Chapter 21 : Sleeping Ferrets and Weddings
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Hermione was standing beneath the willow tree in the backyard of the Burrow. The warm summer air was blowing, whipping her thick brown hair around her face. She pulled her hair back with a hair band so that she could see without her hair obstructing her vision. She lowered her eyes to the ground and gazed at the small, beautifully polished stone near the trunk of the tree. On the stone, there was a small inscription.
August 15, 2004
The Weasleys had put the small monument under the tree on the Monday that Ginny returned home from the hospital. She had been in the hospital for about two weeks, mostly just for observation. Since then, Harry and Ginny had been staying at the Burrow instead of their own home. Everyone understood that it was most likely so that they could be surrounded by their family. Molly and Arthur were only too happy to have them and the boys at home, and she was a huge help.
Hermione had also taken up residency at the Burrow for the time being. Draco had returned to camp the day after Ginny woke up because he simply could not be away from the camp for very long. Hermione had not seen him for two weeks, and she missed him terribly. He had called the Burrow a few times, but that only made her miss him all the more.
The two weeks since Draco left passed so slowly that Hermione felt like it had been more like months since she had seen him last. She needed to be near him, hear his voice, feel his touch, and feel his lips on hers. She felt as if she would go insane if she did not see him soon. Hermione knew that since it was the last day in August, that camp ended today and everyone would be going home for the school year. She didn’t know if she would see Draco because there were a lot of things to finish up even after the summer had ended.
Her reverie was broken when she heard the grass rustling as someone approached her. She looked up and saw Harry making his way toward her. As he reached Hermione he gave her a small smile. He kept eye contact with her, and she could tell that he was trying to keep his eyes away from the memorial on the ground right behind her.
“Do you want to come out front with me Hermione? We could stun gnomes or something.” He suggested. Hermione returned his smile and nodded.
“Sure. Let’s go.” She said as they linked arms and walked to the front of the Burrow together. They sat down on the ground by the bushes that lined the front of the house. They didn’t speak, but Hermione knew that all Harry really wanted was some company. He had been feeling guilty, and Hermione knew that he tried to solve his problems by not telling anyone what he was feeling, and keeping everything bottled up instead. She knew he would eventually confide in either her or Ginny, but she wasn’t going to push him into doing anything that he didn’t want to do.
Ginny was inside and most likely spending time with Ron and James. She never let them leave her side as of late, and she seemed to think that if she lost sight of them for a second, they would disappear. It had been two weeks since they had lost the baby, and Harry and Ginny had not really changed or recovered at all. Hermione didn’t expect them to ever get over it fully, and she realized that it may take them months to even get back even a semblance of normality.
Hermione and Harry sat side by side watching the gnomes waddle around the front yard. Hermione jumped when Harry suddenly took his wand out of his pocket and stunned one of the gnomes. He let out a long breath and sat back down next to Hermione.
“Sorry, Hermione. I just felt the need to stun something” He told her.
“I get it. Don’t worry. You know, we could probably stun them all and get rid of them. I doubt Molly and Arthur would mind. Or we could do it the way we used to before we could use magic.” Hermione suggested. Harry nodded and the corners of his mouth twitched a little. They both got up from the ground and began picking up gnomes and swinging them around and around over their heads. Soon gnomes were flying through the air. About half an hour later, Harry and Hermione collapsed on the ground, exhausted from their hard work. Hermione suddenly was overcome with giggles.
“What’s so funny?” Harry asked. Hermione smiled.
“They're just so funny! I know you may not remember this, but those gnomes after we spin them around look kind of like when you and Ron used to go out and get totally drunk. You guys would come home and stumble around the house just like those gnomes!” Hermione said before she once again dissolved into laughter. Harry couldn’t help but laugh too because her laughter was infectious. Hermione was happy because this was the first time she had seen Harry truly smile since the attack.
They both sobered up immediately when they heard someone apparate not too far away. They both put their hands on their wands and looked around. Hermione jumped up and suppressed a squeal when she saw who was walking toward them. Draco had his suitcase with him and he was slowly walking to Hermione with a smile on his face. Hermione started running toward him and she launched herself at him as soon as he was within reach. She wrapped her legs firmly around his waist and he arms were locked around his neck.
