AN: Sorry its been a few days, yesterday was my birthday so I was a little busy with that, and had a bit of family drama, so I had that as well. But now your new chapter is ready, tell me whatcha think! Clumsy!
Luna and Gin came to the Manor to get ready for the party with Hermione, and they had the most fun all day. Hermione and Ginny had to suppress their giggles when they saw Luna's dress, it was SO Luna. It was a three quarter sleeved, hunter green, clingy dress, the bottom six inches of the dress was covered with feathers that were green, white, and blue. Then you got to the back of the dress, and that is what inspired the barely controlled giggles, it was backless, which would have been very sexy if not for the full on peacock tale that started at her tail bone, and was three feet of feathered glory. It reminded Hermione so much of the real bird. Honestly Luna is probably the only woman alive who could pull off a dress that dramatic.
Ginny had decided on a black sequined gown that was backless except for two strips of material that crossed to form an x in the back. It had a slit at the side of her left leg that went all the way up to mid-thigh and hugged her figure flatteringly.
They had all decided to leave their hair down, Hermione's in gentle waves of golden brown, Luna had her blonde locks in loose curls, and Gin had her gorgeous, straight hair falling to her waist. With one last hair and makeup check done it was time to head downstairs to meet the guys. Just before they turned the corner that lead to the stairs they all stopped and took a deep breath and looked at each other letting out excited girly giggles.
Then they stepped out into the open and the guys jaws dropped straight to the floor. Hermione eyed Draco and almost forgot to breath, he looked so hot in his tux. Since all the girls went with dresses instead of robes, the boys chose traditional Muggle tuxedo's instead of wizard robes. She thought to herself that she was a very lucky girl! He's so tall and muscled, and that black tux, with white button down shirt, and black vest, was just, "Whoa!" That is what came out of the mouth of the 'brightest witch of the age' she laughed to herself.
Draco on the other hand took one look at her red dress and couldn't speak at all. He had to remind himself to even breathe, because she was utterly stunning. The red dress was attention grabbing. It was utterly provocative, with touches of modesty, which is such a contradiction, but true nonetheless. Her eyes grabbed his attention once his eyes had made the journey back up to her face. They were shining with confidence, and happiness.
When he heard a sharp breath next to him he turned to look at Harry and Neville and found that they were in similar states as he was. Their eyes glued to their girls.
"Wow, you sure clean up nice Mr. Malfoy!" Hermione teased when she finally made it down the stairs to the foyer.
"You, Hermione love, look just like the princess they call you, absolutely exquisite!" He answered. He then took her hand and kissed each finger, then twirled her in a circle. When she came back around to face him laughing he leaned in and whispered in her ear so only she could hear, "I look forward to helping you remove this beautiful dress later. I will be thinking of that all night, and when you see me looking at you, you're going to know that's what I'm thinking, and you will be picturing it yourself, love." He told her.
Hermione blushed and a whispered, "Oh" escaped from her lips. Words failed her, because her mind was entirely focused on the butterflies in her clenched stomach region. He amazed her!
Narcissa came around the corner in a beautiful, flattering, ice blue gown. "The guests are arriving, let's go greet them, shall we?" Draco and Hermione left their friends at the doorway to the Ballroom and headed to the apparition spot in the house to greet the invited guests. After about half of the 200 guests had arrived, Hermione and Draco went to play host in the Ballroom as Narcissa remained to greet the guests who had yet to arrive.
An hour and a half later they were free to just enjoy themselves, their job finished. Hermione was worried about Draco, he seem antsy for some reason. He laughed and joked with their friends, and acted like he didn't have a care in the world. That was the problem though, because she knew it was an act. Something was up with him. She decided to do something about it.
"I feel like dancing, any takers?" she asked with raised eyebrows.
Blaise stepped forward, he came stag, and volunteered happily.
"I really think not Blaise! Seriously dude, you were checking out my girlfriend five minutes ago, get your own girlfriend and leave mine alone!" Draco said acting angry, but hiding a grin. He liked to tease Blaise about Hermione, it was so much fun.
Blaise raised his brows and replied, "Can't help it, she's amazing!" making Hermione laugh while still blushing. She still had not gotten used to the flirty Slytherin's completely.
