Disclaimer: I am not, sadly, J.K Rowling.
A/N: *in creepy, horror movie voice* I'm baa-ack!
Lightning flashed, bright and distinguishing, like an arrow to the heart. Through the windows behind him, across the hall, rain poured like a torrent, wild and chaotic. Thunder clapped harshly even as Hermione's eyes opened in shock, her gaze taking in Draco's form repeatedly as if to check that he was truly there and not some apparition. "Draco?" she whispered again, unbelievingly. Her hand went out to clutch the doorframe for support, her legs about to give way under the shock.
Draco smiled, a small curve of his lips and nodded. Raising his eyebrows he tilted his heads towards her, more particularly behind her. Hermione nodded absently and stepped back into her darkened apartment, allowing Draco to step past her and walk into her living room.
She followed quietly after shutting the door and engaging all the locks once more, the shock with his abrupt appearance was still thick about her. When she reached the living room, Chase wriggled to be set down, and in doing so, she allowed him to crawl over to Draco's feet.
Draco stared down at Chase as he manoeuvred to sit at his feet and smile up at him. In a quick movement, Draco had Chase settled comfortably against his hip, his arm wrapped tightly around him. Chase patted his hand against Draco's cheek, cooing at his father.
"He's mine isn't he?" Draco asked, leaning, as Hermione had done earlier into Chase's touch.
His question seemed to bring Hermione out of her unborn reality as she cried out and leapt towards him to hold him tight, her nerves finally snapping, his appearance in her living room finally slamming home.
"Draco…Oh my god Draco you're here…" she chanted and then, only then, did tears choke her words, sobs emit from her mouth as Draco's free arm wrapped around her. She broke down, tears cascading down her cheeks as she herself buried her head against Draco and wept two years worth of fears and joy.
Draco stared down at Hermione as she wept and then looked towards his son who was looking back at him with awe. The past two years had been a passing blur as he tried desperately to figure out where Hermione had gone, why she had disappeared. He remembered their last time together, how she'd wanted it slow and had continually repeated 'I love you' long after as they lay there together and held each other. He had felt something was wrong, something bad was about to happen. Yet he'd done nothing, until it was too late.
Three…When Draco had woken up the next morning to an empty bed, panic had set in. He'd jumped up and slipped on the closest pair of pants before searching out his house for her. When he did not find her he apparated to her own apartment only to find it locked tight. Breaking in, he was shocked to find everything had been packed up and covered with white sheets.
He'd exploded, panicked and tore apart the house looking for some sort of clue to where she'd gone all the time knowing it was useless.
He'd searched out her office, only to find her most trusted employee had taken charge of the clinic, he'd cursed Daniel and tried to get her whereabouts out of him only to have it fail completely when Daniel informed him Hermione hadn't left any forwarding address or number for contact.
Draco had withdrawn from the clinic, angry and furious with the thought that Hermione had used him and then left him high and dry, played around with his heart and then kicked him away when she'd extracted her revenge.
At the family dinner three nights later, Lucius had been in a very good mood while Draco raged about women and their scornful ways. His mother had scolded him for such talk, defending women in general's side immediately causing Lucius to turn once again on his wife and put her down, informing her that she had no right to be defending the mudblood, and had no right or need to be seeking help from her.
Draco had frozen in his seat at his father's words. Lucius shouldn't have known his wife was seeking help from the services of Hermione, he shouldn't have know that he, Draco was in contact with her at all. Pieces of the puzzle were starting to fall together, and Draco was starting to find he did not like the outcome of this particular puzzle at all. Slowly he turned to his father, seated at the head of the table and quietly and viciously ordered an explanation to what he'd done to Hermione. Lucius had returned Draco's gaze, triumph and bitterness whirling within his own grey eyes. "I've done only what she deserves." Lucius replied with a smirk.
Draco had stood up immediately, stormed over to his father and pulled him up by the lapels of his collar. With a quick step of his feet he had his father against the wall, his fist clenching closed as he withdrew his arm and sent it flying back into his father's jaw. Lucius grunted in pain but did nothing further.
"What did you do to her?" Draco hissed, slamming Lucius against the wall again.
Lucius chuckled slightly as a trickle of blood seeped out of the corner of his mouth. "More than the mudblood deserves for thinking she ever had a chance."
With his second cryptic remark, Draco had lost all patience and had turned on his father without an ounce of pity; all his pain, confusion, betrayal and fury came out in the form of his fists as he continued to beat his father with his own hands.
Tears were trickling down his cheeks by the time a soft hand laid itself on his shoulder, and then jerked him away from the pitiless, unconscious form of his father.
"Draco, baby…don't" his mother whispered, cupping his face softly within her hands, her eyes searching his gaze for her son.
"He killed her…" he whispered, his voice breaking under the emotion he still held.
"Honey you don't know that."
"Neither do you." Draco retorted, jerking his face from her grasp and stalking out of the room. Narcissa had followed him, catching up with him in the foyer, just before he walked out the door. "He said he'd done more than she'd deserved, Draco. He hasn't killed her like he believes he should have. You should know that."
