Draco grimaced as he swung his legs over the edge of the bed. It hurt to move.
Still, Madam Pomfrey has said that he was well enough to leave, and so he was
going to leave. He really didn’t want to stay in here any longer than was
necessary. He looked up as the door opened, and he smiled as Ron walked in.
Ron smiled back. “Hello, Draco. Madam Pomfrey said that you could go, right?”
Draco nodded. “To tell the truth, I’m relieved. I know you came to visit often, but this place is dreadfully dull.”
Ron smirked. “I think it’s supposed to be dull so that any patients will get well fast just to get out of here.” Ron walked over and helped Draco to stand. “Anyway...I’m here to bring you to Gryffindor Tower and get you settled in. You’re supposed to take it easy today before you can return to class, you know.”
Draco rolled his eyes and sighed. “I’m getting rather sick of being in bed all the time.” He muttered, taking a moment to be sure he wouldn’t fall over before he removed himself from Ron’s arms. Not that he didn’t like the feel of Ron’s arms, it was just that he wanted to actually do something on his own for a change.
Ron’s eyes softened. “I understand. Look at it this way, though. Things won’t be as dull as they were here.” He said, offering a smile.
Draco couldn’t help but to smile in return. It was bound to be interesting...Draco, in Gryffindor Dorm...he doubted he would find a single peaceful moment today. At least it wouldn’t be a tedious day.
“Come on, let’s get it over with...I’m certain I won’t get a warm welcome from my new house mates.” Draco said, slowly beginning to walk. Moving hurt, but he had to get used to it again. He held his injured arm close to himself, frowning when his head began to ache once again.
“I’m sure things will settle down as they get used to you being there.” Ron said, walking along beside Draco as they left the Hospital Wing.
Draco hoped that Ron was right about that. He was worried that they wouldn’t get used to him, that they would continue to hate him throughout his stay in Gryffindor. But he wouldn’t give voice to his fears. No, he didn’t want to bother Ron with his foolish concerns. It wouldn’t do to worry Ron as well.
They walked quietly to the dormitory. The pace was slow, since Draco still felt sore and a bit dizzy sometimes...he didn’t want to end up falling down and have to go back to the Hospital Wing. Draco paid attention as Ron gave the password to the portrait of a fat lady in pink, knowing that he would need to know it should he decide to leave any time soon. He didn’t really want to get stuck outside.
Draco lowered his eyes as he followed Ron into the Common Room. He was aware of the stares and whispers directed his way, yet refused to look at anyone. No, he just wanted to get past this, to give everyone time to adjust to his presence. There was no need to make trouble so early on.
Ron led him upstairs to the boys’ dorm room, showing him where his bed was. He was grateful to be away from the others, from the way they were all looking at him. At least up here, he didn’t hear the rumors they were spreading, the quiet little whispers that they passed back and forth to each other. It wasn’t until someone spoke to him that Draco finally raised his gaze.
“How are you feeling, Draco?”
Draco blinked as he looked up, surprised to have heard that question coming from the lips of none other than Harry Potter. “I...I’m okay.” He replied, deciding it would be best to be civil. True he had never found Potter to be an agreeable person, but things had changed ...Draco’s entire life had been upturned...he truly didn’t know what to believe about anything anymore. He was confused and tired, ready to go to sleep even though it was still early in the day.
“Here, why don’t you sit down?” Hermione Granger’s familiar voice said, just as a pair of gentle hands urged him to move, helping him to sit on the edge of his bed. He vaguely wondered why she was in the boys’ dorm room, but decided not to question it.
Someone held a glass in his line of sight, and he looked up to see Potter smiling kindly at him. He took the glass and sipped at the cool water, just hoping that he wouldn’t drop it. He was feeling quite weary and the dizziness had returned to him.
“Thank you...but how come you’re both being so nice to me?”
Hermione smiled, and looked as if she were amused with the question. “Because we think you’re going to need friends.”
Harry nodded. “Besides...I always felt that we could have been friends if not for the bad start in Diagon Alley.”
Draco ducked his head in embarrassment. “Sorry about that, by the way.”
“Ron was right...you HAVE changed.” Hermione’s voice was tinged with pleasured awe. “You never apologized for anything before.”
Draco drank some more water and sighed. “I feel I’m going to be doing it a lot now.” He whispered, not really meaning to say that out loud.
Ron spoke up this time. “Maybe...but you won’t have to stand alone. Now, I think you should lie down. You’re white as a sheet.” He gently took the glass from Draco’s hand.
Draco nodded numbly. He wouldn’t put up an argument. He was quite tired. Draco didn’t know who helped him, but in a matter of moments, Draco was lying in bed, his robes and shoes having been removed at some point. He still wore his clothes, probably because of Hermione’s presence, but it didn’t truly matter to Draco’s weary mind. He simply drifted off to sleep, vaguely feeling as the covers were brought up over his body.
The next day, Draco found things to be quite different. He awoke in the morning and he dressed, with Ron’s help anyway. Moving was still difficult since his body was sore, but he was dead set on going to classes today. He wasn’t so tired...he could handle it. He found it odd that only he and Ron were in the dorm when he awoke, but didn’t think about where the other Gryffindors were at the moment.
He found out just where the others were as soon as he stepped into the Common Room. All of the sixth year Gryffindors were gathered there in front of him, as well as a number of students from the other years as well. Draco stepped into the room nervously, wondering what was going on. Surely there wouldn’t be a mass beating or anything, he hoped. However, seeing the smirks on Harry and Hermione’s faces, Draco was left even more confounded. They had been nice to him yesterday, surely they wouldn’t change their ways so abruptly.
“What’s going on?” Draco asked, feeling uncomfortable under the stares of the other students. Behind him, Ron stood, laying his hand on Draco’s shoulder.
“I-Is it true?” Asked Neville Longbottom, after a lingering length of silence. “You being pregnant...is it true?”
Draco gulped and nervously nodded. Pansy must have spread the word about his condition. “Yes, it’s quite true.”
The group immediately broke out into whispers. Draco frowned, not liking this. It was making him uncomfortable. He had the brief urge to turn and run back up to the dorm, but Ron led him further into the Common Room, sitting him down in a comfortable chair before joining Harry and Hermione nearby.
“The guys just want to ask a few questions, Draco.” Ron stated, crossing his arms over his chest. “No one’s going to do anything harmful.”
Draco forced his lips to twist in a small smirk, but felt sure that the expression could clearly be seen through. “Okay.” He replied quietly, folding his hands in his lap, not sure what to do.
One of the boys...Seamus Finnigan...took a step forward, biting his lip before speaking. “What's it like? It's not painful, is it?”
Draco shook his head. “No...it doesn’t hurt. I can’t really explain what it feels like. Strange, but not uncomfortable...yet. The nausea is unpleasant, but so far there isn’t anything terrible about it.”
Seamus smiled, apparently satisfied with that answer. The questions continued from there. After a while, Draco got used to the interrogation. They weren’t demanding answers, or asking stupid things, but were posing actual well-thought out inquiries. Draco was more than happy to answer what questions he could. He had never really expected any Gryffindor other than Ron, Hermione, and Harry to ever be so...thoughtful, so tolerant of his presence. Things were certainly looking up for him.
On to Part Eighteen
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