As promised, here is the sequel/companion piece to my story Sabotage. To those who have read Sabotage: thank you, and I hope this piece does it justice! To those of you who haven't yet: I don't think you necessarily have to read it first, but I would definitely recommend it seeing as this one is a sequel.
To everyone: this story definitely turned out way different than what I had originally had in mind. At first I going to have both kids involved in getting their parents back on track, with even more manipulating circumstances and such – especially with Rose, because I kind of like a cunning-Rose. But once I started to actually write it down, everything took a completely different route and this is what came out. Still, I really like it and I really, really hope you guys do too!
Enjoy, and leave a review or two!
Second Chances, Same Mistakes
Not everything works out the first time around. And not everyone gets a second chance. Some things work out better the second time around.
Once allof the guests have left the Burrow and everything has been cleaned up, Draco Malfoy stands out on the back porch, his hands in his trouser pockets as he stares out across the never-ending field of green grass and wild flowers. The sun is beginning to set on this would-be wedding, and he finds that there was only three other times he's felt even remotely this relieved. Both times his children took their first breath – and first wail, and the first time Granger said "I do".
His jacket is somewhere inside, the top three buttons of his dress shirt is undone, his sleeves are rolled up and his tie loose. He looks and feels more relaxed and laid back. And rightly so.
He feels a light, slender hand on his shoulder and when he turns, he's welcomed with an even more beautiful sight. He smiles down at the woman standing next to him. Her hair is back to its usually unruly mess of brown curls and knots. Her face is clean and free of makeup, although her glassy eyes are giving her away. She's still wearing her wedding gown, perfect and stunning as ever.
He smirks when he sees the bottle of firewhiskey in her right hand. "Hope you don't plan on keeping that all for yourself," he teases.
She smiles, biting her lip as she shakes her head. "Join me."
"Just me?" he wonders, glancing over her shoulder inside the house. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley are standing in the kitchen with Harry, Ron and Ginny.
"Just you and me," she whispers.
"And the kids?"
"They're spending the night with Ginny and Harry," she replies with a nod and a confident smile.
"Thought of everything, huh? Miss me that much?" he teases.
"Nah, I just really need a drink."
"With your ex-husband."
She shrugs, and with her free hand pulls him off the porch and towards the field. He knows where she's talking him and he can't help but wonder if she's already been testing the alcohol.
A couplehours and several shots later, finds a drunk bride in a dirty white dress pacing up and down the length a small treehouse. They'd found it years ago while looking for hiding spot to escape one of the Weasley Family Get-Togethers; it's nothing but a child's abandoned playhouse, located a few feet above the ground.
Draco is sitting on the floor, watching his ex-wife stumble about the short space spilling drops of firewhiskey onto the floorboards below. Her fingers have been clasped around the neck of the bottle for so long he's beginning to wonder it's slowly becoming a part of her.
"Is it bad?" she asks suddenly, slurring her words.
"Is what bad?"
She stops, taking a swig of the amber alcohol before looking at him. "That I'm barely 41 years old and I've failed at two marriages – one that I didn't even get to start," she points out. "That's bad, right?"
He blinks, looking up at her cautiously. "I've seen worse."
All of a sudden she drops to her knees in front of him, the skirt of her muddy, white dress pooling around both of them. "Marry me," she whispers.
What startles him – more than those words – is that it sounds an awful lot like she's begging. "Wh-what?"
"Marry me," she murmurs again, leaning closer to him. She curls her arms around his neck, maneuvering the bottle around him as she pushes her forehead against his.
He blinks. "Gran-"
And then her lips are on his and her tongue slips its way into his mouth. He can taste the alcohol on her tongue. He responds instinctively, his hands pressing on the small of her back, pulling her closer. Her lips are soft and delicate, but demanding as her slim fingers of her free hand play with the hair at the back of his neck. His hands inch up her back, searching blindly for the zipper at the back of her dress – and only then does he remember.
Today was her wedding day.
Today her fiancé walked away from her.
He groans, pulling his head back as his hands snap back reflexively. "Granger," he breathes. She leaves a trail of kisses down his jaw. He pushes back on her shoulders gently. "Granger, stop."
