'Harry! There you are!' Hermione exclaimed as she ran forward to hug Harry, who still looked like he had just gotten out of bed. His eyes were still slightly unfocused and his hair was even messier than usual. He straightened his spectacles before returning the hug.
'Hi 'Mione,' Harry murmured. He rubbed his eyes.
'Did you just get out of bed?' Hermione inquired, looking at Harry from top to toe.
'Sumthin' like tha'.' Harry yawned. 'Didn't get much sleep last night.'
'Oh, right, about that Harry, I'm sorry. For all the trouble and grief I've caused. This was one of my worse ideas ever.' Hermione said. Harry waved her off with a smile.
'Nah, I didn't lose sleep over that. No worries. And you can never cause me enough grief, 'Mione. I'm always here, if you need me.' Harry assured her with a sleepy smile. 'Hey mate.' He said to Ron, who gave him a sheepish smile.
'Speaking of which, where did you go last night? Ron said he didn't see you at all. I thought you said you were going to look in on him.'
Harry suddenly flushed. 'I er... Well, see... Er—'
'There you are, I was wondering what was taking you so long,' Blaise appeared at his side, planting a kiss on Harry's cheek. Hermione felt her jaw practically dislocate itself and fall to the floor. Harry and Blaise?! She didn't even know if she should cry or laugh.
'Er, Harry?' Hermione asked tentatively. Blaise looked up from nuzzling Harry's neck, while Harry flushed even harder.
'Oh, hello Hermione. Of course you know about this, didn't Draco tell you last night?' Blaise asked.
'Tell me... what?' Hermione asked, fearing what she might hear next.
'Draco walked in on us to get his cuffs, he practically fell over himself laughing when he saw who we were.' Blaise explained. 'Didn't he tell you?'
Realization suddenly dawned on Hermione. 'Oh! So that's what Draco meant when he said that thing about 'never seeing' some sight again.'
'Ha, that's what he said?' Blaise laughed. He wrapped an arm around Harry's shoulder, causing Harry to flush even more.
'Mate, I didn't know you were... gay.' Ron said the word as if it were Voldemort's name.
'Neither did I!' Harry agreed. 'At least not until a few days ago when Blaise kissed—'
'All right! Too much information, mate! None needed!' Ron immediately said, covering his ears. 'Great, now everyone's with a Slytherin. Gee, maybe I should try getting with Parkinson or something now,' he added dryly.
'Nah, Slytherins don't associate with blood traitors.' Blaise said.
'Malfoys don't associate with Grangers, either, but look at Hermione and Malfoy now.' Ron reminded him.
'Yeah, but really, Parkinson? Not a good choice. She never shuts up, for one, and Draco says she's a horrible kisser.' Blaise tugged Harry towards the opposite direction. 'Now we have to... get back to whatever that you don't need to know about. Bye for now.' He semi-bowed.
'I think the entire world's just gone crazy.' Hermione breathed.
'Hermione, I realized that yesterday.' Ron pointed out. He ran a hand through his hair. 'Man, Harry and Zabini! Who would have thought!'
'Not me, that's for sure. Goodness, that's just so... wrong.' Hermione shuddered at the thought, trying to push away the graphical images that were now forming in her mind.
'Like you and Malfoy using cuffs.' Ron replied, sounding downright miserably sick. Perhaps this was too much information for him to handle all at once.
'There there, Ron, you'll get someone. Soon. I'm sure of it.' Hermione patted his shoulder, smiling encouragingly.
'Huh.' Ron grunted. 'I think I'll go get some food now.' He spun on his heel and walked away.
'I've been thinking, do I have to get your parents a gift?' Draco murmured as he nuzzled her neck from behind, ignoring the looks people were now shooting them. Hermione smiled as she tipped her head backwards to kiss Draco, before turning around so she kiss him the right side up. He pushed her against the wall while his hands slipped to under her shirt. She rested her head against the cool wall, and flicked her tongue over his lower lip, before pulling away.
'Nope, I don't think so.' She smiled.
'I think I should. Malfoy courtesy.' They nodded in unison, unsure of what else to say. The awkward moment that the word 'marriage' had caused was still lingering in the air.
'My Father wrote to me.' Draco informed her.
'Why am I not surprised,' Hermione sighed. 'What did he say?'
'To put it mildly, he was pissed.' Draco stated, pursing his lips.
