Chapter 13 : Numb
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We had been forced to go on a “honeymoon” by our parents. Why we even needed a honeymoon was beyond me, (I was pregnant was I not?) but I wasn’t keen on arguing with Narcissa. After the wedding, we were portkeyed off to an undisclosed location. When we landed, the weather change was sharp and dramatic. We had both changed, of course, me in a pair of shorts and a tank top and Draco in jeans and a tee-shirt.
“Mum said we’re supposed to find the hotel?” Draco shrugged, taking my hand and leading me to a tall building we could see in the distance.
I pulled my hand away. We weren’t in the kind of public that called for such behaviors. He looked at me for a second before sighing and approaching the desk. “Hello, I believe we have reservations for a Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy?” he asked the middle aged witch at the desk. Mrs. Malfoy. I was now Mrs. Malfoy. Right.
“Yes, right this way, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy,” she smiled at us. She led us up to the room. The room was beautifully furnished. It was huge, with a bed in the center, and a huge window on the far wall. The view was of the blue-green ocean extending on for as far as we could see.
“It’s beautiful,” I sighed as I sat down on the bed.
“I knew you loved oceans,” Draco smiled a little, sitting down beside me. I didn’t like how close he was, nor the way he was smiling at me. It made it harder to keep away from him.
“You planned this?” I asked. I was under the impression it was his Mum and Dad.
He nodded. “I thought....”
“I thought that it would make things... right,” he sighed.
I shook my head and headed towards the bathroom, “I’m going for a swim.”
I quickly changed into my bikini and headed out towards the beach. The moon was full and bright overhead. Its brightness seemed to mock the darkness of my own life.
The location was gorgeous, however. Draco had indeed picked well. The ocean was large and vast. I stripped off my coverups and walked into the water, letting the warm water lick my ankles.
I put one hand on my stomach. It was quite rounded now, and anyone could see that I was indeed pregnant. I wanted the ocean take my pain away in its constant ebb and flow. I wanted it to help me erase all the bad memories of the past few weeks.
I walked further into the water, till it was to my chin. The water stung some parts of my skin, but it was alright. I sipped my head back so my hair was in the water. I felt alone, isolated, just me in the water, but somehow it also felt alright. Here in the darkness, nothing could hurt me. I was alone and I was safe.
After an hour or so of just being in the water, I went back in. Draco was sitting on the bed, reading. There was music in the background, however. I listened closely for a second before I recognized the song.
You look wonderful, tonight. The song from our engagement party.
“You need to stop, Draco,” I sighed. I knew exactly what he was doing. He was trying everything to make me forgive him, but I wouldn’t have it. It hurt too much, the pain was too deep.
“Stop trying to make you forgive me?”
I nodded. “It’s not going to happen. You need to give me space. You need to let me be,” I said.
He didn’t reply for a long while. I changed out of my swimsuit and into and old t-shirt to sleep in. I crawled into the bed, as far away from Draco as possible, and turned so my back was facing him.
“You deserve to be happy,” he said softly.
I didn’t reply and didn’t process what he said. Thinking meant more hurt, more pain. I’d rather do without.
The sun was blindingly bright overhead - more-so than anything I had ever experienced back home in England. We were on a cruise to see the island. I was wearing a pair of dark gray shorts with an emerald green halter top, for once not worried about hiding my pregnant stomach.
I was standing alone on the edge of the ship, watching the shimmering blue green water sway around the boat when I heard someone walk up to me.
“Why are you alone, gorgeous?” I heard a deep voice say next to me. I turned to see a dark haired man, about 25 standing next to me, smirking.
“Married,” I frowned at him, holding up my hand for him to see the glittering diamond.
“Darn,” he pouted, “And here I was, thinking I could approach a beautiful woman like you. I guess the good ones are really all taken.”
I smiled at the compliment. “I’m sure there are plenty of women who would love to be with you,” I replied, turning around to face him completely.
“Who’s the lucky bloke?” He asked, turning so he was standing next to me, his elbows propped up on the side of the boat.
“Over there,” I tilted my head towards the bar, where Draco was sitting, alone, drinking. I sighed.
I heard the man mutter something under his breath.
“Sorry?” I asked.
“Just saying - if I were him, I wouldn’t leave your side, ever,” he said simply before giving me another smile and walking away.
If he only knew. I turned back to face the endless ocean, breathing in the deep scent that was salty and pure and fresh at the same time. It felt so good, so real, the warm somewhat burning sensation of the sun, the splash of the water, it felt real like not much in my life did.
That’s when I felt it. A small, pointed pressure in my abdomen. A kick! My baby was kicking! My little son was kicking and moving!
“Draco!” I called excitedly, practically running over to where he was sitting.
“What?” he asked, clearly surprised at my enthusiastic arrival.
“The baby!” I said excitedly, “He’s kicking!”
I took Draco’s hand and placed it on my stomach where I had felt the movement earlier. We waited a few moments for him to kick again, and when he did, Draco’s eyes grew wide.
