To Find You Again
Hermione could feel her temper rising to the surface. How dare -! The asinine of Malfoy-! In that single moment, she took the necessary steps to reach him, her hand falling across his face for a familiar taste of third year. She grabbed her wand and quickly cast a ‘Silenco’ on the kitchen so Rose would not hear the heated conversation that would come from this. She did not want her daughter’s impression of her father to be that of a man who her mother despised currently.
“How dare you!” Hermione’s voice shook with untapped rage she felt at this very moment. Tears were gathering in her eyes at the implications in his words. They had cut her so deep to the core of her soul and she wondered if anything she would be able to recover any trust in him again. “How dare you threaten me with any legal action! I told you I would return to the manor with you but now I am wondering if the price you demand is too high.”
Draco’s eyes turned to glaciers. “Too high for what, Hermione. You already told me you had no desire to return to my side as my wife.”
“Because I have no desire to be the third wheel in our marriage! Astoria made it perfectly clear you were hers!” She hurled back at him.
“Is this what all of this is about, Hermione? Your jealousy?” He snarled back refusing now to back down from this fight. He knew if he pushed her, he would learn enough of what Astoria had done to send her fleeing from their marriage.
A sob tore from her throat as he moved close to her. “How could you sleep with her?!” She demanded letting loose every bit of rage she held back all these years. “I saw pictures, love letters, and when I came to tell you about my pregnancy, I found her in our bed!”
Draco froze. All the anger and rage dissipating from his body. “What?” He whispered. He reached out for his wife gathering her in his arms and holding her against him. “I never slept with her,” he spoke softly. “I swear this to you, Hermione.”
Hermione wanted to believe him. Every bit of her wanted to believe what he said was true, but the evidence held its grip on her tightly on her heart. She pulled away from him and placed enough space between him. She would not listen to any further of his lies. It was enough he was dragging her back and forcing her into a situation she had no desire to be part of, but all this was for Rose. Rose, her beautiful child. Rose, the one who kept her grounded during the darkest part of her life. Rose had given her the strength to start fresh with a new identity.
“It doesn’t matter anymore, Draco,” Hermione said sadly wiping away the tears from her face. “You have won. Rose and I will return to the manor as I have promised, but I won’t be wife.”
Draco’s eyes narrowed once more. “You see that is where you are going to be wrong, my dear wife, that was not part of the bargain. I told you that you would return to my side as my wife both publicly and privately in my bed. You agreed the moment you asked for my help.”
“I hate you,” she whispered sharply.
“Oh, my dear wife, I don’t care,” Draco gave her a wolfish smile as a finger rose to cup her chin. “In time I will change your mind.”
And with that, Draco was gone leaving Hermione to lean against the cabinets to wonder why the Gods had forced her into this situation.
Lucius Malfoy was a force to be reckoned with. One did not cross Lucius Malfoy and think they would come out unscathed. It simply did not happen. Even after Lucius defected from the Deatheaters, he had no qualms of destroying former allies and he did so with relevance.
And now as he stood at the fireplace of his study with a drink in hand, his mind went over the conversations he had had the previous night with his wife and son. Of course, he was happy with Hermione returning home and even more thrilled that he had a granddaughter he and Narcissa could spoil rotten, but what was he going to do with Astoria Greengrass? That had become the question of the hour. He knew he had to do something, or the woman would destroy his son’s marriage. The problem laid with his son now. Draco was too blind to see Astoria’s game. The only credit he gave the boy was the fact his son believed some of the truth. Not all of it, mind you, but some of it.
This would not do for Lucius Malfoy. Lucius saw that he would have to step in soon to remove the threat to his son’s marriage, but first, he needed to talk to his dearest daughter-in-law the moment he had a chance to do so.
First then first, he needed Narcissa’s help.
“Bookie,” Lucius spoke to the little elf behind him who stood nervously wringing his hands, “find Lady Malfoy and ask if she will join me for a private lunch here in the study. Once you have returned with her answer, see to it that a light lunch is prepared for just two.”
“Bookie will make you proud, Lord Malfoy!” the little elf assured his master as it vanished quickly from his sight.
Lucius smirked, taking a drink of his whiskey.
Blaise glanced over at their handiwork proudly. They had managed to get everything packed and ready to be sent over to Malfoy Manor. With a flick of his wand, the boxes disappeared, and he stalked out of the empty room to the kitchen. There, he found Hermione and Luna, at what he could only imagine, in a stalemate. Luna’s arms were crossed, and her blue eyes narrowed at her best friend while Hermione seemed to dare Luna to say something.
Blaise scratched his head. For as long as he had been around them, he had never seen them in a fight but apparently, they were in one now and neither woman was going to back down from the other.
“Hermione,” Luna growled at her friend.
Said friend raised a brow in defiance. “Luna,” she returned pushing the paper once more toward her best friend.
“I won’t take it,” Luna said pushing the paper back.
“And you call me stubborn,” Hermione tossed back at her friend.
Blaise, who had seen enough of it, stormed into the room and grabbed the paper. He glanced down at it and found himself shocked. There, in his hands was the deed to the property they were standing on. Instead of Hermione being the owner, it now held both his and Luna’s name on it. With his initial shock finally warring down, he looked at the former Gryffindor and once member of the Golden Trio with an appreciation he never thought possible.
