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Chapter Six: Don't speak

"You and me, we used to be together, everyday together always. I really feel that I'm losing my best friend, I can't believe this could be the end. It looks as though you're letting go and if it's real, well I don't want to know. Don't speak, I know just what you're saying. So please stop explaining, don't tell me cause it hurts. Don't speak, I know what you're thinking, I don't need your reasons, don't tell me cause it hurts..." (Don't speak by No Doubt)

oOo

The Burrow - Ottery, St. Catchpole - Devon, England – 11:07 A.M.

"Ronald"

Ron's head snapped up and fixed his gaze towards the voice; "Dad" he said weakly.

Arthur walked towards his youngest son and sat on the adjacent couch; he studied his bruised face and gestured towards it. "Why didn't you let your Mother heal it?" he asked.

"I deserved it" Ron replied.

Arthur leaned back on his couch; "I will not apologize for hitting you because we both know you earned it" he said.

Ron nodded.

Arthur sighed; "Can you be honest with me?" he asked.

Ron leaned forward and braised his elbows on top of his thighs; "Of course Dad, what do you want to know?" he asked.

"Why did you cheat on Hermione?" Arthur asked upfront.

Ron cringed; he buried his face into his palms, rubbing his face.

Arthur kept silent and waited for his son's response.

Ron groaned and sat straight; "To be honest, I really don't know why. I love Hermione...I love her so much..." he said helplessly.

Arthur furrowed his brows and crossed his legs; "Then why did you do it? How many times?" he asked.

"Do I really have to answer that?" Ron groaned again.

"Yes you do! Answer me truthfully!" Arthur snapped.

Ron looked away.

"Ronald" Arthur said sternly.

Ron sighed; "Three..." he murmured.

Arthur's eyes widen; "THREE? THREE TIMES?" he roared.

Ron closed his eyes and raised his hands in defence, but blow he anticipated did not come. He peered behind his hands and stared at his Father.

Arthur's fist was closed tightly as he forced himself to calm down; "When did all of this happen? You need to tell me with whom" he said through gritted teeth.

"Dad...I-"

"NO! YOU WILL ANSWER ME BEFORE I LOOSE MY TEMPER AND BEAT YOU AGAIN!" Arthur bellowed.

Ron cowered so he avoided his Father's intense gaze; "The—the first one was with Lavender...it was w-way back in Hogwarts-I didn't cheat per se because...because Hermione and I we're never official..." he trailed off.

"Tell me the most recent...philandering" Arthur said stoically.

Ron swallowed the huge lump in his throat; "The second one was with Millicent Bullstrode...she was-she was helping me find a house that-that Hermione and I can move into after we got married...it happened unexpectedly...we we're drunk and the next thing I know is that I—I woke up in her bed..." he said.

Arthur kept silent.

"The—the last one was completely an accident—it was with Lavender...it was the day that Hermione broke up with me—I was drunk and she was there...it just happened..." Ron said shamefully.

"So you're telling me that all of it started because you were drunk?" Arthur concluded.

Ron avoided his father's gaze and nodded.

Arthur stood up and shook his head disappointedly; "I think you should leave..." he said.

Ron's eyes widen and turned his gaze towards his Father; "But Dad-"

"No. I think you should leave and think about what you have done. You broke the heart of the woman who you claim you love because you simply cannot hold you liquor. You did not only do it once but multiple times, with different women. You're Mother and I cannot tolerate it, you should be ashamed of yourself" Arthur said resignedly.

Tears began clouding Ronald's eyes as the gravity of what his Dad said began sinking in.

"I am ashamed of you and you should be ashamed of yourself" Arthur said. He then turned his back and walked away.

Ron buried his face into his palms as sobs rocked his entire frame; his heart was breaking and he knows he's got nothing to blame but himself. It's too late now, even he, will not forgive himself for what he's done. He ruined the only thing that's right in his life and he deserves every bit of pain he's feeling but somehow he can't help but hope that someday his Hermione will forgive him and they can still live their happily ever after.

oOo

Potter Manor - London, England - 12:03 P.M.

"Do you think we should change the colour of the drapes Fifi? I think robin egg blue is much better, it makes the room brighter" Astoria said while tapping her wand on her arm.

The elf stared at the drapes calculatingly; she then turned towards her Mistress and beamed. "You are right, Missus!"