“Woah,” he said, shaking his head in astonishment, “That’s incredible.”
I nodded. We looked at each other for a moment, both of our eyes mirrored expressions of amazement. My hand was still on his, which was placed gently on my stomach.
But I pulled away soon after. All I could see was the image of him holing Melanie the same way he should have been holding me.
Christmas was always my favorite holiday. There was something truly magical (ha-ha) about it. I loved the way everyone went out of their way to give to others. I loved the way all shops and streets were decked in green and red. I loved how my father would go around belting carols and my mother would tell him off. I just loved the general merriment of the time.
That was, until Narcissa invited us to spend Christmas at the Malfoy Manor..... Which was wholly awkward but I should have expected it, of course. Thankfully, she had also invited my parents, and Daphne, but Daphne was spending it with David’s parents. (boo)
I was packing for the night when Draco came in, still in his work clothes, the top two buttons of his shirt undone. He looked so incredibly sexy it was hard for me to remember why I mad at him. And then I remembered Melanie. Right.
“Er..” he started, leaning awkwardly on the doorframe.
“Yeah?” I asked, not bothering to look up from folding my clothes.
“I guess I just wanted to remind you that we uhh need to pretend we’re alright, in front of my Mum and Dad,” he said quietly.
I nodded, “I didn’t forget, Draco.”
“Yeah... err.. just saying. And I apologize in advance for anything my Dad says. He doesn’t mean most of what he says,” he shrugged.
I nodded and went back to my packing.
“You know,” he said after a long pause.
“I don’t think this is good for the baby.”
“What?” I said again.
“Fighting,” he sighed.
“We’re not fighting,” I replied as I continued to rummage through my closet.
“Really?” he raised his eyebrows at me.
I nodded. Why was he even still here? I obviously had no intention of talking to him.
“Well then the stress of all this. It can’t be good for our son.” I could feel his eyes on me, but I did not turn to meet them.
All he cared about was our son this and our son that. “Scorpius is fine. He’s kicking and moving. Calm down,” I said, shaking my head. He stayed a few moments longer before letting out a loud sigh and going downstairs.
I chose a bright red sweater dress to wear to dinner. It fit snugly around my stomach but I didn’t mind. I had no reason to be ashamed of my pregnancy any longer. I quickly applied my makeup and slipped on black high-heels before heading downstairs.
“You look beautiful,” Draco said in a low voice as I entered the living room.
I looked up at him but didn’t reply. It was all an act; he was playing a game to try to win me back. I would not have it.
We silently apparated to the Malfoy Manor, where my Mum and Dad were already seated in the living room, chatting away.
“Tor!” my mom jumped up excitedly as I entered.
“Hello, Mum,” I greeted, kissing her on the cheek, “Hi, Dad.” I did the same to my father.
He smiled at me, “How’s my grandson?” He grinned.
“Well,” I nodded.
“Draco, dear, how are you?” my mother greeted him kindly.
He gave my mother one of his charming smiles, “Very well, thank you, due to your wonderful daughter here.” I let out a little snort like sound which thankfully went unnoticed. That was the biggest lie I’d heard in a while. But then again, Draco was quite good at lying.
“It’s nice that you two could make it,” Narcissa curved her lips up in a small smile.
“Thank you for having us,” I nodded. I hadn’t had much interaction with Narcissa since the time before the wedding, but something in her smile told me she was more than she was letting on.
“Since we’re all here, we can head over to the dining room for dinner?” she suggested. I nodded. I couldn’t help but notice her calm, confident stride. She walked like she had complete control over the room. Put together, collected, strong, powerful, she was everything I was not.
My mum squeezed my hand gently after we sat down, her on one side, Draco on the other. “You look wonderful - every bit the next Lady of the Manor,” she whispered in my ear proudly. Oh, if she only knew how much acting I was really doing.
After dinner and after my father left, I retreated back to Draco’s room to change into my night clothes when I realized I didn’t remember where I had left my bag. I sighed, walking back out into the darkened hall. I heard voices from the other side of the passageway, from Lucius’s study. I crept towards the door, checking to make sure no one was near me. This whole eaves-dropping thing was becoming a bad habit of mine.
“You need to stop flouncing around in the Ministry and find yourself a real job,” I heard the elder Malfoy’s voice, cold and hard.
“Father, I do have a real job. I’m working my way up,” Draco replied calmly.
“Working your way up?” Lucius spat, “You’ve been saying that for the last 3 years. Where has it gotten you - nowhere!”
“Father,” Draco protested, his voice rising.
“You must stop,” Lucius cut him off, “Keep in mind you have more than just yourself to think about. A wife, a child. You need to grow up and take responsibility for them!”
“I am! I’m doing my best to make sure they’re alright and happy,” he replied, “I’m working extra hours, just to make sure they’re comfortable.”
“Happy? By the looks of it, she didn’t look very happy tonight,” Lucius said.
