Disclaimer: All characters and associated universe belongs to J. K. Rowling. I am only borrowing with no expectation of profit or benefit.

A/N: Something to chew on during the long monotonous days. Take happiness where we can find it.

Summer 1997

"Don't do me any favours, mudblood. I don't need a sympathy fuck to soothe my boo boos."

The blond hunched over himself in the dark corner, his robes tattered and smoky, pooling around him like the broken wings of a raven. The bleak dusk light seeped through the frosted window at Grimmauld place, lending him a sickly complexion marred only by the dark bruise spreading its dark fingers across his jaw.

Hermione was silent as she lowered herself gracelessly onto the fractured wooden floor. The bedroom was coated in a layer of dust and neglect; the atmosphere suited him to a T.

"Molly says you haven't eaten in days."

A familiar sneer pulled at his thin lips. "If there was some decent grub, I might think about it."

"Cher Etienne burnt down last week." She quipped darkly.

A humourless twitch of the lips was all the response she got before he heaved a tired sigh and stretched out his long, angular body. Reaching for the cold soup and the stale bread roll, he spared her a dispassionate glance.

"There. Go report to the red harpy, you can consider your duty discharged."

Hermione stared at him meaningfully until he tore off a chunk of the bread and resentfully swallowed.

"Go. Away."

"Your parents are still alive. Only the good die young."

His shoulders tensed aggressively as he swiped at the bowl. A cold puddle spread toward her but Hermione simply shuffled away on her knees and allowed the stream to meander past her practical wool skirt.

"I fucked up the one thing the Dark Lord asked of me."

Hermione's lips trembled in the gloom. "Dumbledore is dead."

"Not by my hand." Draco laughed bitterly. "What good is the old man's death if my parents are being tortured as we speak…while I sit here, associating with blood traitors and mudbloods. My ancestors must be rolling over in their graves. "

She ground her teeth. "At least they're still alive."

Silver eyes flashed to hers and malicious interest pulled at his lips. "Oh mudblood, where are your parents tonight?"

Hermione slapped him and he didn't try to stop her.

Summer 2007

Another bright beautiful morning dawned, the warm summer air lifting the sheer white curtains in a hushed bright breath.

With a moan of bone deep satisfaction, Draco stretched in his grand bed and gathered the sleep warmed sheets around him, breathing deeply. The fresh summer air did nothing to dim Hermione's familiar perfume. It clung stubbornly to the material though her side of the bed had long since lost her heat.

Her bedside table was littered with her usual chaos of items. Scribbled on and discarded parchments, a half read book teetered precariously and a jar of half empty fragrant hand cream acted as an impromptu bookmark.

Across the room, the door of her wardrobe still stood pointedly open, attesting to the rush of her usual morning, her favourite grey cashmere two piece happily absent along with the matching kitten heels. Hermione's well loved tote also accompanied her.

With a smile, Draco rolled out of bed and surveyed the flowering grounds of Malfoy manor, the perfectly manicured lawn stretched as far as the eye could see. Just below his window, a charming set of lawn chairs was circled by a mismatched collection of coloured building blocks, a toy broom and a large stuffed quidditch snitch which gleamed with golden stitching.

Warmth spread across his chest and Draco ran a cool hand through his hair. After a quick trip to the bathroom, he made his way down the stairs and greeted Narcissa as she passed.

Pressing a warm kiss to her cheek, Draco smoothed the dark circles under her eyes with gentle hands.

"You don't rest enough, mother. Perhaps you and father should consider a vacation away."

Narcissa laughed and waved him off, taking his hand as she led him towards the sun drenched solarium. Breakfast waited where his father lounged elegantly, casually turning the page of The Daily Prophet. As he neared, Lucius folded away the newspaper and handed it to a passing house elf as he spared his son a quick smile.

"Good morning, father. I trust the business interests fare well."

Lucius' nod was concise and affirmative. "You just focus on writing your book, Draco. I'm sure Blaise would appreciate a rough draft of the manuscript sometime soon. You're running late."

Draco took a quick scalding sip of coffee before he pushed out of his seat. "Speaking of late, I'd better get Scorpius ready for school. That boy –"

Narcissa laid a quick restraining hand on his arm and smiled up at him. "No need. Hermione took him with her when she left this morning."

