We all collectively gasped when Draco fell to the floor. Luckily he braced himself on his hands and knees. The shock of having a child took the breath right out of him, he seemed to be hyperventilating.
“Draco…” I kneeled down and rubbed his back. “Draco I know this is a shock for you… come sit back on the couch, we need to talk about this.”
He shook his head and crawled toward the open door. “I need… I need to see her again. Now.” He gasped out.
“Harry the door please!” I screeched and he closed it seconds before Draco reached it. He began pounding on it like a child and breathing raggedly.
“Open it…. Now. I can’t… I have to see her…” Draco continued to pound on the door while kneeling in front of it. Harry, Ron, Ginny and I watched. Eventually his fists slowed and his body began to shake and tremble.
My heart broke for him. He had a child he never knew about. My child. Our child. It was devastating for me to think Cassiopeia would never know her father, but here he was; sobbing like a baby after learning he has had a daughter for the past two and a half years. I knew tears were streaming down my face again as I kneeled beside my love.
I placed a hand on the back of his neck and he turned to embrace me, crushing me to him. I held him as tightly as I could.
“I’m so sorry Hermione… so sorry. I should have been here, if I had known-”
“If you had known Malfoy, then you would have come back and put both of their lives in danger. This was the only way.” Ron started out strongly but ended in a pained whisper.
Draco slowly detached himself from my arms and stalked towards Ron, a look of pure loathing on his face. “Draco…” I called to him while trying to get up to get to him before something bad happened.
“You don’t know what this feels like Weasley.” Draco seethed and Ron took a noticeable step backwards. “You don’t know what it was like to abandon the only good and pure thing in your life so you could protect it. I sold my soul to you and the Ministry, thinking I had to redeem myself because of my part in the war. What did I get? I got the beating of a life time. The lose of my true love, and apparently I’ve missed out on being a father for the past 3 years.” Draco’s voice was cold as he spoke to Ron. Luckily he wasn’t advancing on him anymore, just staring him down. I couldn’t help the sobs that escaped me as I listened. Ginny tried to comfort me while Harry had a hand on Draco’s shoulder.
“Malfoy I just meant-” Ron tried but was cut off.
“No. You don’t get to speak. I missed watching Hermione’s stomach grow with my child. I missed seeing my baby while it was still in her womb. I missed watching her eat disgusting food combinations and cry over every little thing. I missed creating a room with a crib and arguing over what color to paint the walls. I missed her going into labor. I missed my child being born.” Sobs were now coming from Draco as well as me and Ginny. “I missed everything. My child doesn’t know who I am. She didn’t have a father. I had a father… and he was terrible, he was absent, he was abusive. I swore I’d never be like him when I had my own children. And now look what’s become of me. I’ve been the most absent father in history. She’ll never forgive me…”
Draco ended in a whisper and hid his face in his hands, his body still trembling. I broke away from Ginny and wrapped my arms around him once more. He automatically brought me into him, walking us over to the couch and sitting down. For a long while we sat there wrapped in each others arms just rocking back and forth and crying for the years and experiences we had both lost out on.
I felt a gentle caress on my forehead, brushing away my hair. I looked up to see Ginny and Harry standing close to us.
“Hermione… Ron left a little while ago. I think we are going to go as well. If you need anything please floo over, owl or send a patronus. We’re here whenever you need us.” Ginny bent down to place a kiss on my head then Draco’s. “Draco I can’t tell you what it means to us, all of us, to have you back. We’ve missed you.” She brushed a hand through his hair then turned to the door and waited for Harry.
“I know Harry… but it still hurts.” I gave him a tight smile and he nodded before joining his wife at the door and leaving the two of us to ourselves.
“I want to see her again Hermione… I need to see her.” Draco whispered into my hair. I pulled away and looked at him with worried eyes.
“Draco I don’t know if that’s such a good idea right now…” Those were not a good choice of words. He stood up and started pacing around the room, running his fingers through his hair.
