Chapter 3 : Every Child Needs A Father
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Her feet slammed in to the ground in the Weasley’s front yard, and she took a deep, calming breath before walking in to the house where she knew many questions awaited her. The moment she stepped in to the common room Ron’s red face appeared before her own, obviously very angry.
“A child?! Bloody fucking hell Hermione!!!”
“HEY!” Hermione yelled. “That is ENOUGH Ronald! I will NOT have you using that kind of language in front of my son.” She said in a deathly stern voice.
“Heehee, you said a bad word. Now you’re in trouble.” Nicky laughed.
“Ginny would you please?” Ginny nodded and took Nicky from Hermione, and then leading him by the hand she took him outside to show him the back yard.
“NOW! If you have something to say than you say it to me, not in front of Nicolas. I refuse to let his mind turn to rubbish so soon.” She continued once Ginny and Nicky were out of ear shot. Ron was still fuming.
“A kid?! You had a kid?! What in Merlin’s name were you thinking Hermione?! Keeping this from us for what… FIVE fucking YEARS!! I thought you were supposed to be the sensible one! The smart one! And I thought we were your friends damn it!” He yelled.
“Oh don’t you DARE yell at me Ronald, you do NOT know the whole story-” He threw his arms up in the air.
“Then please, enlighten us oh great motherly one!” He shouted, throwing himself in to an easy chair. Hermione looked over at Harry, who gave her an apologetic look.
“Fine! But if you want to hear the whole story then you better be ready to listen, and if you start to speak to me in that way again I will take Nicky and we will go straight home.” She reasoned.
“Fine.” He agreed.
“I met his father in one of my classes at Cairo. We dated for awhile, but as soon as he found out I was pregnant he took off. Nicky was born on Halloween that same year, and I was forced to drop out of school because I couldn’t leave him home alone or take him to class with me. We got along fine. I found a job that allowed me to work from home and owl my work to the office. It didn’t pay much, but it got us what we needed and a good amount of what we wanted. Nicky and I moved back to England yesterday. The two of us have a flat in Surrey now. I didn’t tell you because I was being the sensible one. It was my irresponsibility that got me into the situation, and now it is my job to deal with the outcome. I love Nicky with all my heart, and we are very close. I’m sorry if you are hurt that I didn’t tell you, because honestly, I did want to, but it was something that was meant for me to do, not anyone else. At school we had all of our adventures together, but now that we are adults, there are just some adventures that we were meant to go on alone. I have missed you all, I really have.” When she finished Harry was looking at her full of sympathy, and Ron was starting at his feet with a sorry face.
“I know Ron. I know you didn’t mean it.” She said cutting him off, knowing what he was trying to say.
“Wow. You’re a mum Hermione.” Harry said.
“Oh really? I couldn’t tell.” She said sarcastically. She smiled bashfully. “Yes, I am. It’s… odd isn’t it?” Harry nodded.
“Yes, it is, but you are a terrific mother Mione. Nicolas is very lucky to have you.” He said truthfully.
“Hey Herms,” Ron started. Hermione twitched at the nickname. “Do you think it would be okay if Harry and I played a little Quidditch with that boy of yours after supper? Maybe teach him how to ride a real broom, not like that toy thing you’ve got him on?”
“Ron, he’s only five. I don’t need him falling hundreds of feet in to the ground before he’s even old enough for Hogwarts.”
“Five? Do you know what kind of things Fred and George were doing to me when I was five?” He launched into one of his many Fred-and-George-almost-killed-me stories. “… but in the end I turned out just fine. Look at me now!” He finished. Hermione giggled and shook her head.
“I’m sorry. Maybe when he’s a little bit older…”
“Oh come on Hermione!” Harry urged. “Growing up muggle is boring and complete rubbish. You know that and so do I.”
“Well actually I quite liked…”
“No no no. You didn’t let us see him for the first five years and now Nicky needs to spend a little time with his uncles. Don’t worry, we are both expert fliers. Aren’t we Ron?”
“Yup, sure are Harry.” Ron agreed.
“No buts, after dinner we are taking him flying.” And that was that. Well, I know they would never put Nicky in danger… on purpose, and at least this will give me time to talk to Ginny about what happened with Malfoy earlier. She thought.
Draco could not stop grinning. It had been hours since Hermione left, but the smile on his face just refused to leave, and he wasn’t fighting it. She was back, she was beautiful, she was single, and she still had feelings for him. He could tell. He was sitting at the dinner table with Isabelle eating silently when a thought occurred to him.
