All characters belong to JKR
Chapter 8, Part II, Day 8, July 2, Saturday, The Wedding, Year eight
What do you want?
"You're crazy, Olivia. We can't get married today. This is your day. I won't ruin that, and I know that your mother won't either," Draco said.
"No, not at the same time, I know Mum wouldn't do that," Olivia said, "But afterwards, after the reception, when it's just the family here, and before we go to our honeymoon. Please? I'll talk to Mum about it." She didn't wait for her father's reply, she ran out of her room toward her mother's room. She started to open the door slowly, in case she was sleeping. She was talking to Harry Potter. Olivia stayed in the doorway and listened.
"I feel the same way, Hermione," Harry said. "I've loved Olivia since the day she was born, so in a way, she's always been a part of my family anyway, so I feel the same things for her that you feel for James."
"That's good, because, if something does happen to me, she'll need you all," Hermione said. Olivia sucked in a breath, but continued to listen outside. "And more important, you have to remember Draco. Don't abandon him just because I'm not around anymore."
"Goodness, Hermione, do you think that lowly of me? Frankly, we're having this conversation for nothing, because nothing is happening to you, and so I can continue my disdain of Malfoy in the fashion I have grown to love. Don't worry." Harry kissed her hand.
"Harry, just saying something doesn't make it so, you don't control everything, you know, even though you think you do," she said.
"And you don't know everything, even though you think YOU do," he answered back, with a chuckle.
Olivia decided to show herself. She knocked on the door and opened it wider. "Hi there, may I come in?"
"Do you need your mum?" Harry asked.
"You can stay. I have a proposition to make," Olivia said. She explained her idea to Hermione and Harry. Harry loved the ideal. Hermione, however, shook her head no.
"I want you to wear that dress, it's been fitted for you, and I've always wanted my daughter to get married in my wedding dress," Hermione said.
"If that's your only objection, we'll find you something else to wear," Olivia said.
"Honey, it's the sweetest thing anyone has ever thought to do, but I'm so tired now. How will I feel by the end of the day? I can't do that, I'm sorry, but thank you." She stood up and said, "Now, you need to go fix your makeup, and I need to get downstairs, because our guests will be arriving soon."
"Mum, I want this. I need this. I need to know that I made a difference in your life," Olivia said. "You regretted the way your wedding turned out, and it is in my power to change it. You're giving me the wedding of my dream, so I want to give you one as well. I'll do this for you. Please, let me do this for you." She felt so nervous. She wanted her mother to say yes so badly.
Hermione finally understood. It was Olivia's way of showing gratitude, but in a way, it was for closure. "Can we wait and see how I feel later?"
"Is that a maybe?" Olivia asked with a smile.
"It's not a no," Hermione said.
Harry laughed and said, "It's a yes."
"No, it's just not a no," Hermione corrected. Olivia jumped up and down and ran in Hermione's closet. "She's as bad as her dad. At least he had a week to plan our wedding, she wants to plan one in an hour."
"Yes and her hour wedding will be one hundred times better than my one week wedding," Draco said from the door. He walked in and shut the closet door, with Olivia still in there. He said, "If you don't want to do this, you don't have to. I'll let her down easy."
"I know, we'll see, okay, but just in case I feel up to it, I expect some incredible vows from you. After all, you've had twenty years to think about them," Hermione said, pointing her finger at him.
"Yes, but only a few minutes since I've known about it," he said.
"I wrote your vows all those years ago," she said. "I still have them." She stood up and walked over to her jewelry box. Harry opened the closet door and joined Olivia inside, shutting the door behind him, to give them some privacy.
Hermione took out a battered, torn, piece of parchment and unfolded it. She laughed and said, "Oh, no, this was my pro/con list on why we should or shouldn't get married."
He thought she was joking and he grabbed it from her. It was her pro/con list. "I remember when you wrote this!" he exclaimed. "Why did you save it?"
He smiled back at her and asked, "Do you want to marry me?"
She thought for a moment, and said, "Truthfully, I don't know." She looked down at the floor, afraid to make eye contact with him. She looked back up finally, he had a frown on his face, and he was staring at her intently.
"Do you want to marry me?" she asked.
"Yes, I thought I made that plain. What do you want me to do, write it in blood and seal it with a kiss?" he retorted.
"What?" she asked, "Are you daft? Just tell me why you want to get married."
"Because that's what I want," he surmised.
"That's not an answer," she pointed out.
He sighed, dropped his head on the table, and asked, "Are you ever going to want to marry me?" He didn't look up, mostly because he was afraid that her eyes would reveal the truth, even if she lied to him. When she didn't answer, he looked back up, and saw she was again writing on the piece of parchment. "Can't you stop what you're doing for a minute, Hermione, and answer my question?" he pleaded.
"Oh, I just had something I had to add in my 'pro' column," she said, while still writing.
"What are you going on about now?" he asked as he moved the parchment toward his side of the table. Sure enough, there is big bold letters was a pro and con list, aptly title, "Reasons Malfoy and I should get married." He began to read the list, and he said, "I don't think number three on the 'con' side is a valid point". He continued to read and laughed at one point and said, "Only you would put number seven as a 'pro', Granger." When he had finished reading the list, he took her quill from her, and wrote something under the 'pro' side and handed it back. He wrote:
"Because he loves me."
Underneath what he wrote, she wrote, "Because I love him". She handed the paper back to him and said, "You do see that I have twice as many 'pros' as I do 'cons'."
"So, what does this mean?" he asked.
"I guess we're getting married," she replied matter of fact.
He grinned, an almost wicked grin, and actually got up so fast from his chair that he knocked it over on the floor. He grabbed her and said, "Let's go finish what we started earlier. We can even do number eleven on your 'pro' list, if you want." She giggled and ran with him to the bedroom.
Hermione went back over to her jewelry box and pulled out another torn piece of yellowed parchment. She unfolded it and said, "This is it." She folded it back and put it up her sleeve. "I might need this for later."
"Let me hear it now," he said.
"Later," she argued.
"What if you refuse to marry me later?" he asked.
