Chapter 5 : The Truth
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Throwing his orders around like that, he should have a little more respect. Hugo was staying with me, I was keeping the flat and that was final. I'd always payed for the rent, he had no right trying to dictate to me!
I left quickly, eyes burning and watering. When I got home I threw my coat and bag on the floor. I collapsed onto my bed with exhaustion.
I felt a pain, the baby. All of this stress was doing it no good whatsoever, but Ron doesn't care. He thinks it's okay to yell at a pregnant woman and get her so stressed out that she is verging a breakdown. This baby could very well be his, he didn't think about that for one single moment when he was shouting in my face. He didn't think that he could be harming his own flesh and blood, nope. Ignorant and selfish, that's what he is.
I defiantly hope that it's Harry's now, for the sake of how he or she will turn out. I wouldn't want a miniature Ronald Weasly running around, no thank you. I'd much prefer them to inherit Harry's traits.
I don't even feel like I want this baby, I don't deserve children. I'm such a terrible mother, Hugo's dead, I can't bring another life into this world. I can't have all of that responsibility again, I'm lucky I still have Rose, but she isn't even around much now, being at Hogwarts. I don't deserve her though, and I don't deserve this child. I'm a disgraceful mother who can't even keep a husband.
But, I don't think we really need to go on the Rita Skeeter show to be honest. When the baby is born we'll know if it's Ron's, it'll most probably be ginger if it is! And if it isn't, then it must be Harry's, easy as that!
But then it dawned on me. Ron was going to find out who I'd been having an affair with, who this baby is the son or daughter of. He would kill Harry if it were him, I don't know if he'd ever forgive him. Would Harry be on the show? Was Ginny going to be there? I had so many questions!
I was deeply dreading the day of the show, it was approaching fast, I was unbelievably nervous. I was inevitably going to be found out, and publicly humiliated in front of the whole wizarding community! What had I let myself in for? Why had I said yes? I could be extraordinarily inarticulate at times, but people still insisted on calling me the smartest witch of my age.
The day of the show finally arrived. My entire body was covered in goosebumps, I couldn't relax and my muscles tensed, reluctant to loosen up. Everyone had harsh eyes, especially locked on me. They were all deadly serious, and rushing around, blank faced. I found my dressing room, which I was sharing with Rita Skeeter herself. She was sat in front of the mirror, getting her nose powdered by a plump middle-aged woman. I entered the room, awkward as I did.
"Oh, Hermione! Take a seat, take a seat! Come on, hurry up!" she blurted out unexpectedly. I sat down awkwardly, in the chair on her left.
"So... Who's the father then?" Rita fluttered her eyelashes, begging me for a juicy insight.
"I don't know..." I frowned.
"You been a naughty witch then?" Rita winked and nudged me jokily, cackling slightly. I didn't see the hilarity in this terrible situation I had stumbled upon. It was okay for her, it wasn't her life being ruined.
I leaned back on my chair and stared at the ceiling, high above our heads, I could hear everyone talking about me, I could feel my anger rising. I closed my eyes as I tried to fight back against the tears in my ducts. I gritted my teeth, I didn't want to speak to Rita, I didn't want to speak to anyone. I didn't want to talk about the show, or why I was there in particular. It made me tearfully, upset and emotional, I could barely hold myself together.
A tall thin woman wandered over with a bag full of cosmetics. We made small talk and chatted about general things, I think she could tell that I would prefer not to talk about it. She prepared me for the show, she did my hair and make up, I just needed to get dressed. I thanked the lady kindly before I left the dressing room in my fluffy crimson dressing gown, I felt very underdressed and uncomfortable. I hurried as fast as I could, eventually I found my suitcase waiting for me by the back entrance. But unluckily for me, I didn't know my way back, and I was running out of time. The show would be beginning soon and I wasn't even dressed yet!
"Five minutes until we go live, find your places please." a voice rang out over the loud speaker.
