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Roses grow at Malfoy Manor by Merope
Chapter 5 : Of House Elves and Carnivorous Plants
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 11

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A/N Everything you recognise, belongs to J.K. Rowling except for the plot and the new house elves, which belong to me. Enjoy. :)

Hermione’s gentle hand was caressing Hugo’s tear stained cheek, trying to make the sting that constantly pinched his flesh and kept it red, go away. The sobs had quietened, yet his big eyelashes were still wet and stuck together as if with glue, while his big, green eyes were stained by red. His head was resting on Hermione’s chest and he had not moved from there since Hermione placed him on her lap and rocked him back and forth to help him forget the incident in the drawing room earlier that morning. Hermione kissed the little boy’s curly hair and whispered something in his ear. Upon hearing her soft voice, he lifted his little head from her chest and looked at her wide eyed.

“Really mommy?”

Hermione nodded and gave him a small smile to which he responded. Just to see the little corners of his mouth go up in a small attempt at being optimistic, made her fell surer about what she had in mind. There was no question about leaving, for that was certain. She could not stay in a place where people hurt her children any longer. She felt stupid and reckless for accepting in the first place, and she mentally slapped herself for believing that Draco Malfoy, her school arch nemesis who had often called her a mudblood, had changed. The scar on her left arm from all those years ago when Bellatrix Lestrange had tortured her, slitting her flesh with a silver knife...the same instrument that she used to kill Dobby, was still visible. It still spelt out still made her feel bad about herself in those lonely moments when she wished her blood were purer. She knew such things did not matter anymore...but they had mattered once. And history was yet again repeating itself. The Ministry was on the verge of persecuting muggle-borns. Everything was to happen again. She felt the hands of despair grabbing her from behind. Where would they go now? She knew she could not stay under a Malfoy shelter, no matter how dark it seemed outside, but where else would she go? The Weasley’s believed the Daily Prophet stories about her killing Ron...they would report her. Ginny was in Italy and possibly on Blackwell’s list as well by now. There was nowhere safe she could one to trust.

“Where will we go?” Rose was sitting opposite them, one hand placed protectively on her little brother’s knee. The images of Mrs Malfoy slapping him, and his fall to the stone cold floor were still engraved in her mind. They would be there for a long time...just as if her flesh were marked with burning iron. And she was angry. She was angry at her mother for bringing them there in the first place. She was angry at her father for dying. She was angry at Hugo for having been so silly in the most inappropriate moment and she was angry at herself for thinking poisonous thoughts.

The concealment charms placed on them by Hermione were starting to disappear. Her eyes were no longer green and her hair not as red. The freckles on her cheeks started disappearing and her flesh became paler. “Can we go home?” she asked in a sad voice. Her eyes were getting teary and for once the child monster within her took control of her mind. She no longer tried to be strong and responsible. “I want to go home,” and the tears started coming.

“Rosie, come here, honey,” said Hermione raising her hand and motioning for her daughter to embrace the hug she offered. But Rose did not move. Her head was bowed down and her hair was covering her face like a curtain concealing the rainy weather outside. She wiped her eyes in an attempt to hide her crying, but her nose gave her away. “Rosie no...It doesn’t hurt me anymore. Mommy made it go away...she made it go away. Don’t cry.” Hugo got up from his mother’s lap and went towards his sister, who, for once seemed smaller and more vulnerable than he was. He could not see her face because of the hair that was covering it, but her small sobs were still audible to him, so he did all that he could do in such a situation: he hugged her until she ceased trying to be strong and hugged him tight crying on his shoulder and placing her small hand on hi still burning cheek.

Before Hermione could join the emotional scene before her, there was a hesitant knock on the door which made Rose and Hugo look up and Hermione stand from the bed in an instant. The knock did not persist and she had the feeling that the person outside the room was rather embarrassed. “Umm...come in,” she said awkwardly, not knowing what to expect. The door opened and Draco Malfoy walked in, followed by Scorpius who looked anywhere but at Rose and Hugo. His hands were still around that precious broom of his that had caused so much trouble just one clock before.

