Chapter 34: Eventual Happiness

"Ron! What do you think you're doing?" Draco yelled, absolutely furious at his actions.

"They, they promised me Hermione," Ron croaked in reply, "I love her, and I need to be with her. You don't deserve her Malfoy. She thinks she is happy with you, but she never gave me a chance."

Draco stared at him in disbelief.

"Isn't this ideal Draco?" Narcissa asked him, "Weasley will take her away and that leaves you free to marry someone else. Don't you feel slightly relieved now? You can stop this pretence of...loving... that mudblood."

Draco felt his anger rising and he again struggled against the men holding him. "No! You're all mad! I'll never leave her, never. Nothing you do or say will make me stop loving Hermione."

Ron clenched his fist over his wand. "You don't love her as much as I do," he said through gritted teeth. Draco saw Ron glance at Lucius who nodded. Ron raised his wand in Draco's direction.

"Here is what will happen if you don't agree," his father said smugly, "Ron will..dispose... of you, and will then 'rescue' Hermione, leading her away from this family. They deserve each other, neither being of traditional pure blood. But, if you agree to this arrangement, you can simply walk away. Obviously, you won't receive your inheritance, I'm very disappointed in your behaviour these past few months."

Draco was in amazement. I knew my father was cold blooded, but...he doesn't care if I die? What about mother? He glanced at his mother, and in though he could see a small glimmer of doubt in her face, she didn't say anything in his defence. His only hope was getting through to Ron.

"Ron, can't you see how ridiculous this is? Think about the consequences of your actions-"

"Shut up Malfoy! I know what I'm doing. I'll do anything to be with Hermione! I've loved her since first year, I deserve to be with her," Ron said sharply.

"But does she deserve you? She loves me Ron, and if you kill me, she won't love you. Does she deserve your guilt? And think about Luna? What about her?"

"Luna doesn't love me, she's better off without me," the redhead replied bitterly.

Lucius was bored of this exchange, "Weasley, show some courage. Don't be a coward like the rest of your family."

Draco looked at Ron, and saw his wand waver.

"Please Ron, don't do it. You'll never forgive yourself. If you really loved her, you'd let her be happy, even if it wasn't with you."

With those words, he lowered his wand, and his face flushed. Relief flooded through Draco. Thank Merlin for that. One disaster averted.

"Weasley! Don't lower your wand!"

Ron turned round to face Lucius. "No, I can't do it. Mal-Draco is right. It wouldn't be fair on Hermione."

"You've changed your tune, traitor. Just like the rest of your family, you're going to end up with nothing. I'll make sure of that," Lucius spat.

Draco used this moment to get away from the hands restraining him. He whipped out his wand and pointed it at his father.

"You will do no such thing. Sad as I am that I clearly mean nothing to you, I will take great pleasure in making you pay. I'll report you to Dumbledore and the Ministry this very moment."

Laughter filled the hall. "Love has made you dumb. How do you propose you do that? Expelliarmus!"

Many things happened in these next moments. Draco's wand flew into the air, a loud bang brought Lucius down onto the floor- Ron had stunned him, and an even louder bang was heard by the door. Dumbledore and the Minister Shacklebolt entered the fray with a team of Aurors behind him.

"Hermione?" Dumbledore asked Draco, who pointed towards the closed door, somewhat dazed. Two Aurors blasted the door and went in search of Hermione. The other Aurors rounded Narcissa and the two masked men, to where Lucius lay stunned on the floor. Ron dropped to the floor, seemingly in shock of what had just happened, and Draco felt like doing the same. Lucius was revived, and when he saw Shacklebolt standing over him, he said a number of profanities. Their wands were removed and they were all magically handcuffed. Dumbledore stood with Draco, and offered him a sleeping drought. Draco eagerly gulped it down, and soon felt the effects. He decided to lay down on the floor and wait for Hermione to return to him. Soon, he fell asleep.

When he awoke, he was unaware of where he was. His bed was situated in a corner, along with two others magically fitted in the same room. The low eaves and smell of cooking meant one thing. He was at the Burrow.


