A/N: Hi everyone! Sorry for falling off the face of the planet yet again, but I've been really time-inefficient and occupied with RL. Completely my fault. However, I regret to say that I must disappoint you guys further because this update is NOT a full chapter. It is only the beginning of Chapter 10 (therefore the title of the chap will not make sense to you at this point). I guess it could stand as a chap on its own, but such short chaps without much plot have never been my style. Anyway, I'm doing this because I'm going to be in France, England, and Scotland for the next two weeks (from the 10th-24th) and I'd feel absolutely rotten if I left you guys hanging for that whole time with nothing (too bad PoA filming finished in Scotland, or else guess who I'd be stalking then :P). Anywho, not too much happens here and some parts are rather idiotic (as usual), but there's a D/Hr moment of sorts waiting for you, so I hope it'll appease your mighty appetites for awhile. Also, my personal messages to those who reviewed last time will be posted up in the next update, along with message to those who will review this time (hopefully all of you will review again).
Once more, I apologize for the brevity of this chap, but hope you'll all enjoy it nonetheless. Also, I would like to excuse myself in advance for any insufferable lameness you may encounter…we all have our sad writing days. Enjoy!
Chapter 10: Spy Hard (Part 1)
Draco Malfoy regarded with suspicion the exchange of gazes between his wife and the old stranger.
"Hermione?" he asked uncertainly. Something was definitely afoot here. Did she know this man?
Before Hermione could answer, however, an even older-looking witch decked in patched brown robes with long, flowing white hair and a ragged witch's hat rushed out of the Leaky Cauldron and promptly banged the ageing wizard on the head with her wooden cane.
"You foolish, sorry prat! You think I wouldn't catch you flirting with other witches, you pig? Don't you know you're too old for that kind of hanky panky, you disgusting animal?"
Everyone within hearing distance gaped at this witch in bewilderment, but she seemed unfazed by the attention and hit the wizard with her cane again, this time on his bum.
"Ow!" he yelped jumping up, before rubbing his spanked arse repeatedly.
"Don't 'ow' me! Can't you see she's young enough to be your great-granddaughter, you sex fiend wannabe? And in front of her boyfriend – or is it husband?—at that! Why you despicable - smack! - foul - smack! - impotent - smack! - playboy!"
At the last chain of insults, Draco couldn't hold it in any longer and erupted into howls of laughter, despite his initial fury at realizing that this old sod had ulterior motives for crashing into his wife. Hermione seemed too dumbstruck to move and the old wizard himself looked beyond horrified. The crowd of onlookers that had congregated around them started sniggering as well, and watched eagerly for the reactions of the remaining three of the quartet now in the Diagon Alley spotlight.
The mysterious hag wasted no more time and turned to Hermione. "I'm so sorry, dear. As you must've heard, my husband's recently lost his virility and since his shocking discovery, has been sidling up to a whole assortment of ladies in a fruitless attempt to prove that his manhood is still in full swing."
"WHAT?!" the previously stunned-silent elder wizard now cried. "Excuse me, you old crone! I am NOT imp-"
Another swish of the cane cut him off as it made contact with his belly with a distinct thud.
Hermione was rendered speechless by this most unexpected turn of events. She was so confused. She had been so sure moments ago that the haggard wizard before her was her very own ex-boyfriend Ronald Weasley, but now...
Hold on...ex-boyfriend? But Ron and I never actually broke up, how can I call him that? Though, I'm married to someone else now...but so what? I love Ron, don't I? Then why did I refer to him as...oh gods…
"Well, now that all's cleared up, I'm sure you two young'uns would rather run along now, won't you? I am truly sorry for my husband's actions. I'll deal with him later. Can never keep his hands to himself, that pervert," the old lady continued, looking apologetically at Hermione, and ignoring the murderous glare her aged husband was shooting at her.
"Yes, we'd much prefer to be off. I was wondering when this ridiculous episode would end. My pregnant wife needs her nourishment now and we Malfoys don't have time for this rubbish," Draco replied haughtily, then shot a warning glare to the old wizard. "I'd better not catch you trying to grope my wife again, old man, or you'll find your head very much decapitated."
"Oh, certainly good sir, if he ever touches your darling wife again, you have my permission to do with him as you wish. Bless you children now, and long live the Dark Lord!" the old lady bid them.
Satisfied, Draco whirled around, grabbed his wife by the arm, picked up her hideous cat with his other hand, and before she could protest, Apparated all of them away.
Upon their exit, the gathering crowd lost interest and began to disperse, as all crowds eventually do.
