Hello hello my lovelies! Another chapter as promised!

This chapter has a special place in my heart, I have read it and edited it several times if I am being honest. Regardless, I hope you all enjoy it!

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Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling, and only the storyline and any OC's belongs to me.

Wednesday, September 1st, 1999
Diagon Alley, UK

Platform Nine and Three Quarters had been the same that morning as it always was. A bustling sea of parents, guardians and students, with steam rolling from the underside of the train onto the platform. Inklings of a renewed sense of wonder and an excited buzz were also present; they'd been woefully absent the past few years.

The entirety of Potter Manor had made their way onto the Platform to give Remus and Sirius a proper send off. Teddy clung to Remus's robes and refused to let go until Draco pried him off and rocked the silently weeping boy.

After several talks with Minerva, Sirius and Remus had reached a unique teaching arrangement: they would be allowed to go home on weekends, travel between Hogwarts and Potter Manor after the conclusion of their classes, and they each had to separately chaperone at least one Hogsmeade weekend over the course of the year. There were a few more concessions that Minerva had to make, such as allowing the occupants of Potter Manor to visit occasionally. (She requested they confine their visits to their private chambers and not roam aimlessly around the Castle.)

Hours later, on the cusp of Diagon Alley and Knockturn alley, in an elegant, dimly-lit and exclusive establishment, Draco Potter was nursing a Firewhisky on the rocks. He was squirrelled away in a half-moon shaped booth with black leather seats, sitting across from Blaise Zabini and Theodore Nott. Blaise was drawing absent patterns on the dark-stained oak table in front of him with his forefinger, lips pursed thoughtfully.

Ackerley's, the gentleman's club, had been frequented by their families for generations; it was tradition to bring sons here when they turned sixteen since their grandfather's grandfathers' days. Entry was invitation only, and only a certain calibre of society was allowed to pass through its doors. The owners had an antiquated mindset, but they served good drinks, delectable food, and their allegiances in the war didn't matter here. Some places still refused the three of them service due to their prior connections to the Death Eaters and Voldemort. Luna Lovegood's article be damned. Most importantly, none of the pesky reporters waiting outside could get in.

"It's strange that we aren't going back to Hogwarts," Theo said as he neatly cut into his medium rare fillet mignon. He hummed in satisfaction as he ate a forkful. "Oliver really outdid himself today."

Silently, Draco admitted that it had been odd going to King's Cross and not getting on the train. Draco shrugged. "I'm used to it at this point, but the house is already quieter since Sirius and Remus are both at Hogwarts."

"Right, they're Professors now," Blaise said. He twisted his signet ring on his finger as he took a sip of his Firewhisky.

"They'll be at home on the weekends, and pop in throughout the week, but it's already strange knowing that they won't be there every day," Draco admitted.

"I should have guessed you degenerates would be here." The voice reached them before the female did. Pansy strode into view, her black stilettos clipping across the hardwoods. She halted at the head of the booth. The robust scent of cherry and sandalwood that clung to Pansy had alerted Draco to her presence when she entered the establishment.

"Party crashing as always I see," Draco drawled with a crooked smile. Draco leaned over to the edge of the booth and craned his head towards the entrance. The two main owners' heads were ducked together and they were muttering animatedly. Most likely discussing Pansy's admittance to the establishment.

Since Pansy was a Parkinson, that trumped her being a witch. For the most part, only wizards were permitted to enter. Pansy being allowed in was a monumental decision on the owners' part. Also, she was remarkably persuasive.

"Fuck off, it's better when I'm around and you know it," Pansy rolled her eyes. After a moment she added, "I'm still surprised whenever those old cods let me in here, you can tell it's mostly because I am the heir to my House."

(Via the archaic laws, Pansy's firstborn child would serve as the heir to her future husband's house, and her second would be the heir to hers. It was a rare case where she was the last of her line and also a female, and certain allowances needed to be made to bend tradition.)

Pansy cleared her throat, "more importantly, I am glad you and Hermione finally settled on a date for the wedding."

"Cissa is overjoyed, she's up to her chin in fabrics, samples, and correspondence already," Draco replied.

Pansy was fully apprised of all the details since she, Hermione, Luna, Ginny, Daphne and Padma have been meeting up at least once a week since graduation. They happily discussed their lives and spent some quality time with one another. Of course, they also readily chatted about other's lives but never maliciously, they merely liked to be in the know.

