Bathwater

The Complete Story of the Ferret

"Once upon a time, in a faraway castle, there was an intelligent girl with extraordinary powers that met a white, fluffy, bouncing ferret," a soft voice filled an empty living room. "Now, the ferret was actually a very nasty boy who deserved everything he got in the years to come. Then one day, two years after they met, the girl got so enraged with the bouncing creature and his git-ways that she had no choice but to slap him across his disgusting face because—"

"What the bloody hell are you doing?" Draco Malfoy entered the room carrying a cardboard box with shaking arms, instantly frowning as he managed to catch the term 'Bouncing Ferret' more than once from the hall outside.

"Telling a story, Malfoy," Harry Potter said seriously, but with his emerald eyes shining mockingly behind his glasses as he settled himself into a more comfortable position on the sitting chair he had spotted when he entered the room. "What does it look like?"

"Shouldn't you be helping with these boxes, Potter?" Draco snapped, his frown still stuck on his pale face. "I'm sure I didn't bring you here so you can sit around and tell lies about me."

Harry scoffed, throwing his feet on top of the near by tea-table. "Oh, I'm sorry, Malfoy. I was under the impression that I didn't sign up to be your house-elf for the day," he smirked mockingly at the blonde. "Now, if you don't mind, I would like to continue the story of the greatest bouncing ferret that the Wizarding World has ever known."

Turning away from Potter, Malfoy dropped the box angrily on the ground and narrowed his eyes at another man lazying about. His thoughts momentarily halted from his devious and brilliant plans to murder Wonder Boy. "And what the hell are you doing?"

"Nuffin'," a redhead replied casually at Malfoy's nasty hiss, shrugging as he attempted to swallow a handful of Bertie Bott's Every Flavored Beans while laying lazily on a couch by Harry's chair; a bundle of pale-blue on his chest. "You?"

"Attempting to bring all these sodding boxes from that muggle monstrosity you call a car!" The blonde wizard hissed, restraining himself from aiming a curse at the redhead and disturbing that bundle laying on him. He was honestly exercising patience at this current moment, but Potter and his Weasel were making it hard not to break his record of calmness.

At the blonde's yell, Ron patted the blue bundle carefully as he swallowed the rest of his sweets down. "Well, you've got to blend in, don't you?"

Draco was certain he could feel his blood vessels fill with hatred. "Choke on your spit, Weasel."

"Uh-oh," Harry dragged out, placing on an award-winning smirk on his face as Ron gave out one loud chuckle as he reached for more sweets from the tea-table. "Someone's a bit aggravated. What do we do with boys who throw bratty tantrums inside of the house?"

"We discipline them!" Ron cheered, whipping out his wand and trying to look ruthless as he shoved the beans into his mouth without taking a breath.

Harry shook his head mockingly, all to keep adding to Malfoy's anger. "No, that's not it."

"Shut it, Potter," Draco growled.

And then a small arm was raised in the air, coming from someone Malfoy hadn't noticed in his annoyance. "He's got to use his inside-voice first!"

"That's it, Teddy!" The Boy-Who-lived look down at the floor where a colored-hair child sat excitedly; looking at the three adult wizards in the room with entertained eyes. "That's my lad. Ginny would be very proud of you for that."

Teddy beamed proudly. "Can you continue the story now, Daddy?"

Sneering, the bespectacled man acted like he could not see Malfoy glaring furiously and turning bright red on the face. "Of course, Ted. Now, where was I?"

"Bouncing ferret!" Teddy shouted, clapping his hands with enthusiasm as he scooted closer to his Godfather from his place on the carpet.

Bang.

"Oi!" The door to the room opened once more and in came one of the ferret's fellow Slytherins. "What's this? You thickheads taking a rest without having the courtesy to inform the bloke working in the back with much effort that it was time for tea? This is discrimination! Is this revenge for everything I've said to you lot years back?"

