Hermione lay in tangled in silk sheets as the morning sun filtered through the gauzy curtains of her bedroom window. A gentle wind, carrying the scent of the gardens beyond, made the curtains ebb and flow in time with the rise and fall of the brunette’s chest. Long, pale fingertips traced patterns resembling protective runes along the curve of her hip as a pair of quicksilver eyes watched over her. He feathered a kiss to her temple just as the door opened and two small bodies entered the room.
The first one to enter was thin and dark with mischievous emerald eyes who was dressed in pajamas dotted with golden snitches while the one who followed was still chunky with baby fat with riotous blonde curls, amber eyes, and a pacifier in her mouth. Draco turned from his sleeping wife and smiled at the pair of children. The boy approached Draco’s side of the bed and climbed into the bed, falling on top of the blonde in a massive hug.
The little girl stomped her foot and pouted, taking the pacifier from her mouth to demand “up” before popping it back in and holding her arms above her head.
Draco chuckled quietly and hugged the boy to his chest, kissing the top of his head before leaning over and bringing the little girl into the bed as well, kissing her cheek.
“What are you two doing up so early?” He asked, ruffling the boy’s dark hair.
The boy rolled his eyes, “Dad, it’s not early. It’s 7:30.”
Draco groaned and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “That’s still early, son.”
“Where’s your brother?” Draco asked, noting his oldest son hadn’t wandered into his room with his siblings.
“Pa-pakes!” the little girl chimed in proudly with a toothy grin, once again removing the pacifier from her mouth to speak.
“Oh, I see,” said Draco, tapping the girl on her nose with a smile.
“Scorpius is making pancakes with maman before she goes to work.” The boy clarified, sitting cross legged on the bed.
“Your mother is making pancakes?” Draco asked with a raised brow.
The boy shrugged, “She says you and mum should wake up and come eat before it gets cold.”
While Draco was conversing with his son, the little girl had crawled across the bed and had snuggled herself against her mother. Hermione had pulled the little girl into her arms and was stroking her back with her fingertips, humming a soft tune. Draco smiled at the pair before turning back to his son.
“Tell her we’ll be in there in a moment, Jasper. Take Lyra with you."
Jasper nodded and climbed out of the bed, making his way around to the side where Hermione and was snuggling with the toddler. Her brown eyes fluttered open and she smiled sleepily at Jasper, lifting her arm to pull him into a hug, pressing both children to her chest.
“Good morning, sweetheart.”
“Morning, mum.” Jasper said, kissing his mother’s cheek.
“Tell your father to put down his paper and make sure that your mother doesn’t burn the house down.” Hermione told the boy with a chuckle.
“I will.” The boy said, obediently. “Come on Li-Li. Let’s go eat breakfast.” He said, tugging on the hand of the toddler.
The toddler pulled the pacifier from her mouth and frowned at the boy. “No. Li-Li mummy.” She protested, clinging to her mother.
Hermione pulled her fingers through Lyra’s blonde curls and nuzzled her nose against her daughter’s. “Go with Jasper, Lyra. Mummy will be in the kitchen shortly. I’ll bet if you ask nicely, maman will give you some chocolate milk.”
The toddler’s eyes lit up upon hearing her mother’s words and she climbed over the side of the bed, her feet hitting the floor with a thump. “Chok-it?”
Jasper laughed and tugged his sister out of the room, “Yes, Li-Li, chocolate milk.
When the pair exited the room, Hermione turned over in the bed and snuggled up to her husband, wrapping her arm around his waist and resting her head on his chest. Draco dropped a kiss on the crown of her head and pulled her tightly against him.
“Happy Anniversary, honey.” Draco murmured against her curls.
“Happy Anniversary, Draco.” Hermione said, closing her eyes and listening to the sound of his heartbeat with a smile playing on her lips.
“We should really go make sure Astoria isn’t causing irreparable damage to the kitchen.” Draco said.
“Why is she even cooking?” Hermione laughed, pushing herself off of her husband planting a kiss on his lips.
