AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter.
“So what does Candlewick have to say?” Draco asked throwing his legs over the side of the bed and sat up.
Hermione sat down next to him on the edge of the bed still reading the letter. “She says ‘sorry I haven’t been able to write back sooner. I’m deep in the thick of the rainforests of Brazil leading a group of muggle Herbologists trying to locate some rare form of plant-life to help them find a cure for cancer. And because of that, it made it difficult for the owl post to find me. Not to mention the long flight back and forth.” Hermione glanced over at Draco who shrugged and motioned her to continue. “She says that she stopped teaching four years ago, because she was ready for something different and that she has done the project with students as well as soon-to-be parents who wanted to take courses in parenting. And not once has she ever had or heard of any complications regarding the potion that brings the ‘rock babies’ to life, especially something as drastic as time travel. She says she doesn’t understand how it would even be possible given the ingredients in the potion do not possess any of the qualities for time travel, especially when combined together. She says she can understand how terrifying and frustrating it must have been for us, if what we told her in the previous letters were true and that we were in Hogwarts working on our project one day and suddenly stuck six years into the future the next. And that she would have never assigned the project if such problems were caused by the assigned potion. And that she listed the ingredients and directions for the reverse potion. Though she has no idea if it would even work because she has never had to use it before therefore has never attempted to make it either. Mainly because it is very time consuming, and again because she had never experienced any complications with the potion to begin with. She also says she wishes she could be of further help to us, but she really has no idea how we could’ve gotten into this mess if it wasn’t because of the potion. Also to write to her again if we have any questions.” Hermione finished reading the letter and flipped to the next page that had the reverse potion. “Wait, so that’s it?” That’s all she had to say? ‘Sorry I don’t really know how to help you but best of luck anyway.’” She mimicked Candlewick’s squeaky voice, then gasped.
“What? What was is it?” Draco asked her.
Hermione shook her head. “Four months…the potion requires four months for it to brew properly and the majority of the ingredients are either very rare or illegal to get and use. Candlewick must have been very sure of herself that the original potion was fail proof if the reverse potion is so outrageous to make. Ugh, this is horrible we’re never going to find a way to get back at this rate.” Hermione flopped back on the bed, her arms covering her face.
Draco took the piece of parchment that had the potion on it and read it quietly.
Hermione glanced over at him when he continued to remain silent next to her. “Why aren’t you angry about this? I’m infuriated, though it’s too early and I’m still too tired to do anything about it right now.” She told him still lying on her back with her feet dangling over the edge of the bed.
When Draco still didn’t say anything she raised up on her elbows to get a better look at him, his shoulders were stiff and his brows bunched together as if he was thinking.
“Are you okay?” she asked him.
After a few more seconds of silence he spoke. “What if…what if we decided not to go back? What if we stayed here instead?”
Hermione sat up and looked at him. “What?” she asked him confused.
He turned and looked at her. “Would it be so awful if we just stayed here?”
She shook her head trying to make sense of what he was saying. “You don’t want to go back?”
“It’s not that I don’t want to go back per say, but we have a pretty good thing going on here and now if we went back we would have to leave Crissy behind and everything else here as well.”
“Oh Draco.” Hermione said quietly, now torn between wanting to go back and taking in the idea of someday leaving Crissy which was to heart breaking to even think about. “Oh course I don’t want to leave Crissy. But we have to go back, we don’t belong here. You know that right?”
“Why? Why is it so important that we need to go back?”
Hermione looked at him as if he had gone mental.
Draco stared out the window and ran a frustrated hand through his hair and over his face. “You don’t understand. Back at Hogwarts my life was miserable. My father lost his job and his respect among the Ministry, not to mention he’s been stunned by the entire Wizarding community. And now he drinks himself into oblivion. And well you know that eventually he’ll snap and go completely mad. My mother’s in the middle of divorcing him.” He took a deep breath as Hermione sat there watching him silently waiting for him to continue. “Everyone at school is either terrified of me or disgusted that I even attempted to step back on school grounds given the fact that I’m now a former deatheater…”
“But you weren’t one by choice. You had no control over that. You just did whatever you had to do in order not to get killed. Most of the people at school know that now and if they don’t then they’ve been misinformed. And just that fact that you came back to school in the first place show that you have lots of courage.”
“I was still a deatheater nonetheless. It’s something that will haunt me for the rest of my life, knowing the things that I’ve seen and the things that I’ve done. And the only reason I came back was because I couldn’t spend another second in the manor, not with my father there. That’s not courage.” Draco said angrily clenching his fists together tightly.
“You can’t change the past. But you can still move forward and make it better.” She told him quietly.
“My life was falling apart. I’ve have to take double the class load because I failed six term. And McGonagall said if I don’t pass my classes this term them I won’t be able to graduate on time. And as is I’m barely passing. The only people who will even talk to me are Blaise and Pansy…”
“And me.” Hermione added quietly, she saw his lips twitch a bit at that.
“I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m happy here. It’s probably the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life. I have a family, Crissy, a home, friends; even if they are Potter and Weasley, an amazing dream career…and you.” He added so quietly that she almost missed it.