With that Draco had stormed out of the house, his mother's words not catching up to him or sinking into his being until his cloud of destruction had worn out days later, after he'd sunken into an exhausted state of unconsciousness. When he came to the next night, Draco realised that his mother had been right and he should have known it all along. He knew his father was not above himself as to spare a mudblood's life, especially one he held such a grudge against. To say he did to her was more than she deserved…
Hope flamed within him. As he looked around his apartment he noted the havoc he'd wreck on the rooms and furniture. With a flick of his wand and a call for Dobby, he'd left knowing the flat would be back to normal before he'd returned.
He'd left to do some searching. He'd bypassed security at Gringotts and discovered she'd withdrawn half her savings and later turned it over to muggle money. But where she'd gone from there was a mystery.
He'd spent most of his spare time searching for her, looking through data and the systems that muggles had set up to keep their census up to date. During days he worked furiously to expand his empire, see it succeed and triumph. By nights he studied information, searching for any sign of the where-abouts of Hermione.
Sometimes he thought he'd found her, so he took off like a shot to scout out the town where he'd thought he'd located her. He did this over most of the world, going to many different countries just to seek her out. As time drew on, he became increasingly frustrated and slowly started to give up.
Then in the last moments of reality before he passed out for the night, he'd remembered Harry Potter, Hermione's best friend.
"Hermione" he whispered, burying his nose in her sweet smelling hair. He groaned at the familiar scent that haunted him most nights as he dreamed about her. God how he'd missed her so.
Hermione held tightly onto Draco, not wanting to let him go for fear he might disappear again, fear he might be a dream.
"Hermione…god I've missed you." Draco whispered into her head. Hermione raised her head to look at Draco, touching his face softly as he gazed down upon her.
"You're here…" she whispered, her hand reaching up to cup his cheek, to touch what was real. Chase frowned and struggled in Draco's hold, wanting out. Bending, Draco dropped Chase onto the floor and watched him crawl out of the room.
"He's mine…" Draco had whispered in awe after Chase had disappeared out of sight. Hermione nodded, her eyes misting with a fresh layer of tears for what for what must have been the tenth time in only a few minutes. Draco beamed at her before drawing her into him and closing his mouth over hers.
He kissed the life out of her. Tingles and shivers ran the entire length of her body, reawakening parts of her long dormant. With a moan she opened her mouth and allowed his tongue pass, tangling hers with his to taste him once again, memories and sensations she'd forgotten filling her mind's eye. He was here with her again.
He was alive.
Draco drew the kiss out, not wanting for one moment to be separated from her again. He'd almost forgotten how it felt to have her lips on his, her tongue tangling with his. Every night he'd dreamt of her, his memories coming alive, so vividly, Draco would wake up in a sweat the next morning, his body still feeling the phantom traces of her hands. And yet, her taste was still, still as exquisite as it once was, and Draco still could not get enough of it.
"Draco…" Hermione moaned, drawing back from him slowly and somewhat regretfully, but she needed to know, was desperate to know how, and without his father getting in the way. Draco kissed her further, holding her head to him for a moment longer before he let her go. Hermione sucked in a deep breath, filling her lungs with the deprived air she needed before asking: "How did you find me?"
Two…The next day Draco approached Potter. Over the time that Draco had spent with Hermione, she'd some how managed to get him, Potter and Weaselette – no, Mrs Harry Potter- on talking terms with each other. Weasley #6 however was a different story, he still held a thick as anything grudge against Draco, to which Draco could only sigh and ignore. Draco walked up to Harry's front door, knocked quickly twice and awaited someone to answer.
When the door opened there stood the youngest Weasley, her red hair pulled back offhandedly into a ponytail, her plain grey top and red skirt were covered by a pink apron, smudged and smeared with flour and some other baking goop. On her left cheek she also had smeared flour, most likely in the attempt to wipe her eyes. From within the house behind her wafted the glorious scent of cookies.
She frowned when she recognised him and got over the shock that he would be on her doorstep. "Can I help you Malfoy?"
"I need to speak with Potter." He replied, shifting on his feet anxiously. He so badly wanted to see Potter, so badly wanted to find Hermione, but know, standing there in front of the youngest Weasley peering up at him curiously and untrustingly he suddenly doubted his chances at doing so.
"I need to talk with him. Please…its about…Hermione." Draco whispered. Weasley's eyebrows raised slightly and she shifted herself to the side. "Harry is working…out the back yard with James. Come on in."
Draco breathed a sigh of relief as he stepped past Weasley no…Potter and followed her through the house out the back door. When he stepped through the back door and onto the patio sheltered from the sun by wooden struts tangled by thick viny foliage, he was waylaid by a small body around his leg. Looking down he found a smaller version of Potter looking suspiciously back up at him.
"James I want you to wash your hands before you sit down for morning tea please." Ginny asked of her son. James continued to stare up at Draco for a moment longer before stepping around him and disappearing inside.
