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A Secret Thought Chapter 48 - Cheers: The Epilouge

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Mrs.KreszentiaBlack

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Chapter 48 - Cheers! The Epilouge
Dinnertime!” Molly Weasley cried into the Burrow. “Draco, would you be a dear and set the table?” she asked.
Draco smiled pleasantly at the woman and nodded. He took the large stack of dishes and headed for the table, setting it.

“Let me help you,” Ron said and took half of the dishes from him. There were quite a few people there, and it looked as if Malfoy had been ready to drop every single dish.

“Mum! Harry and Amy are at it again,” Fred said as he came into the kitchen, sporting his dragon skin jacket.

“I’m surprised their tongues haven’t fallen off yet,” George snickered as he entered the kitchen. Ginny was close behind, holding Billy’s hand.

“Well I think having their tongues fall off would be nicer than giving them more Ton-Tongue Taffy’s,” Ginny rolled her eyes. “I swear I’ve never seen Amy so scared in her life!” she giggled.

“Well she’s practically part of the family now, and we had to welcome her,” Fred laughed. He sat down at the table and watched as Malfoy set the table. “Ah, the reformist. How are you doing?”

“Fine,” Malfoy said quietly.

“You know that if you hurt Hermione…”

“We’ll do worse than give you a piece of hexed candy,” Fred and George warned with grins. Malfoy muttered something.

“Are you two harassing Draco again?” Hermione laughed and walked in as Malfoy set down the last plate. They all looked at Hermione and smiled.

It was incredible thinking she had been so weak and frail a few months ago. Now her cheeks were full, and she was no doubt the most beautiful… and healthy… girl that Draco had ever laid eyes on. Every time he saw her he knew he was blessed to have a girl like that willingly in love with him.

“Of course not, Hermione!”

“We’re just treating him like a brother!” Hermione sighed.

“If that’s true, I’m sorry for their behavior, Draco,” she smiled. Malfoy shrugged and walked towards her.

“Well it’s not your fault that everyone loves you,” he smiled and wrapped his arms around her, planting a warm kiss on her lips.

“Oy! You’re burning my eyes out!”

“Mum, they’re traumatizing our innocent minds!”

“Innocent my ass,” Ron mumbled under his breath and then turned red when his mother tossed him a very nasty look.
They all laughed at this.

“What’s so funny?” Harry asked as he led Amy into the Burrow’s kitchen.

“Apparently, my baby brother’s toosh,” Fred laughed.

“Ah, if it isn’t our favorite freak!” George laughed and walked over to Amy.

“And if it isn’t my favorite normal twins,” she said with a gleam in her pure white eyes. Fred and George looked at each other and laughed at this, causing Amy to smile even wider.
She loved it at the Burrow.

“Where’s your father?” Molly asked Ginny. Ginny just shrugged, so she walked over to the grandfather clock.
It said he was home.

“ARTHUR WEASLEY WAKE UP THIS INSTANT!” Molly roared into the house. Arthur apparated right next to Molly, and she stumbled backwards with a cry.
Malfoy reached out and caught her before she completely lost her balance and fell to the floor.

“Thank you dear,” Molly said with a bright and sincere smile before patting Draco’s arm. He nodded and helped her stand.
Arthur had already taken his seat at the head of the table and was rubbing the sleep from his eyes. They all knew that he had been working hard on plans for the Order, but it was not to be spoken of in front of Billy and Draco.
They trusted the two, but they didn’t want to put either of them in any more danger.

They all took their seats. Amy and Harry held hands under the table, as did Hermione and Draco, as did Billy and Ginny.
Fred and George were imitating all of them by acting lovey dovey, and the couples rolled their eyes. Ron snickered and Fred shot a spoonful of mashed potatoes at him.

“Can we please at least have a toast before we start food fighting?” Molly asked and they all calmed down. “I think I’ll begin. It’s wonderful to have all of you home for Christmas dinner, and I want all of you to know that that’s exactly what the Burrow will always be to all of you. Home. If you’re ever in need, our arms are open to you,” she said and raised her glass before setting it down.
Next was Arthur.

“Right, well, same as dear Molly said. This is a home to all of you, and you’ll be all the more welcome if you show me how one of those cell phone things works…”

“Arthur!”

“Right. Sorry. Happy Christmas!” he said and raised his glass into the air. Next it was Fred and George’s turn.

“Erm, right. Well I’ve never been quite good at these things. Just want to say that I’ve never been more proud of my family…”

“With our baby brother on the Quidditch team and actually good…”

“Though he is a prefect. Mum is controlling her temper…”

“Though sometimes she still does lose it!”

“Anyways, father being promoted at the Ministry… great job dad!”

“You’ll be Minister soon!”

“Our baby sister… you beat up Draco!”

“Though he is one of the good guys…”

“Could you just end your toast?” Molly said impatiently.

“We’re getting there!” they said at the same time. “And to Harry and Hermione, who went through an incredible ordeal. You’re both stronger than we took you for… and in different ways. Oh, and to the new faces about the table… watch your backs, for you have not yet experienced the true wrath of the Weasley twins,” they winked. “Cheers!” and they set their glasses down on the table.

It was Amy’s turn next.

“Well, I’ve never really been to a modern Christmas dinner. It’s all a bit new to me. I’ve been welcomed into a world where I’m accepted, even with my eyes. I was given sight recently, and I’m seeing a place filled with love, happiness, and tranquility. You all are truly blessed, and you all have hearts so kind that I never knew such people lived. And to be welcomed into your family is a blessing all in its own,” she smiled and raised her glass slightly before setting it on the table.
Tears were in Molly and Arthur’s eyes and all of the younger ones just beamed at her.
Harry came next.

