A/N: It's kind of sad to be finished this one after almost two months of it taking up a huge portion of my spare time *tear*. I figured it out faster than I thought I would, so here's the ending! I actually figured it our ten minutes before I had to leave for class, which was annoying because I had to make sure I didn't forget while I was at school.
Remember that this story is filling in the gap between the last chapter of A Tail Changes Everything and the epilogue, I'm posting the original epilogue at the end of this chapter in case you want a refresher, but are too lazy to go find the other story in my profile. Also remember that the original epilogue was written before this one, I think my writing's changed a little bit since then... At least, I like to think I've improved a little bit at least. There also might be some small discrepancies between the last chapter of this one and the epilogue, but it's been a while since I wrote A Tail Changes Everything, and it's hard to keep all the little details straight... So you can pretend they don't exist or tell me and I'll fix them.
Thanks to everyone who's stuck with me for these two stories, and special thanks to all the people who've reviewed! You guys are the best. I have four stories I've started, don't worry, they're not too serious, I'm not really capable of that... So keep a look out for them!
After the whole pie episode at the manor, Hermione had been giving a lot of thought to what she was going to do with the rest of her life – heavily influenced by her mother. She concluded that spending time at a muggle university was a waste of money when she refused to give up magic and wanted a career as a witch. Her mother was greatly disappointed, but eventually her father talked her around into allowing Hermione to get a flat in wizarding London and to accept a job offer from the ministry in the control and regulation of magical creature department.
"Hermione!" Ginny snapped from where she was sitting on her friend's bed, watching as she desperately tried to find something formal enough to wear on her date with Draco. "Just wear something comfortable, it's not like he's taking you anywhere, he's coming over to watch movies!" She tried to remind the insane brunette; her and Draco had been dating for months and Hermione still didn't really know how to act around him. It was cute really, in an annoying way.
She watched fondly as Hermione opened the door and kissed Draco thoroughly before heading towards the fireplace. "They're like Romeo and Juliette" Ginny said with a happy sigh, glancing over her shoulder at them.
"Except he's snarky with an ego that won't fit in normal sized rooms and she's more likely to kill him than herself," George said, walking up behind her. He had come to retrieve his wayward sister from Hermione's house before she decided it would be a good idea to date a Slytherin as well – that and his mum had ordered him to since it was dinnertime.
Ginny grinned at her brother – the only one who seemed to be aware that Hermione and Draco were dating. "They're such a good match though," she said as she threw the floo powder into the fireplace to floo home.
Meanwhile, Draco was trying to work up the courage to ask Hermione a very important question. "Hermione, have you ever done anything possibly insane and hugely spontaneous?" He asked her; watching as she tried to figure out where he was going with this.
"Nothing major... My possibly insane actions are usually well planned." She told him hesitantly, still unsure what his point was.
"Would you like to?"
She paused for a moment to think over the possible things he could have in mind. "Why not? You're always telling me I need to be more spontaneous..."
"Good," he grinned at her. "Marry me," he asked, reaching into his pocket and pulling out the beautiful ring he had asked his mother for the night before – it was a Malfoy tradition for the Malfoy heir to have that ring for the next Malfoy bride.
She stared at him in shock for a second – that wasn't one of the things she had thought he might have had in mind. Was he serious? He probably was – it's not like any part of their relationship really made sense before this, so why should it make any sense now? Draco was starting to look a little bit nervous, so Hermione took pity on him and smiled.
"Sure, why not," she told him nonchalantly. He gave her the biggest smile she had ever seen on his face and swept her up in a hug, lifting her up and spinning her around in his excitement. They were both laughing and out of breath by the time he set her down again. He slipped the ring on her finger and they watched as it resized itself to fit her perfectly.
"What do your parents think about this?" She asked him when reality set in a few seconds later.
Draco shrugged, "Mother's okay with it; father's not, but he's not going to complain and risk mum's wrath at the moment." It was true too, Lucius was going out of his way to make Narcissa happy, most likely because he felt that she had recently popped a human being out of her, and magic didn't really make it any easier for witches than it was for muggle women.
"Are your parents going to be okay with this?" He asked her, thinking of her father and cringing a little bit at the reaction he imagined the man would have when he heard the news.
