All Characters and canon situations belong to JKRowling and I make no money from using the characters in this story
Summary: They married after one weekend together, and although everyone said they were an unlikely pair, they were out to prove them wrong. Now, fourteen months later, they were wondering if perhaps everyone was right. Perhaps they were an unlikely pair. Perhaps it took more than a weekend of romance to fall in love. Perhaps it would take more than a weekend to stay married. And perhaps, in the end, they would find out that they were an unlikely pair, no longer, but in a good way. Third in the series.
An Unlikely Pair, No Longer
Fourteen months, ten days and 23 minutes. That was how long Hermione and Draco had been married. Fourteen months, a week and a half, and almost a half an hour. To Hermione, it felt like a lifetime, but not in a good way. For one thing, two months, ten days, and 24 minutes ago, Draco Malfoy forgot their first anniversary.
Oh he proclaimed proficient apologies later, (two days later), and he bought Hermione extravagant gifts to make up the fact that his memory was faulty, but she was still angry, and she felt she had every right to be. He was slightly dismissive of her anger, as he was apt to be. Therefore, as far as their first anniversary went, it went by the wayside, and they were at an impasse.
He forgot a great many things, really. For instance, he would order his favourite red wine every time they ate out, never once remembering that she didn't like it. He never asked her if she wanted a different type of wine, and every time he asked her if she wanted some, she would say the same thing. "I don't like that wine." He would smile, say, "Oh, I forgot," and then pour some for her anyway.
It was maddening and degrading, in her opinion. How could someone truly forget the same thing repeatedly? Was this what marriage to him would be like forever? Since he forgot their first anniversary, would he forget all of the subsequent ones as well? Would he forget her birthday and other important occasions? Would he forget that she was allergic to blueberries and try to feed her one someday? Would he always forget that she hated eggs on her salad, just because he liked them? (That happened all the time, too.)
Was she to live with a man who couldn't even remember that she hated a certain type of wine?
He was a good father to their son. Hermione would give him that, even though he was off buying 'fruit and a car' when the lad was born. Little Cygnus looked like his mother, but so far, he had his father's temperament. He was only five months old, so Hermione hoped there was time to cure him of that. He called his son Cyggy, which Hermione hated, but she called him Cam, after his initials, (Cygnus Abraxas Malfoy), which he hated, so she could hardly complain. But he didn't mind changing dirty nappies too awful much, and although he had never spent the night alone with his baby, he was a capable and loving father, for which Hermione was glad.
For the most part, he was a good husband. He was attentive in other ways, in most ways that counted. Nevertheless, he was so damn deficient in other areas that she was beginning to wonder if this marriage was a humongous mistake.
Maybe if they had dated for longer than a weekend before they married, she would have become accustomed to his shortcomings. She would have had time to change the things she didn't like, or at least found a way to overlook them. Considering that their entire courtship lasted less than forty-eight hours, what did she expect?
Everyone warned her (and him) that they should have gotten to know each other better before plunging into marriage, but no, no one could tell Hermione Granger (no hyphen) Malfoy a damn thing. If she decided upon something, she gritted her teeth and did it, and let all others be damned.
Everyone warned her that he was self-centered, egotistical, and conceited, but the truth was that she tended to be all of those things as well, so she could relate to him. No one could have known about his forgetfulness, and no one knew about his sometimes thoughtlessness. So what if he was spoiled? So what if he still asked his father for help every now and again, (and money, though he had enough of it) and his mother to make him sandwiches, (which she gladly had the house elves do). In most respects, he was a good man. She loved him.
She just couldn't stand the sight of him at the moment. She wondered, as she drove up the long, mountain road in the rain, if he would even notice that she was gone this weekend. She left her five-month-old son with her mother, asked her father for the keys to his weekend hunting cabin, took her car, and drove away with no explanation to her parents. She knew she was running away from her problems, through a thunderstorm, up a mountain road no less, but it was the only thing she could think to do. Whenever she tried to talk to him about it, either he would try to placate her, or he would walk away.
It was only September, but it was very cold tonight, so she cranked the heat up to high in her car, and she pulled her phone out of her pocket, to give him a call. She hadn't left him a note, because frankly, she wanted him to worry, but feeling remorseful, she decided to clue him in on her expedition of enlightenment.
