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Chapter 15 : Classic Romance
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Part 15 of the Severus Snape Saga
A/N: My muse, Maggie, is simple girl. All she likes are plot bunnies and reviews. So be kind to Maggie and feed her review cookies please.
Big thanks to my beta Lbandoly for her hard work. She has spent countless hours editing and providing plot help for my stories. She makes my writing possible.
No copyright infringement intended. All characters are the property of JKR, Scholastic, and any number of other companies with more money than I've ever dreamed of seeing. I didn't make any money off of this, so please don't sue.
HP SS HG RL DM HP SS HG RL DM
Flowers of all shapes and color were in full bloom despite the still chilled mid-March weather of London. The sweet smell of lilies and roses permeated the early spring evening air. The evening dew glistened on the fresh leaves across the enchanted garden. Candles hung suspended a foot above head high across the expanse of the warded area. A small round table sat in the center of what Arthur was now referring to as “Molly Wobbles garden” covered with what looked like a fine linen tablecloth. In reality, Molly had dug up a linen handkerchief at Remus’s request, which he transfigured into the tablecloth. The delicate silk embroidery of the handkerchief had replicated it’s self across the table cloth making it seem even that much more beautiful or so Molly had exclaimed. Two wooden chairs sat on opposite sides of the table with transfigured white linen covers made from crisp white bed sheets. The covers, meant to hide the marks and scratches resulting from ages of use, made the scene all the more delicate and formal.
Draco adjusted the placement of the dinnerware one last time before backing away from the finely set table. He stepped back and eyed the scene. If he didn’t know better he would think he were back in the gardens of his childhood home helping his mother as she prepared for one of her private dinner parties. The tight grip of longing struck him hard in the chest for a moment. He truly missed his mother. Cold as she may have been in recent years she was his mother and he loved her despite her flaws and aloof lack of caring.
The sound of footsteps in the grass drew Draco’s attention away from the melancholy thoughts that gripped him. Severus stood at the foot of the back steps eyeing the scene before him. “You’ve done well Draco.”
Draco smiled slightly. “Thank you,” he replied. “I wish I could take all the credit, but alas I can’t. Remus and Mrs. Weasley both put a great deal of work into this.”
Severus nodded. He knew how hard it was for his godson, no his son, to accept the help of Lupin and Molly. He could not help but feel some measure of pride for Draco in the changes the young man had under gone in the past months. “Are you ready?” Severus asked.
Draco took a deep breath, “As I’ll ever be. Harry is due back with her any moment isn’t he?”
“Indeed, he owled not long ago to say that she would be here ‘dressed to impress’ not a moment past seven.”
Draco laughed. “Yet another plan by Remus. I would never have thought to give her a ‘spa day’ to both get her out of the house and to give her a reason to dress up for this evening.”
“It was inspiring,” Severus replied. “I do believe his feelings for Miss Tonks have only influenced his romantic notions all the more. However as it benefits you all…”
Draco laughed again. “Dad, you’re just jealous you didn’t think it up first.”
Severus reveled in the warm feeling of having Draco refer to him as a father figure. As good as it felt to hear Harry refer to him as father or dad it felt equally as well to hear Draco refer to him likewise. Quickly he brushed the emotion away before it overwhelmed him and continued to argue against Draco’s statement. “I am never jealous; certainly not when it comes to such foolishness as thinking up ‘spa days’ as a way to distract someone.”
Draco grinned and shook his head. “If you say so.”
“Which I do,” Severus replied before changing the subject once again. “Is there anything left undone?”
Draco looked around and shook his head again. “Not a thing. Harry had Dobby prepare the meal since he insisted the elf really needed something to do. Everything out here is complete. Remus was cleaning up to play waiter as he insisted that Hermione would not be pleased being served by a house elf seen or unseen for the evening.” He patted his pocket and felt the bulk of the ring box against his thigh. “The ring is in my pocket and I’ve memorized what I intend to say. So I guess that’s it. It’s just a matter of waiting for Harry to deliver her back home.”
Severus nodded. “Very well then. I would wish you luck but I know you shall not need it. She is clearly in love with you. I’ve no doubt you’ll soon be picking out wedding china and dress robes,” Severus said with a bit of a hint of mirth in his voice.
