First, and foremost, I want to sincerely apologize for how long this has taken me to get out! This chapter, for some reason, was so hard for me to write. I don't know what it was. Perhaps it's because I know that the story is already almost half way over. On top of that, I've also been really busy with work, and by the time I get home, I'm already half asleep. But enough with the excuses! I've finally finished, and now here it is for all of you! I hope you all enjoy this chapter! Thank you so much for all of the wonderful support. It means so much to! :)
Sophie began to twitch slightly as she began to wake up. A few minutes passed before she sat up and looked around groggily. She rubbed her eye gently and saw Jake still sleeping. A small smile came to her lips, and she gently weaved her fingers through his hair. As she did, a small groan escaped him, and he turned his head toward her.
His eyes fluttered slightly before he opened them and looked at her. When he registered that she was there, a smile drew upon his lips, and he whispered, "Good morning."
"Good morning," she responded, the smile still on her face. She turned and looked at the digital clock that was on the counter, and her eyes widened. "Oh, I have to get going."
"Why?" he asked as he sat up. Sophie started to stand from the couch, and he grabbed her hand gently. "Don't leave."
"I have to. I didn't even mean to fall asleep here. Draco must be so worried."
Jake sighed, "Okay, okay. Will I see you before you go back to school?"
"I don't know," she answered. "If not, you'll hear from me soon. But I really must get going."
As she was about to stand again, he tugged on her hand and pulled her toward him. She looked at him curiously, and he looked at her, a small smirk on his face before he leant in and kissed her softly. Her eyes closed gently, and she kissed him back. After a moment he pulled away and waited for Sophie to open her eyes, a smile still on his face. She finally opened her eyes and looked up on him, her eyes sparkling.
"You know, you really shouldn't do that to a girl," she said breathlessly. He chuckled and leant in again to give her another kiss. She kissed him back, but then pulled away, a smile on her face. "When I said that, I didn't mean to distract me more."
"Oh, so it's a distraction for you is it?" he asked as he leant in again. Before he could kiss her, she stood from the couch quickly.
Sophie laughed and shook her head slightly. "What am I going to do with you?"
"Love me forever?"
"Without a doubt," she answered quickly. Instantly, her face grew hot, and she bit down on her lip. She glanced at Jake and saw the grin on his face. "Okay, now I really have to go."
"I'll walk you out," he said, the smile still on his face, as he stood from the couch and walked her to the door. He leant down and kissed her head once more. "Don't forget to write."
"I won't, promise."
She walked out of the complex then, a smile on her face. As the chilly morning air hit her, she wrapped her arms around her and hurried to the bridge. Once there, she paced back and forth slowly, and whispered to herself, "I did it once, I can do it again. Okay, okay, shake it off. Deep breath. One…two…three…"
A crack filled the air, and she felt as if she were confined in a small tube. Before feeling as if she was being cut off from air, she arrived on the doorstep of Draco's house. Taking in a deep breath, she turned the knob slowly. She peered in to see no one, and a relieving, soft sigh escaped her. Entering the house, she closed the door gently and began to walk up the stairs slowly.
"Where do you think you're going?" a rough, tired voice asked.
Sophie's heart raced as she recognized Draco's voice. She bit her lip and turned around to see his hair all over the place, his normally perfect unwrinkled robes wrinkled, bags under his grey eyes, and whiskers decorating his skin. A feeling of regret began to ebb through her slowly as she saw his appearance; she looked down to the floor.
"I believe I asked you a question," he said in response to her silence.
"I was going to go upstairs," she answered softly.
"With no explanation of what happened or where you've been? I've been worried sick about you. Where did you go? Why didn't you come back here as you were supposed to?"
"Am I a guest?"
"Excuse me?" he asked, his voice slightly raised as his eyes darkened.
Seeing the expression on his face, she shifted from one foot to the other, her grip tightening on the rail. Draco took a step closer, looking at her expectantly for an answer.
"All I was asking is if I were considered a guest in this house."
Pausing and searching for an answer in Sophie's eyes, Draco's brows furrowed. His hand rested on the rail and said, "A guest? Of course. The standard guest practice would be letting the owner of the house his or her plans, as to just disappearing for hours driving them bloody insane."
"Funny," she scoffed. Her jaw tightened and her eyes narrowed. "I was beginning to think I was actually family."
Draco looked at her as if she had just knocked all of the wind that filled his lungs. Before he could compose himself, Sophie had hurried up the stairs and slammed the door to her bedroom.
