A/N: Hello readers! A few of you are wondering who Todd's dad is... And honestly, I don't know. It's no on who is important to the plot in this story, just some random person. *shrugs* It doesn't really matter.
Okay, apparently, there's a discrepancy with Todd's age. I've searched and searched, but I can't find it. Thanks to kat lousise for trying to help, but I'm kind of hopeless and need the exact words it says. So! If anyone can tell me exactly (or the exact words) where that little screw up is, I'd be grateful, I feel like I've read the last few chapters about 6 times trying to find it...
A huge thanks to GreekGirl for suggesting the idea that finished up this chapter. I was stuck until she gave me an idea! Also thanks to harrypotterluver123 for betaing and to everyone who reviewed!
elizaII has done a lovely artwork from a scene in this story. You should check it out!
elizaii . deviantart . com / art / Pansy – s – revenge – 213329533
Just remove the spaces.
Hermione's head jerked up when she heard a thud from the garden. Her eyebrows drew together as she tried to figure out what in the world could make a sound like that. If she had to guess, she'd say something very large had just collided with the ground.
Placing a steadying hand on her rounded stomach and another on the armrest of her chair, she levered herself in a standing position, once again wishing the baby would just come out already. People were always on about 'the wonder of life' or some such nonsense, but rarely did they wax poetic about the backache and swollen ankles.
The lions and Crookshanks watched her warily. Since her pregnancy had made moving around freely difficult, the four felines had taken to napping around her feet, as if encouraging her to join them for catnaps. Draco still thought they were trying to kill him – as he voiced on numerous occasions – but he trusted them around her, even in her vulnerable state.
She waddled across the room, feeling like a blimp. Draco didn't seem to mind her appearance at all; in fact he seemed to get no end of enjoyment from knowing that it was his child she was carrying. It must have been a male thing, because Hermione thought he was insane to be attracted to a human balloon. She was going to have to keep him away from Harry's aunt or she might lose him. Chuckling at the thought, Hermione peeked out the window.
At her excited screech, one of the lions padded over and looked through the glass as well.
"He's back!" Hermione told the cats excitedly as she rushed out of the room.
Crookshanks meowed an order to the lions; each of them was to fetch one of the blond ones. There were a lot of stairs between his mistress and the ground floor, and someone needed to keep an eye on her. He followed her out of the room, making distresses noises whenever she walked too fast.
Hermione ignored the grunted protests of her cat as she climbed down the stairs. No matter how excited she was, she wasn't going to disregard the safety of her child, so she made sure to go at a reasonable pace and keep a hand firmly on the banister at all times. Really, Crookshanks had nothing to complain about, she wasn't doing anything dangerous. Sometimes she worried Draco was rubbing off on the cat, or that he secretly had talks with the feline. They probably conspired to keep her off of her feet as much time as possible.
She rushed through the back doors, leaving them wide open in her impatience. The roar that met her ears the moment the creature set his big, yellow eyes on her didn't slow her progress in the slightest. A normal person would have paused when faced with such a large creature, but Hermione wasn't fazed in the least.
Throwing her arms around the creature, she rested her face against his cool scales. "I missed you so much Cupcake."
The dragon rumbled his agreement, nuzzling her hair with his large nose.
"Now why have you run away from your sanctuary?" Hermione demanded. She took a step back and put her hands on her hips, staring until Cupcake looked properly contrite.
When Draco realized he wasn't going to get the lion to get off of his desk so he could finish going over his accounts, he sighed and stood from his chair. Even magic probably wouldn't be able to return the valuable antique to its original form.
"Fine, you contrary beast. What is it you want?" he asked with exasperation.
The feline padded over to the open door and looked back over her shoulder expectantly. Sighing, Draco followed the creature out of the room. Hermione had been well-sorted when the hat put her in Gryffindor, she was just as alternatively stubborn and affectionate as the lionesses she insisted on keeping.
When he heard a roar so loud that it shook the house on its foundations, his stomach dropped; he had a pretty good idea what it was that had the lions so agitated. He could only hope he was wrong; Hermione wasn't going to just let this one go without a fight.
Walking through the still-open doors, his stomach dropped even father. Normally, he loved being right, but not this time.
He wasn't sure if he'd ever seen a more terrifying sight than his very pregnant wife scolding a Hungarian Horntail with her hands on her hips. The woman was trying to give him a heart attack – that was the only explanation he could think of for her behaviour.
"Hermione, get away from the dragon," he hissed.
The brunette glanced at him over her shoulder, but she just rolled her eyes and went right back to her scolding. Cupcake had his head dipped in shame as she berated him for 'thanking the people who kept the sanctuary working by abandoning them'. She seemed to be worried that the dragon had made his keepers feel underappreciated by leaving them.
Draco sidled up to his wife and wrapped an arm around her waist. "Let's go inside and owl the sanctuary that we've found one of their missing dragons, love."
