Hermione was nervous and dizzy and nauseous all at once. She was also very glad that Fleur was on her way because she hadn’t seen her since that awful meeting with the Malfoy’s. So it was with a sigh of relief that she heard the soft knock on the bedroom door and Fleur came in with a bag hanging from her arm.
“I thought I would help you get ready for your first date with your mate while we talked about a few things. Do you mind ‘Mione?” Fleur asked.
“I am so glad you’re here! I have so many things going through my mind!” Hermione exclaimed while hugging Fleur.
“I expected you would. I apologize for being away but I have a very good reason Hermione. Guess what? I’m pregnant with my Bills little girl! I have thought I was for a few months but was too nervous to find out but finally Bill insisted and when your mate feels so strongly it’s hard to refuse. Anyway, I am 4 months along!” She squealed.
Hermione squealed in delight right along with her and hugged her yet again happy for Bill and Fleur. She knew that they had been trying to get pregnant for a while and Fleur was sad each month she found out she wasn’t pregnant.
“Please say you will let Ginny and I plan your baby shower!!!” Hermione begged.
“Yes absolutely! I can’t wait ‘Mione. I’m so glad we’ve become friends and I am grateful for your friendship. It’s hard for Veela females to find girlfriends because jealousies come into play which you will find out for yourself.” Fleur told her with feeling.
“I am glad we’re friends as well, I don’t know how I could have managed the past few months without your support.” Hermione said getting teary eyed.
Fleur dabbed at her own eyes before saying, “Enough with sappy! We have things to discuss and a date to get you prepared for!”
Fleur was working Hermione’s beautiful mahogany hair into complicated braids as they began to discuss the things ‘Mione had been feeling since they last saw each other.
“Fleur, I don’t understand something. I thought that when I found my mate I would be calmer and happy but I’m not. I’m upset and cranky and the gnawing hunger is almost more than I can bear not easier.”
“That is because he’s not accepted your mark. I’m sorry to say this ‘Mione but that hunger will just get worse. As you grow closer you will notice it lessens in some ways with affection that comes with dating and falling in love. You will always want to be touching him and taking care of his needs. While physical contact with him takes the edge off the hunger, the hunger continues to get deeper and stronger as time passes.” Fleur explained. Hermione sighed and frowned.
“Don’t worry; it’s endurable as long as you see him often. Also while you will always have the urge to mark him, it isn’t necessary to your survival technically. We say you have to mark him because your feelings and urges get harder to control. He really only has to accept being your mate before the year is up and once he accepts then you need daily contact until you mark him. I didn’t mark Bill until our wedding night. He accepted being my mate and we began planning our wedding and that was enough, we wanted the marking to be special since we had already consummated.” Fleur clarified.
“Do you have to consummate for the acceptance to work?” Hermione asked while blushing.
“Yes honey, you do. As long as you are bonding in that way the marking can be postponed. He has to accept total monogamy and love you and you must exercise strict control of yourself when he’s around other women but it can be done and you are a strong woman.” She promised.
“I understand that part now I think. Can you explain why I am still angry that it is Draco that is my mate? I still have a hard time thinking he is anything but my enemy. He’s been horrible to me since the day we met! Just because I found out I am not a Muggleborn like I believed doesn’t erase how I felt when he would call me a Mudblood.” Hermione sighed.
“That is an issue you both will need to resolve together. But….Hermione, understand he can’t erase what he did in the past any more than you or I can and he’s sincerely apologized which is the most he can do. I think it’s just going to take time getting to know each other better.” Fleur said as she finished Hermione’s hair.
Hermione looked in the mirror and smiled. Fleur had created a beautiful hairdo. She had tiny braids here and there pulled back into an intricate knot just under the crown of her head with the front half of her hair while the rest hung down her back in gentle waves and big loose curls. With that done Fleur started applying her make up.
“It looks beautiful Fleur, thank you! I get that, I just wondered why it would be Draco in the first place. I guess I thought it would be someone I got along with or even a stranger that I could build a relationship with without the hateful history.” Hermione asked while watching how Fleur moved her hands with expertise.
“Finding your mate isn’t like or about dating ‘Mione that is the human side of your nature. Your mate is the person who you have the best biological chances of continuing the population and survival of the Veela, it’s your Veela nature that chooses the mate. It’s all about reproduction. Understand?”
Hermione muttered something about reproducing ferrets. “Seriously, I agreed to this time of dating and I will try I’m just afraid it won’t work and I won’t be able to get passed this.”
“Your Veela will get you past it Hermione, much easier than you think. That part of you already loves him and the rest of you will catch up because he is your perfect match. Besides having just met him I found him delightful. So he obviously isn’t the same person he was in school any more than you are. Plus I must admire your taste ‘Mione he is simply gorgeous to look at!” Fleur teased.
When they were done Hermione was looking amazing. She had on light blue jeans that fitted well to her figure and a wide black belt wrapped around her hips. She wore a fitted black sweater, black heels, and diamond stud earrings. She was perfect for the date; they had decided to make it more casual and therefore more comfortable than a formal date. She looked perfect for pizza and walking or dancing if they chose.
Just as they finished Molly stuck her head in the door. “’Mione dear..Draco is waiting downstairs. I think you might want to hurry a bit because the poor boy is stuck in the living room with all the boys and unfortunately I don’t think they’ve forgiven the young man.”
When Hermione and Fleur made it to the living room she had to stifle a giggle. Draco was standing by the fireplace being stared down by Ron, Harry, George, Fred, and Bill. Mr. Weasley was sitting in his arm chair that always made Hermione think of the reruns on the television she watched with her dad of Archie Bunker. She was startled when that thought brought to mind that like Archie Draco had been prejudiced. Archie Bunker was a loveable character with a huge heart whose prejudice wasn’t from meanness, it came from ignorance. So maybe there was hope for Draco after all….hmmm interesting.
