Hermione groaned and lifted a hand to her eyes. She rubbed her temples slowly and opened her eyes. “Where am I?”
“You’re in the Hospital Wing, dear.” Madam Pomfrey bustled over to Hermione’s bed and handed her a small vile. Hermione took it from the nurse hesitantly. “Drink that dear and it’ll help with the nausea.”
“How did you know about the nausea attack that I had?” Hermione asked after swallowing the contents of the vile quickly.
“Ms. Granger there is something that you should know. But first I have to ask you some questions. When was the last time you were…intimate…with someone?” Madam Pomfrey had a quill ready over her parchment and clipboard.
“What does that have to do with what you have to tell me?” Hermione asked with a frown.
“It has everything to do with that. Now, please answer the question.” Pomfrey huffed impatiently.
“I’m not sure exactly, but it was a little over a month ago.” Hermione’s eyes filled with tears and she looked away from the nurse. Pomfrey’s face filled with sorrow for Hermione and she patted her shoulder.
“Come now dear. Everything is going to be alright.” Madam Pomfrey looked back at her clipboard and asked the next question, after writing down Hermione’s answer. “Can you tell me who the person was, please?”
“No, I won’t. You don’t know him. No one at Hogwarts does, so leave him out of it.” Hermione scowled, and Madam Pomfrey nodded.
“Very well Ms. Granger. I only have one more question for you. Are you willing to go through with this?” Madam Pomfrey’s face again took on a look of sadness.
“Go through with what? What’s going on Madam Pomfrey?” Hermione frowned in frustration.
“Ms. Granger, you’re pregnant.”
“I’m what? That’s impossible! This is ridiculous! You’re lying! This isn’t a funny joke!” Hermione screamed.
“I’m afraid Madam Pomfrey is not lying Ms. Granger. She is extremely serious.” Dumbledore said as he walked into the room. “You are pregnant. This is something that no one at Hogwarts would joke about. Least of all our very own Medi-Witch.”
Hermione’s eyes filled with fear and her mouth dropped open. “So, I’m really…”
“Yes.” Dumbledore said softly. His voice was filled with concern. “Now that you know, I believe you have to answer Madam Pomfrey’s last question. Are you willing to go through with this pregnancy?”
Hermione stared at the comforter on her bed for a couple of minutes before answering in a whisper. “Yes.” She raised her voice slightly and continued, “I’m going to keep the baby. I have to.”
“Very well. We will make further arrangements later on in the pregnancy, for things such as your schooling and giving birth. For now, I suggest you get some rest. Madam Pomfrey told me last night that you should be able to go later on today.” Dumbledore smiled reassuringly and Hermione gave a weak smile back.
“Thank you Professor.” She whispered.
“You’re welcome Ms. Granger. Now, get some rest.” Dumbledore turned and left the room. Pomfrey came up to Hermione and gave her a small smile.
“Everything will be alright dear. You’ll see.” She gave Hermione’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze. Hermione gave a deep sigh and asked suddenly looked at Madam Pomfrey with fear in her eyes.
“Madam Pomfrey, I know that drinking during a pregnancy can cause the baby harm, but what if you didn’t know you were pregnant and you made a mistake one night before you found out?” Hermione cast her eyes downwards, staring at her blanket.
“What do you mean dear?” Madam Pomfrey’s forehead creased in a frown.
“I mean, what would happen if you got drunk one night before you found out about the baby?” Hermione glanced up at the Matron’s eyes.
Madam Pomfrey sighed. “Did you have something to drink last night?” Hermione nodded slowly. “Well, when I checked to see if you were pregnant I used a potion that detects any abnormalities in the baby. The baby is perfectly healthy. That is probably why you lost consciousness this morning. The baby is obviously magical, and was protecting itself.”
“Already?” Hermione breathed.
“Its mother is the brightest witch of her age.” Madam Pomfrey smiled. “Now get some rest dear, you’re going to need all of your strength.”
Hermione nodded and lay down again and closed her eyes. She soon drifted into a deep sleep.
*(Head’s Common Room; 2 hours later)
Draco was pacing in front of the Portrait Hole. ‘Should I go visit her? She’d probably just yell at me and throw me out. But I am the only student that knows about her pregnancy. Why do I care? She’s a Mudblood and I’m a Pureblood. She’s not worth my time. I shouldn’t care about her, or her stupid unborn brat. But I do, what the hell is wrong with me?’
Draco growled in frustration and threw himself down onto the couch in front of the fireplace. He pointed his wand at the empty grate and muttered “Incendio.” Suddenly a fire sprang to life in the once empty fireplace. The roaring flames dancing in the fireplace seemed to match his mood perfectly, confused, angry, and frustrated.
