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26 - Back to Italy:

Draco apparated them directly in front of the Ministry. "Why are we here?" Hermione asked, as soon as she realized where they were.

Draco said, "We have to catch an international portkey, and we should hurry, for they arranged this just for us," Draco took her hand and led her into the building. They walked down a long hallway. They stopped in front of a set of double doors, with a sign overhead that read 'International Portkey and Apparition Points'.

"Where are we going that we need a portkey?" Hermione asked, pulling on his arm as he tried to enter the room.

"Just come on, trust me!" he said with excitement.

Draco led Hermione into the room. A witch with red hair came up and said, "Are you Mr. Malfoy and Ms. Granger?"

"Yes," Draco confirmed.

"Well, let's hurry up, the portkey leaves in five minutes, and since this was arranged just for you, I think you had better not miss it. Please take a hold of the wine bottle," the witch said.

Hermione, still feeling apprehensive, took a hold of the neck of an old brown wine bottle. Draco put his hand on top of hers. After just a moment or two, Hermione felt herself being lifted, and then there was the familiar feeling of being suspended in air. They landed easily, side by side.

"Where are we?" she asked as she looked around. It was dark, and she couldn't see.

"Italy," he said.

"Where in Italy?" she asked, trying to look around in the dark.

"You don't know? You really don't recognize this street?" he asked, taking her hand and leading her to a hotel.

"Draco!" she said suddenly, "This is the hotel we stayed at the summer we fell in love!" She was now leading him in the lobby. The same clerk, who was there so long ago, met them at the desk.

"Hello you two, it's so nice to see you again. Your room's not ready yet, but you can leave your bags here. I think the officiate is waiting for you at the little church down the road," the man said with a smile.

"Are you ready to get married?" Draco asked.

"Right now? Tonight? This late?" Hermione asked, shocked.

"Right now. Tonight. And it's not that late." Draco laughed at her.

"I don't have a wedding dress," Hermione complained.

"One last thing to remove before the wedding night," Draco concluded.

Without further ado, he took her hand and apparated them both to the courtyard of the little church. The officiate, a young good-looking wizard, was waiting for them. Joining him was Professor and Mrs. Cummings (Hermione's mum), Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy, Hermione's dad and his wife, and being held by Mrs. Malfoy was little Granger Malfoy, who was fast asleep and unaware of what was going on around her.

"Draco, how did you arrange this?" Hermione asked, in awe.

"Granger, I told you that I had everything all planned out before I even knew about the baby. This was always the plan. I had always planned to take you back to our hotel, with our friends and families, and get married here in this little church, where I saw you sitting that one day, looking so sad. I even planned it for the evening of the Open House. I have to admit, I thought you were going to ruin everything when you almost ran away again," Draco explained.

"I didn't run away," she pointed out, "I ran up to the roof, there's a difference."

"Your mum almost blew it for us, when she mentioned a wedding," Draco said in her ear. She smiled. "Your dress is waiting for you in a little room off the side of the sanctuary. My mother and your mum picked it out together. I haven't seen it, so I have no idea what it looks like."

"Is this what you have been doing the last eleven days? Planning all of this?" she asked.

"Actually, some of it was planned in advance, before I even knew if you would take me back, but yes, most of it was planned in the last few days," he said. "Are you okay with all of this? Do you want to marry me? It's not too late, if you don't."

She looked at his face, which was flushed with anticipation, and she said, "I love you so much and I can't imagine not being married to you. I've finally found a man I can imagine being with the rest of my life." She threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. She laughed. She was getting married. Right now, right here, in front of her family, to the man she loved. Hermione felt as if she was in a dream.

She took a deep breath and entered the church. The officiate told her, "We have to be out of here in an hour. The priest gave us that long. This church isn't really used for services any longer, it's more of a tourist attraction, but there's another wedding here tomorrow, so we have to be out of here before midnight."

"I understand," Hermione said. "I'll get ready quickly."

"Is there anything special you want me to say for your service?" he asked her.

"If there's a way to combine a traditional Muggle ceremony with a pureblood Wizard one? That would be nice," she joked.

He said, "I really can do that, you know."

"Really? That would be fantastic," Hermione rejoiced.

She went and put on her dress, with her mum's help. It was beautiful. It looked like gossamer silk, and it was so white it was almost silver. She fixed her hair, and picked up a small bouquet of white roses, which was waiting for her. She looked out the door of the little room, and saw everyone standing around the altar. She said, "Mum, can you come here for a minute."

