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Chapter 8: It's Time
Thanks to Eviltwin, NextGenna14, irrelevant, Emerald-eyed Cat, Caitlin, HPizmalife, and GriffindorHeadGurl for the fabulous reviews! You make a writer ecstatic. Here is the moment you've all been waiting for (I really couldn't stall it much longer!) As per usual, JK Rowling owns the rights to Harry Potter and all of that. I only own Castor and the plot. Happy reading!
Castor couldn’t wait until 7. He needed to do something before then...how could his father have made such an unreasonable request?! 7?! He was chomping at the bit.
“You okay?” James asked.
“Do you need to see Madame Pomfrey?” Dom asked.
“Do you want to kiss the Bloody Baron?” James asked.
“Are you a Crumple Horned Snorkack?” Dom asked. Castor and Dom had agreed long ago that only people not right in the head would believe something as incredibly fanciful as the crumple horned snorkack.
“What is his problem?” Katherine McLaggen spat.
Castor didn’t nod this time.
“A better question is, what is your problem?”
James was about to shout at Castor before Dom held her cousin back.
“Excuse me?” Katherine sneered.
“How could you play James all this time while messing around with Logan Davies behind his back?” Castor shot.
Katherine turned pale. Her face wrinkled up and she hissed:
“You better watch out, Malfoy.”
With those words, she swept off.
“How did you know about Davies?” Dom asked.
“How could you not know? She was wearing his tie. You can tell it’s his because the pompous prat initialed all of his outfits with gold lettering to match the golden lion of Gryffindor, or so he says,” Castor scoffed.
“Are you alright?” Dom asked, directing her latest question toward James. The poor boy looked heartbroken. His own House had betrayed him. James was beyond consolable, but he didn't need to answer Dom's question. Castor cut him off and answered.
“I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be? By tonight, I’ll have all the answers,” Castor smiled merrily. He ran towards the Hufflepuff table.
“Cassie! How’s my favorite little sister?” he asked.
“Silly! I’m your only little sister,” she giggled.
“And I’m your favorite older brother,” he replied with a wink.
Cassie laughed, catching the attention of Scorpius at the Gryffindor table.
“Having a family get together without me?” he asked, lazily approaching the table.
“Actually, we were conspiring on how to overthrow Gryffindor,” Cassie replied soberly.
“Cassie!” Scorpius mock-yelled.
“Afraid, Scorp?” Castor teased.
“Never. You both are much too…nice to try and dethrone me and my fellow Gryffindorians from the kingdom of Hogwarts,” Scorpius scoffed.
“Say what you will, brother. Prepare for the coup,” Castor winked.
With that, he stood up, put his hands in his pockets, and walked away whistling.
“Is he alright?” Scorpius asked Cassie.
“I dunno. He seems the same,” she shrugged.
“It’s just, the last time he whistled was the day Dad gave him that odd ring…”
“Welcum, everyone. Mah nayme is Sherry Vanderbilt, but y’all can call me Professor Vanderbilt. Ahm from Tennessee and ah’ll be your Transfiguration teacher for the rest of the school yeauh,” Hermione drawled.
She was teaching Ravenclaws and Slytherins today. 7th years. There was her neice, Dom…Dominique was clever. Much cleverer than her sister, Victoire. Dom guessed immediately who she really was. Hermione had to admit she was surprised that Fleur’s daughter was that smart.
Then there was the boy. Castor. What would she do about that?! Her first and foremost priority was the mission. But she couldn’t leave him in the dark. It broke her heart to think about him in the first place. Seeing him in her class was like seeing his father. Merlin, the mere thought of Draco was like ice on her back. She kept thinking that he’d pop up somewhere, but so far she’d yet to come in contact with him, and thank Merlin for that! She couldn't have some snooty, rude, rich Slytherin...some handsome, sweet, and caring man interrupt her from what she really came for. She'd made her mind.
Trembling, she continued her lesson whilst pondering over how to reply to Castor Malfoy.
