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Chapter 6: Was it something I said?
“Not here…too many ears.” Hermione glanced around at the people who she called family before turning back to the perfect platinum blonde standing in front of her. Draco’s face was unreadable but she could sense the ferocious emotions that were flowing behind his mask.
Knowing that his every word was about to be assessed by the people around him, he decided to nod and wait while she bent down to stroke Mia’s soft rosy cheeks.
“Princess, I’m just for going for a walk with Draco but I should be back in a little while, is that alright?” Mia twisted her head to look at the man who had hair so similar to her own that she didn’t answer her mother straight away. She could tell that he was uncomfortable with her family, but as she searched the lines in his handsome skin she could tell that this man was to be trusted. Hermione’s honey eyes clouded Mia’s vision of the new comer; a burning intensity of need blazing in each socket.
Sensing the urgency of her mother’s stare, she replied “Yes mummy.” Mia could tell that her answer had given release to her mother, causing the beautiful little blonde child to look back to the stranger. He’s obviously important for mummy to be worried. She had the strange urge to touch his skin and feel what he was feeling; usually the daughter of the smartest Witch of her age would shy away from someone else’s emotions; they were too hard to understand for a girl her age.
She studied the aura that circulated his body and was surprised to see the small grey patches that represented overcome darkness. Usually, she would be afraid; it meant that the person was bad or at least used to bad, but for some reason this did not make Mia feel threatened in any way. Instead, she became even more intrigued, subconsciously reaching out her tiny palm to take his.
Hermione watched the trance like state of her daughter knowing that if she touched Draco’s hand she would realise he was her father. Thinking it would devastate Mia if she found out he hadn’t even know about her until now, Hermione swung her little girl up into her arms, burying her face into her daughter’s perfect wavy blonde hair, while letting all her worries and cares fly away. Draco observed the embrace with a pang that he had never felt before. He could see that the little girl he could call his own was peering over her mother’s shoulders; her baby blue eyes shining out from a frame of brunette curls. His whole body lurched with such a strong desire to hold her that he almost stepped forward to take her from Hermione’s arms.
“Erm, Hermione you better get going, otherwise mum might rope you into helping with the sandwiches.” Ginny nodded towards the back door of the burrow where Mrs Weasley was juggling three platefuls of food. She had noticed the look Draco had given her best friend and their daughter and knew that the parents needed to do some serious talking. Struggling to hold her own child, Ginny lowered James to the ground so he could go play with his uncles now that they had lost interest in the current conversation.
“Right.” Realising the look that her best friend was giving her, Hermione let go of her daughter and grabbed Malfoy’s hand.
Draco was submissive and allowed Hermione to pull him along; his eyes staying firmly fixed on the gorgeous blonde child that was running through the garden. She bounced after the miniature Potter totally carefree. He smiled and felt another pang deep inside of his heart. Hermione wasn’t oblivious to his feelings; touching his palm strengthened her sixth sense and she was tearful at the amount of love that Draco was beginning to have for her daughter…their daughter.
The pair walked for about five minutes more before they reached a spot where Hermione seemed to just halt, as if there was an invisible wall between her and the rest of the scenic view beyond. She sat down within the yellow buttercups and violets and gestured to Draco to do the same. The graceful elegance that she used to place herself onto the grass instantly reminded him of a Queen sitting on her throne. The sun was high in the sky by this time and Draco couldn’t help but feel a strong desire for the woman before him, it was like a deep need that he had never felt before. As the sun rays caught in the strands of Hermione’s hair it illuminated her skin and casted her in a golden light causing flashes of that night to cloud his mind.
The brunette mass of hair was dishevelled and untidy but the electric lighting was illuminating the golden strands that were woven so intricately through the rest of the honey brown colour that Malfoy knew exactly who was sitting at the bar.
Even in school, when he had called her buck toothed he had always been mesmerised by the colours of her strands, yet he would never have admitted it because he had a reputation to uphold. However, staring at the slim figure that had her back turned to him, he could tell that she was drowning her sorrows. Without thinking, without even knowing he was doing it, Draco had pulled up the stool next to her and ordered a Pear Cider (he had become very accustomed to the alcohol of the Muggles.)
It took her several moments before she realised who was sitting next to her; it was as if she was trying to find herself again, as if she had delved deep inside of herself and she was struggling to come back to reality.
Hermione eyed him with her inquisitive stare before raising her glass to him. Draco was surprised that she hadn’t told him to piss off yet, but he could see that she was beyond caring; she was in so much pain. He doubted that even if he planned to cause her harm it wouldn’t even reach the boundaries of the void she was feeling inside.
