Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters or the magical world in which they live. Nor do I make a profit from this upload.
Notes: This piece of fanfiction was written for the 2012 Dramione Remix Challenge. It also won third place in the challenge's Readers' Choice Awards.
Thank you again, kalisgirl, you're simply fantastic for beta-ing this in such a short amount of time. Thanks!
Prompt: Peter Pan/Wendy
And now without further ado... Begs the Question.
Summary: Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger are shagging, and questions are being thrown left and right. Mostly from Hermione, of course.
Begs the Question
The questions always started after they fucked.
She'd be curled up against his side, drawing indistinguishable patterns on his chest, when she'd ask the most random questions. Things like what his favorite color was and how he liked his eggs in the morning. They'd then fall into discussions that could last for hours. He thought maybe at the beginning it was her way of getting rid of the awkwardness, but even after six months of shagging she still asked her silly questions.
"Draco, why don't you have any pets?" she asked only minutes after the ecstasy of her orgasm had worn off.
He let out a sound that was a mixture of a scoff and snort. "I own an owl, Granger," he answered as he put the arm that wasn't wrapped around her behind his head.
She was quiet for a moment. "Hmm, I suppose that's true," she replied with a yawn. "But haven't you ever wanted to have a more familiar pet? One that could give you company?"
"What? Like Longbottom and his forever disappearing toad? Or you with that orange foot brush you call a cat?" he replied cheekily, only to be swatted on the chest for it. "I just don't see the point of it. Why would I burden myself with extra responsibility? I mean, you have to feed it, bath it, take it to a healer when it's sick, and, not to mention, clean all the disgusting messes it makes. So, I'm sorry if I find all of that unattractive, and as far as company goes, I have human interaction to fill that void."
Hermione slightly shook her head. "If you're so set against pets, then why do you have an owl?"
"Because he basically takes care of himself and he's actually useful," he explained. "I'd like to see your cat deliver a letter to another country."
"That's enough insulting my cat for one night," Hermione said defensively.
He smirked before continuing. "I like having as little responsibility as I possibility can. It makes life go so much more smoothly." He pulled her closer and tweaked her nose. "Plus, that means I be as carefree as I want to be."
She swatted away the offending hand. "Oh, and here I thought the object of growing up was to take on more responsibility."
"Psh, only for less fortunate people," Draco replied with a faux pompous attitude. "People who didn't inherent twenty million galleons upon the death of their parents are the ones who have to grow up."
Hermione smiled slightly at his blasé expression, but she could see the hidden sadness in his eyes. Draco hid well the fact that his parents' deaths affected him greatly. Every time he'd mention them the same sadness entered his eyes. It wasn't easy to spot, but the last six months had taught Hermione how to read him, and she was nothing if not a fast learner.
She had never brought up the topic of his parents, hoping he'd eventually do it on his own, and she didn't think tonight he was any closer to being able to talk about it either. So she continued to tease him. "Are you saying you don't ever want to grow up?"
Draco thought about it for a moment. "Yes, but I hardly think I have a say in the matter," he replied. "I am twenty-four after all. A man in society's eyes. So whether or not I take on responsibilities or not, I will still have to face the consequences of my actions, that is, if I were to get into trouble."
With a teasing grin, Hermione propped herself up on her elbow. "How can you not want to grow up and think of yourself as a man at the same time? You can't have it both ways," she said, and then a glint entered her eyes. "I'm afraid you're just going to have to choose. So, which is it? Are you a little boy? Or a man?"
Draco rolled his eyes, and then gave her a wicked grin. He pulled himself on top of her and meshed them together. He kissed her just behind her earlobe before saying, "I don't think a little boy could have shagged you as rotten as I just did." He then ground his new found erection against her thigh.
She let out a breathy moan. "So, you're saying you want to grow up then?" she asked as her hands wove their way through his hair.
Kissing a line down her throat, he replied, "Not at all. I'm merely disproving your statement," he said, then looked at her with a gleam in his eye. "I'm quite certain I can have it both ways."
He then spent the next hour showing her exactly how right he was.
… … …
Sometimes the questions weren't all that flattering.
"Was that really it?" Hermione said as she looked over at her sated lover. Draco sent a glare over at her. "I'm sorry, but it lasted a whomping ten minutes, and I didn't even get off."