Draco nodded. “Thanks Dad.”
Severus tided his head. “None needed.” He pulled a pocket watch from the recesses of his dark wardrobe and opened it. Seconds later, he closed it with a snap. “Harry should have her back any moment. I’ll escort her back as soon as they arrive.”
“Thanks and try to keep Harry from spying on the entire endeavor will you? I would hate to have to hex him for being a nosy arse tonight.”
Severus laughed aloud. “I’ll do what I can,” he said clearly amused.
Severus left Draco standing near the table in the enchanted garden and headed back into the house. Draco thought he heard twin pops that sounded like apparition cracks but he was not sure until he saw Remus and Harry slip out the back door onto the small porch. Remus held the door open as Severus led a blindfolded Hermione out the open door, across the porch, down the once rickety steps and across the yard. Severus let her arm go but grabbed her hand and placed it in Draco’s. He let go and joined the other two on the back steps with an almost amused grin on his face.
Draco smiled. Harry had done well with Remus’ plan. She was beautiful. She always was and had been, in Draco’s eyes, since she had had the gall to hit him in the face in their third year, but tonight she was exceptionally beautiful. Her normally wildly unmanageable hair was tame. It hung in long, shimmering, sleek curls that fell in cascades around her shoulders and down her back. He did not think it had looked so beautiful even at the Yule ball during the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
She had the slightest bit of make-up on. He could just barely make out a hint of shimmering gold just under her eyebrows where the blind fold was not covering. He could imagine what that color must do to make her brown eyes dance with life. Her lips were a pale pink, barely any color at all. Nevertheless, it was enough to make them stand out when you looked at her face. The more he looked at her the more he was not sure if he could recall seeing her wear make-up at all aside from the night of the Yule Ball now that he thought of it. What she was, even then, had been, like tonight, just enough to make her eyes and lips stand out just a bit more than usual. He found himself eager to drop the blindfold so he could see all of her face clearly.
She was a stunning image standing before him. Her robes, gods he could imagine how Harry had talked her into buying them, much less wearing them with little to no reason why. They were stunning dress robes made from what Draco know was only the finest Chinese silk that Madam Malkin kept in her private showcase room. One typically only shopped in there when they were in need of robes for weddings, balls, and other fancy affairs that required only the best clothing available. When Harry had set out to spoil her, he had done no less than just that. The dress was a deep red that wrapped delicately around her bust and ended at a high waist. The skirt fell from there in pools of deep rich color flowing almost unbearable gentle around her legs flowing straight to the ground completely hiding her shoes. The wrapped bust had crystal beads sewn along the neckline and empire waistline. Despite the beads being clear they simmered red from the color of the dress beneath them. The only jewelry she wore were simple diamond studs that she wore daily. He knew they had been a gift from her parents for doing so well on her Owl tests and that she was terribly proud of the gift. She was rarely seen not wearing them.
The quiet around the group disturbed Hermione and she began to let them know. “Okay guys, this isn’t funny. I hate not knowing what is going on. Harry I know you are here somewhere. Come on, spill. What’s going on?” Hermione asked impatiently. “Why am I blindfolded? One of you answer me, please.” She huffed indignantly as she stood between Draco and the steps off the back porch.
The sound of three sets of footsteps sounded across the boards of the back porch before the sound of the door opening and closing. “Harry, Remus, Severus, Draco…someone please,” she called even though she knew some of them had clearly left her standing out in the oddly warm back garden.
“Oh yee of little faith,” Draco said quietly.
“Draco, thank the Gods. What in the name of the four winds is going on? Why am I blindfolded?”
Draco slipped his free hand around the back of her head and grasped the loose end of the blindfold. He pulled gently and let the scrap of black material fall away from her eyes. He dropped the end and allowed it to flutter to the ground. “This,” he said simply allowing her eyes time to adjust to the scene before her.
Her eyes fluttered as they adjusted to the warm light cast by the hundreds of hovering candles. Slowly she began to look around and take in the sight laid out before her. Draco was standing before her in dress robes she didn’t even know he owned. He was a remarkable sight. Fine black over robes covered, but not completely, the starched lines of his tailored three-piece suit. Even with the robes, one could tell the black pants, matching black vest, and the white Oxford shirt fit him perfectly. The silver tie he wore was tucked neatly behind his crisp black vest.
