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Draco Malfoy’s gray eyes stare at the ceiling at four a.m., as he is not able to sleep. He hasn’t been sleeping for weeks as thoughts of the safety of Hermione and their unborn child, Arabella, stay in his thoughts constantly.

He has not seen Hermione now for over a month so he knows she is getting close to her due date. He has been off with the Death Eaters pretending to search for Harry, and Hermione hasn’t even tried to contact him. He also doesn’t see her at the Ministry anymore. Is it worth the effort of pretending to be with the Death Eaters again? Will it even protect Hermione anyway? Or is he just trying to protect his own self? 

He tosses and turns as rain hits the window like bullets. His heart is beating fast, so fast that he can hear it against his chest. The papers are still coming and going, talking about Hermione’s pregnancy and questioning whose baby it is. But people are starting to ignore it, it is old news now. Besides, people are aware that the Death Eaters are at large again and are more worried about that than anything. Draco hates himself for some of the things he is doing with the Death Eaters again, he is about to be a father and he does not wish to be anything like his own. 

He stands up out of bed and looks around. Finally, he makes his decision that has rushed through his head for the past month or so. He is going to leave the Death Eaters to go find Hermione and stay with her for good. Acting out of adrenaline, he quickly finds his old Hogwarts trunk, empty now after these last few years as it just gathers dust on the head of his bed. He gathers all of his small possessions and uses the Accio spell to get the bigger items all into his chest. 

Draco knows there is a good amount of Death Eaters downstairs, but he doesn’t care if they hear him, and he doesn’t care if his mother is disappointed with his leaving. He told himself many months ago that he would never be a part of anything with the Death Eaters again. 

He expects Hermione to be at the Burrow as she is so close to term now and still in protection of the Weasley’s house. He decides that’s where he will go first so Draco hides in his large bedroom closet and puts a firm hand on his trunk to apparate. 

The Burrow looks the same as ever but Draco observes it looks oddly empty as he drags the trunk closer to the house. Arthur Weasley walks out the front door as he hears the sharp crack from Draco’s apparating. 

“Malfoy, what brings you here?” He asks darkly with slits for eyes.

“Hermione, I want to see her.”

“Well, you have just missed her. Harry and Ginny have rushed her to St. Mungo’s because the baby’s coming, she’s only thirty one weeks and Hermione requested St. Mungo’s instead of that Muggle doc- or whatever they call them.” Mr. Weasley says, his eyes wide in worry for the girl he once thought would be his daughter-in-law.

“You’re barking! I’ve got to go! She’s having our baby and no one thought to tell me?” Asks Draco angrily.

“No, we assumed it was over between the two of you and she told us not to contact you,” Mr. Weasley says disapprovingly. He shifts as he realizes how important this must be to Draco. “But since you’re here, bring your stuff in Malfoy and I’ll take you with me I was about to be on my way. We have all been up with her all night as her contractions started at around nine last night.” 

Arthur walks out to where Draco is standing to help him pick up the heavy trunk and bring it in. “Blimey, this is heavy!” He comments.

“Yes sir, all my stuff is in it. I ran away from home,” Draco informs Mr. Weasley.

“You did what Malfoy? Do you have any idea what kind of danger that puts you in? The danger it puts us all in?” Arthur tells him with a shake of his head.

“Yes, I made myself a promise sir, and this is me keeping it. I promised myself that I will never be anything like my father or have any part of the Death Eaters after I changed sides at the end of the war.”

“You’re a good man Draco,” Arthur praises, clapping a hand on his shoulder and grinning.

“Thanks, now let’s go see my baby.” Draco directs. Arthur nods and then grabs his arm. They then apparate.

______

St. Mungo’s is basically dead at this hour, no witches or wizards walk in and out of the hospital this early in the morning. 

Arthur and Draco walk inside quickly and run onto the closest elevator. They then click the button that they desire to go to the St. Mungo’s Labor & Delivery floor. Once they arrive on the floor they hear screaming, Hermione’s screaming. 

Draco runs immediately into the room to her side since it is the closest room to the elevator, and Ginny and Molly already stand on the other side.

“Draco! What the bloody hell are YOU DOING HERE!? AHHHHH!” Hermione yells at him and then cringes in pain.

“What’s happening?!” Draco screams at Ginny for an explanation.

“Relax! It’s called contractions, it means she’s getting closer to pushing the baby out. The Healers are a bit concerned, she’s only thirty-one weeks so Arabella may need to stay in the hospital for a little while.” Ginny warns him.

Draco looks around and sees that Arthur has joined a terrified looking Ron and a sleepy Harry in a nearby waiting room above where Hermione’s head is. Luckily a charm makes it so no one in the waiting room can see anything.

“I want him out!” Hermione bellows, pointing a finger at Draco.

