It had been a month since Mia had gone to work with Draco and everything was running smoothly in Hermione’s quaint little cottage. They had finally gotten round to buying Mia’s last birthday present; her rescue puppy.
It had taken Mia mere seconds to decide which one she wanted; a cute and cuddly Alsatian puppy that bound up to her with life and love. He coat was a colourful shade of beige, brown and charcoal, while his eyes were an unusual blue. When Mia bent to pick him up, he licked her arm in greeting before snuggling deep into her chest with a satisfied ‘woof’. They had named him ‘Ace’ which was Latin for the Loyal One, a name that suited him perfectly. Draco was slightly concerned about how his daughter was fluent in Latin, but when he asked Hermione where she had learnt it from, the Brunette just replied with a look of pure innocence,
“A bit of light reading.”
Draco had bit back the retort that a bit of light reading would have been a Tale from Beedle the Bard; he knew that it was inevitable that his daughter was going to be a brainbox.
Now, as the December sunshine glittered through the frost covered branches, Hermione sighed in happiness. It was nearly Christmas and it would be the first that Mia would have with her father as well as her mother. It was a weird sensation for Hermione, to know that the person who helped create her little angel would be sitting in the living room watching their daughter’s delight as she opened her presents.
Draco had stupidly volunteered to decorate the cottage with all the Christmas decorations he could find, only to realise that his daughter was the master of Christmas and would only allow him to stick the tree in the exact position she had it in last year. Even Hermione’s ‘mum voice’ could not deter Mia’s determination; so instead, Draco resigned to taking the orders in humble silence.
It was while the brunette was writing out her Christmas cards that Draco decided to ask her about his mother.
“Mione was I just wondering.”
He paused as he watched her hand float across the card that she was writing to her mother and father, her facial expression relaxed as she wrote about how well she, Mia and Draco were doing. Shadow was sitting next to her waiting patiently for the last of his load to be attached to his foot before swooping off into the cold winter night.
“I think it’s about time you and Mia met my mother.”
The pen paused mid flow, silence before she turned to face him, her eyebrows furrowed.
He could tell that she was scared; she still had nightmares about the encounter with his aunt. Sometimes she would awake in a cold sweat, grasping her arm where the dim scar of ‘Mudblood’ could be found. However, when he tried to comfort and console her she would pretend that nothing had happened, afraid that if she expressed her true feelings about his family that he would feel offended.
Draco had tried to broach the subject a couple of times before but to no success. He realised that he wouldn’t be able to push Hermione into seeing his Mother, but now that it was nearly Christmas he knew that it was time.
“Look, I know that you’re afraid of what she might think, but you’ve got to realise that my Mother is not the person she used to be. My father influenced her to be the way she was through fear and torture and until he was gone from her life, she could-“
He broke off mid-sentence as Hermione held up a hand to stop him. He was afraid that she would say no, maybe even scream at him that he was inconsiderate towards her feelings but instead she said,
She rose from her chair, her eyes still not quite meeting his gaze, her shoulder shaking slightly due to the swirly pit that was filling her stomach. She knew that this day would come just like she knew that she would not be able to dodge it either.
She was Hermione Granger for Merlin’s sake. One of the infamous trio that helped destroy Lord Voldermort and who managed to raise a child by herself for six years. She would not be beaten by a woman who was related to the witch who tortured her.
“I’m not saying that I’m completely happy with it but you’re right. Mia should know her grandmother and your mother should know her granddaughter.”
He didn’t have time to thank her, as within seconds of agreeing she strode over to the fireplace and disappeared in a flash of green light.
Well, that wasn’t awkward at all. He looked around him and noticed that Shadow was eyeing him with his intense gaze. Draco rolled his eyes,
“What! It’s not like I asked her to give up a limb!’
The Owl blinked slowly giving Draco the feeling that he was being sarcastic. “Everyone’s a critic.”
With that he turned and headed up the creaky stairs to tell his beautiful princess that she was going to see her Grandmother soon.
“I’m screwed.” Hermione hugged a cup of tea while she watched Ginny bounce Lily-Mae on her lap. The redhead smiled sympathetically while she continued to juggle her daughter about on her knee.
“You’re not screwed Mione, she’s probably not as bad as you think; people change.” Lily-Mae gurgled in agreement making Hermione momentarily forget her troubles about Draco’s mother.
