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The Sun from Both Sides


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#1
Angel

Angel

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Disclaimer: Anything familiar is JKR, anything unfamiliar is mine. All characters not appearing in the Original Potterverse, belong to me. Plot, etc,etc, mine.

WARNING:: This is a Sequel. You can read this well enough without the sequel, but perhaps things would fit nicely if you read the sequel first? Just a suggestion, really.
It's actually a pretty good suggestion since this story revolves around mainly the children of the characters in the original, even though there are cameos of the others.
=====


I really enjoyed writing Red Moon, so much that I had to continue writing about the characters. Chapter one came to be. Then I just kept writing. I have an inkling suspicion that this fic will be longer than RM's 16 chapters, but that's just a suspicion.

I also feel that this story will have less... drama since no characters are going through a vampiric stage .. well.. Minus Draco of course, but he's a drama queen without the story. Ha.
Anyways.

Enjoy.

-----


The Sun from Both Sides


-----

Chapter Guide


-----

Phase 1: New Moon
Seventeen years after Red Moon, a new school year begins.

Phase 2: Reaching Perfection
All aboard the Hogwarts Express!

Phase 3: Pride
Quidditch!

Phase 4: Checkmate
A talk between old friends.

Phase 5: Slytherin Colours
True feelings are revealed.

Phase 6: Ambition
Eric isn't so innocent.

Phase 7: Crossroads
A lunch date between "friends".

Phase 8: Insecurities
The first Quidditch game of the year; and the beginning of the end?

Phase 9: Cold Winter
A rumour drives Ginny away.

Phase 10: Cracked Glass
Lucy picks her friend over her family.

Phase 11: Quiet Blizzard
The third Quidditch game of the year; and Draco visits Harry's home for the first time.

Phase 12: Moonlight Sonata
Music is good for the soul and reconciliation.

Phase 13: Golden Pair
Léo gives Lucy a Christmas present.

Phase 14: Echoed Cry
Eric wants a second chance to be with Lucy.

Phase 15: Home on Solid Ground
Léo remembers his and Lucy's childhood.

Phase 16: Hold
An old flame returns.

Phase 17: Synchronized Melodies
Catie gets an unexpected surprise on her birthday.

Phase 18: Beautiful Gentleness
Catie remembers her childhood.

Phase 19: Release
James and Léo have a heart-to-heart.

Phase 20: Silent Chaos
Catie fights with... everyone.

Phase 21: Slow Waltz
Lucy realizes something and Ginny gives birth.

Phase 22: Peaceful Interlude
Léo and Will are the best brothers ever.

Phase 23: Epistles in Black Ink
Léo, Will, Lucy, Ginny and Draco get mail.

Phase 24: Consequences of Knowledge
Léo gives Will a history lesson on the Malfoys.

Phase 25: Moving On
James spends the night in a witch's bedroom.

Phase 26: Deciding Factor
Final Quidditch Match between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff.

Phase 27: After Sunset, Before Sunrise
When there's a Will, there's a way

Phase 28: Window of a Dark Room
Will shows his expertise in magic.

Phase 29: Boy Behind the Mask
Léo questions Lucy's intentions.

Phase 30: The Ties that Bind
James is healthy again, but Lucy is not.

Phase 31: The Sun from Both Sides
Will gets a lesson in love.

Phase 32: Titans: The Final Quidditch Match
The Final Quidditch Match between Gryffindor and Slytherin.

Phase 33: Innocence
A victory, a gift, and a wedding?

Phase 34: Afraid
Lucy and James fight.

Phase 35: Fake Serenity
Everyone's worried about Lucy, except James.

Phase 36: A Rival Appears?
Nate Bell has a gorgeous brother.

Phase 37: Struggle --- Newly Update Nov 9 ---
Nate spends time with his brother.

Phase 38: Coming Back Home
Fleur gives birth.

Phase 39: Emotions Running Deep
Draco gets jealous while James gets drunk.

Phase 40: Pathways
A look into the Bell family.

Phase 41: Reconciliation
Liv and Catie face their demons.

Phase 42: Summer Breeze
Eli gets his results back.

Phase 43: Valediction
James says goodbye.

Phase 44: End of the Line
The final moments at Hogwarts.

Epilogue
Eight years later.
.
.
.

-----


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#2
Angel

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Phase 1: New Moon

---

"I refuse to admit defeat!"

The clear, strong declaration rang as the door to the basement potions lab was opened. Two sets of footsteps fell on the stone steps, spiralling down into the spacious lab. Within the stone, octagonal chamber were: tables for workspace; shelves and shelves of ingredients and potions; a wall lined with cauldrons of varying sizes and even a well-hidden freezer for ingredients with delicate shelf-life, or needed to be kept in cooler temperatures. Having no windows, the basement was lit with many sconces, spaced equally along the walls.

"Well, you'll have to admit to it eventually because that's what happened, I defeated you," a feminine voice said this time, compared to the masculine voice previously.

They approached the only person in the potions lab, who was peering over a cauldron, several ingredients on the table next to them.

"This is why I don't like you two having duelling practices with one another," the person said,

"But it's fun duelling with one another," the wizard said,

"Yeah mother, don't ruin our fun," the witch added,

The witch turned around from her cauldron, wiping her hands on an apron wrapped around her waist. She placed her hands on her hips and looked at her children, "Well, then stop bickering."

"That's what makes it even more fun," the wizard explained, running a hand through his blond waves, "Isn't that right Lucy?"

Lucy nodded her blonde head at her brother, "Léo's right, mother. We're only teasing one another."

"As long as your duels don't turn into real duels," Ginny Weasley Malfoy turned back to her cauldron, shaking her head, "Honestly, if I had known this is what would happen once the both of you turned seventeen, I would have confiscated your wands."

"Mother!" The twins stated in unison, scandalized,

"Is your father home yet?" Ginny inquired as she brushed back her short hair, tucking it behind her ear,

"He sent an owl, he'll be home late for dinner," Léo explained as he walked over to the cauldron and peered in,

"Late again," Ginny sighed heavily as she withdrew her wand, "Léo, pass me the blue vial please."

He did as he was told, "What are you making mother?" He asked,

"Another healing solution," Ginny answered absent-mindedly. "Well, with or without your father, we're having a family dinner, especially since most of you are leaving for Hogwarts tomorrow," she added, her voice cracking

"Mother, please don't get emotional-again," Lucy pleaded as she walked up behind her mother and leaned her chin on Ginny's shoulder, "Every year mother- it's endearing, truly, but that's why father won't let you come to the station this year."

"And that's why your father took up camp in his study this past week," Ginny smirked darkly as she took off her apron, "Come, let's get ready for dinner, this potion is done." After sending the ingredients back to their places with flicks of her wand, she led her eldest children out of the basement.

Once back on the main floor of Malfoy Manor, she turned to Léo, "Sweetie, can you find Will and tell him to ready for dinner before you get ready?"

He nodded, giving his mother a kiss on the cheek before heading off to look for his younger brother.

"Would you like me to find Eli, mother?" Lucy inquired,

"Lucille, you're a heaven's sent," she beamed at her only daughter, "You read my mind, but actually Eli was with your cousin Arthur today; they went to work with Bill at the Ministry, do you mind flooing over there quickly and fetching him?"

"Not a problem," Lucy smiled and headed over to Draco's study to use the fireplace there.

Ginny let out a sigh of relief as she wiped the slight perspiration from her forehead with the back of her sleeve. She found it tiring running a household of five children; she blessed her mother's soul for having to raise seven children. With a shake of her head, banishing the sorrowful feelings that always accompanied memories of her mother, or father, Ginny headed towards the second floor to the west wing where her three youngest children's rooms were located.

Hearing the ruckus coming from the other side of the door leading to Will's, rightfully named William – Charles, after her two eldest brothers (not of her own choice, of course), bedroom, Ginny hesitantly opened the door. She felt herself internally cringing when she opened the door and found Léo holding Will by the collar of his shirt as he tried to grab at the youngest Malfoy, running circles around his elder brothers, holding Léo's wand in his hand, effectively attempting to set the room on fire.

"Tristan Blaise Malfoy!" Ginny exclaimed.

Immediately the youngest boy stopped dead in his tracks, not daring to face his mother. Léo let out a visible sigh,

"Léo, Will, get ready and cleaned up for dinner," Ginny instructed, sternly.

The two boys obliged, Léo giving Will a small push in the direction of his personal bathroom, Will tried to resist his brother's strength before Ginny spoke again,

"William-Charles, listen to your brother!"

The strawberry-blonde boy let out a defeated sigh before marching into his brother, Léo right behind him, sending his mother a look of thanks. Ginny gave a sympathetic nod to her eldest son before turning her attention back to the youngest son, still standing like a statue.

"Tristan, the wand," Ginny held out her hand.

Hesitantly, the small blonde boy turned around and handed his mother the wand. He avoided all contact with his mother as she took the wand from his small hands. Out of all her children, she decided, that he was the most like his twin uncles.

"Come, we'll get you cleaned up and ready for dinner," Ginny said casually, leading the way out of Will's room and across the hall to Tristan's room. As Tristan walked ahead of her into the bathroom, Ginny caught sight of the relieved expression on his face, a small smirk spread on his lips, "Your father will talk to you later."

The immediate affect was shown on the agonizing expression of the six-year-old's face.

---

Lucille Malfoy, found herself in the flooing area in the Ministry. As she stepped out of the fireplace, she brushed off her robes. She let out a sigh of relief once she felt somewhat presentable once more; glad that she had tied her long blond waves back into a ponytail prior to leaving the mansion. She began heading to the Ministry lobby, when she bumped into someone.

"My apologies!" She was quick to stay as she stumbled slightly, steadied by the other person's hand on her arm. She looked at the other person, "Mr. Zabini!"

"I thought that pretty girl coming out of the fireplace looked familiar," Blaise Zabini smiled down at his best friend's daughter, releasing his hold on her arm,

"I was just here to get Eli," Lucy responded, averting her eyes to hide a blush creeping on her face from his compliment. That's when she realized that Blaise was not alone, "Eli!"

"That's my name," he piped happily at his sister. Unlike his other siblings, his appearance principally drew from his mother's side. With short, wavy auburn hair that had flecks of gold, and the slightest sprinkling of freckles on the bridge of his nose, Elias Malfoy had a personality equalling his idol, his Uncle Bill, whom he spent a lot of time with since he played with his cousin Arthur, quite often. However, his eyes showed who his father was.

She smiled down at the beaming child, ruffling his head of hair slightly,

"Your uncle had to run home suddenly with Arthur and I ran into him in the lobby, so I offered to return Eli to his parents," Blaise explained as he gestured Lucy back towards the fireplaces,

"Why are you at the ministry? You still work with my father, don't you?" Lucy inquired,

"Oh, your father would crumble without me, Lucy," Blaise insisted solemnly, "I could never leave him. I just got back from a trip to France, so I was just leaving a report with international affairs that I needed a new traveling visa."

"Um- would you like to join our family for dinner, Mr. Zabini? You did, after all, get Eli," Lucy invited tentatively, praying her face remained its alabaster colour instead of reverting to an embarrassed red.

"I don't think your mother would appreciate you randomly inviting people to dinner," Blaise began. When he saw the fallen expression on her face, he added quickly, "But I think since I'm her favourite, she'll overlook it."

Lucy smiled at him radiantly before stepping into the fireplace.

---

Draco Malfoy sighed heavily as he stumbled into his study in Malfoy Manor. He decided it would be better to floo home than apparate; he didn't want his late arrival to be so pronounced. Administering the one cleaning charm his wife taught him, he decided his appearance acceptable. Pushing back the lose hairs into its usual style, he took a deep breath before heading to the dining room.

The cool demeanour he had attained on the anxious walk to the dining room was destroyed when he found his family sitting with his best friend. Said best friend also happened to be sitting at the head of the table, a spot saved for the head of the family. He quietly watched them, as he stood in the doorway, his jealousy peaking when he saw Ginny let out a melodic laugh at something Blaise had said. Before her laugh was silenced, her gazed landed knowingly on him and sent a piercing look.

He swallowed; the dinner set-up had been intentional. She had placed Blaise there to spite him and spite him, she did.

"Evening," Draco greeted, schooling his expression as he approached the table. He stood by Blaise's chair,

"Ah, Draco, you missed a delicious dinner!" Blaise greeted, looking up at him, "Sit down, already, you don't want to miss out on dessert too, do you?"

Draco looked down at Blaise briefly, "Actually, I have no appetite at the moment; I merely came here to greet my family." He looked amongst his children then did a double count; one was missing.

Ginny saw his eyes looking over the children, as his lips subtly muttered numbers. He looked at her and she looked away, taking a sip of her glass of water. There was no surrendering from that witch this evening. He slowly walked around the table to the other end where Ginny sat. She sat there in all her glory, dressed in elegant black robes. He bent down to whisper to her,

"I hope that out of anger towards me, you did not get rid of our youngest child," Draco drawled,

"Because saying that will ease my temper," Ginny muttered bitterly as she ignored looking at him,

"Gin-" He began softly,

"Tristan is in his room. I sent him to bed without dessert because he stole Léo's wand and tried to set Will's room on fire- again," She cut him off, speaking matter-of-factly. "I told him you would deal with him when you got home. And since you've no appetite, I would assume you will go talk to him now."

Draco sighed. Tristan had been a handful since he was two and his behaviour wasn't improving.

"I'll go," Draco answered. He stood up straight to leave, but then bent down again, "I love you."

"Okay." She replied flatly as the house elves served dessert,

"You can yell at me all you want," Draco hissed,

"I love you too," She replied sweetly.

Draco left the dinning room, muttering spiteful witch' as he did so.

---

Draco knocked on his son's room. A muttered replied came and Draco walked in, closing the door firmly behind him. He found his son curled up in a ball beneath his blankets, on his bed. He walked up to the bed and sat down on the edge, realizing the boy's small body shook slightly from crying.

"Tristan-" Draco began in a soft yet stern voice,

"I wanna do magic like the others," the little boy began in a whine, turning to face his father, "It's not fair!"

"You know that you're not allowed to do magic until you enter Hogwarts," Draco admonished, "And stealing your brother's wand? Tristan, you know better than that!"

The boy burst into cries as his father's voice raised in volume.

"Your mother was right to send you to bed without your dessert," Draco continued, his heart breaking at his son's wails, "I'll have you know that if I had been here, I would have sent you to bed without dinner too."

The boy turned away from his father, angrily crossing his arms as he pulled his blanket tightly around him,

"You know what you did was wrong, Tristan, you'll get no sympathy from me," Draco said sternly, "For Merlin's sake, son, you were trying to burn down your brother's room!" Draco sighed heavily as he stood up, needing to leave the room before he submitted to his son's tears. He rubbed the back of his neck wearily, "Sending you to bed was your mother's punishment and only the first part. Every day for two weeks, you're not allowed to leave your room, except for meals. This means no going to the play room or going with Eli when he visits your cousins. Is this understood?"

"Yes," Tristan's words swallowed by a sob,

"Goodnight, Tristan," Draco grounded out as he headed to the door,

"I hate you!" The little boy exclaimed violently as the door closed behind his father.

Out in the corridor, Draco collapsed against the door, sighing heavily. A hand came and held the side of his face. He looked up, finding his wife standing before him. He turned his head and kissed her hand before looking at her again,

"I thought you may need a second-in-command," she whispered as she gave him a small smile,

"I assure you, Gin, you're first-in-command," he sighed heavily,

"I know you hate punishing the children," she said sympathetically as her hands went to his and pulled him to standing up straight. She looked up at him, "but it has to be done."

"I know," he said in a defeated tone, "But now I truly have no appetite."

"I'll let you feed later," She offered softly as she began to lead him to their wing of the mansion.

Their walk was quiet and although it was a comfortable silence, Ginny felt the tension in her husband. Halfway to their quarters, she stopped him. He turned to her curiously, "What's wrong? You're always upset after punishing the children- but you seem in a darker mood than usual."

"He- he said something," Draco said quietly,

"Who? Tristan?" Draco nodded sadly, "Of course he'll say something, he's upset that he was punished. They all say something, Draco. Even Lucy used to go for days without speaking to us," Ginny reminded softly, "he couldn't have said something that the others haven't already said."

"They've never said this to me," Draco argued bitterly,

"Don't get angry with me!" Ginny warned before adding gently, "What did he say?"

"He said- he said he hates me," Draco admitted.

Ginny would've laughed at him had it not been for the crushed look on his face. She pulled Draco into an embrace, "Draco, he doesn't mean it."

"Then why'd he say it?" Draco demanded like a petulant child,

"He was angry," Ginny continued, rubbing Draco's back soothingly, "He'll get over it once he starts to miss you." She released him from her embrace, "Let's go to bed, okay?"

He nodded resentfully, "He still didn't have to say it."

---

"Blaise, thank you for volunteering to take the children to the station," Ginny sighed as she pulled her night robe around her, "Draco forbade me to go to the station and he's in no state to go either."

"Put him in a good mood last night, did you Ginny?" Blaise suggested with a grin,

She slapped his arm playfully, "Blaise! No, he's in a bit of a depression," she looked around and, finding them alone, continued, "Tristan told Draco he hates him. He's been moping since last night. Besides, it's a ghastly bright day outside."

Blaise nodded in understanding, "Draco's never had an openly affectionate family, and so a statement like that would wound him."

"He absolutely hates punishing the children," Ginny agreed, "The first time we had to punish Léo and Lucy, I had to put a ward around their chambers to stop him from taking back what he said." She shook her head with a smile before asking, "Lucy said you just came back from France, did you see Harry?"

Blaise nodded, "I talked to him, he said that he wants to have everyone at his place at Christmas."

"He caved in so easily?" Ginny looked at him suspiciously,

"Hardly, it took a good scolding to convince Potter that eight years in hiding from friends is hardly being a good friend," Blaise explained, "And that Gabe would probably have benefited from knowing the other children better, prior to going to Hogwarts. He's two years older than Eli and three years older than Bill's Arthur, but he'll be more comfortable the more people he knows at Hogwarts. And Bill's eldest children are entering Hogwarts this year, right?"

Ginny nodded, "Dash and Charlotte are going to Hogwarts. It was a big dispute on whether to send them to Beauxbatons or Hogwarts. Bill finally convinced Fleur that they'll have an easier time since they'll have family at Hogwarts."

"Well, the shift from it being just him and his father will be easier for Gabe had he known other people prior to today," Blaise finished,

Ginny nodded in agreement, "I think you've become a valuable friend to Harry over the years Blaise, especially since he has no one in France but you when you visit."

Blaise shrugged, "Now that we're out of Hogwarts, appearances don't matter anymore. I never had a problem with him anyway. It was all Draco." He looked past Ginny, "Speaking of the wizard-"

Ginny looked around and found Draco descending the staircase with Lucy, Léo and William-Charles right behind them. As they drew closer, Draco's words became audible to them,

"No boys!" Draco stated sternly, "Did you hear me Lucille!?"

"Yes father, no boys," she drawled as she rolled her eyes to the heavens,

"If a boy comes up to you, what do you do?" He asked,

"I give him the Malfoy stare to scare him off," she answered exasperatedly,

"And if you get a letter from a boy?" He asked,

"I rip it up to put him off," she replied,

"If you receive a gift of some sort from a boy?" He continued his interrogation,

"I send it back with a note of thanks, but no thanks'," she answered,

"And on Valentine's Day, what do you do?" He inquired,

"Father, we go through this every year!" Lucy protested,

"What do you do, Lucille!?" Draco repeated, sternly, eyes narrowed in determination,

She let out a frustrated sigh before replying, "I lock myself up in my room from midnight to midnight to avoid the lechers."

He kissed her forehead affectionately as they reached Ginny and Blaise, "That's my girl,"

Lucy shook her head as she walked towards the door, grabbing a cloak. However, Draco's annual lecture did not stop there. He turned to his two eldest sons, "Sons, what is your sole objective in Hogwarts?"

"To learn-" The two began in unison, smirks playing on their innocent faces,

"Léonard! William-Charles! I am being serious! This is a serious matter! Protecting your sister is not a joke, nor a laughing matter!" Draco declared, his voice a low growl,

"Yes father," the two answered like soldiers.

He nodded his approval of them as they went and fetched their cloaks from the hooks. He turned to his wife and best friend,

"Every year?" Blaise inquired to Ginny,

"Every. Year. Since he forbade me to escort them to the station, I should've forbade him from leaving the bedchamber this morning," Ginny scowled at Draco's smirking face,

"You should have thought of that seven years ago, mother," Lucy muttered as she went up to Ginny and gave her a hug and affectionate kiss on her cheek. She turned to her father, "Don't worry father, all the boys at Hogwarts are all immature and idiotic."

"We go to Hogwarts," Léo reminded flatly,

"Exactly," Lucy smirked at her twin,

"Don't you two start," Ginny pleaded as Léo gave her a kiss, "And Lucy, don't generalize all the boys. I'm sure there's at least one boy in Hogwarts that catches your attention. I mean, your father was immature and idiotic, but he still caught my attention."

"I was idiotic? I had to tutor you, dear wife," Draco hissed the reminder,

"Mhmm, and who saved your life when you idiotically went into the Forbidden Forest?" Ginny countered,

"Blaise," Draco answered with a straight face. Blaise nodded solemnly in agreement.

Ginny scowled at the two before turning his attention back to Lucy, "No matter, there must be someone in Hogwarts who catches your attention; don't listen to your father, they're all idle threats."

"There's no one in Hogwarts," Lucy admitted quietly.

Apparently, not quietly enough for Draco reacted, "Who!?"

"Blaise, I suggest you all leave now," Ginny said as Will gave her a kiss, "All of you behave, no following in your twin uncles' footsteps, understood?"

They all nodded in reply as Blaise opened the door for them. As the door closed behind them, Draco turned to Ginny, "I'm going back to bed; just walking through these sun-filled corridors is enough to make a vampire swoon," he drawled and headed back up the stairs,

"If you so much as look in the direction of the west wing, I'll banish you from the house, Draco!" Ginny called after him. Once he was gone, she hurried outside after Blaise and the children. "Blaise!"

He looked back and, after tell the three Malfoy's to wait for him, he walked over to Ginny curiously, "Something wrong?"

"Blaise, I'm no fool," Ginny stated, "Take care of them. Of her."

Blaise looked Ginny straight in the eye and nodded sternly. "I swear it."

Ginny watched as Blaise walked back to her children. She watched the group head to the driveway where Blaise had his muggle car parked. With anxiety coursing in her body, she watched as the car drove away and out of sight. Silently, she prayed to the heavens for their safety as they returned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

---


Comments are always welcomed =)


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#3
melissa m

melissa m

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I love it already!:rolleyes:!:pirate: Post more as soon as you can!:lol:!!!!!!!!!!

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. -- Robert F. Kennedy
Friendship with one's self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world. -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -- George Bernard Shaw

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. -- Thomas Jefferson

While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us. -- Ben Franklin


#4
*Lucifer*

*Lucifer*

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Angel, i absolutleyl love your fan fics and as the beggining of this one goes its going to be as great as Red Moon!!! please post some more soom i can hardly contain myself!!! :P

Lucifer
Don't Marry Someone You Can Live With, Marry Someone You Can't Live Without!!

"in the words of Hermione (PS) What An Idiot!!!"

#5
Angel

Angel

    saranghae.

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Hey y'alls. writing on schedule. makes me happy.

melissa m - i live to please my readers :)

Lucifer - ah, I hope this lives up to RM.


Soo.. the next chapter's been writing for awhile now.. LoL. I'm actually ahead of the writing schedule.
I have a feeling something that's revealed in this next chapter will be controversal... :P
I dunno... I'll talk more after the chapter.

Enjoy.


-----





Phase 2: Reaching Perfection

---

The sun reflected off Blaise's baldhead as he led the Malfoy children to the platform. Once across the barrier, he let out a sigh of relief – he never realized how hard it was to secretly cross through a barrier located within a wall while Muggles walked about.

"Do I want to know why my sister and her husband aren't bringing their own children to the station this year?" Blaise turned around to find Bill walking away from the barrier, two children standing beside him, "Zabini, my children, Dashiell and Charlotte."

Dashiell was tall and lanky, already an inch taller than his twin sister. His deep auburn hair complemented his light blue eyes. Charlotte stood close to her brother, with straight auburn hair reaching her waist. A pair of blue eyes stared out above a sprinkling of freckles across her nose.

He nodded at them both, "I'm good friends with your Aunt Ginny." He turned to Bill, "Actually, their reasons are innocent. Malfoy didn't want Ginny coming because she gets too emotional saying goodbye to them for a year, and this weather's too bright for Malfoy to even think about."

Bill nodded his understanding, "Fleur's not here for that same reason. I told her it'd be best if she stayed at home with her two youngest while her two eldest go off."

Blaise nodded absentmindedly, his eyes darting around the platform,

"Are you looking for someone?" Bill inquired,

"Potter, actually," Blaise answered, "Gabe's supposed to start this year."

"Harry's not sending him to Beauxbatons? That'd make more sense since he lives in France, now," Bill pointed out,

"The same reason as yours for sending your twins here," Blaise shrugged, "I think he'll sleep easier knowing that Gabe will have some people who can help him out at Hogwarts. Not to mention your brother works there."

"I wish Harry would just come back to England, living alone like that isn't healthy," Bill shook his head, "I even worry about Charlie – the one in Romania – sometimes." He sighed heavily, "Maybe after this year, Harry will feel comfortable enough to move back here."

As the others talked, the cousins talked amongst themselves.

"Dash, Charl, are you two excited to start at Hogwarts?" Lucy inquired,

"Definitely! I'd love a chance to play Quidditch," his face gained a look of determination, "It'll be hard since Gabe's dad was one of the last First Years to ever make the team; even your dad was in his Second Year when he got on the team." He sighed, mood suddenly changing, "I'll be lucky if the captain even gives me a second look by the time I'm in my Third Year."

"You'll be fine," Léo quipped his cousin, slinging an arm around the younger boy, "Don't forget, our family is famous for Quidditch players at Hogwarts. Wasn't your dad a Captain?" Dash nodded proudly, "See, maybe I'll see you on the pitch then."

"That's easy for you to say. Just because you, Lucy and Catie made it your First Year, doesn't mean I'll be so lucky," he said sadly, "You guys were the last to make it in your First Year."

"You're on the Slytherin team, right Léo?" Charl asked. After her cousin nodded she turned to her brother, "Even if you make the team, if you play against Léo, you'll lose!"

"Thanks for the confidence," Dash retorted then turned to William-Charles, "How about you Will? Quidditch?"

He shrugged, "I almost forgot that I'm old enough to try out now. I don't know if I want to play for the House or not."

"Why? Don't want to play against your brother and sister?" Blaise inquired, the cousins' conversation finally reaching him and Bill,

"It's not that, exactly. But, Father was a Slytherin, and made the team in his Second Year, but Mother was a Gryffindor and she's absolutely brilliant –"

"Tell your Father that he's not brilliant," Blaise snickered,

"But- what if I don't make the team?" Will inquired, "I mean, will I be shaming the family? I come from such a line of Quidditch players, and my father was captain as well. My father might go into cardiac-arrest!"

Blaise, Bill, Léo and Lucy all burst out into laughter.

"Will, throw your father into the sunlight – that will give him cardiac-arrest," Blaise said, "You not making the team won't put him in his death bed."

"That's right, don't pay attention to Father, he's quite irrational sometimes," Lucy said with conviction, obviously still bitter about the annual lecture,

"Will, my dear brother," Léo began, slinging his other arm around Will's shoulders, "if you want the truth from me, then this is it: for the past seven years, the Quidditch cup has been bounced between the Gryffindor and Slytherin Houses, never staying in the same house for more than a year, even though Slytherin beats Gryffindor every year. If you try out and make the Ravenclaw team, then maybe there'll be some variety in the competition. Hmm?" At that moment, Léo spotted a group of his friends and he immediately left his family and Blaise, without so much as a backwards glance.

"Sometimes they grow up so fast," a voice commented. The group looked behind them and found Harry Potter walking towards them, James Gabriel just behind him, stepping through the barrier.

Just as Gabe walked past them to the other students, Blaise slipped him a Sugar Quill. Gabe pocketed it before turning to the cousins,

"My dad let me come to Hogwarts instead of Beauxbatons!" He said happily,

"Yeah, our mère wanted us to go to Beauxbatons because she went there and I guess that'd be nice, but at least at Hogwarts, we know people," Charl explained,

Gabe bit his lip as he looked amongst the others, "Charlotte and Dash, right?" The twins nodded, "And I know Will, you come with Mr. Zabini sometimes to France." He looked up at the eldest Malfoy present, "I'm sorry- I can't remember who you are."