She ignores him, taking his earlobe in between her teeth. It takes everything in him, every ounce of self-control in his body, not to give into desire and push her back onto the floor.
"Stop. Stop, Granger," he demands, pushing her back.
She recoils, sitting back on her heels as her hands fall limp into her lap. "W-what's wrong?"
"We can't," he mutters.
"Of course we can," she whispers seductively, reaching for his hand as she pulls him forward so they're nose to nose.
"No, Hermione, we can't," he says firmly. He means business when he uses her first name.
She lets go of his hand, blinking back tears as she looks at him with sad eyes full of confusion. "Why not? I thou-thought this is what you wanted," she chokes out. "Y-you said we could run away together, that you wanted to..." she trails off, her voice shaky and uncertain.
He watches her carefully, guilt washing over him as he watches the way her mind works behind her big brown eyes.
She moves away from him like he's just hit her, shaking her head in disbelief. "You don't want to marry me, do you? You never did," she accuses him loudly.
"You just didn't want me to marry him-"
"No, hey, listen to me, okay?" He reaches out for her, taking her face in his hands. He sighs, pressing his forehead against hers as a sob escapes her throat, and brushes his nose against hers. "Look..." he starts, closing his eyes. "You're drunk. You're upset. You're hurt. And you think that I can fix it – and maybe I can, but...not like this," he whispers, his voice hoarse. She's looking back, silent tears slipping down her cheeks which he brushes away with his thumbs. "Go on a date with me."
She blinks, taken aback. "What?"
He smirks. "Oh, so you'll ask me to marry you while you're sitting here in a wedding dress, but me asking you on a date is weird?"
She giggles softly, rolling her eyes.
"C'mon, go on a date with me," he whispers coaxingly. "We'll take it slow. Start over."
A shy smile visits her lips as a pink blush spreads across her cheeks and the bridge of her nose. "Okay."
He grins back. "Okay."
The First and Second First Date
She sees him from across the crowded pub, openly flirting with a blond haired girl who had caught his eye about an hour ago, and something tightens in her chest. She thinks it's disgust or distain or just plain dislike. A small voice in the back of her head tells her it's more along of the lines of jealousy, but she ignores the little voice.
He looks at her over the girl's shoulder as he leans in to whisper something in her ear. Smirking smugly, he winks in her direction as his blond hair falls slightly in front of his eyes and gives her a thumbs-up. She offers him a fake, sarcastic smile and a short wave before rolling her eyes and turning away. He's doing it on-
"-purpose," the redhead next to her announces, pausing only to take a sip of her drink. She'd been so uncharacteristically quiet, Hermione nearly forgot she was here. "He wants you to see him with her."
"And why would he want that?"
"Because obviously you're the one he wants," Ginny replies simply.
"Oh really?" Hermione crosses her arms over her chest, looking skeptical.
"Yeah. He's just settling right now until you've made up your mind."
"Settling?" the brunette snorts. "Right. He's settling for a Victoria's Secret look-a-like model with fake boobs and perfect hair."
"I'm not so sure they're fake, actually."
Ignoring her, "besides, I've already made up my mind. Six times." With a nod of her head, as though it backs up what she's just said, she finishes off the rest of her drink.
"I don't understand why you don't just give him a chance. All he's asking for is one date. He wants you."
"He only wants me because he can't have me," Hermione tells her. "He'll want me for one night and then be done with me, just like every other girl he's ever asked on a date."
Ginny stares at her for a minute before shaking her head. "I think you're wrong. Besides, even if you're not, who cares? He's hot, you're hot. The sexual tension is there, the chemistry's there – hell, anybody who's in the same room with you two for thirty seconds gets turned on by the amount of sexual tension in the room."
"So you think I should go on a date with him just so we can have sex?"
"Yes!" the redhead exclaims excitedly. "Honestly, when was the last time you shagged somebody? Go out with him, get a little tipsy – cause Merlin knows he'll probably just take you to a fancy restaurant and feed you wine – and then go back to your place and have amazing sex."
Hermione smirks. "And how would you know the sex is amazing?"
