The next couple weeks flew by for me, between classes and Amelia, I barely had time to study. But somehow, I still managed to get Os on all my tests and homework. I think the professors are taking it easy on me. And honestly, it's starting to annoy me. But what am I to say? I want to have no time with my daughter? I think not. l already feel bad enough that I have to leave her with Winky during the day. Especially since she is used to having her mommy during the day and Grandpa in the evenings. But Winky seems to be doing well with her. So I shouldn't be complaining to much. There are even time when Winky stays with me and Amelia, so I can do my homework.
Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to spend with my friends. They came by a couple days ago and hung out while we all did homework together. I can actually say I'm surprised though. Lavender makes Ron do his own homework. And I don't mean half assed either. She makes him actually do his own work. I laughed the first time I saw her yell at him for trying to get my work to copy. It was hilarious and I found I respected her so much more than before. Lavender sometimes just comes over to hang out and watch Amelia with me. I was finally able to add her to Amelia's list of Godparents the day before we came back to school and she was taking it seriously. She had helped me start on Amelia's hope chest. We started on it just the other day in my very little free time after I put Amelia to sleep. I put the outfit she wore when I first brought her home in put in carefully. As well as a scrapbook of pictures of me while I was pregnant that the teachers made for me. Madam Pomfrey had me take pictures with my stomach showing every month to put in, as well as the pictures from my ultrasounds of her and my baby shower. Lavender wanted to go through all the pictures because I didn't tell anyone of my pregnancy during. She said it was cute for having the teachers done it. I had to laugh.
I started working on another scrapbook of all her firsts. I have a good bit filled already and there are so many more firsts to come. It makes me sad. I already wish she would just stay at this age. I honestly don't know if I'll be strong enough to let her get hurt when it comes to first crushes, the first time being dumped, or even when she asks why she doesn't have a daddy. I guess I'll have to wait till the time comes.
I've gotten a couple more letters from Malfoy. I still don't understand why he cares about how I'm doing now. I mean, come on, he's been my nemesis for the last six years of my life. And now he suddenly wants to be friends? I noticed that he isn't swarmed by his usual cronies this year, though. In fact, he yelled at Parkinson the other day at lunch. Apparently, he was sick of her trying to tell everyone they were together. I was entertained by it. But I'm sure Parkinson wasn't. She stormed out of the Great Hall that day and absolutely refuses to go near him now. I think, she thinks that she's going to make him jealous by hanging on ever guy she can get her grimy hands on. But he just laughs and rolls his eyes at her attempts. I catch him staring at me every now and again. But I honestly don't know what to do about him. And that's why I'm sitting in my common room, rocking Amelia back and forth, while trying to talk to Ginny and Lavender.
"I just don't understand," I told them as I told them about the letters he's been sending me and him staring at me all the time. "And it's really unnerving. Does he not realize him and I are complete opposites? Or that we've disliked each other passionately for the past six years? Or here's the biggest one, I'm a mother," I told them frustrated with the situation.
"Well," Lavender drew out before pausing for a moment. I swear, she enjoys tormenting me. "He seems like he has changed for the better, if you ask me," she shrugged as I gaped at her. So I looked to Ginny to help my logical side.
"I think I'll have to agree with Lavender on this one, Mione. But I do understand your problem. You think Harry and Ron will get mad at you right," she shrugged as well.
"That would be miniscule to my actual dilema, but that is one part of the problem," I told them honestly.
"Well, I don't think you would have to worry about Harry. He's been trying to put his and Malfoy's past behind them. I don't know why. He won't tell me. But I think it's because Narcissa saved his life in the war," Ginny shrugged as I continued to gape at my two best girl friends.
"How did I not know about that," I asked dumbfounded by my lack of knowledge.
"He didn't want to stress you any more than you already are," Ginny told me as I finally got Amelia to sleep. She's way to intuitive for being a baby. She stirrs at the slightest distress she feels from me. So I carefully and quietly got up and put her in her crib in her room before I softly shut her door and rejoined Ginny and Lavender on the couch.
"So, you both think I should write him back," I asked them skeptically.