Her head snapped around and her eyes narrowed as she took in his words. "How long have you known he was missing?" she demanded, furious that he would keep something so important from her.
The blond winced, knowing he'd screwed up. "A few days, I didn't want to worry you in your condition."
"I'm pregnant, not mentally unhinged! I'm perfectly capable of handling the news of Cupcake going missing."
Draco wasn't so sure about her mental stability, what with some of the food cravings she'd had throughout her pregnancy – how she managed to consume spinach with cream cheese frosting on pasta without vomiting after still baffled him – but he wasn't going to tell her that. He started to tug Hermione away from the dragon, but she resisted.
Suddenly, Cupcake let out another roar that nearly deafened Draco. He was horrified when it was answered by another, higher-pitched roar. A slightly smaller Hungarian Horntail flew into view, landing beside Cupcake with a ground-shaking thud. Shakily, a third, very small Horntail followed, crash-landing right on top on the other two.
Hermione was delighted. "Cupcake has a mate and a baby," she said, actually clapping her hands in excitement. She tried to break free of Draco's hold and rush towards the new arrivals, but he held her fast; hugging Cupcake was bad enough, he wasn't going to let her hug the other two as well when they had no idea how the dangerous creatures would react to the affection.
She added up what Draco had said while he pulled her back inside the house. "Wait, you knew Cupcake had a mate and a baby! Why didn't you tell me that? Thought it would cheer me up too much while I felt like a blimp?"
The blond shut the door firmly behind them. "I didn't tell you because you're pregnant and the moment you heard the news, you were going to insist on going to visit them. A dragon sanctuary is no place for someone in that condition."
Lucius and Narcissa just watched as their son dug himself deeper and deeper into a hole. Eventually, Hermione slapped him and stormed up the stairs in tears.
"I told you she was turning this place into a bloody zoo," Lucius told his son while the boy stood there with his hand covering his burning cheek and a bewildered expression.
"Best give her some time to cool off dear," Narcissa told him.
Hermione stormed up the stairs, furious. She knew that she wasn't being reasonable, but Draco just made her so angry sometimes.
Her breathing hitched for a moment and her hand moved to rub her stomach when the little one gave her a good kick to the ribs. It seemed he didn't like it when mummy and daddy fought. She sighed and headed to the bathroom to run them both a nice, soothing bath. The baby seemed to like it when she took baths – or maybe he just liked it when she was calm.
She waited patiently while the bath filled, perched on the edge of the large claw-footed tub and swinging one of her legs, trailing a hand in the water and playing with the bubbles. Something about bubbles made the bath that much more relaxing.
The water finished filling and she slipped into the warm embrace of the bubble bath. She idly swished the bubbles back and forth as she closed her eyes. Maybe Draco made the teensiest bit of sense when he hadn't told her about Cupcake's disappearance. She wouldn't intentionally put her child in danger, but she had been known to literally worry herself sick over things and Cupcake's disappearance would have made her worry.
When the door clicked open and someone quietly made their way over to the bathtub, she didn't open her eyes; there was only one person who would just casually wander into the room when it was almost guaranteed she was naked.
A hand gently pushed aside the wet strands of hair that were sticking to her face.
"I'm sorry I upset you, but not that I was trying to keep the both of you safe," he said quietly.
She rubbed her palm on her stomach when the baby kicked again. The little guy felt determined to dislodge her kidneys or something. Draco put his hand on top of hers and the baby immediately calmed.
"It's not fair he always calms right down for you, you're not the one getting abused" she grumbled.
"He can already tell which one of us is going to be the parent who spoils him rotten," Draco said smugly.
The baby always seemed to calm when Draco was there. She suspected the child was reacting to her feeling towards her husband and not out of affection because he could recognise his father, but Draco was enjoying being smug about it, so she didn't ruin his illusions.
He'd come a long way from the man who had been terrified he was going to be a bad father. When Hermione had told him she was pregnant, he'd been unable to look at her for an entire day. She'd thought he was disappointed about the news and had been trying to find a way to tell her. Eventually, he'd come to her and explained that he hadn't had the best role model parenting-wise as he was growing up. It had taken a little reassurance, but he was excited about the baby.
"I'm not going to let you spoil him, we don't want another little prat walking around insulting everyone," she sniffed, not entirely serious.
"A miniature copy of me is better than a miniature copy of Blaise," Draco said with a shudder. One of his greatest fears seemed to be Luna getting pregnant and producing a small version of his best mate. Hermione thought it was a ridiculous fear.
"There's no way Todd's going to let Blaise turn a little brother into a small version of his father," she said for what felt like the millionth time.
Draco laughed. "He's the only kid I know who insists he has vegetables and doesn't let his parents leave the table until they've both eaten all of the food off of their plates. Especially the vegetables."
Hermione finally opened her eyes to look up at him as he perched on the edge of the tub. "We're not going to send Cupcake back if he doesn't want to go."
