Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I am not JK Rowling. If I were, I'd have given Draco more than a receding hairline and a pinched, pureblood wife in the epilogue…and Hermione would never have become a happy homemaker with Ron Weasley.
Author's Note: So many people liked "An Inconvenient Truth" that I wanted to revise it…literally two years after I posted it. This was my first story published here on . There are so many incredible authors here and so many have inspired me to revisit this one. SO…here it is. Still a one shot. I hope you enjoy it!
Summary: Every girl dreams about her wedding day. Truth is that she's Muggleborn. Truth is he is a Pureblood. Inconvenient? Definitely.
Soundtrack: Leona Lewis – Broken
Translucent white curtains hung across each of the floor to ceiling windows that graced the perimeter of the room allowing the mid-morning sun to engulf the room with a soft, pale hue. A cool breeze wafted through the room carrying the scent of burnt orchids, the county flower of Wiltshire, a mixture of honey and a warm summer rain. It was a welcome respite from the dirty, dingy smell of damp that permeated the area prior to opening the single window that had not long since been sealed by the elements. The sound of the babbling river Avon could be heard far below as swans honked in unison as they drifted in pairs beside one of the many riverboats filled with photographer intent on capturing the events of this blessed event.
A full length mirror stood in the corner of the tiny room, outlined with garish gold designs depicting some sort of ancient battle fought on these grounds, and reflected the image of the young woman, soft brown hair swept up into a tasteful chignon with ringlets that outlined her heart-shaped face, dressed in a beaded chalk-white bodice and long flowing train that threatened to suffocate her. Long, delicate fingers traced the intricate patterns as a ragged breath escaped her lips and the hot sting of tears caused her to close her whisky colored eyes in an attempt to chase away her emotions.
It's a beautiful day for a wedding. Her eyes were wide with fear, her mouth open in a small "o" as her hands rested flat against her abdomen, the garish white diamond glaring at her image from her left hand. Her hands continued their perusal of her figure, gliding to the sweetheart neckline that accentuated her full bosom and back down to the large petticoat that seemed to make her hips look three times their normal size. Merlin, what am I doing? She had imagined soft silk that rustled in the warm breeze as her toes curled into the hot sand beneath her feet. She had imagined her entire body humming with anticipation as she stood next to the man she would spend the rest of her life with, have children with, grow old with, and die with. This is wrong.
Six months before, the Wizarding World was treated to the wedding of the century as Harry Potter wed the beautiful Ginevra Weasley in a spectacle that put most royal weddings in the Muggle world to shame. She remembered looking at the guest list, some five hundred in total, and cringing but Ginny was so ecstatic to show the world that Harry was hers and that she was Harry's that it never crossed her mind that it was over the top. The love in their eyes, the way they touched on another, was something that she craved so desperately. Voices from the gardens below wafted upward as the soft music began to play, signaling the beginning of the next wedding of the century – hers. There were well over three hundred below sipping champagne, nibbling on hors d'ouevres made from the finest meats, cheeses, and vegetables in the world. It was decadent. Over the top. In her heart, she recognized that an event of this size and grandeur was not something that she was at all comfortable with, but to appease her soon-to-be-mother-in-law she had allowed the spectacle to go forward. She had allowed a lot of things to happen since that day.
She stood atop a riser that made her at least six inches taller than her normal five feet six inch frame and frowned at her reflection in the mirror. The style, while beautiful, was not flattering to her petite frame and the bodice made her breasts look like they would spill out at any moment. She felt over exposed rather than elegant. Her fingers traced the intricate beading and, not for the first time, wondered why she had ever agreed to this shame of a wedding.
"Merlin Hermione!" came the whispered awe of the woman whom she would soon call "Mother" as large hands grasped her waist and followed her curves to her shoulders, "This is the dress!"
"Molly, I—" Hermione began slowly as she gathered up the train and stepped down from the riser only to be cut off by Weasley matron.
"Love it! Oh, of course you do dear!" she exclaimed as she pulled Hermione into a bone crushing hug, "Just wait until Narcissa Malfoy sees you in this dress! She will rue the day she ever looked down upon us, Hermione. Mark my words!"
"Molly, please," Hermione began quietly as she slowly removed herself from the older woman's arms, "Why would Narcissa Malfoy deign it necessary to attend this wedding?"
