Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any affiliated characters. I just happened to come up with the plot for this ship. All credit to J.K for her amazing universe that she allows us to play in.

All mistakes are mine. Sorry.

Warning: Rated M. Cursing, sexual innuendos, lemons and fluff ahead. Basically what you would expect from a romance novel nowadays.

Music is my Muse:
Song for this chapter:
Out of the Woods; Taylor Swift
Lyric of choice:
Are we out of the woods yet, are we out of the woods yet, are we out of the woods yet?

If you are interested, I created a YouTube channel with playlists of all these songs for each of my fanfics. CrystalJeanRed in search should pull it up. :)


Love of a Mate
Chapter 24 Showdown

Six months later...

"You are not going," Draco said in a firm tone sitting down giving his very pregnant wife a very hard look.

Damn and blast if his mate didn't just look up, take a bite of her eggs and smile at him. "Of course I am going, Draco, please pass the jam."

Draco passed the jam and turned to his only hope, Theo. "Tell her she can't go!"

Theo gave him a wide-eyed stare and looked at him as if he was nutters, "tell a pregnant witch she can't go with her upset mate? Do I look like I wish to die today?"

Draco narrowed his eyes and growled. "I am not upset about seeing the bastard."

His mother scoffed. "You are, and she will be fine. Even the Minister has spoken to you about this. She is allowed to keep her wand, the room is protected, honestly Draco. Calm yourself."

Hermione continued to eat giving him a blank stare as if daring him to say anything more. Draco, realizing he was not going to find an ear here that would listen to him, stormed out to make a floo call. Clearly, he needed backup.

"Where is he going?" Narcissa asked curiously watching her son storm off.

Hermione snorted. "To try and floo call Harry for support," she said in exasperation.

Theo looked up curiously, he lived with them now, as his manor was rebuilt. So, he had a rather good idea of the dynamics of the new Malfoy's marriage. When Draco felt outnumbered, or when Theo wouldn't agree with him, he called in Potter. Who usually did side with Draco, however, that never meant he won. Theo smirked at the unconcerned look on Hermione's face. It did usually irritate the witch, so she must have already taken care of this avenue of support for her husband.

"Where is Potter?" Theo asked conversationally.

Hermione grinned slightly before composing her face. "I think I mentioned to Ginny that they should take a holiday this week."

Narcissa laughed softly into her napkin before standing up. "I am off to do some shopping, do take care that he doesn't upset himself into an attack, Hermione."

Hermione waved off her mother-in-law with a wide smile. "Oh, he will be fine."

Theo stood up realizing he might not wish to be in the room when Draco learned Potter was out of town. "I just remembered I have something to do," he said rushing out.

"Chicken," was called after him by one of the witches. Theo never even paused.

"Where did you send Potter?" Draco demanded incredulously.

Hermione rolled her eyes and drank her juice, orange, a shock to the wizards who found it as odd as she had found pumpkin juice. "Whatever do you mean, my love?"

Draco was breathing hard and she could tell he was striving for control so she slipped into his mind, linking it with their child's who always soothed his Papa. As he calmed she stood up and walked over to hug him, putting his hand on her large stomach.

"Stop, you are upsetting us all. We are stronger together, and you need to calm down."

Draco went still and then let out a long sigh. "I don't want you to have to witness this, he will be cruel."

Hermione rubbed his back. "You do not know that, Draco. I am your mate, not your wife. I am about to have your child. You are angry with him and agitated. I can't trust you to go alone and wouldn't let you even if I could." She grabbed his face looking into his troubled silver eyes. "Please, don't try to do this alone. We need you to not kill your father."

She finally saw a smile grace her husbands' beautiful lips before he gave a small nod and hugged her back. "I don't want him to upset you, my mate."

Hermione sighed heavily. "Draco, what can he do to upset me? Call me a mudblood? If your Aunt couldn't rile me by doing that and torturing me, do you really think I care what he says?"

Draco hissed and his hand wrapped around her scarred arm before he let out a heavy breath and shook his head. "I know I need you there, but you shouldn't go. Not with child, we can push this off-"

Hermione cut him off, "no, it is time. It took so long to get permission for this visit, even with Kings helping us. We will get this over with, Draco."

Draco nodded and turned around. "I will get your cloak."

Hermione smirked and slipped back into his head. "The red one, if you please."

She heard his exasperated sigh. "If you must, my heart."

Hermione laughed and went back to finish her breakfast. Yes, if she was going to be forced to deal with Lucius sodding Malfoy today, she would do so in a bright red cloak.

