Draco was stunned silent as he watched his teenage sweetheart, the love of his life, the mother of his beloved son, sweep past him as if he wasn’t even there. Scorpius was tugging on his sleeve and Draco lifted him quickly and began to chase after her, but when he stepped out onto Diagon Alley she was nowhere to be found.
“I saw you again today,” Draco told her. He knew that all the healers thought that he was a fool, but he couldn’t help it, he needed to speak to her.
Hermione was lying still on the hospital bed she had laid in for over a year now.
Since Scorpius was born.
No amount of healers - both magical and muggle alike - had had any success in waking her up. The diagnosis was a dark curse. A dark curse that nobody knew about until she’d given birth to their son.
Potter has told him on more than one occasion that it was not his fault, but Draco disagreed.
If he had ignored her when she’d stalked him about school during their sixth year then they wouldn’t have started talking, and they wouldn’t have fallen in love. She wouldn’t have begged him to go on the run with her and her two sidekicks. He wouldn’t have agreed and so, when they were inevitably snatched, thanks to Potter’s idiocy, they wouldn’t have been dragged to his ancestral home.
But most of all, he wouldn’t have had to watch his aunt take sadistic pleasure in torturing her, hissing curses and taunts into her ear as she carved her arm to pieces and smirked at Draco the entire time.
They’d never realised just what curses those had been until Scorpius had arrived kicking and screaming three years later and Hermione had barely had a chance to hold him, to bond with him, before she’d slipped into her coma.
He settled Scorpius on the bed beside her and watched fondly as their son babbled to her. He threw up half a dozen protection wards before he settled into the chair at her bedside and took her hand in his. His fingers twirled her engagement and wedding rings around hers as he began to tell her about their day and how he’d thought he’d been hallucinating when he’d spotted her doppelganger earlier on in Flourish and Blotts.
“I miss you,” he murmured. “Every second of the day, I miss you love.”
He smiled at Scorpius and scooped him into his arms. “Let’s get you home mate.” He squeezed Hermione's lax fingers one last time before they left.
“Astoria was asking after you again.”
Draco looked up to glare at Harry before he went back to work. “Fuck off.”
“Hey,” he shrugged, swinging around on his office chair. “I’m simply passing the message along. I don’t care.”
“And I'm sure her intentions are entirely pure,” Draco sneered.
“It’s been three years.”
“I’m not surprised you think the word no doesn’t apply to you Potter,” Draco snarked. “But it does. I mean it. Don’t.”
“I’m just saying. She’d want you to be happy.”
Draco snorted. “That’s true. But with her Potter. Not with anyone else.” He shook his head and stood, giving up on the never-ending stack of paperwork that seemed to cover his desk these days. “And you’re missing the point. I’m not-” He broke off and met his friends gaze. “I’m not ready to let her go.”
Harry nodded. “Ok.” He stood too and they exited his office together and made their way to the floo. “I won’t bring it up again,” Harry said, clasping Draco’s shoulder. “I just worry about you. And Scorpius.”
Draco sighed. “I know. But we’re fine.” Harry nodded and stepped away and into the next available fireplace.
Draco watched him disappear then stepped into his own fireplace. When he emerged at St. Mungo’s, he nodded to the nurse on duty, then he made his way to Hermione’s room on the fourth floor.
Three years she’d been gone now. Three years and Draco had spent most of them travelling around the world searching for something, anything , to wake her up but he’d found nothing. And so he’d simply poured money into St. Mungos research department in the hope that with enough resources, they’d come up with the answer.
From his briefcase he removed the bouquet of flowers he’d purchased that morning along with a handful of the drawings Scorpius had also slipped into it before he stroked a curl - the same one that sprang from its place behind her ear everyday - from her face and collapsed into the chair beside her.
“Can we go and see Mum tomorrow?”
Draco nodded and smoothed a hand down the duvet Scorpius was tucked beneath. “Of course. I assume you have plenty to tell her?”
Scorpius rolled his eyes and Draco heart panged at how familiar the action was. “Yeah,” he muttered. Draco watched him fiddle with his hands before he grasped them in his own and stilled them.
“Are you, are you going on a date?”
Draco averted his gaze, cleared his throat and nodded. “Yeah.”
“With Aunt Daphne’s sister?”
