Draco sat in a rocker by the window gazing down at the tiny bundle in his arms. A small pink cap covered the baby’s head, leaving a few stray blonde hairs peeking out.
He’d been too overwhelmed to speak when the mediwitch placed the baby in his arms. All he could do was stare. He knew Harry was standing nearby, equally anxious, but he couldn’t take his eyes off his precious newborn daughter.
The mediwitch came back into the room with a smile.
“You have your first visitors, if you’re ready,” she said. “Mr. and Mrs. Weasley.”
Harry leaned down to Draco, his eyebrows raised. “You ready?”
Draco nodded and lifted his chin, silently asking for a kiss. Harry was happy to oblige.
“Please, let them in,” Harry told the mediwitch.
Tentatively, Hermione and Ron walked through the door. Having a child themselves, they knew to enter a room quietly. Harry walked over to them, a blanket-swaddled infant in his arms.
“Oh, Harry,” Hermione whispered. “Congratulations. You two must be so happy.”
“Over the moon,” he replied.
Ron leaned in for a closer look. “Finally, someone’s had a boy in the family. Poor little thing, he’ll be hen pecked for certain by his cousins,” he laughed.
“And his sister,” Draco added from the rocker across the room.
“What?” Hermione whirled around and gasped. “You didn’t say anything about twins.”
“We wanted it to be a surprise,” Harry said.
“Well, it certainly is.” She walked over to Draco. “And they were born last night?”
“Actually this morning. Just past midnight,” Harry told her. “So they share a birthday with Draco.”
“Bummer,” Ron said.
“To tell the truth, I rather like it this way,” Draco admitted. “Your mother can concentrate on celebrating their birthday instead of mine.”
“Not a chance, mate,” Ron snickered. “I can almost see the cake now. Three tiers— one for each of you.” He gently touched the blue cap on Harry and Draco’s son. “Twins in the family again.”
“Are you all right, Ron?” Harry asked softly. “Is this going to be difficult for everyone?”
Ron shook his head. “No. Everyone will be thrilled. It’s a double blessing for you.”
“Either that, or they’ll be double trouble,” Harry chuckled.
“What are their names?” Hermione asked, stroking the baby’s hand.
“We had a bit of trouble deciding, but I think we’ve finally settled.” Harry glanced at Draco, who nodded back. “Our son is Scorpius James Potter-Malfoy.”
“And this beautiful young lady is Lily Druella,” Draco said.
“Oh, those are lovely names,” Hermione said. “May I please hold one of them? It’s been so long since Rose was this little.”
“I’ll hand you Scorpius,” Harry offered. “I don’t think Draco is ever going to give up Lily.” He paused. “Lily. I think my mother would be pleased.”
“Your mother would be honored,” Hermione said as she took Scorpius from him.
Reluctantly, Draco gave up Lily when he could put off using the loo no longer. He started to hand her to Ron, but he begged off.
“I didn’t even hold Rose at ten hours old,” he chuckled.
Harry gladly took his daughter. Walking over to Harry, Hermione held the boy near his sister.
“I think they resemble each other,” she commented. “And Draco, if I’m not mistaken.”
Harry nodded. “You’re not. He’s their father.”
“Lily’s blonde hair sort of gave it away,” Hermione confessed.
“What about Scorpius then?” Harry gently lifted the blue cap to reveal a head of orange fuzz.
“Oh, my,” Hermione exclaimed.
“He really is a Weasley,” Ron laughed. “How the bloody hell did that happen?”
“The mum is ginger. She’d been coloring her hair blonde though,” Harry explained. “We thought it was a strong possibility that one or both of them would be a head red. He’ll fit right in at family gatherings.”
“Of course they will,” Hermione said. “No matter their hair color. I know Molly and Arthur will consider them grandchildren the same as Rose and the other girls.”
Draco walked back into the room. “My parents will be on their way a little later. No doubt Mother wants to pick out the best layette for them. And I’ve flooed Headmistress McGonagall.” He turned to Ron. “If you wouldn’t mind passing the news on to the rest of your family.”
“I’m sure Mum will be happy to contact everyone,” Ron said.
“But, Harry,” Draco’s demeanor took a serious turn. “There are reporters in the lounge. I don’t think they know what’s going on, but they saw me. One of them tried to ask me questions. Apparently, he saw the pair of you walk in as well.”
“Right,” Harry sighed. “I suppose we weren’t going to be able to keep this a secret very long.”
“Perhaps an official press release,” Hermione suggested. “Something that announces their birth and gives enough information to satisfy some curiosity. But then you won’t have to field any questions in person.”
Nodding, Harry said, “That’s sounds like a good idea.” He yawned.
“Have either of you gotten any sleep?” asked Hermione.
