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Chapter 18 : Conspiracies
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After Malfoy had told her he wanted a divorce, Sandra was furious. She couldn’t believe that he was divorcing her, and for all people a mudblood. When he left, she took the brush she was using on her hair and threw it at the vanity mirror and smashed it, staring at all of the little pieces that had fallen from it intensely.
She didn’t cry. That was the last thing she wanted to do and she didn’t; not that day nor the next. More or less she stayed in her room, not laying on the floor in a fetal position, but standing out on the balcony and wondering how Hermione had done it. How could any woman steal Malfoy away? How could a woman like her steal him away was a better question. And it was those two questions that Sandra spent countless months thinking about. They roamed her mind so much that there was no need for her to go outside, to be social, and to have a life, simply. She had a new mission in life which consisted of two things: finding out how her marriage could’ve gone so wrong, and finding a way to ruin Malfoy’s new life as he ruined her old one.
About a month after Malfoy and Hermione got married, Sandra became determined. Months before that she told Alex she should move in with Clara and have her own life. After the wedding, she told the house elves that she wasn’t to be disturbed and she set a Banishing Spell around the Manor. It was time for her to get to work.
Sandra, or so she felt, knew Malfoy better than he knew himself. She knew how ruthless he could be and how he could never peel himself away from publicity. She knew that if he wanted something, there was nothing that could stop him from getting it. Laws didn’t matter, especially since he had enough money to bribe Merlin himself. It was with these traits of his Sandra wanted to ruin him. Of course most of Europe knew of Malfoy and what kind of power his name held. They knew of his money and his ability to intimidate, but no one knew how his money was made. People speculated, knew deep down it was never in the legal way, but could never prove it. However, Sandra knew she could.
That’s how she spent the two years since Malfoy left her; devising and planning, calling old contacts, having her ex-husband followed, if possible, and even setting a few people to trail Hermione to see if she was following in his footsteps. Indeed Malfoy was still in his crooked business of “selling goods.” He still used the same people who would find interesting commodities. Sandra owled them from time to time to get an update on Malfoy; how he handled them, what he paid them, and most importantly how dangerous the items were. Just by asking those few questions, she had enough information to put Malfoy in Azkaban for quite a few years, life more than likely.
Hermione was just the same Sandra found out. At first she thought the former Potter had just married Malfoy for sex and for the small fact that they had a child together (something Sandra found out about a few months after getting divorced), but apparently Hermione loved him deeply. So deeply that she had turned into a female version of Malfoy. Conducting business meetings, having the contacts who delivered the goods talk to her first or only her. She was second in command and would be nailed to the wall just like Malfoy when this blew over the front pages of every newspaper. Though, Sandra would need help bringing this out, and she thought of Harry Potter, a Ministry official, with nearly as much power as Malfoy, which was why she dressed, wrapped a shawl around her shoulders and apparated to his home.
Harry led the way into his flat with Sandra behind him and Clara following. They all sat down in the living room with a strange tension in the air. Sandra sighed, looked up at the two of them and blurted out the first thing that came to her mind:
“Your wife stole my husband.”
“And your husband stole my wife, what of it?” Harry asked her. “It’s old news, Sandra, and if that’s all you’ve come to say-”
“No, there’s more.” She told him. “Pardon me if it’s repetitive, but I find the need to be that way. Now, to put it bluntly, your wife-”
“Your ex-wife and my ex-husband have ruined our lives without a care in the world. Years of lies and then just about two years ago they decided to pick themselves up, throw us to the side and begin life anew with each other.”
“If you’ll excuse me to say this,” Harry interrupted. “I’m pretty sure that they’d still be married and lying to us if the spell they had performed the spell on Christina quickly and Malfoy had gotten himself out of here instead of being spotted. Could you please get to the point?”
“My point is that they shouldn’t get away with this.” Sandra said sternly. “They ruined us and it’s only fair that we repay the favor.”
“Look around will you? I’m hardly ruined.”
“But you were,” Clara said to him. “You can’t ignore the months where you hit the lowest point in your life.”
“But that was then. As of right now I could hardly give a damn about what your mother’s life is now. And you,” Harry pointed to Sandra. “Need to move on with your life.”
“I refuse.” Sandra replied indignantly. “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth I say, and that’s what’s going to happen.” She sighed, trying to calm herself down. “Don’t you want Hermione back?”
“…Do you at least not want her to be with Draco? Of all people he shouldn’t have her.”
Harry felt his heart thump once. He remembered that was what was ranging through his mind when he decided to go to Hermione’s wedding. Suddenly all of those emotions he had came flooding back, and he was sure that his face was turning slightly red. Though, how happy she looked came to his mind as well, and Harry shook his head as he stood.