“So do you have practice again tomorrow Issy?” He asked. These pee wee practices might not be too bad after all. He thought. Issy nodded her head and his smile broadened.
“Why are you so happy daddy?” Issy asked curiously.
“Well you know the lady we had ice cream with today?”
“Well I have known her for a very long time, and that was the first time I had seen her since before you were born.” He explained.
“Do you love her?” She asked. Draco’s smile faltered slightly at the forwardness of her question.
“Why do you ask?”
“I dunno, you just looked at her the same way mummy looked at the man who cleaned our pool every week.” She said simply. Draco’s face contorted with puzzlement as to how she could have picked up on something like that, but she was a Malfoy. The rest of dinner was quiet save for the forks and knives scraping along the plates.
“Can I help you with anything Molly?” Hermione offered, stepping in to the kitchen.
“Oh no dear, it’s already done.” She stopped what she was doing and turned to face Hermione. “Hermione dear, it is so good to have you back. You don’t know how much you were missed. And that little boy of yours? Absolutely wonderful. He’s a dream, really. I wish mine were that easy, but even Ginerva would put up quite a fight as a young one.” She said motherly.
“Well it’s good to be home. I wanted to tell you all the second I found out but…”
“It’s okay. We understand.” She soothed. “Now,” She clapped her hands together. “Let’s get this grub on the table, shall we?” She handed Hermione a bowl of potatoes. Just as they were all about to sit down to dinner, they heard the sound of someone stumbling out of the fireplace.
“Where is he? Where is my grandson?” A woman said. Moving towards the noises Hermione turned the corner in to the sitting room and found herself nearly crashing in to her mother.
“Mum?!” She said, surprised to say the least. Three seconds later her father appeared behind her mother. “Dad?! What are you guys doing here?!”
“Oh yeah,” Ginny said from the table. “They stopped by while you were out and sort of found out about Nicky. Sorry I forgot to tell you.” Hermione turned back to face her parents. Her mother was darting from side to side trying to see past Hermione to get a glimpse of her grandchild. Hermione placed her hands on her mum’s shoulders.
“Mum, you need to stop that.” She said calmly.
“But where is he? Hermione Jane Granger, I cannot believe that you would keep…” Her voice stopped and her face softened. “Oh my…” Her hand covered her mouth and her eyes began to fill up with tears. “Is that…” She pointed to the small figure behind Hermione.
“Mummy? What’s happening?” Nicky asked curiously. Hermione bent down to his eye level and placed a hand gently on his back.
“Nicolas, there are some people I would like you to meet.” He nodded. She stood up and moved aside so her parents could get a good look at him. “Mum, dad, I would like you to meet your grandson, Nicolas. Nicky, these are your grandparents.” He gave them a silly smile.
“Hi.” He giggled.
“Graham would you look… I’m a grandma.” She said with a teary smile.
“Why don’t you go give them a hug eh?” Hermione whispered into Nicky’s ear.
“Hi nana.” He said hugging her legs. This was just too much for Mrs. Granger, and tears rolled down her cheeks.
“He called me nana. All by himself.” She marveled.
“Mum, he’s five. He can talk perfectly well.” Hermione pointed out. Obviously not listening to Hermione, her parents went on doting on Nicky. Her father picked him up and held him in his arms.
“Hey there Sport.” He said lovingly.
“Mummy,” Nicky said, turning around to look at his mother. “Can I eat now?” They laughed and Mr. Granger set him back down.
“Of course sweetie, go sit down. Mummy will be there in just a moment.” He took off and hopped back in to his chair.
“He loves to eat.” Hermione explained. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, I couldn’t, I just…” Her father touched her arm.
“Pumpkin, we are just glad to have you back. We didn’t mean to disturb dinner, but we just had to see him. We’re going to go now, but we’ll have a chat about everything some other time.” She kissed him on the cheek.
“Thank you daddy. Bye mum.” She hugged her now very excited mother. As she ushered them to the fireplace, Hermione mother kept asking questions.
“Does he need clothes? What size does he wear? I’ll get him some new ones. How about toys or…” *woosh* They disappeared into the green flames. Sighing heavily, she made her way back to the table where everyone was eating already.
“I’m sorry we didn’t wait for you dear,” Molly said. “But you know all too well how these boys get when they are hungry.” She looked over to Ron who was stuffing his face with chicken and potatoes.
