Chapter 6 : Forever my Bella
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I kept my eyes shut but just laid on something mushy and hard.
Man this hurts.
My senses were becoming clearer, by the feel of it I was lying on a hospital bed. I heard muttering and just stayed still, waiting as the voices got gradually louder.
“Personally? I have no idea what so ever.” I heard a small giggle.
Who do I know that giggles?
“What about this one?” I heard a slight shuffle.
Granger? What is she doing here? Plus she’s a giggler.
You sound surprised.
“Yeah we definitely remembered that.” That’s Blaise.
“You know, I know I’m meant to be helping you three as Percy said but I honestly can’t find anything wrong, unless you’re both lying to me.” I heard a couple of snorts.
“Hermione, I brought you lunch.” Another girl.
“Thank you Ginny. Hey take a look and see if we’re missing anything. Can’t work out what went wrong with their potion.” There was a pregnant pause.
Merlin imagine if Weasel and her had kids?
I felt the anger roll in the pit of my stomach.
“Nope. Can’t help, I’m sorry.” Must be afternoon.
“Maybe they were rotten.” The effort put into that one sentence exhausted me.
“Morning D.” Piss off. “Madam Pomfrey.” Thank you Cy. The pain was increasing. I heard her footsteps as everyone went quiet.
“Yes? Mr Nightingale?”
“Draco’s awake.” So it’s lunch but morning, huh.
“You sure?” I felt my eyelid being dragged up, I grunted and dragged my arm up to swat away her hand like an annoying fly, she dropped it but it didn’t feel right on my eye. I felt a spell fall on me like water, washing away my sleepiness. I used my left elbow to drag myself into a sitting position ignoring the aching pain in my shoulder, rubbing my eyes with my right hand. “Drink this.” I took the blurry bottle she was holding to me.
I swallowed it in one, gasping as it seared my throat, burned across my shoulder and lung. Holy Merlin. I clutched my chest till it faded slightly, allowing me to see properly again. They were sitting in a circle; Cyrus, Granger, Weaslette who was standing and Blaise who had Cho sitting next to him hand in hand, she smiled at me shyly.
I muttered “Who died?” making Cy and Blaise smirked. Remembering Cedric I glanced at Cho but she didn’t seem bothered. Smirking slightly when I realised I’d gotten away with it. Weaslette’s eyes narrowed.
“How are you feeling Draco?” Granger had the potions book open on the foot of my bed and a book of ALL INGREDIENTS GREAT AND RARE open on her lap. In her uniform but her tie was on my bed just like everyone else’s. All the windows were open and enchanted fans spinning from the ceiling but the heat was still palpable.
“Not bad Granger, so what you all doing round my death bed?” Something in her face changed, my stomach tugged downwards slightly.
Wonder what she’s thinking?
I don’t know probably something in her book, besides what did I do?
“Professor Weasel insists we have Granger go through all the ingredients about our potion before letting us move on or not. You’re not in trouble by the way turns out it was him that got an ear-bending. Not even trained you know, he’s been set as potion master by the ministry as there was no one else and he got a good grade in the subject.” Don’t really know what to say.
“Fine by me, how long till I’m healed?” Madam Pomfrey came back from cleaning the bottle I’d drunk from.
“Two more days Mister Malfoy. Then you can go back to your lessons and I can finish my breakfast.” She bustled away again. Anyone would think I was here by choice. She came back carrying a bowl of Something Soup and water. I drank both pretty quickly.
“Well, have we found any floors in the potion then?” This is my welcome back you’re not dead conversation.
“Nope, found nothing.” She seemed tight lipped. Wonder why?
The door to the room swung open. I glanced down and realised I was half-naked, pulling up my sheet to cover my stomach that had fallen down when I’d sat up, I saw Granger smile slightly. I was blushing inside and turned to see who had just walked in.
Headmistress McGonagall walked through the door, along with a well-dressed bushy haired man with a freshly stitched cut running down the side of his face. “Daddy?” Hermione stood and ran over. I followed her with my eyes, the man looked young in body but old in face. “Dad what’s wrong? Where’s Mum? What happened to you? What are you doing here?”
