Chapter 15 : Walk Away
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Plot: 'Malfoy, I'm pregnant.' 'Well then I feel sorry for the bloke that knocked you up.' 'You're the father.' The two ex-students get into a little bit of a mess after a Ministry party, and have to deal with the consequences.
Disclaimer: I don’t own J.K. Rowling, or the characters.
beautiful chapter image by niIka @ TDA!
Chapter Thirteen: Walk Away
Once he had finished his shift at work he headed towards Blaise’ office, for he knew that he wasn’t exactly doing anything at the moment. He needed answers, and he needed them now.
“Blaise, I need to talk to you.”
“And what if I’m busy at the moment?”
“We both know that you don’t actually do any work.”
“Okay true, what did you want?”
“I know you have been working with the Ministry for awhile, and I also know that Hermione’s ex-boyfriend used to work here too. What exactly do you know about him?”
“Why the sudden interest Draco?”
He obviously didn’t want to tell Blaise his actual reasoning behind it. So he would do what he did best, dodge the question and bring up another subject. “Does it really matter why; can you please just give me the information?”
He knew his best friend could tell he was agitated which was why he didn’t say a word as he looked for the files on Ian. “Alright, here you go.” He handed him a couple of files as they printed. He had to admit, computers and printers were quite amazing despite the fact that they were muggle technology.
He read through the files quickly, Ian Burns, twenty-four years old. He had attended Durmstrang, he was an Auror after he graduated school but decided it wasn’t for him so he then went into business with his father. He spent two years in America and decided to return to London a month ago. So Ian, was overly predictable, but there had to be more. Unfortunately for him, there was nothing else written.
He checked the clock and realized he was going to be late if he didn’t hurry up. “Thanks Blaise.”
“You’re not going to tell me why you needed that information are you?”
“Alright then, have a safe trip then eh mate.”
“Will do.” With that said, Draco left the room and apparated over to Hermione’s.
He knocked on her door five minutes after seven. He wasn’t sure what to expect from tonight, it wasn’t like it was a date or anything. They were just going to talk, right? Granted he knew they had a lot to talk about, but still. There was nothing going on between them.
She opened the door after the second knock. Her hair was pinned up messily with a bun and she had an apron around her waist. “I didn’t know if you’d eaten, so I made dinner.”
He hoped she didn’t think this was a date, although he was afraid of saying anything in case she’d be upset, so he said nothing. “Dinner sounds good.”
She didn’t want this to be awkward, they had to talk but she had no idea where to start. Dinner had been fine, she had made stir fry using her mom’s homemade recipe. He’d had complimented her, so she took that he was in a good mood. She didn’t want to make this evening complicated or nerve racking but she had no idea how to act around him. She knew she was growing feelings for him but it wouldn’t be good for either of them to act on it, since she knew he didn’t reciprocate them. They were friends, and she would deal with him as if he was a friend, just as Harry and Ron were.
They now sat on her couch, conversing, although they only began with small talk. She had asked him his favourite things to do, when he wasn’t working. She had at least needed to know who her daughter or son’ father was.
“You’re simply too curious for your own good.” He told her.
“I can’t help it, just answer the questions Draco.”
“Fine, I play Quidditch on Sunday’s with Blaise and usually on Friday nights, I go out with majority of Slytherin friends and get drunk at a pub. My favourite color is blue- Hermione don’t act so surprised!”
Hermione couldn’t help but laugh, she had misjudged him, thinking that just because he was a Slytherin that his favourite color would be green. She knew now never to judge a book by its cover. “I’m sorry.”
“You’re forgiven, now as I was saying, I don’t have a favourite food, really. My mother… used to make a mean lasagne from scratch, and she had given me the recipe when she, well you know, but, I.”
“Draco, it’s okay.” She patted him lightly on the back, noticing his discomfort of talking about his mother’s death. She could tell that he loved his mother very much and missed her quite often.
“I’m sorry, I’m not used to talking about my mother, like that. Do you mind if I ask you a question?”
“Ask away,” Hermione said.
“Ian, how involved was you two? Why is he here now?”
“Ian and I, met while I was searching for my parents, I had to erase their memories and send them off to Australia, so I could protect them. He was doing business with his father for the summer. It turned out he was originally from London, and we hit it off from there. We dated for two years before he decided he wanted to work with his father full time and moved to America.” She paused, letting the words sink in. “I don’t know why he’s here now, and to be honest, I wished he wasn’t.”
“You mean that?”
“Yes, I’ve moved on with my life, it hurt that he left, and it took a good year to recover fully but now that he’s back, I’m not sure what to expect from him.”
“Okay, what do we do about our living arrangements, in a couple of days it’ll be five months mark, which means Mr. Tajo won’t be giving you anymore fieldwork. And as glad as I am that you talked to him about my financial issues, I wouldn’t be able to support a three bedroom flat.”
