Chapter 29 : Eventually
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P.S. Sorry for the funky town spacing between paragraphs, but apparently it is necessary for readability.
-Heroes, David Bowie.
The couple rose from Draco’s bed, their shirts askew, and their hair out of place. Hermione couldn’t put a finger on what she was feeling. But seeing him there, with her, completely enamored and grinning like a fool, she knew that whatever the feeling was, it was perfect.
“Hey, do you want to go for a walk?” He asked, his voice deeper than normal, and soft, as if he had just awoken.
“How curious,” Hermione said slowly, cocking an eyebrow as Draco leaned forward and placed a kiss on her forehead. “I would love to.”
Draco moved away and smiled at her. “Wonderful. Let’s go.”
They didn’t know where they were going, but they were absently making their way towards the foyer. Down through hallways, their voices echoing off the oak paneled walls. The portraits screamed insults as the couple passed, but neither Draco or Hermione paid them any attention.
The pair was simply going to pass through the foyer and wander to another wing our out onto the lawn, but to their surprise, standing in their nice clothes beside the front door, were the Greengrasses and both Draco’s parents.
“Hermione!” Astoria called as soon as she saw the brunette. Her eyes were watery and she looked ridiculously sentimental as Hermione walked towards her.
“What’s going on?” Hermione asked. Draco had wandered towards his parents.
“We’re leaving early.” Astoria sniffed. “Mother says it’s high time to leave.”
“Oh...” Hermione looked and saw Daphne watching her from a short distance away. The woman looked like a falcon.
“It’s horrid.” Astoria continued. “Promise you’ll come see me soon?”
“And I feel awful about Draco,” the blonde continued, proving once again that it didn’t matter what Hermione said, she only heard what she wanted to. “But he’ll come around, won’t he?”
“Uh, I don’t know about that...” Hermione replied quietly.
“I know I shouldn’t worry about it,” She interrupted. “But Daphne asked me to ask you and so I guess I should. You’ll find it absurd, so I am sorry for asking, but Daph said you need to promise me that you and Draco won’t become an item.”
Hermione didn’t answer, and simply looked at Draco hoping he had heard and would swoop into the conversation.
“Hermione?” She asked. “Hermione, do I have your word?”
“I’m sorry,” Hermione replied quietly, making sure to keep her eyes away from Astoria's.
“Excuse me? I don’t understand. Do I have your word?”
“You see, I would promise,” Hermione bit her lip anxiously. “But I only make promises that I can keep.”
Astoria stared blankly at her friend, her smile faltering.
“Have a safe trip home, I’ll see you soon I’m sure. Darling.” Hermione added the last part with the exact same pureblood plush that she had heard so many times. She leaned forward and kissed the Greengrass lightly on the cheek.
“Ah-I...” Astoria stuttered. “Excuse me?! I don’t think that you understood-”
It was then that Draco decided to come over to where the two girls stood, wrapping his arm lovingly around Hermione’s waist. “Goodbye, Astoria.” He said. “It was nice to see you again.”
Astoria simply stared at the place where Draco was holding onto Hermione, her features quickly shriveling into something like that of a pit bulls. Daphne was still watching them, and Hermione couldn’t help but smile a little as Astoria swelled with fury.
“Draco Malfoy, you’re ruining yourself and your family by even associating with her. I’m glad to be getting out of this manor, now that it’s very halls are stained by that thing’s impurity. And I hope for your sake that you wake up from this dream world you are living in. People like you don’t marry people like that.” Astoria spat, looking Hermione up and down with all the rage she could possibly muster. “Good day.”
Both Hermione and Draco stood quietly as Astoria walked away, staring at the place she had just been occupying.
Neither of them said a thing as the Greengrasses said their final goodbye’s to Lucius and Narcissa and exited the manor with more gusto than Hermione would have thought possible.
Draco’s parents seemed to be in some state of shock as well, for none of them said anything for a horribly long moment. All of them replaying the accounts in their head until the memory was exhausted.
“Merlin,” Lucius murmured. “What was that about?”
“I’ve really no idea.” His wife replied, looking at Draco and cocking an eyebrow.
“Oh well, I’m just glad their out of my house.” Lucius added, slipping his arm through Narcissa’s.
