Chapter 19: Tis the day
When it rains it pours and opens doors
And floods the floors we thought would always keep us safe and dry
And in the midst of sailing ships we sink our lips into the ones we love
That have to say goodbye
When I Look To The Sky, Train
For a while, she felt nothing, but it didn't last. She opened her eyes slightly and saw images of twos and threes. When it finally came into focus, she made out red hair and hands. Thinking that this was part of her imagination, she pinched the hands. There was a resounding shriek followed by laughter and she knew she was lying in the lap of a man.
"Great that you've decided to join us," a voice said warmly. "Glad to be back, what happened?" she groaned and sat up, almost hitting the man's face whose towered over hers. "You fell," he replied simply and helped her to her feet. "Did you see or hear the door open?" she asked as she rubbed her back. There was silence for a little while followed by a loud reply. "No, the heat and the stress must have been getting to you," the bride said. "No," she said again, as if trying to convince herself. "Definitely not. Now if you would please get up and stand at a ready with the rings, I would love to carry on with my wedding," she carried on briskly, pulling her up on her feet.
She shrugged her shoulders, ran a hand through her hair, at the same time feeling for any bumps that might cause brain damage or memory loss and walked up to her position. "All ready," she smiled cheerily and the bride smiled back at her. As the priest spoke she looked around. First it was the man with the blond hair, then the little boy sitting next to him who caught her eye and sniggered. She scanned for any orange haired people besides those sitting at the front row and found none. It must be her imagination, she thought. The heat and the shot of vodka she had taken to calm her jittery nerves must have done her in. Boy, was it just her or was the temperature rising?
She turned her attention back to the glowing bride and groom, handed over the rings gracefully. And just before the couple kissed and the crowd cheered with a hearty applause, she saw the large doors of the church close behind a pair of brown trousers and its owner.
"Are you alright Hermione?" he peered at her from underneath his fringe twenty minutes later. Seriously, he needed to get his hair cut. The fringe was irritating him as he looked from behind blond locks. "Yeah, I'm fine," Hermione assured him and patted his shoulders. "Don't look so concerned. It was the heat. You know how hot it gets in stuffy places," she said. He mumbled something she couldn't hear and took her hands in his. "If you're feeling uncomfortable we could always leave," he replied. "Draco, don't worry. Go watch over Ben or something. I'm fine, really," Hermione smiled and rubbed her thumb over his hands.
Harry Potter and Ginny Potter. Mr and Mrs Potter, it had a nice ring to it. And just then, the couple were being kissed and hugged by a large mob of relatives and close friends. Jazz music played over invisible speakers (they couldn't get the Weird Sisters), food smelt great from where she was standing and the queue was growing longer by the second. She took a seat at an empty table and rubbed her temples with her hand.
Hermione groaned. "Not now, Harry. I still don't understand why you love to eat those wailing creatures. You and Ron are pure evil! Don't even put them in misery by not buying them. It's almost carnivorous!"
"Right then. Dance? I won't take no for an answer."
"Oh Harry, it's nice that you care but just go to Ginny—" and something caught her eye. Harry was standing next to Ginny, ten feet away from where she was sitting.
A hand grabbed hers and pulled her up until she was looking into friendly eyes that arched into crescents and twinkled. "I won't take no for an answer," he said again and led her to the middle of the dance floor.
Too shocked to speak, she mutely followed, her hands refusing to pull out from his grasp. As the band struck up the first few notes of a slow rendition of Desafinado, he placed his hands around her waist and pulled her into a tight hug.
"Missed me?" He whispered into her ear, his breath warm against her cheek. Still stunned, she accepted the hug rigidly, unable to believe her eyes. "You were in the church weren't you," she eventually managed to croak. "Yeah, wanted to go over and help but Gin shot me one of those come-over-I'll-kill-you looks, so I stayed where I was."
"It's been a long time."
"Sorry to keep you waiting. Believe me, if I could have come back earlier, I would. But hey, I picked up Japanese and Mandarin along the way! And you're looking great. What have you been doing nowadays? Still with the Prophet?"
"Yeah. And playing nanny for a child."
"Let me guess, rich dad, has no time to spend time with kid so gets you to come along." There was a hint of scorn in his voice and Hermione knew why. Growing up with four other siblings in a crowded house was altogether very different from the environment Ben was in now.
"Yeah, something like that. The dad actually came today."
"Ooh. What's he like?"
"Actually, you might know him. Tall, lean, blond hair."
"Mm. Aside from that matter, do you still remember what I told you the last time I saw you?"
"Mm." She was breathing in the slightly foreign scent that she had forgotten all those years.
"Ooh, tall lean blond heading our way. I'll leave daddy to give you more instructions about the kid. I have to go anyways, the hospital's been on my tail since I came back: something about interns and certificates. If you still remember, meet at the same place tomorrow at 5, and pray it doesn't rain."
"Tomorrow? I'm not sure. I have to take Ben somewhere at three…" She faltered. "The Hermione I know, would know what to do." He gave her a fleeting smile that tingled her bones and disappeared off into the crowd just as Draco tapped her shoulder.
"Is that who I think it is?" he said stiffly. He was gripping the champagne flutes so hard it was a wonder the stems hadn't snapped. "Ron's back," Hermione said dazedly, grabbing Draco's shoulder to balance herself. "Ron's back," she repeated to herself.
Draco knew the day had come. He was hoping that it would never come. Just looking at her flushed cheeks and he knew. The day had come.
You're probably going to try to reach through the screen and slap my face because I left you waiting for close to two months. SORRY. I bow and bow and bow. But really! I've been trying to get the brain juices flowing but it's been pretty stagnant. However! I did write an opening chapter for a new story, definitely Hermione and Draco. CHEERS PLEASE! That story has been popping so frequently in my head that I had to type it down. The style is slightly different, and it's much more adult than this one, but I do hope you guys go and check it out because I think it's quite good. And it's long! So I'm hoping it'll keep you guys happy waiting for another update in time.
I AM REALLY REALLY REALLY TERRIBLY SORRY. I got a wake up call about a week ago when somebody wrote in and literally (almost) said: OI. UPDATE NOW YOU PRICK. In nicer words though. So, from an hour of brewing and re-written openings to this chapter, I hope you all like it for what it's worth. Sorry once again! ): don't pelt me with stones! 3 Ming
And to all the darlings out there who wanted Ron to die/fall off the face of earth/come back as evil Voldemort 2/whatever, not happening because that would just be waaaaay off.