It had been four weeks.

Four weeks of not seeing him everyday. Four weeks of misery. Four weeks of listening to her mother plan her wedding, which was in another six weeks, not caring at all about what colors the flowers should be, or what foods should be prepared. She'd been to two appointments with Pansy to design her wedding dress. The only detail that she had decided on was that she would be wearing the headband Draco had given her, with a jade ribbon winding through her curls. Pansy always had free reign of the dresses that she designed for Hermione, but this time, Hermione truly didn't care what the dress looked like. She didn't care about anything.

It didn't help her mood at all that Harry had taken his men out more than a week ago. Oddly enough ever since Draco had left the fighting at the boarders had been steadily increasing. The war was soon to come further into their lands, and Prince Cormac was all too willing to give orders as if he and Hermione had already wed. Messages had been sent from Harry and Ron twice to say that they anticipated more fighting and to send more forces to join them.

Hermione and Lavender had taken to walking around the grounds of the castle to ease their thoughts. When Hermione was in town, she spent most of her time with Ginny or Pansy, and occasionally Remus, but sadly it hurt too much to be a frequent visitor these days. Since her opinion was clearly never considered before, Hermione took several of her meals with James and Lily, or with the Weasley's at the The Burrow. Those who knew her best knew the reason for her seclusion, others just assumed she had rising nerves for her upcoming nuptials.

"Why do you think King Riddle is pushing so hard?" Lavender asked.

"I do not know. The news of the engagement has to have traveled to them by now, I wonder if they're trying to attack before we can combine our armies."

"Look there." Lavender said as she pointed to a sprinting horse coming into view.

"Perhaps we could speak to the messenger while he waits for a response from James?" Hermione suggested. They were both desperate for any sort of news.

"Let's wait until the guards leave." Lavender said with a smile.

Hermione nodded and waited impatiently for the missive to be handed off to one of the guards to be taken to her father's advisor. Only this time, once the rider approached, he passed through the gates and kept up his pace on his horse, heading for the castle.

"Something's wrong." Hermione determined as they watched the rider dismount so fast he stumbled, then ran inside.

"It's Sir Creevey." Lavender whispered. "They wouldn't have sent him with just a missive, he has information. Harry trusts him."

"Let's go." Hermione was already rushing to the castle as she spoke, with Lavender right on her heels.

They waited down the hall of her father's private chambers, which was where all meetings were conducted when they wanted to discuss the goings on of the war. It felt like Sir Creevey was in there for hours, in reality it could only have been thirty minutes, if that.

"Sir Colin!" Hermione hissed as the knight left the room. Noting he was alone, she took her chance.

"My majesty! I mean, your Lady. Oh no, not your-"

"Colin!" Hermione said forcefully to the nervous man before her.


"What has happened? I demand you tell me."

He looked between Lavender and Hermione fearfully. Knowing there was no way out of it, he sighed. "The attack was greater than anticipated, your highness. Forces kept coming, we couldn't stop the fighting, soon we ran out of back up and the injured are high in number."

"Has the fighting stopped now?" Lavender's quivering voice asked.

"For now. They raided our camp, Miss. Sir Weasley has been severely injured, the same for Sir Thomas. Sir's Finnigan and Longbottom have taken control for now."

"What about Harry? Where is Harry?" Hermione could feel something wasn't right, he never would have listed the condition of others first before informing them that his leader was unharmed.

"He has been taken captive, your highness."

"Oh no. No, no." Lavender clung to a speechless Hermione, not knowing what else to do.

"I have been ordered to return to camp with replenishment's and medical aid for the wounded."

"Of course, go on. Thank you." Hermione managed to say.

"At once, my lady." With a bow, Sir Creevey ran away.

"D-do you think..." Lavender couldn't finish her sentence, and Hermione was thankful she didn't. Neither of them wanted to think about what was happening to Harry.

Hermione knew better than to disturb her father during times like these. He stayed in his private chambers until dinner time, where he discussed meaningless things. Hermione was on edge by the time they had made it through the third course, desperate for any information on what the plan was to rescue Harry. King McLaggen, Prince Cormac and her father had discussed the merging of their resources, while her mother and Queen McLaggen talked about the details for the wedding. Things such as what year of Scotch to serve simply had to be discussed.