"If she wants to reclaim a place on the social ladder, my dear, she most certainly will!" Molly's eyes flashed dangerously as she traced the outline of Hermione's face, "You are so beautiful dear. You and Ron will make beautiful children."
Hermione felt her face flush with embarrassment at the matriarch's brazen comment, "Molly, Ron and I agreed that—"
"Nonsense!" Molly turned around quickly, eyes dancing dangerously as she waved her hand dismissively, "You will begin your family on your wedding night, Hermione. Your role is to build a family and to take care of your husband. Ron told me about your job at the Ministry. It's far too stressful. Your place is in the home not in an office. Come now. We need to have Madame Malkin make a few alterations and then we will visit the apothecary for fertility potions. Ron tells me that you've put it off and we've not a moment to waste, Hermione!"
"Molly, really!" Hermione huffed as she made her way into the changing area and shimmied out of the dress, "This is hardly fitting conversation—"
The curtain swung open revealing a nearly nude Hermione who brought her arms up to hide her breasts, "You will be the mother of Ronald's children. There is no greater joy than to feel a baby suckle your breast, Hermione. Fertility potions are part of Pureblood tradition. It ensures that the heir will be born within the year. The time between engagement and the ceremony is critical and that's why he's been so insistent that you take the potions. He loves you, Hermione. He wants to see your belly round with his child!"
Hermione had to consciously stop her body from shivering as Molly place a hand on her abdomen. Her husband was not the noble man she had once thought him to be. She never wanted to be a broodmare and she never in a million years thought that the Weasleys would prescribe to old Pureblood traditions. She'd been running from those traditions for months and she would never escape them. They were inconvenient truths to the life she would now have to live.
"It will be a July wedding in Wiltshire. Salisbury Cathedral, I think. Near the river Avon everyone can witness this blessed event! We must keep up appearances, you know?" the matriarch's voice chided as Hermione forced a smile to her lips, the conversation taking a tone that was decidedly discomforting.
The sound of the door squeaking open and softly clicking shut roused Hermione from her momentary musings. She placed a hand on her chest, her eyes wide with surprise as a shock of red hair came into view. Gathering her skirts she whipped around and plastered a smile on her lips that didn't quite meet her eyes.
"You look beautiful, Hermione," the soft voice of Ginny Weasley-Potter marveled as her long fingers reached out to trace one of the curls that framed her face.
"Thank you," Hermione nodded as she once again returned to looking at her image in the mirror, her smile faltering momentarily.
Ginny's eyes danced with determination as she placed a gentle hand on her friend's shoulder, "You don't have to do this."
Hermione stiffened slightly, her eyes meeting Ginny's in the mirror, "Of course I do! I love Ron—"
Ginny laughed darkly as she shook her head, "My brother is not the boy you knew at Hogwarts—"
"No, he isn't. But he is the man I am going to marry. We'll be sisters soon."
A sad smile graced Ginny's face as she wrapped her arms around her friend, "You will always be my sister, Hermione. I hate to see you in so much pain."
"It's not pain," Hermione responded mechanically as her repositioned her veil atop her head, "It's only nerves."
Ginny felt the bile rise in her throat as she watched her friend of nearly fifteen years lie to her face. How did things get this far? Right before her own wedding, things had changed. Hermione had been full of life, balancing a demanding career at the Ministry with a romantic relationship with a man that Ginny never thought would ever be good enough for her friend. Hermione glowed and it fueled her passion. He had come into her life, swept her off her feet, and consumed her with a love that most people could only dream about. They were seen everywhere together until one day they suddenly weren't. She had come home to the Burrow that night to pick up a few things from her room when she'd heard the soft sobs of her friend. It was a night I will never forget.
Hermione wrapped her arms around her knees, her shoulders shaking with each sob. She had come to the Burrow looking for Ginny, but instead she found herself alone in the empty house. She'd slowly slid to the bottom step leading to the upstairs bedrooms when she felt a strong hand gently squeeze her shoulder.
"Ron!" Hermione exclaimed as she brought a hand to her chest, startled by his arrival.
His thumb brushed the tears from her cheek as his blue eyes searched hers, "Asked you to be his mistress, didn't he?"
Hermione frowned as she swallowed the lump in her throat, "How?"
Ron shrugged his shoulders as he allowed his hand to trail down the curve of her neck, "Did you really think he would marry you?"
