Bonjour/salut, Hola, Guten Tag, Hello and all that. Hope you’re all well my dearest’s! So I hope you’re enjoying! I’m having loads of fun writing this by the way. This chapter should be exciting! :D
Shafts of sunlight streamed through the bedroom window, illuminating the particles of dust swirling in the air. The figure in the slightly sad excuse for a double bed rolled over and buried her head in the pillow, as if to shut out the world. An owl screeched in its cage in one corner of the room, causing the figure to jump up abruptly, scrabbling for her wand before realising that there was no danger. Pushing her unruly hair out of her eyes, Hermione Weasley rolled out of bed and slung on a dressing gown and slippers. She checked her watch. It was well past ten, Ron must have already gone to work. Padding down the stairs, she peeked in at Rose who was still fast asleep clutching her book of muggle fairytales, auburn hair fanning around her. A soft smile crept onto Hermione’s face and she started humming until she got to the kitchen and spotted the drawing of a handsome young boy that had been brushed onto the side along with Harry’s letter. She stopped in her tracks as everything came flooding back to her; Scorpius Malfoy, the address, the memories. What was the address again? She racked her brain for a minute before remembering, 13 Blackwidow House, Halfpenny Hill, London. With a sigh she wrote it down on a bit of paper. She would drink a lot of strong coffee and hope that it gave her enough confidence to pay Mr. Draco Malfoy a visit. She thought about Scorpius Malfoy. From what Rose had told her yesterday he had a rather big crush on her daughter, and her daughter on him. She wondered what he was like. If he was even half as irritating and arrogant as his father had been at that age, she doubted Rose would have looked twice at him, just as she had hated Draco for most of her school years. No, Hermione suspected that Scorpius was quite different from his father, and she was longing to know in what way.
Quickly rustling up some toast and coffee, Hermione ate hurriedly at the table. So many thoughts were going through her mind that she couldn’t quite keep track of them all. She tried to remember the last time she had seen him. Draco Malfoy. The words rolled over her tongue as she spoke them out loud and with a shiver of regret realised that it had been over 13 years since she had last heard them, let alone spoken them aloud. That didn’t mean she hadn’t thought them, she had thought about him every day for years until she had finally forced herself to let go of the past, locking all the memories and feelings into a dark, deep corner of her mind. She imagined there was a massive muggle DANGER sign above this particular box. But now the memories were seeping out of the box, polluting her mind. She let herself get lost in them, allowing herself a brief taste of the bittersweet flavour that was Draco Malfoy.
It was a memory from about 11 years ago. Hermione was at home, watching television from her awkward position on the couch. She moaned slightly and rubbed a heavily pregnant stomach. Every few moments she jerked slightly, as if to run to the bathroom, before sinking back onto the pillows with a sigh. She spoke to the baby inside her softly,
“What are we going to do with you, then, flower?” she whispered, “We need to give you a name soon.” A thoughtful look crossed her face and she stared, unseeing at the television.
“Your daddy likes Henrietta and your Grandma Molly likes Katie. I don’t think they’re quite right, are they flower? Silly daddy, everyone would nickname you Henry or even worse, Etta!” She got a visible kick from the baby in response, “Yes, you’re right. Awful.”
A few moments passed in a comfortable silence except for the soft laughter emitting from the television. The close bond already forming between mother and daughter was evident.
Suddenly a loud crack from outside caused Hermione to utter a soft scream and scrabble for her wand, frowning worriedly. Footsteps crunched through the gravel and Hermione looked around wildly, wondering what to do. A shadowy face appeared at the window, and Hermione raised her wand defiantly pointing it at the figure. The face came into focus and she gasped in shock. Blonde hair neatly combed across his head and an expensive grey suit to match the haunted eyes that were looking into her soft brown ones. Hermione lowered the wand slowly and ran to the window, scrabbling frantically to get it open. But Draco just nodded at her once in quiet understanding. Hermione looked back at him and for about a minute neither of them moved. Then Draco vanished. Hermione stared at the place he had been, tears cascading down her cheeks, and dropped to the floor.
