The next morning they awoke and ate a light breakfast. They quickly changed and gathered the rest of their toiletries into their luggage. At a few minutes before 11, Draco took Hermione’s hand, kissed it and turned on the spot as they landed at the apparation point at his mother’s house. They landed at very sweet little garden area that was protected by an arbor climbing with sweet peas in full bloom. Narcissa and Sweetie had been waiting and as soon as they arrived the beautiful witch wrapped them both up in a big hug as the little elf watched and smiled.

“I am so glad you are here! Sweetie, could you help take the bags up to the room that Draco always uses?” Sweetie jumped up, smiling widely and took the bags away with a crack. They caught up for a few minutes, before Draco kissed both of his ladies on the cheek and went to his mother’s office to take care of some business and write some owls.

“Hermione, honey, you come with me and let me show you around my little bit of my own paradise.”

They wrapped their arms around each other’s waists as they started to stroll through the grounds on the nice early June day in southern England. Hermione loved the gardens that Cissy had created. They were a combination of muggle and magical flowers, joined together in a very harmonious way. They thrived and grew together, helping each other. Hermione thought it was the perfect representation of how life was after the war and how hard they were working on keeping it that way. And with Kingsley at Minister, things would be that way for a long time to come.

After the grounds, Cissy walked Hermione around her house. It was on 5 acres, with large trees lining the edge of her property. It was small when you compared it to Malfoy Manor, with it only having 5 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, library, a formal dining room, a beautiful ballroom for entertaining, a greenhouse and a solarium of sorts that was all glass. It held an indoor pool, but the whole west wall and ceiling opened to a wonderful patio so the pool then became outdoors. The house was elegantly decorated based on its owner with soft colors and dark woods, it was light and airy and nothing like the dark and gothic way Malfoy Manor was. Hermione loved it and told its owner the same. Cissy was pleased and wanted Hermione to feel comfortable here. She knew the hell that she was going through internally and squeezed her hand to show her that she appreciated her kind words.

They walked to a little side patio in her gardens surrounded by roses and ivy to enjoy some drinks, talk and catch up. Draco found them there a few hours later, laughing and drinking lemonade. He went up behind Hermione, and kissed her cheek. She reached up and touched his cheek as he bent his head down. Cissy smiled at their tenderness to each to each other. He joined them at the table and they continued to have a lovely afternoon. Looking at her watch, Cissy jumped up at the time.

“Gracious! I must finish dinner with Sweetie! Everyone will be here in just over an hour! If you would like to freshen up for dinner, please go ahead. I will see you shortly,” and she rushed off, kissing Draco’s cheek as she went.

Draco took Hermione’s hand as they walked up the wonderful winding staircase up top the second floor where their room was. He kissed her lips hungrily as they walked through door. They quickly locked the door and started to undress each other with urgency. They made to the bed and made love with a desperate need for each other. It was like the reality of their situation was finally hitting them. It seemed like everything could change tomorrow and they had to have these last few moments to themselves before they would be invaded. They knew they couldn’t stay isolated forever, but it was damn good while it lasted. They looked at each other, waiting for their breathing to regulate.

“I just can’t seem to get enough of you miss. You stir up some pretty amazing feelings in me and sometimes, I can’t keep my hands off you. You make me want to be a better man.”

“I completely understand what you are saying, kind sir. You make me feel so beautiful and desired and I have never had that before. We are pretty great together, you know?”

“I completely agree Ms. Granger. Let’s clean up a little and go meet our friends.”

They kissed one last time and got up and went to fix their hair and put on some clean, unwrinkled clothes for dinner. They both put on some nice dress slacks and nice shirts.

“Damn we look good together. I have to say we put other couples to shame!”

She giggled at his comments as he smacked her behind as he walked by, “Humble aren’t we honey?”

He winked at her as they laced their hands together and walked down to the library to wait for their friends to arrive. She loved looking around the room and he held her from behind, kissing her neck as she did, whispering suggestive things in her ear. She was blushing at some of the things he was saying he wanted to do to her when they got back to the island in a few days. They were so caught up with each other they didn’t hear the Potters arrive.

“Good grief!! Is that ALL you two do?!” Ginny yelled in a cheeky voice as they turned around.

Harry was laughing as Ginny had a big smile on her face with her hands on her hips.

Draco replied with a smirk, “Us?!! Who are the pregnant ones here? Not us ma’am!!”

They all laughed as Hermione went over to Ginny and gently placed her hand on now visible baby bulge. It was so sweet, Hermione was jealous at feeling it. She hadn’t realized it until that moment, but she really wanted a baby and she wanted one with Draco. She couldn’t let anyone know, so she put on a smile and was going to ask how Ginny was feeling when they heard the doorbell ring.

They were all a little puzzled at the bell ringing. They all left the library and watched as Draco went to answer the door. As soon as he opened it, the answer was clear. Blaise was standing at the door with his arm around Evie, the young muggle woman he met in St. Thomas. He couldn’t floo with her, so he drove. Blaise and Draco hugged and greeted Evie as he ushered them in.  Hermione came forward and hugged them both and introduced Evie to Harry and Ginny. It appeared that Evie and Blaise had been spending quite a bit of time together since they both returned. It was serious enough Blaise had told her about them all being wizards and she was intrigued. She wasn’t ready to travel the wizard way yet, but loved what Blaise had shown her so far.

Narcissa had come in at the tail end of the conversations and introductions.