“Don’t you,” Scorpius pulled his hands away and Draco watched him cross them over his chest. “Don’t you love my mum anymore?”
Draco nudged his son over and hugged him. “I love her so much it hurts son. My magic aches for her. And sometimes,” he peered down at Scorpius and wondered if he should say what he was about to. “Sometimes when I look at you all I see is her.”
“Hey. Don’t. I love you more than anything and if she were here your mum would too. We made an awesome kid and I know she’d be happy to see how wonderfully you’re growing up.”
Scorpius nodded and shuffled under his cover. “Ok.”
“I’ll see you in the morning.” He pressed a kiss to his head, flicked his wrist to dim the lights and stepped into the hallway where he leaned against the wall and wondered for the nth time since he’d agreed to this date whether he should go.
“I’m sorry Mr. Malfoy but there’s…I’m not sure what else there is we can do. What other avenue there is left for us to explore.” The healer chanced a glance inside the room to where Scorpius was sitting with his mum explaining, in great detail, their recent trip to watch the quidditch World Cup final between Ireland and Japan and how afterwards he, Draco, Harry and James had all met the team and in the days afterwards, had a flying lesson from the winning team. “I think- our recommendation is for her to be disenchanted and...”
“You want to kill her.” Harry interrupted.
“What?” Draco startled.
“Mr Malf- Draco,” the healer stuttered. “She’s not really alive.”
Draco snorted. “She’s perfectly healthy other than the fact that she’s in a cursed sleep. She’s not dying.”
“At this point if we removed the wards and charms from her person, there’s very little that would keep her alive.”
“No.” Draco met the healer - that had been in charge of Hermione's care the entire time she’d been cursed - eyes. “You need my permission?”
“Well technically yes-“
“Well you don’t have it. Not a single charm is to be removed nor tampered with. If I have to go before the Wizengamot to fight you on this myself I will.”
“You wouldn’t be alone,” Harry grumbled from beside him, staring at the healer - Michael Corner, who’d they’d gone to school with and who they’d both spent so much time with over the years that they’d considered him a friend - like he was the enemy. Draco made a note to remove him from the Christmas card list.
“If you really feel that St.Mungo’s is no longer likely to discover a cure…” Draco trailed off and the man shook his head in disappointment and Draco cleared his throat. “I guess our next step should be to ask the DOM for help.” He turned to speak to Harry directly. “Theo loves me,” he smirked, acting incredibly more confident than he felt at that moment. “He will do this for me.”
“Will you transf-“
“She can stay here,” Michael sighed, “I do want her to wake up, you know.” He added smiling sadly at Draco and Harry. “I just - it’s been nine years. How much longer can you keep doing this?” Draco didn’t answer, simply turned away to watch his son and let Harry say goodbye to Corner
‘For as long as it takes,’ Draco thought, as he watched Scorpius talking animatedly to his mother and took a deep breath.
“We’ll be late to dinner at the Greengrasses if we don’t leave now,” Harry murmured from beside him. Draco jerked his head and let Harry grab Scorpius, a plan to owl Theo as soon as they got home later that evening forming in his mind.
“This is the only way Draco.”
“And it’ll work?” He asked, staring at Theo over the rim of his glass. “You’re sure.”
“Well. All the tests we’ve conducted so far have reported positive results. Of course, none of them involved a couple with a pre-existing marriage bond but,” Theo trailed off pointedly and Draco nodded. He needed to know everything. “It’s irreversible. The bond will be unbreakable,” Theo explained.
Draco took a sip of his firewhiskey and set his glass down, spinning the wedding ring that he’d never once removed, around his finger. “When?”
“Tomorrow.” Draco swallowed and glanced at the fire. “ I know that seems sudden but-”
“It’s not that,” Draco murmured, looking back at his friend. “It’s just. Her whole life will be different now. Our entire lives are about to change.” He swallowed and squeezed his eyes shut. “What about the curse?”
“We’ve already performed a scan and identified the area of her core where Bellatrix attached the curse. We’ll remove it before we link your core to her’s. It will mend over the next year depending on the strength of your bond.”
Draco nodded and the two men sat in silence. Scorpius was with Harry who’d bring him to the hospital in the afternoon, once they were sure they’d been successful. At the moment the boy didn’t even know what they were planning to do. Draco hadn’t wanted to get his son’s hopes up. He wouldn’t be able to bear the disappointment if it didn’t work.
