Chapter 5 : The Missing Friend
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“Pardon.” Annie helped pick up her bags, and she suddenly saw the woman’s face, almost making her drop them all again.
“Gabrielle Aynor?” Annie asked, eyes wide.
“Yes, gawk all you want. I’m Gabby Aynor.” She said in a disgusted face. “I’m not giving autographs, so don’t even ask.”
“Huh?” Annie asked. “I wasn’t.”
“Well, get out of my way, I don’t have time to sit and chat with anyone.” Gabby glared and snatched the bags from Annie’s arms.
“Gabby, wait!” Annie ran through the crowds to catch up.
“Get out of my face!” She spat and kept going. Annie kept trying to keep up with her.
“Don’t you remember me?” Annie asked. “Annie Weasley?”
“I don’t know anybody by the name of that.” Gabby glared.
“Of course you do, we were best friends at school!” Annie pleaded.
“I hardly believe you went to Beauxbatons.” She folded her arms. Gabby kept darting quickly in the crowds.
“Please, Gaba!” Annie pushed through. That made her stop in her tracks.
“What did you call me?” Gabby stared.
“Gaba!” Annie whispered.
“Only my best friend Veronie could call me that.”
“I am Veronica!” Annie tried to convince her. Gabby raised an eyebrow. “Please, Gaba! I was Veronica Louise Malfoy!”
“Right. You already said you were Anna Weasley.”
“It’s Annie or Anita.” Annie said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been called Anna before. I guess it would work.”
“You’re mad.” Gabby snapped and continued to keep walking. Annie fiercely pointed the wand to her head, and turned her hair back to the old color, Annie jumped when she was it in the mirror, she wasn’t used to it at all.
“Gaba!” Annie called and ran in front of her. She gasped, almost dropping her bags again.
“I’m Veronica!” Annie said. “Please believe me!”
“Wha?” Gabrielle stared, mouth half open.
“Coffee?” Annie asked.
“How can you prove you are Veronica Malfoy? Show me you’re house crest Necklace!” Gabby held her head up with her hands on her forehead. “You always showed it off.”
“I gave it to my former Mother.” Annie muttered. “It wasn’t my crest. I am not a Malfoy.”
“Okay, you used a facial change, didn’t you? To tried to fool me!” Gabby raged. “You are pathetic!”
“I am Anita Weasley, Daughter of Arthur and Molly Weasley, 6th of the 8 children. Eldest Girl, kidnapped from the Weasley home at under a year old, taken to Malfoy Manor, raised as Veronica. Went to Beauxbatons until I was 16, finally finding out I was a Weasley. I went to Hogwarts from there.” Annie said, simply.
“How long did it take you to think up that crap?” Gabby raised an eyebrow. Annie sighed.
“I am not lying.” Annie stared. “Ask me questions that only Veronica would know.”
“When’s my birthday?” Gabby asked.
“Plenty of people could figure that out.” Annie rolled her eyes. “And if you really wanted to know, it’s March 6th.”
“How many cats did I have?” She asked.
“11, not counting the dog who thought he was a cat.” Annie’s mouth upturned at the memory.
“Err…” Gabby bit her lip. “How many times did we get in trouble in Monsieur Loi’s class?”
“Simultaneously or Independently?” Annie asked.
“Simultaneously.” Gabby stated.
“Well… lets see here… 3 in Year one, 5 in the second… 9 in third, since some people went to Hogwarts, we didn’t have as much. I think 4? And then… 5th, I think it was 7..?”
“Wrong, it was 8.” Gabby growled.
“You can’t exactly expect me to remember them all.”
“How many enemies did you have?”
“4. The Nevero cousins and their two friends.” Annie said. “Can’t you believe me?”
“No, I don’t want to. As far as I know, Veronica is dead. She left me to be all alone for the last years as school. I had no friends. Veronie is dead.” Gabby glared, eyes turning glossy.
“I’m sitting right here in front of you.” Annie whispered.
“Some girl named Anita is sitting in front of me.” Gabby stood up, a single tear running down her cheek as she collected her bags. “Next time you try to deceive another, think about how they will feel first.”
“Gaba, wait, please.” Annie put a hand on her shoulder.
“Stop calling me that.” She found the last, tiny bag under the table, having to put the objects back in the little violet bag, from being tipped over. Annie pulled her blonde hair back, and pulling her right ear over so that a dark scar about an inch in length showed. When Gabrielle looked up, and took in plenty of deep breaths.
“Do I need to tell the story behind it?” Annie asked, the tears now on her face.
“If you don’t mind.” Gabby whispered, in a very believing tone. She sat her bags back down, as she sat back in her seat.
“Lucius Malfoy’s cane always held poison.” Annie murmured. “And when you came, I didn’t listen to his orders to send you home and he punished me-”
“Stop, no more.” Gabby soaked everything in. “Veronie?”
“Please, my real name is Anita.” Annie said.
“Nita.” Gabby sniffled. “You know I have a fad for having secret nicknames.”
“Yeah.” Annie smiled. “And even Draco had a name behind his back. Raco, was it? I know I hadn’t liked it much…”
“Ranko.” Gabby laughed quietly.
“Yes, that was it.”
“So how are your parents and your brother?”
“Their dead, except Draco.” Annie said.
“Oh, I’m so sorry.”
“You need only to be sorry for Narcissa.” Annie bit her lip. “Lucius didn’t deserve sympathy.”
“How is Draco?”
“Fine. I think he still likes in the Manor, I’m not quite sure. He has a son, Dylan, and I’m his godmother. He married Parkinson, that girl I told you about that always came over?”
“Oh, her. The dog.” A smiled crept on her face. “How is… who were they again? Wesley’s?”
“Weasley’s.” Annie corrected. “My parents are fine.”
“And your siblings?”