Hermione pushed his hand away and leaped to her feet, eyes sparking with the fury that welled up from her belly, "Is that so inconceivable?"
"For Draco Malfoy? Yes!" Ron barked as he slowly rose to his feet, his hand reaching for hers as he stopped Hermione from moving away from him.
"Why?" Hermione whispered, her eyes swelling with unshed tears.
"Because you're a Mudblood, Hermione," Ron whispered in her ear, sending shivers down her spine, "That's all you'll ever be to him."
A resounding crack echoed through the house causing Ginny to flinch from her place hidden from sight. Her brother had become more elitist since the end of the war, dallying with witch after witch delighting in being a playboy, yet he always had his eye on Hermione. When she'd first begun seeing Draco Malfoy, Ron tried to do everything in his power to get between the two but in the end it was Ron's relationship with both Harry and Hermione that suffered. He'd become obsessed with the tiny brunette and Ginny worried that now Ron might show his true colors.
"Don't you ever hit me again!" Ron snarled as he grabbed her wrists and backed her into the wall.
"Let me go!" she struggled against him, her body pressed uncomfortably against his.
"No," Ron told her darkly, "Now that you're free of the ferret I'm never going to let you go again."
Hermione recoiled but found that even though he'd released her hands he still had a firm grip on her waist, "You're mad! Let me go!"
"You will marry me, Hermione," Ron told her evenly as his eyes bore into hers, "Or Malfoy will find himself spending an eternity in Azkaban – if he lives that long."
"What?" Hermione snapped as she continued to struggle against him.
"One word from me and the Wizengamot will receive startling new information about how the Malfoys never truly gave up their dark ways. You see, I can have a string of women confess to being a part of dark revels where Muggles were tortured, raped, and subsequently killed. All of that progress to ingrain themselves into Wizarding Society will be for nothing!"
"That's a lie! Ronald Weasley—"
Ron covered her mouth with his large hand as the other slipped under her shirt, "No one will believe a Death Eater, but they will believe one of the Golden Trio. The world will believe you left him because you stumbled upon one of these revels – one of the women will attest to it. They'll believe you were Imperiused and taken against your will. By the time these women are found to be liars it will be too late. The damage will be done, you see."
"Why?" Hermione mumbled beneath his hand as she felt the other slowly inch upward.
"Because you will be my wife, Hermione. You will be my wife because even though he won't marry you because of your blood you still love him and want to protect him. You know that I could do it. You know what one night, one week, one month, or one year would do to him. I could have him killed with the snap of my fingers and no one would bat an eye. Even though you're second choice, you will still fall on the sword for Draco Malfoy and I'm counting on it."
His fingertips brushed her nipple and Hermione instinctively pulled back as they curled around the neckline of her shirt and slowly began to reveal her milky white skin. He pressed his body into hers as he exposed her right breast, forcing her to expel the air from her lungs, and lowered his mouth to the rosy peak. She pushed against him as his teeth nipped her tender flesh, tears streaming down her face as his other hand popped open the button to her jeans and slowly slipped beneath the waistband of her panties.
"Agree to marry me, Hermione," he murmured against her breast as his fingers brushed her clit, "I'll make it good for you. I'll make it so good for you."
Ginny heard the whispered yes and felt the tears stream down her face as her brother lowered Hermione to the stairs and begin to rut her like an animal. She didn't know why her wand lay forgotten at the bottom of her bag or why her voice suddenly seemed to go mute. She didn't know why she didn't reveal herself in that moment and put an end to her brother's madness. Instead she fled. The truth was that she was a coward and feared for her own safety given the child growing in her belly. If her brother could rape Hermione and coerce her into marriage in this way, he could harm her child.
Months had gone by and no one had seen him. She feared that Ron had gone through with his threat to have Draco eliminated, but nothing seemed to be amiss in the Daily Prophet. His father had assumed his role as liaison to the Ministry, explaining that his son had chosen to pursue other interests within the company. Whatever those interests may have been, no one seemed to be able to find the younger Malfoy. He had disappeared without a trace and she was out of her mind with worry for him. She was doing this for him. To protect him. He couldn't marry her and she accepted that now, but she knew that he loved her.
"Absolutely, bloody breathtaking Granger," a lazy voice drawled from behind her, "I expected nothing less from you on your wedding day."