“We dozed off a bit while the babies were in their cots. But once they were up for a feeding, we couldn’t put them down,” Harry said sheepishly.
“Ron and I would be happy to look after them while you rested.”
Harry politely declined at the look of panic on Ron’s face.
“Thanks, but it won’t be necessary. The mediwitch will take them to the nursery for us. They won’t come home until tomorrow.”
“We’ve paid for the room until then, so we can stay close,” Draco explained. “The woman who gave birth to them has been moved to a different wing.”
Hermione’s brow furrowed.
Shaking his head, Ron whispered, “It’s none of your business.”
“I didn’t say anything,” she protested.
“It still doesn’t sit well with you, doesn’t Mione?” Harry questioned.
“What if someday, the babies want to meet their birth mother? She won’t even remember they exist.”
“That’s the way she wanted it, Mione.”
“And she was paid handsomely,” Draco added. “We depleted quite a bit of our funds to get these two. But they were definitely worth it.”
“I just don’t know how someone could give up their child,” she said gently, gazing down at Scorpius.
“Lucky for us, they do,” Harry said. He gave a concerned look to Hermione. “Do you think it’s wrong, that they won’t have a mother?”
“Oh, Harry, I didn’t mean it that way. I know you and Draco will be all they need. You’ll make fine parents.”
Draco yawned widely. “As much as I hate to admit it, I’m rather tired. Perhaps we should call for a mediwitch. We won’t get much opportunity for sleep once we get them home.”
Nodding, Harry agreed.
A mediwitch brought a portable cot and placed the babies side by side to wheel them into the nursery to stay with the other babies born recently.
After Ron and Hermione said their goodbyes, Harry transfigured the single bed to accommodate both him and Draco. They climbed in, exhausted from being mostly awake for the past twenty-seven hours.
Snuggling close, Draco smiled at Harry, his lids heavy.
“I . . .” He burst into tears.
“Draco, what’s wrong?” Harry smoothed the hair off Draco’s forehead.
“Nothing,” Draco sniffed. “I’m happy. And a bit emotional.” He buried his face in Harry’s neck.
“It’s all right. I’d probably cry too, except I’m too knackered.”
In moments, both were fast asleep, not knowing it would be the last time they would get to sleep together for quite a while.
“Draco, what are you doing?” Harry asked.
“I thought I heard Scorpius crying.”
“He’s fine. You can’t get out of bed every time one of them cries. Look at you, you’re done in. You need sleep.”
“I just want to help,” Draco pouted.
Nudging Draco back to the bedroom, Harry said, “You can help by getting some sleep. I’m going to put up a silencing charm so you can’t hear them.”
“No, don’t do that. Then I’ll imagine they’re crying constantly, and I’ll get up to keep checking.”
Harry sighed heavily. “Don’t you trust me with them?”
“Yes, of course . . .”
Draco’s eyes flashed to Lily as she began to fuss on a blanket on the floor.
“Draco, you have to stop being such a control freak. It’s all right to let someone else take care of them once in a while.”
“But I’m the one who’s not teaching right now. McGonagall gave me leave so I could take care of the babies.”
“During the day, yes,” Harry said gently. “I’m here to care for them after hours.”
“I don’t want you to resent me because you’re working and taking care of the twins.”
Harry laughed. “Is that what you’re worried about? I thought maybe you were resentful of me because you have to spend all your time with Scorpius and Lily, and I get a break from them. After all, I’m only holding study sessions. It’s not as though I’m teaching anything new. And proctoring a few N.E.W.T.s and O.W.L.s is hardly work.”
Harry picked up Lily and rocked her while putting a dummy in her mouth.
“I thought Hermione’s parents frowned upon using a dummy,” Draco said. “Won’t Lily’s teeth grow in crooked?”
“Well, they’re not her grandparents, are they?” Harry snickered. “And Lily isn’t anywhere near teething. Go back to bed, love. I’m all right with them. I was getting ready to warm a couple of bottles and then put them down. I’ll come to bed as soon as I get them settled.”
But Harry knew, most likely, he would end up sleeping on the sofa again for fear of waking Draco if he got into bed.
“I’ll get them when they wake up, then,” offered Draco.
“Okay.” Harry kissed Draco’s cheek. “Only a few more days and the term will be over. And we’ll have all summer with them. Now go to bed.”
Reluctantly, Draco walked back toward their bedroom. He turned before going inside.
“I miss sleeping with you. I feel like it’s been ages.”
“Me too. It’ll get better.”
Harry and Draco strolled through Diagon Alley hand in hand. They each carried a baby in a papoose strapped to his chest. Lily slept soundly against Harry’s chest, while Scorpius gazed up at Draco, occasionally glancing at a passerby.
