To Find You Again
The moment Astoria caught sight of Gregory Goyle lumbering out of the lift, she made her way quietly toward the still-opened doors and slipped in, pressing herself tightly against the left wall. A hand rose to press the floor button that would take her quickly up to the floor where she was certain Rose Malfoy was staying.
As the doors closed, Astoria allowed herself to relax her tense form. She had been certain that Gregory had not seen her. She had even doubted he knew she was there. She had made no mention of her arrival at the hospital to him nor had she offered any word of it during their last and final conversation a few days ago. She did not think to bother him with it either. If she had, she knew he would have tried talking her out of this. He had been trying since the day she had recruited him in her grand scheme of gaining Draco’s affection away from his wife. She had seen the worry line his face and the deep concern that the Malfoys were not one to trifle with.
Yet, Astoria had refused to heel to his words. Her goal was in sight and soon with Rose completely gone from his life, she believed that the mudblood would follow. She was sure the marriage would never recover from any of this and who knew – maybe Granger would lay the blame at Draco’s feet for their loss.
Everything was planned perfectly, she prided herself on it. She could not wait to execute it.
The tiny lift bell drew her attention once more to reality as the doors rolled open and offered her a glimpse of a dimly lit hall of the children’s unit. Astoria pushed herself away and made her down the hall, pausing every so often to glance at the names on the placard. So far, none of them held Rose Malfoy on them.
That was until she came to the room nearly close to the healer’s station. There, in dark letters was the name “Malfoy”. Astoria grinned madly, removing her wand from her robes, and headed into the room.
Pansy’s chocolate-colored eyes narrowed at the Boy who Lived. She could see the wheels in his head turning as he tried to come to grip with the notion that his little secret was about to be brought to light. She knew that She Weasel had no idea about their little secret and he had made sure that it had stayed that way, but Pansy had learned that secrets were never meant to stay that way – secrets would always come to light one way or another and it was time this one did. She had grown tired of being his secret and she was tired of keeping it.
“Pans?” Blaise’s voice drew her from her thoughts and her head turned toward the dark Slytherin. She could see the concern and confusion on his face.
“Pansy’s child is mine,” Harry spoke up causing all those present in the kitchen to turn their heads to look at the former Gryffindor in surprise.
Even Pansy, who believed that he would have never acknowledged their secret, had been surprised by the words that had fallen from his lips. Yet, as she took in his form, she could see the defeat, the tiredness, and the struggle in his green eyes. Her face softened. It had been what she had always wanted from him – to acknowledge that her son was his. Now, she was getting it, and no longer the revenge she felt had vanished from deep within her.
“Whoa! Pansy and Potter?” Blaise was the first to speak his disbelief at the situation. He had never suspected that there had been anything between the two except a deep and unbridled hatred toward each other. There were always sparing each other to defend each of their friend from the other.
Yet, as the realization sank into his head, he still could not wrap his mind around it. All those months he had seen Pansy either sneaking off or returning late into the hours that she had been with Potter all this time. At that moment, it all made sense to him. He understood why Pansy would never tell him nor even drop any hint because she did not want anyone knowing.
“The relationship between us was tentative at best. Pansy had come upon me one night when I had a falling out with Ginny,” Potter spoke up again running his slender digits through his unruly dark hair. “It was funny though because we had spent an hour earlier insulting each other and yet Pansy offered an ear. Things were changing between us with each passing day and I knew I would have to leave the Order soon to find the Horcrux.”
There was a slight pause, but Potter knew they were hanging onto his story – well, at least, Luna and Blaise were. Pansy, on the other hand, seemed to be surprised that he had been willing to spill anything that had happened between them.
“Ginny and I still were not talking to each other,” Harry continued with a soft sigh, leaning his head back to look up at the ceiling. “She was furious that I wanted to repair the relationship between me and Hermione. I had seen the way Draco had treated her. I saw first hand how much he loved her and the great lengths he went through to protect her from his own aunt, but Ginny and Ron saw her nothing more than a traitor and had begun to refer to her the Mudblood Traitor. I – I blew a fuse with her and walked out.”
Luna leaned back in her chair still stunned from the revelation. She had no idea that the moment he arrived at the door, that all sorts of secrets would be coming out.
“That night things between Pansy and I escalated that led to the creation of our son,” he said lowering his head once more to look into the eyes of occupants of the kitchen.
“A son,” Luna echoed unsure of how to proceed with any questions that she may have had. She knew the situation was delicate between all of them, but with Harry willing to take charge of it and tell them the truth; Luna saw a chance that they could heal the rift between them all. She was not certain whether this would ring true with Hermione and Draco. After all, Harry had walked away from years of friendship and Hermione’s incisive researching that would often lead to the Order gaining the upper hand over the Death Eaters. “What is his name?”
“Sirius Albus,” Pansy finally answered trying to keep herself up on her shaking legs but failing miserably that she took the seat.
“Look Potter,” Blaise started. He was still trying to wrap his mind around the notion of Pansy and Potter together and still unable to do so, “it might be a while before I can get Hermione or Malfoy here. Their daughter is currently ill and in the hospital.” He lifted his hand to halt Potter from saying anything or rising from his seat. “You have to give them time right now. Malfoy and Hermione are just repairing some damage to their marriage. I won’t tell you the entire story about it because it is not my place, but I think once we get them here and you three have a discussion, this might change.”
“A daughter?” Harry inquired glancing over at Luna and then at Pansy, who shrugged her shoulders.
Luna smiled, “Yes, a little girl named Rose.”
“I did not know,” Harry said. “There was never any sort of announcement about it.”