"Harry…Malfoy is here to see you." She called out to him across the lawn. Their backyard was big enough to fit two swimming pools comfortably and still have enough room for children to run around. Around the back edges of the yard was a garden, neatly trimmed and overflowing with colour. The grass was neatly cut to a respectable level and a large oak tree bloomed thunderously in the corner of the yard, overshadowing the small kiddy pool that had been set up.
Harry looked up from the chaos of wood around him and stared at Draco, his mouth slightly opened. In his lap, underneath plans of some kind, wriggled another body with reddish brown hair. Ginny sighed and walked out the Potter, bending over to pick up the child and to tell him something quietly before she gave him a kiss on the cheek and walked back inside, a squirming little girl in her arms.
"Potter" Draco nodded in greeting slowly walking out to greet Harry. Harry stood up, the bewildered look still on his face. Draco struck out his hand.
"Malfoy" Harry greeted, rubbing his hands on his pants to clean then before he took Draco's outstretched hand. "How can I help you?" he asked, stepping clear of the pile of wood that had been centred around him.
"Hermione." Draco said.
Harry paused and frowned. "Why do you want Hermione?" he asked.
"Because she disappeared."
Harry raised his eyebrows as if it was the obvious. "Hermione doesn't want to be found." Harry replied, stepping around Draco and walking towards the patio where a jug of cold water sat on a table.
"I need to find her." Draco continued, trying to convince him that he really needed to find Hermione. She was his life, his breath of air. Nothing was going to stop him from finding her.
"Why? She wants out of this world." Harry replied pouring himself a drink and then offering Draco another after second thoughts.
"I need to find her. 6 months ago I come back from a business trip and we have the greatest night ever. The next morning I wake up to find she'd left, and not just left my bed, my house but life. Then at the next family dinner I am forced into, my father reveals he'd known about her helping my mother and insinuated that he knew about our relationship." Draco stopped his rant to walk away and then come back, restlessly running a hand through his hair. "He did something to her, I don't know what but I know she's alive and from what you've just said…disappeared from our world altogether."
Harry drained his glass of water. "How do I know that you don't want to cause her more problems than she's already experiencing?" he asked.
"Because…I don't want…I can't…" Draco was getting worked up. Angry because Potter wasn't listening, angry with his father for scaring Hermione, his love away.
"You can't what?" Harry pushed, waiting patiently for the verbal proof of what was already splayed across his old arch nemesis' face.
"I can't live without her!" Draco exploded finally, swinging his arms out as he turned to pace away. "Damn it Potter – just tell me where she is already! I want to bring her back. I can't breathe without her; I can't sleep…Christ Potter I was going to propose to her that afternoon but…" Draco stopped his ranting surprised with himself that he let that piece of information slip. He looked at Harry, shock written across his face.
"You were going to propose to her?" Harry asked quietly, slowly placing his cup back on the table.
Draco nodded, dragging his hands over his face roughly and through his hair in an un-Draco like manner.
Harry watched Draco as he continued to pace across his patio, somewhat convinced for his plight.
"Thing is I can't tell you where she is." Harry started. Draco paused and turned to face him, worry etched in to his face.
"You're her best-"
"I know, but the thing is I only get mail from her every couple of months. When I send back mail I post it to a certain place and they'll redirect the mail to where it has to go. I don't exactly know where she is except how to get in touch with her."
"Your kidding…don't you owl her?"
Harry shook his head. "Correspondence is through muggle mail. She's in the muggle world now. An owl turning up or flying out of her house every now and then is going to attract attention."
"Well when was the last time you got something from her?"
"Two months ago. She touches base every couple of months. She doesn't necessarily keep a timetable for this type of thing. She said she doesn't want anyone being able to locate her."
"Where do you send your mail?" Draco asked.
Harry told him where he sent the mail. Draco nodded and started towards the door.
"Draco!" Ginny called as he opened the front door to let himself out. Draco paused and turned around to see Ginny coming towards him with a handful of cookies and a pile of letters. Ginny smiled at him as she handed him the sandwich ziplock bag full of cookies and then looked down at the letters in her hand.
"I think we're supposed to keep these quiet so…I didn't give them to you if anyone asks."
Draco accepted the small pile of letters from Ginny, glancing over them before he tucked them in the deep pocket of his cloak. "Thankyou." He said shortly.
When Draco returned to his home he opened the first of the letters and sitting down, helping himself to the pre-offered cookies as he started to read.
The letters were short and very non-descript. Minor details were mentioned without giving away too much information on Hermione's whereabouts.
It was the latest letter that stopped him in his tracks and tore through his heart.
He came! I'm so happy I could shout. Chase is so handsome that I couldn't believe my luck and he's so good to me. I wish I could introduce him to you and Ginny but It's tearing at my heart so much that I can't. I've vowed that I would never introduce any men from here on out that are involved in my life to my secrets, to the wizarding world. I would never say I'm ashamed of my heritage, but it's just more safer to keep him out of the loop at the moment, most likely forever.
