A/N: Okay, that's it folks! Story's finished. I'm so glad you guys liked it and thanks again for your awesome reviews. You guys rock. First and foremost, big big big shoutout to Rusty Weasley, the best beta in all the land. And, since you have finished this story, go on over to his page and give his stories a look. :) As for my work, I hope that I can start a new story soon. Just need an idea. I DID have a creative attack the other day and considered writing a short 'Breaking Bad' fic with HP characters. Snape as Walt, Draco as Jesse, Hermione as Skylar. But honestly, I'm not even sure I could do this. It's just an insane idea that is niggling in the back of my head. :P Anyway...Enjoy!
"Oh for fuck's sake, Granger," Draco huffed as she took her quill to the piece of parchment in front of her. "We have ten minutes to get there!"
"Keep your hair on," Hermione said with a sigh. "I just want to fix this one thing…"
"It's fine," Draco said impatiently. "I've read it fifty times. You've read it fifty times. Your old staff has probably read it one-hundred times. It's perfect. Now, we have to go or they are going to pass us over in the Wizengamot!"
"Oh, really, Malfoy. Do you think they would really risk the loss of their precious money by crossing The Draco Malfoy?" Hermione said with a roll of her eyes.
Draco stopped short and grinned at her. "So cynical about government. Oh, I've had a wonderful influence on you, love."
"Oh yeah, this coming from the Anarchist Libertarian who is ten minutes away from standing before the main Legislative branch of the government to present a personally drafted Constitution for consideration," Hermione countered with s smirk.
"Oh shut up," he grumbled. The truth was, for the last six months, he and Hermione had not only been inseparable, they had been knee deep in Ministry bullshit trying to write and fast track a legitimate, perfectly worded constitution of sorts to bind the government to not only a separation of powers, but also a limitation of power and to extend better rights to the accused, including mandated due process. It was damn near impossible, and frankly, without his common sense, the whole thing would have been sure to fail. Brilliant as Hermione was, she didn't understand that politics wasn't about what was right but rather, what could be sold to the masses.
Tyson, with his permission, became a poster boy for the campaign. His treatment had been appalling and not even the Golden Trio could save him from Aurors gone mad with Power. A few well tipped reports of mistreatment and the masses were outraged.
With some coaching, Draco had Hermione out on the front lines selling their idea of a Constitution in every Wizarding paper that would have them, and it wasn't long before the majority was insisting such a document be pushed through at once. Certainly, there was opposition. There were plenty of people who didn't care if a few innocent people got caught up in the Ministry crosshairs. We were safe, right? That was all that mattered.
However, Draco had been a student of anti-aggression and liberty-minded philosophy long enough to know how to make people see that freedom was, in the end, more precious than perceived security - especially when the threat of rogue Death Eaters was almost non-existent at this point.
So, they worked hard and fast. He and Hermione lived together, working on the constitution as well as the launch of his foundation.
The Cassiopeia Malfoy Foundation for War Orphans and Victims of Political Propaganda was to be launched next week and, Hermione was Chief Operating Officer. It only took three weeks for her to realize that what she really wanted would be better achieved by the organization that Malfoy had envisioned years ago. While she loved the Departments of Magical Creatures and Education, Draco had, in fact, built up a very capable and efficient team in her absence. She found herself more or less redundant at work. Ironically, the constitution she was helping Malfoy write would only make her efforts to achieve huge change from within the government more futile.
But she realized that was okay. If private means could achieve a goal better and more efficiently, why stubbornly insist the government must do it? That wasn't to say she was some Ayn Rand spouting anarchist. Draco could keep all of that overwrought drama to himself. But he was right about one very important thing. When you put all your eggs in one basket, especially if that basket is interested in power like the government, it was a recipe for disaster.
Therefore, she left the Ministry behind and took on the foundation. It was like a breath of fresh air. She had control. She had impact. She could make a difference, which is all she ever wanted to do. She was happy, even as she worked twelve to sixteen hour days. She and Draco were truly happy.
"Come on," Draco finally said. "It's all finished. Everything is perfect."
"Okay, I'm ready."
"Congratulations!" Ginny cried happily as her heavily pregnant body pressed into Hermione for a tight hug.
"I can't believe how quickly it was passed," Hermione said, still breathless from the announcement that The Wizarding Constitution of the United Kingdom had been fully approved and signed into law. Two weeks. Usually, getting anything passed took months.
"Well, I think they were sick of the letter writing campaign that The Quibbler started," Harry chuckled.
"Yes, we really need to thank Loony for that one," Draco replied.
"Luna!" Hermione corrected huffily.
Draco just grinned and pulled her in for a kiss causing Harry and Ron to make disgusted noises while Ginny and Blaise just smiled brightly at them. Harry had begrudgingly accepted Malfoy as a part of his life, but it didn't mean he liked it. The guy was still an arrogant arsehole and he hadn't a clue what Hermione saw in him. However, she was happy, and so he was happy for her.
Ron had gone off the deep end when he found out about the two of them. Of course, when he'd found out that he'd made out with Draco Malfoy his reaction was stronger still. However, after a few months of nonstop grumbling and complaining, Ron finally got over himself enough to accept that Hermione and Malfoy were a thing and they probably were going to be for a while. Still, he made his displeasure quite apparent. Hermione was just hoping he got over it with time. Malfoy found it quite amusing.
