Chapter 25 : Heartfelt.
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“I know we’ve only really known each other like this for four months but I love you Hermione. You asked me last night if I ever wish to have a certain someone’s features in the faces of my children and I said all the time. That certain someone is you Hermione… I want to see your features in the face of a little girl of mine, I want to see your crazy brown hair on a son of mine eventually…if you’ll have me... I’m not saying we have to marry now, marry this year or marry within the next decade. Just…will you marry me?” Draco asked. Hermione covered her mouth with her hands as if she forgot how to close it as she stared at the silver ring with an identical diamond in it to the one she wore around her neck only it was surrounded by a cluster of ruby’s and emeralds. The only question in her mind was. Am I ready?
A loud voice woke up inside her head that began to admonish her. Of course she was ready. The man in front of her was the only man she could see herself with for the foreseeable future because he understood her like no man could. He knew her the way she knew him. With conviction she had never felt before Hermione nodded her head furiously as a wide smile broke out on her face. Draco beamed at her, his silver eyes shining like lava as he slipped the ring onto her ring finger before he stood up and pulled her into his arms and kissed her, oblivious to the cheers, catcalls and polite clapping of their friends and family.
When he let her go, Pansy and Ginny pounced on Hermione’s left hand to stare at the diamond on it. Both girls sighed and assured Hermione how pretty it was but Hermione was in a semi-daze as she stared at her ring in shock. Draco Malfoy had proposed to her and she would become Hermione Malfoy. Lucius Malfoy would be turning in his grave. At the thought of Lucius and his death Hermione’s thoughts instantly jumped to her parents and how her father would never walk her down the aisle. With tight control she smiled at Pansy and Ginny and withdrew her hand.
“I’m just going to the toilet, I’ll be back in a minute,” Hermione said quickly with a smile then she turned around and left the room and took the path that would lead her to the library, but she knew Draco saw her face and she knew that he knew what was wrong and wouldn’t try to follow her. It was time she came to grips with things.
As soon as the door closed she broke into a run as her heart thudded into her throat, she knew exactly where Draco’s short cuts were so running into the kitchen and taking a left and hurtling down a set of stairs she emerged in the library that would be her safe haven.
“Sera,” Hermione whispered into the semi darkness. The little elf appeared at Hermione’s side almost instantly and she lead Hermione to a chair, turned up the lights and clicked her fingers to call Meewa.
“Meewa must get Miss Hermione a hot chocolate,” Sera said then she turned back to Hermione.
“Miss Hermione summoned Sera?”
“I need you to find me a pen and paper, a picture of my mother and father and an envelope,” Hermione said quickly. Sera nodded and disappeared while Meewa appeared at Hermione’s other side.
“Meewa has Miss Hermione’s hot chocolate, anything else Miss Hermione needs just call,” Meewa said then with a bow she disappeared. Hermione moved over to the desk and sat down slowly as she stared at the mahogany top. She was going to write her parents a letter each, seal them in an envelope and stop crying over them. This was going to be her goodbye to her parents and after that she would only look forwards.
Sera reappeared at Hermione’s side with the things she had asked for in her hands and Hermione took them gratefully with a smile. Sera nodded and went to walk out of the room but Hermione noticed something and frowned.
“Sera, Draco gave you all a present, did he give you all shoes?” Hermione asked. Sera nodded with a smile.
“Mr Draco has been most kind to us, we are free elves who receive a salary, but he has not dishonoured us by removing us from the Manor so we are most pleased,” Sera said. Hermione nodded and Sera disappeared. Hermione then turned her attention to her letters and laid the photo of her parents in front of her and put quill to paper.
Firstly I’m sorry. That’s the only thing I can say, because this is my fault. If I hadn’t been magical, if I hadn’t got myself mixed up in things I should have stayed well out of, maybe you would still be here with me, but then I know that you wouldn’t have been pleased. You two always told me to follow my heart and to do what I felt was right. So I tried to do that, I modified your memories and sent you to Australia because I thought that at least then you wouldn’t be killed for being muggles and being my parents. I helped Harry take down Voldemort and I hope you are happy and proud of me for being able to do that, despite the consequence being that I managed to get you killed.