'And?' Hermione pressed on. 'You don't expect me to believe that Lucius Malfoy will only owl his son to tell him that he was pissed when he finds out that he has been soliciting with a Mudblood like me.'
'Never, call yourself that again. Ever.' Draco silenced her with a soft kiss. 'Yes, he did tell me I have to go back the moment school is over, but I told him that I will be with you at your parent's house. I don't think he'd reply so quickly, but whatever he says won't sway me from visiting your parents, or being with you.' Draco ensured her.
'I'm not worried about that. I'm just worried about the restrains this will have on your family ties.' Hermione bit her lip. Draco chuckled. Hermione was definitely a Gryffindor through and through.
'There aren't much family ties between my Father and I. I address him as father, he addresses me as son, and we share the same blood. Other than that, zero. He hasn't done much on his part of a father.' Draco said, sounding bitter. Hermione cupped his cheek and stroked it affectionately.
'I'd like to meet your family, too, though.'
Draco's eyes brightened at the suggestion. 'Really? That's wonderful. I was worrying if you'd want to meet them. Not Father, obviously, but Mother and Diligo. I think they'd love to meet you.' Draco piped up with interest.
'Diligo? Who's that?' Hermione asked, immediately feeling jealous. 'Diligo' meant lover in Latin. Did Draco have some childhood bosom friend that she should know about?
'Oh, right, not many people know about it, but she's my sister.' Draco said. Hermione's eyebrows shot up North and disappeared under her bangs. The Malfoys had a daughter?
'Don't look that surprised! Dil had always been a rebel. Drove my Father nuts. Even in her toddler years, Mother told me that Dil would oppose my Father at every chance she had. She despised the views both my parents had on blood status and got sick of it. Last summer she had ran away with a bloke on that Muggle invention... A motorcycle, I believe it's called. Somewhat like that thing that deranged godfather of Potter's has. Father almost had a cardiac arrest. She doesn't really acknowledge Father publicly. And Father does the same. Mother just follows him while I really can't be bothered. She hates those stupid events Father insists that we go to so she always skips it, so not many people know about her. She definitely brings drama to the Malfoy household.' Draco grinned, perhaps at the memory of Lucius almost bursting an artery.
Hermione giggled. 'I'd like to meet her.' She nodded. 'She sounds... interesting.'
'Oh yes, she is. Her name means lover in Latin, did you know that? Mother wanted a romantic name for her first-born, so she'd picked it, but in Latin, to honour my Father. Quite a contrast to my name, which actually means dragon. Or serpent. She's quite a lot like you, actually.' Draco said, stepping back and offering Hermione his hand, which she accepted. The started to stroll down the corridor, towards the courtyard.
'Really?' She seemed amused. A Malfoy seemed like her? That was a surprise.
'Yes. She once freed a house-elf because Father kept ill-treating it. And she got Father hopping like he was on a kettle-pot. The sight was priceless, I tell you! I was only 6 at the moment. Oh, and there was a time when I was 8, she deliberately dyed all her formal dresses black and cut the hem above her knee. Drove both my parents up the wall...'
Hermione watched with a loving smile as Draco continued to talk about his sister. She saw the sparkle in his eye and almost laughed. Never had she thought Draco would be so animated about somebody. Clearly he looked up to his sister a lot. And from what she was hearing, she thought that she would too, if she knew Diligo. She watched Draco laugh freely, something she thought she'd never see. Perhaps he was getting tired of the charade he often played with others. Or maybe he was starting to get comfortable in being himself around her even in public. Either way, Hermione was glad. She continued to nod as she half-listened to Draco talk, while admiring the way the sun hit his features, laughing at the described scene that Draco had just told her.
'Goodbye, Hermione, I hope to see many great achievements from you in the future,' Professor McGonagall waved Hermione off, who smiled in return. McGonagall turned to Draco and said in her usual stern voice, 'And I hope the same for you, Mr. Malfoy.'
Draco gave her a tight smile, before steering Hermione away. The other students had mostly gotten use to the odd pairing, but they still got a mean comment every now and then.
'Did McGonagall just try to give you a hug? And she called you by your name! She has never done that to any student.' Draco pointed out, seemingly horrified that his professor might actually have feelings in her. He shuddered.
'I thought it was about time her emotions rose to the surface.' Hermione gave a modest shrug before spotting Hagrid walking through the crowd of students.
