A Change of Heart

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Chapter 31- The Wedding, Part II -

Draco turned around in a circle, looking for Hermione. Where had she gone? She said she didn’t have her wand, so he knew she hadn’t Disapparated. He ran around to the front of the building. There, on the steps leading to the front doors of the banquet hall, sat Hermione, with her head in her hands.

He ran up to her, and he didn’t know what to say, therefore, he said the first thing that popped into his mind, “See, it doesn’t feel good when someone ruins your surprise, does it?” Even he wanted to call himself ‘idiot’ in his own mind after he said it.

He sat beside her and added, “I’m so sorry, Hermione. I started reading, thinking it was what you had written for me to say, and when kept I reading the words that you wrote, I couldn’t stop. That was amazing.” He tried to hand the piece of parchment back to her, but she shook her head.

“Go on and keep it. I’m not about to say all of that now, and you’re right; it doesn’t feel good to have your surprise ruined. Payback is a bitch. I’m sorry I ruined your engagement surprise, and I know you’re sorry about this,” Hermione said sadly, still looking at the ground. He stuffed the parchment in his pocket; it was precious to him, like gold. He took her hand.

“So, what are you planning on saying to me now?” he asked with a sly smile.

“I’ll say, Draco Malfoy is a git, but I guess I’ll marry him anyway,” she sighed.

“I rather like those vows, too. Do you want to know what I was going to say to you?” he asked.

“No.” she stood up and pulled her hand from his.

“No?” he asked, “Well, it’s now or never, because I’m not going to say anything to you during the ceremony if you don’t say vows to me.” He stood beside her, resolute, with his arms crossed in front of his chest.

“Then I guess it’ll be a pretty short ceremony,” she declared as she started in the door. He followed her. Harry was standing by the door leading into the main room and he walked up to them.

“The guests are getting restless. Are we having a wedding here or not?” he asked. He looked at Draco first, who shrugged, and then at Hermione, who nodded.

“Stall for a moment, though, won’t you, Harry?” Hermione asked. Then she went into the ladies room. Draco saw Scarhead go into the banquet hall’s main room, and then he looked to his left, then to his right, and then he went into the ladies room after Hermione.

She was in one of the stalls, actually going to the bathroom. He was mildly embarrassed. He thought maybe she was in here to compose herself or something. He never thought she might actually have to go to the bathroom. He went into the stall next to her, stood on the toilet, and looked down at her.

“Hey, Granger,” he said.

“Damn!” Hermione screamed. “You scared me!”

“Did I scare the shite out of you?” he joked, laughing at his own crude joke.

“I’m not doing that, you arse! Now get down from there,” she yelled. He did as he was told, chuckling all the while, as she was calling him quite a few choice names.

“What was that last thing you just called me?” His ears perked up. “I didn’t know you knew such language, and what did you call my mother?”

She exited the stall, and went to wash her hands.

He leaned against the mirror and said, “Do you want to know when I loved you? Really loved you?” She finished washing her hands and she turned to face him. He took both her hands in his.

“I saw you at my office, your curly brown head bobbing up and down as you walked down the hallway. You turned around and smiled, and my heart felt as if it might burst. I didn’t even know what that feeling was. I'd never felt it before, but I decided right then and there that I wasn’t going to date anymore of those empty headed woman who were only after my money. I decided I wanted someone smart, pretty and funny."

"I decided I wanted Hermione Granger. My own little Cinderella, who lost her shoe under a table after the ball, and expected me, Draco Malfoy, to bend down and get it for her, and you know what, I didn’t think twice about it. I bent down, touched your leg, and I had the most intense electrical feeling go through every fiber of my being and that was just from touching you.”

“And on what I classified as our first date, even though you didn’t, we were babysitting Potter’s baby, and I thought you looked so sweet and beautiful holding that little baby in your arms. You made me hold the baby, and I knew you tricked me into holding him just to see if I liked babies. I knew you wouldn’t do that if you hadn’t been harbouring the same secret hope that I'd been harbouring, that maybe, one day, we might marry and have a child of our own.”