"Then you'll never hear them," she reasoned.
"That's a bunch of Hippogriff shite!" he shouted.
Harry stood outside the closet, and took Olivia's hand. He laughed and said, "Olivia found something for Hermione to wear, and I found something for Draco, so we'll dash off and let you two fight, I mean, talk." They dashed out of the room, with the outfits they picked out hidden between them.
Draco walked back over to Hermione and said, "Let me hear my vows."
With Each Breath:
"You'll hear my vows when I hear yours, this afternoon, at our wedding," she said.
"That means you want to get married again?" he asked, with a crooked smile.
"Oh, I was stupid enough to marry you once, I might as well be stupid enough to marry you again," she shrugged. He enveloped her in his arms, and held her tight. She put her head on his chest and sighed. "Besides, it's important to Olivia, I think."
"Is it important to you?" he asked, as he kissed the top of her head.
"I think it is," she said. "I remember when I went up to the attic of my old flat to get my mother's wedding dress. I was overcome with grief that she wouldn't be there with me, and that's why I left to go to the cabin, remember?"
He nodded and looked down in her eyes.
"Even though I'm right here, Olivia is overcome with the feeling that she's going to lose me, so if I can give her this, to comfort her, or reassure her, then I want to do it," she explained.
"Would it matter if I said I want it, too?" he asked.
She smiled and nodded. "It would mean a lot if you wanted it, too."
He cupped her face and kissed her lips. "I will love you until the last breath I take. I will love you until the earth stops spinning, and the stars burn out, and when that day comes, and we are no longer inhabitants of our mortal bodies, I will still love you. A love like ours doesn't die with our earthly bodies, but it carries on throughout eternity, through the lives of our children, and through the fibers of their memories," he said.
She shook her head and said, "That was a bit morbid, but also quite poetic. Those should be your vows."
He smirked and said, "Morbid? I said our love would surpass death and you say that's morbid?" He thought a minute, and added, "Okay, a bit morbid, I suppose. However, those vows are for your ears only."
"Then what shall you say at our wedding today?" she asked. She took his hand and sat on the bed. He sat beside her and brought her hand up to his mouth to kiss it lightly.
"I shall say, 'Here are the pros and cons of being married to Hermione', pro: she's makes me laugh," he said.
She said, "Con, I can also make you cry."
"Too true, too true," he said. "Pro, she's by my side through thick and thin."
She said, "Con, I cause as much turmoil as I solve."
"You have a point," he said. "Pro, she is beautiful and kind and generous."
With a completely straight face she said, "I have no con for that, carry on."
He laughed and said, "Pro, she is a wonderful lover, a wonderful wife, and a wonderful mother."
"True, true, and very true," she said. "You know what this means, Malfoy?"
"What?" he asked.
"You have more 'Pros' than 'Cons', so you simply have to marry me again! That's the rule. Whichever side has the most is the deciding factor," she explained.
"Why, I believe you're right, Granger, I believe you're right." He gave her his famous smirk and said, "I remember your pro/con list had more pros as well."
"Well…" she said.
"What?" he asked.
"It didn't really," she said.
"It did! I read it back then! I remember it did!" he said. He stood up, went over to her jewelry box, and took out the pro/con list. He read the list and said, "When did you add these other things?"
"Oh, just throughout the years," she said casually.
"Damn, Granger, you had better put some more pros on there, or I can't marry you today!" He threw the list at her, went over to the desk, and threw her a Muggle pen. "Start writing, missy!"
"What shall I write?" she asked, placing the pen in her mouth, and thinking intently.
"What shall you write?" he asked incredulously. "You can't even think of what to write?"
"Well, give me a minute," she said. He grabbed the pen from her mouth and the list from her hand. He went over to the desk and started furiously to write down things on her 'pro' side. She stood up and looked over his shoulder. She pointed at one thing he wrote and laughed. "You can't seriously put that on the pro side. That's a con!"
He turned on her quickly and said, "It's a pro and you know it!"
"It used to be pro, but it's not anymore," she said with a smile. "I'm not even still on a first name basis with it."
He stood up from the chair and said, "You can still call him 'little Draco' and you know it, and you better still think it's a pro! Shall I show you that it's still a pro?"
"No, we don't have time, and I'm not sure you're up to it, so to speak, so just go back to the list," she said.
He glared at her and said, "It's a pro, dammit!" He wrote a few more things on the list, and each time she tried to read them over his shoulder, he hid the list with his hand. Finally, he stood back up and handed her the list. "There, it's complete. Now, you have to marry me again!"
Hermione read the list and said, "You put number 14 twice."
"It bears repeating," he said. She folded the list and put it back in her jewelry box again.
"I would have married you again anyway," she said.
"Damn right you would have," he said. He went back over to the desk and said, "Now, leave me alone, I have some vows to write. What rhymes with Hermione, besides whiney?" She shook her head, laughed, and walked out of the room. She went toward the babies' nursery. She wanted to spend some time with the babies before the ceremony.
Hopelessly in Love:
"I can't tie this damn thing," James said about his tie as his father walked in the study.
"I didn't know how to tie a tie either," Harry said, as he came up and began to tie his son's tie. "It's something usually a father teaches a son, but since I had no father, I had no tie tutorial. Imagine, there I was, on my wedding day, my best man, Uncle Ron, couldn't even tie his own tie, let alone show me. Mr. Weasley had on dress robes, not the traditional tuxedo that I chose to wear. I was about to give up, when Hermione came walking in, and took pity on me."
"She tied your tie?" James asked.
"Yes, she did. She taught me how, and now, I shall teach you." Harry talked his way through tying his son's tie. When he was finished he said, "Ta da, there you go son, a tied tie, ala Hermione."
"You know what my best memory of Hermione is?" James said, as he sat down on the couch in the study. His dad sat down next to him. "Once when I was young, I was snooping in her study. Olivia was up in her room, playing with dolls or something girly, and you and mum were in the hospital having Lily. Hermione was busy taking care of Al. I opened a box that was in her bottom desk drawer, and I saw this little red die cast train, with a coal car, and a red caboose. It was so small, and intricate. I played with it for a good half an hour, until I broke the connector between the train and the coal car. I was so upset. I shouldn't have been playing with it in the first place, and I broke it. I was afraid to tell anyone, so I just put it back in the box and put the box away."
