Disclaimer: Not mine. Not yours. Only JK Rowling's.
A/N: Ah, have no fear, the epilogue is here! Hahaha! Anyway, so this is the last part of '11 Things', people.
By the way, I dedicate this to my most beloved beta-reader, tiger-eye-heart. Without her, some reviewers would still complain of some grammatical errors. Hahaha. I also dedicate this to kzel.05 (HEY TWIN!) for giving me an idea of some things to put on the latter part of this story (though, she did this unconsciously through her last PM… Hahaha). And also, I dedicate this to all reviewers who loved me no matter what. I want to name all of you but… umm… too lazy to do that! LOL! Anyway, hugs and kisses to all of you.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The italicized parts are flashbacks, 'kay? Good.
And three… two… one… ENJOY!
Hermione stretched her arms above her head luxuriously while trudging towards their bedroom. It had been five months since she had become Hermione Malfoy.
From the day after the blond's proposal, they never thought twice and immediately told the news to the blond's parents. To say that Narcissa was happy was the biggest understatement of the century. She was ecstatic and kept on repeating again and again that she knew that this day would arrive soon. Lucius, on the other hand, politely congratulated them, though the brunette couldn't help but notice the twitching right corner of her future father-in-law's lips. They had a huge celebration in the huge dining room in the Malfoy Manor.
As the brunette had predicted, the front cover of The Daily Prophet contained some details about the Malfoy heir finally asking the deceased hero's best friend's hand. What they didn't know was that Draco was sick. Narcissa and Lucius discovered about it the day after their wedding and Draco had predicted to his new wife that his mother would break down. And breakdown she did. She ordered her husband to give Draco another medical check-up, but it just proved that he had lung cancer.
Hermione still relived that day sometimes. The grief-stricken look on her mother-in-law's face upon hearing the disease of her son; Lucius' surprised look … it was all too much for her. The images of their faces would haunt her to the grave. She remembered that Lucius locked himself in his bedroom for two solid days without eating or taking a bath. She even swore that she heard some soft cries inside his room whenever she went to Draco's old bedroom (she passed Lucius' room on the way).
A week after their wedding and celebration, Draco persuaded Hermione to leave her old apartment and move in to his house… their new house. His parents were quite reluctant in letting him go but they understood that he was a married man and that he needed to spend some time alone with his new wife. And of course, they knew that Hermione would take care of their son.
The brunette was quite hesitant to leave her old, comfy apartment. That was where she had built her life after the war. It held a lot of memories, each wall telling a different story. But then, she soon made up her mind and transferred to her new house.
Back to reality, Hermione chanced a glance outside, her eyes instantly gazing at the full moon. It had been a full moon, too, when a two weeks ago, Dr. Lucia Montgomery (now Draco's personal doctor), told them that hen was a terminal patient. His lung cancer had metastasized to the third and last (and deadly) stage of lung cancer.
Draco was taking medications. Ever since he asked for Hermione's hand and she agreed, he immediately went to Dr. Montgomery's office and told her that he changed his mind and he would take medications. Hermione was hesitant at first. Of course, she knew about chemotherapy and all (though, she hadn't taken it). She knew that it could make a person weak. But of course, her husband knew her too well. Draco knew that deep down inside, she was grateful.
He took his very first round of chemotherapy a month after their wedding. Things that mostly happen to patients who received their chemotherapy did happen to him. For instance, his hair fell out but surprisingly, the next day, his hair grew back just like before. Lucius explained to her that wizards and witches are like that. Hermione also remembered Harry telling her about the time when his Aunt Petunia gave him an ugly haircut. He didn't want it at all. But then, the next day, all of them were surprised to see that Harry's hair had grown back just the way it was before.
Draco also became slightly weaker as days passed by. He seldom went to work anymore. He would often have fevers and would be forced to be bedridden for days at a time. He hated that. The blond was a busy body. He always wanted to move. He needed to move. But of course, his cancer was prohibiting him from doing all the things he liked.
Sometimes, when the blond was feeling quite well, he spent the night with Hermione in their tree house in the backyard. As usual, they would talk about random things and never failed to run out of words. Hermione would let his head lean on her right shoulder as she softly recited all the constellations she could recognize to him.
Hermione became a Healer a few weeks after their wedding. Being the new daughter-in-law of the owner of St. Mungo's, she had been given some privileges. Of course, Hermione had protested. She felt that the privileges Lucius gave to her were quite unfair to hundreds of other wizards and witches who were dreaming of becoming a Healer, too. But of course, Lucius insisted. Hermione was able to discover the cure for Odium Deprecor. The discovery of the cure for that particular curse was a big breakthrough in the medi-wizard world.
The brunette jumped an inch or two before swiveling around only to come face-to-face with Draco's (now hers, too) personal house-elf, Jinky.
"Err… yeah?" she asked, still quite shaken because of surprise.
The house-elf looked quite guilty. "Pardon Jinky, Mistress Malfoy, but Jinky just wants to ask if Mistress Malfoy wants to eat dinner." She smiled at her.
Hermione blinked and then smiled at the house-elf. Ever since she married Draco, she forced him to pay Jinky for her hard work. He refused, hands down when Hermione forced him to sack Jinky. She told him that she could do all the housework (even if their house was too humongous), work as a Healer, and take care of him all at the same time. But of course, he was Draco Malfoy and stubbornness was in his vocabulary, so he refused. At least, he agreed to pay Jinky a Galleon a month.
