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Chapter 22 : Chapter 22
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Never had the apparation time from Malfoy Manor to Jonathan’s apartment in London felt so long, as the afternoon when she went to tell him about the baby she was expecting.
She landed just outside his door with a quiet plop.
It was safe to apparate into his building because it was a straight wizarding one, and she had done so many times before, it wasn’t polite to apparate straight into people’s homes.
She stood on his doorstep for a moment collecting all her courage before she knocked on the door with the cat-shaped doorknocker she knew he had gotten on his fifteenth birthday from Eliza.
It wasn’t long before he opened and invited her in with his usual smile, which she felt he always saved especially for her.
Maybe he sensed her distress, because he didn’t say much before they were both seated on the couch with a cup of tea each and a comforting fire I front of them.
This is even harder than when I had to tell him about Draco’s and mine little escapade with firewhiskey she thought and breathed in deep while turning towards him.
“Jonathan I’m pregnant.” She jumped straight into it knowing that it wouldn’t get easier even if she told him in polite and sugar covered phrases.
“It’s not your baby. It’s Draco’s,” she spoke in short sentences trying to get it over with as fast as possible, even though it made her sound like she had only just learned how to speak.
Jon’s blue eyes turned a deep, almost black colour she had never seen before and didn’t know what meant. She hesitated before continuing her speech but he told her firmly to go on.
“We made one lousy drunken mistake. But I can’t and I won’t get rid of it.”
“No one is asking you to,” he said and she couldn’t interpret what the tone in his voice was saying. He looked like he always did, maybe just a little less relaxed and his eyes had that strange colour, but otherwise he seemed like nothing had happened.
“But it’s not fair to the little one to raise him or her under these circumstances,” she could see that he already knew where this was leading, but he let her say all her words, and it actually comforted her in a strange way. If she never got the chance to say them, she couldn’t ever completely understand that they were real.
“I would never offer a child a life where her mother and father was married but wasn’t together and had other boyfriends instead.”
He nodded in agreement.
“It’s confusing even for me, and I’m living this life for crying out loud.”
He nodded again as if he understood her point. She started braiding a lock of her hair just to occupy her hands while she was talking.
“It would be okay the first couple of years. The baby would be too young to understand, but when he got older he would start asking questions. How can you explain to a five year old that mummy and daddy are only married out of convenience, and that his existence really was a mistake?” a look of despair crept into her features.
She realised that she hadn’t fully grasped the extent of problems that would come along with this child if they continued to live like they did. It suddenly hit her full force and almost drowned her with the knowledge.
Jonathan shrugged his shoulders and she figured he knew as little about child raising as she did.
“And when it gets even older? How can it ever have a normal relationship if its role models were someone like Draco and me?” she was getting herself pretty worked up, but Jonathan sat still and listened to her with a huge patience that he normally didn’t posses while she babbled on. For short moments she felt like she was standing outside looking at herself going nuts, but back in her body she couldn’t do anything about it. It was like standing on a runaway train, which kept speeding up until it would finally crash into a wall and stop in deadly silence.
“How will this child ever feel normal?” she ended and looked at Jonathan as if he had all the answers. He didn’t say anything, just kept staring at her with the unreadable expression on his face.
She sat down beside him, she hadn’t even realised that she had gotten up.
“I have never loved you more than I do right now.”
A glimpse of pain flew over his eyes, but it was there for such a short while that she wasn’t sure it had actually been there at all. She wanted to reach out for him to comfort herself, but she didn’t think she deserved any comfort for what she was about to do and therefore pulled her hand back. He hadn’t even flinched.
The word came out as a single tear rolled down her cheek and landed softly on her right shoulder, where the blue fabric of her t-shirt ended. At that moment she felt for the first time since she had made her decision that it might hurt her just as much as it would hurt Jonathan.
He seemed to have completely frozen.
“I love you, I really do,” she repeated. She tried to get some kind of reaction out of him, but ever since her long speech on all the abnormalities her child would suffer from if she continued her current lifestyle he hadn’t spoken or moved at all. It frightened her more than if he had hit her or yelled at her. That way he would at least have done something. It was freaking her out and it scared her more than she wanted to admit to be faced with him when he was like this.
“But we can’t continue seeing each other, or we can see each other, but just not as a couple.”
To her defence she didn’t cry as she said it, but it was dangerously close.
He closed his eyes for a second, then opened them slowly again and pointed at the door.
“The door,” he said in a strange distant voice, “is that way.”
It was a dismissal, and Hermione almost fled the apartment, with just one though in her head; I must not cry.
