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Chapter 17 : Chapter Seventeen - Four Little Words: The Reveal
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Lots of lives are coming together by a series of different events. Hermione was waiting for her dress to arrive, Draco was in a meeting with Lucius and Severus, Sirius was buying presents and wondering what to do excitedly, The Knights of Duty were busy making arrangements for the ball, Potter and Weasley were off the scene and life seemed relatively safe.
Draco tried to remain calm as he talked to his Father and Severus. It was a serious matter having to talk to both of them at the same time, especially about a subject that was so important to all of them. It didn’t matter though, Draco was serious about this and he would walk through fire to attain what he wanted right now. If he got his Father and Severus on side the rest would be a walk in the park.
Luckily for him, they seemed to be delighted, especially if their identical smiles were anything to go by. According to Severus, Lucius now owed him 10 galleons! They’d bet on Draco and Hermione’s life, that was something that Draco wasn’t really surprised about but still it was a little annoying.
He was happy that his Father and Severus were happy for him but he wasn’t so impressed that they were laughing at him. This was a serious matter! After the laughing had died down, his Father’s face became more serious as he looked at his son. Perhaps now really wasn’t the best time to be frivolous as he could clearly see Draco was not amused. After all wasn’t this what they all wanted, the peace, the love, the bringing together of families, the perfect end to a chaotic year.
“Alright Draco we’re sorry for laughing” said Lucius.
“We didn’t mean to laugh at you Draco, we are just find it amusing that it has taken you so long to come and talk to us about this” replied Severus.
“I just wanted to make sure I was certain” said Draco.
“You’ve been certain for years and you know it Draco” replied Lucius.
“I’ve wanted it for years but I wasn’t certain that it would ever be the right time” he said.
“And it’s the right time now?” asked Severus.
“Yes. Definitely” replied Draco.
“Well, then you will be needing this won’t you” said Lucius.
“Thank you” replied Draco as his Father placed a small square velvet box into his hands.
Draco left with a smile on his face, today was good.
Draco had spent long and hard thinking about how to propose to Hermione. At first he wanted to do something really special because Hermione meant everything to him. But the more he thought about it the more he realised that it didn’t need to be overly special or extravagant, Hermione already knew how much Draco loved her. A big fanfare and parade wasn’t going to make it special. Something elegant and simple though, would do it. Draco didn’t think he’d been more nervous for anything in his life before. He knew that Hermione loved him but there was always that small sliver of fear that she’d reject him.
He didn’t really want to plan anything like a picnic or romantic dinner, he didn’t feel like he could drag this out, he just wanted to be able to take her somewhere that meant something to the both of them and then pop the question. His hands felt sweaty just thinking about it.
He thought about taking her back to the Eiffel Tower for that is where he first felt that he truly loved her but he didn’t want to erase the memory they had there. He also thought about asking her on the steps of the Academy but that didn’t seem right either. He could always take her to a muggle place but that didn’t seem special enough. Finally he thought of the best place, it was somewhere that meant a lot to both of them and had featured greatly in their lives. What an appropriate place to bear witness to his request of her.
“What are we doing here Draco?” asked Hermione as they wandered along the edge of the Black lake. The school wasn’t back yet so it was quiet and peaceful. The castle was looking down at them, as if protecting them from harm.
“I wanted to take you somewhere that meant a lot to both of us. I know you spent a lot of time here, it was like your place to come and relax at. I used to see you curled up under the tree with a book in your hands. You always looked so peaceful and happy. I used to come here to get away from everything else. I could be myself when I was here, the water helped me to relax and unwind” he said.
For someone as smart as Hermione, Draco was quite glad that she had yet to work out why they were there. It made the surprise all the sweeter.
“Hermione, you mean everything to me, literally. I know we come from different backgrounds, like different things, have different views but I couldn’t imagine a single day without you in my life. You’ve transformed me body and soul and made me better, I was lost before you, struggling to cling to the light and avoid the darkness. I never want to lose the feeling I have with you, you make me feel so special and worthy. I want to be the one who always holds you close at night, the one who listens to your worries and fears, the one who stands by your ideas, the one who makes you laugh and smile, the one who holds you when you’re sad and the one who gets to have your love”.
Draco paused to get down on one knee, “Hermione, would you do me the greatest honour of becoming my wife” he asked nervously.
Hermione had been silent through his speech, her tearful eyes the only sign of her emotional state. She looked down at the vunerable face of the one she loved with all her heart, “yes” she replied.