The little tyke had grown substantially since her birth and it was easy to see that she would take on her mother’s beauty. Her skin was the colour of peaches and cream, dusted with tiny freckles that were so small that they could only be glimpsed in bright light. Her rosy cheeks gave her the adorable cute quality that only babies have, while the few strands that she already possessed on her head were jet red like her mothers and grandmothers.
The only feature that connected her to Harry was her eyes. She hypnotised everyone who looked at her with those dazzling emeralds.
“Yeah, when she’s sleeping.”
Hermione grinned, “She keeping you up at night then?”
The redhead snuggled deeper into her daughter’s small form and breathed in her baby scent.
“No, she’s actually quite good at going to sleep at night; it’s when she’s near James that I realise that I’m a full-time mum to a six year old as well as a two month old.”
Lily-Mae gurgled and smiled at her aunt as if secretly giggling at what her mother was saying. Hermione chucked her underneath her chin before taking a swig of her tea.
“Well, it looks like she’s inherited the Potter gene for causing mischief then.”
Ginny sighed “Yeah, another handful. It’s lucky I grew up with six boys otherwise I don’t think I’d be able to handle this.”
She shuffled over to the baby bouncer that was positioned underneath the magical mobile that Hermione had bought as a congratulations gift, and placed her daughter gently into the comfy chair. The little darling yawned a small ‘O’ and drifted off in a matter of seconds, listening to the tinkling sound of the mobile.
Hermione smiled and felt the pang of melancholy. She couldn’t believe it had been six years ago that her own daughter had been that small and peaceful. Her hand fluttered to her stomach, as she remembered the rounded mound where her daughter used to be. Ginny caught the gesture with a small smile and sat back down opposite her friend.
“You could have another one you know.”
‘Hm?’ Hermione raised her gaze to meet the hazel one that was so similar to her brother’s.
Ginny nodded towards the brunette’s resting hand and repeated, “You could have another one. At least this time he’d be around to help raise it.”
Hermione blushed and shook her head in disagreement. “No, I don’t think now’s the time to be thinking about having another child; at least until we’re sure that we’re staying together.”
“You don’t think you will?”
Hermione smiled sadly and shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t want to lose him and I love being with him but we’ve only been together for a couple months. I can’t expect to plan a future with him when there’s hardly been a present.”
She skimmed the rim of her cup, her mind pondering the concept of having another child with Draco. “Besides, I need to get through meeting his mother before I add another child to the fray. If I don’t get on with her he may get rid of me.”
Ginny tutted and moved around the table to hug her friend. “He’ll never get rid of you Mione, he loves you too much. Anyway, you’ll be fine with his mother; like I said, people change. Don’t go there thinking that she’s going to hate you. Like Draco said, she’s remarried to a Muggle; that’s got to mean something.”
The brunette nodded half-heartedly before gulping down the rest of her tea.
“I guess I better get back; I kind of left things in the air between me and him and I don’t want Mia to worry about me.”
Ginny smiled and stroked Hermione’s wavy hair. “You’ll be fine. I’ll see you next week.”
The pair agreed on a meeting time and with a quick hug, Hermione apparated back to her living room, where Draco and Mia were sitting, reading a book.
Draco raised his head in surprise; he hadn’t expected her back so soon, but Mia carried on reading her story aloud, as if she hadn’t heard the small ‘pop’.
It stopped Hermione’s heart to see the enjoyment on Mia’s face as she read; it was great that she had inherited her mother’s favourite past time. Her eyes hovered from her daughter before catching the gaze of the platinum blonde that had caught her heart.
He smiled weakly at her; unsure whether she was still upset about their earlier conversation. She smiled back and mouthed ‘I love you.’
He grinned, his whole face uplifted by those three simple words. Hermione giggled making her daughter aware of her presence.
“Hey Princess, whatcha reading?”
Mia held up the book that contained the tales of the Beedle of the Bard that was left to her by Dumbledore.
“Oh, which one?”
“The one about the three brothers; it’s my favourite.” Hermione smiled before ruffling her daughter’s hair. “Mine too.” That story reminded her of the tiresome, tragic year that the trio had to endure to gather all the Horcruxes. It was the one that had helped the three figure out what Voldermort was after and what had to be done.
Draco gently lifted himself off the sofa so as not disturb the sleeping form of Ace underneath Mia’s feet and followed Hermione into the kitchen. He observed her from the doorway, his arms crossed across his chest, as she busied herself with kettle and the mugs; her body swaying across the tiled floor. She hummed to herself as she poured the steaming water into her favourite mug; world’s best mum.
