"I really am not comfortable with going to this party, Ray."
"Shush, I go every year and I'm not going to stop just because you are 'not comfortable' with going!"
"I am six months pregnant and you know I can't stand the smell of alcohol!"
"Whatever, just do your make up, put on some pretty robes and ignore the Firewhiskey."
She clenched her teeth, turned round and stormed out of the room. Tears pricked at her eyes and, as she slammed their bedroom door, she caught sight of the photograph sticking out of her pillow.
She walked over and yanked it free.
"Oh mum, dad, if you could see me now." She cried. Her parents had been killed during the second war, the war in which Harry Potter triumphed over Voldemort.
Several loud bangs snapped her out of her fond memories.
"I don't hear you getting ready!"
"I am!" She shoved the photo back and turned to her single wardrobe. Ray's three wardrobes were overflowing next to it and she had to step over several robes of his before reaching her own clothes.
Once upon a time she believed Ray loved her. She had long given up that belief and knew now that he had only proposed to avoid disgrace.
"Pig." She muttered and she pulled out what he classed as 'pretty robes'. She never wore make up before Ray, sure she had used Madame Moonshine's Magic Concealer for the Yule Ball but nothing serious, now... well now Ray said that she couldn't step onto Diagon Alley without half the counter of Professor Pretty.
Losing her parents had changed her. She lost touch with her friends and spoke only to people that Ray said she could speak to. Everyone had lost respect for her, she had lost respect for herself.
"Hurry up, child!"
She jumped and hurried to change.
"Now remember, don't embarrass me." He said warningly and they prepared to apparate.
"I know Ray." She said, rolling her eyes.
He gripped his fiancée's arm and, after passing through the airless tube, let go immediately.
"Ray! Sweetheart, so glad that you could make it!"
"Malorie, I wouldn't miss your party for the world! You know that." He replied, kissing both of his hosts cheeks.
"And here is the future Mrs Hadley!" Malorie gushed, rushing forward to kiss her.
"I do have a name you know." She muttered.
"Shush, let's go inside." He pushed her into the building and offered his hand to Malorie, "Shall we?"
Malorie giggled like a school girl and allowed herself to be led to the dance floor.
"Well I'll just find my own way around this strange house then!"
They paid no attention to her and left her to sit down at one of the tables dotted around.
"Champagne Miss? Butterbeer?"
"Does it look like I should be drinking alcohol?" She asked loudly, causing several people to look around in shock. She smiled sweetly and waved them away.
"No, I'm sorry Miss..."
"I'm sorry Miss Granger, would you like anything else?"
"No thank you."
The waiter nodded his head and moved on to a new table.
Hermione Granger watched her fiancée dance with several other women before deciding that he should probably sit down.
"So have you ignored the Firewhiskey?" He asked.
"It's kind of hard to when you stink of it." She retorted.
"I'm only trying to have a good night, God knows I need it."
"And don't I know it. Let me remind you that you proposed to me."
"And you said yes." He picked up his drink and headed back into the thick of people on the dance floor.
Her tears threatened again so she stood up, waited for the dizziness to pass and started to walk.
Hermione found herself wandering down a hall with many portraits. She looked up at them and scoffed. Bet they don't even know half of these people she thought.
She began to come across doors, knowing she really shouldn't, but wanting to so much, she opened the first one a little way.
Inside she saw a beautiful study with ornate mahogany furniture. The back wall was covered with books and Hermione itched to examine them but she pulled herself away and shut the door.
"Can Blinker help you Miss?"
Hermione jumped at the squeaky voice and spun round, seeing no one, she glanced down and saw a House Elf wearing nothing but tea towel.
"I'm sorry, I-I, I was just..."
"Would you like to go back to the party Miss? Or take a trip to the quiet kitchen?"
Hermione smiled, "The quiet kitchen sounds perfect."
"This was then Miss."
"Please, call me Hermione." She said as she followed him down a staircase.
"Blinker would rather not Miss, Blinker's job is to serve, not to be friendly."
"Erm... okay then Blinker, thank you for helping me though."
"It is my job Miss, we is being here Miss." He pushed open a door and allowed her to pass into a spacious kitchen complete with seating area, "You must sit down Miss, will you be wanting a drink?"
"A glass of water would be lovely Blinker, thank you." She sat down as he rushed to get her water.
Hermione rubbed the back of her tired legs and moved into a comfier position.
"Thank you Blinker." She said, as he passed her her drink.
"You are very kind Miss."
Hermione smiled and took a sip. She placed the glass on the small table next to her and let her eyes slide shut.
She heard someone breathe. Her eyes snapped open and she saw a small boy, of maybe four years, staring at her stomach.
"You're as big as a house."
Hermione laughed, "I'm pregnant."
"I'm Leo, nice to meet you." He stuck his hand and and Hermione shook it, still chuckling.
"Her-my-oh-nee? I thought your name was Pregnant." He said in confusion.
"No," she said giggling, "That's what I am, it means that I am going to have a baby."
"Oh, a baby, wow."
They stayed in silence for a moment, listening the faint music in the distance, until Leo spoke again, "I've never had a party."
"Why ever not?"
He shrugged, "Mother said she doesn't like them but she seemed to being having fun here."
"I know what you mean." She mumbled, "How about we have our own little party in here?"
Leo's eyes lit up, "Really? Daddy said that one day I'll have a party."
"Of course!" She pulled out her wand and pointed it to the ceiling, "Avis." A flock of small birds appeared and started twittering around.
"They're so prettyful!"
"Leo?" A familiar male voice called.
"Daddy! We're having a party!"
"Leo, I do hope that you aren't bothering this young lady."
She turned round, "Oh, he's no b-"
"Blimey Granger, I've not seen you in years." Malfoy said, running is hand though his silver blonde hair.
"Silly Daddy, her name is Her-my-oh-nee."
Malfoy laughed, "Yeah, silly me. Hermione, it's great to see you."
"Really?" She asked doubtfully.
"Of course, I've only stayed in touch with one person since school..."
"Lucky you, I don't talk to anyone." She said bitterly.
"Not even Harry and Ron?" He asked in shock.
"Not since..." She glanced down at her stomach.
Malfoy picked Leo up and sat in the chair opposite her. "Are you seriously telling me that they stopped talking to you because you're pregnant?" He paused, "Unless, did one of them get you pregnant?"
He laughed at her horrified expression, "I'm joking, I'm joking! And please, call me Draco – we're all friends here."
"Fine then Draco..." His name felt strange on her tongue, she had never called him by his first name – even though he had been on their side during the war, "I don't know whether I should be talking about my private life." She looked pointedly at Leo and Draco nodded in understanding.
"Well maybe we could go for a drink some-" He broke off as the door burst open.
A couple who were caught in a passionate embrace, came stumbling into the kitchen.
Draco and Hermione stared in shock at their 'better halves'.
"Go back to the party Leo, we need grown up talk." Pansy unhooked herself from Ray and pointed to the door. Leo nodded and clambered off Draco and headed through the door. He glanced back at his Daddy who was watching him leave.
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