Excerpt from the Mudblood Act 2000:
No Mudblood can receive more than a hundred galleons every year in wages.
Hermione gave a faint smile as she wrapped up another package of books and handed them to the impatient customer. "Have a nice day," she said. There was no response as the customer sneered at the "M" pinned on her robes and stalked out of the store. A blast of icy wind entered, making Hermione shiver.
She supposed that she was quite fortunate to have secured a job at Flourish and Blotts. It was rumoured that the owner had pro-Mudblood tendencies. She got exactly a hundred galleons every year, far better than some of the other Mudbloods she saw on the streets nowadays. At least she had a roof – albeit leaky – over her head and food to eat. But that was poor consolation. Hermione could help but wonder what happened to all her dreams. Crushed by the Dark Lord and his takeover, she thought bitterly.
"How are you today, Madam," she greeted another customer.
The woman, dressed warmly in furs and heavy silk robes, was obviously rich and pureblooded. There were none of the hesitant glares of the halfbloods. "Don't speak to me," she said frostily.
Hermione gave a half-curtesy. What have we all become?
The woman's heels clicked a rhythm around the small store. Hermione simply stood there behind the desk, face impassive. In her mind, she tried to guess who the woman was. Did they go to Hogwarts together? Were they friends? Acquaintances? Or perhaps was she a younger student? One she tutored in Arithmancy, maybe.
She gave a start as the woman gave a sharp tap on the desk in front of her. "Examining my jewels, Mudblood?" the woman said with a sneer. "I assure you, you will never be able to afford them."
Hermione bowed her head. "I'm sorry, Madam."
The woman sniffed and with a sweep of her fur cloak, left the shop.
Sometimes Hermione wondered whether life would have been more bearable if Vol… the Dark Lord had simply imprisoned her kind. At least then, she would have some precious shards of dignity. But it seemed the Dark Lord was determined to put the Mudbloods to good use while he tried to conquer the Muggle world. They were the dredges of the wizarding world. Only one step above the house elves. Doing all the distasteful jobs that nobody else would even contemplate doing.
The few Mudbloods who had tried to escape back into the Muggle world quickly disappeared. One of the nameless, faceless statistics of missing persons. After a few months, no other Mudbloods left. It was rumoured that the ones who had disappeared were now part of some experiment to harvest Mudblood magical powers. Nobody wanted that fate.
Hermione knew a couple of her classmates were working as prostitutes in Knockturn Alley. She suspected that if she knew that this would happen during her Hogwarts years, she would have been horrified, but now, the news just made her wince slightly and thank God that she wasn't one of them.
Her job was quite lucrative to the other Mudbloods. They couldn't understand how she got it.
Sure she was intelligent, but what did that matter for a Mudblood?
There was a veneer – however thin – of respectability over her job. She got to serve the purebloods in a non-sexual sense. This automatically meant that she got decent clothing.
Of course, Hermione thought as she shifted uncomfortably, decent clothing is all relative. She got the cast-offs from the owner's wife. Clothing that was too long in the sleeve. Too thin for standing here all day being subjected to the freezing wind. Too tight across the chest to stop the leers from some of the pureblood wizards who stopped by regularly.
If only they knew how I got this job, she thought as she straightened up several books.
from the Mudblood Act 2000:
Friendships between Mudbloods and purebloods are strictly forbidden.
"Ron," Hermione said flatly as her weekly paypacket was handed to her. "I suppose I should thank you."
His face was mostly impassive, but Hermione thought she could detect a small flicker of pity in his eyes. "Goodnight, Mudblood," he said and closed the door of Flourish and Blotts in her face.
Hermione couldn't help but flinch. She knew that she should have been used to this kind of treatment by now but she couldn't help but wonder what had happened to her gentle, kind friend from Hogwarts. The Dark Lord happened, that's what. But still, she was somewhat glad that Ron still cared about her. He cared enough to give me a job. Although, obviously, he didn't care enough to treat her with any semblance of kindness.
