A/N – This last chapter is a little bit shorter than the rest, but I wanted to include a scene going back to Hogwarts with Draco's other friends involved. I hope people enjoyed this story, and for those hoping to get Hermione meeting Draco's parents in this story don't worry, I have plenty of ideas on that scenario and plan to do a short story about Hermione meeting the Malfoys. Thanks for reading and reviewing, as always the support I get is very much appreciated and keeps me motivated to write.
Hermione arrived at Platform Nine and Three Quarters, feeling surprisingly nervous. It had been a huge relief to her that Harry and Ron had taken the news of her relationship with Draco in their stride when they discovered it, but now she couldn't help but worry what would happen now her friends had gotten used to the news. Maybe now they'd thought about things they would disapprove and all her worst fears about losing them would come true. Hermione hoped that wasn't going to happen, but she couldn't help but worry about it.
Hermione's nerves weren't even eased when she first spotted Harry and Ron, standing with Ron's younger sister, Ginny. The trio hadn't even seemed to notice her, and it wasn't until she was approaching them that Harry spotted her and shot her a smile.
"Hi," Hermione greeted nervously.
"Hi," Harry returned, giving Hermione a strange look. "Why do you sound nervous?"
"Because I am," Hermione admitted. "I've sort of convinced myself that things will be different now you've had a proper chance to digest my news."
"They aren't," Harry assured her. "We stand by everything we said at the party. You're our best friend, and nothing can change that. You can date who you like, and we'll support you."
"Thanks guys," Hermione said, letting out a relieved breath. "I was so worried thing might have changed over the last week."
"Nope, nothing's changed," Ron said with a smile. "We're still as shocked as we were when we found out you were with Malfoy."
"You're seriously still shocked?" Hermione questioned with a laugh.
"It's a lot to take in," Ron protested. "I think it'll be weeks before we fully accept that our best friend is dating Draco Malfoy of all people."
"I'm still not sure I can believe it," Ginny said. "Until I see it with my own eyes, there's still a part of me thinks that these two are pulling my leg."
"It's true, Ginny," Hermione replied as she glanced around the platform for any sign of her boyfriend.
"I haven't seen him," Harry supplied, knowing who his best friend was looking for. "But we better get on board. We can grab a compartment and he can find us."
Hermione followed her friends onto the train, but before they could grab a compartment, they spotted Blaise leaning out of a compartment further down and waving to them.
"I still can't believe we're going to sit with Slytherins," Ron muttered to Harry as they made their way to where Blaise was waiting for them.
"I know, it's so surreal," Harry returned, sharing his friend's disbelief at the situation. In a matter of weeks their entire world had changed, and they were now associating with people he would have sworn they would have left school without really getting to know.
When they reached the compartment, they found Blaise and Draco were both in residence along with three other Slytherins – Pansy Parkinson, Daphne Greengrass and Theo Nott. Draco had clearly told his friends about his romance with Hermione as none of the Slytherins seemed surprised when the Gryffindors entered the compartment.
"Hey," Draco greeted with a smile as his girlfriend entered the compartment first.
"Hi," Hermione replied, smiling back at Draco as she settled into the seat next to him.
Pansy Parkinson was sitting opposite them, and while her friends and Draco's friends exchanged awkward greetings, Hermione felt Pansy's eyes on her. Looking up she found Pansy studying her, and she wondered if it was going to be Pansy who caused trouble.
"Knock it off, Pans," Draco ordered, noticing his friend's attention on his girlfriend. "It's not like you're meeting Hermione for the first time, so stop staring."
"Sorry, this is all just very surreal," Pansy remarked, not removing her gaze from Hermione.
"I think it's very romantic," Daphne supplied. "They're like two star crossed lovers, falling in love despite all their differences and their rivalries."
"You read too many mushy romance books, Daph," Blaise snorted.
"It's better than not reading at all," Daphne shot back.
"I read, just not mushy girl crap," Blaise retorted.
"There's nothing wrong with romance," Daphne replied with an elegant shrug of her shoulders.
Throughout Daphne and Blaise's bickering, Hermione was aware that Pansy was still watching her. Knowing that she wouldn't be able to relax until she'd done something about the other girl, she looked her in the eye and told her if she had something to say, she should just say it.
"Did Draco really turn up at a muggle party, just to be there for you?" Pansy asked.
"He did," Hermione confirmed.
"And it was completely muggle? No magic or anything?" Pansy checked.
"It was all muggle," Hermione replied, wondering where Pansy was going with her line of questioning.