"She works too hard." Draco murmured appreciatively. "She really should start working fewer hours; rest a little more considering how difficult this pregnancy has been for her. The healer is predicting twins, you know."

Autumn 1997

"Why aren't you with the fantastic duo?"

Hermione surveyed the ill fitting school robes the order had provided him and huffed. For the first time in his seventeen years of life, Draco Malfoy was not dressed in Grade A materials imported from some exotic country made by the hands of some almost extinct species of magical fae. Tucked into the well loved school trunk was more frayed and recycled items from Bill and Charlie; his expensive possessions lost to him in the death eater occupied Malfoy manor.

"They have what they need…"

"Each other?"

Hermione snorted as she turned to walk away. "If you're going to make homophobic quips at every opportunity, don't bother asking me questions."

Draco dragged in an exasperated breath. "Shit. Okay Granger. Tell me."

She spun back towards him, standing so that his broad shoulders sheltered her from the bitter Scottish wind. "Harry and Ron know what they're doing." She stared him down, daring him to argue. "Besides, they needed someone to hold down the fort here at Hogwarts and…"

"Well, well, well!" A snide voice called. "Look how the mighty have fallen."

Draco's shoulders tensed around her and for some unfathomable reason, he grasped her elbow and pulled her protectively behind him.

"Pansy." His eyes flickered to Crabbe and Goyle who flanked her like body guards. "Nice summer?" He asked casually.

The smug Slytherin smirked as she stroked her forearm. "The best."

"Granger." Pansy turned to her. "Our fight is yet to come. Leave now and I'll forget we even had this encounter."

Hermione's eyes shifted from the Slytherins to Malfoy. He met her gaze evenly, without a trace of fear and she felt him will her to leave. She shook her head and bullied him aside. For a moment, they pushed at each other, each battling for dominance and demanding submission.

A sharp voice broke their silent struggle. "What's going on here?" Argus Filch emerged from the night. "Break it up, you lot. Break it up. I'm not cleaning blood off the walls first night o' term."

Pansy conceded elegantly, flattening her hands in a gesture of neutrality as she turned away. Goyle followed along with Crabbe but not before imparting the sinister gleam of promise in his eyes.

Argus Filch grumbled as he too stalked away and Hermione breathed a sigh of relief.

"You stupid bint!" Malfoy turned on her. "We're in the middle of a war! Those bastards aren't going to be throwing bat-bogey hexes, I can tell you that!" Fuming with anger, he backed her into the cold dark corner. "You think a few threats to deduct house points and a 'tut tut' from the head girl is going to deter them? There is not even a semblance of civility between us now! Don't be such a Gryffindor. Learn when to fucking run!"

His breath hissed in and out between clenched teeth and Hermione's heart thumped nervously in her chest.

Her fingers opened and closed against her shirt as she debated the wisdom of reaching for him. "Don't go to the Slytherin dormitories tonight, Malfoy. You won't survive the night."

Draco smirked, a shadow of his former self emerging. "Are you offering me a place in your bed?"

Hermione hesitated, her pulse jumping wildly as she steeled herself and grabbed his tie. "I'm head girl. The bed will be big enough to sleep me, you and Crookshanks as chaperone."

His smirk deepened.

Autumn 2007

"No Draco, there's no need to do that." Narcissa entered his bedroom as he pulled on his jacket. Tucking his wallet into his muggle jeans, Draco raised an eyebrow.

His mother smiled gently as she smoothed down his polo. "Scorpius' recital isn't going to happen. The school had an outbreak of some muggle disease, so everyone is being kept away. Hermione is taking him to sleep over at one of his friend's home."

"Oh." Draco released a bark of laughter. "I'll bet Scorpius is happy. He hates that violin. He only does it because it makes his mother happy."

"Yes." Narcissa said with a slight smile. "We all want to keep Hermione happy, don't we?"

Draco drew off his jacket and cast it onto the bedspread. He ruffled his hair and shrugged nonchalantly, looking around, suddenly at a loss as to what to do for the remainder of the night.

"Mione should be home soon then; I'll have one the elves warm some dinner for her. You know how she gets after a busy day."

Narcissa laid a hand on his sleeve and shook her head. "She sent an owl; I think she'll be working late tonight. Something about negotiating truces between the centaur tribes." Her eyes sparkled brightly as she smiled. "Why don't you go see your father, I believe he wants you to sign some papers."

