Chapter 11 : An Awkward Acceptance
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Chapter 11: An Awkward Acceptance
Annie heard voices in the distance. She wondered why her head felt as though it was stuffed with cotton – all of her senses seemed somewhat muted.
She gingerly attempted to open her eyes, and found herself staring in what seemed like a mirror. The silver eyes were identical to her own, yet wizened somehow. She blinked, and a man’s voice asked kindly, “Annie? Can you hear me?”
Annie licked her lips and tried to speak. There was no sound, so she merely nodded.
The man was visibly relieved. Annie sat up gingerly and smiled as her mum rushed to her side. She pulled Annie into a tight embrace. “Mum. I’m fine,” Annie managed to say.
“Oh, Darling! I am so happy to hear that. Now, I know this has come as a shock, believe me I am just as overwhelmed, but… well, he is your father and he would like to speak with you, would that be alright?” Hermione said through teary lashes.
Annie nodded. Her mother left her side, gave Annie a small smile and Draco a rather large glare, and proceeded to pull Ginny and a red-haired man (he must be Uncle Ron, Annie thought) out of the room with her.
Annie looked at the man in whose features she now glimpsed a bit of her own. The blonde hair, the slightly pointed nose, and of course the silver eyes. She sighed. Her father was alive. Her father. What did this mean? Would Hermione and Annie ever return to the States? Would they all live together now? Would her parents marry? That they were still in love was obvious, despite her Mum’s current anger.
Annie waited expectantly, surprisingly not in the least bit shy, for the man to speak.
Draco cleared his throat. He had not taken his eyes off of his daughter once since he had entered the room. “Annie. I am so happy to meet you. I want to hear all about your life. You look so much like your mother, and surprisingly like my own as well. Her name is Narcissa, but I suppose she would have you call her Grandma Cissy…” he trailed off as unwelcome tears began to gather at the corner of his eyes.
“Erm… it is nice to meet you, too, Sir… um, not to be rude, but what should I call you?,” Annie asked quietly.
Draco looked surprised. “Oh. Well, I do suppose it is too soon for ‘Dad,’ isn’t it… you could call me ‘Draco,’ if you’d like. Mr. Malfoy would be far too formal. Besides, that name always reminds me of my father.”
Annie nodded. “Pleased to meet you, then, Draco. Mum has told me a bit about you. She loved you very much, I have always known that. But… you do know she is angry now, right? You can see it in her eyes.”
“You really are your mother’s daughter. Wise beyond your years. Yes, Annie, your mother is angry with me. Furious, actually, I gather. But Merlin, I daresay I have missed her so much these past years that I will gladly put up with the fury if it means I will be able to be near her again.” Draco said with an uncharacteristically soft tone.
There was the sound of someone clearing their throat behind him. Draco turned to see Hermione holding a tray of tea and sandwiches.
Hermione walked toward the small wooden table and set the tea tray upon it. She took a deep breath and sat next to her daughter on the velvet settee.
“Annie. I am not ready to forgive him, I know that you understand that. I am so hurt and angry. There is a lot that I need to explain to you; you must have so many questions. I still have not decided if I will ever speak to your Uncle Harry again. I am not sure if I will ever be able to forgive him for this pain. However…” Hermione now turned her eyes to Draco, who was looking as though his heart would burst, “one thing has not changed. I am as much in love with your father as I was that day when he proposed. I would like for us to spend some time together, the three of us… as a family.”
Annie looked from her mum to her father. They were staring at each other, tears freely flowing down both of their faces now. She could tell that they needed to be alone, they were leaning towards each other with what Annie could only describe as looks of longing.
They began to reach for each other.
Augh! They forgot I’m in the room! Neither of them noticed as she quickly stood and quietly walked to the door, shutting it softly behind her. There was an unmistakable sound of clothing being ripped.
There they go again. At this rate, I’ll have a sibling in nine months. It did only take them once to end up with me, after all.
Annie smirked, but could not stop the involuntary shudder.
*** The Ministry of Magic, Head Auror Office ***
As Hermione was getting reacquainted with her family, Harry had flooed from Cannon Cottage directly to his office in the Ministry. He wanted to be there as the Auror team questioned Lucius Malfoy.
Harry sighed. She may never forgive me. I will have to accept that consequence, because I am still determined to keep her and Annie safe. Damn Malfoy.
Harry had no doubt in his mind that Malfoy would be forgiven for his part in all of the secrecy. It was obvious, even to him, that his best mate was still completely in love with the insufferable git.
Not that he really minded Malfoy anymore. He is an okay guy. A great Auror. Really, Mione is rather lucky to have him. Not that I’d ever admit that out loud. Merlin, Ron would have my head for sure.
Harry stepped out of his office and walked purposefully to the main interrogation room, reserved for Death Eaters and other hardened criminals. The room had the most advanced security measures conceivable – Harry himself had placed the wards.
He took out his wand and muttered the spell to allow himself entrance. Inside, he nodded at two of his seasoned Aurors, Blaise Zabini and Dean Thomas. They nodded back and then as if by mutual, silent agreement, the two men left the room. The door magically re-sealed itself.
Harry then turned his attention across the small room to Lucius Malfoy, who was magically restrained to a metal chair, a glass of water on a small end table to his right.
Lucius met Harry’s eyes. Harry took a step forward. “Malfoy.”
“Potter,” the blonde man sneered.
A moment of silence passed as the two men glared daggers at each other. Finally, Harry spoke.
“How is it that you came to find your son in California, Malfoy?”
“Forgive a man, Potter, for deviating from your perfect plans in order to visit with his son. I deemed it necessary to… inform Draco of a few things” Lucius looked at Harry with hatred blazing in his eyes.
Harry ignored this and asked with a frustrated sigh, running a hand through his messy hair, “Did you recover it, at least?”
“Do you take me for a fool, boy? Of course I would not leave it in the clutches of filthy Muggles! I am not as daft as you appear to be,” Lucius snarled.
Harry replied in a firm yet quiet voice, the anger evident in his words. “I for one would never have allowed such a rare, one-of-a-kind item to be stolen in the first place, Malfoy. If it is as you say, if this book truly does list Hermione’s daughter as the Malfoy heir, and a half-blood at that, then we must utilize all resources available to us in order to discover who took that book. Why would they carelessly drop it in a Muggle library, Hermione’s library? There must be something we are missing. This is about more than protecting your damn Pureblood lineage! Someone else must know that you are working with us to save your own arse.”
Harry took a deep breath. His next words filled him with dread, but he knew them to be true. He met Malfoy’s steel gaze and saw his own suspicions echoed there.
“The Auror department has been compromised.”
A/N: Yay, I'm back! This was a rather non-exciting filler chapter, but necessary. I do hope you still enjoyed it! It seems like our dear Harry knows more than he lets on, eh? *wink* I am posting for "GG" next, but I will update this story shortly thereafter. :) Oh - someone wanted to know how I could be such a Dramione supporter when I also write Sco/Rose (which of course means Hermione is with Ron, not Draco) -- I guess the simplest answer is that I truly like the idea of a Malfoy and a Granger (or half-Granger, in Rose's case) being together. They are intellectually compatible, and pure joy to write (and read!). There is something redeeming to the fact that a Malfoy would ever let go of the passionate Pureblood arrogance. That passion would have to find another outlet... can't you just imagine all of the possibilities? :) LOL. Happy reading!
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