|Mister Granger's Mission
Author: WickedlyAwesomeMe PM
… AKA the "Do-Anything-To-Keep-Precious-Hermione-Away-From-Draco-Malfoy" mission. All fathers fear the day when they will meet the person who will steal their daughters away from them. Mister Granger is afraid he already met his match.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Romance - Draco M. & Hermione G. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 17,099 - Reviews: 125 - Favs: 130 - Follows: 140 - Updated: 06-09-12 - Published: 05-31-12 - id: 8167641
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not yours. Only JK Rowling's. :)
A/N: Wee, chapter four of "Mister Granger's Mission"! Thank you to all those who reviewed the last chapter.
So, without further ado, I present to you the fourth chapter. Review afterwards.
Chapter Four: Fiancé
"I want to marry your daughter."
Harold Granger, sixty-years-old, heard the words that feared him the most. The steaming mug of coffee slipped from his hands and noisily shattered in his office floor, the brown liquid messing up the impeccable floors that he ordered for his assistants to maintain. For now, it was neglected as he slowly turned around and faced the same boy that had tormented his mind ever since Hermione's childhood.
Draco Malfoy, now at twenty-five, stared back at him with all the seriousness that he could muster on his face. His back was ramrod straight; his chin lifted in what Harold could relate with confidence, over-confidence if he wanted to be exact. His piercing mercurial eyes were hardened with determination and his lips were pursed tightly as he waited for his response.
Inside, his heart thrummed wildly in shock. It seemed so long ago when this boy deceived his daughter and wife into thinking that he made the young tot cry, only to see that the boy had the audacity to tighten his arms around his daughter, seemingly unwilling to let go, with that triumphant smirk on his face.
Harold slowly rubbed the bridge of his nose, Draco's smirk nauseating him. "No," he croaked, his voice cracking with emotions that started to overwhelm him. "No."
Hermione's father glared through his fringes, surveying the unchanging stance of the grown-up man. How dare he trudged into his office without notice, stating with all that high-and-mighty air of his that he wanted to marry his daughter. Harold woke up to a fairly normal day, ate his lovely wife's delicious breakfast, and bid his healer daughter goodbye as she went to St. Mungo's to start a new day in her work.
Everything was normal, too normal, he now supposed. He went to his dental clinic, checked the teeth of his patients. Even his usually clumsy secretary Mrs. Silver was acting strangely obedient and accident-free. Harold thought today could pass as another fleeting day, nothing special would happen, and then he could go home to his still-beautiful wife and daughter.
And then, Draco Malfoy dropped by unannounced.
Harold couldn't hide his contempt when the businessman stepped into his office despite the obvious glares that he sent his way. Seeing that his relationship with Hermione was steadily growing, his face had been a frequent presence in his house, unfortunately.
After their graduation in Hogwarts, Hermione then became a Healer and the Malfoy boy took up the business that his late father left for him. Turned out that Draco Malfoy instantly became one of the richest people in the Wizarding World below thirty, seeing that he inherited one of the most successful companies, the Malfoy Enterprises.
The boy grew up well, much to his frustration. His belief that his features would someday break the hearts of millions of girls, witch or Muggle alike, was growing truer and truer as he aged. His aristocratic-isque features was enough to emit sighs and swoons. From what he had heard from Hermione, the boy even had a fan club back in their old school. Harold could not believe that his daughter was not alarmed by this, seeing that her boyfriend was well-liked by many. The only answer she gave him was a laugh and reassuring words.
"He loves me," she once told them during dinnertime. Harold tried his very best not to scowl that day, but he could see from Jane's eyes that she was floored by Hermione's words. "And I love him, Daddy. I have enough faith in him not to cheat."
He did not answer anything back during that day. Now that they were out of school, the boy was bound to meet new people, even females who were far more beautiful than his Hermione that could sway him from the strong trust that his daughter gave him.
For years, he waited for Draco to make a mistake. He waited for gossips about him having illicit trysts behind his daughter's back. He even purchased those god-awful Witch Weekly just to see the headlines whether Hermione's boyfriend was seen with a mysterious, beautiful lady dining in some lavish restaurant that was enough to feed the hungry in Africa.
