To Find You Again
Had they heard their son right?
“Rose has a tumor?” Narcissa gasped moving forward in her seat and placing a delicate hand to her mouth. She stole a glance at her husband and could see the surprise and shock clearly on his face. She knew that the both were still digesting this information. Apart of her wanted to throttle Hermione for stealing all those precious years from her son while the other half struggled to understand. All of this, she believed, came right back to Astoria. In that second, she thought of voicing this concern, but she could see her son was not rightly in the mood to discuss anything.
“What will be the plan of action?” Lucius wanted to know.
“Hermione has been given no choice in the matter but to return to her place here at the manor as my wife,” Draco hissed finishing up the third drink of fire whiskey. “She has been given a day to see to any and all affairs before I haul her and Rose to the manor.”
“How did she take it?” Narcissa asked,
“Not very well,” her son mumbled unhappily.
“What are you hoping to gain from this, Draco?” Lucius asked.
“My wife back where she belongs,” he said slamming his glass down on the fireplace mantel.
“Has she said why she left,” Narcissa asked rising from her chair to signal a house-elf to appear. She knew this was going to be a long and that three of them would have much to discuss.
In just moments, Flimsy the elf appeared and took Narcissa’s order of tea and cakes to be brought back to the room. Once the elf had the order, she disappeared leaving them once again alone.
“She believes that there are three of us in this marriage,” Draco growled. He glanced down at his empty fire whiskey glass and decided that perhaps the tea would be better to clear his mind. He knew that he came home for a reason – to gain his parents’ wisdom on the situation. Although Blaise was his best friend and had been assessed the situation from the beginning, his parents had not and thus their views had not been clouded by the entire mess that was now his marriage.
Lucius Malfoy brushed back his long white hair and tapped his chin in thought. “I am surprised Hermione had not sought out help on her own.”
“She does have her name and it does carry weight since she was part of the whole debacle against Voldemort,” Narcissa added listening to the conversation as she took the tray from Flimsy and placed it on a table between her husband and herself. “Come, darling, eat and we shall discuss this like we used to do – as a family.”
Draco nodded, grabbing one of the chairs and pulling it closer to the table. “My wife probably knew I was watching for any sign of her in the wizarding world. As Hermione Granger-Malfoy, her name would carry a lot of weight and give her what she needed for Rose. I am not surprised that she kept Rose out of the wizarding world and chose another name.”
“Unfortunately, Jean Logan has no weight in the wizarding world,” Lucius murmured to himself finding the entire thing interesting, to say the least. “So, she would have no way to get into St. Mungo’s to see the best healers for Rose.”
“Draco darling,” his mother began reaching out to place a comforting hand on his shoulder, “you must see Hermione’s side of things – your daughter is ill and she knows that the wizarding world holds cures that the muggle does not. Her only choice in the matter to seek out Rose’s father.” She saw her son open his mouth to argue and she lifted her hand and continued, “This does not excuse Hermione from hiding Rose from you but you have to see her side of the matter.” A small pause. “You said that Hermione’s reason for leaving was that there were “three of you in this marriage”, do you know what exactly she meant?”
Narcissa was certain she did not need her son to tell her who the third person was – she already was aware of Astoria’s desire to become the next Lady Malfoy. She contemplated voicing her opinion on the matter and speaking of the recent visit from her, but Narcissa held back. She knew her husband was aware of the thoughts dancing in her mind and shook his head. They would wait and discuss the matter with Hermione – alone.
“She did not quite clear the reasons for Astoria being the one,” Draco admitted but in truth, he had been too angry earlier in her visit to demand any answers. “If what she has said is true and that there is a possibility that Astoria could be a threat to my daughter, then I will make Astoria wish she had never tried anything in her life against a Malfoy.”
Lucius smiled then. Cruelly at his words. He would teach his son how to show no mercy against their enemies. He would make sure of it.
Hermione chased a giggling Rose around the house. “I’m going to get you, little Rose,” she growled playfully curling her fingers.
“Ahh!” Rose cried out taking another turn that would the two of them back into the kitchen. She moved around the table and kept it firmly between herself and her mother.
“You know this cheating, love,” Hermione tsked and eyed her daughter’s movements to see which direction she would go and intercept her before she could make safety down the hall.
Her only answer would be Rose’s laughter as the little girl dodged left and headed straight for safety…. only to be caught and pulled up against her mother who proceeded to tickle the girl mercilessly.
“Do you give?” Hermione demanded between laughter.
“Never!” Rose answered trying to squirm from her mother as she giggled.