“Hermione, baby, no. I left them tonight for you,” begs Draco desperately, but the red-head cuts him off.

“Draco, this isn’t the time or place, just leave and go sit up there with them! Now!” Ginny demands, shaking her head at him as she continues to be Hermione’s support.

“Fine, just let her know I am here for her!” Draco tells Ginny.

“Will do,” Ginny agrees. 

Draco walks up some stairs and into the room with the other men where they have a clear view of everything going on besides where Hermione’s private areas are. Ron glares at him and Harry nods in a tired greeting.

“What are you doing here at three in the morning?” Harry wonders groggily.

“I ran away, I refuse to be around any of them any longer because I am not a Death Eater and never was. Besides, all they are doing is trying to find you but I knew exactly where you were all along and never said a word.”

“Thanks for that, I have all the best Aurors in hiding around the hospital in case any of them turn up,” Harry affirms with a smile. “They caught a few before you got here. I got most of them back in Azkaban.”

“How?!” Draco asks, gawking.

“Well, you said you ran away? They tracked you and came here just moments ago. As you and Mr. Weasley entered the hospital they followed you but the Aurors were too fast,” says Harry.

“So who’s left?” Wonders Draco.

“I believe just your mum and we don’t count her.” Harry says with a proud smile.

“Potter, you just became my best friend. Thank God for them being gone! I didn’t even hear anything!” Draco tells Harry, patting him hard on the back.

“They train the Aurors well,” Harry says confidently with a wink. 

“All but me Potter. You forgot about me,” a cold voice hisses from the shadows in the back of the waiting room.

Arthur, Harry, Draco, and Ron stand up and point a wand at the voice. The man, Dolohov, walks out of the shadows with his wand pointed at Hermione who is currently walking around the room in pain. Ginny and Mrs. Weasley watch Dolohov in horror now from the other side of the glass, trying not to let Hermione see them so she won’t be even more stressed.

“Don’t you dare!” Draco threatens.

“Draco, you were never the brightest apple of the batch were you? You don’t just leave us and expect to live, do you? You know the rules young Malfoy. Yaxley, go ahead, Lucius will understand.”

Then a second hidden voice whispers, “Avada Kadavra!”

But Draco ducks quickly and the spell hits Dolohov who is on the other side of the room instead of Draco and he drops to the ground with a thud, dead.

“Stupify!” Ginny screams from the room with Hermione, the spell breaks the waiting room’s glass and hits Yaxley square in the chest. 

“Of course DEATH EATERS WOULD BE HERE AT MY LABOR!” Hermione screams, angrily looking at the commotion. Harry and Ron can’t help but exchange a small fit of laughter.

Yaxley is frozen and Dolohov is dead. Hermione’s Healer for the night, Healer Tompkins, walks in the delivery at that moment and screams when she sees the two Death Eaters and broken glass.

“What just happened?!” The Healer yells at everyone.

“We took care of it, just a couple of worthless Death Eaters. One who’s dead and one who has a one way ticket back to Azkaban,” assures Harry.

“Good! We don’t need that rubbish in here when the girl is trying to push out a baby!” The plump little woman squeals and waddles over to Hermione’s front as she lays back on the table.

“Lay down honey, it’s almost time for you to push! Ahh, is this your boyfriend?” Healer Tompkins asks looking Draco up and down, who just rejoined Hermione’s other side. Hermione then glares at Draco and is silent for a minute.

“Y-yes…” Hermione almost whispers.

“Come over here honey, you need to hold her hand,” Healer Tomkins directs as she leads Hermione over to the hospital bed, “You all need to leave.” Ginny and Mrs. Weasley then both leave the room and Healer Tomkins closes the door and pulls the blinds with her wand on the window of the delivery room. 

Draco stands by Hermione’s head and grabs her hand very firmly. She looks at him and whispers, “You broke up with me, remember?”

“No I didn’t… not really,” Draco tells her sadly.

“Sounds like a break-up to me! Or felt like it anyways!” Hermione angrily replies.

“Okay honey, it’s time to break your water because it doesn’t wish to break on its own.” Doctor Tompkins tells Hermione. She then waves her wand and a gush of fluids comes out of Hermione’s womb from where Draco can’t see.

He doesn’t want to know what everything looks like on the other side of the blanket as he has never seen a baby being born before and knows nothing about it. That’s something they don’t teach in Hogwarts. 

Hermione then starts to push after the Healer waves her wand again.

Draco has never been more nervous in his life. “You can do this Hermione,” Draco tells her, stroking her hair. She still glares at him.

“I’m here because of you!” She yells at Draco angrily, making him back away in surprise.

Healer Tompkins grins at Draco. “They always say things they don’t mean in this situation.” 