But none came and oh, how disappointed he was.
"He loves Hermione," Jean pointed to him, again and again, even shooting amusing looks at the Wizarding magazine he had purchased. "It has been years now, Harold. Can't you see that he has proven himself already?"
No, he doesn't.
No, he did not want to believe that the boy loves his Hermione.
No, he could not accept that he was flawless.
Seemingly perfect people like him were bound to commit mistakes. And when they do, they were normally humongous.
Rich, handsome, and charismatic. If his daughter ended up marrying a man like that, Harold feared that she would die with a broken heart.
"I want to marry Hermione, sir," Draco politely stated once again, his voice even and calm, successfully pulling Harold off his reminiscing. "I'm afraid I cannot take a 'no' for an answer."
"Then I'm afraid you cannot get a 'yes' from me, boy," Harold barked. For him, he would always be a 'boy'. He then turned around, making it look like he did not want to talk to him anymore, but Draco was persistent. He could hear his footsteps coming nearer him and he could not restrain the growing scowl on his face.
"I'm in love with Hermione," the blond then implored, now a hint of pleading in his voice. "I know you do not really like me – "
" – glad you noticed – "
" – but Mr. Granger, I genuinely want to give her a lifetime of happiness," he continued, despite his interruption. Draco walked in front of him and stared straight into Harold's eyes. The old man looked away; he could not accept the truthfulness in his stare. "She… she is everything to me, do you understand that, sir?"
"Merlin knows how much she means to me," he continued. His voice was laced with admiration and love and everything that Harold did not want to hear. "I'd be forever damned if I let her slip away from me. Have you seen your daughter lately, sir? She has suitors following her every move and taking in her every word. I" – his jaw tightened – "cannot accept that."
"Do not test my patience, boy," Harold threatened.
Draco straightened his back. "I'm sorry, Mr. Granger, but I'm going to marry her no matter what," he declared, a hint of annoyance in his voice. "Whether you like it or not, I will marry her."
A wave of dizziness suddenly overwhelmed Harold and he limped towards one of his table. His hand came into his heart, massaging what became an infuriating pain in his heart, and scowled darkly at Draco.
"Mister Granger?" he asked, alarmed.
Harold managed to glare weakly at him before the pain in his heart overpowered his senses. His consciousness slipped away and he fell limp on his coffee-coated floor, Draco's alarmed calls ringing loudly in his ears.
He woke up in an unfamiliar environment with a groan.
Harold blearily opened his eyes and met Hermione's, tear-filled brown ones. She immediately bent down and hugged him, her sobs turning guttural with relief.
Jean's worn, tearstained, yet beautiful face then came into his view and she shook her head. She cracked a wry smile and grasped his wrinkled hand, squeezing it tightly with all the strength that she could muster. "You gave us a scare back there," his wife admonished, although her usual reprimanding tone was gone. "Draco called Hermione and told us that he rushed you in this hospital. The doctors said you had an attack of hypertension." She placed both of her hands against her waist and lightly glared at him. "What did I tell you before, Harold? You're growing old so you must stay away from food that will ultimately lead you to a godforsaken hospital like this."
Everything that his wife said left his ears. What remained was the name of the boy, prompting Harold hissed. "Where is he?" he barked.
Hermione pulled away from him and frowned at his harsh tone. "He went back to his company, Dad," she softly answered him, wiping her tears away. "He wanted to stay, but I urged him to go. He has an important meeting today and I don't want him to miss it."
"Break up with him," he said with so much passion.
"HAROLD!" Jean exclaimed, scandalized.
The brunette furrowed her brows in confusion and completely pulled away from him. "Dad," she said, exasperation in her voice. "We've talked about this before. Why are you - "
"I don't care what we talked about before, Hermione," he butted in, getting infuriated himself. "I want you to break up with a boy and find another man that will truly love you."
Her jaw dropped in disbelief. "You cannot tell me what to do," she said, tears now slipping from her eyes from what he could understand as confusion and incredulity. "I'm twenty-six, for goodness' sake! I think I know well enough whom I will love forever, Dad."