"Hmm," Pansy hummed as a small smile crept onto her face. "I guess it's true after all."
"You guess what's true?" Hermione questioned, wondering if Pansy didn't believe that she and Draco were really together.
"Draco's in love," Pansy replied. "He damn well has to be to go to a muggle party. I never thought I would see the day, Draco went muggle."
"Is it a problem?" Hermione asked, aware that everyone was watching her and Pansy and they were all awaiting the outcome of their conversation with baited breath.
"Somehow, I don't think it would matter to Draco if it was," Pansy replied with a shrug. "He went to a muggle party for you, so I doubt anything anyone has to say will deter him from carrying on a relationship with you."
"But you don't like it," Hermione concluded. She'd long suspected that Pansy fancied Draco, so she wasn't totally surprised that the Slytherin witch disapproved of them being together.
"I haven't made a decision yet," Pansy answered honestly. "It's no secret, I'm not your biggest fan, Granger, and I doubt you like me too much. However, how we feel about each other doesn't really matter. Draco is my oldest friend, and he's all I really care about. You seem to make him happy, so I'm not going to cause trouble. I guess I can come to accept you if you and Draco are the real deal."
"We are," Hermione said, slipping her hand into Draco's.
"We'll see," Pansy said airily. "But Granger, just a word of warning. If you hurt Draco, I'll hunt you down and make you regret the day you ever joined the wizarding world."
"Pansy," Draco warned in a low voice.
"It's okay Draco," Hermione said soothingly to her boyfriend, although her eyes didn't leave Pansy's. "Pansy is just being a good friend and looking out for you."
"I don't need looking out for, I can take care of myself," Draco argued.
"As if," Pansy snorted. "Under that tough exterior of yours, you're nothing but a marshmallow. Granger has the potential to break your heart into a million pieces, so I'm just warning her what will happen if she does that."
"Message understood, Pansy," Hermione said with a slight smile. "I won't hurt him, I promise."
"Not that's sorted, can we talk about something else," Draco muttered. He wasn't at all impressed that Pansy had called him a marshmallow, especially as Harry, Ron and Ginny were all sitting in the compartment.
"I can tell you about the sexy woman I pulled at Hermione's party," Blaise said excitedly. "She did stuff you would never believe."
"I'm not so sure we need to hear this Blaise," Draco said warily.
"I need to hear about it," Theo said. "Was this woman a muggle?"
"She was," Blaise confirmed. "And damn, those muggle women are wild."
Despite Draco's protests, Blaise couldn't help but dish the dirt about the woman he finally ended up with on the night of the party. Hermione wasn't sure if he was just exaggerating, or even downright lying, but she was just hoping that whoever he'd hooked up with wasn't a member of her family. Given the depraved details he wasn't going into, Hermione didn't think she would be able to look the woman in question in the eye again. Fortunately when Blaise did finally remember to mention her name, it wasn't a one Hermione recognised. Clearly whoever Blaise had been getting frisky with wasn't one of her relatives.
"So what happened with these cousins of yours, Hermione?" Ginny asked when Blaise finally finished talking. "Harry and Ron said they were pretty stuck-up."
"I finally realised that nothing was going to change their opinions of me, and I was just stressing myself out over something that just didn't matter," Hermione replied. "I'm not going to let them get to me ever again."
"You should have heard her rip into them, it was great," Harry enthused, telling the group about Hermione's scathing speech to her two cousins.
"I couldn't have done it without you all there to back me up," Hermione said with a smile. "You all gave me the strength I needed to finally stand up to my cousins."
"But did you at least make them jealous of you first?" Ginny asked.
"I don't know," Hermione answered with a shrug.
"You did," Blaise said with confidence. "I mean, how could you not make them jealous? They were drooling all over Draco and I, and they even thought Potter and Weasley were cute. I'm telling you, they were green with envy."
"Mission accomplished then," Ginny said with a smirk.
"Yeah, I guess it was," Hermione replied softly.
One thing was for sure, she would never dread another family reunion. Thanks to her boyfriend and friends, she would never feel inferior to her cousins again. She was who she was, and she was proud of who she was. True, she might still be a bookworm, but there was far more to her than that. She was a strong, powerful witch with a gorgeous boyfriend and amazing friends. She had far too many good things in her life to let her cousins' rain on her parade again. Never again would she doubt herself, and never again would she let her cousins dampen her spirit. She was Hermione Granger, and nothing and no-one was ever going to make her feel as though she wasn't good enough again.