"Forgive my intrusion." Hermione burst out, speaking for the first time. "I was simply wondering what the plan was in regards to Sir Potter?"

The table remained silent, seemingly shocked that Hermione would dare ask such a question.

"I do not believe that this is the correct time for such conversation." Her mother said to her, the slightest bit of irritation showing in her voice.

"Of course, mother. Might we discuss this after dinner, then?"

"My darling," Prince Cormac flashed a smile at her, making her stomach turn. Clearly he thought she was stupid. "Do not worry yourself, we will handle this."

"Seeing as this is my kingdom, and not yet yours, I-"

"That is quite enough." Her father snapped. "If you must know we are waiting for King Riddle to make a move."

Hermione's eyes got wide at his confession. "You're doing nothing?! You can't just leave him there!"

"Of course we are not going to leave him there, sweet." Prince Cormac cooed. "We are simply waiting for them to reveal their move first before-"

"James can not possibly be accepting this stance. I can't believe you!" Hermione snapped.

"Hermione! That will do!" Her mother chastised.

"Father, please! You can't do this to Harry!"

"You have made your choice, Hermione." Her father's low voice nearly echoing through the room. "Leave this to us."

"None of this was my choice." She said to him. "None of it." She stood from the table without permission, not caring the least bit what anyone left at the table thought of her.

She paused in the hallway, for a brief moment wondering if she should find Lavender, but thought better of it. She was already at her wits end worrying about Ron, she didn't want to add to her distress. So she left the castle, heading for The Burrow. Ginny would let her scream and cry and scream some more, then would help her come up with some sort of plan. She would appeal this to her father morning, noon and night if that's what it took.

"Where is everyone?" Hermione asked the moment she opened the door. At the desk was Gabrielle, the younger sister of Bill Weasley's wife, Fleur. Hermione almost never saw her here, since she knew she also worked at the bank Bill and Fleur owned.

"Your highness!" The small girl squeaked. "They've taken drinks in the parlor."

Hermione didn't bother to respond, just ran past her and headed for the family's private quarters. Fear for Harry made her eyes sting with tears, she was surprised she made it all the way here without collapsing. Out of breath and looking like a fool she was sure, she entered the private parlor without even asking permission.

"My lady!" Arthur burst out, nearly spilling his drink.

"I apologize for my behavior, I just... I needed-" Her throat became tight and a strangled sob escaped her. "I don't know what I need! He's not going to do anything! Harry has been captured and there's no mission to rescue him! Harry! The most loyal man in this blasted kingdom!" Unable to be strong any longer, she fell to the floor and covered her face as she let it all out.

Everyone stayed silent as they stared at their beloved princess as she broke down, the shock of her news showing on their faces.


A soft voice came from behind her in the doorway. The only voice she ever wanted to hear. She was almost scared to turn around, as if she had imagined hearing his voice.

"Hermione? What's wrong?" Draco knelt in front of her, placing one hand on her shoulder and the other under her chin, raising her face to his.

"Every t-thing is wrong!"

"Come here." He helped her up and guided her to a nearby chair, offering her his handkerchief as he knelt before her once again. "Tell me what has you so upset."

Fresh tears began to stream down her face at just the thought.

"The men left nine days ago." Bill Weasley began to explain. "From what Lavender has told us the fighting has been non stop. Princess Hermione has just informed us that Harry has been captured."

"He... what?" Draco asked in disbelief.

"R-Ron has been s-severely injured." Hermione stammered. "N-Neville and Seamus have taken charge. S-supplies were taken this afternoon, along with medical aid. Lily went with them to assist."

"This acceptable to the King?" Molly asked quickly.

Hermione nodded weakly. "I'm so sorry."

"Hermione this is not your fault, there is nothing you could do." Ginny said sternly.

"I feel I have to do something. I can't just let them do nothing! I did everything they wanted me to! I gave up everything for this kingdom! So we could win this war, and now we've decided the best course of action is nothing?!"

