I do not anything of the Harry Potter Fandom, nor make any money off of this story. No copyright infringement intended.
Hermione stretched out in her large four poster bed, enjoying the feel of a full nights sleep. Things at St Mungo's had been rough the past few weeks forcing her to work double and sometimes triple shifts. She loved being a healer, but she needed to take a break before she went completely mad. St Mungo's had become very understaffed forcing Hermione to do the work of not only a healer, but a medi-witch as well. Swinging a three day weekend was almost impossible, but somehow she was able to talk one of the newer healers into taking over for her.
Hermione padded down the stairs into the kitchen for a cup of coffee. "Good morning Miss Granger!" Dobby squeaked offering her a steaming mug of coffee. She smiled sweetly taking the mug from the excitable house elf. "Thank you, Dobby. Please call me Hermione."
After the war and Harry and Ginny's betrothal Dobby had asked if he could stay with her. It was pretty lonely in the flat and it was nice to come home to someone. Although, no matter how hard she tried, Dobby still took it upon himself to act like a typical house elf and not allow Hermione to lift a finger when she was home.
Hermione took a seat at the hightop kitchen table reaching for the Daily Prophet. "Sit down with me, Dobby." She smiled pointing to the seat across from her. He had gotten better at accepting being treated as an equal, only occasionally breaking out in tears at the thought of sitting with one of the most revered witches of the century. She hated the attention from fighting in the war, but tried to tolerate it as much as possible.
"No thank you miss. Dobby has some preparations to make." Hermione raised an eyebrow as the little house elf scampered away.
She took a sip of her coffee and flipped through the Daily Prophet to the marriage announcements column. The year after the war had ended arranged marriages had been reinstated in an attempt to repopulate the wizarding world after the catastrophic amount of losses during the battle. The new minister, Kingsley Shacklebolt, wasn't very pleased with the decision, but was outvoted by his council of older wizards and witches. Most of the marriages were centered around old wizarding families who were in need of heirs to carry on the name and remain in control of family assets. Unfortunately, the next most sought after witches and wizards were those who battled the Dark Lord. Harry and Ginny married the moment the announcement was made, saving them from being forced with another.
Hermione had received her notice that she was to take part in the marriage act in order to continue her 'extraordinary' bloodline a month before. She had yet to receive her official letter stating who she was to be tethered to. Once a couple was notified of their match their impending betrothal was announced in the paper. It was odd to see friends being paired off with such unlikely candidates in black and white. As she began to read the column she heard the floo in the living room activate.
"Honey I'm home!" A familiar flamboyant voice rang out. Draco stepped into the kitchen bouncing around in excitement. He grabbed some coffee from the counter and took a seat across from Hermione. "Oh my gods! Have you read the announcements this morning?!"
"Not yet, but I'm going to assume they are juicy." She laughed.
"Oh you have no idea, sweetie!" He leaned over pointing to the paper. She looked down to see a very unflattering picture of Ron and Pansy Parkinson glaring at each other. She choked on her sip of coffee.
"Now that's just rude." She snorted barely able to catch her breath. "Now I'm really scared on who I'm matched with. You are so lucky you don't have to go through this."
Draco crossed his legs and giggled. "Well unless my boyfriend grows a uterus it's not going to work with me, silly!"
"How is Tom?" Hermione asked standing to grab another cup of coffee. Draco came out a few months after the war and shacked up with his boyfriend not even two weeks after it was public knowledge. Tom was stunning with his flawless ebony skin, green eyes, and chiseled physique. He reminded her of your typical Rastafarian man with a colorful beanie and shoulder length dreadlocks.
"So great!" Draco gushed. "I think he's going to pop the question soon!"
Hermione jumped up to pull Draco into a tight hug. "That is the best news I've heard all week!"
"Oh I have even better news!" He bent down to her ear still bouncing with excitement. "Tom found out who they are pairing you with!" Tom happened to be Kingsley's nephew and knew most of the gossip before anyone else.
Hermione leapt back. "Should I be scared? Why did it take so long?"