“You’re beautiful, you know that.”
She regarded him over her shoulder a small smirk across her rosy lips.
“No, but it’s always nice to hear it.”
He grinned before crossing the space between them and wrapping his arms around her shoulders.
“Well, I can keep telling you for as long as you want me too.”
She giggled, “I’m going to hold you to that.”
As an answer, Draco began nibbling at her ear before kissing her lightly on the cheek. He carried it along her neckline, lingering on her collar bone; her most sensitive part. Hermione groaned slightly before twisting in his embrace to turn and face him. His eyes were like smoky pools of water, filling her with comforting warmth. His strong jaw line dusted with stubble, made him look slightly rugged but his floppy hair gave him the boyish quirk that Hermione had always adored even when they were in school, although she would never have admitted it even to herself.
She brushed a few stray strands from his eyes and was pleasantly surprised by the small shiver that spread through his body. She loved him and it was obvious that he loved her too. She didn’t know why she had been so stupid to cause an argument; even if his mother didn’t like the Gryffindor Queen then at least her son did. She thought back to the conversation that she and Ginny were having earlier, and felt almost nostalgic; she wanted another baby with him, not matter what she said about the future; she wanted him to be the father of all of her children. Her thoughts were interrupted as Draco grabbed her hand mid stroke and kissed lightly against the palm. The electricity that sparked between them was something that Hermione had never experienced even with Ron. Their relationship had been loving and caring; comfortable. Draco made Hermione feel the deep heat of passion every time he kissed her. She always felt as if she was falling into a happy oblivion, where all her desires seemed to be answered. He would touch places that she didn’t even realise she had, yet yearned for when he left them to explore other parts of her body.
She could feel the rosy blush creeping along her face; it was amazing how much he made her feel like a soppy teenager whenever they were together. Every touch brought a new spark of fire, a new feeling, it was if they were touching for the first time; every time.
Draco murmured sweet nothings as he held her close, his lips searching her. She moaned slightly, trying to control herself, yet only feeling the need to be held; every other thought excluded from her mind. Hermione tightened her grip on him bringing his lips back to hers, determined to have her hunger satisfied.
The kiss was intense. It was passionate. It held the unspoken ‘sorry’ that they both wanted to say but couldn’t quite put into words. Draco deepened the kiss; enticing the flames that they both felt, leaving Hermione weak at the knees. She had joked many times to him that his kisses could kill if he really wanted them too and he would always respond with his trademark smirk that she had recently come to love, before pouncing on her and smothering her with his lips.
They finally broke apart, the pair both needing oxygen but neither let go of the other. It was in Draco’s arms that Hermione felt the most safe and secure. She sighed happily, resting her head against his firm chest, while he rocked them slowly from side to side; their own personal dance that only suited them. It was the dance of love and promises.
It was a while before either of them spoke, the tea that Hermione had been making long forgotten and now stone cold.
“We should visit your mother tomorrow, that way, if everything goes well then maybe she and your stepdad could come for Christmas.”
Hermione didn’t turn when she voiced her conclusion to their problems. Even though they had said sorry in their own way, she still felt nervous about meeting his mother and she didn’t want him to see in case it would cause friction between them again.
He lifted her chin to look at him, his eyes searching her lovingly before answering, “I know you’re scared, you don’t have to hide it from me. I promise you though, that she’s different and that she’s been waiting to meet you since she found out that we were together. I will always protect you.”
Hermione didn’t know why, but she felt like crying. Her lips began to tremble uncontrollably but were stopped by the small pressure of Draco’s; soft, comforting…safe. He held her close to his body as shuddered to control the sobs that were waiting to escape. She hadn’t realised that he had known the terror that she felt, hadn’t realised that he was more aware of her fears than she was.
When she finally had control, she looked up at him through her watery eyes and whispered, “Thank you. I didn’t realise it affected me so much. I guess I just used to push it to the back of mind.” She forced a small smile, “I can’t wait to meet her. Now set it all up before I start to cry again. I’ll go put Mia to bed.”
He sighed, before shaking his head. It was the most he was going to get out of her. She didn’t want to open up about that day when she was tortured and in all honesty he couldn’t blame her. She had done really well by admitting that she was afraid, and at least now she knew that he would listen to her, that was something.