Harold massaged his temples, knowing that a growing headache was to come soon. He shot a longing look at the hospital door, hoping that a nurse would stride in and give him some medications that he truly, undoubtedly, need right now.
"Why can't you just accept Draco, Daddy?" Hermione cried, shooting up from her seat in frustration. "H-he's proven himself enough. He worked very well. He's not a bad person."
"BECAUSE!" Harold thundered. Hermione widened her eyes and flinched away, surprised that her father had raised his voice to her. "Because he's… he's…"
"He's what, Dad?" she asked, her eyes now narrowed in fury.
The Granger patriarch closed his mouth and looked away from her. "I refuse to answer that question," he said.
Hermione took a deep, shaking breath and walked away from his bed. "Fine," she said, her voice suddenly turning cold. "All right. If that's what you want, then I refuse to talk to you until you tell me the reason, Daddy." She turned away and walked out of his hospital room, not even giving him a glance back when she slammed the door shut.
"Can you see what that boy does to your daughter?" Harold exclaimed, pointing furiously at the closed door. "Hermione's impolite, Jean. My Hermione was never impolite."
"And my Harold that I know doesn't impose things to our daughter that he knows she cannot do!" Jean answered back, exasperated herself. Her husband stared at him, dumbstruck, but Jean refused to back away. "How many times do I have to tell you this, Harold, they love each other. Can't you see it in their eyes whenever they were together? Or their actions? Their words? Hermione loves Draco and dear God above, he loves and adores everything about her. How can you be so selfish, ask her to do something that will only benefit you, and end up hurting your daughter in the end?"
He scowled and looked away, crossing his arms petulantly.
To his great surprise, Jean smacked him soundly on his arm, disregarding the fact that he was in a hospital and he was a patient in it.
"I also refuse to speak to you until you got over that stubbornness of yours," she said with a harrumph before turning away and leaving him inside.
Once alone, Harold sighed, his head falling heavily back on his pillow.
'Perhaps this is a nightmare,' he asked himself, his eyes gradually closing. 'Maybe if I wake up, Draco Malfoy does not exist in my daughter's life.'
The sound of the door opening roused him from his sleep. Thinking it was his wife or daughter, Harold immediately shot up from his bed and turned around, urging his lips to smile widely in relief now that his two important women were once again ready to talk to him.
The disappointment that hit him was so humongous that he scowled. The cause of their petty fight was now standing right in front of him, an unreadable expression in his too-handsome face.
"Leave," Harold barked, slowly lying down on his bed again and turning his face away from Draco. "I am too tired, boy."
"I heard what happened from Hermione," the blond softly said, shuffling closer to his bed. "I - "
Mr. Granger sighed exasperatedly and looked over his shoulders to glare at the infuriating man. "Didn't you hear me?" he thundered. "I said leave."
"No," Draco stubbornly said, frowning at the man.
Harold's jaw dropped, affronted, and sat up on his hospital bed once again. "Excuse me?" he asked, still in disbelief.
The boy took a deep breath and stared intently into his eyes. "I will not leave until we sort out" – he frowned and gesticulated wildly in the air – "this thing between us, sir. Hermione refuses to talk to you, but I can see that she was sorry. I don't entirely know what had happened, but I somehow got the gist that you fought because of me."
"Damn right that was," Harold murmured gruffly to himself, crossing his arms petulantly.
Draco sighed and dragged the nearby chair closer to his bed. He plopped down and leaned closer to Harold, the determination once again present on his face. "Twenty years ago," he started, "I met Hermione, Mr. Granger, and I cannot even begin to describe you how that day soon became the happiest day of my life."
"Why are you telling me this?" the older of the two asked, frowning.
