heat from a man with a perpetual fever — especially from that Malfoy poker imbedded deep within her, stretching her in a good way with fire that burned her oh so deliciously from the inside out. All while standing/floating in the most romantic spot on Earth.

Then the prat had to go smug and teach her about her own body. 

Hermione never orgasmed from penetration. Ron had almost convinced her to see a doctor as he’d commented in frustration that he’d “ridden brooms less time and got there quicker”. Somewhere in her distracted mental state of life-altering sex that very first time, she thought she’d tried to warn Draco. All she remembered (and she’d pensieved this particular encounter many, many times) was a look of surprise, a smug grin and words to the effect of — 

“You will with me, kitten…” 

First came more tingling that stoked a hunger she found impossible to deny; she’d have raped him if he hadn’t taken her first. Then came sensations she’d only read about — unable to achieve them with Ron or her own hand. Finally (and repeatedly, thanks to Draco) came a long, drawn-out series of hard, pleasurable and imperative contractions to muscles she’d not known the use of — and all from his cock buried inside of her. Sunset remained more than an hour away when he’d placed his large, supple hands under her armpits and raised her sufficiently to impale her. Now their exertions continued, bathed in reflected moonlight, and he’d yet to let go.

“You’ve been cheated, Hermione. You’re a beautiful, sexual being… Let me prove that to you…”

And — OhMogana’sTits. — did Draco Malfoy know how to make amends for her suffering with that git of an ex-husband of hers…

 

Malfoy declared his intent daily, insisting she would benefit from his “plan” and return to the world a “new woman”.

 

That much — the “new woman” part — he kept his word on; she'd had to write the final report.

 

Chapter Text

Thanks to Malfoy’s “project”, she’d had to step down as the head of the Creature department and transfer to a subject matter expert position in Magical Law Enforcement (that actually paid better with less stress). Taking advantage of telework gave her the opportunity to keep the department humming for quite a while. With some help from muggle friends, she’d jury-rigged a computer-cum-magical information network (making her 100% more efficient — which is saying a great deal when speaking of Hermione Granger). To avoid any repeats of the Crete coercion, she moved to a cute, unplottable cottage on the Isle of Man with a lovely garden surrounded by a fence and no Draco Malfoy with his pale skin, mesmerizing eyes, inquisitive lips, educated hands or substantial… intellect.

Yeah… intellect was what she ran away from.

She’d seriously considered making Draco sit  through her explanation (to Ginny and Harry Potter) of these “career changes”, but chose not to as Draco’s reactions would stress Ginny (she and Harry awaited the birth of their firstborn any day now). Good friends that they were, the Potters had laughed in all the right places, taken her side when appropriate and hugged her with understanding and acceptance. Their friendship meant she’d been a big part of Ginny’s support team when James Sirius Potter made his way noisily into the world.

Ginny, the best girlfriend ever, returned the favor seven months later when Lyra Carina Granger made her way into the world as a playmate for James.

 

Swirling scenes in the pensieve water revealed to the younger generation (for the first time) that Hermione never actually explained to Draco that he had a daughter.

 

That particular revelation came almost five years after their Crete excursion when the Potters helped out the single mother while she travelled on business — Hermione having completed her university and magical law degrees in record time while raising an adorable little girl whose blonde, curly hair and deep grey-blue eyes with dark flecks weren’t her only blended traits from what could have been very combative DNA.

So, as a gift to his beloved godchild — who asked repeatedly why James Sirius had a pa-pa (Hermione spoke French to her daughter most days) and she didn’t, Harry answered (in English, because he didn’t speak French) that Lyra did indeed have a pa-pa — explaining the situation to  his goddaughter on Thursday and to her clueless father on Friday.

The outcome of Harry’s inability to keep his gob shut (with the best  of intentions) changed the agenda for the week. The Potters gained a houseguest at their cozy home near Ottery St. Catchpole and Hermione received a patronus — a horse — informing her that the arrangements had been altered and that Lyra would meet her mummy at home next Friday. 

As a diligent mummy, Hermione’s otter immediately found Ginny to inquire if there were any problems she should return early for; the horse came back and, in Ginny’s voice, replied —

 

“No. But I think Lyra will like a week or two with you.”

 

Hermione understood this completely. Sought after as a solicitor, Hermione’s little family consisted of herself, Lyra, the Potters and their “caretakers” — Rachel (Lyra’s part-time nanny and full-time cook), and her husband Richard, who saw to the grounds and house upkeep (because Hermione became a very, VERY successful magical and muggle solicitor). The middle-aged couple lived in the guest house on the property.

On her return from this trip, the loving mummy shrank her luggage into a single purse to leave her arms free for the ginormous magical toy pony she'd picked up from Uncle George. Lyra remained curious (this was, after all, Hermione Granger’s daughter) how Uncle George could be an uncle when he wasn’t the brother of either of her parents and the term “ex-brother-in-law” perplexed her more. Given George’s behavior around Lyra, Hermione often described him as more of a playmate (since Hermione believed Lyra and George acted around the same age).

Apparating to her porch on a sunny, summer day on the Isle of Man, Hermione’s shock meant Uncle George would need to replace the little girl's new — and broken — toy. The incident causing the breakage involved Lyra, a tanned Rachel, Draco Malfoy and the words —

 

“Pa-pa! Tu as triché! Cette carte est sur le fond! [Papa! You cheated! That card was on the bottom!]”

— as they played an intense game of exploding Snap.

 

Once again, Hermione’s carefully made life-plans changed. 

 

First, Hermione spent a private moment with Rachel to determine how long Draco Malfoy had been living in her home without her knowledge. Rachel assured her that her fears were unfounded — Mrs. Potter had floo’d Rachel and Richard while they were vacationing and informed them they’d be paid twice their wages to return a day early. To date, Rachel stuck to cooking and placed a magical tracer on Lyra so she couldn’t be removed from the premises. The question Rachel avoided asking required no confirmation — two tow-headed Malfoys applied maximum cunning to winning a children’s game.

Next, Hermione phoned her office manager (she required her administrative staff to be available at any time in any time zone, thus the requirement to use muggle mobile tech) to say she’d not be taking on any cases for the foreseeable future and to accelerate billing for Mr. Chit-Szu’s canine custody case as she’d resolved all issues (to the tune of 235-thousand galleons). 

Neither Malfoy noticed her as she attempted to place life back into some semblance of order.

After divesting herself of her bag and cleaning up the broken toy pony parts on the porch, Hermione grabbed a glass of “Ol’ Paint Remover” (downing the initial pour in a single swallow) and joined her expanded “family” on the porch while waiting for the opportune moment — 

 

“J'ai gagné! Pa-pa, je t'ai battu! [I win! Pa-pa, I beat you!]”

 

— to ask —

 

“Draco, what in the hell are you doing in my house?”

 

— in English.

 

“Qu'est-ce que c'est, 'Hell'?” the child inquired before realizing her mummy had returned.

“Something your mother shouldn’t say in your presence,” Draco answered to his daughter’s French, “Hello, Granger.”

 

Any reply got delayed as a squealing child hurled herself into her mother’s lap. 

Hermione contemplated hexing Draco back to London: without his little “survey project” in Crete, the little “progeny project” climbing into Hermione’s lap wouldn’t exist. The battle over who should have cast the contraception spells had been decided long ago in Hermione’s head: Draco “fucked” up in more than one way on that trip.

Draco, memory confessed, had no intention of returning to London for anything but work (after meeting his rather pretty opposite-gender progeny). Off of legal probation and away from that dismal position at the Ministry, the young Lord ran Malfoy Inc. with a deft but firm touch and a talent for making goo-gobs of galleons. He’d worked 16 hours a day seven days a week for years until Pothead “invited” him to London’s “Partyman’s World of Play” with Harry's own James and Albus (and without Ginny) and introduced him to the female "Draco Malfoy" clone munching on celery sticks (and not candy, because Hermione Granger was the product of two dentists) at the table by announcing:

 

“Ly, this is your pa-pa.”

 

Memories from that point until he found himself regaining consciousness on the Potters’ couch (with Harry and Ginny staring down at him) floated in a fog that clouded the scenes. From the Potters' couch onward came in pretty clear — Draco had basically taken the week off and moved in with Harry and Ginny to be near Lyra.

 

Draco answered his co-parent — “I’m here to spend time with my daughter.  

“Now that I know I have a daughter.” the ferret jabbed, hitting the soft-hearted Gryffindor square in the guilt target.

“Come in, then.” Hermione sheepishly invited.

Chapter Text

Both of Lyra’s parents recounted (from one Pensieve vial or another) that Rachel had the good sense to prepare nutritious nibbling food and get the hell away from the main combustion zone — which meant anywhere near her boss and Lyra’s father — that first evening.

For the first week, Draco recalled using his smirk and his well-honed sarcasm to keep Hermione chastened and cowed. Much of the week reduced to family meals prepared by Rachel, tours of the garden with Richard (Hermione was crap at garden planning; Richard thanked Merlin for Draco who knew a thing or three about gardens) and long periods on the couch as Hermione fidgeted, wrung her hands, stared at the floor and barely spoke above a whisper in an effort to justify her decision to, as Draco called it, “hide his blood” from him. On the sixth day of his sharp-tongued haranguing, she corrected him by stating that her choice hid his “half-blood” from him.



By week’s end, Draco effectively lived at Hermione’s place, using her floo to commute to whatever company location required his attention.



For a number of years (as witnessed in the bowl revealing remembered truth) Hermione would kick herself mentally for allowing Draco Malfoy to get away with intimidating her into accepting responsibility for almost five lost years with Lyra.

Yes, she’d enjoyed Crete and yes, she’d had (mind-blowing) sex (over and over again) with him… every night (and day) — including the days she should have been on her menstrual cycle.

But memory told her that Draco never accepted her argument that she’d feared he’d reject a half-blood offspring. Hermione herself had (legally) modified Lyra’s magical birth registration to place George Weasley’s name as acting in loco parentis for the unnamed father (although giving George parental responsibility was like handing a pyromaniac a catalog of explosives, a box full of detonators and a blank cheque).

In the future, as a student at Hogwarts with James Sirius Potter, Lyra would describe this as the time her parents spoke only about local weather and fishing in her presence.

All day.

Every day.



For the second and third weeks, Hermione’s own profession as a solicitor came to the fore as they worked out the legal documents: custody agreements, guardianship and new wills. Conversations about weather and fishing gave way to hissing and growling over:

  • Visitation rights and schedules — Draco wanted to “drop in” and stay with Hermione whenever he felt like it; he did offer to buy her a more suitable (“suitable” as in “massively impressive”) home on the island. Hermione, a stickler for structure and consistency in Lyra’s life, heatedly explained that she wasn’t running a 24-hour amusement park and she’d be damned if she’d be the bad guy when Lyra wanted to wait up for a missing Malfoy or let him play at being “Disney-Dad” at all hours of the day and night. Lyra would begin school in autumn and needed consistency. The school announcement led to a battle over…
  • Schooling —  In the most polite tone he could muster (while calling Hermione an unmitigated idiot), Draco clarified his position: no Malfoy in 500 years had attended non-magical school and he’d be damned if his precious daughter would be the first. Lyra was, in his estimation, too smart for the local “farm children”. Hermione lost her temper (and her vocal modulation, for the first of many times) as she reminded the “pure-blood mental defective” (at “11” on her vocal volume knob) that she’d attended a non-magical lower school and she’d bested him every year at Hogwarts. Draco made the mistake of asking why, if she was so smart, did she not successfully cast a contraceptive spell on Crete and avoid saddling his daughter with an addle-brained mother who considered learning to "muck barns and spread cow shite" to be a challenging academic load. This led to another bout of unconsciousness for Draco when a porcelain teapot tagged him right between the eyes...
  • Custody — Surprisingly, a look-see at the Pensieve would confirm very little disagreement: Hermione suggested and Draco gratefully accepted a joint custody offer. Such an arrangement would simplify travel and emergency situations when Lyra was with only one parent. The subject of survivorship, however, required a two hour cleanup of the kitchen as the jinxes left biological agents cooked and imbedded in unseen locations (including Draco’s boxers and what lay underneath). Draco saw no reason for not making him Lyra’s guardian; Hermione believed the Potters were better suited to raising her on a day-to-day basis until she left for Hogwarts. Draco (loudly) insisted she change her stance; Hermione reminded him that if they killed each other in the next ten minutes, she’d get her way. In the end Draco agreed not to raise Lyra anywhere near Malfoy Manor (or his Malfoy parents) and Hermione relented after making him take an Unbreakable Vow that included losing his male bits if he violated the terms after her death.
  • Wills — Hermione’d had Gringotts trust solicitors draw up her will to ensure Lyra’s inheritance lasted out the child’s lifetime; George Weasley was named executor of the trust backed up by Blaise Zabini. As Blaise and Draco remained best friends (in fact, Blaise’s title at Malfoy Inc. was Executive Vice President of Marketing and Development), Draco made a mental note to terminate the life and employment (in that order) of his Marketing V.P. when he went to work on Monday; Blaise knew about Lyra and withheld that small piece of news from his boss.

Work on Draco’s will complicated life in Hermione’s household, ultimately requiring its own week of disclosures and realities before any changes could be made. Just yesterday (in the present) Rachel chuckled while reminiscing about the lead-in to that week — she’d never purchased so many headache relievers and pain potions for Hermione in her entire employment.



For Lyra, this period started her lifelong love of owling. With Rachel’s assistance (as co-conspirator), Lyra spent significant time carefully printing long descriptions (onto parchment) of the strange things her parents were doing (and shouting) and asking her quill-confidante, James Potter, if his parents ever acted like this (Lyra being very new to having both parents living together).

Seven months older and, therefore, years more experienced (in his own mind) than Lyra, James’ observations could be summarized as:



“Parents are weird, and so is Uncle Ron.”



Uncle Ron — between jobs and banned from the Burrow for using his parents’ new super-jet bathtub (provided as an anniversary present by Charlie, Bill and Percy) for unseemly purposes (in broad daylight) with multiple (naked) people (all at once) — currently lived with the Potters.

Why Uncle Ron’s behavior mattered confused Lyra’s thinking for days and days.

Chapter Text

The wills discussion led to a pure-blood discussion which led to discussions covering three major areas: fertility, inheritance and proof of paternity.

 

Regarding Proof of Paternity —

“Let me understand this: pure-bloods have magic that will definitively establish that you are Lyra’s father and, without this magic 'test', she can’t inherit because she’s not a Malfoy?”

“It’s a pure-blood thing. Being a pure-blood is all about provable lineage. Malfoy males usually know within a week of conception if their consort carries a Malfoy.”

“Easy enough to do. We’ll take her to St. Mungo’s next week for the…”

 

The Draco expression she’d witnessed while Bellatrix LeStrange tortured her washed across his face. He escaped into Lyra’s room with the child and didn’t come out of his hidey-hole for hours, leaving Hermione and Rachel perplexed and perturbed. As Rachel had a husband without such complexities, she bid Hermione goodnight and retired to her home. It took another day to ignite the next explosion  —

 

Regarding Inheritance —

“Draco, why are you making this so hard!?”

“You have to understand… I can’t… I don’t control how this works! The magic is bound to every document pertaining to a Malfoy. It protects the vaults at Gringotts — which reminds me, make sure you have a power of attourney in there somewhere so you have access, as Lyra’s guardian, to my inheritance. Where was I?”

 

Plopping ungracefully on the couch, Draco (and his family — by Pensieve) would look back on this conversation as a low point in his life, equal to trying to assassinate Albus Dumbledore. His large hands and agile fingers covering his face, the Slytherin sought the courage to put into words the manner in which his ancestry would betray his daughter.

 

“Lyra can’t inherit…”

“WHAT!? Because we weren’t MARRIED? She’s your DAUGHTER, DRACO!”

“And believe me, I am ready to slit my wrist and sign everything I have over to her using my own blood. I love her, Hermione.”

 

Her given name hadn’t passed his lips since that month they spent together five years ago.

 

“The inheritance magic requires there be a Malfoy male.”

“To what end?”

“To ensure that what is happening to the Blacks doesn’t happen to the Malfoys. There are no living Black males. Mother has her own legacy but the bulk of the money will sit in Gringotts until the end of time. Every Malfoy must produce a male heir. Once that heir is born, bequests can then be made to any other children. For Lyra to receive any of the Malfoy legacy, I have to produce a male heir.”

“That is the most sexist, misogynist and barbaric thing I’ve heard! Your daughter can’t receive her birthright unless you give her a brother!?”

“It’s a pure-blood thing. I’ve been wracking my brain for a way around it since Pottbelly contacted me and I saw her.”

“What about Malfoy Inc.? Any way to route her legacy through the company?”

“No… Because the legacy trust owns the business. It’s an asset of the inheritance.”

“Alright, alright… Can you use a surrogate? I mean, if Lyra can inherit under the right circumstances — and we certainly weren’t married or even engaged — can a woman of your choosing carry a male heir and kick this gender obstacle in the —?”

“Yes, if…”

Chapter Text

Years later a fairly rigorous magical duel could be instigated regarding Draco’s responses and coloring during his next admission:  

Draco maintained that his Malfoy breeding and composure evidenced his control of himself. 

Hermione, to the contrary, described Draco as sweating, beet red under that pale complexion and unable to speak in complete sentences (and the Pensieve proved her right).

 

Regarding Fertility —

“If?…” Hermione prompted.

 

In later years, Draco accused her of being confrontational in addressing a universally sensitive subject for most males.

Hermione accused him of being chicken-shit.

 

“BLOODY HELL, WITCH! THIS ISN’T EASY FOR ME!”

“Why are you so upset!? Save the drama for your next sexual conquest and tell me — can you produce a male child by surrogate to get around this male-pattern stupidity?”

“No…”

“BUT YOU JUST SAID ‘YES’! DAMMIT, FERRET — DON’T PLAY GAMES ABOUT MY DAUGH—”

“OUR daughter, you foul-tempered harpy!”

“If you don’t explain RIGHT NOW what you mean, she won’t HAVE a father! I SWEAR I’ll remarry RON WEASLEY and let him ADOPT her to SPITE you! Which is it!?”

“Legally a surrogate can be used… but I can’t use one.”

“Make SENSE, Draco!”

 

Both Pensieve versions of this encounter showed that “man-up” time had arrived.

 

“I’m sterile...” he subaudiblized without looking up from the floor.

“What??? Speak up, you bloody slithering coward!”

“I’m sterile...” he snapped back at barely a whisper.

Malfoy…”

I’m STERILEO-KAY!?” he bellowed until his tonsils vibrated.

 

To which Hermione-in-the-Pensieve burst out laughing.

 

“I have a four-year-old with white-blonde curls and grey-blue eyes. You’ll have to lie better than that.”

“It’s the truth…”

“You’re serious!?

“Yeah, for once…”

“Oh, Draco! What happened?”

“The healers aren’t sure, but Astoria and I saw specialists on four continents.”

“Just you?…”

“No, Astoria has her own feminine issues…”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Why wouldn’t I?…” came his anguished retort, “…you need to know, though, so you’ll understand how much Lyra means to me. Astoria and I started working on a Malfoy heir at Hogwarts, six months before the wedding. Our parents were going to be on us about grandchildren two seconds after the wedding vows ended so we figured… ‘What the fuck, we’re young — how hard can getting pregnant be’? I spent half of every day fucking her on our 6-month honeymoon. When that failed we started with the healers. A year later, she left me.”

“I don’t mean to be insensitive but we have a daughter together. How???…”

“Not sure. The healers told us that as time went on it would be harder to conceive — and I had to get a male heir. I didn’t know about Lyra — and I’m not blaming you, luv. After the way I treated you I’d’ve kept her a secret too. Sorry… so sorry you did it all alone…”

 

Neither remembered how they ended up on the sofa together that night so the scene always faded momentarily when viewed in the Pensieve.

 

“Gods! It was awful, Lioness.”

 

The new nickname would stick for years.

 

“Malfoys are bred for sexual appetites.”

“I’m aware,” Hermione chuckled, not quite sure how she ended up leaning into his body, “the proof just left the bathroom for her bed.”

“She’s lovely, Hermione. You’ve done a wonderful job with her.”

“I-I-I don’t know what to say…”

“I always had trouble with Astoria. I’d go limp with her mouth working my cock like a bellows. By the end of our marriage I was in the bathroom with ‘Wanton Witches’ magazines half-hour before bedtime to make sure I worked when she came upstairs.”

“Did you love her?”

“That’s not important for arranged marriages. There was no attraction… She was okay. But I’d never needed to be in love with a woman to fuck her unconscious and I couldn’t with Astoria. My hands and my tongue worked fine but my cock never wanted her like it did other women.”

 

Draco’s “I-Fucked-Up” alarm went off when Hermione put space between them on the couch.

 

“You were different, Lioness.”

“Of course I was. You had to manipulate the Minister of Magic to get me in your sexual diary.”

“Hermione… Look at me…”

 

Being Hermione, she disobeyed. Hermione’d looked though her Pensieve many times and she still couldn't find the moment when he turned her towards him and grasped her forearm to face his own.

 

“I vow that my time with you, Hermione Jean Granger, was and is unlike any encounter with any woman in my life. I vow that I am telling the complete truth. If there is any falsehood in my statement, may I be struck dead —”

“Draco — NO! That affects Lyra!”

“Then may I be rendered unable to perform sexually for the rest of my life.”

 

Absent the sensation itself, neither could confirm whether the electrical tingling came from the Unbreakable Vow he’d just forced on her or the cloud of pheromones pumping out of both. Whatever the case, Hermione blushed and broke eye contact first — only to lock her gaze onto the buttons at Draco’s crotch that were near snapping at the pressure behind them.

 

“So how do you handle it? You’re used to... what… four or five times a day?”

 

Perspiration outlined her lips and eyes in the dim light. It’d been a long day that neared midnight.

 

“Hand. Lube. Imagination.”

“When’s the last time?…”

“With or without a partner?”

“With…”

“About three years and some months ago.”

 

Tugging him up, Lyra’s mother dragged Lyra’s father to the master bedroom. Draco made to cast a ward but Hermione stopped him.

 

“Lyra has to be able to come in."

“I don’t want her seeing —”

“We’ll deal with it. I don’t want her thinking you’ve replaced her.”

 

Hermione cast a silencing charm.

 

Together they disrobed and showered, the summer’s warmth justifying the detour. Groaning with the effort, Draco disciplined every one of his body parts to leave the beautiful witch alone until they’d left the bathroom. Every body part obeyed except his cock which took control of his eyes and made his throat whimper in misery at the sight of her naked — rivulets of shower water tricking over her curves with interruptions at her nipples, navel, clavicle and the curly mass of silky hair where her legs joined. Sensing his struggle, Hermione had pity on him and showered quickly — that and she wanted to cast that contraception spell correctly. Tonight would happen quickly and she required time to consider whether she should surrogate her daughter’s brother with her daughter’s father. 

 

Right now wasn’t the appropriate time for that deliberation.

 

 


 

“Why am I bewitched by you?” Draco asked as he toweled himself dry.

“I don’t know. You tend to provoke a desire to hex and jinx in me.”

 

Hermione lay naked before him atop the sheet in her bed, without pretense. 

 

“What have you done to me?”

“Probably the ‘Lyra effect’. You never thought you’d have a child and I gave you one.”

 

The ghost of stretch marks remained from her ordeal to give life to their daughter and his Lioness cared not one wit that he saw them.

 

“Too much thinking, Bookworm. What about Crete?”

“You were overcoming years of forced — and unproductive — sex.”

“And you, Hermione? Why did you cooperate?”

“I was overcoming a year of unproductive — and unsatisfying — sex.”

“Why did you keep the baby? For which I’m grateful.”

“I love her.”

“But you didn’t love her father. Why keep a reminder of someone you only tolerated?”

 

An answer would be impossible while his lips nibbled that sensitive and secret place below her ear lobe. Ron only found it once in six years of combined friendship, dating and marriage (and she’d had to mark the spot with a dot in non-toxic marker); Draco held the memory for five long years

 

She struggled for control of her eyelids for several seconds as they fought closing under Draco’s onslaught — and lost. The room went dark.

 

“Th-Th-That wasn’t her fault.”

“Why not give her up?” her dragon asked between moist lips that sucked at her neck, “She’s quite a beautiful child. I’m sure some childless magical couple would have raised the daughter of war heroine Hermione Granger.”

 

Done talking for a while, that tongue of his flicked over her, like a serpent’s, in a direct line between that ear place and the pulse place hidden in her collarbone. The hidden remote control in his mouth soundlessly commanded her body to turn her head away from him to ease his access.

 

“She was ours, Dragon,” and in that sentence Hermione told the truth about the lie she’d repeated to herself (and others) for years: Lyra wasn’t a mistake and Hermione had no regrets about her “productive” time in Crete with Draco. 

 

Hermione kept the baby because it was his.

 

Since Crete, she’d trimmed her hair into a cute, boyish cut so that mane of unruliness hadn’t left strands and curls in his mouth. Draco missed her hair but not enough to discuss his preference with her now — not when he had her following the seduction plan he’d been wanking to for four years. Both were naked on her bed on a still and moonlit night. To keep his impatient organ from taking her without his permission, he allowed his cock free reign to bob and brush her thigh but demanded it wait for her to give the go-ahead for any escalation.

That deliberate, feather-light touch on her breast from the Malfoy-hot pads of his supple fingertips had her bowed upward in a semi-circle over the bed. As this placed her other nipple in his face, Draco improvised and rolled the little soldier between his teeth. Thanks to Lyra, he held twice the nipple in his mouth that she’d presented in Crete. He’d commend Hermione on breast-feeding their beautiful daughter when he stopped suckling and licking her himself (as in: sometime next week).

Babies, Draco decided, were the most wonderful creatures.

The Slytherin husband required no Pensieve to remember this night. Perfecting his approach in his head while yanking his cock nearly off for a quarter-decade made for genuine “practice makes perfect”. The hand stroking her flat stomach marveled at her after carrying Lyra. Draco had no intention of using a surrogate; the mother of his children (if he could produce more) shivered under his attentions — he’d remembered she had the most sensitive breasts of any woman he’d seduced.

His control over the execution of this well-considered plan came apart when a seriously engaged Hermione melted into him, face to face, and placed one hand in his hair and the other on his impatient cock, stroking both with that firm, impassioned touch he’d missed. Thirty seconds into her attentions his cock hit its true size for the first time since the last time she’d done this and Draco figured out that his witch had him by the balls (where her index finger teased the mop of spun-gold hair at the base of him). Hermione loved sex as much as Draco did.

Then she tugged at him by his John Thomas.

 

“Dragon, I’m ready. Come to me, please.”

 

There’s nothing better than having the witch you want begging you to do what you want to do with her anyway. And yet Draco pried her talented fingers off of his seriously pissed off penis — he was happy she couldn’t hear the shouting and complaining going on in his brain’s sexual pleasure center right now.

 

“Let me love you, Lioness.”

 

To save himself from embarrassment — her thigh rubbing against his once-again happy hard-on had him near uncontrollable release — he implemented his “Use In Case Of Premature Ejaculation Risk” emergency response process. Snaking the hand at her breast straight down her center, he judiciously applied his middle finger to his favorite flower bud (after all, Draco Malfoy knew a thing or three about secret gardens and budding flowers) and took control of Hermione’s nervous system. In an instant Hermione fell back on the bed, opening her legs almost as wide as she’d done to deliver Lyra. 

His next words were timed to push her through the door marked “Bliss” ahead of him. Hermione always telegraphed every arriving orgasm and today was no different. She surrendered to the sensations from his hand between her legs and his mouth working Just. That. Spot.

 

“I love you, Lioness. I loved you in Crete and I love you now.”

 

Climax, both physical and emotional, detonated through her, exiting from her mouth in a language lovers understand.

 

“Draco-Draco-Draco!" she panted, "Oh, Morgana! Draaaaaaaa-cooooo!!”

 

Unlike any other time, his Gryffindor princess clung to him — trapping his still working hand between them. She looked directly at her lover, her awareness of the change in their relationship carried along with the heat and power of her orgasm. Draco could drink in this sight for the rest of his life…

…but for the annoying insistence of his cock to get to the main event.

Unwedging his hand past her very engorged bud elicited another spontaneous “WOW!” release from her which helped a great deal in getting Hermione onto her back. With her legs gapped even wider, Draco skipped aiming and just let years of desire guide him into her.

 

Apparently, he wasn’t the only one having solo sex because Hermione felt tighter than too-small spandex on a sumo wrestler. 

 

“Merlin, witch! You feel like a virgin!” he groaned, gravity assisting his long, slow, deep dive into her cradle of heaven.

 

Humming “Rule, Brittania” to set a rhythm, Draco mentally shouted down his panting cock while determining the exact angle to—

 

“Fuck, Draco! Right THERE!”

 

He got SO much thicker when she swore.

 

Anchoring his position to keep that kind of encouragement coming, Draco sent a smug grin to his cock to communicate which head had the better thinking apparatus; engaged in scraping every inch of Hermione’s textured inner walls, his cock ignored the jibe.

“Rule, Brittania” — introduction to ending, with all written repeats — lasted 40 minutes; Draco made it to 36 minutes and Hermione made it to 12 minutes three successive times. Her last g-spot explosion catapulted him down and in, balls contracting so hard it felt like they’d rocketed upward into his stomach. Warmth from hot, gelatinous semen filled the small cavity between his uncircumcised glans and her cervix. The viscous fluid, having exhausted the room near the opening to her womb to seep up the scant space between her walls and his shaft, transferred molten, prickly heat nearly up to the top of her opening. Having “delivered the mail”, Draco went flaccid short minutes later.

 

“You know, you shouldn’t confess your feelings during sex. Can’t be held accountable for that admission,” she teased.

“Wasn’t sex, Angel. We made love… For the first time.”

 

Serious again, she held his gaze.

 

“What makes you so sure?”

“Because I’m spent. When have you ever drained me after a single shot? You’re mine, Lioness; you and Lyra.”

Chapter Text

When explaining to Lyra how they came together as a family, Hermione never quite figured out how Draco moved in; she just remembered the aggravations of living with a man who’d never lived without a house full of servants at his beck and call. 

Draco didn’t trouble with the details — he just barged in and made himself the Man of the House. His edicts (and their consequences) ran the gamut of responsibilities 1000+ years of pure-blood breeding and habits dictated (none of them compatible with 21st century feminist realities). 

Men’s tailored clothes appeared in quantities so vast they overwhelmed Hermione’s closet space and demanded a house of their own. Poor Rachel barely saw to her young charge in an effort to help Hermione keep up with the ridiculous amount of laundry Draco generated every week. In the main bathroom, row after row of hair care products forced little Lyra’s baby soap and bubble bath back onto the top of her tiny bedroom bureau.

