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She turned back to Draco again, not hearing or caring what Ginny had tried to tell her, and after smiling drunkenly up into the dazzling features of the Slytherin Prince she rested her head against his chest and listened to his heart beating fast.
"Daddy!" the little girl squeaked excitedly from amidst the giggles, and the sound of her first word made Hermione forget her embarrassment and Ron the mashed carrots smeared across his cheek.
Ginny was tired. She was done. She was angry, flustered, pregnant and standing on the doorstep of Ron and Hermiones' idyllic lakeside cottage, rapping on the door until she heard a familiar, hoarse voice yelling 'Ron?' from inside.
"Where's my daughter?" Ron asked suddenly, realizing that Constance wasn't actually in the room, and he felt a sudden surge of panic as his mind started speeding towards possible explanations for her absence. Maybe he had sent her to the wrong fireplace? Maybe she had gotten lost in the ruckus caused by Ginny's abortion, maybe she had ran away?
Ron finally looked down, and what Hermione saw when he did scared her more than anything else had that night. His eyes were swimming in tears, and his features were twisted in a horrible grimace of rage. "Why didn't you tell me?" he asked calmly, and his voice shook towards the end.
"You can't keep this up, Hermione." Harry said calmly, but intensely, and he forced Hermione to look into his emerald eyes. "You need to work this out, if not for yourself then you have to do it for Constance."
She had made a mistake, that much was true, but didn't everyone deserve a second chance on being who they were born to be?
"Who is this?" Draco asked. He wondered vaguely if it was Granger as a child, but the girl in the locket looked to be six, maybe seven, and Granger couldn't possibly have changed that much before she came to Hogwarts at eleven. It was someone else, but who? Draco had never seen the girl before, and he could not for the life of him put the pieces of the puzzle together: Hermione Granger, on his doorstep, the locket and now this little girl.
Constance frowned for a moment, regarding Hermione through her cold, gray eyes before the bomb fell from her pouting lips.
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