A Marriage Most Convenient

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Chapter 52: Epilogue: Five Years Later:


A man sat in the corner of the large library at Malfoy Manor, swirling a drink around a tumbler, watching the ice slosh the amber liquid over the sides of the glass. He took another large swallow and then banged it down on the table by his chair.


Dammit it all to hell…it wasn’t supposed to be like this! Here he was, less than a year from his thirtieth birthday, and if he didn’t get married before that fateful day he would lose everything he NEVER wanted, but everything he finally realized he held dear. Here he was, back home, back at Malfoy Manor, back in magical London, though he didn’t think he would ever return. Here he was, back at the beginning, no longer hiding, and he didn’t like it one bit.


He wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for his dear old grandfather, Lucius Malfoy, who was probably cursing him from the bowels of hell right now. He was finally back and it was too late to tell the old man goodbye! He was finally back, and his precious Lily was long married to another man. He was finally back, after having missed out on the last five years of everyone’s lives, and to top it all off, he was going to lose everything, disappoint everyone, just because he wasn’t yet married.


And the reason for all of this? He left five years ago to find himself, and instead he became lost. During those five years he never once contacted a single member of his family, save for his grandmother, and now it was too late to do anything about it. In other words, he was a fool.


So what?


He never wanted to live in Malfoy Manor anyway!


So what?


The old man could have found him and told him goodbye long before he died!


So what?


He didn’t want to get married anyway, so why should a little piece of paper, written by a crazy old loon 125 years ago, dictate to him what he should or shouldn’t do? Marriage wasn’t for everyone! Not everyone married at nineteen, like his sister, and had five little snot-nosed brats, each one brighter and more beautiful than the next! Not everyone fell in love with a woman they had known (and hated) all their lives, and then marry her two months after meeting her again, and after thirty years of marriage was still painfully happy like his dear old Dad and his wonderful Mum. Not everyone married someone stupid that they didn’t love, like Lily Potter, nay, Flint, did.


No, marriage wasn’t for Sam Malfoy, also known as Scorpius. He wouldn’t marry for the sake of being married, or marry merely for convenience; besides, he had not yet met the right woman.


Okay, that was a lie…not the getting married for the sake of getting married part, but the never having met the right woman. He had met the right woman, in fact, he grew up with her, and then watched as she married some git five years ago, damn her all to hell right next to his grandfather Lucius.


Of course, she never knew he loved her. He never told her. He should have, he had his chance on the eve of her wedding to another. She laid her feelings bare to him, two nights before she married, and they finally had their moment together. After years of a painful dance, a will they or won’t they scenario, he and Lily Potter made love.


Then he left her after she fell asleep, and the next day he walked away from everyone and everything and acted as if nothing happened and she went on to marry the man she was set to marry.


He was the biggest fool on the face of the planet. He didn’t deserve her love back then, and he sure as hell didn’t deserve happiness now and if when he turned thirty he lost everything he would someday otherwise inherit, because of his own stupidity, then so be it. It was what he deserved.


He wouldn’t even be here today if it wasn’t for a promise he made to his grandmother. She was the only one who knew how to contact him, and contact him she did, just this morning to tell him that they were burying his grandfather today.


The stupid bastard didn’t even have the couth to die when Scorpius wasn’t estranged from the man. He had to die while he was still not speaking to the old man, forever leaving Scorpius with pain and guilt.


Forever.


He picked up the glass and drained it dry. He hoped no one would find him in here. The Manor was a big place, so solitude was likely. He didn’t even speak to his father when he first arrived. The entire family was standing in the grand entrance, to greet the prodigal son’s arrival, but Sam walked right past his dad. Seeing his father reminded him of the fact that he would never again see his grandfather, and that was too hard for Sam.


Thus, he hugged his grandmother, kissed his mother, introduced himself to his nieces and nephews, nodded to James, and clasped his sister’s hand. Then without a word, or a question, he threw his luggage on the marble floor and walked down one of the long hallways, so he could be alone for a while. How ironic. He came home to be alone. He came back to the Manor, a place that would never be his, to bury his grandfather, a man who at one time meant everything to Sam.


He was such a fool, he thought with a sigh.


