Just put on that smile, I told myself. The smile that lets everyone know that everything is fine and will be fine. Only, I knew the only person that needed convincing was myself.
The restaurant Luna chose was very classy and elegant, with the waiters in suits and with instruments playing themselves in the corner, allowing easy and pretty music to float through the room. There was a bar as well with a collection of bottles behind the bartender making up every color of the rainbow.
Ginny and I found where Harry and Luna were sitting and we all said our hellos and you-look-wonderfuls. The waiter poured me a glass of water and asked if I wanted anything from the bar and I declined. Ginny and Harry both got wine, but Luna politely said no and the waiter went to fetch the drinks.
That’s when conversation started.
“So, why aren’t you having a drink, ‘Mione?” Harry asked with a smile. “Do you have work in the morning?”
“No, I don’t start for another week,” I said. “I’m just not feeling well.” It wasn’t an utter lie. It was partially true. I felt like shit. It was truly the worst day of my life and it didn’t even have the mercy to be over yet. Not that the people I was with weren’t fantastic company, they were, but all I really felt like doing was going home and sob and wail until my brain pitied me enough to go to sleep.
Still, I kept smiling because that’s what I did. I smiled and acted like everything was okay. Lately that’s all I’d done. Ever since things really started going down with Ronald, I continued to smile for Harry and for the press. I wonder how long before my semi-credible acting ability wore out and exposed me for what I really was: A sad, lonely, impatient ex-warrior who hadn’t even found the energy to pick up a good book in ages.
“Well, I thought tonight would be a good night to announce our own good news,” Harry said with a broad smile, yanking me out of my internal pity session.
Luna, placing a hand on Harry’s, said very softly, “We’re pregnant…well, I’m the one who’s technically pregnant, but as the muggle saying goes…we are.”
“Brilliant!” I agreed, nodding my head, trying not to break down in tears at the happy words.
Luna wasn’t the only pregnant one at the table.
Why couldn’t I be like that? Glowing like a goddess, so enthused to bring a life into the world? Me…I was terrified. But that mostly had to do with the fact that I was alone and this wasn’t planned and I was just starting a new job. But did I want this baby? My God, did I. So much. Already, I felt attached to the living thing growing inside me. Times would be tough, though, but I lived through a war and was willing to fight through it.
I was just less than satisfied with the date that the mediwitch had proclaimed to be my conception date.
“I’m due in the spring,” Luna said, smiling at all of us and then look at Harry with that affectionate, dreamy expression. “Won’t that be lovely, darling? A baby in the spring? When all the flowers are blooming and the Wrackspurt are sleeping…”
“Of course, love,” Harry said with a half-loving half-amused grin, stroking the length of her blonde hair.
Well, I thought to myself, at least the Wrackspurt will be hibernating when I have my baby. Not that I, or anyone else in this world apart from Luna, know exactly what a Wrackspurt is or what it looks like.
“So, ‘Mione,” Harry said, turning back to me. “Did you ever find out what Ron was doing that made him leave work early?”
In the corner of my eye, I saw Ginny cringe. “Um, that’s actually, uh…”
“I think you touched a delicate subject, love,” Luna said lightly.
“Oh…Hermione, I’m sorry if I –”
“Don’t worry about it, Harry,” I said calmly, placing my cloth napkin in my lap. “This afternoon I caught Ron cheating on me. That is all there is to it.”
This may sound mental, but I could not have cared any less about Ronal Weasley at that moment. I was still infuriated, yes, but the shock and hurt of it all was ebbing away. My new life was beginning. My career was kicking off and I was pregnant. The least I had to worry about was how Ron betrayed me.
Harry’s jaw very literally dropped and Luna’s eyes got even wider if that were possible.
“Oh dear…” Luna said mildly.
“Merlin, Hermione, really?” he exclaimed. “That git! I’ll kill him!”
“That’s what I said!” Ginny added.
I forced a chuckle and said, “While I am quite touched and flattered that today two people apart from myself have offered to Avada Kedavra him into the next life, I am perfectly fine.”
Ginny hesitated and asked, “Are you sure?”
I nodded. “I am absolutely perfect. Now if you’ll excuse me, I much make a trip to the loo.” I stood up, gave everyone my best convincing smile, and walked towards the bathroom and made a last minute turn for the bar.
