A Marriage Most Convenient

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Chapter 42: Memories…light the corners of my mind


One man’s way may be as good as another, but we all like our own way the best.” – Jane Austen.


I’ve waited for her to make up her mind as to whether or not she loves me. I’m not going to wait much longer. Pretty soon, I’ll have to make up her mind for her.” – James Potter.


James Potter has spent half of his life telling me what to do and I’ve spent half of my life ignoring him and doing whatever I’ve wanted. The only difference now is that what he’s telling me to do just happens to be what I want to do, so there.” – Alice Malfoy


Nobody tells my little girl what to do, especially a Potter.” – Draco Malfoy.


Oh, I would so love to see Alice and James together someday. They love each other so much, and if they married, Harry would finally be related to me! That’s my fondest wish – since I couldn’t marry Harry, at least I want to be related to him somehow!” – Hermione Granger Malfoy


What the bloody hell did my wife mean by that remark? If Harry Potter is related to us someday, I think I might kill myself. Or him. Or Hermione. Probably him.” – Draco Malfoy.


All I meant was that I’ve loved Harry all my life like a brother, so it would be wonderful to be related, because we would share grandchildren someday. Now, Draco, stop taking up all the introduction space and let the paragraph begin.” – Hermione Granger Malfoy.


Well, I hate his very being, and I refuse to share air with him, let alone a grandchild, and by the way, why don’t you stop taking up all the space!” – Draco Malfoy.


I love you too, Malfoy.” – Harry Potter.


I’m going to be sick.” – Draco Malfoy.


**Laughter** - Hermione, Harry, Alice and James


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“Where’s Alice?” Hermione asked her husband as she joined him and his parents in the foyer to greet their guests.


“My father said she had a fashion emergency,” Draco lied. His father never said any such thing. His father wouldn’t know a ‘fashion emergency’ if it came up and bit him on his arse.


What his father really told him was that Alice went upstairs to use the memory charm that was placed on her old ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’ book, to see if James Potter and she were meant to be. Draco didn’t even know such a charm existed on the book. He knew about the time turner aspect of the book, which the older Potter used many years ago to ensure that Draco and Hermione could wed, but this was a new development.


He didn’t want his wife to worry, however, so he lied.


“What kind of fashion emergency?” she asked, “And seriously, I cannot imagine your father using those words in a sentence. He probably wouldn’t know what a fashion emergency was if it came up and bit him on his arse.”


“Are you calling me a liar?” Draco asked. A man walked in front of them at that point and poked Draco in the chest.


“I’m calling you a liar,” Harry Potter said. He leaned over and kissed Hermione’s cheek.


Draco looked at the man. “Hey, that hurt and why are you calling me a liar? You don’t even know what we’re talking about, Potter!” Draco snapped.


“It hardly matters,” Harry regarded with a shrug. “I will always think of you as a liar, a cheat, a scoundrel, a hypocrite, a bigot, and a prejudiced, no good, stinking Slytherin.”

“I don’t stink!” Draco yelped.


Harry and Hermione laughed. Harry took Hermione off to the side and said, “That’s the part he objects to, the stinking aspect? By the way, where’s our birthday girl?”


“I was trying to ascertain that information, but my lying husband lied to me, and won’t tell me,” she said in a stage whisper. She really wanted Draco to hear her.


He gave her a rude hand gesture behind his back. She pulled out her wand and sent a stinging hex at his bum. He was shaking Marcus Flint’s hand at that moment and he yelped in pain.


Hermione and Harry laughed again.


Hermione took Harry’s hand and pulled him into the parlor, away from the receiving line, which led the guests to the ballroom. She pulled shut the doors and said, “James mentioned to me that you invited Cassandra tonight.”


“Yes, well, she is visiting us this weekend, and it would have been rude not to include her. I mean, you surely don’t mind, do you?” Harry asked.


Hermione looked as if she was in pain. She motioned to the sofa and sat down, followed by Harry. “Harry, sometimes I wonder about you. Did that scar on your head scramble your brain cells? Are you dense? Haven’t you ever noticed that your son is in love with my daughter?”