“Scorpius probably talked her into it given that you weren’t down there to cook breakfast this morning.” Draco said, sitting up in their bed and stretching his arms above his head.
Hermione slipped out from beneath the silk sheets and pulled on one of Draco’s t-shirts and a pair of cotton shorts which had been discarded on the floor, twisting her hair into a bun and securing it with a hair tie. “Blaise should know better than to let her anywhere near the kitchen.” She muttered as she made her way towards the door. “You remember what happened last time.”
Draco slipped out of the bed and pulled on a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt, following Hermione out of their room. “I know. I was afraid the smell would never go away.” Draco said, wrinkling his nose.
When they entered the kitchen, they found it in complete disarray. There was a stack of pancakes which looked either over cooked or undercooked and the countertops were covered in flour, batter, and various fruits and sauces. Astoria’s robes were dotted with white handprints and there was a smudge of pancake batter running across her cheek, looking thoroughly flustered and on the verge of tears. Scorpius wielded a spatula and was attempting to move one pancake from the pan to the plate.
Blaise sat in his dressing robe at the countertop bar with Lyra perched on his lap, both looking intently at the Daily Prophet the man was holding. Jasper sat nearby with a glass of chocolate milk, blowing bubbles through his straw while watching the chaos with a studious expression as though he was attempting to divine what the next thing to go wrong would be.
Hermione frowned and broke away from Draco, crossing the room and cupping Astoria’s cheeks in her palms. “Tori, what are you doing?” She asked gently, swiping the batter off of the woman’s cheek with her thumb.
“You just make it look so easy, mon ange…” Astoria said solemnly, resting her forehead against Hermione’s. “… and I just wanted to do something nice for our family.”
Hermione pressed a simple, loving peck against Astoria’s lips, nuzzling their noses together. “You do amazing things for our family every day,” she said with a kind smile, pushing a lock of Astoria’s dark brown hair behind her ear.
Draco watched the two women with a smile and ruffled his son’s blonde hair as Scorpius ladled the batter into the pan to make another pancake. His eyes drifted to Blaise and their youngest daughter as they flipped through the morning copy of the Daily Prophet with identical looks of concentration on their faces though one was reading words and the other was exploring the pictures.
“Go get cleaned up, Tori and I’ll take care of this.” Hermione urged, gently moving the younger woman towards the stairs.
As Astoria ascended the stairs, Hermione turned and scowled at her husband, pushing the paper to the countertop and waving a finger in his face. “Blaise Zabini, what on earth were you thinking?”
Blaise eyed his wife, his green eyes twinkling mischievously as he captured the offending finger in his hand. “Good morning to you too, tesoro.” He said, lifting her hand to his lips.
She yanked her hand away and crossed her arms over her chest, indignantly. “Don’t you tesoro me.” She admonished, not catching the smirk that crossed Draco’s face from across the kitchen as he started to clean up the mess on the countertops with a wave of his wand. Scorpius stood next to his father, biting his lip to quell his laughter.
Lyra began to bounce in Blaise’s lap as she excitedly slapped a picture on the page the Prophet was open to with a squeal and a giggle. Blaise set the blonde child on the floor and handed her the page she was looking at, watching her waddle over to her brother to show him whatever it was had her so excited.
“Don’t you remember what happened the last time Tori tried to cook?” Hermione scowled, her eyes narrowed on the tall Italian.
Blaise slipped off of his chair and pulled his arms around the irritated witch. “Draco, will you tell your wife to calm down?” He chucked, flashing a charming smile at the blonde man.
Draco snorted a laugh as he helped Scorpius sort through the pancakes, setting aside those that could be salvaged from those that were going to be promptly deposited in the rubbish bin. “You’re the one who didn’t stop Astoria from trying to cook, she’s your wife right now.”
Blaise rolled his eyes and put on his best pleading, pouty expression and stared straight into his wife’s amber eyes. “Forgive me, tesoro?”
Hermione uncrossed her arms and feathered a kiss just under the line of his jaw. “Only because it’s our anniversary.”