“I’m going to visit her.” He looked at the clock and saw it was 1:00 in the afternoon. Draco got off the couch and left the Common Room before he could change his mind again. He reached the Hospital Wing and paused with his hand on the door. “It’s now or never.” He pushed the door open and stepped into the sparkling clean Hospital Wing.
Hermione looked over to the door from her bed and rolled her eyes, returning to her book. Draco slowly walked down the length of the room and sat in the chair next to Hermione’s bed. Hermione closed the book and sighed. “Yes Malfoy?”
“I just came to see how you were.” Draco said arrogantly. “Or maybe you didn’t know, I was the one who brought you here.”
“No, I knew.” Hermione retorted. Then her face and tone softened. “And I want to say thank you. You didn’t have to help me but you did, to think that you helped a Muggleborn such as myself. I was extremely shocked when I heard that, even more so than when they told me…” Hermione broke off realizing she almost told one of her greatest enemies her secret. Draco raised his eyebrows in curiosity, but decided not to press the subject. ‘She almost told me that she’s pregnant. But she doesn’t know that I know.’
“Yeah well, you were lying in my way. I had to move you somewhere. Then I noticed that you had a fever, so I thought this would be the best place to bring you.” Draco answered arrogantly and shrugged his shoulders. He stood and turned to leave. “You’re welcome.”
“What?” Hermione asked.
“You thanked me. I was just saying that you’re welcome.” With that Draco left the room.
*(Later that evening; Head Common Room)
Draco was sitting on the couch in front of his still roaring fire reading, when the Portrait Hole opened and Hermione walked in. Draco looked up from his book and nodded curtly at her. “Looks like you’re feeling better Granger.”
“Yes, actually. I think I’m going to go to bed now though. Goodnight Malfoy.” Hermione said politely.
“Wait Granger…” Draco sighed heavily. “How are you going to do this?”
“I haven’t a clue what you are talking about.” Hermione frowned. ‘What’s he going on about now?’
“I…umm…I know about your…condition.” Draco lowered his eyes and his face took on a very serious look, something extremely unlike Draco.
“What are you talking about?” Hermione raised an eyebrow questioningly. “My condition? I have no condition. Now, excuse me, but I’m rather tired so I’m going to bed. Goodnight.” Hermione turned to go into her bedroom but froze as Draco spoke again.
“I know you’re pregnant.” He whispered.
Hermione turned slowly to face Draco again and he saw that her eyes were filled with tears. “You do?” He nodded. “How? How did you find out? I thought no one else knew.”
“I found out last night. Pomfrey was telling Dumbledore, when you were still unconscious. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but Dumbledore had just left me in the corridor, and I hadn’t left yet.” Draco explained quietly.
“Oh, I see.” Hermione said, still trying to process everything. She moved to the couch and sat down. Her eyes were distant and glazed over, and her mouth was slightly open.
“I won’t tell anybody. That’s your business, not mine.” Draco placed a hand on Hermione’s shoulder, bringing her back into reality.
She glanced at his hand on her shoulder and then looked into his eyes. They were filled with compassion, and they looked softer than Hermione had ever seen them. They weren’t hard and cold grey tonight, they were a warm and soft silver. She suddenly felt the urge to tell him everything that had happened to her over the summer, but she managed to restrain herself. “Thank you. That means a lot to me.”
“You’re welcome.” Draco surprised himself by saying this for a second time that day. “What happened to you over the summer? You’re not the same person that you were last year. There’s something different, I can’t quite place it but I can tell there’s something.” Then Draco did something that surprised them both more than anything else he had done that day did. He tucked a strand of Hermione’s hair behind her ear and leaned towards her. ‘She’s got to be scared out of her mind. I know I would be.’
Hermione could feel his breath on her face and she knew he was going to kiss her. But she didn’t pull away; instead she stayed put and let him gently press his lips against her own. ‘I never knew someone could kiss so tenderly. Wait a minute, this is Malfoy! I hate him! Why am I letting him kiss me? This is ridiculous! Pull away Hermione, pull away!’ Her head was screaming at her to pull away, but her heart was drawn to him, and she was at a complete loss as to why.
Then the kiss ended. Draco pulled away and blushed. “I shouldn’t have done that. You’ve no doubt got a boyfriend, and I was being stupid.” He turned and went to stand when Hermione grabbed his hand.
“Draco…don’t go. Please, just don’t go. I don’t have a boyfriend, the baby’s father and I aren’t together.” Hermione’s eyes filled with tears and she closed them tightly. Draco’s mind was in overdrive. ‘She called me by my first name, and now she doesn’t want me to leave. And she let me kiss her! She didn’t pull away, call me a bunch of names, slap me and then storm off, she let me kiss her!’ Draco sat back down on the couch and gazed at Hermione. “There’s something I need to tell someone. Anyone, just to get it off my chest. I can’t take it anymore.” She said softly, with a slightly fearful tone in her voice.
