Disclaimer: Don't own it. Never have owned it. Not making money from it.


Hermione stared at the calendar.

She'd last had it when Harry and Ron had been off looking for the sixth horcrux. That was two weeks before the day they'd lost Luna. It had been another three weeks after that when their side had captured six known Death Eaters during a raid of Avery's mansion, and that had been one week ago today.

She didn't even know why she kept this damn calendar anymore; time was based on nothing but battles and deaths now.

But by her calculations, she was two weeks late.



Supper had become a silent affair in the castle formally known as Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Everyone seated around the large table—not large enough to fill the cavernous space of the great hall, but big all the same—was either too exhausted, grieved, or miserable to worry about holding a coherent conversation. At the focal point of the table sat Minerva Mcgonagall, the lines of her face worn deep into her skin and her face set stolid with the strain of heading the Order. Arthur Weasley sat at her right, his wife beside him, gripping his hand beneath the table. Ron ate silently next to his mother, stabbing his food with a sort of violent frustration. Remus Lupin, his hair gone completely gray from the stress of four years of war, was not eating, but instead watched Ron's fork morosely. It was a rare occasion that the werewolf ate with them; he was usually undercover in the frigid caves that were the home of Fenrir's werewolf army. Tonks, Fred and George Weasley, Neville, Zabini, Shacklebolt, and various other Order members sat at their places around the round table, silent and thinking.

And Harry Potter, thin and pale, so frail that everyone wondered if it was even possible, even reasonable, that what was left of The Daily Prophet was calling him "our last hope," looked as if he wanted to sink into his chair with how different everything had become.

Draco Malfoy watched the one empty spot at the table with a frown, shoveling food into his mouth with such a single-minded forcefulness that he could hardly swallow fast enough. She was not one to miss a scheduled event such as supper, and he fully intended to tromp about the castle looking for her after satisfying his appetite.

Draco had joined the Light two years after the start of the war, just when the losses had begun to wear heavily on both sides and the floundering Order of the Phoenix had moved its headquarters from Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, which had been damaged extensively in the last raid, to the relatively unscathed Hogwarts.

He had been twenty years old, and Lord Voldemort had tortured a muggle child the night he decided that he did not want to be a Death Eater anymore. The child had not understood. She thought she was the special guest of a party. They had dressed her in a pretty white dress.

He still heard her screams in the night, saw the blood spattered across that virginal dress as his eyes stared into the dark.

He understood now that always somewhere in his subconscious, ever since his first memory of his father's masked rituals in the Malfoy dungeons, he had known that he was not supposed to be a Death Eater. He began to realize this the night he was supposed to kill Albus Dumbledore, and the death of the child in the white dress had solidified his resolve.

He was not his father.

It was ironic, he mused as he tore into his Shepard's pie, that he owed his life in the end to Harry Potter. It had been Harry who, upon seeing Draco emerge, exhausted and stumbling, from the Forbidden Forest, convinced the other members of the Order not to kill him on sight. Instead, they had placed him in magical restraints, poured veritaserum down his throat, and let him talk for three hours straight. Four more days, and they were convinced.

Needless to say, Draco's extensive knowledge of the inner workings of Voldemort's well-oiled machine of followers didn't hurt his case, either.

He knew he had turned out to be an invaluable resource to their cause. He knew Voldemort's mind and plans, he knew Death Eater tactics. He was an expert in cunning.

Yet still, he had remained in limbo, caught between his past and his resolve, their trust and suspicion. He caught them staring at his exposed forearm, their eyes lingering on his face as they remembered his father.

Until she, his menace and his savior all in one, had finally reached out and touched him.


She found him at the lake's edge just as he knew she would. They had shared enough heated glances and reluctant emotions together and he had enough experience with the female creature that he knew she would come. And because he had made sure that she saw him leave the castle.

She sat next to him in the sand, staring across the black lake. Silence weighed heavily around them, and Draco made himself not look at her, not drink in the planes of her face and watch the moonlight on her outstretched leg.

"I'm sorry…" It was almost silent, a breath through the lips he craved so often.

He finally turned to her, chest tight, hating himself. "Sorry for what?"

"For not believing you at first, for wanting Harry to kill you."

Because she had, hadn't she?

The war had changed something essential about Hermione Granger, and sometimes he thought he was the only one to see it.