His arms tightened around her back and they held each other close. His hold on her never wavered, but to his surprise she loosened her grip on his neck. Instead she took her hands, placed them on his cheeks, and guided his lips to hers. Their lips slowly moved together, each of them savoring the kiss. Hermione opened her mouth as they deepened the kiss. When their tongues touched warmth flowed through both of their bodies, and they felt whole again; like a missing piece had finally been put back in place. Hermione was a little disappointed when Draco broke the kiss.
“I missed you.” He whispered, putting his forehead against hers.
“I missed you too.” She replied. He placed one last lingering kiss on her lips before she removed her legs from his waist and placed them back on the ground. He picked up his suitcase and Hermione took his free hand and linked her fingers with his. They walked over to where Harry was standing, near the front door of the house.
“Malfoy.” Harry said giving Malfoy a slight nod.
“Potter.” Draco replied, tipping his head in acknowledgment. Hermione beamed.
“Let’s head on inside, shall we. I really hope Molly and Arthur don’t mind you staying.” Hermione said reaching for the doorknob.
“Staying? I’m not staying. I can’t impose on them like that.” He said as Hermione opened the door. “I just came to see if you wanted to come and stay with me in the cottage on the north side of camp.”
Hermione led him into the living room and they sat down. Harry told them he was going to find Ginny and he went upstairs.
“I can’t leave now Draco. Not with everything the way it is.” She told him with sadness in her voice.
“Hermione, things aren’t likely to change very much anytime soon. They’ll be fine with their family, and I don’t know how much longer I can be without you.” He told her.
“I’m a part of their family too! They need me!” Hermione said standing up from the couch.
“I need you, too.”
“Then stay here! Molly and Arthur won’t mind.” Hermione told him.
“I just can’t stay here! I don’t belong here. These people have hated me since I was born! Why do you think that’s all of a sudden going to change and they’re going to let me stay in their house?” shouted Draco.
“Because you changed! You are not the same boy you used to be, Draco Malfoy. You have to let yourself remember that! Don’t think that you have to keep punishing yourself for the past! Let it go, because you deserve to be happy. Stop thinking about things that are history and look to the future. Just open up those grey eyes and look around!” she yelled. She collapsed on the couch and put her head in her hands. Draco sat beside her and removed her hands from her face.
“I see you.” He said in a whisper.
“What?” she asked quizzically, her voice a little raspy.
“When I look to the future, many things may be uncertain but, I see you.” He said taking her hand. She smiled and wrapped her arms around his neck. After some time she let him go and then gave him a kiss on the cheek.
“Let’s go talk to Molly and see what she says. You will be pleasantly surprised.” She said making her way into the kitchen. Mrs. Weasley was washing some dishes. “Molly?” Mrs. Weasley looked up and saw Hermione standing with Draco in the doorway.
“Oh, Hermione. And Draco too! Well come on in dears I’ll get you something to eat.” Molly motioned for them to enter the kitchen. Draco and Hermione sat down at the table as Molly bustled around the kitchen getting things to make some sandwiches.
“Actually Molly, I was wondering if it was okay for Draco to stay here for a while.” Hermione asked.
“Of course, dear! He can stay in Fred and - Fred’s old room.” Molly paused for a second and took a deep breath. “You can show it to him, Hermione. I would just suggest that he doesn’t touch anything really because I think that Fred keeps some things in there, and we don’t want Draco getting hurt. Especially since we know what that boy is capable of.” Hermione smiled and Molly handed them their sandwiches.
“Thank you so much Molly!” Hermione said taking the sandwiches and standing up. “I’ll go take him up there now.”
“I would like you all down here in about an hour for dinner.” Molly told them.
“All right. We’ll be here.” Hermione exited the kitchen with Draco and led him upstairs to the second floor. She opened the door to Fred and George’s old room. “Here you go.” Draco stepped inside and set down his suitcase. As he looked around he noticed several boxes as well as little odds and ends were dispersed throughout the room.
“So I shouldn’t touch anything, except for the bed, because I might get hurt?” He looked around the room warily.
“Yeah. Fred keeps some of his things for his joke shop in here, and some of the things that he invents can be pretty dangerous.” Hermione smiled at the thought of Fred and George huddled in their room inventing things.
“Okay. Sounds good to me.” Draco fell back onto the bed and closed his eyes. “Do you think Mrs. Weasley would care if I just skipped dinner? I just want to sleep at the moment.” Draco said yawning.
“I don’t think she'll mind. You can just sleep and I’ll see you in the morning. And if you need anything, I’m sleeping in the room at the very top of the stairs.” Draco nodded and Hermione gave him a light kiss on the lips before she exited the bedroom.
