Over the years, Draco Malfoy had considered several possible theories regarding the witch who, at present, stormed around his office like a fire breathing Heliopath…but, ultimately, he had managed to narrow it down to this one, final conclusion: Hogwarts' brightest witch was a complete nutter.
Draco had only been in his office for roughly three point five seconds before the woman, whom he had recently begun to refer to as the Blasted Banshee, advanced into his office like some psychotic hippogriff and set in on her latest, pre-menstrual tirade. Of course, this had included several unwarranted barbs directed at his person, which, he had, naturally, replied to in haste- something he had eventually come to regret.
Even now, as Draco crouched beneath his desk in an attempt to shield himself from the array of office supplies flying through the air, he had to admit that that last quip about her resembling the Bride of Frankenstein might have been a bit rash. He flinched as a stapler slammed into the wall behind him and exploded in an array of little, plastic pieces.
Just a bit…
Peering warily over the top of his desk, Draco felt more than saw the Snitch-shaped paperweight soar past him and slam into the wall. He glanced behind him, noticing the rather large hole it had created, and something inside of him snapped. He wasn't about to allow some irate, bushy haired know-it-all wreak havoc on his normally pristine office…not to mention that nearly taking his head off with a bloody paperweight could have seriously mussed his perfect coif.
Pulling his wand from the pocket of his robes, Draco stood up and waved it rapidly. "Reducto!" he shouted and the rather large picture of he and the Minister of Magic, which was soaring toward him- and perfectly aimed at his head, mind you- promptly exploded. He just managed to make out the shocked looks on both he and the Minister's faces before they were blasted to smithereens.
"Dammit, have you gone completely mental?!" he shouted angrily. "You've destroyed my entire office, you nutcase!"
Hermione's eyes flashed furiously. "I am well aware of that, Malfoy."
"Well then, would you care to tell me what your bloody problem is, Granger?!"
Hermione crossed her arms and scowled. "You are my problem," she growled indignantly.
Draco sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Yes, I've noticed, as of late, that certainly seems to be the case. Do you think you could, oh, I don't know, explain why I am the problem?" he muttered sourly.
"I think you know perfectly well what my problem is," she sniffed and raised her chin in defiance.
Draco rolled his eyes. "As you are well aware, Granger, I am not an accomplished Leglimens- Occlumency, yes, Leglimency, no- so, unfortunately, I am unable to guess at what it is that has your knickers in a twist."
"Ah yes, relying on that old excuse, are we?" she replied hotly. "If you can't figure out why I'm upset, then perhaps we shouldn't be working together!!"
Draco snorted. "You took the words right out of my mouth…ever since they assigned me to this blasted case I've done nothing but dodge your unbearable mood swings! You've got serious emotional issues, Granger!"
"I've got issues? Ha! This coming from the man who can't even manage to relate to his bloody wife, for Merlin's sake!" she shot back and began stalking towards him- her languorous gait like a lioness tracking its prey.
Draco raised a brow. "My wife, eh? My wife is nothing but a complete and utter basket case," he drawled smoothly.
Hermione threw her head back and laughed. "Oh yes, Malfoy, because you spend so much time attempting to relate to her. You're far too busy working on the next big case to have even the slightest clue as to what's going on outside of this office- it's a wonder she hasn't run off to seek solace from somebody else!" she growled, her tone thick with hostility.
Draco's eyes narrowed in suspicious fury. "Are you trying to tell me something, Hermione?" he asked tentatively.
Hermione smirked triumphantly. "Why, what ever do you mean, Draco?" Her tone was deadly even and she strode toward him with purpose.
