Chapter 15 : Chapter Fifteen - Love Trials and Tribulations
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I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. How could I have been so stupid, the bouts of sickness, the inability to sleep, the mood swings. I’m pregnant; the test in my hand confirms it. How could we have been so stupid to not use the contraception charm? Or even a simple muggle condom. This is too soon, we aren’t even married, what will he say? It doesn’t matter; I will love my child whatever happens. I will give them the childhood I never had. I can’t think of myself now I have a new life to think of. I hope he will be happy when I tell him.
Hermione found the worries of her Mother quite endearing. Knowing her Mother had just found out she was pregnant with Hermione, Hermione knew there were only a few entries left to read. There were no more letters as far as Hermione could see suggesting the not so happy ending that Hermione was hoping for. Nevertheless Hermione was a smart girl and was beginning to figure out who her Mother’s mystery man and Hermione’s Father was. If it wasn’t for the passing conversation she’d had with someone many months ago, she might never have made this connection.
Hermione decided since it was her day off that she would visit the one place she’d avoided for the last two and a half years. She was no longer angry as she had once been and she needed to be able to tell her Mother that she was sorry, even if that apology was coming a little too late. Hermione had never set much store in religion but she held much hope and she hoped that her Mother would hear her words from wherever she now rested her head.
“Where are you going?” asked Sirius.
“Out” replied Hermione.
Sirius nodded curtly.
“Are you alright Sirius?” she asked.
“Fine, just made a breakthrough is all” he replied nervously.
Hermione had the sense to leave Sirius to it; he had seemed nervous yet excited, so whatever he had stumbled upon had to be big news. She knew Sirius would want to explore all options before he revealed his finds to others. In that sense Sirius and Hermione were alike.
It didn’t take long for Hermione to reach the quiet place she was going to. She had always felt that there was something magical about graveyards, all those forgotten stories, all the untold memories. Graveyards were supposed to be sad; a place to remember those who had passed. Hermione didn’t view it as an ending of something rather as a beginning of something new. She was glad that even though she’d not visited her Mother’s grave since the burial, she’d hired someone to care for the patch of land. It seemed that Hermione’s Mother had been loved by many people in her later life. The patch of land where her grave now stood was bigger than any other, and was a sign that showed how well loved she was by society.
Hermione paused briefly as she gazed upon the headstone. She hadn’t designed it nor ordered it yet here it was and inscribed with words that weren’t familiar to Hermione. It was just another part of the puzzle, Hermione supposed that in death her Mother was free to be who she really was and not the fake image she’d projected.
Hermione sat before her Mother’s grave and laid a bunch of white daisies next to the headstone. Hermione remembered that her Mother had always preferred wild garden flowers to the artificially perfect blooms bought in a store. Hermione’s Mother had liked the small things in life; she’d liked those things that were untainted, free and wild, without restriction. She hated those things that were tied down in life; she used to think it was a shame. Hermione understood now why her Mother had felt like that.
Hermione felt silly talking to a grave but there was no one around and she didn’t think that her thoughts would do the apology justice.
“Hi Mum. I don’t know where you are right now but I hope it’s somewhere that’s full of colour and life. I know that’s what you would have wanted. I’m sorry it’s taken me over two and a half years to come and visit you. I was angry. The lies you’d told had unraveled my life and I was being selfish taking it out on you. I should have known that there was a perfectly good reason for your actions”, Hermione paused, already feeling the tears beginning to course down her cheeks. She hadn’t planned to get emotional but it seemed her heart had other ideas.
“You told me so many times but I’m glad I was able to brighten up your life, I know it doesn’t change anything but I’m sorry for the hand you were dealt. It must not have been easy for you growing up. I also know that the last years of your life weren’t as good as they could have been. That’s partially my fault, but I know you were also hiding from your demons, I hope you faced them in the end”.
She sighed; she could hear the soft crunch of footsteps in the distance. The grass crumpling under the weight of somebody’s feet.
“I’m sorry for all that I did to make your life hard, I know I said I hated you for what you’d done, but I don’t. I never did, I was angry but I never should have said that. I miss you, I really do. I can only hope that I’m forgiven. I wish I could see you one more time” she sobbed, her emotion finally getting the best of her.