“She’s my child Hermione! I want to see her. I have a right to see her.” He stopped to face me, anger gleaming in his eyes. I stood up and faced him, arms folded across my chest.
“She is OUR child Draco. And we need to do what’s best for her. Thrusting some strange man into her life and expecting her to call him dada right away isn’t good for her.”
“Damn it Hermione! I’m not some strange man, I’m her FATHER!” He bellowed at me, his chest was heaving and it looked as though he was going to cry again. I walked over to him and took his face in my hands so he had no choice but to calm down and hear my words.
“Shh, I know. I know that Draco, but she doesn’t.”
“Then we’ll tell her.” He said firmly.
“Draco… she thinks you’re dead.”
“She thinks her daddy is up in Heaven with the angels and Great Grandma Granger.” I rubbed gentle circles on his cheeks with my thumbs.
“Oh Hermione… When?” His eyes were saddened for me and he forgot his fight for the moment.
“Last year. She had a stroke… there was nothing they could do.” My eyes became misty at the memory of my late Grandmother. “She and Cassie had a special bond even though she was just a baby really. Whenever she was around her little face would light up.” I smiled though a few tears leaked from my eyes.
Draco pulled me into his embrace. “I’m so sorry Hermione. I wish I was here for you all those years…. Maybe you would all be better off it I really was dead...”
I pulled back from him quickly and slapped him again, lighter this time.
“Don’t you EVER say that again Draco Lucius Malfoy! EVER! You hear me?” I yelled at him as I cried for the zillionth time.
Draco fought with my struggling body until I was firmly nestled under his chin and against his chest.
“Shh… I’m sorry. I don’t know why I said that… I’m just so frustrated that I gave up my perfect life and for what? So that I could miss everything wonderful and beautiful, everything I wanted with you? I was selfish Hermione. I thought I would be doing something good for once if I went on that assignment. I didn’t think about the consequences if it should go wrong. I didn’t think how it would affect you… affect us. I was a bloody fool.”
I nodded my head in response. “Yes. You were. But I need you Draco, and… your daughter needs you. This won’t be easy, it will take some time. But you’re part of this family and now that I have you back I’m never letting you go.” He tightened his hold on me and kissed the top of my head.
“Never again love. Never again.”
Being back in his arms was wonderful. Once again I breathed him in and let my mind wander…
“Come on Granger, we need to get ready for the Hogsmeade trip today. It’s almost 8 am.” Draco whispered in my ear and rolled on top of me.
“Sod off Malfoy.” I growled and was rewarded with slow teasing kisses being placed on my bare skin. “Mmm Draco…” I moaned before he captured my lips with his.
He gave me a slow, toe curling kiss before pulling away and gazing down into my tired eyes.
“I love you Hermione.” He whispered. I reached up to encircle his neck with my arms and pulled him back down on top of me.
“I love you too. How much time do we have till we need to be down by the carriages?” I asked before I licked his lower lip. Draco moaned and rolled us so I was straddling him, the sheet that covered our bare bodies was pooled around my hips. He drank in his fill of me seated above him and his hands took on a mind of their own. “Draco…” My breathing came in quick gasps as he made quick work of my body.
“We have enough if you’re thinking what I’m thinking.” Draco said huskily and moved his hips against me.
The night before was the first time we had made love. He had waited until I was ready. It was perfect, and not to sound cliché, but it was magical. He knew where to touch me to set my body aflame, knew exactly how to kiss me to make me beg for more. He put my needs before his and I couldn’t have asked for a more special night.
….. “Hermione? Hermione?”
“Huh?” I focused back on Draco’s face. I felt flames burst into my cheeks.
“What were you thinking about?” He asked as he brushed away a few stray tears.
“The morning after we...” The flush of embarrassment intensified.
“When we made love again before going to Hogsmeade?” Draco’s voice took on a strangled yet husky tone. I looked into his eyes, they were clouded with lust.
