To Find You Again
“She was there, Father,” Draco growled, running his slender fingers through his long blond hair and looking over at his father. A quiet Lucius was never a good sign, Draco had learned that long ago. His father seemed to be tucking his information into his head for later use.
“My dear boy,” Lucius began, “I would worry less about Astoria Greengrass. She has seen that your relationship has grown with your former estranged wife and has learned now that things have changed with you both.”
Lucius knew it not to be true. He was quite certain that seeing his son and daughter-in-law renewing their relationship may have made Astoria more desperate. This was a cause of concern for him as he worried that his only grandchild may have been placed in the crosshairs.
But if there was one thing about Lucius Malfoy, he had grown to love his granddaughter immensely. The young girl had taken to visiting him the moment she arrived home and the two of them would discuss matters of school over a cup of afternoon tea. It had become the highlight of his days and he always looked forward to it.
Even Narcissa, who normally seemed to be busy running the household, had taken time to join them. It had been quite something between the three of them. Rose had endeared herself to both the elder Malfoys and both had already made the Unbreakable Vow that they would protect their little treasure with their souls.
Lucius had to admit that having both Rose and Hermione back in the fold made the manor more like a home than something cold. He knew it would only be a matter of time before there would be more laughter and the expansion of the Malfoy name. He had always been aware that his only son had once longed for a sibling but neither he nor Narcissa wished to bring forth any more children as Voldemort would only serve to use them as pawns. It had been enough that he dangled Draco before Lucius to force the man to do his dirty work.
Lucius dreaded moments when he failed. He knew the punishments Voldemort would serve would be meant for Draco. He tried everything possible to protect his only son and oftentimes he was certain he would come across as cold.
When the offer to came to help bring down Voldemort, Lucius had looked at his wife as she had grown two heads. His place within Voldemort’s Inner Circle may have been shaky at best but it procured protection for both his wife and son. Yet, it was Narcissa who believed that they could make a change and help turn the tide of war. It had been her insistence that they think of their son’s future as the next Lord Malfoy.
For Lucius, he had always strong tied belief that purebloods were much more powerful and that they held the rights to rule of the wizarding world, but it seemed Narcissa had started to see things differently. He had learned his beloved wife had started making amends between the estrangement between herself and her middle sister, Andromeda.
And even more, he had learned that his own flesh and blood had started seeing the muggleborn, Hermione Granger, in a new light.
Lucius had not been pleased. He had suffered under Voldemort’s hand enough. He could not do so under the hand of Dumbledore and the Boy who just would not die. Yet, Narcissa was willing to put aside her distaste for the goodie-goods just for her son. So, Lucius swallowed his pride and asked for sanction for not only himself but for his wife and son.
Closing his eyes, he could almost see the knowing smile tugging on the aging face of Albus Dumbledore. The old Headmaster seemed to know things before anyone else. How? Lucius never really understood. It just always seemed to be that way.
Opening his eyes once more, he turned his wintery gaze toward his son. He could see the worry etching his face causing Lucius to frown. There had to be something done about Astoria, but he could not do it. He would have to wait until Astoria showed her hand and he surmised it would not be much longer before she did. Desperate people always managed to show their hand too early.
“Son,” Lucius began, “concern yourself not. For now, worry about the state of Rose’s health and Hermione’s need for you to be her strength. Astoria should be less of a thought in your head. She will play her hand sooner or later and I am quite certain all this will be over soon.”
There seemed to be a pause from Draco as he took in his father’s words with a nod of his head. “Of course, you are right,” Draco admitted pushing himself away from the fireplace and headed toward the door of his father’s study. “Hermione and Rose need me, and I should not be concerning myself with Astoria’s antics.”
Reaching for the door, Draco pulled it open only to find his wife with her hand raised mid-knock.
“Draco!” She huffed that he had nearly scared her out of her skin.
“You found Daddy!” came the soft giggles from behind Hermione.
“Indeed,” Draco drawled moving around his wife and gathering Rose into his arms.
Lucius watched his son’s family walk down and disappear out of the door. There had to be a way of riding his family of Astoria. Of course, he could not outright kill her. He had promised Gregory she would be his bride the moment he caught her in slip-up, but she had not done so. She had been quiet these past few days…that was until she had seen his son and Hermione in the throes of passion upon his desk. He could only fathom that such a scene she had by chance come upon would not cause her to lose focus enough to slip-up. All he had to do was bid his time and watch.
A dark smirk tugged on the corners of an aging mouth. She was going to be slipping and he would be there to catch her and end this madness once and for all.
