They both awoke to the alarm that Draco had set. They stretched and sat up, still keeping the blanket around them He looked outside and saw that it was still raining and looked chilly out. So much for a nice breakfast outside on the patio, he thought. He was still thinking about the weather when he felt Hermione shift her weight and the next thing he knew she was sitting on his lap, kissing him. He loved feeling her warm and sleepy and took the kissing deeper and they really made sure that the morning was started off right.

They went upstairs together still wrapped in the blanket. They got upstairs and quickly showered and dressed. He is a dark grey suit with a green and gray tie and her in a long pencil skirt and bright blue blouse.  Their morning activity took up some time and they didn’t have much for breakfast. They went down and quickly ate some Danishes and tea. She grabbed her purse and wand and was going to the floo when she saw an owl delivering a letter. She took it from the brown owl with the sweet eyes and saw it was addressed to Draco. He came in just then and she gave it to him to read. It was from the agency he wrote about getting a housekeeper. 

“Oh they are sending over 3 people for us to interview, two this afternoon and one tomorrow. We can see if we like anyone and go from there.” He looked at his watch and hurried her along to the fireplace to floo to the Ministry.

They arrived and saw Narcissa waiting for them. The doors were just about to close for the proceedings and they hurried in and took some seats in the middle of the courtroom. The doors closed right behind them. The head official called the proceedings to order.  They asked Viktor to rise and hear the official changes against him and the punishments that he could receive.

Hermione was shocked to see how haggard he looked. He really had let himself go. She sat back with not much thought, took Draco’s hand and listened. Some of the information that they were bringing up was pretty shocking. He was getting pretty nasty in some of his game play. The attack on Draco was not the only thing they were investigating him for, it was just the final straw.

It was hard listening to Draco give his account of what happened. The pictures they showed of his injuries were incredibly difficult to see. She had to blink some tears back after seeing those. He came back to his seat, took her hand and kissed it. They sat back and finished the hearing.

Harry was right; they came down very hard on Viktor. He was given a lifetime ban from all aspects of the game; he had to make a 10,000 galleon donation for the charity of Draco’s choice for his injuries and had to serve 60 days in Azkaban.  The proceedings were adjourned and they got up to leave. The press was outside the room, waiting for Draco and started snapping pictures like crazy. Draco took her left hand and hid it from the cameras. Hermione and Draco didn’t want their engagement to come out until the Witch Weekly article on Friday. They ignored all those questions, but answered some of the ones about both of their court cases.

They made their way through the crowd and over to the floo area. They said goodbye to Narcissa, with her and Hermione having plans to go shopping on Friday. They got home and had just enough time to change and have a sandwich before the first housekeeper arrived so they could interview her.

The first lady that arrived was very stern and older. She wasn’t very personable and wanted nothing to do with kids. They had no idea when they would have children, but she didn’t want to work with them. While they didn’t want the housekeeper to be a nanny, they would be interacting. They really wanted the housekeep to be a part of the family, not just an employee.

They finished and thanked her for her time. She left out the front door, walked to the apparation point and turned.

Draco looked at Hermione and said, “I have seen grindylows that were friendlier than her!”

Hermione laughed, “Oh sweet merlin-no way! I don’t care how experienced she was!”

They went into the kitchen to have a piece of leftover cheesecake before the next person arrived. They were laughing and talking in the kitchen and didn’t realize the time until the doorbell rang.

Draco quickly ran to the door, opened it to a stately and handsome looking gentleman named William Elliott, who was about 50 years old. He welcomed the man to their home and shook his hand. He took him into the living room where Hermione met them. She shook his hand, they sat down.

Draco started asking questions and they quickly found that William was quite funny as well as experienced. He loved to cook and was willing to help wherever they wanted him too. Hermione asked the child question and William responded by how much he loved being around kids. His own daughter and husband lived in Australia with their two kids and he didn’t get to see them nearly enough. Hermione was in love with the man and was dying to hear what Draco thought.  They continued to talk and learn more about each other.

Hermione had a thought, “William, what would your thoughts be on us having our wedding here? Would you be willing to help organize the event or any other event that we might have?”