"No. I'm sure that can wait. I have a far better idea; I think I'll go surprise Hermione at her office. Take her dinner, romance her in some candlelight. It's been so long since we've had some time with each other."

Draco pecked Cissa affectionately on the cheek and walked past her, loping down the corridor with a spring in his step. It felt like forever since he'd last seen, touched and loved his wife. With the hectic schedules of their adult lives and the responsibilities of raising a cunning 10 year old, he'd barely had a chance to glimpse his wife for weeks, let alone have a quiet meal with her.

He'd stop by Cher Etienne and pick up a nice hot meal for two then perhaps he could tempt her with her favourite chocolate dessert tart. She'd had something of a sweet tooth when she was pregnant with Scorpius and it was unlikely things had changed.

Whistling cheerfully, he was nearly at the front door when Lucius' voice echoed through the hall behind him.

"Son. Could you come to the study for a moment? The lawyer has drawn up the documents for Scorpius' inheritance. Your mother wants him to have the Chateau on the Riviera."

Draco frowned but turned back. "Of course father, but only for a second."

Winter 1997

Cold hands chaffed against trembling thighs.

A weak whimper broke the dusky winter silence.

The hands warmed against her skin even as more pale flesh was exposed. Clothing rustled and slipped away. Sheets were drawn back until the bed embraced a tangle of limbs and a meeting of rushed, trembling kisses.

His lips were not gentle; they bruised hers and crushed what he wanted to conquer. A tongue slipped past and tangled with her own, drawing and mating with fervour.

The winter chill slipped away as something sparked in the room.

Hermione's moan was sharper this time. Her body bucked beneath his as her naked skin rubbed desperately against him. Draco's rough touch cradled her face and slipped down the vulnerable stretch of her neck, smoothing over pale shoulders before they gentled and lovingly cupped her breasts.

Yanking his lips away, silver eyes watched her intently as his thumbs drew lazy circles around her nipples, making her flex in an agony of want.

"Please. Merlin, Malfoy. Don't toy with me."

Draco's hand tucked into the apex of her thighs as he began the maddening circles around the sensitive peak of flesh, never truly touching but arousing all the same.

The heat built until it was an insidious burn and Hermione writhed beneath his touch. Her hand reached desperately for his as she tried to press his fingers harder against her sex. Ever compliant, Draco slipped a finger smoothly into her centre, moaning in wonder himself as her wetness fluttered compliantly around his digit.

"Don't need the foreplay, Malfoy." She ground out. "Just…God, just…"

Draco waited, leisurely slipping his finger in and out in that same maddening, unchanging rhythm.

"Why do you like to hear me swear, Malfoy? What the fuck is so fascinating to hear me say fuck?"

He pulled away and shed his pants, climbing on her and pinning her down as he bruised her hips in his grasp.

"Puts us on equal footing, Granger," he answered coolly as he slipped his cock into her, "makes you a little less good."

"Just words." She gasped out but no more words were forthcoming. A sweet mewling sound filled the room, accented by the visceral sound of skin rubbing against skin and heated panting.

Giving into the urge, Hermione grasped him crudely, digging her nails into his arse and pulling him harder against her with every thrust.

She arched off the bed, biting his shoulder as she muffled a burning scream. Her orgasm still rippled deliciously within her when his seed rushed to warm her.

When his deep groans rumbled into silence, Hermione turned her face from his. "What happens when the war comes, Malfoy?"

His cock slipped from her, leaving a trail of their mingled lust on her thighs, staining the sheets.

"I'll watch my back, you watch yours."

Winter 2007

"How is the novel coming along, Drake?" Blaise asked as he leisurely sipped at his brandy. "Have you moved passed your writer's block?"

Draco laughed as he lounged back, nursing a bitter tasting cup of tea which Narcissa had forced upon him. "I think so but I can't for the love of me find any of my new pages. Scorpius, the scamp, must have taken them off to read them at night."

"You let him read your work? I thought writers were particularly sensitive about having an audience for their incomplete masterpieces?"

The blond smiled proudly at the thought of his son. "I am his father; I can do no wrong in his eyes. He is my greatest fan. Besides, he's inherited his mother's voracity for the written word in any form. I've never seen a 10 year old who reads Russian classics one day and muggle comics the next."

