You'll die trying to live this down,
You might as well forget it,
Still I'm convinced,
Wondering 'what if' is the worst thing there is

Her virgin white dress was stained with dirt along the bottom and there were flecks of mud all across her flowing white skirt. Her gown was drenched with rain water, weighing a thousand times heavier than normal, but still, incomparable to the heavy weight that seemed to crush her chest. Her once elegantly fashioned hairstyle had come loose with tendrils of dark, auburn coloured hair sticking to her pale, numb cheeks. Her bare arms, slick with rain were crossed against her chest protectively and her liquid copper eyes flecked with traces of gold were downcast, staring hard at the large oak door that stood so grandly before her.

Her heart thudded painfully against her chest as she clenched and unclenched her fists repeatedly, trying to decide what she was to do. Her body shivered, racked with the chilling autumn rain. Her feet were now swollen and numb, aching for a rest.

The downpour had long rinsed her visage of any makeup she had had on earlier, leaving her face slightly reddened with lack of oxygen, but still pale from lack of warmth.

Taking in a deep breath, she closed her eyes which had cried themselves dry and thought back to a mere few hours ago…

She had never felt more nervous in her life before. Her nerves were jittering like mad as she tried to calm herself by taking in deep breaths. Unfortunately, all this did was make her feel even more light-headed than she already was. Glancing sideways, she caught her reflection in the mirror. Her image was positively radiant. With her long brown hair tamed and twisted high into a complicated style, her eyes sparkling and her cheeks glowing with anticipation—she fit the perfect picture of a bride-to-be.

Her hands clenched tightly around the bouquet of gold and red roses, enchanted to glisten and shimmer continuously even in the dark. Her ears perked up and her body tensed as she caught sound of the Wedding March starting up. Taking one, final breath, she flipped her veil over her face and walked out the doors.

With her father in one arm, she started down the aisle, every single pair of eyes in the church upon her. The end seemed a million miles away as she tread forwards upon the burgundy coloured carpet that lined the walkway.

As she finally reached the end, her groom, patiently awaiting her flashed her a bright smile that filled her insides with a feeling of butterflies, fluttering around in the pit of her stomach. After she had handed the bouquet to one of her bridesmaids, she turned slightly, facing the sea of friends and family she'd invited.

"Dearly beloved", the priest began, "we are gathered here today before these friends and family, to join together this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. Holy Matrimony is an honorable and cherished estate, and should not be entered into lightly, but rather with honor respect, friendship, and love. It is into this estate that these two persons before me now come to be joined."

Her eyes flickered across the benches, searching for a certain someone she had hoped more than anything else, would come. Just then, he burst in through the doors, looking disheveled, with his platinum blond hair looking windswept and his tie put together haphazardly.

She smiled to herself. It was on very rare occasions that Draco Malfoy would ever be caught looking as he did at that very moment.

"Harry James Potter will you have Hermione Jade Granger to be your wedded wife, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, so long as you both shall live?"

Hermione watched carefully as Draco took a seat near the back, and gave her a weak smile which she readily returned. It still amazed her to this very day that she would ever have been so lucky to have a friend such as Draco. No, Draco had not suddenly become a part of the Order and joined the light side, but he had never been a Deatheater either. He was simply neutral; wanting to take no part in the Great War between darkness and light. The Gryffindor had discovered this near the end of their sixth year when his parents had been killed upon an invasion of Hogwarts; Narcissa by a Deatheater because she had tried to protect a younger student from being murdered, and Lucius by McGonagall. She had come upon him that very night after the fight had dwindled down to a few fires and skirmishes. He was up in the astronomy tower, leaning across the balcony, expressionless, faithless, and dead. Her heart broke at the sight of him. Setting her wand back into her cloak, she walked up beside him and she stood there with him, until dawn broke through the midnight ocean. That one single night, words meant nothing, and her simple actions, had meant the world.

"Hermione Jade Granger, in the presence of this assembly, I take you to be my wife, to love and cherish, through joy and sorrow, through health and in sickness, in good times and bad, all the days of my life, until death do us part," said Harry firmly.

Then in year seven, when undoubtedly they had become head girl and boy, their bond only grew stronger, and soon, it was strong enough to face the public world. It was strange—and they were both scorned at first, but they didn't care, a friend was a friend, and Hermione wasn't fool enough to give up something as special as what she had with Draco just because others didn't like it. He was the best friend she had ever had—Harry and Ron—now, they had a different type of relationship with her, it was special still, but it was different. Never had she found anything as Draco before; never.

Draco was someone she could confide in, and banter playfully with. He always knew exactly how she felt and exactly how to fix her every ailment, no matter how big or small it was. He had always been there for her—and would always be forever more.

"Hermione Jade Granger, will you have Harry James Potter to be your wedded husband, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony?"

In all honestly, she would have just plain mad not to have noticed how beautiful his smile was, or how his eyes seemed to shimmer with joy when they were together. No, Hermione Jade Granger was not stupid—she most definitely wasn't. And that was exactly why she had hidden her 'more-than-friends' feeling from him for all these years. She didn't want to ruin what they had together. Hermione knew she could never bear losing Draco. He was her everything.

It was then she realized, she wished for more than anything else in the world that Draco was up here next to her, holding her hand and telling her everything would be all right.

"Will you love him, comfort him, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him, so long as you both shall live?"

She loved the way he made her laugh and feel like nothing in the world could ever go wrong. She loved the way she felt when she was with him—she loved absolutely everything there was to love about Draco Nathaniel Malfoy.

