DISCLAIMER: No, I do not own any of these characters. If I did, I wouldn't have had to wait so long to find out what happens in HP and the DH!

Chapter 10

The sight that greeted them was quite unexpected. The music had fallen silent and a huge crowd of party goers was surrounding something… or someone. Draco pushed through his classmates; Hermione trailed behind. He stopped abruptly and Hermione collided with him.

Draco pulled himself to his full height, crossed his arms over his chest, and sneered down at the scene in front of him. Lucius Malfoy lay spread-eagle on his back, and chains latched his wrists and ankles to the floor. His hair tumbled across his face, and he spat some of the long strands out of his mouth as he glared at the young adults surrounding him. Harry, Ginny, and Neville had their wands drawn and pointed at Lucius's throat. He knew they would not hesitate to curse or stun him.

"I tried to tell him that he couldn't come in, but he just wouldn't listen to me!" cried Patrick O'Leary from his perch by the door. "He just barged right in! I couldn't stop him."

"That's okay, Patrick," said Draco smoothly. He turned his focus onto his newest guest and drawled, "Well, well, well. I suspected you would make an appearance tonight, Father. And I was right."

Lucius struggled a bit with the chains which bound him and spat at the students closest to him. They backed away, clearly disturbed by Lucius's behavior. Harry moved in closer, his wand digging into the man's throat.

Draco stepped nearer and knelt down. "Did you really think that I would remove the wards from my flat tonight? Knowing how many people would be here? You forget, Lucius, you taught me everything that you know. I know how you think and what you are sure to do next."

"You shouldn't boast, Draco." Lucius's voice slithered out from between his lips, barely audible to the crowd. "You will regret that you did this to me, Draco Malfoy. You will suffer for your disloyalty."

Draco's lips curved upward in a sardonic grin. "No, I don't think I will. See, Father, in your narrow-minded attempt to get past the wards, you forgot one thing." Draco gestured towards two tiny lights which hovered in the corners of the room. "I, myself, am still on probation. I, too, am being watched at all times. Therefore, all of your threats and actions are currently being reported to the Ministry." Heads whipped around to stare at the miniscule informants.

"Oh, shit," said a male voice quietly. "I hope my mother doesn't see this. She'll know that I hooked up with…"

A few giggles interrupted the voice. Draco turned back to his captive. "I wouldn't be surprised if two Aurors arrived within a few minutes."

"You… you are not my son," whispered Lucius, vindictively.

Draco reeled away from the malice in his father's voice. Hermione squeezed his shoulder gently, letting him know that she was behind him, supporting his every thought and action.

"That's okay," said Draco quietly. "I don't wish to follow in such a foolish man's footsteps."

"Socializing in such an uninhibited way, consorting with mudbloods…" Lucius's voice trailed off as Draco stood, drew his own wand and pointed it at his father's chest.

"Don't you dare," whispered Draco, his eyes narrowed. "You better get used to calling her Hermione. She'll probably be family one day."

Hermione gasped; Ginny squealed; Harry dropped his wand and cried, "What!?" He scrambled to pick it up, taking a moment to compose himself.

Draco ignored them all, and continued to keep a watchful eye on his father.

"Meow!" A small, gray cat leapt into view, onto Lucius's chest.

Lucius jerked, as if to get away from the animal, but the chains held him firmly in place.

"Meow!" Smachimo cried again. The cat sniffed at the older man's face and, to Lucius's humiliation, licked his cheek once, twice, three times.

"Draco Malfoy! Get this animal off of me!" demanded Lucius. The crowd started to laugh.

The cat began to knead Lucius's chest. Smachimo walked in a circle, pressed his paws into the soft material of Lucius's cloak, and settled down for a nap. The cat gazed up at the hundred faces staring at him, yawned widely, and lowered his chin on his paws.

"I don't know. He seems to have taken a liking to you," mused Draco.

Lucius growled. There was no other word for it.

Draco sighed. "I guess it may be time for everyone to clear out." He turned to his guests, who sensed that the mood of the party had changed. Raising his voice, he announced, "Due to some unforeseen circumstances, folks, we are going to have to cut this party short."

Groans issued from over half the people in attendance.

"Come on, Draco!" Jack cried. He was standing on top of the dining room table, looking over the crowd at Draco and his father. "We still have a whole 'nother keg to kick! Just leave the old geezer on the floor. The ministry should be here shortly, to take care of him."

"Yeah!" The rest of the guests cried in agreement. They began to chatter amongst themselves. Someone flicked the music back on and turned up the volume, drowning out Lucius Malfoy's new tirade of insults issuing from his mouth.

Draco glanced at Hermione for the first time since he had greeted his father. "What do you think?"

She stared at him, still stunned by his earlier comment. "Did you really mean that?"

Draco reddened slightly. He avoided her gaze, an embarrassed smile erupting on his features. He nodded. He couldn't trust himself to speak.

Hermione let out a whoop and flew into his arms. He caught her and hugged her fiercely.

"I love you," she whispered in his ear. "I could get used to saying that."

"I could get used to hearing it," he replied, his voice low.

Draco dragged Hermione onto the dance floor and swung her around to the amusement of his guests and himself. Everyone took his lead and ignored his father's moans of protests. Except the cat. Smachimo hissed at Lucius, complaining because he was shifting his bed around.

The ministry officials arrived shortly. Lucius protested as they dragged him away. In the end, they had to perform a full body-binding curse on him just to keep him quiet. He would be sent to Azkaban for a good long time for violating his parole. Though sad to see what his father had become, Draco knew what had to be done for Hermione to be safe.

As the house emptied out, Hermione curled up with Draco in his bed and fell asleep, happier than she had been in a long time.


A/N: Here's the last bit. Sorry it's a little shorter than the rest, but I never intended for this fic to be as long as it ended up being. I also felt that a much lighter ending was needed. (Especially since Deathly Hallows was such a heavy book). You can imagine Hermione and Draco's wedding to your heart's content!

Thank you so much to all of my reviewers who stuck with me through this whole fic! You are a huge source of encouragement, and it really did make me want to update faster.