Draco sighed. "Well, if you hadn't left that box on I wouldn't have been so distracted," he answered. "I don't know how you can stand it. Didn't you feel at all uncomfortable? Who knows how many people just watched us fuck."
Hermione blinked several times before looking over at the telly across from her bed. The news reporter was standing in Kensington Gardens in front of the Peter Pan statue gushing about the gorgeous bout of weather they'd been having lately. The scene changed back to the news anchor, who was staring intently out at his viewers, as he agreed. Laughter quickly escaped Hermione's lips. She laughed so hard that tears were leaking from her eyes.
Draco sulked. "Didn't know you were into voyeurism, Granger."
"Oh, Draco," she giggled, reaching over and placing a hand on his arm. "They can't see us!"
He looked confused. "What?" he asked. "Really?"
Wiping the tears from her cheeks, she shook her head. "Of course not! Oh my goodness, Draco, you actually thought I'd let people watch us do that? Please, I barely let my mother see me naked, let alone all of London!"
Draco glanced between her and the telly before walking over to it in all of his naked glory. "So, they can't see me right now?"
"No, it's strictly one way. We can see them, but they can't see us." Hermione shook her head, and Draco smirked wickedly over at her. "What?"
He grabbed both of her ankles and pulled her to the foot of the bed. "They won't be able to see me get you off with my mouth then?"
A pretty blush spread from her hairline to her top of her chest as he spread her legs right in front of the TV. "No," she replied again, but this time her voice was more shaky. She didn't know why she was suddenly embarrassed. The people in the telly couldn't see them, but now her brain's overactive imagination supplied her with what their horrified expressions would look like if they could.
Draco tsked. "That's a pity," he said as he bent down and kissed the inside of her thigh. "It would have been quite the show."
Hermione's head fell back as his lips circled around her heat, all feelings of embarrassment blown from her mind. "Yes," she murmured half in encouragement, half in answer. "Too bad for them."
… … …
Every now and then she'd pop a question that would be hard for him to answer.
"What's one of your favorite memories?" Hermione's sleepy voice drifted up to him.
Draco stared down at her in contemplation. Strings of memories flowed through his mind. There was the time he and his father went shopping for his very first toy broom when he was six, or the time when he finally beat Potter, in good fun, at Quidditch in a four on four match. Many more recent memories from the last few months surfaced that included the witch in his arms. However, one of his most favorite ones had to include his mother.
"I can't pinpoint one exactly, but memories where I'm truly content would have to involve Mother reading to me when I was younger," Draco answered some time later.
Hermione's head perked up in interest. "Yeah?" she asked with encouraging eyes. "What kinds of stories did she read to you?"
An almost sad smile flittered across his face. "Oh, you know, the usual," he said. "Babbity Rabbity, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, and even some Merlin legends. Like I said, most of them were stories every witch tells their children."
One word stuck out to Hermione, and it confused her. "Most?"
He looked at her with a thoughtful expression before answering, "My mother knew I liked adventure stories. Ones that had danger and suspense, and as vast as magical literature is my mother found it difficult to find stories that would keep my interest."
Hermione expression was a cross between awe and disbelief. "She read you Muggle stories?"
Draco barked out a laugh. "You look utterly speechless!"
She blinked to clear the expression. "It's just that I never would have thought that you grew up listening to Muggle stories. I mean, you used to loathe everything that had to do with Muggles. It just seems so strange and almost hypocritical."
"Oh, wait," he interjected. "I don't want you to think I had a Muggle-loving upbringing because we both know that's not true. My mother was just as big a bigot as me and my father. When I said it was difficult to find stories that didn't mean she had to completely resort to Muggle ones. She probably only read me a handful of them, and it was so infrequently that I can't even tell you the names of them or remember really what they were about."
Hermione rested her chin on his chest. "I'm curious as to what books she picked to read to you," she said softly as she trailed her hand across his stomach and watched his muscles jerk from the soft caress. "Are you sure you don't remember anything about them?"
Laying his hand atop hers, he frowned. "Well, maybe bits and pieces. I remember pirates," he said with a look of concentration as he tried to remember. "They were singing pirates. They chanted, 'You-who-who' or something like that."
