Song Suggestion: Mapei- "Don't Wait"

A/N: I planned Harry's resurrection from the beginning. I've had to bite my tongue for YEARS every time someone mentioned how sad it was Harry died lol.

The Final Rune


The Boy who Lived

The Chosen one

Harry Fucking Potter

Theo didn't hate him, though he wanted to. When Draco and Ron waltzed into the ministry, carrying Potter between him, stumbling around like a newborn giraffe, Theo had been shocked and then happy. For the wizarding world. For the Weasleys. For Hermione… for Ginny.

The last one was a lie. It had been four months since the battle, and his heart still resided in his stomach. Harry was back, and Ginny… probably still loved him. Five years of waiting for her to be ready for more than friendship. Not just another one-night stand, not friends with benefits, and not anything else she could conjure that would keep it casual.

The wait had been excruciating. The thought of touching her, tasting her, exploring her…

He stopped himself. Why did he have to be the bigger person? So fucking patient. And for what? He should have taken her up on her offer. He'd have been haunted when it ended, but at least he'd have experienced having her, if only for a night.

He remembered the first time he saw her as a second year, standing next to Potter in the bookstore, glaring up at Lucius Malfoy as if he wasn't the scariest man in the room. She'd been so brave, her red hair reminding him of fire. He wanted to burn since then, wished to take the fire and give it oxygen. He watched her in school, hating she flirted with every bloke except him. And then Potter happened, and he gave up, since he'd lose against the golden boy.

Only Harry fucking Potter could rise from a grave years after death and the wizarding world accept it as normal.

Theo sighed and pushed up his glasses while walking into the manor. He glanced around, appreciating her eye for design. To be honest, he didn't hire her with the expectation she'd do a good job. The lure of having her close had been too much to resist. Since then, he let her do what she wished, hoping one day she'd see the manor as her home.

What an utter fool he had been.

He scaled the stairs, going slow. It didn't matter how long it took him to get to his room, only an infinite loneliness would greet him. He could date again, he supposed. It's not as if Ginny was his only option, or that he didn't have any flings while waiting for her. He understood objectively he was young, sort of handsome, and wealthy. A catch by any standard.

But none of them were Ginny.

He pushed open the door, intent on falling asleep and not waking up for a long long time when he stopped. His whole body shuddered, and he had to place his hand on the doorframe for support.

Ginny rested on his bed, completely nude except his Slytherin tie, reading a book. The fire roared in the fireplace, giving her pale body a soft glow. Her rosy nipples peaked, and she trailed one hand up her thigh and along her hip.

He cursed his wards for not notifying him about her arrival, but he'd made them accept her a long time ago, so they rarely dinged anymore with her entrance onto the grounds.

"All your books are so boring."

"Ginny…" Her name came out strangled. "What are you doing here?"

She chucked the book.

"I thought it was obvious." She gave a sinful smirk, and his whole body hardened in anticipation—his arms, his chest, his cock.

And then reality hit, and the veil lifted.

"Potter's alive."

"Why are we talking about Harry?" Ginny asked with a frown.

"Don't you want to be with him?"

"Theo…" she said, gently. "Has this been why you've been so distant towards me? Harry is still seventeen. Five years ago, I might have had a different answer, but I grieved him and buried the love I had for him. It wasn't real anyway. I didn't even know him. I just loved the person I thought he was."

Hope flared through him, like fire. It burned, and the ache returned.

"Please don't play your usual games with me."

Ginny just grinned. Her hand played along her skin, stroking it up and down the sides of her ribs. He followed the movement as she reached up and cupped her magnificent tits, giving her nipple a squeeze.

"Stop being patient, Theo," she said. "It's driving me crazy. Let me break that iron control you have over yourself." Her finger slipped down and touched her clit. She moaned, and Theo had to bite his lip from moaning with her. She spread her legs, and Theo's vision tunneled into points.


His feet worked on their own, bringing him closer, as if she was a siren luring him away from the sea. When he stood next to the bed, she crawled over, sitting on her knees. She grabbed his trembling hands and placed one on her tit and one on her warm cunt.

