Chapter 17

Hermione blinked awake. The bright light in the room was blinding her and she quickly closed her eyes again. She was in a bed - one that wasn't very comfortable and quite narrow. Was she still at St. Mungo's? And how long had she been out - minutes, hours or even days?

"I think you have done enough," she heard someone yelling. "Get James from your mother's and go home. I am going to stay at Grimmauld Place for a few days."

"Harry," Hermione winced at Ginny's high-pitched response. "You don't believe her, do you?"

"We heard everything," Harry growled back. "How could you do this to your friend? To your own brother? Me?"

"Now you're going to run back to her," Ginny hissed back. "You always choose her..."

"I said go home and let me do my job," Harry responded resolutely.

"Don't they know where they are," she heard Daphne's hushed voice inquire.

Hermione blinked again as her eyes finally adjusted to the bright lights above her. The smell of potions, the sterile environment and the hospital curtain around her bed told her that she was indeed still at St. Mungo's.

"Oh," Draco responded with a sigh. "It's not like they ever had any class. I reckon Potterette will be scrambling to save her marriage considering her husband and brother heard how she manipulated them all to turn on Hermione five years ago."

Hermione turned toward Draco who was sitting on a chair next to her bed. He hadn't noticed she was awake because his attention was on the two people arguing on the other of the hospital curtain.

"What...," Hermione swallowed hard to regain her voice. "What happened?"

"Oh, thank Merlin you're awake," Draco jump out of his chair and ran his hand down Hermione's cheek. "I was so worried about you. You just passed out for no reason. The Healers think it was exhaustion from all the stress from the past couple of weeks. I told you we need a holiday."

"Alright," Hermione responded weakly. "When are we going?"

"As soon as you get out of here," Draco shot her a lopsided grin. "And we're leaving for a month. No arguments here. I am going to find someone to help with your business while we're away so you don't have to worry about a thing."

"I am in," Hermione nodded.

She was too tired to argue and maybe Draco was right. A break from all of this sounded lovely. She had been through a lot. Suddenly remembering Maggie she wondered what happened to her.

"I'll go anywhere but France," she smiled at him weakly as she thought of Maggie.

"YOU BITCH," someone suddenly pulled the curtain surrounding her bed open. "Now you got what you always wanted. Are you happy that you destroyed Harry's and my marriage? It'll be your fault if my son grows up without a father..."

Hermione looked up and noticed Ginny, Ron and Harry stand only a few feet away. Harry looked angry while Ron wouldn't look at her at all. Looking at Ginny Hermione remembered Maggie's confession. It had been the younger woman who had messed up her entire life with her lies. Without her interference none of this would have ever happened.

"Oh, do shut up, you dumb hypocrite," Hermione growled back. "It was your lies and insecurities that caused my daughter to have no father."

"Well," Ginny huffed back as Harry tried to silence her. "You are the reason Ron's fiancée is dead!"

Hermione's breath hitched as she looked at one of her former best friends. She knew she should feel bad or maybe even guilty over Marguerite's death but she didn't care. The woman would have done anything to take Sophie from her and Hermione was glad she was gone. Now, if only Ginny would just go away.

Just then Hermione looked at Draco who was watching her anxiously. She realized she didn't care about Ginny, Harry or Ron anymore. This thing she had with Draco was a million times better than anything she could ever dream of. Neither one of them was perfect but they loved and respected each other - and the sex was amazing. Ron and Harry always had made fun of her need for perfection and her ambition to succeed. Draco thought it to be rather sexy.

"I love you," she smiled at him and he responded with an equally brilliant grin.

"Did you hear anything I said," Ginny was seething when Hermione continued to ignore her. "You are going to pay for what you have done to me!"

"And what exactly would that be, She-Potter," Draco drawled condescendingly. "Oh wait, you're probably going back to She-Weasel very soon."

"Fuck off, Death Eater," Ginny yelled before storming off. "The two of you deserve each other!"

Hermione watched Ginny disappear in a huff before looking back at Ron and Harry. Ron looked exhausted and devastated as he was shifting uncomfortably on his feet while Harry looked straight at her.