He shrugged, for once words escaping him. He wanted to hate her still, but something about he way she sat, her skin so soft and shadowed and dark at the edge of the lake, made it damn near impossible.

He knew somehow that it had started several months after they had decided to let him stay, when he had become so frustrated with her righteousness that he backed her into the corner of the old potions room and saw her lip tremble. Then his eyes had slid on their own accord from her lower lip to the bow-like curve of its upper counterpart, and then to the flush of her cheekbones, and from there to her eyelashes and the faint curling wisps of hair around her temple. As soon as he had realized what he was doing, he as good as jumped away from her, and upon noticing her calculating stare, he snapped at her to get out of his sight.

But his sight, it seemed, had become entirely too focused on her.

So now, as he reached a hand around to grasp the nape of her neck and pull her face towards him, he could not think of anything but those trembling, annoyingly perfect lips. And when he drew those perfect lips against his own, she hesitated a universally long second, a moment in which Draco might have died, before tentatively touching his shoulders, whispering her fingertips across his skin.

And she kissed him back.

And he knew, somehow knew, that he belonged here.

So he pulled her tight against his chest and tasted.


From there their relationship had progressed quickly, filled with an odd mix of self-loathing and nigh-uncontrollable desire, and they had thrived in it. They had both sustained injuries, everything from bruising bite-marks to black eyes to aching hearts, but to each it was worth it. They had told no one, but it didn't take a genius to figure out that when they came down to breakfast with mussed hair and an oddly familiar glaze over their eyes that they had been up to far more than sleeping. So, naturally, everyone knew but no one said a thing.

Such was the way during this damn war. Harry locked himself in his room and didn't speak to anyone, the Weasley's drew close together as a near-congealed family unit, Lupin threw himself into his work, and Draco and Hermione fucked like jackrabbits.

The sudden lack of food on his plate brought Draco quickly back to the present. He scraped at the last of his Shepard's pie until his plate was clean and rose quickly, intending to find Hermione as soon as was humanly possible. He could tell strangely that something was… off.

Fortunately, she beat him to the punch. The great wooden doors of the hall swung open and the petite form of Hermione Granger stepped into the open space, drawing everyone's eyes to her in an instant. Smiling sheepishly, she pressed the door closed and made her way to her seat, sitting quietly but not eating. She clasped one hand around the opposite elbow, effectively shielding her body from the unwanted attention, and stared down at her plate.

Draco sat down again, slowly, watching her face. She was thinking very hard about something, he could tell, but about what he had little to no idea. He resolved to catch up with her after supper and begin the interrogation.


Hermione wished she could melt into the floor if it would make everyone stop looking at her. She tried to think of anything else—the tenor solo in Beethoven's 9th, cheering charms, cultural globalization—but none of it could keep her mind off babies and that nauseating smell of Shepard's pie and the fact that everyone was staring at her.

She sat silently throughout the meal, vaguely aware of Draco's shrewd stare, and sipped only water. Finally, when the first person rose to leave, she followed quickly after in order to not look out of the ordinary. Draco sat for a respectable time more—five minutes or so—before stalking out of the hall.

Hermione sat primly on the bed they shared in what had once been the girls' dormitories. She might have been able to count down to the second the time when he would burst through the door, curiosity making him impatient.

She was busy smoothing down the coverlet on the bed when the door flew open. "What was that about, Granger?"

She smiled faintly. He only called her Granger when she did something he couldn't understand and it made him angry… and when he decided she was behaving in a particularly naughty way in bed. She raised her face, taking in his reddened features. That wonderfully pale skin flushed so adorably when he was frustrated.

"Whatever do you mean, Malfoy?" She countered smartly, quelling for a moment the nausea and fear that seemed to have taken up permanent residence in her gut.

"You were late. You're never late," he spat, thoroughly annoyed. Hermione just stared at him in that infuriating way that never failed to both vex and attract him. He took a deep breath, counting patiently to twenty, and knelt down before her. "And that show of cutting yourself off from everyone… What's going on, Hermione?"

Her calmness faltered, and she knew he saw it.

In response to her silence, he groped for her hand. "Tell me, love…"

It was so quiet that she nearly missed it, but the assurance in his voice made unwelcome tears spring to her eyes. "I-I don't know if I can," she whispered.

