A/N: It's been forever, I know. Thank you readers, reviewers, followers, and those who put this fic on their favorite list. To all still hanging around, don't give up on me!

Thank you: Ju, zwergilein, Anjali K, Guest, KraZiiePyrozHavemoreFun, nejisakura,Maybe2Morrow, crazychick-1027, dragonwingedangel,Corala, Guest, ForsakenMemories8650, MrRobertsIII, Guest, Angelus Draco, kitcatscratch, Kou Shun'u, Analelle, Aya Diefair, Guest, Vanessa85, Beccax95, imagine-ation, city bookworm, Guest, and hkmac.

A lot of good things were said in the reviews, and I'm thankful. :)

I'd like to add that the 'No Girl' curse on the Malfoy family is not something my readers should worry so much about. I added it because I thought it would make an interesting anecdote to the story. It honestly doesn't have much to do with the main plot.

Also, this hasn't been brought up too much which I'm grateful for, but I feel I owe to my readers to address the situation. I'm aware that not a lot of characters from the books are in my story. The reason is Lineage isn't about them and don't have much to do with the main plot. I know this isn't an issue for the majority of my readers but those who are fuming because "so and so" isn't in the story, I'd like to say I'm sorry and that you are more than welcome to write and create a fic consisting of any character you want.

And now I present Chapter 52!


The warm buttered croissant melted on Hermione's tongue, and she dabbed at her mouth to wipe away the crumbs. Swallowing, she put down the heavenly snack and sipped at her raspberry tea, beginning to feel better from the Sleeping Draught's effect. The potion left her parched and famished, the food awakening her body and keeping her alert on Blaise's sofa.

Beside her, Alex heavily smeared the sweet and salty butter on his croissant and stacked folds of fresh turkey, ham, and cheese slices, along with a bit of lettuce and a ripe piece of tomato. He alternated between munching and drinking his hot apple cider.

Blaise sat on the other side of her with a glass of Scotch dangling loosely from his fingertips. When he poured himself the drink, she discouraged it and admonished him, for it was far too early for alcohol. He ignored her.

As for Harry…

Hermione smiled at him over the rim of her teacup. Her old friend was sitting opposite from she and Blaise in the sofa chair, his tea and snack untouched on the coffee table. His posture was rigid and uninviting. Clearly, he was peeved. At what, Hermione wasn't entirely positive. It could be a number of things. Her. Blaise. The Malfoys. Himself.

From the corner of her eye, she noticed Alex lick his fingers, making cute popping sounds. She smiled at him and ran the back of her fingers upon his cheek. Harry better not be upset with him. Her son hadn't done anything wrong.

Alex wiped his slobbery, crumby mitts on his napkin and pointed to Harry's untouched snack. "Are you going to eat that?"

"Alex," she chastised and pinched his cheek in warning.

He shrugged. "Mr. Harry Potter hasn't touched his food."

"I'd rather not be poisoned," Harry muttered.

"Harry, really?" Hermione folded her arms, bemused by his childish behavior.

"If I were going to off you," Blaise said smoothly, "I wouldn't do it in front of witnesses."

Sighing, Hermione set down her teacup and interlaced her fingers, sitting primly on the cushion of the sofa, trying to appear the way her friend remembered her: proper and poised. "I'm pleased you dropped by, Harry."

"You asked me to."

"…yes…"

"I came as soon I got your Owl."

"And I'm grateful. The thing is," she cleared her throat, "there's been a situation concerning my travel papers, and I have no other choice but to stay a few extra days in London. Blaise did offer to house me and Alex, but I think it would be best for both of us if I could perhaps persuade you in letting us stay at Grimmauld Place. I understand if you say no."

"I just don't bloody understand why you don't want to go to Italy," blurted Blaise. "You'll love it. Alex will love it."

She put her hand on his forearm. "I don't doubt you but it is simply not a suitable time."

"Mom, please," her son whined.

Ignoring both of them, she looked at Harry pointedly. "Bleedin' hell," he cursed and got to his feet, "if you would've asked six weeks ago, all this rubbish could've been avoided. Yes, you will be staying with me and Gin."

"Granger." This time Blaise lamented. "You are not going to relax with Potter's spawns rampaging about."

"Relaxing is not what I need. I need…" Draco. If not him, a friend. A real friend. "I don't need Italy."

"Everyone needs Italy."

She laughed softly and patted him on the leg. "Perhaps, but I need time away from you. After what you pulled-"

"What did he do?" growled Harry as Alex took advantage of his distraction and nicked his croissant.