Hermione waved to them from her table at one of the cafes. Ron sat there too, with Rose playing with colorful round cereal at a highchair. The two families were meeting for lunch before the new term began at Hogwarts.
“You look surprisingly well rested,” Hermione remarked.
“After almost three months, they’re finally on the same schedule” Draco said. “Well, nearly,” he joked, looking at his sleeping daughter.
“She only fell asleep because all she had to stare at was my boring face,” laughed Harry.
“I could stare at your face all day long,” Draco smiled.
Ron subconsciously rolled his eyes while Hermione sighed.
“It’s so difficult to keep the romance alive once the little ones come along,” she said. “How do you do it?”
“Lily and Scorpius aren’t the only ones on a schedule,” Draco smirked.
“You keep a schedule for . . .” blushed Ron. “Kinda takes the romance out of it, doesn’t it?”
“So does not doing it at all,” chided Hermione.
Ron blushed again, awkwardly looking away. Hermione turned her attention to Draco and began a conversation about which nappies were best, in her opinion.
Leaning over to Ron, Harry whispered, “Nap times work best.”
“What if she isn’t in the mood?” Ron whispered back.
“Then you need to put her in the mood. Light a few candles, put silky sheets on the bed, maybe a few toys . . .”
“Harry,” Ron blushed furiously and glanced at Hermione while she continued to speak with Draco.
“There’s no time to be coy when you have limited alone time,” Harry laughed. “Just put a little effort into it. I promise you, it’ll pay off.”
Though he was clearly embarrassed by the conversation, Ron appeared to be giving it some thought.
“So, have you found a nanny yet?” Hermione asked. “I’d be happy to refer you to the agency we used. Veronique is wonderful with Rose. She’s only with us part time for now. But I think I’ll be going back to work full time after Christmas.”
“We won’t be needing a nanny,” Draco told her. “I’ve decided to continue my leave from Hogwarts to care for the twins myself.”
“Oh, that’s brilliant,” she said. “Spending the first year with Rose was the best thing I could have done.”
“Of course, we may need a change of plans,” Draco said casually. “Harry’s been too modest to tell you himself, but his agent has found a publisher for his book, The Philosopher’s Stone.” As a side note, he added, “Did you know that they’ve heard of Nicolas Flamel in the muggle world?”
“They have?” Ron questioned.
“Yes, but they don’t know he was a wizard. And, of course, they consider his story to be apocryphal.”
“But Harry, you’re getting published, that’s great,” Hermione said.
“We’ll all be famous,” grinned Ron.
“Ron, we’re already famous,” Harry laughed.
“Yeah, but not in the muggle world.”
Hermione rolled her eyes at Ron. “So, what change of plans do you need?”
“Well, they want me to sign a multi book contract, possibly even seven, one for each year,” Harry said. “My agent said something about a movie deal.”
“And he may need to stop teaching in order to write,” explained Draco. “So, I may need to work after all.” He looked disappointed.
“You know, if Harry’s book is successful, neither one of you may need to go back to teaching,” Hermione said. “And muggle movies are big business. You could become quite wealthy.”
“Really?” Draco queried. “I had no idea books were so lucrative. You’d think the owner of Obscurus Books would dress a little better.”
“Well, not so much here in the wizarding world,” she told him. “But muggle best selling books can reach millions of readers. They get translated into several languages. Yes, you could quite well.”
“Hm,” Draco mused. “When I encouraged you to write, I thought it would just be a pleasurable diversion, not a way to make a living.”
“It would be ideal, though, wouldn’t it?” Harry said. “We could both be home with Scorpius and Lily. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll stick to the plan we have for now. After all, I did write the first book while teaching.”
“Yes, but that was before the twins,” Draco pointed out.
“Don’t worry. The books won’t take priority over them,” assured Harry. “Nothing is more important than our family.”
“Providing for them is equally important. If your books can do that, I’ll support you however I can. Even if it means going back to my position as Potions Professor.”
“That’s why I love you,” Harry smiled.
Draco gazed lovingly at him, and sighed.
Food was served and the twins dozed off again in their papooses while Rose ate a plate of macaroni and cheese with her fingers. Ron told the group about a few of the cases he’d wrapped up recently. Ten years after the war, the Ministry was confident that any threat of a new rise of the Death Eaters was finally shut down. Most of the cases Ron and the other Aurors worked on were more mundane. Still, occasionally, Ron would come upon a gruesome murder scene. Ordinary wizards were getting increasingly creative with their hexes.
While Ron talked, Harry looked at his son and daughter, two people who weren’t even part of his imagination a few short years ago. Not to mention his husband, who had been considered a rival back then.
When he gave up being an Auror to join the staff at Hogwarts, he had no idea just how much he would gain. And it all began with a Potions Professor pursuit.