Chapter 23 : Blood Is Thicker Than Water, Except When Love is Involved
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Draco interrupted her thoughts with a kiss on her cheek, “’Morning,” he mumbled.
“Hey there,” Hermione whispered to him, smiling.
“I have to work today,” Draco said, starting to get out of bed.
“Well, I don’t want to go to work today, too tired, I will go another day soon and don’t feel like I want everyone staring at me. I will finish my Auror training, and I decided that’s the job I’ll do after Savanna’s born,” Hermione stated, grinning and then getting out of bed herself. She would stay and relax today at Ginny and Harry’s.
“That will be good,” Stated Draco.
Draco got dressed as Hermione just made the bed, staying in her pajamas and soon they walked in the kitchen together where Ginny of course was just finishing her cooking. Today it was cinnamon rolls, all homemade.
Draco and Hermione sat side by side on the bar stools.
Being twenty-two weeks, Hermione was not comfortable sitting on such a hard and unstable chair, but she did not stir.
“Good morning!” Ginny said brightly, putting plates under Draco and Hermione’s noses and plopping two cinnamon rolls on each plate and adding scrambled eggs to them as well. Hermione dug in immediately, Draco watched her, amused.
Ginny giggled, “You can defidently tell she’s eating for two!”
“Shut it Ginny!” Hermione said, trying not to laugh as she wiped icing off of her cheek with a finger.
They ate in silence, and Ginny said, “Ron and Lavender broke up again.”
Hermione rolled her eyes, “Wow, talk about an on and off again couple.”
“I think they’re made for each other, they are pathetically both dim-witted,” Draco added.
Ginny and Hermione both glared at him, “My brother isn’t that bad, and he just makes stupid choices sometimes.” Hermione nodded in agreement to what Ginny said. Draco scowled.
They had still not heard anything from Harry as far as the small breakout from Azkaban. Nothing was in the papers either. It seemed that Kingsley just concluded the bars on the windows would keep them in and the other Death Eaters were nowhere to be found, which raised worry in the wizarding world.
Harry and Draco both kissed the girls goodbye and apparated to the Ministry, oddly together. Draco chatted but Harry didn’t speak much back, he still didn’t particularly like Draco. He had a feeling about him, and not a good one.
Hermione and Ginny chatted and laughed, mostly talking about their crazy men. And they also gossiped about Lavender too and how she’s probably in The Pub, drinking off her sorrows.
“Well, let’s go shopping and visit your mum,” Ginny suggested, as they had been pondering what they could do that day.
“Sounds good, let me call her,” Hermione stated, picking up her phone. Her mother agreed to meet the two girls and James in a muggle mall near London.
Hermione showered and got dressed in a loose blue halter top and some khaki maternity shorts, she was getting bigger by the day still, and Savanna kicked her quite a bit. Ginny commented on how cute Hermione looked, she had dressed up for a warm occasion too with simple flip flops, denim shorts and a tank top. They watched a movie and laughed for a few hours before departing to London.
The girls got all comfortable in the Ford Anglia after they ate grilled cheese sandwiches at about noon. Hermione’s mum loved shopping so she was totally up to the offer and had said to meet her at the entrance of the mall called Sikes Center Mall.
After about twenty-five minutes of flying, the Ford Anglia landed on a rural side street near the mall. Hermione and Ginny pulled into a parking space at last near the entrance like her mum requested. Jean Granger, dressed in sweat pants and a sporty top and sneakers, waited for them with a smile. Ginny got out and hugged Mrs. Granger and then whipped to the back seat to get James, who was eight-months old that day and was starting to coo and babble more.
“Oh what a cutie!” Jean exclaimed, pinching James’ cheeks and he laughed as she tickled him, “This must be the baby girl’s future husband!”
Ginny laughed at this, “Yes, I’d like to think that! That would be cool. Although I don’t know about him having Draco Malfoy as a father-in-law,” Joked Ginny.
Hermione glared at her and she quit laughing about it and the women fell silent for a few moments.
“The baby girl’s name is going to be Savanna Isabella,” Hermione said out of nowhere as they walked into a baby store after walking the halls for a while. Jean and Ginny made “aww” sounds.
