She smiled knowingly and tackled him to the mattress.
"I want to be Mrs. Hermione Malfoy."
Chapter 15: Epilogue
Hermione sat, poised and primped, at the white lace-cut wooden vanity. Her once wildly frizzy chestnut locks hung down the length of her back in silky corkscrew ringlets. She wore her hangs side-swept and out of her eyes, her pearl-studded headband holding them in place. Her make-up was light and simple, yet accented all her best features, especially her chocolate brown eyes, rimmed in dark brown and lidded with a hint of shimmering green. The veil, trimmed in antique white lace, still sat on the vanity, waiting to be worn.
She sighed and stared at her reflection, already feeling the exhausting weight of the day bearing down on her. Her dress, snuggly fit at the top and waist, belled out to and past her feet, her train reaching behind her for almost five feet, with a rim of the same antique lace peeking out. It hung off the shoulders, with long fitted sleeves that too belled out, nearly covering her hands. The material was pure silky white, with a pearl-like sheen to it.
But her favorite part of the outfit would most definitely have to be her emerald heart-cut necklace, strung on a string of pearls; a gift from Harry. It sat perfectly between her collarbones, drawing the entire ensemble together. Even she could not deny how beautiful she looked today.
The door creaked open, and before she could turn around, she heard a stunted gasp.
"Hermione! You look so unbelievable!"
"Thanks Gin," she said, blushing madly. She hoped Draco had the same reaction. She hoped a lot of things about how today would go. "How are the girls managing? Scarlet's not too big on crowds, and Jade gets tired very eas—"
"Don't worry," Ginny laughed, her arms reaching around her just barely swollen belly. "Everything is under control. All you need to worry about is walking a few feet down the aisle."
"I know, it's just…I don't know. Six months ago I was so sure Draco was everything I never wanted. And now, I'm about to marry him."
"I know what you mean. I'm still not really used to the fact that you're marrying Draco Malfoy. But, you know what?"
"When we all found out that he was the father of Scarlet and Jade I don't think I was all that shocked. I think, somehow, I already knew. Or at least that their father wasn't a muggle. I mean, after babysitting them, I knew there was no way all that power came from a muggle and a muggle-born."
"I still feel awful for having not told you."
"Don't bother," Ginny sighed, patting her shoulder. "There was a perfectly good reason you didn't tell anyone. Granted, Harry knew the whole time, but you never told him and he kept it to himself for your safety. He knew what would happen if his parents found out. He truly loves you, 'Mione."
"Yeah, and he doesn't think that bad of you either, Mrs. Potter."
"Talking about me again?"
They looked to the door to find Harry and Ron, suited up in their tuxedos and looking beyond adorable. They weren't part of the wedding, in fact there was no Best Man or Maid of Honor, though if there were it would surely be Ginny. Hermione had decided it a while back when they were first starting to plan the wedding. She realized, quite startlingly, that Draco had no one and therefore would have no Best Man. When she presented this idea to Ginny, her friend was expectedly upset, especially because Hermione had been her Maid of Honor, but she understood completely and made no fuss. No one wanted things to be uncomfortable. As it was Draco wanted to invite no one. He left it completely up to Hermione.
"How many times do I have to tell you not to interrupt girl talk?" Ginny scolded, but nonetheless melted into her husband's arms. "Doesn't she look—"
"Gorgeous," Harry finished.
"Phenomenal," Ron added, blushing a little. There would always be a part of him that wanted her and was jealous of the fact that she was with another man. And though it hurt immensely that Malfoy could triumph where he had failed, it also gave him great happiness to know that she was finally happy and would live a full and happy life.
"Ok, ok," came yet another voice. Hermione's mother came shuffling into the room, Scarlet on her hip, and ushered her friends out into the hall, handing the baby over to Ron.
"Where's Jade?" Hermione inquired.
Mrs. Granger rolled her eyes and smiled at her daughter's protectiveness and said, "With your father. Where else?"
"Is she sleeping yet?"
"Not yet. I think she knows what a big day this is. She's wide awake and has quite the collection of your father's hair now."
"Did he lose the coin toss or something?" she laughed, knowing all too well her daughters' habits. Scarlet was not in the hair-pulling phase, and instead enjoyed grabbing the noses of whoever held her.
