Disclaimer: For the sixteenth time, reader of my story, I am not JK Rowling. I do not own her book and also her fabulous characters.
A/N: Before anything else, I would like to say that Fred Weasley is alive here because… I SAID SO!
Now, here it is, my dear readers, the last chapter of our dear story, Time's Up! I thank all those who supported this. I really appreciate all of you. Anyway, just read this story. :D
May 25, 1998
Slowly, Hermione opened her eyes. Blinding light greeted her so, to adjust her eyes to the bright light, the Gryffindor brunette blinked her eyes several times.
The brunette released a wide yawn, stretching her arms above her head as she slowly looked around. Hermione noticed that she was in the Hospital Wing since there were a lot of beds lined together. The Gryffindor frowned. She noticed that there were a lot of people lying down on the other beds. Some had bandages wrapped around their body. Some had great injuries while some had minor ones. Hermione's frown deepened. 'Shouldn't there be a war?' she asked herself.
And then, it had hit her. Hard.
A huge gasp escaped from Hermione's lips. From the looks of it, the war was done. The bloody, sickening, gruesome war was finally done. The Gryffindor's breath hitched. Did they succeed or lose? Did Harry kill Voldemort or the other way around? Did the light side win against the dark side or the other way around? These thoughts were suddenly forgotten once Hermione caught sight of the mass of blond hair. She slowly sat up, her eyes not averting away from the blond.
Hermione bit her bottom lip as she stared at the Slytherin blond, his head buried in his arms as he peacefully slept beside her. The brunette released a huge sigh of relief as she placed her hand above his blond hair. Hermione started to run her right hand through his hair with her eyes closed. 'All right, Hermione. He's fine. Draco's fine,' she told herself as her worry started to dissipate.
The whole war, all she was thinking about was the safety of all the people she loved who were fighting in the war. Especially this blond Slytherin. It was not that Hermione didn't trust him and all. She knew he was strong. She knew that he could fight back and defend himself. But the worry was still there. She couldn't help but to worry about this particular blond.
Suddenly, the door of the infirmary burst open. Hermione's head snapped up and watched as her other best friends, Harry and Ron, together with their girlfriends, Ginny and Luna Lovegood, came rushing inside the Hospital Wing.
"Is she awake? Is she awake?" Ron asked excitedly, locating Hermione's bed. Once his eyes landed on Hermione's bed, Ron's jaw dropped. "WHAT THE -! SHE'S AWAKE!"
Because of his loud shout, a lot of people in the Hospital Wing snapped awake and looked around wildly, finding the source of the noise. Some had a wild look on their face, as if afraid that there was fire or something. Seeing none, a look of confusion dawned on their faces before they drifted back to dreamland again.
"Ronald!" Ginny and Luna hissed in unison. "You almost woke up everyone in the room," Luna continued, looking at her boyfriend disapprovingly.
Ron smiled sheepishly. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I was just ecstatic."
Harry laughed softly and shook his head. He then looked at the conscious Hermione who was smiling at them.
"Are you all right now, Hermione?" Harry asked quite loudly.
The Gryffindor brunette placed one finger against her lips and then pointed it towards her sleeping boyfriend.
Beside him, Ginny released a huge sigh. "I told him to sleep in the Heads' Dormitory last night," she said, frowning at the sleeping blond. "I guess he still hadn't followed me."
The four approached the brunette's bed.
Ron released a huge sigh. "Thank Merlin you're all right now, Hermione," he said. "You really made us worried, you know."
"Are you all right now?" Luna asked, smiling at the Head Girl.
Hermione closed her eyes and released a soft sigh. "Now that you asked it Luna," she said in a soft, weak whisper, "I honestly still feel quite sore and weak." She then opened her eyes and looked from one student to another. "What happened to me anyway?"
"You were unconscious for three days, Hermione," Harry answered him, sitting on the brunette's bed.
The Gryffindor brunette's jaw dropped. "Three days?!" she exclaimed weakly. "Are you serious?!"
"Yes we are," Ginny answered her. The she-Weasley placed a hand on Hermione's head and patted it gently. "You really made us worried you know."
"Explain to me everything, please," the brunette said, eyes gazing at the sleeping blond.
"Well…" Harry started, "after the war ended - ."
"Hold it," Hermione said, immediately stopping Harry. "Who won in the war?"
Amazing Hermione, all four of them gave her big smiles at the same time. "Us," they said again in unison.
The brunette returned their smiles. "That's good to hear," she said, closing her eyes because of exhaustion. "It's finally done."
"As I was saying," Harry continued. "After the war ended, we just found you on Draco's arms."
"He looked quite wild that time, I tell you," Ron interrupted. "His look was quite scary. Almost haunted."
Hermione frowned at Ron. "Continue, Harry," the brunette said.
"So, we brought you here in the infirmary so that Madam Pomfrey can check your injuries," the dark-haired boy continued as he fixed his spectacles.
"You received a pretty big bump on your head, Hermione," Ginny added.
"So, that's the reason why my head kind of feel heavy," she answered, gently patting her own head with her right hand.
"And, you received consecutive Cruciatus Curse while you were unconscious," Luna followed, shaking her head. "Madam Pomfrey told us that you were lucky you were still alive and not…."
"Dead?" Hermione continued. She noticed the flinch of the other four students. The brunette bit her bottom lip. "I almost… died?"
"You can say that," Harry answered her in a whisper. "But luckily, you didn't."
"Thank Merlin," Ron implored.
"Did you know that you were almost hit by the Memory Charm?" the she-Weasley asked.
Hermione gasped. "I did?" She couldn't believe it.
Ginny nodded. "You see, Draco fought with his aunt, Bellatrix Lestrange," she continued. "Bellatrix knew that he was having a relationship with you… a Muggle-born and that enraged the ex-convict. Because of anger, she tried to hit you with the Memory Charm. Multiple times, I tell you. But" – the redhead looked at the sleeping Slytherin – "I guess he was determined not to make you forget us… him."
Silence was followed after Ginny's little speech. Hermione continued to run her hand through Draco's blond, soft hair. She could tell that he was quite comfortable with her little gesture since he released some satisfied sighs in his sleep.
"Is everyone all right in the Order?" Hermione asked, breaking the silence.
