I was in Kingsley Shaklebolts office, dressed in my best, most feminine suit. My hands were flat on his desk and I was leaning into him.
"Hermione," he hedged. "You know I like and trust you, but I don't know if it's a beneficial use of our resources."
I sighed. "Please Kingsley, I wont let you down."
He leaned back in a defeated kind of way and smiled slightly. "Okay Hermione," he said. "You win."
I walked out of his office feeling accomplished and proud. What I wanted to do most was to share it with Draco. But then I remembered: we weren't speaking. It had been a long time since I had even seen him, let alone spoken to him. I was missing him like crazy. However, Kingsley's permission of my most recent request put me on track to winning everything back.
I had decided to go to Kingsley just the evening before. I had spent hours trying to decide how I could bring Ron into justice from him fellony at Quiddich Camp. He had illegally used muggle drugs to enhance his performance; something I could not let go. My plan was to ask Kingsley for a trial. Just a small trial that didn't hold many witnesses. This was because I was sure, after a lot of law enforcement research, that a full panel of witnessing wizards was not necessary; due to the scale of Ron's fellony. I wanted to present my case, fornally, to Kingsley and a few others and tell them straight that they had to do something about it. I decided that this was a better approach than going to Ron myself and confronting him. This way, he would have a trusted professional tell him off and, hopefully, kick him off the team he was so proud to make.
Kingsley had agreed, after a lot of pursuasion, to hear me out the next day at noon. He said he would be bringing two other board members with him.
That evening, I prepared like I never had done before. When I thought about it, I found it ironic how I was now trying so hard to have the man I once loved potentially arrested. I went to sleep at two am. Exhausted and ready.
It did not take a lot of pursuading to have Ron accompany me to the Ministry. I didn't tell him why we were going, just that I needed him to come with me. A quick eyelash flutter and he was on board.
We arrived at the Ministry at eleven the next morning. I was as nervous as I had been when I had my very first interview. With a jolt, I realised that today was my first wedding anniversary with Draco. Trying not to let it subdue me too much; I powered on, with Ron walking next to me confused.
At twelve on the dot, Kingsley popped his head out of his office and smiled awkwardly. He beckoned for us to enter the office, and I wondered nervously, why he looked so uncomfortable. My questions were answered on entry. Kingsley had indeed invited two MInistry official board members to witness. One was a very pretty lady I had seen hovering around the Auror department and the other was Draco.
I hadn't seen or heard from Draco in over two months. The sight of him made me nervous and lust filled, all at the same time. He knew I was coming and was therefore not surprised to see me. However, I notcied that when he saw Ron, hate burned in his eyes. His lips pulled back over his teeth slightly as if he wanted to growl.
"Miss Granger," said the woman, ignoring Ron's presence. "I'm Sadie Jones, special assistant to the Minister. You have been granted this one off opportunity to present your case. You have one hour."
I cleared my throat and avoided Draco's stare. "Good Afternoon, I am hear to explain to you of a crime I was recently made aware of. It is one that I feel needs to be dealt with in a timely manner, before things get more out of hand."
Ron gasped. "What the actual fuck Hermione?!" he exclaimed. "You never told me that this was why you brought me."
Ron stepped forward and placed a clawed hand on my shoulder, his fingers digging in to me. "Did you tell them?" he hissed.
"Ouch Ron," I cried, and made to shove him off of me.
"Release her," came Draco's icy voice. "Right now."
He had risen from his chair, ready to attack. His eyes were locked on Ron and he didn't look at me once. Sadie Jones had conjoured a chair and bound him into it.
"I can't have you manhandling people Mr Weasley," she said sweetly.
Kingsley nodded. "Okay then, please tell."
"Ronald Weasley," I began. I saw Ron glaring at me from the corner of my eye. "Made me aware recently of a crime he commited." Draco stared at me, while Ron shook his head vehmently.
"She's lying!" he shouted, while he thrashed around on the chair.