He immediately assumed the worst, erring on the side of caution. They had learned it was the key to survival in this war. "Are you in danger? Did someone threaten you?" He jumped up, pacing tightly across the room. "Fuckers! I'll round up Potter and Weasley, we'll—"

In any other situation, Hermione would have found it endearing that he was so quick to jump to her defense. She pressed her folded arms tightly to her abdomen, as if testing for movement. "Draco, stop. Nothing like that." He stopped his frenetic movement in an instant, turning to face her slowly. Seeing that there was no conceivable way to avoid this confession, she buried her face in her hands. Then, muffled as if through a wall: "I think I might be pregnant."

She thought he might not have heard her, he was so quiet. Unsure, she lifted her head from her hands.

He was staring at her , stony faced with something odd brewing beneath the dull gray of his eyes. "What?" he ground out finally, and it was a voice she had heard before, during those first days in the castle when they didn't know if he was on their side or if he would kill them while they slept. It was a voice she hated.

She narrowed her eyes. "You heard what I said," she responded, her voice tightly controlled. "I'm two weeks late and I've never been late before in my life. And I know it's the worst time we could have thought of, and if we were kind we would probably end it, but I just wanted you to know, Draco." She paused, fighting a terrible swelling in her chest. "I-I know the spell. I don't want to bring a child into a war…I can't. Not with everything that's happened." And fuck all, but she was almost crying, and he just stared at her, that horrible expressionless face glaring at her. "I'm going to wait until I know for sure, and then I'm going to end it. It won't hurt me," and here her voice cracked horribly, "or the child. I just… I don't know if I can do it by myself."

And she stopped, quieted for what could have been years, and waited for his face to crack, for him to come to her and offer comfort when she needed it most.

But he turned, his shoulders stiff and unyielding, and walked out the door. She heard his footsteps disappear down the hallway and almost didn't follow him. But before she could stop herself, before she could wonder if perhaps this wasn't the wisest of things to pursue, she flew out the door and ran after him.


Draco couldn't breathe, could hardly put one foot in front of the other.


She'd told him something awful and wonderful, something bloody life-changing, and he'd stood there like a fucking coward and said nothing, not even flinching when he saw tears wind their way down her cheeks and shimmer at her jaw.

You're a real piece of work, you know that Malfoy? A real fucking prince charming. You don't deserve her, you goddamn gutless ass.

And still, when he heard her jogging footsteps approaching, he couldn't undo the tenseness of his shoulders, couldn't buck up the courage to take her in his arms and tell her everything would be okay, that he would do whatever it took to help her.

Not yet.

"Hey!" she shouted. He forced his legs to stop, his muscles tight as he turned to face her.

She halted quickly upon seeing the expression on his face, but it wasn't enough to keep her quiet. "What the bloody hell happened back there, Draco?"

"Go away, Hermione."

"Go away? Go away? What the fuck is wrong with you?"

"I don't want to talk about it right now."

She let out an incredulous laugh, reeling back on her heels with fake amusement. "Well that's too bad, Malfoy, because we're going to talk about it. We're going to have it out right now because I just told you something pretty FUCKING important and you just look at me and leave like some…some…fucking arsehole coward!"

And deep down he admired her strength, he really did. But now, as he felt the anger rise like some god-forsaken devil in his chest, he couldn't really think about anything but the self-loathing and frustration with himself that he had to let out.

"Well maybe I didn't ask you to spring something like that on me! Maybe I don't want to think about your problems when there's a fucking WAR happening outside and I don't know if my family is dead or alive? Fucking hell, Hermione! What did you think would happen? I'd sit next to you after your little fucking chat and say everything was fine?"

And he knew he'd gone to far because just then he found out exactly how good of a throwing arm Hermione had.

Seething, she grabbed a dusty vase from the banister of the hallway and chucked it hard at his head. He only just got an arm up in time to protect his face, wincing as the shards of pottery dug into his arm.

"MY PROBLEMS?" She was shrieking, loud enough for Harry Potter, who was reading in his room four floors below, to hear quite distinctly. "MY PROBLEMS?!?"

"YES, YOUR PROBLEMS, YOU CRAZY BITCH!" And he was yelling back at her then, the pain in his arm and rising rage mixing into one dangerous cocktail of aggression. "IT'S NOT MY FAULT YOU HAD TO BE STUPID AND GET PREGNANT! THIS ONE'S ALL ON YOU, BABE!"

And, because both of them knew exactly how and why this had happened, this only served to piss her off further. Draco vaguely registered that this might not be such a fantastic idea, but he was too far gone to stop himself.

