“What are you doing to my son?” Draco asked as he eyed the pastel coloured satin material she had draped over Liam as he stood on a chair. He’d just Apparated home from work.
“I’m making his costume for the school play,” Ginny stated matter-of-factly as she tapped her wand on the material, shaping to suit her tastes. She would pull back to take a look before trying something different.
Liam gave his father a desperate look, pleading for help.
“My son will not wear pastel blue.”
Ginny blinked up at her husband. “He used to wear it all the time.”
“Yes, when he was baby.”
“But, it looks nice with his blond hair and blue eyes.”
“His eyes are gray like mine,” Draco stated stiffly. “And I will not stand for my son, the Malfoy heir, prancing about on stage in pastel colours.”
“His eyes change colour with what he’s wearing.”
“I don’t care! I refuse to allow you to use it,” Draco commanded, crossing his arms and fixing his wife with a heavy stare. “He should wear something regal like dark green.”
“Well, it’s the material that I purchased,” Ginny said defiantly. “And the material I will be using.” She pulled the soft material over Liam’s head. “Baby, go upstairs to your room and take Gareth with you.”
He pouted. “But I didn’t do anything.”
“I know, baby,” she said before kissing his forehead. “Your father and I are having a discussion.”
“You’re going to have a row, aren’t you?”
“No,” she said softly. “We’re going to have a discussion.”
“If you say so,” Liam muttered as his took his brother’s hand and started up the stairs. “C’mon, Gareth, before they start shouting.”
Draco rounded on his wife as soon as he heard the door shut upstairs. “Now, why wasn’t I informed of this play?”
“I didn’t think you’d care since you’re so busy with work,” she replied tersely.
“You know I’ve been working on a merger with that American company. It requires a lot of late hours.”
Ginny made a disparaging noise. “Convenient that it happens to coincide with school activities, but never Quidditch practice.”
“Are you accusing me of using work to get out of school activities?”
“You said it, not I.”
“Ginny-” he started to warn.
“Don’t Ginny me! You promised me you wouldn’t work so much!”
“This is something important!”
“More important than your sons?”
“Of course not.”
“Well, it sure seems like this merger is more important than Liam and Gareth.”
Draco groaned. “Damn it, Ginny! I work! You stay home to take care of the kids! My father never bothered with my school activities.”
“Ah, yes, your father,” Ginny snorted. “The shining example of parenthood he was.”
He cut her a hard look, but managed to keep his tongue in check.
“I refuse to allow you to be like him,” she continued.
“I am nothing like him!” he yelled.
“For now,” she muttered under her breath.
“I heard that!”
“This is how it starts. You’re too busy for this play, but what about the next one? Will you be too busy for that one as well? Do you know that when Gareth goes to school there will be even more activities?” She looked away from him so he couldn’t see the tears welling in her eyes.
“When is this play?” he asked, trying to keep a reign on his anger.
“Friday evening, if you must know. Tonight is the dress rehearsal. But you didn’t answer any of my questions,” she answered bitterly.
“I’m going to go buy him a decent costume.” He summoned his robes, pointedly ignoring her.
Ginny sighed and rolled her eyes. “I told you, I’m making his costume.”
Draco bit back a snide remark about her not being poor anymore. He did want to sleep in his own bed, after all, and preferably with his wife. “Fine,” he said curtly before throwing down his robes and walking away.
Draco slammed the study door behind him, rattling the paintings hanging on the wall. He loved Ginny, Merlin only knew how much, but she could be damn infuriating when she wanted to be.
How dare she accuse him of not being interested in Liam’s education! Wasn’t he spending gobs of Galleons to send the boy to the finest primary school in all of wizardom? Gareth would be attending the same school in a couple years. Why couldn’t she see that he did what he had to to take care of his family? Sometimes work took precedence, but it wasn’t as if it was going to be forever - just a few weeks, a month or two a best.
He dumped his briefcase full of files on his desk in an attempt to bury himself in work so he wouldn’t have to think about just how naffed off at his wife he was at the moment.
She just didn’t understand that he took care of the family the best way he knew how. Why couldn’t she see that?
And he was nothing like his father. That had hurt. He knew he wasn’t a perfect father, but at least he tried .
Ginny gathered up the material for Liam’s costume and stuffed it in her bag. She’d finish it up once they arrived at the school; it only required a couple more quick alterations anyway.
She sank down to the floor, dropping her head into her hands and willing herself not to cry. Their little row had been simmering for a week now and she counted her lucky stars it wasn’t any worse than it had been. She knew he was stressed over the merger, but she couldn’t help feeling a bit neglected. He hadn’t been home when she retired for evening for nearly two weeks and when he was home, he was distracted and often short with her.
It also didn’t help that boys had asked for their Da every night at bedtime.
Right now, none of her issues with her husband were important. She’d just have to deal with him later. The boys needed to be fed dinner and she had play rehearsal to attend. She sucked in a deep breath before getting up to attend what needed to be done. She waited to call Liam and Gareth down to dinner; it wouldn’t do for them to see her upset.