Draco took her hand and led her to the dance floor himself, which was her plan all along.
They danced together with every bit of the front of their bodies touching, and she looked up at him and smiled. "You seem like you have a problem tonight. Want to tell me what's wrong?"
"I was thinking about what comes after school, with us." He said looking right into her eyes as if searching for something.
"Oh, well I just assumed we would still be together hopefully. We'll get jobs and carry on with life." She said, confused.
"I want more than that Hermione." He said honestly. "I want to ask you to live with me after we graduate."
Her mouth dropped a bit, and her brown eyes got a little shiny. "I absolutely say yes! I don't want to be apart from you Draco."
He smiled a secret smile, like he accomplished a major hurdle and was proud of himself. He pulled her even closer to him, and kissed her senseless right there in the middle of the dance floor.
A tinkling sound was heard throughout the ballroom to signal it was time to find their seats for dinner. Draco, Blaise, Harry, Neville, Luna, Ginny, and Hermione sat together at their table. They ate parmesan crusted chicken, or grilled salmon, and drank wine, and laughed and talked about light hearted subjects and just enjoyed being together.
When it appeared that most people had finished and the band was going to begin playing again, Draco looked at Ginny and gave her a look, which she nodded to. She took Hermione's hand and asked her to come help her touch up her make up. Ginny and Draco had a plan, and this was her part! Fifteen minutes later they were walking through the door to the ballroom when Hermione stopped in her tracks.
Draco was on the stage where the band was, and he was looking at her with such a tender look on his face. All the guests were in their seats, and her parents had somehow (Harry apparated them while Ginny had Hermione upstairs) shown up. Everyone was staring at her, and she was wholly shocked and confused. Ginny took her hand and lead her to Draco, who took her from Ginny with a whispered "thanks." And pulled her onstage.
"What is going on Draco?" she whispered, trying to not move her lips; so nobody could read them.
He walks to the microphone, and pulls Hermione forward.
He announces she's agreed to live with him.
"I changed my mind though," Hermione looks confused as her cheeks heat up. "I want to graduate with you, marry you, make a home with you, make babies with you, raise those babies with you, share grandbabies with you, and grow old with you. I want our life, the whole thing, all of it; I never want to miss a moment with you. Please Hermione, marry me, and share those moments with me." Then he pulls a ring out of his pocket and gets on one knee, "What do you say, Hermione?"
She is so choked up with emotion she can't make her voice work, so she falls to her knees as well and enthusiastically nods her head yes, and he slips the ring on her finger and they cup each other's cheeks and share a sweet kiss.
"I love you Draco."
"I love you more Hermione."
She stared at her ring as she was showing it off later that evening. It was a three carat, square cut solitaire setting in a platinum band. There were smaller diamonds surrounding the big one, it was a beautiful ring, and she kissed him again and told him she loved him.
Indeed later that night after the guests were all gone, he kept his promise. He did help her out of that dress. She gasped when she found herself not only out of the gown in a blink, but out of all her clothes! "How on earth did you do that?" she stuttered.
He looked at her like she was crazy and pointed at his own chest and said, "Wizard!"
She laughed and demanded to know the spell. He told her later, he had something better to do at the moment. She smiled when he did the same with his own clothes, and then he touched her, and all she could do was feel. His chest, his hands, his leg separating her own, and then the full length of him. She couldn't get enough as he kissed her deeply. She was so undone by him that when he finally reached low and touched her, she reached her satisfaction with just his touch. He was incredibly talented!
Draco watched as her eyes glazed over and he knew she had climaxed and he could not wait anymore and he filled her, taking them both on a ride to heaven. It didn't take long before they were both sated and he rolled off her, bringing her with him to rest her head on his chest. She yawned and cuddled up to his neck, kissing and nipping, she whispered in his ear, "You are yummy!" He chuckled deeply.
"Did you have fun tonight?" he asked her.
"Well, I do believe there were a few things that made the night memorable," she teased.
"Oh, really? What made the night so memorable?" he teased back.
"There was this amazingly sexy man who gave me a gorgeous ring, and said the sweetest things as he proposed to me. I'm sure that is something I will never forget." She said huskily, as her hand worked its way down his body. He sucked in a breath and closed his eyes when she started touching him.