Ron nodded. "Yeah, though some were injured," he said. "But, no one was really injured badly. Actually, you were the only member of the Order who was unconscious for three days."
Hermione released a soft laugh.
"By the way, Fred and George are sending you their love," Ginny added, producing a small paper bag. "They told me this 'Get well soon, Head Girl'."
The brunette eyed the paper bag suspiciously. "I have a bad feeling that won't help me at all," she said.
Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Luna only laughed at Hermione's comment.
The dark-haired Gryffindor then released a sigh. "Well, then, we've got to go, Hermione," Harry said. "Professor McGonagall was summoning us. We just planned to visit you before we go to her office." He then stood up from her bed. "Goodbye, Hermione. Get well soon, okay?"
"I will," she answered Harry with a small smile.
"Get well soon, Hermione," Luna said, giving her a lovely smile which the brunette returned. "You're very luckily because Flibbertigibbets haven't bothered you at all while you were unconscious."
The other four students looked at the Ravenclaw strangely while she just innocently stared back.
"Flibbertigibbets?" Harry whispered to the he-Weasley which Hermione perfectly heard. "What the hell is that?"
The brunette softly laughed while Ron rolled his eyes. "You know, Harry, no need to ask me because you very well know that she is Luna Lovegood."
"Remind me again why you asked her out?" The-Boy-Who-Lived asked while frowning at the redhead.
"Because," he tiredly started, "for some strange reason, I like her. A lot."
Hermione gave him an approving smile. "I thought you were being summoned by Professor McGonagall?" she reminded them.
"Oh, yeah," Harry said, giving Hermione one last wave. "We're going to return later and visit you again, Hermione. And, do this for me, all right? Whack Draco's head for worrying too much for you. I told him you'll be all right since you are a tough girl."
The brunette softly chuckled. "I will," she said. "Now, off you go. I know that you don't want to face Professor McGonagall's wrath. You know here. She hates tardiness ever since she was born."
With that, Harry walked out of the infirmary followed by Ron and the redhead's girlfriend. Ginny, surprising Hermione, stayed behind.
"Aren't you coming with them, Gin?" the brunette asked.
Ginny grinned and leaned down a little towards Hermione. "Your bloody boyfriend was the one who was most worried with you, 'Mione. I'm telling the truth. He almost didn't eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hell, he even almost didn't take a bath!" Ginny paused as she released a small laugh. "Luckily, we were sensible enough." The redhead then stared at the sleeping Head Boy and shook her head. "Once he wake up, prepare for his wrath, m'kay?" And with that, the Gryffindor she-Weasley followed the others.
Once she was gone, Hermione laughed to herself and shook her head. "Silly Ginny," she murmured under her breath. She then looked at Draco and decided to wake him up. "Draco," she said, shaking him awake. "Wake up, Draco."
The blond swatted her hand away. "Leave me alone," he murmured.
Hermione softly giggled. "Come on, dragon, wake up," she continued. "Rise and shine." She bent down and kissed the top of his head. "Wake up, dragon."
"Let me sleep, Hermione," Draco muttered. After that, everything was silent.
The Head Girl sighed and lied down on her bed again. 'He might be really tired,' she thought. 'I might as well let him sleep.'
When Hermione's eyes were slowly drifting shut, Draco snapped awake. His head shot up and he looked at Hermione, bewildered. The brunette released a soft squeak because of surprise and stared, wide-eyed, at the already conscious blond. Slowly, she sat up again. She watched as Draco blinked several times and his jaw dropped as he stared at the awakened brunette. And then, quite suddenly, she was enveloped in his arms.
"You're awake! You're awake!" he exclaimed, tightening his hug. "Are you all right, Hermione? Do you feel any… any pain?! Tell me! Tell me!"
The brunette released a soft giggle as she pulled away from Draco to stare at him. "I feel quite sore and weak," she answered him. "But… I feel fine now. Perfectly fine."
Draco released a low growl and glared at Hermione. "Did you know that you made me worried, you bloody woman?!" he exclaimed.
Hermione made a small smile. "I'm sorry," she said in a whisper followed by a small yawn. "I didn't mean to."
The blond then lied her down on her bed again. "All right, all right," he grumbled. "I'm going to scold you once you got your goodnight sleep."
The brunette rubbed her right eye. "It's not yet night," she said with a frown. "And I don't want to go to sleep anymore. I want to talk to you."
"About?" Draco asked, now sitting down on her bed.
The Head Girl bit her bottom lip. "I… I don't know," she whispered. She shifted slightly on her bed and sighed. "So I was unconscious for three days, huh?"
Draco nodded his head.
She raised her hand to place it on Draco's cheek. "I'm sorry," she said again, rubbing her thumb against his cheek. "I didn't mean to make you worry for me. I'm sorry."
The blond sighed and kissed her palm. He brushed away her bangs from her forehead. "Those three days were quite scary, Hermione," he told her. "I was afraid that you will leave me all alone."
Hermione just kept silent and urged him to continue.
"I also almost thought that you will forget us," he continued in a soft whisper. "Aunt Bella really tried hard to hit you with her Memory Charm so that you will forget me, you know."
The brunette pulled Draco down so now, he was lying beside her with his head buried at the crook of her neck. "I'm sorry," she said again.
Draco just snuggled against her neck and closed her eyes. He had to admit. He had missed her badly. Now that she was awake, Draco's heart soared high. A soft sigh escaped from his lips as her arms wrapped themselves around him.
"Draco," she whispered.
"I had a bad dream. A nightmare," the brunette continued in a soft voice.
"What nightmare?" he asked, lips quirking up as he felt her kissing the top of his head.
"I want to forget it but I can't," she said, eyes drifting shut again. "It was the worst nightmare I ever had in my whole life. And quite weird, too."
"What's it about?" he asked, eyes gazing up at his girlfriend. "Tell me what it's about. Maybe it can calm you down."
Hermione made a small smile and stared down at him. "I dreamed about my Hogwarts life from first year to seventh year."
"Am I there, too?" he asked hopefully. He just wanted her to dream of him because honestly, at night, his dreams were always about her.
The brunette released a soft chuckle. "Yes, yes, you were there, don't worry," she assured him. "But" – her smile turned into a small frown – "you… you were different from who you are right now."
