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Malfoy Mannor: Christmas

Two pairs walked up to the doors of Malfoy Manor.

First were grandmother and grandson walking hand in hand, though Cepheus soon let go of Lemia so that he might chase the peafowl. Their only warning is the gleeful cry of, "Hi birdies!"

Second were husband and wife, Draco chuckling and holding Mia just a bit tighter as they watched their son run around the grounds.

"Cepheus, come back, sweetheart!" Lemia calls as Mia and Draco join her. "It's time for you to come see your grandmother and grandfather."

"No!" he cheerfully replies, still running around.

Lemia shakes her head and keeps her eye on him as the commotion draws Narcissa to the door. Draco comes forward to greet his mother. He's shortly followed by Mia, who gives her mother-in-law a hug. It was an unusual hug for two reasons...

The Magic Guild: Late Night Snacks

Mia stirred and woke up in the middle of the night. She snuggled up more against Draco and tried to nod off again.

But she couldn't shake the sudden, odd feeling of hunger. She looked over her husband and wondered how deeply he was sleeping. Maybe he wouldn't mind giving her some company?

So she kissed Draco's cheek and whispered, "Draco? Draco, are you awake, honey?"
Mia takes a moment to check over her bag one more time, making sure she's got all the necessary papers for the Magic Guild as well as clothes and toiletries for the week. This includes some outfits for Scorpius and Kaworu so that they fit in a bit more seamlessly.

She finds something in her bag that she most definitely didn't pack: a green teddy bear.

"Cepheus?" she calls. "Cepheus, did you put your bear in Mama's bag?"

He toddles into his parents' room, sippy cup of pumpkin juice in hand and nude except for his diaper, and goes, "Beaw, Mama?"

"Yes, I've got your bear," she says, handing it back to him. "And did you take your clothes off again? Scorpius and Kaworu will be here soon."

"Scowpus an' Kawoo?" he repeats, bobbing a bit.

"Yes honey, Scorpius and Kaworu."

Cepheus toddles out of the room in excitement, calling, "Daddy! Daddy! Scowpus an' Kawoo!"

Mia smiles as she watches her son leave the room, checking through her bag to see if he stuck anything else in her bag.

Malfoy Manor and London: First Christmas...

The walk up to Malfoy Manor was similar, if easier, than last year's. Only this time around, both Draco and Mia were taking turns carrying Cepheus and letting the baby try to take a step or two between them, all bundled up in his warm winter clothes. Lemia followed behind and picked up her grandson so that he may see the peafowl with her while Draco went to the door.

The Magic Guild: The Past and the Future

The Magic Guild is an odd but not unwelcome place once classes are over for the year and the students have gone home. The halls are peaceful and the staff is typically more at ease since they only have themselves to control while grading essays.

It also makes shirking easier and more forgivable.

This is why Mia has decided she wants to step out of her office for lunch with Draco.

Being Guildmaster makes this even more excusable but perhaps the strongest argument for Mia taking a break for lunch is her pensive mood. It has a switch that flicks between on and off and she hasn't found what to say or who to talk to in order to get it to stay in the 'off' position yet.

She sends Croix with a note asking Draco if he'd like to join her at the Guild or if he wants her to join him at his shop in Meribia.

In the meantime, Mia has Cepheus with her, telling him what they're seeing and helping him try to take a step or two down the hallway. He's cheery and greeting everyone they happen to see with some happy babbling and a tiny wave.
I tie the ribbon in a foolish way. I always have. The way I've done it since childhood was ridiculously simple: a knot followed by two "bunny ears" that were knotted. Ghaleon always tried to teach me the proper way to make a bow so that it would hold but that never seemed to matter since I was never a particularly active child.

I find myself missing those times. I also find it difficult to reconcile Ghaleon's history. He has gone through a full circle in his actions that has included a rest of 1000 years. I can barely fathom it and he, too, has trouble seeing me as I am now and not the sixteen year old girl on the cusp of womanhood I was almost eight years ago. In his mind, it was not as long ago that he savored "the delicious fragility of this travesty," as he might put it, that was Alex fulfilling the role of Dragonmaster that, perhaps, always belonged to Dyne in Ghaleon's mind.

And though I, too, found it incredible on the opposite end of the spectrum, I think it's hard for me to imagine a Dragonmaster coming after Alex. It's hard to imagine needing one. But perhaps these are my words as a mother.