Liam cast dark looks at her across the table as she struggled to get Gareth to eat his supper. It seemed everyone was in a fine mood. Her oldest child was so much like his father at times it frightened her.
“You made Da go away, didn’t you?” he accused, finally breaking his silence.
“Your father is in his study doing work,” she said flatly.
“Da?” Gareth asked, his eyes brightening.
“Da is in his study, baby,” she said as she offered her youngest a spoonful of peas. “Please, eat something.”
“No!” He slapped at the offending green vegetables, sending them scattering across the kitchen floor before screaming at the top of his lungs and angrily kicking his feet.
“You had a row?” Liam continued.
“Yes,” she sighed, there was no point in lying to him. He could sniff out a lie at fifty paces.
He threw down his fork and slipped out of his chair to run to his father, but she caught him before he could make it to the door. “I want my Da!” he howled, kicking and squirming in her arms.
“Liam!” Ginny admonished. “We have to leave in a few minutes.” She managed to drag him to the back steps despite his protests, patting his bottom to send him on his way. “You’re going to go upstairs and brush your teeth.” She ended up having to carry him half way before he got angry enough to do it on his own.
Gareth was still sitting in his high chair throwing his food on the floor while chanting for his Da when she returned from hustling Liam upstairs. She plucked the squirming baby from the highchair.
“You want your Da, do you?” she asked, stalking down the hallway, fighting to keep a grip on Gareth and managing to open to the study door at the same time.
Draco looked startled when the door burst open and completely horrified when she dropped the squalling, messy little boy in his lap.
“I’ve got to take Liam to play practice and since you’ve decided to grace us with your presence this evening, you can keep Gareth,” she said with vicious satisfaction of knowing that Draco would have no idea what to do with their son when he was in that state. “I don’t know when I’ll be back.”
She fixed him with a smug smile before taking her leave to see about the other little monster.
Draco Apparated to the school after Gareth had calmed down enough to get drowsy and allow him to cast a couple cleansing charms. He also magically bound Seymour to the little boy before wrapping him up in his favorite pale green blanket. There was not going to be a repeat performance of searching all over creation for that frog again if he could help it.
As soon as he saw the bright, pastel coloured staging, he knew he’d been in the wrong about insisting on a purchased costume. Mrs. Thomas had somehow thought it’d be brilliant to have homemade costumes and sets. Obvious the woman did not realize the error of her ways, judging from some of the horrible creations the poor children were wearing.
He spotted his two favourite kindergartners playing up on the stage while the adults hurried with last minute set adjustments. Lucy Ann looked like a big buttercup with wings, in his opinion. Liam, however, looked every inch the regal prince he was supposed to be in his expertly tailored costume thanks to his wife. She was quite brilliant with those tailoring charms, but then again, she had probably more than enough experience with them growing up a Weasley.
Ginny was showing another mother how to tack up a hemline when he found her. He waited patiently for her to finish. “Ginny, can I speak to you please?”
She nodded solemnly and pushed herself up from the floor, carefully avoiding Mrs. Thomas as she led him to a small dressing room. “Is he all right?” she asked as soon as she shut the door. “Did he get sick?” She rubbed her hand soothingly over Gareth’s back. “He gets sick if he gets too upset.”
He didn’t have the heart to lie to gain advantage because she just looked guilt ridden, so he just handed his son to her. “He’s fine.”
“I shouldn’t have left him,” she muttered as she checked him over, making sure he was all right. “Mummy’s sorry, baby.”
Gareth’s only reply was to snuggle closer to her and fist his hands in her deep green robes as she rocked him and brushed soft kisses against his curls.
Draco was stuck by the image of his wife and son. He was amazed at just how beautiful they were. Gareth’s hair was slightly less red than Ginny’s, with a hint of gold, and he had the same peachy complexion that some day would become dusted with freckles. If there was one thing he’d change about his youngest child though, it would be his eyes. Gareth had eyes of deep blue like his Grandfather Weasley and Uncle Ron instead of Ginny’s mud brown. He loved her eyes.
“I’m a terrible mother,” she muttered before she looked up at him with tear filled eyes.
“No,” Draco said firmly, closing the distance between them quickly. “No, you’re not.” He kissed her temple because he didn’t know what else to say, his lips trailed down to her cheek before claiming her mouth in a tender kiss.
Her head lolled back as his mouth continued to burn a trail down to the hollow of her throat. His arms slipped around her, careful not to crush Gareth, as he begin to suck lightly at the little spot that always made her knees weak. Maybe, just maybe he could make her forgot about their row.
“Draco, stop,” she protested weakly. “Please.”
He ignored her, continuing to nip lightly at her soft flesh instead.
She pulled away from and turned her back. “You can’t just kiss me and make everything better this time, Draco.”
She was right and he knew it.
There was no way that he could smooth this over with a few kisses. She would usually let him get away with that, but she expected more from him this time. Much more. He stepped up close behind her so he could nuzzle the back of her neck as his arms snaked possessively around her waist. Her hair smelled like lilies. “Tell me what you want to hear,” he murmured near her ear.
