Helloo again lovelies! Been a while, eh? I apologize for the absence, but work sort of decided to take over my life. At one point, I had only had 2 days off within a span of something like 19 days… Crazy! Anyway, I'm on vacation now for the next two weeks and I'm already getting antsy and feeling like I should be work. Stupid. Soo, I've decided to sift through some of my stories and post them for all of you lovely folks. After all, there's only about a week left of summer before school starts!
This particular story has been on my computer for a while now and I've been meaning to post it. It's a one-shot and it's going to stay a one-shot because I think it's cute the way it is. It's just a tender little moment between our favourite couple, that came to mind one night.
Of Weddings, Gowns and Promises
Mere moments before she walks down the aisle, Hermione Granger gets a visit from the person she least expected.
Her hands are shaking as she smoothes out the waist of her gown to ensure the ruffles are neat and tidy. She looks at her reflection in the mirror, staring intently at the woman staring back. Her soft, dark brown curls fall loose over her shoulders and across her back, her head covered by a white veil and held in place with a small, yet elegant tiara. Her makeup is natural, just a little bit of eyeliner and mascara with lip gloss – and not only is she tanned from the summer sun, but she's glowing too. Her gown is white, strapless with an embroidered bosom that follows her curves until about half way between her hips and the tops of her thighs where is falls to the floor in a series of elegant ruffles.
She looks beautiful, she must admit.
But then she also must admit that she feels entirely out of place...
Her party has left, gone to prepare for their walk down the aisle, where she will see them when she joins her future husband at the altar. Ginny – her Maid of Honour – and Luna and Lavender are wearing similar dresses but in a light shade of green. They'd done their best to calm her nerves before they left – with her mother and her future mother-in-law, but to no avail. For she's still just a messy jumble of nerves and fear.
She hears the door open to the designated bridal room open behind her, but she doesn't bother to turn around, expecting it to either be her mother or her father – he is, after all, going to be walking her down the aisle in just a few moments. However she frowns in confusion when the door doesn't open any wider than a few centimeters. She looks through the mirror at the door, waiting for whoever is on the other side to make the first contact.
Her eyes widen, her heartbeat races and her stomach jumps into her throat in a state of panic and fear and shock. "Draco!" she squeals, recognizing the voice immediately. She whirls around, gathers as much of the bottom of her dress as she can in her hands and runs towards the door before pushing it shut. "You can't see me Draco, it's bad luck," she reminds him, shifting slightly to lean against the door.
"I know," he sighs, trailing off as he too leans against the door.
"You should be at the altar," she says through the door, resting her bead back against the wood.
"I-I know," he whispers, his voice soft and timid. "I just...I needed to talk to you first. I needed to hear your voice." He sounds so much like a child defending himself for taking a cookie out of the cookie jar without asking that it makes her heart skip a beat.
She smiles softly, tears gathering in her eyes as she closes them. She raises her left hand to her chest and places it over her heart, her right hand lingering on the door knob. She'd like nothing more than to open the door and throw herself into his arms. She's sure he'd like the same thing. But if there's any day for her to believe in superstitions, then her wedding day is the day.
He clears his through, pulling her out of her thoughts. "You there?"
"Yeah, I'm here," she whispers.
"Are you...are you ready for this?"
She opens her eyes and lifts her head, taken aback by his question. "W-what do you mean?"
"I mean...this is bigger than you wanted it to be," he says softly. "Are you ready?"
She settles back again, the back of her head resting against the door. He's right. This is much bigger than the small, intimate wedding she had in mind. This is bigger, more extravagant and lavish than she would've liked. Everything from the dress and tiara to the table cloths and napkin rings were her mother and Narcissa's idea. She'd only gone along with it to make them happy – despite Draco wanting her to stand her ground and do it her own way. "Are youready?" she asks softly.
He snorts. She can see him smiling in her mind. "I asked you first."
A gentle giggle escapes her throat before she falls silent. Is this ceremony bigger than she had originally wanted it to be? Definitely. But if she happy nonetheless? Yes. Now, is she ready? "Yes."
"Yes, I'm ready," she replies confidently. "Are you?"
"Yes." There's confidence in his voice, but it isn't cocky and smug like it usually. It's soft and timid, almost like he's afraid. "Are you scared?"
"A little," she whispers truthfully. She'd be mental not to be, wouldn't she? They'd both be.
"Me too," he murmurs.
She closes her eyes and tilts her face to the ceiling – Ginny would accuse her of ruining her hair if she saw her right now – and she conjures up an image of his face in her mind. His dark blond hair, his perfectly arched eyebrows and grey eyes, his pale skin and light pink lips.
