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Days for Consideration (The Past, Present, & Future Two-Step) [Harry Potter; Hermione/Draco; PG-13]

Title: Days for Consideration (The Past, Present, & Future Two-Step)
Author: azephirin / abi z.
Summary: The pieces that make up a picture.
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Hermione Granger/Draco Malfoy
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: All hail Rowling.
Original story: A Day for Consideration, by heidi8
Notes: This is a remix in form as well as content: I took not only heidi8's story but also musesfool's Ten Ficlets for Ten Songs structure. Except this felt done at nine parts, so here it is. The original fic was written prior to the release of Deathly Hallows, so I am considering this AU after Half-Blood Prince. Thanks to katomyte for the read-through, and to missbucklebury for the Brit-pick.



And he calls twice a week
Just to hear me speak
And we don't talk about
What's gone or who's left without
—“Sister,” Jennifer O’Connor


It’s less of a surprise than it might be, coming home to find Draco Malfoy's head in her fireplace. Crookshanks, fierce attack beast that he is, snoozes several feet away, snoring loudly.

“You know I hate it when you do that,” she says, without heat.

“I can’t get enough of watching your cat sleep, Granger. Tell me, how’s our fearless leader and his cohort of fearless minions?”

“Kingsley and the rest of them are fine, Draco. Did you Floo at this ungodly hour for a reason?”

“You know me, rich and indolent and without anything better to do. Why don’t you tell me how your day was?”

“Long,” she says, and begins to put her groceries away.

“Top marks at Hogwarts, savior of wizardkind, star trainee among the Aurors, and that’s the best you can come up with?”

It was long, she wants to say, and tiring, and we’re counting up the “missing” this week, and I gave Ron’s file to one of the senior Aurors and cited a “conflict of interest.”

“I’m sorry my vocabulary disappoints you,” Hermione says. She could tell him to bugger off, that it’s late, that she wants to be left to put away her groceries and go to bed. Instead she says, “I did hear a variety of brilliant rumors about who’s shagging whom, though. If you’d like to get your head out of my fireplace and sit at the table like a civilized person, I’ll tell you all about them.”


*******



Is there a time for kohl and lipstick
A time for cutting hair
Is there a time for high street shopping
To find the right dress to wear
—“Miss Sarajevo,” U2


She’s asleep in their dodgy Muggle hostel in Belgrade, the first time she’s slept in what feels like months, when the owl swoops in the window and drops something right onto her head.

She stifles a scream, and is especially embarrassed when she discovers that the ominous weight is not particularly weighty at all—and that it contains nothing but the Daily Prophet. The owl stares at her, and she could swear it’s tapping its clawed foot, but she doesn't have anything in the way of food. “Sorry, love,” she says. “I wasn’t expecting you. We’ve got nothing.”

Either she’s mad, or a barn owl just rolled its eyes at her.

Ron grunts something that’s probably, “What is it, Hermione?”

“Nothing,” she whispers at him from across the room. Harry is still dead to the world. “Go back to sleep.”

She takes Ron’s lack of response to mean that he has, in fact, followed her instructions for once. Life would be so much easier and more efficient if he would do that all the time.

There's a small envelope tied to the paper. Nothing is written on it—not her name, not anything—so there's no handwriting to recognize. She murmurs a series of spells at it, but nothing happens, and she’s forced to conclude that the envelope is nothing but what it appears to be. She opens it, and a piece of paper—not parchment, but thick, fine paper—lifts itself out and into her hands.

There are only three words—four if you count the initials together, seven if you count them separately.

While Rome burns?—DEVM


His middle names are oddly beautiful: Eridanus, Latin for “river,” and Volans, or “flying fish.” Constellations, in keeping with family tradition. His outside names are so harsh—a dragon, bad faith—but the interior ones are bizarrely poetic, which seems fitting, in a way. She wonders whether that was intentional, whether Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy can be credited with any sense of metaphor whatsoever.

There was, it appears, a gala at the Ministry, full of ostentatious jewelry and dress robes and breathless reports of who wore what and was seen with whom. There's a picture of Draco with Pansy. She looks dreadfully excited; he looks deeply unimpressed.

There is no earthly reason for Hermione to be jealous.

She quashes the feeling mercilessly and reaches beneath her bed for her pen—just a ballpoint, as a quill and ink are too awkward and too messy to carry—and some paper. She can’t say much: can’t give anything away in the event that her letter is intercepted, and she has to write quickly before Harry and Ron wake up and want to know with whom she’s corresponding.