Hermione quickly categorized all of the children's tales that involved pirates. The list was extensive, but that chant sounded familiar. "You mean, 'Yo-ho-ho?'"
Draco repeated it and it sounded right. A better fit than what he said anyway. "Yeah, that's right."
"Did you remember if the story involved a treasure map and a lot rum?" she asked, but his face remained still. "What about the name Long John Silver?"
"That sounds like it could be right," he eventually said.
Hermione nodded. "It's probably Treasure Island. It's by a man named Robert Louis Stevenson. It's a got a bit of adventure in it. I can see why your mother chose to read it to you."
Draco was silent. "Is there a little boy that flies in it?" he suddenly asked, and Hermione shook her head. "Maybe I'm mixing stories up then. All I know for certain is that Muggles liked to write about pirates."
Giggling, Hermione answered, "Well, they certainly held your attention as a child, didn't they?" They were quiet for a moment before Hermione broke it. "A little boy who could fly… Hmm, well that sounds a awful lot like Peter Pan. If it is, it's really fitting that you would like him."
"Yeah?" he asked half-heartedly, feeling his eyelids getting heavy. "And why's that?"
"Because he's the boy that never grew up," she whispered.
Draco was reminded of their conversation weeks ago about growing up. "Sounds like a smart kid." He started to twirl one of her curls around his finger lazily. "Was he a pirate too?"
He felt her shake her head against him. "No, he fought them," she replied and they lapsed into silence again. She glanced up at his face, and it was clear that he was fighting off sleep. A slight snore indicated that he was losing that battle. "Draco?"
Hermione debated asking her question, but her curiosity got the better of her. "Why do you think that's one of your favorite memories? I mean, what was it about the way your mother read that made it so special?"
For a brief moment, Hermione thought he might have fallen asleep, but then a deep sigh escaped him. "Do you really want to know?" he asked and she nodded. "Mostly these readings were kept hushed up. Especially the Muggle ones. I don't even know how my father would have reacted if he had ever found out that his son was enjoying anything Muggle related. He probably would have had a heart attack.
"I loved having a secret with my mother. I'd wait hours for her to sneak off to my room with a book in her hand. Every story felt like another secret. It was one of the best games to me. I felt like I was one of the heroes from the stories. I told myself I'd never tell a soul, even under torture. Mother would always laugh when I dramatized my oath. …She had been happier back then."
Draco grew silent, and Hermione snuggled in closer to him. She'd never heard him talk about something with so much sincerity. Usually everything was covered in sarcasm and it was hard to tell what his true emotions were. Hermione felt touched that he felt comfortable enough with her to talk truthfully. "Sounds like you were really close."
He shrugged. "We were, and then it faded when I started to idealize my father," he said, and Hermione could tell that his nonchalant attitude was back. He sighed as he turned onto his side, facing her. "Now, enough questions, Granger. I'm tired of fighting my brain. I want to sleep."
She smiled sweetly and brushed his blond fringe out of his eyes. "Goodnight, Draco," she told him, but he was already gone.
… … …
Soon she was asking questions that put him on edge.
He was still inside of her and they both were panting heavily. She was underneath him, staring up at him intently. He watched as a drop of sweat made a path from her forehead to her hairline. "So, you don't think you'll ever grow up? Never?" she asked, out of breath.
He was slightly confused by this sudden question. "What?" His mind was kind of distracted by the fact that her breasts kept brushing against his chest with every breath she took.
Hermione pushed at him until he slid off of her. She looked up at the ceiling and for a moment Draco thought she might be upset with him, but she soon looked over at him with a calm expression. "I've just been thinking about what you said about not wanting responsibility. It's been preying on my mind lately."
With a confused look, Draco replied, "That conversation happened over two months ago. Why are you even thinking about it?"
"Because," she said as she pulled the sheet up to cover herself. "Ron and Susan adopted a little boy from The Lost Boy Foundation yesterday, and it reminded me of your aversion to responsibility."
Draco recognized the name of the foundation. It was an orphanage for children who had lost their family in the war, and if he remembered correctly, it had been founded by Hannah Abbott in memory of her mother. "Kudos to them." He still was a bit wary about where this was going, and seeing as how Hermione had covered herself up-something that was very out of character-it couldn't be anywhere good.