“I’ve been through more trials and tribulations in the last seven months that I’ve been with you, than I've had in my whole life; falling in water on your bathroom floor, being taken to a Muggle Police station, being propositioned at a gay bar, and going to a Muggle fast food place, to name a few. To name a few more - Food poisoning, being locked in a closet, breaking several bones falling out of a shower, rolling down a hill and getting mud in my hair, having a bathtub flood and the ceiling burst over my head, but hell, who am I kidding? I wouldn’t trade one of those moments, or the countless other embarrassing things that have happened, because they’ve all happened with you.”

“We once had a discussion about ‘time’, right after your dad died. You said there was a time to embrace, so to you I'm embracing. You said there was a time to search, but my search is over, because I found you. You said there was a time to keep, and how right you are, for you are forever mine to keep. And last, but not least, you said there was a time to love, and you, my darling, Hermione, I love you, with all my heart, soul and mind.”

“You can call me an idiot the rest of your days, as long as the rest of your days are spent with me,” he paused and then added, “Those are my vows to you, my little Dorothy. I no longer have to search for my heart, because you found it for me, and you no longer have to search for your home, because it’s by my side.”

When he finished, she was crying. He put his hands up to her face and wiped her cheeks with his thumbs.

“Those are the vows I would have said to you, Hermione Granger,” he finished. “Now, I know I already read the vows you were going to say to me, but please, I want to hear them from your own, sweet mouth.”

Hermione took a deep breath, to level her tears, and said, “One day you asked me what love was. We were on the beach, and it was a beautiful spring day, but very cold. You held my hand and said, ‘when do you know when you’re in love?’ And to answer you, all I had to do was look into my own heart, and tell you all the exact feelings I was feeling at that moment for you."

"For I thought of only you day and night, I got butterflies in my belly just at the sight of you. The touch of your hand sent electrical current everywhere. I loved laughing at your jokes, even though I didn’t find most of them funny, and nothing else but you and the moments I was with you mattered. Your smile made me smile, your tears made me cry, I couldn’t picture myself with anyone but you. Your happiness came before my happiness, and I am telling you the truth when I say that I would cut off my right arm rather than for you to feel pain. For you, Draco Malfoy, I would give my life.”

“No one else would let me call them an idiot fifty times a day, no one else would roll down a hill for me, no one else would say they loved me if I threw an apple at them, breaking their nose. No one else would spend an entire night cuddling with me, or pinch me every other day to make sure I’m real, or go to the trouble of planning a scavenger hunt, or buy me the same book twice. No one else would do that for me but you and I wouldn’t want anyone else to, anyway.” She stopped and said, “As you know those are the vows I wrote, but I’d like to add something else.”

“From all the silly things you’ve done, like leaving a hundred pounds as a tip at a fast food restaurant, where I hate to tell you Draco, but you aren’t suppose to leave a tip, from playing tag with me, to all the stupid little nicknames you made up for me…for all these things, I love you so very much.”

“You were there for me when my dad died, and you knew exactly what I needed. God, I love you so much.” She continued to cry as she continued her vows.

“You say you knew you loved me when you saw me at your office. Well, I knew I loved you that Monday after the auction, as we stood in the street, during a thunderstorm, and I was frightened by a clap of thunder, and I fell into your arms, and I knew, right then, that in your arms I would always be safe.”

“I will love you now and forever and for all of my life, and I want to be your wife.” By this time, not only was Hermione crying, but so was Draco, although he was trying hard to hold it back.

So, Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy exchanged their vows right there in the ladies bathroom at the banquet hall where they were to get married, with all their guests oblivious to the exchange, expect for one.

Harry Potter had walked into the bathroom only moments after he saw Draco enter. He only walked in to see if the marriage was going to take place, or if it was to be called off. He heard every word they had said to each other. He walked quietly out of the room, shut the door, and gave them their privacy after they exchanged their vows. He had to compose himself for a moment, but then he went into the banquet hall and made an announcement. He told everyone that the wedding was a go, and the couple would be joining them soon. He stood by the door and thought that maybe he didn’t hate Draco Malfoy quite as much as he used to...not at all.

