Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 62

That morning Hermione felt a lot better. Nighttime did strange things to a person… It was her wedding day and she was determined to enjoy it!

It all went by in a haze… Draco’s radiant face as he first lay eyes on her. Ginny and Harry joining in the cheer. Even Arthur and Narcissa were having a chat!

Rose was the flower girl and got heaped with praises herself. Unbeknown to herself, she formed the perfect buffer between the families. They were all on their best behaviour.

During the festivities, George took her aside. “Hermione,” he said. “Great party!”

She smiled in return and found herself telling him about her dream. “Next time it happens…” Ron’s older brother said, with a glint in his eyes, “send him to me… I’ll sort him out for you!”

Hermione laughed. “I will…. It’s… It’s difficult to think of sometimes… complicated. But in the end…” she hesitated. “I know he loved me and wanted me to be happy. He’d want Rose to have a father…”

“Exactly,” George said. “Ron hasn’t been here for all the changes. He would have mellowed too in time… Your memory, our memory of him will forever be stuck in the past, because that’s where he is… but we are not.”

She agreed. She would have to let Ron go. Ultimately, she didn’t need his approval, although she’d never forget his love…. Nor would she stop loving him.

“Here’s to health and happiness…” Narcissa toasted, at the celebratory dinner, prepared by house-elves, of course.

“Health and happiness,” the dining room echoed. The stately room hadn’t seen such a large party in ages. With the Weasleys and Grangers present, Narcissa felt like a guest in her own house. Lucius hadn’t shown his face since he’d heard the news. He was, once again, lamenting his fate.

Arthur stood up as well. “To Narcissa,” he said, “for being such a gracious host…”

She nodded in thanks, and he continued: “That we may all become a family of sorts… Forgetting the past and approaching the future open-mindedly… To Hermione and Draco!”

Toast after toast was proposed; tears flowed with the champagne.

As she looked around the table, Narcissa was optimistic again, like she hadn’t been for a long time. Her son was healed. She had a family again: a daughter in law, a granddaughter.

It wouldn’t all be easy, but it would be worth the effort.

The white carriage took them to their honeymoon location. For days on end, Draco and Hermione enjoyed each other, forgetting about everything else… Every fiber in their bodies longing for each other’s touch… They didn’t get much sleep.

Yet all dreams must end…

On their return, changes had to be made. Hermione didn’t want to live in a museum for the Dark Arts, nor did Draco want the Manor to become a Gryffindor common room. Rose’s rooms were the least of their worries.

With every item Hermione wanted to throw out, either Narcissa or Draco threw a fit. And if they didn’t… well, there was dear old Lucius to reckon with…

“You did promise, Draco!” Hermione had to remind him, over and over again. Usually, he relented….

Then, one day, when Draco arrived home his mother was smiling broadly…

“You’ll want to hear this…” she said, her face shining.

Draco quickly went to find his wife. She was sitting in her study, reading up on the latest legal cases involving centaurs.

“Hermione?” he said, “mother told me to go and find you…”

Hermione came towards him and kissed him lightly. Her eyes were smiling cheerfully.

“Guess!” she said, “Guess!”

“You’ve got a promotion?” he tried, but she shook her head. “Rose is first in her year?” But that wasn’t the case either…

Hermione took his hand and lay it on her belly. “How about that?” she whispered. “You didn’t even guess…”

Draco was baffled. “You’re… you’re….” he stammered. “Truly?”

“You are going to be a great father…” his wife said. “You already are…”

Draco raised her t-shirt and softly kissed her belly. “Hello you…” he whispered softly. “Welcome to the Malfoy family….”

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