She cleared her throat to get their attention. All eyes turned to her and quite a few jaws dropped in the process and ‘Mione smiled and her Veela purred in satisfaction to see that one of those jaws was her mates’.
“I hope these boys haven’t given you too hard a time Draco.” Hermione said and there was clearly a warning in her voice aimed at her friends and family. Arthur chuckled good naturedly from his Archie chair.
Draco just smirked. “No, nothing I couldn’t handle. You look amazing by the way.”
Hermione smiled and blushed. “Are you ready?”
“Let’s go.” He smiled and took her hand.
When they reached the boundaries Hermione side along apparated Draco to the restaurant they had decided on. It was a pizza place that had a cheesy kind of attempt at an Italian feel. It was dark and there were candles and subtle lighting when they were sat in a booth near the back of the eating area.
They agreed on a half veggie half meat lovers deep dish pizza and ordered a pitcher of beer and then sat back to talk. Unfortunately for both of them but especially for Hermione there were several tables full of girls who kept looking at Draco and this made her very angry.
“Draco, I don’t want to seem forward or like I’m pressuring you…but, there are several women that are going to break the control I’m desperately trying to maintain.” Hermione said. Draco raised an eyebrow at that and looked around for the first time. Comprehension dawned in his eyes and he stood up and moved to her side of the booth and sat next to her.
“Is that better?” he asked sincerely.
“Thank you. I know this isn’t any easier for you than it is for me.” Hermione answered gratefully.
“Actually Granger I think it’s much easier for me.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Well I’m quite sure any bloke would be happy to be your date. You are a beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent, talented witch. Where is the downside to that?” He explained.
“There is a lot of history with the two of us Draco; I’m not sure how easy that will be to overcome.” She said.
“Well you accepted my apology and said I was forgiven. If that was true and you meant that then the history is already overcome. We just have to build a different relationship from here on out.” He said looking her in the eyes and reaching for her one of her hands to hold gently. “Furthermore Father has been educating me about Veela nature and Mother has been teaching me about what it means to have a Veela mate. Since we don’t know whether I have the gene yet or not they both are teaching me what I need to know either way.”
“Look that all sounds lovely and all but even though we now know my mother was a witch after all, I’m still considered half-blood and I know how your family feels about Pureblood status.” Hermione stubbornly continued because it was an issue that was very personal for her.
“Love, you’re going to have to accept that it’s in the past. My family doesn’t feel that way any longer and as a matter of fact Father is excited for you to join my family. I think you’ll learn to love all of us once you know us. You also need to know that I have made an educated decision to accept being your mate.” He then gave her such a sweet smile and Hermione’s Veela was roaring inside her making her excitement very hard to control.
“You hardly know me well enough to say that Draco however lovely it is to hear.” She persisted.
“Hermione,” he sighed. “Like I said the other day we have time-time to date and for you to accept that I’m willing and happy for this to happen. I will prove it to you by the time the decision has to be made but I hope it happens sooner than that. I agree to taking things slowly for your sake but as I said I already accept because I know you better than you think I do.”
“Really, what makes you say that?”
“Well, you are kind, gentle but passionate about those you care for whether they are human or creatures. You love deeply and are nurturing to those around you. Obviously you love to read as your favorite hobby. I already said you’re exceptionally smart and beautiful. I also know you don’t hold onto grudges easily and that makes me sure that you will get to know us without holding the past against us for long.” He said with a smirk at the end making Hermione laugh.
“Okay, okay I get it! I am glad you’re happy about this at least.” She smiled as their dinner arrived and they both dug in.
After dinner they decided to go for a walk as they held hands comfortably. They talked and talked as they walked and Hermione was surprised at how much they laughed together. Draco was actually quite fun to talk to and a wonderful sparring partner to debate with. When it was very late they went home to the Burrow and found themselves sitting in the garden neither ready for the date to end.
“Hermione, I am going to kiss you right now and I hope that doesn’t bother you but I can’t control that urge anymore.” He said as he was slowly pulling her to him just with his eyes.
She watched his eyes purring inside until just before their lips met when her lids closed and her lips rubbed against his. She sighed in satisfaction and felt that hunger increase in a way, but like Fleur explained, this touching, and this kiss made it easier to control. She wrapped her arms around his neck and deepened the kiss herself as he held her to him as close as he possibly could.
Neither was willing to break their hold even when the need for oxygen became necessary, so Draco ended the kiss but put his forehead to hers and just rubbed their noses together.
“That was……wow!” Hermione said unable to think clearly.
“It was, wasn’t it?” He answered cockily. She smacked his arm laughing.
“Love, can I see you tomorrow?” Draco asked.
“Sure. What do you want to do?” Happy to be with her mate again, she easily accepted.
“It’s a surprise but I will be here at 3 o’clock sharp.” He walked her to the door and gave her one more mind-blowing kiss and then he left.
Hermione walked by all the laughing boys in the kitchen with the dreamiest smile on her face not even noticing them as she moved up the stairs and into her bedroom. She and her inner Veela hummed with satisfaction as she went to sleep anxious for tomorrow to get here.
AN2: If many of you are wondering if their relationship is moving too fast have no fear, it’s not all roses and sunshine as you will find out! You must keep in mind there is the Veela in Hermione fast forwarding the relationship and the life debt on Draco’s end pushing the same way. It’s going to be a fun ride I think, it has been for me anyway!!
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