A Change of Heart

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Chapter 30 - The Wedding: Part I -

Hermione – before the wedding:

In less than an hour, Hermione Granger would be Mrs. Draco Malfoy. She thought how odd that sounded. Hermione Malfoy. It would be one of those names that people either would never remember, or could never forget. Maybe she'd be modern and keep her maiden name. She hadn’t given that much thought.

When Draco and Hermione started dating seven months ago, she would never have imagined it would end in marriage. All the things that had happened along the way could have stopped the thought of nuptials from entering her mind as well, but now that it was a reality, Hermione couldn't remember ever wanting anything as much as she wanted this. He was her life and her family. He was her best friend and her lover. He was her everything. She never thought she would love this hard and intense.

They were getting married in the same banquet hall where they reconnected on the night of the auction. It was decorated beautifully. It was her dream wedding. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if her mum and dad had been alive to see this occasion come to pass. All of the preparations for the wedding and the reception came off without a hitch. She wasn’t sure, but the relative ease in which the wedding came to be, might be a sign of an impending omen. Whether it was an omen of good things or bad she wasn’t sure. She never put a lot of stock in that type of thing before. The way she viewed it was that everything happened the way it was supposed to happen, either good or bad, and for a reason. All the things they had to go through to get to this point were worth the journey, because they took the journey together.

Harry and Ron were to be their formal witnesses. Since Draco claimed he didn’t have friends, only acquaintances, and she had never really had a best female friend, they decided to forgo the usual maid of honour and best man. Instead, Harry and Ron would both walk her down the aisle and stand beside the bride and groom during the ceremony.

Hermione’s dress was 100 percent silk, duchess satin, in ivory tulle, covered by beaded lace appliqué, with an empire waist accentuated with a satin beaded band, with lace and satin up the back. It had capped sleeves with a beaded floral motif. She wore a silver brushed metal tiara decorated with diamonds and emeralds, which Draco said his mother had worn at her wedding. Apparently she told Draco she wanted to attend the ceremony, but his father did not, so she sent this as an apology, and with her best wishes.

Her bouquet was ivory roses and one single yellow daisy. That was Draco’s idea.

Her hair was up and loose, she wore a simple set of pearl earrings and a pearl necklace that her mother gave her on her 16th birthday, and it was her something old. Her something new was her dress and her something borrowed was his mother’s tiara. She decided her something blue would be something from Draco. She asked him to give her something blue she could conceal on her person, for the ceremony, and told him not to give it to her until their wedding day. When she was getting dressed, with Ginny’s help, she opened the small box he gave her. She laughed out loud. There in the box was a pair of baby blue lace knickers. She promptly put them on. He was so funny sometimes.

She had his ring inscribed. Harry was holding the ring for Malfoy, and Ron would do the honours with the ring for her. She gave it to Harry this morning, and told him not to lose it. The inscription read, “Pinocchio - Thanks for sharing the truth with me, your love -Dorothy.”

She had her vows written and memorized, but she decided to write them on a piece of parchment and carry them with her, just in case. She stuck it inside her bra. She was all ready. She looked at her reflection and smiled. Yes, in less than an hour, she was going to be Draco’s wife.



Draco – before the wedding:

Draco Malfoy was officially 'freaking out'. That was another Muggle phrase, one in which he'd never heard before, but Potter claimed he was 'freaking out', and he did feel incredibly stressed and nervous, and since he'd never 'freaked out' before, he could only assume that, that was what he was doing.

He looked at his watch. Only an hour to go. In one hour he was either making the best decision of his life, or the biggest mistake of his life. He knew it wasn’t really a mistake, but that damn little voice inside his head kept saying that it might be.

He took the ring he had inscribed for Hermione out of his pocket to look at it again. He was supposed to give it to Weasley to hold, but he didn’t fully trust the stupid git, so he kept it in his pocket. He looked at what he had inscribed on the inside and re-read it for the 100th time. It read: “Dorothy - You changed my heart when you gave me your love and showed me the truth - P.” He hoped she would understand the ‘tin man’ and the Pinocchio references, but this was Granger after all, the smartest witch he'd ever known. She would understand.

He just thought of her as ‘Granger’. Soon she wouldn't be a ‘Granger’ anymore, but a ‘Malfoy’, unless she was a bloody fool and kept her own last name. They had never really discussed it, but he hoped she wouldn’t. He liked the thought that her name would be the same as his.

He was more than upset that his parents decided not to come to his wedding. He realized now that the day they met her at his house they were just saving face when they were cordial to her. It was all a ruse. His father told Draco later that unless he came to his senses, 'and stopped seeing the mudblood', he really didn’t wish to have anything to do with him any longer. His mother, who had never disobeyed his father a day in her life, did stop by his office a few days before the wedding, gave him her tiara for Hermione to wear, and wished him the best of luck. That was the most he could wish for, anyway.

