Chapter Twentyeight The End?

Note: I feel so very proud and grateful that this story got this far. I won't say much, as I am including a special Authors Note at the end of this chapter.


"Hi Hermione," Harry said, entering the already cramped train compartment and sitting next to his friend, along with Cho, Ginny and Ron. "I still can't believe we're going home already."

"Me neither," Ron said. "I mean, it's been a strange year, hasn't it? It's weird, with all that's happened. Me and you," he said awkwardly, pointing to Hermione, "and that stupid row. And then your party, and you… you got pregnant and then you lost it, and then me and Cho got together, and Harry and Ginny settled down together. It's gone so fast though."

"Sure has," Hermione said, but her mind was elsewhere. She couldn't forget the events of yesterday… the romance of the boat on the lake, Draco asking her to marry him… she smiled to herself, stroking the beautiful shining ring on her finger. Everything, from now on, was going to change.

"Are you sure you're positive about this?" Ginny asked Hermione seriously. "You're getting married! It's such a big step and I really can't believe it. And to… him! But, well, if you're positive-"

"How many times do I have to say it? I AM positive I'm doing the right thing," Hermione interrupted. "And I know none of you like him but surely you want the best for me? I love him so much. He's actually caring, and romantic, and funny. And he loves me too. He has an awful temper, he's often far too sarcastic and has a tendency to show off, but I love him. Just the way he is."

Harry hesitated, then smiled and hugged his friend. "Good for you, Hermione," he said. "You're definitely doing the right thing, following your heart." Hermione smiled too, her eyes watering with the kindness of them. Her friends were willing to let her marry their worst enemy and bane of their life. Their selflessness was amazing.

"I don't really know the guy, but I hope you're happy together," Cho said, as she kissed Ron on the cheek. They were holdings hands, enraptured with each other, which made Hermione realise exactly why she felt so empty… where was Draco?

"Listen you lot, I'll be back in a minute. I'm going to find him." Hermione got up and hurried out of the compartment, along the rattling Hogwarts Express. She was just passing through the next door when she bumped into someone and was sent flying across the floor.

"Be more careful next-" she began, and then saw that Draco was standing over her.

"Hermione," he said, laughing. "I've been looking for you."

"I've been looking for you too," she said, flushing red furiously and wiping her skirt of dirt. He pulled her to her feet and pulled her into an embrace, their lips locking in a moment of tenderness. They were lost in each other's charm, their emotions explored through their mouths and their rapidly moving hands.

"Excuse me," came a loud voice, which was that of Blaise Zabini in the compartment. "Draco, when you said you were marrying this whore, were you actually serious?"

"Zabini," Draco said patiently.

"What?"

"Fuck off." And with that Draco took Hermione's hand in his and proceeded to leave the compartment, rushing down the aisle until they found an empty one, whereupon he laid her down on the train bench and crawled on top of her, passionately pressing his lips to hers and letting his hands drift to her slender waist.

Hermione sighed and kissed his neck, gently at first and gradually pressing harder until she was practically gnawing him with her lips, her arms draped around his wide shoulders and her legs twisted around his hips.

"Draco," she said, interrupting his gradual move down her body. "Let's wait. It'll make it so much more special, don't you think?"

He looked extremely disappointed, then straightened up and grinned, showing his white pearly teeth. "I won't deny I don't want to, but I'll wait. Until our wedding night if it pleases you Miss Granger."

"I'm ecstatic," she giggled, as he carried her in his arms through the compartments, planting kisses along her ear. Eventually they were in the back compartment, which was that of Harry, Ron, Cho and Ginny, so Draco let Hermione get back on her feet, taking his hand and approaching her friends.

"People," she announced, "this is my fiancé. I don't know if you've met before," she laughed, "but I would like to introduce him to you now. His name is Draco Malfoy."

"I think we've seen each other once or twice," Ron said, his lip twitching. "Can't say he's good enough for you but he'll do."

"I could say the same about you," Draco retorted, biting back his usual cruel comments. "But I'm sure you'll do too. As long as you get us a good wedding gift." Everyone laughed, and Draco sat himself down next to Hermione, who had bought a book out from her bag.

"Hermione," Harry said, rolling his eyes. "Do you really have to read on the last day of term? Malfoy's sat next to you and I think he wants a kiss."

"So do I, Harry," Ginny hinted, stroking her boyfriend's face as he turned to her and kissed her gently. Ron and Cho looked pretty busy anyway, so they didn't need to be reminded. Hermione laid down her book, sighing.

"I guess every once in a while we can let our hair down," she said, reminiscent in her old ways, and laughed wryly. Draco hugged her and she allowed herself to nuzzle his chest, closing her eyes rapturously.

