Chapter 4 : Fear Cannot Take Me
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Also, this story is mine, as are any new characters that I introduce. Please do not steal them.
Fear Cannot Take Me
The day came bright and early for Draco, lulling him from a restless sleep. With a groan, he rolled over and placed his right arm over his eyes. A few more minutes of sleep couldn’t hurt; unless you have an overactive four year old that rises with the sun. Right on cue, Draco heard his door open and close, a small giggle erupting from the foot of his bed. Keeping his arm over his eyes, he tried to breathe evenly, as though still asleep. The giggles escalated until they were right next to him. Without even noticing, Draco’s lips perked into a smile. After a moment the giggles stopped and I small sigh sounded from beside him, “Daddy, you are already awake.”
Draco’s smile deepened and he removed his arms, looking at his son’s face. There was a small pout hanging on Elt’s lips as he stood there. Draco pulled his son onto the bed and into his lap, “That’s ok, you can try and scare me tomorrow. Today we make breakfast. How do pancakes sound?”
Elt’s face lit up and he jumped off the bed, running down the hallway, “Ms. Hermione, Ms. Hermione, wake up. We’re having pancakes!”
Draco chuckled and pulled himself out of bed, slipping on a white undershirt and black slacks. It didn’t bother him that Elt had run into the living room without Draco; Hermione was still here to keep him safe. This though made Draco stop, mid-thought. Hermione was supposed to go home last night. Why is she still here?
Curiously, he walked into the hallway and made his way to the living room. He could hear Elt chattering on about how delicious pancakes are, which only pushed his curiosity further. Whenever he walked into the living room, there was Granger, sitting on the couch, smiling at Eltanin. Her eyes were tense though, as was her body. Before Draco could say anything, a small chirping noise was coming from her bag in the kitchen. As though she were a bolt of lightning, she stood up and sprinted to the singing bag. Granger reached inside her bag and pulled out what looked like a small black electronic device. It was making the most annoying noise he had ever heard and it made him want to crush the piece of technology in her hand. Once again, she was quicker than he could react. She pressed a small green button below the screen and held it up to her ear. In an instant Draco understand what it must be. It had to be one of those portable telephone things. Of course he thought they were preposterous, owls were just as fast. There was no need for a muggle contraption to instantly connect you with another person. If the said person doesn’t have enough patience to-
Draco cut himself off, his inner rant making him miss the first part of Granger’s conversation. Now he was stuck trying to catch up with the conversation.
“Yes, it’s ok Harry, I fell asleep anyway, and it was no problem staying here. Just as long as he is ok, I’m fine.”
Draco heard a loud mumble from the other end of the phone, which of course Draco couldn’t understand. It amused him to watch Granger making faces at the phone though, “Harry, it’s no big deal.”
Another loud rumble made Draco chuckle. Whenever Potter was angry, he sure got angry. His laughing instantly stopped whenever Granger turned as glared at him. He glared right back, willing her to say something. This was his house, and he would laugh whenever he wanted to. Rather than pick a fight with her while she was talking to Potter, Draco motioned for Elt to follow him and he began taking down ingredients to make pancakes. Eltanin smiled his crooked smile and sat at the table. Unfortunately, he stayed quiet, respecting Granger. “Let’s start Daddy, and we should put chocolate chips in the pancakes. That’s always good,” he rubbed his stomach for emphasis. Draco chuckled again and placed a small kiss on the boy’s forehead, “I don’t know. We’ll have to see.”
At this moment, Hermione walked away from the wall and sat at the table, trying to be happy and failing miserably. Draco took the opportunity to annoy her, “I take it Weasel didn’t show up?”
He had to hand it to Hermione, whenever she got angry she was very good at keeping her cool in front of kids. He could almost read the string of curse words she was thinking of in her mind. Instead she smiled sweetly and shrugged, “He just got busy last night. That happens a lot with Ron.”
With a sideways glance at her, Draco had a feeling that he had stepped over the line. The hurt in her eyes was obvious as she sat watching her phone. It beeped once again, but this time only once. Instead of pulling it to her ear, she picked up the thing and began pressing random buttons. After a minute, Draco had to ask, “What in the world are you doing Granger?”