He picked up the stone cold tea and poured it into the sink.He didn’t know why, but watching the brown liquid fall into the drain reminded him of a bad omen he once read about. A slight shiver ran up his spine and the hairs on the nape of his neck started to stand. She’s mine. I will have her.
The blonde whipped around, his wand held up at the ready. He swore he had heard someone whispering. The goosebumps that spread across his arm were warning signs enough. He waited, perfectly still to observe any signs of movement; they may be invisible.
“Draco, what are you doing?”
He turned to the doorway where Hermione was standing with a sleeping Mia on her hip. She seemed surprised by the wand in his hand with only a hint of worry. He didn’t want to worry her after the day they had had, so instead he whirled his wand around his head, muttering a small incantation that cleaned up the whole house.
“Just helping out.” He laughed meekly, when she gave him a stern look before, turning to head up the stairs. Draco followed suit, his eyes still wandering around the room, waiting, watching for the cause of the deadly whisper.
He whistled for Ace to follow the family of three up the stairs, before commanding him to stay in front of Mia’s bedroom door. The Alsatian wagged his fluffy tail and licked his master’s hand in affection, as if to say ‘yes sir.’
Once Mia was tucked safely back into her yellow covers, the couple headed to their own room both exhausted from the emotional turmoil that they had experienced in the kitchen. Hermione drifted off as soon as her head hit the pillow, but Draco lay awake until the early hours of the morning, listening for any sounds that were considered unusual.
When he too drifted off into the world of dreams, a ghostly hand brushed the soft skin of Hermione’s cheek. Soon. Oh so soon.
Hermione hugged her daughter close to her body as she stared at the white oak door in front of the family.
Draco smiled encouragingly before ringing the doorbell. It was antique, the kind that would have been used on old mansion’s that King’s and Queen’s would use as their many homes. It could easily be seen that Narcissa Malfoy-Jensen, as she was now referred to, still had expensive taste. The marble statues that were scattered in perfect formation around her front garden were easily two hundred years old and from Italy. Even the shrubbery was tended to make it look immaculate.
“Don’t be. She’ll love you.”
Mia, feeling her mother’s nervousness, itched on her feet slightly. Draco smoothed her blonde curls before giving her a quick peck on the cheek.
“Your grandmother is going to love you too.”
She didn’t have time to ask ‘what if she doesn’t’ as the colossal door opened to a smiling man in his forties. He wore faded jeans with a checked shirt and slightly greying, black hair. He certainly didn’t match the exterior of the property, nor the interior, or what Hermione could see of it anyway.
The two men shook hands before the older took the younger into a manly bear hug. “It’s been ages.”
Hermione could feel herself instantly warming to this man and so could Mia. His aura was pure and he had a good heart. She could tell that he had a bubbly, carefree nature and that when he loved, he loved completely.
Draco stood back from the man and turned to his girlfriend and daughter. “Hermione, Mia, this is my step-dad Alexander. Mia meet your Grandpa.”
She smiled shyly at him making him chortle in affection. “Well isn’t she a little beauty; a real stunner.” Alexander bent down to Mia’s level and held out his arms. “Fancy giving your grampy a hug?”
Mia merely ran into his arms before snuggling deep into the man’s shirt. Hermione watched with admiration and love at her daughter’s boldness. It reminded her of herself when she first started Hogwarts and told Ron that he had dirt on his nose and when she fixed Harry’s glasses.
Draco came to stand next to her and he put a comforting arm around her shoulders. “Alexander this Hermione; Mia’s mother.”
Alexander raised his gaze from Mia to look at the brunette. His eyes widened before replying, “Well, I can see where Mia gets her looks from. Pleased to meet you.”
He held out his free hand which Hermione shook gladly. “It’s nice to meet you too.”
“Alex, is that them?”
A woman of similar age came rushing down the hallway to the front door. It didn’t take Hermione long to recognise Narcissa. She had the same perfect, sleek hair but instead of a stern, tight lipped expression, she smiled freely. It seemed Draco had been right. His mother had changed dramatically.
When she saw Draco she almost threw herself at him.
“Oh darling! It’s been ages, I’ve missed you so much!” She planted a massive kiss on his cheek before turning to face Hermione. The brunette felt her throat constrict, ready for accusations but instead the elder woman took Hermione into her arms, giving her a bone crushing hug.
The surprise on Hermione’s face made Draco bite back a laugh.