Pointing to her glass, he asked “You want another?”
The contrast of Hermione then and how she was now was so vast that he’d have hardly believed it was the same woman if it wasn’t for her beautiful hair. After he had ordered another shot, the pair had gone on talking and laughing for the rest of the night, hazed by the alcohol that they were downing which had resulted in the two stumbling through the grand door to the Malfoy Manor. They had made so much noise that night that his mother had fluttered down from her bedroom to see what all the fuss was about. Seeing her only son drunk, Narcissa Malfoy had retreated carefully back up the wooden circular staircase, her mind already whirring with what telling off she would give to him.
He smiled remembering his mother’s scolding look as his stumbled down to the kitchen the next morning; his hair tousled from the previous night’s endeavours deserving him a rhythmic tap of her fingers on the table top. It had taken Narcissa a full hour to rant about his poor attitude and lack of responsibility before she left him to his own devices and all that time his mind was on the gorgeous, sexy brunette that was now sitting poised in front of him.
Without thinking, he sat down beside her and placed a comforting arm around her waist, imitating a move that ended up with them dancing to really cheesy eighties music. She had giggled and flirted but was more than willing to dance to another, as long as he’d keep hold of her. Now as he clasped her side, he realised that she was only allowing this kind of intimacy as a way of strength for the conversation ahead. So very different from the last time.
They stayed like that for a short while before she turned to face him directly. Again his mind flashed with memories, although on this occasion it was filled with the time she stood in front of him in the third year on the grounds of Hogwarts; her fist launching itself straight for his nose. Subconsciously, he took a step back.
She was determined to breach the subject.
“I guess we should talk about Mia then.”
“I guess we should.”
Hermione shuffled her legs into a better sitting position before carrying on.
“Look, I know that you’ve guessed that Mia is yours and I’d be lying if I said she wasn’t. In all honesty I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would see you again after that night, so you have to understand my reasoning for why I didn’t tell you that you had a daughter.”
She seemed to be preparing herself for a fight, as her whole expression was of pure defiance, daring him to question her authority over the situation. However, as Draco watched her more closely he noticed the fast flicker of her eyes which gave away her real feelings; she was anxious and maybe even scared. Just like that night.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Draco brushed his hand through the curly strands to untangle the mesh that was Hermione’s hair. Her eyes were alight with exhilaration and alcohol, a small sexual smile playing at the corner of her lips. He was mesmerised.
“Yes” She bit her lip trying to seduce him but Draco could tell from the light in her eyes that she was scared. So, instead of getting straight down to it, he became playful and loving to make her feel more secure. He began by brushing her bare skin with the tips of his fingers, shifting his weight as he lowered himself to be closer to her, nibbling her earlobe before lightly pecking at her eyelids and nose. She moaned slightly before nuzzling closer into his neckline giving Draco the opportunity to smell her lavender scent.
It carried on like that for most of the night; kissing, touching, nibbling completely oblivious to the world around them as the night turned into the dawn of the new day. It wasn’t until the sparrows began singing in the morning air that they fell into a dreamless sleep; Hermione snuggled deeply in the space that Draco’s body provided.
Draco lazily covered Hermione’s elegant body with his arm; the heat of his touch creating goosebumps all over her stomach. “Wow. Never once has that been that special as it was tonight.”
Hermione ‘hmmed’ as she drifted off to sleep, not realising how much Draco had truly meant it.
Now, as she sat in front of him he couldn’t stop the feeling of hurt and embarrassment rise. She had left a couple of hours after without even a note to say goodbye, leaving Draco confused and dazed in the morning to face his mother alone. She didn’t think she would see me again? How could she think that when, what we shared had been special! Hermione could feel the change in the man’s emotions and was shocked to see that he was beginning to get angry.
“So you’re saying to me that because you believed that you would never see me again, I didn’t have a right to know that I had a daughter. Great thanks, much appreciated.” He became cold and guarded, so similar to the old Malfoy from Hogwarts that it left Hermione confused and slightly annoyed. She hadn’t expected him to be so touchy about the subject.
“I’m sorry Malfoy I didn’t realise that you would take it like this. I wanted to call you but how was I suppose too know what you would do? For seven years you called me a Mudblood; every time I picked up the phone or tried to write a letter all I had in my head was that you would disown Mia because she didn’t have a mother who was of a pureblood heritage. Besides, if I contacted you about the pregnancy then I would’ve been tempted to contact Harry and Ginny; I just wasn’t ready to face everyone yet.”