“That’s beautiful ‘Mione!” Ginny exclaimed, looking briefly at the bump extending out of Hermione’s pelvis.
“Savanna, my first grand-daughter, how charming. For a little while Hermione, I was worried you wouldn’t ever want to bare children, as bookworm and anti-boys as you were in your early teenage years!” Jean joked.
Hermione burst out laughing, “Things change mum, obviously.”
“That they do!” Jean agreed, picking up some frilly pink dresses for baby girls.
“I want a girl someday,” Ginny stated, looking at all the booties they had which were ballet shoe like and came with adorable socks.
“I want a boy someday!” Hermione said back, smiling at her friend.
“Well maybe we will both get what we want then,” Ginny said.
“Well, I always wanted two children but we could only seem to have one, Hermione is enough,” Jean said, hugging her daughter. Hermione chuckled at this, “Wow mum, way to make me feel loved.”
They found baby Savanna a good amount of some very cute, pink, frilly, glittery, you name it clothes and Hermione and Jean went to check out as Ginny took James and went to the boy section.
Hermione, feeling a little tired from walking so much wanted to sit on a wooden bench that sat in the middle of the stores.
Jean sat next to her, “Are you happy baby?” She asked her daughter, reaching out for her hand.
“I am mum. I am happy; I hope it stays that way.” Hermione said smiling.
“Does Draco treat you well?” Jean asked, her brown eyes looked into her daughter’s they matched perfectly.
“Yes, he’s a bit ornery at times, but he is great mum, I truly like him a lot, maybe even love him.”
“Good,” Jean stated, looking at the mall customers walking by.
As they sat there some women would come by and ask to feel Hermione’s tummy, and ask her questions like, when are you due? And things like that. “In the fall, it’s a girl and her name is Savanna,” Hermione said to a group of giggling muggle college girls as they looked at Hermione’s baby belly. After a while the questions and stares got annoying and luckily Ginny was done and they departed to some different stores.
They walked for two more hours before they finally started to get really tired.
Draco Malfoy sat in his Improper Use of Magic Office’s break room eating his late lunch that he had bought from the cafeteria downstairs a House-Elf Homemade Tuna Delight. It had been a busy day and it was nearing around three o’clock. He was just finishing when quick footsteps entered the room.
“Malfoy, I have to tell you something and you aren’t going to like it,” A familiar voice sneered.
Draco turned around and Dean Thomas was looking at him. Dean and Draco had become great friends in the past few months, he was one of his favorite co-workers and was usually his partner since Zabini dissed him, and they did a lot of assignments together.
“What’s up Thomas?” Draco asked, thinking it would be just another ol’ assignment that they wouldn’t enjoy.
“It’s about Hermione,” Dean said, sitting next to him looking upset.
Draco stood up like a bullet shot off, “What’s wrong? She okay?!”
“Yes, she’s fine. But you might not be after I tell you this.” Draco’s face fell, and he just stared blankly at Dean as Dean pushed him to sit back in the chair.
“I went to visit the Potters the a few days ago…” Dean started.
Draco waved his hands, “Go on!”
“And Ron Weasley was there…” Dean paused, hesitating.
“And?!” Draco was getting impatient now.
“They were snogging, and Ron was saying “our baby” and referring to Hermione’s stomach. She was agreeing with him…” Dean said frowning.
Draco looked at him, searching for any signs that he may be joking. This was not funny at all. They had just found out they were having a baby girl yesterday, and he didn’t think Hermione would ever do something so horrible. Not the girl he knows. No way.
Dean did not have any hint of joke and his face was still frowning, “I’m sorry mate. I know you really like her, but she had been with Ron nine years before you, you know? And I heard them saying they conceived the baby the night before they broke up and-“
“Stop Thomas, just stop, get out!” Dean looked at Draco with fearing eyes.
“Out! NOW!” Draco yelled at him.
Dean stood up and left Draco alone in the break room, it was nearing his time to clock back in so he stood up and breathing very hard walked out of the break room and back into his office, which luckily was a private one. He could not believe it, it could not be true.
He looked up suddenly and saw brown haired man he seemed to recognize was whipping around the corner across the room and Dean was sitting in his office across from Draco, looking mental. Was that Dolohov? No... Surely not…his eyes were playing tricks on him.