Moments later, after Hermione and Draco stopped crying, had kissed and exchanged embraces, they walked out of the restroom, and started to walk in the banquet hall. Draco stopped Hermione for a moment and said, “We don’t have vows to say to each other now.”

She looked at him, smiled, and said, “Why don’t we just wing it. Hell, we could even say the same thing again; No one in there will know the difference.”

He hugged her tight and said, “I love you more and more each day, and do you want to know why? Because you think more and more like me everyday.” This made her laugh.

She said, “Draco, go back in the restroom and get me some tissues, in case I cry again.”

“What’s wrong with my sleeve?” he joked, but he turned around and went back into the ladies room to get her some tissues. He figured that was something people did when they were in love; they went into ladies rooms and got their true loves tissues.

He was going to say that to her when he walked out, but she brought him back to reality when she said, “Draco, you didn’t have to go into the ladies room, again. The men’s room is right next to it.” He turned around and saw that she was right, so he kept his theories about love and tissues to himself and merely handed her the tissues.

Draco went and told Potter that they were ready to start the ceremony. Harry and Ron took their place at the end of the room, and Hermione and Draco went back to their dressing rooms.

The music started. It was a classical piece by Chopin, which Hermione’s parents had played at their wedding. Draco walked in and took his place at the end of the velvet runner. Harry and Ron waited for Hermione. She came in, and the crowd stood. A hush filled the hall. The only thing anyone could hear was the music. Her beauty was deafening. She stood between her two best friends and they walked her down the aisle in her father’s stead. Hermione felt her heart beating so loudly that she knew soon everyone would ponder what that loud noise was. She was shaking as well. Harry and Ron had to physically hold her upright.

When she reached the end of the aisle, Draco took her hand. He smiled at her and she smiled back. He leaned over and whispered in her ear, “Take a deep breath and cheer up, it’s your wedding day.” She took a deep breath, and the Officiate began the ceremony.

They did repeat their vows, with just slight variations. Draco had to be a prat and mention a few crude things, like instead of just mentioning his broken bones, he mentioned how they were broken (sex in the shower), to which the congregation laughed. Hermione’s vows were altered slightly as well, but that was to counter claim the variations in his. By the time they were finished, Hermione was once again in tears, as were most of their friends and family.

As soon as the ceremony ended, the Officiate announced that Draco could kiss his bride. He put his left hand behind her head, and his right hand behind her waist, and dipped her low, and kissed her hard. Everyone laughed, and when he brought her upright, she hit his chest and said, “Idiot.”

The room magically changed for the reception. The bridal party, which was small, sat at the front of the room at a square table, and the rest of the crowd sat at round tables scattered around the room. They feasted on canapés of herb crusted seared tuna, for cocktails they had Italian Wedding cookies, for the main course they had rack of lamb with English mustard and thyme crust, and the cake was a three-tiered lemon raspberry sponge cake.

The party was in full swing and the bride and groom stood up for their first dance. They went to the middle of the room and Draco took Hermione in his arms. As they danced, the guests soon joined them.

Draco said, “See, happy endings come true in real life too, not just in fairytales.”

To which Hermione responded, “You just may be right, but this is a fairytale. In fact, it is many fairytales wrapped into one. This is the best day of my life.”

Draco kissed her cheek and said, “You are the best thing in my life.”

After their dance they went back to their table. Draco pulled out Hermione’s seat, and she sat down. When he pulled out his own, he saw a silver package with a bright green bow. The card said, “To my husband.”

“Hermione?” Draco held up the package.

“Yes dear?”

“Is this what I think it is?” he asked.

“I have no idea the thoughts that goes on in that head of yours, so how would I know what you think it is. Open it and find out,” Hermione begged.

He sat down and opened the package. Inside was, of course, Hogwarts, a History.