"That's fine, I'm Lucy," she smiled down at him before turning to her brother, "I never knew you went to France."

Will shrugged, "Mother and Father knew. It was their idea and I was allowed, so long as I never said anything to the rest of you."

"You guys better find a compartment soon, they'll be filling up pretty fast," Harry said. The youngest of the students almost went into a panic, hurrying towards the train. Just before Gabe stepped onto the train, he turned back and ran at his father, throwing his arms around his torso,

"Bye dad!" Gabe called over his shoulder as he hurried to catch up to his companions.

Harry let out a sigh before turning to the remaining others, "I better get back to France. Can't have the bakery closed for too long, might lose business."

"It still amazes me that you bake, Harry. Are you using the Portkey area in the Ministry?" Harry nodded, "Ah, then I'll accompany you since I have some work there before heading back to Egypt. Along the way you can tell me all about your bakery in your undisclosed town."

Blaise and Lucy watched as the two wizards disappeared through the barrier after quick farewells. Blaise turned to Lucy,

"Shouldn't you hurry too?" He inquired,

"Well, Catie said she'd meet me out here, but I don't see her," Lucy explained looking around anxiously. Students were beginning to board the train, and, by the time of the clock, it was close to departure. As if on cue, Lucy's name was called. She looked in the direction,

Down a bit from where they were standing, head stuck outside the window was an almost mirror image of Hermione Granger Weasley. Her chestnut brown hair fell to her shoulders in controlled curls and, unlike her mother's chocolate brown eyes, hers were a light, honey colour.

"Lucy, hurry up, the train will leave you!" Catherine Weasley, or Catie, called out,

"You said to meet on the platform!" Lucy argued,

"I did? Oh- well, we technically are meeting on the platform!" Catie gave Lucy a lopsided grin, "C'mon, before some random witch takes your place in this compartment!" Without another word, Catie's head disappeared back into the train.

Lucy shook her head and sighed, "She's my best friend and cousin, but she's exhausting sometimes."

Blaise chuckled, "Now you sound like your father when he used to talk about me."

She looked up at him, "You're far from exhausting; Father's just a snob."

Blaise let out a laugh, "Don't let him hear you saying that. Well, he was raised by snobs, so no wonder he turned out to be one."

"Since he raised me, am I a snob?" Lucy inquired tentatively,

"Far from it," Blaise smiled at her. Despite his many years since leaving Hogwarts, he barely smiled or talked to anyone who wasn't already a friend, so reserved his smiles and words to those he thought deserved them, "That's your mother in you. Well, I guess this is goodbye. I'll see you at Christmas."

Blaise expected some sort of goodbye from Lucy, a handshake at least. So, when she suddenly hugged him and whispered a goodbye to him, he was thoroughly shaken up. He pulled back, hands on her shoulders, holding her at arm's length away, "Lucy-"

"Lucille Malfoy!" Catie's voice called,

She jerked from Blaise's hold, "I- I have to go. Bye," and quickly she dashed into the train.

Blaise let out a sigh as he watched her disappear from sight. Shaking his head and rubbing the back of his neck wearily, he turned and walked through the barrier.

---

"What if I were to tell you I know who Lucille likes?" Ginny pondered as she lay in the bed, watching Draco get dressed for work.

Although it was a Monday, he always had the company open late that first Monday of September just so he could bring the children to the station with Ginny. Although he knew Ginny wouldn't be going that year, he didn't anticipate he wouldn't either, so he still scheduled the company to open late.

He froze his actions, turning on spot to face Ginny, "I'd hunt the prat down for even going near my daughter!" With that, Draco continued, buttoning up his shirt,

"But what if this person was someone you knew? Someone you were close to?" Ginny inquired,

"Whoever it is, I'm sure I'll be willing to hex him," Draco drawled as he walked back into the walk-in closet and began sifting through his business robes.

"Oh, you're always willing to hex this one," Ginny muttered to herself as she sat up against the headboard.

Draco walked out of the closet, tossing the robes he picked onto the bed and he leaned against one of the posts by the end of the bed. Crossing his arms casually, he regarded his wife, "Who is it Gin?"

"I don't know if I should tell you," she admitted,

"Fine, do you approve of the wizard?" Draco asked,

"He's a good guy, but there is a bit of an age difference," Ginny answered, chewing on her bottom lip,

"I'm older than you –"

"Their age difference is more than ours," Ginny interrupted,

"How much more? Three, five years?" Draco inquired, an eyebrow raised in curiosity,

"Try seventeen?" Ginny watched Draco anxiously, scared of his reaction,

"You don't- you can't-" Suddenly Draco's eyes narrowed angrily. Withdrawing his wand he made to leave the bedchamber, "I won't hex the bloody bastard, I'll kill him!"

Ginny jumped out of the bed and ran to Draco, stumbling as she caught up to him at the door and grabbing hold of his wand arm, "Draco, stop!"

He turned back to Ginny, "Give me a reason not to go and kill him."

"His your best friend," Ginny offered,

"Give me a good reason not to go and kill him," he corrected,

"Because you love me," she tried. Draco sighed and replaced his wand. Ginny pulled him back towards the bed and sat on the edge, pulling him to stand before her. She kissed his hands, "Thank you."

"Gin- he's my best friend. She's my daughter!" Draco said softly as he gazed down at his wife,

"If they do get together, it seems right, doesn't it?" Ginny said,

"No," he said sternly,

"Draco, in Hogwarts, you were basically all Blaise had, right? He pretty much kept to himself except when it came to you," Ginny reminded, "In Hogwarts, Blaise was the only one you would open up to –"

"You were there –"

"Before all that, Blaise was the only one you opened up to and you were the only one Blaise gave a damn about," Ginny finished, "If you had been a girl, I would say you two would've been perfect. But you weren't a girl, and you were perfect for me- now you have a daughter who has basically inherited everything you are. So you may not have been perfect for Blaise because you weren't a girl and you're both straight, but your daughter is everything you were and is a girl."

Draco sighed heavily as he pulled Ginny to her feet and into an embrace. He kissed her forehead as he closed his eyes, holding her close, "You make some sense, witch. I won't kill him just yet. But damn it Ginny- seventeen years?"

"I know, I know it's a stretch but- Blaise has been single all this time; he never even dawdled with a flight or two, or went whoring. I think, if anything, he's been waiting for the perfect person for him to come along," Ginny said quietly, "Maybe, he's even been waiting for Lucy to become the perfect person for him."

"Become?"

"He's known Lucy since she was born, so, feeling some kind of affection towards her would seem odd to him unless she were older. Now she's seventeen, almost an adult- she's almost reached the point where he feels it'll be okay for him to have affections for her," Ginny explained, "Besides, if he made a move any earlier, you would have him locked up."

"Not locked up - dead," Draco corrected bitterly as he released her and continued getting dressed, "-Damn it, seventeen years?"

"You'll get over it," Ginny insisted as she helped Draco with his robes, "My brothers got over you being a Malfoy."

"That's what you think," Draco grounded out, "If you've forgotten, our third-born is named after your brothers."

"That was your fault," Ginny said gently, but pulling roughly on his collar, accentuating her words. "And, our youngest is named after said best friend because of another one of your bets. A best friend who could potentially become your son-in-law one day."

"Merlin's ghost, don't say that," Draco drawled as he rolled his eyes to the heavens, "What are you doing today while I'm off earning money to support this family?"

"Don't complain, you know we could live without you working with the money your parents left behind," Ginny admonished then added, "Fleur is coming with the children. She said she'll be depressed if she stays at home without the twins there, so I invited her here for the day."

"I never asked before, but does Bill still work in Egypt?" Draco inquired, as he looked himself over in the mirror,

"Yes, but they live here in England. He'd rather commute everyday than move them all to Egypt permanently. In the summer they live in the house Bill owned there," Ginny explained as she watched Draco. He had matured nicely and was as handsome as the first night he tutored her.

"You still are a rude little witch," Draco stated as he turned around and walked back over to her,

"You always know when I'm staring," Ginny said resentfully,

"I'm glad you still stare," Draco admitted softly as he leaned down,

"Always," she breathed as his lips met hers in an intimate, soft dance.

---

"Oh Ginny, I don't know how you survive with three of your children in Hogwarts," Fleur cried as she sat on a couch in the parlour, the back of her hand dramatically lying on her forehead.

Ginny grinned at her sister-in-law, "I enjoy the peace and quiet when they're not around to fight with one another."

"You do have a point," Fleur said as she sat up straight and began to absentmindedly braid her long, golden hair, "Dash and Arthur fight to no end sometimes and Charl gets into a screaming match with Ciel; Ciel keeps going into Charl's closet and playing dress-up."

"That's precious!" Ginny commented,

"Until the older sister comes home and finds grass-stains, mud and all types of things on her best robes," Fleur shook her head sighing, "Gabriela and I used to go through the same things as children. Once they're both older and in Hogwarts, I am sure they will get along like my sister and I."

"Where is Gabriela now?" Ginny inquired,

"Ah, she has moved to America with her husband," Fleur explained, "It was hard on her because we are so close."

"Oh really?" Ginny looked at her sceptically, "I've always felt myself blessed without a sister seeing how other sisters acted,"

"Oh, she got on my nerves quite often, but it didn't stop us from loving one another," Fleur said, "I remember how relieved I was to go to Beauxbatons so I could get away from her, but I still missed her."

"Mère!" A shrill voice cried. Seconds after, a little girl with strawberry blond hair came running in and clutched her Fleur's legs,

"Quoi?" Fleur inquired,

"Arthur est une très - pomplemousse!" She cried into the skirts of her mother's sky-blue robes,

"Ciel," Fleur cooed as she stroked the girl's straight locks, "comment Arthur est une pomplemousse?"

"Parce-que- parce-que il ne me laissera pas jouer avec lui!" Ciel sobbed,

"Ah- Il joue des jeux de garçon, et tu es une fille. Tu ne veut pas jouer des jeux de garçon. Arrête maintenant," Fleur said quietly as she took out a handkerchief and dabbed at her daughter's tears. "D'accord?"

"Oui," Ciel sniffed as she climbed onto the chaise beside her mother.

As if on cue, Arthur and Eli walked into the parlour. One look at his sister's red eyes, Arthur made a quick u-turn in attempt to leave,

"Arthur!"

He let out a visible sigh then marched over to his mother,

"Oui mère?" The redheaded boy inquired. He was the image of Bill as a small boy, Ginny hoped he wouldn't grow his hair out as her brother did during his teens and early-Adult years. She was glad when Bill had finally cut his hair, still long, but cropped and tied at the base of his skull.

As the mother and son spoke, Eli walked over to his mother.

Ginny ran a hand through the auburn hair, smoothing it neat, "Where have you two been playing?"

"The playroom, mother," the nine-year-old said as he endured his mother's ministrations,

"If you don't want me fixing your hair, just say so," Ginny smiled at the boy,

"I don't mind mother, honestly," Eli beamed up at Ginny,

"You didn't go near Tristan's room, did you?" Ginny inquired in a warning tone,

"No mother, I remembered what you said," Eli insisted, "Did I ever try to set Will's room or Léo's room on fire?"

"No, your mischief was less obvious. Tristan acts like your Uncle Fred and George, you act more like your father or Uncles Bill and Charlie," Ginny explained, "Léo once took a cookie from you, so you hid his wand."

"I did?" Eli's eyes went as wide as saucers, "Where'd I hide it mother?"

"The roof," Ginny smirked as she ruffled her son's hair, "Don't get any ideas now, okay son?"
Eli nodded. Ginny noticed how Eli kept looking away anxiously. "Eli, what's wrong?"

He looked at his mother and chewed on his lip, "You won't get mad?"

She tilted her head, regarding her son, "Since you're going to tell me, no."

"Arthur and I were in the playroom. It was getting windy, so Arthur and I were going to shut the window, but I never moved my hand and the window shut on my fingers. That's when Ciel saw it and we told her to keep quiet or we'll never play with her again," Eli explained, averting his eyes and his voice quieting with each passing word.

"Eli!" Ginny shrieked. She saw Eli cringe, and she dropped to the ground on her knees, collecting her son in her arms. She held him at arm's length from her, "Sweetie, show me your hands."

Immediately, Eli revealed his small hands to his mother. Ginny gasped quietly; she hadn't realized that the boy kept his hands behind his back. She held his hands in hers, they were wrapped in socks, stained with blue liquid,

"Eli, what are-?"

"I didn't want Arthur getting in trouble, so I went into the washroom and got one of your potions- I couldn't conjure bandages like you, so I used a pair of my old socks," Eli, after seeing that his mother wasn't mad, gave her a lopsided grin,

"Oh you precious, silly boy," she smiled at him as she gingerly took off the socks,

"Ginny, Arthur just told me that –" Fleur paused when she saw Ginny examining the boy's hands, "I am so sorry, Ginny –"

"It's fine Fleur, boys will be boys of course. Léo and Will were not on good terms for quite some time. Apparently Léo has a jealous streak to match his father's," Ginny assured Fleur with a smile as she stood up, "Eli mistook hand soap for a healing potion, so I'll go fetch one from the potions lab, would you like to accompany us?"

"Ah, the famed Malfoy potions lab? I'd love to," Fleur smiled as she followed Ginny out of the parlour. Arthur and Ciel walked ahead of Fleur as Ginny, hand on Eli's shoulder, led the way, "Mes cheries, ne toucher rien!"

"Oui!" They coursed together as Ginny unlocked the secret entrance to the basement.

The wall slid away, revealing a staircase. After Ginny stepped down, the sconces on the wall lighted up the dark stairway. Slowly, Ginny led them all down into the octagonal chamber.

"Am I the first outside the Malfoy family to see this?" Fleur inquired,

"Yes," Ginny piped, "Draco restored the lab when we moved in here. He said it had been years since Lucius had even last used it. He wouldn't let me down here until he was done."

"It's definitely magnificent," Fleur commented as she looked around the chamber.

Ginny walked over to the shelves containing her finished potions, and scanned the shelves of vials and jars,

"It's amazing that you made all those potions," Fleur said,

"Oh, it took years for me to achieve the level of potion making I am at now," Ginny laughed, "Draco tutored me in my Sixth Year and once the war was over, he continued teaching me. He used to say I was hopeless, but now he says I could rival our old Potions Professor." She located the desired vial and took it from its place; "Eli, come here," the boy obliged and held out his hands for his mother. Ginny poured a dollop of the solution into the palm of her hand, after replacing the container back on the shelf, she rubbed her palms together and rubbed the potion onto the boy's hands.

He shivered slightly, "Cold."

"I know sweetie, but it'll help," Ginny insisted. She conjured bandages to wrap around his hands then, grabbing one of the aprons along a wall, wiped her hands clean. With a hand at his back, she lead them out of the lap, "Eli, you know I'll have to tell your father about this?"

"But it was an accident!" Eli quipped,

"He won't get mad," Ginny insisted, "He'll just want to make sure you're okay,"

When they reached the parlour again, Ginny said, "Okay, go play in the playroom,"

Eli gave his mother a kiss as Arthur turned to Ciel, "Nous allons!" Arthur headed for the door but Ciel looked at him sceptically. Eli took her hand and led her away.

"Ginny, I'm so sorry," Fleur insisted forlornly as she sat down on the same couch as before,

Ginny waved a hand, "Not to worry, Fleur, I promise, it's alright."

"Mon Dieu Ginny, children are so unpredictable sometimes," she sighed heavily,

Ginny laughed, "Still depressed beyond words that your other children are gone?"

Fleur paused, a surprised look on her face, "I- I almost forgot they had gone!" At her awe and shocked expression, Ginny laughed. Eventually, Fleur joined in.

Suddenly Ginny paused and cocked her head as she regarded her sister-in-law curiously. Fleur, who had realized Ginny had stopped, wondered what was wrong.

"Fleur, you look paler than usual," Ginny noted, "Have you been sick lately?"

"I'll let you in on a secret, Ginny," a small smile touched her lips, "I'm pregnant."

With a cry of joy, Ginny ran to Fleur's side and embraced her.

---

"Mother could be more despondent about me not being Head Girl, but I'm more than happy I'm not," Catie Weasley said to her friends,

"That's because you've been team captain since Third Year. This'll be your fifth year!" a girl with chin-length, straight brown hair stated as she took the silk scarf from around her neck and tied it about her head as a headband, pushing her hair away from her forehead,

"You probably could've been captain if you took the game serious!" Catie admonished, "I mean, your father was Gryffindor team captain and I know how amazing you play when you take the game seriously, Olivia!"

Olivia Wood sighed as she looked out the window, "I'd take it seriously if we had an opponent who gave me a reason to play seriously."

"Liv, if I remember correctly, ever since you joined us in Quidditch in Fourth Year, Gryffindor hasn't won against Slytherin," Lucille Malfoy smirked from her seat across from the brunette,

Liv glared at Lucy, "The other teams don't give me a challenge."

"Liv, promise me something," Lucy said, suddenly going serious, "This year, please play against us seriously. Catie's right, you're an amazing player and I have no doubt you'll get signed onto a team this year if you show the Quidditch scouts your full potential."

"If I promise to play seriously against your team, will you leave me alone?" Liv demanded,

Catie and Lucy nodded,

"Fine," Liv sighed,

"Ah-ha! We may just beat you this year, Lucy!" Catie declared, shooting a fist in the air.

Lucy shrugged, "A change of pace would be nice," she laughed, "Liv, you sure you can play seriously with my brother on the opposite team?"

Liv turned a tomato shade of red as she focused all her attention at the passing scenery outside the compartment window. A knock on the door interrupted Lucy and Catie's mirth.

"Come in!" Liv exclaimed, eager to stop the tease-fest.

"Hey Olivia, Catie," Léo greeted as he leaned against the doorframe, accompanied by another boy with mousy brown hair and lavender eyes. "Luce, Head Boy and Head Girl meeting at the front compartment," he informed, using the nickname only he had for his sister.

She sighed heavily, shaking her head as she stood up, "Let me guess, Eric McMillan is too lazy of a prat to come and find me himself?"

"Well, seems like I don't have to tell you," Léo grinned, "I'd hurry if I were you Luce, or else he might start talking to him and his head will explode from the hot air."

"Shut up, Lé!" She hissed, using the nickname only she had for him. With that, she brushed past the two and headed, grudgingly, towards the first compartment.

"Léo, why don't you two sit with us until Lucy comes back?" Catie suggested,

"Anything for you, coz," Léo piped as he took the seat beside Olivia, "Ladies, I believe you haven't been formally introduced to James Lupin," he paused, "Wait, Catie, you have, Olivia, have you met James before?"

"We've had classes together, but never talked," Liv answered as she shook James' hand, then tried not to think of the Slytherin sitting beside her,

"So, what were you ladies talking about before we rudely interrupted? Sounded like something enjoyable," Léo inquired,

"Oh, Lucy and I were just teasing Liv about a boy she likes," Catie said mischievously,

Olivia glared at her friend as she fought against the blush creeping up her neck,

"Who is it? Do tell, Olivia," Léo gave her a lopsided grin, purely inherited from the Weasley in him,

"No one you know," Liv insisted as she glared out the window again,

"Oh, I think they know him well," Catie disagreed, stifling her laughter,

"Oh? Who is it? So long as it's not Eric McMillan!" Léo prompted,

James watched Olivia's expressions, "Hey Catie, Léo, who'll win this year in the Gryffindor-Slytherin match?"

This sparked an all-out verbal war between the cousins. Olivia smiled gratefully at James and he merely shrugged and nodded his understanding.

---

The sun had set by the time Eric McMillan had finished talking. Lucy repressed an exasperated sigh as she stood,

"Oh, is that all Eric? The time just flew by," Lucy drawled as she headed towards the compartment door,

"Yeah, it flew by for me too," Eric said, while standing up and walking towards her, stopping so their bodies were just centimetres apart. "Lucille, you've grown beautiful over the summer,"

"Uh, thanks. I had no idea I was ghastly before the summer," Lucy replied nervously as she found herself backed against the door, her hand searching for the handle,

"No, you were quite the looker before, but now you stand away from the rest of the girls at Hogwarts," Eric said in an attempted-seductive tone. He stepped closer to her, taking a lock of her hair and twirling it around his finger, "I see how you look at me, Lucille-"

"With contempt?" She said under her breath as his face leaned closer. Before his lips made contact with hers, her hand grasped the handle and pulled. She slid the door open and jumped out of the way as Eric, with eyes still closed, fell through the air, kissing the floor. "Lé!"

Léo, who was returning to his compartment with James, stepped back into the corridor with curiosity, "Luce?" He sprinted over as Eric picked himself up, "Eric, the floor's not sanitary,"

"Léonard," Eric practically spat, then looked at Lucy, "Lucille, I'll see you around," he re-entered the compartment and closed the door behind him.

As Lucy walked back with Léo she let out a sigh of relief, "Lé, I don't know what I would have done if you didn't show up."

"Why?"

"He tried to make a move on me," Lucy explained with a shudder and look of disgust on her face,

"Luce, I'd do something if I didn't think you could handle yourself," Léo said although he kept looking over his shoulder, gauging how fast he could make it back to Eric's compartment, "Why didn't you pull your wand on that creep?"

"I'm not going to cause unnecessary trouble Lé," Lucy explained simply,

"Luce," he turned to face his sister, stopping her progress, "Promise me if that creep tries anything with you, forces you into anything, that you pull your wand on him. Okay? Forget the consequence, I'll take the blame, alright?"

"Lé-"

"Damn it, Luce, promise me!"

"Okay, okay- I promise," she said, startled by the seriousness and force of her brother's words; she had never seen him this way before and was touched by his protectiveness.

Léo let out a sigh of relief, "Good, go back to your friends, I'll see you at dinner," he turned to leave when Lucy grabbed his arm to stop him,

"Léo, go back to your compartment, don't go after Eric; I saw that look in your eyes," Lucy warned,

"I don't know –"

"Léo, take it out on him on the Quidditch Pitch," Lucy stated, "We'll annihilate the Hufflepuffs, okay?"

Léo's response came in a low growl, "Fine." He shook Lucy's hold on him and walked away.

Lucy chewed her bottom lip as she anxiously watched her brother's back. She let out a breath she hadn't realized she had been holding, when he entered his compartment and closed the door firmly behind him. Hesitantly, she turned and returned to her compartment, it was already starting to be an interesting year.



=====
French Lesson.

So I'll just repaste the sectoins & translate beneath. Ahh, also, you may notice that all of Bill&Fleur's children refer to Fleur as mere, but they'll call their dad, dad. *nod nod*
...

"Mère!" A shrill voice cried. Seconds after, a little girl with strawberry blond hair came running in and clutched her Fleur's legs,
("Mother!")


"Quoi?" Fleur inquired,
("What?")


"Arthur est une très - pomplemousse!" She cried into the skirts of her mother's sky-blue robes,
("Arthur is a big ... grapefruit" *note* i love calling people grapefruit. it's the best french word ever.))


"Ciel," Fleur cooed as she stroked the girl's straight locks, "comment Arthur est une pomplemousse?"
("Ciel ... how is Arthur a grapefruit?")


"Parce-que- parce-que il ne me laissera pas jouer avec lui!" Ciel sobbed,
("Because... becahe he won't let me play with him!"


"Ah- Il joue des jeux de garçon, et tu es une fille. Tu ne veut pas jouer des jeux de garçon. Arrête maintenant," Fleur said quietly as she took out a handkerchief and dabbed at her daughter's tears. "D'accord?"
("Ah... he plays boy games, and you're a girl. You don't want to play boy games. Stop now... Okay?")


"Oui," Ciel sniffed as she climbed onto the chaise beside her mother.
("Yes")

Then Arthur says "Oui mere" which is just, Yes Mother.
=====



Sooo.. commences another chapter, with a little learning at the end, can't complain LoL. ..
Anyways, so, you may have realized the controversal part of this chapter? The whole Blaise/Lucy thing...
I know it may cause some people to itch, but I'm fine with the idea and.. actually, I was inspired by
another story I love with similar circumstances ((i.e. couple's kid/couple's best friend)) and it was sweet *shrug*
it's so rare when I get to incorporate a detail from another story. I would say the title here, but it might
spoil it for others.. a clue is it's a Manga.

Ahh, y'alls also got to meet the twins' friends. LoL, Catie's already growing on me... I'm trying to think of ways to make her a more lead character than she is as the chapters have been written thus far.. I mean, Liv's getting more chapter-time than Catie is. Bah.
Y'alls will encounter more previous characters as we continue =)
Hope y'alls enjoyed.

Comments are always welcomed.


Smile .Park YooChun. Love
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#6
*Lucifer*

*Lucifer*

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yup yup yup loved this chapter too, and love the blaise/lucy part, cant wait to read more on that!! anyway angel u r fantastic at writing fics its amazing!! hurry hurry hurry with next chapter pls pls pls pls pls ^_^
Don't Marry Someone You Can Live With, Marry Someone You Can't Live Without!!

"in the words of Hermione (PS) What An Idiot!!!"

#7
melissa m

melissa m

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Wonderful Chapter.....I think the Blaise/Lucy part is quite endearing actually.....PPMS!^_^!:D!

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. -- Robert F. Kennedy
Friendship with one's self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world. -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -- George Bernard Shaw

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. -- Thomas Jefferson

While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us. -- Ben Franklin


#8
Angel

Angel

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Hey y'alls. Decided to update sooner than wait until the weekend. I'll be crazy busy for the next few days, so I decided to update now. I have the next few chapters already written, so I don't have a problem with updating ahead of schedule.


Lucifer - glad you liked the last chapter. ahh, don't rush me, you might jinx it and I'll get a writer's block! LoL.

melissa m - I'm glad you like the Blaise/Lucy thing.. I was apprehensive about writing it, but decided to anyways because that's how I wanted things to be.


I actually like this chapter quite a lot because it diverts the focus away from L&L a bit. Not a lot, but a bit. Actually, I'm pretty sure in the next chapter L&L aren't even mentioned at all. *shrug*

Enjoy.


-----




Phase Three: Pride

---

Ginny raised the vials to eye level, carefully adding a bit of one solution into the other. The new solution turned clear and Ginny smiled to herself. She slowly replaced the unchanged potion back on the table then slowly walked over to her bubbling cauldron. She slowly tilted the vial, but before a drop left the glass, a loud bang was heard, followed by heavy footsteps. Ginny immediately withdrew the potion before it spilt into the cauldron haphazardly. She whipped around just as her husband stepped down from the stairs,

"I could've blown up the lab just now!" She exclaimed angrily,

"The lab can spontaneously combust for all I care," he growled as he brushed past her towards the already-made potions. He scanned the shelves, "Where's the burn potion?"

Ginny put down the vial and went to him immediately, "Why?"

"Some bloody fool opened the curtains in my office while I was in a meeting. When I got back from the meeting, I was so mad I closed the curtains myself," Draco hissed as he picked up a potion only to put it back down, "I couldn't leave, so I've had my arm on fire all day." He picked up another potion then put it back down.

Ginny took the arm he had been holding to his chest and carefully examined the skin, "I told you not to wear short-sleeved shirts," she admonished,

"I don't need your lectures right now, witch," Draco said in a low growl,

"Fine," she spat. Without looking, she grabbed a small jar off the shelf and slapped it into his other hand, "Go to Hades!" She ripped the apron from her waist, threw it into the cauldron and stormed up the stairs.

Draco let out a frustrated sigh as he watched the bubbling cauldron, bubble over and turn a murky green colour. He cringed as he heard the basement door slam behind his wife. With the hand of his uninjured arm, he uncorked the jar and sprinkled a bit of the potion onto his arm. Resealing it and replacing it on the shelf, he rubbed the potion in. Once it was fully absorbed, he walked over to the lab's sink and washed his free hand. After he was finished, he took out his wand, cleaned up the spoiled potion then proceeded to make amends with his wife.

Unfortunately for Draco, he was unable to locate his wife. He checked with Eli and –most hesitantly- Tristan's room, however, she was nowhere to be found. When dinner was set, Draco sat down at the table with his sons, Ginny's seat still empty. Finally after the food was served, Ginny made an appearance. She entered the dinning room and took her seat opposite Draco.