Hermione made a dismissive humming noise and shook her head. "Shall we? Alex, say goodbye to Blaise."

Mouth impossibly stuffed, Alex pouted and waved his farewell to Blaise before rushing towards him and wrapping his arms around his neck. The man glared openly at Hermione over the boy's shoulder as he patted the child's back. "I'll see you again, Granger. Both of you. I've meant to expand my business in the States. I hear Boston's lovely."

Alex pulled away and chirped through a full mouth, "You'd come see us?"

"If you insist," he said dramatically and tugged playfully on Alex's nose. "Be good for your mum. She'll whip your arse if you're not."

Alex rolled his eyes. "I know that, but I don't think you do."

Blaise guffawed and Hermione heard a strangled chortle come from Harry. She tossed a warning glower at him, and he collected himself immediately. Yet, she saw the corner of his mouth twitch threateningly.

Blaise let go of the boy and stood up. He tilted his chin at her, and she extended her hand. "Mister Zabini," she said.

Visibly affronted, he ignored her hand and embraced her. Though they'd sort of hugged previously, and she had once used him as a crutch in attempting one of the Malfoy Manor staircases, she froze. Their embrace was awkward and she craned her head away when Blaise's mouth got to close to her ear. He whispered, "Don't be afraid to deny your son everything he deserves."

They parted and she shook her head at him. He still didn't understand that this was so much bigger than he realized.

"Blaise," she said, smiling bitterly and parted from him and walked over to Harry who was standing to the Floo, Alex beside him staring upwards in awe.

"I can't wait to tell Nathaniel that I got to meet Harry Potter and stay at his house. He's going to be so jealous. But no offense, Mister Potter, Italy does sound so much cooler." He opened his palms, moving one up and the other down repeatedly. "Harry Potter or Italy." He leveled his palms and beamed up at the man. "You should move to Italy."

Harry cracked a tired smile at him. "Gin would love that."

Blaise watched Harry, then Alex disappear in a gust of green flames. Hermione bid him one last look, a nod and a tight smile before doing the same. Three seconds ticked by and then he allowed his shoulders to droop. He refilled his glass and was about to drink himself into a nap when Theodore stepped through the Floo. He jerked his glass away from his mouth, causing liquid to splash onto the carpet. He glared at his friend. "Damn you! I can't decide if you bloody saved the holidays or ruined them."

Theodore rolled his vision around the sitting room. "Is she here?"

"Potter's. Blast, Nott! What were you thinking? Stealing Granger's papers. Have you lost your already delicate mind?"

Dramatically, the bloke draped himself on the sofa and sighed, showing a great deal of emotion. It was almost comical. "You don't understand. I want her."

"She's Draco's."

Frowning, he muttered, "He always got the better toys."

"She's not a toy."

"Blaise." His voice was back to being stoic and business-like again. "I'm highly aware of what Granger is, and I know that she's Draco's. But he is currently unable to cater to her. She is a single mother and most likely facing financial struggles and low social status. Her son most definitely needs a father-figure. I'm thinking socioeconomically, Zabini. On her behalf. The greater good and all. Furthermore, how might Granger take it if I go to the Ministry and petition for her?"

Blaise blinked and said slowly, "She might kill you, but I think Daphne would beat her to it. You remember her, right? The woman you're marrying. You can't do this to her, Theo. And not to Granger, either."

"Daphne." Theodore smirked and leaned his head back against the cushion, eyelids lazily hooded. "She's lovely and will make a fine wife. I almost feel like a true sod for dragging her to into a practical state of spinsterhood."

"Then marry her. Now even. All the kids are eloping these days."

Theodore slouched and interlaced his fingers, nibbling his bottom lip pensively. "I said she'd make a fine wife. I didn't say to me."

Blaise joined his mate on the sofa and stared at him hard. "You will not destroy the only chance of companionship you will ever have for someone you will never get. Granger does not want you. She's grateful you saved her, I'm sure. But swiping her papers is unforgiveable. On top of that, she just lost Draco. They were it, you know what I mean? And she's realizing that now, I think. It's not only that she doesn't want you, she doesn't want anyone."

"Suppose I wait."

"For Merlin's sake, Theodore! You're supposed to know when something is not in your favor."

"Our parents raised us believing everything was in our favor because it is."

"Oh, yes. The war. Remember that? It ended in our favor? Or what about Draco, hmm? He wanted Granger, too. Like you. Was she in his favor? Did she end up that way? And let's not get started on Pansy!"

