So, we've neared the end... really sorry it took so long, but life got in the way (as usual). You'll all be pleased to know that I've recovered from my personal problems, and I finally feel as though I can be happy again. Thank you for sticking with this story, and who knows, I may write an epilogue to this. I've learned I should stick to shorter stories, as it takes YEARS to finish longer ones.
It was finally time. Valentine's day, well night to be exact. Hermione peeked through the curtain to check how many people were seated. It was half full, so she had around quarter of an hour more to wait.
She was suddenly pulled backwards away from the curtain.
"Hermione! Stop peeking, you don't want anyone to see you before your grand entrance, it ruins the surprise," Pansy chastised.
Hermione looked sheepish, "Sorry Pansy, I just wanted to see how busy it was."
"That doesn't matter, what matters if your final touch-up and then you need to sit down and relax until it's time. You've been stressing out for weeks about this, you need to be able to enjoy it or else it will be a waste," Ginny called from the bathroom. Luckily she had finished throwing up, but the latest scan had revealed the baby to be settling on her bladder, causing Ginny to basically live in the bathroom. Not a great situation when she was maid of honour but Hermione was sure she'd pull through.
Pansy chuckled at this and took Hermione's hand and led her to the chair in front of the mirror. She used her wand to charm Hermione's curls to lie over her shoulders delicately. Hermione had refused to have her hair straightened, she wanted everything to be simple. Simple, she realised, was still extremely difficult to pull off. Luckily Draco had helped her wherever he could, using a few of his contacts to get discounts.
Hermione beamed when she thought of her husband-to-be. In an hour she would be Hermione Malfoy, and she couldn't wait. She smoothed out her dress just as Mrs Weasley bustled in.
"Hermione dear! Your parents have arrived, they want to see you."
She turned around and there they were, in the flesh. Her heart fluttered with excitement, and she bounded towards them and flung her arms around them. The last time she had seen them was the summer before the new school year started. She had gone to Australia and removed the memory charms, then spent a month with them before coming back to England. Her parents had stayed there, they retained fondness over their new home. Hermione didn't mind, it's not like she lived with them anymore.
"Mum! Dad! You're here!" Hermione cried.
"I'm sorry we're late, the train was late leaving London-"
"-It doesn't matter, you're here! And just in time," Hermione sniffed and removed her arms from her parents. Her Mum wiped a tear from her cheek and smiled happily. Ginny came out of the bathroom and walked awkwardly over to Hermione and gave her a hug. Then she looked at Hermione's face.
"Hermione! You've ruined your make-up!"
She rolled her eyes, "I'm a witch... it's easily fixed!"
Her parents stared in astonishment as Hermione uttered a quick charm to fix her hair and make-up.
"There, all ready!" She smiled. Everything was falling into place, now she just couldn't wait to get down the aisle and start a new chapter.
The orchestra which the couple had hired were ready to begin. The violins began to play, soon joined by the flutes and the harp. Hermione wanted to retain a few Muggle traditions, and so she would walk down the aisle to the traditional Wedding March. Pansy, Luna and Ginny had already gone down, and now it was her turn. Her father beamed down at her as she took his arm.
"I love you sweetie, and we're both so proud of you."
She could feel a lump in her throat but tried to hold it in.
"Thank you Daddy, I'm so happy you're here."
The music changed, and it was her cue. She let her Dad lead her to the entrance. The curtain opened and she could hear gasps from the audience. Her eyes searched out Draco, and when their eyes connected, it was as if time slowed down. She could only see him, no-one else mattered. She could feel herself being dragged gently down the aisle, but it didn't really connect with her. She could feel herself blush when Draco grinned at her, knew he was pleased that this day had finally come.
The walk seemed far too long for Hermione, she was anxious to grab Draco and just get the wedding over with and celebrate. Finally they were there. Draco nodded to her father and took Hermione by the hand. The instant their hands connected, she felt as though she was home. The minister greeted everyone and began the ceremony. It was just like the Muggle variant, and at the end the minister charmed their rings with a blessing and showered them in sparks. That was the sign of a married couple, and with that, Draco kissed his bride. It was a sweet kiss, filled with the promises and hopes of their future. Hermione never wanted it to end.
"I love you," he whispered in her ear before giving her another quick peck and releasing her from his embrace. She could finally focus on her surroundings, she was adorned with flowers and everyone was cheering. Her parents came up and hugged both of them, then the Weasley's followed. Soon a line formed, and the happy couple were congratulated by each one of their guests.
Time flashed by, and soon they were cutting the cake - another tradition which Hermione had insisted upon - and then they danced their first dance. Hermione had chosen one of her new favourite Muggle artists Darren Criss and his song 'Not Alone', as she felt it fitted perfectly to their relationship. She sung the lyrics as Draco twirled her around the dance floor.
"Baby, you're not alone, 'cause you're here with me..."
"N'aww, you're so romantic Hermione."
"Yup, that's why you love me. It's true though, when we're together, I feel like we can accomplish anything."
Draco grinned, and gave her another heart warming kiss. She felt shivers run down her spine and she grasped him closer.
"Now, now, no need to get indecent!" Blaise yelled as they danced by her. Hermione jolted and glared at him.
"We weren't indecent!" She replied hotly.
"Not yet," Draco smirked. Hermione whacked him, providing some gasps from the guests, but Hermione didn't care. It was her wedding day, she could do what she wanted. Besides, Draco would always be annoying, whatever the day.
"Shall we go somewhere... private?" Draco murmured to her. Another chill went down her spine and she suddenly experienced a dry mouth. She grabbed her husband by the hand and they left the marquee. Hermione led him down behind the Burrow and into a small wooded area with a porch swing. Mr Weasley had installed it a few months ago in order to provide some privacy from the multiple couples who would live in the Burrow.
"Glad to have some peace and quiet, isn't it?" Hermione asked as they settled into the swing. She put her head onto his lap and he began to rock gently.
"Mmm, I could get used to this," Draco replied softly, and stroked her hair.
"Lucky that we have all the time in the world then," she sighed happily.
"I know I keep saying this, but Merlin I love you. I'm so happy that we were coupled, you are the reason I exist. And I know that I was an absolute bastard in the past. I'm going to spend the rest of our lives making it up to you."
Hermione felt the tears rising up again but she didn't care. Draco loved her for all her flaws, and she loved him despite him being a child sometimes.
"You know I love you too, forever and ever."
"Guess this project is a success then? You know... in creating House Unity?"
"You bet it is," she grinned.