Theo showed up a few moments later and peeked in. "Is he gone?"

Hermione finished her meal and smiled at the elf who handed her a cup of tea. "Getting my cloak."

Theo groaned. "You are wearing that bright red one, aren't you?"

Hermione's smile grew. "Of course I am."

Theo shook his head looking her over. "Will you change into wizarding robes?"

Hermione grimaced looking down at her comfortable maternity trousers and cream cashmere jumper. "No, this is much warmer. It's freezing there."

"You could put the robes over that," Theo said gesturing at her muggle outfit.

Hermione gave him a long look and sipped her tea not responding so Theo threw up his hands in defeat and sat down. She nodded at him and waited for her husband.

"Sure you don't want to come?" Draco asked strolling in and glaring at Theo who was scribbling away on parchment.

Theo snorted. "Yes, I tried to get her in robes. You're welcome."

Hermione didn't even bother to hide her giggle standing up and allowing her husband to help her into her thick wool winter cloak. He had brought a hat, scarf, and mittens too.

"My outfit is lovely, this jumper cost a fortune."

Draco leaned down to kiss her sweetly before stepping back and putting on his own gloves. "You always look lovely. Theo, we should be back in an hour."

Theo nodded. "Right, if you are not I will assume you killed him and have run off to Tahiti."

Draco groaned as Hermione laughed. "Tahiti, what a muggle thing to say, Theo."

Theo looked up and grinned. "I heard you say it to an elf the other day, I had to go look up where on earth it was."

This made Hermione grab her stomach and laugh harder as Draco sighed at the two and pulled out the portkey and his pocket watch. "Twenty seconds."

Hermione hugged closer to her husband still laughing as Draco watched the seconds tick by before slipping his watch back in his pocket. "Five, four, three, two, one."

OooOOoOOOoO

Hermione was glad that she had drunk the ginger tea the elves gave her for nausea as they landed on some kind of Island in the middle of a stormy sea. She didn't fall thanks to her husbands' strong arms and faced a grim Auror who sneered at them.

"If it isn't the Death Eater and his-" he didn't finish his sentence before he was silenced, covered in purple boils, and frozen in place. His wand floating over to Hermione.

"You get that sneer off your face, use a respectful tone, or the boils will not disappear until you learn manners," Hermione said her tone as icy as her last name would suggest it to be.

A second Auror stepped out with his hands up and a smile on his face. "I warned him, but he didn't listen."

Hermione grinned. "Seamus, I didn't realize you were here," she pulled out of Dracos' arms to hug her old school friend and hand him his co worker's wand.

Seamus grimaced at the look on the Dracos' face at set her aside quickly. "Alright there, 'Mione. Don't get me killed, ye have a husband now and a wee one on the way."

Hermione laughed and grabbed Dracos' hand waving hers absently and un silencing the other Auror. "Ready to apologize?"

The man glared at her so she shrugged and waved her hand again, she didn't need her wand for most spells now, the babe had amplified her magic greatly. "So will you take us over, Seamus?"

Seamus grinned. "Kings is coming to do that. Governor of the prison pitched a fit, so we are just waiting for him."

Hermione shrugged and added to the heating charms around the small island studying the wards. "How do we get over? Not a boat I hope?"

Seamus smirked. "Nah, got a bridge now."

Draco nodded and looked around. "Two of you always here?"

Seamus nodded. "Aye, once a year rotation for a week."

Hermione grimaced looking at the small cramped Island with its one cabin. "I hope the cabin is nicer inside than it looks."

Seamus grimaced. "Ain't at that. Feel free to decorate if ye like."

Hermione shook her head but turned as there was a loud sigh. "Boils again? I can't replace him out here, Hermione."

Hermione snorted unconcerned. "Seamus will be fine, he was rude and I gave him the chance to apologize. As disagreeable as he is I am sure you are better off with him spending some time in hospital. It might improve his disposition."

Draco raised an eyebrow at the idiot who was so insulting to them. "His defensive skills are also subpar."

Seamus watched in shock as the Minister of Magic pinched his nose shaking his head but smiled. "Auror Finnigan see that he has a portkey to St. Mungos and let us hope that they have figured out the counter curse to the boils, they grow rather painful after about an hour."

The Auror in question looked angry enough to physically harm someone as Seamus smirked, made a portkey and shoved it into his pocket. "Whiny git was ready to curse him me self, to be honest."