Her words were true, everyone in that room knew it. Everyone that mattered knew exactly what she gave up.

"The King will not take our pleas if he has barely listened to his own blood." Charlie, the second eldest of the Weasley children, said to the group.

"Then what do we do?" Draco asked, even though he knew his question would go unanswered.

"My lady," Molly's kind voice carried over to Hermione. "Would you like some tea, dear? Something sweet, perhaps?"

Hermione nodded. "That would be lovely, thank you."

"At once, my-"

"Hermione, please. I am Hermione."

"At once, Hermione." Molly smiled at her, then left to get her tea.

The Burrow had a lovely garden that Molly kept up. Hidden in the gardens was a wooden bench Arthur had built himself, that was surrounded by flowers. That's where Draco and Hermione found themselves, watching the setting sun. A few stars began to make their nightly appearance as they cuddled into each other, not wanting to be parted for a single moment.

"My mother used to tell me tales of the gods." Draco said as he laid his arm across the back of the bench. Hermione wasted no time leaning into him. "Stories of love and war and family."

"Do you think about her often?"

"Not as much anymore. The memories are not hurtful to think about now. It makes me smile when something reminds me of her." Draco laid his other hand palm up, silently asking for Hermione's hand, which she took instantly. "I'm so sorry I left you."

"I've missed you." She rasped out. Her emotions were taking a toll on her. "I felt lost."

"I feel the same. I'm not leaving again. I will remain here for you, it was selfish of me to run. I will not run away again."

"I can't ask that of you. I understand why you left, Draco."

"You are not asking, love. I am telling you that I am not leaving. We will find a solution. Even if it means dragging Harry back here ourselves we will find-"

Hermione sat up abruptly. "Draco! That's it!"

"What's it? I don't understand."

"We go get him ourselves!"

Draco's eyebrows flew to the heavens in surprise. "You cannot be serious."

"Do I appear to be joking?"

"When you say preposterous things such as that, yes."

"Draco I can fight with the best of them, you know that, as can you!"

"Hermione, that does not make you a knight." Draco said calmly, she was getting overexcited, as if this ridiculous plan would actually work.

"You know the way through the mountains." She whispered. "You can lead me there and-"

"Now wait just one blasted moment, Hermione! You are really considering this?"

"No one will listen to me. I can't send men out myself, I can't do anything myself! Well, I'm doing this. This is the start of me being me."

This was madness. Absolutely absurd. The definitive failure of this demented plan was so high Draco thought he should wear the brightest color he owned and surrender himself straight away. Hermione went back to the castle, to speak with James about her plan. She trusted him, and even if he thought it was insane, she knew he would help. James led her to the armory and gave her as much as she could fit into the two bags she had brought with her. He'd also given her a change of Harry's clothes, for better movement and disguise. She knew he wanted to go, but he couldn't risk leaving the castle now, not with Lily gone as well.

Sirius was also there, frantically writing down anything he could remember about the castle where he himself once resided. The day King Riddle announced his betrothal to his cousin Bellatrix, he left. Sirius knew he could not loyally serve this kingdom anymore. His only regret being that he did not take Narcissa with him. He'd been but a child himself at sixteen and leaving everything behind. After James's father had found him half dead, he brought him to the castle where he told his tale, and pledged his loyalty immediately. He, James, and Remus became fast friends, and living in the castle with the Potter's made him very close to the kings son, Wesley. After a few years he'd heard his cousin Andromeda, sister to Narcissa and Bellatrix, had been murdered trying to flee herself, and Narcissa had married Lucius Malfoy. He hadn't even known she had birthed a child until Draco came to him.

"I'm not sure how Narcissa would feel about this." Sirius said gravely as he handed Hermione the rolled up parchment.

"I think she would be quite proud, from what Draco has told me about her."

Sirius just shook his head. "I feel as if I am sacrificing one son for the other."

"Don't worry, I will take care of them both." Hermione hugged him, feeling more alive than she had in weeks, and rushed out of the room.

The moment Hermione made it back to the Inn, Draco was ready for her. He had his horse ready to go, and packed everything she had brought with her neatly, while she ran into the house for something. When she came back out his jaw could have hit the ground.