I was panic-stricken. I was never going to make it back to the dressing room in time, it would be show time before I even found the damn room, never mind got dressed! I had to find somewhere to get dressed, quickly. I saw a door and opened it curiously, hoping it would be a spare dressing room. It was, phew! I examined the room quickly, ensuring that there was no one in there.
When I failed to find any signs of life I took off my dressing gown and began flinging the contents of my small suitcase on the floor, looking for my dress. Well wasn't that convenient. I hadn't packed any clothes! Who does that?! Oh I know, Hermione Granger the forgetful idiot that I am.
So there I was, stood in someone's dressing room, in nothing but my underwear. Then I thought to myself, this dressing room must belong to someone, the light was on when I came in. I ran over to lock the door, just incase the owner of the dressing room came back.
I fell to the floor, after colliding with... Someone, I think. My vision was a tad blurred, my head spun, I felt lightheaded. I looked up to discover that the door was now open slightly, I saw a figure towering in the doorway. I couldn't quite make out who it was... My eyelids drooped and I felt my head hit the ground, then nothing.
"Granger! Are you okay? Do you want me to get help?" a mysterious voice soothed me. I groaned in response, only just gaining consciousness. I guess I must have passed out. Oh no, how long had I been out for? I had to be on stage!
"How... How l-long... Have I... B-been here?" I stuttered shakily, struggling for breath at every word.
"Don't worry, you've got another three minutes till you're due on set." the silhouette replied. He was still out of focus, just a blur to me, so I strained my eyes, then I realised who it was. I shook my head, unable to take everything in, I couldn't believe all of my bad luck. This day couldn't possibly get any worse, could it?
"I'm so sorry! Is this your dressing room? I was just getting dressed really quickly. I couldn't find my way back to my dressing room in time, I'm so sorry!" I rambled. Draco Malfoy, who's dressing room this happened to belong to, didn't speak for a few seconds, he just stared at me, probably a bit shocked. Well, it's not every day that you run into your former enemy, underdressed... Wait, I was still in nothing more than my underwear!
"Oh my god! I..." I fumbled to my feet and realised that I still didn't have any clothes to wear.
"I forgot to bring my dress..." I admitted, shoving my arms in my dressing gown sleeves frantically trying to cover up my bare body, blushing, ashamed.
"I'll find something for you." Draco insisted before I could respond, hurrying out of the door. As the door closed behind him, I heard a small sneeze, from inside the room...
I looked around the room cautiously. It must have been my imagination, I must have hit my head pretty hard when I passed out. Either that or I was just going crazy as a result of this unpredictably, uncontrollably stressful and manic life I was forced to live.
I patiently waited for Draco to return. I tapped my foot as each second flew by. It was dangerously close to show time, I was getting nervous, where was he?! I paced around the room anxiously. Then he returned with an absolutely stunning gown.
"Here, will this do? It's all I could..."
"That's perfect!" I cut him off excitedly clapping my hands, jumping up and down. It was beautiful, it was nicer than what I had intended to wear. The top of the dress was a lovely cream blouse, sewn to a sparkling black trial. I was speechless, pretty good taste, for a Malfoy...
I snatched the dress from his grasps and struggled into it, surprisingly it fit me perfectly. I gave it a quick twirl and let out a giggle. Hold on, had I just laughed? Had I just smiled? That was most defiantly out of the ordinary, I'd been so angry and depressed lately, I never thought I could ever be happy again. I didn't have time to be joyful, I had too many problems, too much on my mind. But for that single moment, I felt warmth...
Snap out of it! How could I ever be happy around Malfoy? After everything he did. I tried to shake off the thoughts and erase the previous memory. But I didn't want to... I wanted to remember it, I wanted to cherish it,I wanted to relive that exact moment. Over and over again, forever. It was the most indulged I'd felt in what seemed like years.
