Things were better, healthier. She spent her nights in Draco's rooms. Sometimes they had sex; sometimes they didn't. It was okay. No one knew about the pregnancy yet, though the pink bottle sat happily on her headboard. They wouldn't discuss names until she was showing. They wouldn't tell anyone until they absolutely couldn't hide it. They weren't getting their hopes up. They would be healthy and mature and patient.
Hermione ducked back around the corner, sighing heavily as she looked up at the ceiling. She cautiously peeked again, grimacing as she did. They hadn't caught her! Draco was still talking to the maid, Rachel. Rachel, the one who she sent to pick up her laundry, was talking to her fiancé, flirting with him, even. At least, that was what it looked like from here.
Hermione hadn't known that she was the jealous type, hadn't thought she could even get like this. She never would have thought that she'd have the temperament or the ability or even the time to spy on someone all day. Except now she didn't have real duties, especially since she abandoned Narcissa's lessons forever, or chores, or anything to do other than read. So, she was going insane, and that included spying on Draco and her very pretty, extremely sweet maid. Rachel wasn't the smartest witch, but she was nice. Hermione never got "nice," she got: determined, hardworking, loyal, and focused, but no one called her nice. Maybe Draco wanted nice. Maybe that's why he was flirting with the maid. Rachel was nice.
Hermione knew she was nuts, she knew Rachel didn't deserve the suspicion and that Draco wasn't cheating on her. It didn't make her feel any less nuts. She pulled back and sighed, whacking the back of her head against the wall.
"Ow," She groaned lowly, rubbing the back of her head.
"Got a problem?" Draco asked casually as he strolled around he corner, amusement clear in his tone.
"Nope," She answered with wide eyes, deliberately meeting his eyes directly before turning away.
"Why were you following me today?" Draco asked, smirking. She moaned as his lips brushed against her neck. His hand tugged her skirt down, over her hips. She arched her back, encouraging him. He was hard against her stomach and he groaned at the contact.
"What are you doing with my maid?" She bit back, scratching down the pale trail of hair that led to the quickly slipping waistband of his trousers.
"Okay, I'll accept this random subject change," He teased, kissing between her breasts and moving down her stomach. "Do you want me to be doing something with your maid? Because apparently, you're into watching now." He teased, hovering over her knickers.
"Draco!" She gasped in protest, blushing fiercely as he breathed over the damp cotton. She groaned, the wet heat a sharp surprise. She raised her hips towards him, urging him on. He just leaned back and smirked at her.
"Of course, I'd prefer it if you were doing something with your maid," He suggested, finally pulling the fabric down.
"My God!" She whimpered as swiped his tongue down her slit. He gently kissed her clit in agreement.
"'Alpha' works just fine, thank you," He teased, the words vibrating against the tiny bud.
"Alpha? Fuck me," She ordered, tugging at his hair to pull him up. He laughed.
"Eager, today, aren't you?" He teased, slowly kissing up her stomach.
"If you don't fuck me in the next thirty seconds, I'm going to lock myself in that bathroom with that lovely little charm that you taught me, and take care of it on my own," She threatened seriously. That was a fabulous charm and it had gotten some good use. She wasn't afraid to use it again.
"Alright," He placated her, kissing her firmly as he yanked his trousers and pants out of the way.
"Don't take mistresses?" She breathed as he slid inside of her.
"Wasn't planning on it," He grunted, rolling his hips. She sighed as he mouthed along her neck.
"I mean it," She insisted rocking against him.
"You want it in writing?" He asked, for a beat she thought he was joking but he paused, pulling out of her slowly and looking at her seriously.
"Actually?" She questioned, not quite believing it.
"Do you want a fidelity clause, Granger?" Draco pressed, both of them ignoring the very pressing problem between them.
"You'd agree to that?" Hermione asked, Draco laughed, slumping to rest his head on her chest with a heavy sigh.
"Do you really want to have this conversation right now?" He asked, laughing. She blushed but just nodded.
"Yeah," She muttered, now that it was on her mind, the odds of putting it aise were slim.