"Don't get your knickers in a twist, Blaise." Draco crossed his arms. "Potter and the Weasel were about to get up from their lazy asses," he looked at the two Gryffindors impatiently.

Ron and Harry snorted together.

However, Malfoy kept his eyes narrowed at them; feeling a little more settled as something came to mind in that second that hadn't when he let his anger get the best of him. "Just because the lease to this place has Hermione's name written on it, does not mean I don't own it as well. I'm legally bound to hex anyone who enters my home." His angered face slowly turned back to its original pale, smug, handsome expression as the two-thirds of the Golden Trio looked at each other with some confusion. "Natural wizard rights. It comes with the house," he added in a whisper.

"You're no fun, mate," Harry grunted, raising himself from his comfortable seat. "We were told this was a small brunch to welcome you into this lovely new home, not to help you unpack without the right to rest."

"Oi, if anyone gets the right to rest it's going to be me!" Blaise added with a deep frown. "I've been up since before the sun arose doing things to my wife that takes loads more of energy than it takes you two get out of bed on a daily basis!"

With a mouth open, little chunks of chewed candy showing, Ron shook his head. "Actually, Zabini, Pansy likes it when—"

"Not in front of my cousin, Weasley," Draco snapped, pointing a finger at the child who was still smiling widely at all of them.

"Fine, fine, fine," Ron dismissed his would-be comment, smirking at the blonde as he registered the fact that he referred to Teddy as family. It was always a kicker and amusing for him to realize that behind all that annoying Slytherin persona, there was a bloke who loved Lupin and Tonks' little bugger just like the rest of the world. "But just know, Malfoy, that I want some sort of food after I'm done unloading boxes like a common slave."

"As if the dozen sweets you ate aren't enough, I'll take pity on you and I'll make sure you eat something, Weasley. I'm sure that with Pansy as your wife you're stuck eating what you can conjure up," Draco leered as the redhead wizard frowned, lowering the small bundle in his arms to the blue-haired boy.

And this time pretending he didn't hear Malfoy, Ron said, "here you go, Ted," as he made sure Teddy handled what he gave him with great care. "Take care of Vicky. You know how mad Bill got when you left her unattended last time he let us borrow her. He almost had my head, kid."

"Why are you even taking care of Victoire, Ron?" The bespectacled man asked as he rose from his chair and his godson frowned at the blonde almost one year-old veela in his hold. "Last time that you and Pansy took care of her she didn't stop crying for ages. Fleur says she's certain that the girl saw something that will make her loath you once she grows up and never look you in the eye."

Ron shrugged at his best friend as they both followed the two Slytherins out of the living room. "Dunno, mate. But whatever Victoire says, she saw nothing. I've learned to cover up, haven't I?"

Glaring at the suddenly opened blue eyes staring at him with a small glint of light, Teddy Lupin picked himself carefully off from the carpet; holding on to little Victoire Weasley with a bit of force so he wouldn't drop her.

"Stop it," he said to her, sticking out his tongue as she smiled hugely at him. "Annoying," he whispered harshly, turning on his little feet as he exit the room and made his way out.

A devious plan bubbled in his head as he began to walk faster on the wooden floor of the hall.

X

"Finally," Draco breathed as he lowered himself onto a black armchair that sat positioned in his brand new, full equipped now living-room. "I never thought those filthy creatures would ever leave."

And from the floor, forgetting for a moment on the assignment in front of her, Hermione Malfoy glanced up through her lashes at her husband. Looking at him with a disapproving stare as she let the Malfoy anger—that was passed down as quickly as she took the surname—sizzle on her cheeks. "Shut it, Draco."

Rolling his eyes, Draco scoffed at his wife. "Honestly, how can you be so peachy about it? It was a horrible experience that I never wish to repeat again."

"They're our friends, Draco," Hermione said, breathing in twice to keep her patience. "And it was just a simple meal. Don't get your wand in a knot, there was no harm done."