Her husband was at his weekly Friday night poker game, so he probably wouldn't even answer his phone. After his games, he usually came home late, showered, checked on the baby, kissed her goodnight, and then stumbled into bed somewhere around two-thirty or three in the morning. He usually slept the next day until ten, and then he had things to do, but never with her and their son. He claimed he worked hard all week, so Saturday was his day of rest. He played Quidditch, watch sports on the telly, read, jogged, or puttered around in his tool shed, though he didn't know how to use any of the expensive tools he bought.
Sunday was for family. He always spent Sunday with them. But Hermione wanted more attention from him than one day a week. She would be starting back to work in another month, and what was to become of them, then?
She felt her marriage was in a shambles. Married only a little over fourteen months, and already it was in trouble. She was certain that Draco was content with the way things were, but she wasn't. She wanted the Draco from the Burrow back. The one from the weekend when they fell in love. The one that made her laugh and did romantic things, played silly games. Perhaps if they took the normal route that most couples took, and they had dated for, oh say, fourteen months, ten days, and etc, etc, before they married, they would have ironed out all of the kinks before they had said, 'I do', or perhaps, they would have said goodbye, and said, 'I don't'. She would never know now.
Hermione had no illusions. She knew she wasn't an easy person to love, or live with. She was bossy, and demanding, and exacting, and exasperating. She often felt it was just a matter of time before he left her, or killed her, anyway, so she decided to take matters into her own hands first.
Although, as his number continued to ring, she had to remind herself that she was NOT leaving her husband. She was merely having a weekend alone to examine her options. That's right. That's what she would tell him, if he would answer HIS BLOODY PHONE!
Draco felt distracted that night during his weekly, Friday night poker game. He even made some costly mistakes during the last round. His mind was on his wife this evening. When he was leaving, he bent down and kissed his son as he lay in the bassinet, turned to kiss his wife as she sat on the sofa, and when he aimed for her lips, she turned and offered her cheek.
He growled, put his hand on her chin, and said, "No cheek from you, Missy." He kissed her lips. He started to straighten up, but she grasped the sleeve of his shirt.
He looked at her confused and she said, "Could you stay home tonight."
"What if I make it an early evening? I'll come home about eleven, alright?" he said with a smile.
"Couldn't you just stay home this once?" she asked.
"Nott took a lot of money from me last week, sweetheart. I need to try to recoup my losses. It's not easy to live like kings, you know. Don't you want me to make you lots of money?" He laughed.
"We have lots of money, and I make better money as a Healer than you do as an Auror," she said.
Now he frowned and said, "Yes, so you've told me before." She had no response to his biting remark. She turned her head and placed her hand upon her cheek. He leaned back down and kissed her forehead.
Then she nodded, and he straightened up and started out of the living room. He looked back, as she stared into nothingness. He realized that she didn't have the telly on, she wasn't reading, and she wasn't holding the baby. She was just sitting there, looking blankly into a blank room
He was concerned, but not enough that he stayed to ask her what was wrong.
The reason he didn't stay to ask her what was wrong, was because whenever he tried to ask her what was wrong, she always, always, ALWAYS, said, "NOTHING!"
He sat at the poker table and looked at his watch. It was only 8:15. He had only been gone an hour. Perhaps he would wrap it up early, and go home to her. He usually turned his phone off during the game. He pulled it from his pocket, and saw that he had one missed call.
"Come on Malfoy, are you in or out!" Adrian asked.
Draco looked at his phone, saw it was Hermione who had called, turned the phone back off and said, "I'm in." He was chicken shite not to call her back, but sometimes he was afraid of her, pure and simple.
Sometimes his lovely wife scared him shiteless. She was a bossy thing that was for sure. She knew this was his one night with his mates. She shouldn't be calling. She was probably just calling to berate him. She was always complaining about something. Draco…you forgot to take out the rubbish. Draco…did you spent fifteen hundred galleons on a leather sofa! Draco…why did you forget our anniversary. Damn. That last one hurt to this day.
He didn't mean to forget! He couldn't remember the exact date they married, and he was too embarrassed to ask anyone, but he knew it was on a weekend, right, a Sunday, and it was in July, the first weekend, so it made perfect sense to him that it should be on the first Sunday of July the next year. That's what he thought. Then, he thought, wait, that can't be right. So somehow, in his muddled brain, he was confused. That Sunday night, he came home with sweets, flowers, diamond earring, and she wasn't even home, so he thought SHE FORGOT!
