Hermione sat by the open window, staring at the orange hued sky. Looks like a nice day, she thought to herself, trying to direct her thoughts away from Draco and Harry's absence. She sighed, feeling absolutely wretched. Tristan was under Camille and Ron's care for the moment, a gesture Hermione deeply appreciated. She didn't know what to do. She was worried about Harry, because he was with Draco, and both men were under a lot of stress. She was definitely worried about Draco. Not to mention everyone else. Hermione sighed, leaning back against the cool stone wall and closing her eyes. Please let them be okay, she thought. Almost as if some deity was watching her that moment and had decided to be nice, Hermione heard the distinct rustle of fabric and gasps of wind signifying someone on a broomstick. She opened her eyes to the blinding, blood red sunlight, and two darkened shadows approaching the castle. Standing up, Hermione gestured for Albus to come to the window. Draco landed just inside the window, as Harry came further inside. Hermione stood motionless as her husband strode over and gathered her in his arms, kissing her softly. She smiled into the caress and hugged him tightly. He pulled back slowly, smiling slightly.
"We got the potion," He told her quietly. Hermione beamed, hugging him, and moving to Harry, hugging him too. Draco smirked, handing Harry the potion vial. The liquid was thick and dark red. Dumbledore smiled, walking to Cosette's beside. Her breaths were shallow and her skin was pale, almost luminescent. Harry's hand, shaking with nerves, clutched the vial tightly. Draco stood over her bed across from Harry, watching as he gently opened Cosette's mouth and dripped the potion down her throat. When the vial was empty, Harry pulled back slowly, watching as Cosette's breathing pattern slowed to a halt. She inhaled one last time, her throat closing, and lay still. No one moved, apart from the glass slipping from Harry's hand and shattering on the floor. Slowly sinking to the ground, Harry started shuddering, his breaths scratchy and uneven. Hermione knelt next to him, cradling his body as best she could in her arms, while Harry was crying dry tears. Draco sat down next to Cosette's bed, feeling rather numbed and defeated, as he placed his forehead on his folded arms. Ron and Camille sat down across the room, as Dumbledore turned away and left the room. Hermione continued to try to soothe Harry, but it seemed as if he was beyond that point. Draco looked up for a moment, watching Cosette intensely, a strange expression on his face.
"She's breathing." He said, his tone conversational. Harry sat up, shocked, his breath caught in his throat. Sure enough, Cosette's chest had begun to rise and fall, and her eyelids were fluttering open. Her cobalt eyes were clear and bright. Turning her head, she saw Harry staring at her.
"What?" She asked innocently. Harry started laughing, tears mingling, his body shaking. Hermione smiled slightly, and moved to Draco's side. Cosette turned. "Draco? What happened?"
"I don't know for sure. But when Potter regains composure, I'm sure he'll tell you." Draco bent down to place a kiss on Cosette's cheek and stood up, pulling Hermione up with him. She smiled at him, and kissed him lightly.
"Thank you." Hermione whispered.
"For what?" He asked, moving away from Cosette and Harry, who had managed to stop laughing and was explaining what had happened.
"For everything." Hermione explained, following Draco out of the infirmary. They walked down the halls in silence, their shoes sounding loud in the morning air. They stopped at the portrait of the mermaid, who was dozing on the rock. "Excuse me," Hermione said, rapping on the frame. "Could you let us in?"
"Password?" The mermaid mumbled sleepily.
"We don't know…but we need to get in." Hermione said uncertainly.
"No password, no entry."
"Yes, we know that. But can you make an exception?" Hermione pleaded. The mermaid shook her head sternly. Draco nodded back, looking understanding, and walked up very close to the picture.