 

[During this confirmation of Draco's hyprocrisy, portions of the pensive replay had blurred for Lyra; her overprotective father cast the Malfoy-patented “Over-17” blocking spell on the basin to protect his innocent 16-year-old baby girl. Bubbles disturbed the memory water as Draco sighed once again in relief while the next scenes played out.]

 

“Draco — must you change underwear three times a day?”

“They wilt as the day goes on. It’s a pure-blood thing.”

“I’ve had to purchase a larger washer to handle your laundry!”

“Why are you doing my laundry???”

“Because it takes Rachel and I both to keep up!”

“The house elves seemed to handle it. Let me summon Gingham and Calico —”

 

The dirty boxers Hermione hurled at him covered his face, leading to full-body shudders and a mild nightmare of being pursued starkers through the streets of Hogsmeade by his own filthy laundry.

Draco’s propensity for dropping his discarded clothing any and everywhere annoyed Hermione to the edge of violence (and Rachel past that edge — she’d only had ONE child to pick up after before Draco barged into their lives). He’d stumbled into Lyra’s room for her bedtime story, more than once, on jelly-jinxed legs after leaving a trail of his work clothing from the sofa to his daughter’s door.

The spoilt only child seldom cooked (although it pleasantly surprised Hermione that he had a gift for it) and never cleaned up. Prior to their unplanned cohabitation, Hermione always cleaned up after Rachel cooked. This allowed Rachel more time to enjoy supper with Richard in the guest house and gave Hermione a useful and enjoyable activity to share with Lyra. 

 

Draco despised manual labor. Even little Lyra discovered this fact.

 

“Pa-pa, tu n'aides pas. Nous partageons tous la nourriture donc nous partageons tous le nettoyage. [Pa-pa, you’re not helping. We all share the food so we all share the clean-up.]”

“Chou, ta mère et toi font un excellent travail, je ne veux pas interférer.[Luv, you and your mother do such a great job I don't want to interfere.]

“Pa-pa, tu es paresseu! [Pa-pa, you are lazy!]”

“She has a point, Draco.”

“Don’t gloat, Granger; it’s unbecoming.”

 

Hermione made sure to capture a magical picture of Draco in a pink apron (Rachel’s) wearing Gryffindor-red rubber gloves (insisting dishwater would ruin his manicured hands) and wielding a tea towel like a weapon. Most of the dishes made it to the cupboard without damage.

 

His insistence on staying in the master bedroom with Hermione (which, he LOUDLY argued, modeled a more normal family dynamic and prevented Lyra from catching him sneaking into or out of Hermione’s bed) left poor Hermione with tons of extra housework to keep her bedroom tidy. The suggestion that Hermione’s unwarranted objections to house elves sat at the root of the extra housework demanded a special apology from Draco (unused as he was to sleeping alone on her sofa).

His apology began with murmured words and ghost-like fingers landing gently on the most sensitive parts of her — a special place on the inside of her thigh and a more hidden place on the inside of her heart.

 

“Lioness, I know this hasn’t been easy for you.”

“No — I wasn’t expecting to have a flatmate —”

“Roommate —”

“Since we do sleep together, I’ll give you that. This is harder than I’d imagined, Draco. What if we’re not compatible? Great sex doesn’t equal a great relationship.”

 

No fool was ever named Malfoy. The sole Malfoy heir redoubled his effort, aware that Hermione needed to relinquish the idea that they weren’t a family.

 

“We’re rushing through the honeymoon period; we’d have had a year to sort this living together thing out if we’d gotten married.”

“I don’t want a marriage of obligation or appearances.”

“Hermione, we have chemistry. We’re a match for each other.”

“Sex isn’t —”

“So your know-it-all knowledge now covers relationships? You’ve been with two men in your life. Two. Half the blokes at Hogwarts tried to bed you eighth year — including me. There’s something more than sex between us.”

“Lyra.”

“I’m here for you, Hermione. I tried to find you but this bloody cottage is unplottable. Thank Merlin Lyra wore Pothole down and he introduced me to our daughter. We’re meant to be together, as a family.”

 

To assist her agreement with his reasoning, Draco slid that capable hand of his up and down the sensitive skin exposed by those oh-so-short shorts she wore in this hottest part of summer. Without hesitation he lowered his mouth to her blouse and manipulated her nipple through the fabric with his lips. Surrendering to his weight against her chest, Hermione leaned back, nestling into the sofa cushions with a sigh.

 

“Give us a chance, luv; I’ll get it right.”

 

The words were accompanied by the press of his upper body against her, seeking to lay her down. Hermione rolled instead, reclining on her side and lifting her legs to the couch. This unexpected maneuver modified Draco’s plan; the lovelorn sort-of boyfriend slid himself between the cushions and his lover. His right hand still teased her thigh. His lips alternated between the twin marbles protruding through her bra-less blouse. Draco presented no obstruction when Hermione’s soft hands unbuttoned his suit trousers and reached into his generous boxers.

 

“Luv, I won’t last if you do that.”

 

Overcome at her bold move, the master of seduction found himself "The Seduced".

 

“Then don’t,” she smirked at him.

 

Her hands, one bunching the skin along his shaft and the other working the foreskin over the head of him, brought his breath in her ear — in pants and huffs — as he fought for control.

 

“Indulge me,” she requested as she scooted along the couch, kissing his neck and shirt-clad chest, down to that beautiful specimen that stood apart from him — proudly announcing its readiness — and sucked at it as she would a round lolly with a chewy center.

“Ahhh!” he groaned, “Let me come inside you, witch!”

“Next time.”

 

They seldom indulged this way as Draco worried over the fatigue his size would cause her. Tonight, Hermione called the shots as she’d determined to take their encounters to the next level. Compatibility physically mattered with a man as sexually demanding as Draco Malfoy; if she couldn’t keep up, she’d give him up to find himself a better match.

Trapped in sensation, Draco moaned and slowly rocked himself into and away from the tantalizing feeling her mouth and hands provided. The triple-whammy of her mouth on his head, her hand pumping him and her fingers cupping and squeezing his swelling bollocks, caused him to consider retiring from the corporate presidency and staying on this sofa forever.

 

“Close, luv… I’m close…” he confessed. His cock pulsed in joy at the prize awaiting it until…

“Mummy, I feel ill…” floated over the cushioned back of the sofa.

 

Behind the couch, Lyra approached, seeking comfort, and stopped just long enough to empty her stomach contents on the floor. That third piece of chocolate cake Draco swore “couldn’t hurt” as he served it to her gave off the worst stench post-digestion.

Cool air replaced the hot cavern formed by Hermione’s lips around his expectant cock and any hope of speeding his delivery succumbed to the joint distractions of Hermione’s exit from the sofa and his daughter’s clear state of distress. 

 

Lyra stood barefoot in her yellow ballerina pyjamas sobbing, rubbing her little eyes in embarrassment at not making it to the bathroom.

 

“Sh-sh-sh, sweetheart. Let’s get you settled,” Hermione cooed as she swept the child up in her arms and headed for the master en-suite, “Draco — could you clean that up for me, please?”

 

His lover departed in body and mind to become super-mom. Draco, on the other hand, got a first-hand opportunity to experience the less savory side of being “Pa-pa”.

 

Gagging back reflux, Draco leaned his face and body into the cushions of the couch to mask the odor and waved his wand in the vicinity of the mess without really looking — he couldn’t close his trousers until he closed his boxers and he couldn’t close his boxers until his frustrated cock and lemon-sized bollocks stopped screaming at him and shrank to normal, put-them-away-without-pain proportions.

When the sick smell and his erection subsided, the new father’s natural instincts kicked in; his baby girl felt ill and he was hellbent on comforting her. He’d retrieve every paediatric specialist in St. Mungo’s and floo them to the cottage if that’s what it took. Stripping to his boxers (that were finally closed properly) Draco joined his family in the big bed in the master bedroom, carrying a tray of crackers, some fizzy drink called “ginger ale” that Hermione kept in the medicine cupboard and Lyra’s favorite blanket charmed to repel sick.

 

“Lyra? Look what your pa-pa brought you.” Hermione coaxed.

“Drink a little for me, Princess?” Draco coaxed.

 

The child hunkered down in her mother’s arms, refusing to replenish her fluids for fear of more sickness.

 

“Can’t be a Malfoy Princess if you’re ill. I’ll just have to find another little girl to be my princess.”

 

Draco’s Slytherin ploy saw his baby girl crawling cautiously towards him. Lifting the tumbler from the tray on the bed stand, the new father eased himself into the bed, leaning against the headboard, and administered sips of the restorative to the child in his lap while he hummed the A-B-C song ad nauseum. After many sips, Lyra fell asleep on his chest without further episodes.

Hermione moved around the bed, tugging the sheet down to free it and then up to cover Draco as he snuggled down and into a prone position with Lyra. Climbing in on the other side, she extinguished the light, watching her daughter and her dragon in the moonlight streaming through the glass doors.

 

“Maybe there’s more to us than sex…” she admitted to her pillow as she passed into sleep — 

 

— and Draco smiled.

Chapter Text

Because Merlin fucks with pure-bloods the most, everything in Draco’s life came undone as his life with his “family” came together.

 

Before the bottom fell out — so to speak…

 

Rachel recognized well before Hermione that Draco wouldn’t be leaving their lives in the next century. Being the practical person she was, Hermione's chief home manager undertook teaching the spoiled, obstinate, whiny pure-blood what managing a house without a host of servants entailed, thus saving Hermione the trouble... sort of...

Rachel’s boot camp started with basic picking up after himself. Each workday the nanny-cum-cook-cum-nursemaid waited by the Floo for Draco’s return from Malfoy Inc. Each time the corporate head carelessly discarded an article of clothing, Rachel zapped his arse — literally —with a high-energy Stinging Jinx. Two weeks and a few defensive shields later, she had him turned ‘round the right way.

Having established the terms of engagement, Rachel solved the laundry problem by Flooing Draco's dirty laundry to wherever he’d Floo’d to work. The first time he lost a multi-million Galleon deal when the other company’s president hurled chunks — because Draco’s dirty Quidditch “nut hut” (bollocks protector) draped over her face like a Halloween mask, her student got a clue and made it a point to collect his laundry for cleaning back at the Manor.

 

Lyra corrected her father’s post-dinner clean-up habits easily by insisting he clean up with her. This had the unexpected benefit of father-daughter cooking, which Hermione and Rachel heartily endorsed and Rachel assisted.

 

Richard (who had no actual issues with Draco or his habits) rescued the put-upon novice family head by “soliciting his services” in the garden more than was necessary. 

After a working tour of the garden with significant “mmm-hmm’s” and “ah-ha’s”, Richard would break out the Firewhiskey and regale Draco with tales of his days as a dashing rogue before Rachel tamed and married him. Draco found the "Rachel" stories bore an uncanny resemblance to his own situation with Hermione — especially the comparison topics of favorite bedroom toys, best wrist restraint fabrics and baby-before-bride.

 

Hermione tackled the most difficult re-education effort alone — the one that, if not addressed, could mean the end of him.

 

For two months Hermione “corrected” Draco’s habit of leaving the seat of the loo “up”.

 

The first time Hermione’s bum landed in cold water at 2 o'clock in the morning, she restrained herself — dropping a glass of chilled water on him where he slept instead of hexing his inconsiderate arse — and explained how irritating such disregard of the ladies in the house was. 

The pre-dawn morning when she sprained her wrist trying to catch herself before she got dunked again, she jinxed him with her uninjured non-dominant hand.

But when Lyra screamed for help because she’d fallen into the loo water and found herself wedged in the loo bowl, Hermione rescued her daughter, sealed the Floo, set an anti-Apparation charm on her home and cursed Draco’s bollocks for four straight hours. No amount of yanking or jerking would relieve his edge-of-orgasm fullness. Eventually, his witch had mercy on him (at Lyra’s entreaty; a moaning daddy screaming those words at mummy was really creepy) and shagged his brains out to relieve the pressure.  

 

The cure took a day… 

…and a night… 

…and a day…

 

All this “training” brought the couple to a fortnight before Lyra’s 5th birthday and a month before she started school. The house had almost returned to efficient running; Hermione and Rachel only complained every other day rather than every other minute. 

 

When the bottom fell out…

 

Draco’d gone to Malfoy Manor to drop off a load of dirty laundry and pick up clean laundry from the house elves when his father cornered him.

 

“Draco! I hoped to catch you. We’ve had correspondence from the Magical Trust and Heraldry Office in the Ministry.”

 

Finally settling into contentment, Draco dreaded the crisis the correspondence would disclose.

 

“You mother and I will be in the Library when you’re ready to discuss it.”

“Give me a moment to take this home.”

“Care to reveal where ‘home’ is? The Ministry has had the devil trying to locate you.”

 

Draco saw himself in the man asking the question. The Malfoy heir wondered if the man before him saw the differences in his son.

 

“Draco… I hope to meet your ‘friend’ when you’re ready. We’ll see you in the Library.”

 

So much for the “inattentive father” Lucius Malfoy.

 

Thirty minutes — and an irate girlfriend who balked at his lack of explanation for leaving again unexpectedly — later, Draco sat on the edge of a genuine Louis XIV salon chair in the Manor main Library.

 

“Your letter has arrived,” Lucius announced. The elder Malfoy walked to his son's seat and extended an enchanted parchment bearing the Ministry seal. Sighing in resignation Draco tentatively grabbed the notification and slid a slender finger along the seam and through the seal.

 

The voice of Tarryington Ambit, Chief Magistrate of the Magical Trust and Heraldry office, rang out. The subject, being familiar to the Malfoy heir, gained only small amounts of his attention.

 

Mr. Draco Malfoy,

As required by the Malfoy Bequest of 1393, registration number 004 in the Ministry’s Trust files, you are hearby notified that you have one year to meet the terms of the Malfoy Heritage Trust or you will forfeit your inheritance.

Please contact my office to discuss your progress towards meeting your obligations.

                                Best regards,

                                Tarryington Ambit

 

“As you have not produced an heir, I assume you have an alternative to keep our assets in Malfoy hands?”

“I have almost nine months remaining; something will break my way before the deadline.”

“Draco, dear… I don’t wish to upset you,” Narcissa Malfoy — Draco’s mother and the more Slytherin of his two parents — soothed, “no one wants this nasty business dealt with more than your father and I. I dare say we’d accept an illegitimate heir if it cut that indiscriminate harlot Astoria Greengrass —”

“She’s still legally a Malfoy, Mother.”

“Nonsense! She was never a Malfoy. She lacks the breeding and the brains. As I was saying, your father and I don’t mean to intrude —”

“But you will,” Draco chuckled. How much more absurd could his situation get?

 

And his parents weren’t aware of the half of it.

 

“We simply must get that ridiculous woman out of our lives and keep the Malfoy legacy in blood Malfoy hands. The next you know she’ll be presenting some bastard as your heir and how shall we deal with that?”

“Astoria has some fertility issues. That’s partly why she didn’t get pregnant.”

 

You’ll drop in a dead faint when you hear the rest… he mused.

 

“So Merlin can be merciful to pure-bloods. She was unworthy to carry your child. The next Malfoy heir cannot be sluttish, narcissistic or suffer single digit intelligence; Astoria would have passed on all three traits.”

“So as long as I satisfy the terms of the bequest, how I do so no longer matters to you two?”

“Malfoys aren’t in the habit of presenting bastards as heirs, son,” Lucius clarified, “but the idea of losing the Manor, as well as most of the family’s accumulated wealth, and living in some hovel like a Mud- Muggle-born fills me with dread.”

“Nice catch, Father.”

“It’s a different world, Draco, and Malfoys have always been survivors. What is your intent to satisfy your requirement?”

 

Allowing the chair to support him fully, Draco gave due consideration to the problem before responding.

 

“Help will be required.”

“That was understood, son,” Narcissa zinged in.

 

Lyra, Draco realized, would be a handful when she gained mastery of her inherited Malfoy wit.

 

“I meant help deciphering how to accomplish the terms of the bequest in the remaining time. Do you have plans Saturday evening?”

“Nothing of any consequence. Why?”

“As this involves all of us, I think the time to marshall our resources has arrived. Six o’clock?”

“That will be fine.” his mother confirmed and, with a nonchalant wave, summoned her personal house elf to see to the details.

“I’ll be bringing guests to help us.”

 

Draco’s confident smile settled Narcissa’s nerves; for the first time since his escape from that she-devil Astoria Greengrass, her son took the reins where the continuation of the Malfoy line was concerned. Lucius, however, suspected the opposite: Draco, his father decided, had no idea how to address this problem but knew more than he’d revealed so far.

 

“We’ll see you Saturday, son. I look forward to meeting your ‘help’.”

 

Matching smirks formed on the male Malfoys.

Chapter Text

Thanks to the Pensieve:

  • For the first time Draco genuinely understood the pressure Hermione felt to discover a solution to his infertility issue — she meant to be the only surrogate in his life.
  • For the first time Hermione really acknowledged the impact of their search for a solution to prevent the Malfoys from becoming homeless and penniless on Draco’s sexual needs.

 

So their first step off the cliff together, the discussion of dinner with his parents, became emotional rather rapidly.

 

Are you out of your Slytherin mind!? I’m not taking my daughter to Malfoy Manor!”

“I didn’t say Lyra was coming — I said I’d bring help sorting out this bequest business and my inability to produce a male heir.”

 

His paramour’s eyes narrowed before her brain kicked in.

 

You’re using Lyra to keep from telling them you’re STERILE!!

“Infertile, not sterile. There is Lyra.”

And none since!”

“I need your help, Lioness. I’d give it all to you and Lyra but I’ll be damned if Astoria deserves one Knut from me!”

“Hard to disagree with you there. Draco, think about what you’re doing; your parents won’t be pleased to see Lyra once they know her mother’s a Mudblood.”

 

Enraged at the classist insult, even when Hermione used it, Draco shot off the bed, pacing and fuming in equal measure.

 

“Don’t EVER call yourself that — DO YOU HEAR ME!?”

 

Calmer than her lover, Hermione cast a quick outbound Silencio spell to block the argument from waking their daughter.

 

My daughter’s mother is NOT a Mudblood! You nor Lyra are inferior in ANY WAY and I will THROTTLE ANYONE who dares to say you are!!

“Dragon… Come here…”

 

Opening her arms, Hermione leaned back onto the bed as Draco draped himself over her. Agitated as he was, they’d be making love until dawn before he calmed and fell asleep. She made a note to send Rachel a Patronus to get Lyra and take her back to the guest house.

 

“You need my help?”

 

Giggling overcame her as his chin dug into her neck with his affirming nod.

 

“You promise to keep Lyra safe —”

“With my life, Hermione.”

“I’m not worried your parents will harm her physically; I’m worried they’ll mistreat her and make her feel awful about who she is.”

 

Scooting the rest of her onto the bed required effort as the long, lean man who’d collapsed on top of her made no effort to help. Some wandless magic lifted them up and onto the middle of the bed. Once they’d landed, Draco lifted his head. The face floating in front of her held sadness and self-contempt.

 

“I’ve always been a disappointment. Second at Hogwarts. Couldn’t kill Dumbledore — and didn’t want to; had to be rescued by Snape. Couldn’t be a real Death Eater, not that Father was any better at it. I’m exhausted with failure… Couldn’t get my wife pregnant with a male Malfoy in almost 3 years of trying. Lyra’s the only thing I’ve ever gotten right…”

“You’re great at your job, aren’t you?”

“I’m just taking over for Father. It’s not like I built the business on my own.”

“You’re still quite good at it. And Lyra adores you, Draco; being a good father is your greatest accomplishment... in my book.”

 

Any chance Hermione might have had of escaping the disturbance dubbed Draco Malfoy disappeared as his tears ran down her cheeks.

 

“Help me… I don’t want to go down in wizarding history as the Malfoy who lost it all… I don’t want to disappoint you and Lyra…”

“Alright, Dragon…” Hermione sighed through her own tears, “let’s see if we can rewrite your future.”

 

Hermione considered how positively ridiculous her position was: the “Mudblood" who helped topple Voldemort — and her illegitimate half-blood daughter — would save a 1900-year-old pure-blood aristocratic dynasty.

 

Un-fucking-believable…

 


 

Hours of foreplay, love-making and butt-naked, screaming monkey sex later, Draco exited the Floo in Malfoy Manor’s sitting room with Lyra in his arms and Hermione holding his hand and her wand. The introductions did not proceed as expected.

 

“Draco??? Who’s the young lady in your — stars above! She could be your twin sister!”

“Understandable, as she is my daughter.”

 

From the safety of Draco’s arms (and surrounded by 28 protection and shielding spells cast by her mother), Lyra evidenced her best manners.

 

“Bonjour. Je suis heureux de vous rencontrer. Je m’appelle Lyra [Hello. I am pleased to meet you. My name is Lyra].”

“Do you mean you have a DAUGHTER!? With HER!!??” Narcissa shrieked.

 

Lucius caught his wife before she hit the floor in a swoon.

 

Well done, Draco! I haven’t seen your mother this upset since the Dark Lord ruined her Persian carpets with those torture sessions.”

Thank you, Father. I’m sure that brings back fond memories of Malfoy Manor for Hermione,” the irritated Slytherin snapped back, snaking a supporting arm around his witch.

“Pa-pa, estzce que c'est mon grand-père? Il te ressemble [Is that my grandfather? He look likes you].

“Oui, chou, ces gens sont mes parents; [Yes, luv, these people are my parents;]” Draco replied with shamed resignation, “Je suis désolé, princesse, mais ils sont le meilleur que je peux faire [I’m sorry, princess, but they’re the best I have].”

 

Silent, wandless magic slid three salon chaises to the group in a triangular formation. Lucius assisted his bewildered wife onto the nearest chaise before taking a seat. Having calculated the shortest path back through the Floo, Hermione tugged Draco away from his intended destination, the nearest sofa, and towards the one sitting next to the fireplace.

 

“Miss Granger — or is it Mrs. Malfoy? No… any attempt to marry my son would have rendered Draco impotent, which he clearly is not.”

 

With a “pop”, Jabber and Wocky (the house elf Draco routinely snuck into Hermione’s house to help with his “chores”) appeared with refreshments set upon separate rolling trays.

 

“I thought the separate trolleys would encourage you to partake,” Lucius explained as he administered a healthy dose of restorative Fyrewhiskey to Narcissa, “as I couldn’t very well poison them with you observing.”

“I appreciate your efforts, Lucius,” Hermione replied without touching a thing on the trolley Wocky wheeled next to them.

“Maman, puis-je avoir un peu de jus de citrouille, s'il vous plaît [Mummy, may I have some pumpkin juice, please]?”

 

The moment of truth had arrived. Lyra asked for juice from the trolley only inches from her little hand.

 

“Yes, Lyra, you may have as much as you like.”

 

Three stunned faces turned to confirm those words from Narcissa Malfoy’s pale lips.

 

“Wocky, please serve my g-g-granddaughter,” the elegant witch stuttered out.

“Wocky is happy to serves the little Lady Malfoy,” the elf offered, accompanied by the weirdest grimace-meant-to-be-a-smile Hermione had ever seen. Wocky clearly knew Lyra from his “helpful” visits to the cottage on the Isle of Man.

 

The elf extended the glass to the youngster, who now sat on Draco’s knees, as her mother cast over 50 charms in rapid, silent succession to detect poisons, detoxify any foreign agents, protect her baby’s stomach and add a touch of sweetness as she usually served it at home (in deference to Draco’s horrid sweet tooth).

 

“Thank you, Wocky,” the little girl offered up as she took the tumbler and sipped at her juice.

“You have excellent manners, Lyra, and your French is impeccable. Your mother has trained you well,” Narcissa continued, regaining her poise with each compliment.

“Thank you” from Hermione collided with “Merci” from Lyra.

 “Bonjour, jeune dame. Je crois que je suis votre grand-père [Hello, young lady. I believe I am your grandfather].”

 

Lyra hesitated, unsure of what to call Lucius Malfoy (but absolutely certain she could not use the names she’d heard her mother scream at her father).

 

“You may call me Pépé Lucius,” Lucius offered, correctly discerning the child’s dilemma. 

 

So taken was Lyra by this man whose face mimicked her beloved Pa-pa’s that she jumped down from the safety of Draco’s lap and hurled herself into Lucius’ arms, hugging him without restraint or hesitation. Hermione and Draco shouted the child’s name, both wands drawn and aimed at Draco’s father and mother.

 

“Je t'aime, Pépé Lucius [I love you, Pépé Lucius].”

 

It would be Narcissa’s recall that declared Lucius the loser in the War of Not-My-Half-Blood-Grandchild. Draco would concur; Hermione remained staunchly convinced that both needed their Pensieves cleaned and calibrated.

 

“Ms. Granger, may I hold her?”

 

Mouth agape in shock, Hermione nodded after minutes of standing like a statue (and an elbow shot to her ribs from Draco).

 

“Come sit with me, Lyra. You are such a beautiful little girl — the prettiest half-blood in a century, I would say. I see your great-grandmother in you — those rosy cheeks and that lovely smile.”

“Come now, Cissa — I have a beautiful smile.”

“Lucius, don’t confuse the child; you only smile that way when you’re into mischief —”

“— or we’re into mischief together —”

“LUCIUS!” two shocked witches shouted in warning.

“We have a proper young lady in the Manor and you will behave yourself or you will be sent to your room for the duration of the visit. Am I clear?”

 

For the first — but not the last — time, Hermione recognized why Lucius Malfoy had abandoned his service to the Dark Lord. There was someone Lucius feared far more than Voldemort and she sat next to him with their granddaughter in her lap.

 

“You may call me Mémé Narcissa or Nana Cissa. I will answer to either from you and you alone.”

 

This gained Narcissa a hug of her own.

 

“Shall we move to the Nursery? I am sure we can find something fun for you to play with. I kept your father’s toys — including the dolls I bought him when I was convinced I’d have the first female Malfoy in half a millennia,” Nana Cissa suggested, as if Lyra were the only one in the room.

 

Extending her hand for the child, Grandmother Malfoy rose and swept towards the door to the main foyer and staircase.

 

“I suppose you all should come too,” the Lady of the House added, “it might make explanations easier.”

 


 

”Is nothing ever simple with you, Draco!? Hippogriffs! Magical cabinets! Assassination attempts and that b-witch you married!”

“YOU picked Astoria! You negotiated my contract!” Draco defended himself.

“Not I, Draco, your father — and I have yet to forgive him for that ridiculous error. I’m not sure Astoria isn’t the worst of your disasters.”

“By far,” Hermione muttered under her breath in agreement with Narcissa.

“So let me understand this,” Lucius recapitulated, “you and your estranged wife spent almost three years trying to conceive a male heir to no avail — despite seeking out medical assistance.”

“Yes,” Draco concurred.

“After your separation — but before your divorce, because you’re still married to the legacy-grabbing wench — you and Miss Granger here spent time producing a ‘special’ project for the Ministry which included Lyra.”

“Ye-ess,” Draco drawled out.

“While you were trying to produce your own 'special project' on Astoria, Miss Granger discovered she was with child and — without notifying you — gave birth to Lyra.”

“Yes…” Draco sighed.

“Thank you, by the way, for continuing the Black naming tradition. ‘Lyra Carina’ is so melodic; it suits her well. Is she musical?” Narcissa interjected as her granddaughter picked out a tune on Draco’s old magical xylophone; the toy provided orchestral accompaniment to any melody the child created.

“As a matter of fact,” Hermione answered with enthusiasm, “I’ve made arrangement for her to start Suzuki piano at school this —”

FOR MERLIN’S SAKE! Will you witches PLEASE stay ON TOPIC!?” Lucius bellowed, “Or do you wish to live at the Leaky until they EVICT us for NON-PAYMENT!?”

“We’ll talk later, dear,” Narcissa whispered to Hermione behind a carefully placed hand at her mouth, “I apologize, Lucius. Please continue.”

“And you’ve been unable to get a child on any other witch, correct?”

Obviously,” Draco growled in frustration at the flaying open of his reproductive inadequacies.

“Why?”

DON’T YOU THINK I’VE —”

“Lucius! That’s a rather personal question to be —”

NOT WHEN I AM ABOUT TO LOSE MY HOUSE AND MY MONEY!

“Dragon… Let me assist you here.”

 

All eyes turned to Hermione who felt like a goose in a pen the day before Christmas — about to be slaughtered.

 

“Draco’s asked me to help him find out why I conceived so readily — in about two weeks — when Astoria didn’t. We’ve discussed some unusual… differences…” Hermione dragged out, desperately trying to find the words that would keep Draco from requiring her as a sedative in their shared bed for the next month, “in Draco’s interactions with Astoria and with me.”

Such as?” Lucius poked, unwilling to leave any fact private if it kept him luxuriously housed and obscenely wealthy.

“Such as his ability to stay… ” Hermione continued, inhaling a big breath, “engaged… throughout.”

“You couldn’t get an ERECTION with YOUR WIFE!?”

“Pépé Lucius, c’est quoi une érection? [Pa-pa Lucius, what is an ‘erection’?]”

“That’s IT! My daughter shouldn’t KNOW that word in FRENCH or ENGLISHHERMIONE — GET MY DAUGHTER! WE’RE LEAVING!

“YOU STAND READY TO LOSE OVER A MILLENNIA OF INHERITED WEALTH AND YOU’RE UPSET ABOUT A CHILD SPEAKING A WORD SHE DOESN'T EVEN UNDERSTAND!? WELL, YOU CERTAINLY HAVE YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT, DON’T YOU, SON!?

“I DON'T SEE YOU PRODUCING ANY MORE ‘MALE HEIRS’! SINCE I’M SUCH A DISAPPOINTMENT, WHY DON’T YOU AND MOTHER SOLVE THE PROBLEM YOURSELVES!

TRUST ME — IF IT WERE AT ALL POSSIBLE, I’D REPLACE YOU BEFORE YOU LEFT THIS ROOM!”

 

A piercing whistle brought the argument volleys to silence.

 

“I’ve been speaking with Lady Malfoy and we’ve decided how to proceed; so both of you please sit down and be quiet!” Hermione instructed.

 

Draco flopped back in his chair immediately, huffing in frustration.

 

I’LL NOT BE ORDERED AROUND IN MY OWN HOME BY A MU—”

 

A quiet voice joined Hermione’s glare.

 

“Sit DOWN, Lucius, and LISTEN.”

 

Surly but obedient, Lord Malfoy dropped back into his own chair, muttering inaudible complaints.

