Ron’s body was lying flat on the ground; bloody and cold. The surroundings gradually grew darker and darker until nothing could be seen. She let her gaze fall to the floor and was horrified to see that Ron’s body was gone too... she was alone; nothing could be seen or heard in the pitch black. It was as if she was surrounded by nothing, that she alone was the last thing that existed.
She couldn’t feel because there was nothing to feel; it was neither warm nor cold where she was…if she was anywhere at all. Suddenly, a cold, searing pain started spread through her body, up through the tips of her fingers and shivering down her spine before finally entering her soul and mind. It was so awful that the only thing she could do was curl into a protective ball to try and stop the agony. It was so unbearable that she would have rather been tortured by Bellatrix all over again...at least she knew how to close her mind off; this was just an intrusion into her being that she could not fight. It felt like her skin was being torn from inside out. Her whole head felt like it was being crushed into the size of a pea, her hands burning as if on fire. She tried to call out but no sound could be made. It was as if even sound did not exist in the nothingness.
Maybe that was why she was experiencing this…this…anguish; she was not supposed to exist. It was a crime for her to be there; she wasn’t meant to be anywhere…so she was being penalised.
She was in such agony that she knew she must be dying; nobody could survive the kind of torture that was encasing her. She was at the edge of oblivion when the pain subsided. Her body relaxed and seemed comforted by the darkness; almost soothed. Then, once again, there was nothing. If it was possible, she would have moved and tried to explore. Instead, she was beginning to feel fear…something that did not allow into her rational mind. Looking into the black she could make out nothing and then unexpectedly she was swamped by the fear that maybe she had become blind; that there was something out there; she just couldn’t see it…because she couldn’t see.
Then as if by some magical miracle, there was a small dab of light. It was out of reach and out of place but it was a small hope. If she could just move her legs she would travel to the light and find a way out of this hell. Her fear began to subside and her rationality entered her head; she would move! She would find a way to get out of here!
However, her heroism was short lived. A pair of eyes appeared in the suffocating black; one green one red. They blocked out the small hope she had and filled her vision. She began to wish for the pain again, because she knew that whoever owned the pair of eyes wasn’t going to help her in any way. She tried calling for help but again no sound was made. Instead, the menacing and cruel eyes stared at her; making her whole body shiver in cold. Hands appeared and started towards her; the finger nails long and yellow.
Before they could reach her she screamed.
Hermione awoke before the hands could reach her. Her body was covered in droplets of sweat and her hair was damp across her forehead. Looking out the window she saw the morning sunshine trying to break through the clouds. Glancing at the clock, she saw the time was 6:30am. Great, it’s Mia’s 6th birthday and I’m up early. Better go make myself a coffee if I’m going to stay awake for today’s party.
“Ginny, do you really think the unicorn is necessary?” Hermione raised her eyebrows as Ginny directed the silver beauty over to the tree.
“Hermione, it is not every day a girl turns six and I’m going to make sure my niece is spoilt on this day!” She flicked her long red hair over her shoulders exposing her freckled skin. Hermione rolled her eyes but smiled all the same. Ginny was right; it wasn’t every day a little girl turned six and for Mia her birthday was being celebrated in style.
This morning, Hermione had cooked the little blonde princess pancakes; her favourite breakfast, along with chocolate milk and she was allowed to open her first present of the day. She had squealed at the new dress and had jumped into Hermione’s lap with such happiness that Hermione could only laugh along. It was lemon coloured with pretty pink hearts dotted over it in a symmetrical pattern. She had matching lemon shoes and a headband that contained one pink heart on the top; Hermione had found the dress while shopping around the high street in London.
Once the pair had gotten washed and dressed; Mia in her new outfit and Hermione in a lovely pale blue strapless with matching shoes, they apparated to the Burrow so as not to spoil their clothes, where the rest of Mia’s presents awaited along with big hugs and kisses from the rest of the family. While Mia was being cooed over, Hermione had quickly apparated back to their cottage in Devon where she had stored Mia’s birthday cake. It was a three tier sponge cake with yellow icing (of course) and decorated with unicorns around the edges. Hermione had charmed the unicorns to gallop around the cake once the candle was lit.