Blaise smiled indulgently and inclined his head. "Yes, I had forgotten Scorpius had grown up so much." He twisted his own wedding ring as it gleaned in the firelight. "He'll be off to Hogwarts next spring; ready to assume his place as the Slytherin prince as his father was and his grandfather before that."

A ponderous, nostalgic silence filled the room as Draco reminisced. "Not if Hermione has any say in it. She's convinced that he'll be a Ravenclaw."

"Not a Gryffindor?"

"No." Draco said with a delighted grin. "She knows there is too much of me in Scorpius to allow such an abomination."

Appreciative male laughter filled room before both men settled into a pleasant, comfortable silence.

"How's life for you then Blaise? You've been married for years and yet no heir?"

The Italian scowled at him playfully. "Casting aspersions on my virility are you?"

"I can't help but remind you that I fathered a son already and have a set of twins coming along soon…"

Blaise waved him off in good humour as he stood to take his leave. "I'll be sure to try harder when I return home to Pansy."

Draco tilted his head to the side. "Bring her along next time you visit, won't you? I haven't seen her in an eternity."

"Of course, she's misses you too."

Blaise firmly shook his friends hand and departed from the manor. As he strode down the long drive, his fingers absently returned to his wedding ring, twisting until it came away in his hand and he wearily pocketed it. Until next time.

Spring 1998

Harry and Ron were still missing. Their search for the Horcruxes had yielded them both successes and failures. Long absences from the order and from those they loved were common occurrences but it didn't stop Hermione from missing them desperately.

She grumbled miserably as she cradled her pounding head, sipping at a glass of cooled herbal tea. Within her mouth, her tongue weighed heavily and stuck to her teeth even as she worried her lower lip, biting until Draco placated her actions with a sweet kiss.

McGonagall still watched them with fascination every time they were near. In fact, the entirety of the order could not seem to stop staring when they were near.

Grimmauld place hovered on a keen knife's edge whenever they kissed as if they expected the world as they knew it to end.

A swift knock at the front door diverted everyone's attention and after a bitter draft of cold air, Lupin appeared at the entrance of the kitchen, looking his usual dishevelled self. His perpetually cheerful wife, Tonks, appeared at his side a moment later.

They both collapsed tiredly into chairs held out for them nearest to the blazing hearth fire. Lupin took the steaming cup offered to him, taking a sip as Tonks launched into a wild account of their night.

"There are insane rumours that Harry and Ron have broken into Hogwarts. The Death Eaters are frantic. They're saying that the boys have torched Hogwarts."

"What?" Hermione slammed down her glass. "They would never…"

Draco grabbed her shaking hand. "Rumours, Hermione."

Tonks shook her head as hurriedly gulped down fortifying mouthfuls of steaming soup. "Nuh uh. We risked it and flew over to have a look for ourselves. One wing is entirely gone; nothing but smoking rubble now. They seem to have contained the Fiendfyre though."

"Fiendfyre?" Draco's eyes snapped to Lupin. "Are you sure?"

The werewolf nodded tiredly. "There is no mistaking it."

Malfoy swore loudly. "Crabbe. He was learning the curse the summer before I had to flee Malfoy Manor. Everyone tried to tell him that curse did more harm than good but of course the dunderhead wouldn't listen. Was anyone hurt? Did Potter and Weasley make it out alive?"

Tonks nodded enthusiastically. "There is no wild celebration among Voldemort's supporters so Harry and Ron must still be alive."

Draco lowered his head and swallowed with difficulty. Placing his hand over Hermione's, he squeezed it for reassurance. "Thank Merlin we got you out before all this…"

Hermione squeezed his hand back. Anxiety crept into her mind as the cogs and wheels turned in frantic calculation. She began to stand, Draco standing with her.

"Has it started then?" She asked the question everyone else dreaded the answer to.

Lupin rose to his feet along with Tonks. "Yes. We're here to gather what forces we can. Voldemort is already in forest surrounding Hogwarts." His eyes darted to Draco. "Snape is unaccounted for but talk is that your parents are there, standing shoulder to shoulder with Bellatrix."

Hermione felt Draco quiver beside her, suppressing anger, despair and pain which fell from him in waves of misery.

She turned to embrace him and he accepted with easy acquiescence. "They made their choice then."