He already felt unraveled touching her soft skin.

"I want you to do everything you've fantasized about." She cupped his cheek, looking deep into his eyes. "I want you Theo. Only you. It took me much too long to realize that. I was so worried about ruining our friendship." She kissed him. He let go of her cunt and grabbed her face, savoring the feeling of her against him. "When I was sitting there about to be sacrificed, all I could think about was you—how I wished I'd stopped being stupid long ago, so afraid of committing. It was so pointless, and I'm not going to wait any longer. I'm staying, Theo, for as long as you want me."

Theo thought he might hyperventilate. This was real. She was here. And she was waiting for him to reciprocate.

"I'm not going to lose my iron control, Ginny." He let his fingers stroke along the incredibly soft skin of her back. "From what I've heard, you like to shag fast and hard. You're impatient, love. It's a fault I usually find endearing, but I've waited too long for this to be over in a few minutes. My plans will last hours."

"We'll see." She leaned over and licked up the side of his neck, tugging on his earlobe with her teeth. "I can't wait to make you cum."

It would be a challenge to fuck someone like Ginny and keep in control, but he'd waited long enough. He pushed Ginny back into the mattress and crawled on top of her, shedding his outer robes. She reached down to grab his cock through his trousers, but he snatched both her wrists and placed them above her head. He used his tie and wrapped them around her wrists, keeping them secure and tying them to the old iron headboard.

"Patience, love, let me teach you patience." He leaned down letting his tongue play around her breast, until she begged him to start. He waited, watching as she cursed and shivered under his hands before his let his tongue reach out and flick her nipple. She arched up for more. "I'm going to give your fire oxygen, and by then end, I want you to burn me too."


Harry sat back and watched the ceremony. It took every single one of his friends to convince him to come to the event. He hated being in public. The older generation stared at him as if he was two seconds from transforming into Voldemort. The younger generation viewed him as some fallen God. The only person to treat him normally was—ironically—Draco Malfoy.

They went to dinner sometimes. Just sat across from each other while glaring. Occasionally, Ron joined him too. It was usually the highlight of his week.

"I still fucking hate you," Draco had told him the second time he saw him.

"Good," Harry responded, grateful for something normal.

The most abnormal thing since waking was the fact Hermione married Draco. The idea still hadn't sunk into his brain yet. In all the timeline fuckups he thought he'd live inside, Hermione loving Draco Malfoy never featured in one.

Harry sighed and watched as Astoria Greengrass bowed her head on stage, so Walter Filibus could slide a medal onto her neck—an Order of Merlin, First Class. She looked so dainty up there, beaming a bright smile while the crowd thundered their applause. It was hard to imagine her kneeling before Hermione while getting her throat slit.

The Wizarding World didn't know that fact. The official tale stated she saved Hermione from a cult. Everyone who witnessed the events were under heavy unbreakable vows to never state the truth. Hermione wanted to protect her son and that meant erasing every single shred of knowledge of her family history.

The applause ended, and Astoria took a seat next to Ron with his own heavy medals on his neck. She turned with a little blush as he patted her on the shoulder.

Harry sighed, wishing to go home. The stares made him uncomfortable, though he should be used to them by now. The ministry wanted to give him awards too, but he said he'd publicly throw them in the garbage if they tried. Draco and Hermione also refused any medals.

He desired to put back on his cloak and disappear from the eyes looking at him. It was the only hallow that returned with him. If the others were on Earth, he didn't know where they went. He hoped they stayed in the afterlife. When he'd crawled out of his casket, the cloak had been underneath him. Maybe it was a gift from death. Harry did nothing to detangle the mystery, grateful to still possess one of his only family heirlooms.

Neville slid into the seat next to him.

"They make these things way too long, though I'm happy for Ron and Astoria…and Mrs. Bulstrode could be a little more subtle with her staring."

Harry smiled. Neville treated him normal too, like he always had, along with Luna.

