A/N: A new chapter, yay! It's quite long, so I hope everyone enjoys it! Thanks again for all the wonderful feedback, I really do appreciate it. Please, let me know what you think; any suggestions for the story would also be lovely. Enjoy! :)
A bit past twelve thirty in the morning, it felt like a formal gathering inside Hermione’s flat. Fidgeting besides Draco was Blaise, who kept glancing up at Luna and then Hermione every couple of minutes. The four of them sat, trying to keep the conversation going after the initial pleasantries. Hermione, being the gracious hostess, kept offering Blaise everything in the fridge, from kiwis to some leftover chicken salad sandwiches, every time an uncomfortable silence hung. Sure, it was somewhat pleasant for about the first fifteen minutes; Hermione asked Blaise what he was doing back in London, and how his time spent away after the war was. Wanting to leave the somewhat complicated details out, Blaise gave the easiest answer- he was with his mother in Italy, and when husband number eight died, not that it surprised anybody, he had some ‘things’ to take care of, which obviously, took a lot longer than he expected.
Draco listened to his friend recount the last two years, but he knew that there was more to the story than what he was telling. He didn’t want to bring anything uncomfortable though, so he just sat there, nodding along, as Hermione and Luna listened intently. After everyone was done questioning, Blaise remarked.
“I really am thankful for your hospitality Hermione.” Shifting in his seat, he let out a nervous chuckle. “I know that I wasn’t really, um, nice, to you and just everyone in general,” he glanced at Luna and continued, a little relieved to see her smile, “But I promise you guys that I’ve learned a lot over the past few years. And, I, uh, I’m sorry? I promise I won’t be a huge burden because I’ll be gone for most of the days anyways, so thanks for being so welcoming.”
Rubbing her thumbs against the sides of the cool glass cup, Hermione looked Blaise in the eyes and smiled warmly. “Honestly Blaise, don’t worry too much about the past. It’s not like you rubbed it in my face that I was a muggle-born.” She playfully frowned at Draco. “Unlike some people.”
“Thanks, and just in case you never hear it from this prat,” he patted Draco’s back with a bit of force, “You really are something Hermione. Same goes for you Luna.”
Shrugging Blaise’s hand off of him, Draco muttered. “I might not say it, but I do bloody show it.”
The silence settled in again, until Luna, who was oddly quiet around Blaise, stood up. “I think everyone should go to sleep now. It’s almost one in the morning, and with Harry and Ginny coming in the evening, everyone should rest up.” She patted Blaise on the shoulder, and headed to her room.
Choking on his lemonade, Blaise managed to sputter . “Bloody. Potter. Coming back?! Fuck. Merlin. Fucking bad. Timing. For me.”
Looking a little amused by his reaction, Hermione handed him some napkins. “Yes, you did pick a hell of a time to visit.”
Draco rose from his seat, pulling Blaise up with him and motioning for him to leave. “We just found out not so long ago. I suggest you either hide or go out tomorrow evening.” He looked over at Hermione. “Don’t bother cleaning the table, I’ll do it. Get some rest Granger, and I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
Stretching her arms over her head, she walked over to the door. After bidding Blaise goodnight, she closed the door and faced Draco who was rinsing the cups in the sink. “Why is everyone deciding to come back at once?”
Draco scoffed. “Yeah, I’ll be damned if Weasley waltzes over here too.”
“For his sake, he better not. I’ll completely lose it.”
“Wouldn’t blame you. I bet he’s wanking in his room at night because he can’t get a proper shag. Unless he’s shacking up with that Brown girl. Annoying bint if you ask me.”
“Now that’s a disturbing image, but, annoying bint? Really Malfoy? I think you’ve gone soft.”
“Well, I don’t want you admonishing me for my language this late at night.”
“Speaking of language, Blaise has quite the vocabulary doesn’t he?”
Draco placed the last cup on the drying rack and wiped his hands against his pants. “That’s Blaise for you. And Granger, sorry about the extra human being you have to worry about. I swear I didn’t know he was even in England.”
Stifling a yawn, Hermione padded towards her bedroom. “Compared to you, he’s nothing.” Before Draco could retort, she suggested. “You should get back. I’m positive Blaise is waiting for you, to tell you why he’s really here.”
When Hermione turned around to give say goodnight, Draco felt his heart clench, just a little. Rarely did he see her actually stressed and worried over anything. He decided that he didn’t like it at all. “Thanks for not freaking out when you saw Blaise. He’s right. You really are something.”
