Disclaimers:  I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters.  This story is purely for entertainment purposes only.  I am
making no money from this.

Notes:  Draco and Ron go out on a date, which ends with a surprise.

Family Secrets

Part Eighteen

Draco swallowed nervously and fought the blush that he knew was moving across his face.  He couldn’t help but be self-
conscious as he looked around.  After all . . . he was going out on a date . . . that was bound to draw attention especially now
that everyone knew he was pregnant, and that his date was the father of that child.

Ron, walking beside him on their way to Hogsmeade, apparently noticed Draco’s nervousness and smiled warmly.  “Relax.  No
one is going to say anything.”  Then Ron timidly reached down and placed a hand over Draco’s growing belly.  “How are you

Draco smiled in return and placed his hand over Ron’s.  “I’ve never felt better.”  He said, truthfully.

The nausea had ebbed since he had switched houses a fortnight ago and he finally had friends . . . real friends that he could
count on.  One of which had surprised him greatly.  About a week ago, Draco had nearly fainted on his way back to the
Gryffindor Tower.  At the time, Ron and Harry had been talking to Professor Snape and Hermione had been off studying, as
she usually did.  Draco had assured them that he would be fine on his own.  That assurance had proved false when not
halfway there, his knees had suddenly seemed unable to support his weight any longer.

It had been Neville Longbottom who had caught him and, in his own timid way, had asked Draco if he were all right.  When
Draco had responded that he felt faint, Neville had supported Draco the whole way back to the tower.  Once there, Neville had
settled Draco on one of the couches in the Common Room and gotten him some water, going so far as to get him a soft pillow
and cover him with a warm afghan.  When Draco had asked why Neville was doing this for him . . . Neville had only shrugged
and responded that Draco had needed the help.

It had touched Draco, knowing that someone he had spent years tormenting, would actually go out of his way to help him out.  
Neville was quite nice with helping him out . . . the both of them putting aside their past grievances as well as the little bit of
lust they had shared while Draco had been in heat.  Draco had jokingly commented during one conversation with the shy boy,
that Neville was actually quite a good kisser.  Naturally, Neville had blushed a deep crimson, but he did chuckle in reply.

“What are you thinking of?”

Ron’s quiet question brought Draco back to the present.  “Oh . . . I was just remembering the near faint I had last week.”  
Draco responded.

Ron smiled warmly.  “I’m just glad that Neville was there to help you.  I don’t think I’d be able to stand seeing you lying in the
infirmary again.  Well . . . with one exception.”  He nodded to Draco’s belly, silently indicating that he didn’t want to see Draco
in a hospital-like bed unless it was after having the baby.

They stopped in front of Honeydukes and Draco looked inside the shop window.  He had the sudden craving for Chocolate
Frogs.  He didn’t say anything, though.  The last thing that he wanted to do was to place demands on Ron.  That was why it
was a surprise to Draco when Ron took his hand and led him inside the establishment.

“What?  Ron?”  Draco spluttered.

Ron’s smile was warm and full of tenderness.  “Go on . . . pick something and I’ll buy it for you.”

Draco could only blink for a second before picking up a Chocolate Frog.  He was about to move away, when Ron picked up
five more.  “Ron . . . you don’t have to . . .”

Ron shook his head.  “They aren’t that pricey, Draco.  Besides . . . Mum had the most AWFUL cravings when she was
expecting Ginny.  One time she couldn’t get what she was craving for, and she got terrible cramps . . . at least that’s what
Percy told me.”  He shrugged.  “I don’t want you to go through more hardships than you have to.  And if I can do this little
thing to help, then I will.”

Draco only stood there in silent shock as Ron purchased the sweets.  He felt delighted . . . and a little numb.  He knew that Ron
cared a little, but Draco had never expected Ron to go out of his way to make things easier on him.  He followed Ron out of
Honeydukes and accepted the sack of treats, taking one out to munch on as they walked along.

“Thank you.”  He smiled, feeling another blush coming to stain his features.

Ron nodded.  “You’re quite welcome.”

Draco bowed his head, feeling like a foolish child for his irrational behavior.  But he couldn’t overcome the giddiness he felt.  
He walked in a pleasant daze until they reached the Three Broomsticks.  It was an inn, but he’d heard tales that the food they
served was quite good.

Madam Rosmerta, an attractive woman with shapely curves, approached them after they had found a relatively secluded place
to sit.  If they were going to be out on a date, then they didn’t really want to be disturbed by any classmates . . . most
especially any Slytherins.  It had been made quite obvious that Draco was no longer welcome among their ranks, not only
because of his transfer to Gryffindor.  They simply looked down on him now . . . he was no longer one of them.