Intellectually, Hermione reasoned that she should be grateful. Ron was the only reason why she wasn't currently whoring herself. But somehow she couldn't bring herself to feel that emotion. Not when Ron was treating her this way.
With a sigh, she stepped away from the door of the bookstore and headed down towards the seedier end of Diagon Alley towards the turnoff to Knockturn Alley. Already she could smell the scent of cheap sex and rotten rubbish. This was the section that she had never seen while she was still at Hogwarts. Sometimes she wondered whether it was like this ten years ago, or whether the entire dynamic of Diagon Alley had changed since they passed the Act. Maybe now Diagon Alley was divided up into two sections. One for the purebloods. The other for the Mudbloods. And she was one of the fortunate few who got to journey between the two.
Sometimes she wondered if it wouldn't be better if she just remained here in the 'Mudblood section'. At least she wouldn't be constantly reminded that there was a better life out there. A clean, pureblood life.
Stepping over a body slumped in her doorway; Hermione slid her key into the lock, turned and entered her apartment. It wasn't so much of an apartment as a hole, but it was far better than the street corners and doorways available to her fellow Mudbloods.
Or so she kept on telling herself.
Excerpt from the Mudblood Act 2000:
No Mudblood may carry or possess a wand.
"You're insane," Dean Thomas had whispered to her when she had first mentioned the idea to him.
Hermione had simply glared at him. "How can you let them do this to us?" she said passionately. "We're human too!"
He had simply shrugged and said bitterly, "Not to them, we're not."
And that had been a year ago. Their first clandestine meeting. Hermione was not sure why she kept on the meetings. Why she kept on trying to convince him.
"We need to set up a Mudblood Network," she hissed at him. "Before we all forget. Before we forget that we're human."
He looked at her with what she fancied was a pitying expression in his eyes. "You still hope," he said softly.
"Of course I still hope!" she snapped. "While we are still alive, we still have hope."
Dean simply shook his head. "You only say that because you haven't truly experienced the Mudblood life yet. You're still protected by Ron." He held up a finger when she tried to protest. "You are, Hermione and you don't even know it. You wouldn't say that if you know what we were going through."
"I do know what you're going through!"
He looked at her, sadness filling his dark brown eyes. "Take care, Hermione."
Hermione watched as he left her apartment.
Standing up from where she was seated on the ratty old couch, she went over to a cupboard and opened it. From the depths, she extracted a shoebox. Almost reverently, she opened the box. Inside, layered in newspaper, lay her wand. Reaching out a trembling finger, Hermione stroked the wood gently.
It was days like this that she wanted to just take the wand – consequences be damned – and curse, and curse, and curse until she fell to the ground exhausted and the Death Eaters came to take her away.
She wondered how many Avada Kedavra's she could get out before they caught her.
Somehow she suspected it wouldn't be many. Surely other Mudbloods had tried this before her. Surely she wasn't the only one left with a wand and therefore some hope. Or maybe she was.
Excerpt from the Mudblood Act 2000:
A Mudblood may be owned by a pureblood.
Hermione knew that many of her former classmates were owned by rich pureblooded witches and wizards. They were either kept as bedwarmers or as nannies for pureblood children or broodmares. It was found that Mudbloods were far better as tutors than house elves, so the richer purebloods all had a Mudblood or two in their households.
It was, Hermione thought to herself, as if we have become the house elves of this era.
Hermione had, thanks to Ron and the last vestiges of a former friendship, missed out on this fate, but she was still terrified of ending up with that fate. It wouldn't take much really to send her packing to a manor somewhere to cater to the whims of a rich pureblood. Just one infringement on her behalf.
There were few infringements nowadays for Mudbloods that carried an Azkaban penalty. The Dark Lord had decreed that Mudbloods must not be wasted. They would be put to work in any way possible. Only the most subversive or stubborn Mudbloods would be given to the Dementors.
A hidden part of Hermione – the old Hermione – was screaming at her to stop being so pathetic. And, she thought drearily, they were being pathetic, weren't they? Perhaps if all the Mudbloods rose up against the purebloods. Perhaps they could conquer. But nobody wanted to try it. There were tiny murmurs of complaint, like trickles of water, but no Mudblood was willing to die for some greater cause.