“Thanks for that. Oh, and Malfoy?”
“Thanks for tonight. It was really nice, one of the nicest evenings I’ve ever had.” With that, she slipped into her room with a click of her door.
Upon entering his flat, Draco was greeted by Blaise sitting at the table with two glasses of firewhiskey.
Blaise finished the remainder of his glass, and motioned for Draco to join him. “You’ve grown up mate.”
Draco sat down across from Blaise and shrugged. “Maybe.” He took a sip and leaned back in the chair. Crossing his arms, he asked, “Why are you here, Blaise?”
Blaise smirked. “Can a guy not come by and visit his best friend?”
He shook his head. “Don’t do that. Why are you really here? You don’t just show up in the middle of the night and-”
“Alright, alright.” All traces of jokingness gone, Blaise pulled out two envelopes from his breast pocket.
Noticing his family emblem on it, he took them from Blaise. “Why the bloody hell is one addressed to Granger? And why am I getting a letter from my mother from you?” Draco tossed them onto the table. “What’s going on Blaise?”
Sensing Draco’s anger, Blaise poured himself another firewhiskey and filled Draco’s glass to the brim. “Drink up. You’re going to need it.”
Draco was livid. “So you’re telling me that my mother, owled you yesterday to tell you, who’s clearly not her son, that my father is gravely ill?!” He viciously laughed. “And now I find out at bloody two in the morning that the Malfoys have been doing business with the muggles for all these years? And now since dear father is dying, he thinks he can just hand me the company, and I’ll just accept it? AND YOU! I have to hear this all from YOU and a BLOODY letter!”
Not knowing what to do, Blaise pointed at Hermione’s envelope. “Well, that’s just an invitation to your mother’s Christmas party, it’s completely harmless.”
That was the last straw. Draco bolted from his chair and roared. “AND MY MOTHER IS STILL THROWING THAT BLASTED PARTY? WHEN HER HUSBAND IS DYING?”
Quickly casting another silencing charm around the flat, Blaise, still sitting, just filled their glasses again. “I told you you’d need this mate. Now sit down. I’m not quite finished.”
Grumbling, Draco took another swig of the firewhiskey. “You sound like my mother.”
Taking a deep breath, Blaise now looked nervous. “There’s a reason that it’s me telling you all this Draco, why Narcissa asked me to do it.” He looked Draco dead in the eye. “I’m part of the company.”
Draco threw his hands in the air. “Wh-What the FUCK are you going on about?”
“Listen. No, just LISTEN to me. When I was in Italy, it’s true, I was with my mother. But only because husband number eight’s death had a little catch. He was working with your father, as a muggle liaison. I tried to get out of it, but hell, I wasn’t doing anything productive with my life, so eventually I agreed.”
“Agreed to what?”
“Agreed to run it with you, mate.”
Draco slammed his fists down against the table, making Blaise jump, and said in a dangerously low voice. “I never agreed to anything. You hear me Zabini? I finally have a life that I’m satisfied with. Nothing. Nothing is going to change it.”
Rubbing his face with his hands, Blaise let out a heavy sigh. “Look, I know that this is fucked up, and it seems—no, it is ridiculous. Stop glaring at me Draco! Merlin. I felt like this too okay? How do you think I fucking felt when I found out?!”
“At least you don’t have a father who’s dying,” Draco spat.
“I’m sorry; I really am. But I know you’re strong, so stay that way, for your mother’s sake at least,” Blaise said quietly.
“Thanks. Honestly though, the timing of all this is seriously fucked up,” said Draco as he dropped his forehead onto the table with a loud, thud.
“You still do that? One day, you’re going to get a huge, red bump on your freakishly white forehead and bitch about it until it’s gone.”
Head still on the table, Draco mumbled, “Yeah, yeah, whatever. Granger says the same thing.”
Blaise raised his eyebrows. “Speaking of Granger… she’s hot stuff. You sure you’re not shagging her?”
Draco whipped his head up and growled, “Shut it. Of course I’m not! Don’t talk about her like that.”
“Getting a bit defensive? This is new, very new,” teased Blaise.
With a huff, Draco got up. “I don’t need any more shit from you tonight. You can use the spare bedroom. Use that wand of yours to good use and conjure anything you need. If you bloody wake me up for something-”
“Geez, I know!” exclaimed Blaise as he put his hands up. “Glad to see that you’re still a prat.”
“You bet your arse I am.”
