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Chapter 17 : Going on With Life
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Her dream was coming true and The Malfoy Sanctuary was appearing everywhere in such a small space of time: Japan, Germany, Norway, United States, Canada, and Brazil, simply to name a few. There wasn’t a single person who didn’t know about Hermione’s Library or who didn’t use it. At first she thought it would take several years for the chain to develop in the way that it did, but she came to realize that wearing the Malfoy name had many perks, and wasn’t only for bribing an old judge to change a court order so James could stay with her.
By Christmas, Hermione’s three Libraries changed to fifty and by mid April of the next year Malfoy surprised her by naming a ton of investors who were interested in her chain which was giving her the opportunity to open fifty more. In that same month Hermione surprised Malfoy by telling him she was pregnant. He cocked his head and laughed, smiling a broad smile and saying, “Looks like we need to be moving into a bigger place then,” which was what they did.
The mansion they had their wedding was perfect, so they sold the small flat in Paris and moved the family to Marais. Hermione hadn’t been back there since their wedding ceremony and was in awe of it until she was finally used to walking several yards just to get from one side of the mansion to the other. Christina was thrilled and ran throughout the mansion daily until one day she was punished for knocking over an expensive vase. James, being at Hogwarts during the time, couldn’t wait to see the mansion again, and was asked by Malfoy if he’d like to stay there. By the time he’d be home from Hogwarts, he’d be eighteen and not bound by court order anymore. Hermione bit her nails to the nub wondering what her son would decide and then almost ripped her hair out, out of anticipation for James’ answer when he said that he’d have to think about it and that he’d tell them in June.
June approached and James went home with his father after getting off of the Hogwarts train. Though, the next day, he came through the fireplace of the Marais Mansion with luggage in hand and a small grin. “Sorry,” He said to them. “Had to get my things,” Hermione shrieked with joy and playfully slapped him on the arm telling him to never scare her like that again. She smiled and watched as he messed up the hair of his eight-year-old little sister and gave Malfoy a hug. Everything was perfect in her mind, though she couldn’t fight off the unsettling of her stomach about Harry, and how he must’ve been taking James’ leaving. Naturally Harry would’ve thought his beloved son would go to his side after spending a summer, five nights a week, at his adulterous mother’s house. But no, James’ wanted to be with his mother, his stepfather, little sister, and soon-to-be-born sibling. Hermione sighed, and put on a smile. Sometimes she felt bad about Harry, feeling as though she took just about everything away from him. Sometimes that is. Other times she’d raise her chin to the air and shrug her shoulders about it, clearly thinking in her mind that life was life and unpredictable.
And unpredictable was right, for Clara had no idea that her baby brother would decide to stay with their mother. “But that was a court order!” She told James when he gave her the news. “You don’t have to stay with her anymore! You’re eighteen now for Merlin’s sake!” Though, her words went into one ear and out the other, and she watched him leave her flat probably for the last time. Later that night Clara gave Alex all the details of that day, displaying her anger in more ways than one and wondering how in the world he could want to willingly stay with their mother. Alex smiled and nodded in the right places, though her heart was pounding like mad. She admired James for doing what he wanted to do. Here she was at twenty-two and she was still too afraid to voice her own opinions. She couldn’t count going to the wedding. Alex didn’t even tell Clara anything. She just dressed and walked out of her bedroom, avoiding her best friend’s murderous stare and Flooing over to the mansion. To be truthful, Alex missed her father dearly. She hadn’t talked to him since the wedding and even there she couldn’t talk to him properly with all of the media of the world wanting an interview and flashing magic-cams everywhere. She regretted their lack of communication greatly, and decided to buy her father a Christmas present, Owling it over to the mansion special at midnight on the dot.
Malfoy didn’t get the present until the next day however, because he was in a delivery room having every bone in his right hand broken by his screaming wife. He thought after being in a delivery room with Hermione once before he’d know how to maneuver around her temporary hate of men and sudden strength, but was clearly mistaken. Though, after all the yelling and the pain it was worth it to hear the Healer say, “Congratulations, you have a son.” It was worth it even more to hear the Healer say a few seconds later, “And here is your daughter.”
“Twins,” Malfoy breathed unbelievably as he held their daughter in his arms while Hermione held their son. “I can’t believe it.”
“Neither can I. And Draco, when I said that I’ll never let you touch me again, I didn’t mean it.”
Draco laughed and nodded, watching in amusement at how his newborn children wriggled in their arms. He smiled and nodded again, “Yes, I know you didn’t mean it.”
