To Find You Again
With her goal firmly in sight, Astoria paused momentarily in the middle of the room. Her plan was perfect and there would be nothing that could lead back to her. Reaching into her robes, she pulled out a syringe filled with strange-colored liquid and removed the cap. The Sleeper’s Death, they called it. One of the most banned potions to have graced the wizarding world. It had been used eons ago to remove one’s enemy and caused them to be buried alive. It had even been used on muggles not too long ago but when coffins were dug up and muggles had seen that their believed loved ones had struggled to survival their burial, the potion had been removed and quickly banned.
Glancing down at the girl, Astoria almost felt sorry for doing this. The girl really had nothing to do with any of this. All Astoria wanted was to remove her as an obstacle and she knew that it would also remove her mother from the picture. After all, Hermione would not stay married now especially when she had simply returned for only her daughter’s sake.
Pressing the lever, Astoria let a squirt of it slip out of the sharp pointed tip and turned her attention once more to the girl. She could see that Rose had been placed in a deep sleep and thus she would not even feel the slightest prick of the needle.
She moved to close to fill the gap between them and lowered her hand with the needle, prepared to insert it into Rose’s arm.
“Stupefy!” a call from behind called out and a flash from the wand lit the room briefly as it slammed into Astoria’s unprepared body that it sent her prone figure to hit the floor.
The figure moved across the room, sweeping their robes out of the way as they moved around and knelt beside her head.
“I warned you that your affections were unwarranted,” the figure hissed angrily. A glance up at the child in the bed told them that the sound had not affected the child in the least. He knelt at her head and whispered softly knowing she could still him, “We should go before someone finds us, don’t you think? Ah yes, you are unable to speak for the moment. Nevertheless, I came prepared.”
The figure reached into his robes and removed the portkey. He knew that St. Mungo’s held wards that would not allow those with portkeys entry, but years of learning how to work around them had given him an advantage and thus he had made sure the portkey would work properly enough to guide them away St. Mungo’s. He placed a hand down on Astoria’s shoulder and activated the portkey, sending them spiraling out of the room.
It was an hour later when Astoria awoke. Her head feeling like a splinted watermelon. A groan escaped her lips as she tried to rise from the ground. The place was dimly lit and her captor, whoever it had been, had made sure that she would recognize none of it. Briefly, she patted her robes hoping to find her wand but even that had been confiscated.
“I see you have awakened,” a voice came from off to the right side of her causing Astoria to skim the shadows in a glance for whom the voice belonged.
The figure stepped forward and into the dim light revealing Draco Malfoy. His winter blue eyes narrowed and full of hatred. She had never seen him look at her in such away. He had always been so nice to her. To see him look at her in such a way caused her to cringe away from his gaze.
“The Sleeper’s Death,” came another voice from the other side of her and the figure stepped into the dim light as well to reveal Lucius Malfoy. He held the syringe up and admired the strange-colored liquid contained within. “A banned potion that causes one to believe that their loved one is dead. I must say, Astoria, if circumstances were different, I may have been impressed with your ability to gain access to such an item as this.”
Lucius dropped the syringe on the floor and stepped on it hard, breaking the glass and sending the liquid to seep into the cobblestone of the floor.
“You thought to try to kill my daughter,” Draco snarled angrily reaching for Astoria and grabbing her by the hair to drag her up to his face. “I told you time again that I would never be interested in you and yet you continued to your worst!”
“I loved you,” she whimpered softly feeling like a child. Tears gathered in her eyes from the pain Draco’s grip had on her hair. “All I wanted was your love.”
“Love,” Draco spat angrily letting her go and turning away from her. “You don’t destroy the person you love simply to gain their affections.”
“Don’t ever say my name, Astoria!” He turned on her. His wand out and she found herself staring at the end of it. “You took Hermione away from me. You caused me to lose years of watching my child grow! That is not love.”
“Please,” she tried again reaching out for him hoping to do what so could to smooth this over between them and momentarily forgetting Lucius Malfoy in the process.
That was until the older Malfoy spoke. “Your determination to harm my family is over, Astoria Greengrass. Your fate has been discussed not only among myself and son, but also with your only living relative – your sister, Daphne. We have agreed that you shall be exiled from here and married.”
Astoria’s eyes widened in horror at the thought of being married to someone else. She looked over at Draco, whose features were unreadable to her, and she knew that he would save her from this fate. No, Lucius Malfoy would not give her a chance. He had already decided her fate and it was apparent her sister would dare not save her.
The traitor, Astoria thought angrily of her sister. She would have thought that familiar ties would have been enough for Daphne to beseech the Malfoys for leniency on her behalf. But then Daphne had long since removed herself from Astoria’s life upon marrying a pureblood Romanian.
“Worry not, Astoria,” Draco sneered at her with his wand still held up at her, “you will remember nothing of this. It is the least I can do to erase the horror you have caused.”
Astoria’s eyes widened at the implication. He wouldn’t do what she thought he would do, right?”
“Obliviate!” Draco hissed as a flash came from the end of his wand.
Four Weeks Later -
Lucius Malfoy reached for the paper that Narcissa had set next to his breakfast plate and lifted it up to read the newest headline blazing across the front: HARRY POTTER BEGINS DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS!
