A Marriage Most Convenient

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Chapter 36: A Cute Little Chapter of Conversations if I do Say so, Myself:

"I am afraid that the pleasantness of a conversation does not always evince its propriety." – Jane Austen

I love just sitting and talking to my wife. I never thought I would be someone who would enjoy a good conversation over a good shag, but there you go, wonders never cease.” – Draco Malfoy

Sometimes it’s better to say something that is nothing, than to say nothing that is something. In other words, it’s the simple things in which we speak that means the most.” – Hermione Granger


A Conversation between Hermione & Draco during their reception:

“Can you believe it’s over?” Hermione asked Draco, leaning closer from her chair beside him at their table. She placed her head on his shoulder. He smiled.

“You mean the wedding?”

“I mean the drama. I mean the unpleasantness. Now we can get on with the important things in life, which are the little, normal things,” she elaborated. “Things like taking long walks, family picnics, taking Alice to preschool, holding hands in the park, talking after making love.”

“I can see myself doing several of those things, and a few at the same time,” he joked. He brought her hand up to his mouth and kissed her wrist. He sighed. “Look at little Alice. She’s entertaining half the room. I feel unprepared to handle her. I wish we could remain here in the safety of Whitehall forever.”

“What an odd thing to wish,” Hermione expressed. She removed her hand from his and turned in her seat. She asked, “Would you like your wedding gift now?”

He made a funny face. “Listen, Granger, I mean, Hermione,” he laughed, “I thought and thought and thought, really hard, about what to get you, wanting to make it special and all, and I came up with nothing. Nothing was good enough for you, so since I didn’t get you anything, please, don’t give me anything.”

“I have to,” she said. “I think I have two things to give to you now, anyway, but I have to wait for one of them, to be sure, but I have the other one out in the hall.” She stood up, walked over to one of the servers, and whispered something in his ear. The man walked away with Hermione, only to walk back a few moments later with something large in his hands. He followed Hermione back to the head table, at the front of the ballroom. Quite a few people were watching them, but most were still dancing or eating.

“You can sit it there.” Hermione pointed in front of Draco.

Draco looked at the large box, wrapped in white paper, tied with a silver ribbon and bow. She placed her hand on his shoulder, sat down beside him and said, “These are very hard to come by, but your father had one, and he gave it to me to give to you. It took me several nights to think up enough things to fill it.”

Now he was beyond curious. He began to open the package, and after he removed ribbons, bows, papers and the package, he examined the small stone basin and smiled widely. “A Pensieve,” he said.

She moved from her seat and sat on his lap. “I filled some vials with as many good memories of Alice growing as I could. I tried very hard not to include any with Kevin, but he was there for a few of the important times, so he’s there in a couple, and of course, Ingrid’s in many of them, so I thought Alice could use it someday, when she’s older, to remember her.” She reached inside the empty vessel and handed him another box.

“In here are all the vials with the memories. You know what to do with them,” she explained. “I wish I could give you more. At least we have a lifetime together to make new memories.” She placed her hand on his cheek. He placed his hands around her waist, one went to her back, the other to the back of her neck. “I wish I could turn back time, but I can’t.”

“You could have if Potter hadn’t used that book to get rid of Phillipa, although that worked out well for us,” he concluded. He pulled her close and kissed her. “Hell, I wish I had given you something now.”

Hermione turned slightly in his lap, and pointed across the room. “You gave me the best gift of all.”

She pointed to Alice.

A Conversation between Lucius and Narcissa:

“Where did you go?” Lucius asked as Narcissa sat back down at the long table at the front of the ballroom. “Hermione just gave Draco his gift and you missed it.”

“I had something important to do,” she said. She picked up her cloth napkin and folded it on the table.

“What did you do?” Lucius asked, watching her intently.

“I’ll tell you later,” she said. She picked up the napkin again, shook it out, and refolded it.

“What’s wrong?” he asked. He had known this woman for almost forty years, since they were children, and he knew when something was wrong. She started to refold the napkin a third time, when he placed his hand upon hers, stilling the movement. He left his hand there.

She liked the way his hand felt on hers. She looked up into his eyes. “You know, the first time I met you, when I was just a girl, I knew I wanted to marry you.”

