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Chapter 3 : Flying Pigs
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Draco stood that the window in his study. After sending a letter to Hermione last night his bird, Buckles, had come back with no response. He couldn’t decide on his next plan of action, the thought of find someone new to be his bride had resurfaced over and over again but he held on to the idea that no news could be construed as good news. Though, he wanted to believe she would help him the memories of their time at Hogwarts came to the for-front of his mind. He had not been nice to her. That was easily an understatement; he had been a spoiled, self-important prat, that hung off every word his father had ever said to him. He couldn’t help but think he might be luck enough for her to do this for herself only. It didn’t matter to him her reason to help.
“Enter!” he bellowed. He was still in the misted of a little self pity party. The door opened silently. He turned to look at who had interrupted his thoughts. He knew surprise must have been evident on his face at the duo standing in the doorway.
“Master Malfoy, Miss has requested to see you.” Sprinkles announced before bowing and backing out the door and closing it for privacy. Hermione stood a little awkwardly by the door as Draco just stared at her in disbelief. She cleared her throat and Draco snapped out of his trance.
“Sorry, I’m just shocked to see you. I actually expected a howler to be sent back with Buckles, my owl.” Draco informed her. He realized he was nervous that she would turn him down again. “Please come in and have a seat. Sprinkles should be bringing tea in a minute or two.” Draco stated as he motioned her to sit on the couch. He sat opposite of her in a tall armchair.
“Mal-I mean, Draco?” he could tell she was questioning herself more than she was asking him a question.
“Please go on.“ He hoped that by her calling him by his first name that good news was coming.
“Draco” She said with a bit more confidence this time. “I’ve made my decision. I hope it is the right one and I hope I’m making it for the right reasons. But, I guess that is beside the point. I will marry you if you agree to my conditions too.” She finished. He nodded hesitantly for Hermione to continue but she didn’t.
“What conditions might you be worried about?”
“Well, first tell me the guidelines of our marriage. I’m sure you told me a few days ago but I don’t remember much. I need to know the why’s.”
“Fair enough. My estranged Uncle passed away last month. While I meet him briefly I must have made an impression. He didn’t agree with pureblood surpremacy. He thought it to be an invalid point and every person is a person and should be loved. He was on my father’s side. He had a very large estate when he passed away that he choose to leave to me. He had some stipulates to me receiving the estate. He requested I marry a Muggleborn witch and stay faithful for one year. We must live in the same house and be husband and wife for one year. I can’t give you any money for becoming my wife but I can give you gifts that you will keep once the divorce is final.” He finished calmly.
“So, you want me to marry you for money?” She asked but not in an accusing voice.
“Yes, but I cannot pay you off. You may not be reimbursed for our marriage but I am allowed to bestow gifts to you.” He explained hoping she understood what he was saying.
“We don’t have to…” she stopped, he assumed she was looking for the right word. “Consummate the marriage” she said quickly. Draco couldn’t detect if it was repulsion that quickened her words or embarrassment at that the question had to be asked.
“Not that I am aware of. It was not discussed with the lawyer.” He answered in an earnest voice. She nodded solemnly. Draco watched as she turned her attention to the window in thought. He didn’t want to push her in any way. He knew it wouldn’t help him. It took several long minutes for her to speak again.
“I will marry you.” She said with note of finality as if she was coaching herself through and forcing herself to make a decision. He didn’t care why she did it. He just cared that she married him on Saturday.
“Now that we have that settled. The wedding will be this Saturday.”He informed her. “My mother is already making the arrangements. All you need to do is find a dress. A real wedding dress.” Draco was worried with her lack of interest in a wedding that she would show up in a cocktail dress from a muggle store. This was probably going to be the only time her ever got married so he wanted to make it nice for his mother.
“Wow, That soon?” She exclaimed. “I guess its better that way. I won’t be able to back out”
“Yes, it is soon. If you need help find a dress, I am sure my mother would love to help. Is there anyone you would like to invite as your witness?” He asked hoping she would not want to include Weasley. He had actually developed a friendship with the Potter’s over that past few years through work and such.