"The next time I came to their house, she said she had a present for me. She gave me the little die cast metal train that she said belonged to her dad when he was a boy. She said that it was very old, and it used to sit on her father's bookshelf, in his office, when she was young. She said that she must have broken it the last time she had it out, but that she mended it good as new. She asked me if I wouldn't mind keeping it safe for her. She asked me to take it home, and put it on my own bookshelf, and if I would like, I could play with it every now and then."
"When I got older, I realized that she knew I broke it, and she didn't care. She loved me more than she did that old toy train. She spared my feelings. She always treated me like an adult, not a child. She never talked down to any of us kids." James hung his head. "I don't know what Olivia will do if her mum doesn't get better. I think it'll destroy her. I feel like it will destroy me. She's been a part of my life my whole life. She's more than just my future mother-in-law. She's more than my father's best friend. She's one of the most important people in my life."
Harry stood up and said, "I don't want to talk about this right now." He wanted to comfort his son, but he didn't know how. Words were inadequate. Anyway, how do you comfort someone when you need comforting yourself? Harry said, "I think Olivia wants to talk to you about something. She wants her parents to get married after you two do. Shall I send her down?"
"Isn't it bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other before their wedding?" James asked.
Harry expelled a small laugh and said, "Son, the only luck we have in this life is what we make for ourselves. Fate is a fickle thing. What's going to happen is going to happen, and we can't do anything about it one way or the other." He was referring to much more than James seeing Olivia in her wedding dress. He walked out of the room and passed Olivia in the hall.
"Is James in there still?" she asked.
Harry nodded. Olivia knocked on the door.
James opened the door and took her hand. He ushered her in the room and said, "My dad told me your plan. I love the idea."
"You do?" she asked hesitantly.
"Yes, I do," he said, assuring her.
"We'll have to wait to go to our honeymoon," she said.
"I don't care," he said. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her forehead. "I would move heaven and hell if I could, to only make you happy, Olivia."
"Thank you, James, now I have a couple of other requests," she said. She looked down at their clasped hands. She didn't know how to start.
"You aren't having second thoughts, are you?" he asked.
"James, we've been planning on marrying each other most of our lives, so no, no second thoughts," she said. She started to cry again. She knew today would be emotional. "I want you to promise me something, please. It's the only thing I will ever ask of you."
He cupped her cheek and said, "You can ask me anything, at anytime, and like I said, if it's in my power to do it, I'll do it. What do you want?"
"Two things," she said. "I don't want to start University this fall. I want to take correspondence courses for a while. I want to be with my mum."
"Okay, we can do that," he said.
"No, just me. I still want you to go," she said.
He smiled and said, "I'm not marrying you to be away from you. We both will wait a year or so. What else?"
"I want to live here. In the house. The attic is large, and we could make it into a living space, make our own little apartment. Please? I mean, I know we already have our house, the one your dad gave me when I was born, and I know we're all ready to move in there, but I want to stay here."
"Done. Anything else while we're at it?" he inquired, smiling.
"You aren't usually this much of a push-over," she said, smiling back.
"Haven't you heard? It's my wedding day. I'm happy. I'm pretty compliant when I'm happy," he said with a shrug.
"I shall have to remember that," she said. "The last request is a big one."
"Whatever it is, the answer is yes. Yes."
"What?" she asked. "Don't you want to know what it is?"
"James, it's a big thing," she said.
"I already know what it is," he assured her.
"There's no way you could know this one," she confirmed, shaking her head.
He put his hands on her face, and rubbed her cheeks with his thumbs. He looked her right in the eye and said, "If anything happens to your mum, and if we have to, I will be more than happy to help you raise Emmy and Ian, my love."
She threw her arms around him and cried.
Olivia walked down the long grand staircase in the entry hall of Edgewood, with her veil flowing behind her. She looked beautiful on her father's arm. Hermione took two deep breaths to keep from crying. She didn't want to miss a thing by crying. She held onto Harry's arm, for support. He let go of his wife's hand, and put his arm around Hermione's waist. Ginny understood.
"Who gives this woman to be wed?'
"Her mother and I," Draco responded.
James was smiling and looked happier than Hermione had ever seen him look. Olivia started to cry. Hermione never heard another word. From the point when Draco came and stood by her side, until Olivia and James kissed, she didn't hear a thing. She only heard a loud-echoed, noise in her ears. She saw everything as if she was in a long tunnel, and was watching it from behind a glass peephole. She could see what was happening, but not make out anything clearly. Everything went in slow motion. She didn't question it, and she wasn't concerned. She just figured it was the way it was.
She didn't even know when she started to cry, but cry she did. Her whole life passed before her, like a slide show. She was scared for a moment, because that wasn't supposed to happen, until you died, and she wasn't ready to die. She held onto Draco's arm, and looked up at him. He looked down at her, concern etching his face. He asked her a question, but she couldn't hear him. He touched her face. She could only shake her head no before she collapsed and everything went dark.
Not Dead, Really Not Dead:
"Get her some water!"
"Mummy, are you okay?"
"Did anyone see what happened?"
"Get her to St. Mungos."
"Everyone, give her some room."
Hermione opened her eyes and asked, "Am I dead?" She meant it as a joke. No one laughed. She frowned and said, "Maybe I am dead, because no one laughed."
"Maybe no one laughed because you have never been, nor will you ever be, funny," Draco said, as he brushed his fingers across her face, and kissed her head.
"What happened?" she asked. She was on the couch in the study. The couches in the living room had been removed for the reception, so Draco carried her in here.
"Who knows? You fainted, I presume," Draco said.
She tried to sit up, but was forced back down. She saw the concerned faces of all her loved ones. "I'm so embarrassed. Did I ruin the wedding? Please, tell me that I didn't ruin the wedding. Tell me that Olivia had the wedding that I never had!" She was becoming frantic.