Hermione sighed, finishing her coffee. She kicked herself for being so weak in that memory. She supposed it could always have been the raging hormones in her pregnant body, but she hated showing signs of weakness. She had to find some answers. She was going.
She sent an owl to Ginny, asking if she could bring the cousins and look after Ginny for the day, but not exactly explaining why. On the way back upstairs, Rose came stumbling out of her room, yawning.
“Morning, Flower! Sleep well?” asked Hermione.
“Sort of. Why are you suddenly calling me flower again?” Rose laughed sleepily, “You haven’t used that old nickname in ages!”
“No reason,” shrugged Hermione, “Aunt Ginny and the cousins are coming soon, so you might want to get dressed. I have to go and meet someone quickly.”
“Which cousins are coming?”
“James, Al and Rose. Possibly Fred, Roxie and Mike too, depends on whether they were sleeping over last night or not. You know how Uncle George and Uncle Fred work too much on that shop of theirs, often sleeping in the flat above.”
“Yeah, they probably were. I just hope James’s girlfriend doesn’t come. She’s unbearable!” scowled Rose.
“She’s not that bad!” smiled Hermione.
“She is!” persisted Rose, “She’s so possessive and snobby.”
“Well you, Al, Lily, Fred and Mike had better not play any more pranks on her!” Hermione warned.
“What about Roxanne!”
“She’s far too mature!” Hermione and Rose both laughed, remembering how Roxanne was in her far-too-cool-for-my-embarrassing-family stage. Rose clopped down the stairs in her massive slippers, and Hermione went the opposite direction, up to her room. Talking to her daughter had made her feel much better, but she couldn’t help feeling close to hyperventilation as she leafed through the clothes in her side of the wardrobe. What was she supposed to wear? Did she want to look glamorous or intimidating? She picked out a small red summer dress, even though it was nearly Christmas, and a smart black jacket and heels to go with it. Ginny had told her once that red clothes made you feel more confident. She surveyed her reflection in the mirror that was on the inside of the door. It wasn’t working, she still felt bloody terrified. She decided to go for a more natural look, choosing jeans and a loose red shirt which she tucked in. A silver belt snaked around her tiny waist and she cast a few spells on her hair to straighten it out, and clipped half of it behind her head. There, that felt better. She still had the confident red colour but felt more easy and natural. Perfect. Loud bangs and shrieks of laughter came from downstairs, announcing Ginny’s arrival. Hermione was relieved she had come but not altogether surprised. The Weasley’s, Potter’s, Lupin’s and Black’s would die for each other if need be, never mind a quick babysit. They were constantly at each other’s houses anyway. Hermione thought about her remarkably large family. The closest to them were Harry and Ginny. Rose and Lily were best friends, even though Rose was a year older, and James and Al were very protective of both girls. Then there was George and Angelina with their children Fred and Roxanne. Roxanne was going into 5th year at Hogwarts; Fred was with Albus, Mike and Carlotta going into 4th year. Fred and his wife Luella had one son called Mike. Then there was Bill and Fleur with daughters Victoire and Carlotta. Victoire, James Potter and Teddy Lupin were in the same year. The Lupin’s were happily celebrating the birth of their daughter, Marlene. And lastly, there was Percy Weasley, Alison and little Molly who was just 5. Sirius and Isabella Black were also frequent visitors.
As Hermione finished running off this mental list, from which she suddenly remembered that she hadn’t even mentioned Molly and Arthur, the proud grandparents, she hurried downstairs to see what damage had been done to her house.
Marcia was yelling again. Draco Malfoy groaned and let her irritating complaints and accusations wash over him, worrying about whether his son could hear this. What was he thinking? Of course Scorpius could hear, and it always upset him. Why was the bloody woman so damn angry all the time?