“Of course I’ve noticed,” he answered, “plus there’s the fact that he’s told everyone that he’s loved her since he was five or six years old.” Harry laughed.


“Then why did you invite his girlfriend, you idiot!” she practically shouted.


“Hermione, Hermione, Hermione,” Harry waned, “unlike Malfoy, I object to being called names. I am neither an idiot nor dense, nor did my scar scramble my brain cells. You think you’re the only smart one around here, don’t you?”


“Of course I do, and what’s that have to do with anything?” she laboured.


“Need I remind you that you wouldn’t even be married to that dumb blonde you call a husband, if it wasn’t for me?” he said in fake disdain.


“Using the book was your idea, but the execution of it was Ron’s, need I remind you, scarboy,” she joked. “Really, Harry, how is inviting James’ girlfriend to Alice’s birthday party smart?”


“I have a plan,” he said. “Don’t worry.”


“Oh!” she groaned. “Harry, please, don’t interfere!”


“Listen, I’m going to let you in on a little secret, if you promise not to tell James that I told you,” Harry prodded.


“What?” she asked, suspiciously.


“He loves Cassandra,” he said.


She looked as if she was in actual pain. She lowered her head to her knees and said, “My poor little girl!” She sat up, picked up a throw pillow beside her and hit him over the head with it. Then she hit him again. He put his hand up, but not before she hit him a third time. “You,” hit with pillow, “are,” hit harder with pillow, “not,” hit harder still with pillow, “smart,” upper cut to the chin (even if it was with a pillow) “at all!” hit, hit, HIT!


Draco took that moment to open the doors to the parlor. As he was closing it behind him he said, “Don’t hit him with a bloody pillow. Use your wand. It’ll cause so much more damage.”


Hermione was still hitting Harry (who was covering his head with his arms), with the pillow as Draco walked toward them. Harry finally took the pillow from her hands and he threw it across the room. He took Hermione’s hands in his and held them tightly and said, “Stop it, Hermione! If you would let me finish, I would have said that he loves her the way that I love you. Do you understand now? I love you, Hermione. Get it? The way that I love you.”


Draco almost threw up on the spot. “Gads, go get the pillow again and hit him another good one, Love.” Draco said to Hermione, then turning to Harry he shouted, “And don’t ever say you love my wife and get your effing paws off her, Pothead.” He grabbed Hermione’s hands from Harry’s and pulled her to stand beside him.


He placed her face in his hands and he said, “Are you alright? He didn’t get too many Potter germs on you did he? Did he kiss you? Please tell me he didn’t kiss you, because if he did, I will never be able to kiss you again, lest we scour your lips with Muggle antiseptic first.”


He pushed Hermione behind his back, drew his wand and said, “And what the hell, Potter? Why are you telling my wife that you love her?”


“It’s alright, Draco,” Hermione said, coming to his side, and lowering Draco’s wand hand. Harry was still trying to straighten his hair from being hit with the pillow and Hermione added, “Sorry for hitting you Harry, and also, I’m afraid nothing really helps your hair.” She reached up and tried to smooth down his unruly black hair. She took his hand and pulled him a step away from her husband, who still had his wand in his hand, and she said, “Now, for clarification, are you saying that James and Cassandra are only friends?”


“Yes, very good friends, but just friends,” Harry said with a grin. “I know I told Alice last night that she was his girlfriend, and believe me, when James and Cassie arrived home from Uni this morning and I told James what I had done, at first, he was furious with me, but then he understood my dastardly plan.”


Draco sat down, after pocketing his wand and sputtered, “Huh, dastardly plan indeed, no good, goody-too-shoes Gryffindor wouldn’t know a dastardly plan if one was spelled out for him.”


Hermione looked bemused and asked, “How can someone be a no good, goody-too-shoes?”


“Shut up,” Draco said, pulling her arm and forcing her to sit next to him. “Don’t you see, Hermione, your bastard of a best friend has intentionally caused our little girl pain and I for one won’t stand for it! At least my father had her best interest at heart when he suggested that she use the memory charm on her old book so that she could see what James really feels for her.”


“What memory charm?” Hermione asked.