Draco shook his head and went over to shake the Minister's hand. "How far will you need to escort us?"

Kings shrugged, "I don't need to be here at all, I am because I want to have a look around. Governor Pierce is being a real pile of dragon dung over this, he has lost my support for a re-election."

Hermione looked deeply curious. "Why wouldn't he want us in there?"

Kings looked over at her with a raised eyebrow. "That is one of the reasons I am here, I think he is hiding something. To push this all the way to the Wizengamot seems excessive."

Seamus whistled as he waved his wand at the side of the Island not taken up by the cabin, a stone bridge appeared and Kings nodded. "Thank you, Auror Finnigan."

Hermione held Dracos' hand as they walked across the bridge. Kingsley had not required Draco to hand over his wand and that had her a bit twitchy.

"He did not take my wand," Draco whispered in her mind.

Hermione gave a short nod and replied. "We should be on guard; Kingsley must know something."

Draco sighed heavily. "Kings, she is pregnant, what are we walking into here?"

Kingsley gave them an annoyed look. "Probably nothing, Draco. But as Hermione is pregnant I felt it prudent to throw my weight around. Keep your wand out of sight, keep her from sending anyone to hospital, and I will do the rest."

Hermione snorted and then sighed. "If anyone attacks us, they won't need a healer, Kings."

Draco pulled her closer to his side and glared at Kingsley who looked a bit panicked. "Hermione-"

She waved him off. "If I don't kill them, Draco will. Honestly, Kings, did you think this through?"

Kingsley swallowed and then sighed his face resigned. "Fine, but they have to be the aggressor."

Draco snarled and stopped them. "Hermione put up a shield."

Hermione gave him a long look and nodded palming her wand and putting up a defensive shield. She looked over at King's, "if I glow green, someone hit me with a spell and all bets are off."

Kings considered her for a moment and then bowed. "Fine. Let us see why they have kept us out for so long."

They arrived at a door and Draco went first, putting Hermione between him and the Minister. Draco had the same shield up Hermione did; if he had to kill someone he wanted to make sure he could prove he had a reason to.

A large man with a bright red beard and bald head was waiting for them an unpleasant look on his face. "About time," he snarled.

Hermione drew up and raised an eyebrow at him. "Excuse me?" she said in an icy tone.

"I said it's about bloody time you showed up. I don't have all day."

Kingsley cleared his throat. "Pray tell, what do you have more important to do, Pierce."

Hermione had to work to not snicker at the look of horror on the wizard's face as he realized they had shown up with the Minister of Magic.

"Minister Shakelbolt, I didn't see you… What are you doing here?"

Draco did snort as Kingsley looked around his eyes narrowed. "I am here to see why you did not wish for the Malfoy's to visit," his eyes narrowed as they fell back on the tall wizard. "You lost my support by refusing them this visit for so long."

The man went pale and stuttered as Hermione shook her head. "May we proceed? He did say he was busy after all."

Draco grunted and pulled her slightly behind him as three guards showed up, all looking un-kept and just as large as Pierce.

Kingsley waved his hand. "To Mr Malfoy, if you please. I will do my inspection after we have completed our business with the Malfoy family."

Pierce looked green, "you are going with them?"

Kingsley gave him a firm nod. "I am."

Draco shared a look with Hermione who nodded and moved to grab Kingsley's hand, putting him in her shield.

"I will keep the shield up on you both, you work on figuring out what is going on," she whispered in his head.

Kings obviously felt the shield as she took his hand because he frowned but moved her closer to him nodding at Draco.

The three guards looked annoyed and angry as they led the way down hallways deeper into the maze of a prison. Finally, they stopped at a room and two proceeded them in as the other stayed outside. Hermione looked up at Kings who frowned shaking his head.

Something was off, she could tell by King's posture and she looked over at Draco who was looking around the room, scenting it. "Potion," he said quickly waving his wand and using a spell to push fresh air around the room.

When a dark haze appeared from under a table Hermione held her breath as Kingsley used his wand to send the haze under the door. Hermione quickly stunned one guard who tried to rush them as Draco stunned another.

"What was that haze?" She asked once she saw Draco breathing again.

Kingsley shook his head. "A potion that causes visions, dangerous to witches with child."

Draco was furious as he walked over and kicked the table aside picking up the vial and putting a status charm on it before he pocketed it. "This was a deliberate attack, and they would need her to be this late in the pregnancy to use that potion. In the first or second trimester, it is not deadly."