Draco pushed aside those thoughts as he ordered a modest meal.  Despite Ron’s generous decision to pay for their date, Draco
felt a little guilty about it.  It wasn’t that he thought Ron beneath him, far from it.  He simply didn’t want to put Ron’s money
to waste.

Ron ordered his own food and gave Draco a soft glare, but he didn’t comment on Draco’s choice of meal.  He most likely had
seen right through Draco . . . he always seemed to be able to.  Draco cast a small smile Ron’s way, reaching across the table
to brush his fingers along Ron’s hand.

“I’m not all that hungry . . . really.”  He said, hoping to get out of a confrontation.  He didn’t want to argue over money, not
now.  He simply wanted to enjoy their date.

Ron looked to be ready to put up a fight about it.  But he closed his mouth before he uttered a single sound.  A moment later,
he smiled, nodding.  “Okay . . . but I insist on spoiling you after we’re done here.  I fully intend to spend each and every Knut I
have on you this afternoon, Draco.”

Draco’s face warmed at that.  “You don’t have to . . . save your money for yourself.  I’m sure there are other things you wish
to spend it on.”

Ron shook his head.  “Nope, not a thing.”  He grinned.  “Just you and that kid of mine.  Nothing else matters to me.”

The warmth in Draco’s face increased tenfold . . . surely he was blushing a deep crimson by now.  No one had ever said
anything like that to Draco before in his life.  He had never been so important to anyone before, save perhaps for his mother.  
But her feelings for him were of a motherly nature, it was a completely different matter to actually be thought of so highly by

Draco was struck speechless.  He simply did not know what to say to Ron now.  Ron’s words had hit him directly in the
heart, and he soon felt his hormones taking control.  Tears began blurring his vision, and as much as he tried to fight it, he
simply began to cry.  Mood swings were common in pregnant Veela males, according to one of the many books that Hermione
had read.  Draco had been putting up with her giving tutoring lessons to the entire population of Gryffindor . . . she wanted
everyone to be well informed should Draco need anything or seem to be acting strangely.

“Sorry, Ron . . . I can’t help it.”  Draco wept, his words coming out shaky as he leaned forward, placing his elbows on the
table.  He pressed his palms to his eyes, trying to will the tears away, but it wasn’t helping at all.

“It’s okay.”  Ron hushed, laying a warm hand against Draco’s arm.  “I remember what Hermione was saying about mood

It took a few more minutes, but Draco eventually got himself back under control.  He wiped a napkin across his face, dabbing
at his eyes.  “I must look a mess.”  He pouted, sniffling.

“Nonsense.  You’ve never looked better to me.”  Ron smiled reassuringly.

Draco felt a smile spread across his own face.  “Careful, or you’ll have me bawling like an infant again.”

Ron chuckled at that and Draco easily joined in the merriment.

Their lunch came only a few short minutes later.  Throughout the meal, they talked about various topics, ranging from
Quidditch to baby names.  They hadn’t been able to agree on which team was the best, nor had they been able to agree on a
name . . . but the conversation was still enjoyable.

After leaving the Three Broomsticks, they wandered around Hogsmeade for a little while longer.  They stopped in various
shops, mostly just to poke around.  But a few things caught Draco’s eye.  He kept his opinions to himself for the most part,
trying not to encourage Ron spending money on him, but a few times he slipped up and let the other youth know that he
fancied something.  One of those times had ended with a purchase and Draco was now the proud owner of a grey, shorthaired
kitten named Cunina.  She was a sweet little creature and had taken to Draco immediately.

All in all, it was quite a good day.  On the way back to Hogwarts, Draco held his new kitten in one hand, brushing the fingers
of his free hand along the soft fur of the little kitten.  Cunina purred contentedly, asleep as Ron and Draco strolled along.

“Draco,”  Ron spoke quietly.  “I have a very serious question to ask you.”

Draco stopped in his tracks, turning to face Ron.  “What is it?”  He asked with concern, fearing that maybe Ron no longer
wanted to be near him.

Instead of answering, Ron ushered Draco behind an old building, away from prying eyes.  This only served to worry Draco
even further.  Maybe Ron was afraid of causing a scene.  This had to be bad, whatever it was.

However, Draco’s eyes opened in pure unadulterated shock when Ron dropped to one knee and took hold of his hand, a
nervous smile on his face as he asked a single, quiet question.  

“Draco Malfoy . . . will you marry me?”

To Be Continued . . .

Cunina - Minor goddess of infants.  Roman.  Responsible for guarding the cradle.