Draco read over his message carefully. After seeing nothing amiss, he folded it into an intricate origami crane and sent it magically soaring toward Hermione's desk. The crane landed gracefully in her big, bushy hair. And there it stayed, completely unnoticed. Impatient for her response, Draco pointed his wand at the crane, and its wings started flapping wildly in an effort to get her attention.
Caught off guard, Hermione let out a yelp as the crane began viciously attacking her head, entangling itself in her already unruly hair. As she wrestled the crane and struggled to free the pesky piece of parchment from her hair, not one of her incompetent co-workers had the decency to come to her rescue. They were too busy pretending to work and quietly snickering at their desks.
Not appreciating being interrupted from her work or the spectacle it had caused, Hermione finally managed to immoblilize the crane and none too easily extricated the annoyance from her tangled, knotted mess of hair. Seeing it was one of HIS cranes, she scowled and hastily unfolded it to see what could be so important.
However, when Hermione read the note, her eyes nearly popped out of her head. Looking up, she saw Draco, watching her with his feet propped up on his desk and a smirk on his face.
"Are you serious?" she asked, a frown on her face.
Draco shrugged in what he thought was a boyishly charming way.
Hermione let out a loud harrumph and quickly scribbled down her reply. Angrily, she crumpled up the beautiful crane and threw it at his head.
Not expecting that reaction, Draco lost his balance and nearly toppled out of his chair. Uncrumpling the note, he read her reply and scowled. Her answer was a resounding no. She had not only circled it, she had underlined it. Three times.
"But why not?" he whined.
"Because you did it all wrong," she snapped.
"I didn't know there was only one way to do it," Draco huffed indignantly.
"Well, I can tell you that the one way not to do it is on an office memo," Hermione retorted.
"That was my best origami crane," protested Draco.
"I remember when he used to send me orgigami," said Harry reminiscently from the desk behind Hermione.
Ron, sitting across from him, snickered.
Draco scowled. "I'm beginning to think I didn't pick the best location to do it in either," he muttered.
"It seems to me that you didn't put any thought into it at all," Hermione accused. "I mean, you asked me with an attack bird. How do you expect me to take you seriously?"
"I can do other animals," said Draco, grabbing a piece of parchment off of his desk. "How do you feel about dragons?"
"Terrified that you're going to set my head on fire. Forget the origami," said Hermione, walking over to him and taking the parchment from him. "If you really are serious about this, I'd rather you asked me in a more personal way."
Draco stared at her blankly.
"I meant you should get down on your knees!" she hissed.
"Shouldn't we save that for the honeymoon?" Draco joked.
Hermione was not amused.
Sighing dramatically, Draco got up from his desk and stood in front of Hermione. Excited whispers erupted throughout the office as he elegantly sank down on one knee and took her hand in his. As he stared up at her, he couldn't help but think she had never looked more beautiful despite the fact that her hair was still sticking out at odd angles due to his overzealous first proposal.
"I'm sorry if I didn't ask the way you wanted me to, but I am serious about this. I've never been more serious about anything in my whole life. I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life being your husband. Hermione Jean Granger, will you marry me?" Before she could answer, he smirked and added, "Circle yes or no."
Try as she might, Hermione couldn't help but smile. She was in love with the ferret after all. Placing a finger to his lips, she traced a circle around his smirk and said, "Yes."
Jumping up in excitement, Draco picked up his new fiancee and whirled her around the office. "She said yes!" he exclaimed exuberantly. "In your face, Weasel."
Ron looked up from his desk and scowled. "But she said no first, so you still owe me twenty Galleons."
"Whatever," Draco retorted. "I'm marrying Hermione Granger. I suppose I may as well get used to giving away all my money to lost causes."
Before Hermione could launch into one of her lectures, Draco kissed her and sneakily slipped the ring on her finger.
"So, I guess you'll be wanting me to be the best man at your wedding now," Ron hinted not so subtley.
"Not bloody likely," Draco scoffed.
"You're choosing Harry then?" said Ron, the jealousy evident in his voice.
"Well, I am the Chosen One," Harry quipped.
"Not this time," replied Draco.
"Then who's going to be the best man?" Ron asked.
"The best man for the job, of course," said Draco pompously. "Me."
Ron rolled his eyes. "Hermione, do you really want to marry this conceited git?"
