Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. The idea (and VERY basic plot) for this fic came from "Brighter Than the Sun" by Julia Quinn. I don't own that. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Chapter Five: Have A Little Fun Now
"You changed your mind," he repeated slowly, eyeing her suspiciously. Surely she was joking. What could have happened to make her change her mind so quickly? At the reading of the will, she had been ready to claw his eyes out for even suggesting it.
She rolled her eyes. "Yes, I did."
She shook her head, her lips clamped shut, refusing to answer.
He raised a brow. "Why?"
Still no answer, though she did cross her arms.
"You know what?" she interrupted him suddenly.
"What?" he asked irritably.
"If we're going to be married, we should call each other by our first names." She walked up to his desk and held out a hand for him to shake. "Draco."
"Hermione," he said, holding her gaze as he stood and picked up her hand, shaking it politely.
She shivered involuntarily. Honestly. Why did her name have to sound so good coming from his lips? And speaking of lips—
She shook herself inwardly. What in the Gods' names was the matter with her? Fantasizing about Draco Malfoy's lips?! Imagine telling that to Harry and Ron. Of course, Ron would probably freak if he knew she was marrying Ma—Draco. Harry wouldn't be as bad, if only because he himself had just married Pansy, so he wasn't as prejudiced against Slytherins as others were.
It was those 'others' that had Hermione worried. She had no idea how anyone else would take it… Well, she had an idea about Ginny's reaction. She would probably be shocked, but feel that so long as it made Hermione happy, she would support her decision. Hermione cringed. That was actually the worst thing that could happen, since she was nowhere near positive that it would make her happy. She sighed inwardly. But that was the way it was.
"Hermione?" Draco questioned.
She snapped out of her reverie to look at him. "Yes?"
A slow smirk appeared on his face. "You're still holding my hand."
Hermione looked down and was shocked to see he was right. She jumped away almost as if he had been a snake—how appropriate, she thought ironically—and sat down at the seat in front of his desk. "Well, then," she said, clearing her throat. "Let's get down to business, shall we?"
"What business?" Draco asked. "We get married. End of discussion. And a very good discussion it was," he ended, looking down at her from where he was standing.
"Uh, Draco," Hermione said, uncomfortably aware of his stare but ignoring it the best she could, "there's a lot more to it than that."
"Oh, really?" Draco asked, sitting down and leaning back in his chair. He raised an eyebrow at her.
"Yes, really," she said, rolling her eyes. He was so melodramatic. Taking a few sheets of parchment out of her bag, she set them on the table. "There are a lot of details we need to take care of." Details over which she had lost quite a bit of sleep. "Now, large wedding or small wedding? Or do you want just a small Ministry service?"
Draco frowned. "Uh, small wedding, I guess, but—"
"Honeymoon?" Hermione interrupted.
"No," he said succinctly, crossing his arms.
She paused. "Why not?"
"Because it's not like we're in love or something." He wrinkled his nose distastefully. "Do we really need it?"
Hermione sighed. It made sense that he would be like this. "Did your parents have a honeymoon?"
She interrupted him again. "Were they in love?"
"End of discussion."
"Granger!" Draco yelled.
"Yes?" she asked, looking up from her notes, an eyebrow raised in question.
"Since when did you become the alpha male here?" he demanded.
Hermione glared at him. "I don't know what you're talking about," well, she did, but that was beside the point, "but I'm taking charge because you obviously have no idea what is involved with getting married. And my name, as I'm sure you remember, is Hermione, not Granger."
Draco mumbled something she couldn't make out, and to be truthful, she didn't particularly want to.
"All right then. We will both keep our jobs, correct?" she looked up for verification.
He nodded, leaning back in his chair again.
"Where will we live?"
Draco shrugged. "Malfoy Manor, I suppose."
"Ooo-kay…" Hermione made a note on her parchment. "How are you supporting yourself right now? I mean, how was all the buildings' upkeep paid for if you don't have enough money for it now?"
"There was a fund that was set up for that. I lived on what I earn here, and on the small amount I inherited from my mother."
"Then why don't you just keep doing that?"
"Granger," he said.
"Hermione," she corrected.
"Her-mi-o-ne… Weren't you listening to the will? Section 4.d. said that fund is now inoperative."
"What?" he demanded. Granger was becoming increasingly bothersome.
"I just have an idea, is all," she said. "But back to the wedding: how many people do you want to invite?"
"Well, if it was what I wanted we wouldn't invite any, but—"
"Why don't we do that then?"
"Because, Her-mi-o-ne," he said, stretching her name out, "Everyone in my family will want an invitation."
"Even though you're marrying a Mudblood?" Hermione asked, a brow raised.
Draco just stared at her.
"Well, why don't we elope?" Hermione said, setting her pad and pencil down to look at him directly.
"What?" Draco wasn't certain he could believe his ears.
"Elope," she repeated slowly. "You know, when you get married by an official and don't bother with a huge wedding? Then we don't have to worry about them. And you don't have to wait to organize a wedding. The longer you wait, the more money you'll have to put into the buildings. You said yourself that the fund was inoperative after your father's death. That means that even now you're paying for their upkeep out of your own pockets."
Draco rubbed his chin thoughtfully, looking at her appraisingly. "You do know that then we'll pretty much get married on the honeymoon, right?"