"You can't know that, Draco. When this is over…"

He held her tightly as he silenced her. "When this is over, we'll be a family, with or without them."

Hermione nodded as the rest of the order fluttered away, leaving them to the final moments of privacy. Draco's arms slowly fell from her as he took a cautious step away.

"I don't want you to fight. Stay here…wait for me."

Draco knew her answer even before the anger lit her eyes with a bright hue.

"I can't do that, Draco. I have to be there, I have to finish this."

She rested her hip against the dulled edge of the solid wood kitchen table as he watched her reach for the forgotten tea.

"Think of the baby. It's not just your life to risk anymore. Our child depends on you now."

Hermione raised one hand guiltily to the small bump of her abdomen and Draco swiftly and firmly placed his hand on top of her.

"Please. I'm begging, Granger. You're my wife, you're carrying my son. Please."

"Draco." She muffled a whimper. "I'll be careful, I swear it. I'll only be there to coordinate the Order's movements. Someone needs to do it and I'm the best strategist here."

The cold silence that followed did nothing to assuage Hermione's guilt. "I'll be careful."

"See to it that you are." Draco snapped hastily in reply as he turned away from her. He hurriedly tucked his wand and a spare into his robes, pulling on thick woollen gloves and a dark hat to conceal his telltale hair.

"Kiss me goodbye, Draco." She pleaded as she watched his taut back jerk with his movements.

He pivoted and the fury on his face was palpable. "No." He hissed. "I'm not saying goodbye. I'll see you when all this is over. Come hell or high water, Granger."

Spring 2008 – May 2nd

Lucius and Narcissa sat tense as statues at the breakfast table. The Malfoy patriarch clutched tightly at the daily prophet, reading something and registering nothing. Across from him, his wife lifted a delicate porcelain cup to her lips, the china trembling violently until she was forced to set it on the table once more.

Her eyes glanced nervously again and again at the empty doorway. Having had enough of the waiting, she rose from her seat.

Lucius hurriedly set down his paper and reached for her. Narcissa collapsed into his arms as her shoulders heaved with tears. Wetness stained her cheeks and his shirt.

"Hush, darling. He's coming down the stairs."

Narcissa stiffened in an instant, tensing as she jerked away from her husband, drying her eyes as she lowered herself gracefully into her seat once more. Lucius mirrored her actions, picking up the discarded paper, flicking it open to resume his distracted perusal.

Draco came in to the parlour room; a small smile tipped the corner of his lips as he bent to place a filial kiss on his mother's cheek. Taking the seat opposite Lucius, he settled himself into his overstuffed armchair.

"Have you seen Hermione this morning, father? She promised me she wouldn't work today. We were meant to take Scorpius to the celebratory dinner at Hogwarts for the tenth anniversary of the second war. He's looking forward to meeting some of the kids who will be first years with him come September."

Narcissa's hands shook desperately in her lap as she clutched at her robes. Lucius laid a firm hand over hers but she could feel that he too shook and couldn't seem to stop.

"Are you sure you want to go, Draco?"She smiled tremulously. "We're not exactly revered in the wizarding community."

Draco laughed cheerfully. "Don't worry mother, being married to a war heroine tends to open some very exclusive doors. And I'd hate to brag, but I did my part too."

"Yes. Yes of course, Draco…" Narcissa's smiled drooped and fell away as Draco turned his attention to Lucius once more.

"So? Where are the scamp and that little minx this morning? She hasn't dragged him off to her dress robe fittings again has she? I swear that woman buys more robes than mother."

Lucius cleared his throat and stood while he exchanged a covert look with his wife.

"Draco, I need to discuss the Yule takeover with you. We need to read over the contract again; Henry Yule can be one tricky bastard, he has sharks for lawyers and…"

"Father." Draco impeded the older man's progress. "Not today, all right? Maybe after the feast at Hogwarts. I'd be proud to take you and mother along. No one would dare snub you with Hermione championing your cause."

Lucius hesitated and smiled at casually at his son. "I'm well aware, Draco. I would never doubt it but…"

Draco threw up his hands in frustration. "Ugh. Fine, I'll let Scorpius convince you. I'm warning you now; he's far too excited about tonight to be waylaid." He ruffled his hair in a carefree manner that reminded Lucius of far gone days.