Whiskey eyes snapped into focus and met silver in the mirror. The intensity reflected in the normally guarded expression of the man caused her to shiver as heat flooded her body. She grabbed her skirts and quickly turned around, flustered, regarding him carefully. He leaned against the door frame as though he owned the room. His tuxedo was cut perfectly to accentuate his toned, muscular physique. He radiated sex and power. She was drunk within seconds of seeing him, his presence having the desired effect as he smirked confidently and closed the distance between them in two strides.
"Draco," she whispered her voice breaking slightly as she regarded him carefully as her hands grasped the material of her petticoats tightly, "You can't be here!"
He reached out with his right hand, a single finger gently tracing her cheek, causing her a sharp intake of breath and to close her eyes at the closeness, "Draco, is it now?"
She chuckled softly, her eyes opening slightly as she regarded his face behind veiled lashes, "Momentary lapse of judgment."
He smiled warmly as he gently placed his hands on her upper arms, "Indeed. Hermione."
She shivered at the touch, the most basic. Her heart raced as she felt the blood rise to her cheeks and she mentally chided herself for having this reaction to him, of all days. He could always completely unhinge her by simply whispering her name. It was usually "Granger", but when he said "Hermione" it completely sent her over the edge. Such tenderness from him was a rarity which only made the intensity of his actions all the more meaningful.
"Draco," she whimpered as her eyes closed once again but not before she saw him lean forward, his lips brushing the sensitive crook of her neck.
"Delectable," he whispered, his hot breath searing her flesh as his left butterfly kisses along the nape and his hands slowly hugged the curved of her waist, "You look good enough to eat."
Hermione laughed throatily as she regained her wits and placed her palms to his chest, pushing him slightly backward, "I always thought you were more dragon than wolf."
He grinned rakishly, whipping his head quickly to the side to move his platinum fringe from the front of his eyes, "Ahh, love, the pet names you have for me."
Her eyes sparkled brightly as she regarded the man before her and found herself momentarily overcome by emotion, "You can't be here."
He took her hands from his chest, gently grasping her by the wrists and placing them at her side, "But I already am Hermione and I won't be leaving until I get what I want."
Blushing again she swallowed hard and cleared her throat, "And just what is it you want, Draco Malfoy, less than an hour before I'm to be married?"
Draco's head dipped forward, his lips brushing hers softly as he uttered the only word that could have possibly caused her to come undone, "You."
His tongue invaded every corner of her mouth as his arms wrapped tightly around her, pulling her as closely as he possibly could within the constraints of her wedding gown. She tasted of strawberries, sunlight, and heaven. He was lost in her. Drowning in her. His passion for her was matched by her passion for him as her tongue deftly met his earning a growl from him deep inside.
"This dress," he murmured tenderly as his hands cupped either side of her face, his eyes boring into hers, "is not you, Granger. I pictured you in a beautiful white, silk dress that came just to your knees giving me an unabashed view of those magnificent legs."
A sob escaped her lips as she listened to his words, momentarily looking away as she became incapable of looking him in the eye. Hooking a finger under her chin, Draco pulled her face back to his and he placed gentle kisses on the trail of tears that lined her cheeks.
"Lift up your skirt," he commanded, his voice a slightly edge to it as his eyes revealed the passion he felt.
He rested his head to her bosom as his hands snaked around her waist, "Please. However we got to this point, Hermione; never forget that I was your first. I need you Granger. You're going to walk down that aisle and into the arms of the weasel and I need you more than anything. I want to feel you come undone one more time. Please."
Hermione swallowed hard, her hands fisting in the material of her petticoat and slowly, inch by inch, the material made its way from the dirty carpeted floor to her hips. Draco stepped back slightly, taking in the sight of her slowly raising her skirts. He felt like he was dying. His heart was pounding in his chest with such fervor he was certain if he didn't calm it soon he would have an attack. Her legs were milky white, smooth by the look of things and as the hem of the dress rose higher, and higher he was surprised to find that she wasn't wearing any knickers.
"Naughty lioness," he chuckled as he slowly fell to his knees before her, worshiping her body with a single look, "No knickers and smooth as a peach."
Hermione gulped as she felt his fingers trail up her thighs, the intensity of his eyes making her shake with anticipation. He was gentle, reverent in his exploration of her flesh sending tremors through her body. As he parted her lips, his tongue snaked out to taste her as one would an ice cream cone. She moaned at the contact and threw her head back as a soft rap on the door caused her entire body to tense.