Happy Birthday to you for next Sunday, I hope you enjoy it and the present I sent you.
Love you always,
Draco's heart tore at the seams, breaking in two as he read her words. She'd found another man.
He wasn't good enough for her. She really didn't love him.
Lucius' threats had been the catalyst for her leaving, she'd probably already thought of breaking away but didn't want to hurt him and so forced herself into continuing to see him.
'No!' Draco thought, slamming a lid on the seeds of doubt swarming through his mind. He shook his head in self disgust, attempting to rid himself of newly born guilt forming in his chest and tried to read the next letter.
Again the letters continued to be far and few in between, until her last written letter two weeks ago.
I know it's a bit late but after watching a couple of movies and during my continuous reading that I do, but I've decided to name you, Ginny and Ron, godparents to Chase. I'd thought about when Chase had been born but now that I start to sort out emergency contacts, I keep thinking 'what would happen to Chase should I not be there to take care of him?'
So I've written you down as emergency contact on a few sheets I've had to fill out in the process to get a few insurances sorted out as well as a sheet that will be stuck in plain sight should I randomly i.e 'magically' become indisposed of and leave Chase behind.
You'll be contacted, but you'll be your godfather to any caller.
You know how anal I am about these things and i'm hoping I don't jinx myself after this but it has to be done.
Draco re-read the letter three times to ascertain he was reading the letter correctly and that it wasn't just some glamour, some spell that would mislead him any further. But the same words continued to be displayed on the page, in the same sentence in the same structure no mater how many times Draco read the letter.
And he hit the same conclusion every time.
Hermione had been pregnant. She had a baby boy named Chase.
Scambling through the letters he'd read before this one, Draco searched for the one that had torn apart his heart only a while ago and reread the letter,
Hermione had a baby boy. Chase was not some 30 year old guy whom she was dating, he was her 9 month old son.
Draco did the mental calculations in his head, counting back over the time Hermione had been gone and the date of the letter where she told Harry about having Chase.
He conclusion stumped and astounded him.
He was a dad. A father.
No wonder Lucius had 'done more than she deserved'. He didn't kill her because she was carrying his child, Lucius' grandchild.
His mind raised the question on why Hermione hadn't told him. Why his father knew instead.
Later, Draco planned to confront his father, first he had a woman and son to track down.
Hermione pulled Draco down onto the couch beside her just as Chase came crawling back into the room dragging his favourite toy bear with him. The bear was dark brown and worn away over time and heavy usage, a gift from Chase's godfather Harry.
Chase crawled over to Draco and pulled himself up to stand using Draco's pants before holding out the bear for Draco to take.
Draco smiled and took the bear.
"It's his favourite toy." Hermione informed him. "He must really like you."
"That's good. It was my favourite toy when I was a baby."
Hermione frowned and looked at Draco funny, waiting for an explanation to his words.
"This bear, Theodore, was given to me by my mother's grandmother. When I found out about Harry and his correspondence with you I convinced him to send this to you, claiming it as his own gift until I informed you in person." Draco told her.
Alarm crossed over her face, as if some thought just made itself known. She stood up quickly, her wand at the ready in her hand. "You shouldn't be here. Your father-!"
Draco took hold of Hermione's arm and pulled her down on top of him, her legs twisting enough to stop her from hitting Chase where he sat at Draco's feet.
"You don't have to worry about my father anymore Hermione."
One…Draco walked carelessly into the parlour where his mother and father were talking to their guests. They both sat on two different chairs, seeing Lucius favoured to sit regally in the stiff backed chair that Lucius' own father had preferred. Draco almost sneered openly at him. He only wanted to sit there as a way to subtly lord it over everyone who came into the manor, every conversation he listened half-heartedly to. His mother stopped mid sentence when she noted his entrance into the room, a smile forming on her face, something that Draco had never seen in all the year's he'd spent growing up. Again he was reminded of Hermione, how she pushed Narcissa to break through barriers and teachings that her family had, for generations, instilled on their young and encouraged her to be her own woman and not some image.
"Draco, dear." She said softly as she quickly rose and greeted her only son with a tight hug. Draco hugged just as tightly back, having not seen his mother for the past 6 months since he'd stormed out that afternoon.
"Narcissa I'm sure Draco is over the hugging stage." Lucius drawled, his eye flashing with annoyance. The guests, whom Draco was somewhat surprised to note were Blaise Zabini and his mother, looked on with polite disinterest as Narcissa hugged her son.
Slowly Narcissa pulled back after the demand. Taking Draco's hand in her own, she pulled in into the seat beside her. "Its so good to see you again. After the last diner I was afraid you'd never want to return to spend time with your mother."
"Narcissa the boy doesn't need to be coddled." Lucius hissed, his hands tightening their grasp on the arm rests of his chair.
Narcissa turned to face her husband, her lips drawn tight. "He is my only son Lucius and I will treat him as I want."