 

“Draco has eight months to meet the terms of the legacy trust. In that time he and I have to determine why he’s not producing children, find a suitable surrogate — and he may require more than one to ensure a male heir, get her or them pregnant and certify the pregnancy to the Ministry.”

“And how,” the Lord of the at-risk Manor scoffed, “do you intend to accomplish this?”

“By researching the Malfoy archives here at Malfoy Manor. I’ve seen the Black family tapestry at 12 Grimmauld Place. There were many more Blacks born 200 years ago than now. I suspect the Malfoy archives will show the same trend but I’m hoping they’ll give a clue as to why. I’m also more familiar with Muggle medicine than Draco; he’ll be trying non-magical treatments as well.”

 

Lucius and Draco stared at each other before staring at the witches calmly controlling their lives. Always one to know when to switch sides, Lucius adopted a snide smile.

 

“What’s next?”

Chapter Text

Wasting no time (because they had very little), Hermione accompanied Draco to the reproductive endocrinologist’s office two days after “the introduction” to Draco’s parents. The Muggle physician, a Dr. Saffron (who came highly recommended throughout Europe), spent four hours poking and prodding an aristocrat more used to examinations by wand.

The absolute worst humiliation came near the end when Draco received a cup, a magazine and a cheerful command (from a female Muggle nurse who bore a scary resemblance to Hagrid) to produce a sperm sample sometime in the next hour.

 

“In here, Mr. Malfee —” the Hagrid look-alike commanded loud enough to wake the dead.

Malfoy!” Draco snarled in a whisper.

“We’ll give you a few memory joggers,” she commented as she handed him Muggle sex magazines lacking any arousing movements, “I’m sure a little reminder from some pretty girls will have you ready and spouting pints. Let’s check your chart again…”

 

Draco stood in the busiest corridor of the doctor’s office (as half of London passed him whilst he stood next to the door labeled “Semen Collection Room #2”) unable to open the locked door without the nurse’s assistance and unable to Disapparate lest he have a very angry witch — now parked peacefully in the reception area — hunt him down and punish him for being an uncooperative coward.

 

“No, you’re not an erectile dysfuntion patient. These pictures should move you right along. Be sure you catch everything in the cup — don’t be afraid to scrrrr-ape yourself along the rim. Every little bit counts in this profession.”

 

Lost in mortification, Draco heard (rather than saw) the door handle turn.

 

“When you’re done, bring the cup to my station at the end of the hall.”

 

The discomfitted Slytherin’s glower followed her pointing finger down a hallway twice the length of a Quidditch pitch. The walk of shame, cup o’ sperm in hand, would complete his public humiliation.

 

“In you go and get to it!” and with a not-so-gentle push Draco found himself alone in a room that bore no resemblance to someplace he’d want to wank.

 

The first ten minutes were spent arguing with his cock — which found no reason to tolerate Draco’s hand when Hermione sat not 15 feet away. The next twenty minutes recalled painful episodes with his (hope-to-be-ex) wife, Astoria, as his cock (having lost the earlier argument) reclined in his fist like a cooked noodle. Twenty more minutes, a gander at every magazine in the room and a push of every button on the VCR (to play the Muggle porno video) had him stiff enough yet still unproductive. His sac had joined his cock’s labor union in solidarity, filling up to the aching brim but refusing to eject a single seed. With three minutes remaining (and fearful that the unnaturally cheerful — and too helpful — nurse would make an offer that would scare him limp again), Draco swished his wand and transferred what he could retrieve from its manufacturing site directly to the sterile cup. The removal hurt like hell.

 

“How’d it go?” a too-cheerful Hermione asked when he slunk into the chair beside her. It didn’t help that he was now the only male in the waiting area.

I don’t want to discuss it!” Draco snarled at Hermione’s innocent question.

“No need to get snippy. You’re not the only one getting uncomfortable examinations here.”

YOU don’t have to produce samples!”

“Actually I did. They used a syringe to retrieve my egg. Apparently I ovulated yesterday.”

 

Draco did the math in his head; they’d had sex at least eight times in the last 36 hours.

 

“Are you —”

“No, Dragon… I wish I could tell you I was.”

“But there is hope?”

“Lyra proves there’s hope,” she answered, looking down the hallway to hide her tears, “I think they’re calling us.”

 

With a quick squeeze to his hand, Hermione rose with Draco to get their results. To Draco, the doctor’s office resembled the Malfoy Library at the Manor, albeit significantly smaller and non-magical.

 

“I have your results back and they puzzle me. Please forgive the intimate nature of these questions — do you two date each other exclusively?”

 

Each gazed at the other confused.

 

“Yes,” and “I would say so,” came back.

“And how many times recently have you engaged in intimate relations leading to ejaculation?”

“What would you say, Draco — four?”

“No, it’s six. Don’t forget the bathtub and the greenhouse.”

 

Once Draco discovered Hermione’s secret Victorian deflowering fantasy, he’d maneuvered her between the rows of plants and flowers and paid conjugal attention to her personal (and his favorite) flower.

 

“Hmm… Let me capture that… Six encounters in the last week…”

“Day.”

“Could you clarify?” the doctor asked, quite confused at Draco’s information.

“Six encounters in the last day.”

“Mr. Malfoy, Ms. Granger… I have a conundrum here. Ms. Granger, forgive my directness, but you have living and motile sperm in your reproductive tract — many close to your Fallopian tubes where most conception occurs. We aspirated three viable eggs, all ovulated this cycle, and they’re about as perfect as we see in this line of medicine. 

“Mr. Malfoy — there are no living sperm in your sample.”

“We have a daughter!” Draco blared out in defense of his maligned seed. Hermione listened thoughtfully, deep in data collection mode.

“And Ms. Granger has your living sperm doing what it’s supposed to inside her body. My junior should have confirmed her ovulation status before retrieval. I’m concerned we may have interrupted a high-probability conception and for that I apologize.”

 

Hermione turned in preparation to protect the doctor after that confession. The Draco sitting next to her responded — not with anger, but with a dignified defeat that tore at her heart.

 

“I’ve only recently stopped my long-term contraceptives. I doubt we’d have conceived this time. Next cycle should be better, Dragon.”

 

Sensitive to the delicate nature of the medicine he practiced, Dr. Saffron responded to the plea for help in Hermione’s eyes. Cleared of interfering with the production of a Malfoy heir, the doctor continued.

 

“We’re used to smaller yields when semen samples are collected in the office, especially from clients your age.”

 

Both noted Draco’s low groan and his slow slouch deeper into his chair.

 

“Ms. Granger, do you experience a second surge in arousal near the start of your cycle?”

“Yes, she does,” Draco answered, and confused the doctor yet again. “I have a very acute sense of scent,” Hogwarts' sexiest Slytherin explained with pride. “I can smell when she’s aroused.”

“You never told me that,” Hermione whispered at him under her breath, pleasantly surprised and slightly turned on by his revelation.

“Part of the secret Malfoy benefits, Lioness,” Draco smirked in satisfaction. 

 

Clearing his throat to derail the intimate discussion he had no business hearing, the fertility specialist proposed a next step:

 

“I want you to collect a sample from Mr. Malfoy together right before your next cycle starts and bring it in. It needs to get here within an hour of collection; the sooner the better. The nurse will provide sterile collection cups. I’ll expect you in roughly a fortnight.”

“We’ll take care of it. Thank you, Dr. Saffron,” a grateful Hermione offered along with her hand.

 

The kindly doctor shook both their hands then ushered them to the door.

 

“Don’t worry; you two will be up nights with a colicky baby sooner than you think.”

 

Not a word came from her moody dragon as they entered the elevator just outside the doctor’s office door.

 

“That’s better news than we — DRACO!”

 

Hermione found herself in a suddenly dark, suddenly stationary elevator car with a suddenly hot hand rapidly teasing her suddenly knickerless womanly parts.

 

“Open those thighs, Lioness,” he entreated with a hinted threat of what he’d do if she didn’t comply.

“Dragon — l-l-let’s go—”

“Now, witch! Can’t wait…”

 

Any objection got lost as his fingers played “Flight of the Bumblebee” all over the swollen flesh peeking out from those curly-hair-covered flaps of skin. Her eyes rolled heavenward and her knees jellied; his body pressing hers into the elevator wall was all that kept her from collapsing to the floor.

 

“Dragon, hurry!” she breathily entreated him, “they’ll have it moving in minutes.”

“Undo me,” he muttered into her mouth through a ravenous kiss.

“Why am I the one who always ends up naked in public places!?” she whinged as she made short work of the buttons on his trousers.

 

In a pixie’s breath she had her legs around his waist and his previously shamed cock deep within her, attempting to redeem its reputation for potency and fertility. Stepping towards and away from her as she braced her back on against the elevator wall, Draco finally found the angle that tickled her fancy (inside that glove-like canal) and rode it to the finish line — after deciding hastily that he should cast a Silencing Charm to muffle Hermione’s enthusiastic response.

Athletically pumping into her, Draco held on until his witch screamed her completion. Being a gentleman, he awaited this notification before trumpeting his own and filling her in a manner he’d been unable to fill that damnable specimen cup.

 

“You” —*pant*— “Malfoys” —*wheeze*— “are insatiable!” Hermione huffed while regaining control of her breathing.

 

With his forehead tucked in the crook of her neck, the naughty Slytherin chuckled  until a noise above them sent terror galloping down his spine:

 

Mr. Malfee?” came careening in shouted echoes down the elevator shaft and into the lobby, “It’s Nurse Ditch, the one who collected your sperm sample earlier! Don’t you worry — I’m coming to rescue you!

 

When the former British Army commando reached the emergency door at the top of the elevator (having slithered down the elevator cabling as if it were a rope on a military obstacle course), Nurse Ditch found the elevator car empty but smelling strongly of pollen. 

 


 

Over the days and weeks, Hermione’s efforts to assist Draco — and to bring her daughter’s grandparents into the fold — included a series of “chats” between herself and Narcissa Malfoy (some scheduled and some impromptu). 

 

“Hermione?”

 

Lyra’s grandmother stuck her head into the Manor library hoping to catch Draco's intended between research activities.

 

“Lady Malfoy! Should I get Lyra? She can be quite a handful on a beautiful day like today.”

“Not at all. In fact, Lucius has her in the rear garden. He’s swinging with her in his lap.”

 

The protective mother sprinted to the window with the most expansive view of the Malfoy gardens, praying that Lucius hadn’t harmed her daughter physically or emotionally. Trust came slowly between the Gryffindor and that particular Slytherin.

 

“She is safe with her grand-père. He adores her. It gives him a second chance to give the affection he withheld from Draco. When you have a son, be sure to break his father out of that ridiculous 'make a man of him' behavior. Boys need their father’s affections too.”

 

Once again Hermione gave a thoughtful gaze to the pure-blood who’d sparred with Harry and seemed to hate Muggle-borns. 

 

“I find,” Narcissa continued as if reading Hermione’s mind, “that the time I spent fearing I would lose my son and my husband to the half-blood madman living in my home has tempered my beliefs. I am still a snob  — we are quite wealthy, for now, and quite accomplished — but I am no longer concerned with blood purity. Lyra is a Malfoy; she need never fear her family while Lucius or I live.”

“She’s a daddy’s girl,” Hermione smiled as she recalled daddy-daughter times together.

“If you have a moment, I thought it might be helpful to provide some history on the family. I can also provide access to the private Malfoy vault in the dungeons below the Manor; they contain the personal diaries and documents for Draco’s ancestors dating back 1000 years or more.”

 

Smiling broadly, Hermione moved to a seat on a nearby salon chaise and flourished her hand to the Lady of the Manor as an invitation to join her.

 

“I’d love to hear everything,” she acknowledged gratefully, retrieving a quill and pile of parchment to take notes — along side her personal Muggle recording device.

“Where to start?… As you probably know, Lucuis and I met at Hogwarts. He’s two years older than me. Like Draco, he attracted an absolute horde of attractive young women who followed him around the school. But I outmaneuvered the lot of them by denying him that which he most sought.”

 

Coloring as she captured the information on her parchment, Hermione considered how she’d remained intact until her wedding night but managed to commit adultery with the Malfoy heir.

 

“Don’t be embarrassed, Hermione; it was a different time and it gave me a lovely granddaughter. No matter the circumstances, she is the most precious gift I have been given since Draco.”

“If it isn’t too personal to ask… Why did you only have Draco? You and Lord Malfoy appear to be very much in love.”

“We tried…” broke softly across the space between them on near silent hitches of breath, “…six times before Draco…”

“Did you try again after Draco?”

“No… Lucius… The disappointment nearly broke him. I think the idea that he’d only have one heir pushed him to be overly hard on Draco. Tried to perfect and protect his only child…”

“Would you consider…?”

 

Hermione couldn’t complete the question. 

 

“I’ve done a bit of my own research since our first talk. I presume you are speaking of insemination by Lucius. Since you know Andromeda, you can guess where I come by Muggle information. As I understand it, it resembles breeding for racing horses.”

 

The elegant Lady of the Manor rose to join her son’s lover on the divan.

 

“If it would save my family the answer is ‘Yes’; yes, I would agree — but I have to approve of the surrogate.”

 

The message being sent at full power by Draco’s mother would require time to decipher. In the interim, Narcisaa made sure Hermione believed the truth of her commitment.

 

“Trust when I say, Hermione: I’ve done far worse to protect the House of Malfoy.”

 

Narcissa looked away for a moment, considering something privately, before deciding to take a chance.

 

“If I’m being too forward, please stop me. I… I think it unwise to use a surrogate. For the sake of your family, you must find a solution for yourself and Draco.”

“I don’t know if I can…” floated from the genius member of the “Golden Trio” in a hushed undertone of uncertainty and doubt.

“Nonsense! You’ll reason it out if you accept it as your only real option. A surrogate could choose to hold Draco’s child hostage — to a force marriage into a wealthy family. Lyra’s five years old, yet you’ve never asked for our support or assistance. I couldn’t have gotten through having Draco without Lucius.” 

“She’s an out-of-wedlock half-blood… I wouldn’t risk Draco or Lucius denying her…”

“Family is everything to us. My mate is ferocious in his love for his family, Hermione; never doubt that. Trust an older woman on this — if you want to keep your family together, you will find a way to produce the next male Malfoy with my son.”

 

Hermione sensed neither deception nor guile in the Slytherin’s logic. For this reason, she took a chance herself and revealed her own desire:

 

“I don’t want Dragon to have children with anyone else. I don’t want to think about him with another woman…”

 

The last information necessary to make a decision about the desired outcome had just been provided to the Malfoy matriarch.

 

“Good! Then l will leave you to it. You’re just the witch to solve this. That Draco never asked for a marriage contract with you proves how like his father my dull-witted son can be.”

Chapter Text

After exhausting two of the next seven months in research, the Pensieve confirmed two facts: 

  • Hermione had made zero progress on determining the root of Draco’s “little problem”, and 
  • With the time spent at the Manor, it made no sense to live at the cottage while the work continued.

 

Resigned to setting up a (temporary) bivouac at a place she never thought to see the insides of again, Hermione concentrated on creating as little disruption to Lyra’s life as possible — after releasing Draco from that vow regarding Lyra’s (occasional) habitation in her ancestral home. 

Assured he wouldn’t be neutered by that vow, Draco modified the wards at the Manor to allow Hermione, Lyra, Rachel and Richard access at any time. 

 

Narcissa graciously took over her granddaughter’s daily schedule. Lyra awoke in her own bed at the cottage each morning with Rachel and Nana Cissa preparing her for school. As the least intimidating Malfoy (at least where school was concerned), Narcissa delivered her granddaughter to her class (Lucius maintained none of the children had any “class” as he defined it) each day. Hermione met the child after school and the family (whose size changed on a daily basis) shared supper together at the cottage. Invariably, clean-up required Pa-pa and Pépé Lucius or Lyra balked at participating — withholding goodnight kisses until the kitchen was shipshape. 

At this point, Draco and Hermione would perform Lyra’s bedtime ritual while Narcissa “calmed” Lucius’ nerves in the cottage guest room (Lucius being allergic to the work entailed in washing dishes). Draco set the silencing spell in the guest room himself to ensure Lyra discovered nothing more about marital relations until her 190th birthday. 

At the end of the day one of the adults would remain overnight with the child and the routine would begin anew in the morning.

Secretly, Draco and Richard executed Draco’s own little “project” at the cottage.

 

Back at the Manor, Draco’s room became Draco and Hermione’s room and the Nursery got a full makeover with Hermione’s assistance and Lyra’s choices. Slytherin green and silver became peach and lemon (in deference to Hermione — Narcissa suggested neutral colors until Lyra was sorted at Hogwarts). 

Hermione’s days immersed her in two millennia of pure-blood shenanigans and political manipulation in wizarding Britain. The Malfoy family's private library, which ran half the length and depth of the Manor on the uppermost floor of the estate, had an unexpectedly intense effect on her. 

Draco ushered her the first time, with a dramatic turn of the ornate handle, into a place he knew she’d adore — after he’d spent considerable time removing all materials having anything to do with dark magic…

 

Four Weeks Earlier…

 

“Here it is, Lioness. Everything known and written about the Malfoys since nearly the start of the Roman Empire.”

 

A fluid wave from the estate’s only heir parted floor to ceiling curtains, allowing the late summer sunlight to radiate light and warmth into the cavernous room. The Malfoy estate libraries held five times the books in the collections at Cambridge and Oxford combined. 

Floor-to-ceiling walls 20-feet high provided shelf after shelf after shelf of space for every type of tome. In the family library, Ron’s favorite “Babbity Rabbity” sat on a shelf at child height, ready to be grasped in little hands and enjoyed on the cushy carpet. Ten first editions of “Hogwarts: A History” dampened her knickers as each dispensed magical commentary by the author. 

Between the bookcases hung small, empty portraits bearing platinum and gold plaques identifying the Malfoys who should have been depicted. A cursory glance informed her that nearly every Malfoy — dead and living — could “visit” the room from their larger, more formal paintings dispersed throughout the Manor.

Over 9000 books near the ceiling, with titles concealed by an “Over-17” age-limit charm, covered every aspect of hetero-sex, piquing Hermione’s curiosity: is this where Draco honed his knowledge and would she be able to supplement her meager understanding of how to please her man?

 

Ohhh… Draco…” Hermione moaned, dragging her hands and fingers over hand-bound animal-hide covers magically imprinted with titles and authors in what she assumed to be real gold embossing.

 

He’d heard that tone from her before, most recently about 2:00 this morning in their bedroom adjoining her research suite.

 

“Lioness? Are you well?” came hesitantly from her very confused client/lover.

How can I not be?” Hermione sent back in a whiskey-throated purr, “All this is… stimulating…” she finished, coming nearer and nearer to his location on the sofa while still trailing that finger over her “discoveries”.

 

In seven years of library time at Hogwarts, he’d never seen a place affect Hermione Granger like this. 

 

Leaning forward to study her more closely, Draco pondered whether he’d missed removing one of the texts on dark magic. Had she been spelled by one of his ancestors? He wouldn’t put it past them to hex their own books with something malicious that only affected Muggle-borns. Worried at her responses, Draco waited impatiently for her to make the circuit of the rather large room before offering any support to her unspoken needs.

 

“Is there anything I can do for you?”

“Yes, Dragon… There is,” and before he could react, Hermione pounced on him and pinned him on the sofa underneath her.

 

How she managed that rugby tackle remained a mystery to Draco but when he’d regained his place in the real world she had his trousers unbuttoned and her hand in his boxers in a manner guaranteed to make them too small in a hurry. His cock, never the most compliant of his numerous body parts, egged her on by growing, throbbing, weaving and weeping in her familiar hand. Her mouth locked not on his mouth, but on his nipple underneath his undershirt — an action his cock encouraged despite Draco’s struggle to figure out what in hell had possessed (literally) his lioness.

 

“Hermione???”

“Yes, lover?”

 

Lover??? In the LIBRARY!?!??

 

“Aren’t we here to research my… umm… problem?”

“We are researching it. We’re checking your response and delivery system. You mentioned problems with Astoria, did you not?”

 

Teeth teased the hard little pillboxes his nipples had become — making his cock very, very joyful but scrambling his ability to remember who Astoria was and why he’d be thinking about her now. 

 

“Can’t… think… right… now…”

 

He couldn’t speak for Hermione, but Draco barely tolerated his own skin as it rippled and scintillated with nerve activity from head to heel. Everywhere she touched jacked up the pressure his cock could handle. Right now it stood at 1.5 times its normal rated capacity with no top end in sight. 

 

“If you… keep this up… it’s-it’s-it’s gonna feel l-l-like you’re having a baby when I enter you, w-w-w-witch!”

“Lyra was a solid nine pounder. I can handle you. The bigger, the better — for both of us.”

 

Sometime during the nuzzling of his nipple, Hermione disappeared his clothing — leaving him flat on his back wearing nothing but her. Her mouth traveled north to his open lips, open to express his utter bewilderment at her behavior.

 

“Not that I’m uninterested —”

“— because I have proof” and she squeezed the head sprouting out of that tight foreskin, “that you are very interested —”

“— but isn’t this a bit… out of the norm for us? My parents might walk in at any time.”

“Let them. They’ll understand what we’re up to.”

 

At that, Draco sat up — Hermione held against him in his newly formed lap.

 

“Lioness, something’s wrong. You’re not yourself.”

 

Her first answer arrived near his groin where her hips rocked her knicker-clad lower lips over his cock.

 

“Too much talking. Shut up and fuck me, Dragon…”

“Something’s wrong with you, luv.”

“Ughhh! What’s wrong with me is my skin’s on fire — I’M on fire — and you want to discuss whether we should do something about it.”

 

Her undies disappeared, leaving them skin to skin. Unprepared for that assault, Draco responded the only way he knew how: he moaned and groaned like a man in desperate need of a good emptying.

 

Whatever that tingling was he felt, Hermione had clearly caught it and it drove her to take him and take him hard

Rocking her now naked and slick triangle against his very willing cock raised beads of sweat on both. 

Unable to control what was happening long enough to stop what was happening, Draco surrendered. In this position — sitting near the edge of the sofa with Hermione straddling him face-to-face — his favorite bits of her lay within easy reach of his mouth and he took full advantage (at the insistence of his willful cock). The rhythmic rubbing by her nether lips kept blood pooling in an area he thought was already full.

 

For her part, Hermione had never needed Draco as she did now. 

 

The stinging on her skin settled in her blood as she’d approached him from the stacks, demanding they join until her body — and his — returned to their normal electro-chemical readings. Only her labor with Lyra rivaled the biological imperative streaking through her to see this physical mandate through to completion. Her mind informed her that once would be enough — that the level of sensation and release would amp up so high only a single encounter would be necessary. In fact, knowledge she’d been unaware of warned her not to repeat this act too soon, lest they be hurt or killed by its intensity.

And so, fully in control of the event, Hermione raised up and captured Draco’s member in her hand. Redirecting it to a more vertical position, she lowered herself at a steady rate onto an organ that did indeed feel as big as her daughter passing through the birth canal.

She groaned in pleasure for over three minutes at his new-found girth and length.

Draco’s tongue, meanwhile, sought her breasts in hopes of distracting her rhythm and buying time between now and orgasmic lift-off. Each upward thrust into Hermione forced him to widen his legs, giving his testicles room to expand and contain the load her exertions built in his poor, overstretched sac. His mouth covered her nipples and then some, suckling as he fantasized his daughter had done as a newborn. His hands would’ve helped his mouth and tongue out but both were clamped on Hermione’s hips to prevent her from tumbling backwards or landing on him at an odd angle (and snapping a very delicate body part in half).

 

“Dragon… Don’t hold back! Need to come…”

“Slow down, Lioness! I won’t last! Fuck, woman!”

“Baby, please come! Need you to come…”

 

Pushing down on her hips, Draco shifted up a gear, to “piston” mode, and pounded into her like the rods on a well-tuned Jag. Not too many minutes later the inevitable occurred.

 

“Fuck! gonna-come, Gonna-Come, GONNA-COME!”

“Oh-Oh-Oh, DRAAAAGON!!”

 

Draco pushed hard into her cervix to deliver his seed well into the neck of her womb — and not a drop of the precious gel slithered down her contracting walls, violating physics and gravity in equal measures.

As suddenly as it began, the imperative subsided and the tingling reduced to a background static experienced by both.

 

That,” Draco panted, “defies logic —”

“— and reason…” she gasped, her breathing still accelerated.

“Do you want to explain why you very nearly raped me?”

“Do you want to explain where all that extra size came from?”

“Must be a pure-blood thing. Truthfully, Lioness, I don’t know… ”

“Ditto. I suspect something in this room triggered… this. Did this ever happen with Astoria?”

“Nothing that’s ever happened between us happened with Astoria. Astoria wasn’t known for her interest in books; I don’t think she any spent time here. Here’s a thought — let’s test it tonight after we put Lyra to bed.”

 

Leaning back into his quivering arms, Hermione gave him an affectionate look and pronounced her conclusion about the man she loved —

 

“You an arse and an incubus, Malfoy.”

 


 

Hermione’d settled into a routine at the Manor, ramping up her efforts after four fruitless months. Having ensured Lyra’s comfort and safety, Hermione’s remaining time was spent ensuring Draco’s comfort and affluence.

Initially, Draco took a leave of absence from the company to assist his lover with the research —  but his anxiety and temper kept them in bed together half of every day. Narcissa explained the male Malfoy wiring: apparently Malfoy males are born with additional “happy” receptors in their brains that only trigger during sex. Thus sex became the only serotonin uptake “medication” that worked reliably and quickly.

With less than four months to the hearing — which would occur on his birthday, thus ruining the day every year for the rest of his life — Draco kept Hermione on her back for hours every day, until she forced him back to work so she could work on his “Ass-toria” problem. By this point she’d co-opted half her small legal team to assist in researching ancient pure-blood records and spells and transcribing her notes and references.

 

Any disruption seemed to set Hermione’s nerves on edge and impede her progress towards a male heir. 

 

Most recently she’d had to supervise Lucius as he supervised Lyra. 

There’d been another bout of sickness when Lucius rewarded the child’s illegal spell casting skills with an entire tray of expensive French pastries. 

Having taught the child to make — and allowed her to imbibe — the Wit-Sharpening potion, Lyra’s indulgent wimp of a grandfather caved when she asked to make the Invisibility potion. Hermione lost half a Saturday as the panicked parents sought their daughter all over the Manor. In the end they located the talented little witch in one of the countless hidden observation sconces surrounding the rear garden — snoring loudly and passing gas from the Maximum Turbo Farts potion she and Lucius brewed to sneak into Narcissa’s pumpkin juice cooler.

 

The next disruption to their lives came when Dr. Saffron suggested they try inseminations — instead of shagging — for optimal delivery. The regimen budgeted Draco to no more than eight ejaculations per 28-day cycle (this for a man more used to eight in a day). Hermione stopped repairing the plaster he put his fists through as they waited out her optimum ovulation days every month. 

Healer Armstrong, the Malfoy family’s personal private healer, placed Draco on medical leave when uncontrolled magical bursts from his body (instead of the seed that should have been bursting into Hermione multiple times a day) blew out the windows on the 29th floor of Malfoy Limited’s Hong Kong office. 

Draco stormed home — relieved of corporate duty until he either got somebody pregnant or lost his explosive personality.

 

“Draco!” Hermione greeted him when he startled her where she stood on the ladder in the Malfoy library.

 

Narcissa had transferred the diaries and portraits of the most notorious, and most magically gifted, Malfoys to this library (from storage in the Manor’s dungeon vaults) for easier access. Hermione spent days cataloguing and placing the ancient documents on the shelves located through a doorway adjoining Draco’s suite.

 

“You’re home early — is something wrong?”

 

Absent the abject pain in his groin, Draco would have noted her reference to the place she’d been tortured as “home”. Staring straight up brought Hermione’s knickers, clearly visible under her skirt on that ladder, into focus. Solving the distance issue took the Slytherin only a moment.

 

DRACODon't! —”

 

He’d shaken the ladder until she fell, still grasping one of the Malfoy grimoires, into his arms.

With skin to skin contact, that unexplained fire bubbled in his veins like a lava flow. Hermione caught fire much faster this time. The book she held burned in her hands.

After one measly release in the last week, a determined Malfoy cock executed its own recovery plan.

 

“Draco — we’re not supposed to —”

 

He shut Hermione up with his tongue in her mouth. When she swooned in his arms from oxygen deprivation, Draco released her swollen lips. His lover tried again.

 

“You have to store up —”

“Sac’s full,” he reported.

 

Laying her none too gently on the same sofa as last time, Draco flopped on top of her and grunted her clothes away around a mouthful of her nipple. As his cock now had control of his brain (his cock’s violent protest being the ultimate source of the broken office windows), Hermione’s clothes shredded into a million confetti-like pieces instead of vanishing (not that she cared) and his melted like ice cream to puddle on the floor.

 

“I’ve already ovulated! Dragon!…”

 

Five flexing fingers tied up every nerve ending beneath those folds at the junction of her legs, causing her to grip the diary-cum-spellbook so tightly she left nail marks in the natural leather cover. Eventually, her need matched his — the tingling where they touched leaving redness like sunburn. 

 

“Taking you. NOW.” he mumbled from between her legs before rubbing his blonde stubble against her curly brunette nether hair, already dampening with their joint juices. His folded tongue powered up and down her most swollen flesh until she nearly drowned him in liquid nectar.

“ ‘m ready, Dragon…” she purred. Truthfully, she hadn’t expected him to last this long — not with a 95% reduction in his sex quota — and she hadn’t liked it either. 

 

The outcome was identical to the last time they’d experienced a library moment — and completely different.

This time Draco “took” the lead. He “took” Hermione on the sofa, the desk, on the chair next to the desk, on the chair next to the window, on the window seat, on the floor (twice — and she had the rug burns to prove it) and on the ladder (from behind, creatively exploiting their difference in height).

The next Lord Malfoy pounded his lover with workmanlike efforts, bringing them both to climax multiple times every hour. 

Dark love bruises ringed her nipples as Draco’s mouth obsessed over them. When vertical, he kneaded her bum to keep her close and himself buried so deep he swore he could feel himself jutting from her arse cheeks with each thrust. When horizontal, he used his arm to capture and lift her leg, clearing a path for him to plow into her like a subsoiler planting a field. Hermione groaned and moaned continuously as Draco’s attentions gave her no refractory period — she rode her last orgasm into her next without respite. Not to mention the last Malfoy heir dispatched pints of Malfoy seed well inside her clawing cervix (where his cock believed it should have been all along).