"Draco!" she whispered urgently as her fingers wrapped into his silver hair, pulling against him as she tried to get him to move.
He hummed against her flesh, his tongue drawing lazy circles around her clit as he inhaled her scent, signally his intent to continue on his mission. Whoever was at the door be damned. For months he had waited patiently, uncovering everything that had happened to set this travesty of a wedding in motion, and he would be damned if he didn't have his chance with the woman he loved. He heard her moan as his fingers tightened against her hips and then felt a rush of silk drape over his body. He pulled her close, ensuring that his body fit hers like a second skin, and continued his assault against her body.
"Hermione, I—" came the voice from the door Ginny once again peered inside.
"Ginny!" Hermione squealed slightly, her hands smoothing her skirts as she forced a wide smile to her lips.
"Are you all right Hermione?" Ginny frowned as her friend's demeanor seemed to change drastically from their last encounter.
"Yes!" Hermione exclaimed loudly, and then smiled as Draco slowly sunk two of his fingers into her warmth, "Whyever do you ask?"
Ginny raised an eyebrow and folded her arms across her chest, "You seem flushed. The very picture of a blushing bride which is certainly not the picture I saw ten minutes ago."
Hermione took in a sharp breath as Draco's tongue flicked her clitoris as he slid a third finger in her opening, pumping slowly, and she was forced to cover by pretending to sneeze, "Ugh, the dust in here."
Ginny chuckled and shook her head, slowly realizing that her friend was undoubtedly in good hands, "Is there anything you need?"
"No, no. Wouldn't mind some time to myself, Gin," Hermione told her as her hands grabbed for the back of the wooden chair beside her.
Ginny nodded slowly and looked as though she were about to say something else, but thought better of it. As soon as the door clicked behind her Hermione's body was wracked with the most intense orgasm of her life. Her knees buckled as she tried in vain to pull herself up by the chair, but found herself frozen in place by the strong hands of Draco Malfoy. Her chest heaved as he backed out from under her skirts, his lips shining with her essence and a self-satisfied smirk across his face. He rose to his full height as he regarded his Gryffindor Goddess before closing the gap between them and capturing her lips once again. She tasted herself on his tongue and she moaned at the feelings he stirred deep within her. Draco Malfoy was fire and Hermione Granger was damned if she didn't want to get burned. She felt herself being turned in his arms so she faced the full length mirror, his hand tracing a soft path down her shoulders, her upper arms, her lower arms and back again before resting on her shoulders.
"Merlin you are beautiful," he revealed as he once again placed a kiss at the curve of her neck, "I want you to see what you do to me, Granger. Feel what you do to me."
"Yes," she whispered, her eyes closing as she relished the sensations.
His hands went to the back of her dress, slowly unzipping the bodice and allowing the garment to fall to the floor in soft rush of fabric, "I want you to watch your body react to mine. To know that only I make you feel this way with just a touch."
She watched his fingers brush the erect tips of her nipples and saw the flesh around them grow darker as she once again felt flushed with desire. She leaned into him, his erection grinding into her backside as his lips latched on to the sensitive flesh at her neck.
"Hermione," he breathed as his hands left her breasts to fumble with his belt buckle.
She heard the zip of his fly and met his gaze in the mirror, "Draco, wait!"
His pants fell to a pool around his ankles, his cock jutting proudly from a thatch of platinum curls, "No more waiting, Hermione. If I am to lose you, I will have you once more."
She shook her head, clenching her eyes tightly to stave off the tears, "I won't be a mistress Draco."
She felt the rumble in his chest before she saw the ghost of the smile on his lips as her eyes met his in the mirror. His strong hands grasped her hips and deftly lifted her from the floor, lowering her to his waiting cock. He sighed as he entered her with a single stroke and felt for a single moment that the world could end and he would at least die a happy man.
"You are too good to be a mistress, Hermione," he told her as he leaned forward to whisper in her ears, "Never a mistress."
She moaned as she felt him thrust inside her, slowly and deliberately at first. His face was the picture of pure bliss, like a man dying of thirst finally finding an oasis. Her breasts swayed as his arm wrapped around her waist, steadying her.
"Stupid," he grunted as he thrust forward, pulling her closely, "Want you."
