Just Pretend

Aftermath

Hermione stomped out of the ballroom and into a long corridor filled with past Malfoy's. She ignored all the exclamations of the paintings that she crossed. Had she stopped to observe all the past Malfoy's she would have noted that most of the Malfoy women were smiling or laughing. And the men all glared at her but dared not say anything while their wives were there. In her anger she walked to the garden at the end of the corridor.

Hermione paced around the garden thinking about what had happened. She still could not believe what they had done to her. They were supposed to be her friends! They were supposed to trust her and respect any decisions she made! Why did they have to act so...so... so pigheaded! How could they even think that Malfoy was controlling her with a spell?! Did they not think that if he had tried anything like that with her she would have been able to defend herself?! They should have trusted her!

Narcissa watched her from the entrance. Her display of anger only served to confirm that she was the right girl for her son. He needed a woman that would not be intimidated by the Malfoy name. A woman that could hold her own against him. Hermione Granger seemed the right one for the job. A small smile appeared on her face. She stepped up to her and waited for the girl to notice her.

"Harry, do you think that Hermione will forgive us for not trusting her?" Ron looked at Harry who was on the bed next to him.

"I don't know Ron. She was pretty angry." He closed his eyes remembering look on Hermione's eyes. They showed how hurt she was about them not trusting her.

"You both are a couple of idiots." Ron and Harry looked at the doorway to find their girlfriends smiling. Pansy and Ginny walked in the room and sat by them.

"We already feel horrible about what we did. You don't have to rub it in Ginny." Ron grumbled.

"It was obvious that she was going to do something. You both know her enough to know the warning signs. You really made her mad. Had I been in her position I would have done something worse." Pansy smiled evilly at the two boys who paled.

"We know we made a mistake. We will apologize as soon we get out of here." Harry said looking at Ginny.

"That will have to wait until tomorrow. Your new bones will be strong enough to hold you then." Ginny smiled at Harry.

"Pansy, please don't ever let me do something like again. Promise me that you will stop me if I ever try to?" Ron begged his girlfriend.

Pansy smiled and kissed him. "I will, Ron. Next time I will be the one cursing you, I mean taking you away from trouble."

"OK" Ron sighed happily.

"Think he heard the cursing part?" Harry whispered to Ginny who was trying not to laugh.

"I think not. If he had heard he would not be happy. I think Pansy's kiss dazed him." She whispered back.

"She sure can be scary sometimes." Harry watched as Pansy fussed over Ron.

"I think that all women are scary at one point or another, with the right provocation of course." She kissed him.

"I'll be sure to remember that." Harry smiled at Ginny.

In another room, not to far from the couples, Draco was enduring a lecture, a sneer, and a mocking. His father, godfather and best friend were trying to make him see the error of provoking Hermione. So far the three men were having fun at his expense. He had tried to shut them up but nothing worked, not even the Malfoy glare did it.

"I am quite surprised that she was so lenient. Although her show of power does make you wonder."

"Come now Serverus, you must admit that Miss Granger has an extensive knowledge in magic spells. The protection spell she used to trap them all was very powerful. I am sure that Hogwarts does not teach that spell. Even Dumbledore admitted that fact." Lucius smiled at his son.

"Why do you sound so proud of her father? Look at what she did to me?" Draco was curious at his father's attitude.

"Well son, she has demonstrated that she belong in the family. I am happy that you have chosen her to be your wife."

"Yeah and the fact that she can hold her own against you is also a plus." Blaise laughed.

"You are correct Blaise." Lucius grinned.

Draco scowled at them. "I will get her back for what she did. She will not dare do this to me again after we are married."

"Draco, I do not think that would be a good idea. Remember she is the smartest witch to come out of Hogwarts since Rowena Ravenclaw." Snape smirked.

Draco was fuming, he could not believe that she had won his family over so quickly. He was sure that his mother was already trying to calm her down somehow. And he feared that she was giving her ideas for any future incidents. Even he had to admit that she was the perfect candidate for the Malfoy family. He liked that she didn't back down from a fight, that she knew how to defend herself. Be it with words, spells or physical contact. He would never admit it out loud but he liked to make her mad just to see that fire in her eyes. The passion with which she defended what she believed in, what she cares about. He was addicted to that passion.

Narcissa had been waiting for Hermione to notice her for about twenty minutes. The girl was so caught up in her thoughts that she decided to speak up. "Miss Granger, please stop pacing. Pretty soon you will make a whole in the middle of my garden."

Hermione started and turned to see Narcissa Malfoy standing with her arms crossed. "Mrs. Malfoy, do forgive me. I did not notice you were there."

"Yes I am aware of that. A word if I may?"

"Yes of course."

"Miss Granger, I have to say that I was impressed by the power you showed tonight."

"Mrs. Malfoy, I am terribly sorry to have ruined your ball. It was not my intention to cause a scene. Were the guests angry?" Hermione looked down apologetically.

"My dear do not worry about the guests, I assure you that they are still having fun dancing and drinking. Please do not apologize for something that others provoked. You did not know that your friends and my son would act the way they did."

"I should have known that the news of our engagement would come as a shock to them. I should have told them before tonight but I was a coward." Tears started to fall from her eyes.

"Miss Granger do not let them ruin this night for you. You should be glad that you were able to stop those idiotic men from killing each other. I know that this will seem a bit weird but I have to admit that my son deserved what he got. You my dear a very clever and I am very happy that you will be my daughter-in-law." Narcissa smiled sincerely at her.

For her part, Hermione could not believe what Mrs. Malfoy was saying. She never would have guessed that she was like this. "You are not mad for what I did to Draco?"

"Mad? Of course not, he deserved it. He needs someone like you to keep him grounded. You see his father and I made a grave mistake in raising him. He was taught to look down upon non-pure bloods. We did it not because we actually believed in that but, because if we had not he would have been taken away from us. The Dark Lord would have raised him as his own, we could not allow that. Draco can be very stubborn and set in his ways but he is a good man."

"Why are you telling me all this? I have known Draco for seven years and he has shown me only cruelty."

"I know that my son can be difficult, but I also know he can change. And you Miss Granger are the woman that can make him realize what a great man he can really be. It will not be easy but I know you can do it."

"Why me?" She could not understand why Narcissa Malfoy could believe she could change Draco's attitude. She did not even like him, this was only part of their plan. Pretending to love one another so that they would get the freedom that they wanted. Could their acting really be that good to fool everyone like this?

"Because you are his match. You would never let him treat you less than him. You will make him see you as his equal."

Sorry for the long wait. I hope you enjoyed this and I will try to put up more chapters soon.

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