Playing Dead

BY : MalfoysMuggleMrs
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female > Draco/Hermione
Dragon prints: 1273
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor do I make any profit from writing about this glorious fandom.

A/N: I've had plunnies over this concept for a while now, and when I finally sat down to freewrite (in hopes to cure my writer's block) this happened ... The backdrop is pretty dark and incredibly sad, but I've mixed together some fluff/smut in here as well. There's a bit of everything, so I hope you guys enjoy it.

Thanks for reading everyone!


xXx

26 April 2008
9:26pm

xXx

There were moments where she thought she might lose it.

Crack and fall apart completely, with little remorse over doing so. She had every right to, after all; there was only so much chaos one soul could handle. How effortless would it be just to throw in the towel and give up? Easy. Simple.

But then nothing in her life had ever been easy, and this was far from simple. The decision to survive and fight had been no different.

But fighting for them did not mean with wands drawn, nor guns loaded. Not with knives poised, and certainly not through peaceful protests. Those were long since proved useless.

No – fighting in her world simply meant existing.

Voldemort's second reign had been comparatively short-lived. Thank God – or so she had thought after his inevitable downfall. It was over, finished. Life was at peace, and all which was disturbed could finally become restored. They could move on. Build up the wizarding world from the sunken ground, into a better place than ever before with both Muggle-borns and pure-bloods alike.

Or so was the newly acquired hope.

But see, that's the thing about hope: it's nothing more than a four-letter word which tempts people into behaving foolishly. Into trusting that things could get better.

Because things had to get better, right?

Hermione almost laughed at the optimism she once had. She was so young – so naive to think so. She wasn't foolish enough to hope for such a thing anymore.

This was her life now. And Merlin, how thankful she should be for it. So many had it far worse.

Their life was good, for all intents and purposes. Comfortable and easy enough. She was selfish. God, she was so selfish! And the more she thought about it, the more she realised so. She hated herself for being ungrateful, even throughout something as wearisome as this.

It would have been easier if she just got Obliviated. Every memory of that world – that glorious fucking haven she had found her true identity within – gone. Some Muggle-borns had chosen to do so, but the notion of being even emptier than she already was made her want to spew sickness from the sheer thought.

And a part of her knew it was because of him. She wanted to remember everything; every mean sneer, every rude remark, because that meant she also got to remember their other stories, too. Their first kiss and every wonderful memory afterwards. A simpler time where things were finally at peace, even if only for a brief snippet of history.

Forgetting that life would have meant forgetting him, and that was more than she could bear to consider.

But damn it – she had so many dreams before all of this.

Wild ones which encompassed things crazy enough to (nowadays) make her laugh until light hearted giggles soon morphed themselves into tears. Images of her being Minister for Magic. Fantasies of them at platform nine and three-quarters sending their children off to Hogwarts as bright-eyed eleven-year-olds. Even just sitting at home, inside their charming whatever – manor, countryside home, flat in Diagon Alley, what the hell ever – and laughing quietly to themselves over something ridiculous Skeeter and her band of airhead interns published.

That's not your life, and it never will be, screamed her thoughts; a painstaking reminder of how silly she was being.

She didn't know why she did this to herself. Perhaps it was because of the anniversary coming up. A decade since the Battle of Hogwarts, the beginning of what should have been a passive entrance into adulthood for Hermione Granger and her closest friends. But ten years and two false identities later: all it truly became was a beginning to the end.

"Are you crying, love?" a male voice interrupted her pathetic wallowing.

"No," Hermione sniffled. She wiped away wetness with her hand, turning her attention back towards the television. "I, er, I was just watching –"

Bollocks.

All which flashed across the illuminated screen was a sodding advertisement for toilet paper with two animated, singing bears frolicking around. Real gut-wrencher that was. Hermione couldn't even remember what she had turned on before dissolving into a crying heap atop the leather couch.