Draco Malfoy was actually hurt. He had never felt so upset before and he couldn’t believe that he had done this entire changing, fell for a muggle-born, and now he is getting karma for it. He never felt vulnerable or hurt when he was his old self. Maybe being this new, nice Draco Malfoy was a mistake.
The rest of the day was an awkward one. Dean walked into Malfoy’s office asking about an assignment that they were currently sharing a partnership on. He asked a question as though they had not had the previous discussion about Hermione in the staff break room that afternoon. But Draco was so upset from the news he gave him, he didn’t think anything of it.
“You okay Malfoy?” Dean Thomas asked.
“Sure, brilliant!” Draco said angrily, not believing Dean would even ask him this after Draco telling him all the details about how he felt for Hermione and suddenly, Dean had this news and now he’s acting like everything is okay. Dean looked at him questionably, “Well then, I’ll see you later mate, have a good night. Tell Hermione hi.” What just happened? How odd…
Draco watched him go with a cocked eyebrow. He wondered what this was about but decided not to think anything of it. But all he knew is he was upset and very hurt that the girl he now loved wasn’t really the girl he thought she was at all. He wasn’t really about to be a father to a baby girl. Ron Weasley was. Hermione had hurt Draco, badly. For the first time ever.
Hermione and Ginny had returned home after having dinner with Mrs. Granger, it was nearing six and the boys should be back soon. Ginny made them some simple macaroni and cheese and ham sandwiches. But at six o’clock, only Harry walked in the door.
“Hey ‘Mione, Ginny!” Harry greeted, sitting at the island on a bar stool.
“Hi Harry!” Ginny said, kissing her husband and plopping macaroni on his plate.
“Where’s Draco?” Asked Hermione.
Harry looked at her, “Uhm, I saw him leaving, thought he’d be coming here.”
“No he isn’t here, maybe he went to go see his mum, he had been staying here a few days,” Stated Hermione, looking at her phone.
No texts or calls from Draco at all. Hermione texted him, asking him where he was. She waited but there was no answer.
Draco walked up to the gates of Malfoy Manor; he was not going to see Hermione tonight. He didn’t want to see Hermione at all. He wanted to stay as far away from her as possible I guess that’s what he got for falling in love with a mudblood. His heart broken. Karma. Maybe he shouldn’t’ve changed into this ‘nice’ guy. Nice guys get hurt. Maybe that’s why he was so cold and mean in the past.
When Draco neared the entrance the guard said, “I don’t know if you want to go in there. Their back...”
Draco’s heart lurched, THEY? As in his Father might be in there? But how? He had watched himself as Kingsley put the bars on the windows, but maybe he’s wrong... maybe there was another way they were escaping. Only the strongest Death Eaters would know how to fool the Ministry by breaking out of there. Only the most lethal and powerful ones.
Draco took a deep breath and walked into the manor. To his horror, his past stood before him like a flashback only it was the present, they really were back. He could see into the drawing room and there was a table full of black robed Death Eaters. They escaped Azkaban. But what was their purpose? Voldemort is gone.
“Draco!” A cool voice called.
Draco spun around, sure enough, there was Lucius Malfoy.
He was walking toward his son slowly.
“Hi Father,” Draco said in a fake somewhat excited tone.
“Draco, come here,” Lucius said darkly. Draco walked toward him. Lucius took his large, pale hand and slapped Draco across the face, causing the Death Eaters to all stand up and look at them. “How could you be with a mud blood? How could you talk to me the way you did?” Lucius simply asked.
“Yes, I wondering that myself,” Said Yaxley coldly, who was standing next to his father all of a sudden. Astoria’s father was also by Lucius, glaring at him dangerously without words.
Draco felt as though he could pass out but came to and stood straight up to look at his father but didn’t say a work and just glared at him, not answering his question.
Luckily Narcissa came into the entrance room to the three men at the right moment, “We are about to start. Hello Draco, sweety.”
Draco was stunned as he looked at his mum. He wanted to know how the hell all the most valued Death Eaters were now in his house. Again.
Draco walked in the room with the Death Eaters and took a seat next to his mum. Everyone was staring at him and whispering. What was going on? What was the meeting about? Surely not about him, he hoped not.
