The Hazards of Magical Parenting
Disclaimer: Any recognisable characters, settings, etcetera, are not mine. It all belongs to J. K. Rowling.
A/N: Hello readers! So, this story was my contribution to the Fandom for Leukemia and Lymphoma thing. I've been meaning to post it here (I was allowed on December first), but never got to it...
Hermione paced the small cell, studiously avoiding meeting the eyes of the slumped figure in the corner. As far as she could tell, there were no weak points in their prison, and even if there were, she didn't have her wand to cast the more powerful spells required to help her blast through the thick stone walls. They were thoroughly trapped. Together.
She may have been avoiding making eye contact with him, but he certainly wasn't returning the favour. His eyes followed her every movement. She could feel the weight of his stare and it just made her pace all the more frantically.
"I know what you're thinking, Granger."
Hermione glared at him. "We've been over this, Malfoy; Ron may be dead, but I'm still a Weasley."
He chose to ignore her comment. "You're thinking this is all my fault."
"Maybe a little," he conceded, "But you're just as much to blame as me. If we hadn't disapproved to their union so vehemently, they probably wouldn't have taken such extreme measures."
"Of course I was vehement! Your feckless son got my sixteen year old daughter pregnant. She's not even finished her schooling!"
"I'm certain they weren't thinking about their schooling when it happened."
Hermione stopped her pacing and turned to give him her fiercest glare. She wouldn't be surprised if the acid in it cleaned some of grime off of the ancient stone surrounding them.
While she'd known that Malfoy Manor had a dungeon, Hermione had always assumed that the Malfoys had done the reasonable thing and closed it off after the war. After all, Voldemort had used it to imprison people. Hermione would have thought that having something so barbaric in the basement of a family home was undesirable. Apparently she'd been wrong.
It seemed that she was wrong about a lot of things. The nice boy she'd thought Rose to be dating was certainly one of her more grievous errors. When Rose had announced her pregnancy and her secret relationship with Scorpius, Hermione asked about the boy she'd thought her daughter to be dating. Rose had scoffed and informed her that the boy was one of her classmates that she'd been paying to pose as her boyfriend so her family wouldn't give her grief about her real one.
Hermione was questioning everything she'd thought she'd known about her daughter.
Unaffected by her corrosive glare, Malfoy continued, "I think they really love each other. We should have given them more of a chance to explain."
Hermione had seen the love between them as well, but they were sixteen and in no position to raise a baby together. They claimed that they were always careful and that a potion Rose had taken to counteract a mild case of pneumonia had interacted with her contraceptive potion. At the time, Hermione hadn't wanted to listen to their excuses, and while she appreciated the way they were upfront and truthful in their confession, she'd still started yelling at them. Malfoy had been on the same page, the both of them yelling over each other.
After sharing a look, Rose and Scorpius had disarmed their unsuspecting parents and put them into the dungeon where they'd been ever since. Rose was officially grounded for the rest of her life as soon as Hermione was free of the dungeon.
"Granger, sit down. You're driving me insane."
Bristling, Hermione was all ready to argue until her face was blue, but she took a good look at Malfoy and saw that he was just as worried for their children as she was. There were liens of stress around his mouth and eyes that belied his clam voice.
She sat down beside him, close enough that she could feel the warmth coming off of him. It was quite cold in the dungeon, and without her pacing to keep her warm, she really felt the chill.
"This is still mostly your fault," Hermione said after a while. Most of her animosity towards Malfoy had faded, but she needed something to distract her from leaning against him. The chill from the bricks was seeping into her bum and back, and she knew that it wasn't going to rest until it had seeped into her bones.
"I don't see how."
Hermione had worked with Malfoy at the Ministry since they were both just out of Hogwarts. He was a lot less willing to engage in their usual arguments since his wife had run off on him five years ago. While she would never admit it, Hermione missed the arguing and sometimes went out of her way to bait him.
"The world domination certainly wasn't Rose's idea. That plan of theirs has that little troublemaker of yours written all over it."