He also spied the door opening. Goodness, couldn’t everyone leave him in peace? As soon as the funeral for the old man was over he would run away again and never come back, so why couldn’t everyone leave him alone? He closed his eyes. Perhaps, whoever it was, would leave if they thought he was sleeping.


He felt someone touch his knee.


A small voice said, “Hi.”


Scorpius opened one eye, and then the other. He looked up, didn’t see anyone, and then looked down. He saw a curly, dark haired, little boy, about four years old. “What do you want?” Scorpius asked.


“Nothing,” the little boy said. “What’s your name?”


“Scorpius Malfoy.”


The little bugger held up his hand to Scorpius. Scorpius wanted to laugh at the display of grown-up manners, but instead, he shook the tot’s hand, after all, if the little fellow had enough decorum and etiquette to shake hands, then shake hands he would do. “Nice to meet you,” the little boy said.


“Charmed,” Scorpius mumbled. “What’s your name, kid?” He didn’t think this tike was one of his nieces or nephews, but he looked familiar for some reason.


“Alexander,” the boy said. “You can call me Alex.”


“Good to know, since Alexander is such a mouthful,” Scorpius laughed. “You can call me Scorpius.”


“I can’t pronounce your name. It’s a hard one. What does it mean?”


“It’s a constellation. Do you know what a constellation is?” Scorpius asked.


“Not at all,” Alex answered. That made Scorpius laugh. “What shall I call you, since I can’t pronounce your name?”


“Don’t recall giving you permission to call me anything, but I suppose you can call me Sam if you wish. People used to call me that when I was younger.”


Alex kept his little hand on ‘Sam’s’ knee and said, “My father’s name is Sam.”


“Who the bloody hell is your father?” Scorpius asked, frowning. Who was this kid?


“I don’t know him,” Alex said. “He ran away from home before I was born.”


Scorpius had an uneasy feeling. He sat upright and said, “Where do you live, kid?”


“Here,” he answered. “My mummy and I moved here to live with my great-grandfather and great-grandmamma right after I was born.”


“Who’s your Mum?” Sam held his breath. He already knew the answer.


“Her name is Lily. Lily Potter,” Alex said. He climbed up on Sam’s lap.


Sam wasn’t so shocked at the little bugger’s forwardness, as much as he was by what the boy had just told him. Lily Potter? The last thing he knew, Lily was marrying a man named, ‘Flint’ and she certainly wasn’t pregnant! “Tell me this again, kid,” Sam said. “You live here, with your Great-grandparents, and your mummy, whose name is Lily, as in, Lily POTTER, right?”


“Yep,” the kid said. He reached out and touched Sam’s serpent tiepin. “I have one of those. My great-grandfather gave it to me. He said every Malfoy has one.”


“Your last name is Malfoy?” Sam asked, still shocked. The little boy was pulling on Sam’s tie.


The little boy looked up at him, and without answering, Sam knew it was true. It was his eyes. Just as Harry Potter was always told he had his mother’s eyes, this little boy had ‘his’ Lily’s eyes, and dark, curly hair. The curls he must have gotten from Sam’s mother. The colour was from the boy’s mother, but everything else about him was Malfoy! The rest of him was from Sam!


This was his son.


The little boy smiled at him and answered, “Yes, my last name is Malfoy. My mummy and daddy never married, but granddad Malfoy said that doesn’t matter. He said he didn’t need anymore grandchildren with the last name Potter. I have five cousins from my Aunt Alice, and they’re all Potters.” The little boy smiled again.


Sam smiled back. That sounded like something his father would say. Sam cleared his throat and looked around. “Ah, well, little man, I have something to tell you,” Sam began. “I’m the ‘Sam’ who is your father. I mean, what I’m trying to say is, I think that I’m your father.”


“Oh, I already know that,” Alex replied, crawling off Sam’s lap. “Great-grandfather told me so. He’s the one that told me to come in here and talk to you.”


Sam frowned. He was supposed to be here for the old man’s funeral, yet this youngster just told him that ‘a dead man’ told him to come in here and talk to him. Either the kid was delusional, or Sam was. “When did you have this conversation with your great-grandfather?” Sam asked. Did the kid see ‘dead people’ like the spooky kid from the Muggle movie, ‘The Sixth Sense’?