It was many hours before the two of them fell asleep exhaustedly.
Three days later they were back at Hogwarts sitting at breakfast talking about their Christmas break, and what everybody had done. Hermione showed off her ring and the girls started talking weddings now that two of them were planning them.
Neville leaned close to Draco and whispered, "Soon, there will be three of them planning a wedding."
Draco looked a bit shocked that Neville had confided, but was happy. "Good luck mate, she's one of a kind that's for sure."
"Thanks. I have it planned for Valentine's Day. I'm going to set up a dinner in the Room of Requirement, and fix it so that it looks the way it did when we started seeing each other differently. I want it to be special for her." he answered.
Later while Hermione, Michael, and Draco waited for the classroom to fill up, they discussed whether to tell their students about Michael's condition and what the doctor's said would happen. It really was Michael's decision, not theirs, but he trusted their judgement. Both felt that it wouldn't be fair at this point to not tell them, since they would see him deteriorate. They were pleasantly surprised when Timothy and Adam came through the door together laughing and joking, and not just that, but Adam was holding the hand of Muggleborn Sarah Thomas on his other side! The three teachers looked at each other proudly, they had done it! They had obviously gotten a message through one of the Pureblood's heads, and the most stubborn one at that! Draco grabbed Hermione's hand and squeezed it, and when she turned to him, he had the proudest look on his face as he looked at Adam. She smiled.
Michael stood and said he had an announcement, when all the students in class looked at him, he began.
"Well first let's all congratulate Hermione and Draco who over the holiday became engaged." There was applause and then he started nervously with his own news. "On a much less happy note I reached a milestone over the holiday as well. Now you all know about me having Leukemia, and I have been undergoing treatment to make it go away. When I went to the doctors over the break, they informed me that the treatments aren't working, and they suggested I stop them."
Sarah raised her hand and when he called on her she asked, "What will they do now then?"
"I'm sorry I have to tell all of you this," he took a big breath. "There aren't any treatments that will help me now. A miracle notwithstanding, I am going to die. We don't know how much time I have left, so I can't tell you when it will happen, just that it will. I have made peace with this though, I am not afraid to die, I have many loved ones that are there waiting for me. Some that were lost in the war, and some to normal causes. I won't be alone, just remember that and let it comfort you if you find yourself mourning. That helped me get over the loss of some friends after the war. I wish the same comfort for everyone in this room. I ask for one thing from all of you, I ask you to not let this announcement leave your lips until I have had a chance to speak with all our students. After Friday you may feel free to speak of it openly. Please."
All the students were quiet, but they nodded their heads in agreement, and to Hermione's amazement they all kept that promise. For the first time in the history of Hogwarts, gossip didn't fly through the halls at least until Saturday. Each class got to hear it from Michael, the way he wanted them to hear when he was there to comfort and answer questions they had.
It was a subdued weekend at the school. All the students 3rd year and higher knew that another loss was coming, and they were trying to deal with it. Most of them knew how to deal with fear, growing up the way they had, so they would be fine in the end, but it was a sad weekend.
Hermione did the only thing she knew that might help the sad spirit in the school. She made her own announcement at dinner after clearing it with the Headmistress and Draco. Once everyone was done, she stood and magically enhanced her voice.
"I have an announcement to make. We have now all heard about Michael and what is happening with him right now. Well Draco had an idea, and I had the extra time to plan it, so that's what we're going to do. In three days' time, I will need a list of current and past students from Gryffindor and Slytherin for an annual game to raise funds for cancer research. The money raised will be split between Muggle and wizard researchers. The game will take place the last week of school once classes are finished for the year. Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff house needs to submit the names of current or former students you wish to see as cheerleaders. Any students who would like to volunteer to help plan and run the event see me anytime outside of classes and we will set up planning meetings. Thank you, and don't forget those lists so we can contact the players voted in." she finished.
She would do this for Michael, and for other people who suffered this horrid disease, but no matter what anybody said, she would wait for a miracle, because there was no way he would die.
AN2: So there you go, the party was fun, and Draco and Ginny's secret is out. Plus Michael has now told everyone what is happening. Hopefully you enjoyed the chapter, and I enjoy reviews….hint, hint, hint! Clumsy!