Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm just playing with them.
A/N: Because the site won't allow me to have Fun With Fonts, Draco's attempts at thank-you notes are in bold, and Hermione's versions are in italics.
I'm just in awe of your generosity. Really. Thanks ever so for giving us the use of my own mother's family's home as a wedding present. And to think, all you get out of it is rent and free labor as Hermione and I work our fingers to the bone renovating this hovel. You are too good.
Draco and I continue to be awed by your generosity. Given the wizard housing crisis here in London, we know just how lucky we are to live here in this big house right in town! Thank you so much, not just for renting us Grimmauld Place, but also for giving your blessing that we renovate and turn it into a home where we can make our first happy memories as a married couple. So many of your ties to Sirius are here and so many of our experiences from the war, too. . . this could not have been an easy gift to give. Just know that you are always welcome here. In fact, let's set a date for you and Ginny to come over soon and see the changes we've made so far.
It's a plant. How completely non-returnable. Thank you for proving me right on the necessity of gift registries.
Draco and I thank for your present. I never even thought I'd see a Three-fruit Compotus tree outside of a textbook, and now I own one. We've placed it in a sunny spot near the dining room, and we can't wait to have apples, plums, and pears off our own tree.
Dear Professor McGonagall,
Thank you for not sending anything plaid.
Dear Professor McGonagall,
Thank you so much for the beautiful table linens. The lace is so delicate, and the tiny interwoven crests remind us both of Hogwarts. Draco and I will treasure this gift for years to come.
Thank you for the vase. Eighteenth-century, right? Oh, and no, you may not call her Hermione. She's "Mrs. Malfoy" to you, pretty boy.
Of course you may call me Hermione. It's a pleasure getting to know Draco's friends better.
We set your vase in our parlor where it catches the light beautifully. Draco and I both thank you.
Nice one! Thanks a lot—you are officially my favorite Weasel. Potter doesn't deserve you. You know, I think Blaise Zabini needs a girlfriend, and he's always found you attractive. Want me to set the two of you up?
I opened that box of lingerie in front of Draco's parents! You should have seen how red my face was.
Thank you, though, so much. May I ask where you shopped? I suspect I will become a steady customer. I thought everything was Muggle-made at first, because I've never seen the like in Diagon Alley, but Muggle knickers don't do that! Draco really, really thanks you. His exact words were "Nice one!" and then he called you his favorite Weasley. Congrats, it looks like you've made a new friend.
Dear Miss Lovegood,
Thank you for your interesting painting. I'm certain we will eventually determine the perfect attic, cellar, or cupboard in which it should hang.
Thank you for the painting. Draco and I both gasped when we saw it. It's a Crumple-Horned Snorkack, right? And so colorful, too! As you know, we are in the process of redecorating and making our house more cheery. We haven't yet figured out the perfect place for it, but I know your painting will brighten any wall on which it is hung.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Granger,
Thank you for the generous honeymoon package. It was wonderful. I'll never forget what your daughter looked like on that beach, wearing only sunshine and a smile.
Dear Mum and Dad,
Oh, what can I say? The trip was wonderful, the weather was perfect, everything was gorgeous, and Draco and I will never forget the memories we made there together. I've enclosed a few photos, and the two of us will be coming by soon. I can give you all the details then.
Dear Mother and Father,
Thank you for the furniture. Grimmauld Place is slowly becoming habitable, but it's still comforting to have pieces that remind me of home.
As much as I appreciate the house elf, Hermione is still being unreasonable and will not allow him in the house unless he accepts clothes, so I don't think it's going to work out. Of course, if he should happen to come back to Grimmauld Place of his own free will while Hermione is at work (Monday through Friday between 8:00 and 5:30), and if he decides he wants to do a spot of cleaning or cooking during that time, I don't believe even Hermione or S.P.E.W. could protest.
About the disinfectant, stop worrying. Although my in-laws and the Weasleys may be coming over from time to time, I no longer believe all the old tales about Muggles and blood traitors carrying disease.
Dear Mother and Father Malfoy,
Thank you for the furniture. Draco enjoys having reminders of the Manor around him, so I know it makes Grimmauld Place feel more like home. Our renovations are progressing steadily, but I'm sure the disinfectant you sent will still come in handy.