"Thank you for the offer, Jinky, but I'm sorry I don't want to eat dinner," she said, sounding as polite as possible. Ever since fourth year and S.P.E.W., talking to house-elves should be like talking to human beings. That became a constant to her.
Jinky bowed. "It's all right, Mistress Malfoy," she said. And with that, she disappeared with a soft pop.
Sighing, the brunette continued her small journey until she arrived in front of their bedroom. Inside was a sick Draco Malfoy. When Hermione had left that morning, he had been running a slight fever. He had wanted to go with her so badly (though, he didn't know where she was going) but he couldn't because he was too delirious to even stand.
Her left hand unconsciously landed on her belly as she opened the door. Their bedroom was only Draco's before. But then, since Hermione came, the blond bewitched it to be slightly bigger for the two of them.
Hermione immediately approached the quiet bundle lying down on the bed. The towel which Hermione placed before she went away was still draped on the blond's forehead. When she was dealing with colds and fevers, she still preferred healing him the Muggle-way.
Her hand clutched the cool towel (she bewitched it so that it would stay cool until she came back) and removed it from his forehead. The brunette leaned down and kissed her husband's forehead.
Draco groggily opened his eyes. At first, they were unfocused. But then, they focused themselves on Hermione's concerned face.
"How are you feeling?" she softly asked. She subconsciously noticed that he wasn't that feverish anymore.
He managed to crack a small smile. "Better," he said, voice sounding a little hoarse because of the lack of talking.
Hermione smiled and then walked towards her wardrobe to retrieve her usual pajamas.
"Where were you?" he asked, slight irritation evident on his voice. "You were gone for a long time, Hermione."
Before answering, the brunette waved her wand and instantly, she was wearing her pajamas. "I went to the same muggle hospital," she told him, carefully folding her used clothes before placing them gently inside the laundry basket.
"Why?" he asked, sounding suspicious.
"I visited Dr. Nobleman."
"Dr. Nobleman?" He sounded surprised. "I thought he retired."
"He did," she said, softly chuckling. "But it turned out he loves his job too much to retire early. And so, he came back. We had a small chat after that." Hermione plopped down beside him and instantly wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him closer until his forehead was leaning against her shoulder. Draco's skeletal arm found its way around her waist before sighing.
"I missed you," he said, earning a small chuckle from the brunette.
"Draco, I was only gone for a few hours," she said, placing a light kiss on his forehead.
"So?" he asked, frowning. "I still missed you."
"Aww… my husband's turning sappy," she teased, noticing the face he made. She laughed. "Don't worry, I missed you, too."
"Now who's turning sappy?" he joked.
Hermione grinned and stuck out her tongue immaturely. These actions of hers greatly surprised the blond. "Why are you looking at me weirdly?" she inquired.
Draco frowned, a contemplative look plastered on his face. "You're acting weird," he said.
"Weird?" she asked, looking a bit innocent.
"Well," he started, "you're acting cheery and all."
"Is that bad?"
He shook his head slightly, knowing that if he moved his head too much, a headache would start to form. "No," he answered. "It's just weird. I mean, two weeks ago, you were barely talking to me. It was like me going terminal made you want to keep your distance from me and" – Hermione's smile instantly disappeared – "I really shouldn't have said that." The blond looked guilty, knowing that what he had just said removed the smile on his wife's face.
"S'all right," she said, sighing.
"I'm sorry," he softly said.
The brunette just nodded and leaned her forehead against the top of his head. Draco, quite alarmed, pulled her face until their lips met for a brief, yet gentle kiss.
"I'm a git," he muttered softly to himself.
Hermione smiled and patted his blond hair. "You're my git," she reassured him. "And I love you even if you are one."
Draco returned her smile. "Well, that's good to hear," he said, snuggling against her neck. "Now, tell me why you're being so bloody cheery today." He released a wide yawn against her neck and closed his eyes.
"I'm going to tell you something surprising, honey," she slowly said, her hands unconsciously playing with his blond hair.
The brunette slowly nodded. "I didn't really go to the muggle hospital to meet with Dr. Nobleman," she said. "Well, yeah, I met Dr. Nobleman and we had coffee but, I did something before that."
"A check-up?" he asked, looking up at her. When Hermione nodded, a joking smile grew on his face. "Let me guess… a blood test?"
She rolled her eyes but chuckled nonetheless. "No," she said. "A pregnancy test."
Draco froze. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped. Strangely, his wife found his expression quite endearing. "A… a w-what?"
"A pregnancy test," she repeated, a small smile now growing on her face.
He opened and closed his mouth while blinking rapidly. "I… uh… err… b-bloody hell!" he exclaimed, making the brunette giggle softly. "P-positive?"
Hermione nodded. "Positive," she said, happiness evident in her voice. If it was possible, Draco's eyes grew larger. His eyes shifted from the brunette's eyes to her stomach then back to her eyes.
"H-how long?" he asked, laughter gently growing.
"A month now," she explained to him, grinning at his reaction. "We both thought that the sickness I kept on feeling before was just because I got affected every time you have fevers. We never thought that maybe… maybe someone's been residing in my body and sharing my nutrients with me."
