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A/N: Here it is! Sorry for the wait. I agonized over this chapter long and hard. Thanks to ghpotter (hope I got your username right, Ily) for her creative input!




The infant’s wail jarred Hermione to the very core. She’d never held a baby before. Her eyes were locked with Draco’s, but she tore them away from his shocked expression, down to the tiny face of the child cradle in her arms.

The perfect little face was screwed up in indignation, fat tears coursed down its flushed cheeks, and the thick curls of blonde hair were plastered to its skull with a coating of clear liquid that she could only assume was what was left of their potion.

How had this happened?

Draco stared at the creature, repulsed. It couldn’t possibly be real. It was some disgusting… thing. Like leprechaun gold, it would probably disappear in an hour.

He looked around for a trash receptacle to put it in until it… did what ever it would do.

Hermione felt the tiny frantic heartbeats of the baby in her arms. She could feel the shivers that wracked the miniature body. It occurred to her bewildered mind that the newborn must be cold. She shakily drew her wand and waved it through the air.

Draco watched as a strip of some sort of cloth trailed from the end of her wand. He watched, curious. 

He watched in disbelief as she wrapped a blanket around it and cuddled it to her chest. Hermione’s fingers trailed through the blonde curls and tears flowed down her cheeks.

Hermione cried tears of desperation. What had they done? She couldn’t have a child. She couldn’t be a mother. It wasn’t fair to the beautiful little one that had stopped it’s mewling at the warmth. What life could she give this child she had created? She had brought another defenseless, innocent person into a world plagued by Voldemort.

Draco’s abhorrence was too much for him.

“What in Merlin’s name are you doing?” He hissed.

“It-It was shaking… It was cold…” Hermione said, her eyes never leaving the minute face of the child she held in her arms.

“Who cares if it’s cold? We need to get rid of it.” His lips curled back in revulsion. He couldn’t even begin to comprehend what the thing could possibly be made of to make it seem so life-like.

“Get rid of it?” She raised wary eyes to the young man before her.

“Just put it somewhere until it… dissolves… or evaporates… or something.” He cringed when it made a hiccupping sound.

“Dissolves?” She repeated, stunned. “Are you crazy?! It’s a baby!” She whispered viciously, glancing at the sleeping form in her arms guardedly.

“It is not a baby.” He said, his lips pressed in distaste when the thing yawned and placed a tiny fist on Hermione’s breast. “I can’t even begin to understand why you’re even… touching it.” He shuddered and looked away. He couldn’t bear the sight.

…born from magic and contention. When she enters the world, the fabric of life is compelled to tear. Born from magic and contention… Fabric of life…

“Born from magic…” Hermione whispered. Her eyes snapped back to the babe in her arms, and for the first time she realized it was a girl. A GIRL. “It’s her.”

“What?” Draco barked, irritated that she was still blithering on about the…creature. “What in Hades are you talking about?”

“THE PROPHECY!” Hermione screamed, panic ripping through her body. For a moment, she didn’t know what to do, staring at Draco with a look of absolute horror etched upon her face. Without warning, she turned and bolted through the dungeon door, almost knocking over a few other simmering cauldrons in her haste. The startled cries of the baby rang around the corridor, echoing off the damp stones, and disorienting her even more.

“Bloody- WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU GOING?!” He shouted, taking off after her.

She was fast. He couldn’t believe how fast she was! He saw a flash of her robe disappearing as he mounted the stairwell, scampering to the top as quickly as he could.

After two floors he realized where she was heading. Dumbledore’s office.

“Shit!” He swore. She couldn’t show that horror to the Headmaster! What was she thinking? “GRANGER! Come back here!”

He rounded the corner too late. She was too far ahead for him to stop her.

“Licorice Wands!” She shouted as she ran up on the statue. The gargoyle squeaked and jumped aside quicker then either of them had ever seen it move.

She raced up the spiral staircase and shouldered through the office door, shielding the baby with her body.

