I wake up in hospital. I can tell just by the length of Draco's hair that it hasn't been long. His eyes aren't as tired as they would be if it had been too long. And I know what this all means. And I grab his hand with the little strength I have left, startling him.
"The doctor needs to see you," he says immediately, kissing me as he stands. "And I'll get Tony."
"Don't leave," I breathe.
"I'll be back," he whispers, gripping my hand. "I promise."
I nod, and as soon as he opens the door a doctor walks up to him. The doctor enters and the look on his face is enough to tell me these are my last moments.
After checking my vitals, the doctor finally leaves with a brave sort of smile at me. Almost immediately, Draco and Tony rush in, and I know Harry and Ron are just in the waiting room with Remus. We all try to smile at one another, but it doesn't matter. We know what's coming.
I look at Draco. Oh, I wish he won't cry, but he is, and he makes no effort to catch the tears. He grasps my left hand, running his thumb along the golden band. Visions of our wedding fill my mind as my eyes close. It's as though I am reliving it as I lie there in the hospital bed.
My eyes flicker open, and Tony has his hand on top of Draco's. We probably look like the happiest family, if only there were no tears. Tony's face swims before me, and I remember when we first saw him, met him – got him.
"Herm?" Draco whispers, and my gaze shifts to him. His face doesn't swim, but I hear every word he's ever said to me. And I want more.
"Say more," I plead in a hoarse whisper. Draco runs his other hand across my cheek.
"Oh, Hermione," he says, love and sadness in each syllable.
"Hermy, Granger, 'Moine, my love, Mrs Malfoy, my angel, honey, darling."
I can feel his hand shaking as he holds my face.
"I can't say it," he whispers. "I won't."
"Please," I whisper, and the scene from our second year replays itself in my head.
"All of it?"
I try to nod, but can't.
"You filthy little mudblood."
And finally, the tears break from my eyes. "I love you," I whisper, hoping it isn't the last thing I say. And then I see Viktor just as he was at the end of fourth year. "Tell Viktor I love him," I implore.
"I will," he whispers, squeezing my hand.
"Harry, Ron, Ginny, Remus –" Draco says quickly and I nod. "I will, all of them."
I can feel my breath slowing down, and someone familiar slips into the room.
"And Draco," I murmur, "and Tony –"
"Promise me…after I'm gone…"
Tony lets out a sob, and Draco is squeezing my hand even harder.
"You'll remember me?"
"I promise," Tony blubbers, hugging me tightly.
As he lets go and wipes his eyes, I turn my gaze to Draco.
"Cross me heart," he whispers, and kisses me. As he does, I close my eyes, scenes and sounds of our love making filling my head.
I try to whisper, "I love you," but it won't come out. I'm not sure if my lips even move.
"I love you, too," I hear Draco whisper.
"I love you, mum," Anthony whispers, and my heart fills with joy.
Oh, God, I pray, thank you for letting me live in him.
I can feel the air leaving my lungs, and I know Draco will be positively howling. But he'll be okay.
And then a voice somewhere says, "Say hi to my best friends."
I will, Remus, I will.
I'm surprised there is no light like they all said there is. But there are people waiting for me. And I'm home.
That's he end! Thank you for all the support and sticking around and all that jazz. I really hope you enjoyed it, as it was my first attempt at a first person, present tense story, and I hope it worked. Tell me if the end made you cry, because I know I did!