 

The couple missed afternoon tea, Lyra’s school dismissal (thank Merlin for Narcissa; she’d seen Draco storming his way to the library — in Malfoy-sex-god mode — and floo’d over to Hermione’s cottage), supper, evening tea and Lyra’s bedtime (handled by a smug Lucius when Narcissa, in a blush, explained the couples’ absence).

 

“That… was… incredible!”

 

The only thing holding them both up was Draco’s death grip on the ladder. His shaking legs had to support himself and the exhausted witch leaning back on him with that grimoire still clutched tightly in her hand.

 

“What is it about this library? What came over you!? You were supposed to be at work!”

“Armstrong put me out. Problem with the windows…”

 

Hermione had an idea about the windows.

 

“Similar to the plaster problem in our bedroom?” she teased.

“Same source. I will not be denied. Can’t keep my hands off my mate… Don’t want to.”

 

Gathering his strength, Draco maneuvered them back to the sofa.

 

“We’re not married— and I thought Blaise was your mate?”

“You’re the capital ‘M’. Find a surrogate. No more torture. You’re mine, witch, whenever and however I want you.”

 

Having never seen him like this, Hermione pondered whether naked in the library, with his hard-on winking at her as it waved in the slight breeze from the open windows, was the best time to address his possessiveness and insistence that they were — for all intents and purposes — married.

Instead, she postponed the lecture about relationship equality and applied her soft, slightly bruised lips to the head of him. Draco’d been in no state, when he’d stormed the library, to tolerate the slow satisfaction that came from oral sex. Mutual experimentation (oral and genital) kept them occupied to the wee hours of the morning when Draco’s cock finally relinquished control of the grey matter in his other head and let them both collapse into satisfied unconsciousness.

 

The next morning’s walk of shame to the breakfast table had Hermione the color of that rosé Lucius preferred.

 

“Narcissa, look who’s deigned to grace us with a visit.”

“Lucius, behave! Leave them alone!”

“Don’t worry, Father; we’ll be returning to our suite to finish.”

 

Hermione slugged him hard enough to evoke a wince that erased his smirk.

 

“Finish what, Pa-pa?”

“We’re expanding our… OOOOOF!”

 

Hermione punched him again to keep Lyra’s beloved pa-pa from revealing a goal that Mummy would have to provide the details for. As the Pensieve would document, in their future together Draco would never forgive Hermione for explaining the specifics (as well as the pleasure) of human procreation to his only daughter, thus ensuring his precious baby girl would not seek unending virginity.

 

“What your pa-pa means,” Hermione interrupted, “is we’re discussing getting you a pet.”

“That’s an interesting description for a sibling, but you Muggle-borns never cease to surprise me,” the Malfoy head snarked.

LUCIUS!” two irritated witches warned him.

“Lyra, please finish your meal. You will spend the day with me in the gardens. I’ve finally discovered where your Nana hid your pa-pa’s training broom.”

LUCIUS!” two frightened witches pleaded — neither Hermione nor Narcissa wanted anything to do with brooms, for themselves or Lyra.

“As I’m on medical leave, I will join you, Father. My bet’s she’s a seeker.” Lyra’s father declared.

“Or a chaser. She’s fearless on a broom with me; pushy little witch stole control of my broom last week when I flew her to Paris for some chocolates.”

You said you were going for a ride in the city!” Narcissa shrieked at her lying prat of a husband.

“Yes, but not which city,” the Malfoy head smirked.

“You LET her control that FLYING DEATH TRAP!?” Hermione shrieked.

“Only after Draco assured me that she’d mastered the basics with him,” the Malfoy head corrected, punctuating his rebuttal with a self-satisfied grin.

 

Both men fled the dining hall when the witches they loved — and feared — released their wands from wherever they kept them.

 

The Narcissa-of-memory did not fail to recognize Hermione’s stress and fatigue. When her son’s paramour neglected to serve herself breakfast, the Malfoy matron had Wocky place items on a plate and sit the expensive china in front of Hermione. Ever polite, Hermione mumbled her thanks to the worried little elf with a brief smile.

The Draco viewing this scene for the first time chuckled so hard the image before them all rippled as the water shook around his face. The “arrogant arse" (Hermione’s affectionate term for this particular behavior) savored this encounter between his two favorite ladies (Lyra still being a baby in his eyes).

 

“Lady Malfoy…” Hermione murmured in embarrassment, “I apologize for whatever you may have witnessed yesterday…”

“No need and do eat. You may already be with child and we don’t want anything to interfere with your good health.”

“I’m sure our… behaviour… in the library must have been shocking.”

“Dear girl,” Narcissa chuckled, absolutely certain now that Draco had chosen correctly this time, “I came nowhere near that library yesterday.”

“But how… how did you… know?” a shamefaced Hermione stuttered out.

 

In the present, Hermione once again blamed Draco for putting her through this. Absent his unquenchable sexual appetites, she’d never had to have this conversation with the Lady of the Manor.

 

“I passed Draco on his way to you. I’d know that effect of the Malfoy bond anywhere. When it comes upon Lucius we can be indisposed for days.”

 

Not a hint of mortification lay in the frankly sensual smile adorning the older woman’s countenance.

 

“You must know we’re not married — Draco told me that pure-blood wedding rites will prevent polygamy of any kind.”

“You are, however, bonded. We’ll see to the marriage rites once you’re — don’t dilly-dally; eat more than a few morsels — once you’re with child and that ridiculous Greengrass hussy is dispensed with.”

“I-I-I don’t understand…” Hermione stammered, suddenly gaining an appetite after 14 straight hours of “Dragon taming”.

“Despite consummating and marrying Astoria, Draco’s magic never bonded with hers. I’ve often wondered if all these problems with getting an heir stem from that.”

“What is 'bonding'?”

“When a Malfoy is truly suited to his intended, their magic joins in a way that changes them both. When it happened with Lucius and me, he couldn’t get within 20 yards of me without setting off goose bumps and a pleasing whistling sound in my hearing. The reverse was also true. Between us ladies, I can tell you I barely made it to our wedding night intact. My father had me moved to the visiting professor’s tower at Hogwarts to make sure I met all the terms of my marriage contract.”

 

Puzzling through another Malfoy “uniqueness”, Hermione forked food into her mouth like a factory worker and missed Wocky diligently refilling her plate over and over again.

 

“Does this happen to all Malfoys? And do only Malfoys or pure-bloods carry this… ‘trait’?”

“The Blacks never exhibited this behavior. As to whether this happens to all Malfoys, I’m uncertain… Abraxas and Morella — Lucius’ parents — certainly were bonded. They stationed house elves around the Manor to ensure no one walked in on them. If she’d been able to, they’d have produced as many Malfoys as we tried to.”

“What does it feel like to be bonded?”

“Obviously I can’t speak for Morella, but I know that Lucius is always in the back of my mind. Our… encounters tend to be energetic… exploratory and very satisfying. It’s like we’re coming together for the first time every time. I hope I’m not speaking too frankly,” Narcissa inquired at the coloring flooding Hermione’s neck.

“Any threat to Lucius consumes me; I am compelled to see to his well-being. I can’t tell you the machinations I went through to keep him and Draco safe with Voldemort stinking up our home and our lives.”

 

The Matron paused, affecting an apologetic expression, before regaining her hauteur and continuing her clarification.

 

“I was never a Death Eater, Hermione. I’m a pure-blood and a descendent of the noble House of Black — which makes me an elitist snob,” the cunning woman laughed easily, “but never a murderer. No real mother could desire the death of another woman’s child, which explains why my sister Bellatrix did not understand my actions. As a traditional wife, I defer to Lucius for most decisions — until he’s wrong. Then I use our bond and that Malfoy addiction to intimate exertions to set things aright.”

 

Mouth agape, all Hermione could do was stare at the power behind the Malfoy household.

 

“Do you lead Malfoy Inc.?”

“No longer. Draco really is adept at the business end of things. Lucius has a good head for making money but no skill at people management. After he’d jinxed his third vice chairman into resigning, I asked him to teach me the business.”

“Why would he do that? Lord Malfoy seems much too tied to traditional gender roles to agree.”

“After several hours of marital ‘enticements’, I merely suggested to him that it would be insurance against any harm that might befall him if the Dark Lord failed — the first time.”

 

To this day, Hermione told all who’d listen that even if she divorced Draco (after removing his ability to ever enjoy sex again), she’d never give Narcissa up as her mother-in-law.

 

“I knew Draco could never be happy with Astoria without that bond. Lucius, stubborn prat that he can be, ignored my objection and we now find ourselves up against it,” and memory-Hermione choked in a nickering fit at Narcissa’s apt description: like father, like son.

 

Draco spluttered into the Pensieve as he listened to his mother describe for his mate the kind of “management” he required.

 

“I adore Lyra. Thank you for all you went through. And I couldn’t be more pleased at Draco’s choice for a mate. You’re just the firm, thoughtful hand he requires to steer a successful course. I can see from a distance how much you love and care for my son and my granddaughter. The Malfoys will survive this and thrive in the new world order. I have no doubt of your abilities, Hermione.”

 

The last sentence reminded Hermione once more that, with three months remaining, no male heir had been conceived…

 

…Draco would be forced to use reproductive surrogates to meet the deadline.

Chapter Text

The single-day advertisement in the Daily Prophet simply read:

 

“Reproductive surrogates sought. Compensation provided. Owl Gringotts vault #4,713,912,586,902.”

 

Within days the goblins delivered over 20,000 responses.

 

Hermione worked in the main Malfoy library, amongst the overflowing shelves and semi-empty portraits, to reduce the pile of candidates down to a manageable number for interviewing. While she hadn’t asked, almost every letter included a picture of the witch who hoped to bear a child conceived with an anonymous partner. The vault had been specifically established to shield Draco’s identity lest Narcissa’s (and Hermione’s) fear — of a gold-digging self-serving tart blackmailing Draco into marriage — become reality. And so, with artificial detachment, Draco's solicitor (and sex partner) plowed through the pile with the goal of selecting twenty witches to interview and five for Draco to “inseminate” by natural or artificial means.

First she eliminated applicants whose applications weren’t in English, reasoning that the process would be difficult enough without nine or more months of translations and potential misunderstandings — not to mention the risk that, once pregnant, the surrogate might flee to force an “arrangement” with Draco. As an attorney with a growing international reputation, Hermione understood how hard retrieving the surrogate, the resulting infant — or Draco’s hefty compensation — would be.

From the now-smaller pile she eliminated pure-bloods. If her research told her nothing else, it told her that the last 300-some-odd years of Malfoys and Blacks struggled to replace themselves in the wizarding population. The two-parents-but-one-child maths had jetted them to extinction’s edge.

 

In the pensive, the look of gratitude (from Draco) and awe (from Lyra) softened the impact of a memory Hermione never meant to relive.

 

The days to come had her in the private library, in tears, for hours. Before her lay images of the most beautiful witches in Britain, some as accomplished as she (although none with Hermione’s war exploits) and all willing to lay with the Malfoy heir to beget the next Malfoy heir. Muttering to herself, Hermione almost missed the snide remark aimed at her in the otherwise empty room.

 

“Serves you right, you filthy witch, for trying to take from your betters!”

 

The unsolicited editorial comment came from the portrait of Lucius’s father, Draco’s paternal grandfather, who sneered in contempt. Heartbreakingly handsome even in portraiture, the pure-blood’s purist beliefs managed to survive the transition to 2-D [2-dimensional rendering]. Hermione made to draw her wand when Aloysius Malfoy stayed her hand.

 

“Pay no heed, young lady. My lovely wife will see to the ill-mannered cur.”

 

In memory and in reality Hermione declared the Malfoys the strangest family she’d ever come into contact with.

 

As she watched, a stunning blonde witch sent a jinx (from her place sitting in the lap of a strapping young man) through a dozen other portraits — causing cursing and havoc as dead people dove out of the way in their own portraits, and landing square in the arse of the youngest dead Malfoy, Abraxas.

 

“And you would be?” Hermione inquired politely.

“Aloysius Malfoy, at your service. This beauty in my lap would be my wife, Lilith.”

“I’m Herm—”

“No need to introduce yourself! That little one of yours has told us all about you. She’s a darling little thing, is our Lyra.”

 

The father of the Malfoy dynasty just called her half-blood bastard daughter “darling”.

 

“Quite bright, too.”

 

This second unexpected compliment floated in a gentle brogue from Lilith Malfoy, female progenitor of the Malfoy dynasty. Careful study of the moving figures explained the Malfoy hair color and grey eyes, DNA recessives that became dominant. 

 

“We won’t keep you, Hermione; we are off to visit the cottage in Crete,” Lilith explained.

“Only way to get time alone with this witch of mine. My heirs have become quite squeamish about our doings. Insist we go elsewhere, out of hearing and sight. Gone soft, if you ask me. Cannae think of a better way to spend time.”

 

Neither party in the portrait blushed at the bald admission to taking a “sex holiday”.

 

“It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for being kind to Lyra,” the Gryffindor smiled in gratitude for their kindness to her daughter.

“Nonsense! Proud to have her in the family — unlike some of the bastards my kin have sired,” and Aloysius stared at the recently abandoned portraits of Malfoys from the 1700’s through Abraxas.

 

In seconds the oldest Malfoy portrait emptied, leaving Hermione alone with the culled surrogacy applications. In the intervening time, Hermione wondered if the Eldest Malfoys had witnessed her "encounters" with Draco in this room; reddening to her forehead, she put that thought away and left to interview the women Draco would get pregnant.

 


 

NO!” Draco shouted loud enough to disturb the dead Malfoys mulling about in their portraits in the private library where Hermione kept the surrogate files.

“Draco, it’s not as if you have options…”

I WILL NOT CHEAT on you!”

“You MUST get a male heir in three months or your family will lose ALL of this. You’re not cheating. You will inseminate them, just like you do me.”

“Fucking great! So there’ll be more women who aren’t getting pregnant by my seed!”

“Dragon, I’m sorry I haven’t gotten…”

 

Tender arms enfolded her, unable to abide her tears.

 

“No, luv…" he soothed in the tone reserved only for his mate, "Lyra was a miracle. I don’t work properly. Fucking pure-blood marriages have finally produced a pure-blood mule. I’m sterile.”

“Don’t SAY THAT! We’ll figure this out.”

“What about you, Lioness?” he spoke softly, his mouth against her ear, “This won’t be easy for you. Will you… Can you love my child from another woman?”

Our child, Draco. Our daughter’s brother.  And... yes; I will love the baby as my own. All of the babies; you might conceive…" she choked up before pushing on, "with all of them. We’ll raise them all as multiples to allay any suspicions.”

“Multiples???”

“Twins. Triplets-Quads-Quints.”

“How can you be so calm about this?”

“I’ve been preparing for this possibility for months.” she lied, busying herself to avoid his truth-seeking stare.

 

Flopping on the chair next to her desk, Draco retrieved and opened the file of candidates she’d prepared.

 

“These are the best of the applicants. As you can see, all are blonde, so your son will most likely look like a Malfoy. None have grey eyes but all have blue or green which are variants in your ancestry in the portraits I’ve seen hanging around the Manor. They fall pretty evenly between my height and your mother’s so there’d be no reason to question how they w-w-were… were achieved. I’ve also taken the liberty to draw up a sample contract — magical, of course. In addition, I recommend each take a magical vow with me.”

“Why you???”

“I’m a solicitor, Draco. I’ll get the language right to protect you and your family from being ill-used by the surrogates. I need to protect you and your heirs.”

“I don’t deserve you, Lioness. I should have married you…”

“I’ll hold you to that," she grinned through her tears, "once this legacy issue is solved.”

 

That something impeded Draco’s ability to concentrate couldn’t be more obvious to Hermione. Scanning the file brought blinking and eye rubbing, followed by repeated reading of the same materials for far longer than Draco required to read anything. Handling of the moving photos attached to each sheet had him fidgeting and staring from the photos to Hermione and back.

By the fifth and final applicant, Draco had her pinned on the magically enlarged salon sofa in the library. Again.

 

“Open those legs, Lioness; let me get you ready.”

“Right now!? Please! You need to select the sur—”

“What I need to do is get myself in that tight quim of yours before my cock falls off and my sac explodes.”

 

Using more strength than he’d ever applied before, Draco near-forced Hermione’s legs apart until she submitted.

 

“Better,” he grunted out into her neck where he sucked every inch of skin he could reach.

 

Warming his hand against the inside of her thigh, her Dragon covered the distance to her most sensitive parts in zero time.

 

“You’re dry…”

“I wasn’t expecting to — ahhh! Right there, Dragon…”

 

He’d taken to playing a “trill” to speed her up, quickly but softly alternating two hot fingertips back and forth against her bud. She’d always been so aroused he’d never used this technique before (one of the books on the shelves above them covered the handling of reluctant wedding night virgins — he’d discovered the trick when researching the deflowering of Astoria).

Tingling like he’d been envenomed by a spider bite, she caught him off guard when her climax erupted through her, arcing her body off the divan and into his while she stroked him at a pace guaranteed to shorten his time inside her.

 

“Inside, please!”

 

Nearly trapping his hand between them, Draco lifted his hips and released his weight onto her, heedless of aiming. Scooching his knees forward to anchor himself, Hermione's sexually desperate partner grabbed both her legs over his arms (to tilt her pelvis upward) and slammed his hips forward accompanied by grunts, moans and Hermione’s encouragement to bring them both to the finish. 

 

“Merlin, Dragon — you're so much bigger...”

 

Of all their trysts, this was the most physical, the most carnal — and both were fully engaged in its completion.

 

He rode her to Canterbury and back — 

 

“Baby, I’m coming —”

“Nobody… Not fucking anybody but you… Gonna fuck you ’til I get you pregnant!”

 

— and he came hard before collapsing in exhaustion, once again loading her up with Malfoy cream that sparked like mint leaves inside of her cervix and womb.

 

It took a few moments before speech and thought returned to the shocked and sated Gryffindor.

 

“What HAPPENED!?” she demanded between gulps of oxygen.

 

Panting proved as exhausting as sex whilst trapped underneath Draco.

 

“Pictures… every one I touched turned into you… Merlin, my cock ached just looking at them…”

 

No response was possible; his lover wheezed with the effort to raise her chest and him at the same time. Recognizing his contribution to her respiratory distress, Draco rolled them to reverse the weight-bearing.

 

“This won’t work, Hermione… I can’t be with anyone but you…”

“We have to try, Dragon. Let’s keep a positive attitude… for Lyra’s sake.”

 

Against the wall where the hetero- sex books were shelved, dead Malfoys considered what they’d heard with grave concern.

 

Chapter Text

Time slipped by faster than Hermione could adapt. If she’d ever doubted how much of a stubborn idiot her future husband could be, the month spent trying to impregnate the surrogates proved that Malfoys would not be moved if they objected — down to the reproductive equipment level of resistance.

 

Rippling the waters with her sigh, Hermione relived their only attempt at insemination with the same level of frustration that the event caused.

In the Pensieve, the scenes at the infertility clinic — both the outcome and Draco’s contribution to them — played out with unmerciful slowness just as they had that day. After negotiating a rather unusual appointment, Hermione stood along side Draco at Dr. Saffron’s while five surrogates lay on examining tables behind the five doors along the opposite wall.

 

“This is highly unusual, Mr. Malfoy…”

 

Before Draco alienated an integral part of their “Save our Wealth and Title” team, Hermione stepped in to explain.

 

“Draco heads a very successful conglomerate. Should it be revealed that he is using a surrogate — well… five of them — and should their identities be known, his… our child’s life could be in danger as could the women themselves.”

“Ms. Granger… Mr. Malfoy. I know you haven’t achieved your desire together but I wouldn’t rush into —”

 

Softly, Draco smoothed a hot thumb over Hermione’s cheekbone to stem her tears. 

 

“I won’t disappoint Hermione again, Doctor. I need to get a male heir,” he confessed.

 

Blinking with understanding — this was Britain: Royal Inheritance Central on planet Earth — the Doctor nodded and the process began.

 

“As you’ve proven your ability to produce viable sperm multiple times per day, I’ll invite you to the collection room.”

“What about Hermione?”

“We weren’t able to synchronize her ovulation cycle with the others. She’s available to you — if that will help.”

“Lioness… I —”

“I’m fine," she lied, "Let’s get to it.”

 

Pushing past him, Hermione resigned herself to raising another woman’s son as her own.

 

“This will be easier if you’re standing. Will that be okay?”

 

Her dragon had only moved far enough into the dreaded chamber to close the door behind him.

 

“Draco? You can’t very well produce with your trousers up and sealed!”

“Hermione…”

None of that! We’re here and we’re going to do whatever it takes to get you a male heir.”

 

With her normal proficiency, Hermione prepared the five specimen cups, leaving the sixth — a spare — sitting out of harm's way. Having placed the five within easy reach, she rounded her reluctant partner to prepare him as well. Fully aware of his lack of investment in this option, Gryffindor’s princess avoided magic in preference for a more hands-on approach.

 

“This can be fun, if you let it…” she murmured into his neck, their height difference making his ear an impossible target to reach. Her warm, moist breath on his nape relaxed his shoulders. From her position at his back, Hermione ran her hands across his shirted chest, lingering over his nipples until they stood at attention.

“That’s not the part of me that needs to ‘stand up’,” he remarked dejectedly.

 

Button by button, the silk shirt he wore opened to allow skin to skin contact. The low-level tingling, that proximity to him always initiated, sent sensuous stinging between her hands and his  lightly-haired chest. 

 

“All things in time, Draco.” and with broad arm sweeps in opposite directions, Hermione pushed his shirt open and off his shoulders. Stepping backwards to create space, she let the weight of the fabric slough the shirt from his body. A quick glance at the wall clock told Hermione she had about two hours to get him emptied five times.

 

Never simple with you, Dragon, is it?…

 

Closing the distance again, the only Malfoy heir sighed as a blouse-less, skirt-less Hermione leaned her front against his back again — wearing her “Slytherin Uniform”: a green lace bra and garter-knicker combo with genuine nylon stockings.

 

“Lace…” was all Draco could manage to say. All memory of their goal left him as he sought a way to prepare her for his entrance. His paramour found it necessary to press herself more tightly against him to avoid his hand reaching backward for the quick-access slit stitched into her knickers.

“Relax, baby. Let me take care of you…” she crooned into his back.

 

Evidence that the plan was not to Draco’s liking sat in Hermione’s hand. Half a hard-on lay lazily in his trousers — making no effort on its own. Stifling a sigh within a kiss to his broad, muscled back, Draco's "mate" focused on stimulating his most sensitive sex organ: his brain.

Her hands found his trouser waistband, unfastening the buttons holding them decently closed. The idea of a man wearing trouser buttons in the 21st century tickled her as she pushed the opening wider and encouraged them to fall to the floor under their own inertia. Returning one hand to his very responsive nipples, she fished around inside his boxer for the rest of that magnificent Malfoy asset.

 

“I hope this won’t tire you out, Dragon. It’s been quite a while since you’ve been calm enough for me to give this —”

 

She gave the tip of him a gentle squeeze, running her thumb firmly up and down the seam where his foreskin met his glans, to identify what “this” meant.

 

“— a good snogging session; you’ve been in such a hurry lately. We’ll try that when we get home. And I’ll fully expect you to reciprocate, Mr. Malfoy. It’s one of your best talents, that beautiful head of yours between my legs.”

 

Ever the book hound, Hermione’d been working her way through the sex guide section of the private library with a mind to put the fun and exploration back into their baby-making efforts. The sheer number of volumes evidenced the Malfoys' commitment to “physical education”. The “dirty talk” they were having had been learned from “A Vyrgyn’s Guide To Pleasing Your New Master” and “Wedding Night Bliss for Pure-Bloods”.

 

“Maybe I’ll paint myself with a bit of warm chocolate to please that sweet tooth of yours.”

 

No longer disengaged, Draco sported a healthy erection, the first stage of producing enough healthy seed to continue the Malfoy line. 

Exploiting her success so far, Hermione increased the pressure of her hand around his member and set a rhythm that pushed him along. Her left hand abandoned his chest, sliding down the fine white hairs covering him and past his “outtie" navel, to join the other. Draco’s head rolled back as she cupped his bollocks and combed the curly mass of thick, silky thatch she found there. In her hand, mild contractions reverberated through his sac as her attentions started the engine that would soon eject his seed.

 

“Lioness… Think I’m coming…”

 

The slow wind up fooled him; a gradual climb to release hadn’t happened like this since that damnable notice from Tarrington Ambit, of the Ministry Magical Trust and Heraldry office, detonated their future months ago. Absent the frantic need to fill Hermione, Draco had forgotten what languorous, protracted stimulation could do.

 

“Not yet. Just enjoy it; take your time.”

Gods, witch… How did I let you get away from me?”

 

Each time the contractions sped up and gained strength, Hermione increased the pace and strength of her stroke. 

 

“That’s it, baby. Want you to fill that cup in one shot.”

 

Her words ramped up the tingling for them both wherever they touched. Draco lazily rocked his hips to increase the stimulation.

Her hand sped up again on his shaft while she firmly compressed his sac in rhythm with the contractions. Deep, low-pitched grunts and more energetic hip movements accompanied the stroking. In time, Hermione released his sac to grab the cup.

 

“Come for me, Dragon…”

 

An hour of her tender affections culminated in an unintelligible bellow as ounce after ounce of seed powered its way into the cup. The initial shot settled at the “satisfactory quantity” line followed by shot after shot of the pollen-scented cream. His lioness milked him of it all, the hand on his sac having joined the hand that pumped him, charming the cup to catch every drop. Ringing his base with her thumb and middle finger kept him stiff and extended his release. No further specimen collection would be required for today’s insemination of the surrogates.

 

“All finished,” Hermione declared. She quickly capped the precious fluid to reduce any chance of contamination and carefully placed the container in her bra between her breasts; the content would deteriorate at less than body temperature. Flicking her hand restored her clothing and she was out the door (to deliver the next generation of Malfoys to the doctor) before Draco could react or speak.

 

Her disappearance reminded Draco who would — and who would not — receive that sperm.

 

“Draco?” she called, moments later, as she knocked on the collection room door.

“I’m dressed.”

“I’ll be waiting in the reception area.”

 

The closing door caused her to glance up from her seat in the empty waiting area. A very unhappy Draco Malfoy took the chair next to her.

What seemed like forever later, the doctor called them back into his office. After weeks and months of treatment, Hermione read the healer’s expression with little effort. Dr. Saffron’s unmistakable disappointment raised Hermione’s anxiety another notch; getting through this least desirable option and hiding her own emotions from Draco drained her energies every single day. She’d hoped to gift him an heir from her own body.

 

“Have a seat. I’ve dismissed the surrogates and they’ve left the floor.”

“How long before we know?” Hermione asked.

“Once again there were no living sperm in Mr. Malfoy’s semen. I can’t begin to give you an explanation. In the past, Ms. Granger’s presence has always ensured —”

 

For seconds Hermione’s heart pumped adrenaline through her petite body at the doctor’s pronouncement, unable to slow due to the feeling of plummeting headlong from a great height. Every memory of every broom ride she’d ever screamed through flooded in to sustain the sensation.

 

“No need to explain further. I’ve been uncomfortable with the idea of using surrogates from the beginning and we’ve just confirmed I can’t assist in this process.”

 

Shocked at the revelation, Hermione initially missed Draco’s move to leave until his hand extended towards her.

 

“Come, Lioness. It’s almost Lyra’s bedtime. Thank you, Dr. Saffron.”

“I’ll see you both in three weeks. I’m sorry; this is proving to be more challenging for you than I expected.”

 

Unwilling to give up, Hermione made the mistake, in the elevator, of broaching the alternative Draco wanted to avoid.

 

“We knew this was a possibility…”

 

Draco stared at the shiny, metallic elevator doors as if they displayed the latest Quidditch tournament scores.

 

“This might work if you have… sex… with the surrogates. We can use a disillusion charm to hide your —”

“No…”

 

The breathy denial echoed off of the metallic walls of the traveling box.

 

“Draco, you have to get —”

“I said ‘No’.”

“If you’re not producing sperm with my help then —”

“Are you hard of hearing, witch? I said ‘No’! No more! If you and I can’t figure this out, then so be it. My parents will just have to adjust to poverty and homelessness.”

 

He’d never been so serious.

 

“Don’t you understand!? Whatever portion of a man I am only works with you! I will not fuck another woman to stay rich and live comfortably. We have a daughter, Hermione. How can I look my daughter in the eyes if I do what you’re asking?”

 

Silently she Apparated them both to their suite in the Manor and made love to him, for the first time in a long time, with no concern for producing an heir.

 


 

The last thing Hermione needed, with eight weeks until poverty and commoner status for her lover and future in-laws, was a lecture from their fertility doctor — but that’s what she got at her next appointment.

 

“I understand how difficult infertility treatment can be. It puts strangers in charge of your bedroom behaviors. It inserts ‘handlers’ who poke, prod and collect samples in sometimes uncomfortable ways. Surrogates aren’t an option. Every month so far you haven’t gotten the news you’re hoping for. It’s stressful.”

 

Gulping his coffee, the good doctor straightened himself for the tough love he was about to deliver.

 

“But I can’t overlook what’s happened to you over these last weeks. You’ve lost weight and because of that your hormone profile has changed. You’ve routinely ovulated healthy, viable eggs; today you had zero mature follicles. Cortisol is a stress hormone — it controls our ‘fight or flight’ reaction — and your cortisol levels are through the roof, Ms. Granger. It’s suppressing your ovulation… you’re not even producing fertile mucus anymore. Any sperm your partner is delivering isn’t getting any help from your body.

“Hermione, I know how serious you two are about this; maybe it’s time to take a break and lower the pressure and the expectations. We know you’re fertile and can carry a baby to term. You’re only 26 so you have time. We also know that, for some unknown reason, Mr. Malfoy seems to be fertile as long as he’s with you. His counts when you’re engaged together are the envy of every lab tech here: the girls want a beautiful baby by him and the gents want sperm counts like his.”

 

The quip got a laugh out of his hyper-stressed patient.

 

“My medical recommendation is to take the next two months off —”

“We don’t have two —”

 

As this was a conversation (albeit an uncomfortable one) rather than a written medical transcript, the doctor mistook “two” for “to”.

 

“I didn’t say don’t try; try without coming here. Get back to a normal sex life. Spend time together without the pressure of producing a child. When your blood pressure’s normal again and you gain that weight back, come see us; we’ll be here.”

 

The Hermione viewing the memory cried along side the Hermione in the memory as she watched herself hug the doctor and leave the office. A single option remained and it hadn’t worked since Crete.