He's matured since their Hogwarts days, and he's grown into a wonderful young man since the war ended five years ago. He's still got his quirks of course, because sometimes you just can't teach an old dog new tricks, but he's calmer. Politer. Kinder. More down-to-earth. Like now – admitting that he's scared. When he was 15, he never would've admitted such a thing – in fact, in front of anybody else, he still wouldn't. Which is probably why he came to find her – not that he had to look very hard.
"Tell me you love me," he pleads through the door.
She smiles, wanting to yank the door open, demand that he look at her and then tell her what he thinks. Instead she just shakes her head to herself. "You know I do."
"Say it," he tells her. "Tell me."
She knows what he wants, what he needs. He needs reassurance. Sometimes she thinks he still has a hard time believing that she is his. Sometimes she thinks he thinks that because of his past that he isn't good enough for her and that she thinks the same way. Sometimes she thinks he sort of expects her to leave him. She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes again. "I love you, Draco."
He breathes a sigh of relief through the door, and she hears the soft thud of his head hitting the wood.
"Talk to me."
"Anything. Everything. Just...I just want to hear your voice right now."
She smiles. "Do you remember the first time you asked me out?"
She can practically hear him smirking. "How can I forget?"
"You were so unbelievably cocky, like there was no way I could reject you."
"And yet leave it to you to find a way."
It's her turn to smirk, one that rivals his. "I thought you were just playing around, so I told you to prove to me otherwise and you decided to ask me out every day, at the same time, in the same place – no matter what you were doing at the time. You thought that if you proved to me how dedicated you were, that it would show me how serious you were," she remembers, giggling softly.
"It worked, didn't it?"
"For the date, yes. But I still had my doubts and so-"
"You made me jump through hoops for you."
"Yes, well. It worked," she points out. He chuckles in response. "Do you want to know what reallyconvinced me though?"
"We got into that huge fight in the middle of Diagon Ally. I was so mad that I left you there and then a couple hours later you showed up at my flat with chocolate, flowers, wine and my favourite version of my favourite movie. It wasn't even the fact that you had brought them over, it was the fact that you had remembered. You remembered my favourite chocolate, my favourite flowers, my favourite wine and movie – without me even telling you."
"Well in that case, I should've done that years before," he jokes.
She giggles softly, sighing contently as she tilts her head to the side. God, he makes her feel like a teenager sometimes…
"Do you want to know the exact moment I knew I was in love with you?"
She blinks, a smile creeping onto her lips. "Sure."
"It was a Saturday. I walked into your bookstore, prepared to annoy the hell out of you just-because and then I saw you... And you were so frazzled, surrounded by mountains of books and paperwork and it looked like you were going to cry and the second I opened my mouth you just blew up at me. You started yelling and freaking out about book keeping and incompetent employees and doing everything yourself. I honestly didn't know whether to make fun of you or to comfort you. And then you just stopped and you turned around and got to work, completely ignoring my presence, so I decided to help. I believe it took us, what, like three hours?"
"Four," she interjects, smiling softly.
"Wow, really? Hmm," he murmurs softly. "Well, anyway. It was just...it was so easy to be around you, you know? I didn't feel like I had to fill silence, and when we did talk it was like...it was just easy. And every time you laughed, I wanted you to keep laughing and every time you smiled I didn't want you to stop. I just...I wanted to know you. I wanted to keep you. And I knewI had to make you mine," he whispers.
She bites her lip, tears gathering in her eyes. She clears her throat, swallowing the lump in her throat. "We should probably get out there before they start to worry," she says softly.
"Yeah," he agrees. "Just...before we do, I want you to know that this is it. I'm never going to let you go."
"I'm never going to let you let me go," she whispers back.
"My name is going to be your name for rest of our lives."
"I can't wait."
"Never," she assures him.
"I love you," he tells her confidently. All traces of fear and self-doubt have disappeared from his voice. He is, once again, himself.
"I love you too."
"See you at the altar."
"See you at the altar," she echoes.
She listens to his foots steps as he walks away. His pace is rushed, like he can't wait to get there. Like he can't wait to marry her. She smiles softly, pushing her body away from the door. She takes one last glance at her reflection in the mirror, adjusting her hair and her veil. Her hands are no longer shaky. Her insides are no longer in a nervous sort of pain. And she no longer feels like she's going to vomit.
She is no longer afraid.
Spinning on her heel, she reaches for the doorknob and when she pulls it open she's humbled to find her father waiting for her on the other side. He grins at her, offering her his arm, and she smiles back as she takes it. And together they walk through the halls of Malfoy Manor toward the backyard where their guests and the love of her life (for the rest of her life) awaits.