Draco felt his stomach lurch and he gulped nervously. She always had this effect on him. Ever since they had started working together nearly seven years before, she had managed to successfully destroy his normally centered equilibrium with her well-aimed fury. Admittedly, the fact that she was a bloody bombshell didn't help- the pretty, straight-laced bookworm of old had transformed into a bold and tenacious woman who knew exactly what she wanted and exactly how to get it. She had emerged from the war as insufferable as ever- still the same bossy, book toting, braniac - but something had changed. It was as if the Dark Lord's final defeat had not only put a stop to the physical danger that threatened her life, but had also liberated her emotionally. The invisible bonds that had held her captive for nearly seven years had finally been lifted…and Hermione Granger was free. Free to be a happy, intelligent, Muggleborn endowed with the inalienable rights of which all persons in the magical and Muggle worlds were entitled. She had embraced her new found freedom with open arms and, as a result, Draco had discovered that his perception of Hermione Granger had been entirely off the mark. This had caused him a good deal of strife- and he had found himself in a constant state of apprehension in her presence- something that did not go unnoticed by his fellow Aurors.
Draco could feel his face flushing as she neared and she stopped a foot from where he stood. "Is something wrong, Malfoy?" she asked, the sarcastic inflection in her melodious voice mocked him and she twirled her wand through her fingers casually.
Draco crossed his arms over his chest and furrowed his brows. The blasted wench was well aware of the effect she had on him and was milking it quite productively. Cunning little vixen…
Draco sniffed and looked away. "Nothing at all, Granger."
His breathing hitched slightly as she leaned in closer. "I don't think you're telling the truth, Malfoy," she replied. "When you lie your left eye has a tendency to twitch."
Draco shut his eyes and sneered. "The only reason it might be twitching is because you're making me angry," he shot back irritably.
Hermione snorted- she clearly did not believe him.
Draco gritted his teeth and cursed inwardly. The wily witch was getting on his last nerve.
"Look, I am in no mood to continue on with this ridiculous charade you've got going, Hermione," he stated jadedly, "whatever you're playing at isn't going to work so cut the crap!"
"And what exactly am I playing at, Draco?" she shot back like rapid fire.
"You're attempting to trip me up, and I'm not about to let that happen, dammit!"
Hermione smiled slyly. "Trip you up, am I? And how am I doing that?" She ran a hand through her wild, espresso mane and raised a brow. Draco clenched his fists and began counting back from ten. He took a deep breath and exhaled softly.
"I am not falling into your trap, wench," he said lowly.
Hermione took a step closer and he bit into his bottom lip with such force that it nearly drew blood. "Why Malfoy," she said smoothly, "you look a little heated…I think maybe I'll leave you to your work…give you a chance to cool down."
She turned and made to leave but Draco quickly grabbed the sleeve of her robe and pulled her back towards him. She landed against him, her back to his chest, and he swiftly pulled her hair to the side. "Think you can toy with me and then just run away, do you?" he breathed.
Hermione chuckled. "Why Malfoy, you are heated…I suppose that would explain using my body to shield the rest of the office from your little…problem," she quipped wickedly. "What would your wife say?"
"She'd say let's take this down the hall," he drawled and Hermione stiffened slightly. She turned her head towards him and they locked eyes.
"It seems you are laboring under the wrong impression, Malfoy…I will not be joining you down the hall. Not now, and certainly not any time in the near future," she growled. "I'm putting in for a transfer with Harry as soon as I leave this office. You can use the time to try and figure out exactly why I am upset with you and, if you care at all, how you might be able to fix it!!"
Draco felt the air rush from his lungs as Hermione's elbow struck him directly in the gut. He doubled over and watched through watery eyes as she whipped out of his office, slamming the door shut behind her. Damn it…what the hell is going on with her?
Hermione had been a total barmcake for the past three weeks. A few days after they had started working on a new case, she began lashing out at every little thing he said or did. Draco had been quite taken aback at first. She had reverted to calling him by his surname- something she hadn't done in years- and she snapped at him constantly. She also looked completely worn out all the time- which he had chocked up to her working too hard. However, when he tried to warn her that she looked a bit pale, she proceeded to bite his head off, telling him that she didn't need some Albino Arse to tell her she looked like shite.
Clearly, that had not gone well.
