After a long wait, here's the 10th chapter!! Thanks to princess052099, sbmcneil, serpentqueen, KxxDxx, romance4ever, a rollerball, HermionelovesRon24, Jakumo1, Dagger, Emerald-eyed Cat, slytherindraco, silent wolf, and Avanell2 for the simply lovely reviews! I'm sorry I haven't posted this in a while; I've been working on a new series that's almost coming to a close that you might want to check out- it's called Hogwarts, Je T'aime. Anyways, there's my usual disclaimer of not owning anything the brilliant JKR wrote.
Now, on with the story!
“Professor, please! It’s past 2 already, I must ask you to keep your voice lowered,” Poppy admonished.
“Voice be damned,” Hermione snapped back. “My so- my student might be dead!”
This last shriek upped an octave.
With those words, Poppy Pomfrey sprang into action, with movements faster than that of a young child who has eaten candy. Swishing her wand around, she muttered incantations and poured potions down Castor’s throat. The one time she did slow down was to address Hermione:
“Professor, I need to ask you to call St. Mungo’s. The boy is in dire need of Urgent Care. I fear that I am not trained enough to…”
She didn’t finish, but Hermione knew what the nurse was trying to say. That Poppy simply hadn’t the experience that it would take to save Castor’s life. With a single flick, Hermione’s message was travelling faster than an owl to the emergency ward at St. Mungo’s.
Draco clenched his teeth. His fists were balled at his sides. Anger in his eyes, Draco marched up to the silver doorknocker.
“Drake! What are you doing here?” a cheerful Blaise Zabini answered the door.
“Inside please, Zabini.”
Curious, Blaise agreed and lead Draco to an informal sitting room.
“Now, Drake, can you please explain why you banged on my door in the middle of the night, disturbing me from my beauty sleep?”
“Pardon? I thought you said…”
“You heard right, Zabini. Or should I say Riddle? You are a no-good, love-hating bastard just like your father.”
“She told you?”
Blaise’s demeanor changed. Suddenly, his eyes grew narrow as he concentrated on Draco’s words. They were slits. Just like Tom Riddle’s had been. Draco had to think fast. He had to save Hermione from Blaise. He did what he knew how to do better than anyone else.
“No. She did not tell me. I had to read through all of her memories- my son was in danger. Consequentially, I stumbled upon some really remarkable memories.”
He could feel Blaise probing his thoughts with steely fingers, but Draco had not been taught Occlumency by Bellatrix Lestrange for nothing. The inner web of his mind became taut. His resolution hardened, but he showed no exerted strain outwardly. It would not do for Blaise to be suspicious. Hermione would only be hurt in that process.
“Well, Riddle?” Draco drawled, “Now that you have perused my own memories, care to explain why exactly you decided to threaten and hurt her?”
“You were going to marry her.”
“Yes. I was. I was going to be happy, happier than I’d been for my entire life. I was going to be married to the love of my life. And you stripped that away from me.”
“I was only doing what your dear parents would have done.”
“You’re wrong. My mother would have loved to have Hermione in the family. She told me so herself.”
“That’s a lie…”
“Want a bet? I’ll quote her for you: “That dear Granger girl seems so clever. And rather pretty. I’d much rather you date her than that nasty Parkinson child. Don’t marry a girl you can’t respect. Brains are a necessity for Malfoy women after all, Draco.”
So as you can see, my mother seemed quite enlightened by the thought of Hermione becoming a Malfoy.”
“Well Lucius would never have agreed,” Blaise sneered.
“Yes he would have, though not for the same reasons as my mother. He would have agreed for if I married the brains of the Golden Trio, the Malfoy name would have been boosted. In fact, he was egging me on to marry her. I think, Riddle, that you ruined my father’s plans,” Draco said casually, trying not to let his temper take over. That would not end well.
“Draco, if you married a Mudblood, you would have been ruined. You had nothing in common, you had both hated each other for years…she even punched you! And still, you were hopelessly besotted with her. What kind of best friend would I have been had I not interfered?” he challenged.
“An understanding one. An empathetic one. A changed person. The fact that you still call her a Mudblood proves that the war taught you nothing. Your father was a loser, Blaise. Get it straight. He wasn’t even a Pureblood. You’re not even a Pureblood. Your grandfather was a Muggle- not even a Mudblood! So don’t lecture me about blood purity, half-Blood,” Draco spat, “for you will receive no sympathy here. You want to protect bloodlines? Well how about you go back in time and prevent Merope Gaunt from meeting Tom Riddle Sr so that your selfish, evil bastard of a sire wouldn’t be born to contaminate your
bloodlines? Until then, don’t you dare say you are trying to protect blood purity.”
Blaise’s face curled into a glare as Draco called him a half-Blood. Draco had always been particularly clever at switching a situation to benefit him. And yet again, he had done so. How could he respond? Draco had said the truth. But it didn’t eliminate Blaise’s hatred of Mudbloods. They were filthy, dirty beings. They didn’t deserve to even walk on the Earth alongside anyone of magical blood. As he was contemplating, he noticed Draco pull out a small knife and make a small cut on his arm.
“Look at my arm, Riddle. Do you see my blood? My, how red it is! Now let’s look at your blood.”
Draco made a gash on Blaise’s arm.
“Hmm…it seems as if your blood is just as red. Odd. Shouldn’t it be contaminated with filth? Or perhaps you’re just an ignorant sod. Next time you decide to rant about blood, take that into consideration. Oh, and Zabini? This is for Hermione.”
Draco punched Blaise in the face. Blaise had a feeling of déjà vu.
“And this, this is for my son!”
Another blow hit Blaise in the face.