Unfortunately for Mia, Mrs Weasley and Ginny had been adamant that she opened her presents once the guests arrived, so that everyone could see her face when she unwrapped them all. Mia had been slightly annoyed at this seen as it was her birthday, but Fred and George decided to take her and James outside for their first flying lessons (Hermione made sure the Twins knew what would happen to them if anything happened to her daughter.)
Now, she watched as Mia floated around on her first broom alongside Opal and James; James being the best flyer by far. The garden itself was covered in decorations and other things that were hired to help celebrate the six year olds birthday. As well as the unicorn, Ginny had ordered a singing quartet of leprechauns, dancing fairies were ordered to stay in the flowerbeds so that they had a magical glow and she had even paid some centaurs to race with the children up over the hill. It certainly felt a little too much for a birthday party but Ginny was adamant to spoil Mia rotten; she had never experienced a family birthday party since she was born.
“Hermione can you make sure the ribbons are dangling from the Oak tree, I’m not sure that Harry’s had time to do them.”
“Gin, do you really think that you need any more decorations? I mean, you’ve already got three lots of bunting up, baubles, floating candles and I can’t even begin to count the amount of balloons that’s scattered around the garden!”
Ginny pouted and furrowed her brows but before she could protest, Harry appeared behind her with a pink rose in hand. “Surprise,” he murmured, making Ginny giggle and turn in his arms.
“Hey handsome, where have you been?” Ginny leaned him and snuggled into the warmth and familiar smell of Harry’s body, her baby bump squished up against him. Gazing down at her mound she said, “It’s been kicking like mad the last few hours.”
Harry grinned and brushed his hand gently across Ginny’s swollen belly, and replied “Well it must be a little fighter like its mum.”
Hermione smirked at the playful nature of the happy couple; a wishful thought back to the past.
In another life, that could have been me and Ron. I could be pregnant with our second child instead of Ginny…Merlin I miss him.
Shaking herself of her morbid thoughts, she turned to Harry, a questioning glance etched across her face. “You never did say where you’ve been?”
As usual, the leader in Harry snapped to attention a furrow in his brow. “Well there’s been a rumour going round that a dark figure has been lurking around the East of England and a pile of bodies has been formulating in its wake. I was ordered to do a quick once over with the team before I could come here. So far I haven’t found anything.”
Hermione grew slightly pale as she listened to the story. “You don’t think it could have been…” She couldn’t bear bring herself to say the name. Realising what she was thinking of, Ginny’s eyes grew wide and she whirled around to face the Boy Wonder. “Oh Merlin you don’t think it could be possible?!”
Harry hushed his wife before she hyperventilated and tried to reassure his best friend. “Look I promise you that he’s rotting in Askaban for what he did so don’t worry about it; he’s not escaping anytime soon and if he does…I’ll kill him myself.”
The hatred in Harry’s eyes scared Hermione more than the idea of Nott being out of prison. When he had realised his best friend was dead, Harry had become cold and had distanced himself from his friends and family. He had gone missing for a couple of days until one evening, where he showed up bloody on the doorstep of the Burrow.
Everyone had tried to question him about where he had been and Ginny had even refused to speak to him. She had been terrified that something had happened and once he had come home without even an explanation or an apology her Weasley fire along with a hormonal imbalance had made her furious. It wasn’t until the day after, when the Minister himself showed up on the doorstep, congratulating Harry about the capture that the family found out what had happened.
“Minister?! What a…surprise.” Mrs Weasley stared at the wiry figure of Rufus Scrimgeour on her doorstep with shock and slight annoyance. She half expected him to moan about Percy not being in work for the last couple of days.
“Molly. May I come in?” Molly stood aside to let the Minister of Magic in and followed him into the living room where the rest of the family were mourning. Arthur raised his head in acknowledgement but went to help Molly into an armchair rather than converse with Rufus. Harry on the other hand, became suddenly alert; first time since he had come home last night. Hermione had watched his posture change and for some unknown reason, began to fear his presence; his emerald green eyes were slightly manic, as if he was no longer headstrong and sane. She tried to move, do something that would show that she was still functioning without her love but her body would not obey. Instead, she slumped further into the sofa, her fear encasing her.
