A/N: this is a side-project as I'm currently working on another story, Everything in Your Eyes[[check it out... Review and I'll post moreee!… but I've been on this baby kick where I kinda want one really bad so I'll just write about someone else having one. Lol. And I'm trying to work up the courage to truly earn the M rating… yeah, I'm trying to write explicit scenes… they are to come later in this fic. [[it should only be about 3 chapters long.. I'll update realll quick I promise… that is if you review!
Someone to love
Screams pierced the air of the small maternity ward at St. Mungos. A baby was on its way into the wizarding world and making its presence very well known. Only a few healers were attending to the young mother-to-be, as they were needed elsewhere.
With one last shriek and exhausting push, a small cry was heard. Cheers rang out as the healers set to work, cleaning up the mother and the baby. The teenaged mom was so thankful for the magical capabilities of the workers; she didn't think that she would have made it through this without the pain relief spells and such.
A tear rolled down her cheek as they handed her the dark-haired baby girl. She looked into her wonderful green eyes, obviously taken from her father. She wasn't crying, the mother hoped that to be a sign that she wouldn't be a very fussy baby. She was a good-sized, 7 lb, 4 oz. and nearly 22" long. [[A/N: sorry, I don't know the metric conversion! She smiled at how much she resembled her father, for the exception of her nose and her ears. She laughed at the thought of distinguishing her ears from Harry's.
"Well Miss, have you a name for her?" an elderly healer asked.
"Yes, actually I am going to name her Emma Lillian Granger." Hermione replied to the sweet woman. She watched as she scrawled the name on a birth certificate, with no father's name on it. The thoughts of the unwritten name threatened to bring tears, but when she looked at the now sleeping baby, they were cast aside. She knew she had to get through the coming hard times for Emma, but was so terrified to face everything alone.
6 Months Earlier
One lone girl sat sobbing near a grave marker that read: Harry J. Potter, The Boy Who Lived and Died for his Cause. The tears were streaming down her small, pale face. Her crumpled body was laid over his grave. She couldn't give him up. He was her best friend, and she needed him now more than anything. She needed him more than anyone knew.
The next day
Hermione Granger sat on her windowsill, an all too common place for her to gather her depression-strewn thoughts. What am I going to do? It seems I have not a single soul to care for me anymore. They are all gone. The customary tears slid down her face, landing on the arms that were encircling her stomach. Harry. Mom. Dad. Ron. She sighed and stared longingly out the window to the mountains in the far distance.
On that one single night, her world had crashed down on her. Her parents were the first victims of the final battle, having been the bait to reel them in. So many lives were lost that night, but they didn't go without success. In the end, Harry and Voldemort faced off. Both the Light and Dark sides' worst fear was confirmed when the battle ended both lives, as loosely prophesized. No one could do anything to change it; the war was over. Good triumphed over evil, although for Hermione it was the same as if Voldemort had conquered them.
Ron hadn't passed away that night but several weeks before. He was trying to protect Ginny from several Death Eaters. Neither came out of the encounter that day. It was what drove Harry and Hermione so much closer.
She was at her wits end. There was only one thing left for her and yet she knew she couldn't handle that on her own. She desperately sought out the comfort of another. It seemed at that moment that anyone would suffice.
She fell into the typical, restless slumber. Dreams of that fateful night terrorized her as always. Flashes of green, the blood strewn battle field, and the still, unblinking, green eyes of her dearest confidant. She shivered and perspiration broke out on her forehead, the miserable, cold sweat of defeat.
At the ministry, life was somewhat returning to back to normal. People were trying to get back into the swing of things, of course without the threat of the Dark Lord rising back to power. An aurors job was limited now, mostly left to wrangling up the Death Eaters still at large. However, after three months, not very many were left to track down.
Hermione had taken up a job at the Daily Prophet. She became one of the few photographers, going out every other day to take pictures of accidents, babies, couples, and even nice lawns (on slow days). It was a sort of release for her to have work, after all deadlines, reports, and work in general had always been what she had hid behind.
She entered her small office early, of course, on that Monday morning. She sighed in relief as she saw a small stack of papers on the corner of her desk. Ahhh. Finally, something to keep me occupied.
