To Find You Again
If there was one thing Narcissa Malfoy hated was the fact both she and Lucius had used underhanded tricks to gain the information necessary from their daughter-in-law over Astoria’s part in the end of her marriage. Of course, it had been well worth it. They had listened intently to Hermione’s numerous and suspicious account of Astoria’s often early arrivals to the manor to bring whatever she could that she had believed to be important. Hermione, on the other hand, had begun to suspect that this was the only way possible of gaining a foot into their lives.
Once the conversation had concluded, Narcissa had been on the verge of suggestion that Hermione return upstairs to rest but Lucius had something else in mind – Legilimency. He wanted a first-hand glimpse of this. On his part, it was not meant to invade Hermione’s privacy – it was far from that. In fact, he had not even contemplated invading her mind until the thought had entered his mind. He had risen to his feet and pointed his wand, whispering the words that would offer him the access necessary.
When the images finished playing out, he murmured a sleep spell upon his daughter-in-law’s mind. He could only hope that this entire thing would play out as nothing more than a dream for her. He did not want this sort of thing to impact his new relationship with her and from the look from his wife, he could see Narcissa was less than pleased with this.
“Lucius!” She hissed softly watching the girl’s head tilt to the side as her eyes closed. “That was not what we discussed!”
Lucius sighed, “Forgive me, Cissy, but I needed to see it all personally.”
Narcissa’s lips thinned. Silence falling before them briefly before she spoke, “What did you see?”
“Astoria in their bed numerous times!” He growled replacing his wand back inside his cane. “I saw it all, Cissy. The various times Hermione has caught Astoria in their bed while Draco showered! This does not look good for our own son!”
Narcissa frowned. “Then, Hermione’s beliefs were true. I can see why she thought Draco was having an affair but I feel that due to a lack of Draco’s part, Hermione remains unaware of the curse – or blessing – where Malfoys can never cheat upon their chosen spouse.”
Silence once more prevailed between the two of them as Narcissa rang for an elf.
“Mistress need something?” the little elf inquired upon arrival.
“Please take Lady Hermione back up to hers and Draco’s room so that she may rest,” Narcissa ordered remaining in her seat and returning her blue eyes back to her husband. She waited until both the elf and Hermione were gone and said, “What are we going to do now?”
Lucius kept a tight hold upon his cane. “We watch Astoria closely. I am quite certain she is going to learn shortly that Hermione has returned and with her a child belonging to Draco.”
Narcissa stiffened at his words. She had forgotten momentarily of Rose. Deep within her heart, a fierce need to protect her granddaughter took bloom and rooted itself deep within.
“You don’t think Astoria would be stupid –“
“I do, Cissy,” Lucius interjected to his wife darkly. “If we are to believe the stories of Astoria’s desire to become Draco’s wife, then I would not put it past her to try to harm Rose in any shape or form.”
There was a pause on the conversation between both as each one contemplated the events in their minds.
“Then, we will need to find a way to protect Rose, “Narcissa concluded matter-of-factly. She could not imagine allowing Astoria anywhere near her granddaughter.
“Yes, we do, my love,” Lucius agreed moving to stand in front of her and touch her face lovingly. “We will take care of things to allow Draco a chance to repair the damage to his marriage.”
“Yes,” she murmured leaning into his caress. How she loved Lucius so much. She knew he would do anything to protect Rose.
“For now, we bid our time, Cissy,” he whispered. “Astoria is bound to mess up and that is when we will strike her.”
……Mummy, wake up….
Burrowing herself further deep into her blankets, she tried to block out the voice that called to her from the depths of her sleep. She did not want to wake up. Not right now really. She wanted to enjoy this moment of rest. Merlin knows she needed it more than anything.
A groan escaped her lips as one eye cracked open and glanced up at Rose leaning over her with concern written upon her face.
“Rose, darling,” someone whispered nearby, “let your Mummy sleep. She needs her rest. Much like you, my little love, she has had a really trying couple of weeks.”
“Is Momma okay?” Rose was concerned for the wellbeing of her mother’s health.
“I am sure she is,” the whispered voice assured her gently. She could see the outlined figure of Narcissa Malfoy trying to coax Rose into leaving the room and going back down to the family room with her. “Let us let her sleep and I am sure by tomorrow she will join us.”
Hermione drew back the blanket and tried to remove the feeling of exhaustion from her body. A yawn came from her lips as she looked at Rose and Narcissa as they had paused in the middle of the master bedroom.
“Mummy!” Rose squealed in delight as she let go of Narcissa’s hand and raced back to hug Hermione tightly.
“Hello, my little Rosebud,” Hermione murmured wrapping her arms around her daughter in a tight hug. Once she had let go of her little girl, she looked over at the woman quietly watching them. “Good evening, Narcissa. Do you know the time?”