Scoffing again, Malfoy adjusted himself in his armchair a little more comfortably. (This might well turn into a full-on fight and he rather be comfortable when she hexes him.) "We had to separate Zabini and Weasley when they began to fight for the seat closer to the food. We had to hex both of them until Weasley's fat hands were released from Blaise's chicken and he released his from around Weasley's neck."

"That was nothing," she commented offhandedly.

Draco rose his brow. "We had to handle Ginny's mood swings as she complained to Potter that she was repulsed by his presence—which, let's face the fact, the redheaded menace is pregnant." Not paying attention to his wife's snicker and annoyed facial expression at his comment about Ginny, he glared.

"Pansy couldn't stop squealing and shouting for us to allow her to decorate our new home, demanding that she knows more of the subject since her 'Ronnie-Pie'—which made a piece of me want to strangle her to her death—had already bought her a house in muggle-London that provided her with creative ideas." Draco continued on with his rant; cheeks turning red with frustration. "Chang wouldn't stop sulking in the background because we hadn't invited Luna and Thomas, no matter how many times Potter tried explaining to her that Lovegood and Thomas were currently on their honeymoon."

Hermione removed her eyes from the surface of the tea-table to look back at the Slytherin, watching with amusement as he took a deep inhale. (Oh, how she fancied seeing him all worked up.)

"Then," the blonde wizard added, glaring more roughly as he could see the amusement on the Gryffindor's face, "I had to pay Teddy a galleon so he could tell us where he left Victoire. And I got punched on the nose by Potter's wife when I had to go get the girl from the gnomes in the garden when she accused me of giving Teddy the idea that selling your family to magical creatures is alright—What?" He snapped as Hermione started laughing loudly.

"Oh, Malfoy, you've honestly never been around people before, have you?" She shook her brown waves at him as she looked back down at the tea-table. "That's just all of them being friends. It's them being the eccentric family that they've been all along."

Feeling the redness of his anger starting to decrease from his pale complexion, Draco nodded solemnly at the sudden dulcet tone in the brunette's voice. "I suppose," he murmured, lifting himself off his comfortable armchair and sliding down to the floor with his wife.

Hermione smiled, her hands busy once more with the things she had scattered on the tea-table.

"Mind you, I'm just agreeing because my aunt was demented, my cousin was a dog, and my parents were servants of the Dark Lord," Draco added shortly after, not liking that smile on her face. "Although, if I would have had a normal family, I assure you none of them would have disgraced the guest bedroom in the way Blaise and his wife did."

Scooting on the carpet to make more room for her husband, Hermione cleared her throat as he lovingly put an arm around her shoulders. "Wouldn't doubt it, Malfoy, but I suggest you get used to it. Cho mentioned that they've been trying to conceive since we left Hogwarts. And they're finding it a bit difficult so every time Cho is ovulating they get right to it. And as a former Ravenclaw, you can't imagine Cho not trying to succeed in her assignments, can you?"

Malfoy grimaced. "Can't I just invest in a muggle priest? I'm sure they can soak the entire house with holy water, repelling both of them and their urges to produce their beasts."

"Don't be so mean."

The wizard rolled his eyes. Like he was the only one that didn't know Zabini can't seem to keep it zipped up, and that he's completely gifted on breaking charms and opening doors. Disinfecting sprays can only go so far, they were going to need a little more help by the man upstairs in the Muggle World because Merlin himself wouldn't want to touch anything contaminated with the Zabinis juices.

"What is this, anyway?" Draco asked, looking at what his wife was too preoccupied with. "You haven't stopped flipping through these stacks of rubbish since we got Potter to unload the boxes they came in."

"Well, darling, " there was the sarcasm that made up the Pureblood and Muggle-Born's relationship, "if you would've put a stop to all the frowning and the moment of once-enemies-now-brothers conversation you had with Harry, you would have heard Ginny and I talking about beginning a photo album."

