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Chapter 8 : Chapter 8
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Hermione woke up the next morning; feeling oddly happy knowing that tomorrow she would finally see her friends again.“If Draco allows it.”A small voice spoke up in the back of her head. She brushed that thought aside angrily. Of course Draco would allow her friends to visit. He had said that they could.
She stretched and stood up off the bed and walked over to the bathroom. Twenty minutes, Hermione stepped out of the shower and began to change into a pair of sky-blue jeans; with a matching top. She pulled on a pair of white sandals, added a touch of clear lip-gloss and pulled her hair into a ponytail.
She hummed to herself as she opened the door and stepped out into the hall. She walked past Adrian’s room noticing that it was closed and deciding that Maybe Adrian was still sleeping.
She found the stairs by memory and walked down the long corridor and turned left and into the small dining room. She went over to the table and pulled out a chair and sat down, smiling at the House-elf’s that were putting down plates of food in front of her.
She glanced around the room and noticed that Draco wasn’t there. She looked at one of the elves and asked, “Where’s Mal… Draco.”
The elf bowed, “Master is out on business, he will be back at lunch.”
Hermione nodded surprised.“What business was he taking care of?”
Awhile later she had finished eating her food and she arose from her chair and left the dining room.
Hermione silently walked up the stairs smiling softly as she turned into the familiar corridor. Her curiosity taking a hold of her as he went over to check up on Adrian.
As she neared his bedroom she opened the door and saw Adrian playing with a couple of toys. He was so engrossed in playing with his toys that he didn’t notice Hermione peering round the door.
She shut the door with a fond smile; which soon faded into confusion as the matter of Draco’s “business” trip still nagged at the back of her mind. This puzzled Hermione for she knew she had no control over what he did: but it just bothered her for some reason. She also had the strange feeling of impending doom, but she batted that away knowing that her sense of doom wasn’t always that accurate.
And anyway like her mother used to say, "Dwell on the gloomy, and you will become a gloom"
She walked back to her room, feeling slightly listless; in a big house like this there was sure to be something to entertain her. She entered her study worried about the fact that she hadn’t told Draco about Ginny’s letter. She was going to have to tell him tonight when he came home for dinner. “Home” funny how that word came to Hermione’s mind so easily, only after three days of her bethorel. She wondered what her friends would say.
Hermione shook her head and bought her hand up to rub her temples; all this thinking was stressing her out, if she wasn’t careful she was sure to get a permanent brain damage.
As Professor Moody always said “Constant Villagance!”
She sighed dejectedly and sat down on the couch. She decided to start reading the book she had seen in her study earlier in the morning.The Monocracy of the Aristocrat Families of the Wizarding World by Antoine le Belleview.This was all about the rich pure-blooded families. She was so caught in reading the 876 page book, that she didn’t realize that it was almost lunch time.
Hermione looked up when she felt movement; she saw a pair of large brown eyes peering up at her. She jumped, startled, she steadied herself and turned towards the elf.
The elf looked up at her shaking and twitchy, it kept twisting its long gnarly fingers. Hermione felt a stab of pity as she looked at all the scars and marks on the elf. She wondered how much torture the poor thing had to go through during the dark days of the war. She felt her hatred for Elf abusers double. They truly were sadistic bastards! How could anyone do such a thing to the most innocent of domesticated magical creatures
“Miss it is lunch, you be coming down with Master Adrian” it finished; voice all shaky.
She smiled kindly down at the elf. “Of course”
She stood up off the couch and bookmarked her page; she had just started the chapter off the Prevells and put the book on the side table. Then she left her room and walked over to Adrain’s room, taking in the sunlight shining in through the open balcony doors. The warm breeze blowing in the corridor made it warmer than it usually was.
She knocked on Adrain’s door. It was open so she pushed it further and stepped in. He was talking with Tokin while playing with his toys. However as soon as he felt a presence behind him, he turned and saw Hermione, his face broke into a huge grin.
He dropped his toys and gave her a hug. Laughingly Hermione hugged him back, barley hiding her surprise at his actions.
She held his hand and they walked downstairs to eat some lunch.
Awhile later when they were seated in the dining room eating lunch; she was just about to take a bite of chicken when she remembered that Draco was supposed to be coming home now. She turned towards Tokin, but he must have read her mind because he answered her unspoken question.