"Do you remember five or so years ago when the portrait of the Fat Lady was destroyed because she wouldn't let someone inside?" He asked her, his voice quietly intimidating. The mermaid nodded slowly, her eyes wide. "Let's not repeat that." The painting swung open quickly, the mermaid nodding fervently. Hermione laughed a bit, trying to hide it with a cough. Draco raised an eyebrow and disappeared into the Head Boy's room. Hermione ran her hand along the back of the couch, running her eyes over the room as if she hadn't been there in years, when in fact it had only been hours. She sighed and sat down on the chair near the fireplace. Draco came back out shortly after, so quietly Hermione didn't hear him until the door clicked shut behind him. He tossed a worn leather book onto the table and went to Nero's cage.
"What's that?" Hermione asked, picking it up and looking at the cover.
"Dillon's journal." Draco explained smoothly, feeding Nero and sitting down on the couch near Hermione. He laid back, his knees bent over the arm, his palms pressing into his eyes. "He told me that if anything happened to him, he wanted Ginny to have it. I think he knew that he was going to die." Draco stopped, letting the silence solidify his words. Hermione carefully placed the book back on the table. "Hermione?" Draco said suddenly, his hands still over his eyes. "How did Harry grow up?"
Hermione looked at him, obviously surprised. "So he's Harry now?"
"Long story," Draco explained.
"Oh," Hermione nodded, leaning back in her chair and tucking her feet under her knees. "Well, he doesn't really remember his parents, aside from when the Dementors get close to him. His aunt and uncle, who kept him in a cupboard under the stairs for awhile, before moving him into his cousin's old room, raised him. They hated Harry because he was destined to be a wizard, and they loved normality. Dudley, Harry's cousin, loved to beat him up. Harry really didn't have many friends. He was so excited when he got here and met Ron…those two were inseparable, before Ron and I started dating." Hermione sighed, a smile dancing on her lips. Remembering their days at Hogwarts, before seventh year, always made her feel contented.
"He was really lucky to have had you and Weasley." Draco said softly, opening his eyes and locking his gaze with Hermione's. When she gave him a questioning look, he continued. "We were talking at the manor. I don't know, it just seems like although we're so different, we're really alike in some ways too."
"Does this mean you won't give him dirty looks when he visits?" Hermione asked, stifling a smile.
"I suppose it does." Draco said, smirking. "But I might anyway. You know, to keep up appearances. After all, Malfoys never befriend enemies of the Dark Lord."
"What about marrying them?" Hermione asked, moving to sit next to him.
"No…" Draco said, looking thoughtful. "I don't believe it says anything against marrying them."
"Good," Hermione said, and leaned over to kiss him.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Harry finished explaining what had happened, and sank into the chair next to Cosette's bed. Her dark blue eyes were troubled, and she was chewing on her lip in thought.
"Are you okay, Cosette?" Harry asked. "The spell or potion didn't hurt you or anything, right?"
"Mmhmm…" She murmured. "You just went over to Voldemort, and killed him? With your wand? Il vient de mourir?"
"Yeah. Even though I don't speak French, yeah." Harry sighed. "Can we stop talking about this? It's over."
"The event is over, but it means something. I know it does. You just killed Slytherin's last descendent. He was the most powerful Dark wizard of our time." Cosette turned in her bed, facing Harry. "There has to be an explanation."
"No there doesn't." Harry said, feeling incredibly tired. "Magic doesn't always have an explanation. It just happens. Maybe it was my wand, or he was especially weak, or I was stronger or something. It just happened." Cosette sighed quietly and turned away. The two sat in silence for a few minutes, before both turned to each other and started talking at the same time.
"Go ahead," Harry said. Cosette nodded.
"I just wanted to thank you."
"Draco made the potion."
"Not just the potion," Cosette said softly. "For everything that you've done for me. You've listened to me, and helped me through everything. After I told you who I really was, you didn't hate me for it. You do remind me of Edan, but in a way, you don't. And I really admire you." Harry paused, not being able to say anything. His throat was tight and he could feel the blood pulsing beneath his skin.
