When everyone got back home from the restaurant, Ron blurted out the good news to his parents who, naturally, were thoroughly excited. Hermione was just as ecstatic, though thinking about Draco and how he had left so abruptly was keeping back part of her happiness. But to hell with him… He shouldn’t have been upset that she was having a baby by her husband. But what if he didn’t hear the whole conversation…? Hermione thought to herself, and internally groaned, seeing that a trip to his flat was going to be necessary.
She had the time to do it now. Due to her past experiences of having high blood pressure while being at work (though being pregnant wasn’t the reason) Hermione had been allowed to immediately take off on maternity leave. If this new addition to the family was her first child, she’d have the regular four months home, but since this was her third, she would have a little over six. “And Arthur and I will be right here with you.” Molly had told her. Ron wouldn’t have that much time with her, unfortunately, but knowing that Molly and Arthur would be there brought a sincere comfort to Hermione. And now, at least she’d be able to enjoy their company because now they’d be playing and fussing with their actual grandchild.
But since she wouldn’t be showing for at least another two to two and a half months and was well enough to take care of herself, Hermione was home alone with Evan day in and day out with periodic visits from Ron. It was near the end of November now, and once December rolled around Isabella would be home from school for Christmas break. There’d be two little children Hermione would have to watch over, and after that her movements would become less swift, the baby would come, Ron would be home, and the opportunity for Hermione to talk to Draco would be minimal and close to none. She had to talk to him now and therefore begged Harry to stay and watch Evan one morning when he had come to see his son.
“Not that I wouldn’t love to stay with Evan for as long as possible, but why do you even need to talk to Malfoy?” Harry asked her as he took the growing boy from her arms.
“Because I just have to,” Hermione said in an unquestionable tone. She pulled on her boots and donned her coat all the while Harry was staring at her disapprovingly. “What, Harry?”
“You just want to see him. That’s all it is.”
“I’d appreciate it if you’d stop making assumptions about me. I’m going to his flat because I don’t know what he heard back at the restaurant. For all I know he could be thinking that this baby is his.”
“If I were you, I’d make him suffer.”
“Well, it’s good thing that I’m me then, now isn’t it?” Hermione smartly replied. She headed for the door as Harry set Evan down in the playpen that he had conjured for him.
Harry crossed his arms as he watched her begin to leave. He bit down on his tongue hard. He had something to say, but just not to start a row with her he was trying to get a grip on himself. But as Hermione placed her hand on the doorknob, he just couldn’t do it anymore.
Hermione turned from the door and stared at him. Harry nodded and reiterated, “Twenty minutes, ‘Mione. It shouldn’t take you that long to tell the bloody prick that he’s not the father and has nothing to worry about.”
“You can’t give me a time limit.” Hermione argued. “Who do you think you are, my father?”
“It’s for your own good. If it takes you any longer than that well…I’ll know what you’re doing over there.”
At that last comment Hermione dared a laugh. She placed her hands on her hips and challenged him with the narrowing of her eyes.
“My own good, you say?” She shook her head. “Sounds like it’s for your own good rather than mine... And for your information Mr. Potter, even if I had decided to shag Draco while I was there, it’d be none of your business. You don’t have control over my body, Harry, even if you wish you did.”
“…That was a low blow, Hermione.” Harry said after a short while. She swallowed and nodded knowingly.
“Yes, well, you’ve hit lower. Half an hour alright..? If Ron happens to come then lie your arse off.”
Hermione apparated to the basement of Draco’s flat. After a while she had stopped walking there for fear that someone would see her and wonder where she was off to. He had to clean it up first though because, though he didn’t look like it, Draco was very much a packrat.
“Draco?” Hermione called as she closed the basement door and walked into the kitchen. The room was bare, but the living room wasn’t, and he sat there with the TV remote in his hand and staring at the screen, though it didn’t look like he was taking anything in. “Draco,”
He didn’t look at her even though she was now standing next to the television. He was ignoring her, and if it was one thing that Hermione hated, was the silent treatment. But of course, she knew how to break him out of it.
“That woman from the restaurant was really pretty.” Hermione said. It slightly pained her to say it, because in fact she hated that woman for taking Draco away. That week and half after she broke things off with him and hadn’t heard a single word from him, it was because he had been busy with her. Only Merlin knew what they had been doing, but however bad she felt, the comment brought some of the desired effect. Draco’s eyes flickered toward for a second, but then moved back.
“…Yeah, how you found someone named Isabella is quite amazing and a kick in the arse to me.” She continued. “Let me guess. You left with her, took her back here, and turned on the Malfoy charm. She probably giggled and laughed under your touch as I used to, and then you just ravished her-”
“Stop,” Draco said gruffly. He turned his eyes to her and she did what he said. “You annoy the hell out of me, you know that?”
