I hope you all enjoy this chapter! :)
Everyone was sitting in the waiting room of St. Mungo's, waiting for Healer Rodanthe to tell them what was was going on. Those who weren't at the hearing with Ginny, Harry, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, and Charlie were told, and were now sitting with them.
"What is taking them so long?" Draco asked heatedly as he stood up from the chair.
"Calm down, sweetheart," Narcissa said soothingly. "I'm sure the Healer will be out shortly."
"She must be getting better," Hermione stated to no one in particular. "There's no other explanation as to why she'd wake up if she wasn't getting better."
"Exactly," Mrs. Weasley said with a smile, her hand running laced with her husband's. "She's going to be okay."
Ginny was pacing back and forth chewing on her lip in nervousness. "If she was going to a hundred percent okay, Healer Rodanthe would've been out here by now. She would've already talked to us."
"She's going to be okay," Harry said as he stood and wrapped his arms around her in comfort. She tried to resist him, but but he continued to hold her. When she realized he wasn't going to let her go, she relaxed in his arms and wrapped hers around him, her head resting on his chest. "She will be okay."
"I need her to be okay…," Ginny said softly.
Draco looked at them. A dark, steely look glossed over his eyes as resentment and jealousy coursed through his body. Suddenly, a hand touched his upper arm. He turned to see Astoria, and all of the feelings vanished.
"I brought you some tea," she said shakily. "I thought it'd help calm your nerves."
"Thank you, but I don't want it. Give it to my mother."
His brows furrowed as he took in her expression. "Are you okay?"
"Of course. I'm just worried about Sophie," she answered.
He continued to take in her expression and then nodded before without wasting another thought on her. Astoria handed the tea to Narcissa who nodded her hand in thanks. Draco put his hands in his pockets and looked down at the floor in frustration. The doors on the other end swung open, and Astoria grabbed his shoulder and made him look.
A nurse walked out and Draco walked up to her quickly. "Is there any news about Sophie Malfoy?"
At the name, Ginny pulled away from Harry and glared at Draco. "Malfoy? Since when has she become a Malfoy?"
Ignoring her, Draco pressed the nurse, "Is there?"
"Healer Rodanthe will be out shortly, I assure you," the nurse said as she gave the best smile she could before walking away.
"Are you mad? When did this name change happen?" Ginny started, her anger apparent, as she began to look like Fred and George.
"I don't need to answer to you," he said as he turned to walk back toward his parents and Astoria.
She grabbed his arm and turned him around. "Like hell you don't. I'm her mother!"
"Then you should've proved it years ago," he said through gritted teeth as his features turned dark.
"And you should be working with me as her father rather than against me!" she shouted, looking past the hurt his words sent through her.
"How am I supposed to work with someone who I can't even trust?" he asked, his voice becoming louder.
"You tell me! You've done a pretty good job raising a son with that wife of yours! Maybe a liar matched with a liar works wonders."
"And what about with your marriage? What about your family? All you did for years is lie and deceive them!"
"Because of you!"
"That's enough!" Mrs. Weasley snapped and she moved in between Draco and Ginny, her eyes ablaze. She looked from Draco to Ginny. Her eyes flitted to Narcissa who was halfway out of her chair. As she looked back to Ginny, she said, "I did not raise you to be so heartless."
"But, Mu-," Ginny started to protest when Mrs. Weasley cut her off, "No. The two of you share a child together. That child is in that room fighting to stay alive, and the only thing you two can do is sit here and bicker. I know tensions are high, but Sophie is the only one that matters.
"The past is the past. You both have made mistakes," she said as she turned to look at Draco now. "Mistakes can only be resolved by attempting not to make them worse. You two have Sophie. Get yourselves together, work together, and make sure that you BOTH are there for that little girl. Merlin knows that she needs all the support and love she can get. She doesn't need two of the most important people in her life to be bickering. Do you understand me?" When neither of them answered, Mrs. Weasley looked back and forth from the two, and her voice became harsh, "I asked, do you understand me?"
"Yes, ma'am," Draco said, his tone less harsh than before. His hand rubbed the back of his neck as he looked at her. "You're right, Mrs. Weasley. I'm sorry."
"I don't want your apologies. I want you two to make it right," she responded exasperatedly.
Ginny glared at Draco and then turned around quickly. Mrs. Weasley sighed softly. She then cupped Draco's face gently and said gently, "Everything's going to be fine. I believe that."
A small smile drew across his lips and he nodded. She smiled back and then walked toward Ginny. Draco walked back to his parents and Astoria.
"You know, most times I really don't want to like that woman," Narcissa said as she took a sip of her tea.
"It's hard not to though, isn't it?" Draco asked with a small chuckle. "Besides, I can't let her get to me so easily."
"What was Potter talking about when she said a liar matched with a liar?" Astoria questioned, her voice still shaky.
"I don't know. She's always talking in riddles," Draco responded. He then looked at Astoria and asked, "Do you mind going to my office and telling Natalia that she can go home early?"
"I don't want to leave you," she responded.
Lucius let out a gentle snort. Astoria looked over at him and then back at Draco as he replied, "I'll be fine. I'd just really appreciate it if you would do this for me and then go home."
She nodded, not saying anything. She kissed him on his cheek and then Apparated out of the waiting room.
"Good riddance," Narcissa said once Astoria was gone. Looking at Draco, she said, "I'm sorry, I know she's your wife. But ever since Sophie came into your life, she's been acting awfully strange. I don't trust her."
"Yeah, I know," Draco said. "I don't want to talk about her. Father, have you gotten any further in your research?"
"I'm waiting to hear from a contact in Portugal. As soon as I do, we will take care of Sophie in the correct way," Lucius said in a hushed whisper as he eyed around to make sure no one was listening.