"I have something to tell you." He said in a hoarse whisper, his voice uneven. Cosette leaned closer, her eyes confused. "I really don't know how to say this…" Harry started again, running a hand through his hair. Cosette reached over and took his other hand, giving it a light squeeze of encouragement. Harry looked down at their joint hands, taking a deep breath.
"Cosette," He whispered. His own emerald eyes sought out her cobalt blue ones. Leaning forward, he placed a gentle kiss on the corner of her mouth. He pulled away slowly. Cosette watched him, her eyes puzzled.
"Harry?" She asked. "Wha-"
"I love you." He said quietly before she could finish. Cosette's voice stopped abruptly, and she stared at him.
"You what?" She asked, sounding almost incredulous. "Non…vous ne pouvez pas…"
"I knew it." He said, laughing and throwing his hands up, which had still been in Cosette's grasp. "I knew it." Harry stood up and walked away.
"Knew what?" Cosette called after him. Harry stopped and moved to stand beside her.
"That you wouldn't love me back. No one ever has. So, congratulations. You're another girl on the list." Harry walked away, knowing he had hurt Cosette. But he didn't care. He didn't even care that as the door was shutting behind him, he could hear Cosette start to cry. He had seen the tears in her eyes when he was talking to her, but he chose to ignore them. He just walked right by. Like so many girls had done to him. Just left him behind. He walked to the Gryffindor tower, where the Fat Lady let him inside without so much as asking for a password. Harry went up to his dormitory, sitting on his old bed. The memories he had shared with his friends and fellow Gryffindors came flooding back, each one presenting a picture in his mind. A reminiscent slide show. He sighed and fell back against the pillows, drifting off into an uneasy sleep.
* * * * * * * * * * *
August fourteenth was rainy and cold, leaving the castle drafty and the inhabitants eager to put on cloaks. Dumbledore had announced that there would be a burial ceremony for all the deceased Death Eaters and the former Hogwarts students at around eight that evening. No one talked at any of the meals, just sat there, absorbed in their own thoughts, looking dismally at their plates, not even touching what was on them. Draco pulled Ginny aside after dinner around five p.m. to talk to her.
"Virginia?" He said quietly. He remembered what Ginny had looked like before-her bright blue eyes so full of life and vigor, her cheeks flushed with a rosy tinge. This girl before him was a mere shadow of the one he remembered. Her eyes were blank, her skin pale. She turned to look at him.
"Draco." She said shortly, her voice hollow.
Draco sighed. "I know how you're feeling. Trust me. You think I haven't had people close to me die? I killed my own father. Don't act like you're in this alone." He held out the journal and shoved it into her small hand. "That was Dillon's. He told me he wanted you to have it in case he died." Draco turned away quickly, his black robes billowing behind him as he strode down the hall. His throat was dry and he had a massive headache, but he wouldn't admit that. He walked into an empty classroom, leaning against the cool wall. Opening his eyes long enough to check his watch, Draco took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. They were making a memorial to all the people who had died in battle, for what reason they were commemorating the Death Eaters, Draco couldn't fathom, but he had asked for Lucius' body to be moved to the manor and buried in the family cemetery. He didn't know why he had asked in the first place, seeing as he didn't particularly want to remember his father, but he supposed it had to do with tradition. Or obligation. He didn't know. And he didn't care much, either. Pushing himself off the wall, Draco went back into the hallway. Hermione and Tristan were down in the Great Hall, trying to eat dinner, but Draco wasn't sure Hermione could stomach anything. She was worried about Harry mostly, but she was also torn up about the deaths of Sirius and her father-in-law, not to mention Narcissa and Snape disappearing. The whole place is in disarray, Draco thought to himself, walking towards the Slytherin common room without realizing it. Just one big fucking mess. He stopped short a few paces from the sliding stone door, and sighed, laughing sadly. Even after he had changed everything in his life completely around, he would still have to live with himself, knowing what he had done. How was he going to explain it to Narcissa, if she was even still alive? Draco leaned up against the damp dungeon wall and pressed his head into the stone. Things are about to get a lot more difficult, he told himself, before walking back upstairs to look for Hermione.