Draco’s eyes ran from Hermione’s flushed face to Rose’s tear stained eyes and lastly, rested on Hugo’s red cheek for a moment, before returning upon Hermione. Scorpius was standing rather awkwardly behind his father, hoping that the latter’s height would conceal his presence there. His cheeks were a similar shade of red to Hugo’s yet Hermione was sure they burned in a different way. Yet before the boy had the chance to lift his eyes from his broom, she casted a rapid non-verbal concealment charm that made her hair darker, Rose’s redder and Hugo’s straighter. “What do you want?” she asked in a cold voice when the silence was becoming annoying. Draco’s eyes would not leave her face and she felt as if she were once again in the Ministry’s interrogation room, the same one from where she helped steal Umbridge’s locket all those years ago. Draco did not answer. Instead, his eyes ran to the brown leather rucksack resting on the bed, as if waiting to depart. “We’re going, Malfoy. You don’t need to bother about us any longer.”

For a mere moment, Draco seemed surprised and slightly upset. But then he placed his mask back on his face and looked indifferent. “May I ask where you will go?”

“Anywhere away from here. You do no imagine we shall remain in this place after your wife did that to my son.” She took a step forwards and Hugo though she looked a lot like Molly when telling off one of her already grown up kids.

“Yes, well that was what we were here for,” said Draco and half dragged Scorpius by his collar in front of him. My son has something to say to Harry. Go on Scorpius,” he nudged when the little blonde boy did not look up from the floor. “Scorpius?” Rose shuddered slightly at Mr Malfoy’s cold voice. She could not remember her own father ever using that tone on her or on Hugo. In fact...she could not remember her father wearing a similar black suit and living in a grand mansion. Her father seemed universes away.

“ sorry for acting like that about the broom earlier. I...umm...acted wrongly.” He did not look at Hugo while presenting his very meaningful apology, but after the words escaped his mouth, he turned a bright shade of red and pretended to be very interested in the green and silver carpet.

“My wife is also...regretful that such an incident took place upon meeting you and she is inquiring if the boy is okay.”Draco looked straight into Hermione’s eyes, yet she still knew he was lying, or at least, if not lying, made the sentence sound nicer than Astoria had intended. “Why does she not tell me that herself?” asked Hermione in a sour voice.

“Because she had to go to out and meet somebody, Welloby. Anyway, she also wanted me to tell you that, if you would like, while you and your daughter do your chores, Harry can be a playmate for Scorpius.”

Draco had not yet finished his sentence when Scorpius’ eyes widened and his mouth became an O shape, “What?”

“Quiet, boy!”Draco’s voice was severe and rather cold when talking to his son and Hermione could not help feeling a little sorry for him. “We’re leaving,” she said looking at him cautiously. “This is no place for us.”

“I beg to differ, Gra—Welloby!” The tone of his voice became slightly louder and angrier. “Outside is no place for you and you know that very well. You will never be able to find shelter or another job after the incidents of the past few days.”

“Well, I beg to differ as well, Malfoy.” Hermione took another step towards Draco and her finger instinctively went up as if she were telling off one of her children. “I do not intend to remain in this house as long as your wife touches my children like that! And to be honest--“

“Right, come outside Welloby. We need to talk!” Draco opened the door and waited for Hermione to move like a teacher angry at a naughty student. But she didn’t. She just looked at him as if there would be no greater pleasure than to just murder him. “Please,” he added in a sarcastic voice. Hermione rolled her eyes and followed Draco outside. The adults closed the door behind them, leaving the three children together in the dungeon room, hoping they would not kill each other.

