"You're sure you want to do this?" Severus asked his daughter as they were eating breakfast the morning after the whole Draco incident. They were to leave for London today to visit her mother in St. Mungos. He was still weary about it because it would be her first time seeing her mother in a long time, and she would be seeing her at her worst. Lying in a hospital bed, not knowing what is going on around her, the same state that Neville Longbottoms parents were in. In the same ward in fact.
Nilia munched on her toast while staring out of the large bay window in their kitchen. "I need to do this."
A forlorn look passed over his face as he stared at his daughter pick at her food. He knew that more than just her mother was on her mind, she had been back for less than two weeks and already fighting with Fred. His daugher went over the edge sometimes with how she reacted, but he didn't want to tell her that. She did have a lot of her mother in her, he knew not to cross her often.
"Alright." He stood up and went to put his plate in the sink. "We will leave in one hour."
Nilia nodded and continued to pick apart her toast, her thoughts all jumbled and confusing. She woke that morning with an empty feeling, Fred wasn't next to her. But she was upset with him and wasn't going to give into him. He would have to come to her and apologize.
At least that is what she kept telling herself over and over again.
"Go to him." Her father had leaned over and whispered in her ear. She sat up straight and turned to glare at him.
"Why? So he can lie to me again." She crossed her arms over her chest. "I don't think so."
Severus sighed and put a chair next to Nilia's. "We already talked about this, he didn't do it to purposely hurt you."
"What if I lose him?"
"You can't think that way."
A tear fell down her cheek and he wiped it away. "Make the most out of all of your time."
Nilia sniffled and hugged her father. "Thanks for putting up with me."
"Not that hard." He pulled back with a smile. "I love my little drama queen."
She forced a grin. "Lets hope Fred still does too."
Severus rolled his eyes at his daughter and pushed her towards the staircase. "Go get ready."
When she had made it to her room, he waited to hear the door close, and he made his way to his study to write a letter to one Fred Weasley.
~_Weasley's Wizard Wheezes_~
"Owl for you!" George yelled over their shop. They were getting ready for opening and running around trying to clean stuff up a bit.
Fred set down the broom he held and went to the counter where a black owl was eating a treat. "Who are you from?"
He pulled the parchment from its leg and unrolled it, recognizing Snapes handwriting immediately.
"Who's it from?" George asked.
"Snape." He answered with a confused look on his face.
"Uh oh. Gonna get detention for making his daughter cry." George mocked,
"Shut up!" Fred yelled back and sat down on a stool and read over the letter. "He wants me to meet them at St. Mungos in a couple hours."
His twin brother looked up from behind the counter. "What is at St. Mungos?"
"Her mother..." Fred trailed off and smiled. She was finally going to go see her mother.
"And you need to go because?" His twin brothers curiousity annoyed him sometimes.
Fred quickly told the story to George. "Her mother is like Neville's parents are. Hasn't seen her in awhile."
George nodded and didn't ask anymore questions, at least he knew when to stop being a pain. Then he added, "She'll need you after she sees her mother."
Fred nodded and went back to cleaning up before opening the store.
Moments later Ron walked in with a solemn look on his face. "Hey guys." He mumbled and found his stool behind the counter.
Fred and George looked at eachother and rolled their eyes, Ron had another problem, they thought sometimes he had more drama in his life than the women they knew. George spoke up first, "What's wrong with Ickle Ronniekins?"
Fred laughed, "Nothing wrong with Ron? I hardly believe that!"
"Shove off both of you!"
"Tell us!" They said in unison.
The bell above the door sounded as a sign of their first customer of the day. George beelined towards the customer and helped them while Ron stared out the window with Fred nudging him.
"I am not playing this game with you Ron."
"Don't come in here being depressed and not expect us to be concerned."
Ron played with his hands, trying to ignore the stare coming from Fred, finally giving up he murmured. "I am not happy."
George walked by and threw his hands up in frustration, "Not happy!? Go figure." He threw his hand down in front of Ron. "I think you're unhappiness is driving away my customers. I just lost three of them."
He slid off the stool and grabbed his bag, "I'll be upstairs."
After Ron was out of earshot, Fred turned to his brother and shrugged, "Wanna make a bet on what it is this time?"
"Nah, we'll both vote for Hermione." He grinned back.