She was sitting in the Head's common room, cradling a sleeping Tristan in her arms. Draco came up behind her, gently putting his hands on her shoulders. She jumped at the sudden touch, but relaxed after looking up.
"Hey," She whispered softly.
"Hey." Draco sat next to her, holding out his arms for Tristan. "How're you doing?" Hermione sighed.
"I honestly don't know. So much has happened so quickly, I just don't know what to think." She leaned back against the couch, closing her eyes and pulling her knees up to her chest. "I'm really worried about Harry. He shut himself up in his dormitory and hasn't been out since you two come back. Do you know why?" Hermione asked.
"No," Draco said, shaking his head. "But Cosette's been rather upset too. Maybe it's Bellatrix and Harry's godfather."
"I doubt it." Hermione said, a hint of closure in her voice. "Harry would have reacted long before then to Sirius' death." Draco nodded.
"Probably." Draco paused, looking down to his son. Tristan's cheek was pressed against his father's chest, his tiny fist balled up on Draco's shoulder. Draco brushed away a few strands of the blond hair that so resembled his, and looked up, meeting Hermione's eyes. "Do you know where we're going after the ceremony?"
"No," Hermione said slowly. "I don't think so."
"Home." He said softly, his eyes laying gently on Tristan's face. "We're going home."
* * * * * * * * * * *
From where he was standing, the crowd looked like a sea of eternal black, stopping where the points of the grave markers began. They were somber, their faces set, their voices hushed. A few of the ladies were crying softly into their handkerchiefs, while others just stared forward at nothing. Or maybe there was something there. Turning, icy blue eyes sought out emerald green ones, standing nearby and watching everything soft of dazedly.
"I'm sorry." Draco whispered to Harry as he passed, walking to Hermione. Harry looked up, and followed.
"Draco, wait." He called. The other man stopped, watching as Harry quickened his pace. "Sorry for what?"
"For Black dying." Draco explained. Harry nodded, feeling the cold course through his veins. "And also for Cosette."
"I'm sorry too. For your father. And Snape and your mother." Harry looked up, his eyes pained. Draco nodded.
"You too." Harry said. He nodded again, and walked off. Draco sighed, leaning against a tree. Dumbledore had requested a clearing be made in the Forbidden Forest for the cemetery. He had seemed particularly quiet and reserved through this whole process, most likely because he knew almost every deceased Death Eater. He had taught them at Hogwarts, watched them grow up. Let them become who they were today. Standing up in front of the crowd, Albus looked out to the faces of the Death Eaters' families. As cruel as they were, he thought, they were still loved.
"Ladies and gentlemen." Albus started. "It is sad that we should all come together tonight for such a dismal occasion. The majority of the deceased were Death Eaters, Lord Voldemort's minions. They were not the most admirable people. But we mourn their losses, the same as if they had been martyrs. They were, just for a much darker cause. There isn't much to say about them. A lot of them I knew from their own Hogwarts days. Most of them had families, children and spouses, and some of them were alone, with no one but themselves. It is a sad occasion that we come for tonight. Very sad indeed." Albus paused, watching as a few more ladies took out handkerchiefs and blotted their eyes. He walked through the dividing aisle, back towards the castle. Remus watched him go. Why didn't he say anything about Sirius? He thought. Sighing, Remus walked through the graves until he reached his friend's. A simple white marble tombstone. Leaning down, Remus read:
Don't cry for me,
I am laughing.
Don't wait for me,
I am already waiting for you.
Don't lament my passing,
For I have flown to heaven on angels wings.
Remus let a single tear pass down his cheek. He stood up, wiping it away. Harry was nearby, watching him. Remus mustered a sad smile, motioning for Harry to join him.
"How're you doing?" He asked.
"I'm okay." Harry said quietly. "How bout you?"