"A… baby," the blond whispered, almost breathless. He blinked, eyes immediately connecting with his wife's eyes. And before Hermione knew it, Draco was pressing kisses all over her face.
Hermione laughed and held both of his cheeks to stop his kisses. "Yes, a baby," she said, rubbing his right cheek with her thumb. "We're going to have a baby, Draco."
His eyes twinkled in amazement and excitement, unconsciously kissing the inside of her palm. "You're going to be a mother," he whispered, grinning boyishly.
"And you, a father," she said, allowing him to lift her shirt halfway so that he could rub his hand against her bare abdomen.
"Little one," he whispered, "you're going to be the luckiest kid in the whole wide world."
Hermione softly giggled as tears gathered at the corner of her eyes. Alarmed, Draco covered her stomach again and wiped the tears that escaped from the brunette's eyes. "Hey, hey," he murmured, kissing one tear away. "What's wrong? Why are you crying? Tears of joy, I hope."
The brunette leaned her forehead against his as she took a huge, shuddering breath. "Kind of," she whispered.
Draco now looked downright confused. "What do you mean?" he asked.
"Draco," she started, "I'm glad I'm pregnant with your child." She smiled at the statement she said. "This must be the happiest day of my life… well, next to your proposal." Draco couldn't help but laugh softly. "But…" This time, Hermione's face crumpled and then, tears continued to fall. "But…" She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened it, despair was clearly written in her eyes. Even though it was slightly dark, Draco could see it. "Pr-promise me one thing, Draco."
"Anything, love. Anything," he murmured, kissing her forehead for comfort.
"P-please," she cried softly. "Please… be there beside me when I deliver our child."
The blond pursed his lips tightly. He gently laid her head against his neck as she continued to sob.
"Pr-promise me, please," she begged, eyes looking up at him imploringly. Her hands, which were perched at his back, crumpled the back material of his shirt as she shook because of her tears. "That's all I'm asking for, Draco."
"Shh…" he said, rubbing circles at her back.
"I-I can't let you promise me not to die, Draco," she continued, still sobbing softly. "Be-because even if I hate to admit it, you'll break it anyway."
"Hermione," he said, slightly warningly. "Stop. Please."
"Promise me first!" she cried. "I-I want you to see him… or her, I don't know. I-I want you to at least hold our child, Draco. Pr-promise me you'll be beside me when I deliver our child."
It was clear that the topic they were talking about was hurting the brunette. Sighing in defeat, Draco kissed her forehead again and murmured, "Fine. I promise."
"Mean it, please," she pleaded.
"I'll try," he said, his hand now rubbing circles on her stomach. "I'll try because I love you. And our child."
Hermione, despite her tears, smiled gently. "Thank you," she said, planting a kiss on his lips.
"Anything for you," he whispered, giving her a small smile. "Now, please go to sleep. It's not good for the baby if the mother's stressed."
The brunette chuckled and closed her eyes. "Goodnight, Draco."
"Sleep tight, love," he whispered.
"Don't let the bed bugs bite."
It was torture.
Hermione, who had been heavily pregnant for eight months, paced back and forth in an attempt to calm down her frayed nerves. Dry tears were still present against her cheek as she glared daggers at the door that was dividing her from her husband.
Two hands placed themselves on her shoulders, surprising her slightly. She looked up and met Lucius' worried eyes, both for his son and for her. Narcissa was still softly sobbing from one of the plastic chairs in the muggle hospital as she waited for the doctors to do something to her son.
"Sit down, Hermione," Lucius ordered, pushing her shoulders gently and effortlessly until the brunette was seated. "You're pregnant. Think about what is best for the baby."
Hermione choked up a sob as she looked back at the door of the emergency room.
This morning, Hermione was awoken by her husband who was vigorously shaking her. He announced to her he couldn't breathe properly. Hermione painfully ignored the fact that there were bloodstains scattered on the carpeted floor – Draco had been coughing again.
And so, Hermione immediately rushed him to the emergency room in the usual muggle hospital. She shakily called Narcissa and Lucius and begged them to come. She needed moral support and reassurance that Draco would be all right… that everything would soon be over.
"Calm down, honey," her father-in-law murmured, rubbing small circles on her back for comfort. Hermione noticed that Lucius was allowing Narcissa to grip his hand for dear life. "Draco will be all right." Even his eyes were contradicting his words.
It had been hours now. Dr. Montgomery, together with some of the other doctors and nurses, were inside the emergency room, doing their best to at least stabilize Draco.
Agitated, Hermione stood up again and peeked through the small glass window of the door. She wished she hadn't because the things that were happening inside made her blood run cold. The heart machine, the one that tells the heartbeat, was now showing a scarily straight line. One doctor was giving Draco chest compressions. His fragile body looking like it would surely snap with each downward thrust.
"NO!" the brunette cried, banging one of her fist against the door. "Oh God, oh god. NO!"
They were now doing everything they could to revive his breathing… his heartbeat… his life.
Lucius, surprised with the brunette's outburst, immediately approached his daughter-in-law and peeked inside. His color drained instantly. One of the nurses noticed that the curtain was open. She shot them an apologetic look before drawing the blue curtain around Draco's bed.
Now hysterical, Hermione kept on banging the door, demanding them to open it. Lucius, distraught, tried to pull Hermione away from the door and sit her back down on one of the chairs. A crying Narcissa approached the two, scared by Hermione's reaction to whatever was going on.
