Chapter 11 : Epilogue: Aftermath
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“Stop it! Don’t hurt her!” Draco’s screams filled the whole of Malfoy Manor and over flowed out the open windows. They’d only been back from Hogwarts just under a month and Draco was already having to watch his Mother’s contorted body lay on the study carpet each day like clockwork.
“This is your punishment for failing me, Draco,” Voldemort stood over him, his red eyes searing with anger.
“Please, please stop it. Please…please…” Draco trailed off as his body began to shake violently with silent sobs. He knew this was going to happen but still hadn’t done anything about it. Shagging the Gryffindor had been his answer. What a stupid fucking answer that was. Would she tell anyone what they’d done?
“My Lord, are we planning to kill Narcissa?” Snape spoke from the corner of the room, showing more concern than the crumpled woman’s husband. Who sat beside him starring at Draco, who was now huddled in a ball on the floor a few feet away from Narcissa. Of course he cared about his families well being, but he was more scared of loosing his own life. Death was the ultimate punishment, a punishment he didn’t wish to see his wife suffer.
“Please, my Lord. My wife is weak, use me instead,” Lucius finally swallowed his pride and spoke up for his wife and son. Voldemort turned to the two men, his anger subsided a little when he saw the pleading looks on their faces. He enjoyed making people suffer, in more ways than one.
“Very well,” he lowered his wand and Narcissa let out a loud breathe. Draco crawled over to her and they embraced on the blood stained rug.
“I’m so sorry, Mother. I’m sorry,” Draco was muttering as Lucius waited for the Dark Lord to turn on him.
“I shan’t use you, Lucius. I’m sure the boy wouldn’t find it remotely unbearable. And it would be rude to torture my host,” with that Voldemort swept from the room, followed closely by Snape. Lucius watched Draco and Narcissa sitting arm in arm on the floor, they had a bond, something he didn’t share with anyone. The Dark Lord had been right, Draco wouldn’t have cared at all if he was tortured.
“Are-are you two alright?” he wasn’t even sure they would answer him. He didn’t deserve an answer for what he’d allowed to happen to them.
“Thank you,” Narcissa smiled meekly at her husband while Draco glared daggers at him.
“What could you possibly have to thank him for?” Draco turned to her with a furrowed brow and look of disgust. Lucius hadn’t done anything to be thankful for. Draco would be thankful once he was dead.
“He stopped the Dark Lord,” she whispered, as if afraid Voldemort might return any second. Draco didn’t reply, she was right he supposed.
“He’s right, Narcissa. You don’t owe me anything, I owe you two everything,” he stood from his seat and fell to his knees beside his family. “I’m sorry, for all of this. I’ve dragged us into a mess I can’t get out of,” he took his wife’s hand but Draco leant away from his other out stretched hand.
“We have to stick together, Draco. We can’t if you’re like that towards your Father,” Narcissa held her husbands hand tightly and gave Draco a nod towards Lucius.
“Fine,” Draco allowed his Father to place his arm round his shoulders.
“I won’t let anything else happen to you. I’ll find a way to get you both out of here,” Lucius hugged them into his chest and kissed Narcissa’s head.
“No, Lucius we aren’t going anywhere. Not if that means leaving you here alone,” Narcissa barked her protests, glancing at Draco for help. If Draco was honest, he liked his Father’s idea better. But he knew it wouldn’t come true anytime soon, and if they did run away they’d probably just get caught again anyway.
“If one stays we all stay. We just have to stick it out and do what we’re told,” Draco nodded his head firmly. There was only slight doubt behind his words, and that was if the Dark Lord won the war. Potter wouldn’t allow that though. Narcissa and Lucius nodded their agreement and the three of them pushed themselves off the carpet cautiously. “I’m going to bed,” Draco bid them goodnight before climbing the stairs to his room. As he went he could hear the cackling laugh of Voldemort as it rang through the walls.
Draco arrived to his room and flopped onto his four poster bed exhausted. As ideas went, Granger had been the worst of all. But he didn’t regret it. Not yet anyway. Why should he? He’d wanted it and so had she. Did she regret it? The passion felt between them was something he hadn’t felt before, wishing it had lasted longer was an understatement. The memory of her body was etched into the forefront of his brain, whenever he closed his eyes he could see her. Draco found it hard to get to grips with, he’d made love to Hermione Granger. What parallel universe were they in? Two months ago he would have felt sick at the thought, but now was quite the opposite. He was glad they’d done it, relieved even. Because he now knew how she felt, well he kind of did. He knew she had wanted to do it, wanted him. Her feelings now though were unclear to him. Maybe she wished they hadn’t, maybe she wished she’d told Harry about his dark mark.
Then there was the memory of his failed mission. Dumbledore falling from the tower was something he wished to forget. But the words spoken from the old headmasters lips were going to be difficult to forget.