“I bet you aren’t like this around Hermione,” said Blaise with a smirk.
Giving him the middle finger, Draco said before going into his room, “Shut your mouth and go to bed.”
Blaise finally got up and looked around Draco’s spacious flat. To no one in particular he said, “It’s good to be back—real good.”
Hermione groaned and flipped over on her bed.
Throwing her pillow over her head, she let out a groan. “Bloody… is that Luna’s alarm clock?” She stayed still for a couple of moments, and when she didn’t hear any more noises, she slowly lifted the pillow off and rolled to her side.
“Ugh what the BLOODY HELL is that THING!” Hermione shot off the bed to find the noise, but let out a scream when she ran into something--someone.
“Good afternoon Hermione! I thought I’d wake you up with my special tea this morning.” As if nothing was out of the ordinary, there was Luna, holding two mugs, unfazed by Hermione’s scream.
“Luna! You scared me! Were you… there the whole time?”
“Of course, I don’t know anybody else who can produce the exact same sound as my alarm clock,” said Luna with a smile.
Confused, Hermione asked. “Wait, so that was you? Making those cuckoo noises?”
“No you don’t say it like that Hermione. Make your lips round, like this. And then, cuckoo, cuckoo.” Seeing that Hermione wasn’t following her direction, Luna frowned. “It’s okay, not everyone can do that.”
“Oh. Well, anyways, you could’ve just… I don’t know, spoken?”
“Why would I do that? That’s boring.” Luna handed Hermione the purple mug. “Here, this should wake you up.”
Defeated, Hermione lifted the mug to her lips. “Luna? There’s nothing inside the mug.”
Luna rolled her eyes. “It’s my special nargle tea.” Taking a big sip of hers, Luna inquired, “Smells like peppermint—no?”
Smiling faintly, Hermione nodded and followed Luna to the living room. A shower would wake her up from this strange wake-up call. However, she was greeted by a rather cheerful Blaise and a somber Draco sitting at her table, both nursing a cup of Luna’s tea.
Blaise’s expression slightly brightened when he saw Hermione. “Ah, there’s Hermione. Luna got you too?”
“Sorry, you guys probably heard me scream.”
“No worries, I bloody had a mini heart attack when I saw her looming over my bed. But damn, you look good for someone who just rolled out of bed,” said Blaise while he looked her up and down.
Draco grumbled, “Stop doing that Zabini.”
Upon hearing Draco’s voice, Hermione remarked while heading to the bathroom. “Someone drank last night; the potion is in my bottom left drawer.”
Blaise sniggered. “I didn’t know that you needed a bloody potion. Poor Drakey has a wittle headache?”
Draco glared at him and bit out, “Fuck off.”
“No need to get sensitive! I was just teasing!”
“Well, I don’t care. But I mean it, you better be gone tonight. As much as I would like to witness Potter having a bloody heart attack seeing two Slytherins, for Granger’s sake, I don’t want him dead. Seriously, go out and shag or something. Just don’t bring back anyone to the flat.”
“Alright, alright! I’ll just leave now then.” Realizing that Luna was there, observing them, Blaise said, “The best tea I have ever tasted Luna. Who would’ve thought of making tea from the very air around nargles by putting it in a jar and boiling it? Brilliant.” He strolled out of the flat, feeling quite content after receiving the nod of approval from Luna.
With a grin, Luna asked, “You don’t mind if I use your shower, do you Draco?”
Draco shrugged in response and watched as Luna skipped away. With a heavy grunt, he went over to get the potion. Digging through Hermione’s drawers, he finally grasped the cool vial and uncorked it with a pop. Upon feeling the cool liquid trickling down his throat, slightly tasting like strawberries—as he requested from Hermione earlier, he felt the grogginess disappear and plopped down on her bed. Draco really didn’t want to deal with Pothead and whatever news he would bring along. Overwhelmed by all the news from the last two days, he draped his right arm over his eyes and relaxed into Granger’s comforter—finally drifting into a stress-free sleep.
He rolled to his side and let out a content sigh as he nestled his head against the pillow, pulling the covers up to his neck. Realizing that he didn’t fall asleep inside the bed, let alone resting on a pillow, Draco snapped his eyes open.
Sitting on the edge of the bed was Hermione, carefully applying liquid eye liner with her mouth slightly open. She looked at Draco from the small mirror she charmed to hover in front of her. “Glad you’re finally awake, Malfoy. Rough night with Blaise?”
Draco sat up and rolled his neck. “I guess, how long was I asleep for?”
