Draco stared. Sister. The word sounded so foreign. He was going to have a sister. Granted, she would be a half sister, and a half blood. But he was going to have a sister. Hermione was still sitting across from him, watching the emotions play across his face. Not that she knew which emotions they were, but she still watched. She cleared her throat after a few moments.
“Hmm? Oh, your still here. Fitz!” A house elf appeared with a crack, “Show her to the white room. We’ll talk in the morning, Granger.” With that, he stood and left her sitting in his living room, Fitz the house elf standing quietly next to her. She was stunned. She hadn’t come with the intention of staying here; she had come to see if he would help her. She hadn’t expected anything, but the most she had hoped for was for after the baby was born, not while she still had five months left before her child was due. She had only just started to show a month ago!
“Miss?” the elf next to her questioned.
“Hmm? Oh, yes. This white room he wants me to go to. Right, well, if you’ll lead the way.” the elf bowed and began walking towards the far door, the one directly opposite that which Malfoy had gone through. She almost started to laugh, almost. Then she remembered where she was, and it was all she could do not to cry. Hormones were not pleasant. Especially when one was in the house of Draco Malfoy, asking for his assistance in raising one’s child. Even more so when that home happened to be one in which you and your friends had been tortured in, yourself on more than one occasion.
Her eyes were filling fast, and she was most grateful to have arrived at the room she had been given for the night. Without even thanking the elf, she entered the room, practically fell on the bed, and was asleep in moments, with only a single tear having fallen on the pillow. But a single tear was enough.
Draco was sitting in his office, at his desk, thinking. He was still trying to wrap his head around the fact that he was going to have a sister, even if she would be twenty years his junior. Then, he would have to wrap his head around the fact that his sister’s mother was the one and only Hermione Granger, and she wanted him to help raise her. As an hour passed, he realized something. He should be thinking about whether or not he was going to help her first. If he didn’t help her, he would never have to really think about having a sister, whose mother was the War hero. Of course, if he did help her, he wouldn’t really know what it was like to be a brother, as he would be playing father.
The pros and cons of each kept running around in his head, and, eventually, he fell asleep on his desk chair. When he woke the next morning, in his bedroom, he realized that sleeping on a dilemma did help, for he had made his decision.
Hermione woke when the sun shone through her window. She stretched out in her bed, and then reached for a body next to her. When she found none, her first thought was panic. Then she remembered where she was and everything that had happened over the past three days. After she sat up, she chocked back a scream. She hadn’t realized that the elf was going to be waiting for her to wake up, staring at her from the doorway.
“Merlin, you scared me,” she said, pressing a hand against her chest, as if to still her rapidly beating heart.
“Fitz is sorry miss. But master wanted Fitz to bring you to him once miss waked up.”
“Oh, it’s alright. Um, before we go, is there a bathroom close by?”
Draco glanced at the clock, it was only seven in the morning. He shouldn’t be up so soon, but he hadn’t wanted her to wander the house upon her awakening. Merlin knew how that adventure would have turned out.
He heard the crack of a house elf appearing, “Fitz has brought master the miss.”
“Thank you Fitz, you may leave now.”
After a moment of silence, he began, “Granger, I’ve thought about what you asked me last night.”
“Have you made a decision.” He nodded as he turned his view from the window to her.
“Yes, I’ve made my decision.”
She waited a beat, “And it is?”
“I’ll help you. But I do have some… conditions.” She gave him no response, as if she had expected him to set boundaries and rules. Or she was too shocked that he had agreed to help her. He poured himself a glass of something red from the cabinet beside him. He watched her hide a smile, and said, “It’s not alcohol. Its sparkling wine. Like carbonated apple juice, I think. I got some when I was in America as a child for New Year’s Eve, and I’ve been addicted ever since. Would you like some?”
“No, I’m fine. What are these, conditions, of yours?”
“Right. My first condition is that she know who exactly her father is. My second is that she is expected to treat me as a father, even though she knows that I am only her brother.”
“I was already thinking the same thing myself.”
“Yes. My third is that she have the Malfoy name.”
“I was planning on her having the Malfoy name.”
“You know what Granger? Just, here,” he said as he grabbed a sheet of paper from off his desk, and thrust it at her, “Since you don’t seem to want to wait for them all. I’ll not do this unless all are agreed to. I will not compromise.”
“Oh, um, all right.” She took the paper from his hand and began to read.
1. The child should know Father is her father.
2. The child should know that I will be acting as her father, and will not be treated as anything other.
A. The child will call me Father.
3. The child will have the Malfoy name.
4. I will assist in giving the child her name.
5. Both Granger and the child will live with me.
6. Once the child is born, Granger will share my bed.
“Whoa, number six? Why would I have to share your bed?”
“Does it matter? We’re not going to be shagging.” Hermione thought for a second before returning to the list.
