A/N: This is dedicated to Dramione-fan 17 for being the first reviewer of my one-shot 'Merlin's Angel' - I'm sorry that it took so long!
Oh Pretty Baby
Hermione Granger had been prepared for a myriad of reactions from her boyfriend when she told him she was pregnant – worry, upset, even anger. She knew he would probably not be pleased – she herself had been upset as this would certainly damage her future career. And what nineteen-year-old boy wants to become a father, especially one with Draco's appeal to girls. He had told her he loved her so many times, but this she knew he would not have been wanting.
However, when she told him in the May of their seventh year at Hogwarts (re-taken after the Final Battle), his response left her shocked. His face drained completely of all emotion and he said in a blank voice "Get rid of it."
"What?!" the Gryffindor asked incredulously.
"Get rid of it. There are spells – "
"You can't be serious," she interrupted, sickened.
"I am serious. Now get out."
"Draco, you don't mean this. You're just shocked. You can't really want me to kill our baby."
"DO NOT CALL IT THAT! IT IS NOT A BABY!" He took a breath. "Get rid of it. I'll pay for the procedure, whatever. Send me the bill. Don't speak to me again."
Hermione just gawked at the blond, arms wrapped protectively around her still-flat stomach. Her heart was beginning to ache.
"DID YOU HEAR ME?! I said GET OUT MUDBLOOD!"
Hermione flinched involuntarily at the old insult. She turned and stalked out of the dorm, attempting to keep her dignity, on wobbly legs.
Tears blinded her and she had no idea where she was headed. She got as far as a deserted corridor on the third floor before she collapsed next to a suit of armor, hugging her knees against her chest and sobbing loudly as the full reality of Draco's words hit her. She couldn't believe she had been so stupid as to think the Slytherin wouldn't hurt her. Ron was right – Draco was a git. Actually, several much more apt and eloquent profanities floated into her mind, all of them much too rude to repeat here. Well, she was not getting rid of her baby, no matter what he said. It wasn't that Hermione was against abortion, she would just never be able to do it herself – not when she was sure, even at this early stage, that she could feel her child living inside her.
Hermione did do as Draco had said on another matter, though – she did not speak to him again for the rest of the term. It was only six weeks, but of course this was torture. With NEWTs over she had very little schoolwork and much too much time to think about ex-boyfriends. She immersed herself in her friendships with renewed vigour, trying to feign interest in Lavender and Parvati's incessant gossipy chatter and even watching Harry, Ron and Ginny's quidditch practices.
Two weeks before the summer holidays began Hermione sat her three best friends down in the common room while the rest of the house was out watching the Ravenclaw v. Hufflepuff house quidditch semi-final (it had taken a lot of begging to persuade the three that they shouldn't go to the match) and told them she was pregnant. She explained briefly about Draco's reaction. Ginny and then Harry enveloped the curly-haired girl in comforting hugs, once Ginny had placed a bodybind spell on Ron after the redheaded boy had begun to charge off toward the portrait hole, smashing his fist against his open palm and muttering something along the lines of "I'll bloody kill him, slimy, in-bred, bastard git."
They sat in silence for a few minutes before suddenly Ginny brightened. "Have you thought about names yet? Ooooh, and clothes!"
Hermione could have sworn she saw all three of her friends sending discreet curses in the general direction of the Slytherin table at dinner that night when they thought she wasn't looking.
On a bright July morning Hermione received a most unexpected parcel by owl. She was staying at the Burrow and the owl flew straight through the kitchen window, open in the heat, and landed in front of her as she sat flicking through a book on child-rearing. She un-wrapped the brown package and out fell a small white babysuit with an embroidered picture of a teddy bear on the back and teddy bear buttons down the front, all enchanted to move – waving and doing somersaults. There was also a small, furry, very cute teddy bear which was also enchanted to move around as if it was real. At the moment the soft toy's head was resting on its front paws, chest rising up and down gently as it made gently snoring noises.
A scrap of parchment fell from the brown paper last of all. The elegant writing read,
For the baby.
From their Auntie Pansy.
No-one knew what to make of the unprecedented pleasantness. Hermione sent a thank you and a promise to send pictures, but she wondered why Draco had told anyone about the baby he so hated. Then Hermione realised this was Pansy, sneaky Slytherin, and she'd probably managed to weasel it out of him.
Hermione had had a lot of time to ponder it, but she still hadn't worked out exactly why Draco was so extremely opposed to the idea of a baby (aside from the less-than-ideal timing). He had always struck her as the type of man who would want an heir one day to carry on the family name blah blah blah, the type of guy who would like the proof of his fertility and manliness. Perhaps it was because the baby would not be pureblood, the Gryffindor thought with a stab of pain. Perhaps what he'd said had been lies so she would sleep with him, and he really did care about blood. He was just like the rest of his family.
And that was when Hermione finally realised why he had reacted so harshly.
Hermione attached the picture to the leg of her owl and charmed it so that it would not get wet in the September rain. The picture was a copy of her six-month ultrasound scan with a few words scribbled underneath in the pregnant girl's rounded script.
Half an hour later Ginny heard a frantic banging on the front door of the Burrow. She opened it to find a panic-stricken, dishevelled-looking Malfoy gracing her porch.
"Where's Hermione? Please," he grabbed hold of her shoulders. "Please, you've got to tell me where she is." The shouting took the redhead so by surprise that she pointed in the direction of her bedroom, which she now shared with Hermione, without thinking whether it could potentially be dangerous.
Draco charged past her, but was blocked on the third step by Ron. "Where do you th-"
"Get the fuck out of my way!" yelled the Slytherin, pushing Ron roughly to one side. Before anyone could recover enough to shoot a spell at the blond he was out of sight.
"Hermione!" Draco yelled, barging into a bedroom which contained a kissing blonde lady and an older redhead he could only assume was Bill Weasley, recognising the scarring on his face. "Not Hermione," he observed, turning and sprinting towards the only other door on the landing. "Hermione!" he cried at the sight of the familiar curly-haired figure snuggled up on one of the beds. The girl, who had been taking a nap, sat up quickly (no mean feat with her growing bump) in terror.
Draco threw himself on his knees in front of her and took her now bewildered face in his hands, lacing his fingers through her messy hair.
"Hermione," he said in a low, breathless voice, his eyes furtively scanning her face, memorising every detail. "Oh Merlin, Hermione, I love you!"
"I think I love you too," the girl replied before Draco claimed her lips in a passionate, frenzied kiss.
"And," Draco announced after they had pulled apart, placing a kiss on her rounded stomach. "I love our baby, too." He grinned up at the Gryffindor, only to see tears streaming down her cheeks. "Hermione," the blond whispered, grasping her face between his hands and boring into her chocolate eyes with his silver ones. "Hermione, I am so sorry. So very, very sorry. I didn't want you to hurt the baby, not at all, not ever. Hermione, I will be the best parent there ever was! I'll read every goddamn book, change nappies, everything, I promise! And I will never, ever hurt you again."
And he never did.