“Professor!” She rasped, her breath grating painfully against the raw sides of her esophagus.

Albus Dumbledore looked up from his book, seeming unfazed by the sudden interruption to his evening entertainment. He peered over his half moon glasses perched on the tip of his crocked nose and took in the terrified young woman standing in front of him before he had even registered the wailing infant clutched in her arms.

“Professor… It’s -I mean I think- that it’s her.” Hermione stammered.

“Her?” Dumbledore repeated, rising slowly to his feet.

“The child. From the prophecy.” Hermione said.

“Ahh…” Dumbledore breathed, gazing at the child. “Where ever did you find her? Who are her parents? And how did you convince them to give her to the Order?”

“I-well, I guess that I’m her mother…”Hermione choked, expecting some reaction of disbelief from the elderly man before her.

“I see…” He said, eyes twinkling. “And I’d be right at assuming Mr. Malfoy is the father?”

“How did you know?” Hermione whispered, trying as hard as she could to not let her brain link the two together.

“It all makes sense now…” Dumbledore said, reaching his long-fingered hands out to take the babe from her arms. Hermione surrendered the child hesitantly. Though she’d only been a mother for less than an hour, her maternal instincts had already kicked in.

“Albus Dumbledore, I would have thought you of all people would never believe that a baby came out of a cauldron.” Draco said, his voice low and deadly.

“A cauldron?” Dumbledore repeated. “Interesting…” He took the wailing child into his arms and pulled the blanket aside to peer at her. The child seemed to quiet at the old mans touch and seemed to be gazing into his twinkling blue eyes, even though she couldn’t see more then fuzzy outlines, like all newborns.

“Explain to me how this beautiful angel came to alight upon our world.” He said, scrutinizing her face.

“We were brewing the Iuncito Venenum for Professor Snape’s potion project and something went wrong.” Draco said, stepping further into the room. “Dumbledore, this isn’t normal. This doesn’t happen. She.. She can’t be… real? Can she?” His voice broke a little, and he refused to look at the bundle in Dumbledore’s arms.

“We shall see. But while I run some test, tell me everything.” He pulled out his wand.

“Tests?” Hermione squeaked, stepping forward and reaching out towards the baby, her baby. “What sort of tests?” She eyed his wand nervously. Draco moved forward and caught her arm, stopping her.

“Not to worry, Miss Granger. Just the normal tests they run on newborns. Just like if you had given birth to her naturally at St. Mungo’s.” Dumbledore smiled at her in an assuring way.

“I really don’t know what to say. We were brewing the potion. We followed the instructions precisely. We added the blood and waited for it to change, but it exploded. And then the baby was in the bottom of the cauldron.” Hermione said. Draco was too intent on what Dumbledore was doing to remember the one tiny hair he had removed from the potion.

Dumbledore ran his wand over the baby, a quill on his desk racing across a blank sheet of parchment.

He nodded then waved his wand a final time. A bassinet appeared next to his desk. He laid the newborn in it gently.

Then he tapped his wand to the parchment and handed two copies to Hermione and Draco. Hermione took a seat next to the bassinet and Draco sat down next to her.

“She is in fact a living breathing little girl. The potion, instead of binding your souls, bonded your blood together.” He looked at them seriously. “She is as if you -eh-hm- procreated and Miss Granger carried her for 9 months. What I’m trying to say is that if you two had ever decided to have children together, this little girl would be the equivalent. The DNA tests I ran confirmed it.”

Hermione felt faint. She was a mother, and Draco Malfoy was the father of that child.

“Now, she’s perfectly healthy. Just a little hungry.” He smiled slightly. “So there’s nothing to worry about. Congratulations on becoming new parents.”

“WAIT!” Draco shouted, “Wait, wait, wait!” He shoved his chair back and slammed his fist down on the desk in front of him. “I’m not a parent. I’m not a father! I didn’t shag Granger and knock her up! I didn’t ask for this to happen.”