Astoria smiled brightly and pointed her wand on the drapes; with one quick swish, all of the drapes turned into the colour she desired.

"Redecorating, I see"

Astoria turned towards the voice and beamed; "Do you like it?" she asked.

Harry padded towards his wife and planted a soft kiss on her lips; he then turned towards the drapes and furrowed his brows, studying the changes.

Astoria bit her lip nervously as she waited for her husband's input.

"It does make the room happier" Harry said. "I like it" he said.

Astoria giggled; "Really? I thought so too!" she gushed. She then turned towards the elf; "You can go now Fifi, we can continue redecorating later!" she said.

The elf bowed and vanished with a loud crack.

"Where is our little munchkin?" Harry asked. He then padded towards the couches and sat; "I feel like I haven't seen her in ages" he said.

"Mum flooed over a couple of hours ago, it seems like their also in Paris visiting Daph, they've asked me if they can keep Candice for another night and I said yes, I hope you don't mind..." Astoria replied.

"Oh okay..." Harry replied.

Astoria smiled; "We'll have her back tomorrow love, I also miss her" she said.

"I'm sure you do" Harry replied.

Astoria then walked towards the couch and sat beside her husband; "How's your day?" she asked.

"It was okay, I ran into Malfoy this morning and he told me some interesting news" Harry replied.

"Oh, what did Draco say?" Astoria asked curiously.

Harry sighed as he leaned his head back; he then turned his face towards his wife. "He told me that Hermione was admitted to St. Mungo's again...they found her unconscious inside her car" he said.

Astoria gasped; "Is she alright? What happened?" she asked.

Harry took off his glasses and began rubbing his eyes tiredly; "It seems like she visited Ron yesterday to talk things through but she caught him having a go with another woman instead" he said darkly. "That bastard will be sorry if I ever see his philandering arse" he added.

Astoria shook her head in dismay; "Poor Hermione...I still can't believe that Ronald can do that to her..." she said. "Good thing that Draco found her, I cannot imagine what might have happened if she wasn't found..." she said while shivering.

Harry reached for his wife's hand and clutched it firmly; "Me too..." he said.

"I wish there was a way that we can somehow help her...she has always been there for us..." Astoria said.

Harry smirked; "I think there is a way we can help her..." he said.

"Really?" Astoria asked.

Harry nodded; "Yes, really. I've talked with her this morning and she mentioned that she wants to go away for awhile" he said.

"She wants to take a vacation?" Astoria asked.

"Yes and I've thought about Narcissa's offer about their beach house in Maldives" Harry said.

Astoria's eyes brightened; "That's a good idea love! I can floo Narcissa to check if her offer is still available!" she said excitedly.

"I think we should do it now. I'm not sure if Narcissa will take it kindly if we tell her that we're sending Hermione there instead of us" Harry said.

Astoria waived her hand dismissively and stood up; she walked towards the fire place and scooped a handful of powder from the bowl. She threw it on the grate and waited for the green flames to engulf the fire place, once satisfied, she called for Narcissa's private quarters.

"Astoria?"

Astoria kneeled down in front of the fire place and smiled widely; "Hello Aunt Cissy" she greeted.

"It's nice seeing you again darling, it's been weeks since we last talked. Tell me, how are you and Harry?" Narcissa asked.

"We're doing great, thank you for asking. How's you and Uncle Lu?" she asked.

Narcissa smiled; "We're both fine. Lu is currently in Paris attending a conference so I'm left to my own devices. Where's Harry?" she said.

"I'm here Narcissa" Harry said as he kneeled beside his wife.

"Looking good as usual!" Narcissa complimented. She then eyed the couple in front of her; "So, how can I be of help?" she asked.

Harry's cheeks burned bright red and began stuttering; "Errr—"

Astoria rolled her eyes with her husband's shyness; "Aunt Cissy, we're just curious if your offer about your Maldives beach house is still open?" she asked casually.

Narcissa beamed; "Of course it is! Are you planning on your second honeymoon then?" she asked enthusiastically.

Harry cleared his throat; "Err—that's the thing Narcissa...we're not the ones whose planning on going there..." he said.

"Oh" Narcissa said. "Who are you sending then?" she asked curiously.

Before Harry can open his mouth and blabber further, Astoria took the initiative to explain it. "Aunt Cissy...we're planning on sending Hermione there for a short vacation. I know you are aware of her current situation and we just want her to have some time to herself..." she said.