His lessons had gone well. He’d surprised Hermione with his knowledge of Transfiguration, usurping every other Ravenclaw. In Charms, he learned the spell long before the Hufflepuffs had even flicked their wands. In Potions, he brewed the Draught of Living Death to perfection, earning extra credit. It was now six thirty and he couldn’t keep still.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
“Sh,” Dom hissed.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
“Will you stop hitting your foot against the table, you dolt!” she yelled.
Squeak, squeak, squeak…
Properly abashed, Castor stopped rocking his rolling chair.
“What’s got your knickers in a twist?” she asked.
“My father’s coming to speak with me.”
“Since when are you afraid of Draco Malfoy?” she replied, amused.
“Since we’re discussing important stuff today. He wouldn’t sneak on campus for nothing,” he sighed.
Dom didn’t know what to say. So she didn’t say anything. Instead, she just hugged Castor. They were silent for the next fifteen minutes until Castor jumped up to meet his father.
At 7 on the dot, he stood in front of the Room of Requirement.
“Castor,” his father greeted.
“Dad,” Castor replied.
Draco asked the room for a quiet place where he could talk to his son. A place where they wouldn’t be disturbed. He also asked for a trolley of tea.
“Well, we’d best get started. I’ve a lot to say to you in a little time.”
Castor leaned forward eagerly.
“Castor, you were right. Partially. Hermione Granger is your biological mother. She was the first woman I ever loved.”
“Why didn’t you tell…”
Draco cut him off.
“But by the time Hermione was expecting you, she was already seeing Ron Weasley seriously. You were conceived on accident, but I am grateful that you are my son and that you are here. Needless to say, Hermione wasn’t very happy. How was she to tell Ron? So she took a job abroad for a few months- the months that would be most critical in terms of the development of her pregnancy. A few days after she delivered you, she came to me. She told me she couldn’t keep you. You were a beautiful baby, she said, and that you’d make her proud, but she’d be a fool to keep you with Ron in her life. So she dropped you off and left. At the time, I was engaged to Demelza Robbins. She saw you and instantly fell in love. For the first few months of your life, she raised you, nursed you and loved you. But she fell ill with cancer. The cancer was enhanced by her magical abilities and it spread quickly. The Healers told her she had a month to live, at the most. She turned to my father for help. He’d been notorious for Dark Magic but he said he would help her on the condition that she find me a respectable Pureblood wife to marry. She found Astoria and he helped her in return. That ring you wear bears her family’s crest. But what you don’t know is that, underneath the crest, is a secret compartment. There lies Demelza Robbins. She is like a looking glass now. She has thoughts, she can speak, but her body is gone. She is there in spirit and in mind.”
Castor looked hurt.
“So you were right. Hermione Granger is your biological mother. But your mother, the one who nursed you as a frail infant, was Demelza. Your mother now is Astoria. But Demelza was always the first one to care for you.”
“She…she didn’t want me?”
“Hermione couldn’t keep you. It was too dangerous. I’m sure she loves you too, but it was the best choice at the time,” Draco replied gently.
Castor didn't answer. The room was silent until Draco spoke again.
“I wonder if I may see that ring for a moment?”
Castor handed it over dully. Draco whispered at the ring and the crest glowed. It was gone, replaced by what appeared to be a miniature pensieve.
“Hello, darling,” a soft voice smiled.
“Demelza,” Draco croaked.
“I told you this day would come,” she quietly reprimanded. “Now, where’s Castor?”
“I’m here,” he choked.
He saw a beautiful woman. Her dirty blonde hair was swept up in a ponytail, and she wore a sweatshirt and white jeans. Still, she was beautiful. The most beautiful part about her was her eyes. They were mesmerizing. They could lull a man to sleep, those eyes. The deep blue, like an ocean, caused Draco to cry.
“Sweetheart, this is why I told you not to open the ring again,” Demelza scolded Draco. “Seeing me only upsets you.”
“No. Never upset. I miss you. You could never upset me.”
“You know what I meant…Castor. You’re all grown up, darling. You’re so handsome. And smart, so I’ve been told! You have no idea how proud I am of you,” Demelza beamed.
Suddenly memories came back to Castor. Memories of being rocked to sleep gently, while hearing a song…a song about some mountain…it had been in a Muggle movie…
“You look so much like your father. I know you’ll be just as good of a man as he was too,” she added softly. “Do you play Quidditch?”