Blaise looked at the woman he loved like a mother, but his arm around Evie and said, “Cissy, may I present to you Evie Taylor, my girlfriend. Evie, this is Narcissa Malfoy, Draco’s mother. She is like my second mother. She was always good enough to let me spend the night, love me like her own and smack me upside the head when I needed it.”

“Which was often with these two,” Narcissa replied with a smile, “but I am so pleased to finally meet you. Blaise has told me so much about you.” And she shook the young woman’s hand.

“It is a pleasure to meet you as well, Mrs. Malfoy. Blaise has told me many stories about him and Draco, so I can imagine the smacks. You must have had your hands full!”

Hermione replied, “If you only knew!” The entire group laughed at this. 

The group chatted for a moment when Sweetie came in and announced dinner. Evie’s eyes got really big at the sight of the little elf in a cute little sundress and big bow on her head. Blaise must have mentioned something about it, because she took a deep breath, and followed them into the dining room. The group of friends went to the large shiny table and they all sat as Narcissa directed them.

Once they were settled with a drink, Sweetie snapped and the food appeared on the plates, piping hot. Evie was speechless, but followed the others as they dug into the wonderful smelling foods. The seven people talked and enjoyed each other’s company while they ate. It was a lively meal. Narcissa was so happy to see these young people happy and growing up in a safe world, away from the hate. She had some tears in her eyes she was so happy. Draco sensed it and put his hand on his mother's, smiling at her. She nodded at his reassuring him that she was fine and asked them all to the patio for coffee, tea and dessert.

They had just moved out there and were getting their hot beverages when Sweetie came out and announced that Mr. Dean Thomas had arrived. Hermione instantly become nervous as Dean came out to the patio and joined them. Draco sensed it and stood next to her and started rubbing her back. They all hugged and introductions were done. Dean accepted a cup of coffee and ate a cookie.

They talked for a few minutes, when Dean stood up and said, “Well, Hermione should we go and get started? I don’t want to prolong this for you.”

Hermione nodded and stood to leave the group. She stopped and asked if Draco could come with her. Dean didn’t mind, so the three of them went into the library and sat on the overstuffed couches. Draco held her hand as Dean explained how the day would go tomorrow. He explained that he would be calling Blaise and Draco to the stand, as well as Harry, Ginny and Kingsley. He had already done his prep with them and they knew what to expect. Dean explained how the day would go and some of the questions he would ask as well as what Ron’s attorney would do. He warned her to be prepared, that his team was going to try and discredit her story and downplay what had happened. That angered her, but like Dean said, she had to not show that emotion and just continue to tell her story. That would go a long way with the Wizengamot. He also said that he would try to get Ron to lose his temper on the stand to show his true colors. Dean mentioned that Ron was pleading not guilty to the assault charges and to not grant the divorce. Hermione panicked at the thought of that happening, but Dean assured her that the chances of that happening were very slim. There was too much evidence against him and that they had already granted the legal separation. She relaxed a little. Dean answered the questions she had and about an hour later, then walked him out to the patio with the others again.

The group of 8 was talking again about other things and lightened the mood. Blaise had filled Evie in on the situation before so she wouldn’t be lost. The group took turns telling stories to Evie about their days at Hogwarts. They were all laughing so hard, Hermione even had tears running down her face with some of them. It was good to laugh.  When the laughter from the last story had died down, Ginny yawned and said that she and the baby were tired and they should probably be heading home. The group all stood up and said their goodbyes, with Dean, Harry and Ginny leaving by floo powder. Draco and Hermione then walked Blaise and Evie to the front door. Evie turned and hugged Hermione saying how she would be thinking about her tomorrow. She couldn’t attend; she had to go to do her rounds at a muggle hospital where she was doing an internship. Blaise would let her know what happened. They hugged and promised to see each other again soon. The new couple left and Draco closed the door. Hermione and Draco walked back outside where Narcissa was sitting finishing her coffee. Hermione sat down next to her and looked at her.

“Cissy, can I ask a huge favor of you?”

“Of course you can, Darling! What can I do for you?”

“I was wondering if you would come with us tomorrow. I would just like to see you sitting there when I look out. I want to see a strong woman sitting there in my corner, reminding me to be strong…”

“Hermione, I wouldn’t be any other place than right there with you,” she replied taking the young woman’s hand. She stood up and pulled Hermione into a hug. Hermione started crying and the older woman held her and cried with her. Draco watched as the two strongest women he had ever met broke down. They were so vulnerable with what they had survived, but found solace in each other. It brought tears to his eyes to see them.

Narcissa pulled her back and said, “Draco, take this beautiful, strong woman up and tuck her into bed. I am going to get a dreamless sleep draught and bring it up so she can get some sleep.”

Draco nodded, went to Hermione and picked her up. She put her head on his shoulder and carried her upstairs to the room they were using. He brought her in the room and sat her on the bed, he quickly got on his pajama shorts and then went to his love and helped her get on a sweet little pajama short set she had brought. He was just helping her under the covers when Narcissa knocked and came in. She handed the glass to Hermione and watched as she drank it all down. She thanked her and lay down on the pillows. She kissed her cheek, hugged her son and left, closing the door behind her. Draco climbed into bed beside her, flicked the lights off with his wand that was on the nightstand.

He pulled her close, kissed her head and said, “I love you baby, I am right here and never going to leave you. I will always protect you.”

Those were the last words she heard as she drifted off into a peaceful sleep despite the stress the next day would hold.

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