Draco sighed. "Thank you for doing this. I really am."
"You don't have to thank me. You know I would do anything for my family."
"Healer Rodanthe!" Ginny exclaimed as she rushed up to her, Harry right behind her.
"What's going on with Sophie?"
"Well," she started, a look on her face that Draco could decipher as he walked up. She looked from Ginny to Draco to the family all behind them who were listening just as anxiously.
Before she could continue, Draco asked, "Is she okay?"
"There's good news and bad news."
"What's the good news?" Fred interrupted.
"The good news is that Sophie is indeed awake. And as far as I can conclude, whatever caused this and is continuing to cause this is running out of her system, at least we're hoping.
"The bad news is," she said a little louder as everyone let out a relieved sigh and as someone was about to interrupt. Catching their attention, she started again. "The bad news is that right now she can't speak or move. Along with that, the spell that we have going as she also still can't breathe on her own. Her eyes, though, are responsive, and she can indeed hear you and see you.
"I've tried everything I can; I have continued to do research and have consulted with a few different colleagues, but we haven't been able to find anything. We will continue searching, I promise you."
Suddenly, a nurse came into the waiting room and interrupted. "Healer Rodanthe, come quick, it's the Palmer girl. Her breathing's labored and we can't get it to calm down."
"Excuse me," Healer Rodanthe said quickly as her and the nurse rushed out of the room and hurried to Sophie's room.
"Oh no," Ginny groaned as her eyes watered.
Draco hurried down the hall after Healer Rodanthe and the nurse. Once reaching Sophie's room, the door was open and he walked in and saw Healer Rodanthe working on Sophie. His eyes grew wide and his breath caught in his throat.
"We need to get her in the operating room. Nothing's working. I need to see what's going on," she said to the nurse as she continued to look at Sophie. "I need you to get the room ready and get a team ready. As you do I'll continue to work on her and see if I can figure out what's going on." She then looked up at the nurse and saw Draco. "Kathy, I mean now. Get going and take Mr. Malfoy with you."
"Is she going to be okay?" Draco croaked.
"Mr. Malfoy, I need you to leave now," Healer Rodanthe snapped.
The nurse led him out and shut the door. "Mr. Malfoy, please go back to the waiting room. We'll come out and get you when Sophie's okay." When he didn't budge, the nurse said, "Don't make me get security to remove you."
"Okay, okay, I'm going," he responded.
He left the hall and walked back into the waiting room. As he entered, everyone looked at him expectantly. His jaw was set as he tried to keep his emotions under control. He just shook his head, not answering, and sat down in his chair, his head falling into his hands.
Astoria Apparated back to the waiting room shortly after and hurried to Draco. "Is she okay? What's going on? Did you hear anything from the Healer?"
When Draco didn't answer, Astoria grabbed a chair and sat in front of him. She took his hand, trying to comfort him.
Everyone remained silent, waiting and praying for Healer Rodanthe to come out with news of Sophie. As the minutes passed, it felt like hours upon hours. Finally, after another forty-five minutes, Healer Rodanthe came back out, a grave look on her face. Draco stood, pulled his hand from Astoria, and made his way to her with an expectant expression.
"She's stable; she's okay," she said quickly before anyone could ask. "I'm so sorry to have to tell you this, but due to her lapse, there has been irreparable damage to Sophie's lungs. Unfortunately, this is something she's going to have to live with for the rest of her life… There's always a chance that there will be an advancement in the future, but as of right now, there's nothing I or anyone else can do."
"H-How hard is it going to be for her t-to live with this?" Draco asked, not being able to help his emotions show.
Healer Rodanthe looked at him, her eyes showing deep sympathy and concern. "It's really hard to say the extent of all this. We're just going to have to wait and see what she can or cannot do. It could either way. There will definitely be some things that she can't do, such as exercise profusely, anything extraneous, or anything that could somehow irritate her breathing. It could go the complete opposite way though, and there's a chance that she could hardly do anything. I want to stay positive and I want you all to stay positive. Positivity, support, and your love will surely help her.
"We can talk about this and go over all of the information later," she said. A small smile came on her face, she looked from Draco to Ginny, and she said, "Now, I have a question for the two of you. Would you like to see your daughter?"
"Absolutely," Ginny said quickly as she brushed a tear on her cheek and stood from her chair.
"Follow me then."
Healer Rodanthe led Draco and Ginny down the hall to Sophie's room. When they reached it, she stopped before entering and looked at the two. With a serious face, she said, "I do not, and I mean do NOT, want her to become agitated in any way. I want you to stay away from any topics you think could agitate her."
"No problem," Draco said.
"Also, I understand the two of you have been going through a lot lately. I remember how you two used to be though from the time you came in to your first appointment. For your daughters' sake, I want you to remember that."
Ginny and Draco glanced at each other. With their confirmation, Healer Rodanthe smiled and opened the door. "I'll leave you three alone."
"Thank you so much for everything you've done," Ginny said.
The two of them entered the room and walked silently to Sophie's bed. They took the seats on either side of her bed, and Ginny leant down and kissed her forehead. Draco took Sophie's hand and smiled at her as he looked at her bright brown eyes.
"Why hello there," Draco said softly. When Sophie's eyes moved to look at him, he smiled and "It's so good to see you awake. We've all been so worried about you."
"We have. There hasn't been a day that's gone by that we haven't come visited you. Everyone's been by to see you too, even Mary and Philip, and the rest of the Palmers," Ginny said as she ran her fingertips up and down Sophie's arm gently.
"It's because of you that she's strong willed and a fighter. I couldn't be more grateful for that," Draco said as he looked at Ginny and smiled.
Ginny smiled back at him, her face becoming hot. "She also got that from you."
Sophie looked between the two, her eyes shining in joy.