“Why don’t you tell Scarhead and the Weasel? I’m sure they’d be glad to help.” Draco suggested. Hermione shook her head violently.
“I can’t tell them this.” She sighed sadly.
“Why not?” Draco asked, intrigued.
“Because, they don’t know I’m pregnant. And I can’t tell them that, because they wouldn’t understand.” Hermione looked at Draco again, her eyes pleading with him to understand.
“Alright. Go ahead.” Draco sat back against the couch and prepared himself to listen to her story.
Hermione took a shaky breath and exhaled slowly. She closed her eyes and started to speak. “It’s about the baby’s father.”
“Mmhmm…” Draco nodded again, and waited for her to continue.
“When I got pregnant it…wasn’t…voluntary.” Hermione scowled.
“What? He…raped…you…?” Draco sat up straight and his eyes opened wide in disbelief. Hermione nodded slowly, and looked away. “If you don’t want to continue I won’t force you to. It must be difficult to talk about. But now I know why you seem different.” Draco placed a hand over Hermione’s lightly.
“No, I need to say this.” Hermione pursed her lips together and spoke again. “I was out with my muggle friends one night and he offered me a ride home. I accepted and got in the truck. We started driving and then he turned down a road I had never been down. We were out of town, I know that much. Then he started saying things, I’ve tried to forget…but I can’t. It’s like it’s burned into my memory forever. Every time I close my eyes I see that night again. I was terrified that night, and even though I know it’s not real I still feel the same fear as I did then.” Tears began to fall from Hermione’s eyes and she raised a hand to cover her eyes. Draco pulled her into his chest and held her there. “He stole something so precious from me. I can’t ever get that back. It’s not fair.” Hermione sobbed.
“Shh…I know it’s not fair. No one should have to go through what you’re dealing with. It’s okay. Everything will be alright.” Draco cooed sympathetically. He had no clue why but Hermione’s tears had brought out a side of him that he had worked extremely hard over the years to keep repressed and hidden from everyone. He had fought against her for six years and now suddenly he was feeling sorry for her. ‘What the bloody hell is wrong with me? I’m not supposed to be comforting her, I’m supposed to be mocking her situation. But, I don’t think she could handle anymore right now. If I were to tease her, she’d probably do something rash because she’s so unstable right now. This year is so screwed up.’
“And, the father doesn’t know I’m pregnant. I don’t think I can tell him either. I can’t face him, or any of my other muggle friends. On top of this all, my father adds to my stress level even more.” Hermione gasped as she realized what she had said. She was spilling her deepest secrets to her worst enemy, well apart from Voldemort.
“What did your father do Her…Hermione?” Draco asked gently.
“I’ll show you.” Was her hushed reply. Hermione sat up and she lifted the sleeve of her Hogwarts robe to reveal a large bruise, in the shape of a hand, on her right forearm. Draco could see the individual fingers. As Draco looked closer he could see the faint outline of another bruise on her left cheek and around her right eye.
“He…he beat you.” Draco gaped. He lifted his hand slowly to Hermione’s cheek and touched it gently. She winced slightly at the touch but didn’t pull away. Draco’s eyes searched Hermione’s and he saw the fear, confusion, and loneliness reflected in them. “How could so much happen to one person in so little time?” He asked softly. Hermione knew it was a rhetorical question, and so she just shrugged her shoulders slightly.
They sat there staring into each other’s eyes for quite a while. It was only when the clock struck 10:00 o’clock that they realized how long they had been sitting there. “We better get to bed. We have classes tomorrow. Goodnight Draco.” Hermione stood up and walked to her door. “Thank you, for everything. You have no idea how much it means to me.”
Draco nodded, and gave her a small smile. “You’re welcome Hermione. I won’t say a word about anything you told me tonight, I swear.”
“Alright. Thanks again. Goodnight.” Hermione smiled in return and went into her room and closed the door.
“Night.” Draco said as the door clicked shut. He sat on the couch for another couple of minutes and then stood and went into his own bedroom. He got into bed and lay staring at the ceiling thinking about everything Hermione told him. ‘Why did she tell me all of this? I suppose she did need someone to talk to, and there was no one else around. But there still is Weaselette. She could have told her all of this. Why me? Maybe because I’m the only other person who knows about her pregnancy, other than Dumbledore and Pomfrey. Maybe it was easier to tell someone who already knew, and had an objective view. Someone that she knew wouldn’t freak out and go looking for the father to murder him. Maybe…’ Draco fell asleep to these thoughts and had a dreamless sleep.