And they were right. There were no big issues when they went back to work and they settled in a wonderful routine. They would go to work together in the morning, but usually came home at different times. They would try to have lunch together twice a week, but there was not always a chance for that. Both of them had such busy schedules and were working on different projects that lunch wasn’t always an option.

The weeks passed without incident and with wonderful memories being made. On Hermione’s birthday, he took Hermione out with their friends to a great pub in muggle London to celebrate and Draco gave her amazing diamond earrings as a gift. She loved them and all of her friends.

Hermione and Ginny had their spa day with Evie and the both agreed and were thrilled when Hermione asked them to be in the wedding. They LOVED the dresses she had picked out when she showed them a picture. They were deep purple chiffon A line dresses with spaghetti straps and would look beautiful on both of them.

The three couples would go out at least once a week, but Blaise and Evie had the hardest schedule to manage. Draco had asked Blaise to be his best man and Harry to be his other groomsman. Both had agreed and were planning a lively Stag Party for him and with some other friends. The rest of the wedding plans were almost done. William found the perfect caterer for an elegant sit down dinner in the ballroom. The florist that Cissy recommended was perfect, making the deep purple hydrangea and ivory rose bouquets. They created wonderful table centerpieces and were working with William on the other decorating.

Ginny was glowing as her pregnancy continued without event. Evie and Hermione threw a baby shower in her honor in late August at the Manor. Molly attended, but didn’t really talk with Hermione. She didn’t mind, as long as Ginny was happy. Evie was really adjusting well to the wizarding world. Magic didn’t surprise her much anymore.  She just blended in with her new friends and loved it. One of the best parts of the shower was Ginny getting Draco’s gift. True to his word, he bought Ginny the most ridiculous present he could find. Hermione didn’t know how, but bought a six foot tall chocolate brown teddy bear with a green ribbon around its neck. Ginny laughed when she saw it, but as she read the card, she cried. ‘Ginny, words cannot express how much I am indebted to you for helping me- no, trusting me to be with Hermione. I promise to you that I will love her with my whole heart and treat her with nothing but care, respect and adoration. Thank you for all your help and I wish you and Harry nothing but the best with your little bundle of joy. Maybe we will have a playmate for your child soon. Please accept these gifts with all the love I can give to you both. Just let me know if you need anything. Love, Draco’

With tears she looked at the second card and gasped. Draco had also opened a savings vault for their child at Gringotts and put 1000 galleons in it. Only Malfoy she thought would buy a 6 foot teddy bear and open a bank account for a newborn. She laughed and would hug him later. The day was a huge success.

September started with Hermione and Draco finalizing their guest list and getting the invitations ready to go out in owl post. They were inviting about 175 people. Everything with the planning of the wedding was moving along quite well.

September ended with Draco and Hermione sending out their invitations. They celebrated by opening a bottle of champagne and sitting by the pool, dangling their legs in, watching the sunset.

October put them all on Potter Baby watch. They were all so excited to meet the newest edition to their “little gang” as William called them. Ginny and Harry still didn’t know what they were having, but were ready to meet the little one. Draco had a box of supreme cigars waiting to give to Harry for him to hand out.

Hermione was at work late one afternoon in early October and in the back of the lift going to a different floor. There were two people in front of her, blocking her from view. The lift stopped again and two young men entered, having a conversation, oblivious to the other people in the small compartment.

“…Did you see who was going up to Magical Sports floor for a meeting?”

“Yes!! Sabine La Bell! Merlin that woman is HOT! Plus she can play Quidditch! I guess some good things do come out of France!”

“You just think she is hot because of the size of her chest! I am still not sure how she can balance on a broomstick with those things!”

And both men laughed. Hermione smirked a little and rolled her eyes at the conversation she overheard.

“But seriously, how lucky is Draco Malfoy?! He used to date La Bell, did you see some of those pictures from a holiday they took to the south of France two years ago? MERLIN! Those were steamy pictures!”

Hermione frowned a little. She wasn’t upset that he dated someone else, hell she was married before! But something about the way they were talking made her a little uneasy. Why hadn’t Draco mentioned his meeting with her?

“Oh yea, those were every man’s dream holiday pictures! That relationship ends and then Malfoy gets engaged to Hermione Granger? How does that wanker get so lucky? Granger is damn good looking too! That will be a Prime Minister I can get behind!”

She blushed a little at that comment, but it still didn’t make her feel any better.  The young men got off the lift and went on their way, along with the other two people on board. Hermione was uneasy as she got off the lift 2 floors later. She decided to swing by the Magical Sports office and see if Draco was available. She knew it was childish, but she went ahead and did it anyway.