"Good evening, Ginny," he greeted,

She looked up from her plate, "Draco." Immediately she absorbed herself in her meal, which annoyed Draco to no end.

"Wish you could've played today, Tristan, we were playing hide and seek in the playroom –"

"Eli, manners," Draco reminded,

"Sorry for bragging, Tristan," Eli apologized then ate his meal quietly.

Draco, as always, ate slices of bread. He chewed it maliciously as he watched his wife.

"It's rude to stare," Ginny stated as she raised her gaze from her plate and stared directly at her husband. She took a final sip of her drink then stood up. She walked over to Tristan and planted a kiss on his head, "Goodnight Tristan."

"Night mother," he replied dully, still not over his punishment.

She walked to Eli and placed a kiss on the blonde's head, "Goodnight Eli,"

"You too, mother," he piped happily,

She walked to Draco's side and cupped the side of his face, making him look at her. She leaned down and enticed him with a slow, sensual kiss. She pulled back after a moment, "Have a good sleep in your study, love." With one last spiteful look into Draco's eyes, Ginny left the room.

"Spiteful witch," Draco hissed as the door closed behind her.

"Tristan," Eli nudged his brother for his attention, "It seems Father was bad today, too."

Draco turned his icy glare on his children; it had no affect when their mother would be on their side.

"Is it true Father?" Tristan inquired with innocent eyes, "Were you a bad boy and Mother punished you?"

Draco replied in a low growl, "Finish your meals!"

The Malfoy boys snickered amongst themselves quietly and obliged their father; he wouldn't be able to have an upper hand on his sons until things were set right between him and Ginny.

---

Halfway through dinner in the Great Hall of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, Léo stood from Slytherin table and walked over to the Ravenclaw table. He spotted a familiar little wizard and walked over to him, he tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention,

"I'm glad I didn't place a bet on which House Dash would be sorted into," Léo sighed in mock-sadness, "I thought Father's luck with betting would be passed down onto me,"

Will glared at his brother, "Mother likes my name!"

"Just teasing, Will," he insisted, "I've never asked, but how does it feel to be the first Malfoy outside of Slytherin?"

Will crossed his arms, "Don't remind me."

"Aw, come now, don't be petulant," Léo quipped, "So you're not in Slytherin, it's not a big deal, Will. If anything, Father's damned proud that he has a son in the House known for its mental skills," This garnered a smile from the younger brother, "And besides, it's not like you're completely on your own now. Dash is with you." That's when Léo looked up and down the table, "Where is Dash?"

"He's trying to convince Charl that she's brave enough to be in Gryffindor and that the hat didn't make a mistake," Will drawled,

"I should've bet that Gabe would end in Gryffindor," He sighed. He took a last look around the Great Hall, eyes landing on Eric McMillan, before turning his attention back to his brother, "Will, you've wanted to try out some of Uncle Fred and Uncle George's newest tricks, right?"

Will's eyes brightened at his words, then looked around suspiciously; his older brother would only mention their twin uncles under dire circumstances for risk of feeling the wrath of their Mother and Father.

"You remember Father's talk about boys going after Lucy?" Will nodded with a roll of his eyes, "Well, sometimes Father isn't so fanciful. There's a wizard who deserves a trick or two to be played on him."

"Why don't you do something?" Will whispered back to his brother, although their voices were quite covered by the loud volume of the student body.

"I told her I wouldn't do anything, besides, you're in Ravenclaw, you'll be able to pull it off without getting caught," Léo winked at his brother,

Will nodded, "Alright, who's the unfortunate soul?"

Léo bent down to eye-level with his brother, "Remember this name: Eric McMillan. He's a Seventh Year, Hufflepuff, captain of the Quidditch team; and the Head Boy."

"Head Boy!?" Will hissed,

"Shhh!" Léo hissed back, "If you get caught, I'll take the blame, alright? It's for Lucy."

Will nodded his agreement, "For Lucy."

With that taken care of, Léo returned to the Slytherin table. The witch in question had followed her brother's progress and now stared at him as he retook his place. Feeling he was being watched, Léo looked in her direction. He returned her questioning stare with a grin, and then returned to his friends. Frustrated, Lucy leaned back from her seat and nudged the wizard across the aisle from her. The wizard twisted his torso to look at her,

"James," Lucy hissed,

"Yes?" He replied,

"When Léo returned to your compartment today after I called for him- did he say anything?" She inquired,

"He did, however, under the oath of friendship, I'm not at the liberty to reiterate what he said," James replied,

"James, please!" Lucy insisted,

"Ah, sorry Lucy, I can't help you. You see, I'm in agreement with our dear Léonard, and am ready to help him in anything he may be doing," James admitted,

"Well, you'll be on the receiving end of his wand when I tell him that you kissed me in Fifth Year!" She drawled while her eyes held her emotions,

James' jaw dropped, "Evil witch!"

Lucy smiled sweetly, "Thank you."

---

It was the middle of the night when Draco felt himself being pulled from sleep. For a few moments, he laid on the couch in his study, just staring up at the ceiling. After several failed attempts to fall back asleep, he swung his feet onto the floor and sat up, wondering why he couldn't sleep once more. He stood up and paced about his study, attempting to rid himself of the nagging feeling wearing through him. He paused as he thought about what would be bothering him, besides sleeping in his study – again. Then, without reason or thought, his feet carried him out of his study, up the stairs and into the north wing where his and Ginny's chambers were located. Although his mind didn't know, apparently his body knew what was wrong.

Slowly and quietly, Draco opened the door to their bedchamber. Stepping inside, he closed the door behind him. It was pitch black. Immediately he realized what was wrong. He quickly strode to the bed and, sitting on the edge, shook his wife awake.

Startled by his touch, she nearly jumped out of bed as she shot up into a sitting position.

"Lumos!" Draco pointed at the candle and it lit up.

She relaxed visibly at the sight of him and sat up, steadying her breath. In the candlelight, Draco saw her wet cheeks; she had been crying in her sleep. His heart broke, and so he reached out and tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. She moved into his touch until he was cupping the side of her face,

"A house elf must have closed the drapes," Draco whispered, "I forgot to tell them I was sleeping in the study tonight, forgive me."

"I hate this childish fear," Ginny sighed heavily, "Thank you for coming."

"Gin, about earlier-"

"You didn't mean what you said?"

"I meant what I said, I just could've handled the situation better," Draco explained, "How was your day with your sister-in-law?"

"I'm content with how things were," she answered tiredly as she laid back down, her eyelids fluttering close,

Draco nodded as he stood up again. Feeling the shift of weight, Ginny held onto his hand, "Stay," she whispered. He didn't need to be told twice.

---

It was the middle of the night when Lucy heard a banging on the wall. Thoroughly peeved, she threw the covers off of her and, grabbing a night robe, padded out of her bedroom, through her common room and to the entrance to her chambers,

"Nike," she hissed. Once the entrance was open, she angrily stepped through the tapestry to find herself face-to-face with the Caretaker of Hogwarts School, Argus Filch. He was not alone, "Charlotte?"

"I found Miss Weasley here, wandering the halls. When I told her I'd bring her to the Headmistress, she begged to be brought to the Head Girl for justice instead," Filch spat, "I figure if you're a Malfoy and she's a Weasley, there's enough hate between your families to ensure justice be done." With that, the caretaker walked off, chuckling menacingly to himself.

Once he was out of sight, Lucy all but dragged Charlotte into the common room.

"What the bloody hell are you doing out and about in Hogwarts Charl? Especially on your first night!" Lucy scolded,

"I was looking for Dash –"

"That doesn't matter, Charl! You could've gotten lost in the castle, you've only been here a few hours. You don't even know enough about the castle to predict where the stairs will move," she admonished her younger cousin.

"But- it's just- I miss mère," Charl sputtered, fighting back tears.

Lucy sighed heavily as she pulled Charl to her and hugged her tightly, "I know your first night here can be intimidating, especially when you're stuck in a room with people you don't know- but after a few days, you'll make friends and you'll hardly realize you've been away from home for so long. Look at me, I've been doing this for seven years, and your parents did it for seven years. Just give yourself time to adjust and before you know it, we'll be on the train back to Kings Cross."

Charl stepped away from Lucy and sighed, drying her wetted eyes, "I suppose I was being irrational-"

"Yes, you were," Lucy drawled, "Charl, you didn't even have to leave Gryffindor to find someone, Catie's usually in the common room doing work."

"Classes haven't even started yet," Charl reminded,

"Oh, trust me, our dear cousin is doing some kind of work to get ahead of the year," Lucy insisted, "Come on, I'll take you back to Gryffindor. No more wandering about okay? Day or night, until you've got a good footing on the castle's layout, alright?"

Charl nodded as she instinctively took her cousin's hand as Lucy led them through the dark castle and back to Gryffindor tower.

---

It was mid-September when a group of five students stood in the middle of the Quidditch pitch, all their attention on the Professor who paced before them, a Quaffle in his hands.

"Okay, kids, Quidditch Season starts after Halloween, this year, so that gives you captains a month and half to train your teams," The Flying and Quidditch Instructor announced, "You know the usual, you're to try out for empty spots on the teams unless – and only unless – a starter of the team gives reason for their spot to be replaced. This means from incompetence to rule breaking, to skipping practices. If it's for a minor reason, the other starters must agree with your choice to remove the offending player. Understood?"

The captains agreed in unison,

"Alright, so, also as usual, tryouts are for Fourth Years and up, unless – and only unless – a student of a younger year displays the talent and maturity to be on the team. Even if you want that kid on your team, said player-to-be has to have the approval of the rest of the team," the instructor reminded, "Understood?"

The captains agreed once more,

"This year, I'm glad to welcome the new Ravenclaw captain, Christopher Chang," the instructor announced, "He may be a Fifth Year, but you Seventh Year captains don't take him so easily. Don't forget, Catie was captain since her Third Year and got the Cup that year. Who knows, this may be the year that the Quidditch Cup goes to a House other than Slytherin and Gryffindor."

The captains greeted and welcomed Chris before the instructor continued his speech,

"Now, I called this meeting because, now that you guys know your time frame to get your teams in shape, try-outs are most likely going to be happening soon, hopefully next week. So, I want sign-ups for try-out times. Once try-outs are finished by the end of next week and the teams are finalized, then I'll call you all again for Pitch time for practices, okay?" The captains nodded, "Alright captains, whoever comes closest to guessing my favourite number picks first the date for their tryouts, etcetera, etcetera."

"4," Eric McMillan guessed,

"15," Catie answered casually,

"11," Chris attempted,

The Slytherin captains looked at one another and whispered amongst themselves before answering, "3.14."

"How did you know his favourite number is pi!?" Catie demanded,

"Miss Weasley!" A warning glance silenced her, "Malfoy's have first pick, McMillan next, then Chang, then Weasley," the instructor announced,

Léo looked at Lucy who nodded, "Friday."

Catie cursed, "You knew I wanted Friday!" She pointed an accusatory finger at her cousins,

"Miss Weasley!" The instructor exclaimed in a warning tone. She shut her mouth as Eric chose Monday and Chris decided he wanted Wednesday for his tryouts. Finally, Catie grudgingly told the instructor that Thursday would be her tryouts day. "Good, so by next Sunday I want finalized teams. Tomorrow and the day after and maybe even Friday, I'll be teaching flying lessons for the first years, if any of you have a feeling you may find a good player, feel free to sit in on a lesson, but I want teacher approval if you watching a lesson means missing a class," The instructor's gaze landed on Catie, "That's it for now, I'll talk to you guys next Sunday."

As the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff captains left the Pitch immediately, the Slytherin captains and Gryffindor captain hung around.

"Catie, I know you, especially, want to sit in on a lesson, so get teach approval," the instructor repeated,

"Dad, I heard you the first time," Catie sighed as she rolled her eyes, "This isn't the first time I've heard this speech."

"But this is the first time you have a chance to watch the son of a Quidditch master," Ron Weasley reminded, "I've never seen Gabe fly, but if he's anything like his father, he'll be a natural."

"Because putting pressure on him, helps, Uncle Ron," Lucy drawled,

"Sometimes, you're too much like your father," Ron pouted,

"I'm glad I'm not like mine," Catie muttered,

"Hey! You watch it young lady," Ron warned his daughter, "Don't make me pull you from captaincy!"

"Dad, that's such an idle threat. The team would boycott if you did it since I've been in this position for so long and you know mum would go Basilisk if you took away my captaincy for such a feeble reason," Catie said matter-of-factly,

Ron scowled, "You're too much like your mother." Catie laughed as she playfully punched her dad.

"Uncle Ron, how good is the Ravenclaw captain?" Léo inquired,

"Ah, you know I can't answer that. You've seen him play for two years now, he got on as a Third Year," Ron reminded, "besides, him gaining captaincy while he's only a Fifth Year should be indication enough of his skill level. Why so worried? You never asked when McMillan became captain at the end of last year or when the last Ravenclaw captain became captain last year."

"Well, Will's a bit scared he won't make the team if he tries out," Léo explained, worry etched into his face,

"Is he good? If he is, he doesn't have anything to worry about. Tell you the truth, I've never seen Will with another but a book, let alone a broomstick," Ron commented as he idly began tossing the Quaffle and catching it, while his eyes remained on his nephew,

"We've never seen him play either," Lucy realized as she looked to Léo who nodded his confirmation, "but I know he flies, because every day of every summer he would go out and fly with Father. They'd come home drenched in sweat, so I would assume they were racing."

Ron nodded his understanding, "Well, if Will's serious about playing, he'll probably get on, but that's if he takes it serious."

"That's not totally true," Lucy argued, "Uncle, if you've forgotten, Olivia Wood is on the Gryffindor team and she hasn't tried at Quidditch all her life and still got on the team."

"That's right dad, she didn't even try out until Fourth Year for the team. Even then she was playing half-assed," Catie added,

"Watch your mouth," Ron warned, "I didn't know Olivia wasn't even trying. I just thought she was an average player."

"Yes well, we convinced her to play seriously in at least one game," Catie announced enthusiastically, "We'll beat Slytherin this year, dad, I promise you! She's so talented, that she could've gotten captaincy in our First Year if she tried for the team!"

Ron raised a curious eyebrow,

"That's right Uncle Ron, she can make the national team right out of Hogwarts," Lucy added,

"Her father would be happy to hear that," Ron commented, "Although Wood's never bragged to me about his daughter when I see him at League games."

"Dad, you don't listen do you? She doesn't try," Catie enunciated each word slowly before adding, "She won't try unless she's challenged. So if it's just her and her father flying, she's not going to show her full potential."

Ron nodded, "I hope she doesn't mind me inviting her dad to the Slytherin-Gryffindor game, then. If she's as good as you two say she is, I want Wood to know what he has in her."

---

The next day, Ron was once again out in the Quidditch Pitch, this time with a class of First Year Gryffindors. Since he allowed teams to watch the First Years for potential players, he had moved the flying lessons from the open grounds to the Pitch. It was a violently windy fall day, perfect to test out which First Years deserved even just a consideration.

As he began his opening speech to the First Years, two witches entered the Quidditch Pitch. They mounted their brooms and headed for the stands immediately. Without looking at them, Ron merely gestured behind him,

"These witches are from your House Quidditch team. They will be observing your flying to see if you deserve a tryout for the team which is the Thursday of next week for Gryffindors," Ron announced,

"Witches in Quidditch?" A Gryffindor boy scoffed, "I don't need a witch telling me whether or not I deserve to get a tryout for the team. I know I can. I bet my broom that I could fly circles around Harry Potter when he was a First Year!"

"I hope you realize you just lost all chances of getting a tryout for the Gryffindor team; ever," Ron said, his voice ringing clear throughout the Pitch; the witches had no problems hearing him.

"What!? Just because I said that about Harry Potter!?" The boy demanded, enraged.

"No. You actually struck out three times with that one," Ron commented before explaining, "First, you spoke out against witches." Ron held up his hand and gestured for the two witches to come over to them. They obliged and stood beside him, "Boys and girls, meet Olivia Wood, daughter of famous Quidditch player, Oliver Wood: captain for Puddlemere United and player on England's international team." They clapped as the offending boy gapped in shock, "Also, I'd like to introduce your House captain, Catherine Weasley."

The offending boy questioned, "Weasley? Is she a relation to you Professor Weasley?"

"Yes, she is my daughter," Ron answered, the boy paled, "Your second strike is saying you don't need a witch telling you if you deserve a tryout. Clearly you are wrong since this witch is your captain. Third strike, I'll have you know that Harry Potter is a friend of mine."

"That's got to be a lie," the boy insisted to his fellow classmates,

"No it isn't; he's my dad's best friend," Gabe piped from the back. He walked up to the other boy, "If you ever insult my dad, I'll make you sorry!"

The offending boy paled even more before gaining courage and spitting back, "Oh yeah? Well I bet I can fly circles around you James Potter!"

"Professor Weasley, can I suggest a contest to these eager ones?" Liv inquired and Ron nodded his consent, "Alright you two, you want to settle this?" The boys nodded violently, "Alright then, twenty-five laps around the Quidditch Pitch. First one to complete those number of laps wins."

The boys mounted their brooms and after the signal, zoomed into the air and began their first lap.

Liv turned to the other First Year Gryffindors, "Isn't twenty-five pushing it Miss Wood?" A girl inquired, "Couldn't ten or even just five laps be enough?"

"Indeed, but you see, that boy that James Potter is racing wants a tryout for the team; this is his tryout," Liv explained, "During Quidditch practices with our team, the first thing we do is twenty-five laps around the Pitch. Doesn't seem so hard, but we time the laps. So, it's a constant strain on the body as you urge your broom to go faster. Eventually the body is tired out from the strain of trying to lean closer to the broom, gripping the broom so you don't fly off as you increase speed, or leaning forward to place weight at the head of the broom."

"Also, since he's racing someone else, he'll most likely be doing his top speed," Catie added, "If he can't beat the other flyer, then the other flyer deserves a tryout more than he does."

The younger students ah'-ed their understandings.

"I think we'll have a winner soon," Catie interrupted as she pointed at the other boy, "He's looking wobbly up there."

"If you're not used to going top speed and trying to accelerate, your eyes don't adjust fast enough and you get dizzy," Liv explained to the First Years, "Another reason why we start with laps in practice."

As if on cue, the other boy began to swerve in the air on his fifth lap. Gabe, coming around on his seventh lap, caught the boy's broom and guided him back to the group.

"Cheat! I could've won if you didn't grab my broom!" The boy accused,

"No, you could've fallen off if I didn't grab your broom," Gabe corrected, eyes narrowed angrily,

"No fight you two," Ron warned, "And you," he pointed to the offending boy, "Are heading straight to the Hospital Wing."

"What!? Why?" The boy demanded,

"The stresses of that test are too much for your body; get to Madame Pomphrey before you get sick!" Ron commanded.

Resentfully, the boy marched out of the Pitch. The group cheered for the classmate, Gabe shied away, saying he only wanted to protect his dad's name. Soon, the group turned to the Seventh Year's, asking for flying tips.

Catie walked over to her father after a moment, "You look the portrait of a petulant child, dad."

"How am I supposed to react if you two swoop in and steal my job?" Ron countered.

Catie laughed at her dad and playfully nudged him in the side, "That was some good flying, huh dad?"

Ron's gaze fell onto Gabe, "Certainly was. He looked just like his dad in our First Year- I'll never forget the look on your Uncle Draco's face when Harry got on the Quidditch team after Professor McGonagall saw him fly. Gabe and Harry must do a lot of flying in France since it's just the two of them."

"Wrong again, dad. I talked to William-Charles since he's actually been to France to spend time with Gabe. Our little Potter hasn't flown his whole life and even Uncle Harry hasn't touched his broomstick in years," Catie corrected, her statement only raising Ron's pride in his godson.

Gabe felt he was being watched, and looked in Ron's direction. A light flush touched the boy's face and he gave his godfather a small smile before returning his attention to Liv who was telling the other First Years, the importance of wearing proper riding gloves when playing Quidditch.

"That was a tryout not just for that other boy, wasn't it?" Catie nodded, her attention on the First Years, "Did Gabe pass?"

"With flying colours."

---

The Sunday after the week of tryouts, Ron sat at his office desk. His office had display cases against one wall holding all of his previous brooms, even a broom he had signed by all the Chudley Canons. Above the display cases were brooms of the latest models, all for his personal use. Opposite this wall was a wall full of bookshelves from floor to ceiling. The shelves didn't contain books, but many, files.

He began looking at the four lists before him for finalized teams. He ordered them in the order they came to him. Picking up the Hufflepuff list, he read the first name. Holding a hand out towards one of the shelves of his office, he summoned a file. Catching it, he checked over the player's grades from the previous year. He did so with all of them, circling the names that he felt needed to be under academic probation.

Once finished with the first list, Ron moved on to the Slytherin list. He looked over the names and wondered if he should bother checking the grades; Léo and Lucy had always made it clear to the team that if any of their grades slipped, they'd be replaced. For appearances' sake, Ron relented to going through each player's file anyway. When he was done, as expected, the list was free from any circled names.

He moved onto the Ravenclaw list and saw that Chris Chang had revised and rewritten the team several times over. The parchment he held was not a final copy like the other lists; it was the only copy.

"He was having problems until the last minute," Ron muttered to himself, wishing the new captain good luck on future decisions. A grin spread on his face when he saw that the only consistent new player on each revised list was Will's. "I better not tell Malfoy, his ego might explode."

After going through the seven files for the Ravenclaw Quidditch team, Ron placed the list with the others; things were looking up for the new captain, only one of his players needed academic probation. Wearily, Ron moved on to the last list. His daughter had tossed it to him on her way to the Gryffindor during dinner. It missed his pea soup by a fraction of a centimetre and by the grin on her face, he knew it was on purpose; after all, her aim was hard to rival. He yawned loudly as he tiredly began revising the academic records of each player.

When the seventh and final file was returned to its shelf, he placed the list down with the others, stood up and stretched. He walked around his desk and, extinguishing the light, left his office. No sooner had the door close, did he open it again, running back into the room, relighting the room in the process. In all his eagerness, he bumped into his desk, causing the papers on it to be jolted about messily. He grabbed for the finalized team lists and snatched the Gryffindor team list. He read over the list and nearly kicked himself for not realizing it the first time around:

James Gabriel Potter was not on the list.



-----

And that was the third chapter. Hope y'alls liked it. Although I have the next few chapters written, I could update again this weekend, but with my schedule there'll be low to nil chance I can even get to my computer. So, the next update may not occur until next week. Sorry about that.

Comments are always welcomed. =)


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#9
*Lucifer*

*Lucifer*

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oohhhhh another great chapter, why didnt little potter make the team i wonder????? cant wait for next update *eagerly checking back so often lol*

*Lucifer* xxx
Don't Marry Someone You Can Live With, Marry Someone You Can't Live Without!!

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#10
Angel

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Hey everyone.

Lucifer - Aww Gabe's Little Potter ^__^ All is revealed in this chapter LoL..


Apparently I really like it when the storyline diverts away from the twins. Hmm, go figure.
Anyways, this chapter brings in something that was mentioned once - and only once - in RM. I guess the placement of it would make one think it an insignificant detail, but it comes out in this chapter.
I really did enjoy writing this chapter just to show you guys a side of a character y'alls have never seen before.

Enjoy.


-----




Phase Four: Checkmate

---

Monday was never a particularly favourable day amongst students of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. The day was gloomy outside, foreshadowing rain, and already the professors were handing out assignments by the handful. The murky weather did not help a particular student cope well with her newly found cold as of that morning. Hair tied back in a frizzy ponytail and uniform in disarray: white oxford shirt not tucked in, ends sticking out from beneath the school sweater; Gryffindor tie just slung around her neck, waiting to be knotted; knee-high socks scrunched down at the ankles and robes inside out. It was clear this Gryffindor had rolled out of bed with no particular incline of their appearance that dreary morning.

"You look so happy this morning," Léo greeted as the student reached the main floor,

"Go to Hades," she hissed bitterly as he happily swung his arm around her shoulders,

"Oh, come now, Catie, you act as if there's no love lost between us," Léo said in mock sadness.

"Léo, so help me Merlin I will hex you if you keep that up," Catie warned as she threw his arm off her,

"Sorry, sorry, seriously though, what's wrong with you this morning?" Léo inquired sincerely,

"I woke up with a blasted cold and frankly, I don't give a hoot about my state of dishabille right now," Catie scoffed,

"I've never seen you so- sloppy before," Léo commented,

"It comes from my dad," Catie grinned,

"I heard that," Ron warned as he came sprinting towards them, "Catie, I wanted a word with you before breakfast,"

"Wow dad, if it comes before a meal it must be important," he gave her a warning look, "Sorry. Léo I'll talk to you later," once her cousin had left she turned to her dad, "What's wrong?"

"It's about Gabe –"

Catie held up her hand, "Those names on the list are final decision, dad, even if his dad is Harry Potter and your best friend."

"But Catie – we saw him fly together, you even said he passed the tryout; why didn't he get on? The new players you picked can't be as good as Gabe!" Ron exclaimed,

"Dad, you're supposed to be objective about this," she warned,

"As Professor, I am; as his godfather, I want to know why he didn't make it," Ron questioned,

"I don't think I can handle either one of your sides," Catie rolled her eyes before answering, "Okay, you want the truth?" Ron nodded, "Gabe's pretty much the most talented flyer I've seen in years; the last one being Olivia and that was three years ago when she tried out."

"So what's the problem?" Ron asked, "If he's such a good flyer, why isn't he on the team?"

"I asked not to be on the team," They attention was whipped towards Gabe who stood just a few feet away.

"But, Gabe –"

"I really appreciate your effort, but I told Catie not to put me on the team," Gabe explained,

"With your talents Gabe, the Gryffindor team could go far," Ron commented,

The eleven-year-old shrugged, "I like flying and everything, but-" he shrugged again.

"Catie-" Ron looked at his daughter but she was already on her way into the Great Hall. Once alone, Ron guided Gabe to a corridor branching off from the main hall, he sat on the floor against the wall and gestured for Gabe to do the same. "Alright, mate, spill the beans."

"Spill the-"

"Muggle expression, sorry. Your Aunt Hermione uses them all the time, like I'd know them or something. It means, tell your story,"

Gabe nodded his understanding, "Well, I just figure there's so much pressure. I mean, granddad was a great Quidditch player and everyone says how dad could've played professionally if he kept flying- if I was on the House team, everyone would expect me to be some great flyer that I'm not."

"Gabe, was the other day your first time flying?" Ron inquired hesitantly,

"Yeah, back home we live in a small muggle town, so there's too much risk getting spotted if we fly," Gabe explained,

"But surely there'd be a field or forest your dad could have enchanted with wards so you could fly?"

The boy shrugged again, "Probably, but he never did- From all the things I've heard at Hogwarts, dad was amazing,"

"He loved flying," Ron added,

"Well, for as long as I can remember, he hasn't picked up a broom unless it was to clean," Gabe explained, "But I'm so inexperienced in flying, I don't want to disappoint everyone's expectations of me."

"Gabe, I watched you fly and I've got to admit, if you flew against your father in his first year, there'd be some rivalry between you two," Ron confessed, "But listen mate, don't worry about everyone else's expectations of you, just go for your own expectations."

"What if dad gets disappointed that we don't win the Quidditch cup, though?" Gabe inquired,

"Aw mate, that's nothing to worry about," Ron chuckled, patting him on the shoulder, "When your dad was on the House team, they didn't get the cup until his Third Year. Besides, the last thing your dad's going to feel disappointed when he finds out his son made the team in his First Year."

"I don't know-" Gabe said as he stood up,

"Just think about it, okay mate?" Ron suggested as he got to his feet,

Gabe nodded then ran ahead. Before reaching the Great Hall's doors, he spun around, "Uncle Ron,"

"Yup?"

"Do you know why dad stopped flying?" Gabe asked tentatively,

He shook his head.

"Oh, well, thanks anyways," he gave his godfather one last grin before disappearing into the Great Hall.

Ron ran a hand wearily through his hair, "I plan to find out though."

---

Lucy sat down at the Slytherin table, propped her arm on the tabletop and leaned her chin on her fist. It was a late night of assignments, unfortunately, and she had gotten to sleep only a few hours earlier that morning. As her Slytherin friends chatted around her, she was beginning to fall asleep until she heard her name. She chose to ignore it until it was called again, followed by a most obvious, stench,

"Lucille,"

Grudgingly, she opened her eyes and noticed her friends had gone silent and covered their noses and mouths with their hands. They looked behind her accusingly. She turned around in her seat to find Eric towering before her.