Elt piped up, “She’s texting Daddy. Mommy does it too.”
Great, Draco thought to himself, this is the second witch in my house that is obsessed with some absurd muggle contraption.
Granger put her phone back in her bag and set down at the table. She glanced at her watch and shook her head, “Jean will show up in a few minutes, I’m sorry about Ron.”
Draco waved her off with his hand and started to make the pancakes he promised Eltanin. He could feel Granger’s eyes on the back of his head, but he ignored it. This continued as he started the fire under his griddle and poured batter onto the black surface. Draco turned back toward Granger and raised his eyebrows, “What?”
Eltanin had abandoned the table and was now in the living room with a toy wand, turning a coaster from white to red, then back again. Granger just watched him, her brown eyes looking at him in disbelief. “Might you enlighten me as to why you’ve developed a staring problem?” Granger sat up straighter and got a dangerous look in her eyes. He watched her for a moment, her eyes going from fierce, to angry, back to normal in a matter of seconds. Finally, a smirk settled onto her mouth, and he tilted his head to the side. Before he even had a chance to ask, she answered his questioning look. “You’re pancake is burning.”
Draco turned quickly and stuck his spatula underneath the pancake, flipping it over and sighing. “Before you showed up, my pancakes came out perfect.” Draco heard a chuckle from behind his back, which he promptly ignored. He was not in the mood to handle the perky bushy brunette this morning. Draco wasn’t sure if Granger was going to retort or not, but Elt walked up to his father and tugged on his arm, “That’s your pancake Dad.”
A knock on the door interrupted Draco as he picked up his son with his free hand. Before he could put down his spatula, Granger was up and opening the door with her wand in her right hand. She had only cracked it open whenever Potter pushed open the door and rushed in, looking frazzled and upset. “How Ron is of any relation to Ginny, I don’t know. She’s so reliable, and him, I just don’t know anymore.”
“Hold on Harry, I’m sure there is a perfectly good explanation,” Granger’s voice was soothing, almost as though she were talking to a child. Draco looked over at his son and shook his head, turning back to his pancakes.
“Hermione, when does Ron ever have a perfectly good explanation,” Potter shook his head, his fingers rubbing his temples. The stress was clearly lined on his forehead. Draco laughed and shook his head, still cooking his pancakes. Granger glared at him, which didn’t faze him, although her attempt at intimidation was rather cute. Her hand rested on her wand, but Draco knew better. Eltanin was still propped up on his hip, trying his hardest to assist his father with the cooking.
Instead of glaring, Potter wisely ignored him. “Look, I’ll try and find him, and in the meantime Jean is will be here for her shift.”
Granger shook her head, “Just don’t be too hard on h-“
Three knocks on the door cut her off. Potter turned and slowly opened the door, his wand at the ready. It only took a few moments, but to Draco it felt like an eternity. Lo’ and behold, there stood the red-headed weasel himself. Before any fist fights could break out, Draco cleared his throat loudly and looked down at Eltanin. “How about you go play in your room. I’ll have Willow bring your pancakes.”
Elt puckered his lips and crossed his arms. “I want to stay in here with the grownups.”
Draco turned off the fire on the stove and shook his head, carrying Eltanin to his room and setting him on his bed. “The grownups are acting very childish right now, you don’t want to be in there with those babies.” The little boy laughed and pointed to himself, “Because I am no baby!”
Draco laughed and nodded, walking to the door and closing it behind him. The site that was waiting for him was not one he would have expected. Potter and Weasley had their wands out and Granger was standing between them, her hands on either ones chest. The only thing Draco could do is roll his eyes and go back to cooking. “You know, if the Magical Community had seen the oh-so-wonderful Golden Trio threatening each other, the war probably would have been lost.”
“Malfoy stay out of this,” the stress in Granger’s voice was apparent as the two men squared off. Neither of them said anything, they merely stared at each other. It was a sad sight to see indeed.
He probably should have stopped, but his instinct to poke fun at the three was too strong. “I’m not usually one to like the good stuff, but why don’t you two just kiss and make up. That’s what normally happens correct?”