“They were rather exhausting, I will admit.” Narcissa said with a sigh. She then glanced over to Hermione, who’s cheeks flamed as the older woman met her gaze. “Oh, and I suppose I should have told you sooner but your parents went home last night.”
“They did?!” Hermione asked, alarmed. “But it’s not safe-”
“Oh, no, not their house.” Narcissa cut in. “Molly and Arthur Weasleys house. They’ll be safe there, that’s why I let them leave. Also a letter came for you this morning.”
“A letter? From my parents?”
“No, from one of your friends.” Narcissa detached herself from her husband and walked towards Hermione, pulling out a light blue envelope from the inside of her robes. “You weren’t in your bedroom last night, so I had to wait to give it to you.”
Hermione flushed an even deeper shade of red. “Thank you.”
She pocketed the letter that was sent from Luna’s address, and Narcissa rejoined her husband.
“I suppose we can all wander safely now,” Narcissa added. “Without being cornered by a Greengrass. So I am going to go enjoy this leisure, because who knows when they’ll invite themselves back. I’ll see you two later on.” She nodded her head towards Draco and Hermione who watched as the blonde and rather regal looking couple walked towards the stairway.
Once they were gone Hermione peered over at Draco who was already looking at her. “Well that was sufficiently awkward.” He said with a laugh.
“I am so glad the Greengrasses are gone.”
“And just in time, too.” Draco said with the ghost of a smile lingering on his lips. He was reaching for her waist when suddenly he recoiled and closed his eyes, pressing down on his left forearm.
“Draco what is it?” Hermione asked dumbly. “Where’s your vial?”
He shook his head, and slowly the anguish left his face. He breathed out slowly, quickly opening his eyes which were now misty and dark. “They’re close.” He said softly. “They’re very close.”
Hermione swore and pressed her nails into her palms. “How close?”
“We have time.” He replied. “But I need to look into some things.”
Draco turned towards an archway and began walking briskly towards it. “I’m sorry, Hermione, but it’s important. I’ll talk to you tonight, okay? We’ll have that walk another time.”
“Okay.” Hermione managed in reply as Draco left her in the vast, marble foyer. She wanted to know what was going on. His retreating figure hurried out of sight, and Hermione stood wondering how close they could possibly be. But pestering Draco had never worked before, so it definitely wouldn’t now. He’d tell her on his own time.
Unsure on what to do, she pulled the letter out of her pocket and ripped open the envelope.
Sure enough it was from Luna. The letter was written in messy handwriting and had a tea stain on the top right corner. It said how Ron had brought Crookshanks over to her place a while ago, and that she was looking over him, and that she had seen Hermiones parents that morning at the Weasleys and they were doing alright but they want her to contact them.
Hermione decided she might as well write them now, since she had nothing else to do except worry. She made her way to the library after deciding that she would take use of the Malfoy's books whilst she was staying, and reading always helped her get her mind off of things.
She was still buzzing with the idea of Draco and her. Their series of rather passionate kisses, and the fact that it was out now. He knew how she felt, and thankfully for her, he still felt the same. And for once in a long time, she wasn’t wondering about something he had said or regretting something she had impulsively done.
The library door was heavy and metal, and Hermione struggled to keep it open long enough to slip inside. She had expected it to be empty but like every time she expected anything, she was wrong. Draco's father sat rather splendidly on one of the arm chairs, with a leather bound book pressed between his fingers.
“Hello.” Hermione said quietly.
The aristocrat lifted his head to face her, a frown playing on his lips. “What do you want?”
“I, uh, was just coming in here to write a letter.”
“And you’re room wasn’t the right atmosphere for letter writing, I suppose?” Lucius slowly blinked.
Hermione just stared at him for a moment. “My room is fine, I just thought that I would do a bit of reading afterwards.”
Lucius leaned back in the arm chair and crossed his feet at the ankles. Hermione couldn’t tell if this was him being friendly and inquisitive, or if he was just being an asshole.
“I guess now that you’re entitled to the Malfoy name, you feel that you can take use of our facilities?”
“I guess I was hoping that I could read some of your books, yes.”