Her mother walked up to her and looked out the door as well, and said, "You look so beautiful. Do you want me to get your father, so he can walk you down the aisle?" she asked.

"No," Hermione said, "I want you to go get my baby. I want to walk down the aisle with her."

That was what happened. Hermione Jean Granger walked down the aisle of a little Italian church, in the middle of the night, in the middle of December, with Granger Elizabeth Malfoy asleep in her arms. She stopped at the end of the aisle, in front of an altar, and looked into the eyes of her one true love, the man she was going to marry and the father of her daughter, Draco Malfoy.

After the ceremony, the whole family went back to the hotel. Draco explained to Hermione that he had booked all their rooms back in October, when he first came up with this plan. He booked the suite, with the view, for them.

Most of the wedding party were very tired, especially Hermione's mum, dad, and step mum, who had never traveled by portkey before. Everyone went to his or her respective rooms, and decided they would have a reception breakfast the next morning. Hermione put the baby to bed in the second bedroom of the suite, in a crib that the hotel staff had sent up.

Draco came in and looked down at his daughter. "Is she going to be okay in here by herself?"

"Yes, she sleeps in a room by herself now," Hermione told him.

"Maybe we should put her in our room, just for tonight," he said, worried.

"Don't you want to have a wedding night?" she asked.

"What a ridiculous and pointless question, Granger, of course I do. I have to say I require it," he said smugly.

"Then the baby should stay in here," she said with a smile.

She pulled on his hands and led him out of the room. He tried to turn back around once and said, "Just leave her door open," and he broke from her grasp and went to open the door.

Hermione shook her head and said, "A father for one night and look at you."

"I've been a father for three months, I just hadn't met her until tonight," he corrected her.

"I'm so sorry about that," Hermione said sadly.

"Hey, let's not live with regret," he told her.

He walked up to her and brushed his fingertips down her face. "You're so pretty," he said. He took his index finger and put it delicately down the other side of her face, then down her neck, and then down her arm. He took the same finger and traced her collarbone. He traced around her lips and then leaned in for a small kiss. He walked around to her back and started to unbuttoned her dress. "Goodness, Granger, whoever made this dress didn't think about the wedding night. There's a hundred buttons here," he said.

"I won't be wearing it again, rip the damn thing off, for all I care," she said.

He used his wand instead and the buttons came undone so that the dress slipped off her shoulders. He walked toward her and kissed her back. His hands went around her bare waist and he pushed the dress off her hips. He bent his head and made a trail of kisses, all the way down her back. He kissed the dimpled area above the waistband of her knickers.

He put his hands up on her shoulders, and sucked on the side of her neck. She leaned back into his body, and her head fell on his shoulder.

"I love you, Draco," she said, bringing her gaze up to meet his.

"Shall we go to the bedroom?" he asked, leaning back down to kiss her neck again. Without waiting for a response, he took her hand and walked them into the other bedroom.

She stood in front of him, and he removed his robe, and his jacket and his tie. She removed her stockings and shoes. He removed his shirt, shoes, and socks. She reached around and removed her bra. As it slipped off her shoulders, he walked up to her. She licked her lips, self-consciously, but that single act filled him with more desire than he had ever felt in his whole life.

"I've waited a lifetime for you," he said. He dipped his head and kissed her mouth. A long, passionate kiss. His mouth moved to her jaw, and then to her shoulder. He stood back up and said, "No pressure, but I've wanted you forever."

"No pressure," she mimicked, "However, I must remind you that we have done this before, and the proof is asleep in the next room."

Draco put his arms tightly around her body and said, "We've never done this as man and wife, and there's the difference."

He led her to the bed and pulled back the covers. She lay back on the silk sheets. He put one knee on the bed, and leaned down. He put one hand on each side of her body, and he kissed her again. He moved his mouth so it was between her breasts. He put the other knee on the bed as well, and reclined next to her. He put his right hand on her left breast, and played with her nipple, moving his thumb back and forth, back and forth. He watched as this simple movement hardened the pink pearl. He leaned over and licked the tip of the other breast with this tongue, with long, wide strokes. It soon was as erect as the other was. He continued to kiss her breasts, and around her breasts, and soon his hand was traveling down to her hips to remove her knickers.

Hermione pushed him over to his back, from his side. She removed his slacks by removing his belt, and then unzipping the fly. She slowly pulled them down his legs. She put her hand on top of him, over his boxers, before removing them as well. She kissed his neck, as her fingertips caressed his chest. She moved her hand down to his stomach, as her lips moved with her hand. She was kissing his nipple; as her hand reached down to stroke him. He was close to the edge, and frankly, that just would not do.