Hermione sat back and stared at her words on the page, she wanted to scribble them all out and start again but she had to get it all down, not change a single word, she had to get the words out.
I searched for you for a year after the war ended and I only found out that you died in a plane crash august gone. That news broke me. You raised a strong woman, but there’s only so much you can take before everything becomes too much. Yet me breaking down may prove to be one of the best things to happen to me. I met Draco Malfoy again during the week after I found out and he’s been here for me, helping me and we fell in love. I know that now mom you’d be all starry eyed and dad you’d give me that worried frown and then ask me if this is the Draco Malfoy that tormented me through school… Well yes he is, but he’s changed, he’s different, he’s nicer, less arrogant, he cares about me. Draco proposed to me today and I’ve said yes, I couldn’t say anything else I love him too, more than I ever loved Ron, who walked out on Harry and me at the end of the war. I guess I just needed to get this off my chest and lock your memory away inside me and stop crying. This letter is to help me move forwards, to stop mourning and start being able to look back on your lives with a smile and laugh at the good times.
Once again Hermione paused this time to wipe away a tear that had leaked down her face before she put her quill back to the parchment.
I will never ever forget you, I promise you that I will live my life in a way that would make the both of you proud and then one day when I’m old and grey and I have children, grandchildren and maybe even great grandchildren I will see you again on the other side and hopefully you’ll be proud of me.
Love always and forever
Hermione placed down her quill and re read the letter again before she folded it in half and slipped it inside the envelope addressing it to “Mom and Dad” then she placed inside the desk draw till the following morning and wiped her tears away with a sigh.
“Come on Hermione… Pull it together,” Hermione murmured then she stood up and walked the long way back to the party.
When she walked through the door she saw Draco and grinned at him and he hugged her tightly.
“Is everything okay?” Draco asked.
“It will be tomorrow,” Hermione murmured softly with a sigh. Draco nodded softly and then pulled back and kissed her softly.
“I love you Mi,” Draco whispered.
“I love you too,” Hermione smiled back as she met his molten silver eyes.
The following morning Hermione woke up almost at the crack of dawn with her head on Draco’s chest, wandlessly she sent him into a deeper sleep and slipped out of the bed and pulled on a cloak and slippers before quietly moving down the stairs past the bedrooms which contained their friends to the library where she collected her letter and made her way up the secret passageway through the kitchen out to the back garden. Slowly she turned in a circle once out there looking for the best spot to do what she wanted to do before she summoned a broom from the cupboard and pushed off softly to glide over the grounds.
It felt good to feel the wind through her hair once more, she hadn’t been on a broom in such a long time, she hadn’t realised how much she missed the feel of flying, then her attention was caught by two trees at the back of the garden and urging the broom faster before coming to a halt she landed in the shade of two trees that bent towards each other and provided a shelter over the ground in front of them. Hermione took her wand out of her pocket and created a small hole in the ground and placed her letter in the ditch then covered it back over and then constructed a grave stone out of the rocks in the ground and carved her parents’ names into its surface. Then she stood for a second staring at her parents’ gravestone and sighed before she turned her back and flew back to the mansion.
When she arrived back in the kitchen she found Harry sat down with a cup of coffee and a newspaper and she jumped.
“Why are you awake so early?” Hermione asked in shock.
“I heard someone moving and I came downstairs and saw you fly off, I waited down here to make sure you were okay… You are okay aren’t you?” Harry asked as Hermione joined him and Meewa appeared with another cup of coffee for Hermione.
Hermione accepted it gratefully then stared into its depths.
“I wrote my parents a letter and buried it at the back of the grounds and made them a gravestone. I felt like I needed to say goodbye, explain some things and that was the only way I could,” Hermione murmured then she sighed and looked up.
“How do you feel now?”
“Relieved, drained, happier…” Hermione answered.
“Good, because you’re going to be launched into full scale wedding planning if I know Ginny, Pansy, Molly and Narcissa,” Harry snickered. Hermione groaned and let her head hit the table causing Harry to laugh out loud. Hermione then looked up at Harry with a serious expression on her face.