Your generous offer of Kippy's services is very kind, but I'm afraid we must decline. Draco and I are both committed to elf liberation, you see, and we are not comfortable with the idea of an enslaved elf in our home. (If you would like more information about elf freedom, I've included a copy of the latest brochure, "House Elves are People Too, So Let My People Go!" from the Ministry's Non-Human Relations Office, formerly the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. I'm proud to have co-authored this pamphlet along with Rolf Scamander.)
Thanks for the fine lamp, Weasley. I'm impressed. You really shouldn't have, though. I guess you'll be eating gruel and going without heat until you get your next paycheck, huh?
This lamp casts a beautiful light. I love to see it shine on my wife's skin when we make love in our library.
By the way, I win and you lose.
Draco and I thank you for the lamp. We're both quite taken with the way the light magically adjusts itself to the perfect brightness in order to best suit whatever it's illuminating. It seems to make everything beautiful. The lamp itself is just exquisite; it has been given a place of honor on my desk in the library, and I already bought a rug to match the colors in the base. You'll see for yourself when you and George come for dinner next weekend.
See you soon!
I don't know what to say except I'm sorry and thank you.
You're right. This isn't the life I deserve to have. Thank the Fates for that. If I had just what I deserved, well, I know I'd have nothing much at all. Certainly not Hermione. You ask how I ended up here? And why? What brought me from hating Hermione at 15 to loving her completely at 25? Well, who's to say? I'm not wise enough, I guess, to count the millions of moments and thousands of words between us and figure out when they added up to love. I just know they did. So I'm sorry no one's there for you the way Hermione is for me. I hope you find someone. And when that day comes, I hope we can meet again as friends, but for right now, I think it's best to say good-bye. I'm not the man for you, Pans. I never was.
I should send these photographs back to you, all things considered. But did you know I don't have even one picture of Crabbe? I'll keep them. I like this group shot of us in the Common Room from Fifth year. We all look so young and, I think, innocent. It's not a word I would have used to describe us at the time, but now it seems to fit. Thank you.
Oh, but that one of the two of us at the Yule Ball? What was I thinking when I let Mother buy those robes? Potter's right: I did look like a vicar. That one's going on the fire.
Best wishes - DM
Hermione slammed the front door hard enough to rattle the panes in the windows. In her portrait, old Mrs. Black's eyes bulged with the effort of making herself heard through the gag that had been magically painted over her mouth. Ignoring the foul old woman, Hermione tossed her coat over the rack, turned, and stormed up the stairs.
"Hark! Could that be the sound of my lady?" Draco's voice drifted down from the direction of the nearest bedroom. "Her gentle tread, light as air, so delicate, so graceful—"
Hermione stomped particularly loudly when she reached the landing and saw that he had placed Gryffindor ties on all the severed elf heads while she was out.
"—gossamer footsteps, soft as down—"
She pushed open the bedroom door. "Enough already, Mr. Thinks-He's-Funny. You are in so much trouble. "
Draco knelt on the doxy-eaten rug next to the ornately-carved, four-poster bed, a hideous—in Hermione's opinion—import from Malfoy Manor. With a spray bottle of doxycide in his hand and a blue kerchief hiding the lower half of his face, Draco looked up with bright, unrepentant eyes that crinkled into laugh lines at the corners. He gave the bed skirt an industrious spritz. "Welcome home, my dearest. I've been hard at work defending our linens from doxies while you've been gone, as you can—"
"Save it." Stalking to the cold fireplace, Hermione waved a small bundle of letters in his direction before tossing them on the hearth. "Never again," she swore, pulling her wand from her sleeve and casting an Incendio on the parchment. "Never again will I leave you unattended with a stack of blank cards and our address book within reach. In fact, I should forbid you from ever touching a quill again. "
"I actually think I like those Muggle pens more anyway." Draco shrugged and tugged the scarf down to his neck. "You got my letters back, so there's no need to be angry, right?" He flashed her a grin so charming, it had to be calculated. "Another crisis averted by the intrepid Hermione Malfoy."
