Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Harry Potter characters, etc, etc. I also don't own the song from which I took the title of this story.
A/N: This story was inspired by Taylor Swift's song "Speak Now". But I promise there's no blocks of lyrics in here... You might benefit from listening to the song first though, I think it'll make the story better.
Thanks to harrypotterluver123 for beating!
In case you're confused, the big block of italics are a flashback.
Hermione sniffled and looked down at her dress, smoothing it out with her clammy palms. 'You can do this' she thought to herself, glancing in the mirror at her haggard reflection. She looked a little green, but that was understandable considering what she was about to do. There was a wedding today, and deep in her heart, she knew it wasn't going to be a happy occasion. The unhappiness was expected though; that's what happened when the one you love is set to marry someone else.
She vividly remembered the day he'd shattered her heart into a million scattered little pieces. The whole thing was a huge slash across what had been until that moment an exceedingly blissful relationship.
Contentedly, Hermione rested her head in his lap, wishing she could stay there forever as he stroked her hair lovingly. They'd spent the day outside by the lake enjoying the June weather, and now, as it was starting to get late, her eyes were beginning to droop with her exhaustion, though she refused to ruin the moment and succumb to it.
"Hermione... I need to tell you something." He suddenly said in a voice that immediately sent a wave of dread through her, making it feel like someone had dumped a bucket of ice water over her head. The frozen ice water of reality crashing into the happy world they'd created for themselves.
She removed herself from his lap and put some distance between them, preparing herself for whatever it was he was about to say. The sadness clouding his grey eyes told her that what he had to tell her was something that she wasn't going to like. He hadn't even spoken yet and she already knew it was eating him up on the inside.
"What?" She whispered. It was just a wisp of sound, but all her dread was infused in that one little word.
His long fingers ran through his hair in his distress, making the blonde strands stand up slightly. "My parents have arranged my marriage, the date's been set."
There they were; the words she'd been terrified he was going to say for months. From the very beginning of the school year, when he'd pressed her up against a wall mid-argument and snogged her silly, he'd warned her that they only had the year, that his parents were in the process of finding a bride for him and he wasn't going to go against their wishes. What they'd had was supposed to be a way for the both of them to lose some of the stress that had been pressing onto all the much too young participants of the recent war.
Immediately, tears welled in her eyes and she turned her face away from him so he wouldn't see how much this was hurting her – even though he knew, it was killing the both of them.
Calloused fingers ran down her jaw gently, stopping at her chin and turning her head back to face him. He couldn't stand it when she turned her face away; it pleased him to no end that after spending so much time with people who guarded their emotions like a dirty little secret, he'd found someone who broadcast them. He needed to look at her for what he had to say next.
"Hermione, you knew this was coming," he murmured, staring deeply into the chocolate depths of her freely watering orbs. His thumb came up and smoothed away the twin trails of salty sadness trailing down her cheeks. The effort was in vain, there were always more tears.
"I knew this was coming before I fell in love with you," she sighed sadly. Her face pressed heavily against the comforting hand resting on her cheek. She hadn't expected to fall in love with him, what they'd had was supposed to be just a fling, something to take their minds off the war they'd just survived and all of their friends who hadn't.
He sighed despondently and pulled her into his arms, wishing his strength would have been enough to hold her together while she fell apart. Hermione had a big heart capable of a lot of love, but he loved her just as much.
The brunette curled up against his chest, buried her face in the crook of his neck, and held him tightly while she let the tears fall. Draco rested his face against her hair and did his best to stay his own tears. He wasn't good with goodbyes, he usually just left, but this time he wanted every last second he could have with Hermione.
They stayed like that until long after the sun had set, as it was the only time they'd have together. In the morning, they were going to graduate and then start the jobs that were waiting for them. And Draco was going to marry the bride who was arranged for him.
They stayed unmoving until the sun crested the horizon, its rays sparkling off the lake and fracturing back at the couple sitting on the water's edge, holding tightly to one another.
"It's morning," Hermione said mournfully, watching the rippling light dancing over Draco's face with sadness, knowing it was going to be the last time she saw him so closely.
Draco only nodded and tightened his hold on her, unwilling to release her just yet.