Hermione shrugged. “I would say at least two hours?”
“Damn, sorry Granger, I didn’t mean to actually fall asleep.” He looked around and asked, “Did I manage to crawl my way into your bed or something?”
Finished with her make-up, Hermione faced Draco. “Well, when I came in after my shower, you were pretty much knocked out on the bottom of the bed, so I just levitated you to a more comfortable position—better than me trying to levitate you across the hall. Oh, and I cleaned a bit so don’t get your fingerprints on the glass tables please.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know the drill Granger.” He ran his fingers through his now flattened bed hair and asked, “So… what’s the plan?”
“The plan for what?”
“Don’t be daft, the plan for tonight. You want me to like hide? Should I just go out with Blaise as well?”
Hermione pursed her lips together. “I did think about it last night. Although you being here will make things a little more volatile—no offense to you of course, I think that you should just stay.” Seeing Draco’s surprised expression, she explained. “Everybody knows that we’re rather close, so might as well make it clear that you’re not going anywhere when he comes.”
He smirked but only half-heartedly. “Yes, seeing Potter’s reaction will be priceless. It’s like that muggle saying, like ripping off a band-aid?”
“I’m surprised you remembered, but yes—just like that,” said Hermione with a smile. Noting that Draco was a bit off, she asked gently. “Is there anything you want to talk about?”
Draco knew that she was referring to whatever Blaise told him. However, he didn’t want to burden her with his problems, so he replied, “Nope, just a bit tired that’s all.”
“I’ve known you for a while now so don’t try to hide things from me. I am quite discerning, you know,” said Hermione as she reached for his hand. Placing hers gently on top of his, she asked again. “What’s wrong?”
Feeling her smooth hand cover his, Draco wanted to tell her everything. Hell, he wanted to tell her to fix the damn problem. But he wasn’t accustomed to having her comfort him; it was always the other way around. So, reluctantly, he slowly slid his hand out and said with a heavy sigh, “Nothing—nothing at all Granger. No, don’t scrunch up your nose and look at me like that.”
“If you say so, but if you ever need to talk, I’m here—okay?” Getting up from the bed, she leaned over and gave Draco a little peck on the cheek. Hermione said in a light tone, “I think I’m going to get started on dinner. You’re free to help if you want.”
“Y-Yeah, I will. Um, let me just go change,” said Draco as he hurriedly left the room. Draco was flustered. Hermione Granger never kissed him on the cheek. He didn’t know what bothered him more—the fact his breath hitched when she kissed him, or the fact that he could still feel where her smooth lips touched his skin. Absentmindedly grazing his fingers against his cheek, he mumbled, “Bloody hell.”
“Where were you Luna? I haven’t seen you since you said you were going to shower,” asked Draco while chewing a piece of steak.
Looking up from her plate, Hermione chimed in. “I’ve been here the whole day and I don’t think you came in again.”
Luna snuck a glance at Blaise and replied, “Something came up at the Quibbler so I had to pop by for a while.”
Sensing the odd atmosphere, Hermione innocently asked Blaise, “So, what have you been doing this whole day Blaise? I hope you weren’t too bored in Malfoy’s flat.”
Slightly choking on the water he was sipping, Blaise sputtered. “I went out too, something came up.”
Draco raised an eyebrow and drawled, “Right.”
Stuffing the remaining mashed potatoes into his mouth, Blaise got up. “Lovely dinner Hermione, but I should get going—before Potter gets here and all.”
“It’s only five-thirty Blaise,” said Hermione.
“Well, better to be safe than sorry—right?” Blaise patted Draco on the shoulder, “Good luck, mate,” and left.
Luna slowly picked up her plate, eyes darting between Hermione and Draco, and tiptoed to the sink. She froze when she heard Hermione’s voice.
“Where are you going so quickly, Luna?”
Slowly turning around, she smiled. “Just some errands, I won’t be too long.”
“Luna, you can’t leave. They’ll be here soon!”
“Oh—right. Almost forgot about that.” She plopped back down in her seat, looking a bit disappointed.
Eyeing Luna, Draco took the napkin from his lap and dabbed the sides of his lips. “You don’t seem like yourself today—you alright?”
She folded her hands on the table and nodded. “Perfectly normal, as always Draco.”
“Of course you are. Granger?” When Hermione didn’t respond, he waved his hand around her face. “Granger! Keep on cutting up your steak into itty-bitty pieces because it sure his helping your nerves.”