The little boy walked over to one of the tall bookshelves. He sat on the floor and pulled out a book from a bottom shelf that obviously had nothing but children’s books on it. He looked up at Sam and said, “This morning. Everyone lied to you to make you come home. They had a big meeting about it and made something called a plan. The plan was to say that great-grandfather died. They didn’t think you would come back any other way. Don’t be angry at me or Mummy, though. Mummy doesn’t even know about it. She’s not home right now.”


Sam’s head was spinning. “Where is she?” He sat down beside the little boy, and took the book from his hand.


Alex took the book back from Sam and answered, “She’s trying on wedding dresses today. She’s set to marry a man that she was supposed to marry years ago, but they didn’t get married back then. Great-grandfather doesn’t want that to happen. He wants you to marry my mummy instead, and make me a real Malfoy.” The little boy placed a chubby hand on Sam’s trouser leg and said, “Will you do that for me? You don’t have to be a daddy to me if you don’t want to be. You can just be married to my mummy. I’m fine without a daddy. I’ve not needed one yet. I have two granddads and two great-grandfathers, and that’s enough for me.”


Sam felt a lump in his throat by that statement, but instead of commenting on that, he let loose with his anger about being deceived. “They tricked me. The old man, and my grandmother, hell the whole lot of them by the looks of it, tricked me, making me believe he died, for cripes sakes! Even my own mother lied to me!


“Well, I won’t be deceived! I won’t be lied to! I can’t be made to stay here! How dare they try to pull at my heartstrings? And furthermore, how dare everyone hide you from me, and pull you out now as a means of manipulation! I’m leaving here now! The old man will wish he had died for real by the time I’m through with him!” Sam stood up and looked back down at the little boy. The little boy looked up at him, sadly, he thought.


Alex closed the book in his lap, stood, and held out his hand again. “Okay, then goodbye. I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again, but it was nice meeting you, Sam. I guess William Flint will be my daddy after all, like he was supposed to be years ago,” he said with his sweet, lilting voice.


Sam was speechless. He was truly without words. He reached down to shake the little boy’s hand, but instead, he bent down and picked him up and held him tightly just as he heard a familiar voice out in the hallway.


“Alex? Where are you?” a woman said from the hallway. Sam turned toward the door with Alex still in his arms.


“In the Library, Mummy, and I’m here with Sam.”


“What?” she asked, pushing open the door. She stood in the doorway, flushed, shocked and amazed. Holding her son in his arms was his father. A man she hadn’t seen in years. “Sam?”


“My stars. Lily.” It was her. It was Lily…his ‘little flower’. Sam placed Alex on his feet, and the little boy left the room without being told. Sam and Lily stared at each other for what felt like forever, but was closer to ten seconds, when they finally rushed to each other’s arms, and embraced.


She backed out of his arms, nervously. “I can’t believe you’re here.”


“I wouldn’t have been, but my grandmother Owled me this morning that the old man died,” he explained.


She looked distressed, and even as he reached for her again, she backed further away. “If she had written to you to say that you should come home because you had a son, would you have?”


Sam ‘felt’ the acid in her tone, and with equal sharpness he responded, “We’ll never know, will we, since you hid that fact from me all these years.”


She looked down at the floor. “You never gave me any indication when you went away that you would have stayed for me.” She stared back into his eyes. “Why would I have thought you would have come back for your child?”


“Dammit, Lily!” It was his only response. He had no argument to refute her claim. She was right. “Can we just both admit that we made mistakes? I should never have made love to you and left you. I should have told you that I loved you. I stayed away longer than I should have, but only because I thought all hope was gone. I thought you married another. I thought you loved another. We both have blame to place at the feet of the other, but at this point, I’m tired of blame. I’m tired of lies.”


“I didn’t know about this lie,” she claimed. “I wouldn’t have lied to you to get you to come back.”


“I know, the kid told me.” He reached for her hand, and she let him capture it. He laced his fingers with hers. “He’s a beautiful little boy.”


“I should have told you about him.”


“I know, the kid told me.” They both laughed.


“I’m sorry,” she stated plainly.


“Not as sorry as I am, Little Flower.” That was the hardest truth he would have to admit.


“I wanted to find you so many times.”


“I tried hard not to be found.”


“I would never have tricked you into returning.”


“I know, you’re too sweet, this has Malfoy written all over it.”


“They just told me about it when I arrived home just now, but they still didn’t tell me you were here yet, just what they had told you.” She removed her hand from his, but only so that she could place her arms around his neck.