"What do you – Merlin's ghost!" Her hand cupped her nose and mouth, "Eric, what's with that smell?"

He sighed dramatically, "It won't go away, I don't know where it came from,"

"Have you tried showering?" One of the girls behind Lucy demanded, swallowing her laughter,

"I scrub and scrub and it just won't go away," He said to Lucy, even if she hadn't asked, "Well, I was wondering if you'd like to patrol together this evening,"

"I'm sorry Eric, but I can hardly be near you with that- that- it's too strong," she stood up and moved away from her. She looked around and noticed for the first time that the other students in the Great Hall had turned their attention to the source of the bad smell.

"Ah, then another time?" Eric suggested,

"I'm not too sure about- Eric, your hair!" Lucy gasped.

"What about-" Eric trailed when he suddenly saw locks of his hair falling before his eyes. He began to panic and jumped back, looking around him as a small pile of hair began to accumulate around him. His hands flew to his head as more and more hair gently fell to the ground. Before long, his head was barren. After eliciting a high-pitched scream, Eric bolted from the Great Hall.

The other students looked at once another in confusion and then soon fell into laughter.

"I surely hope you haven't suddenly decided to follow the steps of your uncles," Lucy spun around and found Headmistress McGonagall standing by the doors.

"No ma'am," Lucy assured,

"I didn't think so- I'll admit, for a brief moment I was looking the crowed for a pair of redheaded twins," McGonagall smiled to herself, "It looks like something they would pull off and I wouldn't put it past them to create such a prank. It seems one of our students has been to your uncles' shop this past summer."

Lucy watched as the Headmistress continued to the teachers' table and took her place.

"Not just any student," Lucy muttered to herself as she scanned the Great Hall. Her eyes landed on a head almost like her own. She made a beeline to her brother.

"That was priceless, Luce," Léo laughed as he wiped the tears from his eyes.

"Léonard Draco Malfoy what did you do?" Lucy hissed under her breath,

Léo stopped laughing and looked at her with a bored expression, "I haven't the slightest idea what you're going on about,"

"Léo, I thought we agreed to take it out on him on the Quidditch pitch? It's our first game! Damn it Lé, you're so impatient," Lucy hissed at him,

"Luce, look at this logically- the first game isn't until November 1st, that's a long time to wait," Léo explained matter-of-factly before adding, "Besides, who says I did anything?"

Lucy peered at her brother suspiciously. When she read the meaning in his eyes, she glanced past him at the Ravenclaw table where their younger brother sat with his friends, talking and laughing. Her jaw dropped as she looked back at her twin, "Léo, you didn't corrupt Will, did you?"

"I won't lie to you Luce. I did corrupt our dear brother," Léo answered in a serious tone,

"You're impossible!" Lucy accused beneath her breath. Suddenly she gasped and eyed her brother suspiciously, "If you corrupt a single hair on the head of Eli, I will hex you until kingdom come, Lé!"

"Eli? You're not going to make me swear off Tristan too?" Léo raised a curious eyebrow,

"Uncle George and Uncle Fred have already gotten to him, but if you do anything to Eli, I won't ever forgive you Léonard Draco Malfoy!" Lucy declared bitterly,

"Fine, I'll leave Eli. Now, will you stop full naming me if I promise not to call you Mary?" Léo bribed.

Lucy stared daggers at him as she nodded stubbornly.

Léo waved her off dismissively, his voice full of hauteur, "Good, now I'm going back to my breakfast. I've gotten bored of you,"

She obliged, smacking him upside the head on her way back to her friends.

---

Ron leaned against the corridor wall patiently. The classroom door beside him was open and he could clearly hear Severus Snape, Potions Master, giving a lecture. He heard Snape bark at a student and he rolled his eyes to the heavens,

"Some things never change," Ron muttered quietly as he crossed his arms casually.

"Professor Weasley, do you want something? I don't appreciate lurkers about my classroom," Snape bellowed from within the class.

Ron sighed as he appeared in the doorway, he was happy he didn't blush. He had learned how to put up with Snape after settling with the idea that they were no longer student and teacher; they were colleagues.

"I wasn't lurking, I was waiting," Ron corrected with an attempted bored tone; he decided he needed to take lessons from Draco on that bit.

"It must be of some grave importance if the Flying Professor is down in the lair of the Potions Professor," Snape drawled from across the room,

"Well, not nearly important enough to disrupt your class, however, since you disrupted your class already, I don't see why I shouldn't do what I came here to do," Ron decided, "I'd like a word with Mr Malfoy."

Snape pursed his lips at the request; although Ron had become accustomed to the idea of them being coworkers, Snape still refused to see him as little more than the student.
"Hmm- very well," Snape turned to face his blackboard, "Mr Malfoy, you heard Professor Weasley."

For a moment, all that was heard was the scraping of the chair legs against the floor and the quick footsteps outside of the classroom door, immediately followed by the shutting of said door.

Once the door was soundly shut, Ron turned to his nephew, "Will, you know you're my favourite nephew right?"

"Even though Léo's the better Quidditch player?" Will inquired anxiously, his grey-brown eyes getting big as saucers,

"Uh, yes, I've never even seen you play Will. You may be better than your brother and father combined!" Ron beamed down at him.

Will grinned foolishly up at his uncle until his grin disappeared and his eyes narrowed, "Okay Uncle Ron, all tricks aside, what do you want?"

"Will! I'm hurt that you even think-" his words trailed as Will looked at him archly, demanding a straight answer, "I need some information, mate."

"I don't understand why you couldn't just say that in the beginning," Will huffed as he rolled his eyes to the heavens, "What do you need to know Uncle?"

"It's about Gabe," Ron began, "Something happened this morning with Gabe and I wanted to discuss it with his dad. I'm not teaching today, so I thought I'd go over to France and stop by, but the problem is that I don't know where he lives."

Will held up his hands, "Whoa, Uncle Ron, I can't do that! Uncle Harry does want people knowing where he lives for a reason! Besides, Mother let me go visit on the guidelines that I don't tell anyone that I visited or where Uncle Harry lives."

"Mate, it can be a secret between us," Ron insisted,

"I'd rather not hide things from my mother," Will said dryly,

"She really won't get mad at you for telling," Ron insisted,

"But Uncle Harry might, then he'd tell Mother and then she'd get mad at me, sorry Uncle Ron, I can't do it," Will shrugged in response,

Ron sighed heavily, "I didn't want to do this Will, but you're making me take out the big guns- if you tell me where your Uncle Harry lives, I won't tell your mother about the prank you pulled on Eric McMillan."

Will's jaw dropped, "Uncle Ron! You wouldn't!"

"I'm sorry Will," Ron shrugged, "But it's really important I talk to your Uncle Harry and you're not being cooperative."

"Ugh, I don't see why you didn't just ask Gabe," Will scowled, "it's not like he was forced into secrecy."

"I didn't think to ask him," Ron admitted,

"No wonder Father calls you a git," Will scoffed,

Ron narrowed his eyes at the boy, "William-Charles –"

"My apologies Uncle, but you must admit I have some right in calling you a git after you tried to blackmail me," Will reminded, "it's pretty bad when a man of your age has to blackmail a fourteen-year-old for information."

Ron opened the classroom door and nudged his nephew in, "I don't know how you didn't end up in Slytherin," he muttered bitterly as Will threw him a mocking smile. Without another word, Ron left the dungeons to go search for his godson.

---

It was hot inside the kitchen. Even though one of the windows was opened a sliver, the cool wind did nothing to counteract the hot stove. The person within the kitchen walked over to the sink, turned on the coldwater tap and splashed some water onto his face. After feeling the cool effects, he dried his hands and face on a hand towel then returned to the centre worktable in the kitchen. The wooden tabletop was covered in flour and on top of half of the table were several cookie sheets containing, well, cookie dough pieces.

The baker put a little flour on his hands then began to manipulate the small lump of cookie dough before him. He would break off a small piece, roll his palms all over it until it became as spherical as possible, then he would put it on the only empty tray on the table. He continued his ministrations until the lump was completely divided and laid out on the last cookie sheet. Just as he was washing the flour from his hands, he heard a small bell indicating that the oven was ready. He strode over to the cookie sheets and gingerly placed all three trays into the big oven.

As he closed the oven, the baker heard another bell, a different bell; this one had a more tinkling sound and indicated that the door of the bakery had opened. A customer. With a glance to the clock on the wall to make sure he timed the cookies right, the baker headed through the door into the bakery front.

He plaster a smile to his face, "How may I – RON?"

Ron Weasley stood before the counter, a lopsided grin on his face, "Harry, glad to see me?"

"I prefer surprised, but glad is a good word," Harry said, "How-?"

"Gabe," Ron admitted sheepishly, then grew serious, "It was important, I wanted to talk to you! Besides Harry, isn't it time that you stop living in seclusion?"

Harry sighed heavily as he absentmindedly ran his fingers through his chaotic hair, "Yes- Well, do you want anything to eat? We are in a bakery."

"I ate before I came here, but how about a game of Wizard's Chess? It's been ages since we last played," Ron suggested,

Harry glanced at the clock, "I have time for a quick game, I'm sure I have a set back here," Harry bent down behind the counter, looking at the shelves hidden beneath it, "I was teaching Gabe the other day-"

"Accio chess set," the box flew at Ron and he smacked it onto the counter, "Why didn't you just –"

"Ron, this is a muggle town!" Harry hissed,

"Harry, this town has like 20 people living here- the chances that someone might have seen that, are pretty slim," Ron insisted as he set up the board and began directing his pieces.

Harry shook his head, "Still, you never know. So why did you have to talk to me?"

"Gabe made the House team," Ron said as Harry made the first move,

"That's amazing! Ah, he's truly a Potter," Harry grinned proudly as he watched Ron's move,

"That's what I was thinking when I saw him fly, however, he turned it down," Ron explained,

"Why?" Harry's eyebrows knitted together,

"He said he's scared he won't live up to your expectations; or that he won't be as good a player as you or your dad," Ron answered, "He's afraid of disappointing you."

"That's preposterous! I'd never be disappointed in him! Besides, it doesn't matter to me how good a Quidditch player he is," Harry insisted,

"Don't have to convince me mate, I told him the same thing," Ron said, "He also said something about being on the House team and then not winning the Quidditch Cup."

"When I was on the team we didn't get it until our Third Year," Harry reminded as one of his pieces knocked one of Ron's and dragged it off the board.

"Told him that too, I eventually convinced him to at least reconsider being on the team," Ron explained, "But there was one thing that was nagging at me after I talked to him."

"What's that?" Harry looked up at Ron expectantly,

"Why did you stop flying?" Ron looked at Harry seriously, as two of his pieces captured two of Harry's; a double attack.

Harry looked down at the board and ordered a simple move, "It's- complicated."

"I think it's not complicated at all, but you're just using that as a reason not to tell me," Ron admitted as Harry pondered over his next move, "Harry, we're best friends and we haven't hidden anything from each other for years- then Mir dies and you start hiding things- I just want the secrets to end."

Harry let out a slow breath as he watched Ron's pieces move. They captured one of Harry's pieces. Checkmate.

"So do I- you may not know this, but seclusion's lonely," he chuckled softly as he began to put the set away,

"So will you tell me?"

"I don't know where to begin."

"How about the beginning mate?"

"Alright- the beginning," Harry paused a moment to consider this, then continued, "After Mir died, I moved Gabe and I to this muggle town, it was smaller, quieter which meant more privacy- less questions."

"The media after you in Provence?" Ron offered,

Harry nodded, "It was best to get Gabe out of there. But once the media storm around "The-Boy-Who-Lived-and-Killed-Voldemort loses fiancée" died down, I didn't see a point in moving again."

"But why did you keep your location hidden?" Ron inquired,

Harry knelt on the floor to put the chess set back, "I- was scared."

"Of us? Harry, we're your friends!" Ron reminded vehemently,

"I know, I know," Harry replied softly as he stood up, eyes averted, "I just didn't think I could handle you guys feeling sorry for me. The last thing I wanted from anyone, let alone my best friends was the look that said Poor Harry'. I didn't need that, I didn't want that, so I kept hidden."

"Well- that excuses the years of not telling us where you were- but why'd you stop flying?" Ron asked,

Before he answered, Harry looked at the clock and returned into the kitchen. Ron tentatively followed and stood in the doorway separating the back and front of the bakery.

"I guess flying ties in to living in hiding," Harry supposed as he opened the oven and, seeing his cookies were done, took out his wand and guided the trays back to the now cleaned, centre worktable. He saw Ron's expression, "I'm not a hypocrite- I don't like getting burnt."

"Mhmm- well, how does flying tie into you living here?" Ron asked as he walked into the kitchen,

"Flying always made me happy, without a doubt," Harry said, "But after Mir died, I guess- I guess I felt guilty whenever I was happy because she couldn't share it with me. I barely left this town, barely saw any of my friends because in the back of my mind, I kept thinking about how Mir wasn't with me to enjoy any of it-"

"I don't think Mir would have wanted you to think that way," Ron assumed,

"I realize that now, but during these past years, it's what was always with me," Harry shrugged as he took a spatula and began easing the cookies off the sheets, "I guess I never completely got over Mir's death until as of late."

"What finally made you get over it?" Ron inquired as the delicious aroma of the fresh cookies wafted into his nostrils.

"Blaise Zabini," Harry chuckled at Ron's shocked expression, "Well, you know how he's one of the only people to know I'm here. We were talking and- well, let's just say he knocked me to my senses. He went as far as to tell me it's time I moved on from Mir."

"That's a bit forward," Ron commented,

Harry shrugged, "he had a good point. Cookie?" Using the spatula, he handed Ron a cookie, seeing he was eyeing them hungrily.

"Thanks. What was his point?" Ron inquired as he bit down into the soft delight, "I still can't believe you're a baker; a damn good one, though."

"Thanks," Harry blushed as he continued attending to his cookies and placing them into display trays, "He asked me if what first attracted me to Mir was that she looked like Ginny."

Ron coughed, almost choking on the cookie, "What?"

"It's no secret that Mir looked like Gin, Ron," Harry stated as he began to pick up the empty cookie sheets and walk them over to the sinks. "Well, I answered him. Yes, I said. He continued on by asking if I thought it was time I moved on."

"Moved on from who? Mir? Or Ginny?" Ron eyed his best friend carefully as the raven-haired boy began to wash the trains,

"Ginny," Harry answered. There was a long silence between them until Harry shut the water off and spun around to face Ron again, "Don't get me wrong, it's not that I didn't love Mir, I loved her damn it and I was damned ready to marry her had she never died."

"I don't doubt your feelings for her Harry, she gave you a comfort none of us could- or do you think Ginny could've provided the same comfort?" Ron inquired,

"I don't know Ron, honestly, I just don't know. I don't deny my jealousy towards Draco, but Mir was everything to me that I wanted Ginny to be," Harry admitted quietly then raised his voice, "But I loved her separately from Ginny, Ron! Don't ever think otherwise!"

Ron held up his hands defensively, "I understand Harry. So what now?"

"Well, Gabe loves me and all, but I know he wants a mother," Harry turned back to the sinks and continued washing the dishes, "and I can finally say I'm over Mir's death- and I mean it."

"Harry- I wasn't thrilled when I first saw Ginny with Draco- and I wasn't overly pleased when they remained together, and they married- but she's happiest when she's with him and I love my niece and nephews," Ron said tentatively, quietly, eyes staring down at the half eaten cookie in his hand.

"I know all that Ron, I'm not going to do anything to break them up," Harry suddenly realized he had been soaping the same tray over and over again. He ran it underneath the waterfall of warm water, "After I talked with Blaise, I began to think things over." Harry grew silent as he finished the dishes.

Ron remained silent, patiently waiting for Harry to answer; he would continue, he needed to hear his words to make them real. Harry shut off the water, dried his hands then pulled up another stool to the central table. He took a cookie off one of the display trays and just held it in his hands, gazing at it.

"I loved Ginny, Ron. But, I knew with my circumstances, I couldn't be with her- not until after I defeated Voldemort once and for all. However-" he paused and gingerly took a small bite of the cookie,

"Before you got a chance to beat Voldemort she got together with Draco- even married him," Ron finished quietly,

"Yeah. So, after the war," he let out a small breath, "I met Mir-"

Ron looked up at Harry, "And it was like you had another chance with Ginny?"

Harry gave a small shrug, "That's how it started like- but then I started to love Mir as Mir and not as a second Ginny- When she died, it felt like I had lost another chance with Ginny, even if I loved Mir differently, separately."

"That's why you didn't return to England?"

"One of them-" Harry took another small bite of the cookie, "After I talked with Blaise, I realized that I no longer loved Ginny like that- and that I accepted Mir's death; I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to continue on with my life because I'm done with that part of my life."

"You've grown up," Ron gave him a small smile.

Harry looked up from his cookie and smiled back, "We all have."

-----


Hope y'alls enjoyed that. Won't be able to update for two weeks maybe .. I dunno.
We'll see how things happen next week with the school musical & me preforming every night.
Comments are always welcomed.


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#11
*Lucifer*

*Lucifer*

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wow angel that was a fab chapter, you make everything sound real!!

i read these while at work and just get so caught up in them i forget to answer the fone i got lost in the hp world !!!

cant wait for next chapter!!

Lucifer xxx
Don't Marry Someone You Can Live With, Marry Someone You Can't Live Without!!

"in the words of Hermione (PS) What An Idiot!!!"

#12
melissa m

melissa m

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thought i replied yesterday....guess not.... good chapter!! PPMS!:)!:(!

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. -- Robert F. Kennedy
Friendship with one's self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world. -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -- George Bernard Shaw

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. -- Thomas Jefferson

While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us. -- Ben Franklin


#13
Angel

Angel

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So, apparently I always have time to update. LoL.

Lucifer - aww, sorry I distracted you from work! I hate answering phones at work, some people ask the most inane questions like I'm God or something. geez. ahh, I guess this means I am not made to be a secretary.

melissa m - at least you replied. Heh, thanks.


So.. wait. *rereads chapter* ah yes. I love this chapter. Enjoy.




-----




Phase 5: Slytherin Colours

---

"LIV! I've got great news!"

Olivia looked up from her table in the Gryffindor common room. She had Advanced History of Magic homework before her and a long piece of parchment that needed to be written on and handed to Professor Binns the next morning.

"Why can't someone announce they have good news in a quieter voice?" Liv inquired as Catie sprinted over to her table and took a seat opposite her,

"Gabe's on our team!" Liv raised an eyebrow, "Well, not completely, he said he'll be on the team, but as an extra. He doesn't want extra attention and he has this thing about being compared to his dad – but he's on the team!"

"Sure, you don't pressure him into playing, yet you pressure me," Liv commented archly as she returned to her work,

"But you like playing Quidditch, you just want a challenge; completely different situations," Catie replied,

"Have you ever considered that maybe a reason why I don't play seriously is because my dad is Oliver Wood!?" Liv demanded.

Catie unconsciously moved back a bit in her chair, "Sorry Liv-"

Liv sighed heavily as she crossed her arms on the table and leaned her forehead on her arms. "No, I'm sorry- I shouldn't have blasted at you over nothing."

"But, I never stopped to think that maybe you didn't want to be compared to your dad-" Catie insisted,

Liv shook her head in argument,

"Liv, what's wrong? I thought you of all people would be excited over this- what happened?"

She turned her head so her cheek was against her arms and she stared out the window by the table, "Dad sent an owl a few minutes ago."

"Oh? That's rare, what's up with your dad?"

"His team's going on a tournament tour in America in a few days," Liv answered quietly, "I know this sounds stupid since I'm at Hogwarts but- well, how many matches have we played? Since I've been on the team, that is."

"Nine at least, you've never gotten injured," Catie replied, tilting her head as she regarded Liv curiously,

"Yeah and how many matches has my dad come to watch?"

Realization dawned on Catie as Liv choked on her words, "None- It's never bothered you before- has it?"

"Not a lot. I always figured since he's such a Quidditch buff that he'd want to come. But then this year before I left for Hogwarts, I asked if he'd come watch me play this year since it'll be my last year and all," Liv recounted quietly, "He said he would, that he wouldn't let anything stop him from coming to watch."

"And now that he's going on the tour he won't even be in the country-" Catie finished softly,

Liv stood up abruptly, face turned away from Catie's, "You know what, I'm just being spoiled. This is a great opportunity for dad, I should be happy for him, not feeling sorry for myself."

"Liv-"

"Thanks for the talk Catie," Liv gave her a quick smile before heading towards the portrait hole, "I think I'll go fly around the pitch for a bit, all that homework was making my body cramp up."

Catie watched sadly as Liv disappeared beyond the portrait hole; positive she had seen a tear rolling down the girl's face when she stood up and all but ran out of the common room.

---

The early October fall day was crisp and slightly nippy. The leaves of the Forbidden Forest were turning brilliant, vibrant shades of gold, tangerine and maroon. The bright blue sky looked happy, despite the cool temperature and the bustling wind. Liv pulled on her riding gloves as she exited the change rooms. She had decided that she might as well suit up properly while she was flying; the first game was, after all, in four weeks.

Straddling her broom, she kicked off fiercely from the ground. She rose high and fast through the air. Ten feet, twenty-five feet, fifty feet- she began to circle the Pitch. The wind whipped around her violently and the temperature was colder at her height. After a couple of laps, she froze mid-air. Pulling the silk scarf from her neck, she tied it about her head and used it as a headband; her hair had been flying about her face, blurring her vision. Once her hair was away from her face, the scarf secured tightly at the base of her skull, she continued flying.

As she flew, Liv began recalling the letter from her dad.

Hey Olive-bean,

My team got an amazing offer this morning! We've been invited to the American Quidditch Tour! We'll get to play all different kinds of Quidditch teams from America!


She leaned forward on her broom, increasing her speed.

I'll be leaving in a few weeks and I already told your mom. She's actually happy for me, which doesn't happen too often.

Liv went into a sudden, steep dive. The ground grew closer and just before she smashed into the ground, she pulled the broom upwards and the bristles of her broom grazed the tops of blades of grass.

I'll try to send you word as often as I can. I'll send lots of pictures of the places we go and the teams we play. This summer before you go off to Wizard's college, I'll take you to the States and we'll watch some games, sound good?

As she ascended, Liv began to corkscrew in the air. Once she reached the height of the goal posts, she whipped out of the corkscrew and began to loop the Pitch again.

I'll stop by at Hogwarts before I leave for America, alright? I want to say bye to my Olive-bean before I go. Even if the American tour is done in December, this could lead to our team being invited to the Canadian Winter Quidditch Tour. Can you imagine? Another four months in Canada, playing even more teams?

She began to do summersaults and figure eights in the air at high speeds.

By the time I get back to England in April, our team will have gotten so good, we'll knock down the other English teams one by one during our season! Well, kiddo, take care and beat those other Quidditch teams. I'll be rooting for you Olive-bean!

Love, Dad


She suddenly went into a dive, the ground rising up to meet her. It came closer and closer. Her speed increased instead of dropping. She closed her eyes as the wind whipped at her exposed face.

- I'll be rooting for you Olive-bean-

The ground rushed up towards her as she kept her eyes shut; her dad's words repeating in her mind. Faster. Faster. Faster.

"OLIVIA!"

Eyes snapping open, the ground almost reaching her, she was too close to pull out of the dive. She pulled the broom up as much as possible. Liv flew into an accidental corkscrew as she tried to pull out of the dive. Unprepared for the sudden spinning, she remained close to the ground. Her fingers lost grip on the broom at the quick rotations of her body. She shut her eyes tightly as she lost contact with the broom. She felt the ground at her back and her body bounce off the ground slightly. She braced herself for another impact with the ground but instead felt her back hit something hard yet softer than the ground. Arms came around her and held her tightly as she felt her body continue to be thrown away from the last place she held her broom.

When she felt all motion stop, she laid still, her breath heavy and staggered. She felt her heart slowing down to a neutral speed. She bit her lip and clenched her eyes shut as she felt her head spin. When the spinning had ceased, she realized her name was being repeated, over and over again in what was the softest voice she had ever heard.

She felt the person beneath her shift her onto the ground, she felt her heart drop at the sudden loss of contact, but she continued to feel the warmth near her.

"Olivia?"

Finally, she relented to opening her eyes. As the bright autumn sun assaulted her, she adjusted her sight to it as the blurry image of a person hovered over her. Finally everything came into focus and she felt heat creeping up her neck,

"Olivia?"

"Léo?" She said quietly as she tried to sit up,

He pushed her gently back down, "No, stay down- You might be injured,"

"I feel okay-" she argued tentatively, she wasn't used to such intimate attention from the Slytherin.

"Well, from the way you were nose-diving straight at the ground I wouldn't exactly say you're feeling okay," he admonished softly, "What were you doing?"

She averted her gaze from his, "Can I not tell you?"

"Of course- but Olivia, eventually I hope you can tell me things," he admitted quietly. Her gaze whipped to him but he had turned his face up to the sky, "I always see my parents looking at the sky- I never used to understand how they could just look out the window and just lose all awareness of their surroundings, but I get it. I just got it right now; it's comforting." Then he looked down at her again and grinned, "Of course my dad usually stares at the night sky."

She gave him a small smile in response; she forgot often that his father was a half-blood vampire.

"What's wrong? Or can you not tell me?" He asked when the smile disappeared from her face.

She would have felt offended by his question had it not held a joking tone, "Léo- I've heard stories about how your father and his parents hated half-bloods- how does he feel about being a half-blood vampire?"

His gaze shifted to the ground beside her head, "I don't know anything about my father's past or the past of my grandparents except for the whispers and stories I hear in the hallways," he said, his voice even, "as for him being a half-blood vampire, he hates having that half of him in him to begin with. So if you're asking if he hates himself for being half-blood of something, it's the fact that he has vampirism in him that makes him hate himself."

"I'm sorry if I offended you or anything," Liv said quietly,

After a moment, he turned his gaze back to her and grinned, "It's fine."

"Lé! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

His head whipped to look over his shoulder, he sighed heavily, "What are you talking about Luce?"

Liv turned her head to see Lucy walking towards them,

"Are you assaulting Liv?" Lucy demanded,

"No, I am not assaulting her, am I Olivia?" Léo inquired as he stood up,

"No, he actually helped me," Liv assured her friend as Léo stood up and she blushingly accepted his outstretched hand.

"Oh?" Lucy raised a curious eyebrow as her gaze shifted between her brother and her best friend, "Then I guess it's a good thing you came ahead of the team, hmm Lé?"

Liv looked past the twins to see the rest of the Slytherin team exiting the change rooms with their brooms. Her gaze returned to the Malfoy's and found Léo watching her,

"Yeah, it's a good thing," he answered his sister distractedly.

"Mmm- Lé, go talk to the team about today's practice schedule, I just want to talk to Liv a bit before we start," Lucy said,

"Yeah, sure," he looked back at Liv before he left, "You sure you're okay?" She nodded, "Remember what I said- eventually." Then he turned on his heel and gathered the team a little ways from where the girls stood.

"I'm proud of you Liv, you didn't blush," Lucy smiled serenely at her friend, "What happened between you and Léo?"

Liv looked past Lucy at Léo as he talked to the team, "Nothing," she answered distractedly,

"And what did he mean by eventually'?" Lucy inquired sweetly, noticing she was watching Léo,

"Nothing," Liv replied absent-mindedly, "I don't want to delay your practice- I'll catch you later Lucille."

"Hmm, must be a big deal since you haven't called me Lucille since First Year," Lucy commented, a laugh in her voice,

"Mhmm, bye," Liv lazily waved at her as she summoned her broom and dreamily left the pitch; she was on cloud nine.

Lucy smiled as she watched her best friend disappear from the Pitch. She walked over to her brother and the team.

Léo eyed her suspiciously, "What?"

"Change in schedule if everyone doesn't mind," Lucy ignored her twin as she turned to the other five players, "A race to Hogsmeade and back. First one back can skip practice for today."

"Alright- okay," the other members agreed except for one,

"Wait," a brown-haired boy said, "What if you or Léo win?"

Lucy looked at Léo inquiringly, "What do you think Lé?"

"We're not better than the rest of you," Léo said to his teammates,

"Uh, yes you are," Tomas disagreed,

"A handicap?" Léo offered awkwardly, he didn't like to think his skills were above the others.