“By the way, it’s too late to run. The Aurors are already here.”
“Why would I run, Malfoy?” he sneered. “I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“Oh, I believe you have. Murdering hundreds of house elves and burning libraries constitute criminal sentences,” Draco spat back. “Have fun in Azkaban!”
Blaise’s face paled. He lunged towards his wand. It was always on the nearest table for easy access…yet it wasn’t today…
“Looking for something, Zabini?” Draco smirked as he twirled a familiar looking, 9 ½ cherry wood, dragon heartstring cored wand.
Blaise’s eyes were crazed. He was not going to be taken. Not without a fight. He launched himself at Draco, trying to punch the git who had just ruined his life.
He didn’t get very far. A few minutes later, the Boy-Who-Lived himself picked Blaise off Draco and cuffed him with magical shackles.
“Blaise Zabini, you are hereby under arrest for the following crimes: arson, murder of the dozen House Elves of Hogwarts, and the attempted murder of the minor Castor Malfoy,” Harry read.
Blaise opened his mouth in protest. How did they know he’d tried to murder the brat? Merlin, it must have been that Mudblood…Knowing he was condemned, he spoke out viciously.
“He could have stayed safe if he hadn’t tried meddling in my business,” Blaise spat. Draco’s mouth thinned, his lips pressed tightly together in order to save himself from saying something rash.
“And Potter? It isn’t over. Just because you have me, it isn’t over.”
Just as Harry and his team were about to Floo Blaise to the ministry, something else proved a roadblock.
There was a little girl. Her hair was jet black, her eyes were a brilliant violet and she was wearing unicorn pajamas.
“Daddy? Why are you going?”
Here eyes filled with tears and her lip trembled. Blaise gave his daughter one last glance. She hadn’t been enough to save him. But she would not go down with him. He shoved up his pride and said:
That was all. Then Blaise Zabini was taken away. Draco Malfoy stood with the little girl, who couldn’t have been more than four. He felt conflicted. Here was the granddaughter of Voldemort, the daughter of the very man who had tried to murder Castor. He didn’t want anything to do with the Riddle bloodline. And yet…she was still a child. She was an innocent child, who had just seen/heard the violent arrest of her father, perhaps her only living parent. He could not condemn her based on her sires.
“Hello, sweetheart. I’m your Uncle Draco…I’m your dad’s friend. What’s your name?”
“Your dad wants me to take care of you for a while. Will you come with me? You can meet my wife, Astoria, and my children.”
“Where’s my daddy?”
“He’s…on a trip…” Draco faltered.
“When is he back?”
“I…I don’t know.”
“I’m scared,” the girl cried. Tears rolled down her face, drenching her stuffed Pygmy Puff.
“Shh…there there, Iris. It will be alright. Don’t worry, Uncle Draco will take care of you.”
He’d had plenty of experience with crying girls. He’d made many cry in school, in his early years to be precise, and he’d watched his girlfriends and wives cry. He’d also seen his daughter grow up, tears and laughter and all, so Draco Malfoy was not ignorant towards crying females. He took the small girl in his arms, hugging her until she was calm and he handed her two things: a handkerchief to dry her face off and a Chocolate Frog to calm her down. Then he sent the Patronus.
Astoria Malfoy sat down wearily. It had been a long day for her, as she not only had her new business to run (for she had launched a fashion line with Madame Malkins: practical yet stylish robes), but she was also preparing a surprise party for Cassie, who was soon to turn twelve. Running her fingers through her blonde hair, she looked over the designs for the hundredth time. Then the silver dragon flew in.
“Coming home now with Iris Zabini, 4 year old. Can you get some of Cassie’s old things down and a few snacks? Horrible evening, will tell you the entire story when I return. I love you.”
Astoria’s heart almost burst. Here her husband was dealing with so many things, yet he still found time to help out another soul. He was so kind, and it reminded Astoria of why she loved Draco. With the assistance of a free house-elf, Astoria was able to fix up a room near her and Draco’s room, with many of Cassie’s old belongings. The room was fit for a princess. She then baked a batch of cookies- with her magical oven of course- and brought out a glass of milk to go with it.
Draco appeared with a small girl in his arms.
“Iris, this is my wife. She is your Auntie Astoria. Tori, this is Zabini’s kid.”
“Hello Iris,” Astoria smiled. “Would you like a cookie?”
The girl nodded shyly and ate the cookie offered. Astoria motioned to let Draco know she would take care of the child and that he could return to Hogwarts for Castor. Merlin, did Draco Malfoy love his wife.
Castor had been too unstable to move, so St. Mungo’s officials had brought equipment to the Hospital Wing. The staff worked on him for several hours before affirming that he would, at least, survive the night. There was nothing more that they could do until he regained consciousness.
It was nearly 4 in the morning now. Hermione had drifted off to sleep in the chair right beside Castor’s bed, murmuring distractedly in her sleep. The doors of the hospital wing quietly opened and a lithe figure slipped in. She made her way towards Castor, silently and swiftly.
“You are an incredibly selfish person. It’s always about you. Always. You have to know what’s going on, but how can you not, your parents being who they are? Still. Did you even think about anyone else? Of course not. Sometimes, you make me feel like a fool. You rushed in, thinking rashly, and look what happened! If you die, I will never forgive you. I love you. I love you even though you didn’t think of me or anyone else when you almost died tonight. Please, Castor, please don’t die. I love you.”
She bent over, her blonde hair falling in her face as she placed a neat kiss on his lips. Then she walked away, tears cascading down.
Minutes later, Castor awoke with a deep breath.
Who's the blonde girl? What will happen to little Iris Zabini? Questions? Comments? Please review!! I love hearing feedback from you all!