“Do tell,” he said in a haughty tone. He lifted her hand from the table and placed it on his leg, still tightly clasped in his. “You were a mere girl of eleven. I remember the day you entered school, and you were, of course, sorted into Slytherin. Your sister Bella was worried, because the year before Andromeda was sorted into Hufflepuff, but I knew just by looking at you that you were no Hufflepuff.”

The both laughed.

“I had a massive crush you on,” she said. “You were three years older, and so handsome, and everyone looked up to you.”

“True, I ruled Slytherin. I ruled the school,” he bragged. “I eventually began to notice you in a different way, too, Cissy. I think it was the Halloween dance when I was in seventh year, and you were in fourth. I was seventeen and you were fourteen. You were the prettiest girl at the dance, and you went to the dance with some Ravenclaw, and I was jealous.”

She looked down. “Really?”

He let go of her hand and placed his forefinger and thumb under her chin. “Really,” he answered back, drawing her face up to his. “I think you took that git to the dance merely to make me jealous, and it worked.”

“And after that, you asked your father to ask my father to arrange our marriage,” she said with a smile. “And you began to court me, and we married two days after I finished school, when I was only seventeen years old. I was too young to marry. I got pregnant right away, and had Draco ten months later, right after I turned eighteen. I was too young.”

“Do tell,” he repeated from earlier.

“Yes, I was,” she said seriously. He still had her chin, and she moved her face to the side to release his hold. He moved his hand down slowly. “I didn’t even know who I was, let alone know what I wanted in life. Everything was thrust upon me. I had no choice in any of it, and that wasn’t right.”

“So you regret marrying me?” He sat back in his seat, folded his arms across his chest, and waited for her answer.

She looked back down. She picked up the napkin again. He grabbed it from her and threw it on the floor. “Forget the blasted napkin and answer me, Narcissa.”

“Remember when Mr. Potter was telling us about Ingrid’s book and I said that I had a similar one that was left to me?” she asked.

He drew in a steady breath. Was she ever going to answer his question? Did it matter? They were no longer married, so her answer was a moot point anyway. “I recall the book.”

“I have it here at Whitehall. I mean, I apparated to my house in London and brought it here before we all came into the reception,” she explained. “And just now, when I was gone, I used it.”

He sat upright. He placed his hand on her arm, and pulled her slightly closer. He wasn’t hurting her, but he held tight. He said in hushed tones, “What do you mean you used it? What have you done?”

“I was thinking about that damn will,” she began. “It caused so many problems. It made Draco so unhappy, and it hung over his head for so long.”

“But that’s all taken care of now,” he reasoned, bewildered.

She turned in her chair to face him, twisting her arm from his grasp. She took both his hands in hers and said, “But the will is still in place, and someday, it will haunt our little Alice the same way it haunted Draco. Don’t you see, Lucius? The will states that all male heirs must marry by age thirty, but you said it yourself, there’s a clause that says all females heirs, to inherit, must marry by age twenty-five.”

He understood her concern. He brought her hands together, clasped them in one of his, and stroked her cheek with his other hand. He cupped it and said, “Oh, Cissy, you didn’t need to fix that for her. We would have found some other way. You mean you felt that trapped by our marriage, that desperate, that you used your one and only chance at turning back time by fixing that damn will, just because you were afraid that Alice might someday feel the same way?”

Lucius wished he could curse his great, great, great grandfather!

She shook her head no. She removed her hands from his and placed them over her face. She ran from the ballroom. Lucius looked around, saw that no one really noticed her lack of decorum, and he followed. She stood out in the hallway, with her back to him.

“I’m sorry you regret marrying me,” he said, but without spite or anger. He was sorry, for her. He wasn’t sorry for himself. Marrying her and having his son was the best two things he had ever done in his life.

He placed a hand on her shoulder and leaned closer to her. She felt the warmth of his body against her back. His breath was warm on her cheek as he spoke softly in her ear.

“If I could have used that book, I would have used it to somehow mend our relationship. Perhaps I would have made it so that I hadn’t gone to prison. I know I couldn’t have really used it to not become a Death Eater, even though that’s my biggest regret.” He stopped talking for a moment and he did what he wanted to do…he kissed her neck, by her ear.

