Hermione smiled as she gazed around at the sleeping forms in the living room. Harry and Ginny were curled up on the sofa, both sets of hands lying neatly on Ginny’s stomach. Mia and James were snuggled next to the open fire; the flames illuminating the honey highlights in her daughter’s hair. The rest of the family had either dispersed or gone to up to bed and, as usual, Hermione was the last one up. She had always been a night Owl, ever since the trio had been to Hogwarts and she ended up fixing the boy’s homework.
I might as well make myself useful. She turned and headed towards the cosy kitchen to finish washing the dishes by hand. Even though she could use magic, Hermione had gotten used to being ‘Muggle’ again and found comfort in the repetitive scrub, scrub, rinse, as it gave her time to mull over her thoughts.
The party had been such a success and it had made Hermione smile when she saw such delight on Mia’s little angelic face. She had definitely become attached to Malfoy and had spent the whole day dragging him around with her, as if he was a doll himself. Hermione had little time to talk to him but shortly after Mia had made her ‘wish’ she knew that she would have to catch up with him at some point in the week…they needed to tell her now before it was too late.
As always, whenever Hermione was washing the dishes, her mind drifted to those happier days with Ron.
“You know you could use your wand for that?”
Hermione smirked as her fiancés warm, strong arms wrapped around her stomach. Ron lent gently on her shoulder, watching her mantra; scrub, scrub, rinse. It made her smile whenever he snuggled right in close, breathing in the scent of her chestnut hair.
“Yeah, I know, but then I would have nothing to do and I would have to find something else to occupy my time.”
He nuzzled in closer and whispered, “Well if you’d like some ideas, I’d be happy to give you some.” His lips found her delicate skin and began caressing the smooth curve of her neck. It wasn’t long before they found her earlobe and started to nibble: her weak spot.
“Oh really, well, in that case,” She spun around in his arms and clasped her own around his solid neck. She was always breath taken whenever he kissed her. It was with the same intense passion that they had in their first kiss; the day of the War but minus the desperate need.
They broke apart for air but it didn’t take long for Ron to scoop her into his steady arms and carry her to their bedroom where their king-size bed was waiting; the dishes never seemed to end up getting done.
Hermione hadn’t realised that she was crying until she heard the soft ‘plop’ sound landing in the soapy water in the sink. Wiping her eyes, she suddenly lost the momentum of washing up. It had always had happened that way. Ron would come in and cuddle her from behind and ask her the same question, even though he knew her answer.
With a wave of her wand, the dishes began magically washing, while Hermione stared into space. She wasn’t really focusing on anything, her mind drifting, but her eye caught a flash of movement in the garden.
It was bigger than a gnome, she was sure of that, and with her fine-tuned instincts, she could tell it was threatening. Whipping her wand out of her back pocket, she did a quick protection spell over the house to make sure that everyone was safe, before entering the back yard.
The bright, magical light lit the garden but the intruder could not be seen.
Hermione peered around, her wand tight in her fist; at the ready.
There it was again, a flash in the shadows. It was definitely a human shape. Hermione sent a leg binding curse at the form with the speed of lightening. It missed. Getting agitated and slightly afraid for the sleeping form of her daughter inside, Hermione remembered the candles that were still spread across the garden from the party earlier. With a wave, they ignited and the garden was cast in an orangey red glow. Right at the back of the garden, behind the Old Oak, was the ‘shadow’.
She shot the curse again but it was counter jinxed. Instead, the black form stood and she could tell that it was facing her head on. Her heart started pumping as it began to move towards her.
Hermione began to feel frightened and it wasn’t because everything she fired at it, it counter acted. It was the fact that the shadowy form was not throwing any spells back. Instead, it just kept advancing. She had backed all the way to the kitchen door but she was afraid that if she went inside she might endanger her daughter and her family.
Instead she shouted, “Protego!!” casting a protective bubble between her and the danger.
“I don’t know who you think you are, but I will not let you hurt me or my family! I’ve been through more torture than you could ever bestow!” Unconsciously, her eyes flickered to the white scar on her arm that read ‘Mudblood.’