“Hermione,” he started trying to form the right words that would convey his possible thanks toward her but all that came out was, “why?”
Breaking the staring contest between herself and Luna, she turned her head to look at him and smiled, “I know we have gotten on the wrong foot but I wanted to surprise you and Luna with taking over the cottage. I won’t need it and I think Luna could enjoy a larger home for herself and maybe add herself someone.”
“’mione!” Luna whined feeling her cheeks tinged pink.
Hermione raised her hand. “No, Luna, you and Blaise both need to figure out your relationship. You two have not even sat down to really discuss things. Instead, you both have preoccupied yourself in my own miserable life. Now, it is time you two take this place and figure things out. Consider it a gift for everything you have done for me.” She paused for a moment. “I may not know the entire story except from what you have said about the situation, I don’t think it warrants either of you to dance around each other.”
Luna and Blaise glanced at each other and both knew that Hermione said had been right.
Both Luna and Blaise approached Hermione hugged her.
It was that this time that Draco appeared with a loud CRACK! causing the three of them to look up. He leaned in the doorway confused why there was such a lovefest going on in the kitchen.
Hermione stiffened next to her two friends and greeted her husband cordially, “You are on time.”
“Why would I not be?” He asked tilting his head. “Rose has already been deposited at the manor. My mother and father are taking a moment to welcome their granddaughter and get her used to them. I thought this would give us time to finish the conversation that had been started earlier.”
“That’s our cue, Luna,” Blaise whispered softly. “Why don’t we return to your apartment and start packing up things?”
Luna looked over at her friend, torn on whether to leave or not. She had already been told of the earlier visit between them and she did not want to leave Hermione alone again with Draco again. Opening her mouth to protest, she closed it again when she saw Hermione smile.
“Okay,” Luna said dejectedly and took a step back.
As the two of them disappeared, Draco saw this as an opportunity to step further into the kitchen and take a seat at the last thing left in the cottage – the small dining table. Briefly, he wondered if Hermione and Rose ever used it. He could almost see the two of them sitting here during their mealtimes talking and laughing and for once, Draco wished he could reorder time to be part of it.
“Are you okay?” Hermione asked concerned taking a seat across from him.
Draco nodded, “I was just imagining how yours and Rose’s lives had been like here.”
Hermione considered his words thoughtfully and answered, “Much like any other muggle family really. We ate dinner here or I would help Rose with her homework while I was making dinner.”
“Muggles do this?” He asked inquisitively.
Hermione nodded. “Most families do. The dinner table is normally the place where homework is done while parents are cooking dinner. My Mom used to do this with me. She would let me spread my homework over the dinner table while she cooked. Of course, before dinner was done, I would gather up everything finished or not and set the table. I wanted a simple life with Rose without magic all the time and I sought to offer a muggle life.”
“Has she ever produced any accidental magic?”
“A few times,” Hermione replied remembering the countless times she had to counter the magic. “These were times that she had Malfoy-type temper tantrums.”
Draco glared as his wife shrugged her shoulders. Deciding that he did not want to get into another argument with her, he reached into his pocket and pulled out something, holding out his hand to her. Hermione glanced down in shock at what his hand held – her wedding set. She had forgotten about them.
“You still have them?” She asked placing the rings back on.
“I found them sitting on your make-up table when I went looking for you,” he stated honestly. “I had thought you would have taken with them.”
“They are Malfoy heirlooms and thus as I saw it, I was no longer a Malfoy,” she returned. “Plus, I knew you had them charmed to be able to find me. I didn’t want to be found.”
Draco wanted to argue that if she had, they would not be doing this after seven years and he would have been part of Rose’s life much earlier, but again he was not in the mood to set her off especially when he had finally had her once again.
“Have you talked to your boss?” Draco asked changing the subject.
Hermione shook her head. “I have been trying to get things ready for the move. It just slipped my mind, but I will still keep my job.”
Draco shook his head. “I would prefer you to quit.”
“And be the good little wife waiting for you at home? No thanks,” she snapped rising up to her feet in defense.
Draco shook his head. The argument had already gone out of him. All he wanted was his wife to see reason without drawing this into a fight. “That is not what I meant. Rose is going to need you, Hermione. I thought having you home would help with any recovery she will need.”
Hermione frowned, saying nothing.
“Listen, we both know that Rose will need some type of surgery be it in the muggle or wizarding world and we know she is going to need us there to help her recover, but more than ever you will be there to make sure that she will recover quicker.” There was a small pause. “If you want to do something, I could use your help with organizing office work. You could come to the office for an hour or so to help.”
The offer was tempting but the thought of having to work with Draco so closely bothered her and she was certain that Astoria would be less than pleased to see her again. The very notion was leaning Hermione to giving her husband a definite answer.
“I will need to see Clive and tell him the truth,” she said finally.
“Should I go with you?” He asked.
“I don’t see why not,” she shrugged.
Draco rose to his feet and moved to stand in front of her. His hand reaching out to touch her face lovingly. At that moment, he wanted nothing more than ever to have her love once more. He leaned forward and placed his lips on upon hers.