'Hagrid!' she exclaimed, before turning to Draco. 'Wait for me a moment. I'll be right back.' And she dashed off without another word. Draco sighed and gave a wistful smile, staring after her. Hermione had insisted on this silly little goodbye greeting to everyone she knew in Hogwarts, which really meant anyone who studied in Hogwarts. This was going to take a while. He glanced at his watch. They've been at this for only five minutes and he was already sick of it. God, how do the saints like Hermione and Potter do it?
'My, where's Hermione?' Blaise asked, planting himself beside Draco against the stonewall.
'Where's Potter?' Draco shot back.
'Off to say goodbye to everyone in Hogwarts.' Blaise replied with obvious disdain.
'Yeah, Hermione did the same thing too.' The two boys sighed in unison.
'Thereare cons to having a famous hero for your boyfriend. For one, his life is in constant mortal peril. Two, there is absolutely no way we can snog in public without having our pictures splashed across Witches' Weekly. Three, which is the worst of the lot, everyone wants a piece of him.' Blaise pouted.
'I thought you liked the publicity.' Draco pointed out.
'Yeah, of course I do. But Harry doesn't.' Blaise sighed. 'I should try to inject a little Slytherin in him.' He added thoughtfully.
'By the way, I thought you said you didn't swing that way.' Draco stated, remembering the scene in the broomstick cupboard.
'I didn't. At least, I didn't know. But really, when Potter had that fever he really caught my attention. And well, in the infirmary he was knocked out, the nurse was away, and who could really resist? And there I was, snogging him, when I thought he was out cold, only to have him coming up to me when he was discahrged, threatening to break my nose unless I helped him to get you two back. After that we decided we could do with a little reward. And you've seen the rest.' Blaise wiggled his eyebrows.
Draco groaned. He had been trying to get rid of that all too graphical image that he had seen just a few weeks ago. Trust Blaise to bring it up. 'Unfortunately for me, yes, I did see it. And I was just starting to forget about it.' He shuddered.
'Oh well, I saw the cuffs, I bet you had fun too.' Blaise inquired.
'Oh yeah, but Hermione was a bit reluctant to do bottom.' Draco said. 'That's what the cuffs were for; to prevent her from clawing my eyes out. The first time we tried bottom was when she was delirious. The second she was dead conscious. The cuffs were my savior.' He raised his head dramatically to the sky, as if thanking the Lord.
'Why do you want bottom so much anyway? What, are you gay as well? I'm warning you, Harry is totally off—'
'Please, if I were gay why would I be with Hermione? The view of her behind is spectacular, but I couldn't cuff her with the correct angle on the second time, or she'd know. And really, if I were gay, I would never fall for Potter. Father would kill himself at the news.' Draco paused, as if the idea suddenly seemed perfect. 'Then again, I might just do so.' He gave an evil smile.
'All right, we've got to stop talking about our sex lives while leaning against this grotty wall. Tell me, did daddy dearest owl you yet? I'll bet Pansy told her Father in a heartbeat about you and beloved Hermione.' Blaise flicked at his shoulder at some imaginary lint.
'Yeah, he did. He was livid. Sent a reply telling him that I wouldn't go back, and instead, I'll go to Hermione's place to meet her parents. I didn't read his reply letter, but I have a feeling it's going to be all exclamation points. Mother's one was relatively calm, and she says Dil supports me, which isn't surprising, since Dil's the President of the Making-Lucius-Malfoy-Hopping-Mad club.' Draco laughed. 'In fact, she has started to refer to Hermione as the 'dear darling Hermione' just to make him even angrier.'
'Ah, that sounds like the Dil we all know and love.' Blaise winked and took a swig of his wine flask. Blaise was probably the only one who knew about all of Draco's family matters, inside out, including those about Diligo. In fact, Blaise had been over Draco's house quite a number of times, which was quite a feat; Draco was a very private person.
'So where are you headed to?' Draco inquired.
'Oh, you know, Mother had a Muggle house in London, because she sometimes hides herself from Father when she's having her not-good week, and it's empty for the moment. I've convinced her to let me stay there. But she doesn't know about Harry staying there as well, though. She just thinks I've got a lady friend over.' Blaise shrugged.
'Are you going to tell her?' Draco asked.
'Tell her what?' Blaise asked, seeming genuinely baffled.
'That her one and only son is, gasp, gay!' Draco said dramatically with his dry tone.
'Ha, bet she'd down a whisky bottle or two before even greeting me at home. Nah, I think I'll just let things play by.'
