Draco had gone over to Blaise’s house a couple of blocks away to pick up his daughter. When he reached the marshmallow colored bungalow, he could see his daughter, Noel, playing with Blaise’s daughter, Jessica. They were both happily playing on the swing set, making Draco long, once again, for his daughter to have a complete family: where she could play outside, and talk to her mother about girl things. But he knew, as the curly blonde six year-old plopped on the seat next to him, that his wish wouldn’t be coming true in the imminent future.
“Hey, honey, did you have fun?” he asked, in the loving tone he had realized he possessed only years ago.
Noel reached over the gears of his Benz to plant a wet kiss on his unshaven face, leaving a sticky print on his cheek that could have only come from candy.
“Yes, Jess’ mommy colored out nails,” she flashed glittery purple nails at him.
“Aw, those are beautiful, Noël,” he smiled and waved to Lizzie Zabini and back out of the driveway.
He looked over Noel’s face, everything of a Malfoy, he thought, except for the curly hair and pouty lips which could only belong to her mother.
“Daddy,” Noel said, her tiny baby face crunching in confusion, “Jessica said everyone has a mommy-”
Draco knew he would have to face that question sooner or later, but he did not know himself how to answer it; he had not thought it would come so soon. His icy determined gaze looked solely at the road in front of him.
“Where’s my mommy then, Daddy?”
What was he supposed to say to that one? Yeah, kiddo, I don’t know, he thought, if only it could be that easy.
“Baby… it…Noeli,” he hesitated for the right words. “You have Daddy don’t you?”
“He loves you right?”
“You love him, too?”
“We don’t need anyone else then, right?”
“I guess,” she said softly.
“You’ll understand when you’re older.”
She was silent, as was he, the whole ride home.
They walked up to their floor and walked in the front door. He had to drag Noel inside because she wasn’t done talking to Noah, the elevator guy. He always seemed to Draco as a nice guy, so he let them chat once in awhile when they had time after the elevator ride.
Draco helped Noel take a quick bath before they both sat down on the couch to watch television.
He flipped on Noel’s favorite show at the time, “Dora the Explorer.”
She was in the middle of talking, “So then we went to the-” but stopped when Dora’s big head popped up.
He sat reading his book as she sang along to the songs when the doorbell rang, and he had to take his drunken wife to the spare room.
After tucking her in, he had a chance to take one good look at her.
She was a complete different person; he knew this, just by looking at her face. The round full face he remembered from the Days of War had changed. He knew exactly why, as well, because he was involved.
But this was no time to bring up memories that Draco had given up magic to forget.
Touching her bony cheeks, he muttered curse words to whoever had done this to her.
And he left the room, feeling nothing but pity towards her.
He went back to the TV room, and listened once again, for possibly the hundredth time: I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map, if there’s a place you gotta go I’m the one you need to know…
He knew that the one thing that would drive him crazy would be this addictive song!
Several minutes later, he fell asleep, as did Noel practically right on top of him. Almost three hours later, he woke up, due to the numbness in his leg.
He looked around, confused at first, but making out what was around him.
He gently picked up Noel, and took her to her own room and put her in her bed so she could sleep longer, and decided that he would check up on Hermione.
He opened the door, and saw her stirring in bed, he looked for a second of so, but decided to just leave, which he did.
She never woke up all night; Draco assumed that it was because of her drunken state.
In the morning he had to go to work.
Eight years ago, when he had left everything behind, he had started his own business.
He let go of every memory, every object; every piece of clothing was gone; he kept the books locked up in the attic.
He began his own business, from scratch, as an entrepreneur. He started his own chain of hotels and casinos with the money from his Gringotts vault. And fortunately his hotels and casinos had become successful. Now he had a chain of a dozen.
He was known, of course, but not as Draco Malfoy the Wizard.
Eight years ago, he had become Draco Malfoy, owner of Château Casino and Hotels.
Now, he hardly had to go to work, having so many people working beneath him. He had time for his precious child, but he had to admit that it was difficult at first.
