Post HBP: Draco's a spy for the light, partner to one Severus Snape. Something done one night in an effort to save his own skin leads to actions that will change his life and that of the woman he l...
I lit my pain on fire
And I watched it all burn down
And now I'm dancing in the ashes
And there's no one else around
So take me and let me in
Don't break me and shut me out...
- "Take Me" by Papa Roach
Another dawn to be spent retching in remorse and disgust.
Another secret. This one worse than the first. This one crueler, eviler than anything that had been stacked against him, even listening to his bastard of a father. He wished that he was once more the spineless coward he had been as a child. He would have defied them, too afraid to damn himself even more by defiling her. He would have died on that bloody floor.
Right beside her broken, naked body.
And then she would have lived on, believing him a hero, believing the best of him. She would see him in the light he had wanted her too.
Ever since he fell in love with the mudblood.
He winced. She was anything but filthy. She was beautiful, kind, considerate, everything in his world that he never deserved yet longed for forever.
"She will forgive you, Draco."
He glanced to Snape as the man shifted beside him, looking at him with his black eyes. Staring into them, Draco felt a gentle nudge like a whisper in his mind. Quickly severing Snape's consciousness in his thoughts, Draco growled.
"Stay out of my head."
Snape sighed, barely perceptibly. "When will you learn that you deserve more than you give yourself credit for?"
"When will you learn that perhaps I like solitude?" Draco fired back, hardly aware of what he was saying. His words were more wishes than fact.
"Everyone needs love."
"You've never had much need for it," Draco mumbled, taking off his heirloom family ring and placing it gently beside a small picture of his mother.
Draco heard the swishing of Snape's robes as he approached him from behind. He felt Snape grab the collar of his own robes and his voice snarl in his ear.
"That's where you're wrong, boy."
Hermione stared at the potion, watching as it turned from pale lavender to bright red. She stared, feeling her heart begin to pound. Her breathing came in short gasps. She felt nauseous and weak. Sliding down the wall to collapse on the floor, she stared at nothing.
Only seeing his broken face.
You need to calm down, Hermione. She was vaguely aware of her own thoughts coaching her. You need to relax. Your reaction is not healthy for you or the baby.
She gagged, and quickly covered her mouth.
She was pregnant.
Pregnant with a Death Eater's bastard child. Pregnant against her will. From force. From pain. From hatred.
But she knew she was not the only victim of this. Not just herself, not just the newfound child in her womb would be the only ones suffering from this. The repercussions could be deadly for him - the father, her rapist, the man she had slowly learned to love.
But her heart wouldn't let her quit. Her bravery wouldn't let her take the easy way out.
How would she ever tell him? Would he even care?
Draco didn't deserve this.
He stood by the fireplace, back to her, mind warring with his heart. She was only a few feet behind him, holding onto the small bump on her middle
He had expected his homecoming to be different. He had expected to see her yet, but over the course of the last few weeks he had spent in the Order Headquarters of Grimmauld Place, she had made herself scare. She barely said three words to him a day. She spent all her time in her room and knitting.
Knitting. Like the small, soft blue booties she had placed in his hand, much like the small cap that she rung in her hands.
"I know I should have told you earlier."
Her voice was only a whisper. The fire crackled and popped as they fell once more into tense silence. He looked down at the booties in his hand.
"I want you to claim him. I want you to be his father, Draco."
His treacherous heart wanted that more than anything. He was selfish. She would be his forever. They would be tied together until the days they died. They would have a bond that no one, not Potter, not Weasley, not Snape could break. He could learn to love her freely.
And then, his mind whispered, you don't deserve her.
With a surge of anger he tossed the cloth into the fire and fled the room, stopping in the hallway. He could hear her sobs, hear her collapse on the broken sofa. Yet, he couldn't bring himself to go back to her. He couldn't bring himself to see the pain he had put on her.
It's better this way.
He was trying to convince himself and he was almost sure that it would be - for her. His heart screamed that it wouldn't be for him.
What did a demon need of love?
"What do you think you are doing?!" Her shrill scream echoed around the small drafty room as she stood in shock, fear in her eyes as they took in his bloody clothes and the large butcher knife in his hand.
