A/N: And here it is! The final chapter of my Dramione version of Mr and Mrs Smith. Thank you for reading and reviewing this, it really means a lot to me!
As always beta love to MrBenzedrine!
Draco had directed them to one of the guest rooms of the Greengrass estate. Even in a humble abode of the Sacred Twenty-Eighths', it would be impossibly unstealthy to suddenly appear in the travelling room. Another advantage was that he and Hermione could discuss their options without Aurors breathing down their necks.
"Alright, we're on the first floor: guest quarters. If I were Astoria's captor, I'd hide her either in the reading room downstairs or one of the dining rooms, because they're all central and easy to control."
Hermione pursed her lips in a way that signalled imminent danger. "You know your way around here, don't you?"
"Don't play the jealous woman, Hermione, it doesn't become you," Draco replied, oddly amused at his wife's reaction.
"I don't play."
"Astoria is a nice girl. Pretty, relatively smart…"
"And one of my team."
"Really?" Now that was something he didn't expect. But why should he? Astoria hitting on him had been perfectly normal - they had a similar upbringing, and he knew his influence on the ladies. Though, the most important lady twirled her wand between her fingers in an impatient manner, clearly disapproving of his wayward thoughts. Thus he stated, "We agree that Pansy is behind this somehow?" They hadn't discussed the encounter with the woman in detail so far, but Draco felt the need to bring it up now.
"Of course. But what are her motives?" Hermione stopped the twirling.
"She's a competitive bitch; that suffices."
"Competitive?" A second later, the witch's eyes widened in realisation. "Merlin and Morgana, are all of the Slytherins from our year into assassination?"
"No. I've heard the Longbottom Connection is quite good, too!" And he wasn't even lying. He had a run in with a venomous daisy from their arsenal some years ago.
Hermione pinched the bridge of her nose in exasperation."Seriously, it must have to do with all the dark magic we were exposed to in our youth."
"As stimulating as this discussion is, we should concentrate on the task at hand."
Wand at the ready, the couple left the guest room and stealthily crept through the house. It wasn't small by any means, but Hermione noticed with a grim satisfaction that it was considerably smaller than Malfoy Manor. She followed Draco towards the reading room, and he had been right indeed. Astoria sat in the middle of the room, roped to a chair with her back to the only entrance.
Hermione spoke in a hushed voice, "Okay, so here's the plan: we wait here, disguised, until whoever did this - probably Pansy - shows up to check on her. This way, we don't have to care about-"
But Draco apparently didn't listen, for he marched straightly through the doorway, waving his wand to lift the obvious wards on the room.
"What. An. Idiot," she snarled when he bend down to loosen the ropes on Astoria, who gaped at him with surprise. Hermione stormed in after him, fuming, when an alarm went off. Over the elated smile from the other witch and the howling sound of the alert, she berated the blond, "You didn't want to listen to me, so here we are. There was probably was an alarm connected with the ropes!"
"What does it matter? We should have plenty of time before Pansy arrives." He shrugged, giving Astoria a helping hand from the chair.
"But you deviated from my plan," Hermione accused Draco.
"Your plan was flawed."
"The plan was not flawed."
"Hermione, ninety percent of this job is instinct."
"Well, your 'instinct' set off every alarm of the building."
"My instinct got the job done. It may not have been the Granger Show…"
"No! It was the Malfoy Show. It was half-assed and egotistical. As it is always for you." They stood very close now, only some inches between them. Not enough for the hippogriff in the room, apparently.
"For me? I'm the egoist? It was you who hit on me for your damn job in the first place!" Draco voiced what pained him since he had listened to Hermione's story, his grey eyes stormy.
Then, Astoria stepped in, wringing her hands. "I knew it! I knew this marriage was a fluke! Pansy was right! I couldn't imagine Hermione Granger really falling for Draco Malfoy! It was just another step on the ladder to the Minister's position, right?"
Hermione tilted her head, finally seeing through things. She approached the other witch. "What did Pansy promise you for the insider information and your little charade, Astoria?"
She had placed one arm at the younger witch's shoulder in what could be a calming gesture - only that Draco knew it wasn't. His wife's voice was calm, but held an unmistakable threat.
Astoria, too, realized in what an unfortunate situation she had maneuvered herself, and big, fat tears of regret fell on her cheeks. "To get you out of the way and modify Draco's memory so he wouldn't remember you anymore. I could have him for myself."
"Of course, simply killing the Malfoy heir would be a bit noticeable," Hermione murmured, more to herself, then placed a palm on Astoria's cheek. "It's alright. You couldn't help to lose in a game that's too big for you, silly girl." Astoria closed her eyes at Hermione's almost gentle , and Draco would have missed it hadn't he practically waited for such a thing to happen, a spark erupted from his wife's pointer finger and sunk into Astoria's temple. The woman immediately sacked to the floor, unconscious. And the fabulous woman he called his wife stood there like a dark goddess waiting to unleash her wrath upon the mortals.
"Wow, that was-"
"Wrong? Calculated? Cruel?" she suggested coldly.
"I wanted to say 'hot', but who am I to contradict you?" he smirked and was rewarded with a true and heart-warming smile (which was a tad ironic considering the circumstances).