"Granger, you're being dramatic. They're not out to dominate the world, they're just going to hold the Minister of Magic hostage."
Hermione wasn't sure how exactly the hostage portion of their plan came into play, but she and Malfoy had definitely heard Rose whispering to Scorpius about holding the Minister of Magic hostage. Her little baby was not only going to have a child of her own, she'd become a criminal!
"How are you so calm?" she demanded.
"I'm not calm, I'm just being productive and using this time to picture all the ways I'm going to punish Scorpius for this."
Malfoy slipped an arm around her shoulder and she went rigid. She didn't pull away, only peeked up at him questioningly.
"Your shivering was getting distracting," he explained.
Hermione was presented with two options; she could continue their argument, remain aloof and possibly freeze to death, or she could get over her pride and take the warmth Malfoy offered. She chose the second option, scooting a little closer to him and opting to ignore his smug expression.
Rose and Scorpius sat together on the Muggle bus, not looking at each other or speaking, but their hands clasped tightly together on the seat between them. Not wanting a record of their visit to the Ministry in the Floo network or using their magic while underage so close to those who enforced the underage magic laws, they were left with no other choice but public transportation. Sure, there was always the Night Bus, but in a community as small as the magical one, there was too much of a chance that someone would recognise them and question their destination.
"You don't have to do this," Rose said quietly, her pale face set and determined. "This is my mess."
He squeezed her hand tighter for a moment, whether in comfort or punishment, she didn't know. "In case you've forgotten, I had a little to do with the creation of this mess."
When a very old woman that smelled like she was well past her expiry date took the seat behind them and seemed to take too much of an interest in their quiet conversation, Scorpius glared until she moved to a different seat.
"If you want to hold the Minister hostage," he continued quietly so he didn't draw attention to them, "Then I'm going to be right there at your side making sure no one comes into the office to ruin everything."
"You'd stick by my side even though there's a chance that we're going to end up in prison?"
Scorpius released her hand to wrap his arm around her shoulders and pull her against his side. "Considering what our parents are going to do to us after we locked them in the dungeon, Azkaban will be a nice break. We'll probably survive longer in there with the dangerous, hardened criminals."
Thinking of her mother's reaction in the event that their plan failed, Rose had to agree. "We're not going to prison," she said, drawing herself up without pulling away from Scorpius. She blushed a little when people turned to look at her curiously, and Scorpius gave her a censoring look. When she continued, it was a little quieter. "We're going to keep the Minister hostage until he surrenders a time turner, and then we're going to go back in time and warn ourselves that my pneumonia potion interferes with the contraceptive potion. No one will have any idea that the Minister was ever our hostage, or that I had been pregnant before I went back in time to fix it."
He touched the very tips of his fingers to her shirt over her still flat stomach. "You're positive this is what you want?"
Her hand covered his. "Not at all, but I'm not ready for a baby. Can you think of a better plan?"
"Not off the top of my head." Scorpius held her tighter while she pressed her nose to his neck like she always did when she wanted to say something without him seeing her face.
"I think you would have made a great dad," she mumbled.
He took in a deep breath, surprised by how much that one sentence hurt. "Maybe someday, when we're ready, we can find out."
"I don't think they realize how cold it is down here," Hermione said through teeth clenched to keep them from chattering. Even pressed right up against Malfoy's side with his jacket wrapped around the both of them, she was shivering. It was hard to tell, but she was pretty sure Malfoy was shivering as well.
"When we get out of here, I'm going to make sure that Scorpius spends a week down here so he knows exactly how cold it gets."
Hermione was past her anger and a bone deep worry was starting to set in. Her daughter was pregnant, probably terrified, and when she'd tried to come to her mother with the problem Hermione had yelled at her.
"Are we terrible parents?" she asked quietly, drawing Malfoy out of his rant about punishing Scorpius.
"Our sixteen year olds are having a baby and have plans to hold the Minister hostage. I think we're doing something wrong."
There was no arguing with his logic.