“Granger don’t be stupid,” whispered Draco once he closed the door, “think of your children. I am truly sorry this thing happened in the morning, and I can assure you it never will again. I spoke to my wife about it and she will try not to lose her temper around Hugo again. She had a rough day yesterday...I’m sorry.” Hermione’s eyes widened for a moment at Draco’s apology for it seemed very sincere. “There is nowhere for you to go and Death Eaters are everywhere. They keep recruiting people. It would be very foolish for you not to stay.” She could not remember being so close to him. She could smell the aftershave on his freshly shaven face and looking up at him, the few wrinkles around his eyes. His grey eyes were cold and seemed indifferent, but she felt bare before him, as if he could see the depth of her soul and read her deepest and darkest secrets. She blushed and felt stupid for doing so. She blushed and felt as if she were betraying Ron. She blushed and blamed it on the hormonal imbalance caused by her early pregnancy. She looked down as if afraid of his reading the words that were so clearly written on her face.
For the first time since her arrival at Malfoy Manor, Hermione was speechless. She did not understand why Draco seemed so worried about them, but she had to admit he was right. There was nowhere for them to go just yet and she would be acting selfishly and stupidly if she were to leave. “I’m not too sure about the playmate thing,” she said feeling slightly angry that she had surrendered at his words, but glad that she would not be endangering her children with the brutality of the outside world.

“Do you not think it would be better for him that staying locked up in a room until you finish your chores?” he asked sarcastically. “It’s your call Granger, but why not let him decide?”She nodded ever so slightly and Draco reopened the door to the dungeon room and let Hermione enter before following her. He tried not to laugh at the scene of finding the three children in the exact same positions he had left them in. Scorpius was still glued to the carpet and his eyes looking at the floor as if it were the most interesting thing he had ever seen. At the same time, the Weasley children were staring at him as if he were a carnivorous plant about to devour them. He placed a hand on his son’s shoulder and the little blonde boy looked relieved at the return of his father.

“When are we going mommy?” asked Rose wiping away her tears. “We are going to stay here a little longer, honey. I’m afraid we can’t leave at the moment.” Rose looked from her mother to Draco and her eyes filled with tears yet again. She said nothing else, but bowed her head down, letting her hair conceal her face and hide her despair. She felt Mr Malfoy’s eyes burn her. The tears were rolling down from her cheeks to her chin, and then like young birds, flew from her face for the first time, only to be met by the inability to fly. The droplets fell on her lap with a quiet thud, as she wiped her eyes. She felt trapped.

“Harry, honey, how would you like to be Scorpius’ playmate while mommy and Rosie work?” Hermione hoped will all her heart that Hugo would decline Draco’s offer, but the little boy said nothing for a while. He looked at the older boy before him and his clenched hands holding the broken broom. Could he really be friends with someone who hated him? He could try...or he could just stay in his room and be bored. He remembered the Tom and Jerry incident at the breakfast table. It seemed years away. Would he risk a fall for a price? If he could become friends with Scorpius Malfoy, then he had days and days of games and playing with luxurious toys. If not, he would die trying, like a Dragon knight falling through the air. His daddy died like that. He needed to make Ron proud. He needed to try. “Okay,” he said in a small voice, hoping that he made the smartest decision in all his five years of living.

Scorpius tried not to groan. His father’s hard hand upon his shoulder was a reminder to be on his best behaviour or else he would suffer the consequences. “Scorpius, why don’t you show Harry to your room? And be nice,” he warned. Scorpius lifted his blue eyes from the floor and looked at the young child before him. What if he were to break something? What if he stole one of his collection dragons? He hated to keep an eye on a servant toddler. But what choice did he have? He could not go against his father’s instructions. He remembered the consequences the last time it happened and he did not need a reminder. But then his eyes ran for a moment to the curtain of red hair concealing the girl’s face. He had not seen her face properly, but he wished she could have been assigned to be his playmate instead. She seemed smarter and more careful...less likely to break something.
Could he really trust the Harry boy servant to put away all his toys after finishing playing? And what was the servant to do while he flew the broom? Surely he was too young to fly even a mini-broom and it was not as if Scorpius would ever allow him to touch his injured precious, even if his father wanted him to apologise.