"How's Hogwarts?" Harry asked. "I heard you became the Herbology professor."

Neville went silent a moment, as if chewing over something in his mind.

"About that," he said. "McGonagall wanted to know what you planned on doing."

"What do you mean?"

"Well," he began. "You never did finish your NEWTS."

"Would I even qualify?"

"Most the others went back for their eighth year… so could you."

Harry thought about it. He still resided in his seventeen-year-old body with his seventeen-year-old memory. The worst part about coming back was the gap between him and his friends. Ginny had gently told him she loved him but wasn't in love with him. It hurt less than he thought it would, but maybe because he expected it. Everyone he knew grew up and apart, leaving him behind. He'd been wallowing for weeks, unsure of his purpose without school or career or war.

"What would I even do with it?"

"Well…" Neville gave an amused grin. "Once you graduate, you could always be the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. There would be no one more qualified, and it's perpetually empty."

Harry gave a laugh at the joke, but then he thought about it. The idea had merit. He didn't wish to be an auror. Not anymore. But he didn't fit anywhere else. Maybe the job had always meant to be his.

"NEWTS first," Harry said. "I'd like to experience one normal school year."

For the first time in weeks, Harry felt content.


Blaise walked down the street toward his flat. He liked to stay in London when he visited muggle clubs, so he bought a flat close by—in a ritzy area. There were many things he'd do in his life, but slumming it was not one of them. His skin was made for a high thread count and quality fabrics.

The road turned oddly quiet. He frowned but kept going. As he walked, he heard a strange noise, a steady beat. It came from above, so he craned his head to look.

A giant dragon flew above him, only a dark shape surrounded by the night sky.

"Fuck," he said when it looked like it was swooping down. He took off in a sprint, but it was too late.

Large talons wrapped around his shoulders and ripped him from the road. He screamed in terror, legs dangling over nothing. If the dragon let go, he'd be a smashed pumpkin against the pavement.

"Hello, Zabini," a familiar voice said. He couldn't twist around to see him, but he'd know that voice from anywhere.

Blaise fumed. They'd snuck off at the formal and spent a wild night in a guest room. Charlie wasn't joking when he said he could ride all night. He liked to dominate, throwing him around and positioning him as he pleased. It had been both humiliating and insanely pleasurable. He'd never been submissive like that. In most relationships, he held all the cards.

"Put me down," he said.

Charlie gave a loud, booming laugh.

"You asked me to pick you up."

Blaise did. After waking up next to a redhead with the most gorgeously built body he'd ever seen, he'd asked if Charlie wanted to go out again. His heart had been in his throat when he'd asked, feeling vulnerable for the first time he could remember. Charlie only got dressed, gave him a wink, and told him he had fun.

That was the last he'd seen of him until the battle. And after that, Charlie disappeared again. Blaise assumed Charlie wasn't interested, and he pretended he didn't care.

"I didn't mean for you to pick me up with a dragon, you fucking lunatic." He tried to scramble up, but it almost made the dragon let go. The creature let out a spine-tingling growl.

"Ah, I wouldn't do that," he said. "Lucy here has a high prey drive, though she's never disobeyed me."

How the fuck did he get himself into this?

"Where are you taking me?"

"To my cottage in the woods."

"A cottage!"

"I'd like to see how you fare roughing it in nature. If you make it two days without complaining, I'll suck your cock."

That both enticed and repulsed him at the same time. He really would like Charlie to suck his cock, but he doubted he'd make it that long.

"You're insane," Blaise yelled. "You can't just kidnap people with dragons."

"You can if there was an invitation." Charlie gave a laugh. "You know, I keep getting warned about dating Slytherins. It seems overhyped. You've got a soft underbelly. It's Gryffindors you should really be afraid of. They're not scared of anything."

Charlie gave a sharp whistle, and the dragon swooped down. Blaise's scream shortly followed.


Marcus sat in a separate room, jiggling his leg. He stopped himself, intent on controlling his emotions, but then his hands clenched and unclenched. When he balled them into a fist, he pressed his lips together. It seemed no matter what he did, he couldn't control his fidgeting. Not this time. Not today.