“I’m Captain of Ravenclaw’s team,” he replied proudly. “I’m a Chaser.”
“Just like you were, Demelza,” Draco beamed.
“I want you to know, Castor, that I’m proud to have been your mother for the few months that I was. I always knew you’d do great things. I told Draco so when I named you. He wanted to name you Leo, and what a god-awful name that would have been. I said, ‘No, if he needs a constellation name, name him Castor. Pollux would be a miserable name, but Castor is brilliant. A leader, a lover, and a friend.’ You will be the best at everything,” Demelza soothed.
The love of a real mother oozed from her words. Tears sprung at her eyes as she spoke to her son, the boy she’d never know. The boy she would never hug. She would never see Castor get married, or buy his first house, or have his first child and this pained her.
“My time for this month is almost up- Draco’s father put a time limit on the ring, so I only have a few more minutes to spare,” she explained.
“You’ll always be with me?” Castor asked.
“Always. Even without this ring, I’ll always be watching over you.”
“And I can talk to you every month?”
“I’ll expect you to,” she said with a stern face.
“Hm, and how long will that face become a smirk?” Draco teased.
“You bad boy, I was trying to fool Castor,” she laughed.
They looked like a family, despite the fact that Demelza was forever embalmed in a ring. They were laughing and crying together.
“I love you, Draco. I always have and I always will.”
“I’ll talk to you soon, my love.”
“I love you, Castor. Don’t be a stranger, ok?”
“I won’t be, I promise…Mummy,” Castor replied. The word sounded coming from his mouth but she was his mum. He could feel it.
Demelza’s image faded away and the Robbins crest returned, solid as ever. The Malfoy men dried up their tears and sat in silence. Finally Draco stood to leave.
“I hope this helped, Castor.”
“It did, Dad.”
“Now you can talk to Hermione. Just make sure you take her here. It’s too dangerous if you mention it elsewhere,” he cautioned.
“I will, Dad.”
Draco turned to leave.
“I know Hermione’s my real mum, and I know Demelza’s my mum, but I want you to know, out of them all, I’m grateful I have you. You’ll always be there for me, and I love you.”
He felt a bit embarrassed to be expression so much emotion, but he couldn’t watch his father leave without saying it.
“I love you too, Castor.”
Father embraced son.
When Draco left, Castor put the ring back on. Wiping away the remanding tears, he went off in search of a certain curly haired bookworm. Dark corridors were illuminated with small bits of light. He'd just about reached Hermione's rooms when he heard a voice:
"I thought you'd be a help to me," the voice hissed.
"I...I am. I'm loyal to you," another whimpered in return.
"So far, you've been a hinderance. You can't even keep your mouth shut. Oh yes, I heard of your lunch meeting with a certain blonde blood traitor. Don't look so shocked, nephew."
"Please, Aunt, I didn't mean to..."
"Yes, yes, you mean well. You'll do anything," the voice taunted.
"Well I mean it," Blaise Zabini replied irritably.
"Don't take that tone with me."
"Yes, Aunt," Blaise cowered. Where was Draco when he needed him?
"The Mudblood is here somewhere. I can feel her. We must be cautious now. Go, you've been dismissed," the voice replied condescendingly.
Blaise ran. He didn't notice Castor hiding in the shadows. All he knew was that if he wanted to live, he ought to run away...far away.
The voice cackled.
"The Mudblood will die. The potion's almost ready. Soon, too soon, the Ministry will officially be mine."
Castor had heard enough. The minute he heard Sinistra walking away, he fled in the opposite direction. He bumped smack into...
"I'm sorry," Castor apologized.
"Aw, huney, there's nothin to be sorry for. Everyone's clumsy."
Castor and Hermione gasped as they realized whom they were talking to. With a start, he cast a silent spell on Hermione's scarf:
Meet me in RoR. Midnight. Important to mission and to self.
Hermione nodded. Her dimpled smile had disappeared. The word "mission" was not to be taken lightly. The time was soon.
Sorry it's a bit shorter than normal- I hope the content was enough to remedy that though...Comments? Thoughts? I'd love to hear them!