"I – I," she stuttered but didn't need to say another word. A pair of strong arms wrapped around her as the figure soon seated himself beside her on the couch.

"Shh," he whispered. Tears which had once more beaded between her lashes soon flowed freely down her cheeks. She gave in, renewing her weeping softly against the cotton fabric of his t-shirt. "Hey, shh … it's alright. Why are you crying?"

"This Saturday," she choked out, wiping her nose to stop the weeping mess from ruining his clothing any further. "It's this Saturday, you know … the anniversary."

They had yet to discuss it beyond a fluttering mention at breakfast, months ago. Hermione expected that was because she hadn't brought it up since. And he simply didn't, for fear that she might burst into tears right there on the spot.

Clearly a good prediction.

He was always so much better at pretending than her. She'd claim he was stronger. He'd just claim it was nothing more than being raised in a household where putting on a mask of normalcy was more commonplace than family meals spent together.

"I know it is," he whispered into her mass of brown curls.

"And yet all my parents can do is mention us doing some bloody 5k run with them that day –"

"Which we've already graciously declined," he reminded her. "You know they're just trying to be helpful. They know how hard –"

"No," she spat out the world like it was coated in poison. "They don't know, actually. They have no idea how hard this is. They pretend to … but they don't have any fucking clue."

She was acting like a child, an ungrateful spoiled brat, and she knew it. But sometimes she just had to get the thoughts out before they destroyed her. Like heavy weights that needed to lift from her chest – she knew only he was the one with force strong enough.

"No, you're right. They don't understand," he answered truthfully, and it only made her sob harder. "But I do … hey, look at me."

She followed his orders, glueing wet brown eyes to slate grey ones. His stare held no judgement, no harshness. All which looked back was a pleading for her to be strong. An imploring gaze, wishing for her to regain the strength which he always insisted she had far more of than she did.

"Draco … "

It was softer than a whisper, a hardly-anything breath of air that slipped out from her lips, making her husband tense up within their loose embrace.

She shouldn't have said it. She shouldn't have even thought it. That was part of the stipulation after all …

But Gods, how good it felt to let that word escape from her memories.

A part of her wanted him to yell. To push her off and curse her for saying that blasted name. He had quite the temper when pushed the right way, and she sometimes shamelessly provoked it with her stubborn antics. In hopes of what, she didn't even know. Perhaps to spark a quarrel that would finally lessen the useless tears and impale some sense back into her.

She hated being this weak.

But this time it backfired. He didn't yell, didn't so much as even hold his tenseness beside her. He just gently squeezed his arms tighter, his next words causing her to stiffen against them.

"I love you so much, Hermione."

And for one brief fluttering second that's who they were again.

Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger – not David and Heather Murray, née Wilkins. The later was who they had become, the former too dangerous to even sit back and reflect upon. So, for now, and likely forever forward, that's who they were. Faceless nothings in a sea of people, hiding a novel's worth of memories and secrets behind closed doors.

In truth, she was lucky they were anything besides dead bodies in the debris. They had so much to be thankful for; she owed her parents everything. And yet, here she was, being an ungrateful twit. How could he even love someone so self-pitying?

He should have been the one to crack into a thousand pieces, and yet she was the one who always fell apart first.

He had given up everything, his name only being a fraction of the detrimental loss. His parents were gone, and everything he once considered meaningful was forcibly stripped away and taken – wealth, power, status. A wand.

A life stolen. But then again – hers was, too.

Draco and the dwindling amount of Weasleys were the only pure-bloods she still knew to be alive. The rest had been slain almost immediately after the hunt had broken out. Killed like cows in a slaughterhouse, by the one lot of people they always thought to be the weakest, the most inferior. How sickeningly ironic.

Some grudge-filled Muggle-borns flippantly claimed that it was their 'payback' for the Wizarding Wars. You reap what you sow. It was only a matter of time before non-magic folk would uncover the truth.

