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A Perfect Charade by ivy_018

Format: Novella
Chapters: 11
Word Count: 31,992
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse

Genres: Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Arthur, Bill, Charlie, Draco, Fred, Ginny, OC
Pairings: Draco/Hermione, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione

First Published: 08/28/2006
Last Chapter: 05/10/2008
Last Updated: 05/10/2008

Summary:
Based on The Wedding Date.   When Ron splits with Hermione  right before Harry and Ginny's wedding, she gets desperate and hires Draco Malfoy to be her date.  Little do they know that their feelings might be more than professional, but it'll take some convincing and a little change of scenery to figure out that they were meant for each other. Lovely banner by Queen_Mab! 









Chapter 11: "Perfect Endings and Happily Ever Afters"



   








"And if the sky would fall down and crash into the sea.  I know that I will still have you, baby, and you will still have me.  And that's all we'll need..." -Trading Yesterday "Nothing But Love"







“Ron!” Hermione felt her voice rise in anger and surprise as it suddenly set in who she was looking at.  “What the Hell are you doing here?”
   
She looked at him curiously.  “I think that would be a better question to ask of you.  I simply went on vacation because I needed to clear my head of many things and somehow you decided to follow me, even though you have absolutely no business in my life anymore.”
   
He lifted one insolent eyebrow, trying and failing to mimic a Draco that they once knew.  “Trouble in Paradise?”
   
“That’s none of your business Ron!” Hermione felt her voice rise against her better judgment.  The last thing that she needed to do was lose her temper with Ron.  He knew exactly how to take advantage of it, and he would.  Still, she wondered what he was doing here.  He had yet to answer her question and still he was looking at her as if she had done something wrong.  “What do you want anyway?”
   
“I think I know why you’ve been having problems with Malfoy,” Ron sneered.
   
She put her hands on her hips.  “Oh yeah?  Why’s that?”
   
“Because you’re still in love with me,” Ron smiled, sure of his own brilliance.
   
Hermione looked at him incredulous.  How could he think such a thing?  Was he really that stupid to think that all this time, after everything he had done to her, that she was still in love with him?  And finally, she felt herself take hold of her senses.  Letting her hand loose, she slapped him hard across the face.  “You are the most ridiculous human being I have ever had the unfortunate opportunity to have met, Ronald Weasley.  I’m ashamed that I was hung up on you for so long when I was just a game and conquest to you.  And no, for your information, I’m not in love with you anymore.  I’m in love with someone else entirely.”
   
And leaving Ron with his mouth wide open, Hermione pushed her way out of the club, whose atmosphere was getting entirely too oppressive into the muggy yet cooler heat of the outdoors.  For the first time in her life, she felt free and it felt wonderful.

   
~*~*~




Ginny had no idea where Hermione had run off.  After she had seen her brother get slapped in a way that he totally deserved, Ginny hadn’t followed Hermione out of the club, figuring that she needed some time to be by herself. 
   
Looking around, it soon became apparent that both Draco and Cecilia had disappeared and Ginny was alone in a way that she had never felt before.  She watched floods of people part to the sides so that Ron could stumble out into the night, uncared for by anyone. 
   
Ginny soon picked herself up and walked as gracefully out of the club as she could manage.  For the first time since she’d been here, she felt angry with Harry.  She supposed that she had been keeping the anger and hurt underneath layers of worry for Hermione’s wellbeing and now that Hermione had seemingly come to her senses, Ginny’s original feelings could finally fester out in the open. 
   
She couldn’t believe that Harry had willingly cut off their honeymoon and no matter how much fun she was having with Hermione; it could not replace the feelings of betrayal that she felt for her husband.
   
When she arrived back at the hotel, she entered her room and took her shoes off, she ran her toes through the bare carpet, memories from earlier that night coming to play in her head to mix with the feelings of hurt that were becoming more and more intense. 
   
Looking around the darkness of the room, illuminated only by the moonlight streaming through the open windows, she jumped at a shadow at the table.
   
“Who’s there? Lumos!”
   
The blinding flash of light reflected the man who had primarily occupied her thoughts for the last several years.  The one and only Harry Potter was seated in the chair at the kitchen table and as soon as the light hit his face and person, Ginny could see the bouquet of red roses that sat on his lap. 
   
His face looked beaten, haggard and weathered as if he’d been in the sun too much or as if he hadn’t gotten any sleep.  Ginny hoped it was the latter.  Merlin knew he deserved to be losing sleep after leaving her alone on what was supposed to be their perfect honeymoon. 
   
Finally finding her voice, she said.  “What are you doing here, Harry?”
   