“Neither did I, Malfoy! Nor would I ever let you touch me.” Hermione glared at him. “But she is our baby. Whether you had sex with me or not. Of course, I don’t expect you to be around.” She sneered at him.

“Be around?” Draco fixed her with a hard stare. “What do you mean be around?”

“You don’t have to be her father. I don’t need you. She’ll have six perfectly good uncles.” Hermione said curtly.

“What are you talking about? You’ll hand her over to the Order and be done with it.” Draco said.

“I will never, NEVER, abandon my daughter.” Hermione whispered furiously.

“Now, now!” Dumbledore interjected. “Let’s discuss some things first.”

“Like what, old man?” Draco sneered. He had yet to take his seat again. Dumbledore merely looked at him, piercing him with his stare until Draco fell silent.

“The prophecy. And how it pertains your dau-” Draco opened his mouth to object, “Miss Granger’s daughter.” Dumbledore corrected himself politely, though with a slight edge of disapproval in his voice. Draco nodded and took his seat, shoving it away from Hermione.

“Now, everything we couldn’t understand before makes sense.” Dumbledore said. “Such as ‘She is born, born from magic and contention’. She is made from magic. I would say the level of magic in her blood is equal to that of the first purebloods. And contention could refer to the dark times she was born into, but I rather like to think that you were arguing while brewing the potion.” He smiled lightly.

Hermione’s eyes were resting upon her baby, and Draco was looking anywhere but at the bassinet.

“When she enters the world, the fabric of life is compelled to tear. The separate worlds of her makers must shatter, then become melded together in a way they never considered possible.” Dumbledore quoted. “Well, the ‘fabric of life’ sure tore when this little one arrived. There’s not another like her. And even though Mr. Malfoy is less then willing to be a father, he is still connected to you, Miss Granger, for now on in a way that can never be reversed. And I’m sure neither of you ever expected this to be that case for even a moment in your entire lives.” Hermione snorted and Draco rolled his eyes.

“And the rest…” Dumbledore stared off into space, “Well, we won’t know for awhile what the rest of it means.” He turned to face Hermione completely. “Miss Granger, do you understand exactly what this means? You’ll be an 18 year old girl taking care of a newborn in her N.E.W.T.s year at a boarding school. And not just any newborn. A newborn who has the fate of the entire world resting on her tiny shoulders.”

Hermione set her shoulders and looked his straight in the eye with a grave expression. “I understand completely. She’s not a weapon, she’s a baby. She needs her mother. I’ll protect her as long as I can, then when I can’t do it on my own anymore, then and only then will I accept the Order’s protection. For both myself and my daughter.”

Draco caught his breath. The conviction in her voice reminded him of his mother the night she sacrificed everything for him.

“Hermione…” He turned to her. She refused to look at him. “Hermione… can I see her?” He was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to see this child who was made from his blood.

Hermione scrutinized him, then sighed and scooped the baby out of the bassinet and placed her into his arms.

The baby opened it’s eyes. They were blue, like most newborns, but the Malfoy silver was already warring with the blue creating a smoky glimmer to her eyes. Her hair was thick and curly, unusual for a newborn, and was the same flaxen color that his was. When she opened her tiny bow mouth and yawned a squeaky yawn, he saw his salvation. He saw the anchor he had been looking for his entire life. All of his anger was focused into a fierce protective rage for this child…his daughter.

“Hermione.” He said her name curt and business like, keeping his feelings to himself as he was accustom to. “If you’ll allow it, I’d like to try and be there for my daughter. A Malfoy never runs from his problems.”

Hermione’s mouth fell open. It was amazing how quickly his mind had wrapped around the idea. An hour ago he was denying her existence.

“We’ll work something out…” Hermione whispered, nodding at him.

“Speaking of working things out?” Dumbledore interjected. “I suggest you go back to your dormitory. I’ll write to Governor Radbaum and arrange a meeting with the rest of the team as soon as possible. By the end of next week at the latest, I am hoping. I also suggest you avoid lessons until then. I’ll inform your Professors that you are attending a special event representing the School. You’ll be excused until I see it fit for you to return.”