"Fine." Remus said. The two stood in silence, staring at the tombstone, remembering their friend. At one point, neither knowing why, they turned and hugged each other hard, finally letting the unshed, unmentioned tears flow.
Death is nothing at all --I have only
slipped away into the next room.
Whatsoever we were to each other,
that we are still. Call me by my old
familiar name, speak to me in the
easy way which you always used to.
Laugh as we always laughed at the
little jokes we enjoyed together. Play,
smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be the household word
that it always was. Let it be spoken
without effort. Life means all that it
has ever meant. It is the same as it
ever was, there is absolutely unbroken
continuity. Why should I be out of your
mind because I am out of your sight? I
am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near, just around the
corner. All is well. Nothing is past,
nothing is lost. One brief moment and
all will be as it was before, only better,
infinitely happier and forever --we will
Ginny stood at the foot of Dillon's grave, her hands shaking as they read the last page in his journal. She was past crying; her tears had diminished right along with the fading sunlight of day. Ginny tried taking a deep breath, but the air caught in her throat and she coughed. The book landed on the freshly dug earth. Kneeling to pick it up, she paused to read the epitaph.
Shed not for him the bitter tear
Nor give the heart to vain regret
Tis but mere remnants that lie here
The gem that filled them sparkles yet.
"Oh, but I have." Ginny whispered to the stone. She could almost see her reflection in the clean-cut onyx. It so mirrored her pendant. Reaching her hand out, Ginny ran a hand down the stone, the cold burning her fingers. She dropped her hand and picked up the book. A letter fell out of the binding; it was labeled 'Virginia'.
My dearest Virginia,
I know if you are reading this, I have left you in some way. For that, I am truly sorry. I have never been much of a writer, but I'll try at least, for you. I loved you, Virginia, more than you could know. I don't know if it's love when there is only one side to the emotion. I know that wherever I am, I'm missing you terribly. I merely await the time when I shall see you again.
All my love forever,
The last tear fell on the parchment, blurring the words. If only…
Draco was leaning on a tree on the outskirts of the forest, his eyes closed. It had been such a trying day. Hermione was up in the castle with Tristan, packing their belongings into a few suitcases to take to the manor. He smiled briefly at the prospect of that night. It had never occurred to him that he wanted to go home. It hadn't been an option before. He had always hated the manor and everything it stood for, from the pointed towers to the bloodstained dungeons. He ran the back of his hand over his eyes, thinking. About nothing really, just thinking. He heard a small noise in front of him and opened one eye. A pale, thin face stared back at him. I could recognize that face anywhere. The thought flashed through his mind before he had time to process it. Draco blinked and opened both his eyes, staring hard at the person before him.
"Draco?" Harry asked slowly.
"What?" Draco immediately responded with.
"Are you okay?"
"You look distanced."
"What?" Draco shook his head, clearing the fog that had been gathering in his mind. Harry sighed, running a hand through his hair.
"Like you aren't really here. You look like you've got a lot on your mind." Harry paused. "Of course you do. I mean, you're moving back to your house, and you've got to pack, and Hermione and Tristan have to get packed, and then you have to show them around, not to mention the whole ordeal with your father-"
"Harry?" Draco interrupted.
"Okay." Harry sighed and bent down to tie his shoe. Draco watched him carefully.
"Harry?" He asked softly.
"Mmhmm?" Harry murmured from the ground. His hair was getting too long and kept falling over his forehead. Harry kept pushing it back while trying to tie his shoe. When he finished, he stood up and faced Draco, a faint hint of worry in his eyes. "What do you need?"
"I want you to come and stay at the manor with Hermione and me." Draco pushed himself off the tree and stood in front of Harry. "Go pack your bags if you choose to come, we'll be leaving soon." And with that, he turned to leave.
Harry stood still, his mouth slightly open, watching Draco's retreating form. He blinked once, hard, and called, "Why?" Draco stopped and slowly turned around. Harry ran to Draco and stopped. "Why?" He asked again, his voice a little demanding. Draco arched an eyebrow.