Hermione thought back over the years, trying to find where she had gone wrong. Sure, Rose had acted out after Ron died, but Hermione just assumed that it was her way of handling her grief.
Wiggling out from under Malfoy's arm, Hermione shot to her feet and started scanning the walls. "I've failed her once; I'm not going to let my daughter down again. There has to be some way out of here."
"Granger, this is a dungeon. Keeping the people trapped down here is the whole point of a dungeon. No one escapes unless they're released."
Hermione started kicking at the wall in frustration, hoping that maybe she could dislodge a brick with sheer determination and stubbornness. She stopped suddenly and turned to stare at Malfoy with big eyes.
"I've read that these old Pureblood Manors will bar a true member of their family from no part of the house," she said slowly, finally remembering something that had been vying for attention in the back of her mind. She probably would have remembered sooner if she hadn't been so distraught.
Malfoy stood as well, watching her warily. "Why do I have a feeling that I'm not going to like the next thing out of your mouth?"
"Do you have anything sharp on you?" she asked, patting down her pockets for a paperclip or something with a sharp edge.
Looking even warier - something Hermione wouldn't have thought possible - Malfoy started searching through his own pockets. Between the two of them, they gathered a considerable amount of lint, a few bits of string and half a piece of toast.
Hermione looked questioningly at Malfoy when he produced the last one from an inside pocket of his jacket.
"I forget to eat breakfast sometimes," he said sheepishly. "I have low blood sugar and a tendency to faint if I don't eat in the mornings, so the House Elves slip food in my pockets."
"Could the House Elves come down here and release us?"
He shook his head. "There're wards keeping them out of here for that reason exactly. It would be more than embarrassing to have the family elves releasing the prisoners."
Thinking back, Hermione wondered if these wards were directed against Dobby in particular or if there had been disloyal House Elves with the Malfoy family before Dobby's time. She knew now wasn't the time to ask though.
"We need to make you bleed somehow," she said, looking contemplatively at her short nails. They were too dull to make a good scratch.
Malfoy raised an eyebrow. "If you weren't so distraught about your daughter, I would think this is some elaborate revenge scheme to get back at me for being a prick in school."
"Just bite your thumb or something," Hermione said impatiently. "You only need a little bit of blood on the lock over there and I think we'll be free. This dungeon was never intended to imprison Malfoys."
When he spent too long gently gnawing on his thumb, Hermione grew impatient. She grabbed his arm, yanked his hand away from his mouth, and brought it to her own, biting down hard on the fleshy part of his hand just below his pinkie.
Even worried for their children and eager to escape, Hermione allowed herself a moment of amusement at Malfoy's yelp. He was such a baby.
"You bit me," he said after he'd snatched his hand back from her. She hadn't bitten hard enough to cause permanent damage, just enough to break the skin.
"Wipe it on the lock before it clots," she said impatiently. Men were such complainers sometimes.
Malfoy did as she asked, his reproachful look interrupted by the grinding of the rusted mechanism in the door as it unlocked and then swung open for them. Wiping blood on his pants before it started dripping everywhere, he stared, impressed.
"You're going to have to tell me what obscure history books you've been reading about Purebloods. Clearly the knowledge is more useful than I had thought."
"I'll lend you the book," she said absently as she left the cell and started down the corridor. "Now let's stop our children from getting themselves thrown in Azkaban."
A rushed search of the Manor didn't reveal Hermione or Draco's wands, meaning the children must have brought them to the Ministry with them.
"I'm not sure whether to be impressed or annoyed that they thought to bring our wands with them," Malfoy muttered as he followed Hermione to the fireplace so they could take the Floo Network to the Ministry.
Hermione frowned into the little pot on the mantelpiece that Malfoy had indicated contained the Floo powder. "There's only one handful in here."
"We'll just have to ride together." He was poking at his hand, occasionally shooting her accusatory scowls.
"Stop poking. It's only going to make it start bleeding again and it only just stopped."