He leaned forward, a small smile on his face. "Have you given any thought to the fact that we're going to have to procreate at some point?"
She didn't say anything. She just sat there, not moving. Why had she forgotten that, of all things? Well, if she were honest with herself, she had thought of it—she just hadn't brought it up because she was still extremely uncomfortable with the idea. She cleared her throat. "Well, uh, yes…"
Draco smirked. "Well?"
"We will have to, uh, procreate, as you so eloquently put it—"
"Oh, I'm eloquent, am I?"
Hermione glared at him before continuing. "As I was saying: yes, we will have to procreate, but I'm good for another ten years at the least, so why would we have to do anything now?"
"Because, my dear fiancée…" Draco trailed off, leaning forward again and catching one of her hands in his. "Don't you know that men who aren't satisfied with their wife often are found to…" he waved his other hand slightly, "stray?"
Hermione colored a bright red. No, she hadn't exactly thought of that. Plus, his thumb was rubbing the back of her hand, and it wasn't helping her to stay focused at all. "Why wouldn't I want you to stray?" she said, albeit she realized her voice was slightly breathless.
"Because, Her-mi-o-ne," he said, setting her hand down gently and gesturing widely, "I don't want people to find out I was forced into marriage with you because of my bastard of a father. They'll think we're in love or some such thing, and that would be completely blown if I'm found straying from my marriage so soon."
"Well isn't that your problem?" she snapped. "And besides," she continued, "why would you want anyone to think that you're in love with a Mudblood?"
Draco narrowed his eyes. "Because it's better than my father strong-handing me into anything."
"Well," Hermione said, desperate to make a point, any point, that would keep them in separate beds, "how do you know I'll even be any good?" she asked, blushing a red that would have done the Weasleys proud.
"I don't," Draco smirked.
"Well… Well, how do I know you won't stray anyway?"
"Then what's the point of any of this?!"
Draco sighed. "Forget it. But we're sleeping in the same room on the honeymoon."
"Fine." She paused. "What about at Malfoy Manor?"
"At the Manor the two chambers are connected."
Hermione brightened. "So I don't have to sleep with you there?"
"No," he scowled.
She smiled. "All right then…" she paused again, looking at her notes before placing them back in her bag and looking him in the eye. "What are we waiting for?"
Draco stood on the deck of the QE2, glaring at the ocean as though it had done something to displease him. He couldn't believe that he was now a married man. He'd sworn that he wouldn't get married until he was at least thirty. He had wanted to make the most of his bachelor years, but no. His father had to decide to make his life a living hell. It wasn't much of a consolation that he was just returning the favor.
Hermione was still in the Suite that he'd been able to get last minute. She was looking around and putting her things away, although he had a feeling she was avoiding him. Not that he cared much, of course. Well, he cared—she was his wife—but he didn't care care. Draco shook his head, grimacing. This was getting confusing.
"Hey," a soft voice came from behind him. He belatedly realized it was Hermione, and turned around…
…And was promptly left speechless.
She was wearing a light blue spaghetti-strap sundress that ended a few inches above her knees. Modest, yes, but at the same time very alluring. He would have to rethink his ideas on Muggle fashion.
Hermione looked at him nervously, fiddling with her strap. "What? What is it?"
Draco shook his head. "Nothing, nothing at all." He turned back to the ocean, motioning for her to come up beside him. He glanced at her again, amazed that she could look so beautiful. He would have never imagined it, especially during their school days. She had always been buried behind her books.
He glanced down at her left hand. His ring was there. It was simple enough, just a gold band, but it was intricately woven by skilled craftsmen. One would have never guessed that it was the Malfoy ring, given to the eldest son to give to his wife on their wedding day. One would have thought it would be something more elaborate and gaudy. Hermione had, at least.
"You mean this is it?"
"What were you expecting?"
Hermione shrugged. "I don't know… Maybe a huge ruby or something," she laughed.
Draco sighed, looking at his own hand. There wasn't a ring there. Yet.
"What do you mean, 'men don't wear a wedding ring'?" Hermione demanded.
"Well, my father didn't wear one. I don't have one."
Hermione gave a frustrated sigh and poked him in the chest. "As soon as we get back, you are getting a ring and you're going to wear it. I will not have a husband who will not show the fact that he is married."
In the corner of his eye Draco could see the Ministry official fighting laughter. He sighed dejectedly. "Fine."
Draco turned to his wife. "What are we going to do now?" he asked. He really wished he hadn't agreed so quickly to letting her stay in her own bed, because he had a very interesting activity in mind that he very much doubted she would agree to.
She shrugged, still looking out at the ocean. "I don't know. We could head down to dinner."
He shook his head. "I'm not in the mood." Definitely not.
Hermione laughed, and Draco was surprised to find himself wanting to smile in response. He quickly stomped on the impulse. He never smiled. "We can eat in the room, then, if that's what you want. I don't really care."
Draco nodded and took her arm, guiding her to the elevator.
As soon as they were in, she spoke. "I didn't know you knew how to use an elevator."
Draco shrugged, a small smirk making its way onto his face. "There are a lot of things you don't know about me."
Hermione laughed again. "I guess that's true. But the same is true about me, you know," she grinned, raising her eyebrows beguilingly.
He shook his head, a small smirk on his face. She really had no idea how pretty she was. Married life was going to be interesting, to say the least…