He sighed. He took in her smell. He kissed her cheek softly and explained, “That doesn’t matter any longer.”


“Do you forgive me?” she asked.


“Do you forgive me?” he replied back.


She smiled at him and said, “Would a simple, ‘I love you’ explain everything that I feel right now? It says it all.”


“And I love you.” He felt it was enough. He threw his head back, laughed, and said, “I feel so happy! I have you in my arms, my own Little Flower, and I have a son!” Sam kissed her lips gently, not wanted to tear his mouth from hers, but he had to.

“Yes, you have a son.”

“I just said that,” he laughed. “He’s beautiful.”


“I know, he is, just like you,” she said, unabashed.


He laughed again. He felt like smiling forever. “No, just like you. Oh, Lily, please don’t marry that man. You didn’t marry him before, so please, don’t marry him now!”


Lily frowned. She placed her head on his chest and softly replied, “Sam, I want a home and a family of my own. You never offered that to me. Don’t ask me to wait again.”


“I won’t. Marry me instead.”


“What? Why? To gain your inheritance? A marriage of convenience? I won’t do that.”


“No, a marriage of love. I love you. Marry me. Let’s make a home and a family.”


After what felt like forever for her to respond, she answered with one word.


“Yes.”


He embraced her fully, kissed her passionately, and knew in that moment that he should never have left. He was right where he belonged. He was home.


Alex Malfoy snuck from the room when his mummy first rushed into his daddy’s arms and once in the hallway, he stayed to listen outside the open door along with Lucius and Draco Malfoy.


When he heard his mummy give his daddy a kiss for the first time in five years he smiled up at the older men. His great-grandfather, Lucius Malfoy, picked up the young boy, and held him on his hip. “I’m proud of you, Alexander. You did a very good job. You remembered everything I told you to say, even the part about you not needing him to be your daddy, since you had your grandfathers, and about making Flint your father.”


Draco leaned toward his father and grandson and said, “Don’t forget, Father, the part about having Alex lie about Lily trying on wedding dresses, and making Flint his daddy, was my idea, not yours.”


“Yes, yes, you’re brilliant too, Son,” Lucius said, rolling his eyes, “but my little Alexander here is the smartest of us all.”


“And a wonderful liar. I’m so proud of you, Alex. You are one hundred percent Malfoy,” Draco said as he embraced his father and his grandson. He took the little boy from his father’s arms and set his feet upon the floor. He patted Alex’s bum and said, “Run off to Great-Grandmamma now. Tell her that the wedding will take place as planned.”


Hermione walked past the running Alex and patted his dark curls as he ran by. She smiled at Lucius and then took Draco’s hand. “Is Lily in the Library with Sam?”


“Yes, and he just asked her to marry him,” Draco said, smiling. “See, I told you that lying would work. It always does.”


“The truth might have worked, too,” she countered. “Do you have the special marriage license that Harry obtained?”


“Right here in my pocket, along with the codicil to the old will, denouncing the marriage before age thirty part, but we don’t need to share that with him right now. Best to let him think he needs to rush into this thing, or knowing our son, he might put it off for another few years, and we won’t have any more Malfoy grandchildren.”


“Yes, we have enough Potter grandchildren to fill to the rafters. We need more Malfoys,” Lucius agreed. “It’s grossly unfair and off balance.”


Alice and James approached as Lucius made that statement. Alice cried out, “I heard that, Grandfather. Shall I tell Ingrid, Andrew, Ian, Allyne and Irene that their great-grandfather no longer loves them because their last name is Potter?” She stomped her foot, right on cue. “Does a name make a person? If that’s the case, did you not love me in the beginning, when my name wasn’t Malfoy? Did you only learn to love me when Mummy married Daddy?”


Lucius looked at James and said, “Are you going to let your wife talk to me with such impertinence?”


James held up his hands, in defeat, and said, “You helped make her what she is, Lucius, so you shall have to deal with her.”


Lucius turned to Alice. He tried to take her hand, but she withdrew it quickly. He sighed and said, “You know you’ve always been the light of my life, long before your name was Malfoy. Your children mean everything in the world to me, even if they do have Potter genes, and a Potter name, sweet Alice.”