Two days later, when he came home from work, she was sitting on the steps, holding their son, and she asked, "Why are you late?"
"Potter had me working late," he lied. He really went out for drinks with his mates. He was punishing her for forgetting their anniversary, two days before.
"I made us a romantic anniversary dinner, Draco. Did you forget our anniversary?" she asked. He looked at her confused.
"NO!" he shouted. "You're the one that forgot! I waited all day Sunday for you to mention it!"
"Why would I mention it on Sunday? We got married last year on a Sunday, the fourth. The fourth is on a Tuesday this year, because of leap year, Draco. Tonight was our anniversary." She stood up, handed him the baby, and said the worst thing she could ever say to him. "You disappointed me, Draco." She walked up the stairs sadly, without saying another word to him for the rest of the night.
He carried his son into the dining room, saw cold food, warm champagne, a cake, and a photograph of his whole family, with a note that said, 'for your desk at work'. Then, there was a big banner that said, 'Happy Anniversary'. Well, fuck leap year, anyway, Draco thought.
He didn't tell her he was sorry, and for that, he was sorry. He didn't know what to say. Once again, he messed up. Just like he did when his son was born. He was off buying his wife a new car, and strawberries, but mostly, he didn't want to be home because they were moving into a new house, and he was afraid she would want him to work. Seriously, that's what servants were for, damn it! He even turned off his phone that night, just as he did tonight during poker. The difference was, he missed his son's delivery. That was his greatest regret.
He told his mates to deal him out a hand. He stood up and walked over to Theo's kitchen, and called his wife back. She didn't answer. He got her voice mail. He didn't leave a message. He tried their home phone, but it rang and rang and rang. Now he was worried.
He called her mother.
"Hey, Mum, have you heard from Hermione?" he asked.
"Edward, Draco's on the phone, what do I tell him?" he heard her say to her husband. Now he was really worried.
Adrian called in, "Out or in, Malfoy?"
"OUT!" he yelled. He took the phone to the back porch. "Mum, are you there?"
"It's me, Draco," Edward Granger said.
"Where's Hermione?" he asked.
"You need to come to our house, now," Edward said.
"Please, if something's wrong, tell me?" Draco asked. Then, he heard a baby crying in the background, and his heart sunk to his shoes. "Please."
"Our little girl is very upset, and she says, and I quote, "I'm sad and its Draco's fault", or so she thinks, but I rather think you both take equal blame. However, she's left you, my boy," Edward said, making it sound worse than it was, and meaning to do so. Someone had to knock some sense into his head.
"I'll be right there!" he shouted. He closed his phone, ran in the room, grabbed his jacket, left his winnings on the table, and as his friends shouted at him, he disapparated to his in-law's foyer.
Hermione turned the windshield wipers on high, as the once gentle mist was now a steady, hard rain. She struggled to maintain her speed, and her eyes blurred as the trees seemed to bend closer to the road, due to the high wind. It was early night, but it was already pitch black in the midst of the rain and the forest, but the lights from her car seemed to bounce right off the rain, and didn't help her to see at all. She hoped she remembered the way to the secluded cabin. She had only been there twice before. She picked up her phone and tried to call Draco again. She saw she had one missed call. She scrolled down the menu, saw it was from him, and then put the phone back down. It was too bad outside to try to call from the car. She put the phone in her jacket pocket. She would call him back when she got to the cabin.
She tried to remind herself that she wasn't leaving him. She wasn't leaving her son. She just needed one weekend alone, with her thoughts, to examine what she needed to do to fix things. She didn't want to leave, ever. She just wanted things to be better. She needed one weekend of freedom, one weekend where she was the center of her own universe.
She should have at least left him a note. Perhaps like the note she left him when their baby was born. She could have written it across the shower wall. It could have said, "Draco, I ran away, love, Hermione." Knowing him, he probably would have washed it away, along with everything else.