“I’ll take it,” Blaise chuckled, swatting her playfully on the bottom as she stepped away and went to appraise the pancakes Draco and Scorpius had sorted. Noting the stack had grown significantly smaller, she pulled several ingredients down from the cabinets and expertly mixed a bowl of fresh batter, tossing in several blueberries. She smiled at her son and handed Scorpius the ladle so he could scoop the pancake batter into the pan.
“Are you ready for tomorrow, Scorp?” She asked, watching the eleven-year-old as he carefully moved the batter from the bowl to the pan.
“I think so, mum.” Scorpius replied.
“What house are you hoping for?” She asked, secretly hoping that her years of raising the boy would’ve given him some Gryffindor traits, despite the fact that his three other parents were Slytherins.
Draco rolled his eyes as he rested his arms around Blaise’s shoulders from behind. “Isn’t it obvious, Hermione?” He asked with just a bit too much confidence as Lyra latched herself onto his leg. Draco looked down at the cherub, picking her up and resting her on his hip. Blaise turned around and handed the little girl a blueberry which she promptly popped in her mouth.
“This one will be in Slytherin too.” Blaise mused, wiping the blueberry juice off of her face.
Jasper looked up from behind the book he had been reading as he joined his family in the kitchen, standing near his mother who wrapped an arm around his shoulder. “What about Jade?”
Blaise smiled as his son. “We won’t know for a while until after she is born.” Draco squeezed the Italian man’s shoulder, knowing how excited they all were that Astoria was pregnant.
Astoria returned to the kitchen in a set of fresh robes, looking much more relaxed than she had when she left. In fact, not a hair was out of place on her head and she had charmed her dark brown hair into crisp ringlets which were held back from her face by a silver comb. She secured an earring into her right ear, her heels clicking on the wooden floor as she entered the kitchen.
Blaise stood up and crossed the room, pressing his hand against Astoria’s swollen abdomen hoping to feel the movement within. “Better?” He asked with a loving smirk.
Astoria nodded with a subdued smile, rising to her toes to kiss Blaise on the cheek. “Better.” She said, placing her own hand on top of his, feeling the growing life inside of her abdomen dance at his touch. “Happy anniversary, Blaise.”
Blaise pulled the petite woman tightly into his arms and hugged her tightly to his chest. “Happy anniversary, cara.”
Astoria moved into the kitchen and took Lyra out of Draco’s arms, wiping the remaining blueberry juice from the toddler’s mouth while chattering at her quietly in French with an animated expression, despite the sadness still present in her eyes.
“I think I want Slytherin.” Scorpius said, after some thought as he pulled a perfectly cooked pancake from the pan under Hemione’s watchful gaze.
“You’ll do great no matter what house you end up in, mon lapin.” Astoria said, watching the interaction between her first born and his other mother. The kitchen was no longer in a state of disarray and the pancakes that were coming out of the pan looked positively delicious.
With a flick of her wand, Hermione levitated the pancakes and the rest of the accoutrements to their large dining room table, watching her family settle around it. Draco sat at the head of the table with Astoria to his right and Scorpius to his left. Lyra was settled in a highchair next to Astoria with Hermione on her other side. Blaise sat to Hermione’s right at the other end of the table with Jasper on his left. The family chattered idly through breakfast until plates were cleaned, bellies were full, and one particularly messy little girl had managed to coat her blonde curls in syrup, despite Astoria’s careful attention.
“How long is your shift today, love?” Draco asked as he walked with Astoria towards the floo in the entrance hall.
“I should be back in time for dinner.” She replied as Draco pulled her cloak from a hook nearby and slipped it around her shoulders with care. “Are you going into the office later?”
Draco nodded, cupping the brunette’s cheek with his hand. “Blaise and I have a meeting with the board in about an hour and then I’ll be in the potions lab for the rest of the day.” Draco tilted her head so her blue eyes met his, kissing his wife firmly.
“Happy anniversary, Tori.” He whispered against her lips, hearing a contented sigh escape her own.
“Happy anniversary, mon coeur.” Astoria replied, her hands pressing against Draco’s chest. “Is Hermione working today?”