"Photo album?" Her husband question, already his interest fading away. "Why would you need an album? I'll buy you a pensieve from Diagon Alley and you can travel in your memories all you like without having to reach for a bloody—"

Smack.

"Take a look at our surroundings, Draco!" Hermione withdrew her hand from the side of Malfoy's head as she pointed her finger to the furthest window of their new home. An echo of children playing and cars passing outside of their muggle neighborhood emerged through the crack of the window of their living room. "Does it look like we can have a pensieve hanging about? And I don't need you to buy me anything. If I wanted a pensieve I could get one on my own," she hissed.

"Fine," Malfoy sighed, giving her shoulder a squeeze even though he rather be sending a nonverbal curse at her. She was so damn infuriating, and he didn't know why he put up with her the way that he did. "Need help?"

Rolling her eyes at his left hand reaching for the photographs, Hermione sighed as well. "Well, you can help me separate them into piles. I want about four pages dedicated to our wedding."

"Just four pages?" He asked as he saw a stack dedicated to the Weasel. Frowning at the redhead, he flicked the photos away and grabbed her hand instead. "Shouldn't we just make the album about us? I mean, our wedding was practically history made. I'm sure it's an anecdote we will get to read in a book years from now. Shouldn't we have one of these ruddy albums ready for when the Daily Prophet storms in here demanding for the intimate moments?"

"How incredibly sweet of you, Malfoy," Hermione shook her head, trying to reach for the photographs with her free hand as the sarcasm, again, poured out. "But like I said, they are family and they deserve a part in this even if they aren't blood related."

Draco snorted to himself. "I hate it when you're so sensitive towards others."

"And I hate it when you act like such a brat when nothing is about you."

Giving her a shove back and gripping her arms, Draco closed the distance between him and Hermione with such force that she landed with her back slammed on to the carpet. "I hate it that you make me want everything that has to do with you to be about me," he whispered with a bit of irritation as he pressed his forehead on hers. He let one hand snake up to the side of her face, pushing those loose curls behind her ears. His heart gave a satisfied sigh deep within him as his silvery eyes met her brown ones. The mixture of cool and warm that always seemed to ignite the flame of bliss in his chest.

"It all can't be about you, Malfoy," she murmured, not bothered about the manner she ended up laying on the floor. "My world revolves around every part of me," looking into the small glint of sadness in her husband's eyes, Hermione leaned into his palm. "Fortunate for you, Draco, most of me can only see you."

Moving his fingers to caress her cheek, Malfoy flipped her around; rolling both of them around so she could straddle his lap as he peered up at her. "And I don't see anyone else who isn't you, Granger. You need to remember that I love you more than my own life."

"Oh, Malfoy, it's just the bond of marriage making you say that," she added. "But I love you too." She gave a giggle as she leaned down and pressed her lips onto his.

Her blood rushed thick as their lips moved together in such a soft manner that when they connected in the sweetest of gestures the lion nor the serpent existed, only Hermione and Draco.

And as both of them melted into each other, being as sneaky as he could be, Draco pushed the hem up of her shirt and let his fingertips trace the soft skin of her abdomen. It reminded him of how much he loved the silky texture of her body; of how much he loved to feel that she was real and completely his.

And even though she shared the same love of his feel, Hermione pulled away. "No."

"Why not?" The Slytherin mumbled in the same light tone his wife had, his lips now on her collarbone.

"We're expecting company, Draco," Hermione said, moving her lips to the side of his pale neck as he continued to trace patterns on the skin hiding behind the fabric of her shirt.

"We'll lock the door."

"Draco."

"They can stay outside for a couple of hours," he smirked into her hair as he squeezed her thigh with one hand. "There can't be anything more important than—"

Smack. Smack.

"What the bloody hell?" Malfoy hissed, pushing the brunette back from his chest as far away as possible as soon as her hands started flying everywhere. "Why are you always smacking me!" He shouted angrily, rubbing his head with one hand and swapping her palms away with the other.