She got to the office and saw that Draco’s Assistant, Shaun, was not at his desk. She didn’t want to knock, especially if they were discussing important matters. She took a deep breath to control her emotions and turned to leave and go back to her errand of delivering a report before she left for the day. She was walking away and had just turned the corner, when she heard a very loud laugh come from Draco’s office.

“Oh Draco, you are still so funny and know how to make me laugh,” She heard a French laced voice say.

She stopped dead in her tracks as her heart dropped. Oh please, she thought. Please let that be nothing. She heard the door to his office open and she stayed behind the corner and peeked out. She saw a gorgeous blond woman, with her breasts as large as the two young men promised, leaning in the doorway as Draco came out and took a file and a bottle of wine from Shaun’s desk. She was wearing a very short skirt with heels and a tight sleeveless blouse. He didn’t have his suit coat on, had his tie loosened, the top button undone and his sleeves rolled up. He never did that at work, he thought it made him look unprofessional.

She turned and leaned against the wall as he closed the door and closed her eyes to try and stop the tears from forming. She took two deep breaths and walked quickly down the hallway to drop off her report in the magical catastrophes department. She handed it off to the secretary, who asked if she was ok, and told her that she wasn’t feeling well and practically ran back to her office and grabbed her purse and sweater and went to the fireplaces to floo home.

She stepped out into their library and she couldn’t stop the tears. They just started falling. What was going on? She was envisioning the worst at this point. She was so glad that William had the night off, so she could be by herself. She went and changed into sweatpants and a t-shirt. She was going for pure comfort at that point. She grabbed a blanket and went and sat on the couch, waiting for Draco to come home. She had decided that she would let him bring it up and go from there. She had some water by her and would sip on that every once in a while, just for something to do. The sun set and she turned on the lamps in the library, still waiting for him to come home, the bad thoughts just continuing to play over and over in her head.

Finally, he arrived home, an hour and a half after she had. He stepped out of the fireplace and was surprised to see her sitting on the couch. She looked pale sitting in the lamp light.

“Hi Baby. Are you feeling ok? You look kind of pale…”

“I just have a headache, honey. How was your day? Anything good happen?” she said leaving a perfect opening for him to tell her about his visitor.

“Not much Baby. I met with a representative from the French National team. We want to try and plan some charity matches next year. Seems promising, it was a good meeting,” he said as he walked towards her to give her a hug and kiss.

Her heart sank as he didn’t say anything about his blonde visitor and as he came closer she saw bright red lipstick on the collar of his white dress shirt. She stood up abruptly and took him by surprise as her eyes welled up with tears.

“What is on your shirt collar?” she asked in a whisper.

He stopped and tried to see what she was looking at. She came up to him and yanked the collar for him to see the smeared lip prints on it. He swallowed and looked at her.

“Well, the French National Delegate-“

“Save it!! Just save the words you bloody, effing, bastard! I saw her!! Don’t make your excuses to me, you git!! We just mailed out our invitations!! We are getting married in five weeks!! Five!! You have just broken my heart!!” she yelled at him.

He was in shock, he had royally messed up and he knew it. Nothing had happened, but Sabine sure made it look like it had. She really was a good actor. He screwed up by not telling her right away. And he looked at her, ashamed and full of regret.

“Hermione please let me explain-“

“You just save your explanations for someone who cares. Because I sure don’t!! Just leave me alone Malfoy!!”

He tried to touch her as she rushed past and she smacked his hand away. He saw the pain on her face behind the anger and knew he should let her have some time. He turned as she got to the library door and slammed it shut behind her. He jumped at the loud bang. He groaned and flopped on the couch, wondering what the bloody hell he was going to do now.

Hermione went upstairs to their room and crawled up on the couch in their room and cried. She let the sobs rock her body. She didn’t try to silence them, but let all the pain she was feeling come out. Their room was on the second floor right above the library. The balcony doors were open in their room and so were the patio doors downstairs. He could hear her sobs and it nearly killed him. He desperately wanted to go to her and comfort her and kiss the tears away, make her feel better and take away the pain he had caused.

He just sat there and listened to her sobs and it made him cry too. I have just hurt the most important person in my life, the person I love the most, he thought. That was something he promised he wouldn’t do to her. While he may not have hurt her physically, he had emotionally hurt her and that made him no better than Weasley.  He heard the sobs quiet down and wondered if she had cried herself to sleep. He was just thinking about going up to check on her, he heard someone floo in. He looked up and saw Blaise standing there.

As soon as Blaise had stepped out, he knew something was going on. The look on Draco’s face said volumes to his best friend.

“What happened? What did you do?”

“I messed up big, mate.” He explained what had happened with Sabine this afternoon and that somehow Hermione knew she was there and that he didn’t say anything to her.