She gestured weakly thinking that her reasoning would calm him but soon realised that it had had the opposite effect.
He stood and glared down at her small figure, his face a cold mask “Well, I’m glad you think so highly of me Granger. I guess sleeping with me was obviously just an attempt to get back at me somehow for all the name calling aye. Nice to know I have a person like you to make my choices for me. Thanks.” She was about to interrupt but he was too mad to let her.
“You know something Granger, when I woke up that morning I had a smile on my face. For the first time in a long time I was genuinely smiling because something good had happened. I had believed that night to be special and in all honesty I wanted it to happen again! Once I’d realised you’d gone, I didn’t know what to do…I spent weeks looking for you but you’d disappeared off the face of the earth! Now you come back and tell me that I have missed out on the first FIVE YEARS OF MY DAUGHTERS LIFE BECAUSE YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU’D SEE ME AGAIN AND THAT I WOULD BE SHAMEFUL ENOUGH TO DISCRIMIATE MY OWN FLESH AND BLOOD! HOW CAN YOU EXPECT ME TO UNDERSTAND YOUR REASONING FOR THAT?! YOU TOOK MY CHANCES OF HAVING A CHILD AWAY FROM ME WITHOUT EVEN CONSULTING ME!!”
His breathing was heavy as he felt the adrenaline of anger leave his body. Hermione sat aghast in front of him; not sure how to take his outburst. He could tell that she was burning with desire to shout back but he didn’t want to give her the satisfaction. She had hurt him; she had taken away his child, had stereotyped him to his own previous behaviour without even thinking about his feelings. Had he not proved to her that he was different? Had he not shown her that he was no longer that person who was prejudiced, that he had changed into a better man? Unable to face her any longer along with the reality that she still saw him as the ferret who always looked up to his father, Draco decided to head back to the Burrow.
Hermione could tell that she had hurt him deeply with her accusations by noticing the tenseness that was situated between his shoulder blades, making her immediately bite her lip with regret. She hadn’t meant to be so cruel. She knew from the first day she saw him in the toy store that he was no longer the annoying teenager that she had accused him of. I knew the night we spent together; if he believed me to be the same ol’ Mudblood he wouldn’t have been kind enough to take away my sorrows…he wouldn’t have spent the night with me. He had managed to reach the elm tree that just sat on top the hill. Running after him, she managed to grab hold of his muscular arm and pull him to a stop.
He didn’t turn; his body still tense from the argument. She could tell that her hand was causing him to shake in anger and betrayal making her even more aware of the words she had said; she may have even cost them their new friendship. Feeling a great pang of shame, Hermione unsure of how to coax him back, began to stroke her slender thumb along the vein line on the side of his hand. It didn’t take long until she felt the small shiver of goosebumps beneath her touch. Hoping that this was a sign of a small forgiveness she began to move her thumb to his wrist; a sensitive spot that she had found the night of their lovemaking. The tenseness eased and Hermione could tell that he longer felt the deep anger he had suffered a few moments before.
Knowing that it would be safe, she pulled gently on his arm to turn him around, which he did willingly. Lifting her gaze to meet his bluey grey one she felt her throat catch. His platinum blonde hair was floppy and in his eyes, making him appear like a lost puppy; vulnerable. Recognising that this sudden weakness was because of her lack of tact, Hermione immediately felt even sorrier for what she had said.
“I’m sorry Draco. I didn’t think. It was stupid and tactless what I said and I honestly never meant it in the way you perceived. I just didn’t believe that you would help if you knew you had a baby; it was one night and we were both so drunk that I half expected you to think that I was someone else. It was a special night; it created something so precious to me that I am eternally grateful. You helped me take a small step to recovery after Ron died and you made me laugh for the first time in a long time; I actually felt that there was hope for me to carry on living.”
A small gratifying smile began to etch over his face,
“However, it was just for one night and with our history I honestly thought that you wouldn’t appreciate me in the morning…I didn’t want to ruin the night we spent together with an argument, or even a complicated conversation. When I found out that I was having Mia I really did consider contacting you but like I said I wasn’t ready for a confrontation with my friends; the void inside of me was still raw and their judgement wasn’t something I needed. After Mia was born I did write a letter to you but I couldn’t send it; I was afraid of what you might think of me and whether or not that you would accept her as yours. ”
He didn’t say anything but shrugged in acknowledgment that was such a man way that Hermione couldn’t help but smirk; she had broken through his barrier, had made him understand her plea. The next thing she had to do was make him stay…for Mia’s sake.