Draco sighed and said, in exasperation, “Hermione, you will never win the book war, so give it up. Let me explain.” He put the book down and continued, “I gave you the book at the auction, you gave it to me at the coffee shop, so we were tied one to one.”

Hermione interjected, “I actually threw it in the trash bin at the coffee shop, but it’s so nice of you to count that as one for me.”

Draco smirked, and continued again, “Then I gave it to you that day in the alley, when you claimed I accosted you. Next, you hid it in the pizza box. Again, that tied us at two for two.”

“Is this going to be a long explanation, because I would like to continue to eat my cake,” she said, acting board.

Draco said, “You can eat while I talk, that’s never stopped you before. Where was I, oh yes, next I believe I put it in the trunk of your car, and you had it delivered to me by courier at the hotel, so three to three. Dress bag for you, hanging in the shower for me, four to four.”

She interrupted and said, “You’re glossing over those last two; brings back bad memories perhaps, something about mistaking someone for someone, aye?”

He ignored her (and her reference to the whole Pansy incident) and said, “Next, I believe I filled your house with daisies, and put the book on your bed.”

“Guilty conscious, trying to make up for mistaking someone for someone,” Hermione surmised, “but, please continue.”

“I’ll never continue if you keep interrupting,” he waned. “That makes us five for five. I gave it to you to at my house the night we played tag, for the money for the auction, which was a big mistake on my part, and you then left it on my pillow, so six to six. Next, I left it in your desk drawer, bigger mistake, because you really sold the blasted thing. At that point, I was seven to your six. Do you begin to see the point of my story? I was already ahead by that time.”

“I see some inconsistencies and holes in your explanation, but if you must continue then please do.” She actually yawned.

“I forgot where I was,” he said sincerely. He took a moment to think, and finally said, “Oh yes, I arranged for you to win the bloody thing at the raffle, so the score was then eight to six, in my favour. I don’t count all that stupid passing back and forth at my office that day, so even with you giving it to me today, you, my dear, are still painfully losing. The score as of today is eight to me and seven to you. You’ll never catch up to me. I feel so sorry for you.”

Draco reached in front of her and took her cake and started to eat it. The cogs in her head were spinning. She apparently hadn’t given it as much thought as he had. She thought this would tie them up. She went through everything he said, not even noticing he had taken her cake, because she was concentrating on what he had just told her. Damn him, he was right. She would always be one behind.

“I can see that overly developed mind spinning my dear. You do see that I'm correct, don’t you?” Draco laughed. “I know how much you hate it when I’m right about something.”

She did hate that. Then, she got a wonderful idea. A devious and evil idea, which made her smile, because she had only been a Malfoy for little over two hours, and she was already thinking like one. He turned to her, saw her smile, and said, “What are you plotting?”

“It’s my wedding day; I’m just enjoying myself,” she lied. “Come, we need to pose for some pictures.”

They posed for their pictures and danced some more. They had a wonderful evening. The reception was dying down, and it was almost time for the bride and the groom to get ready to leave for their honeymoon. Hermione had Ginny come with her to help her remove her gown. Draco was still in the banquet hall, talking to the guests. He was reminded by Harry that he had better get changed for the honeymoon. He went back over to the table, to collect the book and it was missing. He looked under the chair, on the table, on the floor, everywhere. It was just gone. How could he tell Hermione that the book was gone? Damn! Someone took the blasted book while they were dancing. He knew she hadn’t taken it, because she was by his side the entire night.

They changed their clothes and left hand in hand, out of the front doors of the banquet hall. They were going to drive back to the Grand Marsh Hotel, spend their wedding night there, and then spend a week at their cottage that they had bought. Hermione insisted they drive her old car, and he agreed. He even told her she could drive.

They waved goodbye to their guests, kissed their friends goodbye, and drove up the coast. When they arrived at the hotel, Hermione told Draco to check them in, as she needed to use the facilities. He checked them in and as he was signing the registration form the clerk told him the hotel wanted to present the happy couple with a wedding present. Draco took the box from the man, thanked him, and decided to go ahead and open it without Hermione.

