The LetterAuthor: lrthunderRating:
Hermione reads a letter that Draco wrote to her, reassuring her of his love for her.Warnings:
Implied sex, very brief nudity (blink and it's over)Author's Note(s):
To my giftee, I hope this fits in with your prompt "an old love letter."
Hermione kept touching her engagement ring. She couldn't believe that her wedding was only a couple of days away. She was excited: after all, almost every girl dreams of walking down the aisle, watching her husband-to-be glowing with anticipation as he waits at the altar.
Still, she was nervous, and not just because of the wedding: her choice of groom was also a factor. If anybody had told her as a teenager that she would one day marry Draco Malfoy, Hermione would have called for some Healers to cart them off to St. Mungo's for some shock spell therapy.
In many ways, Draco was still the same prat he had been at Hogwarts, but he had also grown up a lot since then.
During the first couple of years after the war, they had still engaged in their old banter, with Draco continuing his infuriating habit of calling her “Granger”, but the tone had been friendlier somehow. Then one day, quite out of the blue, Draco had asked her out on a date. For some reason, she had said yes. Things had moved quickly after that. It felt like only a week later that Draco was down on one knee, proposing to her.
Of her future in-laws, Narcissa had been by far the most welcoming. Hermione had never liked Lucius, and the feeling was mutual. When news of the couple's engagement was announced, Lucius had sneered and muttered something about an "uppity Muggle-born polluting the Malfoy bloodline." In contrast, Narcissa had thrown herself into the wedding preparations, bombarding Hermione with all sorts of advice.
Hermione wondered why Draco had chosen her. They had fought so often at Hogwarts that it was hard to see how they could become a loving couple. A couple of times, Hermione had voiced her doubts. Draco had simply rolled his eyes and said, "If you ever doubt my love for you, Hermione, you need only look in the drawer of the oak desk in my room at Malfoy Manor. You’ll find the truth in there."
Hermione had resisted the urge to go there. She had too many painful memories of Draco’s family home, which was why Draco had moved into his own flat when they started dating. His decision had resulted in the added bonus of convincing Harry and Ron - who had been sceptical of his intentions - that he was serious about Hermione. However, as the wedding drew closer, she had resolved to face the demons of her past: it seemed like a fair exchange if it would reassure her of his love.
Today was the day: it was finally time to find out what the drawer held. Since she would soon become a Malfoy, Hermione had free run of Malfoy Manor. When she entered the house, she practically ran past the drawing room. She reminded herself to talk to Draco about renovating it one day. She flew up the stairs and entered Draco's childhood bedroom.
If Draco gave the impression that he was Slytherin's pampered prince, the bedroom didn't in any way contradict it. The room had green and silver plastered along the walls. Draco's duvet was green, while his pillowcases were green with embroidered silver snakes. Portraits of his father and grandfather hung from the back wall. Hermione saw Lucius's portrait sneer at her, whereas Abraxas fixed her with an expression of shrewd curiosity.
Hermione walked over to Draco’s desk and opened the drawer. There was only one item inside: a heavy, cream coloured envelope. Inscribed on it was her name. She opened it, and pulled out a letter:My dearest Granger,
Hermione snorted. Even in the letter, Draco was still calling her Granger. She wondered if he would continue to call her that once they were married. With anyone else it would be annoying, but with Draco, it was expected and almost sweet. She continued reading.If you're reading this letter, then perhaps you have some doubts about my love for you. I admit that I can be annoyingl at times, but that's who I am.
If I told you that I fell in love with you the day we met, I would be lying. However, I was fascinated by your intelligence during our classes together during our first two years at Hogwarts. Now, I know that I was unbearably rude to you during the Chamber of Secrets incident. Please don't resent me for that.
Hermione felt her mouth turning up into a smile. Ron had told her about Draco's insult when Dumbledore was suspended. Her smile broadened into a grin, both at the thought of Ron defending her, and her revenge the following year. At least, Draco recognized how much of a prat he had been and wanted to make amends.The thing that made me fall in love with you happened during our third year of school. When I said that awful thing about Hagrid, I fully expected Potter and Weasley to hex me. Instead, you stormed up to me and punched me hard, right in the face. I think my cheek is still stinging after all these years. Yet, it was your passion and your willingness to defend your friends that made me realise that I was attracted to you.
This surprised her. If Draco had fallen in love with her so long ago, why had he continued to insult her for another four years?I know it sounds ridiculous, especially in light of the way in which I was so rude to you over the next few years. But like Professor Snape, I had a role to play. I couldn't let anyone know about my true feelings. This became even more important when You Know Who returned and my Aunt Bellatrix made herself a part of our household.