"Really Mr Weasley," sighed Sadie. She then lazily waved her wand, casting a silencing charm over Ron.
"He was drunk at the time and unaware of what he was telling me. Recently, he was accepted into the Chudley Canons Quiddich Team, something he was very proud of. When under the influence of alcohol, he informed me of his illegal usage of muggle performance enhancers."
Ron was turning a deep red as he listened to my story. His embarrassment and anger becoming very evident.
All three of the board members looked at me confused. "What exactly are these enhancers?" asked Sadie Jones.
I nodded. "It was a drug that he took before his try out, which enhanced his physical and emotional state, which untimately enabled him to succeed."
"Do you have a name for this drug?" asked Sadie, quill at the ready.
I shook my head and glared at Ron. "Ron was unaware of the muggle name, though full aware of its background. As a witch of muggle decent I can infer that it was either some kind of steroid or perhaps ecstacy."
"Could you spell that?" asked Sadie.
I did so and then stared at the three of them. They were looking between one another confused.
"What exact evidence do you have of this?" asked Draco. I jerked as I heard his voice.
I looked down and smiled to myself slightly. Tears were fighting their way to the front of my eyes but I pushed them back fiercly. "Mr Weasley told me bluntly of his crime. This was after he had drank a great deal of wine and while he was sobbing apologetically." I made a disgusted face.
Kingsley was smiling when I looked at hime. "You know Hermione, you seem to have a true knack for Magical Law Enforcement." He then turned to Ron. "Mr Ronald Weasley will be dealt with accordingly. It will be our aim to keep it as quiet as possible for media reasons." Ron looked momentarily relieved.
"His disbandment from the Quiddich Team will be effective immediately. Ministry Officials will be over to his place of reidence to explain the situation to his family and then make the further arrangements of his punishment. In addition, he will be punished for his mistake. Perhaps you would think about transferring from the Auror Department Hermione?"
I smiled modestly. "It is something I'm interested in."
I stole a glance towards my husband and saw him looking at me curiously. He raised an eyebrow when our gazes met but I looked away quickly.
"Thank you very much Miss Granger," said Sadie Jones, placing her quill and full parchment on the desk in front of her. "Your help is greatly appreciated."
The silencing charm was lifted off of Ron as I was leaving the room. He cried out in anger and glared at me.
"I hate you Hermione Granger," he said acidly. "I don't know what I ever saw in you."
"Oh," I said, feigning sadness. "Please excuse me while I go home and sob into a shirt that smells like you. Screw you Ronald Weasley."
I left the office elated. I got exactly what I wanted: Ron in trouble and off the team. I was almost skipping as I made it through the Atrium, ready to return home. However, as I moved to apparate, one thing was still niggling at me.
Draco didn't follow me out.
It was after I made it home, had a shower, made something to eat and then began reading a book in my pyjamas that I realised my marriage was truley over. I had given Draco enough time to see me, think things over and then come to me. He didn't. Of course, I would have gone to him but he expressly told me not to. Even when I attempted apparating to Malfoy Manor, I was nearly splinched from the new wards that were set up.
After I got out of the shower, I owled Ginny to tell her to come over. I had to tell her what I had done today. So when the door knocked at nine thirty, that was who I assumed it was. I heaved myself out of the sofa and to the front door. I was only dressed in my silk nightie with my hair hung damp over my shoulders. I didn't care what Ginny saw.
I opened the door mid-yawn and was caught off guard to see Draco standing sheepishly on the other side.
"Draco?" I gasped, suddenly feeling exposed in the dooeway. It was silly of me really.
"Please Hermione," he said in a strained voice. "May I come in?"
I found it odd how he was asking permission to enter his own house. I didn't point this out however and just stepped back to allow him entrance. He took himself into the living room and stood waiting for me to enter.
"What's going on Draco?" I asked.
Draco bowed his head into his hands. "I've been a terrible husband," he whispered. "I'm so sorry Hermione."