Would’ve loved that connection with my father.
I looked away, pretending to be interested in something on the wall, to give the family their privacy. I couldn't help but sneak a glance though, he looked tired. Tired and defeated, his eyes looked almost dead but they glowed slightly with pride as he looked at his famous daughter.
“Ms Granger, please sit down. I need you all to leave. Except you Mister Malfoy. Potter and Weasley are on their way, Ms Weasley you can stay as well.” Granger and her father sat on the bed next to me, not holding hands but close.
Granger was trying to conceal her worry, of her father and apparently missing mother. Weaslette put her hand on Granger’s shoulder unsure what to do. I lifted a hand to Cyrus and Blaise as they left, watching Potter and Weasley pass them on their way in. All looking confused.
“Professor. What’s going on?” It was Granger’s father who opened his mouth to Potter's question, turning to face his daughter as he spoke.
“This man came to our house, I think he killed your mother. I don’t know what happened there was just a bunch of lights, I couldn’t move till the men arrived. They said your mum is dead but I just can’t accept it. I’m so sorry my dear.” Granger was paled and tight-lipped. Merlin that’s tough.
“It’s okay dad. You couldn’t have helped her.” She turned to McGonagall. “Who did it?”
She took a deep breath. I could see the tears threatening to break free, busying myself in my drawers and I found her a tissue and handed it to her, she looked very grateful for such a simple gesture.
“We, don’t know. It’s being looked into.” She sat on my bed. “Mister Malfoy.” Oh merlin. “I was there at all your trials, I know what you endured.” Her eyes glanced at the pale old scars that weren’t covered by the sheet or bandages. “I must ask, do you know who might have done this?” I looked her father straight in the eyes.
“Tell me.” His face paled. “Don’t have to do it now, you’re safe here. However to have an idea that isn’t a guess who could have done this I need to know exactly how it happened.” God please be some crazy nut job and not a serious Deatheater.
“We were sitting at our table, enjoying our dinner.” He breathed heavily. “Our garden light turned on and we could see a man from the window, he was wearing a cloak and we couldn’t see any real features except that he was thin and tall. I went to the back door and called to him and he lifted his wand to me.” I lifted my wand off the bedside table and held it out to him.
“How similar to this one?” He took it, looking at it over.
Oh please don’t say what I think you’re going to say.
“Similar thickness, but longer and thinner. More detail down here.” He traced his finger down the side. “I saw it a couple of times. It was also a lot darker in colour.” My wand was already nearly black. “With something traced in silver, it said ‘FOREVER MY BELLA’” I saw him shudder. They looked at me, all of them dreading what I would say but as much as I wanted to I couldn’t doubt it.
“I am so so sorry. Did they get your wife out?” He shook his head.
“No, her body disappeared.”
“Did you get a pulse?” He shook slightly. “Did you get a pulse!” I couldn’t help shouting, my face was stone cold and emotionless from the fear I felt inside.
“Stop it Malfoy!” Granger had curled her hands up into fists. “Just stop!” I saw all the old hatred flooding back.
“No.” Everyone turned to him. “No, her eyes were staring at me. Then he pointed his wand at her and she flew out the window. I looked for her afterwards but I couldn’t find her.”
Shit, shit, shit.
“Mr Granger. I cannot apologise enough. I am so sorry. I am so so sorry.”
“What is it Malfoy.” I had squeezed my eyes shut, shaking my head. “Malfoy say it!”
“Rudolphus Lestrange.” McGonagall cursed under her breath. Everyone glanced at her surprised.
She ignored them, regained her posture and looked back to me. “Are you sure Malfoy?” I nodded.
“I have no doubt. It’s his handiwork.”
“Why did you apologise so much though?” I looked Potter in the eyes, before turning to Mr Granger.
“Because your mum, your wife is alive.” I felt her slap before I saw it.
“Sick bastard Malfoy!”