Ok, so it wasn’t his best line, but under the circumstances, it was all he was willing to insult.
Potty and Weasel finally seemed to grow some spine, at least Potter did. “Ron, I can’t believe you would do something so dimwitted.”
This seemed to upset Weasley very much, because he retorted, “I’m sorry I’m not as smart as the boy who lived, or his know-it-all best friend. Some of us have a life outside of being an auror. I just happen to forget I have duty, with a Ferret no less, and you jump on my ass.”
“Ron, I gave you specific instructions. How am I supposed to rely on you out in the field when I can’t even count on you to show up on time.”
“I would actually want to be on the field, that’s where I strive. Why would I want to be here when I could be at Practice with the Chudley Cannons.”
Though it wasn’t obvious, Potter looked sincerely hurt, “Fine Ron, don’t worry about it. I’ll just take care of it. You can get back to the Chudley Cannons.”
Granger, who had been quiet during this entire ordeal, finally struck. If Draco had noticed her going after the red-haired idiot, he may have stopped her, probably.
Seeing as neither he nor Potter noticed, Granger’s hand became a fist and connected squarely with Weasley’s jaw. A dull thud echoed around the small kitchen and Granger pulled her hand to her chest, tears streaming down her face.
No one said anything, they were all too stunned. In a matter of seconds, the atmosphere had chilled considerably. Not surprisingly, Granger was the first one to speak, “Ronald Weasley, you are the most ungrateful, inconsiderate, idiotic prick I have ever had the misfortune of knowing.”
With the last word, she sprinted out of the door and turned on the spot, disappearing.
Draco smirked, his gaze falling upon Weasley. Before he could speak though, Potter spoke first. “You’d better go and apologize, Ron. Then you had better be here tonight, or else I will fire you and possibly have a talk with your Captain.”
Wealsey nodded, nursing his jaw and apparating after Granger. Draco shook his head, gazing at Potter with a confused look, “You’re really going to give him a chance.”
The look on Potter’s face said everything, “Yeah, but I sure as hell don’t know why. Look, I’m going to stay here until Jean shows up, then she’ll be here for a while. I might try and talk her into giving ‘mione the night off”
Draco merely nodded and finished the pancakes with his wand. He didn’t really want to stay in the kitchen with Potter, so he took a plate to Eltanin, who was in a much happier mood. It seemed Willow was keeping Elt thoroughly entertained. Whenever Draco opened the door, a set of stuffed dragons flew over his head, making a full lap around the room and landing in front of his son. Elt was clapping his little hands quickly as Willow bowed. “That was amazing Willow. I wish I could do that!”
Draco put the tray down in front of the little boy and kissed the top of his head, smoothing back the blond hair, “One day, you will.”
Elt grinned and picked up his fork, “Really Daddy?”
Draco nodded, sitting down next to him, “Really.”
Hermione’s flat was strangely lonely without Jeanette there. She knew that the Malfoy’s needed protection, but at that moment, she could really use her best friend. Tears streamed down her face as she made her way to the hallway bathroom. Flipping a switch, the light bulb above the sink lit with a strong florescent white light. She gazed in the mirror, horrified with what she saw. Her hair was frazzled and a mess, her eyes were red and puffy, except where her mascara had run. She looked like a fuzzy raccoon that was having an allergic reaction. Using her wand, Hermione sent a message to Ginny, telling her she would be at her house in 10 minutes. After that, Hermione quickly began scrubbing her face, trying to wash away any trace of make-up or tears. She would not give Ron the satisfaction.
The voice was coming from her foyer, where a gangly red-headed man stared back at her. His eyes were gloomy and apologetic. “’mione, I’m so sorry. I didn’t me-“
Hermione stopped him mid-sentence, her anger erupting suddenly, “I don’t want to hear it Ron. I’m not sorry for what I did. You deserved it.”
Ron nodded and walked over to where she was standing, “I know, I shouldn’t have been so careless.”
Hermione nodded, shoving past him to go into her bedroom. Ron grabbed her arm and stopped her, turning so that he was facing her. “Please don’t walk away from me ‘mione.”