"Clearly I'm not doing this right if you're thinking about paperwork." He groaned in defeat, rolling over onto his back and yanking his trousers back up. She huffed, the mood definitively gone.
"Is that all it would be, paperwork?" She pushed; Astoria's fidelity clause had seemed like it was the end of the world. She couldn't believe hers would be this easy.
"Considering it's something I was going to do anyways, yeah," Draco huffed like the answer should have been obvious.
"Really?" She asked, sitting up curiously.
"Didn't we already have this conversation?" Draco groaned. It took her a moment to remember their conversation all those weeks ago. No birds.
"That was…" Hermione started uncertainly.
"It was what?" Draco pushed, squinted slightly as he studied her.
"That wasn't a marriage. It had a time limit," She concluded uneasily. Draco opened his mouth to speak before closing abruptly. He paused for a heavy moment before taking her hand and kissing her knuckles gently.
"Do you think you're going to get sick of me?" He asked softly against her skin.
"Of course not!" She snapped, her hand twitching in his in her haste.
"Then why do you think I'm going to ever want anyone else?" He questioned, that sad look in his eyes he got sometimes when she mentioned the more painful elements of her past life.
"Well, you used to… you know," She blushed at the memories. Draco groaned and dropped her hand with a sigh, tucking his head against her shoulder.
"Yup," He confirmed, dropping his head back on to the pillow.
"You don't need to be ashamed of your past Draco, but-" She trailed off, desperately wishing to have never brought it up in the first place.
"But what?" He asked, his tone carefully measured.
"You don't think that you'll miss it, down the line…" Hermione shrugged as if the words weren't painful. She had been a slave for so long and now she was free but she knew that they weren't equals. Even if that was how they saw each other, it wasn't how the world saw them.
"I'm not going to cheat on you and I don't miss it," He insisted firmly.
"You'd be within your rights," She prodded, aware she was arguing against herself again.
"Didn't you start this conversation saying no mistresses?" He reminded her playfully.
"That was so long ago," She groaned.
"Feels like it," He agreed far too easily. She hit him. "Ow," He deadpanned before continuing, "Why would I want a mistress, let alone multiple?"
"You used to want multiple," She reminded him.
"You're not a mistress," She raised an annoyed eyebrow, but he just held her gaze. "Look, Granger, you're the most beautiful, passionate woman I have ever met. You're the mother of my child and the sex is the best I've ever had. Besides, I couldn't sleep with someone else if I wanted to; you wear me out."
"I didn't think that was possible," She admitted. Since they had given up on pretending to be abstinent, their sex life had rebounded and she hadn't witnessed anything even bordering on worn out from her fiancé.
"Let's find out." Draco leered. Hermione just rolled her eyes and nudged him off. He collapsed beside her again with a groan.
"I'm serious, I want to talk about this," She insisted.
"Do you trust me?" He asked seriously.
"Absolutely," She agreed without a doubt.
"Then believe me. You are the love of my life and the only woman I want." He assured her, before propping himself up to kiss her sweetly. She smiled against his mouth.
"What if that changes?" she asked anxiously. He sighed but seemed to accept that she needed the reassurance. She supposed that she'd need it for at least a little while longer.
"I'll sign the contract, fidelity clause and all, and I promise to you, if I ever take another woman into my bed, you'll be included," He teased, kissing her nose.
"Hmmm…" She smirked and made a thoughtful sound.
"What?" He asked his voice playful.
"Just considering the possibilities," She leered.
"Jesus Christ," Draco groaned and Hermione glanced down at the front of his trousers. He was hard again.
"There's still a lot you don't know about me," She reminded him, doing that thing with her eyes that she knew he liked. His pupils dilated.
"That is a wonderful thought," He groaned again, moving to kiss her. She met him halfway as they slowly discarded their clothes. When they both lay bare he kissed down her throat, lingering between her breasts for a moment before kissing her stomach. She didn't have even the slightest bump yet but she still found herself examining her stomach in the mirror, aching for the moment she could see the life growing inside of her. "I know we said we would wait but we should talk about names," He suggested, continuing to kiss her stomach.
"Is this really the time for that?" She protested as he dragged his lips down to her mound. She had started trimming those curls since she now had the luxury of long, warm baths.