"I remembered the time Hermione invited me for the first time for a dinner in your house," the blond continued, a ghost of a small smile now playing on his fair features. "I remembered the excitement I felt, but I remembered I could not interact with Muggles or else, my father…"
He left his words hanging, his painful past hanging heavily between the two of them. Harold shifted on his rickety bed, feeling a little awkward. He was still in disbelief when it was revealed to him that Draco Malfoy was being abused by his father at home. He never told it to anyone out loud but secretly, he was somehow relieved that Lucius Malfoy was not able to make it out from the Second War that his daughter and this Malfoy partook in. The reason for the relief, though, that he did not quite understand himself.
"My Mother, bless her soul, helped me by making up an excuse and allowing me to go," Draco then said after a moment of silence. "And you see, sir, by the time I went to your house, I already made this silent oath to myself that I will never, ever let Hermione go."
Harold's jaw tightened and he glared darkly at the blond. Draco, on the other hand, seemed unfazed.
"But then you started inquiring things that my poor five-year-old mind could not understand," he said, that annoying smirk now on his face. "I mean, asking me if I plan of marrying Hermione? I was five." Chuckles escaped from his lips but he quickly sobered when Harold's face turned red. "Anyway, I deduced one thing, though – you were afraid of me."
"I was not!" Mr. Granger hollered, disregarding the fact that he was still a little weak from that scene back in his dental office.
"Yes, you were," Draco sad, pursing his lips tightly. "You were afraid that I would steal Hermione away from you."
Harold clamped his mouth shut, knowing that he had hit a nerve. His hands clenched into a fist and he scowled darkly, turning his brown eyes, the same eyes that Hermione inherited.
"I… did something I was good at," the blond then guiltily confessed. "I acted. I cried and then Hermione and Jean bustled inside and instantly flanked my side. It was…" He grinned idiotically, much to Harold's surprise. "It was nice. I felt good. Back home, nobody went to my side when I cry. It was always the house elves."
Somehow, the silent fury in him mellowed. He shot a look at Draco at the corner of his eyes, and saw that he was once again genuinely smiling.
"I remembered what I did next," Draco continued. "I remembered smirking triumphantly at you when Hermione hugged me. I-I won't apologize for that because I wasn't even sorry at all but I knew that day that somehow, you started disliking me all the more."
Harold was impressed; for a five-year-old, the boy was sure observant and perceptive.
"I was selfish as a child, and I know that you know it, sir." Draco sighed and licked his bottom lip, furrowing his brows as he thoughtfully looked back at him. "I… Hermione was the only person who genuinely cared for me, save from my mother." He clasped his fingers and hanged his head in shame. "I still regret the day when I let my father dictate my life and pushed Hermione away." He closed his eyes and sighed. "I still remembered those tears that she had shed when I first called her that word."
"I know for sure that the dislike you felt for me spurned into hate," he continued. "Perhaps even stronger than that. Hermione felt betrayed for my actions, and so did you." He forlornly quirked a corner of his lips at the surprised look on Harold. "I mean, how could I do that to your daughter when she placed her trust in me?" He shook his head and chuckled. "When she got petrified back in second year, I was… I was so afraid that one day she will be, you know, gone while she had no idea that even during my troublesome years, she was the only person that mattered to me."
The old man slowly looked back at Draco and thoughtfully looked at him.
"And so, I defied my father's orders and profusely apologized to her," Draco then said. "I'd be forever damned if she never accepted it. But we both know that Hermione's not like that, that she doesn't keep grudges, that she is forgiving." A small smirk appeared on his face as he raised an eyebrow at Harold. "I know that you don't think I deserve her, Mr. Granger. Trust me, I think every second of my life that I do not deserve her myself."
"But she stuck up with me, fought with me, cared for me… I wasn't surprised when I realized one day that she was everything to me, that I love her." His voice held so much truthfulness that Harold grimaced. "As my feelings grew, as she started to reciprocate my genuine feelings back, I am also well aware that your alarm and fear grew with those feelings."
Draco sighed for the umpteenth time and leant closer to Harold. "I do not mean to preach, but Mr. Granger, you are getting old," he softly said. He gestured at his beeping heart machine with a knowing look in his eyes. "I think the effects of the shock I gave you a few days ago were proof enough."
Harold scowled at him, but Draco chuckled.