He didn’t really need his parents any longer. He had his own money, and his own life, and Hermione would be his family now. He kept thinking about how Hermione’s parents would not be able to attend because they were dead, and how anguished she must be over that fact. That was worst than his parents being pureblooded bigots.

He knew he wanted to marry Granger that day she babysat Potter’s son. The way she was frazzled by his crying, and had to admit that she didn’t know everything for once. He smiled when he thought of that. She looked awfully sweet when she was holding the small baby and feeding him as well. Wouldn’t she look sweet feeding their baby? He suddenly felt somber. There was plenty of time to have more children.

He wanted this day to be over with already! He looked at his reflection in the mirror. He wore black traditional dress robes, with a tie of deep forest green. He straightened his tie, and checked his hair. He looked great, he had to admit. He was sure that Hermione would look like a fairy princess, after all, he always compared her to one, and now she really was one.

He desperately needed a cigarette, to calm his nerves. One cigarette, and he would come right back inside.

                                                  ************************************************

Harry knocked on the door of Hermione’s dressing room door. She didn’t even have to be told it was him, somehow she just knew. She said, “Come in, Harry.”

“How did you know it was me?” he asked her, walking through the door, then leaning down and kissing her cheek. Without waiting for her answer he said, “You look amazing, so beautiful.”

“Are you surprised?” She looked amused.

“Of course not, you’ve always been beautiful to me,” he gushed. “You’re just more so today.”

“Has anyone checked on Draco?” she asked.

“Ron went in to get your ring, and he said that Malfoy was very nervous, and seemed quite stressed,” Harry admitted. "I told Ron he's freaking out."

“Why? How's he acting?” Hermione asked.

“Well, he’s acting the way you usually act, actually.” Harry laughed.

“That bad?” She smiled.

“Yes, I’m not sure I can stand to be near him like that,” he said, with a funny look.

“Don’t exaggerate, Harry,” Hermione said, “You can’t stand to be near him anytime.”

Harry laughed at her pun, even though it held some truth. He would never like Draco Malfoy, but he would always love Hermione Granger, so he would accept Draco for her.

“I think I’ll go talk to him,” she decided. Harry knew not to try to talk her out of it when she had made up her mind to do something.

Hermione walked down the hallway from her dressing room to his. She knocked on the door, and when she didn’t get an answer, she opened it slowly and peered in. He wasn’t there. She closed the door again, and ran into Ron in the hallway. “Are you looking for your intended?” he asked.

“Yes, have you seen him?” Hermione asked nervously.

“One of my brothers told me he saw him head outside to the alley,” he told her. “By the way, you look so pretty.” He smiled at her and kissed her lips lightly. She smiled and waved and headed to the doorway that would lead to the alley.

She found him leaning against the wall of the building, smoking a cigarette. It was reminiscent of the time she saw him at the auction, when she thought the items he donated were missing. He was a carbon copy of that memory. It made her smile. “Are you getting some fresh air?” she joked.

He was startled to see her. He threw his cigarette on the ground and said, “You're more beautiful than I've ever seen you,” and he wasn’t just saying that, he meant that.

“Thank you,” she said and smiled.

He walked up to her, without touching her, for if he touched her he might ravish her right there in the alley, and he said, “Isn’t it bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony?”

Hermione said, “I don’t believe is such nonsense,” and she didn’t; “besides, even if it were true, I'd risk it for you. I mean, seriously, what other bad luck could befall us that we haven’t already handled with grace and dignity,” she joked.

“I be grace this time and you be dignity,” he mocked her old gag.

She ignored his joke and said, “If we could get through the last seven months, what can happen today that we can’t get through?”

“Too true, too true,” he agreed.

She suddenly looked up at the grey sky and said, “It looks like it might rain. It’s supposed to be good luck if it rains on your wedding day.”

“So let’s get this straight, Granger,” he said with his usual smirk, leaning against the wall again. “When it’s convenient for you to not believe in luck, say the groom seeing the bride in her dress, you don’t believe it, but when it’s something like rain on the wedding day being good luck, you buy into the whole thing?”

“Something like that,” she answered. “I believe in good things, and not bad, so sue me. I want my fairytale happy ending.” She leaned on the opposite building to face him.

He lit another cigarette. She said, “Harry said you were freaking out. You aren’t having second thoughts are you?”

“What the hell does bloody Harry Potter know, the stupid prat,” Draco said, putting his cigarette out.

“You just lit that,” she pointed out.

“Oh yeah.” He lit another one. He was freaking out, just a bit.

“So, everything's alright? You aren’t having second thoughts or anything?” she reiterated, concerned.

“Why would you ask me that?” he asked. “You’re not having second thoughts, are you?”

“Of course not,” she said, pushing herself off the wall.

