AN: Okay, so I have to start with an apology readers! Yes, your humble (cough, cough) author has failed! I tried yet again to write the infamous wedding but it still didn’t work! I have discovered a solution but you won’t see what it is until much later in the story and with a different couple than Harry and Ginny (hint, hint). So I skipped the Potter wedding and this is the next best thing I could hand you my friends. I was going to give the wedding its own chapter but things didn’t work out that way so you will get the first half as the ‘would be wedding’ and the second half will warp speed forward by a few weeks and become something we’ve all been waiting for. By the way, there is a part of a speech that will contain a direct quote from Chamber of Secrets page 238, it will be italicized so you know it belongs to JKR as do all the characters since she ignores my stalking and begging for the rights, sigh… ! Clumsy!
P.S. AND WARNING: This chapter contains a lot of cheesy, fluffy love stuff! You have been warned, very, very fluffy!
Hermione rose to her feet as Ron sat down to give her best man speech praying it was better than Ron’s and not nearly as wacky as Luna’s Maid of Honor speech.
“There were a very few witnesses to Harry’s first ‘fan letter;’ but under these circumstances I felt that we should all hear a Valentine he received during our second year at school from a special fan. *His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad, His hair is as dark as a blackboard. I wish he was mine, he’s really divine, The hero who conquered the Dark Lord.* Now I have it on good authority that even though this Valentine went unsigned that the new Mrs. Potter was the author of his first fan letter! I happened to be there as she wrote it! So I raise my glass to Ginny and Mr. Divineness and wish them a happy life and many little red headed children with eyes as green as fresh pickled toads! To Harry and Ginny!” She finished by raising her champagne glass; exceptionally glad that it was over, she’d never been very fond of public speaking. Ginny blushed brighter than Harry and laughingly said she’d get even one day!
After dinner came the first dance of the newly married couple and Hermione watched from the sidelines happy for her two best friends that they’d finally gotten to this day after so many years. When the song was ending she felt a hand in the small of her back and lips at her ear whispering making her shiver!
“Dance with me, love.” Draco whispered; catching her shiver.
Draco took her in his arms just as the song The Woman in Me began to play which made Hermione break out a small smile as she looked into his dazzling eyes while they moved almost to the same heartbeat.
“What puts that secret smile on your face?” He asked.
“It’s complicated.” She answered evasively.
“I finished second place academically in our Hogwarts days; beaten only by a certain bookworm you might know. Give it a shot and I’m sure I can follow.” He grinned. He loved her and he’d only recently realized it and he was hoping that the part of her that wasn’t Veela loved him in return but he wasn’t sure how to find out.
“Well it just…this song, it’s perfect.” She blushed and tried to look down at their feet; he just fingered her chin and raised her eyes back to his. She sighed, “Well, I value my own independence and want to make my way in the world. At the same time, I’ve grown up with two boys who needed me to be the rock and the strong one, and as cliché or anti-women’s movement as this may sound; it’s nice to be able to be a woman with you, like you’re the man and my own rock. I can lean on someone else for a change. It’s just reassuring and comforting like taking a deep breath of fresh air. I like it.” She finished her declaration with a bittersweet tone at the end.
“That sounds perfect for us and I want to be that for you ‘Mione…. I want to be a man for you and your man specifically, why do you almost seem so sad about it?” He was confused by her mood at the moment.
“I’m just afraid Draco! Don’t you see? It’s almost time for you to start changing if the change is going to happen and I am just so afraid that it will happen and you won’t choose me. I’ve never felt this way before and I’ve never relied on anyone but my parents so what if I let go and you reject me?” She had tears filling up her eyes and he watched as the first two fell before wiping them away. The time had come he knew.