She turned her head slightly, a frown marring her brow as she fought to quell the growing tightness in her belly, "But your father—"
"Forget him," he growled dangerously as he pinched her nipples, eliciting a moan from her, "Forget Weasley—"
"I won't be your mistress, Draco. I want a husband—"
"I know," he confessed, his eyes sparkling in the sunlight as he met her gaze.
"A family," he groaned, changing his angle of penetration, "I'll give you a child."
She shivered at his raw confession as she regarded him through the mirror, "But your inheritance—"
" Fuck. My. Father," Draco growled as he thrust deeper, punctuating every word with a thrust worthy of them, hitting her cervix with every motion and causing her to moan in ecstasy.
"No. More. Fuck. My. Father. Fuck. My. Money. Fuck. Weasley. Fuck. Everything. Want. You. Need. You!" he hissed as his rhythm became frenzied and he slipped his hand lower to stroke her clit, "Love. You. Hermione."
Hermione squeezed him tightly as she felt her entire body convulse around him, his name escaping her lips in a high pitched cry of release, "Draco!"
"Gods Hermione! You want to be a wife? Be mine. Rich. Poor. Better or Worse. I love you Hermione Granger!" he cried out, his body tensing as his cock spilled his seed inside of her.
The intensity of the moment caused Hermione to cry out; tears spilling down her cheeks as Draco slowly withdrew from her warm pussy to pull her into his strong embrace. He placed gentle kisses along her neck and murmured words of love. She turned in his arms and buried her face in his chest, the sobs ripping uncontrollably from her tiny body.
"Please don't cry," he pleaded with her as he stroked her hair, "I never meant for you to cry."
"Love you," she told him simply as her arms tightened around his waist, "So much it hurts. This hurts."
"Marry me, Hermione. To hell with my parents. To hell with Weasley. You belong with me. I need you. Being without you these last few months has been torture! I couldn't touch another woman because, Granger, you were the only one for me!"
She sniffled on his shirt, her makeup marring its pristine whiteness as her body trembled, "Draco. We can't. You don't understand."
A nearly imperceptible shimmer near the door would have alerted the two occupants to an intruder had they been conscious of anything other than themselves. When Draco announced that he was going to wish the bride-to-be an early congratulations and leave before the ceremony started, his mother immediately sensed something amiss. The look she had given him said more than he wanted to admit because Lucius Malfoy was not a man to acknowledge his mistakes. A quick disillusionment charm and an approving look from his wife, Lucius followed his wayward son out of the church and down a poorly lit hallway until finally they came to the small room tucked away from the prying eyes of the wedding party. He watched as Draco reached for the doorknob, hesitate, and run a frustrated hand through his platinum locks. Never had he seen his son so completely unhinged. A Malfoy was never unhinged. It only served to add evidence to the fact that Lucius Malfoy had most definitely made an egregious error in judgment where his son was concerned.
Add it to the list of wrongs already done to him, Lucius mused darkly as his son finally squared his shoulders and opened the door without fanfare.
He slipped inside unnoticed and quickly made his way to the corner of the room so he would have an unobstructed view of the pair. Hermione Granger was a vision in white, though the dress seemed too ostentatious for the generally reserved Gryffindor. He wondered how on Earth Molly Weasley had convinced her to wear such an ensemble given the young woman's distaste for the limelight. He often found it amusing that the young Gryffindor was not more self-serving. As the member of the Golden Trio she could have had anything, yet she lived a modest life working for the Ministry in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement as a barrister championing the rights of the downtrodden. An undignified snort nearly escaped his lips as he recalled the day she had demanded that his house elves submit to questioning on the grounds that one of them had filed a complaint of mistreatment. Yes, Hermione Granger was a forced to be reckoned with. She unnerved him. She was everything that he was brought to believe she shouldn't be. When his son announced he was seeing her socially, Lucius thought the boy had gone mad. It was a passing fancy, surely. He told her so, in fact.
"He will tire of you soon," Lucius drawled as Hermione stopped dead in her tracks, "He will find a bride fitting the Malfoy name and you will either be a memory or a Mistress."
Hermione turned around to face him slowly, her eyes flashing dangerously in anger, "I assure you, Mr. Malfoy my relationship with Draco is none of your concern."