The few who tried were made Examples of. Hermione's nose twitched as she remembered the smell of their rotting bodies hung over the entrance to Knockturn Alley.
Almost instinctively, Hermione's eyes flicked towards where her wand lay in the closet. If anybody found that she still had a wand, there was little chance that she would be sent to work somewhere. The fact she had managed to hide its existence for so long would indicate subversive tendencies, and she would be sent immediately to Azkaban so that the Dementors could feast on her soul. And Hermione knew that it would be a long and painful feast for her as they had been starved for so long.
But hopefully, Hermione thought, hopefully, nobody will find it.
Excerpt from the Mudblood Act 2000:
A Mudblood's residence may be searched at any time without notice.
Hermione tumbled out of her ratty old bed at the sound of thumping on her front door. "Coming," she muttered, not daring to say it out loud. It could be simply another Mudblood out there, but it could be purebloods and she didn't want to be punished for insubordination.
She opened the door and could visibly feel her heart sink.
A shiny badge was shoved in her face. "Pureblood Patrol Service," the woman said crisply. "Move aside Mudblood so that we can search these premises."
Numbly, Hermione stepped to the side as she watched the group of purebloods storm in and begin to take apart her tiny flat. Deep inside, she did know that this day would come, but there was still a tiny flare of hope. That hope was quickly extinguished. "I'm sorry for the mess," she mumbled uselessly, wanting secretly to be more defiant, but not wanting to be made an Example.
The woman stood back, hands crossed in front of her chest, face impassive watching as her group of patrols searched.
Through her messy frizzy hair, Hermione stared at her. With a jolt of shock, she realised that it was Padma Patil. Doubtless, the other woman would be unlikely to recognise her in this state, but even if she did, it would be of no use. Their Hogwarts' friendships were useless in now.
"What do we have here?" One of the men came over carrying Hermione's wand gingerly between his fingers as if it was contaminated.
"Possession of a wand is illegal under the Mudblood Act 2000," Padma said. "I'm afraid you will have to come under Ministry custody." She gestured for one of the other men to come forward.
"Stupefy!" he said and Hermione collapsed.
Excerpt from the Mudblood Act 2000:
A pureblood may speak for a Mudblood to release the Mudblood from Azkaban.
Hermione sat in the small dank room, her hands clasped in her lap. She couldn't stop them from shaking, so she clenched her fists tightly.
The door opened. "So," a smooth, vaguely familiar said, "you are the Mudblood who managed to evade the Mudblood Act for so long."
She looked up and couldn't help the recognition that flared in her eyes.
"You know me," the man stated. "Who are you?"
"Hermione Granger." She could see no point in lying to him. "You are Lucius Malfoy."
His eyes gleamed. "Well, well," he said, "see how the mighty Mudbloods have fallen."
Hermione didn't answer him. As far as she knew, Lucius Malfoy was still doing exactly what he always did, acting as an advisor-of-sorts to the Ministry. Apparently the Dark Lord took his advice very seriously.
"You will be going to Azkaban," Malfoy told her. From what she could tell, he was studying her intently, his eyes trailing down her dishevelled appearance and her tattered clothes.
"I know that." Hermione kept her voice carefully flat.
"I can stop that." He walked over to where she sat on the small stool in the corner. She steadfastly refused to look up despite the fact he was looming over her.
"And what will that cost me?"
He tilted his head to one side, as if he was surprised. "I would have thought that would be fairly obvious. It is a small price to pay to stay out of the way of the Dementors. I hear that they are very hungry nowadays."
Hermione couldn't suppress a shiver.
"I don't have all day, Mudblood," Malfoy said.
"Fine," she said shortly.
"I want to hear the words. Bound to my family, not to me. Blood oath."
There were certain words that bound a Mudblood to a pureblood – a loyalty spell. Hermione had learned – surreptitiously during her years at the bookstore – that these were ancient words, used even back to the time of the founders. They had only gone out of fashion sometime in the last hundred years, but the Dark Lord had obviously felt the need to re-instate them. "I bind myself, Hermione Granger, in blood," she began softly, "body and soul to the wizard Lucius Malfoy and his family, to serve them with my life, to obey their every command, as long as I shall live."