"How so?" he asked.
Hermione sighed. "You love me now, don't you?" she asked in a little voice.
Draco kissed her neck. "Of course I do," he answered her. "And you love me, too."
The brunette smiled. "True," she continued. "But in my dream… nightmare, rather, you hate me."
The blond gasped. "I do?" he asked in disbelief. "Impossible. Utterly impossible."
"But you do," she continued. "You hate me. My mere presence disgusted you." Hermione closed her eyes and emitted a soft sigh. Draco kissed her neck again for comfort, making her smile. "I hate you in my nightmare, too, do you know that?"
He shook his head.
"I hated you because you ridiculed me," she continued. "I remembered the way I reacted every time you insult Harry, Ron, and me. We always fight every time we had the opportunity. Quite funny, if you ask me."
"Quite scary, if you ask me," Draco said, a look of confusion and irritation evident on his face. "Why the bloody burning hell did you dream of that, Hermione? It's giving me goosebumps already."
The brunette chuckled softly. "Thank Merlin it was only a nightmare, Draco," Hermione said. "Nothing's really scary with my dream. I just call it a nightmare since all the things that I do not want to happen in my real life happened in my dream."
"So…" the blond started slowly, "tell me about this Draco Malfoy in your nightmare."
"You'd rather not discover it," she assured him, shaking her head against her pillow.
"Really?" he asked, raising one eyebrow up. "I don't care. Just tell me."
Hermione sighed. "Okay," she told him and then closed her eyes as she tried to imagine and remember the Draco Malfoy in her nightmare. "In my dream, you were the most despicable man I had ever met in my whole life. I hated you until the very last nerve endings in my body because you always find excuses to insult me. You hurt Harry and Ron. You hurt me. You hurt all the people whom you think were inferior to you. You were practically having some attitude issues in my dream, Draco. You have this superiority complex. And you were so egotistical. Utterly, truly, certainly egotistical. Every time I come near, you will brag about things. You're the typical Slytherin that I hate. Mr. King-of-the-World, Holier-Than-Thou, I-Am-the-Almighty-Therefore-Fear-me, and lastly, I-am-the-Best-Because-I-Am-a-Pureblood-Freak. He was the complete opposite of what you are right now… the complete opposite of who you are right now. You break girls' hearts. You trample every Mudblood's dignity. You blast off boys' egos. And to be honest, you resemble the Dark Lord himself." The brunette ended her description with a small laugh as she slowly opened her eyes to stare at the Slytherin. And to her surprise, Draco was looking at her with a horrified look on his face.
"No way," he said, finally composing himself. His eyes were still showing horrification.
"Yes way," the brunette said, sighing. "I honestly thought that that nightmare was really real." Hermione slightly shivered. "I'm thankful it's not."
Draco then slowly pouted (adorably, in Hermione's opinion). "Am I really that… bad?" he asked her in a low whisper.
"Actually," Hermione started, giving him a small smile, "'bad' is an understatement for all the things that you had done in my dream."
"Damn it, Hermione," the blond said. "That dream of yours is not funny at all. It's really not funny at all."
"That's not the worst part, Draco," she continued in a whisper.
Draco gulped. He didn't know if he wanted to know it or not. "What?" he softly asked.
Hermione closed her eyes and sighed. "You're my murderer," she softly said. "You killed me in the war."
The blond gasped and covered both of his ears. "Stop it now, Granger. I don't want to hear your dream anymore," he grumbled under his breath.
The brunette sighed again and ran her right hand through his hair. "See, even you think it's a nightmare," she said.
"You must have felt horrible," he murmured, kissing her jaw.
"I'm going to forget it, I swear," she reassured him, this time, kissing his forehead.
Draco sighed as he held her tighter to himself.
"There's something weird I dreamt of again," she suddenly said.
The blond groaned. "I'd rather not hear it," he grumbled under his breath.
Hermione chuckled. "No, don't worry, it's not a nightmare," she reassured him. "It's a dream that made me curious after I saw it."
Draco looked at her curiously.
"Well," she started, knowing that he wouldn't cut her off anymore, "I dreamt of a little boy. He has blond hair, mind you. Almost as blond as your hair. I know he's adorable, I greatly feel it. And we always meet in this bench… our meeting place as what he fondly calls it. And for some strange reason, my heart swells because of care every time I see this little boy. And, by the way, he has the cutest laugh in the whole wide world. But the problem" – here, she frowned – "is his face was blurred. So, actually, I haven't seen his face at all."
The blond looked thoughtful. "That was a weird dream," he told her. "I agree with you."
Hermione smiled. "I want to know who this little boy in my dream is, Draco," she continued. "Someday, I'm going to find out who he is."
Draco smiled. "I know you will," he told her. "You're an intelligent witch after all."
The brunette chuckled. "Yeah."
Both students flinched in surprise. Again, some patients in the infirmary snapped awake as they stared at Madam Pomfrey, wide-eyed.
"No, go back to sleep," she snapped to the other patients which they hastily did, not wanting to be scolded by the Hogwarts witch.
Madam Pomfrey's eyes then landed themselves on the blond (who was feeling quite scared, as much as he wanted to deny it, since he buried his face at the crook of his girlfriend's neck. Hermione, not helping it, softly laughed to herself). Her eyes instantly narrowed into thin slits.
"Please don't let her kill me," he softly pleaded to the laughing Gryffindor brunette. "I'm too young to die."
"What are you doing on Miss Granger's bed?!" she asked him, hands both placed on her hips. "You very well know that that's against the rules!" She swatted Draco's back. "Up! Up! Up!"
Hermione started to laugh a little louder. "Just… just follow her, Draco," she told him in between gasps of laughter. The blond glared at his girlfriend as he stood up with a frown on his face.
"Now, out, out, OUT!" Madam Pomfrey shrieked, swatting the blond's back again.
"Ow, ow, ow, old woman! I'm going out already!" he exclaimed.
"Draco, be nice!" the brunette scolded, though, she was still laughing.
"I allowed you to sleep here for three nights already, Mister Malfoy," Madam Pomfrey continued. "It's the first time I allowed a student to do that. Now that Miss Granger is awake, there's no point in letting you sleep here again. Out! Out! OUT!"