I was astounded. Here he was, apologising to me. I stepped forward. "No Draco, it's me who should apologise to you. I made a mistake, but I've been trying so hard to put it right."
Draco nodded. "I should never have left. I pushed you into going for that dinner with Weasley in the first place. I should have gone with you or asked Ginny to go. I should have known that he would try something like that."
"What do we do now?" I asked awkwardly. I was stood there, braless, in my pyjamas with wet hair. He was stood there in his work suit. There was about a meter between us.
"I've missed you so much Hermione," Draco whispered.
He closed the space between us and pressed his lips to mine. One hand was fisted into my hair while the other creeped up the back of my nightie and stroked my back. I arched myself towards him as I wrapped my own arms around his neck. I kissed all over his face while he trailed kisses all the way down my neck and then to my chest.
A pop! from the hallway briefly tore us apart. Ginny entered the living room looking concerned; here in answer to my owl.
"Oh," she said when she came in. She took in the two of us and then grinned. "Another time Hermione," she said, and then apparated away instantly.
As soon as she was gone, Draco was back to kissing me. He pushed me down onto the sofa until he was hovering over me. Smoothly, I pushed his suit jacket over his shoulders and discarded it onto the floor. I then began with his buttons.
"Hermione," he croaked.
"Yes?" I breathed, in between kissing his chest.
I grinned and pulled him back to me with as much force as I could. We then continued into the night, which ended in bliss that I hadn't felt in weeks. The pleasure, the closeness, the companionship.
I hadn't forgotten.
It was like riding a bike.
At about two a.m, Draco and I were sat together on the sofa; wrapped up next to eachother in the blanket that was usually on the back. My head was rested on his shoulder and he would occasionally kiss my hair, my cheek, my lips.
I sighed in a satisfied way and snuggled closer. "This is perfect," Draco whispered.
I giggled. "Almost," I replied nervously.
Draco looked down at me confused. "I need to ask you something," I told him.
I rose from the comfort of both his arms and the sofa, taking the blanket with me. I wrapped it around myself like a dress, to keep my modestly slightly. Of course, this left Draco to sit there naked, but that was how I like him best.
"Yes?" he asked amused, resting his arms behind his head.
I was distracted by something momentarily but my head snapped up suddenly when Draco cleared his throat. Hitching the blanket dress up my calfs so it was easier to move, I knelt down onto the ground. Draco looked as confused as ever.
"Draco Malfoy," I said clearly. "I love you more than life itself and I want nothing more than to be with you forever and ever. A year has passed since we wed and I have never stopped loving you. I need you. I want you. Always. Will you marry me? Again? Properly this time?"
A grin stretched out over Draco's face and he slid onto the floor to kneel in front of me. Ever so slowly, he pulled the blanket out of my grasp, unwinding it carefully. Then, he pulled me close to him and kissed my neck.
"I would be delighted," he replied.
And then we continued into tomorrow for another round.
Everthing was perfect again.
Ron was disbanded from the team the evening of my presentation. Ginny told me later that it wasn't pretty. Her and Harry had been at The Burrow with James when the Ministry officials had arrived with Ron in tow. Ron was not arrested due to his high profile in the war (which I thought was outrageous) but had to do wizarding community service. He was told that if he wanted to do illegal muggle things, then he could pay the price in a muggle way. He was forced to do various, horrible tasks; without the use of magic.
Draco and I were inseperable again. Plans for our second wedding went into action with everyone helping out. It was going to be wonderful.
I transferred myself from the Auror department to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. It was perfect for me. Not only did I get to do the technical law where I defended and prosecuted people in the trials; I also did some field work, which overlapped with my friends from the Auror department.
I felt like everything was amazing again. And better.
A/N- The next chapter will be the wedding :D and then I'm going to do an epilogue. I will make sure that everything is updated as quickly as possible.
Thank you to everyone so far for reading and reviewing, I have heard some truley wonderful things.
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