Ginny scoffs, making it a point to look past her at the man in question who is currently dancing with three very beautiful women. "Just look at him, 'Mione. There's no way a man that gorgeous isn't fantastic in bed. Plus, I've had my fair share of fantasies about him and let me tell you-"
"What?" she giggles. "Okay, look, c'mon. He wants you. He's asked you out how many times now?"
"Six times! That's more times than he's ever even paid attention to a woman," Ginny points out.
Hermione frowns; the redhead has her there. He has put a lot of time and effort into asking her out. And he is...very gorgeous. Perhaps going on one date with him wouldn't be so bad. And if it doesn't go any further than one date then, well...at least she can say she got fantastic sex out of it. Or, perhaps...
A mischievous smile forms on her lips as the wheels begin to turn in her head. Within seconds she hops out of the booth she's sharing with her best girl friend and stalking towards the blond in question, who, ironically enough is surrounded by one blond, one brunette and one redhead. She glances back at Ginny, who nods her head vigorously, before stopping in front of him and tapping him on the shoulder. "Malfoy," she calls him, her voice louder than usual to reach him over the music.
He smirks at her as he looks at her. "Granger," he greets her. "Come to join the party? I can make room."
She shakes her head as he continues to dance, the three girls seemingly obvious to her presence. "Are you still interested in that date?"
He stops dancing then, grabbing her by the arm and pulling her away from the dance floor. She finds herself being pushed against the bar counter, his body trapping her there as he gazes down at her. "Are you saying yes?"
"Maybe. Does the offer still stand?"
"Always," he smirks.
"Okay then. It's a date."
He blinks, staring at her as though he's trying to see through her – to see if it's a joke. "It's a date."
"Tomorrow, 6 o'clock."
"No bars, pubs, clubs or anything of the sort. No alcohol."
"And I don't shag on a first date," she tells him, crossing her arms over her chest. This is a test.
He looks shocked at first. And then disappointed. And then slightly amused. "No shagging."
They continue to stare at one another for a silent moment before she clears her throat and makes a move to leave. "Right then, tomorrow."
"Today," he points out, motioning to the clock on the wall. It's just past midnight.
She smiles. "Today."
The tight feeling in her stomach is replaced by butterflies.
The nightends the same way it began over 20 years ago.
He takes her to the same destinations: the same Chinese restaurant, the same coffee shop – with the same coffee and treat – and the same ice cream parlor before they take a walk through the park across the street. She makes fun of him for his "lack of originality" and "plagiarism" on the past, but the truth is she finds it very sweet. Sweet that he remembers, just as she does, everything about their first date.
Sweet that he's gone through all this trouble on duplicating their first date.
And his excuse is ten times sweeter.
"Well, it worked the first time."
And when he cocks his head to the side in that boyish way that never fails to tug at her chest, her heart melts.
They're walking side-by-side down the sidewalk through the park. All around them are people, despite the fact that it's nearly 10 o'clock at night. Couples – old and young, new and old – enjoying the cool summer breeze. Children, running around the park as their parents watch over them.
He stops suddenly, his hand reaching out to grasp her elbow. And like the first time, she feels the sparks traveling across her skin. She looks at him knowingly, smiling as she shakes her head. He smirks back, pulling her against him.
"No," she whispers.
"Yes. Dance with me," he whispers back, pressing his forehead against hers.
"And?" he chuckles, slipping his left arm around her waist as he takes her left hand in his right and holds it against his chest.
"There's no music," she reminds him halfheartedly, knowing his response.
"That's never stopped us before," he replies simply. "Close your eyes."
She smiles, doing as she's told as she rests her forehead on his shoulder. And as he begins to hum softly in her ear, she becomes oblivious to the people watching them.
He walksher to the front door. She turns to face him, leaning back against the wooden panels with her hand resting on the doorknob. He grins at her, shoving his hands into his pockets like a teenager on his first date.
"So," he murmurs.
"So," she repeats. "I have to say, that was definitely my second favourite date ever."
He smirks, smug. "Yeah?" When she nods back, he can't help but cock his head to the side. "So when do I get a second date?"
"Who says this one has to end?"
