All characters belong to JK Rowling
Chapter 30 – A Storm in a Teacup, the Final Chapter
Sitting in a chair by the window, Hermione watched a streak of light on the floor disappear as a storm brewed up outside. It was one of those odd thunderstorms that came in the middle of winter, bringing with it sheets of rain, murderous lightning, and loud, crashing thunder. She pulled the bundle in her arms closer when the first loud bang played across the sky, and the windowpanes shook and rattled in their casings.
"It's nothing but a storm, sweet one," she whispered. "It's your birthday, and you brought a thunderstorm with you. Everything about your arrival, from the day you were conceived, to the day I found out about you, to the day I told everyone you were on your way, to the day you were born, was one, long thunderous storm in my teacup, sweet thing."
"When I was little, and things didn't go exactly as I planned, or exactly as I wanted them to go, my dad would say that I had a storm brewing in my teacup. You, my sweet son, were the biggest storm my teacup had seen in ages."
She kissed the child's baldhead and smiled. "I can barely believe I thought having you would be a mistake. I can't believe I thought things would be better without you. By the way, this is the only time I'll ever say these words to you, not that it matters, as Mummy was terribly wrong anyway. You, my sweet, little boy, are the greatest thing I've ever done, my brightest accomplishment, and this is the happiest day of my life. Thank you for picking me to be your Mummy. I'm honoured."
Draco leaned forward, pressing on the arm of the rocking chair with one hand while bringing his other arm around her shoulders, agreed. "You're the best thing to happen to me, too, little prince. I won't have your mummy have you believe she's the only one who's gobsmacked by your very existence. I'm honoured as well, because of all the people who could have been picked to be your replacement father, in some weird cosmic way, you've picked me." He stilled the movement of the chair, back and forth, back and forth, when he leaned forward to kiss first the infant's cheek, and then the mother's head.
"May I hold him now?" Marie asked from her place on the bed. "I've been here for an hour, and I've yet to hold him. And I've been patiently listening to both of you prattle on and on with all the sentimental rubbish, too. It's making me a bit weary."
"Weary my arse. I hope what its really doing is showing you that you'd better not have a kid until you're old enough to handle it, missy!" Draco pointed at her.
"What? Old enough, how? Like thirty years old, because we both know how well you've two have handled things," she said with a crooked smile, holding out her hands for her baby brother.
"How'd you get here, anyway? Who invited you?" Draco asked, picking the child up from Hermione's arm, and lowering him into his half sister's waiting embrace.
"Harry promised us last fall that as soon as the baby was born, he'd come and get Jeff and I, no matter when, no matter where," Marie explained. "That's how I got here, as you well know. Thank goodness for Harry Potter, or I'd be anxiously wondering and waiting up at Hogwarts all by myself. Now be quiet, Draco. I don't want to talk to you anymore. I'm holding my brother."
Draco frowned, while Hermione smiled.
"Potter takes a lot of liberties with my family," Draco replied.
Hermione pulled on Draco's sleeve and said, "It's fine, Draco."
He turned to look at her. "You're only saying that because it's St. Potter. If anyone else was that high-handed, you'd be indignant, too." He lifted her gingerly from the rocking chair, sat down in her place, and then placed her on his lap.
"First he finds their mother, last fall, without telling me that he was even looking for her, and now this. On the first matter, I'd have been happier if she'd stayed gone," he complained.
Hermione placed her hand over his mouth and gestured toward the bed, where Marie sat holding the new baby.
"Oh, in the words of Hermione Granger, pish posh, she knows I'm not thrilled about it all. After Potter finds the woman, whom we all assumed was missing, perhaps even dead, we find she was presumably in St. Mungo's the whole time, confused as to who she was, no longer talking, just as she'd been when she was a child! Then, he has the audacity to take them to visit her!"
"Can you spell audacity?" Hermione asked, placing her head on his shoulder, pulling on the buttons of his shirt with her fingers.
"How is that pertinent?" he charged.
She said, "I'm just wondering. I'm making small talk. I'm tired, after twelve hours of labour, and I don't feel like arguing, but if you can spell audacity, I'll let you continue to grumble."
"A…H..Audacity..A…L…D…No, I don't think that's right, A…U…D…well, anyway, he had the nerve to take them to visit her, and she still doesn't even know them! She still doesn't know she's a witch even, and to top it all off, she can't even speak to this day!"
"Draco," Hermione said, before she kissed the side of his neck, "Don't you think she has the right to heal, and don't you think that by allowing her to heal, it might help heal Jeffrey?"
"Jeff's fine," Draco barked.
"Yes, he's doing wonderfully," Hermione agreed, looking up at Marie, and noticing that she was watching them, hanging onto every word. "But he's still not able to talk, and there's no real reason for it. He's not talking yet, because he doesn't want to talk. Harry, Adrian and Anthony all believe that he has to reverse the curse on himself, you know. That's what Tracey did the first time, when she started to speak again, when she was a girl."