Writing a note for Hermione when she woke up, he placed a couple of Aspirins in a bottle and left it beside her bed.
Hermione: gone to work, get something to eat from the fridge. Or order something. Take the cash. -Draco.
He left twenty dollars next to it.
When Noel had done taking her bath, he put out her school girl uniform and waited patiently outside for her to be done.
Hermione woke up, at 7:30 sharp in the morning. Her headache had subsided and she felt confused as to where she was.
Her eyes flitted warily around the room until she spotted the note. She opened it to find a twenty note flutter out.
Reading the note, understanding waved over her. Last night’s events coming back to her.
Viktor in bed with another woman.
Losing her watch to a bartender.
And then, Draco.
She rubbed her temples, thinking hard as to what she would do next.
She needed a place to stay, and she had no money. So first she needed to get a job, but she would also have to extend Draco’s hospitality awhile longer. She could pay him half the rent when she got some money, and then file the divorce.
Yes, that was a perfect plan.
But first, she needed to gather some Draco history; she didn’t want to stay with some serial killer (just in case he was one).
She got up, and rummaged through the suitcases that were piled in the corner of the room.
Pulling out a new pair of underwear, sweat pants and a tank, she headed towards the bathroom.
Entering the bathroom she found a green stool in front of the sink.
Moving on she found Dora the Explorer bubble bath.
Her eyebrow furrowed in confusion: what the hell was all this?
She turned the shower on waiting for it to get warm, and she went in. Letting the hot water engulf her.
When she moved her feet a little, however, she slipped. Trying to hold on to the shower curtains, pulling them down with her to the floor.
She fell flat on her bottom, onto a pink gloop of what could only be the Dora soap. She cursed loud.
Tears sprang to her eyes as pain coursed through her body and her leg felt numb.
She looked at the shower curtain that was ripped at the holes. She would have to buy him a new curtain too now.
Carefully and painfully she got up and quickly finished the shower and then cleaned the puddle of water she had created due to the lack of curtain in the bathroom.
She put her clothes on, massaging her thigh and leg.
She was hungry, but decided that there was no time for food. She needed to find a way out of here. But the grumble that growled from her stomach told her something else.
She looked through the fridge, and was surprised that a single guy (hoping he was single) could have so much good food. There was lasagna, blueberries, and for some reason two boxes of cupcakes. Hmm…there was a lot of stuff that kids would use in the house.
She pulled out the lasagna and heated it in the microwave and began eating.
It was the best lasagna she had ever tasted; surely Draco hadn’t made this himself. He must have a cook. Yeah, a cook.
While eating she walked around the place, finding some clue to answer her questions about all the kid stuff.
She was answered when she opened the door next to hers. She entered the big pink and yellow sanctuary.
Her mouth opened slightly, there was a canopy bed in the corner and big life sized dolls on it.
The walls were yellow, and there were baby pictures all over the walls. She recognized a less old Draco holding a baby and smiling like a goof in one of the pictures.
She concluded, with this that this was Draco’s daughter.
She left the room, and was confronted with more pictures. They were starting to scare her.
The Draco in all these pictures didn’t look arrogant, he didn’t look pompous. He was just looking soft and caring, like he was the happiest guy in the world. There was a photograph, at the end of the hall with a snow white girl with white-blonde curly hair. Her eyes were light gray, just like her assumed father. But her lips weren’t of Draco’s, she noticed, they were big and pouty.
If Hermione didn’t hate Draco so much, she might have said that his daughter was the most gorgeous baby she had ever set eyes on. She had to look away, after awhile, because the child was so beautiful.
Hermione went over to the den, and flipped the TV on, and switched her daily soap on. She had a sudden craving to go shopping, but knew that without Viktor’s credit card, she had no money to do so.
She opened the door, to take a walk around downstairs of the building. But as she opened it, it seemed as if someone was on the other side.
She walked straight into Draco, he suddenly grabbed her arm.
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