She daintily smoothed out the sheet over her abdomen as she inquired, "It's just that, you know that Harry and Ginny are expecting and now that Ron's a father, it's made me wonder about having my own children." Draco blanched, but Hermione dismissively waved her hand. "I don't want them right now, Draco. I just sometimes like to think about how many I'd like to have or to imagine what they'd look like. I think everyone does at some point."
Draco started to pick at the sheet below him. He didn't know why he felt tense. It wasn't like she was asking him if they could have a baby, but talking about anything that was more than a few months away always made Draco uncomfortable.
"So, I guess what I really want to know is if you ever planned to grow up? Do you want to have a family one day?" she asked with a curious expression.
He simply shrugged. "I don't know," he replied, masking his uneasiness. "I don't really like to think about the future. But, I guess, in the rare occasion when I do think about it, I don't really picture a child in my future."
Hermione didn't have a reply.
Sighing, Draco continued, "I just don't think me having a child would be a good thing. I barely have enough patience for myself let alone for someone who would be completely dependent on me." He forced out a laugh. "Could you imagine how disturbed my child would be? The Malfoy name doesn't go over well with too many people nowadays. Just that would be a big enough burden to deal with, but to throw in an absentee father-"
"You would be an absentee father?" Hermione interrupted with a troubled expression.
Draco tsked. "I don't know how to be someone's father, Granger," he said annoyingly. "So, why would I stick around?"
"You wouldn't be the only man who's ever had to learn, Draco," she answered just as snootily.
"Ah," he said with a pointed finger. "But I don't want to learn. That's the difference."
Hermione turned her gaze to the far wall in silent disbelief. "Well, I guess that answers my question, doesn't it?" she said after a time, and then looked over at him. "But it certainly raises another one. Where does that leave us?"
He knew she wanted an answer. Maybe not at the moment, but sooner than he'd like. "I don't know," he finally replied. "But it's the same place we were at before this conversation."
She nodded slowly. "I suppose," she said. They lay in uncomfortable silence before she turned on her side facing away from him.
Hesitantly he scooted closer to her, and then put an arm around her. He took it as a good sign that she didn't pull away. "Good night, Draco," she whispered.
"Good night, Hermione," he answered. As he watched her drift off to sleep, he finally let an image of a child appear in his head. A child that had the Malfoy coloring, but with her unruly hair and smile. Surprisingly though, this image didn't frighten him. No, it actually made him smile softly.
… … …
They fucked like normal, but no questions followed.
Draco had Hermione up against his bedroom wall with her legs wrapped around his waist. He thrust once, then twice before finding his release. Harsh breathing followed, and Draco prayed his knees wouldn't give out on him.
After a few more moments, Hermione let her legs drop, and he then expected her to launch onto her next silly question. However, instead she pushed him away from her and started picking up her discarded clothing. He was about to ask what the hell she was doing, but before he could she swung around to face him. "We have to stop doing this."
"Stop what?" Draco asked, schooling his face not to reveal the jolt of panic that shot through him.
"This!" she said as she slipped on her stripped knickers, followed quickly by her matching bra. "What we just did! This relationship, I mean, how is this really fair to either of us?"
This irritated Draco. "Well, I don't know, maybe because of the pleasure we give each other? That always seems pretty fair and equal."
She made an aggravated sound as she buttoned her jeans. "And that would be fine if this were strictly about sex!" she remarked. "And maybe that's all it is to you, but that's not the case for me!"
It was the first time they had really even attempted to talk about what this arrangement of theirs was, but it had been a long time since he had considered it to be based around just sex. He wished he could open his mouth and voice this, but his lips seemed to be glued together.
"If that is the case for you, then it brings us back to fairness," she said sadly, now fully dressed. "We clearly want different things."
Draco pinched the bridge of his nose. This couldn't be happening. Just the thought of Granger leaving him made his chest hurt. "You're talking about that stupid conversation we had a week ago, aren't you?"
"Yes, and it definitely wasn't a stupid conversation," Hermione retorted. "That kind of thing isn't something we can just sweep under the rug and hope that it'll go away."