Draco looked at Marie, who suddenly looked back down at the newborn baby. "My father's looking into a counter-curse. Don't worry about Jeff. I'll take care of my children, Hermione."
Marie openly sighed at that remark. She looked at Draco and said, "Will you never learn to keep your mouth close?"
Hermione got off Draco's lap and said, "Does that mean I have no say?"
"Do we have to have THIS conversation right now? Aren't you tired? You just went through twelve hours of labour. A moment ago you said you were tired, and now you want to have an argument! I thought women were tired after those types of things."
Marie stood up with the baby in her arms. "Lucius and Narcissa are out in the waiting room, along with Hermione's parents. I think I'll take the baby out to them. Is that okay?" Without waiting for an answer, she walked out the door, baby in her arms.
Hermione went back to the bed, pulled down the covers, and got under them. She was tired, but she wouldn't give Draco the satisfaction of thinking he was right, so she didn't say anything. Instead, she said, "We didn't resolve anything, did we? All that happened was that I had a baby, but you and I are still at the same place, and I don't even know where that is. Where are we, Malfoy?"
"St. Mungo's Hospital for the Temporarily Insane, it would appear," Draco teased. "May I sit beside you?"
He sat next to her and took her hand. "I'm sorry. Of course, things that happen with the children will concern you. I want you to be part of their lives, just as I want to be part of that little bugger's life. By the way, what's the bugger's name?"
"Little Bugger," she joked.
"I like it, except everyone will assume he's named after Potter, and I can't have that, especially after you marry me and I adopt him," Draco countered, "so we best find something else."
"Marriage and adoption, goodness, I didn't know I'd have to face such big things on the day I gave birth," she said lightly, and then she yawned.
He took her hand. "Be thankful you don't have to face taxes and death today as well. Those are the other two big life changing experiences, you know." Playing with her fingers lightly, finally bringing them up to his mouth for a kiss, he said, "I'd like to name him something strong, but also something that will help us remember the struggles we went through while you were preggers with him."
She looked up at the ceiling for a moment, feigned thinking hard, and said, "We fought a lot while I was pregnant. We could name him after a pugilist."
Mocking her from earlier, he said, "Can you spell pugilist, darling?"
"F – I – G – H – T – E – R," she joked.
Smiling at her, he said, "That's not a half bad idea. We could call him Sugar Ray Malfoy." He laughed.
Laughing with him, she said, "I was thinking of Tyson. I don't know why, but I always thought that would make a good first name for a son. Actually, I wanted to call the baby that even if it was a girl."
Draco seemed to think on it for a few seconds, then cupped her cheeks with his hands, and said, "Okay, Tyson Malfoy he shall be." He kissed her lips swiftly.
"He would be Tyson Granger. I'd want his middle name to be Warrington by the way."
Frowning, Draco said, "Warrington's fine, but that Granger thing's only at first, but after we marry, and this does count as a marriage proposal, then I insist that he have my last name, because I'm already spending a fortune on adopting those other two Warrington brats, I might as well adopt this one, too."
"You're such a romantic," she said with another yawn. "I'm really tired now. Let me rest. In case you're too dense to know what that means, it means yes, I'll marry you, but I want another endowment for my school before we finalize the agreement and a large engagement ring, preferably diamonds and rubies."
"Demanding things, Granger! Do you know what that makes you?" he asked, his voice at a loud pitch, as he walked toward the door.
"An opportunist? A wise woman? What?"
"I was going to say a prostitute, selling yourself for money and diamonds, but you can call it whatever you want, Granger dear, as long as you're mine," he said, his hand on the door knob, turning to leave the room.
He felt a pillow hit him on the back of the head. Turning back to face her, she said, "Be happy I couldn't reach anything heavier to throw at you, and that I didn't have my wand."
Bending down, he tossed the pillow back to her, and said, "I love you."
"I love you."
"Gee, so simple to say, yet we found it so very difficult. I'll go find Marie and Tyson."
Draco walked out into the hallway and found his family in the waiting room at the end. Hermione's parents were sitting beside his parents, who were sitting along with her friends, who were sitting with Marie. His father was holding the baby.
Lucius said, "I'm sure they'll give him a dignified name, something from our side of the family, in the tradition of our family, regarding a constellation."
Hermione's mother said, "Knowing Hermione as we do, she'll give him a very proper British name, or name him after a famous author or poet, or a name from a famous play or piece of literature."
Draco smiled. What would everyone think when they found out they named him after an African American prizefighter with a giant tattoo on his face? Perhaps there was a famous character in literature named Tyson, too? And he could always tell his father that they had just found a new star named that.
Catching Potter's attention, he waved his hand toward the hall. Harry excused himself and joined Draco out in the hallway.