“Uh huh.” I murmured. “Have you…?” I didn’t really want to know the answer unless it was no. It had been three years. He’s a gorgeous desirable man. Of course he’s had-
“No.” He shook his head and licked his lips. “Have you?” I saw him swallow nervously.
“No. No one but you…” I whispered before his lips were on mine. Our tongues invaded each others mouths and hands roamed bodies. “Draco… Draco not here…” I panted when his mouth moved to suck on my neck.
He stood and lifted me into his arms as if I weighed nothing. Perhaps I didn’t to him; his arms looked to be stronger than I could ever remember. Then again he was 19 when I last saw him. Three years could do a number on anybody.
Draco carried me to the fireplace and told me to grab a handful of floo powder.
“Hermione Granger’s Flat.” I shouted and threw down the powder.
As soon as we were out of the fire place in my tiny flat our mouths met again. Hands fumbled with clothing, tearing if need be. I stumbled backwards to my bedroom, thanking Merlin that Cassie was spending the day at the Weasley’s. I pulled Draco with me each step of the way, never letting his lips leave mine. When my legs hit the edge of the bed I stopped and just let my hands explore my long lost lover. His arms were strong and built, his chest and shoulders broad, his stomach tight and ripped.
I needed to look at him. Make sure he was real and I wasn’t having one of my dreams again. I pushed him forward a bit and climbed backwards onto my bed not taking my eyes from his. He was about to join me when I held up a hand. He stopped moving, his chest was heaving… as was mine. I let my eyes roam over his muscled, naked, physique. He was breathtaking. Strong muscles wrapped around every inch of his body. I couldn’t wait to touch him. I ran my fingers along his body, loving the way he moaned my name.
His hand eventually caught my wrist and I looked up at his face to see his eyes closed and lips parted.
“If I let you continue this will be over before it’s even been started.” He breathed out.
I smiled to myself and tugged him onto the bed with me. His eyes took in my every move, his skin brushing against mine from time to time. He sat back on his heels and gazed upon me when I lay back against the pillows. His hands automatically went to the sides of my stomach and caressed the stretch marks left from my pregnancy. His mouth followed his hands and he placed gentle tender kisses across each white line.
“You’re beautiful Hermione…” Draco brought his eyes back to my face and brushed his thumb along my bottom lip. “Make love to me… I’ve waited too long to be with you again.”
I held out my arms and he lay with me, relishing the feeling of being together. We made love… twice in my bed… once in the living room, in the kitchen and in the shower before we came to our senses.
We had a daughter. And it was time to discuss what was best for her.
“Hermione… you can’t keep her away from me.” Draco paced the living room of my little flat.
“I know that Draco and I don’t want to, that’s not what I’m saying. Just listen please.” I begged him to understand. This wasn’t easy for me, and it certainly wasn’t easy for him.
“Fine.” He sat down on the couch. The couch that he had taken me on not too long ago…
“Ok. Cassie is young, yes. But she has an idea of you in her head already. We can’t just force you into her life all of a sudden. ‘Hey baby, remember when I told you that your daddy is in heaven? Yeah well he’s not.’ What do you think that would do to her? All it’s going to do is confuse and scare her. We need to ease her into this.” I turned to look at Draco. His head was in his hands, his fingers grasping at his hair.
“Let’s say you’re right. What’s going to happen then? I’m just going to be the strange guy that visits every once in a while? I can’t be that guy Hermione. I can’t and I won’t. I want her to know that I’m her father. As soon as possible. I want her to know the truth. Well not all of it obviously, she won’t understand till she’s older, but for now I need her to know who I am. I want her Hermione. I want the both of you. I can’t live another day without you, and without her now that I know about her. I need my family.”
I couldn’t deny him any longer. Cass needed her father just as much as Draco needed her. I kneeled on the floor in front of him and held him as his arms encircled me.
“Ok, Draco. Ok.”
A/N: No affiliation with Harry Potter.
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