Draco popped back to the Manor and quickly padded to his room. He carefully placed all his purchases into his walk in closet and closed the door with a loud bang. He walked towards his bed and sat down; he braced his hands on his knees and buried his face into his palms. He couldn't believe what he just saw; Blaise, Hermione and a little boy - a perfect picture of a happy family. "Fuck this!" he said gruffly. He knew that this would happen. He knew that there is a huge chance that she might be married. What he didn't expect is for her to end up with one of his closest friends. He angrily yanked his hands off his face and let it hang limply between his legs, "You're okay and it's just shock taking over. You're happy for her, she finally has a family - she's happy," he said to himself. He shook his head to clear his murderous thoughts, "Blaise is a good man, you did the right thing - they're happy, so you will back off" he said loudly, trying his best to convince himself that his eyes is not heating up with incoming tears. He collapsed back on his bed and pressed the heel of his hands to his eyes, "You will be okay," he whispered.
"Come in," he called out.
"Trinky is sorry to disturb master, but master is having a letter and Trinky is having your letter sir..." the tiny elf squeaked nervously.
"It's alright," he sighed.
Trinky walked towards him and handed him a letter with a bow.
He retrieved the letter from the elf's shaking hands, "Thank you Trinky," he said with a small smile.
Trinky's eyes widened in shock, "It's my most pleasure to serve you. Is Master Draco wanting anything sir?" she asked.
He shook his head, "No Trinky that's all, you can go now."
Trinky bowed lowly before she vanished with a loud crack, leaving him alone again. He turned his attention to the letter in his hand and noticed a familiar seal. He tore the envelop open and started scanning the parchment. His brows furrowed at every word he read, "Masquerade Ball, December 25th - are you kidding me?" he huffed. He threw the letter on the bed and stood up from his perch; he walked towards the window and slipped his hands inside his pockets.
"Uncle George - Uncle Fred!" James yelled loudly.
George's head instantly poked out from one of the shelves; "Jamie baby! You're here!" he grinned.
James ran towards his red-haired uncle and flung his tiny arms around him excitedly.
George scooped him off the floor, "How's my favorite nephew?"
"I'm you're only nephew!" James giggled.
"You're too smart for your own good," George said as he flicked his nose.
"Of course he'd be Mr. Smarty Pants, looks like he's been hanging out with the biggest smarty pants of it all," Fred said as he gestured towards the door with a wide grin.
"Ha, ha, very funny" Hermione said.
Fred made his way towards her and pulled her into a bear hug, "Long time no see Ms. Know-it-all" he said as lifted her feet off the ground. "What have you been eating? You're quite heavy" he joked.
She laughed as she swatted the back of his head, "Are you calling me fat?"
"Hush Freddy, you shouldn't call Hermione fat in front of Charming" George said while pointing towards Blaise.
Blaise cleared his throat, "Err - hello" he said.
"Put me down you big oaf!" she chided.
Fred gently placed her back on the floor, "No need to call names, you hurt my feelings."
"And here I thought you've missed me, I should've known better" she said with a pout.
George padded towards her and gave her a side hug, "We did miss you sweets, you just make too easy for us to tease you" he wiggled his brows.
"Speaking of miss" Fred said as he folded his arms on top of his chest. "Is Mr. Charming the reason why you haven't visited us in a while Mimi?"
Blaise scratched the back of his head, clearly not used to being talked about while he's in the same room.
She threw Blaise an apologetic look, "I've been busy with work - and don't call me Mimi, we're all grown up for Circe's sake!" she huffed.
"Ooohhhh...she doesn't want to be called Mimi, I wonder why" Fred teased while making kissy faces.
"You're impossible!" she shrieked.
George laughed, "Okay now, we should stop before we both find our a-r-s-e- hexed" he said. He then turned towards the boy in his arms, "So, what have you been up to kid?"
"Auntie Mimi and Uncle Blaise bought me Quidditch!" James chirped.
The twin shared a look before looking at Blaise, "A couple gift, how lovely" they said in unison.
Blaise looked uncomfortable as he shifted on his feet, "N - not really. Hermione bought him a broom and I just bought him some - err - balls" he rambled.
