Chapter 11 : Epilogue
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One year later
The Christmas tree sparkled at Number 12 Grimmauld Place as Hermione and Draco walked in with their arms around each other. Having just come from the Granger’s graves, they were currently covered in snow. Hermione was smiling up at Draco, who had Eltanin in his arms. As they came around the corner into the sitting room, the entire room erupted in “Hello” and “Happy Christmas”. Eltanin, now five years old, jumped down and ran over to where Teddy and Albus were currently playing with various colored boxes on the floor. Ginny struggled to stand from the loveseat that she and Harry currently occupied. Once she was standing, she waddled over to Hermione and wrapped her in a hug, getting as close as her bulging belly would allow.
Then, she reached over and hugged Draco while Harry grabbed Hermione. Draco chuckled and patted her stomach, “When’s little James going to come out?”
Ginny just laughed and sat back down, allowing Harry to shake Draco’s hand before sitting with his wife again. The rest of the Weasley clan hugged each one in turn and wished them a Happy Christmas. It didn’t take long for them all to settle down and begin opening presents.
Teddy and Eltanin were dubbed Santa Claus and passed out all of the gifts. The adults’ piles weren’t that big, at least not compared to each of the children’s piles. Draco, still a little uncomfortable with all of the red-headed people, made sure to buy something simple for everyone.
Teddy and Eltanin had identical packages, so they proudly proclaimed they would open them at the same time. The humor in the situation was that Eltanin’s present was from Harry and Teddy’s present was from Draco. Both children tore into their presents while their parents grinned at each other. Of course, Draco and Harry would think alike.
Think alike they did.
Once the packages were open, both boys were holding up Dragonwing Juniors. “Thank you Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny!” Eltanin exclaimed, rushing over and giving the Potters a large hug. Hermione laughed as Teddy threw himself at she and Draco, a huge smile on his face. “I always wanted one of these. Dad can finally teach me how to ride.”
Hermione hugged him back with just as much force. “You should only use it with your Dad around,” she scolded, smiling to soften the lecture. Teddy was completely unaware of her warning, “This is going to be so much fun.”
So, instead of pressing the matter, she merely rolled her eyes and leaned into the man she loved. “I can’t believe you talked me into allowing you to buy that.”
Draco laughed and kissed her on the head, “Don’t worry so much, you’ll get witchy wrinkles.”
The entire room was full of laughter and playing as they finished unwrapping their mounds of presents. It didn’t take long for the entire room to migrate towards the kitchen where Mrs. Weasley and Ginny had cooked up a large Christmas feast. The table was overrun with food while the adult sat together and enjoyed more adult like conversations, while the children were all left to talk about Eltanin and Teddy’s new brooms.
Hermione smiled as she looked around the table, filled with the people she loved. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley sat at either end, smiling at each other. They both still felt the pain and loss of the war, but they were finally beginning to move on. Harry and Ginny sat on Mrs. Weasley’s right, Ginny’s belly poking out over the table and she talked animatedly with her mom and Harry rubbed her stomach. Ron sat across from them, his hand currently sitting in Jeanette’s, which Hermione decided was a good thing. Jeanette was so strong willed and thick headed that she would definitely keep him on his feet. Next to Ron was his older brother George, who was slowly but surely getting back his free-spirit. He claimed that Fred never would have wanted him to lose all humor in life.
Bill and Fleur sat next to him, a rare steak currently sitting on his plate. Just as predicted, his hunger for all things undercooked is strong, but he has yet to change once. Charlie sat on Mr. Weasley’s other side, his face and hands sporting new burns that he received from a new breed of dragons that he and his troupe had just recently discovered.
This left Hermione and Draco. Draco and Harry had formed a sort of camaraderie after taking down Blaise. They’ve come to an understanding that neither ever meant any harm, however untrue that may be. This left only Hermione, who was currently quiet and just staring at her family. Sure, there were holes in a lot of places, and her heart had yet to heal completely, but they were all moving on. The pain of those lost was now only an occasion hurt, which was fixed by the love that this new family now shared.
“Miss Hermione, I forgot one of my presents,” Eltanin was standing beside her with his hands behind his back and a big smile on his face.
Hermione smiled down at him and turned away from the table, her hands sitting of her knees, “Oh yeah. What present would that be?”
Eltanin looked over her shoulder at his father, who was currently nodding. Hermione turned and gave him a strange look, not sure what exactly those two were up too. Without warning Elt had taken her hand and pulled her from her chair so that she was standing with her back to the table. She heard a few chair squeal as their occupants turned to look at the gift she hadn’t received.
Eltanin’s face was beginning to take on a red hue as he pulled a small box from behind his back. “I will always remember my Mommy, and I know that she saved me, but you saved me too.” He took a deep breath and Hermione thought that she knew where this was going. “You are always there when I cry and you tell really good bedtime stories. Whenever I’m in trouble you always make sure Dad doesn’t yell too much. You make me feel safe and warm and you give great hugs. I don’t ever want anyone else to take your place. So what I’m asking is, will you be my Mommy Miss Hermione.”
Hermione, tears stinging her eyes, watched as the boy lifted the lid to the box to show her a simple silver band that had the words Mommy written across the top. When he pulled it out the tears really did fall. Elt looked up at her alarmed, “If you don’t want too that’s okay.”
Hermione laughed and wiped her cheeks, “No honey, I’m just so happy. Yes I will be your Mommy.” Eltanin cheered and everyone clapped as he handed the ring to her. She took it and went to put it on her left hand.
“No,” Eltanin stopped her with his hand. “It goes on this hand,” he smiled when he took it and put in on her right hand. Hermione, confused, smiled, “Why can’t I put it on my left hand.”
She heard Ginny squeal and turned, gasping when she saw Draco on one knee before her. He was grinning from ear to ear. A ring box, similar to the one Eltanin had just given her, sat in his hand. She continued to cry as he open stared up at her, “You can’t put that one on your left hand because this one goes there.”
Draco slowly opened the top and revealed the most beautiful ring Hermione had ever seen. It was a simple solitaire, not very big, and simple, just like Hermione loved everything. With a laugh, Draco stood and took her face with the hand that wasn’t holding the box, “I used to hate everything you stood for, everything you were. I never really got the chance to truly know you, and for that I am sorry. If I had, I may never have turned to the dark side as I once had. What’s done is done, and now I have learned my lesson. A little of a year ago I met you again and found myself thinking that you were pretty. Then, I saw you with my son and I began to really like you. I was standing on the edge of a cliff waiting to jump off. After I saw the way you cared for so many people, and the way you protected my son and I, I fell headfirst off that cliff. Hermione Granger, I am head-over-heels in love with you and I would be honored if you would be my wife.”
Throughout his entire speech, Hermione had held her breath, finding herself transfixed by his grey eyes. As he spoke of memories, each one passed before her eyes. Her smile grew wider and wider, until it finally reached its breaking point once he finally asked the question. This was it, the moment that every girl fantasizes over.
Reality was so much better.
“Yes Draco, I’ll marry you.” Tears fell from her eyes as he slipped the ring on her finger and everyone in the kitchen began cheering for the couple. For all the noise that was going on, Hermione didn’t hear a thing.
And now for the happy ending. I was grinning like a mad fool as I wrote this. Well, I hope you all enjoyed Forever, I Fear. Check back soon for my new stories that I will be posting and as I’ve said many times before. Also, I've got my sequel idea, I've just got to type it out.
Always Remember to Love,
Until We Meet Again,