Her eyes flickered back to the priest, and then back to audience as she heard the sound of the church doors clicking shut. Her heart fell as she glanced back to Draco's vacant seat. How could he do this to her? When she needed him so badly. She looked back up at Harry who was grinning nervously, his emerald-green eyes alive with excitement.

"Dr—Harry James P-Potter, in the presence of this assembly, I take you to be my hus--band, to love and cherish, through joy and sorrow, through health and in sickness, in good times and bad, all ….all the days of my life, until….until…death do us part," she recited, her head spinning as she did so.

The minister motioned for the ring bearer, little Jayden Granger to step up and present the rings.

"I love you," Harry mouthed as he gently picked up her left hand. "With this ring, I thee wed. Let it be a symbol of our constant faith and never ending love."

Carefully, he held up her hand and picked up the silver wedding ring, embedded with exactly six stunning red rubies which signified the number of years they had loved one another.

Harry slowly slipped the ring onto her fourth finger, barely making it past the end of her nail when suddenly, Hermione gasped loudly and stepped backwards, letting the ring clatter soundly against the platform.

"Oh Merlin," she whispered, raising her hand to her face. "I—I—Harry—I—you…you're not…. him."

Harry stared back at her, his heart splitting into two, and his eyes filling with pain and sorrow. "I know," he replied, his voice toneless.

"I'm so sorry, Harry—you don't know how sorry I am" she said softly, as tears began to well up within her eyes. "I'm so sorry" she repeated, one last time before throwing off her veil and rushing down the aisle, leaving Harry standing dead and alone before thousands of spectators.

xx

She had wandered for hours afterwards, not knowing what to do or where to go. She just knew she had to get away from there. Far, far away. It seemed as if Mother Nature herself was angry at her for leaving Harry at the altar as the sky had begun to pour down with rain and crashes of thunder.

Somehow, her feet—or perhaps her heart had led her here.

Suddenly, a light flickered on from inside the house, illuminating the crack from which the curtains were not drawn fully. Her breath trembling, Hermione turned around and slowly walked down the slick, stone steps.

Reaching down, she slipped off her left heel and hurled it towards the window. She heard a loud thud as if he had dropped whatever he had been holding. The curtains were thrown open, and he stepped forwards.

The very moment their eyes met, her eyes began to fill with tears again. Draco stood against the window, his figure illuminated by the background light within the room. He still had on the clothing he had worn for the wedding save for the jacket.

She saw his lips move, forming the word, 'Hermione,' but heard no sound through the glass window. Just then, as if lightening had suddenly struck him, Draco whipped around, and disappeared from sight, reappearing at his front door mere seconds later.

His appearance was as unkempt if not more since the last time she had seen him. But in her eyes, with his pure-white oxford buttoned only three-quarters of the way up, his silver-blond hair tousled—free of any gel, and his familiar storm-cloud grey eyes, he looked nothing short of perfect.

Numbly, he stepped down the stairs, ignoring the way the rain was washing down, half drenching his body before he had even reached her.

They stared at one another in silence their hearts both beating erratically in sync and their eyes burning, filled with passion and….love.

"Hermione" he whispered hoarsely, stepping closer towards her.

Hermione threw her arms around him tightly, she needed to feel him close to her, and she needed him to reassure her that what she had done was right.

"I—I don't know why I came here" she said finally as she stepped back, her tears still streaming steadily down her reddened cheeks.

"I don't care why, Hermione" he said softly, taking her hands within his own, and resting his forehead against her own.

"I'm so sorry, Draco" she started, squeezing his hands gently. "It's you—it's always been you—I'm so sorry."

"Don't be—you're here now" he said soothingly, "That's all that matters."

"Promise me you'll never leave me, Draco." Hermione stepped back and gazed into his eyes.

"I promise I'll never leave you, Hermione" he whispered, "I love you." Leaning forwards, he tenderly placed his lips upon her own, kissing her softly, and sweetly, promising her the world with that one single kiss.

"I love you, Draco. I love you" she repeated, as they broke off. "I love you." And she leaned in for a second kiss from the one she had always loved.

xx

"Will you love him, comfort him, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him, so long as you both shall live?"

"I—I do" she said looking back into her fiancé's sparkling eyes.

The ring bearer stepped up, and presented the tiny cushion upon which the two wedding rings sat.

"I love you," he mouthed as he gently picked up her left hand. "With this ring, I thee wed. Let it be a symbol of our constant faith and never ending love."

Hermione watched as her fate was sealed right before her very eyes. This time, she did not glance back to the last row, where he should have been sitting, for she knew he would not be there. He had told her so.

They finished their exchanges and then turned back to the minister.

"Those that we have now joined together let no man put asunder." The minister paused, glancing around, but the room stayed silent in anticipation.

"For as much as Harry James Potter and Hermione Jade Granger have made their vows together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before these friends and family, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a ring, and by the power vested in me by the Ministry of Magic, I now pronounce you husband and wife."

She blinked as the daydream slowly faded.

Hermione Granger had taken the path that would hurt the least number of people. It was the path that was accepted—the path that would do everyone good.

She had always known that she would eventually have to do what was right—not just what she wanted. There were consequences to every action she took—only with this action, she knew would be less consequential.

Hermione never wanted to lose her best friend, not over love...and by taking this path shethought she had made the right decision...but in the end, she lost him anyway.

She would live the rest of her life, wondering what if she had told him. Wondering, what if she had never married Harry, wondering...

…what could have been.

"You may now kiss your bride."

xx

Well…? Hope this makes sense. Feedback SVP. Mistakes we Knew we were Making- Straylight Run.