"Indeed it isn't, Miss Granger," he replied flippantly as he turned the page of the Daily Prophet in his hands, not even deigning the courtesy to put the paper down when speaking to her, "I am not concerned that Draco will do as is expected of him. He has always done so."
"Perhaps he will surprise you," she swallowed hard, the edge in her voice gone as she struggled to keep her faith in Draco.
Lucius peered over the paper now, "Perhaps he will surprise you Miss Granger. Whatever tenderness he has bestowed upon you, I doubt he has made any declaration of love. Ah yes, I see by shock on your face that I am indeed right. Tradition, Miss Granger. It guides us. Tradition dictates that a Malfoy must marry a pureblood bride. You, most certainly do not fit that bill. So, for now he sows his oats. Once he gets his fill of you he will cast you aside. It is what is done."
He remembered the look of utter horror on her face, a look he should have recognized as her own insecurities. He'd longed resigned himself to the fact that Hermione Granger truly was the brightest witch of the age, no matter how much it pained him to do so. He never thought for a moment that her confidence would be so lacking in regard to her own self. Of course, he had later learned that Weasley had not only threatened the young lioness and coerced her into marriage but he had also forcibly taken her against her will. His nose wrinkled in disgust. The blood traitor did not deserve her. He had long discovered Mr. Weasley's indiscretions. Purebloods had long engaged in affairs, especially when sex was nonexistent within the relationship. When he had heard that the young Gryffindor demanded that Weasley wait until they were married to finally lie as man and woman, he knew that a dalliance would be too much for Weasley to ignore. Hermione would never have agreed to marry the idiot had she known that he had more than one sexual encounter with Lavender Brown since their engagement was announced four months ago. He had kept the information to himself, though as he watched the scene unfold before him he couldn't fathom the reason why. Watching his son in such an intimate moment felt intrusive and more than a little voyeuristic. When the young female Weasley arrived, Lucius had to commend Hermione on her guile and his son for his persistence. Only a Slytherin would take advantage of the situation as he had. It made Lucius strangely, albeit pervertedly, proud of the boy. Watching her come undone under his son's careful ministrations was an education. She was beautiful. Magnificent. Hopelessly in love with his son. Anger threatened to consume him as he watched his son confess his love to the mudblood Granger. Watching his son make love to the Gryffindor Princess, Lucius realized how serious a mistake it was to not accept this union. His own arrogance had very nearly cost his son a love as grand as what he felt for his Narcissa. How could he deny the boy that kind of happiness? Blood was no longer important as it had been under the Dark Lord's reign. Hermione Granger was a beautiful, intelligent, and passionate woman. His son was willing to give up everything for her. Lucius had to steady himself against the wall as he watched them both cry out their release, the intensity of the moment shaking him to the core, albeit also causing an uncomfortable pinch in his trousers. If the intensity of their lovemaking was enough to shake Lucius' fundamental beliefs, what he saw next nearly broke him. The anguished cry from Hermione and the look of utter helplessness on his son's face shamed him. To let this travesty continue would mean to lose his son forever. In that moment, Lucius Malfoy made a decision.
The sound of a throat clearing roused the couple from their reverie. Draco whipped around quickly, wand drawn, as he shielded Hermione's still naked body from prying eyes. A mumbled finite incantatum revealed a tall, distinguished man with long, straight platinum hair in the corner. A leather gloved hand raised up in an effort to convey that he meant no harm.
"Father," Draco hissed as Hermione groaned from behind him.
"I never meant to intrude on such a personal moment," Lucius began as he slowly moved forward, his eyes imploring his son to listen, "I only meant to satisfy my curiosity."
Hermione snorted from behind Draco, "I suppose you got your fill then Lucius? Was it good for you? Watching your son fuck a mudblood?"
"Hermione!" Draco admonished as he turned to face her, his eyes sparking dangerously, "Never use that word again! Do you hear me? You are more than that! So much more than that! If a bigoted old man can't recognize that then it's his problem."
"I was wrong, Draco," the apology so quiet that it was almost missed.
"Come again?" Draco turned around to face his father, wand at the ready.
"Miss Granger," Lucius began after taking in a deep breath, "Hermione, I was wrong to bait you. I should have recognized that my son was in love with you, but I was too blind. Old habits die hard."
"What changed?" Hermione ventured as she peered around Draco's shoulder, curious at the confession she'd just heard.