Hermione dropped the knife and fork and replied, “Well, I’m so sorry that I’m having difficulty remaining composed because my friends are coming back and I don’t know if I should be rejoiced or angry.”
Draco, unfazed by her outburst, grabbed her fork and jabbed all the meat on her plate. Leaning forward and holding it in front of her, he demanded. “Open up Granger, you have to eat.” When she opened her mouth to protest, he shoved it all in her mouth and grinned.
Not wanting to spit it out, Hermione narrowed her eyes and glared at him while trying to chew. Finally swallowing, she demanded. “Get me some water Malfoy—now.”
Still grinning, he got up and strutted towards the fridge.
Luna walked over to the door and said, “I think I hear Crookshanks outside. I’ll go fetch him.”
Draco placed the cup of water next to Hermione. “Here you go Granger—don’t make that face, it was out of good humor!” Realizing that Luna was still standing in front of the open door, staring—probably waiting for the cat to meow or whatever that was there to speak up, Draco asked, “Did that mangy cat bring you a pile of dead rats again? I’ll clean it up, so don’t start crying again over the lost souls of the bloody rodents.”
Not hearing a response, he went up to Luna and looked down to see Crookshanks. However, next to the cat, he saw two pairs of legs and slowly, he ventured up until he locked onto a pair of green eyes. Draco froze and his face set into stone. Apprehension filled him from his toes to each strand of his blonde hair, but no—he wouldn’t show it—not in front of Potter. Eyes still locked, Draco’s pulled his lips into a smirk—not the one he used when kidding with Granger, but a true Malfoy smirk. Satisfied upon seeing Potter’s simmering anger, he crossed his arms. “Well, well, well,” he drawled, “Look what the bloody cat dragged in.” With a sneer, he spat, “Fucking Saint-Potter and his ginger girlfriend.”
Not breaking eye contact, Harry clenched his fists at his sides and bit out, “Malfoy—shouldn’t you be rotting away in Azkaban?”
As Draco stepped towards Harry, Luna gently gripped his left arm. “Draco, I’m sure Hermione wouldn’t want you to start anything—same to you Harry Potter,” said Luna as she grasped Ginny’s hand. “Let’s go inside Ginny. I know someone’s real excited to say hello.” Luna led her inside, shut the door and locked it with a loud click.
“Ginny? Goodness—it’s you!” exclaimed Hermione, absolutely stunned.
Sprinting towards Hermione, Ginny exclaimed, “Hermione! I missed you so much!” With tears welling up in her eyes, she wrapped her arms tightly around the still-shocked brunette. “It’s so good to see you again—finally,” she whispered.
Dumbfounded, Hermione was speechless. One moment, they were having a typical dinner, and the next, her old friends were back—greeted by none other than Draco Malfoy. Slowly raising her arms, she pulled away and looked her up and down. “Look at you! You look great Gin!”
“No—look at you Hermione! You just look fantastic!” said Ginny with a grin.
Luna grasped both of their hands and chirped, “This is great—two friends joined together once again. But why don’t you tell us what brought you here Ginny? We’re all very curious.”
Draco leaned against the door, arms still tightly crossed across his chest. “Think you can just waltz back in there, Potter? Some friend you are,” he spat.
“You have no right to even speak ferret,” growled Harry as he grasped the door knob.
“Don’t even try—it’s warded. Merlin, you’ve been away for so long! Didn’t you think that Hermione would take safety precautions?” Sneering, he continued, “Yes—only Luna and I can open the door. So, you can’t get in unless I decide to open it for you—which is never going to happen.”
“Hermione lets you, YOU, come and go as you please?! Merlin, she’s lost it.”
Draco hissed, “Don’t you dare criticize her for befriending me. You have no right, considering you just bloody left her alone when she needed you most! The fuck is wrong with you—thinking that bloody fucking your little girlfriend around the blasted world would be a good idea.”
Furious, Harry pulled out his wand and yelled, “Stupefy!”
Despite the wand pressing into Draco’s chest, he smirked. “Wands don’t work in the vicinity of our flats unless Hermione clears them through the wards first. Oh Potter, don’t throw fucking a tantrum—what will everyone think? Better get used to it,” he clearly enunciated, “Hermione likes me more than -”
Unable to contain his frustration, Harry shoved Draco further against the door, reeled his right arm back, and swung at Draco’s face. With a deafening crack, fist met his unblemished face and Draco Malfoy stumbled.