“I know, and I’m not expecting you too. I think that I would possibly get a second job, something muggle, so that I won’t be in harm’s way and I easily do until I take maternity leave.” Hermione said, she had been thinking about it for a week now. She knew as well as he did that their financial issues would be much difficult now that she wouldn’t be doing any fieldwork.
“Sounds fair, how are you feeling otherwise?”
“As of right now, fine, I’m not nauseous anymore which definitely is something I did not enjoy. The only food cravings I have now are pineapple and peanut butter and pickles.”
The look on his face as she told him her cravings did not go unnoticed. “That is disgusting.”
“Well you did ask.” She stated.
“Would you like me to make you a sandwich with those ingredients included?”
A look of delight crossed her face, as she thought how thoughtful he was being. She graciously accepted the sandwich once he returned five minutes later.
They talked for a few more hours and Hermione gave him a couple of books he could read to be readily prepared for when the baby did actually arrive. They didn’t talk baby names as of right now because it was only five months, they decided they would start thinking about it when she was seven months along. She was due in January, so they would start looking for a place in a month from now.
She showed him a few movies, to pass the time. She was awed by the fact that Draco was so fascinated by the technology that muggles seemed to possess. She showed him a few pictures of herself of when she was child, although she did have to endure a couple of comments by him about her awfully unkempt hair. Halfway through the movie they’d been watching, she hadn’t noticed her eyes suddenly drop. She tried to keep them open, enough to stay awake but with being pregnant, she grew more tired easily. By the time the movie was over, she was fast asleep.
He woke up with a stiff neck and wasn’t sure why. The last thing he remembered was that he’d been at Hermione’s place and they were talking. They could admit they had gotten closer to each other but it meant nothing, or so he told himself. He looked around the room and noticed that the crème walls were the same; he was still on the same brown couch as yesterday. Had he fallen asleep here? He tried to shift himself and realized why he couldn’t; Hermione was leaning slightly against him fast asleep. He didn’t want to admit that it felt nice, her leaning on him for support. He didn’t know if he should just leave or wake her up to say goodbye, but then he realized that it would be awkward considering he stayed over and he really didn’t need that. He needed to go home and pack since he was leaving tomorrow at five am. Sharing a mission with Potter and Weasley was not his idea and if he had a choice he would go alone.
He shifted his weight so that he could move himself out of the way without waking her. He laid her head on one of the pillows and grabbed the blanket that was overthrown on the couch and laid it on top of her. He wrote a quick note and placed it on her table. He searched around for his coat, and found the book she had given him the night before.
He apparated on the spot without having to say another word, he had to be at a brief meeting at the ministry at noon. He knew Mr. Tajo liked to brief them before they left for every mission so he knew exactly what to expect. Not that he wanted to be there, but there was no choice, it was his job after all.
He literally had ten minutes to get there, he knew he had slept in the minute he woke up but he could do nothing about that now. He rushed towards the lift, it was much faster than taking the stairs. Of course that was until he realized who he was stuck with in the elevator. Now he definitely had wished he had taken the stairs.
“Malfoy, I’m surprised to see you here.”
“So am I Burns, considering you don’t work in the Ministry.”
“I’m here to talk business with Mr. Tajo, not that it’s any of your business and since I’m already here, I think I shall visit Hermione as well.”
“She’s not here, she has today off.” Draco decided that he could toy with Ian for awhile, make him suffer.
“And how would you know that?”
“Well we do have schedules up in the office that tells us who are working and who are not.” Draco thought the only way he would truly piss Ian off or get him to shut up is if he told a lie, although it technically was half true. “Besides, I was with her last night, and well she could barely keep her hands off me let alone to get me to go to this meeting today.”
He was just given a dirty look and the rest of the elevator ride was silent.
She woke up more comfortable than she thought she would be, considering that she fell asleep on the couch. She knew that she had slept in the moment she woke up, because she was normally up very early in the morning for work. She also knew though that she had today off, so she didn’t need to worry. She woke up refreshed which was new for her, the blanket that was on top of her fell to the floor and she wondered who had given it to her since she didn’t remember having it on her beforehand. She also knew that Draco had spent the night with her, in a sense. She wasn’t sure what to make of the situation, she did like him but it was becoming too much. She didn’t need this on top of raising a baby. She didn’t want to feel anything for him.
She searched around the apartment for him but figured he must have left. She was a little hurt by this fact, that he didn’t even have the decency to say goodbye. That is until she saw the note.
Sorry I couldn’t be there this morning; I had to be at the ministry for a meeting with Mr. Tajo. I had a lovely time last night and I thank you for the books, I shall return them when I see you next. Please don’t do anything stupid while I’m gone. Take care of yourself and that baby of ours.