“Oh Hermione darling, it’s wonderful to see you.”
“You too.” Was all the Gryffindor queen could manage, still reeling from the shocking hug that she was just given. She read Narcissa’s aura and realised that this woman was totally different from the woman all those years ago. She could also tell that it had a lot of things to do with the man who was still cuddling her daughter.
Alexander moved to Narcissa’s side and tapped her gently on the shoulder. “You’ve missed your Granddaughter darling.”
Narcissa froze in place and turned slowly to face Mia. She stared at the little darling for a few moments, unsure of what to say. Hermione suddenly panicked. What if she doesn’t like Mia…what if she doesn’t approve of her! I got to get her out of here.
Mia could sense her mother’s panic and quickly turned to hide underneath her golden curls. Draco could sense the nervousness that Hermione was feeling and decided to step in. “Mum, you’re not saying anything.”
It shook Narcissa out of her revere and she smiled widely. “I just can’t believe how much she looks like you when you were that age. I felt like I’d gone back in time. She’s gorgeous.”
Mia turned shyly out of her hair before opening her arms to be taken. Narcissa willingly seized the little princess from her husband’s arms and gave her a tight squeeze.
“I’m going to spoil you rotten!”
Hermione breathed a sigh of relief. She caught Draco’s eye, who mouthed ‘told you.’ She rolled her eyes at him before giving him a hug.
Alexander grinned then gestured that everyone come inside. “What are we waiting out in the cold for; let’s have some tea.”
“So tell me how you two met, Draco hasn’t really gone into details.”
The family had been sitting in Narcissa’s and Alexander’s living room for around two hours and had been getting on fabulously. Like Hermione suspected, the interior of the house was as just as grand as the outside but it still held a homey touch which Hermione believed to be due to Alexander. He had brought Narcissa out of her depression and taught her how to live in her house like normal people would and not have everything perfect and in place.
The brunette could tell that the two loved each other dearly and even Draco loved Alexander like a father. He was treated like he was Alexander’s son and he thanked him every day for being there for his mother.
Narcissa smiled warmly and touched Alexander’s arm that was wrapped safely around her shoulders.
“It’s really sweet actually. I’d gone to the market one day; I needed to be aware from everything that was to do with magic, something I hear you’re quite used too,”
She winked at Hermione who blushed, “And I dropped my purse. Of course all I had was wizarding money so I looked like a complete loony with all these weird looking coins and who comes to help me pick them up but the man you see before you.”
He leaned and pecked her on the cheek before she carried on, “Anyway I was really wary of him; who was he to talk to me; he was a Muggle for Merlin’s sake, so I thanked him and was on my way.”
“However, I’d not anticipated him following me all through the market to try and get my attention. Everywhere I went he was there, smiling at me. At first I was annoyed at him, trying to dodge this way and that to try and lose him but to no success. In the end he stopped in front of me with the most beautiful white rose I have ever seen. He then gives me a kiss on the cheek and leaves.”
“I was so shocked that I just stood in the middle of the marked dumbfounded by this man’s boldness. I went home in a blank state, unable to get Alex out of my head, so the next day I went back to the market to try and find him and confront him about his actions, only to find that he wasn’t there. It wasn’t until I walked past the places I’d dropped my purse that I saw him leaning, smiling cheekily against the lamppost, holding the rest of the bouquet in his hands. I couldn’t help but grin back at him and that was that. He took me to dinner and I didn’t look back.”
Alex laughed, “Yeah to think, if you hadn’t gone to the market that day, we would have never of met.”
Hermione watched as the couple shared a loving kiss, a warm glow filling her heart. Draco grinned and said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better person to call a father either.” Narcissa gushed and hugged her son to her firmly.
“I’m so happy and now I have a daughter as well as a granddaughter to add to my family.” Hermione couldn’t help but blush with happiness at the thought of being a part of Narcissa’s family. I can’t believe I was so frightened to meet her.
Hermione hadn’t realised that Draco and his family were looking at her with a glint in their eyes. Mia giggled slightly and the brunette felt like she’d missed a crucial part of the conversation.
She scrunched her nose up in confusion, “What did I miss?”
Within seconds, Draco had taken Hermione’s hands in his and he was bent on one knee. “Well I was going to wait until after Christmas, but since Mother has put her foot in it slightly by calling you ‘daughter’ I guess I should do it now.”
“Hermione Granger, will you do me the honour of being my Wife?”