Her eyes widened in shock. “Draco?”
“Yes,” he said with a smirk.
“What’s going on?” she asked again.
He smiled the slightest tinge of pink rising in his cheeks. “Something I hope you’ll love. Join me for dinner?”
She nodded silently, spellbound by the extravagance laid out before her. Draco pulled out her chair and held it for her to sit before moving to the opposite side of the table and taking a seat.
Hermione finally regained her senses and the glint of curiosity could be seen deep in her eyes. “Is all this why Harry insisted on buying me a new dress after he shuffled me all over Diagon Alley from one salon to another for the ‘head to toe’ treatment all day?”
“Yes,” Draco answered her simply as Remus came out with a silver tray laden with dishes. A simple wave of his wand and the tray hung at table height. He dipped his head silently and left as he had come without saying a word to the couple.
Draco pulled the chilled Currant Black from the ice bucket that sat on the other side of the table. “Would you like some?” he asked her.
“Please,” she answered.
He tipped the bottle over her fluted glass and poured the rich liquid into it before doing the same to his own glass. Hermione took a sip before setting in on him again. “Draco you still haven’t answered my question.”
“Of course I have. I said we were doing this,” he said with a mirth-filled smirk.
Hermione took a deep breath, “Yes, but you’ve not explained what ‘this’ is exactly.”
“Dinner clearly,” he responded with a laugh.
“I can clearly see that Draco. Why are we having dinner?”
“Why else do you have dinner? Because we’re hungry of course,” he replied cheekily.
Hermione narrowed her eyes at him. “True, but we don’t usually do so in a charmed garden that is unseasonably warm nor unseasonably in bloom in the midst of a March evening dressed in formal wear.”
“Not typically no, but there is a first time for everything.” Draco’s eyes seemed to dance with merriment. He was having a grand time playing with her sometimes overly intellectual mind. He knew she had to be thinking of every possible reason for the extravagant evening outside of the actual reason.
“So this just happens to be that first time for everything then?” she asked before taking another sip from her glass.
“That it is.” He moved up from his seat and around to the hovering tray of food. “Would you care for anything? We have roast leg of lamb with mint jelly, steamed asparagus with a roasted garlic butter sauce, and roasted red potatoes with dill,” he said as he gestured to each of the dishes arranged around the tray.
“A bit of each please,” she replied.
Draco served up a helping of each item being generous with the asparagus having heard Dobby mention just how much Hermione loved it. Molly had suggested that garlic butter be tailed to just butter as garlic wasn’t exactly polite on one’s breath but Draco had dismissed it. Hermione loved garlic and he loved Hermione. Moreover, his mother had once said two garlic’s cancel out one another when his father had suggested garlic be left out of any dishes served at some dinner party or another. When his father had asked what that was supposed to mean she had elaborated that if everyone was having garlic no one would notice the state of their companion’s breath for the flavor of their own. Draco supposed it made sense in a fashion if one thought on it long enough.
Draco finished serving up Hermione’s plate and turned to doing the same for himself as Hermione took the first bite of the lamb. A slow smile spread across her lips as she savored the first bite of the succulent meat. He smiled to himself happy that she was enjoying the meal he had planned. Between Harry, Dobby, and himself he thought they had planned the perfect meal. He was glad to know they had done just that.
“This is really quite tasty Draco,” Hermione said between bites of her meal.
Draco smiled. “I’m sure Dobby will be glad to hear that. He has been fluttering all over the kitchen half the day to make this. He was so determined it would be perfect that he started over on the lamb three times. We’ve got enough of it to feed the whole of the Order for the rest of the week I believe.”
Hermione giggled. “Whatever did he do that for? Certainly he didn’t mess it up the first two times did he? I’ve never known him to mess up anything in the kitchen,” she said.
Draco shook his head. “No he would come out wringing his hands saying it just wasn’t perfect. Remus would tell him to do what he needed to do to fix it and tada there would be another roast cooking not long after.” Draco took a bite of potatoes and washed it down with a sip of the hard black currant cider before continuing. “I really would like to know what was wrong with the first two to constitute ‘not perfect’ but I was afraid to even ask. You know how he gets. He would likely burst into tears and iron his hand after he told me.”