She walked down to the living room and saw Harry and Ginny playing chess while the twins were fast asleep on the couch. Harry and Ginny both looked up as Hermione entered the living room. “How’s Malfoy doing Hermione?” Harry asked.
“He’s doing fine. He said that he was tired so he just went to sleep.” Harry nodded and went back to concentrating on the game. Hermione sat down next to Ginny and watched them play their game of chess. This was how they normally passed their days. Everything was always quiet, and moments of laughter were few and far between. Even the twins seemed to have picked up on the adult’s somber mood, and they had calmed down considerably.
Nothing eventful happened that evening. They had all gone into the kitchen and eaten dinner with Arthur and Molly. After dinner, Hermione made her way up to Ron’s room on the fifth floor. She changed into her night clothes and fell asleep as soon as she closed her eyes.
The next morning Hermione woke up at about eight o’clock and went down to the kitchen. Everyone seemed to be up, except for Draco. Arthur, Harry, Ginny, and the twins were sitting and eating breakfast while Molly seemed to still be cooking food.
“Morning, Hermione.” Arthur said with a smile on his face. “I heard we have a new visitor who is currently in Fred’s old room.”
Hermione sat down at the table and nodded. “He’s still asleep, I think. I’m not going to bother waking him until later. He’s had a rough couple of weeks, so I’m just going to let him rest.” Hermione helped herself to some toast and coffee. Harry and Ginny ate their breakfast in silence while Arthur and Hermione chatted animatedly about what was going on in the Misuse of Muggle artifacts department at the Ministry.
“Recently, we’ve been having a lot of problems with the illegal sale of flying carpets. Ali Bashir won’t give up. Their have been more and more reports of him smuggling carpets into Britain than –“
“Uncle Fred!” The twins shouted pointing at the door way. Everyone turned and saw Fred standing in the doorway.
“Well, I guess my stealth capabilities have gotten worse. I’m just going to nip up to my room and get some things then I’ll pop back down here for breakfast.” He ran up the stair before anyone could stop him.
“Oh, Dear.” Molly sighed. Hermione jumped out of her seat but she didn’t even make it to the second floor before Fred was already on his way back down.
“Mum, there was a ferret in my bed.” Fred said holding up the white rodent.
“Oh Fred, you didn’t!” Hermione cried taking Draco from his grasp. Fred smiled broadly, but then his smile disappeared when he saw the look of fury on his mothers face. Harry and Ginny were shaking with laughter in their seats. Hermione placed the ferret on the ground, pulled out her wand, and transfigured Draco back to his human form.
“Draco are you okay?” Hermione asked. He stood up and smiled.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I just never thought that that would happen twice in a lifetime.” Draco said rubbing his head. Harry and Ginny, along with the others in the kitchen, laughed at his comment.
“Sorry about that, mate. I never thought I would find a Malfoy sleeping in my room.” Fred clapped Draco on the shoulder before sitting down and helping himself to some breakfast. Draco followed suit, and sat down across from Harry and Ginny at the table. Soon everyone was sitting and eating happily and peacefully. At about 9 o’clock three owls flew into the kitchen. There was an owl with the Daily Prophet, Chip with some mail for Arthur, and, to Hermione’s surprise, Pig. Hermione reached over and got the letter from Pig.
“What is it?” Draco asked after Hermione opened the letter. Hermione smiled and handed him the letter.
“My parent’s sent it to me. It’s Sarah and Jessie’s wedding invitation!” Hermione exclaimed. Draco opened the invitation.
Sarah Ann Thomas and Nathan Evan Tucker
Jessica Clarice Florence and Joshua Allen Walker
Request the pleasure of your company
As they exchange wedding vows
Saturday, the thirtieth of April
two thousand and five
Camp Shadow Rock
“They’re getting married at camp?” Hermione asked. Draco nodded. “You already knew and you didn’t tell me!” Draco grinned. Hermione hit him in the arm.
“Ouch! That was unnecessary!” he told her rubbing his arm.
“Maybe to you it was, but I feel much better now.” Hermione said in a pleased manner. Draco scowled, and the whole table laughed in response.
Well, only one chapter and the epilogue left after this! I hope you all have enjoyed this story, and I can't believe it's almost over!
Since we're getting near the end, I would really appreciate hearing what you all thought/think of the story! Please review :]
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