“I believed that once.” Harry said to her. “Hell, sometimes I still believe it. But if there’s one thing I want for Hermione, no matter what she’s done, is for her to be happy. Apparently Malfoy makes her happy and I’m not messing with that. I’ve spent almost a full two years getting over what happened and I’m not about to bring it up all over again. You want to live in the past, fine, but you’re not taking me with you. Clara, show her the door.”
Harry left the living room without a back glance. Sandra shook her head and cupped her hands on her lap.
“Damn it, now what am I going to do? I need a Ministry official.”
“A Ministry official for what..?” Clara asked her.
“Nothing, don’t you worry about it.”
“Listen, I understand you want revenge, believe me I want it too, but this is my mother we’re talking about. I’m not going to sit back and let you hurt her without knowing exactly how you plan to do that. If hurt her physically in any way-”
“Oh no, I don’t dream of harming either your mother or my ex-husband physically. I’m not that lost in the mind.”
“Then what exactly do you want to do to them?”
Sandra looked around cautiously for a moment and then moved from her seat to sit closer to Clara.
“I want to expose them.” She whispered.
“Expose them? Expose them for doing what?”
“Well you see, Draco owned, and still does, a goods-selling business. Nothing he sells or collects is legal. How he acquires the goods is simply terrible: bribery, threats, and even physical torture.”
“That’s all fine and dandy but what does Mr. Malfoy’s business have anything to do with my mother?”
“It has everything to do with your mother. She helps him. She’s as heavily into the business as Draco is.”
“…I don’t believe it. I never thought she’d allow such a thing much less take part in it.”
“And that’s where I’d like to get them. Give Europe the proof they need to put them away.”
“Put them away? You mean Azkaban?” Clara said with a bit of sadness across her face. Sandra nodded and then frowned.
“But nothing can be put into action without having a Ministry official to back me up. My two years of planning have now become a waste.”
“Well, I may not be a Ministry official, but I’m Harry Potter’s daughter. My voice is just as powerful as his. I think I can help.”
“You really think so?” Sandra said with a growing smile.
“I know so, but I have something to add to that plan of yours.”
“And you have proof of all of this?” A man asked Clara. She nodded her head and cupped her hands.
“Yes, my contact has sufficient evidence that they, no matter how good the defense is, could never get out of it.”
“This is perfect.” Another man exclaimed. “We’ve been trying to nail this bastard for years and now we can finally do it. Unfortunately, your mother will be sentenced too. You know that, don’t you?”
“Yes, I know.” She said sadly.
“You shouldn’t think on it too hard. She put her own self into this ditch. And besides, I’m sure the committee won’t put her in Azkaban for life like Malfoy considering her past history with all the good she’s done. A few twisting of words and events and it could be made like as if he brainwashed her.”
“For all we know he did,”
“It’ll work out, Miss Potter. We assure you. And when this comes out to the open we’ll make sure that your name isn’t mentioned.”
“Thank you for that, but when this comes out into the open I want to give them a choice.”
“What kind of choice?”
Clara took a deep breath and stared at the group of men who were sitting before her. They might not approve it… It’s never been done…
“…A choice that will change everything,”
It was January and Hermione stood in Marissa and Avery’s bedroom with a smile on her face. She had not long ago set them down in their crib and now they were both sleeping.
“Can’t get any cuter than that, can you?” Malfoy asked. Hermione turned and saw him by the doorway with a grin on his face.
“No,” She chuckled as he came up behind her. “You can’t get any cuter than this.”
After staring at the twins for endless minutes, they both left the room and ventured through the mansion; Malfoy to his study to answer a letter that their owl Urla had dropped into his hands and Hermione to the living room where James and Christina were busy watching television.
“I can’t believe that I finally persuade Draco to get a TV and this is what you’re watching.”
“Oh, mum, it’s Wizard Live.” James said with a laugh. “Every wizard watches it.”
“You only watch it because you’re in love with the host, Delilah. Delilah could melt any man’s heart…” Christina mocked as James tossed a small pillow at her.
“Mum, make her stop.”
“She’s eight James and you’re nineteen, learn to play nice.” Hermione giggled. She was about to say something else when Malfoy tapped her on her shoulder.
“Business,” He said to her. She nodded and told James that Marissa and Avery were asleep and to check on them from time to time. She followed Malfoy out of the living room and magically changed her clothes to ones more appropriate as they walked.
“Who is it this time?” Hermione asked.
“Oh come on,” Malfoy groaned, sensing her rising anger. “You’re not still ranting on about him are you?”
“Of course I am! Draco, there’s something about him that I don’t like. He’s been coming here on and off for the past three months relentlessly without showing interest in buying anything.”
There was a quick apparation to a small flat in the middle of Italy where they kept all of their business meetings. They walked through the flat, heading downstairs to what used to be a basement and where they showed their products.