William raised an eyebrow at her question, “Well, can I assume that congratulations are in order, but it just hasn’t been made public yet?” Hermione smiled and nodded.

“Well, then congratulations to you both. I have helped plan large events before and I would do whatever you needed. If that was to give guidance to any people that you hire, or anything along those lines, I am willing. Who doesn’t like a good party?”

They laughed and finished up. He rose, shock their hands and Draco walked him to the door. They said good-bye and he went back to Hermione.

“Well?” She asked.

“I really like him! He is funny, likes to talk Quidditch and can cook! Not too bad with cleaning spells either.”

“I love him!! Let’s make the offer! There is no one else I can see beating him out of the position.”

He kissed her and went to go owl the agency and tell them they wanted William. He stopped, turned and went back up to her.

“Did you make a decision about our wedding? Do you really want to get married here?”

“Oh I wanted to talk to you about that, but I want to make sure that you are ok with it.”

“Baby, if you wanted to get married in our pajamas in a pond somewhere, I am totally fine with it! I just want to marry you! I have heard that you didn’t get to decide anything with that bloody wanker, so make this exactly how you want it!! Have the bills sent to me, don’t worry about how much anything costs! We have the money, Baby. Promise me you will do whatever your heart desires. OK?”

“Your mum told me you would say that, but I just liked hearing it. But I also want your opinions as well. This is your wedding too! I want you to be happy with what we have.”

“If you are planning it, I will be thrilled with everything,” and kissed her forehead.

“I really want to get married here, in the gardens. Then have a huge party in the ballroom.”

“That sounds amazing! Do you have a time frame you are thinking of?”

“Well, I was thinking in November, so we could have the deep, rich colors. What do you think?”

“That sounds lovely. I can’t wait!!”

They kissed sweetly as he pulled back and went to go write his owls. She was walking on air as she went back to the kitchen and cleaned up the dessert dishes and thought about dinner. She couldn’t decide what to make for dinner, nothing sounded good. She wandered into the library and went and sat on the edge of the desk next to Draco.

“What if we went out tonight and grabbed some dinner? Nothing sounds good tonight.”

“Oh I know this great place for pizza! You want to go?”

“Sure! Let me go get my purse and a light coat.” She ran up to their room and took out a jumper and her purse. She ran back down to the library. Draco led her to the garage where he had a BMW and a Porsche parked. She smiled and shook her head at him. He took the keys from the peg on the wall and opened the door of the Porsche and helped her in. He climbed in, opened the garage door with his wand, revved the engine and they roared down the lane. The gates magically opened for them and they sped off to muggle London. They had a wonderful drive and he pulled up to a packed pizzeria.

The walked in and got a booth in the back really quickly. Hermione was surprised by that. He must have been a frequent customer. They sat down and ordered drinks and an extra-large supreme pizza.

“Ok, how did you do that? How did you bypass the long line and get this booth back here?”

He smirked at her as he took a drink of his muggle ale, “I own it.”

She set down her coke and stared at him, “What?!!”

“Well, we own it. Blaise and I came here a ton when he was in healing school and I was in off season training and was talking with the manager one day. He was saying that the owner was going to close it because he was getting too old to run it. We love this place, so I contacted my lawyer and had him buy it with the manager still running it. I will introduce you, so come by anytime and eat free.”

“You never cease to amaze me Draco Malfoy!”

They laughed, talked and ate for the next hour. It was heavenly pizza, she was so impressed. The manager came over and Draco introduced him to his fiancée. They talked for a while and then he left to continue to serve the many people that were waiting. They finished and left, leaving a nice tip for the server.

The drove home and went to the library to read. After about an hour, Hermione was feeling a little feisty and went up to their room and changed into a very sheer nightgown that Draco was partial to. She wrote a note, made it into a paper airplane and flew it to Draco and waited.