He no sooner got the lid off, when he saw that it contained the damn book! Now how did she arrange this? There was a note tied with a string, on the front. The note said: “We are now tied eight to eight. Don’t ever underestimate me again. Love, Hermione.”

He took the book, put it on the cart with the luggage, and asked the bellman to deliver everything to their room.

He waited for her outside the restroom, and when she walked out he said, “We got a wedding present from the hotel, apparently. I had it sent up to our room with our luggage.” 

She smiled a large smile and said, “Just admit it; you admire me for my ingenuity.”

“I admire you for a great deal of things, my little lima bean,” he joked.

“Oh my goodness, you will not call me names like that ever again,” she scolded as she pointed at him.

“Come here.” He leaned against the wall, his finger crooked toward himself.

“Please grow up, Malfoy. I’m not going to ‘come here’, so don’t ask,” Hermione said reproachfully.

“I know you won’t, but it doesn’t hurt to ask,” Draco admitted.

“Don’t try to use reverse psychology on me, Mister Malfoy,” she said, walking down the hall. He ran up behind her, and pulled her back toward the ladies room, and then looked around,  saw no one, so he pushed her back in the restroom she had just left.

Pushing her up against the door, he asked, “Do you want to know one of my fantasies?” He started to kiss her neck.

“I’m not spending my wedding night having sex in a woman’s room!” Hermione was appalled. She pushed him away.

“I didn’t say my fantasy was to have sex in a woman’s room. You really have a crude mind, don’t you, Granger, I mean, Mrs. Malfoy.”

“Fine, tell me your fantasy. It won’t come true, I’m sure, but enlighten me,” she said, holding him at arm’s length.

“Okay, it is to have sex in a woman’s room,” he admitted. She pushed him away and started to walk back down the hall to the lifts. He looked dejected and followed.

“Is this one of those no sex honeymoons? Is that a Muggle tradition or something?” he barked as they entered the lift.

As soon as the doors shut, Hermione pushed him up against the wall of the lift, took out her wand, and stopped the elevator cold. He was shocked beyond belief.

She said, “Why must we always do your fantasies? The only one I’ve gotten to come to fruition was the car one.” She kissed him sensually.

He was breathing hard and said, “What? The lifts?” She nodded her head and he said, “My goodness, I really, really love you.”

She pushed him away, and said, “Now who has the dirty mind? The lifts? I swear. I was joking. No, I just want to be alone with you for a moment, to tell you my fantasy.”

“You’re an evil, evil, witch!” Draco almost yelled. “Get me all excited and hard, and tease me, and make me think we’re going to have hot sex in the lifts…I don’t think I love you after all.” He turned from her and folded his arms.

She stood there and waited. He would turn around soon. His curiosity would get the better of him. Any minute. She knew him well. She just had to wait…and then it came.

“Fine, tell me your fucking fantasy!” he moped.

“My fantasy,” Hermione began, coming close to him and putting her arms around his neck, “is to make love on my wedding night, to the man I love, the man I’m going to spend the rest of my days and nights with, the man I intend to have children with, the man who loves me more than anyone else.”

“Goodness, Granger, how many men does that make?” he joked.

She hit his arm, and turned away, but he grabbed her waist, and pulled her back up against his chest, and rested his chin on her shoulder. “I think that sounds like the best fantasy I’ve ever heard. Start the lift so we can commence.” He kissed her cheek. She started the lift.

When they reached their room, Draco took Hermione’s hands and said, “You're the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.”

He said it so seriously. She kissed his lips. He returned her kisses gently, but with passion. They walked hand in hand to the bedroom, and he started to remove her clothes. He took off her blouse and then her skirt. He gently guided her to the bed, where she sat. He put his hand on the back of one knee and removed her shoe. He reached up, brushed his fingers along the top seams of her thigh high stockings, and rolled the first one down. He did the same with the other leg. After he rolled the second stocking down, he kept that leg in his grasp, and kissed her calf, and then her knee, and then her inner thigh.