Draco’s heart exploded quite spectacularly in response to her one word of commitment. He felt like a star shooting across the sky. This is what absolute joy feels like. Unable to keep his excitement contained, he picked Hermione up and twirled her around in the air. The sun came out and it seemed like the whole of Hogwarts was rejoicing in the light of this joyous occasion.
Daily Prophet Big News
The ball was finally happening, it was mere moments away. Hermione looked down at her dress and exquisite mask, she felt like a complete princess. Tonight would be fun and Hermione was really looking forward to it. The Knights of Duty had really outdone themselves. This wasn’t exactly their forte and until recently they had been formatting a structure plan to ensure the safety of Wizarding England for generations to come. However, now they had become party planners and were hugely enjoying it.
As Hermione dressed so did Draco, Sirius, Lucius, Severus and everyone else. So many thoughts were running through everyone’s heads,
Draco stood alone in his room, his reflection in the floor length mirror projecting everything a Malfoy should be. He would always be a Malfoy but he was now somewhat changed. Changed for the better, if he had imagined his life when he was eleven this would not have been what he’d have thought of, yet now, he couldn’t think of any other future. This was where his life now lay. This was his future. The last year had been a rollercoaster, a rollercoaster of a million different emotions that seemed to put life in perspective. When Draco looked into the mirror he didn’t see a replica of his father, he didn’t see the damage all those years in the dark did, and he saw himself. It was a good image, being himself felt real, being with Hermione felt right, his life was taking a turn for the better and he felt complete.
In another room down the hall, Sirius was having similar thoughts of the past. This past year had been a trip into the past for him, a trip down memory lane, and lost moments of time. When he’d worked out the secret he couldn’t believe that it had taken him so long to work it out. Seeing it now it seemed so painstakingly simple. That tunnel he’d been travelling through for so long had finally come to its lighted end. His only wish was to be able to tell his brother about it, he hoped and prayed that the fates above looked down on him and passed on his news.
The ballroom looked exquisite. Elegant drapes hung from the windows, pillars stood regal looking at the doors. Elves popped up with their neatly ironed pinafores and trays of goodies in their hands. Guests mingled and danced. The gowns and robes were elegant. The masks added to the secrecy of the night, everyone was in good spirits. This was a ball to rival all others, even top society wives couldn’t dream of pulling off something like this.
The occupants were still waiting on two very important guests, like the King and Queen on prom night, people were buzzing in excitement for their impending arrival. Lucius and Severus were making rounds, talking to people and acting as hosts. Sirius was seen with a gaggle of girls following closely, though he looked like he was trying to ditch them. If Sirius was to be dropping his wild ways the Daily Prophet would surely have something to say about it.
A fanfare started, trumpets tooted loud and clear. The music was perfect and it drew silence over the whole crowd. The main doors into the room opened slowly. The effect was simultaneous, everyone gasped. It was a gasping sight. Draco with his usual arrogant air had a true smile on his face, half the female population were just gagging at the mere sight of him. It didn’t matter to him that he was attached to her, he was drooling material, and they were all in love.
The real beauty however was Hermione herself. People had outdone themselves for the ball; costumes had authenticity, creativity, colour etc. Hermione’s costume had passion, it fitted her like a glove, it was simple and understated, and it was perfect. She’d changed her mind about her dress so many times, buying several different outfits. In the end she’d chosen a forest green dress, strapless, it hugged her chest and hips, flaring out into a fishtail and stopping just short of the floor. Her mask was a combination of shimmering silver and elegantly black velvet. She hadn’t chosen Slytherin colours on purpose but she rather liked it.
There was a collective silence as everyone took in the presence of the two people before applause ran out through the room. Whether you loved or hated them, the respect was evident. They weren’t going to give a speech that was done earlier by Lucius. They merely walked to the centre of the ballroom and began dancing. Everyone made a circle around them watching in rapt attention as the glided through their dance. They’d announce the important information later.
It wasn’t long before others were dancing again, Hermione was glad for that for she still didn’t like being in the spotlight. Her ring glinted in the light the candles made, the soft glow making the dancing seem more personal. Hermione enjoyed dancing, the waltzing, the Charleston, ballet, tap, but she loved to tango above all others. It came so effortlessly for her and Draco, words weren’t needed when they were dancing like this. All too soon though there was a tap on her shoulder and Sirius was asking for a dance. Draco took this as his que to leave and wandered off to talk to his Father.
Sirius looked down at Hermione with wonderment in his eyes, seeing how much she’d grown, changed and developed this past year was an inspiration to almost everyone in this year.
“Hermione” he said.
She looked up at him, in his eyes it was an expression of innocence, curiosity and mischief. (This could be a most climatic moment!).