"Won't you need a place to stay before term starts?" He shrugged.
Harry ran a hand through his rumpled hair. "I was asking why you would invite me." Draco sighed and nodded. Remaining silent for a moment, Draco looked up, locking his eyes with Harry's. Harry blinked, almost intimidated by the intensity in the icy blue before him.
"You know Potter, I really don't know." He laughed softly. "I don't know anything anymore." He paused again, looking up. When he spoke again, Draco's voice was quiet and almost sad. "I caused all of this. Everything here. I did it. If I had never wanted to change, be different from my father…Edan might even still be here. Maybe that's why I want you to come with us. Because you remind me of Edan." Draco took a long, slow breath, as if preparing himself for something. "We're leaving in half an hour. If you're coming, meet us in the front hall then." Draco turned and walked away. Harry sighed and sat down against a tree. He watched as a small figure moved slowly away from the forest towards the castle. When they glanced back, he thought he saw a flash of the dark blue eyes he found so familiar…
* * * * * * * * * * *
Hermione sighed, checking the room one last time. Tristan in her arms, her suitcases levitating behind her, she stepped into the hallway and locked the door. "A new adventure," She murmured as she passed the classrooms. Life would be so different away from here. Away from everything. Sitting on a small bench, Hermione smiled. Not everything. She still had Draco and Tristan. Harry and Ron would keep in touch. Maybe they could come visit over the holidays. And she had invited…
"Hermione?" A voice called. Hermione blinked and looked up. Harry was standing over her, smiling nervously. He had a black leather suitcase at his feet. "You okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine." She paused. "Where are you going? I thought Dumbledore said you could stay here until term started."
"He did." Harry looked away. "I kind of wanted to ask you about that. See, Draco invited me to the manor-"
"He what?" Hermione interjected. Tristan grasped a curl and wound it around his hand. "I mean…well, I'd love it if you came, but I just can't believe…he actually…" Hermione shook her head, loosening Tristan's grip.
"I know. But he looked so sad…I think the whole thing with his father threw him off." Harry sat down next to her, holding his arms out for Tristan. Hermione handed the baby over. "He said I reminded him of Edan." Hermione nodded. Edan. I wonder how Cosette is doing…Cosette. Oh no.
"Oh no." She said in rhythm with her thoughts. Hermione stood up quickly and started off in the direction of the dungeons.
"Hermione?" Harry called. She waved him back down and kept running.
"Draco…" Hermione gasped when she found him. He had been in the Slytherin common room. "I…this…we…" She paused, panting. "We have a problem."
"Shh…" Draco whispered, moving to her and placing his hands on her hips. "I know. Just don't say anything." Hermione nodded, and moved closer.
"Harry upstairs." She murmured into his chest. "We should go." He nodded, moving back and then placing a kiss on the corner of her smile. They walked up through the corridors slowly, soaking up the mere atmosphere of the castle they had grown up in. Harry was still sitting with Tristan.
"I absolutely love this kid, Hermione." He said when they were in hearing distance. She smiled. "No, really, he's adorable."
"Takes after his father." Hermione said teasingly.
"I resent that." Draco muttered. Harry laughed.
"I don't think a Malfoy could be adorable if he tried." Harry paused. Draco raised an eyebrow. "Well, at least not one with any Granger in him." Pause. Stare. "No! I mean…that came out wrong, didn't it? Well…I meant, Draco couldn't be adorable if he tried. There. I don't think that was in any way, shape, or form wrong. Was it?"
"No, Harry." Hermione said, failing to stifle her laughter. Harry handed Tristan to his mother and picked up his suitcase and one of Hermione's. Draco picked up the rest. They moved slowly to the gates, turning back to place the picture of Hogwarts before boarding the train.
