Where Draco Malfoy was concerned, Hermione Granger, the invincible, was fallible. A drunken nights leads to an unexpected consequence. Five years later, Malfoy comes back in to the picture...

A/N: Thus begins our next big journey together, fellows. Let the curtains be thrown aside, to reveal!:


The Travesty of Human Fallibility


Where Draco Malfoy was concerned, Hermione Granger, the invincible, was fallible. A drunken night leads to an unexpected consequence. Five years later, Malfoy comes back into the picture…

Believe it or not—and most people don't—it was a long time ago, to this day, that a certain Hermione Granger first, ah, connected, with one Draco Malfoy.

his hand touched her cheek—her fingers running through his hair—his hands on her back—lips on her neck—her arms around him—his weight, crushing her

There are certain truths about a person that are applicable in all situations. Harry Potter, regardless of the place or people, would unfailingly come through with an appropriate act of well-timed and cleanly executed heroism. Ron Weasley would be unfailingly and staunchly by his side, through thin and thick, through rain or snow, for better or (very rarely) for worse.

Hermione Granger did not drink. A few indulgences of butterbeer during her schooling days notwithstanding, Hermione Granger had never experienced the pleasure, or the horror, of hard alcohol. While many, if not all, would commonly consider this a rather virtuous and generally appallingly self-righteous trait, it did have an occasional downfall. That being, Hermione Granger also had no idea what it tasted like.

And so it was, that several years ago, on this certain occasion—one of those ministry functions that everyone always seemed to be required to attend, even though nothing of interest ever occurred—one of Hermione's greatest virtues was to become her greatest downfall.

She was hovering on the fringes, ordering butterbeers and little tonic cocktails to keep her hands occupied.

"Extra olives, please," she asked the bartender politely, her posh British accent so thick you could cut it with a knife. She was handing him a tip when she was rudely interrupted and brushed aside.

"Allow me," a deep voice said. Her hand was unceremoniously knocked back to her side, and she thought she saw a shiny gold galleon disappear in to the bartender's fist. "A lady should never have to buy her own drink," the man continued, and Hermione whirled around, intent on scolding Harry or Ron, or whoever it was.

She stopped abruptly, mid-whirl, to find Draco Malfoy mockingly offering her an innocent looking tonic and lime. "Malfoy," she snapped, awkwardly and abruptly. She reached for the drink.

her breasts brush his chest—her hands in his hair—his mouth on hers—her breath on his face

"Now, Granger, is that how you repay an act of kindness?" He drawled. "I don't know how you were brought up, but…"

"Shut up," she said, making another pass for the drink. He simply lifted it a little higher, and she refused to give him the pleasure of watching her jump. "Fine," she muttered, turning away and refusing to engage. Spotting Harry and Ron over at the far end of the ballroom, she began to make a beeline in their direction. What in the world did Malfoy think he was doing?

"Sooth, take your damn drink," he called as she began to walk. He closed the distance between them, and thrust the small glass in to her hands, narrowly avoiding spilling its contents. Glaring, Hermione grabbed it and upended it, swallowing the contents in a single gulp. It tasted sort of odd, she noticed idly, but she was too busy thinking about Malfoy's odd behavior to worry about the lime being off.

"Uh, thanks?" She managed, and then began to walk again. That had really hurt her throat. The other drinks hadn't tasted like that. But she could think of no logical reason for anything in that specific one to have changed at all, except for the fact that Malfoy—was now standing right in front of her, blocking her path.

"Walk with me for a minute on the balcony, Granger."

"How about no?" She said childishly.

"Come now, we're both adults here. My department head wants connections in St. Mungos."

his lips on hers—his hands in her dress—stone scrapes her back—soft skin

"Good for him, then he can talk to me," Hermione grumbled, but the mention of her job made her ears perk.

"Actually…" Malfoy paused, knowing this would win her over. "He was also interested in, ah, I think, the matter of funding…" He trailed off delicately.