Hermione gasped and put a hand on her belly before magic burst out of her and the two men on the floor were thrown onto the wall and chained just as the third one rushed in only to be stunned and sent to a wall by Kingsley who slammed the door shut and warded it. The men were not breathing, but nobody gave them a second thought.

Kingsley sent out his Patronus and looked around at the three guards as Draco disarmed them and threw their wands onto the ground, breaking them as he did so that they could not be used.

"Auror's will be here within minutes," Kingsley said his tone hard.

Hermione snorted and sent off her own Patronus. "So will Ginny and Harry, and really I can assure you Ginny is far more dangerous."

Draco turned to her, "you sent them on vacation."

Hermione shrugged. "With a portkey here in case we needed them."

Kingsley looked annoyed but as the wards on the door started to fall he grunted. "Get ready," he said his tone one Hermione recognized from the Battle of Hogwarts.

She stepped back so she was behind Draco touching his arm. "Magic only, love," she whispered softly with a warning look.

Draco growled but nodded as he reinforced the wards. "Figure out a way to let Ginny and Harry know where we are, Hermione."

Hermione laughed. "Ginny can track me; we wear charms so that we can always find one another."

Draco let out a relieved sigh and nodded. "I will kiss you for that some other time."

Kings grunted as the wards fell, "here they come."

The door burst apart and Hermione threw up a shield so the debris didn't touch any of them. Their shields went bright green and Draco smiled, causing a few of the guards to step back.

"What the fuck?" was said by one before Hermione had disarmed him and killed him.

Kingsley was taking no quarter either. Draco, well, he was just as angry. This had been a well-planned attack. They had meant to kill his mate, child and himself today. They would all be dead before anyone could get there if they kept stepping in the room.

After ten guards fell Hermione was able to ward the door again and she watched with detached disgust as Draco started snapping every wand in the room.

"Why would they still attack with you with us?" Draco grunted as the last wand fell to the floor in three pieces.

Kingsley shook his head. "I don't think he had time to stop the attack. He has probably fled."

Hermione smirked. "He won't get far, I put a trace on him when I first walked in."

Kingsley gave her a proud nod. "You are brilliant, Hermione."

She snorted and frowned at the men outside trying to break through her wards. They couldn't see past them to tell what was going on in the room, although they could see clearly into the hallway.

"How long will that hold?" Draco asked his voice low and gruff with his anger.

Hermione frowned watching as the wizards worked on taking it down. "They might not get it down at all. I am going to assume they sent the guards who knew warding down first to tear down the ones you and Kingsley placed up."

Kingsley grunted and watched the men shuffle amongst one another. "Well it looks like he stayed around," Kings said with a wicked smile.

Draco growled as Pierce shoved men aside to study the wards. Hermione waved her hand so that they could hear what was being said.

"Who put this up? This isn't the Ministers magic."

"We don't fucking know. The first two waves went in, none came out, and these wards went up!"

"The mudblood should be dead, the potion-"

"She isn't any mudblood," was snarled by a female voice, "she is the mudblood who defeated Voldemort you bloody idiots and I can assure you she is perfectly fine."

"Ginny is here," Hermione said with a grin as men fell before they could even cast a spell.

She removed her wards and got Pierce with the boil hex before she burst them and he fell to the ground screaming in pain. "Him, I would assume you want alive?" Hermione asked sweetly looking at Kings.

Draco growled and she grabbed his arm as Kingsley stormed forward. "Potter, status report?"

"Half the guards fled when they saw us show up, we found you lot thanks to Ginny being able to track Hermione."

"Get the other guards," Kingsley said his tone full of rage. "I want every Auror here, now. Secure the place and figure out why in the hell they just decided to try and kill Hermione and Draco," as an afterthought he yelled out into the hall, "and someone bloody find Lucius Malfoy!" He levitated a still screaming Pierce in front of him, thick chains securing the man and tossed the other wizards wand at Draco who snapped it with glee.

Hermione sat down in a chair and smiled at Ginny who rushed in. "What did we miss?"

Harry was off with Kingsley so it was just the two witches and Draco. Draco was breathing heavily and glaring at the door. "Put the wards back up, my heart."

Hermione nodded and threw up the wards, with Ginny adding her own. "No one but George could get through that," Ginny said with a satisfied nod as she sank down in the second chair looking around with a disgusted look. "Merlin, the smell. Do they not bathe here?"