* * * * * * * * * * *
The train ride was long and uneventful. And gray from all the rain. They arrived at London at eight forty-five that night. They walked to the near-center of Bradsbury Forest, arriving in a small clearing.
"It's just over there." Draco explained, pointing to his left. The trees were denser, and they blocked out the little moonlight visible. Hermione nodded, yawned, and continued. Harry fell back, and came out behind them. In the darkness of a new moon, the manor looked even more imposing and mysterious. Hermione's hand was covering her mouth.
"You're kidding." He heard her say. Draco laughed.
"Not in the least."
"You actually grew up here?" She asked, entirely amazed. Draco nodded. "And you didn't get lost?" Harry laughed and followed them up to the doors. After a quick tour of the front hall, Harry asked Draco where his room was.
"That might be good to know." Draco said thoughtfully. "It's the green one, left wing, fourth floor, Fiore hallway." Harry stared blankly. "Only you have no idea what I'm talking about." Draco continued. "Here." He went to the closet and pulled out an old booklet. "My father drew it up for my mother when they were first married. He didn't want her to get lost or find anything." Harry nodded and went off in search of his room. He got there about half an hour later. The door was dark green wood, with black hardware. Opening it, he stepped inside and nearly fell over. It was twice the size of his dormitory back at Hogwarts, and was decorated in emerald greens and black. Harry put his suitcase on the bed and went to the bathroom. The floors and sinks were black marble, the walls painted a dark green. He stepped back out and went into the hallway. He started toward the other end when a door opened and a small figure ran into him. He instinctively held out his arms to catch them, but nearly dropped her when he met her face.
"Cosette?" He whispered.
* * * * * * * * * * *
"And you really know where we're going?" Hermione asked again. Draco nodded. She sighed. "It's so big. I am never leaving your side again, for fear I'll never return."
"That sounds fine to me." Draco smirked. Hermione laughed and snuggled closer against him. They had been up three flights of stairs and down four corridors, but they ended up at a cherry wood door. Draco turned and smiled. "This, my dear, is our room." He opened the door and stepped back. The walls were painted dark crimson from ceiling to chair rail, and the remaining area was covered in dark cherry wood. The carpeting was a lush burgundy, the bed and curtains black. Hermione gasped, looking around in pure awe.
"I just cannot believe this." She mumbled for the umpteenth time that day. She ran her hand over the duvet cover, her fingers tracing the silver patterns delicately embossed over it. While Draco closed the door and moved to the window, she continued to talk. Mindless babbling, really, but she just had nothing else to say. Draco was staring out the window across the lawns. He vaguely caught some of Hermione's words, but was mostly distracted by the black marble mausoleum, bright against the grass. He knew it was there; he had sent for Lucius' papers to be read and his wishes to be fulfilled. Apparently, the deed had left everything to Draco, and called for an extravagant, and no doubt very expensive, reminder to be erected.
"Draco?" A voice called from what seemed like miles away. "Are you okay?" Glancing back, he saw Hermione giving him a worried look.
"Sure," he whispered. "Fine." Pulling the curtains shut, he crossed the room, lighting a candle on his way. The faint glow of fire cast shadows over everything, staining the red with black. Draco placed a chaste kiss on the corner of Hermione's mouth and opened the door. "Just fine…" And as the door clicked shut behind him, she somehow had the feeling it would be. It wasn't now, and wasn't going to be for a very long time, but she told herself, as sleep crept over her that eventually, everything would be just fine…
* * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * *
*A/N* *tear* the end. It's over. Finally over. I had a great time writing this. I hope you all liked it as much as I do. Actually, more. Cause I don't like it very much. Anyways, I love you all. I worship my reviewers. And moreover, I worship Jes. I LOVE YOU! (gag me with a fucking spoon). Short chappie, took forever to update, I know. But it's here. And soon…a sequel! YEY!
Thank you all. I have nothing more to say but thank you.
Oh, and if you would like to get updates from now on, please email me at Belle firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.