Hermione’s eyes widened as she looked around the room, everyone else was smiling encouragingly, while Draco just looked nervous over her answer.
She stuttered, “I…I...don’t know what to say…except…I would love to be your Wife.”
Narcissa squealed in delight and Hermione was uplifted by the strong hug that Draco gave her. Mia clapped and danced around her mum and dad while Alexander laughed along at the happy news.
“Champagne! We’re having a party to celebrate!” Narcissa stood up and shouted for her servants to come. “Quick I want you to Owl all the Weasley’s, the Potter’s, the Long bottom’s and the Granger’s and make sure they all get here within the hour. Hurry!”
Hermione stood dazed as she watched Draco’s mother plan a very short notice engagement party. Engaged! I just got engaged! I’m getting married to Draco! Ahhh!
She felt a small tug at her dress to see her daughter staring up at her with the biggest smile she had ever seen.
“I’m happy mummy.”
Hermione grinned and whirled Mia into her arms and whispered, “I’m happy too.”
True to her word, Narcissa managed to pull together a massive party within the hour. Hermione’s parents were apparated to the Jensen family home where they gushed over the newly engaged couple before becoming deep in conversation with Draco’s parents.
When Ginny, Harry, and the kids arrived, Ginny squealed in delight at the ring that was on Hermione’s finger.
“I’m so glad he finally did it! I’ve been waiting for months!”
Hermione narrowed her eyes and pointed a stern finger at her best friend, “You knew!”
Ginny waved her hand airily and tutted, “Of course I knew, I was the first person he came too when he was thinking about it. He asked me whether giving you his mother’s old engagement ring was good enough and let me tell you something; that rock is worth it!”
The pair gazed down at the ring that was situated on Hermione’s finger. It was a sapphire stone (Hermione’ birthstone) set in a white gold band that was made by royal Elves in the 16th Century. Ginny stared at it lovingly before kissing her best friend on the cheek.
“I’m so happy for you. You’ve suffered so much in your life that you deserve to be happy. I’m sure Ron would agree.”
The thought of Ron filled Hermione with a sadness that she hadn’t felt in a long time. Ron had bought her a ring with a sapphire stone, as well when they were engaged. He had shone with pride at her delight and had been a true moment of happiness. She had gushed at the thought of them being together forever, having children, finding their first house, growing old together. It was something they both had wanted so much, but it was taken from them so cruelly.
“What’s up Mione.”
She turned to see Harry staring at her, a knowing look in his eyes. “It made me think of him too you know. He would want you to move on though; he’d want you to be happy with Draco and Mia. He wouldn’t want you to morn him for the rest of your life; it’s not fair on you.”
Her eyes became watery as she said, “I need to say goodbye to him properly. Maybe the both of us can go and visit his grave soon. I need the closure.”
Harry smiled at her sadly before nodding. He too hadn’t visited Ron’s grave since the funeral; he couldn’t face it without Hermione.
The remaining two of the trio hugged before they were interrupted by Neville and Luna. Luna in her own weird way made it known that she was happy for her friend, while Neville squeezed Hermione tightly saying that he was so pleased for her and Draco.
Mrs Weasley shouldered up to the brunette dabbing at her eyes as she congratulated the pair.
“I hope that, even though you’re getting married, that you don’t forget about me and Arthur dear, you’re still our daughter no matter what.”
Hermione hugged her old to be Mother in Law as she sobbed against Hermione’s chest. When Draco saw the emotional gesture between the two women, he eyed his new fiancé who shook her head as if to say ‘it’s all right, she’s just a bit sad.’ However, when Molly spied Draco she rushed over to him to seize him into a bone crushing hug.
“You my boy are a very lucky man, so please don’t be a stranger. Me and Arthur consider you a son as well you know.”
“Just like I consider you a part of my family too Molly, I’ll take good care of her I promise.”
Molly sniffed before Arthur gently pried her arms off of Draco’s firm frame. He congratulated the newly engaged couple with a hearty expression before whisking his wife over the twins who crushed her to their chests. She never could resist a smile whenever they hugged her.
Hermione couldn’t help but enjoy the party even though she felt guilty marrying another. Everyone who she considered family was there to share her happiness, even though she still was in shock that she was once again engaged. Mia danced in the arms of James to the sweet music in the background, which made the grownups follow suit. Every partner took to the dance floor, even the twins who happily moved with each other, pretending to cry on each other’s shoulder.