"Anyway, here's to Hermione and Malfoy!" Harry raised his glass. "Congratulations on the success of your bill and the first week of operation of The Cassiopeia Malfoy Foundation for War Orphans and Victims of Political Propaganda. Hermione, we couldn't be more proud of you. And Malfoy, erm - good work," he finished awkwardly.
Hermione couldn't help but laugh. "Thank you, Harry," she said.
"So, how does it feel to be a successful lawmaker, Draco?" Blaise joked.
"Almost as good as it feels to have out earned you this quarter," Draco replied smugly.
"Not cool," Blaise replied, with an exaggerated pout. Soon he couldn't hold back his smile. He was truly happy for his friend. Hermione Granger had done wonders for the man.
"Anyway," Hermione said, steering the group conversation back on track. "Draco and I would like to thank you for coming to celebrate with us. After nearly seven months of non-stop work, we've finally agreed to take a short holiday…"
"We?" Draco interrupted with a smirk.
"Okay," Hermione conceded, "Draco planned a holiday for us, and I've finally agreed to go." Everyone laughed. "The point is, we just wanted to thank you for being here, and we will see you in two weeks after we come home from Greece."
"Actually, there is one more thing," Draco said, moving away from his place at her side. "I have one more thing to add." He turned toward her and Hermione heard Ginny gasp, but she couldn't understand why.
"Hermione, you are sometimes insufferable," Draco started, but the silly grin on his face showed that he meant it in the sweetest way. "You are a workaholic. You have a hard time admitting when you are wrong. You rarely let me get in a word edgewise…"
"Wow, Draco. I think you are wonderful too," Hermione said sarcastically.
"Let me finish," he playfully chastised. "You are all those things. And I know I'm a bit insufferable. I'm sarcastic and snarky. I can't admit when I'm wrong. But I love you."
Harry and Ron shifted uncomfortably, but Ginny and Blaise grinned so hard Hermione thought their faces would split open. She blushed at Draco's public display of affection. They usually saved such things for the privacy of the Manor.
"I love you too," she said, quietly, reverently.
Draco looked at her nervously for a moment before pulling a box out of his pocket and getting down on one knee. Then, she realized what Ginny and Blaise were so damn ecstatic about. She felt tears prickle her eyes as she looked down at Draco.
"I will never be more challenged by anyone than you. I'll never be more fulfilled by anyone but you. I knew that night, six months ago, that I wanted to marry you, and I'm asking, just this once, not to be difficult." He smiled up at her as he opened the box and showed her the ring he'd spent weeks searching for. "Marry me."
It wasn't a question and for Hermione there was no question what her answer would be. She'd known since that night too, but she had to be sure before she committed. She was sure now. They were the real thing. "Yes," she finally said, putting her hand out for him to slip the ring on her finger.
"Congratulations!" the entire pub cried out as they'd been watching the entire thing. Hermione blushed as Draco lifted her into his arms and kissed her softly on the mouth.
"That was so sweet," Ginny gushed with tears in her own eyes.
Harry and Ron awkwardly congratulated Hermione and Draco and Blaise clapped his best friend on the back, whispering something Hermione couldn't hear into the blonde man's ear.
"Okay, ladies and gents," Draco said after the bar turned back to their own drinks. "Let's celebrate!"
Five years later…
"Well, I'm sure you and your ego would like to know that your sperm is exceptional," Hermione said nonchalantly.
"What?" Draco replied.
"Oh well, we decided to try for a baby less than three weeks ago and I'm pregnant," Hermione said, again with a tone like she was just discussing the weather.
"Really?" Draco cried, his eyebrows nearly reaching his hairline.
Having children was another issue (among many), about which Hermione and Draco had very different ideas. Draco wanted a baby about a year after they got married. Hermione wanted to wait until she could take time from the Foundation. They fought about it often. Draco reminded her that there would never be a good time to take off work. Moreover, Hermione reminded him that they were still in their mid-twenties and there was no rush.
However, after Ginny had Albus, her second son with Harry, Hermione's biological clock started to tick. As much as she hated to give in, she finally went to Draco and said, "Fine. We can have a baby, but I'm not going to be the only one raising it!" He laughed at her and kissed her hard on the mouth.
Apparently, Malfoy had super sperm because she was now pregnant, confirmed by a healer. She was scared but she was also excited.
"In fact, I'm exactly three weeks pregnant. I only noticed because my period is like clockwork," she explained. "The healer confirmed it today."
"This is amazing!" Draco cried lifting her in the air and twirling her around. "We have to pick names, and convert the nursery. And we'll have to work out how both of us will take leave when the time comes…"
"Draco!" Hermione interrupted his rambling. "We have more than enough time. Relax."
Draco smiled brightly at her and hugged her close. "I love you," he said.
"I love you, too."
The stayed in each other's arms just savouring the happy feelings before Hermione pulled back, mischievous grin on her face. "So, what are the odds you'll let me take you to that horrible old woman who switched us and have her do it again right before I deliver? You know, so you can experience the miracle of birth?"
Draco chuckled, "I think not."