She was done dancing around the reason she was in the tub in the middle of the day. They'd tried to find Cupcake a new home and some of his own kind and the dragon had returned to her.
"Hermione," he started with a sigh "it's not safe to-"
She stopped him by holding up a hand and making a pained face. "Draco, I think the baby's coming." Her voice was a gasp. She had to bend her head down so that her hair hid the smirk on her face as he went completely white and fled from the room in a panic.
If she had to hear one more time that something 'wasn't safe', she was going to go insane. Defeating Voldemort hadn't been safe, and she'd come out of the war just fine.
Once he was out the door, she chuckled; it had been just as much fun as she'd thought it would be to do that to him.
Draco must have heard the small noise, because he poked his head back in the room. "I just realized you're not due for a while and you're probably just trying to get me to stop talking," he said, his eyes narrowed into slits.
Hermione was just about to open her mouth to respond when something strange happened. A curl of black smoke started near her feet and moved up her body, completely enveloping her. It didn't hurt, but it was strange.
"What the hell?" she heard Draco say just before she felt a tugging sensation in her stomach, similar to that of a portkey.
The next thing she knew, it was blindingly bright and the air held a salty tang. She was sitting on the deck of a pirate ship covered in only the bubbles that had been floating on top of her bathwater.
Draco was a little bit faster on the uptake, probably because he'd been standing on his feet and didn't land on the deck and hit his head like Hermione had. He wrapped his shirt around her shoulders before the bubbles covering her popped.
Hermione did up the buttons as he pulled her to her feet. It was lucky that he was so much taller than her; the shirt reached almost to her knees and covered everything important.
"Where are we?" she whispered, stepping closer to him. There was something about being in a strange location and without undergarments that left her feeling exposed.
"Nothing looks familiar about this place, Granger? I would have thought you'd at least know what the place looked like if you were going to be sending people here," said an angry voice.
The couple whipped around to see Pansy standing there. Her nails were no longer perfect and her shoes were nowhere in sight, but it was definitely Pansy and she looked angry.
"You may have blocked me from using magic on this ship, but I bet you didn't count on me realizing that magic would still work on people off the ship." Her eyes landed on the rounded stomach pressing against the buttons on Draco's shirt. "Wow, you've really let yourself go."
"I'm pregnant, not getting fat," Hermione grumbled.
The other woman shot a startled glance back down to Hermione stomach, looking surprised. "Well, I never took Draco for the domestic type, but apparently I was wrong."
Draco had stopped paying any attention to his former fiancé the second she said she wasn't able to use magic anymore. She wasn't a threat. The hoard of pirates slowly advancing towards them with swords drawn on the other hand, were worrying.
"Gentlemen," Draco started, "It seems your serving wench has somehow escaped the kitchen –or the galley. I can never remember the nautical terminology."
One of the pirates grabbed Pansy's wand, snapped it, and tossed the pieces into the ocean. He growled something to her and shoved her towards a door, presumably leading to the kitchen. Pansy shot a look that was pure venom at Hermione before she disappeared below deck.
Draco pulled Hermione behind him, putting himself between her and the still advancing pirates. The men didn't seem able to decide if he was some sort of dangerous creature that could just pop into existence or if he was something they could easily kill. He wasn't taking any chances with Hermione should they realize their swords would be effective against the new threat.
"If you have any idea how to get us out of here, now's the time to do it," he whispered out of the corner of his mouth.
The words served to snap Hermione into action. With a wave of her wand, she had them back in the Manor just as the pirates had been about to charge.
She caught a look at Draco's face and immediately her heart was in her throat. While they'd been on the pirate ship she'd been worried, but never as terrified as she was upon seeing his expression. He was pale and his eyes were wide, looking haunted and shocked. Something was horribly, horribly wrong.
"Draco, what is it?" she asked, gripping his arm tightly, as if the pressure of her fingers alone could make it better.
"I'm pretty sure I saw a flash of Goyle with breasts just before we Disapparated," the blond said, looking like he was going to throw up.
Hermione whacked his arm for worrying her so much. A female Goylewasdisturbing, but it was nothing to panic her over.
Her expression shifted to smug as something occurred to her. "I was just abducted from the safety of my bathtub and transported to a pirate ship. I really don't think a family of friendly dragons in the garden are much of an issue safety-wise. I'm never going to be completely safe, no matter how much you try to protect me."
The blond raised a pale eyebrow. "Where are you going with this?"
"We're keeping the dragons," she said firmly.
Draco knew when he wasn't going to win an argument. "Fine, the dragon can stay, but none of them can come into the house!"
She nodded eagerly, kissing him on the cheek and rushing out of the room to find some pants. Then she was going to share the good news with her scaly friends.
Draco watched her go and sighed tiredly; she was going to be the death of him. At least it wouldn't be a boring death.