“Harry… Will you walk me down the aisle? You’re like a brother to me and I don’t feel right asking Mr Weasley to walk me down the aisle,” Hermione asked. Harry looked up in shock.
“Me…. I… of course,” Harry spluttered. Hermione jumped off her chair and hugged Harry tightly.
“Thank you Harry,” Hermione whispered and Harry patted her back softly.
Hermione and Harry lapsed into silence again only breaking it to thank Lura when she brought them breakfast which they ate in companionable silence.
A few hours later most people had woken up and located the kitchen and unfortunately for Hermione, Narcissa and Molly came down at the same time and sat down either side of her. Hermione knew what was coming before they even opened their mouths but that didn’t stop her having to supress a sigh.
“So Hermione dear, when do you want to get married?” Molly asked. Hermione had barely opened her mouth before Narcissa jumped in.
“It would be ideal to have your wedding around April time this year as that gives us more than enough time to arrange it, send out wedding invitations and then choose which media company can cover the wedding as because you are getting married to a Malfoy there needs to be some coverage of it,” Narcissa said. Hermione waited a beat to see if both women were ready to listen to her but then Molly started talking.
“A spring wedding would be lovely, you could have it outside and the spring colours will look so lovely with you Mione and compliment Draco too,” Molly said. Narcissa nodded in agreement.
“Wait,” Hermione cut in quickly and both women looked at her. “I’ve literally just got engaged to Draco. Now I respect your opinions and respect you both but when and where we get married is possibly the only thing I can get Draco’s input on and I will get it,” Hermione said kindly but firmly.
“You will get what?” Draco asked as he walked through the door.
“Your opinion on when and where we should get married,” Hermione said. Draco looked between the frown on Hermione’s face and his mother’s slightly too innocent expression and shook his head with a sigh.
“Mother, please allow Hermione to make the decisions she wants to I’m sure she would be willing to listen to your ideas as long as she gets the final say,” Draco said softly as he sat opposite Hermione and opened the newspaper Shuen brought to him.
Neither Hermione nor Narcissa said anything until Draco made it almost all the way through the paper and then hissed in annoyance.
“Mother?” Draco asked angrily. “Why did you write about our wedding to the daily prophet?” Narcissa looked up innocently and Hermione sighed.
“Draco you know as well as I do that you need to allow the world plenty of time to…”
“Cissa, you’re not interfering are you?” Carlos asked as he walked through the door.
“Yes she is,” Draco groaned as he stood up to leave the room.
“Draco I only want what’s best for you,” Narcissa said as she stood up also. Draco stopped and stared at his mother for a few seconds then sighed.
“I know,” Draco sighed then he left the room.
Hermione stood up as soon as he left the room.
“I’ll talk to him,” Hermione said softly as she laid a hand on Narcissa’s arm. Narcissa smiled and then turned to Carlos as Hermione left the room to find Draco.
Eventually Hermione found him in his bedroom, having checked everywhere else first.
“Dray?” Hermione murmured. Draco opened his arms up to Hermione and she smiled as she joined him on the bed and snuggled into his embrace.
“Sorry if my mom gets a bit too overbearing. I’ll try and rein her in,” Draco sighed into Hermione’s curly hair.
“It’s fine. I know she only wants what’s best for you and at the same time, what’s best for your status,” Hermione answered.
“I don’t care about my status. I just don’t want you rushed into anything,” Draco growled.
“We’re engaged after being back in each other’s lives for only 4 months. It’s not exactly been a slow relationship,” Hermione said softly.
When Draco didn’t reply Hermione sat up and sat opposite him and took his hands in her lap.
“I love you Draco… If I didn’t want to marry you I would have said no. One little article about my marriage to you is not going to harm how I feel about you, and maybe it’s a good thing for the world to know early, at least then they have time to get used to the fact that we will be married before it actually happens. Imagine if the first time people heard about our marriage was on the wedding day, we’d have owls flying in all over the country to either congratulate us or condemn us on our special day. At least now we can get all the hate mail, all the overbearing congratulations and all the “please can we come” letters out of the way before the actual day,” Hermione said her smile gradually getting wider as she saw Draco cheering up. Yet even though Hermione could see he was happy, he remained silent and in thought for a few seconds until he eventually looked up.