Olivia stood on the other side of the couch, against the back, and took her mother's hand. "It was a beautiful wedding, Mum. You waited until we kissed and everything, so don't worry about a thing."
"I didn't want to ruin your wedding. I think I'm just tired," she said. She tried to sit up once more and was pushed down again, this time by Harry.
"Don't sit up yet. I called the healer, and he's on his way," Harry said.
"I'm not going to lie on the couch during my daughter's reception," Hermione said. She sat up again, and she would curse the next person who tried to push her back down.
The healer came, and examined her in her room. She was dehydrated, and that was all. She was sick the night before, she hadn't taken enough liquids in to replenish all that she had lost, added to the stress of the day, and she just fainted. Draco sat beside her on the bed, with Emmy and Ian playing on the floor beside them. Blaise came up and said, "Draco, it's time for the father/daughter dance, and if you don't get your arse down there, Harry Potter will take over, and I for one would rather not see that."
"Hermione, do you mind?' Draco asked.
"Just tell them to wait for me to cut the cake," Hermione said. Blaise sat next to her, and then, as if on cue, he put his body beside hers to lie down next to her. Draco took the two toddlers downstairs with him.
"Hermione, may I do anything for you?" Blaise asked. He stroked his fingers up and down her arm.
"As a matter of a fact, yes," Hermione said. "Help me downstairs so I can watch them cut the cake, and then, can you help me dress for my own wedding?"
"Do you feel up to that now?" he asked.
"I want to do this, for Olivia and for Draco," she said. He continued to move his hand up and down her arm.
"What about for Hermione?" he asked.
"For her, too," she laughed.
"Would you rather Ginny come up and help?" he asked.
"Would you rather Ginny come up and help?" she asked back.
"No, I can help you. I want to," he said. He stood up. She gave him her hand. He pulled her up. They went downstairs. Everyone was glad to see that she was feeling better. After they cut the cake and had the toast, Hermione told Olivia that she was going to go upstairs and get dressed for her own ceremony.
"Really, Mum? You mean it?" Olivia asked with a grin.
"I never say anything I don't mean. Tell your father to get ready. I have to go get dressed. Blaise is going to help me. He's going to walk me down the aisle this time." She looked over to Blaise and held out her hand. He stood up from his table and walked over to her.
"Blaise, after you help me dress, will you walk me down the aisle, give me away and all of that?" she asked.
He thought it would be the world's biggest honour, so he said, "If I must."
Hermione thought it was the least she could do for him. He had been such a good friend to them all these years, and after all, he did love her. As they walked up to her room she said, "It won't be a pretty sight. I have fake hair and fake breasts, you known."
"I wasn't aware," he joked. "I though you seemed rather better endowed as of late."
"Ha!" she barked. She said, "Olivia picked out a dress that I wore the first time Draco and I went on a date. I hope it still fits me." She felt so tired, but she had to forge on, so she said, "It's on the back of the closet door, will you get it for me?"
He helped her to sit on the bed, and then he walked over to the closet door. He brought the dress to her, and took it out of the dress bag. He threw it across a chair and sat back down beside her. He took her hand and she leaned against his shoulder.
"I love you, Hermione," he said.
"I know," she said. She started to cry. "I wish I could have loved you the way you loved me all these years. Promise me something."
"You may ask, but I probably won't do it, but what is it?" he asked, kissing her cheek. He put his arms around her.
"Marry someone, anyone, for goodness sakes!" She started to laugh.
"Oh, Hermione, I've been married four times. Isn't that enough?" he said with a sigh.
"I want you to be happily married," she clarified.
"If it's any consolation, I'm pretty damn contented right now," he told her. He kept his left arm around her shoulders, and reached over with his right hand. He brought her face to his and said, "Will you allow me to kiss you?"
He bent his head and gave her a chaste kiss on the mouth. He looked in her eyes and with his hand on her face, he said, "Now, let's get you ready to get married again. Too bad it's to the same groom this time."
"You always comfort me when I'm getting married," she recalled.
"Yes, well, what is a best man for, if it's not to comfort the bride?" he asked.
(Flashback to "Another Day in the Life")
Hermione asked, "What time is it?"
"Nearly time," Harry said.
"Have you guys seen Malfoy?" she asked.
"No, why, isn't he here?" Harry asked frostily.
Before Hermione could respond, Blaise Zabini appeared at the door. "Hey chaps, mind if I speak to the bride for a moment; alone?" Before they could answer in the affirmative, he pushed them out the door and shut it tight.
Blaise entered the room, whistled, and then said, "You look lovely."
"Cut the crap, Zabini, where's Malfoy?" she asked crossly.
"Well, Granger, that's the thing, I really don't know. As soon as I got here, I looked for him and couldn't locate the bastard. I asked one of your elves if they had seen him lately and they said he left last night. Now, he didn't come to my house, or to the manor, because I already checked. I also checked your old flat. What happened? He wouldn't leave you at the altar, would he?" Zabini concluded.
"I hope not," she said quietly.
"What happened?" Blaise asked while sitting on the bed.
"We discussed everything he was withholding from me, we fought, but I thought we still left each other under the assumption that the wedding was a go, but maybe I was wrong," Hermione said flatly.
"He told you everything?" Blaise said unbelievably.
"Yes," she responded.
"Interesting," he responded.
"What if he doesn't show?" Hermione said with a tear falling from her eye.
"Do you want me to go down and tell the guests to leave?" Blaise asked. "I would love to tell all those former little Gryffindors to go to hell and not come back," he tried to joke. "Or, you could just marry me instead."
She walked up to him and hugged him.
Blaise helped Hermione dress. Her body didn't repulse him at all. In fact, he still thought she was beautiful, and deep down, he still didn't think Malfoy would ever be good enough for her, but the thing was, he wasn't either, and he knew that. No one was, at least, that was his opinion.
He helped her with her wig, which looked just like her real hair he had to admit. He helped her with her makeup. When she was all dressed she said, "Do you think I'll do?"