Narcissa's face instantly fell.

Harry saw Narcissa's reaction and felt uneasiness; "But if the offer does not extend to Hermione then we'll just think of another—"

"Of course Hermione can stay there for as long as she likes" Narcissa said, cutting Harry off. "Don't misconstrue my reaction as rejection. To be honest, I feel bad for her, she doesn't deserve what Mr. Weasley did to her" she explained.

"She has indeed gone through a lot..." Harry replied.

Narcissa nodded in agreement, she then shook the depressing thought off of her head and smiled; "When are you planning to send her?" she asked.

Astoria beamed; "I actually don't have any idea," she then turned to face her husband; "Did Mione tell you?" she asked.

Harry scratched his chin while in thought; "I'm also not sure but I'll go talk to her tomorrow" he replied. "She cannot leave the country without settling her affairs first so it's safe to say that we have time" he added.

Narcissa smirked; "Wonderful! I'll have one of our house elves pop in the beach house to make sure that everything is in perfect condition! I'm sure Hermione will love it there!" she said excitedly.

Harry smiled; "Thank you so much for helping us Narcissa, this means a lot to me" he said sincerely.

Narcissa waived her hand dismissively; "Don't mention it Harry. I'm glad that I can help. Just let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with" she said.

Harry nodded; "Thank you again" he repeated.

"Thank you Aunt Cissy, you've been a great help. I'll try to drop by anytime within the week" Astoria piped in.

"That would be lovely, I'll look forward to that darling!" Narcissa said.

"See you soon!" Astoria said, she then leaned forward and severed the connection. She sat on her haunches and turned towards her husband; "That was easy!" she said.

Harry chuckled; "I was scared there for a second" he admitted.

Astoria giggled.

oOo

After a week...

"I can see that everything's packed" Harry said as he leaned on her bedroom door.

Hermione quickly turned around and stared at her best friend; she let out a tired smile as she sat at the foot of the bed. "Packing makes me tired" she complained.

Harry chuckled; "Have you settled everything with your job?" he inquired.

Hermione nodded; she then grabbed her suitcase from the side of the bed and dragged it in front of her. "I already filed for an indefinite leave and my boss was kind enough to approve it" she said.

Harry nodded; "Well that's good to hear, you can take all the time you need then..." he said.

Hermione chuckled; "I just hope I don't go bonkers with all the "me-time" I have" she joked.

Harry laughed heartily; "Astoria and I can always come with you if you need company" he offered.

Hermione raised her brow; "And what? Have you two hover around me all day? I don't think so Harry Potter" she replied. She then furrowed her brows and peered behind her friend; "By the way, where is that blonde wife of yours? I thought she'd see me off..." she pouted.

"She'll come by, she just fetched your portkey" Harry replied mischievously.

Hermione frowned; "Something tells me that you're both up to something..." she said suspiciously.

Harry fixed his glasses; "You're being silly Mione" he replied.

"I'm not being si-"

"HAAARRRYYYY...HERRRRMIOOONNNEEEEE, where are you?"

Harry winced.

"We're here Torry!" Hermione hollered.

Astoria peered behind Harry's back and let out a huge smile; she pushed Harry aside carelessly and bounded inside the room. She padded towards Hermione and sat beside her unceremoniously; she threw an arm around the brunette's shoulders and hugged her. "Are you excited?" she asked.

Hermione laughed; "Would you hate me if I say that I'm more nervous than excited?" she teased.

Astoria pouted; "You shouldn't be nervous! Harry and I thought about this very carefully and we both think that you will enjoy this place!" she said jovially.

Hermione winced; "That makes me more nervous!" she said.

"Hey! That's not fair!" Harry whined.

"Shush!" Astoria said to her husband.

Hermione shook her head; "Well, everything is already set, I can leave anytime" she said. She then turned towards Astoria and hugged her; "Thank you for doing this for me Torry...I really appreciate it..." she whispered.

Astoria returned the hug and patted Hermione's back soothingly; "You are always welcome Herms..." she replied.

Hermione felt tears cloud her eyes but she quickly wiped it; she pulled away from Astoria and threw Harry a grateful smile. "You too Potter, thank you for doing this..." she said.

Harry smiled; "It's nothing Granger" he replied.