He looked around the muggle room. A television sat on a table in front of the couch. On the screen, the picture moved continuously. He attempted to pay attention, wanting something to take his mind off the waiting, but his eyes kept wandering to the door.

Katie wished to come to this with him, along with Hermione, but he refused both. If all failed, he didn't want to face them. He'd need to be alone to process it.

A click of the door and he turned to find Draco walking inside.

"Did you give it to her yet?"

"We did," he said. "Bingley said it might only be an hour. It took longer for Neville's parents, but their brain injuries were severe."

Draco's brain potion was finally ready, having passed many human trials. The Longbottoms recovered within a month. It took time for the necessary components to regenerate and reroute. Neurons, Hermione told him.

They waited to test on Hermione's parents. Her father already completed his full recovery, and he claimed he'd never felt better. No more lingering headaches or lapses in memory. Hermione's mother—his mother—wanted to take the potion, but Marcus was against it. Right now, she didn't remember the trauma at the castle caused by his father. Of course, she didn't remember him either. But he'd rather she forgot all about him than experience the pain for a second time. Marcus was no fool. He understood how miserable she must have been, probably wishing to escape the stone walls every day, even if it meant leaving him.

His pleas never reached her, since he refused to visit in case it hurt her brain.

"I want to remember everything," she had told Hermione. "I want to remember the little boy better. There might be emotional pain, but I think I'm strong enough to handle it. I survived a first time, and I'll survive a second. The gaps in memory are frustrating, and I want to be finally free. When I take the potion, tell Marcus to be there."

Marcus honored her request, though he didn't think it was a good idea.

Draco sat next to him in silence, only occasionally glancing over at his nervous ticks. It might be the first time in their history he was grateful for his company.

An hour later, a second knock on the door, and Mr. Bingley, the memory doctor, poked his head inside.

"She's ready."

Marcus took a deep breath and stood up. Jean was in her bedroom on the second floor. He scaled the carpeted stairs. He'd never been more nervous.

Mr. Bingley gave a nod at him, and he pushed the door open.

Jean sat at a chair near the window, sipping on tea. The curtains were pushed open to let the natural light inside. She looked as he remembered, but tears marks streaked down her cheeks, showing her internal distress.

She set the tea down and glanced up. Her whole body froze, as if seeing a ghost.

"No," she said. She stood up and backed against the window, "No, you can't hurt me anymore."

Marcus tilted his head in confusion, heart hammering his chest, realizing a horrible truth. She thought he was his father. He unfortunately looked like the man.

"He won't hurt you ever again," Marcus promised. "You're free of him forever. I made sure of that."

Marcus twisted, intent on walking out. Everything inside his chest shattered at once, all his hope to have a mother once more.

Before he could exit, Jean's delicate voice stopped him.

"Wait," she said. "Don't leave."

He gave three panting breaths and turned back around. Jean walked a few steps closer, eyes roving over his face, landing on his eyes. Her body softened, shoulders dropping.

"Your eyes," she said. "Of course, you're not him."

She walked forward and placed a hand on his cheek.

"Marcus…" Her voice warbled. "How you've grown." She sucked in a breath as if suddenly remembering something painful. "I tried to run out to get you. Did you know that? I refused to leave without you. Because of that, Dumbledore obliviated me, saying you needed to stay as a Flint. Before he did, I left the necklace, so you'd always know what you meant to me."

Marcus gasped at the revelation, shaking his head. He'd always feared she'd left and never looked back, grateful to get away, only getting obliviated to forget everything. A tear escaped and ran down his cheek. Jean reached up and wiped it away, as if he was a little boy again who skinned his knee.

"I—" He almost couldn't speak. How could he explain the years of agony thinking she'd died, and then the years of torment knowing she'd never remember his face. "I missed you."

Such an inadequate expression. A sob rocked through Jean.

"Oh, my little boy." She hugged him. At the contact, he placed his arms around her. She cried against his chest. "I'll take every moment of pain, if it means I get to remember you."

