Just Pretend

Just Pretend

Here is the last chapter. It is the longest chapter I have ever done for this , but I couldn't bring myself to divide it. Enjoy and let me know what you think. Translations will be at the end of the chapter, otherwise I would spoil the story.

Usual disclaimers apply.

Hermione walked down the aisle looking at all the friends and family that were watching her. She saw the faces of her two best friends that where more like brothers to her. They were happy for her because they thought she was really in love. During all this time Ron, Harry and Draco had become somewhat friends. She knew they had done for her, to see her happy. She saw Pansy and Ginny smiling at her from their places near the altar and across from their husbands. They had been a great help and she envied their happiness. She envied them in a good way for they made her brothers happy. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had tears in their eyes. She knew that she was like a daughter to them. She also looked at them as her second parents. They were there for her when her parents had died. She then looked at Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. She was not very close to Lucius since she barely talked to him but she did admire him. To Narcissa on the other hand she was able to get close. It was hard not to since she was the one that made all the preparations for this wedding possible. She was a great woman that she began love like another mother. Looking at all the people that love her, all being here sharing this moment with her made her keep going. Finally, she looked at Draco. He stood waiting for her down the aisle. He looked regal in his wedding robes of black and silver. He was the picture of perfection.

This was her dream wedding in all sense of the word. She had always wanted to marry the man she loved. She knew she loved him. Had admitted to herself a few weeks ago. She looked at his eyes to see if she could find something in them that would tell her that they were doing the right thing. What she saw in them made her doubt everything. As she got closer to him, she could clearly see that he was not really looking at her. It is as if he wanted all this to be over with and forget about it all. She knew then that this was not right. She also knew that he would never back down from their agreement. His pride would prevent him from stopping all this. She couldn't back away either, but would they be happy once this was all over? Could he ever learn to love her as she loved him? Could she really in good conscious risk both their happiness? She did love him and for that reason alone he deserved to be happy. If the only way for him to be happy was for him to be with someone else then so be it.

"I'm sorry, I can't do this." Hermione whispered before the ceremony could start.

Everyone was shocked at this turn of events. All where confused by her actions. Narcissa grabbed on to her husband for support. Lucius looked wide-eyed at her.

"Mia…" Draco was shocked and reached out to her pleadingly.

"No, please." She took a step away from him with tears filling her eyes.

"Hermione what is wrong?" Ginny, her maid of honor asked concerned.

She turned to look at everyone gathered to witness her marriage. Tears ran freely down her cheeks. Pain filled her heart for what she, they had done. Everyone believed they were marrying for love, but it was all a lie. A lie that she could not allow to continue. She could not deceive them any longer. She could not hurt them like this; it was not in her to do it.

"Forgive me, please. I never wanted this to happen. I should have realized…" She sobbed and turned to look at Draco. "I can't do this to you. I can't allow this to continue."

Draco widened his eyes in comprehension. "Mia, no. don't do this."

"I'm sorry." She turned to leave.

"No." Draco pulled her to him. "Don't do it, you'll be banished."

Hermione closed her eyes remembering her conversation with her friends.

***** FLASHBACK

"We are so happy that you found some one that loves you."

"Yes, we thought we would never have you in our lives. You were so determined to leave in order to escape the law." Ginny smiled.

"It is a good thing that both you and Draco finally admitted that you cared for each other." Pansy commented from behind the dressing room door.

"Even in Hogwarts we could all see the attraction between you two. It was only a matter of time before it evolved to something more." Ginny came out wearing a bright yellow a line dress.

"That is awful." Hermione cringed at the sight, which made Ginny laugh.

"Ok, so not this one, I'm going to try the other one."

"I have to admit that when we first found out about you two, it was a shock. I mean, who could believe that the Gryffindor Princess would fall for the Slytherine Prince, even if the all the sings where there?" Pansy came out of the dressing room wearing a beautiful emerald gown.

"Pansy, that is absolutely gorgeous on you." Hermione praised. "Come on girls can we talk about something else?" She did not like the way the conversation was going.

"You know," Ginny came out and looked at Pansy. "If I had not seen how you two treat each other, I would think that it was all a sham to avoid the marriage law."

Her statement alarmed Hermione. "What?"

"I thought the same thing. I mean, I could believe that Draco would do something like that he is Slytherine after all. Then I thought about you Hermione and I knew that you would never be part of such a scheme. Your Gryffindor heart would never allow you to do that." Pansy smiled at her.

Hermione smiled back a little nervously. "Of course not, I wouldn't be able to hurt you all like that."