“I…” He trailed off.  “I came to say I was sorry.  I don’t deserve your forgiveness and I don’t expect it.  But, I was at the office and I started to wonder why I was even there. 
   
“I missed you and I wondered why I was there, somehow furthering my career when I could’ve and should’ve been here with you.  As soon as I figured out how stupid I was being, I Apparated here as fast as I could.”
   
Ginny stared at him, shocked and not quite able to really take in exactly what he was saying.  It felt as if she were stuck in some sort of mirage of her own imagination and that Harry wasn’t really here.  How could he be here when just a few moments ago she had been reflecting on how angry she was with him. 
   
“How’d you get in?” She asked weakly.
   
He gulped.  “Hermione let me in.” At her questioning look, he continued.  “She’s not here.  She changed and went out again.  I don’t know where she went.  I had a lot of groveling to do with her too.  I’ve already realized that so far I’ve pretty much screwed it up as a husband.”
   
Ginny crossed her arms in front of her chest, feeling tears starting to well up in her eyes at Harry’s sincere and romantic apology.  “Yes, Harry.  You’ve made a great mess of things.  I missed you and I wanted to share this with you.  It’s not right for a man to miss his own honeymoon.”
   
“I know,” he sighed.  “And I know you’ll never forgive me for it, but well, I did something rather rash.”
   
Ginny raised a curious eyebrow.  “Oh yeah?  What’d you do that was so rash?”
   
“Well,” he shrugged, a sheepish smile on his face.  “You’re always telling me to take more risks so I did.  I bought a house down here.  I know it doesn’t make up for me missing the honeymoon, but when I came down here a year ago to check out a place for the honeymoon, I loved it so much that I just went and bought a house here.  Now we can come whenever we want for however long we want.”
   
Merlin help her, but Ginny couldn’t help herself.  He always seemed to say the exact right thing to fix his mistakes.  Maybe she was too optimistic, but she loved Harry to death and no matter what mistakes he might make, she still loved him.
   
Tears started to flood then and she flew into his arms.  He laughed and spun her around, his lips coming down all over her face, his nose nuzzling into her rich red hair.  “I missed you so much.  I’m so sorry, Ginny.  I’m so sorry.  I promise I’ll never do anything like that ever again.  I…”
   
“Harry,” Ginny put her finger on his lips and smiled through the darkness.  “Shut up.”
   
And with that, they sunk into the peaceful oblivion that only a kiss brought upon reunion can bring.

   
~*~*~




Hermione walked along the beach barefoot, feeling only the waves lapping upon the sand with the peaceful crash of a calm sea.  The air was warm and the sky was clear, another perfect night on the Caribbean.  In fact, it would be one of her last.  In a couple of days, she would be back in England again where the days and nights were never quite as perfect as they were farther South. 
   
Unfortunately, there was something missing.  She was quite proud of herself for finally sticking up for herself against Ron.  Slapping him had in fact felt quite good and she did not regret it.  Maybe Ron would finally leave her alone and in peace, something that he should’ve done a long time ago.  Instead, her thoughts seemed to drift back to dancing with Draco.  For the first time since she’d been in his arms the week before, she had felt so alive.  The energy and tension between them had been palpable all the way through and it had seemed as if the world had disappeared as soon as they had begun to dance.  It was as if it had only been the two of them there.  Hermione had never felt that way before.
   
After the dance had ended and she’d seen Ron, it had seemed like Draco had disappeared.  She had turned around to look for him as Ron stood to the side, shocked at Hermione’s display of physical punishment, and she hadn’t seen him anywhere.  She hadn’t quite cared at the moment since she had been so thrilled that she’d finally put Ron in his place, that nothing else had mattered.
   
She cared now.
   
Stopping at a small stand of tall rocks that jutted over the sea, Hermione climbed them carefully and looked out over the never-ending sea.  Past the horizon, she could see nothing but ocean and darkness and she could finally understand how Muggle explorers in the Renaissance period had thought that the world was flat and that if one sailed long enough one would fall off the planet.
   
Sighing, she leaned her head back and closed her eyes, allowing the small breeze to play with her hair.  She was not afraid anymore to admit that she loved Draco and wanted to be with him.  The two of them were stubborn and afraid of giving themselves to someone so fully, but when she was with him, she felt ready to take that leap, just like how he’d said it the day before on the radio.
   
“I thought I would find you here.”
   
The voice was so sweetly familiar, that Hermione jumped and turned in that direction to see the shadow of a man standing underneath the rise of rocks.
   
“Can I come up?”
   
Hermione gulped.  It was as if her thoughts had summoned him.  And how by Merlin’s beard had he known that she would be out here?  “Sure.”
   