He blinks. "I thought you didn't shag on first dates."
"Well, technicallythis isn't really our first date, is it? Besides, we're way past that," she points out.
"But the kids-"
"Are sleeping at their friend's houses. I'm home all alone," she whispers, biting her lip seductively.
He grins. "Well, not for long," he whispers back, taking the key from her hand as he moves forward to unlock the door.
I Love You, Two
He is awakened by the sound of someone retching in the bathroom down the hall. He sits up rather calmly, for this is the fourth morning in a row he's been woken up like this, and swings his legs casually over the side of the bed. He yawns, rubbing the sleep from his eyes before pushing himself to his feet. Slipping on a pair of pyjama pants, he grabs a clean shirt from his dresser and carries it with him down the hall.
The door to the bathroom is open just a crack and the light seeping into the hallway guides him. More retching and even more groaning welcome his ears as he pushes the door open with a soft creek.
And there, sitting in a heap on the floor in front of the toilet, her elbow resting on the seat and supporting her head while her other arm lays protectively over her stomach, is his girlfriend of two years. Despite the dark smudges of makeup under her eyes, bloodshot eyes, flushed cheeks contrasting pale, sickly skin and cool sweat along her hairline and in the crook of her neck, she is beautiful to him.
She glares up at him from her spot on the floor, looking tired, worn out and angry. "I hate you," she mutters.
He smirks, taking a cloth from the cupboard under the sink and soaking it in cold water. Ringing it out, he moves across the small room and sits on the edge of the tub behind her. He takes her shoulders and pulls her back in between his legs as he folds the cloth and lays it across her forehead.
"Who ever said pregnancy is the most amazing time of your life was full of it," she murmurs, closing her eyes as she leans back against him.
"C'mon, you love it," he chuckles.
The smile that spreads across her lips tells him she agrees.
"Just think, in about five months it'll be all over and you'll be wishing you could have this time back."
"Probably not this exact time."
He smiles, moving so he's sitting on the floor behind her. Wrapping his arms around her, he pulls her into his lap and rests his forehead against her temple as he strokes her bump through her tank top. "You smell," he whispers.
"You're a git," she groans.
"I love you." The words are out of his mouth before he even thinks them – which is probably just as well, since he's been thinking them for the better part of a year and hasn't had the courage to say them. His eyes widen, horrified by his own admission as he feels her entire body tense within his lap.
She looks up at him, then, her brown eyes shining with tears and...something else. And then, for the first time ever, someone other than his mother tells him they love him. "I love you too," she whispers back.
And suddenly he doesn't care than her mouth smells and tastes like vomit; he just wants to kiss her.
He arrivesat the house before anybody else, but leaves the door open knowing that it won't be long until everyone arrives. He has his suit jacket in his left hand. The sleeves of his white dress shirt are rolled up around his elbows, the first two buttons are undone and his tie is loose.
Scorpius is the first to greet him, jumping out of his seat at the dining room table, leaving his breakfast forgotten as he throws his little body into his father's arms. "Hi, daddy," he murmurs sadly, burying his face into Draco's chest.
"Hi, buddy," Draco whispers back, rubbing his back.
Rose sees him next, striding across the dining room towards him. Holding Scorpius with his left arm, he extends his right to welcome his weeping daughter. "Daddy," she whimpers, burying her face in his shoulder.
"I know, Rosie," he sighs. He kisses the top of her head, and then Scorpius'. "Where's your mum?"
"Bedroom," Scorpius mutters.
"She's dressed and ready. She just doesn't want to go," Rose tells him, pulling back as she wipes her wet cheeks.
Draco smiles warmly at her, kissing her forehead and then placing Scorpius back onto his feet on the floor. "I'll go get her."
He bounds up the stairs, two at a time, and strides towards the bedroom. The door is closed, but not locked, so he turns the handle and pushes it open slowly. The room is dark, except for the sunlight peeking in through the blinds.
She's lying on top of the covers on her side of the bed, curled into a ball with her legs tucked up to her chest. She, like the kids, is dressed all in black – a black dress that falls down to her knees, a black cardigan, even a black headband. She doesn't even acknowledge him as he walks into the room and closes the door behind him.