"Well, we are the captains," Lucy added hesitantly, "So we should be here regardless-" She looked at Léo and shrugged, "Doesn't matter to me, I just want a good fly before practice- and flying around the Pitch is so boring."

"I won't fly then and Lucy will wait a bit before she kicks off," Léo declared. When he said the word, the five Slytherins kicked off and flew in a pack towards the Wizarding village.

"What really happened with you and Liv?" Lucy asked as she drew on her riding gloves,

"Nothing," Léo replied as he watched the team fly over the stands and disappear beyond the ring of the stands,

"Lé, just answer me this: do you like Liv?" Lucy inquired as she tied back her hair before straddling the broom,

"I don't think that's any of your business Luce," Léo replied tartly,

"It's pretty bad when we can't tell each other things anymore, Lé," Lucy stated in mock sorrow. She straddled the broom and gripped it tightly,

"Don't be dramatic," Léo scoffed,

"Well, perhaps it's for the best you not tell me anything of Liv," Lucy relented as she kicked off and hovered at eyelevel with her brother, "After all, I didn't tell you about James."

"WHAT!?" Léo glared at her as she soared higher into the air with a grin, "What about James!?"

Lucy flew off with a wave. He stared after his twin as she disappeared beyond the Pitch. He called after her in a frenzy,

"WHAT ABOUT JAMES!?"

---

Lucy walked down the stairs from her fifth-floor chambers. She was starved from after practice and after her shower she was ready for dinner. Wearing fresh uniform and robes, she had her hair clipped back as she allowed the wavy tresses to dry naturally. When she reached the main floor and rounded the corner to the Great Hall, she noticed James was leaning against the wall, arms crossed and face twisted in serious contemplation.

"James, it's not that hard to decide weather or not you want to eat dinner," Lucy drawled as her eyes danced teasingly at him,

He turned a glare on her and she froze.

A chill ran down her spine as he pushed off from the wall and turned his body to face her completely,

"Oh dear-" She muttered,

"Oh dear is right, you told Léo!" James accused,

"I thought he wouldn't take me seriously!" Lucy insisted then paused and eyed him carefully, "Did he do anything to you?"

"No, not yet. He said he's stopped talking to me until he figures out how to get me," James answered bitterly, "Lucy, you better set this right!"

She held up her hands, "I will! I promise!"

"Evening Lucy!" Will greeted as he approached them. His happy demeanour disappeared when he laid eyes on James, "Mr Lupin. I suggest you sleep with an eye or two open, tonight." The boy smirked and brushed past them and entered the Great Hall.

James turned a glare on Lucy,

"I'll fix it, don't worry!" Lucy insisted, "Come now James, you can't be threatened by Will! He's only 14!"

"I'm not worried about Will. I'm worried about Will working under the influence of Léo! You saw what happened to Eric," James hissed uncharacteristically,

"How can you two just stand out here? The food's in the Great Hall, and Merlin, it smells delicious!" Ron stated jovially as he headed towards the Hall. He stopped when he reached them, "Lucy, great flying. I saw you and the team head out towards Hogsmeade, I noticed you made it back first even though you left last!" He turned to James and greeted in flat tones, "Mr Lupin." Without another word, Ron continued on to the Great Hall.

He pointed an accusatory finger at Lucy, "If my grade goes down besides your uncle is out to get me too, I will never forgive you!"

"I'll fix it!" She insisted with a roll of her eyes. She started for the Great Hall,

"Lucy, fix it tonight! I don't trust your brothers not to do anything while I'm sleeping!" James said in a growl,

"Yes, yes I'll do it tonight," Lucy waved a hand dismissively as she entered the Hall.

Once inside, Lucy spotted her brother immediately. He sat with his Slytherin friends as usual, but he was withdrawn, quiet and ate his meals even slower than normal. She made a beeline towards him and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around completely on the bench to face her and she squatted down so she didn't have to talk so loud,

"Léo, I appreciate the protectiveness, but going after James for something you know nothing about is irrational! Don't forget, James is your best friend!" Lucy hissed,

"I didn't forget James is my best friend, why do you think I haven't done anything yet?" Léo replied evenly, "Tell me what James did and if I don't think it a big deal, perhaps I won't do anything."

Lucy sighed heavily, "Fine, we kissed in Fifth Year."

"You kissed!?" Léo hissed,

"Shh, people might hear you!" Lucy said in a warning tone,

"I'll kill him," Léo whispered vehemently as he moved to stand up,

Lucy made him sit back down, "You'll do no such thing Lé! Do you want a chance with Liv?"

"What?" Léo questioned, taken back by the sudden change in topic,

"If you want a chance with Liv, I'll put in a good word for you. In exchange, you relax the protectiveness," Lucy ordered,

"I don't have to listen to you," Léo scoffed with hauteur,

"Fine, then you can say bye to Liv," Lucy stood up and moved to leave but Léo yanked on her wrist. She stumbled back into a squat, "What was that for?"

"I want a chance with Liv," Léo whispered, looking past Lucy, "I've- I've liked her for awhile."

"Since when?" Lucy inquired,

"I don't know when it started, but I realized it on the train," Léo sighed heavily. He had never talked to his sister about a girl, not because there haven't been girls, but because there haven't been girls worth talking to his sister about.

"The train?"

"Yeah- Catie said that Liv liked someone and- I don't know, the thought of her being with another guy just got me so jealous," Léo said bitterly. "Will you help me out then?"

"Will you make peace with James?" Lucy inquired,

"Why are you going through all of this for James? Do you like him?" Léo inquired suspiciously,

"No, but he's your best friend and a good friend of mine. He doesn't deserve to be assaulted just because of something we did two years ago," Lucy explained, "Well, if you leave James alone, I'll talk to Liv."

Léo looked away grudgingly, "I'll leave him alone."

"Thank you Lé," Lucy smiled brilliantly at her brother as she stood up again, "You won't regret this."

He waved her away as he turned back in his seat and began to eat quietly again. As Lucy glanced at him from her seat a little ways down the table, she figured his eating habits were no longer altered from planning schemes against his best friend, instead, he was distracted by another person; a certain Gryffindor.

---

"Are you almost done your paper for Binns?" Catie inquired as she shut one book, put it in her bag and took out another.

"Mhmm-" Liv replied absent-mindedly as she wrote away, her quill moving about fiercely in the air.

"So Lucy said something happened at the Pitch today," Catie slipped in casually as she opened her book and pulled out a fresh foot of parchment.

"Mhmm-"

"With Léo," Catie added,

"Mhmm-"

"Are you ever going to tell either of us what happened?"

"Nope." Liv capped her ink and laid her quill down on the table for the first time since after dinner.

"You're not dying to tell us what happened?" Catie inquired anxiously, "Not even a bit? I mean, you've liked Léo since day one!"

"Oh hush," Liv scolded as she began to put her things away, even though the common room was already empty at such a late hour.

"Do you think he likes you?" Catie asked, excitement teeming her words,

Liv averted her eyes as a blush kissed her cheeks, "I hope-"

"Oh Liv!" Catie squealed happily as she reached across the table and snatched up her friend's hands in her own. Her sudden actions, tipped over a bottle of ink, which then began to pool ink onto her new piece of parchment. She cursed under her breath as she took out her wand and began thinking of cleaning charms. "Dang overexcitement- always getting me into some kind of mess."

Liv let out a small laugh, "You act like your dad sometimes."

Catie's jaw dropped, "Yeah, well- you act like your dad!"

Suddenly, Liv averted her eyes, down to the empty tabletop before her. "Am I that unreliable?"

Her voice was quiet, barely audible and it tore at Catie to hear such torment in her friend's voice, "Liv, that's not what I meant!"

Abruptly, Liv picked up her bag, slung it over her shoulder and gave Catie a brilliant smile, "It's fine, and I'm just being silly again. Um- I'm going to see if I can sneak some food from the kitchens, I'll see you later."

Before Catie could argue, Liv sprinted out of the common room. Catie let out a defeated sigh as she slumped down against her chair. Out of anger at herself, she angrily swiped at the bottle of ink. It flew a straight line to the wall closest to her and smashed when it made contact with the stony wall. More ink spilt onto the floor. She let it be this time.

---

Moving portraits and rainbow-sewn tapestries flew past her as she ran and ran. Liv wasn't sure where she was going or for how long she had been running. But once she escaped Gryffindor tower, she kept running until it felt as if her lungs were going to burst.

She reached another staircase and, without hesitation, continued. Moments before her foot touched the next floor, the butt of the staircase began to shift. She stalled for a moment too long at the sudden jolt and when she went to hurry onto solid ground, she lost all balance as the stairs pulled away from her. The toe of her shoe scuffed the edge and slipped. She tried to lunge forward and she got her arms onto the landing. Feet scampering at the side of the wall, she tried to find crevices in the ground to help pull herself up.

Her heart began racing as she felt her arms losing the battle against gravity. She slowly began to slip until her hands gripped the edge of the landing. She could hear the portraits calling out to her, worrying amongst themselves, telling one another to get help. Her palms felt sweaty against the cool stone and her legs were still trying to find some kind of leverage. Anxiously, she bit her lip as she chanced a look down the stairwell; it made her dizzy.

She shook her head and looked away. She gripped harder onto the edge and tried to get some leverage against the wall. She pulled hard and tried to push with her feet. She gained height. After a few minutes, she got her elbows onto the floor. She cringed as she continued on.

"The stairs!" A portrait cried.

She looked over her shoulder and the stairs were slowly moving back to position. She cursed as she tried to climb up faster. She pushed off her feet violently and jolted forward. Her left hand swung and caught the edge of a carpet. She tried to push again with her legs, only to have them slip. The sudden loss of support caught her off guard and her fingers slipped from the carpet. She found herself back at ground zero, even worst because she was hanging with one hand.

"Hurry!" Another portrait exclaimed.

The stairs were inching closer. She felt her heart stop as she tried to swing her other arm back onto the ledge. She bit her lip and then finally, her voice bubbled from her throat,

"HELP!"

"There's the Baron and the Captain!" A portrait cheered.

"HELP!" Liv repeated even louder at the news that there was someone – anyone – in the vicinity.

She heard a set of footsteps running to her. She thanked the heavens when she felt a pair of hands wrapped around her wrist.

"Hurry, the stairs!" Various portraits warned hurriedly.

She shut her eyes as, with a sudden pull, she felt her body moving forward and land, with a thud, on a body. She rolled to the side until she was on her stomach again, "Thank you so much," she said with a groan as she felt the muscles in her arms burn. She crossed her arms and leaned her forehead on them, waiting for the ache to go away.

"I've been saving you a lot lately."

She froze. Slowly, with a furtive glance, she saw that it was Léo who had helped her. He still laid on his back, his chest rising with each deep, steadied breath, an arm thrown over his eyes.

"Don't tell me I have to warn you like a First Year on the moving staircases," he chuckled as he moved his arm and propped it, raising his torso slightly as he looked at her.

"Oh hush, I just- had a lot on my mind," Liv defended, her voice cracking slightly as she leaned her forehead on her arms again.

"Olivia, you know whenever you need to get something off your chest, I'm here for you," he said quietly, hesitantly. "I mean- I know we're not as good as friends as you and Luce but it doesn't mean we're not friends."

"It's my dad," Liv admitted quietly,

"Hey! What are you brats doing there!" The groundskeeper Filch spat from down the hallway.

Léo got to his feet and, extended a hand, helped Liv up, "Inspecting the carpet Mr. Filch," Léo called as, hand still holding Liv's, he dragged her back up the steps she had descended from earlier, "Thought we heard Peeves playing tricks with it!"

As they climbed the stairs they could hear Filch begin to stomp on the carpet and yell for Peeves the Poltergeist to appear.

When they reached the next floor, Léo, suddenly realizing he still held her hand, dropped it immediately. Unknowing to him, her heart sank. They walked in silence before Léo spoke again,

"What about your dad?" Léo asked,

"What? Oh yeah- he's leaving for America soon," Liv explained quietly,

"For the American Quidditch tour?" Liv nodded, "That's amazing! I'd love to play in-" His voice trailed when he saw her expression, "It's not amazing for you?"

She shrugged slightly, "He's never been to any of my games- so maybe I shouldn't have held hopes when he said he'd come this year."

"That's not right, Olivia. If he said he'd come, then you have every right to believe him! He's your dad!" Léo argued vehemently.

"That's easy for you to say, your parents have been coming to every game since First Year," she muttered resentfully, "Just don't mind me, I'm just being spoilt right now."

"That' not true!" Léo stopped her, hands on her shoulders. He stared at her determinedly, "Listen, he's your dad and he should be supporting you completely. If he said he'd watch you, then it's his loss when he doesn't follow through with that."

"I guess-" she said quietly,

"I feel bad," Léo admitted softly,

She looked up at him and tilted her head quizzically, "Why?"

"Because you feel bad," Léo answered,

"No, don't feel bad because of me," Liv insisted anxiously,

He shrugged, "I do. I wish I could do something for you, Olivia. To help you out somehow."

"You are, you're being here for me," she replied hesitantly, hoping her cheeks weren't reddening from the heat that crept there,

His hands on her shoulders moved up to hold her neck as he stepped closer, "Still, I wish I could do more."

Slowly, he leaned down to her, which wasn't too hard since she was up to his silver eyes. She gazed up at him with pale green eyes. She felt his lips against hers and her eyes fluttered close. After a moment, he pulled back.

"Olivia, I like you." He said plainly,

"Léo-" she averted her eyes. He had made it easy for her for confessing first, yet the words still wouldn't take flight. For some reason, she was still scared to tell him.

When he broke contact with the light peridots of her eyes, he stiffened drastically, "Merlin's ghost- Catie wasn't joking when she said you were talking about a guy on the train, she was serious."

Liv remained silent, dying to tell him, yet she was still scared stiff.

Léo's hands dropped away from her. He smiled in spite of himself, "He's a lucky guy. Careful on the stairs." He turned and headed back towards the staircase.

When he disappeared from sight she shook her head, "Get a grip, Liv!" She scolded herself. She threw her bag down and ran after him, free from the added weight. When she reached the top of the stairs, Léo was already halfway down the stairs. "He's you!"

Léo stopped his progress and twisted to look up at her, "What?"

"He's you! The guy we were talking about on the train." She breathed heavily, catching her breath. She began to meet him on the stairs, "He's you. It's always been you. Just you."

She stopped just a step above him, green eyes gazing into silver eyes.

A jolt. She fell forwards against him. He held back onto the railing as she held onto his shoulders. When the stairs finished moving, she bit her lips when she suddenly realized how close they were. She stared at him with uncertainty. He watched her. She had to make the first move this time. Tentatively, she leaned forward and pressed her lips against hers. He smiled against her lips and she pulled back immediately.

She tried to pull away,

"No, no, no- I wasn't making fun, it was cute," he put his hands on her waist, "Was I the first?"

She looked away, her cheeks reddening, "Hush."

"Come now, it just means I get to teach you," Léo gave her the trademark Malfoy smirk, "Take two?"

She looked at him bashfully and nodded slowly. She leaned in again and this time she touched her lips to his in a tentative caress. He drew her in and showed her what they could be.


-----




So, that was chapter five, hope you guys liked it. I have to admit, I got inspiration from one scene from my own life.
Gah I love him <3. Well, yeah, I liked how it was basically focused on Leo this time. Unintentionally I feel like focus is mainly on Lucy, and I don't want to fall into that habit.
Well, I've almost caught up to my own writing, so I'm starting to consider updating everytime I've written a new chapter ((so, this update is the result of me finishing another chapter)), which would keep me ahead of the game.
Anyways. Hope y'alls enjoyed it.
Comments are always welcomed. =)


Smile .Park YooChun. Love
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#14
*Lucifer*

*Lucifer*

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loved it, awww liv and leo such a sweet couple and leo is soo cheeky jus like his dad in red moon!!!

cant wait for update

Lucifer xx
Don't Marry Someone You Can Live With, Marry Someone You Can't Live Without!!

"in the words of Hermione (PS) What An Idiot!!!"

#15
melissa m

melissa m

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aww..poor liv!!! love leo and liv....they're cute!! ppms!!!!!!

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. -- Robert F. Kennedy
Friendship with one's self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world. -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -- George Bernard Shaw

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. -- Thomas Jefferson

While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us. -- Ben Franklin


#16
ArwenEvenstar

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OMG! I haven't been reading the chapters! I feel like hurting myself! Great chapters, Angel, LOVED them. By the way, I love the name Leonard! Post more soon!

#17
tazzy

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aww.cute sequel=) ppms.
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#18
maru_123

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ANGEL..thats a great sequel...update soon!!

#19
Angel

Angel

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Hey y'alls. Yup, another update means I got another chapter finish w00t.

Lucifer - well, Leo's certainly got Draco in him. =)

melissa m - thanks

ArwenEvenstar - gah, don't hurt yourself O__o;;.. &yeah, I don't usually like Leonard, yet when you accent the 'e' I like it. odd.

tazzy - I'm glad you're liking the sequel ^__^

maru_123 - thanks, is this soon enough for an update? lol.



So I've been waiting to post this chapter for some time now. I like it because the last chapter was basically about Leo, now this one is basically about Lucy, and I just like how y'alls get to see a different side of the Slytherin princess.
Gah.. I don't think Catie's in this one.. I really need to give her some "screen time" LoL. I'd hate for her to slowly become a minor character, so I shall be thinking of ways to bring her more into the limelight.
In the meantime,
Enjoy.




Phase Six: Ambition

---

Cool autumn rays of sun peaked through the sliver between the curtains of one of the windows in the Head Girl's chambers. The disturbance in the darkness, affected the sleeping Head Girl. She rolled over in her bed and looked grudgingly at the stream of light. She was about to curse at the daylight, only to end up coughing up what felt like a lung. She weakly raised her arm and snapped her fingers at the curtains. They shut proficiently. She rolled back onto her stomach, only to cough into her pillow.

Her eyes closed again, only for the muggle clock on her bedside table to ring loudly. She groaned angrily when she opened her eyes and smacked her clock down onto the table. It became silent. She cursed when she realized she had a meeting that Sunday morning with Eric and the Prefects. She cursed again as she literally rolled out of bed, landing on the ground with a thud. She rubbed her side as she stood up slowly. Her progress to get dressed for the day was slow.

After a good half hour, she exited the Head Girl's chambers and headed towards the transfiguration classroom where the meetings were held.

"Lucille, you're two and a half minutes late. You're Head Girl, you should show a good example!" Eric admonished from the front of the classroom when she entered.

From the look on the Head Girl's face, the Prefects remained silent.

"Sod off, McMillan," Lucy said in a low growl as she joined him at the front of the room, "Let's start the meeting." She hopped onto the desk and sat there as Eric began.

"Okay, Filch has been complaining that Prefects are doing their rounds, just not every floor," Eric began, "More specifically, just the Astronomy floor."

There was stifled laughs and knowing snickers amongst the Prefects,

"And Prefects aren't alone when patrolling up there," Eric added,

More laughs and snickers.

"If this continues, your positions and badges are on the line!" Eric warned, "Next on the agenda, rounds are from curfew until one in the morning! Most of the patrolling is finished at ten-thirty, eleven at the latest. This is two, to two and a half hours early, Prefects!"

There were eyes rolling and muttered dismissals amongst the younger students.

Eric turned to Lucy, "As Head Girl, wouldn't you like to say something?"

She turned her glare at him, sighed at his pleading looking then turned her eyes amongst the Prefects. She scanned the students for the most vulnerable. Her eyes landed on the prefects from her own house.

"Pucey!"

A boy with dark brown hair and even darker eyes turned his head towards the Head Girl,

"Your dad's coming to watch our first game against Hufflepuff on November 1st, right?" The boy nodded, "Do you want the first game your dad comes to watch you're on the bench?"

"NO!" He exclaimed, slamming a palm on the desk,

"You know team rules, Prefect duties apply to those," Lucy said in a low growl to the Sixth Year Prefect.

The other Slytherin Prefects snickered behind their hands at Adrian Pucey Jr.

"I'm not about to hold out on the punishments Slytherins. I'm more than ready to suggest to Professor Snape to ban all of you from the Quidditch game for negligence of your duties," Lucy hissed her warning.

The Slytherins grew silent.

She cast her glare amongst the other Prefects, "Continue to disregard your duties and we'll see what happens. Even you Liv."

The Gryffindor swallowed her laugh, as the other Prefects grew grave and silent.

"From now on, end-of-round reports are to be given to Eric or myself," Lucy decided, "Any more breaking of rules and I will be a vengeful Slytherin. Meeting adjourned."

The Prefects all scrambled out of the classroom except for two and the Head Boy.

Adrian Jr. approached the Head Girl tentatively, "Uh- Lucy, about the game-"

She shook her head, "It's alright, Adrian, I wasn't being serious."

He grinned,

"But I wasn't joking about Prefect duties," Lucy warned, "How are your classes going this year Adrian?"

"They could be better, but I'm keeping them up, promise," Adrian nodded, "Oh um- Captain," he rubbed the back of his neck wearily, "My aim lately-"

"Don't worry Adrian, I'll help you at practice later," Lucy insisted as she stifled a yawn. He thanked her and left the classroom.

Liv went up to Lucy, "Lucy, you look horrible!"

"Because that helps," Lucy drawled as she tied back her hair in a loose bun,

"Do you think you should practice tonight like this?" Liv inquired as she suspiciously watched Eric packing up his stuff,

"I'm fine. Should I tell Léo you're looking at other guys?" Lucy asked as she cleared her throat,

"Oh hush," Liv admonished lightly, "Lucy take care okay? You know what happens when you're sick."

Lucy nodded as she waved her away. With a careless wave, Liv left the classroom. It was then that Lucy realized how alone her and Eric were. She felt a sudden uneasiness when, she saw from the corner of her eye, that he was watching her as he absentmindedly continued packing his notes into his bag.

"Thank you Lucille," he said as he stood from his seat and walked over to her, "You took charge of the situation when it was obvious I was having problems."

"No problem Eric-" She replied uneasily as she felt his leg against her knee.

"I really appreciate it Lucille," he said in an attempted seductive tone as he moved closer to her, pushing her knees apart and standing between them.

She pushed against his chest, "Eric, move away from me," She said sternly as she pushed against him, trying to pull away.

"Lucille, don't fight the passion, it's clearly there," Eric insisted in a low voice,

"No, I assure you, it's not," She grounded out as she tried to inch away from him, pushing even harder against him. In her horror, she realized her wand was on her bedside table.

He cemented his hands on either side of her hips as his lips lunged at hers, pressing firmly against her lips. She pushed against his shoulders as he continued. She pushed even harder when she felt his hands on her knees and slowly sliding up. She was sure had she not been sick, she would have been able to fight back more efficiently. His assault continued.

Suddenly, she felt him being torn away from her and she was glad for the loss. She looked and found Eric on the ground, her brother standing before him, wand pointed at the Head Boy.

"You assaulted the Head Boy!" Eric exclaimed,

"I don't care! If I talk to the Headmistress, you won't be Head Boy for long!" Her brother warned.

With a scoff, Eric collected his bag and left the classroom.

Lucy hopped off the desk and straightened her school skirt. She turned to her brother who had lowered his wand and looked at her worriedly.

"Will, you're not to tell Léo or anyone else of this," Lucy warned,

"What!? Why not!?" William–Charles demanded, "Lucy, he forced himself on you!"

"I know just- don't say anything," Lucy repeated,

"Lucy –"

"WILL, PLEASE!"

He was taken back by her pleading tone; he had never seen her in such a state.

"If that's what you want-" Will muttered in resentful agreement. "Lucy-"

She didn't look at him but by the tone of his voice, knew what his expression was.

"I was scared what he was going to do," Lucy admitted quietly.

Will stood beside her, leaning back against the desk, "Then it's a good thing I came along, huh Lucy?"

She nodded quietly as she linked arms with him and leaned her head against his. Although he was three years younger, he was already as tall as her and still growing.

She squeezed his arm, "Thank you."

---

Quidditch practice for the Slytherins was rough as always. They ran drill after drill, play after play, and lap after lap. As the sun began to set on the team, the practice drew to a close. The team dismounted and stood before their captains,

"Good practice guys," Léo grinned happily, "I think we're more than ready to play Hufflepuff after Halloween."

"Don't be cocky," Lucy warned, "We'll have practice again Wednesday. See you guys then."

The team disbanded and Lucy was left with her twin.

"Hey Luce, are you okay?" Léo inquired as he picked his broom up from the ground. She gave him a quizzical expression, "I don't know, you seem- off- today."

She shrugged while also gripping her broom harder, "I'm fine." She led the way to the change rooms, "So how are things with you and Liv?"

"Great," Léo answered simply, "But changing the subject isn't going to stop my worrying."

"Léo, I'm fine," Lucy stated firmly then continued walking the remainder time in silence.

---

After dinner that evening when Lucy stood up and begged goodnight to her Slytherin friends, Will got up from his table and scrambled after her. In silent acceptance, she let him walk with her out of the Great Hall before talking.

"Will, you never finish your dinner as early as me," Lucy commented as they walked down the empty corridor,

"I never had a reason to finish early before," Will shrugged,

"I don't need your protection Will," she sighed as they reached the staircases.

"Because you were doing a fine job protecting yourself earlier," Will drawled. When she remained silent and averted her attention, he apologized, "Sorry-"

When they reached the next floor, she spoke again, "I've never been scared stiff like that- I'm usually able to react quickly but that time, for some reason, I couldn't."

"Did you like it?" Will questioned,

"No," she replied firmly, "Definitely not. I don't like Eric like that – I don't like him in any way. It's just- that was the first time I felt defenceless."

"But you've been disarmed in a duel before," Will pointed out,

"I know- Put me in a duel and I can come out on top, no problem but- that situation was different. For once in my life, I couldn't fight back and when I realized I didn't even have my wand on me, I was so scared," Lucy said quietly, forcing her voice not to crack.

"Lucy, you're one of the best duellists I've ever seen. You've never been scared before," Will admitted,

She crossed her arms casually as they reached another staircase and ascended them, "I've never been under someone else's control- Will, if you didn't come along, I don't know what would've happened next in that classroom."

"Then it's a good thing I came looking for McGonagall for transfiguration help," Will gave her a comforting smile.

They reverted into a comfortable silence the rest of the way to the Head Girl's chambers. Will was determined to walk his sister all the way to her room; he didn't trust the Head Boy, especially with his chambers being in such close proximity to Lucy's.

"You didn't tell Léo, did you?" Lucy inquired as they rounded the bend to the hall where her rooms were located,

"Didn't tell me what?"

Lucy's attention snapped ahead of them and she stopped in her tracks, Will following her lead.

Léo was leaning against the tapestry hiding the entrance to her chambers, arms crossed over his chest and his usually light expression narrowed in stern thought. "I saw you two leaving and the way you've been acting Luce, I knew something wasn't right."

"But how'd you get here before us?" Lucy asked,

"I know a few back stairways that take less time getting here," Léo shrugged, "So tell me, what is it that you wanted to hide from me?"

Will looked up helpless to his sister who shook her head, "But he can help, Lucy!"

She regarded Léo for a moment before nodding her head and leading them into her common room. Once they were established in the sitting area, she looked at Léo who sat beside her. She sat on a couch sideways, facing Léo, her legs crossed. He sat positioned so that he was facing her on an angle while Will sat in a nearby armchair.

"Well, what is it?" Léo asked,

"Eric forced himself on me," Lucy admitted quietly,

"WHAT?" Léo jumped to his feet, withdrawing his wand, "I'll kill the bloody bastard!"

"Sit down," Lucy commanded. Léo looked at her face. He saw the expression and sat back down. She looked at him with wet eyes, "I don't want the situation to be blown out of proportion."

"Luce, this is a big deal if that prat did that to you!" Léo argued, "Wait- what did he do to you?"

"He just kissed me," Lucy answered as she examined her hands in her lap, forcing the tears to go away.

"That's not all!" Will argued vehemently. Léo looked at Will quizzically, "He practically had his hands all the way up her skirt!"

"Luce, is that true?" Léo demanded.

Lucy bit her lip as she lost control of the tears. They splattered onto her hands as she shook her head slowly, still looking at her lap. Torn between going off to kill the Head Boy and staying to comfort his sister, Léo chose to stay. He reached out to her, but she stood up abruptly,

"Goodnight." She marched into her room and shut the door with a force that signalled finality.

"Léo, what do we do?" Will asked quietly as he looked at his brother helplessly.