"That is right; our Hermione does things because she feels them. If she didn't love him and he loved her in return than she would not marry him." Ginny stated confidently.

*****END FLASHBACK

"Please forgive me." She whispered and broke free of Draco's grasp and ran.

"Hermione!" Draco, Ron and Harry ran after her.

Everyone was stunned. They could not understand why she ran. Pansy and Ginny tried to calm everyone. Even though they themselves did not know what was going on. Narcissa and Lucius shared a look. They looked at Dumbledore and nodded. Lucius and Dumbledore quietly followed the boys and Hermione. Narcissa took charge of the situation and guided everyone to the ballroom.

Hermione ran towards the end of the garden as tears ran down her cheeks. She could hear them screaming for her to stop. She was nearing the one place where there were no protection charms, she touched the bracelet on her left wrist and it turned back to her wand. Draco saw her take out her wand, and tried to run faster. He could not believe she would do this to him, to them.

"Mione, stop! Why are you doing this?" Harry yelled after her.

"Mione, stop or we'll force you to stop!" Ron demanded.

"Mia!" Draco desperately yelled.

She stopped when she got to the right place and turned to face them. Harry, Ron and Draco stopped a few feet away from her. They made a semi circle around her with Harry on the right, Ron on the left and Draco in the middle. There was sadness in her eyes that concerned them. It was as if she was looking at them for the last time. There were tears falling from her eyes without restraint.

"Mione?" Harry reached out to her.

"I'm sorry!" She took a step back away from his reach. "This wasn't supposed to happen. I wasn't supposed to feel this way!" She covered her face with her hands as she cried more.

"Mione calm down, we are here to help you. Come on tell us what is wrong." Ron looked at her pleadingly.

"I never should have agreed to this!"

"Mione, what are you talking about?" Harry was concerned for her.

"Mia, think about this. If you do this it will all be over." He stepped closer to her. "Don't do it, you can not give up now. We have come too far to loose now."

"Draco, I can't do this to you," She looked at him sadly. "You have the right to find happiness."

"Hermione, what are you talking about? You two love each other."

"No Ron!" She lashed out. "That is a lie! A pretense! It was not real! It was pretend! Just pretend!" She cried and fell to her knees.

Ron and Harry stared at her shocked at the outburst. Draco looked away from them all. The secret was out, now they all would know what was really going on. He did not want to look at them.

"Ms. Granger?" Hermione gasped and looked up to see Dumbledore and Lucius on either side of Draco.

"Dumbledore, Lucius, I'm sorry." She whispered.

"Do you realize that what you have just said could bring serious consequences?" Dumbledore looked at her sadly.

"Think about this Miss Granger. You can still go back." Lucius saw the sadness and determination in her eyes.

"It would hurt so much." She shook her head.

"Mione we have all seen you together. You can't say that all those googlie eyes you made at each other were all an act!" Ron tried to reason with her.

"Draco, tell her that she is wrong. Tell her that it is all real. That you do feel something for her." Harry looked at Draco desperately trying to see if what she said was true.

"Dear child, we could salvage all this. You don't have to…"

"No, I can't do it anymore!" She cut Dumbledore off. "Do you not understand? I have lied to you all!" She stood up. "I will accept the consequences of my actions. I cannot lie anymore! I don't want to hurt all the people that I love anymore." She raised her wand as if offering it to the gods.

"Mione, what are you doing?" Ron took a step towards her.

"What I should have done from the beginning. Please don't try to stop me. This is for the best." She closed her eyes and took a deep calming breath. "Aufero totus veneficus quod scientia."1. Her wand started to glow.

"What is she doing?" Harry knew this was not good.

"She is renouncing her magical powers and with it her place in our world." Dumbledore responded sadly.

"We have to do something! We can't let her do this." Ron tried to run to her.

"No, she has to be the one to stop on her own. If we interfere she might loose control and that would be worse." Lucius put out a hand to stop him. "Miss Granger think about this. Think of all the people that you are leaving behind."

"I have made my choice." She looked at Draco who turned away from her. Tears gathered in her eyes as she looked back at Lucius. "Un rependo diligo est valde dolens. Succurro illum reperio gaudium."2

Lucius was startled by the emotion in her words. He was not aware that she could speak the ancient language outside of spells. He was sure hat only he and Dumbledore were able to understand her message. He gave her a small nod to let her know he understood and would carry out her request.

Harry tried to get Draco to stop her. "Draco do something! Do not let her go! Tell her that she is wrong, tell her the truth!"

"The truth, the truth! She is telling the truth!" He turned and glared at her. "I should have known better than to trust you! We had a deal! Everything was going according to plan! Now you do this! Why?"