"Yeah, we do," Lavender said as she walked over to my desk and pulled out a roll of parchment and my blood red ink I only use occasionally. "Right now," she said as she pointed to my desk chair. So I dragged myself over to my desk and started writing draft after draft. Either Ginny, Lavender, or myself tossing draft after draft away. Finally after half an hour, I finally came up with something that all three of us agreed on. So before any of us could veto it as well, I whistled for my golden brown eagle owl, Artemis. She landed on my shoulder softly and I tied my letter to her leg. I told her to be discreet about delivering it and don't make a fuss about getting a reply. With her instructions in mind, she flew off into the darkening skies around the castle.
"I can't believe I just wrote Malfoy, of all people," I sighed as I sat back in the couch, sinking into the cushions behind me. "I could really go for a butterbeer right now," I said with my eyes closed. I crack my eyes open slightly to see why Ginny and Lavender are so quiet, only to see that Ginny was in the kitchen doing Merlin knows what. And Lavender, I don't even see. Odd. "Gin, where's Lav,"I asked groggily.
"I'm up here, Mi," Lavender called from my room? I got up from my comfortable couch and made my way up to my room. I peek into my room and see that she's flipping through the scrapbook that I was still working on. She looks up at me and smiles. "Sorry, I just had an idea for another scrapbook," she grinned at me. So I walk up behind her and see that it isn't the same scrapbook I've been working on. "I'm going to make three of these, and every time one of us has a kid we'll add another section to it," she started to explain. "So far I put in pictures of all of us throughout the seven years we've known each other. There's the one from a few years back that we all decided to have a snowball battle. I think we've only ever done a few things as a whole group before this year. But I found a few. Oh, and I found pictures of you, Ron, and Harry together throughout the years at different places. I just hope you and I can add more of me, you, and Gin together. Well, mostly of the two of us. I have plenty of me and Gin from over the summer." She was talking a mile a minute. I took all I had not to laugh and cry at the same time. Laugh, because she was talking a mile a minute. But cry, because we've spent so much time hating each other for something stupid. I went up to her and hugged her.
"How about right now," I asked before I went to get my camera from my desk. I've always had a passion for photography. But I haven't done much in the last few years because of focussing so much into school. I set the camera up on my tripod and called Ginny up. Just as the timer on my camera was about to go off Ginny ran into the room and just about rugby tackled me and Lavender. Flash. "Oh my god, that's going to be epic," I laughed as Ginny grinned proudly in a superwoman pose. I took my camera from the tripod and took a picture of her quick. Then Ginny took my camera from me and took a picture of me quick. I wanted to stick my tongue out at her. But I refrained. Barely. Lavender hugged me as Gin took another picture of me acting goofy. I took my camera back from her after she took a bunch of silly pictures of me and Lavender and pulled both of them into a hug. "You said you wanted to add more sections any time we had kids," I asked Lavender curiously. I don't know why I didn't really think about it as she said it.
"Yeah, I want to add sections of all of our kids. Starting with Amelia, of course," she smiled happily. "And I'm sure that I can find a charm for the scrapbook to be enlarged on the inside to wear we can add more and more without it looking like it's overstuffed."
"That sounds like a really good idea. I can't believe I didn't think of that when I was doing Amelia's scrapbooks," I told her truthfully as we made our way down to the common room.
"Hun, you've been overworked lately. No wonder your brain isn't functioning as it usually does," Ginny laughed as I actually did stick my tongue out at her.
"Well," I had to pause after that. I didn't have a comeback. It sucks. "I have to get some sleep while I actually can."
"Alright, we should head back anyway. We wouldn't want to get our awesome priveledges of coming here to stay with you during the weekends to end," Lavender told me before dragging Ginny out the door and down the stairs.
"Night," I told them as they reached the door. They waved back before the door closed behind them.
I fell asleep as soon as my head hit my pillow.
Running. That's what I was doing. I don't know why, but I feel as though I need to be running. I look around me. Nothing. Absolute blackness. Why? Where is everyone? Amelia? Where's my baby? I try to find anyone. I need to get to my baby. I finally see a tiny bit of light in the distance. I try to run to it. Everytime it starts to get closer, it suddenly is alot farther away. I keep running. Finally after what seems like forever, I make it to the light. I just want to run away from the light now though. Everyone's laughing at me. Calling me names. Harry and Ron turn their backs on me. Ginny just stares as she shakes her head disaprovingly. Why? Why are they mad at me? Why is everyone laughing? Please make it stop. i just want to be with my baby girl. I see someone in the distance that's not laughing. He's sad. I try to go to him. Everyone blocks my way. I can't get to him. Please, just let me go. I fall to the ground and try to block everyone out as I cover my head.