The two of them paused in their game and looked at each other. Both knew there was no one expected until later during the late afternoon. Hermione helped her daughter up to her feet and the two made their way down the hallway toward the front door. With a wary glance, Hermione opened the door to find Draco standing on the opposite side. Her chocolate-colored eyes widened in stunned disbelief that had managed to cut through the Secret Keeper wards and navigate here. She could chalk it up that he had gone to see Luna and demand their location.
“Draco,” she murmured her greeting as she placed a reassuring hand on her daughter’s head, “why are you here now?”
Draco’s winter blue eyes went to the little girl hiding behind Hermione. He could see that Rose looked every inch a Malfoy except for the color of her hair. Ever since Hermione had told him they had a daughter; he had been ecstatic in the chance in meeting her that he had hardly slept the entire night. Instead, he had spent the entire night staying up with his parents preparing a room for her. He wanted to make sure that not only was his daughter was comfortable, but that she had everything she had ever dreamed of.
“No greeting for your long, lost husband, Hermione,” he asked feigning hurt that she would greet him in such a manner.
Hermione’s eyes narrowed at her husband. “Not lost enough, if you want my opinion. Now tell me: why are you here?”
“We have things to discuss and I told you I wanted to see my d-“
Hermione cut him off, “Don’t, Draco. This is not the time to do so.” She hated that he had put her in this position especially when Rose had not been told about her father, but now her hand would be forced to reveal this to Rose. “Rose, my love,” she pushed Rose from behind her and a bit forward, “I would like you to meet your father.”
Rose looked up at the man taking in every detail she could. She could see the similarities between them from the color of her eyes to the contours of her face. There was no denying it that the man before her was her father.
Briefly, Rose wondered how she would greet him. He was still, after all, a stranger to her. He had not been in her life for quite some time and her mother had never offered any vital information about him. She wondered what had happened between them. Whatever it had been seemed to have been patched up enough for him to visit her.
She glanced back to her mother and inquired, “Is he going to be living with us?”
Draco kneeled on one leg to make eye level with his little girl. “No, but you will be going home with me at the manor.”
This gained Rose’s attention back to her father and she tilted her head. “Are you mad at Momma for hiding me?”
“I was in the beginning, but I am not any longer,” He admitted to her. “I want us to be a family and be happy.”
His words were enough for Rose and she nodded okay. “I won’t call you Daddy until I know you more.”
“I can live with that for now,” he said realizing that this was just the start of his budding relationship with his daughter.
“Rose, love, why don’t you to your room and start going through your toys that you want to take with you,” Hermione spoke up finally.
“Okay, Momma,” Rose answered and skipped away from her parents.
Once Rose had left, any warmth from Hermione had quickly vanished. She turned her dark chocolate eyes back onto her estranged husband and hissed, “Was your purpose here to be nothing but rout? Then you have succeeded, Draco.”
She turned on her heels and headed toward the kitchen. She knew he would follow especially once she heard the front door closed and the sound of footfalls hurrying angrily toward her.
He reached out, grabbing her by the upper arm, spinning her around to face him, and snarling back at her, “Putting off the inevitable will achieve nothing, Hermione. I told you that I would come for you and my daughter, that has not changed in the least.”
“You are forcing me into something I do not want to be part of,” she returned just as angry as he was. She pulled her arm away and moved further into the kitchen…to the other side to keep the distance between them.
“I have an appointment with a highly sought-after healer at St. Mungo’s next week for Rose,” he announced letting her know that he now held the upper hand in their talks.
Hermione’s taut body language relaxed into shock. “What? But how?”
“After you left, I called in a favor with St. Mungo’s,” he stated remaining in the doorway.
“When is her appointment?” Hermione inquired inquisitively.
“Next week. This will give you both a chance to get used to a routine within the manor. My parents are looking forward to having you home. They cannot wait to meet Rose.”
Hermione frowned. She had always loved Lucius and Narcissa even before she had married Draco. They may not have been fond of her in the beginning but the three of them had come to form a relationship that not many young women had been able to achieve with their in-laws. If she had not had Luna, she would have gone to Narcissa for help.
“I am surprised they are willing to welcome me back with open arms,” she sighed softly chewing on her bottom lip.
“My parents have loved you,” he said truthfully. “They were saddened when you disappeared without a word.”
“I never meant to stop any communication with them, but I knew they also had a loyalty to you.”
Draco leaned against the doorway watching his wife. He knew his next choice of words would cause an argument between them to ensue, but really, she left him with no choice in the matter. “So, tell me, wife, will you return home with me willingly or will you force my hand and all this dragged before the courts because I will do the latter if you give me no choice.”