"Oh! I almost forgot!" Astoria piped in. She then stood up and began rummaging her pocket; she pulled a small object from it and presented it to Hermione. "Here you go"

Hermione furrowed her brows and stared at the object dangling from Astoria's hands; "Really? A teardrop diamond earing for a portkey?" she asked incredulously.

Astoria giggled; "It's a 24 carat diamond Herms, so please don't lose it or the owner will have our neck" she said.

Hermione's eyes widen; "It a real diamond?" she asked.

Harry chuckled; "It's a real diamond, it costs more than this whole cabin" he teased.

Hermione swallowed hard as she accepted the small jewel, clasping it tightly in her hands.

"We are serious though, please don't lose it. It's a two way portkey, only that, can take you back home" Astoria said seriously.

Hermione frowned; "What do you mean it's the only way?" she asked.

Astoria sat beside Hermione again and faced her; "It's just for exclusivity Herms, the owner of the place you'd be staying at values their privacy very much that's why they designed that portkey as such" she explained.

Hermione opened her hand and stared at the jewel in her hands, uncertainty marring her face.

Astoria nudges Hermione; "Don't be scared love, you'd have the place to yourself and if you want to come home you can just use the portkey..." she promised.

Harry padded towards the bed and sat on Hermione's other side; "Astoria is right, don't you trust us?" he asked.

Hermione rolled her eyes; "Of course I trust you two...it's just that—"

"No buts! You are going and you will enjoy yourself. You cannot have second thoughts when all your bags are packed, you are a brave Gryffindor so act like one" Astoria chastised.

Hermione winced; she then turned towards Harry and asked; "How can you stand her again?"

Harry laughed while Astoria pouted.

"Okay...okay! I'll go!" Hermione blurted out.

Astoria smiled triumphantly; she then hugged Hermione briefly and hastily stood up. "Off we go now Harry!" she said.

Harry rolled his eyes as he threw his arms around his best friend; he hugged her tightly and planted a soft kiss on her forehead. "Enjoy your time alone and don't talk to strangers" he said.

Hermione chuckled as she nodded; "I will enjoy and I won't talk with strangers" she promised.

Harry stood up and padded towards his wife; "The portkey will activate anytime you want it to, so it's up to you" he said.

Meow...

Hermione eyes widen; "Oh no! I forgot Crookshanks!" she exclaimed worriedly.

"Don't worry about good old Crook, we'll take him with us" Harry said.

Astoria then turned towards the feline and began cooing; when the cat padded lazily towards her, she kneeled and gathered it in her arms. "We'll take care of your kitty cat Herms, I'm sure Candice will love him" she said.

Hermione smiled; she then stood up and walked towards Astoria. She kneeled down and began scratching her pet's ears; "Be good kitty cat, I'll be home soon" she said.

Crookshanks purred.

Astoria then stood; "Well, we better go" she said.

Hermione also stood and hugged Astoria one last time; "Thank you for taking care of him for me" she whispered.

"You're welcome" Astoria replied.

Hermione then pulled away and faced Harry; she threw her arms around her spectacled best friend and hugged him too. "Thank you again for doing this for me...for understanding...for staying by my side" she murmured.

Harry returned the hugged and began rubbing her back; "I'll always be here for you love, don't think about that arse anymore, you don't need him in your life...now please don't cry..." he replied.

Hermione pulled away as she sniffed; "See, no tears?" she said bravely.

Harry smiled; "That's my girl, now, we better be off" he said.

Hermione nodded.

Harry then turned to his wife; "Lets?" he asked.

Astoria nodded; "We'll see you soon Herms!" she said.

Harry plucked his wand from his coat inside pocket and wrapped his arm around his wife; "We'll see you around, have a safe trip!" he said. He then swished his wand and apparated out of his best friend's house.

Hermione watched as the two figures vanished; she let out a sigh as she sat down on her bed.

oOo

Millicent apparated inside Ron's backyard and felt triumphant when the wards accepted her without a hitch; she then walked briskly towards the back door and lifted her hand to knock. She lifted her hand but froze midway when she heard footsteps approaching her; she slowly turned around as she grasped her wand tightly in her hand.

"Bullstrode? Millicent Bullstrode?"

Millicent eyed the witch standing a few steps away from her and furrowed her brows; "Who are you? And what are you doing here?" she asked.