Her heart rate picked up as she stared at his profile. “I…make you happy?” she asked breathlessly.
Draco turned to look at her and shrugged smiling slightly. “You may be a contributing factor in all of this.” He told her lightheartedly, and then turned serious again. “Just think about. I’ll still help you make the potion and if Candlewick is right then we still have four months before we can even do anything anyway. So just think about it okay?” he asked her earnestly.
Taking a deep breath, she nodded. “Okay.” She replied softly.
“Okay.” He repeated quietly searching her face with his eyes. “I’m going to go get Crissy up.” He told her.
She nodded and watched him get up and walk out the door, then looked back down at the letter lying on the bed beside her. This whole time she thought he was the one who couldn’t wait to get back. And now he doesn’t want to leave at all. Of course she doesn’t want to leave, but she can’t imagine living the rest of their lives like this; missing six years of their lives and just getting by on photo albums and scrapbooks to fill in the gaps?
But she could understand why he wouldn’t want to go back…but they had to, because they might look like 23 year olds, but mentally they were still 18. Ugh, everything is becoming more and more difficult with each passing day. Draco’s right they…meaning she just needs to think about it, and they had a while. She got up and walked to the bathroom to get ready for the day.
She thought a shower would relax her a bit, but it barely made a dent. Why couldn’t she for once have a worry free day? Everything was going so smoothly, that is, if you didn’t count Draco falling off his broom and Crissy getting sick, everything had been going fairly well. And when they finally get at least one possible solution to getting back, Draco has to go and drop the bomb of him not wanting to go back.
She let out a breath, maybe it was food that she needed to calm down with? She quickly changed into a loose t-shirt and a pair of jeans that has an elastic waist, which we’re a bit big on her. She blew out a frustrated breath. She couldn’t win, either her pants were so tight she couldn’t breathe or they were too big that she feared they would fall off. After she got dressed she walked into the kitchen.
She expected to walk into the kitchen and see Draco feeding Crissy or something of that sort…alone. What she didn’t expect to find was a third person sitting in her kitchen especially one leggy blonde bimbo by the name of Gwen. Biting back a grown of frustration she straightened her shoulders and walked in as if Gwen being there in her kitchen didn’t bother her, even if Draco was sitting next to her at the table shirtless in a pair of jeans that hung loose on his hips.
Damn the man for being completely oblivious to his perfect bare-chested…manly-ness. Especially when being in the same room with a woman who clearly had some sort of ulterior motives other than being his manager. He said something that made her laugh her annoying wicked witch laugh and turned when he heard her approaching footsteps behind him.
“Ah, there you are. Look who showed up this morning.” He told her gesturing over to Gwen.
Hermione gritted her teeth and smiled at her through tight lips as Gwen wiggled her fingers at her. “And what brings you here today at…” she looked over at the clock on the wall “…6:30 in the morning?”
“Oh I’m just trying to convince Draco here to come with me on another tour of the Chudley pitch and the apartments we’ll be living in.”
Hermione almost chocked on the pumpkin juice she took a sip of. “You’ll be living there as well?” she asked her.
“Well of course. I am his manager after all.”
“Well of course why didn’t I think of that.” She muttered sarcastically.
“Play nice.” Draco whispered out of the corner of his mouth so that only she could hear. “As I was telling Gwen, today might not be a good idea, what with Crissy being sick and I’m still not feeling 100% with my ribs, it’s probably best if I stay here and rest.” Draco told Gwen.
“Tomorrow then? I got a hold of two access passes that will take us on a special tour of the stadium and you can meet and hangout with all the blokes on the teams.”
“We’re busy tomorrow.” Hermione blurted out.
Draco turned to her smirking and arching his eyebrow at her.
“But I have access passes. How could you have possibly already made plans when you only got hurt yesterday?”
“He has a life, and you don’t get to control every waking moment of it.” Hermione sneered at Gwen.
“Well maybe if Hermione could come with us, we could switch our…plans around for another time.”
“But I only have two passes; do you know how hard they are to come by? You don’t realize the strings I had to pull to get theses. And besides I couldn’t get them for just anyone.”
Hermione bit back the slew of curses she wanted to throw at Gwen.
“If I’m going to consider playing for the cannons then Hermione needs to see the pitch and all the faculties so I can get her opinion before I make my final decision. And if you can’t get an extra pass for her then you can forget about the special tour.”
Hermione was delighted to see Gwen’s pinched flush face as she took in Draco’s words.
“I’ll see what I can do.” Gwen told him through clenched teeth, as she started to get up. “I’ll check back in tomorrow to see how your feeling.” She told them then apparated out of the kitchen.
“I really hate that woman.” Hermione muttered as she got up and walked over to the refrigerator and grabbed her ever present jar of pickles. She could feel Draco watching her. “What?”
“You’re a jealous little thing aren’t you?” He told her smirking.
Hermione rolled her eyes at him. “I’m not jealous. I’m just…concerned about her. She looks at you like all she wants to do is rip your clothes off and have her wicked way with you. Instead of focusing on your career like she’s supposed to be doing. Speaking of which, would it have killed you to put a shirt on?”