She hung her head to hide her flushed face, "Oh good lord" she mumbled.
Fred threw his head back and laughed.
George quirked a brow, "That's interesting - the balls, that is" he said.
"I'll be a famous Quidditch player someday - Uncle George, you'll teach me right? Aunt Mione said that I can't ride the broom without help, you'll help right?" James asked with puppy dog eyes.
"Of course, I will" George replied. "After all, I'm the best Quidditch player -"
Fred cleared his throat loudly, cutting his brother off. "I'm the greatest, not to mention the best looking player" he said with a grin.
She caught Blaise's eyes, "Loony" she mouthed.
Blaise bit his bottom lip to keep himself from laughing.
"No you're not, because I'm standing right here."
They all turned towards the door and spotted a pompous looking Harry Potter.
"Mum! Dad!" James yelled as he struggled to get down from George's grasp.
"Show-off" George said as he deposited the squirming boy on the floor.
Harry scooped his son and planted a loud kiss on his cheek, "Hey kid," he said. He then turned his attention back to the group, his eyes straying towards the man standing closely beside his best friend. "Blaise, long time no see, how have you been mate?" he asked.
Blaise smiled; "I'm good, just got back from a trip."
Ginny peered through her husband's shoulder, "I thought you were with Ron," she asked.
She folded her arms on top of her chest, "He had to leave, he's meeting with Lav, remember?"
"Oh, yes, I forgot" Ginny replied.
Harry cleared his throat, "Well, since all of you are here, why don't we go to the Leakey and grab something to eat, I'm starving" he said.
It was late afternoon when the Potter's and the Weasley's decided to part ways. The twins had to go back to their joke shop while Harry and Ginny carted a sleepy James home, leaving her with Blaise. She took a sip of butter beer and leaned back on her seat, her eyes studying the man sitting right in front of her.
Blaise smiled nervously, "So, it's just you and me."
She nodded, "Looks like it," she replied.
He cleared his throat and straightened his back, "Do you fancy another bottle?"
"Are you trying to ply me with alcohol Mr. Zabini?" she teased.
"No, of course not" he replied. "I just feel like it's too early to go home, you know."
"Another bottle won't hurt. Besides, it's not as if I have someone waiting for me at home" she thought bitterly. She emptied her bottle and tipped it towards him, "Why not, it's the weekend."
He seemed to relax with her words. He stood up from his seat and gestured towards the bar, "Be back in a few," he said with a large smile.
She nodded, "Thanks" she replied. She waited for his back to disappear from her view before she let out a sigh, "He's doing it again. He's making an effort - maybe, I really should give him a chance. He seems to be okay..." she thought.
"Here you go,"
She lifted her eyes and saw him looking at her, "That was fast," she observed.
"Perks of working in the Ministry," he said as he sat down.
She rolled her eyes, "I should've known."
He chuckled, "So...what's new with you? It's been ages since we last saw each other" he asked before taking a sip from his tumbler.
"Ages?" she snorted. "I just saw you last week, have you already forgotten? That's not a good sign - your memory is getting rusty, old man."
His eyes twinkled, "Or maybe I just missed you, have you thought about that?" he asked.
"He's flirting, let's see" she thought. She leaned forward and folded her arms on top of the table, "Really? What did you miss about me?" she asked.
He cocked his head to the side, "Let's see..." he trailed off as he lowered his eyes to her body. "There's quite a few, but I don't think you'd appreciate me saying it...so I guess I'll just stick with your smile" he wiggled his brows playfully.
She stared at him for a second before she burst into fits of giggles, "You're a prat!"
He shrugged, "You asked," he said before taking another sip of his drink.
She shook her head, "You're really a piece of work Zabini."
"A dashing and handsome piece of work,"
"Whatever you say,"
"I knew you would agree."
They talked and laughed for hours; both not noticing the time. It was already quarter past ten, when they decided to call it a night. Hermione insisted on apparating home, but Blaise was adamant that they should use the floo since they both had too much to drink.
"I won't splinch myself, I don't like dealing with soot" she whined.
Blaise laughed, "You're tipsy love, you should really take the floo."
She rolled her eyes as she trudged towards the fire place, "Fine," she mumbled. She scooped a heaping amount of powder from the jar and stepped into the hearth, "I'm going now" she announced.