She quickly sat down and read through the first few pages. The reports were the same monotonous accounts as always. A new marriage, Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom. Oh, how wonderful for them. I wondered when they would get married. A baby born to the Finnegan family. Hmm… I wonder if it is Seamus' baby? She shrugged.
The next article however caught her eye. It read:
Lucius Malfoy was taken back into custody on Sunday, September 24, 2006. He is being held accountable on several accounts of murder, torture, money laundering, and usage of the Unforgivable Curses. His wife, Narcissa Malfoy has also been arrested. She is charged with assisted murder, and failure to alert the authorities to suspected dark magic. The only heir to the Malfoy estate is Draco Malfoy. His charges of dark magic involvement were dropped because of his information leading to the arrest of the afore mentioned Death Eaters, and several other highly ranked officials in the dark army.
Hermione was shocked. Draco had turned his own parents in? She knew that he had been involved in the death of Dumbledore, but she also knew that he hadn't gone through with it. Serverus Snape was the one who had taken on the responsibility of the entrusted task. Harry had told her that Draco had stalled, that he seemed to be rethinking his whole position and side in the war everyone knew was just beginning.
She stood, putting the reports away in her pack. She went to her cabinet and retrieved her camera. She got the necessary film, lenses, and flash attachments. She wanted so badly to bring in her digital camera but knew that the wizarding world wouldn't be too keen on muggle electronics.
She apparated to the first house, where she was to take a picture of the soon-to-be newly wed couple. She recognized Neville's grandmother the first instance. She was pacing back and forth, no doubt waiting for Hermione to arrive. She had never been the most patient person. Hermione smiled as she approached the small cottage.
"It's about time you got here!" Mrs. Longbottom's rude voice called. "They have to be going to the chapel very soon and they were wondering if you were ever going to arrive!"
"I'm sorry Mrs. Longbottom, I got here as soon as I could." Hermione hurriedly apologized. At that moment, Neville came out of the house.
"Hermione!" he ran to her a hugged her quickly. Luna was right behind him with a hug of her own. "It's been so long!"
"Yeah, it's hard to believe that we've been out of school nearly three years." Hermione said somewhat awkwardly.
"Yeah." Luna agreed. They stood there silently reflecting.
Mrs. Longbottom cleared her throat, interrupting their thoughts. "Neville, you know you have to be going soon!"
"Grandmother." He huffed. "You know that we don't have to be there until one." Apparently, he had grown at least somewhat of a backbone. "We have plenty of time before we go to the rehearsal."
"Well, where would you like to take your pictures?" Hermione asked pleasantly.
"I was thinking over there by that tree." Luna suggested. Hermione looked over to where she pointed. It would set a lovely atmosphere.
Hermione grinned broadly. "Okay! Come on. Are you ready?" she paused.
"Oh yes." Neville followed the two excited girls over to the tree.
Hermione sized up the area. It was a lovely sight. The old, large, oak tree had probably been there since Neville's grandmother had been born. A small swing was hung loosely from one of the thick branches.
"I've got it. Luna, sit down on the swing." She pointed and lightly pushed her in the direction of the old, wooden swing. Luna sat down on it, her yellow sundress blowing in the wind. Hermione saw the look of adoration in Neville's eyes as he looked at the somewhat strange girl staring off into space. She snapped one quick photo of them, catching them off-guard. She smiled.
After several poses, Neville's grandmother came over and insisted that they get to the church now. Hermione laughed with Luna about how high-strung the elderly woman was. Neville sighed and laughed along with them, knowing this all too well. They said their goodbyes and Hermione apparated off to see the new baby.
It turned out that it was Carlisle Finnegan's baby, Seamus' brother. Hermione came into the warm house full of people. There was a lot of commotion and that had always made Hermione uneasy. She wanted to get the job done quickly so she could get out of there.
She took several photographs of the redheaded baby and was preparing to leave when Seamus came in. "Hey Hermione! I didn't know you were here." He came over to her shocked.
She hugged him. "Yeah, I was just taking a few photos of Josiah for the Prophet."
"Oh, you're the photographer? I didn't know that. I figured you'd be an auror, a professor, or somethin'." He smiled.
"I had thought about it, but taking pictures makes me happy." She unconsciously stroked her camera, he nodded.
"So, what else you been up to lately?" he asked her.