"What in Gods name are you wearing?"

"Harry's trousers!" She giggled. "James gave them to me."

Draco stared at her, he couldn't help it. She had legs for days. "We better go." He croaked. He saddled his horse, then pulled Hermione up behind him. "You are certain about this?"

"I've only ever been more certain about one other thing." She said as she kissed his cheek.

They reached the mountains and made camp in the thick of the trees and brush deep within. At least they didn't need a fire to keep warm, Draco didn't want anything to give them away.

"Rest for a few hours. It shouldn't be much passed midnight. The castle is just beyond these mountains. You should eat something as well."

"Right." The excitement of what they were doing was wearing off, and Hermione was beginning to get nervous. It was just the two of them, against an entire army and a King who didn't care who he killed. "Will you sleep as well?"

"No. I don't want to risk being seen after daylight."

Draco laid out a bed roll and a thin blanket, then sat beside Hermione as she laid down.

"Do you think we have any sort of chance?" She whispered, too afraid to voice her concerns.

"I do." He answered evenly. "We will bring him back."

Somehow Hermione was able to fall asleep, but only when Draco was holding her hand. It made him smile, that she didn't even want to part with him in sleep. If they ever made it out of this mess alive, he wondered what her next move would be. The way she spoke at The Burrow made it sound like she was willing to give up everything for him. Even though she had said those words before, they felt different this time, she was going to walk away from it all for him. He'd never met a braver soul.

They had maybe an hour before sunrise when the castle came into view.

"How are we going to get in?" Hermione whispered while Draco tied up their horse to a tree still concealed by the heavy brush. This wasn't a well thought out plan on her part. The only disguise they had were dark hooded cloaks.

"We walk in. Riddle's people are terrified to leave, and there's no one stupid enough to try and invade him. He keeps the gates down."

Hermione wanted to ask if he thought she was stupid, but was scared of his answer. She had that same thought more than once during the trip here.

"Stay with me."

Hermione nodded as he took her hand, making their way towards the open gates. There wasn't a single guard in sight. "Shouldn't there at least be men guarding the gate?" She whispered.

Draco was thinking the same thing. "Something's not right."

Walking into the village square they hadn't spotted anyone else, making it feel like a ghost town. Only when they were right in the heart of the village did they encounter other people, crowds of people in fact.

"What's happening?" Hermione questioned, drawing her hood closer around her face.

"I'm not sure. This way." Her hand still clasped in his, he led her through the crowd, hoping to mingle so they wouldn't be noticed but would be close enough to see what was going on. "Oh my god."

Draco stopped so suddenly that Hermione collided into him. "What-" She peaked around him and over the crowd and gasped. Her hand flew to her mouth to cover the sound, the last thing they needed was unnecessary attention.

In the center of the wide circle was Harry tied to a post, looking beaten and an inch from death. His clothes were bloody and torn from the lashes he had received, his face black and blue. His wrists were red and bleeding as well against his restraints.

"My people." A chilling voice echoed through the crowd, and at once everyone knelt before their King.

Draco pulled Hermione down quickly before she could make a scene and bowed his head.

"Today is a glorious day. Today, I bring to you the execution of Harry Potter. You may rise."

Everyone slowly stood, but Draco noticed that most eyes were still averted. He kept his head bowed, but tried to catch glimpses of the members of his guard. He saw his maniacal aunt, alongside his father, looking proud as ever. Draco highly doubted he had anything at all to do with Harry's capture.

"With Granger's pride of the knighthood dead, his lands will soon be ours. Our demands will be met, and you, my loyal people, shall prosper."

Draco had to think fast. A single wrong move would result in Harry's death, and he couldn't let that happen. "Wait here, you'll know when I'll need you."

Hermione didn't argue, just nodded, still keeping her head bowed. Draco wandered through the crowd, Riddle being too occupied with the attention to notice anything. Draco didn't notice any civilians with weapons, wondering just how large Riddle's army was. If they were all at the borders still fighting, he didn't have nearly as many resources as he thought. He'd recognized three superiors; Snape, Nott and Lestrange. They must be extremely secure in their positions to travel around with no guards at all. He had to time this just right, so he waited for the most opportune moment.

