Chapter 20- Moving on
It had been one month since Hermione and Draco had gone missing and a fortnight since they had been found. It was pouring with rain on the morning of July the 1st when Hermione woke up again. Blaise, Harry, Ginny and Pansy were all sat around her bed. Blaise had yet to leave his sisters side and the others had come at every chance they could. She winced as she opened her eyes and was blinded by the bright lights.
Everyone gasped when they saw she was awake. Suddenly the calm and solemn atmosphere became a circus with people running around and checking on her. Madame Pomfrey came around and gave her a potion to help with the pain. As it turned out most of Hermione’s cuts and bruises had been healed.
However there were some remaining injuries. One of Hermione’s ribs was still broken and would be painful for a few weeks and Hermione’s arm would have to remain in a sling as it had been pretty badly mangled. She had a few burns left on her right arm and her knee was in a tight magical cast so she could still walk since she couldn’t use crutches.
“What happened?” She whispered looking straight at Blaise.
“You were in the shrieking shack, we only found you when we saw the smoke. They burned it down.” Blaise said and Hermione felt a great deal of sorrow flood through from Blaise.
“Where’s Draco?” Hermione whispered weakly looking around at the quiet hospital wing.
“I’m so sorry Hermione, he’s gone.” Blaise whispered quietly. There was silence for a few moments as Hermione processed the information she had just been given.
“Where’s Scorpius?” Hermione said at last.
“Oh he’s um… with Lavender and Ron, they’re getting some practice in.” Ginny said giving a small smile as she rubbed her own growing bump. Hermione nodded slowly, still thinking.
“So what work have I missed? It’s those job interviews right?” Hermione said casually after a few moments, as though she hadn’t just been told that her boyfriend and father of her son had just died.
“Hermione did you not hear me?” Blaise said sounding worried and annoyed at the same time. Hermione’s face looked blank before she stared at him. “Draco’s gone Hermione, he’s …”
“I know he’s dead Blaise, you would think I’ve seen enough death over these past few years to understand the meaning of the word “gone”” Hermione snapped and everyone went quiet.
“So how do I catch up with the job interviews?” Hermione said casually again, looking around at the shocked faces starring at her.
“Well you don’t have to, you’ve already got three offers.” Blaise said at last, still confused at how his sister was reacting. She nodded and indicated for him to go on. “Well, one to train as an auror with Harry and Ron. One to train in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.” Hermione pulled a slight face at both.
“And the one I think you’ll go for, something that’s never happened in the history of Hogwarts. The head of the Department of magical Law enforcement, wants to train you himself, so that you can take over from him when he retires!” He said trying really hard to sound cheerful.
“Oh really! That’s fantastic! I need to prepare! Okay so Pansy can you go to the library and grab all the books you can find on law enforcement, Harry can you go and get Scorpius and Ginny can you go to my room and grab the black folder on the bookcase with Graduation written on it.” Again she received many confused looks but slowly they shuffled out of the room. Blaise sat in silence until the room fell quiet again.
“It’s okay to be sad you know, it’s okay to cry and it’s okay to grieve. You loved him, we all did, and even I cried a little, when I found out. He’s left a great hole in our lives.” Blaise said at last staring at her as though begging her to show some emotion.
“Nothing I do will bring him back. I have to be strong, you know why?” He shook his head slightly and Hermione saw the flicker of tears in her brother’s eyes.
“Because one day, my beautiful son is going to look at me and ask why he doesn’t have a daddy. And on that day I will have to look into his eyes. Eyes, that know not of pain, or malice, or evil and I will have to tell him that his daddy loved him very much and that he was taken away by an evil man. A man who destroyed his son’s happiness purely because he could not comprehend it.” Hermione said her anger clear as she spoke. “So I have to be strong, I have to start now. What’s happened has happened and there’s nothing I can do to change it.”
Blaise just nodded. “There’s something else” He said quietly after a few moments. Hermione raised an eyebrow telling him to go on non-verbally. “Draco’s funeral was last week. Narcissa just couldn’t wait, she said it was too hard.”
“Oh”. They fell into silence for a few minutes before Blaise began to explain what Hermione had missed over the past month and had even told her that it was in the fire that Draco had died. Madame Pomfrey interrupted their chat by bringing over a tray with some small sweet-like things on it.
“These are some new pill type things we’ve been working on to stop you from needing so many potions.” She explained quickly. “The red one is to help with your bruising, The blue one will help with the pain, the green one will prevent any further internal bleeding and the Purple one will help to keep the baby safe.” She said pointing at each pill individually.
“The baby?” Hermione stuttered looking confused before sharing the confused look with Blaise.
“Oh yes, you’re about a month pregnant Miss Zabini, quite remarkable really after everything you’ve suffered.” She said before handing Hermione the tray and shuffling back to her office. Hermione took her pills before looking at Blaise.
“Great, now I’ll be a single mother to two children.” She muttered, Blaise was about to respond when Harry came back in with Scorpius and Ginny came back carrying Hermione’s black folder.