"WHAT?!? THE HELL IT IS!" He could see her searching for something else to throw at him, her eyes frantic, and when she found nothing she settled for kicking him hard in the left shin.

"OW!" He roared, before reacting quickly and pushing her none-too-gently against the rough walls of the hallway, watching with some kind of grim satisfaction as she bore his substantial weight with a grunt of discomfort. And, if either of them had been thinking coherently, they would have noticed the heads peeking out from various rooms around the castle, wondering what on earth could be causing a ruckus.

Draco felt in a distracted sort of way the blood begin to seep through the rented sleeve of his robes from the shattered vase, and Hermione howled with rage, kicking at his knees, as he smeared it in perverse revenge across her shoulder. Finally, breathing in hitched sobs, Hermione shuddered against him and, suddenly alarmed, Draco released her.

"You…you… I hate you," she hissed, jerking away from him with a wet gurgle of a sob. "Stay away from me."

And Draco watched helplessly as she ran down the hallway, not moving until he heard her door slam with a finality that scared the living shit out of him.

Somehow he knew he couldn't blame this on elevated hormone levels.


Hermione slid down to the floor, her back against the door, and hugged her knees to her chest.

She wanted to die.

How could she have thought, she wondered with a teary moan, that Draco would have cared? How could she have assumed he would be different?

It was just sex, right? That's all he thought of her as, his glorified whore.

That image only made her sob harder.

She was alone.

Any thoughts of keeping the child had flown right out the window as soon as Draco had turned on her and insisted that it was her problem.

The only problem was, she wasn't sure that she could take care of her problem by herself.

With a despairing groan, Hermione crawled towards the bathroom and tapped her wand against the spout of the tub. Water, hot enough that she felt the temperature of it on her face from a foot away, streamed out of the tap. Hermione removed her clothes weakly and sank with a shudder into the water.

She lay in the tub for what seemed like hours until the water had risen up to her chin. She shut the tap off, and settled back, unconsciously fluttering her hands over her naked belly, massaging what she imagined to be the tiny embryo in her womb.

Abortion had never been a conflicting issue for Hermione. Even before she knew of magic, she had never presumed that she knew everything about every woman's situation and could therefore make the decision about whether abortion was ethical or not. As far as she was concerned, it wasn't her or anyone else's choice but the mother's. And magic made the process so quick and painless that, although abortion was not a topic most wizards discussed, she was fairly sure that it occurred relatively often in the wizarding world.

And even though, with the prospect of ending what many considered to be the life of a human being staring her in the face, she wasn't sure she could do it.

With a calming sigh, Hermione sank into the water until only the tip of her forehead remained exposed to the excessive steam. The heat prickled against her face, and it was only then that she allowed Draco's destructive words to fall against her and force the breath from her lungs so quickly that she was obliged to surface and gulp steam.

This one's all on you, babe…

And the sad part was that she almost thought it was.

Because there had been only one time that she could remember that they had been stupid and forgot to use a contraceptive charm. One time, and it was because of her.


The Order of the Phoenix had been in good spirits that night, and the table, usually so somber, was awash in conversation and laughter because Harry Potter and Ron Weasley had returned with a cup that had belonged to Helga Hufflepuff and that noticeably lacked a severed section of Lord Voldemort's soul.

"It was far easier than we thought it would be," Ron rejoiced, Harry nodding in unison with his friend's energetic statement.

And Hermione would've been listening, if her eyes had not been fastened on something much more stimulating.

The heat from Draco's eyes was causing something somewhere below her navel to feel extraordinarily like warm jelly. He was staring fixedly at her, a familiar storm of lust and oddly attractive hostility brewing behind his eyes.

Hermione swirled her tongue slowly around the tip of her spoon loaded with treacle tart. She watched Draco jerk suddenly in his chair as she supposed he recognized that move from earlier in the morning, when she had wantonly been swirling her tongue around him instead of that damn spoon.

Hermione was enjoying herself immensely. Wielding such power over the infamous Draco Malfoy was strangely intoxicating, and she liked it.

The happy ambient noise faded until it was just the two of them. Hermione stared challengingly into the face of her lover, baring her teeth to cut the bite of tart neatly in two. She made a show of swallowing it delightedly, tilting her head back so he was sure to see the movement of her throat, and running her tongue across her lips in an agonizingly slow caress.