The man Draco recognized as Rodolphus Lestrange, his uncle who was his late aunt Bellatrix’s husband stood up before them all.
“We HAVE ESCAPED!” He roared.
There were many jeers around the table.
“Bella would’ve been so proud!” Rodolphus then said, his yellow teeth showing as he smiled, you could tell they didn’t have tooth brushes in Azkaban.
“Quiet you pathetic bimbos, now let’s get started!” Rodolphus said, looking at his brother in law, Lucius.
“I am happy that we are all back! That was the worst two years of my life!” Lucius said, smiling at his fellow Death Eaters, “Now… the plan.” Draco straightened up and listened closely, wanting to know everything.
“We don’t need to worry about the others; they are weaklings any way and proved no help in helping the Dark Lord when he was alive, bless him. So I think us for now would be fine. However, we must have a leader. I would love to take the position-“
“NO!” Growled Yaxley and Rodolphus in unison.
“My wife was his most loyal; I shall take the position since she is now deceased!” Rodolphus yelled.
“No, I have the best reigns on the Ministry, I should be leader!” Yaxley protested as his blonde/gray braid swayed as he fidgeted with his silverware in frustration.
“We will have a vote!” Dolohov yelled, “I would like to nominate myself as well!” The Death Eaters around him cheered him on.
Draco couldn’t believe this was happening, they are going to try to go at large again. They are trying to get a new leader in Voldemort’s place.
No, he couldn’t let this happen! But he had no choice, he had to sit there or he would simply be killed.
His thoughts drifted to Hermione, he loathed her at this moment, and he didn’t want to be anywhere near her. This was the best place to be to stay away from her and the rest of the Golden Trio, with his old ‘friends’. Maybe he would pretend to be like them again. He looked at his Dark Mark tattoo, it prickled in pain.
“All in favor for Yaxley!” Screamed Lucius. Only eight Death Eaters raised their hand.
“For Dolohov!” All but Draco and another Death Eater raised their hand.
Draco grunted in amusement, Dolohov was mental; he didn’t care who was in front of him when he worked spells. He was heartless; he could be the next Voldemort if he really amounted to it.
“For me, Lucius!” Half raised their hand. “And for Rodolphus!” Twelve raised their hand. “So, Dolohov, looks like you won this,” Lucius sneered, disgusted and jealous.
Dolohov smiled in a twisted way, “Yes, looks like it. So as your new leader, I want to share what the plan is with you all…” he paused to get a breath, “We still want to kill Harry Potter, he killed the Dark Lord! He is head Auror now who thinks he can control us even more! He needs to die!”
Dolohov said this in a way that made chills go up Draco’s spine. He felt bad about this; he actually started to like Harry and the rest of them since he had been with Hermione. Hermione… oh God, what will they want to do to her, she’s pregnant! He didn’t know for sure whose baby but he didn’t want her harmed, even if what Thomas said was true.
“The two friends of his need to be murdered as well, that Weasle and Granger are their names? And anyone who associates with Harry Potter! No one is spared this time!” Dolohov continued, licking his lips in hunger for Harry’s death.
Narcissa looked at her son in horror, shaking her head sadly for him. Draco felt as if he could cry.
“No!” Draco said, loud enough for a few people to hear around them. Then everyone turned to him.
“Draco…” Dolohov said with an evil smile, “I forgot you were here!” Draco went silent; all color from his face drowned. They were going to kill him. He just knew it.
“Are you still with the mudblood Draco?” Asked Dolohov, standing up and walking to Draco’s chair, laying a cold hand on his shoulder.
Draco’s heart felt like it could jump out of his chest, “N-no sir.” As Draco said that, the memories of yesterday, them talking about the baby’s name came rushing back, his or Ron’s baby, they didn’t know for sure. Now they want to kill her, the girl he loves. The pain is unbearable to imagine that. “But… you usually don’t harm pregnant women, she’s erm, pregnant and that’s all I was saying s-sir,” Draco said lousily, trembling.
Lucius looked at his son with a silent rage, he knew what his son had done then, and he was not happy.
He then also piped up, “Draco, that was never a rule, and it isn’t going to be now. If we find Granger. We are going to kill her, and her friends,” Lucius said to his son coldly.
