January 18th, 2012
A/N: This is the end, guys. Thank you for going along for the ride (: It's not over, not really. There'll be a sequel about the children. I considered adding another chapter, but it seemed right to end it on 27, seven being a magical number and all. And, you know, it might have been that way because I used up all of my material in this last one.
Thanks to Cat for sticking with me until the very end! :')
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Chapter Twenty Seven
Nine months and some odd days later
Hermione was bored. Draco was at work, while she sat at home doing nothing, without anyone to keep her company aside from Crookshanks, and she certainly couldn't have a conversation with a cat. Maybe if she transformed…no. That was a crazy idea. Idleness was bound to be the death of her if she started thinking like that.
For a brief moment, Hermione wondered how morphing would affect the baby. Would her pregnancy show if she was in her Animagus form? She got to her feet with difficulty and waddled over to the bookcase in the sitting room.
Before Hermione reached it, her water broke. Instead of panicking – this was hardly as terrifying as being chased by Death Eaters – she calmly walked to the fireplace and flooed to St. Mungo's, sending her Patronus to tell the others what was happening as she did so.
Draco was with a patient, but he doubted he'd remain with her for very long. He continuously snapped at the woman, reminding her that he was married and had a child on the way, and that she had better shut up unless she wanted to keep those bloody antlers.
"Healer Malfoy!" Cassie gasped, bursting into the room. "I hate to interrupt you, but it's Hermione."
"What's wrong with her?" Draco asked, quickly making his patient's antlers disappear. "You can leave now." When the witch lingered, he repeated, "And I do mean now."
As the woman left, Cassie said, "She's here – her water broke, the baby's coming. She wants you in there, and the only reason Mr. Potter agreed to stay out in the hall was because he knew you'd be allowed in."
"Sweet Merlin," Draco muttered, running from the room.
Healer Lawson looked up as Draco flung the door open. "Healer Malfoy, good, your wife was threatening to disembowel me if I didn't get you in here as soon as possible."
"That sounds like her," Draco said, focusing on Hermione. Her eyes were glazed over but she recognized her husband.
"You! You were the one who got me pregnant!" she shouted, even as she took hold of Draco's hand in what could only be called a death grip. "We are never having sex ever again! Do you hear me Draco Malfoy?"
Draco stared at Hermione. "She doesn't mean that, does she?" was all that he could say.
Healer Lawson smiled despite himself. "Women often say things they don't mean while experiencing the pains of child birth. I wouldn't worry about it, if I were you. She's almost ready to start pushing. You don't have to do anything but let her hold your hand."
Draco found himself wishing that he was given an actual task to perform, because Hermione was strong for her small size, and he was quite sure she had broken some bones in his hand. By the time the baby was born, he had yelled back at Hermione plenty of times, but had stopped when he saw tears in her eyes.
"Hermione…?" Draco said tentatively.
He was shushed immediately as Healer Lawson placed their newborn in Hermione's arms.
"It's a boy," Hermione whispered, resting her head against Draco's chest. "Do you still want to name him after my uncle?" Hermione's uncle had died in the summer of her fourth year at Hogwarts. She had been devastated when she found out, but she never mentioned Jonathan Granger to Harry or Ron. She had been the daughter he didn't get the chance to have. Jonathan showered Hermione with books when she was young, and was prouder than even her parents when they discovered that she was a witch. Hermione had wanted to honor the man who supported her through everything, and Draco was fine with whatever decision she made, so long as she made the decision without him influencing it.
"So long as part of his name is a constellation, because that seems to be a tradition in my family."
Hermione worried her bottom lip and smoothed down the wispy brown hair covering her baby boy's head. "Jonathan Regulus Malfoy," she said at last. "Harry hasn't taken that name yet."
Draco laughed and kissed Hermione's head. "Jonathan Regulus Malfoy it is."
Family and friends were allowed to visit after Jonathan and Hermione had both taken a nap and eaten. A nurse showed Hermione how to feed her child, and as Hermione was a fast learner, it didn't take very long until she was able to do it on her own. However, she wanted to be left in peace with her baby and husband, so she pretended to have trouble for a while.
"Blaise is dying to see his godson," Draco said, running his fingers through Hermione's curls. "Gina is getting impatient as well, and she's pulled out her wand on me already."
Hermione sighed and kissed Jonathan – she had decided to call him Jace unless he did something bad as a child – on the nose. Draco took the resigned way she straightened up in the bed as her permission to let the others in.
