Chapter 24

Hermione recovered quickly from her near death encounter. It was the first one she'd had, not even the fifth and one of them couldn't be described as only near.

Pansy was carted off somewhere and her absence seemed to breathe a bit of life into her elderly husband. However, as far as most people were concerned, nothing had happened and Pansy was off on an extended convalescence abroad for nerves.

No one seemed to kick up much of a buzz and the Parkinsons were overly cordial for a while. Things returned to pretty much normal before long.

Hermione had morning sickness, but she didn't mind the queasiness or the fact that there were certain foods she could even stand the smell of. After a few weeks the queasiness settled a bit and her stomach was getting a bit of a pouch.

She struggled a bit with worry, but also knew that in her bones that things were right. Being with Draco was right and she knew this because she could not see any alternative life was would suit her. And it had survived the 'too good to be true' curse, it had done its worst and she was still here, they were still together and there was nothing they couldn't overcome.

"Are you sure about this Hermione?" Harry said one day when they met in Diagon Alley for a coffee. "It's still so utterly odd, you two being together. A couple."

"I'm sure Harry. I am happy. I just works."

"He's still a complete git, in fact he is worse now than he was. He was alright for a while, now he is reverting back to being an insufferable prick." Harry warned. Hermione could understand because Draco seemed to relish his pointed jibes towards the former golden trio boys, particularly Ron. Hermione suspected that Draco felt he had stolen a treasure away from Ron without Ron even knowing about it.

"Its actually a good thing." Hermione said with a laugh.

"I don't see how Draco Malfoy reverting to type is a good thing." Harry said.

"It beats being the emotionally shut down wreck he was before." Hermione said. "He is returning to his true state."

"But he's an arsehole." Harry stated.

"I can't argue, but I know he is happier." Hermione said.

"Yes well, we were all better off when he was miserable."

"I'm not asking you to be friends Harry." Hermione said. "But I suppose it would mean a lot to me if you could just accept it."

"Molly is pretty suspicious, you know." Harry said.

"Oh?"

"She's not stupid. She suspects something's up and your hand is still active on her clock."

"Maybe its time to remove it." Hermione said.

"I'm not sure I would be happy with that." Harry said. "Not just don't I trust Malfoy, but I really don't trust Malfoy or anyone in his family. No matter what you say."

"He would never hurt me. Someone else will eventually notice the clock, Harry."

"Molly has told everyone it is watching her new cat." Harry said. "Yes, Hermione the cat. Its the most ungrateful, lazy cat you could ever imagine, its nothing like you."

Hermione couldn't help laughing.

"So there you go." Harry said. "Your legacy."

"Its not a very good name for a cat."

"I'm pretty sure it agrees with you."

They laughed together for a while longer before Hermione had to excuse herself. She couldn't last through the afternoon without a nap these days. It forced her day into a distinct routine as Draco returned home not long after she woke from her nap. And she felt a little ashamed of her own sappiness, but it was her favourite part of the day.

When he returned from work, they would talk about everything and anything, but increasingly the baby was the topic of conversation.

"Without doubt, this child will be a Slytherin." Draco said laying his head down in her lap. "There has never been a Malfoy that hasn't been in Slytherin."

"You will still have to accept the possibility that it might be a Gryffindor."

"There would have to be some serious explaining on your part if it is." Draco said. "Everyone would assume you've been less than a dutiful wife. It wouldn't be the first time paternity drama's have unfolded as a consequence of the sorting ceremony."

"Somehow, I don't think this baby's heritage will be in question. The Malfoys are pretty easy to spot." Hermione said. "But it could just a well be a Gryffindor."

"I will have him in Durmstrang before the hour was out." Draco said.

"He, or even she for that matter, might love it in Gryffindor house."

"Absolutely not." Draco insisted. "That would be a fate too cruel for a Malfoy, surrounded by red haired idiots with nauseating do good complexes and sappy belief in happiness. People would think I didn't love my child."

Hermione slapped his around his ear. "Gryffindor is great. This kid would be lucky to get into Gryffindor."

"The poor thing would be surrounded by Weasleys, they're practically taking over the world in the numbers."

"Know knows, this child might even marry a Weasley."

Draco groaned in agony.

"Maybe even a Weasley, Potter combination." Hermione said with a sly smile. "It looks like Ginny's latest will be in the same year. Maybe they'll be best friends."

"Well that would confirm that the fates hate me." Draco said. "How would I look my family in the eye?"

"Or maybe even a muggleborn. Gryffindor is full of them." That wasn't actually true, but Hermione was enjoying this tease too much to worry about such details.

"Beats a Weasley." He said.

"Really?" Hermione said with genuine surprise.

"Yeah, but it would be a really close call."

Hermione slapped him around the ear again, but he was prepared for her assault and she ended up slapping his arms.

"I'm just grateful it can't be both." He said and that made Hermione pull out the big guns, tickling. A tactical move that balanced on the point that he could not protect his ears and his sides at the same time, which typically ended with him having to take control of the situation, and that was not a bad thing, Hermione had discovered. In fact, it usually ended up quite divine.

A while later, Hermione met up with Draco in Diagon Alley during lunch one day. They were doing a bit of shopping for the baby. Hermione waited for him at the designated meeting point. He was running a bit late, but she would wait.

She saw his hair first, only glimpses of it in the crowd. It was ridiculous how happy she was when she saw him. It just melted her heart every time they were reunited. But she wasn't so far gone that she didn't recognise how ridiculous it was. She was completely in love with Draco Malfoy. Love in its most sappy and ludicrous sense.

She wasn't sure it if was endorphins or serotonin, but something was flooding her brain every time she saw him. The baby seemed to sense a change because it gave a strong couple of kicks.

"Sorry." He said. "But Jamieson seems to want to have a conversation with me every time I want to leave, I'm sure he saves it up for the most inconvenient times."

"Its ok." Hermione said. "You're not that late. I ran into Hannah, and was chatting with her for a while."

"Well, then I'm doubly sorry." Draco said. Hermione chided him as she usually did when he made it apparent that he couldn't have cared less about other people.

"I see your niceness lessons are still to take effect."

"Lost cause, I suspect." He said with his trademark smirk. The smirk she used to hate so much had actually turned into something that made her want to rip his clothes off, she probably would have too if they hadn't been in public.

She still needed to touch him like she needed air, so she grabbed his arm and squeezed into him as he led them down the road.

A pram was on the agenda today. The existing one, which had been Draco's originally was a little too impractical and it would stick out in the muggle world as a complete oddity. Draco couldn't understand, but Hermione still felt like she needed to spend time in the muggle world, keep the connection to the world she grew up it. He didn't argue.

They found the shop that specialised in baby gear and Draco went around to the section that dealt with prams. Males seemed to think prams needed consideration equal to an engineering review.

Hermione wandered around the baby things, studying the small clothes and the tiny shoes. That was where she noticed Molly Weasley looking over some tiny jumpers. She seemed to be trying to make a decision about one of them.

She looked up briefly and returned to her decision.

"Difficult decisions." Hermione said.

"Yes." Molly said absently. "My daughter is having a little girl. But I can't decide on the yellow or the plum colour."

"Harry likes yellow." Hermione said.

Molly seemed to be swayed by the argument, but after a second she looked up with suspicion in her eye.

Hermione gave her a wink and said, "Good Day, Mrs. Weasley."

Hermione could feel Molly's eyes boring into her as she walked away to join Draco who had found a pram he seemed to deem worthy of intense study.

The End