“That’s not how I meant it!” I glared at them. “Rudolphus was twice the psychopath his wife was. Even Bella couldn’t stomach what he did. He was the reason no one left the death eaters, he did the Dark Lord’s dirty work, he tortured the Longbottoms into madness. He’s the one who gave me my tattoo and crucified me every time I cried from the pain. During the war, every muggle born wizard or witch for their crime of ‘stealing wands’ would be sent to him. Whole wards underground in St. Mungo’s are filled with people driven out of their minds from what he did to them. Your wife is alive Mr Granger I have no doubt about that. He never used the killing curse, even the Dark Lord didn’t watch him work.” I took a deep breath. “The pure-blood circle, he forced my mother and father’s marriage. Even people with pure blood feared him even when he was in Azkaban.” Everyone had gone silent. “Our best bet, of getting her back alive, is to go to your place and try and find a clue he left. We can only hope those heavy footed aurors didn’t destroy it without knowing.” I could feel their glares but ignored them. I laid my head back.
Oh look they all hate me. That’s new.
“Al’right. Mister Potter, please help Mister Malfoy up.” Professor McGonagall stood, her face drawn and her hands clasped tight as she moved back.
“But Minerva? He is in no fit state to walk.” Madam Pomfrey was not impressed.
“I’ve walked with worse.” I checked under my sheet to see what I was wearing. Still my school trousers, that’s hygienic. “I would like a shirt though.” I looked at my shoulder which was starting to go slightly pink. “Or, half of one.”
I was handed a plain black t-shirt. I dragged it over my head with my right arm, wiggled it over the left side of my body, I couldn’t stop the grunts as I strained the bandages. After a second Granger leant forward and helped me pull down the left sleeve. “Cheers.” I threw off the sheets, hauling myself up.
“What help do you think you can give Malfoy?”
“Ever met Rudolphus Lestrange, Weasley?” He dropped his gaze. “I have, so I know what I’m looking for.” I dragged myself up, using the bedside table. It took every muscle to manage it, forcing my lips into a tight line.
“Mister Malfoy. If you are so intent on this suicide attempt then at least take this.” Madam Pomfrey held out a cane, thin and made of oak. I gripped it and used it in my right hand to balance myself.
“Cheers.” I forced myself forward. “Well?” They all stood.
“Look after him! I already resurrected him once I am not planning on doing it again.” Madam Pomfrey bustled back into her office.
McGonagall nodded. I watched them all come round me in a circle. Hermione was quickly talking to her father, explaining what apparation was. Professor McGonagall was on my right, Potter on my left. Everyone starting to hold hands with each other, I held McGonagall’s old soft, wrinkled hand. I could feel the age in her skin more than you could ever see in her face. I glanced at Potter. Can’t actually feel my arm. I sighed.
“I can’t feel it.” I gripped the forearm and held it up for him to grab my wrist.
Still can’t feel it.
I felt the familiar tug at the back of my naval, my eyes locked onto Granger. Her eyes on mine. We spun in a grey mist making my stomach spin over and over.
Don’t be sick. Don’t be sick. Don’t be sick.
I felt my feet slam into rock, my knees went from under me and I slammed on my right shoulder. Jarring my left, even though it was numb it took me another minute before I could stop my screaming. I scrabbled my hand around in the dirt, looking for my cane.
“Here.” I looked up to see Potter holding it out to me.
“Cheers.” I twisted, using the cane to force myself up to my feet. Ignoring the dull ache in my shoulder. I had forgotten that the Head Teacher's of Hogwarts could apparate inside the school.
We had arrived in a front garden that had a huge hedge growing round it. Not a bad size the grass was perfectly green and cut, the sides obviously well maintained, a wrought iron gate the size of a normal door led onto the road, a path of stones led the way towards the front door. The house was huge compared to average standards.
“Wow Hermione.” Potter and Weasley were slightly wide-eyed. Have they never been here before?
“Dentistry is not a bad profession, both my parents being dentists their not really short on money.” She had gone slightly pink as her father walked up to the door.
There was me thinking she was poor like the others all those years.
“Wait.” I forced myself forward, my shoulder was starting to throb slightly. Mr Granger had stopped just before the porch. The house’s bricks weren’t painted and the window sills, porch and door were made of rich oak. I walked up to the top step and gently leaned on the it with my cane. Nothing. I breathed again before walking across to the door, surrounded by petals as the plants readied for autumn. I pulled out my wand and muttered several charms at the door handle.