"Where's Jeff?" Draco asked.
Suddenly, Harry's smile vanished. "He's not with you?"
"Goodness, Potter! Granger and I were in there, in labour, for the last twelve hours, and you've already lost one of our kids!" Draco spat, in almost a whisper, so no one could hear.
"You were both in labour?" Harry asked, sarcastically, "And he's not lost, I'm sure he's around here somewhere! I'll take the lower floors, and you take…" suddenly, Harry stopped. "Damn, I know where he is. Come on." He grabbed the sleeve of Draco's shirt and pulled him toward the lifts.
They ran down the hallway toward a set of doors that were locked on the outside. A guard approached them, nodded to Harry, and greeted, "Good morning, Mr. Potter. It's awfully early for visitors."
"Yes, it is, Langston. I've been here all evening and all night long. My best friend gave birth a few hours ago. Tell me, is Tracey Davis' son here, visiting her, by any chance?"
The older man nodded, while saying, "The quiet boy? Yes, he's here, and since he's visited with her before, when you were with him, I didn't see the harm. She doesn't get many visitors, you know. Really, none at all, except when you bring her kids to her."
Draco felt slightly ashamed, and sorry for her.
"I'll open the doors and you can go on through the wards. You know what door is her room, right?" the man asked.
Harry nodded and smiled.
The doors opened and Harry and Draco walked through. After passing four rooms, they finally stopped upon the threshold of the fifth room. Just inside the room was Jeff, sitting upon the bed beside a woman with dark hair, their backs toward the door.
And Jeff was speaking to the woman.
Both men stood in silence. A sob in Harry's throat, a heavy weight upon Draco's chest, as the young boy they've both grown to care for, began to speak to the woman sitting beside him. Holding the woman's hand in his, he was saying, "And this is how you make the letter 'Y' in sign language. That's your name, Mother. Next time, I'll teach you more. Sign language is really quite easy, and that way, if you decide you never want to talk again, at least we can communicate with each other that way."
Draco started into the room, but Harry placed a hand on his arm, to hold him back. Still unaware of their presence, Jeff said, "And remember, Mother, no matter what, you'll always be our mother. That's what Hermione told us. We can live with Draco, and love him, and even if they get married someday, and you find that you can never take care of us again, you'll still always be our mother."
"See, there was no reason to ever fear magic, Mother. It's really okay." He placed his dark head on top of the woman's shoulder. She reached up and stroked his hair, lovingly.
He stood, and for the first time, noticed Harry and Draco. Smiling at them, then back at the woman on the bed, he said, "I have to go now, Mother. I need to go meet my little brother. I love you." Leaning down, he kissed her forehead. "I'll come back next weekend to see you again, if Harry brings me."
"That I will," Harry said from the door.
Jeff walked out of the room, and soon, all three were walking back down the hall, Jeff between Harry and Draco. Draco looked over Jeff's head, toward Harry, with a confused look on his face.
Draco motioned toward his own mouth, then toward Jeff, then back toward Harry.
Stopping outside the end of the ward, Harry asked, "Jeff, how long have you been able to speak?"
"Since I went to visit my mother, to tell her about my baby brother," he explained, looking from one man to another. "I didn't know if anyone else was going to tell her, and I felt someone should, so I did. She had a right to know. She was always good a mother, no matter what anyone thought. She had problems, and she never wanted us to know about magic, but she was still a good mother, when she could be."
Draco rubbed his eyes with one hand, then grabbed the boy's shoulders with both hands and said, "It's nice to finally hear you speak again, kid."
"I wasn't going to tell anyone," he replied.
"Tell anyone what?" Harry asked in Draco's place.
"That I could speak again," Jeff explained. "I don't want to go to Hogwarts yet. My mother never wanted to go back, that's why she stopped speaking when she was little. She was afraid if she spoke again, she'd have to use magic, and they'd send her back to Hogwarts. I don't want to go to Hogwarts. I want to stay at Hermione's school."
"Did your mum tell you that?" Harry inquired.
"No, but I know it's true," he said without a doubt.
Draco took Jeff into his arms in a hug that surprised all three of them. "Kid, you can go to school anywhere you want. I'm not taking a chance on losing any of you again. Not you, Marie, Hermione or Tyson. You're all my family."
"Who's Tyson?" Jeff asked, pushing away from Draco's chest.
"Come back down the hall and find out," Draco replied, taking Jeff's hand in his. They walked down the hall, hand-in-hand, to the lifts and then to the waiting room, with Harry right behind them.
In a chair, surrounded by family and friends, was Hermione Granger. On her lap was her newborn son, Tyson. Sitting on one side of them was Marie, and walking toward her was the rest of her family, Jeff and Draco. It had even stopped storming outside. So it was really, finally, happily, the end.