The piece of paper landed on Draco’s book, he set it down and opened it up. She wrote some clue about being somewhere in the house and the only thing he could think of that she was in a spare bedroom. He ran upstairs and guessed that she was in the guest room that had red accents. She was lying on the red comforter, wearing his favorite nightgown. He smirked, closed the door and went up to the bed. They didn’t leave until much later, when he carried her to their bedroom, exhausted.

The rest of the week was filled with getting ready to go back to work. Their bosses were sending some reports and work to them so they would be up to speed on issues as soon as they walked in. Hermione already had two meeting scheduled for Monday and Draco had one. They were both reading and working most of the next few days. Draco had set up Hermione’s desk in the corner by the windows where she wanted it. Draco reminded her that all work and no play made for a dull life and they fulfilled the promise to christen every room of the house before they went back to work.

William had accepted their proposal and moved in Wednesday and immediately got to work. He helped so much while they tried to catch up. The owls were getting more frequent and it was hard to not get overwhelmed. William helped by getting them food and reminding them to take breaks. He was a dream come true, taking care of laundry and light cleaning.

The days passed quickly and Hermione was thrilled when it was Friday and she could go shopping with Cissy. She dressed casual that day and in comfy sandals. She had a feeling that this was going to be an experience she wouldn’t forget with Narcissa Malfoy!

Cissy arrived about 9:30 ready to go. Hermione was going to drive the BMW into London as they planned on bringing many treasures to bring home. The ladies hugged, each kissed Draco good-bye and headed to the garage. Cissy got in the passenger side of the sleek 4 door sedan and waited for Hermione to climb in.

“Be careful Baby. Shopping with my mother can be dangerous! Try and leave some of muggle London for the muggles!”

She laughed as she kissed him again on the lips and said, “Honey, I can’t promise anything yet! You never know what may catch your eye.”

“You did and all those years ago and I have never been the same. Buy me something while you are out!”

She agreed and hopped in the car. They pulled out and head down the lane. The two talked and laughed the whole drive as they discovered they had the same obsession for certain designers. Hermione was so lucky to find a great parking spot on the road right by two of their favorite stores. They got out; Hermione whispered an extra protection spell on the car and off the women went.

They went from rack to rack and store to store buying great classic pieces to add to their wardrobe. Hermione felt a little embarrassed buying some fancy underwear and nightgowns in front of Cissy, but she told her to not feel embarrassed; that she was a beautiful, sexy young woman and had a fiancée who loved and adored her. She was young once and understood. They were both pleased with their purchases so far and went to drop their packages in the car and get some lunch.

They went to one of Cissy’s favorite little cafés and had a delightful lunch. Hermione told Cissy about her thoughts for the wedding so far and she loved them! She loved the thought of a fall wedding with deep jewel tones. She only wanted two bridesmaids, wanting to ask Ginny and Evie. Cissy thought that was a wonderful idea and they talked about how much they liked the young woman and how much Blaise liked her and didn’t quite know what to do about it.

After some tea and tiny lemon cookies, they ladies were ready to head out to some other stores. Hermione needed some lotions, bubble bath and makeup. There was also a need to visit the shoe store, who doesn’t need a few new pairs?!  They locked arms and walked down the street talking and laughing. They hit those stores and had bags already in their hands. They were walking farther down the street when Hermione stopped in her tracks and stared into a store, her mouth is a surprised expression.

“Darling! What’s wrong?!” Cissy asked her in a worried tone.

Hermione heard her in a fog but couldn’t take her eyes of what she was seeing. Cissy put her hand on Hermione’s arm trying to shake her awake, gently calling her name.  She finally spoke, never taking her eyes off the object she was staring at.

Pointing at the item in the window, she whispered, “That’s it Cissy! That’s the dress I have always dreamed of! It’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen…”

Finally understanding, Cissy looked into the store main doors and saw this gorgeous silk and lace gown on a mannequin in the back of the store. She was afraid that Hermione would stand there all day looking at the dress and not do anything about it. Cissy didn’t remember this store the last time she was in town, but took her by the arm and led her into the store. One of the ladies that worked there came up to them and welcomed them. Cissy started the conversation as Hermione still wasn’t capable of forming words. She asked how long the shop had been there. The lady told them that they were an exclusive and upscale wedding and dress shop. They only opened the day before and they were one of the first people in the store.