Dark brown eyebrows cinched together, and Blaise could practically hear the cogs circling in Theo's mind. That was never a good sign. The man was too clever and too cunning, perhaps even ruthless and unfeeling if there was a stubborn obstacle in his way. Finally, he spoke. "I always believed Draco to be a mastermind of women. It was so simple for him to turn them into putty. Astoria should've been married off a thousand times already, but she wasn't going to settle for just anybody. Not even for Draco at first. Technically, Granger should've yielded to him not long after the birth of their son." Theodore messaged chin and muttered, almost to himself, "What did he not do that led to the most epic fail of his life, thus including, not offing Dumbledore? Hmm. I'll have to think on that. Thanks, mate. This talk has been helpful."

Theodore popped off the sofa and left Blaise's flat, leaving his mate peeved and extremely worried. Gods, he hoped he wouldn't have to stage a bloody intervention.


The next morning Hermione woke up early in one of the guest bedrooms of Grimmauld Place, her son resting fitfully beside her. He had taken to James rather quickly the previous day after both boys scoped each other out. They played and chased each other throughout the hallways and talked about Quidditch and school. Like Alex, James and Albus attended a pre-wand school. Theirs was located in Edinberg and, according Ginny, quite expensive and incredibly sexist. Supposedly, they charged an extra thousand galleons to those enrolling daughters.

Speaking of Ginny, Hermione heard some rustling down in the kitchen. She carefully climbed out of bed and slipped on a pair of slippers and a robe. Entering the hallway almost startled her. Even though she'd been there for almost a day, she couldn't quite get used to the transformation that was Grimmauld Place. Over ten years ago, it seemed to hardly matter how hard one scrubbed and dusted to make the house somewhat presentable. The floors remained dirty, the walls grimy, and the cobwebs stubborn. Now ivory wallpaper coated the sides of the hallway, and they were charmed to stay clean and pristine. The places that had marble flooring sparkled, and the placed that had carpet were spotless. Many of the paintings on the walls had been removed with the exception of Mrs. Black's. However, her curtains were spelled shut and a powerful Muffliato encased the dimensions of the area.

The top stair creaked under Hermione's weight, but none of the others did. She shuffled into the kitchen to find Ginny yawning while pouring hot water from a teapot into a mug. From the smell of it, Hermione guessed she was drinking hot cider.

"Not what I want," she mumbled and begrudgingly stuck a spoon into the mug and stirred. "But coffee makes Lily fussy."

"I understand," Hermione said delicately as she hesitantly sat at the table. Nervously, she drummed the pads of her fingers on the polished wood. They hadn't much privacy the day before with the kids running around and Harry hovering all over the place, making sure Hermione was comfortable and feeling at home. No, she wasn't, but that was hardly his fault.

Truthfully, Ginny was almost painfully kind to Hermione the moment she arrived via Floo. She only asked polite and concerned questions. But if Hermione knew her old friend, the woman was just waiting for the prime opportunity to attack. This was the as prime as ever, and Hermione really just wanted it out of the way.

To her surprise, a mug of cider glided in front of Hermione. She looked at Ginny who came and sat down beside her. The other woman blew on the steaming liquid and sipped before setting the mug down and sighing.

Here it comes, Hermione thought.

"So, Hermione," Ginny began as she tapped her teaspoon against the rim of the mug. Clink, clink, clink. "There's something I've wanted to ask you the moment discovered those rumors about you and Draco to be true."

"And...what's that?"

"How big is Malfoy's stonker?"

Hermione nearly knocked over her drink, and she gaped at Ginny. "What?"

"Witch Weekly had an article about it a couple of years ago. It was all pish-posh and theory. I think if anyone would know the truth, it'd be you."

"Gin," Hermione whispered weakly and then chuckled uncomfortably. "You did not just ask me that."

Ginny grinned sleepily and rubbed underneath her left eye as if to wake herself up. "Come on, Hermione. There's got to be something worthwhile underneath that mummy's boy with daddy issues. You can tell me. It'll be our little secret."

"If you're so curious, why don't you ask Pansy?" Hermione sputtered, covering her flushing cheeks. Great, now she was thinking about Draco's real pride and joy.

It used to be hers a few years ago.

Blast, the naughtiness!

"I did. She wouldn't tell me."

"Perhaps because it's an inappropriate question to ask."

"I'll tell you how big Harry is."

"I already know."

Whoops!

Now it was Ginny's to hiss a "What?"

"It was on accident. It was when we travelled together that one year. I walked into the tent at the wrong moment."

