Chapter 19 : Chapter Nineteen – Insert your own mushy Title for the Enormous Amount of Emotional Content to Follow
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Warning: reference to torture
All eyes were on Draco following Evvie’s comment; he felt the sweat start to pool on his palms. He didn’t want to go to Azkaban; it was self defense…right?
“Yes” whispered Draco, “He was going to kill Evvie, I couldn’t let that happen, I thought I’d lost her once already that night, it was in defense” he mumbled, “Am I going to Azkaban?” he asked worriedly.
“No you are not” replied the Auror in charge who had just walked into the room.
“Mr. Zabini welcome back” he added, “Son we have been trying to locate and execute Marcus Boyle for over a decade. Mr. Zabini here wasn’t the only person to go missing by Marcus’s hands though he was the only one to survive. You’ve done the world a great justice by getting rid of Marcus, no doubt you’ll be rewarded handsomely by the Ministry for your achievement” commented the Auror as he retreated from the room.
Draco breathed a sigh of relief that he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. He’d been so scared that his actions would have given him a one way ticket to hell. From the mistakes he’d made during the war he’d learnt to keep his head down and not draw unnecessary attention. In everything that had happened, Draco had only been concerned with saving Evvie but in the aftermath and recovery he’d began to worry about what would happen to him. Thankfully the Auror had set him on the straight and narrow but he still wondered what would happen to his soul. He was already so broken; his soul was surely in danger of keeping him from the good part of the beyond.
Evvie put a comforting hand atop of Draco’s pulling him for his depressing thoughts. She didn’t want him feeling guilty for protecting others. It’s not as if he’d killed anyone in cold blood. It had always been as a last resort.
“It’s time for your story now Papa” said Evvie her pinkish eyes glowing unnaturally bright.
“Yes I suppose you’ve all waited long enough” chuckled Andre, “I suppose you’ve worked it out already” he said looking at Evvie.
“You know what part we want to hear Papa” said Evvie solemnly.
Andre looked at Evvie seriously, “I’ll tell you later angel” he looked at her knowingly. She wanted to know of his time in captivity and if anyone deserved to know of his time there it was his beloved powerful angel.
So instead his family began to explain all that had happened in his absence. He was gobsmacked to hear about all the things that had happened. Especially the life his daughter had led from age eleven to now. His daughter truly was an all powerful witch; all that the seer had predicted had come true. Suddenly Andre was grateful that his angel had disappeared and been kept safe. He knew she hadn’t exactly hidden herself during the War but he was thankful that Voldemort never got his teeth into her. To hear what his daughter had become, the brightest witch of her age, war heroine, survivor of torture at the hands of Bellatrix, it was enough to boggle his mind. Sure when the seer had predicted the greatness of his future child he’d been delighted but in all his wildest dreams he never expected her to achieve this much. It made him truly proud to be a parent.
Much of the next few days were spent catching Andre up to current events, whether it be through his family and friends or newspaper clippings and books written about the war. So much had changed it seemed the world he had left had disappeared. This new world was far different from anything he imagined and it would be hard coming to terms with the changes and fitting in to the new life he found himself in.
Andre got to leave the hospital the following week, the chief healer in charge deeming both Andre and Evvie well enough to leave. Though she mentioned to Evvie that she should ease herself back into her magic and not attempt any large or complex spells straight away, instead she should give herself a chance to let her magic reacquaint itself with spells.
Katherine was glad to get Andre home she’d hardly been able to get him away from their daughter. She knew they shared a special bond together; they had even when she was small. She was her Father’s daughter and he would give her the world if he could. But Katherine needed some time with her husband, she needed to reconnect with him and needed forgiveness for giving up the search on him. She needed to make sure that he knew she still loved him and that she shouldn’t have listened to the Aurors, she should have listened to her heart and searched for him till she came to the ends of the earth. She needed the absolution his forgiveness would give her.