Hermione was so engrossed with the child she didn’t even react when he mentioned missing a week of lessons. She stood and took the baby from Draco’s arms.

“It would also be best if nobody knew about this.” Dumbledore told them in a low voice. “No, not even your parents.” He said as Hermione opened her mouth to argue. “Or Mr. Potter or anyone else. As it is with the prophecy, it is to keep you and the child safe. The less information people know, the easier it will be to protect you. At least for the time being.”

Hermione sighed and nodded. She knew deep down he was right. He was always right.

“Goodnight, Mr. Malfoy, Miss Granger.” Dumbledore smiled slightly, already penning a letter to Governor Radbaum.

“Goodnight, Professor.” They said together, as Draco shrunk the bassinet and placed it in is robe pocket.

They reached their dormitory, too tired for the awkwardness of the situation to really set in.

“I’ll keep her in my room.” Hermione said immediately. Draco didn’t argue with her, following her into the room and setting up the bassinet.

There was a knock at the door and they whirled around, attempting to hide the bassinet from view.

“Who is it?” Hermione squeaked. Who knew their password?…

“Miss?” A shrill voice called out. “It’s Winky, Miss!” Hermione sighed in relief. Winky the House-Elf, who used to work for Barty Crouch Sr. before his untimely death at the hands of his deranged son, and who now worked for the School.

“What is it, Winky?” She asked, opening the door a crack. The tiny elf stood in the hall holding three large sacks.

“I has the things for the little Miss, Miss!” She squeaked.

“For the baby?” Hermione asked curiously, “How did you know?”

“The Big Master told me. The In-Charge-Master.” Winky said.

“Dumbledore?” Draco asked, frowning and opened the door wider. Winky squealed and fell over when she saw him.

“Yes. Yes. Big Master Dumbledore.” She struggled to get back to her feet.

Draco grabbed the bags from her and tugged her to a standing position.

“What’s in these?” He asked, opening one. He jumped back in amazement when several small objects zoomed out like angry bees. A changing table, a small cabinet, and a small dresser expanded in suitable spots around the room.

“Huh.” He grunted, then opened the next. Bottles, boxes of formula, diapers, and wipes flew out and stored themselves in the cabinet and dresser set. The last one contained clothing, baby soaps, and bedding.

Hermione sighed in relief and moved to put the baby on the changing table then paused

“She’s covered in the potion still. But it’s all dry and flaky now.” Her brow furrowed in thought. “If you’ll wait about 15 minutes, I’ll go bathe her.” She told Draco.

Draco nodded, relieved to not have been asked to perform the task himself.

“You go about that, and I’ll see what’s acceptable for a Malfoy to wear in all of this stuff.” He sniffed, looking at the baby clothes with a critical air.

Hermione grabbed some baby shampoo and her own pajamas then hurried to the bathroom around the curve of the balcony.

She looked around the bathroom and bemoaned that the only thing missing from the stuff Dumbledore supplied was one of those baby tubs she had seen advertised on the television. Not that she would even begin to know how to use it, but they looked simple enough.

Then she went right to scolding herself for being greedy. Dumbledore didn’t have to provide them with any of these necessities, shame on her for being so gluttonous!

She contemplated her surroundings, then finally settled on drawing a bath for herself in the pool-like tub and taking the baby in with her.

She made the water just warm enough to be comfortable and stripped her clothes of her body that was sticky with the sweat from her run to Dumbledore’s office. Then, baby still nestled firmly in her arms she stepped into the water until it lapped against her forearms.

She used a washcloth and the baby shampoo too gently wipe away the gritty potion from the infant’s skin. The child squirmed a bit in discomfort, but otherwise she just stared at her with her odd blue eyes.

“Beautiful baby…” Hermione cooed, thinking out loud. “We can’t just call you ‘The Baby’ or ‘She’ for the rest of your life… What are we to name you?”