Just as it had appeared, her anger was gone. The man standing next to her knew he had made a mistake, and he didn’t want her to leave. Hermione stopped and shook her head, “I’m sorry too, I’m just so uptight these days.”
Ron nodded in understanding, “It's ok, I’m going to do better.”
Hermione grinned, pulling him into a hug, “I know, it’s alright.”
She could feel his smile and it made her giggle. Ron’s arms tightened around her as he pulled away to look at her. His eyes met hers and she felt the world melt away. It was like they were young again, falling in love. She knew it was coming, and really should have stopped it, but she couldn’t. She wanted it as much as he did. In a matter of two seconds their lips had connected. It was only intended to be a simple kiss, nothing too serious. Neither of the two wanted to complicate their lives further, but it wasn’t something Hermione could stop. Her body was in control as her hands wrapped around Ron’s neck. His hands grabbed onto her waist, pulling her closer to him. She felt like she was in heaven, finally happy again.
Before it could go any further, Ron pulled away. “Hermione, I-“
Hermione stepped back, her lips still tingling from the kiss. She had nothing to say to him. That one moment had healed her, only to have her ripped in half again. She shook her head as Ron went to wrap his arms around her again, “Hermione I’m sorry. I just ca-“ but Ron wasn’t able to finish his sentence. Hermione had turned and disappeared, determined to get away from the one man who could destroy her.
She arrived on the doorstep of Number 12, Grimmauld Place. Contrary to before, her eyes were dry. She thought about the way Ron had backed away from her, as though she were some untouchable. Her blood boiled as she reached for the door knocker. Her senses went into overdrive, telling her that something was wrong. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end. She had the strange sensation of being watched. Looking slowly over her shoulder, she found no one behind her. Hermione reached for the door handle and was surprised to see the door kicked in. She didn’t stop to examine the doorframe. Instead, she rushed inside with her wand in front of her. Keep quiet, observe situation, secure perimeter, find survivors. Her throat caught whenever she thought of her last step.
Sidestepping, Hermione walked slowly through the hallway to the small sitting area. Memories of those sleepless nights she spent laying here during her seventh year flooded back to her. She didn’t have time to dwell on these thoughts, there was a more pressing problem at hand. The room looked as though a hurricane had swept through, which made her breath catch in her throat. There were no signs of struggle or wand work. Hermione made her way slowly to the kitchen, where she wanted to find someone, but was afraid of what she would find.
It took her five minutes to sweep the first floor, and she found nothing, only overturned chairs and messy rooms. Moving to the staircase, Hermione made her way up to the second floor. She was surprised to see scorch marks on the wall. Scorch marks, she knew, could not be caused by a muggle.
The boy’s room was just ahead, and the door was standing wide open. Hermione’s heart sped up as she walked quickly to the bedroom. As she grew closer, she could hear whimpering just inside the door. She forgot everything she had learned in Auror Academy. She didn’t care about securing the perimeter, she just had to get into that room.
As soon as she stepped through the doorway, her heart stopped completely at the site before her. A small red-headed boy stood over his mother, tears streaming down his face. His brother was lying unconscious next to his mother, her hand draped over him protectively. Hermione rushed forward, “Albus?”
The small little boy looked up at her, fear in his eyes. He reached up to her, and Hermione took him. As she rested him on her hip, she knelt down next to her friend, “Ginny, Ginny wake up.”
There was blood on the floor around Ginny’s head, but it was impossible to tell whose it was. Pointing her wand away from the two laying on the floor, Hermione said, “Expecto Patronum.” An otter erupted from the tip and scurried away. Not two second after she sent the message, she heard the familiar pop of Harry outside of the door. “Hermione where is Ginny.”
“She’s in here,” Hermione said as Harry walked through the door. “We’ve got to hurry, Teddy is hurt too.”
Harry’s eyes glazed over, taking in the site in front of him. He seemed to be frozen. There wasn’t much time, and Hermione knew it. “Harry, snap out of it. I’ve got Albus. You’ve got to get Teddy and Ginny to St. Mungos, fast.”
He seemed to become more aware of his surroundings as he nodded his head. “I’ve got them, just get Albus somewhere safe.”