“Master will not be coming for lunch, he had important business to see to, he will come in time for dinner."
Hermione nodded. It seemed as though Draco wouldn’t be joining them for lunch or breakfast anytime soon. She sighed as she finished her meal, and chatting with Adrian then went upstairs to finish her book. The chapter with the Prevells was really interesting; she found out a lot more about them, she couldn’t wait to show it to Harry as he was descended from them.
She was still reading about them until dinner, their chapter was the longest in the whole book. She put down her book and the quill which she had been taking notes with, to the corner of her desk. Then walked over to the bathroom to freshen up a bit and to change. She was wearing a leafy green coloured gown with a matching set of white pearls. She slipped her feet into a pair of leafy green satin flats with a huge pearl in the middle.
She applied a little bit of black mascara and some clear vanilla flavored lip-gloss. Checking herself in the mirror and decided that she looked presentable. She smiled to herself as she exited the room and went to collect Adrian so that they could go greet Draco.
_ _ _
She was sitting at the dining table with Adrian. She was nervous about his reaction when she told him about Harry and Ginny’s visit.
She was blinking so much that Adrian asked her if she had a ‘pixe’ in her eye. She gave him a half smile trying not to break under the tension.
Than the doors to the dining room opened; and in walked Draco looking proud and regal (as always) but less intimidating, this fact calmed her a bit. He looked very handsome in his black slacks and plaid collar shirt. Adrian had jumped up when Draco had entered; the grin that covered his face when he saw Draco was so precious.
“Daddy!” He literally flew into Draco’s arms and hugged him as he spun around laughing along with him.
Hermione smiled at them, she could feel a lump in her throat; it was a times like these when Draco was with Adrian that she could almost forget who he really was…almost.
There was nothing but fatherly love and adoration on Draco’s face as he looked at Adrian, he truly loved his son a lot, and even a blind fool could see that.
She was still smiling when Draco put Adrian down. He looked at her his face was different; softer somehow well whatever it was it didn’t have a mean look to it. Then to her extreme shock he gave her a small smile and a “hey.”
She was so shocked that if she was holding something she knew for a fact that she would have dropped it.
Her face must’ve shown her shock because Draco gave her a full grin and spoke up.
“Come on Hermione, no need to look all shocked, we did agree to have a truce, you know.”
Hermione didn’t know how to respond to that, she could only manage to nod. Though much to her embarrassment Draco just grinned even wider and pulled out a chair and proceeded to eat dinner.
Nevertheless throughout dinner Draco seemed nervous about something, as he kept missing his food with his for due to the fact that he was using his other hand to check his pockets. It looked as though he was checking for something.
Hermione shook her head at him;“Draco Malfoy was so hard to figure out.”
She finished her dessert, stood up from her chair and deciding that she’d tell Draco about Ginny’s letter after they put Adrian to bed.
_ _ _
Hermione yawned widely as she walked down to Adrian’s room, she was tired. However she had to talk to Draco tonight.
She smiled when she entered Adrain’s room; he had already changed into his pajamas and was waiting patently for her. He beamed at her as she entered.
She grinned and went over to sit in the rocking chair. Then opened the cover “Stories for a young witch or wizard(s) by Elizabeth Baudelaire. She cleared her throat and began to read. “Once upon a time beyond the mist that covered the Scottish moor…
Hermione continued reading until the end of the story. “And they lived happily ever after.”
She then softly closed the book and saw that Adrian was already asleep. She smiled softly and put the book away on his bedside table. She snuck a glance at Draco who had come in a little while ago; and saw him staring back at her. It was getting a bit awkward, but the silence was broken by Draco.
“I have to talk to you, it’s important.”
Hermione gulped, she hoped it wasn’t anything serious but then again it was a perfect opportunity to tell him about Ginny’s letter.
“Ok, I have to tell you something too.”
Draco raised his eyebrow at her comment but didn’t reply, he simply held out his arm which she took and together walked out of Adrian’s room. He led her through the dimly lit corridor, down the marble stairs, and through two double oak doors leading to a tall iron gate with a flower wreath on each side.
She gasped as they stepped through the gate. It was beautiful- the pathway had large round stones on the sides layering themselves up to the large glass fountain that stood in the middle of the garden almost looking like a pavilion.
