11 Reasons General Theme: 11 Reasons why Draco and Hermione Belong Together
Pairing: Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger
Title: The One Who Knows
Disclaimer: Don't own Harry Potter
Word Count: 2230
Prompt: Table WC (Tarot – Major Arcana (Part One))— Wheel of Fortune: turning point
Notes: Many thanks to my wonderful beta, eilonwy! This table had almost nothing to do with Harry Potter, but I thought a turning point was appropriate. This is the last piece of this story! Many, many thanks to those of you who have kept with it from the beginning!
You'll fly away, but take my hand until that day
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job's done you'll be
The one who knows.
Draco smiled to himself as he caught a snatch of his wife's laughter from somewhere in the room. It was distinctive and beautiful, and he could pick it out in any crowd. He continued filling his punch cup and then filled another for her, knowing that at any moment she would seek him out.
He turned around to face the room. It was full of important Ministry people, publishing people, and Hermione's closest friends and family. Around the room small groups were talking and in the center, many were dancing. It still amazed him at the realization that she was his family and she had given him a daughter. Growing up, he had never pictured such a life and now he couldn't imagine life any other way.
Draco glanced around the room looking for Hermione. He saw her heading toward him and his breath caught in his throat. She was simply captivating in a shimmery, copper-coloured dress, dark brown, shiny heels and a wrap in shades of teal and copper.
"Evening, Beautiful," he said as she reached him, handing her the cup of punch he had poured.
"Thank you," she said with a strained smile, taking a small sip and looking around warily. After a moment, she looked at him and gave him a genuine smile. "Another excellent speech, Mr. Malfoy."
He grinned. "And you delivered it brilliantly, as you always do."
Hermione's smile faltered and she stared into her punch cup. "Another excellent speech," she repeated quietly. Then she shook her head and set her cup on the table. "Dance with me?" she asked, holding her hand out.
"As you wish," he said, entwining his fingers with hers. He led her onto the dance floor and they stayed near the edge. Though the song was a faster one, they danced slowly, Hermione resting her head on Draco's chest as he wrapped his arms securely around her waist. They swayed together as though they heard a different tune.
Draco would have been content to hold her all night if she wanted, but after a few songs, he saw her casually wipe her eye, trying not to let him see. He frowned and leaned his head down to whisper in her ear.
"What's wrong, love?"
She sniffed. "It's all the same," she said, indicating the room around her. "Five years now, and it's still just a party for Harry! Oh, and on your way out, donate a few hundred Galleons to Harry's latest charity."
Draco chuckled. "Tonight isn't about Harry, you know that. It's about you and the award you won for your book."
Hermione scoffed. "I sincerely hope you don't really believe that, Draco. My speech was a total of about five minutes. For nearly an hour before that, various speakers talked about Harry, then about the history of the award, then about Harry again and all the wonderful things his memorial fund has accomplished over the last five years." Hermione pulled out of his arms, too agitated to stay even that confined. "And you know, Draco, I've been thinking lately that I was only given the award so that today, five years to the day after Harry died, they would have an easy excuse to throw a party."
Draco sighed. "I think they gave you the award because you deserve it, Hermione. Because you told the world the truth about your friend and you were amazing in your story-telling."
She bit her lip and crossed her arms over her chest. "But did anyone in this room actually read the book? I know I said more than once that Harry never wanted to be immortalized, or his name used to further causes ... I used the example of the former Minister trying to get Harry to show support during the war."
Draco took hold of her shoulders and looked into her eyes. "I'm not sure things are ever going to change. The Ministry somehow managed to get the rights to Harry's name and nothing you or Ron have done to change it has been successful. I...I think it's time you accepted that and moved on."
Hermione's eyes filled with tears and she jerked out of Draco's hold. She turned, looking for some escape, but saw only people who wanted to congratulate her and then buy her a drink in Harry's memory.
She put a hand to her forehead and spun to face Draco once more. "Merlin, Draco—I can't," she said angrily. "I can't put my friend behind me. You read the reviews…they want to vilify me, make me out as unstable, that I just have a personal vendetta against the Ministry. Yet despite those reviews, the Ministry is giving me an award? It's only because of Harry! But he deserves more than endless accolades, even through this sham award, and I won't rest until I give it to him!"
A few people nearest them turned to look as Hermione's voice steadily climbed in volume.
Draco's voice was firm when he spoke. "You can't do it all, Hermione. There are some things you cannot control. This is one of those things. Let it go."
Her eyes blazed with passion and anger as she answered him. "How can you say that?" she said, trying to speak forcefully without yelling. Nonetheless, more people's attentions were drawn to them. "You're supposed to be on my side!"
He closed the small distance between them and said calmly, "Of course I'm on your side. There's no need to get upset."
"Oh, I'm not even close to upset and you know it," she hissed.
They looked at each other for a few moments, then Draco grabbed her hand. "Come with me. There's something I want to show you." The edge in his voice and the look in his eyes were so sharp that Hermione didn't protest, only followed as he led her out of the room.
He retrieved their cloaks from the attendant and slipped Hermione's around her shoulders. He sent her a determined glance and then Disapparated them both.
They arrived in a small graveyard. Hermione gasped and clung to Draco's arm. "Where are we? And why in Merlin's name did you bring me here?"
"This way," he said roughly, and pulled her after him until he found their destination. He stopped and pulled her in front of him and held her firmly in place. "Tell me what you see."
"Draco," she started, her voice trembling.
"Tell me," he repeated almost bitingly, his tone unyielding.
"Draco, why?" she pleaded. He could hear the tears threatening to fall from her eyes shut tight.
"Because it's time."