"We have to go back to our dorms before someone notices we're missing," she continued when it didn't seem like he was going to let her go.
The tears she thought she had cried out last night started again at the thought of leaving him. Regretfully, Hermione pulled away and stood up, looking down at his lithe form with sadness. She leant over and held his face with both hands as she pressed one last little kiss to his lips.
"It's probably best we cut all contact, it'll only hurt more later," she murmured, still holding his face tenderly.
He nodded, wishing he could prolong the contact, but knowing that what he was doing would be best for them both in the long run. He'd marry the woman his parents had chosen and she'd probably eventually marry the Weasel because Draco knew the redhead would offer when she showed up with a broken heart.
"We should do our best to move on." Draco said, trying to encourage her to be happy without him, he didn't want her to stay so depressed.
Her hands left his face and immediately, they were both desolate and devoid of a warmth that they'd come to depend on. The sadness in his eyes only intensified as she turned around and walked away from him, not looking back.
Hermione peeked around the doorway as the wedding march started playing. To her biased ears, the happy tune sounded more like the accompaniment to a funeral procession than the formal tones marking a happy occasion.
The room was full of people, and there he was waiting at the end of the carpet for his bride. Her stomach lurched just seeing him there. Hesitantly, Hermione slipped into the room, hoping to be unnoticed by the rows upon rows of people waiting there for a happy occasion that was anything but happy for her.
At that moment, she wanted nothing more than to turn and run, but she hadn't been sorted into Gryffindor for nothing. After a big breath to gather her scattered courage, Hermione stepped out, praying that everyone would keep facing the front and not turned to stare at her – no such luck. Every eye in the room turned to stare at her, it was mortifying. She only hoped they missed her wince under their attention.
She held her hands close to her body, trying to stop their shaking. 'I shouldn't be doing this, I shouldn't be being this' kept running through her head like a mantra, but she pressed on, picturing the sadness in Draco's eyes as he'd told her to move on. She couldn't though, that was her problem.
The moment she'd been both dreading and praying for finally dawned. "Speak now of forever hold your peace," the minister said.
Her chocolate eyes roamed the crowd, pleading for someone else to speak against the farce of a wedding that was happening right in front of them.
"I can't let you marry her!"
The pronouncement rang through the room, bouncing off the walls and seeming to echo in the silence that followed the declaration. Every eye turned to face the terrified looking speaker as she wrung her hands, but she only had eyes for the man standing up there with his bride – the wrong bride.
The groom turned to face her with horror as she continued. "You don't love her. You're only doing this because everyone expects it of the two of you. I love you with all my heart, and I know you love me too." She dipped her head, embarrassed with all the attention on her, but continued. "Leave all this and come away with me, I'll be outside waiting."
While everyone was focused on the girl standing in the audience making a scene and delaying the wedding, the bride only had eyes for someone who had just slipped inside the doors. He was leaning against the wall at the opposite end of the isle, staring at her intently while every other eye in the room looking elsewhere. Why was he wearing formal dress robes? Her eyes widened when she realized that he must have left his own wedding to come to hers.
For the first time in what felt like forever, the almost-bride's face broke out into a huge smile. She thrust her bouquet in the maid of honour's hands and rushed down the aisle to throw herself into the waiting arms of the as yet unnoticed man.
"You came," she whispered happily, tears in her eyes. It was more than she'd ever dared hope for.
He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her tight against him. "I couldn't let you marry the Weasel. It's me you belong with."
Her previously shattered heart healed a little at that statement. "What about-"
He cut her off. "Astoria was pretty pissed when I left her at the altar, but she'll get over it, she only wanted my money anyway."
"And your parents?" She asked.
He shrugged. "They'll eventually figure out that I'm their only heir and I don't care if they disown me so they don't have anything to hold over my head. They're bigoted but they're not stupid, they'll come around."
They both turned back to the wedding as the groom noticed his bride wasn't up there with him and didn't seem to be all that upset. Ron faced the woman in the audience who had spoken and was now watching him with a hopeful look in her eyes. She jerked her head towards the exit in a clear invitation and strode out of the room, head held high.
"I was going to interrupt your wedding and stop you from marrying him, but it seems that Brown got there before me." Draco said into her hair, unwilling to loosen his hold on her so that he could see her face.
