A Stranger Life

Little Lie, Big Problem

Narcissa's eyes widened as she watched Hermione. "Quick," she yelled at Snape, "somebody catch her so she doesn't hurt herself!"

It took a moment, but finally, he registered what she was saying and Snape threw himself forward and caught Hermione just before she hit the floor. She hung limp in his arms for a few moments, her eyes closed. Then, just as Snape set her on the couch, her eyes slowly began to flutter, and everyone clustered around the couch with bated breath.

When she was fully awake, Narcissa motioned for Draco to put his arm around her and help her sit up. She looked around the room with bleary eyes, and had to open and close her mouth three or four times before she could get any words out.

"Did Draco just tell you about us having a baby?" she asked.

Narcissa nodded, grinning widely, and patted her lightly on the leg. Lucius managed as pleasant an expression as he could and moved closer to his wife.

"He did!" Narcissa's tone was one of delight. "And we couldn't be more thrilled for the two of you. We weren't expecting this announcement so soon!"

Looking at Narcissa's expression, Hermione finally managed a watery smile. "Yes, well I was very surprised when I found out. In fact, I'm still a little shaken by the idea. But in a good way."

Draco nodded in agreement. "I agree entirely. We weren't planning on starting our family this early, but one thing led to another, and well, here we are."

After that, everyone toasted to the future of Draco and Hermione's offspring and then they separated, with Draco, Lucius and Snape going into the library and Narcissa, Hermione and Bellatrix staying in the parlor to talk more about the baby.

"I know this is a silly question to be asking since it seems like you only found out you were expecting a little while ago, but have you thought up any names for your children?" Narcissa began.

"No, not really," Hermione replied. "As Draco said, we weren't really planning on starting a family so early. We just wanted to have time to enjoy each other awhile before we had kids."

"It was probably enjoying each other that got you into this position in the first place," Bellatrix said, grinning wickedly.

Narcissa ignored her sister's comment and gave Hermione a reassuring smile. "You don't have to worry about a thing dear. Lucius and I will take good care of you until the second the baby arrives. And besides, just before Draco told us the news, he and Severus were discussing the two of you going on a holiday to help relieve the stress you've been under since you got married. This is the perfect solution."

"That's very generous of you, but I couldn't impose on you like that," Hermione protested. "Besides, Draco and I have something that we really need to take care of and it needs to be done by both of us and done immediately."

Narcissa just waved the comment aside. "Whatever you and Draco have planned, he is perfectly capable of handling on his own. I'll go home and get one of the elves to come and get your things. I won't take no for an answer."

Hermione opened her mouth to argue once more, but realized it was pointless. Narcissa was dead-set on being doting, and nothing would change her mind. She just hoped that Draco truly appreciated what she'd be going through for him in the next months.

Eventually, the guests decided on one last toast, and then in turn they each said their goodbyes. When Draco shut the door on the Narcissa, who was last and almost reluctant to leave, Hermione called Draco into the bedroom. He went, and when he asked her what she wanted, she promptly whacked him hard over the head with the spellbook.

"Ow!" he cried. "What the hell was that for? I got us through the party, didn't I? What did I do wrong?"

"You told them I was pregnant without telling me first," she replied, her voice shaking with fury. "Now our entire plan is ruined and it's all your fault! We're never going to get out of here!" Growling in frustration and throwing him a look that would kill even the bravest man, Hermione threw herself onto the bed, and began hitting the mattress repeatedly with the heavy book. Draco backed away, and watched her, wincing as he imagined that the mattress was his head.

"Why is our plan ruined?" he asked finally, bracing himself against the door, and holding a pillow he'd brought her from the living room in front of his midsection like a shield.

"Aren't you the least bit curious about why your mother was so reluctant to leave?" Hermione asked. She was much calmer now, but he was still afraid to come near her.

Draco paused a moment, then he nodded. "I did find that a bit strange, yeah."

"It's because she wants to watch me every second until I have this fictitious baby you made up. She wants me to move into the Manor, where she can watch me and take care of me every second. Now do you see why I'm so mad about this? If your mother is watching me like a hawk twenty-four hours a day, I can't very well go into the past with you to get Owen and Gwen, can I? And won't she be suspicious when the months go by and I don't look or act pregnant at all?"

"Well," Draco said smiling slyly, feeling bolder by the fact that she was no longer screaming swear words at the top of her lungs and hitting things with hard, heavy objects, "I can think of a way to fix the latter problem, if you feel so inclined." He looked at the bed suggestively. Hermione looked too for a minute, then she looked at him incredulously.

"Don't start," she said with finality. Then she stood up and shoved the book at him. "Your mother is sending an elf over to pack my things soon. As you will have to do this entire job on your own, know the spells well, and know what you are going to do to accomplish this. I don't care what you do, as long as Gwen and Owen get here."

"Stop," Draco said suddenly. "You don't have to do this. I'll tell my mother you aren't really going to have a baby."

Hermione turned around from where she'd been standing facing the window across from their bed. "You can't do that now. Your mother would be shattered."

"Well, you said it yourself," Draco replied reasonably. "You aren't really pregnant right now, and in a few months, that will become apparent, and Mother will know we lied to her. Then she'll be worse then shattered, and we'll have to bear it. So, may I again suggest that we take care of that worry and hope for the best?"

Hermione looked at him, surprised. "You really are unbelievable, you know that, right?" She then watched as he stripped off his clothes, and then went to her closet to undress herself, and when the house-elf came to get her things, which she'd put outside the bedroom door beforehand, she was blissfully unaware of it, and everything else.

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