She looked from her daughter-in-law to her husband. She saw the hopelessness that immediately washed over Lucius. And she knew… she knew. Narcissa looked back to Hermione and her heart broke for the brunette. They'd been in love and now, she was bearing the fruit of their love. But to predict… to see that maybe she would have to take care of their baby without her son.. it was just not fair.
Hermione had lost her best friends. Hermione had lost her parents. Hermione had lost almost everything. Now, Narcissa knew that Hermione had lost Draco.
And so, without thinking, she brandished her wand and Alohamora-ed the door.
"Narcissa!" Lucius exclaimed, watching as Hermione rushed inside the emergency room.
The Malfoy matriarch only shot her husband a deadly look before following inside.
The doctors and nurses were surprised to see that they were able to barge in. And so, they were too shocked to stop Hermione from making her way towards her husband.
"Draco… Draco," she sobbed, trying to wake him up. Her hands were now against his cheek. One of her hands traveled down to his neck. He was warm, making Hermione hope that he was still alive. But his carotid artery wasn't beating anymore. That crushed her hope. "Dr-Draco, honey, please wake up." She shook him vigorously like he had shaken her just hours ago. "You can't… die… please. You can't die. You can't leave me. You promised!"
Dr. Montgomery snapped out of her shock and tried to pull away Hermione from the bed. "Mrs. Malfoy, please," she murmured. "You're not supposed to be here."
"Do something!" she cried. "Why isn't he breathing anymore?! You're the doctor here! Do something! H-h-he promised me… Draco promised me to be there when I deliver o-our baby. D-do something!"
The doctor sighed. Hermione couldn't help but hear the hopelessness in her voice. Dr. Montgomery looked at her husband and shook her head slightly. That only made Hermione cry more.
Lucius approached Hermione and pulled her into a gentle hug, careful not to crush the big bump that was Hermione's stomach. "I'm sorry," he murmured, running his hand through his daughter-in-law's hair.
"Lu-Lucius," she sobbed. "Do something. You're a H-Healer. I'm sure you'll be able to save Dr-Draco. Do something, Lucius. Do something."
He shook his head and sighed. He knew as well as she did that the dead stayed dead. That was why there was still no cure for the Killing Curse.
"Please, don't look like that, dear," Narcissa said from beside Lucius, alarmed at the fact that all the color from Hermione was draining. "Don't look like that!"
"Please get a wheelchair," he said to one of the nurses who obliged.
The last thing Hermione heard was the monotonous drone of the heart machine.
And then, she fell limp on Lucius' arms.
Faint sunlight streamed inside the bedroom. It reached the thirty-year-old Hermione Granger-Malfoy who was staring blankly at the window.
She hadn't slept well last night. Hell, she hadn't slept properly these past few years.
Sighing, Hermione got up from the bed and grabbed her red robe, draping it around her shoulders before opening the bedroom door.
It was still early in the morning. All the occupants in the house were still soundlessly sleeping. Hermione trudged through the backyard 'til she reached the tree house which was made by her dear husband a few years ago.
Five years had passed. It had been five years since Draco Malfoy died. When Hermione woke up after she fainted in the emergency room, she thought that everything that had happened was just a dream… a nightmare. Upon seeing dear Narcissa whose eyes were puffy and red, she immediately asked her where Draco was. She just burst into tears and then, Hermione knew that what she had witnessed wasn't a nightmare at all.
Hermione's eyes traveled up into the sky. The sun was just peeking from the horizon. The moon was still visible, though the stars were long gone.
Sighing, Hermione climbed down from the tree house. There, in front of it, was a white tombstone with the words 'Draco Malfoy' inscribed on it. When Lucius had asked Hermione where she wanted to lay Draco to rest, she had monotonously answered under the tree house he had made just for her.
The brunette approached it slowly, a small lump forming in her throat. Her eyes stung again as she slowly sat down in front of the tombstone. She rarely visited Draco's grave. Just looking at it still made her cry. And so, she only visited him on special occasions like his birthday, their wedding anniversary, and his death anniversary.
Today was their wedding anniversary.
Lucius and Narcissa arrived a few days ago, telling her that they wanted to celebrate their wedding anniversary with the brunette. Hermione, faking a smile on her face, agreed half-heartedly. She wasn't really planning on a celebration. All she planned was to visit his grave early in the morning and then lock herself in her room for the rest of the day.
"Happy Anniversary, honey," she whispered, fingers gently brushing against the blond's name. A lone tear slid down from her eyes as she slowly retrieved her hands back and gently placed them on top of her lap. "It's been five years now, eh?"
She paused, hearing the first chirping of the birds for the day. Hermione brushed the tears away from her eyes and sniffed. "I miss you badly, Draco," she continued, releasing a soft hiccup. "I hope you're happy wherever you are." She retrieved her wand from her pocket and conjured a red rose. She tentatively placed it in on his grave while softly crying. "It's painful to be alone, love. I still wish you were here with me. But… but I've accepted the fact that He needed to take you away from me. I've learned that after you took me to my best friends' graves."
Hermione's eyes slightly widened upon hearing the music from her music box. She looked around wildly. Her eyes then rested towards the ice skater gliding around in her music box which was tightly clutched by a five-year-old, blond little boy. "Scorpius!" she exclaimed.
