I stutter, trying to form the words I desperately want--need to say. "How could you...how could you say that?"
I can feel Draco's eyes boaring into me, I want to squirm under his gaze. Of course he could hear every word of our conversation, there was no way he couldn't have. James squealed, splashing around in the water. Ron was glaring at me, but Harry's eyes remained on James. Ginny had set her shoulders back, and her gaze didn't falter; Mrs.Weasley had taught her well.
"We just want what's best for you," she says.
I begin to back up, and stand beside Draco. I take Sapphire from him, then grab his free hand.
" No, you don't. Otherwise you woudn't have said that," I say quietly. I couldn't help but feel like my eleven year old self again, desperate to go cry in the bathroom, to escape the mean words threw my way.
Ron hops up, his fists balled at his side. "Are you really going to chose that foul git, over us? Your best friends?"
"I...all of you are my best friends. But, you're telling me to not be with my husband. I'm afraid that I would have my loyalties in the wrong place if I didn't stand by my husband," I retort, the venom spilling out in my tone.
"Loyalties? Loyalties?! We've been you're best friends for most of your life Hermione! Even when he was your enemy!"
"Yes, Ronald. I'm chosing my husband. You don't seem to understand that he's cha--" I snap, but Ginny cuts me off.
"He's changed, sure! We've all heard it Hermione!"
I wait, I can hardly process exactly what's happening here. Harry continues to avert his gaze from mine, and Ron looks so absolutely furious that he might explode. Ginny steps a bit closer, and I can tell she has another lash out coming.
"We're going," I say suddenly. " I can't be here when we're all not welcome. It's all of us, or none of us."
I pull Draco away from them, not once turning back.
I feel Draco’s hand crack a bit in mine, and I loosen my grip.
“I’m sorry,” he whispers.
How could they say that to me? I can’t get past it. How they would so blatantly hurt me, so easily…How could they do it? I could practically feel the awkward vibes radiating from my husband.
I lead him into the house, and begin packing quickly.
“What are you doing?” he asks, setting Adeline down in her playpen as I did with Sapphire. I catch his steel grey eyes for a moment, and continue grabbing clothes and shoving them hastily into the suitcase.
He continues when I don’t respond, “You’re being rash, darling.”
“I refuse to be here with them when they want me to divorce you. I may snap.”
He stands in the corner, watching me with his head tilted slightly to the side. I finish packing, and I hear the door slam downstairs. I scowl, handing the suitcases to Draco. He picks them both up easily, and I grab the twins. We walking downstairs, and I feel something wrap around my legs.
“Aunt ‘Mione you can’t go!” James says. I can’t move anymore; he’s wrapped around me like a Python.
“Baby, I have to go,” I say, still trying to walk. Draco puts the suitcases down, takes the twins, and I pick James up.
“Honey, I have to go. But you tell—“ I start, and Harry comes into the house. He moves to take James from me as I squeeze James goodbye.
Harry looks remorseful, and James cries a bit as he pulls him away from me.
“I’m sorry Hermione,” Harry mutters, standing rigidly in front of me. I move in closer to hug him a little, and then take the twins from Draco. Draco picks up the suitcases once more, and he leaves to put the suitcases in ‘Big Ugly’.
I move to follow him, but pause just as I open the door. “James
can stay with us anytime he’d like. Just owl me, and I’ll floo over to get him.”
“Whatever you say,” Harry replies, and I push out. Draco’s already got the suitcases in the car, and helps me put Adeline in the car seat, and then Sapphire.
He sits in the passenger seat, and I climb into the drivers.
The drive home is nearly silent, except for the cooing and blabbering of the two babies in the backseat.
“Thank Merlin we have two of the best babies in the world,” Draco says as we pull into the driveway—well…a makeshift driveway.
Draco acts normal again when he’s safely out of the SUV, his hands no longer shake. We each grab a baby, and leave the suitcases for now.
Adeline lays her head in the crook of my neck and shoulder, and I know she’s trying to sleep. As we pass by the grandfather clock, I notice that it’s just about their nap time. I turn to Draco, motioning to the stairs. We take them both upstairs, and lay them down gently. I go downstairs, and make two bottles. I drag my feet all the way upstairs, not really want to be around anyone or anything but a thick book and a cup of tea.
I give each baby a bottle, and patiently wait. I avert my gaze, even though I can feel Draco’s steadily upon me. I take away the empty bottles when they’re done, and go back downstairs.
Draco’s following behind me, and I’m oddly reminded of a new puppy.
I step on a toy on my delicate way to the couch, and I want to kick the toy, but I simply collapse onto the couch. He sits beside me, and I lean into him. His arm instantly pulls me closer, and I close my eyes.
The emotions that have been building up all day were suddenly pouring out. I don’t want to cry, but I can’t help the tears springing to my eyes.
Why had they done that to me? Why would they want me to leave the man I loved? My children?
“Hush, love, it’s okay,” he soothes, running his hand over my hair repeatedly. My hands are clutching his shirt, as the sobs start to build up in my chest.
He lets me cry it out, I believe we sat on the couch for a good two hours. When one baby cries, we wait for a few minutes, until the other one wakes. He goes to get them, insisting I go to the library and spend some time to myself. I dry my eyes, and pad off to the library.
I roam the shelves, dragging my fingers over the spines of the book collection in the colossal Malfoy Library.
I venture deeper into the shelves, getting lost in the smell of old parchment and leather. It’s so serene, the silence never breaking. I turn lamps on as I go, and the deeper into the shelves I get, the more cobwebs I dust off.
The anger and tears are slowly seeping farther and farther away; reality losing me as I make my way through the maze of books.
I stop when I come across a shelf that’s got a different mood to it. I pull one of the books out cautiously, to discover that it’s actually a scrapbook. I open it, and a piece of parchment drifts slowly to the floor. I put the scrapbook down, and bend over to pick the paper up, to discover it’s actually thicker, stronger paper. I flip it over to see it’s a picture.
I gasp, and I nearly drop the picture again.
“Draco?” I call out.
Author’s Notes: So…what did you think? Let me know by leaving me a review! I hope you enjoyed the filler chapter, the next one is going to be good, I promise!;D