She felt warm arms encircle her and pull her up to her feet, her tears were flowing freely now as she was enveloped into a loving embrace.
“Hush love, it’s just me”.
“D-Draco?” she stuttered, her sobs making it hard to talk.
“Yes love, I’m here”.
“You followed me”.
“Of course I did love, you needed me. I wasn’t going to let you face this all alone”.
She snuggled into him, “Thank you” she mumbled.
“No problem, I’ll always be here for you” he replied.
“I made your shirt wet” she muttered pulling away slightly.
He looked down at her tear stained face. Even with tears running down her cheeks and puffy red eyes, she looked beautiful to him.
“It’s just a shirt” he said.
She gave him a small smile and he leaned down to place a gentle kiss on her lips.
“Take me home Draco” she requested.
Draco could only nod and comply with the request of the witch who had captured his heart.
As Draco and Hermione apparated from sight, a lone figure walked into view. The man had been staggering nervously from grave to grave in search of the right name. If he’d arrived five minutes previously things would have been quite different. He was so tired of this search, so weary. But he continued through his own suffering, the graves becoming blurry as he tried to read yet another inscription. He wished his search hadn’t led him to a graveyard, he’d been ever so hopeful that it would all turn out alright.
He didn’t know much about muggle graveyards but he moved away from the stones covered in moss and mold, the ones where the writing had almost gone, the ones that had been forgotten in time and instead searched ones that were clearly cared for and still loved. That’s where he finally found her, nestled within a small hedgerow with beautiful country flowers. He sank to his knees in a combination of joy and grief. Joy that he’d finally found her and grief that he was too late. His fingers traced over the engraving on the headstone.
Formally known as Caroline
‘I am not alone for I have
My child, my love, my life’.
He felt the sorrow enter his heart knowing that the Isabella he’d spent so long searching for had died. Part of him felt like his quest was now over, part of him was glad that he couldn’t tell his brother what had happened to Isabella. Yet another part of him knew that his search was far from over. He knew Isabella had been pregnant when she’d run from his brother and here on her gravestone was proof that that child could possibly still be alive.
He might still have a niece somewhere out in there in the world, yet he didn’t know her name or where to look for her. How could he stop his search when there was still someone missing? He had to continue looking if not for himself then for Isabella, his brother and this child.
He stumbled away from the grave with a new determination in mind. He could find what he needed; it was probably in records somewhere in a forgotten cabinet. He’d find the child.
The New Golden Couple
Hello hello my dear readers, what a scoop I have for you this week! Forget romantic dates; forget families’ visits and romantic gifts. The new Golden Couple had a date in a graveyard of all places!! That’s right readers, the young handsome Draco Malfoy and plain Hermione Granger were seen cavorting in the middle of the graveyard. Their kisses would have awakened the whole graveyard if they had continued that way for long.
Their eyes were sparkling with untold love! Does this mean something more for the Golden Couple? Could there be ringing bells in the near future? All this reporter can tell you is that Ronald Weasley really lucked out when he discarded Hermione Granger.
Now she’s an Enchantress with her own Academy, an army of Lords and Knights of Duty and a fortune that she probably isn’t even aware of! It’s a pity that Mr. Malfoy got in there first ladies and gents as I imagine Miss Granger would have an army of admirers if she was still single. Her looks wouldn’t feature considering who she is and how much money she stands to gain. Just as well!
Hermione threw down the Daily Prophet in an angry huff, what had seemed to start as a quite pleasant article had turned sour and unkind. Who was this reporter to comment on her life with Draco? At least it wasn’t Rita Skeeter, but it appeared to be someone who was copying her and that was never going to be a good thing. The world could do without Rita Skeeters at all!
The problem was that the Wizarding World didn’t seem able to function without the gossip that the Daily Prophet produced. It could be said that life was boring now that there was no real threat. It could be annoying however, when you were someone like Hermione, to be constantly hounded and presented in the gossip columns.
What could she do with the press hounding her, wanting answers to her relationship with Draco? Should she fight back? Press charges? Ignore them? Hermione had a smart brain but she was also cunning, she decided quite spontaneously to hold a ball. It would be the correct thing to do really. Since the opening of the Academy, everyone had been flushed with a heavy flow of business, then there was the matter of establishing a new center for magical creatures (Hermione still refused to speak to Lucinda) and what with her and Draco making the front page every other day, things were hectic. A ball would be just the thing to smooth things over and for others to see that Hermione and Draco were serious about each other.