Hermione shrugged and waved her wand so that the room smelled like cherry pie. Draco coughed and started moving the bodies so that they were stacked along the back wall. Ginny grimaced and looked away back to the door her eyes angry and her wand out. They heard yelling just as Draco tossed the last body onto the pile.

"That's Seamus," Hermione said standing up as well.

Draco held up his hand. "You two stay put; if he needs help let me through the wards but you need to stay here."

Hermione started to argue but Ginny turned to glare at her. "Hermione, he is right, you are pregnant. Sit down and let your mate handle this."

Hermione sat down with a huff and waved her hand at the wards. "You can come and go as you please, my heart."

Draco looked back at her and sighed. "I love you. I promise if you were not pregnant I would let you and Ginny lose on the whole place."

Ginny smirked as Hermione smiled at him and sighed. "Go, have fun killing them all. I am tired anyway."

Draco looked at Ginny who smiled sweetly. "They won't get past our wards. We will be here when you figure out what the hell is going on."

Draco rushed out and Hermione let out a deep annoyed breath. "I don't understand what the hell just happened?"

Ginny nodded watching the door her face troubled. "That makes two of us."

OOoOoooOooOOoO

It was another hour before Harry showed up panting and bloody but smiling. "Got all that are here, the rest are being rounded up. Kings has called in the Order," he obviously had been running because he bent over taking deep breaths. "You two okay?"

Hermione snorted and nodded as Ginny frowned. "Why are you bleeding?"

Harry shrugged. "No idea, it got pretty nasty once Draco showed up. Merlin, he is terrifying."

Hermione smiled. "They tried to kill me with some potion, Harry. Kingsley said if they attacked first he didn't have to leave any alive."

Harrys' eyes went wide before he nodded. "Well, that makes sense, because he didn't leave anyone alive."

Ginny waved at the bodies behind her. "I don't think Kingsley did either."

Harry whistled at the pile and sank down against the wall. "Keep the wards up. Draco said he would come and get you two when he was sure it was safe."

Hermione looked at Ginny who shrugged. "When do you reckon that will be?"

Harry frowned. "I don't know. They found his father, he was not in good shape. Most of the prisoners are either dead or dying. Kingsley is having them transported to St. Mungo's. I think Draco wants them all removed before he walks Hermione out of here."

Ginny went pale. "What has been going on here?"

Hermione felt sick and reached out to her husband. "Draco, are you okay?"

It was a moment before she felt his mind brush hers. "Father is critical, I just got him to the Island so we could portkey him to hospital. Once the prisoners are accounted for I will be back for you."

Hermione closed her eyes as pain washed over her. "I am sorry," she whispered softly pouring her love into their link.

"What is it?" Ginny asked concerned as tears leaked out of her friends' eyes.

"Lucius probably will not survive," Hermione said in a whisper.

Ginny shuddered and nodded looking back at Harry. "Do you want in?" she asked.

He shook his head pushing himself back up. "No, I have to go back and help. I just wanted to make sure you two were okay."

Ginny blew him a kiss and sank back in her chair. "Blimey, what a mess."

Hermione nodded looking at her friend. "Well, I guess we have time to talk about your honeymoon."

Ginny snorted at her before she broke into uncontrollable laughter. "Of all the things to say, you pick that?"

Hermione shrugged transfiguring her chair into a plush one and getting comfortable. "Well, what other time will either of us be able to ditch our husbands for a chat?"

Ginny transfigured her own chair and sighed. "Well, when you put it that way-"


Notes:
Well, blame my muse for this chapter. I take no credit...
I hope you liked it.

I am in a Taylor Swift mood so there will be a trend. Yes, I am a Swiftie, and yes I am on the new Swift Ap. It has cat emojis and lilred, especially, is in love. You can find me there under CjRed (CrystalJeanRed) just like all my other social media.
I know I hate to tell you this, but, this will probably be the last update on Love of a Mate until we get moved the first week of January. I have an update coming for Riddle This and a story due for a fest at the end of the month. I still have not done ANY Christmas shopping because I actually like going to a store (I need to get over that) so I never use Amazon. (Stupid, stupid, stupid!) I am also spending time with my friends here before we leave and we have family events over Christmas. Add to this I tried to die again last month and am still recovering from the hubby performing CPR on me (that REALLY hurt, avoid it) and have a total ass for a doctor and you have got my life!
See, I complained, finally. I am not ALWAYS sunshine and roses. This winter is kicking my tush! I can not WAIT until 2018!
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and I can't wait to get to next year. New state, sea level, new start, and publishing my novels. Yay!
Cheers,
Cjean