Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

Note: stressed words are italized

Author: Pensive Puddles

A Long Awaited Engagement

It was quite out of the ordinary that the two got together in the first place. But then again, everything before and during the war was out of the ordinary. We should have expected it. But them of all people…

It was blistering cold, the kind of cold that not only gets through one's skin, but to one's heart and soul. It was the after effects of war. Despite the fact that the Light had won, the Dark still lingered hauntingly. It would fade with time, as would everything else till our time would be nothing but a fairytale that entertained children before they slept.

A girl--correction, a woman sat on a frost covered bench. She had stepped into womanhood a long time ago, much sooner than she had needed and wanted to. It was inevitable. Nonetheless, she sat on the bench that stood old and decayed, her hands tucked deeply into her coat. She shivered but did not complain. She only glanced at the clock that hung on the wall across from her; it seemed to take forever for minuets to pass.

Her hair was cut to her shoulders, unlike the long tresses she had in school. Her warm brown eyes were dead and unfeeling. They had been liked that for quite some time since she lost someone…dear to her. Her face was pale, worn from years of battle. Yet she was a thing of cold beauty. After, even during Voldemort's War, men came and asked her hand in marriage, trying to charm her with their dashing smiles. Some had tried as simple as asking her out on a date. Even to those, she had refused all of their offers politely. Yes, even in war she had not been corrupted enough to forget her polite manners.

It appeared that she held herself back. Maybe it was the silver ring around her right index finger that she fondly played with constantly. Not many people noticed her odd behavior towards the ring. It was a pretty thing, silver and green twisted around each other, reminding many of a vine covered in silver dew. It was very exotic, and she took such care of the ring that it seemed she'd risk her life to get it back if she ever lost it. There was a meaning behind it that only she and another knew of. She kept silent about its origin.

When she was alone, or thought she was alone, she'd twist it on her finger, her eyes growing distant and brow wrinkled in deep thought. She'd raise the ring to her lips every so often and lightly kiss it and smile. It most likely had a fond memory behind it.

She held herself tighter as another harsh wind blew against her frail body. Frail…no, she was invincible, tougher than steel as they liked to say. She was cold and calculating, smart and courageous. It made men quaver at her feet when her temper would flame. So stubborn but understanding, cold and hot, she scared even her best friend, the great Harry Potter who never looked her in her eyes when she was angry. No one thought less of him. When it came to her temper, it was every man for himself. Unfortunately, Ron, the very first man to propose to her, never understood the concept of saving his own skin, and nearly lost it countless of times.

The light of day faded into night. She looked up at the sky, admiring the dark navy sky that held the diamond stars. She smiled fondly when her eye seemed to be fixed on one. Her lips moved without making a sound, white vapor forming instantly at the interaction of hot and cold air. She wished, maybe even prayed, her fingers playing yet again with the vine ring around her finger.

The light from a nearby lamppost showered her in dim light. She looked so majestic, like one of heaven's creatures as the snow reflected her pale skin, her lips red from licking them, her eyes dark. A dead, cold beauty that made anyone marvel in terror and awe.

A sound caught her ears and her sharp eyes glanced to her left. The distant rumbling turned into a roar as the clock ticked by. A rusty looking train pulled into station, smoke pouring from a spout near the front. It slowed its pace, finally coming to a groaning stop.

Her pale hands gripped the frozen bench beneath her, her knuckles turning into a brighter white than the rest of her hands. She swallowed visibly and licked her chapped lips. The snow crunched softly under her feet as she got off the bench.

A man stepped off one of the boxcars, taking off his hat. She stared at him as if seeing him for the first time. Yet he recognized her. His dead eyes suddenly blazed to life when he saw her, like water given to a parched man who had been lost in the desert for days.