She set her wand on the mantle, crossed the room, and sat on the edge of the bed in front of him. "It cost me fifty Galleons to persuade the Owl Postmaster to let me exchange those cards." She stifled a sigh. Some measure of her irritation had burned away with Draco's cards, and she was left with an unsettled, unhappy feeling. Every time she thought Draco could co-exist peacefully with her friends at last, he did something to encourage tension between them. Why was it so hard for him to offer sincere thank-yous to her friends and family? Or even to her? He thanked Pansy quite sincerely, the thought whispered through her mind. Didn't seem to have a problem with that at all. She sighed again, not bothering to conceal it this time.
He cocked his head to one side, studying her, and she mustered up a small smile. His mask had left a faint pink line over his nose, and she reached out and massaged the mark with gentle fingers. "I'm paying myself back out of your account, Draco. With interest," she tapped his nose for emphasis.
He rolled his eyes. "As if that matters, since what's mine is yours." One strong hand wrapped around her ankle, and he rested his chin on her knee, looking up at her with his sexiest smirk. She narrowed her eyes, and he batted his lashes in retaliation. "I've said it before, but you're dead sexy when you're all self-righteous and stern." He kissed her kneecap. "Go on. Wag your finger at me, and I'll be all yours." His even, white teeth nipped at her knee.
"Oh, stop that." Grabbing one of the bed's many lace-covered pillows—all embroidered with the Malfoy crest—she swatted him. "I'm entitled to be upset, and you know it."
"If you say so." Standing, he stretched and held out the doxycide. "Can I stop now? This stuff makes my throat hurt, and my squirting finger is getting a cramp." He mimed spraying the air.
Hermione ignored the proffered bottle, taking a slow, critical look around the room instead. "No, you're not done here." Folding her hands over the pillow on her lap, she raised one eyebrow at Draco. "But when you are, you can open that big box of cleansers your parents sent over and start cleaning bathrooms."
"Oh. You saw that." He pulled the handkerchief off his neck and placed it and the doxycide on the bedside table.
"Do Lucius and Narcissa really believe you should be disinfecting our belongings after my friends and family visit?"
"Not all our belongings." He patted her shoulder. "Just the ones they touch."
She groaned and collapsed backward, her legs dangling off the side of the bed. "What am I going to do with you?"
"I have an idea or two." The pillow was pulled out of her hands and tossed on the floor. The mattress shifted under his weight as he climbed up her body, nuzzling her breasts and taking advantage of the way she arched, head back, to kiss the hollow of her throat. He smiled against her skin when she sighed and then trailed more gentle kisses up her throat to her chin. But before he could kiss her mouth, she pressed her index finger to his lips and shook her head.
"Really, Draco, those letters . . . why? Were you trying to deliberately alienate everyone we know?"
He sank down until he could pin her to the bed, resting his weight on his elbows. "Of course not."
"Then why would you write such ungrateful letters to our friends and family?" She ignored the way he circled his hips against hers and frowned up at him. "How hard is it to write a simple thank-you note without being snide or insulting?" She caught his fingers as they began to wander up her belly and pulled them out from under the edge of her shirt. "Didn't Lucius and Narcissa teach you how to properly express your gratitude?"
He screwed up his face and pretended to think. "Well, there was the time…wait, once they…um, no, actually, they didn't. They were too busy teaching me to hate Muggles and giving me a false sense of entitlement. "
Bending, he tried to kiss her again, but she dislodged him and rolled to one side. Scooting up the bed, she settled against the headboard, a pillow tucked between her back and the bas relief carvings. "You know, you never really say thank you to me, either. When I do something for you, you might give me a kiss or a smile, but you rarely say the words."
"So?" He lay down beside her, and she rolled half onto her side so she could face him. "That's how I express my gratitude, with a kiss and a smile. What does it matter?"
"It matters to me if you're pathologically incapable of saying the words out loud." She smoothed his hair back from his forehead. "I don't want to spend the next 100 years never being thanked for anything from pouring your tea to bearing your children."
He smirked. "My father gave my mother emeralds when I was born. If you're happier with two little words instead, fine. What a bargain. "
She let her hand rest upon his pillow. "It's the principle of the matter, Draco. It's basic politeness."
He sighed and looked up at the ceiling. "You're not going to let this go, are you?"
"I thought not."
They were quiet for a moment. She watched Draco turn the matter over in his mind and let her hand drift to his hair. Running her fingers through the short, blond strands, she smiled slightly, admiring his pale lashes and sharp features.