She turned her face slightly to look at him. She placed her back against the wall. He stood in front of her, and placed his hand by her head, on the wall. He leaned closer and said, “Or I would have used it to make it so that our divorce wasn’t legal, and you would still be mine. I will love you until the day I die, Cissy, and I don’t want to ever let you go, but I think I’m finally selfless enough to know that if I really love you,” he leaned even closer, his mouth near hers, “I mean, really love you, I would let you go. So go, Cissy. Go. I love you enough to tell you to go.” He placed his mouth on hers and kissed her lips softly, with a soft, but lingering kiss.

She placed her arms around his waist, her cheek against his chest and she began to cry. He enveloped her in his arms. “Don’t cry. It’ll be okay.”

“No, it won’t,” she mumbled against his chest. She looked up at him. “I wish I was as selfless as you. I wish I had thought of others before myself.”

He felt confused. “What are you talking about now?”

“I wanted to go back, and somehow change that will, so that our precious little Alice would have a choice someday, and not feel pressured to marry, but then I thought, everything worked out, didn’t it? I mean, our marriage wasn’t that bad. We loved each other, and though I would have liked to have had more children, we had Draco, and he’s a wonderful son.”

Lucius nodded, still confused, but hopeful.

“And everything worked out for Hermione and Draco in the end. They finally found each other, and whether it was luck or destiny or divine intervention, it doesn’t matter, because they’re happy and together,” she concluded.

Lucius couldn’t contain his smile. He held her tighter.

“And who’s to say that Alice won’t find happiness and love by age twenty-five? If she doesn’t find it on her own, we’ll give her a push in the right direction,” Narcissa said.

“Please, I’m tired of asking this, give an old man a break and answer my question,” he pleaded, “what did you do?”

“You’re not that old,” she frowned. “I’m only 47 and your only,” before she could say it he placed a hand over her mouth.

“WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE BOOK?” he practically shouted.

“Let’s put it this way,” she said, looking a bit contemplative, “I took a cue from Mr. Weasley, and there might have been another clerical error, and I believe on Monday morning, if you contact your solicitors again, they’ll tell you that our original divorce papers were never filed, and that for all intents and purposes, we’ve been married all these years, and are, in fact, still married.”

She hunched her shoulders, and waited for his response.

He let her go. He stood and stared at her, shocked.

“Well?” she asked. “Did I do the right thing, Lucius? Please, tell me I did the right thing. Tell me you still want to be my husband.”

He began to smile, and as the smile grew larger, he took her hand and drew her to him and then he kissed her again. Holding her in his arms, he looked down at her and said, “Let’s go celebrate. We’ll tell Draco that his mother and father are no longer divorced. It can be his wedding present.”

“I thought you bought them a vacation home in Italy for a present,” she said.

“Well, we might want to keep that for ourselves now. I think we need another honeymoon,” he said slyly. He took her hand, kissed it, and then walked with her back to the ballroom.

A Conversation between James Potter and Alice Malfoy, ages 5 ½ and 4

Alice crawled under one of the round tables and she saw James Potter under there as well, eating some cake. “Are you hiding?” she asked the older child.

“Yes,” he answered.

“From me?” she asked.

“No, from my stupid little brother. He’s so loud. He was screaming because he wanted my cake, when he already ate his own cake,” James explained. He held up his fork and said, “You can have a bite, though, if you want.”

“Thanks.” She took the fork from him and took a bite. She handed it back. “Did you see my mummy and daddy dancing just now?”

“No, I was under the table,” he said plainly. He took another large bite of cake. He dropped some crumbs on his little suit. He brushed them away.

Alice thought he was a nice boy. She said, “Are you my friend?”

“Sure,” he answered. “I mean, I better be, since I’m going to marry you someday.”

Alice giggled. She moved closer to him and said, “You aren’t going to marry me someday. Don’t be silly.”

“Yes, I really am, I decided it and when I decide something, it happens,” he elucidated.

She poked her finger in his cake icing and then stuck it in her mouth and said, “Well, good luck with that, but I don’t think I ever want to get married. Weddings are too noisy and there are too many people. I’m going to go find a quiet place to go talk to my dragon. He’s at a table with your Uncle George. Bye, James. Thanks for the bite of cake.”

She crawled out from under the table. He moved to his knees, pushed aside the long, white tablecloth and watched as she skipped over to a table where his Uncle George sat. She asked for her dragon, he handed it to her, and then she went over to a corner and sat down. He smiled. He was definitely going to marry her someday.

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