“No, she called off. She’s taking Lyra and Jasper to the Granger’s for the day and then is taking Scorpius to get one or two last minute things from Diagon Alley before he leaves tomorrow.”
Astoria pressed her cheek against Draco’s chest with a discontented sigh. “I can’t believe it’s already time…” She said quietly, leaning against her husband for support.
“Me neither, Tori.” He said gently, running his fingertips over her arms. “Our little boy is growing up.”
Astoria nodded, pulling back to smile at her husband, though Draco didn’t miss the sadness contained therein. “At least we still have a few more years with Jasper before he leaves for Hogwarts.” She murmured.
Draco chuckled, “and even longer until Lyra and Jade go.” He pressed his hand to her abdomen, feeling the little life growing within wiggling within her mother’s stomach.
“Our family means the world to me.” Astoria said quietly, adjusting her cloak around her shoulders before glancing at the clock.
“I love our family too, Astoria.” He said with a genuine smile, tossing a handful of floo powder into the fire place, knowing she would be late if she lingered any longer. “I’ll see you tonight, sweetheart.”
Blaise wrapped his arms around Hermione’s waist as she stood at the kitchen sink with a squirming, naked eighteen-month-old who hated taking a bath. Blaise rested his chin on Hermione’s shoulder as she poured water over their daughter, chuckling at the child. She blew a stray curl which had fallen out of her messy bun away from her face with a puff of air while she lathered her hands with shampoo, determined to get the syrup out of Lyra’s hair.
“You could just use a scourgify, you know.” Blaise said, with a playful nip to her shoulder.
“No soap!” the little girl protested, attempting to wiggle out of her mother’s reach.
Hermione raised an eyebrow and stared at the toddler. “Yes soap.” She said firmly to the toddler, running her fingers gently through the girl’s curls, working the shampoo into a lather. “We don’t have to use magic for everything, husband.” Hermione laughed. “Besides, it doesn’t get her nearly as clean.”
“Where did our sons run off to?” Blaise asked, noting that Jasper had slipped out after breakfast not long after Scorpius asked to be excused.
Hermione picked up her wand and shielded Lyra’s face while she poured water through the girl’s blonde curls, rinsing the shampoo and the remainder of the syrup from her hair. “I saw them sneaking out into the gardens with their brooms after breakfast. The boys probably want to spend some time together before Scorpius leaves for Hogwarts tomorrow.”
“And you didn’t protest…?” Blaise asked cautiously, as he poked Lyra in the belly with his finger, knowing how angry Hermione had been when he and Draco bought the brooms for the boys for Christmas.
The little girl giggled, “Papa ‘gin!”
Hermione turned her head and kissed her husband on his cheek. “I was a bit busy with little miss here.” She said with a laugh. “Besides, Scorpius is a responsible young man and he will watch out for his brother.”
Blaise cast her a wary glance and poked the toddler in her stomach again as Hermione turned off the water, eliciting another fit of giggles before reaching for the towel on the counter. Hermione stepped out of the way so Blaise could wrap the towel around the squirming toddler, drying her off
“When are you taking the kids to your parents?” He asked, holding Lyra against his chest while he dried her hair gently with the towel.
Hermione glanced at her watch. “In about an hour. Can you get Lyra dressed and I’ll pack them a bag?”
Blaise nodded and carried the little girl up the stairs.
Draco wandered outside, tucking his hands in the pockets of his sleep pants as he watched Scorpius and Jasper flying just a bit too close to Astoria’s roses. Luckily, they didn’t graze them, but if their mother knew, she wouldn’t be happy.
“Watch out for your mother’s roses!” He called out, settling down in a chair as he watched the boys fly.
Jasper especially was showing a talent for the skill given his young age. While he favored his mother with his intelligence and love of books and learning, he had also somehow managed to inherit Draco’s love of flying as well, despite the fact that he knew Jasper was biologically Blaise’s son. Jasper was bright and well rounded, nearly everything he did turned out well as though he were born with felix felicis in his blood.
