Written for DramioneLove Adopt-a-Prompt 2015 for Prompt: #25 - from Dramionelove ~Love~ Fest - Hermione has just found out she's pregnant - with Draco's baby. It's Valentine's Day. How does she go about telling Malfoy he's about to be a daddy in T-minus 8 months and counting?
Thank you to my betas, Raistlina and Cali. Any remaining mistakes are my own.
Hermione rushed out the door, earning a stern tutting from the matronly woman she nearly ran into. She muttered an apology without slowing down, eager to put some distance between herself and the building she had just left. Her fingers curled around the wand in her pocket, but she did not draw it. It was the middle of the day in Muggle London; a wand was neither necessary nor called for, even if she still could not quite shake the feeling that someone was chasing her.
It was nonsense, of course.
No one had tried to stop her leaving; no one had come after her. The nurse had offered her a glass of water and petted her hair as Hermione tried very hard not to break down crying in the middle of the doctor's office. She could not help but cringe at the memory.
The older woman had assured her that it was all right, that there was no shame in changing her mind. And if Hermione wanted, they would be happy to arrange for her to talk to someone. Hermione refused. She did not want to talk to someone; she just wanted to leave so she could contemplate in solitude the utter mess her life had become, and her apparent inability to do anything about it.
Hermione stopped walking, leaning against a cast-iron gate, trying to stop herself from hyperventilating. She was not about to have a panic attack in the middle of the street. So she hadn't gone through with it, so what? Everything was going to be fine. She was smart, she was capable, she could do this.
Except she couldn't. How was she even going to tell him? It did not take a seer to predict his reaction, and after she told him, then what?
Her wand was still digging into the palm of her hand, and Hermione considered Apparating herself at home. It was not particularly smart to use magic that obvious in the middle of the city, but the street was deserted. She knew better, though. In her present state of mind, she would only manage to splinch herself in the process, and she had made enough half-arsed decisions for the day. The witch took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and forced her legs to cooperate.
It got easier once she made it to the main street, which was loud with cars and people going about their daily life. The pavement was crowded enough that she had to pay attention to where she was going — a welcome distraction from the chaos inside her head. She hurried her step upon spotting the Underground sign in the distance, which proved to be a mistake when she bumped into a woman coming out of a store. The woman yelped, startled, and parcels went flying in all directions. A mortified Hermione started to apologise, but stopped mid-sentence.
"Ginny," she said. "What are you doing here?"
"Hermione!" The other witch looked just as surprised, but her startled expression quickly morphed into one of delight. "It's been ages," she said, kneeling down to gather the parcels she had dropped. "I haven't seen you since…" No doubt realising exactly when she had seen her last, Ginny quickly changed the subject. "Harry had a list of Muggle things he wanted to get for Teddy's birthday, but he has the flu, so I said I'd take care of it."
"How is Teddy?" Hermione asked, latching on to the safety of the topic.
"He's good. Looks just like Tonks. Harry and Andromeda spoil him rotten."
"That's… That's good." Hermione searched for something else to say, but her mind was both too full and too empty, and she wanted nothing more than to be somewhere — anywhere — else.
"Would you like to grab a cup of coffee? We haven't seen each other in way too long."
"I'm sorry, but I have some place I need to be."
Ginny pursed her lips, unimpressed.
"That's a lie, and you and I both know it," she said. "Harry said you needed space, but you've had a year of space; I'm done doing that. We're going for coffee." And with that she grabbed Hermione's hand and strode down the street.
"Ginny—" Hermione tried to object, but the younger witch cut her off.
"No. It's about time you and Ron got over yourselves." Her tone was brusque but not unfriendly. "People break up all the time; it's not the end of the world. And yes, he was a complete and utter prat, but that's no reason for you to cut off the whole lot of us too."
Hermione did not reply, letting herself be dragged by Ginny towards a little coffee shop in one of the quieter side streets. The battleground that her relationship with Ron had become had destroyed more things than just the two of them, and leaving had been easier than dealing with any of it — with any of them. She hadn't wanted to see their disappointment or test their divided loyalties. She couldn't lose if she wasn't playing.
"I'm sorry," she said, after they were both sitting in a corner booth in the almost empty shop. "I know I haven't been around much."
"You haven't been around at all, Granger," Ginny said, dropping two cubes of sugar in Hermione's tea. "I've seen more of Dumbledore this past year than I've seen of you, and he's dead."
A large portrait of the headmaster had recently been unveiled at the Ministry to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, though Dumbledore spent notoriously little time there, preferring his portrait at the school.
"Ron…" Hermione started, trying to find the words to explain. "You're his family."
"So he gets custody of us?" Ginny asked dryly.
"Something like that."
"Merlin, you're a fool," Ginny said with a fond smile. "You're coming to Teddy's birthday party. And don't even start with me, Hermione. I know you've received an invitation; I saw Harry send the owl."
As things stood, Ron was the least of her problems.
"Why not?" Ginny asked impatiently.
Hermione forced her fingers to release the hem of her skirt and smoothed it over her knees. Ginny would know soon enough, and Hermione was done running.
"I'm pregnant," she said.
Ginny beamed at her for a split second, but whatever she saw on Hermione's face stopped her from congratulating her.
"Who's the father?" she asked instead.
"Draco Malfoy," Hermione said before she had time to think of all the reasons why she shouldn't.
Ginny stared at her for a solid minute, too stunned to say anything at all.
"Draco Malfoy?!" she finally managed. "How did that happen?"
Hermione sighed, picking up her tea cup.
"A series of very bad decisions."