"I do," he answered. It was the only time he would ever get to say those two little words to her. He said, "I hope I don't have to comfort you after the ceremony this time, like I did the last time."
"Don't we all have that wish, Blaise," she retorted.
(Flashback to "Another Week in the Life")
Blaise Zabini came walking back upstairs. Ron and Harry stood up and he told them, "I'm alone, don't worry. Draco's sound asleep at my flat." He then walked up to the door and said, "Hermione, its Blaise. May I come in?"
To Harry's and Ron's astonishment, the door opened and Zabini was admitted entrance. He closed the door behind him and sat next to Hermione on the bed."That was an interesting wedding," he said casually, as if he was mentioning the weather. When she didn't respond, he said, "Draco thought Harry told you about the Muggle-born clause of the law. He came here tonight fully with the thought that you wouldn't be here. He thought you would leave him at the altar. He told me he was shocked when he saw you standing there in your dress. He didn't know what to do."
"So he ruined our wedding?" Hermione finally spoke.
"Yeah, I guess that's what he decided was best. He probably thought you would stop it at some point, so he might as well be the bastard we all know he can be. I don't know what goes on in his head," Blaise said truthfully. Then he said, "What you heard him say tonight in the dining room, about him only marrying you because you're a Mudblood, well, that was taken out of context. He just said that because he thought that was what you thought. For what its worth and I realize it's not worth much at this point, he really does love you."
"I know," answered Hermione meekly.
"You know I lied to you too, Hermione," he told her, while holding her hand.
"Yeah? What was your lie?" she asked.
"That day at the restaurant when you asked me if Draco ever showed any interest in you before you started dating, I told you no; that was a lie. I remember back in fourth year after the Tri-Wizard Yule ball, Draco and I, under strictest secrecy, confided to each other that you were the most beautiful girl there that night. Then after this whole pureblood marriage shite came to pass, he said he had always fancied you and that if it was the last thing he was going to do, he was going to make you his."
"He said that now he had the perfect excuse to date you and if any pureblood wizard questioned his choice, he could just pretend it was because of the law." At that, Hermione turned to look at him. "But, he confided his true feeling to me and me alone. He said he really liked you, and, I know that he did. Also, I know that he now loves you, as much as Draco Malfoy can love someone, he loves you." Blaise stood to leave and ended with, "I'm not saying forgive him right away. You should make him suffer a little, but then you should forgive him." With that, the former Slytherin left the room.
"Are you ready to get married?" Blaise asked.
"Well, yes, I guess so," she said. She took his hand and they went downstairs.
Draco couldn't remember a time when his wife looked lovelier. She was even smiling. She had on the dress he bought her for their first date. It still fit; actually, it was a bit large on her now. He had to look a way for a moment. He felt embarrassed and ashamed that he had missed seeing her walk down the stairs during their first wedding, and that it was his entire fault.
She took her side beside him and he leaned down and kissed her cheek. "Just wanted to get that out of the way," he said. Everyone laughed.
The Officiate began, "Welcome everyone. Draco and Hermione are honoured that you could all attend their recommitment ceremony. At the request of Draco, we'll keep this ceremony short. The loving couple has some words they would like to share with the other. Draco, would you start?"
Draco cleared his throat. He turned toward his wife of over 20 years and he began, "Hi, Granger."
"Who would ever have thought that you and I, of all the people in this world, nay, this galaxy, would find one another, and fall in love? I never thought it was possible. I continued to think it was a dream well into our marriage. The thing was, you were too good for me. You still are, but I have tried to earn your love and respect. If I have succeeded at all, I am a fortunate man indeed."
"Every time I've fallen down, you've been there to lift me up. Every time I've cried, you've dried my tears in an instance. When I felt lost in confusion, you made me understand. When I frowned, you made me smile."
"When I confessed to my sins, you didn't judge me. When I lost my way, you showed me the right direction. When I was afraid, you comforted me with your laughter.'
"When no one else gave a damn, you showed me that I mattered. When no one else believed in me, you helped me make a stand. Listen to my heart beating, for it beats only for you. It beats louder and longer and stronger, for you"
"With you, I'm no longer afraid or alone, it's just sometimes I love you so much and I don't know how to show it. Together, we can both be afraid, and we can even still feel alone, but I know that I love you deeper than just in my heart. I love you in my soul."
She smiled at him and nodded. He looked down at the floor and then back up to meet her gaze.
"Hermione, do you have a few words to say?" the Officiate asked.
"Draco, I've waited all my life for you. Sometimes I feel I'm still waiting. My life is full of questions with very little answers. I ask myself, where am I going, where have I come from, and where will this road lead me? The answer is simple…you. Just you."
"Why do I stand here, why do I hopelessly want you near, why do I cry when you leave? Then answer is, I love you."
"You came to my darkness, and gave me light. When my life was grey, you showed me the colours of the rainbow. You saved my heart from breaking, and you've helped me with this endless battle which I now find myself fighting."
"When I was younger, I believed in you, and now that I am older, I still do."
"I'll stand here forever, just waiting to see your face. I've waited all my life for someone to pull me through. I've waited all my life, for you."
Their bodies collided when he reached out for her, and brought her into his arms. Her eyes where bright and brilliant, and her skin warm and flushed. Slowly, he bent his head to hers and in the second before he touched his lips to hers he said, "I love you," and then he tasted her lips, which to this day, still tasted as sweet as the first time he kissed her, and would taste as sweet until the last time he kissed her. Their kiss was broken by the feel of small hands on Hermione's legs, and by the cry of their little one, who took that opportunity to yell out, "Momma!" Hermione broke from Draco's kiss, her eyes brimmed with tears, but a smile on her lips. She started to laugh, out of embarrassment or glee, and she bent down and picked up her son.
Draco held the little boy's hand, kissed it, and said, "You have rotten timing, son." He put his arms around them both. Olivia, who had been holding Ian before she let him down, turned to James, who was holding Emmy. She took her sister from his arms, and joined her family in an embrace. It seemed appropriate.