“Go on,” urged Draco giving him a severe look.

“Come,” said Scorpius in a cold voice. With one glance towards his worried mother, Hugo followed the older boy outside the room, like a lamb ready for slaughter.

“You can go to the kitchen Granger. I have instructed Melvin, the chief house elf to tell you what to do. I will be taking Rose upstairs where she will meet Dolores, the house elf in charge of the garden to instruct her of her chores.” Hermione could not help rising her eyebrows at the name Draco chose for his house elf. So now she knew that he too, despised Umbridge in their fifth year, even though he pretended to worship her. She could not help wondering how much of Draco Malfoy she actually knew. Was he really the spoiled Umbridge loving boy he portrayed himself to be?

As if reading her mind, Draco offered a small smirk and said “We all had to survive fifth year somehow, Granger. I despised the woman.”

With that, Hermione gave Rose a small smile and squeezed her hand in encouragement before leaving for the kitchens. Yet in her heart, despite the fact that Draco Malfoy proved to be their chance of survival, she could not help feeling being entangled in a sticky spider web where her kids were the next meal for a Malfoy predator.

Walking besides a teary and small Rose Weasley, Draco could not help feeling slightly awkward. It was true that he had a child of his own, Scorpius, who often got teary and childish; however there was something strangely mature in the little girl’s manner. Thus words failed him and silence seemed the best option he could choose to deal with the little girl’s sniffles and trembling lower lip, at least until they reached the main level of the house, where the sunlight would reassure him that Rose was indeed a little girl.

Rose also shared the alienating feeling of awkwardness as she walked next to Mr Malfoy through the coiling, dark dungeons. She hated the aftermath of a storm...when her nose was runnier than usual and eyes red. She hated the fact that the storm residing within her made her weak and vulnerable when, for the sake of her mother and little brother, she had to stand through the storm without getting wet. She wondered whether Hugo was enjoying himself more than she did. It was true that she loved the little curly haired monster more than anything in the whole wide world, but she could not help feeling a surge of jealousy towards him. He got to play while she had to work. How was that fair? Couldn’t Mr Malfoy have assigned him the task of helping his sister in the garden since they were both clueless about how to tend bushes and feed carnivorous plants?

The tall man and little girl veered left and went up a flight of stone steps covered by a simple green carpet leading to the main floor. Already the air was warmer and the goose bumps on Rose’s arms started disappearing. The light coming from the French windows illuminated the hallway and made the furniture come to life in different shades, as if waking up from a dreamless, cold sleep. Rose looked around properly for the first time since her arrival at Malfoy Manor at the grandness of the mansion and all that rested within it. And the more she looked, the more she felt like a dirty chimney child who just stained some sort of angel’s immaculate palace. Or maybe, more accurately, like a dirty crow among white peacocks, for, Rose thought, an angel could not be married o an elegant devil who slapped her little brother. It took Rose a few minutes to snap out of her overgrown imagination and realise that Draco was eyeing her expectantly.

“I’m sorry,” she said automatically, but Draco did not seem to be annoyed at the fact that she was not listening to him. In that warm sunlight, the blueness of his eyes was so prominent, that Rose felt as if she were drowning in some far away oriental blue ocean without an end. “I didn’t hear you,” she continued looking down at the light marble floor.

“You see that terrace door over there?” he asked pointing towards one of the French windows that stood half open, allowing the breeze to play with the white silk curtains and make them dance together. Rose nodded. “Outside is a small garden with various flower pots. I want you to go there and wait for Dolores to instruct you of your chores. Every morning, I want you to report to her until you finish tending to all of the veranda gardens, and then you can move on to the big ones, but I imagine you will not be finishing the small ones until at least next week.”

