"Mama!" A voice called. It was all fogged up, she couldn't really recognize the voice, but only one person calls her that. The same person shook her. "Wake up, mama!"
Hermione slowly squeezed her eyes and opened them up. Scorpius' grey eyes were right in front of her hazel eyes. She gasped in surprise as she stumbled back, hitting her head in the process. "Ouch."
"Mama! You ok!" Scorpius exclaimed as he jumped onto her lap and hugged her tightly. Hermione's arms automatically went around his little body as she looked around.
"What happened?" She asked confused as she looked around. Ron, Pansy, Scorpius and Daphne were the only ones there with her.
"You blacked out." Ron said. "Gave us all quite a scare when you didn't wake up a few minutes later. Just wanted to tell you, Pansy and I've got to go. We'll owl you later this week."
She nodded and waved as they left. "How long was I out for?" Hermione frowned, looking out the window. It wasn't dark yet, that was good.
"'Bout ten minutes." Daphne said as she sat down on the bed Hermione was on, prying her nephew away from Hermione. "You really should lighten up with your work. Thank Merlin I work at St. Mungos! Here's some pepper-up potion."
"Thanks, Daph." Hermione said as she empty the potion into her mouth. Then, she turned to Scorpius who was sitting on Daphne's lap, looking at Hermione. "I'm sorry, Scorpius. I must have ruined your party."
Scorpius shook his head as he climbed back onto Hermione's lap. "Mama ok. Scowpy happy."
"He really loves you." Daphne said quietly as she rubbed on Scorpius' back. "He was so worried, he almost caused a scene. Just like Draco. I feel lonely most of the time with my parents off in Azkaban and Astoria in who-knows-where with Theo. I'm glad you included me in his life, Hermione. I mea, I can't believe she gave up this child."
Hermione stayed silent as Daphne talked while Scorpius yawned and drifted into his sleep. "Don't get me wrong, Hermione. I'm glad she's gone with Theo, she wouldn't be anywhere near him if she stayed. She never liked kids.
"Draco still loves you, you know." Hermione looked up at Daphne shocked when she said that. "I went to Malfoy Manor yesterday, just to take away Astoria's things and owl it to her. I saw Draco's journal on their dressing table. I was curious because it was the one I gave him a few months just before he left, so I flipped through it, wondering why he hadn't taken it with him when I found the page."
Daphne looked at her with a watery smile. "It said a lot of things about you. I think there were a few pages, filled with one hundred things he loves about you. Then, the last page before he left, he wrote this-
'I will return,
Love you, (more than the last)Marry you,
And live without a shame.'
Mark my words, Hermione. I will do it.
Hermione smiled. It was her favourite quote from the muggle movie 'Atonement'. She told him about it when they were still together.
"Well, erm," Daphne cleared her throat as she stood up. "I better get going. I have another date with Edric. At Canada."
"Thank you, Daphne, for everything." Hermione said, knowing that Daphne knew what she was talking about. "And have fun at Canada! Bring me some presents please!"
"Will do!" Daphne smiled. "Oh, Edric would like to meet you and Scorpius soon! I told him loads about the two of you."
"Anytime will do, Kingsley gave me a week's holiday for finishing a really big case. Just owl me before you apparate over, I do prefer to have Scorpius clean rather than dirty when meeting someone."
"I will." Daphne said as she hugged Hermione goodbye. "Got to dash. I'll owl you soon!"
Hermione stood up carefully while adjusting Scorpius so that he was comfortable. She moved his so that his arms are around her neck, hanging loosely while his chin was rested on her shoulder. She carried him downstairs and outside where she saw the rest were still there talking.
"Hermione!" Narcissa fussed. "Thank Merlin you're alright! Gave us all quite a scare. Is Scorpius asleep?"
"Yes, unfortunately. But I reckon I should wake him up for the cake."
"Good idea." Narcissa agreed. "We'll let him back to bed when everyone's got the cake."
"Scorpius," Hermione called, shaking him gently while he started to stir. "Hon, wake up. We'll let you go back to sleep when everyone's got cake."
"Cake?" Scorpius asked sleepily, rubbing his eyes.
"Yes, hon. your birthday cake."
"Ok. Back to nappy after that, wight?"
"Yes, love." Narcissa answered as Hermione passed Scorpius into her arms.
"I'll get the cake alright, Cissa?" Narcissa nodded and went to gather people around a round table for the cake.
Hermione walked towards the kitchen and asked for the cake from a house elf named Tilly. Tilly has been working for Narcissa ever since the latter was married to Lucius Malfoy. Tilly had followed Narcissa to the cottage after she freed all the house elves working for her, leaving the others around the Manor to clean up. Tilly had, in a way, begged Narcissa to let her continue her work by her missus' side. Hermione found out that Tilly's a paid elf, so she was fine with it, occasionally have Tilly do things for her when she was tired.
While she waited, she heard a knock from the front door. Curiously, she walked towards the door and made herself presentable, but she found no one on her doorstep. She looked around a bit confused and alert, and then something told her to look down. A few letters was left on the doorstep, addressing to different people living in this household. She smiled softly as she recognized the writing when she opened the one addressed to her.
"Miss Minney," Tilly nudged. "Cake is ready, miss."
"Can you bring it out please?" Hermione said. "Tell Cissa there's a letter for her."
"Yes, Miss Minney." Tilly obeyed as she popped outside.
Hermione quickly turned back to the letter and it read,
How are you? I trust you are well. It's been a long while since I saw you.
I was back at Malfoy Manor last week. I trust Daphne saw my journal when she was here while she took Astoria's left over possessions. I meant for her to see it, and being the curious one she always has been, I believe she read through it.
I meant what I written, Hermione.
Thank you for raising Scorpius and for taking care of mother. Tell him that I wished him a Happy Birthday. I'll see you later.
She smiled- he was never one to reveal anything in letters. Later? Hermione frown. He's coming back?
"Hermione!" Narcissa's voice called from the back door. "Dear, we're just about to sing Scorpius a birthday song. Come on!"
"Alright!" Hermione called back. "Wait, Cissa! Draco was at the Manor last week."
Narcissa was evidently shocked. She stood still for a moment before snapping back into reality. "We'll talk about that later. Come on now!"
"Thanks, Hermione!" The Weasleys, minus Ron, Pansy and Ginny chorused as they waved her goodbye, walking towards the Burrow in the dark.
"Bye!" Hermione waved.
"Millie and I are going to be in America tomorrow. We'll owl you soon!" Goyle said while he hugged Hermione goodbye.
"Have fun!" She waved until they disappeared from the fireplace.
"Hermione, Tilly mentioned a letter?" Narcissa asked. Hermione nodded as she walked to the table where she had left the letters and passed it to Narcissa. She waited in silence as Narcissa read through her son's letter. "That's odd. He said he had been around London for a few days, but has left again for the last round of visits. He wrote saying he'll be back soon. But didn't leave a date. When do you suppose he wrote this?"
"I don't know." Hermione said, her eyes drooping. "Do you mind if I called it a night? I'm a bit tired."
"Oh, alright," Narcissa frowned, saddened that Hermione didn't want to discuss Draco's matter with her. "Night, darling."
"Night, Cissa." Hermione said as she kissed Narcissa on her cheek goodnight.
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