[personal profile] lrthunder82 posting in [community profile] hp_mhealthfest
Title: It Takes Time
Author: To Be Revealed
Characters/Pairings: Hermione Granger/Draco Malfoy
Rating: T
Fic Word Count: 1,247 words
Mental Health Issue: Postpartum depression
Prompt #: 33 – No one said being a first time parent was easy, but no one told you about THIS either.
Warnings: Angst, Language, Depression, Postpartum Depression.
Summary: She didn’t know what was wrong with her.
Disclaimer: "Harry Potter" is the property of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. This fanfiction was written entirely for fun, not for profit, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Thank you to my beta for her hard work.

Hermione lay under the covers, closing her eyes. She could hear Scorpius crying in the background, but she couldn’t get herself to sit up and go to him. All she wanted was a moment of sleep… She just wanted peace.

It seemed Scorpius would never let her have it.

With a tired sigh, Hermione dragged herself out of her large, comfortable bed that she shared with Draco. She huffed angrily at his empty spot beside her. He was away on an Auror mission with Harry, having had to leave mere days after Scorpius's birth.

Walking across the room, she slipped through the door connecting their master bedroom with the nursery. She picked up Scorpius, rocking him slightly. She knew he wasn't hungry as she had just fed him thirty minutes ago, and he didn’t have a dirty nappy. With a tired sigh, she just knew that Scorpius wanted to be held.

She rocked her son for a few moments, cooing to him. Once Scorpius began to settle, Hermione slowed her movements. She was relieved to find that his eyes stayed closed. She carefully set him back down in the bassinet before backing quietly out of the room.

With a tired sigh, she flopped back down on her bed. She was exhausted. Her body ached, and she had the worst migraine. All she wanted to do was take a pain potion to relieve some of the hurt, but she couldn’t since she was breastfeeding. It was Scorpius's fault she hurt in the first place, and because of him, she couldn’t do anything about it.

A stab of guilt hit her as she realised how terrible she was for thinking that. With a groan, she buried her face under the pillows, her groan turning to a loud cry when she heard Scorpius start to wail once more.

"What has been with you lately?" Draco asked, placing a hand on Hermione's shoulder. "You've been very irritable lately."

"Of course I'm irritable," Hermione snapped angrily. "I have a baby who cries and fusses nonstop, and a husband who is never around to help. I haven't slept in days, and I don't even want to get out of bed." Her chest heaved in anger. "You don’t understand how hard this has been on me, Draco."

"I know it's hard," Draco assured her, hugging her tightly. "I know this has been hard on us, but we knew that it would be when we decided to have children." He pressed a kiss to her temple. "Why don't you get some rest? I'll take care of Scorpius for a little while."

Hermione felt guilty once more for lashing out at Draco. She bit her lower lip hard, turning and practically running up to their bedroom. She slipped into bed, trying her best to close her eyes and fall asleep. Unfortunately, sleep evaded her.

The sounds of Draco with Scorpius laughing in the room next door filled her with a sense of worthlessness. When she thought of Scorpius, she felt nothing but anger and guilt.

What in Merlin's name was wrong with her? Why couldn’t she laugh with her child?

Wasn't being a mum supposed to be joyful? Wasn't she supposed to happy?

If so, then why did she feel so sad?

She sniffed, tears streaming down her face.

"Draco, can we talk?" Hermione lingered in the doorway of her husband's study. Scorpius had been tucked into bed by Draco an hour earlier, so she hoped that he would sleep long enough for them to have a talk.

"Of course, Hermione," Draco said, glancing up from the note he was writing. "You don't have to ask, love." Once he was done, he stood from his desk, joining her on the sofa in front of the fireplace. "Are you going to tell me what's going on?"

"You noticed?" she asked, hating that her stomach twisted uncomfortably. What if other people had noticed too? Did she have a reputation as the mother that didn't love her child? Tears brimmed the rims of her eyes.

"Hermione, love, there's no need to cry," Draco assured her, hugging her tightly. "I love you, but I didn’t want to push you. I wanted to wait until you were ready to tell me." He pressed a kiss to her forehead. "I love you."

"But I'm a terrible mother," Hermione whispered, her voice cracking. "When I hear Scorpius, I'm not filled with happiness like I should be. I'm exhausted and cranky, and all I can do is blame my child for that. What kind of mother am I?" She sniffed, the tears now falling down her face. "Draco, I don't know what's wrong with me…" Her voice broke as she trailed off.

Draco tightened his grip on her, leaning back against the sofa so that they were snuggled back deeply. "Hermione, love, there's nothing wrong with you," he said gently. "The way you're feeling is all right. You're not the only mother to experience it."

"How do you know?"

"I talked with Pansy," Draco admitted quietly. "I knew she'd know more about what might be wrong since she works in the Infancy unit at St. Mungo's." He rubbed her back soothingly. "She said it sounded like you have postpartum depression. While it's not commonly talked about, many witches, and some wizards, do get diagnosed with it after having a baby. I know you love Scorpius, Hermione. Please don't think that I think you don't."

Hermione sniffed, lifting her head up from Draco's chest and looking into his grey eyes. "How can you not think less of me? The guilt is consuming me."

"Don’t let it," Draco said gently. "And I would never think less of you, Hermione. You're my wife. That means no matter what, I love you and support you. If you want, I can set up an appointment with Pansy, or another Healer, to talk about how you've been feeling. I think it would really help."

"I'd like that," Hermione said almost immediately. She bit her lower lip. "I don't know how I could handle this on my own." She took a deep, shaky breath. "I feel terrible."

"Don’t," Draco assured her, pressing a light kiss on her lips. "Things will get better. You'll be able to handle your emotions and deal with them appropriately, and I'll be here to support you the entire time. Scorpius will grow, and he'll sleep through the night and not need to feed as much. Things will get better," he repeated.

Hermione smiled sadly. "Don’t rush him growing up just yet," she said quietly. She let out another deep breath, feeling a lot of tension leave her shoulders. "Thank you for not judging me, Draco, and for supporting me."

"Told you, that's what I'm here for. Now, why don't we have some fun before Scorpius wakes up?" He waggled his brows suggestively at his wife.

Hermione smiled. "Honestly, the idea of sex sounds wonderful, Draco, but I'd rather just cuddle in bed and get some sleep before he wakes." She worried her lower lip. "If that's alright with you," she added.

"Sounds perfect," Draco replied, kissing her tenderly. He swept her into his arms, the two silently giggling as he carried her towards their bedroom.

As she lay down under the covers with Draco, Hermione knew that he was right. Things would get better. Someday soon, she'd be the one to make her child laugh, and Scorpius would make her laugh in return.

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