It had only gotten worse from there and today had apparently been the breaking point.
It was odd, really. Draco had been working as the Lead Auror on all of the cases sent down by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures for the past five years, and he and Hermione had worked together often. The pair had managed to successfully take down a number of illegal breeding rings all over the world and his fellow Aurors, Blaise Zabini and Harry Potter, had been quite impressed with their ability to cohabitate in the workplace.
Of course, there was the typical head butting- Draco couldn't honestly expect things to proceed without an infamous Granger-Malfoy row from time to time- but this new situation was quite different. She had actually resorted to physical violence!!
Not that he could really blame her. He knew full well that she was angry…he had been treading on dangerous ground from the moment he uttered the words 'Blasted Banshee'. However, he was a Malfoy and there was no way in Salazar's sweet hell he was about to go down like some hesitant little Hufflepuff. The woman needed to be reminded that he wasn't her emotional punching bag- even if he happened to be, on occasion, the cause of her turmoil.
Sighing dejectedly, Draco began to clean up the remnants of his office. He was going to get a call from Potter sooner or later, and he didn't feel the need to explain why the place looked like it had been hit with an arseload of Whiz Bangs.
Hermione was livid.
If there was one person who could drive her completely insane, it was Draco Malfoy. For the past three weeks he had been nothing but a thorn in her side. His constant need to remind her of her less than stellar looks, her crabby demeanor, and her lack of enthusiasm had sent her into a state of absolute fury and she had wanted to do nothing more than bash his supercilious face in!!
She smiled gleefully at the memory of catching him with that elbow. He'd had that coming for a good month.
In all honesty, she couldn't comprehend the utter volatility of their relationship- feelings of uncertainty and absolute trepidation, not to mention the most erotic dreams she had ever had, starring the prat in question, no less- had begun to creep up on her over the past few weeks like evil Acromantulas. She was usually quite composed, especially at work, but as of late there wasn't one thing that Draco said or did that didn't grate on her nerves…and she couldn't quite put her finger on why that was.
Hell, she couldn't quite put her finger on anything lately. Her mind was a jumble of useless thoughts and she had become increasingly forgetful- which was completely unlike her. She had even resorted to sobbing in the bathroom on occasion…talk about a reversal of roles. All she needed was for Moaning Myrtle to poke her head out of one of the Ministry toilets and she'd be set.
Yes, it was safe to say that Hermione had reached some bizarre, internal breaking point and she wasn't handling it well…at all.
Luckily, she would escape Draco Malfoy and her own battered psyche for the rest of the evening. She had just arrived at Ginny Weasley's flat- the girls had agreed to meet up for dinner and sort through a myriad of details associated with Ginny's upcoming wedding. She had been engaged to Blaise Zabini for roughly a year and the girl still hadn't managed to nail down all the specifics.
Hermione smiled slyly at the thought of Ginny and Blaise. They made a perfect couple and she was quite happy that they had stopped being the pigheaded prats of old and finally given in to temptation. Their wedding was set for late summer, and Hermione was really looking forward to the occasion. Though, she could certainly do without the uncomfortable bridesmaid dress Ginny was forcing her to wear.
Hermione hastened up the walkway to Ginny's flat and had just reached out to pull the knocker when the door flew open. Blaise Zabini leaned casually against the doorframe- arms crossed- a look of haughty intolerance on his handsome face. Indeed, it seemed that Mr. Zabini had a bone to pick with the pretty witch.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't the girl who likes to throw elbows," he drawled, inspecting his nails glibly.
Hermione crossed her arms and rolled her eyes. "Typical," she retorted in obvious irritation, "and here I thought it was only women who indulged in office gossip."
Blaise shot her a pointed look and raised a brow. "Office gossip? Please, Hermione…you know damn well it was nothing of the sort."
Hermione cocked her head to the side and pursed her lips. "Do I?" she countered.