Draco's eyes darkened considerably.

Almost there, she thought. Feeling quite the naughty girl, she spread her legs quickly and moved, a rhythmic shifting that was sure to escape anyone's notice but his. The chair provided just enough friction there that she shuddered faintly and smoothed the rest of the tart into her mouth.

The conversation at the table halted abruptly as Draco Malfoy stood stiffly, his eyes fixed on Hermione's face, and excused himself. He stalked rigidly out of the hall, and Hermione registered the expression on his face as declaring indiscreetly, "If you don't follow me now…"

So Hermione closed her legs demurely, finishing her treacle tart with tortured slowness, and waited. She waited five minutes, not bothering to check her watch, smiling a wide internal smile. She knew there would be hell to pay, but she loved it all the same.

This, this is what made her forget the hell outside, the look on Harry's face and McGonagall's worried expression.

She needed it.

After several minutes more, Hermione rose, bid everyone goodnight, and sauntered towards the exit. Not two seconds after she shut the door behind her, she felt 175 pounds of hard, aroused male crash into her, pressing her tightly against the wall and moving against her in a way that told her rather painfully of his frustration.

"You…bitch…make me…wait," he whispered raggedly against the skin of her neck.

"You deserve it, you—" But her retort was cut off by a harsh gasp as he dragged his lips across her skin to her mouth, biting down hard on her lower lip. The unexpected stimulation caused a delicious tremor to run through her body as she pushed him roughly into a dark side corridor, perfect for the activity they were in which they were about to participate.

He was far past caring about propriety, but allowed her to maneuver him anyway, groaning loudly as she pushed her hips against his mounting erection. He shoved her hard against the wall once more, his body pressed against her everywhere, fingers grasping her shirt and tearing it over her head. He set his mouth to her upright nipple through the cotton of her bra, laving the pebbled surface with his serpentine tongue.

Hermione was more than prepared after her little show in the great hall, and her fingers scrabbled at his trousers in a vain attempt to release him. "Now, Draco…" She whispered, shifting her thighs together to try and relieve the coil of pressure building between her legs.

She felt him smirk against her breast. He was having none of it. "Not yet, pet…"

Sometimes she marveled at his self-control.

She knew this was vicious payback for her behavior in the Great Hall, but she forgot all else when he lowered himself before her, sliding her skirt up over her hips. She knew what was coming, but convulsed all the same when she felt his hot tongue probe her very center through the sodden silk of her knickers. Her head smacked against the wall, and every part of her quaked violently as he traced the folds of her vulva with his devious tongue. She began to keen almost-silently when she felt the familiar clench of the walls off her womb, the delicious growth of tension that signified that she was close, so close. By now he was supporting most her weight by his grip on her hips—her legs shaking weakly beneath her, her knees turned to boneless joints—and she could have screamed when he slid her knickers aside with one finger to suck hard at her clit and finish her.

Hermione's vision exploded into a cacophony of color and soundless detonation as she came, and Draco reached up to clasp a hand over her mouth as he felt her ready to scream with the pleasure of it. Her chest heaved as her senses gradually returned, and she stared with heavy-lidded eyes at his form, upright now, the look in his eyes so expressive that she almost had to look away.

"You're so beautiful when you do that," he whispered, an oddly strangled sound, before kissing her soundly. She could taste herself on her lips, and it made her open her legs again and search for friction against his thigh.

And something dimly registered that she should be doing something, that they were forgetting something vital. But her mind was so hazy and pleasure was so foremost in her mind that she didn't dwell on it for long. She had finally gotten his trousers off, and delighted in feeling the weeping head of his cock against her.

"Wrap your legs around my waist," he hissed tightly against her shoulder, his whole body shaking with the effort of suppressing his desire.

And she did.

He was inside her in a moment, driving until he was so deep he was nearly touching the entrance to her womb. He let out a loud, guttural groan, and stayed quite still. Hermione knew that he was fighting a loosing battle, trying to be gentle when she knew it wasn't what he needed.

So she tightened her vaginal muscles around him, her head falling back as the faint movement made her clit brush against his pubic bone.

And he was gone, thrusting against her with almost frightening abandon.

It was only after, when her legs were slipping down his hips and he was breathing hard against her neck, when she realized she had forgotten to cast a contraceptive spell.

She told him that she was sure it would be okay, that it was three days before she was set to ovulate, and tried to convince herself that it was true.