Honestly, it was just like she was back in school again scolding Harry and Ron. If there was anything Hermione had learned in her lifetime, it was that boys never really grew up, and clearly even Malfoy wasn't an exception to that rule.
She was still shaking her head at him and struggling to contain her laugh when his poking stopped and his eyes whipped up to stare at her. "This is your fault, Granger. Why does it sound like my pain amuses you?"
"Because it does. Your hand can't hurt that much, I barely broke the skin."
Disbelievingly, Malfoy showed her his pants where he had wiped excess blood after opening the lock on their cell. Other than a reddish-brown smear, there wasn't much to see. Hermione was unimpressed and it showed on her face.
"This is probably going to scar," he snapped, stepping towards her to invade her space. She had to tilt her head back to look up at him.
Rolling her eyes, Hermione grabbed his hand a kissed just above the cut like she had for her children after they'd scraped their knees as children. "There, all better," she said while he was still in shock. "Now can we go stop our children from holding the Minister hostage, or do you have a splinter you need me to kiss as well?"
Malfoy shook off his daze with remarkable speed considering how out of sorts he seemed over her kiss. "I'm not a child. It'll take more than a little kiss to heal my injury."
Before Hermione could object that he was wasting yet more time when they needed to stop their children, Malfoy wrapped one hand around her waist and took the Floo powder from her with the other. He threw the powder in the fire and then dragged Hermione into the green flames. Yanking her tight against him, he called out their destination.
They arrived at the Ministry and stumbled out of the fireplace, somehow managing to stay close together. This probably had something to do with the tight grip Malfoy had on her and the way her hands were still clutching onto his shirt for dear life.
Hermione looked up at him, surprised by how much she was enjoying his proximity. She didn't even comment on the hand he had so casually resting on her bum.
"If your son's anything like you, I think I may be starting to see what attracted my daughter to him."
"Dashing good looks, culture, taste, and impressive intelligence?"
"No... You have a certain irritating charm under the exceptional weight of your ego."
Malfoy squeezed her bum again before releasing her with a rakish grin. It seemed his hand wasn't bothering him enough to stop him from molesting her. Hermione made a note to remind him of this fact if he complained again about her biting him.
"Are you coming, Granger? We've got a crime to stop," Malfoy said when she stared after him in disbelief at his daring.
Rolling her eyes, Hermione followed.
Rose smiled and waved to the fifth person that greeted her, trying to seem like she was just in the Ministry to visit one of her many relatives, not to hold the Minister hostage. It was harder than she'd anticipated.
While she was well known in the Ministry, more than one person they passed seemed a tad concerned that a Malfoy appeared to be accompanying her through the halls. So far, her cheerful smile and waving seemed to be reassuring them, but she was worried that sooner or later, someone would call security. Then security would send for their parents, who would then murder the both of them. Rose fought to keep her breathing out of hyperventilation territory.
"It's a little alarming how lax security is around here," Scorpius said. He lagged back a few steps as a passing secretary smiled at Rose and then gave him a hard, suspicious stare. Normally, he let people's prejudices roll right off his shoulders like rainwater, but in this case he was more aware of them since they posed a threat to both him and Rose.
"Everyone knows I'm not a threat," she murmured, keeping her voice low as one of the Minister's aids scurried past her. The man was in too much of a hurry to greet them or even shoot Scorpius a suspicious glance. "It's one of the perks of being the daughter of war heroes."
Scorpius grabbed her hand just as they approached the corridor that led to the Minister's office and tugged her to a stop.
She looked at him questioningly.
"Are you absolutely positive that you want to do this?" he asked. "Once we burst in there, it's done. We could be facing time in Azkaban."
Her hand went to her abdomen unconsciously. She'd followed rules with an almost obsessive fervor her entire life and then she met Scorpius, someone with a more relaxed view of school rules. The fact that he was the one cautioning her set off all kinds of warning signals. She was desperate and scared though, and this was the only solution she'd been able to come up with.