"All right, I will, I will!" he exclaimed in frustration. He hastily went towards the brunette and bent down to give her a kiss on the lips. "I promise I'll come back soon," he murmured against her lips before pulling away from her. "Though, not tonight. I think it will be best to cool down the raging fire."
Hermione rolled her eyes but laughed nonetheless. She watched as Draco walked out of the infirmary before turning back to the still hyperventilating Hospital Wing nurse. "How are you, Madam Pomfrey?" she politely asked her as he watched her selecting some potions from one of the cabinets. Hermione grimaced. The potions would probably be drunk by her.
Madam Pomfrey sighed. "Ah, dear child," she told her tiredly, finally calming down, as she selected the right potions. She walked beside Hermione's bed and placed the tray of potions on her nightstand. "This is the most tiring time of my life. I've got to attend to a lot of patients here. I knew it! I asked Albus to hire one more person to help me here in the infirmary but he won't listen to me at all." She uncorked one vial and gently forced Hermione to drink it. She watched as the Head Girl made a face while gulping its contents. "Actually, Miss Granger, you're my patient who received one or two guests every other minute."
"Really?" the brunette asked as she blinked at the infirmary nurse.
She nodded, offering Hermione a small smile. "And I was right when I told you that Mister Malfoy slept here for three nights," she told him. "He's a fool, that young man. I told him not to worry because you are perfectly fine already. But he didn't listen to me!"
Hermione softly chuckled. "I'm going to apologize to you, Madam Pomfrey, in behalf of the Head Boy," she told. "I'm quite sorry because he was bothering you. Draco's really like that. Stubborn and all. I'm sorry."
Madam Pomfrey sighed. "Oh, don't apologize to me, dear Miss Granger, I perfectly understand Mister Malfoy's actions." She shook her head and stood up. "Young love, it's always the sweetest, if you ask me. He's a lucky man for having you, Miss Granger."
The brunette slightly blushed as she smiled at the nurse's compliment. "Anyway," Madam Pomfrey started, "I'm going to leave you now, Miss Granger. Drink some of the potions again after two hours. Am I making myself clear?"
"Yes, Madam Pomfrey," Hermione told her as she watched her disappear behind her office door.
Hermione sighed and closed her eyes. A contented smile was playing on her lips as she shifted on her bed and faced the right direction. She was surprised to feel something soft brushing against her cheek. The brunette opened her eyes and a soft giggle emitted itself from her mouth. Mr. Beady was staring back at her. The brunette noticed a small note attached to it. She removed it from him and opened the letter.
Dearest, (Hermione snorted. It was from Draco. And she perfectly told him not to call her 'dearest'!)
Mr. Beady will be right beside you until tomorrow. I made him swear to protect you until I come back again. Don't worry, he promised me.
Love of your life (Again, Hermione snorted.)
The brunette rolled her eyes as she closed the letter and slipped it inside her pocket. She smiled as she pulled Mr. Beady towards her. The brunette sniffed. She caught a whiff of Draco's cologne. Hermione snuggled against the soft head of the teddy bear and closed her eyes again. Soon, she drifted off into dreamland.
Merlin stared down at his cauldron with a smile on his face. Their plan succeeded thankfully. Hermione Granger finally was in a world and in a time where she should be happy. The old wizard sighed. He had to admit, he missed this brunette. He was quite shocked when Fate ordered him to obliviate the brunette's memories of the time when fate was messed up if she wished to go back to time where Mr. Malfoy's fate was fixed. It saddened him because the times when she was with him would soon be forgotten. But of course, it was an order so he had to follow it. It made him quite happy, though, because finally… finally, what she was yearning for was finally reachable. Finally, she was happy and contented.
"Ah, I see that she is happy already."
The old wizard smiled and looked up as he gazed at the beautiful creature in front of him. "Indeed, Fate," he told her as he watched her elegantly glide towards the cauldron. She peered inside it and smiled.
Fate was a beautiful creature in a woman's body. She was wearing a white dress that ended just below her knee. Vines were wrapped around her body with green leaves. And to complete it all, a crown of leaves and flowers that was bewitched to live forevermore was adorning her wavy, flowing black hair that fell gently down her shoulders. An ethereal glow was being released by the somewhat 'goddess' as she sat down beside the old wizard.
"Forgive me, Merlin," beautiful Fate continued. "I know that Miss Granger became dear to your heart and it pains you because she has forgotten all the things that had happened between you and her for three weeks. But it has to be this way, Merlin. Please understand that. Draco Malfoy's fate is finally fixed. Hermione Granger is finally the most important person in his life. Everything is fixed again."
"I know that, Fate," Merlin said followed by a soft sigh. "Yes, I'm sad. She was like a daughter to me already. But, every time I watch how she lovingly gazes at him, my sadness immediately disappears. At least, she is happy already."
"Quite true," Fate said, gently nodding her head as she slowly smiled. Her eyes sparkled as she watched the sleeping brunette who kept on murmuring her lover's name. "It's nice to be loved, isn't it?" she suddenly asked him, her eyes still gazing at the cauldron.
"Yes, yes, it is," the old wizard answered her. "And it will be nicer if the love of a man is being reciprocated."
Fate's smile immediately disappeared as she averted her eyes away from the cauldron towards nowhere. They were currently staying in a beautiful place… a beautiful garden where every kind of flower was found always blooming. "Yes, quite right," she softly answered, though, her smile wasn't seen anymore and her eyes lost their spark.
Merlin sighed and shook his head. For him, Fate was like his daughter already. And, when he was spending most of his time with Hermione, he couldn't help but see Fate in her. So, seeing his 'daughter' so forlorn right now made him sad, too. "Did you already discover who the culprit was?" he asked.
"Cupid," she automatically said, the tone of her voice unfeeling.
The old wizard looked at Fate incredulously. "Cupid?" he asked disbelievingly. "Cupid is a very nice young man, Fate. Why did he mess up Mr. Malfoy's documents... Mr. Malfoy's fate?"
Fate sighed and ran a hand through her glorious black hair. "Cupid was trying to impress me again, Merlin," she softly told the old wizard. "He was trying to help me when I was fixing some of my files. But instead of helping, he messed up some files. Unfortunately, it was Mr. Malfoy's."
