Ginevra Molly Weasley-Malfoy woke to an empty bed. She groaned and rolled over, her arm automatically reaching out to where her husband should be. The spot was still warm. She pulled the coverlet over her head and burrowed deeper into the silken sheets.

She wasn’t fooled when the latch on their bedroom door clicked open and four sets of footsteps crept quietly into the room. Ginny smiled, trying to even out her breathing so it would appear she was asleep.

When her three little monsters jumped onto the bed she let out her best surprise-yelp and quickly threw off the coverlet. A rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday Mummy” instantly rained down on her. Draco was standing off to the side, looking much too proud of himself, with a tray full of breakfast in his hands.

“Children, what did I tell you?” he asked sternly, though Ginny could tell that he was trying very hard to contain a smirk.

“That we have to be good while Mummy eats her breakfast,” Emma, their oldest, answered promptly and with a very serious expression. Ginny laughed and moved back on the bed until she was leaning against the headboard. The children crowded around her while he leaned down to give her a lingering kiss on the lips before placing the tray of food on her lap.

“Happy Birthday, Mrs. Malfoy,” he whispered before pulling away. She took in his low-slung pyjama bottoms and quirked an eyebrow, giving him a simpering look.

“Thanks, loves.” She smiled at them all. When she looked down at the tray in her lap she almost laughed. Lumpy pancakes and lopsided muffins were stacked haphazardly on a plate. “Did you give the house elves the morning off?”

“I made the pancakes,” Dylan, aged seven, announced proudly.

“You didn’t make them all by yourself; I helped too,” Dylan’s twin sister Cassiopeia countered. Emma simply gave them what Ginny had dubbed ‘the Malfoy look’ and then turned to smile sweetly at her mother.

“It looks very lovely. Thank you.”

Ginny polished off her breakfast while the twins told her all about their foray into cooking and Emma interjected now and then to tell her how they had made a right mess of things. Draco simply watched from the foot of the bed, catching her eye every now and again and giving her a secretive wink.

When Ginny was finished Draco called a house elf to take the tray to the kitchen and told the children to go visit with their grandmother in the parlour.

“She’s been down there this whole time?” Ginny asked, trying to envision Narcissa Malfoy waiting around in their downstairs parlour for over an hour with no other company.

“Mm,” he answered, crawling towards her on the bed once the door was shut properly and they were alone. “She’s offered to take the children for the day. I have big plans for you, birthday girl.”

Privately, Ginny thought that a little alone time with her gorgeous husband was quite a fine birthday present indeed. They would definitely be hosting a lavish birthday party for her mother-in-law this year.

Ginny sighed contentedly when his full weight came to rest along the length of her body. She was finally able to give him a proper morning kiss. Her hands came to rest on the hem of his pants where they had been longing to be since she saw him come in with that tray in his hands.

“Oh,” she whispered, trying to think with his mouth doing delicious things to her neck. “Do these plans have anything to do with you having your wicked way with me right now?” He pushed a hand under her top and began making small circles on her stomach with his fingers. She began to tremble in anticipation. He knew just what to do to wind her up so quickly.

“No, I’m afraid you will just have to wait.” He pulled away from her reach then, giving her a wicked smile. “If you hadn’t slept until half past ten we might have had a bit more alone time together.”

“Tease,” she scowled. “You’ll regret this Mr. Malfoy.”

“Of course, love. Don’t doubt that I already do, but we have an appointment in half an hour and I’ve already had Minky draw you a bath.” He was standing over her now on the side of the bed and leaned down to kiss her quickly on the temple. “Now you’ll have something to look forward to at the end of the day.”

“I’m still going to get my revenge,” she told him, though she couldn’t help but smile at his thoughtfulness.

“I’m looking forward to it, my Queen.” He gave her a cheeky smile and sprinted out of the bedroom before she could get up and run after him.

Ginny laughed and slowly untangled herself from the bedclothes to make her way to the adjoining lavatory. Between her husband and her three children there was never a dull moment around the Malfoy household.

When she splashed some cold water on her face and looked at herself in the mirror she was pleased with what she saw. Her vibrant red tresses were longer than they were in her school days and there were very faint laugh lines around her mouth. Her chocolate brown eyes had a few golden flecks now that made her eyes seem to sparkle with mirth or secrets from time to time.

Her husband liked to tell her that she was growing more beautiful each day. She would usually slap his arm playfully and tell him he was growing more senile as he got older. But he told her enough and she was willing to believe him as she surveyed herself in the mirror. The young woman staring back winked at her playfully and Ginny laughed to herself before stepping into the aroma-scented bath her own personal house elf had prepared at her husband’s request.

A much more refreshed and relaxed Ginny made her way down to the dining room half an hour later. Draco hadn’t told her where they were going so she dressed in her favourite light summer dress. It was her birthday after all and she could dress however she saw fit. At Hogwarts she used to prefer trousers to skirts and dresses but Draco had insisted he loved to see her in more feminine wear and soon enough she found herself liking beautiful dresses more.