“It is a little after six in the evening, my dear girl,” Narcissa replied coming back to the bed and sitting on the side’s edge. “You missed lunch with myself and Lucius, but worry not we understood you were tired.”
“I did?” Hermione’s eyes widened in horror that she sat up quickly in her bed and glanced down at the clothes she had put on much earlier during the morning. “I thought….I could have sworn that I went down to eat with you and Lucius.”
Narcissa shook her head. “We waited for twenty minutes for you before I sent up one of the elves to see if you were in distress. Mimsy came back to tell us that you were fast asleep on your bed.”
Hermione groaned clutching her head. Did she dream of eating earlier? She could only surmise she was much more tired than she had realized. Perhaps, in her theory, that she had dressed and laid back on the bed and fell back asleep the moment her head hit the pillow. She felt horrible now especially when she had promised to have lunch with them.
“I’m sorry, Narcissa,” she sighed softly.
Narcissa waved her hand, dismissing the apology. “No need, darling. You were tired. It was a long week for you, and you are still adjusting to this. We will just make sure to schedule for later this week. Maybe after you and Draco have seen your boss.”
“Of course,” Hermione replied quickly, “I am looking forward to it.”
“Come, Rose,” Narcissa rose to her feet and held out her hand to her granddaughter, “let us leave Mummy alone and allow her to shower and get some rest. Meanwhile, you and I will go and get you ready for a shower and bed. Would you like your grandfather and I to read to you tonight?”
“Oh yes, please!” Rose said excitedly taking Narcissa’s hand and following her to the door. “Will you and grandpa use your wands like you did when I first came here?”
“If that is what you wish,” Narcissa replied opening the door and allowing the two of them to step out into the hallway leaving Hermione once more alone.
Hermione smiled having watched the interaction between the two of them. She could tell Narcissa adored her granddaughter immensely. She knew that Narcissa had always wanted a girl but with Voldemort in power at the time, she could not risk having another child. After all, Draco had been promised to Voldemort by Lucius.
She remembered how angry Narcissa had been when she told the tale….of how she angrily turned her wand on her own husband and threatened him. It was an image she could not fathom in her head. Narcissa had always projected the dutiful wife and part of a system that Voldemort advocated for, but Hermione presumed the thought of Draco being forced to join the ranks of the Deatheaters had caused Narcissa to snap and draw her wand on her husband. If the situation had been reversed and Hermione had been in Narcissa’s shoes, she would have done the same. There would have been no way she would have allowed any child of her own blood to be forced to wear the mark.
Rising from the bed, Hermione retreated to the connecting bathroom to prepare herself for a relaxing bath. Turning on the faucets, she let the water begin to fill the tub and stepped back to shed the clothing she had fallen asleep in. Her thoughts turned to Draco knowing he would be home soon. Part of her had missed him immensely but the other half continued to remind her of his infidelity. It still made her heartache knowing he really did not love her as he had told her during the beginning of their relationship. She had always wondered if the sweet words he whispered during their time together were nothing more than lies.
Sinking down into the heated water, Hermione could feel the tears gather in her eyes. She did not want to believe that his words were nothing more than mere attempts to bolster the Malfoy standings.
Wiping the tears away from her face, Hermione laid back and allowed the water to relax her body and drive away her thoughts from her head.
Astoria Greengrass watched Gregory Goyle take a seat before her. Normally, she would not dare to place herself in the company of lower-level members of the Slytherin community, but she had need of his help. Though he was not the smartest of the two henchmen belonging to Draco Malfoy, he worked at St. Mungo’s. She had come to recruit him with the hopes of obtaining information upon Rose Malfoy. He knew he worked in the records department and he would have the ability to gain access to those records without the worry of being found out.
“I am surprised you owled me, Tori,” Gregory greeted. “How is your sister?”
“She is in Paris,” Astoria offered only a brief bit of information about her sister.
“So, you want to tell me what you called me for?” Gregory inquired curiously as he flagged down a waitress and ordered himself a drink. “I haven’t heard from you since our days at Hogwarts and suddenly out of the blue, you owl me.” There was a calculating look in his eye. “Now tell me what it is you want from me.”
“I need your help,” she said firmly pausing only for a moment as the waitress returned with two mugs of butterbeer, “I want you to find out everything you can about Rose Malfoy.”
“Rose Malfoy?” Gregory echoed the name, tasting it in his mouth. He had no idea Draco was a father. “Is there a reason for this?”
“It is best you know little of it, Gregory,” she said picking up the mug and taking a drink. “The less you know, the better.”
“I see,” was all he would say upon the subject.