Hello again! Welcome to chapter four! I feel like this story is coming along so fast. I really hope you all enjoy it but I must warn that the last memory (shown in italics) at the end of this chapter has a very sensitive issue. I don't want to say too much without giving it away but if you find that very sensitive issues affect you in a bad way please do skip passed it. You'll understand what it contains at the very end of the chapter or later on in the story. On a brighter note, happy reading and please enjoy! MM :)
Hermione had arrived at the Burrow after receiving an urgent letter from Ron. It seemed that everyone else had been sent the same letter for all of the Weasley’s, their spouses and their children and, of course, the Potters were there with similar looks in their faces.
"Hermione! You're finally here! Right, you're the last one. Come on, come on!", Ron ushered as he practically pushed Hermione into the very squashed living room.
"Well, we haven’t brought you here for no reason!", Ron said as he addressed everyone in the room and stood next to Aurelie, "We have something we want to say".
"WE'RE GETTING MARRIED!".
There was a moment of shock at the couple's outburst but everyone soon gathered themselves and shouts of congratulations could be heard throughout the Burrow.
Ron and Aurelie were a fantastic couple. Her waist length black hair contrasted magnificently with Ron's and her tanned skin made his skin look even paler. They had met when Ron had visited Charlie in Romania and they had hit it off right from the start.
After toying with a long distance relationship, Aurelie had decided to move back to the UK so she could pursue their relationship further. She was everything Ron looked for in a woman and more. He couldn't believe his luck when Aurelie had said yes just hours before.
As Hermione stood to the side of the room, she sipped her champagne as a sour feeling tugged at her stomach. She was happy for Ron and Aurelie but she couldn't help but be reminded of when she had said that same word to Draco.
"I can't believe we're in Dubai!", Hermione exclaimed.
Draco had surprised by picking her up from work and whisking her away to a location he had kept secret until they had arrived. She always hated surprises as a child but Draco's surprises could hardly be complained of.
"I thought you'd like it", Draco called back as he placed his midnight blue tie around his neck.
Hermione had been saying this sentence at least every thirty minutes since she had arrived and it was still making him chuckle.
"Oh, I do!", she voiced as she walked out of the bathroom she had just been occupying.
Draco lost all sense of thought and feeling as he saw Hermione in front of him. Her skin was tanned from the Dubai sun and her hair was loosely pinned to her head. Her body looked perfect in the sapphire form fitting dress as it hugged and caressed her curves. The necklace that Draco had bought her for her last birthday hung around her slim neck as she smiled at the expression on his face.
"You look beautiful, as always", Draco whispered as he moved towards her and kissed her hand.
"Where are we off to anyway?", Hermione asked as she attempted to lessen the blush on her cheeks.
"You'll see", Draco smiled and apparated the two away.
They arrived on the roof top of the tallest building in Dubai. Hermione could see the skyline and the views below for miles. The stars shone in the dark sky and the lights from the city glowed. It truly was a breath taking sight. As she looked around the roof terrace she found a dingle table set for two. Candles and flowers surrounded it as Hermione and Draco took their seats.
"You've outdone yourself this time", Hermione smiled, still memorised by the scene she was sitting in.
"All for good reason", Draco replied.
"And what's that?", Hermione asked.
It was the second time he had said that and, from experience, Hermione knew that was all she would get out of him. Knowing it was futile to pester for more information, the two began dinner and settled into easy conversation. They were so comfortable with each other that they never struggled to find something to talk about. Even in the small silences they did not feel nervous.
However, Hermione noticed that as the night grew on Draco did seem to become a little nervous. This surprised her as he was usually well on top of his emotions and never let anything slip. He seemed to be finding it difficult to keep them in check tonight though.
"Draco, are you alright?", Hermione questioned.
"Yeah, sure, I'm fine, honestly", he stumbled.
"You don't seem to sure", Hermione announced.
"Take my hand", Draco said as he stood up and offered his hand to Hermione.
She took it straight away and stood as Draco guided them over to the balcony which overlooked the magnificent city.
"It truly is beautiful", Hermione breathed.
"Not as beautiful as you", Draco said softly.
He smiled as he cheeks tinted red. He loved that even now he still managed to elicit this reaction from her.
"Yes?", she replied as she continued to look over the city below.
"Will you marry me?".
Her heart stopped as she tried to register what Draco had said in her brain. Surely she hadn't just heard those words but as she turned around, Draco was in front of her kneeling on one knee and holding the most beautiful ring she had ever seen.