Hermione gave an understanding nod. The remainder of the evening continued with light conversation. Draco had asked for every detail of her day out and about being made over from head to toe and Hermione had obliged. He didn’t think he or anyone else for that matter had ever heard Hermione Granger ever go on about beauty spells and charms so long as she had during the meal. Part of his mind thought it was a tad ironic that he used to get so terribly irritable when Pansy had volunteered the information of her beauty regime. Somehow, it didn’t seem nearly as frivolous when Hermione was speaking about it.
Several minutes after Draco had taken the last bite off his plate Remus reappeared. He cleared the plates from the table and the tray that hung in midair next to the table. He disappeared back into the house and reappeared moments later with a two small dessert plates laden with Irish Coffee Cheesecake and two steaming mugs of Irish coffee with heavy dollops of melting whipped cream floating on top. He set one of each in front of both before slipping back into the house.
Hermione took a sip of her coffee and savored its warmth as it went down. She looked up and smiled. “You know if I didn’t know you better I would think you were trying to get me drunk Draco.”
Draco quickly swallowed the bite of cheesecake in his mouth before he began to laugh. “No not drunk, just relaxed.”
“Relaxed? Wasn’t that the point of ‘spa day’?” she asked with an impish grin.
Draco flushed. “Well okay you’ve got me there.”
When they finished their desserts, Draco waved his wand through the air and the soft strains of classical music filled the air. He rose from his seat and held out his hand to her. “Care to dance?”
“Why of course,” Hermione replied with a soft smile.
HP SS RL HP SS RL HP SS RL
The sound of heavy footfalls on the old floors sounded coming down the halls towards him. All too soon, a voice accompanied the footsteps. “Harry James Potter Snape did I or did I not ask you to stop watching out the back windows?” Severus asked in his steely voice that Harry knew led to nowhere good.
“Yes sir,” Harry replied quietly. Of age or not, father or not, Harry still hated that particular voice. It always meant he was in trouble.
“Then pray tell why have I caught you at it for what is it, six times now?” Severus asked as Harry turned away from the window and towards the source of the voice.
His father in front of him, Harry sighed. “I can’t help it. He is out there asking my best friend to marry him. I want to know how it’s going,” he replied to his father sounding more than a bit like an impatient child than the near adult that he was.
“Then I suggest you do as Remus and I are and wait elsewhere in the house. They will certainly come in at some point this evening. It should be fairly clear at that time how ‘it’s going’ as you put it,” Severus replied as he turned and headed back to the front of the house.
Harry sighed happily, taking one quick look out the window to see Hermione dancing pressed tightly to Draco’s front with her head resting on his right shoulder as the music filled the air around the engrossed couple. Her eyes were closed and a soft smile graced her lips from what he could see, as they spun around in the midnight air. Draco had his arms wrapped tightly around her middle holding her securely to him. His own eyes were closed as well and his smile was one Harry couldn’t remember ever seeing before. They looked absolutely at peace.
Harry smiled. He couldn’t have asked for Hermione to be happier. Once upon a time, he thought it would be Ron that would make his best friend so happy but that became very clear soon after Ron and Hermione had tried dating that they were just not meant to be. Draco and Hermione were. If anyone could make a go at a relationship with Voldemort after the lot of them, it was Hermione and Draco. They would still be standing strong next to one another when the dust settled Harry was certain. Harry turned from the window and headed to join his father and godfather elsewhere in the house. He would have Severus cast a binding spell on him the next time he got the urge to go spy on them if he thought he couldn’t stop himself from peaking.
HG DM HG DM HG DM
Draco dropped a soft kiss on the top of Hermione’s head as the latest song softened to an ending before releasing his arms from around her middle. He led her back to her chair. She sat automatically without him saying a word.
Slowly and silently, Draco pulled the velvet-covered box from his pants pocket. He had charmed the box to be unnoticed so that she wouldn’t feel it against her leg as they danced. He on the other hand had felt its weight in his pocket the whole time begging him to ask her. He drew the box out and dropped down on one knee in front of her.
A soft gasp escaped her mouth at the sight of the box in his hand. “Draco?” she asked quietly.
Draco took a deep calming breath before he began. “Hermione I don’t guess I have to tell you I love you. I’m not even sure how it happened. One day you’re the bushy haired know it all and the next you have become my best friend. Then suddenly I couldn’t imagine my life without you in it.”