"Draco...I thought about what Astoria said, you know? That she was right. At the beginning, you were nothing but an assignment for me...then, I fell head over heels for you, but…"
Draco interrupted her confessions, "I understand. Really, I do. But shouldn't we-"
"Expelliarmus!" Pansy must have waited for the ideal moment to strike. And strike she did: she lifted her disguise and appeared directly behind Hermione, holding her wand against the slightly smaller witch's throat after disarming her and Draco.
"Splendid, now I have two cockroaches with one shoe! Don't you mudbloods say it like that?"
"It's two birds with one stone, but I don't expect a dim-witted excuse of a witch like you to know that," Hermione hissed, defiant despite the position she was in.
Draco, on the other side, hadn't moved one inch. His stance seemed relaxed, and he kept his hands where Pansy could see them, but his insides were reeling. "How very Slytherin of you, Pansy. Trapping someone into doing the dirty work for you while you swoop in and claim the big prize."
"It was too easy to get you two fools where I wanted you. Having Astoria leak some small cues, like the footage from the hotel where you were to meet Lafleur, to the Minister was not a big thing. A child's play, really. You're too good at what you do, Draco. Hogging all the clients is not a polite thing to do. And the bookworm you call a wife? Too smart for her own good."
"What are your plans now? Getting rid of the both of us to secure your position in our business and weaken the Ministry?" Draco's eyes searched for Hermione's, trying to signal her to be prepared. All he needed was a tiny distraction…
Pansy, believing herself in a superior position, was willing to explain, "Irregardless of what you may believe-"
"Regardless," Hermione corrected.
"What?" Pansy tightened her grip on Draco's wife. The wizard saw his chance when Pansy gazed at Hermione, irritated, and quickly seized his spare wand from the back pocket of his trousers. With a quick swish and flick, he levitated a heavy looking book from the table behind the raven-haired witch -
"The word is 'regardless', not 'irregardless'. It's a common mistake, you know. But maybe that's too heavy for you," Hermione finished with a smirk and enjoyed the flabbergasted expression on the other witch's face for a millisecond - when Draco dropped the book on Pansy's head. The impact was strong enough to make her release Hermione, but not to stun her; though, the Stupefy the young Malfoy sent in her direction certainly was.
With a slight shrug, Hermione assessed the new situation and picked the book up. "Gilderoy Lockhart's Magical Me? I thought you had style." And then she sent her patronus with a message to Harry.
"You called the Ministry?" Draco questioned, a tiny part of him believing she'd hand him over. But his doubts very vanished when she gave him a smirk reminding him all too much of his own. "You didn't think I'd take the waste out myself?" He wrapped his arms around her, impulsively, and pulled her in for an intense kiss that ended only when Harry Potter cleared his throat behind them.
Of course they had to explain themselves to the Minister of Magic - or at least, Hermione had to.
"Before you ask any unnecessary questions, Kingsley, may I present you the newest addition to our team?" If his beautiful wife hadn't winked at him, Draco's expression would have been as astonished as Shacklebolt's. Then, Hermione proceeded to clarify, "You didn't really believe I had been compromised, did you?" She produced a frown like his mother did when confronted with abysmally dumb things. "There clearly has been a misunderstanding of epic proportions, I'm afraid. I explained to Astoria in great detail how I would recruit my husband for our project. He will be a valuable addition to our team, especially since Miss Greengrass has become so...unreliable."
One could see the Minister pondering his options for exactly ten seconds, but when Hermione had her eyes on a goal nobody in their right mind would deny her. Finally, Shacklebolt lifted his impressive form from his seat and extended his hands to Draco, not without a controlling glance to the witch.
"Welcome to the team, Mister Malfoy."
Again, Hermione was late for an evening at the Potters, but for entirely different reasons than some weeks ago. This time, she walked through the front garden hand in hand with her husband, and their reasons to be late were much more pleasant and involved considerably less blood.
It had taken some time to convince Draco that his team working for the Ministry was much easier than working against it, especially considering the half-official ways they had now access to. Labelled as 'consultant' for Hermione's team, he even kept his old office. Lucius, on the other hand, had been harder to persuade, but he was rendered silent when Hermione threatened to send some intimate photographs from private meetings in his early years of marriage to Narcissa. He wouldn't want that, would he? Family had to stick together, after all.
The no-secrets policy revitalised the relationship between Hermione and Draco. Naturally, they still fought, but they also talked, and shagged, and talked again, and fucked again. All in all, as paradox as it seems, the discovery of each others' double lives had saved their marriage.
Harry opened the door, a wailing baby on his arm and a crying toddler on his hand, and smiled at them.
"We had some important…things to finish before we could come here," Draco paraphrased casually. Taking in the slight disarray of Hermione's dress and Draco's hair, Harry deduced correctly what things they had been up to. In fact, Hermione remembered suddenly: they had been so caught up in the passion of the moment that they forgot to cast a contraceptive charm. Strangely, when Draco handed the still crying Albus one of his monogrammed handkerchiefs with only a modicum of open disgust, she found that, for the first time, she didn't panic.
They were Mister and Missus Malfoy, after all.