“It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever had to do.”
It was the only thing she said as she entered the manor, her hair messy and the look of despair still in her eyes. She almost ran into the library, took the nearest book and sat down in front of the fire. After finding her bookmark she opened the book and stared at the page before her.
Draco entered in a more normal tempo. He seated himself next to her and watched her stare at her book, he knew she wasn’t reading and she knew that he knew. With patience like the angel he looked like he sat beside her more than thirty minutes without moving or saying anything. It was too big for words right now.
It would have been easier if she could just talk about it, but she couldn’t and he didn’t push her. It never helped to force someone to talk; they would only regret their words as soon as they were spoken.
She pretended to read because it was the only thing she knew how to do at the moment, she couldn’t get sense out of them, but it gave her comfort to fell the solid frame of it between her hands. Draco stroked her arm gently and waited.
She honestly tried to read a few lines but the only full thought she could think was; I must not cry and she repeated it religiously inside her head until it was printed into her conscience as deep as if someone had carved it in stone.
At some point Draco disappeared for a moment but he returned few seconds later with a bar of chocolate in one hand, which he placed on the coffee table in front of them. She didn’t move to take a piece, or to do anything at all not even to flip a page.
Minutes passed before he reached out and broke of a piece which he offered her, at first she shook her head, but he insisted and got her to eat it eventually.
With a sad smile she looked at him.
“I appreciate this Draco, but right now I just need to be alone,” she said with a grim face.
“No you don’t,” was his comment as he took her hand and pushed the book away, “You just say that to punish yourself for what you have done.”
He was right. But after breaking Jonathan’s heart, and she felt quite sure she had done so, she didn’t feel like she deserved a kind touch and the presence of a person who loved her.
He knew her much too well, she thought with a sigh. He gently took the book from her lab, closed it and put it on the table.
Minutes passed. Afternoon turned into evening without either of them noticing or caring.
“I love him,” she finally said.
“I know you do.”
“And it was horrible to break up with him, I’ve never felt so low and so sad before, even though I knew I did the right thing for our baby.”
He was glad she was talking at last. She actually felt a little better after saying it and repeated the last part again to which he nodded solemnly: “I did the right thing for our baby.”
“You’ll be a great mother,” he smiled, and that somehow comforted her just as much as his presence did.
The owl tapped on her window frame until she got out of bed to open and let it in. The large grey bird soared in and sat on her outstretched arm. It had a note tied around its leg and she loosened the blue band that held it and slipped the note into her hand. The owl bowed its head gracefully and flew off into the sunrise again.
She recognised Jonathan’s mark on the envelope and sat down on the couch to read the letter.
I don’t know how to start this letter, I acted in a less than nice manner yesterday, but you carry your part of the fault too. I’m sad this is how it ends, I love you more than you can imagine and a lot more than I wish to.
I’m afraid we won’t speak to each other anytime in the nearest future since I’m leaving tomorrow for Russia where I am to work at the Russian Ministry of Magic as junior secretary for the minister of magical sports and games.
I hope you and Draco will be happy together and that you baby will be healthy, please don’t do anything stupid like naming him after me! I wouldn’t appreciate it.
This isn’t my longest letter or the most well written one, but it’ll have to do.
Мой самолет останавливается в России, так прощай моя любовь.
With all the love I now can’t have - Jonathan
She read the note several times until she knew every word by heart. He was right it wasn’t his most well written letter but it meant something to her that she at least knew where in the world he was, but she figured that she had hurt him much deeper than she had intended by leaving him, or else he would do anything so drastic like moving out of the country.
It wasn’t something he had ever talked about before and she imagined he had done so because of her. It made her sad that she had caused so much pain for a person whom she loved, but in this case there was no other option.
She had never known that Jonathan had connections to Russia or that he spoke Russian, but when she asked Draco, he told her that Jonathan’s mother was Russian and it was from that side of the family he had his dark hair and blue eyes.
She was glad though that the letter seemed free of bitterness except from the last line about the love he couldn’t have.
They should have known from the beginning that they could never have the fairytale ending that they might in their dreams have hoped for. Fairytales don’t come true, and you can’t bend the rules of the world no matter how much in love you are, she though with the bitterness that wasn’t present in Jonathan’s letter, but which she knew he had to feel.
Fairytales are fairytales, she thought, you live in the real world now.
A/N: It took me a little while longer to get this chapter out than I planned but here it is, so please tell me what you think of it now, Jon is finally out the way...
Thanks to the people who always help me with this: My reviewers, Green, Pingo and Morten.
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