LDW

Epilogue


2001

The lawns of the Longbottom Estate

Under a large tent erected for the occasion of the Longbottom-Abbot wedding and for the following reception, a small gathering of friends were talking as they were in between dances. Draco Malfoy had his arm around Jean Grey's waist as they were speaking with Harry Potter and Daphne Greengrass.

"So, when are you two going to get hitched?" asked Draco as he took a sip from a glass of champagne in his other hand.

Before Harry could respond, Daphne answered for them. "Oh, not anytime soon, we've got too much we're planning on doing before worrying about that."

Jean raised an eyebrow, "Oh? Do tell."

Daphne grinned broadly. "If know anything about Harry's background, about how his Muggle relatives treated him, before his training in New England and then our trip to Texas he really hasn't travelled anywhere. And now that he has all of his accounts sorted with Gringotts, and he can finally rest, we're planning on travelling."

Jean smiled in response. "Where are you heading?"

Harry answered this time. "Everywhere, anywhere. Daphne suggested we take a Muggle cruise, an around the world trip."

Draco shook his head. "Personally I wouldn't trust a Muggle boat."

Jean leaned away from him and swatted his arm. "You've travelled by Muggle means before, haven't you?"

"Used international Portkeys to get to Texas, I've taken a magically enchanted train. But, no, not really," said Draco.

"We'll have to change that," said Jean, clearly not taking no for an answer from him. "Perhaps when we return to France we'll take the train."

Draco looked confused. "Wait, there's a train that can go underwater?"

"It goes through a tunnel under the water," said Jean, her tone indicating that should have been obvious, even to him.

Harry them spoke up. "Um, Draco, if you have a moment, I have something I would like to speak with you about."

Draco turned back to Harry with a confused look on his face. "Whatever it is, I probably didn't do it," he immediately proclaimed, which had the women snort.

"No, no, it's family business," said Harry, his tone very serious.

Draco raised an eyebrow in response and waited for Harry to continue. Harry raised a privacy ward around the four of them.

"Look, I know you've had a difficult time of it since returning to England after our little trip to the States."

Draco stiffened. "Hey, I can't help it if my father's actions have tainted my family name. I've tried to make it clear to our world that I am not my father."

"That's the thing," said Harry. "I feel I owe you, your family, for what your mother did for me."

"I've heard that story already, Potter," said Draco, unsure of where Harry was going with this.

"You are a Black through your mother," said Harry. "And as I am Lord Potter and Lord Black, I can officially make you a scion of the House of Black."

"Officially? As in, be a Black, and not a Malfoy?" asked a surprised Draco.

"I understand that you may not want to do this, you wouldn't want to offend your father," said Harry. "Family is important."

"Screw my father," said Draco. "He made plenty of decisions that affected my life, and my mother's as well, all because he bowed down to a half blood who spoke of blood purity to gather an army of fanatics. He can keep his name."

"So, do you accept?"

"Wait, do I accept what? Becoming a Black? I'm not about to kiss your robes or your ring or anything," declared Draco.

"All I ask is that you not do anything to tarnish the name of Black," said Harry. "Well, don't tarnish it anymore. I am trying to actively improve the reputation of the name Black."

Draco's face dropped for a moment, "So, you're not demanding anything from me? You'll just let me become a Black?"

Harry turned to Jean and Daphne as he asked, "Did I not speak clearly?"

Jean put her hand to her mouth. "But, Harry, that's too much. Or it's too something. Aren't you worried about how others will respond?"

Harry laughed at her question. "I stopped worrying about what others think of me a long time ago, Jean. The same people who wanted to praise me one moment, or one year, and then hated me and derided me the next, they'll get over Draco becoming a Black. Oh, plenty will wonder if it really means much. But the name Malfoy has gained much more bad publicity than the name of Black, or at least recently." Turning to Draco he added, "No offence, Draco."

"I'll have to consider this offer before I respond," said Draco. "I'll probably discuss it with my mother before I make any decision."

"I would have been more concerned if you didn't take time to consider this carefully," said Harry. "To be clear, it's just the name, not a direct inheritance of the family lordship."

Draco nodded. "Of course, of course," he said still in shock from the offer.

Jean stepped forward and gave Harry a kiss on his cheek. "Thanks, Harry, for everything. For giving Draco, hell, for giving all of us a chance at a new start!"

Harry's cheeks turned red and then Daphne turned towards him.

"Yeah, thanks Harry, from all of us," she said and then leaned in and gave him a kiss.


2004

Mediterranean Coast of France

There was a gentle breeze blowing off the sea. The blonde woman stood on the edge of the balcony of the seaside home, the wind blowing her long hair and her sundress gently. She held onto the railing, tilted up her nose and took a deep breath of the fresh sea air.

She heard the gentle steps of a man walking up from behind her. Without turning around, she said, "I still can't believe that we've been living here for over a year."

The man stepped up from behind her, slipped his hands around her and gently hugged her as he buried his nose into her neck. The action caused her to tremble slightly, and she leaned back into him.

"Anything for you my love," said the man.

The woman turned around in his arms and looked up into his eyes. "You've been saying that since the day we met," she whispered to him as she placed her arms around his neck.

Draco Black smiled at the woman in his arms. "And I will keep on saying it. I was given a second chance that day Potter saved me. And yes, I know that this is the anniversary of the day that the two of us met. How could I forget?"

Jean gave him a quick kiss on his lips. "So, how was work today?"

Draco shrugged. "The usual, long hours working in the potions lab, trying different combinations. Longbottom's plants have helped improve the quality of many of the potions we are making, but trying to invent new ones or improve ones that have been around forever is not easy."