Marcia Chase was Draco’s ex-wife. She came from a long line of Pureblood Chases, all of whom had tempers like firecrackers and selfish natures. He had been forced into the marriage by his father, and a few weeks later Marcia had discovered that she was pregnant. It had been the worst day of his life, that day, but surprisingly the result had been his wonderful son Scorpius, who Draco cherished and lavished all his attention on. Of course, Marcia had been the worst mother in the world, constantly slapping Scorpius and yelling her head off. Draco divorced her as soon as possible, but legal requirements meant she had to visit once a month.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU LET THE LITTLE BRAT PLAY WITH THOSE FILTHY MUGGLES NEXT DOOR! GERMS AND MUD ALL OVER HIM! HE’S A DISGRACE TO ALL WIZARDS AND I WISH HE HAD NEVER BEEN BORN!”
“If you wish he’d never been born then why do you care so much that he was playing with some muggle boys from next door,” Draco smoothly replied, the iciness in his voice evident.
“I don’t care a bloody bit about him! I wish I’d never met you or ruined my waist by having the little BASTARD!” screamed Marcia, her usually porcelain-like skin reddening by the minute, nostrils flaring. She was really quite ugly when she was shouting. Draco stood up sharply when she called his son a bastard. It was too much.
“I am going to have to ask you to leave my house. How dare you insult my son in that way? Your son? What kind of person does that?” his voice was a low growl.
“YOU CANNOT JUST KICK ME OUT OF HERE, DRACO MALFOY! I HAVEN’T FINISHED WITH YOU YET, IT’S A FUC-“
“Well I HAVE finished with you. Get OUT!” Draco snapped his wand round and Marcia flew backwards into the door. She wasn’t hurt, but her pride was in tatters. She let out a howl of rage and stormed out, slamming the door so violently that the walls shook. Draco sank back down into his chair, worn out by the conversation- if it could be called such- with his ex. A few minutes passed before a small blonde head peeked around the door, eyes red and puffy.
“Dad…” the boy said tentatively. Draco looked round and saw his son looking at him with round eyes. He sighed wearily and patted the arm of his chair, motioning to Scorpius to come and sit down next to him.
“I’m sorry Scorp. Mum’s just grumpy again.”
“Mum’s always grumpy though. Have I done something bad?”
“No!” Draco pulled his soon into a rough one-armed hug, “It’s nothing to do with you whatsoever!”
“But she said she wished I was never born,” the boy’s face fell. Draco scowled at his absent ex, and started striding around the room,
“She’s just being bitc…I mean she’s just being stupid. Come on, shall we go and see if Aaron’s in? You can use those new rollerskit things you both wanted.”
“Sure,” replied Scorpius running up the stairs to go and fetch them. As soon as he had gone, Draco collapsed into the chair again. Barely a minute later, a succession of sharp raps sounded on the door. Growling in irritation, Draco stalked over to the door. If it was Marcia again he swore to himself that he would personally send her to hell. He opened the door. It was worse than Marcia.
As soon as Hermione got into the kitchen, Ginny stopped trying to restrain Lily from beating up Al, who was standing on the table laughing, and rushed to hug Hermione.
“How are you? I came as soon as I could,” she broke off as Lily got hold of a saucepan and started throwing it at her brother who deftly ducked. It sailed over his head and landed on James’s toe who let out a yell and rugby tackled Lily. Fred, Rose and Mike where doubled over in hysterical laughter while Roxanne looked annoyed and inspected her already perfect nails.
“STOP THAT RIGHT NOW, JAMES! She’s only ten!” screamed Ginny, as James sat up panting and rubbing his toe.
“But she’s dangerous, mum! It’s not fair, I always get blamed!”
“You are SIXTEEN YEARS OLD! Now grow up while I talk to Hermione,” sighing, Ginny turned back to face Hermione.
“Thanks so much for coming, Gin, but are you sure you can manage this?” asked Hermione, a worried look on her face as she gestured to the upside down table and dented saucepans. Ginny smiled unconcernedly,
“Of course! It’s just the daily routine in the world of Mrs. Potter!” she laughed.