When she entered the foyer off the formal dining room she found her children, her husband and his mother talking over breakfast. She smiled as she watched them silently. They must have made hers before sitting down to eat their own.

“Good morning, Mother.” She bent to place a kiss on one of Narcissa Malfoy’s rosy cheeks. None had been more surprised at Draco’s mother’s acceptance of her than Ginny. The haughty aristocratic woman had melted over the years into a doting grandmother and all-around genial woman.

Narcissa smiled, genuinely pleased to see Ginny. “Good morning Ginevra and congratulations on your birthday.”

“Thank you.” Ginny smiled. Narcissa was not at all bothered by growing old. In fact, Ginny thought she had never looked younger since she started getting to know the woman. Being a grandmother seemed to agree with her.

Soon Draco and Ginny were ready to leave, though he refused to tell her where they were going. He smiled mysteriously at her as she held on to his arm and he Side-Along-Apparated them to their destination. Ginny gasped when she opened her eyes.

“Milan?” she whispered. They had not been there since their whirlwind honeymoon.

“I thought it might bring back some happy memories,” Draco told her. She looked at him then, silent tears of happiness in her eyes. He looked at her with all the love and devotion he had had when they first married. “I’m still thankful every day that you agreed to wed. I felt like the luckiest man in the world. Sometimes I still wonder what you saw in me.”

“Hush, Dragon.” She brushed her fingertips lightly across his lips and smiled lovingly. Ten years with the man in front of her had only made her heart swell with more love than she thought possible. “I didn’t think it was possible to love you more than I did on our wedding day but you keep surprising me, love. Now, what have you planned for us?”

“A man has to keep a few surprises from his wife,” he retorted, affecting a mock-serious tone and grabbing hold of her hand as they made their way down the cobbled street.

* * *

He took her to the café she had so enjoyed on their last visit. Just the fact that he had remembered how she loved it warmed her heart. He always seemed to remember everything she said. She had been afraid, when they first began dating, that he would go running for the hills once he picked up on all her subtle nuances but he seemed to love her all the more for them.

His arms were loaded with packages. She laughed and quickly found an abandoned side street where he could shrink them and fit them into the pocket of his trousers. After lunch and shopping she was quickly growing tired. It was late in the afternoon before they decided to return to Britain.

He insisted that they Apparate just outside the front entrance and Ginny rolled her eyes when he wasn’t looking. She knew that he had planned a surprise party but she played along. She tried to appear properly surprised when they entered the front hall and the lights were suddenly thrown on to reveal all her family and friends standing there with birthday hats and several of Fred and George’s magical noise makers.

The children ran to greet her first and she spent the next half hour being shuffled off to well-wishers around the room. The children told her all about their day riding horses with their grandmother. As Ginny made her way around the room she was suddenly proud of the life they had created.

Never did she think she would see the day when Malfoys, Weasleys, Potters and Zabinis could stand to be under the same roof with each other, and chatting away amiably no less. As she stood off to the side of the room observing their guests a pair of strong arms wrapped around her and she caught a whiff of her husband’s familiar scent.

“Why Mrs. Malfoy, you look lovely this evening.” His breath, hot on her neck, made the fine hairs on her skin stand up on end. “Is there any chance I could convince you to sneak off with me?”

“What kind of woman do you think I am, sir? You should know that I have a very jealous husband.” She loved bantering with him like this - it made her feel as if they were still teenagers.

“I think I could take him if it meant I would get to see you without that lovely dress on.” She laughed then. She could be just as devious as he could.

She pushed him back into a small alcove and kissed him hard on the mouth. Her lips parted eagerly as he explored her mouth thoroughly with his tongue. She ran her hands up and down his toned back, finally tangling her hands in his long blond tresses. Just when he thrust his hips against her lower body she pulled back and smiled sweetly at him.

“Why, Mr. Malfoy, you naughty man, I seem to remember telling you that I would get my revenge. We’ll have to wait to finish this until all of our guests have gone.”

He growled low in his throat but she quickly slipped under the arm trapping her against the wall. “Evil wench,” he muttered. She laughed gaily and went to find one of her brothers; there was no way he would retaliate in their presence.

Ron and Hermione were there with their two children. Hermione was soon expecting a third and she looked radiant in the late stages of her pregnancy. All of her brothers had been able to make it, including Percy, who had reconciled with the family shortly after Voldemort was defeated.

Blaise and Pansy Zabini had no children as of yet, but Blaise was godfather to one of their twins and still Draco’s best friend. Ginny had learned to tolerate the two and actually found herself enjoying Pansy’s wicked sense of humour after the other witch finally accepted Ginny’s marriage to Draco. They stopped by often and Ginny even found herself shopping with Pansy and her friends on a few rare occasions.

Harry had married Luna a few years after Hogwarts. Ginny thought they were just perfect together and she was immensely happy for her two close friends. For a while, after Ginny had broken things off with Harry, it seemed like they would never work out their differences. When he had started dating Luna, one of Ginny’s closest friends, they put their past behind them and were finally able to become good friends.