At this, the shadow started laughing. It was a cruel, sadistic laugh that sounded so heartless that she couldn’t help but shiver in fear. It started advancing again but stopped just at the edge of the shadows that her wand was casting. It leaned forward and to Hermione’s horror, it was the man with the eyes; one green one red, the one from her dream. She had forgotten about it throughout the party, but now Hermione could remember every detail of the unbearable pain that had raced through her body.
Her eyes widened in fear and the shadow began to laugh even harder. It sounded so familiar but Hermione couldn’t place the sound. All she knew was that it was one of the most frightening things she had ever heard; even worse than the sick laughter of Voldermort. This laughter was meant for her. It was meant to taunt and weave its coldness around her body until she was engulfed.
“Who are you?”
She didn’t realise that she was slipping down the wall, her posture hunched and her protection bubble withering. It was like the red and green eyes was making her weak; sucking her life force out of her by the power of stare.
A green flash flew past Hermione and her bubble and was aimed straight for the ‘shadow’. It missed but the shadow understood the threat. It whirled around and began running across yard until it merged with the night once more. Hermione could tell that it wouldn’t stop until it knew it was safe.
With a stifled sob, she let fell to the ground and her protective bubble dispersed. She heard the rush of footsteps and felt the sudden warmth of strong, protective arms. A glimmer of hope made her think it was Ron but her logic knew that it was impossible. Turning around, she was faced with the father of her child. Draco.
His eyes were full of concern and his grip was only a little too tight; he was obviously worried.
“Are you alright?”
Hermione nodded but her sudden burst of tears suggested otherwise. “Ye…yes, I’m fi…fine.”
He rolled his eyes in such a way, that Hermione was reminded of his old self again; an arrogant git. She was just about to remark but was whisked up into his arms in such an effortless manner, where he carried her all the way into the kitchen, pushing the door closed with his foot.
He then carried on walking until he reached the living room, where the slam of the door had obviously awoken Harry and a very groggy Ginny.
Harry was surprised to see Hermione being carried by Draco but waited until he had placed her gently in one of the oversized armchairs. His eyes shifted between the two but once he noticed Hermione crying, he decided to direct his question at Draco.
“What the hell has happened?!”
“Harry shush, the children.” Ginny had finally managed to get her oversized self of the sofa and pointed to the two sleeping forms left. She knew that James wouldn’t wake up even if a hippogriff squawked in his ear but Mia was a light sleeper like her mother and any loud noises would awake her.
“Fine, hold on.” He whipped his wand out from his back pocket and pointed it towards the two children. With a pop, they disappeared; Harry had sent them into the spare bedroom.
Ginny raised an eyebrow at his lack of morality but didn’t comment; she hated moving her child like that…it was so impersonal. Instead, she made herself useful and went to the kitchen to boil the kettle.
Harry got down to business and pointed his finger directly at Draco.
“What have you done to Hermione?!”
Draco raised his eyebrows in surprise, “I haven’t done anything! I saved her; you should be thanking me! If I hadn’t gotten there she might have been killed.”
Hermione sniffled but glared at the blonde haired boy. “I didn’t need saving; I had it all under control!” Draco rolled his eyes again and replied, “Yeah so under control, that you were slipping down the wall and it’s made you cry.”
Hermione was about to retort but instead just sighed. She was too tired to argue, she still hadn’t been to sleep and using that excess of magic, when she hadn’t used it for a while, had taken its toll on her body.
Harry bent down to her level, and looked deep into her honey brown eyes, his emerald green full of concern.
“Mione, what happened?” Ginny came in with the tray of tea, which Draco took off of her and placed onto the coffee table.
“She was attacked. Or was about to be anyway.”
Harry turned and glanced between the two, before turning his attention back to his best friend.
Hermione shuddered and stared straight into the eyes of her best friend. “It was a man; at least I think it was. The body size was right for it to be a man; I didn’t see his face…just his eyes.” She shuddered again.
Harry raised his eyebrows and patted her hand. “What do you mean?”
Hermione sighed. She knew that she was going to get lectured about not saying anything about her dream. Especially when she used to force Harry to tell her and Ron back in school. They had always said that if a dream was important; it probably was.
“I had this dream last night. I was trapped…somewhere and it was just covered in darkness. Ron’s body was there but then it wasn’t.” A silence fell between the group.
