Chapter 23 : Main Dish: Surprise
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“You’re late,” Voldemort’s cold voice was so quiet it commanded attention. They both knelt before him.
“My deepest apologies my lord. If I had known you were to grace us with your presence I would have been here to greet you. I will accept any punishment, any task, to return to your side favorably,” Hermione lowered her eyes and spread her arms slightly to show her willingness. A long moment passed as there was utter silence. Hermione could only breathe again when Voldemort spoke.
“You are forgiven my daughter, as are you my son. You two are lucky you are my favorites, and that this was unannounced. Now, what has been happening at Hogwarts? What can you tell me of Potter?” Voldemort showed open disgust at mentioning the young wizard’s name. He motioned for them to rise and Hermione took the seat next to him.
“My lord, all as it should be,” Hermione reported.
“And how is that?”
“No one suspects a thing. Those foolish people actually offer me pity because they think it’s horrible that I must be with you or the Malfoys!” she laughed evilly. “They nearly fainted when I told them of my then coming marriage to Draco here!” She laughed again, as if to prove how silly and naďve they seemed.
“That is good, keep them fooled,” Voldemort gave her orders and then turned away from her. He gave Draco a long look before speaking. “I was informed, however, that unlike your wife, you did not complete your task. I have also been told as to why this is so.” Hermione’s heart stopped, what was going to happen next?
“My lord, I did not pressure her because then she would not be completely willing and you said she must be,” Draco’s voice nor face showed any emotion. Voldemort just nodded and before turning away made only the comment that he knew his duties.
“Have you dealt with that ridiculous Ministry yet?” he asked of Lucius.
“Yes sir, I have. It took much arguing and researching but I convinced them to my way of thinking. Hermione is free to leave without the slightest reprimand. I told them that since she would be with Draco the whole at Hogwarts and that was all that was required then she wasn’t violating any such agreement. Their marriage has officially been recorded and she is now a Malfoy,” Lucius shocked the two of them. Hermione was going back to Hogwarts?
“Excuse me sirs, but did I hear you correct? Hermione and I are to go back to school?” Draco couldn’t hide any of his surprise.
“Yes, I need you there,” Voldemort answered. “And speaking of that wretched school, Narcissa, have you received the rights to move with them?”
“It was only on one condition. Only when that nurse has pronounced her pregnant and Draco the father can I ask for the invitation. And then Hermione must agree in front of the Headmaster and a witness to move in with Draco and allow me to stay in the Head Girl’s room. Until that happens, I have been asked to stay in an unused room in one of the towers,” Narcissa added another surprise to the growing list of surprises. Hermione’s mind was reeling from the shock.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but I don’t understand. Why are you coming to live with us?” Hermione directed her question specifically at Narcissa.
“I’m staying with you to watch over you and your unborn, to make sure you are both healthy, in short to play the mother role to a daughter,” Narcissa seemed to not care any way, but Hermione thought she might have seen the slightest flicker of a smile. Perhaps that was all this witch needed, someone to take care of, Draco had never been hers except for biological. Hermione resolved to see if she could break down that ice barrier to make living more comfortable for all involved. But no matter how loving Narcissa could be, she was tempted for a second to ask why her own mother couldn’t come or why someone else at the school take care her, but she knew the answer. Voldemort’s legacy was resting on this and all who would possibly watch over her would know. He feared they might try and prevent this from happening; one accident that could kill the baby may be plotted. Unconsciously Hermione’s hand splayed over her abdomen, as if she was protecting an unborn. Only one person noticed this act and that was the soon-to-be father, the one whose hand would probably later join hers. What would this do to them and their feelings toward each other? Would this drive them farther apart or bringing them closer?
“Before you return to Hogwarts, I have a special task for you Hermione,” Voldemort drew her form her thoughts. “The Malfoys will accompany you to the meeting place and once you have finished Narcissa and Draco will take you to Hogwarts. You and Draco are excused now,” Voldemort stirred her mind up again before dismissing her. She and Draco bowed to all and then left the room as they had entered, silently with their minds a mess. They did not say a word as they walked back to Draco’s room.
“This is too much for me!” Hermione cried once the door was closed. “It’s happening so fast!”
“I know, I thought we had more time too,” Draco sat on the bed with a weary look on his face.
“Why is all being rushed? I’m not ready!” Hermione sat next to him. The arm around her encouraged her to lean against him.
“I’m not ready for this either, but what can we do about it?” Draco’s voice was somehow soothing, though his words were not.
“That’s not comforting you know. Neither of us knows what we are doing, and that a problem in itself. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if we killed that baby,” she told him.
“No worries, that’s what my mother is for,” he reassured her. “After all, she took care of me,” he added with a prideful grin.
“And look how you turned out,” she teased him.
“Hey, I’m a perfect gentleman,” he made her scoff at him. The mood had lighted once again, and it was doubted that they would ever hate each other again.
“Its amazing was crazy things do to people. Look at us, we aren’t killing each other, we’re laughing together. If someone had told me this would have happened, I would have said they deserved to be treated for brain damage,” Hermione remarked.
“Speaking of things no one would believe, aren’t we supposed to be doing something vaguely like this?” Without waiting for an answer, Draco covered her mouth with his own in a passionate kiss. Hermione was startled, but warmed up to him and enjoyed herself.
Soon enough it was getting hot and heavy. Clothing had long since come off and was scattered about on the floor. Time had ceased for the two of them. If anyone had been watching, they would have sworn the two most unlikely pair were in love. Every touch was a caress, every kiss was loving. It would have seemed that instead of the first time, it was their hundred time performing this ultimate act of love. Maybe there was love growing in each of them, maybe all those acts were slowly becoming a reality. But for now, neither chose to work out all those maybes.
“I don’t love you,” Hermione whispered. Her head was lying on his chest, their leg tangled together. The act was done, the deed completed.
“I don’t love you too,” Draco murmured back to her. She sighed, now everything was going to change. There was no doubt for her that she was with child. She had felt the touches of spells to ensure that seeping into the room. But there was one thing nobody but her knew. That while she had been accepting him in body and mind, in her heart she knew that she had not been fully willing. That one small detail could change everything, and possibly give that child a different chance at life. A small smile formed on her lips as she settled against Draco, her friend and partner in everything but love. She fell asleep wondering about tomorrows task would be. Her dreams were filled with two identical babies (the same one?), one good and one evil, and all her friends showing pity as she was surround by death eaters, though she was laughing and placing unforgiveables on them. But dreams mean nothing, just silly imaginations of the sleeping mind. Or are they?
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