 

She would see Dr. Saffron once more before the hearing.

 


 

Ginny! Could use some help, luv!”

 

After a year spent ducking Death Eaters during the war, Hermione recognized Harry’s tone immediately. Something had gone desperately wrong. Tumbling down the steps at 12 Grimmauld Place two at a time, she nearly toppled Ginny as both mothers sprinted into the parlor.

 

What happened!?”

 

Harry held James. James held Harry’s shirt against his non-stop nosebleed. Draco stepped out of the floo carrying a distraught Lyra whose howling cries had every portrait in the house shouting for quiet. The front of Lyra dress bore blood stains.

 

“Apparently, Audrey has some strong opinions about our family,” Draco started.

 

Audrey was Audrey Weasley, Percy’s wife and the mother of Molly and Lucy Weasley. 

 

“Elle a dit mon blood était sale à cause de the ‘m’ word! [She said my blood was dirty because of the "m" word]!”

“I told Lucy to take it back!” came with a stuffed nose from James.

“‘M’ word?” Ginny asked as she lifted a still combative James from Harry’s arms.

“Elle m'a appelé the word ‘b’ que James dit ne est pas nice to say [She called me the 'b' word that James said is not nice to say].”

“I told Lucy to take it back!” came with a nasal twang from James.

“Sweetheart, what ‘M’ word did she say?” Hermione coaxed softly, anxious about the answer. Lyra tightened her death grip on Draco’s neck.

“M-M-Married!”

“I told Lucy to take it back!” came with a deep shout from James.

“Chou, marié n’est pas un mauvais mot [Luv, married is not a bad word],” Hermione whispered.

Bloody Lucy called her a bastard because Aunt Hermione isn’t married to Lyra’s dad!” James answered to spare his best friend further upset.

Apparently,” Draco added, “Lucy ended up on the ground in a heap with a swollen lip.”

“James! What have I told you about hitting —”

“Je l'ai frappée, Mummy! Lucy était mean! Elle a appelé tu Pa-pa's whore! [I hit her, mummy! Lucy was being mean! She called you Pa-pa’s whore!]”

“Bowled her over with a single punch, our Lyra did,” Harry chuckled. Ginny scowled at him to provide a better example for the children.

“Like mother, like daughter,” Draco grinned, reminding the adults of Hermione’s ability to break a face. On that day during their third year, Hermione punished Draco’s face in retaliation for his false testimony about Buckbeak the hippogriff. She learned from Draco’s memory that he’d begun to fall in love with her as Poppy Pomfrey doctored his broken nose.

“Then why is James bleeding from the nose?”

 

Draco took over the recap while Ginny worked to staunch James’ still bleeding nose. 

 

“Molly came to her sister’s defense and took a swing at my darling daughter,”

 

Lyra sobbed louder as her contribution to James’ injury became clearer.

 

“James m'a poussé hors de la voie et Molly punched him! [James pushed me out of the way and Molly punched him!]”

“’s okay, Lyra. It doesn’t hurt anymore.” James offered up — anything to stop her tears.

Where was Percy while my daughter was being attacked by two OLDER children!?” Hermione screamed at Harry and Draco equally, “and where were YOU TWO!?”

“Perce had his hands full trying to keep his wife from hexing Draco and me. Percy can be a prat, but the girls’ behavior really upset him. He restrained Audrey and helped us get the kids separated.”

 

Hermione sighed. Not ten years post-war and her daughter had to deal with closed-minded bigots who couldn’t avoid bequeathing their ignorance to the next generation.

 

Fucking Audrey Weasel

 

“Lyra, did you hit Molly too, baby?”

“Nope, Aunt Hermione — I did! Got’er good too!”

“James!” Ginny chastised her eldest.

“What!? She hurt Lyra’s feelings, Mummy. And what’s a ‘whore’ anyway?”

“We’ll save that discussion for another day. Merlin! I could strangle that pure-blood twit my brother married!”

“Careful, luv; need to set a proper example for the children,” Harry teased his wife, whose temper rivaled Hermione’s.

“I’m flooing Mum. She’ll straighten Audrey out.”

“Let’s get Lyra home. Gin, we’ll discuss this tomorrow. James? Thank you for defending Lyra. That was very brave of you.”

 

Hermione ruffled her godson’s hair in gratitude.

 

“That’s what Griffindors are good at — being brave,” the boy replied with his chest stuck out to back up his claim.

 

At Draco’s scoffing laugh, Lyra scowled at her pa-pa and squirmed to be put down. She promptly marched over to James Potter where he sat in his own mother’s lap and kissed his cheek.

 

“Thank you for being my friend, James.”

 

The magic of that first kiss cured what was still ailing James Potter in a hurry. The “kissing spell” staunched his bleeding nose, leaving only his blushing cheeks the color red. Tingling radiated outward from the spot her lips had touched him. A sappy grin covered his face as he rubbed his fingertips over the place where Lyra’s lips made contact.

 

“It still tickles! Bloody brilliant!” was all James managed as he stared in wonder at the pretty little girl. The subject of his attention blushed almost crimson.

 

For the third time today, Draco wanted to hurt someone else’s offspring. The rule was simple enough: no male received his daughter’s kisses but him and his father. And Harry. And George. And Blaise. And maybe Neville.

 

“Time to go, Princess, before Pa-pa has to have the ‘talk’ with your best friend.”

“Hey! Your daughter just made a move on my son!” Harry goaded the protective Slytherin in their midst. Draco had no sense of humor where his baby girl was concerned, snatching Lyra up in a tight hug before steering Hermione towards the fireplace with an arm around her waist.

“Thanks for a lovely day, Potter. Next time I’ll purchase tickets to the fight.”

 

Only one of the four parents attending to the children in Harry’s parlor recognized what had just happened between Lyra and James; that discovery would prove useful in the coming weeks.

 

Could it really be that??? Hermione wondered, lost in thought.

 


 

Narcissa and Lucius threw aristocratic tizzies at the blood on their granddaughter and the reasons for it — especially when they heard the story behind it.

 

“How DARE that pompous little twit use that name with Lyra! I have a good mind to drag Arthur Weasley through that floo and thrash him until he thrashes that insolent granddaughter and daughter-in-law of his!”

 

Coming from Lucius, this reaction stopped Hermione in her tracks.

 

“We aren’t married, Lucius.”

“Only because that wealth-stealing gorgon I saddled Draco with won’t divorce my money and you haven’t fixed Draco! And why aren’t you two upstairs now addressing the problem?”

 

The aggrieved family head moved to take Lyra from her father but met resistance from her mother. Sniffles and hitches marked the little girl’s rest as she lay with her head nestled on her father’s broad shoulders.

 

“She’s had a horrid day. We’re keeping her in the suite with us tonight.”

“Wouldn’t that impede progress towards solving Draco’s… issue… problem?”

 

Lost in thought, Hermione ignored Lucius’ wordplay. Instead, she followed her family to the stairs leading to their suite.

The first signs of worry lay upon Lady Malfoy’s face after the Weasley incident. With not much more than two months left and Draco’s inability to inseminate a surrogate — by natural or artificial means — clearly established, Narcissa found it difficult to believe a solution to poverty existed. Denying pessimism any purchase with a subtle head shake, she followed the young family to the staircase and extended her hand out to stay Hermione.

Reaching into her skirt ruffle, Narcissa removed a hide-covered book and handed it over to her.

 

“This is a copy of the Malfoy head’s diary. Each Lord of the Manor is magically bound to add entries and pass the book down when the title transfers to the heir. It dates back to Aloysius Malfoy in an unbroken line. Only a blood Malfoy can reveal the text, even in this copy. Have Draco speak the Revelio Epistula charm to expose the writing.

“Let’s hope the final pieces to this awful puzzle can be found here…”

 


 

“Sweetheart, I’m sorry you had to go through that with Molly and Lucy.”

 

The elfin child made no effort to hide the hurt behind the encounter, letting her tears gather and fall as she lay against her mother. Snugging the child closer, Hermione teared up when the question she’d been avoiding, since Draco’s appearance at her cottage, came from their daughter.

Draco’s ablutions in the bath wafted over, subdued by the size and fabric of their suite.

 

“Mummy, am I really a bast—”

“No you are not! Pa-pa and I are not free to marry. I’ve been trying to break the charm — curse, if I call it honestly — that prevents our marriage but I need your help. I know your grandfather has been teaching you charms.”

 

Lyra’s tears dried almost instantly as color suffused her face. Her magic lessons were supposed to be a secret from her rule-loving mother.

 

“You’re not in trouble, Lyra — though your grandfather might be. Can you help me? Your nana gave me a book I must read — it should tell me how to remove the curse so Pa-pa and I can marry. But the charm to reveal the writing must be spoken by a blood Malfoy.”

“Can Pa-pa cast the magic? He’s allowed to do magic. He told me I have to wait until I am 11 years old.”

 

From Lyra’s lips, the six years between 5 and 11 sounded more like 500 years.

 

“I… This means a great deal to your father — and to me. I don’t want to get his hopes up if the information isn’t there. He’s worried enough… Do you understand?”

 

The pretty little Malfoy non-heir nodded and gave her mother a tender hug; the wear and tear on Hermione shrouded the young mother in an urgent despair the little one didn’t understand.

 

“If I do magic will you and Pa-pa be happy again?”

 

Gathering the perceptive child in her arms, Hermione recognized the impact of their desperate race for a solution on their little girl. With all the research and debating and doctors, the quest for a male Malfoy distracted them from the gem in their midst. No fortune was worth losing their daughter.

 

“You know your father and I love you very much and that everything will be fine.”

“If the curse is gone, will you love Pa-pa?”  

“Sweetheart, I loved your pa-pa before you were born; that’s why we have you. You and Pa-pa have my heart. No matter what, we’ll be a family; your father and I will make sure of that.”

“D’accord,” Lyra agreed.

 

Waving her empty hand just like her grandfather, Lyra stared at the book her mother had retrieved from the bed stand and spoke the new charm — Revelio Epistula — she’d just learned. Seconds later a drawing on the first page was revealed — with annotations crammed into the margin in neat, flowery writing — and then another and another.

The grateful mother kissed her daughter’s forehead, proud of the little one’s magical gifts. Lyra Malfoy might be the most powerful witch of the post-war generation, as Lucius predicted.

 

“Thank you — off to bed with you. You’re staying in here with Pa-pa and me tonight.”

 

The child’s first smile since returning from the “fight” broke across her face. Her father’s smile…

 

“Alright, young lady!  Let’s get you changed.”

 


 

The Pensieve proved Hermione’s complaints concerning bed noises were valid — Draco and his daughter snored like kappas. 

Propped against the headboard in bed with her family, Hermione read the material on the Malfoys (and the trust) from the diary and confirmed the heirs’ obligations to the sophisticated magic. Page after page of diary entries on Malfoy family misdeeds and magical mischief — accompanied by diagrams, illustrations, names and outcomes — planted the seeds of a solution in the stressed Gryffindor’s fertile mind. Most of the missing information sat before her. Plugging in the remaining pieces required expert knowledge of Malfoys and non-Malfoys.

 

A surrogate could never have worked, Hermione realized; she and Draco were meant to solve his “problem” together.

 

The time to test her hypothesis would arrive in three weeks; she had much to prepare and a few portraits to interrogate.

 

“Thank you, Ly,” she spoke ever so quietly as she kissed the sleeping child and climbed out of bed, “you may have saved us all.”

 


 

“Aloysius! Aloysius — it’s Hermione! I need your help!” echoed in the library in a shouted whisper.

 

Padding barefoot over the deep pile of the library carpet, Hermione did her best not to disturb the other portraits — particularly the pure-blood idiots.

 

“Aye, lass. We’re here.”

 

The light from the Lumos spell revealed the couple fastening and buttoning as Hermione came closer. Aloysius and Lilith had been “busy” yet again.

 

“Your legacy charm will mean the end of the Malfoys if Draco can’t get a male heir in the next three weeks.”

“So we figured, lass. Speak your mind; we’ll help you if we can…”

 


 

The Pensieve blocked all replays of these memories from Lyra, once more proving Dumbledore's assertion that love was the first and most powerful magic of all.

 

Chapter Text

At the six week point, Lucius morphed into Head Case #1. 

 

Days, evenings and nights the hysterical (and overly-dramatic) Malfoy head wandered the Manor expressing his love to the vases, tapestries, textured wallpaper, candle nooks and other inanimate objects he would have to abandon when they lost the estate. Narcissa spent major portions of every day bent over Lucius’ desk as he worked out his fear of being homeless and destitute while embedded deep inside her. 

Lyra, observant child that she was, asked Rachel why her Pépé Luc didn’t come to play with her at the cottage anymore. 

In between sexual marathons with her mentally deranged husband, Narcissa made carefully timed — and Slytherin subtle — inquiries about Hermione’s progress, never failing to add healthy doses of confidence that all would resolve itself to the Malfoys' benefit. This unrealistic optimism did not stop the Malfoy matriarch from placing key assets from the Manor in her Black family vault at Gringott’s in the hope that the protections placed on the vault by her seriously psychotic and murdering sister, Bellatrix, would shield the assets from collection by Astoria and the Greengrass family.

 

Observing Narcissa in the dining room packing the china set they’d eaten from not ten minutes earlier, Hermione couldn’t fault the woman for having a backup plan.

 

Shortly thereafter Hermione’s lover assumed the role of Head Case #2. 

 

Draco vacillated between helpfulness and helplessness, interspersed with a lot of sexual healing. Hermione allowed him full access to her, stopping whatever she was doing to soothe him in the only manner that worked. For a full week, Draco Malfoy functioned as normally as one could when they expected to be a penniless vagrant very shortly.

Hell’s fury didn’t break loose until Hermione banished Draco from their suite and from the library for two whole weeks.

 


With nothing but preparation to be managed, Hermione set her course.

 

Unwilling to place all her eggs (literally) in one basket, Hermione tapped George Weasley for potions assistance. After explaining her predicament, George agreed to do anything to help Lyra become a big sister. Hermione’d come away from Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes with a box loaded with helpful liquids and magical instructions to ensure she didn’t make an error.

She visited Dr. Saffron’s office, pleading with the physician for the next level of intervention. Despite his misgivings, the compassionate doctor prescribed 13 hypodermics of one medication, 13 hypodermics of a different medication and two hypodermics to take between the series.

 

While Hermione managed the impending crisis, Narcissa managed Hermione. 

Nutritious meals and snacks arrived, charmed to ensure Hermione actually ate them. No slouch in the spell department herself and far more skilled in the use of house elves, Narcissa kept close tabs on her daughter-in-law (in all but name), adjusting the young witch’s choices and instructions to keep her on her feet but ready to conceive.

When Hermione requested Narcissa and Lucius take Lyra away for a four-day holiday, Narcissa understood enough of Hermione’s plan to agree unreservedly and to promise Lucius time with the bondage equipment in the dungeons of their home in the Loire valley if he left her alone long enough to pack and retrieve their granddaughter for the trip.

 


 

During these last weeks before the hearing, Hermione prepared the venue where the fight for the Malfoy legacy would be staged. 

 

She set wards, with Narcissa’s assistance, to prevent any male from entering her suite or the private library without her express permission. When they were done, Hermione, Narcissa, Lyra, Rachel and the house elves could enter; Draco and Lucius could not. Anticipating a tantrum when her wizard realized he’d be celibate, mother and mate padded the access points and attached soft fabric to the walls to keep Draco from hurting himself.

Their precautions were justified: the young heir destroyed everything in his path when he discovered he’d been placed back on a “sex diet”. Worse — no amount of stimulation (self-initiated) brought arousal or release. His cock mourned the loss of Hermione by playing dead; his balls loaded up in sympathy. Overnight Draco found himself trapped in a world of déjà vu where every day relived his sex non-life with Astoria.

 

Inside her fortress, Hermione refined her hypothesis with the benefit of 90 generations of Malfoys — not that some ground rules weren’t required. The necessary portraits dating from the 1700’s onward required convincing to cooperate: Hermione approached the reluctant canvases in a friendly manner with a welder’s torch and threatened to send them to the Veil in a ring of flames. In a day or two she had almost everyone’s cooperation.

The difference in responses from the older portraits, compared to the more recent, supported a hunch she’d formed since reading the Malfoy history Lyra’d helped her with. The eldest of the Malfoy ancestors worked tirelessly (given they were dead and in portraits) to assist her while the others were pure Malfoy…

 

“Abomination! Revealing the family secrets to this unnatural creature, this… MUDBLOOD!”

 

The shrieking shrew was none other than Morella Malfoy, Draco’s paternal grandmother and Abraxas the Purist Jackass’ wife. Nearly every portrait painted in the last 200+ years muttered in agreement with Morella’s castigation.

 

“Abraxas! Deal with that mouthy harlot of yours! ’Tis no time for your shite — the lass will save our line and keep us from the fires!”

 

If the Ministry emptied the Manor for Astoria, the battle waged by the Malfoy portraits in their ancestral home would rival the war against Voldemort. Unlike most death portraits, Malfoy portraits retained the ability to cast some vicious spells into the living world. Two millennia of wild, raw or dark magic would assault the Aurors — including Hermione’s best friend Harry Potter and her ex-husband Ronald Weasley. To gain the upper hand, the Ministry would burn the library, consuming dead Malfoys and a priceless treasury of rare books in the magical flames.

 

“I would burn before seeing her vomit more filth from her accursed and polluted womb. You would have served the family better to consider your own choice, Aloysius. My wife speaks truth.” 

 

Hermione felt sympathy for Lucius; with parents like these two he hadn’t a choice of turning into a blinkered bastard. But for the fact that the bonding ritual required their “presence” (if not their cooperation) she’d have torched all but one of Abraxas and Morella’s paintings and placed the last in the attic in perpetuity.

 

“So ye defend that magpie ye bedded against blood, do ye?” Aloysius growled in low country dialect, “Then prepare for a lesson, ye ignorant whelp — I’ll teach ye to respect your elders.”

 

In a scene reminiscent of the Weasleys at holidays, a virile and enraged Aloysius Malfoy barreled through the portraits on a direct path to his descendant’s hanging place, murder flaming in his slate grey eyes.

 

“That ‘lady’ of Abraxas' could use another ‘conversation’ on speaking ill of my kin,” Lilith informed Hermione before lifting her skirts to assist Aloysius.

 

What followed had Hermione shaking with laughter on the divan.

Abraxas’ confidence lasted until he realized his sympathetic (and bigoted) ancestors had abandoned their own painted homes lest Aloysius stop off to “educate” and “discipline” them as well. Unlike the more recent dead, the eldest Malfoy portraits were painted in their robust youth and not their elder statesman periods: Aloysius had 30+ years of youth and strength on his side.

For ten full minutes furniture crashed and Malfoy ancestors either laughed (those dead over 300 years), yelled, screamed or begged to be spared as Aloysius made his way through their portraits towards his unrepentant great-whatever grandson.

In the opposite direction came Lilith, her country-born determination evident as she stared down generations of her children to force their capitulation while she made her way to Morella. Ignorant of the violence headed her way, Morella continued to spew venom at Hermione and Lyra.

 

“I have seen her in the Manor, that Malfoy bastard with her dirty blood. How in Merlin’s name she came to look so much — LILITH!! By Merlin’s beard STOP!! I only speak —”

 

The seventh child — and only daughter — of a seventh son, Lilith knew a fair bit about fisticuffs. The traditional open-handed slap of pure-blood “ladies” was not in evidence; Lilith hauled back her fists and let loose a left-right combination that sent Morella backwards out of her own portrait and into the back of Abraxas. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Abraxas.

Disbelieving that any Malfoy would side with a blood interloper over family, Abraxas stood his ground whilst explaining again why Malfoy blood must be saved from contamination. Thus he paid no heed to the well-timed assault by Lilith or its outcome — Morella spinning and stumbling out of control behind him. When she landed against Abraxas in his portrait, he’d not prepared himself and fell forward into the meaty fist of a Malfoy who’d worked with his hands and his head to build an empire. Aloysius’ punch rocked the younger-but-older dead Malfoy’s head back and laid Abraxas out, like the corpse he was, at the bottom of his framed enclosure.

 

Any others to speak against your elders and betters!?” the Malfoy progenitor roared as his own wife made her way to him, stepping none to carefully over a dazed Morella and an unconscious Abraxas.

 

About 20% of the portraits emptied in seconds for safer locations in the Manor…

 


 

In the weeks between the plan and its execution, no one in the Malfoy household escaped the stress —

 

Each day of the two-week sexual hiatus, Hermione swallowed the correct potion, injected herself with the right syringe and refined her plan for the day when her dragon would be admitted to the lair she’d prepared for them both.

Each day Lucius Malfoy shed tears of frustration for the suffering of his most precious child. When his son could no longer do so, Lucius patiently tended a distraught Draco, unwashed and uncaring so long as Hermione shut him out — feeding the man-child as he’d done forever ago when Draco worshiped his father unconditionally.

Each day Draco howled and brayed at the walls outside their suite — breaking nails as he clawed at the shields, scraping knuckles when he punched the unyielding plaster, bruising his forehead as he beat it against the door while sobbing lamentations and apologies for whatever he’d done to cause Hermione to abandon him.

Each day Narcissa Malfoy secreted her own emotions and cared for her family — soothing her perceptive grand-daughter who missed her mother and feared for her father, comforting Lucius who blamed himself for not dealing with the inheritance issue after the heartrending loss of each unborn child and supporting Draco who drowned in loneliness and longing for his mate. 

Each day Hermione cried, missing her Dragon with a pain that nearly incapacitated her —

 

— and each day the unrelenting ache confirmed to her that her choices for them both were correct.

 


 

Two nights before Hermione’s only option, considerable argument still remained about the best choices…

 

“Do you agree, Aloysius?”

“Aye, Hermione… Lilith’s put a finger to it. Hadn’t considered that one of my heirs would bond with someone they couldn’a marry.”

“Forgive my Aly, daughter; I’d been at the stubborn goat on my deathbed to modify that charm. No man can tell what fools his kin and kith may be come the future.”

“Will you accept my apology, lass? I ne’er meant to lay this strife on you.”

 

Tears welled in the eyes of the Malfoy responsible for their present predicament.

 

“Ancient father,” Humfray Malfoy, a more recent heir, addressed to Aloysius, “’tis my fault as well. When my son, young Cuthbert, advised that our blood should be protected from those who were unacceptable, I let myself be swayed.” 

 

With that admission Hermione now had a name to give to the git who turned the Malfoys into blood purists. Fortunately for Cuthbert, he’d called Hermione “impure and ignorant” one time too many and she’d banished him to the attic days ago (and thus he avoided being burned to a dead crisp). As Abraxas and Morella would witness the event, they sat — bound and gagged — in their portraits until needed.

 

“Not a brain in that blonde head of yours, as I oft warned your father! I birthed you but I’ll never understand Xandrius’ reasoning for placing the burden of the legacy on you when any of your brothers would better serve. Did you not read that diary you wrote in every day?” his mother, Druscilla Malfoy, asked in weary frustration from her painted throne.

 

Xandrius Malfoy, Humfray’s missing father, had been permanently “deceased” by Astoria. Objecting to his comments concerning her lack of an heir — Druscilla having had five tow-head sons by her 21st birthday, Astoria lit a bonfire of the vanities using Xandrius’ portraits for fuel (and turning Druscilla into one of the few true Malfoy widows).

Had Hermione had more time, she’d have researched Xandrius’ low intelligence.

 

“Mother,” Humfray answered, “my role in this miscarriage of intent is clear and I would relive my own death if it would put all to rights; but I cannot and it will not.”

 

Nothing would be gained by flogging the dead Malfoy idiot so the kindly Gryffidor sought to soothe his genuine guilt for his part in her disaster.

 

“I appreciate your offer, Humfray. Getting back to the problem — we have two issues here: Draco and I are bonded by the Malfoy magic but we’re not married. Because of that, Draco’s having trouble producing a child of either sex.”

“That sums it quite well,” Mariell Malfoy, a petite auburn-haired beauty, a few generations older than Humfray, confirmed.

“You’ll have to overcome that to get a babe. Draco cannae produce a male heir until his magic can claim you outright and you him.”

“Based on what you’ve told me and what I’ve read, I’m planning for Beltaine.”

“Would be a right fine day, it would,” Gwynddh Malfoy agreed. The resident expert in producing Malfoy heirs, she currently held the record for the most Malfoy progeny at 22 live births.

“Not day, lass; night. Beltaine night. At midnight, the start of the magical day,” Aloysius corrected.

 

Hermione’s brow furrowed at Aloysius Malfoy’s quizzical correction. 

 

“Ye cannot marry yet, child; his marriage vows will prevent it. But ye must bond and you’ll need powerful help to do so. Not for the legacy, but for love of your man; half a bond — a bond of obligation or pity — will weaken him with time.” 

 

Great. Now Draco’s well-being depended on her cracking the last of this pure-blood puzzle. If they survived this mess, the Hermione in the memory vowed, Draco would become her personal house elf for three lifetimes.

 

“Do you love him, daughter?” Lilith asked quietly.

 

What a question… 

 

Did she love him?…

She’d co-opted her business for him; let him barge his way to head of her household; broken her pledges to never return to Malfoy Manor, never let Lyra near her Death Eater grandparents and never live in anyplace where she’d been tortured.

Did she love him?…

She’d given him a daughter. She’d fought (like a spouse) to save his birthright and his fertility. She’d moved beyond most of her own prejudices about pure-bloods and their families thanks to the dead people in this room. She’d sacrificed her own desires to serve his future, compelled to protect him by something more than her abhorrence of injustice or her Gryffindor propensity to run towards danger.

 

“Yes… I love him…”

“Never doubted, daughter, but it’s important to tell him.”

 

A true Malfoy, Aloysius interrupted the moment of sentimentality between his wife and their newest family member-to-be.

 

“The bond magic will strengthen for three nights, starting at the stroke of Beltaine. Your blood will summon the help you’ll need. ’Tis the season of renewal,” Aloysius explained.

“And now we have it — my eldest sire has just handed the kingdom to a Mudblood!”

 

Johannus Malfoy (necessary to the plan as ten generations must witness the ceremony and he represented the most “tolerable" of his generation) managed to incite that hair-trigger temper Hermione’d witnessed in Draco and Lucius.

 

“Daughter,” Aloysius inquired of the Gryffindor, “might I borrow that joining torch? I’m sure one of my kin in the attic will gladly replace this cur.”

 

The cowardly Johannus — who shook in terror at Aloysius’ threat — reminded Hermione of no one so much as Lucius.

 

“Calm yourself, husband, or we’ll be too busy soothing your temper together to help our Hermione,” the mother of all Malfoys smirked at her still livid husband.

“I will follow your counsel, witch, if you promise to care for me when we’re done. Skin’s afire in all these clothes.”

“Have I not always cared for you — even with a belly ripe to popping?”

 

So that’s the source of the smirk and that Malfoy sex drive…

 

“Don’t tease, wench, or my desire will overcome my sense. ’Tis what I rerget most about dyin’, your belly full to bursting at my doin’,” the old young man chuckled.

 

Hermione's humor vanished as her subconscious worked through a last important discovery.

Abraxas’ scathing words — “You would have served the family better to consider your own choice, Aloysius.”…

 

“Lilith — you’re Muggle-born!?”

 

Confusion replaced the sensual smile on Lilith’s lovely face.

 

“Muggle — non-magical.” Hermione clarified.

“If you ask were my kin magical, daughter, the answer is ‘no’. I was special.”

 

Hermione stared at nothing, eyes darting back and forth as she mentally reread every document describing the Malfoy trust’s magic.

 

No wonder she and Draco conceived Lyra… Late December in Crete… “Special blood”… And that Malfoy “tingling”…

 

Finally, it made sense. 

 

Chapter Text

“All will be as it should, daughter.”

 

Less than a day remained until the start of Beltaine, the Druid calendar's start of spring: a time of renewal and (re)birth. Hours shy of two weeks without Draco left Hermione out of sorts. She sat in the window seat on the side wall, staring at the empty playground and pretending to ignore Draco’s unceasing attacks on the locked library door with his hands and head. 

Lilith banished Aloysius and the other portrait inhabitants to see to Hermione herself, whose state of stress caused mild magical damage to the surrounding plaster in a perfect imitation of Draco’s magical outbursts. Rare and priceless tomes — including a first edition da Vinci diary — flew on and off the library shelves willy-nilly under no one’s control (much to Hermione’s irritation, but she lacked the peace of mind necessary to complete her task and manage the anxiety that levitated the books in the first place).

 

“Were you and Aloysius bonded before you were married?”

“So strongly I doubt we’d have survived different mates. Set my skin ablaze, the stinging from that man of mine," the Malfoy matriarch smiled in memory, "In truth, we understood little about this bond ’til after we married. ’Twas not so well formed… come from the old, wild magic, it did. Aloysius, the darling, decided a bit of tinkering with it would serve our children and their children and so on.”

 

All around Hermione the private library transformed itself in preparation for Beltaine. From the Pensieve, Draco witnessed the raw magical strength his Muggle-born lover harnessed when she had need. 

Floor-to-ceiling windows transfigured themselves into a forest protectively edging the missing end wall. Groups of hawthorn and alder trees ringed every inch of ground between the side walls, embraced by vines — woodbine, with its Slytherin green leaves and silver-petaled cross-like flowers, and bittersweet drooping with golden petals sprouting deep red berries. The forest canopy filtered the bright ochre sun rays from the lengthening days. 

Ancient as the Manor itself, the oriental carpet morphed inch by inch into thick meadow grass, soft enough to rest upon comfortably. In the corner nearest her desk, invisible beavers dammed the newly created stream, trapping a calmative pool of water (of the deepest blue) in their wake. Hints of mist rose from the water's eddies, evidence of an under-floor hot spring — the source of the warmth that kept the pool a comfortable temperature. Tree limbs and twigs levitated from the expanding forest glen to the pool and inserted themselves into the embankment under construction. 

Above Hermione, the ceiling retracted to leave behind a glass-domed skylight the breadth and width of the room. Near the pool some sort of mound rose, the beginnings of a large hump attached through a short valley to a smaller one emerged at the edge of the grass — not much more than a body’s length and width in size. The desk itself twisted and shifted into what observer-Draco assumed was an altar, but its purpose eluded him. Its surface lay covered in items of the heart — a photo from Crete of a sleeping Draco, Hermione’s first picture of Lyra in utero, an exhausted Hermione asleep with a newborn Lyra in her arms and Draco reading to his sleeping daughter snoring on his chest.

 

“That tingle… it started with you two, didn’t it?”