Hermione whimpered and then quietly read. "Harry James Potter. 1980 to 1999. The world owes you an incalculable debt."
Draco loosened his grip on her and she staggered into him, leaning heavily against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her. "What does that mean?" he asked, speaking gently into her ear.
"It—it means Harry killed Voldemort."
"Yes, but what else?"
"The dates. What do they mean? The last one, especially."
"Draco," Hermione said, tears now falling freely. "Please, stop—"
"No," he said. "Not until you see, Hermione. What do they mean?"
"He's dead!" she yelled, anger lacing her words. "Are you happy? I said it—Harry is dead!" She collapsed in his arms and then sank to her knees.
Draco got on his knees in front of her and turned her chin to look at him. "He's dead. And the thing about dead people is that they don't care what's going on here."
The tears ran in a constant stream down her face.
"Harry doesn't care how his name is being misused, or his memory trampled on. In life, he cared about you, and Ron and Ginny. It doesn't matter what everyone else thinks about him, so long as you three remember him, love him, and let him go."
"I—I just want people to know him," Hermione said. "Is that so wrong?"
Draco finally smiled. "No, of course not. And you've done that through the book you wrote. It…is amazing, every single word. Your friendship, your love for Harry was evident on every page. People…" He paused. "These people whom you so desperately want to 'know' Harry are as fickle as the wind. They will read your book and call it the best piece of non-fiction ever printed. Next day, they will see an article in the Prophet claiming Harry…I don't know…loved the Dark Arts, and they will believe that too."
Hermione smiled bitterly through her tears.
"You cannot tell people what they refuse to hear. The Ministry has presented an image of Harry that the masses want to cling to…benevolent, almost saint-like. Let them have that—you have Harry. Stop fighting this battle you cannot win, my love. It's killing me to see you so constantly torn."
Her eyes met his, full now of concern for him. "Oh, Draco," she said, flinging herself into his arms. He held her tightly, running his fingers through her hair and kissing the top of her head.
"I'm not sure I can let him go," she said finally, shakily.
"Hermione, you are the only person who hasn't!" Draco pulled her back to look at her. "Ginny is marrying Blaise in a few months, and Ron…well, Ron honors Harry in his own way, but he isn't clinging to him the way you are."
"I'm scared, Draco. Harry has been part of my life almost from the moment I stepped into the wizarding world. If I let him go…it's just me."
Draco raised an eyebrow and released her, sitting down on the ground. Unable to keep the bitterness out of his voice, he said, "Just you, huh? I'll let Gemma know when we pick her up from your mum's."
Hermione shook her head. "You know what I meant."
"No, honestly, I don't. It's never been 'just you.' You have always had Ron and Ginny, and more recently, me. You married me. It won't be 'just you' until I'm right here with Potter." He chuckled. "Even then, you will have Gemma and…whatever else life brings us." He reached over and squeezed her hand. "Maybe that Quidditch team."
She gave him a small smile. "I never meant I would be alone, just that if I let Harry go, I would have to let part of myself go too."
Draco reached his hand up and gently traced the line of her jaw. "I'm not letting a single piece of you go, Hermione. Harry will simply have to understand my selfishness. He will forgive you for letting me keep all of you."
Tears filled her eyes and she took his hands in hers.
"All of my past includes Harry."
"You will always have that. But your future is not Harry. It never has been." He smiled. "Not from the moment you kissed me in the drawing room of Headquarters."
Hermione rested her hand on his cheek and softly rubbed her thumb on his skin. He leaned into her touch.
"Of course you are my future." She sighed. "Even after all these years, I still haven't completely accepted that Harry is gone, really and truly." She looked at the headstone in front of her. "But he is. And…and you're right, it's time I let him go."
Draco smiled. "Our daughter is going to be hungry and we only left enough food to last through dinner."
Hermione nodded. "I want to say goodbye."
"Do you want me to leave?" he asked.
"No," she answered, standing and brushing the leaves and dirt from her dress. "I want you here, with me."
Draco stood and took her small hand in his. Hermione faced the mound of earth covered with a lush carpet of green grass. A few colorful wildflowers dotted the otherwise monochromatic landscape before them.
She squeezed his hand. "Hi, Harry," she started. Draco wasn't sure she would be able to continue, but after a moment, she did. "Hermione here. I've come to say goodbye. I will always remember you and the really good times we had between all the hard, terrifying times. I could never, ever forget you, and I miss you, I do…" She squeezed Draco's hand again, this time holding it clenched longer.
"I want you to know that I'm doing well. Draco is taking very good care of me—you don't have to worry about me. Can you believe it?" she said with a chuckle. "Malfoy! Of all people…that's my name now, too. We have a little girl, Gemma…she's nearly one. And…"
She looked up at Draco and he was taken aback at her sudden radiance. "I cannot imagine ever being happier."
He smiled at her. "Nor I. Harry," he added quickly, glancing at the headstone.
"So it's you and me," she said, looking at him.
Draco looked at her. "Indeed it is."
"Good. I like us."
He wrapped his arm around Hermione and kissed the top of her head. She inched closer to him and leaned further into the shelter of his arms. They stood there, looking at the Potter's plot. A soft wind blew the scent of fallen leaves and the late afternoon sun cast a golden glow over the scene. High overhead a flock of birds flew on their way to warmer climes.
The world was just as it should be; they were together. All would be well.
A/N: Thanks again for reading! For those of you who are curious, the chronological order for the chapters of this story are: 8, 3, 5, 2, 6, 1, 7, 4, 11, 9, 10. I think. LOL! I hope you've enjoyed these little scenes from the lives of Draco and Hermione. I know I had a lot of fun writing them! Until next time!