Hello readers (: Here is your chapter update, like I promised. Please do read the A/N at the bottom of the chapter! Thank you all so much for being patient and for reviewing my story/ stories! Enjoy this one xx
ps: If you're the type who cries while reading, do sit with a tissue box or a handkerchief ;)
All he could hear was his own heartbeat, thundering within his own ears. And when that momentarily stopped, voices surrounded him. Nothing was clear. It was fuzzy. His vision was unclear. He could vaguely make out a few faces. Otherwise, everything was just blurred together. He was moving, that was for sure. Lying on top of a soft surface- a mattress perhaps?- and he was moving.
His heartbeat. Again. It was so loud that he was sure it was making his ears bleed. Making his skull shatter.
And then that began to fade away too. A sharp prick somewhere on his left arm. And then darkness.
- - -
"DRACO!" Hermione cried out, a letter in her shaking hands.
Footsteps hurrying down the stairs and then he was in front of her, mid way through pulling on his sweater vest, his hair ruffled and his cheeks flushed.
"It's your father. He just collapsed an hour ago. It set off alarms in the Ministry and St.Mungo's. He's there right now..." She handed him the letter.
He swore and balled up the letter in his fist. "We need the evidence against Mcenzee!"
Hermione placed her hand on his arm. "And your father? He just collapsed, Malfoy!"
Draco wrenched his arm away from her touch. "Don't, Granger. Im not arguing with you about this again."
"But it's different now! He's trying to apologize in any way he can- he's doing this for you..."
"He's doing this for his own selfish reasons! He doesn't want to die while everyone hates him."
"So don't let him."
"And why should I do that? I don't give a damn what happens to him and how he dies!" Draco said, shaking his head. "Please let's not argue about this."
"Stop." He looked at her with such intensity and his voice held a finality that she didn't try saying anything against. She nodded.
"Potter said that we'll be getting his statement today- I guess we should be going now if-" He didn't get to complete his sentence as the phone began ringing. Hermione went to answer it.
"Hello?" She said, hitting the speaker-phone button.
"Hermione! We need you both to get to St.Mungo's. Lucius' health is rapidly deteriorating and we need his statement and his memories urgently. I'm bringing in the required people from the Ministry but perhaps you should be there too." Harry's voice rang out.
"We'll be there, Harry." Hermione said. She hung up and turned to Draco. "Are we taking Aaron? This might be Lucius' last day... alive."
"He doesn't need to see him."
"What if I want to?" A small voice spoke up from behind them. They turned towards the staircase where Aaron stood at the bottom step. "I know it's not what you want, Daddy, but I think I want to see him."
Draco didn't respond. He looked at Hermione- "If anything goes wrong, you take him away from there." Hermione nodded and the three flooed to St.Mungo's.
* * *
Lucius felt his head clearing slightly. He opened his eyes and the light almost blinded him. He tried sitting up but a hand pushed his shoulder back down.
"Please stay still, Mister Malfoy." He slowly opened his eyes again and once he adjusted to the brightness, he looked around him. A healer stood to his left in her Mungo's robes, Harry Potter stood beside her along with two Aurors and a few other officials from the Ministry. He moved his head to the right and first saw Narcissa, dressed in dark green robes, standing closest to his bed. Behind her, near the door, stood his son, Hermione and Aaron.
"Mister Malfoy, we will be needing your statement on Ritch Mcenzee and your memories immediately." One of the officials said, stepping forward.
Lucius' eyebrows furrowed together. He was sure that they had scheduled the witness meeting for the memories and statement for later in the day. And then it hit him. The only reason why they would shift the meeting behind.
"Im going to die soon." He stated. Nobody argued. He nodded, unsure how to feel. Of course, he was furious that of all things a muggle disease was the one thing that was taking him. But he was tired of his life. He would never admit it. But he was tired. He was lonely. He had lost everything. Perhaps death was a more comfortable, easier option.
"She approached me with an idea of her's a few days ago." He started speaking. Realizing that he was giving his statement and his witness account, the people in charge of the case, jumped into action, taking notes and recordings. "She had obviously received permission to come to the safe house..."
"Lucius Malfoy." Ritch said, stepping out of the fireplace and dusting the soot off her designer jeans. "Pleasure to meet you."
Lucius raised an eyebrow. "Who are you and what are you doing in my house?" He drawled, standing up.
"Ritch Mcenzee." She said, holding her hand out. He ignored it, waiting for an explanation. "Im Draco's ex-girlfriend. He was supposed to leave his mudblood wife for me a few months ago."
"This just got interesting. Do go on." Lucius said, sitting back down. Ritch was about to take a seat when he raised his hand, stopping her. "I don't think I said anything about making yourself comfortable."