Mrs Zabini's eyebrows raised slightly, the only indication of her surprise at Narcissa's retort. Blaise smirked and then coughed to cover his short chuckle.
Lucius fumed silently.
"Well, I hate to be a spoil sport but I do have to go. Blaise is treating his mother to dinner at the new Restaurant on Lexington, the newest restaurant to come from the Parkinsons." Blaise's mother said as she stood up, her Prada handbag clasped in both hands. "I've heard nothing but raves about the food and service there. It got 5 stars in all reviews it's gotten so far. And Blaise was good enough to listen to his mother's hints and get us a reservation."
As she spoke, Mrs Zabini moved across the room to Narcissa as she stood, air kissing her cheek in goodbye before turning to Lucius. Lucius stood and took her proffered hand, gently kissing the tops of her knuckles before releasing it and nodding towards Blaise.
Draco stood as well and gave Mrs Zabini's hand the same treatment as his father before looking at Blaise. Blaise's face, hidden from his father and mother's view was a mixture of incredulity and amusement. They shook hands and then swiftly departed from the room via floo.
As soon as the flames had died down, Lucius turned to Narcissa a sneer on his face. "What the hell do you think you were doing? You do not do that in front of company."
Narcissa's eye's narrowed before she turned and walked out of the room.
"Do not walk away when I am talking to you! That is disrespect and you know it!" Lucius yelled.
Narcissa continued walking, ignoring her husband's comment.
"Imperio!" Came a shout, and an instant later, Narcissa was still. "Come here now!" Lucius demanded.
Narcissa turned around and walked stiffly back to her husband, her face devoid of all emotion, a blank canvas ready to be used for its master's will.
"You will listen when I am speaking to you. Do you understand me?" Lucius raised his free hand and swung it towards her face.
The crack of skin hitting skin never came; Draco stood rigidly, plain cold fury written on his face as he harshly gripped his father's wrist in a hold that bruised.
"Do. Not. Touch. Her." He breathed out, his voice low and full of anger.
Lucius shook his hand free and stepped back to stare at his son. "You will not tell me what to do with my own wife Draco." He said quietly. His eye's cold and vicious, trained on Draco's.
A wand was whipped out and situated at Lucius' neck before he could blink. "Release her." Draco ordered.
"Like you could hurt me boy." Lucius sneered.
Draco pressed his wand further into his father's neck, the skin pulling tight. "Release her." He repeated.
Lucius continued to stare down at his son for a few minutes more before he muttered the counter spell and Narcissa stepped away on her own volition.
The silence in the room crackled with electricity as the two Malfoy men stared each other down. Finally, Draco stepped back, his body protectively positions in front of his mother's as he back up and into her.
Narcissa calmly stepped around Draco and walked up to Lucius. A crack snapped the silence of the room.
"For years I've put up with you and your crap, played along obediently like the good wife I'd been trained to be. You Malfoy's are all cold façades and prestige, not giving a shit about everyone else but yourselves. But you go too far." Narcissa said so politely, so calmly that it had Draco freezing in shock. "I am sick and tired of you and your demented, demeaning ideology. You are so set in your ways that the world is changing around you, and you are fast becoming the old pretentious fart that you yourself sneered upon. I'm sick of it. Sick of you."
With that, Narcissa turned and walked calmly, head held high towards the door. As she reached the door, she stopped and turned. "Oh and Lucius…I want a divorce."
Draco stared at the spot his mother had just been in, both shocked and proud for what she had just done lighting up his face. He turned to face his father only to find Lucius' face contorted with rage.
"See what you have done!" Lucius raged. "You took her to that filthy whore of a mudblood-"
Draco slammed his fist into Lucius' face, watching happily as he lost his balance and toppled backwards. "Don't ever talk about the mother of my child like that again. Goodbye."
And with that, Draco followed in his mother's footsteps out of the room.
It was three days later that Aurors found his father, reeking of the finest whisky, dead in his seat behind his desk in the room he'd made his own.
Hermione couldn't believe her ears. Lucius Malfoy was dead. Dead! A gurgle of cheer bubbled up through her throat. Her eyes widened in shame, her hands clapping over her mouth as she searched Draco's face for some kind of remorse or sadness, only to find relief and love.
"But how?" she asked.
"Took his own life. Swallowed a sleep potion that was brewed wrong. Because of his genius in potions, I say he did it purposely, but had too much pride to allow the public to know he was a coward and took his own life."
"What about your mother? How is she faring in all of this?"
Draco shrugged easily. "She's taking a relaxing break in the beauty spa in town."
Hermione drew away from his grasp to frown at him. "Your mother is in town?"
"Well it just happened to be coincidence that the best beauty and relaxation spa in the world happens to be in the city where you live." He paused before changing topic. "Being that you no longer have to worry about my father, would you consider coming back to London with me?"
Hermione didn't even have to think twice before she was in his arms, her shriek of laughter and joy echoing around the room.