Hermione only nodded and let Harry take care of his wife. As she saw Teddy, her heart hurt. Images of Tonks and Lupin filled her mind as tears began to fall. “H-Har-Harry,” she whispered. He picked up Teddy and cradled him in his arms and reached out for Ginny, “What Hermione?”
Hermione shook her head, “Please tell me she’s alright. That he’s alright.”
Harry nodded his head, “They are going to be ok.” He looked down at Teddy, tears running down his face, “They have to be. Listen Hermione, when you get Albus safe, ask Kingsley to meet me at St. Mungos.”
Hermione nodded, turning on the spot and arriving at the only place she could think about, Malfoy’s.
Albus’ arms tightened around her neck. She could feel his face buried in her neck and rested her cheek on top of his head. Once she felt solid ground beneath her, she took out her wand. “Expecto Patronum,” she muttered. Just as she had expected, no Otter erupted from her wand. She couldn’t seem to muster any happy thoughts. Her head started spinning as she looked around. Jeanette came around the corner, rushing towards her. “’Mi? Albus? What are you doing here.”
“Send a message to Kingsley, tell him to go to St. Mungos.” Jeans face fell as Hermione’s words sank in. She took out her wand and sent her own penguin shaped patronus flying. Nausea consumed Hermione as she sat down in the nearest chair. Jean reached out for Albus, trying to take him from her, but he refused to let go, all he could say was, “No, No, No.”
Hermione shook her head and pulled him closer, “Shh, it’s ok. Auntie Mione is here.” She still couldn’t seem to get a hold of herself and was surprised whenever a blond-haired man bent down next to her. “Hermione, what happened? Are you hurt?”
Hermione shook her head, looking down at the small boy in her hands. “Want to go and play with Eltanin?” Albus nodded, but didn’t move. Tears sparkled in his eyes as he looked up at Hermione.
“Will Mommy and ‘eddy be o-tay?”
Hermione nodded, “Yes, they will be just fine.”
Accepting the answer, but still upset, he took Jeanette’s hand and let her lead him to Eltanin’s room. Hermione held back her tears until she knew the small boy couldn’t see her.
“Hermione, what happened?”
She couldn’t seem to keep Malfoy in focus. Her stomach lurched as she leaned down and laid her head on his shoulder. “After I left, Ron came over. He was apologizing for what happened. We were just talking and then we were kissing and then-“ Hermione broke off, sobs breaking her speech. She felt two arms surround her as she fell apart.
“Shh,” Malfoy soothed her.
“He…He pulled away. We’re actually over.”
Malfoy’s arms tightened around her as she cried harder. She felt another pair of arms surround her waist and another voice say, “’Mione, what happened?” Jeanette gently pushed Malfoy out of the way and pulled Hermione’s face up to look at her. “Why did you have Albus? You have to tell me.”
Hermione nodded, another sob breaking through her lips. “It’s Ginny. I went to talk to Ginny and,” she took a deep breath before she continued, “I walked in and everything was in disarray. When I went upstairs, I found Albus above Ginny. There was blood everywhere. Teddy was lying next to her, unconscious just like she was.”
The image of Ginny on the floor with her arm over little Teddy was too much. Pushing Jean away, Hermione ran to the bathroom. Her stomach lurched as her throat stung from stomach acid. A pair of cool hands touched her face and pulled her hair back. It took a few minutes before Hermione had emptied her stomach of all contents. Pulling back, she rested her forehead against Malfoy’s neck. “I’m sorry.”
She felt Malfoy chuckle and shake his head, “What for?”
She had an answer, but she just couldn’t get it out. Instead, she pulled away and started washing her mouth out with water. She could hear Malfoy banging around in various cabinets until he handed her a toothbrush. “I always keep a spare.”
Hermione raised her eyebrows, but didn’t question it. He smirked at her, as if reading her mind. She chose to ignore him and finished cleaning herself up. Jeanette was rubbing her back, looking anxiously over her shoulder. “Hermione, I know this probably isn’t the right time,”
Hermione stopped her mid-sentence, “No, I know what you’re thinking. We’ve got to be careful, set up a more secure perimeter.”