Draco and I stared at each other for what seemed like hours. No words. We just stared deep into each others eyes unknowingly, intrigued. What was it? There was something different about him. Maybe it was the fact that we weren't at each others throats as per usual. I hadn't spoken to him since the war, maybe he changed...
"We're going live in 10 seconds." a voice roared.
"Thanks." I beamed as my eyes glistened; my face glowed and I felt a rush of warmth through my body.
"Anytime." Draco replied.
I ran out of the room as fast as my legs could carry me.
"6, 5, 4..." I had to get on stage right now! I stumbled up some steps leading to the stage. Stood in front of the camera was Rita Skeeter, there was a comfortable looking chair by her side, I guessed it was for me. I sat myself down, out of breath, then realising where I was. I was in front of a huge crowd! I couldn't do this... The nerves kicked in. A scrawny little man ensured Rita's microphone was working, he then checked mine too.
"3, 2, 1..." the opening credits rolled and the audience were aloud with applause, I bit my lip, nearly tearing it off. Rita introduced the show.
"Today we have, Hermione Granger! So Hermione, your husband, is Ronald Weasly?" I nodded at her.
"He says, you've been sleeping with someone else!" the audience let out a disappointed sound. I stared at the ground, shamed. I wasn't even going to bother trying to hide anymore, because the truth was going to come out sooner or later.
"He happens to think that you're carrying... A baby! And you know what, Hermione? He wants to know if it's his! Should we find that out for you, hunny? Rita spoke, no compassion or care for me in her sarcastic voice. Not even a glimpse of pity in the few friendly faces I recognized in the crowd. I shrugged and continued to stare at the lifeless ground.
"Well first, we have Ron Weasly here on the show!" Rita announced, the audience erupted with applause and cheers. Ron brought a chair from the side of the stage, he dragged it to centre stage, still keeping his distance from me. He huffed, sitting down on the chair like a undisciplined, moaning little child throwing a tantrum until everything is perfect.
"Hermione, admit it. You know you're pregnant, don't you?" Ron spat. I nodded, beginning to cry pitifully. The crowd gasped, not like they didn't see it coming though, I thought.
"I knew it! Bring out the results, come on, let's see them." Ron commanded.
A short stubby man handed Rita a silver envelope, she took it in her hands and smirked coldly.
"Well..." she muttered as she tore open the envelope. She pulled out the piece of paper which would reveal to us who the father to my baby was. The father to my unborn child, this was going to be announced in front of everyone, the nerves devoured me. I felt my heart beating faster and faster, my forehead was burning up, I couldn't take it. I couldn't take it anymore, this tension was killing me! Rita raised her eyebrows... It could be Ron, maybe she was surprised that it was him, after all of his efforts and accusations. Maybe it was Harry, I'd sure be surprised if I was her. The moment was here, she opened her mouth to speak.
"Well isn't this interesting!" she began, with much enthusiasm. I began to shake.
"Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger!" the audience gasped, in genuine shock. My eyes widened, I stopped shaking and froze.
"Isn't that a surprise!" Rita cackled. I turned my attention to Ron who's face was now of a similar shade to his red hair.
"How could you?! Was it in our house? Was it in our bed? Tell me Hermione, why him? Of all people." Ron screeched, outraged.
I stood up, red eyed. I left the stage, unaware of the camera men following me with their cameras, filming my reaction. Watching my every move, judging me.
"Leave me alone!" I yelled when I eventually. I stormed into the nearest dressing room, to hide from the beady eyes of the camera men and the many witches and wizards that were currently watching me, live in television. I slumped on the nearest chair, weeping and sobbing my eyes dry. I don't think I've ever cried as much as I have been recently, why me? Why does everything always happen to me? Can't anything go right in my life? Wait don't answer that, I'm pregnant with Draco Malfoy's baby, nothing can go right. (wait, how did that happen? I must have been drunk out of my mind!) So it's settled, the rest of my life was now destined to be a misery. Wish me luck.
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