“Ok,” smiled Hermione, “I should be back by lunch!” and she started to pull on a coat and hat. Ginny’s smile faltered,
“Where exactly are you going? You never said who you were meeting or where it was,” Ginny looked a bit suspicious.
“I’ll…I’ll tell you later,” rushed Hermione as she flew out the door, calling to Rose over her shoulder,
“Be good, flower!”
There was a minute of silence in the kitchen before James smirked at Rose,
His father stood before him. The same person as he had been thirteen years ago, when Draco had last had contact with him. Silver hair slickly oiled back, crisp grey silk coat and silver cane. His eyes were the same too. Fathomless and cruel, sparkling with raw insanity. Draco could barely contain his hatred. He felt like he was going to explode with the effort of keeping it contained, bubbling under his skin. But his eyes gave him away. They always gave him away.
“Draco. Same as always, I see.” Before Draco could react, Lucius Malfoy had pushed past him into the house.
“Get. Out,” Draco spat, anger overriding fear at this moment.
“Oh, no. Not before I have got what I came for. Where is he?” Lucius pleasantly asked, but he slid his wand out and started to fiddle with it. Fear flashed across Draco’s face and Lucius smiled as he saw it.
“Where’s who?” Draco tried to stay calm and feign ignorance. Lucius chuckled coldly before leaning over his son and whispering coldly,
“The boy, Draco. I require the boy.”
“He’s not here,” snarled Draco, just as Scorpius came into the room carrying his skates. When he saw the scene in the living room he dropped them on the floor and tried to run to his dad, but Lucius tripped him up with his cane. He landed heavily and let out a cry of pain.
“Still your mouth. Crying is a weakness I will not tolerate,” hissed Lucius.
“How DARE you speak to my son like that-“ started Draco, before Lucius shot a silencing spell at him and Scorpius, the force of which sent them both flying backwards. Silent tears streamed down Scorpius’s face.
“Listen closely,” began Lucius, “I wish for the boy to come and stay with me for a week. I believe that I have missed out on some quality time with my…grandson,” he smiled at Scorpius but the smile did not reach his eyes, “I will give you two days until your answer. It had better be the right one.” He lifted the silencing charm and disapparated. Scorpius and Draco stared at each other.
“I won’t let him take you, Scorp.”
“I won’t let him take you either, daddy.”
They sat drinking hot chocolate in front of a fire. There was silence until a soft tap on the door echoed through the house. Terror flashed across Scorpius’s face and resignation across Draco’s. He crossed to the door and opened it for the third time that day, prepared for another unpleasant surprise. It was possibly the worst of the lot.
As Hermione walked through the white lanes and fields, snow crunching under her boots, she tried to contain the rising nausea in her chest. It would be OK, she kept repeating to herself, she was just paying a friendly visit. Yeah, after thirteen years! As if. She found his house quite easily. It wasn’t nearly as grand or smart as she had expected. It was white and tall with neat gardens and a black front door. There was an air of despair surrounding it that afternoon. She stood looking at a particularly beautiful white rose for about five minutes. It wasn’t really white, she decided, it was more of a pale cream. A light dusting of snow had frosted the edges of each petal and it looked exquisite. She mentally slapped herself for procrastinating and gathering her courage, knocked softly on the door. There was a long pause in which Hermione felt half dead with fear. It opened. He was standing there, in tight Jeans and an untucked shirt. His tousled blonde hair framed his tanned face and stormy grey eyes. She felt as fragile as that rose under his astonished gaze. She tried to smile but it caught in her throat. She almost choked.
“Draco Malfoy,” she whispered tearfully. A look of pure happiness lit up his face for a moment and his eyes cleared to a bright silver colour,
“Hermione…Weasley,” Draco whispered, his eyes clouding over once more and he turned his head away.
A/N aaaargh!!! What happens do I hear you asking?? Well you’ll have to wait and see my dearies! Sorry for the cliffie!! (actually I’m not, I love cliffies! Lol) Keep reading and reviewing. I love my reviews! :D