Chapter 14 : Amends
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A/N: Just for the record, this was an EXTREMELY hard chapter to write. It's like, I had so much trouble going from what happened at the end of the last chapter to where the next chapter is going to start. But I think I finally succeeded in making a fairly decent chapter, after re-writing it about five times. So that is my warning if you think it's a little strange, and please go easy on me. And yes, there are some ooc moments, as well as a huge passage of time, and some possible indiscrepencies in time, but those will be explained later. With all that said, here it is.
“Dammit!” Ron yelled, smashing his hand into the nearest wall. The pain ricocheted through his hand, up his arm and throughout his entire body, but he didn’t stop. He felt the bones in his fingers break, and it was only then that he finally stopped slamming it into the wall. He could feel the tears threatening to come, but he forced them back. He hadn’t cried in years, in fact he couldn’t remember the last time he had in fact, and he knew he wasn’t about to start now.
“Ron?” a soft voice asked as it came up around the corner. “Are you alright?”
He turned to look at the blonde-haired girl who was looking at him with concern.
“What does it look like, Daphne?” he said with a sigh and a roll of the eyes.
She bit her lip and stared back at him, undaunted. “To be honest, it looks like you’re someone that could use a friend.”
Draco sat on the sofa, staring at the wall, thinking. Nothing more, nothing less, just thinking. It was something that he had never really done much in the past, but realized that it was something he had definitely been doing lately.
Even after everything had sunk in, he was still trying to come to terms with the fact that everything hadn’t been a bad dream, and that he was going to be a father. He shook his head. He could only imagine what his own father would say if he were here to know about it. Then again, if Lucius was still alive, more than likely the events of the past year would never have happened and these thoughts would be pointless.
Draco was so lost in these thoughts that he didn’t even hear the door open, or it close shortly after, as well. It wasn’t until a few minutes later that he got the feeling that someone was looking at him that he even noticed that Harry was in there, staring at him.
“Potter… what are you doing here?” he asked, automatically jumping to his feet and immediately bracing himself for the blow he assumed would be coming.
“Malfoy,” Harry said, nodding his head slightly in greeting.
Draco was stunned when that seemed to be it, knowing for sure that Harry would have wanted to hit him, or hex him, or something. It just seemed weird that he didn’t.
“Do you want to… sit down or something?” he said, feeling stupid. It was just another one of those things that made everything that was happening feeling even more strange.
Harry sat down in the armchair that was across from the sofa where Draco re-seated himself.
After an awkward moment of silence, Draco said, “Hermione’s already in her room, asleep I assume.”
“She isn’t the one that I came to see. You are.”
Harry nodded, and they went back to silence for a moment. Then finally, he said, “She’s my best friend, you know.”
Staring at his own hands, Draco merely nodded. This was most certainly not a conversation that he had ever expected to have - with Harry Potter of all people.
“You probably expected me to hit you. She’s like a sister to me.”
Again, all Draco did was nod.
“Part of me wants to. Like, in some ways, I really want to do nothing more than punch you. But I can’t. You know? Whether we like it or not, you’re part of her life now. A huge part. And the worst part of all? The idea doesn’t bother me the way that it once would have.”
Feeling more comfortable with the situation at hand, Harry leaned back in the chair and relaxed.
“Things have definitely taken a different turn than I ever would have expected them to, you know?”
Once again, Draco just nodded his head, not really sure why he was unable to say anything.
“You asked me once why I saved your life,” Harry said, and then stopped, even though it sounded as though he had more that he wanted to say.
Finally, Draco seemed to find his voice.
“I just never really understood it. I mean, that was your chance right there to see me get what I deserved.”
Looking at his hands, Harry said, “I was there that night in the Astronomy tower, you know.”
Draco’s face went white, if that were even possible.
“You were there? So that means that you…”
Harry nodded. “I saw what happened. It was that moment right there that I saw who you really were. You never would have done it. I know that.”
They were quiet again for a minute, the only sound in the room being that of the clock ticking in the background.
“You saved my life, too, you know. And Hermione’s, and even Ron’s.”
They both ignored that ill-placed mention of Ron, but Harry continued.
“You had your chance to turn me in. To be rid of me once and for all. But you didn’t. That’s my question for you. Why didn’t you?”
“I didn’t want you to die.”
It came out so quickly, that Draco didn’t even seem to realize that he had said it.
“I wished you ill plenty of times. But when it came right down to it, I never actually wanted you to… die. Besides, I knew the truth by that time, and knew that you were our only hope. I wasn’t the only one. My parents knew it too, even if they never would have admitted it.”
“Your mother did.”
“She did what?”
“She knew. She risked her life for us.”
Draco looked at him in confusion. “Come again?”
“Your mother. She told Voldemort I was dead. She wanted to know if you were still in the castle and she asked me, and I told her yes. So she told him I was dead so that she could come look for you. Regardless of why she did it, she also had a chance to turn me in, and didn’t.”
“I never knew that.”
“Well, I guess we’re more alike than we ever thought. And Malfoy?”
“You’re more like her, you know. Your mother? You’re definitely more like your mother than your father.”