There were many different kinds of roses around the fountain and through the gate. The air was heavy with the scent of roses, and the stars twinkling in the dark sky added a fairy ail touch.
This had to be her favorite spot on the manor grounds. She looked at Draco and saw that he was waiting for her response.
“It’s beautiful!” she said still in awe of it all.
He smiled somewhat sadly at her, “Yes it is.”
She tensed a bit when he took a hold of her hand then relaxed; his hand wasn’t as cold as she was expecting it was actually warm and reassuring. Together they began walking down the path.
After awhile of gentle silence Draco spoke.
“I wanted to talk to you about the ball that’s happening next Saturday. I need your…input.”
Hermione sighed, “Well to be honest I don’t know what type of ‘input’ I can give you. I’m going to have to attend the ball either way, but I’m glad my friends are allowed to come. But I’m also curious to why. You’re not particularly fond of them.” She looked up at him waiting for his answer.
He gave a dry chuckle, “Always the perspective one aren’t you.”
Hermione blushed, “I just want to know. You don’t have to”- She was cut off by Draco’s response.
“It’s because Pansy decided you’d be more comfortable attending with your friends present, and because she’s decided that she wanted the Minister of Magic to attend; which naturally means that quite a lot of Ministry officials and people will be here not to mention my relatives, friends and yours.”
Hermione’s ears perked up, “Pansy? Is that where you were at lunch; with Pansy?”
Draco shook his head, “Damn, you’re to nosey for your own good it can get you into trouble one day”
She rolled her eyes at him and ignored his warning despite the fact he did say it with a smile.
She took a deep breath, it was now or never. “Draco” She said softly looking past him into the garden. She couldn’t do this while looking at him; his eyes were making her nervous.
“Yes” he responded puzzled at the use of his first name.
“Um… Harry and Ginny are coming to visit tomorrow.” He looked at her and sighed,
“of course you know there welcome. Unfortunately they are your friends and I have to respect hem, but nevertheless Thank you for telling me.
She smiled gratefully at him. “There’s more.”
Draco sighed wearily “Sounds serious, go on,”
She swallowed and looked at him knowing he’d dislike the next piece of information she was about to unfold.
“Um… Ron’s coming back to England from America the week after this one.”
The silence that followed her words was so silent; it felt like the birds had stopped chirping. She slowly looked up at his face.
Draco had clenched his jaw, his eyes were literally flashing.
She never realized how much Draco and Ron hated each other.
However when he spoke his voice was calm, his words tightly clipped.
Hermione gave him a grimace. “Sorry I just wanted to let you know, it was bothering me all day.”
He shook his head, “I understand, it’s alright. I appreciate you telling me.”
They both resumed walking, the silence settling comfortably between them.
As they passed a small stream of water, that ran close to a large clump of rose bushes. Draco spoke again.
“Mother always loved this garden and she loved gardening here. After she became ill I took care of it.”
Hermione stopped and stared at him, it was the first time she heard him talk about his family.
He continued on, “Mother’s favorite flowers were roses especially red roses, on their marriage anniversaries Father always gave her red roses. They really loved each other and me; even if they didn’t show it a lot… I know they did.”
His voice faded. He looked up at her, she saw that his eyes were moist; “they were good people, they were... they were just on the wrong side.
Hermione didn’t know what to say, but she wanted him to keep talking. She knew it would help if he let it out.
“I know they were good people Draco; they proved it in the end, and all of the Wizarding World should take you and you’re family as an example of righteousness.” She said softly squeezing his hand.
“Did you know why she liked Red Roses so much?” He asked her. She shook her head.
He continued on “It was because she felt as though roses represented her. Her life was filled with Love, beauty, purity, prosperity, respect, courage and occasionally pain. She was also known as the red rose of the house of Black.”
“She was their everything. She was the one to bring more power, wealth and heirs to the family. They wanted so much from her and she fulfilled their dreams. She never once complained, she was a wonderful daughter, niece, cousin, sister, wife, and an amazing mother! Yet the last years of her life were filled with sadness and sorrows.”
His voice was filled with so much raw emotion that Hermione felt her heart clench with compassion towards the young but broken man in front of her…No right now he was a young boy; a young boy that had lost his mother and was expressing his grief in the best way he knew.
She reached over towards him and touched his arm softly. He looked up and seemed to come out of his anguish and his face had returned back to his cold and impassive self: but his shining eyes gave him away.