Draco looked down at the little red haired girl with bewitched green eyes, at her soft childish features washed by sadness and, for a minute wondered if he treated her too much like an adult. But there was something in her eyes that reassured him she had understood. It would take Draco years to decipher that particular look in her eyes. But Rose just nodded, mumbled a “yes sir” and headed towards the veranda door.

“Rose?” The little girl turned her head around to look at Mr Malfoy, now standing a few feet away from her in the sunlight. “Be careful with the carnivorous plants,” he said and without another word disappeared through the wooden doors of some room Rose didn’t know, leaving her there even more nervous than she had been before.

Hermione’s hair resembled very much one of the overgrown bushes Rose had to tend to. After various attempts at placing it in a neat bun using that muggle brown hair-band that always rested on her left wrist, she remembered she had a wand and spellbound it in a neat ponytail to keep it out of her eyes, mentally slapping herself for not thinking of using her magic stick before.

The grand kitchens of Malfoy Manor were spectacular. There were various wooden tables which beheld various ingredients Hermione recognised from her own kitchen, but also some she saw in those expensive cookery boutiques on Diagon Alley, which she never dreamt of stepping in. There were various tall cupboards which she didn’t open, but was sure would contain magnificent silverware and china plates with gold foil on the margin. She snorted at the malfoyness of the place. There were tall candles in nearly every corner of the kitchen, illuminating the place so that she and the house elves could see what they were actually doing. There was also natural light coming from magical windows of a small garden outside. Hermione always loved magical architecture, because even if the kitchens were located in the depths of the Malfoy dungeons, there were still ways to give it small windows and sunlight.

That particular morning, the kitchen was extremely busy and encapsulated by hundredths of smells and aromas that drove Hermione’s senses wild. This was one of those times when Hermione was utterly annoyed with being pregnant, especially as she found herself in one of those situations when she had to make a good first impression on her fellow house elves. For the past half an hour since she had entered the Malfoy Kitchens, all of the round eyes belonging to the little wrinkled creatures had resided on her. Even when she was politely given the task to cut some garlic, Melvin, the chief house elf constantly stared at her hand just to make sure she didn’t cut one of her fingers instead. It seemed as if they could not believe, despite the fact that she told them so with her own mouth, that she had cooked before on numerous occasions. But they still insisted it was unlikely, since all the wizardry families owned house elves to do the cooking and cleaning and all the other less desirable everyday chores. When she mentioned to them, that she believed in the rights of house elves, they started at her as one would look at a dog claiming to be a cat.

“Melvin kindly asks you to make haste with the garlic sauce, Madam,” said Melvin attempting to give Hermione, or Anna as they all knew her by, a small smile. He didn’t particularly like the human, but it was in the code of elves to be respectful with beings considered more advanced than themselves.

“Melvin, you know you can just call me Anna...” started Hermione but all set of house elf eyes turned upon her once more as if she said something incredibly delirious.

“Melvin cannot do that madam. Melvin was taught to respect higher blood creatures. You must not make Melvin break his vows.” The house elf looked a little intrigued at the new kitchen human. She did not cast her eyes upon him and his fellow house elves as if they were inferior beings. He even saw her smiling once or twice at some younger members of his house elf kitchen clan.

“There’s no such thing as higher blood, Melvin. That’s just pure-blood ideology that you must not listen to if....” but she stopped in the middle of the sentence, as all the house elves in the kitchen came around her, much like primary school children around an intriguing new teacher.

“You must not say things like these around here, Madam,” said a female house elf, dressed in a worn out purple pillow case with a matching small bow placed by her ear. “If master heard you talk of such things, he would punish you.” Hermione tried not to smirk at the images that entered her mind of the ways in which Draco Malfoy could punish her, but, upon remembering who she was and what her purpose there was, she abruptly pushed the thoughts out of her head and became horrified at what her mind was sometimes capable of creating.
She blushed to a deep crimson colour before looking at Melvin, who seemed even more intrigued at her alien reactions than before.

