A/N: Yes, I know it's been a really long time, but before you kill me, I need to honestly admit what had happened. After I had written the last chapter, I was absolutely lost with what to do next. What I had planned and already had didn't seem up to par with what was there and lead to a dead plot. THEN my inspiration for Dramione stories had been distracted and what came out was lacklustre, so I dwindled in whatever attempts I made at writing.
But I'm back, and I've renewed my commitment to this story, because I've got fantastic readers and I've fallen in love with this piece of work.
Thank you for sticking along with me on this journey.
November 9, 1997
Thank you for your recommendation of potion as to what may help quicken the growth of eyebrows. Seamus had been of no help, and the other ones I had found grew them much too thick.
I ended up with Marcus Flint's eyebrows for all of 2 days before I decided even no eyebrows were better than B's teasing. I rubbed the potion into my bangs and grew them out instead. I look much like R did in fifth year. It's positively dreadful, but I think I'm still much more pretty.
Glad to hear D's up. Even R sends his well wishes, and I think it may not even have anything to do with the kick I gave his knee under the table. And don't for one minute think I believe any of your huffing about him complaining of your hovering. You wouldn't trade it for anything.
PS. Have you messaged RK?
November 9, 1997
I'm glad to hear DM is well. No more pity parties in the library!
November 9, 1997
It literally feels like my legs have been jelly legs jinxed. I am currently walking no faster than Astoria Greengrass's ability to pass a coherent thought to her hair. At this point in time, I'd rather reach the speed of Goyle's reading capabilities.
If I were you, mate, I'd never repeat the words, 'Even though she kind of looks like her brother, I still think she's beautiful.' Firstly, you sound like a slimy little creep, secondly that may be some form of incest, and thirdly, in what planet does bearing the resemblance of RW look remotely close to attractive?
You may be hoping for my speedy recovery, but I'm hoping for your speedy return of common sense and unimpaired vision.
November 9, 1997
I'd much appreciate if you stopped staring at your letters and come sit with me.
Hermione rolled her eyes at the last missive that arrived for her, and glanced up towards Draco who was at the other end of the table, biting a sandwich, an eyebrow raised in question.
"You know, you could have just asked me to sit there if you missed me," she chided, biting back a smile, pushing the incessant flutters away.
The other pale blond eyebrow rose as he responded, "Nowhere in that letter did I mention I missed your company, Granger. Don't get too full of yourself."
"Well, I suppose if you don't want me here I'll just –"
"Your rear, in that chair, Hermione," he nodded towards the seat beside him.
She plopped herself on the seat, "I still say you missed having my sole attention on you."
"I am a greedy bugger, now aren't I?" He batted his lashes. "But a right handsome one, you have to admit."
All she did was stare at him a moment, unwilling to give in and admit what would likely feed his already massive ego, though there was a knowing glint in his eyes as she asked, "Would you like to try a short stroll again?"
Hermione had known that it wouldn't be the physical recovery that was difficult, but the control issues Draco had, and his own expectations of his body's limitations. From what she'd learned about Draco through their numerous discussions together during his recovery, Lucius's shadow had quite literally covered and stifled him. He never blatantly said it, but did he even need to?
Draco may have been a whiney child, depending only on his father, but it was Lucius who had moulded Draco into craving his father's approval. Whatever failings Draco had, Lucius, she imagined, would have been quick to use and manipulate into a sick sort of punishment.
The first time Draco had fallen, his expression had been thunderous, and while he had accepted her offer for support, she couldn't help but notice the steely glaze that hardened his eyes.
It didn't come as a surprise to her when he cringed at the thought of another walk.
"Your hand," he told her resolutely.
"I beg your pardon?"
Brown eyes locked onto eyes like storm clouds, as his voice carried through the spacious room, "If we're going to walk, I want to hold your hand."
She took his hand in hers and nodded. "If you want my hand, it's yours."
November 14, 1997
I'm so sorry to hear about what happened, but I'm sure B knew you hadn't meant to set his owl's tail feathers on fire. The candles would have certainly added a romantic feel, however I believe next time you should send your reply before lighting a candle, especially so close to any living creature. You tend to enter your own fantasy bubble, and forget about everything else going on around you.
D's definitely walking much better. His progress is beyond exceptional, considering most people would still be wobbling about. I'm not sure whether I should credit it to his blood, or his sheer determination to get better.
Tell B to stop messaging me for more cheesecake. I send him one slice and suddenly I've become his personal catering service.
Hope to hear from you soon,
November 14, 1997
G's just relayed the news. While I don't think of you as a catering service per se, H, now that you mention it…
10 galleons per cheesecake?
November 14, 1997
I'd much appreciate you not pestering me with your latest cheesecake craving. Once was rather adorable. Twice was cute. This is the 10th owl of the day.
November 14, 1997
What are you going to do? Send D after me?
Blaise was still smirking the very next day after having sent off his missive.
"You're in a bit of a cheerful mood, now aren't you?" Ginny asked.
He nodded and lifted her bangs off her face to peer at her eyebrows while she huffed. He gave her an encouraging, if not slightly amused smile. "How much longer until they're normal?"
"They're almost there. Hermione told me not to take too much each day because my eyebrows may return back to normal but too much of one of the main ingredients in the system all at once will turn my skin a delightful shade of orange."
The Slytherin was about to reply when an owl swooped in from nowhere, forcing him to untie a missive with a family seal of silver wax. He petted the owl once, smirking as it flew off, leaving the letter in his hands. Blaise had been looking forward to this since he'd sent his last letter off.
Ginny stared at him curiously, "Who's it from?"
He nodded to the crescent that sealed the envelope shut. "Malfoy family stationary."