The wilds of the empire remain wild, if not exactly free. The prince and his platonic consort are safe and snore a great deal. You look well, if bored. Dear me, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many ruffles on one robe.—Andraste



*******



You know me now but to do better than that
You've got to follow me
—“Hey Pretty,” Poe


She’s standing in her cubicle, studying the pattern she’s traced out on the blackboard. No, she thinks, that’s not right. She takes her wand and erases a series of markings connecting two sets of balance transfers at Gringotts. Better. Now, if Harold Belson’s account fed into the one held in trust by his father... She refers again to the sheaf of papers sent over by the goblins. The senior Aurors have assigned her to look at a series of accounts held by suspected patrons of a high-end brothel, run by wizards but quartered in a quiet Muggle section of Notting Hill. Most of the other Aurors hate this sort of thing, but to Hermione it’s like doing puzzles: Trace the money, and you’ll find the crime. She’s never backed down from a fight in her life—anyone who was in the war knows that—but this is what she’s best at, she thinks: putting together the pieces that make up a picture.

“Granger,” drawls an immediately familiar voice.

“Malfoy. What are you doing here?”

“Had to see someone in the Department of International Magical Cooperation about the new branch in Paris, thought I’d stop by.” Draco started his own company not long ago, an investment firm, the first such thing in the wizarding world. It’s been quite successful, and now he’s expanding into the French and German markets. “Speaking of Paris,” he goes on, “I have a Portkey arranged and reservations this evening at Le Cirque du Midi. It would be a waste to let the second seat at the table go empty.”

It takes her a moment to realize what he’s getting at. She stares. “Draco Malfoy,” she says, “are you asking me out on a date?”

“Certainly not. Merlin, Granger, how pedestrian. Those such as we do not go out on dates.”

“'Those such as we’ meaning young, healthy, single heterosexuals?” She pauses. “Speaking for myself, at least. I wouldn't presume to label your sexual orientation.”

She isn’t sure how he’ll react to that, and his delighted laughter is unexpected. “Oh, Granger, well played! Not an insult—at least, I assume you don’t consider it one—but an insinuation that most men would resent and feel compelled to counter, whilst desperately trying to seem as though they don’t themselves consider it an insult.” He crosses his arms and leans against the cubicle wall. He’s wearing flowing gray robes open over a classic three-piece suit, and he has no right, she thinks, to come into her workplace looking long and lean and elegant and distracting her like this. She has things to do, and admiring the fit of Draco Malfoy's suit is not one of them. “You,” he adds, “would have made a remarkable Slytherin.”

“It was Gryffindor or Ravenclaw,” she says. “I picked Gryffindor.”

“And rightfully so—you’d have been bored silly in Ravenclaw. They don’t have enough nerve for your taste. And I shudder to contemplate your misery among the Hufflepuffs. But you’d have ruled Slytherin with a fist of velvet-clad iron, my dear, once you came into your own.” He flicks an invisible piece of lint off his shoulder. “Now, you never answered my question. Will you be joining me for dinner this evening? The reservation is for eight o’clock; the Portkey is set for a quarter to.”

She crosses her arms and leans against her desk. “I’ll see whether I can clear my schedule.”

“Right.” He comes over then and kisses her cheek. “I’ll be at your flat at half eight.”


***********



I found my name upside-down...
telling all the ways
I get around
—“High School,” The Watson Twins


“You mean you and Potter never...?” Draco's eyes, over the rim of his wineglass, are disbelieving.

“He does have a first name, you know. And no, we didn’t. It would...well, I’ve never had a brother, but I imagine the idea of shagging one’s brother would engender the same reaction as the idea of shagging Harry.”

“That’s remarkable. I had always just assumed...”

“Most people did. Lack of accuracy never seemed to bother anyone in that regard.” Hermione takes a bite of halibut. It’s roasted with ginger—delicious.

“Pansy Parkinson had this entire story about walking in on the two of you in the Astronomy Tower—”

“Pansy Parkinson is a pathological liar. She wrote a terribly obscene piece of slander on the wall in one of the girls’ loos about Harry and me.”

Draco shakes his head. “I don’t know where people get the idea that men are the deadlier sex. Girls are far more vicious even just in the everyday. How did you know it was her?”

“Her handwriting is distinctive. Small and squashed, quite like her face.”