He ran a hand through his hair and let out a rough sigh. "Bloody hell…"
"Was that Sophie?" Astoria asked as she came up behind Draco, her hand touching his back gently. When he didn't respond, a slight smirk came to her lips, and she said softly, "Let me go talk to her. Perhaps a woman's perspective would be better right now than yours."
"I don't think so," he responded sharply.
"It couldn't hurt," she responded. "Let me just try. It could make her feel better. Plus," she said taking the time to look at Draco with a smile, "it'll be a good way the two of us can bond. It's what you've wanted since you found she was your daughter, isn't it?"
He looked at her quizzically, as if he were seeing someone completely different. After a few short seconds, he shook his slightly, but mumbled, "Go ahead."
"Good," she said, leaning in to kiss him on the cheek.
Astoria walked up the stairs slowly, the smirk that played upon her lips returning. When she reached the hall toward the rooms, she looked over her shoulder, and then headed toward Sophie's bedroom. Standing in front of the closed door, she listened carefully to hear quiet sobs and some sort of scratching. She knocked on the door softly.
In response, Astoria opened the door slowly and stepped inside. She looked at Sophie, who wiped away the tears that were rolling down her cheeks quickly. Sophie let out a slight sniffle and turned back to the book that was lying in her lap.
"I hope you don't mind me intruding," Astoria said softly. She closed the door now, and walked into the room further. "You seem pretty upset." Sophie shrugged, and Astoria continued, "Is there anything I can do?"
"Maybe," Sophie said after a few minutes of silence. Astoria sat down on the edge of the bed. Another moment passed before Sophie finally continued, "Well, I know you've never wanted me part of your family. I suppose I can understand that, since the life you've grown accustomed to has changed, and it feels like you're losing something that's yours. And I know it's been just a few short days and such, but I don't understand why Draco would do all of this for me if he didn't consider me part of the family…"
This is too good to be true… Astoria thought, a small smile on her lips. She looked at Sophie. "Don't you understand?"
"Understand what…?" Sophie asked softly.
"The only reason he's doing this is to get back at Ginny for keeping you a secret. That's all it's ever been about. To get you closer and further away from Ginny."
Sophie's eyes looked to the bed as they watered, and she bit her lip. After a moment, she faintly whispered, "But that doesn't make any sense. He made it clear that I was though…"
"Of course he's going to say things like that in front of you," Astoria said nonchalantly. She stood from the bed as another smirk came to her face and turned toward the window, hiding the pleasure she was getting from seeing Sophie's confusion and doubt. "Just wait for a little while longer and you'll see what I'm talking about."
"What do you mean?"
"Wait until you're back at Hogwarts. I guarantee you'll hear about him taking Ginny to the Wizengamot." Sophie remained quiet. Turning back around to face Sophie, Astoria asked, "Would you like some advice? Don't let him hurt you. If I were you, I wouldn't wait to go back to Hogwarts. I'd leave right away."
Her brows furrowed as she looked at Astoria. "Why should I believe you…? You haven't hidden the fact that you don't like me."
"I fight for what's mine, Sophie. You said yourself that you could see the reason why I was upset. Then, if you tie it altogether, here comes the absolutely gorgeous daughter of my husband and his old girlfriend. What else am I supposed to do when I feel as if everything I've built is in danger of slipping away? I'm sorry for the way I've treated you, but seeing you just made me worry that Draco would leave me and Scorpius for you and Ginny."
"Why would he do that?"
Astoria let out a high, sarcastic laugh. "Because he's still in love with her!"
As soon as the words spilt from her mouth, her teeth snapped together and her lips thinned. Her heart began to race and a set of nerves filled her. She swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat and looked Sophie directly in Sophie's eyes. She took in a deep breath through her nose and let it out slowly.
"N-No he doesn't. T-They al-always fight. He s-said he could never f-forgive her," Sophie stumbled.
"I didn't mean it like that," Astoria snapped. She composed herself as quickly as she could, and said gently, "What I meant was that he still has some feelings for her, as anyone would after a relationship like theirs."
"A relationship like theirs?"
"A whirlwind. They were only together for a fair amount of months, became pregnant with you, and were to be married. Someone who was so close to a life that didn't get a chance to live it would think back to that time. But their relationship is done, he's moved on, and Ginny's hurt him beyond repair." She started toward the door as she changed back to the story she had been telling. Her hand rested on the doorknob, and she turned back to look at Sophie, her eyes piercing. "He wants revenge, Sophie. He wants it so bad, he will do whatever that takes, even if that means to use a person or two."
Without waiting for response, Astoria walked out of the room and closed the door behind her. When she was on the other side, a sigh of relief escaped her, and she gently lied her head against the door.
"How'd it go?" Draco asked suddenly from the staircase. She jumped, and he eyed her quizzically. "I'm assuming not too well by your expression?"