"Not a whole lot." She grimaced. "Mainly just working, reading…"
"As per usual!" he laughed. "Same old Hermione." She couldn't help but smile, fore she hadn't considered herself that for oh so long.
"Well what about you? Are you playing for the Irish yet?" she giggled.
"Actually, yeah. How'd you know?" he scratched his head.
"Well, you loved them so much at the World Cup." She laughed at the fond memories of the game, forgetting the horrid aftermath. "Plus, I can tell you've been working out. Look at you!" she touched his forearm. "Big 'ol arms. And how much weight have you lost?"
He blushed furiously. "Well, I do have to be in shape to stay on the team. There are many people pinning for my job as beater. Gotta keep beatin' them off!" she joined him in laughing at his bad pun.
They talked for a bit longer when Hermione told him she had to be going. He whined a little in protest, asking her to stay for lunch. She insisted they could another time. He agreed and she set off.
The Malfoy Manor was quite large from what she could see. She pressed the button at the front gate. She waited for a response and began to wonder if he was even home. After another few moments, she turned to leave and heard the buzz of the machine. She walked back over to it and heard more static.
Then she heard Draco's voice. "Who is there?"
"Hermione Granger, photographer from the Daily Prophet." She said professionally.
"Oh, one second then." He replied. The gate clicked open and she began to walk up the long sidewalk. She admired the yard on either side of the walk as she did. There were many shrubs, flowers, a fountain, and a few statues scattered about. It was all very beautiful. The Manor itself had this sophisticated, somewhat modern look to it. It was white with pillars but many windows. Marble steps lead her up to a dark oak door. The silver knocker was of course a serpent in the shape of a large 'M'. She knocked once with the heavy snake.
The door opened and she saw him standing there in a black t-shit and dark jeans. He looked slightly worse for the wear. He was paler than he normally had been. His hair was a little messy, though that looked rather appealing to Hermione. He looked like he hadn't really slept or eaten for several days.
"Hello, Malfoy." She greeted.
"Granger." He stepped to the side and motioned for her to come in. The manor was just as beautiful on the inside. It had a very elegant feel to it, though it was the feeling that you got in your great-grandparents' house when you weren't supposed to sit on the furniture. Everything was very antique looking and she was afraid to touch anything, so when Draco offered her a seat she saw unsure.
Finally taking a seat across from him in a sitting room she said, "So, how would you like your picture taken?"
"Why do I have to have my picture taken?"
"Because you turning in your parents made top news." She stated.
"Really? What is it a slow news day or something?" He mused.
"Actually no, this is a quite bigger story than we've had in a while." She laughed. "Slow news days involve the lawns in the Wizards Garden Club." She sighed. She always hated that, it was just another way for the rich members of the community to brag.
"Yeah. I think father was featured once." He said offhand. Figures! Hermione thought.
"Aren't you going to ask me about him?" he asked quickly.
This took Hermione by surprise. She didn't know how to respond. She paused, thought it through, and then said, "Well, it's really none of my business."
"So you don't care?" he asked. She thought about it. She was in truth curious but wouldn't want to get into an argument. She just really wanted to get this done and go to lunch. "Hermione Granger doesn't want to know the answer to a great question?" he smirked at her. He knew she was very interested but not wanting to pry.
"I hated them." he said simply. "I was repulsed by the things they had done. Plus it helped that it saved my skin, got them away from me, and left me this large house, the fortune, and the family name." he scoffed at the last part. She knew they used to be a respected family, well feared rather, but now they were in Azkaban and no one looked up to them any more.
"Well, I'm sad to here that…" she paused. "But I am relieved that you did the right thing in turning them in." she thought that would suffice for a pleasant, light response.
He shrugged. "Ehh… like I said they are out of my face." At that moment, a house elf appeared.
"Would Master Malfoy like Minna to brings him lunch?" the tiny house elf squeaked. Hermione noticed someone about her that she hadn't seen in other house elves, she had nice looking clothes. She was wearing a small, light blue frock. How odd.
Draco looked to Hermione. "Would you like to join me for lunch?"
"Oh, that's thoughtful Malfoy, thank you, but I have to get going very soon." She smiled awkwardly, but then her stomach betrayed her. She tried to cough to cover up the loud rumble but was unsuccessful.
