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A Man Barely Breathing by Dark Whisper
Format: Short story
Chapter 4: Until I take my last breath.
We stayed in bed all day and into the next morning, even having our dinner brought to our bedroom. By then, we had both laid down some new house rules.
She told me I was never allowed to stop talking unless I was taking a break to kiss her. And I told her that she was no longer allowed to do whatever she wanted.
I gave her a long list of things that she was not permitted to do. Leave me being first on the list. Remove her wedding ring held second place, followed closely by sleeping anywhere other than by my side.
She was also never permitted to leave the Manor again… at which she just laughed at me hysterically.
I told her that since she was a Malfoy, no one liked her anymore anyway, so what was the point in her ever going out again? That’s when she playfully started a pillow fight, which I won when I told her how much I had missed her and began kissing her again.
Joy had returned to our home as I couldn’t even remember smiling with her so much as I did those wondrous first days of having her back in my arms.
Hermione and I had grown immensely as a couple throughout the entire heart-wrenching ordeal. We appreciated each other on a new level of love and had a much deeper understanding of one another’s needs.
I hired a photographer to take some pictures of us so that we could send one to the judge, per his request.
I picked out my favorite to give him, but Hermione was mortifyingly opposed.
“We can’t send him a moving photograph of us making out. It would be entirely inappropriate,” she protested, hitting me with it, while blushing and wearing the sweetest of grins.
I didn’t care which one it was, but she did of course. And after looking at what seemed to me an insane amount of photographs and time spent over-analyzing, she finally chose one.
“How about this one?” she asked.
It was of us holding hands, walking along the cobblestone path that led to my mother’s grave. And in the far off distance stood the gazebo that housed her swing.
“That’s it,” I agreed. “That’s the one."
In the weeks that followed, reporters at the Daily Prophet hounded us relentlessly for an exclusive interview about our near divorce. We were completely against it, of course, feeling our private married life was not to be publicly displayed… especially to shamelessly boost newspaper sales.
But one night as Hermione and I entered a benefit dinner for St. Mungo’s Hospital, we happened upon a young reporter that asked, “What if your story helped other couples stay together? Would you give an interview then?”
“No, thanks,” we both replied.
But the idea stuck in my head and I pondered it for several days. What if some good could come of it?
One night as I once again held my wife on her beloved swing, enjoying the night air under a hundred hovering candles, she entwined her fingers into mine and tucked her head into my chest so much, I was wondering how she was breathing.
As I held her close, I mentioned an idea to her. Not granting an interview, but what if I wrote about what happened instead? That way, it would be exactly as it happened without someone writing it for us.
We argued about it, of course, as she was adamantly against it. And by the end, I let her win and we didn’t speak of it again.
That is, until rumors and false stories came about… stories suggesting that I had physically abused her. But what really turned Hermione around was seeing photos of her and Potter embracing with accusations that they had an adulterous affair.
We both had all that we could take. And so in the end, Hermione wanted me to write it, at least to clear Harry of any wrong doing.
So I decided I was finally going to take the example of my Rap Artist friend quoted at the beginning of this story and expose everything. Expose what happened so that the truth was out in the open for all the magical world to see. No more speculations or accusations. No more rumors and lies.
It was simply a lack of communication between a husband and wife that almost killed our marriage.
I contacted the reporter that we met outside the benefit and told him that in lieu of an interview, I would write about it instead. I told him if the Daily Prophet didn’t print it ‘word for word’ that I’d either sue them until I owned them or I’d buy just enough stock to gain controlling interest, where I would proceed to fire every last one of them.
They agreed to my simple demand and I explained everything that happened in the article and ended it like this...
"Hermione and I have never been better.
We are back to arguing about all manner of things. I win some. I lose some. But the important thing is that we don’t remain silent. Instead, we work out our differences. I use my business skills to negotiate and she uses her amazing wit to be most convincing… and somehow we find middle ground. We compromise.
I will never take her for granted and I thank God daily for her and the miracles He works in our lives. That we ever came together in the first place is a miracle on its own, let alone how we stayed together.
I am so thankful for the divorce court Judge for listening to us instead of signing our divorce papers and getting it over with before eating his lunch. To his wisdom and credit, he actually listened and brought us back together in a way that we could finally talk and listen to each other. For that, I am eternally grateful.
I’d like to thank Blaise Zabini for standing by me and being such a great and loyal friend.
This entire article is dedicated to my beloved wife, Hermione Malfoy, who realizes I am far from perfect, but chooses to love me anyway.
It is my hope that someone might learn from our mistakes and not allow a lack of communication lead you to a path of relationship destruction. Talk things out. Make amends. Communicate.
And whatever you do… Don't ever let your silence shout things that you don't really mean to say."
So there you have it; the true story of our near divorce.
But I'd like to think of it as a story of a miracle that breathed new life into a marriage that was at death’s door. One that transformed our marriage into something precious to me. Something that I most certainly will honor and cherish…
Until I take my last breath.
Daily Prophet Editor's Note: We did print Mr. Malfoy's article ‘word for word’ and we'd like to point out that he never mentioned where Hermione had been staying while they were apart. But alas, we also thought it noteworthy that the store that closed is having its Grand Re-opening this Saturday. It is rumored that the Malfoy's have taken up the venture in an attempt to bring back jobs previously lost. And we'd also like to note the newly formed Malfoy Foundation, a philanthropy project headed by Hermione Malfoy is sure to bring much needed funds to charities across the magical world (see “Malfoy’s Money” -story on page 5).
Ah yes, a happy ending for these two. I realize that there is a time to remain silent for the sake of peace, but don’t wait so long as to cause irreversible damage.
My thanks to Crestwood who thought up this brilliant Eminem quote challenge. I really enjoyed this and hope that you did as well.
It is my pleasure to mark this fanfic as 'Completed' and I invite you to read my other stories on this amazing site! My eternal thanks to those who make it possible.
I also want to thank the Reviewers that have encouraged me and spoke of how much this story meant to them on such a personal level. Thank you so much!
By the way... In Chapter 2, their divorce case number was 25 - 34 - 61. If you add the digits together, it would've been 7~7~7. *winks* Pretty lucky numbers, don't you think? Tee hee.
Until next time, keep talking and Reviewing! And by all means, fight for your marriages!
Love to all...