She stood and watched the happy couples before being touched lightly on the shoulder.
“May I have this dance?”
Hermione turned to see her fiancé standing behind her, one hand out to her the other tucked behind her back. She blushed, before taking him up on his offer. He swung her into the middle of the couples without even bumping into anyone else before waltzing her around the floor, making her feel like the Queen he viewed her as.
“Are you happy?”
He grinned before twirling her out then into his arms once again. “Are you mine forever?”
Another twirl out, further this time, barely touching each other’s fingertips before he swished her towards him again, so close that she could hear the beating of his heart. The conversation seemed familiar somehow, as if she had had a long time ago, in another life.
They swayed to the beating of his heart, unaware of the people around them. She gazed into the eyes that she loved so much a small smile playing on her lips. He bent down to kiss her, sending the familiar electric jolts through her body before letting her go and disappearing into the crowd. Hermione stood; dazed that he had just left her but soon saw a hand beckoning her to follow. Her family were still dancing, laughing and playing, completely oblivious that the couple had stopped and that the bride to be was left.
The brunette followed, unsure what Draco was doing. He ran down the long hall, past the surprised servants laughing and Hermione could not help but laugh along. It felt unusual, as if she wasn’t really following him at all but instead an image of him.
“Draco, wait up.”
He turned to the right which led out to the patio if she remembered correctly from the tour that Narcissa had given them only three hours ago. Was it only three hours, it feels like years. As he turned, Hermione glimpsed his face but it wasn’t his. His skin was paler, and dusted with freckles. It couldn’t be.
She blinked but before she knew it, he was out the door leading to the patio.
She followed, a little wary of what she had just seen. It was dark outside, the cold wintery air nipping at her bare legs and causing goosebumps across her arms. There was no sign of her new fiancé and a sudden prickle at the back of neck made Hermione shiver and she knew it wasn’t to do with the cold weather.
Whipping round the shadowy figure with the red and green eyes was standing behind her. It was still covered in darkness but it was closer this time, more cocky than last time. It knew that it could take her within seconds and she wouldn’t be able to fight; she had left her wand back inside.
It reached towards her and the weak light from the hallway behind allowed Hermione to see the decaying skin that was over the thin fingers. She shuddered but stood firm. Any sudden movements could cause it to attack, yet she still felt as if it didn’t want to hurt her. Just cause her fear.
And, unlike before, it spoke.
“You said you’re mine forever…I will hold you to that.”
How could it have known I said that…unless it was pretending to be Draco.
With that it was gone in what Hermione could see was a puff of smoke.
“Hermione where are you?
She stood rooted to the stop, feeling unsure of what she had just seen. “Hermione you’re freezing, come here.”
She felt the strong, safe arms of Draco wrap around her but she shuddered at the thought of him hugging her. Pushing him away she turned to face him, angry tears rising.
“Why did you disappear?!”
He stood confused, a look of concern across his face. “What do you mean?”
She jutted a finger into his stomach, her tears flowing freely; she was hurt that he would lead her out to the thing that was so terrifying. The thing that made her freeze in fear.
“We were dancing and then you left and made me follow you to here and you disappeared! Why would you lead me out here?! It was back!”
Draco began to look alarmed and held Hermione firmly in place as she tried to fight to get round him.
“Hermione, I wasn’t dancing with you. I told you after I’d hugged Molly that I was going down to the cellar to help the butler with the wine. I’ve down there for the last fifteen minutes. Everyone saw you run off after the song ended and was starting to get worried once you didn’t come back; they’re all looking for you.”
Hermione couldn’t take it in. He hadn’t danced with me? That's not possible! He was there, holding me!
She was shaking and Draco finally pulled her inside, closing the patio door behind them. He searched her eyes but all he could recognise was confusion.
“You had to be dancing with me… you twirled me into the middle of the floor and everyone was dancing around us, it had to be you!”
He just shook his head. “No it wasn’t. Everyone said that you seemed to be swaying and twirling by yourself with a massive smile on your face but you were alone; Harry said he saw you muttering something but the song was so loud that he couldn’t make out what you were saying….Hermione what’s going on?”
She didn’t reply and just stared at him, unsure of what to think. All she could feel was fear.
“The shadowy figure came back. It was out there with me on the patio.”
Draco’s eyes widened before whipping out his wand from his back pocket. “Where?”