"Are you kidding? Mum's had my wedding dress picked out since you stayed over after your stint in jail, and dad won't be happy about it, but he likes you better than he liked Ron, so he'll probably warm to you... Eventually." She snickered, remembering how poor Ron had been trembling in a corner while Harry tried to make awkward conversation – and that had only been when she introduced them to him as her friends.
The thought of her friends made her realize what their reaction might be when they discovered that Draco was going to be a permanent fixture in her life – and if they wanted her to remain in theirs, he would be a permanent fixture there too.
Draco kissed her, holding her tightly. "It's not too late for you to find a nice, normal girl," Hermione informed him, reminding him what he was getting into. He still had time to marry someone like Pansy, who didn't come with all that baggage in the form of a hoard of ginger haired Weasleys and an over-protective boy who lived.
"Not even slightly interested," he responded, kissing her on the tip of her nose before moving on to her mouth. They eventually retired to the bedroom, still with their large smiles on their faces.
"Hermione!" She shifted in her sleep – stupid, annoying voices, shouting at her all outraged first thing in the morning... Wait. She opened her eyes to see a very angry Harry Potter standing in the doorway. His face was a lovely shade of scarlet, between his green eyes and red face; he looked rather Christmas-y.
Why was Harry so angry with her so early in the morning? A pale arm snaked around her waist and pulled her closer, while there was a grumbling sound from behind her – something about it being 'too early for whatever hell was attempting to break loose'. Oh. That might be what had Harry so angry. Hermione closed her eyed and scrunched up her face in mortification, groaning – this had to be the worst way for Harry to find out.
Draco heard her groan and finally deigned to open his eyes. "Potter, you look like you're going to pop," he informed Harry, not sounding entirely displeased by the idea.
"You, her... Bed. That's – WHY?" Harry managed to sputter, not capable of coherent sentences at the moment.
"Relax Potter, finding me in her bed is the least of your worries at the momen-" Hermione opened her eyes again and slapped her hand over the evil blond's mouth, she was starting to underst and the implications of being with someone who took pleasure in upsetting her friends.
"Hermione, what's he talking about?" Harry asked his friend slowly, watching as Malfoy struggled to get her hand off of his mouth – he was obviously eager to say whatever it was, meaning Harry really wasn't going to like it.
Draco finally got fed up grappling with the determined brunette; he flipped himself on top of her and pinned her down before looking to Potter. He didn't say anything, but he pulled her left hand up to show Potter the ring, hoping that the daft Gryffindor would manage to piece it together.
"Malfoy, what do you think you're doing to her?" Harry demanded. Apparently, Draco had been overestimating how observant the moron was. To be fair – and he would never admit this out loud – it probably looked like he was practicing some strange martial art on his fiancé, so it wasn't all that ridiculous that scar-head didn't notice the large rock adorning her hand.
"I was sleeping with my fiancé before you came storming in here and woke me up," Draco complained. Now Harry had something new to change colours and sputter about.
Hermione gave up grappling with her annoying fiancé and kicked him in the stomach – she was mad enough to kick him elsewhere, but she had her future children to worry about – she had to stop this nonsense before this little run-in got out of hand and someone got cursed.
While Draco was rolling around and holding his stomach with no modesty whatsoever – he didn't seem to care that he was rolling around the bed completely naked – Hermione pulled the sheet up to her chin and turned to Harry. "Would you mind waiting to have this conversation? I'd feel better if I had some clothing on..." She asked him. Harry nodded stiffly and left the room.
"He's your friend, you go explain our engagement to him," Draco said once he could breathe again. He was pouting because he hadn't had the dramatic confrontation he had been hoping for and being a poor sport about it.
Hermione glared at him the entire time she was getting dressed, but she was pretty sure it didn't had the effect on him she had been going for; in order for a glare to be effective, the other person needs to look at your eyes, and Draco's had been directed... lower than her eyes – namely, her arse. Hermione huffed as she left the room, then grinned evilly as she thought of something.
"Draco?" She called from the hallway as she walked towards the living room where Harry was waiting.
"You're telling Blaise," she called; smiling when she heard the muffled swearing from the other room. She took a minute to revel in her small victory – she had been right when she assumed he'd kept this from Blaise, probably because Blaise would have teased him relentlessly for going soft and then make Draco take him to the hospital when he finally managed to annoy Draco to the point where he was hexed by the blond. She took a big breath before she went to face the music, so to speak.