Lavender braised both of her hands on her waist and raised her brow; "What AM I doing here? What are YOU doing here?" she returned the question.

Millicent crossed her arms on top of her chest; "I'm here to visit Ron, how about you?" she replied.

Lavender scowled; "I'm here to visit MY boyfriend" she replied coolly.

Millicent frowned; she then walked towards Lavender and studied her from head to toe. "YOUR boyfriend? Now, don't make me laugh Brown" she said sarcastically.

Lavender's cheeks began to redden; "Do you have a problem with it?" she snapped.

Millicent began tapping her wand on her arm; "As far as I know, Ron is GRANGER's fiancé and not anyone's boyfriend" she cajoled.

Lavender instantly brandished her wand and pointed it at Millicent; "HE IS NO LONGER WITH GRANGER YOU STUPID COW! GRANGER ALREADY BROKE UP WITH HIM BECAUSE SHE CAUGHT US HAVING SEX IN THIS VERY HOUSE SO SHUT YOUR FAT MOUTH BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING!" she shouted hotly.

Millicent's facade crumbled; "What—what do you mean Granger caught you?" she asked.

"Are you deaf? I just told you" Lavender spat.

Millicent took a step back as she shook her head in denial; "Ron wouldn't—you're lying" she mumbled.

Lavender furrowed her brows; "I'm not lying Bullstrode, we slept together! What is it to you anyway? You're not—" she cut herself off when realization dawned on her. She staggered a bit but stood her ground; "Don't tell me...don't tell me you also slept with him?" she asked disbelieving.

Millicent tightened her hold on her wand and composed her face; "It's none of your business Brown" she said.

Lavender's eyes widen; "YOU DID! THAT SLIMMY BASTARD!" she roared.

Millicent sniffed; "Well I better go" she said coolly. She then began walking towards the other direction; when she reached a spot, she vanished with a loud pop.

Lavender stomped her foot as she let out an ear piercing scream.

oOo

Knock...Knock...Knock...

Hermione tore her eyes away from the novel she's reading and stood up from her bed; she padded towards the living room and stopped right in front of her door. She furrowed her brows and leaned forward; she peered through the peephole and almost instantly she felt herself reeling back.

"Hermione...please open up, I know you're in there..."

Hermione stood still as she continues to stare at her door; she felt her palms sweating as her heart started thumping wildly inside her chest.

"Hermione...please..."

Hermione leaned her forehead on the door as she tried to calm herself down; she tried pushing away the contempt and the hurt she's feeling at the back of her mind but it just keeps on resurfacing. She fisted her hands tightly as she tried to control her breathing; after a couple of minutes of silence, she finally spoke. "What are you doing here Ronald?" she asked coldly.

Ron moved closer to the door; he also leaned his forehead on it and began talking. "I just want to talk to you..." he said honestly.

"We have nothing to talk about Ronald, please leave" Hermione said through gritted teeth.

Ron closed his eyes; "Let's talk about this Mione...I-I love-..."

"Don't you dare finish that sentence Ronald" Hermione threatened. She then felt angry tears clouding her eyes as emotions started swirling inside her chest like an incoming storm.

"But I do...Merlin I do..." Ron said desperately.

"I don't bloody care about what you feel so don't tell me!" Hermione replied.

Ron began twisting the door knob; "We need to talk Hermione...please don't be that way" he begged.

Hermione clenched her fist tighter; "We have nothing to talk about! You're disgusting actions already told me everything I need to know so please stop this and go away!" she snapped.

"Let's talk...please Mione...please...I'm sorry love..." Ron sobbed; he then began pounding on the door frantically.

"No! Go away!" Hermione yelled angrily.

Ron kept pounding at the door with his fists; "Please...I love you" he begged.

"Stop it already! You've already done enough damage...stop lying, stop bloody pretending!"

"No no no...I'm not lying Hermione..."

"Please go away Ronald, don't make me hate you more than I already do...You've already broken my heart into tiny pieces, don't step on it too...Goodbye Ronald" Hermione rasped through tears.

"Hermione..." Ron sobbed again.

Tears kept running down her cheeks but she wiped it furiously; she plucked her wand from her pocket and pointed it towards the door, "Silencio", she muttered. Instantly, the loud banging stopped, she then walked towards her room and slammed her door shut; she padded towards her bed and grabbed her suitcase. She walked towards the centre of her room and stood on top of her worn out rag; she instantly plucked the portkey from her breast pocket and pointed her wand on it, "Portus", she said.

oOo

Malfoy Manor - Whiltshire, England - 2:00 P.M.