“As I say: even just in the everyday.”

Hermione shrugs, then acquiesces. “Perhaps you’re right. I did retaliate.”

“Oh?”

“I replied with something quite, er, specific. About certain activities in which she might have partaken with Crabbe and Goyle. Simultaneously. Very, very simultaneously.”

Draco bursts out laughing. “Merlin’s balls, Granger, that was you?”

“You heard about it?”

“All of Slytherin heard about it! I knew it wasn’t true, of course—for one thing, had it been, Vincent and Gregory would have given me all the sordid details whether I wanted them or not. But it was so bizarrely specific that I knew it had to have originated somewhere.” He steals a bite of her fish, and she considers smacking him on the wrist, but she knows it won’t be a deterrent. “What I’d like to know,” he adds, “is how in the world you thought of something like that.”

“I was very well read for my age,” she says, at her primmest. “I needn’t have flown an airplane myself in order to understand that it can be done.”

“Airplane...? Oh, right, the Muggle replacement for a Portkey. Well, darling, a toast to you, and to your precocious perversity. Parkinson never lived it down, and Vincent and Gregory, I’m sure, thank you from the bottom of their hearts.”


*************



when i'm sober i try not to love you so hard
will not love you so hard
—“Love in 2 Parts,” Erin McKeown



It’s Ron’s birthday. She’s very drunk.

“Hermione,” Harry says gently. “You can’t fall asleep like that.”

“Perfectly comfortable,” she protests.

“Right, dirty hardwood, the favored resting place of champions. Come on, let’s get you to bed.”

“You’re quite fit,” Hermione says, “but you’re not blond enough.”

To his credit, Harry doesn't blink. “I’m not blond at all.”

“No. Malfoy is, though. He’s so very, very blond. An archetype of blond. A caricature of blond. His hair is blond the way mine is curly.” She rolls onto her stomach and rests her head on her arms. She’s comfortable enough; God knows she’s slept on worse.

Harry sighs and sits down next to her. In a moment, she feels his fingers stroking lightly over her French braid. “Are you ever going to tell me about that?”

“About Malfoy's hair? It’s blond. I already said.”

Harry laughs a little. His fingers don’t cease their movement, slow and calming. She could definitely fall asleep here. “I meant about you and Draco. I’m not blind, Hermione. And I know...I know you well enough to know when something’s going on with you.”

“Can’t tell you.”

“Why not?”

“You’ll hate me.”

“Of course I won’t hate you.”

“You will. I’m pissed and sloppy on the floor of your flat, and Ron would hate me if he were alive because I was supposed to be in love with him, and you’ll hate me because I’m defenestrating—I mean, desecrating—his memory, and also Malfoy's your worst enemy, and you’ll probably challenge him to a duel and one of you will get killed or turned into a spiny anteater, and it’ll all be my fault.”

Harry’s laughing again, this time more genuinely, without malice. “I promise no one will turn anyone else into a spiny anteater.”

“You say that now.”

“Draco’s not my enemy, Hermione. I doubt we’ll ever be good friends, but we’ve been on the same side for a good while. And while I imagine Ron would have some colorful commentary on the subject, I think that mostly he’d want you to be happy. And that’s what I want, too.”

“You want me to be happy even if it’s with Draco Malfoy?”

There's a pause. Hermione turns her head to look at Harry, dislodging his fingers from their track.

“If that’s what it takes,” Harry finally says, “then yes.”

“I think that’s what it will take,” Hermione admits.

There's another pause. “If he ever mistreats you, Hermione, I’ll hex him into oblivion. After I pound him senseless. And then I’ll tell the world that he wears pants with smiley faces on and has a three-centimeter cock.”

“But that’s so manifestly untrue.”

Harry winces. “God, Hermione, must you? It’s an image I didn’t need to contemplate.”

“You’re the one who brought it up. I merely corrected a factual error.”

“Even drunk, you’re a know-it-all.” But his voice is affectionate.

“Blighter. Now go away. I want to sleep.”

“At least take the bed, Hermione. I’ll sleep on the sofa.”

He helps her up, then nudges her into the bedroom. He would take the sofa, as his sense of propriety dictates, but she’s had enough to drink that she’s unembarrassed about pulling him down with her. She falls asleep with her head on his belly and wakes up dreadfully hungover, but with a strange feeling of lightness, as though a weight has been lifted, as though something hidden has been brought open.