Dammit. He had seen right through my act. But then again, he was a former Death Eater.
Draco didn’t reply. “I’ll fix it,” he said solemnly. I pressed my back against the wall as Draco stormed out of the room and into the bedroom I had just been in.
Was he really working all for my baby and I? The feeling created a sort of odd sensation in my heart. Draco was working to keep us happy.
I sighed and continued walking down the hall to the library, where Narcissa was sitting at the table, looking through what looked like a large book.
“Astoria, dear, did you need something?” she asked kindly as I came in, setting her reading glasses down on the table.
“Err, yes, I was just wondering where I had left my bag? I can’t seem to find it...” I said, biting my lip.
“Oh, right, I’ll have Binxy take it to your room,” she said with a wave of her arm.
I smiled and nodded. My eye caught a moving picture in the book she was reading. A little boy, blonde, bright eyed, zooming around on a mini-broomstick
“Is this Draco?” I asked.
She nodded, “It is. When he was a little boy. This is actually his album,” she explained, “So much has changed since then, it’s nice to go back and take a look at these from time to time.”
I nodded, studying the picture closely. She turned the page, where a young, albeit serious Draco peered up at me, dressed in Hogwarts robes.
“His first day at Hogwarts,” she told me. She turned the pages, revealing more Draco in various stages of his life, all serious and solemn, looking like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders, an expression, I realized, he still carried to this day
Narcissa sighed when we reached the end of the album. “Something happened between you and Draco. It’s not my place to know what it is. But I will say one thing - I have never seen Draco look at anyone the way he looks at you. Whatever he has done, he deeply regrets. Draco cares for you much more than you know,” she said.
I nodded. Between that and the scene I had encountered earlier, this was getting more and more complicated. And yet, I could not negate the fact that he had openly said he didn’t have feelings for me nor did he care for me, although his actions claimed otherwise.
“Hello, Astoria, dear, it’s good to see you again!” the Healer greeted me kindly. I was back for my second appointment, seeing that I was now 4 months along and officially in my second trimester. No more morning sickness, woohoo! “I’m sorry Mr. Malfoy couldn’t come with you today,” she frowned.
I had brought Chay with me instead. Even in my apathetic state, she was the only one who could make me smile. “This is my friend Chay. She’s coming shopping for the baby nursery with me afterwards,” I explained.
Chay grinned back at the Healer, “Personally, this whole pregnancy thing scares me shitless, but I’m a good friend,” she nodded.
“Right,” I rolled my eyes.
“That’s good! Tell me, how are you feeling?” her eyes were gentle and she seemed to actually be concerned about my health.
“Er... alright. The worst part is the randomly throwing up, which should be over soon, yes?” I said hopefully.
“Yes,” she nodded, “Well, if that’s all for questions, we’re going to take some more scans and if everything goes smoothly, you should be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat.”
I nodded. She did a similar process as the last time, only this time the picture was much clearer. “Is that... the baby moving?” I asked, mesmerized by the image. Seeing the baby move made it all seem so real. I really going to have a moving, laughing, kicking baby soon.
“Yes. Now if you put this to your ear, you can hear the heartbeat,” she instructed. I put the little device to my ear, and as promised, I could hear a faint ba-bump ba-bump sound.
“Chay, it’s my baby! I can hear my baby!” I said excitedly. Chay nodded enthusiastically and leaned in so she could hear too.
“Your little shrimp is perfect,” she smiled at me.
I nodded, “He is absolutely perfect.”
“Did I tell you?” Chay asked later as we entered a baby toy and accessory shop.
“Tell me what?” I asked, heading over the the stuffed animal section. It was perfect, really, I could use my son as an excuse to buy all the stuffed toys in the world.
“I’m dating that bloke you saw the other day in my room. Draco’s cousin,” she said, picking up the ugliest toy pig I have ever seen.
“Are you really? And put that disgusting thing down!” I chided her.
“What? It’s cute!” she protested before putting it down, “And yeah. Turns out he’s more than just a good shag. But he is indeed a verrryyyy good shag.”
I frowned at her. “You’re insensitive. No need to rub in my lack if sex life,” I sighed.
“Sorry. I forgot,” she shrugged, “How is that whole marriage thing going anyway?”
“It’s going,” I replied bluntly, picking up a stuffed elephant, “This is so cute!” I put the toy in my basket.
“At this rate your child’s gonna be the most spoiled brat in all of England,” Chay noted.
“My kid. Shut up,” I stuck my tongue out at her.
“You know, you can’t go on like this forever,” she pointed out later as we wandered in the baby shoe section. The shoes were all so small. Did they actually fit the babies? Would my son really be that small?
“You know. Upset, sad, loveless. It’s just not you,” she said.
“I know,” I sighed, because she was right. This cold, heartless Tor was starting to scare me a little too.
A/N: Oooh, lots happened in this chapter! Chay's back, yay! Draco's being a prick. Narcissa's being nice? Please leave your thoughts in a review! Thank you for your support!
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