"You really don't have a leg to stand on for that argument. Also, I think this is exactly the right time," Draco smirked, gently spreading her legs wider.
"Why?" She asked, her breath hitching as she felt his warm breath on her skin.
"Because this way, I might have a shot of convincing you," He suggested before softly kissing her thigh.
"Draco…" She groaned in protest.
"Traditionally, children from my line have been named after stars or constellations," He informed her, as if she didn't already know.
"Oh no," She groaned as he smirked and gave a cautious lick down her seam.
"I have some suggestions," He admitted, brushing his thumb around her clit.
"Bring them on," She sighed in defeat, content to just enjoy his mouth and suffer through the words coming out of it.
"Carina," He started confidently.
"That's the bottom of a boat," She sighed happily, even as she shot him down.
"How did you know that?" Draco whined, even as he kissed her thigh again.
"I have researched your family traditions, remember?" She reminded him with an eye roll.
"Cassiopeia," Draco tried.
"Terrible- and refers to a boastful queen who tied her daughter to a rock," Hermione pointed out reproachfully.
"But think of how cute little Cassie will be," Draco prodded, speeding up the circling on her clit.
"Nope," She groaned.
"Berenice," Draco contributed as he slid two fingers inside of her.
"No way," Hermione moaned, her head tilting back in response.
"Delphi" He offered. She paused, and shook her head.
"Bad vibes," He shot her a skeptical look.
"Why?" He asked seriously.
"Not sure," She shrugged, pressing his hand closer to her. He smirked but took the cue to resume his earlier ministrations.
"Equuleus?" He suggested carefully.
"She will literally hate us forever," Hermione predicted with a groan.
"Why?" Draco protested.
"She won't be able to spell it! Plus, the story is about a mother who tries to hide the existence of her baby and gets the child transfigured into a horse," Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Lacerta?" Draco continued unfazed.
"Lizard!" Hermione squeaked as Draco curled his fingers inside of her, reaching for that spot that made her see stars.
"Lyra?" He offered hesitantly.
"The harp or the poet who was killed by a horde of women?" She asked bitingly.
"Norma?" He asked, seeming to slow.
"For the carpenters?" She quipped. Even she knew that a Malfoy could not be named after tradesmen.
"Pavo?" He tried once again.
"Cute, but it also means turkey in Spanish and I won't have it," She insisted. Her child would not be subject to that mockery.
"What are the odds she goes to Spain?" Draco protested but she just rolled her eyes and gestured for him to continue. "Vela?"
"You're insane," She reminded him forcefully.
"Virgo?" He prompted, not even seeming to want that one himself.
"Promise me we'll never tell our daughter her entire worth is being a young maiden?" She insisted, sitting up quickly. He nodded solemnly and kissed her stomach in promise.
"Vulpecula?" He continued, a glint in his eyes now.
"Adorable story, terrible name," She shot down firmly, allowing herself a careful smile.
"Phoenix," He declared firmly.
"You saved that one for last," She accused.
"How'd you know?" He demanded, not the least upset to have been found out.
"You were going in alphabetical order," She teased with a grin.
"Severus made me learn them in that order when I was twelve and you're avoiding the question," He reminded her.
"How exactly will you cold, snakey family feel about their heir being named after a fire bird?" She asked warily.
"The tree could use some shaking up," He responded with a grin of mischief. They were good at that.
"Aren't we not supposed to pick out names this early?" She remind him, thinking idly back to their earlier promise.
"We've never been great at supposed-to's," He reminded her teasingly. She paused heavily, resting her hand on her stomach uncertainly. She knew how much hope could hurt, but she also knew how much there was to gain.
"You're not wrong," She agreed slowly, but smirking as she sat back, stretching onto his sheets with a smirk. "Convince me," She ordered. Draco grinned, more than willing to do just that.
A/N: I'm sorry that I'm a terrible person and absolutely should have posted this soon and should be working on The Minstrel but this came so much easier and I really wanted a less bittersweet ending. Who am I kidding? There's a solid chance that I'll write another one shot in this verse, so I guess you have that to look forward to.