It was simple silver band with one large round diamond placed in the center. Draco was never one to do anything small but she was so glad that he hadn't purchased anything too gaudy. Of course, she knew he would never do so. She was sure he knew her taste better than she knew herself.
"Hermione, I love you. More than anyone or anything in this entire world. Please be my wife?".
It was short and sweet but it meant the world to her. The man she loved with her entire being loved her just as much and now he wanted to marry her.
"Yes...", she whispered.
She hadn't meant to sound so quiet but her voice was struggling against her efforts to hold the tears back Draco still heard her though and, with a smile, he slipped the ring onto her finger and took her in his arms.
It was a soft kiss, so gentle and loving, but it was perfect. It flawlessly symbolised the happy life that Draco and Hermione were forever to share.
She was brought from her reverie as Ron bounded over to her with the biggest smile she had ever seen adorn his face.
"Congratulations!", she exclaimed as she enveloped Ron in a sisterly hug.
"Thanks 'Mione. I don't think I've ever been so happy in my life!", he grinned.
"I'm so happy for you Ron", she said as they finally let go and faced each other.
It was true. Although happy times like these seemed to always remind her of Draco, she really couldn't be more thrilled for her friend. After everything they had been through, Ron truly deserved all the happiness in the world.
"My fiancée isn't boring you to death is he, Hermione?", Aurelie said as she joined the pair.
"Of course not", Hermione smiled, "Come on then, I'm dying to see the ring".
She chuckled as Aurelie held her left hand out. There on her finger was a gold band that held four small diamonds with a slightly larger red ruby in the middle. 'Gryffindor till the end' she thought.
"Oh, it's beautiful", she voiced as she smiled with fondness as Aurelie.
They had become very good friends throughout her relationship with Ron and she and Ginny often spent their days off with Aurelie. She as common as they came and had a sense of humour to match and that's why they loved her. You just couldn't help but smile and laugh when you were in her presence.
"Molly's just finished making some food for us all, would you care to grab some with me?", Aurelie asked and the two women laughed as soon as Ron had exited for the dining area at the mention of food.
"He'll never change", Hermione grinned.
"I hope not".
The two made their way over to the table after this but they couldn't help but over hear the conversation Harry and Ginny were trying to have in private.
"Gin, this is Ron and Aurelie's day. We'll just have to wait!", Harry whispered.
"Oh come on, Harry! I've been dying to tell everyone for ages now!".
"Tell everyone what?", Aurelie asked.
Husband and wife looked shocked as the whole kitchen had heard Aurelie's words and were now looking at them expectantly.
"Er, it's nothing honestly. This is your day, it can wait", Harry said.
"Don't be daft, mate, anything to add to the happiness!", Ron exclaimed.
After giving her husband a look that said 'i told you so', Ginny turned to face her family and friends.
"Well, Harry and I also have a bit of news we would like to share with you all".
After seeing the happiness in his wife's eyes, Harry couldn't help himself.
"We're having another baby!".
"Not just any baby", Ginny interrupted, "We're having a girl!".
The whole clan swept over to the happy couple as they congratulated them on the new addition that would soon arrive.
Hermione was included in this as she expressed her shared happiness for two of her best friends. Another baby was something to be celebrated. It was something so pure, so beautiful that the happiness infected everyone around.
Then why was Hermione feeling so bitter? She knew why. In fact she knew exactly why but that was something to remember for another day. Right now she just had to be happy for her friends like they would have been happy for her.
She was slightly tipsy when she returned home. Not only had she decided to join with the celebration by drinking many glasses of elfish wine, but she had practically drowned herself in the stuff in an effort to block out the memory that threatened to take hold of her whilst at the Burrow.
Stumbling into her bedroom, Hermione clumsily opened her walk-in-wardrobe in search of some pajamas. She rummaged through many drawers until something hanging on her clothing rack caught her eye. It was the only item of Draco's clothing that she had. The black shirt that he had worn on the first night they had made love together. She loved that shirt and she often wore it for bed when they were together. When clearing out her home, she had found it in the washing basket and couldn't bring herself to throw it away.
In her drunken state she walked over to the shirt and let her fingers run over the soft black Egyptian cotton. Before she knew what she was doing, she had taken her clothes off and was pulling the shirt around her. The sensation of it on her bare skin was so familiar to her yet it felt brand new. It had been years since she had felt anything close to the feeling of Draco all over her skin and it engulfed her in a whirlwind of feelings. His touch, his kiss, his caresses. She remembered it all. She loved it yet she hated it and she could only just cope with it.