Chase chose that moment to shriek indignantly at the amount of attention he wasn't receiving. Hermione laughed and pulled him up onto her lap.
"He looks just like you, you know." She said happily as she snuggled into Draco's side.
"Really, I thought he looked strongly like you." He replied, his finger tracing Chase's profile. Chase grinned and took Draco's finger into his mouth.
"Can he talk yet?" Draco asked.
"A little bit. He knows mummy, and ducky really well."
"Well can he say Daddy?" Draco asked Chase. Hermione took up on the opportunity to teach Chase to refer to his father, not having done so before as a way to avoid and future questions or reminders about Chase's fatherless state.
"Say Daddy, Chase. Dad-dy" She said slowly.
Chase grinned up at his father and opened his mouth.
Zero…The post office official was difficult. He adamantly refused to allow the forwarding address Hermione had given them to be released, claiming Draco was probably up to no good no matter how hard Draco tried convincing. Finally Draco had had to slip a small amount of Veritaseum into the man's coffee during his morning break and chat him up under the guise of a fellow post office official and eventually coerce him into revealing the forwarding address for Hermione's mail.
And found it was directed to another post office on the other side of the earth.
Draco had port-keyed it to New Zealand and found the post office.
This time however he found the redirected address lead to a Level three apartment in Queenstown, on the south Island.
Draco held back from charging up and knocking on the door, demanding that they give him Hermione's address. Instead he scoped the apartment complex out a bit with various disguises. Problem was, the address belonged to an elderly couple. Draco waited patiently, keeping his appearance that of a smart, local business man he'd seen thumbing around town as his main disguise, sitting in the park down the road from the complex, yet easily in sight of the front door. He'd hung about the park long enough to know when the elderly couple left each evening exactly at three to take a leisurely stroll around the block. Draco found himself taking advantage of their absence one evening when they left to take their ritual 20 minute walk to investigate their apartment in hopes he would find what he was looking for.
Draco stood from his seat in the park and walked towards the building after having watched the two round the corner down the end of the street and disappearing from sight. He casually approached the building's entrance and used a simple 'alohomora' to unlock the front door and allow him passage into the foyer of the building.
During the past day's of observation or reconnaissance, as Draco preferred to call it, he'd noted that the couple lived on the forth floor of the complex. As he made his way up the stair well he heard the sound of a child giggling and a woman's soft voice from the landing above. Trying to remain inconspicuous, Draco has continued his ascent up the building, yet when he reached the landing he froze in disbelief.
The child was strapped into the stroller, waving his hands about in the baby like fashion regardless of the fact his mother was trying to lock him into the seat with the provided straps. The small boy, Draco deterred from the blue overalls and shoes he wore, had curly blonde hair and eyes like his own.
"You know if you settled your arms down a bit Chase, we'd get to the park a bit faster." His mother informed the child in a soft, bemused manner.
At the call of the child's name, Draco's eyes had immediately shot to the woman, his mind not daring to hope that what he was seeing and hearing was true.
His eyes ran over the woman's body but what struck him was the brown curly hair that was tied into a careless bun on top of her head.
'Hermione?' his mind questioned, his body still frozen in place. And then the woman stood after finally strapping her child in and moved to stand behind the stroller before she noted Draco's presence.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realise I was in anybody's way."
But Draco didn't hear her words, didn't even register that she was talking to him.
All his mind was focused on was the fact that the woman in front of him was Hermione.
And…and the child in the stroller was his…his…
"Ah…are you alright sir?" she questioned, a bit concerned for the way this man was staring at her son. She waved a hand in front of Chase to get his attention and frowned when he jerked himself out of his stupor and looked once again at her, the intensity, the relief in his gaze causing unease to fill her.
"What? Ah…no. I mean yes. No…" his voice trailed off as he stared at her and then quickly shook his head and continued past her moving towards the upward staircase behind her.
Draco was struck with definite uncertainty. Even as he reached the top of the stairs he paused and pulled himself out of sight as Hermione waited patiently for the lift to reach her level, Draco was overcome with shock and well…definite uncertainty. He had no idea how he was going to reveal himself to Hermione after two years. Did she still want him? Did she even feel some of the millions of feelings Draco felt for her? Would she be happy to see him and allow him to see his son? Would she even reveal the fact that he had a son?
Silently Draco watched, not believing his luck at having run into Hermione, a level below the elderly couple in question of his reconnaissance. With a chuckle at something Chase did, Draco watched Hermione move into the elevator and disappear behind the closing doors.
He couldn't believe he'd finally found her.
Draco watched in quiet euphoria as Hermione put a sleepy Chase to bed. She kissed his head goodnight and re-tucked the blankets around her son again before she quietly made her way out of the room, shutting the door behind her. She smiled as she reached Draco, passing him and continuing on to the kitchen.
When Draco walked into the room, Hermione was milling about fixing two cups of something hot. Outside the storm was at its pinicle and then suddenly the lights flickered and went out.