"Draco please try to understand." She pleaded.

"No! I cannot understand your reasoning. It was an agreement! A pact for you to stay with your friends and for me to be free! What ever everyone thought we had was not real! I have never felt anything for you! It was as you said, just pretend!"

"So be it." She closed her eyes and poured all her magic to her wand. "Vigoratus meus poena pro huic universitas ego non subsisto! 3"

A silvery glow covered her and her wand. All her magic and knowledge of the wizarding world was pouring into her wand. Everything that made her a great witch was contained within and turned her wand into a crystal.

"Volo ut satus interrum." 4 She let go of her wand and it floated in front of her. A small tendril of magic touched her forehead. A single tear made it's way down her cheek as her life and memories in the wizarding world were erased and replaced with muggle ones.

Dumbledore watched with great sadness. He could hear her friends desperately trying to stop her. Their pain as they saw their sister sacrifice her life for another. This only showed how truly powerful and selfless she was. He would guard her crystal wand until it would be time to give it back.

Lucius understood the reasoning behind her actions. He had been aware of their deception. Almost from the beginning, he had suspected that something was not right. One night Narcissa had confirmed his suspicions. This now proves what they had feared all along. Hermione fell in love with their son and was willing to risk her happiness in order for his son to find it.

Hermione opened her eyes and looked at Draco before the last of her memories were taken. He was still glaring at her. She could see anger and betrayal in his eyes, which made her heart ache painfully.

"Please forgive me." She whispered. "I love you Draco." After she said that, she disappeared.

"No! Hermione!" Harry and Ron cried.

Draco had widened his eyes upon hearing her last words. He was frozen in place no paying attention to what was happening around him. Millions of thought floated in and out of his head. He could not believe that she had done this.

Dumbledore carefully took the crystal wand and put a protective spell on it. He turned back to the men that were in various states of shock and pain for the loss of a dear friend.

"This has turned out to be a sad day for us all. Let us go back, for there are explanations to be made." Dumbledore made his way back followed by Ron and Harry.

Lucius approached his son. "Draco are you alright?"

"How could she do this to me? Why did she do it? Why did she leave if she loves me?" He tried to understand her reasons but was coming up blank.

"That is precisely why she did it. That is the only answer that I am able to give you. Any other answers are gone with her. This was her choice. Now come, there are those that will wonder what happened."

Lucius practically dragged Draco back. He was still dazed from all that happened. As they arrived at the ballroom only close friends and family was waiting for them along with the minister of magic. The rest of the guests had already left.

"Where is she?" Pansy looked at the men in front of her.

Dumbledore showed the crystal wand to everyone. There were gasps all around when they realized what that meant. Ron hugged Pansy and both cried for their lost sister. Harry and Ginny did the same thing. Narcissa looked at Lucius and knew what had happened. Mr. Weasley tried to console his wife.

"Albus, she renounced her life in the wizarding world. I never thought she was powerful enough to do this on her own. Let alone be able to capture her power in her wand." The minister said in awe.

"All her power, knowledge and memories are here." He looked at the wand sadly. "I have only known of one person powerful enough to do this. That person was the greatest wizard to have ever lived."

"Only Merlin himself would have been able to do this." The minister nodded.

"Draco are you alright?" Narcissa saw how shocked he was.

"She is gone. She is really gone." He whispered.

"Why did she do it? Why did she leave?" Ginny cried on her husband.

Draco looked around him. The look in all their eyes said it all. Mia had been right; they had hurt a lot of people. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He could not forget how she looked as she disappeared. The sadness and pain in her eyes when he said he did not love her. That was all a lie. He did in fact love her but was too much of a coward to admit it. Now they all needed and explanation.

"Everyone there is something you must all know." He sighed. As soon as he had everyone's attention he explain the agreement that had started all this.

Everyone listened to his explanation with a mixture of sadness and anger. Most were just too shocked by everything to even respond. All that looked at him would know that this was probably as painful for him to say it as it was for them to hear it. They could all see that even if it had all started as a sham it had become real. Somewhere along the way, they had really fallen in love with each other. However, knowing how stubborn both were, they also knew that they had said nothing to each other. This is what made all this even more painful for everyone. They could all see the heartbreak in his eyes.

Draco looked at them all with regret. "I'm sorry. It was all Just Pretend."

The End…..

Here is the translation for all Hermione said during the spell casting.

1. Remove all magic and knowledge.

2. Unrequited love is very painful. Help him find happiness.

3. Heal my pain for in this world I can not stay.

4. I wish to start again.

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