Draco, for his part, just seemed annoyed as if she had merely interrupted his reading. With a grunt, he slashed his forearm again and said stiffly, "I can't very well spell it away, Granger!" Another slash and a soft hiss from the sting it caused. "I'm cutting it out!"
He didn't notice Hermione's approach until the blade was knocked forcefully from his hand, sliding across the floor a couple feet away. She fell on her knees in front of him, not minding as her pale blue skirt became stained with blood. She wrapped a hand around his wound tightly ignoring his short scream of rebuke and pain.
"If I don't put pressure on it, you could bleed to death! Of all the stupid..."
Her voice trailed off as she gathered his bed sheets from the floor with her free arm and pulled them over to her. She wrapped them tightly around his arm and continued to hold pressure against the cloth. Finally, she looked up into Draco's weary eyes, small ringlets falling into her own.
"Why do you care, Granger?" His eyes were cold and he was stiff for a moment before his entire body seemed to slump. He closed his eyes and when he opened them up again, they had changed. They looked haunted and he stared at her, an odd look of curiosity on his face. "After all I've done to you... at Hogwarts... that night..."
He reached out a tentative hand and slightly stroked her small swelled abdomen. She watched his movements with a wary eye as his hand came up to her chin, gently forcing her to look at him. His thumb stroked the deep scar on her cheek as he studied her a moment before inquiring softly, "Why, Granger? Why are you different?"
"You make it sound as if I should hate you," Hermione whispered as her hands continued holding pressure on his forearm, trying desperately to break his gaze but his hand kept her face put.
A weak sneer darkened the planes of his face. "Granger, I am not in the mood for games tonight."
"I don't hate you, okay? I feel like..."
"Like what, Granger?"
"Like when I'm with you, I'm not alone. You know me better than anyone - as odd as that might be. I can talk to you and argue with you and just be near you. You don't pamper me and act like I am some fragile doll that'll break if you look too long. To you, I'm just Hermione Granger. I'm thankful to you for that."
"You shouldn't be thankful for me at all."
"But I am. Your life means something, Draco. You mean something... whether you think so or not... You saved my life."
"I condemned you."
"I don't want to think about what would have gone on in that circle had you not apparated us out of there. Their ghoulish faces looking at me like I was some kind of toy to manipulate and-and that m-monster-!"
Draco lightly placed his hand over her mouth. "I still did what I did to you. I can't take that back no matter how much I want to."
Her hand grabbed the hand over her mouth and brought it down, placing it on her abdomen. She flattened out his hand to make it cup his unborn child. The baby as if sensing his father kicked out. Draco let out a strangled gasp as he felt it. He looked back up into Hermione's sparkling eyes.
"As odd as it sounds, I don't think I'd want to take it back."
"Why?" He found himself grasping at straws.
She took a deep breath and smiled at him, tears sparkling in her eyes. "Because I'm selfish. Because I want a part of you." She rose on her knees and crawled on them till her body was against his, her face inches apart. "Because now, I can love you and not feel pain."
She leaned forward and pressed her lips to his. Fire erupted in him as he took her cheek with one hand and placed the other behind her head. She opened her mouth in a gasp at his touch and he took this to his advantage. She sighed once they broke apart and he laid her gently on the floor. He hovered over her, being careful of her body's fragile state.
"Am I dreaming, Granger?"
"If so, it's a good dream, isn't it?" she whispered back, the ghost of a smile on her lips.
Snape walked quietly away from the door he had nearly ran to when he had heard Hermione's scream.
She would be good for him. He was pleased that his godson was happier than he had ever been himself and as he passed a picture of James and Lily Potter, he felt his heart clench as the emerald eyes followed him until he disappeared from her view.
He certainly had a need for love.
The only difference between Draco and himself was that Draco's had been returned.
Nothing broke the heart more than unrequited love.
Reaching the small drinking table in the parlor, he quickly poured a shot of the finest Firewhiskey. He raised it in salute to Lily's image in the stationary muggle portrait over the fireplace. Cursing his existence in this house, her son's house, he nodded to her, glad that he eyes never moved toward him as Wizarding portraits did.
"I'm sorry, Lily but once more I must break, my dear."