Their world demanded secrecy. Muggles saw them as freaks, but even more disadvantageous, as threats. They were too powerful, too unknown. And they needed to be stomped out completely.

Wizards did have power; the ability to kill with the flick of a wand and to make Muggles their personal slaves if desired. But it didn't matter. The force fighting against them had numbers. Sheer numbers and a worldwide militia which morphed together for one common goal – seek, hunt, and destroy.

No shielding charm in existence was powerful enough against nuclear warfare. Not as if it was ever used in practice, but the empty threats alone were enough to terrify people.

And she was one of them. Fear had driven her to Australia to seek out her parents. Even with memories fully restored, they had retained their fake identities, bringing her right along into the façade with them. The legal documentation was easy enough to forge, the life itself – not so much.

"This doesn't really have to do with the anniversary, does it?" he questioned, running a hand through her mess of hair in a way which always managed to soothe her. Peace ran through for a moment before despair once more clouded over.

"No," she inhaled, feeling a chill run down as she cursed the man and his ability to see right through her front.

"Then what is it?"

"I – It's," stuttered Hermione. "Well. Today –" The words were harder to speak than she expected, her heart breaking into a thousand pieces as they ran through her mind.

Pull it together!

But her brain's internal mandate did no use.

He waited, simply looking at her as she wept softly, his t-shirt now fully stained with proof of their everlasting burdens. "It's okay," Draco cooed. "Whatever happened, it's going to be fine. It's over now."

It was far from over.

She expected him to press further. To question her odd behaviour and ask why she was acting like such a complete nutter. But he didn't.

Instead, the only question which soon filled the sitting room was entirely unexpected. Softer and more innocent than Hermione's mind could hardly process at that moment.

"Mummy …" said a voice from the other side of the sofa. "Are you crying?"

"Of course not, sweetie." She sat up a bit straighter, pulling away from Draco and knowing the lie wasn't one that even a three-year-old would believe. "Go back to sleep, Lyra. Mummy didn't mean to wake you up. I'm sorry."

"But I can't sleep," whined the toddler. Curly blonde hair stuck out from every direction, a teddy bear clutched in her small grasp. "My room feels icky sticky! And there's a HUGE spider"– The teddy bear nearly flew from her hands as she gestured with outstretched arms –"on the wall. I might die, Mummy."

The corners of Hermione's mouth tugged up into the faintest grin over the girl's dramatics. Not as if what she said was a lie, considering the air-conditioning unit within their home had blown out nearly a week ago. Thankfully, being April – considered early autumn in the southern hemisphere – she didn't think much of it. Unfortunately, that particular day had brought with it record highs and agonising humidity which made Hermione want to slam her head into a brick wall.

Bloody Australia.

If her parents hadn't loved it so much as to start up an entire dentistry practice within New South Wales' capital city, they would have been back in the welcomed coolness of England years ago.

"Mummy, why are you sad?"

She opened her mouth in preparation to object, but Draco soon took over.

"I'll handle it," he reassured, delivering a kiss to the top of her head after he stood and whispered softly, "Finish telling me whenever you're ready, okay?"

"Okay," she breathed, grateful for the way he always lifted her up and waded her out of whatever mess her overactive mind had drowned within. "Thanks."

Falling in love with Draco Malfoy had never been part of the plan. For this life, nor any other. But whoever they were over a decade prior had long since been chased away, replaced now with people those defiant teenagers would hardly recognise. They were different now. There was no way they wouldn't be.

She had saved him, in more ways than one. After the Wizarding War when he was a wreck: a shattered shell of an ex-Death Eater who had fallen in love with the Mudblood target of his previous allegiances. She had helped him into the light, or so he'd always say.

But their once brilliant light soon became permanent darkness. Another war broke out, but this one not civil. This one was Global: World War III, or so the Muggle media outlets had coined it. It was either assimilate or be slaughtered – there were no further options.