“Then why would you assume I was?” he asked with ire.

“Listen, Malfoy, I’ll just go back inside and leave you alone for a while, to smoke your cigarette, and be alone with your thoughts.” She didn’t need him to suddenly act like a spoiled brat on her wedding day, for goodness sakes.

She went to open the doors, and they were apparently locked. He came up behind her and said, “How easily you forget. They still lock from the inside. You'll need to go around front.”

She started to walk back down the alley, to head toward the front of the banquet hall, when she couldn’t shake a sudden feeling of foreboding. He was having second thoughts. She could just tell. Her fairytale happy ending may not come true after all. She wanted it to, but it wasn't happening, and now she was having her own doubts!

She started to slightly run, when she heard his footsteps behind her. She had just reached the end of the alley, when she felt him swirl her around. His hand was on her arm. He was out of breath. He pulled her to him suddenly and kissed her hard, harder than he'd ever kissed her before, but she didn’t care. She wanted to feel his kiss.

When his lips finally parted from her lips, he said, “Don’t go away from me thinking that I’m having doubts. Does that prove to you that I want to marry you?”

She merely stood there and looked at the ground. He put his hand under her chin, and brought her face up to meet his. This time he tenderly kissed her lips. “Granger?” He wanted her to answer.

He kissed her again. He put his arms around her tight and kissed her with all the love he felt. He pulled his head up and said once more, “Granger, tell me you know that I want to marry you.” When she still didn’t respond, and she put her hands on his chest to push him away, he kissed her once again, this time much more forcefully. After the final kiss he said, “I love you and we’re getting married in about twenty minutes, okay?”

“Okay,” she said, still not completely convinced. She tried to walk down the lane to the front of the building again, but he pulled her by her wrist and brought her into a very strong embrace.

“I’m just nervous,” he admitted, “I want to be a good husband to you, but don’t doubt my love or intentions ever again.”

“You’ll be an excellent husband,” she said softly in his ear, and then she kissed his neck.

“And you’ll be an adequate wife,” he joked. She glared at him and he said, “All these months with me, and you still have no sense of humour at all. How sad for you.” He pinched her arm. She pinched him back.

“I have an excellent sense of humour, which I hate that I have to continually point that out to you,” she grumbled.

They both reached the front of the building in time to see their guests arriving. They decided to stay at the side of the building until the guests were all seated. It would look odd, Hermione reasoned, for the bride and groom to enter the front of the banquet hall along with the guests.

They went back to the alleyway, as it started to sprinkle rain. The clouds grew darker and larger drops began to fall. “There’s your good luck sign, Granger,” Draco said.

Draco took his wand and cast a shield charm over the pair. “Thanks, I didn’t exactly have a place for my wand under my dress,” she reasoned.

Draco said, “You could have put it in your knickers.” He winked at her.

Hermione said, “Oh, do you think there would be room?”

“Do you have on the blue knickers I gave you?” he asked.

“Yes, I do.” She smiled at him.

“Let me see, I don’t believe you.” He started to pull her skirt up and she smacked his hand away.

“Stop trying to sexually assault me on my wedding day.” She took his wrist and held on tight.

“Alright, I’ll wait and sexually assault you on your wedding night,” he said, and he leaned in and kissed her cheek.

They both leaned against the wall again; Hermione leaning on her left shoulder and Draco leaning on his right, so they were face to face. Talking like this, in their full wedding gear, seemed the most natural thing to the pair.

“Did you get your vows written?” Hermione asked.

He touched her cheek and said, “You worry too much.”

“Draco!” she said sternly.

“Yes, I got the bloody vows written, Mother,” he joked.

“Don’t call me 'Mother' ever again,” she chided. Then she actually shivered. “While we're on the subject, don’t call me food nicknames, animal names, mother, mum, mummy, or anything of the sort.”

“May I call you ‘Granger’, because in a little while, you won’t be a ‘Granger’ any longer?” he asked, moving his hand to her hand.

“Yes, I won’t mind that and you can call me other forms of endearment, like sweetheart, love, darling, but only in private,” she said.

He thought she was kidding, so he laughed, but when he saw that she wasn’t sharing in the laughter he stopped. “Why can those names only be said in private?” he asked, because he really wanted to know.

“I find it embarrassing to be called things like baby or sweetie in public. It’s rather common and mundane, and I just don’t like it,” she reasoned.

“What will you call me in private?” He came closer and kissed her neck. He stayed close and added, “Something like, ‘my sexy lover’?”

She laughed so hard that she snorted.

“Way to make a fellow feel good on his wedding day, Granger!” He pushed himself away from her, but still held her hand. “Maybe I won’t marry you after all.”

“Oh go on, you love me. You’ll marry me still,” she said, without a doubt.