"True." He replied just as the bell above the door chimed again. "I'll get that."
He turned to find a head of chestnut frizzy hair shaking back and forth. "It's wet out there."
"Hermione, what brings you here?" George asked from behind them.
"Ron here?" She looked around half-expecting him to be on 'his' stool. It was known as his sulking stool.
Fred gestured towards their flat. "He is moping around up there...what's his problem?"
Hermione blushed and kicked her feet at the floor. "He walked in on Harry and I again."
Both men burst out laughing, Hermione only scowled and pushed past them to go upstairs.
Hermione found Ron sitting on the couch in the twins' flat. He had his feet kicked up on arm of the chair, and was leafing through the recent edition of 'Quidditch Today.' He saw Hermione enter through the corner of his eye, but decided it was best to act like she wasn't there. He wouldn't have to come face to face with her after what he saw, and the image wouldn't play over and over again in his mind.
~_Earlier That Day_~
All he wanted to do was borrow a Broom Servicing Kit from Harry since he had misplaced his. Instead, he found Hermione and Harry in a compromising position that he could of lived without seeing.
Hermione had seen him first and covered herself up with a sheet and muttered something to Harry, who had looked up, face bright red. Both stared at him with a shocked look, as if he had been doing something they didn't want to see. His first reaction was to run and never talk to them again, but his feet wouldn't move.
All three of them seemed to stand there shocked for ten minutes.
Ron snapped out of it and had finally said something. "I cannot believe this, so wrong in many ways."
"RON!" They had both yelled and went to get out of bed when they realized neither was wearing any clothes.
"No." Ron turned to the door. "Don't get up."
"Please, listen to us!" Hermione pleaded from the bed, where her bare form was clinging onto the sheet she had pulled up to her chin.
"Listen to what?" Ron simply put. "My two best friends don't even have the decency to lock their doors when they are shagging, anyone could of walked in. Good thing Mum didn't want to come and visit."
Harry spoke up next, "I really doubt you are upset about whether or not we locked our doors."
"Harry! Stop!" Hermione grabbed his arm. The sheet fell from it's place and she shrieked.
"No." Harry grabbed a blanket and wrapped it around himself. "You're just upset because she is with me now. Aren't you?"
Ron's body tightened as he turned around and faced his two best friends. His fists clenched, and he tried to push the grief away, but it rose to quickly. It was time he let it out. "As a matter of fact I am upset. But not because you got her! She is not a trophy that you won!"
Hermione looked like she was about ready to cry, and Harry sat still in the bed shocked at his best friend. But let him continue.
"She is Hermione! Remember the bushy-haired girl we met in our first year! Not some prize you win! She's our best friend!!" He sunk to the floor and put his hands over his face, muffling his words but they were still clear. "I realized I loved her in our second year! But you know what? I let it go because I knew that in the end she would be with The-Boy-Who-Lived! I always knew it!"
"Ron?" Hermione whispered, but he ignored her.
"Then when she did give me a chance, I had to pinch myself! Too good to be true! Then I became selfish, she was mine. Not yours! Ever wonder why I pushed you to be with Ginny?"
"Why didn't you just tell me?" Harry boldly said.
Ron laughed to himself. "Tell Harry Potter that I loved Hermione Granger? It would have been the least of your worries? Ever notice how your problems were always in the spotlight?" Hermione gasped and felt Harry tighten next to her. "Did you ever once ask who I liked in school? I knew you liked Cho! Why? Because I asked."
"Not to sound rude. But what is the point?" Harry asked.
Ron looked up and tears poured down his face, he didn't care if he was in Harry's bedroom while the two of them were naked. He had to let it all out, and this was the only time it felt right. "I have two points Harry."
"First, please remember that you did not win Hermione. She is not an object but a wonderful woman who deserves the best, if you hurt her I swear I will-"
"RON!" Hermione yelled, "Don't!"
"Fine. Two-" His breath staggered, "I don't think I will ever find someone that looks at me the way she looks at you Harry."
"What?" He asked breathlessly. "But you two were together."
"I am still here guys!" She cut in.
"I see the way she looks at you." He pulled himself to his feet. "It's all I want."
Neither of them knew what to say, so they watched Ron excuse himself and close the door behind him.
"Didn't know he was so emotional." Harry said with a laugh.