"Mama?" the little boy softly asked in concern, gently placing his mother's heavy music box on the ground. Scorpius immediately approached his crying mother and wrapped his stubby arms around the brunette's neck. "You're crying again, Mama," he pointed out.
Despite her tears, Hermione chuckled. "Mama's just tired, Scorpy," she said, ruffling her son's hair affectionately.
Scorpius Malfoy was the son of Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger-Malfoy. Scorpius was a premature child, leaving his mother's body a month earlier than normal. He was small and frail when he was a baby. But then, the doctor reassured Hermione that once he grew up, he would be a healthy child (if, she took care of him properly).
And so, he was. Scorpius was a healthy and adorable five-year-old. He was the spitting image of his father, though he possessed his mother's intelligence and compassion. At first, Hermione felt pain just watching her son because of his strong resemblance to Draco. But as days passed, she learned to love him dearly as much as she loved Draco.
"Grandpapa's calling you, Mama," Scorpius said, brushing his mother's tears using his fingers. Frowning, he said, "And please don't cry. I don't like it when you cry."
Hermione nodded and kissed his forehead before carrying him back inside their house. Lucius was up and greeted his daughter-in-law with a warm kiss on top of her hair. "Good morning," he greeted, smiling warmly at Hermione and her son. It still never ceased to amaze Hermione every time Lucius smiled at her. It was just… weird. But she learned to just appreciate it.
Lucius smile faltered, immediately turning into a frown. "You were crying," he pointed out. Hermione just sheepishly smiled, not having the energy to defend herself. Lucius just sighed. "It's your wedding anniversary, Hermione. Please be happy."
"I know," she said, nodding her head slightly. She looked around the house. "Where's Narcissa?"
"Making breakfast," he said. "And I suggest you wear something decent, dear, before the guests arrived."
"You invited guests?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Only a few," he assured her.
Hermione sighed and placed Scorpius back on the ground. "All right, I'll be right back," she said, trudging up the stairs.
"Now, little scorpion, do you want to help your Grandmama in the kitchen?" Lucius asked, grinning at his grandson. Looking at him always reminded him of his deceased son, though, he was more adorable. Smirking, he knew that if Draco was still alive today, he would be protesting nonstop that he was as adorable as his son.
"Yes!" he gleefully announced before rushing towards the kitchen where Narcissa was currently working.
Hermione, witnessing this small interaction between grandfather and grandson, chuckled before completely going inside her bedroom.
She walked towards her wardrobe and hunted for some decent clothes. Her eyes landed on the other side of the wardrobe – Draco's. Even if he was dead, Hermione hadn't touched his belongings. His clothes, parchments, inks… everything were still placed right where they were supposed to be.
Sighing, Hermione closed the wardrobe and changed into her nice, clean and decent clothes. She smiled when she saw her stuffed toy ferret whose head was slightly leaning on top of Draco's stuffed toy beaver. Ever since she moved into his house, those two stuffed toys of theirs were inseparable, just like their owners.
"Mama, come down!" Scorpius called out from below.
Hermione opened the bedroom door and walked down the stairs, only to stop midway. There in front of her, was a chuckling Scorpius carried by a grinning James. The next thing she knew, she was hugging him enthusiastically. "James!" she exclaimed, laughing softly. "It's been years since the last time I saw you!"
James grinned and released the squirming Scorpius who immediately ran to his grandfather. "Hermione," he said, returning her eager hug. "It's so nice to see you again."
"How are you?" she asked, looking at him from head to toe. "My, you have grown taller! And thank Merlin you gained weight. I was honestly scared of holding you before because you were practically skin and bones!"
He chuckled and placed a kiss on her forehead. "How are you coping?" he asked, this time, more serious.
Hermione made a small smile. "Still in pain," she answered him. "But Scorpius is here. He distracts me from the pain."
James made a face. "Malfoy told me you weren't his girlfriend before," he told her. "How come you end up with his son?"
The brunette giggled. "Because I love him," she said. "And he loved me, too."
He sighed. "Too bad we never went out more before," he said. "It would still be cool to be like William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway."
"Silly," she said, playfully punching his arm. "You knew all along that my feelings for you were purely platonic. And I'm sure all you felt for me was a silly crush since I'm the first one to show you love."
"Happiness, care, and love," he corrected, making Hermione smile.
Hermione looked at the source of voice, surprised to see a very beautiful girl, probably as old as James. "Who's she?" she asked the twenty-two-year-old in front of her.
James smiled proudly and beckoned the woman to approach him. "This," he said, smiling affectionately at her, "is my fiancée, Cindy."
Hermione's eyes enlarged. "You're engaged!" she exclaimed, expressing her surprise.
The young man laughed softly and wrapped an arm around Cindy's waist. "Yes," he said. "Surprised, eh?"
The brunette just smiled at him.
"Mrs. Malfoy, right?" Cindy asked.
James laughed while Hermione rolled her eyes at him. "Just call me Hermione," she said.
"Hermione, then," she said, smiling at her. "I just want to say that you have a very adorable son. Scorpius is my ideal child, you know."
Hermione smiled as James turned into a deep shade of red. She then pulled Cindy into a gentle hug, surprising her greatly. "Listen here, Cindy," she said. "Please do take care of James. I once cured him from Odium Deprecor. He never felt love before, okay? And I'm glad he found you."