Hermione shuddered, remembering clearly how Bellatrix had acted in Malfoy Manor. She was glad that Draco didn't think highly of his aunt.The final straw came when I was given the task of killing Professor Dumbledore. I knew that it would cause you to hate me permanently if I succeeded, but I didn't have a choice. I had to do the best I could, or my family would die; either at the hands of You Know Who or my aunt. Make no mistake, Aunt Bellatrix would have had my mother thrown to Greyback if she’d had any doubts about her loyalty.
Fortunately, Professor Snape spared me the fate of completing my task. Between Dumbledore’s death and the fateful night when you were brought to this house, I kept my head down, trying to avoid drawing attention to myself. If Aunt Bellatrix hadn't been in the house that night, I would have given my parents the slip, snuck down to the cellar and freed you myself. I tried as hard as I could to spare you the pain, but I failed. Please forgive me.
Hermione wiped a couple of tears from her cheek, only now aware that she had started crying. Draco had been ready to risk his wellbeing to save her. He had asked for her forgiveness, and she was more than willing to give it to him.Of course, you know what happened next: you escaped, along with Potter and Weasley. Then you broke into my aunt's vault. When I heard about that, I made the mistake of being seen smiling about it, causing my fellow Slytherins to turn me in to the Carrows. They punished me privately because they didn't want the rest of the school to find out about my "heresy", as they put it. But it was worth it, as the news of the break-in confirmed that you were alright.
Then Potter killed the Dark Lord once and for all, and the war finally ended. Even though the things that had separated us were lifted, I couldn't go to you then, for obvious reasons. I had to bide my time and gain your trust.
The war caused many dark memories, but one happy memory all but eliminated them for me: the first time we made love.
Hermione felt herself blush at the memory of that night. She remembered the unexpected storm as they had left the restaurant. She remembered the way they had kissed passionately as the rain soaked their clothes. She remembered being apparated away from the restaurant by Draco - or had she apparated Draco away with her?
Soft footsteps were the first clue that she had a visitor. She started to turn before feeling familiar hands on her shoulders.
"How much have you read?" Draco asked softly.
"I’m at the part about your happy memory of our first time together," she replied.
She turned around in his arms and saw that he was grinning. "So, you remember apparating me to your flat?" he asked.
"As I recall, it was you that performed the apparition. I was just along for the ride."
Draco smirked as he shook his head. "You’re the most brilliant witch I know, but sometimes even your memory isn't perfect. You were the one to apparate us away, because we arrived at your flat, remember?"
"I don't think it really matters who apparated who, does it?" she asked. While she was talking to him, Hermione had started unbuttoning Draco’s shirt. He clearly didn't mind, as his hands were tugging at the bottom of her blouse, untucking it from her skirt.
Draco raised an eyebrow as his hands travelled up her blouse. "Are you trying to distract me with your seductive techniques, Granger?"
"Why would I do that? It's bad luck for the groom to see his bride before the wedding," she replied.
"That's a Muggle superstition, and you're not a Muggle, despite what I may have said in the past." He smirked again. "Besides, we technically have a couple of days before the wedding, so we still have some time."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Do you always have to find a loophole in everything?"
"I wouldn't be a Slytherin if I didn't," Draco countered. By now, his shirt was almost completely unbuttoned, exposing his bare chest. "Let me help you with your blouse. It wouldn't be fair if I was topless and you weren't."
Before Hermione could respond, she heard a snarl from the other end of the room: Lucius's portrait was unimpressed. It was lucky for her that she still had her blouse on, or the portrait of her future father-in-law would have had quite the view.
Hermione smiled at Draco before pulling out her wand and pointing it at the portrait. "Obscuro!"
A blindfold appeared, covering Lucius's eyes. He roared with frustration, causing Abraxas’s portrait to burst out laughing. "She’s a clever woman, Grandson," Abraxas said, approvingly.
"Thank you, but if you’ll excuse us, we have some, ah, last-minute wedding preparations to discuss," Draco replied dryly.
He whispered in Hermione's ear, "We’ll pull my bed hangings around the bed, and make sure we don't leave any gaps. I've heard my grandfather was quite the voyeur in his day."
Hermione blushed as Draco guided her to the bed. They hid themselves from his grandfather's view, but not before he managed to catch a glimpse of Hermione’s breasts. She blushed harder, knowing that even though they could no longer be seen, they could still be heard.
Yes, they had some final wedding preparations to carry out, but they could wait. This last-minute discussion
was all due to the love letter he had written to her. Hermione made a mental note to ask Draco to write her more letters in the future.THE END