"Bring us some toasties, and chips please, Minna." He smiled at the miniature servant. Apparently, the treatment of the House Elves in this house had changed drastically.
"Thank you, but you really don't have to serve me a meal Malfoy."
"I'm afraid that if I don't, your stomach will swallow me whole." He laughed; she blushed. It's not as if she could really help it. A small silence passed over them.
Hermione was so thankful when the elf reappeared with some sandwiches. They looked delicious and nearly made her stomach grumble again. Minna placed the tray of food and tea on the table and bowed to them before popping out of sight again.
Draco snatched up a warm sandwich and paused looking to Hermione. "Go ahead, they aren't poisoned, that's the tea." He winked and took a large bite.
She hesitantly picked one up. It had ham and Swiss, her absolute favorite- or maybe that was just her stomach speaking. She nibbled on it so as not to seem unlady-like. She began to wonder why she was so on edge here, he was being perfectly polite and she was as nervous as she was when Viktor had asked her to the ball.
They ate the meal in silence. They had finished off the tray in no time and the air became somewhat uncomfortable, neither really knew what to say. Hermione was beginning to get a little fidgety. She was angry at this though, she didn't know why she was so anxious! It was just Malfoy, he seemed to be civil, she shouldn't worry so much.
"Well, aren't you going to do your job?" he asked finally.
"Oh! Yes, I'm sorry." She stood up quickly as he watched her become flustered. She smoothed out her skirt, shifted uneasily on her feet, and looked around for her camera. "Where would you like to take your picture?"
He smirked at her nervy acts. "How about in my study, that is where I spend most of my time." He stood and walked towards a door to their left. She followed him after hurriedly locating her camera. He opened the door, allowing her to walk in past him. She just stared in awe at the large room. Books lined the two sidewalls, even with an upper landing with more books. Full windows covered the opposite wall, with a large desk and couches about the room.
"It's lovely." she said aloud without really meaning to. Draco smirked again. He watched as she ambled over and examined some of the book titles. He did indeed have a notable collection. He walked to stand behind her. Being so absorbed she hadn't even noticed him.
"Impressive isn't it?" he said lightly. She jumped and spun around, nearly dropping her camera.
"Oh, shit! You scared the life out of me." she put her hand over her heart as he chuckled. She looked back up at him. He was only half a foot away. She could smell his sweet-scented cologne. She inclined herself about an inch so she could try to distinguish the smell. He seemed unaware until she lost her balance, failing to regain it fully.
She fell into him, startling him but he didn't falter. He steadied her, placing his hands on her shoulders and holding her at an arms-length. She looked up at him, how had she never noticed his eyes before? They were the lightest shade of slate blue she had ever seen.
Realizing that she probably looked really dumb she straightened herself up. "I'm sorry about that. I just was so startled that I got a little dizzy." She lied.
He seemed to be slightly captivated as well, so it took a moment for him to respond. "You are really clumsy you know." He laughed walking away. He sat on the corner of his desk. He looked a lot older and extremely more mature than he had so many years ago. She ignored the thought that she found him to be quite hansom now, as he was battling with a similar notion. He had noticed that every time she smoothed out her skirt, which seemed to be a nervous thing with her, that his attention was immediately drawn to her legs. She had great, porcelain skin and shapely legs. These thoughts were beginning to irritate him, though not acting on them was getting to him more.
Without any words Hermione unshrunk and set up her tripod, her hands were trembling. She wanted to get a few pics and get out of here quickly, the tension in the atmosphere was killing her. She snapped a few, noting how photogenic he was.
"Well, I think I have what I need." She looked up at him.
"Really?" he walked over to her. She stared up at him again, pausing before trying to quickly put away her camera. Draco stopped her by placing his hand on hers. She froze under his touch, not looking up at him. He turned the camera facing them and tilted it slightly up.
He softly took her chin in his hand and raised it until he was looking her in the eyes. Chocolate met steel, as rosy, full lips met his thin, soft ones. She closed her eyes, though taken aback, she left unperturbed; barely noticing the flash. Nevertheless, the kiss ended as gently as it began.
"There's a picture for you." He smirked and pulled away. Hermione blushed a very deep scarlet as she gathered her things.