Most pure-blood families were marked with a red X across their chests. Some took to hiding, but most who fled ended up starving or getting killed through other means. They had become the first targets, the ones most unable to cope and least willing to conform. Soon no one was safe within their world anymore.

It was two full years after the collapse of the Ministry and three long years spent living in a shanty on the outskirts of Muggle London when Hermione had made the decision to quit living as a hope-drunk refugee. Five months pregnant and terrified, she had taken on the identity of Heather Wilkins – moving into her parents' modest two-story alongside her male counterpart and soon-to-be husband. Falsifying and lying, so that their child may have hopes towards a future not so bleak.

"Daddy, can we read a bedtime story? Pleeeaaase."

She smiled, lingering outside of Lyra's bedroom for a few minutes, listening to the rhyming words from the Muggle children's book her daughter adored so much. One Hermione herself had fallen asleep to many times before. A lifetime ago, or so it felt.

"Do the voice, do the voice!" came another pleading request.

An inflection in the character's dialogue made Hermione's grin widen. It was a skill she was never as good at performing; he always did it better. She heard giggles from inside the room, squeals of excitement. Lyra was such a brilliantly happy child, blissfully ignorant to the world surrounding them. A trait Hermione prayed wouldn't fade with age.

And then there was Draco.

Hermione allowed her thoughts to wander into the past and she padded down the hallway.

She had taught him everything. How to use a stovetop – even though anything he put on there ended up with a slightly charred flavour. How to drive a car – even though they'd nearly crashed into a telephone pole, and the car's clutch needed replacing soon after. How to do the simplest of tasks – like using bank cards or turning on a computer. Grudgeful at first, he had learnt them all. And she soon realised something that perhaps she'd always known about Draco Malfoy, though never fully took the time to appreciate: his will to live exceeded all else.

Rescued from the same fate his parents and closest friends had suffered, she taught him the only way which their kind could now survive. In hiding. In fear.

She had saved his life back then but Gods, he still saved hers every day.


xXx

"Is she asleep?" asked Hermione after spitting toothpaste into the porcelain sink she hovered above. Her eyes lifted to the mirror, locking glances with the reflection standing within the doorway of their master bathroom.

"Fast asleep. And it only took me reading that bloody Dr Suess book twice this time …"

"Thank God." She smiled at her husband's reflection after swishing water in her mouth and spitting once more. "I literally have that thing memorised."

"I think I dreamt about it last night, actually …" said Draco. "It was fucking terrifying."

Hermione snorted, looking back at the mirrored image of her face. Drained and exhausted, but hers all the same. She continued the nightly routine: smearing moisturiser across her tired features and pulling out a small circular carton from the medicine cabinet. Draco came up behind and placed both hands on her waist, delivering a kiss to her shoulder blade.

"How about you skip those tonight?" he whispered into her ear in the most wonderful way possible, plucking the pack of unopened pills from between her fingers.

The suggestion made her want to scream towards the heavens and break down crying all in the same instant. Instead of doing either, she simply spun around. Wedged between Draco's body and the bathroom vanity, she sighed.

"Not yet," Hermione said earnestly. "Soon … I promise. Just – not yet."

"But we could at least start trying …" His eyes dug craters into her heart. "It could take months, for all we know –"

"Or it could happen this week, and I could end up eight months pregnant when it's hotter than Satan's arsehole outside." A worthless excuse, but at least an excuse she truly believed in.

He knew there was more she wasn't saying, but he didn't push as she anticipated. Perhaps because of her already pitiful mental breakdown on the sofa earlier, he didn't want to generate another sob-fest. They had already argued over this before, what sense did it make beating a dead horse?

"Alright," he finally replied, meeting her lips with his. "Whenever you're ready."

She watched as he exited the bathroom, soon looking back down towards the packet of pills he'd replaced on the counter.