While Scorpius looked very similar to Draco when he was that age, his personality was eerily similar to Astoria’s. He was a kind and charismatic boy with a huge heart and a firm sense of self preservation. He applied careful thought to everything he did and was a charmer, which Draco was certain was due to Blaise’s influence. All he had to do was look at Astoria the right way and she would cave into whatever his demands were, which is why Hermione had trained their wife to send Scorpius to her whenever he asked for something. Hermione was not so easily swayed and would judge the request fairly.
Lyra, on the other hand, was proving to be too much like Draco for his own comfort. She was a serious, mischievous little girl who took nonsense for anyone, even though she barely eighteen months. She loved Jasper and followed him around the house, getting into as much mischief as she could. Draco fully expected that she would be their first child to break a bone. Apart from Hermione’s eyes, she had certainly inherited her mother’s bravery.
Draco was curious to see who Jade would take after in their family given that Astoria’s due date was rapidly approaching.
Blaise walked out onto the patio with Lyra balanced on his hip. He set her down on the ground where she toddled out to the grass, watching her brothers fly above her head. Scorpius called out to her girl, “Li-Li, watch!” drawing her attention before doing a barrel roll mid-air causing the little girl to giggle and reach her arms up.
“Li-Li up!” She shouted at her brothers. Both boys settled in front of her in the grass and looked at their fathers who were sitting in matching chairs with their fingers interlaced.
“Can we, dad?” Jasper asked hesitantly, looking at Draco.
Draco glanced over at Blaise for approval before turning back to their son. “Don’t take her up more than a meter or so off of the ground or your mum will start spitting fiendfyre.”
Eight-year-old Jasper grinned and picked up the toddler, placing her in front of him on his broom, while Scorpius stood nearby. Lyra’s hands gripped the broomstick tightly as Jasper wrapped a protective arm around his sister’s waist. “Ready Li-Li?”
“Up!” Lyra commanded. Jasper kicked off of the ground and settled them about a foot off of the ground with Scorpius flying next to them as they took their sister slowly around the gardens.
Draco turned to Blaise, lowering his voice. “Do you think they realize how unconventional our family is?”
“Love is love, marito.” Blaise said, squeezing Draco’s hand. “Scorpius and Jasper may realize something sooner than later, if they don’t already, but we’ve always raised them with love and that’s what matters.”
“You’re right, of course.” Draco said, rubbing his thumb over the soft, tanned skin of Blaise’s hand before parting Blaise’s lips with his own in a soft kiss.
“Happy Anniversary, Draco.” Blaise said, smiling at his oldest friend as he pulled back from the kiss.
“Happy Anniversary, Blaise.” Draco replied, turning his attention back to their children, watching as the three children laughed and giggled as they flew around the gardens.
Hermione stepped outside, a bag slung over her shoulder. After packing a bag for the children, she took the time to dress herself in a simple navy-blue wrap dress and a pair of sensible flats. Her mahogany curls were tamed and cascaded down her back in soft waves.
“Great Morgana.” Hermione swore, dropping the bag on the floor and glaring at her husbands after witnessing her youngest child on a broomstick. “Do one of you want to tell me why my baby is currently on a flying death stick?” She questioned, gesturing wildly to where the children were flying around the garden.
Draco released Blaise’s hand and pulled her down into his lap, wrapping an arm securely around her waist as Blaise grasped her hands. “Calm down, Hermione. Our bed is higher than that and she’s always rolling around on it in the mornings."
“Besides,” Blaise chimed in, squeezing her hands, “Jasper has her firmly around the waist and Scorpius is right next to them. Weren’t you just saying how responsible Scorpius is? Lyra will be fine.”
“Are you about to take them to your parents?” Draco asked.
Hermione nodded, smiling as she watched how careful Lyra’s brothers were being with their youngest daughter. “Yes. I’ll drop off Lyra and Jasper and then come back for Scorpius.”
“Can you check on my new robes at Malkin’s while you’re in town?” Blaise asked.
“I could also use a few things from the apothecary.”
Hermione’s curls bounced with laughter. “Yes, I’ll check on your robes,” she said to Blaise before turning to Draco “and just get me a list of what you need before I get back. I think we’ll also surprise Tori for lunch.”