“Mummy!” Scorpius squealed struggling to get to Hermione. Hermione smiled and pulled him in for a one armed hug before wincing slightly as she sat him tucked under her arm.
“Okay, everything in this folder is ready for Graduation, I just have to check it over and then we can send it to McGonagall.” She said pulling out a piece of paper and writing a note to the head of the law enforcement. She folded it into an origami bird before blowing it and watching as it fluttered off.
The hunt was officially on for the kidnappers, who had managed to fall off the face of the earth. McGonagall had come by several times to check on Hermione and to get numerous statements from her. It was now common knowledge that Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback had broken out of Azkaban.
Madame Pomfrey had said that Hermione would be released from the hospital wing on the 5th of July but would need help since her sling wouldn’t be coming off for a further 3 weeks and her knee brace would be on for 5 weeks. Blaise was still confused by how Hermione was reacting to all of this. She hadn’t stopped reading or researching since she had woken up. She hadn’t shed a single tear and she never mentioned Draco.
Harry and Ginny or Ron and Lavender were helping with Scorpius whenever they weren’t in lessons, something Hermione was grateful for since she was unable to even pick Scorpius up.
Today Blaise was forced to leave the hospital wing for the first time in just over 2 weeks, since Hermione was having a private meeting with the Head of the Department of magical law enforcement.
I left the hospital wing once Adrian Prachet arrived and went to find Pansy. The school felt ten times quieter without Draco, every corridor in this place felt like it was missing something. I want my best friend back.
I never thought I’d have to walk down these halls without him. We’d been through it all together and I couldn’t believe that after surviving becoming a death eater, failing at a task, and fighting in a war, he was gone now.
I also couldn’t understand Hermione’s reaction to this whole thing. She said she was just being strong but this wasn’t being strong, she wasn’t reacting at all. She was acting like nothing had happened and I couldn’t understand why. She loved him, so how is just carrying on right now? I can’t just carry on, everything reminds me of him. Pansy was feeling the same, barely a day went by when she didn’t cry at the loss of our best friend.
I found her in the Slytherin common room staring into the fire. I walked over to her and wrapped her tightly in my arms. “Hey” she whispered quietly hugging me back.
“Hermione’s got that meeting, so I’ve got a few hours.” I muttered kissing her forehead. She looked broken these days, I suppose I did to. Words weren’t enough to describe how we felt anymore. What was left to say when your best friend had been ripped away from you?
We sat in silence for a while just thinking and hugging. In many ways it was comforting but at the same time I wish I could stop thinking of all the things that Draco was going to miss. Why is it that everyone dies just as things start going right for them. I tried for a few seconds to move into Hermione’s emotions and see how she was feeling but I felt nothing. It was hollow. Somehow she was shielding herself off from me.
I felt so much guilt over what had happened. I shouldn’t have let Hermione go off after Draco and then for two weeks I was only able to feel the pain my sister felt. I couldn’t communicate with her no matter how much I tried. I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was all my fault.
I looked across to Pansy and saw tears slowly trickling down her face again. I wish I could do something to heal the pain that she felt but unfortunately, nothing I could say would help her, grief was like that it just keeps hurting until one day you feel a bit brighter and slowly you begin to heal. We’ve just got to wait for that brightness.
Our silence was disrupted by a first year scuttling up to us. “Umm excuse Mr Blaise… Umm Harry Potter wants to talk to you h…he’s outside.” He squeaked nervously. I nodded before giving Pansy a tight squeeze and pulling her with me to see Harry.
Even he had been sad since Draco’s death. He was leaning casually against one of the walls as we stepped outside the portrait hole, Pansy wiping her eyes. “Hey, you wanted to talk?” I said as we saw him. He gave a weak smile and gestured for us to walk with him.
“I’ve just been to speak with McGonagall.” I nodded, holding on to Pansy’s hand and wondering what Harry wanted.
“Well, as you two know the grades are coming out tomorrow. Naturally she’s already seen the grades and she’s noticed a slight issue to do with Graduation.” I raised my eyebrows.
“What is it? And why did she need to tell you?” I said we walked through the entrance hall and to the grounds.
“Well, as expected Hermione is valedictorian with 100% on every exam so she will be doing a speech at Graduation.” I looked at him confused.
“How is that an issue?” Pansy asked, wording exactly what I was thinking.
“That’s not the issue. The issue is that the other valedictorian also has to do a speech because Hermione’s not the only student who got 100% in every exam…” I let out a sigh realising what the issue is.
“Draco did too didn’t he?” I asked looking at Harry, he nodded. “So why does this involve us?”
“Well she doesn’t want to ask Hermione to make her speech longer because she’s worried it will upset her so she’s asked me to give a speech in Draco’s memory, with the help of you two of course.” We nodded and sat down by the lake. “Oh and we aren’t allowed to tell Hermione this information, she’s not to know her grades before tomorrow either.”
“Well we best get writing this speech then.” I said looking between Harry and Pansy. “For Draco”
Author’s note: Don’t kill me! I knew from the beginning that the story was going in this direction but we’ve still got story left so don’t give up just yet! R+R xoxo.
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