Blaise sighed diffidently and shook his head. "What the hell has gotten into you lately? If it's not one thing, it's another…the man has been in my office for the better part of three weeks complaining about you!"
"Blaise," a strong, female voice rung out and Blaise visibly flinched.
Ginny Weasley appeared in the doorway and shot Hermione a tentative smile. She placed a hand on Blaise's arm and squeezed gently. "What did we discuss?" she admonished.
Blaise looked down at his feet. "Right then," he said a bit awkwardly, leaning in to give Ginny a quick peck on the cheek. "Just off to the pub…have to keep a certain someone from drowning their sorrows. He's been dealing with quite the overbearing wench as of late."
Before Ginny could scold him, Blaise had turned on the spot. The last thing Hermione saw was the triumphant smirk on his annoying face. Insolent little toe rag!
"Damn him!" Ginny bellowed petulantly. "Hermione, I'm really sorry about that. Apparently, Draco has been quite the emotional wrecking ball- he's been in Blaise's office everyday for almost a month!!"
Hermione took in Ginny's worn expression and abruptly burst into tears.
Ginny's fatigue segued to alarm as her friend dropped to the ground and hugged her knees. Hermione leaned her forehead against her legs and screamed into her lap, fisting her hair in frustration. She was quite certain she looked like a total ninny, sobbing hysterically on her best friend's stoop, but she honestly couldn't care less- the fact that her relationship with Draco was affecting her friends had successfully destroyed her proud resolve.
"Hermione!" Ginny cried and dropped down beside her friend. She gathered the slight, brunette witch into her arms and hugged her tightly to her chest. "What in Merlin's name is going on?"
Hermione shivered uncontrollably, her sobs an erratic rhythm of distress as she attempted to splutter a coherent sentence. "Ginny…so sorry…and Blaise…" she stammered as a fresh wave of tears teemed down her face.
Ginny shushed the young woman and began rocking her back and forth. Ten minutes passed and Hermione eventually managed to gain control of herself, save for the occasional hiccup.
Ginny pulled back and looked down at her grieving friend. "What on earth is going on with you, Hermione? One minute we're having a normal discussion and the next you're a complete mess!"
Hermione looked up at Ginny and smiled weakly. "I don't know Gin, I've just been so out of sorts lately…" she trailed off and wiped her face with the sleeve of her robe.
The redhead furrowed her brows in concern. "Are you…feeling all right?"
Hermione shook her head. "Actually, I'm a total bundle of nerves! Ever since I started working on this new case with Draco I've been reeling between spectrums…I mean, one minute I'm completely happy and the next I'm a blubbering heap!" she exclaimed irritably. "If I don't get a grip soon, they're going to have to commit me to St. Mungo's, because I'm afraid I may end up using the Avada on the bloody bastard! That or I'll turn him into a ferret…"
Ginny bit her lip and snickered. "He did make the cutest little ferret, didn't he?" she asked soberly.
Hermione's smile widened as the memory of the 'Amazing Bouncing Ferret' replayed in her mind. For some odd reason, the idea of Draco tearing out of his office in the body of a ferret was extremely amusing, and Hermione promptly burst into hysterical laughter.
Ginny's eyes widened as she stared at her friend, mouth agape. She looked a good deal like an astounded goldfish, which made Hermione laugh even harder. She fell onto her back, clutching her stomach, and laughed like she never had before. She was really starting to loose it- if she didn't get a handle on her emotions soon she really would be holed up in St. Mungo's- possibly right alongside Gilderoy Lockhart. They'd make quite the pair- roaming the halls in matching lilac robes, handing out autographed pictures to the masses.
Hermione's giggles eventually died and she looked up at Ginny with a sheepish expression. "Sorry…"
Ginny raised a brow. "Is this what you were talking about?" she asked, gesturing over Hermione's body, laid out on her stoop.
Hermione nodded. "Yep…that's pretty much it," she replied as she sat up.
"You really are a mess!! You just went from bawling your eyes out to laughing hysterically in a span of thirty seconds!" Ginny exclaimed in bewilderment.