"I… I know that Hermione is everything to you, too, sir," he continued, all mirth gone from his voice. "God knows how jealous I am from all the love that her father gives to her. I did not exactly have the best relationship with my father when he was alive. I-I also know that you are afraid that I will hurt her, leave her in the future, and ultimately break her heart in the end. Since I am a boy that grew up from a dark family, one that served the very monster that tormented your daughter's life, you were afraid that I will turn into some evil, snarky person and corrupt your daughter."
Mr. Granger's mouth dried, knowing that every word that Draco said was actually very true.
"The funny thing was, I would have been if it weren't for Hermione," he confessed. Upon seeing his questioning gaze, Draco smiled and straightened up from his seat. "She saved from those godforsaken memories and experiences I had. She was always there, willing to give me a chance even though I had done so many wrong things countless times already. She had faith in me, sir, and it was the only thing that steered me off from the path that would then make me a man that is as despicable as my father and Voldemort."
"I would never dare hurt her," he swore loudly Harold almost flinched. "Salazar strike me down if ever I do."
He straightened himself on his seat, once again wearing the expression that he had worn on the day he revealed to him that he wanted to marry Hermione. "Perhaps, you might still have doubts, Mr. Granger," he finally continued. "But I swear to you with everything that I own and cherish that I will love your daughter forevermore. Like what I've told you, you are getting older and weaker. I… I want to assume your job of being Hermione's protector once you are gone already. I want to be the person that she will run to whenever she is feeling down. I want to be the person that she will share the happiness she feels, whether small or big. I want to be the person that she fights with, to see those gorgeous eyes of hers flaring in rage and frustration. I want to be the person that she apologizes, too, knowing that she would never have a goodnight's rest knowing that she left a fight unresolved."
"I want to marry Hermione, Mr. Granger," he repeated once again. "I know that my love for her will never match up with your love for her. You are, after all, her father. But God knows that that is my greatest desire for a while."
His speech then had ended and he was expectantly looking straight into Harold's eyes. He, on the other hand, bristled on his bed and looked away, a myriad of emotions flashing through his old, worn eyes.
The boy spoke the truth, much to his frustration. His words had hit home and no matter how much Harold turns a blind eye from his true intentions, he knew that the blond would only be persistent. He'd rather stay in his hospital room in peace, away from infuriating men like the boy that was looking right at him.
His heart softened inside, though. The words he had stated were the words that all fathers would have loved to hear from a man that fell in love with their daughters.
Oh, don't get him wrong. He still despises Draco Malfoy. He just didn't want to die an infuriated old man all because of a persistent boy that kept on pestering his very presence in this world.
Thus, with a set, yet defeated heart, Harold released a soft sigh and lightly glared at Draco. "Do whatever you want," he grumbled, biting his cheek when Draco broke into the widest smile that he had ever seen. "But do remember this, boy. If you ever hurt my Hermione, I will kill you."
His infamous smirk graced his features. "If I ever hurt Hermione, Mr. Granger," he declared. "I will kill myself first."
Draco then stood up from his seat and inclined his head. "Expect a visit from your daughter soon," was his farewell before turning around and leaving Harold behind.
Once alone, Harold's head fell back on his pillow, dead tired and defeated.
"I hope I made the right choice," he murmured to himself before sleep finally took over him.
His door creaked open and Harold softly groaned.
"What now?" he barked, expecting to see the triumphant smirk on Draco's face, only to meet the tear-filled eyes of his daughter. "Hermione?" he asked, alarmed when she started sniffing. "What's wrong, love? Is something the matter?"
"Daddy," she softly whispered, a small, watery smile breaking on her face. That was when Harold realized that his daughter was not crying of distress or pain. She was crying because of what he could deduce as pure and unadulterated happiness. "Draco p-proposed to me."
Harold sighed and lightly scowled. It was the first time Hermione had talked to him ever since their little fight. It was not exactly the words that he wanted to hear from his daughter. "I know," he finally said, seeing her expectant eyes.