Hermione eyed him suspiciously. "You have five…" she swayed, momentarily losing her train of thought. The room spun. "…minutes." She finished, righting herself with an almost imperceptible shake of her head.

"Allow me," Malfoy said, eyes gleaming. "Another drink? Ice water, I think."

"Yes, yes, that would be lovely," Hermione murmured, feeling distracted and vaguely nauseous, and allowed herself to be led out on to the balcony, nursing another strangely flavored drink.

Now let it be said, Hermione Granger is not an idiot. She was the smartest witch in her year, and the best healer at St. Mungos. She was not stupid. But then…neither was Draco Malfoy.

his hands running up her arms—her fingers tracing his jaw—his hands on her waist—lips on her neck—her nails on his belt

Hermione woke up the next morning smelling like sex, with a headache to rival Satan.

"Fuck," she said eloquently, and went back to bed. It may have been the first time she called in sick in her entire life.

his fingers—her curls falling around her head—her fingers—his breath on her mouth

She didn't remember much, but a few weeks later, she remembered enough to buy one of those muggle pregnancy tests.

"Fuck," she repeated, upon seeing the little blue positive sign. "Why me?"

She didn't know why it had happened, or how, and she could barely remember when. Memories were vague and hard to come by. She had been very drunk (he had made sure,) and he must have been too, to have done…what he did.

For a while, she simply sat on the toilet, pants around her ankles, letting the vivid emotions run their course.

There was anger, plenty of that. Anger at him, for beginning it, allowing it, and completing it. Anger at herself, for being so stupid, for not realizing, for forgetting the consequences, and, finally, for forgetting contraception. Then there was curiosity, curiosity and despair and indecision. A heaping share of embarrassment, shame, and loneliness completed the package, with a healthy sprinkling of confusion.

For once in her life, Hermione Granger had no idea what to do.

So she did the only mature thing one could do in the situation, chalked it up to alcohol and hormones, and decided to move on with her life.

his teeth on her skin—his fingers under her dress—her head flung back—his stubble on her neck—his weight, crushing her

It was probably the hardest thing she'd ever had to do. Her parents were unquestionably first, her friends second. Each time, it was the same.

"…and I'm keeping it, too," she would ultimately announce, after fully explaining the situation, ignoring the shock written across the faces in front of her. And that would be that.

Her friends were surprised. Hermione Granger was not your normal candidate for an unintentional pregnancy. However, there was an aspect of her that was suited to the single mother lifestyle. She was uptight, nitpicky, high energy, and completely insane. It was a good match.

Most shocking, however, was her parents' reaction. They were happy. Her mother had wanted her to keep the baby.

"I won't deny that it will be hard, and you'll hate me sometimes, and you'll curse yourself for your stupidity. But Hermione, having a child is one of the most amazing things I've ever done. It really is a little miracle, your very own little miracle, and it changes women. It grows them up. For a while, dear, I'd been worried that you would never have that joy, that you would let your career consume you, and that you would never find love. But now you have the opportunity—sent in the form of a little miracle—and you really shouldn't let it pass you by."

Hermione wasn't sure how to react. At first she almost felt betrayed; wasn't her mother supposed to be a staunch feminist, railing on her for devastating her life and career? Instead, here was her solemn, sensible, and successful dentist mother telling her to hold out for love.

Eventually, though, she heeded the advice. She was lonely at night sometimes. It wasn't like she couldn't support another little mouth, and, in all honesty, Hermione Granger had yet to meet a challenge she couldn't surmount. Having a child was, in some twisted way in the corner of her mind, a challenge.

Besides…she kind of wanted it.

She had considered abortion, she really had. She wasn't opposed to it, and if she had really wanted it, then that would have been fine. But some hidden part of her maternal instinct kicked in. She was twenty two. She could care for a child if she wanted to, and she did.

She kept the baby.

him—on her.