Scrimgeour let his gazed shift over the miserable family before letting it settle on Harry. Clearing his throat he got down to business.
“I know that this is a terrible time for you all, however I would just like to thank Mr Potter for his efforts in capturing the man responsible for Ronald Weasley’s death.”
Hermione gagged slightly at her dead fiancé’s name. She shot a glance at her best friend but saw that his eyes were firmly set on the Minister’s. With extreme effort she forced herself to speak through her pain.
“Wha…what do you mean?”
Scrimgeour twisted to stare down at Hermione; his yellow eyes sharp as a cats, as if he was waiting for the explanation himself. He watched as Hermione whimpered beneath his gaze but did not reply. Instead he turned back to Harry and realised that the Boy Wonder was not going to spill his secrets.
“Well, last night we were surprised to see Mr Nott in the hands of Mr Potter, all bloody and beaten. Naturally we took him in at once and Mr Potter made sure he directed as many possible Dementors in front of Nott’s cell as physically possible. The ‘kiss’ has been ordered for this evening at 6.00pm” Everyone sat slightly open mouthed, as if they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Fred and George shuffled slightly so that they were further away from the chair, which Harry was seated in, but otherwise nobody spoke. Rufus carried on. “I looked at the report myself this morning but it appeared…limited about the explanation of how Nott was captured. I just wanted to come by and find out the details.”
His eyes narrowed onto Harry as if he was trying to extract the information by the mere force of his mind. Harry barely moved but his glare at Scrimgeour proved that he was going to say nothing to the Minister. Huffing slightly, he said,
I’ll see myself out…Weasley I want you back in on Monday sharp.”
Percy nodded slightly but from the way his jaw was moving, it was obvious that he was furious with his Boss and his lack of sympathy. Once the Minister had left everyone had turned towards Harry, a questioning look on each of their faces.
Ginny was the first to speak up. “So this is why I was worrying all bloody week! Because you decided revenge was a better way for you to deal with your angst rather than being with your family! You could have been killed or captured!” Her glare was accusatory and emotional but all Harry did was shrug. Screaming in frustration, she barged past Percy and the Twins and ran to her room. Everyone flinched slightly when they heard the slam of her bedroom door; Harry did not even wince.
Mrs Weasley seemed unaware of the presence of anyone in the room and was slowly rocking back and forth in her armchair; her hands clasping a brown knitted jumper initialled ‘R’. Hermione couldn’t believe what she had just heard. In some ways she was glad that justice had been served but she still couldn’t seem to control the void that was gnawing at her hear. Her breathing was coming out ragged and she was unable to control the tears from falling down her cheeks. She stared at the man she called her best friend, her insides shrivelling up. Harry wasn’t the kind of person who would seek revenge. The cold stare that was evading from his eyes made the brunette shiver in despair before she threw up on the threadbare rug.
Everything she loved dearly…was gone. There was only the void.
Remembering back to that day, Hermione began to feel on edge again. A couple of days after, on the morning of Ron’s funeral, Harry had explained his actions; saying that he would never have been so brutal towards Nott if he hadn’t threatened Hermione as well. The reason Ron had died was to protect Hermione from the Death Eater and Harry had thought that the only way to honour Ron’s memory, was to stop any harm coming to his best friend.
Hermione had accepted this with a slight nod and a brief hug but was unable to process the information properly. She had made herself numb for that day and then only two days later she slept with Malfoy. Looking back, the Brunette realised that Harry’s actions had pushed her to leaving. On the day of Ron’s funeral she had felt so bereft that she felt like she drowning and the only one who could have saved her, was her best friend, the boy who she considered her brother. However, when she hugged him to accept his apology, he had felt different…almost changed. It was as if losing Ron, losing his first ever friend, had made Harry lose some of humanity.
Now, looking at him while he rocked Ginny in his arms, she realised that she had been blinded by her pain. He was still Harry. He had said to her a little while back that when he realised she had left, he had become numb and so lost in himself that everyone thought he was seriously ill. It wasn’t until Ginny nearly died giving birth to James that he snapped back to reality. At the end of the day, his love for Ginny had saved him from his internal hell and he had been able to come to terms with the death of his best friend.