Hermione looked at Draco and smiled. "I do. But I'm sure Draco is only joking. He's probably just having a hard time choosing between the two of you because you've all become such close friends. I wouldn't be surprised if one or both of you will be receiving some origami of your own soon." She gave Draco a pointed look.
"Fine," said Draco, relenting. He dug into his pocket and pulled out an origami Snitch. "How about whoever catches this Snitch gets to be my best man?"
"That sounds fair," said Harry, trying not to sound too enthusiastic but coming off looking a tad smug.
"I guess," Ron reluctantly agreed, sounding resigned.
Letting go of the Snitch, Draco smirked and said, "May the best man win."
As the Snitch took off into the air, Harry and Ron bounded out of their chairs, pushing each other in their eagerness to capture the origami Snitch. With Harry and Ron in hot pursuit, the Snitch flew erratically around the room disrupting the entire office as the two seekers of best man status climbed ontop of desks, trampled over paperwork and knocked over rubbish bins in their efforts to beat each other to the origami prize. Their overzealousness in trying to catch the Snitch had perhaps a little more to do with the thrill of the competition than about their actual desire to be Draco's best man, although they both liked Draco well enough.
Harry, having the most experience with catching Snitches, came close several times, but even after an impressive dive that landed him in Colin Creevey's lap, he still came up empty handed. It seemed like no matter what Harry did, the Snitch was always just out of his grasp.
"You've already chosen your best man, haven't you?" said Hermione, giving Draco a knowing look.
"I don't know what you mean," replied Draco, feigning innocence.
"Harry's never going to catch that Snitch, is he?"
"Not a chance." Draco smirked.
"So, you've chosen Ron?"
Draco shrugged. "Let's just say that I know what it's like to always lose out to Potter. I just thought..."
Hermione kissed him. "You thought right. Ron is the perfect choice for best man."
"Well, Weasel does give the best drunken speeches," said Draco, feeling the need to justify having actually chosen Ron to be his best man. "Can't have Potter blubbering all over the champagne."
After pretty much destroying the office, Ron finally caught the Snitch and officially became best man for better or worse. "I did it," he said incredulously, staring at the Snitch in his hand. "I won."
"Congratulations, Weasel. You've got the job." Instead of offering his hand, Draco handed him a rolled up piece of parchment. "Here is your list of duties as best man. Hermione and I are taking off early to celebrate, so I wanted to give this to you now, so you don't fall behind. It's not everything, but don't worry, I have it charmed so I can magically add to it as we go along." Looking around the room at the knocked over furniture and scattered pieces of parchment littering the floor, he added, "Oh, and you should probably clean up this mess before you get started. See you later."
Ron watched Hermione and Draco leave and then unrolled the parchment. He flinched when it hit the floor. Turning to Harry, he said, "I didn't really win, did I?"
Harry laughed. "Sorry, mate. It looks like I'm the Boy Who Lived through near disaster once again. I've still got it."
"Whatever," said Ron, rolling his eyes. "Help me clean up, will you? I have to get to Madam Primpernelle's shop before it closes to pick up Malfoy's bath salts."
Harry helped Ron straighten up the office but not without making an awful lot of jokes at Ron's expense. Just as Harry was in the middle of a really inappropriate crack about some of the possible duties Ron was going to have to perform as Malfoy's best man, a beautiful origami owl swooped into the office and landed heavily in his hands. With a slight feeling of dread, he opened it and read the message with Ron looking over his shoulder.
I thought since Ron is going to be Draco's best man, you could be my maid of honor. Man of honor? Well, we can think about what to call you. Feel free to submit a list of options for my approval. I'll work up a schedule tonight with all of your duties. Something along the lines of those study schedules I used to make for you back at Hogwarts. It's going be just like old times. However, unlike old times, I expect you to follow my instructions exactly. I have some very specific ideas for this wedding, and I want everything to be perfect. And there will be no slacking this time around either. We have a schedule to stick to. A very precise schedule. This is going to be so much fun! I can't wait to get started. I'll owl you bright and early tomorrow.
Your best friend who's getting married and is totally depending on you,
P.S. Draco and I are arguing over what name I should use after the wedding. Circle which one you like best and send the owl back to me. Thanks!
Harry couldn't bring himself to look at Ron, but he could hear his best friend humming something that sounded suspiciously like Weasley is Our King. Not saying a word, Harry circled his choice, sloppily refolded the origami owl and sent it flying haphazardly out of the office. He very much hoped it interrupted whatever the soon-to-be Granfoys were currently engaged in.