"I am so sorry Hermione," Harry began. "It's all over now. Maggie is dead. Her body couldn't handle all the different curses thrown at her. Astoria will most likely undergo psychological treatment and spend a few years in Azkaban after she wakes up. Ron agreed to withdraw the custody suit..."

Hermione couldn't help but snort out loud. After today's events Ron didn't have a chance in hell to beat her in front of the Wizengamot - even if could afford his fancy lawyer without Maggie's financial help. She looked at Ron whose face was beet red now and she was sure he was barely holding in his anger.

"Could you ever forgive us for what happened," Harry continued uncomfortably. "I mean we were manipulated and lied to..."

"I probably could forgive you," Hermione inhaled deeply and she felt Draco stiffen next to her.

She paused and looked at him. He was good at hiding his true feelings but she could tell he was worried about her answer. She quickly took his hand and squeezed it reassuringly.

"Call me petty though," she turned back to her former friends and continued. "But quite frankly I don't want to forgive either one of you. Even now you're giving me some lame excuses about lies and manipulation. The two of you knew me better than anyone. We were best friends for the better part of eight years, we fought a war together yet you believed me capable of these things?! Harry, you never listened to my side of my issues with Ginny and Ron... I don't even know what to say to you. I'll never forget you shagging that other witch and then denying any responsibility for Sophie. No apology in the world can change the past five years. What happened today doesn't change that I had to work hard to provide for my daughter and myself with only my parents' support or that you two abandoned me. The horrible way the two of you still treat Draco shows me that neither one of you has changed in the past five years. I don't need either one of you in my life anymore. And when it comes to my daughter... Well, let's just say I will decide if you get to be any part of her life. But don't count on it to happen any time soon."

Harry stared at Hermione with an open mouth while Ron looked like he was ready to explode. Hermione rolled her eyes. She was glad she didn't have to deal with his anger issues anymore.

"Mummy," a sweet voice interrupted her observations.

"Sophie," Hermione wanted to cry as her daughter swung herself at her.

"Why are you in bed," Sophie asked with concern in her voice.

"Mummy needed a nap," Draco quickly responded and Hermione shot him a grateful smile. "But she's all rested now and we'll be going home very soon."

Sophie giggled and Hermione turned to look as more people swarmed into the room.

"Watch it Potter," Theo pushed Harry out of the way and sneered at Ron.

Hermione could have sworn she saw him wink at her as he guided a very pregnant Pansy toward the empty chair next to Daphne. Neville - who had never taken sides in the past five years - shot a disappointed look at his former roommates while Luna was grabbing at something in the air. Hermione was sure she was cleansing the room's aura but thought it better not to ask. Blaise and Ernie moved toward Draco and patted him on the shoulder while Lavender ran toward Hermione to hug both her and Sophie at the same time.

"Merlin, Hermione we were so worried about you," her best friend whispered into her ear. "We came as soon as we heard what happened on the Wireless News Network. What happened? Are you alright? What did the Healers say?"

"Let her breath, Macmillan" Pansy frowned and then glared at Hermione. "I just can't believe you would scare me like this. I still have five weeks to go so if this baby comes early I am blaming you, Granger. I may make you godmother just because of it."

Hermione looked at her friends in surprise as she clung on to Sophie for dear life. Lavender, Ernie, Pansy, Theo, Neville, Luna and Blaise had all come to make sure she and Draco were alright. Back at Hogwarts she would have never thought these people would make up her group of friends but now she wouldn't trade them for anything.

"It seems like you're right," Draco drawled next. "You don't need them anymore. You're with the cool kids now."

She felt odd as she shot one last look at Ron and Harry before turning toward Draco. Nothing in life was certain but Hermione felt like she was looking from her past to her future. Draco smirked at her and she immediately knew things would never be boring with him at her side.

Well, this is it. I haven't started the sequel yet. I've been thinking about what could happen and have a few ideas. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this story :) I know I had fun writing it and loved every review you guys left me. Thanks for sticking with me.