"You'd better start getting ready, mother." He sent Narcissa a sweet wink. "I know how you are when it comes to formal functions."

She trembled harder in her seat.

"I don't suppose you've seen where Hermione placed all my dress robes have you?" Draco continued, unheeding of the tension within his parents.

"No. I…" Narcissa trailed off, unsure of how to move forward.

Draco frowned. "Oh. Perhaps I'll go meet Hermione down at Diagon Alley then. It seems an age since I had new robes fitted."

Lucius hissed out a breath. "No son. Hermione…and Scorpius, they're not down at Diagon Alley. They are…"

Narcissa lost her breath in a choked sob. Standing on tremulous knees, she rushed toward Lucius, silently entreating him to stop. Not again. Not that…year after year, it never made any difference.

"Please." She stared at her husband until he averted his eyes. Turning to Draco, she smiled and took his arm. "Why don't we go have tea in the garden until Hermione returns from her shopping? It's been a while since you told me of your progress with your book…and I'm sure we could dig up some of your dress robes. The house elves probably took them to iron out for tonight."

"Very well." Draco conceded with a smile. "But only for a little while. Hermione always gets fussy when I leave things to the last minute."

Narcissa breathed a sigh of relief as she smiled at the two most important men in her life.

"Why don't you go take a seat outside while I arrange for tea service with the house elves? I think they baked your favourite sugar cookies this morning."

Draco acceded happily, whistling a jaunty tune as he stepped into the fresh air. As he made his way across the lawn, he surveyed the stormy skies with a suspicious eye. It looked to rain any moment and it didn't seem likely that it would be a light passing drizzle.

Contemplating returning to the house, Draco pivoted, his gaze sweeping over the vast expanse of the lawn to the edge of the green wood which bordered the Malfoy lands. A pang of something like despair and realisation hit Draco before he could brace himself.

Narcissa called to him, her voice faded and far as she gestured for his return. He almost took a step towards her until his eyes were again drawn to the woodland. He frowned, knowing that nothing lay that way. Yet, before he could comprehend what was occurring, his feet began to lead him hastily in that direction.

Urgency dodged his steps as he sped across the perfectly manicured grounds. Behind him Narcissa's voice raised in pitch, sounding frantic and ever more unsettled.

"Draco!" He heard her scream. "Draco, don't! Please God…please no…"

However much he hated to harm his mother, Draco could not deny the impulse which guided him. He reached the woods edge in several ground eating strides and peered through the foliage. Nothing was apparent to him until a streak of lightening lit the skies and illuminated what looked like a small enclosure just beyond the gloom.

Heart pounding in his throat, Draco stepped forward again and again until he stood in the wild and overgrown clearing. Flowers bloomed in abundance in seeming disorder, creating a circular space filled with colour and scent. A modest fountain bubbled away mirthfully at the far edge opposite where he stood, before it a stone monument guarded the crystal waters.

Dread assaulted him, begging him to turn back but a part of him urged him forward. Eyes fixed on the silent stone figure lying on her side; Draco walked until his knees gave beneath him then crawled until his shoulders trembled.

The stone women lay, eyes closed and unknowing. Her expression was at peace and restful, one hand laid beneath a riot of carved curls while the other rested on the delicate swell of her abdomen.

Draco reached out hesitantly and placed his hand over that of the stone woman, his eyes clinging desperately to her face.

He shuddered as realisation struck him. Fear choked the breath from his lungs and denial burnt like madness in his veins.

"No. No…No, God no…please no."

Tears blinded him as he fought with the over grown grass around his beloved's likeness. He fought until his nails were chipped, his fingers bleeding…until he revealed the heavy, ornate marble tablet carved with words that made him reel back, anguish burning behind his eyes.

"Hermione…" He sobbed as he stroked his hands desperately over the numbers, wishing to erase them with every swipe.

b. September 19th 1979 – d. May 2nd 1998

For a moment, nothing but chaos ruled his mind…nothing but fragments of forgotten memories erupting to the surface, showing him morning after morning of waking alone in his vast bed, visiting a child's bedroom which was forever silent and watching the carefully concealed strain in his parents' eyes.