Narcissa smirked widely when she saw the jewel in her hand emit a faint blue colour; she quickly dropped it inside a small black velvet drawstring bag and pocketed it.

Lucius raised his pale brow as he watched his wife; "Is that the portkey to our beach house?" he asked.

Narcissa quickly turned towards her husband and schooled her face into nonchalance; "Of course not, whatever gave you that idea" she said too innocently.

Lucius closed the book he's reading and leaned back on his ottoman; "Why do I feel that you're up to something..." he said suspiciously.

Narcissa chuckled and waived her hand dismissively; "I'm not up to something love, you're just over thinking" she replied.

Lucius studied his wife and felt a small smile tug on his lips; "He's not going to like you meddling again, Cissa" he said.

"I'm not meddling! I just want him to find a respectable wife-"

"I got you!" Lucius cried. "You DID do something! Now tell me, what did you do?" he asked.

Narcissa pouted; she then walked towards her husband's desk and sat right in front of him. She clasped her hands together and placed it on top of her lap; "I haven't done anything...yet" she said.

Lucius rolled his eyes; "Who did you pick this time?" he asked.

Narcissa averted her husband's eyes and bit her lip.

"Narcissa..."

"Hermione Granger..."

"WHAT?" Lucius roared.

Narcissa winced; she then turned her face to her husband and furrowed her brows. "Don't tell me you're still into that rubbish blood superiority Lucius?" she asked apprehensively.

Lucius frowned; "Of course not! Don't be silly Cissa!" he snapped.

Narcissa let out a sigh of relief; "Then why the violent reaction?" she asked.

Lucius crossed his arms on top of his chest; "I trust you've heard what happened to that poor woman?" he asked.

"Of course I know!" Narcissa said. "That's the reason why I'm doing this" she added.

Lucius huffed; "We both know she doesn't need this now. What she needs is to grieve and to move on" he said.

"She also needs someone to be there for her..." Narcissa replied.

Lucius sighed as he shook his head; "Just don't tell me that I didn't warn you" he said.

Narcissa smiled; "I won't blame you, I promise" she replied.

Lucius nodded; "Okay then..." he said.

"So...you're really okay with this?" Narcissa asked.

Lucius furrowed his brows; "What do you mean?" he asked.

Narcissa moved closer to the desk and leaned her arms on top of it; "Draco and Hermione...you're not against it?" she asked carefully.

Lucius eyed his wife for a couple of minutes; "I don't see anything wrong with it because I am long past my prejudice Narcissa if that's what you're really asking" he answered tiredly.

Narcissa kept silent.

"I've dealt with Ms. Granger multiple times and I can see that she's a fine young woman; she's smart, very talented and has good breathing, she fits our son perfectly, if I daresay. But I've also learned that your son is independent and he won't take it lightly if we pry, he would think that we're controlling him again, and you know how that goes" Lucius explained.

Narcissa pouted; "But I'm not really interfering, I'll just let them spend time together, if it doesn't work out then I'll back out..." she said.

"Would you really?"

Narcissa look affronted; "Of course I will. I won't force him to do something he doesn't want to do...like you, I also learned my lesson..." she said.

"Okay then, I won't breathe a word" Lucius said.

Narcissa smiled; she then leaned forward and placed a chaste kiss on her husband's lips. "That's all I ask" she said.

Lucius smiled back; "Have you already set the wheels in motion then?" he asked curiously.

Narcissa smirked; "Not yet, but soon love, soon" she replied mischievously.

oOo

"You're next appointment has arrived Healer Malfoy"

Draco tore his eyes away from the reports his reading; "Oh, please send them in Cindy, thank you" he replied. He then stacked the parchments and placed it inside his in tray; he then took off his glasses and hooked it inside his healer robes.

The door instantly burst open as a little girl bounded inside excitedly; "Uncle Dwake!"

Draco smiled widely as he moved away from his desk; he gingerly padded towards the little girl and kneeled right in front of the toddler; "Hello sweetie, this is such a pleasant surprise" he greeted.

The little girl flung her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly; "I missssss yoouuuu!"

Draco hugged the little girl in return; "I miss you too Candice!" he said.

