Roughly one, long year later, in which a reluctant Draco learned to sleep in a tent and Ron Weasley became incredibly adept at silencing charms…
"Alright, love?" Draco finds her standing outside the doorway that once led to the Room of Requirement, now little more than smoldering stone. He has slipped his arms around her and settled his chin on her shoulder. She'd been sent on an errand to retrieve Dreamless Sleep potions for those currently infirmed, shortly after the final battle of the Second Wizarding War.
"I just can't believe it's gone. Feels like… like I've lost something important."
"I'm grateful to the Room, Hermione, but I don't need it anymore. I have everything I need now."
She turns in his arms and wraps herself around his neck. Hermione leans in and plants a soft kiss on his lower lip before she says, "Your mother was glaring at me you know. The world was going to hell around us in the middle of a war and she found the time to give me the stink-eye for sullying your reputation."
He chuckles, "Yes I noticed. The holidays should be interesting."
She snorts in agreement. "Christmas at the manor then? Delightful. Let's invite Severus for Boxing Day, make it just all around uncomfortable for everyone."
"I'm not sure he'd be allowed in the front door. Mother is furious he lied to her about my so called demise. I left them in the Great Hall to find you when she started screeching… something about weaseling his way out of a Vow."
"What else could he do? Pretending you were dead was the only way to keep you safe."
Hermione settles her head against his chest and they stand that way, wrapped around each other in silence as the dust still settles around them.
"So what now?"
"Australia?" She looks up at him and offers a soft smirk. "I understand my boyfriend is rather gifted at mind magic. Perhaps he can help reverse the Obliviate he cast on my parents."
He scoffs. "Of course I can. I told you before, never cast a spell you can't control, Muggle girl."
"Muggleborn," she corrects with affection.
"How about 'Mrs. Malfoy'. Does that name suit you?"
"I don't know." He looks at her in question, hurt flickering across his face. "I rather thought Draco Granger sounded nice. I'm a modern girl you know."
He kisses her then, for her sass or in spite of it, and vows to never let her go. She is his whole world. Required and desired and now finally his.
He starts when he feels her hand playfully run his chest and pull at his shirt, running her hands up the skin of his back. She nips at his mouth and pushes her body against him.
"Right here in the corridor, Miss Granger? Very forward of you. Very… bold."
She winks and agrees cheekily, "In your dreams."
Finished! Thank you all a million times for reading, reviewing, favorite-ing, and following! I hit 200 reviews while in progress on this which is a landmark for me! Thank you all so much for that! And if you want to visit any of my previous works I still appreciate comments on those more than I can say!
A little part of me that considered making this a longer story (like connecting chapter 15 to the epilogue) is considering a Drabble collection of outtakes. I've always wanted a Drabble series :) It might be anything from scenes during their time on the run, dreams from Hermione's point of view, to even something after all events conclude, told most likely in no particular order. I'd love to hear from you in a review if you would be interested in that. I have loved this little world and might want to play a little longer, one fun scene at a time.
I also do intend to get back on First They Came. This wasn't supposed to detract so badly but I obsessed over this story, spending hours editing as I posted, to the point I wasn't getting much actual writing done!
Very much looking forward to final reviews and also hoping you will grant me a "favorite" if you have enjoyed this little tale.