"I would really appreciate it if the two of you didn't break my fiancé before the wedding." It was one week before her wedding and Hermione's two best friend's Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley were insisting on throwing a stag party for Draco.
"'C'mon Mione we 'on't break 'im" Ron said through a mouthful of food "yust show 'im 'at e'll be 'issing if 'e only gets to see you f'ver".
"That is disgusting Ronald" she whacked him with her purse "would you stop eating!" Ron just grinned around a mouthful of sausage and stuck out his tongue.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Harry…"
"Come on Hermione, he needs to know we are OK with him and all this. If it gets too much for the prat we will haul his arse home and let you coddle him to your heart's content."
"I most certainly do NOT coddle him!"
They both rolled their eyes "Hermione, I doubt we did any of our own homework, you coddle everyone." Pointed out Harry as Ron motioned to where she was currently doctoring his tea and she abruptly stopped.
"Oh you two are impossible! Fine, have your party, but if you break him I will never forgive you!"
"Yes you will." They both said at once laughing as she huffed and crossed her arms.
Draco chose that moment to make an appearance in their kitchen dropping a kiss on her flushed cheek. "All right, what have you two arse's done to rile her up this time? You know I am the one who has to deal with the fall out when you leave?"
"That is the best part." Stated Harry cheerfully. "Besides, you have to be a little bit nice to us. We just convinced Mione to let us throw you a stag party."
"And what makes you think I want a stag party?" Draco asked, arching an eyebrow.
"Non-negotiable, mate" said Ron swallowing the last of his sausages "Mione finally agreed so you are getting one.'
Draco looked at Hermione like she was a rank traitor. She blushed "They ambushed me. And they had a very compelling argument."
"Besides, the girls are throwing her a party of her own." Harry slugged Ron in the arm "That was supposed to be a surprise."
"Oh no" said Hermione "No parties. I have far much to do before the honeymoon."
"Oh you are going to that party." Stated Draco emphatically. "If I am going you are going." Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Enough about you two I have something far more important to discuss." Interjected Ron. "I need you to make Gabrielle a bridesmaid.
"Why?" asked Hermione suspiciously.
Ron just waggled his eyebrows.
"Ronald Weasley you are not using my wedding as a dating service."
"Come on Mione, help a friend out."
"Help out your penis you mean."
"It is not like it is the first time." He waggled his eyebrows again.
"Oh, the part of the day where you remind me that my fiancé has seen your penis is here already? I never get tired of that part." Said Draco archly.
The three laughed. "You know we have children together" said Hermione.
"I prefer to think of them as magically created." The three laughed again and Hermione kissed her fiancé.
"By the way, my mother wanted me to remind you that your final dress fitting is this afternoon at Twilfitt and Tattings."
Hermione rolled her eyes. She had grown rather fond of Narcissa, much to her surprise, but she despised shopping. She resented the time it took away from her family and her work. "I would rather spend the time with Scorpius and his lessons. They have my measurements, let them work it out. They just sit there talking around me anyway."
Draco smiled at how attached his son and fiancé were to one another. "While I am certain you and Scorpius would enjoy nothing more than a day of pouring over old books looking up random facts he and my father and I have our own fittings and he is unavailable for your use as an excuse to get out of your own pinching and prodding at the hands of Madame Twilfitt."
Ron laughed as well "And don't forget Rosie is going with you, as much as she has tried to get out of it. You two are far too alike for my piece of mind."
"I haven't forgotten Ronald, what time are you collecting her from the burrow?"
Both Rose and Hugo were spending the week leading up to the wedding with their grandparents. Normally they alternated weeks between Ron's and the Manor but Ron was busy with opening a new store and Hermione was busy with the wedding and their grandparents were always happy to have them. The week before they had spent with Scorpius at Lucius and Narcissa's summer home. Draco's parents had taken to them as if they were their biological grandchildren and cheerfully spoiled them as much as they did Scorpius. Hermione had been concerned at first that old blood prejudices would surface, but she was happy to have been proven wrong.
"I will pick her up in an hour and we will meet you in Diagon Alley." It had been decided Hugo was too young to fully participate in the wedding so he would remain home with his grandparents.