“Whagft?” He asked with his mouth full. Hermione shook her head at him.
“Oh yes, I know.” She said wisely sitting down in a seat next to Ginny. “I need to talk to you later.” She whispered to Ginny.
“Sure.” She whispered back. The rest of dinner passed rather uneventfully, with the exception of Ron nearly chocking on a chicken bone because he was eating too darn fast. After the table had been cleared, Harry and Ron took Nicky out in to the Weasley’s large back yard to do a little flying. On his way out the door, Hermione caught a hold of Harry’s shirt sleeve.
“Harry, please don’t let Ron do anything crazy, oh! And keep a sharp eye on Nicky at all times, he tends to like to…um, put things in places they don’t belong. Like his nose.” Harry laughed. “And not too high, he might be afraid of heights. And someone has to be on the broom with him at all times…”
“Don’t worry Mione, I’ll take good care of the little nutter.”
“Okay, but don’t forget to take care of Nicky too.” She said. They smiled to each other, and Harry walked out the door chuckling to himself and muttering something that sounded like “little nutter”. Hermione found Ginny reading a magazine in her bedroom. Walking in and taking a seat next to her on the bed, she folded her legs underneath her and looked at Ginny with a serious face.
“Guess who I ran into today.” She said. It took Ginny a minute to register what she was talking about, but soon a look of understanding crept on to her face.
“Yes. He has a child!”
“Yes! And she tried to duff up Nicky at the park! They are on the pee wee Quidditch team together.”
“YES! And it gets better. Afterwards, he comes up to us as we’re leaving and wants to take us out to ice cream to “apologize”!”
“NO! Did you go?”
“No no, it was more because Nicky wanted to go really, you know how kids are when sweets are involved.”
“And what about this kid of his?” She asked, leaning forward out of interest.
“She looks just like him! It’s remarkable. Her hair is a bit darker, but she has those eyes and that Malfoy attitude.”
“Did you happen to catch her name?”
“Yes, Isabelle. Isabelle Malfoy.”
“I know. But there’s more…”
“More. He came on to me right before we came back here for dinner.”
“Came on to you? How did that… what did he say?”
“He kept calling me ‘Mi’ the entire time, and then we got into a little row because of… a thing.”
“Well it’s not like you did anything drastic like name your kid after him or anything. I mean, Nicolas is far from-”
“Nicolas Draco Granger.” Hermione said blandly.
Hermione nodded slowly.
“Yeah…” She confirmed weakly.
“I can’t believe… NO!”
“I know.” She said softly.
“Hermione! What were you thinking when you were naming him?! For the love of butterbeer! This is just… AH!”
“I was thinking of how nice it would be if it was his child. Not Connor’s.” Hermione said holding back tears. Ginny calmed down and moved to give Hermione a hug.
“Oh come on, I didn’t mean to make you cry Mione, it’s just, this is a big shocker is all.” They pulled away and Hermione sniffled.
“So what are the chances that Isabelle’s full name is Isabelle Hermione Malfoy?” Ginny joked.
“I know Gin, but I felt… I thought my heart was breaking when I saw him today. It hurt so bad…” Hermione said through her tears. “And he found out too, about Nicky’s name. I guess Nicky recognized it as his own and told Draco.”
“He’s single right?” Ginny asked.
“Of course he’s single Ginny, he’s five bloody years old…” Ginny shook her head vigorously.
“No, I meant Draco. He’s single right?”
“And you still love him right?”
“Well I don’t know about that part…”
“Yes you do, I can tell. You wouldn’t be crying to me like this if he meant nothing to you. And its okay Mione, he was a big part of your life. It’s okay to miss him. What I’m saying is, would it really be that bad if you started seeing him again?” When Ginny finished speaking Hermione stayed silent. “Exactly.”
“But I didn’t say anything!”
“What about Nicky? Do you honestly think that he would be okay with this? He is so young…”
“Every child needs a father Hermione. He has a bloody fantastic mum already, but now he just needs a father.” Ginny put her hand on Hermione’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “Go get the love of your life back.” She said with a confident smile. Hermione gave a weak one back, when the door burst open and a filthy Nicky, Harry, and Ron marched in.
“Mummy guess what I did!” She quickly wiped her face dry with the back of her hand, and out of the corner of her eye she could see Ron mouth ‘Is she alright?’ to Ginny, who nodded. Hermione smiled brightly at Nicky.
“What did you do pumpkin?”