He ignores the old – and new – memories that attack him as he crosses the room. Lowering himself to his knees so that he's at eye level with her sad, brown eyes, he lays his left arm across the mattress and rests his chin on his wrist. He takes one of her hands in his free one, playing absentmindedly with her fingers.
"Hi," he whispers.
"Hi," she whispers back, her voice thick with tears.
"We have to go soon," he tells her softly.
She nods silently as a lone tear travels down her cheek. Still grasping her fingers, he lifts both of their hands to wipe away the tear. Even after it's gone, he continues to stroke her cheek.
"Your father was a good man," he whispers. A half sob-half laugh escapes her throat. "He had every reason to doubt me, you know."
"But he was wrong."
"Yes, well. Him and the rest of the world."
She smiles, her cheeks flushed and her eyes red. "I think that's the only time he's ever been wrong."
He smiles back.
She shifts positions, sniffing back tears as she pushes herself into a sitting position. He gets up, sitting next to her on the bed as he rubs his hand up and down the length of her thigh. She slips her left arm between his arm and his torso, resting her hand in the crook of his elbow, and places her other hand on his bicep as she rests her chin on his shoulder. "Thank you for coming."
"Of course," he whispers, placing a soft kiss against the top of her head.
"I still can't believe he's gone..."
"How are the kids?" she asks softly.
"They're okay. I think they're more worried about you," he says honestly.
"I'll be fine."
"I know." He looks sideways at her, staring at her eyelashes as she keeps her gaze locked on the floor. He watches a tear stroll down her pale cheek, wiping it away with his thumb before her puts his fingers under her chin and tilts her head up so she's looking at him. Even as she's crying and mourning the loss of her father, she is beautiful to him. "I love you," he mouths, pressing his forehead against hers.
She smiles up at him, placing a chaste kiss against his lip. "I love you too," she mouths back.
A breath he didn't know he'd been holding escapes his lungs then. This is the first time she's said she loves him since before their divorce.
Three of four walls are painted a light pink, the fourth, with a small circular window in the middle is an off-white colour. In the left hand corner off the room is a dark mahogany dresser. Under the window is a matching changing table with a baby pink cushion and next to it is the rocking chair that used to belong to Hermione's mother. In the right hand corner is a mahogany crib with a matching pink mattress and blankets.
After a long day's work on Rose's nursery, the soft, delicate hand that touches his shoulder as he stands back to admire his handiwork is a welcome gift. He looks sideways at his very seven-month pregnant girlfriend, immediately bringing her into his arms in front of him. She giggles softly as he curls himself around her, holding her bump protectively. He buries his face in her hair, breathing in the subtle scent of lavender. "Hi," he whispers.
"Hi," she greets him back, leaning her head back against his shoulder. "It looks...it looks amazing, Draco."
"Yeah? You think she'll like it?" he wonders hopefully, rubbing her stomach through her dress.
"Of course," she giggles. "You know, when she begins to actually care."
"Shut it, Smartypants," he murmurs playfully. As if on cue, he feels a kick under his palm. And just like every other time he's ever felt his baby girl respond to him, his breath catches in his throat. He's in awe of this little being.
"Feel that? She's sticking up for me," Hermione tells him playfully. "'Stop making fun of mummy, daddy.'"
He smirks, shaking his head as he turns himself around her and kneels in front of her. He runs his hands over her stomach before setting them on her hips and placing a soft kiss on her belly button. "I'm sorry, baby. Daddy's just kidding," he murmurs.
Baby Rose kicks again in response.
"She knows your voice, daddy," Hermione whispers.
He grins up at her to see her smiling down at him, tears shining in her eyes. Her hair is all messy and curly, like a halo around her face, her skin is quite literally glowing and the simple little sun dress she's wearing complements her pregnant belly.
This is it, he decides. This is the woman. This is his life, his purpose, his world. His everything.
"Marry me," he whispers, staring up at her intently.
She blinks, staring down at him. Her eyes widen, then, as his request sinks in. "W-what?"
"Marry me," he repeats confidently.