Dumbledore was sitting on the nearest bed to him.

"Professor?" Draco was startled, yet not surprised to find the headmaster waiting for him.

"Finally, he awakes. Everyone will be pleased."

"I'm...confused," Draco rubbed his eyes.

"Indeed you are. Shall I explain to you what happened?"

Draco nodded.

"When you drank those potions, they protected you somewhat from the most common spells. They also indicated to us that you were in danger. When Hermione was stunned, we were immediately alerted and started to round up the troops to come and get you. I'm sorry it took so long, but the Malfoys must have expected interference, and their protection spells took longer than expected to break. Your parents are now in the custody of the ministry, awaiting their trial. As is... Mr Weasley."

"Ron is awaiting trial?"

"Of course, he tried to kill you."

Draco didn't feel any anger towards Ron, he saw that he did love Hermione, even if he went about it in the wrong way. Quite unlike him, he forgave Ron for what he did. He was grateful that he could make Ron see the error of his ways.

"But... he didn't."

"A vital point in his evidence," Dumbledore's eyes twinkled.

"What about Hermione? Is she alright?"

"Hermione is fine. The Aurors found her and revived her. She's been waiting anxiously for you to wake up. Shall I go and fetch her?"

"Yes please Professor. And thank you."

"It's my pleasure Draco. I'm just sorry we couldn't have done anything sooner. At least you don't need to worry about your parents again. I'm sure the Weasleys will be more than grateful to take in another stray," Dumbledore chuckled before leaving the room.

Draco sat up, but before he could get about of the bed he heard the voice which filled him with happiness.

"Oh Draco, you're alright!" Hermione cried as she made her way towards him. She pounced on him and squeezed him tightly, as if he was going to disappear any second. Draco eagerly wrapped his arms round her and held her tightly in return.

"I am now you're back with me. I'm so sor-"

"Shh," she murmured, "everything is ok now. We're safe at the Burrow, they can't hurt you anymore."

And they stayed like that for many hours, embracing in the small bed, with not a care in the world.

"Hermione, I'm nervous," Ginny moaned from inside the bathroom door.

"Ginny, don't be silly! Why are you nervous?" Hermione exclaimed, surprised.

"What if he runs away?"

Hermione groaned. "OK, there many things wrong with this question. One, he loves you. Two, you're carrying his child. Three, Molly would hunt him down and kill him if he ran away. Four, he loves you! You have nothing to be worried about. Now open the door and let me in. We need to finish your make up."

Silence, then the door clicked open. Hermione heaved a sigh of relief as Ginny made her way into the hallway. Despite her bump protruding slightly in her dress, she looked beautiful. Hermione was sure Blaise would be speechless, for once in his life.

Ginny let Hermione lead her up to their bedroom, which was operating as the brides headquarters. Luna and Pansy were already dressed in their bridesmaid dresses and were applying their make in the charmed mirror.

"Has the bride to be got over her bout of cold feet?" Pansy asked.

"Yes, finally," Hermione replied and pushed Ginny onto the bed.

"OK Ginny. You need to sit still as Pansy applies your make up. I need to go get dressed. Please don't sneak off again, you're not that good at it," Hermione said sweetly to Ginny, who nodded.

Crisis averted, now where is my dress?

"I can't do it Draco! What if she leaves me at the altar? Blaise lamented to Draco as he sat inside the outdoor shed- the bathroom annoyingly taken.

"Blaise don't be an idiot. She adores you, and I'm sure she wouldn't dare do anything like that in front of her family. Maybe once the baby is born she'll disappear, but hey you've got until the summer before you need to worry about that," Draco replied, sounding nonchalant but he was trying to suppress his laughter.

"Don't say that, what if it's true?" Blaise panicked.

"I was joking, Merlin. Calm down. Everything will go to plan, and you'll soon be off on your honeymoon. Now open the door and come out!" He banged loudly on the door for effect.

"Fine, but you'll be sorry if it doesn't," he replied grumpily.

Draco finally chuckled at his best friend. He loved him, but sometimes acted like a flobberworm.