Marissa and Avery Malfoy they named them, and their newborn twins were in the Daily Prophet later on that Christmas afternoon. That same day, and for several weeks after that, the twins were sent so many gifts of clothes and toys that Hermione and Malfoy hardly had to buy a thing for them. Among those gifts quite a few of them came from Alex who undoubtedly heard about her new brother and sister. This small interaction brought her and Malfoy’s relationship back to the point where it used to be. They wrote fairly often after that and even met once in a while for lunches and dinners. It had to be hidden from Clara of course which made Malfoy scowl out of irritation. “Why don’t you just tell her how you feel? James did.” He would say to her daily. Alex would shrug her shoulders or simply ignore his comment in a letter and move onto something else. She tortured herself constantly over this, watching the months fly by, January, February, March, and so on, lying to her friend about why she couldn’t do lunch, or why she came home so late.
Though as the end of June rolled along and July was just beginning, Alex decided to finally push aside her fears of letting Clara down. The night before Malfoy wrote to her asking if she’d like to move into the Marais Mansion with him and Hermione. It made her heart flip and her stomach turn out of nervousness at the idea. She knew Clara, and knew that she was a replica of her father. How would her best friend feel if Alex told her that she wanted to live with her father and stepmother; the two people who ruined her mother and Clara’s father lives? Alex shuddered at the thought, but mentally slapped herself to get over it. You’re a Malfoy… She berated herself. Malfoys aren’t afraid of anything. Especially other people…
Alex repeated that like a mantra and took a deep breath when she heard the sound of apparation and Clara saying that she was back from her job. It was now or never.
“You wouldn’t believe how many people were in Hogsmeade today.” Clara told her as she kicked off her shoes. “The shoppe was swamped. It’s amazing how I managed to get home on time.”
“Well, it is the summer time. Hogsmeade is always like that.”
“I suppose. What do you want to eat? I’m completely starving and I was thinking Owl delivery? What do you think?”
“I don’t know, but um, Clara, I need to talk to you.” Alex pushed herself to say.
“…My father wrote to me.”
“Out of the blue like that..?” Clara asked. She chuckled and shook her head gently. “It was probably a pity note, right? Asking for a closer relationship after what? Almost a full two years..?”
“Actually we’ve been writing each other for quite a while.”
“And you didn’t tell me?”
“What did I need to tell you for? He’s my father.”
“If he’s your father then what does his writing a letter to you have to do with me?” She questioned angrily. Alex huffed impatiently. At this point she didn’t care about Clara’s feelings and came out with it, straight and to the point.
“He wrote to me asking if I’d like to move in with him and your mother and I’m going to tell him yes.”
Clara’s mouth dropped and she stared blankly for a few seconds. She eventually snapped back to reality and crossed her arms.
“But you can’t!”
“And why not the hell not..?” Alex said frustrated. “Like you said it’s been about two years. Your father’s moved on. James moved on-”
“Did your mother move on? Last time I heard she was still trapped inside her bedroom.”
Alex glared at her unbelievably. After a moment Clara realized what she said and tried to change her words but Alex had already left her sight and into her bedroom, slamming the door behind her. Clara felt terrible and more than expected Alex to come out of her room with luggage and Floo over to their parents’ mansion and never speak to her again.
Talking about Sandra Malfoy was an absolute forbidden topic. It was a surefire way to make Alex angry for a century or, depending on the mood, burst into tears. No one truly knew what happened to Sandra after Malfoy popped over to the Malfoy Manor and told her that he wanted a divorce. It was gossip among the house elves, and eventually worked its way up to the social ladder and soon people along the street would mention her a few times in speech and wonder about her. It was fact that Sandra never left the manor. Her close friends said that they never saw her, would write letters and never get a response. “I hope she hasn’t died in there.” Mrs. Nestor, a close companion of hers once told a reporter, and that same reporter went to the Manor that day to try to get a quote from Sandra, but the gates were closed and a spell preventing anyone from opening them.
The Strange Case of Sandra Malfoy the article was called which prompted Alex to Floo over to the Manor to try to find out what happened to her mother. This was a month after she left to live with Clara. “When I left, she was fine.” Alex told Clara after she read the article. “A small wreck, but she literally pushed me out of the Manor and told me that I didn’t need to baby sit her. This article can’t be true.” So, to prove it wrong, Alex went and called for her mother up and down the Manor but would only hear her own voice echo and bounce off of the walls. She called for Bingsley, her childhood house elf and asked him where her mother was. He said that she wasn’t to be disturbed by anyone. Alex cursed and argued that she wasn’t just “anyone” and that she was her daughter. Bingsley cowered in front of her and shook his head, repeating that he was sorry and that was what Ms. Malfoy said. Alex didn’t take that for an answer and scoured the Manor for her mother until midnight, finally giving up and heading back to Clara. Since then Sandra wasn’t to be mentioned to Alex without repercussions, and that night when Clara mentioned her, Alex indeed packed her things and headed over to the Marais Mansion with fury in her eyes.
Clara couldn’t sleep that night and thought about Alex there at the mansion with Hermione, Malfoy, James, Christina, and the twins that she had read about in the Daily Prophet.