I wake up in a cold sweat. I look around my room and notice it's not even day light out yet. I don't care. I'm wide awake now. I need to see Amelia anyway. So I walked down the stairs and into Amelia's nursery. She's sleeping peacefully. But I don't know why, I just needed to hold her. I picked her up carefully so I didn't wake her and sat down in my rocker. I held her to me and made sure the blanket that was on the back of the chair was covering the both of us. It was starting to get chilly here already. I didn't want her to freeze. I sat there in her nursery for a couple hours just rocking away and watching her sleep.
After a couple hours I heard a knock on the door. Amelia was already awake and fed. She was crawling around in her playpen in the common room while I ate something small. So I answered the door and saw that it was McGonnegal.
"Hello, professor," I tried to smile as I let her in. "What do I owe this surprise?"
"I just wanted to check up on you. You've seemed a little stressed lately," she told me before she sat down on the couch. "How do you like your rooms so far?"
"They're great. I like that I don't have to worry about waking everyone in Gryffindor if Amelia needs me," I told her truthfully while ignoring the first question. I didn't want to answer that one.
"But how are you," she asked noticing I didn't answer her. Damn.
"Truthfully," I asked rhetorically. "I feel exhausted as any new mother would be."
"I'm sorry to hear that," she smiled sadly. "Well, I had something that I wanted to plan and I wanted to see if you would be offended by it before I even started any legit plans," she told me carefully.
"Offend me, professor," I asked dumbfounded.
"Well, after Christmas break, I was going to have all seventh years, except you, partake in a project. It would be a requirement for everyone, except you. But the reason why I wanted to ask you. Is because, well, I want everyone in seventh to have a parenting project in Muggle Studies. As you already have a beautiful baby, I didn't want to offend you with the project," she explained.
"Professor, you would never offend me by wanting kids to learn something," I told her truthfully. "And honestly, I think it's be a good idea. Most people get thrown into parenthood and don't know what to expect. It would be good practise. Why would I not be participating though," I asked curiously.
"Well, I wanted you to have the free time you needed to be with Amelia. The project everyone will be doing will be like the muggle class with a sack of flour. They will be charmed to look like a baby in the class, but they won't have to carry them around after class," she explained again.
"They get it lucky then," I laughed. Amelia found a smaller toy of hers and was about to put it in her mouth. So I jumped up and took it from her. I gave her a gel teaser. Her first tooth was coming in and she wasn't happy about it. She ended up trying to chew on everything she could get on her hands. McGonnegal watched me the whole time.
"Would you have them carry them around," she asked me.
"Yeah, I would. I know which class you are talking about. They had to work with a partner of opposite sex, not only in class, but also outside of class. The project usually only took a week. Of course, time frame would be up to you and Miss Freed," I shrugged.
"I was thinking of having it last a month or two. But I actually think that I like your idea," she smiled to me before standing form her seat. "Try a damp cloth," she said as she noticed Amelia getting antsy with her teaser.
"I will then," I smiled thankfully. "Is that all," I asked.
"I believe so," she smiled kindly and made her way to the door. "Have a good day Miss Granger," she said before leaving.
I went to get dressed for the day. As I just realized that I was still in my pjs. I picked up Ame from her playpen again and went up to my room. I sat her on my bed and handed her her teaser again before going in my closet to pick out some clothes. I settled on a pair of dark washed bootcut jeans, my dark purple off-the-shoulder sweater, a grey tantop to go under it, and my favorite black suade boots that came up just under my knees. I went out into my bedroom so I could keep an eye on Ame while I dressed quickly. Then I charmed my hair so it would be straight. It was starting to get a bit longer now, falling to my nose around my face and just to my shoulders in the back. Instead of only falling to my eyebrows. It sucks because I cant spike it anymore. I pinned up my bangs to keep them from falling into my eyes. Happy with my appearance, I twirled around in front of Ame and made funny noises for her. She laughed. I smiled and picked her up. I had Muggle Studies first today, so I decided I was finally going to take Ame with me. I called Winky and told her I wouldn't need her to watch Ame until after lunch since I only had a double Muggle Studies before lunch. Winky smiled and went back to the kitchens after making sure I was sure. I grabbed my school bag and chramed it so I could fit Amelia's stuff in it without it being to full or heavy. Then I put all Ame's necessities in it before closing it.I slung it over my shoulder and picked Amelia up again from the couch.