The lady noticed the very large engagement ring on Hermione’s finger and said a little prayer that this rich woman would buy something here.  Cissy told them that Hermione was interested in the dress in front of them. The sales lady told them this was an original design by an American and only three of these dresses were made. Cissy’s heart sank a little, if there were only three of them, there wasn’t much hope that it was Hermione’s size, but she asked anyway.

“Well, it is a size 6…” the sales lady said with a little sadness in her voice, knowing how this could end up.

“That’s my size!!” Hermione squealed. The sales lady started taking the dress off the mannequin and other lady ushered them into a large dressing room. Cissy took the bags and set them on the couch next to her and Hermione started to undress and put on the robe that was in there. She was so nervous that her hands were shaking a little as she waited. A small knock came on the door and two ladies brought in the dress. They helped Hermione get it on and close all the buttons on the back of the dress. They led her out to the front of the store to stand on the pedestal surround by mirrors and stood back so Hermione could take it all in.

She was stunned as she looked in the mirror. The dress was delicate shade of ivory to start, not a stark white like her first dress. She loved that. It was strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline and had a low back, showing off her curves perfectly. It was a smooth silk with the most delicate, ornate lace overlay.  The masterpiece ended with a sheath type skirt and the lace flowing around into a perfectly sized train, not too short and not too long.

“Oh my gosh…Oh my gosh…” Hermione just kept whispering. She turned back and forth in front of the mirrors to see it from different angles and couldn’t find a single thing wrong with it. It literally was perfect. It didn’t need alterations; it was like it was made for her.  She turned to Narcissa to see what she thought. The look on her face said everything for Hermione. She was smiling with tears in her eyes.

“Darling, there are no words for how perfect you look. Draco will not know what hit him as you walk towards him. What do you think?”

“I love it! I can’t tell you how much I adore this dress. I think I should get it…What do you think Cissy?”

“This dress was made for you. You must get it!”

Hermione looked at the price tag and almost had a heart attack. After the conversion from pounds to galleons, the dress was about 8,000 galleons. She gulped; did she really want to spend that much on one dress for one day? What should she do? She looked at Cissy with a pained look in her eyes. Cissy could see the doubt in her eyes over the price. She didn’t want this young woman whom she loved like a daughter already to not have this dress! She deserved this and so much more and Cissy made a decision right then and there.

“We will take it. She is getting this dress,” Narcissa said with an air or authority and superiority. The sales ladies almost cried with joy as Hermione stood there stunned.

“But Cissy, don’t you think it’s too much? I don’t know if I should spend that much…” and was cut off by her future mother in law.

“Well, it’s a good thing you are not buying it and I am. I insist! You have made my son so happy, that this is the least I can do. I will NOT hear another word about this. Please wrap this up so we can go home.”

Hermione was speechless, she was led by the ladies into the dressing room again and they carefully took off the dress to put on the special hangers and in the protective bags. Hermione dressed quickly, ran out of the dressing room and into Cissy’s arms. She was crying as she thanked her from the bottom of her heart. The older woman teared up as she held the younger one in her arms. Cissy gave the sales lady her muggle credit card as Hermione gathered up the other bags. Cissy took the large prized bag and they walked out of the store and down to the car. Hermione opened the trunk and placed all the bags in there. She opened the back door and helped Cissy place the dress bag in the back seat.

Suddenly Hermione was so tired and ready to go home. Cissy agreed and they got in and drove back to the Manor. When they opened the garage door, they saw that the Porsche was not in there. The timing was perfect; the two women carried all the bags in the house quickly. They dumped the bags in the living room and Hermione ran back and took out her beloved dress and took it upstairs and hid it in the back of the closet. She went back downstairs and helped sort through the bags and take what was hers and what was Narcissa’s. She looked a little guilty at all that she had purchased. William came in and saw the bags and raised his eyebrows.

“Productive day out Hermione?” He asked with a smile on his face.