'Wouldn't Potter want the prim shit and meet your parents?'
'Nah, he's actually quite thankful. He's heard many stories about my mother. Apparently they were enough for him to know he should stay away.' Blaise nodded in agreement.
'Hermione talked to me about marriage the day after we got back together.' Draco's voice dropped so low, Blaise thought he'd heard wrong. He waited for the punch line but Draco's face remained panicked.
'Wow, mate, marriage? Are you sure?' Blaise asked. Trust Granger to spring the commitment issue on Draco.
'No! That's the point! It's made things... awkward between us. Ugh, what if she wants to settle down with bratty little children and marigolds and fences?' Draco asked, obviously horrified.
'Ha, that'll be the day!' Blaise laughed.
'Shut it, Zabini, I'm serious. I love Hermione, but really, that's way too much for me to handle. At least for now.' Draco said.
'Well, if she ever brings it up again, do something we Slytherins rarely do.' Blaise advised.
'Telling the truth?' Draco ventured. That wouldn't be so hard, would it? He's been mostly honest with Hermione all this while. Right, but he has only with matters that wouldn't jeopardize their relationship.
'Exactly. I figure it's the only way these relationships work,' Blaise paused. 'Or maybe Harry's annoying Gryffindor traits are rubbing off me.'
'Hell, that means Hermione's rubbing off me too!' The two of them groaned, just as their respective partners walked up to them and gave them a peck on the cheek.
'Finally! We were wondering where did our girlfriends go to.' Draco rolled his eyes.
'Ahem.' Both Harry and Blaise cleared their throats.
'Right, boyfriend too.' Draco corrected himself.
'And acquaintance?' Ron asked, appearing out of nowhere.
'Oh?' Draco raised an eyebrow.
'Graduating from Hogwarts doesn't mean that we'll stop being friends with Hermione, and if you're going to be living with her, you'd have to expect seeing a lot of us around. And if we want that to work, we have to be at least on... speaking terms.' Ron explained, with a pained expression, as if it really hurt him to be talking to somebody as obnoxious as Malfoy.
'No friendliness, or any of that annoying Gryffindor 'everyone is my friend' belief, got that?' Draco asked.
'Like I want to.' Ron rolled his eyes.
'All students, report to the station now!' Hagrid' voice boomed.
'Come on, we'll have to hurry if we want to get seats.' Hermione laughed and rushed off.
'Malfoy,' Ron grabbed Draco's arm tight as he began to leave as well. Draco looked at Ron's firm grip on his hand like it was a bug. 'Treat Hermione right. Because if I hear you aren't, I'll always be ready to fight you.' He warned.
'Yeah, like I didn't know that.' Draco snatched his arm away. 'Number 1 rule of treating Hermione right; never let her out of your sight!' Draco said in an annoying sing-song manner. 'And look! You've already caused me to break the rule!' Draco accused, before striding off.
Ron shook his head and hurried after his group.
Hermione could feel herself bursting with excitement. In a matter of hours, she would be back with her parents, and they could finally meet Draco! She could imagine them sitting at the dining table they had used since she was a little girl, and they'd be laughing over a joke that Draco told them while eating her Mother's famous minced meat pie. She and Draco could stroll around in the park, and feed the swans while talking. In December they'd make snowmen and have snowball fights. Come Summer and she'd be ready to take a splash in the pool. And every other night, they'd go out to the clubs and dance the night away, and he'll reject everybody, be it man or woman, who hits on him, and he'll never let go of her, much to the envy of the patrons. She could already see every bit of it unfold in front of her eyes. And it was perfect.
'Penny for your thoughts?' Draco murmured, kissing her temple.
Hermione turned away from the window, smiling up at him.
'Nothing, just that I love you.'
A/N: Wondering why I uploaded 3 chapters at once? Well, simply because it used to be one big fat chapter! But I thought it was too long, so i divided it. Hope you enjoyed the entire story! Off to work on the sequel. Or maybe a Harry/Draco fanfic. Anyhoo!
P.S. To whomever it may concern: All right then, if you think I'm such a... only-100-loving-review sort of person, then don't read my fanfic. And no, you have given me other reviews besides the latest one that are constructive. Read; The Hermione Juice. And what did you say about that?
P.S. To everyone else who've read and been supporting me: THANKS + A BIG HUG. No, like a REALLY BIG (virtual) HUG:DDDD