“What are you looking for?” Potter had walked up behind me, I turned to glance at Hermione and her father.
“She put protective charms around the place, that’s how the aurors knew to come wasn’t it?” He looked me in the eyes. “Thought so, she’ll get in trouble for that.” I’d kept my voice low and steady so as not to raise suspicion.
“What’s your point?”
“I’m removing them.” His eyes widened slightly. “They’ll have no real evidence so long as she denies them, and as we’re looking for Rudolphus then we need all attention on him.” He nodded.
I pushed the door quietly to reveal the inside of the Granger house hold, the left hand wall was decorated with pictures of family and friends, and several of Hermione growing up. Now that’s how parents should be proud of their children.
I felt a pang in my heart as I looked at the scar on my left arm, just visible through the sleeve of a shirt far too big for me so as to fit it over the bandage.
It’s just the throbbing.
I forced myself forward, stopping at the staircase. “Right. I’ll check upstairs with McGonagall. The rest of you search down here. Only walk on the wooden floor, touch nothing, inspect everything you can see and if you find nothing wait down here for us.
I walked up the stairs, the wood of my cane clicking slightly against the hard wood, ignoring the chattered discussion that was swelling behind me as they discussed a plan.
Really? How did Gryffindor’s ever get anything done?
Along the wall were certificates to Gregory and Jean Granger for excellence in their dental practice and their qualifications as well as all of Hermione’s report cards, all framed in the same dark wood frame against the light coloured paint of the walls. I came to the landing, a corridor all with the same colour scheme. I turned to the left and pushed open the first door to find Mr and Mrs Grangers bedroom.
A queen sized bed with a dark blue swirly pattern was situated under the window. I walked around inspecting the whole place, avoiding the drawers to let them keep their privacy. A door at the side led to a strictly ordered walk in wardrobe.
Huh, no dresses, I see where Granger gets her dislike for them from.
I walked back out and to the other side of the landing. The room was blue and covered in pictures of her, Weasley and Potter. Several of her cat Crookshanks was also there. A huge family one covered one wall above her bed of the entire Weasley family, her, Potter and everyone else from the order. It looked like it might have been taken during Potter’s birthday as he was wearing a joke birthday badge and behind them was two tables laden with food. Again I felt the pang, being pure-blooded meant I could never personalise my room, I could never have done this and felt the reassurance of love by being surrounded by smiles. Growing up my idea of a good night from my father was silence. I walked in and looked around, there was also several of her parents on the adjoining wall. A desk filled with letters was opposite a huge bookcase, I walked around until I came to the giant picture of the Weasley’s. Needed to be giant to fit them all in. I gently kneeled on her bed and inspected it. Something was in the corner. What the?
“Found anything?” McGonagall was standing at the door. I glanced out the window.
“Yeah, yeah I have.” I walked back out of the door and down the stairs where everyone was waiting. “Where’s the back door?” I asked Mr Granger.
Can I call him Greg? Stick with Mr Granger to be safe.
“Through here son.” He walked past me towards the kitchen. Son? I followed him. The kitchen was in a complete disarray where a fight had obviously taken place. A box of cereal exploded across the marble counter, there was a crater in the wall where by the looks of the surrounding kitchen an oven once was. He walked across some shattered glass towards the back door which was completely smashed.
I walked quickly towards a shed at the end of the garden, slipping out my wand I casted charms over the whole thing including the many windows, keeping my wand hidden by my chest. The throbbing was increasing. I dropped to my knees clutching my shoulder. Refusing to see any pain expressed on my face.
“Malfoy?” I shook my head.
“I’m fine. Go in, it’s at the back.” Blood was pumping through my mangled shoulder. Greg opened the door and they all flooded in. I lifted my wand and slammed the door shut, locking it with magic and enchanting the padlock to lock itself. I heard them yelling at me and hitting at the walls to let them out, gently I stood up, careful of my shoulder.
,I turned to face the man wearing a three quarter length coat who was watching me closely. “Hello Rudolphus.” He looked at my shoulder. I could feel his smile more than see it, he pushed back his hood. My stomach was made of stone but I’d learnt how to hide it, gripping my wand but there was nothing I could do, I wasn’t half the wizard he was and he knew so much more and had no morale boundaries besides.