He felt her stiffen in his arms. “If you don’t know, Draco, I can’t help you.”
“I love you, Gin.”
“I know, but it’s not enough.”
“It’s not enough?” he asked, not sure what the problem was.
“Not this time. If it was just about me, I wouldn’t care as much, but this is about Gareth and Liam.” She mistook his silence for confusion because she continued on. “You just don’t get it, do you? This ceased being about us the moment Liam was born. Everything we do is for our children. We brought them into this world and now we have to raise them the best way we know how.”
“Are you saying that I’m being selfish then?”
“That is exactly what I’m saying.” She met his shocked eyes defiantly.
“So you want me to give up everything I’ve worked so hard for? Don’t you know that everything I do is for you and the boys,” he said hotly.
“Yes, I know that.” Her face softened as she took his hand. “And I love you so much for it, but I don’t want that to take you away from us. Liam and Gareth need you. I need you.”
Draco stared down at his wife as the realization hit him that he had been putting work ahead of his family in the name of doing the right thing by them. Once again, Ginny proved to him that she really was the brilliant one in the family. He didn’t want to think what life would be like without her. “I love you.”
She bestowed him with the smile that she reserved only for him, the one that made his knees weak. “I’m sorry about our row earlier. I was upset and feeling a bit neglected. Can you forgive me?”
“Of course,” he said softly, lacing his fingers with hers. He took a deep breath. “I’m sorry, too.”
“Ha! Sorry is in your vocabulary!”
“Only because you taught it to me.”
She gave him an expectant look. “If you don’t kiss me right now I’ll never forgive you again!”
He needed no further invitation to kiss her softly from an awkward angle of having to bend over their son sleeping in her arms. She tried to deepen the kiss by nipping at his bottom lip. He reluctantly pulled away from her mouth to dot her cheeks with butterfly kisses before moving to her temple and her hair.
“Let’s take this home,” Draco suggested when Ginny leaned into him. He was more than ready for a little alone time with his wife.
“Can’t,” she mumbled with a frustrated sigh. “Play practice.”
He hated the light blue satin costume, even if it was better than everyone else’s. He hated being up on the stage. He hated that Lucy Ann was stuck in the back. He hated kindergarten. He did, however, like the idea of being a prince.
Having Da there with Mummy did make things a little now better, he supposed.
He didn’t like it when they rowed, although, he didn’t like it all that much when they were all kissy either. For the life of him, he couldn’t figure out why Mummy just didn’t hit Da when he kissed her.
Kissing was highly overrated in his opinion. One of his favourite pastimes was interrupting them when they were kissing so he could steal her away from Da. Mummy was his and he didn’t like having to share her.
Mrs. Thomas roused him from his ruminations when it was his cue to go on stage. He carefully recited his lines that Mummy had practiced with him. He then glanced back at Lucy Ann before pretending to brush Enid’s cheek with his lips.
He didn’t understand why he had to kiss ickle girls that weren’t his Mum or maybe Lucy Ann.
Before he could finish his thought, Enid was on the floor under a heap of frothy yellow material topped by faerie wings and long red curls.
“Lucy Ann Honeychurch!”
She looked up at her mother with the most innocent expression on her face as other little girl struggled underneath her. “Yes, Mummy?”
“Get yourself down here right now!” She’d walked over to the stage, waiting by the steps to take her errant daughter by the hand. They were standing almost in front of the Malfoys. “Just what do you call yourself doing?”
“She kissed Liam,” Lucy Ann stated, perturbed that her mother wasn’t more offended that another girl had kissed her friend.
“That gives you no right to hit that other girl,” her mother informed her. “She was only playing her part; besides Liam kissed her, not the other way around.”
She cast a dark look at the little blond boy dressed in pastel blue standing on stage. Just because she didn’t want to kiss him didn’t mean she wanted him going around kissing other girls. “He’s my Liam.”
“You don’t own him, darling,” her mother tried to reason.
She just sighed, resigned to the fate of having to convince her mother that Liam Malfoy was indeed hers. “He’s mine always and forever,” she insisted.
Draco pulled his wife aside when it looked like she was about to cut into the mother and daughter conversation. “Leave it be.”
“They’re talking about my baby,” Ginny said, her hackles clearly rising.
“Your baby is right here asleep. Liam is big boy who’s got himself a little girlfriend.” He couldn’t help but grin at the idea that his five year old son already had girls fighting over him.
“He’ll always be my baby,” she frowned mightily as she said it.
“Well, I suggest you get used to it, beautiful, because Lucy Ann is going to marry Liam.”
She took Gareth from her husband. “What makes you so sure of that?”
“Because she’ll beat any girl that so much as looks at him to a blood pulp,” he said proudly.
“You find this amusing, don’t you? Girls fighting over our son already,” she accused.
The Malfoy tradition had been upheld for another generation and all Draco could do was smirk.
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