“Rita Skeeter would have loved to have had that scoop,” Pansy snorted remembering how the Animagus had been able to write those interesting tales during their fourth year. Of course, Draco was not happy about those tales. He hated hearing how there may have been something between Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. She recalled the many tantrums Draco threw each time he had access to The Daily Prophet.
“There is a lot of things that were never in the paper, Harry,” Luna replied rising to feet and gathering the pot of now cold tea and emptying it in the sink. She quickly cleaned the kettle and left it to dry. “Look, why don’t we discuss what we could do for dinner – either have it delivered or Pans and I go to the store and pick up something to make.”
“Let’s get takeout,” Blaise stated as if to end any further conversation of it, “and camp out in the living area while we restart up,” he gestured to their group lazily, “whatever this is.”
Luna turned her attention to Pansy and asked, “Why not retrieve Sirius and bring him here?”
Pansy briefly debated this before nodding her head and disappearing with a loud ‘CRACK!’
An hour later, the group found themselves sitting on the floor of the living area. Food boxes and empty plates were strewn around. What had been tense earlier had dissipated. In place, there was laughter and reminiscing of their pasts during their years at Hogwarts. It was a much different sight.
Harry, on the other hand, was enjoying spending time with his son in the open. He had not been able to do this without fear that Ginny would find out. He had not wanted her to know of his infidelity during their brief split-up during the war. Now, he was at the point where he no longer cared whether she knew or not.
“What are you going to do, Potter?” Blaise asked leaning back on his hands and glancing lazily at his former adversary.
“Ginny is going to be served with papers probably in the next few days,” Harry replied as he offered his only son another slice of pizza.
Sirius shook his head and lifted his green eyes to both of his parents. “I am sleepy,” the boy replied.
“There is a room just near the kitchen,” she directed the young boy and smiled. “Go on and go lay down on the bed.”
The boy rose to feet and kissed both his parents on the cheek before heading directly to the room.
“Has he shown any magical abilities yet?” Blaise found himself curious about the child.
“He has,” Pansy replied with a nod. “Little things that I don’t think he is aware of, but Harry and I have come to an agreement that we think he should begin learning magic soon.”
“Taking him to get his first wand?” Blaise prodded.
Pansy’s brow rose playfully. “I believe you are trying to place Potter and me in the rumor mill.”
“Of course not, dear Pans,” Blaise replied waving away the accusation. “I thought that having both parents there when he goes for his wand would make things easier on him.”
Harry snorted. He knew that Blaise did not care one whit about Sirius gaining his wand, only how Ginny and the Weasleys would take the news that he had a son with Pansy. He had not told them that Ginny had not wanted children – that she waited to tell him during the blissful months after their wedding. It had hurt him that Ginny did not want children with him, but there had been some relief. He already had his heir should anything happen to him. He had stored away some of the money he had been earning into a Gringotts vault for his only son, something Ginny had no idea of.
“Potter, why are you so quiet all of a sudden?” Blaise asked.
“Thinking,” came his only response.
“About?” It was Luna’s turn to prod.
“Everything,” he stated honestly. “I realize now that my marriage to Ginny was –“ he cut himself off unable to find the correct words that would convey his exact feelings upon his marriage to Ginny. For him, he believed that his desire to recreate the loving relationship that his parents, James and Lily, had that it had blinded him from seeing exactly what Ginny and her family had been.
But the thing was he also blamed himself immensely for letting himself be blinded by the devotion he had felt for her and the friendship that had been forged between himself and Ron. The Weasleys had welcomed him upon first meeting him and gave him a place within their home as part of their family. Yet, they had been quick to close ranks and vindictively ruin anyone who they believed had done wrong to a member of the family. He had seen it when Ron and Hermione’s relationship ended.
But before it had ended, it had been Ginny that had encouraged Ron to seek out Lavender Brown to see to his needs. The two girls had become close since the beginning of the war. He would have thought Ginny would have become close to Hermione, but Ginny held resentment toward the muggleborn witch. She believed that Hermione was trying to steal Harry from her and fed this into Ron’s ear. He had watched from the sidelines as this pushed Ron away from Hermione and into the arms of Lavender.
He had been a fool to allow it to happen and he had been a fool to not have prevented it. He doubted that either Draco or Hermione would ever forgive, and they would have the right to do so. He did not even bother to stop any of the Weasleys from shutting Hermione out of the meetings.
“Harry, are you okay?” Pansy asked with concern underlying her tone. She glanced at her former lover and could see that the past had started to catch up with him.
“I – I’m fine, Pans,” he said removing his glasses and rubbing his tired eyes.
“Harry, why don’t I give you some blankets and you can sleep in the room with Sirius,” Luna offered, rising to her feet and preparing to go gather up the items for him.
“You don’t mind us staying?” He asked surprised.
Blaise shook his head. “No, we don’t. I think we have made steps in repairing a lot of the relationships here tonight. Not all of them but the ones here.”
“I – thank you both,” Harry stated firmly rising to his feet and following Luna out of the room.
Once they were alone, Blaise glanced over at his friend, who seemed to be contemplating something in her head.
“Pansy, are you okay?” He asked.
“I’m fine,” she said waving away his concern. “I just,” she paused before she corrected herself, “I thought all my feelings for him had gone away. We had not talked. I mean, I saw him every time he came to visit Sirius, or we met him somewhere in the muggle world for their visits. I did not realize that I still loved him.”
Blaise could say nothing. He never thought he would hear Pansy proclaim her love for anyone other than Draco.
And yet, here she was doing so but about Potter.
Running his fingers through his hair, Blaise could not help but surmise that this had been one hell of a day for confessions.