Her mother shut the door, locking it with a click. She came forward, kneeling in front of her, her eyes already glistening with tears. She would cry buckets by the end of the day.
"I love you so much, baby," she whispered, taking her hands. "And I'm so happy for you and Draco. He loves you so much; I can see it in everything he does."
"Don't cry mama," was all Hermione could think to say, stifling her tears with iron determination. She did not spend two hours on her hair and make-up to have it run at the last possible second.
"Come on." She pulled her to her feet, hugging her tightly, yet conscious of not messing up anything. "In a few minutes you'll be a married woman. You don't want to be late."
She was dropped off just behind the doors, and with a kiss on the cheek her mother was gone, leaving her in the wings with only her father, Jade having gone with her mother. And when she looked at him, she didn't know if she could withhold her emotions again.
"I always knew you would find the perfect man to spend your life with," he said proudly, offering her his arm. She took it without thought, her eyes focused on the large white doors before them. "I know, just by looking at him, that he'll always be good to you, and the girls, and whoever else you two bring into the world."
"Thanks for reminding me," she said, turning towards him. "There's something I want to tell you, daddy. And I wanted you to be the first to know."
"Yes?" he asked hopefully.
"I—" A wide grin cut across her face, lighting her up. "I'm pregnant."
"Oh darling!" He squeezed her into a fatherly hug, kissing her forehead. "When did you find out?" he asked, stepping back.
"A few days ago. I haven't even told Draco yet."
"I bet he can't wait for a boy."
"I have my fingers crossed."
"You're the most precious thing to me, Hermione." Her eyes softened and welled with tears.
"I love you daddy," she sobbed, throwing her arms around his neck. "You and mom have been so great to me. I could never thank you enough."
"All we want is for you to be happy and—" He brought his hand to his ear, smiling. "—here it comes." The music flooded Hermione's eyes like a sugary sweet, intoxicating her senses. Beyond that door was the love of her life, the man she would spend the rest of her life with. And all she had to do—as Ginny so simply put it—was walk a few feet.
"This is it," she whispered.
"Nope," she said confidently as the doors were pulled open from within. "I can't think of a more safe place I could be."
Draco stood, stiff as a board, at the alter. Everyone was there, staring at him, as if, at any moment, he would perform magic tricks. His blood was pumping so fast he thought for sure he'd spring a leak and ruin the whole wedding. And, just when he thought he couldn't stand to wait any longer, the music began and the doors swung open.
For an instant he swore he was dreaming, the sight of his wife-to-be too dazzling to be real. Her entire being seemed to glow and pulse with beauty. And, the closer she got, the more he couldn't believe she was actually his. Of course, no matter how she looked, he would have thought that.
Mr. Granger kissed her lovingly on the cheek, then took his seat beside her mother in the front pew. The moment had arrived and just looking into her eyes drained him of all former apprehension. So what if he had no one in this entire church other than Hermione; she was all that really mattered.
The minister went into his dialogue, and all the while the couple couldn't keep their eyes anywhere but on each other. They almost didn't hear him when he asked, "Draco, do you take Hermione to have and to hold, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?"
"I do," he answered immediately. "And beyond."
Hermione's heart fluttered.
"And do you, Hermione, take Draco to have and to hold, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?"
"I do," she said, and their lips were touching even before the minister could say the final words. "Draco," she whispered, their foreheads pressed close together.
"Yes, Mrs. Malfoy?"
"We're going to have one less guest room."
He gave her a look of confusion at first, until her words set in the right places, and then his eyes lit up like so many beautiful fireworks.
"You're pregnant?" he whispered, as if he would jinx himself.
"Yes Mr. Malfoy," she laughed, giddy with happiness. "We might finally have our Draco Jr."
"Let's pray for a boy then, otherwise she'll hate us."
"Yeah," he sighed, kissing her lips softly. "But you love me."
"There's a thin line between loving and tolerating."
"Hey!" He frowned and bowed his head in mock shock.
"What! You're the only one who can make jokes?"
"No," he said, scooping her into his arms. "But at least mine are funny."
"You never give up, do you?"
"Not ever," he laughed. "You're just going to have to live with that."
"I think I'll manage, thank you."
"Perfect. But for now all I want—"
"You're just full of demands today. What is it that you want, husband?"