"I'm not so little anymore."

She shook her head, clutching him as if she never wanted to let go again.

"You'll always be my little boy," she said. "For infinity"


Hermione opened the grimoire for the last time. Alaric appeared on the opposite side of the room.

"Is it done?" He asked.

She'd opened it several weeks after Rosewood and explained to Alaric what happened. It had been difficult to explain the fate of his children and Kaspar.

She didn't want anyone else to activate the talent, and that meant destroying and covering up her true heritage. That meant destroying the grimoire. That meant destroying the memory of Alaric.

It made her sad, like a death, even though she logically understood he was just a memory anyway, a reflection of a person.

"It's done," she confirmed. "I sealed the castle forever. No one else can find it, unless my son discovers it someday, which he won't because I've gotten rid of everything to find it. I also tracked down all of Rosewood's relatives and made them swear an unbreakable vow to burn any documents. I watched them do it, and then made them swear not to speak of it to anyone, not even to other family members. The knowledge of Kaspar and the kaiser family will die with them. Every single cult member is accounted for, either dead or silenced in their own way." She took a deep breath. "I only need to do one more thing."

They both knew what she referenced. Alaric looked out the window, as if to view the Earth one last time.

"It was an honor to meet you, Hermione Granger. You've made me proud. A credit to our family, as honorable of a person as my son. I hope—"

They were interrupted by the door of the library opening. Scorpius ran inside, dressed in a knight costume, swinging a fake sword in one hand with a toy broom in the other.

"Daddy said he'd fight me later, but I'm—" Scorpius looked up to the apparition. "Who is this? Is he a ghost?" Her son tugged off his fake helmet, letting his blond curls tumble out.

"In a way," Hermione said.

Alaric was looking at Scorpius as if he was seeing his own ghost.

"My name is Scorpius," her son said.

"Scorpius," Alaric repeated. "I could have sworn you were Balarian the Brave. He was a famous wizarding knight from my time who rode dragons into battle."

Scorpius' eyes widened.

"He did?" He asked, getting excited. "Well, one day I plan to be a real knight. I'll save the princess and defeat all the bad guys. I'll make sure everyone is safe."

Alaric placed his hand on his doublet, and his bottom lip quivered as if he might cry, showing the most emotion she'd ever seen.

"It's an honor to meet you, Scorpius," he said. "I have no doubt you'll grow into a fine man, a warrior for good. I had a little boy much like you. Though you look nothing alike, your hearts have an uncanny resemblance. Now run along, young man," he said. "I think I saw a wild dragon go down the hall. He needs to be stopped before he reaches the village."

Scorpius clutched his sword and glanced out the door.

"I don't see anything."

"It's because he's invisible. Don't let him fool you. He's tricky."

Scorpius put back on his helmet. He glanced once more back to Alaric and then took off, intent on fighting the dragon.

Alaric watched him go, living through his own memories.

"I think it's time," he said. "I'd like to rest. I can vanish now, knowing my son lives on in his own way."

Hermione let him stay until he gave a motion of his hand.

"Farewell, Hermione, may your days bring you happiness and purpose."

She snapped the book shut after saying her own goodbye.

After, she walked over to the fire. Hermione hesitated only for a moment before deactivating any preservation spells and throwing it into the fire. She watched as the pages curled in the flames, as the golden dragon finally stood still, accepting his fate.

When it finally turned to ashes, she took a deep, freeing breath.


The sunshine was bright, a stark contrast to the setting. A day like this warranted overcast sky and a slight drizzle of rain.

He stood in the middle of the old wizarding graveyard. In front of him were two headstones. One read Lucius Malfoy and the other read Callum Mason.

Callum would be angry to be buried next to the father he killed, but Draco wanted them together—the two people he loved that hurt him the most. Even now, his chest felt carved out, remembering his father's slit throat, remembering Callum's empty eyes.

"I just wanted a family," he whispered. A father. A brother. Both things he'd never have again.

