Epilogue to 'Paris Days'

Hermione was blindfolded.

Despite the blindfold however, Hermione could feel a cool breeze sweeping over her face, sending shivers racing up and down her limbs. She felt as if she were floating, heading upwards, and panic coursed through her body until someone's arm wrapped around her waist. Exhaling slowly, Hermione smiled. She felt safe—as if nothing could harm her while she was wrapped in Draco's arm.

"It's okay Hermione, follow me," he whispered huskily into her ear.

Pushing her slightly, he guided Hermione down a path that only he could see. She was scared, knowing that she was at some high elevation and possibly in some sort of peril. It was eerily quiet and the only sound Hermione could make out was their footsteps walking over the ground.

"Put your hands forward," the voice commanded and then, in a gentler tone, "I won't let you fall."

Hermione reached out, blindly feeling for the railing.

"I'm going to take off the blindfold now," he breathed and Hermione sucked in a breath.

"Don't let go of me," she whispered unnecessarily as Draco undid the knot of the blindfold, gently pulling it away.

"Open your eyes!"

Hermione gasped, staring at the scene spread out before her. They were standing overlooking the city, illuminated by the snow and the full moon. Immediately, Hermione realized she was on the highest floor of the Eiffel Tower and that she was all alone save for her and Draco. Turning around, Hermione smiled at him, her face alight with adoration.

"Oh Draco, this is perfect," she whispered, leaning in for a kiss.

"Hermione—I want you to have this."

Draco felt in his pocket, looking for the small box which he had bought earlier that morning.

He got down on one knee, and he looked at the twenty-two year old, ministry-working, Hermione Granger. So much had happened since their kiss in the common room.

They had kept their relationship low-key, as per Hermione's request. Hermione detested the idea that she and Draco would be labeled "high-school sweethearts" for the rest of their lives and so fought to maintain control over the relationship. She always vaguely knew that she and Draco would get together properly when they were older—but she didn't want everyone to think that the only man in her life would be the one she married.

Draco had not protested, and in return he was granted evenings alone in the common room, which were filled with lust and passion toward each other—after a day full of small winks, and brushing past each other in the corridors, behind their secret facade of hatred. This suited the both of them well, for they both knew that eventually the time would come where their friends would put aside their differences, and not complain of their liaisons. But for now, their 'secret' would have to stay just that.

After Hogwarts, Draco had returned home to his father. Hermione was desperate for him not to go, but he had had no choice in the matter. Hermione had feared she would never see him again and her fears appeared justified for she rarely saw or heard from Draco in the summer of the war. In the summer, the war reached treacherous highs and blissful lows until it finally came to its grand crescendo—the battle in which Harry was to be christened as "The-Boy-Who-Lived-Twice".

But while everyone else was celebrating their final victory, and the dead and lost were forgotten, Hermione found she could not dispel the image of Draco from her mind. She hadn't seen him since the end of Hogwarts but something in her conscious told her that he was out there, waiting. So she continued to search, and after a while, when she had still found no sign of him, he had suddenly arrived at her house out of the blue, disheveled, hurt, and broken.

He never spoke of his troubles or his experiences during the war and it killed him that Hermione had to see him so weak and vulnerable. He didn't want her to think he was weak and feeble. But she didn't mind. She looked after him, and Hermione knew then, that she would never let him go.

And she hadn't.

Several weeks after the reunion, the two moved into Draco's manor. His father had died serving Voldemort, and his mother had long since fled and was presumed dead as well. However, as soon as Hermione had finally received her promotion at the Ministry, the two decided it would be easier for the both of them (seeing as Draco was working there too, though he was always startlingly vague as to what he actually did) to move into the city. They bought a large, but seemingly modest, penthouse on the bank of the Thames and kept the Draco's manor for when they were older, which they both presumed meant, for the kids.

The two were happy together and at some point they had moved on from the petty trivialities of their earlier courtship and had reached a whole new level together.

And now, several months after having moved into the new house, they were on holiday together in Paris, as Hermione had only just discovered.

"Hermione Granger," Draco carried on, "will you marry me?"

Her eyes filled with tears, and she spluttered a happy, "Yes—yes of course!"

And as it began, years ago, so it would evolve—in Paris.

A/N: I have so much to say, but really I want to just draw everything to a close and make this short. I have worked on this fic for about a year now - and it's been a great experiance. All of you (well, mostly!) have been so supportive of my work and it makes me happy to see that my hard work has all payed off. Thank you again, and I hope you won't forget 'Paris Days'. A quick thank you to my wonderful beta: pinklevicorpus. I should pay her! She's amazing...

Lots and lots of love,
xx mina