Hermione woke up in her own bed with a vague feeling of discontent, despite the now-familiar warmth of Draco against her back. She was using one of his arms as a surprisingly comfortable pillow. He had his other arm draped protectively over her, with his hand splayed over her hip.
She yawned. It had been a lovely weekend, but an exhausting one, too. On Friday afternoon, they had celebrated Reg's fifth birthday with a delicious cake baked by Molly Weasley and an elaborate sculpture of meringue and ice cream prepared by the Malfoy elves. The children had run rampant, taking turns on Reg's broom and playing with the boomerangs and other Muggle toys her parents had sent from Australia.
Hermione had cooed over little James with Ginny, while Draco and Harry had managed to converse with a minimum of snark. Draco's respect for the Auror was now substantially less grudging. Draco had even admitted to Hermione, in strictest confidence, that he was impressed by the almost-Slytherin cunning Harry had displayed in working around her strictures against revealing the truth about Reg's paternity.
After the party was over, Narcissa had taken charge of an exhausted Reg and Draco had whisked Hermione away for a romantic weekend in Paris. They had wined and dined, strolled the boulevards, taken full advantage of Reg's absence to shag six ways 'til Sunday, and then caught a Portkey home late last night.
And that was the source of Hermione's discontent. Not what had happened over the weekend, but what had not. Because Paris on any day, but perhaps especially Valentine's Day, was the perfect place for a proposal. There had been any number of occasions - as she and Draco had playfully fought over bites of chocolate mousse, walked holding hands along the Seine, kissed on the Eiffel Tower, lain satiated in each other's arms - that had provided excellent opportunities for Draco to ask her to marry him. But he hadn't, though more than once she'd caught the prat giving her a maddening smirk as though he knew exactly what she was waiting for.
It was an irrational insecurity, but Hermione was starting to fear she might be nothing more than "Malfoy's Muggleborn mistress," as Witch Weekly had obnoxiously referred to her, until she wrote a sharp letter to the editor advising them that in modern parlance, she and Draco were partners. And while that partnership was extremely satisfying, Hermione remained a traditionalist at heart and wanted more, like her parents' happy marriage.
Oh, well. At least for now, she would try to remain content with what she had.
Draco's breathing shifted slightly. She could tell he was close to waking and deliberately rubbed her bum against his morning erection. From the way his hand tightened on her hip, she could tell it had been an effective wake-up call.
"Tease," he whispered in her ear, punctuating with a nip to the sensitive lobe. "Don't start what you can't finish."
"I won't," Hermione promised as she increased the friction, enjoying the very obvious physical effects she was causing. They had both been knackered the night before, and had gone straight to bed after arriving home, allowing her time to recover from their weekend activities. She was still slightly sore between her legs, but nothing that would keep her from enjoying a morning romp between the sheets. If anything, the sensitivity would heighten her pleasure.
"It's Monday morning, love," he reminded her, his hand on her hip now effectively stilling her.
"Egbert knew we were going away for a mini-break. He just asked me to send an owl if I got tied up," she told Draco, slightly breathless.
"Tied up?" Draco flipped her onto her back, grey eyes dark with lust. "That can be arranged," he promised in a husky voice. "I'll just have my mother take Reg over to the Manor for breakfast."
A soft knock on the bedroom door interrupted them. "Mummy, Daddy, are you back?"
"It's like summoning a bloody demon. You say his name and he appears every time! "
Though he was growling, Hermione knew Draco was more amused than irritated. He had missed their son as much as she had.
Once invited, Reg bounded into the room to hug both of them and be kissed by his mother. Then he looked expectantly at Draco. "Is it time, Daddy? Are you ready?"
Draco nodded sharply and then swallowed, throat bobbing. "As ready as I'll ever be," he muttered to himself. He opened the drawer of the adjacent night table and pulled out a small, black velvet box, handing it to Reg.
Reg carefully held the box in both hands as he walked to Hermione's side of the bed. "I've been practicing," he announced proudly as he handed the box to her.
When her fingers fumbled with the clasp, Draco reached around her and deftly flipped the box open.
"Oh, my," Hermione breathed at the sight of the intricate goblin-carved platinum ring. Rather than the gaudiness of rubies mixed with emeralds, Draco had opted to surround the large diamond with sapphires, amethysts, and moonstones - her favorite colors and all of their birthstones, too!
Gently, Draco tugged her around to face him on their bed. "Hermione, I realize I'm doing this in the wrong order, but will you marry me, share your life with me, and bear my child or, Merlin willing, children?"
While she now typically used Malfoy's surname only when he had irked her, Draco used her given name only in the most intimate moments. She stared into his quicksilver eyes and realized she had never seen them so transparent with need and love.
"Mummy, please say 'yes!'" Reg implored before she could formulate an answer.
"Say 'yes,'" Draco urged in a low voice, pleading evident in the grey eyes locked on hers. "Say you'll marry me, Hermione."
With a radiant smile, she uttered a soft, heartfelt reply. "Yes, I will!"