Chapter 36 : Start of Something New
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Harry's green eyes looked Draco Malfoy up and down with an expression that was a mixture of amusement and confusion glinting in them. He wasn't exactly sure how to respond to the revelation his childhood enemy had just spoken of. Was he seriously delusional? He didn't know the real, adult personality of Draco Malfoy and was in no way certain whether or not his wish was genuine or a sarcastic remark. Or possibly that he was just plain stupid as all heck.
Harry wondered whether Draco's egotistical bigheadedness had taken up the space of his brain that could think logically.
"Malfoy are you daft?" Harry said the words before he could stop them from flowing freely out of his mouth.
"I'm serious Potter," Draco said with a hint of desperation hiding behind his I'm-Draco-Malfoy-and-I'm-too-cool-to-act-like-I-care-too-much tone. "I want to propose to her and I need your help to do it."
"Malfoy, when a girl breaks up with you for cheating she probably is not wanting to go hop on the Knight Bus to a wedding chapel days after."
"I know that, but-", Draco paused for a split second. "I didn't cheat on her!"
"Nice try Malfoy, but she caught you red-handed. You're lucky I don't hex you into total oblivion for hurting her like that. In case you didn't know, you hurt her badly. She hasn't been at work and she's been at home spending half her time crying over your sorry arse."
"That doesn't even sound like Hermione Granger." Draco said automatically.
Harry ignored the confusion that flooded his mind - Draco was not one to call her Hermione, ever - and instead he answered differently. "Look, she puts up a brave face, but at the end of the day, she's still a human being that is suffering a break up."
"Look at your, Potter. Turned in to a right good psychiatrist, now didn't you?"
"I'm not joking, Malfoy. Now, do you want my damn advice or are you going to leave me the hell alone and let me get back to my job?"
"Someone is not the most pleasant this fine day," Draco rolled his eyes. "But, I'm....sorry. Would you please hear me out already? I didn't cheat on her-"
"-yeah, right. And I'm a Cornish pixie-"
"-I didn't! It was that ruddy Pansy. She put some charm on me and only she could end the kiss."
"What was the name of the charm?"
"Dunno," Draco scratched the back of his head. "Didn't tell me."
"Look, if you can't give me a spell, how in Merlin's name am I going to be able to believe you?"
Draco clenched his fists at his sides. He wasn't sure how on Earth he could prove his innocence. In his experience with Harry Potter, he would go to the ends of the Earth to help you if you proved your worth, but if you hurt someone he cared about? You were on your own.
Suddenly, an idea sprang to his head, "What if I gave you something in return?"
Harry squared his jaw," Typical Malfoy. The going gets tough, so you go straight to Daddy's money..."
"I wasn't talking money," Draco said quickly.
Draco smirked, "Not that easy, Potter. Besides, I'm not supposed to share this information. But, I love Hermione, no matter how much sense that doesn't make. I'll give you what I know if you'll help me talk to Hermione. She's put up some spell around her flat that won't let me past it without some sort of pass code or something. Give that to me and I'll give you the information."
Harry slammed recently picked up papers on his desk, clearly steaming from anger, "Typical Malfoy, selling out a friend to get something you want."
"I mean it, Potter. As hard as it may be for either of us to believe, I really do care about your friend. Besides, how is it such a stretch of the imagination? Our blood statuses may differ, Potter, but there are several similarities between us. Take our brains for example, neither of us are particularly lacking in that. We can challenge each other, that's what makes us work."
"I never said that there wasn't a potential spark there," Harry hissed. "But, the fact of the matter is that Hermione doesn't take betrayal lightly, she takes it to the heart."
"I didn't betray her!" Draco fired back.
"Whatever. I have work to do."
"You don't believe me?" Draco's voice was so cold that icicles were growing icicles.
Harry stared at Draco blankly, without speaking.
"Fine," Draco began backing out of the room as an idea struck his suddenly. "I'll prove it to you. Both of you. You'll be sorry you ever doubted me."
He backed out of the room and began a stiff walk down the hall. He navigated the building quickly and seemingly with ease, dodging employees left and right, heading towards the third floor where what he needed lay.
"Can I help you?" The gruff voice of an approximately five foot woman said.
"Just delivering a message," he said absently.
She rolled her eyes, "Go on ahead."
She was clearly, much to his thankfulness, not in the mood to deal with anything, really.
Eventually he saw the door labeled, 'MAGICAL POTIONS AND MEDICAL REMEDIES'. He glanced around nervously to ensure no one was behind him, then quickly slid in the door and shut it tightly behind him. He looked around and saw that there was ceiling-to-floor rows of potions filling the entire room. He drew his wand by his side and brought it up to his cheek.
"Accio veritaserum!" He said carefully. For a moment, he wasn't sure whether it would work, although he hadn't a clue why it wouldn't.
Luckily though, the next thing he knew he had a small vile in his hands.
He grinned, that was much easier than he had anticipated. Now all he had to do was get past Hermione's charm and give her the proof she needed that he was an innocent man.