Hermione sighed dejectedly. "Yes, Gin, I am well aware of that fact…and to top it all off, I'm feeling a bit funny."
Ginny furrowed her brows. "Let's get you inside…I think you could use a Calming Draught."
Ginny pulled Hermione up off the ground and the pair entered her flat. The younger witch looked at Hermione and pointed at the sofa. "Take a seat," she commanded and Hermione obliged her friend unquestioningly.
She flopped onto the couch and closed her eyes while Ginny headed into the kitchen to whip up the Calming Draught. The flat was quiet and Hermione welcomed the lack of clamor with open arms. Her rhythmic heart beat gently in her ears and she smiled warmly- all thoughts of work, anxiety, and Draco Malfoy slipping from her mind. But as the familiar aroma of Calming Draught drifted through the airy flat, Hermione's eyes suddenly shot open. She was feeling funny again- her stomach rumbled uncomfortably and she felt a wave of nausea wash over her. She sat up rapidly and perched on the edge of the couch- awaiting the surefire sign of needing the adjoining loo. Luckily, the queasy feeling passed and she inhaled deeply and sunk back onto the couch. Merlin…could this day get any worse?
A few minutes later, Ginny stood before her with the Calming Draught. "Here, drink this down and you'll feel a lot better," she said determinedly.
Hermione took the mug full of smoking liquid from Ginny's hands and brought it up to her lips, catching a whiff of the potion in the process. The wave of nausea washed over her again and she abruptly dropped the mug on the floor and covered her mouth with her hand. She surged forward, nearly knocking Ginny over, and ran to the loo as quickly as her legs would carry her.
Hermione had not been overly fond of her lunch that day- experiencing it for a second time had not been something she particularly enjoyed.
She emerged from the bathroom to find Ginny sitting on the couch with her arms crossed, a thoughtful expression on her pretty face. She had cleaned up Hermione's mess and she looked up as her friend approached. "Hermione, have you been to see a Healer lately?"
Hermione nodded. "Actually Gin, I went and saw Healer Worth just last week. My mum practically forced me to go…she kept insisting that I look a bit peaked." She rolled her eyes. "Don't people realize that that's just a nice way of saying you look like hippogriff shite?"
Ginny snorted. "Hermione, you don't look like hippogriff shite…you just look a bit drawn, that's all."
"Yes, I know. Draco has taken the liberty to inform of that little fact on numerous occasions," she spat bitterly.
"Hermione Jean! I highly doubt that Draco is telling you that you look ill in some half ass attempt to insult you," Ginny scolded lightly. "Tell me…when, exactly, did we revert back to sixth year??"
Hermione sat down next to Ginny and pouted. "All right, all right…I see your point," she conceded grudgingly.
"And?" Ginny shot her pointed look.
"And I'll be sure to floo Healer Worth in the morning to see if my test results are in."
"Good girl," Ginny replied with a cautious smile. "I just want to ensure that my best friend is okay…we don't need an unhealthy Hermione on our hands."
The younger witch leaned her head on Hermione's shoulder and took her hand gently. For the first time in a good month, Hermione felt rationale hit her with full force. She laced her fingers through Ginny's and they sat quietly, thinking about what tomorrow might bring.
Draco Malfoy swayed and looked at Blaise with bleary eyes. "And then, she nearly tooks my head off!" he slurred, practically falling off his stool as he waved his arms wildly.
"Yeah mate, I heard that part already," Blaise replied, shaking his head.
Draco snorted. "Well, it's the same now asiwas before," he murmured, his body teetering precariously as he reached for another shot of firewhiskey. "She's a psychiatric hippogit…don know why shes be like this!"
"I think you've had enough, mate," Blaise said, taking the shot glass from Draco's hand.
"Naw…gimme tha!! Is a grownd man, dammits!" he garbled. "And I show Hersminone just how big Is am!"
