What Came After
“Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” Screamed a little girl, laughing as she ran into the living room.
“Yes Pumpkin?” Graham says with a smile, reaching down to lift his daughter into his arms.
“It’s bedtime! I want to hear a story! One about you and mummy!” The little girl says without lowering her volume even in such close proximity.
“Now Rin you know that it’s Rory’s turn to pick the story tonight, you picked Rabbity Babbity last night.” Graham said as he began the trek up the stairs with his five year old bundle still in his arms.
“That’s alright dad, I wouldn’t mind hearing about the day you and mum met.” The voice came from the bedroom on the left and Graham followed it. It looks like we’ll be in Rory’s room tonight. Thought Graham as he set his burden on the bed next to her brother.
“But you guys have heard that one a million times!” He said exasperatedly.
“We’ve also heard Cinderella a million times and the tale of the three brothers and sleeping beauty so I don’t see the problem” Rory replied with a grin, his sister giggling like mad as she got snuggled in next to him.
Graham looked down at his two children. Rin was five and looked just like her mother, bushy hair and the same cinnamon colored eyes. The buck teeth were starting to become prominent but Hermione swore that she’d reduce them down if her adult teeth looked the same way. Rory, his 8 year old son, on the other hand was a perfect mix of the two of them. Curly hair like his mother but a lighter color like his father, Graham’s nose and hazel eyes but with Hermione’s cheek bones. Both were as smart as a whip, a good thing and a bad thing. His children were the greatest thing to ever happen to him along with his wife of ten years. Has it been ten years already? With a soft smile he pulled the stool up next to the bed like he has every night since they were of age to hear the stories.
“Alright, alright I’ll tell you about the first time I laid eyes on your mother and how I knew that she was destined to become my wife.” The children squealed, they had heard this story many, many times but it never got old. Same with the one about the wedding with Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron but that’s for another time.
“I was at the ministry minding my own business, running some paper work back and forth--I was just a measly office assistant at the time when I heard this angry shout coming from the office of the head of the Department of Creature Regulations.” Graham begins smiling at the excitement he can see on his children’s faces even though they know what’s going to happen next. Graham gives them a wink before continuing.
“I, being the Slytherin that I am, had to listen in and figure out what they were talking about. So I stood in the hallway sipping the coffee--that I was supposed to be bringing to the head of the Auror department--when the office door opened with a bang! A small woman with her hair in a severe bun wearing short sensible high heels came storming out yelling “You’ll regret this!” over her shoulder and slamming the door closed once more.
She was glaring at the floor fiercely grumbling under her breath, and I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I remained standing in front of her hoping she might look up, and maybe I could get a hello. However, she didn’t even see me! Her forehead hit me right here,” Graham points at his chest right above his ribs. “The coffee spilled all down her blouse and my shirt, and man did that hurt! But I couldn’t feel any of it because as soon as she looked up at me I could feel myself entranced by her beauty, and the first word that she ever said to me is not one for bedtime stories.” Graham gave a small smile at hearing the giggling coming from the two faces he could see out of the mounds of blankets.
“She immediately apologized and asked if she could buy me another which I, of course, couldn’t say no to. One coffee date let to the exchanging of names and floo addresses which led to dinner dates and double dates with her two best friends and their girlfriends at the time.” With a glance at the clock Graham knew he had to wrap this up.
“And the rest, as they say, is history!” He finished with a wave of his arms and a grin.
“But dad!!” The twin whines had him grinning even wider. “We want to hear the rest!” finished Rin.
“Not tonight sweetheart, maybe another time.” With that Graham stood up and put the stool away and made sure that all the night lights were on. They were as much for the kids as they were for him so he could see to take Rin back to her room after they both fell asleep. Giving them each a kiss goodnight Graham walked outside their room leaving the door cracked before turning to head downstairs, almost running head first into his wife.
‘’They wanted to hear that story again?” Hermione asked with a blush.
“It’s becoming more popular than Babbity Rabbity,” Responded an unrepentant Graham. “If it’s any consolation it’s your turn for story time tomorrow and you can tell the rest how you like it.” Wrapping an arm around her waist he led them both downstairs for a little down time before they retired as well.
“I guess I just don’t understand their fascination with it.” Pouring them both some wine then heading into the living room.
“It’s a real life fairytale to them, love. Why would they want to listen to a made up one when there is a real one living right under their roof.” Kissing his wife on the nose then sipping at his wine Graham watched his wife blush again. Graham loved to see Hermione blush and it was just too easy! Graham suddenly had a thought.
“Hey honey?” He asked innocently, setting down his wine.
“Hmm?” Was Hermione’s response as the blush started to recede.
“How about we go and make Rin and Rory a new brother or sister.” He said wagging his eyebrows. Yupp there it was again.
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