AN: Thank you for the support! It is very deeply appreciated!
No poll could have ever prepared him for this moment.
Draco's palms were drenched in sweat, and his heart was pounding against his chest. If his pupils weren't so dilated, he might have felt the effects of only sleeping for four hours last night, or did he only get three hours of sleep? Three and a half?
The fireplace across the room erupted. He remained in place, watching the flames dance in place.
A lump formed in his throat. His sitting room seemed to go on for miles, not a few yards.
His finger twitched.
"Yes?" A voice from another room called.
The fireplace died, though he could her a man with a German accent continuing to converse with Antlia. Draco released the breath he'd been holding. Whatever it was, she would be more the capable of handing it, at least more capable than he was at the moment.
He gripped the arms of his padded chair as if it was the only thing keeping him tethered to reality. Part of him wondered if he should be giving another interview, but he was at a loss of what else to say. Until the six hundred twenty districts reported, there was nothing to say other than, "i just want this to be over."
It promised to be a long evening.
Perhaps he should leave the living room and mingle with the crowd who was forming in the atrium of Malfoy Manor. Conversing with others may buy him a few precious moments of relaxation. Then again, he would need to face those same people within a few hours, perhaps with news of his defeat.
No, he was in no state to see anyone right now. Better to address them as a group and avoid getting too personal with them until he realized what had gone wrong with his campaign, assuming anything had.
He glanced at his wife, who stood beside his father.
"The results are coming in." Lucius' eyes were agleam.
"How many districts are reporting so far?" Draco asked.
"Only one hundred," Ginevra answered. "But so far you are winning by a landslide!"
"How many districts have I won?"
"All of them."
Draco's mouth hung open.
"One district didn't have a single vote cast for Percy!"
"Don't look so shocked." Lucius laughed. "Your victory was all but guaranteed the second Percy's coverup was exposed."
"We all know there was no guarantee of victory at any point," Draco replied. His heart rate slowed as the tension in his muscles eased.
"Perhaps," Ginevra admitted. "But the people would have had to have been complete idiots to vote for Percy after everything that's occurred these last few months."
"The Wizarding world is full of idiots. Expecting them to behave intelligently is overestimating them," Draco replied.
"True, but I think in this case, we can trust them to act wisely."
Draco gave her a small grin. "I would like to think so anyway."
Victor burst into the room, carrying a twenty page document. "I just put the finishing touches on your victory speech."
"Thank you." Draco took the papers. "Did you write a concession speech?"
"Technically yes," Victor answered. "But I haven't bothered to edit it. The two hundred districts that have come through so far have overwhelmingly voted for you."
"So the results are being tallied fairly quickly?" Lucius asked.
"On average how much am I winning these districts by?"
"Let's just say that almost nobody has voted for Percy."
"Let's hope that trend continues."
"Why would it not?"
"I don't know," Draco sighed. "I suppose I'm just bracing myself for the worst case scenario."
"Is losing the issue, or are you nervous about winning?" Ginevra asked.
"Winning?" Draco raised an eyebrow. "Why would I be nervous about winning?"
"You have a huge job ahead of you," Ginevra replied. "You need to bring Percy and the other Ministry members to justice, you need to implement your magical equivalent of the internet, and on top of that you must run the daily affairs of an entire country. Given all of that, I would say you have every right to be nervous."
Draco relaxed. "Am I that obvious?"
"No," Ginevra gave him a peck on the cheek. "I just know you too well."
"You do know me better than anyone gives you credit for."
"Don't ever forget it."
Draco turned to his speech writer. "Victor."
"How are your parents doing?"
"They're doing great. The second they got out of the hospital they voted for you, as did Rose and I."
"I really hope they didn't exhaust themselves. Merlin knows two votes is not a worth a relapse."
"No, Mum is doing much better than she was a day ago. If anything, your victory will put her in much better spirits."
"If you see your parents before I do, tell them that one of my first acts will be to give them all the funding they need for this cure."
"Money is not an issue for them though."
"I know, but funding them will be a strong statement that I am more interested in competency than in politics."
"I will relay the message to them, assuming I see them before you make your victory speech."
"If you need to go home and see them…"
"Oh no, they're already in the atrium."
Draco sat up straighter. "Why are they there instead of at home resting?"
"They need to see this historical moment."
"Hermione needs to rest and Severus needs to be attending to her."
"They need to support their godson."
"Do you really think they'd ever forgive themselves for missing your acceptance party?"
"Again, I have to be accepted first."
"I don't think that will be an issue."
"So two hundred districts say."
Victor's heart fluttered as Antlia rushed into the room, her twin sister in tow.
"I just got off the phone with the German Chancellor. He said congratulations."
"That was nice of him, though somewhat premature."
"Not necessarily. The German newspapers have just announced you the winner!"
"I guess I can't lose now, lest the Germans looks like idiots."
"The Quibbler wants an interview with you asap too," Antlia added. "They are calling the election for you as well."
Draco cracked a smile. "So they are."
"Yes," Carina replied. "Three hundred districts have come in, all in your favor!"
"That means I only need thirty more and…"
"Congratulations!" Scorpius ran into the room. "Four hundred districts have reported, all in your favor! According to the popular vote it is now impossible for you to lose!"
"I'm the son of the Minister of Magic!"
Draco leapt and embraced Ginevra. Carina flew into Victor's arms and captured his lips. His eyes grew before he deepened the kiss.
"About freaking time Carina made a move on him," Antlia muttered to her brother and grandfather. "I thought she'd never get the courage to initiate a kiss after New Year's."
Lucius' smile grew. "It is nice to see them both so happy."
"Now maybe Carina will stop mooning over him and actually confess her feelings," Scorpius whispered.
"Yes, and tell us how nauseatingly happy they are."
"Now would her being happy be so bad?" Lucius asked.
"No," Antlia admitted. "Not really."
Carina broke away from Victor. He gave her a shy grin. "I...I think...I mean I know...I mean..."
She kissed him on the cheek. "I love you too."
He looked as if he'd won the case of the century.
Draco took a deep breath. "I suppose the people are waiting to hear from me."
"It would be nice for them to hear from their Minister sometime tonight," Ginevra replied.
Carina hummed. "It would be nice."
"We shouldn't keep them waiting then," Draco stood and threw Victor's speech on the ground.
"Wait," Victor began. "Don't you want to read my speech first?"
"But it would sound more genuine if you knew what was in the document."
"I don't need the document at all. I only gave you the task of writing the speech to keep you occupied."
Draco put a hand on his shoulder. "I appreciate your work, and you are an amazing speech writer. Still, this occasion calls for me to speak from the heart."
"I understand that," Victor replied.
Draco held his head up high. "Let's go."
"Yes Minster," Ginevra kissed him on the cheek again. "Let's fetch Orion and Narcissa. Then we'll show everyone what a real Minister of Magic looks like."
With that, the family exited the room, ready to guide the Wizarding World into a new era.