The moment arrived. Everyone was seated in the same marquee which Bill and Fleur had married in last year. Molly was already sobbing into her handkerchief. Blaise stood nervously with the marriage overseer, waiting for Ginny to make her entrance. The harpist began playing, and everyone turned round to see the bridesmaids make their way down. Pansy and Harry went first, beaming at the audience as if it was their wedding. Next was Luna and Ron, who by contrast looked extremely stiff and awkward.

Ron had been left off with a caution but had to see a counsellor to help him with his emotions. He, Draco, Hermione and Luna had sat down the day after the events at Malfoy Manor took place and, watched by Dumbledore, had talked about what happened, how they felt about it and what they were going to do about it. Luna and Ron had been given an extension, and if they didn't work it out, they were allowed an escape clause, as long as they allowed themselves to be rematched with the next batch of students. No-one knew what would happen with that pair, they had disappeared to Luna's house for a few days and wouldn't talk about anything except the upcoming wedding.

When they reached halfway down the aisle, Hermione and Draco set off.

"It will be us next," Draco whispered into Hermione's ear as they walked down the aisle.

"I can't wait," she replied and gripped his arm tighter.

The ceremony went without a hitch, and soon Blaise and Ginny were pronounced husband and wife. A loud cheer erupted from the spectators, along with sobs from many of the women present. The happy couple beamed as magical sparks filled the air. Everyone went up to congratulate them, a process which took over an hour, before the chairs were rearranged and tables appeared from nowhere. Molly had spent days cooking for the occasion, and had refused help from anyone. The buffet was transported from the house and the afternoon soon progressed into the evening. Ginny had hired Blaise's favourite band, the Magic Fingers, to play at the reception which led to much dancing. Hermione and Draco danced with everyone briefly, but they spent most of the night in each other's arms.

"I love you," Draco said happily as he spun Hermione around to the music. She beamed.

"I love you too, and I can't wait until it's our wedding. I'm so happy right now, but I know that day will be the happiest day of my life."

Draco smiled and pulled her close. His lips found hers and they kissed passionately, oblivious to everyone around them. They were jolted out of their little session by Harry who said, smirking, that the married couple were about to apparate away to their honeymoon.

They followed Harry to the boundary of the Burrow, where Ginny and Blaise were saying their goodbyes.

Hermione enveloped Ginny into a warm hug.

"Thank you Hermione, for everything. You're like a sister to me, and I don't know what I'd do without you," Ginny whispered tearfully.

"Don't start crying, you'll make me cry!" Hermione said, with a lump in her throat.

"The bride always cries at their wedding, it's like a tradition," Ginny laughed.

"Doesn't mean the maid of honour needs to! But I'll miss you Gin, you are a sister to me. But don't need your husband waiting, you need to have fun on your honeymoon!"

"Do you know where we are going?" Ginny asked, glancing at Blaise.

"Of course! You don't?" Hermione asked, surprised.

"No, it's a surprise. He even packed my bag, and hid it away. I've got no idea!"

"Well, I'm not going to spoil his efforts. But you'll have fun. It's hot," Hermione winked.

"Hot? I can do hot," Ginny nodded, before giving Hermione one last hug, and then grabbing Blaise's hand. They waved goodbye, then turned on the spot and disapparated with a crack.

Most of the guests took this as their indication to leave, but many stayed for a few more hours, drinking elf wine and dancing to the band, who had been contracted to stay until midnight. When midnight came, the house was emptied, and everyone took themselves to bed. Draco and Hermione didn't though. They conjured a blanket and stayed outside, kept warm by mugs of hot chocolate and plenty of heating charms and layers.

"I've always wanted to do this," sighed Hermione, staring up at the stars.

"I'm happy to oblige my love," Draco replied, wrapping her into his arms.

Hermione sighed, not wanting to leave his embrace, and soon fell asleep. Draco stroked her hair, before making sure she was in a deep sleep, and carried her into the house. It was too cold to stay out all night. He tucked her into her bed, kissed her forehead and then made his way to the room he was sharing with Harry and Ron. He slipped into bed, and fell into a deep sleep.