"Oh, no, it went fine. As a matter of fact, it went pretty well. I think now that she wants to talk to her daddy," she replied. She walked toward him and gently cupped the side of his face with her hand. Kissing his cheek quickly, she whispered, "I'm sorry I acted the way I did."
A small smile played on her lips, and she started down the stairs, leaving Draco to himself. He stood there stunned, not able to comprehend the change in Astoria's attitude and behavior. Finally, he ran a hand through his hair and then walked to Sophie's room. Knocking on the door gently, he opened it slowly, and stepped inside. When he was in, he saw Sophie placing clothes in her suitcase.
"What are you doing?" he asked quizzically.
"It's pretty obvious, isn't it?" she answered with a sarcastic tone.
"You don't have to do that. A house-elf can do it for you, and you don't have to do that until tomorrow."
"I'm not staying here, not another night," she responded.
"What? Why? Because of what just happened when you came home?" When she didn't say anything, and continued packing, he sighed and tried to contain the anger that began to build up. Finally, he said, "What I said downstairs, you took it out of context. I don't see you just as a guest."
"Are you sure about that?" she asked. She paused and then said, "You didn't even know I was alive and out there somewhere. You never came to find me or anything. I think that a parent would know, even if by instinct, that their child were out there."
"You're joking, right? You know bloody well that I had no idea you were alive. If I did, I would've gone to the ends of the earth to have you in my life."
"Oh, really? You would've just given up this life with Astoria and Scorpius to come find me?"
"Yeah, right," she scoffed.
Draco's anger grew, and before he could keep himself composed, he turned her, held onto her arms tightly, and shook her slightly. "Stop it. Stop it right now, Sophie. I wanted you and I already loved you from the moment I found out Ginny was expecting you. I can't control what she did. If I had known she never lost you, I would've taken you from day one. There's nothing I wouldn't've done for you, and nothing that I won't do for you.
"I cannot change what has happened in the past. All I can do is make it up to you now. What do you want me to do, Sophie? What do you want? What can I do to prove to you how much I love you?"
Tears filled her eyes and she stared into his grey ones. She sniffled and looked to the ground, her head shaking slightly. Draco let go of her arms, and pulled her into his arms. His hand ran along her back gently to soothe her.
"Let's change your name," he said gently. When her sniffles paused, he continued, "You're a Malfoy. You always have been, and you always be. So, let's let the whole wizarding world know."
"Are you too busy right now to go with me?" A slight chuckle escaped her as she shook her head. He pulled away from her and smile. "C'mon, let's go."
They left her room and walked down the stairs to Draco's study. When they reached it, he grabbed a handful of Floo powder, and they both walked into the grate. She grabbed onto his arm tightly, and he threw the powder onto the grate and shouted, "The Ministry of Magic."
Grate after grate they passed until they landed on one of the grates that belonged to the Ministry of Magic. Once there, they went to the lifts, and went straight to Draco's office. As they entered, Sophie looked around the office to see a photo and folders upon folders of paperwork all over.
He walked over to his desk and grabbed out a file from his desk. Opening it, he grabbed his quill and began to work on the paper.
"When was this taken?" Sophie asked as she looked at the photo of him, Astoria, and Scorpious when he was a toddler.
"About fifteen years ago," he answered as he looked up to see the picture she was looking at. "It'll be nice to add that picture you took in here."
Heat rose into her face as he caught her off guard, and she bit her lip. She moved away from it and to the front of his desk.
"So, what do you do here?" she asked curiously as she watched him fly through the paperwork.
"Anything from legal documents such as these, to working with other countries governments, and so on and so forth. Nothing too interesting."
"Well, you basically keep the wizarding world running. The world's practically in your hands."
"I never thought of it that way," he commented.
After a few more minutes, he finished the paperwork, leaving one line at the bottom blank. He looked at Sophie, his eyes searching hers for something. After a short silence, he cleared his throat and asked, "Now, are you sure about this? Your last name will change to Malfoy, and that's what you'll be known by."
"That's who I am, right?" she questioned. She bit her lip, and then answered, "I'm sure."
A small smile crossed Draco's lips as he dunk the quill in the ink bottle and signed his name on the bottom line. He slid the parchment into a folder and looked up at Sophie.
"Everything's in order. Now, I'll just need to retain your birth certificate, sign it, then send it, along with this paper work, to Kingsley, and then it'll be official," he declared. "It should all be finalized on Tuesday, so I'll write to you when I receive the confirmation."
Her body suddenly crashed into his as she hugged him tightly. His smile grew wider as his arms wrapped around her.