“She’ll like that.” Draco said, “She’s worried about Scorpius heading off to Hogwarts tomorrow.”
Hermione frowned, her forehead creased with worry. “I know, we talked about it yesterday before you two came home from the office, not to mention how out of sorts she was this morning.”
Hermione glanced down at her watch, noting the time. “We’d better go.” She said, leaning over to kiss Blaise from her place on Draco’s lap before he pulled her back and kissed her on the cheek.
“I love you both.” She said, standing up and straightening her dress.
“We love you too.” Blaise said, taking Draco’s hand in his once more, interlacing their fingers for a few minutes before they too had to move on with their day.
“Healer Malfoy?” a young woman said hesitantly as she approached Astoria who was finishing up with her last patient before her lunch break, drawing her wand over the patient’s abdomen with careful, practiced movements.
“Yes, Emily?” She said recognizing the intern’s voice but keeping her eyes trained on the diagnostic spells she was running over the young woman on the hospital bed.
“Hermione and Scorpius are in your office.” The young woman said.
“Thank you, Emily. Can you tell them I will be there in a moment?”
Astoria turned to her patient and offered the young woman her hand to help her sit up, clasping the young woman’s hand between her own. “Congratulations, Mrs. Ellington. You’re having a beautiful baby girl and she appears to be in perfect health.”
Astoria sauntered down the hallway of the maternity floor towards her office with a renewed spring in her step, knowing she would able to spend a few extra minutes with her son before he left for school tomorrow. She turned the door to her office, finding her son standing there with Hermione behind him a hand resting on his shoulder. Scorpius held a bouquet of simple wildflowers in his hands.
“Hi maman.” He said, holding the wildflowers out to her. Astoria took them and pulled him into her arms, hugging him tightly against her. He was taking after his father in height, already the top of his head coming up nearly to her chin.
“Bonjour, mon lapin,” Astoria said brightly, “these are absolutely lovely.”
“Mum picked them out,” he said albeit a bit muffled due to the hold his mother had on him.
Hermione laughed and took Astoria’s hand in her own. “I only pointed him in the right direction.”
“Thank you, Hermione.” Astoria said, leaning over their son to nuzzle her nose against her wife’s.
Hermione captured Astoria’s lips in a brief kiss, knowing Scorpius was trapped between them. “You’re welcome, love. We’re here to take you to lunch, if you have time.”
“I have about an hour,” Astoria said, glancing at the clock on the wall as she released Scorpius from the firm grip she had on him.
With a quick auguamenti and a transfigured vase, Astoria’s flowers were safely sitting atop her desk and the three were on their way out of the hospital. They took the Floo to Diagon Alley and settled into a small café which was one of Astoria’s favorites. Astoria was chatting animatedly with their son while Hermione watched, stirring her cup of tea with a spoon. Hermione knew that Scorpius’s departure was hitting Astoria the hardest and she worried about her wife.
“Maman, there’s James and Albus, can I go say hello?” Scorpius asked, pointing out the window as a family was walking down the street.
“Don’t be long, dear.” Astoria said with a sigh, watching the boy scramble out of his seat and dart out of the door.
Hermione reached across the table and took Astoria’s hands in her own. “I’m worried about you. I know you’re trying to hide it, but you forget how well I know you.” She said, running her thumbs delicately across Astoria’s knuckles.
Astoria stared out of the window, watching Scorpius embrace Albus as the rest of the Potter family looked on, laughing and smiling. Astoria remembered one of their children went to Hogwarts last year and they would be sending their second son this year while her own family sent Scorpius.
Astoria closed her eyes and breathed the words she’d been hesitant to say for the past week. She’d been doing her best to put on a good show while hiding her emotions, but she knew Hermione always saw through her. “With Scorpius going to school and Jade coming soon, Addy has been on my mind a lot more lately.”
