Trips down memory lane were supposed to be fun….
Draco cringed at witnessing his younger self and his actions. It was rather like looking at a small version of his father… but then again, he had been a young version of his father…
Calling Hermione Mudblood for the very first time; her startled response. In hindsight, he had already had mixed feelings for her. He’d wanted to be someone…. Wanted to make an impression on his fellow and older Slytherins, yet Hermione’s upset face had stung a little…
She was smart, very clever. Draco liked that. He liked clever people, especially girls… In his family the women were strong and intelligent; often outmatching their counterparts in their wits. It was enthralling. It was quite intimidating as well… If only, she’d been a pure-blood…
The Mudblood beating him at results, his father rubbing it in: that was horrible. She had to pay for that! It was a matter of honor as much as anything else. Malfoy pride…
It was a strange place he had travelled to. It felt like an extended time in the Pensieve… Almost as if he was trapped inside it. Draco saw everything happening before his very eyes…
He wanted to kick some sense into that little boy… He wanted to comfort the girl… Most of all, he wished he could go back and change things. Do it all over again, differently this time…
Wasn’t such the nature of regret?
Draco shed bitter tears as his life unfolded before his eyes. There had been many moments he could have altered his course, yet he had not. He saw Hermione hit him, right in front of his friends…
The moments of her imprisonment at the Manor were the worst, and yet, despite all that, they had saved him from the Fiendfyre….
Draco’s stint in Pensieve-land (as he had begun to call it) was coming to an end. More than ever, he was convinced that power was not meant for him…
More than ever, he was convinced, that Hermione was…
On the fourth day, since the confrontation, Draco woke up. Just like that. Hermione and Narcissa greeted him like he’d returned from the dead.
“Steady on…” he said, with a glint in his eyes. “I was simply sleeping… What’s all the fuss about?”
“You weren’t!” Hermione said shrilly. “You’ve been unconscious for days… We were so afraid…”
“My dear, dear boy…” Narcissa kept touching his face, stroking his hair. “You’ve been returned to me...”
After they’d talked and talked, Draco had a strange request. “Hermione,” he said, “Could you step outside for a moment, please?”
“Erm.. Alright, I guess,” she replied, fidgeting. What was going on?
With Hermione safely out of earshot, Draco turned to his mother. “Mother,” he said, a bit stiffly, “I want you to know that… Well, I intend to ask Hermione, and would very much like your…”
“Ask her what?” His mother wanted to know.
“To marry me…” His grey eyes bored into hers. “She dropped some hints that she would be interested,” he grinned.
“You want my… my blessing?” His mother stammered, staggering backwards.
“I’m definitely not getting Father’s, am I?” He replied.
“Lucius is worried sick about you…” Narcissa defended her husband. “He’s very upset…”
“What’s your answer?” Draco pressed her.
Narcissa swallowed hard. She had a lump in her throat. “I suppose you could do worse..” she replied, “and Merlin knows, we’ve never been truly able to deny you anything…”
“I’ll take that as a yes, shall I?” Draco’s eyes lit up. This was better than he’d expected. “Could you call her for me?”
Narcissa saw Hermione, who was biting her fingers, sitting in the waiting area. The fight was finally over, she thought. He had chosen her for good. Slowly, she approached her.
“Hermione,” she whispered. “Draco wants to see you now… but,” she hesitated, “I’d like to speak to you as well…”
Hermione motioned to the chair next to her. Narcissa sat down, breathing heavily. “He… I think he…”
“What?” Hermione asked, worried. “He seemed fine, just now…”
“He’s quite alright, yes,” she said. She rasped her throat. “I know that… well, that Lucius and I haven’t been the most accepting of the pair of you…”
Hermione fought the urge to snort loudly.
“But… in light of recent events, and… well, Draco’s persistence on the matter.. Do you think we might be able to…?”
“Get along?” She asked. “I thought we’d already made some steps there…”
Narcissa smiled weakly. Perhaps they had. “Very well,” she replied. “Best not keep him waiting.”
“Your mother just tried to befriend me…” Hermione said, entering his private room again, closing the door behind her. “Don’t know what that’s about… A bit sudden…” She sat on the bed, peering curiously at his face.
Draco smiled at her and shrugged. “She didn’t waste any time…”
“What did you two talk about?” Hermione pried.
“Wouldn’t you like to know…”
“I’ve asked her about the current state of a certain carriage…” he said, a smile playing on his lips… “It’s all white, with peacock feathers…. Perhaps you remember it?”
Hermione slapped his torso. “Don’t tease me…” she said. “What did you tell her?”
“I told her that the subject had come up… that I wanted her blessing…”
Hermione drew a sharp breath. “And?” she finally inquired, steading herself.
“She tried to befriend you…”