A/N: I don't own anything you recognize but the plot is my own.
Thank you to the people who reviewed, it means a lot to me.
Hermione stumbled around the house the next morning in search of the main foyer. Luckily Sprinkles had awoken her in time to hop in the shower. She tried to look her best since Mrs. Malfoy always looked so posh and exceptionally dressed. She had decided to wear a creamy ivory sweater with a pair of brown slacks. She was also wearing heels which made her felt like an idiot, because the last time she had worn heels was on Harry and Ginny’s wedding day. She had been Ginny’s Maid-of-Honor and had left the wedding with a new nickname of “Grace” which was bestowed to her by George and it wasn’t because she was exceptionally graceful. She thought back to the joyous day of Harry’s wedding and remembered it being tainted with sorrow of the missing guests that should have been there. She quickly turned her mind towards her own up and coming wedding.
Suddenly Hermione realized she had been walking for twenty minutes with no avail. She was getting frustrated at the endless hallways and doors in this blasted Manor. Finally, with a frustrated growl, she gave up and snapped her fingers. Sprinkles instantly materialized in front of her.
“How may I help you Miss?” Sprinkles squeaked as she bowed low to the floor. Hermione rolled her eyes but didn’t comment on the elves submissive manners.
“I can’t find my way to the Main Foyer. I was suppose to meet Mrs. Malfoy fifteen minutes ago.” Hermione stated as she threw her hands in the air in aggravation.
“Here Miss, take my hand and I shall Apparate you to the Main Foyer. It will be quicker, for you are on the other side of the house.” Hermione was slightly annoyed with herself for getting lost.
“Apparate?" Hermione queried.
“Only the house elves can.” Sprinkles replied.
"I guess I knew that. I forgot." Hermione replied thinking back to her first visit to Malfoy Manor and Dobby had helped them escape. When Hermione didn’t say anything else Sprinkles grasped the her hand hand tightly. Hermione felt the familiar tug at her navel and knew they had arrived.
“Ah, there you are. I was beginning to worry you had forgotten about our little outing.” Mrs. Malfoy stated as Sprinkles and Hermione entered the room.
“No, Mrs. Malfoy, I-“ Hermione was interrupted but Mrs. Malfoy.
“Please call me Narcissa. My mother -in-law was Mrs. Malfoy and I would hate to be anything like that dreadful woman.“ Narcissa sneered. “Are you ready to go?” she asked.
“Just one second she responded.” Hermione quickly took out her wand and pointed it at her own face and subtly changed her face. “I hate to be recognized. Now I’m ready” Narcissa though it was strange but didn’t say anything.
“Excellent, Please take my hand and we shall be off.” Narcissa outstretched her hand to Hermione. Hermione just stared it a second before she fully grasped what was going on and quickly grabbed the older woman’s hand. Narcissa apparated them straight to Diagon Alley. The moment they landed Hermione looked around at the familiar lane and had an odd sense of coming home. She had not returned to Diagon Alley since the war. She had always just order her supplies via owl post. She was happy to see that it was once again teeming with witches and wizards bustling around. Narcissa took off walking through the crowd. Hermione not knowing where Narcissa was planning on taking her so she quickly followed her through crowded streets all the while hoping no one would recognize her. She hated fans, they reminded her of the horrible past they had to endure. Hermione suddenly noticed her mouth was dry and she needed a drink.
Narcissa walked into Twilfit & Tatting’s, an upscale clothing store in Diagon Alley. Hermione could tell Narcissa felt right at home in the store because Narcissa walked right up to the counter and started up a conversation with the posh looking blonde witch behind the counter.
“Hermione, Please come over here.” Narcissa waved Hermione towards them. Hermione saw Narcissa slide a heavy looking bag coins across to the young witch as she walked over. “Melanie, This is Hermione. She is to be wed this weekend. She needs a fabulous wedding dress and a little bit of privacy in this matter.” Narcissa made it clear the bag of coins were for her silence.