Rose nodded. "I'm sure. Now let's get this over with before our parents somehow escape and murder us."
They shared a quick kiss for luck then headed down the thankfully deserted corridor.
"Me first, just in case," Scorpius said once they were at the door. He didn't give her time to object, just burst through the door with his wand drawn. Rose was right behind him and collided with his back when he suddenly stopped.
She peeked around him to see what the problem was.
Hermione shook her head at her daughter. She hadn't wanted to believe that Rose was capable of... whatever it was that she had planned, but here was the proof standing right in front of her in the door to the Minister's office, looking pale.
While the children were still staring in disbelief, Hermione and Malfoy summoned their wands from Scorpius' pocket and then disarmed the two shocked youth.
Rose half turned, prepared to flee, but Scorpius grabbed her arm.
"There's no point trying to get away, they know where we live," he murmured.
She looked like she was going to try and gnaw her arm off to escape, but Scorpius held firm and the urge quickly passed. While she may have been pregnant and scared, she wasn't stupid.
Malfoy had insisted on taking the Minister's chair behind the impressive desk, and there hadn't been time for Hermione to argue with him. She was forced to stand at his side with her arms crossed, looking as formidable as possible. Judging from the way her daughter was cowering against her boyfriend's side and how Scorpius seemed to be braced for an attack, she was succeeding with on the formidable front.
"I think you should both sit down," Hermione said in a quiet voice that she knew from her own childhood was more terrifying than yelling could ever be.
Clearly finished with their hell raising, Rose and Scorpius took the small sofa beside the door, exchanging worried looks as they did. Good. They should be worried.
"What I'd like to know," Malfoy said, at his most forbidding and sounding alarmingly like his father, "Is what the hell you two were planning on doing breaking into the Ministry."
The children exchanged a glance, but remained silent.
"We're not leaving this office until you two explain yourselves," Hermione said.
"How did you know we were going to be here?" Rose asked quietly.
"We overheard the two of you discussing you plans when we were captive in the basement."
Not used to being reprimanded by Malfoy, Rose cringed against Scorpius, whose face had gone completely blank. Once again, Hermione got the feeling that she was parenting wrong, but she had no idea how to fix the problem.
Malfoy glanced towards her and caught her troubled expression, raising a questioning eyebrow. She shook her head just the tiniest bit, worried that her helplessness was written all over her face. His forbidding aura dropped and he looked searchingly at the children.
"Just for a minute, let's pretend that Granger and I aren't furious with the both of you. We're not going to yell or judge, we'll just listen until we hear your side of the story."
Looking down at Malfoy, Hermione had to blink a few times to keep the tears back. Without needing to discuss it, she and Malfoy seemed to be on the same page. Hermione was surprised and pleased. Even Ron had never been completely on the same page as her; she would discipline while Ron murmured at her side that maybe she was being a little harsh. She and Malfoy seemed to just understand each other.
Scorpius sighed, looked at Rose until she nodded and then started explaining. "We were hoping to hold the Minister hostage until we were given time turners, at which point we were going to go back in time and tell ourselves about the contraceptive potion not working when combined with Rose's healing potion."
Eyes welling once more, Hermione uncrossed her arms and launched herself across the room, hugging both of the children tightly. "That's the worst plan I've ever heard," she said through her tears.
Over her shoulder, Scorpius mouthed a plea for help to his amused father. The teenager was unsurprised when he only received a smirk in response.
Hermione pulled back when Scorpius started to gently push against her. She'd forgotten that he'd grown up with people who weren't huggers. Remembering that Malfoy was behind her, Hermione suddenly felt the weight of his gaze. She glanced over her shoulder to see that he was watching her with entirely too much amusement. Arse. He probably considered her hug as part of Scorpius' punishment.
"I'm in complete agreement with Granger. That was an incredibly stupid plan," Malfoy said, surprising Hermione. She'd expected him to mock her a little for being a soft-hearted Gryffindor. Maybe he was still presenting the children with a united front, because he certainly wasn't holding back for lack of amusement. She could see it in his eyes.