Draco pulled Hermione into the living room pushing her down onto the couch. He sat next to her with a bright smile. "Well, there were two wizards that they thought would be perfect, and it took a lot of time for the council to finally settle it."
"Two?" She looked at him with confusion.
"Yes! Tom and I actually got to have a say in it surprisingly. Neither one of them would be what you would have chosen on your own, but I promise you we picked the lesser of the two evils. Not to mention he is quite the looker if I do say so myself." He beamed.
"Come on! Just tell me already!" Hermione burst out.
"No can do, honey. You'll find out in the near future. I want everything to be perfect!"
She rolled her eyes. "Well at least tell me who I dodged the bullet with!"
"Are you sure you want to know?" Draco asked raising his eyebrows.
"Get on with it!" She snapped impatiently.
"Snape." He whispered.
Hermione pretended to gag her eyes wide. "Thank Merlin you and Tom stepped in!"
Draco giggled. "I know right?! I couldn't have my gorgeous best friend stuck with that miserable man!"
"Wait a minute." Hermione began. "What did you mean by 'I want everything to be perfect'?" She arched an eyebrow at Draco.
"Well... Tom convinced Kingsley to let us take care of telling you and your future husband." He winked. "So we made a dinner reservation at Cher et de Fantaisie for six o'clock this evening for you both."
Hermione jumped to her feet. "You had to make it for tonight and at that snooty French restaurant?!" She asked nervously. "Draco, you know I don't do fancy. I have nothing to wear and..." Draco put his hand over her mouth. "I already got your dress sorted at Madam Malkin's and booked us both for a day at the spa." He gushed.
"Why are you so enthusiastic about this?" She questioned him crossing her arms. "You know him don't you?"
"No time to talk!" He ignored her question dragging her upstairs to her room. He threw open her closet doors searching through the small selection of clothes. "Oh honey, you really need to get yourself a proper wardrobe." He tossed a white sundress with a magenta sash tied just below the bust onto the bed. Draco had bought it for her months back for an outing and she never wore it again. He stooped down grabbing the matching magenta pumps from the floor and pushed them into her hands.
"You have 10 minutes to be dressed and downstairs or I'll dress you myself." He threatened her with a grin.
She looked down at her bed and sighed. She had been desperately hoping the ministry would change their minds about marrying her off, although she knew there wasn't even the tiniest chance that they would pardon her. Being married with kids wasn't on her life agenda, and even if it had been, she wanted love to be the factor, not a piece of paper from the ministry.
"Think positive." She told herself, pulling the dress over her head. "You could have been Mrs Hermione Snape." She shuddered at the thought. Snape wasn't a bad guy, and she held no malice towards him, but marrying your surly ex potion's professor was creepy as all hell. She slid her feet into her pumps running into the bathroom to pull her hair up in a quick bun. Draco would be bounding up the stairs at any moment if she didn't get a move on.
She made her way down the stairs as fast as possible without breaking an ankle. Draco stood at the bottom with his arms crossed and foot tapping impatiently. "Let's go!" He grabbed her hand pulling her towards the fire place. "Today is the first day of the rest of your life!"
As per the norm, Draco had set them up for a private spa treatment with two of the best beauticians in the industry. It was eerily similar to a muggle spa with the exception that magic was used for most things. Hermione sighed in contentment as she lay on her stomach with her head propped up on her crossed arms looking over at Draco. There was nothing like the feel of invisible hands kneading the tense muscles in her back.
Her mind jumped back to their earlier conversation. "You never answered my question."
"Hmmm?" He answered lazily.
"You know my suitor don't you?"
"Possibly." He smiled.
"Draco?" She said threateningly.
"Just trust me, Honey. You know I'd never steer you wrong."
"So that's a yes?"
Draco cocked an eyebrow in response. That was a yes. Clearly he wasn't to give anything up directly, so she decided to change the subject.
"You know I love our spa days, but I absolutely hate that you don't let me pay for a damn thing. I wouldn't be able to afford it without you. I feel so guilty."