“Ginerva Weasley—you what?!” Hermione couldn’t help but stare at disbelief.
“I-I might be, you know—p-pregnant,” whispered Ginny. Trying to blink away the tears, Ginny took in a deep breath. “I’m too scared to confirm it, Hermione, what if I really am? I tried to bring it up with Harry last week, but he seemed s-so happy with the idea of a family—even if it’s soon.”
Gently brushing away the red hair around her face, Luna said, “But you’re not ready—are you Ginny?”
“I want to be with Harry—I do, but I just don’t know! He’s going to loathe me when he finds out how I feel.”
Hermione took Ginny’s hands in hers. “He will not do such a thing Ginny. He loves you, so much that he just whisked you away to be with you—he missed you that much during the Horocrux days.”
“But I feel guilty too, Hermione. Just showing up here when I need you, and not thinking about your needs,” Ginny weakly replied.
Hermione smiled and shrugged. “I’ve been alright Gin; Luna, Draco, and I surprisingly get along pretty well. Look, I’m really glad you’re back, but we should really get this sorted out.”
Ginny nodded and the three of them went over to the orange couch. Laying down, she gripped Luna’s hand.
“Alright Ginny, I’ll do the simple charm, okay? White means yes, black means no.” Hermione steadied her wand over Ginny’s body and commenced the spell. With a final wave and flick, all eyes were fixed on the wand. The room was absolutely still—it was white. The silence was broken as Ginny buried her face in her hands, sobbing and Luna put a comforting arm around her whispering words of encouragement. However, a loud thud coming from the hall reminded them of the probable disaster foresting outside.
Hermione rushed to her door, flung it open, and let out a huge gasp. Looking straight into Harry’s eyes, she bellowed, “Harry James Potter! How dare you hit Draco! I am absolutely infuriated with you, and this is just another reason piled on top of all the others. Get. Inside.”
Not wasting time, Harry bolted inside her flat, and Hermione crouched down to help Draco up. “Glad to see you two broke the ice quite well. Wipe that grin off your face, Malfoy. I’m sure you provoked him in one way or another.”
“You called me Draco you know, and in front of Potter too.”
“We’ll talk about it later, Granger.” Draco gently held her by the shoulders and asked, “You look a little shaken up—you okay?”
She gently brushed him off. “I’m fine—but it seems Harry did some damage.” He opened his mouth to protest, but Hermione pulled out her wand, “Episkey.”
With a little crack, his left jaw set into place. “Merlin! Dammit Granger! A little warning?”
“Oh hush, Malfoy. I can still see the bruise, so let’s get inside.”
“At least I didn’t pummel him back,” he mumbled while going inside.
“I know; I’m proud of you.”
When the two of them stepped into the flat, the scene before them was quite humorous—if they were in an entirely different situation.
Harry was breathing hard. Chest heaving, looking a little shocked, when Luna shot up from the couch next to Ginny, who was sniffling and taking erratic breaths—anything to keep herself from bursting into tears again.
“Harry Potter! You will not treat your girlfriend this way!” Luna’s usually soft eyes were hard, pointed and she shook a finger in front of him. “You will sit down and listen to her speak! I’m quite disappointed with you.”
Harry blinked twice and hesitantly sat on the coffee table, facing Luna. “Alright—I’m listening.”
Ginny slowly met his eyes. “Harry, I’m not saying I don’t w-want the baby.” Taking Luna’s hand, she continued. “I-I just don’t know if I’m r-ready. Before you say anything, I l-love you Harry—really.”
He rubbed the back of his neck, and leaned forward. “Gin, I’m sorry for just exploding like that—quite stupid really. I understand where you’re coming from, but, just, I don’t know.” In a quiet, broken voice, he continued, “I j-just thought that you would be excited. But I do know that it is your choice, and whatever that is—I’m behind you, one hundred percent.” With that, he got up and kissed the top of Ginny’s head.
He went over to Hermione and said with a weak smile, “I know you’re probably dying to yell at me, but can a bloke take a walk outside first?”
“Of course you can, Harry,” said Hermione as she embraced him in a tight hug. “It’s good to see you.”
Harry nodded, “I missed you ‘Mione.” He breathed in, and let out a deep, heavy breath, as he hugged his best friend, tighter.
Draco glanced over at Hermione, and couldn’t help the pang of jealousy that coursed through his body. He cleared his throat and growled, “Don’t you have a walk to go on, Potter?” He tugged Hermione away and gave Harry a shove towards the door.