Hermione just shook her head, “There’s no point, it’s gone. It just said…” For some reason she couldn’t tell Draco what the figure had said. It seemed wrong somehow, “It just said that I had to beware.”
Draco didn’t seem convinced but took Hermione firmly into his arms. “I’ll never let anything get you don’t worry. We’ll figure this out together.”
She nodded in his arms, still unsure of what she was feeling. It was something she couldn’t shake and the party mood had completely left her. Draco manoeuvred her back into the living room where the rest of her family were still waiting. They all seemed relieved to see her and when they asked where she had gone when they felt how frozen she was, she just replied that she needed some air.
The party carried on as if nothing had happened but Hermione wasn’t into it anymore. Something was coming for her and soon. She ‘ummed’ and ‘ahhed’ at the questions that were asked of her, like when they were planning to have the wedding and what about Mia’s second name, would they change it or would she stay a Granger. Draco tried to answer the questions as truthfully as he could but his eyes kept drifting to Hermione’s statuesque form that stood next to him.
He told everyone that he hoped to have the wedding on first of January of the New Year, that way they would have time to prepare. Narcissa butted in that she would pay any costs that came with the wedding and that she couldn’t wait for the new Mrs Malfoy.
Hermione’s parents hugged her affectionately, her mother giving her a warm kiss on the cheek. “We’ll see you at Christmas. Congratulations.”
She nodded and hugged them goodbye, a little more aware now that sometime had passed since the scary incident. Finally, when everyone had left, the newly engaged couple and Mia apparated back to the cottage in Devon where Ace barked a happy welcome.
Draco swiftly took the near sleeping Mia to her bedroom, Ace following at his heels; he knew his duty by now. Hermione watched slightly detached at the scene that would usually make her smile before heading into the forest which they considered to be their back garden.
The silver moonlight helped illuminate the forestry in a magical light but Hermione still felt uncertain about what was lurking in the corners. She hadn’t felt the terror that she had felt the first time when she had seen the shadowy figure; instead it was like it was familiar somehow. What was mostly making her upset was that whatever it was, it had ruined a perfect moment that she thought she was having with Draco.
Sighing, she waved her wand in the air, creating little tea lights all over the decking. They created enough light for Hermione to feel safe, before casting a protection spell once again over her homely cottage.
With that, she turned and headed back into the house, locking the door firmly behind her. She checked that all the windows were the same and that no one had forced an entry. Shadow pecked at her fingers when she told him that he would have to suffice with owl treats tonight, she wanted all the windows left closed.
Giving the living room a once over she headed towards the bedroom where Draco was getting undressed. His chiselled chest normally sent happy shivers through her body but she was still unsettled about earlier. What if it’s not him? What if it’s the shadowy figure again…how am I meant to be sure?
As if he could read her thoughts, Draco lifted his head to look at her. “It’s me Mione, I promise you that.”
She still wasn’t certain, she couldn’t tell. Sighing, he wandered over to her, crushing her to his chest. He made her hands wander all over the tight muscles and up through his hair, while trying to not shiver with the pleasure she made him feel.
He kept his eyes firmly on hers making sure that she was aware that it was him, pleading with his looks to believe him.
“This is me. I’m solid and real. I love you and whatever happens I will protect you. This is the body you sleep with every night that hugs you and our daughter. This is ME.”
Finally he placed his lips to hers and kissed her in the only way he knows how. Unlike before this kiss was intense and her whole body was fizzing with electricity. It was the same kiss that he gave her in the kitchen and even as he kissed her lightly she still felt the melting sensation that he gave her. This was him. She couldn’t even believe that she though that the other kiss was intense; it was nothing like the kisses they shared.
Yet…it still felt familiar.
Through their kisses, Draco muttered sweet nothings like he always did until Hermione pleaded with him to take her to oblivion. With that, he whisked her into his arms and carried her to the bed. There, they shared their love unlike any other night before.
He kissed her all over making her arch and moan through the unbearable sensation yet not wanting him to stop; always yearning for more.
It wasn’t until the early hours of the next morning that they finally fell asleep in each other’s arms, exhausted.
A/N: Well I apologise for not updating for so long but Writers Block won the battle and I just had no inspiration to write until now. I’ve been working on this chapter for about a month and I kept stopping and starting again so I hope you all like. I tried to make it as long as possible to make up for the lost time. Hope you all like it. Please read and review and tell me what you think.
Yours Stagzpotterfan x