Disclaimer: I own nothing. All hail the Queen!
Snow fell silently outside and blanketed the alley in white. Hermione stirred in the bed, willing herself to go back to sleep, it was Saturday after all. She turned over with her arms outstretched but they met nothing but air. She sat up quickly and just then the door to the small bedroom opened slowly.
"You're awake," he whispered. He carried in both hands steaming mugs with a cinnamon stick poking from the top.
"Only just." She stifled a yawn.
He set down both cups on the table beside the bed and crawled underneath the covers. He wrapped an arm around her and took her chin in his other hand, tilting her face to his. He pressed his lips gently to hers. She tucked both hands behind his neck and snaked one up and entwined his platinum hair.
He pulled his lips away slightly and leaned his forehead against hers. "Happy anniversary, my darling," he breathed.
Hermione smiled and kissed his lips softly. "Happy anniversary, Draco."
There was a light rap on the window. Draco rose and lifted the window to allow in a large barn owl. Draco untied its wares and placed two Knuts for the paper in the pouch on the bird's leg. Hermione took her hot chocolate and sipped it as her husband sifted through the mail. He suddenly stood very still, a thick envelope clutched in his hand.
"Draco?" She saw the tension ripple through his body. "What is it, love?"
He sat down gingerly at the foot of the bed. Hermione set down her mug and scooted closer to look over his shoulder. The envelope was of a thick eggshell parchment. In dark green ink, a delicate script read:
Mister Draco Malfoy
86 South Diagon Alley
Draco turned the letter over to see a green wax seal with an intricate letter "M" pressed into it.
"What is it?" Hermione murmured.
"It's the deed."
Draco carefully broke the seal and pulled out the contents of the envelope. He unfolded a piece parchment with thick creases and rough edges. Across the top, in the same script as the front of the envelope, read:
The possessor is hereby named as sole own and proprietor of Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire, England; inclusive of all land and properties thereof.
Hermione scanned the page quickly, her breath hitching and heart pounding. Draco tossed the deed aside and took up another paper that was stuffed in the envelope.
He scoffed. "And the letter releasing my trust fund."
"I… Draco. I don't understand," Hermione stuttered. "I thought your parents had cut you off."
"They did," he sighed. "But wills and traditions don't recognize blood traitors and grudges."
"I'm still lost."
Draco turned to face his wife. "Malfoy tradition dictates that the manor, access to the family vault and personal trust fund, and partial ownership of any business partnerships pass to the oldest male on his first wedding anniversary."
"So that means-"
"That Malfoy Manor is ours."
"Ours." Hermione felt like her heart was about to beat out of her chest.
Draco dropped the letter and took both her hands in his. "Look at me, Hermione." She lifted her head slightly and looked at her husband from under her lashes. "I will never make you return to that place."
Hermione felt tears stinging her eyes but she nodded gently. "What are you going to do then?"
"We, darling. What are we going to do? I don't know yet. I guess I half expected Father to find some way around it so I wouldn't inherit one Knut." He pulled Hermione close to him and she wiggled her way into his lap, lacing her legs around his waist and resting her head on his chest. He wrapped his arms tightly around her and rested his chin on her head. He closed his eyes for a moment remembering that horrible day and what had occurred in the drawing room. He vividly recalled standing in the corner like a coward as he watched his aunt do unspeakable things to the girl he loved even then. He absentmindedly stroked her left forearm, his fingers tracing along the lines of the scars. She jumped slightly as his whisper pulled her from her own memories. "We can't sell it. The bond won't allow it. Besides, it's been in the family for centuries."
"It's been used for many horrific things. Why not put it to use for something good?"
Draco smiled slightly at the thought. "Like what?"
"I don't know. Maybe..." She paused.
"I know that 'Maybe.'" He stroked her hair gently. "What are you thinking?"
"Ginny said that Audrey's been talking about how full the orphanage is becoming, especially with the little ones getting older."
Hermione leaned back to look at Draco. "And you know, the children don't have much of a yard to play in, what with it being in the middle of the city."
His grey eyes twinkled. "The manor sits on a large amount of land."
"And many rooms, too?"
"More than we were ever able to use. And more than enough house-elves to help keep the place in order." Hermione gave him a pointed look. "They will be well compensated, of course," he added quickly.
She hummed her agreement. "You had better see to it, mister."
He kissed the tip of her nose. "Anything for you, darling."
She pressed back into his body and embraced him. "So that's it then?"
"It's settled. You arrange a meeting with Audrey and I'll take her to the manor and show her around. I'll call in a few favors and get some carpenters, designers, and decorators in there within the week."
"Are you sure, my love?"
He sighed. "More than sure. I have as much desire to return there as you. And you are right, it's time the place was used for good purpose."
Hermione smiled into his chest and he kissed her hair softly.
"Now, what were we doing at this time last year?"
"Well, I don't know about you but I was freaking out because Ginny was having a hard time taming my hair."
"And I was pacing the room trying to remember what in the world I had prepared for my vows."
"Why don't we pretend it's later in the evening and reenact the really good times?"
Hermione pulled back and couldn't help but smile at the devilish grin gracing his lips before she captured them with her own. The hot chocolate still sat on the side table, cold and long forgotten.
A/N: This is my first attempt at Dramione so I hope you guys like it.
Written for DelusionalDoll for first place in The Charlie Weasley Competition.