A/N: Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a great holiday! I hope this chapter might explain a few things and I have been planning it for a while. I hope you all like it. Also, Thank you for all the great reviews. I love reading them.
Draco was unable to sleep all night long. Hermione talked in her sleep. A Lot. He laid in the bed with her and listened to her mumbling about different things. A few things finally clicked in his head from her ramblings. She kept saying Fred’s name over and over. He then realized why she hid from Weasel. He loved her and she had loved his brother. Draco couldn’t help but wonder how that happened. Hermione always seemed to be pining after Weasel. Maybe, he had read her wrong all these years. It was close to dawn when Draco finally dozed off.
Hermione awoke thinking about one man as she lay in the arms of another. She felt like she was cheating on him which was silly because technically Draco was her husband. She mentally scolded herself. He is gone, he has been gone for five years. She knew it was time to move on but she wasn’t quite ready to let go of him. She had loved him with all of her heart. Even when they were together they couldn’t be together until after the war was over. The only man she had ever loved died in the war. She didn’t want to think of him today. She turned to look at Draco. He looked so peaceful while he was sleeping. His blonde hair was messed up from sleep but he still looked quite stunning. She wished he wasn’t so good looking or so attentive. He had made sure she was comfortable since the moment she had stepped though the doors of the manor. He had tried to make her smile. He was a completely different person than the person he was in school. Everyone knew his turning point was when his enemies saved his life during the final battle. She didn’t know how long she laid there starring at the man in front of her but slow his eyes opened and looked at her. She saw a tint of sadness in his eyes. So she smiled.
“Good Morning.” She whispered.
“Good Morning, Did you sleep ok?” Draco asked back. He tried to hide the information he had learned during the night. Well, what he thought he had learned about her.
“It was okay.” She didn’t want to let him know that her sleep with fretful to say the least but it was better once he came in to the room.
“Good, I’m going to go get dressed then I will escort you to breakfast.” He said as he stood. Hermione couldn’t help but stare at his sculpted torso. She saw a smirk crept on to Draco’s face so she quickly looked away.
“Sure, I’ll get dressed quickly.” She hopped out bed to realize what she was wearing. Draco hadn’t notice before but she was wearing a Gryffindor Quidditch jersey and her knickers. She realized she was wearing his jersey. She hoped Draco would not ask questions. His eyes looked down at the jersey as they slowly followed the lines of her body down to her slender legs. He quickly looked away and left the room.
“I’ll be back in 10 minutes.” She heard as the door shut.
Hermione ran to her wardrobe and pulled out a pair of khaki shorts. The summer’s heat was coming on and she wanted to be cool. She paired the top with a burgundy tunic top. It was light enough that she wouldn’t be too hot. She did not feel the need to be dressy because Narcissa had left and was going to be staying in her beach house for most of the summer and probably into the first part of autumn. Hermione waved her wand and her hair twisted it’s self into a messy bun with a few tendrils falling gracefully on the sides of her face. She heard a soft knock on the door as she slipped on her sandals.
“Ready?” was all Draco asked as she opened the door.
“Yes.” She answered simply. Draco offered her his arm and escorted her to breakfast. The house elves had the breakfast table set when they arrived in the breakfast nook. Draco wasn’t sure how to approach the topic so he decide to dive right in.
“Hermione, did you know you talk in your sleep?” He asked politely.
“Um, No. I hope I didn’t say anything to offend you.” She did not want to have this conversation. She knew what her dreams have been about last night and she didn’t wish to elaborate on her inner demons.
“No, nothing like that. I was hoping to ask you a question about something you said though.” He said.
“Only if I get to ask you something. And, you must answer truthfully.” Hermione stated bluntly.
“Ask me anything you like.” Draco motioned with his hands for her to continue.
“Why did you get the Dark Mark?” She knew what his simple answer would be. He answered predictably. She knew her question was lame compaired to the question he was going to ask but she hoped it might sting him a little bit.
“I was forced to by my parents.” Draco answered swiftly.
“Did you want it?”
“I think that is two questions. But, at the time, yes. I thought it might finally appease my father but I was wrong. It was shortly after receiving the mark that I realized my father was a coward and I was a fool to follow him blindly for so many years.” Draco answered with a grimace. Hermione pondered his answer. She heard the sincerity behind the word. It was what she had expected him to say but she couldn’t find fault in his statement.
“I also, followed him blindly in his beliefs which I now see are false. I’m sorry ever vile name I have ever spoken in your direction.” Draco had been wanting to truly and deeply apologize to Hermione for the way he treated her since the war ended and he knew he would have to apologize more times than he can count for the words to truly sink in for Hermione. But, he was going to continue to try until she believed him.