“Don’t push your luck, SWEETHEART,” he said that last part loudly. He took the hand he was holding and brought it up to his mouth and kissed her open palm. “I remember how you liked that, my little Dorothy,” he said. He let his tongue flick on the center of her palm again, and then placed her hand on his heart, with his hand covering hers. “Do you feel that? That’s my heart’s beating only for you.”

“Hey, I just had a thought,” she said, suddenly distracted.

“Well, your thinking isn’t that rare of a thing, but do tell,” he said, still holding her hand, and stroking the top with his thumb.

“Very funny.” She rolled her eyes.  “No, I just thought, you aren’t going to say anything crude during your vows, are you? I mean nothing to do with sex, right? Maybe I really should have a look at them.”

Draco sighed. “Listen, my almost wife, they're my vows until I recite them to you, and then you can have them and do what you want with them. I won’t ruin the moment by telling them to you before hand. You’ll just have to trust me.”

She removed her hand from his and told him, “It’s just so hard to trust you sometimes.”

“You wound me,” he said sincerely. “If you’re that concerned, then you should have let us have the traditional ceremony, and we wouldn’t have had to write our own vows. It’s on your head if I say something crude or lascivious. I might accidentally mention you breaking my pelvic bone in the shower, or maybe I’ll say that I loved making love to you in my father’s car.”

“Draco, you'd better not mention either of those things,” she said lightly, but meaning every word.

“Maybe I’ll say I knew I loved you when I had to jack off in the words, after that talented little thing you did to my hand in the car,” he said with a perfectly straight face.

“Please, Draco, just tell me what you wrote, just so I can relax,” she pleaded.

“But, I like the element of surprise,” he said honestly, “don’t you?”

Hermione laughed and said, “Hello, my name is Hermione Granger, and apparently we’ve never met. You know I don’t like surprises!”

“We don’t have time for all of this,” he argued. “It must be about time for the ceremony to start.”

Hermione smiled and said, “They can’t start the ceremony without the bride and groom. We have time. Stop avoiding this.”

Just then Harry Potter came around the corner. “We’ve all been looking for you, and Draco’s right, you don’t have time for whatever it is you’re doing. It’s time for the ceremony to start.” He must have overheard part of their conversation. “What’s going on anyway? Is something wrong?” he asked Hermione and gave Draco a dirty look.

“Yes, well, Harry,” Hermione started with a lie, “Draco's having second thoughts, and I've been out here trying to convince him otherwise, and I just need a few more moments to convince him, okay. Just give us a few minutes longer, Harry.”

Harry nodded, smiled at his best friend, and kissed her on her cheek.

He shouldered past Draco, bumping him very hard in the process and said, “Hurt her at all, and die an untimely death.” He was serious.

After Draco and Hermione watched Harry go back around the side of the building, Draco turned to Hermione and exclaimed, “Why the hell did you tell him I was having second thoughts?”

“Well, he wouldn’t have believed that I was having second thoughts, and he already doesn’t like you, so I didn’t see the problem. Anyway, this buys us some more time,” Hermione reasoned.

Draco pointed at Hermione and said, “That bastard wants to make you a widow before you even become a wife!”

“Don’t overreact. He probably wouldn’t really kill you. He probably would only curse you,” Hermione said. Draco was less than convinced.

"But you lied to him!" Draco shouted, outraged.

"And I learned from the master," she quipped. “Now, listen, the thing is, Draco,” Hermione stammered, “not everyone would appreciate your type of sense of humour. Some might be offended. I wrote a set of vows for you to read, in case you forgot to write some. Do you want to see them?” She started to take the vows she wrote to him out of the bodice of her dress, acting like they were ones she wrote for him to give her. She didn’t really write him vows to say - she was merely joking.


However, he thought she was serious.  “You little witch. I can’t believe you wrote vows for me to recite to you. You must think I have the mental capacity of a three year old.” He really seemed upset.

“Ha, these are my vows! I was just joking with you! And you thought I had no sense of humour!”  She held the piece of parchment with her vows up in the air and then started to put it back in her dress, when he grabbed them from her.

“Let’s have a look, Granger. See what you really think of me,” he said as he unfolded the paper, and turned his shoulder to her. She tried to reach in front of him to grab the paper back from him.

“Don’t read that!” she practically screamed, but it was too late. He had already started reading.

When he first grabbed the paper from her, he thought it was perhaps blank, or maybe she really had written vows for him to recite to her. He never imagined she would have had to write her own vows on a piece of paper. He figured she would have memorized them.

Therefore, when he started reading and saw that these were indeed the vows she had written to say to him, he was shocked. When he started reading, he just couldn’t stop. He was obligated to finish. He could barely believe the words he was reading. The sentiment and the thoughts she wrote were so profound and full of love.

When he finished, he looked up to tell her just how much he loved her in return, but she was nowhere to be found.

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