"—Because she can." The door to the living room opened, and this time Narcissa Malfoy marched in; smiling warmly at the couple on the floor.

"Because I can," the brunette repeated mockingly at her husband, letting the smirk that appeared turn into a beam as she looked towards her mother-in-law. Hermione jumped up from the floor, heading towards the always elegant and always beautiful woman.

And as soon as the two women embraced in hello, Draco retorted with, "You need to stop encouraging her, mother." He narrowed his eyes as both of them rolled theirs. "Seriously, one of these days she is going to curse me and I shall end up in St. Mungos without a heartbeat."

"Well, next time behave, darling," Mrs. Malfoy gave a scolding look at her almost nineteen year-old son. "Hermione wouldn't have the need to discipline you if you would just act like the proper young man I raised you to be."

"But she viciously attacked me!"

And right before his mother or his wife could reply to his outburst, a deep drawling voice invaded the room. "The most dangerous thing upon Earth," a tall man—resembling an older version of Draco—entered the living room quietly and undetected, "is one's infuriated wife. They can torture and correct us as they please and we are not granted permission to do the same. Remember that, son," Lucius Malfoy said with a serious expression, but with glowing eyes as he carried a bundle of emerald.

"Although he can have his moments of vulgarity and thickheaded ways, I do not wish to correct him, Mister Malfoy." Ending the stand next to her mother-in-law, Hermione took steps towards her husband's father, "I just needed to remind him that he is not the center of attention of this household."

She extended her arms towards the man, who she still properly addressed, and waited for him to hand her the bundle. She smiled internally as Lucius Malfoy adjusted the emerald-colored blanket and exposed a pale forehead—pressing a quick but tender kiss to it. (A year may have passed, situations may have been accepted, and she legally became a Malfoy, but there were things no one in that family could ever forget. And one of those was the fact that her father-in-law tried to murder her and those who she cared for. Something that for the sake of her marriage and love for his son she has learned to put somewhat at ease.)

"Exactly, Draco is not the focal point of anything anymore," Narcissa agreed, bending down slightly and spreading the photographs on the tea-table. "My darling Scorpius is."

"That he is," Hermione smiled with such an intensity that it matched the look of adoration that she was giving at the bundle resting in her arms.

Grabbing a photograph from the tea-table, Narcissa turned to her husband and flashing him the photo. "Oh, can you imagine, Lucius, our grandson when he grows into a more developed toddler? He'll be one in a couple of months, and before we know it he'll be running all over this place." As she concealed her urges to squeal gleefully—because it was something that a respected Pureblood would never do—Narcissa peered down at the photograph of Scorpius a few months back.

"And once he begins to stomp on everything we'll send him directly to you, Mother," Draco sneered, standing up swiftly and walking towards his wife and child. "The Malfoy Manor was build to sustain anything, so I'm sure once he starts developing his magic and can't seem to keep it under control the Manor will resist a few explosions."

Frowning in a disapproving manner as her husband moved the blanket around, exposing the entire face of their son, Hermione managed to swat him on the arm. "Draco, don't be so—"

Almost as if on cue to spare Draco from a lecture of the almighty Brightest Witch of the Age, deep gray eyes opened and fluttered up at the faces of Hermione and Draco.

"We just bought this place, Hermione. With the brains that our child has, can you imagine the destruction he can cause?" Malfoy added carelessly as he looked at the open eyes that were exactly like his but that had the same wide-shape of his wife's.

"We are not letting your parents handle this."

Snapping his fingers and startling the bundle at the same time, Draco laughed as an idea came to mind. "You're absolutely right. We'll send him to Zabini's place." Ignoring the piercing scowl he was sure the brunette was giving him, he settled his palm gently on Scorpius' head. He moved his fingers lightly on his thin blonde hair, caressing and adoring. "How would you fancy that, son? Destroying your Uncle Zabini's house?"

