"have you told father about Harry yet?"
"excuse me?" Daphne asked her sister, looking up from the book she had been reading, Astoria was currently leaning against the door frame to the lounge, looking at her sister with her arms crossed.
"I said, have you told father about Harry yet." She said again, "he's coming back today."
Daphne groaned, her father had been away from the house for almost four days, he hadn't even been there to pick them up from Kings Cross,instead sending an associate of his to bring them home, "I haven't had the chance." She said.
Astoria smiled in amusement, 'you know he'll blow a gasket when he finds out you've kept a relationship under wraps for almost three months now."
Daphne put her book down, "well then, I guess I'm going to have to break it to him gently."
Astoria laughed, "there's no 'gently' when it comes to giving him news, no matter what, he'll be pissed."
"you don't know that," Daphne objected, closing the book and standing up.
"sure, sure." She sid as the fire suddenly flared green, "that's probably him now."
Out of the fire stepped out a man dressed in a three piece suit, a large black trenchcoat covered it from the cold and dreary weather outside, on his head sat a Fedora, which kept his long silvery-black hair down, in his hands he held a pair of wire-rimmed glasses, his face was hard set and serious, and he had quite a few creases lining his face, from both years and stress, his blue eyes were cold and calculating, and yet, when they gazed upon the two young girls, they softened, "good evening girls." he greeted, walking towards them, the tension slowly going out of his shoulders.
"Father," the girls chorused, standing next to each other as he walked up to them.
he looked both up and down, as if trying to find something wrong, "I'm sorry," he said after a few moments, "for not being there to pick you up, the ministry is breathing down my back about a new shop I'm trying to open in Diagon Alley.'
"Did they find something wrong with it father?" Astoria asked.
"no, they're just trying to," he said, walking over to a coat rack as he pulled off the trench coat, "nitpicking bastards the lot of them," he hung it up, "then I had a problem with Muggle law enforcement, it seems one of the suppliers for Magical Menagerie let a couple of Nifflers get out of their cages, took a couple of hours and quite a few watches to catch them." he sighed, putting the Fedora on the coat rack too before he turned towards them, 'how was school?"
"good father," they chorused,
"charms is giving me a bit of a problem," Astoria said, "but a Ravenclaw girl is helping me."
"oh?" he asked as he sat down in his favorite chair, 'and what's her name?"
Astoria hesitated, "L-Luna Lovegood." She said.
"a lovegood?" he asked with a small scoff.
"yes father, a Lovegood." Astoria said, "she's a little…eccentric-"
"Eccentric isn't the word I'd use for that family." He said, "completely bonkers is what I'd use, Brilliant, but Bonkers." He shook his head, pulling his wand out and waving it, summoning a copy of the daily prophet from a coffee table across the room, "so long as she's helping you, I have no quarrel, but best be careful that your…acquaintance with her isn't too outspoken."
Astoria clenched her fists, "what's wrong about having a friend that's a lovegood?" she asked, anger creeping into her voice.
"Astoria," Daphne whispered fiercely, sparing a glance at their father, who was now peering at her over the top of the Prophet.
"nothing is wrong with it," he said, "but being friends with her could very well turn you into a pariah, and i'd rather that not happen to either of you." he smoothed the prophet out and looked at the front page, "believe me when I say it's for your own good."
Astoria huffed, but said nothing.
Daphne looked at her sister, "father," she said, stepping forward, "I have a favor to ask of you."
He raised an eyebrow as he looked at his eldest, "and that is?"
"have…have you heard about that Hippogriff? The one that hurt Draco Malfoy?"
Astoria looked inquisitively at her sister.
"hmm…" her father grimaced, "Lucius Malfoy tends to use the word "attacked" when discussing that incident." He said, "he's been stirring up a storm because of what happened."
"yes…and…I was wondering…well…"
he put his paper down, "yes?" he prompted.
"I…I'm acquaintances with the man who own the Hippogriff…and iw as wondering if you can help him."
He frowned, he leaned forward, the paper completely forgotten, "and what kind of help can I offer him?"
"Rubeus Hagrid; the man who is going to have to go to trial, has never even been in front of the wizengamot, let alone defending something so precious to him," she said, "and I know you love magical creatures."
"True, but would it be morally right to help an creature that attacked a boy-"
"That provoked him into attacking." Astoria piped up quickly, making both her sister and father look at her, "I heard from Tracey Davis that Malfoy was insulting the Hippogriff, even after the teacher told him that it was unwise to do so."
"he's also been milking his injuries." Daphne added, "he never liked Hagrid, and thought this would be the best way to get rid of him."
"and this has nothing to do with your infatuation with a certain Mr. Potter, is it?"
Daphne stared at her father in shock, then she stared at Astoria who looked just as stunned, "I…I didn't tell him I swear."
"of course you didn't," he said dismissively, "Lucius seems very keen to tell me about it every time he sees me in the ministry."
"I…I meant to tell you about him father…i…I promise…"
he leaned back in his chair, "Astoria, Please leave us."
"Leave us," he said, a little more forcefully.
Astoria looked helplessly at Daphne, who mouthed Go on.
As soon as Astoria was out of the room, her father flicked his wand, closing the door, he stood and walked over to the fire, looking into it, "Tell me about Potter." He said after a few moments.
"um…father?" she started, "What about Ha-"
"tell me about potter." He said again.
Daphne bit her lip, "he's…he's sweet," she said, "caring and funny…makes me laugh."
He raised an eyebrow, "how did you two meet?"
"w-we were doing research in the library." She said, "and just…and just started hanging out."
He ran a hand through his hair, "why didn't you tell me?"