"Then you definitely owe me dirty details about Malfoy. I didn't get to see yours."

"My Gods, Gin, we are not teenagers anymore."

"We didn't talk about this stuff when we were, so we owe it to ourselves."

Shaking her head, Hermione messaged her temples and closed her eyes. "I think I would've preferred you angry at me."

"I am but this a lot more fun than yelling at you. So tell me and don't leave anything out. I want to know how utterly fantastic that creep was in bed. Did he ever tie you up? I tied up Harry once. Well, all right. Not once. Or, oh! Describe all the wicked things you two did that weekend Alex was conceived." Ginny fanned herself and grinned lecherously. "Baby-making shags are the best! It's even better when it's on purpose."

"This conversation is not happening."

"Are you saying that he was incompetent and puny?"

"No! Draco was most certainly not! He was…" Hermione exhaled in exasperation and rolled her eyes. "The best I've ever had, and he was insatiable."

"That's the most unexciting thing about sex I've ever heard. What's the kinkiest thing you two ever did? Harry was vanilla—extra creamy—at the beginning of our marriage. Took him a little encouragement to try new things. Was Malfoy like that? I have a difficult time picturing him keeping it simple. He seemed like the dungeons and leather type."

Hermione couldn't contain the sharp giggle that bubbled out of her mouth. She covered it to stifle her embarrassed chortles. Once she sobered, she shyly divulged, "He was not vanilla."

Ginny slid her folded arms on the table to rest her chin on them. "Do elaborate. Rocky road? Dark chocolate with pecans and raspberry chunks?"

Blushing hotly, Hermione pressed her lips together and scrunched her face. "This is so not okay."

"Raspberry chunks," her friend pressed. "Tangy."

"You are awful!"

"You know you're dying to tell me."

Relenting, Hermione straightened in her chair. "Okay, okay. I'll let you in on a little bit. When Alex was small and Draco and I were still together—more or less—we hit a rough patch. A very big one. We…well I decided that we shouldn't…do it…for a while. When I thought it best that it'd be fine to start again, he wanted to make it extra special."


November 2005

"You denied me on my birthday. Bloody hell, Granger, deny me now, and I will well and truly die. It's been a year. I need you," he huskily said into her ear.

Hermione coughed into a fist and listened intently to Phoebe's story. The woman hurriedly wiped at a tear and said, "I'm just glad I graduated from the academy before, you know?"

"I'm sorry," Hermione replied and turned to Draco and said, "Thank you for letting me know. I'll take care of it. For now, though, could you please keep an eye on Alex? In fact, why don't you get in with him? I think he'd like that."

"I'm not getting in. Are you mad?"

"It's just a little water, Draco," she said and leaned her body flush against his. She smooched his jaw and said, "It won't hurt you."

Much to her dismay, he cupped her bum and growled, "That lifeguard is looking at you."

"He's fourteen, love, don't be ridiculous." She shoved at his shoulders. "You brought swim trunks, so get in the pool and play with your son."

"Fine," he lamented and kicked off his black flip-flops and peeled off his white t-shirt, exposing his flawless torso. Well, if he wasn't planning on swimming, then why did he conceal his scars? That man, seriously!

She watched him descend down the one step into the Kiddie Kool Off Pool, the water coming up to mid-calve. He walked slowly towards Alex who had bright yellow arm-floaties on, bigger than his head even though he was well above water now. Gracelessly, Draco plopped his bum down into the pool and splashed some water on his son. Alex giggled and did the same back, his playmates joining in to drown the grownup.

Salem's new community center was well and truly a blessing for locals. The indoor swimming pool was exactly what they and the parents needed for the winter months. When they opened in August, Hermione rushed to get her reservation in for Alex's birthday.

"He's so good with him," Phoebe said and sat down on the ledge of children's pool, letting her legs fall into the water. Hermione joined her. "Brandon's all right with Micah, I guess. He's just not ready to be a dad. Or a husband. Why did he ask me to marry him if he wasn't ready, huh? Why did he agree to having a baby then?"

Her friend stared sadly down at her ring finger, her wedding band still in place even though she signed the divorce papers two days before. "How come he wouldn't let me fight for him? For us?"

"I don't know," Hermione replied truthfully. She had never actually met Brandon. From what she gathered, though, was that he seemed to be a child. At least she knew she wasn't ready for marriage. She hadn't been ready for mummy-hood either, but once she had seen Alex, that hardly mattered.