“Anyway, I was being tortured by…something and then there was this light, and then all of a sudden there was this pair of eyes staring at me through the darkness; one green and one red. The next thing I knew there was this pair of hands that wanted to grab me and I woke up screaming.”
Ginny stood beside her hugging a mug of tea, her eyes wide in horror. “Mione, why on earth didn’t you tell us this!”
“Because, if I had then you would have reacted the way you’re reacting now; it was just a dream!”
Harry started to pace, his eyes furrowed, “Hermione, it obviously wasn’t ‘just a dream’ because the guy that owns those eyes was just outside the house trying to kill you!”
Hermione shrunk in her seat as she remembered the cruelty she had seen in them. “I don’t think he wanted to kill me.”
Everyone paused. The silence that filled the room was suffocating. It was Draco that spoke. “Hermione, the guy was creeping around in the garden and then started advancing towards you, you had a protection spell surrounding you and the house and it looked like you were shooting curses at him. You can’t honestly say that he wasn’t there to hurt you!”
Hermione picked up her tea and stared down into the cup. “I never said that he never wanted to hurt me that was obvious from the way he was laughing in my face. I’m just saying that he didn’t want to kill me. Not straight away anyway.”
Harry stopped pacing and turned to face her. “What do you mean?”
“He didn’t through any jinxes back. He just carried on walking and then just stopped in front of me. I think he generally wanted to taunt me first; he wants me to feel fear before he does anything.”
She drank a gulp full of tea and looked up into the eyes of her friends. “He’s got it as well.”
Harry shook his head in confusion. “Right so this guy is taunting us”
Hermione interrupted, “No me, he didn’t seem interested in getting in the house he just wanted me I think.”
“Hermione, if he’s taunting you then he’s taunting us; we’re in this together.” Hermione felt her heart swell; even after leaving and ditching her family, they still came through like always.
“So he’s taunting us, but why?”
Hermione shrugged. “I haven’t pissed anyone off recently; you Harry? Haven’t go under anyone’s toes lately like the old days?”
Harry tried not to smile but couldn’t help the small twitch at the corner of his mouth. “No, but like Hagrid said, where trouble is, we seem to find it.”
The atmosphere had become less gloomy and angry and Hermione began to feel her exhaustion settle into her bones. She didn’t realise that Harry was still talking.
“What I don’t understand is what you were doing there?”
Hermione glanced up to see that Harry was pointing to Draco who was still standing closely to her chair. He seemed to be a bit annoyed to be questioned, especially when he had saved Hermione from being killed or hurt.
“I had come to speak to Hermione, about Mia and telling her about me.”
Hermione shot a glance at the strong form that stood next to her. His eyes were stormier than usual and his stance was protective. Typical, protecting himself as usual. It wasn’t until he shifted his weight towards the chair she was sitting on that she realised he was protective over her. Oh. Nice one Hermione.
Harry didn’t seem convinced about his answer. “At one in the morning? It’s a bit late for that kind of conversation don’t you think? What were you really doing here Malfoy?”
“I asked him to come; I was up and Mia had said something earlier that needed to be discussed. I didn’t think he would come this late but he was fine with it.” Hermione stood beside him and placed a hand on his arm.
Harry didn’t seem too convinced but Ginny knew that her best friend needed to talk to the blonde haired hunk she joined in. “Harry come on, let’s go up to bed and let these two talk.” She pulled at his arm and grudgingly he followed his wife up the stairs to the spare bedroom where Mia and James were snuggled up still.
Once they were out of sight, Hermione turned to Draco and stared.
“Come on, I know there’s a pair of extendable ears hanging around somewhere in the house so this conversation isn’t really private.”
She grabbed his hand and apparated not to her apartment but to her cottage in Devon; she had just thought, home.
It was enveloped in darkness, but she knew exactly where the switch was even after 6 months away. The lights flickered on and her home was revealed.
She had expected it to be dusty, but it was like the house had been looking after itself since she had left; everything was just how she left it. She couldn’t help but smile.
Hermione had forgotten that she had brought Draco here. “Yeah, sorry, I just thought of home and this is where we ended up. Take a seat.” She pointed to the chairs that looked exactly like the ones in the Gryffindor common room.
Draco wandered over to the red, shabby sofa that looked quite artistic in the quaint little cottage and sat down. Hermione sat crossed legged in her armchair directly opposite.