Lucius produced a small silver-handled sharp knife and handed it to her. "Do not try to cut me," he warned.
"I would not dream of it," she said, sarcastically and sliced the tip of her index finger. Lucius held out her wand and she pressed her bloody finger to the tip of it. The blood was absorbed by the wand.
Excerpt from the Mudblood Act 2000:
A Mudblood may act as a broodmare for a pureblood.
Hermione knew what Lucius wanted her for, but it wasn't the same as ,knowing. When she had arrived at Malfoy Manor, she was immediately led to a plush set of rooms in the East Wing. The carpet was thick under her ragged shoes and white curtains billowed out from the tall arched windows. The furniture was done in rich browns and reds, and as Hermione ran her finger over the top of a couch, she could feel soft velvet.
"Master and Mistress live in the West Wing," the house elf who led her told her earnestly. "You is not disturbing them."
She had shrugged. Frankly, she couldn't think of any reason she would go and disturb Lucius Malfoy or Narcissa Malfoy. They were purebloods, after all, and would doubtless call for her in their own time. She was simply here to serve them. There was a part of Hermione's mind – hidden away under the layers of the loyalty spell – that was appalled at her obedience, but the loyalty spell held her firmly. Trying to break through the spell was like swimming through a viscous liquid. Near impossible.
Hermione had expected to have a few days in her rooms to acquaint herself with the surroundings and her possible duties. She had considered the possible duties briefly. Her best option would be to be assigned to Narcissa Malfoy as a sort of lady's maid. House elves were only of so much use. Most purebloods enjoyed the extra attention to detail that a Mudblood gave. With house elves, specific attention to detail had to be given for they didn't seem to understand instructions the same as a human, however, Mudbloods did understand and thus were easier and far more easy on the eyes.
Hermione, however, had not expected Narcissa Malfoy to walk into her rooms the first night she was there, especially not while she was still in the middle of undressing. She stood there, staring dumbly up at the older woman, clutching her nightgown to her chin – a thin lacy thing she had found in her closet; it was cleaner than anything she had to wear in the past five years. She shivered with the cold that was brought in from the corridor outside – the heating spells only worked within the room.
"For God's sake girl," Narcissa said impatiently. "Put that on."
With trembling fingers that were fast turning numb, Hermione dragged the nightgown on.
"That's better," Narcissa said, her eyes travelling down Hermione. A shiver ran down Hermione's spine. Narcissa's blue eyes seemed dark in the dim light and the scrutiny was making her feel like a mannequin in a shop window.
Hermione stood there, hands by her sides, eyes lowered, the very picture of an obedient servant. A part of her mind was screaming for her to do something – anything – even throw herself at Narcissa and attempt to pummel her to death, but the loyalty spell was too strong. Her strength simply drained away.
Through her lowered lashes, she studied the older woman. Beneath the magical glamours and liquids, Narcissa Malfoy looked tired. There was a slight red tinge to both her eyes and her robes – though expensive and beautiful – looked as if they were hurriedly buttoned on. It wasn't obvious, but after a few years of serving purebloods, Hermione could tell these things. There were creases in the silk robes that shouldn't have been there. Plus, Narcissa seemed to be wearing no jewellery and her hair, done elaborately as it was, seemed almost lifeless.
"I see Lucius has bound you to our family," Narcissa said.
"Yes… Mistress." The words came out with surprising and horrifying ease. Hermione could have sworn she didn't mean to say them, but yet, obviously she did, because those were the words that came out.
"You are aware of your duties?" There was a helplessness about Narcissa that made a part of Hermione flare up in sympathy. Almost.
"I see," Narcissa said. She looked around the room, her hands smoothing out the creases in her robes. Walking over to the chair next to the dresser, she sat down. "You will be – " She stopped and swallowed. "I am – I am barren. You will be providing us with a heir."