Around four in the afternoon, the party ended and all the hungry children went home with their mums, the sugary cake at lunch a vague memory to their bellies. Draco pulled a thoroughly sopped and knackered Alex out of the water and held him close. Alex's little arms wrapped around his father's neck, and he closed his eyes. Hermione wedged her wet feet into her sandals, and they both went into the family locker room to retrieve their belongings. She dried them both off, and herself, with her wand. They all dressed for the fall weather outside and walked back to the apartment.

"I'm starved," Draco complained when they arrived to the flat.

"Me too," Alex said through a yawn. He rubbed his eyes and smacked his lips. "Macawoni and cheethe."

"We can do better than that," his father murmured and ticked his son's belly. "How about Mum fixes us up something real nice for dinner?"

Hermione scoffed. If Draco thought she was going anywhere near kitchen appliances after the long day at the pool, he was mistaken. She took Alex from his arms and stuck her chin out at him. "How about I give him a bath, and you Floo us some delivery."

"Hungweee!" her son howled and kicked his legs. "No bath!"

Fussy from exhaustion, Alex burst into a temper tantrum, squirming in Hermione's hold and howling at the ceiling. She tried to soothe him by bouncing him, but he wasn't a little baby anymore. He was a wee three year old with a mind of his own.

By the time she bathed him, he was practically comatose, occasionally making whimpering sounds from the back of his throat. She dressed him in soft pajamas and laid him on his cot in the nursery. As tired as he was, she didn't have the heart to coerce him to eat, regardless of his hunger. He fell asleep within seconds.

Draco sat on the sofa reading flipping through one of her 'How To…' parenting book concerning toddlers. She had picked it up at the bookstore down the street a week prior. Smiling, she draped herself next to him and rested her head on his shoulder. "Anything interesting?"

He closed the book, letting it drop on the floor before he coaxed her into straddling him. His pointer finger teased the bit of skin above her jeans, and he said, "You smell like chlorine."

"So do you."

"Foods on the way. It'll be here in twenty minutes or so."

Hermione cupped his face, brushing her thumb over his cheek. "I'm so sorry," she said in a hushed tone. It had been a year since they'd made love. Even when he visited for his birthday, she hadn't given in despite his best efforts. They hadn't been ready yet, and the wounds they inflicted each other with were still healing. Today, though, on Alex's birthday it felt right. They had forgiven each other and often communicated over letters and expensive Floo calls over at the IC these past few months.

"As am I. I love you."

She kissed him, and he groaned in her mouth, pulling away. "I must be a masochist because I want to wait."

Bristling, Hermione leaned back and arched a brow. "You nearly assaulted me at the pool. Alex is asleep. You want to wait? Why?"

A year without sex had worn her thin, too. He was right there and so was she. They had twenty minutes, and she was wound so tight, she knew Draco could make her explode two or three times before the food came.

He squeezed her hips and then crudely messaged her bum. As if it pained him, he wheezed, "I don't want it to be rushed. I want it to be perfect."

"So sex with me isn't perfect every time?"

He rubbed his forehead, chuckling nervously. "Granger. It's been so long, none of this is coming out right. Gods, it's like my first time again. Only you look nothing like Pansy."

Hermione slid off his lap and back onto the cushion and folded her arms. "Thanks for bringing her up. Would you like me to bring up Ron?"

"Shit, no." He glared at the ceiling. "Let's not fight. For once, let's not. We'll just relax until the food comes."

"Fair enough," she grumbled and picked up the book Draco discarded and started flipping through it.

"I was going to read that."

Snapping the book closed, she hit him in the chest with it and marched into the kitchen and buried her head in the refrigerator for some iced tea and lemon. Until the food arrived, she stayed in the kitchen and Draco stayed in the sitting room. At the dining table, they ate their baked pasta, Greek salad, and warm bread in silence. When they finished, they cleared up the dishes and put the leftovers away before going to the bedroom

Awkwardly, they lay side by side on the comforter for at least ten minutes before Hermione bravely piped up, "Maybe we should just go to sleep."

Draco bristled and hissed, "I think not!"

"Then what do you have in mind?"

"I'm sure I left some ties in the closet."


Present Day

Hermione concluded the memory to Ginny who merely arched an intrigued ginger brow. "I hope that's not the most adventurous thing you two ever did."

It hadn't been but she shrugged. "I had to give you something. Be grateful, you pervert."

"At least give me his centimeters."

Harry stumbled through the swing-door looking unshaved, like a zombie, and perhaps even debauched. He had Lily whimpering in one arm, her small pink mouth puckering. He extended said arm to Ginny and moaned, "Feed her," to which she took her daughter. Her husband shuffled back out of the kitchen without another word.