"You know I'm thankful anyway, right?" Her hand stilled in his hair, and he rolled his head on the pillow to look at her. "For the things you do . . . just the fact that you're in my life at all. Even if I don't exactly say the words, you know anyway, right?"
He blushed, and she took pity on him, leaning in and kissing his cheek. "I know. I'm grateful for you and everything you do, too. Once in a while, though, it's nice to hear the words. "
"Hmm. All right," he nodded. "I guess I can make sure you hear them sometimes."
She beamed. When he did nothing more but lay there, she raised her eyebrows expectantly.
"What?" he asked. "You mean, right now?"
She gave his scalp a gentle tug. "Why are you making this so difficult? Repeat after me," she sat up, resting her weight on one hand, "'Thank you, Hermione, for bribing the postman, writing new thank-you cards in that smelly owl office, and ensuring that we won't have to spend every evening, weekend, and holiday in isolation because our friends and family can't stand us. '"
"Being alone together doesn't sound so bad. You should have mailed mine."
She snorted. "Let's try again: 'Thank you, Hermione, blah, blah blah, for stopping me before I infuriate every last person we know. '"
He clasped his hands behind his head and grinned. "I think I've forgotten the first part, before 'blah, blah, blah.' How did it go again?"
"You know, I'd settle at this point for 'thank you, Hermione. '"
"Thank you, Hermione," he parroted, then crossed his eyes and stuck his tongue out.
She pressed her lips together and refused to smile. Lowering herself on top of him, she kissed him deeply before sitting back up again with her knees on either side of his hips. "You're quite welcome, Draco."
His cheeks pink, he rested his hands lightly on her hips and looked up at her with speculation in his eyes. She barely kept herself from smirking. "Did you notice?" she asked, casually fingering the top button of her blouse, "I left the crossword in the Prophet for you this morning. I know you enjoy it. "
Slowly, his lips twitching, he nodded in agreement. "Thank you, Hermione."
She swiftly unbuttoned her blouse and dropped it off the edge of the bed. "I bought those blood oranges you like so much, too. And I juiced them for you. "
"Thank you, Hermione."
She followed the thread of laughter in his voice back to his mouth and kissed him again. They held each other tightly, breathing in the scent of each other as their tongues entwined and their hands roamed. Abruptly, he pulled back, and she blinked down at him in surprise.
A little ragged now, he played with her bra strap. "You put my laundry away, didn't you? A few days ago?"
"Why, yes, I believe I did."
"Thank you, Hermione," he said fervently, and she smiled and unhooked the clasp of her bra.
Later, when all the lacy Malfoy pillows had been cast to the floor and his fingers were drawing lazy patterns on her sweat-dampened skin, she propped her chin on his shoulder and murmured, "You said thank you to Pansy. In your letter," she clarified when he slowly opened one questioning eye. She blushed. It was one thing to read the snarky and inappropriate thank-you notes he had sent out on behalf of them both, but she thought it might be another thing entirely to read the thoughtful and sympathetic letter he had written to his very ex girlfriend.
"Yeah, I did." He closed his eye again and sighed. "It seemed like the right thing to do. I may never see her again, unless it's at some public function or something. She was my friend, and she did give me those pictures from back when we were at school."
"In an attempt to make you nostalgic for the days when you hated me in the hopes that you'd leave me."
A laugh rumbled through his chest and she snuggled her cheek against it, to feel it from the inside. "Well, I enjoyed looking through them anyway. So, I wrote her back, to thank her," he hesitated, "and to help her move on." He lifted his head and kissed her hair. "All right?"
He smiled and let his head fall back. After a moment, his arm's tightened around her. "If you burned Pansy's letter with the rest of them, I'll have to write her a new one."
"I didn't burn it; I mailed it." She toyed with the line of hair leading downward from his navel. "It was very sweet."
"You didn't feel the need to re-write it?" he teased.
"Not at all. I just added a postscript. "
His hands stopped smoothing circles over her back. "A postscript? What about?"
She closed her eyes and snuggled closer. "Just clarifying a few things."
Dear Miss Parkinson,
You can keep your memories of the boy he used to be. I sleep next to the man he became every night.
By the way, I win and you lose.
Mrs. Draco Malfoy