His hand snapped forward to grab her wrist, stopping her.
She threw him a confused look, "What?"
He stared at her intently, "Did you receive an invitation from Dumbledore?"
"The Masquerade Ball on the 25th? Yes, I did, why?"
He licked his lips nervously, "I - uhm..."
"Are you about to ask me to the Ball, Mr. Zabini?" she asked with amusement.
"Will you go with me?" he asked, his voice full of hope.
She shifted on her feet, "Can I think about it?"
He smiled, "Of course, you can. Thank you for considering; I'll just wait for your owl then."
She nodded and smiled, "Goodnight Blaise."
He let his hand drop, "Goodnight Hermione, sweet dreams."
She threw the floo powder on the grate and let the green flames engulf her. After a few seconds, she reappeared into her own fireplace and stepped out into the living room. She walked towards the couch and plopped down unceremoniously; she plucked her wand from her purse and flicked it towards her Muggle radio.
"Woke up today thinking of you, another night and I made my way through. So many dreams still left in my mind, but it can never come true. I press rewind and remember when, I close my eyes and I'm with you again. But in the end, I can still feel the pain every time I hear your name..."
"How fitting," she mumbled sarcastically as she let her head drop to the backrest. It's been years and maybe it's about time to start living her life again, Draco seemed to have moved on based from what Ginny have said.
"Walk through the park in the evening air, I heard a voice and I thought you were there. I ran away, but I just can't escape, memories of you everywhere. They say that time will dry the tears, but true love burns for a thousand years. Give my tomorrows for one yesterday, just to know that I could have you here..."
She shot up from her seat and started making her way towards her room. She walked past her bed and padded towards her bathroom. She peeled her clothes off and she switched the shower on; she stood under the warm cascading water and braced her hands on the wall. She closed her eyes as tilted her face, "He's moved on and you're still on the same spot" she thought.
"When will this river of tears stop falling, when can it run so I won't feel alone. I can't walk away when the pain keeps calling, just gonna take it from here on my own - but it's so hard to let go..."
She hung her head just as tears started gliding down her cheeks. After what happened to her and Draco she just can't bring herself to love again. A lot of people tried to tear down the walls she created, but no one even came close to touching it. She slid down to the floor and pulled her knees to her chest. Hearing Ginny confirm about what she already knew broke her heart, but that's exactly what she have wanted for him, right? To be happy, even without her - without them. She rested her chin on her arm as a sad sigh escaped her lips, "You have to let go Hermione Granger" she said to herself.
"Where have you been all day?"
Draco tore his eyes away the burning embers, "Diagon Alley" he replied.
Narcissa Malfoy walked towards her son and sat down beside him, "You look sullen, did something happen?" she asked, her eyes straying towards the tumbler in his hand.
"I'm fine, Mum. Don't worry about it," he replied before he emptied his drink.
She gathered her hands to her lap, "You're drinking again, do you thinks that's...wise?" she asked nervously.
He leaned forward and placed the empty tumbler on the table, "It's just one drink" he shrugged.
"If you say so..."
He turned to face his Mother, "Mum, relax. It's just one drink, I don't have any plans of alcohol binging any time soon" he said with a small smile.
He fought the urge to roll his eyes, "Promise."
She relaxed upon hearing his words. She threw him a smile before she stood up, "I'm going to retire for the night love, call me if you need anything, okay?" she said.
He smiled back, "Goodnight Mum,"
"Goodnight sweetheart" she said before walking away.
He moved his gaze back to the fireplace, "I'm not sad, I just need time - yes, time to digest things" he sighed.
Hermione stood right in front of the full length mirror and studied her reflection. She wrapped her shaking hand around the pendant and whispered an incantation. Wisps of smoke slithered between her fingers and started forming his last words of love for her. She stared at it, etching each word to her heart; "Dray, it's been too long and I think it's time to let our memories go..." she sniffed. Slowly, she let the pendant drop and moved her hands to the back of her neck, her eyes never leaving the mirror. She unclasped the lock and gently pulled the necklace off, "I need to live my life too...so I can be happy like you...this our end game Dray, time to let us go."