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Chapter 37: Up For Discussion
Hermione fixated her eyes on Draco, her mouth opened and she was just utterly and completely at a loss for words. Under normal proposal circumstances, the girl does this for an entirely different reason than Hermione did. Under those normal circumstances the girl is so happy, surprised and utterly elated that they can not come up with a human answer by using their words and they settle for a shocked expression and a slight nod of the head to indicate the answer 'yes.' In Hermione's situation, she was shocked, but happy was not the chosen adjective she would have used to describe her feelings at that particular moment in time. She was incredibly surprised because she had just been completely certain that she was forever alone and permanently single, now all of a sudden she was getting proposed to. This was a lot of information to take in in a short amount of time and she was totally unsure of just what she should say in such a situation. They went from broken up to potentially husband and wife in minutes.
Draco was staring at her now, his eyes pleading for an answer other than a shocked look. "You know, now is the time one would answer the question typical."
"There's nothing typical about this question!" Hermione retorted. "One moment you're shoving your tongue down another girl's throat like she's some ruddy tasty butter beer and the next you're asking me to forget that ever happened and you want me to promise you forever!"
"I already told you that the kiss meant nothing to me!" Draco screamed, getting off of his knee and coming to a standing position, his face red.
"I heard you, but it is still a lot to process! How can you expect me to just believe every ruddy word you say after you hurt me so badly. I know what you said and I want to believe you, really I do, but I deserve a man who will-"
Draco jerked her towards him with so much intensity that any harder he might have hurt her arms. "Anything a different man would give you, I can give you better." Before she had even the tiniest amount to time to object, he pulled her to him and kissed her.
After a moment he pulled away, "I could tell you all those sappy things that whipped guys would say, but I'm not one of those lads. But, I'll prove to you that saying yes will not disappoint you. Please. Give me a shot, just one. We've come this far. Since when does the tough Hermione Granger run from a problem?"
"I'm not running from anything!" Hermione screamed.
"Prove it, Granger. Prove you aren't running from anything. Including me. Say yes."
"I will! Draco, yes. Yes, yes, bloody well yes!"
He smirked, "I knew you'd come around."
He pulled the ring out and slid it on to her finger and held her close in a hug, "I promise you, no tricks."
"If this is a lie-" Hermione's mouth formed a line.
"It's not." Draco answered kissing the top of her head.
He knew how hard it was for someone who's heart was as guarded as hers to accept this, but he was going to try his best to prove that he loves her.
They pulled apart and her shocked to see a trench coat clad Narcissa Malfoy standing in the hallway.
"Mother? What are you doing here?"
"I didn't mean to interrupt, son.." she said, with a nervous glance around the room before she brought her yes back to the two of them. "Hello Hermione. How are-" she saw the ring on Hermione's finger. "Oh! I didn't realize you two were...congratulations." She seemed completely shocked by the ring, but had an odd relieved look on her face.
"Thank you, mum." Draco said, his face showing his confusion by his mother's presence.
"I didn't mean to startle either of you, but we need to talk. The three of us. When I saw you weren't at your flat, Draco, I assumed you were at Hermione's, so I came here."
"Mrs. Malfoy, is everything alright?"
Narcissa glanced around once more, "I'd rather we discuss this inside, darling. Ears are everywhere nowadays."
Draco and Hermione exchanged confused glances, but they led her in to Hermione's flat, closing the door and putting a silencing charm around it as Narcissa took a seat on the tidy couch.
"What's wrong, mother?"
Lavender and Ron were on the sofa in Lav's flat, watching a film, enjoying a peaceful moment, one of the few they knew they would have before their daughter arrived in the world.
"Wonnie?" Lavender asked quietly, her head lying on his shoulder.
"Yeah, Lav?" He asked stroking her hair.
"Did you mean what you said to your family about us living together?"
"I did. Why?"
"Well, I wasn't completely sure if you meant it, or that was something you said because you knew it was what your family wanted to hear. I mean, a few months ago I was pretty sure you'd have sold your arm to have me and this baby disappear and now you're talking about us moving in together."
"I didn't want you to disappear, Lav. Sure, I was scared and I still ruddy am. Lav, I am about to become a father, that's not something you can just throw on someone and expect them to just...what I'm saying is that at first I wasn't enthused about the idea, but I've come around."
Lavender smiled, "Can you believe we just have a month and a half until she's here. Everything's finally falling in to place."
"I hate to break up this little love fest, but we need to talk." They jerked apart to see Val standing a few feet away with a couple suitcases beside her.
"Where are you going?" Lavender asked. "Another 'work trip'?"
"No." She answered curtly, "Actually, I got in to an art school in Greece, it's pretty exclusive and I don't want to make a daily travel there, so I'm getting a flat there."
"Greece? When did this happen? Why are you just now telling me? We've sometimes barely made the rent with both our incomes, now you're leaving me to make it alone?"
