Hermione was wracked with guilt, she had no idea what to do, and she only had 3 weeks until the move. She was currently in her office, in the Department of magical cooperation and was pacing with vigor. Her head full of thoughts of her friends, Paris, and her very serious boyfriend.
After the war Harry and Ron had become Aurors in a record time, while Hermione went back to Hogwarts for her Newts, despite being offered any job she could possibly want. She was one of only two students in her original year to go back and redo their seventh year. Her and Draco Malfoy.
She had gone to Hogwarts, and soon expected him to be cold and snobbish, just as she remembered him. But he wasn't, instead he was nice, and was seemed regretful of his part in her torture at the hands of his aunt, which had been a reluctant one. He had even apologized to her many times, for everything that had happened during the war, and their time at school.
Hermione hadn't hated him, even when they were in school. From what Harry had said of the night Dumbledore had died, Draco wasn't going to do it. So, while she was somewhat distrustful at first, she gave him a chance and was rewarded with a friendship. A friendship that eventually blossomed into a dazzling romance.
She soon came to realise that he had really been forced into being a death eater. By his father and his school friends, most of whom were children of other death eaters, or at least darkly inclined families.
Looking back Hermione thought that it was the absence of most of their friends, and Draco's changed attitude towards her, that allowed their romance to blossom.
But the consequences of their love, and its secret, was only part of the problem Hermione currently had. She and Draco both worked in the department for Magical Cooperation, and their job had required them to move to France, permanently. Where they would work with the French ministry closely. They were two of a limited (available) number of people in the DoMC, that spoke French, so they were really the only choice. Since Draco had, unknown to Hermione, planned to propose and told their boss, they were both being moved, and requested to be moved together. They were both of very high rank in the DoMC, and the Ministry, but there were people that could, if need be, take their place. If something went wrong and they weren't to become engaged, one of them, or even both, could request to move back to London, if they wanted.
But no one could see any of this being a problem, everyone could see that they were in love, and anyone that Draco had told of his plan (which was very few), agreed that she would say yes.
Everyone knew that Hermione wouldn't mind being out of the public's eye (after the war, she had become an instant celebrity, both for her part in the war, and how important she was to the Boy Who Lived, and how long she had known him. She hated it.), and moving to Paris seemed to be the perfect opportunity.
The only seeable problem being that she hadn't told her friends, Harry and Ron about her relationship with Draco, as they surely wouldn't approve and she was old enough to make her own choices. In fact, her and the other two of the Golden Trio had been very disconnected recently. They didn't even know of the move to Paris. But while Ron didn't know, Fred and George did, they were the only two Weasleys that had been told about Drace, and they knew about the move through casual conversation. The move wasn't a big secret, most of the people that she talked to recently knew about the move. The problem was that she hadn't talked to her two longest friends, in a time that no sane person would consider to be recent.
'What to do? What to do?' She thought, frantically pacing the floor of her office. Time was running out, and she had to do something. Her frustrated, panicked thoughts were interrupted when Draco came in, and closed the door behind him, turning to smile at her lazily.
"What have you been up to, dear?" he drawled, raising an eyebrow when he caught her mid pace. She sighed and moved back to her desk chair, and falling back into its embrace heavily. She merely looked at him grimly, until he moved behind her chair and rubbed her shoulders, effectively beginning to calm her down. She grappled with finding the right words and sighed, before she began to give a voice of her worries and fears.
"It's just… what will they think when I tell them about us. Harry and Ron will jump to the wrong conclusion immediately. You know they will. And then the move… Paris is so far from London."
Unseen to Hermione, Draco's face grew just that much sadder, knowing that it was, albeit indirectly, his fault she was going through this. He paused, thinking, before he answered.
"Herms, they've been your friends for a good...10 years now. If the can't accept us, then they never had the friendship you had with them."
When she still didn't look comforted, just sad, he continued.
"And besides, London is just a quick floo, or portkey away from Paris. It'll be easy to visit everyone on the weekends. Your friends won't let you go. You'll see." Draco said soothingly, now rubbing her shoulders slowly in a circular motion. He was slightly regretful that her troubles were indirectly his fault. But he didn't, and he would never regret their relationship. Despite knowing that it had caused her more trouble than it had caused for him. His friends, those he has left after the war, didn't care that he was in love with a muggleborn. They were all changed people, a war would change anyone it seems.
"I know, I know. It's just as that I don't want to lose them. But...if it's them or you, I chose you." Hermione stated with confidence, craning her neck to look up at him smiling a smile that showed love and devotion in it. He smiled back, hiding the sadness on his face, not wanting to make her feel guilty, like he knew she would if she knew that he felt guilty.
It was silent for a few minutes as they both trailed of, lost in thoughts of completely different things.
"At least we have dinner to look forward to tonight." Draco said and smirked at her, though his smirk was slightly off at the thought of that night's dinner. But she didn't notice. Just thinking about that night's dinner erupted butterflies in his stomach.
"Yeah we do. At least that's something." Hermione said and smiled contentedly up at Draco.