She bit her lip, she knew that this was really an inconsiderate question that she was going to ask but she really wanted to know. She took a deep breath.
“If you don’t mind me asking, how did your parents…pass away?” She hated herself for asking such a hurtful question.
He looked at her with his cold grey eyes. “My parents died a few months before Adrian was born, I had gotten married quite recently then. My father died of dragon pox, the same thing that had also killed my grandfather. My mother died shortly afterwards from broken heart.” He cleared his throat then and looked at her.
“Thanks for telling me.” She said softly “I know how difficult it must have been for you.”
Draco shrugged, “You’re going to be my wife soon, and the least I could do is tell you. And also you’re not that bad Granger, I think getting along with you won’t be that hard.”
Hermione grinned. “Granger…I thought it was Hermione.”
Draco grinned back “I like Granger better but I suppose I’ll have to call you that when were alone.”
She laughed, “As if I’ll ever give you that chance.” She was only teasing however, she was just glad that he was coming back to life.
Draco rolled his eyes at her, “You’re not the same Hermione Granger I remember.”
Hermione laughed, “Yes well she’s all grown up now.”
Draco chuckled “Pansy was right?”
Hermione’s gave him a look, “What do you mean Pansy was right, about what?”
Draco looked at her his eyes bore into hers and he spoke softly. “Pansy said that you’re not a bad person to come too or talk too when…I quote her exact words…’want to let it out.’
Hermione blushed at the double meaning of Pansy’s words but Draco seemed not to have noticed.
She changed the subject quickly, planning to kill Pansy when she saw her next.
“So why were you acting so odd during dinner?”
She was already imagining his response, “Why were you watching me?”
But to her astonishment did nothing of that sort, he just grimaced and started patting his pockets.
She grabbed his arm. “What’s wrong?
Draco swallowed and looked at the petite brunette in front of him. “Nothing’s wrong, but I think you should sit down as I have something to say.”
He conjured up a bench and Hermione sat down, looking apprehensive; to which Draco couldn’t blame her, it would be a shock to her.
Hermione looked nervously up at him.
He sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “I was hoping this was going to be easier, but it never really is. I really want us to get along Hermione, even it’s for Adrian’s sake.
He would’ve continued on, if Hermione hadn’t held up her hand to stop him. “I want us to get along, for us and Adrian.”
Draco nodded, “I agree, and that’s why I got you this, even though I was supposed to get you this awhile ago.”
He opened up a tiny black box. Hermione’s jaw dropped. Inside of the box was the prettiest ring she’d ever seen: It was a rose and princess cut diamond ring. It had a medium size princess cut diamond in the middle of two rose cut diamonds. It was indescribable!
Draco looked at her, “I know this was kind of unexpected, but considering how were bethored… well really engaged. I needed to get you a ring and decided that a family heirloom wouldn’t do; and that you needed something special. So I had this ring made for you.”
He stopped and seemed to have decided that he had said a lot tonight and switched back to his silent demeanor. Hermione tentatively held out her left hand while Draco took the ring out of its box and slid it onto her finger; it was a perfect fit.
True it wasn’t the most romantic proposal she’d ever heard but it was honest and sincere and to her that couldn’t have been any better.
She gave him a small smile and hesitantly stood up on her tippy toes and gave him a kiss on his cheek. He closed his eyes at her touch; it was soft like a feather’s, her eyelashes fluttered against his cheek as she stepped back.
“Thank you” she whispered.
Draco nodded. “Don’t get used to it though. Then he cleared his throat It’s late we should go back inside.”
Hermione nodded looking at her ring, and following him back inside the manor. She bid him goodnight and he gave her a half smile and went to his room. She was just changing into her nightgown when she noticed some engraving on the band of her ring.
She shone her wand’s light at it and saw that indeed something was written along the band of her ring. “L'amour peut être unseeingly douloureux ou remarquablement beau." conversely she didn’t understand it as it was written in another language, a typical occurrence in the Malfoy house hold she realized.
She decide she would research about it later as she let out a yawn and climbed into bed; and turned out the lights, she then fell asleep.
A/N- Thanks a million for reading, and this chapter was longer than all of my other ones so far! Also I hope you can guess what it says on Hermione's ring. I'll give you a hint, It's somewhere on the banner!
So, please leave a review.
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