No longer the center of attention, the elderly couple waded their way silently into a dark, empty alley. Away from any prying ears and eyes, the man finally rounded on his wife.
"Tonks, you-you-you mad COW! What in bloody hell is wrong with you? What the fuck was that all about? What d'you reckon you were doing?!" he hissed angrily at her, his voice low but no longer raspy.
"That was me saving you from blowing your cover, you wanker!" she hissed back, hands on her hips.
"But that was Hermione! HER-MY-OH-NEE! The one person we came here to save!" Ron argued, ears going pink from rage.
"I know it was! Do I look stupid to you?" retorted Tonks.
Ron stopped his ranting and looked thoughtfully at Tonks, rubbing his long beard.
Well, she definitely looked better in her mid-twenties form than her hundred year-old one, especially since now she's got those wrinkles and popping warts and –
"That was purely rhetorical, Weasley!" Tonks said in exasperation and poked Ron with her cane, drawing him out of his thoughts. "Pay attention! I was trying to help you back there!"
"Well then what did you make up all that mumbo jumbo about us being married and me being impotent for? Just because you're my assigned partner doesn't mean you have the right to tear me away from my long-lost girlfriend, you know!"
"Ron Weasley, Hermione is no longer your girlfriend! She's Mrs. Draco Malfoy, the wife of Voldemort's right-hand-man-in-waiting, and from what we've just heard, the mother of his unborn child -- his future heir! Get that through your thick skull!"
That hit Ron hard.
"Right, she-she's pregnant…oh Merlin…that means they-they've done-done it…NO! I'M GOING TO GET THAT SLIMY BASTARD!" Ron announced with a shout, temporarily forgetting his current circumstance.
In consequence, Tonks's cane struck him repeatedly again from head to arse.
"Ow! Ow! Mother of Merlin, OW! Get that thing away from me! I'm not a masochist you know, you cane-happy sadist!" Ron wailed.
"Then be quiet, you buffoon! It's bad enough I'm clumsy; at the rate you're going, we'll end up in Voldemort's torture chambers before we even step out of this alley!"
Sense finally entered Ron and he sobered up.
"We must focus if we want to save her, Ron. I'm sure she recognized you, but I had to dispel her hunch or else that husband of hers will know," Tonks continued reasoning.
"But couldn't we have…I mean…she was in our grasp! We could've done something!"
"Ronald Weasley, if you're not going to use any of that logic I hope is in your head, I'm going to make sure you never leave the sewers again!"
Ron nodded dumbly and did not make anymore effort to speak as he dwelled on the sad reality of the situation. He was so angry and upset at the same time that he didn't trust himself to say anything. He hadn't yet mastered the art of controlling his temper and if he let his rage flow any more, he'd surely expose himself and Tonks within minutes.
Seeing her younger friend in such a state, Tonks reached out and patted his back sympathetically. "Now's the time to do our part. Remember, we're on a reconnaissance mission here, and we've both still got our disguises. We still have an hour before we're to meet Remus back at Hogsmeade. It won't be long until we can attack Malfoy Manor, I promise."
Ron sighed and looked away. Oh he will succeed his mission, alright. And he'll rescue Hermione as well. Then he'd personally shove a stick up Malfoy's anus and roast him to a fine grill over a fire for daring to impregnate the love of his life and threatening to decapitate him.
Back at the Manor, Hermione found herself ushered by her husband into their bedroom (which she had evaded from sharing ever since the tryst that conceived their child).
"Wait! What about lunch? Why did you bring me back so soon? I thought we were going to eat at the Leaky Cauldron!"
Draco shook his head at her. "Not anymore. You're going to rest now and I'll have Red bring up your meal. You've been out walking for hours and knocked down to the ground by an impotent old git. That can't be good for the baby."
He then strutted out to bark orders for Ginny to bring up some food for Hermione.
When he returned, he found Hermione not reclining on the bed like he expected, but instead trying to leave through the bathroom door which connected this room to hers.
"Not so fast, you're not going anywhere," he commanded and speedily pulled her back.
Hermione sent him a withering look. "Malfoy, I am four weeks pregnant. Four weeks! I'm not even halfway through my first trimester! The baby that you speak of is nothing more than a clump of dividing cells at this point!"
To be honest, she was slightly dumbfounded by Draco's sudden seemingly caring attitude but tried not to show it.
"No matter, I'm not taking any chances with my heir. From now on, there'll be no more excursions for you. The Manor grounds will have to suffice if you need your exercise. We have more than enough facilities as it is."
"No 'buts'! Look, woman, you could've been injured badly today if I wasn't there! I can't have that, you hear? You're too important now."