Hermione’s eyes began to grow moist and shiny. “Oh Draco,” she said as if his name was a prayer on the wind.
“Somewhere along the way from strangers sitting in the hall to now I fell madly, completely, and deeply in love with you Hermione. I realized not long after that I want to fall in love with you more and more every day. I want to hold your hand when you are ill and take walks with you under the stars. I want to visit the corners of the earth and show you all the wonders the gods have blessed upon us. I want to stand by your side and fight this war. I want to say at the end that I did so by your side. I want to scream off the rooftops of the tallest Hogwarts towers that I have found the most intelligent woman of all to love and that through some miracle of Merlin, Morgana, or Circe she loves me in return. I can’t fathom what life would be like if I hadn’t begun to see you in a different light.”
He shook his head and dropped his gaze to the ground in shame. “I don’t want to even consider it honestly.” He looked back up, his gray eyes haunted by a past that had nearly done in his future. “I’m not perfect as I’ve come to realize. I’m no hero. I’m often downright arrogant. I’ve far too much pride to admit when I’m wrong or need help. I spend money like it’s growing on trees, as Severus used to say. I love quidditch to the point of insanity sometimes. I’m rather rude and stuck up, well less so than I used to be but still more so than you deserve. But still I’m so deeply in love with you I find myself hoping against common sense that you love me enough in return to overlook all that and say you’ll be my wife, my bonded, my everything from now until eternity.” He kept his eyes trained on hers as he flipped the ring box open towards her to reveal her grandmother’s ring, sparkling from its snug home inside the box. “Hermione Jane Granger will you do me the honor of being my wife?” he asked.
A wide grin spread across her face as she slipped from the chair to the ground and fell into his arms. “Yes,” she breathed as she faced him, their noses barely an inch apart.
“Truly?” he questioned.
“Most sincerely,” she replied. She smiled wide as tears of joy ran tracks through her pristine make-up. “I would be honored to be your wife Draco.”
Unable to contain himself, Draco whopped for joy. “Thank Merlin, she said yes!” he screamed into the London night.
Hermione broke into tinkling laughter as he yelled out their intentions for the world to hear. Draco sat back on his heel and removed the ring from the cushioned box. He set the box in the grass and pulled her left hand to him. He slid the cold band of gold on her ring finger, over her knuckle, and settled it at the base of her hand. The diamond sparkled in the candle light casting brilliant sparkles this way and that. Then he pulled her tightly to him more one. He placed his hands on either side of her face and pulled her lips to his. He kissed hers soundly. He ran the tip of his tongue along her soft lips begging entrance into her warm mouth. Their tongues battled for a moment before Draco broke the kiss. He pulled back and smiled widely at his intended. “We should head in and tell the others.”
Hermione nodded her head vigorously. “Oh they all knew you were going to ask,” she said quite suddenly as it dawned on her that Harry had taken her out with the express reason of sprucing her up, that Remus has served them not Dobby, and that Severus had been the one to guide her out into the garden to begin with.
Draco smiled and nodded.
“I bet Harry has been watching all along,” Hermione said with a knowing smirk.
“He best not have,” Draco replied trying to sound affronted but it was ruined by the rather giddy grin on his face. “Severus promised he would stop him so we could have some privacy.” Draco stood and brushed the bits of grass from his knees that clung to his trousers.
Hermione laughed. “You actually think Severus stopped him? He and Remus were probably right there watching with him.”
“Remus maybe but not Dad,” Draco replied evenly as he took her hand and pulled her up from the ground.
Hermione quirked an eyebrow at Draco, “Not Dad, you say.” She had never heard Draco refer to Severus in such a manner before. She knew he had felt the darker man was more a father to him than the man who had sired him but still she had never heard him verbally give it voice.
Draco nodded hearing the challenge in her voice. “Yeah not Dad,” he said as he directed them towards the steps up into the house.
They headed up the steps and across the back porch quickly. Draco pulled the door open and held it for her to enter ahead of him. The moment he let the door close behind them he grabbed her hand. Side by side, the two ran down the hall straight towards the library which is where they knew the three other housemates were sure to be found.