"Right." Ritch said, looking a bit uneasy. "Well, he didn't end up leaving her. Said his wife got pregnant. He left me instead."
"You are telling me this because-?" Lucius asked.
"I hear you hate your daughter-in-law. Hate, in fact, is putting it lightly." Ritch said, smirking. "Well I have a plan. I want to get rid of her. Her and that spawn that's growing inside of her."
"A plan to get rid of them?" Lucius asked.
"Yes. I think you, of all people, will enjoy this-"
"And without stopping for a second to even consider that I would not take part in her plan, she went on to explain it to me in detail. From freezing potions to anti-fertility potions. How she would give it to a healer in charge of potions in the hospital. Everything."
"Why didn't you inform anybody about this?" Draco asked, his teeth grit together.
"Because she approached me a day before I was told it happened. I was going to tell you or Narcissa. But it was too late." Lucius answered, his eyes locked with his son's.
"I will, of course, give you my memories." He looked at Harry, who nodded and stepped forward with a glass vial. Lucius was handed a wand specially made for cases like these- where memories are needed from criminals. He placed the tip of the wand to his temple and extracted the entire encounter with Ritch. He placed it into the vial and handed it back.
Harry gestured for everybody but the Malfoys to leave. The door clicked shut behind them and Hermione plucked up the courage to ask-
"Why would you help us?" She asked, her voice strong.
"How much ever I hate the fact, you are a Malfoy in the end, Miss Granger." Lucius said, slowly sitting up against the pillows. "And this is my family. If not for you, I did it for Draco and Narcissa. I can see the love in their eyes for you. I am dying. There is little left that I can do. I would not just sit back and watch my family get ruined."
"What do you want from us?" Draco said, his voice soft but filled with anger and a emotion none of them could place.
"I am sorry for whatever I did, son." Lucius said, his voice quieter than before. It was the voice of a tired man. A voice of a scared man.
"Im not your son." Draco said, his jaw tense.
"I understand how you feel. But I am sorry. I truly am." The older man said.
"I dont forgive you. I don't think I ever will." Draco said, shaking his head. And before anybody could stop him, he had left the room, the door slamming behind him.
Silence ensued. And then-
"My father is not like you." Everyone's eyes turned to the little boy in front of Hermione.
Aaron continued speaking confidently. "He's never hurt me. He's never done anything that has made me hate him. And I know that he will never do anything like that. I hate what you did to him. I hate that you couldn't be the father he wanted and needed. I hate that you could never be the grandfather that I wanted and needed."
Hermione and Narcissa had tears in their eyes and Hermione looked away, blinking rapidly.
"I hate that you could not be there for my mother. Be even remotely close to the father that she needed again." A tear streaked down her cheek. "I hate that you couldn't fulfill your role as husband to my grandmother. You couldn't do anything for us. And you chose that."
"Listen here-" Lucius started to say but Narcissa cut across his words.
"Let him speak, Lucius."
And Aaron did. "The backgrounds that my mother and father grew up with were horrid. Difficult. Painful. And they never, not once, let me feel anything but loved. They refused to let me go through what they did. Even mummy's mother treats me more like her grandson than you do. Yes, we are distanced but I know that she loves us. She made one mistake. You made too many. Too many to be allowed forgiveness. But still, I appreciate what you have just done. It's the least you could do. I don't hate you. But I hate what you did to my family." Hermione choked back a sob and Narcissa wiped at the tears streaming down her cheeks.
"Can we leave, mum?" Aaron asked, looking up at his mother. Hermione nodded and lifted the little boy into his arms. She looked over at Lucius.
"I can't say that I don't hate you, Lucius. But like my son, I appreciate what you did. For once you did something for your family rather than against. We will never be able to fully forgive you. But had you tried harder from earlier, perhaps we could have." With one last nod in his direction, she looked at Narcissa, asked her if she would be okay and when the older lady said yes, she left the ward.
Ginny stood up from her seat in the waiting room as soon as she saw Hermione exit the room. The red-head held her arms out for Aaron and said, "Draco went up to the roof." Hermione nodded and after hugging Aaron tightly, handed him over to Ginny and headed upstairs.
She found him sitting in the garden on the roof on a wooden bench, staring out at nothing in particular. She sat down beside him silently, pulling her coat closer around her.
"You were right." He said, still staring ahead. She turned her head to look up at his face. "I am confused."
She didn't ask for an explanation, nor did she push him to say anything else. She shifted closer to him and took his hand in her gloved one.
"Aaron spoke to Lucius." She said. His head snapped towards her. She smiled sadly up at him and felt tears rise to her eyes as she told him what Aaron said. "Im sorry, Draco. I failed to understand that it really is difficult for you to forgive him. And I don't expect you to either. I just want you to be happy..." She bit down on her lower lip to keep the tears at bay and he tightened his grip on her hand.
