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Chapter 23 : A Hairy Reception
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Hermione woke up on Draco’s sofa to a very annoying noise and a blinding headache.
“What is that sound?” Hermione groaned as she covered her ears. She then felt someone nearby.
“That love, is the sweet sound of an alarm clock at 7am in the morning, telling you that no matter how hungover you may be, you have a wedding to attend,” Draco’s voice said from nearby. Hermione cursed under her breath as she heard his amusement.
“Not funny Dray,” Hermione then murmured sleepily. Her throat was incredibly dry and she still felt incredibly drunk. “Do you have hangover potion here?”
“Of course. I have a hangover potion for all seven of you although Pansy is perfectly fine,” Draco’s voice smirked. Hermione opened her eyes and sat up slowly, trying to hold down the feeling of wanting to be sick.
“I am never drinking with Ginny ever again,” Hermione sighed.
“Hey!” Ginny said in a muffled yell from by the fireplace where she was curled up with a blanket and a pillow, her Weasley red hair all over the place. Hermione spotted the hangover potion on the side in the kitchen area next to Draco’s cauldron and she wandlessly summoned it, catching it and drinking it within the same movement.
She froze for a few seconds as the potion began to take effect and burn the alcohol from her system then she sighed tiredly as last night came back to her. Draco had moved to wake up Angelina, Katie Bell and Alicia Spinnet and she got up and walked over to him after making sure her Gryffindor red dress was pulled down correctly.
“Thank you,” Hermione murmured as she hugged him from behind. Draco turned around in her arms and placed a light kiss on her forehead.
“Not a problem. Now get ready to go to the Weasley’s, Molly and my mother are expecting you all there in less than half an hour. Hermione moved towards Draco’s room and found her bag on his bed, inside which were clothes for her to travel in, her make-up, her soap and all manner of things that she would have needed but wouldn’t have had time to go home and get.
“Thanks Draco!” Hermione yelled and she heard Draco chuckle from the other side of the door. Stepping into the bathroom Hermione moved across to the shower but almost as soon as she had stepped into the shower, Draco walked into the bathroom, stripped off his pyjamas and slid in next to her.
“Hey,” Draco whispered before he caught her lips with his.
Hermione and Draco emerged from their room dead on time to leave and the girls exchanged sly looks.
“Shut up,” Hermione mumbled as she saw their faces. Draco kissed Hermione softly then threw his floo powder and flooed off to Grimmauld Place and as soon as he was gone Pansy was by her ear.
“Enjoy your shower?” Hermione rolled her eyes and chuckled at her pregnant friend.
“Just go,” Hermione then said. Pansy smirked at her then threw her floo powder and headed to the burrow, everyone else apparated away.
When they arrived Mrs Weasley was shooing Bill and Charlie into the garden while they levitated flowers behind them and Fleur was cooking in the kitchen.
“Finally you’re here,” Mrs Weasley sighed as she caught her daughter around her shoulders. “Your brothers are outside setting things up, you should be upstairs getting ready, you too Hermione and Pansy, upstairs, chop chop!” Hermione grinned at Ginny and then headed upstairs to the first floor where Ginny’s room was. The room was filled with all kinds of paraphernalia for the girls to get ready and Hermione sighed. Pansy caught her shoulders and grinned at her.
“Don’t worry Hermione. It will all be over soon,” Pansy smirked. Ginny laughed and shut the door.
At five to three Draco was stood next to a very nervous Harry who was running his hand through his hair repeatedly as Blaise, his best man, approached them through the guests.
“Dude, calm the hell down,” Blaise smirked as he clapped a hand on Harry’s shoulder.
“It’s not you getting married now is it?” Harry hissed. Draco rolled his eyes and stood in front of his friend.
“Mate, you faced down Voldemort-,“ Draco started but Harry shook his head.
“Voldemort is nothing compared to Ginny,” Harry murmured. Draco rolled his eyes and caught Harry’s shoulders turning him bodily so he could stare him down.
“Potter, you’ve known the girl for years, you’ve spent months in that house with her…you know this girl and you should not be bricking it at the thought of marrying her. As much as I hate to admit it, you’re Harry bloody Potter, the golden boy and chosen one, freaking act like it and cut the nervousness,” Draco said firmly. Harry’s emerald eyes focused on his and he gradually calmed down, breathing a deep sigh as he saw Mrs Weasley come running out of the house to tell them to get started.
Harry and Ginny were getting married in the massive Weasley garden beneath two old trees that had leaves that hung down and would provide shade for the couple. Everyone else was sat in white chairs under the shade of an oak tree and Draco had to admit that the setting was beautiful. The Weasley garden was something that once upon a time he would have turned his nose up at, but now he could appreciate the beauty in the random shrubs and flowers sprawled carelessly around and he could appreciate the softness of the uneven grass. In the carelessness of the garden he could feel that boundless love that Mr and Mrs Weasley gave off.