Slowly but surely, things seemed to return to normalcy. The world kept turning as Andre made his way back into society. Life stopped for no one, the danger had done its damage, broken people had been fixed, what was lost was now found and the world kept turning. Katherine’s world was brighter, there was still love in her marriage, though it would take time to reconnect completely – they had been separated for over a decade after all. Blaise had got the Father he always knew he needed. Andre had got the family he knew was missing and Evvie had got the Father she’d been searching for. Sometimes there were good days, sometimes, though very rarely, no one died, it was a good day and life kept moving.
Draco sat in the study of Zabini manor, his palms were sweating and he was trying hard not to crease his clothes. He was about to have the ‘talk’ with Andre. He knew it was coming, Evvie was her Father’s world, and of course he would want to know Draco’s intentions.
Draco jumped, embarrassed at his reaction, he heard a deep chuckle from behind him.
“Nervous are you?”
“No Sir” he replied.
“You love my daughter” it was merely a statement and Draco didn’t know if he should answer or not.
“You saved my daughter and by extension you saved me” he paused, “For that I am grateful. You have my respect Draco so do not lose it”.
“Sir?” questioned Draco.
“What are your intentions?” asked Andre sternly.
Draco gulped, “I love her” he started shakily.
“I’m sorry Sir I don’t understand”
“What do you love her more than?” sighed Andre impatiently, “Do you love her more than yourself? More than your money? Your inheritance? Your expectations? What do you love her more than?”
“I love her more than life itself” replied Draco, “I’d do anything for her”.
Andre starred at him intently, “Yes, I believe you would” he replied.
“I don’t want to lose her, I will protect her always” mumbled Draco, “I want to be with her forever if she’ll let me”.
“You have my blessing; you know what that means boy. Don’t hurt her, or you’ll have a lot more than me banging down your door” snarled Andre, a clear warning that Draco should heed should he wish to stay alive.
“Yes Sir” he replied.
Evvie was lucky to have a Father such as Andre, the rest were not so lucky.
Andre felt cheated. He was thankful for this second chance with his family and with life but he’d missed out the most important years of his children’s lives. Not that they acted that way, but Andre longed for memories of his children growing up, memories that he knew he’d never get. At least in the case of Evvie he was as in the dark as Katherine was to her growing up. They’d both been kept out of something that should have been their biggest joy. Andre felt content in the knowledge at least that he did have some images of his children when they were young and he was making new ones right now, ones that would never be taken from him.
“Papa?” called Evvie walking into the library, the room had become a haunt of Andre’s he felt solace in the books just as his daughter did.
“Come here angel” Evvie warmed to his voice, to the rest of her family she was Evvie but to her Papa she was his sweet angel and it made her feel special like they shared a secret.
She went to him willingly; he was her Papa the one she’d gone to the ends of the earth to find. She’d follow him anywhere if it meant bringing him back to the family once more.
“You wanted to know about my time in captivity didn’t you” she nodded her head, leaning up against him and allowing him to stroke her hair, it was a comforting gesture. He didn’t want to scare his daughter but she wanted to know and she deserved to know.
“You mentioned your torture during the war” he began, wincing when he thought of her being tortured, he wished he’d been her to stop that from happening. “Well my time in captivity was like that, that pain you felt but every day. It was never ending and it was ten times worse. I won’t tell you exactly what was done to me, which is a burden I will carry alone. But you survived Voldemort, you know how he worked, Marcus was like a quieter more fearsome version of Voldemort. He didn’t parade his power around for all to see, he kept himself hidden because it allowed him more freedom. But they were both driven by one of the same things; revenge. I know Voldemort wanted a lot more but in his later years – from the sounds of it – you cannot argue that he wasn’t fueled by revenge. Killing Potter would have given him the revenge he seeked from being thwarted by the Potter family”.
“When the nights were young the torture was grand, Marcus would visit me daily just to put me on the brink of death. He seemed unwilling to kill me but I never learnt why. He didn’t need any information from me, he already knew where Katherine was and how she was faring. He called it a twisted sign of fate. If he couldn’t have her then neither would I. He wanted Katherine to spend her life in misery for rejecting him. Marcus wasn’t in his right mind, which was clear. Whatever he’d undertaken to get where he was then had taken far more from him, I hardly believe there was much humanity left in him. He’d lost all that to the darkness”.