She thought it was really sweet of him to write her a note despite the fact that just a moment ago she was pissed at him. She didn’t hear the noise of apparition until a moment later when she heard Ginny’s voice.
“What’s that?” Ginny asked pointing towards the letter that was still in Hermione’s hand.
Hermione looked up, startled and quickly stashed the letter behind her back. Of course, not to her quick thinking Ginny had snatched the letter. “Is there something going on between you two in which you haven’t told me Hermione?”
Hermione sighed, she knew this was an inevitable conversion, in which she didn’t wish to have at all, but she had always told her best friend the truth and she wouldn’t stop now. “As far as I know, nothing is going on between us. He did come over yesterday and all we did was talk, so don’t go pointing fingers at me, nothing happened.”
“Not that you don’t want it too. Admit it Hermione Granger, you like Draco.”
She tried to struggle with the answer, she didn’t want to lie but she didn’t want to tell the truth for she knew that Ginny had been right all along and she hated that. “Fine, I like him but nothing is going to happen Ginny.”
“And why do you think that?”
“Because, he doesn’t like me that way and we will continue being friends as we raise this baby together.”
“So years down the road, when your child is old enough to talk and asks you why you and Draco aren’t married? You’re just going to tell the child that you’re just friends?”
“What choice do I have Ginny?”
“You could talk to him about it?” She suggested.
As much as it was appealing, Hermione knew she wouldn’t. It would be too awkward and they wouldn’t talk for weeks whereas they had been talking to each other if not in person but through letters at least every second day. Even if they were to talk about this, they couldn’t now, not for another month since he would be gone.
“Well I can’t, maybe I just need more time to process this. This month apart will be good for us.” She hoped this was a good idea. She knew it would be difficult and that she had an appointment in less than in a week which he would not present for. He had specifically told her that he didn’t want Ian at her appointment but she didn’t want to go alone and she didn’t really feel right asking Ginny either. As she realized this, she never figured out why Ginny had showed up. “How come you’re over here. Did we schedule a lunch and I just simply forgot?”
“No, but what does a girl have to do to visit her best friend without a schedule?”
“What if I had been busy? What’s going on Ginny?”
“Okay, well you’re the first person I told this…”
“Just tell me!”
“I’m engaged! Harry proposed to me last night.”
Everyone at the office was congratulating Potter. Draco knew to be happy for him although they were not friends, and therefore didn’t say a word to him until he had too. Potter had after all just gotten engaged. Draco supposed that he and she-weasel had been dating for a long time that it was about time. It seemed that everyone seemed to be getting married or engaged. He didn’t feel left out, and definitely did not want to be a part of this celebration. He had grabbed his things and turned to the doorway, passed Potter in greeting and left the room.
“Didn’t she tell you?” He looked up to see Ian Burns standing near the doorway with a smug look on his face. Draco did not like him and he probably never would.
“Tell me what?”
“Hermione and I were engaged.”
He held out the ring, it was beautiful. She didn’t know what to say, he was leaning on one knee, waiting for an answer. It was everything she ever wanted, a husband, a wonderful job, perfect house. This seemed like a marriage of convenience, she would have to ask herself if she could see herself by his side in the future. They had been dating for two years but had it meant anything? The problem was that she couldn’t do it. This wasn’t her life, she didn’t want to be like Mrs. Weasley and stay at home for the rest of her life. She wanted to travel, she wanted a family (but a few years down the road), and she had yet to learn everything.
She didn’t want to break his heart but she couldn’t handle this, at least not now. She had just started her career as an Auror; did she want to give it all up for a bloke? She knew she loved him, but was love enough?
“Ian, I uh don’t know what to say.”
“Usually a yes would suffice.” He smiled at her, hoping for the right answer.
She didn’t reply right away, unsure of her answer and afraid to hurt his feelings. Finally though she couldn’t stand the silence and just blurted out the words that would break him. “Ian, I can’t.”
The smile disappeared from his face. “Why not?”
“It’s not that I don’t love you, I’m just not ready. I’m not ready to be married. We’re too young.” She needed to be honest with him, they were only twenty-one and twenty-two years old. People she knew didn’t get married till they were at least twenty-five.
“What’s that got to do with anything? I just want you in my life Hermione. I want to grow old with you and have children with you.”
As she thought his proposal was sincere she just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t just in him in the relationship and as much as she loved him, she couldn’t commit to him as something like marriage. That was a huge step, and that was something she wasn’t ready for. “Ian, you expect me to stay at home, whereas I want to work, travel. I don’t plan on having any kids anytime soon; I just want to live my life.”
“I understand that, I do. I’m not necessarily saying we have to get married now, I just want you, and you’re all I ever wanted.”
She took a minute to answer him. “Will you give me some time to think about this? Please, that’s all I ask.”