Hermione looked at him with tears in her eyes. "We are losing our best friend Harry. And all you can do is joke about it?"
"He over-reacting Hermione. He'll get over it."
Hermione got out of bed without thinking about being nude, and grabbed her clothes from the floor. "HARRY JAMES POTTER! OF ALL PEOPLE WHO WOULD BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND, YOU SHOULD BE ONE OF THEM!"
With that she slammed the door behind her.
~_Back From Ron's Thoughts_~
"Ron?" She called out across the flat, she was afraid to get too close to him, he looked upset. Not that he would hurt her, but she knew when he was upset like this, he needed room.
"Leave me be Hermione." He said bitterly and slammed his magazine shut. "Go back to Harry."
Holding back the tears she wanted to shed right there, she cautiously moved towards the couch and sat down on the one opposite from him. His eyes held a lot of anger and she saw the stains from where the tears made their path across his cheeks. Not being often, Hermione didn't know what to say to him.
"I am so sorry." She managed to say without hesitation. She meant it.
"Sorry for breaking my heart into a thousand little pieces?" His eyes were now on the window in the kitchen.
"All I did was love you 'Mione. It's all I ever wanted in return." His head hung low now.
She scooted closer to him and set her hand on his. This caused him to jerk his hand back and glare at her. "Don't touch me right now."
Not taking it personally, knowing it was his temper, she scooted closer. "Ron, I still do love you. Just not that way."
He laughed coldly. "It wasn't you, it was me." He said in a high pitched voice to mock her own.
"Don't be childish." She spat.
"Childish?" He turned and faced her. "How about respect? That's all I wanted. You could of told me how you felt about Harry. It would of saved me from a lot of heartache!"
"Ron Weasley! You act like you are the only one who has had their heart broken!"
"Right? Hermione Granger has her heart broken all the time. Wait?" He put his hand to his chin, "You broke my heart...you broke yours? And Vicky doesn't count."
"FINE!" She sat up and put her hands on her hips. "I came to apologize but obviously it didn't work! Have a nice life Ron!"
"OH! I came to apologize so I could feel better about my snog sessions with Harry. And how about we leave all of the doors unlocked so Ron walks in and sees it again and again!" He said again with the high pitched voice.
Tears poured down her face and she knew at that moment, she had lost her best friend. "Goodbye Ron."
He watched her floo back to Harry's.
"What was all that yelling?" George demanded to know as he bounded into the room. "Sounded like Hermione was having a conniption fit."
"She was." Ron said and slumped back down on the couch.
"No longer a trio anymore?" He asked.
"Did you at least get to tell her off?" George grinned.
His younger brother smiled and nodded, in return getting a pat on the back.
"They'll come around Ron."
"As if I care."
~_St. Mungos - 4th Floor: Spell Damage_~
Nilia stared down at her mother, whom she barely recognized. Her once perfect cheek bones now hung low, her fair complexion almost gray, and her eyes were wide with fright. Not the warm, friendly eyes she remembered from years ago. The eyes that would look down at her, almost twinkling, telling her everything was going to be alright....
"He only throws mud clumps at you because he likes you....your father isn't the same as all other fathers...don't eat anything that crawls across the floor honey...you aren't allowed to wear a skirt that short to third grade...sweety, when a boy asks you to lift your shirt up, you don't do it unless you love him...someday you will meet the man that will make you happy...yes, happier than your father makes you feel...I will always be there for you, don't worry..."
The thought of her very much alive mother brought tears to Nilia's eyes. The one who was there to mend the cuts, tell her that boys didn't have cooties, and said she'd be there the day Nilia got married. If only all of them could come true.
"NIlia, talk to her." Her father put his arm on her shoulder. "She blinks sometimes."
She turned and looked at her father, he was avoiding eye contact with her mother. He was suffering more than her, he had to see her for the last couple of years in the same condition. Nilia had just only seen her like this, her father wouldn't let her come earlier. "What would I say to her? Can she even understand me?"
Severus looked down and grabbed his daughters hand. "That's not the point."
She sighed and turned back to her mother. Grabbing her hand, she sat down in the chair she only assumed had become her fathers chair. Did he talk to her also?
"Mum, it's Nilia." She gave her hand a squeeze. Looking back at her father she gave him an urging look, as if to say 'what am I supposed to say?'