Hermione was going out of her mind with worry. Draco just seemed to be watching the people that stood with Riddle. Sirius had described who was in Riddle's inner circle as best he could. She easily spotted Draco's father, even though they looked so much alike, Draco had softer features. She'd never seen his mother, but liked to think he looked more like her. Sirius also said there would be a tall, greasy looking man with black hair. His name was Snape. Hermione saw him standing with another man she wasn't sure of, but didn't look anymore friendly. Riddle's wife was dressed in all black and looked absolutely terrifying. Glancing over at Draco she saw he was still watching, for what she had no idea. She trusted him completely, she just wished that she knew the plan. How was she supposed to know when he would need her?

She flinched when Riddle backhanded Harry across the face, making Harry spit blood. Riddle had just drawn his sword, ready to slice Harry's throat when Hermione saw the man she didn't know standing with Draco's father clutch his neck, where a dagger had been thrown. Snape was next to go down, with one dagger to the neck and another to the chest. With a distraction made, Hermione took that as her cue, and ran towards Harry, drawing her own dagger.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?!" Harry panted as she cut him loose, his body falling limp from exhaustion.

"Saving you. He was going to let you die, and that is unacceptable to me."

"Hermione, look out!"

At Draco's shout Hermione drew her sword and spun around with all the grace of a well trained Knight. Her sword clashed with Bellatrix's, her hysterical laugh showing her ruthlessness.

"Well, well, well. Princess." She sneered. "Welcome to my kingdom. Have you come to die as well?"

"Not on this day!" Hermione yelled as their swords struck each other again.

Hermione was now in an all out duel with this crazy woman, while Draco had his own problems with this father and Riddle. Harry fought off a few of the braver commoners with his fists, trying to keep everyone away from Hermione, having no idea who was friend or foe at this point.

"You've finally returned, my son." Lucius taunted.

"Not for you." Draco ground out. His father was a more worthy opponent that he had originally estimated.

"Ahh yes, for your dear Sir Potter."

"Let's have some fun, little girl." Bellatrix hissed as she swung her sword high. Hermione barely had time to block. Bellatrix was very skilled at combat, something Hermione only did in hidden corners of the castle.

Harry had grabbed a sword from Snape's body and began dueling with Riddle himself to take some of the heat off of Draco.

"I'll kill her." Lucius growled as one of Draco's daggers sliced him in the thigh. "And I'll make you watch."

"You'll not touch her if you know what's good for you." Draco said between gritted teeth.

Out of nowhere he heard a blood curdling scream and everything seemed to stop. Hermione had just killed Bellatrix. With Hermione's sword still sticking out of her stomach, Draco turned to see the murderous look on Riddle's face.

"Harry, get her out of here! Now!"

Harry wasted no time in pulling Hermione away, covering her as best he could. Lucius took advantage of Draco's lapse in attention and sliced him straight across the chest, blood soaking his shirt as he hit one knee. Lucius kicked him in the ribs, forcing him to curl into himself to ward of the pain.

"Draco, no!" Hermione screamed. "No! I'm not leaving him!"

"Ahh." Riddle cooed. "This could be interesting."

"We could use her." Lucius agreed.

Together they began making their way towards her, sickening smiles on both of their faces.

Draco willed himself to stand and swallow the pain. Over his dead body would they ever touch her. Pulling what was left of his strength together he rushed towards his father, plunging his sword right into his back with everything he had. Without even stopping to give Lucius the time of day, he took Riddle by surprise and slit his throat, letting his limp body fall to the ground.

"Are you alright?" Draco grunted as he staggered toward Hermione, who was already rushing towards him. She crashed into him, and the pain had never felt so good.

"Fine thanks." Harry said from behind her.

"What have they done to you?" Draco asked him, Hermione had pulled away to face Harry, but Draco still kept an arm around her waist.

"Nothing I couldn't handle." He answered with a forced shrug.

Draco smirked at him. "Of course."

"Draco." Hermione said cautiously.

Noting the tone of her voice, Draco turned to see an entire village of people staring at them.

