Chapter 24 : December 24
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Chapter 24: December 24
“Oh, my god,” Hermione said looking at Noel dressed up. “I told you it would look awesome on you.”
Noel was dressed in an almost identical dress to Hermione’s. The color was just slightly off.
“Yeah. Now we’ll be matching, right, Hermione?” Noel asked, looking at her shoes in the mirror.
“Definitely. Draco, would you hurry up in there? We’re going to be late,” Hermione said, tapping her Jimmy Choo clad foot impatiently.
“I’m coming, drama queens, I can’t tie the tie properly,” he said, opening the door.
“Here, let me get it,” Hermione said, with one final tap. She walked up to him and took his tie. It took some effort, since he was taller than her but she managed to get it around his neck.
Draco tilted his head to the side slightly, with a very funny expression in his eyes. Hermione decided it must be jitters from going to the party. Draco begged to differ.
The simple gesture of tying his tie was a very… intimate. It made him all warm and fuzzy inside, even though he didn’t want to.
Several seconds later, she was done. Noel was watching TV, so he put his hand around her neck and took her mouth in a kiss. He deepened it, running his hand through her open hair. Running out of breath, the two staggered apart.
“Whoa,” Hermione said. “Wow.”
Draco nodded without a word. “Let’s go.”
The party was in full swing when they got there. Beautifully dressed people, almost all who Draco knew from the Ministry. The dance floor was packed with people bunny hopping.
Draco felt as if he had been sucked into some alternate universe. So did Hermione. Poor, poor sophisticated Hermione had expected a cocktail party, but instead got something in very close resemblance to a teenage party.
“Well. This seems fun,” Hermione said. “I’m sure if we had worn pink, we’d have blended in just fine.”
She caught Harry’s eye, who immediately smiled and walked over to them.
“Hey!” he said, his hands jittery. “I’m so glad you guys came.” He looked around nervously. “I am in desperate need of normal people.”
He jerked his head towards Kinglsey, the Minister of Magic, leading the Macarena. “The waiters thought the tequilas we served earlier were juice. Now I got myself a hundred people who think they’re pop singers,” he winced, looking at Noel. “I’m so sorry you have to see this, angel. It was not planned to be like this.”
“I’m sure it will be fine,” Draco said, holding on to Noel’s hand. “We’ll be fine.”
“Where’s Ginny?” Hermione asked.
“Oh, um. She’s kind of preoccupied…at the moment…in the washroom…had a little too much tequila…” he made some expression between ‘help me’ and ‘kill me’.
Draco couldn’t help but laugh.
Harry narrowed his eyes, “Don’t worry, pal, one day it’ll happen to you.”
Technically, he‘d seen his wife miserably drunk already. Twice.
“Dinner’s being served in ten minutes. Maybe food will calm these folks down,” Harry muttered before going to the next set of guests.
“This really is something,” Draco said with a chuckle.
“It really is,” Hermione agreed.
A waiter approached them. “Drink, ma’am?”
Hermione smiled secretly, “No. No thanks.”
By the time dinner came by, a good hour later than the time Harry had given them, most of the guests had already gone home. Draco’s best guess was that Harry kicked them out.
He was happy to find that Noel had mixed up instantly with some of the other children, and was now sitting at the kiddy table eating pizza. He wished he was there too. But instead, he was sitting right next to Ron Weasley, the Weasleking, eating something that looked like marshmallows.
Across from him sat Hermione, who was absolutely glowing. She chatted animatedly with Lavender Brown, who to Draco’s memory had been one of her worst enemies in school.
Ron beside him cleared his throat. Draco braced himself for some very morbid conversation.
“Hermione seems to look real happy,” Ron commented. “She seems very excited.” Draco saw a very secretive look in Ron’s eyes. He seemed to be holding in something that he did not know.
Draco had noticed too. “Yes, I know.”
“Seems to be glowing with some sort of plan. Well…I’m sure she’s just happy about the interview,” Ron said, mischief glinting in his eyes.
“Oh, really? The interview?” Draco asked curious. He himself thought the glow was from her being happily in love.
“Oh, yes. It’s been all over the Ministry that Doug Brown has offered Hermione a position in one of his branches. I’m sure she’s told you about it. Apparently, there will be full funding for her move to Canada… I believe it was to start first thing in the New Year…” Ron said casually. He looked back at Draco, gauging his reaction. He was well aware that Hermione had not told him of her job proposal, because if she had, they would not be at the party at all.