"Tell her about school, Fred, your friends." He whispered.
"Alright." Nilia turned back. "Mum, well, I finished school this term. But I couldn't finish with my class. I am sure father already told you why. It was fine I suppose, I never wanted to sit through another one of Binn's classes anyways. I did fine on the testing, nothing superb. Superb like my best friend Hermione..."
She told her about Hermione and how they had met, she couldn't remember if she had mentioned her in the letters she used to send every week. Her mothers expression never changed, but it felt alright to let her mum know all of this. Even if she didn't understand, or hear for that matter.
"In the library in sixth year I met Fred Weasley. He has a twin and a bunch of other siblings...oh, you remember how I told you I wanted to marry someone who was built like a Quidditch Player? I think I found him!" She explained almost gleefully.
Severus smiled at his daughter, she was finally opening up, to her comatose mother. Which was fine with him, he knew that Sevilla couldn't hear Nilia, but just the thought of her catching her mother up on everything was peaceful. He too, also told Sevilla what was going on with life. And everytime, a mediwitch would walk by and shake their head and smile at him. "You know she can't hear you Severus?" They would say and he would just shrug and smile.
"Your daughter?" One of the mediwitches had leaned over and whispered in his ear.
"Sure is." Then he added, "Her name is Nilia."
The mediwitch nodded and sat down on the chair next to him. "Well, thank goodness for her you didn't name her Sevura."
He raised an eyebrow and it took a moment to get the joke. "Right? We weren't trying to punish her. You thought since our names were almost alike that we were going to name her after us?"
The mediwitch, who's name was Cynthia started laughing now. "Yes. You need to loosen up Severus, otherwise all of my jokes will fly over your head."
They turned their attention back on Nilia, who was chatting with her mother. "He is the sweetest man I have ever met, besides father. Although, no one else knows father is sweet. He is kind of mean to everyone else, especially the Gryffindors." She chuckled to herself from the thought of all the points he took away. "Then there is Draco. Well, he is part of that whole Prophecy thing I told you about..."
She continued and stopped to pause in all the right places, quickly casting her father a glance. He would just nod and allow her to continue. "Mum..." Her voice became a whisper. "I wish you could of met Fred, Hermione, Ron and all the others. They would of loved you."
The mediwitch that was still sitting there patted Severus on the back and smiled. "Good kid you have there. Make sure you let that boy of hers know that she is your little girl and if he hurts her, you'll hex him into the next century."
"There wouldn't be anything left to hex." He said grimly and his eyes held back the tears that neared the brim of his lids. "I wish it would of been me."
Cynthia stood up and brushed off her robes. "I know, I hear that a lot. But just remember what you have. You believe that she was better off with her mother instead. But would you want to miss this?" He gestured towards Nilia and walked away.
Nilia now held her mothers limp hand in her own, head lowered and was sobbing. Severus walked slowly towards her and wrapped his arm around her shoulders, trying to control the shaking. "Let it all out..." He reassured her. "It's alright to cry about it."
She raised her head and looked at her mothers face, trying to replace its hollow expression with one of happiness, the look that was always on her mothers face. Pure joy to be a mother, and have such a wonderful man for her daughters father.
"Mum?" As if asking her permission to speak. "Thank you for leaving me with such a wonderful father."
A Mediwitch popped her head into the private room her mother now lived in and cleared her throat. "I am sorry but visiting hours are over. You may come back tomorrow at eight am."
They both nodded and Nilia stood up and walked away without saying goodbye.
"Aren't you going to say goodbye." He asked his daughter.
"Nope." She announced, turned around, and waved to her mother. "See you later mum."
Severus' heart warmed, it was the exact same thing she said the day she left for Hogwarts her first year. They walked out without another word and that day came flooding back to him. Courtesy of the Pensieve that Sevilla liked to keep, and which Nilia would store memories in often. Well, at least for the first year. After that, all her memories were secret. "No father, you can't see them! What I do at school is my business!"
"Mummy, why can't I call him father when I get there?" The eleven-year old Nilia asked her mother as they were getting off of the bus that dropped them off at Kings Cross. That morning they had packed frantically, only learning the day before that her father was going to allow her to furthur her studies at Hogwarts rather than the public school she had previously enrolled her in. She was furious at first, they had only learned it that day, and she had to be at the train station at eleven am the next day. She remembered yelling at Severus as he stood in her bedroom, hands flailing in the air. Yelling something about having to pull a lot of strings to keep in under wraps and how much it would cost for supplies.