"Draco." Harry said slowly. "Do you know what this means?"

Before he could ask what Harry was talking about everyone knelt before him. "What's going on?"

"You are the last living relative. These are your people." Hermione was awestruck. "You are now king."

"No, I-"

"Draco, you are." Hermione insisted. "Through your mother."

Oh shit... was the only thought going through his mind.

They made it back to their kingdom by nightfall, unable to ride any faster due to Harry's injuries. Once they had made it to the castle Hermione ignored all the stares and headed straight for her father's private chambers, holding Draco's hand the entire time. Not giving a damn about propriety after the days she'd had, she pushed the heavy doors open and walked inside, interrupting a meeting with King McLaggen, Prince Cormac, James, Sirius, and her father.

"Thank heaven!" Sirius leapt forward and took all three of them in a crushing hug.

"Sirius." Draco half breathed, half croaked.

"Just a bit sore." Harry sucked in a harsh breath through his nose. It was taking everything in him just to stand, all he wanted to do was sleep.

"Where the hell have you been?!" King McLaggen roared.

"Pardon me, your majesty." Draco snapped as he pulled away from Sirius. "You do not get to speak to her that way."

"Father." Hermione stepped around Sirius, Draco's hand still tightly holding hers. "I have an announcement. I will not be marrying Prince Cormac. I have made my own choice."

Three men in the room were speechless, James had a grin as wide as a river and Sirius had to hold back a snort.

"While you all deemed it perfectly acceptable to let Harry die, Draco and myself went to rescue him. Had we been a minute later, he'd be dead. That is something I cannot accept. Draco fought for this kingdom, for the home that he loves and the friend that he never thought he would have. King Riddle is dead, making Draco the rightful King of his lands. Disown me, disgrace me, do what ever you wish, but know that I chose him. I have always chosen him. The fact that he now bears a title matters not, and I will be marrying him, regardless of your future actions."

"I believe there's some things that need to be discussed." James said abruptly. "My services are clearly no longer needed, as the war has been ended. I will be taking my son to rest." James walked forward and hugged his son, supporting Harry's weight. "Oh, and I shall also be contacting his fiancé, Miss Ginny Weasley, to let her know that he is safe."

James and Harry left first, followed by Hermione and Draco. Sirius had the audacity to smirk at his king before making to leave himself.

"Sirius." King Granger called out.

"Your majesty?"

The man looked lost, and despite everything he had done wrong these recent weeks, he was a good man.

"You'll lose her if you do not speak with her." Sirius said gently. "That man there risked his life today, and he deserves your respect. He always has."

It took several months for Draco to become acclimated to his new position. Riddle's kingdom was overcome with poverty and sickness, so Draco spent several weeks there, bringing with him medical supplies and wagons full of food. Charlie Weasley taught the villagers how to harvest wood from the nearby forest to heat their homes, Lily and Luna taught them basic first aid, Molly set up shelters and food deliveries until people could do things for themselves. Pansy mended clothes for the children, and made blankets out of spare fabric.

Draco worked with James and Sirius on how to manage the castles gold, then Percy and Bill helped redistribute portions of the castles funds back to the people. Ginny and Harry helped people rebuild their homes, while Arthur taught them how to garden and grow simple foods for themselves. Hermione helped wherever she could. She and her father spoke with their remaining army and decided to have Ron train them.

Hermione's parents had dismissed King McLaggen and Prince Cormac, who were quite disgruntled about their departure. Having finally realized the drive that their daughter had to make both of her kingdoms better, and the love that she had for Draco had them seriously considering her ideas, and going with most of them.

The night that Princess Hermione Granger became Queen Hermione Malfoy, was a night that she would never forget. As she laid in her husbands arms, she thought about how grateful she really was.

"I love you." She whispered.

Draco pulled her closer, still unable to believe that this was his life now. "I love you, Hermione. My Hermione. Even in my wildest dreams I never could have imagined this."

"I've always imagined this." She said softly. "Do you want to know why?"

Before he could answer she placed his hand over her heart, her voice barely a whisper. "It beats for you."

Hope you all enjoyed it! :)