“Oh, yes. I heard about that. She was telling me about it,” Draco replied, suddenly feeling cold. He said that she had told him about it, when in reality, he had not known. It felt as though a spear had hit him right in his chest, and he immediately felt the urge to have fresh air. He wanted to go home, but he carried on the night. He would not show Hermione how terribly she had hurt him.
Of course, he should have known all along. She had been exuberant the last few days, and it seemed like she was holding a secret. Well, Draco thought, it was not a secret anymore. Anger and sadness overwhelmed him. Never in his life had he known such betrayal! How dare she come capture his and his daughter’s heart and then rip them out and stop all over them!
He decided he would not let another woman make him and Noel upset. They didn’t need anyone; his daughter needed no one but him.
So, why on the ride home had he felt sorrow as Hermione and Noel talked about Noel’s birthday party Christmas night.
“You know,” Noel dragged on. “Jessica’s mom always puts nail polish on us on Jessica’s slumber parties. But I don’t have a mommy. Do you think you could give us make-overs, Hermione?” Draco glanced at his daughter and his heart sank at the sheer hopefulness on her face.
“Of course!” Hermione said, her heart swelling in her chest. “I’ve got this fabulous body glitter. It’ll make you shine like princesses!”
“Awesome,” Noel said, awed. “I can’t wait! We can even put it on Daddy.” They both giggled.
Draco made an honest effort at a hearty laugh and gripped the steering wheel until his knuckled turned white.
“You okay, Malfoy?” Hermione asked with a giggle and put her hand on his shoulder. She was hurt to find him go rigid at her touch.
“I’m fine,” he said through clenched.
He wouldn’t say anything while his daughter was there.
That night after he put Noel to bed, Hermione wondered what was wrong with Draco. Why was he giving her the cold shoulder?
As he undressed, he didn’t say a word.
“Well. It wasn’t that bad was it?” Hermione asked, in hopes of finding out what was wrong.
He simply nodded and slid into bed.
“Can you just tell me what’s wrong, or are you going to keep me guessing?” she put her hands on her hips and looked at him defiantly.
He got up from where he was lying down. He moved the covers away, wearing only his boxers.
His face looked furious, he didn’t dare to touch her.
“I think you’re the one who should be doing the explaining!” he snarled, feeling slightly idiotic in his underwear. “Chaining us along, waiting for the right moment to drop the bomb on us.”
“What on earth are you rambling about?!” Hermione asked, honestly having no clue about what he was saying.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about. Why you’ve been glowing like a freaking light bulb. ”
Her expression looked genuinely confused. “I don’t know what you’re -”
“I should have known,” he scoffed. “You would be like the rest of them. Take my heart, chew it and stomp over it. I should have known when you went with Noah and Ron like it was no big deal…should have known you were nothing but a -”
“Don’t you dare complete that sentence. You have absolutely no right to be saying any of this to me. I deserve to know why we are having this argument!” Tears threatened to spill out of her eyes, her voice threatened to break.
He snorted, and albeit the situation, he felt a sharp pang of guilt for the tears in her eyes. All he wanted to do was hurt himself for making her cry. “I know your little plan now. I know your secret.”
Hermione’s heart fell and broke. Her secret? She thought it would make him happy. The tears fell out of her eyes.
“Oh. Oh…that,” she wiped the dropping tears. She gripped her stomach as if she would keel over. “Well. Then… I best be getting out of your way.”
She went into the closet and picked out all the clothes she had initially brought with her. She slipped out of the dress she wore and pulled on her jeans and sweater.
She grabbed the silky dress and threw it at him. “Thanks for the charity,” she said, giving him a hurtful look.
From the bedside, Draco stood while what was left of his heart shattered into a million pieces.
She turned around to find Noel standing in the doorway with her Arthur stuffed toy . Her big blue eyes were big and sad.
Draco wasn’t moving, he was utterly too shocked. He couldn’t even breathe right.
“Noel, go to your room,” he said.
“Hermione, where are you going?” she said, walking over to her and ignoring him.
“No where, baby, just for a walk,” she said, wiping her tears again.
“Why are you crying?”
“Noel Malfoy, go to your bedroom right now!” Draco ordered.
“I’m going with you, Hermione,” Noel said, taking hold of her hand.
“Baby,” Hermione muttered. “I’m so sorry.” She walked over to Draco. “I’ll always love you, Draco. And I’m just sorry that you don’t want this baby.”