It took a full year to gain the courage to visit, to say his goodbyes. He'd seen Kadilila on accident. She'd been eating in a muggle café, looking haunted. Their eyes met, and she froze. He'd given a nod and wondered if she knew he killed her son. But she didn't. No one knew except the people there that day, and they'd all been vowed with silence.

Kadilila did know Callum had been a part of the cult, because she didn't even protest when he decided to bury them together. She'd shown up at the double funeral but didn't stay long

Draco hoped she found a level of peace.

On his hard days, he couldn't help but think of the photograph his father used to look at, of them at Hogwarts, arms around each other, looking so young and happy. If only his father could have made the better choice, like Pomfrey suggested. Draco almost followed the same path, and he was grateful life led him down another route, probably more painful, filled with overgrown thorns that hurt to walk through. But at the end, he'd reached a level of happiness he never thought he'd ever receive.

Callum and his father made their choices, whether that be vengeance or power, and he made his.

Draco bent down and took out a photograph of Callum and him from several years before at a football game in Munich. They'd spent so many fun days together. Callum loved him. He knew that. It was why his brother didn't really try to fight him, leaving himself open for the killing blow.

Draco dug a little hole, placed the photo inside, and then covered it back up with grave dirt.

"I forgive you, little brother," Draco whispered.

Next, Draco bent next to his father's grave and dug a similar hole. He reached in his pocket and took out a photograph he'd held onto for a long time. He used to stare at the small smile Lucius gave him, trying to read the expression as he looked down at his son. Did he see love? Pride? Happiness?

Maybe it was everything—a single moment where Lucius allowed himself to love his son without reservation.

Draco placed the photo in the ground and covered it. The grave dirt stuck under his fingernails as he patted it into place.

"I forgive you too," he whispered.


Draco walked into the store, holding Scorpius. The boy was getting heavy, but Draco refused to put him down. Hermione walked in beside him, arm looped over his elbow.

Draco took a moment to appreciate this—walking around in public as a true family. His wife and child. It was something he'd dreamed about but never thought he'd obtain.

A small bell gave a ding, signaling their entrance, but there was too much noise and too many people for anyone to hear it.

Hermione looked around in awe.

"This is amazing."

Draco spared no expense. If he was to invest in something, it would be top-of-the-line.

George—his business partner—walked around the corner with a big smile on his face. He'd grown to both enjoy and be wary of that smile, because he was frequently the victim of the man's elaborate pranks.

Right now, they were in France, at the grand opening of the newest Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes located right in the center of the famous wizarding district in the heart of Paris. The real estate market was extremely competitive, but they folded to both Malfoy influence and money. If he bribed a few people along the way to hurry up the process—well, no one needed to know.

All their friends and family were there too, walking around the store. Ginny had forced Theo into a chair, so her nieces could practice putting on some of the newest makeup products on the poor wizard. Theo just sat there patiently as the little girls put glitter on his eyelids. He wore the traditional Weasley jumper with a T on the front, since Molly Weasley had basically adopted him like a stray puppy.

Ron and Harry walked through the shelves, laughing at different things. Even Thorfinn stood in the corner with his booming laugh. His daughter was probably somewhere destroying something. George had taken a liking to little Athena, saying she was a kindred spirit, calling her his new protégé.

Marcus looked comically uncomfortable next to Katie who was visibly pregnant. They were checking out some of the products made for young toddlers.

Scorpius wiggled seeing Teddy, wanting to run after him. Draco let him down, messing with his curls before he disappeared into the crowd.

The products gleamed on the shelves. Most of them were the same ones they had in Diagon Alley, but he saw a few new ones displayed, especially the Halloween Kissing Boggart and the Rain Cloud, though George had to turn down the voltage of the lightning strikes to make it safe for children.

George finally saw them.

"Ah, the Malfoys!" He walked closer. "I have a surprise for you."

George led them to a display with silver and green colors with the word DRACONIS at top. Little dragons—a variety of species—in clear balls scratched at the insides, as if to get loose. Every so often one of them would give a puff of smoke.

