Chapter 5 : A Pretty Picture
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The next morning, Hermione woke gently to the sound of wardrobe doors opening and closing, and the soft jingle of a belt being fastened. She opened her eyes and sat up, holding the sheet close to her naked body. Draco’s side of the bed was empty, but when she looked up she saw him buttoning up his shirt. Running a hand through his damp hair (he must have already taken a shower) he looked back at her with an expression that was impossible to read. Neither one had said a word since they had left the club last night. Hermione started searching for her dress when something light landed next to her on the bed. They appeared to be clothes. Picking them up, she looked back at Draco questioningly.
“Those are yours. You left them here a long time ago. I think they might be a bit more comfortable than that dress of yours.” He said calmly. She nodded, and slipped her legs into the trousers. They were a bit tight, but they still fit fortunately. She pulled the plain tee shirt over her head and pulled her hair back in to a pony tail. As she was pulling on her shoes, he was heading out the door. He stopped in the doorway and turned to her.
“I have to pick Issy from her grandmother’s, you are welcome to stay here as long as you like.” He said, his face still holding a world of confusion for Hermione because she wasn’t able to tell what he was thinking. She nodded once more, her eyes cast down towards the floor. A second later she saw black shoes standing in front of her. She looked up but before she could say anything, Draco took her chin in his hand and pulled her to him. He kissed her softly on the mouth, he tongue working its way in to her mouth determinedly but with a sense of gentleness as well. She melted in to him, her eyes closing and her mouth relaxing to savor the kiss. He pulled back and looked in to her eyes briefly before he turned to leave. Just as he was almost out the door, Hermione spoke.
“Mellowood Flats, Surrey, room 4B.” She said plainly. He looked back at her and nodded. There was no need for her to tell him it was her address, he knew what it was. Hermione could hear him leaving through the fireplace. Gathering her purse, she apparated back to the Burrow. Landing smack dab in the middle of the kitchen, she set her things down and started making herself a cup of coffee. As she was adding the cream, a voice from behind her startled her, causing her to jump and spill cream on to the counter.
“Well somebody’s back late. Where were you all evening?” Hermione was relieved to see it was only Ginny, sitting at the table cradling her own cup of coffee and smirking. Sitting down across from her, Hermione took a deep breath.
“I was off having sex ninety five zillion times with Draco.” Hermione said in to her cup without any enthusiasm whatsoever.
“Hermione, if I just spent the entire night shagging the hottest man alive who I just so happen to be in love with, I would be a little happier than this.” Ginny said.
“I don’t mean to make it sound so depressing; it was fantastic, really, bloody brilliant. I forgot how good he was, but I just feel a bit odd.”
“Mione, that’s not odd, that’s the release of sexual tension from not having been shagged in five years.” Ginny said, taking a sip of her coffee.
“I don’t think that’s it Gin.” Hermione started. “It’s something more, something like…”
“Love?” She suggested. When Hermione didn’t say anything, Ginny continued. “Mione, when was the last time you felt honest to Merlin, can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t live without that person, pure, genuine love for someone who was not your offspring?” She asked. After a moment of thinking, Hermione answered.
“Six years ago.”
“And who was that love for?” Ginny pressed.
“Well, now the only question is, why are you still sitting here?” She said with a smile. Hermione gave a sheepish grin. She looked up at the big clock over the stove. It read 12:05 PM. Jumping up from her chair, she ran up the stairs.
“I’m borrowing your clothes!” She yelled over her shoulder to Ginny. Turning the corner sharply and sliding into Ginny’s room, she slammed the door shut behind her. Stripping the clothes she had on and rummaging around in Ginny’s wardrobe, she found a nice pair of blue jeans and a cute red blouse. Pulling them on, she furiously ran a hairbrush through her hair and slipped her feet into flip flops as she rushed back downstairs.
“Where’s Nicky?” She demanded, out of breath but smiling.
“Ron’s old room.” Ginny said, laughing at Hermione.
Running back up the stairs, she barged into Ron’s room where Ron and Harry were showing Nicky a bunch of different Quidditch plays.
“Hermione…” Harry said when he saw her enter. She extended her hand towards Nicky and gave it a little shake to show the urgency.
“Come on Nicky, we’ve got to go. Come on! Come on!” He hopped off the bed and took her hand. Running to keep up with his mother’s long strides, Nicky followed her back into the kitchen. Hearing the yelling and doors slamming, Molly and Arthur came in to investigate.
“What’s going on here?” Arthur asked.
“I’m in love!” Hermione shouted, throwing the hand that wasn’t holding Nicky’s into the air. “I am absolutely, crazy, out of my bloody mind in love!” She announced. Ginny was still laughing, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were grinning, slightly confused, and Harry and Ron’s jaws hung open from where they stood on the stairs. “Ginny could you please take Nicolas to his practice? I need to be somewhere.” She said with almost a proud tone of voice.
“Oh of course.” She said, taking Nicky by the hand and apparating him to the park.
Draco paced the park while Isabelle zipped around on her broom. They were late. She was late. He couldn’t get his mind off of her. His mind kept replaying the scenes from last night over and over again and it was driving him mad. Mellowood Flats, Surrey, room 4B The only words she spoke to him the entire time, the only thing he was capable of thinking at the moment. He heard someone popping in, and he saw Nicky running to join the other children. Looking back, he expected to Hermione, but instead he saw the youngest Weasley. He walked up to her, dying to know where the girl he loved was.