“He’s just picky.” Malfoy debated.
“He’s suspicious.” Hermione persisted.
They both went into a room behind a steel door and saw their client sitting down and waiting for them.
“’Evening Mr. Malfoy, Mrs. Malfoy,”
“Hello, Nate…” Hermione said irately, not bothering to hide her unfriendly disposition as she sat down near the table. “Come to buy something today or are you going to continue to scrutinize our merchandise?”
“Hermione,” Malfoy said firmly. She huffed loudly and waved her hand at him signaling for him to go on. “So, Nate, what is it you’re interested in looking at today?”
“Actually, I think I’ve decided on what I’d like to buy.”
“Praise Merlin,” Hermione muttered, but then put on a feigned happy face as she stood. “What have you decided on?”
“Octo’s Pendant,” Nate told them. Malfoy’s eyes grew wide just as his smile did. Though, Hermione wasn’t so enthusiastic. It was one of their most precious items, which was why they priced it higher than anything they had: five million galleons. Nate didn’t look like he even owned a thousand galleons much less five million. Something wasn’t right, but Malfoy wasn’t going to listen to her. Once an offer was made and money was going to be put into his pockets, it didn’t matter the motive.
“Go get the Pendant, Hermione.”
She went out of the room, a moment later she brought out a class case that held Octo’s Pendant. She gently placed it down on the table and watched Nate’s eyes dance.
“You really want to buy Octo’s Pendant?” Hermione said as she crossed her arms.
“Yes, look at it.” He said dreamily. “It’s beautiful.”
“I know that’s why we’ve priced it so high at ten million.”
“Ten?” Both Malfoy and Nate said in confusion.
“Yes, ten,” She reiterated. “Something as rare and beautiful as you say it is, is worth it, don’t you think?”
“Hermione, what are you doing?” Malfoy whispered to her, but she ignored him, not taking an eye off of Nate who seemed to be getting nervous.
“Don’t you think, Nate?” She asked again.
“I think so, yes.”
“That’s right. A Pendant dating as far back as the sixteenth century without losing any of its power… The ability to cause the wearer of this Pendant to cast spells three times its normal strength and defend against any kind of spell, curse, or charm.”
“Not every spell,” Nate piped up. “Only ones meant to cause death.”
“Liar,” Hermione snapped at him. “Draco, lock the door.”
Malfoy didn’t say another word but lock the door of the room. Nate’s nervousness was plain and clear at this point just as Hermione’s anger was boiling over.
“Who are you?” She demanded. Nate shook his head.
“I don’t know what-”
“Don’t lie! When we first showed Octo’s Pendant to you, you said you didn’t know anything about it. And what, all of a sudden you know some facts?”
“I did my research.” He retorted, but Hermione shook her head and chuckled a bit.
“You know what, Nate? I did mine too. And there’s no known book or any kind of source of Octo’s Pendant except for one, and that book is with Draco and I at our mansion. I mean, of course you could’ve asked the author of the book-”
“Which is what I,-”
“Did?” She finished. She let out another small laugh before turning back serious. “How did you do that, Nate? Resurrect him? The author of that book has been dead for centuries, so I’ll ask again. Who are you?”
Nate wasted no time, sprung from his seat and lunged at Hermione who Malfoy pushed out of the way. The two men wrestled on the ground, throwing punches left and right until Hermione pulled out her wand, sending Nate hurtling into the wall. She helped Malfoy up, whom upon inspection, hardly any bruises on him compared to his adversary. With a small flick of her wand, there was a small vial in Hermione’s hand.
“Veritiserum,” She said as she gave it to Malfoy. “Shove it down his throat.”
Malfoy did as she instructed and moments later Nate’s face was serene as if he had never gotten into a fight. Hermione walked over and knelt before him with anger in her eyes.
“Who are you?” She asked.
“Ryan Mavis… I work with the Ministry.”
“Damn it!” Malfoy shouted as he kicked the wall. “I should’ve trusted you, Hermione. They sent someone to spy on us!”
“The Ministry didn’t send me.” Nate replied briskly.
“Who then..? Who sent you?”
Hermione’s face fell in an instant as she rose from the floor. She stared at Malfoy who stood there in as much disbelief as her.
“My own daughter sent someone after us.” She said with her eyes tearing up. “I’d expect this from Harry but not her. I didn’t think she’d go as low as this.”
“I’ll clear his memory and send him on his way.” Malfoy told her. Hermione nodded and headed towards the door. “Where’re you going?”
“To speak to Clara,”
Author's Note: chapter 18 folks! and omg 2 more chapters left until the story is over! oh i wish it could last forever *tear*.... anyhow, keep up the good work with reading/reviewing, i really appreciate you all for doing so!
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