He was skinner than he had been when he left school. His hair had lost its brightness and thickness. It hung long and limply around his face. His skin was still pale, like one who had been deprived from the sun. His gray eyes were almost back, so far where they set in the back of his skinny face. He looked dead in his black clothes. He had made a promise to her a long time ago. He wondered if she still remembered.

The thought of her had kept him sane in the dark hours of Azkaban. He carried scars that he did not have when he went in. Three years he had spent after the war, paying for his crimes for being a Death Eater. It should have been life, not three measly years; he should have had the Kiss done on him, hundreds had said. He had never killed, the only reason why he wasn't cast into the fiery pits of hell with the other Death Eaters. Did she know how much he loved her still? That she was the reason why he didn't give up?

He murmured her name, his voice cracked.

Her hand went to her mouth, hot tears sparkled her eyes. They slid down her face unchecked. She made a croaking sound that was indistinguishable.

The man dropped his small bag that held his petty possessions next to his feet and took a cautious step towards her. The dull sound of his bag hitting the snow covered platform released her from her trance and she came to life. After several years, her eyes finally glowed with emotion, blazing with such happiness it hurt to look into them. She ran towards him, forgetting the pain, the loneliness she had felt all those years without him. All that mattered was that he had come back, he had came back as he promised.

He stumbled back as she jumped into his arms, embracing him tightly, her small body shaking as she cried. His own started to shiver slightly, tears falling. She hugged him tightly to her. They pulled back and they finally kissed under the light of the lamppost. It was like a picture from an old album, one that had been taken when the two had been oblivious to anything around them. The pale light seemed to give color to their white skin, giving them life again.

He pulled away and smiled warmly at her. Getting down on his knees he asked her something, mumbling some other things that seemed to be an apology for the long years he had left her by herself. As he rambled, he become unsure about her answer, unsure about himself and started to grow quiet and nervous. She cut him off and answered, "Of course, you git."

It was rather a sweet moment, bizarre as it sounds. Nevertheless, he jumped to his feet in happiness. He picked her up in his arms as if she weighed nothing more than a feather and twirled her around, laughing the first laugh he had laughed in several years. She laughed with him. He set her to the ground, switching the vine ring from her right hand to her left, a long awaited engagement.

"I'm sorry it isn't the best ring in the world," he apologized, blushing slightly as he looked at the ring that appeared so cheap in his eyes. To him, she deserved the best, had lowered herself to be with him. If the man had told his childhood self that someone with lesser blood than him and lowered herself to be with him, the little boy would have scoffed, swearing he'd never let anything like that happen to him. The irony of it all, the reason why none of us expected it.

"It's perfect," she reassured with a soft smile and kissed him lightly on his cold lips.

He only returned her smile, picked up his bag and held her tightly to him as they walked down the empty platform, snowflakes falling lightly on them.

Romantic, some would say, as the two walked away hand in hand, sharing secret looks lovers give.

And maybe I would have to agree. No one knew of Hermione's and Draco's secret, the secret they had kept during their last year at school. No one, except I. I admire her for staying true to him when hundreds of handsome suitors came to her, begging for her hand. I respect him for never giving up in Azkaban. Perhaps when you have something to look forward to, it keeps you sane, motivates you to live, like Sirius Black and his obsession for murdering Peter Pettigrew.

However I can't admit those kinds of things, those kinds of feelings. That is why I said 'maybe'. I can only watch Draco and Hermione age, their love growing stronger. As people quote, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

But I wouldn't know. I am only a Potions Professor that knows the pleasurable feeling of giving my students hell.

The End

A/N: OK. Be honest. How was it? This was just a little doodle or whatever it's called. Hopefully, everything was selfexplanitory... I had this in mind when I was riding a bus home one night and I looked outside at one of the bus stops. Weird how stories come to life, eh? :::Pensive looks around to see that no one cares::: :::sigh::: fine, I get the point…

But, I'd only know if my imagination is actually imaginative if you reviewed and gave me your opinion on my little ficy, eh?

'eh'…I kinda like that word, eh?