She shook her head. "We've talked about this before, Merlin," she told him, quite frustrated. "And like what I had answered before, it will always be a 'no'."
"Cupid had courted you for years and years now, Fate," Merlin started, despite her protest. "Why don't you accept his proposal of marriage, then?"
"You know the answer," she told him, eyes now gazing on the ground.
"Of course I know," he told her. "But Fate, listen to me. I will give you a fatherly advice even if I am not your father. Don't reject someone who you know will love you most ardently."
"Fate, I know what your heart tells you," Merlin said, pointing his wand (which miraculously appeared out of nowhere) towards her heart. "You are lucky because you have a heart, Fate." He sighed and shook his head. "I once loved a woman when I was still alive and I regret it because I haven't told her."
"I know you love him, too," he softly told her, holding Fate's right hand to gave it a gentle squeeze. "Accept his proposal and be Cupid's wife. He is a good creature. One of the best… god I had ever met in my whole life. I know he will give you happiness. I see it in his eyes when he looks at you, my dear Fate. I see it in his eyes when he looks at you with love clouding his eyes. And, I tell you, that is how you look at him, too."
"Destiny loves him, Merlin, you know that," Fate said. "As her sister, it's my responsibility, too, to make her happy. Marrying Cupid will break her heart."
"But you love Cupid," Merlin pointed out.
"I do. I promise I do," Fate said, almost tearfully. "But I love my sister, too." And with that, she stood up. Merlin caught sight of a tear slipping down from his dear 'daughter's' right eye.
The old wizard shook his head. He wished that like his dear Miss Granger, Fate would soon be happy, too.
June 20, 1998 (Graduation Day; Graduation Ball)
Draco gave her a charming smile as he held her right arm. He twirled her around until they reached the dance floor. A new song was already starting.
The blond bent down and kissed her palm. "May I have this dance, Hermione?" he asked his girlfriend, eyes gleaming.
Hermione rolled her eyes but chuckled nonetheless. "Do I have any choice?" she asked him as he wrapped her arms around his neck and placed his arms around her waist. He briefly leaned his forehead against hers before gently kissing it and burying his face among her brown tresses.
It was their Graduation Day… their Graduation Ball… their last day. And now, the girl wrapped around his arms was looking so beautiful right now, making Draco think he was the luckiest man alive in the whole wide world.
Every now and then
We find a special friend
Who never lets us down
The brunette was wearing a green, beautiful dress that modestly ended just a few inches above her knees. Draco smirked. Of course he knew the vow she made (the one which she promised that she wouldn't wear a dress that would expose her knees), thanks to Ginny Weasley. And it pleased him she at least broke it today (since she was looking so good and all). Her hair was gently swaying against her shoulders. That was what Draco wanted… he didn't want her hair tied up or anything. He wanted it down - long, curly, smooth brown hair – because he always wanted to run his hands through his hair (which he was doing right now).
He gave her a kiss on the cheek as she gently sighed against the crook of his neck.
Who understands it all
Reaches out each time you fall
You're the best friend that I've found
"Hermione?" he softly sighed. The brunette pulled away from him, looking at his eyes with a curious look on her face.
"Yes, Draco?" she asked him, her lips forming into a small smile. The blond just blinked and continued to stare at her, his lips unconsciously forming into a small smile again.
I know you can't stay
A part of you will never ever go away
Your heart will stay
"Draco?" she asked.
"Do you think they will last?" the brunette asked as she looked at the direction of the dancing Ron with his beloved Luna trapped in between his arms.
Draco softly chuckled to himself as he tightened his arms around her. "For some strange reason," he started, his eyes averting themselves away from the dancing couple towards his girlfriend's brown eyes, "my answer is a yes."
Hermione nodded in agreement. "Look at how Ron looks at her," she added in a whisper. "When we were going out, Ron never looked at me like that. Luna looks like she's Ron's most prized treasure."
I'll make a wish for you
And hope it will come true
That life would just be kind
To such a gentle mind
"How about them?" the blond asked. "Will they last?" His eyes were now trained towards his other best friend, the great Harry Potter himself, and his girlfriend in his arms.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Of course they will. Ginny was in love with Harry ever since she laid eyes on him. Harry was in love with Ginny ever since the start of our sixth year. They'd known each other for years, Draco. They know what each other like and dislike. They're practically a perfect couple."
Draco nodded in agreement. "Quite true," he told her.
If you lose your way
Think back from yesterday
Remember me this way
Remember me this way
Hmm……….. this way
They continued to sway on the dance floor, now, oblivious to the other students dancing with them. They listened to the music for a while, and to Draco's surprise, Hermione was humming with the song.
"You know that song?" he asked her, still bewildered.
Hermione looked at Draco incredulously. "Draco, you've heard of this song, too, you know," she reminded him.
"Really?" he asked, confused.
"Casper," she simply told him and realization immediately dawned to the blond.
"Oh, the funny-looking ghost?" he asked for confirmation.
Hermione frowned at him. "The adorable-looking ghost, actually," she corrected him.
I don't need eyes to see
The love you bring to me
No matter where I go
"What will you do after we graduate?" the brunette asked.
Draco rolled his eyes. They'd been talking about their future careers before. Of course she already knew and he already knew what both of them wanted to be once they grow up. But he answered her nonetheless and looked down at her. "Oh, you know," he told her. "I want exciting adventures. I want to feel my adrenaline rushing and all. I want to feel some excitement."
Hermione sighed. She knew it. "For short, you want to be an Auror," she told him with a disapproving look on her face.
The Head Boy scowled. "Oh, don't look at me like that, Hermione," he told her. "You very well know that I want to be an Auror once I graduated from Hogwarts."
The brunette sighed again. "Just like Harry and Ron."
Draco smiled this time. "Yeah, just like Harry and Ron."
And I know that you'll be there
Forever more apart of me, you're everywhere
I'll always care
"You, what will you do after we graduate?" the blond asked even though he already knew what she wanted to do.
Hermione smiled. "I'll apply to St. Mungo's and be Healer," she answered him.