“It will be ok,” Theo murmured eventually. Draco nodded and blinked back tears, tossing Theo a wry grin.
“I know. Doesn’t make it any less terrifying.”
“She’s been gone a long time.”
“I’m not worried about me,” he muttered. “Scorpius is eleven now. He’ll be off to Hogwarts in September. She missed his whole childhood and now he’s going to be leaving for boarding school?” Draco shook his head. “She’s going to be heartbroken.”
The first thing she noticed was how bright it was. Even with her eyes shut the light filtered through the thin skin of her eyelids and it felt as though she was staring directly at the sun. She squeezed the hand that was holding hers and rasped “Draco?”
He jumped and her eyes flickered open only -
It was decidedly not her husband staring back at her even though - yes, his hair was the same shade of pale blonde and his jaw was square and his cheekbones were angular, his eyes weren’t exactly right - it was like looking at the man she loved, but not. She blinked back tears, her breath coming quick. “Scorpius?”
She scrambled to sit up, wincing at the ache that spread through her as a result and stared in horror at the son that she only remembered giving birth to minutes ago. “What - what’s going on?” She glanced around the room, tears spilling over her cheeks as her mind began to work overtime, wondering what the hell was going on. “Where’s Draco?”
Scorpius stared blankly at her before jumping up. “I’ll go get him right now.”
“Wait don’t leave me,” she cried, wrapping a hand around his wrist and stopping him. His hand smoothed over hers and squeezed gently.
“It’s ok, Mum. I promise I’ll be right back.” Hermione nodded slowly and loosened her grip on him and when he slipped out the door, she looked around her for a mirror and when she couldn’t find one, simply patted her hair down, took a deep breath and attempted to reach for the marriage bond that had wrapped itself around her and Draco when they’d married.
It was still there, thrumming gently in the back of her mind and she let out a sob at the feel of it, relieved that she could still feel it.
She was staring at the door, fiddling with her rings when the door burst open and Draco appeared.
Draco had seen Hermione every single day since she’d fallen into her coma.
He’d sat by her bed and cried. Stood at the end of it and screamed. Laid down beside her and simply held her as he told her all about Scorpius and how quickly he was growing up. Told her how proud he was of the young man he was becoming and how he knew she’d be proud too.
There was a major difference in seeing the woman he loved lying comatose on a hospital bed, frozen in time and never aging, compared to seeing that same person looking up at him with tears streaming down her face not looking a day over twenty one, but still managing to look extremely aged.
His knees collapsed beneath him and before he knew it, someone had dragged him up onto the bed beside Hermione and he simply held her in his arms as they both wept.
“Where were you?” She whispered. “What happened to me?” She cried.
Draco combed his hands over her hair and lifted his head to look at her and barely managed to murmur the word “later,” before he angled her head and slanted his mouth across hers.
The bond which had faded over the years she’d been gone but never disappeared, flared to life and Draco had to stop himself from pressing her into the bed and rutting against her like a teenage boy. Instead he entwined their hands together and nipped at her lips and breathed his love for her against her mouth.
Eventually, seconds, or minutes, or perhaps even hours later, with his forehead pressed to hers, he began to explain what had happened to her. What they’d had to do to finally wake her up. Her hands had clenched in his shirt at that slither of information and she’d leaned back to peer up at him. “We’ll die together? Oh Draco,” she sighed. “You shouldn’t have.”
“I have already lived for far too long without you. I would not do it again. And I would not wish that pain upon my worst enemy,” he said quietly, cupping her jaw within his palm and tracing her lips with his thumb, “what on earth makes you think I would wish it for you?”
“Scorpius is -”
“A young man, yes.”
“I missed his whole life,” she whimpered.
Draco pulled her into his lap and rocked her against him. “No you haven‘t love.”
“I missed his first smile. His first laugh. His first tooth. Steps. Tantrum. Word. The list is never-ending.”
“The sleepless nights. The screaming. The teething.” He pulled back to look at her, a wry grin tugging at his lips, “your parents made me take him to get his immunisations. Believe me. Those are a few trips you should be glad to have missed. But Hermione.” He tilted her head up and pressed a soft kiss to the corner of her mouth and smiled. “He still has so much to experience. His first time at Hogwarts. His first crush. His first detention,” he smirked, “his whole life love.”
