Chapter image by arushi at TDA!
Chapter Four: Dealing With The Situation
That was the bigger question; the question Draco didn’t know the answer to. Now what? Where were they supposed to go from there?
“I don’t know.” He replied.
“This is all too much to handle.”
“In case you are pregnant Granger and we’re having a child together, it doesn’t mean I’m going to marry you or live with you, I’m just clearing that right up now,” he said.
“I don’t expect you to Malfoy, the only thing I ask of you is to support our child and be there for us.”
“Was there anything else you needed to talk to me about?” He said, planning to attend back to his paperwork. He had a good hour left before his shift was done.
“Yes, the mission.”
“About the werewolves?” Draco asked.
“Yes, if I go on that mission it could cause injuries to this child, and I’m not about to risk it.”
“Good point. What do you suggest we do? Mr. Tajo isn’t going to be pleased that you aren’t part of the mission. What do you suppose we tell him Granger?”
“I’m not ready to tell anybody that I’m pregnant, it was bad enough telling you. For now, I’ll just have to come up with an excuse not to go.”
“He won’t buy it, whatever you tell him. He’s not going to believe you.”
“I know, but I don’t want anyone to find out.”
“Why Granger, embarrassed that you’re bearing my child? Ashamed by the fact that you’re once enemy knocked you up and that you’re pregnant? Afraid, your friends will desert you when they find out? Which one is it Granger, because you know I’m right.”
She stared at him surprised. He looked angry, was she ashamed? This was Draco Malfoy, someone she thought she’d always hate. He’d teased her, called her mudblood and wouldn’t give a damn if she died in the final battle. She thought she might have seen a hidden emotion in his eyes. Was it hurt? She suddenly found herself angry at him. Who did he think he was yelling at her like this when half of this wasn’t even her fault? God, she hated this man. “What’s it to you Malfoy, why would you care?”
He glared at her, “Because if this is my child, I’m not going to be ashamed, I’m not going to hide my child in public because of its mother!”
“I’m sorry-” She suddenly sounded afraid. Not the Malfoy she’d always known. But something made her stay and listen to what he had to say. He knew in some ways he’d changed, she just never gotten to chance to notice.
“You’re sorry Granger? I know if you of all people had the choice you wouldn’t want to be in at least a 50 foot radius of me. Why Granger? Is it because I’m a murderer? That the Order, the Ministry still thinks I’m capable of reforming what the Dark Lord couldn’t finish? Listen Granger, we’re going to have to work together whether we like it or not. Let’s face it, you hate me and I hate you. There is simply nothing that will change that fact.” He rolled up his sleeves, just to prove to her that he wasn’t a murderer, and he never would be. “You see, Granger? No Dark Mark. What’s it going to take for you to understand?” He paused, “But that’s the problem isn’t it Granger? You don’t want to understand.”
“No Granger, I’ve had a long enough day. If you don’t need me anymore I would like to get home,” he said in a calm voice.
“No, I dont.”
“Good, then I will speak with you tomorrow and we’ll come up with a legitimate excuse for Mr. Tajo for why you can continue with the mission.”
“Alright,” Hermione said, retreating out of Malfoy’s office as fast as she could.
He wanted to throw something. His anger had gotten the best of him. He didn’t mean to let out his frustrations on Granger; it wasn’t like he showed her any sign of kindness or that he’d changed in any way. Who was he trying to kid? He would always be a Malfoy, vicious, unkind, never care about anything in his life. He ran his hands through his hair shakily. He knew by tomorrow he’d have some apologizing to do. But for now he just needed rest.
She couldn’t believe what had just happened back in his office. She knew there was truth behind his words, and a deeper meaning. He was trying to get through to her to make her understand him. Why had she always avoided understanding him? She was a know-it-all; she knew that that. She judged him too quickly, didn’t even want to acknowledge him. He was and had been apart of the Order of the Phoenix, though none of the aurors and/or members trusted him. He was the son of a Death Eater- Lucius Malfoy- who was nowhere to be found. Some thought him dead; maybe Voldemort had killed him for his son’s betrayal. No one knew the truth and they didn’t want to know. Draco Malfoy had always been vicious, he didn’t care about people’s feelings and he didn’t have a heart. He couldn’t love. What if they had been lies?
Hermione didn’t want to trust him, afraid she’d get hurt. But Malfoy had been right; she was slightly embarrassed, ashamed, and afraid. Only Ginny knew of her pregnancy and Hermione could not imagine Ron’s and Harry’s reaction towards her when they would find out. The truth would sooner or later come out, she would have liked to keep it a secret, but she couldn’t have everything.
She retreated to her office, found all her paperwork and continued to complete it. She hadn’t noticed the time had gone by so quickly, until the lights in the building were all shut down and all she had for light was her desk lamp. She realized she was too absorbed in her work and very tired, so she apparated home.
Her apartment wasn’t much to look at. It consisted of a small bedroom, with a living room/kitchen and bathroom. She proceeded to head to straight to bed without bother changing her clothes; she knew it was going to be a tiring day tomorrow.