With two lithe, graceful movements, Draco lifted himself up onto the rocks and sat down beside her, his leg barely brushing hers but creating more tension based entirely on the small distance between them.  Hermione could feel the electric energy pulsing between them, but she didn’t dare move, afraid that if she did, she would break some sort of unspoken spell.
   
“How’d you find me up here?” She asked curiously.
   
“I know this beach well,” he shrugged.  “I’ve been coming here since I was a kid with my family and well, I always come here when I need to think and it seems like such a Hermione type place to come.”
   
Hermione smiled at that.  The man that she had always thought would have nothing to do with her knew her better than the man that she had thought she had known so well.
   
“It’s pretty beautiful out here, though,” Draco continued.  “Isn’t it?”
   
“I don’t want to leave,” Hermione said truthfully. 
   
“I always wonder why I’m leaving whenever I do,” Draco responded quietly.
   
Their tentative exploration with conversation seemed to end at that moment and the two of them looked out over the sea, trying to calm their speeding hearts and quick pulses so they could speak calmly with each other.  Draco felt like a nervous teenager as he tried to gather his thoughts into words that wouldn’t end up hurting her. 
   
“I’m sorry,” they said at the same time.
   
“You go first,” Hermione said softly.
   
“No,” Draco shook his head.  “You.”
   
Hermione shook her head in defeat.  “I just….  I guess I was so wounded after what happened with Ron that I wouldn’t let anyone in.  And when I hired you, I obviously didn’t think that anything was going to happen.  I figured you were a pretty safe bet because we would just be pretending and that it would drive Ron crazy seeing me happy with you.”
   
“I guess what I didn’t plan for to happen was that in the act of pretending, I would come to care for you in a way that I don’t think I ever cared for Ron in,” Hermione started feeling choked up.  “I started to feel things that I had never felt before and it scared me so much that it was easy to run the other way, but it didn’t make me happy.  I’m sorry that you’ve had to chase me and do all that stuff and have me not respond.”
   
Draco laughed softly.  “You’re not entirely at fault Hermione.  It’s not like it was easy for me, knowing that I was falling in love not only with one of my clients but also with you; you, the person that I was supposed to hate with all my being.
   
“I was so angry when you hired me but I was so looking forward to pissing off Ron, Ginny and Harry by being there that I did it anyway.  I’ve never been in love before, Hermione,” Draco continued truthfully.  “I guess I’ve always been too scared to let myself fall that far, but I told you the truth on the radio the other day that if you’re willing to take the fall that I’ll be right there to catch you.
   
“And I’ve been realizing the last few days,” Draco took a deep breath.  “That I’d rather fight with you than make love with anyone else.  It may have started out as a charade but I guess we fooled ourselves pretty well, eh?”
   
Hermione didn’t even bother answering.  Instead, as happiness bloomed inside of her stomach, she leaned over and kissed him again, finally.  It had felt like she hadn’t kissed him in forever and the pleasure that she got was delicious.  His lips were soft and insistent against her and he tasted exactly as she remembered him tasting. 
   
“I love you Draco Malfoy,” Hermione whispered against his lips.
   
“Maybe I’m crazy,” he responded, kissing her all over her face.  “But I love you too.”



APRÈS


   
The Weasley home seemed to be a magnet for familial fun and laughter.  It was a few months after that fateful Caribbean vacation that had created so many happy endings and had taught important lessons at the same time. 
   
Ron was still hanging in precarious balance with his family and best friends and wasn’t actually at dinner that night.  But the rest of the family was there, along with Harry, Hermione, and the newest member of the extended family. 
 
Ginny was pregnant with her and Harry’s next baby and in a few days, the two of them would be spending a month down in their new house in the Caribbean. 
   
Draco and Hermione were helping each other get over their fear of falling for someone.  The risk for once seemed better than not taking it.  Later in the evening, Draco pulled Hermione out of the kitchen and out into the Weasley’s backyard.  They could hear the light tromping of the garden gnomes and Hermione laughed.  She was surprised that Draco hadn’t already taken his wand or demanded a gardener to get rid of them.
   
But that was the old Draco Malfoy, the Draco Malfoy that she thought she had known.  She was totally in love with the true Draco, and as he got down on one knee to
propose, the thought of refusing didn’t even cross her mind. 
   
The perfect charade had turned into the perfect proposal.




~~~Fin~~~

A/N:  And so ends the perfect charade with a perfect proposal.  It's been a delight writing this story and getting so many inspiring and helpful reviews.  Thanks for sticking by me through this adventure and I hope you look at some of my other stories as well.  I was thinking of writing another story based on a well known chick flick.  Any ideas?  Leave them in a review.
Until next time,
Love Ivy





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