"Keep quiet or I'll throw you out of the room myself," Draco said calmly. Blaise rolled his eyes and brushed past him.
"Hey Granger, let me see my godson," Blaise said, straight to the point as usual. Gina pinched his arm and smiled when her fiancé winced.
"How are you doing sweetie?" Gina asked, sitting down by Hermione's bed. "Zane's dying to see you again. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him I was leaving to visit you and the baby."
"Aw, my little sweetheart. I'll probably miss him the most while I'm gone on maternal leave," Hermione said, watching as Harry carefully took Jonathan from Ginny.
"Excuse me!" Gina exclaimed, lowering her voice at the very last second. Harry stared at her in horror, praying that her loud volume wouldn't wake Jonathan. Gina was hushed by five different people.
"Blaise, would you mind bringing Zane by whenever you visit?"
"I doubt my sister will be too pleased with me, but sure, Granger, whatever you want."
"Alright, Potter, give me my daughter back. You've been holding her for far longer than anyone else. Just because you're the Chosen One and everything doesn't mean I'm not going to treat you like the prat you can be," Draco said.
"Tell me why you married him again?" Harry said to Hermione, who only chuckled.
One year later
"We didn't take anything! Please!"
Draco wrapped his arms around a whimpering Hermione and made soothing sounds that didn't make sense, even to him. Hermione finally came to her senses and lay shivering with her face buried in her husband's neck.
"What was the nightmare about?" Draco asked quietly.
"Bellatrix," Hermione whispered, trying to calm her breathing.
Then more than ever, Draco wished he had been the one to do Bellatrix in for good. Jonathan began to cry, and Hermione went to attend to him, abandoning her own burdens.
The doorbell rang, thoroughly alarming Draco, as it was three in the morning. He went to see who it was. Hermione followed, Jonathan silent save for the occasional and unintelligible noise. Draco knew Hermione would obstinately stay in place regardless of what he said, so he said nothing and opened the door.
"I had to warn you," Lucius said gravely. He spared Hermione a glance. "And, so it seems, Miss Granger as well."
"Warn us about what?" Draco asked, effectively taking the attention away from his wife and child.
Lucius regarded his son, whom he had not seen for five years, cautiously. This was not the moldable boy he remembered. This was a completely different man. "Dolores Umbridge has returned," Lucius said at last. "She plans to rid the wizard world of all half-breeds, of any kind, through the Ministry and by any means necessary."
Hermione unconsciously drew Jonathan a little close to her chest.
"When did you get released from Azkaban? The Daily Prophet certainly didn't mention it yesterday morning."
"I was released one hour ago."
Draco's eyes widened and reverted back to their original state immediately. They release prisoners at two in the morning? "Does Mother know yet?"
"No. I had to warn you first. I am returning home now. Goodnight Draco, Miss Granger."
"Bloody hell," Draco said when Lucius was gone. Hermione didn't even chastise him about an infant being present.
At one o' clock that afternoon, Jean Granger decided to visit her daughter and grandchild. She was quite confident her son-in-law would be at work, and preferred it that way. She still didn't trust Draco with Hermione. If he could be so cruel to her before, he could revert to that kind of treatment, and Jean was trying to make up for lost time by protecting Hermione as much as possible.
Steeling her nerves, she knocked on the door and waited for it to open.
"Mum?" Jonathan tightened his arms around Hermione's neck and stared at the woman he rarely ever saw.
"Hello, sweetheart. I thought I'd come by and visit you and Jonathan here," Jean said, her smile forced as she realized that her own grandson didn't recognize her. "I brought your favorite pie over."
For a moment, it seemed as if Hermione would make up some feeble excuse to get her mother to leave, but she didn't. It was an uphill battle, but she was making an effort to forgive her parents, who had taken so long to forgive her. "Alright, sure, come in. Jace won't be too friendly for a while. He just woke up from his nap."
"That's fine," Jean said, stepping into the house.
"You can put your coat in that closet." Hermione pointed to the one she meant. "Normally I would do it for you, but…" She smiled apologetically. "Do you want some tea? I can set him down for a minute or two before he gets fussy. He prefers to be high up, so Draco thinks he's going to be a brilliant Quidditch player. I'm not so sure because he's my son too, but his dad is hoping to buy him a broomstick for his fifth birthday."
"Jonathan is magical, then? And yes, tea would be lovely."