"I…I promise I was going to." She said, "I…I just
"you just thought you'd keep it a secret until 'the right time'?" he asked, "if that was your plan I'd have to say you botched it horribly." He turned and looked at her, "do you have any idea the field day you've given the prophet? How this looks?"
"he's just Harry Potter," Daphne said defensively.
"exactly," he said, "he's Harry Potter, the boy who lived, a celebrity in the wizarding world, and you're Daphne Greengrass, the daughter of a well-known business man."
"what does that have to do with anything?!"
"everything!" he snapped, stirring Gryf from his sleep and making him dart into Daphne's pocket, "when someone like Potter gets into a relationship, they do not see it as something that merely 'happened' they see it as you trying to get an edge up in the magical community, they see it as you trying to obtain important connections for me."
"is it?" he asked, Tossing the paper to her, she caught it and looked at the front page story, featuring: Harry Potter and his gold-digging girlfriend.
"the writers," he began, "in the Daily Prophet, don't care about the truth of how you met him, or why you truly keep seeing him, they will print what they think will attract readers, and when you have a Malfoy giving them 'insider knowledge' on your relationship, your name gets dragged through the mud, lucky for you I had a couple of friends in the prophet that were able to make this disappear."
Daphne resisted the urge to crumple up the Prophet, and instead carefully folded it and put it on her father's chair, "I don't care," she said with finality, "if they want to try and smear my name, let them try, I know why I'm with Harry, as does he, I've been dealing with slander for the past three months, I can put up with a little more-"
"This isn't just about you!" he thundered, making Daphne flinch, "since that story came out, I've been losing business! I've had to deal with more and more false complaints about those under my employment then I've ever had to deal with before; not to mention that Lucius Malfoy is at my door every other day, trying to skim me on contracts that he wants out of because of these stories!" he spat into the fire, making it sizzle, "'bad for business' he says, even though it was his own son who started these damn rumors!" he took a deep breath to calm himself. Pinching the bridge of his nose as he did.
Daphne looked down, "I didn't think this was affecting you…" she muttered.
"anything you two do, affects me," he said, looking up at her, then sighed, "but I'm guessing that no matter what I do, or say, that you'll still be going out with Potter."
"I'm sorry," Daphne said, "but I can't end it; a-and I truly want you to help Hagrid, not because of Harry, but because it's the right thing to do."
He contemplated what she had said, just as he was about to speak, the fire turned green, and a head appeared in the flames, "William!" the head said, "the department of magical creatures is having a field day here! You need to come in."
"can't it wait?" he asked.
"sorry Will, but they are not in a very patient mood at the moment."
He sighed, "I shall be there momentarily."
"hurry." And with that, the flames died back down
"I'll be back soon," he said, grabbing his coat and hat and putting them on as quickly as he could, "tell your sister I should be back by the time you two wake up tomorrow."
"Father…what about Hagrid?"
he hesitated, "I'm not sure yet, I will let you know before you go back to Hogwarts, goodnight Daphne."
"Goodnight…" she mumbled as he took a pinch of Floo powder and threw it into the fire, "Magical Menagerie." He said, disappearing into the green flames.
wvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwv Daphne walked into her room after taking a much needed shower, she quickly changed into some undergarments and put on her Gryffindor jumper, she looked at Gryf who was curled up on her pillow, smoke rising out of his nostrils, she ran a finger along his spine, making the small dragon shiver.
"Dad laid into you, didn't he?" Astoria asked from Daphne's open door.
"he didn't hold back," Daphne muttered as she walked over to her vanity table, picking up her brush and running it through her hair, "have…have you been suffering? From my decision to stay with Harry?"
"not really," Astoria said, "I mean, I have friends in almost every house, and they stopped saying things to me since Ginny Weasley hexed Montague for calling me a slut."
"you're friends with Ginny Weasley?" Daphne asked in surprise.
"now I am." She said with a smirk.
Daphne gave a soft chuckle, "glad to see you're as good as making allies as dad is."
"they're not allies, they're friends." She said, leaning against her sisters' wall, "you know, like Tracey is to you?"
Daphne smiled, "guess you're right."
"anyways, I'm going to go to sleep, and it looks like you got mail."
Daphne watched her sister leave with confusion in her eyes, which quickly disappeared when she heard tapping at her window, making Gryf stir from his sleep, Daphne looked over at the window, spying a snowy owl perched on her windowsill, tapping impatiently. Daphne quickly stood up and ran over to her window, quickly opening the window and letting the owl fly in, weighed down slightly by a parcel in its hands, "oh…you must be Hedwig."
The owl hooted happily at being recognized, before dipping her head down towards the parcel, and the letter tied to her leg.
Daphne quickly untied the letter, "well thank you," she said, running a hand over her feathers before opening the letter and looking at its contents.
I hope you like your presents, took me a bit to find one for you, but I know Mrs. Weasley was hard at work on yours for quite some time, hope you enjoy them.
Daphne smiled and looked at the Parcel, "what do you suppose it is Gryf?" she asked the small dragon, who had perched on the vanity next to Hedwig, who was looking at the dragon in disdain, Daphne just chuckled and opened it, her eyes widening when she saw a dark green sweater, she slowly picked it up, looking at the silver DG stitched onto the chest, she took off her Gryffindor sweater and quickly slipped on her new one, smiling at how well it fit her, "this one I'll be able to wear around the castle," she said, taking it back off and putting her other one on. She looked back at the wrappings and found a tin of homemade fudge and a small cardboard jewelry box, she picked up the jewelry box and opened it, smiling when she found a silver necklace, it was simple, with a small heart with what looked like a diamond stud in the middle, it wasn't Goblin made, or magical, in fact, she was pretty sure he ordered it from a muggle jewelry shop, but Daphne loved it, and as she put it on, she couldn't help but hope that harry liked the present she got him.