“Master Malfoy has been very kind to Melvin and his friends,” said the house elf, resting slightly on his wooden walking stick, his white hair sticking up and reminding Hermione a little of a house elf version of Dumbledore. “He offered us shelter in the Malfoy Dungeons when our village up in the east burned down. Master has been very kind! All we are required to do is to serve three generations of the Malfoy family.” Hermione thought of the easiness with whcih Melvin revealed that he had to serve the Malfoy families for approximately 300 years, and couldn't help snorting.

He placed a little trembling hand of Hermione’s elbow for he could reach no higher and continued, “Melvin asks you to respect Master Malfoy too, Madam.”

Hermione felt a little taken aback. She knew house elves respected their masters, no matter how cruel their masters were. But Melvin seemed to exercise something more than respect towards Draco...affection maybe? “Shall we get back to work then, Melvin?” she asked, wishing the little creatures would just stop staring at her. She needed time to think of how Draco must have bewitched these poor house elves to worship him.

“Certainly Madam,” said Melvin and with one arm, seemed to be pushing a younger looking house elf towards a little door that Hermione presumed led to their headquarters. “But...but, Melvin, she knew...she knew...”

“Not now, Jinxy. Not now,” said the older house elf, guiding the younger, female house elf towards the doors. “I’m sure it was her!”persisted the younger house elf. “She knew Dobby! It’s all the drawings Dobby left behind...I’m sure it was her!”

“You’re confusing her with someone else!” whispered Melvin, in a harsher voice. We don’t know anything about this stop it!” Jinxy seemed to have given up, and with one last look towards Hermione, she disappeared through the small door.

Hermione’s mind was working at full speed, half concentrating on the dish she had to prepare and half on the Jinxy house elf who just recognised her. She was unsure whether to take the house elf’s recognition as a threat or not, but if indeed Jinxy had known Dobby, then she was surely not threat. She placed the incident at the back of her mind and decided to think of it later. Now her train of thoughts was directed towards Rose...

“There you go, child creature,” said Dolores handing the little girl a small bag filled with gardening tools. It was half covered in dry mud, but Rose just placed it around her small waits looking at Dolores with apprehension. She had never seen a house- elf before, but she always read that they were supposed to be friendly. As if she were the subject of a bad joke, Dolores was anything but friendly. The wrinkled creature in possession of a long, pointed nose, sharp ears and huge eyes gave her untrustworthy looks every time Rose caught her eye. She even heard her mumble something about the unfairness of having a little dwarf person to look after in the garden. Rose thought it was highly unfair that Dolores thought her to be short, when in fact she was an entire head above the wrinkled creature.

She had been with Dolores in the first veranda garden for the past fifteen minutes, and she already felt much worse about the task ahead. The house elf mumbled something which was supposed to be an explanation every time she cut off leaves and dried plant trunks, before taking the broom and cleaning the stone floor off dried leaves and dead flower petals. Every time she found a snail, she would prop it in her large mouth, chew on it until green mucus was visible in her mouth’s corners and then spit the shell out. Rose felt sick so decided not to look at the disturbing creature any longer than necessary. After finishing the first veranda, Dolores gave Rose an expectant look and pointed with her abnormally large finger towards the second one, a few meters away. “That’s your job!” she said in a disagreeable voice before flicking her fingers and disappearing from the scene.

Rose felt a little happier at the fact that she was alone...yet at the same time more nervous. What if she did something wrong? Would Mr Malfoy slap her the way his wife slapped Hugo? But, she thought, gardening couldn’t be that hard. She just had to cut off the dry parts of plants, right? And she much rather preferred being alone in the garden than to have the strange being call her “child creature.”

The arrival of autumn made the second veranda garden a mess. There
were about ten large pots filled with plants Rose recognised to be regular flora, and strange plants she only came across in her mother’s Herbology books. Most had lost their summary bright colours, and those that did not become rusty were galvanised by a dark blue colour. The only flowers that seemed unaffected by the claws of autumn were the prominent Red Roses, bathing that small garden with a strong, sharp smell which indulged both the senses and the soul.