Draco snorted and rolled his eyes. "Why don't you be an Auror, too, like me… us?" he asked her. "We've talked about this before, Hermione, and I still don't know why you wanted to be a Healer."
The brunette looked up at him and gave him a brief peck on the lips. "You want to know?" she murmured.
The blond nodded.
"Because," she started, "if the three of you were injured badly because of a mission given to the three of you as Aurors, I'll be the one who'll heal you."
Draco blinked at his girlfriend. Then suddenly, he chuckled. "I see your point," he told her.
I'll make a wish for you
And hope it will come true
That life would just be kind
To such a gentle mind
Hermione shifted in Draco's arms. She traveled her arms down to his waist and wrapped them around him. The blond chuckled and removed his arms from her waist. Instead, he wrapped both of them on her shoulders. From the looks of it, they weren't dancing anymore. They were hugging already.
"Draco?" she softly asked, eyes closed.
"Hmmm?" he asked, his cheek resting against the top of his head.
"What about us?" she whispered. "Do you think we will last?"
If you lose your way
Think back from yesterday
Remember me this way
Remember me this way
Draco looked down at the brunette, quite surprised. "Why are you asking me that kind of question?" he asked her.
The brunette looked up at him, a small frown gracing her red lips. "I… just want to know," she told him softly. "So, Draco, answer me, do you think we will last?"
And I'll be right behind your shoulder watching you
I'll be standing by your side and all you do
And I won't ever leave
As long as you believe
You just believe
The blond looked thoughtful for a moment. Yes, he had answered her question if Harry's and Ron's relationships with their girlfriends would last almost immediately. But asking her if they would last made him think for a few moments. He was aware of the holes that Hermione was burning through his head already but he ignored them completely.
'Will we last?' he asked, remembering the times they had spent with each other. Draco closed his eyes. Almost everyday, she was with him, laughing at his jokes, teaching him some difficult assignments, scolding him for being a bad, bad, boy… just spending time with him. She'd spent more time with him than any people in the whole school (which made him feel quite special).
But, will they last? Draco remembered the time when he finally realized that he was in love with Hermione Granger. He remembered how he suddenly felt when he realized that Hermione past was right – he didn't love her at all. Hermione past was right because someday, he would meet someone whom he would cherish more than anything else here in this world. And so, as he gazed down at his girlfriend, eyes shining with love, he smiled.
"Draco?" she asked, feeling quite uncomfortable and scared because he was still not answering her question.
"You know the answer already, Hermione," he softly told her. "Of course we will last."
And, she gave him a big, wide smile.
I'll make a wish for you
And hope it will come true
That life would just be kind
To such a gentle mind
The blond sighed, slightly feeling nervous already. The song was about to end. He had planned to do this a year after their graduation. 'But, why not now?' he asked himself, absentmindedly kissing the top of her head. 'It will still be the same.'
Inside his pocket, he felt a small bump brushing itself against his leg.
And if you lose your way
Think back from yesterday
Remember me this way
Remember me this way
"Yeah?" she asked him.
"Let's go to our bench," he softly told her.
"All right," she answered him while making a small smile.
As the song ended, Draco grasped the brunette's right hand and led her towards their bench near the Hogwarts Lake. He sat her down on the bench while he himself sat down beside her.
"Why are we here?" she asked him.
Draco shrugged. "Honestly, I don't know," he told her softly. "I just think that we should visit this place since we're about to leave Hogwarts. You have to admit that this place has a special meaning between us, Hermione."
"Yeah," the brunette said, stretching her arms above her head. "Actually, this is my most favorite place in the whole school."
The blond then watched as she stood up and hastily removed her high-heeled shoes. "What are you doing?" he asked her as Hermione immediately dipped her feet in the water of the Hogwarts Lake. The Giant Squid intently stared at them, eyes narrowed thoughtfully.
Hermione turned to look at her boyfriend, mirth evident in her eyes. "It's funny to think that we never went near this lake, Draco. We had been visiting that bench… our bench, but we never even thought of at least dipping our feet into the water." A small sigh escaped her lips as she stared at the Lake. "Feels quite nice."
Draco chuckled to himself and stood up as he slowly walked towards the beautiful brunette. The sun was almost setting, he had noticed, and nervousness bubbled inside his stomach again. He had to think of a plan… and damn fast! He had never thought of a plan because, again, he had planned to do it next year.
Desperation started to form inside him. His eyes looked around wildly, formulating a plan inside his buzzing mind. Suddenly, out of desperation, he pushed Hermione towards the lake until… splash! She fell inside the lake.
A loud screech emitted itself from the brunette's mouth as she emerged at the surface of the lake. She was wet from head-to-toe. And to Draco's delight, her dress was clinging to her body already. Immediately, her eyes landed themselves towards the softly laughing blond. "THAT'S NOT FUNNY!" she exclaimed, eyes instantly narrowing into thin slits.
Draco's laugh grew as he removed his shoes and socks. He also removed his black dress robe, revealing his black slacks and buttoned-up white shirt underneath it. "Here I come!" he exclaimed before gracefully diving into the lake. He did a few strokes hither and thither before wrapping an arm around his still fuming girlfriend. "That was fun," he said, still softly laughing to himself.
"You bloody git," she muttered, lips turning into a frown as she wrapped her arms around his neck. "Why the hell did you do that?"
He kissed the side of her head and gave her a charming smile. "It really feels nice here," he murmured softly, lips traveling down from her forehead towards her cheek, and then to her jaw.
Hermione released a soft sigh as she closed her eyes, arms tightening themselves around his neck. Her ring gleamed as she slightly shifted her arms around his neck. "Let's go back and dry ourselves, okay?" she told him. "Harry and Ron might be looking for us right now."
"Oh, forget them," he told her, lips now pressed against the corner of her mouth. "Who cares about them anyway?" And with that, he captured her lips with his own.
Draco tightened his hold, oblivious to the fact that the Giant Squid was slightly moving towards them to get a closer look. Truly, this creature had been fascinated with these two students. He was the only living being in the whole school who had watched the love story between Hermione and Draco developing as years passed by. As discreetly as he could, the Giant Squid submerged his body into the water, not wanting to bother the… busy students.