"Yes, Mistress," Hermione said, while her heart sank. Her body felt as cold as the room, unheated and neglected.
"Your duties will begin tomorrow night." Narcissa blinked rapidly and looked over at Hermione. "You are pretty and young. I'm sure you will birth a healthy heir."
Narcissa stood up, walked to the door, opened it and stepped out into the corridor. Turning around, Hermione could see two spots of bright pink on her face. "Doubtless," Narcissa said quietly, "this is humiliating for you. But rest assured, it is no easier for us." She shut the door with a click.
Misery swelled up in Hermione and slammed into the wall created by the spell. But honestly, if she was being truthful with herself, she wasn't at all surprised by this. It was pretty much obvious as soon as she realised that it was Lucius Malfoy in her jail cell. Even as a Mudblood shop clerk, she had heard rumours of the lack of a Malfoy heir. This was a very important thing in the wizarding world and several prominent families including the Averys and Parkinsons were whispering about the possible barrenness of Narcissa Malfoy. Ever since Draco had died in the war, the Malfoy fortunes weren't safe from the other wizarding families.
Obviously they had decided to rectify that situation.
One of the clauses in the Mudblood Act was a clause stating that a Mudblood could act as a broodmare for a pureblood. Any children she had by Lucius Malfoy were legally entitled to inherit the Malfoy estates. They would legally belong to Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. Narcissa would be in every way – except biologically – be their mother. And this would allow Lucius to stay married to Narcissa, despite her lack of ability to produce an heir.
She choked back a wild giggle at the though of the Malfoy heir being a half-blood.
Excerpt from the Mudblood Act
Half-bloods borne of Mudbloods are entitled to most of the rights of a pureblood.
There was a knock on Hermione's rooms. She stopped pacing. "Come in," she said, her voice shaking.
Lucius stepped in. "I trust that my wife has informed you of your duties."
"Yes, Master," Hermione said, tugging her own robe around her. She frowned at the rather strange knot at the front. A part of her wondered whether she could answer anything else in front of them. It came to her automatically, the reply, as though it were part of the loyalty spell itself. She tried to say something else, something less obedient, but the words wouldn't come out. The old Hermione inside her kicked at the invisible wall but to no avail. She was trapped.
"Stop trembling girl," he said impatiently. "I'm sure Narcissa has told you that this is as distasteful for me as it is for you."
Lucius scowled. "I order you to speak normally but not impertinently," he said. Obviously her answers of servitude were annoying him as well. "As I just said, I am not looking forward to the prospect of bedding a Mudblood and getting her with child." His upper lip curled. "Let alone bringing up a half-blood child as the Malfoy heir."
Hermione chose her words carefully, not wanting the loyalty spell to gag her. "With all due respect, Master, I did not make the laws."
He waved a hand at her. "I'm well aware of that. They're ridiculous laws made for wartime. The Dark Lord is growing weak in his old age." His tone was filled with disgust. "He is not willing to change. Imagine this, families like mine, pureblooded since the founding of Hogwarts, forced to produce half-blooded heirs just because the Dark Lord is unwilling to change the laws to allow for pureblood broodmares. He says that it is unwise to anger the poorer pureblood families."
Hermione suspected that he had forgotten that she was there. "Master, aren't you afraid that I will betray you to the Dark Lord?" she asked carefully, mindful of the gag in the spell.
Lucius laughed. "You are bound to me and my family in blood. If you should break the oath, you would die with your blood boiling in your veins."
Hermione thought that it sounded ridiculous, but the expression on Lucius's face told her that he was in absolute earnest. "Surely the Dark Lord can counter that."
Lucius gave her a malicious smile. "He can, but he won't. The latest Mudblood to betray her master was given to the Dementors with her master. The Dark Lord considers anybody willing to betray their master, despite a blood oath, doubly traitorous. So, Hermione, I very much doubt you would betray me or my family. I do remember that you were the Head Girl of Hogwarts once. Surely you are intelligent then."
"Yes, Master," Hermione said absently.
He sneered, but didn't say anything. "I assure you that you would not enjoy Azkaban much if you are thinking of betrayal," he said sharply.