Rose felt as if she could have stood there the entire day, unmindful of the cold northerly wind, dreaming she was one of the delicate red roses. But when she opened her eyes once more, to see her own reflection in the French windows, she saw the servant uniform she now had to wear and remembered who she really was. So she took her pair of scissors out and started chopping off the dry dead leaves, just like Geon had done. She found some of the leaves of the plants she never encountered before very interesting to the touch. Some were smooth like the waters of an undisturbed lake others had small hairs that stood up when she touched them. She never thought of plants as such interesting creatures before...and gardening did not seem as bad as she imagined it to be. As she was chopping off the senseless, dry leaves, the smell of roses constantly bathed her with a smell of being alive and despite all that happened to her family since Ron died, she felt a little optimistic about life after all.

But soon enough she reached a point where the indulgence of the roses made her concentrate less upon what she had to do, and so the sharp pair of scissors slices off a very large green and lively leaf. There was a sharp cry of pain as the plant which had just lost a healthy leaf to the hands of a little girl who did not know how to a pair of scissors. Before Rose could react to the unexpected voice of nature, the top of the plant, which seemed like nothing more than a large, dark blue flower at first, closed its petals like a stabbed eye, and when the petals opened again, they were coated by many sharp teeth. Rose was still holding on to its thin trunk, too bewitched by a process of transformation of the plant from a beautiful innocent flower, into a carnivorous angry flora, thus she did not have enough time to withdraw her left arm as its sharp teeth bit hard into her soft flesh, washing the stones beneath Rose’s feet into a puddle of red blood.

She screamed and tried to get away, only the plant had stabbed her with its teeth too deep. She fell to the floor, tears sprinting from her eye, but the plant only bit harder as Rose screamed and kicked. The pain was too much...she felt it even in the depths of the bones and the sharp smell of Roses made her want to throw up. When she opened her eyes, her vision was spotted by black dots; her body became number, consumed by pain. She heard someone’s heavy footsteps running towards he, followed by a jet of green light as the carnivorous plant consuming her arm dropped dead in her blood. Yet the pain was still there, her arm was still throbbing with pain as if the teeth were still inserted in her flesh. She felt someone’s arm go beneath her neck, as the person’s other hand gently took her injured arm and placed it upon her abdomen. She opened her teary eyes and saw the severe, cold face of a man with icy eyes and pale blonde hair falling around his face like a veil of silk. He was saying something to her, but the words were too far away, as if channelled through a long, curving tunnel with too much echo.

“Oh Lucius, poor child!” Narcissa Malfoy finally caught up with Lucius, who was now holding the little injured girl in his arms. She kneeled down next to them and placed her hand on Rose’s sweaty forehead. “She looks terrible!”

Rose attempted to open her eyes a little, but the light was too bright. Nevertheless, she managed to see the face of a very beautiful blonde woman. Her features were cold but soft at the same time, and in her feminine face she saw Draco looking back at her. Her eyes rolled back as she finally gave in to unconsciousness in the arms of the two people that would possibly turn to be the most influential couple in her

A/N Once again, I am really sorry for such a long delay. I hope the action in this chapter made up fro its absence for such a long time. Anyway, thank you so, so, so much to everyone who has read this so far and even more so, to all the kind people who have reviewed so far! Your reviews are always so encouraging and constructive, that I honestly don't know how to thak you. I promise I shall try my best with this story. Oh and before I forget, I must mention that the idea of Hugo being a playmate for Scorpius belongs to Mrs Felton who presented this idea to me in a lovely review. Thank you for this, Mrs Fellton! It will definitely be a nice variation to experiment with in the next chapter and I really hope you'll enjoy that.

Once again, many, many, many thanks for reading and reviewing and please let me know what you thought of this chapter!!! :)


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