“We-Ginny, where is Hermione?” He asked her. She put a hand casually on her hip and the other hand up to her forehead to shield the sun from her eyes.
“I don’t know.”
“I don’t know? What do you mean ‘I don’t know’? You have her kid, you must know.” He pressed.
“I don’t know. She just left. To go looking for you I suppose, said that she had to ‘be somewhere’. I guess she thought she could catch you before you left. Who knows Malfoy…” She stopped at looked at his pained expression. “Listen, I don’t particularly like you, but you make Mione happy, and you treat her well, so I will watch your kid. Go find her.” She said. He didn’t need telling twice.
“Thank you.” He said before apparating away.
“DRACO!!” Hermione yelled. She had just popped into his house, and she yelled his name as she ran up the stairs to the bedroom. She looked in, but saw nothing but the bed, still unmade from their late night activities. Back downstairs, she tried the library, but he wasn’t there either. It appeared that they house was empty. Sighing and apparating to her own flat, she stood in the middle of her common room, unsure what to do next.
“HERMIONE!!” Draco yelled, running through his house looking for her. He had missed her by about five seconds. Realizing it was empty, he racked his brain trying to think of something. …Mellowood Flats, Surrey, room 4B… The address drifted across his thoughts. “She has to be there.” He said to himself. “She had to be.”
Hermione was about to just go back to the park, when she heard a *pop* behind her. Turning around, she saw Draco standing there, out of breath with his hair flopping in his eyes.
“Hermione…” He breathed.
“Draco.” A small smile slipped onto her face. In two long strides he had crossed the room and had her in his arms. Their lips connected and they kissed each other intensely. Draco’s arms encircled Hermione’s waist and he lifted her up so that she could wrap her legs around him. Moving his arms down and gripping under her butt so that he had a more secure hold on her, they slowly pulled away and looked at each other.
“I love you Draco Malfoy.” Hermione whispered. The words were music to his ears.
“I love you too Hermione… so much.” He set her down and kissed her again. It reminded him of the very first time they kissed, way back six years ago on a couch in the Head’s common room. He smiled against her lips at the memory, and he could feel her lips curving upwards too as she remembered the very same thing as he. This was right, this was how it was supposed to be. Stretching her arms up and around his neck, she fit herself into him, and the arms around her waist pulled her closer. They stayed like that for some time, just letting the feeling of being in one another’s warm embrace be enough to fill them up with all the love they had been missing out on. Draco slowly rubbed Hermione’s back in small circles, causing her to give a deep sigh.
“What was that for?” He asked, pulling back just slightly so he could look her in the eye. She cupped his face in both of her hands and stared deeply into his gorgeous blue grey eyes.
“I love you. That’s what it was for. I love you I love you I lo-” She was cut off by yet another soft kiss. It was shorter than the rest, but it spoke volumes.
“I love you too. More than you will ever know, and I am never letting you go again. Not you or Nicky…” His eyes widened, and shortly after, so did Hermione’s.
“Oh god, the kids!” She said. “I completely forgot!” They apparated back to the park, where they discovered Ginny teaching Isabelle and Nicky magic tricks. Walking towards them hand in hand, Ginny looked up and smiled at them. Giving Hermione a small wink as she sat down next to her, Ginny pulled Isabelle into her lap. Draco sat behind Hermione and wrapped an arm around her waist protectively.
“This is a bright little one you’ve got here Malfoy.” Ginny said while braiding Isabelle’s hair.
“Yes, well she takes after me.” He said cockily.
“If you hadn’t graduated second to only me I would laugh at you for that.” Hermione said lightly.
“Hey!” He exclaimed pretending to be offended. The adults laughed. Nicky scooted over to his mother and pointed to Draco.
“Mum?” He asked.
“Is he my new dad?” He asked curiously. Hermione was quite taken aback by her son’s forward question, unsure as to how to answer it.
“Er… eh well I- um…” She struggled to find the right words. Draco kissed her shoulder from behind, and Hermione could have sworn that she felt his lips smiling into her skin. “We will take about it later pumpkin.” Hermione was finally able to give a reasonable answer.
“I like you.” Isabelle stated from Ginny’s lap in reference to Hermione.
“Thank you.” She said in return. “I like you too.”
“Do you love my daddy?” She asked curiously. Hermione looked at Draco and smiled.
“Yes I do. I do very much.” She told Issy, but looking at Draco. He kissed lovingly on the cheek.
“Well…” Ginny said moving Isabelle from her lap and standing up. “I can see I am not longer needed here, so I believe I will be off to do some shopping. Have fun.” She smiled as she slipped her shoes back on. Hermione stood to give her best friend a hug.
“Thank you bunches Gin.”
“Don’t mention it. But now I have some bloke scoping of my own to do.” She said with a mischievous glint in her eye. Hermione laughed.
“Bye.” She waved over her shoulder. Hermione sat back down next to Draco and he slipped an arm over her shoulder, pulling her to him. She rested her head on his shoulder and together they watched their children play on the grass in front of them.
“Well aren’t we a pretty picture.” Draco remarked. Hermione chuckled.
“Yes we are.” She agreed, feeling happier than she ever felt before.
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