“Malfoy, be polite!” Hermione admonished.
“This is me being polite, Granger,” Draco replied as he draped a possessive arm around her, pulling her closer—just a little bit.
Hermione stiffened, not because this was foreign, but because of Draco’s effrontery.
Harry stood his ground—glaring.
“You should get going Harry,” Luna chimed, “We’ll all be here.”
“Great.” Harry mumbled and with a curt nod towards Hermione, stalked away.
Draco released Hermione upon the definite click of the door and shoved his hands in his pockets. Avoiding Hermione’s gaze, he went over to the fridge. Grabbing the lemonade and levitating four cups to the coffee table, he asked, “Lemonade anyone?”
Following suit, Hermione pulled out four coasters and accioed two chairs over.
Ginny picked up a coaster. “Really Hermione? Dragon coasters—green dragons?”
Pouring her a glass, Draco shrugged, “They’re mine, but that’s not important. Just to set things clear, I have nothing against you—just Potter.”
“Some things can’t be helped I guess but same goes for me. I trust Hermione’s judgment, nice to meet you Draco Malfoy.”
Draco was relieved. “So… anyone want to tell me what happened in here while I was in the hall?”
Ginny shifted on the sofa and glanced over to Hermione.
“Gin, only if you’re comfortable with Malfoy.”
She hesitated before responding. “I’m pretty sure I’ll be seeing you often… Draco… so—I’m pregnant!” She laughed humorlessly. “I… I don’t know how I feel about… you know.”
Draco’s eyes bulged. “Y-You’re pregnant?” Seeing her eyes tearing up, he quickly explained, “I didn’t mean it badly Weas—I mean, Gin…Ginny. Just surprised—I swear.”
“I know,” replied Ginny while she wiped a tear off her face. “Who knew that I would be sitting across from bad-boy Slytherin Draco Malfoy—telling him I’m pregnant of all things!”
Draco cast his gaze downwards. He never thought that Potter’s girlfriend would be sitting in front of him—let alone a Weasley. However, what he couldn’t fathom was what he was going to say—something he never shared before. Wiping his hands on his trousers, he took in a deep breath.
“When I was home after my fifth year, I overheard my parents talking.” Glancing at the quizzical stares, Draco said, “It seems irrelevant, but it’s important.” When he saw everyone sit a bit straighter and look intently, he continued. “Mother was pregnant—no, I don’t have a secret sibling. The timing wasn’t great, obviously because of Voldemort. So…so, they decided not to have the baby. Of course they didn’t tell me, I had enough to worry about. But honestly, my mother wasn’t the same. Sure, keeps up appearances, but she mumbles to herself about what it’d be like to have a daughter…” Draco blinked. Determined not to cry, he tried to swallow his emotions away. “It’s rather quite embarrassing to admit, but I would’ve like a sister—bring some cuteness and fun into the grimness to the Malfoys. It’s your choice in the end, well, yours and Potter’s but just th-think it through, okay?”
Even Luna was still, shocked by the story that was told. Everyone was silent. Afraid that they were going to say the wrong thing, but mostly because they had nothing to say. To them, Draco Malfoy was quite one-dimensional—charming, intelligent, conniving. His past was dark, but he seemed to bounce back quite easily. However, there was a layer of depth, hidden underneath the scaffolds of his tortuous personality.
Hermione was speechless. She put a hand on top of his, still folded tight across his lap. A single tear, splattered against Hermione’s hand. “Draco?” she asked quietly.
He muttered a quiet incantation and looked up—eyes no longer brimmed with tears, no hint of redness. “That was quite a story, wasn’t it, thought it was fitting for this…situation. I apologize if I made anyone uncomfortable,” Draco said and let out a meek laugh.
Ginny absentmindedly put a hand on her stomach. “I’m glad you shared that, Mal-Draco.”
Hermione gently stroked his hands with her thumb. “Me too—really.”
A voice cut through the air. “Gin? Hermione? Let me in—please.”
Slowly rising from the sofa, Luna said, “About time he came back.”
Harry looked less tense than earlier, but when he saw Hermione comforting Malfoy and Ginny sitting directly in front of him, he couldn’t help but clench his jaw. “Well, I see that everyone is getting along well,” he said bitterly.
“Don’t be like that Harry. Get your arse over here—now,” Ginny demanded, not moving from the sofa. When he finally dragged his feet across the flat, she patted the spot next to her, and motioned for him to sit. She grabbed both of his hands and whispered, “I’m going to have the baby—our baby.”