“The funny thing about captivity, it makes you reevaluate your life. With four blank peeling walls there wasn’t much to stare at or much to do. I put my most treasured memories; the ones of Katherine and of Blaise and of you into the back of my mind. I kept them there for so long that I forgot about them. I became separated from who I was and I became a walking robot, a man without memories, a man without the pain of loss, the pain of sadness, the pain of pain. I was trying to distance myself from myself so I wouldn’t feel anymore. I couldn’t stand to feel anymore. The pain was just too much”.
“Through it all, right at the back of my mind, hidden away was a spark of hope. I didn’t know what to do with it in the state that I was in but I clung on to that little spark of hope. I knew that somehow somewhere something was coming for me and perhaps if I hoped hard enough that spark would set me free. I can’t explain it, I wouldn’t say I knew you were coming because I didn’t. For all I knew you were dead and I didn’t remember you by that point anyway. I just knew deep down that someone was coming to save me. It might take minutes, it might take weeks, month’s years but I knew someone was coming. That hope kept me alive, through the pain, the taunts, the emptiness, it was all worth it”. Andre paused to let the tear leak from his eyes, all the pain he’d buried from this family was leaking out the only way it knew how, through his eyes.
“Papa?” questioned Evvie feeling the wetness of his tears fall upon her hair.
“It’s alright, I’m fine. I’m not done yet” said Andre.
“When I was very young I met a seer” Evvie scoffed. “Don’t scoff angel she was real” he said seriously. “She told me that one day I’d have a daughter. This daughter would be the most powerful witch in over a century, she told me that my daughter would achieve great things and suffer from great hardships but she would survive it all. I remember feeling amazed that I would one day have a daughter, Katherine and I were seeing each other at that point but nothing was concrete or set in stone. I didn’t really set much in store for what the seer predicted, I knew I would love my daughter no matter what but just hearing about the things you’ve done, the seer sure did underestimate you didn’t she. You turned out to be far more powerful, far more intelligent, far more beautiful, passionate, loving and brave than I could have ever imagined”.
“When I saw you standing within the smoke, I thought I was looking at Katherine from the past. I knew you were my spark of hope, I knew you were the one I’d been waiting for, the hope to save me. I couldn’t have done it on my own. I’d forgotten what magic was, I’d become so separated from myself that I had become someone else entirely. If you weren’t as magnificent as you are I think I would have died in that cell. You my girl are my savior, my sweet angel” he murmured.
“Papa” cried Evvie, hugging her Father tightly as he continued to stroke her hair. They stayed like that for what seemed like hours, the emotional revelation that Andre had unloaded was enough to halt all further thoughts in Evvie’s head. She just wanted to stay close to her Father and remind herself that he was here now and wasn’t going anywhere.
“Draco was here earlier” he whispered to her.
“He was? Why didn’t he come see me?” she sounded hurt.
“I asked him to come see me” replied Andre.
“Oh no. Please don’t tell me you went all protective Papa” she moaned.
He chuckled, “I might have done” she groaned, “I didn’t embarrass you angel, he just had a couple of answers that I needed”.
“He loves you”.
“He didn’t tell you?”
“Do you love him?”
“Yes Papa” she whispered.
“I gave him my blessing” he replied, “He saved you, he saved me, he loves you. That earnt my respect and my blessing. I’ve seen the way you two look at each other, there is something special there, don’t lose it” he murmured.
“I won’t Papa”.
“I know you won’t angel” he replied.
Life goes on, but who has been left behind?
In light of recent events, the Werewolf, the Battle at Marcus’s castle, Evvie’s fight for survival mindsets had been changed. You could say it gave a people a new perspective on life, on what was important and what wasn’t. Somehow Hogwarts didn’t seem that important anymore, exams were exams as long as they were passed people didn’t seem bothered by them anymore. School was a thing of the past as people came together with words of love and adoration to plan their new lives leaving the school yard taunts, the pain, the danger, and the war memories behind. It was to start something new and it was worth it.