This time, it was Cindy who was blushing furiously. "I will, Mrs. Mal – I mean, Hermione," she smiled.
"Good," she said, releasing Cindy completely from her hug. "Now, please do feel at home. I'll be back. I just need to check on Narcissa and Scorpius." With that, Hermione went inside the kitchen and couldn't help but laugh upon seeing the scene inside.
Narcissa was there, looking slightly disgruntled as her grandson ate chocolate from a bowl.
"Scorpius," Hermione said warningly, smiling warmly as Scorpius smiled at her, hints of chocolate splattered around his face.
"Mama!" he exclaimed and went down from the stool, wanting to give Hermione a big hug
"Ah, ah," she said, placing her arms in front of her, and completely stopping Scorpius from hugging her. "You're messy, honey. Be good and go wash. After that, I'll give you a hug. A kiss, too, maybe."
Scorpius smiled adorably and ran towards the washroom to wash himself.
Hermione directed her eyes towards a chuckling Narcissa.
"Unbelievable," the older woman said. "I should have done that to him."
"I'm so sorry if Scorpius bothered you, Narcissa," she said.
Older Mrs. Malfoy waved a dismissive hand. "It's all right, dear," she said. "He's just like his father when Draco was younger."
Hermione's smile faltered, though, the smile was still plastered on her face. "Yes, he reminds me of… Draco," she said.
Narcissa sighed and placed the knife back down on the chopping board. She wiped her hands on her apron and beckoned Hermione to move closer. The brunette obliged and was soon enveloped in the older Malfoy's arms. "I haven't wished you a 'Happy Anniversary' yet," she said.
The brunette chuckled. "You already did, Narcissa," she said, closing her eyes and placing her chin on top of her head (since she was taller than Narcissa).
"You miss him, don't you?" she asked.
Hermione flashed a bitter smile. "Narcissa, I will always miss him," she said. "He was my husband, after all."
"Of course," Narcissa said, patting her back. "But, thank Merlin Scorpius is here, Hermione. It seemed like Draco never left us at all."
"Yes, quite right," she said.
The brunette turned around and broke away from Narcissa's hug, only to be attacked by a mass of blonde hair and a pair of arms. Softly laughing, Hermione pulled away the girl hugging her tightly. She surveyed her from head to toe, eyes enlarging in the process. "Sophie?" she asked.
The blonde girl, that is Sophie, smiled widely and nodded her head vigorously. "Yes, yes, Hermione," she said.
"Wow, you've grown!" she exclaimed, running a hand through her slightly longer hair. Sophie was apparently a ten-year-old! But for Hermione, it looked like Sophie was still the same beautiful child who was first afraid of her.
Sophie pulled Hermione back into a hug. "How have you been, Hermione?" she asked, this time quite softly. The blonde gingerly placed a kiss on the brunette's cheek. "I'm sorry… about… Draco." Tears welled up in the little girl's eyes.
"Oh hush, honey, don't cry," Hermione said, brushing a lone tear away from her eyes. "I'm all right now," she said. "It still hurts, Sophie. But I'll be okay."
The blonde sniffed and nodded her head, a small smile spreading on her face.
"By the way, why are you here?" the brunette asked. "Not that I don't want you to be. But, why are you here?"
"We adopted her," Lucius said, announcing his arrival.
Hermione's eyes widened. "Adopted?!" she exclaimed. "Lucius… she's… she's a muggle!"
Lucius gave her a smile. "Muggle-born," he corrected.
The brunette's jaw dropped, eyes immediately landing on the smiling little girl. "You're… muggle-born?"
Sophie nodded her head vigorously. "Yes," she said, now sound excited. "I received my Hogwarts Acceptance Letter a few weeks ago. Apparently, I'm a witch, too… just like you!"
"Oh, wow," she said, softly chuckling. Her eyes landed back on Lucius. "How did you know about Sophie?"
"Draco talked about her sometimes." This time, it was Narcissa who answered her. "He actually told us that she was afraid of you at first."
"But she gave me a pink teddy bear!" Sophie interjected.
The four of them laughed. "So, I presume she'll be living in the Malfoy Manor," Hermione said.
"Yes, but she can visit here anytime she wants," Lucius said. "Scorpius needs some playmates, too, you know."
Sophie's eyes widened. "Scorpius?"
As if on cue, the adorable little Malfoy strode inside, now chocolate-free. "Mama, can I have my hug now?" he asked.
"Mama?" Sophie asked.
Hermione opened her arms wide and little Scorpius rushed towards his mother and wrapped his little arms around her waist. The brunette looked at Sophie and smiled. "He looks like Draco, doesn't he?"
The little blonde's eyes widened. "You have a son!" she exclaimed, approaching the little blond who was looking at Sophie curiously. "He's so adorable! He looks exactly like Draco." She looked up at Hermione. "Can I hug him?"
"Of course!" Hermione exclaimed, looking at her son fondly. "Only if he wants to."
Sophie directed her gaze towards the five-year-old. "Can I hug you?" she asked him.
Scorpius looked up at his mother. Hermione smiled and nodded her head. He then looked back at the strange new girl and nodded his head. "Okay," he said, unwrapping his arms from his mother's waist. He opened his arms for Sophie who immediately pulled him into a big hug.
"He hugs like Draco, too!" Sophie exclaimed, coddling with the younger blond.