“It is going to sound completely horrible but I don’t really have anyone. Parents passed away and I haven’t kept in touch with many people.” She whispered in a miserable voice while feeling completely ashamed. The way Draco stared at her made her wish she had never said it. He felt a little sorry for her.
Draco wanted to alleviate her discomfort, though he was unsure as to how, so he moved on quickly.
“You can get back to me on that. I assume you wouldn’t mind the room you stayed in before until the wedding? The room next to it is a small study that you can use for writing.” Draco was ready to get out of this room and away from this broken Hermione. It made him feel something for her which he didn’t like, the point of this marriage was feelings didn’t exist between them. “I’ll take care of your landlord and the discharge of your lease.” He bit out.
“Alright, I don’t mind, that was a lovely room. My landlord is a troll just so you know.” She was happy she didn’t have to deal with that man. “But, how did you know I write?” she asked, thinking it was queer that he knew so much about her.
“I read the Daily Prophet. Plus, Pansy use to complain you would occasionally have a story in the Witch Weekly. I’m glad she finally got married.”
“Oh, I guess I’ll go pack my stuff and return. I should be back before dinner time.” She informed hi,
“As you wish.” Draco said before he dismissed her with an incline of the head. As she walked out of the study Draco couldn’t help but feel confused about the whole thing. One thing was clear to him; the Hermione that just left was not the same Hermione he went to Hogwarts with.
Later that night Hermione was back at the Malfoy Manor in her new room. She had spent the day packing up her flat. She had lived there since the end on the war. She had managed to fit all her stuff in to one bag with the help of magic. She would go through everything once she got back to the Manor. She quickly cast a Scourgify charm on the flat. In seconds it looked as though she had never been there. It made her slightly sad, but it was life and she was going to move on. Now that she was in her new room she removed her clothes from the bag with a simple flick of her wand and they hung themselves in the closet. She looked over the small library she had in her room. She was pleased to be surrounded by books. They still brought her some of the comfort they always had. With another flick of the wrist the few pairs of shoes she owned lined themselves up in the closet floor.
She knew the Manor had a bigger library somewhere, because she had been in it yesterday, but she cringed at the thought of exploring the Manor. Her memory was still quite vividly of her tortured by Malfoy’s psychotic aunt. She would rather never to come upon that room again. Hermione still saw flashed of Bellatrix’s face in her nightmares.
Hermione heard a gentle tapping at the door. Hermione pulled the door open to be face to face with the one and only Narcissa Malfoy. Narcissa stared at Hermione with a bit of tension. Their previous run-ins had not been pleasant.
“Good Evening Mrs. Malfoy. May I help you?” Hermione was trying to start out on the right foot with this woman.
“Miss Granger, I would be pleased if you would accompany me to Hogsmeade tomorrow to find you a wedding dress.” Narcissa asked. While the tension was still there and Hermione could tell this was hard for Narcissa, she could also tell Narcissa was sincere in her request.
“Thank you for the offer, I would love to go. I wasn’t sure where to find a wedding dress in the magical world.” Hermione offered. Some of the tension was leaving Narcissa. She nodded.
“We should make a day of it. I have some other wedding related errands to run. Maybe lunch as well?” Narcissa had brightened up at Hermione response. Hermione wondered if Narcissa was afraid that Hermione had not forgiven her for her actions in the war and for her sister’s actions. Hermione believed the war would have been lost if Narcissa hadn’t been so worried for her own son.
“Yes, we should.” Hermione smiled, hoping to show no hard feelings.
“Great, I’ll meet you in the foyer at 9 in the morning. We need to get an early start to beat the crowds.”
Hermione simply nodded and Narcissa left a flabbergasted Hermione in her wake. Narcissa was so normal and reminded her a bit of her own mother. Hermione couldn’t believe she was going shopping for her wedding dress with Narcissa Malfoy so that she could marry Draco Malfoy. Apparently, pigs did fly. Well maybe today she wouldn’t drink. Ha! She knew she would. She wasn’t ready for life to be that extreme as she summoned a bottle of firewhiskey and a glass out of the bag. She grabbed a book form the shelves and settled down in bed for the night.