Smiling she watched as the two started banter.
“I don’t care if they ordered you to go and look for someone; you should not be late to your niece’s birthday party! It’s not right!” Ginny prodded him, her hazel eyes softening her reprimand.
Harry decided to mock hang his head in shame before giving his wife a peck on the forehead.
“Fineeee, promise it won’t happen again.”
Ginny smirked then gave him a little shove towards the back door.
“Good, now go and hang up the ribbons in the Oak tree before the guests arrive."
Harry looked towards Hermione and rolled his eyes heavenwards making Hermione giggle; the tension between them lifted. Ginny went to swipe him but Harry’s seeker instincts kicked in and dodged it easily.
Winking at her he quickly made a dash out into the garden, nearly bumping into Bill and Fleur.
Tutting slightly, the Redhead turned to her best friend and realised that she was laughing. “I don’t know what you’re laughing at; you need to be there to invite the guests in. Go on, shoo!”
Hermione poked her tongue out but went all the same. As soon as she arrived at the door, there was a slight tap on the wood.
“Mum. Dad. I’m so glad you’re here!”
“Hey poppet, where’s the little angel.” Colin Granger peered round Hermione’s shoulders looking for his granddaughter. Hermione grinned at her pet name before replying, “She’s playing out in the garden with James and Opal.”
“Aw, bless the little sweetheart; she must be so excited that it’s her birthday. Her present is a little heavy, could you get one of the boys to come help with it?” Jane Granger gave her daughter a quick hug. “It’s not much; we weren’t sure what she liked.”
Hermione gawked at the massive box that was hiding behind her parents bodies. Her eyes widened.
“Mum you didn’t need to get her anything, especially that big!”
Mrs Granger appeared shocked, “Of course we did! She’s our only grandchild; it’s our job to spoil her rotten.” Her husband nodded in agreement.
Rolling her eyes at her mother’s logic she gave each of her parents a quick peck on their cheeks then led them into the garden. It wasn’t long for Arthur Weasley to spot her Muggle parents, before engaging them in his usual inquisitive questions about non-moving pictures and other things that weren’t controlled by magic.
“George, can you come help me with this box out front please – it’s huge!”
George Weasley nodded and grabbed his brother. “Come on, Mione needs our amazing muscles.” Fred flexed and winked at his twin. “She needs mine more than yours.”
The pair started to squabble but headed to the front of the house all the same.
Shaking her head with a smile and happy that her parents were in safe hands, the Granger girl followed.
It was about 2.00 pm when the last few stragglers had finished arriving. She had just about given up hope that Malfoy was coming before she noted the Slytherin Prince coming up the drive; the shining sun gleaming off of his platinum blonde hair. She couldn’t help but notice the modest muscles that could just be seen under the cuff of his t shirt sleeve and the way his dark jeans hugged his legs excellently.
Once he reached the front door, Hermione couldn’t help but blush slightly at the beauty of the man before her. Be cool Hermione, be cool!
“Hey.” Not that cool…
The pair stood awkwardly in the doorway before Hermione remembered how to speak. “How are you?”
Malfoy shrugged with a smile. “Can’t really complain, been really busy with work at the moment; we’ve just opened a Muggle store in the heart of London.”
“Oh really? That’s pretty cool, are you going to be working there too?”
Draco shrugged slightly as if unsure of the answer. “Well, I’ll mainly help with inventory but I’ve employed Muggles anyway so they’re pretty much in charge of the store. I just thought that it would be a good to have two sets of target audience, especially when most of the toys I make start out as non-magical.”
Hermione bobbed her head in agreement but just stood staring at the gorgeous man in front of her. I feel like I’m forgetting something.
Running a hand through his floppy hair he pointed to the inside of the house. “So erm, can I come in?” Ah. That was it.
Standing aside she waved her arm in proper doorman fashion and replied, “Yeah sure, everyone’s in the back garden; Mia’s about to open all her presents.”
Malfoy grinned and followed her through to garden. “You made a six year old wait to open her presents? Kinda cruel don’t you think?”