Opening the letter, a loud banging sound could be heard, a cloud of silver and green smoke swirling in the air, forcing Ginny to take a step backwards from Blaise. Coughing, Blaise fanned the smoke away into the vacant hallway.
Now you match.
He lifted his head, a wrinkle on his forehead as he did so. He peered at Ginny who took one look at him before she threw her head back in peals of laughter.
Another tiny note fell from the envelope.
Partner in crime, at your service.
PS. She's delightfully more Slytherin than she would like to admit.
Dreading the answer, he looked curiously at the redheaded witch in front of him.
"I don't know if you'd look good in bangs, but I have more than enough potion to share," Ginny told him seriously before bursting into laughter once again.
She didn't know what was more amusing: watching him trying to lift his eyebrows in alarm, or the dawning look of horror as he felt the smooth skin instead.
Malfoy Manor was quieting after a particularly trying day of working with Draco to help him and his movement. The burst of speed right before he collapsed meant there was still much to do in the morning, but Narcissa and Hermione were pleased at his progress, despite Draco's complaints it was going much too slow.
Healer Grey would be checking on his progress in a few days to decide whether more could be done for Draco's recovery.
Nightfall had quickly descended as it was want to do as the weather grew cooler.
The breeze outside Hermione's window was soothing, and the sounds of the house settling, which had at first made her uncomfortable due to very large nature of the estate, now seemed to relax her.
Try as she might however, the young woman just couldn't sleep.
There was an ache within her stomach that twisted agonizingly slow. Forcing her eyes shut, a flash of something hit her somewhere in the middle of her forehead.
Gasping for air, Hermione bolted upwards.
The house was much too quiet, much too calm. The breeze that floated by made no sound and left her cold.
Shoving off the covers of her bed, she flung her door open and ran into Draco's room.
Her eyes frantically adjusting to the lack of light, Hermione turned her face towards where she knew he should be laying. Heart thudding in her chest, pounding against her ribcage, she nearly collapsed in relief at the sight of him sitting upright with his arms crossed, back against his pillows.
"Close the door," he murmured softly.
When the door was shut, she turned to see him with his hand outstretched towards her.
Walking forward, she grasped it within both hands as an irrational need to lay her cheek upon his palm overtook her.
A thumb swept over her veins, as she sat at the edge of his overly large bed.
"Your heart is thundering, love." Again, the soft whispers of his voice melted like smooth honey into the night. "I felt you coming."
"I saw…" She bit her lip to keep the words from spilling out, as if holding them back would prevent it from ever happening again.
"You saw my dream, then," he told her. "My nightmare. I should have known."
The grimace on his face was telling.
"I don't know why it happened. But it was like I was there again… in somewhere and nowhere all at once." He muttered darkly. "And it didn't kill me so much the first time… because I didn't know if you would ever come. But you did, and you're here… and then I was back in that hole of space where nothing exists."
She crawled towards him, the need inside her to comfort him taking hold. Laying her head against his chest, the beat within calming her heart. The warmth of him washed over her in waves.
"Nothing exists there Hermione. Everything and nothing all at once, like a void." He looked down at her. "I can't live in a place where you don't exist, Hermione."
In her heart she knew that his sentiments had nothing to do with their being mates and all to do with the boy who had become a man in his own right.
Tipping her chin up to meet his gaze, shining like moonlight. "Not when I've tasted an existence where we can both be happy together."
"I came here for you, Draco."
That very night, Hermione Granger knew she couldn't be in a place where Draco Malfoy didn't exist either.
The morning sunlight seeped through the cracks of the heavy drapery, and pulled Hermione from her slumber. Heat radiated from her side as she turned to face the body next to her.
Pale blonde hair fanned across ivory skin, the haughty cheekbones, and aristocratic nose all screamed Malfoy.
In the night, as they lay in his bed, they talked for hours and when silence over took, they were happy to just sit with each other's presence.
She had thought about allowing him to re-mark her, as a confirmation of what she felt for him, and as renewal of her faith with them. Complete faith now, unguarded in her belief that this was real. They weren't two separate things – his feelings for her as a Veela, and his feelings for her as a man, but neither were her feelings for both man, and Veela separate. They were one in the same.
The tentative unfurling of it blooming within her, rampantly taking control of her heart.
She wanted to show him all of that… a re-marking to replace the first one. A mark full of certainty.
The night had been about expelling shadows, this morning it would be about love. She didn't want him thinking it was her comforting him, or misunderstanding her meaning.
Clear as the day, it would be about them. Together.
Suddenly she was staring into ice.
"You're awake," he murmured, his voice laced with sleep.
Running her hand over his cheek into hair of starlight, she nodded.
"I need to wake up like this more often," he told her, the smile on his face illuminating him.
"Draco…" she murmured, kissing him softly, before tilting her head to expose her neck and the mark on her pale skin.
He looked at her in question, hesitating to bring it from his lips.
"The first time… I never really understood what I felt, and I let doubt get in the way of that. I was a coward, and I ran because of my fear." She told him. "You still overwhelm me, but you're my equal. You can be possessive, yet you're vulnerable, and you can be arrogant, but you're honest, caring. There's so much more about you then I wanted to let myself see. You're Draco Malfoy. Being a Veela doesn't define you, it's only an aspect of what makes you Draco. I'm sure of how I feel now, I wanted you to know."
"I want you, Draco." The look in her eyes, and the conviction in her voice stole his breath. "I want us."
"I love you," Draco told her, watching her eyes widen with pleasure right before his lips descended to her exposed neck.
A/N: We're almost at the end but not quite. Are you all as happy as I am that Hermione finally woman'ed up and allowed herself to really fall? And yay, the three words I've been wanting to be said in a while. I hope you all enjoyed. Until next time.