“My colleague and I were going over the X-Rays and the information you sent to us, Mrs. Malfoy, and from where the tumor sits are a bit of concern for us,” Healer McCoy replied looking down at Rose’s records. His bushy brows bunched together in thought. He lifted his grey eyes to the couple in front of him. For Richard McCoy, he found the X-Rays rather fascinating. He had to admit, even if it were to himself, that such technology from the muggle world would benefit this world as well, “but my colleague and I have the utmost belief that we can rid Rose’s tumor. However, I must ask if Rose’s tumor has ever set off any of her magical abilities.”
“It has several times,” Hermione answered recalling the numerous times that Rose’s magical ability surfaced not only at the cottage but at school. At the cottage, it had been easier to clean up the mess that Rose often created, but the school had been another matter entirely. Hermione had to use illegal matters in order to make it appear to be a fluke of nature. It often worked but there were times she knew the teachers that see the display of magic were questioning the reality of the situation.
“The reason for the disconcerting is the fact the tumor sits on the part of the brain where her magical abilities are at. The tumor is enlarged and pressed down against that part of the brain causing her magical abilities to manifest at the oddest moments,” the healer explained. “If we can get the tumor down enough, we can possibly perform surgery to completely remove the tumor. Now, this does not mean there will not be complications. All surgeries have a complication to them and this one may be a bit severe.”
“Severe? How so?” Draco inquired curiously. He did not want to be told that there could be a possibility he would lose his daughter because that would be out of the question. He had just gained back his child and wife and he would not lose either of them.
“The severity could be that Rose may never be able to perform magic again,” the healer said sagely. “My colleague and I think if we can shrink the tumor just enough, we can remove it from the brain without any complications.”
“How soon can this be done?” It was Hermione’s turn to ask. She could feel Draco’s hand reach for her own and squeeze it. She looked over at him as he cradled their sleeping daughter with one arm.
“We would like to have her admitted this evening,” Richard McCoy said. “We would like to begin as soon as tomorrow morning.”
Hermione swallowed hard. The idea of not having Rose at home caused her heart to ache. She was not used to being away from Rose at any time. Her little girl had been her entire world and had managed to keep what sanity Hermione had left when her marriage had failed.
“I see,” was all that Hermione could muster quietly.
“Do what you must,” Draco spoke up finally glancing worriedly at his wife. “I will owl my parents to come to the hospital.”
Richard McCoy rose from his seat. “I will see to the preparations and have a room ready for Rose within the hour. This will allow you both to spend time with her and even have a family dinner.”
“Rose darling,” Hermione whispered reaching for her sleeping child and took her in her arms, allowing her husband to stand up from his seat. He took their child once more into his arms and held her.
“We will see you shortly,” Draco replied leading the two of them out the door and heading down the hallway.
“Rose’s room is being prepared,” Gregory Goyle announced watching the woman who stood by the large bay windows.
Astoria Greengrass turned to look at the burly young man. Although the news was not surprising, it was welcoming. She had been waiting for this ever since she had learned of Rose. Now all she had to do was get rid of the child, but how? She knew the Malfoys would be keeping constant vigilance on the child. She just needed to find a moment when they were not there and do away with her. In her mind, she believed that once Rose was gone so would be the marriage of Draco and Hermione. She believed that in Draco’s grief, she would be the one to pick up whatever pieces of his broken heart and put them back together.
And he would see her in a different light.
A light that would pave way for her to become his wife.
Everything would fall into place and she would reap the rewards that were due to her.
“Let me know when there is a gap between their visits,” she said before turning back once more to look out the window.
Gregory did not say anything. Instead, he lumbered away from her. He had seen the madness in her gaze and had tasted the horror that was in her mind. He had to tell the Malfoys right away and let the rest of the pieces fall into place.
Harry James Potter stood outside the tiny cottage that he knew belonged to Luna Lovegood. Ever since he had seen both she and Blaise that night, their words had replayed in his head. He knew they both had been right in their assessment – he had believed everything the Weasleys had said about Hermione that he too had shunned her. It had been his own fault and he knew that he had been wrong. He had even doubted that Hermione would even want to speak to him nor want to see him. She would have every right as he had been a downright git to her.
Moving forward he knocked on the door and stood back to wait. He could hear movement and muffled words coming from inside but what surprised him the most was the one who had answered the door – Pansy Parkinson.
“Potter,” the woman greeted him with a sneer on her face,” how delightful to see you.”
He flinched at the way she greeted him. “Parkinson,” he returned, “is Luna here?”
“Of course,” Pansy replied opening the door wide enough for him to see the blond standing behind him.
“Harry, what do I owe of this visit?” Luna inquired curiously. He could see that she was surprised to find at her door.
“Can we talk?” He asked.
Luna looked at Pansy and then nodded. “Come in and we will talk.”