“Err… well… I’m afraid what I have to say won’t be as beautiful, but it’s going to have the same message. You all are the closest thing to family I have. Amy, you saved my life among with every other life at this table and it makes me love you all the more for your modesty. Hermione, if you hadn’t pulled through, this Christmas wouldn’t be anywhere near as wonderful as it is. And Draco…”
Draco looked up nervously, clinging tightly to Hermione’s hand.

“You made her smile when all she thought she could do was cry. You were there for her in a way I now realize Ron, Ginny, or I could not have been. And so this blessing goes out to you, mate. And I’m real sorry for overreacting that one time,” he shrugged sheepishly and everyone laughed.
Malfoy couldn’t speak, but just stared at his plate in wonder.

Next came Ron.

“Yes, well… I’m not good with the whole speech thing. It’s great to have all of you here, alive and well, despite Harry’s short temper.”
They all laughed and Harry rolled his eyes with a smile.

“And it’s great to see my two best friends and my baby sister with the ones they love, for your happiness truly makes this a very merry Christmas,” he said and raised his glass slightly before setting it down.

Billy was next.

“Well, I’m not exactly as familiar with all of you as everyone else seems to be. What I do know is that, though I’m the only non-magical one here, I feel like I really am part of this family. I want to thank you for that. My oldest brother is perfectly healthy and having dinner at his fiancé’s house and my father is with his girlfriend’s family, as am I. So I just have to say, for me, it’s not just tonight that’s blessed. It’s been the entire year.”
They smiled at him and raised their glasses. Next it was Ginny’s turn.

“Well, as you all know I’m usually the one with the most to say. That’s me, Ginny Weasley, the one who can’t keep her mouth shut and never knows when too much is too much.”

“Yes, well, you truly are your mother’s daughter,” Fred laughed and Molly smacked him over the head.

“Anyways, I don’t have much to say tonight because no words can really express how happy I am to be here, alive and well, with everyone I love,” she sighed and raised her glass before lowering it.
It was Hermione’s turn.

“Well, all of you know about what I’ve been through. The summer after my sixth year I was diagnosed with an intricate tumor. I thought I was going to die, as did the rest of the world. And while I thought all hope had died, Draco stayed at my side, my light in the dark. He never gave up on me, and if it weren’t for he, Amy, Benjamin Harris, Ron, and Harry (in a complicated way), I would not be here today.

“I want to thank all of you sitting around me; every one of you, for giving me hope when I thought all was lost. You may think you didn’t do much, but you did an incredible amount. You all gave me a reason to hold on. And now I’m sitting here, Christmas dinner, surrounded by the people I love most… besides my parents of course… alive months after I was supposed to die and perfectly healthy, and in love… every one of you made that possible for me, and I can’t express how blessed I am to know all of you,” she whispered and brushed a tear from her eye. “Cheers,” she whispered and raised the glass before going silent.
Everyone was quiet as they waited for the last person… Draco Malfoy.

“Well… I suppose it serves me right to get the most awkward toast, seeing as I’ve been such a git for the past few years.”

“Here hear!” Fred and George called out simultaneously and raised their glasses. Molly smacked them both upside the head.

“Anyways,” Draco continued, blushing, “I’ve never really gave blessings or toast at a Christmas Dinner. I was always eating alone; my only company a poor house-elf that I mercilessly tortured. My house has never been filled with happiness and love. And now, being here where everyone loves one another unconditionally and endlessly is almost overwhelming,” he sighed, tugging at his collar.

“Go on,” Hermione urged him to continue, and he looked down into her soft and hopeful chocolate eyes and fell in love all over again.

“But it’s a nice kind of overwhelming. Almost like having a giant birthday cake, or too many kisses from your loved ones. Almost like getting too many presents. Almost like having too much love. I know you all don’t love me like a son, and I know that you trust me as much as you trust Fred and George’s candy…”

“We resent that!”

“But I hope one day you will see that I’ve changed, too. I am no longer a charlatan,” he winked at Hermione, “but instead I am a man with hopes for a beautiful future, and a wonderful home filled with as much love and purity as your home, Mrs. Weasley. I would be blessed to have a family that loves me half as much as yours love you. I will never truly be part of your family, but I figure being something like a family friend or a step-cousin is good enough,” he sighed and smiled at all of them.

“And just one more thing… I’m blessed mostly because of Hermione. I don’t deserve the love she has given me. She has opened me up to welcome a whole new world of things, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay her,” he said and raised his glass.

She looked at him with tears in her eyes and gave his hand an extra tight squeeze. He smiled at her and hoped that in his eyes he expressed just how much he loved her.

“Cheers!” they called out and their glasses clinked together in unity.

“Now can we FINALLY dig in? In the name of Merlin it took you all FOREVER to tell each other how much you love one another!” Fred exclaimed.

“Hey, I’ve lived for four hundred years, mate. When you’re that old, THEN you can start talking about forever,” Amy laughed and they all joined in.
Only Hermione and Draco weren’t laughing. They were staring into each other’s eyes, small and sweet smiles on their faces.

“Forever,” Hermione mouthed, and Draco knew exactly what she meant. They would love each other forever, and nothing could break them apart. They would be together…

“Forever.”


THE END



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