She woke up with a pounding headache, in the middle of the night, having to empty her stomach at four a’ clock in the morning. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep, so she settled for a good book till it was time for her to get ready for work. She was there bright and early, cheerful despite the fact that she only had four hours of sleep from the night before.
“Good morning Mr. Tajo,” Hermione said.
“As yes, Ms. Granger I’ve been meaning to talk to you about the mission.” Hermione hoped she wasn’t getting fired, even if Mr. Tajo did find out about her condition she hoped she would still be able to work as an Auror.
“Yes, Mr. Tajo.”
“My office, if you please,” Hermione followed Mr. Tajo into his office a couple of floors away from her own. She sat down across from his desk as he spread out his papers. “Now, Ms. Granger, you missed last week’s meeting and I’m sure Ms. Weasley has told you what was in entailed but I would like your opinion on the matter.”
“You want my opinion, sir?” Hermione asked, surprised.
“Yes, of course, you are the brightest witch working here aren’t you?”
Hermione blushed, it was known for her to be the brightest witch working in the Ministry, but to have someone who was superior; like her boss to say those things felt weird. “Sir, I do think it’s important to have people looking for those werewolves, but is it possible that I- uh not partake in this mission?” Hermione had to act fast, she didn’t have an excuse and she didn’t expect to be talking about this right away with him first thing in the morning. She was supposed to talk to Malfoy, but she figured that talk would have to wait.
He gave her a curious look, “Why wouldn’t you want to be apart of this mission Ms. Granger?”
“Her father, Mr. Tajo,” drawled a familiar voice.
“Ah Mr. Malfoy, come in.” Mr. Tajo replied. “Now what’s this about your father Ms. Granger?”
Hermione gave Draco a glare since he interrupted her talk with their boss, but thankful all the same for the excuse since she hadn’t come up with one. Thankfully enough it was the truth.
“My father is in the hospital sir, he survived a major car accident but has been in the hospital for the past three months, and he’s finally decided to transfer to St. Mungo’s and he’s asked me to stay with him for the time being,” Hermione said calmly, it was half true. Her father did not want to go to St. Mungos but this was all Hermione had as an excuse.
“Car accident, eh?”
“Yes sir, his legs have been paralyzed for the past three months and the doctor’s at the muggle hospital can’t seem to figure out why,” Hermione replied.
“Very well Ms. Granger, I can understand how important your family is to you. Therefore you will not attend this mission but I expect that next time you inform me earlier about these events.”
“Yes sir, thank you.”
“Not a problem Ms. Granger, I expect you’ll be getting back to work. Mr. Malfoy, you wanted a word?”
Hermione left the office not wanting to interfere with Malfoy’s conversation with Mr. Tajo. By lunch time she hadn’t heard a word from Malfoy and decided it was time she spoke with him directly. She found his office easily having been lost from the day before and knocked quietly on the door. She didn’t hear a word, but opened the door anyways. Malfoy seemed to be doing paperwork.
He looked up, “Granger. Knew I’d see you again some time today.”
“Look Malfoy, about what happened yesterday, I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions. We obviously didn’t get to a good start and you’re right.”
“I was, I am afraid of what my friends will think, this isn’t easy for me.”
“And you think it is for me? I may not be carrying the child, Granger, but it’s also my responsibility.”
“What do you want me to do, Malfoy? I’m not going to shout at the top of my lungs that I’m carrying your child, no way. We’ve hated each other for seven years- seven years, Malfoy.”
“Hogwarts, right. We obviously can’t get along because we’re still thinking of the past, Hogwarts, two different houses; Slytherin and Gryffindor. But we’re adults and we’ll get through this, we’re mature enough to deal with this situation, aren’t we Granger?”
“Of course,” Hermione said.
“Good, and for the record I’m sorry for the things I said to you yesterday as well. I hadn’t meant too.”
“Malfoy apologizing, now there’s a first,” Hermione said with a smile, contradicting his words from yesterday.
“Don’t push it, Granger.”
“What happens when the baby is born Malfoy, you said you wouldn’t live with me, and I understand that, but this child won’t. He or she will have to go back in between parents and I just hate that idea.”
“What do you suggest we do? That I do live with you?”
“Maybe at least a couple of months before the baby is born. We’ll have to get used to the idea that we’re having a family together, Malfoy.”
“Alright, I can agree on that.” Draco said, after some hesitation. Live with Granger?
“Good, unless you have anything else, I better head back to work. Sorry for disrupting your lunch.”
“Didn’t bring anything to eat anyways, I guess I’ll talk to you later?”
“Yes, bye Malfoy,”
He nodded and headed back to his work. ‘Well that conversation couldn’t have gone any better,’ Hermione thought. ‘This is Malfoy we’re talking about.’
She headed back to her office; it seemed lunch was extended because all of her co-workers and friends were still eating. Even though she wished she could talk to them and hang out with them, she had more important things to do instead.
Thanks to my beta Sweet Decadence!
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