The Gryffindor was the one who broke their kiss. Instead, she pressed her lips against his cheek up to his left ear. And then, she softly giggled as she smoothed out his rather disheveled hair. "Really, Draco, let's go back now," she told him.
The blond sighed and ran a hand through Hermione's hair. "You asked me a question a while ago, didn't you?" he said.
"What question?" she asked, playing with his necklace.
"The one you asked me about us… if we will last," he made her remember.
Realization dawned on Hermione as she slowly smiled and looked at him. "Yeah, what about it?" she asked him.
Draco removed his right arm from her waist. And then, he held her right hand where the beautiful ring he had given here was found. "See this?" he told her as he kissed the ring, eyes not averting themselves away from the brunette. "When I gave you this, it meant that I won't let you go at all."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "As if I'm going anywhere," she softly told him.
"This is a symbol which means you are mine, of course," he told her. "But Hermione… I think I'm ready."
"To what?" she asked him while frowning. "Honestly, Draco, just get to the point. You're making me nervous, you know."
"I'm ready," he repeated, right hand rummaging inside his pocket to retrieve the precious ring. He pulled his hand out of his pocket, revealing Hermione the ring he was faithfully carrying in his pocket ever since he bought it last summer.
Hermione eyed it, softly chuckling to herself. "Did she give that one to you, too?" she asked him.
"Who?" Draco asked her, confusion evident on his face.
The brunette looked confused, too. "Umm… her. The girl who gave you this ring." She lifted up her right hand where her ring was slightly glimmering. "Did she give that ring to you, too?"
Draco chuckled, shaking his head. "Nope," he lightly told her.
"Oh," she said, now positively frowning. "Does that mean something also?"
The blond grinned, lifting up her hand to kiss her palm. "Yes," he softly said, urging her to continue. She was almost there.
Hermione's frown turned into a grin. "Really? What does it mean now?" she asked him, eyeing the beautiful ring (a beautiful gold one with a gleaming diamond) with interest.
Draco sighed, slight irritation evident on his face. "Are you being dense or what?" he asked her.
The brunette looked at him innocently. "What are you talking about, Draco?"
"I'm going to say something that will surprise you, Hermione," he gently warned her, eyes searching her eyes.
Hermione just blinked at him, lips slowly changing into a frown again.
"Marry me." There, he had said it. Finally, he had said it. At least he had said it now before waiting for another year. It would be quite hard to muster courage if he asked her next year, if you asked him.
The brunette's eyes widened and her jaw dropped. She blinked five times before finding her voice again. "E-excuse me?" she asked. Draco could practically hear the astonishment in the tone of her voice.
"Marry me," Draco repeated softly, cupping her right cheek with his hand. He rubbed his thumb against her cheek. "Please, marry me, Hermione."
The brunette opened and closed her mouth, greatly resembling a goldfish out of water. "I… I don't know what to say," she truthfully told him.
The blond frowned. "You sound like you're hesitating," he softly told her, fear now slightly creeping towards his eyes.
Hermione saw it and immediately, she became alarmed. Of course she wanted to marry him! Who was she kidding if she said that she didn't want him to be the man who would forever spend the rest of his life with her? "But Draco…" she started, "we've only been going out for one and a half month."
"Hermione, we've know each other ever since first year!" he exclaimed, running a hand through his wet hair. "We've been friends… best friends! Are you afraid that I will just dump you like my past girlfriends? Hermione, wake up! Do you think I will hurt you?"
The brunette shook her head. Of course she knew he wouldn't hurt her. That was why she went out with him in the first place. "We're only seventeen," she continued.
"Don't get bothered by that age crap," he grumbled, gripping her right hand again. "So, please, please, please, Hermione. Marry me."
Hermione sighed. "My parents might not approve of our early marriage, Draco," she reminded him.
This time, the blond gave her a small smile. "I've asked for your hand from your parents already," he told her, surprising her greatly. "And thankfully, they approved of it. Whole-heartedly, mind you. Though, they know that I'll propose to you next year but… I think they will understand."
The brunette couldn't believe it. Her parents… her mommy and daddy had just surprised her because they approved of Draco's early marriage proposal! Of course she knew that Draco became dear to her parents already. They would treat him as their own son every time he would stay in their house in summer. But still…
Hermione sighed and looked at Draco, a small smile now forming on her face. "I can't answer, Draco," she told him softly, slight mischief faintly sparking in her eyes.
Draco looked exasperated. He threw his arms up into the air (not failing from splashing some water towards the brunette). "What now, Hermione?!" he cried, eyes wide because of fear and frustration.
The brunette softly chuckled to herself as she placed a brief kiss on his lips and forced his arms down. "How can I answer when you're not even asking any question, Draco?" she asked him.
The blond looked down at her and blinked several times. Slowly, he started to laugh. He laughed as he understood her point. He wrapped his arms tightly around her waist again (almost lifting her up) and buried his face against her hair. "Will you marry me, Hermione Jane Granger? I can't promise you anything because I'm afraid that I will break them and hurt you." He pulled his face away from her hair and looked down at her, love-rapture in his eyes. "But there are only two things that I can promise, Granger. My heart" – he placed her right hand against his chest where his heart was (just like what he did a few months ago) – "and my forever."
Tears formed at the corner Hermione's eyes as she smiled up at him. "Yes, yes, YES!" she exclaimed. "I'll marry you." She showered his face with sweet and gentle kisses, earning some soft chuckle from the blond.
Draco slipped her new ring into her finger and stared at his new fiancée. "I love you," he whispered, giving Hermione another brief kiss.
The blond and Hermione looked up, surprised. Two heads emerged from the water, one with black hair and another with red hair.
"Sorry to break the moment between the two of you," Ron merrily said as he swam towards the couple, "but Harry and I are bloody bored. We might as well bother both of you."
"Ugh, Weasley!" Draco roared, eyes blazing because of irritation. "Get out of the water!" He glared at Harry. "You, too, Potter!"
"Aww," Harry said, whacking the back of Draco's head, earning a stern "Harry!" from Hermione. He looked from Draco to Hermione then back to Draco with a raised eyebrow. "What are you both doing here anyway? Think swimming with your formal clothes on than dancing inside the Great Hall, eh?"
Hermione chuckled and shook her head. "Whatever, Harry," she told the Gryffindor male.