Hermione nodded shakily and smiled up at him.
“The rest of his life.”
“And this is me and Grandmother visiting the Louvre.” Scorpius pointed and flipped through the photo album he’d brought with him to share with Hermione.
He had barely left her side since he’d returned with the healers and snuggled up beside her on her bed when she’d been declared stable but who, erring on the side of caution, wanted her to remain for at least one more night of observation. Draco had tried to tell Scorpius not to crowd her, but she was glad to see that one glare from her worked as efficiently as it always did.
“This is me and Uncle Harry with baby James. This is me and Auntie Daphne and Tori. Tori and me on my fifth birthday. “ He flipped the page and Hermione chewed on her cheek and blinked as she saw the same pretty, petite brunette, that had already graced a dozen or more of Scorpius’ pictures, smile up at her husband on what appeared to be Christmas morning. “This is Dad and Tori and Harry and Aunt Daphne on Halloween,” Scorpius continued, ignorant of the upset brewing within her.
She pointed at Tori and said, “Sorry love. Who is this?”
“Dad’s girlfriend,” he replied immediately, flipping the page, “Oh look, this is me and Dad when I got the new Firebolt.”
Hermione swallowed, her eyes flicking to the corner of the room where Draco was passed out on the sofa. “Your dad’s what?”
Scorpius looked up at her with a grin. “Dad’s girlfriend. I can’t wait for you to meet her,” he smiled up at Hermione. “She’s awesome.”
The glass vase beside her, exploded in shards startling them all (though, thankfully, none penetrated the protective ward that surrounded Hermione’s bed and so neither she nor Scorpius, whom she’d curled herself around, were injured) and Draco jumped from the couch, wand drawn as he came to stand beside them.
“What happened?” He asked panicked, his eyes dancing across both Hermione and Scorpius’ bodies to make sure there was nothing wrong with either of them. “What’s wrong?” He asked when he spotted Hermione’s face.
Scorpius looked between his parents, confused. “Nothing,” He shrugged. He lifted the album he’d been flicking through and Hermione watched Draco swallow, his eyes widening when he spotted the picture Scorpius was pointing to. “I was just showing Mum this.”
“Love,” Hermione interrupted, blinking and speaking to Scorpius directly. “Do you think you could go to the nurses station and tell them I’m ready for my dinner?” He nodded eagerly and jumped from the bed before quickly turning back and hugging her tightly. “Love you Mum,” he murmured. “I’m so happy you’re ok now,” he said before he ran from the room.
“You have a girlfriend?”
Draco scowled, turned away and crossed his arms over his chest as he walked towards the window. “No.”
“Are you sure?” She asked, pulling her knees up to her chest as she watched him. “Because Scorpius is under the impression -”
“Scorpius is ten.”
“So you don’t have a girlfriend?”
Draco winced and Hermione’s heart dropped to her stomach. Of course he had a girlfriend. What a ridiculous notion. She’d been in a coma for over a decade and Draco had only grown more handsome in that time. He wore his hair a little longer, his shoulders were a tad broader. When he’d pressed her into the bed earlier that day her hands had skimmed up and underneath his shirt and he was definitely more muscle than she remembered. Why wouldn’t he have a girlfriend.
She laughed and turned away from him so he couldn’t see the tears gathering in her eyes. “I’m sorry. I seem to spend my life ruining your plans.” She swung her legs over the edge of the bed and made to stand but then Draco was there kneeling on the floor before her, his hands gripping her thighs as he held her in place.
“Stop,” he murmured. “I don’t have a girlfriend. Astoria is a friend and yes, there was a brief period of time a few years ago where we dated but…” he trailed off and took her hands in his. “Nothing happened.” Hermione scoffed and he pressed his thumbs to her wrist and peered up at her. “Nothing happened Hermione. Astoria accepted that and has simply become a close friend but that’s it. She has her own family now, but yes we still see her a lot because she’s Daphne’s sister. It’s impossible to not see her.”
“That,” Hermione pointed to the picture where Astoria was gazing lovingly up at Draco, “does not look like a look a friend would give.”
Draco shifted uncomfortably. “That was a long time ago.” Hermione sighed and took his hand in hers.