Hermione moved out of her seat and slid into the seat next to Astoria, wrapping her arms around her and pulling her closer to her. Pressing her lips against Astoria’s ear, Hermione whispered in soothing dulcet tones, “Oh ma moitié, what happened with Adhara will not happen with Jade. We can go see Addy today, si cela va aider, Tori. Blaise and Draco won’t mind if we slip away for a few hours.” Hermione knew the lyrical sound of French was comforting to Astoria given that she had lived there for several years following the end of the war. While she didn’t use it often, she pulled on her knowledge of the language when needed, and it was certainly needed if Astoria was upset.
Astoria blinked away the tears that had formed in her eyes at the mention of their deceased daughter, putting her mask up once again knowing they were in public. “Tomorrow,” she said firmly, “after we put Scorpius on the train.”
Hermione nodded, linking her fingers once more with those of her wife, giving her hand a reassuring squeeze. “Tomorrow. Nous irons la voir demain.”
“I’m sorry to be like this today of all days, mon ange.” Astoria sighed, nuzzling her head against Hermione’s shoulder.
“Our anniversary doesn’t matter nearly as much to me as you do. Can you take off the rest of the day?”
Astoria nodded as Scorpius rejoined his mothers at the table in the small café, chattering on about how excited he was about going to Hogwarts after having seen James and Albus.
Draco stepped through the floo and into their living room brushing the ashes from his suit. He and Blaise had a successful meeting with the rest of their executive board and Draco spent the remainder of his day in his potions lab tinkering with a new draught he was working on while Blaise took care of the business side of their company and held meetings with a few investors. All in all, it had been a relatively good day but he was glad to be home.
The house was strangely quiet as Blaise stepped out of the floo just after Draco, the pair moving away from the entrance hall towards the main living area. “Where’s Hermione?” Blaise questioned, glancing around the living room, knowing she had taken the day off to take Scorpius to Diagon Alley before the big day tomorrow.
“…and the kids?” Draco added, just as confused, glancing towards the large grandfather clock to check the time. “Astoria will still be at the hospital, but Hermione should’ve returned with Jasper and Lyra by now.”
“Maybe she left them with her folks a bit longer?” Blaise mused, shrugging out of his jacket.
“I’m going to check the study.” Draco said, walking towards the back of the house with Blaise padding along not far behind him. Draco noticed the door was ajar and he peeked inside through the crack in the door, motioning for Blaise to come closer.
Hermione was sitting on the leather sofa with a book in her hand, wearing the same dress from earlier in the day. Astoria wore a set of flannel pajama bottoms and a tank top, her eyes were closed and her head was resting in Hermione’s lap. As she appeared to sleep, Hermione’s fingers were tracing protective runes over Astoria’s arm, much as Draco had done to her earlier that morning. Sensing movement from outside of the room, Hermione closed the book gently and looked towards the crack in the door, seeing two sets of eyes on them. She beckoned them inside with a finger and then placed that same finger over her mouth before pointing to Astoria.
Blaise dropped a kiss on the top of Hermione’s head as Draco knelt in front of her placing his hand on her thigh, noting how Astoria’s eyelids were rimmed with red. He frowned, whispering as quietly as he could. “What happened?”
Hermione bit her bottom lip and took Blaise’s hand in her own. “Addy,” she whispered, knowing no further explanation was needed.
Draco closed his eyes and rested his forehead against Hermione’s thigh. She felt Blaise release her hand and move in front of the couch where Draco knelt before her. While Hermione carded her fingers through Draco’s hair, Blaise rubbed gentle circles on his back.
Hermione and Blaise shared a knowing look and Blaise kissed the blonde man’s temple and gazed lovingly at the sleeping woman before leaving the study.
Blaise apparated into the backyard of a quaint house in a suburban area of Britain. He peeked through the window and into the kitchen, watching as Jean Granger desperately tried to get Lyra to eat what appeared to be peas. He chuckled to himself and let himself in the back door which led directly into the kitchen.
“Papa!” Jasper shouted as he closed his book, jumping up from the table and wrapping his arms around his father’s middle.
“Hey kid.” He said with a goofy smile, ruffling Jasper’s hair and then patting him on the back.
“Blaise! What a surprise.” Jean said, walking away from the table to embrace her son-in-law.