"Wonnie, do you think we could just maybe turn back and go to a pub or something? They haven't seen us yet..." Lavender turned to leave, but Ron caught her arm.
"Don't worry about it, Lav. I mean, they may not adore you, but they'll be happy about the baby news. Trust me."
Lavender was clearly not convinced by Ron's words, but she took his hand anyway. They had made arrangements to go to the Burrow and tell the family the good news about the gender of the baby and try and get a clear head about their plans once she arrived.
The pair got within a couple feet of being in viewing distance of the Weasley clan, who were waiting in the family room, when Lavender stopped. She looked to Ron one more time, a pleading look in her eyes: she didn't want to be doing this. She knew how they felt about her.
They entered the room, which grew eerily quiet as soon as they were in sight. Mrs. Weasley inhaled sharply. They were all keeping their eyes glued to the large bump in between Lav's hips. She was less than two months away from delivering the baby, that much was clear. She looked as if she was close to bursting.
After a couple awkward minutes, Mrs. Weasley came to her feet and walked over to them with open arms, hugging each of them, "Good to see you, dears. Would you like a seat? Or tea, I can whip up some tea for you, or-"
"We're fine, Mum," Ron said, hoisting himself on to the armrest of the sofa.
Mrs. Weasley gave him a stern look, "Ronald, I was talking to Lavender. You know ruddy well where everything is, but she is our guest, so I'm going to make her as comfortable as possible."
"I'm fine, thank you," Lavender said, taking a seat beside Ron. "Besides, I think I'm about as comfortable as I'm going to be until the baby comes." She laughed as her and Ron placed their hands on her enlarged stomach.
"Now, Ronald, Lavender," Mr. Weasley said, folding his arms on his lap and leaning forward, "I understand there's something you two need to tell us."
"Oh, Merlin!" George sighed. "You've married, haven't you?"
Lavender and Ron each laughed stiffly and Ron popped his collar like one does in when it's rather hot, "No, we aren't married."
"Oh, thank heavens.." Mrs. Weasley sighed. "Not that that would be a bad thing, but that's another stress to add on to the stress of having a child and I do not think that's a step you two are ready for."
"Hold on," Ron said. "I thought you two were the ones wanting us to get married?"
"Now, your father and I had thought that getting married would be the most opportune thing for the child, but after a lot of thought, we've changed our minds. After all, if the two of your hearts aren't in this marriage, it won't work. Two unmarried people can raise a child together."
"Glad you see it our way," Ron said smugly. "Now about the news..."
Everyone looked around at each other.
"At the last meeting with Healer Styles, we were offered the chance to find out the gender of the baby, and...we took the offer." Ron said, leaving them in anticipation.
"Any final guesses?" Lavender said hopefully.
"Definitely a boy," Mrs. Weasley said. "You're carrying low and with the Weasley genetics..."
"I agree with Molly," Arthur said. "Boy."
"So unoriginal you two are," George scoffed. "I've got money on it being a girl."
"I'm thinking this is a trick question." Bill said from where he'd been quietly standing by the furnace. "I say you're having twins and that it's one of each."
"Well, Bill, congratulations," Lavender said and everyone's eyebrows raised. "That's incorrect. There's only one little Weasley in here." She rubbed her belly.
"Well, c'mon! We're dying here!" Mrs. Weasley laughed.
"Alright, alright!" Ron said with a grin.
He grabbed Lav's hands, "You can tell them, Lav."
"Why tell them, when I can show them?" She took out her wand and waved it, muttering a quick spell.
A fluffy silver cloud sprang from the end and then suddenly it turned a bright pink color and in also pink letters it said "It's a GIRL!"
"Hah!" George jumped up, "I told you!"
There were excited shrieks and congratulations for the next few minutes, all of them visibly excited about the fact there it was a girl.
"Well, do you have any named picked out yet?" Bill asked. "Personally, me and Fleur had ours picked out not two months after being told there was indeed a child to be naming..."
"We've got a few ideas, we've got about five that we really like."
"Do you mind sharing them with us?" Mrs. Weasley asked excitedly. She may not be Lavender's biggest fan, but she would already jump through flaming hoops for her granddaughter.
"We actually wanted to talk to you about them, get your opinions. Ultimately, we'll decide. But input is always appreciated."
"The ones we really like are: Olivia, Abigail (Abbi for short), Madeline, Dahlia and Elsie. Those are really the ones we really liked and agreed on."
"I'm impressed, those are all really lovely."
"Now, we'll come back to names, but I have to go to work again soon, so I really must ask you two a couple things before I go," Arthur said quickly. "Once the baby gets here, for one, how are you two going to raise her? A newborn can't be going from Daddy's house to Mommy's house a lot, she isn't going to be able to travel a lot or be aware from Lavender for long periods of time."
"I'd been meaning to touch on that too," Ron said. "I haven't talked to Lavender too much about this, so I don't know exactly what she's going to say, but I was thinking that the two of us could our own place together in London. I'm not saying we should up and get married, but I think living together would let us both be full time parents and put in an equal amount of work."