He gently pushed her back, and as she lay back on the bed, he put one hand on her stomach. The other hand he used to remove her baby blue panties. The ones he bought her for her ‘something blue.’ He opened her legs slightly, so he could bring his body up next to the bed as he kneeled on the floor, and he reached up and put one hand on each breast. He outlined each breast with his fingertips, and rubbed the tips of each bra covered nipples with his thumbs. He reached up for the straps, and pulled them down her arms. She reached behind her back and unclasped the bra. He would soon be sated by the feast that was laid out before him.

She was nervous, how silly. They had made love countless times, but she was shaking. He stood up and undressed. She didn’t take her eyes off him once. He told her, as he was removing his shirt, “This night will be special, Hermione,” and she knew that it would.

He knelt back on the floor, in front of the bed, and put his hands on her hips. He pulled her body closer toward him, so that she was on the edge of the bed. He pushed her legs apart again, and he blew on the tufts of hair that covered her cleft. She laughed. He started kissing her thighs, and he sprinkled kisses across her stomach and hips. He was teasing her. He wanted her to really want him. He wanted to take this slow and to make this last. He laid his cheek on her lower abdomen, and held her by her waist. He let his head rise and fall with the rise and fall of her breathing. Resting his chin on her belly, she was up on her elbows, looking at him. He climbed up her stomach, and sat beside her on the bed. He gently stroked her right breast, with a feathery soft touch, and then her left. He was almost too gentle, too soft. He had yet to touch her areolas or the tips. He was content for the moment in the simple pleasure he was performing, and she was enjoying it, too.

He moved up farther toward the head of the bed. As he did, she moved to her side, and then crawled up his length. It was her turn. She traced the definition of his muscles on his legs, up to his hips and then his groin. She laid both hands flat on his abdomen. She brushed her palms up and down his chest and then across his shoulders and down his arms. It was like she wanted to memorize every inch of him.

As she stroked his body, his hands came up to her breasts, and were tweaking her nipples, gently but firm. She straddled his abdomen, careful to avoid his groin, and bent at the waist and kissed him on the mouth. He opened his mouth to receive her tongue. His hands moved to her lower back, and then her buttocks. She fell to her side, and he moved to his side to face her. They continued to kiss each other, as their hands stroked each other’s bodies. He indicated to her that she needed to lie on her back, so she did. He kissed her stomach. His tongue swirled in her navel and she started giggling and couldn’t seem to stop, even after he stopped. He looked at her amused, and she finally stopped laughing.

“May I continue now, or are you going to keep laughing at me?” he asked.

“It was ticklish, that’s all,” she complained. She then grew silent, to indicate that he should continue. He put one breast in his hand, and kissed the other. He kissed her breast, first one, then the other, never biting, sucking or licking, just kissing, first the nipples, and then the valley between. His kisses alone were enough to make her start to arch her body off the bed, and to shut her eyes in bliss. He loved this part. He loved making her want him.

He put his finger softly between her legs, as he continued to kiss her breasts. He didn’t move that hand for the longest time. It was just there, applying gentle pressure. He kissed her ribs, and her side. He tenderly bit her hip. Finally, as he moved his mouth lower, he started to slightly move his hand. He applied moderate pressure, never more. He didn’t enter his fingers in her. He just kept his open hand on her.

She was starting to move her hips as if she was performing a dance to music that only they could hear. He placed himself strategically between her legs now, and brought her legs up so her knees were bent. He pushed her legs apart and began to tease her with the tip of his tongue. He played with her, kissed her, but was still lingering, keeping her at the brink. He really wanted to make her come more intensely than she ever had, which meant he couldn’t rush a thing. He wanted her to have an endless night of pleasure.

He brought his face back up to hers and kissed her deep and warm. He put his hand down to ease her ache, and this time he did more than apply pressure. His warm fingers teased and taunted her, stroked and caressed, until she was cresting with her first wave of climax. Her hips came up off the bed, and he wasn’t sure he could take it as slow as he originally wanted. He wanted to be inside her, to fill her up. He wanted it, so he took what was rightfully his.

