To Find You Again
Hermione flinched at the tone of Blaise’s words. She could feel the anger radiating off his body, threatening to drown her. She did not blame her for being angry. If she had been in Blaise’s shoes, she would be just as angry for not stepping forward and telling her friend of the child that had been conceived prior to their separation.
Hermione glanced over at Luna, who had reappeared in the doorway of the kitchen.
“Rose is in my room watching a movie,” Luna announced as she made her way over to the already made tea from earlier and poured Hermione a drink. As she took her seat next to her friend, she could see the worried expression that was etching her face. She could only surmise this came from the fact that Blaise now knew about Rose. Had he threatened her while she was seeing to Rose’s comfort? “Hermione, what is wrong?”
Blaise’s eyes snapped over to Hermione, only when he finally got a good look at her could see that there was something under the surface that seemed to be bothering. She seemed to be struggling with something internally and it made him itch to know what it was.
Hermione lifted her head to look at both. Her fingers curled around the warm mug as a sigh fell from her lips. She could feel the tears threatening again to fall and she was not sure how much she could trust Blaise now, but she had little choice.
“It’s Rose,” Hermione spoke up finally moving a hand upward to her face to wipe away a stray tear. “The doctor called me this morning. He wanted to see me and that they had the results for why Rose was having nausea and headaches frequently.”
“What did he say?” Blaise asked wanting to know what it was that had upset Hermione so much.
“Rose has a tumor,” Hermione announced softly, “She has astrocytoma. The doctor recommends surgery be done quickly. He gave me a referral for her to see a muggle specialist, but I want to see a Healer at St. Mungo’s to see if there is a much better way and chance to help Rose.”
Rose had a tumor, the words played themselves like a mantra in Blaise’s mind. He was not sure how to respond such devastating news. He knew he could not very well go to Draco with the notion of him having a child much less tell him that his own child was sick. He could only surmise the rage that would come.
“You have to tell Draco, Granger,” Blaise finally spoke up. His voice but a mere whisper. “You cannot expect me to keep this from him especially when he doesn’t know his own daughter is ill.” There was a brief pause. “He can get you in to see a specialist at St. Mungo’s.”
Blaise could see the turmoil raging in Hermione. He knew that the notion had possibly already popped up in her mind but maybe if he could offer the encouragement, she would take it and do what was best for her child. Yet, at the same time, Blaise knew that once Draco knew of Rose, there would be hell to pay and Hermione would have no choice but to dance with the devil.
“You should consider it, Hermione,” Luna replied softly reaching over to touch her friend’s hand and give it an encouraging squeeze.
“I-I don’t know,” Hermione whispered softly trying even harder to keep the tears at bay. “I don’t want to place Rose in a situation that she isn’t ready for.”
“Do you mean you are not ready for?” Blaise sneered at her. He watched the shocked expression dance upon her face. As she opened her mouth to offer a retort, he raised his hand up to silence her. “No, Granger, you will listen, and you will listen good, do I make myself clear?” He watched her for a moment to see the anger swelling in her features. Oh, he was going to get torn to shreds by her, but he did not care. He wanted to rile her up enough that it would send her in the right direction – straight to Draco. Perhaps, he thought, it would even be the end of that bitch, Astoria, who still thought she would have a chance to become the future Lady Malfoy. “Rose is dying, Hermione, and you don’t have the damn money or the influence to see a specialist within St. Mungo’s. Hermione Granger disappeared a long time ago and in her place is another woman who does not have the influence that she would have!”
For a moment, there was silence. He could see the raging current of turmoil inside of her. He knew if it wasn’t that this was Luna’s home, he was certain her wand would have been out and an assortment of hexes would have been tossed at him faster than he would have had a chance to get his, but he also knew he had struck a nerve. One so deep that it was eating at her.
“You have two days,” he gave her the ultimatum. “Two days to see Draco and confess he has a daughter. Should you ignore this warning, well then, it would be a pity for Draco to find you as we know that Malfoys are vindictive.”
“Miss Astoria Greengrass is here to see you, my lady,” Flimsy the Malfoy Manor house elf announced stepping to aside to allow the dark-haired woman entry into Narcissa’s sitting room. Astoria rarely made any effort to interact with the Malfoy matriarch unless it was in her interest. Narcissa could only surmise this call would be the same.
“Thank you, Flimsy,” Narcissa acknowledged giving Astoria a calculated look before gesturing for her to take a seat.
Setting her ink and feathered pen to aside, Narcissa had decided that whatever work she had planned on doing would have to wait for the moment. Astoria rarely, if anything, visited and when she did, it always came with a request for something. Perhaps, in another time and place, Narcissa would have gladly advocated for her to become the next Lady Malfoy but Hermione was still part of this family and nothing would change this. Her son had already informed her several days prior that he had seen her and that she had been right beneath their nose. Narcissa had to give her estranged daughter-in-law credit where it was do – she had played a marvelous game of cat and mouse with her son and now the game was coming to an end.
The only problem currently was the one standing before her. Narcissa was not a stupid woman. She knew that Astoria’s presence in her son’s life had been the reason behind Hermione’s departure. The only thing she did not know was how had Astoria had managed to do so. She did not expect to her to give her answers either.
For once, Narcissa’s interest is piqued and briefly she wondered if Astoria had been privy to the information of Hermione yet.
“What do I owe of this visit, Miss Greengrass?” Narcissa inquired with a slight raise of a slender brow.