“Okay so when do you want to get married?” Draco asked.
“Well your mother mentioned something about a spring wedding, maybe around April, and to be honest that does sound appealing. Normally I would have said let’s wait for a year, but I don’t need to wait with you Dray, I’m sure about you that and any qualms I would have once had because of my muggle upbringing, have kinda been melted away,” Hermione said softly.
Draco stared into Hermione’s brown eyes, searching for any sign that she was saying the words just to please him, but when he found none he closed the gap between them, took Hermione’s face in his hands and kissed her deeply.
“You sure?” Draco asked between kisses.
“Yes,” Hermione hissed as her hands knotted in his hair as she melted against him.
A while later Hermione and Draco walked into the parlour hand in hand and sat opposite Narcissa who was straight backed and straight faced, a pureblood mask to hide her emotions.
“Mother, I apologise for how I acted,” Draco said softly.
“Draco I apologise for not consulting you. Carlos has reminded me that you are a grown man, who can make his own decisions and you are the first of the Malfoy line to have the will to turn his back on all that his family has done for the sake of a loved one. He reminded me that although I am your mother, you do not need me to make your decisions and decide what’s best for you,” Narcissa said formally. Her formal tone was the tone that hid any distress, but Draco saw through it and stood up motioning for his mother to follow him.
Narcissa left the room and Draco followed after her, and the two walked through to the gardens and began to walk their familiar route. After a few moments of silence Narcissa sighed.
“Son, I… I don’t know what I am to do now you are all grown up,” Narcissa spoke slowly. Draco waited, knowing she was not finished. “You are not the boy you once were, you’re not the boy who came running to me to ask me to tie your shoelaces when your father wasn’t around, you’re not the boy who used to walk this same path with me when your father had been too harsh and you came to me to calm you down. You don’t… You don’t need me anymore,” Narcissa whispered.
At that Draco turned around and took Narcissa’s hands, squeezing them softly to make her look up from the ground and meet his eyes.
“Mother, regardless of the fact that I am no longer the boy who needed his mother’s comfort after dealing with his father, I will always need you. You are my mother, you love me like no other can. I might not need you to hold my hand and tie my shoelaces, but I do need you for your advice and your guidance when I hit a brick wall in my life, and I need you for your love,” Draco murmured softly, holding his mother’s watery gaze before he smiled. “You have another baby on the way, a baby to love and nurture and comfort the way you want to, not the way Malfoy tradition and society dictates. Carlos is going to be a loving father who will celebrate Christmas and birthdays and achievements regardless of whether it’s a major one or a minor one. And I’m sorry for snapping at you earlier on.
I know it’s hard for you to have to stand on the side-lines but please mother, I want you to allow Hermione to make the decisions on this wedding. The world in which she was born would frown upon us getting married now. The muggle world would want us to wait at least a year before getting married, so although she’s decided to get married in April, the earliness of this wedding could still shock her at some point down the line.”
Narcissa held her son’s gaze for a while longer before hugging him tightly.
“I love you son.”
Helllloooo lovely readers! I am back again with another chapter and now I shall start with the apologies.
I’M SORRRRRYYYY!!! I know that I said I would be coming back with the chapters a lot faster, but I underestimated just how much time I would have on my hands with a full undergraduate schedule. I’ve been writing this chapter in dribs and drabs over the past 2 months (can’t believe it’s been so long). So I didn’t abandon it completely. I could never abandon this story, the characters, the plot line and a possible sequel would haunt me!
However, another emotionally charged chapter ay, but emotional in a good way. Hermione is laying her parents to rest at last, and we see another moment with Draco and Narcissa. I do love those moments.
But as always, please leave me a review, I love to read them, I will reply to them if I get the chance to and I hope I will have the next chapter up before Christmas. I will be home for most of December with nothing to do anyways so hopefully you’ll see the end of this story then, but no promises.
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