"Well, I was under the impression you two were getting a flat together so...besides, how many times have you run off for days, not letting me know where you were, what you were doing...Hell, how was I supposed to know you weren't abandoning me those times?"
"Where is that coming from?"
"You know where." She snapped. "Besides, we knew the time we had left for our living together was running out the moment that," she pointed at Lavender's bulging stomach, "happened. What was I just going to be the random roommate interrupting your little family. If there even is a little family" She scoffed at the last part.
"Is that supposed to mean something too?"
"It can mean whatever you think it means. So, do we know who the baby's going to look like? Weasley genes seem to be pretty dominant, is the baby going to be ginger? Have those famous curls or the Browns?"
"Why? What's wrong with me being a caring room mate?"
"You aren't my roommate anymore, you're leaving for Greece, hopefully soon. Your little meaningless jokes are getting too out of control."
"If they're so meaningless why do they bother you so much?" She smirked. "Now, I'd love to stay and chat, but I really must be going." She disapparated out of the room quickly, before Lavender could get another word in.
"I'm sorry about that," she apologized. "She's just not a people person."
"I'll say." Ron said, running his hand through his hair.
"She might not have been the most pleasant person to be around, but I still needed her," Lav said, clearly worried. "With groceries and utilities I can't pay the rent on my own. I don't know what to do. My rent is due in a week and I'm not going to have it for the next month."
"Then move in with me!"
"Ron, that's awfully fast." She giggled, "Don't you want to think about it?"
"Us getting pregnant was awfully fast, too! We'll get everything ready this weekend and move you on in at my flat. Sure, it's not the roomiest, but it'll do until we can get something better. What do you say"
"She's going to be here in a month and a half, I guess we can't afford to take things slowly at this point, huh?"
"So it's settled! We're moving in together!"
"Mother, what's wrong?" Draco repeated after Narcissa remained quiet.
"Son, before I tell you what I need to tell you both, I wish to say something. I know your father won't be thrilled about the two of you getting engaged, but I wish to give you both my blessing. You have a mighty tough road ahead for the two of you, but if this is something you really want, the two of you can make it work."
"Thanks, mother." Draco says.
"Now, down to business. Your father has gotten word that it might be in our best interest to get out of London. Not just us, many Wizarding families. Many people have already left, some knew about this, others didn't. Harry Potter's job offer was not a coincidence. The Ministry is undergoing some problems; your father seems to think a collapse is in the future."
"I'm not sure," she answered quietly. "I don't know anything else, but I just wanted to warn you of that. I don't want you trapped here with potential dangers all around."
"Mother, you seem awfully upset over that..."
"I've just had a rather long day son, it's nothing for you to worry about. Now I really have to go, I'll let you know if I find out any more information."
"That was weird," Draco said quietly.
"Draco, something tells me there's more to that than she's letting on."
Lavender cradled her belly tenderly, thinking about these past few months of expecting and her uncertain future.
"I love you so much sweetheart," she said, trying to choke back her tears. "I know you may not have everything that you'll want, but I promise I'm going to do everything I can to give you the best, most loving home I can. Every one is going to love you so much. I promise to be the best mom I can be."
Her future was gray, she had no idea what would happen to her, but she was willing to face all of her obstacles. She'd already overcome so much, she knew she could face the obstacles still in her way.
Suddenly, she heard a pair of footsteps pounding quickly down the hall. She rolled over and pulled the blanket tightly to her. She shut her eyes, ignoring the sounds and willing herself to fall asleep.
"Greece? For art school? That's the best you can do? A ruddy tomato can come up with a better excuse than that." Pansy snarled, rolling her eyes.
"It's not like I had a lot of warning," Val spat back.
"You don't seem to understand how serious this situation is, you could get us all caught." Roger growled nervously.
He jerked his head towards Pansy, "I told you, this is getting out of control. We're almost out of time. The child is going to be here in six weeks and we aren't ready yet. Everything's about to come to blows and we're going to be caught in the middle."
"We already ARE in the middle Davies!" She screamed. "We can't exactly back down now! There is way too much at stake to just give up now. People know too much...six weeks is enough time. We just have to hurry. But if either of you try and get me caught, remember something, you're just as deep as I am. You know what's at risk if we get found out. We're going to win this. I'm not going to lose to that damn Trio ever again."
A/N Whew, I'm back! Well, this chapter was like really hard to write, so that's why it took me so long with this one. I know that's been my excuse recently, but as the story winds down, it gets a little harder making the chapters good. This one wasn't me best, but I certainly tried. And also, there will be a super good set of chapters soon that are exciting - you're almost there!
Sorry about the shortness and I hope you stick around for the rest of the story. I do have a pretty exciting ride ahead for you rather soon. Everything's almost ready for it! Eek! Well, I'd love a review! Thanks for reading!
Hey, at least Draco and Hermione are engaged! Yay or Nay? Thoughts on this? Did she make the right choice or no?