“Hello Draco.” His black hair flowed down his back, his long gaunt white face was framed by uncut stubble. He was tall and his blue eyes were just as mad as they were during the war. “Nice work.” He nodded towards the shed. “Perhaps we should make them burn.” He lifted his wand, a dreamy look in his eyes, I heard screams of fear coming from the shed behind me.
They can still hear, dam which charm did I miss?
“No.” He looked at me.
How many others did I miss?
“Oh come on. Thought you liked the screaming?” The burst of flames shot from his wand.
Save your wand for later Draco.
The flames hit a barrier surrounding the shed and were immediately extinguished. “Oh very clever my boy. I guess they can live a little longer. Make them suffer more.” He turned to face me.
My skin crawled and my insides churned. “I have a question for you my dear boy.” He walked closer, lifting his hand to touch my cheek. “That pathetic excuse of a father of yours. He was only in his Great Lord’s inside circle because of his influence in the ministry. He is dead and gone and you and your mother are free of him and his pathetic excuse of pure blood.” He grasped my face with two hands. “We can start a new family, and I can run everything from that house of yours, it has everything I need and more. I will marry your mother, kill that half-blood girl who violates a pure blood name and you can have a true father who doesn’t bring shame to the name pure-blood.”
No, you bring craziness to it.
“She’s yours and Bella’s daughter. Arabella is pure.”
“NO! No Arabella has been brought up by muggles! She is half-blood now and not my daughter, she is a traitor. I cannot allow her to live you must understand?” The manic desperation was written in the lines of his face.
He still loves her. Must have killed him inside in Azkaban.
“How to you even hope to accomplish this?”
“With you! My dear boy, however you must prove your worth. You must prove that, Lucius hasn’t destroyed you too much.” He flicked his hand at something in the shadows. Two men walked forward, both in Death-eater outfits.
“Who are they?” He chuckled.
“My Lord had some brains, in his terror of that puny half-blood destroying his horcruxes he left me in charge of all the new recruits. Whilst his fled from his side as soon as he fell, mine have stayed faithful.”
What are horcruxes?
They walked to the door and tried to open it. We stood watching them work. “What charms did you use?” I just smirked.
They flung the door open and one bloke walked in. What sounded like a fight was going on inside.
“Think you’re going to need a few more Deatheaters.” His mouth became a thin line. “Or is that it?” He smirked.
“Have to admit, wasn’t expecting you to bring friends.” All I needed to hear. I twisted pointing my wand at him, cursing him until he slammed against the fence. The sun went behind the clouds as I charged towards the shed. Kicking the second door I pointed my wand at the first who was in a fist fight with Weasley, both wands lying forgotten on the floor. I cursed him against the wall pointing my wand at the second who was already on the floor unconscious. Professor McGonagall was lowering a shovel to the surprised shocks of those around her. I turned back to the garden but Rudolphus was gone.
“FUCK!” I kicked the ground. “I had him! I had the son of a bitch!”
“What were you thinking Malfoy!” I turned to face them.
“I now know roughly what he intends to do and I know where your mum is.” I felt the triumphant smirk slowly fall of my face as I realised where she was. Crap.
Never thought I’d have to go back there. Holy mud.
“Malfoy Manor. All the Deatheaters had a key and know the tunnels in.” They nodded, ignoring the fact that I’d rather mumbled my response. My eyes rested on Granger.
Professor McGonagall was already moving, getting into position, ready to apparate in the garden. “Ready to go?” Looking at them, they were unsure of whether to trust me. I rested my eyes on Hermione’s brown and trusting.
Still trusting me? Really?
“Sure.” I lowered my gaze as my voice shook.
Oh Merlin let her mum be okay.
I held out my hand, taking theirs, feeling the tug at the back of my naval, and the nerves eating me inside.
Well if your reading this then you've stuck with me so far :) I truly hope your enjoying it. If you have any suggestions, comments, criticisms please leave a review and I will try my best to incorporate them :)
x Ravenpen x
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