Draco was now turning green, he felt sick to his stomach and jumped up from the table, running to the nearest bathroom and emptying the contents of his stomach in the toilet bowl. He sat by the toilet, breathing hard and holding a hand to his forehead, beads of sweat rolled down his face. This can’t be happening; they weren’t supposed to ever be back. But of course, he knew they would eventually come back and try to revenge Voldemort’s death, but this soon? It had only been two years!
Draco stood up, he felt like he could fall over again though. There was a light knock on the door. “Draco, sweety, you okay?”
“No mum, you should know I’m not okay!” Draco answered back, opening the door and looking into her face. “Mum, how? How are they here?” Draco questioned his mother, sweating bullets.
“They escaped after killing an Auror named Seamus Finnigan and stealing his wand, apparently the man was new and the other employees didn’t even recognize he was missing, they got rid of his body you see, Dolohov did. Dolohov was the one who killed him by his hand, he strangled the man and stole his wand and kept it hidden until security for the night was lessened and that’s when the first lot escaped. Then he went back last night to help release the others. The security is less strong now that they removed the dementors, thinking they have less to worry about, but obviously that was a mistake that Kingsley made, because look where we are now!” She paused and examined her son, “Let’s go to your room and talk.”
They walked upstairs quietly, not wanting anyone to hear them. Draco’s stomach felt a pang of grief, Seamus was a good friend of Dean Thomas, and he only just started working as an Auror after working for a wizard electric company. It sucked knowing someone his age, who just started their life, had died.
But then… “Narcissa! Where are you? Where’s Draco?!” Lucius’ voice echoed off the walls in the yell.
“Here, coming, Draco just got sick!” Narcissa cast her son a worried look and they both returned to the drawing room. But when they were going back in Lucius grabbed his son by the neck and dragged him to a dark spot under the stairs.
“Lucius!” Narcissa gasped.
Lucius punched Draco hard again right in the temple, causing Draco to black out and fall almost against the wall.
“It’s the Weasley boys baby Father! N-not mine!” Draco said as soon as he opened his eyes again.
Lucius put down his fist, which he was about to hit Draco with again. “Okay, you better be telling the truth Draco, I swear, if you let me down this time, I don’t know I might have to let Dolohov ki…”
”Lucius, stop, please!” Narcissa begged desperately, tears staining her eyes now.
“Fine!” Lucius said snidely to his wife and then he threw Draco on the ground, hard.
Narcissa came to his side again helping her son up as Lucius disappeared into the drawing room once again, “Draco honey, it is your baby, Dolohov put Dean Thomas under the Imperius Curse today in the Ministry, and he was disguised! But Draco you can’t be with Hermione right now! It’s far too dangerous!” Draco nodded, tears staining his eyes now as well, he felt weak. And sick after throwing up and then getting punched and thrown to the hard ground. But he was happy what Dean told him wasn’t true, he had had a feeling. He was the father to this baby girl. To Savanna Isabella. And he had to protect her and Hermione, and the rest of the Harry Potter clan… he cared for them...
He had never cared for anyone before like this, they were real friends. Even if some of them still didn’t like him. The other person he protected really was his mum.
Draco stood up next to his mother who was supporting him. “Draco, we have to go back in there and pretend nothing is going on with you, they will kill you Draco,” Narcissa said, panicking.
“I know mum, I will do okay. I will act as one of you guys again and pretend to hate Hermione. I will protect my baby and her. I will. Because I am not my father.”
Narcissa burst into tears and hugged her son to her, “That you aren’t Draco, you are a good man. Your father was one day, but now… I don’t know, he just isn’t good anymore at all, never has been since the Dark Lord’s re-rising,” she paused to wipe her tears and looked at her son, “Draco we have to go back in, let’s go.” Draco agreed and followed her into the drawing room again, his head pounding. Still feeling nauseated.
Dolohov was still speaking; he did not acknowledge Draco and Narcissa when they walked back in. They sat back in their seats and didn’t say a word. …”Kill Harry and his friends, if possible. If not, we will not stop trying to find him, we can’t let him live when the Dark Lord is dead. We need to start tonight.”
Draco couldn’t stand it. He had to leave to warn Hermione and the rest of them what is going on.
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