“They are fine, I think. My only sister is Pregnant, and I am going to be a godmother again. My brother, Bill, also has a newborn baby, Connor.”
“How many siblings did you have again? 5, right?”
“7. One sister and 6 brothers. If you count Draco, then 7 brothers. Harry is another person out family took in.”
“Who is Harry?”
“Harry Potter. Ginny and him are married.”
“The Harry Potter? Really? Who is Ginny?”
“Your sister is Married to Harry Potter?”
“Yeah.” Annie nodded, eyebrows raised.
“Wow, oh, who did you marry? I’m confused. What’s your surname?”
“Weasley.” Annie said. Gabby looked revolted before Annie gave a little gasp and glare.
“I’m not married yet. I will be in winter. I’m Marrying Neville Longbottom.”
“Neville? He is my husband’s boss!”
“Really? You are married but kept your last name?”
“Sort of. It’s Gabrielle Brigitte Aynor-Pascal.” Gabby said, which turned into a low, but amused whisper. “I don’t really like his last name, so I use Aynor instead.”
“What do you do?” Annie asked.
“I’ve got a line of beauty products.” She gave a light smile.
“Oh, no wonder! You must be swarming with other people.” Annie’s mouth upturned. “I work in the Improper Use of Magic Department, and do some Volunteer work.”
“Really?” Gabby asked.
“How long have you been married?” Annie asked.
“5 years. We have a 3 year old daughter, also. She is so darling. Her name is Bethany.” Gabby said.
“Really? Well I really don’t have a Flower Girl yet…” Annie played a smile on her lips. “Would Bethany be interested?”
“Oh, she would look wonderful in a flower dress!” Gabby smiled excitedly. “Oh, this is great! She will be so excited!”
“Come over by my place Friday? I want you to meet my sister, her husband, and my Fiancée,” Annie smiled.
“Oh, of course! Why don’t you ask Draco to come to, I haven’t seen him in like… Forever.” Gabby looked ecstatic.
“Uh…” Annie’s voice wavered slightly. “Sure. I’ll ask him, I guess.”
“Could I meet your…” Gabby looked like it hurt to speak her. “New family?”
“It was always my family.” Annie told her, quietly. “But anyway, you would see them at the rehearsal dinner. I’m not sure if there is time, but I’ll try to fit something in.” She couldn’t help but feel ashamed. Her family wasn’t the wealthiest, and a person like Gabrielle didn’t exactly understand poor. If she was going to come to see her family, it could turn into a mess. Also, she knew it would hurt her mother to see Draco, but it would happen sooner or later.
“Welcome, Mum.” Annie smiled as she saw her mother enter the living room from the fireplace, soon after her father. “Hey Dad, I wasn’t expecting anybody for about a half hour.”
“The Weasley’s are always Early.” Molly kissed her forehead. “Where’s Neville?”
“He’s in the Greenhouse.” Annie took their coats and hung them in the closet. “We’re having Pasta and potatoes. Ginny said she might be running late.”
“Nah, she’ll arrive early. She is ecstatic about the wedding.” Arthur winked. “Mind if I have a little chat out back with Neville?”
“Of Course.” Annie smiled and she stirred the boiling noodles.
“I wanted to talk to you.” Molly sat at the table and motioned her to sit down. Annie did so, and charmed the pot to stir itself, even though she was hesitant, being a person who enjoyed and took pride in making food without magic.
“You and Neville have been together for a long time.” Molly said.
“I know Ron can get out of hand at times…”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Annie asked.
“He thinks you decided to get married because… Because…” Molly looked hesitant. “You were pregnant….” Annie’s mouth dropped and she turned angry. “He kept going at it that you told him one way or another. Like he came upon a test or something.”
“Do you believe him?” Annie did her best to keep herself from exploding. She twisted her apron into a tight knot.
“I didn’t know what to believe. He seemed so confident when he said it. I just want the news first hand. You know how Ron is.”
Annie, being the short-tempered girl that she was, was quick to the fireplace and the floo. She dumped the whole container in and stuck her head in the fire.
“RONALD WEASLEY!” Annie screamed. She fumed and her eyes darted around the Weasley’s Kitchen, waiting for him. It took a while for him to hop down the stairs, his hair slightly disheveled, still wearing his pajamas.
“Annie?” Ron asked, rubbing his eyes.
“Get over to my place, quickly; I have some important news to discuss with you.” Annie sweetly said, even though her eyes were blazing. She let her head out and waited impatiently.
“Annie, maybe if you calmed down a bit-” Her mother suggested, but there was a pop.
“Hello Ron.” Annie gave a quick nod of a head and a nippy smile.
“Hey, I thought we weren’t going to your house until 10:00.” Ron looked at his wristwatch.
“ARE YOU THAT THICK?!” Annie screeched.
“Maternal Mood Swings, I’m telling you.” Ron told their Mum, his voice slightly amused.
“I AM NOT BLOODY PREGNANT, YOU HALF-WIT!” Annie knocked him over the head.
“Don’t lie, I saw the muggle test.” Ron rolled his eyes.
“What muggle test?” Annie snapped.
“The home pregnancy test.”
“And you suddenly presume it is mine?” Annie glared.
“You’re the only one in the family living as a muggle.” Ron rolled his eyes, as if it was the most obvious. “You wouldn’t use magic on something like that.” It suddenly dawned on her.
“However, I am not a muggle, Am I?” Annie asked quietly.
“But you drive a Car.”
“Ron, don’t be thick. Who do you know is a muggle?”
“Umm… Harry’s Aunt and Uncle?”
“Yes, but whom else?”
“Lisa, you idiot!”
“Oh.” Ron said. Then his facial expression changed to a new, shocked look. “Ohhh…”
Suddenly, a flushed and shocked looking Neville ran into the room.
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