“Yes, Cissy. We will be discreet and find her something amazing.” Melanie commended and ushered the women to the back of the store into their own little private room. Melanie gave Hermione a plain white floor length gown to put on. Hermione took the gown with a little disappointment. It wasn’t like this was her real wedding but she still want a pretty dress and the white lump of fabric Melanie had just dumped into her hands was not her dream gown. Hermione slid the dress over her head and was even more disappointed in the dress than before. Slowly she walked out of the changing room and into the room with Melanie and Narcissa.
“I think it is a little plain.” Hermione stated honestly as she got out of the changing room. Melanie and Narcissa just laughed at her before Melanie explained.
“This is just the starter dress. No worries, you will have an amazing dress as I promised.” Melanie was still chuckling at Hermione’s statement. Melanie continued “Please step up here and face the mirrors. “ Hermione turned on the pedestal to glance into the mirrors. Her cheeks where slightly flushed from the response she received from her comment.
“Great Hermione. Now, close your eyes and think about everything you want your wedding to be like. Imagine how you want to look as you walk down the aisle. Imagine the look on his face when he sees you.” Melanie walked Hermione through imagining her dream dress. Though most of what she was prompting did not help Hermione is imagining her dream dress. Hermione did want to look beautiful because she doubted she would ever marry again. Quickly Hermione shut out those thoughts and started imagining the dress. “Now open your mind to me and let me see it.” Melanie instructed as she started to probe Hermione’s mind to retrieve the image of her dress. Hermione felt the woman presence in her mind but allowed her to see the dress but suddenly other emotions were being opened in her mind involuntarily and so she quickly shut her mind down to the prying woman. She heard a gasp and turned to glare at the prying wench.
“I am so sorry. Your mind is so vast and complex I had a hard time finding your dress. I didn’t mean to go so far.” Melanie had lost all of her confidence and was stumbling over her apology. Hermione was not in the mood to split hairs with the woman.
“Did you find the dress?” Hermione asked flatly. Hermione knew what the woman had seen. It was the same scene that played in her head constantly.
“I hope you got a good look. I’m sure it wasn’t a pretty scene for you to see.” Hermione finished. The memory of the final minutes of the final battle was not pretty and would probably haunt the girl for a few days. Hermione figured this was worst than any punishment or tounge-lashing she could dish out.
“Please continue with the dress.” Narcissa urged Melanie. Melanie finally snapped out of her trance and slow waved her wand through the air. As she did Hermione watched the plain gown on her body slowly transform in to a beautiful dress Hermione had envisioned herself in.
“Hermione, it is beautiful. You look beautiful.” Narcissa started tearing up. Hermione wonder if she knew this wasn’t a real marriage. “Thank Melanie, Please have this packaged and sent to Malfoy Manor.” Narcissa stated shortly to the young woman. Narcissa was apparently annoyed.
Hermione was glad to finally be out of the horribly stuffy shop. Narcissa was a little cold towards the sales girl after the mind probing incident. Hermione felt sorry for the girl as she stumbled over a few more apologies.
“Hermione is there any where you would like to visit?” Narcissa asked.
“I never get down here much, would you mind if we stopped by Flourish & Blotts. I would like to purchase a few new books.” Hermione was a bookworm and hoped that Narcissa would allow the time to stop and shop some more.
“Actually I been wanted to look for a particular book on gardening” Narcissa answered. So the two women agreed and headed down the street towards the infamous bookstore.
“Well, Well, Well, look what we have here. The filthy little mudblood.” Hermione heard coming from behind her. Apparently, her disguise wasn’t enough. Hermione instantly recognized that horrible screeching voice anywhere. Just as Hermione was about to turn about Narcissa whispered to her. “Just go along with whatever I say and always call me Cissy.” Narcissa turned and looked at the ugly pug-faced young woman in front of her.
“Parkinson, you should know better than you use that kind of language.” Narcissa reprimanded Pansy. Pansy took a step back and started backtracking over her words.
“Mrs. Malfoy, I’m sorry I didn’t see you there. I was just trying to put this filth in her place.” Pansy apologized to Narcissa as she sneered at Hermione.