Hermione sniffed and wiped her tears away, sitting down on the same seat that the boy occupied two days ago. "Daddy, I'm sorry," she then said. When he stared at her in confusion, she smiled. "Y-you know, when we fought back days ago. I-I did not mean to hurt you like that, Daddy." She grasped his wrinkled hand and rubbed his knuckles. "I'm sorry and to think that you just got confined in the hospital."
His father laughed and patted her hand that was clutching his. "Your temper matched mine," he lightly joked. "Reassures me more that you are really mine."
She smiled fondly at him and squeezed his hand. "I-I heard everything from Draco," she whispered.
Harold sighed and rolled his eyes. "Why am I not surprised?" he mused aloud. "You are practically like the diaries of one another, ratting off everything that had happened to your lives to each other."
Upon seeing that more tears slipped off from her eyes, all hints of jesting left the old man's mind.
"I-I don't know what to say," she honestly confessed. "I… thank you, Daddy."
His heart swelled at her small, grateful words. He leaned closer to his daughter and enveloped her into a hug, tightening his arms around her when she softly cried.
"It will probably be the worst decision in my life," he said, prompting her to chuckle, "but the boy spoke the truth." He grimaced. "No matter how much I want to deny it, you know."
Hermione chuckled and lightly pulled away from him. "Draco loves me, Daddy," she whispered.
The old man closed his eyes and nodded. "I know," he said.
"He will never hurt me," she continued.
His heart clenched painfully in his chest. "I know that, too," he said.
"Can you trust him, Daddy?" she feebly asked, lifting a hand and brushing his white fringes off his forehead.
Harold bestowed a kiss on her forehead. "If you tell him this, Hermione, then I am going to lock you away in your bedroom and refuse to let you go," he warned beforehand. "But yes, love, I think I can." He paused, pursing his lips in thought, before quickly correcting, "I do trust him, you know."
Hermione grinned and shook her head. "Fathers and their overprotectiveness," she admonished. "I am quite surprised that you agreed for him to marry me."
He scowled, affronted. "Have you not faith for your old man?" he asked.
"Dad," she said, giving him a pointed look. "The first time you woke up after from your accident back in your dental office, you spouted words for me to break up with him." Hermione inclined her head, pretending to be deep in thought. "And need I remind you about all those years when you tried to push me away from him, being all scowls when Mom and I invite him to meals, and turn into this nasty, no offense, person hoping that I will see the truth of him being someone that doesn't deserve me?"
Harold blinked, surprised that she was able to say the truth. "Well…" he said. "I was just being a father." He sheepishly grinned to back up his lame excuse.
Hermione launched himself into his arms again and laughed against his shoulder. "Yes, you were," she said. "And I loved you for all of those ridiculous things, Daddy."
He returned her hug, his chest feeling peculiar when he patted her back. It seemed so long ago when she was just a tiny babe in his arms, snuggled deep into the crooks of his arms as she stared dazedly up at him with all of the innocence of a little child. And now, she was a grown up woman with the horrors of the Second War in the Wizarding World that she grew buried deep into the deepest and darkest recesses of her heart.
Somehow, he felt a little saddened. He would soon share his Hermione with another man and it broke his good, ol' heart. He wished that he could turn back time, spend so many more days with the daughter that he loves the most, and be the only man in her life.
Sighing, he knew his wish would never come true. She was now the fiancée of the richest man in the Wizarding World.
Soon, she will be Granger no more.
"Do you love him, my daughter?" he softly asked, his eyes feeling awfully scratchy and watery.
He felt her smile against his hospital gown. "With all of my heart," she vowed truthfully.
Harold smiled and allowed one tear to spill down from his eye. "Then I guess that is enough for me," he whispered back.
A/N: So, end of chapter! You know the drill; tell me your opinions in your reviews :)
The next chapter will be end, my dear readers. I know it was quite short, seeing that I usually post either Dramione one-shots or novel-length ones. Eh, but what the heck. I have another Dramione story coming up, though it might take months before I'm finally satisfied with everything.
If you spotted some grammatical errors, just turn a blind eye or something. I'm rushing today because I have to attend my friend's debut and you know, I have to fix myself and everything.
That's it for now! Again, please review :)