Hermione grimaced, “Yeah, but Ginny and Molly insisted. They’ve pretty much taken over anyway so I kinda gave in. Mia didn’t mind too much, she’s just been enjoying all the attention.”
Malfoy’s eyes sought his daughter straight away and he was unable to control his smile when he saw how pretty she looked in her Princess chair. “She’s gorgeous. I bet she loves the fact that she has her own chair.”
He pointed to the chair in which Mia was seated. Hermione had charmed it to sprout out a massive yellow crown at the top and made it higher than the rest that were around the white table, making it look like a throne on a dais.
Draco turned to see Hermione nodding, her stare completely on her daughters form at the centre of the long white table, presents stacked around her like her own personal castle. When she had first greeted him at the door, he had tried his hardest not to let on how much her beauty had affected him.
The long strapless dress accented her figure 8 body in a way that would make any normal man pant but the colour made her skin look even more appealing. Her wavy locks were glistening in the sunlight creating the halo effect all over again, while her eye lids were dusted in blue glitter eye shadow matching the same colour of her dress and highlighting the beauty of her eyes. She truly was an angel.
He felt his breath catch, his heart hammering against his chest. God she’s beautiful, that hair…those eyes! And I’m the lucky duck who has a daughter with her. Trying to concentrate he turned and pointed to a couple who were standing next to the chair where Mia was seated. “Are they your parents?”
Hermione followed his gesture and nodded. “Yeah. They haven’t known about Mia that long but they’ve already grown to love her as much as everyone else…she has that effect on people.”
Draco ‘hmmed’ in agreement before handing Hermione a parcel wrapped in yellow wrapping paper.
“It’s her birthday present. I know that she doesn’t know yet, but I thought it would be wrong if I just turned up without a gift for my own daughter.”
“I’m sure she’ll appreciate it.” Giving a small smile of gratitude, Hermione went to place the present on the pile with the rest. Draco however, went to see the birthday girl.
Mia turned immediately as he neared and gave a massive wave in his direction. “Hi Draco! You came for my birthday party!”
Draco dropped down to one knee and chucked her under the chin with a massive grin on his face. “Course I did, wouldn’t miss my new best friend’s birthday now would I?!”
Mia giggled her sweet laugh and reached over to give Malfoy a quick hug from her throne. “You can sit next to me if you like but you mustn’t sit in Mummy’s chair!” He turned to see that Hermione had deposited herself in the chair on Mia’s right; her posture making her look just as regal as her daughter.
Turning back to his baby girl he replied, “Okay then.”
Mia’s grin widened before she turned to face her kingdom. “You may all now sit.” She lowered her little pink hands, indicating that her guests should sit in her chairs and it was all Draco could do but not to laugh; she certainly was a little Princess.
“I’m going to open my presents now. I have to open Mummy’s first though because she’s the most special.”
“Mia, be polite.” Even at Hermione’s reprimand the crowd had ‘awed’ at her daughter’s cuteness.
Grabbing the first present in front of her, Mia began to rip open the paper. Hermione was pleased to see it was the box that contained the doll Malfoy had made a couple of weeks ago. As if reading her mind, Draco gave a quick glance in her direction which she nodded to with quiet excitement.
The pair watched as Mia ripped and pulled at the paper until she finally reached the specially designed box which was pretty in itself. Becoming extra careful, as if she sensed that the box was something amazing, Mia pried the lid open and gasped.
“Oh Mummy she’s lovely!!” Pulling out the doll Mia hugged it with such love that Hermione began to get teary. Draco on the other hand, beamed with pride of his work. He had been extra attentive to the doll just because it was for Hermione, but to know now that it was for his own daughter, he was even more pleased with his efforts.
“I’m going to name her Ellie. She’s going to be the best friend ever.” Hermione brushed back Mia’s blonde bangs and kissed the top of her forehead. “I’m glad you like her Princess. I can’t take all the credit though; Draco actually made her for you.”
Whipping round to face him, Mia leaned in her chair and gave Draco a quick peck on the cheek. “Thank you! I love her!”
“You’re welcome sweetheart.” He couldn’t help but run his fingers through her gorgeous hair before clearing his throat and carried on watching her open her presents. If he had turned, he would have noticed that Ginny had smirked.