"For now," he said with a devious smile, "I want to dance with my wife. We'll discuss the full-body massages when we get home."
"Nope, just hopeful." He kissed her, as if he'd never kissed her before and could no longer keep from doing it. "I love you Hermione Granger."
"Malfoy," she corrected.
"Always right," he sighed, rolling his eyes. "I don't know how we're going to live through the power struggle."
"Power struggle? We are living in my house, Draco. And you know what that means."
"You get first dibs on your side of the bed?"
She smiled and kissed the tip of his nose. "Exactly. Now let's go dance."
Draco came tearing into the house, his face caked with dirt and his hair matted with sweat. He ran into Hermione's arms, his cheeks streaked with tears.
"What's wrong?" she asked, her heart seizing up immediately at the sight of him.
"They…They," he sobbed, soaking the front of her shirt. "They pushed me in the dirt! They ruined my new robes!"
Hermione frowned and summoned her wand, whispering a weak spell that opened the sky above her house, bringing down buckets of rain. When she heard the front door open, then slam shut, followed by the patter of wet feet, she stopped the rain and set down her wand.
"What gives, mom?" Scarlet pouted, her thick mane of brown hair flattened, with strands sticking to her face. Jade looked equally amusing to Hermione, who could not withhold her laughter.
"Why do you girls have to be such demons to your brother?"
"We don't single him out," Jade answered, her little smirk immediately conjuring images of Draco Sr. A moment later two more children came traipsing into the kitchen, their hair wet and their faces covered in mud. This time it was little Draco that couldn't help but laugh.
"Draco!" Hermione called. The little convocation of children stiffened at their mother's voice.
"What—Bloody hell," he sighed, forcing his smile at bay. "Guess who has the pleasure of cleaning up your brother and sisters?"
Scarlet and Jade groaned in unison and headed off to draw the bath. When all five children were out of the room, Draco took the opportunity to wrap his wife in his arms and give her a much longed-for kiss.
"So," he said, pulling back just far enough to speak. "They managed to get Draco, Rose, and Molly?"
"What can I say?" She shrugged and they too headed for the bathroom to oversea the bath and ensure it wouldn't turn into an all out water war like last time. "They take after their father, in every way."
"You know, I think Draco needs a brother to help him handle all the estrogen. He's drowning in it."
"Well," Hermione laughed, patting her still-firm tummy, "with the odds we have this one should be a boy. Every third."
"Every third? You mean you don't want to stop at six?"
"Who said anything about ever stopping?" she giggled, kissing him quickly on the cheek before she ducked into the bathroom, just in time to receive a face-full of water. Jade gasped and hid behind Rose, who swatted at her.
"Alright children," Draco said, his voice stern, yet playful. He scooped Jade into his arms and plopped her, fully clothed, into the larger than normal sized tub. She kicked and protested, but her words were soon turned to laughter when he lifted Scarlet as well to meet the same fate.
When all the children were in the tub, and well on their way to being clean, Draco sat on the edge and began to pull out the distracting bath toys. He was reaching for a particularly strange colored rubber ducky, when suddenly he too found himself in the soapy water. Hermione let out a howling laugh, and held up her hands in innocence. On either side of him sat his five children, grinning ear to ear that they had—yet again—managed to trick their father. He was thankful that at least this time the prank didn't involve half the neighborhood.
"You knew about this?" he asked, glaring at Hermione as Rose and Jade took to shampooing his hair.
She could only nod, covering her mouth with her hand in a useless attempt to stop laughing.
"Well," he sighed, grabbing the rubber ducky, "at least I'm clean this time."
"Don't worry daddy," Hermione said, smiling down at him. He was the perfect husband and father in every way. "Mommy will make it up to you later tonight."
And suddenly Draco was no longer sour about the prank.
"Does that mean—"
"Yes, Draco. I found my old school uniform."
Woo woo! THE END! Done! Finished! Over:P Man, I'm really going to miss working on this story. I really liked writing it and coming up with all the twists and ways for Hermione and Draco to actually end up together at the end. Hopefully you all liked how I left things, I mean, I could have gone on forever with their lives after marriage and with more kids, but I figured I should stop somewhere. I do have somewhat of a life other than this site…or at least that's what I tell myself, heehee :D
Anyway, share the love :)
P.S. Take a wild guess at who named Molly :P