“Let us cut to the chase,” Astoria stated the moment she took her seat and looked over Narcissa briefly. She had come to Malfoy Manor with the hope of connecting with the Malfoy Matriarch. It would be the only way she could gain footing with Draco. She knew he loved his mother more than anything and any offer of advice he would listen to. She also knew that she was detrimental to the Malfoy Family changing sides during the war. She knew Lucius Malfoy would have never contemplated such a traitorous thing as turning his back on his lord.
Now here she was hoping that it would be by her approval that Astoria could start to push Draco in the direction of divorcing Hermione. Astoria had been in love with Draco since she first laid eyes upon him during her first year at Hogwarts. She had tried numerous times to catch his attention, but it always seemed his attention was on causing Granger’s ire. At first, she just chalked it up to wanting to mess with the Golden Trio but then something changed. She could not recall when it did, but the change was subtle at first. Draco no longer made any attempt to cause trouble with the Golden Trio but to gain the attention of Granger. At first, she thought it was mainly to get close to Granger and learn the secrets of that would help Voldemort win against Dumbledore and his army, but then the Malfoy Family switched sides and were oust from the Wizarding world.
She had to admit that it crushed at first. Her greatest love had turned against the Pureblood teachings but for what reasons? Then, it became all too clear for her: Draco Malfoy was in love with Hermione Granger. He had changed sides with the hopes of gaining her love. Astoria had begun to hate Granger with a passion. She could never fathom what Draco saw her in. She was bushy-haired, bucktooth, know-it-all Gryffindor. Astoria had vowed she would come between them.
Shortly after the war and her return to Hogwarts to graduate, Astoria sought out an opportunity to work in Draco’s business. She had worked hard and did everything possible to move herself up the ladder until she had become his secretary. Now all she would have to do is place herself in his good graces. It was hard at first especially with Granger always there at his side. She had remembered the frustration of every time Granger would walk in unannounced and Draco’s face lighting up upon seeing his wife. Every opportunity to gain his attention lost the moment she arrived.
And then opportunity had presented itself one day. She had been summoned to Malfoy Manor to discuss some of the paperwork that they had been working on. Astoria had seen this as the right moment to get rid of Hermione Granger all together. While Draco had been in the shower, Astoria had made herself presentable in less clothes and knew Granger would be coming at any moment. Like clockwork, she appeared. Astoria could still recall the look of shock and hurt as it flittered across the mudblood’s face. Poor girl looked like if the kneazle had her tongue. She could see the tears falling down her face as she took a step back out of the room and fled.
For Astoria, it had been a shallow victory. Draco still was not hers. He still belonged to the mudblood even after all this time. She had tried numerous times to get him into her bed but he seemed uninterested.
Now here she was hoping to gain the favor of Narcissa Malfoy.
“The chase, my dear?” Narcissa’s voice was soft but there was something lacing her tone that offered a short warning. “I would have thought your chase of my son would have ended long ago when he showed no interest in you.”
Her words cut deep causing Astoria to stiffen.
“You thought to come here with the hope of gaining my approval and thus push Draco into your arms,” Narcissa continued seeing the color draining from Astoria’s face. “I have watched you destroy my son’s marriage for your selfishness, but what have you gained since my daughter-in-law’s disappearance? I will tell you what: nothing. You continue to pursue Draco hoping he will one day return your love and yet you have nothing to show forth from this endeavor. He has offered no words of affection or offered any encouragement of he will share your bed.” There was a small pause. “I think you should cut your losses with my son and move on. You will not gain a footing into his bed nor will you ever become a Malfoy as you have dreamed. Oh yes, my dear girl, I know. “
Astoria pursed her lips together in anger. How dare the Lady Malfoy assume she did not have a chance with Draco, she swore silently to herself.
“I came here with hopes of your help to gain your appr –“
Narcissa cut her off, “You came here with the wrong idea. I have no intentions of helping you continue chasing my son like some lovesick teenager. My son is still married to Hermione and it is the Malfoy decree that divorce is not an option. You see, when Malfoys marry, they remain loyal forever to their spouse. Call it a curse. Call it a blessing. Either way, you will never become a Malfoy regardless of your schemes.”
Astoria rose from her chair and moved across the room to the door. “I don’t need a lesson in Malfoyism, Lady Narcissa, but I will make sure that Draco is mine in the end.”
And with that, she was gone leaving Narcissa with a slight frown on her face and a need to seek out her husband.
Hermione Jean Granger-Malfoy rose early from her bed and padded barefoot from her bedroom into the kitchen. There she found both Luna and Blaise sitting at the table drinking tea and softly discussing the matters of the last few hours. She could not remember what exactly brought them all to her home, only that Luna believed that it would be in the best interest to move their conversation out of her apartment and back to the cottage where their conversations could continue without nosey neighbors. It did not matter if a Silencing spell had been cast upon the entire apartment. Plus, this allowed Rose to be a place where she could sleep better.
“Good morning,” Blaise greeted glancing at the woman in the doorway and motioned for her to take a seat with them.
“Morning,” Hermione returned really hating the fact that Luna had talked her into allowing Blaise to come with them. She had not wanted him here in the first place and certainly not after he threatened to go to Draco if she did not agree to do so first. She hated him for forcing this decision upon her.
But that had been before they had sat at the kitchen table and Hermione had finally broken down to tell him the story. Of course, Blaise had been angry with Astoria and even angrier at Draco for allowing her access to his room. He had assured her that Draco had no interest in Astoria and that he had been searching for her since she had left. Hermione was not taking the bait. She had seen differently. Neither of them had been there to see it.
“Have you decided?” Luna inquired taking a sip of her breakfast tea.
Hermione cast a glare in the direction of Blaise, nodding her head. “Tomorrow. I will go see him tomorrow.”