From out of the rain came the couples that said no to society, no to rules, no to playing safe, no to the idiots. Life would be better for them all from here on out. They’d planned for a better future and they’d get one:
She was tall blonde and no longer a shrieking girl who did nothing but gossip. He was tall dark and handsome, the quiet type whose silence spoke of a million secrets. They’d been weary of each other at first, a Slytherin and a Gryffindor, when was that ever a good combination but the secret glances, the bare touches, the conversations bought them closer together. The night of the Werewolf attack, and all they could think was if the other was alright. He would never have forgiven himself if she had been hurt and she couldn’t imagine what her life would be like if that Werewolf had killed him. Family wasn’t an issue, neither was money or Hogwart’s grades. He wanted to go into Publishing, it was a big market and if he started a company he could spread his work through both the muggle and the Wizarding worlds. She wanted to be a fashion designer, she had the brains to do it, and she wasn’t a dumb blonde and never had been. He gave her confidence to be herself and she gave him the ability to love without fear. ~Lavender and Theo taking the world by storm.
She was once a mean bully insecure in herself. He was once a shy mouse afraid of his own shadow. The war had changed them. It had made them see the grey in the world. There was a lot of grey compared to the black and white that others saw. Suddenly what was right and what was wrong seemed insignificant. She wanted more from life; surrounded by boys she lacked the one man to set her heart a flutter, to send her veins burning with fire, to follow her in her dreams. She wasn’t looking for the one; she was looking for the right one, she was looking for the spark. He’d become someone knew, he had this confidence he’d never had before, he’d seen her one day and thought how beautiful she’d become. They’d stood up for a mutual friend at the same time and suddenly realized the connection they shared. They were more alike than they imagined, they had the same passions, desires, aspirations. He wanted to be a herbologist, to travel the world, find plants that had yet to be discovered and he wanted to follow him. ~Pansy and Neville redefining the spark.
She’d been yearning for him for so long but he let her down again and again. She thought he’d change, believe he loved her enough to see his mistakes but he didn’t. So she let him go, it was for the best despite the pain in her heart. That’s when he’d found her, broken and struggling to survive. He thought she was the most wonderful girl in the world. She captivated him; he found himself watching her every move. He helped her heal and in turn he fell in love with her. She was the light to his darkness. Her words of wisdom like a cool sea breeze, he could lose himself in the safety of her worlds. She in turn saw him in a new light, she saw not the friend she’d gained, nor the one who had fixed her. She only saw the one who held her heart, the one who she couldn’t live without. Where the future would take them she didn’t know or care – neither did he – they would be together, that was all that mattered. ~Luna and Adrian proving there are always more fish in the sea – better ones as well.
She’d follow him to the ends of the earth and back again, she’d keep his secrets, she’d been his shoulder to cry on, she’d be the steady voice he listened to, she’d be his forever. He’d love her for all his days, he’d protect her from harm, he’d defend her honor, he’d listen to her every word, and he’d make her feel treasured every day. Theirs was a love story to rival another’s; they’d been together through it all. Before the war, were everyone was pretending to be safe, through the war where everyone was scared, after the war where everyone was picking up the pieces. Through the return of Evvie, through the death of Marcus, through the return of Andre, they’d seen it all. He’d marry her right now if she asked; in fact he intended to marry her before the year was through. He didn’t want to miss one minute of their life together, they deserved this, deserved each other. ~Daphne and Blaise showing the strength of love.
The others don’t bare a mention, Harry, Ron, Ginny and Victor. Bad things happen to bad people. The roads you chose to walk down are the roads you live for life. You don’t get to turn around and come back if you’ve made a mistake. Some of the decisions we make in life we make forever. There is no undoing some mistakes. Perhaps some time in the future these four people will learn from their mistakes, or perhaps that is wishful thinking. One can only hope.
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