Re-growing bones is a dreadful thing to experience; Harry has told me so.
Mending broken ones is nothing pleasant, either. Two very bitter potions and twenty-four hours later, my ribs were fully mended, yet I still hadn't been released. My left arm was still connected all manner of magical monitoring devices. Only Draco's presence had kept me from disconnecting the tubes and discharging myself from the Healers' care, whether they liked it or not.
Draco arrived at St. Mungo's seven hours after me, and hadn't left my side except to take care of his own injuries. Dr. Ubbly's Oblivious Unction had taken care of the split lip and minor cuts. The nasty purple-black bruise near his left temple was the only thing left to mar his otherwise perfect face.
"Are you hungry?" he asked.
I shifted and winced at the lingering tenderness beneath my right breast. Draco tensed. It was oddly amusing to see him watch me with what I couldn't describe as anything other than male protectiveness.
"Not really, I'd like to go home," I said. "I feel like I've spent more time in St. Mungo's beds than my own over the past few weeks."
Draco nodded. "I'll go see what's taking so long-"
Just as he stood, the medi-witch that had been tending to me came in with a cheerful smile. Her uniform was crisp and wrinkle free.
"Ms. Granger, how're we this fine morning?"
"Er, pardon me," Draco said. He walked up to her and flashed her a charming smile. "Ms. Granger would really like to go home. Her bones have been mended, why is she still being held?"
The medi-witch tightened her lips in a thin line, her bright blue eyes darted in my direction.
"Grace?" I intervened, suddenly alarmed. "Is something wrong?" She cast a wary glance in Draco's direction. "It's quite alright; you can speak in front of Draco. Please just tell me…"
"Ms. Granger, we've discovered something while running some tests. We really didn't want to say anything until we were sure, but-are you sure you'd like to hear this now?"
"More than anything. You're scaring me."
"We assumed you didn't know because you didn't ask about them. You're pregnant, Ms. Granger, with twins." She looked at Draco then back at me. "Congratulations," she added.
It must have been the potions messing with my head, because there was no way I heard her say I was pregnant with twins. Pregnant? Though… twins were common in my father's family. But, there had to have been a mistake. My hand absently came up to rest on my flat belly. Could it be true that there were people … growing inside of me? And, oh God-
Draco had frozen with a paper cup half-way to his mouth. His eyes were round as saucers, and he was, if possible, even paler than usual.
Grace looked between us, no doubt figuring Draco as the father. "Oh, I-they're fine, the twins. You're barely six weeks along. I-I think I'd better leave you two alone; I shall return later with your release papers and preg-er, other information."
Draco immediately began pacing at the foot of the bed.
A great chasm seemed to open between us in the tiny hospital room, and it grew the longer we remained silent, but nothing helpful came to mind. Finally, he stopped his pacing and reclaimed the seat next to my bed.
"Are you all right?" I asked. But, of course he wasn't all right. I wasn't all right. We'd used the Contraceptive Charm. We were careful each time … weren't we? We'd only made love twice, and I was trying, but failing to remember the charm being cast the second time. I'd been stressed about the murders and the upcoming ball. Draco had just woken from sleep and in the heat of the moment…we forgot.
That night seemed like eons ago, and yet I remembered it vividly. How irresponsible I had been; how we had both been so consumed by our emotions. Ironically, it was only with Draco that I became that way, and now look where it had landed us. But as bad as the situation seemed, I couldn't bring myself to regret our predicament, not one bit.
"You're not happy," Draco said. It wasn't a question, but more of an observation. He looked exhausted; completely wrung out, but his eyes burned into mine, intense and alert.
He licked his lips. "I had a conversation with my father once. It was right after he had been released from Azkaban, and I had gotten the job with the Ministry. He told me not to make the same mistakes he did. Not to confuse my ambitions and the things I want with the things I need the most. At the time, I had no idea what the hell he meant, but… I think I understand now."
My heart hammered against my rib cage and my body tingled with anticipation of the unknown; the unthinkable journey that I was about to make with Draco at my side…
"What?" I asked. "What is it that you understand, Draco?"
"That, I don't think this is the path I'd have chosen for us; definitely not so soon." He shrugged. "But, I couldn't possibly imagine it any other way.
"This changes everything, you know. Our lives will never be the same-"
Draco took my hand up in his. "I know."
I forced myself to say the next part; to watch his reaction as I said it. "They're— They're going to be half-blood. We're having two half-blood children, Draco. Are you all right with that? Your parents-"
He squeezed my hand tighter in his, effectively cutting off my ramblings. "God damn it, Hermione. How many times do I have to tell you? I don't give a shit about what anyone else thinks. I get to have children with a woman that I am completely, undeniably in love with. End of story."
"It's all about our family and bugger anyone else."
I was embarrassed at how widely I smiled at that those words.
AN: Thanks kamikaze-tryst!