“Likewise,” Hermione replied. “But that’s what you did, isn’t it? To get back at me, that’s what you did.”
“I took her home. I took her home and then told her that I never wanted to see her again.”
“Oh, well… I don’t know whether to commend or scold you for being so rude-”
“Is it mine?” Draco asked suddenly. He turned the TV off and then stood. “Is the baby mine?”
So he didn’t hear it all… Hermione thought, and then came back to reality by shaking her head. “No, it’s not.”
“So it’s Potter’s then? I should’ve known. I know you’ve never stopped thinking about him. Even when you said you did, I just knew-”
“It’s not his either.” She nearly shouted. “For Merlin’s sake, I wish you and Harry would stop forgetting that I have a husband and that I have sex with him too.”
“…Are you sure? Are you absolutely sure that the baby isn’t mine and that you’re not just guessing?”
“Yes, I’m sure. My past mistakes have taught me to keep track of when I’ve slept with Ron just in case my luck isn’t that good. So…that’s what I came here for. You know, just to make sure that you had the whole story straight. Now you have nothing to worry about and we can just go our separate ways. Everything’s worked out for the best.”
Hermione nodded and turned to head back down to the basement so she could apparate home. This had taken all of fifteen minutes –well within her half an hour and the twenty minute time limit that Harry tried to give her. It was easier than she thought it would be, and once she got back home there’d be nothing else to worry about except her pending future. It was all good, but as she headed into the kitchen in order to get to the door that led to the basement, Draco’s voice caught her ears. She stopped cold and turned back around instantly.
“What did you say?”
“I said that I wish the baby was mine.” Draco was staring at her in a way that she had never seen before. It was only after moving closer to him, did Hermione realize that it was pure sadness. She instantly began shaking her head.
“No, you don’t. That’s the last thing that you should want.” Hermione boldly cupped his face with her hands and caressed his cheeks. “Draco, do you know what this means?”
“It means that now I can never have you.” He whispered to her. He held his hands over hers that were still resting on his cheeks. “This could’ve been it. No matter how dense Weasley is, this time he would’ve known. Everyone would’ve known.”
“And then what? I would’ve come running to you?”
“Yes…but now you won’t. This is your ticket to go running back to your husband, and I know you Hermione. You’re going to stay with him this time.” Draco grew angry all of a sudden and pushed her away from him. He ran his fingers through his hair and yelled loudly. “I hate you for what you’ve done to me!”
“What, Draco? What exactly have I done to you?!” Hermione shouted at him. She opened her arms wide and egged him on. “Tell me, because I’d really like to know.”
“You’ve made me so…damn bloody dependent on you! That’s what you’ve done.”
“Oh, well I’m sorry, because I was the one who started all of this. I was the one who made you keep talking about my affair with Harry. I was the one who made you stalk the hell out of me. I was the one who made you make me feel comfortable enough to kiss you! I made you do all of that, right? Yes, I did it! I’m the mastermind! I’m the one who made you fall for a married woman and is causing you this great grief! Damn it, Draco, you self-centered son of a bitch… I’m scared.”
Unknown to herself Hermione had started crying during her tirade. She hurriedly tried wiping them away, but they were falling faster than she would’ve liked. And so, with her wet face, and more than likely red eyes, there was no point in holding anything in anymore. She sighed and placed her hands on the rim of her denim pockets.
“I’m scared because I don’t want to mess up.” She said as calmly as she could. “This is my chance to prove to Ron that I’ve stopped; that it’s all finished. And I can’t do that with you in my ear. I’d love to have you as my friend just as Harry is my friend, but I doubt that you can do that. You were good to me long before everything became intimate, and I’d dream, endlessly, to have that again, but I… You can’t just be my friend, can you?”
“…How long have you got at home, Hermione?” Draco asked her after a short pause.
“The baby will be born sometime in July. After that I’ve got six months before I’ve got to be back at the Ministry.”
Draco sighed. He sat down at the edge of his sofa, and closed his eyes for a moment before opening them back. “You’re right. I can’t >just be your friend. Not after all this can I be around you and not act. I’m not Potter. But I’ll be your friend until July. After that I’m going back to England. You’ll never see me again.”
“Never..?” Hermione said with a frown.
He nodded and took a hard swallow. “Never,”
author's note:HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!! a few days late, but hey lol.... hope that you liked the chap. bit of a shortie, but it was necessary :)
thanks for reading, and dont forget to leave a review!!
PS!! SHOUT-OUT to Ruby_Elsi_Riddle for giving me my 200th review!!
AND i've reached the mark of being the favorite author of 100 people! couldnt have done it w/o you!!! THANKS!
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