"Supplies?!" She yelled back at him. "You have a fortune and you are worried about how much it will cost?"
"Sevilla!" He yelled back. "You know that she is my daughter and has always gotten the best of things. I will have to go into town tonight and buy the best for her! You know that!"
"Fine." Her hands were on her hips now, she was angry. "And why can't people know she is your daughter? Ashamed?"
"Dumbledore assumed it was for the best. You don't want that whole favortism thing played!"
Sevilla was used to yelling at him like this. She loved him more than anything, but he was too damned stubborn. She never knew that those words would never be exchanged between them. As for as he knew, she saw him as no more than her father. "Don't deprive your daughter of a father because of your little 'favoritsm thing.'"
"You know I wouldn't. I love her more than anything. You know that!" He said gently.
"I know. But do you have to be a git about it?"
"Yes." He chuckled. It was settled, Nilia Herne was going to Hogwarts.
Her thoughts were broken as she felt Nilia tugging at her skirt. "What dear?"
"I asked you a question!" Nilia complained.
"We talked about this at breakfast. It wouldn't be fair if he treated you differently then the others." She grabbed her hand and pulled her through a huge crowd waiting at platform nine. "Don't argue."
"Fine." She pulled her hand away and crossed her arms over her chest. "He hates me!"
Putting her hand to her temple she breathed in and out. Her daughter could sure hit nerves with her. "No Nilly. He adores and loves you. You'll understand once you get there. Now, if you behave, he will send for you every night to help you with homework and such."
And in the eleven-year old Nilia's mind she thought, 'No favortism huh? Why will he help me with homework? I bet he doesn't help all the other students. Urgh! Parents are hopeless!"
They passed through the barrier between platform nine and ten and were surrounded by what seemed like hundreds of new students. "Mum. I am scared." Little Nilia pulled on her skirt again, clutching to it.
Sevilla kneeled down at the same height as her daughter and pushed a stray hair behind her ear. "Dear. It's going to be fine. You will make lots of friends, and I will write you every week. You may even meet your future husband here."
"Ewwy! Boys have cooties mum." She pointed out and her eyes fell on a group of boys holding broomsticks. "Oooh. Look, Quidditch boys mum."
Sevilla chuckled and saw a few first years huddled around what appeared to be seventh years bragging about their new broomsticks. "I take it you have a thing for a boy in a Quidditch uniform?"
Nilia blushed, giggled, and then hid her face in the ruffles of her mothers skirt. "I am gonna marry one."
"Is that right?" She asked her daughter, but didn't get an answer because they were announcing that everyone needed to get on the train. She pulled her daughter into a hug and whispered in her ear. "You are going to have so much fun you'll forget about your poor old mother."
Nilia wrinkled her nose and shook her head. "Mummy, I would never ever forget about you! No matter what!"
She smiled and walked her over to the line to board. "Have fun dear. And don't forget to tell me all about the Quidditch boys!"
After hiding her face in the skirt ruffles again she looked up at her mum. "I love you. See you at Christmas! See you later mum."
"Can I sit in here?" Nilia asked a group of four sitting in a compartment. There were three boys and a girl. One girl was dark haired with a pug nose, two boys who looked like mini-trolls, and a snot-nosed blonde haired boy.
"Who are you?" Asked the girl.
"Nilia Herne." She stuck out her hand to shake the girls hand, just like her mum had taught her.
Instead of shaking it, the snotty girl stuck up her nose in the air and looked at the boys. "Is she pureblood?"
They all shrugged and the blonde boy stood up and held out his hand. "Draco Malfoy, nice to meet you."
The Sorting Hat was placed on her head and she felt all eyes on her. The hat had revealed a few things about everyone, an insight as to what house they were going to be in. Instead of it going on about her, it just shouted one thing, "SLYTHERIN!"
Nilia remembers shuddering and turning to look at her father, who just smiled. She took her seat next to Draco Malfoy, and he gave her the play-by-play on each person being sorted. "Granger, if I didn't know any better, she comes from Muggle parents....she was the first one sorted....Potter, he made a mistake only earlier, not excepting my handshake...would of done wonders for him...instead he will become friends with Weasel...those red-headed nutters...stay away from all of them!"