“Hello Jean.” He said, flashing her a charming smile as she hugged him. “Looking lovely as always, I see.”
“Oh shush,” the older woman said with a playful swat to his chest. “We were expecting Hermione.”
Blaise lowered his voice so his son wouldn’t hear, “Astoria’s having a rough day.”
Jean nodded, glancing back towards Lyra and Jasper who had rejoined his sister at the table. Lyra was smashing peas intently with her index finger with a delighted grin on her small features while Jasper had immersed himself back in his book, a studious expression on his face. “They can stay, if you need us to keep them.”
Blaise shook his head. “No, Hermione wants them home. Where is Scorpius?”
Jean laughed, crossing her arms over her chest. “With Richard in the lounge, playing something on that infernal game system.”
“If I had more time, I would join them.” He said with a sly grin, walking over and lifting Lyra out of her highchair. “Hello, patatina. Did you miss me?”
Lyra smacked a messy kiss on his cheek. “Papa.” She said, throwing her chubby arms around his neck.
Blaise wrinkled his nose and wiped the remnants of peas off of his cheek while Jean chuckled from across the room. “I’ll grab Scorpius.”
When Blaise arrived back to their home with the children, he found a much happier sight than when he had left. Hermione was singing to herself as she bustled around the kitchen preparing dinner while Draco and Astoria were wrapped around each other on the couch, watching something on the television that Hermione had insisted they purchase.
Jasper skipped over to the pair on the couch and crawled up into Astoria’s lap while Scorpius took Lyra’s hand and led her into the kitchen. The oldest boy set a large Tupperware container on the counter.
“Nana sent cookies.” Scorpius said, lifting Lyra to sit at the bar with him, watching their mother move around the kitchen with a practiced grace.
Without so much as turning around, Hermione replied as she sprinkled herbs over chicken breasts, “Move them further away from Lyra, dear.”
Scorpius looked over to the little girl who had nearly gotten the top off of the container and was looking like she had just found treasure.
“How is it you always know?” Scorpius laughed, scooting the box away from his sister.
Hermione turned around from the myriad of spices before her and winked at her eldest, a delighted sparkle in her eyes. “Magic.”
Scorpius groaned. “Mum… that was almost as bad as one of Papa’s jokes.”
Picking up the chicken breasts in a pair of tongs, Hermione carefully placed them into a cast iron pan on the stove before turning back around to face her son. “Will you let everyone know dinner will be ready in about 20 minutes?”
Scorpius slid off of the chair with a nod. “Sure, mum.” He said, walking out of the kitchen and towards the living room where the rest of their family was.
Hermione caught Lyra trying to reach the box of cookies once more before scooping the little girl up in to her arms. “I don’t think so, miss Lyra.” Lyra put on her best pouty expression as Hermione balanced the toddler on her hip, turning the chicken over in the pan.
After the children were put to bed, Astoria padded her way to her bedroom with a yawn. It had been a tiring, emotional day and she knew she would need rest in order to get through tomorrow. She brushed her teeth, combed out her ringlets and slipped beneath the pristine, white duvet with a sigh. It wasn’t long before the mattress behind her sank with the weight of another person climbing into the bed, slipping an arm over her waist, feeling her wife entwine her fingers with her own. Astoria snuggled back into the petite form which had molded herself around her body without another word as she attempted to drift off to sleep.
Astoria felt the mattress dip again several moments later as a larger form settled in front of her, his hand resting on her hip as his lips pressed a kiss to her forehead. The scent of his familiar cologne instantly helped to calm her racing mind which was preventing her sleep. She knew Draco had settled into the bed behind Hermione, knowing his arm had snaked across Hermione to rest on her him, his fingers intertwined with Blaise’s.
It wasn’t often the four slept together in the same bed, usually pairing off in twos, or occasionally threes when one of them felt the need to sleep alone, but it was what they needed tonight. They would need all of their collective strength as they sent their oldest son off on his first great adventure.
“I love you.” Astoria whispered into the darkness.
“We love you too,” she heard three voices echo in unison as she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.