 

Hermione’d yet to discover any “living” Malfoy portraits in the mansion before those of Lillith and her “Aly”.

 

“As far as I know. But remember, daughter — Aloysius’ father was a Druid priest. Common lore holds he learned his craft from the Merlin of Britain himself. We practiced the old ways then — the magic of woods, fields and fen — and few of the special-born married. Most were claimed, untouched, as priests and priestesses. Took almighty effort from my Aly to sway my father and keep me from Druid service,” the witch laughed in memory, “We were hand-fasted and married under the trees, blessed by the Lady on Midsomer Feast day. Later on, Aly and his father learned much they could use tinkering with spells in our old barn. That’s where Aly created the legacy and trust spells.”

“You didn’t participate?”

“When I could, but it took my husband little effort to keep my belly full, thanks to me being special and all. Too dangerous to muck about spell-casting with a babe at the breast. Truth be told, Aly got our eldest on me in this very room a month before our joining. Thank the Lady that boy was late birthing! This room will always warm my heart — ‘twas our whole house once, before a later Malfoy placed it here in the ‘Manor’. Aly cut every timber and hewed every log in these walls with his own hands; for us. I gave birth to our first three little ones near that window where you sit now and lost my only daughter when she came too soon.”

“Why so many sons?”

“Aly’s doing ‘though I’ve no clue why. ‘course my father had six brothers as did I, so getting a girl child wasn’t expected.”

“Why did Aloysius place that-that… spell on his heirs?”

 

For the first time in Lilith’s presence, the frustration and fear drove the young witch to tears.

 

“I know t'is hard, daughter, but you must see it as it was. My Aly worked like the Devil’s own to build that legacy; with hands and head he earned every Knut.”

 

That disclosure brought a glance over her shoulder at the room from Hermione. The Malfoys weren’t always wealthy, a common misperception about the uber-rich.

 

“They were hard times but good, us working together to build something for our future. Love got us through our troubles, Hermione. With that spell, Aly tried to give our children a way to know they’d chosen well… so they’d have a partner who’d love ’em and work with ’em to keep the Malfoys going. We had so little when we started… Was it wrong to use what we had to ease the way for the ones coming behind?”

 

Each woman took the measure of the other as Hermione’s special form of magic, the gift of her birth, continued to alter the space they occupied. A bit of understanding passed between them. 

Once done with the Pensieve, Hermione made sure Lyra grasped the powerful magic of love joined to a common purpose and the strength it brought to a marriage.

 

“This house, the trust… ‘tis all to make sure that there’ll be Malfoys until time’s end. And that they’ll come together from love and not a desire to spend a thousand years of Malfoy Galleons.”

“What did you do before you had the ‘Manor’?”

“Child, this house was nowhere near this size at my death! Added a few rooms as my belly gave us need but we shared this place with family and friends alike with no shame.” 

“Did you or Aly pick your children’s mates? Did you have marriage contracts?”

“Where such ideas come I'll ne'er fathom; they make little sense to me. No, we did not. I know times have changed and mostly because of hateful types like Cuthbert and Abraxas. I promise you I’ll take the strap to them until they change their ways. As I remember it, a simple handshake set the agreement once the young folks spoke their preferences. Time with the young ones and their kin served to tell who was truly paired and who wanted Aly’s money. All my boys married well, thanks to that bond. Never failed those who paid its warning heed. My daughters like yourself kept my sons well pleased and my home full of grandchildren.”

“This b-b-bond… Being ‘special’… Is it worth it?…”

 

She’s been through so much… Lilith considered, just a bit more and they’ll put it all to rights as Aly spelled it…

 

“Yes, daughter. I’ve loved and been loved more than a lifetime by my mate, as will you with yours…”

 

Chapter Text

“Wocky, please bring everything on this list, placed in stasis. When you’re done, could you please stay in Master Draco’s suite. I may need your help.”

 

The little elf, rheumy eyes focused on the young mistress, nodded. Wocky worried over the young Malfoys; having served five generations of the family he’d never seen them brought this low.

 

“Thank you. I’ll need that complete before midnight.”

“Hermione?”

“Hmm?” she absentmindedly acknowledged Lilith's call, distracted by the last minute checklist in her own head.

“The time has come, child. Get ready. Drake has need of you."

“Well before a wedding, from the looks of wee Lyra.”

“Mind your tongue, Aly! ’Twas not Hermione’s doing that your dynasty forbid her kind. Young Drake’s proven sense has found its way back to the Malfoy clan and the world will be better for it! He’s suffered enough.”

“And what would you know of a man’s suffering, wench?” Aloysius teased his own bonded mate, fondling her ample rear from his seat in her portrait.

“That it leads to a man’s obedience, husband. I am but a woman and must use what a woman has,” Lilith countered coquettishly.

“Will you stay? Here with us, in the library?" Hermione implored. "This has to work and I may need your help.” 

“Aye, child. And we would do so without your asking.”

 


 

At exactly midnight, Hermione stood before what had previously been her desk in the library and arrayed her photos in a circle; the desk's transformation into an altar was complete.

In the center of the circle of images, Hermione placed the wizard photo closest to her heart. Late the night of Lyra’s 5th birthday, Hermione collapsed — exhausted — onto the garden chaise and into Draco’s lap . Richard snapped the pic as a gorgeous sunset tinted the scene. Encircled by his arms, Hermione'd snuggled into her partner's chest, nuzzling the alabaster skin above the collar of his muggle polo shirt. His arms came together where she lay across his legs; he clasped his hands over her hip to keep her petite body as close as possible. And while her eyes had closed, Draco's gazed fondly on the witch who’d let him turn her life all shambolic [chaotic]. He smiled in the pic, a rare event seldom captured in photos or real life. The last Malfoy heir famously jeered, smirked, sneered, grinned and leered, but a true unpretentious indication of his happiness occurred only in his most unguarded moments (moments Slytherins avoided reflexively).

It was her only photo of them together and her only pic of him smiling.

 

“Lady of the Land, help us please," Hermione Granger-Weasley-Granger-(and hopefully)-Malfoy begged, "Join us and lift this curse that keeps us barren,” — and with a wave of her small hands, the witch shattered the wards that kept her magically-bonded mate separated from his woman.

 

Bereft of tears after a fortnight of shedding them unceasingly, Draco sat with a shoulder leaned into the hallway door leading to the library, scratching at a place bare of varnish, color and some of its wood. Lost in his misery, it took him a moment to recognize that he could now see into the room. Unable to stand securely, due to dehydration and injuries sustained as he attempted to magically and physically breach the wards, the young man crawled — inch by agonizing inch — towards the witch who meant life and love to him.

Real-Hermione’s sobbing disturbed the image reflected in the pensieve waters; in all their years together, Draco’d refused to acknowledge what he remembered of his torment. 

 

From inside the room, both bonded lovers heard the recital of the Beltaine prayer calling forth the goddess of spring and life’s renewal.

  

The flowering of the May tree announces she has trod 

The greening grass of Celtia to join her Horned God.

The Lady of the Land shall come to pass the springtide’s gate,

To pledge herself as bonded to the god who is her mate.”

 

Lilith’s lilting brogue trailed off to be replaced by the strong baritone of the maker of the magical legacy and trust, Aloysius Malfoy.

 

“To promise him her seasons, to give him progeny,

To raise the future strong and true for man and gods to see.

As Druids we commit our lives to follow in their way,

To vow ourselves as man and wife to mate and make this day.

 

Desperate for her, Draco’d crawled the rest of the way into the room only to be brought up short by a powerful shield charm. Exhausted from his vigil, he climbed the shield to stand and face his love, near spent with the effort, before collapsing to the grassy floor once more. Her scent buoyed him: this close her desire for him permeated the space. Moreover, Draco knew beyond all reason that she was ripe. The imperative to lie with her surged in him with every passing minute.

 

“I’m sorry, Dragon, but there’s no other way while you’re married to Astoria. We have to complete our bond using the old magic, like your ancestors did. I know you can’t really understand me and you won’t remember this but… I love you, Draco. No matter what happens, we won't be parted magically again.”

 

Draco’s subconscious registered some of Hermione’s actions. She stood in the library-now-forest-glade with him, its floor covered in lush grass visible in the moonlight streaming through the glass-tiled ceiling. Trees, small thickets, bushes and flowers ringed them, giving off a pollen scent that stoked her addiction to him. After the last two weeks, Draco required no additional stoking.

 

Hermione chanted —

 

There is no deeper magic than that between us two.

I pledge my troth and bind my fate, my love I give to you,” 

 

Behind her, a short hedge caught fire — burning without damage at her words.

 

Each word spoken by Draco’s bonded mate amped the magic raging through her body, magic drawn directly from him. Health and vitality lengthened her braided hair and brought a radiant glow to skin exposed by her simple floor-length tunic. Her chocolate brown eyes twinkled with flecks of grey as Draco’s now sported bolts of bark brown color. The blood racing through her veins stung her with the tingling from that insane Malfoy magic and the magic of Beltaine. 

From above her (through the open skylight she’d installed when preparing the space) a green mist descended carrying the power and the blessing of the Lady of the Land, she who brought fertility and abundance with her consent — or famine and pestilence with her anger. Tonight the benevolent Lady rewarded Hermione for honoring the old magic and for her legacy as a muggle-born, that most sacred of human mutations to the Druids. Hemione's eyes closed briefly as the mist engulfed her, bringing a sensation of fullness — recalling a night of unquenchable life-creating joining in Crete almost six years ago.

Hermione’s braid crackled with static down her back. Gusts of wind pushed the simple linen dress she wore against her body and revealed her nakedness underneath; her full breast seeming larger to him in his state of sexual consumption. Instinctively her dragon fought the shield separating them, howling her name, needing to enter her to stop two weeks of unremitting pain.

 

"I'm SORRY! Whatever I did... BEGGING you... LET ME NEAR..." he screamed with the last of his natural strength.

“I know, Dragon, I know. Can you repeat after me? Say the words and we’ll be together, I promise. Can you do that for me?”

 

Need drove him to tears as he stared at his goal — so close yet still a million miles away.

 

“Dragon? I need to be with you. Will you say the words?”

 

Drowned out by the power of Hermione’s spellcasting, Aloysius’ whisper to Lilith went unheard by the two participants in the ritual.

 

"He's in no state to obey her."

“Shall we give him succor, my love?” Lilith suggested while she nibbled her mate’s earlobe — a particularly persuasive Malfoy erogenous zone.

“Aye. The lad’s shown more pluck than I. How you wrenched the vow from me remains a mystery.”

“It’s a skill of the special-born.”

 

Waving his fingers in a manner reminiscent of Lucius Malfoy, Aloysius returned some of the blood trapped in Draco’s loins to his head. Sanity moved north for a brief time.

Draco’s voice came hoarse and raspy after the yelling and sobbing outside and inside this room.

 

“What must… say?…” was all he could muster from his place on the floor.

“Close your eyes, Dragon, and repeat after me.”

 

With a scosche of the madness gone from his head, the alabaster man who resembled a Greek god raised the ardor on Hermione’s side of the room.

 

“There is no stronger magic…”

 

Blinking and eye crossing documented Draco’s effort to concentrate on the words.

 

There… There can… be —”

 

“No, Dragon. Say what I say. We can’t be together if you don’t.”

“Hermione… please…” escaped scratchy and raw from his overused throat. 

 

With his remaining strength Draco hurled himself at the shield that prevented his relief, bringing more tears from his Griffindor princess.

 

“I’m here, Dragon, I promise to… Try again —

 

‘There is no stronger magic…”

 

With great effort, he spoke —

 

There… is no… gr… stronger magic —”

 

A sigh passed her lips. One down; three to go.

  

“Than love of man for wife…”

 

Than love… of… man for… wife?”

 

“I take thee…” 

 

I take thee —”

 

Shorter phrases worked better.

 

“…as my family,”

 

The hedge behind Draco spontaneously combusted, roaring and crackling so loudly it nearly drowned out the sounds of the swaying trees and the babbling stream. His side of the glen stood alight as if day had suddenly dawned.

A grey-green cloud hurtled in through the skylight, lightening illuminating its hues and shape as ear-splitting thunder boomed from its center. Headed straight for Draco, the Horned God answered the Beltaine call of his mate, the Lady of the Land. The eternal lovers, parents to vale and fen, would once more join to bring life to the world using Hermione and Draco as their surrogates.

Exhibiting all the grace in his athletic frame, Draco lifted himself from his near-prone position and stood before Hermione. He spoke boldly —

  

“— as my family,”

 

No hesitation marred his response as Draco channeled the horned one. Moreover, that already substantial cock of his was getting bigger by the minute while Hermione stared in shock. Lilith had indicated the ritual required three days — Hermione hoped she’d hold up that long physically. This Malfoy “extensible” equipment thing was starting to scare the hell out of her.

  

“...my seed I give for life.” 

 

“— my seed I give for life.”

 

— and the shield barrier between them shattered, debris dissipating as butterflies into the forest and the night. 

 

“I missed you, Lioness.”

“And I you,” she smiled back in relief (Hermione) and anticipation (the Lady).

“We are bonded. It would be my privilege to be called your husband.”

“But Astoria is —“

“No part of me, witch. You are mine and I will claim you before all as husband and father to your children… If you’ll have me…”

Chapter Text

Being possessed by the ancient spirits of wood and field had its advantages. 

So did growing up in a mansion with a sex library to rival most university catalogs for major subjects. 

Draco, the physical manifestation of the Horned One, smiled with frank admiration and desire for his Lady — under his lustful gaze Hermione’s tunic shredded, spreading like nutrient crystals over the grass and wildflowers beneath their feet. Before him stood the Lady and Hermione, a goddess come to sate her god on this night of renewal.

 

“I would care for you this night, Hermione Jean Granger Malfoy — my mate by ancient rite. We’ve weathered more than one storm — mostly my fault. Would you give yourself to me, Lioness? To thank you? To show my devotion to you? To make amends for being the cockroach you named me at school?”

 

Grinning this hard ached across his mate’s cheeks and jawline — but she did it anyway.

 

Inside her head the bond throbbed, pushing her to consummate and satisfy the gods of Beltaine.

After two weeks of living like a wild man, Draco — frankly — reeked. To this stale odor of neglect was added the scent of the rut. Like the stags of Merlin’s time, the most ancient symbol of potency and fertility in Britain’s pagan past, Draco’s sweat pumped concentrated testosterone and pheromones into the surrounding air. The slight breeze, aided by the convection currents of the burning bushes, saturated their wedding vale with proof of his need for her.

 

“Come, beloved,” the goddess and Hermione spoke as one, “bathe with me.”

 

Fighting the urge to drop him to the soft meadow clover and shag him until his spine splintered, his lioness marshaled her discipline, took his hand and led him to the sacred pool. From the edge of the magically constructed dam (still hand in hand), each descended the stonework steps built only this morning. When they stood at the deepest center, water gently lapped at their bodies — up to mid-chest on Draco and just at Hermione’s shoulders. 

Draco reached with familiarity for the open earthenware jar at the shoreline’s edge, its kiln-fired clay glazed in hues of royal blue and brown, and scooped out a healthy handful of the soft, tallow-like substance that smelled of chestnut and jasmine — an Old World aphrodisiac. Rubbing the buttery cream between his palms, Draco cleansed his mate with his hands, the soft soap sudsing as he reintroduced himself to the feel of her after an eternity apart. In the light from the flaming foliage her dragon took his fill of her, his eyes scrutinizing the changes since she’d barred him from her presence. 

First he washed her neck, always an enticement for him; his fingertips worked the soap into a lather starting at the visible pulse near her sculptured clavicle and moving upward to that “spot” just beneath her ear lobes. Flavored as food would be, the suds on her skin didn’t deter Draco as he placed his lips where his hands vacated, an almost chaste reintroduction to her which had Hermione leaning in and lowing like the grazing sheep of the fields. From here his hands returned to her shoulders and followed her arms to the wrist and hands. Turning each, he placed the hot pads of his thumbs in her palms and massaged her clean, again kissing each area he’d washed.

Reversing his hands’ path upwards, he used her shoulders again as a base camp before lowering — in a slow, tender, circular scrubbing motion — to her breasts. Fingers kneading the underside of her full, plump flesh left his thumbs free again to swish feather-light flicks across her nipples, seducing her eyelids into drowsy closure.

 

“So sensitive to my touch…”

 

The instant his words registered her eyes opened. 

 

“Only for you, Dragon.” and she closed the space between them to imprison his lips with her own.

 

Thanks to the bond, sparks actually arced between their lips before they made physical contact — both lovers’ skin rippled with goosebumps and heat from the voltage of the tingling they shared. Underneath the waterline something deep inside the newest Malfoy bride tightened with the kiss.

 

“’s been too long, Dragon…” she slurred out between moans in response to his attention to her nipples.

“Never again, Lioness. We will appease the Old Gods with our offering and never be parted this way again. Your body sustains me, Kitten. I wouldn’t have survived another day without it…”

 

Draco exploited their closeness to lift Hermione, buoyant in the warm water’s easy movement, and place her legs around his waist. Slathering additional soap on his free hand he lathered up her back above (and bum below) the water line. Each strong pass of his hands removed residual tension from the pursuit of an heir and substituted sensual massage that coaxed fluids to flow at an increasing rate out of her snug canal and into the Beltaine pond.

The new position eased Draco’s access to her abdomen, hips and long legs. For a man on a crash diet of celibacy, Hermione’s mate exhibited remarkable restraint as the ritual bathing continued. Despite occasional retreats (to tantalize her breasts) and the perpetual placement of his tongue in her very accommodating mouth, Draco managed fairly efficiently to coax her clean.

Lowering her legs to the pond’s floor, Hermione submerged her whole hand into the wide opening of the soap jar. She’d invested significant study for the ingredients — all natural plants and substances known to support health, vitality, sexual performance and fertility. To this mixture she applied Lilith’s crafted spell that bound the soap to the Amortentia love potion she'd brewed. Draco, she suspected, would inhale the scents of chestnut and jasmine — plants revered by his ancestors for their power to produce desire, legendary orgasms and Malfoy descendants. The ancient Malfoy crests were once adorned with the fruits of each in homage to their abilities.

In Hermione’s palms the soap acquired the scents of lemon balm — a calmative prescribed to aid in fertility-related stress, and red raspberry — known throughout the world to tone a woman’s reproductive organs in preparation for the long journey to birth. Contentedly, she spread the soap over her mate, lingering at his nape, chuckling at the scraggly stubble on his chin, squeezing his shoulders to remind herself what the feel of him did to her and ruffling the lather into his chest hair to justify her attention to his prominent, champagne-pale nipples. Eventually her hands found their way down the arrow of hair that divided his torso and into the wet blonde curls anchoring that magnificent member of virga humana and the rather swollen sac behind it.

Ducking under the water she made quick work of scrubbing his legs and breeched the surface once more, wringing the water from her loosened hair then wiping her face to clear her sight.

 

Once cleaned, the man tangled so deeply in the orderly Gryffindor's life had returned. His hair shone like cornsilk, waving in the invisible winds produced by the power of the Druid magic that swirled around them. Stubble from his growing beard fell, from the gentle stroking of her hands on his face, into the water’s eddies and dissolved. His skin glistened the color of statues by Michelangelo. In his natural scent came heavy loads of male pheromones like a stag deep in the rut. The ritual gifted her, once again, with a man well equipped to satisfy her on this night of beginnings.

 

“We have an offering to make, goddess of renewal.”

 

Taking her hand, Draco confidently led her to the unusual twin-humped, grass-covered mound situated at the room's center.

 

“Forefathers and foremothers!” Draco called out in a clear voice to the portraits, “we present ourselves before you. We have a bond and will not willingly be parted. We serve the bond and the magic that brings it. We seek your acknowledgement but not your approval — we are one and will stand alone if need be. Who stands with us?”

 

One by one, starting with Abraxas and Morella, occupants of the portraits nodded their assent to recognize a true Malfoy bond. Druscilla stood behind Lucius’ parents to ensure their quiet cooperation before solemnly nodding her concurrence. Druscilla’s son Humfray, in an attempt to make amends for his enormous error, added a caution —

 

“Raise your children to understand; no Malfoy has stood without the gift and no Malfoy will.”

 

Whether the intellectually-challenged ancestor spoke of the bond or of Muggle-born spouses wouldn’t be known until much later.

 

Finally, the responses reached the eldest progenitors of the Malfoy bond and the Malfoy trust.

 

“We recognize your claim upon the witch Hermione, young Drake,” Lilith spoke seriously.

“Claim your bride, son, and make merry offering to the Horned One and his Lady. Do right by your kith and clan.”

 

Smiling down at the witch whose chin rested lightly upon his curved index finger, Draco completed the contract.

 

“It shall be done as it must.” and with those words he straddled the valley joining the two mounds and placed Hermione facing him, her back to the slightly taller of the two humps and his to the smaller, guiding her with patient haste onto his throbbing (and purple) erection.

 

In this position, his unshod feet flat on the grass floor and knees bent, he had resistance to use every Quidditch-trained muscle in his lower body to please her and appease the beings who made this all possible. Mildly reclined against the larger hump, Hermione braced her own feet on the smaller hump at Draco’s back and took full advantage of gravity’s natural pull of her quim towards the pulsing organ between her legs.

Hands at her waist, Draco slid her down and onto him and began the easy in-out of new lovers. Halfway to full insertion Hermione gasped —

 

“Uh! Hurts a bit…”

“We’ll take our time. This will pass, my virgin mate. ”

“Hardly,” she chuckled, nodding for him to continue his efforts, “we have a daughter.”

“On this night, all is springtime; all is new.”

 

With little further discomfort each moved in a manner guaranteed to bring release and to give thanks for the gift bestowed. The odd shape of the mound provided purchase for Hermione. Pushing with her feet braced against the smaller hump raised her easily away from that massive staff of life impaling her so tenderly. Relaxing brought her down to engulf it once more and begin the stroke again.

Half hour later found their position changed — with her legs folded inside Draco’s arms, her knees resting on his shoulders. Leaning well forward allowed Draco to pump deeper and harder inside of her and to use his mouth to stimulate her most sensitive areas — her ears, her lips, her cheeks, her breasts and her neck. The unique configuration of the environmentally-friendly “sex chair” planted him into her softened cervix inbound and scraped her walls outbound. Thanks to her position, Draco had her panting and groaning.

 

“Baby, gonna come…”

“Release for me, Lioness. Give me your joy…”

 

Draco sucked her climactic utterance directly from her mouth, kissing her senseless as she shuddered and contracted against and around him. Her wetness was now tinged with blood; he’d broken a hymen that hadn’t been there two weeks ago.

The Druid deities gifted him a virgin bride to deflower on their wedding night.

 

When her aftershocks slowed he twisted them in the saddle, laying her facedown on the smaller mound and entering her from behind. Thanks to the gentler incline, Hermione’s opening sat at the perfect angle before him and Draco took full advantage. Wrapping his arms around and underneath her, he worked the flower between her legs until she screamed climax after climax. Each peak she reached increased Draco’s engorgement and need for release.

Almost two hours after he’d entered her, Hermione begged him to let go. Draco bore the unmistakable signs of a man sorely in need of a good emptying.

 

“Dragon, please come…” she pleaded.

“Claim me, Lioness…” he grunted out.

“You’re mine, Dragon, forever.”

 

Loving hands caressed him where they could, communicating the truth and depth of her sentiment. Her touch only inflamed his desperation to dispense his seed.

 

“You must claim me. Please, Hermione! I ache with the need to fill you.”

 

Blinking sweat from her eyes, Hermione corralled a few brain cells to figure out the last piece of the puzzle: what did he need to empty that pipe stretching her beyond belief?

 

“Dragon, I love you.”

“You must claim me!” and his pace increased.

 

Draco’s hips snapped forward faster and harder, aided by the angles of the sex chair, and Hermione knew she would pass out if he didn’t achieve some kind of seed shipment sooner rather than later. It was proving to be a hell of a honeymoon, unlike her first where Ron took his obligatory ten minutes on top then rolled over and snored. Her second husband — no matter how complicated his life made hers — definitely had it over her first.

 

“Make me yours! This pain is unbearable! Do you not want me?”

Of-course-I-want-you!” she panted in rhythm with his thrusts.

 

After the last seven months, Hermione could be forgiven for the exasperation and pique in her tone (regardless of their present activities). Especially with Draco’s pounding her thoughts out of her head.

 

“We’re bonded; you’re my husband by Druid —”

 

Before she could finish her plaint, success arrived.

 

“I’m yours, Lioness! We’re complete…”

 

Turned out “husband” was the secret password.

 

“Dragon! Unh!!!” she cried out as a freight train full of orgasmic contractions arrived.

 

While Draco jettisoned a pressurized stream of Malfoy seed into the mouth of Hermione’s womb, two shades rose and absented the bodies of the newlyweds. Two feet above the protracted explosions still in full swing for both the groom and his bride, the shades took shape to become the Lady and her male consort. 

The Lady goddess mist formed into an image of beauty, her wild brunette curls blown by the wind. Green-brown hazel eyes and a tawny complexion left the impression of a stunning appearance. Across from her, her mate formed from the cloud. Stormy eyes, an unusual pattern of cloudy grey and clear-sky blue, pierced the goddess with a look of long-awaited satiation. Salt and pepper waist-length grey hair added maturity — not age — to the very handsome and very virile face coalescing in thin air. Non-stop orgasms tied up Hermione’s brain so she missed her chance to see the breathtaking Druid god in her midst.

Plus he had a great rack — 

 

— of antlers and one really big

 

The Horned One got that name honestly…

 


 

Two nights later, Hermione levitated an unconscious Draco to their suite and followed him in on foot. After a light meal of fruit, cheeses and veggies she abandoned any effort to don sleepwear for herself or Draco. Climbing gingerly into bed (in deference to soreness and bruises over most of her body), she curled around her “husband” and joined him in unconsciousness.

 

In the library, Lilith Malfoy cast the spells of unmaking to restore the library to its normal configuration. It would take time, even with magic, to know if more than a bond was created this Beltaine; she and Aloysius had certainly done their best in seeing to Draco and Hermione. But regardless of the outcome, in Lilith’s opinion, something wonderful had occurred.

 

“Why do ye grin so, wife?”

“Did ya not see?” she asked her forever husband, “Little Lyra will get her family and the Malfoys will survive with or without their Galleons — in spite of the Malfoy Trust and your interfering magic. Young Drake and Hermione will see ot it.”

 

From behind her, a randy young man swept his lover into his arms.

 

“Glad to hear it. About my interfering — are ye done wit’ all that cleaning?…” Aloysius asked as his wandering hand made its way up and into Lilith’s bodice.

 

Chapter Text

The official handover of the Malfoy legacy to Astoria Greengrass and her descendants (in perpetuity) started — like all public executions — with the somber procession of Ministry officios, legal teams and family members: Astoria's team consisting of her sister, parents and a boyfriend who’d had his features magically altered, and Draco’s team which now included Harry, Ginny, George, Blaise and Narcissa.

 

Twenty-one days after that shagalicious Beltaine celebration in the private library in the Manor, Draco’s life disintegrated.

 

“We are here to distribute the Malfoy estate assets pursuant to the Malfoy trust which demands that the heir to the Malfoy title must produce a legal heir by his 26th birthday, which is today.”

“I have an heir. Lyra Carina Granger Malfoy has been proven to be my flesh and blood.”

 

Decorum escaped the room unharmed a second before Astoria went ape-shit. The Aurors had collected wands at the door (anticipating some tense moments) but hadn’t anticipated that Astoria would pack enough concealed backups to see her through Armageddon. The first spell would have seriously injured Draco without Hermione’s lightning-fast wordless — and wandless — reactions.

 

“You CHEATED on me with that MUDBLOOD!?”

“Sit DOWN, Astoria,” Hermione commanded, “our daughter was conceived after your separation. She is a Malfoy.”

“But she’s not a male Malfoy, bitch!” Astoria shot back.

“I am afraid, Ms. Granger, that Mrs. Malfoy is correct. Lyra Carina — quite a pretty child —”

“Get back to it!” Astoria shouted. “I’m pregnant and I will sick all over you! Finally found a pure-blood with some REAL balls.”

 

This last jibe hit Draco between the eyes — literally; his soon-to-be rich-and-ex wife sent a hex along with it.

The boyfriend stuck his chest out at the accomplishment. Draco snarled at the thought that Astoria’s bastard would become Lord of the Malfoy legacy.

 

“Lyra Carina cannot assume the Malfoy title,” the Ministry official sighed, “we are therefore here to garnish the estate, to retire the hereditary Malfoy title and to execute the annulment of the marriage due to Mr. Malfoy’s inability to conceive a male child with Mrs. Malfoy. Does everyone agree?”

 

Heads nodded, some with smiles and others with grimaces. Hermione remained uncharacteristically silent during the slow, careful vivisection of her lover’s life and legacy. 

 

The official droned on as he read each decree into the magical record —

 

“Pursuant to the terms laid out in 347 by Aloysius Malfoy in the magical pact for…” he read.

“…do so by his 26th birthday in order to secure the continuance of the…” echoed in the austere chambers.

“…shall pass without disruption from father to son…” brought a sigh from Draco that broke Narcissa's heart.

“… in the absence of a male Malfoy, the title shall be —”

 

At these words, Hermione reached into that infinitely large purse of hers and handed the official two parchments, one magical and one Muggle, at the conclusion of the readings.

 

Chapter Text

“There is a male Malfoy heir,” Hermione corrected.

“Don’t cross me, mudblood! Draco has ONE bastard and she hasn’t any BOLLOCKS!”

ONE MORE COMMENT about my FAMILY," Draco threatened, "and I WILL —” .

 

Jinxes passed between the married Slytherin combatants — neutralized with inconsistent results by Harry.

Peering down through his glasses, the official commented without imparting any indication of the content.

 

“Oh… 

“Umm… 

“I see… 

“Is that so?… 

“Umhm… 

“That would follow, yes…”

 

After the longest twelve minutes in Draco’s life, the man looked up over his glasses to make his announcement.

 

“All assets and titles of the Malfoy legacy are to be returned to Draco Malfoy. The annulment is granted without prejudice; the prenuptial settlement shall be considered payment in full for all current and future claims by Ms. Greengrass. This hearing is adjourned.”

LIKE BLOODY HELL IT IS!" Astoria shrieked, ignoring the nausea clawing its way up her throat. "Where’s my money!? Nothing’s CHANGED!” 

“In truth, Ms. Greengrass,” — and Draco’s support team noted the name change — “it has. These parchments indicate that Ms. Granger carries a male Malfoy.”

TWO male Malfoys,” Hermione corrected with a satisfied smirk at Astoria.