"How do you feel about that, Lavender?" Mrs. Weasley asked. She was not going to reprimand her son anymore about how they should be married to do that; it would only cause an argument and he'd still do what he wanted anyway.
"Whoa," Lavender said. "I guess I probably should have been expecting this, but I just hadn't too much of it."
"It's alright if you need to think on it, Hun."
"I don't," Lavender said certainly. "I think that that is a really good idea. She needs both parents available to her, no matter how we feel about each other in the future. At least as a newborn."
"So, we're going to move in together?" Ron asked excitedly, a grin plastered on his face.
"If that's what you really want,"
"Then, yeah. I guess we are."
"Well, this is wonderful news, I'm happy for the both of you!" Arthur said. "I can't wait to meet my granddaughter in..."
"Seven weeks," Lavender finished.
"Seven weeks." He repeated. "Wow, time has really been creeping up on us, hasn't it? Well, this was a lot better than I anticipated it being and I hope the two of you come by again soon, before she comes. Once the baby gets here, everything changes, even things you think won't. Remember that. Now, I must be off to work before Kingsley fires myself." He left after giving everyone a hug and a big smile, leaving Ron, Lavender, Mrs. Weasley, Bill and George in the room.
"Well, on that lovely note, how about a spot of lunch?" Mrs. Weasley said brightly as she excused herself to the kitchen.
"I'm going to go excuse myself to the ladies room," Lavender said, quickly.
She followed Mrs. Weasley, "Molly!"
"I need to have a word with you, if you don't mind," Lavender said urgently.
"What is it dear?"
"I'm sorry about the other day. I was out of line and I know that now. I apologize for everything, I guess my hormones sometimes get the best of me."
Mrs. Weasley smiled warmly, "All's forgiven darling. But, there is one thing you should know."
"I've seen your type before, and I'll be watching you. If you dare hurt my son...you'll answer to me."
Lavender's eyes darkened, "Yes ma'am. But, that's won't happen."
"Be sure it doesn't."
By this point, Draco had made an incessant amount of noise outside Hermione's apartment she was currently rejecting any attempt me made to talk to her. Having obliviated the truth telling vial he had brought due to speculation he'd tainted it, he no longer had any way to prove his innocence, much to his chagrin.
"I said 'No!', Malfoy!" she screamed, tempting him to push her further.
"You have to-"
She had her wand against his throat in an instant, her entire body seething. He was silent aside from his very large and loud gulp. He knew exactly what she was capable of.
"Stop," she growled. "Lying is an easy thing for you, it seems you lie more than you breath. I'm sure you'd love it if I bought your lie, but I'm not that ignorant. I wish I could trust you, but I can't."
"Hermione!" Harry's voice suddenly shouted.
She turned to see him running their way with a large vial in his hands.
"Give him this," he instructed. "It's some potion I got at Mungo's, I was supposed to deliver it. It passed inspection, so it's a legitimate one. It's a truth telling potion. Give him that and you'll no with no question."
She gave him an uncertain look, but extended her arm and took the vial.
"Thanks," she said, still surprised by his sudden entrance.
He left as quickly as he'd come, leaving Hermione and Draco alone again.
"Fine," she relented, handing him the bottle. "Prove this innocence you're so sure exists."
He tossed back a large swallow of the drink and his face made a sour composure, it clearly tasted nothing like pumpkin juice.
After a moment he spoke, "I never cheated on you. Pansy put some ruddy charm on me that made her the only one able to end the kiss. I didn't have a counter curse for it, but that's what happened. I never wanted to kiss her. If I was going to cheat, I'd pick someone worth cheating with...Pansy does not fit that equation."
"And that's the truth?" Hermione pushed, her emotions doing a total one eighty.
"If it wasn't, I wouldn't have been able to say it and you know it. I'm sorry for hurting you, Hermione. I know we put up with a lot of people's crap and our relationship isn't an easy one, but at the end of the day it's so worthwhile. "
"Where is this going, Malfoy" Hermione asked with a smile.
"I know this probably seems out of nowhere, but considering it was meant to happen without the Pansy stuff..."
"Now that you know the truth," He got down on one knee and pulled out a silver ring. "Will you marry me?"
A/N I'm finally back! Sorry for the long wait, this chapter gave me lots of troubles! Oh, so there's a cliffy! What will she say? Also, I want to know which name you like best and opinions on them and stuff. I know which one I plan to choose, but I still love opinion. The baby is almost here! Eek! Only a few chapters to go! I'm really excited, there's going to be some more twists and stuff soon. Well, thanks for reading. I love you all
Oh and I've now reached over 100k views! Eek! Thank you so much, that's a lot more than I ever anticipated! I've also officially been working on the story for two years, which is crazy yet really cool at the same time! Time sure does fly!
Have a great day! And I'd love a message in the box below, if you don't mind.
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