“I know what you can see, Draco. I know the image that haunts you, but because of your actions you shan’t see it in the flesh. You would do well on the good side…”
These words echoed in his mind as much as the image spoken of. The headmaster knew about their relationship, but how? Dumbledore was always full of surprises, he even knew about the image Draco could see every time he blinked. What had he meant by not seeing it in the flesh? His own actions meant he wouldn’t see her looking like that in real life. Well, there was something to be thankful for. But what actions? Dumbledore couldn’t possibly know they’d made love. It had happened mere hours before his death, while he’d been away with The Chosen One. It wasn’t possible.
Draco couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if Snape hadn’t performed the deed instead of himself. Would Bella have done it? Would he himself have done it? If he’d had a choice to begin with he would have said no. Once his arm had subconsciously lowered there was no way it would raise again. The mission on his part was doomed from the very beginning. Draco Malfoy wasn’t a killer.
“She will thank you some day…”
* * *
Hermione leant over the edge of the toilet and emptied the contents of her stomach into the bowl. Vomiting had become a daily ritual since she’d returned home from school just over a month ago. Eight o’clock every morning she’d have to sit next to the toilet and wrench her guts up. There was no logical explanation for it, she didn’t feel ill or anything during the rest of the day. Hermione’s Mother was beginning to worry. Elizabeth Granger didn’t have a clue what could have been wrong with her daughter. Being sick in the mornings was a rare occurrence for a witch her age. When Hermione was younger she hardly got sick, even when there was a bug going round the whole of her primary school. Her daughter was a fighter. However, whatever was wrong with her, seemed to have got the better of her.
“Hermione, sweetheart? Are you alright?” Elizabeth called from outside the bathroom door. There was a groan from behind the white wood and Elizabeth waited patiently for her daughter to clean herself up. Mrs Granger carefully considered all possibilities for what could be wrong with Hermione. It felt like she’d already thought of everything ten times before. But she was a determined woman, determined to find out the cause of her daughters sickness.
Then it hit her. Like a bus.
“Sorry mum, did you want the toilet?” Hermione slowly opened the door to see her Mother standing in the hallway with eyes as wide as dinner plates. “Mum?”
“Hermione, dear, you have to tell me the truth…” Elizabeth Granger didn’t want to ask the question, it had the potential to ruin her daughters life. But it was the only option left. “Did you engage in sexual relations while you were at school?” There. She asked it. Hermione’s eyes began to widen double the size of her Mother’s.
“What? Why would you want to know that? Of course I d-” Oh no. Hermione Granger fell to the floor of the Granger’s upstairs hallway. Her world went black for a few seconds before her Mother’s face came into focus.
“Hermione, can you hear me sweetheart?” Elizabeth Granger watched her daughter’s eyes open and helped her to sit up. “I’m going to guess the answer’s yes then,” Mrs Granger wasn’t as shocked or angry as she’d expected to be. In fact, dare she say it, but she was a little excited. If Hermione kept it of course.
“Mum, I’m really sorry. Oh god, what have I done?” Hermione felt tears well in her eyes as she thought about how badly she’d fucked up her life. All for one night of passion with the one man she was meant to hate.
“Come here sweetheart,” Elizabeth hugged her daughter tightly. “We should go to the doctors to make sure first, ok?” Hermione nodded in agreement and allowed her Mother to pull her up from the ground. She was relieved her Mother had taken it so well, too well perhaps. However, she was sure her Father wouldn’t be so pleased.
“Dad is going to hate me,”
“Oh, of course he won’t hate you sweetie. He’ll be upset yes, but he’ll get used to it,” the two Granger ladies made their way down the stairs before grabbing their coats and leaving for the doctors surgery in town.
Hermione could feel her whole body shaking as she sat in the waiting room. Her Mother was talking to the receptionist at the desk, the receptionist looked over Mrs Granger’s shoulder to get a look at her. A disproving frown fell across the woman’s face when she estimated that Hermione must have only been around sixteen.
“She says Dr Robbins is free now, so we can go straight in,” Elizabeth put her hand out and Hermione took it. “There’s no need to worry. You’re shaking like our washing machine,” Hermione smiled slightly at her Mother’s comment, it was true, there washing machine did shake violently. The two of them walked hand in hand to the doctors room, Hermione knocked lightly on the door and a voice inside allowed them entry.
“Ah, good morning. You must be Miss Granger, nice to meet you,” Dr Robbins put out his hand warmly and Hermione shook it.
“Hi,” her voice was barely above a whisper. Elizabeth shook the doctors hand then the three of them sat down.
“Right, you’re here for a pregnancy test, is that correct?” he addressed Hermione who nodded. “Please step over here then, Miss Granger,” he got up from his chair and stood by the bed in the corner of the room. Hermione cautiously made her way to the bed and got on it. The fear in her stomach getting worse by the second.