She only rolled her eyes at this and kept her eyes on the Gryffindor table. She felt compelled to stare at people seated at the table. Draco then nudged her.
"Don't even think about being friends with them. Slytherin will take you places."
She ignored him and her eyes stayed on the group at the end. Little did she know years later, they would be a part of her life.
"Nilia?" Her father was shaking her shoulders. "You awake?"
"Yeah, just thinking." She answered and pushed through the double-doors, heading towards the elevator.
The elevator beeped, and when the doors opened, she found Fred. Holding a bouquet of tulips in one hand, and his other hand was stretched out to take hers.
"Fred?" She asked, stopping in her tracks. She was still mad at him...she had to be.
"Are you ok?" Fred replied moving towards her.
"Yes. What are you doing here?"
"Your father-" He was cut short by Severus.
"I am going to go back to the manor. You two have fun." He pushed past her not allowing her to get a word in edgewise.
Nilia kept her head down, and was intent on looking at his boots. Which never moved...'Why won't he go away, he knows I am mad at him. I just want him to leave! Those shoes are connected to his legs...oh gods, those legs. Which are connected to that...damnnit, you are mad at him, snap out of it!'
"Nilia, we need to talk." He grabbed her hand and pulled her close to him. "Why are you upset with me?"
"I am not talking about this right here. Better yet, there is nothing to talk about." She said firmly. 'Yes, get rid of him that way!' Her thoughts seemed to be taking over that day.
"Fine. We'll go somewhere else and talk." Fred announced and dragged her to a fireplace that was connected to the floo network. Before she could say anything in protest, he threw floo powder down, holding her tight. "The Burrow!"
"The Burrow? Why are we coming here to discuss this? Of all the places that would be ok to discuss this matter, this isn't one of them. Your whole family doesn't need to be in on it." She managed to spit out as soon as they tumbled out of the fireplace. Soon, at least three of the Weasley's were staring at her and laughing.
George chuckled louder than the rest of course. "Nice seeing you again, I agree Fred, why bring grumpy pants here?"
Nilia shot a glare at George and managed to spread it over to Bill and Percy, who were trying to contain their laughter. "Funny guys. Now Fred? We have nothing to discuss!"
"I hardly think it's nothing when you come out of the fireplace ranting and raving like that!" Percy pointed out.
Crossing her arms over her chest, she held back a scream and went through the kitchen out to the garden. She ignored his footsteps behind her as she found the rock overlooking their small pond. Sitting down on it, she pulled her knees up to her chest and looked out on the silent pond.
"Is there a reason you are so emotional?" Fred asked as he sat down on the smaller rock next to hers.
'Good man,' She thought, 'Knows when to keep distance.'
"Answer me!" He pleaded while reaching his hand out to touch hers, but seeing the look on her face, pulled back. He wasn't still quite sure why she was so upset at him. Of course he was a man, dense was a good adjective for him. (A/N: Sorry, I had to throw that in there. I am a manhater! No, not really, love men, just can't stand them sometimes)
Nilia wanted to scream and kick like a little kid. He didn't understand, how could she be so stupid as to think he would understand. Well, The Burrow was a good enough place to scream. Far away from people.
"Answer you!" she yelled, "Why? You can't change a damn thing! You have made your decision!"
"I am doing this for you, and people like you." He answered. It was true, he wanted to round up all the Death Eaters so when they brought children into this world that they would be free from that.
"For me? If you get killed it would be for me?" Tears poured down her face, landing on the rock. "I don't want you to die for me. I want you to live for me!"
"Nilia listen-" He started.
"No, let me finish. I saw my mum today. She had no soul. Just a body laying in St. Mungos taking up a bed. I lost my mum to Lord Voldemort. I could very well lose my father to Death Eaters who seek revenge. I will not lose you to Death Eaters!"
Then her fathers words poured through her, "Same reason your mother didn't tell you about her past. Or what she was up to. She tried to keep you from horrible things. That is all Fred is doing, keeping you away from those bad things he is fighting for."