She remembered her sixth year at Hogwarts, and the pictures of the prisoners, including Malfoy, on the front page of the Daily Prophet, emaciated and filthy and eyes burning with revenge. "I am not, Master."
He abruptly changed the topic. "I trust that you are not a virgin."
"I am not, master," she said politely. Strangely, Hermione found it easy to slip to the responses of the obedient servant. It was safe. While she was the obedient servant, she wasn't Hermione Granger and hence, anything the servant did, Hermione most definitely did not do. And Hermione was free to plot, while the servant spread her legs and spawned young for Lucius Malfoy.
Hermione gave a faint mental smile at the obvious uncomfortableness in his tone of voice. She was surprised at the ease she could read emotions, but obviously it had been almost ingrained into her during her years in Flourish and Blotts. It was also obvious that Lucius Malfoy had no great desire to do – well whatever he was planning to do with her. This strangely made her feel safer.
"This," Lucius said and stopped abruptly. He began again in a stronger tone. "This can be done either clinically or –"
"I would prefer clinically, Master," Hermione said.
Without another word, Lucius walked over and pulled at one of the ties on her robe. It immediately slipped off her shoulders. So that was why the knot was tied strangely. Beneath, she had only worn the slip that had come with the robe. A small tug by Lucius and the slip fell off her shoulders, leaving her standing naked in front of him. Her nipples stiffening under his gaze, her legs shaking.
"You are pretty," he said softly, his gaze sliding down her.
She bit her bottom lip to stop the thank you that bubbled up. He's essentially raping you, she warned herself. Well not really, she countered, I did agree to it. Her nipples tightened further at the thought, and she wished she could control them, stop them from being so hard so unwillingly.
With a surprisingly gentle hand – he doesn't want to hurt the mother of his future heirs, she told herself – Lucius took hers and guided her towards the bed.
"Are you sure you don't want this done any other way?" he asked.
"I'm fine, Master," she said, trying to keep her tone even. "G-go ahead." She couldn't help the small note of fear from entering her voice.
Hermione closed her eyes. Despite Lucius's gentleness, which still perplexed her, she still didn't want to see this.
"Relax," Lucius whispered into her ear as he slid his fingers inside her. She gave an involuntary moan.
"You enjoyed that," he murmured. "Narcissa never does." Her back arched when he did it again. And again. And again. He shifted slightly and thrust into her.
Those words were like an icy shower of water over her. For a moment there, Hermione had almost lost herself, had almost thought that it was before the War, and that she was with Ron in the Head Girl's room, and it was all sweetness, and fire and innocence, clumsy hands and sloppy kisses and declarations of love long lost. But no, that was a whole other world and all behind her now. She stiffened. Brave new world, brave new horrible world.
"He has a wife now," Lucius said, his voice a soft hiss into her ear. "Ronald Weasley is married. He has two children. I've seen them at the Ministry, toddling after their dear daddy."
Hermione felt a wave of red hot anger wash over her. How dare he, she thought, furiously, felt him thrust into her. How dare he! She couldn't help a soft moan from escaping from her mouth though. She bit her tongue to suppress the pleasure. Dimly, she remembered that Ron had been nowhere near as skilled. I hope his wife realises that, she thought spitefully.
Her breath caught in her throat as she came.
"You do like that," he panted. His body was slick and sweaty, his hair falling over his face.
A few more thrusts and it was over. A Malfoy heir is on the way, she thought. She would feel more worried, more scared, if only she wasn't in the damned afterglow where everything seemed so bright and shiny as she lounged in his arms, body replete and sated.
Excerpt from the Mudblood Act
Mudblood broodmares must take care of the pureblood heirs during their pregnancy.
Hermione wasn't sure whether it was that first time with Lucius Malfoy or the time exactly a week afterwards, but within a few months, she found herself gagging into the bathroom sink in the mornings. Lucius will no longer need to visit me every week, she thought. She wondered what Narcissa thought of her husband coming back from his Mudblood whore every week, smelling of goodness knows what. Did she even agree to the prospect? Hermione wasn't sure of the intricacies of the law on the issue. After all, she had never expected to end up as a broodmare.