What sort of ball should she hold though? There were so many different themes to chose from; winter wonderland, wild west, back to school, classic, costume, Halloween, James bond, and around the world. Suddenly she smiled, ‘of course’ she said out loud: A Venetian Masked Ball! Everybody would enjoy that.
She would organize for the Knights of Duty to have most control in planning the event, they could even act as the security. She would have them wear beautiful 18th century red coats lined in gold with braided trimming. They’d have to hire a hall or a marquee. She was sure Lucius had the relative connections; perhaps she could persuade Lucius and Severus to hold it at Malfoy Manor. She’d have to invite some important people, but mostly it could just be for friends.
Speaking of Severus she really needed to see him now. She realized she’d kind of left him in the lurch earlier by hurrying away and not fully explaining. Plus if she saw him now, chances were she’d bump into Lucius, and then she could talk to him about her ball idea.
Funnily enough Severus was placed exactly where she had left him, his shoulders tensed and bent over his desk intently studying something. Hermione watched him happily for a few moments before making her presence known.
“Severus” she announced.
“Hermione” he paused, “You are truly spectacular”.
“I am?” she asked.
“This cure, all the work and the research you’ve done. The theories you must have gone through. It really is an exquisite piece of work” he replied.
Right the cure she thought.
“It’s almost finished” he said, “Over there, the big cauldron on the end” he waved his hand in the general direction.
Hermione made her way over, looking at the potion excitedly. So her research had really worked, she’d had her doubts when she’d handed it all over to Severus but here stood the result of all her hard work.
“Will it hurt him?” she asked.
“Most assuredly” he replied.
She nodded her head, it was silly really but she wanted to make this as non painful as she could.
Severus sighed, “The cure was always going to be painful; Lord Byron locked away his heart, that comes at a price. Lord Byron sealed away his heart and as a result he became the man we see today. To remove that lock takes some powerful magic, magic that you have Hermione. Lord Byron may not be happy with what we are to do but I believe no one should have done what he did to himself, nor have to suffer through it” said Severus.
Hermione nodded, she could understand his reasons. Surely there was a time in most people’s lives when they felt like Lord Byron had. There is always that moment when you wish that you could just lock up your emotions and protect yourself. The difference between Lord Byron and the rest of the world was that he was foolish enough to do just that. Severus was right, no one should have to suffer like that.
Hermione wanted to run away when it came to administering the potion to Lord Byron. A small part of her was worried about his reaction and was scared that he might blame her. After all he’d locked his heart away for a reason, so logically speaking Hermione had no right to interfere. She was very nervous as she looked down at Lord Byron, he was strapped down to his bed. This was a precaution they said, in case things took a turn for the worse. Again Hermione didn’t like it but she understood.
In the end, it was Luna who administrated the potion. Her no nonsense attitude worked quite well in the situation, but no amount of calm words or forward planning was ever going to erase the sounds of the broken screams that came from Lord Byron. It was like the whole world was coming down around them, he sounded so terrified, weak and vunerable. Whatever he was seeing, whatever he was feeling, Hermione wished she could stop the pain for him. She didn’t think his reaction would be this bad, she didn’t think about all the years he’d kept his heart locked away.
His screams went on and on until there was nothing left, he’d screamed his last scream. Then if possible things seemed worse, he just lay there, eyes unblinking, body unmoving. Hermione thought for a split second that he had died, but no she could very faintly hear his heartbeat. It was traumatizing to see him this way. Hermione couldn’t stop staring.
“Hermione”, yes that’s definitely Luna’s voice thought Hermione, “Hermione, why don’t you go home, you look very pale” she said.
“Home, yes, ok” stuttered Hermione, she seemed for once at a loss for words.
“He’ll be ok. We’ll be watching him twenty-four seven, but it will be a slow healing path” said Luna.
Hermione nodded dumbly, stumbling away from the silent Lord and home to the comfort of her bed.
This story is coming to an end, I hope people are still enjoying it ;3 ~ Zyii
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