I walked down to the Great Hall to meet up with Lavender and the boys, since they had Muggle Studies with me. Poor Ginny had potions with Slughorn. I don't know why, but I actually wish Snape was still alive. I enjoyed potions with him teaching. Slughorn just annoys me. I slid into my seat and fixed Ame so she was sitting on my lap. I dished out some applesauce and fed a little bit to Ame. It seemed to help a little bit. She wasn't eating solid foods. But she liked to eat yogurt and applesauce. After I fed her babyfood of course. Ginny and Lavender slid in on either side of me and dished out their own breakfasts.
"Are you not eating again," Ginny asked me, concerned as I didn't have any food for myself.
"No, I already ate in my room. I just wanted to wait for you guys down here," I shrugged as I fed Ame another spoon of applesauce.
"How long have you been up," Lavender asked wide-eyed. She knew I only ate in the mornings in my room when I had to much time.
"Since four, I think," I shrugged again. I wasn't tired. So I didn't really care that I got up early.
"Bloody hell, why were you up at four," Ron asked as him and Harry sat down on the opposite side of the table. I glared at him.
"I had a nightmare, if you must know. Then I was wide awake, so I didn't go back to sleep," I told him pointedly.
"What was your nightmare about," Harry asked me, concerned.
"I don't remember it really," I lied. Thankfully, they didn't press the subject as they ate. The post came a few minutes later and I got another letter from Malfoy. I opened it hesitantly, then gasped. It was a charcoal drawing of me and Amelia outside under one of the oaks. It looked like my favorite oak tree. I was holding Ame while I read to her. It was beautiful. I flipped it over to see a note on the back.
I saw you reading to her one day and thought I'd draw it for you. It seemed like a special moment. Hopefully you enjoy it.
I loved it. So I turned to the Slytherin table. He was watching me silently. Ame was done eating her applesauce, so I cleaned her up quickly and stood carefully.
"I'll be right back," I told everyone at their questioning glances. Then I turned and walked over to where Draco was sitting. I took a seat across from him since no one was near him at the table. Everyone watched me the whole time. "It's beautiful," I told him quietly.
"Thank you," he smiled back, a genuine smile. I was floored. He had an amazing smile. "I'm glad you like it."
"I didn't know you could draw," I told him truthfully.
"I don't tell alot of people," he shrugged.
"Well, I'm glad you decided to show me," I smiled. He looked at Ame with adoration.
"You want to hold her," I asked carefully. I didn't want to overstep whatever was happening.
"You would let me," he asked me, honestly surprised by my asking.
"I don't see why not," I smiled genuinely. I stood carefully and made my way around the table to hand him Ame. "Just please, don't drop her," I laughed at his horrified expression. "Don't worry, not even Harry or Ron dropped her." I handed him Ame carefully. He was a natural. I sat beside him, just in case. "Can I ask you something," I asked barely above a whisper. Everyone was still watching, except my friends. They were talking and laughing, as if nothing was out of the ordinary. I was glad. He nodded his head, not taking his eyes off of Ame. "Why do you care this year?" He looked up finally. I could see sadness in his eyes.
"I was the one who found you," he answered just as quietly as I asked.
"Wh-, How? Weren't you here at school," I asked surprised. I never thought that I'd know who saved me.
"I had the weekend off because of my father's trial," he said. I could tell that wasn't a subject he wanted to talk about.
"I was flying to clear my head before going back to school the next day. I was to late to stop him, but I ripped him off of you before he could kill you," he told me sadly. I just about cried. Amelia did. He looked at Amelia alarmed. I took her silently and held her close.
"Shh, it's okay, baby girl. Mommy's just a little upset. Shhh," I cooed to her to calm her down. After she was calm, I looked over to Draco again. "Thank you." I didn't have to say why, he knew. "Did you want to join me over with my friends? It's a bit lonely over here, don't you think?"