****************



We could close the curtains
Pretend like there's no world outside...
Can't you see that it's just raining
There ain't no need to go outside
—“Banana Pancakes,” Jack Johnson



Half six; the alarm erupts into a Weird Sisters song, and Draco hits it harder than is really required. The curtain twitches to the side—his command of wandless magic is enviable, positively sickening in fact. The drape falls back into place, but it’s enough for Hermione to see that there’s rain outside, and a day that’s cheerless and gray even by London’s high standards for those adjectives.

She moves to get up, thinking that Draco will roll over and sleep for another hour as usual—for which she spends a moment quite vehemently hating him—but instead his hand lands on her wrist. “Floo Shacklebolt and tell him you’re sick,” he says, barely comprehensibly.

“But I’m not.”

“Of course you’re not.” A grumpy, half-awake Draco is a Draco replete with classic Malfoy disdain. “You also wrapped up the Battersea case last night—or should I say early this morning—and it’s Thursday, and you’ve worked more than a full week’s hours already. Floo Shacklebolt, tell him you’re sick—or that you’re busy shagging the bloke with whom you live in a scandalously sinful state, whichever you feel most comfortable sharing with your supervisor—and then come back to bed. Please,” he adds, though it doesn't at all change the tone of the delivery.

As if in agreement, Crookshanks jumps onto the bed, curls up against Draco's side, and closes his eyes, purring ostentatiously.

Wretched beast.

The both of them.

But he’s right: She did finish compiling the evidence, and the site team made the arrests around two o’clock this morning, and where there was once a thriving business in human trafficking—wizards using a variety of spells, including Imperius, Cruciatus, and Obliviate, to forcibly transport and indenture Muggles from other countries—there is now a group of individuals locked up and awaiting trial by the Wizengamot.

She sits up in bed, but, despite Draco's pressing, hasn’t quite made up her mind: She’s sure she’ll have to present her evidence, and she could go in and tidy up her notes, make them as concise and conclusive as possible.

There's a tapping at the window. It sounds like an owl, though it’s terribly early for any post. Hermione gets up and looks: It is in fact an owl, one of the large Ministry greys, bearing an envelope with the Auror seal.

Team: Site investigators arrested eight suspected traffickers, all alleged to be heads of the cartel; took captive Muggles to safe house for therapy, repatriation if they choose. Take today and Friday but be ready to present findings to Wizengamot Monday. Will owl/Floo when hearing time set. Good job, everyone. Get some sleep.—KS


Draco takes the note out of her hands, reads it, and snorts. “Granger, when Kingsley Shacklebolt thinks you need two days’ holiday, that’s a bad sign. Now are you coming back to bed or not?”

“My God, you’re disagreeable in the mornings. No wonder I leave the house before you’re awake.”

Draco rolls his eyes, then flops back down and pulls the covers over his head. Hermione finds a treat for the owl, then sends it back on its way. She crawls back into bed beside Draco, who settles an arm around her in the quiet dark. There's rain, but it’s faint, distant-sounding. “Don’t you have to go to the office today?” she says.

“Took today and tomorrow off.”

“What if Kingsley hadn’t given us the days?”

“Then I’d have gone in and told everyone I changed my mind. The perks of being the boss, love—you can do that. Or I’d simply have informed Shacklebolt that I abducted you—but I expected he’d want a couple of days himself to spend with his boyfriend, and I was right.”

Hermione’s eyes pop open, and she turns over and stares down at Draco. “What? What boyfriend? Kingsley?”

Draco's voice is surprised rather than mocking. “You hadn’t heard?”

“Kingsley never discusses his personal life.”

“I thought it was common knowledge that he prefers male company. And I rather thought the conclusion drawn when we saw them at Le Cirque du Midi.”

“Are you sure?” Hermione asks. “I just...I assumed they were friends.”

“I’m sure they are, in a manner of speaking. As you and I are. The sort of friends who go to Le Cirque du Midi together.”

“Oh,” Hermione says, and lies back down. “Well. I never...I suppose that makes a certain amount of sense. Parvati did seek his attentions quite strenuously, and it’s a rare man who can withstand that, I should think.” She settles herself against Draco's shoulder. “So what do you want to do today?”

He runs his fingers over her hair. “Have a lie-in. A very long lie-in. Then I’ll make those odd pancakes you like for breakfast, and we can ignore anyone who might have the temerity to ring or Floo, and then we might have another lie-in—sleep entirely optional, of course, unless necessary as a recuperative measure from other activities—and we can keep the curtains closed and let it keep raining outside.”