"Shit." Hermione whispered. In the light from the following bolt of lightning, Draco saw Hermione raise her hand to her mouth in shock over her choice of words. He chuckled and walked over to her. "Such language." He whispered into her ear as he closed his arms around her waist and drew her against him.
Hermione sighed. "I didn't mean to say that. I'm sorry."
Draco shrugged and nuzzled at Hermione's neck, her sweet aroma filling his senses. "I say much worse than that you know." He replied huskily.
"Yes I know. I hope you weren't too eager for a hot drink. I've only got an electric kettle and well, there's no electricity."
Draco laughed and then smoothly cut it off when Hermione drew away to send him a pointed look. "You do remember you're a witch right?"
For some undoubtable reason, Draco knew that Hermione was blushing, even though it was almost pitch black.
"I knew that." She said turning back to the kettle. But Draco had already raised his wand and had the kettle boiling before she could find her wand.
"Thank you." She whispered turning around once more to face him.
Draco looked over her silhouette. She was just as he remembered; she hadn't changed one bit in all the two years since she'd left.
"I'm sorry." She whispered, her hands coming together in front of her as she nervously fiddled with her nails. Draco stepped forward and took her hands within his own, stilling their quick agitated movements. "There is nothing to be sorry for. I understand what my father did to you. If I had been in your place I would have done the same thing to save my son. Our son…" he answered.
Hermione nodded, leaning her head forward so it rested on his chest, her head tucked under his chin. "So I am forgiven?"
"Of coarse. But Hermione…do you still want me? I mean after what my father did to you…do you still feel the same about me?" He asked the top of her head, his hands soothingly rubbing up and down her back.
"Yes. I missed you terribly when I first left. I was so angry, so terribly sick with myself that last time we made love, but I didn't want anything to happen to Chase even though he was still only in my womb."
His arms tightened around her for a moment before one dropped away and slipped into his pocket.
"Hermione, I wanted to ask you this that morning, when we'd woken up and after I'd convinced you into another round with me."
Draco stepped back and held the small open box up to her. The lightning flashed, whether it was coincidence or some god out there watching over them and making things easier, but it flashed and lit up the gold ring that lye in the bed of velvet within the box. The Ring had one beautiful princess cut diamond in the centre, surrounded by two emeralds and two ruby's. The ring itself had a winding vine pattern on the inside, the vine curling to a stop as it reached the two initials 'D & H'.
Hermione's eye widened as she moved back into the counter, reaching back for support. "Draco…" She whispered almost too quietly for him to hear. But he did and his eyes fell upon hers, searching for fear, regret or sorrow.
"Hermione…forgive me for not asking when I first saw you in that office. Ever since then, it could have only been you. Only you. Marry me, be only mine." He asked her holding the box up to her, his heart in her hands.
Seconds passed by, and when a minute was up, Draco felt his heart drop, crack open and burn up in a horrible, indescribable agony. Slowly he withdrew his hand, his face burning with too much shame and heartbreak to look her in the eye.
"I'm sorry." He whispered, closing the box to the ring and withdrawing his hand.
"Draco." Hermione started, in the most authoritive voice she could command. Draco paused momentarily, and then thinking she was only going to pity him, and explain why she refused, breaking his heart open even more, he turned, moving to place the ring box in his pocket.
"No!" Hermione cried, lunging at him and tackling him to the ground. Draco fell with a loud 'oof' and felt the box being snatched out of his hand, a large weight settling on his back.
"It's so beautiful." She whispered. At the sound of her whispered words hope flared within him, his brain calling for a fire brigade to put out the fire burning his heart and a seamstress to mend it again. He lay still, not daring to turn over and see what she was doing.
"Hermione…" He said weakly into the floor.
"Oh! Sorry." She replied, her knees planting themselves firmly on either side of Draco's torso so he could turn around, yet was still trapped between them.
Even once he'd turned around he was tackled front on by Hermione, a death grip around his neck.
"Yes." She breathed into his ear, her voice light and happy, joyous, Draco dared to think.
Immediately, his brain called for a crane to be added to help mend his heart. It had to be put back properly into Hermione's hands after all.
"But you didn't say anything…"
"I was shocked you idiot." She replied breathlessly as she attacked his face with her mouth. She showered him with kisses before Draco's hands reached up to cup her face with his hands, steadying her face as he looked at her properly.
"Serious?" he asked.
"Hell yeah." She giggled in return smashing her mouth to his. Draco returned the kiss, throwing two years of restrained love and passion into it. His arms moved to wrap around her body, holding tight to his own. Her torso, hips and legs slide into compliance, pasting them against him. A moan escaped her throat to be swallowed only by Draco's mouth. He groaned against her, the kiss quickly turning inflamed, their passion and love for each other consuming them, burning bright and fierce within them, coming to join, fuse together at their mouths.
"Hermione…" Draco uttered as they drew apart quickly for oxygen, his breathing just as heavy as hers.
"Draco…now. It has to be now." She whimpered as she started ripping apart his shirt and attacking his belt buckle. "God…please. Too long…" she panted out, her voice strained.