"Oh, you're unbelievable," Hermione huffed, looking upset as little Scorpius smiled at his father's comment; appearing to look exactly like Malfoy does when he does something malicious and he's damn proud of it. "Now I am convinced you told Teddy to sell Victoire to the gnomes."

"That's unfair," Draco grunted, looking at his son with pride as he already managed to annoy the Gryffindor Princess. "Ted has a mind of his own and spends most of his days with the Weasleys. They practically encourage him to break the rules, even as Potter and his witch try to contain his rebellious ways. Accept it, that boy is already messed up."

"Well, he is related to you. That there explains everything," Hermione retorted, turning on her heels. "Come on, Scorpius, time for a nap."

Groaning in irritation, Draco followed the footsteps of the two people he most adored. (Even though he loathed to admit it, he deserved those hits. How could he ever forget that Scorpius, his son, was more important than sex with the woman he loved? Curse that jumped-up seducer with her creamy skin and lack of morals.)

Clearly ignoring her husband, Hermione's voice was heard from the hall. "Long ago in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, there roamed a bouncing, white ferret—"

Laughing softly at the loud curse her son gave, Narcissa lowered herself on the carpet of the new house. "Well, we better get started."

"On?" Lucius replied, raising his eyebrow at his wife.

Patting the space next to her, Mrs. Malfoy said, "Finishing these albums, of course." She grinned up at her husband, handing him a stack of photographs of their grandson. "We know perfectly well that they will never get it done with the way those two are."

Hesitantly and almost unwillingly, Mister Malfoy gave a solemn nod and sunk to the floor of his son's home. "Who could have thought, Cissy," he began to say as his eyes zeroed in on a picture that included the three of them: his son, daughter-in-law, and the warmth of his heart, "that those two would've ever made it through and create such a magnificent being in the process."

"I never doubted it," Narcissa said in a light tone, her ears picking up the giggling coming from a room away. The sound of Scorpius' laughter mixed with his mother's and Draco's rants about murdering The Chosen One for spreading lies to all the children. "They were meant to be, as oddly as the combination is. And whether they chose to see it from the beginning or not that outcome was unavoidable."

Crack.

"Drake!"

And then Mister and Mrs. Malfoy's warm moment was interrupted.

"Oh, Cissy, Lucius. Hello."

The two elder Malfoys nodded their heads in greeting; neither of them stirred by the shout and loud sound of apparation that had just invaded the sitting room once Blaise Zabini appeared uninvited as always.

Narcissa rose an eyebrow, silence taking over the room.

Blaise looked a little frazzled and uncomfortable by the judging looks the two elders were throwing him. "Where's Draco?"

"He's in Scorpius' room, Dear."

"Thank you!"

But right before the dark-skinned boy could leave, Narcissa called out in addition, "Is something the matter?"

"Cho's pregnant!" Zabini inhaled through his ragged tone, looking at the Malfoys with confused eyes. "Yes?"

Narcissa cleared her throat a bit awkwardly and pointed a finger at him. "Blaise, dear, you aren't wearing any pants."

Slapping his palms over the center of his middle, Blaise nodded rapidly and acknowledged the fact. "Yeah, well…It vents my jewels. You know, these muggles and their methods of keeping everything nice and flowing."

"Although I can see the excitement and the need to tell Draco about this, shouldn't you be with your wife, Zabini?" Mister Malfoy pointed out, looking away from the boy and onto the pictures of his grandson. (There was something about looking at a scrappy boy in his boxers with knee-long socks that repulsed him and the need to look away was merciful.)

"Yeah, well—Drake!" Zabini shouted once more, his voice squeaking with his yell. "Guess what, mate? I'm going to be a father!" He took off running down the hall, jumping over some of the boxes that were yet to be unpacked. "And I need a place to sleep! She was so excited she threw me out!"

Oh, how the story was finally complete.

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