"Yeah, Harry's right," Ron piped in, slinging an arm around Draco's shoulder. An impish, teasing smile grew on his face. "I have a huge suspicion that this moment between the two of you involve a ring and wedding bells."
Harry laughed, thinking Ron was just joking. Ron laughed, too, because he thought that his joke was quite funny.
Draco and Hermione, though, were looking at Ron incredulously.
"What?" the redhead asked, abruptly stopping his laughter.
"How did you know?" the blond asked, demanding for an answer.
Harry's and Ron's jaw dropped in unison. And then, suddenly, Hermione was being sandwiched between her boyfriend… her fiancé and Harry since the Gryffindor hugged her from behind because of happiness.
"Oh, we didn't know!" he exclaimed laughing as he tightened his hug. Since his arms were slightly long, he had reached the blond's shoulder and started to friendly pat it because of congratulation. "Nice one, mate. Nice one."
Draco grinned. "Thanks," he said.
"Gah," Hermione said, already gasping for air. "Can't breathe!"
Ron then wrapped his arms around the three, giving them a bone-crushing hug. Hermione gasped louder as air inside her body was starting to lack. "So, when's the wedding?" he merrily asked, tightening his hug.
Draco shrugged. "Dunno, maybe next year?" he said uncertainly.
"Please, for the love of Merlin, release me! NOW!" Hermione shrieked. All three boys… no, all three young men, the young men who were dear to her heart, looked down at her and gave her identical boyish smiles. They burst out into laughter as they continued to squeeze Hermione to death. Literally.
"Guys!" she shrieked, though, failing to contain her laughter. She laughed with them, arms still tightly wrapped around Draco.
The four blinked, momentarily blinded as they saw white, bright light.
"Great!" Ginny shrieked as she snatched the camera (Hermione's) away from Luna's hands.
The four best friends looked at the sixth year students (even though they weren't graduation, they still attended the ball since their boyfriends invited them).
"Ginny!" Hermione shrieked. "I told you not to touch my camera!"
"Sorry, Hermione," the she-Weasley said, giving her a cheeky grin.
"Now, boys, RELEASE!" the brunette ordered. "I can't breathe anymore!"
This time, Draco, Harry, and Ron obliged and immediately released Hermione from the super duper big bear hug. Hermione inhaled deeply. "Ah, air oh air."
The three boys laughed as Draco kissed Hermione's hair.
"Jump into the water!" Ron invited his sister and his girlfriend.
"Oh no," Ginny said stubbornly, shaking her head. "My dress and hair will be ruined. I've spent hours to fix them, Ronald."
Luna had already jumped into the water and swam towards her boyfriend. "Come on, Ginevra!" she exclaimed.
Ginny rolled her eyes. "Oh, all right," she said as she placed Hermione's camera on a stump and then jumped into the water.
The picture which Luna and Ginny had taken was soon developed and was now seen displayed on Hermione's photo album. And scribbled underneath it were the words, 'Happiness. Comfort… Love. They're all around me!'
Disclaimer: The song "Remember Me This Way" is not mine. Oh, and again, this song is sung in one of my favorite movies, Casper: The Friendly Ghost!
A/N: And, my dear readers, it's already time's up for Time's Up! Tell me if the ending sucks, okay? I'll say three announcements but before that, I would like to thank all of those who had reviewed this story.
I would like to thank (especially the underlined ones) loony contortion woot; Saru 92; Stargirl; Euphoria123; Friendorfoesnape; FireKisses; AnOrExIcFaTtY; RandomObsessivePsychoFangirl; jessirose85; PR Princess; TheCresentMoonWriter; sweetsphyn; Lya Darkfury; Isadora120; Gryfferin Princess; blaire08; My-Edward-1992; Ms. Reinvented; Baby Dark; ; .x; GurloftheNight; Captain Severus Padfeet; Kat.1600; PymyPuff20; Sagesther; b-ballgurl2; FlamingSmoke; Anylnne; KibaIsHot; ellesra; malfoysgirl09; MalfoysBtch22; PinkMusicalCherry; honeymaid21; ixi-shaj; Eclipse; cristi08; jinx93; Crazy-Cullen; A Little Loony Love; Writer of Mysteries; whatifgirl; stargazer starluver; aquarius89; hiddenstarz; Esko Pa; just written; Umbridgeskitty; Auphora66; Ninja Nicole; Hermionexx77; Shadow Wars Warrior; darkcrystalwing; Blue-Stardust; Irmorena; bcain17; FantasiaInGreen; KimJo; lauredilian; Amane-Misa16; TwilightfanNO1; The Evil Sheep; SPIRITnJOY; and… Jazii26. Whew, quite many but really, I thank all of you… again, especially those who were underlined. I know (and some of you know) that some people here only reviewed by story once but… who cares? All of you are still important to me :D
All right, for my first announcement, I posted a poll in my profile which is connected to Chapters 14 and 15 of TU! Go check it out and vote, okay? I'll be happy, happy, HAPPY!
My second announcement is this. I will try to end Princess in Disguise before the year ends. But, while doing this, I have good news and not really a bad news. The good news is that I will post another story! Yehey! Of course, it will still be under the category of Harry Potter. The not really bad news, though, is that it won't be a Dramione pair. Yeah, I know, all of my stories are all about our dear Draco and Hermione. So, in this new story, it would be a Draco/OC pair. Trust me, if I paired Hermione with Draco in my next story, it would ruin the whole plot. Just so you know, the new story is entitled as "Invulnerable Power". Again, this is a Draco/OC story but still, I'm begging to all of my dear readers, please support this also.
And lastly, my third announcement is all about this story's sequel. I know that some of you are persuading me to post it here. Some of you, though, wanted to first see the ending before you decide to let me post the sequel. Now that the ending is here, what do you think? Really, really, I'm quite hesitant in writing this sequel since the plot is kinda… disorganized and messy. But I already have an idea what to write on the first and last chapter. So, just so you know, I will post another poll in my profile maybe mid-December asking if you want Time's Up! to have a sequel. Just wait for it, okay?
Now, readers, I will end this rather long Author's Note. (Woah, it almost filled up one page in Microsoft Word). Anyway, that's it.