Draco had gotten along famously with her older brothers, Bill and Charlie. In time they all accepted him in return, even if Ron still liked to rile him up a bit. What had surprised her was his stiff reaction to Percy when they had met. She had just assumed they would get along best because of all the Weasleys, Percy was the most proper.

When she had asked him about it, he had only told her, “A man doesn’t turn his back on his family.”

By then she was used to interpreting the things he often left unsaid. He had despised Percy because even though he himself hated all things Weasley at the time, it was not in Draco’s nature to publicly go against his family. She secretly thought he saw too much of himself in Percy and it reminded him of how he had gone against his own father’s wishes, something he didn’t want to be reminded of.

Soon Draco announced that dinner was ready and they all made their way to the large formal dining room. The house elves had outdone themselves that evening and even Hermione looked appreciatively at the large feast.

“I would like to make a toast,” Draco announced, standing up at the head of the table and commanding everyone’s attention. She was seated next to him and he grabbed her hand, looking down into her eyes. “To my lovely wife on her thirtieth birthday, who is more radiant today than she was the first time I noticed her. To my love, may we have two hundred more birthdays together. You have given me more than I could ever return. I am the luckiest wizard to ever grace the face of this earth.” He kissed her lightly on the cheek to rounds of “Here! Here!” from the other occupants of the room, her brothers being the loudest.

She dabbed at the tears in her eyes with a monogrammed handkerchief his mother had made for her. She longed to show him how much his words had affected her. All throughout dinner she smiled at him with a look that promised she would do just that when they were alone.

Her parents were the last to leave after dinner and afters.

“Oh Ginny, you’ve become such a lovely woman,” her mother told her while her father and Draco went for their cloaks.

“Thanks Mum.” She blushed. Even at thirty, her mother could still make her feel like a little girl. “I was raised pretty well.” It was her mother’s turn to blush and sputter in embarrassment.

“I’m so glad you’re happy, dear. I was worried about you for a bit after your sixth year at Hogwarts. Why, I still remember that summer when you returned looking happier than I’d seen you since your first year and announced you were dating Draco Malfoy. Your father and I about fell over from shock.”

“Yes Mum, I remember.” She had argued with her parents very nearly every day that summer until they accepted the fact that she was old enough to make her own choices.

“Of course you do dear. You were so stubborn and when he came to visit that summer I could see the two of you were so much in love. I’m so proud of you, Ginny.”

“Molly,” her father called, walking up behind the two teary-eyed women.

Draco gave her a questioning glance but she just shook her head to indicate everything was fine and she would tell him everything later. The subtle communication was not lost on her smiling parents, who quickly made their exit after extracting a promise from Ginny and Draco that they would visit The Burrow with the children soon.

“Alone at last,” Draco sighed, leaning against the closed door.

“The children?” she queried. He smiled, catching onto her train of thoughts.

“They fell asleep in the parlour with Jeremy and Melissa. I carried them to their rooms not half an hour ago.” He was walking towards her now but with every step that brought him closer, she backed away from him.

“Well,” she drawled, using his familiar tone, “I suppose you’re too tired to stay awake much longer.”

“Wench,” he growled playfully, closing the distance between them quickly and pulling her fully up against him. She laughed at his apparent eagerness. “Now we can get on with the real celebration.”

“Oh,” she asked innocently, “what did you have in mind?” She could tell, from the way his pupils were dilated and his mercury orbs were practically on fire, exactly what he had in mind.

Just as he leaned forward to capture her lips she threw off his embrace and quickly sprinted up the stairs, taking them two at a time and laughing merrily as he followed after a moment of dazed confusion.

Several hours later, she fell asleep in his loving embrace and decided that growing old was not so bad after all. In fact, she had never felt younger.

* * *

Again, Ginny found herself on the familiar path leading to the yellow wood. Dumbledore was there again too, his eyes twinkling knowingly. Her face began to heat up when she wondered if he too had witnessed her possible future with Draco Malfoy.

She didn’t know what to say and she was afraid that all of this had been a dream and at the same time she was afraid it hadn’t been. She had never been a firm believer in the art of Divination; that one could actually see into the future.

“Professor?” she asked hesitantly, afraid of the answer. “How do I know this was all real? What if I choose and it’s not at all what I expected it to be?”

“That is the beauty of free will and courage,” he told her kindly. “You must be honest with yourself, Miss Weasley. Do not be afraid to live your life. You must embrace it. I know your heart, child. You may not see it now, but if you let the evil from your past rule your future you are only succumbing to the very control you seek to escape from. You must do what is best for you and not everyone else.”

She needed time to think on everything she had seen, to process Dumbledore’s advice. Whatever stroke of Fate had allowed her this opportunity, she was grateful for it.

“Thank you. Will I see you again, Professor?”

“I’m sure you will, Miss Weasley. Hopefully not for a very, very long while yet.” He produced his wand from the inside of his robes and Ginny closed her eyes as she felt the magic engulf her, returning her to the life she had left behind.
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