Hermione had also bought her a new coat for her teddy bear, making him look a bit like Wellington Boots, a flowerbed box where she was able to grow flowers that would attract her fairy friends from hiding, a fake wand that made rainbows and bubbles as well as a couple of books that were a part of a collection that she’d had since she was a baby.
“I have also got you this.” Hermione produced a ticket from her pocket and placed it gently in her daughter’s hand. Mia held it up to her face; her nose wrinkled in concentration. She turned back to her mother with a questioning look.
“What is it.”
Hermione grinned. “It’s an appointment…for a rescue centre.” Mia’s eyes widened, while her mouth made a slight ‘O’ shape. “You mean we’re getting a puppy!!”
“Yep.” Hermione held out her arms as her daughter launched herself at her. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
“You’re welcome, right, now open the rest of your presents.”
For the next couple of hours Mia became content with being the centre of attention. The crowd watched and waited for her reaction as she opened up all the presents had given her. From Hermione’s parents, she had received a doll’s house that was handmade by Colin himself, while Molly and Arthur had bought the dolls to go in it, along with a knitted jumper and scarf. Ginny and Harry had bought her music box with a twirling unicorn in it so she could keep all her treasures in along with a sketch pad to do her drawings in, James gave her a peck on the cheek with a bunch of daffodils that had been charmed by Ginny to last forever.
Neville and Luna had bought her paints and pencils to go with the sketch pad while Opal had given her a handmade friendship bracelet where a small ‘M’ hung. The Twins had bought her, her first broom which only flew a few metres from the ground, along with a collection of their merchandise, (Ginny had quickly taken them away before Hermione threw at the boys.) While Fleur and Bill had bought her an ivory paddle brush and a small desk mirror. Percy and Penelope had bought her a small version of Wizard’s chess as well as a little backpack that was covered in daisies.
Hermione passed the last present to Mia with as much excitement as her daughter; it was Malfoy’s.
Unlike earlier, Mia took extra care when unwrapping the presents as if sensing that it was special. Underneath the wrapping was a small, plain black box. Carefully pulling the top of the box off, everyone gasped to see what was inside.
Hermione had let her hand flutter to her chest in surprise. “Oh my, Draco that’s…that’s beautiful!”
Mia couldn’t help but stare at the gift. It was a white gold necklace with a small oval shaped sapphire droplet; her birthstone.
“Do you not like it?” Mia turned to see the worry on Malfoy’s face. “Yes…I…I just can’t believe I have something so sparkly.”
Everyone started to laugh. Hermione had a slight tear in her eye. Draco decided to take action and picked up the pendant and placed it gently round his daughter’s neck. “You have something so sparkly because you’re a Princess, and Princesses have sparkly things.”
Mia giggled and then squeezed Draco tightly. “I love you.”
Draco tried to choke back his tears before replying, “I love you too.”
Hermione watched the two with a silent but happy tear stroll down her face. Ginny came up behind her and gave her a pat on the shoulder.
“You need to tell her.”
Turning she went to explain but Ginny’s smirk told her that the Redhead had already guessed. “Yeah, I know you want him too.”
Molly suddenly appeared holding the handmade birthday cake and placed it in front of the birthday girl.
“Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Miaaa! Happy Birthday to YOUUUUUUU”
Mia watched mesmerised as the dancing unicorns pranced around her lit cake. Hermione came up behind her and whispered into her ear, “Make a wish princess.”
With all her might, Mia blew out the six birthday candles, the light making her baby blue eyes shimmer and sparkle creating a faery like image to her being. Kissing the top of her head, Hermione asked, “What did you wish for?”
Mia looked into the candlelight, “For my daddy to be here for my birthday.”
Okay so I’ve been a horrible person and not updated for ages so you can verbally abuse me all you want because I know I deserve it. However, I hope that this chapter has made up for that because let me tell you something; writers block really really sucks! I think this was about the sixteenth attempt to getting this chapter to work and I’m still not totally satisfied with it. So please read and review and let me know what you think. Hoped you liked it. I promise I will update as quickly as possible.
Yours Stagzpotterfan xx