“Sirius” she mimicked with his level of seriousness.
“I have something to tell you” he said.
“And I you” she replied.
He seemed surprised by this, “Lady’s first” he offered graciously.
“How long have you known that you were my Uncle” she said innocently.
Sirius’s eyes shot down to hers in astonishment, how she knew before he did was a mystery he was willing to uncover.
“Only recently” he replied, “How did you know?”
“I finally got round to reading all the letters and diary entries my Mum left me, that and Bert from the graveyard where she’s buried phoned me to say some strange man with shaggy black hair had been noising around” said Hermione.
Sirius smiled, a big happy honest to god smile, it transformed his whole face. Sirius had been missing out on true blood related family for so long that he’d forgotten how good it felt to be a part of something.
“You know technically speaking you’re Hermione Black now” he said.
Hermione smiled, “Actually I’m about to become Hermione Malfoy” she said winking.
Sirius gasped finally noticing the ring on Hermione’s finger.
“That’s the announcement?” he asked.
“Yup” she replied drawing the P out so it popped.
Their dance continued for some time until Sirius became more agitated and jumpy much to the amusement of Hermione.
“I know you want to tell people, go on, it’s time for announcements anyhow” said Hermione.
“How about I get on up there and tell everyone about my wonderful Uncle” said Hermione before walking away.
She joined Draco on the raised podium and waited for silence to fall.
“I’d like to thank you all for coming here tonight. A lot of you have been there to watch this year progress and have been a part of all the wonderful changes. First off I’d like to thank all the party organisers and my Knights of Duty for their hard work and effort. Secondly I’d like to thank Lucius and Severus for being my extended family, I’d like to thank the Lord’s for guiding me through everything and Draco for always standing by me” she paused.
“Secondly I’d like to welcome the return of Lord Byron, who has made a full recovery thanks to the combined efforts of Severus Snape, Lord Gold and Luna Lovegood; his weight was hard to carry but has finally been lifted from his shoulders”.
“Thirdly, I’d like to tell you all about a journey I’ve been on this year. Not a journey to Enchantress or even a journey to my love for Draco but a journey to find myself. My Mother passed away some years ago and for a long while I was angry at her. She left some letters for me to read and it took two years and the encouragement of Draco for me to finally read them. Over the course of the year I have been reading about the life I never knew my Mother had. She felt in love in a time when she’d been hidden from the world for being a squib. Her love was for a pureblood and it was almost unforgivable for them to be together but they did it anyway. Their love was strong and true but like other unforgettable romances it was not to last. She got pregnant with me and found out that her lover – whom she was to marry – had been forced by his family to become a Death Eater. She fled the Wizarding world and never returned. My Father deflected from Voldemort almost as soon as he was recruited, and died a hero’s death”.
“I know you’re all wondering who my Father was and who my Mother really was. I knew my Mother only by the name she called herself, but her actual name was Isabella Knight. Her parents banished her to the muggle world to live under a cruel guardian when they realised she was a squib. Between the ages of five and eighteen, she only saw her parents once and that was to tell her that she was left some money and should hand it all over to her parents because they were broke. It was also the day she met the love of her life”.
“The love of her life had a brother who walks among us this day, so for now my name isn’t Hermione Granger but Hermione Black. Regulus Black was my Father and Sirius Black is my most amazing Uncle” Hermione finished to a complete silence and then a deafening round of applause.
She waited till the crowd had died down again before continuing, “Onto my last item of news” for this part she ushered Draco forward and grasped his hand in her own, “This man standing next to me has been the guiding light in my life for the past year. Our friendship grew into love at a steady pace, our passion never dwindled. He’s helped me through the ups and downs and I’ve always remained there for him. So it gives me great pleasure to announce my engagement to Draco Malfoy!” she said.
This time the applause was more deafening than she could have possibly imagined, it sounded like something were about to collapse, the roar of applause was so loud that glasses around the room began to shake.
Then came the resounding chant ‘kiss, kiss, kiss’ people began clinking their glasses, clapping their hands, stamping their feet.
There wasn’t really much room for refusal, like the saying ‘start as you mean to go on’ this would be a kiss that would go down in history for many years to come. As Draco looked into the eyes of Hermione he whispered “I love you” before swooping down and bestowing upon her the most passionate kiss the world had ever seen.
Hope ya'll enjoyed this as it has now come to an end. I have other stories that I will be posting but no Dramione's for a while I'm afraid. I'll be similaniously posting three stories; a James II/OC, a Draco/OC and a Sirius/OC. I hope you read them if they appeal to you :) Thanks a bunch to all of you who reviewed this story ~ Zyii
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