 

Draco’s head spun so hard the room heard his neck ratcheting to stare at his common law wife.

 

LIONESS!?!?

 

Placing a finger to his lips, Hermione smiled broadly and pointed for Draco to listen to the Ministry official.

 

“Therefore, as today was the last day to satisfy the terms of the trust and Mr. Malfoy has done so, we have concluded the hearing. Congratulations, Mr. Malfoy and Ms. Granger. It would be a pleasure to officiate your marriage.”

 

From the seat, where Astoria’s boyfriend perched, came screaming that George, Harry, Ginny and Hermione immediately recognized.

 

Wait a fucking minute! Does this mean we got NOTHING from that tosser!? Astoria — you said we’d get the Manor and the money! What fucking HAPPENED!?”

“Once again,” Hermione patiently explained, “you’ve stuck your pisser in the wrong woman, Ronald. And this time you’ll be stuck with each other.”

 

Like most pure-blood trust fund babies, Astoria now had obligations to her own legacy; she’d have to carry the fetus to term and raise the child to avoid losing her family bequest. And she’d have to marry Ronald Bilius Weasley (who dropped the disillusionment charm in his fury at remaining poor) as he’d impregnated her and met the spousal requirements — he was a pure-blood.

 

A hex came flying at Draco.

 

HOW DID YOU GET HER PREGNANT AND NOT ME!?” his ex-wife screamed through tears.

 

She always looked good in green… Draco thought as nausea and rage colored Astoria’s cheeks and neck.

 

“Good question,” Draco replied from under the table where he’d taken cover, “I do seem to have no trouble keeping Hermione ‘fulfilled’.”

 

Harry blocked a hex Hermione missed as she danced away from a charging Ronald Weasley.

 

YOU’D SHAG THAT FUCKING FERRET BUT NOT COME HOME FROM WORK TO SHAG ME!? You’d better BLOODY WELL explain THAT!”

 

Ginny tattooed her youngest brother with a bat bogey that covered his head and nearly suffocated him. Consumed with trying to breathe, Ron Weasley dropped to his knees and abandoned his stalking of Hermione. George grinned in mischievous delight at the melee. He’d gleefully surrendered his wand when they’d allowed him to bring his briefcase. In it lay an unlimited inventory of every Weasley product along with a few experimental items he hadn’t shown Hermione yet. 

The surviving Weasley twin started small — turning his ginger git of a brother’s hair pink and attaching a dog’s tail to Astoria, claiming it “completed her bitch outfit” — before digging deeper down for more ingenious products. Harry found himself caught between trying to control Astoria, Daphne and the Greengrass parents and trying to stop George and Ginny from escalating the conflict.

Near the exit (which auto-sealed them all in when the fight started), Narcissa steered a very queasy Hermione into a comfortable chair and cast a shield spell around the two of them.

 

“So I shall be the grand-mere of three?”

“If I can eat enough to keep these two happy.”

“How far along are you, if I may ask?”

“Three weeks. I saw a muggle physician first; they have tech—”

 

Hermione considered how much she didn’t want to explain the difference between science and magic right now and changed her word choice.

 

“— a different kind of magic that can detect a pregnancy in a week.”

“So your little respite with Draco???…”

“I hoped I’d figured it out. It took me long enough.”

“Lucius and I adore Lyra and we will welcome these two. I’m sure they’ll be the handsomest half-blood babies born in the Manor.”

 

Hermione stayed voicing any objections to a home birth as they had plenty of time and the mere thought of it increased the turmoil in her innards.

 

“Draco and I plan to marry.”

 

Nothing about Hermione’s tone implied they were seeking permission.

 

“My son is happy and successful for the first time in a long time. If Merlin will cease fucking with our family,” and Hermione barked in laughter: Narcissa Malfoy could curse, “we shall see a new era where my grandchildren become the most powerful — and the nicest — witches and wizards in the country.”

 

Having spent time around Draco, Hermione recognized the subtle megalomania hidden in the compliment.

 

“Are you planning to have more children? Is that possible?” a tearful Narcissa posed in a hushed whisper, fearful of an answer that mimicked her own curtailed fertility.

“Based on the magic surrounding the Malfoy legacy, I’m not sure we can avoid it once we're married. Until 300 years ago, Malfoy males typically produced 7 or 8 legitimate children and several more illegitimate.”

“Eight little angels! I shall be the proudest grand-mere in our community. We need to get you home and fed — an empty or nervous stomach will keep you ill.”

 

With a wave of her hand, Narcissa froze every combatant in the room in place. The door unlocked automatically with an audible “click”.

 

“You! Guard! We’re leaving as my daughter is pregnant and in need of sustenance and rest. Please handle the situation behind us and send my son to her as soon as possible,” and with another wave (after she and Hermione crossed the threshold) she released the spell.

 


 

On his return from the gardens with Lyra, Lucius found Narcissa sitting on a chair in their salon reading an ancient book of poetry to Hermione who reclined on the lounge surrounded by an assortment of nausea-friendly food and drink.

 

“Come, child. Let us find ourselves something sweet to nibble. Then I’ll show you how to cast a wandless jelly-legs jinx.”

“Grand-pere? Pourquoi souriez-vous [Why are you smiling]?”

 

Narcissa’s calm recitation and Hermione’s food choices — along with the fact that neither Malfoy mate was packing furiously to leave the Manor — revealed all Lucius required for now. He’d catch up with Narcissa after a long, slow bedroom session.

 

“Je suis heureux. Nous resterons dans notre maison et vous aurons une playmate bientôt. Notre famille se agrandit [I am pleased. We shall be staying in our home and you shall have a playmate soon. Our family is expanding].”

 

Lyra distinctly remembered that she had no idea what her grandfather meant.

 

Chapter Text

Draco and Hermione managed an emergency marriage — conducted by none other than Kingsley Shacklebolt — within weeks of the hearing. Of the many oddities in their life together, Hermione now shared a wedding date with the first known bonded Malfoys (Aloysius and the lovely Lilith the Muggle-born), the most reproductively prolific Malfoys (Myrthddn and fertile Gwynddh — with 22 direct descendants) and the most dull-witted Malfoys (Humfray and his constantly missing wife, Moosela,  who routinely visited her paintings hanging in her ancestral home then couldn't find her way back to the Manor — necessitating the dispatch of "rescue Malfoys" to her other two portraits to retrieve her).

Having seen to their immediate family, the newlywed couple retired in seclusion for some quality alone time. A honeymoon at Hermione’s cottage on the Isle of Man sufficed before Hermione forced Draco back to work and returned (while she could) to her own profitable legal practice. Arguments over the role of women in the home meant Draco sported visible bruises until he recanted his Neanderthal notions concerning working mothers. 

Rachel — bless the woman’s brains and heart — left them eight weeks of prepared meals in stasis (thus preventing a row over the use of house elves while pregnant). She and Richard were given a well-deserved all-expenses-paid vacation after promising to return at least a month before the twins were expected. 

As the new “Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy” had much to discuss, Lucius “volunteered” to see after Lyra after agreeing to take her to that “horribly inadequate” school she attended. 

 

With stress and nausea (meaning: Draco’s) within the manageable range, Draco shagged his bride until both were sore before asking how she’d pulled it off.

 

“For someone so steeped in their own traditions —”

“It’s a pure-blood thing.”

“— how could you not have known about the fertility protections set up by your own family? Hmm, Mr. Pure-Blood?”

“I don’t u-u-understand?…”

“The Malfoy Trust was established to ensure there’d be lots of quality Malfoy marriages and lots of Malfoy babies.”

“Never heard you use that word before.”

“What??? Trust?”

“No. Babies.”

 

They lay facing each other — a position Draco would only tolerate until the pre-play transitioned to foreplay (he did his best work, after all, with Hermione on her back).

 

“Get used to it. In any case, the trust was magicked to bring couples together in a way that would create solid, and hopefully happy, marriages. The magic in the Trust ensured that Malfoy heirs selected sexually compatible fertile females. Did you know your ancestors were among the first Druids?”

“No.”

 

A lazy finger, curled and soft, traced the outline of her belly. With twins (and their expanding life-support system inside her), Hermione's tummy presented the slightest swelling even this early in her confinement.

 

“Why do you have a library the size of Windsor Castle if you don’t use it!? The tradition that bound all future Malfoys to the Trust had Malfoy parents ‘observe’ a number of young guests at social events. Blood Malfoys literally ‘feel’ an attraction to a potential mate — the diary described it like a tingling or quiet bird call whenever they were in close proximity, as you know. The Malfoys would make sure to give the potential couple some privacy. Ever wonder about those secret sconces on the estate where Lyra likes to hide?”

“No.”

 

Draco's roaming finger sought out Hermione's secret places — starting with that one near her ear and ending via a winding path to the arousal zones on the underside of her tender breasts.

 

“You’re an arse, Draco. Affluent Malfoy parents added those hideouts so they could watch the couples while they were alone. It was pretty obvious which pairings had the strongest chemistry. The Malfoys would initiate a marriage agreement and voila! A happy couple and lots of little Malfoys.”

“Wait — that would mean Malfoy males got to choose their fiancées!”

“They did — which boosted their fertility and the size of Malfoy families. And by the way — blood status never mattered. Lilith is muggle-born, like me; so are Druscilla and Gwynddh. Cecille, who married one of Gwynddh’s sons, was a muggle and she wasn’t the only one. The largest Malfoy families have muggle-borns as their matriarchs. You have muggle, muggle-born and half-bloods in your family tree until about 300 years ago. That’s when Humfray Malfoy, the only dull-witted Malfoy I’ve ever met, bought into the whole aristocratic superiority nonsense spreading through muggle Europe in the 16- and 1700’s.” 

“So it really was a pure-blood thing.”

“And a stupid one. Blood status entered the search for a mate and that’s when Malfoy birthrates declined. As more and more arranged marriages ignored the magical attraction bred into every one of you Malfoys, fewer and fewer Malfoys were conceived.”

“What about Lyra?”

“We conceived Lyra on the Solstice. I did mention your ancestors were amongst the first Druids; weren’t you listening?”

 ”No. What about that ceremony?”

 

With Hermione spread out for recreational purposes on their bed, Draco’s brain only assigned three thinking cells to her missive.

 

“You really don’t remember any of this, Draco?”

“No.”

 

At this point, all he could remember was the shortest steps to ensure her readiness for his insertion. Replacing his fingertips and thumb with the moist warmth of his mouth on her nipples, Draco kissed his way downward towards her cradle of life.

 

“I couldn’t marry you until your marriage to Astoria was magically annulled despite our partial bond. Because of your vows, all of our children had to be conceived on a Druid feast day until we married properly. The Druid magical blessing boosted our bond and nullified those Malfoy wedding vow restrictions. Beltaine was our last chance before the hearing. Be glad I’m muggle-born; no old magic could have overcome your fertility ‘problem’ with any pure-blood other than Astoria; you’d be impotent and sterile even in the private library. Didn’t you ever feel like the room was different?”

“No. Why the Library?”

 

For their honeymoon, Draco enlarged the beds in every room of the house and made use of their new bedroom floo when Library "visits" were needed.

 

“You mean why did we have orgies?”

“No. Why that room in the Manor?” he mumbled as kisses fell onto her breast without a touch to her nipples, beginning the ending of all the talking, “Not that I’m complaining.”

 

A lasting effect of the Betaine bonding enhanced any encounters they experienced in the Library. In years to come Draco would exploit Hermione's absolute addiction to the space for his own purposes. She seldom got to read a book there.

 

“Aloysius built the library — it was his home with Lilith. The Trust spell ensuring fertility and heirs was originally cast there. Whichever Malfoy decided to place the house up there during construction of the Manor either didn’t know or didn’t mention that fact in your family diary. You have actually read your family diary, haven’t you?”

“No. What about our sexual appetites?”

 

Whether caused by the bond or her state of breeding, Draco thanked the Horned One and the Lady for that quick start-up his mate's libido now exhibited.

 

“A charmed gift from your magically sophisticated ancestors — Aloysius and Lilith continue to set an example, in case you haven’t noticed. More sex used to guarantee more Malfoys.”

 

The lengthy discussion of fertility and procreation had his cock tapping out a salsa rhythm on her thigh. Knowing she had to get this out before he took her, Hermione rolled to face him again (and place some distance between her and that long, thick, pale temptation she’d be applying judicious attention to soon enough).

 

“Your mother told me she had six miscarriages. She and your father are well matched but something about them both being inbred pure-bloods made your conception a miracle. They love you a great deal, Dragon; as much as you love Lyra.”

“I’ll love our sons, Luv. I won’t starve them for affection.”

 

The knuckle of his index finger once more stroked her semi-smooth belly, reinforcing his message.

 

“I don’t doubt that. I’m preparing you for the possibility that Lyra will be our only daughter. That… magic was designed to produce male heirs. It increases the probability of males statistically by 60% or more to satisfy the trust inheritance. This wasn’t a problem when Malfoys were making 10 or 12 children but I doubt —”

 

Quidditch reflexes had her under him before her gasp died.

 

“Let’s practice! If you agree to have 10 or 12 Malfoys, I agree to put them there.”

“As we can’t put any there right now because the incubator is presently occupied, I’ll think about a more reasonable number.”

“I want another daughter. Please?”

“Draco, I’m not turning into a brood mare at 26 because you’re an absolute wimp around our daughter.”

Please, Hermione?”

“Do you realize that could mean eight or more children!?”

“Please, Lioness?”

“It’s not fair to ask me this when you have me at a disadvantage, Slytherin!”

“You knew what you were getting, witch. Shame to waste that addition Richard and I put on.”

 

Ever optimistic regarding the outcome of their pursuit of an heir, Draco designed and Richard magically built a six-bedroom add-on to Hermione’s cottage with a nursery adjoining the master bedroom, a two-story playroom off the kitchen and an enlarged dining area suitable for Lucius' aristocratic sensibilities.

 

“Figures. Thanks to you I unknowingly commit adultery, end up bonded to my school tormenter  and become an unwed mother — now you want to turn me into Molly Weasley.”

“She smiles every morning, doesn’t she?”

“Y-Yes… She does.”

“How’d you like to have that smile every day we’re together?”

 

Malfoy portraits did enjoy rather active and interesting “lives”…

 

“Smiling for that reason does not require a large family, Dragon.”

 

She’d called him “Dragon”. He was wearing her down.

 

“One more after the twins and we reconsider?”

 

Lyra would be closer to Hogwarts age then. Sending her baby to boarding school would make getting Hermione pregnant again soooo much easier.

 

“Alright, Dragon…”

“Good. Shut up and spread those endless legs…”

 


 

Having reviewed and reconsidered every aspect of the memories from all involved parties, Hermione arrived once again at her previous conclusion — virtually all the toughest challenges and the most exquisite joys in her life since her first days at Hogwarts could be blamed on her mate: Draco Lucius Malfoy.

 

It was completely Draco’s fault. ALL of it.

 

Chapter Text

 “We need to get to Potter’s”

 

At that pronouncement, three heads lifted from the family pensive in the cottage. 

In the background, Rachel zinged the arses of three Malfoy males — eleven-year-old twin terrors Scorpius and Orion and five-year-old Leo. They’d ripped Richard’s garden trellises out to use the wood to build a launchpad: "Uncle" George’d gifted them a new batch of experimental explosives. The last batch left the twins eyebrow-less and Crookshanks the Second bald as a bowling ball.

 

“Are you ready to see reason now?” Mrs. Malfoy inquired reasonably.

Hell NO! I want restitution! That monster attacked my little girl!”

 

The “monster” had quietly floo’d home to the (former) Black ancestral home to prepare for the war to come.

 

Moving around her irate husband, Hermione gathered up a few items and steered Lyra and her father towards the floo. The valise held enough for a 4-night stay at 12 Grimmauld Place — straightening this out might take all night (or longer). With a gentle push, each went through the portal ahead of her.

 

“POTTER!? POTTER!! Show yourself and bring that cowardly spawn of yours with you! To think I trusted him with my daughter! Treated the pervert like my own son! POTTER!!!!

 

Draco powered his way into the gathering room of the house he’d visited many times. Behind him came a sniffling Lyra, restarting her accusations of hypocrisy and cold-heartedness, and Hermione (who remained unnaturally calm given the situation affecting her only daughter).

 

“Uncle Draco let me —“

“JP! Baby, how’s your —”

DON’T CALL THAT SEXUAL PREDATOR ‘BABY’!

“Pa-pa, STOP! I consented! I LOVE him!”

YOU’RE UNDERAGE — THAT’S RAPE!

“I’ll be seventeen in 2 —”

“Draco Malfoy! Shut it before I hex you back to your island!”

 

This came from the other mother in the room, Ginny Potter. Nodding with a hint of a grin at Hermione, Ginny placed herself on the sofa between the protective Slytherin father and her firstborn.

Behind her, absolutely enjoying Draco’s tirade, came Harry Potter — father of the accused.

 

POTTERhow are you going to restore my daughter’s innocence!?!? That RAPIST you raised RUINED —”

“He’s not your godson anymore?” Harry teased.

“Not after I KILL him and remove his offending bits!”

“Pa-pa! I WILL NOT let you hurt my HUSBAND!”

 

That brought Draco up short — along with the wandless, wordless jinx his little Lyra singed his arse with.

 

DON’T CALL THAT CRADLE ROBBER ‘HUSBAND’ — YOU’RE UNDERAGE AND I DIDN’T SIGN ANY BLOODY —”

“Ginny and I did,” came from his mate as she hooked her arm through his. Draco went silent, his jaw hanging slack in shock.

“Feel that tingle, Dragon? Let me tell you a story. Lyra, remind your daddy of the first time you kissed James.”

“It was after that awful Lucy Weasley called me a bas—”

“We remember the name, sweetheart. James — I’m sure you remember. Tell your godfather what happened when Lyra kissed you.”

“My face got hot and it tickled even when she stopped kissing me,” the boy described as his eyes found his love. His features softened and he smiled affectionately, “Still does.”

“Why did you encourage them!?” Pa-pa Malfoy shouted at his patient, long-suffering wife.

“Because I recognized James and Lyra were already bonded when they were children. I owe them a debt; if I hadn’t watched it happen I wouldn’t have figured out how to solve our little problem with a male heir — with the Malfoy portraits’ help,” and she squeezed his arm as a reminder of the days when his Malfoy legacy almost became the Greengrass-Weasley legacy.

 

As a father, Draco’d established one immutable law with his eldest and only daughter: 

 

 

He’d hex the balls off of any boy who did to his baby girl what Draco’d done to her mother; there’d be no more bastard Malfoys. 

 

Lyra kept to the letter of the “Malfoy Marriage Law” while completely violating its spirit as laid down by her father: the child Lyra conceived during her final semester at Hogwarts was technically a Potter; she and James had secretly married Muggle-style over winter’s break with their grandparents as witnesses.

 

“She’s a baby, Lioness!” the brokenhearted father cried out in despair.

“And she’ll always be our baby. She brought us together and made us a family. But babies grow up, Dragon. Our baby is a woman and a wife and will soon be a mother. We’re going to be grandparents.”

“It’s not FAIR! He got ALL SIXTEEN years with her!”

 

Buried in his jealous rant was the pain of losing the first 4 years of Lyra’s life, a decision Hermione would reverse if she could do so without damaging what they’d built for themselves and their extended family: Draco, their children, the Malfoy grandparents, Hermione’s parents (now that they were Granger’s again), the Potters, the Zabinis, the Weasleys (except Ronald) and myriad others.

 

“I know, Dragon…” she spoke to the tears in his eyes, “and I would gift them to you if I could.”

“Just… Just tell me how this happened without my knowledge — or consent.”

“As I said,” Hermione continued, clearing the lump from her own throat, “Ginny and I realized quite some time ago that James and Lyra had a special relationship. They’d been spending more and more time together at Hogwarts, despite being in different houses.”

 

Lyra went to Slytherin (thanks to Lucius’ advanced — and illegal — private tutoring); James couldn’t have escaped Gryffindor with help from Dumbledore’s portrait (which hadn’t happened). 

 

“Minerva kept an eye on them for us. Last year when they were caught snogging by the lake, Ginny and I went to the school and talked at length with them.”

“To what? Explain the Contraception spell?”

 

Hermione let the snarky remark slide and continued her calm explanation of their new status as grandparents.

 

“No, Dragon; to ensure that we as parents understood where they were in their relationship. Remember — they already shared the Malfoy bond. We decided to make a quick check since James would graduate a year before Lyra.”

 

Ginny took over the explanation from this point, maintaining her position between James and Draco; the defeated family head had flopped into a chair a tad too near her son.

 

“They told us they hadn’t shagged yet and we believed them. Hermione caught me up on the details of the Malfoy mating bond and how it worked — so, with Minerva’s permission, we brought the children to the Manor and left them waiting in the garden while Narcissa, Hermione and I hid in one of those sconces. They’re big enough to hold a party in, Malfoy — how many people did you put in those things?”

“Not enough to keep a Malfoy from becoming a Potter…” Draco muttered — and Hermione pinched him for insulting Harry and James.

“Ten seconds later we knew; they couldn’t stay away from each other. We made an agreement with them: if James would actually graduate — unlike his git of a father”

“Hey!” Harry objected.

“— and Lyra would accelerate her program to graduate a year earlier, we’d sign for their marriage. Blaise handled the marriage contract.”

 

On hearing this information, Draco reactivated his how-to-kill-my-best-friend plan from the time when Blaise “forgot” to tell him about Lyra.

 

In the temporary silence, a gangly Malfoy male — one of a “set” — tumbled out of the floo ahead of a string of expletives from Rachel and a command to “stay with your parents until the end of he world!” Whatever he’d been up to with his twin had exhausted his nanny’s patience for today.

 

“Do I want to know?” Hermione inquired.

“Mother, you have to understand; Rachel has an obsessive attachment to rules — even more ridiculous than yours!”

“I’d have to agree with the boy,” Draco added as he put the last of the disciplinary fire out on his son’s trousers.

“Idle minds lead to trouble. We need to find you something constructive to do until we’re ready to leave.”

“Is this about Lyra and JP?” Scorpius poked with a sneer.

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS!?!?!” Scorp’s elder doppelganger bellowed.

“”JP’,” Scorpius drawled like a lovesick teenage girl (reminding Hermione of Lavender Brown with her “Won-Won”), “spent more time in the dungeons than in that ridiculous red and gold tower. Lyra wouldn’t spill how she disarmed the gender charm in the girls’ tower.”

 

“Ridiculous” came out of the twins’ mouths nearly every other sentence. Hermione’d warned them about use of the term, with slightly different pronunciation, in spell casting but knew that only painful consequences requiring St. Mungo's stays quelled their misdeeds. With a stern look for her oldest son (by almost 15 minutes), she dug deeper into the intentions of a child she feared she’d have to keep out of Azkaban. It was as if she’d celebrated Beltaine with George Weasley eleven years ago. 

Meanwhile, Scorp once again advertised the superiority of Slytherin to almost anything Gryffindor.

 

"JP’s too stupid to break one of Aunt Minerva’s charms."

“And why would you need to know how to break the gender charm?”

“Mother, you’ve always taught us to learn everything —” the angel (hiding his pointed tail and pitchfork) smirked.

“And you have —” an unhelpful Draco seconded.

 

Her hand came up, palm facing Draco and the Draco-clone (the twins were not identical; the Hermione clone remained in Rachel’s custody), as Hermione sought a way to channel the devious IQ he’d inherited.

 

“Aunt Ginny’s fruit garden could benefit from some harvesting and weeding.”

“A-LONE!?” the boy whinged as if his mother suggested walking the plank.

“Gin? Can Lily help?”

“Do them both good. Lily!” her mother called.

 

Tumbling down the steps came Lily Luna Potter. Not quite a year older than the Malfoy twins, she’d come home from first year on the Hogwarts Express in a compartment seating Scorpius and Orion (also first years), her older brother Albus (a fifth year) and a very preoccupied James and Lyra Potter. 

 

“Yes, Mum?”

“Get the baskets and you and Scorpius go out and collect some fruit. Be sure to get strawberries for Aunt Hermione if they’re ripe.”

 

A red-headed blur streaked into the kitchen before returning at half-speed to collect Scorpius.

 

“C’mon, Scorp!”

 

Two streaks shot out the door to the garden behind the hidden property.

 

Having seen the latest twin fiasco handled, Draco returned to the problem at hand — the ravishment of his daughter by one James Sirius Potter: her husband.

 

“Ladies, it’s time I spoke with James. A-LONE.”

“It would be unfortunate if our son-in-law and godson met with an accident before our grandchild is born, Draco.”

 

That quiet observation contained a ton of coded information. First, his cunning wife notified the still incensed father of the bride that she had sussed his intent. Second, she reminded him that he’d be blamed for any “accident” James suffered over the next 135 years. But the real restraint zinged in and hit a man (who loved family) right in the heart:

 

 

James Potter had given them a grandchild.

 

“Fine. I won’t leave a bruise on —”

“Not good enough, Dragon.”

 

The “Dragon” message meant they’d be working this out in bed.

 

Then let Potter chaperone the promiscuous pillock!

“Harry?”

“Should be interesting.”

“You’re as twisted as my husband. No damage, Draco — I mean it.”

 

Huffing his frustration at his inability to dominate his witch, Draco returned his attentions to James as his wife joined Ginny in the other room.

 

“You are never to raise a hand to her. Do you under—”

 

Before him, James Potter went scarlet and no longer made eye contact.

 

“You have 5 seconds to explain that look before I disintegrate you into dust and move Lyra back home where she belongs.”

“It’s just that…” the boy stuttered, almost too embarrassed to continue, “s-s-she likes to b-b-be… spanked… on-on-on occasion. Not hard! It’s a game we play…”

“Alright, James — that’s too much information!" a traumatized Harry Potter advised his eldest. "Malfoy, don’t listen to my idiot son — he’d never hit Ly.” 

“Quite alright, Potter. That particular preference is inherited.” 

 

Harry, slowly displaying a whiter shade of pale across his face and neck, made the instantaneous decision to avoid knowing if Draco or Hermione were the recipient of those attentions.

 

“I don’t care what she wants, you will give it to her.”

“Uncle Dra— I mean, Lord Malfoy; We’re just starting out. I don’t have that kind of money!”

“Where will you live?”

“Here;” Harry inserted, taking a seat in the chair opposite Draco, “we’ve redone half the second floor into a flat for them. Put a floo in so Ly won’t have to climb the stairs.”

 

The grin from James turned the Slytherin’s stomach.

 

“We’re having twins, sir; two girls. Found out this morning; that’s why Lyra wanted to see me.”

 

At that point Draco accepted he’d been cursed and should just surrender. He’d never win with two little granddaughters to love, even though both were technically “Potters” — certainly not when Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy found out. 

 

Merlin had cosmically fucked him — without a “by your leave” or a kiss — again.

 

“As your inferior intelligence cannot be corrected, we’ll have to help you take care of my daughter to the standards I require. Do you have a position lined up?”

 

James wanted nothing more to do with school.

 

“Uncle George hired me to work in his shop.”

“That won’t do. You’ll start at Chessington’s in a month. You’ll be responsible for making the park accessible to magical families without violating the Secrecy Statute — and for testing all new rides. As Lyra owns the place, she’ll be your superior. I’ll inform George.”

 

[In the end, Ron Weasley took the job with George as it paid better than his clerical job in the aurors’ department. Astoria forced him to quit field work to look after their eight children in the afternoon and evening. Evidently, Weasley fertility overcame the best contraception charms and potions (especially since Ron the Git kept getting his family planning potions and charms from George because they were “free”).]

 

“And you will cherish my daughter as the most precious gift you’ve ever received. You will love and protect her and my grandchildren with your life.”

 

In the serious and fierce expression the boy gave, Draco recognized the truth Hermione and Ginny saw; no man could possibly love his Lyra like James Potter did.

 

“Always have. Even from you, sir.”

 

Taken aback by the bold answer, Draco thanked Merlin once again that Lyra was a Slytherin. This “Gryffindor Bravery Syndrome” might make her a young widow without her father's “help”.

 

“I suppose you should call me ‘Dad’, if that’s okay with you, Potter.”

“I dunno,” Harry grinned in pure mischief, “I prefer 'Uncle Ferret'.”

 

Draco’s sigh echoed in Scandinavia. Without amplification.

 

“And my only daughter ties our families together for eternity. Un-fucking-believable! Guess it could be worse; could be one of those mindless brats your brother-in-law Weaselbee is producing with my ex.”

 

Settling into his utter defeat, Draco heard his name and a request ending with “…come here, please?” from the true head of his own household. He abandoned his search for a full bottle of fyrewhiskey to answer the summons.

 

“That went better than expected” James commented as an afterthought. For the first time since Lord Malfoy discovered who’d impregnated his only daughter, James put his wand away in its quick-release holster.

“Wait until your girls discover boys, you’ll —”

 

… and Harry’s fatherly advice got interrupted by the silky, smug invitation (from a very satisfied Slytherin) to join the “family” at the window in the dining room.

 

“What’s got him so cheerful?” Harry mused, “C’mon; maybe Aunt Hermione stuffed some chocolate down his throat.”

 

Across the foyer, the four parents made a space for the two Potters. Each man stood behind his respective wife, wrapping arms around their witches and holding their hands.

 

“Trouble in the garden, luv?”

“Depends;” Ginny answered noncommittally, “take a look at Lily.”

 

Through the glass and glasses, Harry’s gaze quickly found his daughter.

 

HEY!” he yelled at the closed window before taking off for the nearest door.

 

In the garden (on the grass) sat Scorpius Draco Malfoy in plain view — with Lily Potter planted firmly in his lap — alternating kisses with the strawberries he fed her.

 

HA! Now he’ll see how it feels!” a vindicated father crowed.

“Gin?” Hermione stuttered, chagrined at Scorp’s bold behavior.

“Don’t say it — I know. This summer will be murderous. I’ll floo Minerva in the morning. I expect you to keep your sister in line, James, as you and Lyra have been through this before. Keep the snogging and shagging in your flat — no midnight adventures like last week.”

 

Both newlyweds flushed with color and nodded in agreement. Ginny “stumbled” upon them having a go on the kitchen table late one night.

 

“You’re okay with this Draco?”

 

Nerves over a second Potter-Malfoy mating had Hermione worrying her bottom lip.

 

“Not my daughter sucking someone’s face, is it?”

 

Payback, Draco thought, is a loving, caring Slytherin bitch.

 

 

Chapter Text

After a quick floo call to Rachel that they’d be staying with Draco’s parents (and drop Scorpius off with his grandparents until he graduated from uni), Hermione floo'd her still emotional husband to their suite in Malfoy Manor. 