Strangely enough Narcissa didn't seem to be holding any of it against her. The older woman had come to visit her every second day. Probably wondering whether I'm pregnant or not, she thought.
With a hand over her stomach, Hermione realised that this wasn't her child. Well it was technically, but it wasn't. That thought made her feel sick and she ran to the bathroom again. When she emerged again, she heard insistent knocking on the door.
Opening the door, she saw Narcissa standing there.
"Hello, dear, how are you?" Narcissa's tone was almost friendly and Hermione could have easily tricked herself into thinking that the other woman was her friend. A house elf was behind her, carrying a tray of food. Hermione swallowed, trying to stop the nausea that bubbled up at the smell of the food.
"I'm pregnant, Mistress." Hermione couldn't see any point in drawing it out any longer. There was no subtle way to put it.
There was a long silence. A pregnant silence, Hermione thought with a silent hysterical giggle.
"Congratulations," Narcissa said finally, her voice faint. "I am sure when the Malfoy heir is born, he or she will be healthy." She examined the floor for a while. "But dear!" she suddenly exclaimed. "You should be sitting down. I remember when I was carrying Dr…" she stopped.
Hermione pretended she didn't hear and simply took a seat gratefully.
"It will be a Christmas baby," Narcissa said. Her tone was absentminded.
Excerpt from the Mudblood Act
Mudblood broodmares waive all rights to the child once it is born.
To Hermione's surprise, Lucius had continued to visit her each week until her sixth month when he complained that she was getting too large. She was never sure of the reason why he continued to do so, but nobody – not even Narcissa – seemed to find it remiss.
Now, well into her ninth month, Hermione felt like a beached whale. The last time she checked in a mirror, her ankles were swollen to the point they draped out of her shoes, when she managed to squeeze her feet into shoes. Her stomach prevented her from doing anything and for the first time since she entered the wizarding world, she was thankful for house elves. Her nipples were always swollen, demanding to be touched by the ghost lips of an unborn baby. She wondered if she would ever feed it that way.
There had been insistent pains in her stomach all day and Hermione wondered whether she had eaten something that disagreed with her.
Narcissa entered the rooms and shook her head at Hermione's state.
Hermione simply glared at her. She knew that her hair was bushy and dishevelled, but she couldn't be bothered to do anything about it. The house elves were too much of a bother to teach how to brush hair properly without hurting her.
She was making idle chit-chat with Narcissa over Christmas pudding which the older woman had brought – faintly amused at the situation – when she felt a sudden wetness gush out of her. She touched the wetness of her maternity robes and sniffed her fingertips. It seemed to be just water.
"Your water just broke," Narcissa informed her. "The baby should be coming soon."
Soon, Hermione realised eight hours later, was a completely relative concept. But finally, her baby – the Malfoy heir – had arrived. Her throat was raw and dry with screaming and as she licked her lips, she found that they were dry, chapped and bleeding. The veins on her neck were strained and sweat rolled down her face as Hermione gave one last push. An unknown servant girl caught the baby.
The girl – dressed neatly in what were obviously old robes - snipped the umbilical cord and carried the messy, bloody baby off to be washed and cleaned before being presented to the Malfoys. Hermione faintly wondered as she pushed again to let out the afterbirth, whether the girl was a Mudblood or not.
"Will I ever see him again?" Hermione said softly.
"He's the Malfoy heir," Narcissa told her. "Born on Christmas eve." She bowed, an oddly formal gesture to another Mudblood servant who was still messy with the childbirth, apron blood-specked and sweaty. "I thank you for giving him to us."
Hermione nodded weakly.
She had no idea what the future would hold for her. Perhaps the Malfoys would utilise her to birth another child. Both Narcissa and Lucius seemed to like her enough. There were seeds of revolution that were being sowed. She could feel it in the air. Perhaps her child would grow up in a better world.
But for now, Hermione lay back as the house elf cleaned up around her. For now, she would sleep.