"Don't worry about it, Sweetie." He replied with his eyes closed. "You are going to be a very wealthy witch in the near future. You can pay me back then."
Hermione's head snapped up. "Wealthy? Please don't tell me I'm being married off to some old rich geezer."
Draco laughed so hard the table he laid on shook. "He's older, but definitely not what I would call a 'geezer'."
"How old?" She asked as their massage ended.
Draco stood, wrapping his towel around his waist. "Just trust me." He said helping her secure her towel around her body. "Now let's hurry up and get to the good parts!" He beamed. "We need to get you dolled up and to the ball on time!"
"Were you reading muggle princess books again?" She laughed. Draco stuck his tongue out and led her out into the next room.
Lucius stood at his mirror straightening his robes. It had only been 2 years since Narcissa's untimely death, and while the marriage was on the brink of divorce it still hurt to realize she was gone. He had no intentions on remarrying and producing any more children until Draco announced his true sexuality. A part of Lucius always knew that Draco played for the other team, but it was still slightly surprising when Draco fully came out. His son wouldn't be able to bring forth another Malfoy heir and so he found himself being made to follow the reinstated marriage act. If the Malfoy name was to carry on Lucius would have to take a bride and start from scratch.
Draco was excited about the prospect. He and his boyfriend knew who his future bride was, and both assured him that she was 'the best', that she was smart, funny, and beautiful. Draco had always been very close to his mother, so it was a bit of a shock when he came to breakfast and happily announced that Lucius had been matched. It made him even more suspicious that Draco was so fond of this mystery woman. He wouldn't tell Lucius any concrete details about the future Mrs Malfoy and that unsettled him.
The only reason he agreed to the little dinner date to meet his future wife was his complete faith in Draco's very keen intuition. He took a deep breath, doing one last once over before heading over to the fire place to floo to the restaurant.
"You are absolutely fucking gorgeous!" Draco gushed. One thing she had to admit is that Draco had excellent taste. He had chosen a black strapless full length gown that clung to her delicate curves in just the right way, black satin gloves that reached just above her elbows, and strappy black heels that were surprisingly comfortable. Her hair was charmed into smooth relaxed curls down her back with classic victory rolls pinned to the crown of her head. To keep with the motif, her makeup was done as a simple pin-up look with bright red lips and winged eyeliner. A simple string of pearls adorned her neck with a matching set of dainty pearl earrings.
"My baby is all grown up and getting married." Draco fanned his face dramatically. Hermione rolled her eyes as she took his arm.
"Aren't you going to come with me?" She asked nervously as she readied herself to apparate to the restaurant.
"You'll be fine, Honey." He kissed her cheek. "Tom and I have some plans, but we should be back at the Manor before your date is over. I can't wait to hear about it!" He beamed. "You need to get going! The reservation is under Malfoy. Try to behave yourself." He winked. With one last hug Hermione apparated.
"Bonsoir, Madame. Do you have a reservation?" A man in very elegant black robes asked politely as she entered the restaurant. "Uh, yes. I think it's under Malfoy." She smiled.
The man jumped back recognizing her face. "Mademoiselle Granger?" He gasped. She nodded. The man bowed down low, taking her gloved hand in his and kissed her knuckles. "It is a pleasure." Hermione gave the man a half hearted smile. Several diners looked up in shock. She rarely made public appearances, and this was the reason why.
Lucius looked up from his table situated to the far back when he heard the commotion. A beautiful woman caught his eye with shiny chestnut curls and a breathtaking black gown. A waiter jumped to her side to escort her through the maze of tables, coming closer to Lucius. She turned her head to laugh at what the man was saying. It took a minute for Lucius to recognize his son's best friend under the red pouty lips and classic makeup.
Lucius stood as they approached the table. Her eyes grew wide. "I am so sorry, Mr Malfoy. Draco must have not realized you would be here tonight." She said embarrassed.
"I believe he did know, Miss Granger." Lucius replied taking her petite hand in his brushing his lips across her knuckles. The restaurant suddenly felt like a muggle dance club with all the flashing lights aimed at them. Damn paparazzi.