I hold my infant son in my arms, amazed by the fact that I was carrying him at this time last year, and the idea of him becoming a Dragonmaster is a lance in my heart. I find myself wondering if Ghaleon had felt that way about us deep down. I remember well how he would read to me, the superb acting. There was no mistake; he played the villain to the hilt. But his true desire was a better world for us. His means were most foul and he knew others would try to stop him, the reason why he incapacitated Master Mel and my mother. Perhaps he didn't expect the "fragile" children who opposed him.

Even after his defeat, I have been considered a fragile thing. Now that I have a child, one who truly IS fragile, I understand that much more. I'm not sure I will ever be able to think of him as anything other than my baby. The very idea that he might one day oppose me (as all teenagers must, though hopefully not to the extreme as my own adolescent perils) is heartrending.

And that is what Ghaleon was faced with in his last months of his first, true life.

I don't regret stopping him but I regret causing that sort of pain in the process. I am surprised that he doesn't hold it against me, just as he is surprised that I can still remember that he is not a monster but a man.

Perhaps one day I will be able to silence my mind in his presence. Remember things only as they were before as we both so hope. I will never forget what he did nor should I forget. But with the battle won and peace left in its wake, maybe there will come a time for the three of us. A time and place for lighter hearts, where we still laugh and wish.

The Magic Guild: Father's Day

Mia gently woke up Sunday morning from the light coming in from the window. It didn't take long for it to come to her mind that today she has work to do.

She carefully got out of bed so she didn't disturb Draco, went to check if Cepheus was awake (she caught him right before he could start fussing), and took him to the kitchen so she could care for him while she worked.

She came back some time later, her arm keeping Cepheus on her hip while her free hand carefully gestured for the levitating tray. The smells of sausage and Vanetian truffle quiche (an idea borrowed from those cooking television shows Draco seemed to enjoy whenever they were on holiday and a television was nearby) followed them in. The tray settled on the bed in such a way that Draco wouldn't knock it over when he woke up.

Mia carefully sat Cepheus against her propped up pillow so she could lean over, brush Draco's hair out of his face, and give him a kiss.

"Happy Father's Day, Beloved," she whispers to him.

Cepheus reaches for his Papa, so Mama gently supports him. The baby puts his hand on Papa's cheek and presses his mouth against Papa's forehead, just like Mama did.
It started out easily enough: a brief visit to Hawaii for their fifth wedding anniversary. The only thing is a lot had changed between the fourth and the fifth. Just saying goodbye to Cepheus to leave him in Lemia's care took Mia a good twenty minutes.

It wasn't so bad when they were actually in Hawaii, enjoying the local cuisine and entertainment. (Draco escaped the doghouse for looking at the traditional topless hula dancers as Mia was busy watching the shirtless firedancers.)

But then, in the middle of the night, Mia woke up in a panic in the hotel room. She shook Draco awake and started frantically searching, worriedly explaining to Draco that Cepheus wasn't crying and surely something was wrong. He woke up enough to gently explain to Mia that Cepheus was back home with her mother and she was surely taking good care of her.

And then Mia couldn't sleep. She wanted to, but she was too tired. While flopped across her husband's chest, she notices the nightstand and the remote control to the hotel's television.

It's been so long, she had told Draco, since they had seen a movie. Why not enjoy a little late night TV?

Never before had Draco been so interested in working a telephone than he was upon discovering the Home Shopping Network. What better way to spoil his lovely wife than to order the jewelry from home and simply wait for it to be delivered?

A brief, peaceful switch in power led to the discovery of the late night comedy sketch show and the muggle notion that people wearing chicken suits and competing against each other in hustling people to their restaurants with songs is funny.

Perhaps the most interesting find was a modern day superhero movie, which brought about a brief debate on where muggles think such powers come from and distinguishing between advanced technology and magic.

The debate was brief due to sleep finally catching up with them, aided by the lullaby of the television's quiet hum.

Vane: Family Visit

Considering how busy being a new mother has made her, she's still managed to find the time to arrange a guest room and a door from Milliways for Scorpius. Some of it had been the maids' doing, but Mia had done a lot to help.

She waits in the nursery, Cepheus fortunately settling down after his latest change and feeding. Once Scorpius arrives, the guard just outside of her quarters will greet him and notify her.