Draco stood back from Harry and Blaise and took a seat in the front isle as Mrs Weasley rushed up the path and shushed the guests before taking her seat as music began to float over the area.
Hermione, just outside the garden gate and out of view with Pansy, Ginny and Mr Weasley, was waiting patiently for the music to start and when it did Pansy started to move forwards elegantly despite the pregnancy bump that you could barely see under her dress and the specific colouring of her dress seemed to fade into the grass. There was a change in the music and Hermione took her cue to start to walking, making sure her long skirt didn’t snag on anything as she walked, but she needn’t have worried, she made it to the start of the aisle without problems. She tightened her grip on her bouquet and waited for the trill in the music that signalled Ginny was about to walk through the gate and she started to walk down the aisle ignoring the way heads followed her, trying not to see the way Draco was staring at her.
Draco was transfixed, Hermione was beautiful. Her hair was back to the deepest black he’d ever seen, but instead of the straight hair she had opted for before, her hair was as curly as it had once been and hung around her shoulders effortlessly. Her face had a flawless look to it and her brown eyes were complimented by thick lashes that brushed her cheekbones on every blink. It took Draco as long as it took Hermione to walk halfway up the aisle before he tore his eyes away from her features and take in what she was wearing. When he saw her dress he lost the ability to breathe.
Hermione stood opposite Blaise and turned for Ginny to walk up the aisle, stealing a quick glance at Harry as she did so. Harry’s eyes were glazed behind his glasses as he watched Ginny walk up the aisle then he broke into a wide grin and Hermione sighed with relief. She knew he’d been nervous and she didn’t want him getting cold feet and thankfully he had pulled through. Her eyes slid on to Draco’s and she met his silver eyes and blushed as she lost herself in his eyes, but thankfully Ginny broke her eye contact and she turned to face the minister.
The ceremony was short and sweet and Hermione caught both her friends up in a huge hug as soon as it was finished.
“You guys! I’m happy for you! So, so happy!” Hermione yelled. Harry laughed and Ginny squirmed.
“If you ruin my hair Hermione, so help me, there will be a funeral today,” Ginny half laughed, half growled. Hermione released her friends and looked between them proudly, then she saw Charlie walk up and turned froze.
“Congratulations Mrs Potter,” The man spoke. Ginny looked up and gawped seconds before she threw herself into the man’s arms.
“Ron! Sweet Merlin in a Santa Claus suit, you came!” Ginny squealed as she hugged her brother tight. Hermione looked back at Harry and he shrugged to show he had nothing to do with it. Harry’s shrug caught Ron’s attention and he turned to face his former friend.
“Congratulations Harry…treat my sister right,” Ron said with a curt nod. Harry glared back at Ron but for the sake of Ginny, who had run off to find her mother, he held his tongue.
Draco snaked his arms around Hermione’s waist and placed a kiss on her bare shoulder.
“Hey beautiful,” Draco smiled. Hermione turned around to face Draco with a worried expression on her face. Draco saw the expression then looked over her shoulder into the cold blue eyes of the only Weasley he despised.
“Malfoy?” Weasley questioned as he looked at Harry, his eyes slid across and he really saw Hermione. What he saw made his jaw drop. “Hermione?”
“Hello Weasley,” Draco said trying to be polite.
“Hi Ron,” Hermione murmured as she shrank back against Draco’s chest. Ron’s blue eyes flicked between Hermione and Draco and back again before he laughed cruelly.
“Oh this is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while,” Ron snickered.
“What’s funny Weasley?” Draco asked.
“The fact that you are with her,” Ron sneered as he looked the pair up and down. Hermione stared at Ron in shock as she felt Draco tense.
“Listen to me Weasley. I am a guest here for Ginny and for Harry. I’m actually now a friend of the family. I will not start shit with you today, because if I ruin Ginny’s day I will never forgive myself. Now I would appreciate it if you refrain from approaching me, and unless you have something nice to say, stay away from Hermione,” Draco snarled as he stepped around Hermione and moved close to Ron. Ron stared coldly down into Draco’s eyes but Draco waited before Ron looked away before he walked off in the direction of George and Bill who were watching Draco and Ron warily.
“So Hermione why does Draco seem to think he’s got a monopoly on you?” Ron asked conversationally. Hermione sighed and pushed a stray black curl into place.
“Don’t act like you care Ron.” Ron rolled his eyes and moved closer, prompting Hermione to take a step back to stand closer to Harry.
“But I do care Hermione. I want to know what happened with Malfoy for him to suddenly be accepted by everyone with open arms. I mean the ice queen is here,” Ron sneered.