'Here we go.' Draco thought to himself as he pulled out Hermione's chair for her and pushed it in when she sat. His hands were shaking, and rightly so considering what he planned to do later that night.
"How was your day, love?" Hermione asked Draco casually as they looked at the menus. She put down her menu momentarily, adjusting her robes. She was wearing beautiful flowing silver dress robes, as it was a fancy occasion. She had her hair up in a bun on the top of her head, a few perfectly curled strands falling down to frame her face. She smiled at him, showing off white teeth. He looked at her, she was so beautiful.
He was wearing a muggle suit, and it looked good on him. His hair was neat, slightly longer than when he was younger, falling almost to his eyes.
"It was fine, pretty uneventful at the office. How was yours?" if his voice shook, and he suspected it did, she didn't say anything. Maybe she suspected what he was going to do.
They lapsed into a companionable silence as the waiter came over and they ordered.
For Draco it was the most stressful meal of his life, and seemed to go on forever. To Hermione it was good, but relatively normal. Finally, as the end drew near, and the dessert slowly disappeared, before vanishing all together from their plates, he cleared his throat.
"So Hermione, I..um...wanted to talk to you." he said, injecting false confidence into his voice. He straightened his shoulders and back, hoping that it would make him appear more confident than he really was. He smiled.
"About what?" she looked confused but smiled back at him nonetheless.
"Well...you see… we've been dating for 2, almost 3 years now. And I love you, I know I do. So I..I..j-just wanted to ask you if..." he trailed off looking uncertain and took a deep breath, bringing his eyes back up to meet her face.
"I love you. You are the most amazing witch I've ever meet, and you saved my life. I wanted to ask you..." he got up from his seat and down on one knee in front of her, pulling a box from his robes and opening it. She gasped and her hands flew to her mouth, even as her eyes filled with tears.
"...If you would spend the rest of our days with me, and do me the honor of being Mrs. Malfoy. It would make me the happiest and luckiest man on Earth."
Tears were now sliding from her eyes as she smiled at him, and shakily accepted the ring. He stood up, only now noticing what she had doubtlessly noticed long ago, that the entire restaurant had quieted and all eyes were on them.
"Yes Draco of course I will." She stood still for a moment, as if in shock. Then suddenly ran forward full on sobbing, and hugged him. He took the ring from her where it was in her clenched hand, and slid it onto her finger. She pulled back and looked him full in the face, both were oblivious to the cheers that had filled the room. They seemed to come back to reality when the once fancy and proper restaurant guests started chanting,
"KISS! KISS! KISS! KISS! KISS! KISS! KISS! KISS!"
Drco grinned at his fiance, and swept her into his arms, pulling her close, as she leaned back, letting him hold her weight, and they kissed for the first time as an engaged couple. The restaurant burst into cheers, but the couple seemed not to notice.
It was doubtful that all of the people had realised just who it was that had just gotten engaged. To most, the idea of Draco Malfoy, ex Death Eater, and son of notorious Death Eater, Lucius Malfoy, marrying Hermione Granger, best friend of the Boy-Who-Lived, and in her own right, savior of the Wizarding World, was complete ludicrous, and could never happen.
It was a beautiful sight, but not all thought so. At the back of the restaurant, a lone figure sat, a cloak on and the hood pulled up, obscuring his face in shadow. If one could have seen his face, you would have seen absolute and complete shock, and after a few moments, disgust, and then apprehension. 'What will they think about this? I had no idea, to think… Why tell me...after all I've only known her since I was 11?' he thought, narrowing his eyes. He shook his head slightly. He looked at his hardly touched food with regret, knowing he wouldn't be able to stomach it after seeing that display.
He swept to his feet, his cloak and robes billowing behind him as he took a few hurried steps. He abruptly stopped mid step, turned back, dug into his pocket and pulled out a few coins of silver and bronze. He tossed them on the table next to his barely eaten plate of food. Then he strided determinedly towards the door, only slowing to push his way through the cheering crowd that had gathered around the kissing couple. A few people gave him glances of temporary anger, but their gazes moved beyond him when he passed, returning to the happy couple. He pushed open the door, heard the door chime but didn't stop and was out in the clear open road. It was raining. Hardly any people were out, and the ones that were, were running for cover various objects over their heads, hopefully sheltering from the rain that must have just started. He turned and walked off down the road and into a nearby alley. All the while pulling his hood down even more than it already was, a difficult task, and ducking his head. Eventually the loud crack of disapparation filled the alley, but no one was there to hear it. The lone man's thoughts were full of thoughts of where he would find the two people that he desperately needed to talk to. Now more than ever, all because of what he had seen.
If anybody in the restaurant had heard the door chime go off as the door opened, no one showed it. Not a single head turned, and all eyes remained fixed on the couple that was now in each others arms, rocking, heads on each others shoulders. They whispered in each others arms, and no one heard it, except for them.
"I love you, Hermione, and I always will. You know that right? I can't even say how much I love you in words, I love you that much."
"I know exactly how much you love me and I know that feeling of inexpressible love Draco, because I feel the same way about you."