"Yes," she whispers, nodding her head vigorously as tears of happiness slip down her cheeks.
She nods once more, and as if on cue Baby Rose kicks. Hermione gasps, placing her hands on her stomach. "She thinks so too," she giggles.
Draco grins, placing his hands over Hermione's and pressing his lips against her stomach. "I'm so glad you agree, baby," he whispers. He pushes himself to his feet, curling his arms around her waist as he presses his lips against hers, then. "Glad you agree too."
"I love you."
There isabsolutely nothing special about today. At least not yet.
It isn't a holiday or a birthday.
It isn't a day of remembrance.
It isn't an anniversary or graduation.
It isn't anything but a Sunday. And perhaps the only thing "special" about this day – so far – is the fact that it snowed last night, marking the first snow fall of year.
But today is the day, he decides.
Draco looks out the kitchen window, watching with smiling eyes and a warm smile as his family runs around the snow-covered backyard, tossing snowballs at one another. Scorpius is back from Hogwarts and Rose is visiting from college for the Christmas Holidays. Hermione has managed to take a couple weeks off work and while Draco couldn't take the whole time off, he's managed to get a few days here and there.
His family. They've always been a family, but since moving back into the house with Hermione and the kids, it's like they've become even more of a family.
He laughs softly to himself as Hermione yells for both kids to stop attacking her with the fluffy white stuff as she jogs back to the house. A few seconds later, she comes bounding in through the back door, tracking snow all over the floor. Her cheeks are flushed from the cold air, the tip of her nose is bright red and her hair is covered with the melting snow.
"Plan on joining us any time soon?" she wonders playfully.
"In that freezing cold stuff? No way," he scoffs, smiling. "Besides, I rather like the view of your arse in that snow suit from here."
"The view would definitely be better outside," she replies, smiling mischievously.
He grins, pulling her into his arms as he places a chaste kiss to her freezing cold, chapped lips. "Hi," he murmurs.
"Hi," she giggles.
He pulls back and out of the back pocket of his trousers, he produces the ring. A sleek, silver band with a small, single diamond. Her eyes widen as she focuses her gaze on the object he brings between them. "I found it. I didn't know you still had it," he whispers, running his thumb up and down the band.
Brown meets grey as she looks up at him through wet, snowy eyelashes. "I couldn't let it go," she whispers back. "I couldn't let yougo."
His gaze snaps, focusing on the ring for just a second before he looks back at her. This time her eyes are shining with unshed tears. "Marry me," he murmurs, his voice barely above a whisper. "Again."
She smiles, but doesn't reply.
"Promise yourself to me. Again."
He just barely catches the slight nod of her head before her lips are on his and her arms are wound around his neck.
I, Draco Abraxas Malfoy, vow.
I vow to love you, each and every day, for the rest of our lives. I vow to cherish you, like the gift to the world that you are. I vow to honour and worship you as a woman, the mother of my children, and my wife. I promise that no matter what troubles may arise, or what hardships we might endure, my love for you will never die. I promise that no matter where I go, or how long I'm gone, I will always find my way back to you. To our family. To our life.
I promise to protect you against all evils. I promise to provide you with safety and love, now and forever. I will be your rock, your crying shoulder and your confidant. I will be your shelter; your safe haven.
You are my life. You're a part of me – my mind, body and soul. You're the place I call home. You are my rock, my crying shoulder and my confidant. You are my world, Granger. My life line.
My once in a life time love.
I, Hermione Jean Granger, vow.
I vow to love you with every fiber, every part of my being for today, tomorrow and every day for the rest of our lives. I vow to cherish you and honour you as the father of my children, my husband, and the love of my life.
I promise to stand by you during the good and the bad. I promise to support you and love you in all that you do and all that you become. I promise to stay with you, no matter what happens in our life together and love you unconditionally. I promise to protect you and keep you safe.
I will me your rock and your guiding light. I will be your confidant, your shelter and your escape.
You are my life, my dream and my reality. My mind, body and soul. You are my home. Your heart is where I wish to live, now and forever.
You are my life, my love, my first and my second chance.
You are my life, my love, my greatest mistake and my second chance.