When the Day is Done:
Draco came in the bedroom from the bath, in his silk pajamas, and said, "Did you get the babies to sleep?"
Hermione was on her side, but her eyes were wide open. "Yes, they're sleeping," she answered and then she yawned. He leaned down, kissed her cheek, and then climbed over her body to lie beside her. She turned to the other side to face him, and he pulled her to him, so that she was cradled in his arms.
"It was a good day, wasn't it?" he asked, his hand on her back, his other on her arm. She rested her head on his chest, and put her hand under his shirt. She always liked falling asleep this way.
"Excellent day, excellent life, actually, Draco, so thank you," she said.
"No thanks required, just doing my job," he laughed. "Seriously, you gave me my life. You once told me that I gave you your life back, but you gave me my life back. Our gift to each other is equality. You give, I receive, I give, and you receive."
She was quiet for the longest time. He thought she went to sleep. He looked down at her, and as if she sensed his stare, she looked back up at him. They kissed again. They kissed as if it was their first kiss. Draco knew that he could not give her up, anymore than he could give up breathing. When they broke from the kiss, he asked, "what are you thinking?'
All she said was, "What a life it's been."
*Stop reading if you want the fairy-tale happy ending. If you want a 'true to life' ending, read the epilogue.
Epilogue to "The Week in the Life Series"
The smoke from the train caused Emmy temporarily to lose sight of her family. She called out for them, and was startled when someone reached around her waist and swung her around.
"Gotcha!" James shouted.
Her fear subsided and she laughed. "James, I got lost."
"You certainly did, little girl. Olivia was beside herself with worry when she couldn't find you. Don't scare us like that, okay?" He took her hand and they started walking toward the others. She pulled on his hand to stop.
"James?" she asked.
James kneeled down in front of the beautiful little blond girl, whom he loved more than just as a sister, and more as a daughter, asked "What is it, Emmy?"
"Ian is really scared, you know. Maybe we should wait a year to go to school, like I heard Olivia did. She waited a year, until she could go with you," she said.
He pulled the little girl into his arms and said, "Ian will be fine. We'll write to him all the time, and you'll be there with him. Don't worry too much. Just try to enjoy school. I promise you one thing, if it ever gets too much to bear, I'll come up there personally and bring you both home, agreed?" She nodded. He took her hand again and went to find his wife.
Olivia was nervous about sending them to Hogwarts. She told James she wanted to hire a private tutor for them, but some of the best years of his and Olivia's lives had been spent at Hogwarts. He didn't want the twins to miss a thing. He knew it was just because Olivia would miss them. He wouldn't tell her he knew that was the reason, but it was.
As he walked up to their family, Emmy in tow, Harry approached them and said, "Emmy, don't run off again." He looked at James and said, "You do realize this one will probably be in Slytherin."
"Without a doubt," James laughed.
Blaise walked up to them and said, "Let's hope so. We need at least one Malfoy in Slytherin." He leaned down and said to Emmy, "Pick a hand." He held out both hands. She pointed to his left hand. He opened it and inside he had a galleon. She looked up and smiled and he said, "Get some treats on the train." He started to throw the coin he had in his other hand in the air. It didn't matter which hand she had picked.
Ian was holding onto Olivia's hand. Blaise walked up and said, "Here, Ian, a galleon for the train, to get some treats." The little fair-haired boy held out his hand and Blaise deposited the coin. He took Ian's hand from Olivia's and said, "Let's go look at the engine."
Harry took a sleeping baby, his first grandchild, from Ginny and said, "Olivia, I think Eric needs changed, because he smells really bad." Olivia laughed.
Ginny said, "There's a bench, over there, Grandpa, go change your first grandchild's nappies."
Harry held little Eric in his arms and said, "I saved the whole wizarding world and I get no respect, little one." He took the baby over to the bench.
Olivia stood there, wringing her hands together, and she said, "Emmy, did you remember everything?" The little girl rolled her eyes and walked toward Harry and the baby.
James put his arms around Olivia and said, "You're a nervous wreck." He took her hands in his and said, "Calm down, before you make them nervous. Little Ian is already a bundle of nerves. Everything will be fine."
"Where are they?" she said.
"The kids?" he asked, looking over at Emmy as she sat next to Harry and Eric on the bench.
"No, you know who I mean," Olivia said.
"He probably won't be here, Olivia," James said. He hugged his wife and said in her ear, "You knew he probably wouldn't come. Ron said he would try to find him, but you knew he probably wouldn't be able to."
Blaise walked toward them, and he was now holding the baby. "How did you get the baby from my dad?" James asked.
"I wrestled it from him," he laughed.
Olivia said, "I have one request, just don't drop him on his head."
Blaise chucked and said, "I only dropped you once, and you didn't turn out so bad."
Harry came toward them, put his arm around her shoulders, and said, "Unfortunately, he's telling the truth. You were six months old, and struggling to get away from his evil clutches, and he went to stand up from the couch, to give you back to your mum, and he dropped you on the floor. Your mum was so angry at him."
Olivia stood there in shock, with her mouth agape.
"I was never so proud," Blaise, said, rocking little Eric back and forth, his mother now reaching out for him. "You should have heard the line of curse words that came from Hermione's mouth." He passed the baby back to Olivia.
"You dropped me?" she asked, astounded.
"Yes, but like I said, no harm, no foul," Blaise said with a grin. "You turned out okay."
Olivia frowned and walked away from them. Blaise looked confused and said to James, "Really, it was so long ago. Why is she upset now?"
"She's not upset about that. She just still gets like that whenever we mention her mum," James told him. Blaise nodded and walked off after her.
Harry said, "She still tears up each time we talk about her. It's been five months since she's died."
"Some wounds don't heal, Dad," James answered. "The thing is that she hates whenever someone else brings her up, yet, and she wants to talk about her all the time."
Harry put his hand on his son's arm and said, "It helps me to talk about her. It keeps her alive somehow, at least to me. Emmy and Ian deserve to hear about her."
