Chapter 23 : Twenty three
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“Are you okay? I heard you throwing up in the bathroom,” she asked anxiously.
“No, I just felt really nauseous for a strange reason,” she said and fell onto the sofa.
“Has this happened before?” Gabriella asked curiously.
“A few times these past two weeks. Why?”
“I think you’re pregnant.”
Sometimes, Hermione hated how straight to the point Gabriella was. The shock was always greater when it hit you full on. She sat there on the couch, frozen. It took her a while to recover
“Excuse me? I’m what?” she asked sharply.
“You. Are. Pregnant.” Gabriella said slowly and clearly.
“How do you…”
“Hermione, please do not insult my intelligence. I did not waste four years of my life training to be a medi-witch for nothing. So, I guess you can put that in your letter for Draco.”
Hermione stared down at her stomach. It was still flat and trim. She ran her hand along it, amazed that there now existed a life within her. Something that connected her and Draco in a special bond. It was pure and unconditional and belonged only to them. It was a sign of their love.
“I’m pregnant?” she breathed incredulously.
“Don’t make me say it again,” Gabriella laughed.
“Oh my god…I’m having a baby!” she squeaked and reached to pull Gabriella into a tight hug. “Oh my god, I can’t believe this,”
“You should. That’s what sex without contraception leads to.”
Hermione laughed and stared down at her stomach once more.
“Draco’s going to be happy,” Gabriella said softly. Hermione looked up into her eyes and saw the truth within them. He would be happy.
“What do you say to a breakfast of croissants and coffee?” she asked, standing up and heading to the kitchen.
“Sounds like my type of breakfast.”
“Harry called yesterday while you were asleep. He’ll be here at two, so I’m thinking of going to tell my parents the good news then, leaving you with Harry. Alone.”
“You’re a saint, Hermione.” Gabriella chuckled as she thought of all the time she would be spending with Harry. Hermione returned with their croissants and coffee and handed Gabriella her plate and mug.
“You know, Harry could hardly take his eyes off you yesterday.”
Gabriella blushed with pleasure. “His eyes were so much more…vibrant that I expected and his hair was so…messy. I just wanted to run my hand through it. It was difficult concentrating on Ronald with him in the room.”
“OK, control yourself. You’ll be hyperventilating before he even gets here.” Hermione laughed.
The doorbell rang. Gabriella checked her reflection in the mirror in the hallway before rushing to open the door. Her eyes brightened on catching sight of Harry, looking casually appealing in dark trousers, a white shirt, a tie and a black leather jacket.
“Harry, hello. Come in.”
“Hello Gabriella. It’s nice to see you again,” he greeted and stepped in.
“You too.” She smiled a breathtaking smile that left Harry gaping for a moment. She led him into the living room and sat him down on the sofa.
“I’m afraid Hermione has gone to her parents to tell them some good news, so it’s just you and me, I’m afraid.” She easily started the conversation, taking a seat close to him on the sofa.
“Really? What’s the good news?” he asked curiously.
Harry was as shocked as Hermione had been and she laughed and told him so. “It’s just…surprising, you know? Wow, I’m going to be an uncle…almost.”
“Yes you are. I suppose you’re also Godfather, Hermione always talks so highly of you, it would be almost rude to choose someone else.”
“I don’t really mind. So, I never asked you, how are you doing?”
“Never better,” Gabriella laughed truthfully. She got up and made her way to the kitchen. she was surprised at how easy he was talk to and how charming he was. “What would you like to drink?” she called out to him.
“Coffee would be fine, thank you.” He called in reply and she happily set to making the best cup of coffee he would ever taste. She returned with his coffee and a glass of water for herself.
“Thank you.” He gratified and sipped.
“Your welcome. You know, it such a beautiful day, what do you say you finish your coffee and we can go for a walk around the park?” she was manipulating the conversation to her advantage but he didn’t seem to be complaining.
“That’d be perfect.”
“Just let me go change into something,” she said and went to Hermione’s bedroom.
“Sorry, Hermione. Gotta borrow some stuff.” She muttered and began searching through the wardrobe. She and Hermione were almost level in height and they probably had the same shoe size, so there was nothing to worry about. Finally, she picked out a summery, white shirtdress that fell to her knees and matching heels. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail and she was clueless to her resemblance of an angel whenever she wore white. She grabbed her handbag and returned to the living room where Harry was waiting for her. He stood up once she had entered and his eyes widened on catching sight of her.
“You look lovely,” he breathed.
“Thank you, you are too kind. Ready?” she asked and he nodded and they walked out of the apartment, two similar smiles on their lips.
Hermione sat in her old room, on her bed, a piece of parchment at her elbows, a quill in her hand. She was going to write her letter to Draco. Sighing, she dipped her quill into some ink and began:
Never before in my life have I fallen in love with someone as I have fallen in love with you. I drowned in the sea of your love but I was mercilessly pulled out of it by a power beyond our control. My love, it has already been over a month since they have taken you away from me and the wound that they left when they took you remains in my chest, raw and hurt. They did not realize that by taking you away from me, they had stabbed a dagger into my beating heart. I miss you already, so much. It hurts too much at times and I can’t go to sleep and I remain awake remembering our time together. Do you remember my love, in France, at the hospital, at my apartment, in your library? That was our time and though they have taken you away from me, they cannot take those memories from me.
Gabriella has convinced Ron to let us communicate. I do not know how we can survive without her. She came from France yesterday and helped me get better. I think she is with Harry now at my apartment. She is obsessed with him. You’re probably wondering where I am right now and to answer your questioning thoughts, I am at my parents’ house, in my old bedroom, sat writing this letter to you.
Tell me, my love, what is Azkaban like? How are you getting along? Please tell me that you are healthy and strong and that the Dementors don’t affect you much. Please my love, stay strong for me.
I have some good news to tell you. I am pregnant. We are going to have a baby, my love. A baby that belongs to you and I and no one else. It was that night, don’t you remember? Gabriella made a joke about it, about unprotected sex leading to this, but my love, the baby is one of the only happy things in my life at the moment. Without you, I’m desolate. I am nothing. Come back to me. I love you.
She had decided to seal it with her parting words to him, knowing he would like her eloquence. Sighing, she folded the parchment and slipped it into a ready envelope. All she had to do know was give it to Ron.
She went down to find her mother enjoying a late afternoon TV programme and her father immersed in a newspaper crossword puzzle. Her mother looked up upon her entrance and spotted the envelope in her hands.
“Are you done, darling?” she asked.
“Yes, Mum. I’m just going to go give it to the person who’ll hand it to Draco.”
“Take care then, dear,” her father added and she nodded, disapparating to Ron’s office. He was startled as she appeared in the middle of his study.
“Hermione, please apparate to the secretary’s office next time.” He sighed, rubbing his temples.
“Yes, Ronald,” she seethed through gritted teeth.
“You’re not still mad at me are you?” he asked.
“What does it look like?”
“I was just doing my job.”
“And enjoying it when you shouldn’t have.”
“Okay, okay!” he held up his hands as if to indicate he wanted peace. “I don’t want to fight with you. Now, what do you want?”
“I need you to give this to Draco, next time you visit Azkaban,” she said placing the envelope gingerly on his table.
“That would be tonight then,” he took the envelope and placed it safely in his drawer. “I won’t forget it and I won’t read it,” he promised, raising himself a little in Hermione’s eyes.
“Thank you…I’ll see you around then.” And she disapparated out of the office.
A/N: Terribly sorry for the hiatus, but we moved houses on a pretty big scale and it was the holidays. Review please!
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