Hermione chewed on the inside of her cheek as she set a kettle to boil. "He's showing some signs, mostly with toys. He likes changing things colors and has amused me countless times by making Draco's ties float out of his reach while he's getting ready for work." She poured a cup of tea for Jean and herself and waited to hear the real reason why her mother was there.
"I wanted to tell you again how sorry I am for putting you through so much pain for so many years," Jean said into her mug. "It was unreasonable for me to be upset when you only modified our memories to keep us safe."
I should have known, Hermione thought grimly. She handed Jonathan his stuffed dog, courtesy of Harry, and contemplated what she ought to say to her mum.
"Your father is terribly sorry as well," Jean added. "It's been busy lately, you know, at the office; otherwise he would have come too."
"You know very well that I can't stay mad at anyone for too long, and I do want Jace's grandparents to be a part of his life. I appreciate you reaching out, Mum, and I'm sorry for not letting you know what I was planning to do before I sent you off to Australia."
Jean chuckled. "We forgave you the minute we got our memories back, my dear," she said softly, tickling Jonathan's stomach. "You might not believe it, but we did."
Hermione kept her skepticisms to herself and nodded. "You might want to stop tickling him. He doesn't like it too much." As if on cue, Jonathan started crying, and Hermione rocked him back and forth until his sobs ceased to exist.
Jean couldn't help but think that if Hermione invited her over more, she would have known that Jonathan did not like to be tickled. She finished her tea with a new resolve to spend more time mending the bond she once had with her daughter. They spent the afternoon exchanging small talk about the weather, their husbands, Jonathan and Harry. When they couldn't talk about those things any more, Hermione admitted that she missed her mother and hated that when she had questions about taking care of her son she had to find Molly, who she wasn't even related to, instead. She loved Molly, she did, but she also wished that she could ask her own mum for help when she needed it.
When Jean left, both women were feeling better, as they had finally come out in the open with what was truly bothering them. Hermione never was as close to her father as she had been prior to the war, but the same could not be said about her and her mother.
A year after that
"Why do you keep getting pregnant?" Draco groaned, burying his face in Hermione's hair.
"Are you bothered by the prospect of having yet another child?"
"Of course not; I'm merely curious."
"Well, then I suppose it's because we have sex like rabbits, or mice, or even hamsters."
"I resent being compared to a rodent of any kind."
"You can't really be surprised though, darling," Hermione said.
Draco sighed. "Yes, well, I can't. I just wish we could have had more time getting used to taking care of one child before we had two with another on the way."
"We?" Hermione echoed. "I don't believe you're the one the baby will live inside of for nine months. We have time to adjust."
"That's right; I was the one being told that we would 'never have sex, ever again'. Look where we are now."
Hermione laughed and kissed Draco's shoulder, which was the highest part on him she could comfortably reach. "Goodnight love."
Before either had the chance to fall asleep, however, Lila Jean Malfoy started to wail rather loudly. Hermione smiled wanly and got up to tirelessly attend to her daughter. Draco, though content where he was, followed his wife's example.
"Now is not the best time to raise Jace and a baby girl," Hermione whispered, cradling Lila in her arms.
"I know, love, but they'll be our reason to fight," Draco said, as if that made Umbridge's impending threats seem less horrific.
"I don't want them to grow up fearing for their lives, or their friends' lives, the way we did."
"I won't let that happen," Draco said firmly, his jaw set.
"Well if you won't let it happen then it certainly will not," Hermione joked weakly.
"Of course it won't."
"You are impossible," Hermione quietly informed her husband.
"Impossibly hard not to adore, just like our children, or at least little Lila. Jace is getting too verbal for my liking."
"Where do you think he learns all of those bad words from? I'm telling you, it was a mistake to name Blaise his godfather. But I suppose if all else fails we can still agree that you and the children are hard not to adore," Hermione said. She smiled and kissed Lila on the forehead and Draco on the mouth. "We'll get through this."
"I never said we wouldn't."
A/N: So that's it, guys. No more Expertise in Pyrotechnics :') Keep me on author alert, though, because I'll be starting a sequel soon. Thank you for all of the support and encouragement you've given me throughout the past months! I love this story to death, because I never thought it would make it this far. While I'm sad about its ending, I feel rather accomplished. This is the first story I've actually finished and I'm proud of it and how far it's gone. Anyway, yeah, stay tuned for the sequel, and I'll make sure to let you all know through Twitter. Remember, it is writersanon375!
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