"Tell me that was some elaborate joke concocted by Malfoy to mess with my head," Harry begged, knowing it was a lie – Hermione would never consent to a naked Malfoy in her bed for joking purposes. Harry cringed when he realized the reason Hermione had had a naked Malfoy in her bed.
Besides, she had seemed just as determined to keep him from knowing what Malfoy was trying to tell him as Malfoy had been to say it, meaning it had to be true. Hermione was really going to marry the blond prat.
"It's true, we're going to get married," she told him, not able to help the little smile that broke out at the thought. She paled as something occurred to her, "you're not allowed to tell Ginny, she'll kill me if she finds out that you knew before her."
"That he knew what?" Ginny asked, coming out of the fireplace. As soon as she had brushed all of the soot off of her robes, Ginny froze and squealed at a pitch that was high enough that only dogs and birds could hear easily. Harry and Hermione recoiled in horror, wondering if something was wrong with the hyperactive redhead.
"Hermione! is-that-what-I-think-it-is-on-your-finger?" Ginny rushed out in one breath once she was done squealing.
Realizing what all the fuss is about, Hermione grinned hugely and showed off her new ring. Ginny whipped around and faced Harry, remembering she was here to find him. "Harry James Potter, you better not be ruining this happy day for Hermione!" She said, looking menacing, she had obviously been practicing, probably with the help of her mother if her scolding style was anything to go on. She was also disturbingly good at reading situations to know that Harry was giving Hermione a hard time about her future husband from all of ten seconds taking in the situation.
Harry lost his angry look and replaced it with a fake smile. "Of course not," he told his fiery girlfriend, obviously more worried about his health and that of his own relationship than he was about Hermione's marital status.
"Good!" Ginny said. "Mum wants you to come to our Weasley dinner tonight, you can tell everyone there!" She told Hermione cheerily, taking another look at the ring and pulling Harry towards the fireplace with an excited bounce in her step.
"Oh! And bring Malfoy!" She yelled over her shoulder, smiling when she heard a string of profanities come from the direction of the bedroom.
Hermione walked up to the doors of the Burrow and paused, glancing over at the blonde, standing slightly behind her. "Draco," she whispered, looking worried. "They outnumber us."
He just smirked confidently at her and took her hand. "We can take them."
Hermione wasn't so confident, but she was willing to give it a try... She had done things much more terrifying than facing her friends and telling them she was going to spend the rest of her life with someone they hated – probably. She had to have done something scarier than this. Right?
She took a big breath and knocked on the door, glancing at Draco as she did for reassurance once again.
Remarkably enough, Ginny's reaction had been a higher pitched version of the one her mother had when she heard the news, the rest of the Weasleys went along with their matriarch – save for Ron, but he'd come around eventually; if the woman who made his food was mad at him, his mealtimes would suffer, and after that it was only a matter of time until he caved.
Hermione and Draco were spending their last night as an unmarried couple together before they went their separate ways and got ready for their big day in the morning.
"Are you nervous?" Hermione asked Draco as she plopped down beside him on the couch and offered him the second coffee she was holding.
"No," he answered immediately, sipping the coffee. Hermione smiled happily as she snuggled close; the feeling was mutual.
"Wait!" Hermione turned to the suddenly panicked Draco with a concerned look.
"What's wrong?" She asked him, reaching for his hand. He dodged her and looked at her with a horrified expression.
"I can't marry you!" He said, near hysterical. Hermione felt her stomach drop somewhere in the vicinity of her feet.
"Why?" She asked in a quiet voice; this better not be anything stupid or she was going to hex him into next week.
"Because your grandmother is going to be there!" He said, looking around the room as if her grandmother was going to jump out from behind a piece of furniture and try to grab his arse or some such thing. Yep, it was stupid. He was dead.
Hermione turned and left the room with Draco trailing worriedly behind her; she was mad, she could do any number of evil things. Still, his fear of her grandmother being there was a genuine one.
He watched as Hermione picked up the phone and pressed a bunch of the numbers – he had learned how to work the remote for the television, but had yet to grasp how a sequence of numbers could bring the voice of the person you wanted to talk to right to your ear without magic. There was a pause while Hermione waited for someone to pick up on the other end.
"Hello, Grandma?" She asked, watching with an evil grin as Draco paled. "If I could somehow magically manage to get you a plane ticket out here, would you like to come to my wedding?" She asked. Draco had to sit down; he was starting to feel faint. "Okay, I'll see you there!" Hermione chirped happily.