“Good morning!” Hermione greeted happily taking her seat to the left of Lucius and offering both her in-laws a warm, happy smile.
“Good morning, dear girl,” Narcissa returned with a smile. She leaned down to place a kiss upon the girl’s cheek. “Any good news on Rose?”
“The healers believe they may have removed the tumor permanently,” Hermione announced pleased. “Rose might be home next week.”
“Well, that is excellent news,” Lucius replied from behind his paper. He lowered it to glance at the two women in his life. “Perhaps we should have a celebration when she comes home.”
“I think that is an excellent idea,” Draco joined in leaning against the doorway and glancing at his family. It had been his dream to see this moment come to fruition. All that was missing was Rose.
“What are your plans for the day, love?” Narcissa inquired taking her seat across from her husband. She lifted her teacup and took a sip.
“Luna has requested we come to see her,” Hermione replied glancing down at her plate. She was still not quite sure that she wanted to see Harry nor listen to anything he had to say, but she had promised Luna that she would give him that chance to make it up to her – to her and Draco.
“Yes,” Draco replied glancing over at his wife and seeing the uneasy expression upon her face, “we will probably be gone for most of the afternoon.”
“Have fun then,” Lucius replied returning once more to the paper.
Hermione glanced at her husband and chuckled softly. Ever since she had learned that Astoria Greengrass had married Gregory Goyle some two weeks ago, it had been a surprise. She could not understand how Astoria’s infatuation with her husband had quickly dissipated as it had, and she had married Gregory Goyle in a quiet ceremony with plans to move from Britain to the United States to begin their married life. Hermione wanted to believe that their lives were about to become normal again, but she also believed that this was nothing more than a distraction and that Astoria was simply biding her time. It did not matter how many times Draco had assured her; Hermione could not find it within herself to believe it.
Not after everything she had put them through.
It had taken her time to set herself into a normal routine within the Malfoy household. For Hermione, it had felt like nothing more than a dream. She feared waking up and finding it nothing more than that and herself back in the cottage, alone in bed.
Draco had taken time away from work and remained at his wife’s side, going everywhere she would. He brushed away her nightmares, held her close to him at night, and whispered encouraging words in her ears. He saw to it that they focused upon the health of their daughter and made sure that they both stayed at the hospital until Rose would fall once more into sleep. He could see that his daughter was getting better every day. It had been just three days that he could a glimpse of her magic and realized that the tumor had affected her ability in the least. It would only be just a scant few years before she would receive her first Hogwarts letter.
Pushing away his plate, he glanced over at his wife and replied, “Are you ready?”
“Of course,” she said rising to her feet and offering each Lucius and Narcissa an affectionate kiss on the cheek.
“Enjoy, my loves,” Narcissa replied waving them off and turning her attention once more to her husband. Once the Draco and Hermione were gone, there was a gleam in her winter blue eyes that her husband had not seen in quite some time.
“You seem to be plotting something,” Lucius remarked setting down the paper and reaching for his cup of tea.
Narcissa shook her head and chuckled. “No, I just believe that we will be hearing the patter of little feet through the halls again.”
Lucius lifted a brow in question.
“Draco and Hermione,” she teased him. “I may be unable to carry any children, but I think it will only be time before we learn our dear girl is pregnant again.”
“And you would know this, wife?” Lucius inquired as to his wife were privy to some secret he did not know.
“You will see,” she teased again and rose from her chair to retrieve the tea kettle from a tray, only to find herself pulled into her husband’s lap.
“Minx,” Lucius whispered softly inhaling her scent and sighing softly.
Luna glanced over at Pansy and Harry and found herself smiling fondly at the two. She could remember that just a few short weeks ago when their secret had been revealed that it had taken both she and Blaise by surprise. Neither of them had been aware of the relationship between the former Slytherin and Boy Who Lived nor the secret they kept. Luna wondered if Harry had continued to see Pansy in secret, not because of the son they shared but the feelings that still felt between them. She knew that Harry’s marriage to Ginny had been nothing more than a wishful dream set by others to become the next James and Lily Potter. Harry had seen no way out of it especially when he knew that Albus Dumbledore had unseeingly made the reference to the Weasleys, who in turn believed that they would be destined for greatness and began to push the two together.
Luna frowned remembering the defeated look in Harry’s eyes upon finishing his story. She had not known the struggle the young man had been through or the feeling of isolation he had felt when Hermione had been removed from his life. Oh, he took some of the blame believing that he should have done something or spoken up, but instead, he let them rule his life.
He was different. He had come seeking the chance to repent and reclaim the life that had been left behind. The only thing was that he had no idea how Hermione would approach this. He had been told that Draco was not simply going to roll over and allow him the chance to squirm completely into her life. No, Draco was going to make it hard for Harry, this Luna knew.
“Hello!” a female voice broke through Luna’s thoughts causing her to turn to see Hermione and Draco approaching her.
“Hermione,” Luna greeted her best friend with a hug and a smile for Draco. “I am glad you came.”
“Hermione,” Harry whispered having heard the commotion and had risen to find his former best friend in the hallway with Luna and Draco.
“Hello, Harry,” Hermione whispered unsure of what to do or even say at this moment, but something told her that all this would change.