Solid arms clamped around him from behind as the sky overhead opened with pounding rain. His father's smooth voice whispered in his ear; incomprehensible sentiments which Draco could not hear and would not acknowledge. As his mother kneeled beside him and gazed at him with broken despair, Draco screamed and fought until he could crawl to Hermione's lifeless likeness and curl around her cold, cold body. His hands roamed her in a farce of intimacy until they at last came to rest against her swollen womb.

"Hermione…Please, please no." He wept. "Oh God, my son! My…my son!"

Spring 1998 – May 2nd

Shocked dark eyes rested on the ring which gleamed proudly even in the moon lit darkness of night.

"Tell me you married Weasley, Granger. Tell me that the abomination growing inside you is just another blood traitor."

Hermione clamped her mouth tightly shut. Fear tingled along her wand arm as she struggled to keep it steady. Surrounded and outnumbered, she faced Pansy and swallowed a stab of misery. Beside her feet, Lupin lay dead and unmoving, his eyes still wide, staring at something Hermione could not see…yet.

She desperately wanted to lie to Pansy but that would serve little purpose; the other woman would kill her anyway.

"You know I married Draco. You know that I'm carrying his child."

Harsh breaths rattled around the circle of fuming Death Eaters. All of them had grown bold, she noted, none hid their faces. From their number, Hermione only recognised Pansy. The rest, however foreign to her, still stared with unreserved hatred.

Pansy laughed manically as tears slipped down her cheeks. "You fucking mudblood whore! I'm sure Draco will thank me for cleaning up his little indiscretion! Avada –"

Hermione leapt out of the way, instincts which long lay dormant rushed screaming to the surface and her single focus rested on protecting her child. Scruples be damned, she returned the killing curse with equal furore, killing one Death Eater and scattering the rest. In the night, Pansy's scream rang pure and sharp, her instructions to her allies carried through the night.

From her vantage point behind a scarred stump of tree, Hermione kept the curses flying, felling one Death Eater after another. With each body that fell, she felt the oppression of death ease from her shoulders until the very last form collapsed in the mist.

Triumph roared through her as she stood…

A branch snapped behind her and Hermione spun, realising too late that Pansy had disappeared amidst the fire-fight.

A glimpse of silver flashed in the light before blazing pain pierced her body and she fell to her knees with a scream that rent the night. Shocked, she glanced down to see the hilt of a knife buried deep in her abdomen and panic rippled through her heart when she realised what Pansy had done.

The other women stepped towards her, grasping the hilt and twisting as she smiled with cool disdain.

"A mudblood weapon for a mudblood whore. Appropriate."

Gasping as her life drained from her, Hermione raised her wand and slashed the Slytherin, cutting her deeply from naval to neck, grimly watching as Pansy sank to the ground, her blood seeping into the cold forest soil.

Within moments, she too felt her knees fall from beneath her; her body crumpling to the cold floor. Numbness spread like insidious poison from her toes to her heart. Just as her vision began to blur and her eyes fluttered shut, she saw the telltale flash of gold as it rushed towards her and a harrowing scream destroyed the night.

Spring 2008 – May 3rd

Draco woke to an overcast morning. The cool air that filled the room made him snuggle more firmly into the warmth of his bed, tugging the covers over the shock of Malfoy blond hair. Beside him, Hermione's side of the bed had already cooled but her scent lingered like a familiar garden bouquet and Draco swept his arm over the sheets happily.

He would've preferred to wake with her by his side but he understood that she had a demanding career to balance.

A sniffle alerted him to the fact that he was oddly sick. A hint of a sore throat and a tickle of a cough followed this realisation and Draco made a quick note to stop a house elf for a bottle of Pepper Up potion.

Dressing in a rush, Draco scrambled down the stairs and into the breakfast parlour. Narcissa sat in the morning light, nursing a cup of tea in trembling hands as she smiled tiredly up at him. As was his usual habit, Draco placed an affectionate kiss on her cheek.

"You really must rest more, mother. You look tired."

"You don't sound quite yourself today, Draco." Lucius pointed out wearily.

"Oh. It's nothing. I must've caught a chill yesterday. I'll grab a Pepper Up potion before I take Scorpius to school."

Lucius smiled tiredly. "There's no need, Draco. Hermione already took him with her."

A/N: Being a medical student allows me to see a lot of things and I'm currently on a very interesting psych rotation...so, it's been influencing my dreams and my imagination. Just a sad little one shot that made me cry.

Thanks for reading.

Twilight to Midnight