As Blaise listened to his best friend talk, he realized that his friend was in pain and had every right to feel miserable about what he did. And when he finished talking, Blaise was going to let him have it. Finally Draco stopped his version and looked at him, not sure what to expect. Blaise walked over to the little bar area and poured two double shots of fire whiskey. He took them back to the couch, sat down and handed one to Draco. He raised his glass to Draco in salute and downed it. Draco followed suit.

Blaise looked at his best friend and started talking. “Mate, you know I love you like a brother and would do anything for you. I am going to be honest with you right now. You are the BIGGEST wanker I have EVER met!! What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you even meet with Sabine alone?! You know how she is-hell I know how she is!! She will manipulate any situation she can for her benefit and gain. Damn, Draco! I just don’t get it!! You FINALLY have the woman you have loved for over 10 years and are going to marry her in a month!! And you go and let your ex-girlfriend into your office ALONE and drink wine with her-and I am sure she was dressed to kill. And is that really lipstick on your collar?! How cliché can she get? And why the bloody hell did you let her get that close? Merlin, and you were supposed to be smart! Second best in the class!”

He got up and started pacing, still not finished, “I feel bad for you mate that you are in pain, but YOU brought it upon yourself and upon that beautiful woman that I have come to love as a sister. If you want this woman to forgive you, start begging. And be on your knees while you do it. You know that she deserves better than this and you better start reminding her of how amazing she is because I am betting that all this episode tonight did was remind her of this spring and how messed up her life was. You showed her how good it could be and then basically ripped it away from her-along with her heart and soul. She gave everything to you, and put her life in your hands. You didn’t treat her the way you promised her you would. You better hope that you can make this up to her and get her to forgive you before the Potters and your mum find out. I don’t want to think about what they will do to you. I am going to go upstairs and check on her and then I will be back. Damn, man.” And he went upstairs shaking his head.

He came up to their bedroom door and softly knocked. Without hearing an answer he opened the door and softly called her name. He stuck his head in and saw her sitting on the couch with tear stains on her face, just looking outside at nothing. He went and sat next to her and wrapped his arms around her. She started crying again into his shirt as he just smoothed down her hair, trying to soothe her. He let her cry it out again; whispering that everything would be ok and that he was a bloody idiot. He didn’t know how long he sat there, but he did, just listening to her breathing normalize. He could tell she was going to fall asleep soon and wanted to make sure that she settled for the night.

He asked if she had eaten anything, but she said she wasn’t hungry. He told her to take the day off tomorrow and she refused to skirt her responsibilities because of him. He shook his head and asked if she was ready for bed, and she nodded yes. He helped her from the couch to the bed and she climbed in and he tucked her in. He bent over and kissed the top of her head.

“Good night, little sister. I will check on you tomorrow. I love you…”

“Thank you Blaise. I love you too.”

“Hermione, I know he hurt you and he is one stupid man for the events of today, but when he tries to explain, as a favor to me, please listen. Then after you have listened to what he has to say, you can leave or curse him or do what you want to him and I will help you. He deserves anything you choose to do to him.”

She promised she would listen, but that was it. Her eyes welled up again and he rubbed her back and after a few minutes she was asleep, emotionally exhausted. He went into the bathroom, got a glass of water and a headache potion and set them on the night stand. She would definitely need them in the morning. He left the lamp on and closed the door behind him. He went back downstairs and saw Draco was still sitting on the couch with his head in his hands. He snapped his head up when he heard Blaise enter.

“How is she? Can I go see her?”

“She cried herself to sleep. I left some water and a headache potion on the nightstand for her in the morning. I promised her I will check on her tomorrow as she insists on going to work tomorrow. I asked her to listen to you when you talked to her. She promised she would listen at least. You better figure something out mate, I got you an opening, and you better make the most of it. If you don’t, so help me merlin, I will curse you myself!”

Blaise hugged his hurting friend and went back to the fireplace, “Fix this Malfoy.” And he was gone.

Draco got up and went to this desk and placed an order for a huge bouquet of flowers to be delivered to her office first thing in the morning. He then wrote a love letter to her that he would send tomorrow as well. He had plans to buy a special gift for her, not to buy her, but to show her that she deserves everything that he can and will give her. It was about 10 and he was exhausted. He quietly went into their room and saw that she was still sleeping.

He went and took a quick shower and then kissed her on the forehead and whispered, “I am so sorry baby…I love you more that words can say. I will make this up to you and make it right.”

He went to his side of the bed, took his pillow and then went to lay down on the couch. He didn’t want to disturb her, which was the least he could do for the night. He wished he had a time turner to go back and redo that meeting. He knew he was being played. The first thing Sabine said was that she saw the article in Witch Weekly and offered half-hearted congratulations. He thanked her and then gushed about Hermione and how happy he was with her and that was what set her off. He should have remembered how she worked. He sighed and turned over, hoping that sleep would overtake him at some point before the sun came up.

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