“My father claims that the book Ingrid left her can recreate certain memories, making sure that the person seeing the memory not only sees it from their own point of view, but they’ll be privy to what others in the memory saw as well. She’ll have a chance to look back at three different memories so that she can see how much scarhead’s boy has loved her over the years.” He glared up at Harry and said, “Scarhead would be you, you bastard.”


“I got that,” Harry spat back.


Hermione bit her lip for a moment and said, “But Draco, Harry did it to help them, not to hurt them. Alice is insecure, and it seems to me that what Harry did prompted Alice to go to your father, which he then in turn revealed this memory charm, which I had never heard about, so in a way, they worked in perfect tandem.”


Draco leaned back, looked up at the ceiling and moaned. “Can’t you try to hate Potter senior, just a tiny little bit, just for me, just for a second or two, in the name of all that is holy, for your only daughter?” He spread his hands out, palms up, and placed them on the sofa beside his legs. He continued, “I mean…I’ll try to accept Potter Junior, if you will give hating Potter Senior a try.” He looked at her and said, “You might find that you like it.”


Harry laughed and said, “I’ll leave you two alone.” He walked out the door, closing it behind him.


Hermione leaned over, picked up one of Draco’s hands, and kissed his cheek. “I can’t hate Harry, but if you’d like, when we’re alone in bed tonight, we can role play and I’ll pretend that I hate Harry, anyway that you wish.”


That got his attention.


He perked up and looked at Hermione. “Can we pretend that I’m the best looking, richest, smartest, most talented wizard in the world, who just defeated the evil, disfigured, disgusting, cupboard loving, Potter, and you’re his former best friend who decides that you hate him now, and you would rather have hot sex with me, than spend one more day, nay, one more second in his presence?” He wiggled his eyebrows and then smirked.


“I thought you said you wanted to have a fantasy,” she said slyly, looking at him under her lashes. “That, Draco my dear, is reality.” She kissed him again and stood up, pulling him to stand.


“I love you, Hermione,” he said sincerely. He placed one hand in her hair, and said, “You’re still the most breathtaking woman on this planet.”


“And you’re the only man I’ll ever be in love with, even if I do love my friends, I’m in love with you,” she reasoned. She rounded his lip with her index finger and then stood on tiptoes and kissed him again. He pulled her closer, hands around her waist, and deepened the kiss.


Standing with her head on his chest, he said, “I have a real fantasy we can play later, when all the morons go home.”

She didn’t lift her head, but she said, “What?”


“Let’s recreate the night our Alice was conceived.” She looked up at him, surprised. He said, “I’ve always relived that moment in my head, and I would frankly like to relive it in real life.”

“I think that would be outstanding, Mr. Malfoy.” She smiled, took his hand and they left the room together.


Meanwhile, up on the third floor, Alice was reading the rather lengthy explanation of how the memory charm on the book worked. It was written in a sort of code, which only revealed itself after she said the inscription written by Ingrid three times. It took her a while to figure it out, but when she did, she discovered that apparently, she was allowed to look at only three memories and then the charm on the book would cease. She closed her eyes to think of the best three memories to pick.


Unbeknownst to her, James Potter had borrowed his father’s invisibility cloak that evening, and he had slipped into the room while she was busy reading how to use the charm. He walked from his place by the door, and stood on the other side of the bed, beside the windows, facing her. He hoped this would work. If not, he would shake her hard, and tell her that she simply had to love him as much as he loved her, or else.


Unbeknownst to him, Alice Malfoy already knew that she loved him. What she didn’t know, was if he still loved her.


She sat on the old, narrow, canopy bed, in the old nursery, her back toward the door, and concentrated on the three memories. She wanted to know if James had loved her during school, when he had acted horrible toward her, and if he had loved her after he graduated…after she rejected him.


She finally placed the book beside her, stood up, and said aloud, “I have my three memories. The school dance where James ripped my dress, that time he teased me into riding on the broom with him and I fell off and broke my collarbone, and this past Christmas.” She sighed, closed her eyes, and said the incantation.


James reached out and touched her shoulder at the same time, and together, they entered the book.

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