Draco chuckled. “You can tell all of that by the way she looks at me? Rip my clothes off huh?” He teased her.
“Well it’s obvious she has ulterior motives when it comes to you.”
“Hmm obvious huh?” he teased her again.
“Yeah well maybe you’re just blind or something. And when the hell were you going to tell me about her living with you if you take the Chudley’s position?”
“She’s not going to be living with me; she lives in the apartment that will be directly across from mine. If I chose to play for the Cannons, which I’m still not convinced it’s the right move to make.”
“How is it that she’s allowed to live there with you during the week or whatever, but your family isn’t?”
“Because she’s my manager, although most quidditch managers aren’t generally female. But anyway it’s not that uncommon I suppose.” He told her. “So what are we going to do tomorrow?” He asked trying to change the subject.
“Hmm?” Hermione turned to him munching on a pickle.
“You told Gwen that we have plans tomorrow, so what are we going to do?”
“Oh um…uh yeah we…um I…uh I lied about that we don’t have any plans tomorrow.”
Draco laughed out loud. “Yeah I figured I just wanted to see you sweat.”
Hermione threw a pickle at him.
“Hey watch it.” He chuckled dodging her throw.
Hermione walked over to Crissy who was munching on some cereal in her highchair. “How is she doing this morning?” Hermione asked Draco.
“Better I think. She still has a slight fever and stuffy nose, but she doesn’t seem to be any worse than she was last night.”
Hermione put a hand to Crissy’s forehead; hmm she was still a little warm. “Have you given her the pepperup potion yet?”
“No not yet, I got sidetracked when Gwen showed up.”
Hermione went over and grabbed the vial of potion off the counter; then took a teaspoon and turned back to Crissy and held it to her lips. Crissy squirmed away from the medicine. “Come on sweetheart open up.” Hermione tried again, but Crissy turned her head. “Just one sip and it will be over before you know it. So open up for mommy.”
Crissy squirmed some more. “Nooo.” She cried.
Hermione slumped down in her chair. She didn’t want to force Crissy to take the potion, but she didn’t know how else to give it to her and make her feel better. Crissy continued to cry so Hermione set the spoon down and picked Crissy up out of her highchair and held her in her arms. Until she settled down. A few minutes later Draco handed Crissy her bottle of juice. Crissy accepted it and began to drink. Seconds later steam started trickling out of her ears and her face flushed to a light pink. Hermione looked at Draco in question.
“I mixed in the potion with her apple juice.” Draco whispered in her ear, and then shrugged. “That’s what Ziggy always used to do with me when I was a boy and didn’t want to take my medicine.”
“That’s very clever I would have never thought of that.” Hermione told him.
“And as for this little one…” Draco reached out and tickled Crissy’s belly. “I don’t know if we should be proud that she learned a new word or disappointed that she know how to say ‘no’ now.”
Hermione chuckled. “I suppose it’s a blessing in disguise. And hopefully she won’t use it against us.”
“Time will tell I guess.”
“Speaking of medicine. Isn’t it time to rub on that smelly medicine of yours?”
“Yeah just let me take a shower first.”
Hermione watched as Draco left the room, then went back to the kitchen table and finished eating breakfast.
“What a crazy morning.” Draco thought as he walked towards the bedroom.
First Candlewick’s letter and then him spilling his guts out to Hermione about his concerns about going back to their present time. Shit, he’s never talked to anyone about any of that stuff before, not even Blaise, not even his mother. The only person who knew about his failing grades was McGonagall…and well every professor that failed him sixth year. And no one really knew all the struggles that had been going on with his family, but his family. And he’s never been one to talk about emotions, and insincerities before, especially his. And now Hermione know…everything, all of it.
But instead of laughing at him or feel sorry for him, she just listened and offered to help him even. That was one of the really great things that he was learning about her; was that she was companionate about people she cared about and that she was including him as one of those people and also that she never judged anyone, Gwen being the exception of course.
He did not want to stick around and see what happens if those two women ever got stuck in a room together alone. He thought it was quite amusing how Hermione was so jealous…or concerned as she put it; about Gwen. She really had nothing to worry about. Sure Gwen might have ulterior motives when it came to him, but it was nothing he couldn’t handle nor was he interested in whatever Gwen had to offer him. And he hoped Hermione knew that.
Now he just had to find a way to convince Hermione to stay here with him instead of using that potion to get them back. He didn’t know how he was going to do that, but he’d find a way. He thought as he stepped under the hot spray of the shower.
AN: Okay everyone I just want to apologize for taking so long to update. Not only was I super busy what with work and school taking up all my free time and not to mention all the holidays inbetween as well. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I will not abandon this story so don't worry. I know how I want to the story to progress and end...not that it's going to end anytime soon. But unfortunately during this chapter I had a bit of writer's block, which is why this chapter is shorter then most and not every exciting. But trust upcoming chapters will be much better. So just stayed tuned. I'll try my hardest to get the next chapter up soon...hopefully sooner then it took me to get this one up. So thank you for all your patience and hopefully you'll like my short, not-so-great boring chapter. Anyway hope you had a great holiday and happy new year and as always keep reading and reviewing.