Draco and Hermione had a slow walk through their new neighbourhood and found that it was the perfect hiding place. There were several families with kids of all ages, a few middle ages couples and three couples that were retired. They fitted in just fine.
The only thing that irked Draco ever so slightly was the fact that their next door neighbour was a single male in his mid twenties. He had seen how the other man had eyed his girlfriend when they had been walking past and he had been mowing the lawn wearing only old jeans but no shirt. He hadn't said anything. Though he had vowed to himself that should there be so much as a hint of him trying it on with Hermione, Draco would let him feel what it meant to tangle with a jealous wizard.
They were sitting on a bench in Princes Street Gardens and were enjoying the sun. It was still festival season and the town was swamped with tourists, artists and visitors in general. Hermione lay her head on Draco's shoulder. She closed her eyes and was letting her thoughts drift. She remembered the last Christmas. She had stayed at Hogwarts wanting to spend as much time there as she could. Once the term was over, she would leave the castle forever. She remembered Draco staying over the holidays as well. She had wondered about that at first, but then it had dawned on her, that he would have been going back to a house where Voldemort had been reigning only months earlier. She wouldn't have been keen on spending her holidays in a place like that either.
"Can I ask you something?"
She sighed happily.
"Of course. What do you want to know?"
He hesitated. She lifted her head from his shoulder, turned slightly and looked at him.
He had his eyes closed.
"Have you ever thought about not having... our... the baby?"
As she didn't answer he opened his eyes and saw her looking at him. There was something thoughtful in her gaze.
"No." There was a slight smile on her lips. "No, I have never considered not having the baby. This is the first time I actually am thinking about it."
He turned to face her.
"You would have had it, regardless if I had wanted you are not?"
Her brows furrowed. A thoughtful expression appeared on her face.
"I honestly don't know. Maybe there was always a part of me, that wanted to believe that you had been sincere with me that night. Even if it had turned our to be all one big joke, I would have probably never giving up the hope that it was true nevertheless, regardless of what you did afterwards."
"Would you have wanted me to support you, if I hadn't..."
"No. If you hadn't been interested, I would have brought up the child by myself. Mrs Weasley, Ginny, Harry and Ron would have been helping me."
There was pride and sadness in his eyes. She was such a wonderful person! It pained him a bit that she would have thought him capable of deceiving her in this most despicable manner, then again, she had only known him then as he had been before the war.
"Would you have married Weasley?"
She sighed. She knew the answer, but she wasn't particularly keen on letting Draco know about her relationship troubles. He waited patiently. She sighed again.
"Why not? You were a couple."
A confused look met her.
"Yes we were technically still a couple. I mean we were at the Graduation Party together, but..."
"It had been over long before then."
She nodded. He took her hand and laced his fingers through hers.
"Do you regret..."
Her outburst surprised him a bit. She took a deep breath.
"No. I don't regret having spend that night with you. It was a wonderful night. I would have cherished the memories of it regardless how things would have turned out in the end."
He smiled. Kissing the back of her hand he happened to look over her right shoulder. There was something wrong with what he saw. He couldn't have said what exactly though. Was something there that shouldn't have been? Or was something missing? His forehead furrowed as he stared past Hermione's head.
It took him a moment but then it hit him: there was somebody dressed in long black robes leaning on the railing preventing pedestrians to tumble down the steep hill into the flowerbeds below. He leant a bit further towards his witch and muttered, "There is a strange figure in a black robe standing up there behind you, watching us."
She frowned and glanced at him sideways. Their eyes met. That couldn't mean anything good.
"Who knows that we are here?"
"Potter knows and my mother."
"I'm not sure, whom I've told that we would be coming here, but it would only have been Harry and maybe Ginny."
He was now leaning towards her ear, kissing it gently.
"I think, a quick exit would be the best strategy right now."
"What do you have in mind?"
"There are the loos at the end of the walkway. We'll go in and apparate home."
"Home? The house here?"
He nodded, stood up and pulled her with him. He hugged and kissed her, just any normal couple might be doing. As they started towards the west end of the Gardens Draco kept a close eye in the person walking now behind them on the pavement above. They reached the public toilets, he squeezed her hand and then they went into the different compartments.
Draco appeared moments after Hermione had reached their Edinburgh home.
"Who do you think was that?"
"I have no idea, but I don't like the thought of somebody having seen us here."
Hermione was sure that there was something he wasn't telling her. Something important. As he was about to go through to the living room, she got hold of his hand and held him back. He looked at her hand holding his now and then glanced silently at her face. There was worry clearly displaying. He turned and gently cupped her face in his hands.
"Who ever that was, he or she will not be able to hurt you or our son."
He kissed her, very tenderly.
Parvati had been trying her best. It hadn't been enough. She had been committed to St. Mungo's secure ward. All doors were magically locked here and nobody, not even the healers, was allowed a wand.
It had been explained to her that she was here for her own protection and that the only alternative would be Azkaban. Though the Minister for Magic didn't think it appropriate to condemn her to spend any time there. She wasn't a criminal after all. She needed protection.
She sighed. She had been reading the three books she had been given at least twice each and was bored senseless. Why the Auror Office thought it necessary for her to be here again? Oh, yes. She was in danger. She growled. She had been working with Rita Skeeter at the same newspaper. That meant danger on a daily basis. What could be so much worse now?