Hermione sank to her knees as she relived the events of the day. She was happy for her friends, so happy she could burst but inside that bubble was a black mark. A mark that always seem to make her a little bitter when something great happened to her friends. She knew it was some warped from of jealousy as these milestones seemed to only remind her of her time spent with Draco.
When Ron and Aurelie announced their engagement she was so proud of Ron and beyond happy for Aurelie but inside her, the little monster squirmed as the memory of when Draco proposed to her came crashing down on her. Then when Ginny and Harry announced that they were expecting again, she had to fight for hours to keep the worst memory she had locked away. Now, though, she was alone in her flat crying on the floor of her closet and so she let the memory wash over her...
'She had never felt pain like it. The pain of being left, betrayed and abandoned. Her life with Draco was as good as it had ever been but then he ruined it. He left her. He neglected her to go off gallivanting on his own, without her. She hated him and she hated her life. She had moped around her house for weeks now. Either lying in bed all day or finding another corner of her home that she could break down and cry in.
The same questions repeated over and over in her head as she attempted to sob the heartache out of her. 'Where is he? Why did he leave me? Why did he have to do this right now of all times?', but no answers ever came to her. The only person who could answer those questions was the person who had deserted her.
She hadn't dressed today, she hadn't even showered or eaten but this was not uncommon in Hermione's life anymore. She felt like she didn't have a reason to carry on. What was her life worth now Draco wasn't in it? How was she supposed to just pick the pieces up and carry on alone? She didn't know how and, for once in her life, she couldn't figure it out.
The anger and frustration she felt turned into even more tears as she huddled in the corner of her lounge. This didn't feel like her home anymore now she was in it on her own but she didn't want to burden anyone else with her problems. As she lost herself in her own despair, she didn't notice Ginny Potter step out of the fireplace near her.
"Oh, Hermione!", she gushed as she ran over and gathered her friend in her arms, "Oh, honey, come on, just let it all out".
"It hurts so much, Gin", Hermione wailed, no longer caring about keeping her problem to herself.
"I know, I know it does, but we're here for you. I'm here", Ginny soothed as she stroked Hermione's matted hair.
"But he's- he's not", she sobbed.
Ginny Potter couldn't remember seeing just one person so heartbroken. To think of her best friend being alone all day made her own heart ache.
"It hurts, Gin, not just emo- emotionally, but physi-cally too. I've n never been in so much pain".
Ginny felt her own tears fall at Hermione's anguish. She couldn't bear to see her so upset.
"Come on, let's get you up from here and get you into bed", Ginny soothed.
"I c-can't", Hermione hiccupped.
"Yes you can, come on", Ginny persuaded as she eased Hermione up from the floor.
She was shocked to see Hermione double over, clearly in pain.
"Hermione, sweetie, what's wrong?", Ginny said urgently but as she kneeled down she saw exactly what was wrong.
Hermione cream night dress was stained red below her abdomen.
"H-Hermione, are you?".
"Yes", she wailed as she sank back to the floor.
"Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no!", Ginny whispered.
Thinking on her feet, Ginny sent a patronus to St Mungo’s, asking for immediate medical assistance at the Malfoy Estate.
Within minutes a team of Healers arrived but Ginny knew in her heart of hearts that it was too late.
As Hermione, lay on the floor curled up into a ball of pain, the same question sounded through her head that she been asking herself for weeks. 'Why now, of all times why did he have to leave now?'. She had known she was pregnant just a few days before Draco left her. She had planned to take him out and tell him in the most special way possible, much like how he had proposed to her, but then he had walked out. He'd left her with nothing but a note and a baby she had no idea how to take care of.
She could feel the familiar sensation of traveling via floo as she was transported away from her house. The next thing she remembered was waking up in a white room with Ginny by her side.
"Ginny?", she whispered.
As she looked into her friend's hazel eyes she knew. She knew that her baby had gone and she knew that it was her fault.
She didn't even have it in her cry anymore. She just lay there numb as Ginny tried to console her with words of comfort.
She was brought out of her trance by two pairs of hands shaking her. As she opened her tear filled eyes she saw Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy.
They were clearly shocked at the state she was in, lying there sobbing into the night wearing her husband's shirt.
"Hermione?", Lucius asked as he looked on concernedly at his daughter-in-law.
She tried to open her mouth to speak but she couldn't. Instead she leaned into the arms of Lucius Malfoy and she cried. She cried for the marriage that had broken so fast, she cried for the baby that she was never to meet and she cried for her husband that had left her alone.
This is such a sad chapter for Hermione but it all contributes to the end! Please let know what you think. I love reading review and I really appreciate them. Thanks again, MM :)
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