At that moment, everything around Harry disappeared. He threw his arms around Ginny and sobbed into her soft, fiery red hair. “Oh Gin, Gin… Thank you. I. I’m the happiest man alive.”
With tears of joy rolling down her cheeks, she rocked the baby’s father back and forth. “I’m happy too Harry. I love--”
Blaise burst through the door and scanned wildly for Draco. He rapidly spoke. “Hey mate, can I borrow a tie?” He stared down at the strange party gathered in Hermione’s living room. “Holy fucking mother of Merlin! Hermione? WHAT ARE THEY DOING HERE SO SOON?!” Blaise threw his hands up in the air. “Why didn’t anyone TELL me—shit!”
Ginny amused with a teary chuckle, “Looks like you’ve accumulated quite the bunch here, Hermione.”
After one the longest days in her life, Hermione flipped her pillow, trying to find a more comfortable position to sleep in. She offered Ginny and Harry her room to sleep in. The Burrow wasn’t an option for the couple; Hermione shuddered—imagining Molly’s reaction to the news. So Luna suggested that they share a bed and Hermione naturally agreed. However, she didn’t know that Luna talked in her sleep, quite loudly—not that it surprised Hermione. She got up, gathering her lavender pillow and blanket in her arms and tiptoed out of the room. For a fleeting moment, she considered sleeping on the orange sofa. Shaking her head, she groggily made her way to Draco’s flat; his couch would be better compared to hers. She didn’t have to worry about Blaise. After fleeing from her flat seconds after they told him of Ginny’s pregnancy, he sprinted out, to Merlin knows where. She tugged her nightdress and prayed that Draco wouldn’t be awake. Despite her efforts of going in quietly, the door opened with a long, squeaky, creak.
“Your footsteps are as delicate as a troll’s, Granger.”
Hermione jumped in the air, and shrieked. “MALFOY! Who the hell just waits in the dark? Turn on the light you prat.”
Draco clapped twice, and bright lights flooded the room. Looking down at Hermione, he sniggered. “I was already awake, and I heard you stomping over here—couldn’t resist.”
Hermione huffed. “Well, I’m here for your couch, Malfoy. Luna’s a nightmare to sleep next to.”
“Oh, now I’m Malfoy again?” He raised an eyebrow and said, “I prefer Draco.”
Rolling her eyes, she pushed past him and plopped down on the couch. “It all depends on how I feel at the moment.”
Draco considered this for a moment and said in a nonchalant tone, “You can have my bed for the night.”
“You don’t have to do that, I like it right here,” she replied.
“Quit acting like you don’t want it; I don’t want Blaise to stagger in here piss drunk to find a pretty little ladysleeping on the couch,” Draco said in a stiffly.
With a sheepish smile, Hermione got up and walked to his room. “Thanks, Draco. But you sure you still don’t want to talk about--”
Draco raised a hand to cut her off. “For the last time—no. I’ll let you know when I do want to, okay?”
She nodded. “Goodnight, and thanks for today. Harry was a complete arse; I’m going to give him a good lashing tomorrow, so don’t you worry.”
“Good to know that you’re on my side, Granger,” Draco said with a tired smile. He peeled off his shirt and tossed it on the ground. He tried to get comfortable on the couch and gave up. Deciding to grab his pillow from his bed, he quietly knocked on the door.
“Granger? You asleep?” Not hearing a response, he opened the door and couldn’t help but smile when he saw Hermione curled up in his bed. He leaned over and tried to pull the pillow her head was resting on. After a slight tug, she shifted, turning to her other side. Not wanting to wake her up, he grabbed one of the smaller pillows on the ground.
Draco gazed at Hermione’s peaceful face and felt particularly calm. He noticed that she was wearing one of his favorite nightdresses. The simple pale blue one with two thin straps which showed her shoulders. By no means was he aroused by her skin. No, they were just friends—best friends perhaps? Noticing the hem of the dress raised to her mid-thigh didn’t help his efforts trying to suppress the inappropriate thoughts drifting through his mind. With a gulp, he reached over and gingerly moved it down to the appropriate length. He cast a cooling charm around the room and raised the blanket to her chin—she liked it this way, and he didn’t need to see anymore skin. When Hermione let out a pleased sigh, Draco grinned. He couldn’t help but reach down and brush her soft hair away from her face. Placing his lips against her forehead, longer than usual, he whispered, “Goodnight, Hermione,” and slid out the door.