A part of her wanted nothing more than to have a second baby. To give Lyra a sibling – something they'd always talked about longing for while younger, both having none themselves. But another part of her, the annoyingly loud part, questioned how foolish and self-centred she could be to willingly bring a child into their dysfunctional world … Lyra had been an accident – a wonderful one – but still a complete slip-up nonetheless.

But planning for another?

She cradled the pack, pushing against the clear plastic of one segment until its white circle popped out and into her open palm. She stared down, her hesitation conflicting with screaming logic.

Damn it to hell.

She let the pill drop into the skin with a slight pivot of her hand, turning on the tap and watching the tiny tablet circle the drain before it finally disappeared. Her sanity quickly followed suit.


xXx

Hermione paused at the entryway to their bedroom, leaning against the doorframe as she silently appreciated the sight before her.

Draco sat on their bed, lounging lazily in nothing more than a simple black t-shirt and grey pyjama bottoms, a book cradled within his grasp. The novel demanded his attention so much that he only noticed her entrance when their bed creaked beneath the added weight, shooting her an alluring glance as she crawled over towards his side.

She didn't say a single world before locking her mouth onto his, tasting that sweet mixture of spearmint mouthwash and cinnamon which he always provided – remembering how just yesterday she'd teased him about needing to break his chewing gum addiction or at the very least pick a better flavour.

But she bloody loved it. She loved the way he tasted, the way his sultry breath morphed together with her own as they kissed. The way neither needed to say a single word aloud to know where this would lead.

He leant forward, keen and prepared to push her back onto the bed, but she objected with opposing vigour, willing him to remain with his back against the headboard through the force of her moving lips.

She broke their kiss long enough to discard her tank top and shorts onto the ground beside their bed. Clad only in red knickers, she began tugging at his shirt and pulling down his pyjama bottoms, smiling wildly to herself with the knowledge that he wore nothing beneath. His hands groped at her bare body shamelessly, impatient and willing to please. But she had other ideas in mind.

When she finally began to palm his growing length, he let out that wonderful little murmur of sound as her fingers teased him, sliding up and down at an almost torturous pace. She smirked mischievously and trailed kisses down his chest, stopping to peck at each tiny faded scar on his otherwise unblemished porcelain skin as she went. His hips bucked against her hand, rigid and ready within her hold. Begging for more. Begging for her.

She willingly obliged.

"Fuck," Draco growled as she leant down below his navel to fully encompass him between her parted lips. He groaned hoarsely, blond hair pressing against the headboard as she drew circles around his tip, flicking her tongue against the underside in a way which made him squirm beneath her control.

Her eyes shot open and glanced upwards, meeting his lust driven gaze like she knew drove him absolutely wild. He loved watching his cock fill her mouth as she hungrily devoured every inch, shamelessly pleasuring him without a shred of reluctance.

He deserves this.

He deserved so much more, too. But at least this she could provide.

The throbbing tingle between her legs made anticipation nearly unbearable, and she could tell that he was seconds away from pinning her arms down to the duvet; eager and set to have his domineering way with her. Normally she would let him, adoring the way he always took control and overpowered her body like they were randy teenagers again – back spending their eighth year at Hogwarts shagging within abandoned classrooms and dusty broom cupboards, sworn to secrecy because God help them if anyone found out.

But not tonight.

Hermione wriggled out from the confines of her knickers, slinging one leg over Draco's firm body and relishing the appearance of his length settled between her open thighs, glistening wet still with a thin layer of saliva and looking so delightfully tempting. Their eyes locked, and through one irresistible look, he said all which was needed. She took the silent invitation, slowly easing herself down until he was sheathed completely by her aching centre.

Those first few moments of penetration never failed to make her head sling back, and eyes flutter shut. It was pure perfection; the sensation of being stretched, that feeling of being filled so entirely with someone else's identical desire and newfound pleasure. If there were a way she could bottle and sell the sensation, she'd never need to work another day in her life.