He removed her hand and said, "Not yet." He pushed her to her back, none to gently. He put his hands on her breasts, and his mouth trailed kissed down her stomach. He licked around her bellybutton, which made her suppress a laugh. He moved his hands down both legs, starting at her thighs, to her knees, to her calves. His mouth started kissing her left leg as his hand moved down her right. He positioned himself between her legs and pushed her legs apart. He kissed her lower stomach and her pelvic bone.

Soon, her hips were moving with his mouth. He knew she was ready, so he placed his mouth between her legs, at her core, and he stayed there until her muscles in her abdomen started to contract. She bit down on her bottom lip and pushed him off her with her leg. She kicked him!

"NOT YET!" she said, which was what he said to her just moments before. If Hermione wanted a war, then she just threw down the gauntlet. She roughly pushed him back to his back, and raked her nails down his chest. She put her mouth on him, taking his full length at once. If she kept that up, she would win, because he was not going to last long.

She continued her assault, until he lifted her head from him, and in a sex-induced haze, said, "That's enough." He pushed her back again, and he entered her swiftly, with a single purpose. That purpose was the mutual assent and then decent, the rise and fall, the coming and going, the yin and yang, which would define the lovemaking of Draco and Hermione, also known as a man called Malfoy and a girl called Granger.

Hermione parted her legs as far as she could. She bent her knees, so he could get even closer. He was pushing, and she was pulling. "Come on, Granger!" he prodded. Hermione shut her eyes and bit her lip so hard she made it bleed. He said once more, "Now, Hermione!"

She was moving her head back and forth. Both hands went above her head, as she raised her hips as far as his body on top of her would allow. He didn't think he could last much longer, and he didn't have to. She started to cry out, almost a wail, and when she finally found her voice, she said, "Oh, Please, Draco!" and he thrust once more and found his release. She cried out and so did he.

Draco was truly, and utterly complete. He could not move. Someone help him, but he literally could not move. She had to move him physically off her body. He reached over for her and pulled her to his side. She put her leg over his body and he wrapped his arms around her. He put his hand on her hip, smacked her lightly, and said, "Bloody good show, Granger."

"Cheers to you, as well, Malfoy," she remarked, with a smile. Then she said, "By the way, my name isn't Granger any longer. You better get some sleep, Poppa, because your baby always wakes up at three am, and you 'l be required to give her a bottle."

That woke him right up. He forgot that he had a baby, and that she was in the next room. "I don't know how," he said, looking at her peaceful frame.

"You'll learn," she said, as she started to go to sleep. Draco sat up on the side of the bed. How could he possibly go to sleep now? He stood up, put his slacks back on and walked over to the baby's room. Hermione saw him leave their room. She put on his shirt and joined him by the baby's bed.

"You have two hours until she will need her bottle," she said quietly. "I wouldn't really make you do it on your own. I'll show you." She snaked a hand around his waist.

He put his arm around her shoulder, and his other hand went down and touched the baby's back. "It dawned on me," he said, "I'm a father and a husband all at once. That's strange."

"Is it?" she said, looking up at him.

"It is for me," he said, kissing her forehead.

"Come to bed, Draco," Hermione said.

"Soon," he replied.

"I'm really glad you stole our room all those months ago," she said, looking up at him.

"I'm really glad I gave it back to you. I almost didn't. If I hadn't, then we wouldn't have even gotten together, and then apart, and then together, and then apart, and then together…"

"Shut up," Hermione pinched his arm.

He sat down on the edge of the big bed in that room and said, "Let's sleep in here with her, just in case she needs us."

"I'd like that," Hermione said.

He pulled back the covers, took off his trousers, and climbed into bed. She kept his shirt on and climbed in the sheets beside him. He said, "Could the baby come and sleep in the bed with us?"

"No, that's not a good idea," Hermione said with a yawn.

"Just this once?" he begged. "It's our wedding night, for all of us."

Hermione thought about how she wanted the baby in her arms when she walked down the aisle. That was how this was for him. She got up and lifted the sleeping baby from her crib, and climbed in beside her husband. She handed the baby to him and said, "For a little while, but we can't fall asleep with her in the bed with us."

"I don't want to sleep right now anyway. I just want to look at my baby and my wife. I'm enjoying the view," he said, looking from his wife to his baby. He said, "This room really does have the best view in all of Italy, perhaps in the entire world."

Hermione smiled and nodded in agreement.