“I know it’s a bit selfish to ask for your forgiveness, especially of the way I have just treated you but I really need it. I need you to be a part of Mia’s life now she’s been asking of her father and whether he loves her or not and I can longer lie to her about the situation. It’s just as important to me as it is to her.” She brushed Draco’s cheek gently and felt her heart warm as he nuzzled slightly closer into her palm. “I need you Draco.”
She knew she had said the right thing because there was an instant change in his emotional state. If Hermione had half of her daughter’s ability she would have been able to see the Slytherin Prince’s aura brighten with an intense golden glow that would have lighted a room in brilliance. He stared down at the beautiful woman before him and felt the familiar desire from that previous afternoon. She blushed under his intense gaze and the pink glow in her cheeks created a pang deep in his soul.
Without even thinking, Draco did the something that was completely unintentional. The next thing Hermione knew was the smooth tenderness of Draco’s lips upon hers, sending sparks all over her mouth. The kiss was gentle and careful, passionate but loving and Hermione felt herself melting beneath the sensation. They pulled away but Draco was unable to let go of her completely; he was craving her so decided to pull her carefully into his embrace, both of them facing the picturesque view before them.
They stayed like that for a while, unable to talk about the emotions that were running between them, unable to carry on the conversation that needed to be said. Instead, the pair watched as the sun began to lower in the sky, a purple haze covering it like a blanket. An eagle swooped through the air effortlessly, flying into the darkening distance, carefree of any troubles unlike the two people below. Hermione watched it with a wish that she could fly away too. She was comfortable with Malfoy, his body comforted hers and she became aware that the void that had dulled over the years since Ron had died was beginning to soften and shrink inside of her. But she was unable to let him in; if she did she might hurt all over again.
Scared of what Draco was making her feel, Hermione pulled out of his embrace and twisted around to face him.
“You know, you never did answer? Do you forgive me for not telling you? About Mia I mean?” Draco frowned at the lack of contact but sensed that the Gryffindor Queen needed her space.
“Of course, I’m sorry for snapping. It’s just… I never expected to ever get the chance to have children; I wanted them but every relationship I’ve ever had has been short lived, so I came to accept the fact that I may never have any. Finding out that I now have a daughter; it made me angry that I’ve missed out on so many opportunities…with her and with you.
Hermione was overwhelmed. She hadn’t realised that an emotional weight had been hanging over her until it was lifted by Draco’s words. She didn’t comment on what he had said about her. The emotional barrier that protected her from potential harm was up again but it was hard to resist the temptation of falling into his arms. He was so strong and safe; he was like her cottage back in Devon. Secure, comforted and loved. They clearly had a connection. No, Mia is the most important thing in all of this. She needs her father, don’t mess this up for her. Listening to her head, Hermione smiled and nodded her thanks creating a slight emotional distance.
“Good, well I don’t want to tell Mia tonight, I think it would be best for her and for you to get to know each other first.”
Draco nodded in agreement. He could tell that something had changed in Hermione’s attitude but didn’t want to comment on it. He was too excited about the chance of having a child. “Yeah, I think that might be best too; I don’t want to intrude on your lives and make it uncomfortable for her.”
Hermione saw the seriousness of his decision in his eyes. She could tell that the curiosity was killing him; he wanted to know his daughter, he wanted to be a part of her life. And mine…don’t think about it! This conversation is about Mia, not about me. He wanted to be able to hold her and feel the connection that Hermione had with her, but he knew that rushing their bond could create chaos rather than harmony.
She suddenly felt uncomfortable and restless in Draco’s presence; she needed to be with Mia. She needed her comforting warmth along with a duvet back at their apartment. As if sensing her change in mood, Draco held out his arm for Hermione to take just like a perfect gentleman. “Shall we go back to the Burrow?” The gesture made Hermione smile but she just nodded, leaving Draco’s arm unattended.
Instead, the Brunette started to head back to the place she had called her second home for most of her life, her pace quick and determined. Unlike Mia and her mother, Draco did not have the sixth sense that the two did, so he didn’t understand the brash, offhand manner that Hermione had just given him. He didn’t realise that she was protecting herself from potential pain of the desire she felt over the man in front of her. Was it something I said?
A/N: Okay so it wasn’t massively long and I know I haven’t updated in a while so I do apologise for that but I needed to get this out of the way and done with I could move on with the story. I hope that what I did write was good enough for the long time since the last update; I don’t have much of a life anymore so expect a lot more of updating
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