"Sure," he said before grabbing his cup of tea and standing up with me. I thought everyone was staring when I came over here. I was wrong. Now, everyone was staring. We walked over to the Gryffindor table silently. I took up my place in between Ginny and Lavender, while Draco sat beside Harry. "Hi, Potter, Weasley," he greeted the boys.
"Hey, mate," Harry greeted back. Ron just nodded. He was still stuffing his face. Ugh. Lavender noticed my face and glanced at her boyfriend.
"Ron, manners please, there are people around," she rolled her eyes as Ron slowed down a little bit and actually closed his mouth while he chewed. Again, this girl amazes me. She can actually get Ron to behave like a civilized human being.
"So," Ginny drew out the word. Uh oh. "How have you been this year, Draco?"
"Um, good, I suppose. It's better here than at my house where I'm alone most times," He shrugged. I was curious. But I had a feeling I knew why.
"How come," I asked. Stupid mouth. I didn't want to be rude and ask. He looked at me sadly. I already knew why.
"Because my mum is in France most of the time anymore. She has way to many bad memories in the Manor to stay there. But, we don't want to sell it just yet. And of course, my father got the kiss last year," He tried to shrug it off. I knew better. The way he looked at me. He knew something. And he was deeply saddened by it. I stood up and made sure that Ame was comfortable.
"Did you want to walk with me," I asked Draco. He had Muggle Studies as well since it was a mandatory class now that the war is over. It was a Slytherin/Gryffindor class. He nodded his head and got up with me. "We'll see you in class," I told everyone before we started for class. We didn't talk most of the way there. But halfway up, he looked at me and stopped. I stopped with him.
"I should have been there to stop him," he said sadly.
"Draco, I'm going to tell you what I've told everyone of my friends and family members," I started. He looked up to me, as he had been looking down at the ground after he said that. "I had a crappy year last year and really bad luck. But I got my baby girl out of it. So I would not change a thing about it," I told him firmly. He was about to open his mouth to protest, but I stopped him before he could. "And no, you couldn't have known that I was going to be raped that night. It's not your fault. It's not anyone but the bastard's fault." He closed his mouth and nodded. I smiled. "On to lighter subjects, why do you like me all of a sudden?" He blushed. It was so subtle that I almost didn't see it, but it was there.
"It's not as sudden as you would think," he told me quietly as we started for class again.
"What do you mean," I asked suspiciously.
"I-, I," he paused before he looked around for people. "Do you remember getting a white lily?"
"Yeah," I told him slowly. We reached the classroom, but it was locked still. So we stood outside talking still.
"I sent it," he said with his eyes trained on the floor. "I didn't have the guts to sign my name to the note though."
"Huh," I said. I honestly forgot about the lily until now. It had been right after we got to school last year. So I thought it was from one of the many admirers that myself, Ron, and Harry had from the war. Thankfully, that died down. I hated being followed by people all the time. Harry still gets it when he goes to populated areas though. But I'm not surprised by it. The note Malfoy sent with the lily was cute, so I had kept it. It read: 'A beautiful lily, for a beautiful woman.'
"A beautiful lily, for a beautiful woman," he said quietly. If I had any doubts that he had sent it before, I didn't now. I smiled.
"What made you send it," I asked curiously.
"I don't know," he shrugged. I could tell he wasn't done talking though, so I stayed silent. "I had liked you for a few years before that. I was so angry when you were tortured in my manor. I can never forgive myself for just sitting there, watching."
"Don't," I cut him off from continuing. He looked at me with sad eyes. "You couldn't have stopped any of them, even if you had tried. They would've just punished you, if they didn't murder you, and then kept torturing me. You did what was best," I told him truthfully. I never once thought to blame him for those events.
The rest of our classmates were finally starting to go to their classes and our teacher unlocked the door. We walked in silently and sat down in the middle of the classroom. We didn't utter another word from our previous conversation. But I could tell he seemed a bit happier after I told him I didn't blame him. Harry, Ron, and Lavender came in the door at the last minute. Harry sat with Neville in front of us, while Ron and Lavender sat behind us. I smiled.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I'm sorry I haven't updated to much this week. But I've been busy with work. I will put up the next chapter as soon I can, but it may take me a week to get it up. Again, sorry for the wait.