Jeanette nodded and walked off, no doubt placing more charms around the apartment. Hermione smiled at Malfoy and walked across the hall to Eltanin’s room. The two boys were lying on their stomach, coloring with magical crayons. Hermione recognized them because they were the same kind she had used in her classroom. Albus’ face was still etched with worry, but he seemed more at ease with Eltanin. Hermione was very happy that she had chosen this place to take him.
Malfoy came up behind her and wrapped an arm protectively around her waist, “You need to get some rest. Come on,” he pulled her along with him to what she could only guess was his bedroom. She looked up at the blond-haired man and smirked, “Aren’t we moving a little too quickly?”
“Humor,” Malfoy muttered, shaking his head. “I’m not trying to bed you, Hermione, just trying to keep you from collapsing.”
Draco went over to his closet and pulled out a shirt and pair of sleep pants for Hermione to wear. Her jeans didn’t look like they would be very comfortable. She opened her mouth to argue, but he stopped her. “Don’t complain, I’m being nice.” After he said that, she merely nodded and turned around. Draco left the room and waited for her to get dressed before walking back in. He chuckled at the size of his clothes on her. He knew she was small, but seeing her being swallowed by one of his shirts was quite interesting.
Before he could say anything, though, she lay down on his bed and closed her eyes. “Thank you,” she muttered.
Draco smiled and sat down next to her, “No problem.”
When she felt his weight on the other side of the bed, she opened her eyes and looked up at him. “For more than just the bed.”
Draco nodded, “I know.”
She closed her eyes and sighed, a lone tear falling down her cheek. Draco felt an unfamiliar pain in his chest. It didn’t hurt, but it was pleasant either. Instinctively, he reached out and wiped the tear away. The wetness spread across her face and disappeared. His heart started pumping faster as he sat there and his hands started to sweat. This wasn’t as unfamiliar as the first sensation, but it wasn’t one he felt a lot. Draco knew that he should leave, just get out while he could, but something kept him from moving. He averted his eyes, hoping for something to distract him, but he didn’t find anything. There was nothing else he wanted to look at. So instead of torturing himself, he looked back down at the bushy-brunette lying in his bed.
The few moments he had spent trying to ignore her, tears had spread down her face and onto his pillow. She was shaking, her breath coming in deep gasps. Scooting next to her, Draco pulled Hermione up onto his chest and wrapped his arms around her. She responded with gratitude and didn’t try and hold back her tears anymore. Her arms grabbed at him, clenching tight around his waist as she sobbed into his chest. Draco stroked her hair and whispered words like, “Don’t cry”, “It’s alright”, and “It’s all going to be okay”.
They sat there for what seemed like hours until Jeanette leaned her head in and nodded towards Hermione. She mouthed the words, “I’m not leaving, so don’t worry,” to him before closing the door. Hermione had finally stopped crying and was breathing deeply, her arms wrapped tightly around his waist. He watched her as she slept, a warm feeling coming over him. Draco tried to ignore the nagging thoughts at the back of his head, but he couldn’t help it. His thoughts were straying towards the beautiful girl lying in his arms.
She hadn’t been asleep long before a glowing stag arrived in his room, stirring them both from a light sleep. Potter’s voice erupted from the animal, “Teddy is doing fine, he misses Albus. No word on Ginny yet. They say they are trying everything they can.”
Hermione sat up and looked around, “Where is Albus.”
“I assume he’s asleep in Elt’s room,” Draco answered.
She nodded and looked down at him, “I’m sorry again. I didn’t mean to break down like that. I don’t usually do that.”
Draco chuckled and shook his head, “You didn’t do anything wrong, I promise I’m not as cold-hearted as I seem.”
Ok, so it’s taken me like 3 million years to get this chapter out, but guess what, I’ve finally gotten past my 4th chapter curse. I actually finished the fourth chapter. I know this chapter was moving really fast in the whole Draco/Hermione relationship, but I had to get it started. I’m not planning on this story being more than 10 chapters, maybe not even that long. If you can forgive me for not writing sooner, I hope you enjoyed it!
Always Remember to Love,
Until We Meet Again,
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