Oh dear. Guys, guys, I'm going to cry.
It's the last fucking chapter/Epilogue.
I don't wanna finish this. I'm going to feel to empty, so lonely.
Nah, I'm just going to start a new fic.
But it's crazy. Think about it this way: I started Merry Christmas Mr. Malfoy in freakin' 2008. And now, five unnecessarily long years later, I'm completing this series. I know that there are times when I definitely should have updated faster, and I'm a total bitch for not doing so, and you are all angels for being so patient, loving, and forgiving. So thank you. Thank you all for reading. Thank you all for your reviews. Thank you all for supporting my work. And thank you all for being so amazing. You really are the best bunch of readers a writer could ever hope for and I'm so glad that I got to go through this writing experience with all of you.
So thank you.
If I could give you all thank you cakes via the internet, I would do so, but we technology hasn't advanced that far yet. So internet cakes and cookies abound to everyone!
I love and appreciate you all.
Much love, Emerald-Kisses
"Line by line, moment by moment, special times are etched into our memories, in the permanent ink of everlasting love in our relationships." – Gloria Gaither
One year later…
"Oh gods, oh gods, oh gods, oh gods."
She paced back and forth, wringing her fingers uncomfortably, staring at the empty space in front of her feet as she tried to catch her breath.
"Oh gods, oh gods, oh sweet Merlin, oh…"
"Can you bloody well stop that?"
Her head swung up, facing the annoyed face of Ginny Weasley. The redhead was standing nearby, one hip cocked, face contorted into an expression of frustration. In the background, Luna hummed and swirled on the spot, enjoying the way her light purple chiffon dressed flowed as she moved.
"Sorry Ginny," Hermione mumbled, looking down at her feet. "I'm just so nervous."
"Well, of course," the redhead scoffed, moving forward to fix a curl framing Hermione's face. "It's not every day that you marry a Malfoy."
"What if I fall? I'm not used to these heels. What if I mess up our vows? Or if my veil gets stuck? What if…?"
"Hey!" Ginny squeezed Hermione's face between her hands, forcing her friend to look at her. "Look, it's fine if you trip, it's fine if you mess up your vows, and if your veil gets stuck, he'll probably just toss it to the ground anyway. I'm willing to bet that Malfoy has seen you much more worse for wear. He is marrying you because he loves you, not because you'll walk perfectly straight down that aisle."
"But I'm…I'm so…"
Both girls looked over to Luna, who continued to play with the chiffon. "It's normal to be scared, Hermione, you're doing something huge, something important. You're marrying the man you love. Of course you'll be scared, it's a big change, but it's a beautiful change, isn't it?" She looked up, the dress and her curled hair making her look like a woodland fairy. "You love him, right?"
Hermione nodded, feeling tears welling up.
"And, of course, he loves you."
"Then," Luna twirled with a smile, "it's no problem. You're marrying the man you love, yes, it's scary, yes it's a big change, but it's a wonderful change and you won't regret it. He will do anything to be with you and protect you, remember that. He loves you with all of his heart and soul, and I know you love him just as much." Her smile broadened and Hermione felt tears slide down her cheeks. "Today is just proof of your love; you're telling the whole world how much he means to you, and you won't take no for an answer."
Hermione choked and nodded, unable to stop the tears from flowing. Oh Merlin, how she loved Draco. He was her everything, meant the whole world to her, and today, she was going to marry him. She couldn't wait, she wanted to run down the aisle and jump right to the kiss, but at the same time she was scared that she would do something to mess it up.
But Ginny was right, he wouldn't care if she tripped or fumbled, all that mattered was that she said yes.
Breathing deeply, she wiped at her cheeks and Ginny called to Molly to help fix Hermione's smudged make up.
Once she was all prepped and ready, she took several deep breaths and stepped out of the room to face her father. His face was glowing with pride and eyes shone with unshed tears.
"Daddy, if you cry, I'm going to start crying, and Molly is going to give you hell," Hermione joked with a smile, taking her father's arm as they made their way to the ceremony space.
They got married on a cool December day in a castle near Hogwarts. They had wanted to get married at Hogwarts, but after Harry and Ginny were married there last year, it had become the "it" place and a bit clichéd to get married on the school grounds. Instead, they chose to get married at Auchen Castle, in Scotland. The grounds were gorgeous and kept alive with magic in spite of the chill in the air. They had a tent set up in the main garden area, where the guests sat and waited patiently for the bride.
With every step her heart pounded harder and her excitement grew. The moment they stepped up to the entrance to the tent, her heart got caught in her throat.
She was about to get married to the man she loved.
They moved forward and tears welled in her eyes.
He stood at the altar, dressed to the nines in black, formal robes. She knew that he wore a Muggle style suit underneath for the reception, but for the ceremony he dressed as a formal wizard. The tent was packed, filled with loved ones and friends, but the only thing she could focus on was him. He was regal and composed, smiling as Blaise, the best man, chatted with him, but she knew that he was equally nervous. His feet shuffled occasionally and he would play with the cuff of his sleeves.
It made her feel better. If Draco was nervous, then she was allowed to be nervous too.