No, I didn’t plan on drinking; I just needed some pumpkin juice and a little time alone to gather my thoughts.
I was half done with my pumpkin juice was I heard a very distinct voice behind me.
“Well if it isn’t Hermione Granger.”
Dropping my forehead to the bar, I wondered if my day could get any worse.
“Good evening, Malfoy,” I grumbled, turning around reluctantly in my seat.
Draco Malfoy looked like the rich, handsome pureblood he was always meant to be. Designer suit, jeweled cufflinks, green pocket square, shiny shoes, no tie, and with his blonde hair pushed back without gel, but most likely from him just running his hand back through it so much. Mischief danced in his beautiful grey eyes.
“What are you doing, sitting at a bar alone?” he asked, hooking his thumbs into his trouser pockets.
“My friends are at a table in the restaurant,” I said simply.
“If I had the friends you did, I’d need a drink or five to stand being around them too,” he said simply.
I huffed. “I’m not getting drunk. I refuse to consume alcohol anymore. It seems I make miserable mistakes when I drink,” I said as pointedly as possible.
A very small, very devious smile formed at the corner of Draco’s mouth – but it never touched his eyes. His eyes were nothing more but stormy glass mirrors. “Believe it or not, Granger,” he said as he took three measured steps closer to me, “I am very intuitive. And I can’t help but feel that you’re lying. You don’t think for a moment that our…night together…was a mistake. It’s useless to deny that you enjoyed yourself. Because you did.”
Draco was staring right down at me and I fought the warmth spreading from my stomach outward from his proximity.
“I don’t think your date would appreciate your standing here flirting with me while she’s waiting at your table.” I forced myself to sneer. I tried mimicking his signature scowl, the wrinkled nose and pursed mouth, but honestly I just felt ridiculous doing it. “Go back to her. Who is it for this day of the week, Malfoy? Pansy? Astoria?”
Draco’s smirk grew. “If I didn’t know better, Granger, I’d think you were jealous.”
“Oh, most definitely,” I said, my voice dripping with sarcasm. “I am just dying to be your Tuesday girl, because I understand that for such a fit bloke like you, one girl just isn’t good enough.” I let out a mockingly dreamy sigh. “If only there were enough days in the week for me to fit in.”
“Very entertaining, Granger,” Malfoy said approvingly after my spiel. “But I’ll have you know the only woman who can possibly fit into my busy schedule is my mother who happens to be who I’m having dinner with tonight.”
“Tell Narcissa that the mudblood says hello,” I said with fake brightness. “I’d love to sit around and chat, but my friends are probably waiting for me.”
“No matter how much you object,” Draco Malfoy said with his devilishly devil-like grin, “we are far more than friends.”
After dinner, I returned home feeling too sleepy to dig through my handbag for my wand when the spare key was right on top of the door. I went on my tip-toes for it and tried to jam it into the lock, but it wouldn’t fit or turn. I tried again and again. Only then did I realize all the boxes a little ways down hall.
I walked over to all the boxes and found a note on top.
It suddenly occurred to me that while you seem to believe you have the rights to our home, the loft is mine. In our last year of being together, I paid most of the rent because you were doing extra training while working – more like volunteering – at Hogwarts. So, the loft is mine. These are all your things. I’m sure Harry will be more than happy to offer up a spare bed at 12 Grimmauld Place.
Don’t bother trying to Alohamora-ing your way in here. Those bloody wards you put on the place are still intact. And I changed the locks.
I let out a scream and started kicking my loft’s door. “Ronald! Open up this instant!” And so I kicked and shouted some more before one of the neighbors yelled at me to shut up.
Eventually I just fell to my knees beside the boxes and covered my face with my hands. This was just getting worse and worse. It took a few minutes, but I ended up transporting both my things and myself to The Burrow. Ginny and George both helped me bring in all my boxes and Molly pulled me into a hug so tight I very nearly asphyxiated.
I was brought into this home as Ron’s best friend. I returned as his ex-girlfriend.
Somehow, that realization made it feel a lot less like home.
A/N: So...Ron is being a bitch...GREAT. And Hermione's going to be a mommy! Things just suck for Mione right now, but I promise things will start looking up for her! If there's one thing I love, It's a happy ending (:
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