Draco jerked from underneath, primal noises enticing her onward as his own head of flaxen strands fell backwards. She rocked her hips, riding him while trying to stifle the string of moans that slipped out with little forethought, knowing full well their room was far from soundproof.

But damn it, she needed this.

She needed him.

Every little fucking piece of him. The good, the bad, and the terrible.

Because bloody hell, he was so beautiful – there was no ugly even to mention.

"Draco …"

It was in moments like this that his given name always snuck out amongst heated whimpers. He rarely objected. She knew he loved the sound almost as much as she loved the feel of it moving across her tongue. One day, she thought. One day she'd be able to call him that in front of their daughter. One day she'd be free –

"Fucking Christ, Granger."

Brown eyes snapped downward, her hands on his flushed chest as he smirked wickedly from below. He knew exactly what he was doing, saying those blasphemous words which nearly made her come undone right there. She wondered how many years it had been since he'd said that in the throes of passion. Far too long, indeed.

"It's Malfoy now, actually," she breathlessly teased, Draco seizing beneath her in a way which confirmed that she'd induced the same effect. How desperately she wished that name could be hers …

"Oh, is it?"

"Yeah," Hermione playfully goaded, not bothering to slow her rolling hips. "Bastard got me pregnant – oh Gods – and then decided – oh– that he should probably – fuck, yes – marry me, too."

Draco grinned smugly, his words flowing out so much smoother than hers, "I think said bastard always wanted to regardless."

"Oh," she whimpered. "Yeah?"

"Who wouldn't? Look at you," he breathed before adding the cherry on top. "… Mrs Malfoy."

His deepened voice and darkened eyes mixed with the motions of their hips together were enough to drive her over the edge. She quivered, clawing at his chest as release washed over her, her walls clenching around him. Again and again and again …

"Fuck! Don't stop."

She devilishly watched as he arrived at his own peak of pleasure, his features creasing with ecstasy as his grunts soon overrode her frenzied sighs. He bucked one last time, spilling into her before limply falling back against the mattress, face coated in contentment.

For those brief moments afterwards, the world stood still. Panting and huffing through uneven breaths – they held one another's sweat-sheened bodies to their own.

"Lyra was right. This house is too fucking hot," Draco announced, brushing his lips against Hermione's temple.

"The repair man is coming tomorrow," she reassured him. "But just watch, it'll probably be freezing for the next three months after today. Once it's finally fixed, that is."

"And by freezing you mean moderately pleasant outside, right?"

"Of course," she giggled, pausing before she continued. "You know, about this Saturday. We … we should go. Do that 5k with my parents and be the most utterly boring suburban family on the face of planet earth."

"Yeah?" he smiled.

"Yeah," she affirmed nodding her head. "But obviously, I'm walking that entire bloody thing … just so you know."

"I'd expect no less," he answered kindly, kissing her forehead before pulling the blankets up over their bodies. "Goodnight, love."

"Goodnight."


xXx

"Hey … are you awake?"

"No," came the sleepy answer from beside her.

Hermione frowned. "But you just got up to go pee –"

"Why are you awake then?"

"Because … well, look – I've just been thinking about what happened earlier," she answered.

"About us shagging?" he playfully guessed. "I know it was good, but you've got to get some sleep –"

"Not about that you prat," she reached out to slap his arm gently.

His voice grew serious. "About why you were crying earlier?"

As if there was only one reason.

"Yes," Hermione nodded, though she knew he couldn't see it through the darkness. "It – well, it happened earlier today. This morning, actually … At the grocery store –"

"If some bloke grabbed your arse in the checkout line again, I swear to fucking God; we're moving out of this bloody country –"

"No, no. Not me … Look, it was Lyra –"

"SOMEONE FUCKING TOUCHED LYRA?"

"Calm the hell down! You're going to wake up the deceased with that volume – and no, of course not. I wouldn't be here if that had happened. I'd be sitting in jail – awaiting trial for manslaughter."