"The colours Hermione picked for the bridesmaid dresses was more than acceptable," Pansy said, her mouth twitching upwards at the corners for the briefest moment. "I'm sure you all know she asked me to be one," Pansy preened.

"You sure Potter isn't just pitying you? She doesn't want you to feel left out?" Blaise drawled.

Pansy scowled, her expression dark and tumultuous like a storm in an instant. "You are such a twat. I am sure that Hermione wouldn't make someone a bridesmaid because of pity."

"Me being a twat is not new, you've known that for years. A more pressing matter is that I now have to compete for best man," Blaise groaned. "I used to think he would make Theo and I duel for it, but now we have Lupin and Black to contend with."

"Maybe we'll wrestle naked, slathered in oil like the Greeks used to," Theo said.

"Is that what the Greeks used to do, Theodore?" Draco asked with an amused twitch of his lips.

Blaise narrowed his eyes and leaned into Theo. "I see what you're doing, Nott. You are trying to win his affections with your asinine comments, but I won't let you get away with it."

"You are both absurd," Draco said with an affectionate shake of his head. Draco sipped his Firewhisky. "At this rate, I don't think I'll have a best man. No matter who I choose, you'll never let me hear the end of it."

"Choose whoever annoys you the least," Pansy said insightfully.

Pansy ignored Blaise and Theo's colourful commentary as they heartedly discussed who deserved to be best man. Instead, she withdrew a neatly-wrapped package from the black, dragonhide purse on her lap. Pansy held it out to Draco. He raised a brow. "It's for Narcissa. Mum is back from Kyoto. Although, the matcha is from Nishio since she spent a couple weeks there."

Natsume Parkinson had been in Japan since the war ended. Pansy's maternal grandparents had returned to their home country before the war began. They'd encouraged their daughter and granddaughter to join them, but alas, it hadn't worked out that way.

Pansy's parents had been privately separated for years, but Natsume made it public as she filed for a magical unbinding ceremony the day after Voldemort's defeat. It was granted. The ceremony was less than a week later. The subsequent day, she fled the country.

The separation of magical cores was an agonising experience. The sense of intimate loss left wix bereft; it was as if a large piece of you was forcibly ripped away. Some had been driven to madness and taken their own lives because of it.

Pansy's parents barely shared meals let alone a bed, so their cores weren't as intricately intertwined as others.

Natsume had been born and raised in England, but her heart was elsewhere. It's why she had spent large periods of time in her ancestral home in Kyoto during Pansy's childhood. Often, she took Pansy with her, other times, she went alone.

Pansy's Father didn't care much, as long as Pansy continued to excel in her lessons. Which is why a governess always travelled alongside them.

Natsume was a kind-hearted witch. She was also renowned for her beauty. Natsume's silky, inky black hair swept down her back, her long eyelashes prettily accentuated her dark eyes. Her favourite flowers were Black Dahlias, and she would often have one behind her ear.

Pansy loved Japan. However, she didn't feel as free as her Mother did there. England was Pansy's home. Her crass personality and blunt way of speaking weren't as compatible with Japanese society. (It wasn't in England either, but she felt settled here.)

"She would deliver it personally, but she isn't in the mood for socialising at the moment," Pansy said quietly. "It's a gift to bless the birth of the new Malfoy Heir."

Amongst Pansy's friends, it was a well-known fact that Natsume needed a few days to put herself to rights after she returned to England. Mentally she wasn't here yet. For at least three days, Natsume would practice Ikebana in the gazebo in their gardens by the pond; she stated that the process of creating the different arrangements was peaceful and grounding.

"Thanks, Pans. I'm sure Cissa will love it," Draco said, reaching over to place his hand on her shoulder.

"She wants to meet Neville," Pansy blurted. Draco's eyebrows flew upwards in surprise, it was rare that Natsume requested to meet any of Pansy's friends. She treated their core group of friends kindly and enjoyed their company, but she doesn't seek them out the same way Narcissa does.

"And how do you feel about that?" Theo asked as he nursed his Firewhisky, ice-blue eyes sparking with streaks of lightning. His and Blaise's bickering had ceased and they were both intently focused on Pansy.

"I want—need her to like him," Pansy admitted.

"As long as you're happy, I'm sure your Mum will be happy as well, Pans. Besides, Neville is a fucking golden retriever of a human, practically everyone likes him," Blaise piped up.