"You named a product after me?"

"Well, you were being annoyingly insistent, and one day I was inspired."

Draco was touched. Honestly.

"What does it do?"

George grinned. He picked up a glass ball.

"Draconis," he yelled. The glass disappeared and the tiny dragon shot out and raced straight toward Draco. He gave an involuntary yelled and ducked, but it just settled in his hair and roared. "Fin," George said, and dragon returned to his hand, glass reforming into a ball. "It's meant to pair with our newest action figure sets, though it does one more thing."

He dropped the ball. Draco expected it to shatter, but it hit the ground and sprang up.

"It bounces," George said. Both him and Hermione laughed out loud.

"Very funny," Draco said dryly.


Hermione and Draco walked into the Forbidden Forest. They could have flown, but she really didn't want to. The sky was darkening, and the air buzzed with magic, getting ready for the night's festivities.

Since the treaty, the forest became much safer. The centaurs didn't harass humans, and their relationship with wizards had never been better, since they frequently hired wizard creature hunters to prowl the woods with them in search of Acromantulas. The population of the spiders dropped to a historic low. Hermione hoped the invasive species would soon be eradicated forever, though Hagrid was upset about it, crying over any new death as if it was a newborn baby instead of a carnivorous monster.

They were only halfway to their destination when a few branches snapped—an intentional sound, only meant to inform them someone stood close. Hermione looked up to see Bane stepping out behind a few trees. He was alone, and his bow and arrows stayed strapped to his back—a new set, since she'd cracked the last.

For the first time, he looked… unthreatening.

His black coat gleamed as he looked down at them. His high cheekbones and proud expression looked regal, like a king.

He took a few more steps toward them, and then he bowed, letting his legs lean down, letting his arm touch his waist. He bent as low as a centaur could.

Hermione stood in shock. She'd never seen anything like it, never heard of a centaur bowing to a witch or wizard. It made the hair on the back of her neck stand up.

He straightened. Reaching back, he grabbed an arrow. He twisted it around, so the tip didn't face her, and then he handed it to her.

"A gift," he said. "One of our sacred weapons, given to the bravest warriors in the herd." Hermione reached up and accepted the gift, still in awe. "It's a token of respect for the catalyst who paid a heavy tithe to set fate right. You are free now."

Without saying anything else, he twisted and melded back into the darkness.


The stars flickered above them. Sprites zoomed in and out of bushes. The magic flowed around them, even if she couldn't see it anymore.

They sat in the middle of the clearing, having just completed the Beltane rituals, completely naked with runes painted across their bodies. They'd just finished making love, with them both sitting, his hands guiding her hips. Now they were recovering from their bliss with him still inside her.

"This better not getting me pregnant," she said. "Or I'm maiming you with a sharp object."

Draco grinned against her shoulder. She knew he'd be ecstatic about a new baby, and she'd almost been convinced a time or too, especially after holding her adorable newborn niece, Jean. She was so precious, wrapped in her blanket, a tiny bow on her head.

But Hermione knew it was a biological trap.

There were still things she wanted to do in the Ministry.

But maybe in a year or two…

"It would be a miracle," he said. "You're on every form of birth control. Not to mention you made me wear this muggle torture device. What did you call it?"

"A condom," Hemione answered in amusement.

"Like I said, a muggle torture device."

But Hermione knew they played with fire. She didn't intend to have sex at Beltane, but she never made good decisions with Draco. He was her temptation, her cauldron cake, and she couldn't resist taking a bite.

Draco's fingers went back to her back, tracing a Rune into her lower spine in a pattern that felt familiar. He'd done it the last time, in the same spot—a rune he kept secret for the day it came true.

A wish from the Universe.

"What is the rune you're writing?" She asked.

"My deepest desire," he said. "It somehow came true, so I intend to repeat it every single year."

"What does it mean?"

He looked at her, silver eyes reflecting the moonlight. His gaze showed his love. She'd never felt more connected to another person.

He traced the rune one more time, and then reached over and whispered against her lips.