Her main complaint about marriage was that she never in a million years thought marriage would be lonely, but that was how she felt. Lonely. Not alone, but lonely. She didn't want to talk to anyone this weekend. She told her parents the bare necessities. Take care of Cam, if Draco stops by and thinks he can watch him for a weekend by himself, let him try it. If Draco wants to know where I am, don't tell him. I need time alone, to think about things. I'm unhappy and lonely." She left them no time to ask questions. She handed her mother the baby, and then looked at her dad and said, "May I have the keys to the cabin?"
Her dad went to get the keys, while her mother begged her to take some groceries from the pantry. She told her mother she already had everything that she needed. She kissed her baby goodbye, hugged her mother, and the when she embraced her father, she whispered, "I don't know what to do, Daddy."
She felt weak, and tired, and emotionally and physically detached from her husband, the one person she should feel the closest to. Ironic, in her opinion.
She missed the turn off to the long drive for the cabin, and she had to back the car into reverse. She started up the steep drive, and thought that she had waited her whole life for a husband, and now that she had one, she felt that her dream wasn't living up to the reality. She doubted her husband even knew they were having problems. She was almost there. She said aloud, "Just a little further," (reassuring herself) and she realized that this weekend would either be her saving grace, or her complete undoing.
She pulled up to the cabin and had another harrowing thought. What if he thought she wasn't going to return? What if she took their son and went to the Manor, and she never saw either of them again? She should have kidnapped Draco and made him come with her. That was what she needed. She didn't need time alone, by herself. She needed time alone, with him. How could she work on fixing their marriage by herself? She sighed, because it was too late now. She reached in the backseat for her suitcase, threw her purse over her shoulder and stepped out into the pouring rain.
She opened the boot with her wand, and levitated her bags of groceries and necessities onto the little covered porch. By the time she walked across the threshold, and deposited her things on the floor, she was soaked to the bone. She pointed her wand to the lights, which immediately came to life. Who needed a generator when they had magic? She noticed that thankfully, there was wood in the fireplace. Her dad was always prepared. She started a fire with a flick of her wand. She picked up the bags with groceries and toiletries, and took them into the little kitchen.
This cabin seemed even small then she remembered. There was a main room, with a sofa in the middle of the room, in front of the fireplace, with a coffee table in front of that. There was a large oak dining table and benches along the long wall. Two comfy chairs, one by each side of the fireplace, and a small bed with a trundle underneath in the corner, and several bookshelves.
To the left of the front door was a square hallway with three doors, one on each side, and one across from the main room. The door to the left was the single bedroom. One full-size bed, one nightstand, one hardback chair, a wardrobe, a chest of drawers, and that was it. The door across from the main room was a small bathroom. Vanity, toilet, shower, and one towel rack. The hot water heater was in the corner, with a shelf above it with towels and toilet paper.
The door to the right was a small, galley kitchen. Stove, sink, cabinets, icebox, and back door, leading to the hillside. In fact, the whole cabin sat on a hill. The front porch was up on stilts, and there were exactly fourteen steps from the circular gravel drive to the front porch. Hermione knew this because she counted on her way up.
She walked into the bedroom, and threw herself upon the bed. She felt she had made a colossal mistake. She took her phone out of her pocket, and tried to call Draco again.
Draco got directions to the cabin from her dad. He asked them to keep the baby for the weekend, apparated home, packed a bag, and then he decided to apparate to the cabin. He didn't want to waste time driving. He felt panic and fear. What did she mean when she told her dad that she was sad? SAD? That was a pretty 'all encompassing' word, wasn't it. A bit vague, in his opinion. He arrived outside the cabin, saw her car, and climbed a steep set of stairs to the front door.
He knocked on the door. There was no answer. There was a large stone chimney jetting out along the front wall of the wooden hew, log cabin, along the front porch. There were two black-lead, paned windows, one on each side of the stone chimney. He looked in these windows, but didn't see a thing.
He walked over to the side, leaned over the banister, and looked inside a window of a room in the front of the house. He brushed the rain off the glass and pressed his nose up closely. He saw her lying on a bed, on her stomach. He went back to the door, used his wand, opened it, and then looked around. Well, hell, this little place would make anyone sad.
He crept to the room at the front of the house. He opened the door. It creaked. She looked up, startled. Then she bounded from the bed, ran to him, and threw her arms around his neck. He hugged her back and he said, "I'm sorry you're sad. Let's see what we can do about it, shall we?"