"Dad, don't start," James said. Ever since Hermione had died, James and his father have had a running discussion on how to raise Emmy and Ian. Harry thought they should come live with him and Ginny. Nevertheless, James had promised his wife on their wedding day that they would take care of the twins if anything ever happened to Hermione, and he would honour that promise.
"You two have so much on your plate, with the new baby, and your new job. It'll be somewhat easier now that they're in school, but I hate to see you both taking on so much, and at such a young age. If Draco was a man, and hadn't left, you wouldn't have had to take all of this on," Harry said maliciously.
"Well, he's not here, is he," James sighed with sarcasm. He really didn't want to get in another argument with his father about Draco.
"Don't be so touchy," Harry said.
"Well, don't you be so judgmental," James spat back. "Draco's handling this the best way he can."
"Yes, by running away," Harry said. "We all lost her."
James put his hand on his father's shoulder and said, "But she wasn't your wife, Dad. She wasn't my wife! She was his wife. He was her husband. As much as the rest of us loved her, there's a subtle difference, and also, everyone handles grief in their own way."
"But to abandon his children!" Harry complained.
Olivia walked up to them and interjected, "My dad didn't abandon his children. He left them in my capable hands, well, our capable hands. In addition, I don't want the kids to hear us arguing. This is hard enough on them, especially for Ian. He's not handling the loss of both his parents very well. Dad will come back when he can, if he can, but if he doesn't come back, I understand." She turned toward James, and said, "James, get the kids on the train, it's time."
From their compartment on the train, Emmy and Ian leaned out the window and waved to their sister and their family. Emmy yelled, "Bye James, By Liv, by Eric! Bye Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny! Bye Blaise!" Ian sat back down in his seat. His sister turned to him and said, "Tell them bye, Ian." Ian started to cry.
His sister sat beside him and put her arm around him. Emmy jokingly said, "If you keep crying, the sorting hat might put you in Hufflepuff."
"Mummy always said there was nothing wrong with Hufflepuff," Ian said.
"Daddy said there was. Of course, Daddy said Gryffindor was worse than Hufflepuff," she said, "That's why I want to be in Slytherin."
"You probably will be," Ian said, "and then I'll be all alone."
Emmy stood up and sat on the bench opposite him and said, "Uncle Harry said you sometimes can make a choice. He said the sorting hat wanted to put him in Slytherin, and he told it not to. And Al was in a different house than his sister and brother, and he liked that. But, if you're still worried, whichever one of us gets up to the hat first, we'll tell it to keep us together, okay?"
Ian didn't seem any happier as the train started to roll out of the station. A little brown haired girl walked into their compartment, pointed to Ian, and said, "Why is he crying?"
"What's it to you?" Emmy asked, ready to take up for her brother.
"I didn't mean anything. I'm sorry, it's just, I wondered if someone was mean to him, or if he was hurt or something. My name is Diana Trenton. I'm a Muggle-born, by the way. May I sit here with you?"
Emmy nodded and moved over to let the girl sit next to her. "Our mummy was Muggle-born."
"Was?" the other little girl asked.
"She died in March," Ian answered for his sister.
"I'm sorry," Diana said. "I saw you at the station. I thought those people with you were your parents."
Emmy shook her head and said, "They are now. That was my sister, Olivia, and her husband James, and our Uncle Harry."
"Where's you dad?" the girl asked.
Emmy looked at Ian, and grew unusually quiet, so that Ian again answered. "He just went away. The day after our mummy died. No one knows where he is."
"Oh," Diana said in response. She didn't know what else to say. She decided it was best not to press her new friends any more. They seemed very sad in deed.
Back at the Station:
Olivia turned and put her head on James' shoulder. He put his arms around her and their baby. Their baby was born three days before Hermione died. She died of cancer. Her cancer came back the second time right before Olivia and James married. After a year, it went into remission, only to come back five years later. The third time, the cancer never left. She was sick that last time for a long time. She fought the battle for a long time. The biggest battle of her life.
They had a private memorial service, because frankly, Hermione wanted it that way. Olivia felt like she lost her mother and her father in one felled swipe, since her father ran away the day after her mother died. He didn't even come to the memorial service. James moved slowly back and forth, as if he were comforting more than just the baby with his rocking, but his wife as well.
"They'll be fine," James reiterated.
"I won't be," she said sadly.
"Yes you will, because time heals all wounds. It's an old saying, but so apropos," James responded. He kissed his wife's lips gently and said, "Let's get the baby back to Edgewood. The kids will write us tonight and let us know what house they got in, so let's go home and wait for the post."
"Is this how sad my mum felt when she saw me off on the train?" she asked James as they walked toward the car.
"Probably, although your pain is perhaps stronger because you've lost more," he answered truthfully.
She said, "Can we go see her gravestone? Harry said it has finally been erected, and I really want to go see it."
"We'll take the baby home to Maude, and then we'll go see it," James agreed.
At the Graveyard:
Draco Malfoy stood alone at the foot of his wife's grave. He had just watched the last of his children leave for Hogwarts. He didn't tell anyone he was at the station. He knew that Hermione wanted to live long enough to see them off to school, but she didn't quite make it. He felt the tears coming, and he did nothing to stop them. This was the same graveyard where he found Hermione that day, so long ago. The day he knew that, he loved her. The day she told him that her life was grey. Well, it wasn't grey any longer.
(Flashback to "A Week in the Life")
She didn't really want to walk anymore. She didn't want to run away anymore. She didn't want to do anything anymore. She didn't think she could take even one more step. She could go one place. However, with the terrible mood she was in, wouldn't going there just make her mood even worse? 'No matter', she thought, as she took her wand and just disappeared.
Two seconds later, she appeared in front of her parents' graves. Her mum and dad were buried in a Wizard graveyard. When her dad died, her mum figured that Hermione would probably one day marry a wizard, and her grandchildren would probably be magical as well, so it made more sense for her husband and her to be buried in a Wizard graveyard. Her mum even bought ten plots. For the big family Hermione would have someday. Yeah, right. Who would have known that just four years after lowering her husband in the grave, Hermione's mum would soon follow.