She was caught between two arguments. She could very well let him do this and risk the chance of waking up without him one day, or let him do it and she would be able to raise her children in a safe place. There were other women out there like her that were just as terrified to have their husband, fiancee, and boyfriends go out there and fight for this.
Then it dawned on her: He chose this, they didn't make him do it.
He remained silent as she turned to him to ask him a question. She wasn't surprised to see tears on his face either. "Fred, give me two good reasons why you should go out there and round up Death Eaters."
Fred looked right in her eyes and with a gulp he let it out. "For your future." He put one finger up, then another, making it his second reason. "Our children." He set his hand on her stomach, she covered it with her hand.
She couldn't help but smile, "Fred. I'm not pregnant."
"We could change that." He whispered and pressed his lips to hers.
Back in The Burrow, the present Weasley's were all looking out the window and clapping about the sudden reunion of Fred and Nilia. Arthur and Molly had apparated moments later after she stormed out and were quickly filled in.
Now, as George held up the Extendable Ears, he noticed his mother crying. "Mum, stop that. If he knows we were listening he'll never bring their fights to The Burrow again."
"George. Get off it. You shouldn't of been listening in the first place." Her hands found their ways to her hips, the trademark stance for Molly, then she caught the smirk from her son. "Alright, none of us should of been listening."
Arthur chuckled at his wife and set off to the kitchen, "Molly, leave them be and lets start dinner."
"Did you hear that? Grandchildren!" She wailed when she came into the kitchen.
"They aren't having them now, it was a future goal!" He explained to his wife of many years, planting a kiss on her forehead. "Plus, we have other kids who are just as excited about popping those children out. How many grandchildren do you want?"
Molly shrugged and mumbled something under her breath.
"What was that?" Arthur asked.
"I could go for at least....three per child of mine."
~_Draco and Pansy_~
"So?" Pansy asked as pictures of dresses were spread out all over the place. "Which one?"
Draco pushed himself up off his elbows and pointed to no one in particular, she assumed it was the one to her right and picked up the picture examining it. "It would make me look fat!"
"I think Nicholas is crying." He lied and headed off towards there room to find his son asleep in his crib. Thumb stuck in his mouth, silently sucking it while off in dreamland. He longed to feel like that, no worries. Able to just fall asleep and wake up, everything ok around him. It wouldn't be that way until Pansy was out of his life. "Hope those idiot twins figure something out before she kills me." He muttered.
"What?" A voice said behind him.
"Huh?" He turned around.
"What about twins?" She accused, her face red.
"I said I hope those idiot twins'... business goes down the drain, it was a joke anyways." He pulled from deep in his mind.
"Me too." She scoffed and wrapped her arms around his waist. "Aren't you happy? Next week we will be Mr. and Mrs. Draco Malfoy."
He hugged her to hide the scowl on his face and mumbled, hoping it came out as a positive answer.
"Next week..." She squealed.
'And you will try to kill me.' He thought solemnly to himself and hoped that Potter and his friends pulled through.
~_The Order Headquarters_~
Harry, Hermione, Fred, George, and Nilia all gathered into the conference room of the Headquarters later that night in hopes of figuring out how to help Draco.
"I can't believe I am agreeing to get Malfoy out of this mess." Harry slumped in a chair and rubbed his temple.
"Where's Ron?" Nilia asked looking around the room thinking she may have missed him.
"Don't expect to see a lot of him." George said without a joke following it.
"Why?" She turned towards Hermione, knowing full well they probably fought again.
Hermione mouthed, "I'll tell you later."
She nodded in reply and sat down next to Fred. "What do we do first?"
"Hermione is searching through the Marriage Laws and hasn't come up with anything yet. But she still has a few chapters to get through before we give up on that." Harry gestured towards the book lying next to Hermione, it must have been ten inches thick. He then turned to George, "You and Fred find out how to sneak into the Zabini household?"
George shook his head, "I just aquired a blueprint of the house. I'll look at it tonight."
Harry shook his head, "Have it with you?" George nodded, "I brought it just in case we had time to look at it."
"We do have time since we have nothing else to go on." Harry mumbled and they rolled the blueprint out, and the boys looked it over. Nilia pulled Hermione off to the side.
"Tell me what you did to Ron?" She accused.
"What I did to Ron?" Hermione turned red. "Why is it always me who has done something?"
"Then what happened?"