Astoria padded inside his office and closed it behind her; "She's been raving about seeing his Godfather ever since I picked her up" she said.

Draco cradled Candice in his arms as he stood up; he planted a soft kiss on her sticky cheek and smiled. "Hi Torry..." he greeted.

Astoria smiled; she then padded towards the chair right in front of his desk and sat down. "How have you been? You seem so busy, I had to schedule an appointment to see you" she complained.

Draco chuckled as he padded towards his chair; he then sat down and placed his God daughter on his lap. "Don't exaggerate Torry, I'm not that busy" he replied. He then turned towards Candice and nuzzled her hair; "Right Munchkin?" he cooed.

Candice started giggling as she began fumbling with his robes.

Astoria rolled her eyes; "So, how have you been? I haven't seen you lately?" she asked.

"I guess, I have been busy, I'm always on call nowadays" Draco replied while prying out his Goddaughter's hand away from his glasses.

Astoria frowned; "Why are you always on call?" she asked.

Draco successfully plucked his glasses away from Candice hand and placed it on top of his desk; he then started bouncing her on his lap, making the toddler giggle. "Because I'm the only one who doesn't have a social life, I guess?" he replied nonchalantly.

Astoria shook her head; "You should go out often you know, you're single, you should mingle!" she said.

Draco immediately stopped bouncing Candice and studied his friend carefully; "Did Mum sent you?" he asked suspiciously.

Astoria raised her brow; "Why would Aunt Cissy send me?" she asked.

"Because she's been on my case since last week" Draco replied.

Astoria huffed; "She wouldn't be in your case if you're doing something about it"

Draco gently lifted Candice off his lap and sat her on top of his desk; "I can see nothing wrong with being single Astoria, it's not like I'm sleeping around" he said.

"But it's been years!"

"And I'm still counting! I don't really have time for mingling and relationships are complicated and I already have a complicated life"

Astoria sighed; she then eyed her friend. "Is this still about...Daph?" she asked hesitantly.

Draco scowled; "Seriously!" he huffed.

Astoria averted his gaze; "Well...ever since you two separated it seems like you haven't been into a serious relationship..." she said.

Draco sighed; "It has nothing to do with Daphne, I'm long past that heartache. It's just that I haven't found the one who's worth risking and that's without lack of trying, if I daresay" he answered truthfully.

Astoria's face brightened; "Aha! So you are searching! That's what I want to hear!" she said triumphantly.

Draco shook his head in disbelief; "I can't believe you used your sister in prying information out off me!" he huffed.

Astoria laughed loudly.

Draco mumbled.

oOo

"I already blocked his schedule for a week Aunt Cissy, he can already leave anytime"

Narcissa smiled widely; "Thank you so much love! I thought it would be a problem" she replied.

"Draco has tons of unused leaves, he's superior is quite excited to let him off quickly. Seems like he's the only healer who's always on call"

Narcissa shook her head; "He seldom takes a break, this would be good for him then" she said.

"I just hope he doesn't hex me to bits when he finds out"

"Don't worry, I won't let him do such thing" Narcissa guaranteed.

"Well...when do you want him there?"

Narcissa smirked; "Tomorrow I guess? I'll just let her settle down then I'll send him right in" she replied.

"Oh..."

Narcissa stood up; "Well...I think I better go, so many things to do, so little time. I'll keep you posted about the developments, thank you again for doing this" she said.

"You're welcome. I'll see you soon!"

Narcissa swished her wand and disparated with a loud crack.

oOo

Hermione landed in the middle of the living room with a loud pop; she hastily dropped her luggage and began studying her surroundings. She felt her jaw drop when she saw the vast beach landscape outside the glass sliding doors; hastily, she walked towards it and pushed it open. "Where am I?" she asked to herself. Gingerly, she stepped into the balcony and smiled widely when she felt the warm salty sea breeze caress her face; she plucked her wand from her pocket and casted a location charm.

"NORTHERN EQUATOR - INDIAN OCEAN, MALDIVES ISLAND, UTC/GMT + 5"

Hermione gasped in awe; "I am in Maldives...WOW..." she said in wonder. She then cancelled the charm and stared out to the ocean; she felt lightness inside her chest as she bathed in her warm surroundings. "I'll no longer think about you Ronald Weasley...I'll find my true happy ending and this is the start..." she muttered to herself.

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