Here's the second and final part! Hope you all have enjoyed it :)
Old Weddings and New Proposals
He's gone when she wakes up. Hurt and angry, she attends the wedding with only one thing in mind. She should've known better-or should she have?
She's alone. This is the only thought that registers when she rolls onto her back to find the empty spot next to her. She is alone.
And he is gone.
Tears automatically sting the backs of her eyes and her stomach flips, feeling sick. She isn't sure what she wants to do more: cry or scream. So she decides to do both, grabbing the pillow he had occupied during the night – ignoring the fact that it smells like his cologne – and burying her face in it as she screams loud, painful sobs into the fabric of the pillow case.
She should've known better, she thinks. Scratch that. She knows she should've known better. Her only sense of comfort comes from the fact that she's still fully clothed. At least she hadn't made that mistake again.
He was confused and dramatic and she should've known that he was searching for a scapegoat until he realized that he'd been right all along. It happens all the time, doesn't it? Men rehashing old love stories – not that they had much of a story – when they're about to get married, wondering if they're ready and if it's what they want. Most times it's exactly what they want, they just need to be reminded. And she, it seems, was his reminder.
What feels like a lifetime later, after she's cried all the tears she's willing to commit to him, she manages to pull herself out of bed. She glances at the clock on her bedside table, the red numbers glaring and taunting her: 9:47. The ceremony begins in an hour and 13 minutes. Which means in less than two hours, he will be a married man.
He, her best friend and love of her life, will officially belong to someone else.
She doesn't want to go. She has to, she knows, because he would kill her if she didn't – which doesn't sound like a bad idea any longer... But she doesn't want to go. She doesn't want to watch him with someone else. She doesn't want to watch him smile at her and kiss her and promise himself to her. She doesn't want to watch him leave her.
She manages to drag herself down the hall and into the kitchen to grab a bottle of water only to freeze in the middle of the doorway. On the kitchen table is a plate full of scrambled eggs, sausages, toast and hash browns. Next to it is a cup of tea and a note that reads: "I thought you'd be hungry, so I made breakfast. I'll see you at the altar."
She stares at the plate, watching the steam rise from the food. Clearly he'd placed a heating charm on her food. The more she stares, however, the angrier she gets. The nerve of him. The audacity. The stupid, loathsome, slimy little heart-breaking git!
The longer she stares, the less she wants to eat.
If there was ever any question as to whether or not she's going to attend the ceremony, there isn't one now. She will most definitely be attending – if only to give him a piece of her mind.
She arrives with just five minutes to spare until the ceremony is supposed to start. Clad in a bright red dress, one which Fashionista Ginny Potter had picked out, and silver stilettos, she walks through the Malfoy Manor's front door and through the house to the backyard. Everyone except the groom, himself, and his bride, is there; the guests are sitting in their seats waiting patiently while chatting, the male side of the wedding party standing up at the front. Blaise and Theo look the most hung over, she notices, as they're standing there with their heads hung and sunglasses covering their eyes.
She turns right around then, going back inside and upstairs to Draco's old room. She hesitates outside the door, smoothing her dress over her hips and thighs and tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Taking a deep breath to calm the adrenaline rushing through her, she throws open the door without another thought.
The door swings open, connecting loudly with the wall it's hinged on. The noise startles her, but it doesn't seem to bother him. He's standing at his large, bay-view window overlooking the backyard, his hands inside his trouser pockets. He's wearing his entire suit, except for the jacket, which she notices he's tossed on the bed. The sleeves of his white-collar shirt are rolled up to his elbows and the tie around his neck is still hanging at the sides.
She wonders, briefly, what the hell he's doing before she walks into the room and closes the door behind her. The sound of the lock clicking into place seems to catch his attention, as he looks at her. She doesn't recognize the look on his face as he stares at her.
"Hey," he breathes, relieved.
She clenches her fists at her sides, struggling to hold back tears as she marches across the threshold. Her hand connects with his cheek before she even stops walking, and then all of a sudden she's hitting him over and over again – on the chest and shoulders, whimpering that she hates him.
This is so not how she planned on handling this.
He grabs her by the arms in an attempt to calm her down before pulling her into his chest. She melts against him, crying into the crook of his neck, curling her arms underneath his as she clutches his shoulders. "Shhhh," he murmurs.
And then just as quickly as she lost her resolve, she finds it. She pushes back roughly against his chest, stepping out of his arms. She takes a few extra steps back to distance herself from him. "I hate you," she whispers, shaking her head.
"You are such a slimy little git, Malfoy!" she cries, putting an emphasis on his last name. "After everything you said – after everything you made me say – you do this? I never should've trusted you!"
"I'm done, Draco," she mutters, shaking her head. She knows it isn't true. She knows that in a few weeks, after the romantic honeymoon in Italy, he'll find a way to weasel his way back into her life and she'll let him. But until then, she wants to believe it. She wants him to believe it. "Have a nice life." She turns to leave, wiping her cheeks with the back of her hand.