Three heads turned towards the sound of thundering footsteps as the couple drew near. Breathless from running through the house and from sheer joy they entered the library. Before anyone could speak, Draco spoke. “She said yes!” he cried out.
A round of joyful congratulations filled the air. Remus looked on the verge of tears as he moved from his seat and wrapped the couple in a hug before Severus and Harry could even move from their respective seats. “Congratulations to both of you. I was hoping so strongly for both of you to see how good you are for each other from the moment I heard of your hall bonding while Harry was under that potion.”
“Thank you Remus,” Hermione said with a watery smile.
“Oy you, let off of them will you. There are others around that want to give hugs too you know,” Harry said with a laugh as he tugged at Remus’s arm to break his grasp on the couple.
Remus laughed as he let go and backed away so Harry could wrap his arms around Hermione in a strangling hug. “I’m so happy for you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you look so happy with anyone Hermione.”
“I am happy Harry. I’m very happy in fact. So much so Voldemort could walk through the door just now and he couldn’t do anything to make me less than happy,” she said. Quickly she pulled an arm free and knocked on the wooden doorframe three times. When the men in the room looked at her oddly she merely replied, “Well there is no sense in tempting fate.”
Harry laughed and hugged her a bit tighter before letting her go and looking at Draco. “You do anything to hurt her and you answer to me directly,” he said in a voice that was eerily scary.
Draco nodded solemnly. “I would never dream of hurting her. You know that Harry.
“I do, but as her best friend and closest thing she has to a brother I had to make sure you knew it,” Harry replied.
Draco nodded. “Duly noted.”
Harry backed off and Severus stepped up to them. “I’m proud of you both. Had anyone asked me if I saw anything between you just this time last year I would have predicted a bloody end for one or both of you. I’m quite happy you’ve proved me wrong. Welcome to the family Hermione,” he said with a gallant nod.
She beamed. “Thank you, sir. I’ll make you proud to have me as part of it I promise.”
“You already have,” Severus replied quietly. “You already have.”
HP SS HG DM RL HP SS HG DM RL
Harry, Draco, and Hermione had retired to their rooms well after midnight more than tipsy on fire whiskey, Currant Black, and Irish coffee. While neither had gotten up to see, Severus and Remus both thought Hermione had probably relocated to Draco’s room for the evening.
Most of the candles were extinguished and the fire had dimmed to mostly red coals as Severus sat seemingly pondering the last sip in his tumbler. Remus drained the last of his and sat the glass to the side. “You’ve got a fine family Severus. I can’t say I’m not the slightest bit jealous.”
“You never have struck me as the jealous type Lupin,” Severus replied evenly without looking up.
“Lupin is it? What happened to my first name? Did I say something to offend your delicate sensibilities Snape?” he replied with the slightest hint of barely veiled vitriol.
“No, of course not. I was merely thinking that there is nothing to be jealous of,” he said quietly.
“And why is that?” Remus asked with a slight sneer that didn’t fit him in the slightest.
“Because they are as much your family as my own,” Severus replied before downing the last of his cup. He sat the tumbler on the table beside the end of the sofa and leaned his head back. His black hair hung in a dark curtain over the back of the couch as his eyes stared unfocused up to the ceiling.
“Now that’s where you’re wrong Severus. Harry is your son. Draco is your godson. Hermione is soon to be your goddaughter-in-law. They truly are your family.”
“They are as much your children as they are mine Remus,” Severus said finally looking at the other man. “Where it counts Remus, they are your family.”
“And what of you,” Remus asked Severus. “Do you consider yourself part of my family too?”
Severus gave the graying man an appraising look. “You would want me to be?” he asked.
Remus nodded. “I would be honored to call you family Severus.”
Severus gave the man a long hard look. He was taking stock of the man in front of him. “And if I wanted to call you part of mine?” Severus asked.
“I would welcome and praise it,” Remus replied.
Too tired or too lazy to move, Remus didn’t know which, Severus summoned the fire whiskey bottle that was nearing its bottom and poured a finger into his glass before directing the bottle over to Remus’s glass. He poured the same for Remus before guiding the decanter to the table beside the glass. Severus lifted his glass in the air and saluted. “To unconventional families,” he said before bringing the glass to his mouth, drinking the shot in one long gulp.
“To unconventional families,” Remus echoed.
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