Hermione watched her friend partially unwrap the blanket from the hungry infant and use it for the sake of modesty as she nursed the child. Ginny played with her daughter's bootie-clad feet and asked, "Did you nurse?"

"For almost a year."

"He's cute, you know. Alex, that is. Was he a fun baby?"

A genuine smile stretched across Hermione's face. "Draco called him my toy. Oh, Gin, he was such a good baby. I got lucky. No colic or monthly ear infections. And he was sooo squishy."

"James and Albus were chunky, but Lily is kind of plump but not as much as her brothers were. I think those two will eat us out of a house when they're older." Ginny chuckled and gnawed her lips pensively. She cocked her head and said, "You didn't want any more children."

"It just never happened," Hermione half lied. "But that's all right. Draco and I…what we had wasn't ideal. It was already unfair to Alex to have things the way they were. Bringing another child into it would've complicated things further."

"You could've married him," Ginny said, "but then you would've had to deal with his parents. I'm guessing that's the reason why you two never sealed the deal."

"One of many reasons, yes."

"I'm all ears."

"I sincerely doubt you have the time." Hermione decided to redirect the conversation. "How are things? So much has happened since we saw each other. You weren't a mum, and this place still looked like Borgin and Burke's secret love child."

"When I found out about James, I told Harry we had to change everything. This was not a suitable place to start a family. By the time James was born, his nursery and one guest bedroom was ready. It took loads of time and money, but after Albus was born, it was done. At the beginning, a part of me actually wanted to live somewhere else, but Harry insisted this place was worth fixing. Reckon he was right, but I have yet to admit it. Can't let his head get any bigger." Ginny switched breasts and nursed Lily for a few more minutes. "Do you want to burp her?"

Hermione shook her head. "I'm so out of practice, I'd probably hurt her."

"Don't be ridiculous." Ginny shoved the baby into Hermione's arms and then draped the blanket over her shoulder.

Hermione hadn't held such a small baby in a very long time. It was like trying to hold up a bag of pudding. Finally, she got Lily's mouth close to her shoulder and gently patted the baby's back.

"Harder," instructed Ginny.

Hermione complied, her nose close to the baby's thin ginger wisps of hair. The tresses were fragrant, and Lily's skin had a delightfully pink baby smell. Jealousy tapped at Hermione's consciousness, but she brushed it off as best as she could. It wouldn't be wise to let sad memories sour her mood so early in the morning.

"So Pansy gave birth, I heard. A boy?"

"Ron wants a Quidditch team, and Pansy wants another girl. I won't be surprised if she's expecting again by next Christmas. They went through a rough patch, you know? Everyone thought they were going to separate a while back. Mum and George were kind of rooting for it, can you believe that? I know Pansy's awful, but she's a good mum and keeps my brother in line. He keeps her humbles…sort of. By the way, how's Luna? Is she dating anybody? Her and Rolf's falling out was hard on her."

"There have been men here and there. None of them last, though. I love Luna, but she's an acquired taste. What about Charlie? Still driving your mother spare because he refuses to settle down?"

"He's a player, that one. All in all, yes. He won't marry, but that's his own business. Mum will forever fuss about it."

The kitchen door swung open and Alex padded through, his bare feet smacking the tile floor. He paused when seeing his mother holding Mrs. Potter's baby and pouted. That Lily was in the way of his mom's lap.

"Hi, sweetheart, how did you sleep?" Hermione greeted.

"Fine, I guess."

"Hello, Alex." Ginny grinned. "Do you want to help me make breakfast rolls?"

"With raisins?"

Ginny dropped her jaw in faux horror. "I wouldn't dare."

Alex smiled shyly. "Okay."

"And you can tell me all about Salem. I've never been, so I want to know everything."

"The Quidditch Stadium is huge! And you should see the IM!"

While Alex and Ginny busied themselves at the counter, Hermione held Lily and sipped the rest of her hot chocolate. She was about to ask Ginny for some tea when Harry stomped in and chucked a newspaper on the table. "Seriously?!" He fished out a cigarette and a lighter from his night-robe.

"Harry Potter, you smoke that in my kitchen, and I will light fire to your arse!"

"The Prophet, Gin!"

With her free hand, Hermione slid the newspaper towards her and stifled a curse when seeing a picture of her and her son on the front page.

Hermione Granger Spotted at the UPA with Son: Is he or is he not the heir of the Malfoy Fortune?

To be continued...