“I just want you to be happy,” she murmured.
“Merlin witch!” He laughed, shuffling onto the bed beside her and taking her in his arms. “You have no idea do you?” He pressed their hands to his chest - she could feel his heart beating wildly beneath his sternum, “I love you. I missed you so much. I can’t even,” He scrunched his eyes shut and pressed his forehead to hers, “I’m never going to let you out of my sight again. I hope you enjoyed your nap sleeping beauty,” he teased.
Hermione's head reared back in shock and she blinked up at him. “You’ve seen sleeping beauty?”
Draco chuckled and pressed his mouth to hers.
“How are you settling in?”
Hermione looked up at Harry and smiled. “Ok I guess.”
His raised eyebrows made her laugh and a little bit nervous. “Ok so I’m having a little bit of a hard time adjusting.” Her best friend settled himself onto the couch beside her and nodded.
Hermione fiddled with her rings, something she found oddly soothing. “I know. But it’s just. I spent so much of my life taking care of things you know? You. Draco. I was pregnant and now i’m not. Now my baby’s all grown up and ready to go to the boarding school that nearly killed half of his family. And i’m-”
“At a loss,” Harry finished for her, scooching closer on the couch to wrap her in a hug. “It’s ok to feel like this.”
“They don’t need me.”
“Of course they do,” harry chastised, pulling back to look at her. “Sure they don’t need you to do their laundry or make their dinner. But they do need you. I spent over a decade watching Draco fade Hermione. ANd now,” he sighed and smiled at her. “He finally living again. And that's because of you. Honestly I’m not sure how much longer he could have suffered under the strain of your marriage bond without you?”
“He would have asked to have it severed?” She whispered.
Harry snorted and Hermione glanced up to see him shaking his head. “No. I ah. I think he planned on taking something and crawling into bed with you to die.”
Hermione closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I missed him so much. I know it seems like I was only sleeping but….” She trailed off and met his eyes again. “I missed him so much Harry. When hes out of the room my magic reaches for him automatically. I can barely breathe when we’re apart I’m so afraid of missing something. One more moment of his life and Scorpius-” She broke off with a shuddering breath. “Draco’s found me sleeping outside his room more than once. I,” she swallowed, flicking her gaze to the fireplace, “I’m so afraid Harry.”
“Nothing’s going to happen.”
“Easy for you to say,” she muttered petulantly before immediately wincing and turning sheepishly towards him. “Sorry.”
“It will just take some time,” Harry reassured her.
Hermione glanced at him and nodded, but she wasn’t sure he understood how she felt about all the time she had already missed.
Draco climbed into bed beside her and wrapped his arms around her bare midriif. “Hi.”
“I missed you,” she murmured, turning in his arms to stare up at him.
He grinned down at her. “Harry needed to get pissed to deal with Daphne’s announcement.”
Hermione laughed and danced her hand up her husbands chest. “I bet.”
“I don’t know why he was so surprised,” Draco murmured, cupping Hermiones arse and lifting her onto his lap, the silk of her pyjama shorts sliding over his hardening erection. “They’re always at it.”
Hermione snorted and lifted her arms to pull the matching silk vest over her head. Draco hummed in appreciation before dipping his head and sliding his tongue over one nipple.
“That feels nice,” Hermione sighed, bracing herself on his shoulders. She rocked on his lap for a few moments more. “Have you- do you think about us doing that?”
“Doing what?” Draco asked, pulling back and swapping breasts, tugging on her wet nipple now with his fingers.
“Having another baby?”
He stilled beneath her.
“I know what you said,” he replied shifting her so that she was once again lying on the bed beside him. Hermione huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. “Are you serious?”
She swallowed and nodded, averting her gaze. “I want another baby.”
Draco sighed and ran a hand through his hair.
“I-“ he turned on his side to look down at her. “I don’t know.” He swallowed, “what if….” he trailed off pointedly and Hermione sat up.
“Theo said -“
“You spoke to Theo about this?”
She nodded. “Micheal too. I wanted to have my argument ready.”
Draco huffed a laugh. “Of course. We’ll go on the
Theo says I’m completely curse free. He even ran a scan.” She laced her fingers through his and nudged his chin up to meet his eyes. “The bond is - has, completely repaired my core and then some.”