"She won't talk to us," Léo said as his eyes were glued to her bedroom door, "So we get someone she will talk to."

---

It was past breakfast when Ginny decided to go down into the potions' lab. Draco had already left for work and with the house elves watching over Eli and Tristan; she decided to work on a potion until lunch when she would go to visit Hermione for lunch at the ministry. Instead of working on a new potion, Ginny walked over to the already-made potions and checked to see which lacked in quantity. Finding a simple solution whose bottle was already empty; Ginny walked the empty jar to one of the workbenches and pursed her lips to remember which ingredients when with that specific potion.

Walking over to the storage freezer, she entered the cold chamber and looked the shelves for the particular ingredient with delicate needs.

"Mother?" The voice carried down the stairs into the basement and to the freezer.

"You can come down, sweetie," she called over her shoulder as she scanned for the right jar.

In the distance, she could hear the soft patter of steps until they stopped at the door to the freezer, "Mother?"

Finding the jar, she took out her wand to summon it into the air; it'd be too cold to touch, "Just come out into the lab, sweetie, it's too cold in here."
Following her son back into the lab, she shut the freezer and returned to her workbench, commanding the jar to land softly on the wooden tabletop.

"Are you making a new potion?" The boy asked excitedly as he climbed onto one of the nearby stools and eyed the jar with awe,

"No, just making more of one we've run out of," Ginny answered absent-mindedly, "Oh, Eli, did you want anything?"

"Oh yeah! Léo sent an owl," he rummaged through his pockets and pulled out a small envelope, "It said your name on the front, so I came looking for you."

"Thank you," Ginny said as she took the envelope and took out a small note scribbled in a messy version of her son's penmanship. Her eyes narrowed as she reread the small note over and over again, "Eli, go get ready and tell a house elf to get Tristan ready, we're going out."

"Where?" Eli asked excited as he got down from the stool and his mother led him back up to the main floor,

"I'll be bringing you to Hogwarts with me. You're going there soon so it'll be helpful, but Tristan will be a handful if I bring him too; we'll bring him to Uncle George in Diagon Alley," Ginny said as she shut the entrance behind them,

"Tristan gets to go to the joke shop?" Eli gasped,

"You can go with him, but I'm sure Uncle Ron won't mind you sitting in on one of his flying or Quidditch lessons," Ginny said,

"I'm coming with you!" Eli declared as he bolted up the steps to get ready.

Ginny smiled after him before sighing and returning to the note, now crimpled from being squeezed in her hand. She reread the same three words over and over again:

Lucy needs help.

---

When Ginny arrived in Hogwarts, it felt as if she had been there just yesterday in her Seventh Year and not seventeen years ago.

"Miss Weasley?" Ginny spun around to find McGonagall approaching her in the main hall, "Ah, forgive me, Mrs Malfoy."

Ginny smiled at the professor. The last time she had seen the Headmistress was at the war's end five-year anniversary ball. Still with a stern face, and straight-as-a-rod posture, the only difference in the old professor was her hair that was tied back into the same-old bun, was now laced with silver hairs and her thin lips were in a small smile.

"Professor McGonagall! It's been so long," Ginny smiled at the elder woman,

"What do we owe the pleasure of your visit?" McGonagall inquired kindly,

"Eli, wanted to see what his uncle's lessons are like so I left him with Ron at the Quidditch Pitch, and I have to talk to Lucille urgently," Ginny explained, "You don't happen to know where I can find her, Professor?"

"I try to keep up Professor Dumbledore's tradition of knowing everything in the castle," McGonagall let out a small laugh, "if memory serves me right, she'll be leaving Potions and heading to Advanced History of Magic."

"Thank you," Ginny said,

McGonagall nodded her understanding, "Well Mrs Malfoy, feel free to roam the grounds. I don't doubt you still know your ways around here. Do visit again," with another smile at her former pupil, McGonagall continued her trek to her classroom for second classes of the day.

Once the Headmistress was out of sight, Ginny began to manoeuvre around the castle to the History classroom she remembered, hoping that Professor Binns taught the Advanced History class in the same room. When she finally reached her destination, classes had already begun and, grudgingly, she peeked into the classroom. She could see the classroom full of just a handful of Seventh Year students from different Houses; after all, now that students knew what they needed for the occupations they wished to pursue, not everyone had the same classes anymore.

"Ah, may I help you?" Professor Binns inquired from the front of the class, "Oh, Miss Weasley! Bless my soul it's been almost two decades since I last laid eyes on you."

"Good morning Professor Binns, I was just wondering if I could take Lucille for a bit, maybe even the entire period – family emergency," Ginny explained,

Binns nodded, waving at Lucy to leave. After she packed her books and grabbed her bag, she curiously followed her mother into the hallway.

Ginny closed the door behind them, "Don't get mad, but Léo said you needed help."

Lucy let out a slow breath, "I'm fine, Mother,"

"Lucy, please, talk to me, if you're having problems, I'm more than willing to help you," Ginny said,

"You wouldn't be able to help me, you wouldn't understand," Lucy muttered as she dropped her bag to the floor and leaned back against the wall, sliding to the ground and wrapping her arms around her upraised knees.

"Try me," Ginny replied as she took a seat next to Lucy on the ground.

"This guy tried to force himself on me-" Lucy admitted quietly, her eyes shut, "If William-Charles hadn't come by, I don't know- I don't know what would've happened." Unknowingly, tears began to trickle down the sides of her face.

Ginny got to her knees and wrapped her arms around her daughter. She kissed her head and placed her cheek against the top of Lucy's head; gestures that Draco had often done to comfort her.

"Maybe your father isn't so paranoid with those annual lectures prior to going to King's Cross," Ginny said lightly. When she didn't get a chuckle or soft laugh as predicted, Ginny added quietly, "Believe it or not, but that happened to me."

Lucy pulled away enough to look up at her mother, "What?"

"I had a boyfriend who tried to rape me," Ginny admitted softly.

Lucy fell back into the embrace, the warm circle of her mother's arms, "What did you do?"

"Well, I didn't let him do it and I broke up with him on top of that," Ginny explained, "He kept pursuing me even after all that, so I want you to stay away from that boy, Lucille."

"What did you do when he kept going after you?" She asked quietly, shocked to learn about her mother's past. Neither of her parents ever said much about their pasts. Ginny spoke of familial memories to them, but never about Hogwarts.

"I kept pushing him away and he grew possessive. At that point, I started talking to your father. Actually, if anything my ex sped up the process of your father and myself getting together," Ginny told,

"How if he was trying to get back with you?" Lucy asked as she felt her tears stop and she pulled out of her mother's arms to look at her properly.

Ginny sat back down, "Well, my ex grew violent and I went to your father. He protected me and continued to do so ever since."

"Why didn't you ever tell us about that?" Lucy inquired tentatively,

"Well, I was ashamed that I let those things happen to me before I got help from your father," Ginny reached out and tucked a loose lock of hair behind Lucy's ear, "That's why Léo felt it necessary to owl me, isn't it? Because you wouldn't talk to him?"

Lucy nodded, "Léo hates it enough when I keep secrets from him, but when he can tell I'm upset, he hates it even more."

"Well sweetie, this is the only advice I can give you, get help before this boy tries again and takes full advantage of you," Ginny took Lucy's hands in hers,

"I thought you'd tell me to tell the Headmistress, or get Father to go after him," Lucy admitted with a slight chuckle,

"Mmm- I know your way of thinking better than you believe. You don't want things to be made into a big deal, even though it really is- and even more so, you don't want other people to know," Ginny said as she looked into her daughter's eyes and gave her hands a gentle squeeze, "That's fine if you want it that way Lucy, but the difference in our situations is that you have people who already know what happened. Let them help you."

Lucy stood up with her mother and hugged her tightly, "Thank you Mother."

"Anytime sweetie," Ginny smiled as she held the side of Lucy's face momentarily, stroking her cheek with her thumb, "I have to go now, but owl me whenever, Lucy. I'll be here in seconds."

Lucy nodded, "Mother, I love you."

"And I, you, sweetie," Ginny beamed at her daughter before turning on her heel to leave.

"Mother, question-" Ginny turned around and tilted her head questioningly, "You said the difference in our situations is that I have people who already know what happened between me and him- but I thought you said you got help from Father."

"I did get help from him, but he only knew about the violent behaviour, I never told him about the attempted rape," Ginny answered,

"Did he ever find out?"

Ginny smiled bitterly, "Oh yes. In fact, it came out before the whole school in the Great Hall when my ex was mocking me before the school to anger your father."

"What did he do?"

"He told the whole school that your father is a vampire," Ginny replied,

"Father must have been livid!" Lucy gasped,

Ginny just smiled, "You know your father."

---

After Advanced History, Lucy headed with Liv down to the Great Hall for lunch,

"So why'd your mum come?" Liv inquired when she spotted Léo down the hall, leaving his own classroom and waiting for them to get closer.

"Because my idiot of a brother owled her," Lucy said when they reached him, "But I appreciate it anyways."

"See, someone appreciates me," Léo said to Liv before giving her a chaste kiss and taking her hand, lacing their fingers,

"Oh hush, I appreciate you," Liv huffed,

"Mhmm, yet you refuse to play a little Quidditch," Léo replied resentfully,

"That's because she doesn't want to beat you," Lucy drawled when she stopped at the top of the stairs suddenly; Eric just appeared from the other floor and began to ascend.

Léo looked back at Lucy, "Luce, do you want me -"

"No," Lucy said sternly as she brushed past Léo and Liv.

Eric, noticing for the first time that Lucy was there, gave her a scowl, "You got me sick!"

"Good, you deserve it after the stint you pulled yesterday," Lucy spat, "You're lucky my brother didn't go after you when you ran away yesterday."

"I did not run away," Eric scoffed haughtily. "Besides, you wanted it as much as I did."

"No, Eric, I didn't," Lucy disagreed sternly, "I do not want you. I don't even like you – at all. I never have and never will, so leave me the bloody hell alone."

With a glare, Eric pushed past her. Before he could get more than a step past, Lucy turned around on the stairs,

"Eric," Eric looked over his shoulder at her, "If you try anything ever again, I'll hex you into the next century."

He huffed then turned back to continue his progress. However, when he reached Léo and Liv, the Slytherin stepped before him, blocking his way. He absentmindedly tucked Liv behind him as he glared at the Head Boy,

"If I didn't think my sister could take care of herself, you'd have me to face, McMillan," Léo said in a low growl,

Eric waved a hand at him dismissively, trying to get around him. Léo grabbed him by the scruff of his neck. The audience on the stairs was collecting as people were leaving classes to get to lunch or head to Houses to switch books. The stairwell grew silent when Léo grabbed onto Eric,

"You better thank Merlin that it was my younger brother who found you rather than me," Léo hissed, "Because believe me, McMillan, had it been me, they would have never found your body."

"I suggest you let go of me, Malfoy, I am Head Boy," Eric reminded,

Léo shoved Eric away from him, "You're lucky I don't say anything to the Headmistress, but you're not significant enough for me to give a bloody damn about." With that, Léo took Liv's hand and led her down the stairs, joining Lucy.

"He's such a creep, Lucy," Liv shuddered, "Why didn't you just hex him into oblivion back there?"

Lucy remained silent, causing Léo too look at her. Her face was emotionless, but her quicksilver eyes burned brightly. Léo smirked when he looked back at Liv's confused expression,

"She'll get even with him, all right- on the Quidditch Pitch."



-----

So, how many of you hate Eric now? I really feel bad for Ernie McMillian (I realized I mispelt his last name, but was too lazy to go back and rewrite them all), because he's actually a pretty decent guy but I always make him out to be a prat of some sort LoL..
The next chapter was borne from me not remember what I had originally intended for chapter 7. I saw that I wanted to title it "A Braided Love" but, bless me soul, I couldn't for the life of me remember what I planned for the chapter. So, on a whim, I wrote something probably completely different from my original plan. Actually, I did plan on writing something like it, just not so early in the story, but I like how it turned out.
Yes, I am going on and on about the chapter, but only because I'm thoroughly excited about it LoL.
Well, I hope y'alls liked the last chapter.

Comments are always welcomed. =)


Smile .Park YooChun. Love
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#20
*Lucifer*

*Lucifer*

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angel, that was great, finally lucy is letting leo protect her. i love the grown up ginny shes wonderfull. B)

cant wait for next chapter!! good work

Lucifer xx
Don't Marry Someone You Can Live With, Marry Someone You Can't Live Without!!

"in the words of Hermione (PS) What An Idiot!!!"

#21
ArwenEvenstar

ArwenEvenstar

    Princess of Rivendell

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All I have to say is that I hate Eric and I wish I had a brother like Leo.

#22
Angel

Angel

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Hey y'alls.

Lucifer - I'm glad you like Ginny. I hope... well. You'll see.

ArwenEvenstar - sure, you wish you had a brother like Leo now, but when you do have one, you find him insufferable. Gah, they mean well ^_^


I like the next chapter. Probably because I like making things hard for characters, I dunno. Hehe. We're almost at chapter 10 and I got to admit, after writing chapter 2 or 3, I wrote chapter 10. There was a scene that came to me in a dream and demanded to be written or else i forget it LoL. So, over the course of two nights, I wrote chapter 10.. then wrote the chapters leading up to it LoL. Now that I've finally caught up to it ((yup, I've written up to chapter 10 now)) I can start writing the chapters following it so.. yay. Anyways..

Enjoy

-----



Phase Seven: Crossroads

---

Ginny sat in the parlour, elbows propped on knees while her face was propped up on her fists. She was hunched over in that position as she sat on a settee staring into the chocolate eyes of her youngest child. Legs crossed and arms folded determinedly, Tristan sat on the ground, peering up intently at his mother. Silence surrounded them. Even when a house elf came in to say that lunch was ready, seeing the scene before him, the house elf decided to leave post haste without disturbing mother and son.

Finally, Tristan blinked several time and rubbed his sore eyes,

"Ah, I win," Ginny grinned at her son, "I guess you'll have to eat your vegetables at lunch."

"No fair," Tristan pouted, eyes narrowed bitterly at his mother, "We did something you're good at, I want to do something I'm good at!"

"You wanted to do a staring contest," Ginny reminded gently, hiding her mirth, "Maybe next time, T."

"Mother, owl!" Tristan pointed past Ginny.

She swivelled on the chaise and looked to the windows behind her. An owl was persistently pecking against one of the windows. Curiously, Ginny stood up and walked over to the window. Opening it manually, she let the owl in. It perched on the sill and regarded her with a cocked head.

"It's pretty," Tristan said in awe.

Ginny looked down to find Tristan at her side already. She smiled to herself; he was like his father in that retrospect. She returned her attention to the owl and instinctively reached out and stroked it head with gentle fingers,

"Hedwig-" It nipped affectionately on her fingers then offered its talon where a small envelope was attached.

Taking it in awe, she walked back to the same chaise as before and sat down, just looking at the front of the envelope. In familiar, charcoal-black, slightly messy script was her name. She recognized the handwriting well and opened the envelope. He didn't write often and when he did, it was usually to her brother or Hermione. The fact that she had – finally – received a letter from Harry Potter was enough to shock her into silence.

She opened it and took out the small folded parchment from within. She read:

Dear Ginny,

I hope all is well with you and your family.
I want to talk to you for a bit, so please come down to my bakery around lunch.
I know you've been to France before, but this time you'll get to see my bakery.
Anyway, please accept my invitation. Ron's knows where I am.

Yours truly,
Harry


- She reread the simple note over and over again. It didn't seem like Harry was in any kind of trouble, but it seemed like what he had to say was urgent. She looked down at the note again, there was no reason for her not to go but something felt uneasy in the pit of her stomach.

"Who is it from?" Tristan asked, pulling her out of her thoughts.

"One of your uncles," Ginny replied, "Sweetie, go play in the playroom,"

Tristan looked at her confusedly, "But I thought we were going to eat lunch?"

"It's still a bit early for lunch, but I have to do something so I won't be around at lunch," Ginny explained distractedly as she pocketed the note,

"So no vegetables?" Tristan grinned happily,

"Yes vegetables, now go to your playroom," Ginny shooed the grudging child away. She stretched out her arm and Hedwig perched on her forearm. She left the parlour and headed up to the West Wing, Tristan just ahead of her.

"Is it because of that letter Uncle sent you that you're leaving?" Tristan inquired as he opened the door to the playroom,

"Yes," Ginny replied as she continued past the playroom to the end of the hallway. Reaching the end, she knocked on the only bedroom door down at that end. When there was no answer, she opened the door, "Eli?" She called as she peeked in.

Eli lay at the bay window of his room. His head on one of the pillows in the alcove, his face tilted towards the late October morning light. His arms were lying crossed over his stomach as a book lay open face down on his chest.

Ginny walked in, closing the door gently behind her. She urged Hedwig onto the closest dresser and walked over to the bay window. She watched her son a moment, not wanting to wake him up. She slowly sat down beside him and he stirred.

He rubbed his eyes as he turned his head to find his mother sitting beside him, "Mother?"

"One of your Uncles needs to see me, so I'm going out for a bit. I wanted you to be in charge while I'm gone," Ginny said quietly,

"Sure thing, Mother," Eli said sleepily as he slowly sat up, closing his book,

"That's a good boy," Ginny beamed at him as she stood up, "Tristan's in the playroom and you can go back to sleep if you want, but I just wanted you to know I had left should you need me later."

"I'll be fine, Mother, if I need anything I can contact Father," Eli said, stifling a yawn, "Nice owl."

"Mmm. I'm going to bring her to the other owls for a quick snack before sending her on her way," Ginny nodded as she took Hedwig upon her arm again, "Oh Eli?" He looked up in question, "Make sure Tristan eats his vegetables at lunch."

"Sure," Eli chuckled.

---

"For someone who graduated from Hogwarts, I'm here often," Ginny sighed as she walked onto the school grounds, heading towards the Quidditch Pitch. If luck was on her side, Ron would be there teaching a class.

She pulled her green pea-coat close as the autumn wind blew around her violently. All she ever knew about the village where Harry lived was that it was immensely small, immensely secluded and completely muggle. So, she left the house in jeans, a sweater and the pea coat Draco had bought her as one of his anniversary presents for her the previous March. The dying grass and fallen leaves crunched beneath her feet as she reached the Quidditch Pitch and, with a sense of nostalgia, entered.

She had been there numerous times before to watch Léo and Lucy's Quidditch games, but still she missed being there. She missed playing Quidditch and was saddened by the thought that it had been seventeen years since she last played a game. When she was outside again, this time within the Pitch, she was glad to see that Ron was indeed there with a group of students. She approached hesitantly.

"So if you're up in the air and goofing off, you can potentially fall off your broom and fall to the ground, breaking your neck," Ron said to the group of First Years, "That's why, until you all show me you're mature enough to fly above my head, you're all stuck flying a meter above the ground."

The students groaned in objection.

"Hey, you all heard about what happened to Jessica Allen last month. Fell off her broom just two meters above ground and broke her arm. Because of that she lost her chance at tryouts for the Ravenclaw team," Ron reminded seriously.

"And a Quidditch team is only as good as its weakest player," Ginny interrupted when she reached Ron's side, "If you're up in the air and unable to stay on your broom – goofing off or not – you're not fit to play Quidditch."

"Good point. Ravenclaws, this is Ginevra Malfoy, former chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team," Ron introduced,

"Professor Weasley, she looks like you," a young witch commented,

"She also happens to be my little sister," Ron explained, "If the last name is familiar, one of the newest members of the Ravenclaw house team is her son, Will Malfoy."

"Aren't the Slytherin team's twin captains' last name Malfoy too?" A wizard inquired anxiously,

"That's right. Will is their younger brother," Ron answered,

The group ooh-ed' and aw-ed',

"Okay, enough of that, mount your brooms and get some flying in," Ron chuckled. Once the group was up in the air, flying about the Pitch, he turned to his sister, "What's up, Gin? Eli not with you today?"

"No, he's back at the manor watching over Tristan with the house elves," Ginny explained, "I'm actually on my way to lunch but I need your help."

"I'm always willing to help with lunch," Ron gave her a lopsided grin,

"Not that," Ginny laughed, "I need directions."

"You don't know where you're having lunch?" Ron looked at her confusedly,

"Yeah," she looked away from Ron, suddenly interested in the flying students, "You see, I'm going to have lunch with Harry."

"Gin- when was the last time you were with Harry just the two of you?" Ron asked quietly,

"Hogwarts," She replied,

"Gin-"

"Ron, I love my husband," she turned to Ron and stared at him sternly, "I appreciate your concern, but I love Draco and I'd never leave him for another man."

"But Gin, you used to love Harry," Ron reminded her, still in a quiet voice,

"No, what I feel for Draco is completely different. What I felt for Harry was just puppy love, Ron. I understood the difference when Draco came into my life," Ginny explained,

"Harry says he's over you too," Ron admitted, "But what'll happen when you two both get together and confront the acknowledgement of things being just platonic? The both of you have never spoken openly about it before."

"I guess that's why I'm nervous to go," Ginny confessed, "I don't know how the conversation will go."

"Just answer me this Gin," she turned to look at him, and found him staring at her sternly, "are you scared that if you go talk to Harry you'll realize you still have feelings for him?"

"Deathly scared," she breathed, biting down on her lower lip, feeling it quiver. Suddenly, she felt the slow trickle of tears on her cheeks.

"What time are you supposed to be there?" Ron asked as she wiped at her tears,

"Twelve," Ginny answered,

"Did you tell Draco?" Ron inquired,

"No."

"Tell him." She looked at him confusedly, "Gin, the last thing you want to do is put distrust in your marriage over this. So, before you go meet with Harry, go and tell Draco. That way, he hears it from you and not someone else."

She nodded before throwing her arms around her brother.

---

"Mr Malfoy?" The secretary's head peaked into the dark office,

"WHAT?" Draco spat from his desk, not bothering to look up from the papers before him,

"Your wife's come to visit you," The secretary announced tentatively,

"Well what are you waiting for? Send her in!" Draco hissed.

Within seconds, Ginny entered the office, closing the door behind her. She approached the desk and sat in one of the chairs before it. Draco put down his quill and looked up at her,

"Is everything okay?" He asked, "Where are the children?"

"Yes, everything's fine, and the children are with the house elves. Eli's watching over Tristan, so it's okay," Ginny answered, "I just wanted to come tell you I was going out to lunch."

"You didn't have to come tell me you were going out for lunch, Gin. You don't need my permission," Draco said,

"Yes, I know that, but I think you should know that I'm going to lunch with Harry," Ginny explained hesitantly,

Draco stood up from his desk and walked to the window behind it. He peaked through the curtains slightly; it was not a sunny day, "You know, we've gone through seventeen years of never broaching the topic of his relationship to you."

"That's because I never spoke of it and you were always too afraid to ask me of it," Ginny replied,

Draco turned from the window and faced Ginny in the pale candlelight of his office, "Was I right to be afraid?"

"No. I don't think so," she answered honestly, quietly, "I was never in love with Harry. I just had a schoolgirl crush."

"Do you still hold feelings for him?" When she shrugged her shoulders, his heart broke. "I don't understand Gin. I thought we were good, but suddenly one lunch date with him and you start reconsidering your feelings!"

"That's not true! I love you Draco,"

"So then why do you not know if you still have feelings for him?" He demanded,

"I've never been alone with Harry since before we got together, and after that he was with Mir. I've never been alone with him to determine if I still like him," Ginny admitted,

"Fine, go have lunch with him and after, come back and tell me whether or not our marriage is over," Draco sneered as he approached her, leaning his hip back against his desk. He crossed his arms,

"Is that all you're going to say?" Ginny asked,

"I shouldn't have to convince my wife that she belongs with me," Draco replied in a low growl,

"You don't have to! I know I belong with you!" Ginny defended, getting to her feet,

"Then why are you scared to go have lunch with Harry? I could see it in your eyes, Gin, you're scared of going; you're scared of what's going to happen," Draco commented bitterly,

"No, I'm scared of what could happen. Draco, I love you, and I'm scared that I could find out I still have feelings for Harry, but even if that happens it does not change or lessen my feelings for you," Ginny announced, holding his face in her hands, "How do you think I feel when one of your past flings runs into us? I get scared every time, wondering if you miss her, if she gave you something that I couldn't and you'd realize the loss."

He was startled to find her crying.

"Are you scared of realizing there might be something missing between us?" Draco asked quietly, "Is that what this is all about?"

She nodded.

"Then go," Draco commanded gently.

"What?"

"I've heard that if you let something go and it comes back, it was meant to be. So go," Draco repeated as he pulled her into an embracing kiss. It felt tender and sweet and reminded her of their first kiss. He pulled back from the kiss enough to lean his forehead against hers. "Gin, come back to me no matter what happens. Please."

"I promise."

---

The candles were blown out in the room, casting it into darkness. The clock above the fireplace mantel ticked the seconds away, driving the wizard within the room, mad. He sat at the desk, elbows propped, hands folded together and his forehead leaning on his hands. Eyes closed, he sat in silence.

"Mr Malfoy," a small sliver of light broke the shadows as the secretary's head peaked in,

"If you value your job, you'll not disturb me for the rest of the day," Draco's voice came in a low growl.

With a small yelp, the secretary scurried off.

He resumed his silent state. It felt as if hours had passed since Ginny left for her lunch with Harry; however, from the seconds that passed on the clock, it had only been above fifteen minutes. She probably was only departing from the Ministry's portkey centre at that moment.
He let out a slow breath, attempting to calm his anxiety. His nervousness that moment was only matched once and that was when Ginny was giving birth to Eli.

The pregnancy had started out bad and although both mother and child survived the end of the pregnancy, it did not happen easily. Draco had used his own magic to stabilize her strength and had stopped feeding during the third trimester out of fear she'd get too weak to give birth. When Ginny had gone into labour, Draco had to hold her upright through the contractions and pushes because all strength had left her. He had never seen her through so much pain and none of the potions they administered for childbearing had worked well enough. During labour, they realized that Eli's cord had wrapped around his neck luckily they freed him. After Eli was born, Ginny had lost so much blood that she almost slipped into a coma. Days after the pregnancy she was unable to leave her bed and Draco began to worry that she was going to slip into the same illness has Pansy had after giving birth to her daughters.

His anxiety over those days mounted to the same level as his anxiety as he sat in that dark and quiet office. Ginny had been right: he had always been afraid to ask her what Harry meant to her, or had meant to her.
If he was being honest to himself, he never looked Harry directly in the eye, scared of what he'd see in those emerald pools. He was scared that he'd never amount to what Harry was; after all, during his entire Hogwarts career he had to put up with being compared to the Gryffindor Hero.

Abruptly, Draco pushed his chair from his desk and stood up. He grabbed his cloak and put it over his robes. Storming out of his office, he commanded his secretary, "I'm leaving early. If something goes wrong within the next 24 hours do not call me. You are to inform Zabini of any problems." With that, he walked over to the hallway's fireplace and flooed out of the building.

A quarter of an hour later, Draco found himself in the one place he could find some comfort. He raised his hand and knocked on the door.

The door opened slightly and a head popped through the gap, looking up at Draco. She pulled her head back into the room shutting the door firmly,

"Mommy, there's a man out in the hall," the little girl's voice announced even through the closed door,

"What does the man look like, Jane?" another voice replied.

"White hair, sort of like Trish," Jane said,

"Like Trish?" The other voice replied.

Draco heard footsteps approach the door, this time the door opened completely and he faced a completely different witch that the one who opened it before.

"Draco? What are you doing here?"

"I- I needed to talk to someone and you were the only person I could think of that I could talk to about this-" Draco explained hesitantly, and for once he was unable to school his expression.

The witch opened the door wider and stood aside, gesturing for him to enter, "It must be serious if you're coming to me."

"It is."

She waved at the chairs before her desk, signalling for him to take a seat. She walked around her desk and sat behind it, "So what's the matter?"

He sat down and remained silent for a moment. Finally, he raised his gaze to hers and answered, "I think my marriage is ending."

---

"Excuse me, where can I find the Evans' Bakery?" Ginny inquired an old man who was placing apples from a small crate onto the display outside the small store.

"Just a few stores down, miss," the old man replied with a hint of a French accent.