 

She later recalled that they stayed in the private library — and Draco stayed inside her — for four days straight (with assistance from the modified, leather-covered sex chair), but only after she had an informative conversation in the private library with Lilith and the other muggle-born portrait wives regarding some unexpected benefits Hermione’d uncovered that came with being “special”…

 


 

Weeks later found the couple back at their cottage home, on the Isle of Man, preparing for their first “official” dinner (since the revelation that Draco’d lost his baby girl to another man) with their married daughter and their newest "son". After ten years of marriage and a bond dating back to their time on the island of Crete, Hermione knew exactly what would move her possessive and vindictive mate past his persistent plotting to make his daughter a widow.

Halfway through preparing the table, Hermione unexpectedly laid herself on the couch with an arm over her eyes and one over her midsection.

 

“Lioness??? Are you feeling ill?”

 

The cunning wife hid her smile under that arm, thankful that her wizard loved so deeply and so hard.

 

“Just a bit tired.”

 

In a dash, Draco sat himself on the sofa table, facing her.

 

“Come — let me take you to St. Mungo’s—”

“Already been. And to see Dr. Saffron.”

 

The smile occupied his face before he could control it.

 

“Yeah? And what did the Doctor and Nurse Wretched say?”

“That the second female ‘Malfoy’ in 500 years will be here in seven months. We’re going to have another baby, Dragon.”

 

Instead of a kiss and a cuddle, Draco shot off the sofa table screaming for Richard.

 

“Draco Lucius Malfoy! Did you hear what I said? We’re having a baby — a girl.  Why are you shouting for Richard!?”

 

Hermione’s seemingly addled mate rushed around their living area in aimless circles, alternately muttering to the room and yelling for Richard.

 

“Have to plan! This one’s not leaving the house until she’s 200! We need wards, shields, turrets with those rapid-fire shooting things, a moat, a Hungarian Horntail watch-dragon and a-a-a… DEMENTOR! Need a dementor! Her own personal dementor bodyguard. Got to be one somewhere in Britain — can’t kill the fuckers, according to my father. No Potter contacts AT ALL. Have to sever all ties with them or Albus will be over here sneaking kisses while she’s in her cradle and next thing you know…  NO — it's NOT on! Richard! RICHARD!!!…”

 

 

Chapter Text

Overheard in a cafe frequented by Europe’s major and minor deities

 

“C’mon Cassandra, spill. I happen to like this couple and I’d hate to see your boss fucking up their lives for sport.”

 

At a table laden with sumptuous Italian cuisine sat two of the most beautiful goddesses to grace the universe (whichever universe they came from...).

 

“Actually, it’s not my boss who's into ‘sport’, as you call it,” the beautiful Roman goddess corrected as she navigated a delectable antipasti towards her full cherry-red lips, “it’s Britain’s own prankster — Merlin. Why your group let’s him get away with it, I’ll never understand.”

 

The Lady of the Lake swallowed  a slice from her contribution to the fete — a butter-knife tender venison filet — before answering the truth about the Anglo-irritant.

 

“It’s a union issue. Thanks to the Internet, the minority gods are finally getting equal status with you ‘superstars’. He’s protected — meaning we have to put up with his shite until he comes off the endangered list.”

 

That revelation meant Merlin was finally picking up 21st century worshippers. In a few centuries he'd come off the "Endangered Deities" list (at which point The Lady of the Lake vowed to personally teach him some manners).

 

“Cassandra?” The Lady of the Lake prodded for a glimpse into a future from the cursed seeress.

“Oh alright! Draco’s got it seriously wrong. Hugo Harry Weasley, Ron and Astoria’s tenth child — and the only one of the twelve with a brain — will sneak those kisses at Hogwarts from Cassiopeia Janine Malfoy. Hugo and Cassie will end up in Gryffindor house together, the first and only one of Draco’s eight children to do so…”

 

Cassandra, the deity cursed to know the future and doomed to be disbelieved, went on to tell Nimue that:

    • Lucius confined Narcissa to their bedroom in the Manor for a month at the sorting and bonding news…
    • The future marriage of the Hugo to Cassiopeia reconnected Draco to a harpy he’d hoped would “accidentally” fall into the Veil. Astoria Greengrass Weasley and her cuckolded husband, Ron “The Dolt” Weasley, became in-laws to the Malfoys and grandparents to their future grandchildren by Cassiopeia…
    • Upon hearing about his baby girl and the "Village Idiot" Weasley, and considering its impacts to his family for the rest of time, Hermione’s Dragon penned her up nightly in the private library for nearly two months… 

 

…and conceived (thanks to Merlin, who completely screwed Cassandra's prediction on how many little Malfoys Draco would father with Hermione) their ninth and last child, Jordan Cissa Malfoy — daughter number “3”, who had the good sense to marry Theo Nott’s youngest son Thorton — a Slytherin.

 

But long before daughter number “3” eased her father’s aging heart, Merlin’s sense of humor lightly poked Draco again:

Orion Perecles (Scorpius' brunette twin) fell hopelessly and completely in love with Bill and Fleur Weasley’s part-Veela daughter, the breathtaking and voluptuous strawberry blonde Dominique Weasley (his first-cousin by his sister Lyra's marriage to a Weasley descendant and his first-cousin-thrice-removed on Draco's side), and tried to double the census of Malfoys in Draco’s lifetime (before and after their marriage — her parents responded to news of another Malfoy bond by sending Dominique to Beaux Baton and not Hogwarts, having heard stories about Scorpius and Lily's "situations").

The young couple set a goal to surpass Gwynddh’s prodigious count of 22 children

Chapter Text

Draco and Hermione set up Draco’s en-suite salon room (which would hold Hermione’s sitting room, dining room and kitchen) as “command central” in the search for a solution to only heir’s specific procreation issues. A tad over six months remained to find an answer in all this “information”.

 

First, however, came two major parental milestones: Lyra’s 5th birthday and the event mothers everywhere met with pride and trepidation — Lyra’s first day at school.

 

 

Taking the “Fifth”

 

Minus Hermione’s irrational denial that Lyra would one day meet her paternal family, the proactive mother would have limited her daughter’s immersion into her Muggle heritage and the associated Muggle experiences. The looming disaster driving this retrospection (and driving the migraine headache no pain potion abated) was her daughter’s upcoming birthday.

 

In the B.D. era (as in: Before Draco), Hermione planned a day centered around Lyra’s choices. Their little nuclear family — Hermione, Rachel and Richard — would share a breakfast of the child’s favorites that included fresh pineapple (an expensive treat the frugal Gryffindor limited to special occasions or illnesses), pumpkin juice instead of milk and real maple syrup on Lyra’s flapjacks (in a nod to Lyra’s ever-present sweet tooth — a trait inherited, Hermione now knew, from her paternal DNA). The family would then meet up with the Potters, Uncle George (under an Unbreakable Vow to behave appropriately for a child of Molly Weasley) and Uncle Blaise (who kept Lyra’s existence a secret from his boss every workday) for a late morning trip to Chessington’s — Hermione’s favorite amusement park in the whole of Britain.  The group would return to Hermione’s magically expanded garden for an afternoon party of cake and ice cream after a meal of foods grilled on the barbie.

 

Leave it to the the Malfoy she slept with (most nights) to detonate her plans…

 

“There’s nothing wrong with Lyra’s birthday plans. She’s been looking forward to this for a year.”

 

“A year ago she didn’t have a father,” said father contradicted.

“She’s always had a father, Draco. She just didn’t have ‘tootsie roll pop’.”

“What is this ‘pop’? Is it like that fizzy drink you give her when she’s ill?”

“It’s slang for a father whose been wrapped around his child’s finger and is led around like a servant by the child.”

“She’s a Malfoy; I expect nothing less. Just exercising her inherited leadership skills. Don’t change the subject: Lyra’s birthday plans require… enhancements.”

 

Head slightly bowed, Hermione left the neat kitchen and sat at the dining table where most of their meals were eaten, massaging the rising pain centered between her eyebrows with the thumb and index finger of her right hand.

 

“And what ‘enhancements’ would you suggest?...”

“I spoke with Mother — Father’s absolute crap with children — and she suggested a few upgrades.”

“Such as?…”

“We can’t expect to fit five comfortably around this table.”

“You mean seven.”

 

Why Hermione failed to figure the members of her new family (the Grangers having, unfortunately, failed to regain their old memories or lives) perplexed Draco, given her absolute brilliance at arithmancy.

 

“No, five.”

 

Hermione sensed exactly where this train wreck would occur.

 

“Rachel and Richard.”

“They’re servants, Hermione. I appreciate what they do — what Richard does; Rachel can be rather unyielding and violent, if you ask me.”

“Only when provoked…”

“Malfoys do not dine with servants.”

 

The words “Uh-oh” trampled any others the pure-blooded prat might have spoken when his co-parent’s eyes went stormy brown with golden lightening flashing within. He’d not personally witnessed anyone but Voldemort go that long without blinking — and the Dark Lord was part snake by then.

 

“Rachel and Richard have been part of this family since I carried your daughter. They tended her so I got two hours of sleep between feedings. They made it possible — and continue to do so — for me to earn a comfortable living and they have yet to charge me what they’re worth. They’ve EARNED their place in this family.”

“Point taken,” he gulped as she dropped her wand back to its stowed and locked position, “uh… what’re your thoughts on the Manor for breakfast?”

“No. Because it will make Rachel and Richard uncomfortable.”

“Can we move the party to the Manor? There’s far more space for all the guests. We can supplement the charring of stringy meat with dishes from the kitchens…”

 

Looking straight through her eyes, Draco marveled at the machine (called a “brain”) whizzing in her head. He could swear clockwork gears and springs whirred as she calculated what trap lay hidden in his offer.

 

“Lyra loves the playground at the Manor, Lioness. All the children will enjoy it…”

 

3-2-1… ticked off in Draco’s devious head.

 

“Fine, fine. We’ll apparate over — wait! Ginny’s pregnant… I’ll figure it out. We’ll floo over. Make sure the wards are modified, the ones in the salon.”

 

The “children’s benefit” pushed her over to his side.

 

“I expect you and your parents to join us at the amusement park.”

“Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy at a MUGGLE venue!? Have you bumped that pretty head recently?”

 

His scoffing laughter only made the situation worse. In an instant she’d gone serious.

 

“Hear me, Dragon,” she spoke softly with deadly intensity, “Our daughter is a half-blood. I’m a Muggle-born. My best friend, Lyra’s godfather, is the half-blood son of a Muggle-born. If your parents can’t accept that Lyra lives in both worlds, then we should end this-this-this… whatever we’re doing together.”

 

This solemn moment of truth departed as softly as it arrived. Crossing the distance between their chairs and their experiences, Draco tugged her up and into his embrace, snugging her into his chest with her head tucked under his chin.

 

“I’ll let Mother know you’ll make recommendations on clothing. Take us shopping at one of those ‘sale’ things you and Ginny always rave over? I don’t want to embarrass Lyra… or you.”

“Thank you.”

 

Retail outings consumed the week before the event. Shopping with Lucius Malfoy cured Hermione from shopping for anyone but children for half a decade.

 

When the big day arrived, the disaster started at her floo. Lucius’ complaints reverberated against every wall in her cottage. 

 

“I look ri-DIC-ulous! These short trousers expose my legs! And where in Merlin’s sagging sac am I to carry my WAND!? You can’t expect me —”

“I can and I DO, Lucius Abraxas Malfoy! Today isn’t about YOU! It’s about our granddaughter — possibly the only grandchild we shall ever have! You will not ruin Lyra’s day and you will NOT whinge like a spoilt child! Do you understand?”

 

Observing through the crack in Lyra’s bedroom door (where she’d gone to give her birthday baby a special wake-up kiss), Hermione chuckled at the fear replacing the indignation in Lucius’ expression.

 

Have to learn that technique for Draco… wrote itself on yet another mental “To-Do” list in the young mother’s head.

 

“Lady Malfoy!” Hermione called out from her hiding place (in faux surprise), “You’re early.”

“Nonsense! People of breeding are never early nor late,” Lyra's chastened — but never humbled — grandfather contradicted.

 

Hermione let Lucius’ dig go unanswered, allowing the out-of-sorts aristocrat this small victory after the upbraiding he’d just survived.

 

“Would you like to join me? I like to give Lyra a special wake-up on her birthdays.”

 

The tears surprised Hermione and disconcerted Lucius.

 

“Cissa, darling — are you…” the infatuated Lord queried with unabashed concern.

“Wouldn’t Draco be more appropriate?”

“No. Just us girls today. Please?”

“Thank you…” the grateful woman whispered, lest she break down completely, “I’ve gained a granddaughter and so much more.”

“Don’t take forever, you two. I’m used to meals served at a specific time,” the spoilt, aristocratic threw their way.

 

Breakfast proceeded without confrontation or snide commentary because under the table Narcissa planted the heel of her very attractive sandals on Lucius' bare-toed, sandal-clad feet after his first gaff —

 

“Will one of you ‘R’ people retrieve a different spoon for me? This one isn’t pure silver.”

“Their names, Lucius, are Rachel and Richard. With a Hogwarts education, even a Slytherin should be able to figure out which one is which,” Hermione snapped at him.

“Lyra, please get your picky grandfather a spoon from Mummy’s buffet.”

“Oui, pa-pa.” 

 

Bouncing out of her chair the (mostly) cooperative half-Malfoy child started towards the wooden cabinet holding her mother’s heirloom china and silverware.

 

“That’s my good girl,” Pa-pa praised.

“By the Gods, boy! My granddaughter is not a servant!”

“Do you want the spoon or not, Father?”

 

If they’d been alone, Hermione would have thanked Draco for that tactic with her entire body and heart. A flustered Lord Malfoy retained only one choice that returned his granddaughter to her chair.

 

“Whatever utensils are good enough for my granddaughter are good enough for me.”

“I’ll be thanking you for that privately, Dragon,” Hermione sent in hushed words.

“You WILL be dealing with this when we return to the Manor, Cissa,” Lucius hissed with a squeeze under the table to Narcissa’s dress-covered nether region.

 

To keep the peace, Draco volunteered to clean the kitchen (which meant he placed a Disillusion charm on the room while his lover and daughter changed and sent a quick message to Wocky to “Handle it” once the cottage sat empty). 

 

To reduce the prospect of damage — especially with a pregnant Ginny Weasley in tow — Hermione had the group meet up in a rented hospitality suite at the park’s 5-star lodge, the Chessington Resort Hotel. 

 

The Malfoy group arrived to pandemonium:

 

  • James and Albus carbo-loaded at the snack table and were now buzzing around the room like World War II fighter planes in a dogfight. Half a mountain of complimentary doughnuts, tarts, chocolate-covered strawberries and sugar-laden fizzy pop had been consumed in the last half-hour by the boys and George — who chased behind his nephews.
  • Ginny, with three months to go, hadn’t stopped losing her lunch — and her breakfast and supper and tea. She looped a circuit of snatch-&-grab at the unruly boys, loo time with unnatural noises produced, pale-faced walk to a comfortable chair and blaming Harry for it all.
  • Blaise, ever the pure-blood, broke Hermione’s express rule about intoxicants. The open bar presented some of the finest ales, wines and whiskeys to be found anywhere. Lucius smiled for the first time that day and made a beeline for the very potent — and very illegal — distillation of dragon’s gallbladder. 
  • Harry partook generously. Imbibing the sweets and mulled wine while ignoring the “red whine” he’d impregnated three times, he made no effort to control his sons or accept responsibility for Lily Luna’s disruption of her mummy’s tummy.

 

George stopped rounding the room long enough to grab a grinning Lyra up in his arms, tossing her ceiling-ward like a rag doll.

 

“Happy Birthday, Little Granger!”

 

— to which two very territorial Malfoys objected —

 

“It’s ‘Malfoy’!”

“Cool your heels, Ferret senior and junior! Mini-'Mione is my favorite niece, aren’t you? No need to get all puffed up. Hey Lyra! Ever seen your father as a ferret?”

 

— and, with a nose twitch from George, an albino ferret hissed and chattered on the floor for the briefest instant before returning to human form. 

 

The little girl giggled in George’s arms.

 

“…DARE to change me into a…”

 

Draco finally caught up with himself when he heard words and not chatter exiting his mouth. Two wands emerged, tips directed at George. Neither belonged to Lucius as ‘Dragonfyre’ spirits were known for their tranquilizing properties (albeit short-lived).

 

“DRACO — don’t you dare!” Hermione barked out in a very uncharacteristic manner. “GEORGE! Apologize to Draco!”

“But Hermione, he’s SO easy to wind —”

GEORGE! Apologize. NOW!”

“All right,” the juvenile Weasley grinned at “Molly” Granger, “don’t get your knickers twisted.”

“Why you’re not dead is beyond me," the lawyer swot pondered. "That vow should have kicked in.”

“No it shouldn’t,” George answered while dancing away from Draco’s attempts to retrieve his precious daughter from Weasley-World.

“Why not?” the suspicious Gryffindor prodded.

“Used a fake. New product — ‘Break-It-Fast Fake Forearm’. Charmed to respond just like the real thing but without making the unbreakable vow. Pretty effective.”

“I could strangle you right now,” the already tired mother of the birthday girl sighed. "Why don’t you take Lyra and get started? Start with the Children’s Zoo and the Monkey Garden — make sure you thoroughly clean her hands before you leave. We’ll meet you in the Land of the Dragons at Griffin’s Galleon.”

“Galleons?” Draco interrupted, “Are they giving away gallons?”

“And would we have to disclose their source if Hermione can’t solve your…um… problem?” Lucius tacked on.

“It’s ‘galleon’ — as in a pirate’s ship” the Muggle-born corrected, “Not money.”

“Pity…” three Slytherins lamented in unison.

 

One hour later a group of children (that included George, Draco and Lucius) commented on the lack of appeal of ‘Griffin’s Galleon’.

 

“Not very sizable for a pirate ship…” the elder blond prat commented disparagingly.

“Nor very fast…” the other blond prat contributed.

“I’m sure there must be something more… suitable in this bastion of mediocrity.” the elder suggested with a disdainful look at Hermione.

 

James Potter had been waiting for this moment for a year.

 

“Can we go on that?” Harry’s eldest pointed.

 

“That” towered more than sixty feet off the ground, consisted of twisted metal in a loop that rose and fell over a very realistic looking ancient (but fake) cemetery and supported some kind of carrying box for screaming riders.

 

James wanted to ride the “Vampire” roller coaster.

 

“Can we, Aunt Hermione?” her godson begged. “Lyra’s tall enough now!”

 

Hermione’s “NO!”, as she stared at the death trap, was shouted down by two enthusiastic blond “Yes”es.

 

“Have you two gone mental?”

“Put your claws away, Lioness. Lyra’s ridden faster on my broom.”

“And mine.” Lucius added to the rising frustration in Narcissa’s eyes.

“She’s too small!” the frightened mother pleaded to her partner.

 

Hidden behind a vocal tut-tutting of Hermione’s objections, “Mr. Sneaky” covertly wiggled his fingers as Draco steered Lyra to the height restriction ruler.

 

“Aaaaand…” Draco's voice rose in suspense, pretending the line hadn’t moved under a spell from his father, “her head passes the line!”

“She’ll slip out of the restraints!” Hermione now shrieked.

“Let’s not pass on that fear you have of speed and heights,” Lucius sneered, “— Lyra’s a Malfoy.”

“I will ensure she’s safely tucked in,” the lead Slytherin promised, genuine in his love for and protection of his precious Lyra.

 

In the end, the group split up — with Harry and Albus riding the smaller, slower, safer rides in “Dragon Land” while Draco, Lucius, George, James and Lyra conquered the “Vampire”. Blaise stayed in the suite to “protect” the illegal spirits (of which the ‘Dragonfyre’ wasn’t even the most poisonous) and still impressive pile of sweets.

 

Having lost the argument, a nervous Hermione, a nauseous Ginny and an overheated Narcissa found seats, healthy foods and cool temperatures in the “Creaky Cafe” next to the “Vampire”. Through the huge wall-to-wall window, they kept tabs on the five “children” riding the “Vampire” (awaiting the point where the Malfoy males regained their sanity and realized the danger they’d exposed Lyra to — presently the only daughter/grand-daughter in the family).

 

“I shouldn’t have given in, should I?…”

“Draco favors his father; a stiff-necked daredevil to the last,” Narcissa complained.

“Don’t take this the wrong way,” Ginny added hesitantly, “but Draco’s right.”

 

Two heads faced the pale ginger as she fought her daughter’s attempts to upset her mummy’s tummy once more.

 

“For more than five years you’ve had final say on every decision about Lyra. If you and Draco are going to stay together, you’ll have to share those decisions. I’m guessing you overlooked this part of having a full-time bedmate?”

 

After a long silence, Narcissa laughed lightly.

 

“Don’t fret, Hermione. I’ve seen you in action — you’ll have Draco trained in no time. It only took a year or so with Lucius.”

 

The implication was obvious: More quality bed time = More pliable bed mate.

 

Settled in contemplation of this new aspect of relationship management, Hermione relaxed into consideration of her favorite park as it lay before her through the picture window.

 

Ten times. Ten times the Malfoys, James Potter and George Weasley rode the coaster — miraculously ending up at the front of the queue each time they exited their prior ride. 

 

Until, that is, the park attendants requested Lyra’s extended family “give it a rest” because the ride behaved “bloody odd” while their group rode it. The women had just tucked into their main courses when they heard the commotion outside the viewing window.

 

The ride operator screamed at Lucius' nose from half an inch away — “Listen, you old pufta, the ticket says I control who rides and you’re DONE — the LOT of you. FINISHED!”

“How DARE you take that tone with me! We’ve done NOTHING to warrant your prohibition! You are RUINING my grand-daughter’s birthday!”

“Yeah!? Well, you’re ruinin’ my RIDE! It’s not meant to go that fast! Only happens when you and the rest of these posh prats are in the seats. Bloody dangerous, is what it is! Rides never hit 160 kph — not even during testing! Rails were shaking and we’ve got 40 customers tossing their lunch at First Aid Centre! You!? YOU lot keep riding! I’n’t that strange!? Vampie’s my girl and you’re messing with her. Off wit’ ya!”

“We will PURCHASE this sorry excuse for entertainment just to FIRE YOU if you don’t change your tone, apologize to my daughter and show us to our SEATS!” Draco bellowed from a spot 3-inches to the right of the operator’s nose, “You DO understand spoken ENGLISH — or have you been hired as a CHARITY CASE!?”

 

The ride attendant wedged a black box between his face and the aristocrat’s and made one call on his walkie-talkie.

 

Half the park lined up on both sides of the main pathway to watch as Chessington Park Security frog-marched an obstinate Lucius and a still-screaming Draco to the nearest exit gate. In deference to their age (and George’s ability to keep his gob shut — for once), custody of the children (and George) transferred to Hermione and Ginny, who followed “the accused” with the remainder of the birthday celebrants. A mortified birthday mum led the group back to the hospitality suite to retrieve their belongings (and Blaise, who’d near emptied every bottle on the bar). 

 

Before apparating to the Manor from a copse of trees in the car park, though, two smirking blonde wizards exacted their revenge on the park’s impudent and  incompetent management… 

 

Like dominoes tumbling down a ramp, the sound of noise shifting to silence ringed the property as the “Kobra”, the “Rattlesnake” and “Dragon’s Falls” gently slowed, under control of the Malfoy men, until stopped. Sprinting maintenance techs had barely reached those rides to evacuate stranded riders when a similar silence consumed the “Tomb Blaster”, the “Runaway Train”, the “Black Buccaneer” and “Tuk Tuk Turmoil”. (Reformed in their attitudes about wee ones — thanks to Lyra’s influence — none of the kiddie rides were affected.)

 

Awaiting the guilty parties back in the Manor’s salon, Hermione knew devilment had occurred when Draco and Lucius materialized caught up in self-congratulations.

 

“What did you two do?” she cross-examined her future father-in-law, using skills honed in her profession.

“Nothing that wasn’t justified and nothing that harmed your precious ‘Muggles’.”

“What Father means —”

“What did you do?” Hermione cut her significant other off.

“After we authorized Gringott’s to purchase the place, we ‘operated’ the rides,” Draco smirked, “As a present.”

“Next year, Lyra and her guests will have the park to themselves. And the employees will cater to her or be dismissed,” Lucius stated emphatically.

 

Draco’s consort froze, mouth agape in shock: arrogant arses Senior and Junior had just purchased Chessington Amusement Park as a present for a five-year-old.

 

Sighing at the backs of Lyra’s knights errant as she followed them into the Manor’s side garden, Hermione concluded that Malfoys — including her personal member of the wizarding world’s “Addams Family” — should never leave the asylum known as Malfoy Manor.

 

School - Malfoy-style

 

After some very LOUD discussions, Hermione made her decision permanent to have her daughter attend the Muggle school near their cottage (Under threat of dismemberment, Draco had Blaise Zabini accelerate the replacement of George Weasley’s name with his own on Lyra’s birth certificate; didn’t matter — only Hermione’s signature would let Draco transfer Lyra to any other school). 

 

Lucius joined Draco in his litany of shortcomings with Hermione’s choice.

 

“Merlin, woman!” Lucius shouted at the stubborn war-hero witch he knew would be part of his life until she caused his death, “She’ll be surrounded by children well beneath her station!”

 

The two wily gents had cornered Hermione in her cottage (while Narcissa took Lyra to Fortescue’s as a treat) to even the odds of a victory.

 

“Because they’re Muggles?” came back at the Malfoy head as the petite witch stared him down.

“Because they’re commoners!” he bellowed back, “Lyra’s a Malfoy and Malfoys do NOT consort with COMMONERS!”

“That’s exactly what I said,” a vindicated Draco added as commentary.

“I’m a commoner and I’ve done just fine.”

“I beg to differ, witch,” Lucius chuckled in spite of his frustration with Draco’s overly-independent consort, “you are anything but common. I dare say you’re the most powerful witch of your generation and, if what I’ve seen is any indication, my grand-daughter will outmatch you and her father,” 

 

— and Lucius couldn’t hide the pride in his voice. 

 

In just the last weeks, Lord Malfoy’d taught Lyra how to levitate their favorite candy from its hiding place (as Hermione had an uncanny knack for catching Lucius and Draco sneaking her sweets) and had her riding solo around the Nursery on his own old Comet 180 (after reinforcing the anti-collision spells one ride too late; he’d had to glamour the bruises on her knee and shoulder). Pépé Luc — Lyra’s nickname for her adoring grandfather — planned to have Lyra tutored at the Manor so she’d enter Hogwarts with 4 or 5 years of Charms, Potions and Arithmancy under her belt.

 

“Lyra needs to spend time with normal children.”

“You mean dullards.” Lucius translated.

“I mean Muggle. The world is different now. She’ll always be a Malfoy but that will mean different experiences than you or Draco had. And she will marry one day —”

NOT WHILE I LIVE AND BREATHE!” both Malfoy men shouted.

“She will and she might marry a Muggle-born like myself. She needs these experiences before she goes to Hogwarts.”

“How do you tolerate her stubborn streak, son? If it weren’t for darling little Lyra, I’d say you found another much like Astoria —”

 

The stinging jinx had Lucius hopping around the cottage sitting room, cradling his exposed bum cheeks through the hole burned in his expensive trousers and pants.

 

_________

 

And so, not many days after the theme park disaster (as the pensieve displayed and Lyra remembered fondly), the youngest Malfoy had a posse with her on her first day of classes — her mummy, her dissatisfied pa-pa, her anxious Nana Cissa, her disdainful Pépé Luc and the Potter family (Lyra’s best friend, James, would return to his own Muggle school in London in a week). Young Albus Potter spent the day with his grandmother, Molly Weasley.

 

The day was a full-contact Malfoy affair:

 

  • At introductions, Lyra’s family tree took a full five minutes to present instead of five seconds as Lucius provided commentary on his ancestors’ accomplishments while Narcissa injected Black family history to the discussion. 
  • At snack time, the teacher found pumpkin juice and expensive biscuits in the cupboard instead of milk and graham squares. 
  • At community time, Lyra barely fit in the circle, surrounded by her entourage; her father and grandfather had to be restrained from slapping the hand of the little boy who tried to hold Lyra’s hand as they sat in the circle (truthfully, though, James Potter was doing the exact same thing on her other side). 
  • At outdoor playtime, children who teased or pushed or played too roughly with Lyra found themselves with unexplained maladies such as jelly-legs, laughing fits, uncontrollable dancing and perpetually runny noses until Lyra stood alone on the play area with only James (not that James minded — keeping Lyra safe near exhausted him).

 

The final straw came when Lyra’s “Malfoy Support Team” produced six meals for her, deciding the school’s lunch of sandwiches and fruit was too “pedestrian” and “lacked palate appeal”. 

 

Barely reining in her temper, Lyra’s mummy had a brief word with the Head of School — promising that the only child and only grandchild of the Malfoys would not be bringing her overprotective (but well-meaning) family to class again — and corralled the group out of the school. After kissing the Potters goodbye with warm thanks for making Lyra’s day so special, she turned and read the riot act to the interfering pure-bloods.

 

Hermione’s ultimatum?

 

Comply with her intent to NOT raise Lyra as a pure-blood (which she wasn’t) child of privilege (which she was… for the time being) or lose any access to her. 

 

“You can’t do that, Granger. She’s my daughter too!”

“And she deserves a normal childhood, one that combines your traditions and mine. If you try to control me or my choices for her, I will take her and you won’t see her again until she turns 17!”

 

Two contrite Malfoy males slunk off towards Hermione’s cottage, beaten by a small but powerful witch. Narcissa, however, placed a hand on Hermione’s arm to stay the young witch’s departure and temper.

 

“They’re quite smitten with Lyra, you realize. And with you.”

“Draco and I will eventually work this out.”

“I’m speaking of both Draco and Lucius. You’ve earned Draco’s love and Lucius’ respect — not an easy task; ask Astoria. There was a brief time when she tried but she was just too… ordinary; not really accomplished at anything — except spending money and arguing. Please forgive them — and me; we love your daughter. She’s precious to us all.”

 

Hermione observed Narcissa, her head processing the intimate revelations forthcoming.

 

“I promise we’ll behave and honor your choices for Lyra; all I ask is you consider our wishes.”

“You have my word I’ll do that”

“Then let’s join our wizards for lunch. Shall we punish them for an hour or so? I could certainly use an afternoon massage — couldn’t you?” and with a sly wink the aristocrat swept up the skirt of her robes, taking dainty step towards the cottage.