Kissing her fiancé goodbye Hermione left to get ready to go meet her future mother in law and daughter for said day of pinching and prodding.
The day was made endurable by spending it with her family. Watching the interaction between Narcissa and Rose was truly heartwarming. She wished she could go back and tell her teenage self that her hopes and dreams of a better future were not without merit. That even the darkest seeming people could change and grow given a chance. That love may not conquer all but it could heal old wounds and make old scars, battle wounds and pains endurable.
At the end of the day she pulled Narcissa aside hugged her and thanked her for helping to create a world where her children would not face the same pain and prejudices both of them had faced in their youth.
She must have told her son about it because Draco thanked her that night for making his mother feel like part of the new world that was being created. "You cannot imagine what it has been like for her. She has felt ostracized from society, but you take her out and treat her like she was anyone else. Like none of the past matters to you. The one person who has every right to shun her. It is … humbling to her."
"Oh Draco. It DOESN'T matter to me anymore. I would be the worst sort of hypocrite if I held grudges after all I have done to encourage others to heal old wounds."
Sensing the sincerity of her words Draco could say nothing over the constriction in his throat. He just gathered her close and pressed his face in to her hair.
Draco may have complained but he was secretly touched by the effort Harry and Ron had put in to his stag party. They had invited his friends from school and went all out. It was just the right blend of tasteless and tasteful. Nothing so risqué that Hermione would complain,
The dancers stayed mostly dressed. They danced close, but touching was strictly forbidden. It seemed there were some benefits to having his fiancé have male best friends after all. They knew just how far they could push things without crossing any lines. He was surprised at how good a time he had.
Hermione wished she could say the same. She spent the night administering sober up potions, explaining to male strippers that she was not interested in dancing with them and scourgifying vomit off of one area of her body or another.
The day of the wedding was bright and beautiful. As if the earth itself wanted to celebrate with them. The dress Hermione had chosen was a simple cream color with red accents to match the color scheme of her wedding décor.
Harry gave her away, Ginny was her Maid of Honor and she did choose in the end Gabriell as one of her six brides maids, she worked hard to not shake her head as Ron escorted her down the aisle.
They had chosen as their wedding ceremony to enchant roses to never die for their first gifts as bride and groom and to have their officiant, in this case Headmistress McGonagall, recite the rose ceremony for them.
"Your first gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings - which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect and a public showing of your commitment to each other. In addition, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life - one I hope you always remember - the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.
You now have what remains the most honorable title that exists between a woman and a man - the title of "wife" and "husband." It is now my great privilege to be the first to address you as such and for your first gift as wife and husband, that gift will be a single red rose bud.
(McGonagall hands each a red rose bud)
The rose is considered a symbol of love and a single rose always means only one thing - it means, "I love you." So it is appropriate that for your first gift that gift would be a single rose bud.
Please exchange the rose buds as your first gift to each other as wife and husband.
Within these rose buds, if given proper loving care, is the potential for an even more beautiful expression of Life and Love in the form of the mature flower. And so it is with your marriage. At this point your marriage is like these rose buds - ready, with proper loving care - to unfold into a very beautiful expression of life.
Draco and Hermione, I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future - whether it be a large and elegant home - or a small and graceful one - that you both select one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to the vows which you have made those present on this beautiful day.
Those of us who are already married know that marriage, like life, brings with it many joys and also many challenges. We also know that love, while beautiful, does not always show its prettiest face. There are days when we may find it hard to express the depth of our love for one another.
Sometimes it is difficult to find the right words. It might be difficult to find the words to say "I am sorry" or "I forgive you"; "I need you" or "I am hurting". If this should happen, if you simply cannot find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected - for that rose then says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.
That rose says, "I still love you."
It is wise to understand this as a statement of love and the need, or request for that extra bit of tender loving care permits the beauty of the rose to come forth from the rose bud. So also will that love permit the beauty of maturity to come forth from your marriage in every situation. Your partner should accept this rose for the words which cannot be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.
Draco and Hermione, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure. Whatever the situation, love, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness can make everything right.
And with that, Draco and Hermione became husband and wife in the presence of their friends and family.