Harry arrived at the Three Broomsticks alone. He glanced around for a sign of Hermione, Ginny or Ron, but the pub was so packed full of Hogwarts alumni that he could not pick them out. A vaguely familiar Hufflepuff girl brushed past him, muttering the word "Potter" under her breath. Harry waded through the crowd toward the bar. Ten years had passed since he had last been to the Three Broomsticks, and yet the stench of rotting wood, sweat and frothing butterbeer rekindled forgotten memories.
Hermione grabbed Harry's arm. "Harry, there you are. We were afraid you wouldn't make it."
Harry smiled, glancing first at her tarnished wedding band and then at her beaming face. She pulled him into a hug.
"It's good to see you, Hermione. Where's Ron?"
Hermione gestured to the corner of the pub where Ron was chatting with Neville, Ginny and Seamus over a bottle of mead. A few feet away from Ron stood Draco Malfoy. Malfoy spotted Harry and for a moment Harry detected a faint smirk.
"So how are you, Harry?" Hermione asked. "Please tell me that you're finally going to stay in London. Ron is doing quite well at the Ministry. And the kids… well… they're difficult, of course. But what about you? All those travels… Ron and I have been so worried."
"What?" Harry stammered, breaking eye contact with Malfoy. "I'm… um… fine."
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