Sleeping With the Enemy
"I missed you," Hermione whispered with a smile on her delicate face. "There was not one night that I didn't have to stop myself when I wanted to do..." she let her fingers trail his chest, "stuff."
"I can understand that," Draco grinned, taking her hand in his and kissing it. "It was completely mutual. How dumb were we, not to understand that?"
Hermione's eyes glittered mischievously in the dark.
"What?" said Draco.
"Well... it's just that, I knew," said Hermione shyly. "I knew you've been feeling the same way all along."
"You – you knew?" Draco stammered. "Then why – why didn't you – "
"Because I was afraid," Hermione whispered, smiling softly, her fingers now trailing his arm. "I was too afraid. I can't even explain it. I knew things would never be the same again, and I was afraid. It was good that we were friends, but what if we took the next step and it didn't work out? How would it affect our friendship? And what about Amy? I wanted to tell you, and every day I told myself: 'Today I'll tell him', but when I came home and saw you, I couldn't. I just couldn't."
She swallowed hard and went on: "But tonight... when you wanted to leave... I wasn't afraid anymore. The thought of you leaving was scarier than anything else. I knew... I knew I couldn't live without you, I just couldn't."
And Draco leaned in and kissed her, and she responded passionately, and the two of them sunk into the kiss, more and more until Hermione thought she was going to explode from the pleasure.
But in the middle of this passion, Draco paused for a moment, just to look into her eyes once more. "There's something I want to ask you," he whispered.
"Yes?" she whispered back.
Draco reached out and lit up the lamp on the bedside. Then he sat up, pulling Hermione up with him, and took a deep breath.
"Hermione," he whispered, "I always thought that when I get married, it would be with someone I love, and trust, and care about. Then, when we got married, I thought I was doomed to spend the rest of my life with my enemy, with someone who hated me more than anyone else. I knew I had a crush on you, but it was never going to work out. There was too much history, too much hostility between us. And I knew I had no chance.
"But then we grew closer. And we became friends. Hermione – I don't know if you know that, but I've never had real friends before. I'm serious. No one in the entire world has ever been my friend. And I couldn't help but loving you for being my friend even though I was giving you such a hard time, and then – it became more than just friends' love. I tried to avoid it, but it only got stronger."
Hermione gazed at him, fascinated, touched, shivering with pleasure at his words, as he went on...
"And now that I've told you 'I love you' and kissed you, kissed you for real, not for technical baby-making, I know," he whispered. "I know you're the one for me. I know you are the only one who could make me happy. I want to spend all my life with you, and love you every single day, and raise Amy and have other babies with you. Because you're the only one I have ever been able to love."
Draco leaned in closer, till Hermione could feel his breath on her face. "I want more than a law-settled marriage, Hermione. I want us to be married because we love each other and want to be together, not because some stupid law says we've got to get married."
Hermione was elated. "Is that what you really want?"
"More than anything," he replied.
She smiled softly. "Me too," she said in a low voice.
Draco reached into a drawer and took out a small box. Very slowly, he opened it. Inside was the most beautiful ring Hermione had ever seen – silver with a big diamond, and some small red rubies circling it.
"I bought it a few months ago," he said, "and I've been waiting for the right moment to give it to you. Only the right moment never seemed to come. I cannot wait anymore. You are too good, and I love you way too much to let this marriage remain as it is. I want you to be married to me out of your own free will."
He stretched out his hand, holding the ring in front of Hermione.
"Hermione," he whispered, "will you be mine forever?"
And Hermione swallowed her tears, and looked deeply into his beautiful gray eyes. "Yes, I will," she said clearly. And as her tears finally streamed down on her cheeks, she let Draco place the ring on her finger, then leaned in and kissed him with all her heart and soul.
They kissed and cried and kissed some more, and as the kiss finally grew soft again, Draco pulled back a little and brushed some hairs off her face.
"You know what else I want?" he said.
"You have many wishes tonight," Hermione whispered, grinning.
"I know... guess what I want."
"What do you want?"
"I want a honeymoon," said Draco softly.
"W-what?" Hermione stammered.
"Yes. If we're now married out of love and free will, we deserve a honeymoon – don't we?"
"We do," said Hermione, smiling. "We definitely do."
"We can leave Amy with my mom," said Draco. "Then we're free to go wherever we want... The world is waiting for us. We can go anywhere."
"I don't care," Hermione whispered back, "I don't care where we'll go. As long as it's with you, I don't give a damn."
When he kissed her again, she let all her feelings wash over her as she responded passionately. All her passion from such a long wait was now intensified, and she leaned forward and placed her hands on his hips. Soon they were lying down, Draco on top of her, kissing her with more passion than ever, then letting his lips travel down to the familiar warmth of her neck, her collarbone and then her cleavage.
"God," Hermione groaned, as she began to have the familiar feeling that any clothes involved were completely unnecessary. Instinctively, she allowed her nimble fingers to pull off his shirt, then trail down to his pants. Draco breathed sharply through his nose and she could feel his body shivering against hers with pleasure and lust.
"I love you," he murmured as he slowly reached out and unbuttoned her nightgown. He let slid off and buried his face in her neck again, which caused Hermione to moan and pant with pleasure while her fingers were playing with his hair.