She spreads her hand on his belly. There's a twisty scar that runs across it, up onto his side—the result of a Sectumsempra cast by Amicus Carrow. The best anyone could do midbattle was contain the bleeding, and so the scar remains. It’s the only flaw on a body that’s otherwise perfect, from Draco's silvery-platinum hair to his delicately arched feet, and it’s not a flaw, not really, just a reminder of what they’ve all been through.

“That sounds lovely,” Hermione says. “And my pancakes are not odd.”

“They contain bananas,” Draco says. “No normal person would adulterate food in such a way. Now go to sleep, love. I told you, we have a busy day planned.”


************



I was born one dark gray morn
With music coming in my ears....
—“Baby Driver,” Simon and Garfunkel


Draco waves his wand to move the boxes from the spare room, directing them into the library, where they were spending most of their time this month. When would they have such a chance again?

Hermione hasn't unpacked anything in the pile in the year since she brought them from her parents' house, and she's relieved to see that he's already put an expansion spell on the bookcases; they'll never fit all their books without it. The spell makes the library shelves three rows deep, and they'll slide from side to side with a touch. Preorganized wandless magic.

The next box he pours through is full of photo albums, scrapbooks, a few Adrian Mole novels and a random Take That CD that she tries to Banish before he can ask her about it. It flies to the wall and sticks itself there, a shiny circle of her Muggle memories in this magic-filled and wood-paneled room.

He flips through a scrapbook and teases her about keeping her Hogwarts letter for the last ten years, then for the first time, he reads the pages that she always knew the kids from wizarding families didn't get, the ones that explained about magic and contained instructions for arranging an interview with one of the professors.

"I had to hide it for a year," she tells him. "I had this letter sitting in my desk and I looked at it every morning, and then I had to get dressed and go to school and sit with my classmates and try not to turn the cat purple and be ordinary." She's told him before how she thought the letter's edges would fray and the ink would fade or smudge, she touched it so much, but it never did. It was pristine and cream and green then, and it looked unaged by even a day, even now.

He didn't have his Hogwarts letter anymore; if he'd saved it at all, it hadn't made it through the year of chaos that should have been his seventh year. When it had come, it was already the end of May; his father had acted like he knew it was coming, but Draco had been a little nervous until it actually arrived.

What if..., he'd thought.

Was it better to get your Hogwarts letter a year before you could start, or would waiting build character and discipline and all the things that his father had claimed were so important? Why did Hogwarts have to be so strict about the August 31 cutoff date?

"Hermione," he said, "we've cleared out most of the boxes. We can have the room painted and get the furniture in within a week. You just have to decide," he said. "Do you want to get induced so you definitely go into labour before September 1, or wait the extra week—or more—so you go naturally?"

"Why don't I get induced on August 31, and time the delivery so one's born that day, and the other isn't born 'til after midnight?"


************



Don't worry about a thing
Every little thing is gonna be alright
—“Three Little Birds,” Bob Marley and the Wailers


It’s getting close to time now, and she hasn’t been sleeping well. He makes her go to bed (well, encourages her, because who could ever make Hermione Granger do anything she didn’t want to?), but he always falls asleep while she’s still reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, or something equally ludicrous.

On a Saturday in mid-August, he wakes up alone in bed, with brilliant sunlight shining in the window. He closes the curtains, dresses, and stumbles out into the kitchen. She’s sitting with a cup of tea—she’s allowed one a day, per the instructions of both the Muggle doctor and the mediwizard, since it’s the only thing that settles her stomach. She’s staring down at a book, but with an odd blank expression on her face, not at all the one of deep critical involvement that’s typical when she reads.

She starts when he walks in, and she closes the book—which is highly ineffective if she’s trying to hide what she’s reading, because now he can see the cover. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Which she must have read a thousand times—along with every other piece of literature, wizarding and Muggle, on the subject.

“You’re up early,” she says, not quite accusingly.

“Someone left the curtains open,” he replies, and pours some tea for himself. “Did you sleep well?”

She shrugs, which means no.

He takes a breath, starts to say that it’ll only make things more difficult if she’s exhausted when the babies come, but she knows that, and they’ve had this argument before. He settles for, “You’re reading that again?”

She shrugs one more time, and covers the book with the Daily Prophet.

“It’s just,” he pushes, “I’m sure you could write your own book, by now. In fact, I’m surprised you haven’t.”