Draco stood up and stumbled around, attempting to pull a nonexistent wand from the pocket of his robe. The blonde hadn't noticed Blaise swipe it as he took his sixth shot of firewhiskey- apparently his friend was well aware of how 'magic happy' Draco could get when he was inebriated, and especially when he was pissed off at Hermione.
Ironically, the night had started off quite pleasantly. The men had discussed the Canons match, tossing player statistics back and forth, and then toyed with the idea of attending the Quidditch World Cup. However, as the discussion slowly evolved to the Ministry's latest bureaucratic blunder, and as Draco threw back his third shot of firewhiskey, the topic of conversation had naturally skewed towards Hermione. This topic had predictably encouraged him to drink in excess, hence why he was staggering around the pub like a loon.
In truth, he had been drinking a lot lately. Ever since Hermione had turned into a wackjob, Draco had turned to firewhiskey to provide him with the solace he needed. Indeed, it was a vicious cycle that never seemed to end well and he had spent a number of nights on Blaise's couch as a result.
Blaise stood up and placed a hand on Draco's shoulder. "Mate, let's get you back to the Manor…I think it's time you forgot about Hermione and slept this off…"
The tall, dark, and apparently sober wizard looked on his friend in a mixture of sympathy and concern. Draco knew that Blaise was suffering from his ridiculous bouts with the bottle, but he honestly couldn't handle the thick tension he dealt with daily. Things had gone from bad to worse and he had quickly come to despise his current predicament, which, in turn led him to drink.
"I don wanna…can Is sleep at your flat?" Draco asked and staggered sideways. He really hated getting this drunk in front of Blaise…he always ended up looking like a total nitiwt while Blaise kept up his perfectly cool façade. Bloody git...
Blaise nodded and steered Draco towards the door. The two men stumbled outside and Blaise gripped Draco tightly by the arm.
"Sorry abous my drinkin," Draco spluttered as Blaise turned on the spot and they disappeared into the night air.
The following morning Hermione was bound for St. Mungo's. After flooing Healer Worth's office, his assistant informed her that her test results were indeed ready and that she should come down immediately. This news had instantly thrust her into a state of perpetual apprehension. If she needed to report directly to his office, it obviously had to be serious. Her mind reeled with possibilities and she bit her nails nervously.
Perhaps she was dying? A rare English disease that only struck Muggleborn witches…
A combination of the two…
Hermione swept through the ornate double doors that served as the hospital's entrance. Her breathing hitched as she entered the crowded waiting area and her heart felt as if it might explode out of her chest. She took a deep breath and approached the nearby lift, wringing her shaking hands in anticipation. As she stepped in front of the thick, golden doors, another person joined her and she looked up expectantly.
Steely eyes peered down at her from beneath a halo of platinum locks.
She felt her eyes widen in surprise and she cleared her throat. She had not been expecting to see Draco that morning. She ran her hands through her hair fortuitously, attempting to smooth the feral, espresso ringlets spilling over her slight shoulders.
Draco blinked his eyes tiredly and it was then that Hermione noticed how ghastly he looked.
"You look a fright!" she exclaimed abruptly.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well, I'm not feeling too hot either…thanks for the pep talk."
Hermione crossed her arms and faced the lift doors. "What are you doing here, anyway?" she muttered.
"Healer Worth asked me to come up," he replied, leaning over to press the lift button.
Hermione looked up at him and furrowed her brows. "He did? He asked me to come up too…" she trailed off.
Draco shrugged. "Maybe he wants to discuss your mental health…it makes sense- I'm the perfect witness to your lunacy," he drawled, tone thick with sarcasm.
Hermione put her hands on her hips and she glared at him maliciously. "Why do you always do that?! Is it physically impossible for you to be civil?"
"Oh, and is that what you've been for the past month…civil?"
The lift doors opened and the pair hastened inside. They turned to face one another, malice etched on each of their faces.
"I've been civil!" she screeched.