“You have a lovely home.”
Hermione blushed, “Thanks, I do love this place; I gave birth to Mia here.” Little too much info Hermione.
Draco raised his eyebrows and Hermione realised that he thought she meant the sofa. “No not exactly here, I just mean in this neighbourhood; the hospital is just down the road in the Village. Mia’s not known any other place until recently.”
Hermione shrugged while gazing around at her beautiful home. “I didn’t want to share her. I know that sounds selfish, but after what happened back home I didn’t want to lose someone so special all over again; this was my haven from the world.”
He nodded and noticed the graduation picture on the side table. He picked it up and studied it intently. She watched as he focused on the ginger haired boy that stood next to her. He seemed confused; his forehead creased and his eyes stormy.
“If it hurts to remember, why do you keep pictures of him?”
He turned and she could tell he couldn’t understand. “Because if I don’t then I lose him totally and that’s something I can’t do. He will always be a part of me.”
Draco nodded and placed the picture back in its position. Hermione watched with tenderness as he gazed around the rest of her house.
The place was filled with happy memories and Hermione realised that the house was explaining to him the things he had missed out on. In the corner of the room was where Mia took her first steps and the kitchen is where she picked up her spoon by herself for the first time.
On the other armchair is where Hermione read Mia her bed time story under a blanket and on the carpet is the stain of paint where Mia was becoming an artist. Outside was the well-worn path where Mia would run up and down playing with the fairies and the flowerbeds is where Hermione taught her daughter that everything has a life-force.
This was the story of his daughter’s life and the house was telling it. Hermione watched as a small smile began to stretch across his face as he listened to the whispers.
“She must have been very happy here.”
“She is. She just wants her father to be a part of her life now too.”
Unfolding her legs she moved and sat next to the man she used to consider her enemy. He turned to face her and she could tell that he was near to tears. She had done him wrong, she had taken the one thing he loves most in the world and didn’t even give him a chance to actually show it. He would have doted on her and spoilt her and she would have loved back just as much. Hermione had refused him that chance and now he may lose it if they didn’t tell Mia the truth.
“We need to tell her. Tomorrow. I know you haven’t had much chance to be with her and get to know her but if you want a relationship with your daughter then we need to tell her sooner rather than later.”
Draco nodded and was surprised when she wiped his tears for him, just like any mother would. He smiled and replied, “I know. The thing is…she’s not the only person I want a relationship with.” Hermione paused and looked him squarely in the eyes. They were stormy and emotional and she could see that he was resisting the urge to kiss her. He deeply wanted too but he was waiting her permission, and she was sure if she rejected him, he would be the perfect gentleman about it and leave her to her own devices.
She couldn’t help it, the next thing she knew she was kissing him. He responded, half surprised and half happy. His aura glowing.
The kiss intensified and became fiery and passionate just like the night that they had shared all those years ago. Draco’s hand stroked her arms with such tenderness that Hermione had goosebumps. She moved from his lips to his ear then down to his throat.
He moaned and brought her back to his lips. She moved to be closer to him and in the end he pulled her into his lap where he cuddled and kissed like a man in love would do. He stopped and held her at arm’s length and stared into her eyes, his full of seriousness.
“I don’t want to do this if this is going to be a one night thing again. I know this is asking a lot…but I want to be with you properly. I was so scared for you earlier; every fibre of me wanted to kill that freak! I couldn’t believe he was trying to hurt you.”
Hermione stroked his cheek and pecked his nose, “Thank you.”
He turned away and stared out of the window where the shadows of the forest were lit up by the faery kingdom. Hermione sighed and forced him to look at her. “Draco, I know what you want and I think I want it too…but I think I’m still broken. I don’t know whether if I can love anyone like I loved him; I don’t want to hurt you again.”
Her eyes searched his. “If you’re willing to accept me for this broken wreck then I’m more than happy to give us a try.”
He grinned and with a quick sweep, he had managed to pick her up and whisked her off to her bedroom.
A/N: Okay I keep fretting over whether my chapters have been good or not lately, so I hope that this is okay. It’s fairly short but I’m still fighting the writer’s block demon so I hope that it meets up to your standards. It’s more of a fill in chapter anyway and there will be more love for the Dramione fans J Keep reading
Yours Stagzpotterfan xx