Swallowing the lump in his throat, Draco tried to talk her down. "You're overreacting. Just come back to bed, and we'll talk about it later."
"I want more than this," she said, with no intention of going back to his bed. She knew if she did, then she wouldn't be able to leave. She couldn't stay in this relationship when it wouldn't benefit either of them. "You have your reasons for not wanting to have kids, and I don't want to change your mind because I wouldn't want you to try to change mine. We both can't get what we want."
"You're just going to call it quits, then?" he sneered. "Are you sure you're the same Hermione Granger who received an Order of Merlin? Because I don't think she would have given up the second things got complicated!"
She had to blink back the tears that were building behind her eyes. "This isn't about giving up! It's about us not being compatible!" she shouted. "If we kept going down this road, we'd eventually hate each other."
"No, we would-"
"Draco! You're not listening!" she yelled, her hands balling into fist by her sides. "I want children! You don't!"
"You said didn't want them yet," he said in frustration.
Her shoulders sagged. "Not yet, no," she replied, feeling suddenly tired. "But someday I do, and not just one. I want two or three of them, and that's never going to change."
"If you don't want them yet, then we still have time," he said with slight desperation. He was sure by the time she was ready for them, he would be too. Because the fact of the matter was when he pictured children in his life, it was with her, and while he was still frightened of being a father, it wasn't as scary to imagine with Hermione by his side.
A sad expression filled Hermione's face. "It's not that simple, Draco," she said, as she tucked a curly lock behind her ear. "I'm going to be twenty-five soon. I might not want children for a few more years, but I'd like to think marriage is in my near future. Preferably before children. So, you see, we're really already out of time."
"So, what you're saying is that you want out of this relationship so you can go find a man who'll give you babies?"
She shook her head. "No," she replied softly. "I want to find a man who can give me a family."
He watched her walk toward him and put a sympathetic hand on his wrist before reaching around him for her wand, which lay on the night stand. "Goodbye, Draco."
He wanted to stop her. To make her see that if she gave him more time he could be the man who would give her the family she wanted, but the cowardly little boy inside him held his words prisoner. So, he was forced to watch her walk out of his room and ultimately out of his life.
Draco was thankful his bed was behind him because it was then that his knees gave out. His mind couldn't grasp what had just happened. There was no way that she wasn't coming back. This was just a little feud. Things would clear up and go back to normal. She'd be back in his bed by the end of the month, at the latest.
Sighing, he let his face fall into his hands. No matter how many times he repeated these reassurances, he couldn't help but feel that they were all lies. She wasn't going to come back, and if she didn't, he didn't know what he would do.
His mind ached and his heart throbbed.
He had to fix this.
… … …
Her questions always followed their fucking. However, seeing as neither was happening anymore, it only seemed fitting that he'd start asking the questions, and if everything went according to plan, they'd fuck afterward.
Draco apparated outside of her block of flats and quickly made his way up to her door. Pounding on it, he yelled, "Granger, open up! Hermione!" He continued to shout until Hermione swung her front door open with a irritated look.
"What?" she asked, exasperated. "What are you doing here?" Didn't he realize that this decision was hard enough without him showing up at her door? Didn't he realize that even if her love for him never truly faded, it would definitely be easier on her if they only saw each other in passing? Did he truly want her to suffer?
"Are you seriously going to end it this way?" This was all he said as he pushed past her, making his way inside her flat. He wasn't going to have this conversation in the hall. He was going to make her talk to him, since he wasn't going to let her just fade out of his life.
Sighing, Hermione shut the door and then faced the man who was currently pacing her living room floor. "I don't think there's anywhere left for this to go."
"I disagree," he said as he stopped mid-step. He looked over at her and studied her. She looked like she hadn't been sleeping. The bags under her eyes being a tale-tell sign, not to mention the redness of said eyes. He noticed that she was studying him as well, and suddenly his nerves started to act up. He took a breath to steady himself before saying, "I'll get right to the point. The thought of you being with anyone else literally makes me want to maim every man who looks twice at you. So, I thought for the safety of all mankind, we should probably come up with some kind of solution."
She looked disbelievingly at him. "This is non-negotiable, Draco," she replied slowly, tiredly. "I thought I made that perfectly clear?"