Hermione is getting close, Draco can sense his baby girl was about to be here. His heart is pounding and he is repeatedly talking to Hermione as she pushes hard and her usually soft face is red, sweaty, and concentrated. Then he hears it, a cry, his baby daughter’s cry. He feels tears escape from his eyes as the Healer gives the crying baby girl to her mother for the first time as she cleans all the blood and fluids up with her wand off of mother and baby.

Hermione’s eyes are shining with tears as well and her face is a mix of happiness and exhaustion. “She’s beautiful!”

“Yes she is,” Draco agrees.

“I love you,” Hermione gushes toward Draco with a smile, caught up in the emotion of the moment.

“And I love you!” Draco replies, tears still pouring down his face as he reaches for Arabella’s tiny hand. He is surprised in Hermione’s change of mood, Healer Tompkins was right.

But Healer Tompkins takes her away from the both of them and they both look on with fear as she says, “She’s only thirty-two weeks, we need to take her to the Ill Wizard Infant Ward just to make sure everything is okay!”

“No!” Hermione and Draco scream in unison as Healer Tompkins and a nurse together takes the incubator containing the crying baby away from her parents. 

Draco comforts Hermione, “Arabella is fine, I assure you she is!” Hermione cries but with this time with worry for her daughter. She can’t afford to lose her daughter. 

Sure enough they come in with her thirty minutes later and Healer Tompkins hands the baby to Hermione. “She’s great, perfect actually. Very healthy beautiful baby girl and even though she’s early the magic we have for preemies is great. I’m glad you came here and not to the Muggle hospital! She’s five pounds and fourteen ounces and eighteen inches long!” 

“Arabella Nymphadora, you’re the most beautiful child I’ve ever seen!” Hermione whispers to her baby, holding her to her chest and smiling at the weight and measurements. 

Draco is now speechless as he realizes this baby girl is a part of him. She is really his daughter. He can’t believe he did all this bad stuff in the past and he feels like he doesn’t deserve anything good. But what he has right in front of him is perfect. A woman he loves with all his heart and a little girl who is a part of him. Nothing else matters to him but the girl laying in the hospital bed and the tiny human in her arms. 

Suddenly he feels the urge to do something… he looks into Hermione’s eyes and asks, “Will you marry me Hermione Granger?” 

She is dumbfounded and looks Draco in the eyes. “Draco I… just had our baby!” 

“Yes I know! And I love you and her with every single thread of my heart!” Draco declares with a huge smile on his face. “I don’t have a ring yet but we can pick you one out when you leave!” 

Hermione looks deep into his eyes as she can tell he really means that he loves her. She has known that he does, but the things he had done in the past she didn’t know what she should say, did she really want to marry an ex-Death Eater?

“Yes, I will marry you Draco Malfoy.” Hermione says, shaking the negative thoughts away and smiling.

Healer Tompkins smiles and says a quick, “Congrats!” and then leaves the room feeling awkward .  

Draco takes the baby in his arms and kisses her cheek as he walks to the waiting room to show the Weasleys and Potters his new pride and joy. 

“Oh my god she’s so beautiful!” Mrs. Weasley and Ginny squeal, running to see the baby.

“Yes she is, she’s just perfect!” Draco agrees. 

Ron watches from a little distance and Draco can see he looks very downfallen. And he’s right as Ron feels like he can’t take it much longer. He can’t help feeling that this should still be his baby. If he didn’t cheat on Hermione, it would’ve been his daughter. 

“I’ve got to go, beautiful little one you’ve got there erm… Malfoy…” Ron says distantly. Everyone turns to him.

“Ron where are you going?” Ginny wonders with a concerned face.

“I-I’ve got to go!” Ron says furiously, almost slamming the door as he leaves. 

“It’s okay, I knew this would be a little hard on him,” Mr. Weasley assures Draco.

“Yeah, I know, I’m surprised he even came,” Draco admits to Arthur.

“She’s my best friend, but I love her, and this is hard! Of course I am going to be here for her though,” says Ron, having heard their words.

“Thank you Weasley,” Draco thanks.

“For what?” Ron scowls.

“For being there for her-” Draco says with a small grin. 

“Always,” Ron says. “And by the way, I still hate you but you aren’t so bad. Congrats on your daughter, I really have got to go. Lavender’s waiting.”

“Thanks Ron,” Draco says again. Ron looks up at him; did he just call me by my first name? 

Ron nods again and then leaves the room for good. Draco leaves the waiting room and goes back into the delivery room with Hermione. The nurses are just getting done with her for the moment and Draco hands the baby to her.

“Did they love her?” Hermione wonders.

“Yes, they adored her,” Draco smiles. 

“Arabella Malfoy, you are the most beautiful baby in the world,” Hermione whispers to the sleeping child. Everything makes sense now that her baby girl is in her arms. 

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