Several minutes and stomach prods later Dr Robbins helped Hermione off the bed and led her back to his desk. Elizabeth Granger took her terrified daughters hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze as the doctor typed something on his computer keyboard.
“Well…yes you are pregnant, Miss Granger. I’m guessing this wasn’t a planned pregnancy?” he surveyed the girl and her Mother closely. The Mother seemed strangely calm while the girl looked petrified out of her skin. “You’re about a month gone, I’ll book you an appointment once a month for the next four months, then every two weeks from then on,” he began to type away on the keyboard again, his eyes shooting from keyboard to screen. Screen to keyboard.
“Thank you, Doctor. We’ll see you next month,” with that Elizabeth stood and led Hermione out of the room by their still clasped hands.
Once they arrived home Hermione sat down heavily on the living room sofa, staring transfixed ahead of her. Maybe if she ignored it, it would go away. Mrs Granger sat beside her daughter and handed her a mug of coffee. Hermione didn’t even acknowledge the new weight upon the brown sofa.
“Come on, drink up. It’ll make you feel better,” Elizabeth attempted to press the drink on her daughter again but there was still no reaction. “I don’t see how you think this is going to help. But I’ll give you a little while to think things through,” Elizabeth Granger placed the mug of slowly cooling coffee on the small table in front of the sofa before leaving the room.
Hermione sat on the sofa for what could have been days, staring blankly at the black TV screen. Trying to understand that the monstrosity of making love to a Malfoy, had actually created something beautiful, was harder than anything she’d ever done. However, looking back reminded her that at the time she’d really wanted it. She had, for lose of a better word, needed him. Draco Malfoy had helped her experience the most amazing feelings her body would submit to. When she remembered, there had been a perfect time for them to perform the contraception charm. But they hadn’t. They were so stupid, so unbelievably stupid. While Hermione sat mortified, the very man that was causing it didn’t have a clue. She knew she was pregnant, he didn’t. What would he do if he did? Run away? Stay by her side? The first seemed more likely, he would probably be killed if anyone found out. She didn’t want to be the cause of his death.
Harry and Ron. What would they say? What would they do? They were the most important people in her life. If they shunned her she wouldn’t be able to see the point of living anymore, except for the little thing inside her of course. It couldn’t possibly shun her, she was its Mother. Hope was all she could do, she hoped they would forgive her. They always did what was best, if they saw helping her as being the right thing then they would.
Because she wasn’t getting rid of it. Times would come in the future when she’d be desperate to get rid of it, but now wasn’t one of those times. Hermione Granger wanted to be the best Mother she could be, as good as her own Mother. If she had to bring up a baby on her own then so be it. Hermione knew that one day the child would want to know its Father, but she would have to cross that road when she came to it. There would be important years of the child’s life to come before then, something she looked forward to. However, a stinging pang of guilt was already growing in the pit of her full stomach. They would be important years, years Draco would miss. Years he would never be able to get back, and years he would never forgive her for taking from him.
The sounds of her Mother and Father’s voices broke Hermione out of her trance and she began to shake again. Her Father was home. Bracing herself, she stood from the sofa and made her way to the kitchen.
“Mum? Dad?” she entered the kitchen to see both her parents looking absolutely furious. Elizabeth was glaring angrily at Alfred who was also glaring, but now at his daughter as she entered the room.
“Oh look, here she is. Our own little harlot,” Alfred looked at a spot above his daughter’s shoulder, never directly at her. Hermione could feel tears swimming up her tear ducts. Harlot? How could he say that?
“Alfred! She’s still your daughter! She didn’t mean for it to happen,” Mrs Granger rushed to her daughters side and put her arms round her defensively. Hermione let a few tears leave her eyes before gulping them back down.
“Of course not! They never mean for it to happen,” he rolled his eyes and slammed the door of an open cupboard shut.
“We didn’t! I’m sorry. I made a mistake and now I’m dealing with the consequences,” Hermione tried to sound as firm and determined as she could, not sure if she did or not.
“We? Who is he then? Do I know him?” Alfred was angry but still curios as to who had taken his daughters innocence.
“No you don’t. His name’s Draco,” Hermione tried to ignore the look her Mother was giving her, she’d told her Mother plenty about Draco Malfoy. But luckily she’d never mentioned him to her Father.
“Is he your boyfriend? What’s he like?” Mr Granger could tell by the look on his daughters face that she didn’t like either question.
“No he isn’t. And he’s misunderstood, I think you’d like him,” she gave her Father a sarcastic smile before turning on her heal and leaving the room.
“Get back here young lady!” Alfred called after her and hurried to the doorway where his wife still stood.
“No! Look, Dad…I’m pregnant and there’s nothing we can do about it. Deal with it, I have!” With that Hermione ran up stairs and into her room. She didn’t know if she had dealt with it yet. Hermione Jean Granger was pregnant, and there was nothing she, or anyone else, could do about it.