"Then what?"

She took a deep breath, knowing she should have already told him about this far earlier in the day than she was about to. Or just not at two in the morning when they both had work the following day …

"We were about to leave and go check out … and we walked down the stupid sweets aisle like I should have known would be a terrible idea … Lyra started pointing and asking for these massive chocolate bars. The ones with sodding cartoon characters printed on them – you know that girl's sweet tooth is worse than yours. Anyway, of course, I said no. I didn't want to give in to her whinging. And I'd already picked up those damn teeth-rotting 'juice' boxes that she loves so much … but she was persistent."

"So, you said yes?"

"N – no," she stuttered. "Not at all … I took her in one hand and started pushing the trolley with my other until she looked over her shoulder behind us and … a – and I then heard it."

"What?"

"Sweets … falling all over the floor, every last one of those stupid chocolate bars! Mysteriously leaping off the shelves and onto the ground. One even quite literally flew through midair and into Lyra's hands."

She waited for a reaction, but Draco gave none, waiting for her to continue.

"So, there she is – chocolate bar in hand, in the middle of a grocery store filled with people, just beaming up at me. Fucking beaming, the biggest smile I think I've ever seen on anyone. A – and … and I – I just panicked. I left everything. The full trolley, the sweets all over the floor. I didn't even make Lyra drop the one she was holding. I stole something from a bloody shop! What kind of mother does that? Good Lord, I – I mean, I don't know – I just panicked. There were people watching – people who saw it happen. I mean, I'm sure they connected the dots …"

"You don't know that."

"Oh please. Anyone with an IQ over fifty could've figured that one out –"

"Okay, well, you don't know if they cared. Not every single Muggle bystander hates our kind and wants us dead –"

"Okay, well," she mimicked. "When the flustered mum drags her klepto child away after leaving a heaping mess all across aisle five, I think the hatred is pretty well warranted. Magic or not …"

Draco paused, letting silence fill the room before groaning, "She's fucking three!"

"I know," Hermione groaned, throwing her head back against the pillow in defeat. Her feelings exactly. "I thought for sure we had a couple of years left. I was five when I had my first outburst – well, as my mum use to call them. Anything before four is nearly unheard of."

"And what does Potter say about all of this?" She could practically feel Draco's glare even through the dimness. "I already heard you talking on the phone earlier. I know you told him … what did he say?"

"He, well …" she trailed off, hating the answer as much as she hated the question. "He said he doesn't know … that Ginny gives James and Al the shots once a week, and that she'll probably want to start Lily on them soon, after hearing about what happened today."

"Which is precisely what we should be doing –"

"I'm not injecting my daughter with fucking poison!" she cried out in frustration.

"It's not poison –"

"You don't know that!" Hermione felt like she might start crying once more, but resisted the urge. "You have no idea what comes in those syringes … they have no idea of the long-term side effects of that 'potion' – if you could even call it that. Just because a few wizards mixed together some random shit and figured out that it had magic-suppressing properties, doesn't make it safe! I'm not going to subscribe to some questionable black-market service –"

"So, you'd rather people find out? You'd rather they see our little witch," Hermione swore she could hear Draco's voice crack before it grew tense again, "having 'outbursts'. Around Muggles, some of which I'm sure will wish her harm –"

"But if we could just teach her how to control it –"

"She's three," Draco moaned. "She can barely write her own bloody name … how are we supposed to train her to properly execute a Summoning Charm on top of that?"

He was right, of course. Their secret was a deadly one to harbour; if uncovered, it was only a matter of time before their fates were written in the sky. It was too risky to assume otherwise.

"What if it's permanent, though?" she breathed. "What if those shots aren't reversible? What if she just becomes a Squib with no way of ever using her magic? Her stolen magic –"

"She should be so lucky to become a Squib," Draco muttered, and she heard him flip over onto his other side.