"I don't know if Ill ever be able to forgive him."
She nodded. "I understand that. I do. Im sorry I pushed you..."
He shook his head slightly. "You just wanted me to consider everything. I appreciate that." He shifted closer to her on the bench until their arms were pressed against each other. He laced his fingers with hers and she placed her head on his shoulder.
"Thank you, Hermione." He said softly. She shook her head and held on to his right arm with both her hands.
Lucius Malfoy passed away an hour later.
* * *
Draco shot up in bed at the sound of his door opening. He grabbed his wand and pointed it towards the door.
Hermione stepped in and seeing the wand, raised her hands, "I'm sorry, It's me!"
Draco relaxed and put away his wand. "Hey, what's wrong?"
Hermione didn't respond.
He pushed the covers away and sat at the edge of the bed, following her movements with his eyes. He noticed tears streaming down her cheeks and held his hand out to her. "Hey, come here."
She stepped forward and took it and he lead her to sit beside him on the bed. He turned to her and lifted his hand to wipe away her tears.
"Do you want to tell me what happened?" He asked softly.
She looked at her hands in her lap, "I don't know why this is happening to me..."
"Did I do something wrong?" She continued, "Is this what I deserve? To lose my baby? Twice?!"
"No, no. No, it's not. You didn't do anything wrong", Draco said, taking her hands in his.
"I'll do anything to make sure this baby survives-ANYTHING", Hermione said, a sob escaping her throat, "Just don't take her away from me. I'll go through whatever! Just..."
Draco didn't know what to say. It was his fault she was in this mess in the first place.
"I'm sorry..." He said, "I'm sorry about what I wished for... You don't deserve any of it. You shouldn't be in this position- we shouldn't be in the future at all. It's my fault."
She shook her head, "I don't care that Im here in the future with you. I don't care that Im married and settled down with you. I don't care. I... I was happy. I was happy when you tore up those divorce papers and told me you'd be with me. I was happy when I got to share the joys of the baby kicking with you- I was happy. But not now...I hate myself for putting the baby through this."
"It's not your fault, Granger", Draco said. When she didn't respond, he said, "Are you listening to me? This isn't your fault and Im completely honest with you when I say so. You deserve the best things in life. You gave me a chance to take care of the both of you even after everything I did... Honestly, in a way somewhere down the line- I'm glad you gave me a chance in your life in the future. Do you think anyone's seen this side of me? Barely. You bring out the good in me..."
"If this baby doesn't survive, Im never going to forgive myself. I swear I'll kill myself if she-"
"She will survive", Draco said, cutting her off. He tucked away her fringe behind her ear and titled her face upwards so that she was looking at him. "Granger, you're forgetting that this is OUR kid we're talking about- me, who lasted through years of being forced to be a death eater and being put under the cruciatus curse time and again- and you- one of the most strongest and bravest women Ive met- someone who lasted by Harry Potter's side, despite being a muggle born and being chased by the entire dark side. Im sure this kid has more fight in her than we do put together."
"I think this is the part of the wish- where I have kids that end up wanting to kill me. It wasn't literal. It was just a twisted form of it. Draco- do you think she'll survive..?" Hermione asked, sniffing.
"Honestly?" Draco asked and she nodded. "Yeah, I think she will. She's a fighter."
"You know... If I was given the chance to forget all this ever happened and return to my seventh year... I wouldn't", She whispered, "I wouldn't miss this-the chance to actually get to know you, despite all the difficulties we went through."
"Neither would I", Draco said, pulling her closer towards him.
After a few seconds, Hermione looked up at him and motioned to the bed with her head, "Could I just..."
"You don't even have to ask", Draco said. He put his arm around her and pulled her on to the bed gently. She turned to her side and snuggled into him, tears pouring down her cheeks. Draco held her tightly and pulled the covers over them.
"She's a fighter... just like you", Draco said, kissing her forehead, "She's a fighter."
Wowww that was a heartbreaking chapter to write. WOW. It's 10:27 at night and I have school tomorrow yet I HAD to finish this chapter and I did it in one sitting. Something I've barely ever done before. That was depressing as hell but the next chapter will be much more light. I won't promise that it won't have tears involved, but it will be lighter than this one (:
I really do hope that you enjoyed this one and please please review! Thank you all for reviewing my story so much, honestly! It makes my day/ week/ month and encourages me to keep writing and if there's a reason that I WANT to write more, that reason is you all. You have no idea how grateful I am to you and how much I love you guys (:
We have about three to four chapters left, so it's wrapping up real quick. The entire part of Draco's wish has been covered so has Lucius. Ritch's part will be closed in the next chapter, just letting you know if it wasn't already obvious.