7. I will participate in making all major decisions for the child.
8. The child will need my permission to do certain things.
9. The child will be educated prior to entrance into Hogwarts.
10. There will never be any physical punishments for the child.
11. The child will learn how to act like a Muggle.
12. The child will know both my family and Granger’s family.
13. The child will learn her heritage.
14. The child will be presented to the world as my child, even though she is not.
15. The child will be given a monthly allowance which she is not to exceed.
16. The child will know everything we can teach her about how to protect herself.
17. The child will know everything we can tell her without causing mental harm about the War.
18. I must give permission for any expected visitors.
19.Granger and I must keep our fighting and bickering to a minimum.
20. Granger and I must teach the child the same moral.
21. Granger and I must teach the child the same values.
22.Granger and I will act as if we are a real married couple.
“What does ‘Reserved’ mean?”
“In case I should come up with any other conditions that I did not think of last night. Plus, I like nice round numbers. So, deal or not?” Hermione pretended to consider his demands, skimming them over once more. In truth, she had already agreed to his conditions the moment he had said anything about having any.
“Can I ask you a few questions first?”
“I suppose so. But that doesn’t mean I’ll answer them.”
“Fine. Why do you, of all people, want her to know both sides of her family, and know how to act like a Muggle?”
“Because being closed off from one side of the family can be very detrimental to a child’s mental and emotional growth and development. And every wizard should know how to act like a Muggle, in case they are ever around Muggles. I do not want a Malfoy to be imprisoned for revealing herself to Muggles.”
“Will we decide, together, what her allowance is?”
“Will we decide, together, which morals and values to teach her?”
“Granger, I’m not going to try and raise an evil child hell bent on destroying the world. Merlin knows I don’t ever want to see another one of those in my lifetime.”
“Yes, Granger, we’ll discuss it. Anything else?”
“Just two more. Why do we have to act like a married couple? And why do we have to share a bed?”
“I already told you we aren’t going to be shagging, so don’t worry about that.”
“Malfoy, please, just answer my question.”
“I already told you I might not answer you’re questions. Now, do you agree to them or not?”
“Of course I agree to them! Merlin, you make it sound as if you were expecting something different!”
“Weren’t you expecting something different from me?”
“Yes, but that’s because you didn’t have to help me.”
“And you didn’t have to ask for it Granger. Now, when would you like Fitz to bring your things over?”
“What do you mean?”
“Considering you’re going to be living here for a long time, it would be preferable if you were to know your way around the manor, so you don’t get lost. Especially once you’ve had the baby.”
“Which won’t be for another five months!”
“Well, then you better get started. I expect it might be difficult for you to walk around a lot in three months. By then, hopefully, the manor will be muscle memory.”
“Why can’t I just learn it after she’s born?”
“Because, Granger, you’ll be constantly getting lost, due to the fact you’ll be too concerned with the child to even worry about where you’re going.” She had to admit, he was being very logical about the whole thing. With a sigh she said, “Alright, fine. But do I at least get to say goodbye to my friends?”
“Goodbye? Merlin, I’m not going to have you imprisoned here Granger. You can come and go as you please. I just want you to learn the manor. I know for a fact that if you don’t live here, you won’t ever go exploring, as you must if you are to learn the place top to bottom. Well, maybe not bottom.”
“Too evil down there, Malfoy?”
“At the moment it probably still is, but that’s not the whole reason. I brought the ministry in after the end of the War to take everything out of there. I’ve no use for it. And once they’re done, I was going to have it redone into something. I wasn’t quite sure until now. Now, the possibilities are endless.”
“How do you mean?” There was a glint in his eyes as he said, “Well, now it could become an in ground pool, for us and the child to use with our friends. Or a game room for the child. Or a football field, the American kind. Or even real football, if that’s what she wants. Its quite big enough down there. A second quidditch field, considering how many people will end up here. The master suite rooms. A second library so she doesn’t stumble across any books we don’t want her to.” He finally took notice of the grin on the face of the woman across from him, “What?”
“You’re calling the baby her and she.”
“So, before you were simply calling her ‘the child’ as if it didn’t matter what her gender was.”
“Not to mention, you seem very excited about utterly redecorating the place.”
“My plan was to recreate the manor itself, but now I don’t think that will happen.”
“Really? Why not?”
“Well, considering that you and the child will have to relearn everything as well, I don’t see the point. Not that the place doesn’t need to be completely redone, but still.”
“Why does it need to be completely redone?”
“Because I hate it. It’s been like this since it was built, and since I’m already taking away it’s very foundation, well, having the ministry take it away, why should I leave the rest to be diminished?”
“I suppose you have a point. But why would it be diminished?”
“Merlin, Granger, you sure ask a lot of questions. Tell you what, you can ask me whatever you want at dinner. Why don’t you go with Fitz, and tell him what you want to bring with you? And then you can go tell your friends what’s going on…or we can wait and do that together, if you would prefer,” he amended upon seeing her reaction.
“Um, yes, we should do that. I’ll go with Fitz right now.”
“See you at dinner, Granger.’
“Yes, see you.”
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