Draco smiled. It felt like quite a compliment to him.
“I never would have expected, not in a million years, any of this to ever happen,” Harry said, suddenly changing the subject.
“You act like I did,” Draco snorted. “You really think that given a choice, I would have planned something like this?” But then his voice softened.
“I don’t think that I could say this to anyone else, Potter, but you might be the one person that just might understand.”
Harry arched an eyebrow, curious as to what Draco was going to say.
“It might seem absolutely mental that I’m about to say it, because even I think so. But, with everything considered, I’m not sorry.”
“Any of it. I mean, nothing really happened the way that I expected, I mean, we’re eighteen years old, for Merlin’s sake. And we’re having a baby. And we never got along up until a few months ago.”
He shook his head as though he was trying to argue with himself.
“I can’t really explain what it is but I feel like a different person now. It’s like, I’ve been given a chance to help fix mistakes from the past.”
He took in a deep breath before he continued.
“Hermione’s a beautiful person, you know. Inside and out. I only wish I would have been able to overlook everything in the past and really noticed before, you know?”
The clock chimed the hour and Harry realized he had been there much longer than he had originally planned, and so he stood up and stretched.
Silently, he held out his hand, which Draco hesitantly took. In some ways, it reminded him of their first meeting at Hogwarts, all those years ago.
“I stand by what I said earlier, you know. But, if you hurt her, I’m the one you’ll have to answer to.”
Draco met Harry’s eyes. “You won’t have to.”
“I can’t believe that we’re even having this conversation, the two of us, but what I do believe is that you won’t.”
Draco looked at him in disbelief. “You what?” he said, curiously, knowing that he’d always been able to hide his feelings from everyone, including himself.
“Because I can see it,” Harry said slowly.
“That you’ve fallen in love with her.”
Their eyes met for a moment before Draco said, “I have, haven’t I?”
Ron pulled the drapes around his bed and closed his eyes, rubbing his sore hand. He sighed as he rolled over onto his side. He honestly didn’t know what it was that had gotten into him lately. He didn’t even know who he had become. Due to jealousy and a hot temper, over the last few months, he had lost himself his best friend, his girlfriend, alienated his sister, and as much as he hated to admit it, his self-respect, or whatever of he had left. He couldn’t believe that he had just resorted himself to shagging Daphne Green grass - in a deserted corridor of all places! - and after it was all over, just leaving her there, staring sadly at him while he walked away.
He sat up quickly, knowing there was only one thing he could do. Before anyone else headed up to the room for the night, he had all of his bags packed and took a page from Hermione’s book - wincing as he remembered where he had learned it from - and shrunk everything so that it would fit inside his backpack. He then re-closed the drapes around his bed, took one last look around the room and walked out the door, knowing that he would never be coming back here.
“Hermione?” Draco asked Hermione the next morning.
“Hmm?” she asked, not moving her eyes from her book.
“Can I ask you a question? Like a serious question?”
There was something about the urgency in his voice that made her stare up at him.
“What is it like to have friends?”
“Come again?” she said, sure she hadn't heard him correctly.
“Friends. What's it like to have friends – people who care about you. Who would go to the ends of the earth for you?”
Not knowing how to answer, she tried to sidestep it.
“You've had friends, Draco. Surely that's how they...”
He shook his head, cutting her off.
“Any one of them would have run at the first sign of danger. You honestly expect any one of those that you think were my friends would have been willing to give their life for me? I mean real friends. The way Potter and Weas- Ginny are to you. Even Longbottom and Lovegood. I've never had friends who cared that much about me.”
He sounded so sad, so lost, that Hermione couldn't help but let her heart go out to him.
Then without another word, he simply walked out of the room toward class, leaving Hermione starting in confusion after him.
The day was filled with N.E.W.T exams, and it seemed as if no one had even realized that Ron was gone. Or then again, maybe everyone was so busy that they just overlooked the fact that he wasn’t there.
After Defence Against the Dark Arts exam, Harry came up to Hermione.
“Our last exam - EVER. Hardly seems possible, doesn’t it? It seems as if it were only yesterday that we met on the Hogwarts train. It’s like, most of our life has been planned out for us, and now, everything is changing. I mean, we’re not coming back next year, we’re about to head out on our own, you’re going to have a baby, which I will admit, I still have trouble realizing that you know, Draco Malfoy and I are friends, do you have any idea what you’re doing after all of this is over?”
Hermione was only half listening, as she absently rubbed her lower back. Again. She'd lost track of how many times she had done that in the past few hours.
It wasn't until Harry realized she hadn’t answered that he looked over at her.
“Hermione? Are you alright?” he asked, noticing her expression.
She didn't answer for a moment, then suddenly, with a look of horror, she said, “Harry, I think my water just broke.”
A/N: So there you go. Now you see what I mean about time. In theory, if she first got pregnant right before Christmas, she wouldn't be due to around September. But somehow I found it more fitting to have her go into labour before they leave school. So I may go back and change it to happening earlier, or it's possible that in the Wizarding World that babies don't take as long. But anyway, that is my reasoning for having it happen that way. Hope you enjoyed it!
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