“You’re pregnant?” he asked, still feeling more than a little stunned.
“Yes.” The exasperation in her voice was obvious.
“Please tell me you’re divorcing Potter because you had an affair.”
She glared at him and crossed her arms across her chest.
“Why on earth would you want me to tell you that?” she asked, at once angry and incredulous.
“Because the alternative is that Potter kicked you out when you told him you were carrying his baby, and if he’s that kind of a man, I’ll have to punch him in the face on Monday. I don’t relish the broken hand I’ll get out of it.”
She laughed then, a proper full blown belly laugh. He stared at her in disbelief, which only led her to laugh harder for a few moments, before she got a hold of herself and became serious again. Though the smile was still tugging at her lips.
“He didn’t kick me out, per se; I just didn’t want to spend another minute in that damned house with him. But if you want to punch him, I won’t tell you not to.”
“So what happened? I thought Perfect Potter wanted to have himself a perfect family.”
“Yeah, you and the rest of the world, it seems. I know better. The truth of it is he knows what it’s like to grow up without parents. And, given the fact that he chose one of the most dangerous professions that a wizard can choose, he knows the risks of him not coming back from a mission are very high. He doesn’t want to be responsible for putting a child through even a small bit of what he went through. And he was very emphatic about that,” she said.
“So how did…?” He floundered for words, trying to find a way to word the question without sounding like a buffoon. He needn’t have worried.
“This happen? We got horribly drunk one night a month or so ago. Drunk enough to remember that we used to love each other once, and since we hadn’t even slept in the same room in months, I’d stopped taking my potion.” As an afterthought, she added, “That was a thoroughly embarrassing morning; I should have taken that as a sign and started the paperwork then.”
“And…how do you feel about this development?” he asked, trying to phrase it delicately, but still sounding blunt to his ears. She raised her eyebrows and thought for a second.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I only confirmed it yesterday. I guess… As a teenager, when I pictured my future, children were always part of it. After all, with a family like mine, how could they not be? So when Harry actually got around to telling me that he didn’t want children, you can bet I was disappointed. But, we’d just gotten married; we were still young and getting started. So, in the back of my mind, I also thought that if we gave it a few years for our careers to be established and start carving out a life for ourselves, maybe he’d change his mind. Nothing is ever permanent, you know? Now, I think that I’m happy about it, just not happy about the way it all turned out. I certainly wasn’t expecting what I got.” She frowned down at her hands, clearly thinking about what was probably the last time she spoke to her husband.
“What happened?” he asked.
“The short answer is we fought. The long answer… well, I think if it weren’t for the wards and the fact that Harry is an Auror, someone might have called in a domestic disturbance. It was by far the loudest, most vicious fight we’ve ever had. He accused me of having an affair at first, but after I berated him for a while at the top of my lungs, I explained the math to him and he dropped that idea pretty quickly. Then he just started shouting at me that he specifically did not want children ever, and how could I do this to him, I should have been more careful, blah, blah, blah. I screamed something obscene that I won’t repeat, told him I was filing for divorce and that I was leaving. Which I did, and, of course, some clerk at the Ministry blabbed to the Prophet before I even left the building. I ended up spending some hours dodging a few other reporters in Diagon Alley, and now I’m here. Thank you, by the way, for letting me in.” She pulled her gaze up to his face again when she finished talking, smiling faintly.
“It’s hardly a problem. It’s not like I get many visitors. And besides, I suppose you’re a friend.”
She cracked another grin at him.
“Suppose? Well, coming from the great Draco Malfoy, I guess that’s something. I suppose you’re a friend too. Apparently you’re a good one, given what I’ve just unloaded on you this evening.”
“What are you going to do now?”
“I’m not sure. I’m keeping this baby, but I’m definitely not going back to Grimmauld. I don’t particularly want to go to the Burrow tonight, because I know what’s waiting for me there. I could Floo Luna and see if she can put me up, she keeps odd hours though, I don’t know if I’d get a hold of her. I do have quarters at Hogwarts I can go stay in, classes are out for the summer hols, but Minerva wouldn’t mind the company. But Harry will have sent all my things to the Burrow, of course, the rat.” She was musing out loud, of course, but the way she was speaking struck some chord in him, a chord that brought out the lessons in being a gentleman that he’d learned from his mother when he was much younger.
Hours spent at her knee learning about things like; pulling out chairs, opening doors and never striking a woman, just for starters.
It was the memory of his mother’s lessons spurring his next words, even though he was sure he would probably regret it at some later point.
“You could stay here. At least, you could stay for the night. I have the room. There are clothes here that I’m sure would fit you, my mother left most of her wardrobe when they left the country. Tomorrow if you’re up to it, I’ll go with you to get your things, wherever they are. You can decide what to do from there,” he said.
The look she gave him was unreadable, and she treated him to silence for a few beats.
“That’s being awfully nice, Malfoy. Even to someone that you ‘suppose’ is a friend. No offence meant, but being an Auror notwithstanding, you’re still a cunning Slytherin at heart. What’s in it for you?” she asked him bluntly.
“No offence taken. To tell the truth, I’m not even sure I know why I’m offering. The masses would probably assume I have some complicated ulterior motive involving some kind of revenge plot against Potter.” He grinned wickedly at her. “But that would involve too much effort on my part to plan. You need a place to stay, even if just for a night, and I happen to have space to spare. Call it convenience. I guess I could also use the company.”
She raised an eyebrow at him.
“I’m not exactly a social butterfly, Weasley. Amazingly, you and Potter are about the only people I can stand to talk to anymore.”
“I suppose that’s meant to be a compliment.” She did an admirable impression of his smirk.
“Not really, but you can take it that way if you like.”
The smirk turned into a grin for a moment, but then she considered him seriously for a few moments, evidently considering the available options.
“Well, if it’s not going to put you out, then I’d appreciate it. Just for the night. Tomorrow I’ll have a better idea of where things stand,” she said.
“Great, I’ll have Mazie make up one of the bedrooms for you and find something for you to sleep in. Dinner’s probably just about ready to be served; you’re welcome to join me if you’re hungry.”
She grinned again at the mention of dinner.
“I’m absolutely famished! Thank you!” she exclaimed, jumping from her seat.
His mouth twitched in amusement, and he rose as well, allowing her to precede him into his dining room.
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