He nodded. "Yes, you did, and while your wants are non-negotiable, mine aren't," he answered, eyeing her desperately.
"What do you mean?"
He swallowed down the last remaining fear that was clogging his throat and said, "I mean, Granger, that I can be the man you want. I can give you a family, if it's what you truly desire. Hell, if you really wanted to, we could start popping out kids now." That thought sent a little jolt of panic through his system, but he was sure that if the consequence was losing Hermione, he'd be able to face the fear head on.
The angry expression she was suddenly sporting wasn't exactly the reaction he'd been hoping for. "I don't want you to change your mind just because you're afraid of losing an easy shag," she snarled.
He rolled his eyes. "Granger, when have you even been an easy shag?" he asked. "Besides, even though we shagged a lot, it doesn't mean that's all I wanted from you. Why do you think I put up with all your asinine questions? I enjoyed your company just as much as I enjoyed your body."
Most of the fight evaporated from Hermione's eyes. "Okay, so maybe our relationship meant more to you than I thought, but that doesn't change the fact that you don't want children, Draco. Maybe you think saying that you want them now will make me run back to you, but I'm not fully convinced of your change of heart," she said as she crossed her arms in front of her. "Say we had a child. Yeah, we stayed together, but at what cost? Your happiness? Could you honestly say you'd be happy? Because realistically I think you'd eventually grow to resent me and the child, Draco. So, what kind of family would that be? Definitely not one I'd like to bring a child into."
"I would not grow to resent anyone."
"You told me you didn't want children!" she said exasperatedly. "That you never wanted any responsibility! Having a child is the most responsibility a person can have! So, tell me how you would not grow to resent something that would ultimately force you to grow up?"
How could he make her understand that he had already started to grow up? From the moment he entered a relationship with her, his immature bachelorhood quickly began to come to a close. It had happened so fast that he hadn't even known it was happening. However, he didn't see it as a bad thing anymore because the more he thought about it, the more he realized that her love held more adventure in it than any other life he could have pictured for himself. "Maybe I want to grow up? Maybe I think that a life with you is better than any life I could have possibly made for myself?"
She looked at him warily, but didn't respond. It was the first time he'd actually seen her truly stumped. "Truthfully, Hermione, I never thought I'd get married, let alone have children," he explained. "Looking at the way I've been raised, it's not hard to see why I'd be wary of becoming a father myself. I didn't want to be responsible for someone else's life. Hell, look at the choices I made back in school. Is it so difficult to understand why I might not want to have another me running around?"
"Draco," Hermione started, but he cut her off.
"Let me finish," he stated. "Not having children was the obvious choice, but lately I've started to picture them. They're no longer photocopies of me. …They have your hair." He let out a chuckled as he looked at her bushier-than-ever hair. "Your God-awful hair. They have your smile, and my eyes. They're smart like you, but definitely have my charm."
Hermione gave a watery laugh. "They sound perfect."
Draco crossed the span of floor between them, and cupped her face in his hands. "I'm terrified of being a father. Terrified of screwing up," he whispered as he stared into her eyes. "But I know I want this with you, Granger."
She leaned up and kissed him, feeling so incredibly happy that she might burst. "And I want it with you," she replied. "But you're not alone, Draco. I'm scared of the next step too, but I think this is how it is for everyone. We'll learn as we go."
He drew her lips to his again, letting all the passion he felt for this woman flow into her, hoping somehow she'd feel it. "I meant what I said, Granger," he said between kisses. "If you wanted to start on that family now, we could take this to the other room." He trailed his kissed down her neck, down to her collarbone.
She giggled, pulling away. "And I meant what I said," she replied with a smile. "I want them someday. I never wanted you to think we needed to start making them as soon as possible. I just wanted the reassurance that it would happen." A sly smile spread across her face. "But I don't have any objections to taking this to the other room. After all, practice makes perfect."
His signature smirk was back. He lifted her into his arms and made his way down the hall to her bedroom. He had to admit that the start of his visit hadn't gone well, but he couldn't argue with the results. Yes, good planning was the key to adulthood, and it definitely was starting to grow on him.
End: Well, there's my happy little one-shot. Hope you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and any feedback would be much appreciated!