Lucius just looked at her, and Hermione felt horribly uncomfortable as she made her way across the room and took a seat at a desk with stacks of blank parchment.
“I hope that whatever you’re writing is important, because a single sheet of that parchment is worth more than everything you own.”
Hermione turned in her seat to face him. He had gone back to reading whatever it was in his hand, although he was very obviously listening for her response.
“Look, I don’t know what your problem is,” Hermione said, her voice raised slightly. She didn’t know what she was doing, but it was hopefully for the best. “But yes, I am going to be using probably several sheets of your precious parchment, and then reading several of your books. Not just because I am now, as you say, entitled to your name, but because it’s here and I have nothing better to do.”
Lucius lifted his eyes from the page, and Hermione’s heartbeat suddenly increased. He looked like he was ready to curse her into an early grave.
“It must feel good to have that off your chest, doesn’t it Ms. Granger?”
“Yes, actually.” Hermione smirked. Her hands were shaking. She wasn‘t sure what had possessed her to start this argument, but hopefully it was a good thing.“And since I am going to be here for a while, you might as well get used to having me around.”
“I wouldn’t count on staying if I were you.”
He flipped to the next page of his book and uncrossed his ankles.
“You do realize that if I leave, so will your son?”
Lucius didn’t move for a second, and Hermione felt terribly uncomfortable. She should have just gone to her room.
“I don’t know what Draco has done to give you that impression, but my son changes his mind about women all the time and never keeps any of them around for very long. So I wouldn’t count on that, either.”
Hermione pressed her palms against her legs, and inhaled slowly. “I don’t know who these other women were, but I do know that Draco will not be changing his mind about me anytime soon. That I know I can count on.”
Lucius slammed his book closed and leaned forward in his chair. “Draco likes to play up how much power he has in this household. In truth, he has none. Now, if it wasn’t for my wife, you’d never have set foot in my home.”
“If it wasn’t for Narcissa?” Hermione asked, drawing her eyebrows together.
“Yes,” Lucius clenched his jaw and lowered his eyes. “She is rather intent on you staying. Says it’s a good thing, much to my disagreement.”
Hermione tried to hold back a smile, but to no avail. “Looks like it’s two to one in my favor then.”
“It’s much to my disagreement because I know your feelings for Draco are not genuine. Narcissa seems to have been fooled, however.”
Hermiones demeanor softened, and she folded her hands in front of her. “Mr. Malfoy, I assure you my feelings for Draco are real. I’m not pretending to care for your son, I really do. To be honest with you, I don’t feel comfortable here and I wouldn’t be staying if I didn’t feel like I had to.”
“Even if you do harbor feelings for my son, can you really expect him to marry you?” Lucius asked solemnly. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a Malfoy Granger union would be revolutionary, and to be quite frank, I don’t think society is there yet.”
“I don’t think we should care about societies opinion. If we get through whatever is happening with the Death Eaters, then I hope Draco and I will have your consent. Although we will go through with the marriage with or without it, so I’m really only asking for your benefit.”
“We’ll see about that.”
Hermione stifled a laugh. “That sounded like a bit of a threat, Mr. Malfoy.”
“Look, Ms. Granger,” Lucius sneered and paused before continuing. “I don’t like you. I haven’t ever liked you, and I am still unsure how exactly you wormed your way into my sons life. We’ll talk about your future in this family after this Death Eater business is finally finished, because unfortunately we are on the same side of things until then.”
“Alright,” Hermione replied slowly. “Fair enough.”
“Good. Now, I’d like to continue reading in peace, so the conversation ends here.”
Hermione watched him reopen his novel and sift through the pages until finding the one he’d left off on. She hadn’t been expecting much when she decided to go to the library, especially not an argument with Draco’s father. Slowly, after calming herself down, Hermione returned to the letter she was writing and tried to focus on her parents, although it was difficult.
She could barely concentrate on her letter due to Lucius’ presence, but she was too proud to leave and she guessed he was feeling the same. Cautiously she lowered her head to the page and began to write, her mind only half focused. She couldn’t help but wonder if Lucius wasn’t at least partly right. About society and, although she hated to admit it, about Draco. But they had just begun and she couldn’t already be thinking like that. They were finally together now. Finally happy.
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