“They make it sound like it’s not so bad,” she says, and those were the last words he was expecting to hear coming out of her mouth.

“You mean giving birth?”

“No, I meant riding an alligator. Of course I meant giving birth, Draco.”

“You think it will be?” He has to admit that he hasn’t given it a lot of contemplation. Narcissa Malfoy did it, after all. Lavender Brown has done it several times. How bad can it be?

“Women died during this,” Hermione says. “For millennia. Their children with them.”

Draco blinks. He has seen this woman charge into Death Eater camps, has seen her fight two and three at once, has never known her to be afraid. They scheduled the inducement two days ago, and her only concern seemed to be the timing of the births, though he is given to understand that induced labor is more painful than the natural variety. Still, she was set on it, and the mediwizards have very effective charms for these things—he’s done some reading himself.

He goes and sits next to her. “You know that childbirth isn’t a danger anymore, right?”

“But so many things can go wrong. Elevated blood pressure, intrapartum asphyxia, even hemorrhaging—”

He pushes his chair closer to hers, wraps one arm around her shoulders and the other around her prodigious belly. “Love. Love. Ssh.” She subsides, and he says, “You know that you have the best medical care available, in both the wizarding and Muggle worlds, right?”

“Of course,” she says.

“And you know that no mediwizard is going to let anything happen to Hermione Granger or her children, right?”

She laughs a little.

“And you know that I am not going to let anything happen to Hermione Granger or our children, right?”

“I know,” she says softly.

“It’s a new world now,” he says, stroking the frizzes of her hair. “And you’ve had absolutely no problems so far—remember how pleased they were with your progress at your last checkup?—and there's no reason to think that you'll start having them now.”

“And you’ll be there,” she says.

“Well, I thought I might go to the races that day....”

She elbows him, not hard.

“Of course I’ll be there,” he says.

*************



There are leaves upon the skylight, trace your hand, trace your hand....
—“Playing to the Firmament,” Dar Williams


“Stay still for Mummy, just a little longer, just a little bit longer...good!”

Who knows whether or not Jessamine actually understood her, but Hermione managed to finish tracing the baby’s hand, at least—something her parents did for her, and she’d like to do for her own children, so they can see later how much they’ve grown.

Draco doesn't seem to have had similar luck with Desmond. He holds up the paper, which contains an amorphous blob that in no way resembles their son’s chubby hand. “It’s an alien?”

“Ba!” Desmond agrees, and tries to take the paper and eat it.

“Is there a Quick-Quotes Quill for this sort of thing?” Draco wonders. “Stands itself upright, traces your child’s hand without undue expenditure of ink onto your finely finished sitting room floor?”

“Oh no, really?” says Hermione.

“Nothing that won’t Scourgify. Here, want to trade? You give it a go with Desmond, and I’ll take Jessamine?”

Hostages are exchanged. Ink finds it way onto Hermione’s shirt.

“You didn’t tell me it was on him, too!” Now that Draco has shifted position, she can see that there's a good bit of it on his trousers. She sighs. “My mum swears this wasn’t difficult with me.”

“I imagine not. However, I doubt you shared Desmond’s propensity for attempting to consume every inanimate object—and some of the animate ones, as Crookshanks can attest—that come into his field of vision.”

Desmond’s head and neck, at least, are clean. She kisses his scalp, nuzzles his soft hair. “You’re my little monster, aren’t you, Des? One day you’ll get big enough to go over to your uncle Fred’s and your uncle George’s, and I’m quite certain I’ll have to fireproof the house.”

Draco brings over the Magi-Wipes—“When sweet Baby makes a mess, we’re the ones you can address!”—and they clean off Desmond’s hands and feet, then strip off his shirt.

“Let’s try this again,” Hermione says.

“Ba!” Desmond tells her. He sounds enthusiastic, at least.

After ten attempts, Hermione hands the last to Draco to hang up. It still looks rather like an alien, but maybe they’ll have better luck next month.

Looking at the previous five months’ versions—successively messier as Desmond’s motor skills have improved—Hermione somehow doubts it.

“Let’s get you cleaned up,” she says to Desmond. “Again. And I wonder what we can convince your father to make us for supper.”
Tags: character: draco malfoy, character: hermione granger, fandom: harry potter, original author: heidi8, pairing: hermione granger/draco malfoy, rating: pg-13, remix author: azephirin
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