"Granger, what have you done?" Draco growled; his pale complexion and horrified expression completely ruining his threatening tone. He reverted to her surname, realizing that he wasn't going to be able to truthfully call her that for much longer.
"Well, grandma wasn't going to be able to come to the wedding, something about all the planes near her being grounded because of some kind of threat. Then I realized that I can just use magic to get her here, all I have to do is tell her I'm a witch, I think she suspects anyway, you were never quite normal enough to fool muggles," she told him; grinning at the insulted look on his face – Draco didn't like it when people told him he didn't do something well.
"I'll show you normal," he muttered, walking into the kitchen and pulling the toaster out of one of the cupboards. She watched with amusement as he made a slice of toast, only burning it a little bit.
When it finally popped, he pulled it out and waved it in her face. "I just made toast! Who's not muggle-like now?" He demanded, poking her with the toast.
"Still you," Hermione told him as she brushed off the crumbs that had been transferred onto her shirt when he poked her. "Stop that," she snapped when he poked her again and continued to do it when he saw how much it annoyed her.
Eventually, Hermione, tired of being assaulted with toast, snatched it from him and threw the abused piece of toast into the trash. "There, I win," she proclaimed.
"You can't just steal my toast and say you win!" Draco complained.
"You can't just attack me with toast and expect there to be no retaliation," she responded.
Draco pouted a little bit; it was no fun to mess with her if she was going to ruin his fun and then claim she was the victor. He went over to the trash can to see if the toast was still usable as a weapon, but was distracted by a funny looking stick. "Hermione, what's the stick think with the plus sign in there?" He asked; both curious and determined to expand his knowledge of muggle things – he was going to learn so no one could tell him he didn't quite fit in with the muggles... If only father could hear him now, Draco would probably be disowned.
Hermione looked away and unconsciously put a hand on her stomach. "I wasn't going to tell anyone until we were back from our honeymoon," she said quietly.
Draco was still confused; how was this related to the little stick, and what was she going to tell him?
"What would you do if I were pregnant?" she asked him, still looking away. She was a little worried he was going to be upset, they were usually so careful, but there was that one time...
"I'd be happy that I would finally have an ally against you in our bread related fights," he told her, refusing to believe they weren't talking hypothetically. Besides, it was impossible that she was pregnant, they were careful; thought there was that one time...
"Oh please. Our child will always side with mummy," she informed him smugly.
"Just like you and your mum?" He asked her, raising an eyebrow.
Hermione huffed. "That's different, my mum's insane."
"And you're just the epitome of sanity?"
"I'm not the one who was just using toast as a weapon!" She said defensively; grasping for a response. She was sane. She was.
Draco finally processed that she was serious about the baby thing. "You're serious aren't you? You're pregnant?" He asked.
Hermione nodded, hoping he was going to be okay with this; they were really young, but it wasn't like they could support a child financially, and wizards started families young. This was doable.
He took a big breath. "Okay, we can do this," he said more to himself than to her. Hermione smiled, hugely relieved – the wedding would be so much better without the worry about Draco's reaction weighing on her mind.
She hugged him. "Thank you for not freaking out," she told him gratefully.
"Oh, I'm freaking out, but I know once I'm finished I'll be excited about it. Can we wait until after the honeymoon to tell everyone?" He asked her; he didn't want to make people think they were getting married because she was pregnant. Hermione nodded; she had been thinking the same thing.
Together they went back to the couch so they could finish their quiet night before their big day.
"Draco!" Hermione called from the bathroom. He tried not to snicker as he went to see why she was calling him; he had a pretty good idea already. Peeking around the door, he found his annoyed Gryffindor glaring at him.
"Is there a reason my hair is fluorescent orange?" she asked him, trying to stay calm.
"Remember back in school when you and Blaise dyed my hair emerald green? I couldn't get my revenge then because we needed to get along to get those evil twins back! Well, now I have my revenge! That dye is permanent, by the way," as soon as he finished saying this, he ran away; they may be engaged, but she wasn't above hexing him when she was angry enough.
Draco was confused when she didn't come after him. He slowly crept to the bathroom door and peeked around the frame; he was shocked to find Hermione with her normal hair back. He could only stare in confusion.