Ginny nodded her thanks and continued down the small stretch of road. When her brother described it as a small village, she never expected it to be so small. Holding just a small drug store, grocers and a school going from preschool to twelfth grade, she decided the village was beyond small. It was miniscule. Even the houses were on roads that branched off from the main one that she now walked. As she made her way further down the street, she saw the odd stares she was getting. She cursed herself, she had made a mistake. After using a portkey to get to the nearest Wizarding town to the village, she had apparated to just outside the village boarders. Of course, all the villagers would deem her odd to be walking about since the closest muggle town was a day's walk away.

Finally, she stopped before a small bakery, the front window displaying the words in emerald print, "Evans' Bakery". Hesitantly, she pushed open the door and a small bell signalled her entrance.

"I'll be there in a second, Madame de Beau, just taking your croissants out of the oven," Harry's familiar voice drifted from the back of the bakery where she assumed was the kitchen.

In moments, Ginny watched as Harry entered the front half of the bakery, holding up a paper bag containing what she assumed to be croissants for the fore-mentioned Madame de Beau. He froze when he saw her,

"Gin, sorry- Madame de Beau usually comes at the same time," Harry explained as he put the bag on the counter, "- Tea?"

A few minutes later, Ginny and Harry were sitting at one of the tables in the bakery, tea and butter croissants before them. Silence passed between them before, finally, Ginny spoke,

"These are really good croissants, why didn't you ever bring food when we had get-togethers?" Ginny inquired as she reached for another croissant,

"Scared you guys might not like them?" Harry offered with a shrug, "I don't know. Everyone always was surprised that I could cook so I figured why shock them even more by bringing food?"

Ginny laughed, "Harry, I'm sure whatever you put before Ron, he'd eat it."

"You have a point," he chuckled, "Well I guess I was just tentative about having you guys taste my cooking. After I started cooking again when Gabe and I moved here, he was my only critic. I figured some of his compliments was because I'm his dad, so they must be biased to some point."

"No, no, I assure you, these are really good," Ginny smiled,

"Thanks. It's good to know since I only have the villagers and half the time I worry they only buy from my bakery because the closest one after mine is so far away," he chuckled,

"Mhmm, this village is so small," Ginny commented,

"I think I prefer the small community to a big city. It's just easier when you know everyone,"

"Couldn't you find a small village closer to England? Or even in England?" Ginny inquired as she picked up her teacup and brought it to her lips,

"Another appeal to this village, the seclusion," Harry explained, "besides, in this village, Gabe can exercise both his English and French."

"He has Hermione in England to exercise French with," Ginny reminded,

Harry shrugged as he looked down into his teacup, "I just like the peace and quiet."

"You did live most of your life in the lime light," Ginny agreed. They had slipped into another silence before Ginny spoke again, "Harry, you said you needed to talk to me in your note. Was it just for idle conversation?"

"Can't a person just want some idle conversation with his friend?" Harry inquired,

"Yes, but this is the first time you've ever asked me to come, let alone allowing me to know where you live," Ginny said, "If it was for just idle conversation, you wouldn't have even bothered with it."

"You know me well," Harry said quietly as his gaze dropped to his teacup, "There was something specific I wanted to talk to you about."

"What is it?" Ginny inquired, her heart suddenly beating against her ribcage madly, her anxiety suddenly soared,

"Us."

"Harry, there is no us," Ginny replied, her voice barely a whisper.

"I know that, I wanted to tell you that I'm over you," Harry explained as he looked up at her,

"You're saying this now- what about Mir?"

"I never betrayed Mir's love but I'm just able to say now that I'm over you," he said, "Just like you can say you're over me."

Ginny looked outside the bakery window silently.

"Gin-"

"We've never been alone together, so it's not like I've been able to –"

"Determine that you were over me?" Harry finished. She looked at him, startled. He nodded, "I know what you mean-"

"Don't get me wrong Harry, I love Draco,"

"And I loved Mir,"

"Exactly, but I've never had a chance to figure out if I was over you when whenever we were together, we were with other people," Ginny explained quietly.

"Gin, I'd never do anything to compromise your marriage," Harry stated as he stood up and walked to her side, kneeling down, "But if I want to continue with my life, I need to know for sure that I'm over you."

"Harry-"

Before she could finish, Harry pulled her into a kiss. As he held her to him, his lips against hers, his eyes fluttered close. His head ran the same thought over and over again:

I'm sorry I broke my promise, Ron.


-----



I have no words to describe this chapter.
Comments are always welcomed. =)

P.S. Please don't kill me for that.


Smile .Park YooChun. Love
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#23
*Lucifer*

*Lucifer*

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ohhhhhhh such a twist!:) what will happen now???? how could ginny do that to draco??? how could you leave it on such a cliffhanger??? you do realise what it will do to us???

cant wait for next update!!

lucifer xx
Don't Marry Someone You Can Live With, Marry Someone You Can't Live Without!!

"in the words of Hermione (PS) What An Idiot!!!"

#24
melissa m

melissa m

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ahhh!:)!!!! i missed 2 updates??????????? sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! where exactly is draco?????????????? and why did ginny kiss harry?????????????? gah!!!!!!!!!!! update ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:angry:!:hmm:!^_^!:(!:D!;)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. -- Robert F. Kennedy
Friendship with one's self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world. -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -- George Bernard Shaw

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. -- Thomas Jefferson

While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us. -- Ben Franklin


#25
Angel

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I know, I know, I'm cruel.
I'm sorry, it had to be done.

Lucifer - believe it or not, originally it didn't end as a cliffhanger. But then I felt the chapter was too long and that was a good place to end it ((for me, not you since it's a cliffhanger for y'alls LOL)).

melissa m - unfortunately enough, you don't learn where Draco went for another few chapters... but I thought I gave a pretty good clue as to where he went *shrug* Oh well. You'll have to wait then ;)


So I originally planned to update this weekend but, if I was to stay true to my schedule, I had to update now, meaning I finished another chapter. Yayness.
Anyway.
Enjoy.


-----



Phase Eight: Insecurities

---

It was already dark outside when Ginny returned to Malfoy Manor. She stumbled into the foyer and leaned back against the door with exhaustion. She was glad to be home; it had been a long day. After removing her coat, she was about to head towards the dinning room, hearing Eli's voice telling Tristan to eat his vegetables (again) and Tristan arguing back. Just before she entered, something else caught her ear.

She focused her attention away from her sons to the other noise drifting in the air. She walked in its direction, coming from the ballroom. She followed it and as she drew closer to the ballroom, the noise became more defined; it was a slow, melodic, tune with a sad tone. As she approached the ballroom, she noticed its door stood ajar and slowly, she crept up to it, peaking in.

There, within the spacious room was Draco. He sat before the grand piano on the side of the ballroom, his fingers dancing over the black and white keys. The ballroom, with a completely glass ceiling, was lit only by the autumn moonlight.

As she stood there, watching from afar, she felt his mood seep into her through his music. He had been as scared about that meeting as she had. The fact that she stayed longer than lunch must have worried him more; she cursed herself for her selfishness. She recalled her meeting with Harry; she recalled her conversation with Harry; she recalled her kiss with Harry. She wasn't surprised when tears brimmed her eyelashes. She fought against them as she felt a lump form in her throat. She pushed open the door and walked into the ballroom.

She made a beeline to Draco and when she stood behind him, his fingers froze; some on keys, some in midair.

"You're back," he said quietly.

"I'm home."

---

Later that evening, Ginny lay with her back to Draco. He had his arms around her securely and his head beside hers on the pillow, his lips just barely brushing her cheek. She lay awake, listening to his steady breathing. He had made love to her and fed from her with possessiveness he hadn't shown in years; she didn't mind however, she wanted him to know that he possessed her – all of her.

She felt wetness against her cheek and she slowly turned to face him. He remained still, but a small trickle of tears had escaped his eyes. She propped herself on her elbow and hovered over him,

"Draco, wake up," she said quietly, gently shaking his arm,

His eyes opened slowly, "Gin?"

"You were crying," she replied hesitantly. She had never seen Draco cry, not in all of their years married had he ever shed a tear in her presence.

He reached his fingers to his face, not surprised to find tears there. He wiped them away, "I almost lost you today, didn't I?"

"No, I told you that no matter what I would find out today that I'd still love you," Ginny disagreed,

"What did happen today, Gin?" Draco asked quietly,

"We kissed," she admitted in a small voice, forcing herself to look him in the eye, "And I don't regret it."

"What did you learn?" Draco asked, hesitance in his voice,

"That kissing Harry felt like I was kissing Ron," she answered, "I was so happy when I realized that."

"So- you don't still have feelings for him?" Draco inquired,

She shook her head, "And they've been gone for a long time now."

"How long?"

"Since before the first potions lesson," she replied,

"So you had that realization from that kiss?"

"It felt more like a confirmation, like I already knew it but I had to be sure," Ginny answered, she brushed away a stray tear of his with her thumb, "Are you upset?"

"No, because I needed that confirmation too," he admitted quietly as he grabbed her hand before she pulled it away from his face. He kissed her fingertips, "Gin, the last time I cried was when I thought you were going to die after Eli was born."

"But I didn't,"

"No, but you could have and I could have lost you today," he said, "Gin, I thought our marriage was ending."

She bit her quivering lip as the tears she held back earlier that evening, returned with a vengeance. Immediately, Draco sat up and held her face in her hands,

"Why are you crying? Our marriage isn't ending," Draco repeated gently,

"I made you think that it was- I made you doubt us; doubt me," she answered, her voice cracking, her body shaking. He pulled her to him and hugged her tightly, "Draco, I don't want to ever make you feel like that again!"

He hushed her and pressed his lips to her crown, "It's over now. We're past it."

"Draco, I love you," she assured him as her cries wracked her body and she clung to him.

"I know. I love you too."

---

Draco felt himself being woken up. He felt an annoying prodding against his shoulder and a voice repeating the same word over and over again,

"Master- Master-"

Grudgingly, he left his slumber and opened his eyes to his surroundings. From the darkness of his room, he could tell that it was still dark outside, no light attempted to penetrate the bedroom curtains. He turned to the source of the poking and found a house elf standing at the bedside,

"Zip-Zip, what is it?" Draco demanded sleepily,

"It's Master Tristan, sir, he woke up from a nightmare and now demands to see the Mistress," the house elf explained, "He refuses to go back to sleep unless he sees her, sir."

"I'll attend to Tristan, go back to sleep Zip-Zip," Draco said wearily as he sat up from the bed. Once the elf had disappeared, Draco looked down at Ginny. She still lay curled up, her back towards him and her hand still held his. As gently as possible, he untwined their fingers; this caused her to stir.

"Draco?" She bolted up suddenly, "Where are you going? It's too early for work still," she said in a panicked tone,

"I'm just going to check on Tristan," Draco explained as he eased her back onto the bed, "Just go back to sleep, love,"

"Can- can I come with you?" she asked hesitantly, chewing on her bottom lip.

Her vulnerability broke his heart and gave him a renewed sense of protection. He nodded and stood from the bed and got their night robes. When he returned, she stood from the bed and he helped her with her night robe. As they exited their chambers, her hand fell into his.

In Tristan's room, Draco made it clear that Ginny was home now. Tristan sat on his bed; arms crossed, eyes narrowed and lips formed in a petulant pout,

"You hid Mother," he accused Draco,

"I assure you son, I didn't hide your mother," Draco said sternly,

"Then how come you both weren't at dinner? You hid Mother," he repeated stubbornly,

"I didn't hide your mother," Draco repeated exasperatedly,

"Mother! Father's lying!" Tristan cried,

Ginny walked over to her son's bed and sat on the edge and he went into her arms, "Your father's sorry for hiding me." Draco's jaw dropped at the comment, but Ginny sent him a look that made him keep quiet. He moved to leave, "Where are you going?"

"Back to our room," Draco said, but one look at her expression and he stopped his progress, "I'll wait."

"Mother, next time Father hides you, you still have to say good night to me," Tristan stated,

"I will," Ginny promised as she kissed his forehead as he lay back down and she tucked him in, "Goodnight Tristan."

"Night Mother," he beamed up at her.

"Goodnight, son," Draco said,

"Night Father," he closed his eyes, readying himself for sleep.

Ginny walked over to Draco and before they left, Tristan's voice drifted to them, "Father, you shouldn't lie."

As the door closed behind them Draco glanced at Ginny, "He'll keep lecturing me for days now, Gin."

"Mmm, now you'll know how Lucy feels every September," Ginny replied as he took her hand in his. She stumbled slightly and would have fallen if Draco hadn't steadied her with his arms,

"Are you okay?"

"Yes, it seems I've been stumbling a lot lately. I'm fine, I just got dizzy for a second," Ginny explained,

"Is this the first time you've gotten dizzy?" Draco inquired seriously,

"Yes," she answered as they continued walking again, "I stumbled earlier too, but I have my clumsy –"

"Gin!" She collapsed into his arms.

---

It was the first of November and all of the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry were in a buzz over the first Quidditch game of the year. Although more excitement surrounded the Gryffindor/Slytherin game, spirit was soaring amongst the students. Breakfast that late autumn morning was a noisy affair; that is, except for a certain witch.

"Silent treatment?" Léo inquired as he took a seat beside his sister at the Slytherin table. She merely nodded before continuing to stare at her food; she never ate on game day, "Ah, tradition. No matter, as always, I can speak enough for the both of us."

Lucy gave him a sideways glance, rolled her eyes to the heavens, then returned her attention to her food.

"Lucy, I want to pulverize McMillan," Léo said under his breath as he reached for his goblet of juice. "It'll be easy to make it look like an accident." She shot him another glance, "Fine, I won't. But it was for your best interest!"

"Léo, don't bother your sister when she's concentrating,"

Léo swung around on the bench to face his father, "Early for the game as always, Father?"

He nodded, "Would have been here earlier had it not gone sunny for half an hour."

"He's lying," Léo stood up to greet his mother, "Your father spent half an hour trying to force me to stay home." Lucy stood up and greeted Ginny as well but didn't say a word,

"Why?" Léo inquired,

"Your mother is two months pregnant," Draco drawled,

"You don't seem too enthused, Father," Léo commented,

"I am quite enthused, what I'm not enthused about is how your mother didn't realize she was pregnant until we brought her to the healer a week and half ago," Draco replied as he looked about the Great Hall with a bored expression,

"Don't mind your father, he's just upset that we're not the first parents here," Ginny said, "A lot of watchers today. You know, I even saw Olivia's father in the Entrance Hall earlier and Gryffindor's not even playing."

Lucy kissed her parents then left.

"She must be really anxious to play. She always heads to the Pitch early, but this earlier than usual," Draco commented as the doors close behind his daughter,

Léo shrugged, schooling his expression, "Where's Tristan and Eli? You usually bring them."

"Eli is with your Uncle Ron. Your other brother is at home with the house elves," Draco grounded out,

Léo raised a curious eyebrow, "What did Tristan do now? Set something else on fire?"

"Draco, it looks like Snape wants to talk to you," Ginny prompted, gently pushing her husband towards the teachers' table. He obliged. She turned to Léo, "you could say that."

"Was it Eli's room? No, by Father's look it was worst; was it Father's broom? Will did that to me," Léo said,

"If it had been your Father's broom Tristan would be here; you know your Father can't punish any of you," Ginny shook her head with a small smile, "No, Tristan tried to set something bigger on fire."

"The Manor?" Léo's other eyebrow joined its twin,

"Eli," Ginny sighed heavily,

"Eli? Tristan tried to set Eli on fire!?" Léo's jaw dropped,

Ginny nodded sadly, "They got into a row and Tristan found my wand-let's just say that Eli must have learned duelling techniques from Lucy because he didn't get a single scorch on him."

Léo shook his head, "We were never that bad,"

"He just wants to grow up now. He wants to be at Hogwarts with the three of you," Ginny explained, "Léo- Lucy's intensity about today's game, is it because a certain boy is on the other team?"

Léo nodded.

Ginny nodded knowingly, "I don't promote violence Léo- but cream him."

Léo grinned, "With pleasure, Mother."

"I hope you're talking about that git McMillan," Ginny and Léo turned their attention to Will who had spotted them from the Ravenclaw table and had hurried over. Léo nodded his silent response, "I would have hexed him had Lucy not stopped me, Mother."

"I know, I'm glad you were there to help her," Ginny replied before asking, "Léo, I hear that you are no longer single."

Léo shrugged casually, "If that's what you heard, I guess that's how it is." Not before long, he broke into a grin, "I'm really happy."

"And I'm happy for you, where is Olivia?" Ginny inquired as she looked around the Hall, her eyes running over the Gryffindor table,

Léo joined his mother in he search, "I don't think she came in for breakfast yet; I haven't seen her all morning."

Ginny nodded but smiled all the same, "No matter, we'll see her later after you beat Hufflepuff."

"Mother, in no offence to Léo or Lucy, but how do you know that Slytherin will win?" Will inquired,

"Because, little brother," Léo's stare landed on the back of Eric McMillan's head, "We have the stronger will to win."

---

"So do you think Puddlemere will get invited to the Canadian Winter Tour afterwards?" Olivia asked her dad as she sat on the front steps of Hogwarts.

"I don't know for sure, but I'm hoping," Oliver Wood replied as he took a seat on the stone steps beside his daughter, "This'll be a great chance to play against other teams; not to mention I'll be able to see a bit of the American and Canadian national teams. But enough about me, kiddo, how's Quidditch so far here?"

Liv shrugged her shoulders, "Same as always I guess; Harry Potter's kid is on the team and he's only a First Year."

"James? I ran into them once in France; it seems only right that Harry's kid make the team in his First Year," Oliver commented, "See Olive-bean, if you asserted yourself in Quidditch, you could've made First Year too. Maybe even captain alongside your friend, Catie."

Liv shrugged again, "I don't know, maybe I've never found the motivation to assert myself in Quidditch."

"You still love it, don't you?" Oliver inquired,

"Of course I do, I just have no motivation to play it," Liv replied,

"You know what Olive-bean? I think you have the potential to be great at Quidditch; it runs in our blood. So find that motivation and put it to work," Oliver grinned at her, "So, this boyfriend of yours, is he a Quidditch player?"

Liv gawked at her dad, "How did you know I had a boyfriend?"

Oliver laughed at her expression, "Just because your mom and I are divorced, it doesn't mean we don't talk. She warned me not to do anything to the lad when I came to visit you; I don't know what she's worried about – I'm not one of those over-protective; over-bearing fathers."

Liv looked at him unconvinced but answered his question nonetheless, "Yes, he is a Quidditch player."

"A good one?"

"I suppose."

Oliver stroked his chin, "Interesting. Perhaps I'll challenge him to a race one day, show him who's he boss."

Liv rolled her eyes, "Not over-bearing at all, dad."

"I'm not," Oliver defended, "Who are the lad's parents? Do you know what they do?"

"His dad owns his own company and his mom stays at home," Liv replied uncertainly,

"Hmm- Okay, okay- how are his grades? He's not some idiotic kid on the brinks of dropping out, right? I raised you to make good choices."

Liv sighed exasperatedly, "Yes dad, you raised me to make good choices; and no he's not on the brink of dropping out of Hogwarts; he's very much in the top 10 percentile for Seventh Year."

"Okay, he sounds like a decent boy –"

"He is,"

"He plays Quidditch- what position? If you say keeper, then I know he's too good to be true," Oliver chuckled at his own joke,

"Not keeper, Beater; him and his sister are Beaters for their House team," Liv answered; not sure whether or not she should name her boyfriend, out of fear of what her dad might do.

"Him and his sister, huh? Is she good at Quidditch too?"

"What does that matter? I'm dating her brother, not her," Liv said,

"Just a question Olive-bean, just a question," Oliver defended, "Well, from what you've said, he seems like a good lad, and so I'll lay off."

"Thank you," Liv let out a sigh of relief,

"Well Olive-bean, I have to get going if I want to be on time for the team's portkey," Oliver announced, "Owl me about your Quidditch games okay? I want to be updated about all of your games."

Liv nodded as she hugged her dad, "Yeah, of course."

"Alright Olive-bean, I'll owl you after our first game," Oliver winked at her before heading off.

Liv watched silently as her father disappeared beyond he grounds.

"You couldn't tell him that you wanted him to be at your games?" Liv shook her head as Léo took the seat that Oliver had just left, "I bet if you asked him to, he would have gladly come back for each of your games."

"I don't want to trouble him," Liv said as she laced her fingers with his.

"But –"

"Can we not talk about it?" Léo nodded and so she leaned her head against his shoulder as they sat there in silence for quite some time.

---

"Okay, now that the team is all geared up to play, Lucy, will you talk?" Léo inquired as he pulled on his riding gloves, turning to face his sister.

She nodded, "This is the first game of the season, let's make it a good one. Also, let's start it off with a victory, shall we? We've seen the Hufflepuffs play before, they have some good players, but they're not unison in their plans." Lucy tied back her hair, "Chasers, use whatever strategies you wish and make sure you're working with the Keeper to get the Quaffle."

"Janessa, just keep your eye on the Snitch," Léo added as he picked up his broom,

"What about you two?" Tomas, the Keeper, inquired,

Lucy picked up her broom and headed for the door, "McMillan's mine."

After they all entered the Pitch, the Hufflepuff team shortly joined them. Ron walked towards them and stood between the teams.

"Captains, shake hands," Ron instructed,

Eric stepped forward, but both Léo and Lucy just stared him down, "How unsportsman-like," he scoffed,

"There are a few things I could say worst about you," Lucy drawled,

"Cool it," Ron said, "Mount your brooms and on the count of three, kick off." All fourteen players straddled their brooms, waiting for the signal, "One, two, three!"

Stomps shook the grounds as both teams kicked off the ground with ferocious force. The cool autumn wind embraced them all and whipped against them as they soared into the cloudy sky. The Keepers made beelines towards their goalposts as the Beaters began attacking the Bludgers. Chasers got the Quaffle and fought over it amongst themselves while Seekers circled the Pitch looking for the golden prize.

A Bludger came flying at Lucy. She gripped her club harder and swung violently. The Bludger made contact and ricocheted off in the direction she aimed. It missed McMillan, who had been flying about his goalposts, by inches. He whipped his head towards her, but Lucy had already flown away.

"Lucy, you just missed him!" Adrian said when he flew to her side after passing off the Quaffle, "I know your aim, you did that on purpose!"

"Well, second time's the charm, I'm told," Lucy said before speeding away.

From the Quidditch Stands, Ginny and Draco watched amongst the other visitors come to watch the Gryffindor-Hufflepuff game. Eli stood before them, holding onto the railing as his eyes followed every movement on the Pitch. The boy opted out of sitting, too anxious to be idle during the game.

He stepped back from the railing and looked over his shoulder at Ginny, "Mother, did you see the hit Lucy just made?"

"She's got a wicked arm," Draco said, barely containing his pride,

"She also has the best aim I've ever seen," Eli pointed out as he turned back to the Pitch just in time to see another Bludger soar directly towards the Hufflepuff Keeper and knock him against one of the rings. Fortunately, said Keeper kept a hold of his broom and stayed on as the Bludger flew off. "It seems like- Mother," Eli turned to face Ginny completely this time, "Why does it seem like Lucy is aiming for the Hufflepuff Keeper?"

"It's a type of strategy," Ginny insisted,

Eli scrunched up his face in thought, "But," he turned back to the Pitch, "But I think –"

"Son, how can you think when such a game is going on before you?" Ginny interrupted, slipping her hand over her son's mouth while watching Draco from the corner of her eye. Her husband's attention remained on the Pitch.

"AND HUFFLEPUFF CAPTAIN AND KEEPER, ERIC MCMILLAN GETS ANOTHER BLUDGER TO THE GUT!" The announcer's voice rang throughout the Pitch.

"Miss Malfoy! IF I SENSE ANY FOUL PLAY-" Ron warned sternly,

"I said head's up' Professor!" Lucy insisted as she zoomed past Ron after another Bludger. For a change in pace, she shot it away from Eric, towards one of the Hufflepuff Chasers,

"Ginny," Draco drawled as they watched the game continue – Hufflepuff score, Slytherin score, another point for Slytherin-

"Yes?" She turned to face him, giving him a radiant smile,

"Love, is Lucy purposely aiming for the Keeper?" Draco inquired as he slightly turned his head to look at her.

"I don't think so," she insisted,

"Mhmm, then why do you have your hand conveniently over our son's hand?" Draco prompted,

"Oh? I do?" She looked down at Eli and in mock-shock replied, "I hadn't noticed."

"Gin, why is Lucy aiming specifically for the Keeper?" Draco asked,

"She has her reasons," Ginny replied, determined to keep her attention on the game, her hands on Eli's shoulders,

"Good reasons?"

"Quite good reasons," Ginny said,

"Am I ever going to hear these reasons?" Draco asked,

Ginny looked at him for a moment, then turned back to the game, "Later."

"Why later?"

"It's either later or never at all," Ginny said.

With a scoff, Draco returned his attention to the match, his stare lingering on the Hufflepuff Keeper for a dangerous amount of time.

Half an hour later when the match was over, Slytherin came out winning while Eric came out bruised, battered and bandaged. After Lucy and Léo dismissed the team to the change rooms, they greeted their parents and brother,

"I almost wish I had gone professional when I watch you two play," Draco noted, "It has been awhile since I've last played."

"Father, have you ever beaten Gabe's dad at Quidditch?" Eli inquired.

Ginny watched the lights in Draco's eyes diminish and she pulled Eli's attention away, "Eli, I think your Uncle Ron needs help with the equipment, maybe you could help him?"

"I get to strap in Bludgers!?" Eli piped excitedly,

"No, you get to watch," Ginny ordered. Eli's face fell but he shrugged it off and sprinted off to help his uncle. She turned back to the twins, "We should get going, it's getting quite cold."

"Mother, take care of yourself," Lucy said as she hugged her mother, "I think it shall be a girl this time,"

"Are you sure it's not twins?" Léo inquired,

"Don't you even start Léonard!" Ginny warned, "You haven't the slightest idea how hard it is to deliver twins."

"Aw, I was just kidding Mother," Léo chuckled as he kissed her cheek, "Get home before it gets even colder."

"We will," Ginny insisted as the twins headed off to change. Once they were out of earshot, Ginny turned to face her husband, "Draco-"

"Let's go home," He said in flat tones and began heading out of the Pitch.

Ginny sighed heavily and called for Eli as she watched Draco's retreating back.

---

Léo and Liv were walking in silence towards the Great Hall for dinner later that evening. Slytherins were in a festive mood and the Hufflepuffs were depressed. The other Houses were all in a buzz about the upcoming game between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor to take place at the end of the month.

"L-"

"LEO!" Their attentions snapped forward to a dark-haired girl who sprinted towards them. "Come to the common room, Leo, there's celebrations happening!" The girl beamed up at him.

Liv watched the other girl suspiciously as the girl took Leo's free arm and began tugging on it,

"We're on our way to dinner," Léo said,

" We'?" The girl looked at Liv and smiled before turning back to Léo, "Oh, but Leo, there's plenty of food in the common room! Come on, the whole team's already there!"

"Is Lucy there?" Liv inquired,

The girl looked at Liv again for a moment before answering, "No."

"Then the whole team isn't there," Liv replied icily,

"Janessa, just go back to the common room, Olivia and I are on our way to dinner, good night," Léo dismissed,

Janessa dropped his arm, defeat written on her face, "Oh- okay, Leo. But if you want to have some fun, festivities will probably continue until past midnight," she said and, with one last look at Liv, sprinted off down another set of stairs towards the dungeons.

"You let her call you Leo?" Liv asked calmly,

He shrugged, "Plenty of people mispronounce my name." He looked at Liv's expression, "Are you jealous?"

"No," she replied convincingly,

"Good, because there isn't a reason to be," Léo piped,

"Because she's just a friend and you've never even thought of her as otherwise?" Liv offered,

"Well, she's more of an acquaintance really, through the Quidditch team," Léo pondered, "And I never really thought about her after the first date."

"You went out with her?" Liv questioned,

Léo gave her a sidelong glance, "Mhmm. Still not jealous?"

"Far from it," Liv denied, walking faster, almost to the point where their hands broke contact.

Léo stopped his progress and, as a result, caused Liv to jerk back towards him. She looked at him quizzically, "You are jealous."

Liv fought the blush she felt creeping upon her as she averted her eyes.

Léo nudged her face to look up at him with the tip of his finger. He grinned, "There's only you, I promise."

"I know," Liv muttered.

Seeing that her mood hadn't change, Léo changed tactics, "Let's go to Hogsmeade for dinner, ok? My uncles taught me of the hidden passages out of the castle. Dinner just for two, okay?"