"Dad, you're bleeding," Scorpius said in a transparent effort to get out from under the weight of their parental disappointment and disapproval.
Hermione turned to look and started towards Malfoy when she saw that he was indeed bleeding. He must have clenched his fist or something to reopen the scab. Silly man.
"Mum, you have a bloody handprint on your butt." Rose sounded scandalised. A quick check of the back of her pants revealed that she did indeed have a partial palm print on her arse.
Malfoy's chuckle was so quiet that she only heard it because she was right at his side. She had her wand out and ready to heal him. After all, it was her fault that he was bleeding in the first place. She turned around just in time to catch the children exchanging a horrified look. Good. Let them come to their own disturbed conclusions.
Glancing up at her while she healed him, Malfoy seemed to read what she was thinking and answered her with a smirk.
"That's what you get when you lock your single parents together for an extended period of time. We had to do something to entertain ourselves while we plotted our escape," he said, watching them closely. Malfoy wasn't disappointed; both children looked completely horrified, possibly scarred for life.
"Let's get out of the Minister's office," Hermione said, worried that the children would make their displeasure known loudly enough to disturb the people working in the offices near the Minister's. "He was kind enough to take a long lunch so that we could ambush you two without putting him in danger or getting the Aurors involved."
She ushered the children out with a firm hand on each of their backs.
"That bite mark scarred," Malfoy said, following after them and poking at the fleshy part of his hand. Hermione glanced back to see that he was right; despite her magical healing, there was still a faint pink mark from her teeth. If magic couldn't remove it, chances were that Malfoy would be forever stuck with a reminder of their little adventure.
"I'll give it another kiss once we're out of here." Hermione was pleased when the children both cringed in horror once again.
After a hard day of arguing with her daughter over appropriate punishments for attempting to kidnap the Minister, Hermione was exhausted. She didn't punish Rose for the pregnancy; having to come up with a decision about the baby was punishment enough in her mind.
While she wasn't much of a drinker, in this case, Hermione allowed herself to indulge in a much needed Firewhiskey, possibly more than one. She was well into her second glass when the fire in front of her flared green and out walked Malfoy, not surprising her in the least.
"How'd it go?" he asked, helping himself to a glass of Firewhiskey.
"We've talked it over and Rose would like to raise the baby. I'm contacting the headmistress tomorrow to arrange a correspondence program so she can finish her schooling."
Malfoy nodded. "Scorpius thought that was what she was going to decide. He's grounded from his owl, but he asked me to let your daughter know that he wants to be there with her through everything."
"He's a good boy."
He hummed in agreement. "They're both good kids, just a little misguided."
In companionable silence, they sipped at their drinks. Hermione would have never thought that she'd find such quiet peace with someone who she could argue with so passionately. She needed the calm after all of the yelling Rose had done when Hermione informed her that she was grounded until after the baby was born.
It was nice to unwind with quiet companionship.
As if reading her mind, Malfoy spoke. "I have to admit, despite the horrible circumstances of our little adventure, it was more fun than I've had in a long time."
She stared into her Firewhiskey, watching him out of the corners of her eyes. "I did too. We should do this again sometime, minus the teen pregnancy and plot to hold the Minister hostage."
"Granger, are you asking me on a date?"
Finally meeting his eyes, she gave him a small smile. "I am."
"It's probably not going to be as exciting as what we went through today."
"I'm counting on that." Her head tilted to the side as something occurred to her. "Although, once the children find out, there's a good chance that they'll kidnap us once more. This time though, they'll probably keep us in different places."
"They certainly won't be keeping us in the Manor's dungeon again. I've arranged to have it renovated into an indoor swimming pool."
"About time," she muttered, wondering why in the world anyone would want something as unpleasant as a dungeon, complete with cells, in their home.
"I agree, Granger. Outdoor pools are too middle class for Malfoys." She squinted her eyes at him until his haughty expression melted into a smile. "Now let's discuss this date of ours..."