"She's gone," he calls after her. There's a sense of urgency and desperation in his voice that she hasn't heard before.
She stops, halfway across the room with her back to him. Blinking rapidly, dazed, confused and emotional, she turns back to face him. "What?"
"She left. She's gone."
She snorts, rolling her eyes. "What'd she do, realize you weren't worth it?" she snaps.
He takes a painfully slow step towards her. And then another. And another. "I told her the truth-"
"And what truth is that?" she asks sarcastically, folding her arms across her chest.
"That I'm hopelessly in love with another woman and I couldn't marry her," he murmurs, closing space between them. They are so close now that she can smell him. "I told her everything, Hermione. I told her what happened before I met her and I told her what happened last night."
She blinks, taken aback. This isn't at all what she had expected. "Y-You did?"
"Where'd she go?"
"Home, with her bridesmaids. She mentioned something about ice cream," he shrugs.
She laughs softly, looking down at the floor between them. A minute and a half ago she was thinking the same thing : Rocky Road ice cream.
He lifts her chin with his finger, tilting her face to look at him. The amount of tenderness and hope and love in his eyes startles her. "I choose you," he murmurs, pressing his forehead against hers. "It's always been you, Granger."
It feels like the air has been sucked out of her lungs. And it feels warmer all of a sudden, which doesn't help the fact that she can't breathe. She tries to move away from him but he pulls her back, crushing her body to his while he simultaneously covers her mouth with his. His lips are soft but firm against hers, experience, talented and oh-so-desirable. She melts into him once more, moaning softly into his mouth as he deepens the kiss. She can feel every emotion and every feeling through his kiss. He winds his arms around her waist, locking them there as he lets out his own moan.
The only reason they pull apart is to gasp for air, both of them grinning like fools. He takes advantage of the moment, and the silence. "Marry me," he whispers, his lips brushing against hers.
She laughs softly, rolling her eyes. "You're insane."
"Yes, well, that's beside the point. I still want you to marry me."
She pulls away then, pushing softly against his chest as she takes a small step back. "Draco-"
"Look," he starts, staring at her intently, "there's already a room full of people out there waiting to witness a beautiful ceremony. Everything's already been paid for – by me. I'm already dressed for it. And I'd hate to see all this hard work go to waste. Besides, it's bound to happen sooner or later and, personally, I like the sound of sooner rather than later," he tells her convincingly.
She blinks thrice, turning away from him. "I dunno, Draco," she whispers. Despite her hesitancy and her doubt, her heart is hammering in her chest and echoing in her ears, her palms are sweating and her legs are shaking.
He sighs softly, curling his arms around her waist and resting his chin her left shoulder. "Why not, Granger?" he asks softly. "What's stopping us?"
"This isn't our wedding for starters-"
"It's mine and I want to make you my bride-"
"And we can't just get married, Draco," she tells him logically. She slips out of his grip, turning slowly to face him. "We've never even dated-"
"So?" he scoffs. "We've been friends for years, Granger – hell, we've known each other for over half our lives. We know each other better than anyone, we know each other's flaws and weaknesses as well our strengths. I mean, sure we push each other's buttons and we fight constantly and we probably want to ring each other's necks more often than not, be that's who we are, Granger," he whispers. "We're wild and crazy and we don't always make sense – people are still trying to figure us out, and that's why we're so great. And you know we're great together."
"It isn't logical," she points out.
"We aren't logical."
"It'll be irresponsible."
"Then we'll deal with the consequences."
She swallows a lump in her throat, considering him as she stares into his eyes. He's being completely serious, she realizes. He genuinely wants this. He genuinely, wholeheartedly, desperately wants to marry her. "Draco-"
"Please don't make me beg for it, Granger," he murmurs, taking her face in his hands. "Just marry me, do me the honour of being my wife. Let me love you today, tomorrow and for the rest of our life."
Tears have gathered in her eyes, blurring her vision. But she can see the look in his eyes and on his face. Love. Devotion. Sincerity. It's the same way he looked at her last night as they laid in her bed, facing one another. It's the same way he's always looked at her. "What if it doesn't work?"
"What if it does?" he points out, smirking softly as he tilts his head to the side.
She can't help the smile pulling at her lips or the skip in her heart. And suddenly there isn't a doubt or even a question in her mind. "Okay," she whispers.
His eyes light up and a wide grin tugs at his lips. "Y-yeah?"
She nods vigorously.
His arms circle her waist again and he buried his face into the crook of her neck as he spins her around happily. "You just made me the happiest man on earth, Love," he whispers. He sets her down on her feet, placing a chaste kiss on her lips. He pulls away quickly, making his way to the door, "I'll tell Potter and Potterette-"
"They're gonna think we're mental," she tells him, wide-eyed.
He pauses in the doorway, as he turns back to look at her, winking playfully. "I'll see you at the altar."