"I made him mad." She laughed and stopped when Nilia glared at her.
So, Hermione told the whole story, only to find Nilia shaking with anger. "How could you and Harry be so insensitive. If anyone has the right to be pissed it is him! I thought you were all friends?"
"We were." Hermione looked down at her feet.
"Not to be rude Hermione, but I don't blame him for not wanting to hang out with you and Harry anymore." She bravely said and expected retaliation, but instead her best friend of a long time nodded and looked up.
"I know. We treated him like shit."
Nilia nodded and looked over towards Harry. "What has gotten into him?"
"I have no idea."
Just as they were looking at him, he looked up and shouted for them to come over. "We found a way!"
"How did you get these blueprints by the way?" Nilia asked.
"Dobby." Harry grinned. "He has connections."
"You used Dobby! Harry, you know that he could get in trouble." Hermione ranted.
"Shh, listen." He pointed to the edge of the blueprint and started to plan out their mission.
An hour later they were set to break into the Zabini Residence and find anything to bribe the family with, anything to use, they were basically going in there blind. "We go in there and find nothing? Then what?" Nilia questioned.
Fred and George smiled at eachother, then Fred spoke. "We have found, in past experiences, that any family that is close to the Malfoys, Parkinsons, Crabbes, Lestranges..ect...will have something to hide. And we bribe them...simple as that."
Hermione jumped in. "Couldn't they seek revenge later?"
"Ehh, not if we make a deal." Harry stated.
"Anyone think of just talking to Blaise and Pansy?"
"No, that wouldn't be any fun." And all three men looked at eachother and grinned.
"How could I have missed this?" Hermione exclaimed an hour later. She held up her huge book and set it in front of the other three. "Hmm. I should transfer it to simple terms."
All three rolled their eyes and urged her to continue. "If he can prove to the Ministry within a week before his wedding that she is participating in a plot to kill him and take his money, they will convict her, and the party involved."
"Does it say that exactly? Seems it happened enough to have a law for it" George scratched his head, "Didn't think it would be that easy to read either."
"Ding dong! I told you I simplified it!" Hermione complained and looked back at the book. "Its simple really. How could I have been so stupid?"
"Well." Nilia started, "I have established that when things are blatently obvious you tend to overlook them for the harder things."
Hermione threw a pillow and continued reading, "Now, if a child is involved, and is the reason for the marriage....the child will be given to a legally binding family until the parent has married."
"Pretty strict." said Fred. (A/N: I hate how that rhymes)
"Wait. Angelina is a single mother and doesn't have to give up her child." George raised an eyebrow. "Not such an enforced law huh?"
Harry thought for a moment then looked at Hermione, "Is this for pureblood marriages only?"
Hermione snapped and nodded, "Angelina is part muggle."
"That settles it." George stood up and stretched, "Fred and I sneak in and find something to prove they are plotting against Draco."
"Yep." Harry stretched too. "And you have..." He glanced at the calender on the desk. "Four days."
"That reminds me!" Fred pulled Nilia off to the side. "I have a question."
"Promise me one thing Fred." She ignored his request for a question. He nodded for her to continue.
"You will be careful and not pull any funny stuff!"
Fred saluted her, "Aye Aye Captain."
"Alright, your question." Her hands crossed over her chest.
Fred grabbed her hand and kissed the top of it. "Would you accompany me to the Order Ball next week madam?"
Nilia held a straight face and placed her hand over his. "Sorry, what was your name again?"
He raised an eyebrow at her and decided to play along. "My name?"
"You see...I have this git for a boyfriend who might be playing with Death Eaters that night? I am sure he wouldn't mind."
He let this one go, she was trying to bring humor into the situation, he was rubbing off on her too much. "Tell him I would watch over you and make sure you had loads of fun."
"Then yes, I would love to." She snuggled up to him and whispered in his ear. "This isn't a prank is it?"
He pulled away and acted like he was offended. "First I am a git, then a prankster? What's next?"
"Bleh." She turned around. "To think. You might be the father of my children!"
"Oohh...cheap shot!" He yelled after her and shook his head.
I am hoping this is enough to tide my loyal readers over for awhile. I have a day off soon but I don't know if I will feel like writing. And then I move next month so I don't have Internet for a little bit! But I guess I can still write. Please R/R...Please please please