“You could say that William,” Hermione replied. She flopped on the couch and Narcissa joined her. William flicked his wand and a tray of lemonade and two glasses came up to them. The thanked him as he poured a glass for each of the women. They sipped on the refreshing liquid and just sat there for a few minutes. They heard the clock chime 5 o’clock in the library.

“I really must get going. I am meeting some friends for a late dinner and want to take a quick nap to help recover from our day out.”

Hermione stood up, helped Cissy get all her bags and walked with her to the fireplace to floo home. After one huge hug, the elder lady was gone. Hermione went back into the living room, used her wand and floated all the bags up to their room to put everything away or send it to be cleaned. She was laying out some of the lingerie and cutting off the tags when Draco came home. He went into the kitchen and saw William preparing dinner for them and it smelled mouthwatering. The spaghetti and meatballs was going to be amazing and he couldn’t wait.

“Draco, I should warn you. Hermione is home and your mother has left. I am not sure your vaults will ever be the same,” William joked with Draco.

“That good?! How many bags did she take upstairs?” He groaned jokingly.

“Oh I am guessing about 15. You might need to enlarge the closet.”

Both men laughed as they talked for a minute more. He put on a brave face and went up to their room to survey the damage. He stood in the doorway and saw the empty bags and boxes on the floor and what seemed like a mountain of clothes on their bed. He was just about to say something when he saw her holding up different pieces of the lingerie and looking on the mirror. He instantly shut his mouth and swallowed when he saw some of the things she was holding up. He was thanking Merlin for bringing this woman to him as she went through several pieces. He leaned against the doorjamb and enjoyed the show she was giving and didn’t even know it. He loved it and couldn’t wait to see the real thing.

She took some of those items to the closet and put them in the basket so she could wash them. He took this as his chance and went in the room to not let her know what he saw. She came back in the room and jumped into his arms and gave him a big kiss.

“I found a dress, Honey! I wasn’t even looking and your mum and I were out walking and I just saw it! It stopped me in my tracks. It is PERFECT!! It is my dream dress; I can’t tell you how excited I am for you to see it!!”

“Baby I am so happy for you!! Go get it and let me see!”

Hermione looked at him, horror struck, “You can’t see it until I am walking down the aisle!! That will jinx our wedding!! PLEASE promise me you won’t look at it until our wedding day!!”

He could see that this meant so much to her, so he promised not to sneak a peek. He asked to see what else she got and she showed him some of the great pieces of clothing she got. Some were for work, some for play and some for evenings out. He loved everything she bought and was pleased that she was so happy. She pulled a couple of bags out and gave them to him. She kept her word and bought him some things too. She got him a soft blue cashmere sweater, two new silk ties and a few pull over shirts. Damn, he thought, she was good! He loved each piece and they were all items that he would have bought for himself.

He thanked her with a few passionate kisses and asked if a night in was ok with her. Since she was so tired from her busy day, she loved the idea. They went downstairs hand in hand and went into the kitchen to eat dinner. The smells were heavenly and both of their stomachs rumbled as William served them in the kitchen. They talked about their days and ate the rich sauce and perfectly seasoned meatballs. When they were done, they decided to go down to the movie room and watch a movie.  Draco picked out one of his favorite movies to show Hermione. She liked the action in it and promised to show Draco her favorite muggle movie their next night in. After a long week, they went up to bed a little before 10 and just lay together and talked about the future, loving the way their plans sounded. Draco realized he wouldn’t care if they lost every sickle they had and were dead broke as long as he was with her.

“I just want to tell you that I love you. I would do anything for you and just want you to know that. You really are the love of my life and now that I know what it’s like to have you, I don’t know what I would do without you,” He looked at her as he said these words.

It made her heart swell, she never felt this way with Ron, never felt the connection and the pull to him the way she does with Draco. She never felt so loved and cherished by another person that wasn’t her parents. She never wanted this feeling to end.

“I love you too, Draco. I can never imagine my life without you now either. I would be empty inside and never want to feel that,” she replied.

They kissed and made love with such tenderness and emotion that it brought tears to her eyes. They slept wrapped in each other arms.

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