Hermione chuckled once her son softly laughed and hugged Sophie back. They looked so adorable. And judging by the look on both of Narcissa and Lucius' faces, she knew they would agree with her, too. "Err… Lucius," she said. "Are we expecting someone else?"
Lucius gave her a mysterious smile. "Yes, Hermione," he answered.
Hermione frowned in suspicion but just shrugged. "I'll be back in a minute. I just have to check James and his fiancée… Oh, I still can't believe that he's engaged!"
"Things change," Narcissa said, watching as her grandson played with her new adopted daughter.
"I agree," Hermione said with a sigh before walking towards the living room. She smiled at the scene once arriving at the living room. Cindy's head was placed on top of James' head, her eyes slightly dropping closed.
James looked up upon hearing Hermione's footsteps. "She's tired… she had a long night yesterday," he explained.
Hermione smiled. "You know, you can take her home now," she said.
The twenty-two-year-old looked indignant. "Hermione, this is a special day for you!" he protested. "I haven't seen you for years! I missed you, you know. And, since you're the first person to show me that you care for me, I want to spend this special day with you… together with Cindy, of course."
The brunette chuckled and gave James a hug. "Thank you," she said. "I appreciate it."
"You're always welcome, Hermione. You're always welcome," James answered back. When he looked behind the brunette, his eyes shot up in surprise. "Hermione, were you expecting someone else?"
"Err… Lucius told me that someone will… still… come." Her voice faltered. Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. "Gi-Gi-Ginny?" she spluttered.
Indeed, standing in front of her, was the one and only Ginny Weasley. As Hermione observed her, she looked different yet so… the same. Ginny still had the usual auburn hair, swaying gracefully against her back. The same baby blue eyes were staring intently at the brunette in front of her. Yes, she was the same Ginny Weasley she had once known and still loved, though, Hermione greatly felt that she was more mature than before.
"So, you married Draco Malfoy?" the redhead said, breaking the uncomfortable silence that had formed between her and Hermione. Her eyes were staring at one of their wedding pictures, scrutinizing the happy expression on both of their faces.
"Y-y-yes," Hermione stuttered, still in a state of shock.
Ginny took a deep breath and averted her eyes away from the picture, eyes now intently staring at Hermione again. "Why?" she simply asked.
"Why?" Hermione asked, surprised with her sudden question. "You're asking me why?"
The she-Weasley just gave her a blank look.
The brunette pursed her lips and sighed. "Because I… because I… love him," she answered softly. "That's why."
Hermione wasn't sure if Ginny was surprised. If she was, she didn't show it. "He took care of you for years," she stated.
"Yes," the brunette said, her eyes tearing up. "Y-yes."
"Did he… did he ever hurt you?" the redhead asked, strangely quiet.
A tear slipped down from Hermione's eyes. "No," she said, with strong conviction. "Never."
"Does he love you?" she asked softly.
Tears continued to pour down from Hermione's eyes. "Y-yes," she said. "He… he never failed to tell me that."
"Hermione," Ginny suddenly said, her face softening at the state of the brunette. "Hermione… I hate myself."
The brunette released a soft sob. Ginny was suddenly changing the topic. "Ginny…"
"I hate myself for… for blaming you," she continued. For some reason, her eyes were starting to mist, too. "I was… I-I was stupid for blaming you, Hermione. It wasn't your fault."
"I-I've missed you, Hermione," Ginny commented, a tear slipping down from her eyes. That just made Hermione cry more.
And then, little arms wrapped themselves around the crying brunette. Surprised, Hermione looked down and saw her little son hugging her tight, a concerned look adorning his adorable face. "S-Scopry?" she said.
"Mama, you're crying again," Scorpius pointed out, his lower lip slightly quivering. "Didn't Scoprius tell you not to cry anymore, Mama? I don't like it when you cry."
Hermione bent down and carried the little boy in her arms while pressing kisses on top of his head. "I'm fine, Scorpius," she said. "I'm all right." Her eyes then landed on Ginny, a surprised look plastered on her face.
"Y-you…" the redhead spluttered, eyes staring boldly at the blond on Hermione's arms. "He… he looks exactly like… the Ferret."
Despite her tears, the brunette managed to smile. "That's what people kept on telling me," she told the redhead.
Ginny slowly opened her arms, a wide smile plastered on her tearstained face. "I'm sorry, Hermione," she simply said.
The brunette then gently placed Scorpius back on the ground before lunging herself towards Ginny's arms.
"Ginny," she cried, her arms wrapped around her best friend tightly. "I've missed you, too."
"I'm sorry," the she-Weasley said.
Hermione shook her head. "Don't be silly," she said. "I'm the one who is at fault. I'm sorry I haven't saved Harry and Ron at all."
"It wasn't your fault," Ginny interjected.
The brunette chuckled, surprising the redhead. "That's what Draco kept on telling me," she told Ginny. "He told me it wasn't my fault… that you were being ridiculous."
"Damn right he was," the redhead said.
"Let's not fight over it anymore, Hermione," she said. Ginny pulled Hermione away from their hug and grinned. "Past is past. It's true I still haven't gotten over Harry and Ron's death. But I will… soon."
Hermione smiled and gave her another quick hug. "I'll be here beside you, Ginny."
Ginny smiled, her eyes now landing on Scorpius. "Can I… can I hug him?" she asked Hermione, her eyes not leaving the adorable five-year-old.