Draco lifted up from his waist to rid himself of his torn shirt, casting it away along the kitchen floor. His hands immediately returned to her top, tearing the tank at the seams viciously, a growl tearing from his throat. Once the cloth was torn away his hands attached themselves to her light bra and slipped around to her back and the clasp. His hands, once masters at the art of unclipping bras, snagged, and couldn't manage to unhook the hooks. He growled, doubley loud in frustration and for the fact that Hermione's hands were now tugging his pants off his legs, attempting to remove them with her own legs as she madly kissed his mouth off of him. When Draco grunted in annoyance with the clasp of her bra, Hermione sat up laughing and pulled the bra open herself, dragging it off of herself. She paused and grinned down at him, letting out a shriek of delight when Draco took hold of her and rolled them so that she was below him. His hands and lips started, without pause at her breasts, breasts that had grown somewhat with the pregnancy of their son. Hermione's back arched, pushing them into his lips and delightful hand.
"Please…Draco. Don't play please, not now." She half yelled half whispered, her voice cracking when Draco tugged hungrily at her breast.
At her plea his hands flew to her pants, pushing the elastic waist band down over her hips and down her legs. Once they were off and he'd crawled back up to rest his hips within the cradle of her own, his arousal jutting out, pressing heavily into her womanly parts.
"Hermione…" Draco whispered stilling his hurried movements to wait for her to properly look at him.
"Forever." He told her.
"Forever." She repeated, nodding her head, a desperate noise escaping her only to escalate into a long, drawn out moan as Draco surged forward, their bodies connecting once again in the most intimate of ways.
It was hard, it was fast and the waves of pure pleasure rolled over each other, tearing through the both of them. It was the softest movements of love, but the harsh coupling of partners separated from each other against their wishes.
Draco's body pistoned back and forth, filling Hermione only like he could, totally and unconditionally. Her hands gripped his arms tightly, her legs tightly around his waist, her cries echoing off the tiles and walls of the kitchen. She wanted him more than life. He was her heart and soul, her partner. He was hers for forever.
Their movements escalated as their passion grew, hips crashing together fiercely, hands gripping unforgivably. As Hermione approached the brink, she lifted up and attached her mouth to his, hungrily feeding him her scream of sheer pleasure, he returning it with his own shout of triumph as he followed her.
He collapsed on top of her, his head falling to rest in the crook of her neck and shoulder, his breath hot and heavy on her skin.
They panted, trying to replace the amount of air needed to their lungs, hands and arms still tightly wrapped around each other.
"Draco…" Hermione started, her breath still slightly unsteady.
He raised his head, his lips caressing her chin before covering her lips for a sweet, less intense kiss.
"Forever." Hermione told him.
He smiled and found her left hand, raising it up to find she'd already claimed his ring on her fourth finger. He kissed it once before his hand replaced his mouth to rub over it contemplatively.
"Always." He replied.
A couple of hours later, namely the next afternoon, Narcissa Malfoy sat in Hermione's living room after being called from her spa. A bunch of high end wedding magazines were spread out over the tiny coffee table, one open on the seat beside her. Hermione leaned into Draco, standing beside her in the doorway where they watched Narcissa interact with her grandson as she flipped through one of the books.
"Hermione do you like the idea of lilies or roses? Or what about orchids?" She called out.
Draco snickered and kissed his fiancée on the temple. "How do you feel about eloping?" he asked her.
Narcissa turned suddenly, her expression fierce and determined.
"Don't you dare think of running off and eloping. I've waited for almost three years for this wedding, ever since I brought you with me into that office of hers." Narcissa informed her son. "There is no way I'd let you get away with that and you will not treat your mother to photo's of such a wedding. I'll be front row centre to the most beautiful wedding of the year thankyou very much."
Draco frowned at his mother's determination and assertiveness. Beside him, Hermione giggle. "Didn't you once tell me I was the best psychiatrist?" she asked sweetly.
Draco frowned. "I think you over did it somewhat."
A magazine suddenly hit Draco smack bang in the face, crumpling to the floor afterwards.
Hermione cracked up, doubling over in a fit of laughter as Draco stared dumbly at his mother. Narcissa simply sat innocently on the couch, Chase squirming in her arms.
"Definitely too well." He muttered, a grin appearing on his face.
A/N: Hhahahahahaha! In celebration of the release of the Half Blood Prince today in Australia, i decided to whip myself into gear and finish off part two to Count Down. *Drools* Draco Malfoy.......sxc sxc sxc man....and quoting my friend 'the things i'd let him do to me sideways'......*Grins innocently* Who said that? Nyways, thanks a lot to all those that reviewed the first part. Yeah...i'm not that cruel as to leave the story there. I couln't believe all the review, favourite story and author alert etc emails i got for my first fanfic. Thanks heaps!
Maybe soon i'll be posting another story, something along the lines of 'How to Get Yourself A Malfoy'....maybe....:)
Till then, hope you liked it.