“Don’t call her that! Her name is Narcissa and she’s actually a nice woman!” Hermione said hotly. Ron quirked an eyebrow and then Hermione saw two feminine hands appear around Ron’s waist. Ron looked down and smiled.
“Hey Tori.” The witch with her arms around Ron moved around to face Hermione and Harry and with a jolt, Hermione recognised the younger Greengrass sister Astoria.
“Tori?” Harry questioned as he raised an eyebrow.
“Sorry I’m being rude. Hermione, Harry, meet Astoria Weasley,” Ron said. Hermione gawped at Ron and then her eyes flickered across to Astoria. She had to look up to see the blonde bombshell as she was at least five foot nine without heels, but in her five foot courts she was taller than Harry and dwarfed Hermione. The girl’s eyes were a cool ice blue as she regarded them, and when she broke into a smile, the dazzling smile didn’t quite reach her eyes.
“Astoria Weasley?” Hermione murmured. “So Astoria Greengrass was the woman you cheated on me with?” Ron looked down at Hermione and shrugged with a cruel half-smile. Hermione turned around and walked off with her fists clenched by her side while she tried to locate Draco. Instead she walked into Pansy and Blaise who knew instantly that something was up.
“What’s wrong?” Pansy asked as she caught Hermione’s eye.
“Ron Weasley is here with his wife Astoria “Tori” Weasley,” Hermione stammered. “Astoria is the woman he cheated on me with.” Blaise stared at Hermione in shock as Pansy hugged her.
“Dragon is twice the man Weasley is and you are five times the woman Astoria is, don’t let them bother you,” Pansy murmured into Hermione’s ear.
“Mione are you okay? You took off in a rush there,” Ron’s voice called. Hermione untangled herself and stepped close to Ron, anger crackling in her entire demeanour.
“You listen to me Weasley. If you’ve come here to show off your wife and gloat in my face you can turn around and walk away right now. You should be here to show your support and give your congratulations to your little sister who, by the way, just got married. Do not speak to me again Weasley and never call me Mione again…you lost that privilege a year ago when you cheated on me,” Hermione said quietly.
“You have no right to tell me where to go in my own home,” Ron sneered.
“No I don’t. But I’m sure George and Bill and Charlie will be happy to escort you out. And just for the record. I’m with Draco Malfoy, as in, I’m his girlfriend, and I’m happy about it,” Hermione smirked. Ron stared down at Hermione in disgust but she walked away, holding her head high as she walked towards the blonde guy she’d been looking for. Unfortunately, he was being approached by another blonde.
“Astoria?” Draco questioned as he recognised the cold ice blue eyes of the girl he turned down more times than he could count.
“Draco? Oh my, what a surprise!” Astoria cried before she hugged him. Draco froze as Astoria hugged him, then Hermione came up and cleared her throat.
“Excuse me, could you kindly release my boyfriend,” Hermione smiled sweetly. Astoria stood back and looked down at Hermione with distaste.
“Really Draco, the mudblood?” Astoria sneered. Everything seemed to stop as everyone in the vicinity who heard Astoria’s whiny voice froze to stare at her.
“Don’t call her that,” Draco growled. “And if you plan to leave here intact, I suggest you start making tracks, Greengrass.” Astoria stared down her nose at her and she glared back.
“Tori, come on, come meet my family,” Ron said as he appeared behind Astoria and led her off. Hermione clenched her fists and unclenched them as she let out a slow and steady breath.
“Draco please just keep me away from them?” Hermione pleaded as she faced him. Draco nodded and pulled Hermione against his side.
The rest of the reception passed pretty peacefully. Ron and Astoria kept out of the way of Draco and Hermione and even avoided arguing with his brothers who spent most of the night glaring at him, but Hermione was glad. Despite the fact she’d rather someone said something to Ron, she was glad everything stayed peaceful for Harry and Ginny who just looked exceptionally happy; however as soon as Harry and Ginny left the burrow to go on their honeymoon via portkey to California, Ron approached them. Hermione saw him coming and then saw George moving to intercept his brother and wait between them until the guests had all left.
When the garden was empty except for the Weasleys and Hermione and Draco, Ron stepped around George and approached Draco.
“What do you want Weasley?” Draco asked as he positioned himself in front of Hermione.
“I want to know why you are here?” Ron sneered.
“I’m a friend of the bride and groom, a friend of the family in fact,” Draco shrugged.
“You don’t belong here Malfoy,” Ron growled as he got close to Draco’s face. Hermione pushed in between the boys and pushed Ron back.
“No, you don’t belong here Ron!” Hermione hissed.