Hermione sat on the ground in front of her parents' headstone and began to cry again. She thought of the day they buried her father, and then she thought of the day they placed her mother next to him. She looked at the names and dates of births and deaths on the smooth black granite. "Beloved parents of Hermione Jean Granger," it said directly below their names.
"Mum, Dad," Hermione started speaking; "I miss you both so much, and I love you both so much. I feel so lost and alone. How did my life get so off track? I was always so independent when you were alive, and now that you're both gone, I truly don't know what to do. I lost my job today. I'm so ashamed. I'm sorry. I know you had so many hopes and dreams for me. I must be a terrible disappointment. The thing is, and it's so shallow to say this, but sometimes I feel like if I just had one person who deeply loved me and whom I could love in return, so many of the wrong things would turn right again, you know?" Hermione stopped talking, started to cry again, and slowly lowered herself further to lie on the ground. He arrived just as she first sank to the ground in front of her parents' grave. He heard every single word she cried to them. She looked so sad and pathetic on the ground, in front of their graves, crying her eyes out. If Draco Malfoy did indeed have a heart, which according to most debates he did not, but if he did, it was at that moment breaking. For her.
Here he was once again, and again, his heart was breaking for her. Because he lost her. Because in a way, he felt like he never really had her. He spent their whole life together afraid that she would leave him, and in the end, she did. He sat down near the gravestone, and touched the inscription.
Hermione Jean Granger Malfoy
'The colours of her life touched everyone one who knew her, from the sunshine of her laughter, to the red heat of her anger. The dark blue sadness that envelopes those left behind, is just temporary, for it is impossible to have been part of Hermione Granger Malfoy's life without some of the residual rainbow of her life touching you in a way that will last your entire life, even though hers is over.'
He didn't know who wrote the inscription, but it was beautiful, and appropriate. He hung his head and sobbed. "I loved you so much! How can I live without you? I can't even breathe without you! I'm nothing without you! How dare you leave me like this!"
Olivia and James apparated to the graveyard just as Draco fell to the ground. Olivia's heart ached at seeing her father in so much pain. James tried to stop her, but he could not stop her as she ran to her father.
She put her hand on his shoulder. He turned and looked at her.
Farewell: (Fifteen years later):
Draco felt someone reach out and touch his shoulder. He turned around and saw Hermione. He was amazed. She was as young and beautiful as he always remembered. He stood up, and he looked around and he was confused as to where he was. Wherever he was, the light was bright and blinding. He shut his eyes, and opened them once more. She was still there. He reached for her hand on his shoulder, and took it in his hand.
"Where is this place?" he asked.
Hermione smiled and said, "That's debatable. It's anywhere you want it to be."
"Where have you been?" he asked her.
"I've been patiently waiting for you," she said with a smile.
"I've missed you," he said.
"I could say the same, but truthfully, I haven't missed you. Time means different things here. A year is but a blink of an eye, a decade is but a passing phase. A century means nothing more than a turn of the head," she said.
"I've still missed you, even if you didn't miss me," he said with a sly smile. "I doubted that I would ever see you again."
"Why? Didn't you have faith that our love would transcend time? Our love was always meant to last longer than a mere lifetime. Shame on you for doubting that, Malfoy," she said.
"Well, excuse me, but I've been under a lot of pressure and pain and guilt and sadness these last fifteen years since you died," he said. "I was riddled with grief when you left me. It was hard to continue on without you."
"I'm sorry, I didn't know. I'm not privy to other people's pain. I no longer feel pain, only happiness," she said. "I think today is the happiest I have felt since I arrived, just seeing you again." She embraced him.
"You're so young and beautiful again. I'm old and ugly," he said with a smirk.
"No you're not. You're just as I recall. Just as time means nothing, age in no longer a concept. We're all young and healthy here. There's no sorrow, no pain, no illness," she explained.
"Will we be together forever?' he asked.
"And then some," she answered.
"You won't leave me again, will you?" he asked. She took his hand and started to walk away with him.
She said, "I love you, how could I ever leave you again?"
"That's good to know, Granger," he said with a slight smirk, "that's very good to know."
Really the End:
Olivia stood at the foot of her father's grave. She was quietly crying in her husband's arms. By their side were their three young sons, Eric, Oliver and Evan. By the side of the burial plot was Emmy, a beautiful young woman of 26 years old, who was being comforted by Blaise and Harry. On the other side was Ian, with his girlfriend, Diana. Ginny, Ron and all the rest were just beyond the circle.
Harry said, "He lived a good life, you know. A privileged life. He knew happiness, sadness, joy and pain. Many loved him, and he loved many. He's with Hermione now, and that's where he wanted to be more than anything, by her side." Harry let go of Emmy's hand and walked over to Olivia. James let go of his wife to hold his own mother's hand, as Harry took Olivia in his arm.
"Don't feel alone, Olivia. You have us, still, you have a big family who loves you more than anything, and you had parents who loved you more than anything." He looked over at Ian and Emmy. They walked over to their sister. Harry hugged all three of the Malfoy children and he said, "Your parents just went home. That's all, they went home, and someday, you'll see them again, of that much I am certain."
Olivia looked at Harry, with her tears flowing down her cheeks, and she said, "Oh, Harry, do you really believe that?"
"I do," he said, also crying now. "I know they're happy and together." He continued to cry and then said, "Damn, I can't believe I'm crying for Draco Malfoy!"
Olivia sank to the ground, beside her parents' gravestone. Engraved in the stone was:
"Proud parents of Olivia, Ian and Emmeline."
Under Draco's name, it had only one sentence. It said:
Husband of Hermione Granger, father of Olivia, Ian and Emmeline. The best thing he ever did in his life was to marry and to be a father. Enough said.
THE COMPLETE AND BITTER END
Chapter End Notes:
Hermione's epitaph thanks was written by dynonugget. Thanks to everyone who has read this series, and who has offered their support and praise. It's weird that it is over. "A Week in the Life' was the very first fan fiction story I ever wrote, so it feels odd to say goodbye to it forever, but goodbye must be said, for it is really, truly, the end. Thank You.