“Everyone’s moving on with their lives and I’m still angry.” Clara said to herself and screamed into her pillow, tossing aside after a while and sighing. She didn’t know what to do with herself. Even her father who had hit rock bottom had recovered and the situation had hurt him the most. In truth Clara tried not to be mad. Several times she had gotten out ink, a quill, and some parchment to write a letter to her mother simply to ask how she was and even throw in an “I love you,” but each time, she’d end up throwing everything back into a drawer claiming that she couldn’t do it. Her mother had hurt so many people that day in February and to just up and forgive her seemed like such a ludicrous thing. I can’t stay mad at her forever… Clara thought and reflected on the letters that James had sent to her the summer last when the court order was changed for him to live with their mother:
I know you’re still mad at me. But I just wrote to see how you were doing. I’d like to know how dad is doing too. I’d write him, but I think that he’d throw this letter in the fireplace. By all rights with you being just like him, you might do the same thing. But I’m hoping, just hoping, that you’re a tad different, and will actually read this. You might not believe it, but mum misses you. I know you think that she’s got this whole new life and family now and that’s she’s completely forgotten about the life she had, but that’s not true. I mean, would it be true if I’m here with her? You should’ve seen her face when I told her that I wanted to be with her. And Draco, well, he’s not that bad of a guy if you know him well enough.
Don’t think that I’m trying to sell them on you. I’m not, but I just want to show you that they’re not as terrible as you’re making them out to be. Mum and Draco could’ve run off so long ago, but they didn’t. They stayed with us and sacrificed what they wanted for years just to protect us. I just wish you’d talk to mum. Write to her once, will you? She’ll only be truly happy if she knows that you’ve forgiven her for hurting you. Promise that you will.
Clara had laughed at that letter. She tossed it into her fireplace immediately after finishing it and never thought about it until that moment. She wondered what would’ve happened if she had written to her mother. Would she still be as angry as she was? Better yet, would she also being living at the Marais Mansion like Alex and James? Clara shook her head and sighed.
“Don’t think about it,” She told herself. “Just don’t think about it.”
Just don’t think about it. Just go in there and be yourself. I’m sure they’ll want you. Besides, you’re a Potter, and you’re mother’s a Malfoy. With those two names hanging over you how could they say no?
Harry sent the letter off with the owl that had came to him ten minutes ago and watched it fly off into the distance. He was writing to James who was a complete nervous wreck about a job interview he had coming up. He laughed and shook his head thinking about how mad he was when a year ago James told him that he wanted to live with Hermione. He had refused to speak to him after that, clear in his mind that his own son had betrayed him, until he caught a glimpse of the Christmas day article in the Daily Prophet displaying Hermione and Malfoy’s newborn twins. Harry had stared at that article for hours until he put it down, ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. He had thought the day of her wedding had signaled the end of Hermione in his life, but he realized that the twins were the definite and final sign. Harry decided to write to James that night and apologize for being so rigid with him, and with a giant push within himself, he told his son to tell Hermione congratulations. He wasn’t sure if James did it or not, but it didn’t matter. Having the simple urge to want to tell her that let Harry know that he was finally getting over it.
There was a bit of sadness and anger still there, but not enough to make him lock himself up in his bedroom or refuse to talk to anyone as he had once done. Harry was for the most part satisfied, acquiescing to the things that life threw at him which included Clara deciding to move back in with him.
“I can’t keep up the rent on my own.” She had told him a day last week. “It’s a lovely place, but I have to give it up.” So, with open arms Harry took her back in to her childhood home, and now they sat on the patio together, drinking lemonade to cool themselves down from the hot July sun.
“James got the job.” Harry told her as he took a sip from his glass. Clara nodded and smirked.
“Figured he would… Mr. Malfoy probably threatened the interviewer.”
“I wouldn’t put it past him.” He chuckled. There was a small pause before he spoke, choosing his words carefully. “You know, James has never had a job before. Maybe you could, I don’t know, help him out. Give him pointers? He’s pretty nervous about it.”
“…Dad, you know I haven’t spoken to him since he left last year.”
“Precisely why I think you should; he’s you’re brother, Clara.”
“And I suppose this is the part where you bring up mum too, right?”
“I’m not going anywhere near the topic of your mother. I’ve made up my mind about her. It’s just-”
“Who’s that?” Clara asked, pointing at the figure of a woman coming up the path way. Harry looked at who she was gesturing to and sure enough someone was coming up to them.
“Are you Mr. Harry Potter?” The woman asked.
“Yes, and who are you?”
“I’m Sandra Malfoy, and I have a preposition for you.”
Author's Note: hmm, seems a bit shorter than i thought! lol, sorry about that, but here's the next chapter! plz remember to review and i luv you all!
btw! dont forget, only 3 more chapters after this!
oh and on chapter one with the intro, just a few minor minor changes:
1) how long Hermione and Malfoy are married = 3 years, not 8
2) how many libraries she owns = a thousand not two
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