"Okay," Liv replied, a small smile breaking her fallen expression,

"Ah, that's the Olivia I know," Léo grinned as he kissed the tip of her nose, and then began leading the way.

---

Ginny sat by the balcony doors in her bedroom, a book propped on her lap as her legs curled to the side of her on the chair. She sat in her nightgown; her hair clipped up because she had just finished showering and wanted her hair to air-dry without getting anything else wet. Licking her fingertip, she flipped the page.

Ever since they had gotten home earlier that day, Draco had absorbed himself into work he had taken home with him the other day. Ginny sighed heavily, she attempted talking to the former Slytherin, but he only gave one word replies as he worked in his study. She had gotten frustrated and, afraid she may lash out at him, walked away. That had been nearly 11 hours ago and, as the clock was close to midnight, she was worried that Draco would stay the night in his study.

Absentmindedly, she licked her fingertip and flipped the page again.

She knew that the situation with Harry a few weeks ago had worried Draco to no end; it had worried her as well. But they were past that and Draco wasn't ready yet to mention the former Gryffindor's name yet; let alone have his son remind him that he has yet to win over Harry at Quidditch. The situation with Harry had brought out a darkness in Draco and Ginny almost regretted what happened.

She licked her fingertip and flipped the page once more.

"You don't read that fast, love," Draco murmured, his lips against the right-side of her neck,

She nearly jumped out of her skin, "How is it you always catch me watching you, yet I can never catch you?"

"You were quite absorbed in your reading, but at the rate you've been turning pages, I'm beginning to wonder if you're reading at all," Draco said,

"Draco, I've been thinking about that thing with Harry," Ginny said quietly, tentatively,

"It's past us now," Draco muttered as he bared his fangs and they slipped into their familiar bites.

She closed her eyes and gripped the book harder as she felt his fangs. She bit down on her lip when she felt him begin to feed. Suddenly, she pulled away from him, twisting in the chair to face him,

"What are you doing? I could've cut you!" Draco hissed as he retracted his fangs and licked his lips of blood,

"Draco, let me finish- what happened with Harry, only happened because I wanted to be sure that my heart was completely yours," Ginny said,

"And you didn't know that before hand?" Draco asked, almost accusingly,

"Not completely," she admitted quietly, "I wanted to make sure that nothing remained of my feelings for Harry because it wouldn't be fair to you if part of my still wanted to be with Harry."

"And a part of you doesn't?" Draco asked,

"No."

"Gin, the thing that makes me upset with what happened isn't the fact that it happened, it's the fact that you feel that it had to happen," Draco said quietly as he stood up straight, towering over her, "I thought you already knew your feelings when we got together eighteen years ago."

"I did, I just wanted to be sure!" Ginny insisted,

"Well, I was damned sure that you were all I had in my heart when we said our vows, I guess you didn't," Draco spat,

"Damn it, I did, but how would you feel if you found out that a part of me still liked Harry? Isn't it better that we know for sure now?" Ginny asked,

"And if things had ended differently? If you still had feelings for Harry, what then?" Draco demanded, "All that I know Gin, is that I knew for sure my feelings; I don't know why it wasn't the same situation for you."

With that, he left the bedroom, the door slamming behind him.




------

Concludes this chapter.
Comments are always welcomed. =)


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#26
*Lucifer*

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ohhhh loving it so much, lucy is such a great character, shes very fiery and assertive in her own ways, oh so ginny is having another baby and draco is still peeved she skissed harry?? i ithnk i can guess where draco went but im not gona say in case i spoil it!;) cant wait to next chapter Angel!!

Lucifer xx
Don't Marry Someone You Can Live With, Marry Someone You Can't Live Without!!

"in the words of Hermione (PS) What An Idiot!!!"

#27
ArwenEvenstar

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Yeah, and I still wanna know where he went while Ginny was with Harry. I'm guessing Hermione but I could be wrong. How exactly do you say Leo's correctly pronounced name? Loved the chapter nicely written with a great storyline. Can't wait for more!

#28
melissa m

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i guess i must have missed that hint....oh well...i can be dense sometimes.....great chapter!! post more asap!:P!!!!!!!!!!!

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. -- Robert F. Kennedy
Friendship with one's self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world. -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -- George Bernard Shaw

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. -- Thomas Jefferson

While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us. -- Ben Franklin


#29
Angel

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Alright, crash course on Léo's name.
Spelt normally it's Leo/Leonard.
However, I placed my own twist on the name so it is instead: L é o / L é onard
The 'é' changes the pronounciation.
Instead of "lee-oh" / "lee-oh-nard"
it becomes "lay-oh"/ "lay-oh-nard"
So, yes, there's a french twist to his name.
Also while I'm at it... Léo&Lucy's names for one another..
Léo calls Lucy, Luce, while Lucy calls her brother:
Léo = Lé ("lay")

Everything's good with that? Good.

So yes, Liv does get a bit peeved when Léo lets Janessa call him L-e-o instead of L-é-o. He could have corrected Janessa, but he didn't.. y'know what I mean? I hope so.
I have an inkling suspicion I'll be updating pretty soon again. Hold tight :P


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#30
Angel

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Yes, double post, but I'm allowed; it's been a couple of days & this is an update. it deserves its own post LoL..

Lucifer - Yup, Ginny is all knocked up, to say it lightly LoL.

ArwenEvenstar - I hope the explanation on Léo's name helped??

melissa m - the hint was subtle and its answer is found in RM. If that helps? =)



So I finished another chapter and felt it time to update again whilst finishing that chapter. So, here's the next one. This was a key chapter to build up to chapter 10 which had been written in advanced several, upon several chapters ago. So I'm excited that chapter 10 will finally make its debut in the next update.
Also updated the chapter list, now it goes beyond chapter 10. Shall let y'alls ponder the titles.
In the meantime,
Enjoy!


-----



Phase Nine: Cold Winter

---

Mid-December proved to be one of the bitterest of winters in years. Snow fell in thick sheets and the sun's rays rarely penetrated the layers of clouds overhead. The wind was constantly blowing and the temperature seemed to never go above –25 degrees Celsius. There were times when the snow stopped, but the wind would make up for it.

Draco sat at his desk in the office, wearily going over proposal deals from other companies when a light rapt came to his door. He called for the person to enter.

Blaise walked in and sat down in one of the chairs before his desk. Draco looked up at him in confusion, "You never knock before you come in."

"Have you read the Daily Prophet today?" Blaise asked hesitantly,

"No, I left the Manor this morning before the post came in, why?" Draco inquired, pushing the proposal away from him and peering at Blaise curiously,

Blaise, who had an arm behind him the whole time, produced a copy of the Daily Prophet and, placing it on the desk, slid it towards Draco.

Draco took it and only had to look at the picture on the front cover to get his ire going. He began to read the article accompanying the photograph furiously,

"Draco they're lies," Blaise stated,

"I know they're lies," Draco hissed as he pushed away from the desk and stood up, "There should have never been a situation for lies to be written about,"

"So you did know that they had lunch," Blaise let out a sigh of relief,

"Of course I did. I even told her to go," Draco cursed himself, "That was two months ago. I can't believe they're bringing it up now if they've had this photograph for so long."

"They were waiting for the right time?" Blaise offered,

"Well it's a bloody perfect time to ruin me," Draco hissed as he picked up the paper again, looked at the photograph of Ginny and Harry sitting at a table. He watched as the Harry in the photograph stood up and walked around the table and kissed Ginny. He threw the paper back onto the desk,

"Are you still sleeping in the guestroom?" Blaise asked tentatively. Draco nodded, "It's been a month and a half since you walked away from her, Draco, she had her reasons for meeting with Harry and in her defence, you told her to go. You got over it before, why can't you now?"

"Because my wife had to kiss another man to figure out if I was the only one she wanted," Draco exclaimed, anguish breaking his voice,

"Haven't you put her through enough punishment?" Blaise demanded, "Isn't all the matters is that you know that you're the only one in her heart? Draco, do not throw away the best damn thing that's ever happened to you!"

"I don't want to lose her Blaise-" Draco placed his hands on his desk and leaned on them, eyes averted to the desk,

"Then don't push her away!" Blaise exclaimed. He sighed when he saw tears fall onto the desktop, "Draco, go home."

"But, the proposal," Draco snapped his head up to look at Blaise, his eyes brimming with tears,

"I'll go over it. Go home. Ginny needs you," Blaise said, "How do you think that article made her feel?"

Draco's eyes widened with realization. He grabbed his cloak from the back of his chair, swung it on and marched out immediately.

---

He arrived home and was greeted by Zip-Zip.

"Where's my wife?" Draco demanded as he handed the house elf his cloak,

"Mistress is gone to the Ministry, she is." The house elf answered,

"Why?"

"Me don't know, Master. She was eating breakfast, she was and reading the morning post. Then she starts crying she did and then took Masters Elias and Tristan with her. She says she goes to the Ministry, she did," Zip-Zip replied,

Draco took back his cloak, muttered a thank-you to the house elf before leaving once more.

---

Draco knocked furiously on the wooden door. It opened a crack and little head popped out, it disappeared back into the office, but the door was still held ajar by little hands,

"Mommy! A man's at the door!"

"Is it an Auror, Jane?"

"No, it's Trish's dad," Jane said.

There were footsteps and the door was opened, "Draco-"

"Hermione, where is she?"

Hermione stepped aside and gestured for Draco to enter her office, "She didn't say, but she was here earlier."

"With the boys?" Draco asked in almost a strained tone as he took a seat before Hermione's desk,

Hermione nodded as she took her seat behind her desk, "She left with Tristan."

"And Eli?"

"Father?"

Draco twisted in his seat and found Eli standing in the doorway. Draco stood up, strode towards his son and dropped to his knees, pulling Eli into his arms,

"I thought I saw you," Eli said as he hugged his father back, he had never seen his father look so-broken. "I told you I saw Father, Uncle Bill."

Draco looked up to find Bill Weasley standing behind Eli. Draco released his son and stood up,

"Malfoy, I hope I don't have to tell you that the article in the Daily Prophet is all a lie," Bill said gravely,

"I know that, I went home to see how she was doing, but she had already left," Draco stated,

"Walk me back to my office, Malfoy." Bill looked down at Eli and ruffled the boy's hair, "I'll see you later."

"Okay Uncle Bill," the boy grinned as they walked away.

"Malfoy, Eli said that it seems like you and Ginny aren't friends anymore, what does he mean?" Bill asked,

"I've been sleeping in the guestroom for a month and a half, and we haven't exactly been talking," Draco answered,

"Is this because Ginny went to see Harry in France?" Draco nodded, "You know, a few years ago Fleur and I ran into one of her old boyfriends. The way they greeted one another, I was afraid that some of the old feelings had returned."

"What did you do?"

"I talked to her about it. Fleur admitted to me that he had been one that got away," Bill answered, "Then she also admitted that he asked her to have dinner with him."

"Did you let her go?"

"Mhmm," Bill shoved his fists into his pockets, "It was only fair for the both of us that she go. I didn't want her living her life in regret and I didn't want to live my life as second best to my wife."

"What happened at the dinner?"

"They reminisced of the past, their relationship and that led to a kiss," Bill said, "And then after that, they got their answers. They're just friends. He had a fiancée but before he got married he wanted to talk to Fleur."

"So, it ended okay?"

"Fleur and I were at their wedding," Bill grinned as they stepped into an elevator, "It's scary letting them go like that, but if they come back, it's our signal to hold on to them and never let them go again."

They stood in silence as witches and wizards got into and out of the elevator. As the time in the elevator passed, Draco stood, his eyes to the ground, pondering over Bill's words. The bell signalling a stop rang and, after Bill nudged Draco, they left the elevator and continued walking,

"Weren't you upset that Fleur needed answers still?" Draco asked after a moment,

"Mmm- no, because I've had those questions before," Bill said,

"Did you try to get your answers, too?"

Bill shook his head, "Back then, I didn't have the same faith Fleur or Ginny had."

"Faith? What does that have to do with anything?" Draco asked,

"Fleur, and I'm sure Ginny too, went looking for answers believing that in the end nothing would change but her solidified love me. She had faith in her love, so much that she felt nothing would ever break it, ruin it or destroy it," Bill explained as they reached his office, "Fleur was right to have faith in it. Now it's your turn to figure out if Ginny was right to have faith and if she was right, you need to tell her."

"Bill-"

"She left Tristan and Eli with Fleur and I," Bill interrupted,

"Where did she go?" Draco asked,

"She said she needed to get away like last time something happened."

With that, Bill opened his office door, stepped in and closed it securely behind him; his words echoing in Draco's head as the former Slytherin returned to Hermione's office.

---

"Liv, what's with the death glare?" Catie asked as she took a seat at the Gryffindor table for lunch,

"The Slytherin Seeker," Liv said through gritted teeth.

Catie followed Liv's gaze to the Slytherin table where the Seeker, Janessa, was sitting beside a familiar blonde Slytherin guy, "Liv, you can't be jealous."

"She's been hanging around Léo constantly," Liv said loathingly as she turned to her food, viciously poking at the chicken on her plate, "Léo keeps dismissing it as nothing, but I don't trust the girl."

"Liv, couldn't it just be that they're really good friends?" Catie suggested,

"I've already thought of that and Léo dismissed that theory when he said they're barely acquaintances," Liv said then looked at Catie seriously, "I would never act irrationally as to jump to conclusions. I'd never be that unfair to Léo."

"I know you don't act without thinking, but this is the first time I've seen you so vehemently jealous and sometimes your feelings can blur your judgement," Catie said,

"Catie, I'm finally with Léo, I don't want to lose him," Liv admitted quietly,

"You won't, Léo is totally and completely into you," Catie insisted, "Just because some Fifth Year is flirting with him doesn't mean anything."

"I trust Léo with all my heart, Catie- but what if something happens and he realizes that he likes her better?" Liv was horrified to find tears in her eyes; she refused to cry in public. She stood up abruptly, her eyes only on Catie to hide the tears from everyone else, "Catie- come to the loo with me. Now. Please."

Catie nodded as she stood up and the two left the Great Hall quickly, Catie grabbing Lucy on their way out.

---

There came a rapt at the door.

"You can come in Charlie, it's your house," Ginny said as she sat in the middle of the bed staring down at the picture in her lap.

The door opened and Charlie came in, and walked over to the bed, sitting on the edge,

"For the time being, it's your room," Charlie said as he gave her a smile, "Alright Gin, it's time you tell me why you came out here."

"I can't visit you spontaneously?"

"Mmm, you can, but when you do so the same day a certain article is published in the Daily Prophet, I wonder," Charlie said as he peered at the picture Ginny was gazing at. It was a photo of her and Draco during their second wedding.

"I needed to get away Charlie. I know that once everyone sees the article or hears about it all attention will be on Draco and me," Ginny answered, eyes still on the picture,

"But don't you think it's worse that you left England? If anything, at a time like this you and Draco need to show your unified front, not dissonance and being in separate countries," Charlie reasoned,

"But that's the thing Charlie, even before the article came out Draco and I have practically been living separate lives," Ginny confessed, her voice breaking,

"I can't blame Draco for his actions," Charlie said, "Gin, you had your reasons for seeing Harry that day and I understand that, but in Draco's eyes it seems like you weren't sure of your love of him."

"But I am! Charlie –"

He held up a hand to silence her, "You don't need to defend yourself in front of me Gin, like I said, you had your reasons. I just want you to understand Draco's feelings on this."

"I messed up, didn't I?" Ginny asked as she bit her lip to stifle her sob. She looked up at Charlie, tears streaming down her eyes,

He immediately pulled her to him and hugged her tightly, "Draco let you go there, and there were no mistakes. You two will get through this, don't worry about it."

"How do you know that? Things have never gotten this bad between us," she cried into his shoulder,

"Because I've seen you two together and even though he always has a look like everything is troublesome, I see it in his eyes, I see that he loves you," Charlie soothed as he held her tighter, "He won't readily let you go if he loves you and I know he loves you. Besides," he pulled away enough to look at her face, "He put up being related to Ron, so he must love you a lot."

Ginny let out a small laugh,

"Ah, that's a bit of the Ginny I'm use to seeing, come now, dry your tears," Charlie pulled away and stood up, "Just give it time and it'll work out."

She wiped her tears and nodded, attempting a smile again.

"Come, I want to check on a dragon who was injured the other day," Charlie said, and led her outside.

Charlie lived in a small village, inhabited by witches and wizards. He was the only Dragon Keeper there and protected the village from the dragons he took care of. He led Ginny away from the village on foot through a path cleared of snow. After about half an hour of walking, they had reached a cavern. Upon entering it, Ginny let out a gasp at the sight of a sleeping dragon.

"Lumos," Charlie whispered and the ring of sconces on the wall lit up the cavern.

The dragon awoke at the sudden intrusion of light and began to thrash about. Charlie ran up to the dragon and talked to it. Its thrashing ceased the moment it saw Charlie and lay back down peacefully.

"What's wrong with it?" Ginny asked as she stood back,

"I think he got into a fight with another dragon," Charlie called over his shoulder as he inspected the dragon's wings, one hand constantly stroking its indigo skin, "When I found him, his wing was broken in three places – hardly fit for flying."

"Melody was good at healing potions for dragons, wasn't she?" Ginny asked quietly, tentatively,

Charlie tensed up immediately, ceasing his inspection, "Yes."

"Charlie, it's been fourteen years since she died," Ginny reminded in the same quiet voice as before,

"I know how long it's been since Melody died, Ginny, I don't need to be reminded," Charlie said gruffly, "What are you getting at bringing her up!?"

"Charlie, you're forty-one and you're still living your life as you did eighteen years ago," she said,

"Perhaps that's how I like it, Ginny," Charlie spun around to face her,

"But Charlie –"

"I lost a wife Ginny. I lost the love of my life; I'm sorry that I can't move on but that's my issue and I'd appreciate it if you would just stop reminding me of the sorry state my life's become!" Charlie exclaimed as he turned back to the injured wing. Silence rang in the cavern for a pregnant pause before he spoke again, "Gin- just- just go back to the house, I'll be there later."

Hesitantly, silently, she obliged.

---

Later that evening, Ginny crept out of her room and peaked into the living room where a single candle was burning. Charlie sat on the couch, his elbows on his knees, his hands together and his chin on his folded hands. He was staring at a picture frame that stood on the coffee table before him.

"If I move on, I feel like I'm cheating on her."

Ginny was startled to have her presence figured out.

"It's been almost a decade and a half and I still feel like if I got involved with someone else, that I'd be cheating."

"Melody wouldn't want you to feel like that," Ginny said quietly as she sat down beside him,

"I know that and I keep telling myself that but- once I meet someone, I can't help but compare them to Melody," Charlie admitted, "I envy Harry's ability to move on."

"Charlie-"

"I have lived a full life Gin. I had the most amazing wife. Even though I no longer have her, I still feel like I have had a full life. I have nieces and nephews that I love dearly and even though I rarely see any of you, I have unsurpassable love for my family," Charlie stated,

"That's good," Ginny insisted,

"But Gin- If I have such a full life, why do I still feel broken?" His words were barely audible.

She leaned her head on his shoulder, "You'll find someone; something. You just have to let yourself go looking."

A knock on the door interrupted their peace.

Charlie stood up and walked over, he opened the door, surprised, "Draco."

Ginny felt her heart sink at the name.

"Charlie, I've come for my wife," Draco stated, unable to see past the doorway,

Charlie stood aside to let Draco in, "I'm going out for a moment to check on the dragon again, I'll be back soon." With that, Charlie left and Ginny was alone with her husband for the first time in a month and a half.

Draco spotted her still frame on the couch, and hesitantly, he walked over to her, towered over her.

"Gin-"

"I know you're upset about the Daily Prophet but –"

"Please don't ever leave me again." He said quietly, his voice serious with a slight quiver.

She looked up at him, surprised to see his broken expression. He took her hands and knelt down before her between her knees. He pressed her knuckles to his lips,

"You're- you're not upset about the article?" She asked tentatively,

"I know they're all lies, Gin. I believe you before anything else," he declared quietly as he gazed at eyelevel into her brown eyes.

"Draco, about what happened with Harry-"

"I understand."

"What?"

"I understand why it had to happen. I understand now. Besides," he dropped her hands and held her face, "I did tell you to go didn't I?"

"And I came back," she replied, her voice a whisper, "I'll always come back."

"Gin, come home with me," he breathed as he leaned his forehead against hers, "Come home to our bed where I can hold you and never let you go."

She nodded as she accepted his kiss. As their lips met in a tender dance, his brushed away her tears with his thumbs. She pulled away from him suddenly and he looked at her confusedly,

"Do you think I am a monster?" She asked, trembling, her lip quivering,

"Never," he breathed and captured her lips once more.

---

"Gin, maybe you shouldn't go."

She wiped her mouth with the towel he offered before growling, "I am going Draco and you can't stop me!"

He sighed heavily as he offered her a hand and helped her to her feet. She stood over the sink, rinsing out her mouth and her face,

"Gin, you just spent two hours coughing up last night's dinner and I'm pretty sure I saw one of your lungs in the toilet," Draco drawled,

"Drama queen," she said between gurgles of water, "No, Draco, you already made me wait a week, I am going down to the Daily Prophet with you whether you like it or not."

"You're hardly in any condition to leave the bedroom, let alone go down to the Prophet," Draco stated,

She spit out the water and rinsed the sink. After patting her mouth and face dry she turned to face Draco, hands on hips, "Draco Xavier Malfoy, I am coming with you! That Skeeter lady has been telling lies for years, and I'm having none of her nonsense now! Hermione had her controlled for a bit – only Merlin knows how – but now she's at it again!"

He let out a sigh as he pulled her to him, kissing the top of her head, "There's no way I'm going to be able to convince you not to come, is there?"

"No," she replied stubbornly,

He sighed exasperatedly, "Fine, be dressed in ten minutes."

She gave him a chaste kiss on his lips, "I knew you'd see things my way," she smiled at him radiantly before pushing past him to get dressed.

He rolled his eyes to the heaven.

Twenty minutes later, they found themselves in the headquarters of the Daily Prophet. They walked through a floor filled with cubicle and peaking heads, attempting to discretely spy the couple.

"Love, you left your wand at home, correct?" Draco inquired quietly as they walked,

"How would I ever hex the vile woman if I did that?" Ginny asked innocently,

"Don't look to your right," Draco warned, knowing that she would.

Ginny stopped and stared down the infamous reporter, Rita Skeeter, as she appeared to be rearranging her desk.

"Ah, Mr and Mrs Malfoy," Rita greeted coolly,

"I'd prefer it if you never speak to us again," Draco retorted as he pulled Ginny away,

"Mr Malfoy, you're quite accepting of your wife's adultery then?" Rita inquired,

Draco released his hold on Ginny and walked back to Rita, "She never cheated on me and should I ever hear another whisper of that ridiculous lie again, the person who whispers such a thing along with you, Miss Skeeter, will have some explaining to do."

"Mr Malfoy, you cannot deny the validity of the photograph!" Rita exclaimed,

Draco stared into Rita's beady eyes for a moment and comprehension dawned on him, "Can you deny the invalidity of your other form?" He asked in a low growl.

Her lips formed a perfect o' as she stood in silent shock, "That Granger never did anything, so why should I feel threatened by you?" She spat finally,

"Because Miss Skeeter," Draco hissed, eyes narrowed, "The entire Wizarding population is already afraid of me because of my vampirism. I'm more than willing to give a real reason to be afraid by exposing you to the Ministry."

With that, Draco returned to Ginny, but his wife had more to add, "Oh, Miss Skeeter, I thought you'd like to know that Hermione Granger now works at the Ministry as head of the Auror department. Not to mention two of my brothers and a sister-in-law work there as well."

"Well Mrs Malfoy, you must feel quite mighty with such connections within the Ministry, knowing your family they must be on the low registers of status," Rita sneered,

Ginny scoffed as they began to walk away from the reporter, "You're wrong on all counts," she called over her shoulder, "And I'll have you know, my sister-in-law is the Minister of Magic."

Draco and Ginny effectively heard a frustrated screech as the door of the editor of the Daily Prophet's office closed behind them.

"Mr and Mrs Malfoy, I was expecting you," the chair behind the large mahogany desk swirled around. A witch with short, styled, blond hair gazed at them dreamily, a small smile playing on her lips,

"LUNA!?" Ginny gasped happily, "I didn't- that is, you never said-" She paused, her excitement draining, "You let Rita Skeeter write that garbage of me having an affair with Harry!?"

Luna shook her head, "I assure you Ginny, had I known about the article I would have trashed it immediately. I was on my honeymoon when that edition was published."

"Honeymoon- so you and Neville!?"

Luna smiled brightly, "We eloped. We didn't want too much attention on us and it's hard to get married secretly without eloping since I am in the news business." She looked at Draco, "Always a pleasure to see you Draco."

"And I, you- Mrs Longbottom."

"Mmm- Ginny, I promise you the next Daily Prophet contains a letter of apology from Skeeter and myself," Luna said,

"I hardly believe she's sincere," Draco drawled,

"Mmm, she not, but the apology saved her from Azkaban," Luna stated, looking at them knowingly,

"Hermione?" Draco offered,

Luna nodded, "Day I came back from the honeymoon, Hermione was waiting in my office for me. Always punctual, she was. So, in exchange for Hermione's silence, Skeeter agreed to produce an apology for the next Daily Prophet."

"Is that all?" Draco asked,

Luna shook her head, "I refuse lies to be written in either of my papers," she stated, "Effective immediately, Rita Skeeter's job has been exterminated. That'll promptly stop her lies unless she starts her own paper."

"True, the main papers are the Daily Prophet and the Quibbler and both are owned by you," Ginny nodded. She smiled at Luna, "Thank you."

Luna held up a hand to silence her, "Nonsense, I did it for you and I did it for the purity of journalism. And I think many lives will be happier knowing that Rita Skeeter is no longer in the reporting business."

"Merlin's ghost, I actually feel bad for Muggles," Draco sighed heavily. The two witches looked at him quizzically, "What if she decides to start writing for Muggle papers?" He shook his head sadly, "It'd be like Voldemort to the Wizarding community.

Ginny and Luna laughed in unified response.

---

Liv sprinted down the staircase. Her afternoon nap had lasted longer than she anticipated and worried that she kept Léo waiting for their date to Hogsmeade. She stumbled the last few steps; her feet carrying her faster than her body could balance. As she rain, she promptly removed the silk scarf from her neck and tied it around her head, securing it as a headband.

She rounded a corner sharply, almost knocking over a pair of First Years,

"Sorry!" She called behind her as she continued her progress. "Okay Liv, two more floors and we're there," she said to herself as she reached another stairwell. She ran down it, shivering as she passed through Professor Binns, "Sorry Professor!" She exclaimed,

"Ah, not to worry, Miss Wood, I enjoy the liveliness of youth!" Binns replied as she disappeared from sight.

She increased her speed when she got to the final staircase. She had pushed past several students, apologizing as she went. When she got to the landing, she effectively knocked over another student, landing both of them on the floor.

She groaned as she sat up, rubbing her backside in the process, "I'm so sorry-" she saw who it was, "James!"

"It's fine," the Ravenclaw insisted as he stood up and brushed off his robes, "I was so absorbed in my book I wasn't paying attention." He helped her up. She picked up said book from the ground and handed it to him,

"Shakespeare?"

"Yes, a Muggle playwright, brilliant, really," James said,

"Oh, which play are you read," she paused, "Hold that thought, I'm late meeting Léo."

"Go ahead," James smiled.

She waved behind her as she dashed away. She ran down the corridor, turned left and-

"Make it quick Janessa, I'm waiting for Olivia,"

Liv thought she was imagining it, but she heard his voice and was convinced. She stood still as Léo and Janessa entered a classroom. Heart beating madly against her ribcage, a lump forming in her throat, stomach riding a roller coaster, Liv hesitantly stepped towards where they entered.

She heard quiet whispers as she approached. She saw opened door and when she got close enough to hear them clearly, they stopped speaking. Her heart pounded violently as she stepped closer to the doorway. When she finally was able to see into the classroom, her heart stopped beating.



-----

I hope y'alls enjoyed that. I did. I finally got to give Rita Skeeter what was coming to her.& yes, random cameo from Luna. Bless her, I wish she was more in this story, but sacrifices must be made at time. Hehe. 'Til next time.
Comments are always welcomed. =)


Smile .Park YooChun. Love
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