It was a beautiful and amazing moment, walking down the aisle with her father and reciting the vows. She cried and Draco brushed them away, he fought back tears and she squeezed his hands in comfort. They smiled and focused only on each other as Kingsley Shacklebolt went through the vows. It felt warm and soothing as Draco slid the ring onto her finger, and when Hermione slid his on, old magic came to life within them, swallowing their souls and hearts, binding them in a warm glow that united them, physically and magically. Her body felt hot with love and the ring hummed happily on her finger.
The second they were given permission to kiss, Draco's lips crashed to hers in an intimate and passionate embrace, his fingers tangling in her hair to pull her as close as possible while members of the crowd cheered and hooted. Blaise was forced to remind Draco that they were in a public setting and the married couple pulled apart, faces flushed with embarrassment and excitement.
The reception space inside of the castle was perfect; warm, comforting, and soothing. Luna, as maid of honour, had worked for days with Hermione on how to perfect the space, shooing away Draco and Blaise whenever they tried to interfere. They had been forced to leave Molly all control over the food, only to get her off of their backs for everything else, while Draco and Blaise focused on, well…the alcohol. Hermione had, of course, gone to Draco for his ideas on things, but she wanted to show him that she could set up a fancy, high class venue without help from the Malfoy family or funds.
Man, was she ever pleased to see his flabbergasted look.
The evening was wonderful and beautiful, the food as delicious as Molly could ever make it, and the music was perfect for a night of fun dancing. Hermione had jokingly transfigured Draco's underwear into a thong when he decided to squish cake on her face, and he had retaliated by finding a way to get icing up her nose.
They laughed, they danced, and she cried when she saw Ron in the crowd, smiling and cheering her on. The day would have been better if Narcissa had been able to attend, but she was still struggling with crowds and they weren't sure how she would react with being surrounded by so many members of the Order. It was bittersweet, but Tonks had made sure to record the ceremony and promised to show it to her aunt later.
Later in the evening, Hermione beckoned Dennis and whispered, "Is it all ready?"
The blond, now much happier and at peace with his life, smiled and nodded. "Yeah, Luna helped me set it up. We made sure that nobody has any idea."
"Good. Tell her to turn it on in a minute."
Dennis hurried off and Hermione made a toast that there would be a little slideshow in a moment. Dennis had been wonderful and had helped set up a show that was filled with pictures of her and Draco during different times of their relationship, including the ones they got with the Time Turner.
She squeezed Draco's hand in hers, smiling as the slideshow continued, from the snowman building images to the mistletoe fiasco. Draco leaned over at several points to give her soft kisses and nibble on her earlobe, and she blushed darkly when he whispered a few choice, erotic words into her ear.
The show ended with a picture of Draco proposing to Hermione, one that Hermione had been completely unaware of. She eyed him and he answered with, "Well, I figured Creevey could be sneaky enough to get a rare picture of you rendered speechless."
She laughed and pinched his side.
It was then that a final picture slide onto the screen.
There a moment of silence as the guests and Draco tried to figure out what the black and white image was of. It was the writing on the bottom corner that helped give it away. Cries of joy filled the air and Draco spun around, face white but mouth curled into a bright smile.
"I'm two months along," she said, smiling just as broadly as her husband.
He looked down at her body and pressed a hand to her stomach, amazing that there was a life growing within her body. A life that he had helped created. His features softened as he looked back into her face and pulled her forward for a kiss.
"I'm going to spoil this child so much."
"Not too much, I hope."
"Well, not as much as I spoil you."
She laughed as he kissed her again.
"Are you ready to be a father, Mr. Malfoy?"
He grinned at her. "Only if you are the mother, Mrs. Malfoy."
They laughed and kissed again, enjoying the last few seconds of calm before the crowd rushed forward to give their congratulations.
Outside, away from the bustling crowds, the sky darkened as night arrived. Clouds hovered low and stars twinkled beyond the grey. It was a night of new beginnings and new life, a symbolic day that would forever remind the world of the strength of unity and love.
Slowly, gently, a few snowflakes fell from the night sky, gently landing on the ground. Winter had arrived, a time of vivid and beautiful memories, and when winter came, it meant that the warm spring would soon follow. A spring of life, warmth, and wonder.
It was crazy to think that the thing that started all of this was, essentially, a snowflake that drifted lazily across the window to their common room, joining the sea of white below. It was unimaginable to think that the cold snow was what warmed their hearts and pushed them together. It was a beautiful thing, love.
Their hearts joined in the cold of winter, and now they moved forward together, to the spring of their lives.
"Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in the worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come." – Robert H. Schuller
"Real love stories never have endings." – Richard Bach
Yeah, I know a corny ending. But deal, I wanted to make a corny ending, haha.
I hope that you have all enjoyed this wonderful experience, a beautiful rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. I have received reviews of people laughing, making jokes about things, gushing about the romance, and then those who were downright angry with how certain characters *coughRonHarrycough* were acting, and it made me so wonderfully happy to know that I was able to get the readers to feel such emotions.
I'm glad to have had this beautiful experience with all of you. Thank you for your support, kindness, and love. Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for being so damn awesome.
Thanks for reading. 3
Much love, Emerald-Kisses