When she noticed him a second later, Hermione grinned evilly. "The only way to get the dye out is to cut it off; so I did. Then I cast a growing charm on my hair to grow it back to normal." She patted his head as she walked past him into their room. "This is why you were only the second smartest in our year."
He scowled at her retreating back, turning to walk into the bathroom. "Always ruining my fun," he muttered, apparently not quite quiet enough.
"Oh, and Draco?" She said, before he felt a spell hit him right in the head. He heard her hysterical laughter as he got to the mirror and stared at himself, horrified. He had bunny ears. Large, white bunny ears.
"You always did think your bunny ears were sexy," she laughed, squeaking and running when he turned and came after her.
"You expect me to go to my own wedding with bunny ears? Think of the pictures!" He yelled as he chased her around the room.
"I don't care about the pictures!" She yelled back, dodging him as he tried to capture her coming around the sofa.
"You should, they're yours too!"
Hermione grinned at him as she got to the fireplace. When he caught up to her, she kissed him quickly on the cheek and then flooed to The Burrow, where Ginny was waiting with her numerous torture devices – things like eyelash curlers.
While Hermione was beautifying, Draco was sulking. Blaise had shown up with his normal hair as well.
When Draco had questioned him about it, Blaise gave him a funny look and said, "I cut it off and then grew it back with a hair growing charm," as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, then he had made fun of Draco's bunny ears for half an hour before he helped him get rid of the things.
"Why did you have rabbit ears?" Blaise asked him when he was finally finished laughing and they were both dressed – with normal ears.
Draco ignored him – a skill he had developed out of necessity over the years, as he preened in front of the mirror. He was shocked once again over how much better he could look when he got all dressed up when he looked so good every day – perfection is a difficult thing to improve upon and he had done it.
"You've been in front of that mirror long enough to be getting ridiculous with your vain thoughts," Blaise told him dryly. "Now get your butt moving or your bride will be going down an isle with no groom at the end!" he ordered his friend as he herded him out of the room.
Draco frowned. "sexy butt Blaise, get my sexy butt moving."
"I don't even want to know..." Harry muttered from the doorway. He had been sent to see what was holding up the groom, he and Ron were both in the wedding party and it was going to take all of them to keep this wedding on track – the bride and groom were prone to playing pranks on each other and everyone around them. Harry cringed as he thought about it; Ginny had been ready to murder Malfoy when Hermione told her what he had done to her hair that morning, you would think he had done something permanent.
With the cooperation of the entire wedding party, they managed to get the groom to the end of the isle and the bride to walk down it. The pair managed to do the vow part themselves; then it was time for cake.
Draco snuck up behind Hermione, she was eating her wedding cake and completely unsuspecting. He was pretty sure she was going to kill him for what he was about to do, but it would be totally worth it.
Hermione leaned close to her cake to examine a particularly pretty spun sugar flower, and that was when Draco struck. He quickly pushed her face into the cake, making sure she got it all over her face.
She was frozen in complete shock; she couldn't believe he had just done that.
When she managed to come out of her surprise enough to turn and glare at her soon to be dead husband, Hermione caught sight of Ginny, the person who had spent hours on her hair and makeup that was now ruined. She actually feared for Draco's life.
"That's for squishing pie all over my face!" He told her triumphantly, not noticing his peril - Ginny was advancing on him.
Hermione got an idea and turned into her animagus form – a sparrow, and flew off into the sunset. Draco frowned after her; weren't they supposed to disappear into the sunset together? And shouldn't they at least wait until the cake was finished?
Something bounced off his head, distracting him from his musings. Draco glanced up into the tree above him to see a tiny bird pulling another acorn off of a branch, getting ready to throw it at him as well; she must have looped back when he wasn't looking and landed above him.
His eyes widened as he understood what his crafty bride wanted him to do, and there was no way she was going to get what she wanted. She bounced another acorn off of his head and he sighed, he'd been married for less than a day and he was already being bossed around – by a tiny bird no less. "You're going to be the death of me Granger... Malfoy," he told her with a grin.
Draco changed into his owl and flew up onto the tree branch beside her, giving her a look as if to ask 'what now'. She flew off of the branch and he followed, not wanting to be left behind with the wedding party, who were sure to tease him about the owl thing... And the she-weasel was looking particularly murderous this evening – though he wasn't sure why...
THE END (Again)