"Your engagement to Mr. Weasley. Draco went missing for two months," Lucius shrugged as Draco stiffened.
"Draco?" Hermione squeezed his upper arms then wrapped herself around his waist.
"When he returned, my son was as he always was before you came into his life," Lucius continued as he met his son's heated gaze, "He was but half a man. Cold. Calculated. Exactly as I made him to be. When I followed him here I expected – no, I wanted to believe it was for a quick fuck. I wanted it to be sordid. What I found was a man so deeply in love. Forgive me, son. How could I take that from you? From either of you? Miss Granger—Hermione, you do not love Ronald Weasley the way you clearly love my son. Do not allow my mistake to compound this situation."
"All those people," Hermione sighed as Draco turned around in her embrace to bring his tuxedo jacket around her shoulders, covering her.
"Do you love my son, Miss Granger?" Lucius prodded as he stepped forward to place a hand on her shoulder.
Hermione nodded and responded bitterly, "You know I do. If I didn't love him, your words wouldn't have hurt so damned much."
"Take her to the Manor," Lucius turned to his son, "Wait for your mother and me there."
"What about the Weasel?" Draco asked as his hand slid into Hermione's, squeezing it tightly.
"Leave Mr. Weasley to me," Lucius drawled.
"What will you say?" Hermione asked quickly, stopping Draco mid-turn for apparition.
"Miss Granger," Lucius smiled devilishly, "One does not deceive the Dark Lord for nearly 20 years without becoming skilled at subterfuge. I have it on good authority that Mr. Weasley is, as he has been for months, in flagrante delicato with Miss Lavendar Brown. I also know that he coerced you into this married by force."
Hermione froze behind Draco, her eyes wide with shame, "How do you know?"
" You deserve better," Lucius explained quietly, his eyes softening as he gazed upon the young witch, "I will simply explain that he has been caught and in your distress Draco found you outside, apparating you an undisclosed location. Come now, go. Wait for us at the Manor. We will be along shortly."
With that, Lucius Malfoy left the room. Draco looked to Hermione and her to him with one of incredulity. If she had been told a few hours before that Lucius Malfoy would offer approval of her relationship with Draco and then volunteer to stop her wedding, well she'd have been asked to be committed to St. Mungo's. Unable to suppress the giggle that had she had been holding Hermione found herself bent over laughing at the irony of the entire situation.
"Come on Hermione," Draco held out his hand to her, his eyes shining with the mirth she felt.
"I love you, Draco Malfoy," she told him as she reached up to bring his lips to hers.
"And I love you, Hermione Granger," he smiled as he held her close, "Let's get out of here."
With a loud pop, the duo disappeared from the room just as Ginny Potter burst inside. Her eyes were as red as her hair, a clear sign that she'd been crying. She felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to look into bright green eyes.
"Oh Harry," she sighed as she leaned into him for support.
"Gin," he began quietly as he stroked her hair, "It's for the best. Ron's not right and hasn't been for a long time. He needs help."
"Did he have to be such a cad?" Ginny growled as she laid her head on her husband's shoulder, "I should have said something!"
"You were afraid for James—"
"I was afraid for her!"
"I know, Gin. I know. It's over now. Ron can't hurt either off them."
"I hope she's ok, Harry," Ginny sighed as she pulled away from Harry and wrapped her arm in his.
"She's with Malfoy, Gin," Harry grinned devilishly, "I'm sure she's fine."
Ginny stared at him for a moment and may have muttered something about never seeing the day when Harry Potter would trust Malfoy with Hermione, but Harry paid no heed. He'd known for a long time that Hermione was in love with Malfoy. He also knew that Lucius Malfoy was a right bastard and needed more than a little push to see that Hermione and Draco were meant for each other. It didn't take nearly as much persuasion as he'd thought it would – hiding Draco in the south of France was inspired, but sending photos, first of Draco and Hermione showing their love for each other and then of Ron and Lavender in compromising positions was brilliance. The taped confession of his wife, recounting the coercion and subsequent rape was enough to put his old friend in a St. Mungo's psychiatric ward and while it pained him to have to do this to the Weasley family, it was the right thing to do. As Harry twirled his wand in his hand he whistled a happy tune as he strolled down the hallway with his beautiful wife and wondered if there would be cake despite the wedding being called off - a minor inconvenience in the quest for the truth.