Hermione laughed through her tears, craning her head to watch as Ron sent one quick glance around the room before shrugging and following after Lavender towards the door.
Mrs. Weasley objected as he left, but he just waved at her over his shoulder as he walked.
Hermione grinned at his as he passed her and Draco, grinning wider when he winked back at her.
"Take care of her Malfoy," Ron mumbled, too quiet for anyone but the blonde and the happy bride in his arms to hear.
Draco nodded seriously. He didn't plan to ever let Hermione out of his sight after their long, heartbreaking separation. He'd been forced to face what life would be like without her and didn't care for it at all.
Everyone in the room suddenly turned their attention to Hermione and Draco. Glad that she wasn't going to have to marry Ron anymore, Hermione beamed at them for the first time that day – for the first time since leaving Hogwarts.
"It looks like the wedding's off," she told them all, her voice unwavering and unapologetic. The smile she wore didn't fade a bit in its radiance. Several mouths dropped open at the chipper manner of her delivery of what most of them considered bad news and at the owner of the arms that were tightly wrapped around the veiled brunette.
The Slytherin smirked at their shock and confusion, unapologetic.
A low rumble began to develop as everyone turned to their neighbour and starting discussing the dramatic events they'd just witnessed.
Draco leaned his head down by her ear, lips just grazing its delicate shell. "Let's get out of here before all those Weasleys decide to come after me for ruining their most hopeless member's wedding," he whispered quietly, making her shiver with delight.
Extracting herself from his arms, Hermione grabbed his hand and pulled him from the room. No one objected because no one had been keeping an eye on the pair after their initial shocked stare.
"You look like you're wearing a damn pastry," Draco said once they were alone in the hall. He'd obviously been dying to express his distaste for her dress for a while.
She looked down at her dress and wrinkled her nose in distaste. "I know, Mrs. Weasley picked it."
"Well, next time you put on a wedding dress, it'll be something much more tasteful. I'll make sure of it."
Her eyes lit up. "Does that mean you're going to be there?"
"It'd be hard to have a wedding without the groom," he said with a grin. "How's next weekend for you?"
She jumped on him, knocking him to the ground. He didn't mind one bit, laughing at her antics.
Hermione ended up straddling the blonde as he lay flat on his back. Her voluminous skirts covered him almost completely, making it necessary for her to dig through them to locate his smiling face.
"I missed you," she said, holding her skirts out of the way so she could lean down and kiss him.
Draco extracted his hands from the skirt to pull her closer until she was laying flat on top of him. Any distance between them was just too much.
"I love you," he answered, tugging her down so he could kiss her again.
She pressed herself against him, wanting to be as close to his familiar warmth as was physically possible. His hands tangled in her hair in that way she loved, causing her to make a contented noise deep in her throat. She'd missed this; she'd missed him.
The people in the chapel finally started to leave, only to find the bride of the almost-wedding snogging someone most of them thought she hated.
"Is this some kind of strange Wizarding world tradition, switching partners just as they're almost married?" Hermione distantly registered her mother asking. The Muggle woman sounded bewildered and confused.
"I think it's just Hermione and Draco, they were trying too hard to please other people and 'do what's best'. They should've known that never works." Ginny piped up. As the maid of honour, she'd spent the most time with Hermione of late, and knew very well what the brunette had been going through.
Growling angrily, Draco gently pulled Hermione's face away from his mouth so he could speak. "Would you all stop bloody gawking and fuck off?" He snarled, at the end of his patience.
Hermione hit his shoulder lightly. She tried to turn to the people watching so she could apologise, but Draco used the hands he still had tangled in her hair to keep her where she was.
"Apologise later, kiss me now," he ordered.
There was just no resisting when he asked like that. She dropped a kiss against his lips, letting him feel her smile rather than see it as the watching crowd started to disperse. They'd have years for her to work on his manners, this time they were going to put themselves first.
A/N2: In case it was confusing, it was Hermione's wedding to Ron that Lavender interrupted. I wanted you to think it was Draco getting married and Hermione was the one interrupting it, but it wasn't. I hope that wasn't too confusing.
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