Hermione exhaled heavily, about to do the same. Give up the useless conversation which she knew would take them in a million circles.

"But what if –"

"What if – what?" he questioned, shifting around once more. She could tell he was sitting up then, her adjusted eyes able to make out the outline of his body next to her. "What if things change? What if our world goes back to how it was? What if we're free to practise magic without the fear of being –"

"Things are getting better! You said so yourself."

Bloody hell, and there was that useless hope surfacing again.

"Better, but not fixed. We still can't carry wands – most of them still fear us. Fuck, we've almost been driven to extinction over the last five years. There's probably less than a hundred wizards left in Britain –"

"And so, what? We're just supposed to inject our children with some," she shivered. "Some … magic-suppressant that'll guarantee us into extinction?"

"That's not what'll happen. It's in our genes. There's no erasing that …" Draco sighed, grabbing ahold of her hand. "But this is what we have to do for now. To live. And for fuck's sake, honestly, as long as I have you and Lyra … that's all that matters to me now."

Gods, he was right again. Their world was so far gone from what it once was, but they still had each other. They had a life most people would be envious of – a marriage filled with love, a home of their own, and a beautiful daughter who never ceased to leave them in utter awe. At what point is that ever not enough?

"We survived," he whispered so low she could barely hear.

Their mantra. A motto burned into their minds so that they may never forget the glaring reality: they lived when countless others hadn't. And she was finished with feeling guilty. Feeling like if she had just done something, said something, helped someone – she could have changed everything. It was rubbish, of course. Draco would tell her time and time over that she couldn't save the world. She needed to learn to save herself first.

"We survived," she echoed.

So, for now, they would relish in the stillness of their quiet lives. She would appreciate the personas they had morphed into, allowing them a chance at freedom. Allowing Lyra a chance at life.

Most days, Hermione actually enjoyed being an accountant for her parents' office, frequently questioning if she should pursue a career in dentistry as to one day take over the family practice. And as for Draco, thankfully, the man could sell ice to a bloody Inuit; somehow snagging a job as a sales rep for a medical supply company despite an atrociously forged CV and no prior knowledge of any items they marketed. She had complained at first, begged him to pick a less 'Muggle-knowledge' intensive job like construction or food service, but the stubborn git wouldn't hear a word of it.

"And you're right," she said, biting her lip to push down the overflowing emotion. "That is all that matters."

Things weren't perfect, but they never would be. She had learnt that about life. The wizarding world would either reestablish, or it wouldn't. She couldn't wave a wand and make it happen, all she could do was hope. For tonight at least, that stupid four letter word was enough.

"I didn't take my pill earlier," she admitted, finding that perfect spot to lean against on his chest once more.

"Seriously? On purpose?"

She nodded into his warm torso, the eagerness stemming from his voice finally soothing her into contentment with the true answer. "Yes … on purpose."

"Are you saying you're ready to start –"

"I'm just ridding the hormones from my system," she quickly countered. "That's all … I'm sure it'll take months before anything actually happe–"

But it was his lips which stopped Hermione's speech that time around, a kiss so fervent she'd later swear on Godric's grave had alone got her pregnant.

"I love you."

"I love you, too."


A/N: Alright, yes, I know. The concept is horribly sad, and I know I left more questions unanswered than addressed. There's no true conflict resolution over their hellacious situation, but this is just meant to be more of a snapshot of their lives and how they're coping with everything. That's all.

I wrote this in one day with no actual intentions of ever posting it, but the wonderful Phinoa convinced me otherwise ... So, shout out to my awesome beta who brit-picked, named, and swayed me into publishing this story. AND, on top of that, made a beautiful aesthetic to go right along with it! I can't thank you enough, love.

I may write more eventually, but for right now, this is getting left as a one-shot. At least until I finish my other major multi-chapter project, Obsessed.

Anyway, thank you all so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed my angst-filled Dramione story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know your thoughts! :)



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