“No Hermione. You don’t belong here. You never did really belong in the wizard world. How does it feel to tread the line and not fit anywhere? I mean half the time your parents didn’t know how to deal with you in the holidays, you said so yourself,” Ron smirked nastily.
Hermione froze as she tried not to hear what Ron said, but the next second Draco had punched Ron square on the jaw and he staggered back before diving at Draco. Hermione shrieked and then she felt someone pull her back as Bill and Charlie tried to pull apart Draco and Ron fought each other. Looking up she realised the person holding her was George, and he was livid.
Hermione watched Draco tousle with Ron until Ron shoved him on the floor and pulled his wand. She read the spell in his angry mind and she felt her anger burst free in her mind and with it she pulled away from George and launched herself at Ron. As she leapt she pulled her magic from her core and allowed herself to take her Animagus form, that form knew exactly what to do and she bowled Ron over and froze with her teeth at his neck and her front paws on his wand arm.
Draco yelled in surprise as he saw Hermione push away from George, but his yell was frozen on his lips as he saw Hermione leap in the air and change, magic rippling around her as she did. He couldn’t quite make sense of what he saw until he saw Ron land a few feet away with Hermione above him, but it wasn’t Hermione, it couldn’t be because what he was looking at was a brown wolf with an extremely bushy tail.
“Hermione?” Draco breathed as he got to his feet staring at the wolf. The wolf’s ears flicked back and it sprang back off Ron, backing away until it stood in front of Draco growling. Draco looked up at the rest of the Weasley’s who stood stock still, staring at the wolf.
Hermione felt her growl rock through her frame as she glared at Ron through her brown eyes. No way would he hurt her Draco. Ron sat up and stared at her open mouthed, but when he went to move further she snapped at him and he froze, staring into her eyes and really comprehending what he was seeing.
“Hermione? You’re an animagus? No way, no fucking way,” Ron breathed, his voice too low for the Weasley’s to pick up on, but perfectly pitched for Hermione’s keener hearing. She felt a rush of incredulity swim through her as her more humane mind picked up on his shock and it gave her enough humanity to pull her magic back and allow her to shift forms.
When she shifted she looked down and saw she was as she was before the change, not a speck of mud on her clothing at all.
“Just who do you think you are Ron?” Hermione asked. “You left saying you never wanted to see me or Harry again and then you come back here after a year and try and start trouble with Astoria in tow. You don’t have any right to ask questions about what you see here, and you definitely have no right to demand answers to them.”
“Since when did you become an animagus?” Ron asked.
“I’ve been learning… That was the first time I’ve changed. I changed because you were going to do something unspeakable, something that would have been worth Azkaban,” Hermione hissed.
“I would never,” Ron started but Hermione cut in quickly.
“I saw the words in your mind Ron, I saw them branded across your thoughts as you focused your wand. You were going to kill him!” Hermione heard Mrs Weasley take a breath and she grimaced.
“I-I-I…THIS IS MY FAMILY! ARE YOU SAYING I HAVE NO RIGHT TO PROTECT THEM?!” Ron roared.
“PROTECT THEM FROM WHAT RONALD!” Hermione screamed.
“FROM MALFOY!” Hermione heard Draco take a breath and she felt fury and sadness flow through her as she advanced on Ron. Ron stared at her when she stopped in front of him, and she could tell he wasn’t prepared for her to smack him, so when she did he staggered back a few steps cursing.
“Draco would never hurt me or anyone else. If you want to know why then fine, here’s the entire sorry story! After you left Me, Harry and Ginny went back to Hogwarts and when we finished we went to live at the Burrow. But before we went I sent a letter to the ministry asking them to locate my parents. In august gone, I received a letter telling me to go to the ministry and they told me that my parents are dead. They died in a plane crash heading over to Australia, but of course, I didn’t get the news because I was out of contact with the muggle world fighting in a wizarding war. I went through a phase and Draco showed up to help me through it, in the process of helping me we fell in love with each other and the Weasley’s accepted him because he has been there for me,” Hermione said in a rush as she tried to stop her feelings colouring her tone. “No one kicked you out Ron, no one told you that you had to leave, in fact no one wanted you to go, we couldn’t understand why you would do the things you did and then leave. So you have no right to stand here looking wounded when you see people sticking up for someone you wrongly consider an enemy,” Hermione finished. Before Ron could reply, she walked over to the groupand asked Draco to take her home. Draco nodded to the group and then apparated away with Hermione, taking her back to her flat.
So Hermione is a wolf!!! I know some people may feel she has more of an affinity with cats because of crookshanks but I just felt like she would be a wolf. Purely because she is fiercely protective of her own, exceptionally smart and tends to have a bit of a vicious streak to her. I hope you enjoy this chapter….AND I PROMISE UPLOADS WILL BE COMING FASTER!!!! J
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