“That’s good,” he murmured. “But Hermione-“
“Michael says they would observe me closely. At least once a week. That they wouldn’t let anything happen to me.”
“But there’s no guarantee,” Draco scowled. “And none of them would have to live with the consequences. It would just be me. Left alone. Again. To raise another child. Alone. Again.”
“You have no idea how hard it was! No idea.”
Hermione shifted onto her knees and cupped his jaw between her hands. She pressed a kiss to his forehead and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I know,” she murmured, “I know. But Draco. I want this.”
Dracos eyes flicked across her face and she saw his resolve soften. He jerked his head, his hands trailing over her skin as he pressed her into the mattress. “Ok?”
She beamed up at him. “Really?”
“Yeah. I,” he sighed and shook his head. “I love you. And this is what you want. But,” he looked up at her. “This isn’t a do over Hermione.”
She nodded fervently. “I know. I am-“
“You already talked to him didn’t you?” Draco chuckled, trailing his mouth down her neck and over her clavicle.
“I wanted to make sure he knows how much I love him. That this isn’t a replacement. Draco. We always talked about having more than one kid.”
Draco nodded into her sternum, his hands marking quick work of the shorts and boxers separating them. “We did.” He folded one of her legs over his shoulder and pressed a kiss to her ankle. “Want to practise?” He smirked, notching himself against her entrance.
Hermione leaned up on her elbows and smirked. “I’m already off the potion.” Draco slid forward with a groan, slipping a hand between them to press against her clit.
“I don’t remember it being this hard last time,” Hermione panted, crushing Draco's hand in hers.
Thirteen days overdue and both Theo and Michael had put their foot down and demanded she be induced.
“I know love.” He pressed a kiss to her forehead and winced as she began squeezing his hand once more. “But you’re so close” - his eyes flicked to Michael who nodded his agreement - “so close sweetheart.”
“This was a terrible idea!”
“I can see the head. Ok I want you to start pushing on the next contraction Hermione.”
“Never again,” Hermione hissed. Draco snorted and pressed a kiss to her forehead, smiling into her hairline.
“You’re doing so well.”
“Scans looking clean,” Theo interrupted.
“Draco.” He looked down at her and smiled.
Draco swallowed and nodded. So was he. But Hermione needed him. Now was not the time.
“It’s ok. Everything’s going to be ok. The baby will be here any second.”
Hermione nodded and grit her teeth.
“Here we go!”
Hermione squeezed his hand and then there was screaming and the healer was pressing a bundle into his arms and smiling widely. “Congratulations! It’s a girl.”
Draco stared in awe at the bundle in his arms before his eyes flicked to Hermione and he felt the blood drain from his face. “Hermione!”
“Calm down mate,” Theo said, tucking his wand away and rounding the bed. “She’s just fainted.”
Draco passed the baby to the healer once more and knelt beside Hermione, clutching her hands in his as he glanced between her pale, clammy face and Theo. “You’re sure?”
His eyes snapped to hers and he laughed, tears leaking from the corner of his eye. “You’re ok,” he whispered.
“I’m ok. Wheres-”
“She’s right here,” Draco turned and accepted their newborn daughter into his arms and passed her to Hermione. “She’s perfect.”
She grinned up at Draco, who pressed his mouth to hers in reply. “I’ll be right back.”
Hermione nodded. “Scorp-”
Hermione let the healer take the baby from her whilst Theo and Micheal checked her over. Her hands fiddled with the blanket and she peered up at them, her eyes flicking between them, the door that Draco and Scorpius were about to come through and the baby in the corner. “I’m really ok?”
“Hermione,” Theo sat at the edge of the bed and smiled at her. “Your scans are clean. You're perfectly healthy. Relax,” his eyes flicked to the door as Draco and Scorpius appeared. “Enjoy your family.”
Scorpius climbed onto the bed beside Hermione and Draco brought the baby over, sitting on her other side as he passed their daughter to their son.
“What do you think?” Hermione whispered, wrapping her arms around both of them.
“She’s so tiny,” Scorpius murmured. “What’s her name?”
“Elara,” Draco murmured.
Hermione glanced up at him. “Thank you.”
“I love you,” he muttered and pressed a kiss into her hairline.
He smiled at Scorpius’ grin and for the first time in over a decade, relaxed.