“Thank you for your apology.”
“I owe you more.”
“In a year’s time you will owe me no more.” Draco knew she meant he would repay her by getting her out of this world and in to a new one but he hoped he could also make it up during the year.
“So I believe it is my turn to ask a question.” Hermione looked a little sad but he could be his curiosity. He watched as she nodded for him to go on.
“What happened between you and Fred?” Hermione knew it was coming but could stop the tears from springing to her eyes. Draco watched the pain tear her to pieces behind her eyes. He felt a pang of guilt. He wasn’t use to feeling so much guilt and didn’t know what to do with it so he tucked it away in the back of his mind to sort through another day.
“Fred and I were in love." Hermione paused for a second as if reminising of the past. "It happened slowly and sweetly. Fred was goofy to the public but so sweet to me. He made me laugh constantly and told me I was beautiful when no one else did. Even though he never showed it he was the most brilliant man I ever met. George would think up things and Fred would make them happen. I fell in love with him sometime between my fourth and fifth year. We had stolen moments throughout the next three years.” She took a deep breath before she could continue. “He asked me to the Yule ball about an hour after I promised I would go with Viktor.” She laughed slightly to herself. “He was so angry with himself for “Missing his opportunity” but after the ball was over, I distanced myself from Viktor and then I spent more time with Fred. Then Cedric died and the war started and Fred always knew that the “Golden Trio” would defeat Lord Voldemort and he didn’t want to break us up.” Draco could tell she wasn’t finished but she got out of her seat and moved to the window. She stood for what seemed like ten minutes. Draco watched as the tears trail down her face.
“Fred didn’t want to tell Ron, so we hid our relationship for 3 years. He promised me that he would shout our relationship from the roof tops the moment Lord Voldemort had been defeated. I know he would have followed through with his promise but he died on the battlefield. No one knew the truth about Fred and I. Not even his twin brother George. After Fred was found on that horrible day his mother found a ring in his pocket. Then everyone wanted to know who it was and I never had the courage to tell them. So, I pushed away from everyone because it was too hard to see red hair and hear the jokes spilling from George when I knew Fred had told them first.” Hermione couldn’t continue her small tears were about to turn into huge sobs if she said anything more about him. It took her a long time to calm down.
Draco was quite sure what he was going to hear but what he had heard was defiantly not it. He didn’t know one question could tear a person down to their very foundation and then build them up again to a whole person to be followed by another break down. He had never seen so much love in one’s eyes as he did when she spoke of Fred. It seemed funny that a woman who was so smart could end up with someone like Fred. He didn’t know what to do at this point. So far he had listened quietly as to not interrupt her thoughts. Now she was crying silently and he didn’t know if he should comfort her or let her sort of her own feelings. Finally he made his decision. HE got up out of his own seat and walked to her. Then he did something completely out of character and wrapped his arms around and began to rock her slowly to soothe her. He kissed her forehead and told her that “Fred would always be there for her.” He didn’t understand why he did it or anything but he just could not sit and watch her cry by herself.
Finally Hermione started to calm down. She was surprised by Draco response. She would have never pictured him as the comforting type, but here he was being good at it. Hermione leaned back away from him.
“Sorry, I’ve never told anyone that before. It was too hard to think about. I could never tell one of the Weasley’s. They probably wouldn’t believe me.” She looked away. She didn’t know how to act or what to say. She didn’t need Draco to pity her too much. From the last two days she was sure that Draco would only think of her as a weak woman to be pity.
“Please don’t pity me. I shouldn’t have spilled all this to you.” Then Draco said the perfect thing to ease her worried.
“Hermione, it was about time you did. All of the feelings you have been letting out over the past two days needed to come out. Five years is a long time for you to pent up all those things. I don’t pity you. I admire you for your strength.” Hermione wanted to laugh and cry. She wanted to laugh because Draco MALFOY was being so perfect. She wanted to cry for the same reason. Why was he being perfect? She didn’t want anything from him emotionally.
“Don’t worry I won’t tell a soul about anything. Now when are we going to go on our first outing as a couple? We have to go public sometime.” She knew he was just trying to distract her from the previous conversion and she let him.
“Oh, do we have to?’ She whined a little.
“Oh yes, we have to show the world that we are together.” He stated in a matter of fact voice.
“Fine.” She huffed jokingly. “I guess we can go out tomorrow.”
“Alright Hermione, It’s a date.” Draco said in a way that made butterflies dance in her stomach. A “date” she thought to herself. How silly, of course a date they are married and everything.
A/N: Don't hate me but I hope this explains the Ron thing. I like it and I have been planning it for awhile. I'm even thinking of a prequel to this story.
Please reveiw! I love hearing your thoughts!!