“Well clearly your engagement didn’t last long if you’re not together anymore.” Draco said. Although he didn’t want to say anything else, he was slightly hurt by the news. Why didn’t Hermione tell him, did he not have a right to know? He knew they weren’t dating but they were friends. Didn’t friends tell each other personal things about themselves?
It would have been nice to know that she had been engaged. It made things much harder for him to compete with Ian. It wasn’t as if he was dating her, but now he had to prove something to Ian and he personally did not like being threatened. It such seemed that this news was going to ruin him, Ian and himself knew that with him gone for a month, anything could happen.
“Yes, but that was because I had to move, there’s a chance now that she’ll fall back into my arms whether or not she’s carrying your baby.”
“You’re wasting your time.” Draco said.
After Ginny had returned home, she was quite happy for her friend but she felt that she needed work to distract herself. With Draco gone, along with Harry and Ron, she was alone and even though she had the day off today, she didn’t want to stay cooped up in her flat doing nothing. She knew she left some files on her desk previously, she had been in such a rush to get home and start cleaning and cooking that she had totally forgot the files there. She knew the Ministry was secured and that no other Auror or member of the department could take a file without permission so she knew she didn’t have to worry.
She apparated to her office, it was still mid-afternoon so she saw a few of her colleagues still working. She had passed by Blaise’s office, but he was otherwise occupied. She figured that if Draco was getting along with Harry and Ron she ought to do the same for his friends.
With Draco, Harry and Ron gone on the case to search for Greyback, she wasn’t allowed to be involved at all in the mission, so no files or crime scenes had been given to her. She had tried to convince Mr. Tajo that she could still help regardless whether or not she actually went and searched for him. Technically, those required for finding Greyback weren’t at the Ministry, so technically it wouldn’t be too difficult to get a look at the files. Only Aurors had access to all the files, it was secured with a password and a complex wand work. She had access to the files previously but she had a feeling that Mr. Tajo had changed the password so she wouldn’t help the Greyback case, he knew her too well unfortunately. Luckily for her, she was able to figure out the passwords easily.
Once she was inside, it took a good few minutes to find the files because the room itself hadn’t been cleaned in quite awhile. When Mr. Tajo returned, she would ask if she could clean and organize the room since she wasn’t able to do much else. She placed all of Greyback’s case files in one folder, all that she could find. She brought them to her desk to continue research.
She hadn’t realized that so much time had passed, when she did look up, most of the lights had been turned off and majority of Ministry employees had gone home to their families.
Some of the files looked off. Investigating all the case files where Greyback usually left a mark on its’ victims. His victims, were mostly women, she was disgusted by the fact that he could go so low; raping and violating these innocent people. Whether they were wizards, half-bloods, muggle-borns or muggles, it didn’t seem like Greyback could care less.
The markings were usually on the neck or collarbone but it seems like on some of the case files from Germany and other states/countries, they were on the hip bone or thighs. It didn’t seem to match up. If he’d been sighted in certain states, why would his signature suddenly changed? She knew that he had followers and when it was the full moon, there was no doubt that Greyback would have easily turned and bitten a few more people to help him.
She looked at his files again, going through the years, during the second war against Voldemort and could see easily his marks on the victims. She then looked again at the files from Germany and London, they were completely different. The woman were all alike, muggle-born and beaten, bruised and scarred. Their skin was torn and burned, blood covered their bodies. Only now, she looked at the dates, the last victim had been found on August 3rd, it was now the 7th. The last London sighting had been found on the 30th of July, there was no way that Greyback could have travelled that fast in five days without using an illegal portkey. You weren’t allowed to apparate to another country without Ministry approval either so it didn’t make any sense.
Greyback couldn’t have been working alone otherwise; none of these victims could have been hurt so easily. Suddenly she remembered the note she had received two months ago covered in dried blood. She pulled it out, and inspected it. ‘You’re closer than you think.’'
All of sudden it clicked into place, he’d never been in Germany, and he’d never left London. Before she could pull out her wand and send a patronus to Harry to warm him. She was engulfed into darkness.
Author’s Notes: Okay, so it’s been quite awhile, and this chapter has endured a long process. In case anyone of you were wondering since I never actually stated in any of the chapters, the Ministry party was at the end of April, therefore, Hermione is due at the end of December/beginning of January. So I hope that clears up some confusion. Here are some questions/answers I’ll have for you now, so that you’re not confused for future chapters.
1. How long is this story going to be? Personally, I don’t know, it could be close to 23-25 chapters possibly. I haven’t completely decided.
2. Will Hermione and Draco ever get together? But of course, it wouldn’t be Dramione fic if it wasn’t.
3. Will Pansy or Blaise have more of a significant role in this fic? Quite possibly, but I shall not spoil anything.
If any of you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask and I will do my best to answer.
Please read & review!
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