Their need intensified, and soon enough they found themselves naked and more aroused than ever. And as Draco's lips trailed up back to hers, their bodies clung together and the next thing they knew – they were riding waves, waves of passion, waves of lust, and as they kissed once more, their kiss was deeper than ever and the two of them drowned in the sea – the sea of love.
"France it is," Hermione murmured in awe as she looked around.
"Paris, to be exact," Draco chuckled. "I remembered you telling me you'd been to France when you were thirteen. Great place. When I was here the first time I was about seven or eight, and I can still remember that even then I could understand how romantic this city was."
"The perfect place for a perfect honeymoon," Hermione agreed.
And indeed it was. Two weeks of honeymoon passed like a dream. During the days, the two of them traveled all around France, not caring about the rain and the snow. On the contrary – the snow made everything even more romantic.
Hermione was a little surprised, as she mentioned to Draco one evening, to find that he could be so romantic himself. Every day he surprised her with something new – a present, a trip to a new place, a beautiful love song he wrote for her.
"Because you're just not the type," she explained.
"You're right," he said, "I'm not. So you'd better take advantage of the situation as it is now, because it's bound to change back to normal soon."
But there was a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, and Hermione couldn't help but laughing as she nudged him playfully.
The very last night of the honeymoon was also the last day of Christmas, and the two of them were sitting out on the balcony of their hotel room, Hermione's head on Draco's shoulder, both watching the snow.
"I've made a decision," said Draco suddenly.
"Guess what's the first thing I want to do when I come home?"
Hermione raised her head and grinned at him. "Run to Amy and kiss her all over after you haven't seen her for two weeks?"
"Of course. But that not what I meant."
"Buy a present for your mother for watching over Amy all this time?"
"Yes. But that's still not what I meant."
"Hmm..." Hermione thought deeply. "How about that... you accept the fact that your mom and Severus are going to get married?"
"Excuse me?" said Draco, jumping to his feet. "What did you say?"
Hermione gazed at him. "Oops."
"'Oops'? What do you mean, 'oops'?" Draco demanded.
"Umm... well... boy, your mom is going to kill me. I wasn't supposed to tell you, but if you already know..." Hermione cleared her throat. "Well, yes. They're engaged."
"How – when – "
"About a week before we went away. Severus proposed, and she accepted."
"I can't believe it," Draco mumbled angrily.
"Are you okay?" Hermione asked worriedly, searching for his eyes. "That's exactly why she hasn't told you yet. She knew you were going to be upset. But you have to think about it that way... your mom is happy now. She's finally happy. She hasn't been happy since she was about seventeen or eighteen, when her parents forced her to break up with Severus and marry your father. And now she's happy. Don't you want your mom to be happy?"
"How do you know all that?" Draco demanded.
"She told me. She asked me to help her tell you later, when it was the right time."
Draco sat back down quietly.
"Think of it this way..." Hermione's voice said in his ear, "Your mom and Severus are now happy like we are. Everyone deserves this happiness... everyone deserves to be with their only one, as you said it."
"I guess you're right," Draco said numbly.
"I'm cold," he said after a few minutes. "Come here."
Hermione moved closer, wrapping her arms around him, clinging onto him.
"Thank you," he whispered as he pulled her closer. "I'm okay now. But thank God you were the one to tell me... if my mom had told me herself, I would've probably exploded. I would've yelled and hurt her feelings."
"Now I won't. Now I'll do my best to be happy for her. You're right," he said, hugging her tight, "if that's what she feels like, then I won't ruin it for her. Everyone deserves this."
His face was suddenly so close to hers. "Thank you," he whispered and kissed her.
Hermione's lips curved into a soft smile, and they sat together quietly for a moment.
Than Hermione asked: "So... what is the first thing you're going to do when you come home?"
And Draco looked at her, grinning, and answered: "I have never been so thankful in my life... I'm so glad I have you in my life. And you know whom I owe it to?"
Draco's grin widened. "As soon as we get home," he said slowly, emphasizing every word, "I'm going to send flowers and a special thank-you card to Charles Payton, Minister of Magic."
"...and so it ends," Hermione finished, smiling at the old man sitting in front of her. "My story is finished. You have no reason to ever worry about me ever again. I'm as fine as I ever will be."
Dumbledore smiled back, and his smile was warmer than ever. "You have no idea how happy this makes me. I have indeed been extremely worried about you. I knew how unhappy this marriage made you."
"At first," Hermione admitted. "But now I'm happier than I've ever been. So thank you for everything, Professor." She got up, gave him one last smile, and than vanished through the door.
The old man sitting behind the desk folded his fingers and watched the door close. "Yes, yes," he mumbled quietly, smiling softly to himself, "just as I have predicted, isn't it? Perhaps I should replace Sybill... Anyway, what have I once said to Harry? My brain surprises even me sometimes."
I am planning to continue writing more stories, perhaps the Lily/James I've promised, but I won't have a lot of time to do that, as you probably understand. But a big thank-you to all the sweet reviewers who stayed tuned and never abandoned this story! Crazy12, Luver-of-Tom, burgundyred, invisible2u and a lot of others. If I didn't write you it's only because I'll never finish. Thank you so much.
And thus, my friends, Sleeping With the Enemy really ends. Now you tell me – was the long wait worth it, or not?