The next day Draco was minding his own business thankyouverymuch, thinking about how to remedy the rather sticky situation with Hermione as he made his way discreetly down to the kitchens to nick some food from Dobby, when he was assaulted by a large redhead and that large redhead's fist.

"Ron!" some distant voice shouted.

Draco was thrown against the wall from the force of the punch, his cheek aching, his eyes stinging from the pain of it. Draco was no stranger to physical confrontation, however, and got to his feet quickly, his fists clenched and ready to inflict rather exceptional damage, only to see Potter with his arms around Weasley's waist, holding the raging weasel back by the proverbial skin of his teeth.

"What the FUCK, Weasley?" Draco fumed, his face smarting.

"What did you do to Hermione, you sick bastard?" Ron yelled to his face, straining valiantly against Harry's hold.

The fight went out of Draco immediately and his shoulder's sagged. Ron, seeing this, stopped struggling and stared at his former enemy incredulously. It wasn't often that Draco Malfoy gave up.

Draco pressed his fingertips to his reddening cheek and checked for blood. Seeing none, he sighed. "What happened?" he asked, in a strangled sort of voice as if he didn't really want to hear the answer.

Harry spoke up. "We tried to find Hermione this morning because she missed breakfast… actually, both of you did. We thought it was strange. So we knocked on her door and she didn't answer. We started to get worried, so Ron," he shot an exasperated glance in his friend's direction, "broke down the door."

Draco had a feeling that he was about to feel very guilty.

"She was in the bath. She'd been in there all night, the water was freezing. She was almost blue, for Merlin's sake, Draco! What the hell happened?"

And he was right. Draco felt his stomach contract with shame. Even though he knew he was fighting a loosing battle, he put up a mild protest. "How do you know it was me, anyway?" He asked, his voice sounding mildly disembodied.

Now it was Draco's turn to be on the receiving end of Harry Potter's exasperation. "You both were shouting loud enough for the whole castle to hear yesterday." A pause. "Tell us what happened. We know you two are…" he gulped, obviously lost for words, "…together." Weasley looked furious at the mere mention of that, but he managed to control his temper.

Draco gave a great sigh. He could see there was no escaping an explanation. So he told them everything, from Hermione's confession to his reaction to her impressive throwing arm. By the end of it he could see both men's faces beginning to turn red with indignation.

"You slimy…Slytherin…GIT," Ron stated resolutely at the end of it, and Draco was very glad that he seemed to have worked all of his violence out at the beginning of their confrontation. He watched Potter take a deep, calming breath before speaking.

"Okaay. Wow. Hermione's pregnant?"

Draco nodded, one eyebrow raised. "That's all you two've got? I would've expected more cursing, you know, the customary righteous vengence, et cetera, et cetera."

"Shut up, asshole," Ron snapped, obviously considering something. Draco was genuinely surprised to see him using his brain.

Harry was frowning. "Do you regret what you said?"

Draco nodded shortly. "More than just about anything I've regretted in my life. I lo…fuck."

And he had almost said it. He had almost said it. To them! He didn't even like these two, and he had almost just said something he hadn't even dared to admit to himself!

And he thought they knew it, because both sets of eyebrows almost disappeared into both heads of hair.

Weasley finally spoke up, his voice surprisingly mild. "Well, go tell her that, mate." As if it were the simplest thing in the world. And Potter smiled, watching Draco carefully.

Draco considered this. Then, he swiveled on his heel and walked down the hall in the direction of what used to be the girls' dormitories. Suddenly, he stopped as he thought of something else, turning very slowly to face the two boy-men, his eyes a cold glare in their direction.

"You fuckers saw her naked?"

Draco heard a muttered "oh shit," before Potter and Weasley turned and ran.


Hermione knew she should get out of bed. If only she could find the energy and will, she would get out of bed, she knew, but something kept her buried in an enormous cocoon under the bedcovers.

And then she heard his voice.


She loved it when he called her that.

She didn't move, but she felt the bed sink as he sat at its foot. "Go 'way," she muttered, but it was pathetically half-hearted, and he knew it. She felt his hand stroke the entire length of her body, from shoulder across hip to ankle, over the comforter. She stiffened.

"Hermione, love… I'm sorry."