"So," Cho said (who had finished snogging Ron's face off). "Have you two told your parents your plans?"

"Yes," Hermione said. "Draco told his father, who went a bit crazy, to be blunt. I've sent a letter to my parents so they'll be finding out soon, but they already know I'm not meeting them at Platform 9 and ¾ today. Draco and I are meeting his Aunt Agatha."

"Who?" Harry asked, still talking to Hermione. He didn't think the unspoken truce between him and Malfoy would stretch far enough to have a civil conversation.

"Draco's aunt has been cast out of the Malfoy name too," Hermione explained, "for marrying a Muggle-born. Draco wrote to her asking if we could stay with her for a while, until after the wedding. Then we're thinking about getting our own place, with the help of my parents. They shouldn't be too mad, they won't mind. Don't think we'll be getting any help from your parents though," she said with a shudder to her fiancé.

Draco shook his head. "I've been thrown out of the family. I'll have to keep moving around because if I know my father, he'll be sending out spies to track me down. And worse… but we'll forget that for today anyway."

"The wedding's in a month," Hermione beamed, "and you're all invited. It's at MagicCross Chapel, just near Hogsmeade. You'll all be receiving Owls with Invitations attached anyway, with all the details. It's going to be perfect!"

"Of course it's going to be perfect," Draco whispered. "Because you're there." He kissed her gently and she moved in, if possible, even closer, so their eyes were inches away from each other.

"I love you, my fiancé," Hermione whispered, her fingers against his chin. She stroked his soft white hair, free of gel, and blew softly, making it dance.

"I love you too," Draco said, and their lips met just as the train whistle blew and people began pulling down their suitcases and bags. Pulling away, Hermione swiftly began pulling down her own luggage and heaving it onto her arms, as her friends followed suit.

It had definitely been a strange year…. She had fallen in love with her enemy, made and lost a baby, and discovered many home truths about herself along the way. You could have called her seventeenth birthday many things…. But she contented herself with "interesting".

"Hermione, you coming?" her friends all called, Cho and Ron's hands linked, closely followed by Harry and Ginny doing the same. At the end of the line was Draco, his hand outstretched.

"Yes, I'm coming," Hermione answered, smiling from ear to ear and taking Draco's hand, the love in the air so strong her face was permanently grinning.

This year, Hermione had definitely and truly grown up.

And with that Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy descended the steps of the train, and prepared for their new lives together.


Authors Note for Hermione Grows Up At Sweet Sixteen

First of all, I think I had better begin with a true and hearty disclaimer- after all; no FanFiction story is complete without one! All characters, settings, scenery, some descriptions and even parts of plot are copyright of Joanne Rowling. She is nothing less than a Goddess in my eyes because I think she created something truly beautiful when she wrote her books. One scene is reminiscent of the book Gone With The Wind which I absolutely adore, and hope you will forgive me for it resembling it, but I thought it was a good touch.

The story began as something to fill my time and nothing more really than a light bit of writing every once in a while, but as the amount of reviews I tended to receive grew, it became more and more important to me, and bloomed into a fully fledged rose. It is a story of Hermione learning about herself and other's, about the way she feels and that hatred can be overcome, no matter how strong, and that love beats all.

Note that although a lot of people in this story were beautiful, towards the end Hermione and Draco loved each other for what was inside and not just physical attraction. I tried and hopefully succeeded in getting that message across.

I realise that there were many, many errors in my very first FanFiction and it was certainly not perfect. However I have learnt from the mistakes and I like to think that it has made my work better. After all, everyone learns from mistakes and can better their work from constructive criticism. I think though, that this story has turned out in a way I like and approve of, so I hope you all think so too :)

There are many people who made me get to this stage. I would like to thank my friend Shadiyah, who gave me honest opinions and was my first reader, and she also happens to be my best friend in real life! If you're reading this Shad, you're a star!

I would also like to thank my many lovely reviewers. Gazy, New Secret Rose, Evilbunnys-playmate, Natyslacks, Dracowar, c-h-l-o-e-06, Danihell, Aquaprincess1, Smokeline and Etherelemental naming just a few loyal readers who made me opening my inbox so much more special. You were vital to the story and without you all, this story wouldn't be where it was today! *sheds a tear* Thank you guys! Good luck with your own fantastic fanfictions! Everyone who reviewed suceeded in making this story what it is and hopefully I'll continue to gather reviews forever. Long after this finished I continue to have my mailbox flooded, for which I am eternally grateful.

Thanks again for all the support I received, from EVERYONE. You won't be forgotten.

Emma

xXxXx

God bless you all.