He wanted to cover every inch of her flesh with his. His breathing was erratic and ragged. He needed her now. He put his mouth down on her mouth so hard, that she seemed to growl. He moved between her legs, and he entered her with a swift and hard stroke, and they became virtually one person, his hard muscles on top of her soft ones. She loved when he pressed his hard long body against hers.

He was overwhelmed momentarily with his hunger for her. It consumed him. He buried his head in her neck, and bit her hard, harder than he intended, but she was at that moment biting his shoulder, so he did it as a reflex. He arched his back for the final act, he felt her body clutching his, and as she was calling his name over and over, he released his passion and broke down the final barrier between them, so that they came together for the first time that evening, but not the last.

Afterwards, he cradled her body next to his, and she tenderly stroked her fingers back and forth across his chest. She leaned up on one elbow and stared at him. His eyes were still closed, but he was just spent from their lovemaking, he wasn’t asleep. She kissed his jaw, and then his neck.

He opened his eyes and softly caressed her face. “Go to sleep,” he commanded. He knew he needed sleep, so surely she did as well. She reached down, pulled the covers of the bed over them both, and they fell asleep.

Hermione felt well rested, the next day, all things considering. She sat up and stretched her arms high above her head. She climbed out of the bed, put on her white silk robe, and went to find her husband. He was sitting on the balcony, in a black silk robe, reading Hogwarts, a History.

“This is a fascinating book,” he remarked, not looking up, but making room for her next to him on the chaise lounge. She snuggled close to him and he put one arm around her, and held the book with the other.

“You mean you’ve never read this before?” she asked, incredulously.

“Heavens, no, why would I?” He turned to look at her. “But, I’ve decided something, Mrs. Malfoy,” he said.

She laughed for a second, having him call her ‘Mrs. Malfoy’ amused her, and said, “And what's that, Mr. Malfoy?”

“I’m not giving you this book back,” he said as he continued to read.

“And pray tell, is it really that interesting?” Hermione stared up at his face.

He turned to look at her, closed the book, and put in on the ground by the chair. He pulled her up onto his lap, so she was closer to him, and he wrapped both arms around her. He didn’t answer for a moment, but as she was still staring at his face, he finally looked back at her and said, “I’ve decided that this book war must end. It’s not healthy for us. We can’t always have competition between us. If I keep the book, it will always be a tie.”

He continued to stare at her, trying to be somber and serious, and she said, “That’s not it at all!” She hit his arm and climbed off his lap. She stood by his chair. He came to stand next to her.

“Tell me what you think my reason is then, my little omelet?” He smiled broadly.

She pointed her finger at his chest and said, “One more stupid nickname and I’ll sue you for divorce so fast that your head will spin. I didn’t sign any pre-nuptial agreement, let me remind you. I’ll take you for everything you have!”

“You’re getting woefully off track, my dear little buttercup.” He grabbed her before she could go ballistic again, and hugged her tight. He kissed her to keep her from yelling at him, and said, “Now, tell me why you think I’m keeping the book.”

“You’re afraid I’ll figure out a way to win the book war, and you’re scared, so you would rather call it a draw,” she deduced, looking up at him, and still trying to wiggle from his arms.

“That sounds about right.” He kissed the top of her head and let her go.

He sat back down, picked up the book, and held it up to hand it to her, and said, “It’s our honeymoon, so let’s not fight. Come and sit beside me and read to me from my book.” She took the book and sat back down beside him.

“It’s really still my book, you know,” she snapped.

“If you say so.” He smiled as he hugged her tight. “But, if that’s the case, then I win, because I just gave the book to you, and you just took it from me, and accepted it as your own. Let’s not worry about that now, just read to me. I didn’t get much sleep last night. Maybe the sound of your voice droning on and on will put me to sleep. I know it usually does.”

She glared at him for a moment, called him “Idiot”, but then opened the book to the first page and started to read. He pinched her once, but then he held her tight in his arms, and listened to every word.

~*~The End~*~

Unless you want to read the Epilogue and the postscript, which are chapters 32 and 33, of course.

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