“’Mione, I’m not even a little worried about that happening, love. Would you like to know why?” He asked and continued when she nodded and looked into his grey eyes, “Because you’re everything to me, and I will give you everything I have inside of me. I’ve used many lines to hit on girls in my life, some that were quite cheesy too, but I’ve only ever told one woman I love her and that was my mother. I don’t throw that word around but I’m saying it now for the first time in my life to a woman I’m deeply in love with. I love you Hermione Granger and it’s a pure, special kind of love and something that goes so deep that nothing can twist it or end it especially not a Veela change. If that happens the Veela part will be influenced by the way you’re imprinted in my soul and I know with all that I am that it will be you I choose as my mate. I made my choice already and no Veela and no life debt will change or alter my love in any way unless to make it grow deeper, but the roots are so deep in my soul it’s hard to believe it can be any deeper.”
Hermione reached up as he bent down and their lips met in the middle. Her hands that had been wrapped around his neck began to play with his hair as his tongue moved across her bottom lip and she opened herself up and let the kiss deepen and felt the shiver down her spine all the way to her toes as his tongue caressed her own. Just like that the world disappeared and it was just the two of them and Hermione knew, like her Veela knew, that she was ready.
“How would you like to come home with me, let’s tell Harry and Ginny that we have to leave; because I want to be alone with you tonight Draco just the two of us.?” She shyly offered.
“Are you sure? I thought you said you didn’t want to mark me until we knew about my change? I don’t want to make you feel that we have to take this step just because I told you I love you.” He needed to know she was sure.
“Yes love I’m sure and I won’t mark you tonight. I’ve already discussed it with Fleur, she said it would be work to hold back the want of marking you but it can be done. I don’t feel pressured I just feel sure that it’s the right decision. Now can we get out of here because I need to be with you and love you?”
Ten minutes later they landed in Hermione’s bedroom and gently reached for each other.
Six weeks had passed since Harry and Ginny’s wedding and they were filled with love and laughter and sweetness. They were in love and were able to fully express it physically now and Hermione had just found out that there was a gift they had received the night of the wedding, the first time they had made love. She had decided to not tell Draco until his birthday so that it didn’t influence his choice. She was feeling quite a bit more confidence as a result because wasn’t the whole reason for a Veela to find a mate about procreation and continuity of the race? So if she was pregnant that meant that they were a good match for growing a little team of Veela’s!
Her musing was interrupted by green flames filling her fireplace and she looked up to see Lucius Malfoy stand up in her living room. If she was being honest her first knee-jerk reaction was fear which she quickly squashed.
“Lucius! What brings you here, is Draco alright?” No, she didn’t feel like he was in danger, her Veela wasn’t pulling her to protect.
“Hermione, I came to tell you the news because Draco is unable to. He has begun the change.” He told her in a serious tone of voice, as if he had any other tone of voice!
“Damn it! Shit, shit, shit, shit! Fuck a duck and save the matches! Oh good Godric, excuse my language. This is just scary and there is more on the line than Draco or you know!” She said while she started pacing and twisting her hands together.
“If you are referring to the fact that you are now six weeks pregnant with my grandchild then I can assure you that I do understand the seriousness.”
Hermione stopped dead in her tracks and gasped as she turned to face Lucius Malfoy. “How do you know? I haven’t told ANYONE, including Draco! Hell, I only found out today!”
“In our library at Malfoy Manor there is a small room, a study if you will, that contains the personal story of the Malfoy line, there are books, charts and a very curious family tree. We call it our Tree of Life and it goes back over a thousand years. I was in the room about five weeks ago and looked up from the book I was reading trying to think about a dilemma that had occurred when I noticed a change on the tree. You see, a new branch has formed with Draco’s name and it includes you and sprouting from your names was a tiny leaf, a leaf that continues to grow as your pregnancy progresses. I didn’t tell him or his mother for that matter because that pleasure belongs to you.” He said and she thought she noticed a certain pride in his eyes.
She was suddenly very grateful for magic and a charmed tree! She could ask a true mature Veela the question that had been worrying at her since the Healer confirmed her suspicions today.
“Well can I ask you a question since you are the only person who knows about our little surprise?”
“I will answer to the best of my ability.” But he was stand offish about his answer.