Draco stopped mid-thought. The hand that was reaching for Noel stopped and fell stupidly to his side. “Wha-W-What did you say?”
She turned around slowly at when she heard the genuine shock in his voice. “I said I’ll always love you.”
“God damn it, after that,” he took her shoulders firmly, but gently, in his hands.
“The baby. Don’t want,” she said numbly. It suddenly hit her that he may have been talking about something completely different.
“Baby,” Draco echoed. “What…Who’s baby?”
Noel watched curiously as the scene changed from angry -bordering violent- to gentle.
“Your baby,” Hermione said slowly, hope coming back into her heart. Maybe this was just a misunderstanding.
“Our child, Draco,” she said slowly, as if he wouldn’t understand otherwise.
He put his hand on her belly. “You’re pregnant.”
She nodded like a fool, tears dripping out.
“What?” Noel screamed gleefully. “We’re having a baby?”
Draco had never felt happier in his life. Yet, it seemed to be a bittersweet moment. “But…Ron…Doug Brown…he said that you were moving to Canada…”
“What?” she asked, her face scrunching up. “Oh. That! That was nothing, Draco. It was a job interview. I declined of course. How…how could you even think I would accept that without talking to you…without thinking of you guys…?”
“Oh. I’m so stupid…” he murmured. “You were happy…I thought…I’m so sorry. I said such horrible things…you didn’t drink today at the party…because of the baby. Our…baby. How far along…when…”
“Little less than eight months and we’re going to have a little Malfoy running about,” she said, tears coming out.
“I’m getting a brother or sister?” Noel demanded from across the room.
“We’re having a baby,” Draco said slowly once more before he grabbed Hermione in a tight embrace and spun her about the room. “Oh…how angry I was…how happy I am now. I love you so much it’s unbearable, Hermione.”
“Will someone PLEASE tell me what’s going on?” Noel shouted once more.
Draco lifted her up off the ground. “You, little lady, are getting a little baby brother or sister.”
“Oh. OH. That’s soooo awesome Daddy! What are we going to name it?” Noel asked brightly, giving Hermione a big hug. “Does this mean your staying, Hermione?”
“Yes, it does,” Draco stated before taking his wife in a long, passionate kiss that had her gasping for breath.
“This is like the best Christmas slash Birthday present ever…” Noel muttered before going back to bed, leaving Draco to feel utterly bad about the situation.
“I… feel like the biggest bastard alive-” Hermione opened her mouth to talk. “Please, let me finish.” He sat down with her in his lap. “I can’t explain what I felt when that stupid man told me that you took the job. I know I shouldn’t have believed him…and I should have trusted you more, but I felt so…hurt. I couldn’t be hurt again. I said some things I shouldn’t have said, didn’t mean at all. I’m so sorry I hurt you… made you think that I would abandon you with my child. I suppose that was out first major fight, although I did all the yelling and accusing.”
She trailed her hand over his naked chest. “I forgive you. I don’t want to leave you or Noel. I feel…I feel like she’s my daughter, Draco. I want her to call me Mom, or Mum or whatever. I won’t ever leave you. Just you wait, you try to drag me out I’ll keep coming back.” She finished with a chuckle. “Probably because your so hot, but that’s not all. I want you to trust me. Trust me as I carry your child.” Tear after tear dripped off her face. “And I’m a blubbering fool. I never thought I would have a child again…” She finished, resting her wet face in he hollow of his shoulder.
She got up and stretched slightly, and began to unpack her clothes, before he stopped her. “Don’t you dare think you’re going to be doing any work for the next eight months. You, my darling will be laying down. While I feed you. Chocolate cake, smores, pancakes…pizza. Whatever you want.”
“I suppose I may be going up a few dress sizes…” she said dreamily, taking off her jeans and sweater.
He gulped as he always did when she stripped so easily in front of him.
“Allow me to help you with that too… can’t strain you, you know?” he said, easing her onto the bed.
A/n: you gotta give me props for making SUCH a long chapter. My fingers are aching. And I happened to looooove this chapter. I don’t care what anyone says. I like it!!! Well, this is probably one of the last few chapters of this story. I promise I won’t add any more kidnappings, jobs, misunderstandings, etc. Although I may add some Meryl Streep from Devil Wears Prada resembling mothers-in law. J
There you go folks. No cliff hangers, no enticing question at the end of my a/n like normal. No weird science dreams. Just plain, old Christmastime joy.
Happy Holidays, I hope everyone is well!
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