"Of course," she said, watching as Ginny pulled little Scorpius into a hug and cooed at him.
The small celebration ended without any interruptions. Smiles and laughs were exchanged, especially at the stories of Ginny while dealing with dragons in Romania. Apparently, she became an assistant to her brother, Charlie. Tears were shed, mostly on behalf of Hermione, while all of them listened to a short poem made by Sophie in memory of Draco Malfoy.
As Hermione hugged their guests goodbye, Scorpius slipped back into their backyard, remembering that he had left his mother's beloved music box in it.
And so, as he ran towards it, he discovered that the music box was still open. The lullaby which his mother mostly sang to him was still heard around the backyard. Smiling, the little scorpion approached it. Before he could even close it, his eyes landed immediately on the white tombstone under the tree house (which, he came to love).
Biting his lower lip, he approached the white tombstone. He was still confused as to why his mother always cried every time she visits this tombstone. All he knew, though, was that his father's name was inscribed on it. He might not know where his 'Papa' was, but he sure knew he was somewhere far away, that was why his mother always cried whenever she looked at this.
He brushed his fingers against his lips and pressed it gingerly against his father's name. "I love you, Papa," he said, smiling at his name. "And someday, I will see you. Please wait for me, okay?"
With that, he approached his mother's music box and closed the lid, thus, making the song stop. He carried the heavy box inside the house, greeted by a surprised Hermione who immediately took her music box away from Scorpius.
"Mama," the little blond said as he followed her up to Hermione's bedroom. "Can we go to Happy Land today?"
Chuckling, Hermione looked at Scorpius. "Of course, honey," she said, placing her music box on her bedside table. "Now, go back to your room and change. Grandpapa, Grandmama, and Sophie will come, too."
Scorpius grinned and kissed Hermione's cheek in thanks. He dashed back to his bedroom to follow his mother's orders.
Hermione's eyes landed back on the stuffed toy beaver and ferret. For her, looking at the toys reminded her of Draco and her. He might not be there beside her anymore, but all the people he loved still surrounded her, and thus, making him still present even though he was not.
The brunette might not have a happily ever after with her one true love. But being loved by Lucius and Narcissa like a daughter… being loved by Sophie like a mother… being cared for by James like a true friend… being forgiven by Ginny and restoring their friendship… and being smiled at by her precious Scorpius… Hermione knew, at least, in some way, she had her happily ever after.
As her eyes looked at her husband, the pain was still there. Of course, like everybody, she wanted to spend her life with the one she loves for as long as she lives.
Their love story might have ended as a tragedy. But surprisingly, Hermione learned things from how their love story ended. She learned that life can sometimes be bittersweet – not everything has a happy ending. She would be lying if she said that she never hoped that Draco would still live. But, she also discovered that their love was true… their love was strong… their love was unconditional. Despite Draco's sickness, Hermione still chose to stay beside him because of course, she loved him and he loved her in return. And she knew… she very well knew that Draco was waiting for her. That thought gave her a spark of hope.
Because someday, she would have her happily ever after with him.
A/N: AND DONE! Yay, finally I've finished another fic of mine! I'm so happy! But, at the same time, I'm pretty sad too. I mean, this fic somehow became my baby or something like that. Hahaha. To those whose theories are proven right, congratulations! Hahahaha!
Anyway, I'm sorry if there are no R-to-R… I'm just kinda feeling lazy today. I promise, I'm just going to reply to your reviews personally – not post it here.
Ah, okay, before that, I would just like to apologize to those people who think I screwed up or something. If I suck, fine. If my story sucks, it's fine, too. Like what I've told all of you on the 'festering sore' fiasco thing, I can't please anybody. But see, I'm the author. I can do whatever I want to my story.
To all cancer patients and their relatives there, I'm sorry if you think this story of mine is kinda frivolous or something. I didn't mean to offend you. I have relatives too who have cancer or something close to that and I'm telling you, it's not fun watching them becoming weaker and weaker. One reviewer of mine thought I was just playing around and I'm telling you, I am not. I just think I have to inform all of you.
Anyway, thanks to all those who love me no matter what happened to this story. Thank you to all those who wanted to badly kill me, punch me on the face, send scary ninja teddy bears (ahem, you know who you are! LOL!), and tie me around a chair or things like that… HAHAHA. In the end, you still chose to finish this story. *Bows down* That means something to me. Kisses to all of you!
On a brighter note, I have a new plot in mind! Yipee! It'd be funnier, I promise. I don't know when I will post it but I have a complete plot saved on the computer. I just need to make an outline like what I did in '11 Things' so that my story will have a clearer direction. But ugh! I still need to update Princess in Disguise! Wow, it had been a long time since I updated. I'm sorry to all who reads this story. It's just that every time I decided to write something new, my mind is completely blank. Writer's block, burn in hell!
So, that's it. Oh wait, about the sequel of Time's Up!, I'm still not sure when I will post it. I have a complete outline already, too, and I'm debating whether to post this sequel or the other story. I'm torn. Hahaha.
Again, thank you all for supporting this. Despite the fact that some chapters made you cry (and some told me they hate crying), you still decided to continue reading this. Thank you to those who placed this on their alerts or favorites and thank you those who placed me on their alert list or made me one of their favorite authors. Thank you!
So, this is really is it. Hahaha.
Ciao for now!