“I flowed!” The four young adults laughed.
“You mean you flew. Wow that’s wonderful Nicky.” She said warmly.
“He is a natural born flier that kid is.” Harry said.
“Yeah. He’s going to make a bloody brilliant chaser once he gets into Hogwarts.” Ron said proudly.
“RON!” Ginny chastised. She lowered her voice to a hiss. “Don’t swear in front of Nicky!”
“Oh, sorry Herms.” He said with the tips of his ears flushing.
“Tell you what Ron, I will only forgive you if you quit calling me ‘Herms’.” She reasoned.
Ron thrust a finger into the air and shouted, “Never!” As if he was a superhero.
“Well I think I need some chocolate frogs, anyone else care to join me?” Harry offered.
“Yeah!” Nicky and Ron yelled at the same time.
“Not too many Nicolas, you will give yourself a belly ache!” Hermione called after the boys. She snapped her head back to look at Ginny when she felt a tug on her hand.
“I know what you need.” Ginny said confidently.
“Oh? And what might that be?”
“Hermione, you went immediately from teenager to mother. You never had any time to live it up as an adult with no rules, no bed times, to story telling or diaper changing. You need a night out. The boys and mum love Nicky, they would be happy to watch him while we went out, I’m sure of it.”
“Oh Gin I don’t know. I’m not really a party girl, I’m sure I wouldn’t be much fun.”
“Bullocks Mione. Do you remember your seventh year at all? Dancing all day, shagging Hogwarts’ bad boy by night… that just screams clubbing to me!”
“And you know what?! I bet you would look like one hot, sexy momma in my new red dress.”
“Ginny, I’ve had a child, my hips have widened and my stomach just isn’t the same as it was then. I could never fit in to it.” Ginny grabbed Hermione by the shoulders and forced her to look at her.
“Hermione Jane Granger, you are twenty four, not forty two. You are beautiful, and sexy, and I would bet my entire life savings that you can still move better than anyone I know. You will put that dress on tomorrow night, you will go to the club with me, you will forget your responsibilities as a mother for one night, and you will have fun.” Hermione’s face twisted and scrunched up, trying to find a reason why she couldn’t go.
“It is summer Mione. Live it up! You are too young to let this go to waste.” Ginny persisted. Hermione sighed.
“If I have to…” Ginny squealed with happiness.
“Oh Hermione you’re not going to regret it! There is this awesome Latin club in London that you will just love.” Hermione’s eyes widened at the word ‘Latin’.
“Oh no! You didn’t say anything about Latin or salsa or anything like that!”
“Too late! You already agreed.” Ginny gloated. Hermione grimaced at the idea of having strange men rub up against her, but she knew there was no way she was going to get herself out of this one.
“Well Nicky and I should be off now, but we will see you tomorrow. I’ll come round 7:30 tomorrow night then? That is when Nicky goes to bed, so we can leave him with your mum and go out for a drink first.” Hermione said.
Hermione went downstairs and found that Nicky had fallen asleep in Molly’s lap while Ron and Harry were playing Wizards Chess. Molly was rubbing his back soothingly while he slept soundly.
“Poor little guy, he’s had quite a day.” Molly said. If only you knew. Hermione thought.
“Well it’s about time that we get going, I need to get this one to bed.” Hermione whispered. Molly nodded and carefully handed him to Hermione. She flooed them home to their little flat, and just as she had finished tucking him in, he opened his eyes sleepily.
“Mummy?” He asked in a groggy voice.
“Is Mr. Malfoy your friend?” He asked.
Hermione thought for a minute, unsure as to how she should answer. “Well, I suppose he is, why do you ask?”
“I like him. He’s nice. And he said that he likes you a lot.” Hermione raised an eyebrow.
“Did he now? What else did he say?” She asked suddenly very interested.
“Mummy I’m tired. Can we talk about this later?” He asked, his eyelids drooping. She patted his stomach.
“Of course we can Nicky. Sweet dreams pumpkin.” She turned out the light and then went in to her own bedroom to change into her pajamas. Slipping on her dressing gown and some slippers, she padded into the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea. Sitting at the table alone that night, she realized that what she practiced everyday and what she had studied for eight years was not magic, but that after five years and two children later, she and Draco had somehow found each other again. That was the real magic in life. She set her cup in the sink and got herself to bed. As she was fluffing a pillow under her head before she fell into sleep, she closed her eyes and tried to remember his touch… his kiss.
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