“Parkinson, I would watch your tongue if I were you, something bad might happen if you don’t keep it in check in my presence.” Narcissa stated in a disgusted voice. Hermione felt it was her time to step in.
“Cissy, please let’s not waste our time. We have so much more to do today.” Hermione smiled towards Narcissa.
“Cissy? Why does she get to call you that.” Pansy gasped and then started to whine like a three year old.
“Because she is a friend of mine while you are only a mere school acquaintance of my son and therefore you shall show me the respect I deserve and therefore should not complain.” Narcissa retorted. Pansy didn’t know what to do or say. Eventually Pansy stomped her foot and turned and walked away with her two bimbo friends following her. Hermione tried really hard to refrain from laughing at Pansy but was unsuccessful. Hermione caught a glance of Narcissa actually smiling.
“Shall we continue” Narcissa asked Hermione as she turned and continued to head towards Flourish & Blotts. Hermione quietly followed but was still amused at Narcissa’s behavior. She had always been under the impression that the Malfoy’s and Parkinson’s had been friends. Though she decided not to dwell on it as she stepped into Flourish & Blotts. Hermione and Narcissa went their separate ways to shop in the store.
Thirty Minutes later Hermione was still browsing the bookstore; she had a stack of books floating behind her. She figured Narcissa would find her when she was ready to go. Something caught Hermione’s eye in the back corner of the store. As she made her way to the back of the store she noticed the crowd was thinning. The object that held her interest was a emerald green dragon hide journal that was slightly glowing, it had a small silver name plate on the front of the book but it was blank. That’s odd she thought to herself. The coloring made her think of a certain blond haired pain in the rear. Maybe I could give it to him as a wedding present as a sign of a peace treaty or something. It really was a beautiful journal. She wasn’t even sure if he wrote in a journal but I guess it is the thought that counts. So she added it to the pile floating behind her.
“Hermione, are you ready?” Narcissa asked after they had bumped into each other.
“Yes, I’m going to be spending a small fortune already.” She stated.
“Hermione dear, don’t be silly. You are to be a Malfoy soon. Money should be of no thought in your head.” Narcissa told Hermione as she paid for both Hermione’s and her own books. Hermione tried to argue but Narcissa would not let her.
“How about we round off this day with a nice bowl of ice cream at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour?” Narcissa insisted. So Hermione happily agreed. They made small talk as they order their ice cream. They found a table outside and ate their ice cream.
“Narcissa, today is the first time I have actually laughed in a very long time.” Hermione told the older woman. Hermione quietly thought back to the incident with Pansy. “I didn’t realize Pansy was such a thorn in your side. I have always thought that the Parkinson’s and Malfoy’s were family friends.” Hermione hoped she wasn’t crossing a line.
“Actually my husband was friends with them. And I never saw them as anything more than power hungry fiends.” She stated in a haughty voice. “Pansy was the worst. The first time she saw Draco she started scheming ways to trap him in her claws. Her father will get her anything she wants and tried to offer an arranged marriage and Lucius accepted. I was horrified to be tied to that family forever. Luckily the war ended before the marriage could take place and Draco became head of the household and the marriage never happen.” She finished.
“Well, you know, Mine and Draco’s marriage is kind of arranged. “ Hermione stated.
“Yes, but the difference is he had a choice to get married or not. He chose to be married. He chose to marry you.” Hermione snorted at Narcissa remark.
“He only chose me because I was in his path and happened to say yes.”
“Yes, but still he asked the question and you said yes. It would be like if Draco told you that you HAD to marry him. Would you want to do it?” Hermione realized two things in that moment. The first one was that Narcissa was reading way to much into this marriage than she and Draco were and second that Narcissa was a lot smarter than she had originally thought.
“No.” Hermione answered simply as the wheels in her head started turning in ways that she wished they wouldn’t.
A/N: Please, Please. Please review. I like to hear from my readers. This is my first novel so if you have any tips or hints please let me know.
Next up the wedding. Please let me know what you think.