She thought desperately for a name. Unlike most girls her age, she had never given much thought to what she would name her future children. The other Gryffindor girls in her dormitory had sat up at night giggling about such things, but Hermione had turned her nose up at the idea expecting to have plenty of time to choose.

“April?” She tried, staring at the baby hoping that it would seem appropriate.

“Bailey?”

“Greta?”

“Samantha?”

She listened to the names echo around the bathroom, but nothing stood out to her. She just couldn’t imagine introducing her child as ‘Martha’ or any of the other names her tired brain was tossing at her.

She looked around the bathroom frantically, as if hoping someone would pop out and tell her the perfect name for her daughter.

Her eyes fell upon her pajamas, and then upon the camisole that matched the pants.

“Camisole… what a silly name. What the devil is wrong with my brain?” She snorted with laughter. “Camisole…”

Then her heart skipped a beat, the cogs in her mind ticking over, “But Cammie is a perfectly fine name!” She squealed.

She hurried from the bath, and wrapped the baby in a fluffy towel and dressed quickly. She was eager to hear what Draco thought of the name, for she was a firm believer in equal opportunity.

She walked into her room to see that Draco had been busy. There were two piles of clothes on her bed, and he had one garment in his hand. He appeared to be performing some sort of charm on it. She watched in amazement as the small dress changed from a dull yellowish grey to a beautiful rosy pink.

“What are you doing?” She asked, curious. He turned quickly and she swore she saw a slight blush. But it disappeared rapidly.

“Most of the clothes are suitable, but the colors are not.” He said, shrugging his shoulders. “I won’t have my daughter wearing puce.”

She was oddly touched that he would care about something like that. She approached the bed and picked an onesie from the pile of ‘acceptable’ clothing that was a bright yellow with daisies. She dressed the baby and laid her in the basinet.

“Draco?” She asked, trying to keep her voice calm and neutral.

“Hm?” He replied, not looking up from his Spellwork.

“What do you think of the name Cammie?” She asked, covering the baby with a soft white blanket.

“For what?” He inquired.

“The baby…” She gave him an odd look.

“Oh…” He sat down a dress he had just charmed a bright emerald green. “I hadn’t even begun to think of what to name her.”

“So… Cammie?” Hermione asked.

“It’s so… informal.” He said, rubbing the back of his neck in thought. “And my mother’s family had a tradition of naming the children after constellations.”

“Oh…” She had already started to love the name, even calling the child it in her mind. He saw the disappointment on her face, and it sent an odd pang through his heart.

“How about this?” He said. Her head shot up in anticipation. “Cambria is the classical name for Wales. You know the Legend of Camber right?”

She nodded, seeing where he was going with this. “Cambria is a beautiful name.”

“Quite. It has all the sophistication a Malfoy needs.” He tried not to be to proud of his decision. It really was a name fit for a princess.

“Draco… lets name her Cambria Narcissa.” Hermione whispered.

He felt a pang in his heart again. He nodded his head solemnly, “I’d have it no other way. Cambria Narcissa Alastorina Malfoy.”

“Alastorina?” Hermione repeated, confused.

“Alastor Moody.” Draco answered. “He helped me through a lot when my mother died. If it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t be here today.” He turned away quickly to hide the look of pain on his face. He busied himself with coloring the last piece of clothing on the bed and banishing the ones he didn’t think were worthy of newest Malfoy.

“Alastorina, then.” Hermione said. “But I’ll still call her Cammie, just as a nick name.”
“That’s perfectly alright with me.” He moved the clothing into the dresser drawer. “I’ll leave you and Cambria be then.” He said. A tingle ran down his spine when he addressed his daughter. He moved to the basinet and leaned down to kiss her now smooth cheek. Then cupped his hand briefly over Hermione’s in a gesture of peace before he left the room, closing the door softly.

Hermione kissed her daughter as well.

“Goodnight, Cammie… Mummy loves you.” She bit back the tears that the simple statement brought to her eyes with a sudden bittersweet jerk and turned out the light for bed.

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