"No one ever said that actually working would be easy!" she said with a teasing tone in her voice.

"No, except the modelling that you and Fleur do for the Muggle magazines doesn't seem like that much work," he replied with a smirk.

Jean made her face into a pout. "You know that money pays for this home. Besides, you know I actually spend most of my time writing and researching."

"All of your work for creatures, for those who have been treated harshly in the magical world, I still don't fully understand what motivates you to do all of that." Draco stared into her eyes. "You're almost as concerned about it as Granger was."

"You're the one who keeps a picture of her in our home," said Jean. "Should I be concerned?"

"Never," said Draco as he leaned into her. "Granger was a one of a kind witch. She was bright, and she was prettier than anyone ever gave her credit for, including me. But she stood for something. She always stood by Potter, no matter how stupid his ideas were, or into how much trouble or danger he would get them, Granger was there. Hell, she should have been in Hufflepuff with that kind of dedication. And her smarts, she was just as smart as you are. She could have been in Ravenclaw. And the number of times she outwitted me, she had cunning that could have placed her in Slytherin, although that would not have gone well for her."

"If I'm smarter and prettier, then why keep her picture?"

Draco shrugged slightly at the question. "As a reminder that I was given a second chance. That I made a change in who I am and how I treat others. Yes, I wanted to kill Chang, and I did. But that was more to avenge Granger and everyone else whose lives Chang had torn apart. I'm a different person since the war ended. I learned a lot from watching Granger."

Jean smiled, laid her head on his shoulder and hugged him tightly.

Draco caressed her cheek. "She probably wouldn't have liked you though. I don't think she ever really liked Fleur, and I know she detested me, so I never would have had a chance with her. But really, she's nothing compared to you, my perfect angel."

A tear started to form in her eye, which she wiped away as she turned away from Draco and reached over to the table near them. "We got owl post from Neville and Hannah. They are expecting their first little one!"

Draco laughed at the news. "How do those two find the time? With Hannah running the Leaky Cauldron and Neville teaching at Hogwarts in addition to running his greenhouses, it's amazing that they even have time to see each other, let aloneā€¦"

Jean put her finger on his lips. "Stop that thought right there, mister," she scolded.

Draco smirked at her, then asked, "Any news from Potter and Greengrass?"

Jean smiled, "Actually, they sent a little note that just arrived. I guess we will have another wedding to attend soon."

"It's about time those two finally got married" said Draco. "Are they still travelling?"

"Yes, they are still travelling. Making their way across Africa, they decided that they had enough of being on a really big boat and wanted to try a different way to finish their travels."


2004

On an island off the coast of Greece

Harry held Daphne around the waist as they sat on the balcony of the room they were renting, overlooking the sea beneath them. The sun reflected off of the blue water, and the white washed buildings along the hillside seemed to make the day even brighter.

"What are you thinking?" Harry asked.

"Just how peaceful this is, here with you," she said softly as she laid her head onto his neck. She chuckled, "And the fact that you continue to send our friends misinformation of where we are, just so no writers or snoops can track us down."

Harry laughed. "I said I wanted this trip to be just the two of us, no-one trying to find us for gossip or photos."

"All this fun and games will be coming to an end, I imagine," said Daphne.

"It doesn't all have to end," said Harry. "It's not like we can't live like this forever. It's not like I don't have the money to live like this forever."

Daphne continued to stare at the scene before them as she spoke. "Well, of course it's that simple when you have both the Black and the Potter fortunes, not to mention all the other resources that you acquired through 'conquest.' Although, that does give you more to plan for."

Harry considered her words, and sighed deeply.

Daphne frowned, knowing that such a reaction meant that Harry was worried about something. "Now what? You can't be worried about your fortune that your families have acquired."

"No, it's not the fortune, but the families," he said.

Daphne raised an eyebrow at his comment.

"Before I get into that, I do have something to ask you," he said.

Daphne leaned back and gave him a scrutinising look. "And what would that be?"

Harry stood up from where he was seated behind her and then knelt down in front of her, taking her hands in his.

Daphne let out a slight squeal, pulled one hand away and covered her mouth.

"Daphne Greengrass, would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"

Daphne leaned over and kissed him on top of his head. "Of course I will," she said with a large smile on her face. She pulled him up into her arms. "I thought you said you wanted to wait."

"I don't know when we'll get married, I'll leave that up to you," said Harry. "I just wanted to make my intentions clear."

She hugged him tightly and he hugged her back.

After a few minutes they released each other and stepped apart.

"We still have a few things to sort out yet," said Harry.

Daphne's face scrunched with confusion. "Wait, what?"

"Children, heirs," said Harry slowly. "You've been the one teaching me more about the magical world than anyone else really has. I'm the head of two houses, at least, Potter and Black. As I now understand it, I need an heir for each house. And if the Greengrass line is to continue, we need an heir for that house."

Daphne thought about what he had to say. "Merlin's beard. How many children will we need to have? Will I need to have?"

Harry shrugged while sporting a slight grin.

Daphne gave a mock-exasperated huff. "Alright, I get it, three at last, and probably four more so you'll have your own Quidditch team. Don't you dare complaining, mister, if I look like a stuffed cushion after that! And don't expect I'll turn into another Molly Weasley."

"There's no chance of that happening," replied Harry with an even bigger grin. "After all, I know you're useless in a kitchen."


AN: And so ends this story. Thanks for reading, thanks for reviewing.

As I mentioned earlier, this entire story started from envisioning one scene - Harry rescuing Daphne during one of the battle scenes. The rest of the story was to create a back story for that one scene...

Now to work on other stories...

-Xavras