Draco raised a brow and Hermione blushed slightly. Clearing her throat again, she looked down at her feet. "Honestly, I don't know why I've been so…" she trailed off awkwardly.
"Psychotic?" Draco interjected with haughty indignation.
"Dammit, Draco! Would you let me speak, for Merlin's sake?!" she pleaded.
Draco smirked. "I think you've done enough of that over the past few weeks," he retorted evenly, "and to be quite frank, I'm rather tired of listening to you."
Hermione's mouth fell open and a wounded expression flitted briefly across her face. Draco shuffled uncomfortably, he hadn't meant to hurt her feelings, but the woman was driving him mad!!
The lift came to a halt and the doors slid open. Hermione pushed past Draco and stormed down the hall. She would make damn sure she got in with Healer Worth before that arrogant little shite. She threw open the door, hastened through the waiting area, and halted in front of a glass partition. A young, blonde Medi-Witch looked up and smiled warmly.
"Please let Healer Worth know I'm here to see him," Hermione interrupted eagerly.
The blonde wrinkled her brow. "Yes ma'am, he's actually waiting to speak with you. We just need your-"
"Draco Malfoy to see Healer Worth," an arrogant voice drawled and Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Oh! Yes sir!! Um, right this way then," the blonde replied.
Hermione gasped. "Y-you don't mean the both of us?" she asked, horrified.
"Er…yes…Healer Worth would like to speak to the both of you."
"See, I told you…it is about your mental stability," Draco whispered snidely.
Hermione suddenly felt a bit queasy. Why did Healer Worth want to see them both? Perhaps it was a rare disease that would require a transplant of some sort…and Draco Malfoy was the only donor!! Or maybe her magic was depleted and only the purest of blood would save her from becoming a Squib! An onslaught of wild theories raced through her mind and she felt the blood rush from her head and plummet into her feet. All at once, the office began to dim slightly and she could feel her body tipping. A soft blanket of haze suddenly covered her and she felt herself descending into an inky void.
A few minutes later Hermione woke up. She was lying on a table in one of the many examination rooms and the same blonde Medi-Witch stood over her, a small smile on her pretty face. "How are you feeling?" she asked hopefully.
Hermione turned her head and noticed Draco standing just behind the Medi-Witch. He looked paler than usual and he stared at her with such concern that Hermione felt her face flush in embarrassment. She had been acting like a right arse lately.
She smiled weakly. "I- I think so," she replied.
The door to the examination room flew open and a robust, older gentleman bounded inside. His bright, red cheeks and chubby face were a welcome sight, and Hermione couldn't help but chuckle at his overzealous demeanor.
"And how is the patient?" he boomed, looking looked down at Hermione through a pair of wire rimmed glasses perched precariously on his nose.
Hermione couldn't help but smile. "I guess I'm feeling better," she replied.
Healer Worth chuckled. "Well now, considering your current condition, it's no surprise that you passed out in that waiting room. My Medi-Witch tells me that the two of you were arguing."
Healer Worth turned to Draco and raised a brow expectantly. Draco glanced uncomfortably at Hermione and nodded. "Uh, you could say that…"
Healer Worth chuckled again. "Been happening a lot lately, has it?" he inquired with a wink. "Well, that's to be expected. Hermione's going to be a bit of a basket case over the next nine months!"
Hermione sat up abruptly. "N-nine months?" she stammered incredulously.
Healer Worth smiled. "That's right!! Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy- you're going to have a baby!!"
A/N- So, did any of you guess that our dear Hermione was preggers?? How about married to Malfoy?? I dropped more than a few hints throughout the story on both counts and I'm pretty interested to see if any of you predicted the ending.
By the way, this is a continuation of my Love in an Elevator / Payback's a Witch series and it was written for hannah17 because: (i) she loves this series and; (ii) she's a total Graphics Jedi! Thanks Again Sweetie!!
If you have not read the other two stories, I advise that you do so…it will shed light on some of the points in this story.