She let a bit of bushy hair peek out from under the covers, and jabbed him hard in the hip with her knee. "You think that's enough?" she asked, her voice creaky and raw from crying. "You think that's enough…to…make…me…forgive…you?" She punctuated each word with a firm jab until he caught her ankle with her foot. Finally, she threw the covers from her head and went at him.

"I'm twenty-two fucking years old and I don't ­want to be pregnant! I tell you and you…Oh my god, what happened to your face?" She exclaimed, her anger forgotten for the moment at the sight of the purpling bruise on his cheekbone.

"Oh," Draco murmured, wincing as he patted the afflicted area gingerly before smiling, almost fondly. "Weasley."

"Serves you right."

"I know."

And he said it so softly, so earnestly, that she almost, almost forgave him. Seeing this, he continued on, the words rushing out of him quickly enough that she had to work at understanding their meaning.

"I'm so sorry, Hermione. I shouldn't have reacted the way I did, not after everything we've been through. I…I was scared. I didn't know how to react. You opened yourself up to me and I shoved it back in your face like it was nothing. And…and if you never want to speak to me again," and his voice nearly broke with the thought of it, "I'll understand."

Hermione stared at him, wide-eyed, throughout his apology. Upon its completion she let her eyes drop, obviously considering his terms.

It was nearly two minutes before she spoke, before she moved, and it was positively killing him. But finally, finally, she reached towards him and took his hand, pressing the firm joints and palm between her thumb and fingers.

"I don't want that, Draco. I could never want that," she whispered.

He let out a massive whoosh of air and, surprising her considerably, grasped her waist and crushed her to him, his arms wrapped tight around her back as she was pulled onto his lap. "Fuck, Hermione…thank god," he groaned helplessly into her hair. "Don't do that! Don't ever do that again!"

She stayed stiff in his arms for but a moment, before relaxing noticeably and freeing her arms to cross them around his neck, burying her face into his neck to breathe his scent. I must not cry, I must not cry, she repeated to herself, but she was fighting a loosing battle.

After a long moment, he grasped her shoulders and shifted her back to wipe her tears away with the pads of his thumbs. "Would it be all that bad? Having…having my child?" His voice was so unsure that she wanted to cradle him against her like he was a little boy.

She shook her head. "I don't think it would…but not now. Not during this war."

He nodded silently, seeming to understand. "We'll think about it in the morning," he assured her, gathering her towards him for a kiss.


Sometime in the night Draco woke her with his mouth. He had rucked up her oversized shirt—which, he thought suspiciously, he was fairly sure had belonged to Weasley at one point in its life—and was planting delicate kisses along the lines of her belly. Hermione awoke gradually, murmuring quietly and brushing at her stomach as if a bug had landed there. Finally, her eyes tilted open, smiling faintly as she observed him paying homage to her soft midriff.

After several moments of comfortable silence, Draco spoke, his voice stifled against her skin. "I won't hurt it, will I?" If she had any questions about what he meant, they were answered as he slid one long finger inside her, causing her to sigh deeply.

She shook her head. "No, Draco, you won't…"

"Thank Merlin."


Hermione was coaxed awake by an errant ray of sunlight that insisted on shining in her eyes. Hazily she registered that she needed to use the lavatory, and she swung her legs over the bed and padded towards the facilities. It was only when she was preparing to use the toilet that she realized that she felt that familiar slick between her thighs, and reached down to discover a stain of dark red that covered her fingertips. Hermione calmly washed her hands and sat on the toilet.

After all that…

She wasn't pregnant.

She wasn't pregnant.

Hermione felt an odd mixture of elation and regret wash over her suddenly weak-limbed body. With a deep breath, she searched for a box of tampons and finished her business to make her way back to the bed.

Draco was awake, watching her admiringly as she curled up next to him. Seeing something brewing in her eyes, he frowned slightly. "What's wrong, Hermione?"

"I'm not pregnant."


They were silent for a long time. She felt Draco take a deep breath. "Maybe…maybe after all this…" He didn't seem to be able to say anything more, but Hermione understood.

"I was thinking the same thing," she whispered into his lips, and then kissed him. After several minutes he drew away from her.

"But not yet."

"Not yet."


A/N: Wow... I wrote this really fast. It's the first not-completely-angsty thing I've written in quite a while. Also the sexist/most-graphic scene I've ever written, and it wasn't even that hard.

Also, I think "I lo...fuck." is the best line I've ever written. It made me laugh.

Hope you enjoy it!