Hermione's eyes darkened. "How could I forget?" she muttered sarcastically, inwardly fuming with fresh anger. Folding her arms, she moved away from Draco to the back of the room by the bed, and turned her back to him. "One day, you're all going to regret what you did to me," she threatened with her head raised.
Draco raised a curious eyebrow and crept up behind her. To her shock, he wrapped his arms tightly around her waist so that her back was pressed firmly against his chest and bent his head down so that his breath tickled her unsuspecting earlobe.
"One day, you're going to regret being so impertinent while you had the prestige of being my wife," he whispered, a little too huskily for her comfort.
"Prestige? What freak world are you in, Malfoy? I don't see any reason to regret being impertinent, nor do I find being your wife any more prestigious than taking out the trash," she countered harshly, wriggling to break free from his firm hold.
Draco was deeply affronted by her response and twirled her around in his arms to face him. "How could you even say that, you ungrateful wench? Firstly, you are the wife of a Malfoy, the most influential wizard family in all of Europe, and if you hadn't been, do you think we would've been able to get you your silly cat today? And secondly, how many Mudbloods do you think will ever have the fortune to lie nightly in bed beside a blond sex god as affluent and powerful as myself?"
Hermione's eyes widened at Draco's immodest description of himself. What arrogance! Needing to bring him down a peg or two, she burst out guffawing.
"Sex god my arse, you ferret! I've had better!" she lied, pushing him away.
"What? You were a virgin until I had you!" Draco pointed out, not amused.
Hermione ceased her incessant guffaw. "Er…oh, erm, that's right, heh I forgot," she admitted sheepishly, much to her own chagrin.
Draco smirked annoyingly at her blunder. "Of course, perhaps you need a little reminder of what I can…do," he said suggestively, edging once more towards her.
Hermione gulped and backed away. There was something about the way Draco was eyeing her now that made her slightly panic.
"I…what are you implying?" she asked nervously.
"You know what, honey," Draco answered, eyes glistening with newfound desire.
Hermione's heart began to race as she saw the want in her husband's grey orbs. Memories of the last time she saw him with that look of animalistic hunger flashed unwillingly inside her mind and she could feel beads of sweat forming on her forehead.
"No, I haven't a clue, I'm hungry and tired and oh, I think the baby's kicking!" she rambled desperately.
Draco only chuckled. "My, my, you're definitely the worst liar I've ever met. But I already knew that." He pressed himself closer until he successfully trapped her against the wall with his body and outstretched arms.
Normally, Hermione wouldn't have allowed herself to so easily fall into such a dangerous and disadvantageous position, but she had thought her marital activities with Draco were long since over. She had no idea that he planned on continuing any of it, so she was completely unprepared for this. Realistically, why would he want to? He'd done his job for Voldemort; there wasn't any obligation left to carry on anymore deeds. Besides, she was a Mudblood – the Mudblood, even – and he hated her all his life and still did…didn't he?
"Remember what I did to Zabini, Draco. I won't hesitate to get my revenge on you if you dare do anything to me of that sort," she blustered as a last resort.
"I doubt you'll do that or anything remotely close to it to the father of your son, my feisty bitch," he declared, leaning his face in nearer to hers and licking his lips with obvious delight. He was unquestionably enjoying the nervousness and uncertainty he saw in her usually assured eyes, and it made his heart throb as though it had been drunk with adrenaline.
"You underestimate me, Malfoy."
But Draco had stopped listening and with a manly growl, swooped down to claim her lips. However, Hermione was faster and ducked just in time, causing Draco's lips to land on the wall behind her instead.
In his moment of disorientation, Hermione crouched even lower and intended to make her escape by squeezing through the open space between his legs. Unfortunately, she only managed to get her head through before the door burst open and Ginny Weasley strolled in unawares with a tray of food.
"Hermione, Malfoy told me to bring up your lu—" the younger girl began, but froze soon enough at the sight of Hermione's bushy brown head poking out from underneath Draco's round buttocks.
Instinctively, she threw up her arms and shrieked for dear life.
The tray of food crashed to the floor in a loud bang.
Hermione quickly pushed herself forward through Draco's legs and launched towards Ginny. "No, Ginny, it's not what you think!" she started, but it was too late.
The poor redhead had already collapsed on the floor in a dead faint.
A/N: Pretty short and stupid wasn't it? I'm sorry if the characters were a tad bit OOC and if there were any mistakes; I did it a bit hastily and it was not beta-read, but I'm sure you all can survive with that until I return. I promise a full chap with more plot (and twists of it) when I come back. As always, please review and send in any criticisms you might have…they do help!
Peace and love to you all,