"Now," Pansy hissed out. "He has enough physical and intangible scars to prove that he wasn't always as widely admired and beloved. We are responsible for plenty of them."

"Blaise didn't mean anything by it, Pans," Draco said softly. He placed the package down on the table, and touched her wrist. Pansy's hands were balled up in fists. She started, mumbled an apology and slipped into the booth beside Draco.

"I need her to like him," Pansy repeated under her breath. Draco wrapped an arm around her shoulder and rested his chin on top of her head.

"She'll love him, Pans. And you need to stop punishing yourself for what happened in the past," Draco said.

"Neville has forgiven me for how horrid I was when we were younger, but…" Pansy said, bowing her head.

"Parkinson, you need to stop being such a pessimist. It's ruining my evening. That wizard is on the edge of proposing and your Mum wants to meet him. Your shitehound of a Father is locked away in Azkaban, and you have someone as handsome as me for a best mate," Blaise reeled off with a broad grin.

"You are a wanker, Zabini," Pansy said, a feeble smile sneaking onto her face. She inhaled deeply and tucked her dark hair behind her ears. She peered up at Draco, and in a lowered voice said, "do you think Hermione actually wants me to be a bridesmaid? She didn't ask me because she felt obligated to, did she?"

"Do you feel like she asked you out of a sense of obligation?" Draco asked. Blaise and Theo had sensed their companions' need for privacy, and had engaged in a debate about the Quidditch game tomorrow whilst also dutifully eavesdropping on the other conversation.

"No," Pansy muttered.

"In case you haven't noticed, Hermione Potter doesn't do anything she doesn't wish to," Draco said softly. He dropped a kiss to the crown of her head.

"I really want to be involved. Not just because it is going to be one of the biggest societal events for decades to come, but because I actually really like Hermione. And I want to be a part of your wedding in whatever way you'll have me, Draco. I'll even be the ruddy flower girl if that's what it takes."

Draco's lips parted to speak, but Theo beat him to it. "They aren't going to let you be flower girl, Pansy. That would be horridly gauche with your name. They have more class than that…I hope."

"Shove off, Nott," Pansy snarled. Draco snorted and rubbed his hand up and down her upper arm.

"Hermione asked you to be a bridesmaid, Pansy. So you're going to be a bridesmaid." Draco lowered his mouth to the shell of Pansy's ear. "Also, she likes you too."

Pansy beamed for the remainder of their stay, and even regained enough guile to bark orders at Harold over the precise way she wished her martini to be made. Draco hadn't expected Pansy to take to Hermione so well so quickly. She hadn't had the easiest time making female friends growing up.

Theo, Blaise and Pansy's chatter faded to a buzz against Draco's ears. He simply observed them and was unable to fight off the bright smile that grew on his face. He was immensely happy with his life at the moment. He was planning a wedding, Hermione was amenable to children in the nearby future, and his heart was healing.

Pansy ordered another round of Firewhisky for the group, and Draco gladly accepted it. By the time they all stumbled out of the establishment, liquor was fogging up their brains. Draco's senses were the sharpest, and he somehow managed to lead them to the nearest public floo network.

Boisterous farewells were shared, and Pansy, Theo and Blaise all headed to the Zabini estate together. Draco had other plans. He tumbled through the living room fireplace—the sole one that was connected to the floo network. The safeguards surrounding the floo didn't kick in because they worked in conjunction with the blood wards to allow him passage. Only the occupants of Potter Manor could do so.

Draco was in his bedroom before he knew it. His witch was propped on a mountain of pillows, reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. Draco levitated Narcissa's gift over to his bedside table, and then he shucked off everything—but his pants—and collapsed onto their bed. Hermione raised a brow as he crawled over and laid his head on her lower abdomen. He slid his arms underneath her and closed his eyes, content.

"You had fun then I take it?" Hermione asked.

"A riot of a time," Draco mumbled. Hermione's nails scratched his scalp and an involuntary purr rumbled in his chest. Hermione replied, but Draco didn't catch it. He was fast asleep, and his soft snores whistled out of him.

I just wished to thank everyone who reviewed the last chapter! I'm really glad you liked it, I wanted to have a bit of fun with the Quidditch match and also work in hints about Harry's possible career ventures, plus I missed Georgie and I really like writing his and Hermione's dynamic. I also especially want to thank those that said they would want to read my book, because that makes me indescribably happy. Anyways, thank you, thank you, thank you for continuing to read this fic and for being patient as I work on finishing it!

Indie x