“I just wanted to know; since I am pregnant shouldn’t that mean I am a good mate choice for him?” She asked.
“Although procreation is a major part of a Veela mating it isn’t the lone reason. There are other things that influence it and I’m afraid that at this moment in time we really can do nothing but wait and see.”
“Can I go see him now?” She inquired.
“No, I’m sorry but you can’t see him for a few weeks Hermione.” Lucius tried letting her down gently due to her condition because whatever his thoughts had been previously about her blood status that was his grandchild she was carrying.
He interrupted, “We can’t have a female of any sort in the room with him, not even Narcissa can enter the room. There is a slight difference in male Veela changing and it’s all about the smell of female hormones. He’ll be a little wild when he changes and it will take a few weeks to control. If you are his mate we will know by bringing you to him and sitting you in the garden. If you are his mate, he will find you even with your smell muted by the flower garden. The fact that you are with child makes it even more crucial that you stay away and protect the child.”
“I can tell there is something you’re not telling me!” Not much could get by her.
“On the day we put you in the garden, there will be other women there as well. Not in the garden but spread throughout the grounds in the hopes that he finds his mate where I can help protect her somewhat from his wildness. We’ve chosen fifteen women who on paper would be a good match for him, you included.”
Hermione collapsed on her sofa with silent tears flowing unchecked down her cheeks. She was so afraid now, what would happen if he didn’t choose her?
Lucius walked to the fireplace to leave and suddenly turned back towards her.
“For what it’s worth Hermione, your name is at the top of the list and his mother and I hope that it’s you. We have a bad history together and there is no way around that but his mother and I have grown to care about you and would gladly welcome you to our family.” When he was finished saying that he seemed to slump from a weight he was carrying on his shoulders. Hermione didn’t answer him and he floo’ed away before she could find her voice again.
The next three weeks were some of the most difficult of her life. She longed for her lover, her mate, her friend. She was sick although no one could be sure if that was her longing or her morning sickness, but whatever the reason she was losing too much weight and she was becoming a very sick woman. But today was THE day. She was on her way to Malfoy Manor to find out if he would choose her and Harry was taking her as it was unsafe for her to apparate herself since the motion could produce nausea and vomiting and break her concentration. She didn’t need to splinch herself or the baby!
Narcissa Malfoy was waiting for them at the apparition landing with open arms.
“Hermione dear, we’ve missed you. Are you alright, you don’t look so good.”
“I’m fine it’s just apparating when I’m already nervous makes me a bit queasy. That’s why Harry helped me arrive.” She lied.
“Well, you are here now, let’s get this over with, shall we? The other girls are here and spread out. Lucius is with Draco now and will be following him as he goes around to make sure nobody is hurt, Draco would never forgive himself otherwise.” She explained as she walked them around the garden to the spot they had picked for her. “Mr. Potter, I’m afraid I am going to have to ask you to leave. Don’t misunderstand please, I’m asking because it’s safer for all concerned if there are no other adult males around or he could be provoked into protecting his territory and mate if he finds her.”
“No problem, as long as I have your word that if he doesn’t choose Hermione that you will apparate her back to the Burrow yourself because she will need us if it happens.” Harry would not leave her here without some plan of safely delivering her to her loved ones if what happens today should come to the worst possible outcome for her.
“You have my word.” Narcissa replied and Harry left after giving ‘Mione an encouraging hug and a kiss on her cheek.
Once Harry had left Narcissa had to return to the sitting room where Draco was waiting to begin his search. When she entered the room she saw Lucius almost sitting on top of Draco trying to hold him back.
“His mate is definitely here today, I cannot hold him back much longer. Are we all set up, love?” Lucius grunted at her.
“Let him go, it’s time.”
AN2: I know, not fair to leave you hanging like that! No way would a Hufflepuff have ever done that! Nope, I am Slytherin through and through lol. Sooooo, let me know what you like about the chapter, and keep checking because the next chapter will be who wins Draco as a mate!
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