Alice huffed. Even James looked perturbed at that statement. “APOLOGIZE! If you don’t, I’ll tell Grandmother,” Alice warned.


Draco laughed and said, “Oh, you’re in trouble now, Father.”


Alice continued to stand in front of her grandfather, hands on hips, toe tapping, waiting. “Well? If I don’t hear an apology soon, I’m leaving, and I’ll take all my little Potters with me, and we’ll go to ‘Potterland’ and live ‘Potterly’ ever after!”

“I’m not sure what that means, and at this point, I’m not even sure what I said,” Lucius said sincerely. “Give an old man a break, Alice. Haven’t you heard? It’s the day of my funeral.”


James laughed at that and said, “Speaking of that, does Sam know Lucius is alive yet?”


“Yes,” Hermione answered, “and he’s met his son, and he’s just asked Lily to marry him.”


Alice turned away from her grandfather, all forgotten and forgiven apparently, and clapped her hands. She jumped into her husband’s arms and said, “Oh, JP! How wonderful! Our children and their children will be double cousins, and genetically speaking, they will be more like siblings, even if some are named Potter and some are named Malfoy.” She looked back over her shoulder at her grandfather.


James laughed, took Alice’s hand and while leading her back down the hallway said, “My sweet Alice, you may explain it all to me later. Let’s give them some privacy right now.”


Lucius stood firm and said after the pair left, “I didn’t get my apology.”


Hermione leaned close and reminded him, “You were supposed to apologize to her, not the other way around, Lucius.”


“Oh, well, okay,” the older man decided. “I’ll just go do that now. No reason to have both my grandchildren angry with me. Sam is bound to be angry for us lying about my dying.”


“He’ll get over it,” Draco interjected, “and we’ll have a wedding this weekend instead of your funeral. It might not be as much fun, but what the hell.” Draco shrugged and smirked. His father huffed and walked down the hallway, away from the pair.


“I do hate that we lied to him,” Hermione said to her husband when they were left alone in the hallway outside of the Library. Draco closed the door, to give Lily and Sam privacy.


“Believe me, Hermione, because I alone know what he’s feeling right now. He may be upset that he’s spent the last four-plus years away from his son, and that Lily was his to be had all these years if he had so desired, but in the end, he’ll realize that he should be happy for what he has, not for what he lost.” Draco pulled his wife close, and held her in his arms.


“Our son left on his own, and stayed away on his own, so he has no one to blame but himself,” Draco continued. “My mother tried to get him to come home many times over the years. She never wanted to betray Lily’s trust; after all, we had all promised her that we wouldn’t tell Sam about Alex, but no matter what mother wrote to him, Sam would never come home. If lying about my father’s death was the only way to get him to come home, I don’t care. It worked. He’s home, and he’s to marry, and his son will have a father, as it should be.”


“When did you get so smart?” Hermione asked with a smile.


“Goodness woman, thirty years of marriage to you was bound to have some influence on me, don’t you imagine?” he said with a laugh. He hugged her. After a few minutes he said, “I knew everything would work out the way we wanted it to. It seems the Malfoys are blessed like that.”


Hermione snorted a laugh. She looked up at her husband, still in his arms, and said, “Yes, the universe is odd like that…rewarding the bad for their evilness.”


“Exactly,” Draco smirked, one brow in the air, a smile close to the surface. “It’s an arrogant entitlement, which comes with being a Malfoy. You’re one too, you know. You’ve been pretty blessed these last few years, and now our son will be blessed. He’s going to be married, Hermione. Married.”


Hermione laughed, hugged her husband tightly, and kissed his cheek. “Another marriage of convenience, huh Malfoy?”


“Whatever you say, love, but I doubt any of our marriages were mere marriages of convenience. I would wager my entire fortune that every single Malfoy since the beginning of time has married for love, or at least since that blasted will was written. I know I did. I know my father and Alice did, and my son shall. Even little Alex someday will marry for love, and we won’t have to worry about him marrying a Potter, because he’s related to them all.”

Hermione could only smile at his comment, and then kiss his cheek again. She said, “Thank you for giving me Alice and Sam, and all the little Potters and Malfoys, and a wonderful marriage, convenient or not.”


“No worries, love, because it was very convenient for me, but still, you’re very welcome. Very, very, welcome in deed,” he said with a grin.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~The End~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

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